Archive for July, 2004

Pet Goats

Sunday, July 18th, 2004

I guess I’d better save these customer reviews before deletes them.

First, note the bizarre nature of the “Customers Who Bought This Book Also Bought” page. One could create a Vinn Diagram, 2 over-lapping circles with this one as the shared “connector” book.

5 stars My Pet Goat is a masterpiece of strategic thought., July 17, 2004
Reviewer: oparts (New York, NY United States)
Destined to take their place alongside von Clausewitz and Sun Tzu, Engelmann and Bruner have captured the very essence of strategic thought in a mere 32 large-print pages. In this masterwork, when Smirky the Goat is stung on the nose by Osama the Wasp, he jumps over the fence and butts the living daylights of out Saddam the Swine. Advanced students will see the seeds of the Bush Doctrine in this landmark book.

3 stars My Pet Goat or: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE, July 17, 2004
Reviewer: Frank Newgent (Tomahawk, West Virginia)

It’s a weird story alright. A little goat goes funny in the head and orders his airplanes to attack Russia I think. The Attorney General is in a wheelchair – like Ironside – but must have forgot to watch the show because he never catches anyone. And it turns out there’s some kind of giant self-destructing Star Wars type of thing built somewhere in Texas.

I really couldn’t figure out the part when Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld starts shouting: “I can no longer sit back and allow this hollow-horned, bearded ruminant mammal to infiltrate , indoctrinate, subvert, and conspire to sap and impurify all of our foreign and defense policy principles.” It was like maybe he thought he knew what was coming or something and then just ended up causing it all to happen himself. That’s why I only gave it 3 stars.

Probably my favorite part of the book is when President Bush falls out of that airplane right at the end, waving his cowboy hat.

5 stars Really Got My Goat, July 16, 2004
Reviewer: gefilte (Crawford, TX)
I only read “My Pet Goat” but I found it riveting. I could have read it for hours without letting anything interrupt me. I think the sociological ramifications of the interspecies relationship truly challenge the dominant paradigm of Hominid pair-bonding. Perhaps a legislative approach such as a constitutional amendment is needed to prevent Genus and Phylum exogamy. On the negative side, the author’s theoretical framework is obviously influenced too severely by a Foucaultian post-modernistic approach. I think some books need a pre-modern approach and should be burned, but not this one. I found it intellectually stimulating as well as slightly risible.

Sometimes goats have to die, July 16, 2004
Reviewer: A reader (Greenville, NC United States)
I like goats. It’s like my daddy always said, a goat in the pocket is a goat in the hole. If goats were money, I’d have a million of them (and give some to my friends too!). I remember goats are animals. They are not part of the axis of evil, but because I’m so compassionate, I sometimes still want to kill them.

5 stars A charge to keep, and I’m keeping “My Pet Goat”, July 14, 2004
Reviewer: A reader (Crawford, TX USA)
I glance at the headlines just to kind of get a flavor for what’s moving. I rarely read the stories, and get briefed by people who are probably read the news themselves. My job is to, like, think beyond the immediate. Why don’t you mentor a child how to read? There’s an old saying in Tennessee-I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee-that says, fool me once, shame on-shame on you. Fool me-you can’t get fooled again. If you don’t have any ambitions, the minimum-wage job isn’t going to get you to where you want to get, for example. In other words, what is your ambitions? And oh, by the way, if that is your ambition, here’s what it’s going to take to achieve it. There’s no cave deep enough for America, or dark enough to hide. I’m thrilled to be here in the bread basket of America because it gives me a chance to remind our fellow citizens that we have an advantage here in America-we can feed ourselves. There may be some tough times here in America. But this country has gone through tough times before, and we’re going to do it again. I promise you I will listen to what has been said here, even though I wasn’t here. The public education system in America is one of the most important foundations of our democracy. After all, it is where children from all over America learn to be responsible citizens, and learn to have the skills necessary to take advantage of our fantastic opportunistic society. In conclusion, buy this book today.

5 stars Steady Readership In Times Of Change, July 8, 2004
Reviewer: A reader (Sarasota, Florida)
A riveting story that keeps you glued to the page until the stunning climax. Even a notification from your staff that the nation you lead is under attack can’t keep you from reading the gut-wrenching final words.

5 stars Presidential material, through and through!, July 6, 2004
Reviewer: Lolla Fallujah (Hannah Storm’s house)
After reading the enclosed story “The Pet Goat,” I was stunned by its lyrical beauty and easy cadence. The tempo, the choice of words, and the layout on each page captured my imagination so much that it took me about seven minutes to recover my bearings.

Kansas Voting Record

Saturday, July 17th, 2004

This query was placed in the Reason Magazine blog…

Regarding Tom Frank’s book What’s the Matter with Kansas:

If what’s wrong with Kansas is that they elect Right-leaning Republicans… when was anything right with Kansas?

Bush: 58.04% 6
Gore: 37.24%
Dole 54.29%
Clinton 36.08%
Bush 38.88%
Clinton 33.74%
Bush 55.79%
Dukakis 42.56%
Reagan 66.27%
Mondale 32.60%
Reagan 57.85%
Carter 33.29%
Ford 52.49%
Carter 44.94%
Nixon 67.66%
McGovern 29.50%
Nixon 54.84%
Humphrey 34.72%
Johnson 54.09%
Goldwater 45.06%
Nixon 60.45%
Kennedy 39.10%
Eisenhower 65.44%
Stevenson 34.21%
Eisenhower 68.77%
Stevenson 30.50%
Dewey 53.63%
Truman 44.61%
Dewey 60.25%
Roosevelt 39.18%
Willkie 56.86%
Roosevelt 42.40%
Roosevelt 53.67%
Landon 45.95%
Roosevelt 53.56%
Hoover 44.13%
Hoover 72.02%
Smith 27.06%
Coolidge 61.54%
Davis 23.60%
Harding 64.75%
Cox 32.52%
Wilson 49.95%
Hughes 44.09%
Wilson 39.30%
Roosevelt 32.88%
Taft 52.46%
Bryan 42.88%
Roosevelt 64.81%
Parker 26.23%
McKinley 52.56%
Bryan 45.96%
Bryan 51.32%
McKinley 47.63%

You have to go back to 1896 through 1912 to see the more clearly “progressive” candidate garner the Kansas vote noticably above the national average (and even that is befuddled by the 1900 election of McKinley. owned by more corporate interests than just about any president in American history.) Other than that, whatever’s wrong with Kansas has been wrong before the Cultural Shifts of the 60s and the subsequent backlash, and was wrong with Kansas as Roosevelt introduced his New Deal Reforms (in what is the largest Electoral Landslide in US History*, Roosevelt really only squeaked by Landon in 1936.)

Looking at the late nineteenth century voting record, through the post Lincoln era that historians have tended to think of as stacked with unimpressive presidents, I’m struck by how often a third party pretty well threw the election either to the Democratic and Republican Party in Kansas, but here it seems to be a 50-50 state.

*for the nay-sayers who’d look at Reagan’s 49 state victory over Mondale as the pinacle of Presidential Landslides: Reagan: 525 ev, 97.58% Mondale: 13 ev, 2.42% … Roosevelt: 523 ev 98.49% ; Landon: 8 ev 1.51%. Landon won Maine and Vermont. Now, here’s a question: What’s Right With Vermont?

Stop Hillary Clinton NOW

Saturday, July 17th, 2004

Some generic right-wing radio host declared that Hillary would become president because she is ruthless and will do anything to gain power.

A fascinating prospect, a Hillary Clinton presidency. I can’t say that I want her to be president, but there is a general feeling articulated by Rick Emerson: “I want Hillary Clinton to be president solely to send some red-state Inlaws into a conniption fit.”

But, you know… there is one way to stop Hillary Clinton from seizing control of the presidency. Elect John Kerry. Twice.

Bush wins the White House, four years from now the backlash will send the “ruthless” Hillary Clinton (fenagled control of the DNC apparatus) into the White House. Or so the theory goes.

But, if you elect John Kerry, and then re-elect him in 2008 — the soonest that Hillary Clinton can go for it is 2016 — vice-president John Edwards being at the ready for 2012. Then, it would probably simply be too late in the same way that it worked for the Kennedys, where Ted Kennedy was the man who the DNC apparatus desperately sought to jump into the race as it was clear that McGovern was making his way toward the nomination, the peculiarities of 1976 made the outsider Carter the nominee, the 1980 bid fell short perhaps because of the short-term “rally around the flag” effect of the Iranian hostages being taken perhaps because of that drunken boat death scandal, and after that — it just becomes too goddamned late.

So Stop Hillary Clinton NOW. Elect John Kerry in 2004. Re-elect John Kerry in 2008. And, just to be on the safe side, Elect John Edwards in 2012. Then, Satan Reincarnated will not seize power.

Who are You Gonna Believe: Me or Your Own Lying Eyes?

Friday, July 16th, 2004

The term is “conspiracy theorist”.

When I said what I thought of as the obvious, that the dropping of the statue of Saddam Hussein was staged, and spurred by the US Military more than the Iraqi civilians, what was I indulging in? Playing in the realm of conspiracy theories.

It took over a year for the mainstream press to deliver the news to anyone who was still paying attention.

The biggest problem with the piece of propaganda was that the propaganda was aimed at the wrong audience: draping the statue with the American flag goes over well with the American public — sort of — but leaves the “liberated” Iraqis a bit cold, and leaves a lasting impression toward anyone in the Arab World who wishes to yell “Imperialism!”

Oddly enough, I was never willing to go so far as this source suggests, that the crowd consisted of a lot of Iraqi National Congress People…

… until just about now. But that’s just a gut feeling.

The same thing happened with Jessica Lynch. But, it seems that most people — shy of the Fox News / FreeRepublic set — picked up on that one rather quickly. Here, we get the curious case where when Jessica Lynch finally said that the gummint made a lot of it up, a lot of the FreeRepublic crowd actually turned on her. “Support the Troops”, indeed.

Part Two coming later.

“This is all Theater!” — Saddam Hussein.

Most members of the Coalition of the Willing were NEVER Terribly Willing

Thursday, July 15th, 2004

The Bush Administration has expressed concern that the Phillipines have agreed to remove all of their troops from Iraq in exchange for the release and non-beheading of a Philipino soldier.

Granted, it’s not a positive sign, and I’m weary of it, but…

A population made where 80 percent opposed starting a war in Iraq high-tails it out when the going gets rough, particularly after the reasons for the war fades into oblivion? Could you expect anything else?…

Ad Wars

Thursday, July 15th, 2004

Looking at the tv advertisements, Bush’s ads are negative attacks on Kerry and Kerry’s ads are positive biographical ads. It flies in the face of the commonly held idea (which still has merit, by the way) that Kerry is running as “Not Bush”.

The response to this is: hey, and other organizations like that have ads that are negative. But, frankly I don’t know if I’ve actually seen those ads during commercial breaks. Recall that the networks didn’t let them air the rather typical contest winner — focused on the deficit.

The latest Bush ad goes through the votes that Kerry didn’t cast a vote on due to campaigning. It’s a common ad theme against members of the Legislative Branch busy running for president. The list that the ad brings up is rather meaningless, except … well… I want to know one thing:

Did Kerry bother to vote on the Kitten Protection Act? It’s almost worse if he didn’t take the effort to vote on the Kitten Protection Act than if he had shown his hand that he hates kittens and voted no on it.