Archive for June, 2010

There goes my 4th of July Plans

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Now what am I supposed to do on Independence Day? Why, I might just have to, like, go out and do some actual activities of some kind.

SyFy (formerly Sci-Fi) has opted to replace its annual Fourth of July Twilight Zone Marathon with a Greatest American Hero marathon. First, I hadn’t realized there were enough GAH episodes for which to justify a “marathon, ” (pathetically, there are). And second, WHY?! Don’t they want people to stay on the channel for longALF too, make it a full-out Guantanamo Bay-style retreat. periods of time? They might as well have rolled out

I am crushed. For more than a decade I have settled in with family to watch the bi-annual event: Twilight Zone on New Year’s, again on the Fourth of July. Yes, a marathon of viewing, through the ham-handed and the sublime, the silly and the profound. Rod Serling, a corny but cool guide through the dimensions, signposts ahead. War, paranoia, love and fear. Superstition and weakness, bravery and resolve. This was the time to reflect, holed up in air conditioning with a thousand familiar archetypes: the key character who always loses it when a nuclear strike is imminent or he crash lands on a planet. The misfit. The hero. The shrill wife. The comely naif. The vexed soldier. The greedy fool. The old man. The insufferable snob who gets his. The cynical man who gets to go back. The astronaut who never will.

I have watched swatches of these things in comfortable company.  I have watches swatches of these things in aggravated and insulted company.  And so it goes.

I hear someone’s putting on a firework’s display somewhere.  Maybe I’ll see that thing?

Narcissists I Have Known.

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

I post this with some trepidation.  The original source material is long gone, a proposed “Big Plan” in his career of false starts.  The man it references has, reportedly, re-emerged to his familiar perching bounds — but is close to being a situation where he no longer a threat to anyone but himself.

I have known a couple of people in this religion.  One was a little weird, but I suppose we all are –  and he may fit some stereotypes you might imagine for someone seeking somewhat esoteric religious terrain.  The other can explain her basic cultural desire to claim some Jewish customs within her Christian religion.  Overall, I’m not all that impressed with this religious purview — google it and I see an end of world purview that makes allusions to current events in the Middle East and Israel — which is a problem.

But he was a Narcissistic figure with Delusions of Grandeur more than anything else.  Basically I thought I had lost this clever bit of creative writing, and am surprised to find it, and can now stick it alongside the “Leander Revival” item.



Daniel stands at the podium. Conference room is full of about 400 seats. 2 dozen people are scattered toward the front. Daniel is going through a mock – preaching, and has asked anyone with any questions to raise their hands.

“For Yeshua said ‘Not one jot or tittle of … yes, Brother Tim?”

Brother Tim: “Whenever I preach and reach that part I have this problem. The crowd starts chanting ‘tittle tittle tittle’, and it throws me off. I’m wondering if you know how to get back on track when this happens.”

Daniel, laughs and smiles. “Oh, that’s no problem at all. Basically you just treat the morons for the morons they are and keep on talking. [Tim jots this down in his notebook.] They’ll give in, and stop shortly, and it’ll draw a crowd that will have a seed planted that may spring them forward to conversion.”

Brother Tim: “How do you do that?”

Daniel: “Okay, I’ll tell you what. Let’s do a demonstration. I want the crowd to start chatting ‘tittle tittle tittle tittle’ when I reach the part of the sermon where I say ‘not one jot or tittle’, I want everyone to start the assault of ‘tittle tittle tittle.’ Okay?

Daniel clears his throat. “For in Matthew 5:17, Yeshua says ‘not one jot or tittle shall pass from the law’. What more do you – ”

Everyone in the crowd: “Tittle Tittle Tittle Tittle Tittle Tittle Tittle…” The room echoes with the sound of ‘tittle’. Daniel keeps going, and while one can make out the words he is saying, the echo drowns it out.

Meanwhile, the janitor walks in during his lunch break, with a half-eating BLT sandwich, and sits in the back of the room. He looks up quizzically at his seat, shakes his head, and chomps his sandwich down.

Daniel: “and then Yeshua said, “I have come not to abolish but to fulfill…”

Tittle Tittle Tittle Tittle… they fade off, each person quits chattering ‘tittle’.

Janitor walks out.

Daniel ends his sermon, by saying “As you were saying ‘tittle’, the janitor walked in and listened to my preach intently. He is the one I have reached today, and I am absolutely certain I have blessed him.”

Janitor walks back in, and yells “Are you expecting a bigger crowd for the next meeting, because I can maybe remove a few of these excess chairs for you.”

Daniel: “No. That won’t be necessary. I’m expecting a huge crowd. In fact, bring in a few more chairs if you would.”

Janitor shrugs, and walks out, muttering “That’s what he said the last time.”

Daniel: “Okay, I’ll now pass the collection plate around, money donated will be used to help Torah Restoration Ministries get off the ground.”

Brother Anthony mutters to his wife “Didn’t he pass the plate around at the start of this session?”

Daniel: “Don’t forget, tomorrow Brother Rood will come in and discuss prophecy, describing what the latest barley harvests in Israel mean to the coming Armeggedon. A few of our lecturers haven’t shown up tonight, they fell through, so as a replacement I will do a lecture on how to divine the messages that Yah sends through voices in the head at 2:00, and at 6:00 tonight I will explain how to calculate reprobation percentages. Thank you, and Yah bless you.”

Alabama for the Win.

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Alabama is Alabama.  The wacked out Theatrical political stars of the provocative political ads circulating about youtube, for mockery by parts of the national electorate and I suppose accepted as god’s message by their local constituency, are teaming up for Fun and Merriment.  The Intense guy barking out about his stolen lawn signs makes an appearance after 2 and a half minutes of the Re-enactment Guy‘s latest —

— getting some mileage for Abe Lincoln answering “Slavery” to something other than what these images portray.

I note that when I search the name of this Alabama Congressional candidate Critter in google, this pops out at me.

Okay, Rick Barber, freak.  Here’s what I want you to do.  For your next ad, I want you to conjure up a few less obvious Presidents.  (Granted, in the Mount Rushmore Mafia, you can’t bring out Theodore Roosevelt.)  I want you to bark about “gathering  your armies” with a conversation with three of the following four presidents:  Chester A Arthur, Gerald Ford, Grover Cleveland, and Martin Van Buren.  Let’s get the show on the road!

Robert C. Byrd

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Given that practicularly every Federal Project in the state of West Virginia is named after the man who procured the funding, Robert Byrd, I think the state is best referred to as “Byrdland”.


From IF Stone, April 15, 1968, upon the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Placed in historical context of time and place, he could certainly have been worse.:

Privately many white Southerners rejoiced, and their influence was reflected in the scandalous failure to declare a holiday in the District the day Dr. King was buried.  Though stores closed, government offices were open and Negro mailmen delivered the mail as usual.  This is still, despite its black majority, a Southern-ruled town; it shuts down on Washington’s birthday, but not Lincoln’s.

The most powerful of the District’s absentee rulers, Senator Robert C. Byrd (D. W Va.), went so far as to imply in a Senate speech April 5, that Dr. King was to blame for his own death.  Byrd said those who organize mass demonstrations may “in the end … become themselves the victims of the forces they set in motion.”  While Dr. King “usually spoke of nonviolence,” Byrd went on smugly, “violence all too often attended his action and, at the last, he himself met a  violent end.”  This should make Byrd the South’s favorite criminologist.

Byrd is the Senator to whom the blacks of Washingon must come for school and welfare money.  As chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the District of Columbia budget, Byrd wields far more power than the city’s figurehead Negro “Mayor.”  He has used this key position to block liberalization of welfare rules not only in the District but in the country, since the federal government can hardly apply elsewhere rules more liberal than those he will allow in the District.  Byrd has become the national pillar of the “man in the house” rule.  This, as the report on the Commission on Civil Disorders protested, makes it necessary for the unemployed father to “abandon his family or see them go hungry.”  In this sense not a few of the child looters in our gutted ghettoes can trace their delinquency to Robert C. Byrd.

Byrd likely played a bit of footsey as he entered Congress in the 1950s with his history in the Klan, and shaved it off in later biographical retellings.  Regarding his stances and speeches that made him a hero to opponents of the War in 2003, his record with Vietnam is less so — so says George McGovern.:

I came to greatly admire him for speaking out against these unconstitutional wars that we’ve gotten into since World War II. On Vietnam, his record is not particularly impressive. He supported it for many years, as did many senators. But he learned from Vietnam. It was Sen. Byrd’s capacity for growth, wisdom and judgment that won my admiration. There’s no sin for anybody in public life to make a mistake. It’s how you learn from them that’s important.

As he was at the time he jumped up the ranks in the Democratic Caucus in the Senate, beating Edward Kennedy for Whip in 1971.

Eventually, his Precious view of his Precious Senate and its rules and nostrums, never mind the hindering powers of it, became annoying, an excuse to wax eloquent on his role as personification of what the Founding Fathers had in mind.  While it put him in good spirits to joke about being, along with Senator Dan Quayle, members of the “Feathered Caucus”, and let him rip about the Presidential perogatives regarding war, its steadfastness empowered this:

The facts on the Ground Change:

That attention to detail eventually got him elected party whip, and then majority leader. Sen. Howard Baker, who led the Republicans when Byrd led the Democrats, once told me that he cut a deal with Byrd on his first day in office. If you never use the rules to surprise me, he told Byrd, I’ll never use them to surprise you. Byrd thought it over till the afternoon. Then he agreed.

Round up the clips, enough to digest.

Continuing Coverage about how much Rand Paul Sucks Eggs.

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

News about Rand Paul’s Donations listings.

Ten months ago, Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul said he would not accept campaign donations from U.S. senators who voted for the 2008 financial institutions bailout.

But on Thursday evening Paul, now the Kentucky GOP’s nominee as well as a tea party favorite, will benefit from the Republican Party’s fundraising machine at a Washington event hosted by senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who voted for the bailout.

Reading some comments in this story, I suppose there is something in the Defense of Transactional Politics, stringing along grass-roots supporters and admirers and leaving an ends justify the means Rationalization even if the means tell us all about the ends.  In this sense, Rand Paul’s campaign — and his defenders — remind me of some moments during the Obama Presidential Campaign where some — er– “strategic political shifts” were defended with a “You want to win, don’t you?”

Rand Paul is just another Neo-Conservative Pro-Military Industrical Complex Stooge and Corporate Puppet, sucking at the teet and with the teet of sucking at him the Big Bailout Banksters.  He’s come to take the Government Back from the Republican Policy Strategy Visionary Jim Bunning by advocating the same policies.

Maybe Rand Paul has a harder edge.  Where some Republicans advocate and demand a Fense on the Southern Border with Mexico, he is calling for something more intense.

Border fence proposals are a dime a dozen among Republican candidates, but Rand Paul’s is different: it’s underground, and it’s electrified. “My plans include an underground electric fence, with helicopter stations to respond quickly to breaches of the border,” state the Kentucky senatorial hopeful’s website—although Republican officials approached by the Huffington Post seemed baffled by the proposal.

“I have not heard that,” said National Republican Senate Committee Chair John Cornyn. “Underground? What would happen? How would that work?” Paul’s aides declined to elaborate on his fence plans, which, the Post notes, would likely cost well over $1 billion to implement and require the seizure of some private land, a move sharply at odds with Rand’s libertarian philosophy.

But Rand Paul is not so much Libetarianish, as he is Constitution Partyish.  And even there, he is not even the most Constitution Partyish politician out there.  That would be Sharron Angle.  Shouldn’t that anti- New World Order contingency be pumping up Sharron Angle instead of the watered-down New World Order Hack Rand Paul?

Interesting to note — I have long held that Reid will end up beating Angle.  There’s enough in the improbability of Harry Reid winning anything, even these circumstances, that I can envision the scenario developing that he loses — Rory Reid is running as Rory — a break from the typical first campaigns of political sons who tend to run with their forebear’s name highlighted — that we may end up with the classic low turnout large group of the electorate stretching the level at arm’s length with nose plugged to avoid the stench of this race.
What is interesting is that Angle’s “Disappearing Act” is her best road to election.  I sense something in the same genre with Jack Conway against Rand Paul, though with different reasonings.  Conway has to maintain a bit of a blank slate and come across as respectable and hope that Rand Paul ends up too insane.  Or so it seems to me.  (Note: I do predict, for the moment, Rand Paul wins the election.)

Sometime this week, for the sake of hearing Phil Hendrie, I turned on “Freedom 970”, the Suburban Barbecue Clip Art station, and they play a montage of a station promo that has a familiar ring.  It’s a bizarro version of the type of promo I’ve heard over the years on 620 KPOJ.  A bunch of Republicans, suggestions of bad tidings for the Democrats, paint a picture of Revolutionary Forment for a Congressional party switch in November.  All of which is pretty damned stupid.  The stranger thing is a promo with Nancy Pelosi calling out some hecklers, and a quip, “Spekaer Pelosis Under Fire on the Stump.  You’ll hear about it on Freedom 970.”  This was a terribly dull and uninteresting and unimportant story to hear about, but I guess it excites some audience… still rambling about it weeks later?

Is this story of any interest? Probably not. Yet it dominated the blog aggregator.

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

Dave Wiegel.

There has long been this controversy, of sorts, surrounding the “JournOList” emailing list, I guess since either it began or since it was discovered to exist.  It took on a conspiratorial overtone — the Liberal Media, or at least the part that now throws out several blog posts at a good little clip — was hasing out the “Line” to follow for the day, and Journolist was today’s version of the ComIntern.

I was never all that impressed by this concept, the mental relationship of those that held onto this coming across like this New Yorker bit on how Children imagine the conversation at the “Grown Up Table” goes.  I imagined the actual conversations tossed about in this closed space were rather uninteresting, and that anything of interest would be the most likely items to end up farmed out into publically available opinion pieces, and a lot of stuff of rather “Villager Clique” inside-their-particular portion of the Beltway inconsequentiality.  The latter is what the leaked emails show.  This is not all that interesting or original an opinion of Matt Drudge.  Maybe there is something cabalist about the call to deny linking to the Examiner, which I guess we’ll see if this Standard Oil-ish Monopolistic Trust will be broken up any day now.

Really, the person who leaked this crap is a bottom feeder.  Motive?  I like this one I see that it was a liberal charging against his defense of Rand Paul.  But that’s too cute by half.  Myself, I cannot say that Dave Weigel registered with me — his links popped up to my consciousness on occassion — he amplified the odd assortment of Alabama politicians’ campaigns so en vogue these days.  I think he was the one who followed through in flushing out the odd assortment of politicians digging for the Birther vote.  And the three or four posts on the 90 year old ex-Trotskyite not fully comfortably ideologically classified Godwin’s Law breaking Perpetual Economic Doomsday Cult Leader — well, there’s always a better than even chance I’ll link to that.

I was aware, by breezing through the comments on the occasion I bumped to the link over to his blog, that “Movement Conservative” was hostile to him as a person following some doings and corners of corners of the “Conservative Movement” in unflattering manner.  I note that yesterday, the number one story in the blog aggregator I checked in with (nothing special — google) was the Dave Weigel story, and the number one slot — redstate dot com.  This is a weird set of priorities, all things considered — there are things of more import in the world, like, I don’t know… this is interesting.

Blackwater changed its name (it’s now called Xe), but its reputation has stuck to it like crude oil on a Gulf bird.

So it wasn’t much of a surprise that when news of a $100 million contract with the CIA broke this week, some members of Congress were very angry.

“I’m just mystified why any branch of the government would decide to hire Blackwater, such a repeat offender” Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Illinois, told ABC News. “We’re talking about murder… A company with a horrible reputation that really jeopardizes our mission in so many different, different ways.”

Cue Obama and Hillary Clinton campaign rhetoric, and…

Someone at the National Review’s corner marks this as the “low Point” for the relationship between the Conservative Movement and the Washington Post.  If they say so — I thought that happened when they published the investigative pieces about Watergate.  Weigel then slides into the argument from Newsbusters about the new Spitzer — Parker CNN program — Parker is too Alan-Colmish; Weigel goes on about kooks.

I don’t cry for Dave Weigel, barely aware of his existence, nod about here , and he’ll pop somewhere in a hurry.  Possibly something is said of the Washington Post, but nothing nobody already knew.  There’s something there in the bifrocation of sides — we have two sides, pick one or the other — Dave Weigel currently more useful to the Progressives, though change our partisan alignment 40 degrees or so to encampus different issues and he’ll become more useful to the Conservative Side in due time.

Theodore Roosevelt’s failure to reform the English language

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Some weeks back, an amusing story popped into the “Oddball” corner of the news media.  There was a small group of protesters marching and waving angry signs in front of the National Spelling Bee Championships, favoring Phoenetic Spelling.

The protesters believe English is mired by too many spellings for identical sounds and too many sounds for identical spellings. If they got their way, “you” would become “yoo,” “believe” would become “beleev” and “said” would become “sed.”

The cost of clinging to traditional spellings, they say, is millions of illiterate English speakers who struggle to read signs or get good jobs, and billions of dollars in lost productivity.

The campaign for simple spelling, which activists say started more than 100 years ago, is experiencing a revival with kids who have taken wholeheartedly to phonetic spelling in electronic messages.

Laugh all you want, but there is a tradition here.  One of the big Champions of their cause was President Theodore Roosevelt.  But that was part of the problem.

The Simplified Spelling Board was founded on March 11, 1906 in New York. Included among the Board’s original 26 members were such notables as author Samuel Clemens (“Mark Twain”), library organizer Melvil Dewey, U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Brewer, publisher Henry Holt, and former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Lyman Gage. Brander Matthews, professor of dramatic literature at Columbia University, was made chairman of the Board. […]

The cause of throwing out the “gh”s in words such as “through” faltered due to the classic problems of incrementalist causes dying on the vine, and the power-fights of different branches of the government.

So as not to overwhelm the country with an entire new way of spelling at once, the Board recognized that some of these changes should be made over time. To focus their push for adaptation of new spelling rules, the Board created a list of 300 words whose spelling could be changed immediately.

The idea of simplified spelling caught on quickly, with even some schools beginning to implement the 300-word list within months of it being created. As the excitement grew around simplified spelling, one person in particular became a huge fan of the concept – President Teddy Roosevelt.

Unbeknownst to the Simplified Spelling Board, President Theodore Roosevelt sent a letter to the United States Government Printing Office on August 27, 1906. In this letter, Roosevelt ordered the Government Printing Office to use the new spellings of the 300 words detailed in the Simplified Spelling Board’s circular in all documents emanating from the executive department.

President Roosevelt’s public acceptance of simplified spelling caused a wave of reaction. Although there was public support in a few quarters, most of it was negative. Many newspapers began to ridicule the movement and lambasted the President in political cartoons. Congress was especially offended at the change, most likely because they had not been consulted. On December 13, 1906, the House of Representatives passed a resolution stating that it would use the spelling found in most dictionaries and not the new, simplified spelling in all official documents. With public sentiment against him, Roosevelt decided to rescind his order to the Government Printing Office.

Theodore Roosevelt’s Presidential Papers are full of what at first appears to be misspellings, but really are examples of his fight toward “Simplified Spelling”.


As with many a matter, I don’t quite know if Theodore Roosevelt should be considered as perpetuating Anti-Intellectualism or if he was onto something (ahead of his time in the spelling Revolution to come with the advent of text-messaging)– but maybe my equivocation is due to wanting to maintain a line of ridicule if Sarah Palin picked up on the cause.  Tactically speaking, today’s incarnation of the “Simplified Spelling” cause would do well to hold an alternate Spelling Bee and see what happens.