Sunday, July 31, 2005

Not (necessarilly) Current Events, Mostly at least . . .

Just a little on the National if not International scourge of existence:


Ya, they MIGHT not be as maddening to deal with as Borderline Psychotics (I don't don't care what the experts say, BPDers can be Contagious, as they are so deranged that they can be Contagious.)

But Narcissists, are bad enough.

Oh, and there are Many Many more of them, than Borderline Psychotics.

Anyway, here is the copy/paste.

The narcissist is unable to evoke his positive feelings without provoking his negative ones. Gradually, he becomes phobic: afraid to feel anything, lest it be accompanied by the fearsome, guilt inducing, anxiety provoking, out of control emotional complements. He is thus reduced to experiencing dull stirrings, dim movements in his soul, that he identifies to himself and to others as emotions. Even these are felt only in the presence of a subject capable of providing the narcissist with his badly needed Narcissistic Supply. Only when the narcissist is in the overvaluation phase of his relationships, does he go through these convulsions and convolutions that he calls "feelings". These are so transient and fake in nature that they are easily replaced by rage, envy and devaluation. The narcissist really recreates the behaviour patterns of his less than ideal Primary Objects.

That is enough for here (and to slip in under reasonable Copyright Fair Use limits.)

Read the rest if you want:

It might be worth your time, even if you don't have any narcissists in your life now. You never know when you will need the info!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Question for the Day . . .

(yes I missed a day, even if my tech problems are cured)

But I am going to do a weekend quickie, as soon as one comes to mind.

Here goes:

Which is the Higer Value?

Loyalty, or Consistency of Character, in thought and deed?

(My answer is the latter. No suprise there!)

Loyalty to the wrong people can land you in Jail or Worse.

However, Consistency of Character might loose you friends that you might want to keep. But as Shakespeare once said, through Polonius, In the play Hamlet:

"To thine own self be true."

Seems to be as sensible a sentiment now, as it was when first spoken in the stage 400 years ago.

Oh, and I am NOT going to say Karl Rove MUST be fired. Not today, at least.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Down With The Fear Pimps (I doubt I am the First to think it.)

Back from my unintended hiatus (lost my land line, and I have DSL; no phone line, no net.)

And I did not do what I could or should have done (meaning, draft something unique for here.) So instead I will copy over something that is my own original work, but something I first published elsewhere.

It did not have a working title, as it was not an "essay" to begin with, but was a reply to someone. Anyway, for
our current purposes, we can call this one,

Down With The Fear Pimps.

I have made a few edits, mostly of the syntax sort.

I am looking at -- and you can call it either "emotionally-fueled" politics, or "Gut Level" politics. Whatever term you prefer, it doesn't really matter. Now generally I do not really trust politicans to start (I don't PERSONALLY trust the individual people on my team that much either, I should say.) However there is a kind of politican I distrust MORE and they are those who use emotional rhetoric, or appeal to gut feelings of the voters to get and continue their access to the Levers of Power.

I know that a lot of voters like that kind of pol. I hate them. To me, someone shouting emotional rhetoric about fear and vengance is just a veneer for the kind of politican with all the morality and decency of Leatherface from the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (without a visible saw.) That kind of thing doesn't impress me.

I believe politics should be like revenge; a dish best served cold. Correction: to be more exactingly specific, POLICYMAKING should be done with cold heart and sober mind, particularly when it involves putting Americans (and even others) under the gun, and in the line of fire. Give me the Wonk over the Firebrand, anyday. I rather listen to someone with a real plan, rather than some slogan like "We fighting over there, so we don't have to fight here," or "Do it to them before they do it to us," bla bla, yadda, yadda.

I was sucking fumes from the collapse of the WTC for weeks after the event. Maybe that (not all by itself, as I have been of similar mind for some time) is why, particularly in the post 9/11 world I am super sensitive to anyone who tries to play on my emotions regarding that, and the War on Terror, and at this point almost all politics of the day. Whenever I see a Politician try to jerk my emotional chain about all that Security, and War on Terror crap, I just view them with the same contempt I would for someone who is trying to turn me into a jail house biotch.

Over my dead body.

Granted a brain rape is not the same as a body rape by a whole lot, but still, I see that sort of political exploitation of emotions as at least at mimimum a seriously callous and jaded manipulation, and at its worst, it is a brain rape.

One last thought about living in the Post 9/11 world. I think there are some people who were rather impressed by emotional rhetoric before, who are more so now; and I think there are people who were not all that impressed by emotional rhetoric before, but now are more so. And there are people like me, who were VERY cynical before 9/11, and went through that emotional heartbreak, but instead of emerging from that event more fearful and more "impressed" with emotional rhetoric, I am even MORE cynical and more distrusting.

And I am about to make a backhanded compliment to the GOP. In recent years they have shown themselves to be way better at jerking people emotionally and or successfully yanking on folk's "gut" chains. But me? Some one tries that on me and I am going fight back, and totally distrust them. That is how I am wired.

Particulary where issuse of life and death and security are concerend, I say save all the rah rah emotional excesses for the World Series and the Superbowl, instead. If this is really war, I want facts, I want stats, I want projections based on the facts and the statistical evidence, not "best case scenarios." I want tried and true tactics both politically and on the battlefield, and I don't want any bullshitting (except where bullshitting serves the end of passing on bad data to the other guy.) I want my leaders to do those things that are Rationally Related to increasing security, but I don't want my leaders to be Fear Pimps.

I don't want to feel that our national leaders are "playing on my emotions." And I am not going to give slack to any pol for bad choices in policy just because we are at war. Sorry, I don't reward people for being stupid and doing the job badly, generally. Show me how good a job you can do (I mean the politicians) because I am NOT going to ACCEPT any EXCUSES! We are at WAR (so do certain pols and their apologists like to say over and over.) As a SOBER reality, that means there is LESS room for fucking up, not more!!!

Now can someone PLEASE turn on the DO NOT FUCK UP sign, over Washingon D.C., and Lock that switch down in the ON position, please?

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Stay tuned for my next bellyache~

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Satan's Own FLUFFER

(And If you don't know what a fluffer is, Google it!)

But naturally I am going to heap some deserved scorn on that Skank-a-slore Ann Couter.

I guess I have been remiss in doing that here so far, but I number her among the people on the (LUNATIC) Right, who are not only WRONG, but bad for the chances of the Species having a chance at redemption.

Anyway, I am not even going to spank her as hard as I could (hey, with her evil bony ass, I'd only hurt myself!) But instead, I will give you the END of another internet commentator's scree.

I don't think this is actually PRAISE (just in case I have anyone looking here who truly has trouble with subtle irony and tongue-in-cheek sarcasm. Ann Coulter's fans are not known for more than the most VAPID level of understanding, afterall~~~)

And finally the second most successful slant on truth used by Coulter here is her assessment that the Democratic Party was more or less run by a radical anti-American Communist regime since McCarthy's public demise. This scoffs in the face of horrific mistakes made by Democratic administrations, not the least of which would be the Korean and Viet Nam Wars, instigated, by the way, by Democratic presidents, or the Bay of Pigs disaster, or blah, blah blah.
Coulter is silly, surely, but I, for one, salute her moxy, her guts, her complete disregard for clear thought and simple research to bolster her debate. She is a hero to our trade, and a great patriot, pointing us to the core of our being; not letting facts get in the way of making a buck.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Bonus Extra. More on Brooks.

Refresher course. When I last mentioned Mr. Brooks, I said he should be Scotty Boy's replacement as the WH Press Secretary.

His Ode to Judge Roberts?

(Ain't the Times supposed to be run by and for evil LIBERALS?)

Op-Ed Columnist
A Competent Conservative
E-Mail This

Published: July 21, 2005
Roberts nomination, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee with the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach. I love thee freely, as men strive for right. I love thee because this is the way government is supposed to work. President Bush consulted widely, moved beyond the tokenism of identity politics and selected a nominee based on substance, brains, careful judgment and good character.
Skip to next paragraph

More Columns by David Brooks

Forum: David Brooks's Columns

I love thee because John G. Roberts is the face of today's governing conservatism.


Even viewed as bad parodoy,
Gag me!

I Usually Don't Buy Conspiracy Sounding Theories, But . . .

As by operation of Occam's Razor, it is more likely that incompetence or Neglect causes the World's Ills, more than a cabal of conspiring evildoers.

Anyway, I found the following site:

Where they have a list of "open" questions. Most are fairly ordinary, save this one:

(TO) Governor Jeb Bushposted May 2, 2004
1. Why was the Florida National Guard called up in the state of Florida on September 7th, 2001 in order to help handle “civil disturbance” and “acts of terrorism”?

And apparently the Ex. Order did go out on that day:

Section 3.
The Florida National Guard may order selected members on to state active duty for service to the State of Florida pursuant to Section 250.06(4), Florida Statutes, to assist FDLE in performing port security training and inspections. Based on the potential massive damage to life and property that may result from an act of terrorism at a Florida port, the necessity to protect life and property from such acts of terrorism, and inhibiting the smuggling of illegal drugs into the State of Florida, the use of the Florida National Guard to support FDLE in accomplishing port security training and inspections is "extraordinary support to law enforcement" as used in Section 250.06(4), Florida Statutes.
Section 4.
The Adjutant General shall not place members of the Florida National Guard into active service for longer than necessary to accomplish the purposes declared herein.
Section 5.
This Executive Order supersedes Executive Order Number 01-17. Executive Order Number 01-17 is hereby revoked.
Section 6.
This Executive Order shall remain in full force and effect until the earlier of its revocation or June 30, 2003.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and have caused the Great Seal of the State of Florida to be affixed at Tallahassee, the Capitol, this 7th day of September 2001.

Ok I am NOT going to say that this means the WORST of possible inferences . . . . but I think it might mean that Dubaya was sharing his Intel with Brother Jeb.

If that is the case, it does seem that Brother Jeb is the smarter brother (not that there is any doubt!) He at least took the intel SERIOUSLY!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Grow Up! Get Real! Stop The Lies! Original Intent is a SHAM!

I am sure that Bush's pick for the SC vacancy is getting the usual treatment all over the place. Instead of harping on that choice (who I find to be at least a little bit scary), I will pick on the "Theory." Yes, Dear Romans, I am not here to Praise "Originalism" but I wish I bury it in a very deep pit.

There is a good definition and discussion over on Wikipedia:

I am skipping the major copy/paste here, as the html from that page tends to warp this page, when I block quote. In any event, the actual theory Only dates back to the 1980's (according to a source in that article, and that is likely verified all over the place.)

But if you listen to those folk who subscribe to the theory, you would be led to believe that it is the fiat of the Framers of the Constitution, themselves.

That, dear friends, is the bullshit factor. Original Intent is just a veneer for Conservative Judicial Activism. Plain and Simple. But don't take my word for it. Instead, take the word of that Leading Proponent of the theory, Robert Bork:

"If you become convinced that a prior court has misread the Constitution I think it's your duty to go back and correct it. … I don't think precedent is all that important." - Judge Robert Bork, (Source)

(quote is from the Wikipedia article, linked above.)

Original Intent, My ASS!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

A Worthy and Admirable Woman. Introducing Peg.

Nope. I still have not found the "Holy Grail" answer to my perplexing and sticky question:

"Where is the Bright Line Between Passionate Belief, and Plain Old Fashioned Bigotry?"

But I have found an interesting thing on the ivillage site (imagine that) about dealing with bigots, penned by the seemingly bright and fully decent Peggy Post, who writes a column for Good Housekeeping.,,405246_540866,00.html

Skipping the copy paste, I will explain that the title of the Article is "Dealing with a Bigot."

The set up, describes a social situation where the known bigot blabs some of his bigoted bile, and that is followed by some readers choices for a response to Mr Bigot.

Myself? I chose "Explain that his views are not the same as yours. You'd appreciate it if he kept his opinions to himself," over the other options, which were avoid (the bastard) or nod (and not confront the bastard.)

I was pleased to see Peg and I agreed on setting the bastard straight.

Maybe I should get a subscription to Good Housekeeping?

More to follow, I imagine.

Theme of the Day is Bigotry

This concept has been on my mind for the past several days, particularly ( not that I just all of a sudden started thinking about such thing.) Anyway, without going to far into my thoughts on the matter, let me move on to the definition:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

A bigot is a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from their own.

Bigot is often used as
pejorative term against a person who is obstinately devoted to their prejudices even when these prejudices are challenged, often engaging these prejudices in a rude and intolerant manner. Forms of bigotry may have a related ideology, like racism, religion, and nationalism.

Bigotry is not "intolerance," but "unreasonable intolerance". For example, some Jews may be intolerant of Nazi Anti-Semitism; that doesn't necessarily make them anti-Nazi bigots.

A bigot will continue to hold these opinions even when confronted with evidence that challenges such stereotypes. To protect his views, he may either dismiss the challenges he encounters as an aberration to the norm and ignore the fact that they threaten to undercut his prejudices. On a more extreme level, he may deny the evidence altogether. Both reactions can be classified as forms of cognitive

Now that is better than the quick definition, but I am wondering now, where exactly is the line between passionate belief and plain old fashioned bigotry? Is there an objective standard or not?

More to follow . . . . maybe not today, but I will not drop the matter.

Monday, July 18, 2005

A Reminder of What Happens When the Wild-Eyed, Bloodthirsty Fanatics Take Over . . .

Let's skip current (2005) events and go back in time to 1994.

To explain, tonight's movie is Hotel Ruwanda.

Timeless lessons of fanaticism, and the horrors that ordinary people, drunk on the Wrong Ideology, are capable of committing.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Out Of Context, But Still Interesting . . .

Bits and pieces, from Frank Rich's Op Ed in the NYT, today, titled:

Follow the Uranium

"WELL, of course, Karl Rove did it. He may not have violated the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, with its high threshold of criminality for outing a covert agent, but there's no doubt he trashed Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame."

"But no one knows what this e-mail means unless it's set against the avalanche of other evidence, most of it secret, including what Mr. Rove said in three appearances before the grand jury. Therein lies the rub, or at least whatever case might be made for perjury."

"What's most likely is that Mr. Novak, more of a common coward than the prince of darkness he fashions himself to be, found a way to spill some beans and avoid Judy Miller's fate."

"Hence, last week's erection of the stonewall manned by the almost poignantly clownish Mr. McClellan, who abruptly rendered inoperative his previous statements that any suspicions about Mr. Rove are "totally ridiculous." "

"Mr. Wilson, his mission to Niger to check out Saddam's supposed attempts to secure uranium that might be used in nuclear weapons and even his wife's outing have as much to do with the real story here as Janet Leigh's theft of office cash has to do with the mayhem that ensues at the Bates Motel in "Psycho." "

"The real culprit - the big enchilada, to borrow a 1973 John Ehrlichman phrase from the Nixon tapes - is not Mr. Rove but the gang that sent American sons and daughters to war on trumped-up grounds and in so doing diverted finite resources, human and otherwise, from fighting the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11."

"Once we were locked into the war, and no W.M.D.'s could be found, the original plot line was dropped with an alacrity that recalled the "Never mind!" with which Gilda Radner's Emily Litella used to end her misinformed Weekend Update commentaries on "Saturday Night Live." "

"But the administration knows how guilty it is. That's why it has so quickly trashed any insider who contradicts its story line about how we got to Iraq, starting with the former Treasury secretary Paul O'Neill and the former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke."

"Seasoned audiences of presidential scandal know that there's only one certainty ahead: the timing of a Karl Rove resignation. As always in this genre, the knight takes the fall at exactly that moment when it's essential to protect the king."

{begin orignal content}

Ok. Now it's time for my predictions.

Rove (one way or another) is Going Down! As a person more familiar with Title 18 U.S.C. than most of the pundits, I, for years, have been telling people the following: "Just hope and pray that you NEVER get inside the target scope of a Federal Prosecutor . . . Particularly if you have Anything to hide." And KR must have something to hide, here. Firstly, the spin here is not only patently-obvious bullshit, but it ain't even semi-solid bullshit. It is that runny nasty sort of bullshit that gets all over the place. That is Dangerous Bullshit. It is dangerous to the bull who made the mess, as it is so drippy and nasty and all over the place, that the bull is likely to slip and fall on it (in it) while trying to get away from the mess he just made.

(Hmm, that makes for an interesting picture in my mind of exactly how Rove is Going Down. But I digress . . .)

Anyway, can anyone who is Not a Republi-Con collaborator actually believe that KR went before a Federal Grand Jury, and did not commit perjury? And (sometimes being a lawyer is too cool) this is the good one. This is the one I am willing to bet a dollar on, as I do understand the legal elements of "conspiracy" and "obstruction" and "witness tampering" and "witness intimidation." I find it hard to believe that Rove did not run afoul of the laws against that sort of conduct, simply because of his personality, his record, his skillset, and his basic function in the Bush WH.

To be specific, I find it hard to imagine that Rove did not try to do what he naturally does, warp the facts and the truth and concoct "A Story," spread that story, and try to get others to agree to stick to that story, even once the Investigation began, because that is what he is best at doing, and what he actually had been doing in the WH as part of his duties.

This man is not even a Lawyer Gone Bad. He is a Career Political Hack. One who's claim to fame is his mastery of the arts of deceit, deception, and bold faced lies. He is a Master Bullshitter (even if his shit does stink, like anyone else's'.)

Enough about him; I can't say for sure he is going to do time, but I see an indictment with his name on it, in the near future.

Now for the rest of the Gang of Thugs.

Call me unreasonably optimistic, but to my mind, the "High Water Mark" for Bush and the gang, was the reelection. Since then, they haven't been able to keep the rubber on the road, and I think that this now-sexy story about Rove is the chink in the armor of the Bush Admin. Like Rich says in his op ed, I think that this crack is going to get wider and wider.

And to follow up on that, ( this is admittedly my "wishful thinking") I think that all of the Bush Administration's bullshit is going to get scooped up, dug up, vacuumed up, analyzed, tested, and (hopefully) after that, the Bush Admin. is finally going to have to answer to the American People for their little, ugly, Neo-Bolshevik* games.

* At least one Political Scientist has theorized that the Neo-cons have more in common with the Bolshies, than any prior movement in American Political History. And note that this Political Scientist is an Old Fashioned Con (Hey, I thought they were Extinct!)

Relationship with other types of U.S. conservativism

The traditional conservative Claes Ryn has developed the critique that neoconservatives are actually what he calls a variety of neo-Jacobins. True conservatives deny the existence of a universal political and economic philosophy and model that is suitable for all societies and cultures, and believe that a society's institutions should be adjusted to suit its culture. Neo-Jacobins in contrast
are attached in the end to ahistorical, supranational principles that they believe should supplant the traditions of particular societies. The new Jacobins see themselves as on the side of right and fighting evil and are not prone to respecting or looking for common ground with countries that do not share their democratic preferences. (Ryn 2003: 387)
[Neo-Jacobinism] regards America as founded on universal principles and assigns to the United States the role of supervising the remaking of the world. Its adherents have the intense dogmatic commitment of true believers and are highly prone to moralistic rhetoric. They demand, among other things, "moral clarity" in dealing with regimes that stand in the way of America's universal purpose. They see themselves as champions of "virtue." (p. 384).
Thus, according to Ryn, neoconservatism is analogous to Bolshevism: in the same way that the Bolsheviks wanted to destroy established ways of life throughout the world to replace them with communism, the neoconservatives want to do the same, only imposing free-market capitalism and American-style "liberal democracy" instead of socialism.
(emphasis added.)

Friday, July 15, 2005

Addendum. I WILL go off on Hannity, But Backhandedly. Meet David Brooks

If Sean Hannity had the maturity of a well-adjusted and sober 18 year old (at least), and the polish of a community college graduate (at least) the impulse control of a person who is NOT currently on a PCP rampage (at least), and the wits of a fairly intelligent gerbil, he might resemble David Brooks.

Now why am I picking on Brooks? Firstly, his not exactly deceptively Whorish op ed in The Times from a couple days ago, begging Bush to pleassseeeee pick us a Genius for the SCOTUS vacancy. Now that sentiment, all by itself, is not cause for ridicule (although as a member of the legal profession I think that we are way short of geniuses.) But here is where the semi-solid excrement hits the spinning air moving device.

His suggested geniuses? One, a Harvard Law Proff, Mary Ann Glendon, and another, a current Circuit Court Judge, Judge McConnell. Now what makes these two seemingly bright and successful individuals geniuses? Well they both are Conservatives, and they both are advocates of expanding Religion in the Public Sphere.

Great. Having credentials as an antidisestablishmentarian now serves as the hallmark of Genius. At least to Brooks.

That was bad enough, but it gets worse. Just now (sparking my addendum-blog tonight) Brooks was on PBS's New Hour, spitting out the official RNC and Bush White House Talking Points on Rove-Gate, with all the enthuasium of a trained monkey who knows that if he pleases the scary man grinding on the organ, he will get a nice tasty banana, for his reward.

Well, I really should not be surprised. What should I expect from someone who's main gig is Editor of The Weekly Standard? Intellectual Honesty? Journalistic Ethics?

Well, I did start off with the Hannity comparison, so I should, in the interest of properly book-ending this blog entry, get back to him.

At least Brooks is not some immature, harping, slow-witted, mean and ugly (in action) anti-intellectual hack. I say of Brooks, while still disliking his brand of Whorishness, because of who he Whores for, at least Brooks Whores like true professional.

Memo to Bush's Chief of Staff (or Cheney's, whichever one actually has more say on personnel decisions.)

Fire Scotty Boy, and replace him with David Brooks!

Friday Quickie.

Well it is technically Friday morning, and after a week of ovedosing on pontificating pundits, I have opted for a short, and funny post. Correction; the post is not funny, but the linked page is.

Yes, at one point I was thinking about "going off" on Sean Hannity, who is to me not only the poster boy for bad lay opinion, but to my mind, certainly, also the poster boy of the wickedness of the cult of the cult of personality, but I have decided to forbear.

Instead, I bring you a special treat.

All I will say about this site is, it totally supports my claim (to the most absurd extreme) that if you go around mixing your religion and your politics, all you end up doing is dragging God down in the gutter. And these guys managed to find the sub gutter!

Far as I know, these guys are SERIOUS. I swear!

(ok, not really.)

Thursday, July 14, 2005

I am Not Going To Talk About Karl Rove

I actually had in mind a rather longer bit on "Integrity" and then thought about the topic of "Demagogery," but I am choosing, instead, the wit and wisdom of a "Great American," instead.

H.L. Mencken.

"Conscience is that wee inner voice that says somebody might be looking."

"All the leaders of groups tend to be frauds. If they were not, it would be impossible for them to retain the allegiance of their dupes... "

"The fact that I have no remedy for all the sorrows of the world is no reason for my accepting yours. It simply supports the strong probability that yours is a fake."

"The worst government is the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression."

I can only wonder, how Mencken would describe the times of the Bush Years. I am sure his comments would be more insightful and more interesting and valuable, than that of our current crew of commentators. I have to respect someone who seems to know the difference between a sincere man, and a sincere fool. He seems to have had no trouble spotting the fools, and pointing out that fact, without the slightest bit of fear.

Now we may not need him, per se, but I think we need more people like him, in the press corps. However there are still signs of intelligent life in the WH Press Corps. Yes, I mean Monday's Daily Briefing, where for the first time in recent memory, the Corps seemed to "Act In Concert," and pressed on Scotty Boy so hard that he resembled a cartoon character that was hit by a steamroller.

I almost feel Sorry for Scotty Boy. His predecessor, Ari, was a veritible Dreadnought, a rock which all waves broke against, harmlessly.

Scotty Boy's elevation to that position, considering his predeliction to fumble, stumble and flop sweat, does prove (well, sort of, to me at the least) the contempt the Bush Administration has for not only the truth, but the intelligence of the American People.

I think they think that not only will we buy any and all bullshit, but we will even buy it from a guy who is obviously an inadequate bullshit artist. Hell, the boy has had the job for 3 years, and still seems to be an ungifted apprentice.

Anyway . . . .

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Ignore That Man Behind The Curtain!

Basically, this is going to be about why I am not in a tizzy over the SCOTUS vacancy, and the nomination process.

I suspect the fix is in, here.

Not that I have a shred of evidence to support that idea; it is more of an intuition. But to my mind, the deal that went down over the Filibuster Farce, even if nominally between Senators, seems to have been about more than Circuit Court appointments (and that is the only thing that people on both sides of that Farce seem to agree on. ) Again, this is me being intuitive (have to go that route sometimes, in absence of having all the facts, ya know), but my take is this. If the Farce was actually about the looming prospect of a SCOTUS vacancy, then isn't it at least somewhat likely the deal is/was about the prospect of a SCOTUS vacancy? And if the deal was about the prospect of SCOTUS vacancy, how deep and detailed was the agreement (oh, and were any of the WH Bushies in the loop, if not secretly parties to the deal?)

We will see. I will, for the time being, view the ongoing (seeming) dog-and-pony show with the same level of mildly amused cynicism I used to, when I was a stage hand. And to explain what I mean there, at this one theatre I used to work at, we had a habit of repeating specific chatter on the headsets, for particularly boring shows, just to stay awake.

"Cue the Rain Curtain!"

"Send in the Disco Ball."

"Blow the flashpots."

In other words, I am bored with it already, and what I am seeing on the TV looks more like a particularly boring, and scripted show.

Then again, it could get interesting. We will have to see if that happens. And I HOPE it is unscripted!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Buzz Buzz Part Deux

Ok, I decided it was fair play time. I will expose some of the buzzwords of my team. Don't expect me to slavishly try to be balanced, in the future. Ya Hear?

Liberal Buzzwords.

Founding Fathers:

Some fairly smart guys from 200 years ago, but We are smarter than them!

Power Grab:

Any attempt to reduce Our Share of the Pie.

Sensible Compromise:

A successful attempt to protect Our Share of the Pie.


See definition for "Sensible Compromise," above.


Something we have historically viewed as the broader category that the notion of "Morals" is merely a subset of, based on what we learned in our Sociology classes (damn our Northeastern University educations, and ability to use a Dictionary!) But we are trying to change. Really.

Well, at least we have a committee looking into the matter.


A value system specifically concerning right and wrong conduct, if not also beliefs. We believe the best foundation for such a system is reasoned thought, as opposed to to a Divine, disembodied voice projecting out of a flaming (yet not burning) shrubbery (except on Sundays, or whenever else our intellectual butts happen to be polishing a church pew.)

Right to Privacy:

Means EXACTLY what it seems to mean, no more and no less (but the emphasis is on "No Less.")


Something under the heading of "Right to Privacy."

Lying About Sex:

See definitions for "Sex," and "Right to Privacy," above. (Although your spouse might think otherwise.)


Something that we prefer to keep under the heading of "Right to Privacy," if not actually leave as a purely private matter, but the other team keeps trying to make it public.


Something the other team is much better at, than we are. Damn that Karl Rove.


See definition of "Spin," above. Damn that Karl Rove, again!

Karl Rove:

Unnaturally effective Master media manipulator. We Hates him for ever, but want to have one of our very own (and suspect the laws against cloning are a deliberate plot to thwart us from getting one of our very own.)

National Sales Tax:

The one issue we should "take a dive" on, as if it is ever implimented as part of a Republican Conservative Plan, the negative effects on the widest swath of the electorate will be so drastic, and the complaints so relentless, and the desire for revenge will be so universal, that we can likely regain control of the Federal Government for the next 12 years (next three presidential election cycles), and get back to the way things were, in the Good Old Days.

That being said, we will now resume our usual biased blogcasting.

Monday, July 11, 2005

What Is The Opposite of Reasoned Thought? Buzzwords.

Yes, you know them, and if you have a sufficient number of functioning neurons, you hate them. Or, if you will allow me to tinker with a certain well-known quote by R.W. Emerson:

A foolish consistency (in Employing Buzzwords instead of Rational Thought) is the hobgoblin of little minds.

So, to push on with today's theme, which I admit was as much inspired by some article I saw somewhere on line alleging to be a "Conservative Glossary," as a lifetime of revulsion at buzzwords (as I call it sometimes, sloganeering), let's take a peek at my list of Bad Buzzwords, and what they really mean.

Oh, and I am being biased here; I am going after the Conservative Buzzwords.

War On Terror:

Any military action and/or government policy that has nothing to do with capturing Bin Laden, or has any chance of reducing the threat of terrorism.

We Are At War:

Meaning #1: A political variant of "Tim the Toolman Taylor's" lust for "More Power" (Grunt, Grunt.)

Meaning #2: You have caught me/us in a error, or lie, or distortion, or trying to sell a particularly smelly load of bullshit, and I want to avoid the truth of that and will distract you.


The American Conservative's non-legal variant of the South African Apartheid Regime's notoriously immoral and corrupt anti-communism law. For those of you not aware of that exemplar of wicked despotism, it was a crime to be a communist, and the law basically defined being a communist as:

[a]nyone that the South African Apartheid Regime said was a communist, was a communist.

The American Conservative variant is basically employed with the same wicked, shallow, vapid motives, although without the net result of the so-branded Commie being sent to a particularly nasty prison colony (and you can bet there are some Conservatives who pity the difference.) It basically works, as follows. Your politics are different than mine, so I hate you and you must be a Commie.


See the definition for "Commie," above.

Activist Judge:

Any judge who reaches a decision you disagree with, particularly if the decision involves a political issue.

Original Intent:

Describes an alleged school of judicial constitutional philosophy that (despite any other claims) merely and only means that the judge's "judicial philosophy" is the political philosophy of Hard Right Wing Conservativism.

Tax Cuts:

Virtual Crack (or Oxy Contin, if that is your preference) for Republicans. They can never get enough of it, and they will tell any lie or abuse any person who stands in between them and their next fix.

Great American:

Anyone who's politics adequately conform to yours.


Anyone who's politics is more than 3% different than yours.


See definition for "Great American," above.

Attack on Religion:

Any failue by any person to 100% support the goal of making the USA a fundamentalist Christian Society and Nation.

Christian Coaliton/Conservative Christian:

The group of people, or respectively, any such person, dedicated to the cause of American Antidisestablishmentarianism. See definition above for "Attack on Religion," for context.

Separation of Church and State:

Some wicked, heathen, Demon-spawned, evil idea that is not specifically found in the US Const. However, it was in fact coined By Thomas Jefferson. But since Thos. Jefferson was a Founding Father, he must have wanted America to be a Christian Nation, as that is what all the Founding Fathers intended, right?

If you see a contradiction there, Deal With It.


Previously, a foundational tenent of some Protestant sects, specifically regarding the Bible, such sects having been formed (among other reasons) as a protest of the doctrine of inerrancy of the Catholic Pope (again, if you find a contradiction there, Deal With It), but lately the term appears to apply to government policies and acts, and political beliefs of Hard Right Wing Conservatives (or any allegedly Conservative politician who can maintan the illusion of being a Hard Right Wing Conservative.)

Hard Right Wing Conservative:

Someone who would gladly give up liberty and democracy for the dubious, if not wicked goal of a America where everyone "looks just like us; or at least thinks and acts just like us."

I will stop there. I think I have made my point.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Smart Quotes about Conservatives

(OK, honestly I could not decide on a topic of the day.)

Benjamin Disraeli:
Conservatism discards Prescription, shrinks from Principle, disavows Progress; having rejected all respect for antiquity, it offers no redress for the present, and makes no preparation for the future.

Benjamin Disraeli:
A Conservative Government is an organized hypocrisy.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt:
A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.

G. K. Chesterton:
The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.

John Kenneth Galbraith:
The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

(and one of my all time favorites)

P. J. O'Rourke:
The Democrats are the party of government activism, the party that says government can make you richer, smarter, taller, and get the chickweed out of your lawn. Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work, and then get elected and prove it.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Epistemology vs. The Cult of Lay Opinion

As some of you may know, Epistemology is the branch of Philosophy most concerned with the study of Knowledge. Common sense would (should?) lead a semi-intelligent being to the conclusion that a minimum understanding of this branch of Philosophy would (should?) be necessary for people to be able to conceive, assemble, and articulate (or otherwise publish) reasonably sound, reasonable opinions.

The reality is, of course, that most people with college degrees have never even taken an introductory Philosophy course, and as a result, do not know Epistemology from Epidemiology (that subject being, the study of disease origin and spread.)

And, if our formally-educated citizens have no idea of the classic and academic theories of knowledge, what about the rest of the Nation?

That answer is self-evident; most Americans have no clue whatsoever, about the distinction between knowledge founded upon a justifiable basis, and a brain-fart.

Unfortunately (perhaps I should emphasize, moreso) the slightest bit of a scintilla of comprehension of Theories of Justification is not at all required for people to form and convey their opinions. And that lack of widespread understanding of the basics is (I suggest) why our current society is basically suffocating on brain-farts. Perhaps needless to say, I believe that what I called, in the title of this piece, "The Cult of Lay Opinion," the plethora of unjustified, irrational, and ill-formed opinions, amounts to nothing of greater value than a fog-cloud of brain-farts. Does that mean I think only people versed in the theories and rules of dialetics have any cause to speak their minds? No. But it does mean that I prefer to see more truly reasoned and reasonable discussions (and that I am choking, figuratively, on the fog-cloud of brain-farts.)

As a public service, I will link an article at Wikipedia, for anyone who needs either a refersher course in the basics, or (sorry to say) an introduction to the fascinating and enlightening world of the formal study of knowledge.

Last thought (for now, as I am certainly not finished with this theme); assuming anyone ever finds this page, and decides to hurl a verbal stink-bomb at me, such as, "Snob," or "Elitist," I anticipate your remark, and say:

Thank you for noticing!

First Thoughts

If anything, what is the driving motive for this, yet another self-indulgent, semi- narcissistic blog, is my observation that our society is far too enamored of narcissistic, self-indulgence (among other ills that contaminate the body public, as flesh-eating bacteria devours a human body, wreaking its pathological will.)

I admit, that it may seem rather hypocritical, to use this medium for the purpose of protesting the current "Cult of Personality," however, where else can I do it? (Rhetorical Question.)

In any case, my friends and family have heard it all from me, far too many times; now it is your turn, dear readers, to read my analysis, and judge for yourselves, whether I am on the right track, or if I am merely adding to the compost heap.
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