Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Bush's "surge" may at least work toward the three Iraqs model?
Rice fianlly seem to be doing something right. building a colaition of Arabs vs. nuclear armed Persians. The Persian:Arab confrontation is very old. The farsi memeory is very long.
Even Putin seems to be on the side of peace.
Yet the Bushies still seem to be living in wonderland. Are these guys smart enough to take advantage of the opportunity?
What would happen to the Bush Prexiness if peace broke out in Israel? With 18 months left, the prospect of long term castigation comaprablem to that suffered by Nixon, how far would and could Bush go to bring peace to Israel?
One scenario that I hesitate to raise is that the "neoocns" have sacrificed huge US respurces and our reputation, in return for stabilizing Palestine/Israel. The moral/ethical implications for Zionism are very disturbing, but one of the few reasonable arguments for decapitation of WSadaam (although muted int he then discussions), was that he effectively offered the irredentist palestinains the backing of an army a short distance away should a new real war break out. Now, that threat is gone. As dire as things for Israel, the truth for the Palestinians is that NO neighboring country has the militayr force and the will to support a war with Israel.
This could create an amazing late term scenario for the Bush. Imagine a realization of the Saudi initiative, backed up by Egyptian help in pacifying Gaza and a Bush regime desperate to have him achieve something over 8 years.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
David Postman has an intriguing entry on the evolution of (the image of) Patty Murray. This is fascinating in a disturbing way. Everything I read as well as a 2 hout flight with her, had led me to buy into the image of dim witted media creation.
Obviously the perception is now different. How did this happen? Is this evolved Senator Murray the real person? or has she assembled a staff that is creating this new person? The real point, I am afraid, is that our system is an utter failure at providing even such basic information as the intelligence of a public figure. Forest Gump would understand.
Still, during our airplane ride I did have ample opportunity to judge for myself. While Murray surely was not a dim bulb, she also did not strike me as being as bright as other pols I have met. My best guess is that she is not very bright BUT is an excellent organizer. Murry the team may be alot more valuable than Murray by herself. Or ... the new story is not true either.
Call me confused but this is terrible problem.WE are all now convinced that GWB is an idiot, certifiably so given his performance. How do we evaluate Obama Clinton et al?
To make matters worse, Faux news has taken the concept of a public medium to a new low. They routinely poison the well with biased reporting. It is all too easy to downplay fox as just silly, but their day-in-day-out propaganda has real effects. I would bet that the majority of Americans consider the NY Times and the Washington Post, to be left wing. LEFT WING?? If so where is the middle?
Some years ago I listened to an end of the year show by major correspondents. It was a presidential year and they talking heads were asking why some candidates get singled out for abuse while others' abuse is left undisclosed. The topic of Jesse jackson's dubious record came up. The well coiffed ones said that had not discussed jesses' sleazy activitites because the brown man was not a "real" candidate for President. So that loeaves their failure to dicuss Bush or Murray unexplained.
There is real need for a simple, truthful journalism.
Blunt (R) 38
Nixon (D) 57
Matt Blunt is the Republican incumbent governor of Missouri. he is being challenged by Missouri's attorney general, Jay Nixon.
At least one blog raises issue about this candidacy. What do folks here know about this fellow? Coould the Demo thiorst for power sink to resucitating Nixon?
Newspapers have largely died for me. My morning paper is instead a set of links to good world news sources. One result is that I am often shocked at how littlle of world news makes the US press ...even the NY Times.
A good example is the lack of coverage of the situation facing Cubans as Castro's life may ebb. Click on the image for good coverage from alJazeera. For what its worth here is the current design of my Daily news Tab:
Friday, July 27, 2007
I know this is a minority opinion and we atheists lack the neat canonization processes available to some other Churches, but I enjoy watching the traces of our consensus process us they emerge.
So, here is a comment by Gorb on why America;s policies have failed since the Fall of the Wall.
The essence is that Gorby feels the US as well as the USSR lost the Cold War. In nhis view, the post Fall world is not amenable to hegemony.
Worth the read.
At the same time, the Huff Post ran a polemic about the conservative Christians who support Israel out of a belief in the end times. Is there a common idea here? W/o Gorbochev's commitment to world peace, WWIII might well have happened. These fundie Christians have weird beliefs but Israel uses those beliefs to keep itself in existence. As a Jew I find this very uncomfortable but is OUR end justified by THEIR end?
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
I hope this is for real. The Jordanians and the Egyptians, indirectly acting as representatives of the Arab League, have come to Israel to discuss a final settlement. I chose these last words very carefully. I hope the double entendre is seen as an optimistic response to the last time a final solution was proposed.
In the mean time, the US press is ignoring all this and much other news to tell us about some 21 year old movie babe who ... shock schock .. got arrested for dwi, driving w/o a liscence, and cocaine. And of course there are such important issues as Mit Romney's not being able to read the signs he holds and the reappearance of Neanderthals in the modern human population.
Not the plane but the news from Israel.
I voted for Rossi. I do not like CG for a number of reasons. I want to see two parties ......
Rossi has to cut his ties to Guzzo asap. The things this old man says may be signs of senility, but as long as Rossi is tagged with them, Dino's last name might have to be saur.
Rossi has to address the party melt down as recently reviewed by Darryl at Hominid Views. The gain in numbers in the Democratic party is fragile, it is a reaction to the lack of credibility engendered by Bush and by any Publican willing to remain in the Charge of the Light Brigade.
The new Demoes as well as Independents WANT two parties but the remaining fans of Bushism are mostly living in Bahrain. While foreign policy is NOT the Governor's job, party unity is. As candidate for Governor, Rossi would also be running for head of a NEW WA Republican party.
What is fascinating is that despite Darryl's showing pof huge losses in registered Publicans, the gap between DR and CG remains very small. What this means is real terms is Rossi can win by supporting moderates like Olympia Snow and Schwartznegger, coming out forecelfully against the Bushist favoritism, and separating his religion from his party.
The latter issue is a biggy. I admire Mr. Rossi for his beliefs even though I am fully in support of abortion, stem cells, etc. Rossi shold paint himself as consistently driven by high mjoral standards AND repecting others who differ from him. This contrasts with CG's last campaign.
One reason I voted against CG was her willingness to tar DR for his beleifs .. as opposed to his actions. Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter should serve as roles models for DR. I beleive that Christians admire these men for their religious commitment and place that above specific issues such as abortion.
Rossi needs to portray his religion as a moral compass rather than some doctrinaire ideology. Meeting with a strong Christina liberal leader, such as Robert Jeffrey, and untiing with him on shared oral issues would be briliant. Some specific issues that would help:
1. Removal of the Gonzo the AG. He has lost the public trust. Enlisting McKay, fired Fed. Porosecutor, as a suporter is a must.
2. Public disownment of the Vaderesque Veep. Same for Rove and Chaney. Blame them for misleading the idealistic but dim witted Prexy.
3. Support for non-marriage alternatives for couples regardless of sex.
4. Support for real school reform including tax dollars to fulfill the constitution. Oppose the Teacher's union on issues such as charter schools and master pay. This is a win-win. The demoes are stuck with the NEA the way the Publicans are stuck with Pat Robertson. The puboic is wiling to pay bit not for featherbedding.
5. A State policy on the border and on immigration .. open borders, encourage immigrnats for areas where we need more workers, calmp dopwn on employers.
6. A REAL effort to support the UW and WSU. The unmined loyalty of the Cougs and Huskies is vast. The state increasingly is leaving these premier school to their own deserts or encouraging the develoment of fourth rate branch campuses.
7. A Schwartznegger, BUSINESS like effort at tax reform instead of tax cuts.
More to follow .........
Monday, July 23, 2007
Lawrence Summers, then the President for Harvard, was castigated for suggesting that women and men approach careers differently.
It seems to me that it may be his opponents, not Dr. Summers, who are sexist. The female life cycle is different from that of men and the only path to true equality of opportunity is if we alter the times course expectations of the two genders or, perhaps, offer both genders a "female" pathway.
The issue is far more than theoretical and idealistic. Our own medical schools now graduate more females than males. While feminists cavil at the lack of female chairs and deans, at least as serious is the effects of the career continuity expected of Docs based on the male life cycle.
The Brits, with a longer experience and a more orderly health system are already running into the problem.
At hte same time, our med. school has recently appointed to outstanding women as heads of departmnet or division. While I ams ure the admin. would claim this si nothing new, I think there is for exactly the reason that both Dr. Jarvik (Medical Genetics) and Dr. Schwinn (Anaesthesiology) were chosen despite the absence of any interest here in "affirmative action." Beyond being smart and good leaders, I honestly believe both these folks bring leadership styles that are new to our traditions. Put another way, I am not awfully symnpathetic to the idea that equality of opportunity is the reason for hiring people, I am far more interested in the idea that different backgrounds, including the effects of XX vs XY, may make a better form of doing things.
The Brit problem and th link above, IMHO, illustrate the worng approach. Rather than panicking about why more women are nto filling traditional male roles, it seems to me we should ask whether the structure of the work place makes sense for both genders. In my opinion it does not.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
I think we are out of the wilderness that meant an African could not be elected Prexy, Then yu read something about Romney holding a racist sign about Barack! Mitt .. folks who wear special underwear ought to think about who they go to bed with.
Of course there are endless Mormon jokes surrounding Mr. Romney.
The there is this new caveman series. We are being told that the series will not be about race. Sure.
Well, I tried. I tried to promote attendance by the not black community, one fellow blogger, Lee showed up. This made me happy but I wish more folks from the nb (not black) liberal community had come. Next time.
The vigil was wonderful. People were generous and kind, stories were told of people's struggles with violence and drugs.
Pastor Jeffrey gave a magnificent talk about identity. I do not remember all the words, but the essence was that identity lies at the core of preventing violence. He told us many things he is not .. he is not the pastor, the father, the husband, the dark skinned black, the American ... none of these by itself or even in combination can define his identity. Instead, he talked of identity in the sense of an essential property each of us have. He talked about the pride in that identity being stolen by slavery or oppression, ... I will see if he wrote out the speech and post it here.
My photos are here as a slideshow.
The dilemma I see is that this extraordinary man is not being seen and heard by a wider community. Jeffrey is a pastor . As an atheist and as a Jew, I fear that his message is so linked to Jesus that it loses the very universality implicit in Christianity. It seems to me that this is a sad limitation because his ideas should be made available to more people. I wonder how it was that Gandhi and King transcended their religions?
Let me tell a Bob Jeffrey story. Some years ago he spoke at out synagogue. He began the talk with an anecdote. about visiting the Jewish Family and Child Service. He was there as part of the African-American-Jewish Coalition's efforts to seek synergies between the two communities' resources. As he sat in the waiting room, Jeffrey began to realize he was the only affluent person in the room. Most of the others were there for help with some welfare problem. ..that is these were Jews who needed help. The pastor suddenly realized, "There are poor Jews."
I can see how this story fits into Jeffrey's concept of identity. He was confidant enough of his identity to care about others.
Jeffrey is a bhodisittava.
Essay by Robert Jeffrey
Account of his role in creating the African American Jewish Coalition
Friday, July 20, 2007
Hillary Clinton's Tentative Dip Into New Neckline Territory
By Robin Givhan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 20, 2007; C01
There was cleavage on display Wednesday afternoon on C-SPAN2. It belonged to Sen. Hillary Clinton.
She was talking on the Senate floor about the burdensome cost of higher education. She was wearing a rose-colored blazer over a black top. The neckline sat low on her chest and had a subtle V-shape. The cleavage registered after only a quick glance. No scrunch-faced scrutiny was necessary. There wasn't an unseemly amount of cleavage showing, but there it was. Undeniable.
It was startling to see that small acknowledgment of sexuality and femininity peeking out of the conservative -- aesthetically speaking -- environment of Congress. After all, it wasn't until the early '90s that women were even allowed to wear pants on the Senate floor. It was even more surprising to note that it was coming from Clinton, someone who has been so publicly ambivalent about style, image and the burdens of both.
The last time Clinton wore anything that was remotely sexy in a public setting surely must have been more than a decade ago, during Bill Clinton's first term in office when she was photographed wearing a black Donna Karan gown that revealed her shoulders. It was one of Karan's "cold-shoulder" dresses, inspired, Karan once noted, because a woman's shoulders remain sensuous and appealing regardless of her age.
Throughout Clinton's time as first lady, she wore clothes that were feminine and stately. But sexiness was not part of the image. Her second inaugural gown was by Oscar de la Renta. The original version of the gold lace dress had cap sleeves and a wide, jewel neckline. Clinton altered it so that it had long sleeves and a high, almost Victorian collar.
When she appeared on the cover of the December 1998 issue of Vogue, just after the Monica Lewinsky scandal had peaked, she wore another de la Renta gown, this one with a boat neck and long sleeves. She looked glamorous, regal and defiant. But one was not even tempted to mention the s-word.
By the time Clinton launched her first campaign for the Senate, she had found a desexualized uniform: a black pantsuit. Not a fitted, provocative suit, but merely an understated, flattering one. Clothes were off the table. End of discussion.
But as she has embarked on her campaign for president, she has given up the uniform. In its place has been a wide array of suits and jackets, in everything from dull khaki to canary yellow and sofa florals. Once again, she is playing the fashion field.
The cleavage, however, is an exceptional kind of flourish. After all, it's not a matter of what she's wearing but rather what's being revealed. It's tempting to say that the cleavage stirs the same kind of discomfort that might be churned up after spotting Rudy Giuliani with his shirt unbuttoned just a smidge too far. No one wants to see that. But really, it was more like catching a man with his fly unzipped. Just look away!
Not so long ago, Jacqui Smith, the new British home secretary, spoke before the House of Commons showing far more cleavage than Clinton. If Clinton's was a teasing display, then Smith's was a full-fledged come-on. But somehow it wasn't as unnerving. Perhaps that's because Smith's cleavage seemed to be presented so forthrightly. Smith's fitted jacket and her dramatic necklace combined to draw the eye directly to her bosom. There they were . . . all part of a bold, confident style package.
With Clinton, there was the sense that you were catching a surreptitious glimpse at something private. You were intruding -- being a voyeur. Showing cleavage is a request to be engaged in a particular way. It doesn't necessarily mean that a woman is asking to be objectified, but it does suggest a certain confidence and physical ease. It means that a woman is content being perceived as a sexual person in addition to being seen as someone who is intelligent, authoritative, witty and whatever else might define her personality. It also means that she feels that all those other characteristics are so apparent and undeniable, that they will not be overshadowed.
To display cleavage in a setting that does not involve cocktails and hors d'oeuvres is a provocation. It requires that a woman be utterly at ease in her skin, coolly confident about her appearance, unflinching about her sense of style. Any hint of ambivalence makes everyone uncomfortable. And in matters of style, Clinton is as noncommittal as ever.
Know that all the gods are one and I am the one.
Hindus and Mormons, Krishna, Ram, Jesus, and Allah .. all are me, the one with no name,
What strange creatures that would think I would care about your choice of my name, my number or even, my existence.
As I said before, I am that I am.
You be good, thats all.
*Hundu ... since I do not have a disparaging term like Kike, Yid, Papist, Rag Head, I decided the time has come to have some nasty term for Hindus. BTW, orthodox Hindus consider themselves a people with a given religion, osund like Jews! However, Jews have always accepted converts, as I understand it Hinduism has no mechanims for becoming a Hindu. Poor Mrs. Gandhi remains an Eyetalian in their eyes despite the saris she wears.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
It seems to me that some of what Professor Streamus says plays into the hands of Churchill's antagonists.
Our colleague from WSU implies that there is a systematic discrimination against academics because of skin color, i.e. that the academic community lives in a dialectic of "people of color" vs. "white people." With all due respect to the real issues confronting undeserved minorities, Professor Streamas' charge is difficult to accept in a world like our own unless one uses a very strange brush to decide which national origins are and which are not "colored." Indeed part of the controversy about Churchill is is his own self designation. The use of the term "people of color" also makes a distinction that is probably obsolete given current concerns about Hispanic Americans whose ethnic origin in many cases has nothing to do with the melanin content of their skin. I would hope no-one would remove the melanin from students of Asian origin because of their wide spread success.
There are real issues of bigotry persistent in our system but lumping them under the shadow of "people of color" does a disservice to the academy.
That said, John Streamus has identified the two most disturbing parts of the entire contretemps.
1. This controversy is clearly the result of outside, politically motivated pressure. It seems unimaginable that Churchill's tenure would have ever become an issue if he had not been targeted by the right for their own political reasons. If Churchill is dismissed, the effects on tenure for everyone will be serious.
2. Churchill's dismissal will inevitably be interpreted by many as evidence of persistent racism.
Of course this creates exactly the kind of conflict sought by Churchill's antagonists. They claim, as does Professor Streamus, that the University is not fair, that we are incapable of separating prejudices of the left (in the case of the antagonists) from professional decisions about scholarship. "
Are "we" are damned by one side or the other no matter what happens to Churchill? With all due respect to Professor Streamus, I do not think we need to be damned, I think we can avoid the worst part of the intent of the antagonists is and only iff the outcome of this case is rigorously open and fair.
This thread is part of that process!
As a teacher of color working in the field of Ethnic Studies, I’ve been curious to see the issue of racism raised in this discussion only to be dismissed. Last year at the annual conference of the American Studies Association two important scholars, Ruth Wilson Gilmore and David Roediger, urged their large audience to support Churchill no matter what they felt about him personally. They then named other teachers of color, all of them junior (even introduced an audience member who teaches at Arizona State, an Asian American woman), who are under fire from right-wing groups such as those headed by David Horowitz for teaching “dangerously irresponsible” or “un-American” ideas. The attacks upon Middle Eastern Studies in several presumably “progressive” universities has been part of this campaign. Here at Washington State University last year, the College Republicans staged an aggressively xenophobic and racist anti-immigrant rally in the middle of campus, during which they shouted racial slurs to students of color. Rather than punishing the College Republicans, administrators here labeled students and faculty of color “troublemakers” and refused to act. The Office of Equity and Diversity stood by and did nothing. Now we have lost several students of color who feel unwelcome and terrorized. Two of my own favorite and best students have dropped out and plan to transfer, even knowing that they will lose many credits, and even though they were within a semester of finishing. Administrations are caving in to pressures from monied right-wing groups all over the nation.
In my classes, I teach about Truman’s decision to use the atomic bombs. I show students that, within days, Langston Hughes and many other prominent, thoughtful writers in the black press denounced the bomb as a “race weapon,” claiming that it would never have been used on what Hughes called “the white enemy.” My point is not to debate this issue exactly but to ask students why these writers of color (as well as writers in the Latino and indigenous communities) condemned the bomb as a race weapon. Why is their understanding of U.S. race history so important in determining their reading of current events? Personally, I think Churchill is being wrongly framed—I know several people who have taken classes from him and swear that he’s an excellent teacher, for example—but even if he’s not, we faculty of color know that, everywhere, students of color still drop out of college at substantially higher rates than white students, AND we know that faculty of color are still denied tenure at rates higher than white faculty. That these problems persist leads us not to paranoia or “playing the race card” but to urge that the problems be solved fairly.
It’s extremely easy to cover up racism on campus. And it’s no secret that junior faculty of color are vulnerable. In PWIs (Predominantly White Institutions) we get little or no mentoring, and our commitments to our students of color, who trust us and need our support, don’t count as service. I want Churchill to keep his job partly because I think he deserves it, but also partly because we teachers and students of color need to be able to cling to some small hope that the David Horowitzes of the world haven’t won. Yet.
Department of Comparative Ethnic Studies
Washington State University
Aaup mailing list
Stephen M. Schwartz
Monday, July 16, 2007
Jim Webb of Virginia is one of the real tough guys in the Senate. A former Republican, Vietnam vet, author of books about nam and father of a son serivng in Iraq, took on Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina .
Webb: " This deck of cards is coming crashing down, and it’s landing heavily on the heads of the soldiers and the Marines who have been deployed again and again."
Graham: "Just wash your hands of Iraq," "History will judge us, my friend."
Webb: "It's been a hard month, Lindsey," "You need to calm down,."
Graham: "It ain't about Lindsey having a hard month,"
Webb: "This is one thing I really take objection to—may I speak?—is politicians who try to put their political views into the mouths of soldiers,"
Graham: "Have you been to Iraq and talked to the soldiers?"
Webb: "You know, you've never been to Iraq, Lindsey."
The Republican pointed out he's been there seven times.
Webb: "You know,you can see the dog and pony shows. That's what congressman do. Why don't you go look at the polls, Lindsey, instead of the seven or eight people that are put in front of you when you make your congressional visit?"
Graham: "Let's—something we can agree on, We both admire the men and the women in uniform. "
Webb: "Don't put political words in their mouth," Webb interrupted.
The exchange ended with Graham praising the troops: Graham : "God bless them and let's make sure they can win because they can." Webb: "I'll let them judge what you said."
Graham : "God bless them and let's make sure they can win because they can."
Webb: "I'll let them judge what you said."In the meantime, here is a great post on the heroism of journalists is Iraq.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Lee is at it again.
Lee is an outspoken liberal here in Seattle who insists that there is no reason for mistrust between the American majority and our Islamic population.
The current example is an essay he has written about a woman who became concerned when she saw what appeared to be a Middle Eastern guy sitting in a juvenile court building in Seattle. The poor lady became suspicious of the fellow's behavior, of why he was "counting" folks in the room and what he was doing with his cell phone. She relates that she could not get the Court guard to pay attention but did find a King County cop who was sympathetic (though he did not do anything).
Lee sees this as a kind of racism and disses the lady's excess concern. Goldy jumps into the thread
"Oh. My. God.
she was packing heat… it would be open season on bearded men carrying cell phones."
Yeh, imagine if she was packing heat. Imagine if our society gets to that degraded state where people are ready to be vigilantes. That is scary. However, it is as scary to imagine a US where events like those that are frequent in Europe, esp France, occur regularly. Why shouldn't we be vigilant, even suspicious. Some profiling is inevitable.
How afraid should she be? Lee and Goldy are right, the Bushies have traded shamelessly on 9/11. If things were as bad as this lady fears, we would read of American blood shed by terrorists every week instead on once or twice a year.
Still, the relatively low incidence of current problems level of behavior does not justify a benign denial that there are real problems. Wahabe influence in the American mosque is still huge. The numbers of American Muslims who find murder-suicide acceptable is very real and very frightening. The extremes of Islam .. the NOI included, practice and teach racism that is abhorrent.
But jeez guys, how about some balance. So this lady is frightened. Isn't your reaction to her itself an over reaction? Where is the evidence of wide spread discrimination against the Muslims?
BTW. The image is of a Palestinian I met in Aarhus. I was struck by the guy's face and asked if I could photograph him as part of my series on smokers. During the small talk as I made images, I learned the guy was very antisemitic. I asked him to tell me more. Eventually I revealed my own identity and wished for peace between uor peoples. We parted politely open to each other on this Danish street.
I wonder hwta Lee feels about Rushdie and Ali, are there fears of Muslim Fatwas excessive?
For more, click this link.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
The Lord Krishna has visited Congress. The conservative Jesus' General website speculates that this may be the beginning of the end times. Certainly seems like a reasonable speculation to me. After all. The Deity is said to have visited terror on my people for worshipping the golden calf. Who can imagine worship of this pagan deity in the halls once trod only by good Christians.
While I am not in any way a Christian, the logical consistency of the General is a great reprieve from the knee jerk liberalism and right wing righteousness usually shown in blogdom.
But, I have a confession to make. I have been in love with Krishna and Radha for many years. What better model can there by for heterosexual love? Doesn't Radha look like my wife? Is my skin blue to you?
- Is there a message in why this and the next post are juxtaposed?
Thursday, July 12, 2007
One of my favorite people, Dr. Robert Jeffrey, Past0r of New Hope Baptist, is sponsoring a week long series of events to promote anti violence.
The events will be at 7pm on Tuesday nights all next week. Monday through Wed. different ministers from Seattle and New York will talk about stoppimg the violence.
There is also a picnic at noon on Thursday and a candle light vigil for "100 men" that night led by Dr. Jeffries.
The vigil, Thursday 19 July at 7, is a major event that the Seattle community is invited to.
As I understand folks are welcome any other night too. Friday night there will be gospel singers .. great way to celebrate Shabbat.
Tickets (I think just for Saturday) are $15 @ 206 323 4212
Saturday night there will be a gospel concert at the New Hope Baptist Church.
- Is there a message in why this and the next post are juxtaposed?
Tell em which party is running the most Christian candidates? Take a look at Time magazine.
There is an eary similarity between the US preoccupation with official religion and the Brit's expensive Monarchic appendage. Not that I think the Dems (or the Brits) are insincere but the irony of the upcoming campaign is amazing. A politician unwilling to kiss the Queen's arse could not be elected in England and no aetheist may apply for the Presidency. BUT, in this election some pious dem is gonna run against a tainted ain't a good Xtain. Imagine Rove's Religious Right unRavelling?
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Annie Liebovitz apparently pissed of HRH Elizabeth II, heir of Henry the VIIIth.
The Daily Mail reports that Beth stormed out of a photoshoot, after a Annie Liebovitz asked milady to remove her crown. The BBC captured the scene on video as part of a documentary entitled " A Year With The Queen" and captures the moment when Her Majesty lost her cool.
Apparently Anne thought Beth looked too ... well, formal or dressy with the garment sof her office AND the monstrous crown of the British Empire. Beth, according to the Daily Mail, sanpped, "Less dressy? What do you think this is?" pointing to her costume. Then she founces off with some Carrier of The Hem supporting the large train of her blue velvet cape.
The there is the final portrait. Am I missing something or is this a rip off of Gainborough's Blue Boy? Or is she supposed to be Darth Vader ...
BTW, how many folks from Seattle are aware of the great statue of Vader on the edge of the UW campus?
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Let,s see ... the world is running out of oil, the US has 12 million illegal workers, the National Institutes of Health are near bankrupt, Seattle can not afford to support the international highway that runs from Alaska to Chile, our military are a mess, and our state rep ......
Sunny Jim is Working for Impeachment
Frankly I think the VEEP should be impeached BUT, where in hell is this idiot's priorities? If he wants to act like a Congressman Mr. McD should quit serving as one and get a job! Maybe he can get Fred Thompson's job?
Here we have a guy near the bottom of Congressional clout, from a District with serious Federal needs, ina Democratic Congress and he is showboating. I recommend Josh Feit's editorial on the subject.
Where is Jimmy in Immigration? NIH? Federal funds for mass transit?
Lets see ... Reichert has great hair and Jimmy ..... what does he have?
My Congressman reminds me of the Congressman from my wife's home in Appalachia. Daniel J. Flood ran ads showing himself in a cape, velvet suits, limo .... living the high life while representing out-of-work coal miners. Daniel J Flood, devoted himself to the corrupt panama canal, and Papa Doc Duvalier. His biggest contribution to the District came after a flood. Representative Flood got the Defence Dept. to send helicopters and later got a lot of federal reconstruction aid, but the best part? Two days after the storm, Flood announced: The river rose no further. One of the denizenbs of the"I have ordered the Army Corps of Engineers not to permit the Susquehanna to rise another inch." One of Flood's constituents described Daniel J "the next closest thing to God." ∙
Of course Daniel J Flood was corrupt, I don't think Jimmy is. But they both showboat. Jimmy's legal problems are admirable .. he was premature ins standing up to the Bush crime gang, but that does not mean our District can not do better. Maybe if Darcy Burner is going to replace Reichert, the Republican Federal Attorney, John McKay*, should run for Congress from Capital Hill?
* Mr. McKay has become a hero for standing up to the Bush effort to politicize the Federal Prosecutor offices.
Monday, July 09, 2007
Does not look like there is any free lunch.
Truly frightening!The most amazing thing is the sense of denial by right and left.
The right believes that their Deity, Mamon, will use his invisible hand to save us all by creating more oil or repealing the laws of thermodynamics.
The left thinks we can live pretty much as we have been except that by being a bit more efficient we can avoid the conflict between poverty and consumption. I am not sure who the Deity is for the left but it maybe the Corn God or Prius. In Aztec mythology, maize was brought to this world by Quetzalcoatl. (Image is Aztec Corn God, CENTEOTL), The trouble is Quetzalcoatl was a benefactor god, considered a leader among the deities, that would come back after his departure to take back the empire. One legend is that Cortez fooled the Aztecs into thinking he was the returned deity.
Where is Ricardo*when we need him?
*Jewish economist, successor to Malthus, advocated informed capitalism as the best way to delay the Malthusian crisis. In many ways Marx and the capitalists were like the left-aztecs above, believing that Malthis could be avoided by the free market or socialist sharing.
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Today is President Bush's 61st birthday. So what do you get for the Forest Gump of American Presidents?
Some helpful ideas:A copy of the Art of War by Sun Tzu
A copy of the Comic Book Quran
An invitation to Osama bin Laden's home to celebrate the Muslim leader's birthday (RSVP)
"Truman" by David McCullough
A signed copy of Richard Nixon's book, "Life Betyond Disgrace"
A deed to Atlantic Coast Propertis planned development in Ohio.
Three Eagle feathers.
US Constitution for beginners
A new cod piece should he ever decide to appear in public in a flight suit again.
A Bush button designed by SeattleJew.
Evidence for global warming ... see to the right:
Friday, July 06, 2007
I have said that Palestine can not come into being as long as it is cut off from both the Israeli and the Jordanian economies. Now, the idea of a role for the Hashemite ruled region of the ancient Roman "Phillistia" is being revived.
For those out of the loop, the historic "Palestine," under Romans, Arabs, and Turks, was an administrative region of Syria. Jordan and Israel, along with the idea for a separate West Bank Arab state, are all quite modern .. since the 1800s. In 48 Jordan invaded the putative Arab State and the idea of a Palestine including Jordan was attempted. It failed, in part, because it offered an alternative t Palestinian irredentism.
Dr. Robert Satloff, of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, wrote that the "pursuit of an Israeli-Palestinian political horizon may in fact run counter to the interests and preferences of both sides. Instead, investing in an Arab-Palestinian political horizon - including early negotiations on the outline of an eventual Jordanian-Palestinian confederation - may be more realistic, valuable and effective."
As a possible model, may I suggest the situation in Northern Irelan. Peace may be breaking out because of a long period of Brit imposed rule BUT more because of the prosperity coming across the border wth Eire.
The issues is perhaps similar to the one facing the British in naotrher way. The new Brown government's effort to calm things down by using euphemisms for Muslim, is, naive (if well meant) to the point of absurdity.
With he risk of setting off flames, let me suggest that its arrogant to assume that "our" shared European culture is so superior to Islam that "we" can absorb them, melt them down to Brit or Merican culture, as it were. Many of the tenets of Islam are fundamentally different form anything Euro-Ameri-CDhristendom have absorbed in the past. The nearest example I can think of is Orthodox Judiasm. OJ. lke Islam, claims to have its own laws that supercede the laws of "our" society. Even today, many (growing) OJ communtiies libe apart and have their own limtied judicial systems. "We" can tolerate this for three reasons:
1. OJ, unlike Islam, makes no claim to the right to govern non-Jews.
2. OJ is not evangelical.
3. OJ is balanced by Reform Judaism that provides a very easy adapatation some call "Judeo-Christianity."
4. There is no economicd disparity between the OJ and the majority.
5. OJ are small part of the US or Europe.
It may be worth pointing out that RJ evolved over a millennium of Jews and Xtians living together. Moreover, that evolution was driven by a period of enlightenment and tolerance in the Christian majority. In contrast, Islam has lived within Christendom for less than a century and the Muslims in Europe have been brought there as an underclass to labor at low wages.
How does this apply to Palestine? I am unconvinced that the major stumbling block to peace is religion. As nutty as the islamofascisti are, my impression is that a "reform Islam," with intolerances and flexibility , can arise if the Palestinians have a way to develop an economy.
Reza Aslan paints a frightening picture of an Islamic world where ONLY Hezbollah and Hamas offer a vision of discipline and economic development that a poor person can understand. If the only sources of education and food is the Islamofascist run Mosque, the consequences are clear. I urge folks to read Reza Aslan.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Mike Webb, before he died, created a website as a parody of Blatherwatch. The site is here.
The whole story of Mike Webb and Mike Hood is too sad to relate. Michael, a Seattle writer and editor of a blog on talk radio,took it in himself to harass Mike Webb as the talk host went from a leftisj gayish talk show host on the radio to a sad and confused figure, committing a minor felony, being fired from KIRO, ending up stabbed death in his own crawl space. A sad and sadder story of fall from grace. Webb's faux site typifies and exposes some of the pain he must have felt from Michael Hood's barbed attacks. Not Hood's fault either ,, more like the universal guilt story of a post WWII German drama. Durrenmatt must have written the script.
BTW, I wanted to post a picture of Mike, but first decided not to. Webb hated having his image public. Indeed a lot of what seemed to upset Webb was the efforts by Hood to photograph Mike Web as a defendant during the trial. I posted an image of his blogger nemesis, Mike Hood, along with the picture (from Michael Hood's website) of Webb at a debate. I like the debate image because it conceals Webb's face but shows the man in his glory .. inciting talk.
From Blatherwatch: a celebration will be held this Saturday.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
" The low-key Smith also stands in contrast to her pugnacious predecessor, John Reid, whose tough talk on terrorism was sometimes criticized for inflaming ethnic and religious tensions. In a speech to lawmakers Monday, Smith called terrorists "criminals whose victims come from all walks of life, communities and religious backgrounds." Brown has spoken of "al-Qaida" attackers but not of "Islamic" or "Muslim" terrorists."
in ref. to the new Brit Secretary of State.
We all know the story of the emperor's new clothes. This seems to me to be parable, not a very pleasant one either. One can respect the majority of the world's Muslims without playing the three monkeys game.
The need for a liberal alternative to Hamas/Hezbollah/Muslim Brotherhood/and the Wahaabis is painful and obvious. Islamofascism may not be a wide spread conviction of American Muslims, but nor do we see the sort of positive moves toward a liberal Islam that might arise from the so far less than evident outrage that a movement amongst the American Muslim community.
My perpetual question to the deniers ... where do I go on the Web to find a Muslim based peace movement? I have not found anything impressive. The one exception is a remarkable scholar from USC, Reza Aslan. I recommend his book, "No God but God" to anyone interested in the history of Islam and esp. of the current problems with Islamic states. John Stewart's interview may be a place to start.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
I do not want t write about this. Bush's commutation of Libby's sentance is a pattern of actions that should make any Jew with any belief in the Law, sick.
Some posts to look at:
Republican policy toward slavery
Libby the Jew
Libby passing for a non Jew?
Jewish Americans and National Security