Archives for November, 2002

I’ve lost that blogging feeling

whoa-oh that blogging feeling. I’ve lost that blogging feeling, now it’s gone, gone, gone. Whoa-oh-ohh….

Posted on Nov 25, 2002 in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Just Because You’re Paranoid…

Here’s an object lesson in how otherwise smart people can say things that are crashingly, mind-numbingly, appallingly stupid. Commenting on the Poindexter plan whereby the Pentagon will be able to monitor every transaction you make, legal scholar David Rivkin says:

“I find it somewhat counter intuitive that people are not concerned that telemarketers and insurance companies can acquire this data but feel tremendous trepidation if a government ventures into this arena. To me it just smacks of paranoia.”

Gee, I don’t know, David, maybe it’s that the government can like, arrest you and kill you and stuff, where telemarketers can, at worst, interrupt your dinner.

Posted on Nov 20, 2002 in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30

In the unintentional irony category today, we have Andrew Sullivan:

THE YOUNG AND WAR: I’ve been impressed by George W. Bush’s support among the young. Maybe it’s not as anomalous as I thought. Here’s a study by blogger Jim Miller that shows how the young were consistently more supportive of the Vietnam War than their elders – throughout the conflict.

Posted on Nov 20, 2002 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

I Won’t Blog, Don’t Ask Me

“Punditry by the Tinkle” will return to “Punditry by the Pound” or at least the gram in a couple of days. I have to stop agreeing to give speeches on topics I know nothing about if I want to have any time to blog. Here’s something I posted over on Stand Down. Meanwhile go visit Radley or Jim or Julian.

Posted on Nov 19, 2002 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

He Hates to Say He Told You So

Jim Henley with a superlative post on John Poindexter’s Information Awareness Office and its plans for an Enemy-of-the-State surveillance database and the neolibertarian reaction thereto. A sample:

A proposition: Neolibertarians are to the Republican Party what African-Americans are to the Democratic Party – taken for granted because they have nowhere else to go.

We really weren’t kidding, guys. War is the health of the state. It’s time to stop imagining that this government will give you a generation-long war and occupation of however many countries without piling up the internal security measures, time to stop pretending that you have a box over here marked Good! that contains Don and Condi and a box over here marked Bad! that contains Ashcroft and Ridge and Mineta and that you get to pick one and not the other.

Posted on Nov 15, 2002 in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

It’s the little things…

that make the Sopranos such a kickass show–and that make it necessary to watch each episode at least twice.

Example: the little colloquy/Stones reference from Sunday’s episode, when Ralphie, anguished over his son’s near-fatal injury, visits the nebbishy Father Phil for some spiritual counseling:

Phil: our Lord sent His only Son to suffer for us.
Ralphie: not like Justin’s suffering, nothing like this.
P: How do you know? Were you around when Jesus Christ had his moment of doubt and pain? (awkward pause). Anyway…

Posted on Nov 14, 2002 in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

High Noon

So I watched High Noon last night. Gary Cooper is, of course, great in the movie, but it’s still a lousy metaphor for the Iraq situation. It’s not like we’re sitting here nervously, waiting for Saddam Hussein to take over our town. It’d be a closer parallel if instead of waiting for Frank Miller to get off the 12 PM train, Gary Cooper got on a train himself, to head to some distant town run by Miller and blow half the place up in the process of corralling him. (Also, given that the film’s really a metaphor for Hollywood cowardice in the face of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, isn’t it a poor candidate for adoption by the neocons?)

Finally, I can’t shake the feeling that the Will Kane character played by Cooper is a bit of a twit. What kind of a schmuck would skip his honeymoon with Grace Kelly (!) in order to face near certain death saving a pack of ungrateful wretches that won’t even lift a finger to defend themselves?

UPDATE: I am reliably informed by a reader that High Noon is Bill Clinton’s favorite movie. That’s just perfect. You can almost hear the voiceover in his head: Left all alone, deserted by his friends, only one man would stand up against Sexual McCarthyism, and support man’s God-given right to boink the help.

Posted on Nov 13, 2002 in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Oh how sweet it is.

Limited constitutional government, here we come, baybee!! Minarchy is so close I can almost taste it!! All you stooges in the Departments of Commerce, Energy, Education, etc. you better start shopping your resumes! You’re about to have your jobs eliminated and your offices turned into condos!

Gotta go: I just cashed out my 401K so I could parteeee!! Hey, who needs it, now that Social Security’s gonna be privatized???

Ahem. OK, got that sarcastic bile out of my system. But any day that a Kennedy loses is a good day, you ask me.

Posted on Nov 6, 2002 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Al Qaeda: Remember Them?

(also posted on Stand Down). A frontpage piece in the New York Times today reminds us that top Al Qaeda operatives are at large in Pakistan. “Pakistani officials say that through support from local people, elaborate secrecy and Internet communication, Qaeda members [in Karachi]… are trying to re-establish their network.” Hunting Al Qaeda operatives in a city of 14 million people isn’t quite as easy or as flashy as knocking over a hostile regime. It requires smart police work and cooperation of government officials. How attacking Iraq helps us in this enterprise is far from clear. Not only is Iraq a distraction from the fight against the real enemy, attacking Iraq will strengthen that enemy:

Karachi has long been a center of militancy, but it is not the lone site of such support or of anti-American sentiment. A threatened war with Iraq and American support for Israel are stoking rising anger at the United States.

In October a coalition of Islamic religious parties vowing to eradicate corruption, establish Islamic law and remove American soldiers and law enforcement agents from Pakistan won a record 20 percent of seats in the lower house of Parliament.

I’m no expert on political trends in the Islamic world, but I’m willing to bet that bombing Bagdhad, taking over Iraq’s oil fields, and installing General Tommy Franks as Viceroy of Iraq will strengthen Islam as a political force, and encourage more Muslims to provide aid and comfort to Al Qaeda and enlist in its anti-American jihad.

In asymmetric warfare, your enemy usually isn’t accomodating enough to manifest himself as a state, with fixed infrastructure that you can easily destroy. He’s not going to fight set-piece battles with the most powerful military force in human history. Instead, he strikes suddenly, where you’re weak, then blends back into the crowd. The Bush administration wants to ignore this, and fight the last war–the kind of war we’re good at. The problem is, fighting the last war is going to make it a hell of a lot harder to win the war we’re in.

Posted on Nov 2, 2002 in Uncategorized | 12 Comments

Neocon Nation-Building

(also posted on Stand Down) Apropos of Radley’s (and Jim Henley and Julian Sanchez’s) point about “the almost knee-jerk trust normally skeptical conservatives and libertarians have put in the Bush administration when it comes to this war,” isn’t it also a little odd that odd that the Right, which pretty much believes that government is too ham-handed even to promote safe-sex among teenagers or other modest social engineering goals, thinks we can promote a revolution in Islamic theology via AC-130 gunship and create a bourgeois society where no preconditions for it exist?

Posted on Nov 2, 2002 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Stand Down

Having loads of fun over on Stand Down, the Left-Right Blog Opposing War on Iraq. Any posting I’ve done over the last couple of days has been over there. It’s an odd cybercoalition, but everybody seems to be getting along fairly well, and there’s very little left-right sniping.

One exception was this guy, who introduced himself by noting that “I am actually intensely uncomfortable with this right-left kind of alliance on war or trade, since the motives of rightwing opponents (present company not included necessarily) draws too much from the old “America First” attitude of not giving a damn about brown people, whether Iraqi oppressors or Kurdish victims,” and said that libertarians couldn’t meaningfully oppose war in Iraq unless we came up with a solution for AIDS in Africa because, like, it’s all connected, man (I paraphrase). He got pretty thoroughly crapped on in the comments section, often by folks coming from a left-of-center perspective.

In the main, though, Stand Down’s made up of a lot of smart people from a lot of different perspectives united by hostility to war and empire. Check it out.

Posted on Nov 2, 2002 in Uncategorized | Comments Off