Sunday, April 08, 2007

And we're back

Spiro Agnew was right about a lot of things. An evil man overshadowed by even worse men, it's easy to forget his prescient observations in a time of great strife.

He was right when he slammed the left as "Nattering nabobs of negativity."

Of course, today, as in 1974, the wild assertions of the left have been vindicated beyond even the most decadent Howard Dean-Leon Trotsky-Phil Donahue patchouli orgy merlot orgasm on NPR. The debate is over. We don't have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore because he's dead. So is his legacy, made flesh in today's National Executive.

Thus, this publication will henceforth direct its energy and efforts into more productive lines of inquiry.

Easter, 2007

Sunday, September 17, 2006

If we cut and run the way General Eisenhower suggests...

My fellow Americans:

Three days from now, after half a century in the service of our country, I shall lay down the responsibilities of office as, in traditional and solemn ceremony, the authority of the Presidency is vested in my successor.

This evening I come to you with a message of leave-taking and farewell, and to share a few final thoughts with you, my countrymen.

Like every other citizen, I wish the new President, and all who will labor with him, Godspeed. I pray that the coming years will be blessed with peace and prosperity for all.

Our people expect their President and the Congress to find essential agreement on issues of great moment, the wise resolution of which will better shape the future of the Nation.

My own relations with the Congress, which began on a remote and tenuous basis when, long ago, a member of the Senate appointed me to West Point, have since ranged to the intimate during the war and immediate post-war period, and, finally, to the mutually interdependent during these past eight years.

In this final relationship, the Congress and the Administration have, on most vital issues, cooperated well, to serve the national good rather than mere partisanship, and so have assured that the business of the Nation should go forward. So, my official relationship with the Congress ends in a feeling, on my part, of gratitude that we have been able to do so much together.


We now stand ten years past the midpoint of a century that has witnessed four major wars among great nations. Three of these involved our own country. Despite these holocausts America is today the strongest, the most influential and most productive nation in the world. Understandably proud of this pre-eminence, we yet realize that America's leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.


Throughout America's adventure in free government, our basic purposes have been to keep the peace; to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity and integrity among people and among nations. To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious people. Any failure traceable to arrogance, or our lack of comprehension or readiness to sacrifice would inflict upon us grievous hurt both at home and abroad.

Progress toward these noble goals is persistently threatened by the conflict now engulfing the world. It commands our whole attention, absorbs our very beings. We face a hostile ideology -- global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily the danger is poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle -- with liberty the stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment.

Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties. A huge increase in newer elements of our defense; development of unrealistic programs to cure every ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied research -- these and many other possibilities, each possibly promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we wish to travel.

But each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs -- balance between the private and the public economy, balance between cost and hoped for advantage -- balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration.

The record of many decades stands as proof that our people and their government have, in the main, understood these truths and have responded to them well, in the face of stress and threat. But threats, new in kind or degree, constantly arise. I mention two only.


A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.

Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present

and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientifictechnological elite.

It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system -- ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.


Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society's future, we -- you and I, and our government -- must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.


Down the long lane of the history yet to be written America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.

Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of the battlefield.

Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose. Because this need is so sharp and apparent I confess that I lay down my official responsibilities in this field with a definite sense of disappointment. As one who has witnessed the horror and the lingering sadness of war -- as one who knows that another war could utterly destroy this civilization which has been so slowly and painfully built over thousands of years -- I wish I could say tonight that a lasting peace is in sight.

Happily, I can say that war has been avoided. Steady progress toward our ultimate goal has been made. But, so much remains to be done. As a private citizen, I shall never cease to do what little I can to help the world advance along that road.


So -- in this my last good night to you as your President -- I thank you for the many opportunities you have given me for public service in war and peace. I trust that in that service you find some things worthy; as for the rest of it, I know you will find ways to improve performance in the future.

You and I -- my fellow citizens -- need to be strong in our faith that all nations, under God, will reach the goal of peace with justice. May we be ever unswerving in devotion to principle, confident but humble with power, diligent in pursuit of the Nation's great goals.

To all the peoples of the world, I once more give expression to America's prayerful and continuing aspiration:

We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their great human needs satisfied; that those now denied opportunity shall come to enjoy it to the full; that all who yearn for freedom may experience its spiritual blessings; that those who have freedom will understand, also, its heavy responsibilities; that all who are insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity; that the scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance will be made to disappear from the earth, and that, in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

'Mr. McNamara, there's a phone call for you. Please follow me."

Readers of this circular need not be reminded of the truest truism of them all: What happens on the Edgartown ferry stays on the Edgartown ferry. Labor Day weekend is always a nice time to toss out vomit-stained linens and Anne Rice novels before shuttering up and heading back to Andover a little early to clear up this whole Asian roommate thing.

Things quiet down a little bit after Labor Day, making it a nice time to visit. Unless of course you're Robert S. McNamara. On September 29, 1972, Secretary McNamara was enjoying a pleasant jaunt out to the island when some uppity citizen recognized him, seized the initiative and nearly succeeded at throwing McNamara into the ocean. McNamara was by then President of the World Bank. He was appointed to the position after leaving the Pentagon in 1968, establishing an amusing tradition. His long, distinguished service as Secretary of Defense earned McNamara a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

McNamara's grand plans for revolutionizing the Pentagon through technology fundamentally revolutionized warfare, and the United States military won every battle it fought in Vietnam. Unfortunately, and somewhat counterintuitively, this did not affect the ultimate outcome of the war.

When President Johnson arrived at the Pentagon for McNamara's farewell ceremony on February 29, 1968, there was a slight mishap. The Secretary invited the President to join him in the executive elevator to his office, and midway upstairs, the elevator got stuck. There was pandemonium for ten minutes or so until LBJ, his Secret Service detail and McNamara were freed.

At a National Governors' Conference talk later that night, President Johnson explained what had happened in the elevator, quoting McNamara: "This is February 29th and we didn't program the computer for Leap Year!"

No word from Wolfowitz yet regarding the elevator situation at the World Bank.

Steers & Queers: A Policy Retrospective


Bush: "If America were to pull out before Iraq could defend itself, the consequences would be absolutely predictable and absolutely disastrous."


Good evening, my fellow Americans:

I speak to you this evening about very important developments in our search for peace in Vietnam.

We have been engaged in discussions with the North Vietnamese in Paris since last May. The discussions began after I announced on the evening of March 31st in a television speech to the Nation that the United States--in an effort to get talks started on a settlement of the Vietnam war--had stopped the bombing of North Vietnam in the area where 90 percent of the people live.

When our representatives--Ambassador Harriman and Ambassador Vance--were sent to Paris, they were instructed to insist throughout the discussions that the legitimate elected Government of South Vietnam must take its place in any serious negotiations affecting the future of South Vietnam.

Therefore, our Ambassadors Harriman and Vance made it abundantly clear to the representatives of North Vietnam in the beginning that--as I had indicated on the evening of March 31st--we would stop the bombing of North Vietnamese territory entirely when that would lead to prompt and productive talks, meaning by that talks in which the Government of Vietnam was free to participate.

Our ambassadors also stressed that we could not stop the bombing so long as by doing so we would endanger the lives and the safety of our troops.

For a good many weeks, there was no movement in the talks at all. The talks appeared to really be deadlocked.

Then a few weeks ago, they entered a new and a very much more hopeful phase.

As we moved ahead, I conducted a series of very intensive discussions with our allies, and with the senior military and diplomatic officers of the United States Government, on the prospects for peace. The President also briefed our congressional leaders and all of the presidential candidates.

Last Sunday evening, and throughout Monday, we began to get confirmation of the essential understanding that we had been seeking with the North Vietnamese on the critical issues between us for some time. I spent most of all day Tuesday reviewing every single detail of this matter with our field commander, General Abrams, whom I had ordered home, and who arrived here at the White House at 2:30 in the morning and went into immediate conference with the President and the appropriate members of his Cabinet. We received General Abrams' judgment and we heard his recommendations at some length.

Now, as a result of all of these developments, I have now ordered that all air, naval, and artillery bombardment of North Vietnam cease as of 8 a.m., Washington time, Friday morning.

I have reached this decision on the basis of the developments in the Paris talks.

And I have reached it in the belief that this action can lead to progress toward a peaceful settlement of the Vietnamese war.

I have already informed the three presidential candidates, as well as the congressional leaders of both the Republican and the Democratic Parties of the reasons that the Government has made this decision.

This decision very closely conforms to the statements that I have made in the past concerning a bombing cessation.

It was on August 19th that the President said: "This administration does not intend to move further until it has good reason to believe that the other side intends seriously"--seriously--"to join us in deescalating the war and moving seriously toward peace."

And then again on September 10th, I said: "The bombing will not stop until we are confident that it will not lead to an increase in American casualties."

The Joint Chiefs of Staff, all military men, have assured me--and General Abrams very firmly asserted to me on Tuesday in that early, 2:30 a.m. meeting--that in their military judgment this action should be taken now, and this action would not result in any increase in American casualties.

A regular session of the Paris talks is going to take place next Wednesday, November 6th, at which the representatives of the Government of South Vietnam are free to participate. We are informed by the representatives of the Hanoi Government that the representatives of the National Liberation Front will also be present. I emphasize that their attendance in no way involves recognition of the National Liberation Front in any form. Yet, it conforms to the statements that we have made many times over the years that the NLF would have no difficulty making its views known.

But what we now expect--what we have a right to expect--are prompt, productive, serious, and intensive negotiations in an atmosphere that is conducive to progress.

We have reached the stage where productive talks can begin. We have made clear to the other side that such talks cannot continue if they take military advantage of them. We cannot have productive talks in an atmosphere where the cities are being shelled and where the demilitarized zone is being abused.

I think I should caution you, my fellow Americans, that arrangements of this kind are never foolproof. For that matter, even formal treaties are never foolproof, as we have learned from our experience.

But in the light of the progress that has been made in recent weeks, and after carefully considering and weighing the unanimous military and diplomatic advice and judgment rendered to the Commander in Chief, I have finally decided to take this step now and to really determine the good faith of those who have assured us that progress will result when bombing ceases and to try to ascertain if an early peace is possible. The overriding consideration that governs us at this hour is the chance and the opportunity that we might have to save human lives, save human lives on both sides of the conflict. Therefore, I have concluded that we should see if they are acting in good faith.

We could be misled--and we are prepared for such a contingency. We pray God it does not occur.

But it should be clear to all of us that the new phase of negotiations which opens on November 6th does not--repeat, does not--mean that a stable peace has yet come to Southeast Asia. There may well be very hard fighting ahead. Certainly, there is going to be some very hard negotiating, because many difficult and critically important issues are still facing these negotiators. But I hope and I believe that with good will we can solve them. We know that negotiations can move swiftly if the common intent of the negotiators is peace in the world.

The world should know that the American people bitterly remember the long, agonizing Korean negotiations of 1951 through 1953--and that our people will just not accept deliberate delay and prolonged procrastination again.

Well then, how has it come about that now, on November 1st, we have agreed to stop the bombardment of North Vietnam?

I would have given all I possess if the conditions had permitted me to stop it months ago; if there had just been any movement in the Paris talks that would have justified me in saying to you, "Now it can be safely stopped."

But I, the President of the United States, do not control the timing of the events in Hanoi. The decisions in Hanoi really determine when and whether it would be possible for us to stop the bombing.

We could not retract our insistence on the participation of the Government of South Vietnam in serious talks affecting the future of their people--the people of South Vietnam. For though we have allied with South Vietnam for many years in this struggle, we have never assumed and we shall never demand the role of dictating the future of the people of South Vietnam. The very principle for which we are engaged in South Vietnam--the principle of self-determination--requires that the South Vietnamese people themselves be permitted to freely speak for themselves at the Paris talks and that the South Vietnamese delegation play a leading role in accordance with our agreement with President Thieu at Honolulu.

It was made just as clear to North Vietnam that a total bombing halt must not risk the lives of our men.

When I spoke last March 31st, I said that evening: "Whether a complete bombing halt becomes possible in the future will be determined by events."

Well, I cannot tell you tonight specifically in all detail why there has been progress in Paris. But I can tell you that a series of hopeful events has occurred in South Vietnam:
--The Government of South Vietnam has grown steadily stronger.
--South Vietnam's Armed Forces have been substantially increased to the point where a million men are tonight under arms, and the effectiveness of these men has steadily improved.
--The superb performance of our own men, under the brilliant leadership of General Westmoreland and General Abrams, has produced truly remarkable results.

Now, perhaps some or all of these factors played a part in bringing about progress in the talks. And when at last progress did come, I believe that my responsibilities to the brave men--our men--who bear the burden of battle in South Vietnam tonight, and my duty to seek an honorable settlement of the war, required me to recognize and required me to act without delay.

I have acted tonight.

There have been many long days of waiting for new steps toward peace--days that began in hope, only to end at night in disappointment. Constancy to our national purpose--which is to seek the basis for a durable peace in Southeast Asia--has sustained me in all of these hours when there seemed to be no progress whatever in these talks.

But now that progress has come, I know that your prayers are joined with mine and with those of all humanity, that the action I announce tonight will be a major step toward a firm and an honorable peace in Southeast Asia. It can be.

So, what is required of us in these new circumstances is exactly that steady determination and patience which has brought us to this more hopeful prospect.

What is required of us is a courage and a steadfastness, and a perseverance here at home, that will match that of our men who fight for us tonight in Vietnam.

So, I ask you not only for your prayers but for the courageous and understanding support that Americans always give their President and their leader in an hour of trial. With that understanding, and with that support, we shall not fail.

Seven months ago I said that I would not permit the Presidency to become involved in the partisan divisions that were then developing in this political year. Accordingly, on the night of March 31st, I announced that I would not seek nor accept the nomination of my party for another term as President.

I have devoted every resource of the Presidency to the search for peace in Southeast Asia. Throughout the entire summer and fall I have kept all of the presidential candidates fully briefed on developments in Paris as well as in Vietnam. I have made it abundantly clear that no one candidate would have the advantage over others--either in information about those developments, or in advance notice of the policy the Government intended to follow. The chief diplomatic and military officers of this Government all were instructed to follow the same course.

Since that night on March 31st, each of the candidates has had differing ideas about the Government's policy. But generally speaking, however, throughout the campaign we have been able to present a united voice supporting our Government and supporting our men in Vietnam. I hope, and I believe, that this can continue until January 20th of next year when a new President takes office. Because in this critical hour, we just simply cannot afford more than one voice speaking for our Nation in the search for peace.

I do not know who will be inaugurated as the 37th President of the United States next January. But I do know that I shall do all that I can in the next few months to try to lighten his burdens as the contributions of the Presidents who preceded me have greatly lightened mine. I shall do everything in my power to move us toward the peace that the new President--as well as this President and, I believe, every other American--so deeply and urgently desires.

Thank you for listening. Good night and God bless all of you.

NOTE: The President recorded the address on October 30, 1968, in the Family Theater at the White House for broadcast over nationwide radio and television at 8 p.m. on October 31. In his address he referred to W. Averell Harriman and Cyrus R. Vance, U.S.. representatives at the Paris peace talks with North Vietnam, Gen. Creighton W. Abrams, Commander, U.S.. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, and Gen. William C. Westmoreland, Army Chief of Staff who preceded General Abrams as U.S.. commander in Vietnam.

Source: Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1968-69. Volume II, entry 572, pp. 1099-1103. Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office, 1970.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Yes, I too see Hitler all over the place


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A government of dickheads for a nation of dickheads

The only qualification for government service in the Bush Age seems to be enthusiastic dimwittedness, hostility toward government and an ethical system firmly rooted in high school football culture. Being quite fat helps, too.

Take for example Kenneth Tomlinson, former Chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Tomlinson formerly edited Reader's Digest, an undistinguished fascist leaflet compendium. He was removed from his CPB position for being an undistinguished fascist. Tomlinson remains chairman of the State Department's Broadcasting Board of Governors. The Times has a very nice overview of his service this morning. Here are some excerpts:

The State Department report noted his use of his office to oversee a stable of thoroughbreds but did not mention one specific way in which his professional responsibilities and personal interests appear to have intersected. The horses, according to track records, include Karzai, as in Hamid Karzai, and Massoud, from the late Ahmed Shah Massoud) references to Afghan leaders who have fought against the Taliban and the Russians, as well as Panjshair, the valley that was the base used by forces to overthrow the Taliban.

Mr. Tomlinson, 62, is a former editor of Reader’s Digest who has close ties to Karl Rove, Mr. Bush’s political strategist and senior adviser.

Mr. Tomlinson’s ouster in November from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting was prompted by a separate investigation by that inspector general at the corporation. That inquiry found evidence that Mr. Tomlinson had violated rules as he sought more conservative programs and that he had improperly intervened to help the staff of the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal win a $4.1 million contract, one of the corporation’s largest programming contracts, to finance a weekly public television program.

Mr. Tomlinson was rebuked in the earlier report at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for improperly hiring an acquaintance from a journalism center founded by the American Conservative Union. The corporation paid the person more than $20,000 to monitor public radio and television programs for bias, including “Now,” with Bill Moyers as host.

The State Department report said that from 2003 through 2005 Mr. Tomlinson had requested compensation in excess of the 130 days permitted by law for his post. The report said that he had requested and received pay from the broadcasting board and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for the same days worked on 14 occasions but that investigators were unable to substantiate whether they were for the same hours worked on the same days.

...And five years of McKinleynomics


Monday, August 28, 2006

Christian Scientists : Science :: Christian Economists : Economics

In a land with decidedly mixed attitudes toward irony , the stuff seems to be in abundant supply. Americans are hearty, straightforward people who don't need bureaucrats in Washington DC making healthcare decisions for them. This function is apparently better left to bureaucrats in Hartford. The ruggedly individualist national character troubles pundits brooding over Hillary Clinton's "electability" in a presidential election. "Electability" is of course a euphemism for "illiterate Sean Hannity-types think she's a communist bulldyke." The illiterate Sean Hannity-types, like most voters, are far more concerned about perception than facts, and much of their perception of Hillary Clinton solidified in 1993 when she dusted off old Kremlin plans to seize hospitals and send turn old folks' homes into re-education camps. The effort rightly failed. Americans have no interest in the government shoving socialist medicine suppositories into their can-do rectums.

In the world's flagship market democracy, only the most competitive ideas gain currency and silly theories like universal health care end up on the next boat to Havana where they belong. The will of the people was heard, and this issue vanished from the national political debate. But as usual, our national peace and quiet couldn't last long. A tricked-out Saab with Massachusetts plates rolled down the street blasting NPR from its subwoofer recently, apparently waking up all the meddling Trotskyites. Look for ballots heavy on leftist social engineering schemes and light on Defending America in elections to come.

The great thing about elections is their irrelevance. Americans don't want their hard earned money diverted to welfare queens rolling around in Cadillacs full of babies. When such lunacy somehow finds its way into public policy, patriots like Bad Grover find clever ways to let the air out of the Cadillac's tires. Hostility toward open democracy is a key element of cleverness.

Cleverness should not be conflated with swiftness. Some archaic dinosaurs of Roosevelt-Leninism will take generations to die. New public schools seem to spawn faster than they can be burned down by evangelical mobs. The GI Bill remains a sacred cow for those who consider government checks the benchmark of civilization. Fat Cats from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) jaunt down to Kentucky on a taxpayer-financed lear jet on Sunday, and on Monday morning you get up and go pay for it. Plucking this beast apart requires starting small, starting with those low-hanging fruits most resembling Chairman Mao's testicles.

Case in point: take a look at your local medical examiner's budget and you will see a gargantuan Soviet barge full of tax dollars floating down a river of bureaucratic waste. Why should taxpayer money be spent fussing over corpses? Under the current system, if you should take a stroll around the grounds and come upon a dead sharecropper, simply make a quick toll-free call and a van shortly arrives to remove the corpse. It is whisked off to a state of the art facility, examined with a lot of fancy equipment and undergoes a lengthy procedure by a specialist physician. Another brigade of civil servants fusses with notifying next of kin, filling out government forms and other functions with no discernible public benefit. Kindly pay for all of this in full by April 15.

This is but one example. Should the Democrat party take over in 2008, common sense lazes faire pragmatism will be on the first train to Siberia. You may wish to make a reservation on the same train before government witch doctors knock on your door to inject your daughters with syringes full of whore potion.

Friday, August 18, 2006

For whom, exactly?


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Christ rolled His eyes and ordered another scotch

The Pentagon's procurement apparatus is usually compared to a symphony of angels and archangels playing eternal hymns of heavenly perfection, which are very pleasing to the Lord.

What, then, does one do if he looks upon his creation and finds it perfect, in want of nothing? If you find yourself in this situation and your earthly domain is oversight of the Defense Department, you should apparently seize the nearest 30-foot concrete cross and give a silly speech:
The memorial, pursuant to President Bush's signature became owned by the United States of America, its going to be owned by the Department of Defense, and we think that memorial, with that rugged old cross stays in place as a result of the President's signing the bill.

These remarks Monday, delivered by House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-Prussia) at the Mount Soledad Cross in San Diego, are meant to remind Americans of the whole and utter futility of democracy. When elected officials like Hunter completely run out of work to do, they start filling the Pentagon with all kinds of clutter. The rugged old cross in question will doubtless end up on the lawn with the rusted washing machines, broken down Chevy Novas and mangy children of unknown parentage.

Of course, the folks next door have found another way to keep busy. Mr. Rumsfeld's tea with the Senate Armed Services Committee a few weeks ago was mentioned all the notable society pages. Tedious matters of Oriental administration were discussed and cucumber sandwiches were served. Mrs. Clinton's Social Register made special note of the Oolong orange tea, which was, by all accounts, very nice.

Mr. Hunter's preference for theological pursuits over his official responsibilities is perfectly understandable. His Eastern San Diego County district is home to the prestigious Institute for Creation Research, the Center for Reclaiming America for Christ and important officials in the White Aryan Resistance movement. Additionally, Mr. Hunter was one of the first lawmakers to recognize the Damascus-Karachi-Tijuana terror superhighway, and, as such, works tirelessly to thwart the Sombrero Menace.

Mr. Hunter is nothing if not responsive to the wishes of his constituents, who see the Mt. Soledad Cross as a central front in the War on Priorities. At a recent Mt. Soledad rally, Rees Lloyd of the Defense of Veterans Memorials Project of the American Legion mused on the spontaneous wrath of the [American] people:
Today we are giving notice to every agnostic and every atheist, every mincing self-appointed, self righteous secular attorney or member of the ACLU that we are going to fight, we're going to fight you in every court action and if we have to we're going to fight you in the streets, but we will win in the end.

Two Unitarian churches and one French bakery were destroyed later that afternoon in what the San Diego County Sheriff's Department described as "The birth pangs of a new East County."

Fellow San Diego-area Congressman Brian Bilbray offered Hunter his full support:
I am very proud to have worked with people like Duncan Hunter fighting to preserve this memorial to the men and women who have served, not just in Korea but all over the world. Now is the time that we need the White House to intervene, now is the time to have the White House finally take possession of this national memorial.
Readers may recognize Brian Bilbray's name from coverage of the recent special election that returned him to Congress upon the early retirement of Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham. An devout scholar of the principals of the K-Street project, Mr. Cunningham understood and challenged the inherent socialist impulse behind laws designed to criminalize the relationship between his elected office and his appetite for tasteless faux baroque furniture and yachts.

Mr. Cunningham did more than just occasionally bump into Mr. Hunter at Roger Hedgecock's fascist puppet radio program during his years in office. Chairman Hunter once called up Pentagon officials encouraging them to reconsider a decision not to award a nearly $10 million contract to Brent Wilkes' (hereafter "Co-Conspirator #1") San Diego defense contracting firm ADCS, Inc. The officials quickly saw the error of their ways and awarded Wilkes one of his first, and by no means last, phat defense contract. A cursory Google search reveals Defense Department officials are paid salaries allocated in a budget overseen by the House Armed Services Committee, chaired by Mr. Hunter. One may safely assume Mr. Cunningham appreciated Mr. Hunter's effort, as there was a strong positive proportional correlation between health of Mr. Wilkes' company and Mr. Cunningham's adventures in prostitutes, limousines and hotel rooms.

Unlike Mr. Cunningham, Mr. Hunter and Mr. Wilkes remain unindicted and unimprisioned, and Mr. Wilkes is expected to keep a slightly frenzied travel schedule lately. Mr. Wilkes has been subpoenaed in the Texas prosecution of Tom DeLay regarding some sort of accounting mixup and Mr. Wilkes' hiring of Mr. DeLay's wife to lobby the Navy on his company's behalf. Mr. DeLay's wife is of course a respected scientist specializing in ultrasound navigation systems and dolphin neurobiology.

While this unseemliness is expected and routine in the truculent Lower Chamber, Mr. Wilkes' checkbook was rather more ambitious. He raised $100,000 for the 2004 Bush campaign, earning the "Pioneer" designation, which ranks somewhere between Weblo Scout and Oberstgruppenführer.

In the end, history will likely remember Mr. Wilkes for the entirely hookerless, non-ironic poker parties he hosted at the Watergate Hotel with high school pal Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, who was, until recently, Executive Director of the Central Intelligence Agency before his abrupt resignation around the time of Cunningham's sentencing in May.

May has long been known as the abrupt resignations season, according to former congressman and onetime CIA Director Porter Goss, who resigned a few days before Foggo in order to concentrate on improving his deck shuffling skills.

Thankfully for Mr. Hunter, Mr. Goss presided over a brief but catastrophic dismantling of the CIA, which should help prevent its remaining officials from stirring up trouble concerning the Administration's case for war in Iraq. Such officials apparently forget responsibility for asking such questions belongs to our elected officials.

The House Armed Services Committee has no hearings scheduled anytime soon, though reports suggest members are considering taking custody of Roy Moore’s Ten Commandments monument and relocating it to Baghdad to restore law and order to the country.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Why doth the fat lady protest so much?

The follow-up to "Bush's Brain" is about to be published:

Rove is also upset about information in "The Architect" that explores his family history. Ordinarily, a political reporter will ignore a subject's background when writing about issues being promoted by a particular political operative. Their personal life is not relevant unless it contradicts a public posture on a relevant issue. Rove's zealous approach to promoting the anti-gay marriage amendment, however, prompted curiosity during the course of researching for the book. We will leave it to students of Freud to deconstruct what we discovered through on the record interviews, but it will be clear that Mr. Rove's motivations for promoting anti gay marriage legislation has as much to do with his own background as it does the political utility of motivating the conservative and fundamentalist base for the GOP.

Glorious New Tractor Factory


Monday, August 14, 2006

Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world."


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Mehlman: "We need every tool to win the war on terror."

Q. What is a category error?

A. A category error is the application of inappropriate term or predicate to a type of object that cannot be described in those terms.

Here are two examples:
1. "Iraq is a central front in the War on Terror."
2. "Mr. Mehlman's companion is some sassy ass."

Marketplaces of Ideas v. Command Economies of Ideas

From The Observer:
The demented, bullying tone of the websites is another symptom of the descent of public discourse in America and, frankly, one can easily see the attractions of self-censorship on the question of Middle East and Israel. Read David Horovitz for longer than five minutes and you begin to hear Senator Joseph McCarthy accusing someone of un-American activities.

[...] The bottom line,' say Mearsheimer and Walt, 'is that AIPAC is a de facto agent for a foreign government, has a stranglehold on Congress, with the result that US policy is not debated there, even though the policy has important consequences for the entire world.'

[...] That is my belief, but these things are rarely discussed in America. People look vaguely queasy when you raise the subject of the Israeli lobby, as though the only concern in American discourse is not to appear anti-semitic, a fear which, I suggest, is sometimes shamelessly played upon.

Let the Inuit open casinos

REYKJAVIK [WIRE] - Unconfirmed reports from The Soviet Central News Agency (Tass) suggest Global Warming is contrary to the public good. A response from the House Select Committee on Witchcraft & Dancing is expected at a press conference scheduled to start sometime after Rep. Dreier's prayer breakfast at JR's later this morning.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

History will be much kinder to Richard Nixon than his contemporaries have b... wait why is that microwave only $9.99?


Friday, August 11, 2006

The reporter's tape recorder was hidden in a baguette


He runs a writers retreat in The East

A Nobel Prize winner finally admits he was in the SS. Floyd Landis' secrets are evidently much darker.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Dr. Kahn, please pick up the white courtesy phone

For those readers earnestly trying to put the clunkier pieces of this puzzle together, may we kindly suggest asking the children to leave the room before googling "Dr. A.Q. Kahn." If ads for Lipitor pop up, you've spelled it wrong.

Hitherto, your interest in Pakistani affairs was likely limited to questions surrounding the head of state's silly Idi Amin getup and/or the connection between Bert and Al Qaida. But with Pakistan playing a critical role in uncovering this plot whilst Osama bin Laden summers there, a closer examination of the players, relationships and motivations is warranted.

Knowing a bit about Dr. Kahn will illuminate your study of the slightly complicated relationship between the ISI, Pakistan's intelligence service, and the west. This will further guide your understanding of the rather still more complicated relationship between the aforementioned head of state and his constituents, allies, neighbors, coreligionists, uppity Hindus and his pronounced interest in remaining alive. Achieving the latter goal is, at least for now, critical to the longterm stability of the civilised world and your continued ability to take the subway to Whole Foods without a radiation suit.

The White House Office of Spreading Democracy declined to comment for this story.

The End of Empire indeed

Nicely done, lads.

Steamships have always been a more practical way of getting around anyhow.

"It became necessary to destroy the village in order to save it."

The Hubert Humphrey Presidential Library Foundation in Minneapolis is hosting a "1968 Presidential Election Analysis Forum" this weekend featuring former Humphrey Administration officials and historically insignificant mustachioed radio show host G. Gordon Liddy. On Saturday, DailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas Zanig will present a lunchtime talk entitled "1968 as a Blueprint for Success in 2008" during a menu of Vietnamese noodles and lemonade.

By early 1968, Pillar of Sober America Walter Cronkite had finally said what everyone was thinking when he observed America was mired in stalemate in Vietnam. He said this on the CBS Evening News. Rather than whisk Cronkite off to Cairo in a padded Lear Jet for further discussion, the administration quietly observed the tide of public opinion had irreversibly turned against the war. It became acceptable to honestly discuss the Vietnam disaster at Tupperware parties and in Bob Eubanks' sweater vault. The 'tipping point' had occurred, and ordinary Americans knew there was a big problem in Vietnam.

But why be content to win an argument when you can firebomb the opposition into total submission? Bearded youngsters in Volkswagens had the same question and convened in Chicago to come up with a solution. It was a no brainer-- what better way to win the hearts and minds of sexually frustrated Kansans in Buicks than to start a ganja-soaked longhaired class riot on primetime television? It was an hysterical success, consecrating the golden age of class warfare in marketing and a swift and speedy Democratic victory in November. Goodness knows what disasterous outcome an alternative election result would have produced.

The rest is history. Richard Nixon became the obscure $600 Jeopardy answer, and Spiro Agnew returned to his day job misplacing banking records.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The only people we hate more than the Romans are the fucking Judean People's Front!


Before the patchouli orgies begin, our leftist agitator friends should read this and know Fat Karl is at this very moment raising a toast in a goblet filled with the Blood of the Innocent.

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