Archive for September, 2010

Mustache Guy and his 15 minutes

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

It started with a politicization effect and dysfunctional media:

That’s literally all I’d ask them in an interview. I’d stand there pointing at a map of the city. Would it be offensive here? What about here? Or how about way over there? And when they finally picked a suitable spot, I’d ask them to draw it on the map, sketching out roughly how big it should be, and how many windows it’s allowed to have. Then I’d hand them a colour swatch and ask them to decide on a colour for the lobby carpet. And the conversation would continue in this vein until everyone in the room was in tears. Myself included.

Colin Powell put it less sarcastically.

In steps Mustache Man and why we pay attention to Mustache Man.

And in that climate, a pastor named Terry Jones saw an opportunity to make himself famous. Jones heads up a heretofore unknown and uncared-about gang of Florida morons known as the Dove Outreach Church — minor bit players in the field of antagonizing American Muslims. This idiot announced that he was going to burn some Qurans on September 11th, and was anyone interested in giving this nonsense a whole lot of media attention?

It is best if Mustache Guy would be quaranined to a page A17, and about six sentences.  “Hey!  Interesting Guy!  He and his 36 followers, preparing kool-aid and accumulating a stash-pile of Nike shoes.

So, Mustache Man confused and confounded everyone by announcing an agreement with an agreement with the “Ground Zero Mosque” in place to move it a few blocks, he will not be burning the Korans.  His claim of an agreeement was quickly denied.  He said/ He Said — and really, how can you doubt the Credibility of “Mustache Man”?

Final denoument to the saga:

A Florida pastor says his church will never burn a Quran, even if a mosque is built near ground zero. […]

He flew to New York and appeared on NBC’s “Today” show. He says that his Gainesville, Fla., church’s goal was “to expose that there is an element of Islam that is very dangerous and very radical.”

He tells NBC that “we have definitely accomplished that mission.”

Or, accomplished hie Big Mission, anyway.  He was the new “Balloon Boy”.  Incidentally:

A press release posted Friday on the website, announced that the Westboro Baptist Church has planned to burn the Muslims Holy Quran after it labeled Pastor Terry Jones a ‘false prophet” The Kansas based cult maintained that it will burn both the Quran and the US flag at its Topeka headquarters after Jones had withdrawn plans to burn the Quran in what he alleged was a deal with Muslims to relocate the Ground Zero Mosque.
They slammed Jones for postponing his plans claiming he:
Allowed him to be “bullied by sissy, intolerant rebels worldwide into cancelling plans to burn that blasphemous idol called the Koran.”

the independent Westboro Baptist Church founded by disbarred lawyer, Fred Waldron Phelps  is  monitored as a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center. Phelps’s followers have been known to frequently picket various events, and gatherings including military funerals and high-profile political gatherings. 

According to sources the Phelps clan at Westboro insists it will not back down or be persuaded to change its plans of burning the Quran. In fact this is not the first time the church has burnt the Quran with the Islamophobic and discriminate incident taking place in 2008; however it captured very little attention.
Wait.  Fred Phelps burning the Quran garnered no media firestorm?

Interesting how American politics is parodied abroad.

Biden: I’m afraid there’s more trouble ahead, Mr President. The Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth were in congress and at the National Press Club telling everybody that the Twin Towers collapsed in near free-fall because of pre-set demolition explosives. It says here, Mr President, and I quote, “An international team of scientists found nanothermitic composite material in World Trade Center dust, providing the first hard evidence of the presence of advanced pyrotechnics or explosives in the disaster debris.” They want a Grand Jury investigation of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Mr President.

Obama: For Heaven’s sake Joe, can you imagine if I decided to reopen 9/11? Did you see that poll last week where a majority of Republicans said, let me see if I remember correctly, that I “definitely sympathize with the goals of Islamic fundamentalists who want to impose Islamic law around the world”? Who are these people? Whatever I do I’m a racist, a communist, a radical Islam-hugger … I didn’t expect a kind of American Inquisition.

[Jarring chord]

[The Oval Office door flies open and messianic Fox News host and self-appointed God’s spokesperson to the United States Glenn Beck enters, flanked by former vice presidential candidate and Tea Party icon Sarah Palin, former speaker of the house (and aspiring presidential candidate) Newt Gingrich, former US ambassador to the United Nations (and aspiring presidential candidate) John Bolton, the Texas energy conglomerate billionaires the Koch brothers, and Glenville, Florida fringe extremist Christian pastor Terry Jones, a mini-Koran burning in his hands in homage to his proposed, then aborted, International Burn-a-Koran Day on 9/11.]

NRSC website not doing an appropriate job of mocking Democrats.

Friday, September 10th, 2010

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is disappointing.  Go back to 2008, and the Democratic Party’s Senate Campaign website spot-lighted with aplomb some of the Republican Party’s embarrassing candidates.  The obvious example was Montana’s Republican nominee — the 15 time perenial candidate Bob Kelleher, and frankly there was a pretty decent gulf to the next stream of candidates — who are, in truth, apt to be credible nominees for victory 2010.  (See, for example, Alaska and Nevada.  In 2008, see Iowa).  Kelleher was wearing his Train Engineer uniform.
Meantime, the Republican Party did not stick up anything on their Montana candidate, and skipped past some other candidates.

The NRSC?  Go to the “Interactive Race Map“.  Scroll around and you will see that the Democratic Challengers are shown for the major races.  They don’t put up some of the lower tier unlikely Democratic campaigns.  For a quick demonstration of this example, roll through the Southern tier of states, and I suppose the idea is to not bring any unnecessary attention to these Democratic candidates who don’t have any recognition in their states.
And you hit South Carolina and Oklahoma — Alvin Greene and Jim Rogers.  Not shown.  Even though it is embarrassing for the Democratic Party.
See Jim Rogers here.

Maybe it’s just that the Republicans have bigger fish to fry.  Go down the “News Room“:

Will Liberal Joe Manchin Endorse Second “Stimulus” After First Spending Bill Failed To Create West Virginia Jobs?
Will Liberal Elaine Marshall Endorse Second “Stimulus” After First Spending Bill Failed To Create North Carolina Jobs?
Will Charlie Melancon Support Second “Stimulus” After First Spending Bill Failed To Create Louisiana Jobs?
Will Liberal Trial Lawyer Roxanne Conlin Endorse President Obama’s Second “Stimulus” After First Spending Bill Failed?
Will Scott McAdams Endorse Second Democrat “Stimulus” After First Spending Bill Failed To Create Jobs?

I guess the Iowa Democratic candidate, Roxanne Conlin, is just past the line in terms of their definition of who to pay attention to.  I am curious as to who they choose to term “liberal” and why they felt the need to add the extra “Trial Lawyer” in for Ms. Conlin.

The Democrats’ Campaign site… they have yet to shift the “Alaska” to featured races, and in the meantime we have things like this in the “All States” category:
In Alabama, Richard Shelby is running for a fifth term in the Senate. William Barnes won the Democratic nomination and will challenge Shelby in November. We must make every effort to win in Alabama in 2010.
Don’t make me laugh.
Surprisingly, they do mention their nominated candidates for South Carolina and Oklahoma.  Unsurprisingly, they don’t pay the races mind enough to stick up a photograph for them.  Don’t ask me why the evade pictures for John McCain and not for their Democratic candidates in states like Idaho.

RUN, LISA MURKOWSKI, RUN.  The National Review puts it best.
Odds of success?
Alaska has a relatively robust history of write-in candidacies, though not all of them successful. In 1968, incumbent Sen. Ernest Gruening lost his Democratic primary but managed to garner over 14,000 write-in votes in the general, coming in third (Mike Gravel won with 36,500 votes). In 1998, Robin Taylor mustered a solid showing of write-in votes for governor but ended up losing to Tony Knowles. “Alaskans know how to write in,” Winger said. “If she really throws her heart into it, it seems to me she has a better than 50 to 50 chance.”
Winger is probably the only person out there giving those odds.

In other Campaign news:

… Here’s looking toward Delaware —

On the local level, her endorsement will only work if it drives turnout among the O’Donnell faithful (mostly in southern Delaware), but it’ll backfire if it provokes more moderate Republican voters (mostly in the more populous northern part of the state) to realize the stakes of the election and come out in droves for Castle. Because O’Donnell and the Tea Party Express had already succeeded in getting the conservative base excited and eager to vote well before Palin ever got involved, my bet is that the nod will do more to energize her opponents that her supporters.

And of course:

This is a campaign in which some voters seem as embattled and dedicated as the candidate. Repeatedly, her supporters told Ms. O’Donnell (and interviewers) of their anger over the “liberal socialist” drift of the country and over what they view as a biased news media as Ms. O’Donnell has come under a suddenly heavy — and unexpected — barrage from Representative Michael N. Castle in an escalating battle for the Republican nomination for the Senate seat once held by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

 and New Hampshire.

New Hampshire GOP Senate frontrunner Kelly Ayotte has former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin‘s endorsement, but if she wins Tuesday she might owe more thanks to Christine O’Donnell.

As the national Tea Party movement has focused on O’Donnell’s insurgent Senate primary race against moderate Rep. Mike Castle in the Delaware GOP Senate primary, the emergence of tea party candidate Ovide Lamontagne against Ayotte has largely escaped the attention of the media.

And An interesting Blog Warrior Sock Puppet for Rand Paul on the dailykos site.  Does it matter?  Hard to say.

The Dining Room Table Debate

Friday, September 10th, 2010

The most eagerly anticipated political debate in ages.
Please tell me it will be on somebody’s website!
Oh yeah, baby.  It’s up there.  All over the place.  Both the Larouchepac and Rachel Brown campaign sites have it.  , as well New TV and Wicked Local.
Meanwhile, Barney Frank is so chicken, all he is willing to do is place the local newscast report of it up.    (Warning: the pop up of Barney Frank giving a verbal “Thanks for Visiting my Web Page.” is a little unnerving.)

A little historical perspective for the Great Barney Frank versus Rachel Brown Debate.:

In 1959, Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev held a series of exchanges for the opening of the American National Exhibition at Sokolniki Park in Moscow, framed for televised consumption.  Nixon pounded the theme of the superiority of America’s Consumer Lifestyle.  It was dubbed the “Kitchen Debate”, but is occasionally referenced as “The Kitchen Table Debate”.  For our purposes here, it’s the “Kitchen Table” debate.

Five decades passed before the metaphor of a “table” would be incorporated as a metaphor for a debate.  The first part of the debate was held in August of 2009.  And then came the second part, on Tuesday, September 7, in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, where Barney Frank held forth against Rachel Brown in the second part of “Dining Room Table” debate.

The stakes of the debate are huge for Frank and Brown:  In March of 2010, the 22nd Congressional District of Texas nominated a candidate in Texas, by the name of Kesha Rogers.  The future was their’s.  And up before them lay a series of political tests.  Could Buseo crack an election result in Germany?  No.  They won .01 percent.  Then there was Australia.  Could the CEC pull through with literature like this?  No.  The CEC got 0.07% of the lower house vote (that’s a swing of -0.15%) and 0.13% in the senate (swing of +0.06%).
If the International Scene looked bleak, the American electorate looks even more hostile to the Larouche program since the smashing high-point victory of Kesha Rogers.  The candidate in San Francisco, one Summer Shields, was not even able to get on the ballot — and is reduced to running against Spongebob Squarepants for write-in votes.
The only chance to regain momentum, and turn this debacle around, lies with Rachel Brown’s campaign against Barney Frank.

The stakes for Barney Frank?  He has played it cool, and denies .  It is a sign of the difficult political climate that Barney Frank felt the need to open up a Campaign office for the first time in years.  Should the election results be just a tad worse than expected for his party, the specter of Scott Brown looms over him.  But this opposition lies with his probable Republican opponent — one Sean Bielet, a politically convienent Democrat turned Republican.  It appears for all the world that Barney Frank is taking his primary opposition lightly.

It is still unknown whether he practiced on his tables at home beforehand. — Oh, you didn’t do your research.
“I don’t plan to spend a lot of time on her. I think the notion that we should colonize Mars is not one I need to spend much time addressing. Or the fact that the president is like Hitler, or not like Hitler,” Frank told POLITICO.  […]   Frank didn’t do any debate prep, spokesman Harry Gural said.  “Who would you get to play her? She would have to play herself,” he said.

Nobody believes you, Barney Frank.  In reality, Rachel Brown’s and Barney Frank’s Debate Prepping looked  like this.

Anyway, the Rachel Brown contingent came in for a rally.  The Barney Frank contingent came in for a rally.  The sights and sounds.  Hm.  Notice the difference between Brown’s contingency and Frank’s.  Could it be — could it be — that the Brown group is more committed and motivated than the Frank contingency, thus auguring for a Surprise Upset on Tuesday?
Also, we have that ever present generational difference in groupings.

Of course she does. Self-assured and brimming with confidence, Rachel Brown is also the price we pay for rearing the Entitlement Generation, those smug, deluded young people raised on a daily regimen of unearned praise and flattery from their misguided Baby Boomer parents.

Hm.  You know?  May I make a request.  Please don’t bring Larouchies into a discussion of sociological gripes about the rearing of generations, even as extreme examples of cultural missives.
Anyway, I hear The Baby Boomer Generation is all Spock’s fault.

“I want to spend time on Mars,” the Quincy resident told me. “But it would be a project over centuries.”
“Can we wait that long?”
“Well, we can certainly develop small colonies before that. It will be a stepping stone to develop other parts of the solar system. It would be a driver for the economy.”
Raised in Seattle, her father worked for Boeing and her mom ran day care from their home. She’s an acolyte of Lyndon LaRouche and said she works for him full time. When pressed, however, she said she only receives, “A small stipend for room and board,” but, “I don’t know if you want to put that in your article.”

But her message of hate and ignorance is not without its supporters. Earlier this year, the candidate received warm and enthusiastic applause when she spoke at a tea party meeting right here in Worcester and called for the president’s impeachment. And the tea party wonders why it’s so often scorned? 

Frank, the 15th term Democrat representative,  is not taking Brown the Candidate  any more seriously than he took Brown the Town Hall Participant. Never a man of princely tendencies, it’s no surprise that Frank isn’t prepared  to take the high road; already he’s saying  she’s irrational.

 “What are they doing to stop Obama’s Hitler Health Care Policies?”

The reviews are in.  First from LPAC.

At the conclusion of Tuesday night’s debate between LaRouche Democrat Rachel Brown and Rep. Barney Frank, Brown’s campaign manager, Jenny Getachew, summarized the outcome: “The Earth just tilted a little bit more on its axis. In our direction!” […]
Lyndon LaRouche commented that the Obama White House is going to be particularly hysterical over the fact that Brown’s reference to Obama as a “ticking time bomb,” was covered in an AP wire that was published in the Washington Post.

Then there’s Brown in her post-debate press: “I hope I did better than a piece of furniture,”

The reviews aren’t all that encouraging.  See, “Asshat of the Day“.  (throw the, “where were you when some people called Bush “Hitler”?” if you must.)
Brown also wants to colonize Mars. She believes this will help solve the economic problems we are having. Wonder if she wears a purple robe and Nike’s when she’s not out in public, waiting for a spaceship to take her there?
“No! Please, no. Because, even though I don’t think it’s gonna happen in my lifetime, I’d love to at least visit Mars myself, and even though it’s a big planet I’m afraid she’d spoil the view.
Hm…  Here’s a new one:  Barney Frank? Wow.  Is he still alive?

He’s got this supporter, of course.  Wednesday Midday Report: Democratic candidate Rachel Brown defeated Barney Frank in a debate yesterday.

There is a decent amount of the “Rather take the crazy one than –” sentiment.  Perhaps this mocking slap at BarneyI did not say I’d pick Brown over Frank. I don’t live in the district. I said that she was less dangerous than he is

And, oh, please.
They look down their noses, even at people of their own party, who dare try to get them to explain themselves for what they are doing to this country. This man must be defeated. This primary is close approaching, Sept 14.

As a huge fan of Roman history, this woman’s analogies piss me off.

Yes, Rachel Brown is every crazy girl we ever dated in college. Which makes Barney Frank our sloppy roommate who got in fights with her. Check out the full debate below:

One thing about Rachael Brown, she sounds more like she is sane than Barney.

[…] sounds like a global-fascist but it sounds so enchanting as socialism, seems too vague to be pigeon-holed. Maybe some sort of hopeful-realist label along with human productivity as a collective.

Here’s a good “POINT / COUNTERPOINT”:
This is bulllshit and more staged than professional wrestling. Barney Frank should be in jail. That he is debating a “LaRouche supporter,” the consummate tea bagger stooge at demonstrations, shows the Democrats are desperate to paint their opposition as fringe. There are good arguments proving Democratic corruption, and this woman will not make them. Instead, she will drag out every strawman argument employed by the left while her political ventriloquist dandles her on their knee. This demonstrates the contempt our ruling class has for the populace and the inefficiency of the national GOP for not being more committed to claiming scalps in these midterm elections. If Brown could take the old Kennedy seat, then Frank should be a sitting duck.

I make a point of calling them Nazi creeps when I pass their card table in Coolidge Corner. Just loud enough for the them and the kid they’ve button holed to hear.
I know, it’s a ‘free country’ but good God. Lyndon LaRouche nothing, Rachel Brown is more like Fred Phelps.
Barney Frank deserves a medal for even agreeing to debate this lunatic.

Recognizing the dining room table, I approached her and said:
Me: “I saw what Barney Frank said about you and thought it was very unfair…”
Her: “Thank you.”
Me: “…to dining room tables.”
She scowled at me and I told her that I’d be outing her on the internet as a LaRouche nutjob. After that I started photographing her.

Okay first of all….. nuclear fusion to get astronauts to Mars in a week…… Get ready Racheal after you lose the primary NASA will be calling…
Second of all to claim that Obama is secretly planning a 2nd holocaust is just about the stupidest thing I’ve EVER heard. ‘Hitlers Holocaust began in the hospital’… Right it began in the hospitals … but not exactly what you would call ‘Health Care’. More like torture people until they die and record the data….
If Rachel brown thinks that Health Care Reform will lead to racists in doctors coats torturing people to death I’d like her to explain how she came to that conclusion, and would suggest she read at least 1 page from the Health Care Bill.

So good luck Rachel….. maybe when you grow up and form some common sense ideas on your own and stop spewing talking points from Larouche and Rush Limbaugh people will view you as a possible candidate…. but not as a democrat or republican…. why don’t you go run a libertarian. That way at least people will have something to point to when you start blaming the British for getting us into wars…. JEEZ!!!

Well, the election is Tuesday.  I’ll be by with the Election Results in due time, and the repercussions.  Interesting enough, we already have some news coverage of the results.


The Summer Shields Campaign in Full Force in Auburn — the subtitle puts it correctly, I think: “To Raise Funds”.

“Everywhere we go people are like the French Revolution,” Craig said. “It’s very tumultuous. Sometimes they support us. Sometimes they don’t. But there’s a lot of emotion.”

The Auburn stop was part of a nationwide LaRouche Political Action Committee effort in support of three LaRouche candidates, Craig said, adding that he and Lea are taking their display to various towns in the area. […]

McElroy, who had several friends sitting in the shade behind him, described Craig and Lea as hustlers.
“They’re trying to get votes for Shields under the pretext of impeaching Obama,” he said.
Confusion reigns, I guess.

At the Shields booth, Craig and Lea were attracting a lot of supporters for their cause, including Tabitha Yates and her father, Henry, of Auburn.
“I think Obama should be impeached,” Tabitha Yates said. “I lost my job. I think he had something to do with it.”

 Surely NAWAPA will cure your unemployment problem!

Next link.  Hm.  I tell you what… I won’t link to the url. 

The reality is that most of our models of politics focus on the middle and the mainstream, on how dissenters mobilize to become big enough to be politically relevant.  Most of our work does not focus on the anomalies, the folks way outside the mainstream.  I spotted a Larouche Democrat (that is a non-democrat) outside the gates of McGill yesterday.  I doubt that we have a good general explanation for a) folks who follow Lyndon Larouche [I am wondering/regretting who will link to my blog with this name in it]; or b) why such folks would be in Canada since Larouche and his ilk “compete” in US elections.

The continual problems that confront focusing attention on, say, those damned Quaran Burners.  Or Larouchies.  OR–
I do think the debate with Frank is valuable enough.  If there’d been one broadcast and covered with the South Carolina Democratic Senate nomination, for instance, I suspect the “real candidate” would have prevailed with Mr. Greene flushed out.

The Tour is International.  These days, the “Post Office Tour” is now sliding easily into the “Campus Tour”, and they travel to Wisconsin.

Representing LaRouche Political Action Committee, protesters Aaron Yuke and Alan Egre attempt to drum up support for their organization.
… no doubt to entice the Second Generation Spawn of Benjamin Spock.

When did William Shakespeare Jump the Shark?

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Overheard:  “The thing about Shakespeare is — he was incredibly long-winded.”
I loved that comment.  For the simple reason that it is sure to elicit a comment like this one, also overheard, spoken once the original commenter passes out of sound:
“Shakespeare is long winded?”
“That’s the problem with modern day ignorance.”

It is a sort of contrarianism I wish I were brave enough to profer in the way of this commenter, as jest, and to confound the stranger.  I dare not to, though, for the fear that I will run into the stranger I mean to wrangle in and annoy with such a comment, and I would never be able to win again the lost standing.  Even beside that, I’d have done a part in contributing to their sense of a culture falling to pieces — something that could be fun indeed to do, but also might not be advisable.  The point in favor of such utterances it the thought that just about any response would be either disproportionate to the subject at hand, or a sign of much bigger cultural stakes than is encapsulated in this minor comment.

A little over a year ago, I ran into a headline on whether Shakespeare still reaches / moves us — no, really?  It was published in a major political magazine — here it is.  But he’s not out to argue the case against Shakespeare doesn’t have value.

Meantime, skipping from sixteenth century Brish commercial media to twenty-first century commercial media.  A man responsible for writing the “Jump the Shark” episode of Happy Days defended himself, or buttressed up his pop cultural credentials.  I do not think he quite gets it, as he reels and deals with the Sausage Factory of Television Production.  Take this statement… PLEASE.
Fortunately, my career didn’t jump the shark after “jump the shark.” When “Happy Days” ended, I went directly to the ABC Paramount hit show “Webster” and, after that, wrote and produced, among others, “It’s Your Move,” “He’s the Mayor, “The New Leave It to Beaver” and “Family Matters.”
He gave us Urkel, who was perpetually stuck in a one-note gimmick as Fonzi was when he jumped over a shark wearing a leather vest.  The mind reels.

Still, it’s hard not to read the comments responding to the story and see a certain “Disporportionality” to the cultural problem.

Does someone who is “cool” wear his signature leather jacket while waterskiing?  Of course not.  You turned Fonzie into an idiot.  Also, I have never read anywhere that “jump the shark” had to do with ratings.  It has to do with a show’s internal integrity.  This idiotic episode blew up the Happy Days universe.  Look at the picture.  A pier.  L.A.  Fonzie looking like he was drugged by the nerds he good-naturedly despised, and woke up on water skis.  You included water skiing because the actor liked to water ski?  Gosh, on that principle, how come you didn’t have Fonzi drop the whole blue collar thing and earn an MFA at Yale?

You’re such a Potsie.


Look at the picture that accompanies this article: Fonzie is water skiing wearing a leather jacket. I don’t care if 100 million people saw the show. It was and continues to be mind numbingly stupid. What started as a comedy about high school kids in the 50’s in the midwest turned into a guy in a leather jacket water skiing in Southern California while wearing a leather jacket. Instead of doing something worthwhile with your life you wrote stupid television shows. Now, stop trying to justify the horrible things you did when you were younger and go crawl back in your hole.

But maybe they’re kidding and want to elicit a confounded “Woe is our Culture” response.

Holy Book Burning

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Imagine for a moment a group schedules a “Burn a Bible” Event.

See here.

But, frankly, Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims. And among those Muslims led by the Imam Rauf there is hardly one who has raised a fuss about the routine and random bloodshed that defines their brotherhood. So, yes, I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse.

I’m thinking that the group would have rather little support.  They’d have their first amendment protections, ACLU would come to their legal defense I suppose.

The one thing that hits at a crux of the matter — while I suppose that the Bible Burning Day holders wouldn’t get it as hard as an Islamic Jihad, they would receive death threats — and admist the collection of death threats, there would be CREDIBLE death threats — to be turned over to policing authorities for investigation.

Who, in that scenario, is “Abusing” the First Amendment in the scenario a matter of conjecture.  I wouldn’t want to burn a Bible or Koran, except under extreme duress.

It’s about, what, 50 people out there in that Florida congregation?  That’s not a lot of people.  But fringe-collections sometimes are overplayed abroad — Fred Phelps has been portrayed abroad as more significant than he is — you have to imagine that Russia’s Igor Panarin is about the same here.

The Koran Burning has an expandable number of sympathizers — certainly moreso than would support the Bible Burning Event.  In the Bible-burning event, politicians wouldn’t be offering opposition of the most tepid nature, as follows former presidents alerting everyone that we’re not at war with Islam.


Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

I saw cropping into view at “Crooks and Liars” an ad for the Gubernatorial bid of one Chris Dudley — the Republican candidate in Oregon.  Supposedly these Internet purchases are able to micro-target these ads to their respective audiences.  They have the state of Oregon down, and the interest in politics down.  Those are easy.  But while I appreciate the need for Chris Dudley to find some Democratic voters — that’s something about starting “Oregon’s Comeback” I guess, I sense the Internet blog ad puchases still retain too much spill-over in these circumstances.

Some things about Dudley that have me pondering.  He’s been showing movies about Pandas that Kung Fu for affluent donors Lake Oswego way.  From there, I hear the cries of “But Public Employees!!!”.
I’m thinking about the game of basketball.  I remember when I watched an NBA game or two, years ago, a commercial — I don’t know, someone rushing the rich people at court-side up to the news bleed section and the nose bleed section of “Real Fans” down court-side.  Clever, I suppose, in tugging at class issues.  The real money, both for the sports franchises and in terms of clientele, is up in the “Luxury Boxes” — ironically enough, with a better sight on the television screens than down through the window panes, but with much better food service than down below.

I thought about that when I read a breakdown of campaign happenings, probably in the Oregonian.  For the life of me, I can’t find the story, though.  He’s at a campaign junket.  There’s a cache of management and “blue collar” employees at a factory meeting and greeting.  He takes a few questions from some management types.  They ask him to fill in details about his Education Plan.  Maybe Dudley answers with satisfaction, maybe he doesn’t.  He takes a question from the worker.  The question — “How do you think Coach McMillan is doing?”
There’s a certain gloomy parable that can be extrapulated to the workings of modern politics from that showcase.

Maybe there is something in his professional NBA career that is more appealing to the middle class “nose bleed” section.  Never the best player on the team, a valuable asset to many teams for various durations, his longevity in the league serves to note that he was one of the best 200 basketball players on Planet Earth, if closer to 200 than 1.  Perhaps this is more appealing than if he were Kobe Bryant.  When I looked him up on youtube several months ago, the video that popped up was of a commercial for the NBA with the tag-line of “Where Amazing Happens” — that “Amazing” being that Shaquille O’Neal dunked on him, and he threw a fit.  I guess we can all relate.
Down below that was some great performance he put in in a pivotal game for the New Jersey Nets.

Today, I look “Chris Dudley” on youtube, and the various campaign spots and campaign related items have infiltrated to the top of the search.  This is appropriate, as it is the most important public item in his career right now.  Unfortunately this makes it harder to answer the following question, as I want this answered:
What is the first appearance Chris Dudley appearance for the Portland Trailblazers for Chris Dudley to tune up on youtube, and how far is it down the list?

consider for a moment the Democratic Party Salvage Operation

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

Observing our electoral politics as that standard Spectator Sport… and pondering the much anticipated and expected Democratic Butt-whupping that is always more or less inevitable for the “In” party at midterm.  That 50/50 chance of a Speaker of the House John Boehner has tilted in Boehner’s direction — and we will see.  The remote chance of a Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is now an outside chance.

Say.  Did you see that Jan Brewer debate debacle in the Arizona Gubernatorial debate?  It doesn’t matter.  She will ride this immigration issue to victory, her “beheadings on the border” retaining “truthiness” to her constituency.  Oh, make no mistake, it will be a horribly unsuccessful term in office, with everyone wishing they hadn’t voted for her, but Arizona will suck it all up for now.
See also, in different dimensions, Texas’s governor.

I have previously remarked that the bulk of those right wing Republican “Tea Party” candidates will, indeed, win.  In random point tossings, if you get 5 points for being a Republican this electoral season, you then get a mere 2 subtracted off for being a Tea Partier.  That’s still 3 ahead.  We are, of course, rooting for the ones that definitely matter as opposed to possibly or not at all matter — Delaware and New Hampshire.  The Delaware candidate imploded a bit, which is unfortunate.  We do see a bit of alignment idea working here: the Democrats in those New England states will either withstand the radicalized Republican Party wave that held sway elsewhere, or be pushed aside by less radical Republicans.  In short order, the Republican Tide of 2010 abides, recedes from whatever it does in the Northeast, and remains in place in …. the South and the Mountain West.  Or there’s a couple Senators chafing in the split that’s obscured by Republican victory.

The Democratic Salvage Operation should kick in effect shortly.  Labor Day is that traditional start of the Election Campaign Season, and the rule of thumb for those non presidential actors is that if they’re down by 8, they are screwed.  So it is that proxy test in Ohio of whether an electorate may still cast some fury at Bush Administrations appears lost for the Democrats.  The query of things now goes, as we await November, “So.  Independants.  What do you want in reconciling your conflicting opinions?  Democrats.  Is this what you want from a smattering of lukewarm?”  History let Roosevelt off the hook in 1934 because he put a solid marker between Hoover and himself.  Obama, as history now records, largely took over that meeting McCain demanded and became President in September when he pushed forward on the “Bailout”.  This averted the Depression — on rather obnoxious terms, but also blurred that transition between Bush and he.  Then again, I guess it’s hard to see Obama in better stead with the Economy just that much worst — I guess we’d have had to suffer from Bush through four more years for Obama to more successfully avert Midterm history.

I always thought, and posted it at the time, that the Republican Party screwed up their “Salvage Operation” in 2006.  On the Senate level, they needed to put all their eggs in Virginia, Tennessee, and Montana.  But they chased after Maryland — Senator Michael Steele! — and New Jersey, and thus lost the Senate.  I had nothing for them in 2008 — it was kind of telling that McCain did the “Avoid the Obama — Reid — Pelosi Spenders” while in the same spot Bob Dole was in in 1996, when it was the Senate Republicans ran with the same “Don’t give Clinton a Blank check” theme.  For the Democrats in 2010, on this Senate level — hm.  Obama campaigns in Illinois — and I say should be enough.  Check into those shady states of California and Washington.  I would dump resources in Alaska and see if that cold shoulder of Murkowski equals a split of some proportion.  After that, we’re in a bit of flux — we will see.  A central problem is that litany of “D”s in striking position are on sort of unfavorable ground — Kentucky and North Carolina — as opposed to the sliding away Ohio.

That Discovery Institute killer is the logical manifestation of the philosophy of my partisan and ideological enemies

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

See too Joseph Stack.

There is some limited purposes in defining the political beliefs, onto a right – left paradigm, of political terrorists.  But, the only real thing I mean to do in classification is to assert it as Terrorism.  There is a bumper sticker out there which reads “Not All Muslims are Terrorists, but all Terrorists are Muslims”. 

The problem gets into the realm of defining the world beyond the Terrorist — are there “Terrorist backchannels”?  In some odd lone shooters, we have seen a flutter of fans of various talk radio personalities — which brings a murky land of casuality that tips us way over past the mean audience.  But while we play a partisan or ideological game with James Lee, I can’t escape the question of — er, why?

Before I fired up my computer this morning, I assumed that conservative partisans would have been busy little beavers during the night. Sure enough, not one but two e-mails awaited me, crowing about James Lee’s environmental extremism. Since then, I’ve run across plenty more Web posts with headlines dubbing Lee a “Violent Liberal Environmentalist” or a “Liberal Ecoterrorist” or otherwise crowing about his not-a-conservative status.
I was more surprised, I confess, by a post at the liberal blog Think Progress, detailing how Lee’s online manifesto “Echoes Anti-immigrant Groups’ Malthusian Screed,” then walking readers through the sinister phenomenon of nativism’s greenwashing. It’s not that I think liberals are necessarily above that sort of opportunistic bashing. But linking Lee’s behavior to an ugly right-wing ideology took considerably more creativity and chutzpah than the right’s gloating about Lee’s fondness for An Inconvenient Truth.
So, if we were forced to pick sides between James J. Lee: left-wing enviroradical and James Lee: militant right-wing nativist, the data points favor Option A.
But, to state the obvious, we’re not forced to pick sides. Lee wasn’t an ideologue driven by his own political extremism to do something drastic. He was, first and foremost, batshit crazy. We’re talking about someone who so lost touch with reality that he thought the best way to save the planet was to force a television network to run game shows promoting the ideals of “human sterilization and infertility.” (Can’t you just envision the “Jeopardy” spin-off? Thanks so much, Alex! I’ll take chemical castration for $400.)

The first entity I saw play the Discovery Institute shooter for partisan or ideological advantage was the Alex Jones Kurt Nimmo land of Prison Planet Infowars.  They are kind of more annoying at this than your standard liberal or conservative Democrat or Republican, because their myopia is just that much blunter.  Theirs is a realm where if Arabs or Muslims did it, the Government did it — in preparation to shut down them.  If Right Wing Extremists did it, than be on guard as the Government – run Establishment Media exploits this to clamp down on them.  Also, they’ll use this as a pretext to take your guns away.  And all the while they’re ignoring the violence at the border committed by Hispanics and Latinos. 
And now this James Lee guy —  he’s just following Master Eugenicist Al Gore!

I am reminded about when Ted Kaczynski met Timothy McVeigh.

Of all the inmates McVeigh came to know at the Supermax, he found  he had the most in common with the fifty-seven yearold Kaczynski.  Initially Kaczynski had refused to speak with McVeigh.  “He fell for the propaganda against me,” McVeigh believed.  In truth, Kaczynski had misgivings about the way McVeigh had executed the Oklahoma City bombing.  Kaczynski’s bombings had targeted carefully selected individuals, people he blamed for the ills of America.  Kaczynski felt the Oklahoma City blast, killing scores of low-level government employees, was a bad action because it was unncessarily inhumane.  In time, though, Kaczynski came to believe that his fellow bomber had, like him, been demonized by false media reports.  There was more than a mutual appreciation for the outdoors between them; their political views often coincided.

One important link between the two men was their mutual disdian for federal agents and prosecutal miscondut.  McVeigh once gave Kaczynski a copy of [—]

Kaczynski laid out his feelings about McVeigh and the bombing at Oklahoma City in an eleven-page letter to the authors of this book.

On a personal level I like McVeigh and I imagine that most people would like him,” Kaczynski wrote. 

McVeigh told me of his idea (which I think may have significant merit) that certain rebellious elements on the American right and left respectively had more in common with one another than is commonly realized, and that the two groups ought to join forces. This led us to discuss, though only briefly, the question of what constitutes the “right.” I pointed out that the word “right,” in the political sense, was originally associated with authoritarianism, and I raised the question of why certain radically anti-authoritarian groups (such as the Montana Freemen) were lumped together with authoritarian factions as the “right.” McVeigh explained that the American far right could be roughly divided into two branches, the fascist/racist branch, and the individualistic or freedom-loving branch which generally was not racist. He did not know why these two branches were lumped together as the “right,” but he did suggest a criterion that could be used to distinguish left from right: the left (in America today) generally dislikes firearms, while the right tends to be attracted to firearms.

[…] In reply, McVeigh indicated that I might some day want to shoot at a tank. I didn’t bother to argue with him, but if I’d considered it worth the trouble I could have given the obvious answer: that the chances that I would ever have occasion to shoot at a tank were very remote. I think McVeigh knew well that there was little likelihood that I would ever need to shoot at a tank—or that he would either, unless he rejoined the Army. My speculative interpretation is that McVeigh resembles many people on the right who are attracted to powerful weapons for their own sake and independently of any likelihood that they will ever have a practical use for them. Such people tend to invent excuses, often far-fetched ones, for acquiring weapons for which they have no real need.

But McVeigh did not fit the stereotype of the extreme right-wingers. I’ve already indicated that he spoke of respect for other people’s cultures, and in doing so he sounded like a liberal. He certainly was not a mean or hostile person, and I wasn’t aware of any indication that he was super patriotic. I suspect that he is an adventurer by nature, and America since the closing of the frontier has had little room for adventurers.

See, if the Extreme Right and the Extreme Left can get along and come to these common understanding, why can’t the More Moderate Right and More Moderate Left?  Then again, McVeigh was probably against the War (whichever one) and Kaczynski probably would do away with Social Security.
One point of order — people who get to determine these things — the Experts who overwhelm anything I say here about this matter — don’t consider Kaczynski’s acts of terrorism Terrorism.  Maybe it’s a bias toward not being able to identify a mass of movement beyond him, but it largely boils down to his Manifesto reading more as a man complaining about his daddy than laying out any grand Political Philosophy. 
He has a book coming out soon, by the way.