Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Linguistic Augmentation (No Surgery)

Got you a new composite all-purpose political term. Comes from the otherwise odious Andrew Sullivan, the invariably wonderful and the powerfully snarky Glenn Greenwald.

"Christianist rightards."

Calling 'em "Christianists" is a parallel construction to "Islamists" justified since both have hijacked religion and turned it into a weapon with which to bludgeon the multitudes whom they regard as lost, irredeemable sinners.

Also real brilliant, both of them. "Rightards" does a disservice to the mentally ill everywhere but has a better ring to it than the almost unpronounceable "New Reichght."

So there you have it. Coinages du jour. Spend them well in your discourses henceforth.

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Friday, November 24, 2006

Punished for Taking Paine's Name in Vain

Not that Christopher Hitchens' diminuitive reputation requires further deflation, but the neo-con fellow-traveller's infinitesimal private parts have run into a buzz-saw over at the London Review of Books.

John Barrell, an expert on the blot on English liberties known as the political trials of the 1790s, takes on Hitchens' little stocking-stuffer Thomas Paine’s ‘Rights of Man’: A Biography from a position of actually knowing something about both Paine and the work of his other biographers.

This knowledge is fatal to what remains of Hitchens' gravitas, if any. Only in America could a journalistic jongleur be taken seriously who has worn so many motley suits that his masters can no longer distinguish which one he sports today. That superficial veneer of education with which British polemecists disguise their intellectual irresponsibility is just the thing for deceiving American neo-conservatives into treating its holders respectably.
"But compared with any other book on Paine I can think of, this one is casual, even perfunctory. Long before I reached the end of what is a very long short book, I was at a loss to know why it had been written. Discussing the reasons why Burke, who had supported the revolution in America, should have been so hostile to the revolution in France, even in its earliest and most innocent phase, Hitchens remarks that ‘it is a deformity in some “radicals”’ – he has Marx particularly in mind – ‘to imagine that, once they have found the lowest or meanest motive for an action or for a person, they have correctly identified the authentic or “real” one.’ Quite right too; and if any radical, misled by George Galloway’s description of Hitchens as ‘a drink-soaked former Trotskyite popinjay’, should suggest that this book was written out of vanity, he would surely be mistaken. A vain man would have taken care to write a better book than this: more original, more accurate, less damaging to his own estimation of himself, less somniferously inert."
This is indeed a wonderful case of the Barrell shooting the fish.

"The Positions He Takes," John Barrell, LRB, Vol. 28 No. 23, 30 Nov. 2006

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Redistricting? We'll Show You Redistricting...

In a ruthless act of copyright violation, the World's Tallest Radio HumoristTM is being hijacked from the people who rightfully pay him and brought to you on the sly, under the table, and with no authorization whatever.

40 states is plenty

Who needs Wyoming, Utah, Texas or Vermont? Senate seats should go to states that matter.

By Garrison Keillor

Nov. 15, 2006 | I'm sitting under a banyan tree in Honolulu with a big glass of pomegranate juice, and the sea is glittering and surfers are skimming in on low waves, and the election is over, so let's all relax and quit irritating each other. OK? Nancy Pelosi, the she-wolf from Sodom, is about to become the madam of the House, so you Republicans just get over it. Cash in your blue chips and invest in gold ingots and maybe real estate in Costa Rica. The black helicopters have landed. Live with it.

Democrats intend to bring reform to Washington, and why not begin with the United States Senate? It has been sorely in need of reform for a century or so. Two senators per state is a good idea in theory, assuming they are half smart, but then you look at George Allen, a lumbering frat boy from the state of Madison and Jefferson, and you think, whoa, something is wrong with this picture. We need some horizontal control.

Let's start at the beginning and redraw the map. First of all, is there a reason for Wyoming to exist as a state? I have often wondered about this. Why give two Senate seats to a half million dimestore cowboys while California gets two seats for 34 million people? (Wyoming has roughly the population of Sacramento.) It's OK if Wyoming sends somebody with brains and an independent streak, but when they send a couple of Republican hacks, then it makes no sense.

The idea behind the Senate was to create a sheltered body of wise counselors who, because they don't have to shill for money perpetually, can rise above the petty tumult and think noble thoughts and do the right thing in a pinch. Can you think of a time when Wyoming's senators have done this? No, you can't. So let's bite the bullet and make Wyoming a federal protectorate and appoint an overseer. This would be a good assignment for Halliburton. It's done a heck of a job in Iraq, so let's give it Wyoming and, while we're at it, Alaska. A wonderful postcard place, but what have its congresspeople done other than grub for federal largesse for Alaska? Change the name to Denali and put Halliburton in charge of it.

While we're at it, let's admit that Utah, Texas and Vermont have never been completely comfortable as part of the United States. They've tried to fit in, but it just isn't working, so let's allow them to pull out and find their own path. You could attach Nevada to Utah and make a lovely little desert nation out of that, and let Vermont join Canada, and make Texas a republic. Add Oklahoma to it. They really are part of the same thing. This leaves us with 43 states, which we could reduce to 40 by joining Rhode Island and New Hampshire and making Idaho part of Montana and combining North and South Dakota into one state called West Minnesota. It's called consolidation, folks. It goes on all the time in corporate America and also in local school districts, so let's make it work for America.

We Democrats will personally foot the bill for the new flags. This is a promise.

We now have 40 states and 20 extra Senate seats to parcel out. Give some to ex-presidents. This would rescue them from their lonely lives on the lecture circuit and lend some pizazz to the place since they'd be free to spout off and say whatever they think. People would sit in the galleries to listen to Bill Clinton. He'd be down there sawing away with Jimmy Carter and Bush 41 and maybe some former secretaries of state and chairmen of the joint chiefs. Let them in the club and put that experience to use. And add some city senators. Give one to New York, one to L.A., Chicago, Seattle and so forth. This would definitely add color.

And that is how you create a permanent Democratic majority. Tom DeLay showed us the way. Learn from the master. Those dinkeldorfs who ran the show for 12 years must never be allowed to return to power. Take those suits to the cleaners. Subject them to alternative interrogation techniques until we get to the truth. George Allen would make a decent host of a daytime quiz show. He came dangerously close to running for president. Ai yi yi yi yi. Let's get to work.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

In Case they Didn't Get the Memo

Apparently the Whitewash House staff hasn't quite figured out that the elections are over and they lost. Rightwing judicial nominees not only are not making it out of the lame-duck Judiciary Committee, they aren't making it out of the next one either.

A few Republican elected officials also don't seem to have gotten the memo that things have changed. In a spirit of public generosity the Slangwhanger- in- Chief enlightens some of the lower-wattage personalities below.

Dear Sen. Joe Lieberman—(Sen-CT)
Hurry up and switch parties. Just let us know how much they paid you.

Dear Rep. Chris Shays—(CT-08)
Hurry up and switch parties. Or start packing in 2008.

Dear Rep. Shelly Sekula-Gibbs—(TX-22)
You’re only here for ten days in session so you can be able to say, inaccurately, “Reelect Congresswoman Sekula- Gibbs,” in 2008. Not happening. Rep. Nick Lampson’s keeping that seat Democratic in 2008 and will be matched by the defeat of Republican judicial candidates in Harris County. The one-party South is over. Again. Maybe finally. Certainly for you.

Dear Rep Dave Reichert––(WA-08)
Don’t get too comfortable. Republicans who run against their own President have been eliminated in the east now (except one seat in Connecticut) and it is not going to play well in 2008 in the west either. Not only are your days numbered, it is a small figure.

Dear Karl Rove— (Slimedog)
Your mentor Lee Atwater had to die of cancer in order to repent of his career-long immoral political tactics. Do you think you can make it to repentance without the kind of serious drugs Atwater was on? Or will you skip the whole thing and go straight to hell?

Dear Dick Cheney––(Oilslick)
Best thing that could happen to you is Lieberman admits to being Republican so the Senate is 50:50 and you have to show up all the time, and speak, and be accessible, and be interviewed, in order to keep Republicanism running. The stress’ll kill you, of course, but it’ll be fun watching you try to ignore reality with that patented disdainful sneer, and more fun watching your funeral on TV. The lying quotient in the eulogies should be sufficient to shame the entire advertising industry into redoubling their ordinary commercial efforts once they have been shown the new depths to which inaccuracy can be pressed.

Dear George W. Bush––(Dopefiend)
This is delicious. You have finally hit the wall. There is no away to run to. Congress is out of your hands and that of the Mighty WurlitzerTM Republican Propaganda Machine. Poppy’s advisors can’t get you out of the war in less time than you’ve spent in it. The Supremes have already told you your wiretapping is unconstitutional and illegal. You will never be either popular or relevant again. Even before all the investigations begin, your legacy is sealed as the most ineffective, misdirected, corrupt and dim President since Warren G. Harding. Finally you can’t get your girlfriend an abortion, have your DUI record expunged, go AWOL and have the records disappear, get your friends to buy the firm for way more than it’s worth, sell the team, steal the election, or otherwise avoid the consequences of your previous actions. Many of us have prayed for this day. Since you are backed into the corner I know what you will probably do is start drinking regularly again, instead of just bingeing secretly as you have been doing. And Laura’s not going to be able to stop you any more than Lady Bird could stop LBJ. Even strong-minded Texican women are defeated by their little-boy husbands when those husbands want to conceal their wounded selves amid bluster and oblivion. Better get somebody to hide the pretzels on a daily basis. Next one might be fatal.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Contributor Paean

Thanks to all the Slangwhanger's friends who went to ActBlue to contribute to the candidates he touted. Six won, one lost, and two are still being counted.

Even if they lose, your help kept it close. Batting six for nine is good enough to win a short playoff series anytime.

Soon repairs to this site will be made taking down the outmoded messages in the right column as we gear up for a new set of candidates in 2008. (As Tristram Shandy's father vowed, "That squeaky door shall be mended this reign!")

Sen. Russ Feingold's decision not to contest the Presidential nomination is a blow to all of us who sought a genuine anti-war candidate. Under the headline "Shoeless Russ," one blogger wrote, "Say it ain't so, Russ, say it ain't so!" Alas, it is.

Meantime, a fervid search is on for physical representations, either poster or bumpersticker, of the following slogans. Send email to the Slangwhanger if you can let him know where to buy one.

Investigate. Impeach. Imprison.

Impeach Bush. Torture Cheney. Hang Rumsfeld.

Pelosi for President in 2007

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Spine Stiffener

If you have a progressive Congresscritter, pound 'em now in the flush of victory. The "conservative Dems are the real winners" story is already infecting NPR. A friend fired off a feuilleton at Rep. Chris Van Hollen (MD-8) which is an exemplar of its kind.

Hon Chris Van Hollen
US House of Representives

Dear Congressman Van Hollen:

Time to start disciplining the Democratic center before they swamp all us progressives. For a start, this means guys like you sitting on the heads of guys like Rahm Emanuel and Steney Hoyer. Here's what the esteemed Jane Brasher at has to say about Rahm and Steney's rollover backstabbing:

"I ask you, considering the margins that we are looking at this morning in a whole lot of the races that the Democrats won yesterday, in both the House and the Senate, what was Rahm Emmanuel thinking saying this:

"'In private talks before the election, Emanuel and other top Democrats told their members they cannot allow the party's liberal wing to dominate the agenda next year. Democrats will hold 30 or 35 seats that went for Bush in the past, meaning that Democratic candidates such as Brad Ellsworth in rural Indiana are likely to face competitive races again in 2008. Still, their interests are likely to collide with those of veteran liberals such as Reps. Henry A. Waxman (Calif.) and John Conyers Jr., (Mich.), who will chair committees.

"'With that in mind, there is a chance the 110th Congress could begin on a bipartisan note. Democrats have vowed to move quickly to tighten ethics laws and require offsets for new spending — two plans many Republicans will probably support in light of yesterday's results. Democrats also plan to push next year to raise the minimum wage, increase spending for cargo inspection at ports and reduce rates on student loans, all issues likely to draw some GOP support.

"'Partisan standoffs are likely over the war and any Democratic efforts to repeal Bush's tax cuts for upper-income America. In both cases, Democratic divisions could complicate Pelosi's plans. Democrats largely avoided detailed positions on a new Iraq strategy, but votes over spending for the military and the Iraq operation will force them to take a position.'

"Let me get this straight, we have just taken back the House and, looking more likely as of this morning, the Senate, and Rahm's first priority is to shore up his power base and his ties to KStreet. Heckuva job, Rahm. (Oh, and 'other top Democratic members?' Hi, Steny. Sheesh these people are transparent, and the media is either too tired or too dense to call them on this crap. Pathetic.)

"Here's a thought: try governing. Try saying thank you to your base who delivered not just wins for several of your hand-picked candidates, but wins for a helluva lot of folks that you barely acknowledged existed until the last couple of weeks where it became undeniable that they had a chance of winning. Leadership is not grabbing power with both hands. Real leaders acknowledge that it takes the work of a whole lot of folks — progressives, moderates, conservatives — all working together, but adhering to their own principles and to the will of their constituents. And real leaders say 'thank you' instead of 'screw you, we're doing it my way.'

"So Rahm, here's a message from your constituents who just worked their tushes off to give their party a victory: don't be a back-stabbing schmuck. Nancy Pelosi deserves more loyalty and less personal power grabbing from you and your selfish posse. Bi-partisanship is fantastic when it is working properly, with everyone involved acting in good faith. I don't know about you guys, but I think the Republican party needs to prove that it has some good faith before we start caving in to their demands. And I am fairly certain that even Rahm understands that. Which makes me wonder — what's really the motivation behind his backdoor machinations and quote planting in the WaPo this morning.

"And what is with reporters who allow idiocy like Emmanuel saying that liberal opinions ought to be discarded, and that only the centrists should have a say, and then characterizing that somehow as 'inclusive.' Um…hello…exclusion is decidedly not inclusive. And I'm here to tell you right now that Henry Waxman had better be sitting in that committee chairman's seat overseeing the rampant war profiteering oversight, or there is going to be a world of merde headed directly at a certain ballet-dancer-turned-self-promoter's head. Some principles should not be sacrificed — and allowing big companies to steal from the federal government because you are hoping they will donate to your campaign coffers is not — I repeat NOT — acceptable. Period. So cross that off the list if it's there, it is non-negotiable.

"If you think for a moment that those of us who just worked our tushes off for a win are simply going to roll over and say thank you when you spit on us, you can think again. And, while we're at it, Nancy Pelosi deserves better than a sneaky planted quote knife in her back — and Rahm owes her an apology."

Pardon the lengthy quote, but I really feel strongly that now is the time for progressive Democrats in Congress (of whom I consider you a leader) to make sure we use our majority in favor of legislation useful to vast public majority that constitutes the Democratic wing of the Democratic party.

Incidentally, I am not arguing for impeachment hearings, even though I believe a treason case is easily assembled against Bush/Cheney. (Just because they accepted no foreign gold for trashing the Constitution doesn't mean they didn't trash the Constitution.)

No, what I want is continent-wide single-payer health care divorced from employment status. I want electoral reform that ranges from abolition of the Electoral College to universal postcard voting to the criminalization of lobby spending to instantaneous internet reporting of contributors. I want DC, Northern California, Northern Virginia and Upper Michigan Peninsula Statehood. I want abolition of all federal "trust funds" from Social Security to transportation and inclusion of them in general revenues. I want higher income taxes and lower payroll taxes. Of course I want to increase the minimum wage and repeal the rich-oriented tax cuts of the Bush and Reagan years. And I want significant decreases in military spending, especially on new weaponry, and large increases in education, health and childcare spending. On Iraq, follow Murtha and pull back over the horizon while the civil war sorts itself out. On Israel, knock their heads together until they make peace along the 1967 borders. On Iran and N. Korea, negotiate, don't bloviate. And meantime have two years' worth of massive and continuous investigative hearings into Republican campaign financing, crony capitalist contracts in Iraq and post-Katrina, voter suppression, electronic voter fraud, pay-for-play legislation, the Marianas angle of the Abramoff-DeLay scandal, the ignoring of pre-9/11 intelligence, and the outright lying about WMD in Iraq. That's about the size of it.

So good luck. As Frank Robinson used to say when he managed the O's, "These are exciting times!" Just let's not let the alleged centrists drive the Democratic party. They can come along for the ride, as they should, but not drive.

Faithfully yours,
Friend o' th' Slangwhanger-in-Chief

Monday, November 06, 2006

SomeAntiwar Novels

The Good Soldier Svejk: And His Fortunes in the World War (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)
by Jaroslav Hasek

The Good Soldier Svejk: And His Fortunes in the World War (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics) Cover
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slangist, November 6, 2006 (view all comments by slangist)
Disgusting, vicious, heartless, insensitive, callous, disreputable, hilarious attack on 20th-century military glory. Together with Joseph Heller's "Catch-22" (1961) and Vladimir Voinovich's "The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin" (1975,) Jaroslav Hasek's "The Good Soldier Svejk and his Fortunes in the World War" (1923) began a triptych of antiwar satire that the other two later completed. But the unremittingly gritty, dirty, animalistic view of the basic bodily functions of eating, drinking, laughing, defecating, micturating, dying and being punished en masse in the name of some daft cause or other is Svejk's particular glory. No euphemisms, no avoidance, and all the stupidity of the higher command on view at every moment. Rare is the war novel where casual civilian theft, rape and murder by the armed forces form so naturalistic a background to the story. Svejk is a legally-certified imbecile and self-evident con-man whose immunity from further military service is ignored by a manpower-starved empire on its last legs. This is black comedy at its blackest and most comedic. The Goya of "The Disasters of War" would have grinned conspiratorially.
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Product Details

And His Fortunes in the World War
Parrott, Cecil
Hasek, Jaroslav
Parrott, Cecil
Lada, Josef
Lada, Josef
Lada, Josef
Penguin Books
London ;
World War, 1914-1918 -- Fiction.
World War, 1914-1918
Black humor
Picaresque literature
War & Military
Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics
Series Volume:
[Bd. 1]
Publication Date:
August 1990
7.78x5.16x1.28 in. 1.07 lbs.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Purest Reasons for Ignoring Treason

Disregarding Republican treason is good government, good for the country, and good for the Democratic party. Dems should take a pass on impeachment and go straight to massive and continuous oversight hearings.

Historically, the offense of treason lies in “encompassing the death of the King.” Not solely killing the King, but planning to, has customarily been chargeable. In United States law the assassination of a President is not inherently treasonous; a President is not regal. The US’ people are sovereign and the government devolves from them, rather than God being sovereign and the King drawing limited earthly sovereignty from God. In a republic, the Kingly function of representing the entire country transfers to the Constitutional structure itself, not to the momentary Chief Magistrate.

As you can kill neither God nor the people, treason is in practice an attempt to kill the Constitution. The formulation “giving aid and comfort to the enemy” is inadequate if understood solely in a military sense. But the notion is quite alive and useful if it is understood that an enemy of the United States need not be, and very often is not, foreign.

Usually you hear about treason in connection with Spanish gold, French gold, British gold, CIA gold or Moscow gold being spent to subvert government officials, almost always as a part of espionage. The Readers Digest model of treason incorporates left-wing (never right-wing) ideologues, conveniently forgetting the recent spate of traitors-for-hire, most of whom worked for alleged US allies.

According to the irreducibly precise 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, the severities of the punishments for treason in English law were owing to “the conception of treason as a breach of the oath of allegiance” to the King. In a republic, the parallel would be a breach of the oath of allegiance to the Constitution.

The manifest, manifold and maladroit treasonable actions of George W. Bush, Richard B. Cheney, and Donald W. Rumsfeld are indisputable. They brazenly and continuously lied to the Congress and the American people about the connection of Al Qaeda to Iraq (none,) the sale of nuclear materials to Iraq (none) and the existence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (none.)

Bush’s personal attacks on the Constitution include the use of signing statements to vitiate laws, acceptance as law of a bill not passed in identical form by both Houses of Congress, conspiracy to cover up the intentional exposure of an intelligence asset, fostering torture and illegal detentions, and overriding legal wiretap authority limitations.

“Failure to see that the laws of the United States be faithfully executed,” as was charged of Richard M. Nixon, covers it all.

Offenses punishable under the ordinary criminal law would include energy price-fixing in the VP’s office and crony capitalism in Iraq, Afghanistan, New Orleans and the Education and Homeland Security Departments. These do not rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors in that they do not threaten the constitutional structure. The others are and do.

However, it is arguable that no impeachment effort, for treason or for other just cause, ought be made in the 110th, destined to be known as the Oversight Congress. Rather than concentrating on impeachment, the 55% administrative cost level paid to Halliburton in Iraq is the kind of issue that the 110th should investigate starting next January. Rampant cronyism in government contracting has been the Republican hallmark. It should come back to plague the Lying, Spying, Corruption, Incompetence and Indolence Administration and its supine non-overseers in the former Congressional majority.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, together with the 110th’s Democratic preponderance, would do well to leave the treason of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld severely alone, concentrating instead on the ordinary criminal violations perpetuated by the Republican machine. That will leave the Bushites twisting slowly, slowly in the wind, a posture for which their intellectual lethargy properly suits them.

The multiple treason of the Bushites verges on the metaphysical, in that they did not seek out a foreign enemy in whose interests to betray the Constitution. Rather, they were themselves the enemies of the republic, bent on destroying the Constitution in their own interests.

This solipsism might not seem important had not charges of treason formed such a staple of Republican rhetoric from 1946 to the present day. Only last year the ranking Democratic member of the House Armed Services Committee was described as a traitor on the floor of the House by a Republican, deluded by thoughts of “victory” in Iraq and incapable of grasping that the conditions for its existence were obliterated by our very invasion.

Yet impeaching the Bushites would look too much like revenge for the otiose ordeal of William J. Clinton. Holding two years of oversight hearings into Republican contracts, spying, torture and intelligence failures would be a greatly more noble endeavor. It would play into the larger narrative of the Democrats as governmental but the Republicans as posturers. And such a course of action, in support of such a narrative, just might assist in electing a Democratic President in 2008.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

In the Run-Up

The Slangwhanger-in-Chief’s multifarious acquaintance extends to several friends who work for multi-trillion-dollar corporations scattered both hither and yon. Two of them whiled away a November afternoon exchanging messages between bouts of feigning work. Suitably disguised beneath cryptonyms below, their thoughts are presented for the delectation of the blogging public.

Prairie Baldy: Will we suddenly have an onslaught of work sometime before Nov 16th? I'd hate to think they're saving up a bunch of work for us to do all at once.


9-Fingers: hmpf. "saving up" implies a certain amount of foresight. these people would drive off a cliff before they would notice a stop sign. so, yes, we should expect an onslaught, deluge, waterwall, tidal wave, avalanche, flood, hurricane, landslide, surge, outpouring, overwhelm, rush, stack, pile, mess o' work. (boast: no thesaurus employed other than me own wetware.)


Prairie Baldy: That, or they have work for us to do but are too tied up w/other things to notice or care until those deadlines start to loom. Either way, it's bad management.


9-Fingers: it's management like this that got the french empire where it is today.


Prairie Baldy: Well, they have good food. Allegedly.


9-Fingers: i like your theory that food is the only imperial remnant worth discussing. just think of our culinary legacy. fruit pies, turkey and burgers.


Prairie Baldy: I'm bored so I'm trying to think what else we leave behind. I'd say cars, but maybe they'll be obsolete/impossible in the future if the oil situation continues to go south. Malls, pre-packaged food, and BayWatch. Maybe barbecue could be added to that, but that stuff is hardly sophisticated food-wise.


9-Fingers: bbq is a provencal daube without the clay pot, really. so it's pretty good stuff. i mean, no real food is too sophisticated except for processed stuff and sophistication, in the 18th century meaning, is exactly what's wrong with it. the assembly line, yes.


Prairie Baldy: Right, so we have our brand of barbecue, but we got the idea from somewhere else; I think I knew that but forgot.

I must be very 'sophisticated' then. Oh yeah, and corn. I think we exported that to Europe. They didn't have corn before we came here. And chocolate too. Thank the dead Aztecs for that one.


9-Fingers: and the incas for potatoes.


Prairie Baldy: Oh yeah. What would Europe have done w/out us?


9-Fingers: imploded.


Prairie Baldy: And we were always bailing their a$$es out of wars in the last century. Tell a Brit that. They love hearing that.


9-Fingers: the economic truth is the brits sold off the empire to pay america for wwi and wwii production, which is how america bought its empire. try telling that to republican self-made men...


Prairie Baldy: It was about friggin' time those nasty little Brits got out of the business of trying to rule the world. Not that we need to be in the biz either. No one should.


9-Fingers: history will record that the years 1965-2008 were those in which america twice had the political opportunity to reject empire and return to responsible power without domination. the second chance starts tuesday and continues in 2008. if dems win now and in '08 we have a chance to redeem america from the pissing-away of its respectability in the world. not that we will inevitably succeed, but we will have a chance. conversely, if the rethugs stay in power, no way. we will then just have to make our reservations out there in the imperial graveyard, "one with nineveh and tyre..."


Prairie Baldy: It's infuriating how pig-headed the Rethuglicans are. So much sense of Imperial entitlement. This election should be interesting. Assuming that that horse's ass John Kerry keeps his trap shut and doesn't give weak-minded, fence-sitting GOPers cause to stay w/their evil party. What he said is a non-issue to the faithful, but I have no faith in the average American to discern important issue from hyped story.


9-Fingers: i'm hoping for divine intervention. as br'er kipling put it in 1897,

Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!


Prairie Baldy: Divine intervention can take many forms of course. Some more benign than others.

Here's some more Kipling for you:

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.

Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!

Too bad Bush-boy and Co didn't know that verse (along w/everything else they don't know) before they invaded Afganistan and Iraq.


9-Fingers: updated (not by me) version o' country joe mcdonald's "fixin to die rag":

Well come on George your time is past
Mobilize and build up fast
You gotta get out and get Saddam
He’s an imminent threat like the rest of Islam
You know your dad’s deed was never done
So nuke em into kingdom come

And it’s one-two-three what are we fightin’ for
Don’t ask me just go with Uncle Sam
We’re out to get Saddam
It’s five-six-seven get your oil rebate
There ain’t no time to prove a crime
Yippee, they’re all gonna die

So send in the UN to run the Blitz
The harder they look the tougher it gets
That’s OK cause it’s just a big production
Don’t really care about weapons of destruction
There’s something hidin’ deep beneath the desert soil
But it’s really just an awful lot of oil


Motor cars, trucks, jeeps, and SUVs
Motor homes, boats, hogs and RVs
Can’t keep em runnin without the motor fuel
Gotta find more oil now I ain’t a honky fool
Iraq has the oil and Saddam got the keys
He’s an evil man, believe George please


Well smallpox anthrax and ricin too
A-bombs and nerve gas so what’s the big hadoo
Hiroshima and Nagasaki made some sense back then
Nuking the civilians instead of just the men
Regarding mass destruction there is only one to trust
Yes sir by golly that’s US


I know the Texas oil boys won’t ever sell you wrong
They've built a pretty good case against old Saddam
It’s not so hard to rally just another vote or two
A couple one liners and a news flash should do
It doesn’t really matter what the public has to say
It’s a done deal anyway


Well plundering the oil just ain’t an easy job
It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears by God
The military’s got to be highly dependable
Put the kids in uniforms they’re easily expendable
Say goodbye to sister, brother, uncle, mom and dad
Then ship em to the streets of Baghdad



Prairie Baldy: Yes, it was a done deal. What an evil, evil man. I suspect Dubya might have some surprises in the next life.


9-Fingers: that boy’s in for it bad when he finds out ignorance is no defence. he’s been relying on ignorance all his life to get him out of trouble. think i heard somewhere that those who live by the dead brain cell shall die by the dead brain cell.


Prairie Baldy: The religious right (in any country) will be the death of us all yet.


9-Fingers: god’s going to forgive the righteously deluded ignorant over the cynically manipulative ignorant every day for a million millennii...


Prairie Baldy: Bush seems both ignorant and cynical at the same time. Not sure how he manages it. He has his mother's sunny disposition, apparently.


9-Fingers: right. He’s cynically-manipulative-ignorant and he’s going to fry long and strong. his mama’s a black-mood alcoholic like him. his daddy’s just a clubland quiet alcoholic. daddy’s petulant, mama’s revengeful. there’s no sun shinin' up any o' those three fundaments anywhere.


Prairie Baldy: Al Franken supposedly had an interesting run-in w/Ma Bush on an airplane once. He tried to talk to her, very civilly, ask her some questions, etc., and she eventually interrupted him and said "I'm through with you now." Very odd.


9-Fingers: she’s a society gel. she doesn't have any truck with any servants -- like journalists -- that aren't on the family visiting list or payroll...