Here stated: Dana Milbank is a pompstrosity. Thus stipulated, this is snappy.
Friday, November 06, 2009
What's even more hilarious about the mind-state, if I may modestly exaggerate, that La_Rana discovers at The Corner is that the circumlocutions are rationalized as necessity in our so-called politically correct culture. Like, if we say these racist things directly, then we will be accused of racism. But of course the authors at The Corner deny that the racist things they would otherwise say are racist. Which would make the potential accusations false. It's sort of the Conservative Bokononism: all of these racist things I am about to say to you are not racist. Anyway. In order to circumvent and head off accusations of racism, these dudes couch everything in this hilariously perambulatory language, which others read, translate, and then . . . use as a grounds to tell them that they're a bunch of racists. The Corner types then circle back, say, "Well, we never actually said [insert racist thing]," so your accusations are specious, and anywaya, even if we did say [insert racist thing], it would not be racism.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
|Upright Citizens Brigade|
|UCB: Time Machine|
Let's review the, uh, financial crisis, shall we? A bunch of rich fucks were like, "ZOMG yinz can't afford them hahzez! We're broak n' at yinzre fahrd!" And then they fired everyone in America. Then Barack Obama was all like, "America, pause, if you don't, pause, allow me, pause, to, pause, give a bizgoogle dollars, pause, to the rich, pause, fucks, pause, who, pause pause, fired you and stole your house, then, pause, you will all, pause, end up sucking, pause, milk, pause, from Rose ah Sharon's, pause, titty, pause, in the barn, pause, because Depression, pause, full stop." So all the rich fucks got a quintillion dollars each and everyone was still fired and now we're supposed to be happy that something worse, unidentifiable in any specific manner, didn't occur, because of Actions Taken.
I hear this place is restricted, Wang, so don't tell 'em you're Jewish, okay?In a post yesterday I accidentally linked an article about Maine's recently defeated gay marriage whatnot, which made no sense, but since I brought it up, I suppose I should say something about it. Also, Mr. Henley finds Renowned Anal-Retentive Crossing Guard and Andrew Sullivan Doppleganger-Clone Rod Dreher opining that Attention Must Be Paid! To Him! Before the fags take over. Which, he admits, they undoubtedly will.
There is really no sense in bemoaning recent setbacks to the ongoing quest for gay marriage, as it is so certain ultimately to succeed. If a bare majority in rural Maine came out to overturn it (while ratifying medical marijuana--stay classy, America!), then the future of its prohibition looks decidedly short. People of my generation and younger simply do not give a shit about faggotry, and if there is a threat to the ultimate extension of gay marriage to the nation as a whole, it is not the Gay, but the Marriage, whose inexorable decline as a social institution we can only cheer and hope to speed along. Indeed, the focus of what now passes for a gay rights movement on the marriage issue is a source of constant consternation to me. How focused we've become on getting into the country club instead burning it to the ground, or, at very least, trashing to pool! I mean, I suppose that in some post-ironic sense it is wonderful that two aging dykes may yet have an opportunity to participate fully in a major proprietary institution of the patriarchy. With free Goldman Sachs stock for all and a unified bourgeois hatred of labor unions, we'll really be getting somewhere.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
What you see in the continuing extension of sovereign immunity to all official and semi-official actors and acts is a reversion to the historic mean in civilizational history. If we are frank, then we can admit that the notion of sovereignty residing in and emenating from the people--being merely embodied by their duly elected, representative government--was out the window, along with the 9th and 10th amendments, about ten minutes before those two long-abandoned adages were even promulgated. Sovereignty resides in the sovereign and in his duly deputized court. Whether you are Mahar Arar, a G-20 protester in Pittsburgh, or a man wrongly imprisoned for decades, you are forbidden from seeking recourse either in the criminal or civil courts. It is not simply that high barriers have been erected so as to prevent the use of lawsuits as political cudgels, but that the acts of government have been placed in a separate category of law, a moral, ethical, and legal universe wholly autonomous and independent of the laws affecting citizen-subjects. Nixon famously suggested (and all subsequent presidents have faithfully ratified) that Presidential fiat makes any action legal. In retrospect this seems an antiquated and almost naively limited claim. In fact, any action taken by the government is by presumption legal unless some higher government official decides otherwise--that is to say, the presumption of legality requires no positive decree on the part of the ruler; it is implicit in all official acts.
Now Libertarians and Constitutionalists and their cute little forest-creature friends will tell you that this traduces the foundational principles of limited government, but to my mind that is rather like saying that the lion's carnivorous nature belies his pacific, Edenic veganism, i.e., it appeals to (all together now!) a past that did not exist. There are practical limitations of government power that change as economies and technologies mature and evolve, but the notion that sacrosanct social compacts govern government is simply a fallacy.
The Council Bluffs prosecution team, while still maintaining that Harrington and McGhee are guilty, contends that even if the men were in fact framed, prosecutors, under established Supreme Court precedent, have total immunity from being sued.I like it. "No freestanding constitutional right not to be framed." Well, there is no freestanding constitutional right not to be raped, chopped into a million pieces, fed to the goldfish which are subsequently flushed down the toilet, and yet . . .
The Supreme Court has indeed said that prosecutors are immune from suit for anything they do at trial. But in this case, Harrington and McGhee maintain that before anyone being charged, prosecutors gathered evidence alongside police, interviewed witnesses and knew the testimony they were assembling was false.
The prosecutors counter that there is "no freestanding constitutional right not to be framed." Stephen Sanders, the lawyer for the prosecutors, will tell the Supreme Court on Wednesday that there is no way to separate evidence gathered before trial from the trial itself. Even if a prosecutor files charges against a person knowing that there is no evidence of his guilt, says Sanders, "that's an absolutely immunized activity."
Immunizing prosecutors from lawsuits is a far more drastic and interventionary step than simply heading off most suits of this type by offering modest restitution and recompense for time served after an illegitimate conviction. Why should families be paid millions of dollars in estimated future compensation because one member died in a terrorist attack when families and individuals cannot be compensated to the tune of forgone past income for the time they spent wrongfully imprisoned?
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
As benedictory aphorisms go, "every vote counts" is right up there with your mother telling you that everyone is special and your coach reminding you that it doesn't matter if you win or lose, it's how you play the game. Obviously some poeople are more special than others, and no one remembers the sportsmanlike conduct of Dallas in Superbowl X. The conceit of representative democracy, particularly when linked to state capitalism, is that procedural participation makes citizens into shareholders. There is a certain truth to this. But just as getting a yearly proxy statement and invitation to the annual meeting does not confer upon each small investor even marginal influence on the direction of GE, or whichever, nor yet does the franchise offer citizens much more than a semiannual opportunity to pretend that they matter, should they so desire. And, hell, that is part of the bargain. The small investor becomes a shareholder in order to gain benefit even though he holds no particular authority, has no say, exerts no influence, and bears no special responsibility. He's just along for the ride, but for the PR purposes of our so-called free markets, we are willing to entertain the ritual but un-literal truth that each shareholder is an "owner." Meanwhile, most shareholders haven't even got so direct a link as the independent investor, but simply gain by membership in some larger, institutional investment pool, some mutual fund or pension plan or what have you. Our democracy tracks similar lines via voters and affinity groups, and so long as the percieved value of our tiny shares is on the increase, we are content; when it decreases, we are not; but at no point do we have any say in the decisions made by those who actually own the joint.
Championship Insane Person, Masha Lipman, warns us that . . . well, something! Look, it turns out that the figure of Joseph Stalin occupies an ambiguous place in the Russian psyche. On the one hand, he was one of history's great monsters. On the other hand, he preserved the Russian nation and destroyed Hitler. History is in fact full of such figures, both monstrous and grand. Augustus was cruel to the point of sociopathy, and yet he carved the West's most enduring political entity. Chiang Kai-Shek was a monster too, but we santify his movement in order to anathematize Chairman Mao. You know the drill. History might be more telgenic if it were composed of a panel of judges with little score-cards, like Olympic diving. Alas, it is not.
There are many actual trends toward authoritarianism and revanchism in Russia today that might worry a truly sympathetic observer, but the replacement of a few lines of lousy patriotic poetry in an historical architectural restoration, for Lenin's sake, is just lazy propoganda for ignorant Americans. According to Lipman
Russians cling to the image of Stalin as the embodiment of the great state, and he is particularly inseparable from the triumph of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany. The implication is that individuals may have been cowed, and that the ferocious state treated them mercilessly, but the state was the vehicle that inspired Russia's victory in world War II, its greatest achievement of the 20th century.I guess this is supposed to be tendentious somehow? It is, of course, what happened. Individuals were cowed, from dragooned peasants right up through the highest ranks of the the Red Army. The ferocious state treated them mercilessly, and was the vehicle that inspired Russia's victory in World War II. The Russian victory in World War II was its greatest achievement in the 20th Century. Is this even debatable? How about a little pause for historical irony, in that Russia sacrificed tens of millions of its own people to defeat Nazi Germany, so that six decades later, the editorial page of the Washington Post could perpetually agitate for imperial conflicts under the banner of defeating all those little Hitlers before they become like the big Hitler that America did not defeat in the first place. Zing.
Monday, November 02, 2009
Apparently, the Iranian "green" opposition is a nationalist movement that does not desire to replace the existing regime, which it opposes, with a capitulatory puppet government toeing the America-dictated pro-Israel line as it gleefully forgoes its rights under the NPT, because, as the saying goes, "the world cannot tolerate a nuclear Iran." Astonishing. Astounding. What is Jackson Dielh supposed to think?
The persistence of the American belief that all things, everywhere, always constitute referenda on America is really something.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
According to Thomas Friedman, President Obama has a narrative problem. I completely disagree. I think he has a characterization problem. No, a world-building problem. No, a continuity error problem. A dialogue problem? No, a description problem. A gameplay problem? A user interface problem? A design problem? I think there is a script on his page that is causing errors on this page. I think that a misprint on the RSVP page accidentally listed the event as the Tuesday after when it actually occurs. I think those black shoes clash with that navy suit.