Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Delusions and Fears of David Brooks

This is a piece I wrote in 2008, just after McCain chose Sarah Palin as his VP candidate, and may serve as one more warning against taking this woman's delusional self-identification as an intelligent maverick as anything more than bad fiction. It is also a rather scary look at the point of view of one of the more sane neo-conservatives on the block today.

David Brooks Op-Ed of Sept. 1, 2008
Good old David Brooks, I am not sure that he can help himself. In his Op-Ed in the NYT today (Sept. 1, 2003) he employs his infinite wisdom to inform those of us who cannot think for ourselves what the Palin pick says about John McCain and his candidacy. Actually, to be fair, he is one of the more sane of the neo-cons, and even when he is offensive, he does not approach such intellectual midgets as Ann Coulter: one of the very few non-administration justifications I can come up with for the death penalty. Nevertheless, he was working hard to sale us a bill of goods in his column today (see link). Let us examine the plethora of ways in which Brooks is just flat deluded about the true motivation behind this choice. We can go even further and apologize in advance for making him very uncomfortable by shredding the worn-out quick labels Brooks is holding to so tenaciously in order not to make himself too uncomfortable. After all, he may find himself the target of a "special rendition", if McCain does not win, given his recent rude treatment of Obama in a similarly unbalanced evaluation.

We may nevertheless commend him for this much: David Brooks remains wedded to his sacred tactical principles, namely, to summit the heights of GOP orthodoxy in training for the monumental task of convincing the American people that their only hope is more of the same, while tossing in the obligatory two or three lines of journalistically mandated objectivity. Be serious, do you really think that "Blowhard" Limbaugh really has some fundamental insight that the Democrats (D) lack? Democrats are fully aware that McCain is not another Bush; after all, the odds of having the two worst Presidents in the history of the US back to back are, thankfully, astronomical. Such D comparisons are tried and true examples of tactics of which you, Mr.Brooks, are an exemplary practitioner: they are called POLITICS. In fact, if I may address you political hack to political hack, David, I wish to suggest to you that your column today is of the very same species and genus. I can only suggest that an evaluation of the facts shows that your political gamesmanship took the day off. Indeed, today's tactical maneuver will be far less likely to draw converts for McCain than was the Rove led Bush team was by making push calls asking those "polled" such questions as, "Would your view of John McCain change, if you knew that he had two black children?" (He does: those he and wife, Cindy, adopted from Indonesia.) This effectively killed McCain's chances for a 2000 White House big. It is rather easy to understand that the percentage so coveted by Sen. McCain is of a much different nature than that of his alignment with W, which is not to say that I renounce the my argument regarding the possibility of McCain being equally inept as his predecessor.

Agreed: McCain did meet the rarest of political animals when he had his single meeting with Palin. The woman he met was a Republican (R) with no record whatsoever, and thus not tarnished by the abysmal past eight years of R hubris, corruption, lies, and general organizational ineptitude. Perhaps a qualification is in order here; this is the person he believed himself to have met, or that David Brooks believes McCain believes himself to have met. After all, Brooks states unequivocally that Palin made Ted Stevens her mortal enemy. Perhaps I owe Dave a debt of gratitude for his helping me to understand that “mortal enemy” was the official title of Ms.Palin when she served as the Director of the 527 organization of recently indicted Senator Ted Stevens—though her web-site has been scrubbed so as to eliminate Alaska’s senior Senator’s ringing endorsement of her.

I suppose that we can agree with Mr. Brooks that since the most politically threatening scandal of the current R ticket is her involvement in "Troopergate", and since there has only been one other politician in recent memory to have been entangled in a “Troopergate” scandal, that she still belongs in the “rare animal” category. His argument is all the more sound in that no one involved in her “Troopergate” scandal has maintained that she has a mole on her privates and that it was not announced at an American Enterprise gathering by a well-paid young lady. Unfortunately, few will bother to examine the documents surrounding this less than torrid affair,because, in fact, there is the real possibility for scandal lurking here. Gov. Palin seems to have the same allergic reaction to inconvenient facts as does the current administration.

To take a short digression the final reaction of her involvement with this scandal, which has yet to have been reported upon properly, is likely to be widespread revulsion, which, of course, weakens Brooks’ “rare animal” premise. Indeed, the Anchorage Daily News has 20 or so PDFs on its site—part of the 282 page report that resulted from the year long investigation into her former brother-in-law, Investigator Mike Wooten—which reveal the character of Gov. Palin in a singularly shocking fashion. Allow me to put it this way, if this is the way that fundamentalist’s practice Christian Charity, God save us from those who take their religion less seriously.

Alas, I am fairly certain that a combination of hyper apathy on the one hand, and the willful ignorance of the true believers, on the other, will prevent the public from coming to understand just how cutthroat she truly is. Numerous reports that have surfaced today regarding her various power plays. For example as mayor of Wassila she was forced to hire a city administrator because of a spate of early firings, which led to a recall campaign. What’s more disturbing, she attempted to fire Wassila’s city librarian, because the librarian refused to remove certain books from the shelves that the Mayor found to be offensive. Ultimately, the town rallied around this brave librarian, reacting against the mayor. Censorship is about as offensive as it gets, as far as I am concerned. I am pretty sure that I understand what the phrase “public service versus narrow self-interest” means. I am just as certain that the actions elaborated above were not motivated by a concern for public service. Moreover, as I suggested above, a careful evaluation of the documents in the Wooten case will leave no reasonable person with any doubt whatsoever as to the lengths to which she will go to enforce her narrow self-interest.

As to her political philosophy: are you, David, as unfamiliar with Palin as McCain seems to be? She opposes abortion in ALL cases, including rape and incest, going so far as to claim that she would not allow her daughter to have an abortion, if she were raped (Now, that is what I call a compassionate mother.); she is an advocate of teaching creationism in schools; as we have already seen, she is certainly not opposed to active government participation in censorship or the elimination of recalcitrant officials, in her capacity as an executive branch official, if a mayor who is compelled to hire a city administrator can be said to be an executive; she denies that global warming is a catastrophe to which "man" has contributed, which implies that there is nothing that we are required to do to impede this pesky problem; and, oddity of all oddities for a VP candidate, for one who may be in a position to act as the Commander and Chief of our Armed Services, she is married to a man who belonged to the Alaska Independence Party (AIP) as late as 2002. This "party" would like to break away from the silly U.S. After 2002, and what was more than likely a come to Jesus meeting with Sarah and her staff he registered him self as “undeclared.” What’s more, in spite of the McCain campaign’s vociferous denials—for certainly McCain, as intimately as he knows his running-mate and as thoroughly as her vetting process was, knows more about where Sarah Palin has spent her time over the last 15 years than those in her physical presence—multiple members of the AIP have reported that she attended their 1994 convention. Perhaps AIP member Lynette Park put it most eloquently when she quipped, “This is like a cat covering crap in its litter box.”

I must admit to being even more significantly suspicious that McCain met “an American politician who sees the world as he does. Come on David, you work for the paper of record. We have all heard the medical school maxim that the most straightforward explanation of an illness is generally the correct one, which is famously pounded home by some sagely medical professor saying, “If you hear hoofs, do not assume that there is a party of zebra trotting through the hospital.” David Brooks would have us believe that McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate because he looked into her eyes, studied the same 70 question vetting sheet that every candidate for that position was compelled to answer, and found his philosophical soul-mate. He would have been more likely to have thought that the ramblings of the woman with the foreign policy experience consisting of being able to see Russia from Alaska--we presume she means prior to 1991- were those of a braying zebra, than a sensible elephant.

To recall ourselves to the very beginning of this piece, McCain chose Palin so as to attract an entirely different type of percentage than that of is coincidence for voting the Bush line. He is seeking to increase, exponentially, infinitely even, of the Theocon vote by this choice of running mate. Sarah Palin is the poster child for the Evangelical wing of the R party, whose support McCain desperately needs and did not begin to receive until he announced his “big surprise”, which I would imagine is turning out to be somewhat more surprising than the R’s nominee ever imagined. Indeed, the fallout over the vetting of Gov. Palin began early and intensified as today progressed, as testified to by the fact that the vetting issue was the subject of one of the feature articles in The New York Times’ afternoon political update e-mail. Those in charge of vetting Palin, if they existed in any other than a hypothetical fashion, could not even bother to do an archive search of Palin’s hometown newspaper, or so staffers at the paper report.

There is not a damn thing “maverick” or “reformist” about McCain these days it seems. Unless one counts the restrictions placed on the press on the formerly famous full-access “Straight Talk Express” as a reform. As I understand it, members of the press corps embedded with McCain have come up with a clever new name to reflect the realities on the ground. I am sorry, David; the so-called “maverick” of the GOP has chosen as his running mate just the sort of hyper-activist and reportedly hypocritical Theocon, which keeps the father of R mavericks, Barry Goldwater, spinning in his grave. (See, for example, Victor Gold’s scathing critique of the transformation of his idol’s party in his 2007 book, Invasion of the Party Snatchers: How Holy-Rollers and the Neo-Consciousness Destroyed the GOP. What’s more, only the most fantastically deluded R can accuse Gold of the sin of all of those who have the temerity to question their self-righteous agenda, namely that of being a “Liberal”: the catch-all phrase that I have yet to have seen clearly defined by anyone in the R party. There is no surprise in the fact that this group is finally breaking for the nominee. The notion that she was chosen to attract disaffected Hillary supporters is one of the less sophisticated jokes of the political season. Indeed, polls are showing that those who were even considering McCain as a potential alternative to the non-Hillary D ticked, now consider him in somewhat more pejorative language. There will never be such a thing as a Hillary-McCainite; except for some big rain maker who wanted his picture in the paper today, but HE does not count.

Again, give me a break, it does not exactly take a reformer to oppose the scandal ravaged Alaskan GOP. Thus far 11 state GOP lawmakers have either been convicted or have pled guilty to a cornucopia of crimes, not to mention the Stevens indictment and the investigation into Alaska’s solitary Congressman for over $1 million in legal fees, the purpose of which he cannot recall. It is likely that there are soon to be more R lawmakers in Alaskan jails than polar bears in trash cans. The state party is a US Attorney's/Attorney General’s dream. The qualifications to be a reformer in Alaska these days require little more than not having made a guilty plea and not having been indicted, or convicted of a crime, which in Palin's case remains to be seen. Indeed, the drop-dead date for the report on the investigation is reportedly October 31st. And, the Inquisitor of Irony is not being ironic whatsoever in claiming that this scares the hell out of the campaign. Reports are that they are really putting the screws to the legislator chosen to oversee the investigation, one Sen. French. Shockingly, Tom DeLay failed to convince him to legally change his name upon the French nation’s refusal to support the illegal invasion of Iraq to Sen. Freedom. That is probably just as well, given his prediction that the report is not likely to reflect nicely on the Gov. Furthermore, given the tone of the letter that he wrote to the private attorney chosen to defend Gov. Palin, which is rather spunky and can be found on the Anchorage Daily News site. The Governor must not think to highly of the abilities of Alaska’s Attorney General, for standard practice is for this official to represent the Governor and any members of her staff in the event of meddling on the part of that pesky legislative branch.

Furthermore, you may rest assured; Palin will have no problem confusing a moral philosophy with a political philosophy. I hope to make that manifestly clear upon posting an evaluation of the documents involved in my pet Palin reading: the documents relating to the investigation of Wooten. In lieu of such an exhaustive reading, I will say this much, one may doubt that Palin has any notion whatsoever as to what may constitute a moral philosophy upon having her actions in this drama of the absurd laid out.

Speaking of moral philosophy, let's be honest about McCain the fiction of McCain as a paragon of virtue, engaging in the hyperbolic task of cleaning the Aegean stables, which, if I recall correctly is a task that Hercules had completed at a time when even John McCain was not alive. To be serious, McCain's decision to toss his own loyal operators, those who were fundamental in crafting his status as the moral maverick of DC, in favor of David Schmidt, Karl Rove's lapdog, goes a long way towards refuting the ubiquitous fiction. Additionally, he could always intervene, and tell Rove to get the hell out of his convention, if he is going to continue to beg R fat cats to donate millions to independent groups, so that Obama and Biden may be sufficiently “swift boated”. Disappointingly, McCain appears more than willing to make a Faustian bargain to sell his soul for his most coveted desire: to employ the very same character assassins who so effectively destroyed his best chance at being President by coordinating the famous push-polls "informing" the upstanding R electorate in SC that he had two black children, which nearly all agree resulted in the American fiasco of the past 8 years.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Most Dangerous Country in the World

In an exclusive interview with the controversial group AfPax (see NYT article, Contractors Tied to Effort to Track and Kill Militants,” March14, 2010) the Pakistan Pakistani Taliban Movement’s (TTP) second in command, Faqir Mohammad, maintained that once the people and government of Pakistan come to understand the true cause of the TTP, they will cede control of the country to them.
Mohammad stated that the aim of the TTP was to protect Pakistan and defend Islam. He also acknowledged that the TTP would inaugurate Sharia Law in Pakistan, which is a reflection of the fact that Pakistan was founded in the name of Islam and for the purpose of defending Islam against the provocations of non-believers, primarily the US and allied forces.
Mohammad asserts that such a scenario would not amount to an occupation of Pakistan, because the country belongs to all Pakistanis alike. Upon learning of the true and righteous goals of the TTP, the people and the army would demand the adoption of Taliban policies. Of course, a primary aspect of their plan is to rid Pakistan of the influence of non-believers, that is, of the US and other Western countries. The TTP maintains that these forces are not engaged in a battle against the Taliban or any other Islamic organization, but against Islam itself. Of course, this is a claim that is not entirely without justification, given the Bush Administration’s rhetoric of Crusades and a clash of civilizations. Indeed, such counterproductive tropes constitute a real and growing danger of the further radicalization of Islamic populations throughout the world. Moreover, the arguably legitimate invasion of Afghanistan and the blatantly illegal war against Iraq has significantly contributed to the effectiveness of the message of such groups as the Taliban, both that of Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as Al Qaeda in their efforts to convert formerly mainstream Muslims to their cause of destroying the “devils” who would love nothing more than to eliminate Islam as a viable political force throughout the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
The US and its allies are playing a dangerous game here. Their strident insistence that the Pakistan government and Army reassert control over the Federally Administrative Tribal Areas (FATA) has done nothing to help the situation. Neither, of course, have the casualties of innocent civilians largely as the result of misguided attacks by drones done anything to alleviate this danger.
It is clear that Pakistan’s civil and military authorities are reluctant to carry out these wishes. After all, they constitute nothing less than a state of civil war within the country. This is a sure recipe for disaster and perhaps the most significant threat to the US. Far from ensuring the protection of the country against attacks on the homeland, it is more likely that the US has increased this threat.
It is a well known fact that Pakistan’s army and intelligence agency, the ISI, are the real powers of the country. If they were to decide to assert the full extent of their control, there is no doubt but that the political landscape of the country would be transformed with little hope of civil authorities maintaining control of the country. It is essential to bear in mind that these groups were the primary supporters of the Taliban’s political ascendency in Afghanistan. They provided both moral and material support to that effort, one which the US initially supported. This is just one more example of the fundamental failure of US leader’s understanding of the cultural and political dynamics of the region, as testified to by the fact that no sooner did the Taliban gain control over Afghanistan than Al Qaeda found a new safe haven in that country. No one in this country can forget the disastrous results of this move. It was precisely from their training grounds in Afghanistan that Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda planned the attacks of 9/11.
What’s more, the West, and primarily the US, destroyed any possibility of what could potentially have been a golden opportunity to establish no small amount of good will within Muslim communities by its misguided invasion strategy of Afghanistan. Ideally, the money that was squandered in the initial invasion of the country would for the purpose of increasing the standard of living in one of the poorest countries in the world. For example, our forces could have been employed in an effort to rebuild the all but non-existent infrastructure in a country that has essentially been in a state of war in one form or another for the past 20 plus years. By assisting in efforts to rebuild the country with such initiatives as the construction of schools, the offering legitimate alternatives to the cultivation of poppies with assurances to those whose only chance at even a bare bones existence was to engage in this enterprise, which made Afghanistan the leading exporter of heroin in the world that their meager standard of living could be improved, the enforcement a policy of ridding the country’s new power elite of widespread corruption, and acting as the catalyst for the creation a viable security force within the country, it is far from inconceivable that a the now ubiquitous opposition to the West could have been averted. Of course, we now know that such an initiative had never even been considered.
Instead, it is clear that the US had altogether different plans from the outset, namely, the invasion of Iraq under blatantly false pretences. It has been widely reported that as early as the initial meeting of US civilian and military leaders following the attacks of 9/11 the plan for the invasion of Iraq became an obsession of the administration. Under the false pretenses of the existence of massive stockpiles of mythical WMDs, the putatively advanced state of Iraq’s acquisition of nuclear weapons, and Saddam Hussein’s support for and even complicity in the attacks of 9/11, the US undertook one of the most boneheaded foreign policy initiatives in its history. It is clear that Iraq’s military had never been able to reconstitute itself after the 1991 Persian Gulf War. In short, the main target of Bush’s infamous “axis of evil” was the one that posed the least threat to our national security. As a result of this fiasco—to borrow the title of Thomas Rick’s excellent book on the failure of the US military’s failure to make even the pretense of Phase IV post invasion plans—our nation has never faced a greater peril.
The most significant aspect of this danger is the aforementioned possibility that Pakistan’s civil authorities could be overthrown, or, worse yet, the Pakistan could become a failed state. The reasons for this danger are clear. Pakistan has a large cache of nuclear missiles. The US was already had knowledge that the father of that country’s nuclear program, A. K. Khan who is a national hero, had peddled his knowledge of the production of this technology to various regimes throughout the world. Rather than exert pressure on President Musharraf to punish these transgressions, the Bush administration quietly allowed for him to be placed under house arrest and subsequently pardoned.
As a cover of Time magazine proclaimed, Pakistan is consequently the most dangerous country in the world. What precisely is the great danger in this? It is the danger, a very real danger, that Pakistan’s ruling authority may then be willing to unload one of their nuclear devices to a non-state actor, or to a nation such as Iran. (As long as there is some remnant of civil society, which remains, the country is not about to rid themselves of many of their devices. After all, the most likely circumstance under which a nuclear exchange may take place under current conditions is an escalation of the tensions between Pakistan and India over Kashmir. The Indian government seems rather resistant to US attempts to have them deescalate the tensions between the two countries, each of which claim Kashmir as their rightful territory. It is a place in which Muslims and Hindus traditionally lived together peacefully, as Salmon Rushdie’s book Shamalan The Clown nostalgically recounts. One of the reasons for Pakistan’s toleration of terrorist groups in FATA is that it is the primary base of groups who are engaged in active terror campaigns against India.
If, by chance, Pakistan were to offer a nuclear weapon to some non-state actor, most likely Al Qaeda there can be little doubt as to the fact that detonation, preferably, from their point of view in the US, would be inevitable. After all, there is no deterrence whatsoever for any such group with the determination to destroy the Great Satan. This is doubly the case given the fact that US authorities refused urgent calls by SOGs and CIA paramilitary operatives to provide them with urgently requested additional troops, 10,000 members of the elite 101st Air Born Division forces to exact, so as to be able to close the loop against members of the Taliban and especially Al Qaeda during the Battle of Torra Bora. There was definitive proof that Bin Laden was in the area, as the result of numerous communications intercepts. The failure of indigenous Mujahidin forces, under the control of various of the nation’s notorious warlords, to fight after dark contributed to the failure to capture or kill those holed up in this treacherous mountain range. Thus the call for more US troops, which were to have been employed to block the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The result was that Bin Laden and at least 3,000 of his Al Qaeda followers, in addition to the majority of the Taliban’s high command, most notably Mullah Omar presumably simply walked over the border into the FATA, where they began their campaign of terror against the Pakistani government, with such consequences as the TTFs takeover of the SWAT region, which lay just beyond FATA designated borders and dangerously close to the capital. The US had the perfect opportunity to cut significantly limit Al Qaeda’s operational abilities and to kill or capture Bin Laden—who was after all responsible for the attacks against the homeland—and lost it as the result of Rumsfeld’s egoistic refusal to appear as if his goal of stream lining the military and leaving a “small footprint” on the ground. This refusal borders on the criminal and may without too significant a stretch be characterized as an all but treasonous act.
While there is no doubt that the Obama Administration has a great deal to lose in the current efforts against the resurgent Taliban forces in Afghanistan. Blame for the current situation must be laid squarely at the feet of the previous administration. Had Bush not been so hell bent on one-upping his father in Iraq—it is notable that Bush 41 quietly opposed this operation and even sent various envoys to his son in an attempt to dissuade him from his delusional notions that the Iraqi people would throw flowers at the feet of the forces of the US and the ridiculously named “Coalition of the Willing—and completed the mission in Afghanistan the current situation there would not be what it is today. Obama essentially inherited Bush’s failed policy in the country. One thing is certain, this failure will pale in the face of potential consequences in neighboring Pakistan.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Let's Nip This Darling of The F^%&ing Idiots in the Bud: theQuestionn of Sarah Palin's "Cranial Health"

Following her choice as Confused Candidate's V.P>. running mate in 2008, many wanted to argue that "Trooper Gate" was nothing more than a family affair. Well,I read every single page of the investigation undertaken into the scandal. This is not just a matter of a"family affair," which has no bearing on her ability to lead. This investigation shows Sara Palin as a vindictive,prevaricating, imperious person. Frankly, She is a reptile. The following is my summation of the investigation. Decide for yourselves what to think, but please, for God's sake, fucking think!

I am not interested in defending Palin's brother-in-law, Wooten. Frankly, I am shocked that he has not been fired. What I am interested in is the employment of the term personality disorder and whether that may not cut both ways, given a clear evaluation of the evidence.

Take three specific documents: the initial interview with the future Gov. in May of 2005; her re-interview in August of 2007; and the e-mail that she sent to a patrol official. I will briefly elaborate the "transformation of Ms. Palin's testimony." I would also suggest that anyone who really wants the full context take 45 minutes and read each of the documents, which are made available in order to compare them to Palin's statements. Of her initial assertions, presented as factual information based on first hand knowledge, I would be shocked if as many as a third of them are not radically amended in the second interview, when she was faced with countless contradictions by others involved in the events.

In May, Palin makes numerous claims about her former brother-in-law's conduct, which are couched in very specific, rather dogmatic language. For example, she claims that following an altercation at a bar that Wooten was stopped for suspicion of DUI, and that he employed his position so as to avoid such a charge. The same claim is made in the e-mail. (For convenience sake, these two documents need not be distinguished, because the content of each comes very close to matching one another.) Then comes the August re-interview. Well, let us just say that Ms Palin appears to have gotten just a little carried away in the initial interview.

As it turns out neither the bartender nor the patrolman who pulled Wooten over make the contention that he was intoxicated. In fact, the bartender specifically testifies to both the fact that W. had one beer in the span of the hour that he was at the bar, and that he did not display any signs of intoxication. And, it must certainly have been embarrassing, given that Palin based her May testimony on what she claims was represented to her by her sister about Wooten' s being very intoxicated, to have been presented with the fact that her sister, Molly, stipulated in court that her husband was not intoxicated on the evening in question.

Given that I anticipate a rather lengthy evaluation, I will point out only one additional, and quite disturbing discrepancy in the testimony of Palin on the separate occasions and that of another who she specifically claimed witnessed the very same events as she. This time the concern is that Mike is going nuts, Molly is “clearly” (unless you were standing beside the future Gov. watching the very same scene) scared, perhaps hysterical, and Ms. Palin initially provides an evaluation of a situation of extreme danger, based on Mikes being "in a rage," his having a gun, and the probability (based on some private statistical method, as it turns out) that he has been drinking. She describes being put on speaker phone by her sister so as to be able to listen to Mike verbally assault her sister and threaten others in her family.

Indeed, she is so concerned that she has her 15 year old son remain on the line to listen in on this lurid scene, while she travels to her sister's house, which has a "perfect" view when it is dark. She ends up parking in Molly's neighbor's driveway and watching the high definition drama from a vantage point just outside of her sister's house. Read her account of what unfolded, according to her perspective. Then think about this: if she truly believed her sister, not to mention her 12 year old nephew who was also in view holding a baby on his hip, was facing a clear and present danger, which is certainly the tone of her presentation, why did she not call 9-11? Moreover, how could she possibly have left this Jerry Springer moment to attend a meeting, if things were as drastic as her initial language would lead any reasonable person to believe?

Well, Ms. Palin, always considerate, testified (I employ this term in a broad non-legal sense.) that, in spite of her fear that her sister was in danger, indeed that she may be shot, which is the clear implication of her complaint that Wooten would likely be armed, she nonetheless respects the latter's position and decided not to call the authorities so as not to cause her brother-in-law to loose his job. Irony is certainly alive and well in Alaska. Indeed, this is a case study in irony.

Whoooa there, did I read that amended testimony correctly? I must admit that I was shocked that she did not immediately call 9-11 upon reading her May testimony. I know that if I perceived a relative of mine to be in such a dire situation, I would not hesitate for one minute to call in the cavalry. Indeed, her failure to do so appears unconscionable (Pardon a short digression; but your Public Safety Director could use a refresher course in how to employ a dictionary, as he claimed in his disciplinary letter to Wooten that he has "conscientiously" done some thing or another, which merited his being reprimanded. I am sorry, my friend to inform you that you made a grave mistake. You see, when one “conscientiously" performs some action or another it is generally accepted that said person should be commended. My good public servant, you intended to employ the term "consciously", as in "with forethought and understanding" rather than "with special attention to act according to duty" [source, my brain], as you in fact stated. I have the feeling that we are in for a great deal of entertainment in the next couple of months.), returning to my point I am incredulous, given her evaluation of the events that she did not feel a moral obligation to call for SWAT. Moreover, this failure to act reflects a questionable ability to achieve her goals in the most efficient manner. "Troopergate" would not exist at all, if only she had acted conscientiously to protect her sister, as well as her sister's family by calling 9-11. In that case, the process would have presumably, according to her own statement, led to Wooten's being released from the force. Had she been more acutely conscious of the opportunity she had before her, she would not have retained private counsel, as we have learned today.

Truly people, read all of the documents. Consider the tone of Palin's initial interviews. It is about as histrionic and overstated a performance as a daytime soap. Then, take a look at her follow-up interview three months later, presumably undertaken by the officer so as to clarify the understandably confused situation, given that nearly every one of her assertions is either flatly contradicted or made to seem less dramatic by a factor approaching infinity.

The Palin's seem to attract drama; there is a little more disclosed each day. For the most part, I must say that it is every American's right to spice up their lives with a little drama. Moreover, while the latest revelations may be quite unfortunate, they are entirely personal matters. But, having evaluated this matter of "Troopergate" carefully, and specifically her own statements to officials, I must conclude that this is not a woman who is constituted to hold the office of the President of the United States of America, as the 25th Amendment to the Constitution would require, were McCain to be POTUS and become incapacitated.

The authoritative, dogmatic, truly scary characterizations of Wooten in various situations in her May interview, show that she either lacks the capacity to judge the true danger of a situation (what do you say lovefraud, a touch of dissociative personality disorder?), or she was attempting, through a vigorous campaign of character assassination--though an inexplicable failure to take the substantive action, which would have accomplished her goal—to do everything that she could to have Mike Wooten removed from his position (Perhaps the most appropriate suggestion here is hard-core sadism.) Unfortunately, more disturbing is the "contra-testimony" offered upon being faced with having her own word discredited by everyone from her own son, Tack; her sister; her sister's neighbor; and a bartender. The difference between the May interview along with the e-mail and the August give the appearance of calculated duplicity, manipulation, and a general willingness to go to significant lengths to achieve her personal agenda. For God's sake, she hired a PI without informing her sister of her actions. The difference between the content of the two messages she presented, in addition to playing the compassionate martyr who simply could not pull the trigger on her Blackberry when Wooten was at his most vulnerable point, suggest that she is perfectly capable of having fired her Public Security Director. Finally, if this is not the apotheosis of a day-time TV family feud, then I clearly need to catch up on the latest trends in the soaps for fear of inappropriately citing what I believe to be an exemplar.

The Virtues of the Republic

Only one in whom we trust. Too bad for our steadfast Jewish allies, but certainly it will be worse for the evil-doing Arabs. Since very few of our neighbors are Arab, there is no inconsistency in our praying for their everlasting perdition and upholding the commandment that one “love thy neighbor, as one loves thy ass.” Doesn’t it just infuriate you to imagine some post-modern Liberal—too clever by half—joking that we have found the catchphrase of contemporary narcissism?

Ephemeral, metaphysical even, nothing there, just air and late fees. Thus it is that we insist ever more strenuously that there is something there: would you like to go out and see my new Hummer?

Even the Nazi SS were patriots, enough said.

Sacred institution of male and female: so sacrosanct, in fact, that it is the sole contractual relationship in the English speaking world that must be mediated by the state at both its beginning, and its dissolution. Marriage, the ever so clever raison d’ etre and support for so many countless judges who sanction the half of these partnerships which must be dissolved in their chambers, sooner rather than later, if the municipality is to prosper. Hell, brothers and sisters get along better than that. But that would be wrong, right?

That which Niggers and Spics don’t have, which single mothers, addicts, and those lazy sons of bitches on the dole cannot, by definition, have either. If they had any sense, they would have married rich, the postmodern golden parachute.

Freedom of Speech:
To be enjoyed in all instances, as long as you first swear not to think for yourself. See for an entire list of things you are free to say. One may also listen to the administration’s spokes person who will not hesitate to point out when you are wrong.

The Right to Bear Arms:
The Founding Father’s Di Vinci like foresight intended, originally, to prevent evil liberals from denying us God-fearing patriots our favorite hunting rifle and our trusty fully automatic AK-47s to keep them “others” from home invasioning us. In fact, the Fathers themselves wanted automatic rifles for the inevitable Westward expansion. “It is our policy that it the exponential difference in how strenuous it is for us to manifest out destinies is directly tied to the most humane and rapid proportion of Americans we can massacre. “Genocide: the golden road from sea to shining sea,” a “wagon sticker” the unfortunate Gen. Custard reported seeing on the plains, as reported in the last letter he wrote to his dear wife, before some Crazy Horse took umbrage and stuck a Little Big Horn up his dashing ass.

A euphemism for corporate maleficence: One-third of the town’s population has cancer? Of course, we will clean it up. Only you must keep in mind that our right to exhaust our dully obtained legal loopholes is enshrined in law, whereas your desire for clean, healthy drinking water is just one more manifestation of keeping up with the Jonesvilles.” Close relatives of other clever linguistic misdirections, such as “clean coal,” “pre-emptive strike,” and “exit strategy” *See Responsibility, above.

The Democratic Process - A:
A way for our fine, upstanding corporate citizens to contribute to the good of the country by employing the billions of dollars they saved by moving to China, South-East Asia, and Mexico to reward our duly elected representatives remain in Washington, until they become disgusted with the perpetual campaign, and take more lucrative jobs with aforementioned entities, who pay them to take their old buddies on “educational junkets” to Monte Carlo or to award them for a hard day’s worth of prevarication with a fine meal and 50 year old scotch. In this way, political reality is defined.

The Democratic Process - B:
The new and improved opium of the people: the way in which we are all so certain of our ability to make a difference, that we assure ourselves of our neighbor’s willingness to do it for us. After all, six of one is half a dozen of another, however you analyze it.

The Democratic Process – C:
That which is so desired by the population of Iraq now that they fail to notice that shot which is about to maim their child, if not kill her. It is True, Good, and Right that the Iraqi people should have a democratic government. Otherwise, how would sensible men believe it correct to impose the Liberty and Freedom so essential to human Dignity. Additionally, our fighting forces being free from engagement in a war that ended 6 months ago, a democratic, free, and secure Iraq would finally allow Army Reserve units to do the important work: find those pesky WMD’s

Finally, Certainty - A:
Based on the steadfast belief that the True, the Right, and the Good are on our side. After all, God would certainly not advise our President to do something immoral. If only I could speak to the Father, as well. Perhaps if I pray hard enough He will pay my car off, and let Kansas City will the World Series.Unfortunately, I was born-again into the wrong family. Not one worthless relative has the direct number to the sat phone at the left hand of God.

Certainty - B:
The social disease whereby everyone else, even one’s neighbor, who failed to visit, is wrong. (Perhaps I should have voted after all). The most efficacious and soothing rationalization for death and destruction on a massive scale for anyone who is an evil-doer to have ever been conceived in human misstory. If only certainty could protect us from hell, provide us with health care, or kill those whose own certainty clashes with ours, while simultaneously preventing catastrophic budget deficits, I may just consider the adoption of this epistemological abortion myself.

ps. We love certainty clashes with countries rich in oil supplies.

pss. As long as certainty prevails the stench of death will pervade our planet.

© 9/9/04

Friday, March 12, 2010

Welcome to Paradoxination!

Welcome everyone, someone, to Paradoxination. There are going to be several rather disparate issues with which I deal. A primary concern will be with the current political and cultural situation here in the US. In addition, I will give special  attention to other areas of the world, which are particularly intertwined  with this country and  it's well-being: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Israel, China, and  now  Europe as countries like Greece, Spain, Portugal, and  Ireland face catastrophic economic consequences as the result of financial irresponsibility, which has lead to a radical devaluation of  the Euro in those countries.

On the cultural front, I will address trends like the increasing politicization of churches, which is  leading for  many to call for certain churches to have their tax-exempt status revoked. Similarly, there is a move in California  to ban divorce--yes, you read that right--so as to protect marriage. I will have a great  deal  to say about this topic, along with the general de-secularization of American politics. The Supreme Court is  always a hot  topic, as is the notion of conservative activist judges,who nonetheless claim to cling to the notion of "Original Intent." Of course, as anyone with a rudimentary Lit Crit class under their  belts knows, the notion  that one may get  into  the head of an  author, founding  father or not, is no less absurd than attempting to crack one's  skull so as to locate the mind. Finally,  I am very concerned with two opposite, but equally bothersome, trends  in American culture. The first is the pervasive sense of apathy amongst significant numbers of pseudo-citizens. In 2004,  long after it had been indisputably documented that we were  snowed into invading Iraq, just over 50%  of registered voters bothered to  vote in the Presidential Election. Secondly, and perhaps  more disturbing, is the tendency of those who do "engage" in politics to fail to have a single thought of  their own. There is  little  that will get me more riled  up than  some fool spouting off about issues of  which his only source of information is  some idiot  talking  head, "fair  and balanced" of course. While I try my best to engage  in reasonable  political  discourse, I will not hesitate to devour such 'idiot heads" as I  just mentioned. Of course, most of them don't realize that they are leaking respect  like a sieve, which  is  the real  shame of  it.  Down, boy.

There is  much more that I would  like to say, but I  must restrain myself. Alas, I must do  something other than stare at this  computer screen,  potentially writing for no one but myself and those who would feel  to guilty not to visit at least once. Thus it  is that I go in search of a giant herring. Wish me luck; herring is not exactly plentiful in the Deep South.