Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Vapors

God only knows how long it's been a sight gag: some elephantine dowager, misunderstanding completely, feels menaced by some hapless nebbish, whom she beats to a pulp while loudly proclaining herself assaulted. The Marx brothers surely did this one, and this was reprised by Looney Tunes, and also by the Coen brothers in Miller's Crossing, the truest movie ever made about American politics and operators therein. But I am constantly reminded of this gag by the suited White Guys who wax so ariatic in hymns to their own victimhood. We're so downtrodden, so threatened by women, queers, colored folk, Islamofascists, atheists, and worst, deadliest of all: academics.

Such vapors Assrocket the boys have.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Fear Eaters

First thing this morning I heard a Bush spokesman arguing retroactive immunity for their wiretap crimes, by claiming, 'The American people should be afraid after 9/11, and grateful that we haven't had another such attack....' and it sent me into a little sci-fi reverie.
One film for which Denzel Washington definitely didn't get nominated for anything was Fallen, a cheesy, creepy horror flick about how the soul of an executed serial killer gets transferred metaphysically from person to person, and so the serial killings go on and on. The movie was pretty b-minus, with some flashes of adequacy, but the meme has a peculiar resonance. An earlier incarnation of it was the original Star Trek's episode 43, The Wolf in the Fold. That's the one where Scotty is accused of knifing a belly dancer on during the crew's sojourn on a free'n'easy R&R planet. Of course he didn't do it; it was a spectral entity called Redjac, apparently once also Jack the Ripper, and some other serial killers. The thought is that this electromagnetic meanie nourishes itself on the emotion of terror, so Doc chills everyone out with some good drugs and... something happens and they flush the thing out into vacant space.

That nourishing itself on terror part reminds me of so many parasitic "freedom fighter", including the Taliban and also their mirror/symbiotes, the Neocons. But the Azazel-demon, jumping-from-soul-to-soul part reminds me of how we didn't really kill fascism or Nazism in World War II. We "won" that war like any total war, at the cost of becoming our enemy. And we nsatched up as many of the Nazi weapons wizards as we could. And so fascism thrives on in American -- even coming out of the closet now.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Cancer or Polio?

In an endorsement that packs a cliche into every sentence, The New York Times thinks Hillary Clinton is the best choice for the Democrats because she's "brilliant" and she "has learned" and she "has experience." But if she's so brilliant why has she been so gutlessly shitty as a Senator? Why can't I remember any bon mots she's added to the discourse, something other than the same sort of condescending middlebrow mediocrity that the Times traffics in. Why isn't she talking about FISA, the U.S. Attorney scandal, the numberless obvious crimes of the current administration. Because she's a gutless, calculating, go-along-to-get-ahead banality.

She will be a disaster on the campaign trail, energizing every creep in the Fasciosphere to come out and unlearn the lessons of the last eight years, ensuring that the GOP will steal many more elections and get away with it again. Mitt Romney said last night: Hillary and Bill represent what's wrong with Washington, why would we send them back? Of course it's Bushco that repsresents what's wrong with Washington, but Bill and Hill make the GOP outsider-maverick meme hypnotically vivid to the couch potatoes and mouthbreathers.

Even if she were to be elected she would be hamstrung in everything she does by the coordination of the GOP and the corporate media. And even if she weren't she would still be a bad President. She's in a bubble of her own, surrounded by sycophants ("loyalists" is the journo term), responds badly to criticism, show's no particular allegiance to the truth, and again, has no particular history of courage or effective leadership. So, with all the negatives and no discernible positives except the D after her name, why again...?

And of course why would we listen to the Times? They just hired Bill Kristol.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

How the Republicans Will Win

Election fraud, pure and simple.

Could they have rigged Hillary's win in New Hamphsire, because she is Ruper Murdoch's desiganted loser? You bet they could have. Read how here.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Branson will be capitol of the 4th Reich

Apropos: Orcinus' excellent catalogue of Fascisms:

It's not very focused, but it is pithy and apt; Milan Kundera calls fascism, "Kitsch with teeth."

Others seem to feel fascism is the triumph of the aesthetic over the ethical in government. (Even if the triumphant aesthetic is again...kitsch.)

And in the same vein, I tend to think of it as sociopathic sentimentality.

Branson will be the capitol of the Fourth Reich.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Relentlessly manipulative, gimmicky, filled with irritating people, and faBulous, in its unabashed B-ness. By turns claustrophobic and panoramic, hallucinatory and verité, hilarious and horrific – not, in several ways, for the faint of stomach. It does for (to?) America what the original Godzilla must have done for the Japanese. The most creepilly exhilerating thing I've seen since the remake of The Hill Have Eyes. I recommend.

I predict O'Reilly will go on a crusade against it.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

President of the Imagined Past

Frank Rich has it precisely right in today's Times, Ronald Reagan ain't riding to the rescue of the GOP's clown posse.

But Saint Ronnie is a fine emblem for fascism in America. Fascism seeks to resurrect a wholly specious, imagined past: a time of chastity, simplicity, contentment, harmony, heterosexual vigor, when men were men, the poor were happy, a dollar (or Deutschmark) really bought something et cetera. And Ron is the perfect, pretend President of that Imaginary Past. He was really a traitorous, race-baiting, senilescent boob; but a pitchman, like Arthur Godfrey, and so, useful to movement conservatives. He could play a President on TV!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Fascism and Fetishes

I decided, I'm not going to read Liberal Fascism. Would its author read a book called Jews Are Mud People to see if its thesis were unexpectedly insightful? But, at the risk of being tendentious I'll respond to the surely essential quotes I've picked up on the internets.

Jonah Goldberg wants to make fascism a school of thought, a philosophy, to which he does not subscribe and so he can see its operation in the policies of others, the hated Libruls. In fact, of course, fascism is not a school of thought at all. On the contrary: it is the anti-intellectual reflex ("Wenn ich 'Kultur' höre, nehme ich meine Pistole."). Fascism is more properly understood as a neurosis, something that springs from the reptilian regions of the brain that connect to fucking, feeding, fighting and fleeing, structures that infuse the mind with infatuations, fetishes, phobias, and addictions. It's an atavism, a throwback to Royalist reflex, which in itself is just a sort of dressed up pecking order, a codification of respective mate-value within the primate pod. We do fascists an undeserved favor when we treat fascism as a philosophy; simply and properly understood it's really a paramilitary fan club.

But not to Jonah:

Fascism is a religion of the state. It assumes the organic unity of the body
politic and longs for a national leader attuned to the will of the people. It is
totalitarian in that it views everything as political and holds that any action
by the state is justified to achieve that common good. It takes responsibility
for all aspects of life, including our health and well-being, and seeks to
impose uniformity of thought and action, whether by force or through regulation
and social pressure. Everything, including the economy and religion, must be
aligned with its objectives. Any rival identity is part of the "problem" and
therefore defined as the enemy.

But fascism is emphatically not a religion of the state. The visceral reflexes it exploits, even requires, do not attach themselves to abstractions like "the state" or "the will of the people" or "the common good," even if lip service must sometimes be paid by the Leader to these notions in order to gull his enthusiasts and lull the opposition. Fascism is a cult certainly, like most it coalesceses around a personality. As in any cult, when the personality at its vanishing point dies, the fascist system falters. Sometimes a new figurehead is erected and rallied round, but the succession rarely matches the fervor of the founding father's cult. This is partly why the Soviet system fragmented slowly after Stalin, why post-Mao, China is evolving toward modernism, and why Cuba is likely to begin liberalizing as soon as Castro is finally known to be dead. Partial recognition of this is precisely what causes "conservatives" such anxiety about the succesion to the Unitary Executive, such a yearning for a square-jawed, broad-shouldered, macho-man to come in and save us with a few of his tersely barked, yet instinctively correct orders.

Besides a leader Fascism, like any cult, needs dogma, ritual, logos, icons, costume, choreography, litany (this is where its paramilitarism serves so nicely) and above all it needs enemies --the anti-personality. It won't really do to hate the sin, for these people. There must be an actual sinner, and actual punishment thereof. Punishment is the libido of the movement. Like a retrovirus the dolchstosslegende has seroconverted all the redemptive, romantic, and transcendent narratives in its heart to rationale for the cruelty it uses on it chosen enemies. Libruls, in the case of Jonah.

What a weird hall of mirrors we enter in the "thought" of Jonah Goldberg, Jew and fascist. What a strangely, desperately self-blind, projective formula lies at its heart, a fervent reconstitution of racial identity/victimhood : "The white male is the Jew of liberal fascism." Translation: "Mommy, I get to be an Aryan this time!"

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Jonathan Schell Craptacular!

I had not thought that Jonathan Schell, author of Fate of the Earth, would ever be fluffing George Bush, but these are strange times. William Kristol is writing for the Times, Jonah Golbderg is besmirching the Post, and now, in the latest Harper’s Schell pens a hideous “Notebook” essay. Starting with its cliché title, “The Moral Equivalent of Empire,” it is the single worst thing I have ever read in that usually excellent magazine. Schell starts by putting the Iraq war into historical context with concerns about nuclear proliferation – about which he is so expert. He does an excellent job reminding us of recent history, reminding us of the lost opportunity and dire example to the world when we did nothing really towards nuclear disarmament, even after the need for mutual assured destruction disappeared with the U.S.S.R. But then he goes off the trails, seeming very oddly amnesiac about more recent events. Indeed he seems to have been in a bomb shelter since about 1999, and there to have gotten his only news from Fox.

Whatever Schell’s sources of inspiration, they have inflamed some, very vivid fantasies. He tells us that just after 9/11 George W. Bush, turned away from the pressing matter of the Snowflake Babies (frozen embryos) to ask hard questions about nookyular weapons. Sounding like Peggy Noonan with the Eroscillator running, Schell paints the scene in the exact language Bush would like to see used by his official biographer:

What were nuclear weapons for? Who, if anyone, should possess them, who should
not, and who should decide which was to be which, and make the decision
stick? Bush’s answers were simple, bold, clear, and pursued with

Schell doesn't cite any evidence that Bush actually performed this perfervid daydream, and it sounds about as likely as W landing that plane on the carrier. His scenario is precisely the sort of thing pundits were saying about Bush in the punch-drunk winter of 20011/2002, back when he was still being called “Churchillian.” But even many right-wingers have a less sanguine and more nuanced view of The Decider these days. Perhaps this is because, painful as it may have been, they have reluctantly noticed what George Bush has done, what he is actually like – which Schell clearly has not. True, Schell does recognize that the policies of the Bush administration have not made things better anywhere. But he still writes this:

Comprehensive errors of the kind displayed by Bush’s nuclear policies are,
however, rarely gratuitous. Almost always, they are at least in part
misbegotten solutions to a problem that is real. Let us give the Bush
Administration its due. It framed an audacious, comprehensive doctrine to
address the problem of nuclear proliferation and acted resolutely on the basis
if its beliefs….

Actually of course, it didn’t, and only a delusional twit, at this point would think so. Despite the cowardice of America’s press and of the Democrats, it has become so obvious as to finally be unignorable and undeniable that the Bushites didn’t really believe that Saddam was about to menace us with nuclear weapons. They weren’t trying to preempt proliferation when they drummed up the war in Iraq. (If they really cared ‘comprehensively’ about proliferation they might have done something about the tendency of say, the Taliban-supporting Pakistanis to proliferate, but that might have entailed difficulties.) Bush entered the White House intent on going to war with Iraq. Why he and Cheney, draft dodgers both, were so eager to go to war, is probably better explained by psychiatrists than by historians and strategists. Certainly there were many causal factors involved, but I would bet that the strongest of them was Karl Rove’s awareness that he needed to hide the administration’s pervasive corruption and incompetence in the fog of war; he sold it to Bush as his one ticket to a second term. And so they “fixed the intelligence,” as the Downing Street Memo explains. The real problem addressed was a domestic political one, not a nuclear one. And, given that its real impetus was the preservation of the Administration’s visionless power, for its own sake, its atrocious “error” is most certainly “gratuitous” – however rare Schell believes this to be.

In his assertion that the Bush administration “acted resolutely on the basis if its beliefs” Schell falls into another error common until very recently among the media middlebrows: the willingness to attribute to Bush sincere “beliefs,” or principles with which his actions are stubbornly consistent. More observant folk, like the people who wrote “Bush vs. Bush” for The Daily Show, have long understood that Bush vacillates and flip-flops about everything, often quite ridiculously, like the drunken, heartsick fratboy he in essence remains. If there is any real principle or belief (other than preservation of himself and his prerogatives) that Bush hasn’t violated, pimped out, run roughshod over in his switchbacking course from blunder to debacle to fiasco, it has escaped me. Instead, it seems there is no principle, person, action, or oath-on-a-stack-of-Bibles that Bush won’t disown (usually by blaming someone else) whenever it becomes expedient.

Of course there is nothing truly audacious about this administration. If Bush really believed what Schell believes he believes, and if he were ‘audacious and resolute’ in acting on those beliefs, he might have ginned up the draft and gone into Iraq with the 500,000 men the generals said were needed to do the job, even if doing so risked being penalized at the ballot box. Instead he decided to do it on the cheap, the less to inconvenience the Dittoheads. If, on the other hand, someone had been allowed to tell Bush that the Iraq war was very likely going to be the excruciating, multi-trillion dollar quagmire it has proven to be, and Bush then said, “But damn it, the fate of the Earth is in the balance here; it’s a sacrifice we’ll have to make,” then we might see him in the “resolute” light Schell wants to. But Schell clearly forgets that people got fired for saying such things to the Bushites, so the administration thought the war would be quick, painless, glorious, cost-free (paid for by the Iraqis), just the kind of war they thought they’d won on Mission Accomplished Day. That is what they believed going in. It seemed, in prospect, like fun to them.

Schell is just as delusional when he attributes boldness and audacity to Bush. (Clearly he hasn’t seen the video of the Pet Goat Moment on 9/11.) But audacity implies braving of consequences. Bush has never in his cosseted life faced any consequences (nor is he about to) so he can hardly brave them; they are no more real to him than the likelihood of starving. Bush is only capable, as the French say, ‘…of any crime that does not require courage.” The only thing that even remotely resembles audacity (or consistency) in this administration is the desperate extremity in Bush’s efforts to cover his ass, to keep his crimes secret, cloaked in lies and claims of executive privilege. But the desperate measure, when imagined the only option, is not audacious.

Schell recognizes that Bush has been bad for America and the world. But certain that W had good intentions that somehow came to ruin on hard facts and flawed assumptions. He says:

Bush has been taken to task for the stubborn willfulness of his
leadership as well as for the ambition of his doctrine, but those qualities are
to his credit.

In fact there are no evident qualities to Bush’s credit, probably because is a man without qualities. To George Bush “leadership” is literally a mantra, that is, a sound without meaning, useful for thought-stopping. He knows he has no other talents, and so he desperately believes in an altogether empty, but somehow still-redeeming “leadership” which God has granted him gratis. But real leadership brings out the better angels in those led; by its example leadership inspires phenomena like sacrifice, bravery, unity. George Bush has never sacrificed anything, or asked anybody to; indeed he doesn’t grasp the concept of sacrifice. Moreover, his rule has been accomplished through divisiveness and fear-mongering. So, what claim has he to leadership?

Schell says at one point:

The magnitude of this administration’s mistakes, you might say, gives us the
measure of the problem.

But it seems much more probable that the magnitude of Bush’s mistakes (not to say crimes) gives us instead a measure of his absolute unfitness for office.

I wondered, toward the end of this awful piece, what can Schell be fluffing the President for? Can he be angling for a job at National Review? No, I found out finally; he’s trying to save us from thermonuclear selves. The answer to the problem – simple, bold, clear, and to be pursued with tenacity – is “nuclear abolition.” As to how we are to accomplish the global goal, Schell himself has nothing to offer, except that we must definitely borrow some of Bush’s flight-suited stubbornness, audacity and ambition. Also we are to heed the advice of Iran-Contra conspirator George Schultz and war-criminal Henry Kissinger, as recorded “in an article in the Wall Street Journal” – no cite given. Presumably they have a plan for outlawing the Bomb, one that the Israelis, the Pakistanis, the Indians and the North Koreans will gladly enact. As soon as that is done we have only to outlaw Global Warming, aging, cancer and tooth decay, and everything will be peachy. Having finished this craptacular essay, I wonder now: what on Earth has Jonathan Schell been smoking?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

In Praise of the Four-Letter Formulation

I absolutely hate it when otherwise-sensible people say blatantly, stupidly false things out of an excess of forebearance or civility. Even Molly Ivins used to say "Bush isn't stupid," which is only true if you really redefine stupid, translating it into legalese or epistemology. In common language parlance though, the man is stupid. Incredibly stupid perhaps.

More recently we have people bending over backwards not to see Jonah Goldberg's really stupid thesis, Liberal Fascism, as an extended instance of hyper-defensive projection -- the I'm-Rubber-You're-Glue Defense. (The things the conscience will spawn when a dutiful Jewish momma's-boy joins up with the jackboots....) Even Ezra Klein now wants to concede to Jonah that "The contemporary right is not fascist." More sensible folks can only gape, and mutter "What the fuck...?"

As I have said many times, and in many ways before, the contemporary right is almost nothing but a fascist movement, the Cult of Mars and Macho, oh and a kleptocracy in the bargain. We haven't started gassing people at home yet, but we're racking up a pretty impressive body count across the various ponds. The main difference, this time (outrageously and depressingly enough) is how many Jews are determined to be on the right side of the wire. At least they have an excuse.

I'm well aware that you can't say these things in polite society. You also can't say "Bush lies," or "Blackwater steals" or "Iraq is a boondoggle and an atrocity" without being considered unchic these days, a vulagrian. You will sooner hear Barack say motherfucker on the stump than hear any blunt truths fall from him lips. What does it bode for a people when the truth is made obscene?

Friday, January 11, 2008

The GuantanamO Party

I hear it's "Close Gimto" Day and we're all supposed to wear orange. Only I don't own anything orange to wear because I wouldn't wear it if I did. Orange is not a color we 'Winters' are flattered by. (This made prison all the more tragic for me.) Also men shouldn't wear orange unless repairing the highway or hunting, and that's all the more reason not to hunt.

But I'm not for closing Gitmo, I'm for expanding it to hold everyone involved in the Bush's administration's countless crimes, or at least those involved in torture, and extra-legal incarceration. It would be difficult for them, at least, to make the case that Gitmo was cruel, unusual, or other than perfectly-fitting punishment.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Nightmare Continues in Bizarroworld

Hillary squeaks out a win in New Hampshire after being counted out by so many newsreaders. It betokens a rent in the time/space continuum sufficient to cause this headline in Glenn Greenwald's column: Chris Matthews is right. Of course Greenwald means it snarkily, Matthews is right when he says his ilk should "just stay home" and in essence shut the fuck up and quit fouling the nation (planet, universe) with their inanities. Matthews was apparently sniffing, incensed at Tom Brokaw's notion that maybe the newsreaders shouldn't be trying to prescribe reality at the polls, and maybe like, wait for actual results.

I turned Matthews off last night after about 5 seconds when he uttered a bizarre bit of revisionist history, 'Bill Clinton lost in New Hampshire, but declared himself the Comeback Kid and a compliant press made that the story so he went on to win.' Get that: a complaint press, in Matthew's view, made Bill Clinton. Somehow Chris doesn't see his own frequent licking of Bush's ass as "compliant," and so he's able to slag others for this failing.

Now as to Hillary herself, who knows why she won? Maybe, as some are saying, the independents broke for their second choice, McCain, figuring Obama had it in the bag -- since the newsreaders had been saying that for seeming eons. That seems...plausible, anyway. But independent of that, here's my amateur prognostication: Hillary is going to do for the country what Janet Reno did for Florida. She is so banal, and yet so hated. She certainly doesn't inspire or uplift. Should she get the nomination nobody will be going to the polls for her with a spring in his (or her) step. But many, many will go in a brown funk of Hillary Hatred (because she's a "librul feminazi," and worst, a Clinton) and so, she'll put a lot more Republicans in the booth -- with vile consequences for every other sort of race on the ticket. Hillary might yet snatch the Permanent Republican Majority back from the downward flush-spiral it seems to be in. And why? Because she's entitled to the job, in her mind. Period.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Kristoltag: Expanding the Axis of Drivel

Today Little Willie Kristol debuted at The Times, and promptly stepped in it, misattributing a key quote to racist shithead Michelle Malkin, when it was really some other brownshirt. Other than that, his first column...basically stank the place up. It held at least one egregious cliche per paragraph "a nation turns its grateful eyes to you...inquiring minds want to know..." and contains a blatantly counterfeit vignette complete with gee-willikers dialect:

I was watching the debate at the home of a savvy, moderately conservative New Hampshire Republican. It was at this moment that he turned to me and said: “You know, I’ve been a huge skeptic about Huckabee. I’m still not voting for him Tuesday. But I’ve got to say — I like him. And I wonder — could he be our strongest nominee?”
Tom Tomorrow does the best commentary on this in Salon, a cartoon of a buffoon.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Repudiate the Right-Wing Conspiracy

A thing to be considered in light of George McGovern's over-restrained but otherwise excellent Op-ed in the Washington Post (!) calling for impeachment: when crimininals offend with impunity their practices are promoted, multiplied and emboldened. This is why the Bushites must be held accountable. The public must be fully acquainted with their crimes, and there should be as many vigorous prosecutions as possible, so as to get at the truth, deter such future offenses, and to ensure that the perpetrators are removed from power.

Innumerable people around the blogosphere still think Mussolini said: "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power."

This attribution is apparently apocryphal, but it's one of those mythic fictions that captures a deeper, timeless formal or psychological truth, like Oedipus or Naricissus or Genesis. It certainly reflects the chemistry, the Quaalude/Southern Comfort synergy of the Bushite/Corporate hybrid. It's instructive to remember the yuppie riot that closed down the Miami-Dade County recount in 2000. Here, provides a little program for the players. Where are these alleged "concerned Floridians" now, we might wonder? Safely ensconced in fat corporate sinecures, you can be sure. Even if the Democrats win in November, these assholes and tens of thousands just like them, will work diligently, unscrupulously, psychopathically to ensure that the Keloptocracy can once again be returned to ablsoute power and impunity.

Here's where they were in 2004, before the rats started deserting the GOP's ship.

1. Tom Pyle, policy analyst, office of House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.).
2. Garry Malphrus, majority chief counsel and staff director, House Judiciary subcommittee on criminal justice.
3. Rory Cooper, political division staff member at the National Republican Congressional Committee.
4. Kevin Smith, former House Republican conference analyst and more recently of
5. Steven Brophy, former aide to Sen. Fred D. Thompson (R-Tenn.), now working at the consulting firm KPMG.
6. Matt Schlapp, former chief of staff for Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.), now on the Bush campaign staff in Austin.
7. Roger Morse, aide to Rep. Van Hilleary (R-Tenn.).
8. Duane Gibson, aide to Chairman Don Young (R-Alaska) of the House Resources Committee.
9. Chuck Royal, legislative assistant to Rep. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.).
10. Layna McConkey, former legislative assistant to former Rep. Jim Ross Lightfoot (R-Iowa) now at Steelman Health Strategies.

Friday, January 04, 2008

THE Math

Sweet! Here, via Group News Blog are the numbers that really count:

Total Voter Turnout (approximate)


Percentage of total vote

24.5% Obama

20.5% Edwards

19.8% Clinton

11.4% Huckabee (R)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Liberal Fascism

Jonah ("Jowls" or, My Family Needs Me So I Can't
Fight in the War I Tirelessly Cheerlead For) Goldberg

In my other less secret, less spandex-clad life I sometimes review books and movies and I had thought about reviewing Jonah "Chickenhawk" Goldberg's just released work, Liberal Fascism, but that would require me to actually read it, or some of it anyway. My feelings about that prospect are aptly caught in the phrasing of the Right's leading thinker, "So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"

Much of course has already been written about it, and its author, and I get the general gist: big, all-powerful government is a "liberal" thing, and also well-regarded by the Nazis, Stalinists, and actual self-described Fascists. Liberals are "leftists" rather like Stalinists, therefore liberals are Fascists. Once again, QED. The Dittoheads applaud in stupefaction!

Of course Liberal Fascism is another Orwellian shift, a thing like "War is peace," "Clear Skies Inititiative" or "Arbeit macht Frei," where thesis and antithesis become one propanganda dyad, both meaningless and useful for bamboozlement. Goldberg's minister of propaganda is apparently a Friend of Alice: 'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone,' it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.'

Of course, if you really want to learn something about fascism, you might read Umberto Eco's distillation of its essence. Granted, Umberto Eco is not quite the writer, thinker or man's-man that Goldbgerg is, but he did know a fair number of actual proudly self-described Fascists, so perhaps experience has taught him a thing about them. Funny thing, they sound an awful like today's Republicans on the stump in Iowa, carrying a cross and wrapped int he flag -- as they say. For instance: "Ur-Fascism grows up and seeks consensus by exploiting and exacerbating the natural fear of difference. The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition."

For a real look at the face of fascsim today one might also read Chris Hedges' American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America, a book written in fluent English, not Newspeak. Some may remember Hedges as the longtime war correspondent also author of War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning who was bullied off the Rockford College stage for criticizing the Iraq boondoggle/atrocity. Nothing fascistic about those pro-war Rockford kids, no sir.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Wanker of the Year, Early Frontrunner

It's early yet, but as of yesterday morning we already had a candidate for Wanker of the Year, and, not surprising, it was the Washington Post editorial section who gave him the soap-box. Martin Bunzl, "a philosophy professor, directs the Initiative on Climate Change, Social Policy and Politics at Rutgers University's Eagleton Institute of Politics." This gig notwithstanding he proudly confesses to having purchased an extra-dirty, two-stroke hedge-trimmer, because it was cheaper than the four-stroke, and also to covetting a Hummer. Neither of these is exactly a crime against humanity, but they do show the professor to be the kind of cheap, lazy, unprincipled adolescent who thinks manliness is a matter of a having a big toy, and who likes to talk the talk and that's about it. Somewhat conterfactually (as he himself might put it) he claims that taxing items and practices the government wishes to suppress is a poor way of discouraging them. There are studies which strongly suggest otherwise.
But worst, he says:

"I say: Better not to tempt me in the first place. Take the Hummers away. Don't clutter my world with things I should not have. Don't dangle them in front of me, creating desire, only to then try to have me renounce them. Just ban the damn two-cycle hedge trimmer and let me be done with the matter."

A fine notion the professor shows here of human liberty. When people are allowed to want things, we ought not encourage, demand or even or allow that they resist that siren call of temptation. No, the government ought to prohibit the noxious nexes of desire. Because that works so well. Much better than leading by example, for instance.


GOP MO: Have mouthpiece lead lynching while confederates rob bank then ride out of town. QED

Repeat as necessary.