Friday, March 23, 2007

My, my, my! Such a lot of guns around town and so few brains!

We all recognize that there isn't much that a country like Iran can do to keep from getting attacked by the Bush administration. Disarm as Iraq did and they hit you. Accelerate development of nuclear weapons and they hit. Actual posses ion of significant mounts of the weapons themselves seems to be the only true deterrent (see North Korea.)

But do they really have to poke Bush with a stick?

Iranian Navy Seizes 15 British Sailors

Blackanthem Military News, WASHINGTON, D.C. – The British government is demanding the immediate and safe release of 15 sailors whose boats were surrounded by Iranian navy vessels and escorted into Iranian territorial waters in the Persian Gulf this morning.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

You're not Superman, you know.

Swinebread will probably enjoy this. Top 15 Unintentionally Funny Comic Book Panels.

My favorite is the one from "Spiderman." Poor Aunt May.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I'm Bart Simpson. Who the hell are you?

This is way late but Swine tasked me with listing five reasons I blog. I'd twist that a little and say I blog because it combines five things I really enjoy doing-

1) Spending time on the computer rather than doing the dishes.

2) Spouting off about the topics of the day.

3) Being a smart ass about those same topics.

4) Listening to the sound of my own voice. In print.

5) Digging through the IMDB looking for the perfect quote to go with what I've written.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Women are still worth 10 points more than men in all age brackets, but teenagers now rack up 40 points and toddlers under 12 now rate a big 70 points!

I consulted the Death Race Judges about the recent series of movie stars such as Keanu Reeves and Lindsay Lohan running over paparazzi and they confirmed my suspicions- points are scored for hitting and killing members of society that are actually valuable. Paparazzi are actually negative points.

I don't give a monkey's arsehole about Mods and Rockers. Underneath, we're all the same, 'n't we?

I've been meaning to write something for a couple of weeks but simply haven't had the time. Stupid work and family getting in the way of blogging!

In discussion on Snabby's site on Iraq I bounced in and made these comments:

Bush is a conservative, pa've. Sorry.

I know you'd like to believe conservatism can't fail but it has and does.

Evidence is the streets of Iraq. Throughout New Orleans. And a big gaping hole in the center of New York.

Snabby, ever wiser and level-headed than myself, gently took me to task:

Dean: I probably have some of the same differences with some of Pa've's factual interpretations as you. However, Conservatism is a many-headed dragon with pre-Goldwater conservatives, pure libertarian conservatives, post-Goldwater big government/low revenue Reagan era conservatives, and of course, the neoconservatives which I believe Pa've is rightly rejecting.

Thinking conservatives like Pa've are grappling with those distinctions just like Democrats are grappling with whether the DLC corporatists are the best voice for the Democratic Party or whether a more optimistic people-oriented view needs to prevail.

Over time, I hope the debate becomes more like Hatfield vs. Kitzhaber (former Oregon governors) than Hatfield vs. McCoy.

This actually got the wheels spinning and I spent quite a bit of time reflecting on don's insightful response. One of the great things about the intertubes is that you occasionally come across something that makes you think. Even better when it's someone you know.

It's been observed on more than a few occasions that the language of politics has devolved in a crass, polarizing muck over the last couple of decades. Our national political discourse has been almost completely absorbed by tribalism with cliches and talking points all but replacing thoughtful debate. It makes consensus impossible. I share the belief of many that this is a Very Bad Thing. It could even be the Worstest Thing. It's slowly killing our country.

Why then do I myself engage in political shorthand in my constant references to the failures of "conservatives?"

For a couple of reasons. The first is merely practical and is directly related to the war in Iraq. Is there any question that "conservatives," regardless of personal variety, were united four years ago in their support for George W. Bush and the war in Iraq? Now that the war is a demonstrable failure to pretty much everybody we hear self-described conservatives either distance themselves from Bush by trying to claim he's not a real conservative or distance themselves from the neocon variety of conservative and attempt to hide behind their own "Eisenhower conservatism," "social conservatism," "fiscal conservatism' or whatever. I don't want to give them any breathing room. This is their war and their intellectual and moral failure as much as Bush's.

For all the differences between the different strains and brands of self-described conservatives they do have one thing in common. It's the thing that unites them above all else and causes them to put aside their differences each November as they head into the voting booth. Their intense hatred of "liberals."

Liberals. Democrats. The Left. The Great Satan. Everything that is wrong with this country (and the world) can be attributed to those vile critters. If "conservative" means anything it means "not liberal." Not Liberalism is a powerful self identity.

Unfortunately the "liberalism" that Not Liberalism is fighting has grown over the years in definition from the few anti-war protesters and flower children in the sixties to extend to pretty much all of academia, the mass media and the scientific community. Not Liberals are pretty much at war with everybody that doesn't self-identify with their group.

For discourse to be meaningful all sides will have to reach a place where they identify more with the need for consensus than disagreement. In the United States our entire political structure is built on this premise. For our system to work all parties need to identify as Americans before they identify as Whigs, Republicans, No-Nothings, Democrats or whatever else. As long as a significant portion of Americans continue to define themselves by their Not Liberalism over their citizenship this country will remain dysfunctional and will continue to fall apart at the seams. This is paradigm we need to break and this is why "conservatives" need to be held to account.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The prosecution would like to separate the motive from the act. Well, that's like trying to take the core from an apple without breaking the skin.

David Reinhard writes in yesterday's Big O-

Of course, it's early yet. The surge of U.S. troops won't be complete until late spring, and the enemy will react and have his bloody say. Of course, Qanbar is invested in the crackdown's success. But these and other signs of progress suggest this new "last chance" strategy has a chance of success. Good news, unless you're somehow invested in the new strategy's failure. That is, if you can even bring yourself to acknowledge there is a new strategy.

Oh sure there's a new strategy and it's working great, Dave-

7 U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq, 4 in one incident.