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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Kristol-ball-oney 

madame kristol(image: farmtoon 2007. click the Golden Star of the Seer on Madame Kristols forhead for larger view. There isn't really anything called the Golden Star of the Seer (I don't think). I just made that up (I think). But you're welcome to scour the Wikis for evidence otherwise if you like. I'd appreciate it.)


"we can remove Saddam because that could start a chain reaction in the Arab world that would be very healthy." ~ Bill Kristol, Nov. 21, 2002 (source: David Corn / The Nation. see link below)

Noted luminary and body politic charmer Bill Kristol regularly holds forth, as you are no doubt aware, from his elite hoodoo parlor of spirited op-eds and and enchanted policy spells otherwise know as the Weekly Standard magazine. Where he is Editor and High Sexton to the grave diggers and bell ringers of the neoconservative movement. Likewise, The Amazing Kristol is also a frequent vendor of various opinionated moonshines, quacksalves and foretokens dispensed from the midway of the televised tonic shop that is FOX News. As you are no doubt aquainted with too.

But now, as David Corn reports in The Nation, Kristol has been invited to practice his blindfolded shuffle of major arcana among the pippins and parlor pundits at TIME magazine.

Leave no fortuneteller behind! Maybe TIME/WARNER will hire Pat Robertson to propound on the future weather components of soybean yields in the Tidewater region of Virginia and how this data will dovetail with a rise in aberrant homosexual behavior among Democrats! God bless. That all seems fair enough to me if you consider Kristol some kind of merit marker in the wonderwork department.

Afterall, Kristol's prognostications on Iraq are only slightly more reliable than Jeron Criswell King's forebodings concerning outbreaks of cannibalism in Pennsylvania. Except Criswell was kidding. I'm sure they would both (Criswell and Kristol) look equally splendid in sequined tuxedo with turquoise and gold lurex Bat Ayin tichel.

Anyway, as Corn notes, Kristol will continue to practice his black art behind the shiny cover of TIME and there ain't much anyone of us can do about it now. Except, for instance, to ogle the tabloid photos of Jennifer Aniston's boobies while waiting in the grocery store check-out line instead of thumbing through the pages of TIME. Which is ok with me. Two boobies are better than one I say; and I'd rather look at the two hearty specimens that regularly appear on the front cover of Jennifer Aniston than the sneaky anemic little nipple that's soon to be hiding behind the front cover of TIME.

I speak here for myself of course - naturally, i don't eat much soy - but, in any case, I'm sure (just to be on the safe side) that flipping through the pages of one of those homebuilder mags with the dozens of pictures of dreamy floorplans and tidy landscaping will satisfy any variety of grassroots boycott efforts as well.

Thereby avoiding any temptation one may struggle against to flaunt ones sexual preference in the supermarket exit lane.

Moving along...

Alright then; enough about the magazine publishing business. What I wanted to get to from the start were Kristol's own contributions to the art of future-gazing. It's quite a remarkable portfollio as you may already know. A regular attache-case full'o bangles and beads and dry hole chicken bones that would impress any whammy-happy starstruck mooncalf fool. Which, apparently, TIME magazine feels some need to buttress and profit from. In any event, here are a selection of some of the prophet Kristol's many divinations (and other cock-eyed scratchings) visited upon us down through the years. I plucked them from a Jan 02, 2007 post by Anonymous Liberal titled Bill Kristol Superstar and published at Glenn Greenwald's Unclaimed Territory. Additional Kristols can be harvested from David Corns Nation article linked to above.

Ok, off we go. For the record:

N August 26, 2002 Weekly Standard:
Reading the Scowcroft/New York Times "arguments" against war, one is struck by how laughably weak they are. European international-law wishfulness and full-blown Pat Buchanan isolationism are the two intellectually honest alternatives to the Bush Doctrine. Scowcroft and the Times wish to embrace neither, so they pretend instead to be terribly "concerned" with the administration's alleged failure to "make the case."

N April 4, 2003 National Public Radio:
"There's been a certain amount of pop sociology in America ... that the Shia can't get along with the Sunni and the Shia in Iraq just want to establish some kind of Islamic fundamentalist regime. There's almost no evidence of that at all. Iraq's always been very secular."

N April 28, 2003 Weekly Standard:
The United States committed itself to defeating terror around the world. We committed ourselves to reshaping the Middle East, so the region would no longer be a hotbed of terrorism, extremism, anti-Americanism, and weapons of mass destruction. The first two battles of this new era are now over. The battles of Afghanistan and Iraq have been won decisively and honorably. But these are only two battles. We are only at the end of the beginning in the war on
terror and terrorist states.

N March 22, 2004 Weekly Standard:
[T]here are hopeful signs that Iraqis of differing religious, ethnic, and political persuasions can work together. This is a far cry from the predictions made before the war by many, both here and in Europe, that a liberated Iraq would fracture into feuding clans and unleash a bloodbath. The perpetually sour American media focus on the tensions between Shiites and Kurds that delayed the signing by three whole days. But the difficult negotiations leading up to the signing, and the continuing debates over the terms of a final constitution, have in fact demonstrated something remarkable in Iraq: a willingness on the part of the diverse ethnic and religious groups to disagree--peacefully--and then to compromise. This willingness is the product of what appears to be a broad Iraqi consensus favoring the idea of pluralism.

N July 26, 2004 Weekly Standard:
What the Bush administration did say--and what so many reporters seem to have trouble understanding--is that Iraq and al Qaeda had a relationship that, by its very existence, posed a potential threat to the United States.

N October 29, 2004 Weekly Standard (column
titled "Politicizing the bin Laden Tape"):
Is there any development in the war on terror, however grave, that the Kerry campaign won't try to exploit for partisan advantage?

N November 1, 2004 Weekly Standard (column titled "Bin Laden v. Bush"):
Osama bin Laden's videotape is an attempt to intimidate Americans into voting against President Bush.

N March 7, 2005 Weekly Standard:
Just four weeks after the Iraqi election of January 30, 2005, it seems increasingly likely that that date will turn out to have been a genuine turning point. The fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, ended an era. September 11, 2001, ended an interregnum. In the new era in which we now live, 1/30/05 could be a key moment--perhaps the key moment so far--in vindicating the Bush Doctrine as the right response to 9/11. And now there is the prospect of further and accelerating progress.

N April 4, 2005 Weekly Standard (re: Terri Schiavo):
After all, we are a "maturing society," as the Supreme Court has told us. Perhaps it is time, in mature reaction to this latest installment of what Hugh Hewitt has called a "robed charade," to rise up against our robed masters, and choose to govern ourselves. Call it Terri's revolution.

N November 30, 2005 Weekly Standard (column
titled "Pelosi's Disastrous Miscalculation"):
All this made me think the 2006 elections could result in a Speaker Pelosi. I now think that unlikely. Pelosi's endorsement today of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq makes the House Democrats the party of defeat, the party of surrender. Bush's strong speech today means the GOP is likely to be--if Republican Congressmen just keep their nerve--the party of victory. Now it is possible that the situation in Iraq will worsen over the next year. If that happens, Bush and the GOP are in deep trouble. They would have been if Pelosi had said nothing. But it is much more likely that the situation in Iraq will stay more or less the same, or improve. In either case, Republicans will benefit from being the party of victory.

N December 26, 2005 Weekly Standard (column titled "Happy Days!"):
If American and Iraqi troops continue to provide basic security, and if Iraq's different sects and political groups now begin to engage in serious, peaceful bargaining, then we may just have witnessed the beginning of Iraq's future.

N April 4, 2006 Weekly Standard:
What was striking, following the mosque bombing, was the evidence of Iraq's underlying stability in the face of attempts to undermine it. The country's vital institutions seem to have grown strong enough to withstand even the provocation of the bombing of the golden mosque.

===

There ya have it. Bill Kristol, the guy in the office pool who assured everyone that the Kansas City Royals would win the 2006 World Series! Which earned him the sports editor job at TIME magazine in 2007.

Who says trumpery is dead?

*

Rosy Old Scenarios (and other fabulous bygone bullshit) 

freedom (of the press) on the march:

"We look forward to analyizing and working with legislation that will make - it woud hope - put a free press's mind at ease that you're not being denied information you shouldn't see." ~ George W. Bush / delivering one of his characteristic spellbinders to the American Society of Newspaper Editors Convention, J.W. Marriott Hotel Washington, D.C., April 14, 2005.

Since I don't actually write blog posts anymore... at least nothing that requires any strenuous thrashing about... i just thought I'd rerun the old one below for the simple ugly hell of it. It's got all the familiar rogues and rascals and retreads and so forth. From two years ago, January 2005 (seems like twenty years ago). So here we go, again:

FABULOUS Rosy Scenario ...the mainstream media bullshit riveter

Well, I was wondering how the hero worshipers and official statement readers and giddy go-getters in the radio and television "news" racket were going to kick off CAKEWALK 2 ~ THE WORLD, and now I know. Today, Jan. 20, 2005, was the inaugural pre-game bonfire and CAKEWALK-2 pep rally hootenanny. Hip hip hooray.

"Those rosy scenarios are what keep us going in this business." - Chris Mathews, Hardball; Jan. 20th 2005.

Yes, those rosy scenarios sure do make it fun to be a cable tv "news" bullshit artist and get paid a lot of money to be a cable tv "news" bullshit artist. One day Chris Mathews can tell his grandchildren that grandpa buttered his bread with rosy scenarios and bullshit. Yes little grandchildren, you are so lucky, for grand daddy has left you a manor house built from rosy scenarios and bullshit.

Ah, the media. Fattened for the slaughter on lovin' spoonfulls of creamy repetitious Bush administration sanctioned public relations miracle whip. Whipped to a fine peak. Sure does beat having to commit actual honest reporting or critical journalism. Welcome to the house that Rosy Scenario built.

But grandpa, Rosy Scenario wasn't real...

SHUT UP KID! Eat your bullshit and miracle whip.

It's a good thing we have an endless springwell of bubbly intellectually dishonest historical hokum and psy-op pundit payola babble and wave after wave of massaged public relations happy-talk to keep us all sane and informed year after year after shined up intellectually dishonest year. Thank god CNN and MSNBC and FOX and NPR and so on.... are all on the job. Keeping America safe for high paid right wing think tank remoras and corporate media millionaire pundits and rosy scenario bullshit pr executives everywhere. Leave no rosy scenario bullshit pr executive behind.

Clearly, Americans can no longer produce a fucking toaster or stitch a pair of work boots together or pay some poor bastard a living wage for standing around all day guarding a shit eating cash register, but, by god, when it comes to weaving an endless tapestry of imbecilic televised rosy scenarios, demonstratable lies, half-truths, deceptions, disinformation, goggle eyed boo-scare stories, glossy corporate video new releases, cheery self congratulatory feel good buzz phrases, moony-eyed economic privatization quackeries, and page after page after page of devious, disingenuous, dishonest, deceitful, and altogether unscrupulous "public diplomacy" bullshit - well - Americans are the living breathing champions of rosy productivity. No amount of money or time or effort is wasted when it comes to the manufacture and distribution of precious Rosy Scenario bullshit. Fuckin' A.

Not all Americans are happy about this of course. But who cares about them. They are simply intolerant bigots who hate real American bullshit.

When David Brooks can appear on NPR and tell listeners that Ronald Reagan never tolerated dictators...

"This does go back to Reagan. The idea you shouldn't play footsie with dictators." SEE: Analysis of the Inauguration - All Things Considered, January 20, 2005 · Robert Siegel and Melissa Block talk to columnists E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post and David Brooks from the New York Times about President Bush's speech and react to inauguration events.

..well, that is a heapin' helpin' of certifiable manufactured real American bullshit. In a sane world Brooks would have had his twitchy little well powdered nose rubbed in his own excrement and laughed off the air, because, any honest intelligent person knows that what Brooks said it is bullshit. Ronald Reagan and his administration not only tolerated murderous dictators they eagerly crawled under the covers with them and sucked on their diseased dictator toes and then left big bags of cash and cocaine on the nightstand on the way out the door. Right wing evangelical crazy Efrain Rios Montt, the fascist murderer Augusto Pinochet, Marcos in the Phillipines, Roberto D'Aubuisson and his right wing death squads in El Salvador, Videla and his "dirty war" genocide generals in Argentina, etc. Oh yeah sure, the Reagan years, they were a regular desert of dashed hopes for crazy dictators and nun rapers and torture chamber entrepreneurs.

The fact that EJ Dionne and Robert Siegel and Melissa Block just sat there like stump fungus and allowed Brooks to fling such bullshit around on National Public Radio without a peep in response just goes to show you how impressed with the awesome power of bullshit flinging the Big Liar Mainstream Media bullshit artists are.

Whats important to remember is that making a living as a Big Liar Mainstream Media bullshit artist is a booming trade. The New York Times actively seeks con-artist bullshitter bobos like David Brooks to propagate as many bullshit stories as possible. The New York Times has no problem with the fact that David Brooks is a liar and a bullshitter because the lies and bullshit David Brooks makes up sell newspapers with the "New York Times" printed on the front page. Thats a rosy bobo scenario The New York Times can live with. Who cares if it's nothing but dishonest bobo bullshit if dishonest bobo bullshit sells newspapers to bobos who want to be spoon fed bullshit! Apparently according to the bullshit salesman at the New York Times there is an entire market demographic which requests - no, demands! - demands to be spoon fed bullshit. And who is the New York Times to deny the customer what they request, I mean demand. Damnit! If it's bullshit the customer wants it's bullshit the NYT will deliver! Right to your door every single grey bullshit day if you like. It's the lazy-fare American way.

NPR presents another case of bullshit for sale. As a matter of fact immediately following the episode with David Brooks they ran and entire program called "America Abroad" with Gerrick Utley and Margaret Warner which highlighted all the rosy scenario moments of Ronald Reagan's "perception management" psy-op machine. It was mostly bullshit too. Complete with woosie reflections on the golden years of Charles Wick's USIA state sponsored "public diplomacy" apparatus and little sniperoos of jolly good cheer from Jeane Kirkpatrick (who never met a right wing dictator she couldn't bring to a climax) and other all-star memory moments in state sponsored bullshit management. No vetting of course of Iran Contra and El Salvador and Guatemala and death sqauds and mujahadeen "freedom fighters" and uncomfortable intolerant liberal Gipper soiling anti-bullshit stuff like that. Freedom, liberty, the Gipper.... hip hip hooray for the American bullshitter way!

So, back to inauguration day and all the lavish claptrap and repetitious goo-goo eyed hero worship and plainspoken feedom lovin' liberty lavishin' praise from the Big Liar Mainstream Media about George W. Bush's designs to pry the tentacles of despotism from the globe and replace those despotic tentacles with the warm and fuzzy tender freedom loving hug of the Bush family's corporate military industrial complex. Feel the love. Freedom and liberty and who cares how many graves of innocent dead children and mommies and daddies and puppies we have to walk over to dispense our worldly affections and to get even with those whoever they weres who destroyed the World Trade Towers wherever they are. As long as we ultimately deliver our big freedom hug to the world. You will all thank us later because Jesus sent us. Yes siree. Sure.

So now we're off to Iran? Ok... like as I understand it now: at least according to Condi-liar Rice we invaded Iraq because --- Saddam was a threat to his neighbors and the stability in the region and blah blah blah.

So then, one might pon-der, why the fuck now are we threatening those neighbors?

Let me get this new story straight: We invaded Iraq because Saddam was a threat to us because he was a threat to his neighbors and by being a threat to his neighbors we needed to remove the threat of Saddam so that ---- we could therefore be a threat to his neighbors who are now in turn a threat to us and stability in the region?

Oh, yeah, I get it...I'd like to thank the freedom loving Iraqi people for allowing us to drop five thousand pound bombs on their homes so we can now threaten their neighbors on behalf of protecting them and ourselves from threatening neighbors. Thats right nice of ya all to allow us to be so neighborly and helpful and stability enhancing and all. I'm sure the Iranians will thank us too. As soon as we can drop five thousand pound bombs on their homes to remind them that we removed the threat of Saddam who had been threatening their neighborhood's stability for so long. And because they the Iranians, who are a threat to Iraq who was a threat to us before and still is but never mind that, are also a threat to us now too because after we removed the threat to them they then became a threat to us. And to pretty much anyone else we can threaten into being threatened in the meantime. Know what I mean you fuckers? Well you better figure it out quick or something terrible might happen.

Do I really need to go into it? America can't have that happening again. It's too much of a threat. Condi "Miss Supertanker" Rice and Donald Rumsfeld will explain it all once we get to Tehran and set up our military outpost 'freedom' bases among the flowers and cheering crowds of well wishers.

You know, only crazy people think like this but I think I'm getting the hang of it. Being crazy isn't really that difficult. I kinda like it and I hear they canned Crossfire and are hiring new crazy bullshit artists at CNN.

Well, I went to art school and I know how to bake a cake and rivet a rosy bullshit scenario together with the best of em. So hey, someone just send me an application and an employee handgun, I mean handbook - sorry - and I'll be right over.

BTW: I'll only take the bullshit job if Ari Fleischer can be my liberal co-host. I insist on a fair and balanced program of bullshit at all times because that's what the American people want. Even if 'bout half of them is just full of bullshit.

4 Those were the days, huh? Originally posted BACK HERE.

Goosh-golly, I wonder what that baldhead Ari Fleischer is up to these days?
December 19, 2006 | In NY-19, Fleischer May Run
Friends of former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer note that the New York native "has done just about everything congressional" except "run for Congress himself." Rep. Sue Kelly’s (R) defeat at the hands of Rep.-elect John Hall (D) "now opens up that opportunity for him," reports Human Events.

"Fleischer isn’t saying anything about any political plans, but fellow New Yorkers who know him well bet that he will make the House race in ’08."


!!! EEEDLY-SKEEEDLY !!! Sorry I asked.

*

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Abattoir Road 

Digby excerpts the following from the Los Angeles Times:
"Today they proved themselves that the trial and the execution were mere retaliation and not justice," said a mourner from Tikrit, near Al Auja, who gave his name only as Abu Mohammed, a customary nickname. "It is clear now against whom we should retaliate."


Which reminded me of this:


[...] "How often must I tell you - I do not wish to make it quicker for these... these villians! They are being hanged as a punishment, Mr. Cheeseman -- it is not my design to make it easy for them! Let them suffer -- and the longer the better! Will it atone for the atrocities they have wrought? No, not if they were flayed alive! You hear that, you rascals?" He shook his fist at them. "You know now the price of mutiny and murder -- in a moment you shall pay it, and you may thank whatever God you worship that you obtain a merciful death -- you who did not scruple to torture and defile the innocent!" He was raving by now, with both hands in the air, and then he noticed again the dead fellow lying in the road, and roared to the Sikhs to string him up as well, so that they should all hang together as a token of justice.[...]

[...]

He wasn't mad, I decided; he was just an ordinary little man suddenly at war.[...]

[...]

Then he solemnly told the Sikhs to haul away, and they tailed on the ropes and swung the pandies into the air, the fat one screeched horribly. He wasn't a mutineer, I was certain, but it probably wouldn't have been tactful to mention that just then. The others gasped and thrashed about, clutching at their halters -- now I saw why they hadn't tied their hands, for three of them managed to clutch the ropes and haul themselves up, while the others choked and turned blue and presently hung there, twitching and swaying gently in the sunlight. Everyone was craning to watch the struggles of the three who had got their hands on the ropes, pulling themselves up to take the choking strain off their necks; they kicked and screamed now, swinging wildly to and fro; you could see their muscles quivering with the appalling strain.

[...]

O'Toole pointed to the small sepoy, who had managed to pull himself well up his rope, getting his elbow in the bight of it, and was tugging at the noose with his other hand. One of the Sikhs sprang up to haul at his ankles, but Rowbotham barked an order and then, drawing his revolver, took careful aim and shot the sepoy through the body. The man jerked convulsively and then fell, his head snapping back as the rope tightened; someone laughed and sang out "Shame!" while another huzzaed, and then they all had their pistols out, banging away at the hanging figures which twitched and swung under the impact of the bullets.

[...]

They hanged away, until Rowbotham called a halt, and their frenzy died down; the smoking pistols were put away, and the column fell in, with flies buzzing thickly over the eight growing pools of blood beneath the bodies. I wasn't surprised to see the riders suddenly quiet now, their excitment all spent; they sat heavy in their saddles; breathing deeply, while Cheeseman checked their dressing. It's the usual way, with civilians suddenly plunged into war and given the chance to kill; for the first time, after years spent pushing pens and counting pennies, they're suddenly free of all restraint, away from wives and families and responsibility, and able to indulge their animal instincts. They go a little crazy after a while, and if you can convince 'em they're doing the Lord's work, they soon start enjoying it. There's nothing like a spirit of righteous retribution for kindling cruelty in a decent, kindly, God fearing-man -- I, who am not one, and have never needed any virtuous excuse for my bestial indulgences, can tell you that. Now, having let off steam, they were sated, and some a little shocked at themselves, just as if they'd been whoring for the first time -- which, of course, was something they'd never have dreamed of doing, proper little Christians that they were.


Feel free to substitute Muslims for Christians in the passage above. Afterall, it makes - at least to me - for little difference. At least in this context.

excerpts above: Harry Flashman recounting the hanging of sepoy mutineers by vigilantes on the road from Meerut to Cawnpore (Kanpur, India) during the Sepoy Rebellion of 1857. Excerpt above from George MacDonald Fraser's novel Flashman in the Great Game.

4 Sepoy Rebellion, 1857

4 Cawnpore and Cawnpore massacre

4 Meerut / massacre at

"As long as there are slaughterhouses... there will be battlefields" ~ Leo Tolstoy

*

Monday, January 01, 2007

Hanging in Texas 

"I want to thank you for taking time out of your day to come and witness my hanging. [...] It's a huge honor to be the President, by the way. But one of these days I'll be back, settled in, sitting on my porch in Crawford, looking for somebody to come and recount old war stories with." ~ George W. Bush, Jan. 04, 2002

President's Portrait Unveiled in Texas State Capitol
Remarks by the President at Portrait Unveiling
Texas State Capitol
Austin, Texas
Office of the Press Secretary
January 4, 2002

"old war stories"

[Glenn Greenwald]
Monday, January 01, 2007
Iraqis learn the art of legal "workarounds"

This depressing New York Times article by John Burns and Marc Santora details the frantic, reckless manner in which Saddam Hussein was shoved into the noose in clear violation of Iraqi law. We can't even get a hanging right. With all of the world watching, we yet again were the primary authors of a violent, uncivilized, and primitive act which -- no matter how justified in some ultimate moral sense -- was carried out in the most thuggish, wretched, inept, and (we now learn) patently illegal manner.

[...]

So this is the grand and noble achievement which the President and his band of bloodthirsty followers are reduced to celebrating -- a lawless, thugish hanging, carried out in clear and deliberate violation of the law, by a bunch of homicidal street thugs and militia foot soldiers who themselves will be included among our next kill targets once our glorious "sustained surge" begins.


4 Texas Justice by Rope by Pierre Tristam.

4 How the West armed Saddam, fed him intelligence on his 'enemies', equipped him for atrocities - and then made sure he wouldn't squeal by Robert Fisk

4 The Low Profile: CNN and the New York Times Execute a Denial of History
by John Collins

*

Sunday, December 31, 2006

new year a comin' 

last chance to bitch in 2006.

*

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