Saturday, May 26, 2007

Obedience Schools

Having gone to a good Virginia state university, I learned in philosophy 101 the difference between an assertion and an article of faith – the former is testable, and theoretically refutable. Monica Goodling (whose ironic name seems out of a Dickens novel), doesn’t appear to have learned such distinctions. In place of rational thought she (and the disturbingly many like her) seem to have a blind faith: George Bush is a Christian, therefore his priorities infallibly represent The Good.

To Goodling and her ilk, it doesn’t matter if a claim is right, or if an action is right, so long as it’s Right. Perhaps that is because she went to one of the many Obedience Schools now being established by evangelical “Christian” cults, where they don’t teach people how to think. They teach them to submit to authority. They tell them what to think, and how to stop questioning it – how to arrest their development in a socially acceptable, even currently fashionable way. The procedure is quintessential cultic “thought stopping,” best expressed by the bumper-sticker of the inerrant Bibolaters: “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.”

In her op-ed piece of May 25th , Hanna Rosin clearly celebrates the arrival of Monica Goodling and her coreligionists in Washington. We ought to wonder why. Rosin says ‘the joke is on Bill Maher’ for calling Monica a “hayseed.” Not so says Rosin, citing as counterevidence Goodling’s mad skills on the Blackberry, and…I’m not sure what else. Goodling has certainly cleaned up nicely, but intellectually and morally she remains a rube. She clearly didn’t bring any legal or ethical judgment to Washington or to her job, so she doesn’t seem to have been well served by either of the “Christian” schools where she was trained to subvert the department that paid her. Neither, of course, was her employer, the American taxpayer, well served. Perhaps then the joke is on us.

It doesn’t seem to occur to Ms. Rosin that Monica Goodling came to be “in charge of 93 U.S. attorneys” at age 33, not in virtue of any positive qualification for the job, but rather in as a result of an affirmative action program for Evangelists. Nor does it seem to discomfit Rosin at all that such Bush hires, from these supposedly Christian schools, work zealously for a reflexively war-loving and profiteering outfit, where constant lying is standard operating procedure. Having been fairly rigorously catechized by nuns in my youth, I’m quite sure this doesn’t accord with any of the teachings of Christ. What happened to “The truth shall set you free?”

Rosin is right about one thing. There are many Monica Goodlings in Washington, (and many Karl Roves too), and they are very busy seeing that there will be many more. God help us.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Does God Have A Penis?

I mean otherwise why do we always use masculine pronouns for Him?
More importantly, if you believe that the absolute moral authority and the author of all that's good and beautiful is male, doesn't that make women sort of second-class entities in your eyes?
In whose image was woman made anyway?
Is God a hermaphrodite? A bisexual?
Just wondering.
Does any of this pertain to the Cult of Masculinity?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Moralists Are Invariably Monsters: Edition 16,661

Ted Klaudt, hideously unattractive Republican politician and would be regulator of vaginas everywhere seems to have been caught with a speculum in the underage cookie jar -- and he's not even a doctor! Tristero gives us the rundown of his fascist legislative record.

At the risk of a repating myselfg while also plagiarizing my own comment at Hullabaloo I offer the following:

It's certainly the case that moralists are almost always monsters. It's just far easier, and hence infinitely more fun, to be someone else's conscience than to listen to the dictates of your own.

This urge to legislate morality is precisely the same eversive confusion as projection. I wonder if there is some definitive study on this phenomenon, in the vein of the study which showed high levels of homoerotic arousal among homophobes. I'd like to see a study that answered this question: To what degree is prohibitionism (especially the sexual forms) correlated with transgression, or troubling transgressive impulse?

Christopher Hedges (in "American Fascists") eloquently makes the case that "Fascism is a cult of masculinity." Look at the ten fratboys of the GOP debates and it's abundantly clear that "conservatism" is a cuklt of masculinity too. I leave it to others to decide if "conservatism" then = fascism. But certainly there is abundant evidence that the propulsive force of the GOP is erection of and appeal to a deeply neurotic, insecure and hypercompensating macho

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Jerry Falwell, You Won't Be Missed

I foresee a mission to Lynchburg, as soon as the grass grows green over the snake-oil salesman's grave. I plan to drink a a sixer or so of Beck's en route so I can pay proper respects when I get there.
Boy, talk about getting the face you deserve. Seeing the news footage last night, and in it Jerry going from skinny little ridge-runner, to Hastertesque Jabba -- whoa.

Friday, May 11, 2007


Abu Gonzales, the nation's top law enforcement official make official what has heretofore been only judicial activism, as instanced by Clarence Long-Dong Thomas and every other nominee to the Supremes who claimed he wouldn't repeal Roe v. Wade: BS is pretty much SOP in the GOP.

Do they have some kind of screening process to ensure that these people are up to the job of lying to Congress?

Monday, May 07, 2007

Questions for Quandidates

Two questions that every candidate should answer satisfactorily before they get your vote:

Given that the Bush administration has clearly salted every department under its control with ideologues who are charged with sabotaging and looting the very agencies that issue their paychecks, how do you plan to deal with these people?

What plans do you have for holding the architects of the Iraq catastrophe accountable?

Friday, May 04, 2007

Conservatism Is a Cult of Masculinity

As Christopher Hedges says, "Fascism is a cult of masculinity." And "conservatism" is just pupal fascism, very soon to metamorphose into the full-blown form. Exhibit A, right-wing wet dream Harvey Mansfield who gets a big chubby in the Wall Street Journal at the thought of a Urinary Executive like Bush doing big, tough lawn'order things to keep us safe from terrorism. "Laws?" says Mansfield, "Real men don't need no fucking laws." Nothing Mansfield so much adores as "the boot in the face, the brute/ Brute heart of a brute like you." He thinks that's what will keep the country safe, or at least palpitating.

This is the same guy who wrote a hymn to Manliness, clearly a subject he thinks about rather too much, but doesn't understand all that well. Glenn Greenwald chews him up in Salon quite nicely. Of course this same thug-worship is pretty much true of all ten charcoal-suited white guys at the GOP butchfest last night. As I've said before, talk about hypercompensating!