Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Stupidity: It's What's for Dinner...
Poor John Edwards. He is destined to be remembered, if at all, as the democratic party's answer to Dan Quayle. On a day when Janet Reno sticks her foot in her mouth vis-a-vis terrorism, we now find Mr. Edwards similarly enjoying a podiatric fest with regards to the new democratic party bugaboo: Wal-Mart.

Turns out that while Mr. Edwards chants the party line about how Wal-Mart is unfair to it's workers (who, as far as I know, haven't been chained to their workstations), he's been working the old network to extort (allegedly) a new Sony PlayStation 3 from Wal-Mart. James Lileks has the GREATEST explanation of the whole kerfuffle here:

However, with reagards to Edwards, and a whole new generation of democrats like him: the old "do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do" argument lost it's lustre a long time ago. This is the 21st century, for better or worse, and it's very difficult in this day and age to be both a "principled champion of the common man" and a fucking hypocrite at the same time. You are under surveilance 24/7. There are reporters who treat your very words as divine manna fromt he heavens, bloggers who scour the net for reports of what you have said (going all the way back to your position on allowing the Huns to move into Dalmatia as a means of cutting the Roman military budget). You are under constant video surveilance by the media, by YouTube, by any jerk with a cellphone. Why, oh why, is it that when you know this sort of scrutiny is applied to you 24/7/365. do you believe that you can get away with being a hypocrite, a liar , and a moron?

It's either an incredible strain of stupidity, an arrogance beyond the capacity of the rational man to comprehend, or a deep-rooted belief that the "common man" that you "fight" so much for is, at heart, a drooling idiot with an attention span measured in RPM's.

Part of me leans towards the third alternative, because all the evidence points that way. But number two is quite popular amongst the democratic bigwigs, as well.

So, Wal-Mart is a pox upon the land, unless you want something unavailable elsewhere and can twist an arm or two? How convenient.

John Edwards can reliably be expected to be a liar and a cheat (he is, after all, a trial lawyer who made a fortune "channeling the spirits" of dead/disabled children as a courtroom tactic), and now he can add "historical irrelevancy" to his resume. Short of screaming "lesbian" a few times during his debates with Dick Cheney, he has no qualification for anything. Edwards is a confirmed mental and political lightweight, who should just pack it in already.

The American people no longer have any excuse: we have more sources of information, now instantaneously delivered, than any generation in the history of the world. Why we don't use it properly, to sift the thieves and hypocrites,from our political process, for example, is beyond me.
Unless, of course, John Edwards is right, and we're all really just drooling idiots with attention spans measured in RPM's.
Of Feet and Gaping Maws...
I wouldn't have believed it, if I hadn't had seen it. Janet Reno, she of the Seige of Waco and the pre-dawn Raid on Elian Gonzales, had the AUDACITY to criticize the Bush Administration about it's anti-terrorism policies. Said hysterical rant may be found here:

Now, what makes this sooo fucking rich is that Janet Reno probably has more blood on her hands than Ted Bundy. If I recall, 80 people died when the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, mysteriously burned to the ground after a 51-day seige by federal agents and local law enforcement. I say "mysteriously" because at the time, Ms. Reno swore on a stack that absolutely NO pyrotechnic or explosive device was used against the Davidians, a statement which was later proven to be false. Those people were burned to death, and whether it was purposely done or not, the FBI and ATF and the rest of them, bear responsibility because they were boneheaded and unimaginative (and I say this depsite the fact that I believe David Koresh to have been guilty as sin of whatever he was accused of, and the Davidians morons for thinking they could long defy the power of the Fed'ral Leviathan). Janet Reno bears responsibility because she was the bonehead's boss.

But that's supposed to be forgotten because, you know, at the end of the whole thing, Janet explained that they had to storm the house because "children were being abused". Unfortunately, they had to be killed in order to save them from further abuse. Fifty-one days after telling the public about the Davidian's vast arsenal of illegal weapons, about what a rotten human being David Koresh was, it was all , in the end, about the children.

Everything in the Clinton Era was "about the children...."

Even Elian's televised kidnapping. It was for his own good, you know. What can you say about someone who takes to the airwaves on a holiday weekend (I believe it was Easter weekend), and announces publicly that although there is a "dispute" between the boy's American family and his obviously-being-controlled-by-Castro father, the US government would take no action with regards to Elian, and would let the courts continue to sort it out?

Of course, when Janet Reno says "do nothing" she really means "we're preparing the stormtroopers".

Behind a cloud of tear gas and extensive use of fire extinguishers, Federal Jackboots stormed the Gonzalez house and found the six year old cowering in a closet, he was taken out at gunpoint, although I remember listening for days as Clinton schills tried to explain how a man photographed with a machine gun pointed in Elian's direction, really didn't have the child at gunpoint.

In my opinion, Janet Reno is an accessory to murder. She is a liar. She is an expert on terrorism simply because she has presided over the use of terrorism right here in the United States and called it "law enforcement". Fact of the matter is that Janet Reno never enforced a law at all (if she had, her boss would have been in prison). Janet Reno is no expert on terrorism, unless that terrorism involves the Federal Government terrorizing it's own citizens.

So, shut the fuck up, Janet!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I Have My Answers...
With regards to the questions I posed the other day:

*Can Rudy Gulianin get past the God, Guns and Gays Coalition and win a nomination in the Republican party for President of the United States?

Short answer: no. From what I have been reading and chatting about lately, there is but one, slim chance of this happening: Guliani would have to backpeddle on his pro-choice, pro-gay-rights, pro-gun control stances, and then some MIGHT consider voting for him. That fact that this would make the man a hypocrite, plain as day for all to see, matters not. All that those who might consider the possibility wish to see is their personal views justified and approved, and reflected in a candidate who's only virtue then, is that he can beat HillaryAND kow-tow to them. In effect, their problem with Guliani is not so much his views, per se , as it is their belief that ideology must be adhered to, even if it makes you a hypocrite. The PARTY, and it's appearance of ideological purity, is all that matters, and if your own personal peeeve is acknowledged, so much the better.

Then there are those for whom no amount of backpeddling would suffice. Most of these are either principled, thinking people (who could be reasonably expected to be able to smell hypocrisy a mile off) or those perpetually-brain dead masses, that short of a divine intercession, still wouldn't vote for him because their preacher said not to.

The stunning thing about the debate over Rudy and Republicanism is not that the proponents/opponents so easily fall into quantifiable and identifiable categories; it is that there is SO MUCH invested in censorship of Guliani the man, rather than Guliani the governing philosphy.

Rudy Guliani cannot get a fair hearing because:

1. There are some preternaturally disposed (either by religion or ignorance) to believe he has nothing to say,
2. There are those who are actively frightened by the prospect that HE MIGHT have the opportunity to speak at all, and perhaps cause people to think differently, thus threatening cherry-picked parts of conservative ideology. And
3. Those who cannot get past petty distinctions and irrelevancies (He's divorced, he once wore a dress as a gag, he once had gay roommates, etc) to even admit that he MIGHT have something to add to the national debate.

He's not given a fair hearing because certain interests have decided against hearing what he might have to say.... before he says it. This censorship has thus far expressed itself in a series of articles, usually quoting a single far right source (and, as always, a single, democratic agent provacateur. Can't accuse the conservative press of not being "balanced", even when that balance is contrived for political purposes) to insinuate that Guliani's social views negate his political ones. The argument is: he's far too "liberal" socially for you to stand, therefore, he has nothing to say to you that you might like to hear or which might otherwise condition your views.

He might well find himself in the position of being the only person in a hypothetical, crowded theatre, aware of a dangerous and deadly fire, who can't warn his fellow patrons because they insist on clapping their hands over their ears, and can't hear the alarm. If this continues much longer, then the republican party deserves electoral exile. It will simply stagnate because it has refused to listen to any ideas whatsoever, especially those that might be considered heretical.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Silly Season Begins...
Last week, it was John McCain. Today, it's Rudolph Guliani.

With the formation of "exploratory committees" the first two potential republican candidates for President in 2008 have stepped forward. I'll put together something later on all of this, but for now, ask yourself the following questions:

1. How does Guliani get past the religious zelots and flamthrowers-for-all crowd, and achieve a nomination in what is, for all intents and purposes, a party machinery dominated by concern for the sensibilities of the Religious Right?

2. How long will it be before John McCain's propensity to self-destruct makes itself apparent?

Seems I have some things to think about....

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Mark This on Your Calendar...
The dingbats are out today. Somehow, the republican electoral loss brought this out:

Nostradamus predicted it!

Now, maybe it's just me, but if Nostradamus was really a friggin' genius, then why don't these morons come out of the woodwork with a prophecy BEFORE it's needed? That fact that Nostradumus usually only makes sense in HINDSIGHT does not necessarily mean he had any FORESIGHT.
It Just Gets Worse...
The 'net is buzzing today with disgruntled Christians mightily upset that the republican party has been handed it's collective ass in the mid-term elections. Mostly, this is understandable; many of the same disgruntled religious masses crying in their Holy Water these last few days feel taken advantage of. They believed that politicians who took their money and votes would somehow act the way they wanted them to, neglecting the inconvenient truths about human nature and the fallibility of man.

But the tenor of much of this self-flagellation is eerily frightening.

The main point being discussed today seems to be that America is being overtaken by an evil cabal of gays, libertines, thieves and minor Anti-Christs who are leading us down the path to utter destruction by the Almighty as punishment for our collective sins. Some are wailing that even more strenuous efforts are required to prevent this (great, just what we need; more self-appointed hall monitors. Oh wait! We elected a bunch of them the other day!), and quite a few more are actively hoping for it (the Rapture crowd). Like the Muslims, defeat to this particular group of Christians, in any sense, is not attributible to rational, logical means, it is ALWAYS a sign of divine indignation. The results, and they are usually grisly results, are our just desserts.

However, the strongest undercurrent of discontent seems to be revolve around a contradiction that can only be ignored oreven understood, if one has faith (i.e. one has given ujp the ability to use his braincells and is willing to be told what to do by someone given that authority by his ability to memorize the bible, chapter and verse).

You see, God created man with free will. Free Will, according to most people's concept of the idea, is that man has the ability to do whatever he pleases, when and how he pleases. God gave him that power. That the worst results of this rampant "I can do what I want" mentality is restrained by mostly-invisble social restraints: it is not conducive to a peaceful, prosperous society to have people running around randomly killing each other, stealing from each other, or abducting each other's wives. Religion restrains such impulses by making them "sinful", attaching a stigma and sense of shame to them with implications in the eyes of God, and "the law" restrains them by raising the prospect of punishment by society as a whole. The same can be said for things that exist in both the religious and legal realms: marriage, for example.

However, it gets a little dicey when you start to apply the concept of God-given-Free Will with the concept of God-given-Rights. Mental gynmastics are now required to make sense of any of it.

So, if God gave man the Free Will to be gay, and the Constitution guarentees the God-given right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", what exactly is the difference or the conflict? God, apparently, has sanctioned both, has he not? Well, OF COURSE NOT, you COMMUNIST! God gave us Free Will only to exercise HIS will, and while God granted your constitutional rights, there's nothing that says he can't revoke them any goddamned time he pleases, or, kill a few million of us in a terrible way to remind us that we are not exercising our Free Will or Rights in a way in which he approves. God can, and will, punish you for taking advantage of a "defect" he built into you in the first place? My, and I thought he was perfect and infallible?

No wonder religious conservatives are mostly unhappy, kill-joy types of folks. How do you reconcile the God-given-Constitutional-Right to Free Speech with God-given-Free Will when the result is someone saying "God doesn't exist", or worse, exercising those rights in such away as to make a mockery of everything else God said? It seems that God gave us the bullets with which to shoot holes in him. You have to choose: is your loyalty to your Creator or to your Country? It has to be either because it can't be both, because very often, they conflict badly.

Now, God can say "Thou shalt not kill", and we are supposed to take that as a rule by which to live, immutible wisdom, an insight which cannot be argued against or trifled with, a gift from the Almighty engraved on stone tablets. No sooner does God pass on this commandment, then the Israelites march into "the Promised Land" and have to kill everyone they find living on that land already. If God can gainsay his own commandment then, then he should be able to gainsay them whenever he wants to, so the religious kook might argue. Killing is, of course, when it can be applied to those who aren't members of the group. So, Jews might kill non-Jews, Muslims can kill whoever they want based on sect and political belief, Christians can kill muslims, and despite the fact that we are "all God's Children", God can sanction this or that bout of killing for his "selected" few whenever he sees fit,or for his own benefit when it comes to "killing the infidel".

If this is in fact true, that God is a hypocrite (or at the very least, a very bad contract writer), then why-oh-why would I have any confidence in him to "save the country" or make the proper decision on who should be saved and who shall be passed on to the torments of Hell? God seems ot be making the rules up as he goes along, changing this to suit his needs, allowing that when it's to his advantage, prohibiting this when he doesn't like it, and in the process, stampeding all over his "gift" of Free Will and his "grant" of Inalienable Rights.

I'll tell you this much: I've already decided that God, if it exists, must be a woman. Because only a woman could make THAT many contradictions and leave that kind of logical chasm and still be convinced of her righteousness,and have others either swallow them whole or throw their hands up in resignation (it's easier to subit than argue). I guess this explains why most Eveangelicals these days believ you can be "re-virginated" if you pray hard enough, huh? To argue for or against is simply too stupid and exhausting because the ground upn which your arguments stand can always be shifted by God the menstrual woman.

So, what becomes in one realm, Americans exercising their constitutionally-guarenteed, God-given rights to being gay or choosing to have an abortion, becomes in another realm the misuse of God's gifts, which he/she/it regularly contradicts, and which are given on condition that they only be used in the "right" (Good Churchkeeping Seal of Approval) way, despite the existance of Free Will?

Ah, yes it all makes sense now.

No wonder we lost the election: look at who we depended upon to vote!

I'm glad I'm an agnostic, because otherwise I'd have a raging heroin habit.

** Discalimer: I neither support the ridiculous notion of "Gay Rights" (what they seek is more rights than the rest of us, to be a protected species, like the Spotted Owl, untouchable by the legal system or the unwritten laws of polite society) or the disgusting process by which human beings are vacuumed from their mother's wombs for the sake of convenience and avoidance of personal responsibility. I simply refuse to be taken in by religious arguments which are contradictory, perposely obfuscatory and espoused by obvious mental patients.
This Just In...
The first, I think, documented insinuation of "Christian Voter Intimidation":

So, I guess cries of discrimination are not just for minority democrats anymore, but disappointed social conservatives, who should know better, too.

It's getting to the point where the solution to all of life's little disappoinments is to cry "discrimination" and drag the lawyers into it.

Hell, I haven't won the lottery yet, there must be some nefarious conspiracy at work! Get me a mouthpiece!
The Aftermath...
Short version: Democrats took back the House of Representatives, Senatorial disaster was narrowly averted. Donald Rumsfeld took the fall, the libertine press took the opportunity to gloat at a Presidential presser yesterday, and the spectre of a Speaker Pelosi has panty-bunched conservatives from coast to coast. Vast quantities of Kaopectate, Alka Seltzer and Johnny Wlaker Black have been consumed by those who had not only an electoral, but an emotional, stake in the outcome of Tuesday night. Finally, Karl Rove has proven to be human, and it should be funny watching the press that has accused him of being the Prince of Darkness, in league with the forces of the Underworld, busily write retractions and try to explain how such a tactical genius, master manipulator, uber-propagandist and politican magician utterly failed. Don't hold your breath waiting for those articles and columns, though.

Afetr all, Rove served his purpose as strawman, and now can be safely ignored. But anyway...

What does this all mean?

Well, to begin with, you can now look forward to a Congress that will do even less than the one just voted out. Whatever the Democrats believe they can accomplish, they will be hindered and hampered by their own hubris; they will trip all over themselves launching investigations and scandal hunts designed to hurt any republican nominee in 2008, assuring an easy coast for Hillary Rodham Clinton, the presumptive nominee. While they egage in this sort of activity, they will a) fail to focus on anything resembling regulation, b) potentially turn off a whole slew of independant voters that they will desperate need two years hence by ripping the government apart, and c) be following the script of the Howard Dean/Tie-died-and-tattooed wing of the Democratic party, making themsleves fairly unattractive in the future.

That, ultimately, is to the public good. Politicians preoccupied with petty turf and political battles are simply too preoccupied to screw with the rest of us. Oh, you'll be giving back that tax cut that GWB got passed a few years ago, certainly, but the regulatory monster that is the US Government will be put into hibernation while the Democrats engage in the politics of personal destruction. Of course, the 800-pound gorilla in the room will be the Clinton Machine, which will ensure that when Nancy Pelosi and Chuckie Schumer get too rambunctious, their leashes will be forcibly and abruptly yanked. They will not be permitted to stray too far formt he reservation. The keyword for Democrats is: maintain the status-quo until the Hildebeest wins. Don't rock the boat too severely.

You can also look forward to the Republicans fight tooth and nail for everything the Democrats do manage to bring to the plate that doesn't have anything to do with GWB or Haliburton. So, we're pretty safe from intrusive meddling from either extreme. Conservatives (who more and more cease to exist in the true sense of the word) will cry, wail and gnash their teeth, feelingmore and more alienated in a wilderness that is becoming ever-more moderate and ever-more interested in what their politicians actually do.

As to why the Republicans lost Tuesday nioght, well, even a democrat (small 'd' intentional) can figure that out; other than "stay the course", "don't let the terrorists win", and "the other side is worse", they had nothing to offer. This last congress has achieved nothing of consequence, and in the last six years has done nothing but violate every republican/conservative principle from lack of fiscal restraint, to arrogance in the performance of their duties, from the outright taking of bribes to the sexual harrassment of teen-aged males in he very corridors of Congress.

The lesson that should be learned is simply that you cannot continue to cry "terrorist" 24 hours a day (even if it is necessary), while in the background, you fail to accomplish everything you've set out in your agenda and expect to stay in power, or even worse, expect to be invulnerable. The Republicans counted on the national security card, but failed to recognize that after five years of all-terrorist-all-the-time, that the people were sick of hearing it. They already get it. So, now how about you do something about rampant spending, escalating entitlement costs, keeping illegal aliens out of the country and perhaps, learn to behave like law-abiding, responsible adults?

Scanning the "Conservative" web sites these past few days, several themes centered around this electoral setback seem to be raering their ugly heads:

1. Republicans were betrayed; a cabal of libertarians and liberal republicans conspired to jump ship and voted for the democrats, hanging the poor, hassled and oppressed "real" conservative majority (the TRUE inheritors of the Reagan Legacy, dammit!) out to dry. Nothing could be further from the truth. The belief that there was a conspiracy is par for the course; when the truth is too painful to face up to (Republicans simply sucked for the last few years), point to conspiracy. It relieves you of the necessity of facing up to the truth and relieves you of the responsibility of having hijacked the nomination process which created this mess in the first place. First rule of thumb: if you build a house with rotten wood, you deserve what you get.

2. A conspiracy of the Mainstream Media and very good democratic propagandists brainwashed the masses into voting democrat, especially those easily-bribed "swing voters". Yeah, that's right: the MSM and Bob Beckel were somehow required to convince millions that what they saw happening before their very eyes was true. So now electoral loss is due to the millions of mindless sheep out there who need to be told how to think or what their personal interests are. Again, conspiracy theory is the last refuge of those preternaturally opposed to telling themselves the truth.

3. Republicans lost because America is the New Sodom. In this case, it's God's will that republicans have failed because they did not frog-march the abortionists to the ovens, institute a system of street executions for the gays, round up the illegals and impress them into slave labor and purge themsleves of immoral sexual predators (they got the last part right). This comes from much the same legion of idiots who claimed that the (/11 attacks and the shooting deaths of 8 Amish girls were God's just punishment for libertinism and rampant sin. The sooner we get these jackasses out of the republican party and into padded cells, the better. They are no better than the "Earth First" bunch on the other side, and a fair deal loonier than anything I have ever seen in my life. In a different place and time, both of these extremes would have been the people burning witches, branding people with great, big "A"'s on their foreheads, and gathering at the weekly hanging as if it were prime time entertainment.

Now what makes this particular point of view interesting (once one gets past the disgust factor) is the the conservative websites are now pasting FOREIGN anti-gay, pro-religious propaganda to bolster their case, possibly because they have lost faith in their own, domestic sources of prudishness and bigotry. Given the recent past (the Mark Foly scandal and the Republican response, and the admission by one of the leaders of the biggest Evangelical Christian group that he engaged in gay sex and drug use with a prostitute), they seem to have lost their faith in the institutions they previously looked to for guidance and sureity. Now you will find fire-and-brimstone-snake-handling baptists, Rock-solid-no-idea-that-doesn't-come-from-Scripture-will-penbetrate-my-skull Evangelicals making common cause with the CATHOLIC CHURCH and posting Catholic commentary on Conservative websites. Yesterday alone, on FreeRepublic, there were anti-gay articles posted from Israeli, Polish and Vatican newspapers,andposters that I know personally to be of the mind-set that the Catholic Church is the next-best-thing to being involved with organized crime, have now eagerly made common cause with the Church. That such things have already happened in the span of 72 hours is simply amazing, and reminds one of just how predictable and hypocritical some people really are.

4. (And this one SLAYS me) Republicans lost because we had "no outlet" for telling the truth about the democrats. This, naturally, has been posted all over the Internet (I've seen it in about 30 places, thus far), which shows just how oblivious some people really are; you've just posted, in a public forum that reaches millions, that the media is somehow denied to you and you can't "get your message out"? Rush Limbaugh, I guess broadcasts to no one from a closet? Fox News, which at least makes the effort to provide both sides of an issue, is watched by no one?Republican candidates were not allowed to purchase advertizing space and run campaign ads on TV and radio? Quite honestly, the message wasnot one people wanted to continue to hear; they've heard it for the last six years. The message was: "Yes, so I might be an all-round sonofabitch, profligate spender, accountable-to-no-one hypocrite, who won't build a border fence, can't tell you the truth about the war in Iraq, and who doesn't really care if the government agency tasked with saving your life from natural disaster doesn't work, vote for me anyway...or the terrorists will kill you."

Non-starter. The country is tired of war and terrorism, and while they don't want the Iraqi adventure to end in defeat, they certainly don't want it to continue in the present fashion; aimless, leaderless, ill-defined and apparently endless. Americans are dying for Iraq, no Iraqis are dying for it. That's a problem. Depsite all the successful thwarting of terror plots in the last five years, Usama Bin Laden is still alive (we believe) and seems to have been forgotten. Saddam Hussein my be getting hanged, but, heck, that was a foregone conclusion and it has very little to do with ending the conflict or setting the conditions for a democratic Middle East.

Unfortunately, it'sa truism that more islearned from failure than from success. What the republican party, MY republican party, must now learn is how did it all go badly, and how do we correct it? Well, the first step is going to have to take a look at how we nominate candidates. We were given a truckload of Hasterts and Frists, Lotts and DeLays, and look where it got us. We have to suffer the insufferable with John McCain and people like Newt Gingruch have been exiled for minor sins. Condoleeza Rice and Rudy Giuliani can't even get a fair hearing because they are (or might be in the case of Rice, I don't know for certain) pro-choice and separate from "the base" on a number of other social issues. "The Base" incidentally, is the problem; candidates have to be tailored to their particular pet peeves or they stay home, which gives us candidates which are politically-reliable (until the candidate can safely get away with being politically-unrliable, see the last six years), but also makes them unimaginative technocrats who managed to manipulate the party machinery, but who otherwise couldn't think their way out of a wet paper bag, even if you gave them a chainsaw.

It's time for new blood and new ideas, but I'm afraid we'll get none of either in the next two years. The Right-wingers of the Buchanan stripe (the God, Guns and Gays coalition, as I call them, the American Taliban is apt, as well) will prevent it, and if they can't, they'll do what they always do: stay home or find a Ross Perot type to waste a vote on. Perhaps now is a good time for the Republican party to cut them loose. It will be painful, it might lead to electoral disaster again, but in the long run, purging the party of the lunatic fringe and the Social-Conservative-Litmus-testers,migth pay dividend by making REPUBLICANISM more attractive. This future republicanism can still draw lessons and bullet points form Conservatism (fiscal responsibility, national defense, law and order, end rampant illegal immigration, etc). Conservatism, it seems to me, was and still is a great philosophy, but it's attracting the entirely wrong sort. The problem is the proponents, not the philosophy.

Anyway, I won;t hold my breath waiting for it to happen.

In the meantime, Democrats now have two years to fix what they say they will. I have no confidence that they actually will accomplish anythign of consequence because they are, at heart, vicious little school-yard bullies and mental retards, to whom comon sense is something to be avoided like typhus. There are many who are just as small-minded and convinced of the tuth of their idiocy as the most staunch conservative. In the final analysis, both parties are being ruined by their extremes. But anyhow, it should be entertaining TV for the next two years, if nothing else, until the cut-and-run-apologize-to-Hamas-tax-everything-within-an-inch-of-it's-life party drops the ball and a few thousand Americans get killed in a horrifying terrorist attack. I don't wish for it, but I can see it happening.

Perhaps only then will the American people stop this nonsense of electing and paying heed to the extremists in both partys and start thinking about being AMERICANS first and members of a political party, second. But gioven the track record, if 9/11 only equated to a 51-49 race between Bush and Kerry, you have to wonder whether a second attack will do much more in changing minds.

To sum up: republicans lost because they deserved to. They fell asleep at the wheel, and when they weren't sleeping, they were feathering thier own nests and acting like drunken sailors on shore leave. Teh democrats now have an opportunity to prove they can be serious and grwon up, too, but will fall far short of this seemingly easy goal.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Paeschendale, Indeed...
I require some time to sort out all the stuff floating around on the Republican pasting that took place yesterday. I promise, I will get back with something intelligent, witty and snap-on prescient (right after I stop crying).

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A More Dangerous World...
Given the obvious nuclear aspirations of Iran and North Lorea, the spread of a radical Islamic fascism, the disregard for human life shown in a million places from the enforced mass starvation of Darfur, to the killing fields of American schoolrooms, one has to wonder just what kind of future the world faces.

I grew up during the height of the Cold War, where the two major superpowers pointed nuclear holhocaust at each other 24/7/365 , and where the threat of extinction hovered over every human activity you could think of. The destructive force at the command of both the American President and the Soviet Premier was held in check by a very slender set of hair-triggers, that at any moment, could fail and let loose the dogs of war. Terror maintained a balance of force on planet Earth. Neither side (although there were individuals that actively sought such a thing) was going to fry the other unless there was a good reason to do so. Reason, even in something as unreasonable as a nuclear weapon, was still in force.

Nowadays, we have some new players on the stage; Pakistan, India, China, and now North Korea and Iran. Pretty soon we'll be probably be seeing nuclear Brazil and Japan. Thatis the nature of the forcs unleashed by Messers. Einstein and Oppenheimer; once the genie is out of the bottle, and so on and so forth. And the world seems so much more unsafe now in 2006 than it did in 1976.

Of course, if you're a leftist, the reason for this is the conervative policies of the Western nations, and in particular, the United States. If you sit on the opposite side of the spectrum, the reason for this insecurity is the complete collapse of the collective security arrangements of the 20th century that ensured peace through mutual terror. This is an argument that will never be solved, if you ask me, although both sides seem to have merit in their position. The problem is not politics and policy, economics and dogma, it is human nature, a force which cannot be constrained by governments and collective organizations.

Human nature, not the policy of any nation or alliance, created Usama Bin Laden. Human nature encourages poor people who otherwise feel powerless to strive for what they construe as the measure of true power; nuclear weapons. Human nature dictates that when restraints on uncivilized behavior are removed, uncivilized behavior will result. And human nature also ensures that when minor incidents of uncivilzed behavior fail to have the intended effect (to frighten, to call attention to something, to affect the actions of others) then the scale and barbarity of such actions escalate. Hence, we go from hijacking to using airliners as weapons, from kidnapping to kidnapping/beheading on the internet. We go from postulating tenets of human rights and freedoms to sucking fetuses out of a womb via vaccuum cleaner. We advance from stupidity to stupidity, platitude to platitutde, inanity to inanity, horror to horror, and we can never, ever seem to figure out either the source or the engine.

WE are the source. WE are the engine. But to admit it is slightly embarassing. To do anything about it is even more horrible to contemplate: action is beyond the scope of most people, too self-interested as they are. Instead,they scream for "the government" to do "something" about this, that or the other crisis; so long as they can watch "Dancing with the Stars" and get gasoline at a reasonable price, why should they care if there's some Arab dude with a set of TNT boxer shorts? So long as they have the "right" to abrogate their responsibilities and surf internet porn without anyone looking over their shoulder, why should they care about philosophies and ideologies that are poisonous? So long as they can drink all the Bud Light and watch the Super Bowl, why does anyone care that there are people starving, dying of preventable diseases, who don't have freedom, who can't read, who own nothing, who have nothing and will never amount to anything, and who WILL take it out on us, given the opportunity?

Think about it. Then think about the great, unwashed masses, starving in Pyongyang, brainwashed in Tehran, struggling for decency in Baghdad, fighting to survive in Darfur, or ignorant and frustrated in Chicago.

The Cold War has ended, and in it's place a Pandora's box of hatred, stupidity, militancy, intolerance, ideology, hatred --- the entire, disgusting regime of inhumanity on display makes one gag ---- has been opened. In retrospect, it now appears that the Cold War wasn't such a bad thing, after all.
For those who have never heard of it, the Battle of Paeschendale was one of the worst incidents of mass-slaughter on the Western Front in the First World War. I recall it for no particular reason other than it seems to have a political counterpart in the upcoming mid-term elections.

Prior to the Battle of Paeschendale, British generals were convinced that the solution to the bloody stalemate of the Western Front was simple obstinancy; all they had to do was to persevere, act with a little dash and verve, and the German defenses would crack, and in would flow the British Army, like a swarm of ants. The War would be over, the British would be victorious, God Save the King! Of course, it didn't work out that way.

Paeschendale was a mass slaughter. One of the worst in the annals of warfare.

I bring this up for a simple reason; the "generals" in charge of what nowadays passes for the Republican party are of similar mindset to the Generals at Paeschendale; They can brazen this one out. All they have to do is hang tough and the democratic lines will crack, and the advancing Republican hoarde will swarm in like ants, the war will be over, God be Praised! Toughen it out is a common theme running through Republican rhetoric these days; we must "stay the course" on Iraq. We must continue to maintain the status-quo in most areas of American life -- against terrorists on the one hand, in favor of tax cuts, on the other.

Like the Generals at Paeschendale, the Republicans also have a recent history of failure; there has not been a single, republican/conservative ideal advanced or adhered to in the last six years, of any consequence. And just like those British Generals, our republican leaders will continue to advance blindly, stubbornly, unable to learn form the past, unwilling to think of the future, determined to spin out an endless "NOW" --- and the slaughter will be great, because the British could not find an adequate solution to the problems of trench warfare and os repeated the same old tried-and-failed tactics, because there was no viable alternative to hand or within their imaginations. And that is exactly what Republicans are asking for at the polls this fall; an endless present, in which they maintain control of the visible mechanisms of government simply for the lack of a viable alternative. The fact that they have a history of failure behind them (Katrina, spending cap busting, Budget busting, lack of entitlement reform despite control of both houses of Congress, just to start), does not cause them to question their tactics; they simply continue them, like the Generals, for lack of a viable alternative or imagination.

At this point, the only real reason to vote republican is because the alternative makes one too sick to contemplate. And if that's all we have to vote for, them why bother? I'm not concerned about the specter of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, or Harry Reid as Senate Majority leader, because neither one of them actually matters; such concerns about who does what job or advances what agenda mean nothing to the man in the street --- they only mean something to political junkies and ideologues. What I'm concerned with is having a reason to get off my behind in a week and pull the lever for somebody. Give me something other than "more of the same" or "the other side is worse".

The truth of the matter is that neither Pelosi or Reid could hardly do a worse job than their republican counterparts, Hastert and Frist. Considering just how bad the current crop of politicos has been, the bar has been set comically low in terms of success. Both of them (Frist/Hastert) can point to an unblemished record of delay, plunder, surrender, ineptitude, alleged criminality amongst their caucus, and shameless pandering. The twin-headed monster of Reid/Pelosi, frankly, hardly frightens me at all, because at heart I know that they couldn't even be as competent in being incompetent as the Hastert/Frist combination has been. They (Reid/Pelosi) certainly couldn't be any better and they most definitely couldn't be any worse. Given the fact that the democratic party has splintered to an even greater extent than the republican party, I can safely predict that even with democratic control of both Houses of Congress, even less will get done. There are simply too many competing voices for the democrats to hammer out a coherent policy on anything, let alone concerted action.

Even with the bar set so low, Pelosi/Reid will, with as much certainty as one can muster with regards to this kind of prediction, more than likely accomplish far less than the Frist/Hastert monstrosity. A congress which does nothing of consequence is typically good for the American public.

But, true to form, our republican generals will trot out the old, tried-and-true tactics in a desperate effort to stave off defeat; a vote for a democrat is a vote for terrorists, for drug dealers, for abortionists, for illegal aliens, for surrender in Iraq, and sets the stage of a president Hillary Clinton (who scares me even less than the Pelosi/Reid Beast). Like the Generals at Paeschendale, they continue to believe that one last, bull-headed push will break the lines and bring victory; resorting to this kind of strategy is the same as sending young men "over the top" into the teeth of machine gun fire and artillery, unprotected.

Fear and maintaining the status-quo are not reasons to vote for anyone. As republicans, we must resign ourselves to the fact that we will probably get creamed in a week's time and that we have a long laundry list of failures to point to in order to figure out why. The republican party will lose not because of Iraq, or the Patriot Act, or Gay Marriage, or any of the other distraction issues either party advances in order to obscure the real going's-on; it will have failed because it promised to reign in federal spending and instead plundered the treasury. It promised to reform runaway entitlement programs and not only caved on Social Security, but added another $100 billion program to Medicare to pay for prescription drugs for people who can already afford them. It's failed because it stands on principles and then consorts with Jack Abramoff and his ilk and defends Tom DeLay. It deserves to lose because it cannot muster enough gumption to do anything that would advance republican/conservative ideals, but somehow can muster enough to pass a joint resolution in the middle of the night on behalf of a brain-dead woman in Florida, trampling all over the ccncept of marital rights and privleges along the way (how Conservative of them was that?).

Let the slaughter begin.

Paeschendale, however, did have a silver lining. It was one of those events that makes human beings scratch their heads and ask "why?". In the years after Paeschendale, generals and military theorists and strategists studied, dissected and investigated every aspect of the Battle of Paeschendale and the lessons learned can be said to have saved lives in the Second Wrold War, as perverse as that sounds. New tactics and new weapons evolved to prevent or mitigate the effects of modern weapons on the battlefield. New leaders emerged determined not to repeat the idocy of the past. The republican party must do the same.; it must find new leaders, evolve new tactics and produce new weapons, if it is to save itself from bloody slaughter.

That is exactly what the republican party must do now in the aftermath of it's own potential Paeschendale.
Okay, I'm serious now...
I know, I know. I've been away for far too long. "Matt!", you might ask, "what the hell have you been doing all this time?" My response would probably not be all that edifying. It would run along the lines of something akin to "Wish to hell I knew!".

The Beast has taken hold again, folks. Depression. A very nasty word and an insidious foe. This bout seems to have lasted several months, but I think -- operative word, think -- I can deal with it this time.

So, bear with me please, it's a difficult time...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

News From the Front...
Sorry for my extended absence, but there has been quite a lot happening these days and I've been up to my armpits in it. Most of it has nothing to do with the ebb and flow of events, the hustle and bustle of everyday life, the juggling of career and free time. It has more to do with my state of mind than anything else, and the occasional thought that, perhaps, I'm screaming into the teeth of an Atlantic gale here.

I originally started this screed because, for lack of a better term, I had no other forum in which the tortured ramblings of my (seemingly) diseased mind could be safely put to paper, so to speak, without hurting anyone. It's a safety valve, of sorts, intended to relieve the pressure we all manage to store up inside our skulls. Sometimes, you just have to scream or you'll just go mad.

In this regard, the cyberspace revolution has been a godsend for most of us. You now have a place where you can spew your most vile mental lava with (almost-) complete anonymity, and without the stigma that automatically follows the expression of some unpopular position in....ahem...polite society. I always thought that perhaps the rest of the world was crazy and that I was a minority of one; an island of sanity in an insane world. Perhaps that's arrogant, perhaps it's even nuts, but with every passing day it becomes ever more true. The battles being fought here are every bit as vicious, every bit as deadly, as those being fought in Iraq.

The most recent battlefield has been in the murky depths of political chatboards and blogs. I don't claim to be an expert on either, nor can I admit to knowing all the principle players in the whole cyber-reporting regime. All I can do is contrast and compare, and use my intelligence (such as it is) to sift the cyber wheat from the chaff. Once again, I have been delving into the "conservative" forums and pleading for moderation from some of the more ardent Nazis...errr...conservatives out there.

I say moderation for a reason --- because there's very little to be found. Anywhere.

Every issue these days is founded upon an extreme position, and this goes for both sides of the political spectrum. On the Left, the foundation is always some form of base politics or childish, shallow affectation that passes for intellectuality. Whatever the issue --- high gas prices, the War on Terror, Nation-building in Iraq and Afghanistan, illegal immigration, entitlement reform, etc --- the Left's basic position is always underpinned by two unarguable, incontrovertible pillars: George W. Bush is evil incarnate, a mere puppet of Big Oil and in thrall to the Christian Taliban in the United States, and, only democrats (small "d" intentional) can be trusted to get anything right. There is never any intellectual proof put forward to support these two premises; they are supposed to be self-evident and require nothing in the way of reason and logic to prop them up. We're supposed to swallow them whole and just believe in them as a matter of faith, unquestionable, undeniable. This is the closest thing to a Leftist Ten Commandments as we're every likely to come.

Eventually, the intellectual gives way to the emotional and when that happens, there is no way to counter anything, no means by which ideas based upon intellectual premises can be put forward. The Leftist, especially the American Left, which holds religion in such contempt, has found it's own religion (Bush Hating) and uses it as an excuse for a Scorched-Earth campaign of reflexive anti-Bushism, and ultimately, anti-Americanism, of the sort that our Airliner-hijacking-pizzeria-exploding-rocket-launching-into-daycare-center Middle eastern brothers would recognize easily. The Left has become that which it fears most ; fascist. And not just fascist, but fanatically so, with a passion that is usually reserved for religion.

On the Right, a similar dynamic is in play.

Check out any "conservative" website these days and there are, basically, only five themes on display: anti-Leftism, anti-Immigrant, anti-Arab, self-immolation, and the Conservative Trifecta of God, Guns and Gays (I lump them together because they always seem to go hand-in-hand). You cannot discuss any of these things with someone who believes themselves to be conservative (usually because the voted for Reagan at least once, but who have no idea of what that actually means) without the argument coming back, eventually, to God, Guns and Gays.

The Right is become that which it fears most; the Soviet Union. Thought control, uniformity of ideological outlook, a religious faith in the destiny of the United States as God's chosen agent for good on earth, are all on display. Dispute any of these basic premises and be prepared to get slimed by the usual epithets: Lefty-lover, Fag-lover, Rockefeller Republican, RINO. The list goes on. Disagree with someone who believes that the ability to recite Bible verse word for word makes you politically conservative and watch how quickly they descend upon you, like the villagers in Frankenstein, torch in one hand, pitchfork in the other.

I now know for certain what I hadn't realized before, or at least was afraid to admit to myself: I'm not crazy, everyone else is.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Idiot Dialectic...
I've been watching the liberal talking heads on several shows this evening spin the discovery of 500 Chemical warheads in Iraq.

I have but one word to describe it:


The 'talking points' (which are transparent, and understandably so; democrats (small 'd' intentional) have only had a few hours to react to Rick Santorum's news conference) being trotted out to degrade the "Bush was right about WMD's" argument, revolve around three points;

1. These are not the WMD's we went to war for
2. These WMD's are too old to be a danger to anyone

Idiocy, plain and simple.

To take the first...ahem...argument; if these "aren't the WMD's we went to war for" then just which one's would you need to find to justify the war in the first place? A WMD is a WMD, is it not? On a certain level, this defense seems to imply two things; democrats knew these weapons would be found, in which case they would simply deny, deny, deny, and secondly, it implies there is another batch of WMD's out there; Laura Schwartz just implied it on Hannity and Colmes.

Which leads to the question; if there's another batch of WMD's (you said these aren't "the ones"), then where are the others? And aren't you the people who said that none existed in the first place? We have now gone from arguing that none exist, to finding definitive proof that they did, to using "yeah, but there are more" as a counter-argument.

On the second argument that the weapons are too old; if you've ever handled explosives and weapons at any time in your life, the first rule is always have a great deal of respect for the destructive power of such things. You always treat any weapon as if it were live or loaded, and age doesn't mean a damned thing.

I remember not too long ago when construction was being done on Goivernor's Island here in New York. The construction crews found an old, unexploded naval artillery shell, that (I believe) was reported to have been lobbed at the fort on the island in the War of 1812.

Guess what?

When the EOD people came to remove it (they actually blew it up in place) not only did the explosives THEY used go up, so did the shell's. A 200 year old shell was able to explode, sure with a little help, but explode it did.

In this day and age, landmines are a cause celebre. Millions of them remain hidden and buried all over the world and thousands are injured and maimed by them annually, the vast majority in Southeast Asia. If I recall, the Vietnam War ended in 1975. The war in Cambodia and Laos went on a decade more, yet almost every day, reports come in of children being injured ny landmines left over from that conflict.

So, if 200 year old naval shells can go "BOOM" and 40 year old landmines can do likewise, what makes you think a sarin-filled artillery round buried in the sand of Mesopotamia can't?

Yes, a chemical weapon works on different prinicples, and unlike some conventional explosives, are far less stable and susceptible to the ravages of time and enviornment. But, to dismiss the possibility that even "old" sarin or mustard gas shells are "harmless" is incredibly stupid. To insist upon it for political purposes is CRIMINAL STUPIDITY.

This sort of stupidity is not wholly an affectation adopted for political purposes, either. There is a strange, inverted dialectic to it, as well. So, while 500 WMD artillery shells in the hands of Saddam Hussein (and potentially, terrorists) is "no big deal", 500 S&W revolvers in the hands of private citizens, with licenses, is. One is no big deal, the other is a "crisis" and a "tragedy" and a "threat to our children's safety".

I say we ask John Kerry and Teddy Kennedy to personally go to Iraq and help destroy these shells with their bare hands, and Mrs. Clinton with her fangs.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Troops on The Border...
The President of the United States pre-empted Oprah's Ball last night to make a speech on Border Security. Two thoughts on this:

a) About freakin' time, Mr. Bush! When did you finaly get the idea that this is a vital national security issue?

b) The Left is gonna fry you: they missed the opening minutes of a non-event which is the equivalent of a coronation-beatification-and election of a new Pope, all rolled into one. You don't pre-empt Oprah and expect to get away with it, you fascist! (sarcasm).

Both premises are interesting on a couple of levels.

Despite years (running on decades, actually) of concern by many Americans about the unfettered immigration of massive numbers of people not steeped in the Western tradition, nor particularly interested in assimilating into American culture, entering the country in violation of our laws, somehow this problem has been one that has never taken any precedence in American politics. Even the iconic Mr. Reagan simply kicked this can down the road and bestowed anmesty on (at the time) 10 million illegal immigrants.

Five years AFTER 9/11 and the regime we now labor under which is intended to provide a "sense of security", has the porous southern border has now finally been identified.

"Better late than never", some might say.

Until illegal immigrants are shot on sight, just as soon as they sneak across and touch American soil, I'd say this was nothing but talk.
Dropping Shoes...
Some more information about the Duke rape case has come to light in the last week. The prosecutor's office in Durham, NC has named another alleged defendant, the results of a second set of DNA tests has been sorta-kinda released, the defense has made allegations of prosecutorial misconduct concerning the rules of evidentiary discovery. Defense press conferences have been the lead item on many a newscast.

What does it all mean?

Beats the snot out of me!

However, the sordid affair will continue to be played out in our living rooms for the next few months, at least, and we'll be subjected to more "journalism" of the Geraldo Rivera-Greta Van Susteren sort, in which endless speculation will be passed off as "information".

From where I sit, everyone involved should be taken out and shot, but that's just one man's opinion. It's already apparent that the whole tempest has very little to do with justice and everything to do with primping, preening, self-interested lawyers, who somehow labor under the misapprehension that they are God's gift to humanity. I blame John Gresham, personally.

Wherever the chips finally fall, we can be sure of two things:

a) No one will be satisifed at the eventual outcome, and nothing approaching Justice will be served.

b) Someone (perhaps a lot of someone's) will have a short, but spectacular, career making appearances on Oprah and writing "tell-all" books which will tell nothing at all, and even when there is a tidbit of real information, will be so biased in favor of one side or another as to be useless as either history or social commentary.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Conservatives: Endangered Species...
We are rapidly approaching the national farce that has been politely and generously named "the Mid-Term elections". This is the time, in the middle of a President's term of office, in which the people vote for their representatives in those hallmarks of American Democracy: the House of Representatives and the Senate.

If you are a conservative, you are quaking in your shoes. And you should be. You look at the blasted landscape which is all that remains of the "Regan Revolution", which propelled your ideology from "the Old Fuddy-Duddies Wish List" to "mainstream American Politics", and wonder just where it all went wrong. Unless you're Trent Lott, and can pretend the problem doesn't exist. Politics, you know, is the domain of the anointed. Us peasants may have opinions but they don't amount to squat when compared to the wisdom of the Conservative elite. Especially when it comes to how money gets spent.

You wonder where it all seemed to jump the tracks. Unless you're Tom DeLay and the (alleged) abuse of power and federal campaign finance laws flouted in an attempt to create a Conservative majority within your state is not a transgression punishable by law, but your God-given DUTY, dammit!

You feel somewhat strange, having to do contradictory things just to stay in power. Unless you're John McCain and you have the ability to pass a series of laws bordering on the restoration of the old "Seditious Libel"regime, or when you complain about the cost to your state of taking care of illegal aliens in small-town border hospitals, and the rising crime rates and social dislocation associated with illegal immigration, and then campaign with all your might to pass amnesty for the same illegal aliens.

I used to think I was a conservative. Well, at least I held some conservative views. I've recently began to discover that I was grossly wrong. Not because Conservatism, as an ideology, is flawed in any fundamental way (and let's admit that it does have some flaws), but because many of the Conservatives who proudly proclaim themselves as such are one of the following (and very often, both): crazy and/or liars. The more I think about it, the more I begin to see myself more as a republican with a few conservative viewpoints, and an awful lot of frustration.

Now, as to mental illness and lying.

Peruse many of the Conservative websites these days and you'll find an awful lot of the following: name calling, expectation of lock-step allegiance, castigation of an individual who might otherwise agree with you 99% of the time for having an opinion which differs from "conventional wisdom", religious bigotry. You'll find an awful lot of people who claim to "know the Constitution inside and out" and who somehow manage to infer that it simultaneously says things that it doesn't, or not say something that it does.

You will find a fixation with the minutiae of daily life that very often doesn't even touch upon politics (or should) in any rational sense. Most of these fixations revolve around social issues, not legal or legislative, and personal finance (pocketbook issues) and on which the Constitution is obviously silent for practical reasons. These fixations are anchored by four issues; the Three G's (God, Guns and Gays) and Abortion. Mention any of the above, like to say they really have very little place in political debate, and watch how soon you get labeled a "Rockefeller Rebublican", a RINO (Republican in Name Only), a closet leftist, fascist, queer-lover, Baby-killer, and a whole lot worse.

This is the crazy part. The lying part is even worse.

There was, we were told, a major shift in the country's political leanings which manifested itself nearly six years ago. The voters of this country were trending more and more conservative, and had done George W. Bush the ultimate good deed of ceding control via elections to the Republican party, in particular, the Conservative elements within the Republican party. These Conservatives, in no particular order, are the visible faces of the Republican Congress. They are Trent Lott, Tom DeLay (currently out of politics and facing indictment), Bill Frist, John McCain,
Mitch McConnell, and a few you've never heard of. The Conservatives, now with full control of the apparatus of government, and a war on terror to fight, would soon correct the list to port(i.e. the damage done by Eight years of All-Clintons-all-the-time) that threatened to sink the Good Ship United States.

This would involve, in no particular order: a balanced budget, a beginning on the elimination of the Federal Deficit, a solid energy policy that would break American dependence on foreign oil imports, national security against terrorism, entitlement program reform, Campaign Finance Reform, Tax Reform, National Ballistic Missile Defense, a reversal of Roe v. Wade and a more responsible and conservative Supreme Court, among other issues.

And what did we get? We haven't exactly "balanced the budget", but we have "arrested it's growth", which are code words for "that customary 10% yearly increase in funding the Department of Marshmallow Easter Bunnies used to get is, instead, reduced to 9%, and next year, 8.5%, beyond what they actually need to fufill their overall mission, which is ensuring that every Christian child in the country gets the maximum number of pagan-inspired sugar bombs on the day in which we celebrate the Resurrection fo the Savior. So much for balanced budgets.
By the way, there has not been one appropriation which has been threatened by a Presidential Veto since GW Bush took office. Not a solitary one. He lost the pen, apparently, except when public pressure threatens to stop a ports deal with an Arab country dead in it's tracks. That's when he recalls that he has the power of the veto; to override public opinion.

We then use the (mostly) imaginary savings from "arresting the growth" and pour it into a host of other federal programs and prjects, prime amongst them those that fall into the category of "Compassionate Conservatism", which is actually code for "socialism, but because it was advanced by a Conservative, is not supposed to be called socialism". So much for the Federal Deficit. Not only are the "Conservatives" spending the money they "saved" by "arresting the growth of federal spending", they're borrowing more in order to advance more of the same. It wasn't too long ago that Congress, led by the Conservative majority (of course) voted itself the right to increase the federal borrowing caps (imposed by many of the same Congresscritters! Go figure!) to NINE TRILLION DOLLARS.

Energy policy? Well, we did have one. It involved drilling for more oil domestically, but had very little in the way of finding an alternative to oil once and for all, except for a few blurbs about nuclear power, a few subsidies for more ethanol research (that ethanol subsidy has been in place since the 1970's, by the way. Have to make sure American corn farmers get welfare too, you know), and the quest for the ever elusive "hydrogen-powered engine". In the meantime, the federal government mandates "specialty blend" gasolines (more than 20 different types) brewed for particular regions of the country in order to control smog, without allowing for the construction of new refineries. The result: when oil prices are at all time highs, and American refineries are operating at near 100% capacity foir nearly a decade now, gasoline costs $3.00-plus per gallon and we're assured that supplies are plentiful. Well, if they're plentiful, then why does it cost $50 to fill my tank every three or four days?

The US Army now occupies Iraq,which many on the political left maintain was invaded only so that we could steal Iraqi oil for Dick Cheney's friends at Haliburton, and gasoline prices rise faster than an exotic dancer on a pogo stick with a raging yeast infection. Just where is all this free oil we're supposedly stealing? Why is it that Americans, spoiled bastards that we very often are, get incensed over $3 gasoline, but but don't care a tinker's cuss about $4 milk? The plan was, as is now obvious: more of the same, but with an honorable mention for what was considered a "liberal" plan of the past.

Our National Security needs were apparently taken care of when the Congress created, and then approved, the Department of Homeland Security, which is really the conglomeration of 50 or so formerly-nominally-independant government agencies without a corresponding Cabinet Member, into a monstrosity that now has one. It is a Goliath that now includes the CIA, FBI, FEMA, ICE (New acronym for what used to be Immigration and Naturalization Service), the Coast Guard, Transportation Security Adminsitration (i.e. high-school drop outs at the airport who originally brought you 9/11, only now they're unionized and federalized), and a host of others. And which does not work.

So, when the biggest hurricane to hit the Gulf Coast in a century drowns New Orleans, FEMA can't do what it needs to because it's been distracted by it's Terrorism responsibilities and underfunded, and can no longer operate unless it gets an order form the Secrectary or the President, but in which the ultimate authority for disaster recovery belongs to the individual STATES, not the Federal government. DHS allows American ports to be bought or licensed to Arab nations in an age of Islamic terrorism without notifying the American public, or even the President, but insists that all the "necessary security reviews" (the results of which are never made public because of --- you guessed it --- security concerns) were done.

DHS is not a security apparatus; it is the result of a redrawing of the org chart. A sad testament to the extent to which American business has infected American government (when in doubt, make someone else responsible, anybody, and draw me a new Org chart!). This is akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

We're promised entitlement reform of programs that are slowly bankrupting the American people and which will entail enormous amounts of money to fund to the exclusion of just about all other federal spending. Specifically, we were promised Social Security and Medicare Reform, and with a Conservative Congress, either should have been a slam dunk. Instead, we got the same dysfunctional Social Security system that will be with us forever (and in our wallets forever) and a NEW Medicare entitlement, known as Plan D. Both stand for "bribe the remnants of the Greatest Generation and those soon-to-be-whining-pains-in-the-ass-we-call-the-Baby Boomers, with a continuation of the gravy train, and free medication, too boot. Oh, and by the way, it will cost us another trillion dollars. And neither does anything to "arrest the growth" (there's that phrase again) of either program in terms of the ever-increasing percentage of the Federal budget they consume.

Campaign Finance Reform? More like the biggest, open assault on Free Speech in the Country's History which instead of "getting the special interests out of politics" has turned politics into a game ONLY the "special interests" can play, and a tenure-for-life proposition for politicians.

Tax Reform? The IRS is still with us. There has been no alternative to the "Progressive" Income Tax after six years of control. We've had federal tax cuts (which are quickly erased by state and local tax INCREASES), but no "reform" whatsoever. Reform, in my dictionary, means fixing that which does not work any longer. Reform in Conservative circles now apparently means "keep cutting my taxes and see if I care if the tax system is flawed, unfair and inherently criminal".

As for the rest: there is no NMD (National Missile Defense) in anything but name, even if the sites have been built or are still under construction. Roe v. Wade is still the law of the land and the abortionists have NOT been frog-marched to the ovens yet (like every good conservative wants them to be). The Supreme Court is now packed with people we believe to be Conservative fellow-travelers, but that notion has not been tested yet. This, incidentally, is the only "victory" that Conservatives can point to; they finally packed the court in their favor and can now enjoy the extra-Constitutional practice of creating federal law from the bench that once was the private domain of the democrats and their hanger's-on. The first "extra-Constitutional" victim will be Roe, but as far as a Consewrvative is concerned, since it was the creation of an extra-Constitutional ursurpation of Congress' authority, it can ONLY be slain by an extra-Constitutional usurpation of Congress' authority. Two wrongs, apparently, make a right. God forbid the republican party do something constructive, like fight like hell to get a common anti-abortion bill on the ballot in all fifty states or pass a law in the hallowed halls of Congress. We can, apparently, get a bill to prevent a feeding tube being removed from a comatose woman in a vegetative state in a few hours, but six years results in no action taken to protect the unborn.

This is the Right-to-Life party, right? How about a little consistency? If Terri Schiavo can get a law passed yesterday, why can't you can't you get a law outlawing abortion? How about you give the American public a chance to vote it up or down, and then live with the results, one way or another? The reasons: Terri Schiavo drew television coverage that could present Right-to-Life conservatives in a favorable light to their minions. The passage of a law in Congress to outlaw abortion is too risky (you could lose the vote, and then elections). Fighting for Terri was a no-brainer.

Conservatism used to stand for something. It used to mean that the grownups were supposed to take over one day and right some of the fundamental wrongs in American society caused by nearly a century of democratic/socialist control. It has done none of that. It has co-opted socialism wherever convenient in order to bribe voters rather than stand on it's own pillars of personal responsibility and responsible, unobtrusive government. It now includes something called "No Child Left Behind Act" which pretends to eductae every last rugrat in the country, a "Patriot Act" which removes a whole mess of legal protections in the name of stopping terrorism, and taking your shoes off when you arrive at the airport. It has advanced the "Spoils of War" system of political patronage and spending of federal funds that it has accused their opposite numbers of engaging in for decades, but which it now considers it a virtue when applied to it's own patrons and sycophants. It is deaf to the voice of public opinion. It is content to allow an invasion of millions of foreigners across our borders while it screams about it's dedication to security and flashes it's law-and-order credentials, while actively seeking to REWARD them for their lawlessness and taking advantage of the American social spending network in order to keep the price of lettuce, a hotel room or beautifully-manicured lawn care low.

Apparently, I've been mistaken all this time.

If this is what Conservatism has become, the refuge for those as religiously insane as any Iranian Ayatollah, as flagrantly irresponsible as your teenage son with the heroin habit behind the wheel of your new Ferrari, as profligate with money as a drunken sailor on shore leave, as politically tone-deaf as the proverbial post, then it deserves to die a nasty death.

If THIS is Conservatism, I've had all the Conservatism I can stand, thank you.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Frat Boys Gone Wild...
Unless you have been living in a cave, you certainly have heard something about the case of an "exotic dancer" (i.e. whore with a better paycheck) in Durham, NC, who claims she was hired a party being thrown by the Duke University Lacrosse team, and was subsequently (allegedly) raped by three of the players at the party.

Two suspects have been "identified" and a third remains unknown.

The case, in the meantime, has been tried in every public forum imaginable, which absolutely makes a mockery of the criminal justice system.

Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong wasted no time at all in going to the media to announce, proudly and arrogantly, that his office had just landed the mother of all cases. Just as big as OJ, just as nasty as Lacy Peterson, just as salacious as Micheal Jackson, and it was right here in lil' 'ol Durham, previously only famous for bar-b-que and possibly incest (trust me, I lived in NC). It's got everything you need: sex, racial overtones, forcible gang rape, drinking and possibly drugs. It's the perfect set up: rich, white college boys take adavnatge of a poor, black, working mother (almost an oxymoron, I know), just trying to make ends meet (or in this case, meat).

And your's truly, Mike Nifong, District Attorney of a city that hardly deserves to be on the map, except that it fills in the blank space between Virginia and Charlotte on the map, will be there to try it.

And so, Mr. Nifong went on the air and in the papers with all the information he had (or at least was willing to talk about), and poisoned the well with regards to this trial, should it ever happen. He gave out all kinds of prejudicial information: the boy's names, for example, the fact that DNA tests were taken (and proved nothing, apparently), that the boys have had previous legal trouble (so has the alleged victim, but Mr. Nifong has suddenly become all high-and-mighty about it: just because she has a record doesn't mean she's a bad person. Hmm, I wonder why she's entitled to that consideration but the alleged rapists here are not. I'd say something about the pot calling the kettle black, but there are racial overtones to this whole thing...ooops!).

One of the alleged attackers seems to have an alibi (couretsy of his cell phone, a cab company and his ATM records), and possibly was not even present during the attack. The D.A. in this case seems to have jumped the gun and exposed his pecker for all to see: it's tiny, and is suffering from shrinkage as the weakness of his case is made apparent on television on a daily basis. However, he's up re-election and now also looks like and idiot for starting this whole business with no proof, but he seems more than willing to drive this case, kamikaze fashion, through the courts. Never underestimate the ability of a man who can't say "I'm sorry...I made a mistake" to turn his original mistake into a major disaster.

Of course, once the D.A. had gone ahead and exposed his pecker in public with the weakness of his evidence and the supposed lack of character of his victim, the defense attorneys took the opportunity to further muddy the waters. As far as I can see, we have a "rape" which sounds much more like a drunken woman who may have engaged in some rough sex (whether at the party or someplace else, no one can say for sure), she's not the most credible witness, having been intoxicated at the time, and with a known substance abuse problem, and possibly mental issues, to boot.

On the other side of the ledger, we have a bunch of stupid, arrogant, jocks, all of whom seem to have reputations as anything but choir boys, who managed to put themselves in a position where this could happen to them. I'm so glad they're teaching these kids to think at Duke University.

Of course, what's really amazing about all of this is the American public's ability to be distracted by something this sordid while much more important things are happening. Look, I don't condone rape, and I don't advocate being in a position where you can get raped (i.e. working as an "exotic dancer"), or in a position to be accused of rape (a drunken, college jock throwing stag parties in an off-campus house). I do believe, however, that at some point in life, people have to take responsibility for their actions.

If this woman, either willingly, for money, or under the influence of alcohol, engaged in sexual activity that she later regretted, that's too bad, but it does not give her the right to ruin someone else's life over it. You chalk it up to experience and move on with your life.

If these boys are in fact guilty of what they have been accused of, then for damn sure they should swing from the highest yardarm you can find in Durham (that'll be hard since most people there can't even SPELL yardarm, let alone know what one is). They do not have the right, just because they're Duke University Athletes, priviledged, drunk or stupid to take the dignity of another human being, or to forcibly engage in sex with an unwilling partner.

Quite frankly, I believe the DA should try his weak case, and regardless of the outcome, shoot everyone involved just to be certain they can no longer pollute the airwaves.
A Lot's Been Happening, Apparently...
Wow! Take a few weeks off and watch the world go to hell in an handbasket!

Usama Bin Hidin'shows up again. Topless dancers get (allegedly) raped at a frat party. Gas prices soar as Americans who who don't realize they pay $4.50 for a gallon of milk go completely bonkers because they can't fuel up the tank the Mrs. uses to take the kids to soccer practice. And would you believe, John Kerry is STILL talking as if someone is listening?

I will attempt, gentle reader, to lay down some thoughts on these, and other, burning issues of the day. Stay tuned.

Monday, April 24, 2006

A New Addition...
I'm adding a link to Canada Free Press ( because I think it's a wonderful blog, and I also believe we should know what our neighbors to the north think. It's about time that more Americans, in my opinion, stopped believing that Canada is a mere appendage to Michigan and Minnesota, or that you can arrive at the border with your skis in July.

I've only been north of the border twice myself, but enjoyed both trips, and found most Canadians to be little different than most Americans. Heck, they ARE Americans, only with National Health Care (a government-run program more dangerous than any Muslim suicide bomber!).

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Illegal..and BALLSY...
Re: all the recent protests by illegal aliens (not IMMIGRANTS, you'll notice).

To begin with, just who do you think you are? You enter this country( in direct violation of the law), you stay in this country ( in direct violation of the law) , and you take advantage of the charity of the people of this great nation, while adding not thing-fucking-one, and you have the NERVE to protest when we decide we're going ot start enforcing our own laws?

To go on, I would have no issue with any of you if you were any of the following;

1. Legally allowed to be here
2. Legally allowed to work here
3. Not sucking at the government teat and wasting MY TAX DOLLARS. My government already does a good enough job of creatively vaporizing coerced wealth, it does not need 12 million useless mouths to help accelerate the process.

That having been said, we also have to lay blame in two other areas, both equally as culpable as the ballsy assholes who believe they have "rights" within a society that they have invaded and paid no respect to it's basic laws upon arrival. Those two other entities are government and business.

The American government has simply allowed Mexican and Central American illegal immigration because to do the right thing (enforce border security and immigration law) is not "sexy" enough to garner attention, on a good day. Better to waste the People's time and money by Federalizing the same high-school dropouts who allowed Mohammed Atta to walk through airport security when he was on a terrorist watch list, or the other jerk who sent him a visa to stay in the country six months after he crashed an airplane in the the WTC.

Of course, the government (both political parties) reap benefits from untold masses of illegal immigrants: there are campaign contributions for big business (most notably agriculture) and built-in grievance-based voting blocs.

American business is, of course, the biggest bully in this whole fight. On the one hand, it brought us NAFTA, one of the arguments for which was that once American companies built plants and assembly lines in Mexico, Mexicans would stay home. Didn't happen. It also screams for low-wage labor (particularly in agriculture, fod service and janitorial businesses), because, Goddammit, Americans all want $20 an hour, a dental plan and a silver-plated toilet seat to boot. Of course they do. Don't you, Mr. CEO?

NAFTA was the first overt attempt by American business to do that which they have always wanted: reinstitute slavery, or as close to it as you can get. Illegal immigration comes even closer, and the best part of both is? No one will report your abuses because they don't have any choice.

We now have a vicious confluence that is about to overflow and poison all our collective wells: we have imported an entire underclass, most from countries and cultures where law, democratic principles and political freedom do not exist, letting them live parasitically on the edges of our civilization, and many are thinking of "giving them a pass" (as the Senate Judiciary vote the other day on this subject seems to indicate) because proetsts are bad PR and our Senators simply cannot exist without those campaign contributions.

I wonder what John McCain (Traitor- Arizona) has to say about this? His state is one of the hardest hit in terms of what illegal immigration costs it. His state is one of the hardest hit when it comes to Hispanic gang activity. He's fought a steady battle for increased federal funding (i.e. stealing from Bismarck to feed illegals in Tuscon) to Arizona's immigration problems, but has he voted for a bill that would send these folks back home? Or punish their illegal employers?

Or is that not what Johnny means when he talks about "Campaign Finance Reform"? I mean, not like he can vote against something when he probably (can't prove it, but I'd bet on it) gets a nice paycheck from Big Agriculture or the Restaurant OwnersAssociation, or maybe even his own Country Club?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Score One for Free Speech...
Interesting opinion delivered by the Federal Election Commission with regards to blogs:,70505-0.html?tw=wn_index_6

Take that John McCain!

We now return to the regularly-scheduled lambasting of governmental stupidity.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Found a New Blog...
Found an interesting blog today, not seen by mine eyes before. So, I did a little investigating and found it to my liking. So much to my liking that I have included it on the linkbar on the lower right of this blog. Please check out Liberty Just In Case.
God, Guns and Gays...
Been Freeping (for those of you who don't know what that is, a regular poster to FreeRepublic is a Freeper) lately, and have come under attack by "conservatives" on the site for my views on God, Guns and Gays (the triumverate of the politically-concerned, gap-toothed, shotgun-toting redneck).

I had the sheer AUDACITY to state that I do not believe that Jesus was the Son of God, but rather an enlightened man who sought to make his faith more accessible to the masses of Jews excluded from the Temple in Jerusalem in his day. Furthermore, I had the sheer gall to suggest that perhaps the reason the Romans crucified Jesus was because they saw his crimes as political ones (the Romans reserved crucifixion for traitors and enemies of the state, because it was painful and public), that is, stirring up religious dissent in such a way as to cause civil unrest. if there was one thing you could say about the Romans, it's that they didn't care what you worshipped, but start rioting and interfering with the collection of taxes and suddenly your religion attracted their attention.

On another post (or it could have been the same one, I'm not sure) I stated that I didn't particularly care whether anyone was gay or not. It simply wasn't my business, and I have better things to do than to peek into people's bedrooms. The response (all of it negative) was overwhelming. It was also crude, rude, obnoxious and bordering on insane. Didn't I know that homosexuality was an affront to God and that homos have to be stopped before they take over the planet?

Anyway, these...ahem..sins... earned me censure from those that didn't agree. Fine, I can deal with that; the purpose of FreeRepublic is to post your ideas an dgenerate debate, and I have no problem with reasonable debate. It's also earned me a cyber-stalker (who calls himself, get this, Godebert. Appropos, is it not?), because not only did I defame Christianity, I had the cojones to make a case for Rudy Giuliani as a candidate for some public office, and questioned the right of the people to own a Cruise missile or Napalm. I was immediately castigated for being a "fag-lover" (because, you know, Rudy appeared in drag as a gag once) and a "gun-grabber" for daring to suggest that the government has a right to restrict the sales and use of weaponry.

Now whenever you find yourself on FreeRepublic (or any politically-oriented website) you have to bear two things in mind: first, it takes all kinds. The internet is an interesting pplace in that regard, and very often, you will find reasonable, intelligent people mixing with the hoi polloi because there is a commonality of views. The second thing you have to bear in mind is that most people can't even spell "debate", let alone define it, because their tiny minds only work one way. In their world, the most intelligent man in the world is one who agrees with you completely.

FreeRepublic bills itself as a place where "conservatives" can share and discuss their views. It does not deign to apply a filter to most of this speech (unless it's grossly offensive), nor does it exlude that which does not pass muster according to "conservative" orthodoxy, if doing so would limit debate on a critical issue of the day. Posters are free to post whatever comment or articles they wish,so long as a reasonable person wouldn't consider it offensive. In general, FR is one of the most fair, most FREE political sites I've ever visited.

That having been said, there is a trend of late in which debate is being hijacked by the most extreme elements of the right, people who call themselves "Conservative" because Nazi or Fascist have, you know, bad connotations. You will find that most of the folks who fall into this category own a copy of the constitution (but don't read it, or if they do, don't understand English), and believe that if you quote a passage from scripture, this ends all argument. Naturally, if you persist, they have a whole list of names to call you; RINO (republican-in-name-only), fag-lover, "liberal" (conveniently forgetting that the republican party IS a liberal party, in historical terms), "gun-grabber", Rockefeller-winger (or variants), and of, course, Communist. They typically finish their diatribes by posting "you've been outed" or "you're busted", and then report you to the Moderators (who, to their credit, have taken no action against me).

This type of stuff goes on because these people wish to actually restrict Free Speech (much like John McCain) or, at the least, be protected from speech they find uncomfortable (because it goes against Scripture or makes them have to think). There is no debate. There is no exchange of ideas or information. There cannot be anything resembling argument if it directly stands in contrast to their religion or their selective reading of the Constitution. Yet, these are the same folks who will scream, laugh or cry at the most obvious examples of Political Correctness when it's the political left who has engaged in them, but cannot grasp the concept that they might also be guilty of the same thing. I believe that's on page 14 of Dr. Goebbel's "Berlitz-in-the-Bunker" School of Propaganda Handbook: when an affront or attrocity is committed by the "enemy", it is to be denounced as a crime of the most heinous sort. When "our" side does it, it is an act of heroism.

Now, I don't particularly have anything against Christians, just those that cannot divorce their religion from their politics (aren't we fighting in the Middle East to do just that?). Or those who are arrogant enough to suggest that salvation is reserved for them only (because they can recite Psalms or their minister told them so), and can't but help rubbing that in people's faces. They remind me every bit of Dana Carvey's "Church Lady" and her "Superiority Dance". Worst of all, is someone who is so in thrall to religious dogma that they simply cannot (or will not) tie their own shoes without divine intercession.

I used to pooh-pooh the democratic (small 'd' intentional) party's contention that there was a whacko religious fringe out there, waiting for thei ropportunity to turn America into a theocratic police state, where abortionists and gays will be frog-marched to the ovens, and we'll have to stop everything we're doing and pray 72 times day. I used to laugh at the notion, thinking to myself, "Hey, this America. These things just don't happen here.". Take a look at what calles themselves "Conservative" these days, and you can see that, perhaps, the dems have a point. At any rate, some of my fellow "republicans" are making such arguments easier to prove every day with their own words and actions.
Better Get This In...
Because of the monstrosity of what was once, euphamistically, called Campaign Finance Reform, starting tomorrow, political advocacy or dissent must cease in this country. Why, you ask? because there will be primaries held within the next month, and CFR restricts such political speech within 30 days of a primary or general election.

So, in the interests of following the law (as unconstitutional and ridiculous as it is), I wish to get the following things out in the open, before they become illegal:

1. John McCain is a Nazi, because he has promulgated legislation which violates the First Amendment. The Congress and Supreme Court which helped him do so are equally guilty.
2. John McCain is no republican, but rather an opportunistic slug willing to sell his party and his country down the river for personal gain.
3. CFR is nothing of the sort: it is a step towards lifetime tenure for elected officials.
4. John McCain is not fit to be dog catcher, let alone a Senator.
5. I hope John McCain is taking the other "gang of 14" traitors to a champagne lunch tomorrow, and that some of the democrats (yes, democrats) who will be re-elected because there will be no dissent posted anywhere against them, pick up part of the check.
6. I will do everything in my (admittedly limited) power to ensure that John McCain's name does not appear anywhere on ballot for the highest office in the land.
7. I hope John McCain chokes.
8. Anyone who's war record involves being shot down twice and being a POW for six years in a lost cause is NOT qualified to be Commander in Chief.
9. John McCain is an egomaniac who still can't believe he lost to Bush in '99, and who takes every opportunity he can to stick it to GWB, while still pretending to be above the fray. The "loyalty" act ain't workin' on me, Johnny.
10. John McCain and Hilary Clinton are the two most dangerous politicians in the United States today, and are, in fact, mirror images of each other, only McCain has bigger tits.

Friday, March 17, 2006

I'd Like to Teach the World To Sing...
Yet another example of the stupidity of the Kumbaya crowd:

Flooding the Shitholes...errr...Developing Nations (and just WHAT are they developing? Interesting question) of the planet with cheap PC's as a means of eliminating poverty? Give me a break.

Now "PC's for Africa" is no dumber than a "No Nukes" concert, or "LiveAid", or that concert that no one watched last year (was it Big 8 or Great 8 or what? I forget. Sounded more like a College basketball conference) . However, it is predictable and consistent. What the world needs, the purveyors of these screwy ideas will explain to you, is for the Developed world to show concern, and perhaps flash a little cash, on behalf of the Developing World, make a few investments in their future, and voila! we'll have peace and harmony, brotherhood and comity, civil discourse and economic prosperity.

What's never mentioned, of course, is gratititude, but that is a subject for another rant.

What's stupid about this idea is that should such a device ever be successfully created (and I've no doubt it will), there is no infrastructure exploit in some of these Developing Countries, many of which, barely verge on the Stick Age. What's even dumber is believing that even with the power of a PC, (to educate, to disseminate information, to reasearch) that people who's biggest concern is not catching Beri-Beri today, or avoiding the political/ethnic/religious death-squad-du-jour, will be able to utilize the things in the first place. Secondary to this idea is the simple question: who controls the distribution of these things (assuming a minimum infrastructure to actually make them of even marginal worth)?

By default this will mean government. It will mean the United Nations. I wouldn't trust the United Nations to lead a three-year old to the crapper, so I certainly wouldn't give them the responsibility (and power, not to mention the possibility of corruption) of handing these PC's out.

Many governments that are mostly repressive and undemocratic are wont to keep the distribution of these things to those they deem politically reliable, and in many cases, reliability revolves around race or ethnicity, or the willingness of the reliable to engage in attrocities on behalf of whichever "Colonel" manages to carry off a successful revolution this week. Assume Saddam Hussein was still in power and these things flooded Iraq; would Saddam allow Kurds to have them? How about Shi'a? The answer is: No.

Governments also have other interests at heart. Recently, Google, the internet search engine, was instructed (not requested) by the People's Republic of China to retsrict access and censor the results of it's searches made by Chinese citizens. The reasons: a) God forbid the Chinese people should discover a world beyond their own borders where a police state doesn't exist, and b) God help the Chinese citizen who finds his way to a political forum not specifically sanctioned by the state. The purpose of Google in China, then, is not to give people options or tools to improve their lives, but rather to help the Government feed the citizens a steady diet of PRC propaganda and deny them the ability to contrast and copmpare their conditions with those to be foiund elsewhere in the world, and c) to prevent those who ARE smart enough to use the power of the internet for the purposes of political dissent from being visible to the great mass of Chinese citizens.

It would be no different with cheap PC's in Zimbabwe. Or Indonesia. Or Vietnam.

Besides, there are already various alternatives available. Your basic PCS cell phone has much the same capability as envisioned for this $100 PC. The iPod is small, inexpensive and capable of storing information. Of course, the actual utilization of such devices also depends on whether or not the people who get them can read, write and have the same level of intelligence and technical skill to be found in the common house cat.

So this exercise is academic. Right?

Wrong. It's a good idea, just not practical, and the driving force behind it is not a desire to help poor folks get a leg up, it's another attempt by Western liberals to scratch that irrational guilt they all have when it comes to questions of poverty. In this country, we simply create more poor, so that we have someone to take care of, and it makes us feel good. At least until it's time to tweak the system by which the poor were created and maintained for some other political or guilt-related question. I mean, ask yourself this: if you can produce a $100 PC for Angola, why wouldn't you create one for Appalachia? Simple: There's too many white people in rural Kentucky, dolt!

It's yet another exercise in making liberals feel good about themselves by "helping" others. And like most liberal ideas that begin with this pretense, it will fail miserably. Better to dig a big hole, pour all those $100 laptops into it, and forget the whole thing.