Tuesday, June 30, 2009

GOP complains Obama is ignoring them

Jesus. What a bunch of wankers.

They give Obama not just the middle finger, but every single one of them and don't give him a single frackin vote and then they complain he's not continuing to make nice.

They are incredibly stupid and out of their depth. AT THE TIME it was pretty clear that Obama was giving them a chance to be team players. They blew him off like snot onto a rag. It was also clear that e was giving them enough rope to hang themselves.

Well, now they are hung out to dry. With Franken coming in the only people Obama needs to placate are some Blue Dog Dems and I think they're going to be a lot easier to satisfy than hey-we-got-100% GOP fools.

Here's the link: http://theplumline.whorunsgov.com/torture/gop-leadership-to-obama-you-never-call-you-never-write/

Friday, June 26, 2009

Gun fantasies

It's often argued by gun lovers that it's the Second Amendment that keeps us free, despite their inability to point to any actual historical evidence that there is any link between private gun ownership and political freedoms.

Over at PoliBlog there's a good discussion brewing. http://www.poliblogger.com/?p=16089

In fact there is such a disproportion between the military tools available to the modern state and what citizens could have that there's zero chance of successful armed resistance in the face of unified authorities. The examples of Waco and the Philadelphia MOVE siege provide stark reminders that even well-armed and reasonably large grouping of private citizens can't prevail in direct combat against police forces -- let alone actual military units. This was even true in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Washington quickly suppressed the Whiskey Rebellion, which involved a very substantial number of people for the time and militia forces were very instrumental in suppressing labor movements in the 1800s. It only took a few regiments of combat veterans to restore order in New York during the 1863 draft riots.

Really, gun supporters need to identify some historical cases where private gun ownership made a differences.

That said, I do think there's a good case to be made for private gun ownership for personal protection against violent crime, particularly in cases where physical remoteness from help or ineffectiveness or corruption of local police make it necessary.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Like many people, I've been a fascinated observer of the recent events in Iran.

It's never easy to get a firm grasp on the politics of any foreign country, especially from afar, without a lot of study. So I won't venture a guess as to how it will all play out or what it may mean.

But I am old enough to remember the 1979 revolution, watching Iranian students march in protest in the streets of Boston. And I remember that many of them ended up having their dreams dashed as the revolution consumed their futures, as revolutions often do. Mos of the Iranian students at Northeastern U. then were the well-connected offspring of the elite classes there on oil money. Many never did go home.

Now, almost exactly 30 years later, Iran is convulsed again, with most of the population too young to know anything other than the Islamic Republic. But like the young people of 79, they demand a different future. And like the young people of 1979, many of them are paying and will pay, a stiff price.

The video of one young woman, in particular, has touched many. While there are, naturally, conflicting reports, the best ones I have seen identify her as a 26- or 27-year-old woman named Neda, who was near the protests with some friends, including an older man (often erroneously identified as her father) who was her music teacher. Her fiance is quoted as saying she wasn't all that political, and wasn't a fervent supporter of any particular candidate, but just wanted votes to count.

Watching her death on video is profoundly disturbing. Yet her fate does put a very human face on what is happening, and if the regime changes, it may very well be because of the power of her example.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Will Obama get Osama?

Probably not directly, a la a Predator strike or the like, but Obama, as is is wont, may be creating the conditions for positive things to happen.

This Daily Kos dairist lays out the case for "Osama being a dead man" here: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/6/17/743628/-Osama-bin-Laden-Is-a-Dead-Man

I won't be the slightest bit surprised if Osama doesn't make it to 2010. When you think of it, the Obama administration has moved at a rapid clip on a lot of things.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Going green

It's clearly a very small gesture, especially for a blog read by no one, but I'm going green in support of the Iranian voters.

More at Sullivan http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/06/yes-the-dish-is-not-green-ctd.html

Friday, June 12, 2009

Shep, look out

Shep Smith, the sanest Fox News anchor, has been walking on thin ice anyway lately, because he actually said the US shouldn't torture people, but he's no doubt seeing some cracks appearing in the ice now since he made the mistake of pointing out that maybe that DHS report of Right Wing Extremist violence was full of hooey after all.

Nice summary here:


It's simply amazing to me how pathological the Right Wing has become lately. It keeps getting worse. Personally, I believe the torture policy is to blame. The existence of it and the perceived need to defend it has slowly, but inexorably corrupted the political Right in this nation. As a matter of fact, I think there's a real possibility that the torture issue will actually destroy the Republican Party. As more comes to light about what happened over the Bush-Cheney years the GOP will be tainted, perhaps beyond recovery. There will always be a "conservative" party in the US, but it may be that conservatives will have to start a new party in order to escape the odor.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Vapid 4-star generals

Or so Andy McCarthy calls Gen. Petreaus. http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NjFkMDM5NWMzODJhNGI3NjdlOGE0NjQ0Yjg0ZjZmMzg=

I wonder if McCarthy just cost himself a position ina future Petreaus administration.

My inclination is to go with the 4-star general on this over the former assistant US attorney.

Slate - Encyclopedia Baracktannica