Thursday, January 27, 2011

My interview with Medea Benjamin


My interview with Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin is up at Change.org, "Barack Obama: No Friend of Civil Liberties."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

What evil looks like


Henry Kissinger and his wife, Nancy, arrive at the White House to dine on aborted Cambodian fetuses.


Photo Credit: Reuters

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Liberal blogger denounces violent rhetoric, hints at murdering Fred Phelps

As a sensible, mainstream liberal Democrat, "progressive blogger/activist" Howie Klein must of course view every tragedy through a strictly partisan lens. So, naturally, he knows, damn it, that Sarah Palin is directly responsible for the massacre in Arizona carried out by the crazed Jared Loughner. Indeed, like other good partisans, he knew it before the bodies in Tuscon were even cold (just as he knew Loughner must be a Ron Paul devotee -- you know, that crazy Texan who opposes all those humanitarian wars carried out by our liberal, Nobel Peace Prize-winning president).

This being the glorious age of social media, Klein, like other painfully plugged-in progressives sickened by violent political rhetoric -- but not so much by violent acts embraced by their favorite politicians -- took to Twitter to snarkily pronounce his verdict, with a series of 140 character insights like this one:


So, one must wonder, how completely unaware, how absolutely devoid of self-consciousness, must one be to write things like the above -- accusing one's political foes of inciting their followers to commit murder through the power of hyperbolic rhetoric -- while seeing nothing unseemly about posting something like this?


It's a rhetorical question.



Monday, January 10, 2011

Friday, January 07, 2011

Seriously, fuck that dude

A few months back, I took Center for American Progress blogger Matt Yglesias to task for arguing that, because the U.S. economy was in recession, it was better to spend money blowing up poor Afghan civilians than not -- you know, Keynesianism and the multiplier effect and all that economic jazz. After he surprisingly responded to be on Twitter, I apologized for calling him a "truly awful human being."

I was much too kind.

In a post this morning, my favorite liberal foil provides definitive proof that he is either 1) an idiot, or 2) evil -- though I suspect he may be both.

Take it away, asshole:
[W]ars undertaken for perfectly good reasons of collective self-defense can swiftly turn into situations that require post-conflict stabilization. North Korea might attack South Korea in a way that demands response, and the response could well lead to the collapse of the DPRK state requiring the victorious allies to administer former DPRK territory. So it’s not smart to just say “COIN is bad, so let’s make sure we can’t do it and then hope for the best.”

What we need, I think, is some form of American gendarmerie—a quasi-military federal organization specialized in police/security functions rather than finding and killing bad guys per se. Such a force would, unlike today’s military, have a valuable peacetime domestic role to play as a flexible auxiliary police force that could assist high-crime jurisdictions with the kind of temporary infusion of extra personnel that can help push crime rates down to a lower equilibrium.** A “surge” if you will. But it would also be prepared to deploy abroad in the case of contingencies. The regular military would be big enough to beat an adversary (i.e., a lot smaller than the regular one) but it would need to call on the gendarmes (who naturally would need a less French name) to conduct an occupation. This means we wouldn’t be caught lacking capacity in a real emergency, but since the gendarmes would be performing a useful peacetime domestic service politicians would (appropriately) feel that initiating situations that require their mobilization is high cost situation that ought to be avoided if possible.
I could go on at length at what is wrong with this suggestion -- first, allow me to speculate that Mr. Matt, as a pasty white employee at an establishment liberal think tank (full disclosure: I'm pasty white too), hasn't had much interaction with the quasi-military forces that already occupy American cities -- but seriously, do I really need to? If you're reading this blog, you probably don't need a remedial class on progressive dumbfuckery.

Anyway, I think IOZ would (and, fingers crossed, will) do a better job.

(via Thoreau)

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

In the Navy

I did not know this:
Other former Navy officers acknowledged that ribald humor, similar in nature to the sexual innuendo in Honors's videos, is a storied part of Navy tradition. For decades ships have held elaborate "Shellback" ceremonies for sailors making their first trip across the equator. These rituals typically have involved young sailors in drag and licking grape jelly from the belly button of a fat sailor who is dressed in an oversized diaper.