Saturday, June 2, 2007
My favorite of my two houseplants, is this rabbit-foot fern i got perched over here under the window. It is waving in a slight breeze, altogether resplendent, given the dungeon-like nature of my crib. Effulgently emerald she is! The fern, seems to long to crawl out the window. I think it stays because an atomizer of misty water admonishes its intentions to creep from here to the Oregon coast. Who says houseplants don't make great pets! TO HADES WITH THE CANIS FAMILIARIS FIXATION. Kitty cats never needed us in the first place. Clipped parrots are an abomination.
I just feel dubious about this notion of pets. Does any other lifeform on earth, that we know of, eschew "pet ownership", besides homo sapiens?
Here's an eyebrow lifter for ya- DOG is not even of this planet. Ancient Eskimo Cuneiform tablets, probably six thousand years old, recovered from a melting glacier just north of Yellowknife, are believed by modern experts in Eskimo Cuneiform at a certain reputable think-tank , to describe a rather intricate account of how dogs infested our planet. A leading scholar of the much debated Eskimo Cuneiform tablets, Berthold Gknowitaal, PH- super-fucking D, translates :
"The canoes They (the spacefolks) paddled from the belly of the northern lights( surmised academically to be Sirius) would make the biggest whale swim away in terror. The fiercest bear would bury itself. We, the People, were a little scared too. The Sirian visitors( implied... see www. fullofshit.com or something) said they had too many dogs on their space canoe. They needed to unload a few of 'em on us, upon the earth. "The Ones Who Can Scare Big Big Whales with A Single Glance" unleashed a maelstrom of dogs upon the People, and brazenly proclaimed-
"Greetings Earth Folk! We have paddled a long journey from deep in the belly of the northern lights (Sirius) and we, uh, just have way too many dogs on our space-canoe. So, umm, it kinda looks like you guys could use a few dogs, and well, we have to paddle all the way to Casablanca....Whoops!-I meant Cassiopeia. Anyway- wormhole's about to close up- we need to unload all these dogs on your pathetic planet, not only because they're shitting all over my spaceship, but if we can instill a pet-fixation on you earth folk, this will reinforce your propensity to neurosis. Sorry we can't linger for what you might consider tea, but we must be off. You see, neurotic civilizations are less of a galactic threat to us. "
This all, mind you, painstakenly translated by scholars way fucking smarter than us.
Have you ever walked a dog at night, under clear, starry skies, and seen the dog slowly tilt its head to the light of distant, twinkling Sirius, and heard the dog softly whine?
Friday, June 1, 2007
Thursday, May 31, 2007
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush envisions a long-term U.S. troop presence in Iraq similar to the one in South Korea where American forces have helped keep an uneasy peace for more than 50 years, the White House said Wednesday.http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,,-6671660,00.html
As usual, Juan Colehttp://www.juancole.com/ says it better than I:
So what confuses me is the terms of the comparison. Who is playing the role of
the Communists and of North Korea? Is it the Sunni Arabs of Iraq? But they are
divided into Iraqi/Arab nationalists and Salafi Sunni revivalists. (The secular
Arab nationalists are the vast majority according to recent polling). So they are not a united force. They are fighting with one another in al-Anbar. And, the Arab nationalists and the religious Sunnis cannot both play the role of the Communists. Some Arab nationalists are allied with the United States (Egypt, Tunisia, etc.) Others are not (Syria). Some religious Sunnis are allied with the US (Saudi Arabia,Afghanistan). Others are not. So where is the analogy to International Communism? Who is China and who is the Soviet Union? Is it Syria and Iran? But both are ruled by Shiites, not Sunnis!
But let us say that the Sunni Arabs are North Korea. Who is South Korea? Is it the Shiites of Iraq? But they are allied with Iran (isn't it playing the role of China?) And the vast majority of them don't want US troops in Iraq according to polls. There is zero chance that the Shiites of Iraq will put up with a long term presence of US
bases in their areas of Iraq. The British base in Basra takes heavy fire all the time.
The only place in Iraq that looks at all like South Korea is maybe Kurdistan. But it is also allied with Iran behind the scenes, and it is in a troubling way giving asylum to Turkish-Kurdish terror groups that are infliction harm on the US's NATO ally, Turkey.
Even as we speak, in Iraq's north, Turkish military forces and now 20 tanks are massing on the Iraqi border, apparently poised for "hot pursuit" of Kurdish guerrillas of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), who have safe harbor in Iraqi Kurdistan but go over to Turkey and blow things up. There is some danger that the US will be in the middle of all this, though it is allied with both the Kurds and the Turks. Last week US fighter jets based in Iraq made an unauthorized incursion into Turkish air space that the Turks are protesting.
Do we really want to be in the middle of that?
Visitors to Mark David Uhl's Myspace page will quickly learn that Uhl is a student at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, that he is a devoted Christian, that his name means "Mighty Warrior" -- and that he likes Will Smith's saccharine tear-up-the-club track, "Switch." Uhl reveals his career ambitions on his page as well: "I will join the Army as an officer after college." Already, Uhl was preparing in Liberty's ROTC program
Uhl waited until he was offline, however, to reveal his plot to kill the family of itinerant Calvinist provocateur Fred Phelps (famous for their "Fag Troops" rallies outside soldiers' funerals). The Phelpses planned to protest Falwell's funeral, a bizarre stunt designed to highlight Falwell's somehow insufficiently draconian attitude towards homosexuals. Uhl made several bombs and allegedly told a family member he planned to use them to attack the Phelps family.
He was arrested soon after and charged with manufacturing explosives. On the surface, Uhl appears to be the latest version of Virginia Tech rampage killer (and "Richard McBeef" author) Cho Seung-Hui. Indeed, both Uhl and Cho were alienated young men who conceived or carried out campaigns of mass murder on college campuses.
But there is a crucial difference between Uhl and Cho: while Cho's motives remain a source of intense debate, Uhl was an a devout evangelical Christian who advocated religious violence in the name of American nationalism. Uhl's blog, featured on his Myspace page, offers a window into the political underpinnings of his bomb plot. In one post, Uhl implores Christians to die on the battlefield for "Uncle Sam." He justifies his call to arms by quoting several Biblical passages and reminding his readers that the "gift of God" is eternal life.
"Christians, we have been given life after death and we should help others receive it and not sit here in our big buildings and sing to ourselves so we can go home and feel good about ourselves," Uhl writes. "Christians, fear of death, fear of death. The fear of death shows you don't believe."
Uhl concludes, "God needs soldiers to fight so his children may live free. Are you afraid??? I'm not. SEND ME!!! "
Uhl's imploration sounds eerily like the battle-cries of another, more notorious religious radical: Osama bin-Laden. Consider what bin-Laden told the Independent in 1993. "`I was never afraid of death... As Muslims, we believe that when we die, we go to heaven. Before a battle, God sends us... tranquility."
Christian right leaders from the late Falwell to James Dobson have turned Muslim-bashing into a cottage industry, using the words of bin-Laden and his acolytes to allege that Islam is an inherently violent religion that "breeds" terrorism. After meeting with President George W. Bush two weeks ago about Iran and Iraq, Dobson conducted a hysterical five-part broadcast hyping the threat of radical Islam. (CD's of those broadcasts will soon be available on Focus on the Family's website, with all proceeds going to support Dobson's kulturkampf -- and his paycheck).
The response of Dobson and his allies to Uhl's arrest will reflect more on themselves than on any impressionable 19-year-old college student. The Christian right has warped religious doctrine to advance a Utopian political worldview that promises to purify the land of liberal decadence. Through one of its flagship universities, the Christian right produced a terrorist. Their hysterical warnings of the threat of radical Islam sound increasingly like projections.
But then again, maybe it's all Will Smith's fault.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
A three day party for boaters sounds like a winner. I'll try to have fun.
Since a ground invasion of Iran must be ruled out for many different reasons, the job would have to be done, if it is to be done at all, by a campaign of air strikes. Furthermore, because Iran’s nuclear facilities are dispersed, and because some of them are underground, many sorties and bunker-busting munitions would be required. And because such a campaign is beyond the capabilities of Israel, and the will, let alone the courage, of any of our other allies, it could be carried out only by the United States.* Even then, we would probably be unable to get at all the underground facilities, which means that, if Iran were still intent on going nuclear, it would not have to start over again from scratch. But a bombing campaign would without question set back its nuclear program for years to come, and might even lead to the overthrow of the mullahs.
What makes this so scary is that Podhoretz has the ear of the Cheney wing. He was one of the "brains" that planned our great adventure in Iraq.
Not so George W. Bush, a man who knows evil when he sees it and who has demonstrated an unfailingly courageous willingness to endure vilification and contumely in setting his face against it. It now remains to be seen whether this
President, battered more mercilessly and with less justification than any other in living memory, and weakened politically by the enemies of his policy in the Middle East in general and Iraq in particular, will find it possible to take the only action that can stop Iran from following through on its evil intentions both toward us and toward Israel. As an American and as a Jew, I pray with all my heart that he will.
The whole article is filled with references to the cold war and WW11 that are totally off base. The analogies he uses are simply outlandish distortions. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people will fall for this crap.
In short, the plain and brutal truth is that if Iran is to be prevented from developing a nuclear arsenal, there is no alternative to the actual use of military force—any more than there was an alternative to force if Hitler was to be stopped in 1938.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Before I got sucked into the time-dumpster, I found posting on blogs somewhat silly; altogether superfluous in the grand scheme of things. Well, now that i, Zymurgian, have actually seen how our current conduct, as a race of homo-sapiens, plays out in a mere seven revolutions of our sun, I would like to think, as a time-traveler, that perhaps i might help steer a course of events another way.
First of all- everything them stalwart fellas- Pygalgia, Sweaterman, Ghandixmas- rant about, should be carefully considered, as much of what they so perspicasiously predict MAY indeed insue.
Furthermore, quit driving. Most of all, QUIT DRIVING. Also, stock up on carragenan, vitamin B6 and organic pepperoni. A mere few years from now, genetic science will discover an anti-radioactive enzyme found only in organic pepperoni. Yer gonna need it-' in'jesu'n shiva's' allah'boo'thorschmoo'y.
Monday, May 28, 2007
O.K., now the disturbing part to this story. As stated before, Blackwater is a private mercenary army founded by a right wing Christian Fundamentalist (CFs). CFs believe that they are God's children surrounded by wicked people who deserve to be violently punished by an angry deity. Christian fascists, as Chris hedges calls them, believe they are the agents to prosecute the violent Deity's holy plans. CFs believe, literally, that the Iraq war is part of a cosmic struggle of God vs. Satan (kinda like a WWF match 'Hulk Hogan vs. the Iron Sheik'). The Iraq war is only a staging ground for a much larger conflict already underway, leading to the 'Battle of Armageddon'.
Muslims are not the only perceived enemy of CFs. A long list of wicked people including secular humanists, liberals, feminists, homosexuals, ACLU members, abortion doctors, university professors, and other heathen are on the list of violent retribution for straying from God's will. CFs are taught by angry fire and brimstone evangelical preachers to prepare for the coming bloodshed. It is the duty of God's children to be ready to fight the holy war against the infidels (doesn't that sound familiar?!) I am wondering if writers like Chris Hedges is right. Is Blackwater a private CF army operating within the United States, readying itself to be a modern version of the Roman Praetorian Guard? Is Blackwater enriching and arming itself at the expense of the US state in an effort to protect its messianic elders from the coming chaos they perceive to already be in play? Remember, Blackwater has jets, helicopters, rockets, heavy machine guns and the ideological favor of an estimated 1/4 to 1/3 of the United States populace.
We need to think carefully about allowing a large private military to arise at state expense (our tax dollars) within the United States. It is possible that ideological extremists, such as CFs, could be preparing themselves for taking over the US state and imposing a radical theological state on all of us at gunpoint. These folks are open about their views of the "rapture" and what their roles are within this cosmic struggle. They believe that future chaos is inevitable and that all of us who do not believe in their views are subject to God's wrath. This wrath that is to be realized through their holy acts, characterized by violence.(that sounds damn familiar too, doesn't it?!)
Anyway, here is an excerpt of Chris Hedges' ideas. They are all over the net if you are interested in learning more...
"One of the arguments used to assuage our fears that the mass movement being built by the Christian right is fascist at its core is that it has not yet created a Praetorian Guard, referring to the paramilitary force that defied legal constraints, made violence part of the political discourse and eventually plunged ancient Rome into tyranny and despotism. A paramilitary force that operates outside the law, one that sows fear among potential opponents and is capable of physically silencing those branded by their leaders as traitors, is a vital instrument in the hands of despotic movements. Communist and fascist movements during the last century each built paramilitary forces that operated beyond the reach of the law.
And yet we may be further down this road than we care to admit. Erik Prince, the secretive, mega-millionaire, right-wing Christian founder of Blackwater, the private security firm that has built a formidable mercenary force in Iraq, champions his company as a patriotic extension of the U.S. military. His employees, in an act as cynical as it is deceitful, take an oath of loyalty to the Constitution. These mercenary units in Iraq, including Blackwater, contain some 20,000 fighters. They unleash indiscriminate and wanton violence against unarmed Iraqis, have no accountability and are beyond the reach of legitimate authority. The appearance of these paramilitary fighters, heavily armed and wearing their trademark black uniforms, patrolling the streets of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, gave us a grim taste of the future. It was a stark reminder that the tyranny we impose on others we will one day impose on ourselves. "
May 28, 2007
Your support over the past year has meant a great deal to me and my family. I can never thank you enough for putting your energy, time and trust in me.
However, today I am announcing my withdrawal from the race for Arizona's First Congressional District.
Over the past two years, as I've traveled across our district, I've been privileged to meet so many of you. You continue to inspire me today and I will continue to try my best to serve this district. Although I won't be on the ballot in the next election, I feel confident that the Democratic Party in Arizona is stronger than ever and that there are a number of exciting, well-qualified leaders that would make terrific representatives. I will do everything in my power to make certain that one of these worthy Democrats takes back this seat and restores the high level of dignity and integrity that this district deserves.
Furthermore, in recent weeks I've decided to take on an important issue that is very close to my heart, an issue that, if I were to run, would undoubtedly compete for my attention.
The continual barrage of deceitful political advertising and character assassination is becoming far too commonplace in our national political culture. Too often, slanderous campaign ads go unchallenged. So I will be founding a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring integrity in political campaign communications.
I believe that each one of us has something valuable to contribute to the civic life of our communities and our country. I am becoming more convinced each day that the best use of my talent is to implement effective strategies that will return civility to our political process.
Again, thank you so much for your support.
I'm glad to see this, as Ms. Simon ran a very lackluster campaign in 2006(full disclosure: I volunteered for her campaign, and was disappointed by a defeatist attitude within her staff). While she's a fine person, we need to win in this competitive district. The evil Renzi or another rethug like him are unacceptable. I'm glad she's working for campaign integrity, as the Renzi campaign attacked her mercilessly, but sometimes you need to fight back. She didn't.