Tuesday, July 26, 2005

As Tumbleweeds Blow By

Don't you just love it when wingnuts point out what they think is humorous? Of course we know what they think isn't funny: The Onion and parodies of The Corner are two examples.

Now look at what they regard as thigh-slapping. Here's Aunt Jenna, who rolls her eyes at the Junior Pod Person's idea of Wildean wit, while TBOGG dons a biohazard suit to spray industrial fungicide on the wingnut blogosphere's Yoest infection of Proper Humor Studies.

What both Yoest and Pod regard as the acme of hilarity draw, from a normal audience, cricket-chirping silence. Lame.

Added: I admit my take on this is lame: I just wanted to say "Yoest infection". And stretched to make it work. Not very funny, I admit. But better than wingnut "humor".

The Shorter National Review Online 7/26/05

Shorter Henry I. Miller
Reconsidering Gitmo:

If only liberals had shut up about torture at Gitmo, the London bombings could have been stopped.

A deliciously wingnutty column: he wishes for the opportunity to show up with a black bag and hypodermics. Which somehow makes me think of this guy.

Shorter Cathy Seipp
Gladys Kravitz Nation:

The PATRIOT Act is awesome, but online companies that publish my home address in a way that even a disgruntled teacher, whose career I take considerable pride in ruining, can find it, make me nervous. On the other hand, such a service comes in handy when I wish to look up that teacher's address, and check out his home so that I can, in my new class way, properly condescend to his "depressing looking" neighborhood.

Too funny.

Shorter Shannen W. Coffin
John Roberts, In His Own Words:

Liberals are wrong to suppose that they can glean anything objectionable from Judge Roberts's writings, but we wingnuts can see in them a penchant for executive power toadying, a hostility to Roe, and a mentality that considers respect of the Fourth Amendment as being sentimentalist.

Coffin, with a nifty cereal box decoder-ring, deciphers the wingnutese from Roberts's writings so wingnuts don't have to. Just to show that he's their man. When liberals then say, aha!, Coffin reacts like they've just tried to copy his answers on a test.

Shorter Eric Pfeiffer
The Games People Play:

Ordinarily, we'd seize the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas controversy as proof of the entertainment industry's moral degradation, but since Hillary Clinton, that bitch, beat us to the punch, we'll pretend that our first inclination is the libertarian one.

A Clinton triangulates, wingnuts squeal. So 1995.

Shorter Frances B. Smith
Unraveling CAFTA:

It's easy for me to take the laughable pseudo-populist position that Big Business lobbyists are holding up the passage of CAFTA, if I only mention Chuck Rangel's objection on labor standards in passing, and mention not at all the fact that the Biggest Business is actually responsible for, and has a huge, salivating interest in, trying to ram the Pact through Congress.

For wingnuts, the Sugar Industry, now that it is paying a lot for protectionism, is the lesser of two friends, while for people who actually don't like sweatshops and who give rat's ass about US jobs, it is the lesser of two evils.

Shorter Deroy Murdock
The Case For CAFTA:

Hugo Chavez, dont tread on my sweatshops.

My favorite so far! Replete with quotes from such loved-in-Latin-America luminaries as Otto Reich. And I relish that National Association of Manufacturers quote. Why, if CAFTA is grounded, they may have to go to China! Hahahaha. As if they don't already: after all, that's where the post-NAFTA Mexican textile industry went. But now people are turning against cheap, slave-labor-produced Chinese textiles. So, the press for CAFTA: if Chinese textiles get embargoed, sweatshops in Honduras are a nice alternative, Mexican sweatshops still being prohibitively expense (these things are relative).

Shorter Heather Mac Donald
Looking the Wrong Way:

I find intolerable the prospect that the NYPD will inconvenience white yuppies with random searches.

Only the swarthy and mullah-looking should be bothered. Okay, then. I think it's kind of funny that such wingnuts as David Gelertner would fall under Mac Donald's prescription.

Shorter Rick Santorum
Mending Morality:

The right to privacy is the root of all gay evil.

It all started with Griswold, but the santorum really hit the fan with Lawrence.

Shorter Jonah Goldberg
Mark Steyn Can Dance. Norman Podhoretz Can Sing:

I farted my way through the British Isles, eating enough to sustain Eritrea for several months, and I came back disappointed that Steyn isn't as fat as me, that The Pod can sing show tunes very well, and that Spanker Johnson is too optimistic on the future of wingnuttia. I missed my mommy.

Monday, July 25, 2005


They seized the moment, the London bombings, to make it permanent.

I hope Kos and Atrios and others with a lot of juice in the party keep track of the fucktards in italics among the ayes who sold out here. They all need opposition in the primaries.

Update: See Norbizness. And Billmon.

Krugman, He Make Me Happy Ha Ha

A typically great essay, but what really makes me happy is the backhand that I'll emphasise:

But education is only one reason Toyota chose Ontario. Canada's other big selling point is its national health insurance system, which saves auto manufacturers large sums in benefit payments compared with their costs in the United States.

You might be tempted to say that Canadian taxpayers are, in effect, subsidizing Toyota's move by paying for health coverage. But that's not right, even aside from the fact that Canada's health care system has far lower costs per person than the American system, with its huge administrative expenses. In fact, U.S. taxpayers, not Canadians, will be hurt by the northward movement of auto jobs.

To see why, bear in mind that in the long run decisions like Toyota's probably won't affect the overall number of jobs in either the United States or Canada. But the result of international competition will be to give Canada more jobs in industries like autos, which pay health benefits to their U.S. workers, and fewer jobs in industries that don't provide those benefits. In the U.S. the effect will be just the reverse: fewer jobs with benefits, more jobs without.

So what's the impact on taxpayers? In Canada, there's no impact at all: since all Canadians get government-provided health insurance in any case, the additional auto jobs won't increase government spending.

But U.S. taxpayers will suffer, because the general public ends up picking up much of the cost of health care for workers who don't get insurance through their jobs. Some uninsured workers and their families end up on Medicaid. Others end up depending on emergency rooms, which are heavily subsidized by taxpayers.

Funny, isn't it? Pundits tell us that the welfare state is doomed by globalization, that programs like national health insurance have become unsustainable. But Canada's universal health insurance system is handling international competition just fine. It's our own system, which penalizes companies that treat their workers well, that's in trouble.

Is that a righteous slap at Tom Friedman? Maybe not, but I'd like to think so.

Of course Krugman is a pro-globalisation guy like Friedman. But unlike Friedman, he is decent enough not to spend time slagging various welfare states. Both want the US to "handle" globalisation by federal spending. But Friedman, so far as I can tell, only advocates education spending, specifically with regard to technology. Krugman at least advocates that there has to be a bigger social safety net than that when all these companies keep racing to the bottom.

Both are wrong on globalisation, Friedman egregiously so. But at least Krugman comes across as having a humane reasoning about it, while Friedman ..well, does what he does.

Edit: fixed horrendous error. Sorry.

Your Morning Cup Of Tribalism

The Shorter Dennis Prager:

Evil Targets God's Chosen:

It's God's will that I am hated, which gives me self-esteem.

Metaphysics makes Retardo's head explode! Still, I'll give it a try... isn't this is sort of like the Jesus Had To Die To Redeem Mankind question? Okay, if that is so, then how can one be mad at Pilate, say, for just playing his predetermined role? Likewise, it seems to me that if Prager insists that it's God's will that Jews are chosen and then must be hated because of it, then how can people who believe such a cosmicly fascist thing be mad at anti-semites who are, like Pilate, just fulfilling their biblically-determined role? It seems to me the tribalist chauvinism and self-pity to which Prager subscribes actually excuses and implicitly encourages anti-semitism. Not a good thing. Which is one reason among many why most Jews, like everyone else, think Prager's a nutjob.

Not to be outdone, David Gelertner uses the occasion of the London bombings to attack the city's mayor as a terrorist puppet, and to make the broad argument that this is what is to be expected of people who aren't sufficiently pro-Israel. I read his column as basically a sneer at Europe. Which wouldn't be all that unusual for him. Anyway, he's pretty funny:

Many Europeans love to run on about Jewish terrorism in 1940s Palestine, during Israel's struggle for independence from Britain. Israel owes its creation and continued existence, Livingstone says, to "systematic violence and terror." Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is a "war criminal who should be in prison." (And President Bush is "the greatest threat to life on this planet." London's dapper mayor has a good word for everyone!)

It's time to dispose of the endlessly repeated Jewish terrorism story. You've heard about sins of omission. Jewish terrorism existed and was unforgivable, but describing it without mentioning the official Jewish response is a lie of omission.

There were repeated confrontations between Palestine's Jewish community and Jewish terrorists. A famous one followed the 1944 murder in Cairo of Lord Moyne, the British minister-resident in the Middle East, by the terrorist Stern Gang. In response, the shocked and revolted Jewish community hunted down terrorists relentlessly, turning over more than 700 names to the British.

There were truces too, when the Jewish authorities (desperately outgunned and outnumbered in their war for independence) tried to co-opt two terrorist groups, the Stern Gang and the Irgun, into the regular army. But the Sternists and the Irgun invariably returned to terror, shattering the truce.

Jewish terrorism was stamped out at last after a U.N. mediator was assassinated in late 1948. Israel's new Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion ordered: "Arrest all Stern Gang leaders. Surround all Stern bases. Confiscate all arms. Kill any who resist." Soon afterward, the Irgun also bit the dust.

An israeli private citizen summed things up following an earlier terrorist attack. "None of the barbarities the Arabs have committed in the past months can excuse this." (And the Arabs had committed plenty.) Ben-Gurion laid it on the line: "There is no compromise, no equivocation. The way of terror or the way of Zionism."

I love the "sins of omission" part, a hefty charge from our burly pundit. Yet it is Gelertner who is omitting quite a bit. First of all, he doesn't mention who the Stern Gang was making diplomatic overtures to. I'll fill in the blanks. It was the Nazis. Gelertner knows this, but hopes no one else does. The Stern Gang, the original terrorists of Palestine, wished to make an alliance with the Nazis so as to kick the British out of Zion.

Gelertner mentions that the Stern Gang murdered a "U.N. mediator" but is careful not to write the man's name or anything about his background. I think I know why. It was Count Bernadotte of Sweden (which is, you know, in that monolithically anti-semitic continent of Europe), a man who'd saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Holocaust.

The purpose of Gelertner's omissions is that he wants to make the Stern Gang out to be less vile than it in fact was. Thus establishing that the Stern Gang were garden-variety or even chickenfeed sorts of terrorists, he can then show with the rest of the column just how hardcore anti-terrorist Ben-Gurion and the early Zionists were because they came down so hard on such a relatively tame group! Yes, yes.

Which is probably fun for Gelertner to write, and fun for me to laugh at the mendacity of.

Because actually, far from "stamping it out", the Stern Gang's ethos was at least partly institutionalised in such entities as the Likud, Kach, and Moledet political parties. Bernadotte's assassin, according to wikipedia, was eventually one of Ben-Gurion's security guards. None of the plotters were arrested.

One stern Gang leader who approved the hit on Bernadotte was eventually elected Prime Minister: Yitzhak Shamir.

Irgun, the group from which the Stern Gang broke (the latter being more radical), at least had the virtue of not being explicitly pro-Nazi. Yet it too bombed the British while WW2 raged. Monachem Begin was a prominent member. Later, he was of course elected Prime Minister.

"Stamped out", Gelertner says. Right.

See also Busy, Busy, Busy.

**Update: As I re-read this, it occurred to me that Gelertner's explicit point, that Israeli terrorism ceased after 1948, gives a hint about the definition of the word. Hmm, what happened in 1948? And might the same also happen with the current terrorists?

Sunday, July 24, 2005


This man, calling netizens

undersocialized geeks, sitting in front of their computers and sharing their bitterness with the world.

is the best unintentionally comic masterpiece one could hope to read on a lazy Sunday morning.

Well, at least until this guy

calls someone a bigoted chickenshit pantload.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

For The Widest Circulation

Please share this report:

On July 22, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) denounced the latest efforts of the Bush Administration to block the release of the Darby photos and videos depicting torture at Iraq?s Abu Ghraib prison facility. On June 2, 2004, CCR, along with the ACLU, Physicians for Human Rights, Veterans for Common Sense, and Veterans for Peace filed papers with the U.S. District Court, charging the Department of Defense and other government agencies with illegally withholding records concerning the abuse of detainees in American military custody. Since then, the organizations have been repeatedly rebuffed in their efforts to investigate what happened at the prison.

Description and Status

In June, the government requested and received an extension from the judge stating that they needed time in order to redact the faces of the men, women and children believed to be shown in the photographs and videos. They were given until today to produce the images, but at the eleventh hour filed a motion to oppose the release of the photos and videos, based on an entirely new argument: they are now requesting a 7(F) exemption from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act to withhold law enforcement-related information in order to protect the physical safety of individuals. Today?s move is the latest in a series of attempts by the government to keep the images from being made public and to cover up the torture of detainees in U.S. custody around the world.

Joseph Darby was the U.S reservist who turned over the photos and videos to U.S. Army officials and touched off the Abu Ghraib scandal in April 2004.

"This is absolutely unacceptable,? stated Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights. ?We can not move forward from this scandal until we have a full public accounting and independent investigation into what happened at Abu Ghraib. The government cannot continue to hide evidence of torture. The time to release these photos and videos was a long time ago."

Expectations are that the FOIA request will release more than 100 photos and 4 videos, all believed to document deplorable human rights violations by U.S. military personnel against Iraqi civilians.

Barbara Olshansky, Deputy Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, stated, "The public must be informed of what is being done in our name. It is this Administration that has put our troops at risk and caused world-wide anger by fostering policies that promote torture and refusing to hold those responsible publicly accountable."

The Center for Constitutional Rights once more calls for a complete, transparent independent investigation into the torture and abuse of detainees that goes all the way up the chain of command and demands that the Administration apply the Geneva Conventions to every detainee being held in U.S. custody around the world.

God damn the Bush fuckers for doing this, stalling, hoping to get their pro-torture, If The President Does It, It's Legal, wingnut confirmed to the SCOTUS before they pay the price for all the shit they've pulled.

If I'm recalling correctly, this cache of evidence is what made a Republican senator say, after seeing it, "my stomach gave out". It's that bad, it happened, it was the Administration's fault that it happened, and all the fuckers who did it, both actually and institutionally, should be punished to the fullest extent, and not only through the legal system, but by public opinion.

PS -- This is also potentially huge.

Plutocracy Now!

Costco, you naughty company, you pay your workers too much!

But not everyone is happy with Costco's business strategy. Some Wall Street analysts assert that Mr. Sinegal is overly generous not only to Costco's customers but to its workers as well.

Costco's average pay, for example, is $17 an hour, 42 percent higher than its fiercest rival, Sam's Club. And Costco's health plan makes those at many other retailers look Scroogish. One analyst, Bill Dreher of Deutsche Bank, complained last year that at Costco "it's better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder."


Despite Costco's impressive record, Mr. Sinegal's salary is just $350,000, although he also received a $200,000 bonus last year. That puts him at less than 10 percent of many other chief executives, though Costco ranks 29th in revenue among all American companies.

"I've been very well rewarded," said Mr. Sinegal, who is worth more than $150 million thanks to his Costco stock holdings. "I just think that if you're going to try to run an organization that's very cost-conscious, then you can't have those disparities. Having an individual who is making 100 or 200 or 300 times more than the average person working on the floor is wrong."

How dare you pay them a living wage! Why, sure, you're making money at your business, and good money, but where's the Gordon Gekko attitude? Don't you know you have to squeeze the last drop of blood from them? Goddamnit, you're making Wal-Mart look bad, and that's bad for capitalism and bad for America. What would Tom Friedman think of you? You're gonna make him cry. Is that what you want, Costco? Fire all your union workers, outsource your customer service department to India, put every other worker on a part-time schedule, and cut your wages by 40 percent. Also, for God's sake give your CEO a 1,000 percent pay raise.

He rejects Wall Street's assumption that to succeed in discount retailing, companies must pay poorly and skimp on benefits, or must ratchet up prices to meet Wall Street's profit demands.

Good wages and benefits are why Costco has extremely low rates of turnover and theft by employees, he said. And Costco's customers, who are more affluent than other warehouse store shoppers, stay loyal because they like that low prices do not come at the workers' expense. "This is not altruistic," he said. "This is good business."

He also dismisses calls to increase Costco's product markups. Mr. Sinegal, who has been in the retailing business for more than a half-century, said that heeding Wall Street's advice to raise some prices would bring Costco's downfall.

What a great article.

Mr. Sinegal, whose father was a coal miner and steelworker, gave a simple explanation. "On Wall Street, they're in the business of making money between now and next Thursday," he said. "I don't say that with any bitterness, but we can't take that view. We want to build a company that will still be here 50 and 60 years from now."

Ahh, that's why. Well, I'll try to shop there soon, and pay him back for treating his employees well (while sticking it to Wal-Mart in the process) as soon as I can. And while I can: when this guy is gone, some Wharton-type fucktard will take the place over and make it another Wal-Mart.


Don't you love it when business is more powerful than government? It's an American tradition, after all: and it always, always means that business joins with the government to fuck you, the individual, over. There used to be a thing called populism that did some good work, despite enourmous obstacles, in opposing the nasty symbiotic business-government relationship, but as a movement it's as dead as fried chicken now -- look! there's Tom Friedman scraping its bones off the plate into the trashcan! And he's smiling!

(Libertarians always pretended to oppose the symbiotic relationship -- many even in good faith believed that they were doing so. But in reality they are enablers of it, and are consequently rightly known as useful idiots.)

Dell sucks another 7 million out of North Carolina. In addition to the 240 million it already pocketed:

The North Carolina Senate recently approved a measure that will allow the state to continue offering such incentive packages to companies for the next two years. The state has suffered from job losses in key tobacco farming and textile industries and is trying to build out an already sturdy technology sector. One of Dell's closest allies - Red Hat - calls North Carolina home.

It's good to see such staunch Republicans as Chairman Michael Dell and CEO Kevin Rollins, who donated in 2004 to the Every Republican is Crucial PAC, the Longhorn PAC, Tom DeLay, the Republican National Committee and George W. Bush, so happily take enormous government handouts. Dell is one of the most profitable computer makers on the planet, making $3.3bn net income last year.

A Dipshit, True, But Still Better Than Safire

Handcuffs and Stethoscopes.

Okay, so the title might betray an S&M fetish. Tierney doesn't say, and I don't wish to read any inquiries in that vein -- on the excellent grounds that it'd inevitably attract Paul Johnson's curiosity, and we can do without all that.

Anyway, seriously, Tierney's op-ed is pretty good. Fuck the DEA, fuck the Drug War.

I concede that it's possible conservative-"libertarians" like Tierney only care about this sort of thing now because of what happened (with the hand of karma) to Rush Limbaugh.

Certainly, there's a class issue involved. Tierney's subject is sort of new because the group being busted by the Feds are wealthy people: doctors. The white trash that is addicted to oxycontin can be stripped of its property and left to rot in jail if caught with the drug without a proper prescription. No pundit will care. But doctors? Shit, these are potentially people that they know and socialise with! We have to stop this.

So thanks, DEA, for making a fatal fucking mistake. It's a pity that that's what it takes, but I'll take a backlash against you miserable pukefaces any which way it'll come.

One other thing: Tierney is careful to lay the blame for "pressuring" the DEA upon Congress. How convenient. While it's true that congress is Republican controlled, there are still Democrats in it to blame; more pointedly, Congress is not Dear Leader, the Chief Executive under whom the DEA serves.

Not that Democrats lately -- and by that I mean to say, since the days of Jimmy Carter -- have been much better than Repugs: they haven't. But still, the Repugs have always been the "law & order" party, the puritan party and the prohibition party: all psychological strains that make inevitable (and, of course, perpetual) Drug Wars such as America's. Clinton could have been another Jimmy Carter, but his brother was Roger the coke fiend. And that was that. But can you imagine any Republican advocating drug decriminalisation as did James Earl Carter? I can't.

Libertarians are the most consistently vocal in opposition to the Drug War. Yet the ones I know want to equally blame Dems and Repugs: a neato trick, for sure, but one that only works for revisionists. Actually, the structure of the federal apparatus by which the government persecutes, and steals from, stoners was implemented by Richard Nixon. The cultural structure by which the public, against its interests, countenances this activity was ..not exactly put into place by Ronald and Nancy Reagan, but was absolutely perfected by them.

*Disclaimer: Whenever I'm offered opiates, which is rarely, I accept. They are about the only type of drug I enjoy recreationally, anymore. Yes, I'm white trash.

Progress Report

I'm so not bludging! The previous post was a lie: I've actually been working hard. But I'm paying my dues for being such a procrastinating fucktard for so long.

The deal is: I'm sorting 3 years of bookmarks stored in three folders, into dossiers of individual wingnuts and wingnut fellow-travellers, as well as into "issues" folders for those news items of pertinent interest. I needed to do it anyway, but I also want the next Wingnut All-Star installment to be truly encyclopedic, and this is the only way to make it so (well, that, and by stealing links from Sadly, No!).

So, anyway, if you've only come here for that, try again ..oh, say, next Friday.

As for the regular readers, all three of you, I'm going to lightly blog until I finally cough up the big post.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Doing research, like, fucking sucks.

What I've come up with so far is discussed in comments to this post -- in which also, as a bonus, a wingnut calls me a racist. Yay!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Newspapers In English From Around The World

Accra Daily Mail


The Age

Al Ahram

Al Bawaba

Albanian Daily News


An Phoblacht

Angola Press

Arab News

Arusha Times

Asahi Shimbun

Asia Times

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Baghdad Bulletin

Bahrain Tribune

Baku Sun

Baku Today

Baltic Times

Baltimore Sun

Bangkok Post

Barbados Advocate

Barbados Daily Nation

Belfast Telegraph

Belize Times

Boston Globe

Botswana Daily News

Botswana Gazette

Budapest Sun

Buenos Aires Herald

Cairo Times

Canberra Times

Caucasus Times

Chechen Times

China Daily

The China Post

Chosun Ilbo

Copenhagen Post

Contra Costa Times

Cyprus Mail

Cyprus News

The Daily Mirror

The Daily Star

The Dawn

Deccan Herald

Delta Farm Press


Denver Post

Deutsche Welle

Dhaka Daily Star

Dunya Gazetesi

East African

East African Standard

East Day

East Timor Press

Egypt Daily News

Egyptian Gazette

El Khabar

El Universal

EU Observer

Evenimentul Zilei

Financial Gazette

Georgian Daily Times

Ghanaian Chronicle

Glasgow Sunday Herald

Globe & Mail

Granma Internacional

Guardian Unlimited

Gulf Daily News

Gulf News

Gulf Times


Helsingin Sanomat

The Hindu

The Hindustan Times

Iceland Review

The Independent - U.K.

Indian Country

India Today

International Herald Tribune

Iran Daily

Irish Independent

Irish Times

Jakarta Post

Jamaica Gleaner

Jamaica Observer

Japan Times

Johannesburg Star

Jordan Times

Kampala Monitor


Khaleej Times

Korea Herald

Korea Times


Kurdish Daily

Kurdistan Observer

Kuwait Times

Kyiv Post

Lagos Daily Times

Los Angeles Daily News

Los Angeles Times

Madison Capital Times

Mainichi Daily News


Malaysian Star

Malta Independent

Manila Times

Mauritius News

Middle East Times


Monday Morning (Lebanon)

Mongol Messenger

Moscow Times

Myanmar Times

The Namibian

The Natal Witness

Native American Times

Nepal News

Neue Zurcher Zeitung

New Hampshire Gazette

New Orleans Times-Picayune

The New Vision

New York Times

New Zealand Herald

Nicaragua News

Nigerian Guardian

Norway Post

Nouvelles de Tunisie

O Estado De Sao Paulo

Oman Observer

Palestine Chronicle

Panama News

Papua New Guinea National

People's Daily

Perth Post

Philadelphia Inquirer

Philippine Daily Inquirer

The Pioneer

Pioneer Press

Prague Post


Russia Journal Daily

Samoa Observer

San Francisco Chronicle

The Scotsman

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Seychelles Nation

Slovakia Daily Surveyor

Sofia Echo

South China Morning Post


Sri Lankan Daily News


St. Louis Post-Dispatch

St. Petersburg Times

The Straits Times

Sunday Times

Sydney Morning Herald

Taipei Times

Taiwan News


Tehran Times

The Telegraph of Calcutta

The Tico Times

The Times of Central Asia

The Times of Malta

Toronto Star

Tribune De Geneve

Turkish Daily News

USA Today

Vancouver Sun

Vietnam News

Warsaw Business Journal

Warsaw Voice

Washington Post

Weiner Zeitung

The West Australian

Yemen Observer

Yemen Times


Yomiuri Shimbun


Zambia Daily Mail

Zimbabwe Mirror

Thursday, July 14, 2005

"Oh, Just One More Thing"

As Lieutenant Columbo is wont to say. The "Wingnut Superstar" meme is a good one, I think, so I might as run it into the ground.

The Poor Man first used it as an NCAA Tournament bracket, World O'Crap's doing it as an interactive "Greatest Wingnuts" contest, letting her readers choose the victors. Me, I'm pathetic and obviously unoriginal.

So, I'm thinking of not only completing my baseball-inspired exercise in the meme, but also doing one along the lines of a favorite cartoon of my childhood: Wingnut Legion of Doom, with each having a magical supervillain attribute that is the antithesis of those of the Liberal Superfriends.

Sort of like what South Park did with religious leaders, except not as funny.

More Than This

I'm working feverishly on a sequel to the previous post. Until I post it, read some of the blogs on your left (no, not my left, your left). I especially suggest Wolcott, who's been on fire lately.

There are several teams that went unmentioned in the previous All-Star round-up of Wingnut League Punditry. So far, I've got eight more to describe, and that list will probably grow. Your suggestions are welcome.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Ladies and Gentlemen, Your 2005 Wingnut All-Star Team

As you know, the league has recently expanded, and far from diluting talent, as many MSM rightwingers feared, we have seen that insanity, bigotry, armchair warmongering, and wholesale stupidity have remained at least constant, if not raised to an even higher level in Wingnut League Punditry. As always, the All-Star game is an exhibition of the league's finest talent.

The votes have been cast and counted -- let's get on with it -- here is the roster.

Representing the Douchebag League, the Senior Circuit of Wingnut League Punditry:

Canuckistan Wingnutiens - This venerable franchise sends three players to the All-Star team, a sure sign of its strength and proof that its pennant run last year was no fluke.

Mark Steyn

He has all the tools wingnuts need; only now is coming into his own. Is a lock to be an all-star for the next decade.

David Frum

Frum, three years ago winner of the William Safire "Nattering Nabobs" Memorial Award for most hackneyed phrase inserted into a Presidential speech by a flaming wingnut, is the Wingnutiens' most fearsome slugger. Perennial All-Star. Strengths include his formidable smear tactics, conceit, sheer hackery, and, of course, economic illiteracy. Expect him to lead off in Tuesday's game.

Rachel Marsden

Stalking? Harassment? Garden-variety wingnut idiocy? Her star is rising!

Los Angeles Sex-Dodgers - Always a contender, though this year with only one representative elected to the All-Star team. This, on the whole, says less about the team's stars than it does about its wonderful bench, chock full as it is of vaseline-toting, mattress-soiling, kleenex-destroying heavyweights.

Virgin Ben Shapiro

Ben does not do one thing, and he does not do it well! Disgusted with the thought of defiling his body through pre-marital sex, Ben, like a good Talibani wingnut, fixates on the sexual habits of others. Again and again and again. Trivia: Ben, when not on the fields of punditry, never rides the pine; rather, he usually retreats into the clubhouse bathroom for extended stays until called-for.

Philadelphia Phucktards - Traditionally this franchise is a basement-dweller, yet has a rabid fan base. The eminently lovable Phucktards send one player to the mid-summer classic.

Justin Darr

One could not build a more promising wingnut than Justin; expect him to be traded to a contender in late July. ESPN's Peter Gammons reports that the Boston Banalities are interested in Darr, as are the Knoxville Knobs.

Jacksonville Jackasses - Typically one of the league's also-rans, the Jackasses are true to form this year, and, as is so often the case with mediocre teams, send only one player to the All-Star Game.

Joe Scarborough

As a player-manager, Scarborough is in a unique position to force his opponents to play to the Jackasses' strengths. Picked off a remarkable 67 running memes last season, usually via his expertise at distraction and diversion. Joe is always quick with Schiavo updates, and when the going gets tough, can be counted on for Missing White Woman stories until the storm blows over.

Virginia Housetrailers - Inconsistency is the curse of the beloved Mobile Homes, but if this storied franchise could ever string its frequently explosive offense into a steady barrage rather than occasional "earth-shattering kabooms", it could well enter the playoffs.

Kaye Grogan

Not only does Kaye have phenomenal, MVP-type talent, but she's also the classiest wingnut since Anita Bryant. Kaye's stupidity percentage was in the high .300s, and her OBS (a fancy sabermetric aggregate stat: it's the measure of offensiveness plus bullshit) was a Hall of Fame-worthy 1.400. Simply incredible.

The Unreconstructed Nazis of Anaheim - Formerly the Bakersfield Bund, the new name won't roll off tongues quite like bulldozers run over Rachel Corries, but the name-change, star rightfielder Charles Johnson insists, was necessary for financial reasons. One thing's for sure, the old Bund never was breathing down the necks of the first place Wingnutiens before. Johnson can smell a pennant, and his enthusiasm will be on prominent display Tuesday. With a steady stream of talent coming up from Triple-A farm club Appallachian Rottweilers, the Nazis could be loaded.

Charles Johnson

What else can be said of Johnson? Already a certain first-ballot Wingnut Hall of Famer, he only lacks a ring to complete his career. In the categories of sectarianism and tribalism, few can compete with him.

Delaware Roundmouths - An expansion franchise this year, the Roundmouths have stayed in the League's cellar most of the year, but are winning high marks for their exciting style of play. When they're "on", few wingnuts can fellate the White House better. The problem is, of course, Delaware is seldom "on".

Jeff Gannon

Gannon started out the season ..well, on fire, but has since fallen off his pace. He certainly has all the requisite tools to be a successful wingnut: stupidity, hypocrisy, hackery.

Michigan Morons - Probably a .500 team, the Morons excel in some areas of wingnuttery, sputter in others. True to their name, these guys take their cretinism seriously -- they're stupid like foxes! That's their strong suit. But some question their guts: no, not courage (hah!), but do they have bile enough to be proper Major League Wingnuts? There are signs of encouragement.

John J. Miller

Statisticians debate the true value (usually in "abominations created" indices) of wingnut Francophobia, but John J. Miller is a True Believer in his routine. What statisticians don't understand, Miller says, is that Francophobia disrupts liberals' defences in ways that just do not show up in the math. Regardless of where you come down on the subject, you have to admit that Miller has resolve: last year he slagged France in a record 56 straight essays. Yet we worry that Miller is too one-dimensional, and his venom, like his (American) liberal bashing, could use some improvement. Miller's occasional kulturkrit shows potential, however. Scouts have always said he lacked the tools to be a Norman Podhoretz, but Miller's proved scouts wrong before.

Brian Cherry

Few rookies hold more promise than Michigan's Brian Cherry. Scouts point to his homophobia as proof that he's the real thing. We're more impressed by his early coinage of a catch phrase ("literary sticks") as well as his second vocation, writing historical fiction (which is supergay when done by the Left; but Brian writes about gorey, sweaty Vikings, with their huge broadswords and flowing blond locks and..). Brian has an infectious personality; he eagerly sign autographs for fellow wingnuts in the stands, and sometimes invites several over to his home to watch Gladiator movies. Trivia: Brian models his hair after classic "Electric Blue" era Icehouse videos.

Central Committee Commissars - Taking their offensive cues from the defunct Providence Pravda teams, this Senior Circuit power emphasises aggressive play. Which may be putting it lightly. To the delight of wingnut fans everywhere, this team habitually attacks the umpires as often as it attacks the opposing team. The tactical revolution wrought by the father-son tandem of Norman and John Podhoretz is a thrill to fans and a headache to the opposition. Youppi is the Commissars' justly famed mascot.

Michael Medved

Medved is a perfect Politburo throwback, always ready with an attack on the Great Satan of Hollywood. His high-energy style and high droning voice should provide many thrills in tonight's action.

Golden State Gasbags - A promising team, but real success is several years up the road. The Old English lettering on the jerseys, and French frilly cuffs on their sleeves rightly indicate their overall style of wingnutism: over the top pomposity. They are to wingnut punditry what Britny Fox was to heavy metal. Rumor has it they are desperate to sign Tucker Carlson to a multiyear contract, convinced he is their type of player. Expect Captain Ed of the Gasbags' Triple A affiliate Crap N' Quaaludes to get a September call-up.

Josh "Tacitus" Trevino

Flamboyant in the Liberace William F. Buckley way, Trevino has literally hundreds of wingnut admirers. And what's not to like? Solipsism to the point of megalomania always goes over well. And the very name: Tacitus. You know, we used to enter chatrooms as "The Emperor Julian" or as "alkibiades", but the object was to be goofy, either by baiting Christians with the former, or affecting a silly lisp and whining about persecution with the latter. Not Tacitus: he's an earnest wingnut. So earnest, in fact, that he took special care to smear the protestors at the 2004 RNC convention (see "RNC Coverage", upper righthand column). So earnest, in fact, that he picked the single stupidest fight of 2005. This is upper level wingnutism, for sure. Umpires of tonight's game will have to have sharp eyes.

These worthies of the Douchebag League will be faced by the best of WLP's Junior Circuit, the Chickenhawk League. In recent years, roughly since early 2003, the balance of power has tipped in the Junior Circuit's direction. Vegas has the CL favored by a large margin.

Pittsburgh Poms - Talk about tradition! The tedious tories have it out the wazoo! The Poms prove that wingnuttia is not a parochial but global phenomenon: they represent the best talent, and dentistry, that the Mother Country has to offer. Parodoxically, these players of the "Old Guard" are actually some of the most innovative in wingnuttia. Their smearing regimen is legendary; their mantra could be "adjust, adjust, adjust." And do they ever! Andrew Sullivan, for instance, has used at least two dozen smearing stances this season. And converted southpaw Christopher Hitchens varies his leg-kick and arm-slot with enthusiasm and skill, befuddling opposing hitters with his herky-jerky clusterfucked delivery. The Poms' Niall Ferguson just narrowly missed this year's team, yet may take the field if any of the All-Star starters are injured.

Christopher Hitchens

A convert, but a wingnut juggernaut nonetheless. His pitching of lies, smears, and utter stupidity on WMDs amazed even veteran wingnuts, while his self-revising stance on the chickenhawk issue was so breathtaking that the whole league immediately copied his style. His neat, brilliant formulation which perfectly pigeonholed everyone from hippies to Thoreau to anti-nuke protestors as political reactionaries was such a masterful stroke of wingnut doublespeak that he was instantly made captain of his squad. As near an automatic selection to the All-Star team as there can be.

Andrew Sullivan

The veteran. Production at first glance appears to be slipping, but the stats say otherwise. A clutch hitter; when the chips are down, he can be counted on for that "objectively pro-Saddam Left" slag that brings a wingnut crowd to its feet.

Minnesota Masturbators - Formerly a farm team of the LA Sex-Dodgers, with expansion, the WLP came on to the Masturbators, and they responded with enthusiasm, though now one can imagine a certain soreness and fatigue has slowed them down. Their record indicates this is, in fact, true. Still, they send two first-rate All-Stars to this year's game.

Adam Yoshida

Put simply, The Legend. Originally a Wingnutiens farm hand, Yoshida has really blossomed for the Masturbators. Adam stresses fundamental wingnuttery, and the crowds at Tidy Bowl Stadium can and do attest to his delivering on those goods. The living in his mom's basement, the jingoism, the effortless recommendations of genocide: if there is any form of wingnuttery that Adam hasn't mastered, we're unaware of it.

David Adesnik

Strong candidate for Rookie of the Year last season, has fallen on something of a sophomore jinx. Still, what's not to like? David attacked the most imposing website on Planet Earth -- no, he didn't make much of a dent, but the kid proved he had the heart it takes to be a cultural commissar. Coaches say he's like a young Michael Medved if not so good-looking. And then there are those magical moments when his Id starts typing: pure wingnut gold.

Cleveland Closet-Cases - Reinvigorated franchise; if they played in the Douchebag League, could be a contender. Three representatives on tonight's squad.

John Derbyshire

The Closet-Cases wisely traded the Poms for Derb, and it's paid off. Not that Derb isn't one-dimensional: he is. But his skill-set so sweetly dovetails with the Closet-Cases' style of play that it fits like a well-oiled piston into a tight, dark chamber.

Hindsocket & The Big Trunk

Another era had Tinker to Evers to Chance; modern wingnuts have it so much better: Big Trunk into Hindsocket into big fat wingnut lovehearts (<3). This pair should be considered as such, rather than as individuals (with apologies to Miss Rand's ghost). This double penetration double play combo is so versatile, they even perform, in a pinch, as a pitcher (Trunk) and catcher (Hindsocket) battery when the Closet-Cases' bullpen gets overworked. Hindsocket's cheap shot off the light tower in last year's All-Star game is already a highlight film staple.

Yazoo City Yoostabees - This team's underachieving ways were legendary -- until about three years ago, when new management changed all that. Now, they have to be considered among the favorites to win the pennant. This team is loaded with wingnut talent, and their farm system, including the Double A Seattle Pseudo-Liberals (whose stars Mickey Kaus and Peter Beinart are WPL-worthy), keeps producing quality wingnut talent. Yoostabee superstar David Horowitz was inexplicably passed-over in the All-Star selections, but that's probably because his team is already so well represented.

Michael J. Totten

Constant revisionism, stupid equivalencies, pathetic regurgitations of half-baked Hitchenisms, total ignorance of Leftist history, total ignorance of, well, all history, utter witlessness, and oodles upon oodles of smarm make Totten an objectively pro-wingnut wingnut for the Ages. He'll be a starter in tonight's game.

Roger L. Simon

At first a rather pedestrian wingnut, Simon has thrived under the tutelage of the legendary, super-reactionary fucktard Michael Ledeen.

Stephen Green

Perfect representation of the oily yuppie. Bret Easton Ellis novels are written about him, yet he can pull off the "I used to be a Democrat" schtick with the best of 'em. Destined to be a wingnut All-Star for years.

Red State Rapturists - Aging team, but still formidable. Only one selection to this year's Best of the Best competition, but he's a real slugger.

Jerry Falwell

Another wingnut icon. His blaming of 9-11 on homosexuality and abortion is legendary. His judgement last week of Liberal Christians as being, actually, anti-Christian ("Christ was no 'hippie do-gooder!'") shows that the venerable slugger can still turn on an inside fastball. Expect the defence Tuesday to shade Falwell heavily to rightfield.

Silicon Valley Randroids - A real hit or miss -- or hit and run, if you like -- team, the Randroids are clanking and shuttering right now, but don't expect them to continue to do so. Alan Greenspan's old team should be back in the playoff hunt soon, just probably not this year. Next year, though, look out: newcomers Jane Galt, Amber Pawlik, and any one of the Reason jackasses could soon be stars.

Leonard Peikoff

Peikoff, Ayn Rand's "designated intellectual and literary heir", is a whiff-prone wingnut, it's true, but when he connects -- look out! The cheery speech in which he lauded the murder of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan is a beacon of wingnutism that shines a light of reason on the dark corners of liberal humanitarianism and other silly leftist (and collectivist, of course) diversions.

Tampa Bay Pterocaryae - The Grand Old Team of WLP, these classicists have fallen on hard times. But they still have some heavy hitters. Victor Davis Hanson sits out the All-Star game for the first time in a decade; he'll be back.

Paul Johnson

From presuming to lecture James Baldwin on the subject of prejudice, to praying for his political foes' deaths, to being as shrill as possible on the subject of the EU, to facially-polluting the earth with his gin blossoms, Paul Johnson has had a fine wingnut career indeed. Unapologetically pro-Empire. Johnson's out-ed S&M fetish might have brought an "I thought so" smile to even Foucault's face. Johnson's the sort of historian that wingnuts deserve -- ask them, they'll agree! A proven outrage-producer who plays old school WLP: how it's meant to be played.

Manhattan Macho Men - One of the league's most storied franchises, for many years the "Fucking Jingos", as their fans lovingly call them, were the best the Junior Circuit had to offer. Thanks to major investors like Richard Sciafe and Ruppert Murdoch, along with ever-churning Crank Tanks, the Macho Men's system and resources are second to none. They've fallen off a bit, lately, but are still a power to be respected, even feared. Eugene Volokh, Alan Dershowitz, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin: all have had their streaks the past few seasons, calling for torture, howling with bloodlust, suggesting that the country revisit internment (Malkin's grand slam which swept a huge series over the Poms)... The Jingos have definitely had their moments. The House That Teddy Roosevelt Built with racism, sectarianism, and sheer unadulterated war-loving insanity has had its historical moments, with which Max Boot's recent thrills hold their own.

Max Boot

Boot is that rare wingnut: a genuine five-tool Tool. He can revise history, plaintively beg for mercenaries, practice glorious double-speak, boorishly elaborate on false or meaningless distinctions between neo and paleo wingnuts, and modify his stance from one degree of pseudo-muscularity to the next with little difficulty. Excusing torture is no problem for him. Writing books that whitewash genocide is not only a job for Boot, it's a pleasure. Boot is sure to win his first WLP MVP award soon.

Knoxville Knobs - Dynasty in the making. Watch for defensive wizard Neil Boortz, and youngster Judson Cox. The Knobs -- or Yokels, as they are affectionately known by their fans -- have unequalled skill with blandly-stated outrage. And when that doesn't work on their opponents, there's always the ultimate weapon: wrist-slitting boredom. The Yokels have inspired more opponents to forfeit than any other teams in WLP history.

Glenn Reynolds

Reynolds has been the WLP MVP the past three seasons. His whitebread style -- which belies a personality, values-system and skill-set of coarse-ground Freeperism -- keeps him in good graces with the officials, while true wingnuts, who know the statistics, keep their happy faces, certain of Reynolds's true nature. His production has been staggering. There's his endorsement of genocide which in a pinch can be construed as "merely" a mournful acceptance of it. Then there is his fraudulence, which is breathtaking. Reynolds's genius -- and arguably the biggest reason for his success -- is that he's been so skillful at denying his very wingnuttiness! It's true! He's a "Whig", then he's a "Libertarian", then he's a "Democrat the Democratic Party Left Behind" -- anything but a wingnut, which is his true nature! That Instayokel, what a chameleon! But I mean to say he's the complete package. He's a gun nut and is at least at-home with racism. And for good measure, he proved he can play in 80s wingnut style: on throwback jersey day, he gleefully welcomed the prospect of a nuclear exchange. That Glenn Reynolds, he can do it all.

Pillsbury Pantloads - The surprise team of 2005. Though many players have spent considerable time on the disabled list, or injured reserve, the sheer audacity of this team has drawn record crowds and has made a star out of First Blabsman Jonah Goldberg. They'll make the playoffs.

Jonah Goldberg

The Chickenhawk Champion. A menace to science. An idiot and a fool. Yes, he is taking the WPL by storm; he is Reynolds's only real competition. Indeed, he's equalled or outdone Instayokel by almost every wingnutian metric -- incredibly, he's almost neck-and-neck with Reynolds even in the important "banal observations" stat, which Reynolds was thought to have a monopoly on. And that brings us to the controversy: does Jonah Goldberg have help in being the All-World Wingnut we hold in awe? Is there any evidence of illegal or semi-legal performance-enhancing additives in his commentaries? Well, there's no conclusive proof. But there's the convenient "letters" he gets from "readers", there's his reply to Dr. Cole which was very different in style and, I believe, syntax, from his normally crapulent offerings, and there's his constant whiny blegs at The Cornhole for this and that information. Could this mean a tainted wingnut era? We'll see. But until we do, look for Jonah, spawn of Lucianne, to be a yearly candidate for WLP MVP.

My prediction for tonight's game? Junior Circuit, but it'll go extra innings.

*Dedication: I was deeply inspired by this masterpiece. I also liberally (hah!) stole links from it.

**Update: I'm crushed to hear that World O'Crap already did something like this earlier in the week. I dont have the heart to look at it.

***Update again, 5:30 PM. I looked at World O'Crap's post. I've wasted all my time writing this. People will think I'm it's rip-off. Shitfire motherfucker goddamn. I was scared that the Poor Man would beat me to the punch, not S.Z. Never even thought about looking, even through those old links I had saved of hers for ammo in this post. I think I might take a break from blogging after this fiasco. Just shoot me.

**** Yet another update, Wed, 7/13/05: Here's World O'Crap's post, and it's typically damn good. Yet her wingnut contest is a tournament where mine is an All-Star competition, a la Major League Baseball (whose game was last night, damn the NL for losing). Actually, I had drafted part of this post way back in the spring, with the intention of an "Opening Day" theme, but then left it when it got too big and the right time had passed. This weekend, I resolved to complete it, in altered form, before Tuesday Night's game. Ah well. Thank yous to everyone who left comments after the first update and my initial disappointment at being beaten to the punch and fearing that I looked like a copycat.

***** And still another Edit: Fixed the first David Frum link, which was broken. While I was at it, I added some links elsewhere in the post to, hopefully, better leaven it.

Friday, July 08, 2005

The Hollow Men

TBOGG rolls his eyes at a particularly empty and silly post at Crap N' Quaaludes.

And who can blame him? Avoiding the self-important posturing style that everyone knew would come like a flood from the Right, most on the Left either discussed policy or simply posted a small humble mention of solidarity, perhaps garnished with a Union Jack gif.

But the Right, they had to outdo themselves in ersatz Churchillisms. Pitiful.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Haymakers Riot

Billmon says:

There will be plenty of time later to argue whether London does or does not demonstrate the failure of the flypaper strategy, whether the Rovians did or did not deliberately blew the cover on a British counterterrorism operation, and whether the right-wing media is or is not milking today's attack for political gain.

But right now I gotta agree with Kevin Drum: Just for today -- or what's left of it -- can't we drop the politics and the armchair quarterbacking and treat this like the terrible human tragedy that is? Just this once?

I mean, I know that's too much to ask of the conservatives, but aren't we supposed to be better than that?

Yes, we are; and I agree with most of the rest of his complaint. I won't talk about policy or politicians, though I appreciate Digby's point to the contrary, but I have to talk about the media's exploitation of the London attacks.

I didn't learn of the attacks until very late in the day, but even so, when I turned on CNN and started to read commentary in the blogosphere, after the shock had worn off I recognised the nastiest sort of cynicism and spin-doctoring -- also, typical stupidity and fear-mongering. So very many trying to make political hay out of the Londoners' misery.

Lou Dobbs wasted no time in tying the attacks to his anti-immigration fetish. Anderson Cooper, Wolf Blitzer and Dobbs all repeatedly expressing shock, shock that the G8 summit's first priority was the poverty issue and not international terrorism! Fatuous references were made in various reports about the British stiff upper lip. Thankfully, a precious few reporters managed to insert a little context into the coverage with remarks very much like Digby's list: London has long been a target of military power as well as terrorist activity. Naturally, their proffered context was soundly ignored by the talking heads.

Grr. The stiff upper lip shit bothers me. It was as if these American media nitwits were appalled that people all over England didn't rise to some unstated standard of properly hysterical reaction: thus, the Londoners' relatively calmer reaction was attributed not to the lack of a fear-mongering press, or to the knowledge and memory of the multitude of previous attacks, but to some fucking inscrutable racial/cultural trait by which Brits reflexively adopt a stony resolve. By golly, that Churchill stuff must be hard-wired into them! Well, no, CNN, not really.

While all that was bad enough in a vague way, the blogs were worse, and specific about it.

Roy catches Jonah Goldberg openly musing on "useful" outcomes, then, in noting that Instayokel was riding the hayrake hard, Roy makes a general observation that strikes me as exceedingly well-put:

I imagine some readers may find it offensive that I am expressing my opinions on even so ancillary an aspect of these bombings as their press coverage without resorting to the seemingly requisite clenched teeth and offers of prayer. My feelings for the horrible deaths of several people I do not personally know are probably about the same as yours. Every man's death diminishes me, whether or not it is on the news, but I try not to intrude upon the funerals of strangers.

For my own part, I am more offended at the cunning use of public tragedy for propaganda purposes. For example, the Perfesser's jape at Ken Livingstone's response to the attacks on his City -- that "they've got even Ken Livingstone sounding Churchillian" -- seems to me appallingly cynical. Red Ken, bless him, is simply being Livingstonian. To talk about his call for solidarity as if it were some sort of deviation from the norm makes no sense, unless your business is to interpret basic human behaviors and emotions in political terms.

TBOGG reads the LGFer's response so we don't have to. But one could have guessed it anyway: yes, they call for genocide.

Tacitus, for my money the most pompous gasbag in the whole blogosphere, uses the occasion as an excuse to slag Spain.

John Derbyshire says the word. "Appeasers". Then -- well, I'd better quote it:

If it's solely up to Tony Blair, Ken Livingstone, and the rest of the Brits (I'll make a few exceptions, but they are not very important), Osama bin Laden will be riding around in a chauffered limousine ten years from now, and having tea with the Queen.

Brian Kilmeade of Fox News was a bit more explicit than the CNN hacks:

First to the people of London, and now at the G8 summit, where their topic Number 1 --believe it or not-- was global warming, the second was African aid. And that was the first time since 9-11 when they should know, and they do know now, that terrorism should be Number 1. But it's important for them all to be together. I think that works to our advantage, in the Western world's advantage, for people to experience something like this together, just 500 miles from where the attacks have happened.

In Brit Hume, we see the cynical version of the heart of darkness:

I mean, my first thought when I heard -- just on a personal basis, when I heard there had been this attack and I saw the futures this morning, which were really in the tank, I thought, "Hmmm, time to buy."

Meanwhile, Michelle Malkin and Debbie Schlussel -- ah, fuck it. Just read it.

England, Our England

Fuck al-qaeda.

Condolences to Londoners -- and to all Britons, for that matter. Here's to hoping that the casualty numbers don't get any higher than they already, sadly, are.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Screw You And Your Cheese-Eating Surrender Kitties!

The puny kittens of Sadly, No! and The Poor Man offered their immediate and unconditional surrender to the forces of Master War Criminal Ted Barlow today, thus making a prophet of Kim DuToit, who so long ago predicted the pussification of the Western Male.

Well, I mean to say that we here at elementropy will never surrender! We are defiant to the end, we aim for total victory, through blood, toil, sweat, and tears and all that Churchill shit.

While Sadly, No! and The Poor Man are now run by Barlow-puppet regimes (they are now known as Vichy, Yes! and The Petain Man), The Editors and Seb wait and plan, and we, we freedom-lovers of elementropy, support them in their exile, certain that once the Barlow menace is driven back to the Twisted Forest from whence it came, a glorious restoration will delight the world. (While I, RETARDO, devise the strategy to fully prosecute all Barlow-collaborators.)

Why should we be so confident, you ask? Because we are exceptional! Like freedom itself, we soar above all others. We are of a whole different species. No, I really mean that.

Witness, elementropy mascot Donny, here seen defying two guns. While this photo was taken, in fact, Donny sang patriotic songs consisting of "I'm the birdy birdy birdy birdy bird", and, throwing caution to the wind, "spank your monkey". It is suspected that elementropy's leader's brother (possibly while very stoned), and leader of its special shock troops, taught Donny such defiant songs of sweet sweet liberty:

Soon after this picture was taken, Donny's loathsome interrogators fed him sunflower seeds, after which, in keeping with his never-say-die, never-give-in beliefs, he proceeded to righteously poop on one enemy's shoulder. Our Donny is a real trouper, unlike the pussies of S,N! and TPM, who are so servile and meek that they spare their tormentor Mr Barlow any unpleasantries by neatly pooping in their own litter boxes.

Yeah, you think you're tough, Ted Barlow? Donny says, "Bring it on!"

Filling Someone's Piggybank

I missed this. The US handed out billions to contractors in duffle bags.

See also the LRB.

Pathetic. Not just that there's no paper trail, no accountability, little way of telling if the money went to where and whom it ultimately should have.

One way or another you just know that some of this money is making its way to the RNC.

Hey, that's not outrageous: it's happened before, as when the CIA gave money to the Greek junta which in turn made its way back to Richard Nixon's campaign and dirty trick coffers.

The Golden Mean

At last, they are beginning to do tests on Kennewick Man. Meanwhile, footprints have been discovered in Mexico, the tenative age of which throws a bit of a monkey wrench into the Bering Strait theory.

Kennewick is important to study because of its age, relatively good condition, and, controversially, its surprising morphology.

All this is interesting stuff for just the science of it, but also, to me, for the sign that a happy legal medium may have finally been reached with regard to Native American interests in repatriation, and science's interest in studying ancient human remains.

Kennewick is so old that modern NA tribes simply don't have a cultural claim to it. I have about as much right to demand that Lindow Man be immediately redunked in "our" bog or that Otzi the Iceman be reburied on "our" mountain ASAP.

The Native American Graves and Repatriation Act was a necessary thing. For one, it was a good tool to use against genuine graverobbers, and for another, far too many universities and museums were stuffed full of skeletons that no one cared to ever study, and precious few that were exhibited. But then the NAs abused the law, and tried, through it, to get every human remain possibly construed as NA reburied double pronto -- even something unique like Kennewick. Maybe the latest ruling means that the legal pendulum is now at rest.

*Edit: Fixed link.

"...Many Things You Will See: The Future, The Past, Old Friends.."

Here's a lazy dispatch of what other people are writing about:

Ted Barlow, the greatest academic blogger, writes a satire piece for The Poor Man's site, and his target is perfect. Yes, it's James "Fivehead" (Copyright, TBOGG) Lileks.

The Sadly, No! Gang is sponsoring a "Write Like A Wingnut" contest.

Billmon wrote the best Fourth of July post of them all.

Where my attempts to do justice to the wingnuts' reactions to news of torture, including this post and a snotty comment to Absentee's rant, are weak, the Poor Man's post on the subject is the best ever.

Finally, The Onion goes back to the future.

Barbeque, That's What's Cookin' *

As I sit here lounging, smoking a cig and patting my belly after just eating a delicious side of pork ribs, I take a moment to feel pity not only for the Jews, Muslims, and Vegans who cannot share at all in the joyous, life-affirming rite of eating bbq, but also for the Yankees who either don't know what good bbq is, or if they do, can't get it up there near their igloos (except via Fed Ex).

They're missing out.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Good General

I clicked through the Antiwar.com site the other day, and noticed a pretty good quote attributed to General Smedley Butler. A quote that I hadn't seen before.

Since my computer is a piece of crap, I lost the page, and when I went back to find it, the quote had changed. Anyway, I knew of General Butler -- one encounters his name frequently in old texts on imperialism -- but my interest was rekindled enough to look him up on wikipedia.

Butler is famous, from our point of view (infamous from Max Boot's point of view), for denouncing the corporate powers that had used his Marines as enforcers in international gangsterism:

I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National city Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested.

The places and times he references are what Max Boot glowingly refers to as America's "savage wars of peace". Butler's account of American depredations in Latin America neatly explain why the whole region has had, for years, a "yanqui go home" attitude toward us. And no wonder.

We can look somberly at Halliburton et al and note how things never change.

Butler was the most decorated Marine of his liftetime, a fact that excites desk-bound, jock-sniffing, war-loving weaklings like Boot, yet he was not a blood and guts sort of guy; Butler had a conscience, and therefore Boot, in his awful book, deprecates everything Butler said and did apart from his soldiering.

The wiki entry relates two things I didn't know, or had forgotten. One, that Butler led the Bonus Army, and two, that Butler warned FDR of a conspiracy against him by the right wing.

Let's consider the latter first. This wiki entry may not have been written by a wingnut, but I have a strong presumption that it was. Or, if not, it was written by someone from the squishy center, for whom there can be no conspiracy without an actual smoking gun or some memo that says, in the bluntest language, that so and so must be taken out. In other words, their standards are intentionally too high, much like those stathead fools who will only believe that Barry Bonds has taken steroids when they see photographic evidence (and even if that happened, I suspect many would scream, "photoshop!"). What constitutes a conspiracy?

Does the fact that several rightwing Generals (Brown was one) and business leaders of the Joe Kennedy variety, spoke among themselves of the ruin "Franklin D. Rosenfeld" would cause them, and that "that Jew" could be "taken out" by relatively few troops, qualify? Butler, in his position, would know of such talk, and indeed they apparently tried to recruit him, respecting the loyalty troops gave to him. But no, to the squishy centrist, unless there was a typed memo from some General to some Crapitalist saying "kill FDR at 2100", there could be no conspiracy, and Smedley Butler was just an hysteric. In reality, FDR deserved to be notified of such talk, even if it hadn't progressed further than smokey paranoid conversations at rightwing poker tables. The rightwing had continually circulated the smear that FDR had been crippled not from polio but from syphilis, which was typically dirty of them, but talking, even idly, of a coup d'etat is in a whole other order of importance. Butler's a hero for many things, one of which being that he spilled the beans on this plot.

Now about the Bonus Army: when I first read of it, I was shocked -- and I use that word, for once, in all sincerity. It is an episode never taught in schools. These raggedy men, depleted and desperate from the Great Depression, came to Washington and camped out, fairly peacefully (I know a few threw rocks), until the Veterans' Bonuses promised to them were paid. The government's reaction was shameful, and any police brutality done to later protest movements, even that done by Daley's goons in Chicago 1968, pales in comparison. This was Waco on a massive scale; and if the final casualty numbers seem few, it's not because of the government's lack of trying. Butler must have been appalled.

Without trying to sound too despondent, I have to say that learning of the Bonus Army convinced me that the United States was not and is not an open society in Karl Popper's definition of the phrase. Nevermind people amassing to change a whole government -- a la the Rose and Orange Revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine respectively -- these men -- veterans at that, to whom the government at least in theory has more than the normal debt -- of the Bonus Army merely wanted paid for their services. In other words, this is a paltry demand compared to one of changing the government, and yet they were treated brutally. Imagine, then, even a perfectly constructed peaceful movement at Washington, of thousands or millions, even with the required signatures and theoretical representation to create a new constitutional convention: a real mandate. I'm sorry, but I just know in my bones (as the saying goes) that it would be a bloodbath no matter which party is in power.