Victor Davis Hanson , who claims to be a classicist and military historian, has unloaded some of his deepest thoughts for the readers of the National Review. You may prefer to go directly to some destructivecriticism:
Devil's Book of Quotations: filtxr foolzing wisdoms
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Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. Science is the record of dead religions. Politics, n. Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. Wisdom is harder to DO than it is to know. The world must be made safe for democracy.
I'm sick of "Saint" Patrick Fitzgerald and his "grand juries" and "indictments"! Let's just grab Bush and Rumsfeld and Cheney and Libby and Rove and Alberto Gonzalez and a few hundred more like them and transport them off to juridical limbo and badger them night and day and whale the crap out of them for a few months and then lock them up and throw away the key. After all, we know they're guilty, right?
This formally charging people with crimes is an outmoded luxury of an innocent age and only leads to lawyers and judges and all sorts of impediments to real justice. In other words, let's give the George W. "W" Bush administration the same treatment they gave to American citizen Jose Padilla, the "dirty-bomb terrorist" who is so dangerous an "enemy combatant" that he couldn't possibly be exposed to a vigorous defense by a lawyer in a fair and timely trial under specific charges before a jury of his fellow citizens and an impartial judge.
Padilla has asked the Supreme Court for the ordinary rights of the mugger, rapist, and crooked politician. So far, he has been denied them. And that is a crime. This administration has looted our liberties with the same ardor they applied to looting the treasury.
Here's an idea:
Save millions on military housing costs by quartering soldiers in houses without the consent of the owners. That will rape the still-virgin Third Amendment.
Go read the Bill of Rights and dispassionately contemplate the last five years. No honest citizen can fail to conclude that this is a criminal administration, violating not just the ordinary laws like honest elections and protection for spies, say, but violating the very deepest and most serious laws that we have, the laws that make us free, Amendments I, IV, V, VI, VII, and VIII.
There's so much more at stake here than elections and foreign policy. These criminal buffoons have put history and destiny up for grabs.
But it sure is creepy. I think a cat along these lines might pretty much work, but not our evolutionary buddy.
Backstage at the circus, if you say "Lion coming through!" they'll stand a bit aside. If you say "Elephant coming through!" make some room. But if you say "Chimpanzee coming through!", the blase' circus folk will trample an elephant or lion to get out of the way.
If we share 98 per cent of our DNA with chimpanzees, then 2 per cent of our DNA is a heck of a lot, don't you think? Especially since we share about 40 per cent of our DNA with asparagus. (Percentage derived by reliable invention.)
If I were firmer in my prejudices, I never would have come across this Mickey Kaus item and therefore would have missed hearing about an "old Hollywood rule" that I now take up as my own:
Miers in the Senate: Perhaps, as the Senate finds ways other than a vote or a filibuster to signal that it really doesn't want to confirm someone--e.g., leaking negative reviews, sending back questionnaires, asking for more documents, etc.--the old Hollywood rule applies:
President George W. "W" Bush did promise to put the grownups in charge
Norm Ornstein rocketed to fame as a quote machine/master soundbiter, but what he really wanted was a web log. Herewith, as of today's posting, Ornstein's greatest hit:
Americans all have to consider the implications now of a worst case scenario -- the problems of scandal and polarization result in a meltdown of the W. Administration and a collapse of governance in Washington. No Doubt some hard core partisans and ideologues would exult. But with the domestic and foreign policy challenges the country faces, it would be a disaster for all of us.
We are in the same boat, and if it is rudderless, we all sink. So how can we deal with the consequences if that worst case scenario occurs? Here is one simple three step roadmap:
1. Vice President Cheney resigns -- and President Bush replaces him not with Condoleeza Rice, as the rumors in Washington speculate, but with his father, George H.W. Bush.
2. President Bush resigns, allowing his father to move up to the presidency.
3. Bush 41/44 chooses his best buddy and surrogate son Bill Clinton (42, that is) to be Vice President. Talk about a fusion White House. Talk about bringing us together. Talk about compassionate triangulation.
On the Stymie issue discussed immediately below, Juan Colepicks up a brassbound figure of philosopher Gottlob Frege and uses it to batter the absurd contention that "Joe Wilson's wife" is not equal to "Valerie Plame":
The problem with the strategy is that the philosopher Gottlob Frege had already in 1891 demonstrated that even though there might be a difference between the sense or connotation of two phrases, their referent could be the same. His famous example is "the morning star" and "the evening star." Both of these phrases have the same referent, which is the planet Venus.
Oh Tay! Stymie takes out Buckwheat and Farina makes his move
I once asked Brother Dave for a glass of water. I was 15 and he was 7. Why I thought he would actually bring me a glass of water was not recorded, but he trotted up with a full glass. I sipped. Hot water. "You didn't say you wanted cold water." I told him I wanted cold water and he went back. I sipped. "You didn't say not to spit in it." And so on. Every family has such scenes.
The defense of Karl Rove and Lewis Libby was drawn from the same well. "We didn't say 'Valerie Plame', we said 'Joe Wilson's wife', so that means we didn't identify her."
If that doesn't work, perhaps they'll reveal crossed fingers or a sotto voce King's X uttered just before the fatal revelation.
When they call you Scooter and Turd Blossom you end up thinking like a schoolboys with Our Gang nicknames:
The Gang decide no one loves them at home, so they build a raft and sail away to become pirates.
A certain stop-reading-now warning, the phrase "speak truth to power". It once rang with truth and power, but it has become a cliche, marking either inconsequentiality or B.S.
In a recent instance, we find quasi-furry Andrew Sullivan opining that two racists throwing plausible sounding pseudo-scientific dust in our eyes in The Bell Curve are speaking that truthistic thing to the powerfulistic when in fact it is quite the reverse.
Highly amusing too, is the fact that the phrase "speak truth to power" is most identified with the Black Moses, Sojourner Truth, who, as it turns out had some truth about equality worth speaking to Sullivan, as well as Richard Herrnstein, Charles Murray, the pseudo-scientists in question.
Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? [member of audience whispers, "intellect"] That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?
Robert BorkattacksHarriet Meirs, adding that the Supreme Court is "left-leaning and imperialistic" in the Wall Street Journal. The Court has seven Republicans, the imperialistic ones, we assume, and two Democrats, the token left-leaners.
Next, Mickey Mouse makes fun of Minnie's three-fingered white gloves in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories.
Republicans would have you believe that Bork was "borked" out of his Supreme Court nomination because he was a Republican, when actually it was because he was and is a malignant Constitutional idiot, as he reminds us here.
It is thoroughly fitting that a web log called "Vague Nihilism" should celebrate Harold Pinter's Nobel Prize.
The best example I can recall of Pinter's amazing technique of saying nothing and cloaking it in menace was the line cited by John Simon reviewing a Pinter film:
"They were Spanish horseflies. From Corsica."
The poem quoted by Mr. Nomen-est-omen is neither subtle nor menacing, just nasty and unreflective anti-Americanism. I'm thinking the anti-Americanism had as much to do with the award as the brilliant plays and films of 40 years ago.
Some network VP opined that using Tivo to fast forward past the commercials was theft. That's nothing.
With a two-channel satellite and Tivo (and the magic of many, many commercials) I can watch two one-hour TV shows in a little over an hour.
This apparent wisecrack is literally true. Just watch on one channel until the first commercial starts, pause it, go to the other channel and unpause (or rewind) it and watch until another commercial starts, pause again, and switch back to the first channel.
Everyone is agog (or is it ablog?) over the sight of a Defense Department warm-up comedian prepping the soldiers (half of them captains) who appeared in an allegedly "informal give-and-take between the President and the troops".
Well! (said in that big old Dick Orkin Chicken Man voice),
Who didn't know that that's the way they always do it?
I guess ordering everyone in the White House not to watch Fahrenheit 9-11 really didn't work out that well. The sight of Paul Wolfowitz licking his comb is not easy to forget. Or the President delivering a deeply earnest invocation of freedom or heroism or one of those other virtues he admires too much to actually practice and then switching to golf immediately, "Watch this drive!".
If everything had gone perfectly and no one had viewed the prep session, we would have been left with the sight of President Bush standing at an artfully canted podium talking to a screenful of white soldiers in an obviously staged event.
Ed's note: If Google's complexity has you baffled, you can find the video at Crooks and Liars, as usual.
President George W. "W" Bush, the son of a millionaire President and grandson of a millionaire senator, who deserted his post during the Vietnam war, made millions in invented jobs, and then lied us into a war which he personally visited for one hour so he could pose with a plastic turkey, socks it to Osama bin Laden, who is still on the loose, one thing that September 11 didn't change:
Bin Laden says his own role is to tell Muslims, quote, "what is good for them and what is not." And what this man who grew up in wealth and privilege considers good for poor Muslims is that they become killers and suicide bombers. He assures them that his -- that this is the road to paradise -- though he never offers to go along for the ride.
I ain't gonna give nobody none of my jelly roll I wouldn't give you a piece of cake not to save your soul My momma told me today before she went away If I be a good little girl she'd put my hair in curls Ain't no use for you to keep hangin round I know you want it I've got to turn you down My jelly roll is sweet and it can't be beat I know you want it you can't have it I ain't gonna give you none
The Spiders with Chuck Carbo:
Fine little mama came a knocking knocking on my front door Hip shaking mamma wanted rockin, rockin and reelin slow
But I didn't wanna do it oh no I didn't wanna do it I didn't wanna do it but she moved me so
Called me her lovin daddy held me oh so tight Squeezed and teased and thrilled me all through the night
But I didn't wanna do it no no I didn't wanna do it I tried not to do it but she sends me so
Daddy wanna roll daddy wanna rock Rockin and a'rollin all around the clock
I didn't wanna do it tried not to do it But she was a'worth it soon I had to get it I didn't wanna do it but she wigs me so
When the dawn was breakin I told her she had to go Baby looked up and told me, Daddy wanna rock some more
But I didn't wanna do it no no I tried not to do it I didn't wanna do it but she thrills me so My baby, my baby thrills me so. Woah woah.
Angry President Viciously Excoriates Racist Rightwinger
An outraged President George W. "W" Bush deployed his most deep cutting and scathing billingsgate against professional tut-tutter William "beat me, baby" Bennett after Bennett inadvertantly called for killing all black children so as to reduce the crime rate:
“The president believes the comments were not appropriate,” White House press secretary Scott McClellan said.
Bennett, reeling with remorse, called for a cigarette, a drink, a bucketful of slot tokens and a great big knife so he could commit seppuku in peace and style.
Ed's note: Second link is to one of the first items ever published in this web log.
Ed's Second Note: As far as I can tell, Bennett was actually guilty of no more than the stupid mistake of using reductio ad absurdum on right-wing talk radio, but who cares? It's the stupidity, stupid!