Archive for January, 2008

a subtle McCain gaffe

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

During the Republican primary debate last night, Mitt Romney attacked John McCain’s “Conservative Credentials” by charging that nobody who gets the New York Times endorsement can really be that conservative.  The New York Times endorsement was largely a huge slap at Rudy Giuliani, with a decision to line up behind McCain due to his anti-torture stand — as opposed to Romney’s line that he would like to “Double” Guantanamo.

I do not know where a Conservative should head in choosing between Mitt Romney and John McCain, and won’t try to parse out a good position.  But I did run another slap against John Mcain’s “Conservative Credentials” in the news weekly which recently had a cover feature on John McCain.  (I cannot always tell the three apart, particularly two of them.  I think it was Newsweek.  It might have been Time.)  According to a slight aside feature on the nature of the McCain campaign bus, the television is always turned to…

either ESPN or MSNBC.

MSNBC?  Home of Chris Matthews (worked in the Carter administration, and in the right wing view of things where we have an odd “either”/”or” positioning, a big fat LIBERAL), and the down-right Communist Keith Olbermann.

Everyone knows what channel it should be turned on for the sake of the Republican primary voter, and the true-red Conservative.  Where the heck is the Fox News?

The 1960s and McCain

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

I intend to do that by making it clear what I stand for. I stand for the principles and policies that first attracted me to the Republican Party when I heard, in whispered conversations and tap codes, about the then-governor of California, who stood by me and my comrades, and who was making quite a reputation for standing by his convictions no matter the changing political winds of thought and popular culture.

It is interesting how McCain goes from an appreciation of the Sainted-amongst-the-primary-voters he needs in order to finish his Republican nomination up, Ronald Reagan — and the cultural war interceding into the real war in Vietnam nature of the appreciation — into a cultural war attack on the 1960s.  This is not the first time in this campaign that we have seen John McCain make an attack on the 1960s, and its popular cultural imprint, which suggests that it is a real strain within his person and thus candidacy.  (The political impact of “The 1960s”, mind you, is complicated — such that its greatest electoral effects — the election of Governor Reagan and President Nixon.)

It is also offers up a suggestion of why he is probably going to lose the general election, particularly interesting to another echo of the 1960s — strained perhaps, as Teddy Kennedy reworked John Kennedy’s “Torch has been passed to a new generation” line in sending up Barack Obama.  It may not be a good idea to show your age in a Cultural War no one is terribly interested in fighting.  Bob Dole was slightly caught in the trap in 1996 by dent of age, but George Bush was more so in 1992 by dent of… um… ?.

We Won’t Have that Guy to Kick Around Anymore

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Well… not him.  You shouldn’t be kicking him.  That’d just be mean.

Disclaimer: I would like to be old someday too.

So-called so-called

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

A Letter to the Editor in Tuesday’s Oregonian: 

The Sunday “In My Opinion” article by Steven Wojcikiewicz was the most despicable, self-serving piece of verbiage that I have ever read in your paper (US forfeits its ideals, moral high ground”).

He equates the brute force interrogation methods used on the crew of the USS Pueblo by North Korea to the so-called enhanced interrogation used today against our country’s enemies.  In short, he is saying that we are just as guilty as North Korea in the use of torture.

The cruel treatment of the Pueblo’s crew is well documented.  Having a person beaten so brutally that his head was as big as a basketball is graphic enough evidence to put North Korea in a torture class of its own.

The evidence that our country is engaged in torture should not come from the front page, the evening news or some web blog.  If America is to be equated with North Korea in any manner, I think a conscious, responsible and learned citizen would require more than that.  The crew of USS Pueblo deserves more than that.
Imon L Pilcher
US Navy, retired, McMinnville

First off, I admit to not having read the editorial he is referring to, but I think I — and any semi-literate– can piece together the general thrust of what was said.

There are two lines that throw me here, the latter one a standard dismissal of the media in the “Stabbing in the Back” motif with the dismissive”the front page, the evening news or some web blog”.  But I can basically ignore that because the other line strikes me as more telling and thus more important.

“So-called enhanced interrogation”, notably the use of the qualifier “so-called”.  “Enhanced Interrogation” is a term which serves as an apologia for various interrogation techniques; dropping the phrase “so called” in front of “enhanced interrogation” suggests the term as a euphemism for Torture, and his use suggests he knows even as it doesn’t arrive at the torture techniques of the North Koreans…

South Carolina.

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

I suspected Barack Obama would defeat Hillary Clinton by a rather large margin in South Carolina, but I under-estimated the extent by about ten points.  The storyline became something about Bill Clinton using racial polarization, and a dime-store prognastication tells me this can’t lead to anywhere good.

Actually we’re lead to believe we have a fight between the black electorate and the female electorate.  Meaning the swing vote is… um… either black women or white men — hard to say.

3 Cults

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

Well, Factnet has changed things for their forums, and I have to pick up things right about here.  For those of you paying attention.  I will have to alter my sidebar accordingly.

A few days’ ago, I saw three Scientologists taking down their platform for the day.  Funny, from a distance I thought I was looking at 3 LYMers.  But, no, they had a “Free Stress Test” and a load of L Ron Hubbard materials.  I had thought that one of the three wasn’t related to the organization — seemed to be somehow coming from the outside — but on closer inspection, he had three L Ron Hubbard books in tow.

The thought popped into my mind:  TURF WAR!  There is limited retail space, after all.

Or, maybe the Larouchies and the Scientologists can have a meeting of the mind.  Merge, damneditall.  Clear the Engrams out of Samuel Clemens.  Xenu was the Ultimate Synarchist.  Surely this and this are not mutually exclusive.

Jeff Steinberg, take note.  Jeff Steinberg who has curiously inserted a “Jeff Steinberg Report” briefing into the daily Larouche tipping.  Interesting for Sovietology purposes, make of that what you will.  But to survive the “demise” of the current leader, maybe a merger with Scientology can be done.

With concerns to our current economic downturn, and the gloom we are all facing — OHMIGOD!  Lyndon Larouche is Right!  He’s forecast this disaster since 1958!  I must find a way to become an Authority on the Mind —

— If I pay the Estate of L Ron Hubbard up front enough, can I get to the Bridge Level that Tom Cruise is at… instantaneously?  Or maybe Larouche can offer a bargain basement price for that honor.

Then again, keeping up appearances, we see that Larouche is giving the shaft to Fred Newman and Leonora Fulani.   Except for some reason, the name Fred Newman is dropped outof the equation.  Maybe they look down on him.  After all, some edictorial cues from this piece — filtering through some history of the current obsession of Michael Bloomberg — come from hereabouts (ie: “Fulani Independent“) and down the right hand side of this page.  The URL doesn’t even acknowledge Newman and Fulani as a subject matter.   Surely “EIR” rolled past Dennis King in their rolodex in finding quotes regarding Fulani?

Here, I guess, is the Village Voice article referenced.

Ah well.  Nobody is paying close attention.  And Michael Bloomberg isn’t running for anything.  The Larouchies will have to move on to something else.  Or maybe they won’t — I don’t pass the mustard as an expert on this, as revenire pointed out to my relief.  Still, if a Larouchie wants to pause and reflect on these news items they’re reading — they could go find more information at this page.  It’s following the Larouche line on that score, at least.

I won’t even comment on Rudy Giuliani

Friday, January 25th, 2008

I have looked over the presidential candidates, and have made a decision.  I will be supporting full fledged the Man With A Plan, no-nonsense

Fred Thompson.

Oh, wait.

Okay, Man with Experience, World Weary,

Bill Richardson.


Duncan Hunter.

Okay, a little bit out of left field, a man of tremendous integrity…

Dennis Kucinich.

tap tap tap tap…

Okay, I will settle for nothing less and nothing other than

Bob Dole.


Mitt Romney

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

I am having trouble finding a description of an item from the Mitt Romney campaign.  I do believe it comes with the same event as the one where Romney awkwardly shouted out “Who Let the Dogs Out?”, which whatever you can say about — never mind the idea that it would be the first thing Romney apparently scans out of his mind to associate with while entertaining a predominantly black crowd on Martin Luther King Jr, Day is a one hit wonder anthem from 2001 or therabouts — is better than an anecdote I cannot immediately locate on where someone on a long bus ride name checked to a black passenger Arsenio Hall — this being a few years ago, 2003 or 2004.  And it is not on par with Mitt Romney pressing the flesh and…

… smilingly telling a mother that her baby son looks like Michael Jordan.

The two characteristics which make one look like Michael Jordan, I suppose, would be #1: black skin, and #2: Baldness.

Most babies are bald, I believe.

Maybe he had previously displayed a good vertical leap?  That’s… Michael Jordan-esque.

Incidentally, in scanning to try to find this, I note that Michael Jordan has sent donations to Barack Obama’s campaign.  I also note the news-report refers to Jordan as co-owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, because, you know, um… that’s the NBA franchise everyone will always associates him with.
Next, Mitt Romney will join with an event full of Hicks and compete with Huckabee by telling them that his popcorned squirrels were…

I don’t know what might be more impressive in the arena of popcorning squirrels, and further dredge someone to the common clay.  Can one assuage Mormon concerns by suggesting it was picked up in the days of the Mormon fore-fathers for survival?  I don’t know..

The Grand MLK Day elementary school Essay

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

It would have had to have been fifth grade when my class was handed a MLK – Civil Rights – History of Broad Subject and Where We Are Now essay assignment.  Nothing particularly inspired on my part, but by the standards of generic elementary school mish and mashing a lot of secondary sources and writing in complete sentences essaying, mine stood out.  After all, it was longer than anyone else’s — something which amounted to something and spoke to at the very least some cognitive ability — sitting down to type the thing out on the computer lab, my hunt and peck typing was much quicker than everyone elses’, and yet I ended up having to sit there roughly to the end.  So it was that at the start of having to write this the teacher told us that she was going to send a few of these to some statewide judging committee, and so it was that mine was the only one she bothered sending.  This had no effect on me one way or the other.

Weeks later, a sheet of paper came in the mail, essentially a Certificate of Participation.  It had stamped on it, in the background, an image of Martin Luther King, Jr. and it had on the governor’s signature and it said not much more.  It was the type of thing I would draw some cartoons on a few years’ later, and in the meantime just slide into a box paying no mind whatever toward.  Nonetheless, my mother caught sight of it, or perhaps even opened the letter in the first place, and asked why I had not shown it to my teacher.  There was no good answer to the question because it was a stupid question.  My mother somehow attributed shyness to my marked indifference, when it was more a matter I don’t know what this could possibly signify.
That aside, I thought about that essay a few years’ ago when reading a piece by an English professor expressing her annoyance at judging elementary school Martin Luther King, Jr. essays and reading the same cookie-cutter tripe, depoliticized Triumphantalist Journeys which ends with all issues of equality more or less, and more on the more side, settled — a nod to a vague need to continue, though we don’t really know where we are continuing toward.  Likewise, I recall name-checking any black entertainer I could think of, which ends up sort of cloying, and if I were mature as opposed to an idiot eleven year old, you’d be justified in hitting me over the head.  A satisfying piece it was as it justified my fifth grade indifference.  The only thing I can’t quite put my finger on is how things could be different — teach your elementary school children something and see if you can lead to something besides a bit of polly-annaism and awkwardness.

On MLK Day I don’t know if I want to hear is the “I Have A Dream” speech.  Better to hear something from “Beyond Vietnam” or… something somewhere else.  Besides which, the number of lines the average American knows from “I Have A Dream” stands at… two.

Election 2008, and all that

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

So.  Um.  Hillary Clinton received more votes in the Nevada Caucuses.  Barack Obama received one more delegate.  And, um, this is an amazing comeback for Clinton because after falling from a 20 point lead to her 6 point victory, she won with the Culinary Union endorsing Obama.

Our electoral system is just a bit dumb.

The storyline we’ve been treated to, as exemplified by the thrust of the debate questions attempting to instigate a Race Riot, starts somewhere with the Clintons floating the name of Lyndon Johnson as an unsexy grunt-figure in pushing civil rights and then ends… ends roughly with with the heckler shouting to get to something more important.

Or maybe it commences with Rush Limbaugh trolling through the political zietgeist for any hook at all so he can do a “comedy” bit based on strong enunciations of the words “spade” and “ho”.  Hillary Clinton says that Obama has not done the “spade work”, and that is enough for Limbaugh.  We can expect more of this from that man, the ruse being something about “liberal hypocrisy”.  I can’t say I would have noticed had anyone come forth with the term “spade work”, and further I can’t say Limbaugh is on the winning side of the political fence at the moment — his antics I’m more bemused by and find just kind of sad — this is 2008 as opposed to 1994.

But.  Maybe one has to explain Obama’s reference to Ronald Reagan.  There are a number of directions to take that, starting with the reality that Reagan won two landslide elections, and that Reagan spent the 1980 election quoting FDR, Truman, and Kennedy, lest he be saddled with Nixon.  But the problem comes in further with his commentary, his Audacity, in referencing himself as a “transformative candidate”.  Which is something he sort of needs to be as opposed to say, if he indeed is.

Stylistically, I get a tad stunned by Obama, and I gather it is costing him votes in the primaries.  His particular message and brand of “Changes” suggests that the Republican Party will “change” right along with him.  In the realm of practical politics, there is no getting around the dirty and uncomfortable and necessary reality of partisan politics, and the Partisan Fight, which Obama’s Rhetoric seems to preclude – unless he is planning on bowing down to that which his partisan opponents believe, incorporated into what he is following through with.  It is sort of flumoxing and disappointing, and something Obama is probably going to have to figure out, lest he watch the primary voter gravitate toward Clinton…

… Though that brings up a particularly odd irony of figuring out what policies they were brawling through in the 1990s…

This is all glass half empty stuff.  The Glass Half Full is to simply point out that Huckabee wants God’s Law to supercede the Constitution and made that old Gay Marriage = Bestiality Marriage canard, and that McCain is going to follow our enemies to the Gates of Hell, wherever that is in his mind.  Mitt Romney is the best bet on the Republicans,  because he’s just phoney enough he might just be phoney to where he doesn’t quite believe himself right now.

And so it goes.