Archive for March, 2006

the latest American Spectator

Friday, March 31st, 2006

Probably the worst of the political magazines of opinion and bloviating, the latest issue of American Spectator nonetheless is of interest due to its collection of articles of Conservatives expressing their angst at the Bush Administration, with the additional extension to the Republican Congress as means to innoculate Bush.

Weird little tidbits. William A Rusher, of Blurry Conservative Think Tank that looks like all the other think tands, tells us that the Republicans should have nominated Ronald Reagan over Richard Nixon in 1968. I smirk at the forgotten political climate of 1968, and the re-entrenching of political realities for the sake of your own personal political aggrandizement. What would you do for a Hubert Humphrey victory — in a year that the Democratic Party imploded — thus further frustrating the Republican Party? As for the Conservative Movement… that would be two straight defeats for your precious candidate. You endure patience after the defeat in 1968 to Humphrey, and maybe you’ll succeed in getting Reagan into the White House… in maybe 1976, or — Horror of Horrors! 1980!!!

What that has to do with Bush is the suggestion that Nixon frustration is the same as Bush frustration. After all, “Nixon’s planned surrender of Vietnam was the policy of the extreme left, which the Democratic Party had defeated at its 1968 Convention.” So says Angero Codevilla. See… right now, by trying to appease the various Iraqi forces — who are, to our horrors, not Jeffersonian Democrats by nature and have a completely different culture than ours — and by succumbing to Realism — Bush is selling out Vietnam all over again!

On the domestic front, Robert Novak groans that Bush has pushed aside the initiative in pushing “tax reform” — the prize jewel of the Conservative Movement which would end the Income Tax, have this magical sales tax… and by the way that would pretty much mean the average American is paying a greater share of the tax burden, but never mind that. The “Tax Reform” Committee which Bush mentioned at the State of the Union speech is, apparently, being dominated by John Breaux, who is the “former Senator from Louisiana who seldom gave the Republicans a vote when it counted.” Damned it. I thought John Breux was the former Corporate Democrat, who skipped out on Barack Obama’s speech to dance with lobbyists at the Democratic Convention, and seldom gave the Democrats a vote when it counted. Oh, and by the way, Bush’s failure with the Social Security Reform Bill was in never having actually passed out a plan, and thus we have “the loss of the opportunity to expand the Republican base through massively increased stock ownership was squandered.” Huh. Was that the purpose of Social Security Privatization? Why didn’t Bush sell it like That?

Stephen Moore bashes the “Eisenhower — Ford — Dole Republicans who resisted tax cuts and worhsipped balanced budgets at all costs”, wanting us to keep on cutting taxes… at the price of balanced budgets, but he never bothers to mention that part of the equation. And everyone wonders why the heck the size of Government has increased.

Just go ahead and elect Hillary Clinton, and whether you like it or not you’ll get everything you want in government. She’s probably “conservative enough”, right? With the advantage of being a Democrat who once had a “Ms.” as a title — so she can be bashed with impunity, unlike Bush.

We Don’t Want the Smoking Gun to be a Mushroom Cloud

Friday, March 31st, 2006

“Anytime an administration official starts talking about mushroom clouds and Las Vegas, I want answers,” Representative Shelley Berkley, a Democrat from Nevada, said on the floor of the House of Representatives.

There is a “Wait. What?” that goes along with a “Heads-up” from the government that Mushroom Clouds are going to be forming over your city pretty soon. Not to worry, though.

She said Mr Tegnelia told her a mushroom cloud would not be seen “over” Las Vegas, only “from” Las Vegas, according to a statement from her office.

“I thought you said ‘Monster Island’ was just a name.” “What I meant is that Monster Island is actually a Peninsula!”

“We also have — are you ready for this – a 700-tonne explosively formed charge that we’re going to be putting in a tunnel in Nevada,” he said.

“And that represents to us the largest single explosive that we could imagine doing conventionally to solve that problem,” he said.

The news report left out key descriptions of James Tegnelia, head of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, as he was saying this. I’ll make the key edit.

“And that represents to us the largest single explosive that we could imagine doing conventionally to solve that problem,” he said, giidily, drool running down his mouth.

Brushing aside any suggestions of health risks (RIDICULOUS), we can get to the point — the strategic point of…

“If you want to model these weapons, you want to know from a modeling point of view what is the ideal best condition you could ever set up in a conventional weapon — what’s the best you can do.

“And this gets at the best point you could get on a curve. So it allows us to predict how effective these kinds of weapons … would be,” he said.

He said the Russians have been notified of the test, which is scheduled for the first week of June at the Nevada test range.

“We’re also making sure that Las Vegas understands,” Tegnelia said.

Why do the Russians need to know a damned thing here? Those treaties we made with them are surely defunct by now. Actually, come to think of it, why does Las Vegas need to know about it? Couldn’t the Government tie in some psychological tests on the population just to see just what the response would be if a city sees the heralded “Mushroom Cloud” one day… not “over” Las Vegas, mind you, but “From” Las Vegas.

Hip Hop. Underground.

Friday, March 31st, 2006

“Hip Hop! Underground!”

Apparently the man is selling Underground Hip Hop. He’s waving a cd with that black and white jacket photo-copy.

He’s taking it to the streets with Hip Hop that is Underground. Not a sell-out here!

I pass by, not saying a word. Another man walks by him. And the sales pitch is repeated. “Hip Hop! Underground!” I don’t see anyone buying.

I was once on a bus, barely aware of a black man in his mid to late 20s selling his cds — and by his cds I mean it was pretty clear that he was the performer — in the seat ahead of me. The guy he’s talking to gets off the bus and wishes him good luck. He then turns to me and says “Hey! I have some hip hop you’d like.”
“No thank you. I’m not really a fan of hip hop.”
He pauses. “Oh. I see. You don’t like the message that we talk about. The 200 years of Repression, slavery, and…”
Bizarre. He has played the race card to get me to buy “Underground Hip Hop”. (He’s taking it to the streets?), or since I can’t imagine how such a thing would change my mind, for the theatrics of it all. I hope to Gawd he has his tongue firmly in cheek.
“Politics? I figured that you for the type that rapped about bling!”
When I said this, he gave me a glare and changed seats.

Brand “W”

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

I don’t see that Republicans driving a wedge between themselves and the President is a good election strategy. […] The President is seen universally as the face of the Republican Party. We are now brand W. Republicans.

A politician looks out for Number One at all times, but as a wide cast, it’s difficult to say that the pollster isn’t right. Congress is not functioning, it has been a rubber stamp, a party’s fortunes almost always depend on the Head Honcho, and individuals might be able to get breathing space from Head Honcho — as a group, they cannot.

There have been times. Brand Harding was cleared out in a real hurry in favour of Brand Coolidge, at a remarkably breath-taking pace. But Brand Hoover flaoted over the party for a decade, and there was nothing — nothing at all — the party could do in 1934 or 1936. On the Democrats’ side, Brand Cleveland was whisked away in favour of Brand Bryan — and if someone points out that Bryan lost, I can point out that Cleveland would have lost by a landslide.

But Brand Nixon … that couldn’t be plunged in 1974. So what are you supposed to do?

Brand Bush was shown to be doomed in 2005. The New Jersey Gubernatorial winner won with an ad that had the question “[Opponent] is George Bush’s choice. Is he YOURS?”, ominous music in the background. All the Republicans are George Bush’s choice… by definition. How the heck are you supposed to navigate away from THAT?

Communists versus Fascists

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

“The powerful reactionary forces which are undermining our democratic institutions… when a few men get control of the economy of a nation, they find a front man to run the country for them. In Germany, they put money and influence behind Adolf Hitler. We know the rest of the story.” — Harry Truman, 1948, on the Candidacy of his Republican opponent, Thomas Dewey.

Thomas Dewey didn’t barely responded, because he was so far ahead in the polls.

This is the old game of Fascists versus Communists. The Republican response would be — embittered by the following election loss– to sharpen up their red-attacks, under the leadership of renegade maverick Joseph McCarthy. I’m tempted to brandish the “front man for machinery behind the curtain” motif of Fascist-baiting as a catch-all. Such a premise continues on to today, with George W Bush — who in seemingly everybody’s hearts and minds is nothing but a puppet.

The line against the would-be Communists is a bit different. In the case of Truman, or Roosevelt, or better still Henry Wallace… they may be either the ruthless consolidator of power who turns the government into a personality cult… or they are fellow travellers, letting the International Communist Conspiracy take hold in the nation at large. For the former, consult Herbert Hoover’s speech on FDR found in a previous post entitled “Dictatorship, I Say!” For the latter, we have, at the 1944 Democratic Convention describing the convention’s Henry Wallace supporters:

“a strange mixture of actual Communists, would be Communists, do-gooders, and other hypertension personalities who had jumped on his bandwagon, ruthlessly shoving aside a small core of men and women who sincerely believed Henry Wallace was the only answer to a troubled world. With such a lunatic fringe — the Wallace forces were emotionally organized to commit anything up to and including hari-kari.” — Edwin Pauley

This was a commentary by a Democratic party hack on the Henry Wallace demonstration on the floor of the convention that would have brought him back into the vice presidency. The Wallace supporters had managed to take complete control of the convention floor. The Democratic Machine, which was all set to nominate Harry Truman for the vice presidency, quickly adjourned the day’s session before anything could happen, turned out the lights, and met the next day with the convention floor back to their liking. It appears that they did not call a fire hazard as everyone seems to think they did, though they were prepared to do so if necessary.

The Schizo Times

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006

Someone left a sheet of paper in the front-slot of the Willamette Weekly. It looks as though it apes a newspaper’s front page, or rather it looks as though it should. But it’s done badly. The person who wrote out the schtuff may have been schizophrenic or something. Deeply troubled by events on 123rd Street, at any rate.

XTRA …………. Murder Suicide on (123Rd STREET)
XTRA …………. To The 7 Souls
XTRA …………. RElieved of
READ …………… Their Earthly
ALL ……….. Bodies
ABOUT …………. Who Were found
It! ………….. SHOT Killed
…………… AND SUICIDE On 123rd St.

This could be referring to events in Seattle. Events that probably have every local Seattle newscast having feature stories that go “They’re called ‘raves’, and they’re all the rage amongst the Yute. Is your child at risk? We’ll have a report after these messages.” Seven people who shot to death at a “Zombie Rave”.

The commentary goes on:

May they find solace peace and love that they couldn’t find in ther’re (own) (town) (community) and (families). Rose pa quette.

the confused youth should be able to count on adults to hep them.

My condolences to their loved ones and families.

Everything fits so far. At this point things get a little loopy:


Why can’t people stop blaming the people who own horses who can’t care for them! Too food cost money $$$$ Many Injuns and not enough chiefs. Why cand a 4H FARM or a Community Sponsored Farm offer a vo teck schhol for the youth to live and take care of the horses.

Huh. Horses. But at least I can see the mind working around. More puzzling is this sidebar feature:

Thomas Jefferson did not like Federalists and I never liked the word Federal.

That one just comes out of left field.

The Gold Standard

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

Gordon Leitch, Republican candidate for governor, surprised state elections workers when he paid his $100 filing fee in gold, handing over five gleaming $20 Double Eagles.

His candidacy was rejected, however, when elections officials were unable to deposit the money in a bank.

“There was just too big a discrepancy” between the cost of the filing fee and the actual value of the gold coins, said Fred Neal, campaign finance manager for the state Elections Division. The state gave back the gold coins

That was in December. Earlier this month, Leitch was back at the division office, this time with 100 silver dollars to pay his filing fee, plus two other bags containing a total of 1,000 silver dollars to cover the cost of a statement in the Voters’ Pamphlet.

Both times, Leitch brought along a photographer with a video camera.

“I’ve got a record of it,” he told The Oregonian. He said he believes gold and silver is the only legal monetary system.

The state accepted the silver dollars, even though they were worth close to $9,000. It took three people to carry the coins to the bank, Neal said.

Leitch is now an official candidate for governor, one of eight running on the Republican ticket in the May 16 primary.

But the story doesn’t end there.

Leitch filed a lawsuit, demanding all other candidates for governor be removed from the ballot because only he paid with “legal” tender. He lost. On March 17, a Salem circuit judge threw out the lawsuit as frivolous and ordered Leitch to cover the cost of the state’s attorneys’ fees.

Leitch, a former U.S. Navy ophthalmologist who lives in Dundee, according to his campaign Web site, now plans to appeal to the state Supreme Court. He said the state and federal constitutions prohibit the use of paper money, a charge the state rejects.

If he’s elected governor, he said, he’ll help make Oregon the first state to return to a real gold standard in its monetary system.

“I would do what I could to protect the wealth of the people of Oregon,” Leitch said. “We’d be the only political outfit in the world dealing in gold.”

#1: Honestly, he sounds like a Libertarian Candidate for Governor.
#1a: Libertarians cringe when remembering the Minnesota Gubernatorial candidate who turned blue due to drinking too much — Zinc, I think — in preparation for Y2K.
#2: Who does this guy think he is — William Jennings Bryan???
#2a: “You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.”
#3: One too many Art Bell commercials?
#3a: To be fair, those commercials for Gold are all over the am dial. It’s just that the ones on Coast to Coast are a bit more paranoid.
#4: Does this guy pay for everything in gold coinage? Like … go to the local Safeway, and lay down those coins?