William Kristol

October 6, 2008

It took me awhile to realize that Billy Crystal and William Kristol where not the same person. Well, not THAT long but long enough…One is an actor and the other is a hack. And the latter doesn’t act so I’ll let you figure out which is which…

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/06/opinion/06kristol.html?ref=opinion

Sarah Palin, who has been as protected from the real world as a Jewish mother’s only son has spoken. Sort of. She has been the Republican Vice Presidential nominee for all of nearly 6 weeks and has given 3 interviews (Gibson, Couric, Hannity) and had one debate. It was a train wreck from the beginning but after her first couple of interviews, when it became clear that this woman was STUDYING to become vice president of the United States, her handlers (as if she’s a defector from the Soviet Union) thought it better for her not to do any interviews with, ya know, journalists. We can’t have her out there being insulted by people without deference for her, they said. DEFERENCE. This press corps has allowed the Constitution to be shredded under their very noses and Palin’s handlers want they more deferential. It’s like a rookie on the baseball team expecting respect instead of going out and earning it.

Well, lo and behold, she takes a phone call from Republican hack William Kristol. The guy wouldn’t be so bad if he weren’t so bad. I mean, he has some ideas, but regardless they are completely seen through kool-aid infested Republican glasses. I have no problem with Republicans in general. Hell, my parents are Republicans and they are two of the finest people ever to grace this earth but this guy cannot see things as they are. I know how difficult this is. I also care a lot about this election. But for him to have the chance to have the elusive dodo bird, er, Sarah Palin on the phone, he can come up with nothing except for: wow, what about those Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers guys? Do you think it shows bad judgement by Obama? What is this, Pravda magazine?

Is this really where the McCain campaign wants the last 4 weeks of this election to go? Guilt by association? Because both of the people on the Republican ticket are just as guilty of this if not more than that muslim-sounding dude. McCain would have to become reminded of Charles Keating and G.Gordon Liddy, two pretty infamous people from the last quarter century of America history. And what about Palin? Her husband was in a secessionist party from Alaska? Their leader, before being killed in a plastic explosives deal gone bad, damned America and cursed the flag. Don’t you think that your husband being in a political group whose goal is for Alaska to become its own country rather troublesome when you are running for vice president? Or what about HER pastor, a guy spouting ya-ya about witch doctors?

Is this really where they want to go? And the answer is yes. This is where Karl Rove has had the biggest impact on Republican politics of the past years. Take something you yourself are engaged in and accuse the other side of doing it. It puts them on the defensive and of course no one suspects that you yourself are guilty of it. Voter fraud, anyone?

Anyway, read this article and tell me again if you think the NY Times is “liberal media”. Yes, they are against the war now but doesn’t make me liberal? Maybe I’m a fiscal conservative and I don’t think the costs are worth what we are getting for them. Hell, we could pay for probably nearly 10% of the bailout just with the war profiteering from the Iraq War…

Back to your regularly scheduled program…

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work

October 6, 2008

Tomorrow I have to get up around 8:30am, take a train and a bus out to an intersection and then walk two minutes to a company where I will teach 2 classes. I taught one class there in June and was ecstatic that they asked me about teaching a second class there, especially because my best paying school has their head up their ass and might not need me this semester. So this is a huge help.

I still have not hung the hammock, not sure how exactly I’m going to do it but want to have some expert help before I put my slightly overweight body on that thing. Falling down on a parquet flooris not exactly copacetic with a hammock.

I’ve been cold lately, mostly because it was hot as hell in California before I left. I have been havig trouble getting motivated to work out and/or jog because of the weather but I think something is gonna happen today.

Something else important that will happen today most likely is the beginning of a new book. Franziska is coming over later and will have some work to do so I am going to do some work of my own.

I turned in all the negatives from the Central America trip that I want to get enlarged. There are approximately 60 photos and I’m hoping to use 15 of them for an exhibition. I had an idea this morning to do an exhibition for Valentine’s Day with hearts but who knows if I’ll get around to that.

There is a new Rolling Stone article on John McCain that is a must-read. It’s pretty damning and delves into things that have been largely overlooked by the mainstream media.

We are 4 weeks away from hopefully having a chance to turn the United States around and bringing it back from the abyss but who knows, maybe we’re already too late.

Happy Monday!


Morocco and Posse Comitatus Act

September 24, 2008

Two big pieces of news to report: Franziska and I just purchased two tickets to go to Morocco in February! We’re going to leave just after the next semester ends, leave on a Sunday and probably spend about 2-2.5 weeks there, starting in Fez and most likely making our way to Marrakesh, perhaps checking out the Atlas Mountains. It could be a great photography trip for me and, I’m happy to say, my first foray into Africa!

Second, a relatively disturbing pieces of news:
http://www.armytimes.com/news/2008/09/army_homeland_090708w/

Apparently some military is going to be deployed to the Homeland, somethat that has not happened really since the Civil War, the only exceptions being things like Hurricane Katrina and the National Guard, etc. Here are some of the main excerpts:

They’ll learn new skills, use some of the ones they acquired in the war zone and more than likely will not be shot at while doing any of it.
They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack. . . .
The 1st BCT’s soldiers also will learn how to use “the first ever nonlethal package that the Army has fielded,” 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier said, referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them.
“It’s a new modular package of nonlethal capabilities that they’re fielding. They’ve been using pieces of it in Iraq, but this is the first time that these modules were consolidated and this package fielded, and because of this mission we’re undertaking we were the first to get it.”
The package includes equipment to stand up a hasty road block; spike strips for slowing, stopping or controlling traffic; shields and batons; and, beanbag bullets.
“I was the first guy in the brigade to get Tasered,” said Cloutier, describing the experience as “your worst muscle cramp ever — times 10 throughout your whole body”. . . .
The brigade will not change its name, but the force will be known for the next year as a CBRNE Consequence Management Response Force, or CCMRF (pronounced “sea-smurf”).


Glenn Greenwald’s analysis:

For more than 100 years — since the end of the Civil War — deployment of the U.S. military inside the U.S. has been prohibited under The Posse Comitatus Act (the only exceptions being that the National Guard and Coast Guard are exempted, and use of the military on an emergency ad hoc basis is permitted, such as what happened after Hurricane Katrina). Though there have been some erosions of this prohibition over the last several decades (most perniciously to allow the use of the military to work with law enforcement agencies in the “War on Drugs”), the bright line ban on using the U.S. military as a standing law enforcement force inside the U.S. has been more or less honored — until now. And as the Army Times notes, once this particular brigade completes its one-year assignment, “expectations are that another, as yet unnamed, active-duty brigade will take over and that the mission will be a permanent one.”
After Hurricane Katrina, the Bush administration began openly agitating for what would be, in essence, a complete elimination of the key prohibitions of the Posse Comitatus Act in order to allow the President to deploy U.S. military forces inside the U.S. basically at will — and, as usual, they were successful as a result of rapid bipartisan compliance with the Leader’s demand (the same kind of compliance that is
about to foist a bailout package on the nation).

I’m sure they’re going to protect the First Amendment, right? 🙂

ps I have no idea what is going on with the above news but it would seem that this is something that should get some traction with the news, but of course won’t.

pss McCain wants to cancel the debate on Friday to help with the bailout. Uh huh…They won’t let the media have access to Sarah Palin and now he wants to have even less exposure to his ideas…This all makes me sound cynical but…


Sorry, more politics

July 23, 2008

This is a clear choice that the American people have. I had the courage and the judgment to say I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war. It seems to me that Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign.
—- John McCain, yesterday

I was going to print a reaction to this but I’ll just give you a couple of links that break it down:
http://www.time-blog.com/swampland/2008/07/mccain_meltdown.html

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/superprick-by-digby-this-is-clear.html