Archive for September, 2007

God and Politics

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

So.  Why Should God Bless America?

In other news of God and Religion:

State Sen. Ernie Chambers sued God last week. Angered by another lawsuit he considers frivolous, Chambers says he’s trying to make the point that anybody can file a lawsuit against anybody.

Chambers says in his lawsuit that God has made terroristic threats against the senator and his constituents, inspired fear and caused “widespread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth’s inhabitants.”

The Omaha senator, who skips morning prayers during the legislative session and often criticizes Christians, also says God has caused “fearsome floods … horrendous hurricanes, terrifying tornadoes.”

He’s seeking a permanent injunction against the Almighty.

Sigh.  Perhaps as a sign that the state senator from Nebraska is juggling items that are not necessarily, it reminds me of something.

God.  Pause.  For allowing good things to happen to bad people.  Pause.  And Bad things to happen to good people.  Pause.  All in the name of “Working in Mysterious Ways”.  Pause.  Pause.  I would be a one billion to one underdog in this, but HEY!  Everybody loves the Underdog!

… Never mind.

“Dole Recalls Salad Mix”

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

A headline I just saw, propped up at Yahoo’s main page.  When I glanced up I thought, “Really?  Has he fallen that low in the decade since his failed presidential bid that he’s reminiscing about old salad mixes from his youth?”

ode to Tricky Dick

Monday, September 17th, 2007

Somebody other than I might have a wider swarth and more expansive point to make with the Alexis Debat story — he, um, is another one of those “journalists” who was caught making stuff up, in this case interviews which raises the question of how much attention various public officials pay to their press clippings.

Barack Obama.  Debat defends himself, saying he made the mistake of trusting “a third person” to ask his questions. But the spokesperson for the former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who was also “interviewed” by Debat in Politique Internationale, told us his was also a fake. As were the ones Debat “got” with Microsoft founder Bill Gates, New York city Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former president Bill Clinton, and many more.

Leaving the Great Questions and riddles to others, my question is centered on this:

How did Alexis Debat, a self-proclaimed expert on terrorism, manage to build such a career for himself –as a regular contributor to the foreign affairs reviews Politique Internationale and National Interest, as a consultant for ABC News and an analyst of the prestigious Nixon Center attending conferences with the cream of the crop of American foreign policy circles?

Nixon Center?  Does that answer any question, or is it too much of a snark?

Get to know an American President: Stay Cool with Cal

Monday, September 17th, 2007

While Coolidge was governor of Massachusetts, two of the state senators had an argument, which ended in one telling the other that he could “go to Hell.”  The insulted politician went to see Coolidge to ask him to do something about it.  Coolidge said calmly, “I have looked up the law, Senator, and you don’t have to go.”

…………………

During his presidency, Coolidge was taken around the horticultural conservatories of Pierre S Du Pont’s estate at Longwood, Pennsylvania.  The party passed through greenhouses containing magnificent orchids, extraordinary and grotesque cacti, and exquisite tropical ferns, none of which brought a word of comment from the president.  At last they came to the conservatory devoted to tropical trees.  The president gazed about him for a few seconds and observed with interest, ‘Bananas.”
…………………….

Coolidge was once invited to break ground for the cornerstone of a public building.  Having performed his ceremonial duty, he was expected to make a speech.  Pointing to the broken earth, he observed solemnly, “That’s a mighty fine fishworm,” and then departed.
……………………..

President Coolidge had a group of guests on the presidential yacht cruising the Potomac.  As he stood alone at the rail, looking at the expanse of water, someone exclaimed, “Look at that sight and slender figure!  Look at that head, bowed over the rail.  What thoughts are in the mind of this man, burdened by the problems of the nation?”  Finally Coolidge turned around and joined the others, saying, “See that  sea gull over there?  Been watching it for twenty minutes.  Hasn’t moved.  I think he’s dead.”

That Board is down, so to move things forward…

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

Factnet has been down for the past several days — the posts are there, but nobody can post anything new.  All of the boards at FACTNet, which tends to suggest that the explanation that the Larouche group is causing the disruptions may well be false.  Unless it is is Larouche with the combined forces of the Scientologists.  Who knows?

Bumbling forth,  I note a few things said by the resident cult leader.  To somebody in China, apparently.  The Chinese government knows all about freedom.

For example, let’s take the case of this, right in this county, Loudoun County: This is actually Target #1, for the world collapse of the system. What was built up here was a mortgage bubble. Remember, you had a crash in the U.S. economy in October 1987, which was very much like the crash of 1929. It happened. It happened in October, I forecast it and it happened exactly as I forecast it was going to happen. 

Got that.  Loudon County.  Target #1 for the world collapse of the system.  The October 1987 stock market free-fall.  Exactly like the stock market collapse of 1929!!  I suppose Loudon County might well be a prime area for the current mortgage crisis, but citing it as “target #1″ does appear a bit self-centered, the outside conspiracy against US… They are bringing us down.  In addition that focus, on what I presume to be an economically upscale area of the country, is a little amusing for an entity with one time Marxist pretensions and currently Populist pretensions — the “lower 90 percent” (or is it 80?) — over-easy loaning having effected them as well, with perhaps more devastating consequences.  But why the heck would I want to politically (or economically) a fricking cult?

Next you go to this:

Then they used what they called the Y2K bubble, computer systems. The argument was that the present computer systems were going to explode, when the year 2000 came, because of the two-digit number business. So they invested a great amount of money, poured money into developing the computer industry. In April-May of 2000, that bubble collapsed, the Y2K bubble, because the government had stopped printing money for it.

That is the stupidest explanation of the tech stock bubble of the late 1990s, and a confused inflation of the Y2K bug with the tech stock bubble.  Does he really believe that the government spending money trying to solve the Y2K bug was what was spurring the tech industry in the late 1990s?

If Larouchies are hacking into FACTNet, it’s clearly not Larouche himself, whose grasp on technology issues appears rather flaky.  (And why does he stop his attack on “Internet 2.0″ with myspace anyways?)

Skip ahead to the end:

And that’s what it is…. If I were in charge of this problem, I would immediately have publications appearing in various parts of the world, which were telling various parts of the world what the reality of this thing is, and thus create an embarrassment for those in London and the United States who are creating this problem.

Why don’t you go right ahead and print it all out and do that then?

Okay.  Let’s try this.  FACTNet is down, so … open thread!!  Any new internal memo?  I mean, beside this one:

 So far, we’ve prevented a coup against a government. The relevant fundamentals of strategy are restated here, as follows.
The success of such forms of economy depends upon accepting the Christian notion of the individual person in the same way U.S. President Abraham Lincoln expressed this in doctrine and thrust of his practice.
On that basis, without requiring any additional information, I know, with certainty, that the international financial system, with its attached leading banks, is already hopelessly bankrupt.
But what do you do? You set new rules. We are now verging very close to a ‘trip-wire’ triggering of a total first strike by either side. At the point that warfighting appears to be irrevocably committed for the immediate future, professional military men are given powerful arguments to the effect that politics must then be absolutely subordinated to the purpose of obtaining every marginal military advantage available.
It is that process, that approximately three decades of cultural retrogression, cultural decay, which has created the political and social preconditions for the series of shocks now threatening the continued existence of our failed civilization.
This kind of stuff.
One of the principal trigger-events for this development was the struggle for national independence by Greece.
More precisely, it exists to be discovered. Beyond that principled point of similarity, the specific principles of each, are, respectively, quite different: as different as the conscious, willful role of cognitively driven conscience, distinguishes social processes from all others.
That’s the nature of the beast.
Now, that has been destroyed, more or less effectively, by the Baby-Boomer generation’s influence. Don’t try to dissect the Baby Boomer, you may not like what you find.
The problem here is a cultural problem.
In that case, we’re in for a new game, a game I like.
Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa…

lies.

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

From the Oregonian:

Let’s see a list of lies

Over and over again The Oregonian prints opinions from people who claim President Bush has continually lied to the public over the last few years. I’ve asked several of my very far left friends to name a few proven lies the president has made. Other than the overworked weapons of mass destruction question, none of them can come up with more examples.

Would The Oregonian please print a list of proven lies this president has made? With all those letters that have been printed, there must be a long list.

STEVE TENNENT Northwest Portland

I believe this is something of a meme, I believe I heard it on either a commercial or actual program for a conservative talk radio program.   Meaning the “Conservative Movement”, whatever that is, or perhaps better to say the 20-something percent of Bush supporters in this day and age– has gotten together and decided to say “What lies?  What lies?”  Politically charged conversations can be annoying at times — I have cringed in overhearing someone ostensibly on my side argue with someone ostensibly on the other side,  neither side coming out terribly well.  Sometimes a person’s mental filing cabinet is a little too disshelved at any particular moment.  (Worse is when somebody wants to make a political point in a completely apolitical situation or with people who would just as soon let that lie for a while — beware that trap.  Get a blog to rid yourself of your political wrenches.)

I will say about the matter of the “overworked weapons of mass destruction question”.  There is a degree to which I have moved forward, but if anyone finds themselves stuck back there, my one piece of advice is what you need there is a handful of precise and specific items.  Intellectually you will win the argument with that — intellectually you won’t if you are stuck in the vague line of “he said there are WMDs!!” — even if it does not particularly wash over to the “Hawk”.  Understand, our Oregonian letter writer probably has on his computer a file in his email box of Bill Clinton (the… um… 17th greatest president in American history) in 1999 running his gum about Hussein’s WMDs program.  Bully for him.

I am fairly positive that a quick search around the blogs will point me to something shouting and yelling about how the Liberal bloggers (or the “far left bloggers”) are not paying any attention to the Hsu fund-raising scandal with Hillary Clinton.  (Here for instance.  That’s the first item I find with a google search of “liberal blogger” and “Hsu”.)  I suppose it escapes my notice slightly, in part because it is what I expect from my not preferred Democratic presidential candidate, and I believe this is a recurring template of a scandal that you will see during a Hillary Clinton presidency.  I do not represent such a thing as “the liberal blogosphere” — sooner or later I am convinced I will end up on the conservative side of the American political line, in part by staying right where I am — but just for the sake of bemusement: there.  I just mentioned Hsu.  But I do have a There was a political cartoon I saw in a newspaper of a whole mass of reporters prying into Larry Craig’s bathroom stall, while a badly drawn Hillary Clinton smiles and walks away with a money bag marked “Hsu Campaign Contribution”, whistling all the way.  I find the message amusing, in its insinuation that … why in the world would we find an anti-gay gay Republican bathroom stall sex scandal more interesting than a campaign contribution scandal?

Then again, I think this is the same cartoonist who drew a cartoon of a sick South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson, with a bunch of donkeys huddled around his bed with flowers of “Get well soon”.  I knew the insinuation was supposed to be that the Democrats wanted him to get well again so they could keep their Senate majority, but the message falls flat in that there was nothing in the cartoon to suggest insincerity in Johnson’s colleagues in their desire for their colleague to… you know… GET WELL SOON.

skull de bones

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

This popped up on my radar just now.

When President Clinton’s book come out on June 22 do you think he will
tell what he knows about the influence of mind control cults like
Scientology and Skull and Bones in American government?

It’s an old message, from 2004 I suppose — the Kerry reference tells all. But it makes no sense. What kind of conspiracy nut thinks Clinton, a figment of the ruling power structure, is going to expose the secrets of the power structure?

On the other hand, this makes sense.

He could renounce Skull and Bones and tell all of their secrets. 

But he never did, did he?  And look where he is now.  Right where Skull and Bones dictated him be, I suppose.

Some Good News for Portland Sports Fans

Friday, September 14th, 2007

The city’s sports’ fans are down in the dumps right now, muttering the cursed name of “Sam Bowie” under their breath as Greg Oden undergoes surgery that will take him out of his rookie season.  Of course, the Sam Bowie comparison will only pan out if Greg Oden resurfaces as a bust, and Kevin Durant wins multiple titles in a Hall of Fame career for the Oklahoma City Sonics — a team that is currently located in Seattle.  Then that “Bowie — Jordan” dichotomy will be in effect — though, for the full effect the Chicago Bulls would have had to have moved to … I don’t know… Pittsburgh? back in 1988 or thereabouts.

On the other hand, this could all be a blip in the radar.  Oden comes back for his second season.  The team wins their promised dozen championship series through these next two decades.  And everything works out well.

But, for the moment, it is all doom and gloom.  I do have one bright spot for the sports fans of Portland.  Which is that the city never got one of those major league baseball franchises.

A taxing day for both teams ended in frustrating fashion for the
 Nationals, who played under unusual conditions. It's never easy for any team
 to get motivated to play a late-season getaway contest in front of a
 crowd that would have been disappointing for a JV high school football
 game. 

Attendance at Dolphin Stadium was officially announced as 10,121, but
 only a fraction of that number actually showed up. A couple of reporters
 in the press box did a head count as the afternoon's first pitch was
 being delivered and came up with 375 fans. 

"It looked like an extended spring game," Acta said. 

The crowd was so sparse, every word uttered could be heard throughout
 the stadium. One fan seated behind the plate got on umpire Paul
 Schrieber's case and wound up getting ejected from the facility. 

"He was chirping to everybody," Schneider said. "There's just no need
 for it. No matter what people were saying, you could hear everything.
 that was going on."

The significance for the city of Portland is that the two franchises involved in this little debacle — a real revenue generator — were the two teams that entertained offers from or toward Portland to come on over.  The Montreal Expos, treated nicely by mayor Vera Katz — feigning toward Portland to leverage a better deal from Washington.  The Florida Marlins, told to shove it by Mayor Tom Potter, feigning toward Portland trying to find their way — and never quite getting there — to Las Vegas.  So, you know, THIS TOO COULD BE ALL YOURS!  Catch the Excitement!  And it’s certainly going to revitalize the economy of Portland, Oregon — right?

The history of the Florida Marlins has always fascinated me.  They have won two championships.  These championships came so suddenly, particularly the second one which rolled from a great late season spurt, so as to catch Miami off-guard.  After both of their championship, particularly the first one — but the second one had a good one season lag — the team sold off all of their major Championship players and returned to the bottom of the heap.  Which all means that the market had a very short window of opportunity to purchase what they want — winning baseball team, and a long window of opportunity to purchase what they do not want — losing baseball team.