Saturday, March 20, 2010

Stab From The Past

Twenty yrs. ago, the party clique w/ which we used to party
got organized (Well, you've got to admit we were somewhat organized before. How many party cliques print their own stickers?) & participated in something. (At 4:45.)If you care, our editor is in the blue ball cap, orange T-shirt, denim vest & camera bag in the shot after the Dino placard. If you really care, former girlfriend carrying right side of banner, just before our appearance.

More Noonan Hypocrisy

Stolen whole from No More Mr. Nice Blog of yesterday, in reference to our Noonan item of yesterday.
Peggy Noonan today:

Excuse me, but it is embarrassing -- really, embarrassing to our country -- that the president of the United States has again put off a state visit to Australia and Indonesia because he's having trouble passing a piece of domestic legislation he's been promising for a year will be passed next week. What an air of chaos this signals to the world.


New York Times, October 4, 1983:

The White House today announced the indefinite postponement of President Reagan's planned visits next month to the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand, citing the need for Mr. Reagan to be in Washington to deal with Congress on the budget and other issues.
Embarrassed? Ms. Noonan is obviously incapable of further embarrassment, but she's the one who should be "embarrassed" here.

Also: Satellite Tee Vee Interference

THe Vernal Equinox will occur Saturday, 20 March 2010 @ 1332 EST. (OK, we're getting suspicious already.)

The Vernal Equinox (equinox meaning "equal night") officially marks the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere and fall in the southern hemisphere.

20 March

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Where Are My Stories?

The 51st State

It must be indicative of something (But what?) when the County Sheriff has to "shout" before Congress:
"the security of Israel has always been at the forefront of my thinking. And for you to associate me somehow through some circuitous attack on CAIR, is not only inappropriate, it is un-American."
We'd just as soon the sheriff keep the security of residents of Los Angeles County at the forefront of his chromedome, & let the Mossad handle Israel. We s'pose his being seen as "soft on Israeli security" would not be conducive to reëlection, but it seems odd that an issue like that would be considered important to a local law enforcement election. What is the dog-catcher's stand on North Korea?

Big Bore

May have to do some trimming of the bog-roll, as a substantial number of those we've considered worthy actually seem to give a shit about some guy named Alex Chitlin who died recently.

C'mon, you fucking sheep. How many obituaries does one schmuck who couldn't hold out until 60 need?

Rolling To Victory

Place an order.

18 March

Today is Thursday, March 18, the 77th day of 2010. There are 288 days left in the year. The UPI Almanac.Today's Highlight in History:
On March 18, 1910, the first filmed adaptation of Mary Shelley's novel "Frankenstein," produced by Thomas Edison's New York movie studio, was released, with Charles Ogle as the Monster.
On this date:
In 1766, Britain repealed the Stamp Act of 1765.
In 1837, the 22nd and 24th president of the United States, Grover Cleveland, was born in Caldwell, N.J.
In 1909, Einar Dessau of Denmark used a shortwave transmitter to converse with a government radio post about six miles away in what's believed to have been the first broadcast by a "ham" operator.
In 1922, Mohandas K. Gandhi was sentenced in India to six years' imprisonment for civil disobedience. (He was released after serving two years.)
AP: In 1925, a tornado with a base nearly a mile wide tore a destructive path 219 miles from southeastern Missouri across Illinois and into southwestern Indiana. With 695 killed, it is the deadliest tornado in U.S. history.
UPI: In 1926, the worst tornado in U.S. history roared through eastern Missouri, southern Illinois and southern Indiana, killing 695 people, injuring 13,000 others and causing $17 million in property damage.
In 1931, Schick Inc. marketed the first electric razor.
In 1937, some 300 people, mostly children, were killed in a gas explosion at a school in New London, Texas.
In 1938, Mexican President Lazaro Cardenas nationalized his country's petroleum reserves and took control of foreign-owned oil facilities.
In 1940, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini met at the Brenner Pass, where the Italian dictator agreed to join Germany's war against France and Britain.
In 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Hawaii statehood bill. (Hawaii became a state on Aug. 21, 1959.)
In 1962, France and Algerian rebels signed a cease-fire agreement, which took effect the next day.
In 1965, the first spacewalk took place as Soviet cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov went outside his Voskhod 2 capsule, secured by a tether.
In 1968, the U.S. Congress removed gold reserve requirement for U.S. currency.
In 1970, US postal workers began an unprecedented two-week strike.
In 1974, most of the Arab oil-producing nations ended their embargo against the United States.
In 1992, hotel queen and convicted tax cheat Leona Helmsley was sentenced to four years in prison.
In 1993, Contra rebels freed five hostages they held at the Nicaraguan Embassy in Costa Rica after the two sides agreed to begin talks to end the 10-day siege.
In 1995, Michael Jordan announced he was returning to professional basketball and the Chicago Bulls after a 17-month break, during which he had tried a baseball career.
In 1997, Zaire's parliament fired Premier Leon Kengo wa Dondo and opened negotiations with rebel leader Laurent Kabila.
In 1999, the Kosovar Albanian delegation signed a U.S.-sponsored peace accord following talks in Paris; the Clinton administration warned NATO would act against Serb targets if Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic rejected the agreement.
In 2000, Taiwan ended more than a-half century of Nationalist Party rule, electing an opposition leader (Chen Shui-bian) whose party favored Taiwan's formal independence from the rest of China.
In 2002, a 13-year-old girl died two days after being hit in the head by a hockey puck during an NHL game in Columbus, Ohio.
In 2003, on the eve of war with Iraq, the U.S. State Department listed 30 countries as members of a "coalition of the willing" supporting military intervention but only the United States, Britain and Australia were known to be providing troops.
In 2004, a top U.S. scientist told lawmakers that all bovines slated for consumption should be tested for mad cow disease which he called "the greatest threat to the safety of the human food supply in modern times." Addressing thousands of soldiers at Fort Campbell, Ky., President George W. Bush warned that terrorists could never be appeased and said there was no safety for any nation that "lives at the mercy of gangsters and mass murderers."
In 2005, doctors in Florida, acting on orders of a state judge, removed Terri Schiavo's feeding tube. (Despite the efforts of congressional Republicans to intervene and repeated court appeals by Schiavo's parents, the brain-damaged woman died on March 31, 2005, at age 41.) Former Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland was sentenced to a year in prison and four months under house arrest for selling his office in a corruption scandal (he served 10 months behind bars). Also in 2005, Ukraine admitted to exporting missiles, designed to carry nuclear warheads, to Iran and China.
In 2006, an estimated 500,000 people took to the streets in French cities and towns for a protest against a new labor law that allowed employers to dismiss workers under the age of 26 for any reason during the first two years on the job.
In 2007, Israel's Cabinet voted unanimously to boycott the new Hamas-dominated Palestinian unity government.
In 2008, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama confronted America's racial divide with a speech in Philadelphia. It was prompted by remarks made by Obama's pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. The just-inaugurated governor of New York, David Paterson, and his wife, Michelle, both acknowledged having had affairs during a time when their marriage was troubled. German Chancellor Angela Merkel earned a standing ovation from Israel's parliament with a speech that included a tribute to the victims of the Holocaust.
In 2009, under intense pressure from the Obama administration and Congress, the head of bailed-out insurance giant AIG, Edward Liddy, told Congress that some of the firm's executives had begun returning all or part of bonuses totaling $165 million. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced the U.S. Army would phase out its "stop-loss" policy under which thousands of American soldiers whose military obligations were ending were forced to stay in uniform if their units were about to ship out to Iraq or Afghanistan. Also in 2009, New Mexico banned the death penalty, replacing it with life imprisonment with no chance for parole.
Today's Birthdays: Composer John Kander ("Chicago") is 83. Nobel peace laureate and former South African president F.W. de Klerk is 74. Country singer Charley Pride is 72. Actor Kevin Dobson is 67. Actor Brad Dourif is 60. Jazz musician Bill Frisell is 59. Singer Irene Cara is 51. Movie writer-director Luc Besson is 51. Actor Thomas Ian Griffith is 48. Singer-songwriter James McMurtry is 48. Singer-actress Vanessa L. Williams is 47. Olympic gold medal speedskater Bonnie Blair is 46. Country musician Scott Saunders (Sons of the Desert) is 46. Rock musician Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains) is 44. Rock singer-musician Miki Berenyi is 43. Rapper-actress-talk show host Queen Latifah is 40. Actor-comedian Dane Cook is 38. Rock musician Stuart Zender is 36. Singer Devin Lima (LFO) is 33. Rock singer Adam Levine (Maroon 5) is 31.
Also Born On This Date: John C. Calhoun, the first U.S. vice president to resign that office (1782); Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844); German engineer Rudolf Diesel, inventor of the engine that bears his name (1858); British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain (1869); clairvoyant and therapist Edgar Cayce (1877); actors Edward Everett Horton (1886) & Robert Donat (1905); wine maker Ernest Gallo (1909); actor Peter Graves (1926); authors George Plimpton (1927) & John Updike (1932); & singer/songwriter Wilson Pickett (1941).
March 18 In Entertainment History
In 1965, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones were arrested for urinating on the wall of a gas station. The owner wouldn't let them use the restroom.
In 1970, Country Joe McDonald of Country Joe and the Fish was fined $500 for leading a Massachusetts audience in the so-called "Fish Cheer."
In 1978, Ontario, Calif., hosted the California Jam Two concert, which included performances by Aerosmith, Heart, Ted Nugent, Dave Mason and Santana.
In 1982, singer Teddy Pendergrass was paralyzed from the waist down in a car crash in Philadelphia. Also in 1982, XTC singer Andy Partridge walked off stage during a concert in Paris after only 30 seconds. He had long suffered from stage fright. The group only played one more show ever, in San Diego.
In 1993, comedian Eddie Murphy and Nicole Mitchell got married in New York. They divorced in 2006. Also in 1993, a report by a team of child abuse experts in Connecticut cleared Woody Allen of charges he molested his 7-year-old adopted daughter. Allen's former girlfriend, Mia Farrow, had accused him of molesting the child.
In 1994, the Rolling Stones announced Darryl Jones as the replacement for Bill Wyman on bass. Wyman had said he would no longer tour with the group. Also in 1994, police confiscated ammunition and four guns from singer Kurt Cobain of Nirvana. His wife, Courtney Love, had called authorities because she was afraid Cobain was contemplating suicide.
In 1996, the Sex Pistols announced they were reuniting for a 20th anniversary tour.
In 1997, Taylor Hawkins replaced William Goldsmith as drummer for the Foo Fighters. Goldsmith left over creative differences.
In 2001, singer John Philips of The Mamas and The Papas died of heart failure at a hospital in Los Angeles. He was 65.
In 2004, overruling its staff, the Federal Communications Commission declared that an expletive (the "F-word") uttered by U2 frontman Bono on NBC the previous year was both indecent and profane.
In 2008, Oscar-winning filmmaker Anthony Minghella ("The English Patient") died in London at age 54.
In 2009, Tony-winning Actress Natasha Richardson, 45, died at a New York hospital two days after suffering a head injury while skiing in Canada.
Thought for Today: "I take a simple view of living. It is keep your eyes open and get on with it." — Laurence Olivier, British actor (1907-1989).

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Accountability For Financial High-Jinks Now!

North Korea Executes Official for Currency Reform, Yonhap Says
By Kyung Bok Cho

March 18 (Bloomberg) -- North Korea executed the former head of finance of its Workers’ Party after last year’s currency revaluation triggered unrest in the communist nation, Yonhap News reported, citing people it didn’t identify.

Pak Nam Gi was executed last week in Pyongyang on charges of intentionally harming the country’s economy, the South Korean news agency said today.

South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo reported last month that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il fired Pak after the currency revaluation stoked inflation and caused shortages of goods.
We're not saying Dear Leader is right, but we wouldn't say he's totally wrong.

Eye Of The Beholder

At least we won't be electing Hollywood types w/ good hair this yr.
Sacramento bloggers and influence peddlers are buzzing like mad today over the new Field Poll (here's the San Diego Trib version) showing that Meg Whitman's massive $40 million radio and cable ad campaign for California governor 2010 has edged her three points past Democratic Attorney General Jerry Brown.

The bigger news: the weird-looking Whitman, who sometimes has the visage of a wild-haired Amityville Horror victim, used to be a hottie.

Free Speech Traditions Threatened!

A state appeals court ruled this week that online threats, specifically in comments posted on the web, do not constitute protected free speech. The 2nd District Court of Appeals downtown ruled that a 15-year-old's case against a schoolmate who posted on the plaintiff's site that he would "rip out your ... heart and feed it to you" and "pound your head in with an ice pick" can go forward.
We certainly hope that meaningless threats against public figures won't get us in any trouble. If not, we might tear off some judgmental bastard's face & pound on it or something.
One 16-year-old defendant taken to court by the plaintiff claimed that the suit infringed upon his freedom of speech. But the state court, with one judge dissenting, disagreed. A lawyer for the 16-year-old argued that no one would interpret the postings as serious threats.
It wouldn't be at all fair to judge us by the standards applied to 16-yr.-olds.
After the unidentified Los Angeles-area high school teen set up a site to promote a prospective pop music career, peers weighed in with anti-gay sentiments (though the teen says he's not gay), according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

WaPo Haters Note

All in the family.
I'll grant you that this list looks less like America than like Washington the federal city (or Sally Quinn's idea of a proper Georgetown dinner party). The problem with the Post op-ed page, however, is not the over-representation of Washington officials and bigwigs. It is the stranglehold that the at least two dozen (!!!!) regular contributors have gained over it.
In a what? Note: The Nuge only grunts one verse on this, so it is not intolerable. Shut up & play your guitar, one might say. Or one might shout: "Freedom!!"

Looniest T.Partier Quoted At Length

By David Weigel.
Kathy Ropte — like Jackson, a member of the Harris County, Ga. Tea Party, had started to move beyond lobbying. As cameras snapped away, she stood in front of the Cannon Building and announced the termination, “to take effect in November,” of pro-health care reform members. One activist chided her for the display, which included a massive sign reading “Waterboard Congress.” Jackson didn’t care. She was in the fight, whether or not health care reform passed.

“One day* I turned off American Idol,” Ropte told TWI, “and I turned on Fox News. Before this year I’d never voted in my life.”

Of the activists who spoke to TWI, none were ready to give up on opposing health care reform if the bill passed. Some, however, were looking to other potential fights. Jane, a Montgomery County, Md. activist who declined to give her last name (”my kids don’t want to see it show up in the paper!”) suggested that a health care win would free up President Obama to give amnesty to undocumented immigrants, possibly by an executive order. Susan Clark, whose sign compared the health care bill to the notorious Tuskegee Experiment, suggested that passage would bring Democrats a step closer to enforcing a new “slavery” over Americans. But most activists who pondered the aftermath of health care reform’s passage said they would fight on, looking for ways to roll it back. Susan Birch, a Chester County, Penn. activist, sported a button for insurgent Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Sam Rohrer because he was pledging to make the governor’s office “the front line” against government expansion.

“Whatever Congress does,” said Birch, “you’re going to see the 10th Amendment invoked to stop it.”

The thought of a post-vote backlash — electoral and legal — was the cheeriest thought of the day.

“I’ve got a standing bet with [Rep.] Jason Altmire [D-Pa.],” said Henry Hill, a retired police officer and member of the Pittsburgh Tea Party. “A case of Yuengling says that the mandate will not go through the Supreme Court.”
*Not too long after it sank in that there was "a black in the White House," it is assumed.

Middle Class Sheep
Nation Of Rubes

Daniel Larison confirms our low opinion.
As I have been trying to make clear with the examples offered here, public opinion is changeable and malleable. Public opinion is pushed in one direction or another far more often that it does any pushing of its own. This is probably more true of foreign policy topics, where most of the public is less informed, less interested and less attentive. So it falls to the activists and interest groups to influence policy and shape public opinion in the hopes of creating a political consensus in Washington in favor of their preferred policies. Despite the near-certainty that they are wildly unrepresentative of majority opinion on their main issues, the activists and interest groups will then pretend that they speak for the majority of the public.
They'd rather watch "Oprah" than the "Nightly News."

We're Certain This Has Been Edited To Present The Honorable Idiot From The Great State Of Oklahoma In The Worst Light Possible

Sometimes it's useful to remember exactly who & what the enemy is.

Rock, Rock, Rock & Roll!

Older folks (sittin' 'round the cracker barrel, whittlin', down at the feed store) probably will enjoy these candids of the musical & cultural icons of that long ago golden age between pre-pubescence & employment.
Courtesy PowerPop.

Shrinking The Sun & Moon W/ The LHC

Presumably a Moon-imploding microhole slip-up by careless boffins at the LHC quite literally wouldn’t be the end of the world. The tides and so forth would carry on as normal, as the resulting pea-sized black hole in orbit around Earth, while unsatisfactory in terms of romantic moonlight trysts and so on, would have close to the original lunar mass. Having the Sun go out would be pretty serious, of course. Even so, it still seems unlikely that the prof is right and the LHC is actually a planet-busting blackhole implosion cannon.

...if his theories are correct the entire universe should be full of long-lived micro black holes spraying away from cosmic-ray collisions at different velocities. It would seem odd that none have yet managed to get captured by something we can see and implode it. We’d certainly know of any Moon- or planetary-mass black holes in our own solar system.
We suspect a gov't. cover-up.
So we’ll just have to give up on the prof’s colourful predictions, and settle instead for the far more authoritative theory, outlined by no less a boffin than Sergio Bertolucci of CERN itself, that the LHC will instead function as an interdimensional portal.
Great. The next dimension over will probably ship all their morons to this side, because we don't have enough all-fucking-ready.

Thought For Today

Up your Irish, Paddy!

17 March: Brits Split Beantown; TR Invents "Muckracking;" Dalai Lama Starts Record-Breaking World Tour

Today is Wednesday, March 17, the 76th day of 2010. There are 289 days left in the year. This is St. Patrick's Day.The funny, so we needn't. (As if we "need" anything besides oxygen. If that.)
Today's Highlight in History:
On March 17, A.D. 461 (or A.D. 493, depending on sources) St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, died in Saul.
On this date:
In 1776, British forces evacuated Boston during the Revolutionary War.
In 1777, Roger Taney, the fifth chief justice of the United States and author of the Supreme Court's infamous Dred Scott decision on slavery, was born in Calvert County, Md.
In 1845, British officials granted a patent to Stephen Perry for the rubber band.
In 1860, the Kanrin Maru became the first official Japanese ship to reach U.S. soil as it arrived in San Francisco. (The ship arrived 12 days ahead of the USS Powhatan, which was carrying a Japanese embassy delegation.)
In 1901, 71 paintings by the late Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh were shown at the Bernheim-Jeune gallery in Paris and caused a sensation across the art world.
In 1905, Franklin D. Roosevelt married his distant cousin, Eleanor Roosevelt, in New York City. The wedding was attended by President Theodore Roosevelt, FDR's fifth cousin, who gave his niece away.
In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt first likened crusading journalists to a man with "the muckrake in his hand" in a speech to the Gridiron Club in Washington.
In 1910, the Camp Fire Girls organization was formed. (It was formally presented to the public on this date two years later.) The U.S. National Museum, a precursor to the National Museum of Natural History, opened in Washington, D.C.
In 1941, the National Gallery of Art opened in Washington, D.C.
In 1942, Gen. Douglas MacArthur arrived in Australia to become supreme commander of Allied forces in the southwest Pacific theater.
In 1945, the bloody battle against Japanese forces for the Pacific island of Iwo Jima ended in victory for the United States.
In 1950, scientists at the University of California at Berkeley announced they had created a new radioactive element, which they named "californium."
In 1958, the U.S. Navy launched the Vanguard 1 satellite.
In 1959, the Dalai Lama fled Tibet for India in the wake of a failed uprising by Tibetans against Chinese rule.
In 1960, a Northwest Orient Lockheed L-188C Electra crashed near Cannelton, Ind., killing all 63 people on board.
In 1966, a U.S. midget submarine located a missing hydrogen bomb which had fallen from an American bomber into the Mediterranean off Spain.
In 1969, Golda Meir became prime minister of Israel.
In 1970, the United States cast its first veto in the U.N. Security Council. (The U.S. killed a resolution that would have condemned Britain for failure to use force to overthrow the white-ruled government of Rhodesia.)
In 1978, the tanker Amoco Cadiz ran aground on the coast of Brittany in France, eventually spilling 220,000 tons of crude oil.
In 1992, 29 people were killed in the truck bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
In 1999, a panel of medical experts concluded that marijuana had medical benefits for people suffering from cancer and AIDS. The International Olympic Committee expelled six of its members, but backed president Juan Antonio Samaranch, in the wake of a bribery scandal. Instant replay was voted back in the NFL for the 1999 season.
In 2000, in a decision that outraged many gun rights supporters, Smith & Wesson signed an unprecedented agreement with the Clinton administration to, among other things, include safety locks with all of its handguns to make them more childproof; in return, the agreement called for federal, state and city lawsuits against the gun maker to be dropped. The United States lifted a ban on imports of Iranian luxury goods. More than 500 members of a doomsday cult were burned to death in a makeshift church in southwestern Uganda.
In 2003, edging to the brink of war, President George W. Bush gave Saddam Hussein 48 hours to leave his country. Iraq rejected the ultimatum.
In 2004, a car bomb tore apart a five-story hotel catering to foreigners in the heart of Baghdad, killing seven people. Charles A. McCoy, Jr., suspected in a series of highway shootings in central Ohio, was arrested in Las Vegas. (McCoy later pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of Gail Knisley plus 10 other charges, and was sentenced to 27 years in prison.)
In 2005, baseball players told Congress that steroids were a problem in the sport; stars Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa testified they hadn't used them while Mark McGwire refused to say whether he had. (McGwire owned up to steroid use in January 2010.) Stephane Lambiel of Switzerland won the men's title at the World Figure Skating Championships in Moscow.
In 2006, a U.S. appeals court ruled that the Environmental Protection Administration cannot exempt older power plants and refineries from the Clean Air Act, voting unanimously against the Bush administration's interpretation of the law. Also in 2006, General Motors said its actual losses the year before were $10 billion, some $2 billion more than previously reported.
In 2007, the Palestinian legislature approved the Hamas-dominated unity government though leaders of the Hamas and Fatah factions remained divided on Israeli issues.
In 2008, a female suicide bomber struck Shiite Muslim worshippers in the holy city of Karbala, killing at least 49 people. David Paterson was sworn in as governor of New York; he succeeded Eliot Spitzer, who'd resigned because of a prostitution scandal. Also in 2008, three dozen bodies were found buried in a residential backyard in Juarez, Mexico, near the U.S. border, believed enemies of the Juarez drug cartel and second mass burial found in a week.
In 2009, U.S. journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee were detained by North Korea while reporting on North Korean refugees living across the border in China. (Both were convicted of entering North Korea illegally and were sentenced to 12 years of hard labor; both were freed in Aug. 2009 after former President Bill Clinton met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.) The Seattle Post-Intelligencer published its final print edition. Russia announced its armed forces would undergo a comprehensive modernization starting in 2011 to "respond to a changing world geopolitical situation."
Today's Birthdays: Jazz/New Age musician Paul Horn is 80. The former national chairwoman of the NAACP, Myrlie Evers-Williams, is 77. Rock musician Paul Kantner is 69. Singer-songwriter Jim Weatherly is 67. Singer-songwriter John Sebastian (The Lovin' Spoonful) is 66. Rock musician Harold Brown (War; Lowrider Band) is 64. Actor Patrick Duffy is 61. Actor Kurt Russell is 59. Country singer Susie Allanson is 58. Actress Lesley-Anne Down is 56. Country singer Paul Overstreet is 55. Actor Gary Sinise is 55. Former basketball and baseball player Danny Ainge is 51. Actress Vicki Lewis is 50. Actor Casey Siemaszko is 49. Writer-director Rob Sitch is 48. Actor Rob Lowe is 46. Rock singer Billy Corgan is 43. Rock musician Van Conner (Screaming Trees) is 43. Actor Mathew St. Patrick is 42. Actor Yanic Truesdale is 41. Rock musician Melissa Auf der Maur is 38. Soccer player Mia Hamm is 38. Rock musician Caroline Corr (The Corrs) is 37. Actress Marisa Coughlan is 36. Rapper Swifty (D12) is 35. Actress Natalie Zea is 35. Actress Brittany Daniel is 34.
Today's Birthdays, w/ Pictures: John Wayne Gacy
Also: German engineer Gottlieb Daimler, inventor of the gasoline-burning internal combustion engine (1834); children's author and illustrator Kate Greenaway (1846); composer Alfred Newman (1901); golf legend Bobby Jones (1902); football Hall of fame inductee Sammy Baugh (1914); singer/pianist Nat "King" Cole (1919); astronaut James Irwin (1930); ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev (1938); serial killer John Wayne Gacy (1942).
March 17 In Entertainment
1961, the live country program "Five Star Jubilee" premiered on NBC. It took its name from the five stars who rotated as hosts.
In 1962, the band Blues Incorporated played its first gig in London. At various times, the band included future Rolling Stones members Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts. Another member was Jack Bruce, who later became the bassist for Cream. Also in 1962, The Shirelles' single "Soldier Boy" was released.
In 1968, The Bee Gees made their US television debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show." The brothers sang "To Love Somebody" and "Words."
In 1980, fiddler Hugh Farr, an original member of the Sons of Pioneers, died in Casper, Wyoming.
In 1982, the leader of The Capitols, Samuel George, was stabbed to death in Detroit during an argument. The group is known for the hit "Cool Jerk."
In 1993, actress Helen Hayes died at age 92 in Nyack, N.Y., following a battle with heart problems. [Died in battle? What? — Ed.]
In 2008,Paul McCartney's divorce from Heather Mills was settled for $48.6 million.
In 2004, Courtney Love was arrested for allegedly throwing a microphone stand at a member of the audience at a show in New York. Earlier that day, she had appeared on David Letterman's show and flashed him six times. Former MTV personality John "J.J." Jackson died in Los Angeles at age 62.
In 2005, rapper Lil' Kim was convicted of lying to a grand jury about a shootout outside a New York radio station. (She was sentenced to 366 days in prison & served nearly 10 months.)
Thought for Today: "Television is a device that permits people who haven't anything to do to watch people who can't do anything." — Fred Allen, American comedian (1894-1956). [Spoken like a radio star. — Ed.]

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

From Bogus To Boguser

Hypocrisy is Another Parliamentary Procedure

Norm Ornstein: "Any veteran observer of Congress is used to the rampant hypocrisy over the use of parliamentary procedures that shifts totally from one side to the other as a majority moves to minority status, and vice versa. But I can't recall a level of feigned indignation nearly as great as what we are seeing now from congressional Republicans and their acolytes at the Wall Street Journal, and on blogs, talk radio, and cable news. It reached a ridiculous level of misinformation and disinformation over the use of reconciliation, and now threatens to top that level over the projected use of a self-executing rule by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi."

Judeo-Christian Nation

Sometimes you're right, sometimes you're wrong, & sometimes you're a delusional paranoid.
If I am right, then Islam will always be a bête noire to the West. Even dopey secularists and leftists will realize that fact one day, perhaps only after their delusions sink all of us.  But realizing the fact that this religious power is at eternal war with you is not an act of hopelessness, and therefore it is not a call to pollyanishness.  It simply means we must always be on our guard and never self-deluded. It may mean we have to leave the Islamists alone and hope that their people slowly convert to another religion or become unaffiliated. Until then, we should keep our powder dry.

I have refused to accept several organizations that seek to combat or expose the antics of “radical” or “extreme” Islam, because I know that it is not extremism that is causing the’s mainstream, typical, normal, traditional, specified, canonical Islam.

There are those who with a wink and a nod understand this but continue to work as revisionists because they are afraid of starting a religious war, even as they feel compelled to do something.  They tell me, “You can’t openly accuse an entire religion of being evil! That would just incite them and make them hate us even more. My response: the war started in the 7th century, and if in the 21st century we still refuse to accept that reality, then there is perhaps is no hope at all for civilization. Nothing good can come from deception.

I argue that any belief system that licenses murder in the name of Jihad and the conquering and subduing of the world of the infidels by the Ummah, should be outlawed. Prophet Mohammed brewed up a militant, radical and extremely irrational imperialistic cult that sought world dominance.* My fellow travelers, let us make one thing clear; Islam is no more a religion deserving our respect or legal recognition than is cannibalism.

It is time for the Americans to call upon the lawmakers of the United States of America to immediately create a safety board and commissioner to study and examine the dangers of Islamic dogma in our society. In the monumental task of dealing with Islam, every individual, group and government must combine their resources and energies to prevail. The destiny of the civilized life hangs in the balance. Shirking responsibility is an unpardonable act of every enlightened human being and organization that values human liberty and dignity.
Read the entire screed. No fan of Islam & its attendant bullshit ourself, but once we've excluded the Mohammedans from the First Amendment, we can only imagine dopey secularists & leftists are next. Right, Amil? (He probably has a very long list of dangers to civilization.)

*Mohammed was a neo-con?

Dangerously Cheesy

If you thought this came to our attention via any of the right-wing sites one might expect, you'll be as surprised as we were. One would expect more enthusiasm about the discovery of the World's Largest Chee-to.
More Cheese Product. Totally edgy & "w/ it, man."

Teabagging, Thai Style

From the pages of The Bangkok Post:
Red-shirt protesters splashed blood in front of the entrance to Government House late Tuesday afternoon, in a brahman-like ritual aimed at toppling the government.

Leaders of the anti-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), Natthawuat Saikua, Jatuporn Prompan and Arisman Pongruangrong, and a group of red-shirt followers arrived at Government House about 4pm.

The UDD leaders negotiated with Metropolitan Police chief Wichai Sangprapai after authorities refused to allow them through.

After talks, 100 red-shirts led by opposition Puea Thai Party MP Jatuporn and a white-robed priest were allowed through the police cordon.

The man, dressed as a Hindu priest, who carried a Buddhist statue with him, performed a ritual before protesters poured the donated blood around the front gate. Medical and Bangkok Metropolitan Administration personnel immediately cleansed the area and used chlorox to disinfect the blood stained road after the ritual was performed. There was no trouble and the red-shirts later returned to the main protest venue at Phan Fa bridge.
And in Washington today, a few hundred ninnies showed up to bleat about crap that is not even real.

We'll grant that control of the government was taken from them by a military coup, not an overwhelming electoral defeat, but that's nit-picking, isn't it? 'Baggers & Shirts are both rural types, hoping to make things easier for the rich, if we're to take the word of the BBC.
The red shirts oppose the 2006 military coup that toppled Thaksin Shinawatra.

They say Prime Minister Abhisit came to power illegitimately with the backing of the military and the Bangkok-based elites.

Mr Thaksin's main power base was in the rural north. He is now living in self-imposed overseas exile, after he was ousted amid allegations of corruption and abuse of power.

Last month the Supreme Court ruled that just over half of the assets ($1.4bn; £910m) belonging to Mr Thaksin or his family which were frozen since the coup, should be seized.
We suppose this won't be happening in these United Snakes:
The government is ready to help red-shirt protesters in Bangkok return home if they do not have their own transport, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Tuesday.

"Demonstrators who want to return home but cannot find buses to transport them can ask  government officials for assistance," Mr Abhisit said after chairing the meeting with the government's peacekeeping operations centre.
He said the government will not underestimate the situation and will continue keeping a close eye on the red-shirt rally,  regardless of the number of protesters, to prevent any violence occurring.
[Clever one-liner (or wise yet cynical, deep, & meaning-laden statement) to wrap it all up.]

The Torture Never Stops

What an awful world: Earthquake this a.m.; now we must endure 88ºF weather. W/ clear skies. Spring is on its way. (Shut the fuck up, chirping birds!)

Looky Looky! Truth Spoken Before Congress

In issuing his warning, Petraeus — arguably the most influential even if not the highest ranking member of the US military — was reiterating a statement he made almost a year ago. The only difference between what he said in April 2009 and what he said today, was that he now acknowledges al Qaeda is being strengthened by the conflict.

He now says:
The enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests in the AOR [CENTCOM's area of responsibility]. Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large-scale armed confrontations. The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the AOR and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support. The conflict also gives Iran influence in the Arab world through its clients, Lebanese Hizballah and Hamas.
Read it all at War in Context.


At 0404. Barely noticeable. Might not have noticed if we hadn't been lying in bed. (Now we'll never get to sleep.) We can only hope that it was much worse somewhere else.

y/m/d h:m:s
MAP4.42010/03/16 11:04:0033.998-118.072
2 km (1 mi) ENE of Pico Rivera, CA
Pico Rivera being to the SW of us.

Good News For A Change?

Just Above Sunset noticed an item in Salon that could inspire hope. (Oh, who are we kidding? Not ourself, certainly.) Still:
A new right is being born, following the death of the older conservative movement. Fortunately for the left, the next American right is dominated by libertarians like Ron Paul and Paul Ryan, who worship at the shrine of Ayn Rand.
We aren't pulling any more. Read Just Above Sunset, he probably pulled all the good stuff, or go to the actual item & just leave us out of this, as we are tired & cranky.

The Nix, At His Very Best: "… You know what happened to the Greeks! Homosexuality destroyed them. Sure, Aristotle was a homo. We all know that. So was Socrates."

We're starting to think we-the-people should install recording systems in all gummint offices & make the recordings available no later than 0900 the next morning.

Then around noon we could kill all the assholes who had revealed themselves to be assholes the previous day.

A thought inspired by this fine item from a dogged researcher.
10. On the glorification of homosexuality in an All in the Family episode (May 13, 1971)

Nixon: I do not mind the homosexuality. I understand it. (14-second beep to hide personal information) But nevertheless, the point that I make is that goddamit, I do not think that you glorify on public television homosexuality… even more than you glorify whores. Now we all know that people go to whores. …we all have weaknesses. But, goddammit, what do you think that does to kids? What do you think that does to 11 and 12 year old boys when they see that? …You know what happened to the Greeks! Homosexuality destroyed them. Sure, Aristotle was a homo. We all know that. So was Socrates.

Ehrlichman: But he never had the influence that television had.
We'd pay plenty to find out what was in that 14-second beep. After all, it would be irresponsible not to speculate. We also enjoy the idea of Nixon, busily bombing people into the Stone Age while thinking that it would be better to nuke the gooks than merely to drown a couple hundred thousand of them (Item one in the link.) is worried about the "homos" ("Homos?" Hasn't been used non-ironically by anyone over the age of 12 since the dawn of time. Gives one an accurate idea of Nixon's mental & emotional development, dunnit?) being "glorified" in an All in the Family episode. We'd just love (in, need it be said, a purely heterosexual way) to see how homosexuality was "glorified" in 1971. Probably anything that didn't suggest killing homos (Note: Ironic reference.) on sight was considered as "glorifying" homosexuality.

Meta-Note: If there are two (or more) paragraphs in the last paragraph, we don't give a flying fuck. It stands as is.

16 March: Pretty Much Giving Up Here. Find Your Own Excuses/Reasons To Have A Drink Or Twelve Based On An Anniversary. And Then Give A Thought To What A Screwed-Up Loser You Are To Be Looking For An "Excuse/Reason" To Drink. Sheesh.

Today is Tuesday, March 16, the 75th day of 2010. There are 290 days left in the year. The UPI Almanac.Today's Highlight in History:
On March 16, 1850, Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel "The Scarlet Letter" was first published.
On this date:
In 37, Roman emperor Tiberius died; he was succeeded by Caligula.
In 1521, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reached the Philippines, where he was killed by natives the following month.
In 1751, James Madison, fourth president of the United States, was born in Port Conway, Va.
In 1802, President Thomas Jefferson signed a measure authorizing the establishment of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.
In 1827, Freedom's Journal, the first black newspaper in America, was published in New York.
In 1836, the Republic of Texas approved a constitution.
In 1915, the Federal Trade Commission began operations.
In 1926, rocket science pioneer Robert H. Goddard successfully tested the first liquid-fueled rocket, in Auburn, Mass.
In 1935, Adolf Hitler decided to break the military terms set by the Treaty of Versailles by ordering the rearming of Germany.
In 1966, U.S. astronauts Neil Armstrong and David Scott docked their Gemini 8 space vehicle with an Agena craft, a first in orbital history.
In 1968, the My Lai Massacre of Vietnamese civilians was carried out by U.S. Army troops; estimates of the death toll vary between 347 and 504. The same day, in Washington, D.C., Sen. Robert F. Kennedy of New York announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.
In 1978, Italian politician Aldo Moro was kidnapped by left-wing urban guerrillas, who later murdered him. The U.S. Senate approved the first of two Panama Canal pacts, guaranteeing neutrality of the canal after Panama assumed control at the end of 1999.
In 1984, William Buckley, the CIA station chief in Beirut, was kidnapped by terrorists (he was tortured by his captors and killed in 1985).
In 1985, Terry Anderson, chief Middle East correspondent for The Associated Press, was abducted in Beirut; he was released in Dec. 1991.
Audio LinkAP photographer Donald Mell witnessed the abduction.
In 1991, Baghdad claimed its troops had crushed an uprising in southern Iraq that began in the wake of the Gulf War.
In 1994, the International Atomic Energy Agency said North Korea barred its inspectors from checking one of the nation's seven nuclear sites.
In 1998, in a 14-page statement, the Vatican apologized for not doing more to prevent the killing of millions of Jews at the hands of the Nazis.
In 1999, The Dow Jones industrial average briefly topped the 10,000 level, reaching a high of 10,001.78 before retreating. The entire 20-member European Commission resigned following publication of a critical report on sloppy management and cronyism. The Nebraska Cornhuskers beat Chicago State 50-3 in an NCAA baseball game.
In 2000, Independent Counsel Robert Ray said he found no credible evidence that Hillary Rodham Clinton or senior White House officials had sought FBI background files of Republicans. Thomas Wilson Ferebee, the Enola Gay bombardier who dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, died in Windermere, Fla. at age 81.
In 2003, Vice President Dick Cheney predicted on NBC's "Meet the Press" that American troops would be "greeted as liberators" by the Iraqi people. Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American, was killed when she was run over by a bulldozer while trying to block Israeli troops from demolishing a Palestinian home in Gaza.
In 2004, Hans Blix, the former U.N. chief weapons inspector in Iraq, criticized the Bush administration for having "a set mind" about going to war with Iraq, calling the search for weapons of mass destruction an old-fashioned witch hunt. China declared victory in its fight against bird flu, saying it had "stamped out" all its known cases. Mitch Seavey won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in nine days, 12 hours, 20 minutes and 22 seconds. [How many of the dogs died? — Ed.]
In 2005, a judge in Redwood City, Calif. sent Scott Peterson to death row for the slaying of his pregnant wife, Laci. Norway's Robert Sorlie won his second Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in one of the closest races in years.
In 2006, Iraq's recently elected 275-member parliament convened for the first time in Baghdad but did little and adjourned after 30 minutes. [U.S. imposed democracy in action! — Ed.]
In 2007, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who admitted he masterminded the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, revealed that he personally executed Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl the following year in Pakistan. [He then confessed to the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby, & being one of the "real killers" in the Nicole Brown Simpson-Ronald Goldman murder case. — Ed.]
In 2008, protests spread from Tibet into three neighboring provinces; the Dalai Lama decried what he called the "cultural genocide" taking place in his homeland.
In 2009, joining a wave of public anger, President Barack Obama blistered insurance giant AIG for "recklessness and greed" for handing its executives $165 million in bonuses after taking billions in federal bailout money. Austrian Josef Fritzl pleaded guilty at the start of his trial to imprisoning his daughter for 24 years and fathering her seven children. (Two days later, Fritzl pleaded guilty to the remaining charges against him, including negligent homicide; he was sentenced to life in a psychiatric ward.)
Today's Birthdays: Comedian-director Jerry Lewis is 84. Country singer Ray Walker (The Jordanaires) is 76. Movie director Bernardo Bertolucci is 69. Game show host Chuck Woolery is 69. Singer-songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker is 68. Country singer Robin Williams is 63. Actor Erik Estrada is 61. Actor Victor Garber is 61. Actress Kate Nelligan is 59. Country singer Ray Benson (Asleep at the Wheel) is 59. Rock singer-musician Nancy Wilson (Heart) is 56. Golfer Hollis Stacy is 56. Actress Isabelle Huppert is 55. Actor Clifton Powell is 54. Football Hall of Famer Ozzie Newsome is 54. Rapper-actor Flavor Flav (Public Enemy) is 51. Rock musician Jimmy DeGrasso is 47. Folk singer Patty Griffin is 46. Actress Lauren Graham is 43. Actor Judah Friedlander (TV: "30 Rock") is 41. Actor Alan Tudyk is 39. Actor Tim Kang (TV: "The Mentalist") is 37. Rhythm-and-blues singer Blu Cantrell is 34. Actress Brooke Burns is 32. Rock musician Wolfgang Van Halen is 19.
The Dead Born On This Date: German physicist Georg Ohm, a pioneer in the study of electricity (1789); naturalist Marlin Perkins (1905); comedian Henny Youngman (1906); former U.S. first lady Pat Nixon (1912); actors Mercedes McCambridge (1916) & Leo McKern (1920) former U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y. (1927).
March 16 In Entertainment
In 1969, "1776," a musical about the writing of the Declaration of Independence, opened on Broadway.
In 1970, singer Tammi Terrell died of a brain tumor in Philadelphia at age 24. The tumor was diagnosed three years earlier when she collapsed during a concert.
In 1971, Simon and Garfunkel were the first winners of the so-called "Triple Crown" of the Grammys. "Bridge Over Troubled Water" was named song and record of the year, and the album by the same name won album of the year. It was also the first year the Grammys were televised live.
In 1974, the Grand Ole Opry moved from the Ryman Auditorium to a new facility at the Opryland complex.
In 1969, "1776," a musical about the Declaration of Independence, opened on Broadway.
In 1991, seven members of Reba McEntire's band and her road manager were killed when their plane crashed after taking off from an airport in San Diego.
In 1992, a state court in Los Angeles awarded humorist Art Buchwald and producer Alain Bernheim $900,000 from Paramount Studios for Buchwald's idea for the movie "Coming to America," which was a hit for comedian Eddie Murphy.
A thought for the day: Art Buchwald said: "People are broad-minded. They'll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater and even a newspaperman but if a man doesn't drive, there's something wrong with him." [We're not a wife-beater, but the rest applies to us. — Ed.]
In 1993, the long-awaited collaboration between former Whitesnake singer David Coverdale and guitarist Jimmy Page was released by Geffen Records.
In 2005, a jury in Los Angeles acquitted actor Robert Blake of murder in the shooting death of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, four years earlier. (A civil court jury later ordered Blake to pay Bakley's four children $30 million, an award that an appeals court subsequently cut in half; Blake has declared bankruptcy.)
In 2006, Michael Jackson paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to employees at his Neverland Ranch in California, then shut down the ranch. He paid them back wages to avoid a lawsuit threatened by California officials.
In 2008, actor Ivan Dixon died in Charlotte, N.C., at age 76.
In 2009, British actress Natasha Richardson, 45, was fatally injured in a skiing accident at a resort in Quebec; she died two days later at a Manhattan hospital.
Thought for Today: "Nearly all our disasters come from a few fools having the 'courage of their convictions.'" — Coventry Patmore, English poet (1823-1896). [We are in complete agreement w/ this — Ed.]

Monday, March 15, 2010

More On Douthat The Revisionist

A guy named Jay Stevens (poor bastard seems to live far from a coast) notes what complete pieces of self-deluding shit Yankee pig-dogs are:
Of course, in a way - and not the way Douthat intends - the move is a little over simplistic. For starters, in "The Green Zone," there's much surprise when no WMDs are found and there's shock when it's revealed that the administration had a hand in manufacturing WMD intelligence. Of course, by the invasion, it was pretty clear that there were no WMDs in Iraq, and that the intelligence from the Pentagon was suspect, to say the least.

That is, the movie is an over-simplistic flick that augurs how the American public will remember the war, how most are already processing it. Basically, people are remembering that they were hoodwinked, when, in fact, most people had the evidence, heard the dissenting voices, and still supported the war. The public and the media galloped headlong towards Iraq under Bush's banner willingly, despite the plethora of reasonable and well-informed voices that showed there was nothing there...
Per the bold above (It's ours.) we can only add that this sort of thing is why we want most Americans to bleed slowly to death from a painful wound. (Although we've heard that bleeding out is not actually that painful.) Maybe we can kick you fucks a few times while you're dying.

And The Answer Is: "Racism"

Dick Armey, as always attempting to obtain as many indentured servants/wage-slaves/bodies for his corporate masters by assuring them of a continuing supply of immigrant labor, asks a question:
Armey also said “the Republican Party is the most naturally talented party at losing its natural constituents in the history of the world.” “This party was born with the emancipation proclamation and can’t get a black vote to save its life. How do they do that?”

Spiting America's Face

All that shit about the unspoken horror of democracy, that voters will vote themselves the entire contents of the treasury & somehow bankrupt the nation is, as usual when something gains currency in reactionary circles, 180º wrong.

What will happen is that stupid Yanks will refuse to pay for virtually anything, inckuding clean, safe water, because they consider it a "tax," & that's bad.
“People pay more for their cellphones and cable television than for water,” said Mr. Hawkins, who before taking over Washington’s water system ran environmental groups and attended Princeton and Harvard, where he never thought he would end up running a sewer system.

“You can go a day without a phone or TV,” he added. “You can’t go a day without water.”

But in many cities, residents have protested loudly when asked to pay more for water and sewer services. In Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Sacramento — and before Mr. Hawkins arrived, Washington — proposed rate increases have been scaled back or canceled after virulent ratepayer dissent.

So when Mr. Hawkins confronted the upset crowd near Dupont Circle, he sensed an opportunity to explain why things needed to change. It was a snowy day, and while water from the broken pipe mixed with slush, he began cheerily explaining that the rupture was a symptom of a nationwide disease, according to people present.

Mr. Hawkins — who at 49 has the bubbling energy of a toddler and the physique of an aging professor — told the crowd that the average age of the city’s water pipes was 76, nearly four times that of the oldest city bus. With a smile, he described how old pipes have spilled untreated sewage into rivers near homes.

“I don’t care why these pipes aren’t working!” one of the residents yelled. “I pay $60 a month for water! I just want my toilet to flush! Why do I need to know how it works?”
That sums up your gawd-awful species pretty well, doesn't it? Especially the American parts. Fuck all of you cretins. We don't know why we even try anymore.

Insufferable Little Shit Douthat Raked Over Coals By Larison

See it here. (Activists may want to forward the entire column to the editors of The NYT, in the vain hope that they will notice what crap they've allowed to spew across these United Snakes, & take responsibility for their actions & words. Just this once.)
Our nation might be less divided, and our debates less poisonous, if more artists were capable of showing us the ironies, ambiguities and tragedies inherent in our politics — rather than comforting us with portraits of a world divided cleanly into good and evil.

Yes, the problem might be that we do not have artists capable of rendering contemporary architects of a war of aggression that was based on shoddy intelligence, ideological fervor and deceit in a sufficiently subtle, even-handed manner. If only Hollywood were better at portraying the depth and complexity of people who unleashed hell on a nation of 24 million people out of an absurd fear of a non-existent threat! Life is so unfair to warmongers, is it not? Then again, the reason our debates are so poisonous and our nation so divided might have something to do with the existence of utterly unaccountable members of the political class that can launch such a war, suffer no real consequences, and then reliably expect to be defended as “decent” and “well-intentioned” people who made understandable mistakes. The unfortunate truth of our existence is that villains do not have to come out of central casting for comic book movies. They are ordinary, “decent” people who commit grave errors and terrible crimes for any number of reasons. Many great evils have found their origins in a group’s belief that they were doing the right thing and were therefore entitled and permitted to use extraordinary means.

That said, I do agree that we should have a greater appreciation for ambiguity and complexity. Would that we had had more of this when the President was railing against an “axis of evil,” administration supporters were authoring absurdly-titled works called An End to Evil, and advocates of invasion were routinely claiming that anyone opposed to the war did not understand that evil existed in the world. Where was this discomfort with sharp “Manichean” divisons then? Where were the complaints against simplistic and naive “reductionism” of complex realities?
Further lit crit from Larison.