Archive for February, 2008

Apparently the White Nationalists have a problem with Barack Obama… whodathunkit?

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

It is becoming increasingly difficult when picking up an Oregonian not to wonder about editorial decisions.  But the questions are sort of scatter-shot, not following any particular line of progression — if I had to guess, my most common thought is a pained shaking of the head at whatever they decided would be on the first page upper fold.  Beyond that, the one thread that I can think would cover my questions is a theme of how a newspaper ought to adjust to the changing market and changing world of 24 Hour News sources and the Internet.  The answer has generally been, across the country, a resignation and shrinkage — which is obviously not the answer to an adjustment.

But if it is.  Today there was a campaign news “Analysis” feature which puzzled me a bit.  I think if the Oregonian were physically twice as long, or if their Election Campaign coverage ran a much longer gambit it might belong as a bit of a Curio, but as it were this article was featured prominently as a top campaign article, a sort of “Obama” half of a page for Obama campaign article and a Hillary Clinton article.

I swear to God, it was an article surveying a White Nationalists Conference for their opinion on this election.  Of all the article the Oregonian was going to pick up for their rather limited scope and coverage, they chose the one that tell us what the crucial voting block and influential thinking of the neo-Nazis, the White Supremisists, theoretically some of them might think of themselves not so much as White Supremisists as sort of “Separate But Equal” Racial Separatists.

Really?

In case you were wondering, there is thought that Obama — who is black, by the way, may be the lesser of two evils than McCain — Immigration and War.  Also, it is important for them to note that Obama is not 100 percent black, but here the conflict within this group rages, because good god there oughta be a law against this race mixing, as there was in some states when Obama was born.  Also, there is a good contingent of Ron Paul supporters amongst the group.   It may be a sign of the impending collapse of the Hillary Clinton campaign that the White Nationalists were not recorded as saying anything about her… she, being White, might be preferable.

An interesting article.  But I just don’t think it’s the best use of limited resources… you know?

Bucks

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

So, on the front page of the shrinking and shirking local newspaper of record, there was this “Consumer Spotlight” feature telling us all that a large coffee chain of some fame is going to be closed for three hours.  A coup for this large coffee chain — a chain I do not have particular aminus against — it has created a market by which small coffee stores have thrived — meaning it is not Wal-Mart in its effect on local economies — though, at the same time they occasionally buy a small local chain for the sole purpose of eliminating that competitor — meaning it sometimes is Wal-Mart…

I am not entirely sure why I should have been alerted to their three hour publicity stunt on the front page of the local newspaper.  Did they pay for a front page advertisement in addition to their couple of news stories in the “Business” section over two days?

I will note that the paper’s front page has ceased blaring across the top fold of its front page the Trailblazers’ results for the previous game.  When the team was generally winning, particularly during their 13 game winning streak, this was de riguour.  I guess Blazer-Mania has a ways to go, and losing does not sell the papers as surely as winning does.  Say, have you heard — Oden has endorsed Obama.  Meaning what, who knows?

Barack Obama: Worst. Hitler. Ever.

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Seems like a cult to me. All the elements of cultism are there. It’s disturbing. Now I know how Hilter won Germany.

Hm. Yes. Obama. Very Hitler-esque. And his crowds — mindlessly devoted to Obama.

Why, The Weekly Standard published a piece on the startling going-ons of these Nuremburg – style Rallies, from January we get this, and the single-minded “Destroy All Dissenters, Take No Prisoners” attitude of this Hitlerian Obama guy:

A few minutes after Obama took the stage, a group of about a dozen protesters in the balcony interrupted him, chanting, “Abortion is abomination!” This sort of thing happens all the time at political events. Sometimes the intruders are the “community of peacemakers” who call themselves Code Pink, sometimes they’re LaRouchies. When anti-abortion folks disrupt an event, the response is usually the same: The pro-abortion audience heckles the banner-wielding protesters; the speaker tosses off a barb or two; security escorts the demonstrators away; and the audience cheers, partly in self-satisfaction, partly in derision at the rubes who think babies are not choices.

But at the Obama event, something extraordinary happened. The protesters chanted “Abortion is abomination!” Obama lost his place in his speech and stared up into the balcony, looking to see who was interrupting him. The crowd began booing lustily, and suddenly Obama turned on them.

“There’s no need to boo,” he chastised them. After silencing the crowd, Obama turned back to the protesters and said he appreciated their point and would be happy to talk with them afterwards if they’d let him finish his speech. The protesters continued, and the crowd, thinking Obama simply didn’t want them to be negative, tried shouting them down, chanting “Obama! Obama!”

At which point Obama turned on them again. “Hold up,” he commanded. “This is an example of nobody hearing each other.” The Obama partisans desisted once more. The anti-abortion chanters continued, and Obama tried to engage them. “For die folks who are opposed to abortion, I understand your position, but this isn’t going to solve anything,” he said plaintively. He gave them time to make their point, and eventually they were led away.

The crowd cheered wildly as the demonstrators were taken down the back staircase by the local police, and here Obama cut dirough the applause to lecture them one final time. “Let me just say this, though,” he said. “Those people got organized to do that And that is part of the American tradition we are proud of. And that’s hard, too-standing in the midst of people who don’t agree with you and letting your voice be heard.” The audience, a bit stunned, didn’t quite know what to make of this.

I didn’t either. From my point of view, it would be much better if Barack Obama were willing to help protect the lives of the unborn. Still, his treatment of those protesters-and especially his treatment of his own supporters-spoke to his intellectual seriousness and his temperament, both of which seem to be first rate.

Honestly, I gather the Obama-followers will stop following him somewhere short of his invasion of Poland.

For a critical piece on Obama, still seemingly the most telling for his short career — and not quite a deal-breaker against him but a cautionary note, Harpers published this, which is something I need to re-read and re-appraise right about now.

One Month has passed since…

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

It has been a full months since I have made a comment about your friend and mine, Mr. Lyndon Larouche — the essentially irrelevant but still fascinating little man. I have meant to do so, but then thought a month would make a good interval right about now. (Though, now I probably will have to scan back to see if I find anything. The essay which suggests that hyper-linking is a sign of cultural decline entitled “The Noun Generation” promises hilarity.)

I did make one brief mention, and when I do that I always refer to “Landon LaRoach” as a means of not drawing unnecessary attention. But that is just a quirk I’ve picked here, only mildly interesting, I assume.

In the back of my mind, I have had the thought that the anniversary of the death of Kenneth Kronberg will have the folks in the boiler room in Loudon churning something out. Sure enough, I see that “eaglrbreak” addresses this matter on factnet — and thus this item of importance to add to whatever collection of documents you might be compiling…

….

Message date: 4/19/07

Dear Lyn,

I am writing to beseech you to break your silence on the
death of Ken Kronberg, and say something that recognizes
Ken’s extraordinary worth as a human being. Indeed, he was
one of the finest men I have ever known. My [spouse] and
I long looked to him, as to Graham, as a mentor, a
beacon of dedication and intellectual integrity, and a
friend. Whatever errors in judgment he may have made,
especially in recent years–and who among us has not made
mistakes?–have to be considered within the context of Ken’s
life as a totality.

If you have reason not to make a public statement, then
I plead with you at least to send Molly and Max a private
message of condolence. Whatever one thinks of Molly
personally and politically, one can still give
Ken’s family support and encouragement at this time of
searing grief.

With best regards,
NAME WITHHELD

From: PGM::IF_ 19-APR-2007 00:18:45.83
To: XXX,@DIS:NEC,WIE,HSE
CC: IF_
Subj: reply

TO:ssw,@DIS:NEC,WIE,HSE
FROM:LAR ” Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. ”
CC:HZL
SUBJ: rely to xxx
12:03 AM 4/19/2007 EDT

My stated policy is the only acceptable policy
at this time. The reasons for this are known
to Nany (sic) and Molly, in addition to a handful of
relevant others. It is the only correct policy.

I am reasonably certain that you have no
understanding of what the considerations actually
are; but, sometimes that is both the knowledge
and responsibility that responsible persons
involved must bear.

………………………………………..

The British… Now that I just scanned the whole mass of “Thread #4″, I see a comment to the blaming Larouche’s Britain – obsession on That Worldy Affair his first wife had — details I am barely interested in.

As non-sensical as the Larouche literature becomes as it passes its surface issues and causes of some popular use, it is explainable — in terms of what if not exactly why — in a certain light. To address the lasting stray points which stick with me (most just dissolve on impact) made by various Larouchite commenters here, there, and elsewhere — and for that matter popular conceptions of those that are not Larouchites and peering into this corridor — [a comment made somewhere off a blog entry on Larouche asking “Have you ever actually read one of those pamphlets? It’s basically the Protocols of the Elders of Zion” … hm. Maybe. Not quite. Source material is shared, I suppose.)

The matter is that all things British (and British is the source of all Evils) = codeword for Jew. Hogwash, the Larouchites will say. Sure. I can take this one at his word. British equals British. So Larouche’s propaganda, or worldview, places at its centerpiece strong denunciations of the British Empire. Leave the codewords to actual code words, your Locust Funds and your Synarchists. Granted, the Synarchists appear to be joined at the hip with the British Empire, but at this point –

Codewords? What codewords? Who said anything about Codewords? British = British!!

It is hereabouts the commentor at “Stormfront”, joining the great battle against the British, at “Stormfront” can chime in to proclaim that Larouche has “Love for the White Race in Spades”. (Which, without reading any part of it, tells you all you need to know about the book he was offering to the other “Storm-front”ers by Larouche on “Christian Economy”.)

I was reading an unremarkable book about the American government’s war planning and manuevering in the years prior to Pearl Harbor — recommending only in as much as it is an important piece of history to grip onto. The name Beaverbrook was mentioned one time during the 300 pages — from the vantage point of American pre-war preparedness against Nazi Germany — and in salvaging the decimated Great Britain, not particularly important. From a different place, I assume Lord Beaverbrook has somethin — how much more important, I do not know. In the vantage point of Larouchian history, a figure worthy enough to have in your cut-and-paste file — though, I have always assumed it was for the crude sexual reference. But, you know, he was a figure in the British War Effort and… all that…

So, anyway, Hitler’s propaganda was focused on the evils of a plot with Industrial Bankers and that British Empire (which he as in the process of destroying, and was also the only European power that was holding its fort down against the German War Machine). To what end does this bring Larouche, I can always only offer up the “What” — the “Why” always strikes me as kind of … elusive. I would have to parce out lines of Fantasy lives to get to that.

Anyway… Of interest, a subtle jab at my point, a press conference held by various Members of Congress (set up by Alcee Hastings of Flordia) and, question asked to a reporter for The Economist — Edward Lucas — on February 20:

MARINO: Hi, Mr. Lucas. I’m Paul Marino with EIR News. I’d like to ask you why should the United States restart the Cold War with Russia? I think it’s very dangerous to do that. Remember, Putin has offered us an updated version of Reagan’s SDI. He’s also offered us some interesting
nation building projects in the Bering Straits. With all their internal problems, we have something that’s verysimilar. We have very similar strategic interests. So why should we begin another confrontation and encirclement with Russia, because, Mr. Lucas, most Americans remember how World War I and World War II were started by the British Empire, and we don’t want to…

LUCAS: Sir, are you from EIR? Is that Mr. LaRouche’s paper?
MARINO: That’s what I said when I introduced myself.
LUCAS: I thought…

………………………………….

Cynthia McKinney — More Relevant than Nader.

Monday, February 25th, 2008

Were you aware that Cynthia McKinney is running for the Green Party nomination for President? I mention this in light of Ralph Nader’s announcement of his new completely irrelevant presidential run, where he is sure to double to vote for the Socialist Workers’ Party and not much else.  I am aware of gradations in politics and focus on issues which make them a difference of apples and oranges — though I point out that apples and oranges are both round  fruit — but I suggest to you that if you desire to vote for a political candidate somewhere to the left of that there Donkey Party with some Name Recognition and recent history of Fighting one Cause or Another, she ought be your gal and Nader ought not be your guy.

I do hold a contrarian view, and not a contrarian for contrarians’ sake view, based on watching the 2000 election campaign play out that Nader’s part in forcing Gore to commit to a position, “People Versus the Powerful” as it turned out to be for good or bad, outweighed the elecotral loss on Election Day — and I may just have to look up polling numbers through 2000 to back myself up and come to that post later.

Should I comment on this comic strip again? #4

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

Oddly enough, I found myself debating with myself whether to make a note on this here vanity blog of mine regarding today’s episode of that wonderous local comic strip, Adam’s Apple.  I say “oddly enough” because someone saw fit to make a comment to one of my previous posts on the subject.  The fact that it was there pushed me over to the “make a comment” side of the ledger.  On a previous occasion when I felt a tinge to make a remark, I thought better of it.  Better to just move on up the page to Hi and Lois and see if the baby was rolling into a sunbeam again.

Read the first panel.  That, actually might just be where I should leave this commentary — short and sweet.  I think if you do so you will have the same cringe I felt

But, to extrapulate further:  What the Hell?  Senator What?  Actually, go ahead and overlook that one — insert a generic name for the moment, even though this is not really pardonable.  And we get to the question — Huh?  Oh, that Senator [Jones?  Snodgras, maybe?], keeps pushing that Bill.  Oboy!  It’s just like Senators, they can’t help themselves… them and their bills which they keep pushing.  Over and over again.

It is not a bad gag, in theory, and it is a reasonable political comment, and you can imagine the conversation that put it into his head.  Which leaves me in an area where I am trying to figure out why he wasn’t able to come up with something that might actually be referenced — even devoid of specific politics, which is what the cartoonist clearly was trying to avoid.  Spending Bill, leading to an awkward and vaguely vague construction.  So, to better your enjoyment of this particular edition of Adams’ Apple: They are complaining about a Spending Bill, proposed by a Senator Jones.  Just make it a spending bill, and move on to the next panel.

that there reformer

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

You can’t gain “Conservative Credentials” until The New York Times writes an unfavorable piece about you. Thus, McCain may well be taking a long sigh of relief, if just for the moment.

Stripping out the sex aspects, I suppose you might go back to that idea of “Attacking His Strength”. The one thing about this supposed strength, chastized in the wake of his role in the Keating Six* scandal John McCain became MR. UNBOUGHT AND UNBOSSED, Mr. SUPER-REFORMER, I do not fully know if everyone in the bottom of their heart, when they sit still long enough, believes such a thing. Maybe as politicians go, grading on a curve — hence his Independent Credentials — .

But there is a way we are going to have to try to get a good handle on the man, the politician, the waving history, circa 2000 through 2004. I suspect you are left cutting his career into four distinct cuts, maybe?

* Correction: Keating Five.

Lincoln Chafee is still alive out there somewhere

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

Destined for the remainder bins, and essentially doomed to be unread as most political memoirs by mere Senators are, (beyond which, the Iraq War is soooo very yesterday… right?), yet I can not help but get the feeling that this book is going to be quoted and mined for the next hundred years with occasional references to explain various points about the political climate in the Senate during the lead – up to the War in Iraq and the passing of the Iraq War Resolution (and hence the political climate of some future date).

(I cannot find an online source for this, which is:

Commentary – Chafee’s book zaps Bush, both parties
Scott MacKay; Journal Staff WriterProvidence Journal

Commentary – Chafee’s book zaps Bush, both parties
Byline: Scott MacKay; Journal Staff Writer

For instance…

“Being wrong about sending Americans to kill and be killed, maim and be maimed, is not like making a punctuation mistake in a highway bill.

They argue that the president duped them into war, but getting duped does not exactly recommend their leadership. Helping a rogue president start an unnecessary war should be a career-ending lapse of judgment.

Interesting to note that Lincoln Chafee (ex-Republican) has endorsed Barack Obama for president, and this now reads like a shot in the arrow at Hillary Clinton.

A bewildered Chafee, seeking an explanation, turned to an unnamed Democratic senator who opposed the war but was well-respected by his party’s leaders. This senator tells Chafee “in confidence” what concerned the Democrats. “They are afraid the war will be over as fast as Gulf One. Few will die, the oil will flow and gasoline will cost 90 cents a gallon.”

[…]

“Instead of talking tough or meekly raising one’s hand to support the tough talk, it is far more muscular, I think, to find out what is really happening in the world and have a debate about what we really need to accomplish,” writes Chafee. “That is the hard work of governing, but it was swept aside once the fear, the war rhetoric and the political conniving took over.”

The cynicism and disdain for the Democrats he would have hoped to be on the side of takes on stark relief when we get to this:

Unlike members of his own party, Democratic senators were not getting the influence, home-state goodies, White House invites and Congressional pork that goes with being in the majority.  […]

Naturally.  At the end of the day, the parties crash down to:

Of the general election, Chafee writes that he was both “irked and amused” at the “parade of Democratic Bush enablers” who trekked to Rhode Island to campaign for Whitehouse.

“Senators Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Hillary Clinton, and others who had voted for the war urged my constituents” to defeat him, Chafee writes.

Yet, Chafee doesn’t mention that such GOP war supporters as former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, Arizona Sen. John McCain and First Lady Laura Bush traveled to Rhode Island to raise money or campaign for Chafee.

Undoubtedly the only one of those to make a public appearance, or at least the most publically — maybe your Fred Thompson made an appearance — and note that George W Bush uttered not a word in Rhode Island, astride your Lincoln Chafee would be the John McCain.  Two things to note with this one: #1, again, Lincoln Chafee is for Obama.  #2:  McCain has been winning those Republican primaries with the margin of victory coming off of anti-war (as defined per stance with Iraq posturing) Independents and the slim pickings of anti-war Republicans.  It’s a testamont to the insanity of our politics, and that “Moderate” status he has successfully engendered.  Why he would be running around with
McCain in that election in the first place.

Obama… Cult?

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

First they came for the Ron Paul supporters, and I remained silent, for Ron Paul supporters struck me as kind of nutty. (*)

There is something a bit disconcerting on the emerging narrative about Barack Obama, and the word “Cult”.  The thing is that going over the list of Democratic Party nominees, you almost would guess they have been super-sensitive toward this charge — going out of their way to nominate personality-less candidates that could not in any way transfix or emotionally connect to you with either empty or full platitudes.

So we arrive at a can’t win situation.  Politicians delving into policy focuses are derided and told that the electorate wants to know not so much anything on that score — a bit complex and nobody’s an expert on these intricate matters, but about “Values” that might inform such policies.  For good or bad, there we are, there Obama has staked his claim.  What does it get us?  “CULT!”  Hare Krishna, dangeditall.

And from no less a Democratic friendly than Paul Krugman.  But Krugman is a Clinton accolate, his editorial suffering from a “Remove the Log from your own eyes before pointing to the mote in the other’s” situation.

The other case of “can’t win” comes in the always present background noise about voter and political apathy, particularly with the Youth.  So when “The Youth”, or a lot of Youth, throw their lot in with a candidate (for better or worse, as indirect a manner it is, the way into the electoral political process) — they are derided once again.  It was something you saw in 2004 when Howard Dean “Deaniacs” were tarred as tattooed and pierced and purple haired freaks.

In a real way, all presidential campaigns are “Cults of Personality”, and there is no real way of getting around it.  To recall Dean again, it was with him that I came to this conclusion, sometime during his 2003 Summer campaign when I read through a blog description of an event, the blogger proudly pointing to a thousands-gathered crowd chanting (ahem) “We are Dean.”  Understand, I say this about a candidate I genereally liked, actually moreso than any other presidential candidate I’ve come across within the past three cycles, and who I was disappointed that I did not get to vote for — even as a useless symbol past his drop-out.  (A sort of “Identity politics” strikes me as important theme in voting, particularly because your one single vote rarely matters — think of the pride in having voted for and supported Goldwater or McGovern (or Eugene McCarthy) — and why I was annoyed by this news statement about Mike Huckabee voters.)

As for a political figure I do not think much of, I always go back to this New York Times Magazine cover:  here.

So, my thought experiment  goes like this:

The aliens come down to meet you. They say, “Take Me to Your Leader.” Who do you take them to?   Me? I think I wouldn’t know where to take them to. It’s easier as a child, there you can at least take them to your mom and dad, but now? I just don’t know.

Maybe the rule should be that you have it coming if you describe your political campaign as a “Movement”.  I am not going to stand foresquare behind your Barack Obama — I’m just not.  I wish I could take credibly the National Journal and subsequent Republican talking point ranking of “#1 Liberal Senator”, not necessarily for strict ideological reasons as because than I would be able to firmly place him somewhere beyond his impressive array of “Present” votes, and his speechifying would have something backing it up.  But this is what it is, and I suggest the nature of our political discourse has brought us to a point where this is sometimes optimum.  When eight years ago, I squinted at candidate Bush’s thin resume, I do so again and shrug.  But I have a faint warning in my gut: Obama has a steep electoral upside, which comes with a steep electoral downside.  I do not believe it is hard to conjure up the outlines of a massive negative onslaught against him which would leave one a little dizzy, wondering “That the Hell is wrong with our Society?”  It begins with items of racial innuendo — check your email box, please —  (Eventually I’ll come back toward this.)

— No, actually this is overshadowed at the moment by what is at hand… “Cult”.  Looking at the Machivelian trick, now dubbed Rovian, and onto the verb “Swift Boat”, it is a tad more nuanced than “Attack your opponent’s strength”.  The strength has to be shown to be a mask for a perceived weakness.  There was an underlying sense that Kerry was overplaying his Vietnam Service to get away from explaining national security  — something he with which wanted to place himself firmly in several camps.  Obama gets faced with this because his charisma and inspiring speech ends up, in the minds of many — and this is a criticism that Obama fans will just have to own up to and face whether they believe it or not themselves — thought of as a bunch of puffery not backed up with anything substantial.

…………..

(*) Or, you know… first they came for the Landon LaRoach supporters, but that actually is a Cult.  Which, I should be getting back to — I haven’t posted on that for a while, have I?