Archive for November, 2004

Frog. Boiling. Slowly. Pot.

Friday, November 26th, 2004

This year’s version of the annual holiday “Airport Waiting” stories has taken a most decidedly disturbing turn.

Basically, what we’ve learned this year from the tv, radio, and newspaper accounts is that it is now government operating procedure to grope customer’s breasts, penises, vaginas, and buttocks. (Though most especially the breasts). It’s what you need to expect when boarding an airplane.

Next year they’ll be reporting about the new Rape Rooms they’ve opened.

JFK Reloaded

Wednesday, November 24th, 2004

Lieberman: You can get arrested for threatening presidents and any behavior that suggests you are contemplating taking violent action against an elected official. The line between this and this `JFK: Reloaded’ game is, in my mind, close.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the target of this video game already [i]dead[/i]? Now I want to find Kennedy’s corpse and physically re-enact the famous Assassination scene.

Traffic is offering a $100,000 prize to the first player to “most accurately re-create the three shots fired by Lee Harvey Oswald,” according to a news release issued Monday.

Traffic representatives didn’t respond to phone calls Tuesday, but the company’s release billed “JFK: Reloaded” as a “docu-game” with historical instruction as its main purpose. It’s available only by downloading from the Internet.

Yes. It’s a “docu-game”. Very educational. And it also helps us all with hand – eye coordination.

Like those video games the military puts out to train soldiers how to kill and stuff.

The U.S. military is by far the largest buyer of game simulations, accounting for roughly half of the $20 million to $40 million market.

Although this article suggests that the military has branched out beyond the “Killing Game” stage to other tactical games:

America’s Army harnesses state-of-the-art game play to win new recruits for the U.S. Army, taking players from the rifle range to bombed-out desert cities. It ranks as one of the most popular online games, with more than 4 million registered players.

Other military games focus on equally important survival skills, like Arabic language and etiquette. Users of the Rapid Tactical Language Training System can stumble through conversations with animated computer characters, rather than actual Iraqi citizens who might take offense at the wrong hand gesture.

Will Interactive’s releases focus on leadership skills, putting players in situations where there is no clear right or wrong answer. Players must decide what to do if they don’t have enough chemical suits for their troops, how to get a wounded soldier to safety, or how to defuse a tense hostage situation.

Can the player opt to not run the mission if such a situation as not having enough equipment arises, as that National Guard unit did last October?

Back to JFK:

The conspiracy theorists have it all wrong. If you listen to them, Kennedy was just about to do any number of things before he was shot dead. He saw where Vietnam was heading, and so was going to get us out of there. He was going to bring equality to the races. He was going to share the truth about the aliens. Whatever.

There isn’t much reason to think he was going to move outside the box in any way, shape, or form. Maybe he pushed space exploration heavily because it diverted money in the Military Industrial Complex; maybe he didn’t. But the 1960 election, the common complaint was “not much policy difference” — a difference in tone, not policy. The understudy of an Eisenhower president who was to the left of the national Republican party, who conservatively managed government programs and stepped out of the way where he could, versus a partician Northeastern centrist to the right of the National Democratic Party who campaigned soft-peddled civil rights.

Though “a difference in tone, not policy” is salient. Nixon versus Kennedy: really, now, who would you rather have as president?

Kennedy’s overrated. I say we oughta kill him.

No. Wait. I can’t say that. The civil service will come knocking at my door, because I threatened to kill a dead president. (Does Kennedy still have civil service protection, I wonder.)

Screw Joseph Lieberman, but I’ll get to him some other time.

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

John McCain: Here we have Al-Jazeera showing that shot over and over again without a mention of the shooting in the head of this brave woman who spent her life trying to help Iraqi people. Shame on Al-Jazeera. Shame on that organization. They know–we now know that they’re just a propaganda organ–they can no longer call themselves news or any kind of purveyor of anything but propaganda. And if I’m angry about it, I think all Americans are angry about it.

McCain’s correct. Al Jazeera shouldn’t take such an isolated incident out of context and show it again and again.

They need to stick to the more mundane killing of innocent civilian Iraqi life that the Coalition of the Willing engages in (not particularly on purpose, but in the land of “inevitibility”).

What seems to be today’s antiwar position it was a terrible mistake and it’s a terrible mess, but we can’t just walk away from it was actually the pro-war position during Vietnam. In fact, it was close to official government policy for more than half the length of that war.

Take that observation and do what you want with it. Maybe it’s best that the “antiwar candidate” Howard Dean couldn’t get a foot into the door of the presidency — he can maintain his luster out of power a lot better without compromising it with a sentiment of “Must see it through”.

Not that semantics clear the way for me… I’m not part of a “movement”.

Parts of the problem is in the difficulty of maintaining a demonization of the enemy. Nazi Germany provided us with an easy out: there were no innocents in Nazi Germany, the entire citizenry was corrupted and de facto Hitleristas. With Iraq, (as with Vietnam, though there we could move into a position of ‘why do I care what the Viet Cong does to them?’), they’re “innocents” who have been “liberated” — and if they keep fighting after being liberated (screw your “dead-ender”/ “flooded from oversees” etc etc crap)…

The narrative falls apart.

Skip to the end…

MR. RUSSERT: You oversee sports.

Question: Why does John McCain, or anyone in Congress, “oversee sports”?

When I find Joseph Lieberman’s comments about the video game “JFK Reloaded”, I’ll post it up, along with a discussion on JFK and misguided conspiracy theories. But where on the world wide web are they?

random song lyrics.

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

America is waiting for a message of some sort or another.

They’re selling Jesus Again.

We are the world.

Help the Arbour Tree Foundation planting trees across the nation.

We’re all Elitists Now, but the Elites are Laughing at Us.

Saturday, November 20th, 2004

The subtle shift from a “Democratic Versus Republican” dichotemy to a “red State versus blue State” dichotemy, a cynic similar yet completely distinct from me may say, could represent more and more meaningless and minute policy differences between the two parties (Tweedle Dee. Tweedle Dum. You know the drill.), and thus a harder focus on cultural differences. The two parties become nothing more than cultural signifiers, and in many ways accidental ones at that. Call it “identity politics”, remind yourself of what they said about Adlai Stevenson voters, and throw in your chips while you’re at it.

Well, actually what they said about Adlai Stevenson was that he was an Elitist. I have a vague sense that this is where the current attachment for the phrase came from… the Liberal Elites and psuedo-intelligentsia mocking the popular Dwight D Eisenhower’s simple charm. Most famously, he quipped to the comment, “You have the vote of every thinking person!” with “That’s not enough, madam, we need a majority!”

The resultant commentary emitting from the recent election, of the Blue State versus Red State variety, tells me: We’re all elitists now. The faux “Red State populism” attacks on “Blue State elitists” isn’t fooling me. They’re sneering right down at us and our values over there in the Heartland.

It’s not as simple as that, of course. I’m counting roughly two varieties of Red State elitists. The Ann Coulter type, who as far as I can tell has never stepped foot in Rural America — though her denziens (not necessarily her, though I don’t know) love to wax poetic and mythological about “Red State”rs, whose pronouncements on hedonism ring indelibly hollow, and who certainly don’t showcase any “if they were more homespun, they’d be a sweater” characteristics. And, a type I’ll represent with your bible-thumper: isn’t it the height of elitist thinking to think that everyone who is not exactly like you is going to Hell?

The actual Elites, supposedly representing the “just plain folk” of whatever color, are busy laughing. Take the call to “Unite Behind the President” now that the election is over. For what possible reason would I want to do such a thing? And even if I wanted to, I have no clue what that actually entails. It’s just sort of nonsensical. I didn’t know what that meant when that call came out after 9/11, and I sure as hell don’t now. Yet, there it is… out of Bill Clinton’s mouth.

I once said to a friend of mine about three days before the election — and I heard all these terrible things. I said, you know, am I the only person in the entire United States of America who likes both George Bush and John Kerry, who believes they’re both good people, who believes they both love our country and they just see the world differently?

Maybe it’s easy enough for Clinton to make such comments, because at the heart of it he rarely seemed to stand for much, and stare at his 1996 campaign and how he molded the DNC during his presidency and I could swear he preferred a Republican Congress, since politically it offered a good foil with which to work off of.

The conventional wisdom of the current Republican Party — that its heart and soul were borne out Barry Goldwater’s “crusade” — is wrong. Perhaps Goldwater, and the attendant conservatism of Reagan and whatnot — are at its heart (though even Goldwater evolved into a maverick who felt compelled to rip on the religious right and assorted right-wingers who were leaving him cold) — but it’s soul is of a darker complexion. It’s Richard Nixon and Watergate. Ronald Reagan and Iran-Contra. George Bush I and the Savings and Loan Scandal. (And you pretty well have to dunk Bush in with Reagan’s bathwater as well… but then again, a thread of the same names runs through all of these presidents.) And George W Bush and assorted crap I can’t even keep track of anymore. The ideology falls away from the “right to left” map. (After all, Nixon was the last of the “Post New Deal”-era presidents… Ford on down all have been in a Post-Post New Deal de-regulatory phase.) If you doubt that, I present to you Oliver North — Fox News personality, radio talk show host, almost won a Senate seat in 1994, and a Right-wing icon and hero. I present to you a list of various Iran Contra figures who have been plunked right into the current Bush Administration — (remember Poindexter?). And I present to you the very galls of pointing Henry Kissinger, however short-lived, to head the 9/11 Commission.

I am reminded of an online election-months editorial (I think written by Matthew Yglesias), speculating on what would happen to the Republican Party should they lose… and coming up with the idea that they’re a more effective opposition party — in the sense that if your reason for living is to oppose the government, it becomes hard to oppose you as the government, and look at the results: fiscal health under Clinton, not so much under Bush. But realizing that Kerry’s career highlights have been in Investigation, that Edwards represents the constituency of trial lawyers — if they had their act together (which they don’t), the Democratic Party could easily be a natural oppostion party to the the kind of Bid Gummint Nixon-Reagan-Bush represents.

Who the hell knows, though?

Comment Bumped to the forefront

Friday, November 19th, 2004

I am burning with rage as I write this, and it’s because I have just
learned that a group of evil satanic bastards apparently killed a bunch
of defenceless infants—and ate them.

These children were just babies.

And yet you people out there STILL want to follow satan, eh??

HOW FUCKING STUPID CAN ALL OF YOU BE????
IS THIS THE SORT OF FUCKING EXAMPLE THAT YOU ALL WANT TO FOLLOW????

I really don’t give a shit that half of you hate me for spreading a
warning message about satan, because if anything, right now I have an urge
to grab my sword off the wall and hunt down every single one of you
satanists and hack you all to pieces, because of what these satanists did
to these children.

Do you people understand??

These babies were harmless children and all because these satanic
pricks were brainwashed by satan himself, they had their lives taken from
them.

So if any of you expect me to stop with the messages that I’m sending
out—I say TO HELL WITH ALL OF YOU.

I would rather DIE than stop what I’m doing.