Monday, July 31, 2006

Rush Limbaugh Speaks

Are you wondering how Israel would characterize this latest outbreak of violence in the middle east? Well wonder no longer.
This is about a war on terror. You know what? I'm actually sorry, folks, I took everybody seriously when this war was declared. I should have known we didn't really mean it, and then I wouldn't have been this upset about it. In a real war on terror, we would have already kicked butt. We would have sent messages to Syria and Iran that you're next and that we're not going to put up with this, and that's why I thought this was a gift to the world when this fighting broke out 20 days ago. I didn't get back for the first week of it, but that's when I first had my chance to speak to you about this. That's one of the first things I said, it's a gift to the world because this is an Iranian proxy, Hezbollah, and a Syrian proxy as well.
A gift. This is a gift to us.

I think Rush's value system might be messed up.

Woody Allen and Scoop

I don't usually post movie reviews at this website, so I guess I won't today either.

Five Star Jerks

Bert Prelutsky is steamed up at our military brass. He also hates leftists and the media too, of course (and has to spend a least a third of his article on the military talking about the left and the media). But he's also mad at the occupants of the Pentagon.

Why? Because are trying soldiers for crimes they have committed.
Instead, it seems like every time I turn around, the guys with all the fruit salad on their chests are bringing some group of grunts up on charges. In a war in which the enemy dresses like civilians -- even, on occasion, like civilian women -- the boneheads at the Pentagon are more concerned with being politically correct than they are with the safety and the morale of our troops.
Apparently, Mr. Prelutsky believes that our troops should be able to kill all the troops they want and rape 14 year old girls if it suits them. To rein in this kind of behavior is, apparently, bad for morale.

Frankly, though, I'm not sure putting our soldiers in a moral wasteland is much better for morale. Once our troops get the idea that they can do anything they want without fear of consequence, and once some of them start taking advantage of this "freedom" what happens to morale then?

Sunday, July 30, 2006

New Format, New Quote!!!



Happy Sunday all!

Updated the new logo and also added a new blog to blog listings, Orcinus, which Bryant really likes.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Horses Head Memories

There's another article on community reactions to the horse's head. Gail Soro remains convinced the motivation for this act was political. Her fellow committee members, Republicans, apparently see it as more likely a prank, although they subtly suggested that even if it was politically motivated, she may have brought it on her self.
Town Supervisor John Razzano, a Republican, said he hopes a culprit is found. He doesn't see the incident as political, says town officials work well together, and it may have resulted from Soro's approach. "She invites some verbal confrontation and things," he said, "but nothing she does justifies this."
At any rate, they don't know who did it yet; so it's possible that this is just an incredibly offensive prank or something more personal. We'll find out.

In completely unrelated news, check out this reaction to an article by Mark M. Alexander on the Republicans chances to hold on to the House this fall.
Omega writes:

What's wrong?

The inability of our Republican leaders on down to see the democrats as genuine enemies and their desire to instill tyranny. I guess you could compare it to the way the dems think of Al kaida, if you you just talk to them they'll change their ways and become friends. I view the democratic party as those who would destroy our nation for the sake of power over others' hopes and dreams. They must be destroyed at all costs! This IS a fight to the death....Let's Roll!!!
Not that there is necessarily any connection between this sort of mentality and putting a horses head in a local Democrats pool.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Warning! Low Posting Ahead!

There is one story of the day, and I can't write on it because I don't know what to write.

Except to hell with Hezbollah and to hell with Israel and to hell with people who support Hezbollah and to hell with people who support Israel and to hell with any organization that supports killing civilians, and to hell with any body who supports any organization that supports killing civilians.

What else can you say?

If you pick a side, Israel or Lebanon you are calling for the death of the other side. Or so it seems. If you don't pick a side you are calling for the death of both sides. Or so it seems.

So I'm having a hard time figuring out how to be witty and entertaining on this issue.

In other news I am keeping track of that story in Wawayanda New York (the Horses Head), and if it does turn out to be a dumb prank I'll let you know.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Town of Wawayanda, New York

The town of Wawayanda, New York is situated in the Poughkeepsie-Newburgh metro area. It has a population of 6,273 as of the 2000 census, and a median income of $61,885. The names derives from the Algonquian word for a winding stream. Looks like a pretty place.

The town council has 4 Republicans and one Democrat. And on Tuesday somebody put this in the swimming pool of that lone Democrat.



That's a sanitized photo. A horse's head.

Police are still looking for the culprit.

I can already hear my Republican friends explaining to me that I don't know for sure it was a partisan attack. They could be right.

And then even if it turns out to be partisan, my conservative friends will explain to me that every movement has idiots, and you shouldn't judge the whole against the part. Most Republicans and most Conservatives would reject such thuggish targets, and they are who I should look to to understand Conservatism. Again, they may be right.

But nobody on the right is criticizing Ann Coulter for her calls to eliminate Democrats. They are ignoring outrages by David Horowitz or Michelle Malkin (while getting very upset over the idea that Liberals might want to get Joe Lieberman out of office).

You know the Nazis were a pretty big joke, until they weren't anymore.

Got this from Orcinus, which is a great website, but easy to misspell.

Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad

Larry Elder is black conservative. I struggled for a few moments to drop that fact gracefully, but than decided to just say it. That may color your perception of this article, in which he chastises President Bush for failing to rip into the NAACP when he spoke to them last week. He even has some suggestions for what President Bush could say.
"Ladies and gentlemen, good news. While racism can never be purged from the hearts of all people, it no longer represents a force potent enough to hold back anyone in America who works hard, invests in education and avoids making poor moral choices. Because of the hard work of your organization and countless men and women of all races, America has come a long way. Despite America's flaws, we can now say that we have the fairest, most free, more upwardly mobile and more open society in all of human history. We have black CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. Black people occupy positions in government at the very highest levels. The black middle class grows and thrives. It is an insult to hard-working black men and women to suggest that, but for race-based preferences, they never would have made it.

"The real problem facing this country is a growing sense of entitlement -- of you owe me, blaming slights of the past on those living in the present. Well, all a state can be, is just in its own time. As Bill Cosby once said, America has done its part. Now we must do our part."
I wonder what Larry Elder's life is like that he can look at America and say that it is the most upwardly mobile society in all of human history. I don't understand why in order to love America, as a Conservative, you basically have to put blinders on and believe that all other nations are unjust tyrannies compared to your own country.

I suppose it's the same sort of love that allows a Conservative to be convinced that the Federal Government is two steps away from taking away everything he owns while simultaneously believing that he loves America and all liberals don't.

As for the idea that we've whipped all our racial problems, and any thing that happens to Black Americans is their own fault, well, I can see why President Bush didn't choose to go that route.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Lamont Vs. Lieberman; Revenge of the Bloggers. Or Not.

Joe Conason has a great article out on the lack of power of us bloggers. Even Blog-O-Fascists. Believe it or not, very few of my minions actually do what I say. Fortunately I live in a bubble of denial.

A trait I share with Joe Lieberman and his supporters, who would rather believe his failures stem from a few disgruntled bloggers than from dissatisfaction on the part of Conneticut Democratic Party members.
According to the standard version, Mr. Lieberman is the victim of ferocious "liberal bloggers" from around the country. Dispersed across the United States, these meddling left-wing activists somehow conspired to launch Ned Lamont's primary challenge, and then somehow mesmerized voters, perhaps via the Internets, to reject the Senator they had chosen three times before. Combining Internet technology with progressive ideology, the miasmic and unwholesome blogosphere now threatens to swallow poor Joe in a cloud of angry, buzzing bytes.
Poor Lieberman. Still I suppose his bubble of delusion keeps him happy, and that's what's important in this life. To be happy.

Oh, and Mr. Conason - it's blog-o-sphere, not blogosphere.

why are you looking at me like that?

This story has already been heavily blogged, but, involving as it does, Ann Coulter, I have to blog about it too.

Ann Coulter believes that Bill Clinton might be a latent homosexual. Because he seems to enjoy sex a lot.

She revealed this . . . intriguing theory on the Donnie Deutch show, as reported at Wonkette.
Ms. COULTER: I think that sort of rampant promiscuity does show some level of latent homosexuality.

. . .Ms. COULTER: It’s reminiscent of a bathhouse. It’s just this obsession with your own — with your own essence.

DEUTSCH: But why is that homosexual? You could say narcissistic.

Ms. COULTER: Right.

DEUTSCH: You could say nymphomaniac.

Ms. COULTER: Well, there is something narcissistic about homosexuality. Right? Because you’re in love with someone who looks like you. I’m not breaking new territory here, why are you looking at me like that?
I have to say it's that tag that does it for me. Just cracks me up.

Non Religious Jews don't have the Right to Criticize Israel

Or that seems to be the point to Ben Shapiro's latest article.
Identity as a Jew is important in this debate only when that identity means a binding tie to the Jewish nation as a whole and to the God that bound that nation together at Sinai.
So young Ben's jewishness is relevant because he is a believer and because he has the right opinion on Israel (i.e. Israel has the right to do whatever it wants to defend itself, without regard to civilian casualties or common sense). If a Jew does not agree with the right opinion on Israel, he must be a self-hating non-believing Jew.

Young Ben isn't much for nuance, so I guess I can see where he might have a hard time conceptionalizing a person who wishes Israel well, but also wishes they would make smart and humane choices.

Truly Disgusting

Well with all that's going on in the Israel and Hezbollah war, and the subsequent human fallout, it's easy to lose track of what's really important. But thankfully we have Walter E. Williams to remind us.

Deaths of civilians? Nothing compared to the threat posed by Congress trying to regulate internet gambling. Because you see that is a congressional overreach. Congress doesn't have the power to do that (or 90% of the rest of the stuff they do) if you follow Walter E. Williams theories (and nobody does).

For the record I agree with him that this probably wasn't the most well thought out law; that said, I think it's telling that with all going on, this is what he cares about. Comforting in a way.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Supicious and Disturbing

Remember my loyal minions; do not do anything suspicious and disturbing. If you do, you run the risk of getting the crap arrested out of you.
Six friends spruced up in fake blood and tattered clothing were arrested in downtown Minneapolis on suspicion of toting "simulated weapons of mass destruction."

Police said the group were allegedly carrying bags with wires sticking out, making it look like a bomb, while meandering and dancing to music as part of a "zombie dance party" Saturday night.

"They were arrested for behavior that was suspicious and disturbing," said Lt. Gregory Reinhardt, a police spokesman. Police also said the group was uncooperative and intimidated people with their "ghoulish" makeup.

One group member said the "weapons" were actually backpacks modified to carry a homemade stereos and were jailed without reason. None of the six adults and one juvenile arrested have been charged.
So watch yourselves. Your beloved Blog-O-Fascist doesn't want to lose a single minion to "The Man."

Also, for future reference, looking at this website is kind of "suspicious and disturbing."

Talking to People Acknowledges their Existence

There are people ought there who disagree with your beloved Blog-O-Fascist. But I, in my wisdom, simply do not acknowledge such people's existence. They don't exist (despite what I just said). I refuse to dignify anybody who disagrees with me by acknowledging their existence.

This is the same technique used by the Bush administration. They were willing to talk to their friends; but unwilling to negotiate with their enemies, as chronicled in an article at Salon, by Laura Rozen.
"We would love to practice diplomacy with people who are worth talking to," said a current Bush administration official who asked not to be identified. "But you've heard it before: Don't reward terrorists by giving them any legitimacy or negotiating with them. Maybe if they came over to the right side of civilization, then there would be something to discuss. There's a way to go about these things. Their way is not the way of normal people."
Unfortunately for the Bush Administration, this view of diplomacy is being challenged by a growing number of people, including some conservatives.
"In diplomacy, you do not negotiate peace with your friends," says former Undersecretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Edward Djerejian, who served as ambassador to Syria and Lebanon during the George H.W. Bush administration. "You negotiate peace with your enemies and your adversaries. That is one of the highest tasks of diplomacy.

"In the Arab-Israeli equation, people often say we have to put pressure on the parties to make peace," Djerejian continued. "There's some truth to that. At the same time, you have to deal with all relevant parties in order to obtain the political buy-in and chart out the common ground to make necessary compromises to come to an agreement. For that, you need dialogue and muscular diplomacy."

"Real conservatives have never minded talking," insists Arthur Hughes, a former ambassador to Yemen under the elder George Bush and former charge d'affairs of the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv. "It needs to be set up properly, to make sure there is no misunderstanding. But remember when [Reagan's former Secretary of State] George Shultz -- no liberal --convinced Reagan that the PLO in Tunis were fit discussion partners?"
My decision to not acknowledge those who disagree with me has no real consequence; the Bush Administrations disdain for diplomacy has serious consequences.

Bigotry means Not Giving Conservative Christians What They Want!

Any mention of the fact that some Christians want to impose their religious values on the rest of us is, once again, bigotry.

Poor Charles Schumer has fallen afoul of this, as he made these comments during the Stem Cell research debate (click here to see comments in context).
There is a group of people in America of deep faith. I respect that faith. I have been in enough inner-city Black churches, working-class Catholic parishes, rural Methodist houses of worship, and small Jewish synagogues, to understand that faith is a gift. The trouble with this group, which I call the theocrats , is they want that faith to dictate what our Government does. That, in a word, is un-American. It is exactly the reason the Founding Fathers put down their plows and took up muskets to fight.

If you do not like stem cell research, don't use it for yourself or your family, but don't tell millions of Americans who may not share your faith that they cannot use it, as well.

We have seen this repeatedly with Schiavo, or the required teaching of creationism in the schools, and now with stem cell research. Unfortunately, the President and too many in this Chamber and too many in the other Chamber have gone along and said that faith, wonderful and noble as it is, should determine what our Government does.

This administration is not pursuing what most Americans want, but following the dictates of the narrow few. Fortunately, we live in a democracy. In a democracy these issues are debated.
Yep, that statement attacks all Christians and all people of faith, according to Paul Weyrich, who seems to be popping up on my radar pretty regularly these days. He quoted the green section above (leaving out the larger context of the comments), and called for Weyrich to apologize to Christian Conservatives for infringing on their rights.
To call a group of people of strong faith theocrats because they want to exercise their rights as citizens and participate in government is astounding but not surprising. Senator Schumer would like to silence his critics.
You see Mr. Schumer they are not theocrats because they want to exercise their faith, nor because they want to participate in the political process. They are theocrats because they want their particular religious prejudices to be enshrined in law. They want to keep scientists from performing potentially life saving science.

And they got their way.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Do the Democrats have a Plan?

Do they need one?

First things first; it's always wise to describe your political enemies as dullards who don't know what they are doing, politically. Stand back a little, stand on higher ground, survey the political landscape, pick out a mistake your political opponent is making, and underline it, pontificating sadly about how this failure makes them unlikely to win in the next election cycle.

People want to bet on the right horse. Even if they support the losing candidate, they will support him more if they think he is going to win.

Mary Katherine Ham's latest article decries the Democrats for failing to put forward a plan of what they are going to do if they are put in the drivers seat. In one sense she's right; we do need to put forward more of what we are in favor us. On the other hand, it wouldn't matter if we did, if we let Republicans and the Media define us; we can talk about programs until we are blue in the face. Unless they can find specific attacks against our programs, they will continue to pretend we care for nothing except hating Bush.

But it wouldn't hurt for us to nationalize this election more than we have.

McCain vs. Lieberman

This is an interesting study of contrasts. Republicans want to slam Democrats for not loving and upholding their moderates (like Lieberman). And they want to slam their moderates (like McCain).

Meanwhile the Democrats want to slam Republicans for not loving and upholding their moderates. And we want to slam our moderates.

So there is some commonality among the parties. Debra J. Saunders notes this fact in her latest article, but of course she leaves out the negative feelings her party has for McCain.

She wants to paint Democrats, not comment on a relatively simply political calculation. You want people to come towards your position in politics. If a Republican moves towards my position, I like that. If a Democrat moves away from my position, I don't like that. Lieberman has moved away from his political bearings; he has sided with the President again and again. He has disdained his own party many times. And he continues to support our insane policy in the middle east. And he's threatened to run as an independent if he doesn't get the nomination, which is his right, but which would also weaken our chances in Connecticut.

So I don't think he is someone the party owes loyalty too, just because there is a (D) after his name.

That said, if he defeats Lamont, I hope he gets reelected.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

More on McCain

Kathryn Jean Lopez has written another article on McCain and Guiliani's chances in the 2008 election. She seems to think it's between the two of them right now, and she handicaps each one's strengths and weaknesses, which is interesting in itself. But, as with the Weyrich article earlier this week, it's the comments that really hold my interest.

I'm getting the impression that some Republicans really don't like McCain.
Instead of a bear or corocdile, how about some flesh-eating bacteria? Makes for a lower and more painful death, which is about what McCain deserves at this point.
And who says Republicans are nasty.
When McCain was campaigning for Pres, there was no way I was going to vote for him then! He is scary! His time as a POW tweaked him in a way that I don't think he can overcome.
Yeah, I think the Bush Administration might have done too good a job painting McCain; some of them still take that kind of stuff seriously.

Here's the bottom line.
McCain for President?

I wouldn't vote for the man under any circumstances, and the same goes double for Guiliani. Both are much too liberal, and squishy on retaining the Bill of Rights for this retired Naval Officer.

If the Republicans don't come up with a better alternative in 2008, this voter will have to vote Libertarian or Reform.

Neither McCain nor Giuliani will get my vote. I'll stay home in November if the GOP serves up that mess.
Anyway kind of heartening - of course if 2006 goes poorly for Republicans, they may get a bit more pragmatic.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Round the Horn. An Irwin J. McIckleson Production



Good morning all. This is Irwin J. McIckleson, fictional Plutocrat from the 1910s. July 21, 1918 to be precise. In case you were wondering.

Lets get right to it.

A Blog Around the Clock considers
an interesting question. If one could practice science at any given time, which would be the best time. He rules it to be about 30 years after my time - in the 1950s.

The best time to be a plutocrat was in the 1890s, before the progressives started getting influence.

Scrutiny Hooligans has
a discussion of how the Bush Administration claims victory over people who are still kicking around.

Sooner Thought has
a story about a New Zealand Lady Police Officer who has gotten in trouble for being a lady of the evening in her off time. Apparently in New Zealand anybody can be a prostitute.

Speedkill has a
very interesting story about Bush, who claims to be the Plutocrat candidate but votes against research that could lead to a lot of money and save lives. He's opposed to such legislation because it could harm small cells that could one day turn into human beings but almost certainly would not. That is the very definition of insanity. If you are a friend to business, you need to support this research.

Steve Bates, the Yellow Doggeral Democrat has a
further impassioned opinion on this subject. Apparently these cells might be used to treat some forms of senility. That seems like that would be good research, allowing people to be exploited for a longer time.

THE NEWS BLOG has
a piece on Anti-Semitism and left-wing blogs. Apparently there is not as much as is claimed.

T. Rex's Guide to Life has
the news that people being evacuated from a war zone in the middle east are being charged for the privilege. He seems to think this is wrong; but I whole heartedly support the practice. After all this is how society decides who is worth saving. By charging they ensure that the most fit, i.e. the plutocrats, are the ones who survive. It may seem heartless, but it's necessary.

And that is it for another week.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Bush Administration

Just wanted to point you to a good Joe Conason article over at Working for change, on how the President is leading us through these troubled times.
Watching the President of the United States try to fulfill his responsibilities at an international summit is a sobering experience these days. To observe George W. Bush talking trash, chewing with his mouth open and demonstrating his ignorance of geography marks still another step down in the continuing decline of U.S. prestige. It's the diplomatic equivalent of flag burning.

While Mr. Bush's little misadventures make headlines, what they symbolize is a collapse of policy and a vacuum of competence that are far more troubling than mere cloddishness. Preoccupied from the beginning of his presidency with Iraq, alienated from our traditional allies and the United Nations and neglectful of broader American interests in the Middle East, he and his team now confront a sudden crisis for which they seem woefully unprepared.
It'd be funny if it weren't so damn scary.

Sometimes It's Hard to Be Funny

A slew of articles on the crisis in the middle east, over at Townhall today. The upshot is that this confirms the theory that we are at war with Islam. For a visreal take, let's check out Ann Coulter's take.
Some have argued that Israel's response is disproportionate, which is actually correct: It wasn't nearly strong enough. I know this because there are parts of South Lebanon still standing.

. . . liberals can never abandon the idea that we must soothe savage beasts with appeasement -- whether they're dealing with murderers like Willie Horton or Islamic terrorists. Then the beast eats you.

There are only two choices with savages: Fight or run.
Yeah, Ann Coulter is partying like it's 1988. Actually that election seems to be on a lot of Conservatives minds. The point is clear enough - you can't reason with savages; you can only kill them. And all the people in Lebanon are apparently savages.

Emmett Tryell tries to be that bombastic in his article, but, let's face it, there's only one Ann Coulter.
Moreover the terrorists of Hezbollah and Hamas have revealed to any sensible observer that they have no interest in peace with Israel or with the West, for that matter. Needless to say, they have no interest in a peaceful Gaza or Lebanon. The same bellicosity afflicts the allies of these terrorists in Syria and Iran. The brutes in these governments are pitiless and belligerent tyrants. Listening to their sophistries about their need for nuclear power or their desire for a peaceful world puts me in mind of all the irenic poetry of the late Herr Hitler back when things were good for him in the middle 1930s. It all ended badly -- for everyone. When in May 1940 Winston Churchill became prime minister, he thought himself a failure. He recognized that all his admonitions s against the Nazis in the previous decade had proved futile. Now only world war would bring peace.
We must place our hopes in World War. That's upbeat. Fortunately, we don't have to place our faith in Conservative prognosticators that have been wrong again and again.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

More on McCain

I love reading the comments at Townhall, as I think you know by now. And many of them seem to agree with Weyrich that McCain and Guliani aren't the best things that could happen to them.
Wolfgrogan writes:
McCain - No Way!

I would never vote for McCain.

He is a leader of the Senate "Sell-outs" who want to give Amnesty and other free benefits to Illegal Invaders.

He should feel lucky we are not charging him with treason. He needs to live up to his Oath of Office and enforce our borders and our laws.

He certainly ought not be President!
Yeah I'm sure McCain thanks his lucky stars that he's not on trial for treason. Frankly to listen to some of our republican friends, it's hard to imagine who they wouldn't want to put on trial for treason.

But my favorite comment comes from Jak Black, who has the right idea.
I think a loss would be the best thing that could happen to the GOP. People always ask: But if the GOP loses, a LIBERAL will be elected; surely a semi-conservative candidate is better. This is patently false, and is surely a matter of selling out for political expediency. There is more to politics and society than the next four years, or ten for that matter.

One merely has to read some conservative writings of the 40's and 50's for confirmation. They realized that a conservative renewal might take as long as 50 (!) years, yet they strove only for a principled canon rather than political expediency. The conservative ascendency we see about us today is the fruit of their labors. Yet what do we do with it? We scratch at the sand in vain, searching for a candiadate that does not offend our sensibilities too greatly. How sad! It is time for conservatives to return to principle. To jettison the fat, whether found in the belly of the State, or the minds of those in the GOP. A few years of reflective thought outside the walls of power would do us some good.
I agree with him. Republicans should spend a few years and maybe decades out of power, and I hope that his dream and mine comes to pass.

Astute Political Commentary

Paul Weyrich is writing this week on the 2008 election cycle. He quickly dismisses Guilliani and McCain as not conservative, and then moves on to the example of George H. W. Bush in 1988. However, his lesson is not entirely clear.
If conservatives do as they did in 1988 the more liberal candidate would win. That candidate happened to be Bush '41, who was viewed by non-activist voters as being a third Reagan term. Bush was not really a liberal but he was not a conservative either. That is why he lost. The one thing voters knew about him was "read my lips. No new taxes." Then when he sought the largest tax increase in American history voters felt betrayed. If conservatives had had a single candidate in 1988 Bush could have taken second place in the Republican primaries. It wasn't until late in the game that Bush had a majority in primaries. He had pluralities, yes, but no outright majority until South Dakota.
I'm not exactly sure what Weyrich is saying here. Bush won both the nomination and the Presidency in 1988; so I don't know exactly what he lost.

It's possible that all elections are as one for Weyrich; and he sees the failures of 1988 costing him the presidency in 1992. Or it's possible that the "he" in "That is why he lost" refers to the hypothetical conservative candidate that could have taken the nomination in 1988. Although that doesn't make any sense either.

Anyway Weyrich's point is simple enough. More conservatism. You can never be conservative enough, and when you are as far right as Weyrich is, President Bush doesn't look very conservative at all.

Transmission

I am having a bit of a struggle with blogger today, so if you aren't reading this post, that's why.

Despite these trials, your beloved Blog-O-Fascist has yet another command for you, my loyal subjects. Go read this post on Eliminationism over at Orcinus. Get to know more about eliminationism, as it is a doctrine that has no place in my territory! Here in Make Me a Commentator!!! we believe that all people deserve the opportunity to do what I say! Or "face the consequences"(TM).

More on History and Marrying Your Cousin

These stories don't go together, but one involves a link and the other doesn't so I jammed them together.

One of the problems with critiques of how history is taught is that they inevitably contain critiques of America. That is because History has been taught with America coming off overwhelmingly positively. In this false narrative, America always does good or tries to do good. So in order to present a more accurate and factual version of American History, we necessarily have to be more negative.

By the same token, if American History were taught as Conservatives imagine, with America as the villain at all times, well, people fighting for a more accurate version of American History would look a bit like pollyannas.

None of this means that Historians who want to teach the betrayal of Guatemala, for example, hate America or want to teach American history as a succession of failures. It means they want a picture of America that includes both the highs and the lows.

On the lighter side John Stossel has written an article in favor of marrying your cousin (should you want to). I think it's intended as a mockery of the Gay Marriage debate; if so, it's not very convincing. Particularly since even his townhall readers don't seem to get the joke.

I particularly like this enlightened response.
TTSSYF writes:
The latest fad...

This is simply the latest fad, following polygamy, that is meant to innur us to Third World practices and have us more accepting of Third World immigration.
Thank you, world traveler, for shedding light on the cousin-marrying ways of the Third World.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Presents Overrated

I rarely comment on Florida Politics, for good but personal reasons. But sometimes one can't help oneself. Like when the legislature passes a law specifying that history be taught poorly. HB 7087 which has passed and been signed into law specifires how history is to be taught, among other things. A PDF of the bill (among it's many permutations) is available here. Here is a web page of the relevent section, which is 1003.42, lines 1118 through 1224. If you view the Enrolled pdf version of the pill, these are pages 42 through 46.

I should state at the beginning that many of you aren't going to react to this the same way I will.

One provision of the bill stresses the way American History is to be taught.
The history of the United States, including the period of discovery, early colonies, the War for Independence, the Civil War, the expansion of the United States to its present boundaries, the world wars, and the civil rights movement to the present. American history shall be viewed as factual, not as constructed, shall be viewed as knowable, teachable, and testable, and shall be defined as the creation of a new nation based largely on the universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.
Factual not constructed. That means no nuance, no ambiguiety. Other than mention of the African American experience, America is just noble and good, following the noble principles expounded in the Declaration of Independence and enshrined in the Constitution.

In other words, they want to teach American History as a lie. A pleasing lie to be sure, but still, essentially, a lie. History is constucted. Even this mandatory teaching of history as factual is a construct. It's a narrative. A narrative is created or constructed by the humans involved (in this case the Florida legislature). It's a pattern, created by perception. To strip the idea of constructing history out, to teach it as a system of solid facts, is misleading at best.

It would like being a Driver's Ed class refusing to get into the basics of how a car works. It would be like a Physics class refusing to discuss mathematics. But that is what the Florida Legislature mandates.

But they also mandate teaching Kindness to Animals so maybe it all balances out.

Picked up this story initially from an article at Common Dreams by Robert Jensen.

How many Muslims do we need to kill before we are safe?

Cal Thomas writes on one of his favorite themes this week; the Muslim Menace. He is taking on the current Republican line on Middle East unrest which is that the problems there go back centuries. TPM Reader DK, filling in at Talking Points Memo, has underlined why the Republicans might be taking this approach.
This sudden embrace of the "long view," as Brooks calls it, is of a piece with the recent claims by some neo-conservatives that there was nothing we could have done to prevent the sectarian violence in Iraq given its "coarsened and brittle cultures." Or as Josh paraphrased it: sure, we had a crappy post-war plan in Iraq, but that really didn't matter one way or the other.

While it is true that you can understand little about the Middle East without understanding its history, conservatives have an obvious motive for wanting to compress the last 20-30 years of events in the Middle East. Linking the brutal events of the recent past with the brutal events of today allows them to skip over the fact that real progress toward peace and stability in the region was made in the 1990s, in part due to U.S. leadership and diplomacy. In doing so, I suppose conservatives hope to obscure what a hash they have made of the Middle East in the last 5 years.
That said, it's the standard Cal Thomas Muslim Menace article in another way. He ridicules all possible peaceful resolutions to the crisis and then the article ends. This is typical for Cal Thomas. He presents the problem with Muslims, but leads finding a solution up to his readers (once he has eliminated all peaceful solutions).

I assume this is because his preferred solution is not something he wants in print. But at least some of his readers have suggestions.
Hogrider writes: Give 'em what they want

They state that they prefer death and martyrdom over American guarantees. Give 'em what they prefer, death and martyrdom. What they get in the bargain is the second death which is eternity in the lake of fire.
Everybody says that they don't want war. A certain number of people are lying when they say that.

Who is the real enemy?

Well the Treason Times, of course. Or such is the argument David Limbaugh puts forward in his latest article. It's an interesting argument, but steeped in the ideological mindset. Ideology helps one to see in black and white; not shades. So for David Limbaugh, President Bush and Vice President Cheney can't be focused on increasing the power of the Executive because they are focused on getting the terrorists.
To say that Bush has been aggressive in the war on terror as a means to gaining more power for himself and not to defeat the terrorist threat is shockingly paranoid. And there's more. The Times cites a piece by Jane Mayer in the New Yorker describing how this grandiose Bush scheme to usurp power from the other two branches of government "grew out of Vice President Dick Cheney's long and deeply held conviction that the real lesson of Watergate and the later Iran-contra debacle was that the president needed more power and that Congress and the courts should get out of the way. To a disturbing degree, the horror of 9/11 became an excuse to take up this cause behind the shield of Americans' deep insecurity."
I'm not sure David Limbaugh has ever heard of killing two birds with one stone. It's entirely possible that President Bush wants to defeat the terrorists and expand the power of the Executive. And one justifies the other. He can't protect us effectively if he has to watch out for little nit picks like the separation of powers or the rule of law.

And it's "shockingly paranoid" to note this. And possibly also treasonous.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Hybrid Bloggers

This is the term Mary Katherine Ham has created in her latest article to cover bloggers who are conservative but would vote for a Democrat if he were conservative enough. Presumably it would also describe those liberal bloggers who would vote for a Republican if her were liberal enough (like, oh, say that nice John McCain or Rudy Guiliani).

But on the right they are full of kindness and sweetness for their moderates or hybrids, on the left we have Deborah Fritch (who, if you don't remember, threatened to do bad things to a conservatives bloggers child) and a certain disdain for Joe Lieberman.
I can’t help but think that, as blogs continue to become a bigger part of electoral politics and the parties inevitably become more practiced at working with them, this difference in approach doesn’t bode well for Democrats. As much as the Left blogosphere likes to accuse the whole center-right of existing only to parrot the command-and-control messages of Chimpy McBushitler, it is the Left blogosphere that has seemed so intent on alienating itself and the Democratic Party from political hybrids and moderate Democrats of late, and doing so in dramatic, nasty fashion.
Why are left-wing bloggers tired of moderates like Joe Lieberman? Because Joe Lieberman has enabled the Bush administration in every one of it's schemes, and also because Lieberman has made it clear what we thinks of the people to the left of him. It's really that simple.

And of course Conservatives share the same frustrations with Republicans they feel aren't sufficiently conservative. The Ace of Spades HQ blog recently made this suggestion.
I suggest a Enemies List of certain Republicans. We keep the list small at first, just the most egregious offenders, as a warning to the rest. Pour encouragement les otres, or however that goes. ("Every once in a while you have to hang a few admirals to encourage the others.")

The Enemies List would be a full blogosphere press on an absolute, full, total boycott on all donations/volunteering to the GOP members on the list. We wouldn't necessarily hold back votes; but we damn sure would make it tougher for these guys to get re-elected.

I think it's about time.

. . . If a few of them lose elections because of this-- well, so be it. We can afford to lose a free-spending Republican here and there without losing control of Congress.
He put Trent Lott on that list; his readers also suggested Lincoln Chafee, Arlen Spector, John McCain and others. I could pull up more examples of Conservatives slamming into their moderates.

But that doesn't fit the story, I suppose. The Republicans, having little to run on, need something to run against. And Liberals Bloggers, despite their lack of power or influence, will just have to do for now.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

New Logo, New Quote, New Quotes Page!!!



Good morning all.

I know it's been a little while, but my computer system has gone kaput so I am having a hard time. So doing a miniupdate this week and hopefully by next week we can have things back to full speed.

But I did update the Quotes Page, so those of you who enjoy that page, you have some new quotes to go through.

Anyway hope you are all having nice weekends.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Round the Horn. An Irwin J. McIckleson Production



Greetings. This is Fictional Plutocrat, Irwin J. McIckleson, here to once again perform my mandate in providing you links to various stories you might enjoy looking at.

LEFT is RIGHT
has news that an Ambassador Wilson is suing Bush Administration officials over the outing of his wife who was a covert operative.

Liberty Street has
the news that the Bush Administration has apparently decided not to torture people; but their definition of torture may not be the same as mine.

Musing's musings
has information on a bill in congress to stop people from betting online. I am personally opposed to gambling (waste of money), but this particular bill seems more about pretending to stop gambling than actually stopping gambling.

Pen-Elayne on the Web has something called a
stationary bicycle, which in my mind defeats the purpose of a bicycle. However, upon closer inspection, it appears to be a sort of exercise machine built to resemble a bicycle. I wonder if they use the front tire or the back tire as their model.

Respectful of Otters has
a piece on a lawsuit involving a person being fired for having an illness (HIV) that did not make it possible for her to continue her work. Or something like that. It seems very confused. This idea that you can't fire someone for a bad reason must be a real strain on future plutocrats; I enjoy firing whoever I want for whatever reason I want. I once fired a person because he reminded me of January.

Rick's Cafe Americaine has
information on how a certain Chinaman, serving in his nations legislature; disposed of a bill. Apparently she decided to eat it.

Rook's Rant has
information on how the Army, given strained circumstances, is forced to recruit from some pretty distasteful groups. Given that your future society believes in equality among races, or claims to at least, it seems like this is not a winning strategy.

rubber hose has
the information that the current Russian Tsar was asked whether or not he believed in Cthulu. Apparently he does not.

Republican Sinners
suggests the Secretary of State and potential Presidential Candidate may not be spreading the good word the way she should be.

And that is it for another week. Have pleasant weekends all.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

We Live in a Country Where Death Threats against those you don't like politically are commonplace

Congratulations, Republicans.

Here's some good quotes from Ann Coulter's latest article.
When I told a New York Observer reporter that my only regret was that Timothy McVeigh didn't hit The New York Times building, I knew many would agree with me -- but I didn't expect that to include The New York Times. And yet, the Times is doing everything in its power to help the terrorists launch another attack on New York City.

. . . I prefer a firing squad, but I'm open to a debate on the method of execution. A conviction for treason would be assured under any sensible legal system.

. . . The level of intimidation I had in mind is more along the lines of how President Dwight D. Eisenhower "intimidated" Julius and Ethel Rosenberg at 8 in the morning, June 19, 1953.
While I'm at it let me condemn the remarks of Deborah Frisch, a liberal, who posted inexcusable commments at a blog (for a rundown check out this post at Unclaimed Territory).

Because the two are equal when you think about it - Ann Coulter calls for the death of dozens (at least) in a nationally syndicated column and Deborah Frisch makes some super ugly comments on a website. This proves that Liberals are just as evil as Republicans. Or would if Deborah Frisch were a nationally syndicated columnist, supported by many liberal thinktanks and had books that all we liberals bought.

But that hasn't happened. Because Deborah Frisch, despite her awful comments, is a nobody. And Ann Coulter is inspiring thousands with her demented prose. Let's check out a few of her followers.
Well, I think the editors...

... of the New York Treason should be drawn, quartered, hanged, then shot, their carcasses burned, and the ashes scattered to the wind, with their heads stuck on pikes until the crows devour all the flesh.

If these liberal pukes succeed in getting us hit again with their childish 'treason as political statement' playacting, I predict a long nuclear winter for the Democraps.
Yeah, a lot of bad blood there. Wonder when Anns supporters are going to start acting out their support of her.

Helpful Hints

I have a subscription to Rolling Stone currently, which I got for free. So I have the opportunity to read more interviews with celebrities than I would normally read. And I have this helpful hint for those interviewers.

I am not interested in anybody's childhood, unless they are a child actor, in which case I am not interested in them at all.

I don't know about anybody else, but I'm only really interested in their work. What was it like working on the latest album or film, or what songs and movies do they think really work. That kind of thing. Everybody has a childhood; there's no reason to presume that a celebrities childhood is necessarily more interesting than anybody elses.

Also, as your Blog-O-Fascist, I have a new order for you. Sometime within in the next four days treat yourself to a treat! Or "face the consequences"(TM).

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Terrorist Times Strikes Again!

Once again our beloved fourth estate has taken the time to stab us in the back! It has released information on the National Asset Database, which informs terrorists exactly which targets in the United States we are keeping an eye on.

For example the terrorists might not have known that Indiana had 50% more potential terrorist targets than New York, and twice as many potential terrorist targets as California! Now they do.

They might think Massachusetts or New Jersey would have a lot of targets, but now they know that Montana has more targets than either state (1,385 compared to 764 for Massachusetts and 904 for New Jersey).

Imagine how foolish they must feel, planning an attack on the Golden Gate Bridge or Rockerfeller Center, when they could take out a petting zoo in Woodville Alabama or the Sweetwater Flea Market in Tennessee (only 50 miles from Knoxville).

Thank you New York Times for tipping our hand in this manner. Now some of you might say the Times was only reporting on a report issued by the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security. So what! The fact of the matter is that the times shouldn't be "reporting" on stuff that might help terrorists. Maybe the terrorists don't pay so much attention to the Office of Homeland Security, you ever think of that? Maybe they figure all they have to do is read the New York Times and it will give them all the information they need!

Frankly I don't know why we need Newspapers at all. If even one shred of evidence presented in the Terrorist Times helps the Terrorists, isn't that too high a price to pay?

I say it is!

Also I suspect this whole Blog-O-Fascist thing might be going to my head.

Public Transit

I really like the idea of Public Transit; always have. So it's gratifying to see Townhall printing an article by Paul Weyrich in support of building more rail transit. He begins by reminding us that some 50 years ago the interstate highway system as we know now it didn't exist. We built it, and now everybody can see it's benefit. We need to take the next step.
Now a certain percentage of all federal Highway Trust Fund dollars goes to build primarily rail systems, although the Bush Administration has been pushing so-called bus rapid transit. Bus rapid transit is cheaper to build than rail but people don't like to ride buses and greatly prefer rail. Even if the so-called bus rapid transit were to become successful operating costs would continue to be far higher than rail. Cities such as San Diego, Sacramento and Portland run four-car articulated trains at rush hour. Each train can carry around 700 people. There is but one motorman. To carry the same number of people would require ten buses, each with a driver.

. . . The truth is we are a far better nation because of the Interstate System. And especially now that transit is part of the equation, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel. That light is a rail car. It beckons us to leave our automobiles and to ride transit. No decent transit in your area, you say? Hopefully in the next 50 years we will remedy that.
Many Townhall readers are pretty supportive of this idea, which is surprising. But of course there are few to uphold the traditional conservative value of loving big oil.
What a moron!

I get so tired of idiots like Weyrich talking about how great rail is.

It is very simple. Railroads are useful in particular situations, such as bulky cargo going from one place to another single place on a regular basis. There is a good reason why they were largely replaced by cars, and those reasons only get stronger with time.

Quit throwing federal money down the mass transit toilet. We don't want it.

Spend the money on killing more terrorists, more often.
I do wonder how often we need to kill each terrorist.

At any rate, I'd like to endorse Rail Transit. And as a self-proclaimed Blog-O-Fascist, I command all of my subjects to likewise support Rail Transit! Or at least thing warm thoughts about it!

Truth, Justice, and American Exceptionalism

America is special. America is good. America is noble.

And by America I mean the United States of America, not Canada or the various assortments of Latinos who happen to share the American continent with that most special of nations, the United States of America. You guys aren't special; just us Americans are special.

And don't get me started on how unspecial, ungood and unnoble (ignoble?) the rest of the world is. No if you want a country that's special, good, and noble, there's only one place to get it. The good old United States of America.

That's the doctrine of American Exceptionalism in a nutshell. We're special; the rest of the world is crap. This is why some people have a problem with the latest Superman movie (which, if memory serves, is entitled "Superman Opens a Deli"). Kathleen Parker references this issue in her latest article (which is more about Superman and Richard White as father figures).
Much has been written about the scriptwriters' decision to delete Uncle Sam from the Superman triune: truth, justice and the American way. In the latest version, Superman represents "truth, justice and ... all that stuff," as Daily Planet editor Perry White puts it.

Some critics have been deeply offended by the extraction of American exceptionalism from this quintessentially American superhero and take it as yet another manifestation of lefty Hollywood's self-loathing. Both the scriptwriters and director Bryan Singer have explained that they were after a more international hero, sent to Earth to save not just America but the world.
Conservatives clearly believe in American Exceptionalism. Moreover they believe that anybody who fails to believe in American Exceptionalism hates America. You either believe America is perfect and blameless (except when Clinton is in charge) or you hate America.

Al Franken contrasted the love American Liberals and Conservatives feel for their country by saying that Conservatives love their countries like a child loves his or her mommy, and can't or won't see any flaws. Liberals love their country like an adult and so want to see it improve and do better. I don't think he's wrong. Of course another thing about adults, they don't need to believe that their loves are naturally superior to everyone else.

Oh, and Superman hasn't been a quintessentially American superhero in a long time. You might be thinking of Captain America. Superman's enormous powers and extra-terrestial origin ensure that he protects the planet not just America.

Anyway the rest of the article argues that Superman, a fictional character, might make a very poor father. I'd say that's true of most fictional characters, actually.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Is President Bush Spying on Democrats?

This is the question that Thom Hartmann asks us to ask in his latest article. My initial reaction was that this was going a bit far, but he makes a persuasive case.
And that takes us back to Richard Nixon, the last Republican to have an active domestic spying program without judicial or bipartisan congressional oversight. The one whose Bush-like abuses led to the FISA and other, similar laws.

Nixon said he was spying on Americans to keep us safe from communists. We were in the middle of a war, after all. The Soviets were out to get us (and armed with real weapons of mass destruction), and the North Vietnamese weren't far behind. He had to spy on Americans, he said, to protect the liberties of Americans.

Problem was, he had turned the tool of domestic surveillance against his political enemies (and those who weren't, like journalist Daniel Schorr, but whom he believed were). Nixon was spying on Democrats, and trying to cover it with the fig leaf of "national security."

. . . Remember November of 2003? Using naked political espionage, Bush Republicans used intelligence gained in an illegal spying operation to outflank Democrats.

Republicans in the Senate - including a staffer for Republican Senator Orrin Hatch - hacked into the computers of several Senate Democrats, including Ted Kennedy and Dick Durbin. Reading Kennedy's and Durbin's correspondence, the Republican operatives discovered the strategy the Democrats intended to use to attack Republican high court nominees. They leaked fifteen bits of Kennedy's discussions to The Wall Street Journal and other Republican-friendly sources, who used the information to successfully trash and thwart the Democratic plans.
That's a very good question - what exactly have President Bush and his fellow Republicans done to earn our trust in this matter? It seems like they've been willing to use these tools for political ends in the past. What's changed?

For more thoughts on this important subject, check out this Tom the Dancing Bug Comic.

Other people have stuff to say

I should have checked out the comments on that last article before I posted - they are all gems. The first two try to be reasonable from an economic point of view.
Half of investment is the return, the other half is the REASON for investing. If you're throwing money out just to get more, you're missing the big picture. Why help China buy more weapons when you can help improve the economy in our OWN country?

Here is why I dont invest overseas. Enron, World Com, Adelphia, etc. Its hard enought to find honest companys here with our accounting laws (Arthur Anderson) and you want me to invest in Telefono de Mexico?
But then we get this great analysis of Soccer.
Oh yes - FVCK soccer

Those foriegn pvssy drama queens can kick balls - big DEAL. They svck, as general athletes, however.

And they are big, hissy, nancy third-rate drama beeyiches, when they screw up. I mean, they flop on the ground and wail.
I can understand her using the V in FVUK but SVCK? Is that really that controversial a word?

Finally we check in with what our founding fathers would say if they were still alive and doped out of their minds.
Here we go - more Globalism

Here we go - let's invest overseas, becasue most of Amercan industries have been moved overseas. Largely due ot American tax-payer FUNDED tax bennies, designed to benefit those who DO move overseas. Thuse, american taxpayers have been FORCED to pay to move their jobs out of the ocuntry.

We must invest, because there's no other CHOICE.

I believe in the vision of the Founders. Time to start HANGING the traitors.
I'm not sure which traitors our founders would want us to hang, but just for safeties sake, I suggest we start with . . . you know, I'd probably better not finish that particular joke.

I don't have much to say about this

But I did think I would point it out. Townhall, very conservative site, very pro-America, has an article today designed specifically to promote investing in foreign lands, written by Lynn O'Shaughnessy.
There are two excellent reasons why you should add a dash of international picante to your portfolios. By doing so, you can potentially enhance your returns, while at the same time reduce the sort of harrowing, unpredictable market volatility that too often triggers investor stampedes into bank lobbies for the safety of CDs.

If you stick with a buy-America investing approach, you're betting all your chips on one roulette number. And often, you won't fare as well as you might expect.
I don't have much to actually say about this article. Actually I think the advice is reasonably sound. But it's just wierd that this would show up as an editorial article at Townhall.

Lieberman's Valley of Shadow

The downside to the Lamont Lieberman primary battle is that it gives Republicans an obvious and somewhat compelling narrative with which to underline the moral turpitude of the Democrats. Lieberman is being punished for not agreeing with liberal orthodoxy, and it shows how narrow minded the liberal wing of the Democratic party is that they can't work with a moderate like Lieberman.

This is the narrative foisted on us by Paul Weyrich in his latest article. After noting that Lieberman is religious, which we liberals are supposed to be opposed to, he underlines the other problem liberals have with Lieberman.
Lieberman has accused Lamont of running a single-issue campaign-namely, the war. But in a sense, by dissenting vigorously from what has become the Democratic Party's orthodoxy-namely, opposition to the war--Lieberman has invited a single-issue campaign against him. Lamont is saying, in so many words, if you are against the war, now is the chance to make a stand, through me, and I will not disappoint you. Lieberman, for his part, has not backed down one bit. He believes, contrary to news reports, things are getting better in Iraq and it would be a mistake for the United States to abandon the Iraqi people now.

What happens in Connecticut will have profound implications nationwide. If Lamont won the primary it would be a signal to Democrats everywhere to oppose the war, regardless of their personal feelings. If Lieberman won the primary it would be a signal that there is still room for dissenters from liberal orthodoxy inside the Democratic Party. Should Lieberman run and win as an independent it would shake the Democratic Party to the core.
I would imagine that if Lieberman decides to run as an independent (which is his right) he would get a lot of money from Republican money men. And they would be dollars well spent. Lieberman/Lamont two would, of necessity, involve Lieberman attacking his own party for supporting the candidate who won the primary. It would feed this Republican narrative that the Liberals can't tolerate their moderates. Lieberman might very well get the Zell Miller special, lionized for his willingness to attack his own party.

Now it might be useful to remember for a moment how Republicans treated one of their own who was a moderate and went against the party line - i.e. John McCain. They accused him of having an illegitimate child and of being mentally ill.

The turn about is that they want Lieberman to be protected in his fight for ideals and plans the majority of his party doesn't agree with. And no elected official gets that protection. If the Democratic voters of Connecticut decide that Lamont can better represent their party and their state, well, that's their call. And at that point we will see what Lieberman is really all about.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Should we become more like Conservatoids?

This is the question posed by David Goldstein at the Huffington Post.
If this had happened during the Clinton administration, and Lay had been Clinton's primary financial patron, don't you think that right-wingers would be all abuzz today with conspiracy theories about how Clinton had Lay knocked off to keep him from talking?

You just know they would.

Sure, we've already seen suspicions raised in the comment threads of liberal blogs, but no real effort will be made to push this theory and no "serious" journalist would ever take it seriously, except as an opportunity to ridicule the generic "left." We won't see any books or documentaries devoted to the suspicious circumstances surrounding Lay's death, no hour-long rants from liberal talk radio hosts, and no provocative evening news teases drumming the conspiracy into the American consciousness, a la the unfortunate Vince Foster.

. . . As a Democrat I suppose I should be proud that my party tends to shy away from such wacky, over-the-top character assassination -- you know, like characterizing a war hero who left three limbs on the battlefield as a coward and a traitor. But I'm not so sure it's good strategy. If we hope to compete, I'm not so sure we can afford to reject even the vilest of Karl Rove's tactics.
I don't know if this is a good strategy. I know that it is an immoral strategy, and that, coupled with the potential to back fire, makes me reject it.

That said, of course he's right about what the Conservatives would do in these circumstances.

Telling People What They Don't Want to Hear

Current Republican Wisdom is that they don't have to worry about losing elections, no matter how poorly they perform or how poorly the American people think they are performing, because they are running against Democrats. No matter how badly they perform, the people are always going to be more worried about how the Democrats might perform.

They might feel some justification in this theory based on the 2004 elections, when the people chose to keep President Bush despite manifest frustration with how he had performed.

Unfortunately that may not turn out to be the case, as Robert Novak gingerly points out in his latest article, in which he discusses Sen. Lindsay Graham.
Since talking to the senator, I have tested his theories with a dozen prominent Republicans. All feel the tide has turned for them over the last month. Each of them claims that the American voter will stick with the Republicans after taking a good look at Democrats, a mindset that often is a precursor of defeat.
Sen. Grahm's solution is for the Republicans to actually cut spending. This could work. It's kind of a joke how Republicans claim to the party of fiscal responsibility and yet they rarely actually cut spending. Actually making some serious cuts could change the playing field.

I don't think they will follow this plan, and I don't think it's a good plan for the country (some cuts might be good, but in order to return to fiscal prudence we'd also need to raise taxes to a sensible level).

Novaks tone is interesting in this article as I hinted at in my title. Obviously he knows what his audience wants to hear, and telling them that they may lose in November is not among those items.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Round the Horn. An Irwin J. McIckleson Production



Good morning all. I have been travelling and have not been able perform my normal duties here as I would like. But I am back now.

. . You Are A Tree has
a story on how the people regulating the internet may not have a complete understanding of it.

archy also
notes this story but concludes that this particular legislator is not the most foolish of the bunch. He gives his opinion as to who is.

Bark Bark Woof Woof has
the news that the FBI's computers are not completely secure. These computers you future people have seem to cause a lot of problems. I'm glad we have secretaries in my time.

Natalie Davis' All Facts and Opinion has
a piece on Ken Lay who was a failed plutocrat and who recently passed, which should put an end to his legal troubles. That said I've had plenty of preachers suggest that I might face some punishment after I die for what I do to my workers - so maybe he'll still have troubles.

Bloggg
reviews some of the theories surrounding Ken Lays death but notes that most Liberals are giving the people involved the benefit of the doubt. I guess I can tell you future people that I am prepared to fake my own death at a moments notice.

Collective Sigh has
a comparison of how the disasters of Hurricane Katrina and a nuclear meltdown in Russia were handled. A nuclear meltdown sounds very very bad.

But that is what communism leads to I suppose. You see a Plutocrat, of necessity, values humans. They are our workers and our consumers. But once you eliminate the plutocrats, humans have much less value.

Correntewire has
the news that President Bush, in a backwords sort of way, has endorsed Sen. Lieberman. This President does tend to do things backwords doesn't he?

Firedoglake
has thoughts on the recent debate between Lieberman and his rival Ned Lamont. Apparently it was a good night for Lamont.

The Countess, who seems to be doing better financially, has
a letter about a man who killed his wife and then shot a judge. The letter notes that such a person probably doesn't deserve a lot of consideration for his rights. I'd have to agree with that.

Dohiyi Mir has some very
interesting information on how the brain processes moving objects; apparently brightly colored objects are easier to follow. I am going to have to rethink my position of having greyish brown colored workers in a greyish brown colored factory.

Echidne of the Snakes has
some thoughts on the Birthday of President Bush and of a forthcoming movie entitled Snakes on a Plane. I wouldn't think Snakes would do very well on an airplane.

Apparently to celebrate his birthday, President Bush appeared on a televisio show with an interviewer who asked very easy questions, according to
an article at First Draft. I guess that's one way to relax.

Happy Furry Puppy Story Time has
an update on how things are going in Iraq where there is apparently very little time to relax.

Iddybud has
a somewhat cynical look at how the American people are willing to put up with high gas pricess.

And that is it for another week. Have an enjoyable weekend.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Let's Go Punch A Reporter!

Wouldn't that be fun? Here's my plan. First I punch the reporter in the face. A bit cliche, I know, but it works. Than, in a nod to the avant garde, I plan on punching him in the right shoulder. Then the left shoulder, twice. Finally I will wrap all this up with a quick punch to the right forearm.

I haven't picked the reporter yet, but according to this article I read at Unclaimed Territory (by Glenn Greenwald), I should soon have a veritable online catalogue of reporters I could punch.
This thuggish tactic of intimidation -- publicly railing against someone's grave crimes and then publishing their home address -- has been creeping out of the most extremist precincts on the Right and is becoming increasingly common among mainstream right-wing individuals and organizations.

This weekend, prominent neoconservative David Horowitz proclaimed that the United States is fighting a war and "the aggressors in this war are Democrats, liberals and leftists." In particular, he cited the now infamous NYT Travel section article on Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld's vacation homes as evidence that the employees of the NYT are among the enemies in this war, and he then linked to and recommended as a "proposal for action" this post from his associate, Front Page contributor Rocco DiPippo. The post which Horowitz recommended was entitled "Where Does Punch Sulzberger Live?" and this is what it said:
I issue a call to the blogosphere to begin finding and publicly listing the addresses of all New York Times reporters and editors. Posting pictures of their residences, along with details of any security measures in place to protect the properties and their owners (such as location of security cameras and on-site security details) should also be published.
Great eh? So soon my visions of punching a reporter will be easy to bring to life. Except, wait a minute. Isn't punching a reporter wrong? Darn Sunday School. And Civics Class. I'll bet it is wrong to punch a reporter. Even if you do it artistically. I guess I'd better hold off, and, my Blog-O-Minions, you must hold off as well. Or "face the consequences"(TM).

We'll just have to hope that everybody who gets access to this information (which will include, well, everybody with internet access) has the same kind of moral compass as your beloved Blog-O-Fascist.

Grab Bag

A few interesting stories I'd like to point to.

First up, interesting information on former Christian Coalition leader and current candidate for governor in Georgia (if memory serves), from Garrison Kiellor.
The facts are fairly simple. Mr. Reed left the Christian Coalition in 1997 as it was sinking, and he was paid by Jack Abramoff to organize opposition to a gambling bill in the Texas Legislature, which would have opened the door to competition for Mr. Abramoff's client casinos in Louisiana. So Reed got the good Christians of Texas ("We have over 50 pastors mobilized, with a total membership in those churches of over 40,000 -- that includes Second Baptist, which has 12,000 members," he reported breathlessly) to bombard the Legislature with phone calls and letters denouncing gambling, for which Mr. Reed was paid millions of dollars in gambling money, by way of Abramoff's bagman, Grover Norquist.
So that's nice.

Incidentally if any body wants to pay me money to command my minions (by which I mean anybody who has even glanced at this website) to stay away from your competitor, I will be happy to take that money. I won't do it, of course. But I'll take the money.

Secondly, Ann Coulter is apparently in trouble for plagiarism. Or closer to being in trouble than she has been in the past. We'll have to see how this pans out.

Finally, you might check out this Tom Tomorrow Cartoon. Very funny and accurate. And it uses the word Blog-O-Fascist (although it uses the archaic spelling Blogofascist).

Your Blog-O-Fascist Speaks

I have been inspired by something I read at The Goblin's Lair (Random Goblin's Website). Apparently there is a new version of the Statue of Liberty in which she holds up a Cross (over her head) and the Ten Commandments in her other hand. It got me thinking - this might be a good way to memoralize your beloved blog-o-fascist (by which I mean myself).

Of course in the Make Me a Commentator!!! Statue of Liberty, she will hold over her head one of those cell phones you can surf the web with? It will, naturally, be tuned to this website, and I expect it to be completely functional, so that the statue will update itself as I update this website.

In the other hand, held down on her hips will be either a vinyl copy of Neil Young's On the Beach or the text of the poem "Terrence, this is stupid stuff."

So get to work building that my minions! Remember you basically have to do what I say, or "face the consequences"(TM). And let me know when you get it done.

Why Liberals Don't Like Joe Lieberman

Because he supports Conservative Causes. And because he has voted with President Bush right down the line on our occupation of Iraq.

This is in response to William F. Buckley, who, in a recent article, wonders whether or not the fact that the President kissed Joe is the reason liberals are, in many cases, supporting his opponent in the Primary.
But in looking into Lieberman's vulnerabilities, I discovered in Wikipedia this item: "Following his 2005 State of the Union address, President Bush, after shaking lawmakers' hands, abruptly grasped Lieberman's head in both hands and kissed him on the cheek. At first, Lieberman's staff humorously referred to the embrace as 'some kind of Yale thing.'

"However, as political backlash against the peck arose, Lamont's supporters have appropriated the incident into a campaign button: 'The Kiss: Too Close for Comfort.' Lieberman has since denied the kiss ever took place. 'I don't think he kissed me. He learned over and gave me a hug and said, 'Thank you for being a patriotic American,' Lieberman told Time magazine."
Kind of pathetic, Mr. Buckley. I realize it's enjoyable to imagine all your political enemies as deranged, angered by a simple show of affections. The truth is that we Liberals can see which politicians are fighting for what we believe in and which aren't.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Passion of the New York Times

The New York Times story continues apace, as referenced above. Fortunately the Times has some defenders as well, such as David Remnick at the New Yorker.
In the wake of the Administration’s record of dishonesty and incompetence in Iraq and the consequent decline in the President’s domestic polling numbers, it is not hard to discern why the White House might find a convenient enemy in the editors of the Times: this is an election year. The assault on the Times is a no-lose situation for the White House. The banking story itself showed the Administration to be doing what it had declared it was doing from the start: concertedly monitoring the financial transactions of potential terrorists. At the same time, by smearing the Times for the delectation of the Republican “base,” the Administration could direct attention away from its failures, including, last week, the Supreme Court’s decision to block its plans to try Guantánamo detainees before military commissions.
Yeah, this pretty much is all politics, but politics with potential long term consequences.

Compare and Contrast

Here is the complaint of Mr. Jonah Goldberg.
It works like this: The media gets to reveal anything it wants for any reason it sees fit in the name of "the people's right to know." But when the people, in their common sense, object to the disclosure of secret programs they expected their government to be conducting all along, the cognoscenti immediately ridicule the people for their ignorance. And when politicians or pundits echo the same concerns, the press immediately circles the wagons, declaring in its coverage and commentary that any such criticism is out of bounds, even un-American. It seems that for many of these people, free speech is a lot like government secrecy. Both are only legitimate when the New York Times says so.
Here are the sorts of criticisms he's defending.
Now that I've had input from some of our friends that live on the outer fringes of reality, and a little time to think about my not-so-subtle comment about "executing" Risen, Lichtblau, and Keller for treason, I'd like to slightly amend my suggestion - the SOBs deserve to be shot at sunrise - without a trial. What they did, they did intentionally, after having been warned by both the President of the United States and members of Congress of it's affect on specific sources and methods our nation uses to prevent our enemies from killing us.
Captain Ed (I wrote about this last week).
I see it as treason, plain and simple, and my advice to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales at this point in time is chop-chop, hurry up, let's get these prosecutors fired up and get the subpoenas served, get the indictments going, and get these guys [Keller and The New York Times] behind jail.
Melenie Morgan. For those who aren't aware, Treason is a crime punishable by death.

I don't know what kind of rational discussion Goldberg expects with people who want you dead. What's the compromise? We chop of New York Time's Editor Bill Keller's hand so he can no longer write stuff these right wing nut cases don't like?

I should note, for clarities sake, that Ms. Morgan would be fine with putting Bill Keller in jail for 20 years apparently. Although I get the impression she thinks that would be letting him off easy.

At any rate, Mr. Goldberg's whineness aside, there are some damn good reasons to consider these sorts of comments a bit beyond the pale.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Violence is the Answer

Dennis Prager has written a paean to Violence. Or what he calls Moral Violence. Which is distinct from Immoral violence in that it is used to protect people (which I agree with) or used against bad people (which I see as more questionable than he does).
Those who say violence never solves anything have confused themselves in other ways as well. They have elevated peace above goodness. Therefore, in these people's views, it is better for evil to prevail than to use violence to end that evil -- since the very use of violence renders the user of it evil.
The trouble is how loosely are you willing to define evil? Particularly that evil that justifies violence against it. Not to put to fine a point on it, but are liberals sufficiently evil that they would warrant the use of violence against them?

Probably not in Dennis Pragers mind. I wouldn't know if his restraint would apply to, say, conservative readers of Ann Coulter, however.

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Revolution

Apparently the revolution begins July 4th. At least that's what the Townhall Website (where I get most of my articles from) says. And nothing else. So hooray.

Let's all spend a moment wondering what the Revolution fostered by the Conservative Townhall website will be like. My theory is that they are changing the colors of the site from green to maroon and navy.

Anyway if you are looking for some commentary, you might check out this article at Salon by Joe Conason. It covers the plan to Phase Out Social Security that President Bush has inexplicably put back on the table.