Archive for October, 2008

Studs Terkel, RIP

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Studs Terkel has passed away.  I have nothing more to say, except that I am sad.

A few months ago, I posted this reminiscence from the McCarthy Era.

The “Justice for Jeremiah” Berlin Conference is being posted

Friday, October 31st, 2008

I should have posted this a bit earlier than now, but there it is.  It is the steadily increasing uploads of the “Justice for Jeremiah” conference in Berlin — also now posted to the “Larouche Corner” section of the sidebar.  I have watched the first four installments, and am not going to force myself to state a novel insight.  On a less than serious note, I will say that judging by the seating arrangement, it would appear the individual who posted on his blog about this conference — go down to the next posting or two in this category to see the link — was seating off on the side, as the state of Chip Berlet’s pants is obscured by the sign over the table.  I don’t see how I could possibly have taken note of that even if I really really really was inclined to do so — it appears to be a “that blogger” problem.  As though that wasn’t obvious.

One place to pursue some items of controversy is not the wikipedia article on Jeremiah Duggan, but the archives for the talk function for the article.  Further, the arbitration for the Banishment of a misusing Larouche supporter with a Jewish Simpsons reference as a handle. Worthy of an aside, I once watched someone with a Jewish name as a handle post on an Internet forum that I frequent a Denial of the Holocaust — that is some odd common tactic in neo-nazi and anti-semitic culture — adopt a Jewish handle.   Not that Herschel Krustofsky is a neo-nazi; he’s just mindful of the anti-semitic charge that comes at Larouche, or more probably just making an obscure Simpsons reference.  But if there is a “Herschel Krustofsky” the writers of the Simpsons used as inspiration, please clue me in..

An odd little item that springs out at me from there, witness this:

The LaRouche user accounts have caused so much dissent that there are now numerous breakaway articles about LaRouche and his groups, when in reality his movement does not warrant this much space. The LaRouche talk pages amount to over 185,000 words: see Template:LaRouche Talk. There are omissions of fact and omission of mainstream opinion which render the articles misleading. The Schiller Institute page, for example, stresses the cultural activities of the organization, whereas in reality, it is regarded as a far-right political cult, whose members have complained of brain-washing techniques, but little of this is mentioned.

I am not sure the unbalanced nature of this topic, as per words, is a problem.  The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, of the radio and book franchise of the same name, as near a fictional precursor to to wikipedia, has “Earth” down to “Mostly Harmless”, though obviously not those two words (er… Jeremiah Duggan, Kenneth Kronberg — heck!  Dennis King has — for whatever reason — popped the “International Death Squad Support” to the top of his list at his website).  In the grand scope of things, if you were to pare “Lyndon Larouche” down to his impact on human culture, it would be about the same length — compare the number of words to all those connected to “Albert Einstein”, for instance. The disparity compared to disparity of worth will almost certainly be unbalanced, but I don’t see how that would be a problem.  Put up that disclaimer, wikipedia.  As silly as it is to have an item on every stupid sub-variation of the cult (“Schiller Institute”), they at least don’t post — as per the request from Larouchies — every appearance he makes on Russian television.

I might also note the ratings comparison of the Obama infomercial with the Larouche infomercials.  The news media have been reporting the Nielson ratings for Obama — roughly half the ratings for the second presidential “debate”. The immediate comparison they can come up with by way of rough comparison with that format is Ross Perot’s chart-heavy infomercials for his two presidential campaigns, and sure — the ratings are better for Obama.  It is up to blogs such as, to pick one out at random in a search, this one to sarcastically reference Larouche’s infomercials. But they fail to note the ratings, largely forgotten to history.  I once saw the Nielson ratings for various weeks where Larouche bought a half hour of time.  (Two years ago, when I read seemingly every mainstream mention of Larouche of the past four decades, which sort of had me on this topic 18 months ago, and you remember what happened then.)  Basically they were dead last in the ratings, with about half the viewership of the second to last rated-show (and in the days of upstart Fox having about 100 affiliates on a lot of lower-powered UHF channels and only nudging into the not as big cable market, dominating that final tier of ratings listings– well, that particular ratings list was amusing).  I was trying to find those ratings yesterday, but I was not able to within the time that would make that hunt worth it, so you will have to take my word and faded memory for it.

A positive poll for George Fearing against Doc Hastings

Friday, October 31st, 2008

I’m mildly obligated to point to this, and you can follow the various links there to further explosions of excitement.  It popped up in my “incoming links inbox”, which I think means Jimmy was wavering on linking to something on this blog before deciding I had nothing to link.  After all, the last time I mentioned Doc Hastings, I was posting about Gordon Allen Pross, which is a clear demonstration of my misguided priorities.  But maybe he was looking for this:

1994: JAY INSLEE, ousted. 51%, 48%.
1996: Rick Locke lost 52% to 48%.
1998: Gordon Allen Pross: 25%
2000: Jim Davis, 37%
2002: Craig Mason, 33%.
2004: Sandy Matheson 37%.
2006:  Richard Wright:  40%

So, the would be Speaker-of-the-House (heh heh heh), Richard Doc Hastings, is up by a jarringly small margin over George Fearing in an internal poll.  I recall in 2004, and maybe even last time in 2006, the Democratic candidate releasing an internal poll really early on suggesting something of a race, but the poll was laughable and incredibly leading in its questioning — too much mischief designed to get some donations.  This doesn’t have that motivation, and is at least on the surface pretty straight forward — even if the margin of error suggests anything between Fearing winning by one and Doc Hastings winning by eleven.

So, here in 2008.  Who will win?  Doc Hastings.  What — am I crazy?  You saw the past election results.  The only caveat is that in a “wave election” someone will win a seat nobody expected in their right mind could be won — as with 2006 and her, her, and him.  Somewhere on the map in this nation — a nation where Barack Obama is tossing some late dollars in the states of North Dakota, Arizona, and Georgia–, that seat exists.  And George Fearing wants you to believe it could be this seat.  Do what you can, true believers.

Elizabeth Dole’s Last Stand.

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Dear “Godless Americans PAC“:

Understand, this is a nation where you can count on the number of elected Atheists to the federal government on a single hypothetical hand that has four fingers missing, and a hearty “hello” to Representative Pete Stark.  It is also a nation where Atheists rank higher than any other group in polls as a disqualifier to elected office, particular the presidency.  As such an organization designed to be confrontational, as suggested by the name “Godless Americans”, makes sense if you have no pretense for immediate political gratification — keep up the fight in the culture, court challenges, this or that law, intellectual rigours, whatever.  A “PAC”, meant to elect people into office, with that name does not make sense, and would become politically toxic through most of the country.  You can be one or the other, but you cannot be both.  If you want to be a pac, your battle-lines would best be drawn with the inclusive lines of suggesting not a godless America, but either a secular government or a pluralistic society.

Well, live and learn, I suppose.  I don’t think Dole really wanted to run this ad — ruins reputations and such — but had it in her ready if things got really tough.  The “need to check President Obama” card seemed to not move the numbers, so this card has been played, and it’s either working or backfiring.

Tito the Builder goes to bat for Joe the Plumber

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

I was not sure if I was kidding or not when I thought “Joe the Plumber is going to put in a run for Congress.”  Of course he is.   I’m sure he’ll spearhead the big wave of Republicans that will come to victory in 2010 from disenchantment with the Obama Administration.

He’s sure to have a rough road of it with the media elites.  But he has a weapon of his own.  Tito the Builder has Joe the Plumber’s back.  But Tito the Builder, now that he has entered the media spotlight, is mindful of the media scrutiny he is about to get, and the partisan slings that will be tossed his direction.  He speculates, “Maybe they’re going to bring out Bill Richardson calling me a racist.”

When asked to comment on Tito the Builder, Bill Richardson replied “Huh?”

But I think the McCain / Palin has put themselves into a box by forcing a “[Name]” “the” “[occupation verb] -er” construction.  They should branch out and away from the “er” in these final five days of the campaign, and produce Al the Shoe-Salesman.

Gordon Smith is running on fumes

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Gordon Smith is now running ads attacking his opponent.  His opponent being Constituion Party candidate Dave Brownlow.  Not so much Democratic Party candidate Jeff Merkley anymore, it would seem.

Apparently Dave Brownlow is too dangerous to be entrusted to the US Senate.  If true, we can breathe a sigh of relief knowing full well that Dave Brownlow is not going to get anywhere close to the US Senate — as befitting a member of the “Constitution Party”, he will get single digit returns.

Apparently Dave Brownlow is too liberal.  But really, he’s so conservative that he sling-shots back to liberal (to the left of Merkley) on a number of issues, particularly on the surface level — but Smith has to beware his right-plank who are apt to throw protest votes Brownlow’s way.  Brownlow’s response to the charge of being given that “liberal” label is to point out the campaign Smith has been running — where he has attached himself to Obama, Wyden, Ted Kennedy, and whatshername — that former Democratic state representative strong on gay issues.

The strategy is bizarre.  Shouldn’t Smith be attacking Jeff Merkley?  There are more votes to be gotten from people stuck in that old habit of choosing between a Republican and a Democrat and not much looking at those negligibly funded third party candidates.  Maybe there’s still time to find footage of Merkley eating a burrito?

Brace yourself for these news items

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

A couple of skinheads planned to do what?

Kill 88 black people, decapitate 14 more blacks, and then assassinate Barack Obama.

And this was going to be accomplished… how?  They were going to blast past the various road-blocks inevitably set up if they had garnered any success on this path, “Shoot to Kill” if necessary — how?  Theirs was essentially a neo-nazi fever dream, completely divorced from reality.  This was not a serious threat on Barack Obama’s life — I’m guessing if you have some intention of killing the president you pretty much have to keep a low profile, and killing 104 people is going to raise your profile sufficinetly to stop you from that deed.  But it was a serious threat on the lives and safety of … I can’t quite come up with where a reasonable limit would have been on what would have been accomplished if they weren’t dunderheads.  I am reminded of Columbine High School, whose two perpetrators had plans of blowing up their high school — as it turned out, reasonably successful (sigh), though not to the full capacity they had imagined– and then hi-jacking a plane and crashing it in New York, with some vague ideas of escaping into Mexico — ludacrous, and the unreality of it stops you cold — but, they carried out the first part of the giant scheme with cold efficiency even if the next part of the scheme sort of trails off into incoherence.  In this case, I don’t know what the bridge from killing somewhere short of 88 black people is, what they have that would convince me that they would get to 88, what the bridge would be to get from there to the more delicate task of decapitating 14 more, and then what the bridge is that would get them in aim of Barack Obama.  It falls apart pretty quickly, but in the meantime you’re still stuck with bullets through… someone.

I suspect that in the likely Barack Obama presidency we’ll see a lot of stories like this, and a “Barack Obama Would-be Assassination Watch” as a blog might gain some traction as a somewhat perverse somewhat informative news aggregator.  As troubling, perhaps more so since nobody is running around with Secret Service surrounding them, the fever dreams of starting “race wars” swirling around their minds which would lead into, in this instance the aiming of a black school.  The hope is basically that all our nutcase Hate fueled plots are attempted by clueless boneheads like these two, lest someone pull off an actual plot.

In a week, we won’t have him to kick around anymore

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

The RNC has surprised just about everyone by dumping a giant ad buy in the state of Montana, home of three electoral votes and a state that would be roughly at the bottom of an Obama land-slide.

Clearly this has nothing to do with the presidential race and has more to do with saving the down-ticket races.  The ad buy is all about electing Bob Kelleher to the US Senate, the final piece of keeping the Republicans to the 41 seat fillibuster status.