Archive for January, 2007

Biden’s Third Racist comment in a year

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

And so Joseph Biden is off and running, I guess on the “Inside the Beltway Ticket” because that’s about the only place he impresses anyone. (That includes this US News and World Report fellow, who is looking at the New York Observer piece and picks up on what Biden said about Hillary Clinton, when the buzz all over everywhere is what he said about Barack Obama, which was:

“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

To which all of America winces.


III.  In recent weeks — and for that matter from the very rise of Barack Obama in 2004 — and before that Harold Ford, Jr… and before that Colin Powell– American news magazines have been peppered with articles about how and why Americans would vote for Barack Obama as the first black President, saying he cuts the mold from the Jesse Jacksons of the world who came out of Protest Culture. Which is to say Barack Obama has a Harvard Diploma, and further — in the words of various yahoos — Barack Obama is a “Halfrican American”. (Why… he’s practically WHITE!)

So Joseph Biden has just clumsily added his quips to what is being couched in politically correct wordings in other outlets. Not to say there is no degree of truth in the news articles on who is and is not electable in this country — I guess Obama has to be considered more “mainstream” than the stable of former presidential candidates I have images of right above this, though Braun was basically an average politician — and not to say Biden made a racist comment that is incredibly patronizing to African Americans (I believe all of those candidates have to be considered “articulate”, whatever one thinks of their politics).

“Clean” comes across as particularly ugly. I will go ahead and figure he meant “scandal free”, as I believe all of these candidates showered regularly. Jackson had some dalliances here and there, I think most noxiously with Farrakhan. Braun was kicked out of office by the voters due to an ethical scandal — the details I don’t know, but it’s no different than what meets White politicians. Sharpton is a dispicable creature. So far as I know, Shirly Chisholm (an admirable person if there ever was one) had nothing on her. Alan Keyes is nuts enough that he’s ethically clean, and he’s the best one can do for Biden to brush aside as not being in the “mainstream”, though I suspect Biden maintains the same for Jackson and Sharpton in a matter of speaking.

The “storybook” is that you have a black man who might be elected president.  That has never happened before.  And if I’m going to give Joseph Biden any measure of support, that is what I will just have to accept.

Goodbye to this flawed product

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

Our Long National Nightmare is almost over.  Al Franken is retiring from radio.

Actually my thought on Al Franken’s radio show is that if you were to hand me one of his programs, I would edit out about an hour and hand it back as a find and exemplorary and stellar program.  It drags on a bit at times, that’s all.  Al Franken did as fine a job at it as a person who is clearly not a radio professional could, and, with an hour’s grace period, developed a style — perhaps anti-style? — which worked well.

There were a few, perhaps too few as it seemed like it was meant to be a bigger part of the program when originally conceived but the effort involved made it prohibitive enough — legitimately hilarious bits, sometimes with the help of Hollywood elites such as the voice of TV’s Brain of Pinky and the Brain fame and/or Meg Ryan.  I refer to “Senator Wolfman”, an Abstinence Education parody, and — well, The Brain.

It was generally a panoply of earnest expert guests having written earnest books, and a stable of regular liberal guests.

Understand, Al Franken was an accidental Liberal Hero anyway.  Bill O’Reilly successfully inflated him to the logical poster boy for the fledgling (and bankrupt) Air America Network, to the degree that I once talked to this person who can best be described as a Kennedy fetishist of sorts who referred to the local Air America as the “Al Franken Channel”.  This also meant that in the ongoing Republican talk shows’ desire to bury the network as means of political statement, Al Franken has been the chief figure of what has largely been projection: to refer to the most centrist and obnoxiously Establishmentarian Democrat on a liberal radio line-up as “angry and “extremist” is to suggest over-reach.

This was always clearly a temporary endevor for Franken, and the purchasing of Thom Hartmann struck me as preparation for Franken moving out of this.  He will now pursue his Senate race against Norm Coleman, which I guess is a go unless the Minnesota Democratic Party Apparatus has a good say in the matter with the obvious question coming to mind: “Really?  Senator Franken?  Do the people want that?”

On Mike Gravel

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

Where does Lyndon LaRouche get off claiming that his Trotskyite name “Lyn Marcus” was a riff of of the nickname “Marco Polo”?

It’s such questions that animate my mind in shuffling through old LaRouche debris.  I need to compartmentalize these things a bit better.  I was preparing to take a long gander at Mike Gravel, and I was sucked back into de-constructing Lyndon goddamned Larouche.

I realized that the only two politicians I have, unless I still have George Bush and John Kerry categorized (the Skull and the Bones of the actual namesake for my blog) keyed up, are that aforementioned political cult leader and the rather generic Republican congressman with the nickname “Doc” and the actual name of Richard Hastings.  Which is why I can’t just create a “Mike Gravel” category whole-slotted without at the same time finesing it by creating a category for the presidential candidate I’ve tentatively endorsed — Bill Richardson.  I may as well make the creation of a category something other than suggestive of a Hall of Shame.

What fascinates me about Mike Gravel is that his political place screws up the boundary line that the mainstream media (and the Democratic National Committee, for that matter) places on these things.  Nobody is going to actually going to cover the Mike Gravel campaign, but is he mentioned or is he not mentioned when you list the candidates?  The answer varies.  (Actually it seems Ron Paul is in much the same position, which I find a bit amusing as — he is a current Republican Congressman.)

I do believe and I will state again and again from the mountaintop that I do not believe Mike Gravel’s campaign is about anything other than promoting his two pet issues, which at least strikes me as a better use of a presidential campaign that whatever Carol Mosley Braun and her phantom 2004 campaign appartus was trying to accomplish (refurnishing a tattered image of a politician that was booted out of office in an ethical cloud, I suppose).

I was basically dared by a Mike Gravel supporter to interview him.  Upon reflection, I don’t know that that’s not a bad idea — on my part, at least, if not his.  He, so far as I can tell, gains nothing from any interaction with this blog — which has about as small an audience as a blog that is kept regularly updated can have.  If Mike Gravel ever gets an opportunity to be interviewed by dailykos, he should jump at the chance.

Within a week, I will psot “Ten Questions for Mike Gravel”.  It will then float in cyberspace, either answered or unanswered.  Should they be answered, I will then have a most peculiar choice.  5 Follow Up Questions for Mike Gravel?  Move on to other candidates and have “10 Questions for Ron Paul” or “10 Questions for Dennis Kucinich” and march on to the point where I demand Hillary Clinton answer my questions, lest she show herself to be scared, I say, SCARED of the awesome might of the hard hitting Skull / Bones blog?

Okay.  Coming soon: “10 Questions for Mike Gravel”.  If anyone has any questions they’ve always itched to ask Mike Gravel, feel free to either post them in the comments, or post on your own blog so that Mike Gravel may have the opportunity to make this an innovative part of his presidential campaign routine.

A list of political books I wish someone would write

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

#1: The Complete History of the Natural Law Party.  Which would either end up overlapping some with

#2: The 2000 Reform Party Nomination Battle.  A case study in how a third party dies due to its usefulness as a vessel for other-interested.

#3:  A look at ALL of the Presidential Races of Eugene McCarthy, emphasis of the 1992 race equal to the 1968 race.  Skew the Historical perspective a bit, why dontcha?

#4:  The Search for the last Whig Party Candidate to appear on any ballot, the last Federalist Party Candidate to appear on any ballot, and the last actually elected Whig and Federalist.

#5:  The 1986 Illinois Democratic Primary Race.  You know the ones.  Heck, the Executive Intelligence Review or Benjamin Franklin Books could publish it.  No, then he’d have to acknowledge he peaked in 1986 and didn’t get anywhere electorally with his peak.

#6:  The Disjointed history of the Libertarian National Socialist Green Party.  Granted, this would have to end up being an essay, but it’s amusing and darkly funny anyways.

#7: The 1924 Democratic National Convention, which was what inspired the oft quoted Will Rogers saying “I’m not a member of an organized political party.  I am a Democrat.”

#8:  The History of the Dies Committee.  Actually I’ve seen this book, so never mind.  Published in the early 1940s, it posited the late twentieth century Red Scare as a precursor to the Dies Committee.  Which is odd, because today, the Dies Committee would be a footnote, a brief mention as the actual physical entity of the Committee on UnAmerican Activities, and a precursor to McCarthy in the 1950s.

So, those are several books I want to read.  I don’t think there’s a market for any of them, but why don’t you write them anyway?

On Chorus Singing

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

“Although the Labor Party has developed a new configuration of tactical alliances since January 1974, “it is nonsense to argue that the party’s outlook or method have changed over the period of its existence. Developed to greater richness, yes; changed in any essential feature, no.” unsigned article in the Oct. 1, 1979, edition of New Solidarity

Larouchite commented thusly here: People who oppose LaRouche rarely (never?) do so from an opposition tohis philosophy. They usually either ridicule his philosophicalstatements because they sound strange or unorthodox, or, like Chip Berlet, they seem to believe that LaRouche has no real philosophy, just positions of the moment designed to appeal to a proto-fascist constituency.

Actually I’ve found that LaRouche’s critics, not necessarily in popular culture where I will join in the general chorus of smirkers but in anyone who decides to take it up to look into — including Dennis King– have indeed pierced and analyzed LaRouche’s philosophy. It is never an analysis that Scott or any LaRouche likes or approves of, but it is legitimate. And it is the only way one can tie the seemingly disparate political incarnations of Larouche, who has touched down all over the political spectrum. I, in a real sense, would have to disagree with Chip Bertlet.
Recognize, for instance, that LaRouche has consistently from the very beginning been very puritanical and rejecting of any and all things approaching the “sex, drugs, and rock and roll” ethos, and this includes Jazz — which was, after all, a CIA funded plot to destroy the blacks.

As a Marxist, he could project this out as a battle against the bourgeoise forces who wish to divert the working class (and more clearly the educated class who are to guide the working class) from the Revolution. The anti-drug and sex message held a certain appeal to would be Marxist revolutionaries looking ascance at the excesses of their generation, and conveniently sitting themselves up as the Vanguard. As he slid into the alliances with the Right wing and on to the ascension of the Reagan Revolution and the “Moral Majority”, this was easily transferable to Satanic and Secular forces kicking apart our Judeo-Christian values, as per that EIR Education Special I’ve brought up already which essentially shadows the concerns of the Heritage Foundation (before kicking the Heritage Foundation off as part of the conspiracy). This anti-60s backlash continues on today, where “Baby-boomers” is a LaRouchian slur, the better to allow the “LYM”ers to rebel against their parents.

The matter of infrastuture building and industrial development, without any heeding to environmental consequences which he has from the very beginning mocked and at has his “Technology Organs” spewing forth in favor of Industry against any environmental regulation to a degree that would make the Competitive Enterprise Institute blush — oh so very entropic! oh so very entropic!– folllowed through the same surface-level ideological shift. We go from a particular explanation of Marxism which demands the unlimited growth of the human imagination to battling Carter’s “Austerity Measures” and organizing the “Whig Coalition” to the justification for Regan’s SDI program under the rubric of a Nationalistic Vision of American Greatness and on to the “FDR Democrat” model he is at today which apes the Tommy Franks “Populist Democrat” model.
Undergirding this is some lessons from Philosophy 101: Plato verus Aristotle. Order versus Chaos (which gets to why he rejects empericism). Choral Singing versus Rock and Roll.

Never trust a Revolution that makes no allowances for diversions.

Choral Singing. The Importance of Choral Singing, as said by someone completely unassociated with Lyndon LaRouche:

The fact that choral singing is a communal activity is especially significant today when we increasingly rely on Internet-based communications, rather than face-to-face interaction. Several recent studies have shown a significant decline in civic engagement in our communities. Robert Putnam, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government scholar (best known for his book, Bowling Alone) asserts that the significance of choral singing goes beyond music making, and even beyond the arts. He sees group performing as contributing directly to the social trust and reciprocity that is the basis of civic engagement. His work shows that the mere existence of choral groups helps foster America’s democratic culture (see his website,

Chorus America’s study found that choral singers are far more likely to be involved in charity work, as volunteers and as donors (76 percent), than the average person (44 percent according to a 2001 report by Independent Sector). Choral singers are also more than twice as likely as non-participants to be aware of current events and involved in the political process. They are also twice as likely as the general public to be major consumers of other arts – and not just music.

The study explored the depth of feeling that participants had about their choral experience, with many reporting that the requirements of choral singing – discipline, attention to detail, teamwork, and the social value of the experience – combine to improve their daily lives, in both their work and in family relationships. Many choristers testified to the degree to which their choral singing made them more aware of other people’s life experiences, helping them to bridge social gaps. “That connection with people exposes me to ideas…that aren’t otherwise available,” one respondent said. Another chorister said of fellow singers, “These people, whom I love dearly, are politically or religiously very different from me.” Seventy-four percent said they “agreed strongly” that choral participation had helped them develop new friendships.

You do realize you don’t need to work for Lyndon LaRouche to join a chorus, don’t you?

A question about splogging

Monday, January 29th, 2007

First, What you need to know about splogsSpam blogs, sometimes referred to by the neologism splogs, are artificially created weblog sites which the author uses to promote affiliated websites or to increase the search engine rankings of associated sites. The purpose of a splog can be to increase the PageRank or backlink portfolio of affiliate websites, to artificially inflate paid ad impressions from visitors, and/or use the blog as a link outlet to get new sites indexed. Spam blogs are usually a type of scraper site, where content is often either Inauthentic Text or merely stolen from other websites. These blogs usually contain an high number of links to sites associated with the splog creator which are often disreputable or otherwise useless websites.
Who, where, and why is a “Tommy Thompson” splog created?  It showed up linking a “Mike Gravel” entry on this blog, a portion of it excerpted, and then track-backed to me.  It fooled me because glancing at it, I found it impossible to imagine the existence of a “Tommy Thompson” splog.  I’m more used to the existence of, say, a “Britney Spears nude” splog, or “Horse betting” splog.  If we delve into the world of electoral politics, Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama make sense.  But what algorithims does a computer go through to decide that packing a bunch of links and hits to presidential candidate Tommy Thompson.

It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

Musing on the effects of the National Initiative

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

I have half a mind to interview Mike Gravel.  My other half says “no”, and it wins out.  This is as per George Ripley and the comment Do your readers a favor and interview Mike Gravel..  One of George Ripley’s job duties apparently appears to be to surf the Internet and find blogs that mention Mike Gravel and post a response, most interesting reoccuring sentence being Thank you for pointing out that Senator Mike Gravel is indeed in the race.

I do not believe Mike Gravel has any personal longing or desire or hope to become president of the United States.  He simply has that as a platform to advocate a couple of pretty radical changes.  Ladies and Gentlemen: The Next Evolutionary Change in American Democracy: The National Initiative.

The state wide initiatives are mixed enough already, in terms of corporate control.  A good rule of thumb: never sign any measure from a signature gatherer peddling more than one (or maybe two, at the most) ballot measures — the norm seems to be about seven.  The first one s/he’ll read off tends to fit “Progressive Portland”, and then it’ll get into some murky areas, and then hit the bottom with some retrograde measure — always with the selling point “Just trying to get it on the ballot.  Let the Voter decide!”

I imagine the Congressional Authorization for military action in Iraq would have been the Citizen’s Authorization for military action in Iraq, under the new changes in the law advocated by Mike Gravel.  And it would have passed.  The good news for the politicians, such as John Kerry, is that this would allow him the wiggle room that having to publically vote for the war resolution didn’t allow him — a vote he over-rationalized to himself in casting and then could never explain.  We still would have had the invasion — ironically the resolution might have been broader for the President who could easily stamp out public opinion at that time to suit that misbegotten policy.

Health Care

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

In declaring that every American should have Health Care by the end of the next Presidential administration, thus far light on specifics, Barack Obama has, once again, converged paths with John Edwards — who made the statement that the next president (or Democratic presidential candidate, I don’t remember) will need to take the issue of Health Care full bore, full coverage, no nibbling around the edges, no incrementalist talk along the lines of what the gun-shy Democratic Party states and restates on the issue, particularly since Hillary Clinton’s efforts in 1993 and 1994.

I wonder something about Barack Obama’s statements, though.  He is a Senator.  He is a Senator with a large national following who carries a great deal of influence.  He is also in the Majority party.  Could he, maybe, flesh out his pronouncements on health care and formulate his ideas into a cohesive unit, called a Bill, and then pursue that bill on to what I guess would be, at best, President Bush’s veto pen?

Hillary Clinton, for her part, is pursuing a “listening tour”, and wants to gather your, and by your I mean your, ideas of what might work to improve our health care.  She, of course, is retiscent to move beyond that and suggest anything too massive — lest the ghost of 1993 – 1994 come back to bite her — and she also has an interest in replicating the much – mocked but ultimately politically successful “listing tour” aspect of her first Senate campaign.  I wounder if she might want to co-sponsor Senator Obama’s Health Care bill.