Somebody said we were allowed to think out loud. Pardon the mess.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

DATELINE: Hacking cough, bad breath, incomprehensible uttering, your kids don't want to talk to you COUNTRY: (Yea, verily, I speak from experience,)

SCARBOROUGH (voice-over): Rush Limbaugh is winning the battle with drug addiction, but he faces a tougher battle ahead.
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: A responsible investigation is looking more and more like a fishing expedition.
SCARBOROUGH: A prosecutor sees Rush’s medical records and may have violated his privacy. Is this case turning into a witch-hunt?


Conservative discomfort eased and validated all at once. Presto, chango! The system's the problem, not Rush. Pay attention to the issue you dopey Liberals. Jeeez.
Seig Steak and Kidney Pie!

Roger Simon says people like Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Nancy Pelosi, Howard Dean, Kevin Drum and, I assume, people like me, are fascists. Besides being absurd, this pisses me off: I wanted this blog to be about more than poitical rants. But how do you let stuff like this go:
So what divides our society now is not the old dichotomy between "liberal" and "conservative," it is those who oppose fascism and those who want to let it be. On this blog, I am going to start calling those sides what they really are -- anti-fascist and pro-fascist.
You don't let it go. You send a snarky post like this...

...hijacking of the left by the Islamic cause, an Alice-in-Wonderland inversion of reality...

Roger: Thud. And scrape.

What you misperceive from the left is really a prioritization of scarce resources, not a parsing "Terrorists good? Terrorists bad? What to do, what to do? Hmmnn?"

It seems, we may have to tackle you before we can get to the serious business at hand.

"Serious." A curious word. A grown up word.

The world is, has been, and always will be a dangerous place. Yet your ilk seems to continually act as if they've just discovered that fact--and your policy recommendations have a quaint Chicken Little, narrowcast hysteria that betrays it. 9-11 was a profound tragedy. But this is America, and many disagree with your interpretation. Conservative--sorry, anti-fascist--implorings to dress up in widow's weaves and fret and rail ominously is, frankly, pussified.

Keep your colour-coded alerts. Considered, concerted, confident and sutainable applications of force in service of a more stable and hopeful future are what's called for. Not fungible war marketing plans. Not dismissal of your "old Europe" lessers. Not, tarring of, and wasted bloviations on your fellow citizens.

Your prescriptives and your descriptives, my friend, are the things that give some people pause. Shrill? Yes, you are. Strangely and affectingly so. Don't be. Anyone who writes the first act of a drama expecting acts 2 and 3 to magically materialize--then complains when people suggest your story isn't hanging together... well, the term "hack" comes to mind.

You can traffic in your jingoism all you like. Play with your terms. Enjoy the party. Eventually it ends. And someone always has to come in and clean up the mess.

Look around, Roger. Once again, the designated drivers are coming.


Wednesday, December 03, 2003

MOS 000a: Citizenship Counselor

One can only hope this letter to the Editor of the Amarillo Globe News comes from a very uniquely opinionated 19-year old Sailor who's still trying to find his voice and his identity. [link via atrios]
Letters To The Editor: Another name for war protesters

I am a United States sailor. I have chosen to defend my country and the freedom some take for granted.

I love my country, my family, my freedom. Only by the blood which was shed by the service members before me did we receive this freedom.

There are some, though, who do not appreciate this freedom. I call these people traitors; they call themselves protesters. They are nothing more than an infectious disease that infests the minds and hearts of the Americans we are defending. It consumes the honor and courage within its host until it kills the very patriotism that made this country.

There is no cure for this disease. Never will everyone be satisfied. But let it be known what this guardian of America's freedom thinks of these protesters: Traitors should be hanged. I hold our enemies in higher standing. At least they are willing to fight for their beliefs and the country they love.

Sonar Technician
Derik L.Jobe
U.S. Navy
Amarillo


Someone needs to read up on why they took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic and what that Constitution and its Bill of Rights says. It could be especially helpful when it comes to defining other terms, like enemy.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

My response to the Editorial Editor:
Re: Another name for war protesters, Letters to the Editor, 12/03/03.

I commend Technician Jobe for his service to our country. But I cannot commend his definition of "Freedom".

In order to be accepted in good standing into the America Mr. Jobe envisions he fights for, he insists that his sacrifice be conditioned upon our agreement with his viewpoint.

That is not freedom. It is not America. It is Jobeland, a place where a King Jobe expects to decide who is in, who is out, who prospers, who suffers. Perhaps, it seems, even who lives and who dies.

Seaman Jobe might consider looking deeper into the words and intent of the founders of the country he loves so dearly. Our Republic was purposefully structured by the framers to protect the right of dissent--to protect the minority, down to an individual, from both the majority and from government itself. America is the manifestation of a healthy embrace of dissent; we even had a Tea Party to prove our disregard for the prevailing, popular wisdom. A king called us traitors then, too.

As unnerving as it may often be, disagreement is part of political discourse and War is perhaps the most serious of political decisions. My hope is that Seaman Jobe will reconsider his opinion, and inform his definition of Patriotism with the same fortitude he brings to his service as a sailor.

Fouro Boros

Del Rio / Richmond VA


This is getting completely out of hand. If I didn't know already, I'd ask "where are the grown-ups to take young people like Derik aside and explain to him the way things really are?" Perhaps I'd ask why they haven't explained that--with a few notable regressions--debate and compromise without resorting to 20 paces and turn, has been the unique key to our nation's success up to this point.

I'd ask, but my guess is that Derik has learned all the answers he's going to get from the grown-ups in his sphere already. Time for a CO somewhere to do a little counseling. Good luck, Derik.
Reminder: "FUBAR" was not coined by pacifists.

To criticize the current WOT decision-making is not to dis or criticise the military despite what some conservative, narrowband drug-store cowboys would have us believe. The system is structured such that civilian, political leadership calls the broad-strokes, and uniforms execute. Again, that's political leadership. The military follows orders and works with what they're given--which is usually less than what they need. (God love 'em for that alone.) In fact, service-people can often feel more whipsawed or perplexed than voters do when it comes to policy directives but, unlike voters, theirs is not to reason why... until they retire.

The American Conservative, December 1, 2003

In Rumsfeld's Shop[LINK]
A senior Air Force officer watches as the neocons consolidate their Pentagon coup.

By Karen Kwiatkowski

Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski recently retired from the U.S. Air Force. Her final posting was as an analyst at the Pentagon. Below is the first of three installments describing her experience there. They provide a unique view of the Department of Defense during a period of intense ideological upheaval, as the United States prepared to launch–for the first time in its history–a "preventive" war.

The money graf....
I had observed that many of the neoconservatives in the Pentagon not only had limited military experience, if any at all, but they also advocated theories of war that struck me as rejections of classical liberalism, natural law, and constitutional strictures. More than that, the pressure of the intelligence community to conform, the rejection of it when it failed to produce intelligence suitable for supporting the "Iraq is an imminent threat to the United States" agenda, and the amazing things I was hearing in both Bush and Cheney speeches told me that not only do neoconservatives hold a theory based on ideas not embraced by the American mainstream, but they also have a collective contempt for fact.

Note the publisher, observe the date, read the series, pray for sunshine.

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