Friday, April 28, 2006

A Not-so-Fearless Prediction

Below is my latest paranoid vision; drawn out into sufficient detail it could be frightening enough to be a script treatment. Unfortunately, real life will almost surely make it unproduceable, long before it could ever screen.

W and company have every intention of nuking Iran, because, as I have said before, they need the fog of war to cover up their incompetence and corruption. The closer we get to bringing accountability to this bunch, the more likely a pre-emptive strike -- pre-empting democracy at home, not threat from abroad. Something will go up in a bunker-buster's mushroom cloud and immediately thereafter all American access to Moslem-controlled oil terminates. Our economy craters almost immediately, since it's wholly predicated on unlimited access to cheap oil. The resultant misery and chaos (as we suddenly can barely deliver or refrigerate food, pump or purify water, heat or cool our homes etc. etc. etc.) makes the Depression look like a bad hair day. Radical action must be taken. Manifest Destiny II clearly dictates that we must spread democracy by seizing the world's great oil fields. It's not a problem swelling the ranks of the army, since everyone now needs a job. And away we go. Russia and China, with plenty of nukes and energy agendas of their own don't necessarily agree with the Decider on this one....

Springtime in Hitlerville

I case you're wondering -- I have been blogging less lately partly due to more formal literary efforts. And due also perhaps to diversions of a blonder and more personal nature.

This said, seeing this picture of a Republican Congressman at a frat party, I had a strong flashback to my days as young professor, when I might have been so...incriminated -- though it would more likely have been on sorority court than frat Row.

LOL as they say hereabouts.

Friday, April 21, 2006

We Need Somebody to Burn....

I have no deep conern for Mr. Moussaoui's welfare. He's clearly a terrorist wannabe, one of the world's great losers, somebody for whom murderous martyrdom is preferable to nonentity. In that respect he's much like the pimply assholes who shoot up their high schools. In a perfectly just world these sorts would be rounded up and euthanized (by veterinarians) before they had a chance to hurt others. Alas we have no positive pre-crime unit to find them yet -- just the negative variety that recruits such people and exploits them.

But I am rather disgusted by the "Justice" Department's fetishistic desire to execute Moussaoui for the deaths September 11, 2001 -- something which he clearly had absolutely nothing to do with. (Much as Saddam, too, had nothing to do with it.) But it goes to illustrate the maxim: The more shocking the crime the more likely a lynching.

I'm quite sure that the jury will be swayed by the irrelevant, shameless and balatant appeal to sentiment the prosecutors put on, parading the families of 9/11 victims through the courtroom. Moussaoui will get his wish, he will be executed and martyred, and America will be further dishonored by having killed someone for something he didn't do.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Road Rage and the Rise of the Right

Jane Hamsher's excellent post about her encounter with a Dittohead has inspired some thoughts:

Back in our nasty, brutish prehistory, the sort of rage that begins in the hypothalamus, taps into our endocrinology etc., was probably a useful adaptation. It prepared our ancestors for the sort of aggression, or display of aggression, that gave access to scarce resources, food, water, mates and whatnot. Nowadays, in a sort of maladaptive vestigial reflex, that sort of rage still bubbles up when we are jostling for limited resources -- especially for space on the highway. This being the case, I have long wondered if there is some sort of Pavlovian nexus in our political predicament.

Look at it this way: millions and millions of white males spend a fair portion of every day feeling and fighting road-rage. While they're doing this they're quite often being bombarded with rhetoric about how evil the Libruls, Moslems, "minorities," gays, secularists, feminazis, tree-huggers, French et cetera are. Here, perhaps evolutionary psychology meets Skinnerian. Could it be that Joe Dittohead gets classically conditioned to associate his road rage with the straw persons Rush et alia denigrate all day long? How much Republican ressentiment is just generalized or displaced road rage?

As Jane points out, the Reich Wingers may yet be hoisted on their own petard. When Joe Sixpack comes to understand how much of the treasury has been looted by Bush cronies, how much more simply sent up in smoke to cover their thefts and power-grabs, the primal rage over finite resources may come around on the junta. Or Rove may be able to lay it off on the Vichycrats in some sort of Dolchstosslegende.... We'll see.

Prediction Comfirmed!

Two weeks ago I predicted that Fitzpatrick and the generally cruel nature of actual reality would bring out the stress boils on Prince Bunnypants. Hmmm.

Twilight of the Lootocracy?

So, Karl Rove is stepping down as policy maven. Two thoughts about that: One -- there has really only been one policy among this band of sociopaths. Once one understands this it functions nicely as a grand unifying theory of all things Bush. The policy in five words: Create diversion; loot the treasury.

Two -- all members of the inner circle understand that if the American people ever grasp even the smallest implications of this, the lives of the administration figures are effectively over. There can be no Congressional investigations -- the rest of their lives depend on this. That is why Rove is turning his banal flair to the mid-term elections.

But it may be too late. So many things are coming apart so fast. And Rove may yet be indicted for Treasongate. That is why we must be very worried about another war, with Iran, for cover.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Easter Thoughts

How did Jesus celebrate Good Friday?

He got totally hammered!

(Rodin's Christ and Magdalene, the real spirit of Easter.)

Monday, April 10, 2006

Make Them See the Truth, Scooter!

If W had good reasons for leaking through Libby, et alia, to Judith Miller, et alia, he could have pre-empted the special prosecutor's investigation before it got started, by taking responsibility, by saying, "I wanted the information out there, so I authorized its release."

But taking responsibility, (never W's first reflex), would have exposed Bush and company to the wrath of the voters. And it would have raised a lot of questions with unflattering answers. So instead he lied, and had his subordinates commit perjury, so the cover would hold until after election day.

So, whenever offered a pseudoconservative talkling point about how "legal" it all was, perhaps one should ask, then why didn't W and his lawyers explain that to the prosecutor before Libby had to lie to them?

PS: Love this picture which I Domeneched from TBogg. He explains, "Dick Cheney sends Scooter after Wilson. Judith Miller provides cover."

Saturday, April 08, 2006

The One Real Party: Pseudoconservatives

Having grown up with Tory leanings, I took from the cradle a few very basic, truly conservative assumptions:

1. Human nature is fixed, constant and knowable.
2. There is much to be learned from the study of the past, and from the thinkers of the past.
3. Weakness drives more behavior than virtue.
4. You get what you pay for; there's no such thing as something for nothing.

America's self-described "conservatives" clearly believe none of this. Their view of humanity is meliorist at best (when that serves them) and usually Panglossian. They assume that the people of America today are wiser than their predecessors, therefore we have no need to study history, or even the news, to avoid mistakes there chronicled. The spiritual father of the movement is Henry Ford, an Apostle of the Free Market System, publisher of The International Jew, both darling and admirer of Adolf Hitler, and author of the sentiment: "History is bunk."

"Conservatives" believe that we modern Americans are too wise to allow inquisitions or holy wars -- therefore we should improve the general morality by establishing Christianity as the official religion of America, and the world if possible. Iraq and Abu Grahib are not allowed as counterevidence -- because 9/11 changed everything. They believe that the new man is too good to allow slavery, sexism, or discrimination, so the government shouldn't concern itself with discouraging such things. They believe that superstition is dead as the dodo, therefore we will have no with witch hunts. (Except possibly for the War on Drugs, the hunt for Day-Care Satanists, and the trial-free war on terror.) The wisdom of free markets coupled with the basic goodness of the American citizen will see that justice is done.

"Conservatives" believe that "God will think of something," therefore we don't have to worry about the ecology or oil collapse. And because we, or at least the Bush people, can create our own reality (through prayer perhaps) we can lower taxes and finance a $120 million-per-day war of indefinite duration -- without serious consequence. Surely God will divinely inspire a cold-fusion, perpetual motion machine that will enable the Free Market to bail us out later. And surely all those video games will hone the skills needed by soldiers in the war on terror.

On the other hand conservatives, like Tom DeLay, know that even the new, good, wise supersitition free American is a sinner, so unless Hell yawns below us we will lose all moral impulse. That's why our divinely inspired Founding Fathers insisted on the Bill of Wrongs, and inserted Ten Commandments into the Declaration. Or was it the Constitution? We could ask George Will. He wears a bowtie.....

Remember the party mantra: 9/11 changed everything, the laws of thermodynamics, the tendency of power to corrupt, the difference bewteen right and wrong, the time/space continuum -- everything.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Stress Boils Predicted

Anybody with the least little bit of a bullshit detector has suspected from get-go that Bush was behind the Valerie Plame leak. It's just his frat-boy asshole style.:"Let's make Wilson sound like girly-man, whose wife gets him jobs."

And of course his denials of involvement were as pure Dog Ate My Homework as anything ever put on television. Now we can put up there with his father's "I was out of the loop on Iran-Contra," and Bill Clinton's "I did not have sex with that woman," this moment: “I want to know the truth. … I have no idea whether we’ll find out who the leaker is, partially because, in all due respect to your profession, you do a very good job of protecting the leakers.”

It seems Scooter has sworn that Cheney told him that Bush authorized the Plame leak. Now, if there is a God, Cheney will someday have to testify that A. Libby is lying, or B. Bush did authorize the leak. The first choice may open a great many other cans of worms for Cheney; the second is equally problematical. If Bush denies it, then Cheney himself may be prosecutable -- for he lacks the authority to declassify the leaked material.

I predict some stress boils coming on.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Who'll Protect Us from the Protectors?

Firedoglake's Christy Hardin Smith, who has been absolutely excellent about so many things, gets over emotional in this morning's post about, Brian Doyle, the Homeland Security executive arrested yesterday for allegedly cruising a (policeman posing as) pubescent girl in a chat-room.

Many things occur to me from and about this post. On the one hand, I do think that this administration, from the top down, has had an amazing predisposition to attract and select some of the most awful people on the planet and put them in positions of responsibility. That is quite possibly because the head man is not only not a regular guy, but is instead a sociopath, one of the most awful people on the planet, who has been totally corrupted by his consequence-free upbringing and the absolute power the credulous electorate has awarded him. The fish rots from the head, as Mr. Dukakis used to say.

I don't think it's making too much of it, or over-psychoanalyzing, to suggest some link between the infantilizing modes of the quintessentially patriachal "conservative" power structure and crimes like this. These guys think the world should take its marching orders from father-figures (or God-the-Father-figures and His fatherly vicars) and they get violently upset whenever anybody suugests that there should be any limits to their power over their wards, their "children"; so it should come as no surprise that some of these people will chose to exercise that power, a la Jim Jones, in a little droit du seigneur with the children. It is the ultimate ethical extension of the royalist world view.

All of this said, I think that discussions of pedophilia tend toward the hysterical, even among the otherwise reasonable people, very, very quickly. Christy's misguided appeal to auythority is an example: "I attended a prosecutor’s seminar on sexual predators when I was working, and was told that the average pedophile has hundreds (yes, hundreds) of victims over a lifetime. "

This claim about the "average" pedophile strikes me as very dubious indeed. I would really want to know what these numbers are based on. It reminds me of an "expert's" claim that 'the average drunk driver drives drunk between a hundred and a thousand times before being caught.' An average of between X and 10X? Hmmm. Remember, that experts in these enforcement efforts, like "drug experts," have every egotistical and professional incentive to inflate their claims, and none to soft-pedal them.

And just by the way, anybody who takes claims made at prosecutor's seminars as gospel should be sentenced to a careful re-reading of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Finally, what we've been told so far suggests that this guy had the odd wank with someone representing herself as girl. Christy seems to assume from this that Doyle has molested "hundred, yes hundreds" of actual children. Maybe for a new mother that is a sound, adaptive default stance. But for an officer of the court it's a bit much.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Piety Is the National Pastime of Assholes

Last evening around seven the cold front rolled through Washington, like a vast breaking wave, stretching straight south like I-95. It looked like the bruise-black wrath of God, with constant down-forking lightning; it scattered hail as it came through like coins thrown to beggars. It would be pretty to think it was elemental fanfare for an asshole's catastrophe -- in the Sophoclean sense.

As RedHedd points out -- there's something really hideous, Jimmy Swaggart-like, about Tom (Captain Zyklon) DeLay (and his grifting wife) making with all the Christian talk, now that they're being fitted for orange jump suits.

DeLay: My main point was that this country was built on morals and religion. Our greatest leaders were very strong believers. There is a connection between religion and politics, and religion and government. There has to be for this country to have accomplished all it's accomplished and for its future. How many times have the great leaders—Ronald Reagan, Roosevelt, Lincoln, George Washington—have said there is a connection between morals and religion. And there has to be. The people that go to church understand that a country has to be based on some sort of religion and fear of God because they understand that.

Christine DeLay: They're accountable.

If there were a God any elected Republican would be smitten instantly for making use of the word "accountable." The more I learn the more it's apparent -- anybody who makes proclamations about his faith, outside of his church or home, is to that degree a soulless sociopath. Truth, as Kiekegaard says, is subjectivity.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

War Metaphor 2

Iraq is a boob job sold to us by a quack. It isn't pretty, but we have to live with it. Should there be penalties?

Hazards of the War

It is as if they had at the Everglades with a Roto-tiller, expecting to get Sawgrass.

War and Metaphor

Whatever they said, or even believed, at the time, the reason we went to war in Iraq is precisely this: they sensed that they needed the fog of war, to hide them from the people, to conceal their fanaticism, corruption and incompetence.