Seven Degrees from Normal

Two people, eighteen years of marriage, seven college degrees.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The end of conservatives

Don't miss this one at Znet:
In the ranks of the new conservatives, however, I see and experience much hate. It comes to me in violently worded, ignorant and irrational emails from self-professed conservatives who literally worship George Bush. Even Christians have fallen into idolatry. There appears to be a large number of Americans who are prepared to kill anyone for George Bush.
Liberal crybaby? No, none other than Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review.

It goes on--
The Iraqi War is serving as a great catharsis for multiple conservative frustrations: job loss, drugs, crime, homosexuals, pornography, female promiscuity, abortion, restrictions on prayer in public places, Darwinism and attacks on religion. Liberals are the cause. Liberals are against America. Anyone against the war is against America and is a liberal. "You are with us or against us."

This is the mindset of delusion, and delusion permits no facts or analysis. Blind emotion rules. Americans are right and everyone else is wrong. End of the debate.

That, gentle reader, is the full extent of talk radio, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal Editorial page, National Review, the Weekly Standard, and, indeed, of the entire concentrated corporate media where noncontroversy in the interest of advertising revenue rules.
And a nice historical comparison:
There is nothing conservative about these positions. To label them conservative is to make the same error as labeling the 1930s German Brownshirts conservative.

American liberals called the Brownshirts "conservative," because the Brownshirts were obviously not liberal. They were ignorant, violent, delusional, and they worshipped a man of no known distinction. Brownshirts' delusions were protected by an emotional force field. Adulation of power and force prevented Brownshirts from recognizing implications for their country of their reckless doctrines.

Like Brownshirts, the new conservatives take personally any criticism of their leader and his policies. To be a critic is to be an enemy. I went overnight from being an object of conservative adulation to one of derision when I wrote that the US invasion of Iraq was a "strategic blunder."

Go read it.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Site feed added

. . . in a tacit acknowledgement that I haven't been posting regularly (a combination of a hellish freelance load, small non-sleeping children, and an endless endless course of antibiotics and cold medicine). Look over to the right. Blogger runs something called Atom, which I know nothing about other than the URL, so let me know how it's working.

Apologies to Spongebob and Patrick

Maureen Dowd asks
Doesn't Richard Perle remind you of the snarky and pretentious next-door neighbor to SpongeBob, Squidward Tentacles?
Yes, he does. And her casting of Cheney as the money-obsessed, slave-driving boss Mr. Krabbs is spot-on. Leaving the obvious question: Who is Patrick?

Has to be Rumsfeld. He says things every bit as stupid as Patrick ("This grain of sand looks very suspicious. And so does this rock. And I have some questions for this little piece of grass." "I want to defeat the giant monkeyman and save the ninth dimension!" "Is mayonnaise an instrument?" etc.), plus he evidently lives under a rock.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Andrew Sullivan has an epiphany

Two years too late. Unfortunate that he's such a slow learner:

Did those of us who fought so passionately for a ruthless war against terrorists give an unwitting green light to these abuses? Were we naïve in believing that characterizing complex conflicts from Afghanistan to Iraq as a single simple war against ''evil'' might not filter down and lead to decisions that could dehumanize the enemy and lead to abuse? Did our conviction of our own rightness in this struggle make it hard for us to acknowledge when that good cause had become endangered? I fear the answer to each of these questions is yes.

Well, duh. Andy's attempts to give President Bush a pass on the guilt for all this are ridiculous--he claims W.'s ideas about torture were too "nuanced" for his underlings to interpret. Please. Those of us who've lived with the man (or anyone who's bothered to find out anything abut his past life) could have told you this was coming, In fact, I think we did tell you.

Why they hate us

Come to think of it, this is why I hate us too.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Your tax dollars at work

We're paying them to lie to us:

Seeking to build support among black families for its education reform law, the Bush administration paid a prominent black pundit $240,000 to promote the law on his nationally syndicated television show and to urge other black journalists to do the same.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Doom! Doom!! DOOOOM!!!!

White House memo: Pitch Social Security doom
Rove aide strategy: Convince public system’s ‘heading for iceberg’
The Associated Press
Updated: 8:37 p.m. ET Jan. 5, 2005

Man, all these fuckers know how to do is scare people. And how hard is that, with Bin Laden still on the loose?

CNN out of short pants?

Wow, this is absolutely stunning:

Mr. Klein said he wanted to move CNN away from what he called "head-butting debate shows," which have become the staple of much of all-news television in the prime-time hours, especially at the top-rated Fox News Channel.

"CNN is a different animal," Mr. Klein said. "We report the news. Fox talks about the news. They're very good at what they do and we're very good at what we do."

Mr. Klein specifically cited the criticism that the comedian Jon Stewart leveled at "Crossfire" when he was a guest on the program during the presidential campaign. Mr. Stewart said that ranting partisan political shows on cable were "hurting America."

Mr. Klein said last night, "I agree wholeheartedly with Jon Stewart's overall premise." He said he believed that especially after the terror attacks on 9/11, viewers are interested in information, not opinion.

Oh, and Tucker Carlson's out of a job. I'm sure he'll land on his feet; he seems like such a nice up-and-coming young lad. (Link is to the NYT, so free registration required and free access goes away in about a week).

If they actually follow through with it, and stop sucking up to the powers that be, we might see some real improvement around here. And remember, CNN's international news channel has a very good reputation. So they do know how to act like grownups; they just have to be persuaded it's what Americans want.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

New Toad

We've got some new material up on Toad, including this piece, which I'm rather fond of.

Happy New Year

Some general updates:

DeLay Watch: Looks like the House GOP is now for ethics, having previously been against them.

DeLay obviously thinks he's dodged the indictment bullet, or he wouldn't have called for the reversion to old rules. We'll see what else transpires in the fundraising case. And the Indian Casino scandal--people who would know really seem to think this is the one to watch.

NB: The GOP is still pushing a rule change that will make it impossible to begin an ethics investigation unless Republicans on the ethics committee vote for it (rather than a simple majority). The committee is split 50/50, and right now a 50/50 vote automatically generates an investigation.

Inaugrual Activities: For those unable to get to D.C. or New Orleans, Austin will have an "Inaugurate This!" protest (scroll down to January 20) on the Congress Ave. bridge from 5-7 p.m. Legal protest only, no traffic blocking. They are asking folks to organize their own pre-protest events--teach-ins, vigils, etc.--and publicize them independently. There's also a party afterwards at Mother Egan's to benefit the Crawford Peace House.

And remember, other than the benefit, don't work or spend any money on inauguration day.