Thursday, June 30, 2005

Jonah’s not here, man.

What the hell? No, man, I’m Jonah.

So why not let’s piss everybody off and talk about faith.

Faith, it’s said, is the belief in things not seen.

I honestly don’t have a problem with that. Seems like a pretty benign definition, as such things go, although I prefer this: “Faith is Belief in the absence of Proof”.

Faith and Science don’t need to be enemies; they can coexist very comfortably in the same human household…just as long as they have separate bathrooms, and each have their own phone line.

Faith, however, immediately becomes a cancer when instead of “Belief in the absence of Proof”, it becomes “Belief trumps Proof.”

Down that road lies most of the horror and tragedy that has ever been done in the name of God or in the name of the State, so much so that I’d offer this up as an iron-clad Rule of Thumb: whenever a cult or a religion or a school of thought or a political party starts pushing and agenda that requires that Faith in [fill in the blank] be given pride of place over Science or Facts or Logic, you are rocketing off into a very dark realm from which it will be very hard to return.

This isn’t open for negotiation.

This isn’t “discussable”.

You want to believe that Jesus ascended bodily to Heaven, or that water got fortified into wine long before Louis Pasteur invented skid row, that’s fine by me. In the bosom of your own sacred places (not that bosoms are not, themselves, extremely sacred places :-) believe whatever the fuck you’d like. Jebus, Budda or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, if there’s no specific evidence either way, and as long as you’re not trying to use the courts and the law to force me to believe your crazy space religion, or your crazy turtle-stacking religion, I don’t care.

Who knows, but what I may actually agree with you.

But when your politics or religion requires that you jettison your critical thinking skills and believe in drivel like the Creationism, or the debatability of Global Warming, or that with a little more prayer and legislation, Terry Schiavo was gonna leap from her bed and kick-line her way across the parking lot singing “Aida”…run like Hell.

Because when your politics or religion demand that you eviscerate your own critical thinking skills – that you deliberately smash your most basic, human safety and early-warning equipment -- as a condition for membership, please know that you are absolutely in the presence of you enemies and that they are out to fuck you. So I am dead serious when I say get the hell away from them, and I don’t care who it is that’s trying to hawk this venom to you -- parent, school, church or party.

That’s one side of the dance floor.

On the other side is this.

True story.

A friend of mine (among other things) keeps the network up and healthy at a medium sized shop in the greater metro area. About a 100 people, doing their thing, and over the years he has gotten into the habit of adding a quote to the daily logon script.

Sometimes funny, sometimes inspirational, sometimes a little provocative....but this was a pretty broadminded group, and he never used any curse words or insulted anyone mother, so he had never gotten a complaint of any kind.

Until September 11th, 2002.

A year after 9/11 he posted up a quote from the Bible. This quote, from the Book of Nehemiah. A quote about the city gates being burned, and that the time comes to rally and rebuild

“Then said I to them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and its gates are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem...”
When he told me the story, I remember thinking that it was a pretty good quote. Apt. As appropriate someone citing the Gettysburg address in the weeks and months after 9/11.

It was up for about an hour before my pal got an email message and a visit from two of his colleagues in a state of high piss-off.

"Where," they wanted to know, "did he get off prosthelytizing people!"


It was totally inappropriate, in their opinion, for him to "push" his religion on others in the workplace.

WTF x 2?

So he took it down -- it was a somber day, and some days there are some fights there’s no sense starting in the first place -- but it does serve to illustrate a strain of rather hysterical intolerance from which some of my brothers and sister on the Left seem to suffer. Maybe it’s a Marxist remnant, or a product of being smacked with a Bible once too often, or noting all the blood that has been let in the names of Gods throughout history.

I don’t know.

But I do know that some of us have got to stop freaking right the hell out every time Christianity gets brought into the conversation. The reaction my friend got (and that I have gotten under similarly innocuous circumstances, and maybe you have too) was way out of proportion with any offense he might have caused, so I asked him what was his usual fare.

He said he’d posted quotes by Stalin and Mao, by Budda and Machiavelli, by Twain and Churchill and Gandhi and had never, ever gotten a complaint.

Quotes by religious leaders and tyrants and floated right past, but one quote out of the Bible made two of his Lefty co-workers so furious that they came to him and insisted that he take it down.

First, this is just plain stupid. I believe I'm correct is saying that the Bible is the #1 source of literary quotations is common usage in the Western world. #2 is Shakespeare. It's how my granddaddy and probably yours learned to read. See, it’s going to get brought up a lot, so lighten up.

Second, it’s tactically idiotic to be this violently allergic to religion. And not just any religion – citations from the Bhagdiva Gita, for example, apparently raised no eyebrows – but just the one that the Carpenter’s Kid tried to get off the ground. Almost 77% of Americans are religious and identify as Christian, and telescoping in any way that we think that a belief in God is stupid or sinister is suicidal.

Third, shit, look at the numbers. Most Liberals and Progressives are religious to begin with. Most undecideds are too.

The problem is that we’re uncomfortable talking about it…so we cede the field to Evil Cocksucking Christopaths who have no problem whatsoever barking and braying and yowling their bigotry and hatred and hucksterism as a Great Big Erect Throbbing Love Of Jesus at 1,500 decibels all day, every day. And it seems that the only ones who step in and engage them on the Side of the Angels are always arguing policy and prescriptions and secularism as a free-standing virtue.

We need our Secular Warriors and I am grateful every day that they fight for us, but they will never win the battle.

Part of the reason we lose is because many of us think it's in bad taste to talk publically about God. We think it's rude or it's bad form, and we need to get the fuck over that immediately. As is true with the absolutely maddening habit among some leading Democrats to pull their punches or play "Let's All Play Nice" patty-cake with thugs who are armed with tasers and razors, if we keep dancing around by these 19th Century rules of Engagement while our opponents have no compunction about using Nukes For Jesus, we're going to keep getting whipped. Badly.

This particular theater of the culture war is one in which, regardless of how much support and air cover we give them, it’s only the boots on the ground of the millions of Liberals of Faith that will carry the day.

And it’s not like there aren’t hundreds of Progressive Christian groups out there working very hard on turning this country around, but they need our help and we all need to get Very Much More Emphatic about militating for our vision of morality, and not just policy. About articulating exactly how our principles intersect with out politics, and for a lot of Liberals, that vision is explicitly religious.

We need to take the fight right to our enemies. We desperately need our own Righteous Army of the Lord to be making some Very Fucking Loud Joyful Noise about the Christian causes of Peace and Poverty, of Tolerance and Respect for the Earth.

We need to take the Bad Guys over our Nehemiahs and give ‘em what for.

We need to boot ‘em in their Deuteronomies with the Shoes of the Fisherman until they stop behaving badly.

That’s Reverend Doctor Driftglass…


All across the virtual land, people far, far better than I have commented (OK, mocked) the idiotic idea that a blog is not a protected entity, but an online magazine is.

So being a serious man, I sez to myself, I sez, “Is there still room for me to pile on too?”

Here’s a bit of the article from dKos that lays out the particulars…

At its essence, [the media exemption] allows a media corporation, through certain of its employees -- reporters, editorial writers, and cartoonists -- to spend an unlimited amount of corporate money communicating with candidates, asking them anything about their campaigns, with no question relating to money or strategy off limits, activities, in short, that would be considered "coordination" if the person doing the asking were not considered media.

This broad treatment is in keeping with the legislative history, and is consistent with the FEC's previous advisory opinions. Given these precedents, I expect that the members of the Commission will grant the exemption widely to bloggers, or you will send it back to Congress and they will specifically include bloggers.
But this broadly granted media exception contains within it an absolutely unavoidable consequence. And that is, there is no way to keep big money out of this picture.

My concern is not with the average citizen who chooses to publish a blog and share his or her viewpoints on the Internet, but with large corporations and unions who seek to unfairly influence campaigns by spending huge amounts of money under the guise of being a blog [...]
That is what I fear about the widely granted media exemption. Not that the old media will lose it power. They can take care of themselves. What I fear is that our fragile, very flawed system of campaign finance regulation will completely destroyed.

So the upshot is an argument for saying that the exemption for that one virtual entity that publishes opinion and analysis and news-y looking stuff should be as legal as seawater, while another, absolutely identical entity, should not be.

Which had led some people to joshingly (or not) retitle their Thingies Formerly Known as Blogs into “Magazines” to, uh, better serve YOU the customer.

Me? I started wondering what else is protected.

What other fig-leaf would allow responsible and funny and serious and acerbic adults to talk openly about issues of the day? And as an extra added bonus, would also allow dangerously unbalanced degenerates to run wild and free through the land, potshotting at everyone that looks at them funny?

Would let a deranged douchebag roam the country, peeing on the graves of the honored dead and telling children they’ll go to Hell if they don’t Hate Fags vigorously enough?

Would let a shambling, morally-bankrupt wingnut swine vomited up out the depths of the raw Fundamentalist sewage that runs hip-deep though the streets these days, spew his hateful dogma of blaming every bad thing in the Universe -- including 9/11 -– on gays, feminists, liberals and the ACLU?

Would let such monsters not only peddle their poison decade after decade, and not only let them get tax-exempt rich doing it, but, finally, actually turn over the keys to the entire country to them?

In any sane country, these Marauding Perverts For Christ would at best be kept in a kind of Colonial Lynchburg theme-park, where they could be properly ridiculed by school children on field trips. At worst, they would be driven into the sea and everything they ever touched would be fumigated or slagged.

Instead, we let them run the place and make Total War on the very Democratic Ideals that allow them to exist unmolested in the first place...from inside the Congress and the White House.

So this citizen has got to wonder how he might also cop a Magic Cloak of Ethical Invisibility that would not only let me opine freely, but also let me cash in on some of that sweet, sweet Faith Based sugar that the Evangelocrats are so anxious to cut from Evil Secular Programs and lavish on anyone with a Bible and a bad idea.

In other words, WWLRD?

What would L. Ron do?

So maybe this isn’t a blog at all.

Maybe this is my exegesis.

Need to give it some thought.

In the meantime, go in peace my friends and remember…blessed are the Cheesemakers.

Hey, what the Hell: blessed are any manufacturers of dairy products.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

What ring?

Sure, we knows The Putin is tricksy, but we had no idea how tricksy.

This from the Chicago Tribune via the Hartford Courant

From the Hartford Courant
Putin gets Super gift

By Paul Doyle
The Hartford Courant

June 29, 2005

With 124 diamonds, the Patriots' latest Super Bowl ring is among the most gaudy and expensive of its kind.

And apparently, the ring has enough bling, bling to catch the eye of the most somber of ex-KGB agents. Russian president Vladimir Putin, hardly a man who flashes diamonds, was taken with the ring worn by Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

When Kraft and a group of American executives shared face time with Putin Saturday, the NFL's most successful owner handed Putin the ring. Putin fitted his finger with the ring, removed it and slipped it into his pocket.

Did Kraft intend to give Putin the ring as a gift? Or did Putin misunderstand the gesture and assume the ring was his for the taking?

Kraft was traveling Wednesday and a Patriots spokesman said it would all be explained when he returns next week.

But by the end of the day, Kraft had issued a statement. The ring was a gift, Kraft explained.

After a two hour meeting, Putin held a press conference. Posing with Kraft, Weill and Murdoch, Putin admired the ring.

"It's a Super Bowl ring ... it's a very good ring," Kraft reportedly said.

According to the Russian newspaper Kommersant, Putin "carefully tried it on, but when he noticed that photo and video cameras were pointed at him, quickly took it off and held it in the fist."

And before leaving the room, Putin pocketed the ring.

Sure it was a gift.

Nothing to add but:

1, Oh come on! What is this, tee-ball? I am not going to swing at a pitch this fat and low and [insert theoretically unlimited number of Precioussss jokes here]

2. Does anyone know anyone at the Department of Heavy Handed Metaphors? Because I think the image of The Russian stealing the Ring of Power from The Bumfuzzled American “Patriot”, on camera and with a “Fuck You” smile on his face is just too…too.

Life in the Age of the “Totalitari-yentas"

Today he’d be President of the College Republicans.

We do seem to be positively awash these days with pie-faced, self-righteous Republican douchebags of either gender who both loudly and loutishly insist on the righteousness of Their War, and shamelessly dredge the filthiest dregs of the blue-blood, racial-superiority, “Bell Curve” barrel to excuse themselves from having to actually fight the war that they tout.

Consider this brief excerpt from this article from “The Nation” via DC Media Girl and Steve Gilliard...

Generation Chickenhawk
Max Blumenthal

At a table by the buffet was Justin Palmer, vice chairman of the Georgia Association of College Republicans, America's largest chapter of College Republicans. In 1984 the group gained prominence in conservative circles when its chairman, Ralph Reed, formed a political action committee credited with helping to re-elect Senator Jesse Helms. Palmer's future as a right-wing operative looked bright; he batted away my question about his decision to avoid fighting the war he supported with the closest thing I heard to a talking point all afternoon. "The country is like a body," Palmer explained, "and each part of the body has a different function. Certain people do certain things better than others." He said his "function" was planning a "Support Our Troops" day on campus this year in which students honored military recruiters from all four branches of the service.

OK, sure, one could, I suppose, ungraciously point out that every Body does need an Asshole, which is why we have Republicans, but that would be (almost) too cheap and easy a laugh to go for, especially considering how fundamentally sinister and deeply un-American what it is they are really talking about here.

The through-line that links all of these little lying tubeworms together isn’t just their naked and unabashed cowardice. For that, the term Chickenhawk is certainly appropriate, but not, I think, sufficient.

The through line is fascism. Giddy, beer-drunk, unabashed fascism.

Because what they’re really talking about is eugenics.

About a Master Race.

They are unashamedly arguing for their Feudal Right and Privilege to stake and lose the lives of the low-born as casually as they would use Daddy’s Amex card to bet the pot in an all-night poker game.

Once, perhaps, being this craven, this hypocritical, this hyper-gutless might have been the source of a twinge of shame, but no longer.

Gilliard opines that, “Their excuses are so palid, so insulting, so vile that it makes me ill. They want someone else to win a war they cheerlead. They think that all it takes is a good speech.” It’s a sentiment with which I entirely agree, but I don’t think goes quite far enough.

That they are pusillanimous little daubs of corn-studded poo there is no doubt…but at the end of the day, I strongly argue it’s their malevolent ideology from which they draw the nerve to be so defiantly yellow. Without a carefully articulated and deliberately nurtured framework of Red, White and Blue fascism to hold them upright, these boneless chickens would simply collapse into a heap of simpering pudding.

I mean, the Founding Fathers of the nation and the Pillars of the Original Republican Party would all whiz ‘round and ‘round their graves like Funny Cars until they puked up their last meals if they knew that the leadership of the country had been bequeathed to these fat-headed, morally corpulent chuds. These new Republican -- these “totalitari-yentas" -- who so gleefully and hectoringly proclaim a de facto Caste System where Epsilon Minuses are bred specifically to perish for the pet causes and fantasies of the Alpha Class.

This kind of thing has always been with us, but expressions of it used to be confined to White’s Only Country Clubs. Well, OK, and the Entire South, but for awhile at least, while our boot was on their throats, the Slave Staters at least pretended to be ashamed of their perverse, anti-American dogma.

But now the crossbreeding of Wealth and Ignorance, License and Racism is again blossoming out into full, dark, totalitarian flower. Now we see the rise, yet again, of the same, tired, brutal, cowardly, nakedly feudal and self-serving argument -- always from the affluent -- that (surprise!) Affluence is a proxy for a Divine Mandate.

That some among us have a God-given and genetically-endowed right to Rule the Earth from safe and pampered sinecure, while others have an equally Divinely and Evolutionarily Mandated purpose, which is to toil and suffer and die when they are told to do so by Massa up in the Big House.

In fact, since “the country is like a body” the thralls should actually feel deeply happy and fulfilled as they die for the greater good of the Merchant Princes, knowing that they have performed their noble servitude all in accordance with God’s Great Plan. As happy and fulfilled as, say, the Chickenhawks feel getting drunk, padding out their resumes, ass-fucking their brain-dead girlfriends and bravely writing inspiring letters on the Glories of Sacrifice. Each to his own Holy Purpose makes for a Happy Collective!

So who the fuck has been weaning the Children of the Small Gummint on this undiluted Stalinist drivel?

I mean, this is Police State 101 stuff: once a population had been dehumanized into mere components of a single organism, and one Caste has set itself up as the Big Giant Head, everyone else becomes nothing but raw material. Everyone but the Parti –- which has declared itself to be synonymous with the Nation -- always and automatically becomes Soylent Fucking Green in the Greater Glory of the Cause…or is annihilated without a qualm as a disease.

So where are these trustifarian veal dimwits picking up such bad habits? I mean, who else has ever gotten a lot of mileage by referring to his country as a “corporate body” or a "single organism"?

Maybe a few excerpts from an essay on “The Human Body and the Body Politic: Genocide as an Immunological Fantasy” can shed a little light. I'll even add a little emphasis here and there for, um, emphasis...

The purpose of National Socialism, according to Hitler, was to "maintain the life of Germany." He called Germany a "corporate body," a "single organism" that consisted of the German people as cells of this organism. The Jewish people also constituted cells of the national organism. These cells, however, made no contribution to the life of Germany. Rather, as bacteria, viruses and parasites, they lived and fed off the body politic, draining the nation of its energy and capacity to exist.

Hitler defined his mission in medical terms. …Hitler conceived of himself as that unique leader who had identified the nature of Germany's disease and possessed the ability to affect a cure. In Mein Kampf, he stated that Germans would choose as their leader the individual who "profoundly recognizes the distress of his people" and who, after he has attained "the ultimate clarity" with regard to the nature of the disease, "seriously tries to cure it."

In his diary on March 27, 1942, Goebbels described the process of extermination as "pretty barbaric and not to be described in detail" but had no compunctions because after all this was a "life-and- death struggle between the Aryan race and the Jewish bacillus." ...Therefore one could calmly reach the conviction that the struggle of nations against Jews--of life against death--was quite as much a law of nature as "man's struggle against some epidemic, as the struggle of a healthy body to eliminate plague bacillus."

Why did Nazi leaders employ biological metaphors to articulate the genocidal

Rudolf Hess often declared that "Hitler is Germany, just as Germany is Hitler." This statement articulated Hitler's fantasy that his body was fused with the body politic, the boundaries of his own body co-extensive with Germany's boundaries. Insofar as Jews were a disease within the body of Germany, Hitler therefore experienced the Jewish disease as present within his own body.

Hitler, an early embodiment theorist, insisted that Germany was not merely an abstract idea or imagined community, but rather a "real substance of flesh and blood." Killing Jews for Hitler was equivalent to destroying a diseased part of the body.

At last, in the terrible light of war, we see clearly how far the Party of Lincoln has fallen. How despicably low it has sunk.

140 years ago, this was the the clear, principled voice of the Republicans:

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and for his orphans, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and a lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

Today, within the GOP, nothing of the Spirit of the Emancipator remains but dead statuary.

Today, the message is craven and loud and brazenly totalitatian.

Today Big Brother is The Nation.

And The Nation is Big Brother.

All Hail Dear Leader!

Wait a minute? You're…not…Dear Leader!?

I didn’t intend to conduct a non-scientific survey tonight: I just wanted a beer.

A friend of mine and I went out to talk work and history, women and politics and we ended up at a fairly (for Chicago) conservative-y sports bar; lotta fine young GOP cannibals in khaki and buzzcuts...and a lotta dirty looks when I might have used the words “Republican” and “douchebag” and “Cheney” and “lying cocksucker” kinda loudly.

Tempus fugited along rather faster than we expected, and 8:00 suddenly tolled, but with over 600,000 televisions, we could swing around and find The Big Speech on at least 20, and closed-captioned on five or six.

Had we been playing the Lying Republican Cocksucker drinking game – taking a shot every time 9/11 was invoked – we both would’ve been knee-walking hammered by the time the speech hit the eighth paragraph.

It was also fun and exciting to see how many words were blown in the type-along transcripts -- especially amazing given that the text of the speech was released in advance to the media and the internets, and GW isn’t exactly famous for his Churchillian riffing on the Big Speeches, 'cause he tends to "disassemble" quite a bit.

I mean, (if I remember correctly) the “softer Middle East” I can understand. And “Our messing in Iraq is clear” is OK, but what’s a “blexiter”?

We concluded that the speech was probably going fine, but closed-caption dingus was picking up what was actually going on inside Bush’s head.

A lot of people were watching. This was, after all, a Major Prime Time Address on a matter of Great National Importance, in a room that looked to me to be loosely packed with 1-A, draft-age Bushite males. So my pal and I, we were just starting to relax into the rhythm of it, such as it was, when the signal cut off.


Not that this was anything other than Bush Campaign Stump Speech Number One, edited to take out all the “pause for incoherent, retard applause” stage direction, and reshod in slightly shinier 2005 shoes, but I had wanted to hear it (OK, perhaps for the same reason that W.C. Fields once said he read the Bible.)

Several of the teevees flickered, which was kind of weird and momentarily chilling, and then one of the barristas pulled down a HUGE white screen and fired up the projection box in the ceiling and I figured she was putting on the Major Prime Time Address of Great National Importance and I thought, “OK, well they may be kinda fascist-y here, but at least they take this seriously.”

Because it was, as I have said, a Major Prime Time blah blah blah.


It was 8:15. And the NBA draft was on.

And every teevee, including the Very Big One, flickered a few more times, and all settled on it. And everyone just kept right on, and no one asked for any one of the 600,000 channels to be changed back to Bush and the Big Speech (And remember, this is Chicago, where we have no stake whatsoever in the NBA draft.)

We laughed, my friend and I, finished our beers, and left.

Iraq? War? Just another fucking rerun.

So I came home, not intending to be drawn in, but just had to know the score. Who was up and who was down, so I got on the internets and here’s where things stand:

First sentence, second paragraph: September 11 invoked.

Third Paragraph: September 11 invoked.

Fourth paragraph: “New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania” invoked.

Eighth paragraph: “Osama Bin Laden” invoked.

Twelfth paragraph: September 11 invoked.

37th paragraph: September 11 invoked.

First full sentence, second to last Paragraph: September 11 invoked.

How depressingly predictable.
How utterly damned this man is.
How completely he has failed us.

And stupid me, I foolishly decided to play the Lying Republican Cocksucker game while I read the speech at home, and as a Child of the Game, I felt honor-bound to strictly abide by the rules.

I am now completely blind.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

"It is an ancient Mariner,

And he stoppeth one of three.
`By thy long beard and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?"

OK, what’s with the fucking Coleridge poem, because it’s waay too early for a pop quiz.

Bear with me.

We humans, we like our round numbers.

C’mon, admit it. You know we do.

No “Nations #1 Psychics Reveal -- Top 7.3 Beauty Tips of the Dead.” or “Thirteen-and-a-half Hot Secrets for Turning Your Man From a Boo Berry to Capt’n Crunch ” list is going to get you to plunk down your four bucks for the glossy embarrassments that pass for reading material in America’s supermarkets.

And because of the fingers and toes arrangement with which (Fundies, please avert your eyes. This is NOT work-safe) Evolution has gifted us (OK, you can look now), we like our round numbers in base ten.

No freaky, hippy, vaguely-French-seeming hexadecimal for us, no sir.

No octal.

And except for computers, and Presidential Edicts on Terrorism ---

(Such as the very definitive “You’re either with us, or with the Terrorists”…

like the Insurgents…

who are all Terrorists…

apparently unless you’re negotiating with them…

which we learned from our antic Secretary of Defense this weekend we were doing, a LOT…

but only with the Good Insurgents and not the Bad Insurgents…

which is reassuring, because if it were otherwise, one might think this Administration may have lied about certain pretty important things…

which might cause one to idly wonder what other things they had lied about…

which sorta begs the question, since we have such incredibly sketchy intel on who the Insurgents are in the first place, are we basing our ability to differentiate between Good Insurgents and Bad Insurgents on some Powerful Frist-like Remote Diagnostic Ability, or secret handshakes or a type of Star-Bellied Sneetch technology that I’m not familiar with...

or what?)

--- we loathe binary.

We like tens, but only when “10” doesn’t by some Clinton Liberal word-parsing trickery really mean eight or two or something.

We notice tens.

So when I noticed that the most conservative estimate of number of soldiers wounded in Iraq had topped 13,000 it caught my attention in different way than that tragic number had in the past.

Because as understandably hard as it is to get a definitive number for the troops deployed in Iraq, and as tricky as it is to pin down exactly what we’re calling a casualty this week and how we’re tallying it, the fact is, we’ve got 130,000 troops in Iraq – give or take – and we’ve got 13,000 wounded – give or take.

Which means we’re at ten percent, or will be very soon.

Ten percent.

A nice, easy-to-remember number, ten-percent. Sorta just rooooolls of the tongue, doesn’t it?

Something for our petit Chickenhawk Republicans Reagan Youth to think about at their next kegger, while they’re doing beer bongs and lines of coke off each others pasty asses.

And “wounded” doesn’t mean nicked yourself shaving, or sliced a thumb doing watermelon shooters.

If you serve in Iraq, it means you stand a one-in-ten chance of losing an eye, or a leg, or having your chest smashed open by shrapnel.

At the next Junior GOP bash, look around the room at a hundred of your closest friends slobbing all over each other and braying about the Ascendant Glory that is the brave, brave Republican Party that sends the Underclasses off to die so that the Uberclasses can party like flappers and bootleggers in the upholstered comfort of Mommy’s well-appointed basement.

Because in Iraq, ten of them would be bleeding out from a belly wound all over that nice genuine Hopi rug and the fake Italian leather couch.

In Iraq, ten of them would be reeling in numb shock, wondering where their arm went.

In Iraq, ten of them would be on a chopper, trying to breathe with scalded lungs.

In Iraq, ten of them would be screaming for their mothers and shitting themselves in terror.

And with over 1,700 soldiers KIA, in Iraq, two of them would be dead.

So why the Coleridge poem?

Because it’s you who killed the albatross, Young Republicans motherfuckers, and it is around your necks this stinking war now hangs.

It’s your turn to go face the wraith that you turned loose.

It other words…

“It is an Insurgent Warrior,
And he woundeth one of ten.
To face his long beard and glittering eye,
Now it’s your turn, Barbie and Ken!

This is the war you wanted, Young Republicans.

This is the war you begged for and celebrate.

This is the war you didn’t care was sold with lies, as long as you got to conquer by proxy and kill by remote control.

But now your war isn’t going so good, Young Republicans, and the President you overwhelmingly supported so that he could continue to prosecute your optional war exactly as you wanted it done needs you to serve.

Talking-time is over, Young Republicans.

The War God you elected is still hungry. He demands a sacrifice of flesh: without it, your dreams of PNAC Global Empire will be lost forever.

So step up, join up and go to Iraq, Young Republicans. Do it now, because we will never, ever let you forget it if you don’t.

Do it now, Young Republicans, and do it now.

Because if you don't, you will be invited, forever and always, to…

01100111 01101111


01100110 01110101 01100011 01101011


01111001 01101111 01110101 01110010 01110011 01100101 01101100 01110110 01100101 01110011

(Gadzooks, dreamweasel is quite right. I dropped a letter. This should rectify it.)

Monday, June 27, 2005

"Times are bad.

Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book."

The quote, in case you didn’t know, is not from nattering moralist and compulsive gambler Bill Bennett or ranting moralist and drug addict Rush Limbaugh. No, it’s from Marcus Tullius Cicero, who was a Roman statesman who lived and died fifty years before the birth of Christ, and was, in his day, the absolute, Pez-Dispensing, quote-o-matic king of pith.

He said a lot of other clever and very topical things on subjects that are veritably Ripped from Today’s Headlines…

…like war (“An unjust peace is better than a just war.”)

…humility (“I am not ashamed to confess that I am ignorant of what I do not know.”)

…filibusters (“In a republic this rule ought to be observed: that the majority should not have the predominant power.”),

…US Foreign policy (“It is the nature of every person to error, but only the fool perseveres in error.”)

…Rush Limbaugh (“Oh, the times! Oh, the manners!”)

…Ann Coulter (“Orators are most vehement when their cause is weak.”)

…the looting of Iraq (“The sinews of war are infinite money.”)

…George Bush (“To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child.”)

..and my secret favorite (“No sane man will dance.”)


But the reason the one about evergreen complaints about unquiet youth and all the rest (and the Who cover) popped to mind was this headline from the Chicago Tribune: “Twentysomethings being dubbed `Entitlement Generation' for their lofty job expectations”
My, my, my.

Whatever happened to the good old days of David Bowie and the Coffee Generation?

Here’s a bit of the story.

These kids today, they want it all

By Martha Irvine
Associated Press

June 27, 2005

Evan Wayne thought he was prepared for anything during a recent interview for a job in radio sales.

Then the interviewer hit the 24-year-old Chicagoan with this: "So, we call you guys the `Entitlement Generation,'" the Baby Boomer executive said, expressing an oft-heard view of today's young workforce. "You think you're entitled to everything."

Such labeling is, perhaps, a rite of passage for every crop of twentysomethings. In their day, Baby Boomers were rabble-rousing hippies, while Gen Xers were apathetic slackers.

Now, deserved or not, this generation is being pegged, too--as one with shockingly high expectations for salary, job flexibility and duties but little willingness to take on grunt work or remain loyal to a company.

"We're seeing an epidemic of people who are having a hard time making the transition to work--kids who had too much success early in life and who have become accustomed to instant gratification," says Dr. Mel Levine, a pediatrics professor at the University of North Carolina and author of a book on the topic called "Ready or Not, Here Life Comes."

While Levine also notes that today's twentysomethings are long on idealism and altruism, "many of the individuals we see are heavily committed to something we call `fun.'"

He partly faults coddling parents and colleges for doing little to prepare students for the realities of adulthood.

Meanwhile, employers are frustrated.

"It seems they want and expect everything that the 20- or 30-year veteran has the first week they're there," says Mike Amos, a Salt Lake City-based franchise consultant for Perkins Restaurants.

Elsewhere, Liz Ryan speculates that a more relaxed work environment at the company she runs--no set hours and "a lot of latitude in how our work gets done"--helps inspire her younger employees.

"Maybe twentysomethings have figured out something that Boomers like me took two decades to piece together: namely, that there's more to life than by-the-book traditional career success," says Ryan, the 45-year-old CEO of a Colorado-based company called WorldWIT, an on and offline networking organization for professional women.

Amos at Perkins Restaurants says small changes also have helped--loosening standards on piercings or allowing cooks to play music in the kitchen.

It’s tempting to either speak as the cranky guy who remembers back in the day (that never was) when a hundred Irishmen would work for sixteen weeks quarrying limestone with their teeth for a nickel and a cup of cold thistle gruel…or the understanding guy who sides unflinchingly and leaps to the barricades with the Tongue Stud’s Local #505 and the let’s-add-a-loosening-piercing-standards paragraph to the Universal Declaration of Human Freedom contingent.

But I’ll pass, because both positions are absurd, and to caricature an entire generation in this way is ridiculous.

Not that the students I have don’t harbor a lot of ridiculous expectations about the distant and mysterious land called the Real World onto whose shores they will shortly be washing up, but so what? I had entirely absurd ideas about what to expect on the job when I was 20-something, and I’ll bet you did too.

If case you sprung fully formed from the head of Zeus, or just don’t remember, outside of figuring out how to get a member of the opposite sex (or same sex, if that’s you) to do the Vertical Snoopy Dance with you – and what the hell you’re supposed to put where and how fast and for how long once you succeed – negotiating the terrain of Real World is about as Incognita a slice of Terra as you’re going to find in this life before you hit your mid-30’s.

And like the massive campaign of often-times just plain lying that fueled the American Westward Expansion, the maps are mostly wrong, and the advice is mostly bullshit, third-hand accounts of somebody’s friend's cousin striking gold.

The landscape of the newly-minted job hunter today is littered with myths of high adventure, and jobs that came with pizza ovens and pedicures, top shelf hookers and million dollar stock deals from before the dot-communists grand experiment in converting loose VC capital into BMW’s came crashing down. And before them there are still whispers of an even earlier Golden Age, when law students and MBAs were recruited en masses and borne up on the wings of Angels to be gently enfolded into a plum life in Xanadu.

Most the students I know work at least one and often three shitty jobs to cover tuition, books, living expenses and, yes, a PSP rig and an iPod with 11,000 titles, some percentage of which, I’m sure, were actually paid for with some form of legal tender.

They came out of high schools where they were often booked and scheduled as tightly as a Supertramp reunion tour.

A lot of them get drunk or high sometimes; a few of them can’t stop.

A lot of them do public service, and a surprising number of them consider “helping people” broadly as a worthwhile career.

Most of them are tired a lot of the time.

Most of them wheedle and negotiate everything – every grade, every assignment, every deadline, every angle. The scrap and scrounge and string together side deals and informal arrangements covering everything from homework to hookups, so that they can do just enough work to cover their cost of school, where they organically seek out the level at which they can do just enough studying to make their grades, so that they can have fun.

They are, in other words, about as ruthlessly entrepreneurial as any Ferengi, but adjusted to measure profit by a slightly different metric.

And they are, to be honest about it, me, pretty much exactly as I was at that age, and the gritty buffeting of the world has always been a pretty reliable tutor when it comes to wearing down the odd edges and angles of unrealistic expectations, so I don't worry too much that any goofy fantasies about the the life of wage slave will survive very long after the first encounter with The Boss.

I recall when I did a bit as a corporate trainer, the day after a bunch of mole rats from Texas took the place over and gutted the staff. The Bastards Out of Houston were all White, Male and aggressively Fundamentalist and the people fired were, by and large, women and minorities. Then they gave the survivors the Good Ol’ Boys version of the Alec Baldwin’s A-B-C speech from “Glengarry Glenn Ross.”

Big shock, I know.

The company was actually doing OK, but this is how one establishes one’s Alpha Male creds down in their corner of Hank Hill Country, and they weren’t going to let the fact that they were fucking the business into a cocked hat stop them from wagging their dicks around and showing us all what ass-kickers they were.

There were lawsuits filed later, and most of us found other gigs shortly after this Night of the Long Knaves, but the common element among us worker bees was that while most everyone over 30-something was highly pissed, most everyone under that age was just dumbfounded.

I drove a younger colleague home that night and she kept asking me a variant of this question: “But they can't just do that, right? You can’t just FIRE someone for no reason?”

I explained to her all about what “at will employment” meant, and what a “protected class” was, but she was genuinely in shock. Somewhere along the line she had picked up the idea that employment was in some sense “fair”, and now someone had not only told her there’s no Santa Claus, but had shot the jolly old elf in the head and left his body for her to find in her walk-in freezer.

Work is like dating: there’s the way it is, and the way it oughta be. And if you can live in the Real World and still keep your idealism about the way it should be intact and vital for when the day comes when you’re The Boss and you have to make the hard decisions, then you’ll have done OK.

So no, I’ll pass on being the Nostalgic Guy, and I’ll pass on being the Ain’t The World Unfair Sob Sister.

Instead I’m just the guy who did not survive the Hamner and Brown “rightsizing” slaughterhouse with my life intact. I’m the guy who sat through management meetings that featured videos with Dianetics-commercials-production-values telling us that “Company Loyalty Is Dead” and that anyone who continued to think they were owed job security was a fool who deserved what they got.

And that is another and most important message that got osmosed into the homes of the students that are now entering the workforce.

These are the Children of Downsizing, whose parents either woke up one fine day to find – without warning -- their shit packed up in cardboard boxes and a security guard on hand to escort them out of the building and confiscate their ID…or that they had to live with that economic Sword of Damocles hanging over them every day at a place that used to be more like home to them than home often was.

It’s a shattering experience and can slash through a family as sure as death or divorce, and these young workers are the ones whose frightened parents talked and cried and raged about the Fucking Company and how Fucking Unfair and what a Fucking Betrayal it was around the kitchen table every night

So do they have nutty expectations about life out here in the deep end of the pool? Of course they do. Who among us didn’t?

But I can say that given their experience, and my own, that opting for a life that one enjoys over a life of samauri loyalty to the Organization isn’t the worst idea I’ve ever heard.

You can't leave.

All the plants will die!

This from today’s Boston Globe

U.S. asks Japan to keep troops in Iraq

June 26, 2005

TOKYO --The United States has asked Japan to extend its troop deployment in Iraq beyond the scheduled expiration of the current mandate in December, a Japanese newspaper reported Sunday.

The U.S. State Department asked Japan's Foreign Ministry earlier this month to consider extending Japan's current mission, which is set to expire in December, the nationwide daily Asahi Shimbun reported.

The Japanese government had reportedly considered pulling out in December and switching to financial aid for other countries' deployments.

Defense Agency Chief Yoshinori Ono has said that the end of the year was being considered as a possible pullout date because that would coincide with the end of the U.N. mandate.

Late Saturday, Chief Cabinet Spokesman Hiroyuki Hosoda told a meeting of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in his home state of Shimane, western Japan: "We don't decide whether to extend (deployment) because another country tells us to do so. We'll make our own decision after studying how we can best contribute to global peace."

Some 500 Japanese soldiers are based in Samawah, part of a total deployment of 1,000 military personnel on a non-combat mission to purify water and repair infrastructure.

Man, Japan’s gonna miss all the Big Fun, ‘cause baby, this party’s just getting’ started!

Gonna miss all the many, many, many star-studded “Mission Accomplished” anniversary galas that we’ll get to have in the perfect, garrisoned safety of the Green Zone.

All the cool Iraqi petro-swag.

The employee discounts at the Iraqi National Museum gift shop.

The funnel cakes at the Falluja Renaissance Faire, which are to die for.

And frankly the weekly Gitmo Torture Charades (“OK, now guess if I’m being treated as an animal, a mineral or a vegetable?”) won’t be the same without them.

And what’s this about U.N. mandate ending in December?

I didn’t know that, and I read rather a lot.

Funny, you’d think that the impending expiration of the one rationale the Administration still clings to would be front page news. Not “All Missing White Girls All The Time”-news, but news nonetheless.

Still, it appears to be true. All the papers seem to be in order.

Now it’s also true that our pet Iraqi government has applied to the U.N. Security Council to extend the US occupation of their country based on an insurgent threat that is mysteriously simultaneously “in it’s last throes” (Cheney) and may go on and on for another dozen years or more (Rummy). And sure, that application has all the delightfully transparent and shamelessly incestuous stink on it that we have come to expect from the Halliburton-Cheney-Iraq-PNAC Big Inbred Fuck and Loot Hoedown.

Still, we all know how this Administration loves the ManDate.

They’re crazy for it.

Can’t stop talking about it.

Hell, every time Cheney is caught mauling a puppy on the South Lawn he stops just long enough to grin his blood-smeared grin into the camera and says, “Last November, the American People gave us a mandate to blah blah blah…”.

Then he springs into action, and with his powerful hind legs leaps the 30 feet between him and the hapless reporter and, with a single deathblow taught to him by G. Gordon Liddy himself, he pulls the reporter’s still-beating heart from his chest.

Then bays at the moon.

Then resumes with the puppy.

Which he can do, ‘cause he’s got a mandate. A big, swingin’ mandate.

Later he'll send the reporter’s widow a ham: And no, not because of some mandate, but because that’s just the kind of thoughtful guy Dick Cheney is.

A mandate-toutin’, puppy-torturin’, reporter-evisceratin’, ham-condolence-sendin’ kinda guy.

(See, he’s got a complicated mandate…and no one understand him but his lady. )

But remember, no one crosses Cheney.

No one takes sides against the family in public with Cheney.

And no one -- but no one -- leaves Cheney, see? No one!

Which is why, if I were Japan, I’d maybe think about moving.

And changing my phone number.

And for God’s sake, if you know what’s good for you, hide your puppies.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Sunday Morning Comin’ Down…

Special Rummy Edition.

Watching Don Rumsfeld on the teevee this morning, I was reminded uncannily of the horrible 1998 remake of Godzilla.

Of a 100-foot-tall (Or 500. Or 1,000, depending on the needs of the script at that moment) rampaging through the granite canyons of New York, bulking so large that his tail opened up the sides of buildings like a prison shiv in a shower ambush, and its shoulders clipped off the corners of buildings.

And yet, as in a dream – a really, really crappily written dream – the massed firepower of the entire US military never laid a glove on it. Every missile mysteriously scooted between its legs and sidewound over its apartment-block-sized head. It shucked and jived (I prefer "jove") and toe-danced up and down the island on Manhattan and not a thing in the arsenal could touch it.

‘Cause it was cold blooded. Or something.

Same deal with Rummy, more or less.

I tried to watch the whole of his geek show road game this a.m. on the Punkin Haid program – watch him bite the heads off of questions and explain that “up” isn’t really up and “down” depends on how you measure it – but there wasn’t any sport in it.

In fact, it made me physically ill.

But it wasn’t that even Timmuh’s grumpy, Crayola questions (well, not questions so much as his reading quotes of off a sheet of paper and then saying ‘Well..?’) shot past the smirking SecDef; in fact, every one of them landed. It was much worse than that.

Rumsfeld might as well have recited every line from “As Day at the Races” backwards for all the sense he was making, and the monster’s glitter in his eyes let us all in on the joke.

Rummy obviously just doesn’t give a shit.

Didn’t give a rat’s ass about the questions or the answers.

In all of his Groucho Marx funny wordgaming, it is frighteningly clear that Rummy has finally found his perfect niche. He can fuck up and up and up and up and up forever and ever, but since the Little Man in the White House is more terrified of people figuring out what an utter coward and fool he is than anything else, Bush knows he dare not lose face.

Loss of face is the only Cardinal Sin in this Administration, and so no error can ever be admitted. In fact, errors must be celebrated.

Ineptitude must be feted.

Out-and-out blood libels (as Steve Gilliard so accurately phrased it) must be sanctimoniously defended to the hilt.

A deranged thug like Bolton must be confirmed to sensitive, diplomatic post.

Comically bad science must be embraced and touted.

The criminals that lost Iraq must each and every one be fitted out with shiny, new Medals of Freedom in festive ceremonies.

...and like DeNiro playing Capone in “The Untouchables”, Bush and Cheney and Rove forever circle the table, bats in hand, looking for signs of disloyalty.

Any perversion, any criminality, any outright Macbethian homicidal insanity can be marketed and spun away; that kind of whoring and political scut work is, after all, what Hume and Kristol and Brooks were bred for. But disloyalty – or, rather, loyalty to some truth or principle higher than Fealty to Dear Leader – that is the only capital crime.

And no stagnant swamp or dank, long abandoned locker room could possibly present a more hospitable environment than this White House for a fungus like Rummy to grow big and tall.

As he approaches the theoretical upper limit of fuckuppery, those who do not understand or simply don’t believe how the Bush Administration truly works look on in astonishment. How could this be?

But once you understand that a mean, feeble-minded little dry-drunk bully like Bush is – at a molecular level – simply incapable of admitting any error whatsoever, it makes perfect sense. His whole smirking Texas dumbass thing would evaporate like an ice sculpture in a forest fire if he ever had to face up to who and what he is, which is why the West Wing is kept fully stocked with ass-licking sycophants.

Bush never had and never will have the moral fiber or temperament to handle Power, which is why he has always been the perfect tool for stronger men. He is, at the end of the day, a weak fool who cannot summon the guts to even mildly rebuke douchebags like Rummy or Rove because to do so would be to admit that maybe, just maybe, they had done something wrong.

And Rummy knows it.

Like Dobson knows he holds Frist hostage to his craven political ambitions, Rummy knows that he has Bush strapped over a barrel, completely captive to the stupid man’s own dread of appearing incompetent.

So Sunday it was his same old smelly soft shoe, but now, when the stink of blood is so much thicker in the air, now when the Beast flashes his teeth, there is no mistaking it for the goofy smile of some Disney bear.

Now Rummy just jumps up on the desk, drops trou and starts smacking Timmuh in the face with his dick, shrieking, “C’mon Bitch! Whose your Big Russ now!” and doesn’t care in the slightest what anyone thinks because he knows that, based on the metrics used at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the more berserk he behaves, the more job security he has.

Poor Colin Powell: he never figured out how this game is played.

On 9/11, we were bequeathed a certain moral currency and global compassion that was the only good thing to come out of that evil day. And now that it has become crystal clear that the sacrifice of 3,000 Americans has been utterly debased, has really and truly been deliberately and cheaply pawned for mere political capital so that a drunken idiot could piss it away on his handler’s fever dreams...the Rummy act isn’t cutesy anymore.

It isn't clever.

It isn't smart.

It isn't witty.

It isn't arch.

It’s just fucking obscene.

This is what a factory floor looks like…

…when an Administration takes war fighting…


This from today’s NYT. Snipped down, but I commend the entire article to your attention as an example of what thorough and well-written journalism can look like.

June 26, 2005
Safer Vehicles for Soldiers: A Tale of Delays and Glitches

When Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld visited Iraq last year to tour the Abu Ghraib prison camp, military officials did not rely on a government-issued Humvee to transport him safely on the ground. Instead, they turned to Halliburton, the oil services contractor, which lent the Pentagon a rolling fortress of steel called the Rhino Runner.

State Department officials traveling in Iraq use armored vehicles that are built with V-shaped hulls to better deflect bullets and bombs. Members of Congress favor another model, called the M1117, which can endure 12-pound explosives and .50-caliber armor-piercing rounds.


Yet more than two years into the war, efforts by United States military units to obtain large numbers of these stronger vehicles for soldiers have faltered - even as the Pentagon's program to armor Humvees continues to be plagued by delays, an examination by The New York Times has found.

Among other setbacks, the M1117 lost its Pentagon money just before the invasion, and the manufacturer is now scrambling to fill rush orders from the military. ...

And the Rhino could not get through the Army's testing regime because its manufacturer declined to have one of its $250,000 vehicles blown up. ....

Nearly a decade ago, the Pentagon was warned by its own experts that superior vehicles would be needed to protect American troops. The Army's vehicle-program manager urged the Pentagon in 1996 to move beyond the Humvee, interviews and Army records show, saying it was built for the cold war. Its flat-bottom-chassis design is 25 years old, never intended for combat, and the added armor at best protects only the front end from the heftier insurgent bombs, military officials concede.


Marine Corps generals last week disclosed in a footnote to their remarks to Congress that two of their best-armored Humvees were destroyed, while a Marine spokeswoman in Iraq said five marines riding in one such Humvee were killed this month in a roadside bomb attack.

Still, thousands of Humvees in Iraq do not have this much protection.

The Defense Department continues to rely on just one small company in Ohio to armor Humvees. And the company, O'Gara-Hess & Eisenhardt, has waged an aggressive campaign to hold onto its exclusive deal even as soaring rush orders from Iraq have been plagued by delays. The Marine Corps, for example, is still awaiting the 498 armored Humvees it sought last fall, officials told The Times.

At roughly $700,000 each, the M1117 is considerably more expensive than the current $140,000 price for an armored Humvee.

"This decision is based upon budget priorities," Claude M. Bolton Jr., an assistant Army secretary, wrote to Congress in 2002. Existing vehicles, he added, can be used instead "without exposing our soldiers to an unacceptable level of risk."

Yet the military was reluctant to mass-produce the armored Humvee, with many in the Army agreeing that the vehicle made little tactical sense.

By the time the Iraq war started, the Army had been ordering only 360 armored Humvees a year.

"We never intended to up-armor all the Humvees," said Les Brownlee, who was the acting Army secretary from 2001 until late last year. "The Humvee is a carrier and derives its advantage from having cross-country mobility, and when you load it down with armor plating, you lose that."

But just months into the war in Iraq, it was lives the Pentagon was losing, and it reached for the quickest solution.

Labock Technologies, which makes the Rhino Runner in Israel, thought it had the best advertising ever. Besides posting photographs of Mr. Rumsfeld aboard the Rhino at Abu Ghraib, the company has pictures of a shackled Saddam Hussein going to court last summer, with the headline: "So safe. ... some V.I.P. won't ride anything else."

Well I guess nothing’s too good for Our Boys Overseas, as long as Our Boys Overseas work for Halliburton.

This is simply despicable, and its easy to get caught up in the numbers and the details of procurement and lose sight of the problem, which is this: the Republicans never took this war seriously.

They took the marketing seriously, because they are, after all, hucksters of the First Water. From the soles of their dainty cloven hooves, all the way up their just-tweaked-enough-for-a-Vietnam-deferment-but-not-too-tweaked-for-skiing backs to the tops of their spongy heads... shrill, shilling, Ponsi-scheming dirt-pushers are all that this Administration has ever been.

And as has been ably and amply reported elsewhere, the took the politically-insulating benefits of having a War President seriously. Djinning up a war with Iraq, as all but the most deeply Hume-d and Kristol-ed degenerates can now see, was a contemptible means to a series of craven ends, and not the end in itself.

And they took the Neocon Masturbatory Fantasy Outcome of the War seriously. Ripped to the tits on the Ouroborean narcotic effects of eating the lotuses that were growing out their own asses, the PNAC Daisy Chain saw a Brave New World of unfettered capitalism. One where they ruled the Earth by fiat and fancy. Where star chambers, unelected Directorates and contract-mercenary armies completely replaced courts, representative governments and a military that was answerable to civilian authority and was obedient to a legal chain-of-command. All paid for by oil revenues looted from conquered nations.

And what good luck that all of that yummy yummy Oil sits under a bunch of Muslims and ay-rabs! That made getting the Racists (GOP) and Segregationists (GOP) and the Fundies (GOP) to back their play ever so much easier.

Because despite what the Rove Machine spews out to its base, this isn’t WWII or WWI or the American Revolution: this is nothing less than a reprise of the Conquest of the West. Complete with dark skinned savages sitting on vast natural resources that our Robber Barons lust after...and a barely reworded version of Manifest Destiny, decked out in enough flashy fake Benevolent Christian Conqueror jewelry to keep your eyes bedazzled while your pockets are picked and atrocities are committed in your name.

But like all sleazy used car salesmen, the one thing they never, ever took seriously was the performance of the car itself.

They packed the pre-war rhetoric with enough straw and sawdust and hand-soap so that it stood up to a quick run around the block...if you were actually stupid enough not to bother to look too closely.

High on that sweeeet New Conquest Smell, 51% of the country wasn’t disposed to even so much as kick one rotting tire, or ask one pointed question about the warrantee, and signed over their kid’s college fund and the mortgage on their homes.

And 49% of this country was shouted down as traitors who Hate America when we tried to find out what that pool of blood was doing under the car, and where that that decomposing-flesh-stink in the trunk was coming from.

The one thing this Administration never gave a shit about was the fighting of this war.

If they did, instead of barnstorming the country trying to convince grandma to let him eviscerate Social Security, key players in the Administration would have spent the last year hitting every college and university that has a significant Young Republican presence and recruited the hell out of them.

If they did, instead of sullying the words of Franklin Roosevelt by letting cowards use them to pimp their lies and failures as Righteous Successes, they would have used the Roosevelt model to ask their wealthy Masters for sacrifices. Even small sacrifices.

Asking them to help pay for this war.

Asking them to become their “Dollar a Year” men.

Asking them the sell War Bonds instead of sinking the profits from their latest tax cut into the bond market.

But if they’re going to shield their incompetence behind History, well OK, lets take the vehicle shortage and see what would happen in War Fighters had been in charge of War Fighting, instead of glib liars.

Here are a few of the statistics on US Weapons Production from World War Two from 1942-1945 (the source I used is here.)

Heavy tanks --- 2,464
Medium tanks -- 55,560
Light tanks --- 26,003
Jeeps --- 631,873
Combat aircraft - 129,255
Support aircraft - 80,930

When we were serious about fighting a war, we could cut through to bullshit and produce enough aircraft to blot out the sun, and enough tanks and Jeeps to cover a county.

When we were serious.

Are the stats perfectly comparable?

Of course not, but they’re vastly more on-point than all of Cheney’s mendacious drivel about the Battle of the Bulge and Pacific Island Hopping.

Don’t even factor in the billions in oil that has been stolen from Iraq on our watch. Or the criminal war profiteering from the likes of Dick Cheney’s Halliburton that bleeds our treasury more every day. Take just the nine billion dollars that has been looted already.

Divide by the 700K price tag of a Rhino Runner.

That’s nearly 1,300 Rhinos we could have on the ground – today – if the planning and execution of this travesty had been anywhere near as focused and detailed as the sales pitch.

And in case you hadn’t noticed, Ford announced in 2002 it intended to lay off 22,000 workers in North America, and GM is getting rid of 25,000 employees world-wide.

So add up the factors:

- A troop carrier capable of keeping our brave men and women safe from what every expert said was the mostly likely source of danger they would face in Iraq.

- A vehicle manufacturing labor market that already has such substantial amount of excess capacity that it’s laying people off right and left.

- A government happily spending money it doesn’t have like an armada of drunken-sailors-at-light-speed on a war it should never have launched.

So why in Hell do soldiers scrounge for hillbilly armor while the Secretary of Defense rides in high style in Halliburton’s Heavily Armed Recreational Vehicle?

Because of a fact of life that most of us above the age of 16 have figured out, but still continues to mystify the GOP rank and file: because hand-jobbing hucksters don’t give a damn what happens to you once you drive their shitwagons off the lot.

Because there’s simply no profit in it.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

I fucked up and I apologize.

On tasteless line crossing.

I posted a shot at Jonah Goldberg that, on reflection, was tasteless and cheap and crossed the line.

I thought salting it with reference to prostitution as his chosen profession ("now we're just negotiating the price") would take the bile out of it, but it didn't, and I felt queasy about it the minute I finished.

That quease was my bullshit detector calling me on my own attempt to mask bad, mean writing with cleverness.

A reader called me on it and he or she was absolutely right to do so, so I took it down: not out of censorship, but because in exchange for getting to post damned near whatever I want here, I owe it to my own ideas of ethical behavior to back down when it turns out I'm wrong, and frankly I'd have no business calling anyone else out on their shit if I didn't take my medicine when I deserved it.

You all are very generous with your kind words and email, and I appreciate them greatly. In exchange I really do try to be as honest as possible, and as clear as possible when I think someone has crossed the line.

This time it was me.

And I apologize.

Saddam Hussein?

Or Powerline guest blogger "Bleating Eagle”?

This from the LA Times...

Hussein a Fan of Doritos, Reagan
From Reuters

June 21, 2005

NEW YORK — Saddam Hussein likes Doritos, washes his hands compulsively and thinks fondly of the late President Reagan, according to American soldiers who guarded him and tell their story in the July issue of GQ magazine.

The jailed former Iraqi leader described how Reagan, who was president during Iraq's 1980-88 war with Iran, sold him planes and helicopters. "Reagan and me, good," Hussein said, according to the article.

No date has been set for the trial of Hussein before an Iraqi tribunal on charges of crimes against humanity.

Hussein said he wanted to talk to the current president "to make peace with him," they said. "He knows I have nothing, no mass weapons. He knows he'll never find them," they quoted him as saying.

He told the soldiers he had never dealt with Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Hussein, whom the Iraqi government intends to try for mass killings, seemed convinced he would return to power, they also said.

"He still thinks he's the president," one soldier said. They said Hussein told them that "when this was all over," he wanted them to stay in his palace and see how beautiful Iraq was.

He would offer the guards advice on women, they said.

"He was like: 'You gotta find a good woman. Not too smart, not too dumb. Not too old, not too young. In the middle. One that can cook and clean. Then you thank her, and you go … ' And Hussein smiled and made the gesture of bending a woman over and spanking her, as if to say, 'This is how you keep her in line,' " one soldier said.

Let's see...

Loves Reagan for selling lunatics (well, him) weapons.

Loves Doritos.

Lives in a basement.

Expounds proudly on his charmingly abusive and Fundamentalist theories on how to keep any woman who is unlucky enough to hook up with him obedient.

Continues to harbor ideas about Iraq so completely detached from Reality that you just shake your head and wonder where he gets such powerful dope.

And cowers in a hole when the time comes to stand up and fight for his own cause. A cause he has cavalierly sent other people -- little people -- off to fight and die for.

Is it just me, or is he just one DSL connection away from profiling out -- to ten significant digits -- as every Right Wing blogger you’ve ever heard cheerleading for their war from the safety of Checkpoint Cheetohs?

Friday, June 24, 2005

Well, who’s holding your pickle then?

I don’t know...she’s out in the audience...
Hey Dale, would you like to come up here and hold
My pickle to satisfy this weird man out on the stage?


I’m only interested in two things, and that’s
Titties and beer.
You know what I mean?
Titties and beer
Titties and beer
Titties and beer…

(Zappa; or why God made Google :-)

And since Mr. Gilliard has the beer part covered…this via Yahoo News.

Ashcroft Gone, Justice Statues Disrobe

By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer1 hour, 29 minutes ago

With barely a word about it, workers at the Justice Department Friday removed the blue drapes that have famously covered two scantily clad statues for the past 3 1/2 years.

Spirit of Justice, with her one breast exposed and her arms raised, and the bare-chested male Majesty of Law basked in the late afternoon light of Justice's ceremonial Great Hall.

The drapes, installed in 2002 at a cost of $8,000, allowed then-Attorney General John Ashcroft to speak in the Great Hall without fear of a breast showing up behind him in television or newspaper pictures. They also provoked jokes about and criticism of the deeply religious Ashcroft.

The 12-foot, 6-inch aluminum statues were installed shortly after the building opened in the 1930s.

With a change in leadership at Justice, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales faced the question: Would they stay or would they go?

He regularly deflected the question, saying he had weightier issues before him.

Paul R. Corts, the assistant attorney general for administration, recommended the drapes be removed and Gonzales signed off on it, spokesman Kevin Madden said, while refusing to allow The Associated Press to photograph the statues Friday.

Jeez. Well, I guess even photographing nekkid classical art is for some unfathomable reason still as plainly UnAmerican as, say, photographing the flag-draped coffins of servicemen being brought home to their final, honorable rest.

The Statue, remember, has been trussed up in her wingnut winding cloth since before The Wahabi Dominionist made war against her children, the Judges.

Since before Rove turned the Swift Boat liars loose to slaughter Democracy.

Before Gay Marriage was used as a IED by Rove to bump the Bush Crime Syndicate back into the White House.

Since before a certain bashful Arch Republican Talon News Gaybashing Action Dude and Gay Manwhore was discovered fellating GOP nancies by night and shotgunning their jizz into Scotty McClellans lying pie-hole by day.

Before we took it as something to brag about that our torture techniques are not quite as odious as those of the Nazis.

Before Bush decided to try to eviscerate Social Security and then lie about it.

Before Downing Street was something more than where the newest Bush Tickle-Me-Tony Doll makes his home.

Before the Mission was Accomplished.

Before the "Nuculer 'Disassembling'" Dance Crazy swept the nation. Well, not our nation...

Before we saw that Chickenhawks could fly…or at least pretend to land a fighter on an aircraft carrier during the height of Operation Enduring Photo-op.

Before Bushes Lies cost us a hundred of our children who had the bad luck to be honorably serving their country when a cabal of Amoral Lying Warmongers took power.

Before is cost us 200.

Before 300.

And 400.

And 500.













All apparently at the hands of a few regime dead-enders, who are in the longest fucking “last throes” since Shatner played Hamlet.

Since before Conservatives decided that quadriplegic-sewer-rat-low wasn’t belly-scrapping low enough and announced that Liberals want our soldiers to die.

Since before the Neocons who backed and banked and cashed their electoral checks on this war showed themselves to be the rancid, drooling, AWOL cowards that we always knew they and their parents really were. When they ran like cheese-eating surrender monkeys when it came time to put their skin and blood where their silver spoons had been and actually go and fight their precious war...

So fresh from her release from her Fundy Burka, I just had to know what the Spirit of Justice thought about her long hiatus from our benighted land.

“To start with,” I began, “What do you think of the replacement of a stone crazy Christopath like Ashcroft with Torture Trailblazing Munchkin, Abu Gonzalez?”

She did a long, pilates stretch, and couple of toe touches, gave me long, hungry look -– you know the one – arched an eyebrow, and in the huskiest, sexiest, Billie Holliday-est voice you’ll ever hear she said:

“… I got me three beers and a fistful of downs
And I’m gonna get ripped, so fuck you clowns!”

And then she told Mr. Candyass Majesty of Law to go jerk a jackrabbit, slung me onto her mighty Justice Chopper and we split for a 4 a.m. biker bar I know in the Heights where the hot chicks go to dance with gangsters, and the jukebox plays nothing but Elvis in Spanish.

And this reporter cannot reliably report on a damned thing that happened after that.

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane!

No it’s…Georgi Zhukov?

Perhaps the Red Army will save us.

From the Chicago Tribune:

12 deadly hours jolt Iraqi capital
Coordinated attacks with car bombs kill dozens, hurt over 100

By Aamer Madhani, Tribune staff reporter. Zaid Sabah contributed to this report

June 24, 2005

BAGHDAD -- Four deadly booms echoed throughout the Iraqi capital Thursday morning, capping a 12-hour period in which car bombings killed 40 people and left more than 100 wounded in the Baghdad area.

Since Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari announced his government eight weeks ago, more than 1,200 people have been killed in attacks in Iraq. Nearly half of those killed in that time--580-- have died in car bomb attacks, according to an Associated Press tally.

Possible contradiction

Several hours after the attacks Thursday, Gen. John Abizaid, commander of multinational forces in Iraq, told a Senate committee in Washington that he believed the insurgency was not waning, a view that may have contradicted Vice President Dick Cheney's assertion that the insurgency is "in its last throes."

But in an interview with CNN on Thursday, Cheney defended his "last throes" claim, comparing the recent violence in Iraq to the final months of World War II, when the Battle of the Bulge preceded the collapse of Nazi Germany and the bitter fighting on Okinawa took place before Japan's surrender.

"The most difficult battles, both in Europe and in the Pacific, occurred just a few months before the end," Cheney said. "I see this as a similar situation, where they're going to go all-out. They'll do everything they can to disrupt that process, but I think we're strong enough to defeat them."

The bombings Thursday in the Shiite Karada district killed at least 17 people and wounded 68, according to Iraqi estimates. The blasts came less than half a day after a series of deadly explosions late Wednesday left 23 dead and at least 48 wounded, most of them in another predominantly Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad.

In all, four car bombs detonated within a 10-minute span along the commercial street that runs through Karada, according to the Iraq Defense Ministry. The first two car bombs exploded near two Shiite mosques, which both sustained extensive damage. Those blasts were followed by a suicide attacker detonating a car bomb near police officers stopped close to a gas station and another suicide car bomber targeting police officers on patrol near a clothing bazaar, according to the Defense Ministry.

Since Dick Cheney is an educated man, a reasonably learned man (“That’s luuurnd, son,” sez Homer J.), I think we can assume that he is not – as are so very, very many of the Cowardly Preening Young GOP Veal Cutlets -- simply abysmally ignorant of world history generally, 20th Century history specifically, and WWII military history very specifically.

I mean, as the Neocon Grand Vizier who actually runs the government as sure as Woodrow Wilson’s wife did after her husband had his stroke, you’d think if he was unclear about who fought who and how and under what colors, he could at the very least blow in a call to Colin Powell who, rumor has it, has some sort of background in the military.

So Cheney isn’t Ignorant, which, Watson, by a process we call Deductive Reasoning, leaves us with one and only one explanation: he’s a Fucking Liar, which doesn’t exactly bowl over anyone against whose soul the GOP doesn’t hold a lien. Cheney lies like my cats breath – loudly, constantly and often while unselfconsciously cleaning their asses in public -- and occasionally he hairballs up a particularly greasy, malodorous piece of agitprop.

Like this one.

He’s not Ignorant, but he clearly depends on other’s being so massively uninformed about the A-B-C’s of Life, The Universe and Everything that whatever he harks up on the carpet will be -- with reverent, white-gloved hands -- daintily scooped up and scuttled away to the GOP Reliquary, to be studied and worshiped as Holy Writ and lay in silk-lined glass cases next to the Bones of Joe McCarthy and a few WIN buttons left over from the Ford Years.

Although it is instructive to note in passing that when pressed on his obviously ridiculous and lying statements, Cheney falls back on WWII metaphors, as if we’re still fighting that kind of war.

As if the delusion that we are fighting that kind of war wasn’t a prime example of exactly the kind of retrograde, ideological “thinking” that continues to fuck us over so tragically in Iraq, and at home.

So here, for the benefit of those poor little Moneyed Children that have been so cruelly Left Behind -- the Rich Retards of the Right who were socially promoted right on past Citizenship, Biology and History 101 and are forced to live out their sad, ignorant lives, barely eking out a subsistence living from the interest on their trust funds, their internships at the Heritage Foundation, their Daddy’s Magic Rolodex and, eventually whatever they can make as President of the United States -- is a quick History for Dummies:

1. In Japan and Germany, see, we were not fighting insurgents. We were fighting to get to the heart of Enemy territory. Once Berlin fell, Germany had fallen. In Iraq we are already in “Berlin.” It took us about 11 minutes to get there. It’s called Baghdad, and two years after taking it, we are in VASTLY poorer shape that we were when Bush announced “Mission Accomplished.”

2. Hussein wasn’t Hitler. For all of the Republican Shock and Outrage about comparisons between Nazi torture and Good, Old American Torture, they are – as always – the very worst offenders, against the rules of rhetorical engagement that they constantly prattle about every else breaking, although in this particular case, for different reasons. The Hitlerization of Hussein began under Poppy Bush and continues right up to this day. Hussein was an evil man, but the Hitler analogy leads the feeble-minded and the ideologically-blinkered (that President Feeb and Vice President Dogma to us mere, fallible mortals) to think they can make war against The Bad Man and once The Bad Man and his House Of Cards (Hey, kids! Remember THAT brilliant idea?) are decapitated, the whole country will fall lightly and naturally into the shape of an America-friendly Democracy.

For those keeping score, “Hitler” was found in a spider hole and has been under arrest for almost exactly a year and a half now…so how’s that workin’ out for ya?

3. Is there a million-man, battle-hardened Red Army is poised along the Turkish and Syrian borders that we don't know about? One ready to sweep into Iraq from the other side and make this a Two Front War – a two front war with traditional, set-piece battles featuring pitched, tank-to-tank and hand-to-hand battles, retreats, retrenching and all of the other hallmarks of the more quaint, mid-20th Century nation-state-vs-nation-state battles? Because if Marshall Zhukof isn’t within sight of Mosul, and leading his hordes of vengeance-starved Soviets, all this talk of Berlin is as “disassembling” as comparing it the wind-and-sail-era victory of Horatio Nelson at the Battle of the Nile.

4. Lastly, we did not beat Japan by island-hopping.

We did not beat Japan taking on an insurgent army in its own country after Tokyo had fallen and the emperor was is prison.

We also, for the record, did not beat Japan by cutting the taxes of American billionaires.

We did not beat Japan by telling the Children of Privilege that they are too Bell Curve Beautiful to sully their pink little paws fighting an Entirely Optional War that they rooted for from Day One, which was djinned up and started by their Daddies. By projecting with every word and deed that it is beneath the sire of the rich to go and actually fight the war they begged for; that that’s a job for the grubby WalWart underclasses who were stupid enough to actually join the Army.

We beat Japan by dropping two nuclear warheads on their country, causing their fully-intact government to sue for peace, although they did get to keep their Emperor.

So unless Cheney is planning to reconstitute the Hussein government and force it to fight a set-piece, mid-20th century battle to the death to defend Baghdad and Hussein…and them call up Putin and beg him to open up a second front…and then drop a nuke or two on Falluja and Karkuk, he is talking entirely out of his ass and hoping that the Cheney Youth are actually stupid enough to swallow this bilge whole.

And based on the degrees of blank idiocy on display thus far by the illiterate Republican lemurs who still loudly play the “Dear Leader Mission Accomplished” anthem on campuses across the land (and then cowering behind the bandstand when the Recruiter Man walks by) I’d say Cheney has no reason to be discouraged.

Here ends the lesson.

And for you GOP Youngsters playing along at home, all of this Dubious and Dangerous Knowledge is available in your average high-school History textbook.

Maybe you should try reading one.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

I guess if we just don’t go quite as far as this guy...

..then it’s all pussy and Pringles and Pabst Blue Ribbon with the GOP!

I mean if we’re only doing shit like this (all graphics from this Josef Mengele site)…

High-Altitude Experiments
to investigate the limits of human endurance and existence at extremely high altitudes. The victims were placed in the low-pressure chamber and thereafter the simulated altitude therein was raised. Many victims died as a result of these experiments and others suffered grave injury, torture, and ill-treatment.
Or this…

Freezing Experiments
to investigate the most effective means of treating persons who had been severely chilled or frozen. The victims were forced to remain in a tank of ice water for up to 3 hours. Extreme rigor developed in a short time. Numerous victims died in the course of these experiments. After the survivors were severely chilled, rewarming was attempted by various means. In another series of experiments, the victims were kept naked outdoors for many hours at temperatures below freezing. The victims screamed with pain as their bodies froze.

Then we’re not REALLY Nazi’s, right?

OK, then what are we?

And how deep into the moral Abyss do we have to plunge before someone on the Right will say, “This is wrong and this must stop.”?

Jesus, but it all unfolds like a bad, old play, doesn’t it? One where half us know the lines almost by heart and watch in dread as the curtain rises on one act bloodier and more shameful that the last. And we shout our throats raw in warning as it just gets worse and worse and worse.

And the other half of the crowd bewilderingly ignores the fact that they have been 100% wrong about every single plot twist up until now, but still insist that we STFU and sit down, because we don’t know what we’re talking about.

What am I talking about?

Well, hot on the heels of Dick Durbin’s puss-out over comments he never, in fact, made, about the fact that one may have troubling distinguishing certain behavior by US personnel as reported by the FBI from the behavior of Nazis, the irreplaceable Crooks and Liar brings us the story of the U.S. using medical personnel to make it's torture of prisoners more effective.

From the Toronto Star. (Yes, the one in CANADA.)

U.S. doctors linked to POW `torture'
Guantanamo medical records misused
Basis of interrogators' strategy: Report


Medical records compiled by doctors caring for prisoners at the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay are being tapped to design more effective interrogation techniques, says an explosive new report.

Doctors, nurses and medics caring for the approximately 600 prisoners at the U.S. naval base in Cuba are required to provide health information to military and CIA interrogators, according to the report in the respected New England Journal of Medicine.

"Since late 2003, psychiatrists and psychologists (at Guantanamo) have been part of a strategy that employs extreme stress, combined with behaviour-shaping rewards, to extract actionable intelligence from resistant captives," it states.

Such tactics are considered torture by many authorities, the authors note.

Medical personnel belonging to the U.S. military's Southern Command have also been told to volunteer to interrogators information they believe may be valuable, the report adds.

The report was published ahead of schedule last night on the journal's website "because of current public interest in this topic," the journal says.

The report's authors — Dr. Gregg Bloche, a physician who is also a law professor at Georgetown University in Washington, and Jonathan Marks, a London lawyer who is currently a fellow in bioethics at Georgetown's law centre — say that while Guantanamo veterans are ordered not to discuss what goes on there, making it difficult to know how, exactly, military intelligence personnel have used medical information for interrogation, they've been able to assemble part of the picture.

They suggest that interrogators at the camp, set up in 2001 to detain prisoners captured in Afghanistan and later Iraq, have had access to prisoners' medical records since early 2003.

That contradicts Pentagon statements that there is a separation between intelligence-gathering and patient care.

William Winkenwerder, U.S. assistant secretary of defence for health affairs, said in a memo made public in May that Guantanamo prisoners' medical records are considered private — as are American citizens'.

However, "this claim, our inquiry has determined, is sharply at odds with orders given to military medical personnel and with actual practice at Guantanamo," the authors write.

"The American government needs to accept its responsibility to expose what is actually happening and show the world they are following standards that are acceptable in terms of international law," he said.

According to the authors, a previously unreported U.S. Southern Command policy statement dated Aug. 6, 2002, instructs health-care providers that communications from "enemy persons under U.S. control" at Guantanamo "are not confidential and are not subject to the assertion of privileges" by detainees.

"The global political fallout from such abuse may pose more of a threat to U.S. security than any secrets still closely held by shackled internees at Guantanamo Bay," they add.

The New England Journal of Medicine is the second respected journal to criticize U.S. interrogation techniques.

The British medical journal The Lancet reported in August, 2004, that U.S. military doctors violated medical ethics as part of the interrogation regime at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.

"Not only were (they) aware of human rights abuses, they were actually complicit in them," University of Minnesota professor Steven Miles, who wrote the report, told the Toronto Star's Sandro Contenta. A Lancet editorial urged health-care workers to "now break their silence."

Dear Moderate Republican Quislings:

Of COURSE it came to this.

How could it not?

A frightened nation?

A dry-drunk, half-wit President Hindenberg, run like a Predator Drone by a cabal of amoral Neocon thugs stoned out of their minds on opium dreams of Empire?

A cowardly and deeply complicit press?

A Perfect Villain sitting on an Ocean of Oil?

A piggy bank that can be looted by Dick Cheney’s Rolodex Army for the next 50 years. Nine billion in cash that has already been looted outright; god knows how much oil already plundered?

How many millions upon million to mercs and “contractors” and private security firms, who obey no law and recognize no authority but their paymasters?

With the Regular Army dutifully marched in as cannon-fodder?

So who was left but The Left to warn the public that they were not only witnessing the Biggest Heist in the history of the Universe, but acting as wheel men for the a gang of plunderers on a scale that would make a Viking blush, and a would make Genghis Khan tip his hat and say, “Your Kung Fu is strongest.”

And as the infallable Drgustore Cowboy Rush Limbaugh has been drumming into yous monkey skulls for years, the Left can't be no one but Otis the Drunk was left to guard out blood, treasure and national interests.

And as all of us movie and crime novel and magic fans know, how do you conduct the Big Job?

By misdirection, baby!

By keeping the marks distracted enough to not notice that you’re stealing the flesh from their bones, and then keeping them embarrassed enough to go to their graves (and take a lot of us with them) before they’d every admit they’d been took.

What, did you think a little thing like being caught Red Fucking Handed was going to shame these wretched Magwitches into stopping?

Did you think that a little thing like being utterly, totally, omnidirectionally and pandimensionally wrong about Every Fucking Thing would ever guilt the Wahabi Christian Party into changing course?

Haven’t you been keeping up with the assigned reading, little man?

Christopaths don’t “do” guilt. They don’t “do” shame. And they sure as shit don’t “do” “I’m sorry, I was wrong.”

They’re going All The Way with this one – they took us to war over this one – and it's Paradise or Bust for these madmen –- these madmen that you RE-ELECTED when the evidence of their insanity and their crimes were as thick around you as flies on a dead man.

And when you go All In with the Devil as your stakehorse, you don’t let trivia like torture and murder and treason and lying to the American public about matters of life and death prevent you from Passing Go.

So of course it came to this: How could it not, so can you hear us NOW??

This is not “a few bad apples.” This is not an isolated incident. This cannot be explained away by blaming it on a few, untrained sadists and mental underperformers turned loose without adult supervision, so quit scapegoating the G.I’s you fucking bellycrawlers.

This is using trained US Army medical personnel to make sure that the torture being conducted under the auspices of the United State Government is as effective as possible.

This is fucking p-o-l-i-c-y and if you don’t denouncing this – denounce it for REAL and demand that people at the highest level of the US Government be held to account – if you plan on defending this atrocity, or by your deafening silence in print or on the radio or on television you plan to give your usual give your coward’s quiet assent, then as a Belated Father’s Day gesture, go now and sincerely apologize to your old man for ever bringing you into this world.

Because you have now officially become the very thing that your fathers and grandfathers went to war and gave their lives to protect their country against.