Friday, February 24, 2006

One Nation Under God

You can teach a mynah bird to curse,
or to recite a Bible verse.
The first won't lead him into sin,
the verse won't make him a Christian.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


George Will again besmirches the editorial pages of the WaPo today (which is, in itself, rather like disgusting a buzzard off a gut-wagon) with a column headed Smile if (and Only if) You’re Conservative, wherein he writes, "A survey by the Pew Research Center shows that conservatives are happier than liberals -- in all income groups. " If the Pew survey had shown, for instance, that Fox viewers were more inclined than all others to believe that 2 + 2 = 5 Georgie wouldn't be touting this. But, as is, this news makes the bowtied boy very happy, cleary. He nearly lifts off from planet Earth in his giddy explanation of the good news. "Conservatives" are wise apparently; that's why they're happier than other people. Says he:

"Conservatives understand that society in its complexity resembles a giant Calder mobile -- touch it here and things jiggle there, and there, and way over there. Hence conservatives acknowledge the Law of Unintended Consequences, which is: The unintended consequences of bold government undertakings are apt to be larger than, and contrary to, the intended ones.

Conservatives' pessimism is conducive to their happiness in three ways. First, they are rarely surprised -- they are right more often than not about the course of events. Second, when they are wrong, they are happy to be so. Third, because pessimistic conservatives put not their faith in princes -- government -- they accept that happiness is a function of fending for oneself. They believe that happiness is an activity -- it is inseparable from the pursuit of happiness."

I'd be willing to bet that the Pew people would find that very, very few self-described "conservatives" would know what a Calder is, or what the Law of Unintended Consequences is. The few who did know of that "law" would, of course, not apply it to things like the "War on Drugs" and the War in Iraq, both of which are textbook examples. Moreover, I don't know what Will means when he speaks of conservative "pessimism." The belief that a semi-literate lifelong loser would miraculously turn into a leader when given absolute power perhaps. Or perhaps the notion that we can combust billions of years worth of stored solar/chemical energy in just centuries without disurpting the natual order of things. Or perhaps the idea that the Iraq fiasco would bring democracy to the region, and would pay for itself. All of these were or are cherished core "conservative" beliefs. None qualifies as pessimism. And as to the issue of being 'right more often than not....'

George is flat wrong when he asserts that "conservatives put not their faith in princes -- government...." First of all, prince doesn't equal government, though you wouldn't know it from the blind, cultish loyalty "conservatives" show toward the infallible Prince George Bush. And also "conservatives" are all for government solving the problems of private morality for each and all of us -- except themselves.

Finally, only a world-class asshole thinks that "happiness is inseperable from the pursuit of happiness." Happiness is a byproduct, quite often, and perhaps always, of putting one's own happiness aside for other ends, quite unrelated to one's own happiness.

In any case, what the Pew study seems to show is that among the 3000 or so people who answered their phones and agreed to answer the stranger's questions, a self-report of happiness is more strongly correlated with "conservatism" than liberality. We might wonder how depressive realism correlates with political view, or how lack of self-awareness, ignorance of public affairs or natural science correlates, how a deaf ear to cognitive dissonance, how a complete lack of social and private conscience, and a high tolerance for hypocrisy all correlate -- to this "happiness". But that would be a more thorough study. George Will wouldn't be interested in that one, you can be sure.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Krossfire? Who makes up these names?

A meditation prompted by a non-violent drive-by: I understand that some people make big bucks for coming up with catchy product names. A friend of mine does some of this. He once got DKNY's new push-up bra dubbed "Uptown" and the matching panties, "Downtown". But I have to wonder, who came up with "Chrysler Crossfire" and why? What are the positive implications of a crossfire? I mean, I guess the alliteration sounded clever in the boardroom, but I'm surprised Jay Leno hasn't sent it up as something specially designed for the LA's highly-leaded freeways. Or maybe he has. In any case, it's an interesting design, but I can't help but think of it as the Official Kar of the KKK.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Another Cloning Experiment Largely Successful

Ann Coulter was recently the toast of Swastipalooza, wowing the Bush Cultists with her clever quips about breaking bad on the "ragheads" (Go on over Ann, and kick some raghead ass for me. Get video). Now it turns out she's deliberately falsified her Florida voting registration. Clearly the Party has decided that Florida is a rule-free voting zone, for white people anyway. Just who is this AnnCoulter, really? Leni Riefenstahl without the talent or charisma, pretty much just leaving the "blonde" hair and the brown nose. In any case. the fact that Ann is such a hit with these people -- their muse really-- confirms that much as the Party pretends to stand for homespun decency, their libido is for punishment and destruction. Hatred is the life force of the movement.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Dead-Eye Dick

Of course the snake-handlers of the Dick/Bush Cult will never see it, but people not thus afflicted might see Dick's blasting his fatcat buddy as yet more evidence that the Junta is composed of dangerous clowns. They could ruin a wet dream. As Fitzgerald saw the type, "They were careless people... they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness...."

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Cloning Experiment

What do you get when you cross George Orwell with George Custer?

Friday, February 10, 2006

Over There

About Irag, the rationale occasionally switches back to "We're fighting them over there, so we won't have to over here." Doesn't anybody recognize that this is the mentalitty that created the Maginot Line? (Which of course made France impregnable during WWII.) Maybe we should quit fighting the wars of the 19th century, and join those of the 21st. Ho Chi Minh did. Osama has. Imagination is such a force-multiplier that 19 clods with box cutters can cripple and derange a superpower. One need only look at studio movies to see that money clogs the arteries of the imgaination.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Asshole Detectors

I have said it before: as a spoiled brat raised by a treasonous asshole and a fulminating psychobitch, in an atmosphere of total impunity, W has an uncanny ability to sniff out the Worst People in the world. He's a one-man pre-crime unit; anybody he likes should be regarded as stupid, crooked and proabably dangerous. Somebody should compile a list.

Back when it was still a newspaper the Washington Post published the "Hall of Shame," a list of 120 ethically challenged or currently-under-indictment members of Reagan's racket. I realize that a similar process today would simply be the publishing of the White House staff list, guest list, plus Preznitial appointees. It would be too voluminous. To take its measure we would have to weigh it, as drug lords do their cash payments. The problem with W's talent is that he uses it for evil; he doesn't restrain the shitheads whom he can smell as dogs can cancer, he hires them. They make Karl Rove very happy -- always a priority around the Palalce.

Here's the latest: George Deutsch. A twenty-four-year-old former intern for the Bush camapign, he was rewarded with an appointment to be a writer and editor for NASA's public affairs. Deutsch apprently decided that there was too much science around the shop. It bothered him that the Big Bang was thought to have occurred much earlier than October 23, 4004 BC date Bishop Ussher gave for Creation, from his reading of the Old Testament. So he sent out memoes: "It is not NASA's place, nor should it be to make a declaration such as this about the existence of the universe that discounts intelligent design by a creator ... This is more than a science issue, it is a religious issue. And I would hate to think that young people would only be getting one-half of this debate from NASA. That would mean we had failed to properly educate the very people who rely on us for factual information the most."

It seems Mr. Deutsch may have skipped a few science classes and so didn't know any better, because he didn't have any degrees from Texas A&M, despite having claimed he did, in the paperwork he filed with federal authorities. Well now that the New York Times has gotten wind of this, Deutsch has "resigned," to avoid being fired and perhaps prosecution.

If Deutsch were an isolated case this would even be worth thinking about. But he's not. His ilk is installed in every agency, confusing supertition with science, ideology with governance, wishing with planning, and above all, doing well with doing good. How many of these know-nothing little shitheads did all they could to make Iraq happen, and how many of the clueless, unqualified and incompetent went over on the strength of nothing but Party zeal, once there to botch the abomination into total atrocity?

If only W's talents and energies could be harnessed for Good....

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Orwellian Correlatives.

Let us concede that we are a one-party system. The Democrats are to the Republicans as the "Generals" are to the Globetrotters. It is in every sense not a contest.

The Oligarchy now totally controls the police and military, both houses of Congress, the federal courts, the White House and justice department. Control of the media is being advanced every day. Evangelicals take money under the table to deliver e-mail lists, talking points and voters. If they can the Party will purge academia of those who profess dangerous things like ethics and evolution. All moral authority must be subordinated.

And it is perhaps a law of logic and language (embedded at the Heisenbegrian level) that in a one- party system things become their opposite. Truth becomes Pravda. Freedom is security. Or slavery. Heroes are cowards (like Kerry and Murtha), debt becomes prosperity, failure is success -- or at least a "Mission Accomplished" -- lunacy is wisdom, a thieving, warmongering bully who can't move his lips without lying is a "Christian," infallibility is accountability, genocidal contempt for the poor and afflicted is decency, and finally Arbeit macht frei.

It is like one of those mathematical worlds with fewer dimensions. Irony there is incomprehensible.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Some Short Subjects

Can someone explain to me why Fox News is not considered an illegal in-kind contribution to the Republican Party? How much would it cost to buy that kind of air time?

Is it so that those who would police the morality of others are always the most immoral? I guess it’s always easier to be someone else’s conscience than to heed your own.

Must you be a scumbag to be an elected Republican? Do you have to do something really sleazy to be “made” in this organization? Exhibit A: the new Majority Leader, Boehner. He's all for school prayer and religious discrimination and men owning the uterus, because these things will make America more moral. Still, he's not above passing out checks from the tobacco companies on the floor of the House.

It is shibboleth in the blog world that when one invokes fascism one 'thereby loses the argument.' But I say this is bullshit; one loses the argument when one allows one's opponents to define some terms as unacceptable. See Umberto Eco, a man who lived under Mussolini, on the subject.

Meanwhile, in other news, the talking heads are camped out by the federal courthouse this morning. Could it be that Karl is about to be indicted? Pretty please?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Liarrhea: the State of the Union Address

Of course I couldn't actually bear to watch the Bush address. I knew, viscerally as I know the operation of gravity, that the "speech" would be, like all of W's, wholly composed of platitude, nonsense and falsehood; any truths spoken would be pimped into the service of a lie. The transcripts show I was entirely right in this supposition. It was good to see Joe Lieberman jump up, even before any Republicans, to applaud the President's fantasy that we are "winning" the war in Iraq. Winning? Yeah, sure -- if winning means squandering treasure, blood and honor to foment Muslim hatred of America. Poor George, nobody has the heart to tell him that the war is over, except for determining who will be that last American to draw the short straw for a fraud. Yes, the war is over and, by any measure, Iran won. Won cheap. Way to go Pentagon geniuses!

And then of course there were the many particular lies about the impeachable offenses of the domestic spying program. His Royal Lieness spoke of "the duty to speak with candor" and then showed that his idea of candor = %100 bullshit. For a catalogue of the prevarications try this from Salon.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Banana Republicans

Just to make sure the crony capitalism continues unabated George Bush has appointed Noel Hillman, the prosecutor on the Abramoff case a federal judge so as to throw a spanner in the works of that process. Sweet deal for Noel, Jack and his many co-conspirators, not so great for the republic. I guess that puts the prosecution into the hands of Alice Fisher, torture-pal of Abu Gonzalez, said to be very cozy with the Tom DeLay camp. But I'm sure she'll be impartial. More and more we are turning into a straight oligarchy -- rule by the rich, for the rich.

The rich will always be with us, of course. And they will always have more power than anyone else. But if we give them absolute power, as Rove wishes to, the system will soon collapse from its own rot. It will be a case of the parasite killing the host.