Archive for November, 2007

Our sports teams need more insulting thin historical paralells

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Saban Compares Loss to 9/11, Pearl Harbor

Citing the 9-11 terrorist attacks and Pearl Harbor, Alabama coach Nick Saban said Monday his team must rebound like America did from a “catastrophic event.”

In this case, that would be an embarrassing 21-14 loss Saturday to Louisiana-Monroe.

“Changes in history usually occur after some kind of catastrophic event,” Saban said during the opening remarks of his weekly news conference. “It may be 9-11, which sort of changed the spirit of America relative to catastrophic events. Pearl Harbor kind of got us ready for World War II, or whatever, and that was a catastrophic event.”

Alabama’s just getting ready to face No. 25 Auburn, its biggest rival, on Saturday.

A Saban spokesman said the coach chose the 9-11 and Pearl Harbor references to illustrate the challenges facing his team.

Now, Nick Saban is getting a lot of heat for this comparison, people thinking he went too far for a historical parallel.  But I don’t think he went far enough, or to put it another way, if you are going to do this, you should go all the way.

What you want is an explanation of how bad the defeat was, how whatever doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger, and how you will now go on to a brighter future.  Further, you want to insult a number of ethnic groups in the process.

So, here’s my suggestion:

“That loss was as if we were sentenced to Auschwitz by the Gypsies.  But just like the survivors of the Holocaust, who went on to kick the Arabs out of Palestine, we will persevere, and Watch out for us next year!”

What I like most about that would be the prospect of Romanian groups upset over being compared to Louisiana – Monroe.

Fox News classic moment

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

THIS one is a classic.  I remember Jon Stewart doing a riff of it when Fox News aired it. It is compulsively watchable, and not for the purient reason, but for the stunning jaw dropping reasons.

I get the feeling that Fox News would do well to have a daily hour long program of local Daytona Beach news stories, where any news story discussed would have that exact stock footage up as background.  Imagine if there were, say, a street renaming dispute at city council — dull? — Just run that footage and not so much.

Coke Stevenson and labels

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

Leafing through the published diary of Henry Wallace, Franklin Roosevelt’s second vice-president most famous for running a third party presidential bid as a Communist dupe…

… Wallace is an interesting figure in American history.  I get the feeling that the anger and animosity he garnered from conservative (Southern) Democrats in the first half of the 1940s was the overt display of sublimated disapproval they had over FDR and the New Deal, unexpressable directly due to political and personality reasons.  But, as I can figure it, the first vice president of John Garner was in place to assuage conservative Democrats that Roosevelt wasn’t going to dip too far to the left, Wallace ended up assuring liberals Roosevelt wasn’t going to head too far to the right at a time he was moving rightward.  Wallace’s disposal as vice-president can be seen as one in a series of the fracturing of the Democratic Party as the party assuaged the separation of the South as the bulwark of the party, to an extent continuing to this day where the political consensus has been a Democratic presidential candidate needs to somehow steal a state south of the Mason-Dixie line.

Anyways, catching me off-guard was a reference to Wallace keeping Franklin Roosevelt abreast of political events in Texas, as concerning the political fortune of one Coke Stevenson to the governship.  A footnote leads me to the odd explanation that Stevenson was considered from the liberal wing of the Texas Democratic Party, thus favored by the national party.

Having read Caro’s biography of Lyndon Johnson, the second volume with concerns to the 1948 Senate campaign, “liberal” is a description that is hard to conture.  Coke Stevenson appealed to Texas’s mythological conception of itself, an austere frontiersman, the rugged individual who got by on grit and self-determination.  Stevenson was described as uneasy about FDR’s “New Deal” expansions of government, considering them hopefully a begrudging stop-gap measure.  His view on the proper role of governance were as rigidly narrow as one can get, just short of Ron Paul’s.  Perhaps there is a bit of sour grapes working here, a shot toward Lyndon Johnson — who famously stole the Senate election from him — but in 1964 when asked, Coke Stevenson said he was for Goldwater, and had been waiting forever for the country to turn rightward.  Nonetheless, for the purposes of national Democratic Party politics in the first half of the 1940, Stevenson was fit for the label “Liberal”.  Such is the peculiar case of how politics aligns and realigns itself, and how individuals fit into the scheme of these things as political contures and issues shift about — sometimes dramatically.  See also the travels of Lyndon Johnson, who was the national candidate against Stevenson and an assertment of control for Truman against Strom Thurmond in the South, then the Dixie-granted Majority Leader of the Senate, then the Civil Rights politician with his “Great Society”.  Or the travels of Harry Truman.  Or, for that matter, figure out how much Henry Wallace moved versus how much the country moved in putting him out of the pale of the national political discourse.

North Carolina — Dole.

Monday, November 19th, 2007

I had been watching the developments for the odd little story that is the North Carolina Senate race for 2008.  The Democratic Party had been having a hell of a time recruiting someone to run against Elizabeth Dole, a formidable task.  Chuck Schumer and the gang had keyed their eyes on Kay Hagan, who initially declined, but has now since announced that she is running.

In the interim, by default, the Democratic candidate was likely to be a wealthy self-financed candidate named Jim Neel, who was once asked if he was gay, and answered in the affirmative.

It is not difficult to imagine the possibility that the party was seeking out that big-name candidate to no avail,  ready to write the seat off — more or less, then redoubled their efforts swerving back to convince Hagan to get back in the race because an openly gay man would be a drag down-ticket.

Well, that’s just a guess.  Figure it out from people watching more closely.

In other news of Democrats who have no shot in picking up a seat in the South who are running, did you notice that Artur Davis, apparently running in Alabama, was #89 in the Telegraph’s list of the 100 Liberals?   I know for a fact that the answer is no.  It is the type of thing I noticed, and I’m gathering I’m the only one.

thoughts on two blurbs I noticed

Monday, November 19th, 2007

Al Gore is making an appearance at the White House, with President Bush honoring the Nobel winners.  It is interesting to note the two directions the two have made since the 2000 election debacle — one to complete disrepute and shame, as expressed by his father; the other a statesman of some repute.

In comparison with Al Gore, you have John Kerry.  Who has taken up a challenge by the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” for some sum of money to prove any statement of theirs as a lie.  This is a sham, and Kerry should know that — the truth and evidence as judged by the swift-boaters for the enjoyment of his ideological anti-Kerryites.  But Kerry can do what he must.

I wonder if we go back to 1992 if we can find a similar confluence of events in the lives of Dukakis or Mondale.  In 1999 is there a Dole – Bush couple of stories?  Hm…

Wikipedia; Robert Dreyfuss.

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

From the sea of edits at wikipedia:

The supposed biography of Kronberg is an excuse to push a conspiracy theory about his death. —Masai warrior 23:18, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

I don’t think a conspiracy theory is alleged. The article appears to lay out a story in which a failed business man is pushed to suicide by a lack of support from his community. No one disputes that version of events. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 23:35, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
How do you know it was “lack of support from his community”? He left no suicide note. For all we know, he was pushed to suicide by a wife who was undermining his life’s work by supporting George Bush. In a matter like this, it is disrectful to the deceased to speculate about his motives, but the real issue here is that the usual gang, King, Berlet, etc., have ghoulishly seized upon Kronberg’s death to push their agenda. That’s why this is a coatrack article. —Masai warrior 13:56, 30 October 2007 (UTC)


Actually, no. Kenneth Kronberg is a WP:COATRACK article which was created as a vehicle to smuggle in a WP:FRINGE theory from Dennis King’s website, LYNDON LAROUCHE AND THE ART OF INDUCING SUICIDE. As the title suggests, the article accuses LaRouche of using some form of mind control to cause Kronberg to commit suicide. LaRouche is, of course, a living person. —Marvin Diode 06:53, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

How does the belief that the actions of the LaRouche movement led to the suicide of Kronberg count as a “fringe theory”. It appears to be the mainstream view because it has been published in a mainstream reliable source. Also, we aren’t using the link you provided as a source. The page we’re using as a source is this memo. Do you have any basis for disputing the accuracy of the memo as posted? ·:· Will Beback ·:· 19:43, 3 November 2007 (UTC)


And on and on that goes.


About the only susbtantial bit of partisan or ideological aruguing garnered from online discussion of the WaMo piece comes hereabouts and hereabouts. Robert Dreyfuss, distinguished enough individual who…

Maybe I should have “Robert Dreyfuss” keyed, to see if commenters such as Jean GabrielRooseveltarians(?!?) take a hankering to them. Anecdotally, I can point to the name popping up with this comment: the work done by the best of the writers Ken published over the years: Spannaus, Chaiken, Salisbury. Or alumni like Robert Dreyfus. –suggesting his use as someone in the mainstream media a Larouchian feels they can hang their hat on in terms of “influence”.

Okay. A bit chagrained here. I cannot really comment on Dreyfuss’s book, essentially an apologia for the Shah of Iran as it was being deposed. It’s not impossible to imagine Hostage to Khomeini as a complete embarrassment of undiluted Larouchianism. But, delving further down that spiral, Dreyfuss was complicit in the very worst that Larouche had to offer:

Speaking of Robert Dreyfuss… he was one of the three authors of the infamous revisionist and antisemitic 1978 Campaigner “Zionism is not Judaism”.
Here is what he wrote about the “Myth of the Six million” (p.10):

“If the worship of the fortress at Masada by the modern Oxford- and Cambridge-trained Israeli elite is bad enough, the stench of the Big Lie emanates from the current propaganda about the Nazi holocaust. This point the U.S. Labor Party has documented elsewhere; the point need only be recapitulated here.
Among the strongest backers of the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi movement to power were the Zionist financiers of the City of London, the Hofjuden who had been deeply enmeshed in the “Return to the East” cult phenomenon since the rise of the official Zionist movement in the 1830s and afterwards. The Zionists viewed, the role of Nazism in Europe a process of race purification of the Jews, whereby the Jews that survived the holocaust would have passed through a “selection” process and would be fit colonists for Palestine. “

Does he still agree with it? If not, would he apologize?

The two other authors were Mark Burdman (who died three years ago) and Paul Goldstein (who escaped US Justice in 1987)

Robert Dreyfus has had endless meetings and phone calls with Jeff Steinberg for years. He probably has a better relation with him now than when he was in the LC. They both have the same friends .

In the book “Secret Warriors” one can find the name “Karen Kwiatowski” being described as a “Larouche Mole”. I have not seen the book and can’t verify that yet.

So there’s the grist for that mill.

Pearls or Diamonds Before Swine

Friday, November 16th, 2007

“Every single question asked during the debate by the audience had to be approved by CNN,” Luisa writes. “I was asked to submit questions including “lighthearted/fun” questions. I submitted more than five questions on issues important to me. I did a policy memo on Yucca Mountain a year ago and was the finalist for the Truman Scholarship. For sure, I thought I would get to ask the Yucca question that was APPROVED by CNN days in advance.” […]

“CNN ran out of time and used me to “close” the debate with the pearls/diamonds question. Seconds later this girl comes up to me and says, “you gave our school a bad reputation.’ Well, I had to explain to her that every question from the audience was pre-planned and censored. That’s what the media does. See, the media chose what they wanted, not what the people or audience really wanted. That’s politics; that’s reality. So, if you want to read about real issues important to America–and the whole world, I suggest you pick up a copy of the Economist or the New York Times or some other independent source. If you want me to explain to you how the media works, I am more than happy to do so. But do not judge me or my integrity based on that question.”


I can not nor will I say that the CNN debate question represented a low-point of any sort in the degradation and trivialization of our political process.  From what I have heard, the debate itself was no great shakes — a personality contest with a fixed “Reality Show” script everyone follows, and as always you are better off inspecting the contributors’ list for what the candidates might do in office.  I cannot suggest the question represents anything of that sort because it is a simple retreading of the “Boxers or Brief” question for the 1992 cycle — which would resurface for 2004 as “PC or Mac”.  I almost want to suggest it’s not even a sexist question to be propped out there, since “boxers or briefs” is so male-centric — but I cannot quite say that it isn’t.  No one ever

God love the Internet, and God love the vanity press aspect and social networking aspect of the Internet.  Our questionaire aired out the background of the question on her myspace page, something which makes me suspect the same mechinitions at play for the MTV 1992 “Boxers or Briefs?”  It is all amusing and throw-away gags to the nights’ drama — Obama!  Edwards!  Hitting hard at Hillary!  Will they go too far?  Hillary — Not about to Back Down!

Tedium, and I don’t know what to do with or about it, and I still struggle with understanding what I am supposed to do with the political system or how to access it properly.

What do they think of Yucca Mountain anyway?

There is a manner to which this either helps out my faith in the American electorate or it dredges downward my faith in the American electorate process.  The system, you see, wants to break down and destroy anyone’s concern for any issue or policy and bring us to the Lowest Common Denominator.  I have come to cringe at the phrase “dumbing down”, — the phrase itself makes me feel dumb and I demand a smarter term AND occasionally puts me on the defensive in wanting to defend The Dumb — but it fits well here — perhaps Wolf Blitzer does not know this, but he is in Show Business moreso than the News Business, and that is the tendency of Show Biz — Paris Hilton — why do I even know she exists?

Kids today and their drawings

Friday, November 16th, 2007

Apparently the kid wasn’t suspended from school so much for this drawing as well as saying a couple of times that he would shoot one of his classmates.  There was a kindergartener who shot a classmate in late 1999 or early 2000, so I suppose you can not be too careful.

But I think it is fair to analyze this cartoon.  The shooter, apparently a robot, has an effective expression on his face, I think a product of the slanted face and the line that runs up on his eye — it is stern.  The girl, gender identifiable even though abstractly due to the squiggle which represents the hair, needs a little work.  I do not know what expression he is trying to parlay — she needs more feeling. 

The gun looks like a 50s style raygun.  Interesting choice, a touch of nostalgia.

It shows promise, I suppose.  We’ll see what he draws in a decade.