Blog Noir.An interplay of cultural references, snark, the occasional smutty joke, Dadaism, Mamaism, and a genuine outrage at the horrors of The Situation.
--to paraphrase Freddy el Desfibradddoro
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Republican Lite vs. the Republican heavies
First Mike Gravel, then Dennis Kucinich and now John Edwards. Hummph! Appears to me that we've eliminated the Democrats from the process. Well, except in name only. It has been proven that power is both corrupting and addictive. And I believe that, historically, the people earnestly trying to build Utopian societies usually came to be known as brutal oppressors. So, I don't know if it's scarier to have a new business-as-usual corporatist stooge for president, or if it would be scarier to have a bright competent president who is eager to use all those new Unitary Powers to fix everything.
Come on everybody - sing along!
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life (from Monty Python)
words and music by Eric Idle
Some things in life are bad They can really make you mad Other things just make you swear and curse. When you're chewing on life's gristle Don't grumble, give a whistle And this'll help things turn out for the best...
And...always look on the bright side of life... Always look on the light side of life...
If life seems jolly rotten There's something you've forgotten And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing. When you're feeling in the dumps Don't be silly chumps Just purse your lips and whistle - that's the thing.
And...always look on the bright side of life... Always look on the light side of life...
For life is quite absurd And death's the final word You must always face the curtain with a bow. Forget about your sin - give the audience a grin Enjoy it - it's your last chance anyhow.
So always look on the bright side of death Just before you draw your terminal breath
Life's a piece of shit When you look at it Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true. You'll see it's all a show Keep 'em laughing as you go Just remember that the last laugh is on you.
And always look on the bright side of life... Always look on the right side of life... (Come on guys, cheer up!) Always look on the bright side of life... Always look on the bright side of life... (Worse things happen at sea, you know.) Always look on the bright side of life... (I mean - what have you got to lose?) (You know, you come from nothing - you're going back to nothing. What have you lost? Nothing!) Always look on the right side of life...
Wow, I just found out that this was National Pie Day! mistah charley, ph.d. told me so in that comment right over there. He said we're supposed to "Practice Random Acts of Pieness" by sharing pie today, and he mentioned that I could aspire to something like sainthood by sharing pie. Well, Spot, I say we can Celebrate National Pie Day on January 23 and every other day of the year. I not so sure about this saint business, but why shouldn't I give it a shot, Spot?
Let's make every day a Celebrate National Pie Day day with Random Acts of Pieness.
If elected, Constitutional Amendment Pie will fix the Constitution so that it will more clearly reflect True American Values. Then that ol' Constitution will be the bestest, most constitutiony constitution a constitution could be!
How will Constitutional Amendment Pie fix that ol' constitution? Let's see here... hmm... ok, here it is:
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress ...
Ok... so... uhh... Constitutional Amendment Pie will "try."
Ah was reading the good R. Ailes’s description of the possible third party candidate Mayor Bloomberg:
Yes, what this country needs in a time of recession is the leadership of an equity trader and head of a financial services software company, one who spent close to $75 million of his own money to become a friggin' mayor. Only Rich Uncle Pennybags can save us now. Perhaps he can sell us to the Tata Group.
Bloomberg is said to be worth some 20 billion dollars, and it put me in mind of the third party candidate a century ago. . .
Eugene Debs, the Socialist candidate, won 2.8 percent of the popular vote. Debs was a fireman turned union organizer and was one of the founders of the International Labor Union and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).
Then I thought of a couple of other sharp contrasts:
Who won the Michigan Republican primary?
Mitt Romney headed the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games Organizing Committee, but is worth 200 million dollars because he founded a private equity investment firm that specialized in leveraged buyouts.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, steroid-fueled bodybuilder and action movie actor, who is worth over some 800 million dollars.
George Pardee, native Californian medical doctor and Mayor of Oakland. Promoted conservation and education, successfully rebuilt San Francisco after the earthquake and bucked the influence of the Southern Pacific Railroad on state politics.
I'm just an old sea salt, but it doesn't seem like things have gotten better in politics over the last century!
As power shifts from government to corporate hands, elections will increasingly become the domain of the vain rich and celebrities. Save us all, we're being sucked into Waveland.
For Immediate Release Office of the Press Secretary January 14, 2008
Religious Freedom Day, 2008 A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America
Thomas Jefferson counted the freedom of worship as one of America's greatest blessings. He said it was "a liberty deemed in other countries incompatible with good government, and yet proved by our experience to be its best support." On Religious Freedom Day, we celebrate the 1786 passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.
The freedom to worship according to one's conscience is one of our Nation's most cherished values. It is the first protection offered in the Bill of Rights: that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." In America, people of different faiths can live together united in peace, tolerance, and humility. We are committed to the proposition that as equal citizens of the United States of America, all are free to worship as they choose.
In an era during which an unprecedented number of nations have embraced individual freedom, we have also witnessed the stubborn endurance of religious repression. Religious freedom belongs not to any one nation, but to the world, and my Administration continues to support freedom of worship at home and abroad. On Religious Freedom Day and throughout the year, we recognize the importance of religious freedom and the vital role it plays in spreading liberty and ensuring human dignity.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 16, 2008, as Religious Freedom Day. I call on all Americans to reflect on the great blessing of religious liberty, endeavor to preserve this freedom for future generations, and commemorate this day with appropriate events and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-second.
Poor Tom. You'd think by now he would have gotten used to supporting God's Law. But this is a new millenium, the opposite-millenium, where everything is upside-down, backwards and contrary. "On Religious Freedom Day and throughout the year, we recognize the importance of religious freedom and the vital role it plays in spreading liberty and ensuring human dignity."
[Jan 13, 2008] US President George W Bush has warned of the dangers he says are posed by Iran, in a speech in its Gulf neighbour, the United Arab Emirates. . .Mr Bush said Iran threatened the security of all nations and should be confronted "before it's too late".
Because, of course, Iran attacked us on 9/11! Oh, wait, that was Iran, wasn't it?
The Emirates' ruling families formerly maintained close relationships with the Taliban and Osama bin Laden, whose hunting camps in Afghanistan they frequented; two of the 20 hijackers in the 9/11 plot were UAE nationals who used safe houses and banks in Dubai; and the A.Q. Khan nuclear smuggling network also used facilities there to mask its operations.
Well, the President is aware of those connections and chose to downplay them. He is aware that the UAE is not yet a fully open and democratic society. But they are making progress and so he wants to encourage them!
Beginning with the revered father of this country -- Sheikh Zayed -- you have succeeded in building a prosperous society out of the desert. . . You have encouraged women to contribute to the development of your nation -- and they have occupied some of your highest ministerial posts.
UAE does not have democratically elected institutions (citizens do not have the right to change their government) or political parties; free assembly and association are restricted; and the rights of workers are limited.
Oh, dear. Perhaps, in their culture, it is polite for guests to act like they are ignoramuses. Yeah, that’s the ticket. He's just being culturally sensitive.
And finally, [Iran] defies the United Nations and destabilizes the region by refusing to be open and transparent about its nuclear programs and ambitions. Iran's actions threaten the security of nations everywhere. So the United States is strengthening our longstanding security commitments with our friends in the Gulf -- and rallying friends around the world to confront this danger before it is too late.
Well, sensitive to some cultures, and belligerent to others. At least you can’t say Mr. Bush is not being transparent about his ambitions, can you? The president is sincere about building a consensus! This time! He certainly wouldn't approve of the false-flag type operation that rogue elements in the Navy tried when they falsely claimed Iranian boats were verbally threatening US ships. He wouldn't start a war under false pretenses! This time!
Informal Straw Poll taken behind Smith's Fine Wines & Spirits
thepuppethead was in a celebratory mood, so at the wee crack of dawn this morning he (and Spot) decided to schlep down to Smith's Fine Wines & Spirits in search of happiness and a bottle of scotch. But when we got there the store hadn't opened for business yet, so instead of standing out front (which would be a grievous mistake if mrs. thepuppethead happened to drive by on her way to work), we slipped around back to wait and, possibly, search for treasure. You never know what you might find behind a liquor store. No really, you seriously never know.
In any case, instead of treasure, thepuppethead (and Spot) only found Big Bob Binion, CPA, and Smitty the Bindlestiff, who were apparently also waiting to buy booze. Here is a brief re-enactment of this encounter.
Big Bob Binion: "Howdy PH."
Me: "Hey BB."
Smitty: "Hi P-Head."
Spot: Growls at Smitty.
Me: "Don't call me pee head, buster... or we are going to scrap!"
Big Bob Binion: "Don't mind him PH."
Me: Squints at Smitty.
Smitty: "I like sausage."
Spot: Gets distracted by a pile of leaves and wanders off.
Me: "What did you fellas think about Barack whooping up on Hillary in Iowa?"
Big Bob Binion: "I was surprised. I thought Hillary had it sewn up. Guess Barack had her number."
Smitty: "B-AFLAC!!!" (Sounding just like the AFLAC duck)
Me: "B-ARACK. Barack OBAMA, you poltroon."
Smitty: "Mutual of O-BAMA'S WILD Kingdom!"
Big Bob Binion: "I bet that Hillary was pretty steamed."
Me: "Probably. And that Huckabee! He cleaned Romney's clock!"
Smitty: "Huck-L-bee-RY HOUND!"
Me: "Shut up, Smitty. Do you want a poke in the nose?"
Big Bob Binion: "Don't pay him no mind, PH."
Me: "So who do you like, BB?"
Big Bob Binion: 'I'm for Fred. The rest of them is all Liberal, or crazy."
Smitty: "... reminds me. What's the difference between Hillary and ol' Joe Lieberman?"
Me: "A conscience?"
Smitty: "A uterus!"
Me: "Dangit Smitty! That's not funny!"
Big Bob Binion's cell phone rings, and he walks around the corner to answer it.
Smitty (sotto voce): "Psst. Hey PH."
Smitty: "That Obama is the real deal. Haven't seen anyone like him since Bobby Kennedy. I remember listening to Bobby on Armed Forces Radio when I was in Vietnam (courtesy of LBJ, may he rot in hell) and thinking to myself -- This guy is going to shake stuff up. But then the bastards shot him, and the country kept on sliding down the greasy path of least resistance towards oblivion. But that Obama -- guy like that doesn't come around very often. He could shake it up. Really could."
Me: "Damn, Smitty! Where'd that come from?"
Smitty: "Crap PH, you know how Big Bob Binion is... I have to act the fool around him. If he knew I was smarter than he is it'd break his poor heart, and he's my best friend - couldn't do that to him. Plus, he's my best customer."
Me: (Looking at the store's sign) "Smitty.... Smith's... holy crap Smitty, you own this store?"
Smitty: "Sure. But don't tell Big Bob Binion, PH. If he knew that I make more money than he does he'd be mortified, and probably die of a heart attack or something. Poor fella."
Me: "Mum's the word, Smitty. Mum's the word."
Smitty: "Mark my words, PH. That Obama is the guy to watch."
[This non-post is posted at the peril of people not reading the prior post. But please! Don't skip it!!!!!]
Yes. The Awards Committee has been shirking the Comment of the Week of late. But that doesn't mean they haven't been doing anything. While it is late to be posting about this here, I should really let you all know, a couple of weeks ago, renowned "reasonable conservative" Jon Swift approached the Awards Committee to select IMFB,S!'s best post of the year, for some project he was working on at the time.
Well, The Awards Committee obliged, and true to form, (the same form that made his prose so indomitable in the Comments of the Week Awards,) it was MarkC, who after minutes of deliberation came out on top, for Reverend Cavendish's finest sermon, (so far,) Right Makes Might.Well done, MarkC!
Also, as a result of IMFB,S!'s inclusion in that post, we are now fortunate enough to welcome SteveAudio and Vidiot Speak to the blogrolls, and to say "thanks" for being so kind. [Vidiot Speak:Fafblog Spotting]
POINT: Killin' innocent people is wrong! It's a shame that our system a massive military budgets an' profiteerin' doesn't favor the helpin' a folks who needs help instead. We need a leader who'll change things around an' give everybody hope. An' healthcare. An' unicorns. ---Falkor
COUNTERPOINT: There are no innocents! People who don't want to die shouldn't live in war zones. The freedom to drive 10,000 lb. grocery-getters isn't free! We need a strong, fatherly leader who isn't afraid to get a little blood on his hands to preserve Our way of life. ---Gizzard
COUNTER-COUNTERPOINT: Killing people is not unlike the proverbial skinning of cats. There are many ways to do it. If wars with bombs and guns and the flexing of lots of manly muscles, and dead heroes, do not suit your taste, then there are also oppressive sanction regimes with food programs so corrupt that starving people are actually the least of their concerns. We are the strong. They are the weak. The strong will live, and many hundreds of thousands of the weak will not make it through the next presidential term. We must not lose sight of what is truly most important: that the policy behind these killing instruments cannot, and must not change. We must each chose the leader that makes us feel best when they talk about how their actions and decisions will kill thousands of people (without actually coming out and saying they're going to kill thousands of people.) ---Chaplain Montag of the First Knights of the 19 Quart Lobster Pot
Well, according to [The Nexus Institute: KITSCH AND THE CRISIS OF THE WEST (pdf!), Rob Riemen said, "... you will understand that if I talk about kitsch, I’m not talking about bad taste or bad art because if kitsch would be bad taste and bad art, it would not be interesting. Kitsch is much more than this. Kitsch is a form of aesthetics but it relates to ethics, it relates to values as well. And the key thing is that it has the pretension to be real. And so it makes us believe: yes, this is truly beautiful, or this is absolutely important, and this is very valuable, and so on and so forth. But it is kitsch, that is to say, it’s fake, it’s not real or if it was, it’s a lie."
With that in mind please rate the above on the Likert scale of -3.14159 (don't know what that is!) to +3.14159 (definitely Kitsch!).
This was first published by T.E. Lawrence (”Lawrence of Arabia” ) in the Army Journal and Defence Quarterly, October 1920.
... It seemed that rebellion must have an unassailable base, something guarded not merely from attack, but from the fear of it: such a base as we had in the Red Sea Parts, the desert, or in the minds of the men we converted to our creed.It must have a sophisticated alien enemy, in the form of a disciplined army of occupation too small to fulfil the doctrine of acreage: too few to adjust number to space, in order to dominate the whole area effectively from fortified posts. It must have a friendly population, not actively friendly, but sympathetic to the point of not betraying rebel movements to the enemy. Rebellions can be made by 2 per cent. active in a striking force, and 98 per cent. passively sympathetic. The few active rebels must have the qualities of speed and endurance, ubiquity and independence of arteries of supply. They must have the technical equipment to destroy or paralyse the enemy’s organized communications, for irregular war is fairly Willisen’s definition of strategy, “the study of communication” in its extreme degree, of attack where the enemy is not. In fifty words: Granted mobility, security (in the form of denying targets to the enemy), time, and doctrine (the idea to convert every subject to friendliness), victory will rest with the insurgents, for the algebraical factors are in the end decisive, and against them perfections of means and spirit struggle quite in vain.