Verdict: GUILTY! Err, Bloody Caesar wins. Might be just a matter of the sodium content, or maybe not. In spite of my natural concerns re: "clam juice" as a cocktail additive, I judge for the Canuckistanians.
In these dark, uncertain, scabic times it is good to know that we can always count on Jonah Goldberg to supply the nation with noisome bullshit.
And so it ends. The United States is leaving Iraq.
We're leaving Iraq now. It's in our eyes. There' no disguising it. It really comes as no surprise to find that Obama planned it all along. And now, sure as the sun has crossed the sky, this lie is over. Lost, like the tears that used to tide us over. Etc.
I'm solidly in the camp that sees this as a strategic blunder.
Whatever camp you're in, man, you're solidly there. Nobody ever said otherwise.
Still, there's an upside. Obama's decision to leave Iraq should deal a staggering blow to America's critics at home and abroad.
After all, what kind of empire does this sort of thing?
That's actually a rather good question.
My thesis about the True Reasons for why the Iraqi Adventure was launched has for a long time been that they did it because they were a gang of demented ideologues. Yes: they wanted the oil. But they also wanted to Prove Melodiously Triumphant a cacophany of horrendously ludicrous wingnut theses about how the world might be brought into sweet sweet music. It never ocurred to them that they were sub-kazoo class incompetents. But they were! Jonah is still trying to get an A-flat out of a Gowanus Trombone...
In many quarters of the Middle East, the war on terror is cast as a religiously inspired front for crusader-imperialism. This nonsense overlooks the fact that America has gone to war to save Muslim lives more often than any modern Muslim country has. Under Democrats and Republicans we've fought to help Muslims in Somalia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq and now Libya. We've sought the conversion of no one and -- with the exception of Kuwait -- we've never presented a bill. When asked to leave, we've done so.
When asked to stay home, we haven't, also too. "Thank you for the invasion! Also the drone bombs."
What sort of an empire are we?
Invasions did not make us popular amongst the invaded. Ingrates. Weird!
“What about Ron Paul?! He took second! Doesn’t he warrant a mention?” This meme has been echoed even by the likes of Jon Stewart, whose fanciful quest to ferret out every trace of hypocrisy on the side of his opponents has instead led him down the rabbit hole of self-righteousness and false punditry, always thinly veiled by a layer of badly applied clown makeup.
OK, just stupid & juvenile so far. No need to hold your breath, however. Just your nose.
Because Ron Paul is a joke at the expense of the Right, and his second place showing in the straw poll was the bad punch line. The man tracks with (and may agree with) racist, conspiracy-mongering mongoloids so vile that they would instantly discredit libertarianism if any liberal media outlet more relevant than The New Republic ever bothered to cover them. Those who disagree are invited to explain the chumminess between Ron Paul and the Mises Institute, whose patron Saint Murray Rothbard once made a habit of paling around both with Maoists and with the followers of David Duke, for the simple reason that the responsible Right failed to display a sufficient hatred of America relative to those two groups.
Mongoloids. Ha ha. What is it, 1955? Also funny: A pseudonymous clown typing for TheDC claiming that "liberal media outlet" TNR isn't relevant. And here's the big fun:
What Paul’s partisans fail to apprehend is that the reason that coverage is not forthcoming for their hero is because Paul has made himself the avatar of a time-tested brand of Republicanism: That is, self-hating Republicanism. The reason disingenuous sniggerers like Stewart sympathize with Paul, and why Rachel Maddow will fawningly ask him to explain his crackpot theories between heaping mouthful [sic] of carpet is because Ron Paul attacks his own party with twice the zeal he ever uses against liberals. He spouts the same nonsense talking points as members of the Pacifist Left (“Iran is only defending themselves!”) and the Socialist Left (“Corporations aren’t people! Only people are people!”) with the ingenious capacity for somehow duping legions of devoted followers into believing these time-tested left wing gobs of spit are somehow true conservatism. It’s time someone explained precisely why this designation is as fantastical as Paul’s chances at election are.
Does he mean Rachel Maddow is as nutty as Hitler, who was alleged to be rug-chewingly mad? Or have I somehow missed the hard core carpet-munching that is (Subliminally?) interspersed w/ Ms. Maddow's questions?
Because TheDC needs clicks, there are four more pages of this (Granted, an easy condemnation of Rep. Paul's economic cow patties.) but I'd as soon poke myself w/ a sharp stick as use that stick to search through the urine-filled tank to spear more poop nuggets. I will share that Pseudo-Mencken's main gripe w/ the Texas Turkey is that he is not bloody-minded enough to engage in pre-emptive attacks/strikes/wars against any nation, group or individual that looks cross-eyed at these United Snakes. Help yourselves if you like. Just don't say you weren't warned.
— M. Bouffant (Available here in the first person plural.)
That is the end of Mubarak. What is to come, I know not. However.
As the streets of Gaza exploded with celebration on Friday night with masked Hamas militants marching defiantly to cheer the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Israelis reacted with quiet and deep concern because the regional leader on whom they had relied most was suddenly gone.
The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu maintained the same studied silence it has sustained for more than two weeks on the assumption that nothing it said could serve its interests: if it praised the pro-democracy movement, it would be seen as disloyal to its ally, Mr. Mubarak. If it favored Mr. Mubarak, it would be dismissed as a supporter of dictatorships.
But behind the scenes, officials willing to share their thoughts anonymously expressed worry because they believed that whoever followed Mr. Mubarak would be less friendly to Israel.
But this Israeli govenment clearly was rooting for a tyrant.
A state whose security depends upon the vast majority of the people who live in the region where it exists remaining subject to tyrranical rule, is not a stable or sustainable state.
I suppose a more basic point would be that if your favorite ideology is threatened by someone else's freedom, your favorite ideology sucks.
This horsecrap pretty much "writes" itself, & thanks to the miracle of electronics, I don't even have to get up from the chair to pluck it off the wire machines. Two or three (seated) clicks & it can argle-bargle for itself, although it does raise a question: Are we to be subjected to two more yrs. of these drones a-dronin' on about snarky, mean ol' elitists (to name but a few codes for resentment & bitter clinging) & their show-offy cognition?
While Christopher Hitchens looks to politics as a canvas for the great Washington novel, the irony is that politics, for all its noise, just isn’t a big enough theme for a great book. By making “The Exorcist” about good and evil, faith and its loss, and the boundary where science ends and the mysterious begins, Blatty reached deeper than any political novel could (perhaps it is difficult for Hitchens the atheist to grasp this).
I believe the irony here is that a "Washington novel" is political by definition. (And the dig at Hitchens from another goon who's simply horrified at all the "brittle, hateful snark and petty rage." Idiot atheist, no grasp at all.)
Hitchens, like too many other observers, equates Washington with politics. To him a book about the city calls for the drama of geopolitics and power. But Washington is a largely apolitical city. Walk through the 90 percent that does not comprise Capitol Hill and you see it’s a town of churches, jazz clubs, and old neighborhoods — even ones that predate the federal city itself.
Few still anticipate the great Brattleboro, VT, or San Bernardino, CA novel, no matter how many old neighborhoods & jazz clubs those two no-doubt-wonderful burgs may (or may not) have.
Now that the typist (Mark Gauvreau Judge is the author of several books, including Damn Senators and God and Man at Georgetown Prep. His articles and essays have appeared in various publications.) is revealed as a ninny, we can examine how, a yr. later, he's still steaming about one of the truly great outrages of our time, seven minutes (I'll just go ahead & assume he's familiar w/ the exact length of the indignity because he has a recording thereof, & plays it obsessively.) of tea-bagging talk, perpetrated by more-likely-smirking-than-howling (What the hell did any of that mean?) liberal activists. (That rattling sound you hear is a string of pearls being vigorously clutched by Mr. Judge.)
Forty years after “The Exorcist,” it is not the wars or espionage that hack novelists mine for bestsellers that marks our era as much as brittle, hateful snark and petty rage. When the Tea Party movement began a year ago, liberal activists Rachel Maddow and Ana Marie Cox spent seven minutes on the air simply repeating variations on the word “tea bagger,” which is a slang term for a degrading sexual act. Liberals who howl, or more likely smirk, at what they would perceive as the overblown comparison of a sexual double entendre with the devil just don’t get it. The power of the final argument of “The Exorcist” is that it shows that it is not as much in the wars or the natural calamities or the Capitol Hill deals that the demonic is revealed; rather, it is in the smug put-down, the dehumanizing sexual smirk, the cruel — and cowardly — personal attack. These can cut deeper than an actual physical assault.
He probably deserves credit for that first sentence. Two+ wars on the other side of the planet really haven't marked our era, or the era has been so stained that we no longer notice how warped & discolored the picture is.
The last two probably call for an actual physical assault. Perhaps a few Afghanis or Iraqis who have an extra shoe because one of their feet or legs were shocked & awed right off their bodies could toss it at this appalling bastard. Assuming, of course, they have arms left w/ which to throw, or an eye remaining w/ which to aim.
And while Judge isn't sure about what may have happened in 1949,
... a horror novel called “The Exorcist” about a girl who may or may not have been possessed by a demon — or by the devil himself. The book and subsequent movie were smashes.
from paragraph to paragraph (my emphasis),
With the 40th anniversary of “The Exorcist” approaching, I revisited the book for the first time since high school. It still terrifies, probably because Blatty based the book on a real case of demonic possession that occurred in Maryland in the 1940s. There are some dated elements — at one point a character speculates that the trouble with Regan, the possessed girl, may have something to do with the “hippies” who are into the occult and hang out in the bars on Wisconsin Avenue — but for the most part the book deals with themes that are relevant today.
I'll just bet he's all in for exorcism of uppity liberal activists & their dirty, filthy, degrading mouths, but only if a psychiatrist who'll railroad libs into an institution & shut them the hell up w/ drugs & a bar of soap in the mouth can't be found.
Were any of these events real, beyond having really been authorized by Catholic pencil pushers? Some investigation would indicate no. Summarized here, begins here. (Shorter summation: Intransigent teen, crummy family dynamics, mother & maternal grand-mother loony Lutherans who converted & had the young victim baptized a Catholic. In my day -- not that much later -- less-superstitious solutions included threats of shipment to boarding school. Then threats of military school. Recently, officially approved drugs. America's been eating its young for some time now.)
Sudden gasp: What'd I just miss there? A halt to hippie-bashing? Worries about the occult are no longer relevant? Spread the word Brother Judge, spread it far & wide, because a few of your fellow travelers may not have heard yet. Actually, none of them have. And let them know that Godless Communism is no longer a threat, while you're at it.
All this has me wondering if Holy Mother Church is looking to cash in on the fortieth anniversary of The Exorcist, starting w/ ExorFest 2010, or if this was mere reaction to whatever Hitchens typed. (Which is mercifully unavailable on-line, at least to the slothful, but note the nest of vipers it was printed in.)
-- M. Bouffant (Unfinished version. Compare & contrast.)
This would explain Obama’s fierce allegiance to the federal government.
Fierce allegiance? He did swear an oath or something, didn't he? Like a couple months after he was elected to be the president of the federal government, right? Fiercely allegiant, yet ready to sell us out to his MuslimKenyan brothers on a moment's notice! For reparations.
For instance, there is a lot of speculation now about whether Obama will be a centrist after the midterm election, like Bill Clinton became after 1994. My theory says that he won’t because he cannot. Clinton was largely a non-ideological guy. If Obama came by his liberalism in the faculty lounge, then sure, he can see it hasn’t worked and he can modify it. But if Obama got his formative ideas when he was very young, and if they are the result of his traumatic relationship with his father, then they are built into his psyche. He’s not going to change because, to his anti-colonial mindset, meeting the Republicans halfway is a form of sellout. He would be untrue to his principles if he were to cut deals with a group that he considers to be the neocolonial party.
Say what you will, little Barack must've been pretty damn smart get those formative anti-colonial ideas when he was very young. And BHO, Sr. must've spent a lot of time shoving Frantz Fanon down the throat of a child who was two when Sr. cut out. We'd love to hear much more about the psychology of traumatic parental relationships & the embrace of anti-colonialism. And we should all get a laugh from the idea that not meeting the Republicans "halfway" (Oh, sensible, split-the-difference compromise, wherefore art thou?) is the fault of anyone but the obstructionist & neo-colonialist Republicans.
Don't think for a moment that vain arrogant narcissist Obama is the only anti-colonial elitist here. If elitists are "people who think they're better than everyone else," Kathryn Jean certainly thinks D'Souza is better than you know who.
LOPEZ: If you have so much in common with Barack Obama, how did you wind up as a conservative intellectual, now president of an evangelical university?
D’SOUZA: Obama remains frozen in his father’s time machine. His anti-colonialism is the anti-colonialism of Africa in the 1950s: state confiscation of land, confiscatory taxation, and so on. My anti-colonialism is the anti-colonialism of India in the 21st century. Recently, the Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh, gave a speech at Oxford in which he gave two cheers for colonialism. He said India is growing fast and is on its way to becoming a superpower. How? Because the Indians speak English, they have technology, they have universities, they have property rights, they have democracy. And why do they have these things? They got them from the British. Now, Singh could never have said that a generation ago. But the world is changing. Poor countries today have a better solution to the legacy of colonialism. They are able to use their cheap labor costs to make what other people want to buy. This is what the economist Thorstein Veblen once called “the advantage of backwardness.” So the difference between Obama and me is that I have embraced the new world of globalization and free trade, and he continues to be haunted by his father’s ghost.
Oh, holy fuck, just put a sock in it already. Meet the New Anti-Colonialism: Globalization & free trade, & a chance at exploitation by a corporate entity rather than an emperor. D'Souza might try thawing himself from the Portuguese colonialism his ancestors embraced. And what is evangelicalism but religious colonization?
Degeneration into "Go fuck yourselves, you insufferable buffoons" territory comes not long after.
LOPEZ: Why does Barack Obama look so angry on the cover of your book?
D’SOUZA: Obama looks angry on the cover because he is angry. The cover image captures Obama’s suppressed rage and is true to the argument of the book.
Central to his thesis as well.
So there is a sublimated rage in Obama that is reminiscent of the rage of Barack Obama Sr., a man who often sat outside his hut and went into drunken rages against the West for denying him the fulfillment of his anti-colonial dreams.
This too is central to the thesis. After all, w/o the West, Obama Sr. wouldn't have had to have any anti-colonial dreams, would he?
Watching Tony Blair on the Daily Show. And he is arguing that there is some sort of Moral Charge that the US (and er Lesser Old Eastern America, formerly, Albion, etc) have been Morally Charged with, meaning, a Moral Charge to reform all the perfidies of the Unreconstructed Brutes in the Former Colonies, namely, the Musselmen.
I exaggerate but not by much.
Blair was once upon a time not such a... person you would have felt good about hitting, frankly. And I honestly challenge anyone with even a smidgen of self-respect nowadays to merely glance passingly at Tony Blair and not want to walk off with his lunch money, his skivvies hooked up high on a locker knob.
What on earth happened?
He used to be a lot more tough-minded about, well, Ireland. And more thoughtful. But not even to get into that stuff, it is a bizarre irony that the more Tony Blair seems to have accepted the idea that SOMEONE needs to take on the mantle of Defender of the West, the more he comes across as a guy who Grima Wormtongue would have sneered at as too sycophantic & spineless. The stiff upper lip meets the quivering lower-lip sensing tongue. It's just embarrassing.
MORE. It's been suggested that Patterico is really criticizing the media. If so, it's a silly criticism. People have been interested in the
president's family life since Washington. Stories like this are not
earth shakingly important, but they're harmless.
And hell, Obama's not clearing brush. So this line of criticism would be more than a little rich.
Sorry about the light posting; busy, for one thing. For another, the "torture memos" stuff is not conducive at all to humorous blogging. I've started and then deleted any number of posts in the past few days because, well, what's there to say about the idea that the United States can use torture and that's just fine, besides the word "fuck"? I mean... fuck. I am glad that I'm not a "conservative," though, because I'm not obligated to come up with convoluted apologias for torture, which if nothing else just looks like incredibly hard work. I am however grimly amused by the notion that if we prosecute any of the Bush apparatchiks complicit in the Bush torture regime, that somehow would make America a "banana republic."
Because, after all, the defining feature of a "banana republic" is the idea that when government officials break the law and use torture, they're held accountable.
As the spotlight grew more
intense on federal Judge Jay Bybee, at least one senator stepped
forward Tuesday to defend the Las Vegan and the opinion he signed that
provided a legal green light for rough interrogations of terrorism
Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., said calls for Bybee to be removed from
his seat on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals were "outrageous"....
Ensign said he agreed with Bybee's reasoning contained in the 18-page memo.
"This was not torture," Ensign said. "This is the thing we have to
get away from, that this is somehow accepted that it was torture. The
United States does not engage in torture. This was 'advanced
I was just interested in this paragraph as a point of history:
In the ebb and flow of liberty, power always mattered, and liberty
needed the protection of great powers. The appeal of the pamphlets of
Mill and Locke and Paine relied on the guns of Pax Britannica, and on
the might of America when British power gave way. In this vein, the assertive diplomacy of George W. Bush had given heart to Muslims long in the grip of tyrannies.
Indeed. Whenever British ships hove into view, natives all over the planet had the exact same response: "hooray, here comes the liberty." Just like now the universal response to the roar of American planes is, "oh look, they are dropping even more freedom, in the form of powerful explosives."