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
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
14 Apr, 03 > 20 Apr, 03
Better Living through Science
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
The Loyal Opposition
The Left Coaster
Deep Blade
Moonbattery Park
Wednesday, 31 August 2005
Now Playing: "Heard It in a Love Song" by the Marshall Tucker Band
First of all, I cannot conceive of losing everything I own or of knowing that my family is drowned and drifting on the waves of carnage lapping about a once-great city. It is insanity.

Second, I cannot conceive of losing everything I own or of knowing that my family is drowned and drifting on the waves of carnage lapping about a once-great city.

Those would also be the next and the last things that I could ever conceive.

A city beneath the waves. Is that not one of the most ancient of all our fears as urbanized creatures?

Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:11 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Monday, 29 August 2005
Down to the Filter
Have I mentioned how interested I am in the opinions of people who said we should never have gone to war for Iraq, anyway, with respect to what kind of constitution and government the Iraqis now should have?

Would it be too much to ask these gristleheads why the Iraqi people are even in such a position to decide ---or to argue the point or threaten non-cooperation in--- the establishment of the new Iraq?

Word has it that democracy is messy and unpredictable.

We in the West will have the government there that we always wanted when the Iraqi people begin making a daily demonstration of their confidence in and allegiance to self-government; when they show the rest of the Arab and Muslim world that modern standards of decency and right are the greatest guarantors of stability and social prosperity; when enough of the jihadist vermin infiltrating the country are exterminated.

(It's because of people like them that we can't have nice things. Or even cigarettes.)

Posted by Toby Petzold at 11:26 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
De Toxville
Mood:  don't ask
Now Playing: "Stranger to Himself" by Traffic
...and the hedgehog knows only one big thing: smoking a cigarette.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 11:11 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Charles Johnson's LGF Irony Meter has pegged out on the news that Che Guevara's family wants a piece of the action:

HAVANA, Cuba (Reuters) -- With his picture on rock band posters, baseball caps and women's lingerie, Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara is firmly entrenched in the capitalist consumer society that he died fighting to overturn.

The image of the Argentine-born guerrilla gazing sternly into the distance, long-hair tucked into a beret with a single star, has been an enduring 20th century pop icon.
It's true. In some quarters, Che's more popular than the Beatles.

The famous picture was shot by Alberto Diaz, a fashion photographer better known as Korda, at a funeral for victims of the explosion of a French freighter transporting weapons to Cuba one year after Fidel Castro's revolution triumphed with the help of Guevara.

Korda's group photograph was not printed by his newspaper the next day. Seven years later, when Italian publisher Giangiacomo Feltrinelli showed up looking for a cover picture for an edition of Che's "Bolivian Diary," Korda gave him two prints for free.

Guevara was captured six months later in the Bolivian jungle, where his bid to start an armed peasant revolution ended in fiasco. On news on his death, Feltrinelli cropped the photo and published large posters that quickly sold 1 million copies.

The guerrilla fighter was transformed into martyr, pop celebrity and radical chic poster boy.

Korda said he never received a penny from Feltrinelli.
Yes, but that's just part of keeping it authentic.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 2:51 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
The 86th Hour
Mood:  spacey
Now Playing: "Stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again" by Bob Dylan
Haven't smoked a cigarette in 86 hours.

Found a couple of halves in my passenger seat yesterday when I was cleaning out my car, but quickly tossed them.

At this point, I'd be disappointed in myself if I gave in.

Keep going, punk. Your liver and your lungs and your heart are smiling at each other in that wet, dark, and compacted way that all internal organs do.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 2:29 PM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (4) | Permalink
Did Haley Barbour just say that anyone found here at night will be found here in the morning? Heh, heh. Well, not those exact words, but he's firm against looting. Good for him. If people aren't already clear on the Golden Rule, then the cops can help them to understand it.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 12:17 PM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Sunday, 28 August 2005
In Perilous Union
Now Playing: "Like to Get to Know You" by Spanky and Our Gang
Thanks to Charles Johnson, have a look at this steaming pile over at the National Vanguard:

One of the most important steps that Whites are taking these days (and, we all must admit, that millions of non-Whites have already taken) is a recognition that Jewish power is toxic to any society that allows it to exist. (And allowing it free rein is tantamount to suicide.) Jewish power is behind the drive for racial mixing, open borders, raceless globalism, and international capitalism, just as it was behind racially-destructive international Communism. But what is really waking people up is the Jewish power behind the current war in the Middle East, and the outrageous hypocrisy of Israel as Jews maintain an aggressive racial state (armed to the teeth, by the way, with Weapons of Mass Destruction) while doing everything in their power to open the borders of and multiracialize and multiculturalize other peoples' countries.

I'm sure that all of you are by now familiar with Cindy Sheehan, the mother of Casey, her son who was killed in Iraq last year, and her vigil outside the Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas. Her story has moved the hearts of millions just as it has angered the neocon spinmeisters who pushed for this war. Though she has hesitated and backpedaled more than once, she has brought out into public view the one flaming truth that the Jewish-controlled left and Jewish-controlled right are desperate to conceal: that her son, and all the other Americans being brought back home in body bags, died for Israel, not America.
Will Mother Sheehan stand up and denounce her Nazi well-wishers? Doubt it. She believes as they do, but will manage to avoid too public an association, lest the American People get wise to this crap.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 11:54 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Now Playing: "Star-Spangled Banner" as performed by Jimi Hendrix on the morning of 18 August 1969
Read this brief essay by Ken Ringle in tomorrow's Washington Post about Hurricane Camille. It's harrowing:

Yesterday morning the National Hurricane Center cleared its throat and upgraded Katrina to a Category 5 hurricane -- the designation for storms capable of truly catastrophic damage and deadliness. That, however, wasn't the center's most significant statement. The real news was the center's chilling declaration that, at 902 millibars of internal barometric pressure -- the lowest barometric pressure ever recorded in the Gulf of Mexico -- Katrina was "comparable in intensity to Hurricane Camille of 1969 . . . only larger."

Those of us who lived though Hurricane Camille will never forget it. Camille struck with the force of several hydrogen bombs, altering forever the topography of the Mississippi coast. Its nearly 200-mph winds and 25-foot storm surge exploded concrete buildings and erased entire communities -- then gouged open graveyards and hung corpses in the live oaks like so much Spanish moss. There was a problem for a time telling the storm victims from those already embalmed.
To give you some context, the Woodstock music festival was wrapping up the night Camille roared ashore near Pass Christian, Mississippi. And she was still raging through the Mississippi River Valley Monday morning, 18 August 1969, when Jimi Hendrix played to the few thousands near Bethel, New York who had not yet started home.

About 48 hours later ---out in the West Texas town of El Paso--- this writer was born.

I guess this is another one of those once-in-a-generation things.

I could sure use a cigarette.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 11:00 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
And About As Popular as Truman
Now Playing: "Send in the Clowns" as performed by Judy Collins
Via Jeff Goldstein, have a look at this very interesting post at Mr. Snitch! Doing his best Paul Harvey, Mr. Snitch begins:

Accused of changing the rationale for 'his' war, and hounded for mismanaging it. Derided as an uninspiring public speaker. Belittled as an idiot. Blamed for dividing the nation. Charged with incompetence in his administration. Accused of trampling on the Constitution. Engaged in censorship and manipulation of the press. Mockingly compared with lower primates. Pressured for a key Cabinet Advisor's resignation. Of course, we're referring to Lincoln.
My favorite of these, of course, is the changing rationale for war. As we all know, Mr. Lincoln would have enjoyed universal support throughout the more enlightened and far less racist North had he simply commenced to fighting for the immediate emancipation of all black slaves everywhere.

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to hang around, hoping to be the first commenter on a thread at Eschaton to say "Frist!"

Has any analysis been done on how vastly inflated Duncan Black's visitor counts are by these farcical mushroom people? You know: the ones who wish to avoid political debate by pretending they're in an AOL chatroom, circa 1998.

Fucking wankers. Probably smokers, too.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 9:40 PM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (4) | Permalink
Dammit! Is There Anything Karl Rove Can't Do?!

Hang in there, folks. This one's gonna take all your strength to get through it.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 6:49 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Now Playing: "Mother Mary" by UFO
Sounds like the cable news networks are recycling the menacing leitmotif music they use to condition their viewers to respond to certain stories.

That or Scott Peterson is a Category 5 hurricane.

If I roll over, will you scratch my belly?

Posted by Toby Petzold at 6:35 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Last Jones and Testament
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: maybe some Richie Havens
Five hundred years from now, historians and social scientists will look back on us and ask how we ever could have smoked tobacco, knowing what we do of its ill effects on our bodies and on our world as a whole. And they will say, for better or worse, smoking tobacco was something that we did to ourselves on our way to becoming ourselves. But there will still be the shaken heads of condescension at what weak-willed animals we were. What rats we must have been to trade in this stuff and enslave our fellow men to produce this stuff and find ourselves resorting to this stuff to just make it through the day.

No, there will always be addicts and addictions. In fact, I hope it is so. Because being drawn to things at the chemical and essential levels is what makes us human beings. We are the species with the participial name: thinking man ---the being that becomes what it wills.

But they will never make smoking tobacco or anything else safe because it is manifestly unsafe for one's health. It is inconceivable to me that even the very first person to take a drag off some grapevine didn't think it was a stupid thing he was doing to himself. "Smoke? I'm purposely drawing smoke into my lungs? Where the fuck is my mind?"

Forget plastics, Benjamin. Pharmaceuticals is the way to go. Give us the (synthesized) goods in an easily-swallowed pill. Give us another kind of pill to take us off of the first one and set us up for the next. Because we're always going to have a jones for this thing or that. We're always going to be rats banging away at the lever to get our treat.

This is a struggle that never ends until everything ends. Dammit.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 1:20 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Saturday, 27 August 2005
No Joke
Mood:  not sure
Q.: How many people who are trying to quit smoking does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A.: What's it to you, you goddamned sack of shit?! Are you writing a fucking novel?!

Posted by Toby Petzold at 12:47 AM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink
Friday, 26 August 2005
Now Playing: "All for the Love of Rock n' Roll' by the Tuff Darts
It's a special feeling when you recognize that a war report you've just read will be looked back on decades from now as an exemplar of the times our men and women are now experiencing in the War for Iraq. At Michael Yon's site, there is just such a report ---called "Gates of Fire."

I implore you to read the whole thing and to take your time going through the many photographs there.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 2:03 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Cindy Sheehan Is an un-American Tool of the Far Left
Courtesy of Patterico, check out the video of Cindy Sheehan talking to CBS News reporter Mark Knoller at Sweetness & Light. Here's some of the transcript:

Mark Knoller: You know that the President says Iraq is the central front in the war on terrorism, don’t you believe that?

Cindy Sheehan: No, because it’s not true. Iraq was no threat to the United States of America until we invaded. Iraq was not involved in 9/11. Iraq was not a terrorist state.

But now that we have decimated the country, the borders are open. Freedom Fighters from other countries are going in. And they have created more terrorism by going into an Islamic country, devastating the country and killing innocent people in that country.

Terrorism is growing. And people who never thought of being car bombers, suicide bombers are now doing it because they want the United States of America out of their country.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 2:05 AM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (9) | Permalink
Wednesday, 24 August 2005
It Must Be Said
Michael Barone makes a criticism of the President and his disinclination to justify himself and this war that I've been making for quite some time, too. In making his case, Barone turns to an excellent piece by David Frum at today's National Review Online, but he further says that a model to which the President should be turning is Franklin Roosevelt's famous fireside chats. In those national radio addresses, FDR spoke to the country in great detail about his plans and his rationale in the world war going on around him:

It is generally assumed today that there was some kind of unanimity about World War II. Not really. Roosevelt was criticized for putting a priority on the European Theater over the Pacific; after all, some said, hadn't it been the Japanese who attacked us? Not everyone forgot that many of his opponents charged before Pearl Harbor that he was provoking the Germans and the Japanese to attack us (indeed a strong case can be made that he was). The media of the day was mostly controlled and run by Republicans—some of them like Henry Luce of Time were supporters of Roosevelt's war policies, but others like Col. Robert McCormick of the Chicago Tribune (then the biggest-circulation broadsheet in the country) bitter critics.

Roosevelt clearly kept an eye on his enemies. In May 1940, as resistance to Hitler was collapsing in Western Europe, he noted that "there are a few among us who have deliberately and consciously closed their eyes [to foreign threats] because they were determined to be opposed to their government, its foreign policy, and every other policy, to be partisan, and to believe that anything that the government did was wholly wrong." Later in that chat he warned of a "fifth column that betrays a nation unprepared for treachery."

In July 1943, after the fall of Mussolini, he asserted, "It is our determination to restore those conquered peoples to the dignity of human beings, masters of their own fate, entitled to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want and freedom from fear. We have started to make good on that promise. I am sorry if I step on the toes of those Americans who, playing party politics at home, call that kind of foreign policy 'crazy altruism' and 'starry-eyed dreaming.'"
I often find myself frustrated at George W. Bush's minimalist approach to resorting to the human aspect of his leadership with regard to the war. "Never complain, never explain" has very much lost its allure with me as a tactic of power. Is it that his advisers have weaned him from his "smoke 'em out of their holes"-type rhetoric because it seems too unseemly? Have they persuaded him that going beyond the usual cant about democracy and bringing us real, live examples of our military's sacrifices and triumphs is somehow speaking too much from the saddle?


Mr. President, Cindy Sheehan is right about one thing ---if only one thing: you need to tell her what her son died for. No one else's justifications will do; only yours have the power to move the world. And you can do it with the greatest possible pride, too, because I know that you know why he did; you simply have to have the courage to explain the higher meanings of this war in concrete ways that everyone can appreciate. Because the macrocosm is within the microcosm. The struggle of one town or one school or one soldier or cop on the beat to rise above the violence and make a positive contribution to the success of Iraq is one worth sharing with all of us.

Anticipate the arguments and pre-empt them, if you can.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 8:37 PM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink
Tuesday, 23 August 2005
Rum Dumb
Mood:  hungry
Now Playing: the allegro from Mozart's Piano Concerto in C minor (K. 491)
Enough of your quibbling! I just got a call from a girl at Amy's Ice Cream on Guadalupe and she says that the rum raisin is in.

Hmmm...rum raisin...

Posted by Toby Petzold at 9:12 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
The Long Knives
Have a look at this post over at Steve Soto's place. Apparently, he and some Kossack-types are about to have done with the Democratic Leadership Council and call for total peace:

With the DLC wing and their new mouthpieces Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden sounding a replay of the “we can’t be against the war; Bush will berate us!” 2004 campaign message, there is room as Atrios notes for the rest of the party to move into new and unencumbered territory on Iraq from this point forward. Bush ran and won on Iraq and terror in 2004, but there is a good and bad side to that development. The bad side for the Democrats is that they lost the election. The good side is that with the conclusion of that election Democrats are free to throw off the shackles of that “we can’t leave Iraq” albatross and start anew.
There's rumblings throughout the Left half of the blogosphere that the anti-war crowd is preparing to seize its moment and excommunicate the sell-outs, but on the basis that Soto establishes here? Hardly.

First, it may be that Clinton and Biden can actually see a variety of reasons why we should be in Iraq ---all wars ultimately being multi-causal. Maybe they, unlike the execrable John F. Kerry, are the nuanced ones. Biden is especially quick to criticize the execution of the war ---as any fair-minded supporter would in such an important matter--- but he may personally accept the necessity of our use of force in that part of the world to foment these new democratic movements.

Second, there's no obvious political advantage to advocating immediate withdrawal from Iraq ---at least none that any unambiguously anti-war Democrat may claim. That is to say, no one cares whether Turd Kennedy thinks we should cut and run; but people would pay attention if HRC or Biden thought so.

Third, it is an absolute mistake to suppose that Iraq is an irreparable mess. The Coalition and the Iraqi people have achieved a lot in these past two and a half years: deposing the Saddamites, securing countless little liberties that we here take for granted, the January elections in which eight million Iraqis braved death to participate, and now the prospect of a constitution and real democratic form of government. You want to be on the wrong side of that, Steve? You want to abandon what we have begun because we didn't find enough WMD to your liking? I think that's a very irresponsible tack to take. Our men and women didn't sacrifice themselves in such numbers just so that y'all can pretend this is 1968; they sacrificed themselves so that we can insist upon and defend democracy in the middle of a very backwards part of the world ---one that harbors oil and Sulafists and enemies of Christianity and Judaism.

I think you know what Scoop Jackson would say. He'd say that albatrosses don't wear shackles.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 9:07 PM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink
The Real Villain Here
Jeff Goldstein, one of the blogosphere's best humorists, has a very useful post about Hugo Chavez and the inevitable fallout among the Left (and Right) over conservative Christian personality Pat Robertson's call for Chavez's assassination. Robertson may be a fool for his candor, but, as Goldstein reminds us, let's not forget who the real villain here is. Quoting Thor Halvorssen's piece in a recent issue of The Weekly Standard:

Ch?vez first ran for president on a reform platform, winning in a landslide. What few understood then was that Ch?vez planned to revolutionize the country following a plan masterminded by his longtime friend Norberto Ceresole, an Argentinian writer infamous for his books denying the Holocaust and his conspiracy theories about Jewish plans to control the planet.

The title of Ceresole’s 1999 book on Ch?vez and Venezuela, Caudillo, Ej?rcito, Pueblo ("Leader, Army, People"), eerily recalls the German national socialist maxim, “One People, One Country, One Leader.” (The first chapter is titled “The Jewish Question and the state of Israel.") After denying the Holocaust, he explains that the greatest threat to Chavismo comes from the Jews of Venezuela. A self-described Communist and fascist, Ceresole became an expert in national socialism after designing Juan Domingo Per?n’s electoral platform in Argentina. In Ceresole’s hands, representative democracy mutates into “participatory” systems led by cult-like figures; tellingly, Ch?vez praises the “participatory democracy” of Libya, Syria, Iran, and Cuba. Ceresole’s structure channels the people’s will through the charismatic strongman; the military functions as the central political body. Ceresole’s roadmap for Venezuela suffered some setbacks, including a 2002 coup that displaced Ch?vez for 48 hours and a national strike that almost toppled the government. But Venezuela’s dramatic political metamorphosis was nonetheless complete by the time Ceresole died in 2003.

Chavismo’s purpose, however, is not just to create a stable autocracy. At its core is a far-reaching foreign policy that aims to establish a loosely aligned federation of revolutionary republics as a resistance bloc in the Americas. The Chavista worldview sees the globe as a place where the United States, Europe, and Israel must be opposed by militarized one-man regimes.
If democracy is about anything, it's about exposing cults of personality.

Goldstein writes:

Though Robertson clearly overstated the case—at least insofar as he spoke publicly, which will allow Chavez to play up his already legendary paranoia and anti-Americanism by tying Robertson’s statement to the official government line—it is nevertheless imperative that we don’t lose sight of who the real villian is here. Unfortunately, I suspect our own press will do just that, aiding Chavez by playing up the connection between the social conservative base—understood to be Bush’s staunchest supporters (though that itself is debatable)—and Roberstson’s brand of religiosity. Which, while predictable, would be a shame, nevertheless.
Don't forget that Venezuela supplies us with about a seventh of our oil imports ---and Chavez has routinely threatened to cut us off if we cross him. I think he's nutty enough to do it ---even at the risk of hurting his own economy.

So, enjoy ripping into Robertson as a hypocrite and as a prominent ally of the Bush Administration all you want, but recognize the vast difference between the moral culpability of these two men.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 7:28 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Whacking the New Beard
Now Playing: "Crazy" by Patsy Cline
Why the hell is Pat Robertson calling for the assassination of Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez? Isn't that something that one should only do in the privacy of one's own pointy little head?

Now, of course, if something were to happen to Chavez, the one person you know would get blamed is George W. Bush.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:12 PM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink

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