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(1/21): Occupy Hardee's

Across the street from the Romney/Gingrich Multimedia LoveIn the day of the primary. And then the deluge started and we ended up doing an interview with Rolling Stone huddled under the Hardee's awning out front. Shout out to Matt Taibbi! I didn't exactly realize that's who he was. I also didn't realize he had a tape recorder going. So if you're reading this Matt- I know we can all count on your impeccable discretion, but I go in the camp, you go in the camp. Is all I'm saying.

"We came, we saw, he died." -Hillary Clinton

Like I say- jabbering sociopaths.
9/9/09 letter in the Greenville News, deleted parts in red-

I can understand you Republicans are upset. You've lost the Presidency. You've lost Congress. Your plan to stomp vassal democracy into the Middle East has put a black man with a Moslem name in the White House. So that didn’t work out. But don't despair, Republicans, because believe it or not the Democratic leadership can be just as incompetent and bloodthirsty as yours!

Oh sure, people accuse Bush of jumping into "another Vietnam", but remember LBJ jumped into the actual Vietnam! And before that the Democrats lost the White House jumping into Korea! All you have to do to win the next election is keep the Democrats in the bloodshower. Yes, this will involve continued needless death and destruction on a massive scale, but this is no time to shrink from sacrifice, especially of others.

You know the drill- Support The Troops, Terror Terror Terror, Fear Fear Fear! You can of course count on the Democratic leadership to back you on this, some cynically doing the military-industrial math and others, to be fair, sincerely cowed. The rest you can threaten in the bathroom. For insurance get Obama to bomb Iran, and you’ll naturally want to keep him gutting the Constitution, killing Pakistanis, and heeling behind Israel. A losing percentage of disenchanted but otherwise Democratic voters can be expected to not follow their nonleadership and stay at home or vote other, while your own core base can as usual be maintained by simple bellowing. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Enjoy!
Ted Christian/Greenville

to: letters@greenvillenews.com
from: ted@christianforcongress.com

Dear Greenville News:

Having for some years past shared with your publication such occasional jottings as the muse of public discourse might from time to time inspire, and having in the course thereof become acquainted with if not entirely acquiescent to the vagaries of what might be charitably characterized your arbitrary editorial hewing, a certainly misplaced aspiration compels I take written exception to your publication's latest and more egregious than usual neutering of my most recent letter published September 9.

While I would readily allow that a fair proportion of such letters as arrive on the hoof at your establishment may need more than a little carving on their way to market, it seems your latest butchering for banality exceeds by a considerable margin your already tepid standards. Are we for example to surmise from their complete omission that the fourth and fifth sentences of my letter were completely beyond your editorial salvage? Were they factually deficient in their entirety, or were they from start to finish more offensive than the pointless slaughter to which they allude? Further, in the first sentence of the closing paragraph the words "terror" and "fear" were repeated for purposes of emphasis. This is a common literary device. Immediately following, dare the military-industrial complex no longer speak its name, or were you concerned lest so coarse a reference to Democratic cowardice further alienate a currently ascendant demographic? And was the closing sentence really more whimsical than your own ongoing militarist flippancy?

I had resigned myself to your publication's apparently obligatory extraneous commas, and perhaps you simply lack the technical capacity for italics, but your tendency to craven excision has in this instance I think exceeded the bounds of polite spinelessness.

11/3/2010- Now that the Democrats have actually lost both houses of Congress by following my advice I suggested the Greenville News reprint my letter, this time in its entirety. Haven't heard back from them ...

May 5: Farah, Afghanistan
"When there is a drone up above, the children don’t play in a
group, because they don’t want the drone to hit them."
Your tax dollars at work. 
The Holy Koran teaches that whoever kills an innocent is as -- it is as if he has killed all mankind. -President Obama

runoff debate, post debate interview

Channel 4

press conference

Toddlers for Ted v2

site best viewed with medium text size- menu:view:text-size
~ Summary of the 2008 Congressional Campaign ~
~ My Life as a Donk ~

~Being a discourse upon the writer's experiences as a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the SC 4th US Congressional district race, with elaboration upon such insight as he may in the course thereof gained ~

This is a tale of politics.

Send the children away.

Politics is the art of persuasion, generally in practice if not necessarily in principle a confidence game, or con. The immediate task of the politician is not to act in your interest but to convince you he will, and to do so with force sufficient to compel your vote. What your actual interest may be, and how that interest might best be served, is a matter essentially outside this immediate task, and thus substantially immaterial. Politics is generally in practice a con.

The political process is for the most part emotion driven, and the principal impetus of this dynamic is the other, which is to say any person or grouping of persons, real or contrived, outside the particular grouping with whom the individual by virtue of any number of arbitrary criteria identifies. The variations on this theme are essentially endless, but for purposes of the present analysis the principal grouping is Democrat/Republican. Or alternately Republican/Democrat. The analysis is sometimes facilitated by assignment of letters:

D = Democrat
R = Republican

further, we may axiomatically assert:
D is not equal to R

from which we may logically infer:
R is not equal to D

Beyond this, the analysis becomes rather more abstract.

There exists no clearly established objective criteria by which to distinguish D from R, other than that they are clearly separate and distinct letters of the alphabet, which alone would hardly seem to warrant the conflict typically associated with the two groupings, but we may upon reflection assert for purposes of discussion the distinction that D trends toward coercive redistribution of wealth while R trends toward coercive maintenance of the existing distribution. This distinction tends in actual practice to be insignificant.

But enough of theory. Let's talk about the primary.

The Primary

A noteworthy feature of the 2008 Congressional primary was the degree to which it was held in secret on the Democratic side. The Republicans had a number of public debates, while the Democrats had none, the writer's diligent efforts otherwise notwithstanding. This relentless lack of debating was accompanied by an equally relentless insistence on the part of the opposing camp that a debate was a thing they naturally desired, if only such could somehow be brought to pass. In the event, it seemed no amount of organizational skill or good intentions over a span of some months could suffice to bring the candidates into the same room for 90 minutes to speak into their respective microphones. How the Republicans managed it remains at this writing a mystery.

An aspect of our play worthy of remark is the transparent dishonesty with which it was acted out by participants and spectators alike. Initially implausible, events progressed to the plainly absurd without the first batted eye on the part of anyone save the writer.

Our story began innocently enough, at least for politics, ...

It was a dark and stormy night. Outside, the tempest lashed the ancient manor house like a demon possessed, as if in its elemental fury to punish the silent walls for what they hid within.

OK, sorry.

Our moral, and yes we have one, is that the system is broken, by which we mean utterly and irretrievably to its ossified amoral core. The institutions which make up the system, the processes by which they persist, the people whom they ensconce, must on the whole be swept away and replaced. The system cannot be fixed from within. The dichotomy must be redrawn from left/right to rational/irrational, and the rational must mobilize in collective self interest by overtly identifying the irrational as the threat to be collectively countered, necessitating conscious subordination of disparate individual interests to this transcendent collective imperative. Which is really more of a lessons learned than about the primary itself.

Right, the primary ....

- in work -

6/15/08- After chasing Corden for a debate the past few months it's just too much to read "I have been very interested in debating the issues with Ted". I know we're all supposed to just grin and bear it with politicians, but I've had about enough. Let's just come out and say it, and I know it's going to hurt and I'm not singling him out on this, but if Corden will persistently lie about being all puppy dog eager to debate me then he'll lie about anything. He is fundamentally dishonest. And we have more than enough fundamentally dishonest politicians in Washington already. We don't need any more.

If you want change, voters, look for it inside yourselves. Politics won't change until politicians change, and politicians won't change until you do. If you vote for more of the same, that's what you'll get. Paul Corden and certainly Bob Inglis are more of the same. I'm not. If you want change, vote for it.

My opponent Paul Corden is essentially a regular politician. Most if not all of his campaign website could be cut and pasted to or from most any other mainstream campaign site, they tend to read like very long bumper stickers. Corden sees what he considers to be an opportunity and he's taking it. His campaign is about capturing market share. That's what elections are about. He's a marketing guy. That's what they do.

runoff update: Here's the deal. Anybody who didn't vote Republican in the primary can vote in the runoff. Corden got his partisan core yesterday and I think that's most of what he's going to get. We on the other hand have an entire universe of fed up people to tap into. Do the math.

In any event, as I say in the blog I don't think Inglis is beatable from solidly inside the mainstream. Inglis has been a professional politician a fair bit of his life. He knows the business, he has the money. He's a Republican incumbent in a solidly Republican district. He isn't going to be beaten with a running game. If Democrats want a chance to win they have to throw long. I think Corden would get solidly in the 30s, possibly into the 40s. I think I would be somewhere between 30 up potentially past 50, the latter number trending more credible depending on the course of the war and a possible attack on Iran, factors which I would be in a more credible position to exploit than Corden, having written about them in some detail over the past five years. That's the analysis in a nutshell.
Christian's best for 4th District
Greenville News, 6/21/08

I have known Ted Christian for five years, and the first time I heard his wit in action I said, "I think I like you." Ted is smart, savvy, well-traveled. He thinks deeply and expresses himself way out of the box. He is willing to go to the wall for what he believes. Ted can win in the general election because he is smart and different. And smart and different is what we need in Washington.

The same old middle-of-the road, ho-hum, avoid-the-issues, weasel and prevaricate stuff we are used to does not work anymore if it ever did.

We can change the 4th District from red to blue. But only if we back a candidate who is not afraid to be different, which is to say honest, up front, say-it-like-it-is without fear, genuine and not connected to any, I say any, special interests or power structures. Sheila Jackson Greer

Sheila Jackson, Greer

6/23/08, Union Daily Times-
6/20/08- Corden mailing
go along/get along
should have taught him something
claiming that being a hardcore Democrat is the
only way to win a solidly Republican district is inane
I'm a bad dude
at least I have positions

Paul- too bad you couldn't find time to debate all this with me. Is this how you plan to beat Inglis?
campaign blog

9/18/12- Now that the US ambassador to Libya is dead, let's review who wrote below that the US intervention in Libya was going to be "a spiraling maelstrom of unintended consequences".

And does anybody anywhere still imagine the ongoing blood shower in Afghanistan is actually going to accomplish something?

And RIP Adnan Latif. I suppose if America had a conscience left, you would shock it.

8/21/12- So Julian Assange is stuck in the Ecuadoran embassy in London because he's afraid the US is going to imprison him for life and maybe torture him for good measure, and the pretext for his intended seizure is either a broken condom or sex by surprise, depending on who you talk to, in light of which I think a quick summary of the matter is in order. Assange did these two Swedish women who were all like totally gushy about him until the precise moment they found out he been doin' that other beyotch, at which point they leveraged their contact with him to vault themselves into the heady air of international victimhood, which act all too conveniently exposed Assange to seizure by people he's figuratively disemboweled. There are no other facts in the matter worth mentioning, and that the leering masses could be convinced otherwise is testament to nothing more than their gullibility and emptiness of character.

It will be interesting to see how it plays out. A fair number of people have figured out by now that the system is mostly a house of sleazy cards, and the Assange debacle isn't shifting numbers the other way. The spectacle of a bloodsoaked, out of control government preparing to storm an embassy over a broken condom seems like it would be outlandish enough for most anybody, but I've thought that before.

And in other news, can Obama murder anybody he wants, or only people who've been put in his book? Can he order people to be put in the book and then have them murdered? How does that work?

And why do 7 in 10 Americans believe Iran has nuclear weapons? Because people, including American people, are stupid and gullible. But nevermind that. If Israel attacks Iran, conventional bombing isn't going to work. Which just leaves the other kind. If thus treated to the mother of all horror shows might America finally figure out it's a bad idea to elect one sociopathic nitwit after the next?

6/4/12- So why does Obama's Kill Katalogue have pictures of his potential victims? Obviously because what someone looks like is a significant factor in deciding whether or not to murder them.

It's altogether too kind to compare this sort of thing to lynching. When someone was lynched they were in most instances apparently guilty of some particular crime, they saw their accusers face to face, and the decision to murder them was, if not formally structured, at least somewhat democratic. In contrast Obama is, like his predecessor, simply a butcher, and though it's common to grant him leeway as a darkie he ought properly to be judged by his actions, and the content of his character reflected thereby, rather than by the color of his skin. He's a bloodsoaked, blowup Martin Luther King.

4/19/12- Agni is a Hindu god with "seven hands, two heads and three legs. He has seven fiery tongues with which he licks sacrificial butter." The Indians have named their latest ICBM after him, they tested it today. I remember traveling in Rajasthan, where the Indians test their nuclear warheads, and reflecting with a sort of morbid incredulous bemusement that a country with nuclear weapons worshiped a multi-armed elephant deity, though on the other hand I mused in Karachi that nuclear weapons might actually be a sort of urban renewal but so anyway I've been thinking that maybe we should try to maneuver India and Pakistan into a nuclear war, which would be bad yes, what with all the carnage and death and all, but if it could be confined to the region then perhaps the sheer sudden scale of the horror might be enough to convince politicians, or at least humanity, that mass annihilation maybe wasn't the way to go. Because let's face it, sweet reason on its own will not be getting past the secretary. And US policy seems more or less designed to achieve nuclear war anyway, so if they just go ahead and make it an objective they'll appear clever when it actually happens. If you think about it.

And in other news, 90% of the children of Kabul believe they will die in war. Perhaps if they had cable they would know better.

3/28/12- M'kay the Attorney General of the United States says that due process now consists of the President pondering your murder before he orders it, and he actually said this in front of a group of law students, which I think raises the question of whether there's such a thing anymore as too outlandish for a government official. It also raises the question of why we still need a legal system now that the executive branch has assumed the function of determining guilt. And so anyway if Big Black Brother™ does indeed know for a closely guarded certainty who should live and who should die then how do we reconcile this with the fact that the US government gets the guilt of entire nations wrong, at least if you want to believe their own bullshit claims about that?

2/27/12- So we've brought so much freedom and dem-o-cracy to Afghanistan we're now gunning them down for protesting our burning of their books. Orwell would be like, huh.

We got two possibilities here. Either it's a false flag operation or the US government is so stupid it tosses partially charred Korans into a dumpster. Take your pick.

2/3/12- According to a recently released official FBI flyer, one of your big indicators for terrorism is having an AOL account. Well duh. I've been saying that for years. I mean, do the math.

Let me just write all these out one more time- 1) they're idiots, 2) they are completely out of control, and 3) I absolutely could not make this stuff up.

And somebody needs to write a song about Haditha. I've decided since the last remaining toddler executioner was let off the hook that I'm not really American anymore. Fuck em. I'm not the clubby sort anyway, but any nation that permits the point blank execution of children doesn't get my pie eyed blind loyalty for shit.

addendum: I actually just spell checked the above with my old AOL program. True.

1/23/12- Hey I figured it out. What makes America exceptional? Its principles. And why does America get to openly and relentlessly violate those principles? Because it's exceptional.

So yes, the closest thing America has to a national consensus might, if coming out of the mouth an eight year old, actually sound more embarrassing than cute.

1/22/12- Man, losing to Santorum. Still, and I'm not coming down on one side or the other on this, but I'm just saying that what with it various personalities, your Grahams, your Sanfords, your Knoxes, its colorful religious institutions, its noteworthy test scores, its occasional nation rending bombardment and whatnot, I'm just saying, and in an entirely neutral fashion, and everybody knows this already, but I'm just saying that South Carolina is widely considered, right or wrong, to be America's idiot cousin anyway. Which is, incidentally, exactly how the media would have spun it had the numbers been reversed. But even so .... losing to Santorum. That hurts.

So Yeah. Newt. The Newtster. The big Newterino. I few nights ago I sat and listened to Gingrich bluntly tell a crowd that as President he would instruct his people to "ignore" a Supreme Court decision which sought to restrain his power, which I think raises the question of why even bother to have a Supreme Court when the would be "chief law enforcement officer", as we still quaintly call them, has already publicly pre-announced he's going to ignore it, because if you think about it it's a lot cheaper and just as effective to ignore the Supreme Court as unpaid individuals rather than as a taxpayer supported deliberative body. All things considered. And, ya know, I want to think ill of Newt and all his scuttling kind but, bless their black little hearts, are they really doing anything but moving product, and who am I to criticize them for it? Have I ever won a single election, indeed with one solitary exception have I ever even voted for somebody who's won an election? But though I have by now gotten used to the idea that following your conscience and doing the right thing pretty consistently puts you at the end of the line behind all the other people who don't share your curious psychopathology, I find comfort in knowing that when all is said and done, at the end of the day when my head hits the pillow tonight I can still hold my head high because I know in my heart that I've only got a few more decades of this shit left.

1/18/12- Just back from the anti-abortion candidate thing and let me just say that if I get one more Romney robocall I'm going to run against him myself. And yeah Mitt, paste my name into your phone message. All over that. I didn't know you cared. Anybody actually buying gimmicks like that shouldn't be allowed to operate kitchen appliances, much less vote.

But anyway, it was an interesting evening. I was going to just show up and hold a sign outside with the regulars but ended up getting into the event because the Hilton general manager decided that my van had to be moved because of its shall we say overt Ron Paul ambiance, but then being mature adults we calmly negotiated a compromise whereby they let me keep my van exactly where and how it was and I didn't run them through a legal cuisinart. For sport. In so many words. And then I got in. Anywho, Perry/Santorum/Gingrich were there in person, Ron Paul was there via video link, and Romney was off at temple or something. It was a large conference hall and the crowd was I think well into fire hazard size. And it was, no joke, to all intents and purposes The Ron Paul Show. There was I think a (1) Santorum person there, as near as I could tell zero (0) overtly self indentifying Romney/Perry/Gingrich people, and I couldn't say precisely how many overt Ron Paul people were there but it was vastly, vastly beyond one or zero. P/S/G got applause when they physically walked out on the stage and then Ron Paul got comparative bedlam when his face appeared on a TV screen. Is what happened. That he stomped the life out of every other candidate there might, I believe, actually have been apparent to a dog. On the drive home I tried to reconcile all this with Ron Paul's alleged 2nd or 3rd place position in the local polls and decided that either he has some really unique demographics or the poll numbers are being faked. Badly.

P/S/G went first and said pretty much the same thing with approximately the same pandering inanity, and sitting there I got to thinking about abortion, of course not for the first time, and I more or less finalized my conviction that the anti-abortion industry is mostly a bunch of con men pandering to people passionate enough about a particular cause to give them money in pursuit of it, and furthermore my conviction hardened that while some of these passionate people, including Ron Paul, are indeed passionately pro life, for most I think their passion comes from elsewhere, and it isn't their heart. For them the "universal sanctity of life" clearly ends in the fourth trimester, or at a national boundary, and all of them together don't have Jesus for a goddamn mustard seed.

1/16/12- I don't want to sound like I'm harping on martial law, and I wouldn't if we weren't under it, but I just watched the Republican presidential debate and no I shouldn't have, in fact I haven't before, but I sat and watched anointed candidate smiley hair look straight into the camera and tell me that neither he nor the current black democratic president named Hussein would ever ever abuse their new absolute power to have the military imprison me indefinitely without charge because, and get this, he and Barack are too .... I don't recall the exact adjective, but I'm sure it wasn't one that people generally use to describe politicians. Something like responsibility or integrity, one of those kinds of words. You know it's bad when Mr. Republican Whitebread tells you to confidently place your blind faith in a black democrat. Jesus, we are so screwed.

Let me just be clear here. If I'm on fire I don't want to hear about the weather, if I'm on a sinking ship I don't want to hear about the shuffleboard scores, and if my country is under martial fucking law then the only thing I want to hear about is how this drastic state of affairs is going to get straightened out right now so we can go back to being a nation at least officially governed by the rule of law, if you'll pardon my misty eyed nostalgia. Because regardless of whether or not most Americans and their blowdried icons know it, this is a big deal. Martial law is a de facto declaration of war on the populace. And it could just be another recreational power grab but I can't quite shake the feeling it was done for a reason.

And speaking of Ron Paul, here's an MSM report on the debate that doesn't mention him at all. It's as if he wasn't even there, a glaring omission noted at length in the comments section. Orwell wrote about inconvenient facts being sent down the memory hole, but even he never imagined it being done in the present tense with an entire presidential candidate. Strange times indeed.

1/5/12- So with the passage a few days ago of the latest military appropriations bill the US is now under martial law, and not the de facto kind anymore but yer basic genuine arrest 'em with the military right here in America and hold em' as long as you please without chargin' em' plain ole' legislatively codified Constitution pissin' up a rope martial fucking law. So yeah. Bye America! Bye!

Why now? The supposed driving event happened over ten years ago. Did it take ten years of degeneration to reach this point, or was it anticipated that events will shortly make an ongoing state of martial law advisable? Stop me when I get to the unfounded crackpot conspiracy theory part of all this.

10/14/11- OK, yes, Obama had an American citizen murdered, but isn’t that better than murdering citizens of another country? I mean, if nothing else he at least has some contrived pretense of jurisdiction over American citizens, even if that jurisdiction doesn’t traditionally include blowing them to pieces whenever he wants. But then I suppose a mouthy sand nigger you can pop at pleasure is a mouthy sand nigger you can pop at pleasure regardless of his or her nationality. And, and we now have a black man doing the lynching! If that isn’t progressive I don’t know what is.

Look. Say what you want about Anwar al-Awlaki but he was nothing more than up front in advocating violence to compel US military withdrawal from various Moslem countries, which is, in conjunction with economic spiraling and the odd bit of domestic squeaking, and let's face it, the only thing that was ever going to work. I pointed this out before ever the first shot was fired, I'm pointing it out again now.

And the latest bit of war ginning coming out of Washington concerns an American-Iranian used car salesman going through a DEA plant to contract a Mexican drug gang to hit a Saudi ambassador on the orders of the Iranian government. The official US position is that this story is too bizarre and absurd even for them to make up, and the terrible, incredible truth is no it's not.

9/29/11- NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly tells us about his plan to "take down" airplanes. I can just see the NYPD helicopter pilot's eyes rolling. The reality is that an aircraft going into JFK or LaGuardia is seconds away from any place in Manhattan. The reality is that in the time it would take to get a helicopter in the air, established an intercept trajectory, engage, and defeat, people would be watching commentary about the burning buildings on TV. The reality is that a helicopter couldn't even catch anything but a fixed gear puddle jumper, and if it did then the chance of a single handheld big scary rifle bringing down an evading fixed wing aircraft is close to nil. The reality is that Commissioner Kelly is either a posturing con man or a jabbering blowhard, or both. In other words, a politician. Showbiz, baby. Showbiz.

And in other news, a swarthy young man with a scary name was going to "destroy" the Pentagon. With a model plane. He bought online. While living with his parents.

It's just sad.

9/24/11- Gotta love Lindsey's coy warmongering. Jesus what a clown. Hey Lindsey, you gonna stop giving Pakistan weapons before you attack it?

9/16/11- If the government thought a plane had a bomb on it, why did they keep people on it for so long? Because they're idiots.

Look, America- go ahead and embrace the hysterical sweeping fascism if that's what you're into, but idiocy doesn't do anybody any good. If you're really convinced the government is the only thing keeping you alive, go ahead and kiss your ass goodbye.

And the message is clear: if you don't want to be strip and/or cavity searched, don't fly in America. If you must fly, fly white. If you must fly swarthy, don't sit next to someone swarthy. Who goes to the bathroom.

And now that the Iranian reactor is operational the nuclear nonbalance of power in the Middle East is gone. Bombing a hot reactor is a whole different can of tuna. And Turkey no longer hearts Israel. And the Palestinians have a vote coming up. Let's use the word “flux”.

8/7/11- OK, yes, the site has a certain other than soothing mainstream tone, it transgresses one or more mainstream political literary conventions, or alright maybe it hangs them from the ceiling and beats them like a piñata, but now that the US government's credit rating has been cut just what sort of tone should a congressional campaign site have had for years? This site may not be as accessible or reassuring or plain vanilla as all the others, but at least I openly talk about reality, a thing which is getting steadily harder to grin and shuffle about. So whenever you people get desperate enough to vote outside your spoonfed media box, whenever you decide you've had enough of smiling con men and jabbering lawyers, whenever you realize that more of the same is exactly that, I'm here for you. Make your wasted vote count.

7/15/11- The new Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta on Monday staunchly reiterated the blatantly false and even widely discredited Bush talking point about 9/11 and Iraq, which illustrates my point that many if not most high government officials are jabbering sociopaths.

7/1/11- So it turns out the "open ended blood soaked money clogged hate producing spiraling maelstrom of unintended consequences"™ in Libya isn't "hostilities", sez the prez, because the Libyans can't fight back. Ha ha ha! Tell that to this guy!

Bush butchered the language. Obama ... what? Runs it through a cuisinart? Dices it like a sushi chef? Talks painfully absurd trash to a gullible and indifferent public like a successful politician? I'm not going to google "audacity of mendacity". Just there it is.

So what's Obama going to do with all his wars? He's going to continue wasting lives and money on them while he smears them with as much lipstick as possible and backs away for the election. Is my guess. It's incredible how I know these things.

And we don't have to worry about getting any intelligence out of bin Laden, no messy drawn out public spotlights on his motivation or CIA funded roots. Murdered his unarmed ass. In front of his wife and child. And dumped his body in the ocean. Hoo ha! I guess the East River was too far.

And this is my idea: The Anti Cavity Search League ... which would be the ACSL. Need a vowel or two in there. Anyway, random casual cavity searches are about the only thing left for the government to go ahead and do (or so I like to think), so if the public is going to make a stand (so to speak) then this is maybe the last thing left to do it about. Somebody needs to get on this. While it's still a joke.

4/26/11- The ever readable Glenn Greenwald writes about the casual privacy rape the government now commonly engages in at the border. Let's get this out in the open- when does violent resistance to government depredation become justified? You can plead laws all you like, but the simple reality is that federal judges are mostly complaint lackeys, the politicians who appoint them and pass the laws are mostly shameless power hungry con artists, and the people who elect the politicians who appoint the judges and pass the laws are mostly gullible submissive nitwits. It is thoroughly naive to imagine that individual privacy or dignity will as a matter of proper legal course be respected by this whirling toxic cocktail, indeed it plainly will not. It might thus well be argued that if remedy is warranted then the de facto absence of legal remedy combined with the apparently unrealistic prospect of nonviolent majority remedy leaves only violent minority remedy by default. Feel free to argue.

3/21/11- Is there any particular chance the US attack on Libya won't be just another open ended blood soaked money clogged hate producing spiraling maelstrom of unintended consequences? No, not really. Why do you think the Chinese and Russians waved it through?

Obama da war machine's house nigga. Yaza!

2/28/11- It's in the news today the Iranians are unloading the fuel rods at Bushehr, which has the journalists and diplomats speculating there's a technical problem. The other glaring yet oddly unmentioned possibility is that the Iranians are pulling the fuel rods to extract plutonium, an explanation so plain even governments must see it. So maybe it's still not too late to buy oil.
addendum: No plutonium, the reactor hasn't run yet. You shouldn't infer technical details from a press account. Duh.

2/21/11- Let's hope Raymond Davis is being treated better by the Pakistanis than America treats its prisoners. I don't actually know the real story behind the Davis fiasco but I've been in Lahore and dealt with the Pakistani and American governments and let me just tell you what happened. Roger Ramjet went all needlessly Rambo on a couple of locals and then milled around long enough to get himself apprehended. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, his posse managed to run over another hapless local while speeding to their buddy's daring nonrescue, a reasonably predictable turn of events given that driving in Pakistan is dangerous enough even on the correct side of the road. Then, since the US government was caught red handed in a tragic series of brutal blunders it took the only conceivable course possible under the circumstances and attempted to lie and bully its way out. That's all we know at this point.

I like how the analysis is supposed to turn on the question of "diplomatic immunity", which as some Pakistani legal person took the trouble of looking up and pointing out doesn't in fact cover "grave offenses". Which, regretably, the US government plainly doesn't consider the killing of faraway darkies to be. But at least they stopped their robomurder for awhile.

Maybe they could exchange Davis for Aafia Siddiqui.

2/19/11- The US vetoed a UN resolution yesterday because it referred to illegal Israeli settlements as illegal. Why would the US government do something so ridiculous? Because, as I've pointed out elsewhere, the US is Israel's bitch. Or, as we might more politely put it, the Obama administration doesn't want to lose the Jewish money and have the dwindling mainstream media come after it like Torquemada on crack.

It'll be interesting to see how much longer the paradigm can hang on.

1/31/11- I traveled in Egypt some years ago, wandered around Cairo and the delta and up the Nile. It would be a contender for best place to visit. I didn't deal with the police except to register at the big building in Cairo, but I dealt with the military a few times and they were OK. I don't think they're brutal enough to keep Mubarak in power, but they definitely have enough firepower to handle the police. Hopefully things will sort themselves out with a minimum of bloodshed, but apparently some serious sorting out is in the works, and after some decades of force you can't expect it all to happen by ballot box. Also, you should ignore whatever Graham and DeMint and now I suppose Gowdy choose to rant about global Islamofascist terror dominoes.

Insofar as you want to take the US government's democracy chanting seriously, you have to wonder just which people they imagine will be voting and whether they plan on paying off each and every one of them.

1/8/11- Found out this morning that a comment I posted last night on a friend's article on Huffington Post was censored because it mentioned Goebbels, who you may recall was history's most notorious censor. So that's something.

And I was dealing with second hand smoke today and decided that my position on the complex and difficult issue of healthcare is that if you've been chain smoking your entire life I'll chip in for the OxyContin but I don't want to pay for your chemo. Until I come up with something better and no doubt more nuanced I'm just going to go with my instincts on this.

And I bought a copy of Kenneth Pollack's The Threatening Storm at the thrift store today. In its time it was as praised as a book could be- lauded by generals, hailed by editors, glowingly garlanded by the New York Times as "surely the most influential book of this season", which is funny because I didn't know books had a season but anyway yeah, Pollack had the just so resume and knew his this and such and that and which, and in his masterful work he neatly and precisely lays out the urgent and definitive case for invading Iraq. From the first chapter to the last, from title page to index, from soiled front cover to bestickered back it is utter, grinding, glaring tripe. I think the invasion of Iraq is the Michelson-Morley experiment of American foreign policy, a single massive inescapable data point sufficient by itself to conclusively debunk the common notion of a rational, honest, competent foreign policy establishment. You'd think more people would notice.

addendum: Re: the shooting in Arizona, see below entry. People shouldn't follow the government's example. And I was briefly a hired gun of sorts in Pima County, only I didn't get paid unless you count meals. It's a long story.

1/1/11- Ran across this organizing the desktop, don't recall the specific inspiration if any but it's a wide field of candidates-

(10/12/09) Let's come out and say this. Politics is substantially a freak show. This should be obvious to any rational person. From the bonfire of the vanities to the bonfire of the witches, from divine kings to entrenched incumbents, from the bombing of Cambodia to massive wiretapping to quotas on the growing of cotton, any attempt to coercively organize humans beyond the level of extended hunter-gatherer breeding groups is bound to produce a vast plethora of unintended and often murderous consequences, not least because the political process that produces the political leadership that foments the folly is, as I say, a freak show. And this isn't second hand derision, it's first hand observation. And because politics is a freak show, for this reason alone it needs to be scrupulously confined to a proper and explicitly limited sphere.

12/11- It seems an unlikely coincidence Assange happens to be held prisoner by the US government's most loyal pet. Binding him over to the US would likely bring down any other government in Europe, and might well bring down the UK government. They could use the thirty pieces of silver for severance.

12/7- So the common received wisdom is that Wikileaks has caused death and mayhem by its wanton relaying of embarrassing information, though in fact there hasn't been a single solitary documented example of actual harm to anyone, and meanwhile those doing the wailing wisdom dispensing in plain actual fact have blood up to their elbows, and you don't have to squint to see it. But that's just reality.

I'm thinking of writing something around "sex by surprise", which I had never heard of. Apparently you're supposed to schedule it now. I'm just falling further and further behind.

It's really something to see the machine go after Wikileaks, but its frothing and foaming can't stop the rain. Scuttle in the shadow you have left, cockroaches.


I think the UN Secretary General should go down to the NY County sheriff's office and swear out a complaint and the DA or whoever should issue a warrant and a county deputy should arrest Hillary next time she's in NY and book her into the county jail. And all the 7-11s around the UN building should post Hillary's picture next to the cash register.

I wrote during the Bush administration that the US was being run by fascist trash. I'd like to amend that to just plain trash.

I think the most laughable aspect of the Wikileaks carnival so far is the way the US government claims that Wikileaks has fundamentally damaged the global diplomatic process by compromising its supposedly vital scuttling secrecy, yet this self same US government has been caught attempting to give the entire UN staff a surreptitious mass cavity search. Actually, I take that back. The funniest part so far is that government employees and military personnel aren't allowed to read the cables that I get to browse at my leisure. The information is secret only from the government and the government is enforcing it. It's like Orwell on acid. Maybe more freaky than funny I guess.

The single biggest data point is that the entire staff of the US State Department was ordered to break the law and not a single one of them uttered a peep. Because they are trash. Cringing, amoral trash.

And to all the shriekers out there, get a clue. The diplomatic cables were copied by a buck private onto his Lady Gaga CD. The only people reading them for the first time are nobodies like you and me.

And I feel like I should mention the Iranian scientist blown up a few days ago. Even at the height of the cold war, even when Stalin was working on the H-bomb, the US didn't sink to murdering scientists in the streets. Let's switch it back to fascist trash.

11/28- The revolution isn't being televised. It's being Wikileaked. They've been on the links page for years. Everybody who's still clinging to their bright and shiny image of government needs to go put on their reading glasses.

President Transparency is properly shrill.

addendum: favorite tweets so far-
"Dear government: as you keep telling us, if you've done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to fear."

"US Government is just about to find out what it feels like to go through a nudie-scanner."

addendum2: I hope Obama doesn't bomb North Korea to cover the stink.

And the US government spies massively on everybody- other countries, its own citizens, even the UN- without the slightest regard for the law, but when somebody does the exact same thing to them they squeal like a stuck red white and blue pig. The hypocrisy is mind numbing.

11/19- I've read this a couple places now and have to blog it. The latest heart winning strategy in Afghanistan is to destroy peoples homes so they can get better connected to or otherwise dependent on their collaborationist government, which makes happy happy and illuminates the glaring reality that the US government is frothing mad. Just to say it one more time, the invasion of Afghanistan is a war of aggression, and the US government absolutely will not ever be winning it no matter how many trillions of dollars it pumps into the bloodstorm or how many innocent and/or uppity hadjis it butchers. The Afghanis absolutely will not ever be lying back and enjoying it. They never have. They never will. The US government can go ahead and bankrupt the economy, it can further shred whatever is left of the country's reputation, the president can give speeches and the generals can give interviews and Dorothy can give Toto to the flying monkeys. The US war in Afghanistan is going to end, and when it does it will have accomplished nothing more than blood and destruction and horror and death. Period. I wrote this before the invasion, I'm writing it again now.

11/17- Lots of stories at antiwar.com this morning about TSA touching, a subject we here at CFC have had our hands on from way back.

So where do public rights and pubic rights cross (possibly even commingle)? I've said it before, it's here on the campaign site- decide how far you will let them go and draw a line, because the politicians and the bureaucrats and the creepy rubber glovers are not going to draw it for you.

That having been said, I think it's important to be honest with children in these situations. Simply tell them that the man groping them with rubber gloves thinks a terrorist may have hidden a bomb in their genitals. We could call it Freedom Fondling™. Maybe they'll buy it. A lot of adults do. They can sort it out with their therapist later. Get a group rate.

Ya know, I say this a lot, but in this case I think I'd like to italicize it- I absolutely could not make this stuff up. And that's good.

addendum: Ron Paul smacks it down.

11/3- The morning after.

I had thought to vote the straight Disney write-in ticket, but couldn't think of enough characters and was forced to improvise, switching to the Fantastic Four by page two and finally writing in actual if deceased persons by page four. Voting can if nothing else be a creative outlet. Wrote myself in of course. Made my wasted vote count™.

10/29- Just got one of Corden's robocalls, and do you really want to vote for someone who can't think to take me off their list? And if he hasn't taken any special interest money it's because nobody has any special interest in him. If he had any chance of winning they'd have their third lien on him by now.

But to be fair, or as fair as I'm going to be, a politician with integrity is like a runner with a load of bricks. And whose fault is that.

10/10- OK OK, I'm going to Gowdy's website .... hey, an endorsement from the National Right to Life Committee. Unfortunately they're not talking about Iraqis, Afghanis, Pakistanis, Somalis, Yemenis, etc., etc.. But I guess we'll be banning abortions shortly. Let's go to issues .... I see the wars are still not happening, though we have the obligatory homage to the brave troops who must be up to something .... exclamation mark (!) on taxes, so I guess we'll be seeing some change there ... jobs jobs jobbity jobs .... blood and sons and daughters .... education is the children .... affordable healthcare for you and your unicorn .... genuflecting to the abortion god .... and only criminals will be prosecuted with guns. About sums it up. And in the "Meet Trey" section we find out about the candidate's bold and brassy life outside the mainstream. In the news .... not a lot happening. I guess the election pretty well ended with the primary anyway.

The chance of Gowdy producing any substantive change in the federal body politic is essentially zero.

9/27-Jesus Christ, Lindsey Graham is a jabbering bloodsoaked nitwit. Yeah Lindsey, hypocritically bomb the bejesus out of the Iranians over nuclear weapons they don't have, following which the survivors will spontaneously form an America friendly government whose first official act will be to organize a victory parade for you amidst the smoldering rubble. Never mind stupid and deceitful, why do people keep electing politicians who are at the very least pretending to be clinically insane?

I keep wanting to go to Gowdy's site. Like smelling the milk.

9/7- Good to know the Iraq war is over. I didn't even feel a bump. You can scan the official eulogy for any passing mention of responsibility for the past seven years of needless blood and horror, the slightest dismissive reference to the million odd dead sand niggers. I suppose you can choose to believe that Obama is just a cynical, manipulative politician pandering to human arrogance, ignorance, indifference, and gullibility. If it makes you feel better.

And by all means let's ban mosques in Manhattan. While we're at it let's bulldoze every church in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Pyongyang, Hanoi, Kabul, Baghdad, Gaza City, and Mogadishu as well.

Look. Nationalism is absurd on its face. It is thoroughly ridiculous to imagine that you share a common interest with someone by sole virtue of having been born within the confines of the same passing political entity as them. You might as plausibly believe in a single anthropomorphic male sky deity or that the position of the planets at the time of your birth has some determining influence on the course of your life. Which leads to my second point: the substantial majority of human beings simply are not cognitively equipped to deal with the modern world, and even less so the world it is becoming. They can for instance be convinced to "support the troops", whatever that means, by repetitive soldier grinding propaganda done with all the subtlety and logic of a dog food commercial. There are a number of coarser ways to put this, but suffice it to say that humanity on the whole is emotionally and intellectually equipped to forage, hunt, and procreate in small semi-nomadic breeding groups, period. They do not belong outside this envelope, and if you don't believe me try reading a newspaper. Modern civilization is the very recent cumulative product of a comparatively very small number of humans, who are themselves increasingly overwhelmed by the results of their efforts. Humans are as a group certainly not configured to be minutely and coercively organized on a national scale, any more than they are equipped to select the people who would for whatever reason pursue this thoroughly implausible undertaking. The resulting mass dysfunction is only confusing if you expect otherwise. What needs to happen, see, is that a majority need to somehow be convinced of their collective comparative superiority in realizing this. An obvious mathematical impossibility. But then math was never their strong subject.

6/23- So the 4th district Republicans wanted change and voted themselves up a disingenuous bible thumping troop supporting whitebread government lawyer.

Oh yeah, I can feel the change from here. It's clogging my arteries.

6/22- Oh man Bob's out.

I thought he might be in trouble when I actually started thinking about voting for him.

Absolutely true.

6/2- Will the Mavi Marmara turn out to be Israel's Lusitania? Somebody besides the locals finally pushed back. Notice they weren't politicians.

Look. The Israeli business model has never fit within the post colonial paradigm. The play is only going to get more absurd. Let's hope the finale isn't nuclear.

And you gotta love it. Armed men dropping from helicopters onto a ship at night in international waters were acting in self defense. Say what you want about the Israelis, but not everybody could deliver a line like that

5/25- Anybody else notice the bizarre spectacle that the most expensive prison system in the world can't hold another 181 wretches? US politicians are as a group clearly willing to stoop to whatever level of gibbering idiocy the public will accept. Or perhaps demands. Maybe both. Hard to tell.

Buy Swiss francs.

But seriously. Simple pessimism is inadequate for the wild dysfunctionality of American politics, which I guess you just have to expect. Americans are conditioned from birth to believe in the Tooth Fairy, Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, and that all of humanity started with two naked white people 6,000 years ago. And their credulity is substantially mooted by sheer ignorance. They're like hooded sheep. Most it seems don't know enough to be misled.

America spends more on warfare than the rest of the world combined, an objectively grotesque reality leading the nation to bloodspattered ruin. Practically no one knows this, practically no politician speaks of it. Not on the table. The "land of the free" has the highest rate of imprisonment in all the benighted world. Again, not on the table. It's OK to talk about the deficit and the unfolding economic spiral, since it apparently can't be stopped anyway. Israel is an openly racist expansionist nuclear power hurtling toward a literal Armageddon. And that's OK, because we're their bitch. And the American government bombs, tortures, imprisons, searches, and wiretaps who it pleases when it pleases without regard to laws or morality. Go to any donkey/elephant political function anywhere and see if any of these things are even mentioned. Dysfunction doesn't cover it.

5/11- The Israeli defense minister is absolutely explicit about his country's nuclear ambiguity.

And America is now murdering unnamed people because of their drone observed "pattern of life". Absolutely true.

And the string of hopeless losers motivated to violence by America's murderous actions aren't really a string of hopeless losers motivated to violence by America's murderous actions, they're a global conspiracy driven by a hatred of American freedom. Says the White House.

Embrace the macabre jabbering.

5/4- I want to reiterate a point about the US government murdering people with drones. Most Americans, including of course most American politicians and journalists, don't realize they have three fingers pointing back at them on this, and I don't mean in some faggoty moral sense. The systems currently being used by the US government to butcher at will are basically WW II era flight dynamics wedded to an elaborate wireless Gameboy. Do the math. The cell phone in your pocket and the GPS on your dash are most of the way there. In a similar vein, and I think I may have said this elsewhere but nuclear weapons are to nuclear power as Molotov cocktails are to gasoline. Again, practically no one in office or in the media appears to understand this. They prattle and prattle how dangerous the world is. They have no idea. They seem intent on running and dancing and frantically waving their flailing disingenuous bloodsoaked arms straight over the cliff. With all of us. So all you ethical rational people, and I know you're out there somewhere, you better decide what kind of world you want to live in and take the reins. Because letting amoral nitwits run amok with entire nations is not going to get it.

4/20- I'm not singling Bob out here, but this business of politicians hoping to bring the deficit under control by way of increased productivity from everyone else seems rather like a tapeworm ordering room service.

And let's understand that war is a big deal. Quite aside from the moral onus of mass murder incurred by at least one belligerent party, war is the most significant undertaking in which a nation may engage. Yet of all the candidates currently scrabbling for the 4th Congressional district Republican brass ring, not one of their websites so much as mention any of the wars their country is currently waging. It's beyond Orwellian. Let's call it Whorewellian (nothing against anybody but the politicians there). Not a one of them is fit to be in Congress.

Not one.

4/19- Dateline: Golden Corral... Bob and 11 Congressional coconspirators have a plan to replace the tax code with a 10% flat tax. Escalating to 25% at 100k. So that's nice.

Spanky and Alfalfa are putting on a play in the old barn to attract the remaining 206 House votes. Darla, Buckwheat, and Petey are in charge of swinging the Senate and overriding the veto.

And I was gratified to learn this weekend that while my nephew may share Bob's awe of explosive mayhem his enthusiasm for it is substantially confined to his video games, and when viewing the actual shredding of actual people he not only draws a clear moral distinction between make believe and reality but also draws an immediate practical conclusion about the long term behavioral consequences. Unfortunately he can't run for Congress until he's 25, which won't be for another 15 years.

4/12- KABUL, Afghanistan (NYT)- American troops raked a large passenger bus with gunfire near Kandahar on Monday morning, killing as many as five civilians and wounding 18 and sparking anger in a city where winning over Afghan support is considered pivotal to the war effort.

... note the use of "raked a large passenger bus with gunfire" in the same sentence with "winning over Afghan support".

"The American-led military command in Kabul called the killings a “tragic loss of life” and said troops fired not knowing the vehicle was a bus ..."

... perhaps they thought it was a metaphor for a bus.

"The killings triggered a vitriolic anti-American demonstration, infuriated officials and appeared likely to harm public opinion on the eve of the most important offensive of the war ..."

... "appeared likely to harm public opinion" ... you think? And how exactly is "the most important offensive of the war" happening nine years into it? With a handful of soldiers? In a single city? Who buys this stuff?

OK, yes, these things are going to happen when you get a bunch of hopped up and in some cases sociopathic young men together, arm them to the eye teeth, launch them on a war of aggression, and then have them mill around in a hostile foreign country for years on end. Oopsies are not a surprise. That politicians would persist in maintaining the carnival of carnage is also not a surprise. But what is surprising is the absolutely blithering take the US media has managed to maintain on the gyrations of empire. I know they're well fed, but still. They're like some mutant stepchild of Orwell, Goebbels, and Emily Post.

4/9- Have I been keeping my horror under a bushel?

First off, turns out Obama is a bloodsoaked, law shredding, deficit exploding, crony capitalist poser who if he's kept a single campaign promise it's that he's transparent about it. Say what you want about Bush, and I certainly have, but at least he had the decency to hide his death squads behind smug Mafia euphemisms, at least he didn't dress up his fratboy fascism with a lot of big words, though granted he might have had he known any. But I'm getting away from our subject here. Which is Obama. Who is a poser, &tc. Moving on.

And yeah yeah, wisecracking helicopter pilots mowing down innocent Iraqis. Look. Arguing about atrocities in a war of aggression is like arguing about the proper position for rape. Get past it, America. Have the callousness of your convictions and get past it. If you don't want blood on your hands get another hobby.

And I just want to work in this quote about Obama's Afghanistan project-
But the last time we sent substantial additional forces *a deployment totaling 33,000 in 2008-2009* overall violence and instability in Afghanistan intensified. Also, neither ANSF nor the Afghan government has demonstrated the will or ability to take over lead security responsibility *much less governance-- in any area cleared and held by NATO-ISAF. Experience with troop increases, therefore, offers scant reason to expect that further increases will permanently advance our strategic purposes; instead they will dig us in more deeply. -Karl Eikenberry, US Ambassador to Afghanistan

Yes that's right, the US ambassador to Afghanistan said in his somewhat confused syntax that Obama's troop surge is simply going to "dig us in more deeply". Which ... that's the ambassador. Of the country. With the surge. OK. And just to tack it on, a former US diplomat and UN envoy went on record day before yesterday in speculating that the reason our close personal ally Karzai, who was installed as the president of Afghanistan at a fabulous cost in blood and money, anyway the reason he seems like he's on drugs is because he is. Is what the former official person officially said. About the guy whose war we're fighting. For eight years. So far. I think I need to start using an acronym for “not making that up”.

And I couldn't not quote Gen. Stanley McChrystal-
"We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat".

I guess just say it with a straight face and the right tone. It's apparently a lot like talking to dogs.

And hey, courtesy of the Washington Post how's this for a new government target: “extreme civil libertarian”. Want to know what that is? Ask the glove.

Let's see …. and OK yes, the government may have wrecked the finance industry, substantially eviscerated manufacturing, turned public education into a running joke, bogged the country down in multiple pointless ruinous wars, basically turned air travel into a mass proctology exam, and amassed a public debt currently hurtling toward the country like a killer asteroid, but despite all that it now turns out the real problem with the government rigged healthcare system is that it wasn't rigged enough. And now it is. I can't hardly wait. As I understand it the gist is that I'm now going to be forced by the IRS to give a lot of money to a private company. So that Bob can have his fautopian socialism. As we'll call it. Anyway, as I pointed out to Bob while he was trying to weasel his way around the Constitution on this at the Ham House, if he has the authority to force me to pay for someone else's healthcare then he obviously has the authority to force me to pay for my own. Or my insurance for it. Or something. Right? Like I told him, we were most of the way down the slippery slope already.

And is it just me or have politicians actually stopped making lofty references to things like truth, justice, and the American way? It seems like charging someone in a court of law per all that stuff is now officially for faggots. Which I think raises the question of what Superman is defending lately. Maybe he's on the watch list. I guess you couldn't really put him on the no fly list. If you think about it. But seriously. Government death squads are roaming the planet killing people and the prisoners in Guantanamo have been imprisoned for eight years without charge in a communist country by the Unites States and can't be tried because the security for a trial is too expensive and they'll talk about how they've been tortured and then they might not be convicted of whatever it is they might eventually be charged with, though they wouldn't necessarily be released anyway and besides which Truth, Justice, and The American Way are, anymore, like I said, for faggots. Not sure I even took any literary license with that.

And why does the government keep sending me census forms? Is there something about me they don't already know? Note to government: you have me on file. Just copy that.

And hey, here's a classified memo talking about how the government goes about seizing, among other things, your Xbox LIVE online gaming records. Absolutely not making that up.

3/15- Bob's Ham House subject this morning was healthcare, and as I understand it Bob's healthcare plan is basically the Democratic plan with a higher deductable. Let's call it coercive conservatism. You read it here first.

2/20- Joe Stack had issues.

I've observed in conversation that if Osama bin Ladin had discreetly hit IRS offices instead of the World Trade Center he would have elicited some heartfelt ambivalence from a lot of Americans. And yes it's tragic that Stack injured innocent people, but the US government deliberately mangles them daily. Stack's biggest complaint was a law passed with the stated intent of forcing people to work for giant corporations so they could be more easily monitored by the government. Not making that up. Still, as I've opined before, Stack should have just been glad his parts were still attached. He overstates his case in claiming that violence is the only answer, but it seems beyond refutation that force or the threat of it is in general a necessary component to resisting government depredation. It's a grim reality, but there it is. The one language they clearly understand is the one they commonly use. And you don't need to learn that from a history book.

I briefly kept my plane at the field where the F-16s were scrambled. Small world.

addendum: Since the attack targeted a government facility and was therefore plainly not an act of terrorism, the House took time out of its busy schedule to pass a resolution labeling it as one.

2/15- Coming down from Bob's Ham House talk, and can I just say that I've had about enough of the Jesus jabberers. Do I go to their god houses and carry on about aggressive war and government murder and things which come to think of it they could actually use some talking to about? No, I don't. Which isn't to say I wouldn't if I felt like it and thought I could get away with it but anyway Jesus didn't say jack about global warming or the runaway deficit or lead-acid batteries or if he did he wrapped it in some parable which wouldn't readily translate into a workable post-industrial legislative paradigm, so all his self proclaimed marketing directors need to just shut the hell up, particularly as they obviously aren't going to attach a lot of significance to any of the entirely relevant things Jesus clearly did in fact say in the plainest language he could manage. Before they crucified him. But I don't want to get preachy here.

I'm never sure how seriously to take Bob's technological modesty, though it clearly isn't entirely an act, but if lead-acid batteries could actually be made to jump through the hoops the Proterra people claim then it seems somebody would have commercially exploited this awhile back. Somebody like Edison. Maybe Ford. Henry. So I'm thinking if anybody has a clean MP3 of "Magic Bus" I could use a copy for a creative undertaking currently in the conceptual stage. It could be like the hydrogen car video I never got around to making, possibly because I didn't have the right song. Because obviously politicians and journalists and people in general don't know plate sulfation from shinola, nor could you realistically expect them to. The free market isn't free! Something like that.

Two of the larger points Bob made were (in order) 1) US intervention in Pakistan is going up and 2) stability in Pakistan is going down. I like to think that if Bob wrote these things out on a dry erase board it might make it clearer for him, and I've encouraged him that direction, but suffice it to say once again that if you think they've screwed up in the tiny non-nuclear countries, if you think they've spilled a lot of blood and blown a lot of money and planted a lot of hatred to this point, break out the Jiffy-Pop for Pakistan. I still say that the Republicans' best chance in 2012 is to get Obama to properly crank up that particular bloodstorm (or maybe the Iranian bloodstorm), assuming of course DC remains intact enough for them to retake. It's probably all in Deuteronomy somewhere.

And in closing, hat tip to the seemingly well intentioned Republican who opined that the country could be wonderfully united but for the divisive damn Democrats. Majority Democrats, BTW. I know I've said this before, and I hope no one thinks I'm singling out a particular tribe because I'm not, but they are all in their way quite. barking. mad. Primates in clothes. Between the rabid partisanship layered over the religious fundamentalism caked onto the general base of relentless unrepentant ignorance, you can't see the bottom for the mud.

2/10- Turns out the US government doesn't murder people, it "targets them for lethal action", and only after getting "permission", the upshot of which is that it's now a de facto capital offense to be claimed connected to an "alleged" criminal, who oddly enough gets a trial while supposed contact with him gets you murdered. By the US government. Not making up a single word of that.

1/31- "The Obama administration plans to ask Congress to increase spending on the U.S. nuclear arsenal by more than $5 billion over the next five years as part of its strategy to halt the spread of nuclear weapons and eventually rid the world of them."

I'm never sure if the media are cynical, sycophantic, or sincerely ridiculous, and does it really matter?

1/27- The Washington Post mentions this morning that the US government's death list has three Americans on it. No word how many sand niggers. And let's admit that for all practical domestic political purposes, that's what they are.

You know, and I don't want to sound like I'm making a big deal here or just now noticing it, but the US government is out of control.

1/18/10- Went to Bob's Ham House talk and today's topic was deficit reduction (cue laugh track), and Bob's plan was to reduce some things and maybe increase a few things, which to hear him tell it you'd think this hadn't been part of the federal budgetary process for the past 220 odd years, but so I counterproposed that they multiply everything in the outgo column by a single number so that the two sides of the equals sign match up, which as somebody in the crowd pointed out the rest of us actually have to do. Income equals outgo. Left side equals right side. I mean, c'mon Bob. It's not rocket science. And speaking of outgo Bob, you need to finish your explanation of why the Donaldson runway needs to be extended, because all I got was that government land would appreciate, which unless you're going to sell it doesn't reduce the deficit.

Say it with me: 1) jobs require a healthy economy, 2) a healthy economy requires a sound currency, 3) a sound currency requires a controlled money supply, and 4) runaway deficit spending is the opposite of that. There's no getting around it.

12/26/09- Let me just speculate that the latest "terrorist attack" on a jet going into Detroit was a fairly ridiculous scheme run under the noses of the TSA by another hopeless loser brought out of the woodwork by America's murderous foreign policy. The government and media may have a different spin. Let the cavity searches begin!

And let me go on record and say that the government forcing me to buy health insurance is not on the table. I appreciate the boost to my healthcare stocks, but I personally am not going to start accepting unfunded mandates from the federal government.

12/17/09- "Officials said in the first strike, two missiles hit a car carrying two suspected insurgents in Dosali village."

Does it make it better or worse that the US government calls its victims "suspects"?

12/2/09- Obama's speech marketing his Afghan surge can be summarized by the single quote "After 18 months (3 Friedman units), our troops will begin to come home".

Yes indeed, in 18 months 30,000 soldiers will have predictably had this and such effect on Afghanistan, and can therefore of course be responsibly withdrawn in sufficient numbers just in time for the next election. It is utterly and thoroughly preposterous on its face. In other words politics. Kind of like a hoot, only with a big old shower of money and blood.

11/20/09- Went to Bob's Ham House talk Monday last, and he seems to be in some measure coming up to speed on economics, though if he and his colleagues are indeed lately learning something of this subject it is unfortunately an astonishingly expensive course. But what I really want to deride Bob about is his persistent illustration of American ingenuity by reference to a US soldier drawing fire with a helmet on a stick while his fellow soldier "takes out" (i.e., kills) "bad guys" (i.e., indigenous sons, brothers, husbands, etc.). Leaving aside that the cheap and simple stick is holding aloft a kevlar helmet so that an exceedingly expensive soldier can use a telescopic sight to kill someone resisting an outlandishly expensive and ruinously failed war of aggression, there is in fact probably not a single country or ethnic group anywhere ever which has not availed itself of this particular battlefield tactic in one form or another, going back all the way to the first time one grunting homo sapiens hit another with a well flung rock, and it says something that in a country which once produced the likes of Ben Franklin and Thomas Edison the good Congressman chooses to make his nationalist technological point by reference to an act which was not uniquely American, not particularly technical, nor had any ultimately useful point. Not that the telling didn't draw an appreciative chuckle from the assembled blood gorged Jesus people.

Obama Bama Bobama Banana Fana Fofana Bo Bo Baa-A-Ma. O-bomb-A!

OK, sorry.

11/4/09- The House voted yesterday by a rather crushing 10:1 margin to condemn the Goldstone Report, a scandalously objective and balanced UN review of the Israeli attack on Gaza. Written by a Jewish judge. Obama has of course dutifully joined the indignant chorus. The government has gone from embarrassing to ridiculous to embarrassingly ridiculous.

Like I say, We. Are. Israel's. Bitch. A country of 300 million people, a country with perhaps the greatest political tradition in the history of civilization, a country of extraordinary achievements, the greatest industrial power on earth, has by the deft application of a few tiny little whips on a few tiny little politicians been reduced to a whimpering, cringing, hand licking bitch. I like to think it more comical than shameful. Maybe just go with incredible.

And reading about the curious notion of absolute prosecutorial immunity stirs me to point out the basic principle that the criminality or propriety of an act flows from the act to the actor, not the other way around, and it is simple state mythology to claim otherwise. Having a title or wearing a uniform no more confers morality or absolves guilt than dressing as an orange helps a person mix well with vodka.

10/29/09- Anybody else notice that the more violence the US commits, the more violent things get? It's like Chevy Chase knocking over more things trying to keep them from falling. Could the comparison to the expansion of the Vietnam war be more plain? But to ask whether American politicians are too stupid to notice this misses the point. The truth of the matter, and I challenge anyone to find any official pronouncement that indicates otherwise, but the simple truth of the matter is that politicians are by and large simply not interested in any world they don't control. And though it would be nice if electoral pressure could more effectively moderate this often murderous reality, were humanity as a whole capable of learning from history it seems war would have ended shortly after the invention of writing.

Let's be clear that Obama is a murderer. Maybe not yet on the scale and certainly not with the oafishness of Bush, but no matter how impressive your title, no matter how expensive your missile, no matter how smooth you talk or what your party or how complicated your killing, it is plainly murder to blow up someone and their family for no more reason than that you have personally decided they are in some fashion resisting your aggression. And any American who remains silent about it is an accomplice. The abstraction is all in your head. To borrow a quote, generations will pass and this nation's guilt will not be erased.

And here the MSM portrays the tra la la President of the United States and his Secretary of Defense as positively plucky for not increasing military spending more during a massive economic downturn in the midst of two failed and widely unpopular wars funded by an out of control deficit. So yeah. Just to say it again, more money spent on the military than every other nation on earth combined. Not hundreds but thousands of percent greater than the global average. And yet the observation is still fringe. So definitely got your military-industrial complex. Disastrous rise of misplaced power. The whole bit.

10/23/09- Went to a talk this evening by Cindy Sheehan and Bob Bowman, persistent examples of the marginalized voice of public conscience, and I thought as I listened that the one group substantially escaping their castigation, among all the groups and individuals upon whom it was otherwise deservedly heaped, was the American people. Americans are the good Germans of the information age, charitably more oblivious to than ignorant of the carnage wrought by their government upon others, plainly and willfully ignorant of the wider world and the most basic tenets of American constitutional democracy, apparently incapable of thinking any appreciable distance beyond their own immediate individual or particular collective interest or fancy. Many openly revel in power and the shredding of the faraway infrared other. None of which is to say Americans are singular in this regard, but to hold political leadership responsible for the evils done by such a society seems a bit like blaming the mold for the damp.

9/11/09- Hey, let's say this about the government health care debate. The federal government has no Constitutional authority to provide for, restrict, or otherwise control any private citizen's access to or utilization of medical services. In this context it's worth noting that every single member of the house, the senate, and yes the executive branch swear fidelity to the Constitution, on a biiible even. It is an archaic, meaningless ceremony. We should dispense with it.

But let's pretend we still had Constitutionally limited government. What powers would the health care Constitutional Amendment grant? Could they keep it under a thousand pages?

Still, I think the lefties are on firmer ideological ground here than the righties. The lefties have always been clear they want the government to run everything. The righties on the other hand have adopted the logically untenable position that the same people they trust to torture and kill responsibly can't be trusted to pick their doctor. Don't make no sense.

So what's going to happen with health care? Like I said in the last election, the big money will not be getting smaller. That's why it's the big money. And not the small money. Get used to it. Change how you vote or get used to it.

8/29/09- So what was the plan, rightwingers? Was it to hand your white bread government absolute unfettered power of life and death over the entire world besides you, and then that unbridled utterly unrestrained power was always and only going to be held by your own particular people and only going to be used on others, and certainly none of that absolute unconstitutional power was ever going to wind up in hands you didn't want holding it or be used on things you didn't want it used on, like banking or health care or whatnot? Did you imagine that your government was always going to be the one you voted for, and that it would everywhere do as it cruise missile pleased except that in your 4% of the wide world your right to choose a particular doctor would be held inviolable? Was that the plan, idiots?

Just wondering.

And what's your plan, lefties?

addendum: OK, I'm open to suggestions on a more moderate word than "idiots".

8/13/09- I can't say I mind watching Bob get barbecued, but let's just come out and say that most of those same people were basically OK with the Constitution being used on a white butt. And yes, anybody with much sense is concerned about the potential consequences of the government taking over something else, particularly something as complicated and important as health care, but like I wrote last year I don't think that will happen because the big money would get smaller. On the other hand, I'll admit that the times have lately been challenging my cynicism.

And astronomers announced today the discovery of a planet, WASP-17b, that alone among all the planets ever discovered in all the galaxy orbits opposite the rotation of its star.

Do it, WASP-17b.

8/10/09- When Hillary talks about doing things "behind the scenes" in Iran, what I want to know is how "behind the scenes" it is when you're talking to CNN about it. Maybe they're trying to sabotage change in Iran so they can have their war. Or maybe they're just childish power mongers playing government. Their indignation over show trials is cringeworthy. Personally I'd like to see Hillary bite a reporter's finger off. Snap!

And a friend sent me this video of Ron Paul, who at times seems the only thread connecting the US Congress to reality, a thing increasingly crowding into the mainstream.

8/3/09- The plan for closing Guantanamo includes-

"Providing long-term holding cells for a small but still undetermined number of detainees who will not face trial because intelligence and counterterror officials conclude they are too dangerous to risk being freed."

So yeah ... our show trials are so squeaky clean you're not even going to get one unless we're sure you're guilty. If there's any doubt about your guilt you get less justice than someone they're certain of, which is to say you get absolutely none at all. The article elaborates on procedural issues while managing to completely ignore that the proceedings are an outright farce. Which can't help but become steadily more apparent as the train wreck unfolds. It's ridiculous even for the government. Right here in America.

And Justin Raimondo points out the irony of a black man taking up the White Man's Burden in Afghanistan. If that's not progressive I don't know what is.

7/31/09- Daniel Boyd, AKA The Lion of Raleigh, has been charged with terrorism because he allegedly conspired to violently oppose the Jordanian dictatorship, instead of perhaps mounting a letter writing campaign. Cause ya see, and unfortunately for Mr. Boyd, Jordan is one of the good dictatorships. Mr. Boyd is also alleged to have supported the Taliban against the Soviets and the Kosovars against Milosovich, which is apparently terrorism if you're not the US government.

To review: you assert the legitimacy of governments which can only be resisted by force and then deny the legitimacy of force. Which means you get governments which can't be legitimately resisted. Which is a sweet deal if you're a government. Utter gibbering nonsense of course, but sweet.

And the US government is officially threatening the British with terrorism if they reveal how the US tortures people. Just wanted to work that in.

7/29/09- I'm with Henry Gates. What's this world coming to when the well placed and affluent of any race can't get mouthy with the police in their own home? Indeed. Then they came for the uppity black Harvard professors ...

And socialism seems to me to be thinking small. Technology should make it easier for people to take care of themselves, not harder.

addendum: Just to clarify here, the officer should have left the moment he verified Mr. Gates was the homeowner. That Gates wasn't there for him on an emotional level makes no difference.

7/4/09- I asked Inglis at his event Tuesday about his Constitutional authority to force everyone to buy health insurance. Bob claimed to be a general welfarist, publicly asserting that his Constitutional authority flows from the phrase "general welfare" in the preamble. Even without his law degree Bob knows that isn't true. Such a specious interpretation essentially eviscerates the entire document. Bob knows that. Unfortunately, it seems hardly anybody else does. And Bob knows that too.

Because you see, kids, it's all a big con. Forget the oaths, forget the bibles, forget the social compacts and curvy letters and curly curly parchment. The Constitution is a dead letter. The government now pursues your "general welfare", which is to say anything at all. Get. Used. To. It.

And Obama murdered 70 people at a funeral. And Cynthia McKinney is still being held prisoner by Israel. Maybe the US media will eventually find out.

6/6/09- So we've now bought most of GM. Which is going to be turned into an efficient commercial enterprise by the government.

I think we're at least past the point of actually believing something so outlandish. Now if we can just stop spending billions of dollars on it.

6/6/09- Obama commonly refers to Iraq as "a war of choice", a now standard label among Democrats. What's the difference between a "war of choice" and a "war of aggression"? There was less justification for invading Iraq than there was for invading Poland in World War II. Why do we give Bush and his people pensions when we put the Nazi hierarchy to death?

And Obama's website advertises "A New Era of Fiscal Responsibility". Buuut a couple clicks further we find planned deficits averaging 735 billion dollars a year for the next eleven years. Where the planning finally ends. I guess "new era of fiscal responsibility" means at least openly admitting you don't plan to practice it. Perhaps it's a start.

6/4/09- So why doesn't Obama just put all the Guantanamo prisoners in a village in Afghanistan and blow it up?

The idea that the world's most expensive prison system can't securely hold an additional 200 some odd prisoners is cravenly ludicrous even for American politics, yet there it is. Indeed. After eight years, how likely is it that some wretch is going to escape from a maximum security prison, and if he does, what exactly is he supposed to do next? Crash a jet into a building? Spread anthrax? Make Youtube videos? Clearly, holding prisoners in Cuba doesn't make America safer, since ninety miles of water couldn't possibly stop such Moslem supermen. And anyway, when did a nation of 300 million people, the "land of the free and the home of the brave", turn coward over a couple hundred prisoners? The Republicans come up with some ridiculous, hysterical fear based talking point and screech it until the Democrats join them, generally by lunch, with the result in this case that an ongoing moral and PR nightmare is kept off US soil, where even the US media would have a hard time ignoring it. Pitiful. Just pitiful.

And here's Osama bin Laden (remember him?) poor mouthing the US for sowing "new seeds of hatred and revenge" with all its wars and whatnot. Well, Mr. Turbinbeardguy, if America wasn't stomping around the Moslem world to no good purpose then just where would you be? Where would you find new recruits? You ever think about that, Mr. Big Mouth?

5/11/09- Here's an article about how the invasion of Iraq was in part justified by false confessions obtained through beating. Yes, America, your President told you lies he beat out of people.

And here's an article which highlights the crux of the current economic danger, which is that free enterprise and arbitrary government coercion don't mix. The economic process by which goods and services are provided operates on the premise of an expectation of gain within an established legal framework. Take away the premise and you take away the process. Don't expect Washington to figure this out.

4/30/09- I just discovered there's an actual honest to god National Pork Board. It's a government program that encourages people to eat more pork. Which I guess we weren't doing enough of.

I can on some level understand the government's lust for power, its pathological secrecy, its embrace of violence .... but a pork barrel program in support of actual pork? Dare we ask ... what next?

4/22/09- Maybe waterboarding someone 183 times isn't torture if it makes them confess, only what wouldn't you say after being waterboarded 183 times, assuming you were coherent enough to talk? But the Obama administration isn't about looking back at well documented government crimes. It's about the future. Where politicians and their enablers can act without fear of prosecution. Because the US is not ruled by law.

Rep. Jane Harman, hypercrite. Made that word up just then.

4/10/09- The US government murders the wrong people 94% of the time in Pakistan.

And Lew Rockwell is right- government repackaging of a financial instrument doesn't increase its worth. There's just no telling where all this is going.

4/6/09- Most Americans think we should attack North Korea. Because they tested a rocket. Like we've been doing on a vastly greater scale for over half a century.

Hermann Goering summed it up best-
"...it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship ...voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

Look, America. Take it from someone who knew. It works the same in any country.

If you want to lead, get out in front.

3/20/09- So here's a guy with most of the hydrogen bombs on Earth lecturing the Iranians on the badness of their "capacity to destroy", tsk tsk tsk, and furthermore their place in the sun can't be reached by "terror or arms", though there's certainly some of that involved in the ongoing US military occupations on both sides of Iran. For good measure let's throw in the thousands of Iranians killed in a war we supported. Toss in the Iranian airliner we shot down.

Look. It's great Obama can release a video to the Iranian people and say some nice things and put together some pleasing sentences in a way that doesn't make you cringe, but America you need to understand that in the wider world, particularly in Iran, parts of Obama's speech come across as the rantings of a madman.

Let's not overanalyze this. The problem with Iran is that it doesn't accept Israel and has some actual and growing capacity to project state level violence, and since we're effectively owned by Israel then Iran has to be our enemy. Besides which the MIC needs enemies, and being a client state of Israel achieves this.

And here's a thought. If Obama really wants to have diplomatic relations with Iran, how's about opening diplomatic relations with Iran. Maybe no one has thought of this yet.

addendum: Yahoo news says "New deficit estimates much worse than W. House predicted". "Much worse" than 1.75 JHC trillion? Can't bring myself to click on it.

3/11/09- Good for Charles Freeman.

So, OK America, a small country on the other side of the world decides who you can and can't have in your government. And they do it by dishonesty, fear, and manipulation. You cool with that?

And Biden says the Taliban are just in it for the money. Perhaps he is an idiot.

And hey, how's that for a deal? Spend trillions of dollars invading various countries so you can pay the locals not to shoot you. Sweet. (insert welfare/warfare wordplay)

2/28/09-A $1.75 trillion deficit? 1.75 trillion? Don't know if you would call that change or a whopping dose of more of the same, but holy cow. 1.75 trillion. I can feel the confidence from here.

And listen here, Wall Street. Back when Washington assumed absolute unquestioned arbitrary extrajudicial power of missile fired life and death over everyone in the third world, and even to some extent the first one, you were cool with that. Now you want to whine about them stomping around your financial landscape like it's their own private Tokyo. Cry me a river. Just be glad your parts are still attached.

So basically, investors are expected to step up and place their bets on which way the government's tail will swing next. Which is understandably problematic, quite apart from the grating gall of spraying money at banks while people slide into poverty. I've tentatively decided to stop trying to explain this to Bob. Paul Craig Roberts presents a comprehensive list of options that didn't involve looting the treasury.

And you know what I would do if I was Iraq? I'd wait til Mr. Change was down to his last 50,000 lingering occupiers and then I'd kill me a quick bunch of them. Then I'd sit back and watch the rest get promptly skeedaddled right on out. Then I'd declare victory. Over the Great Satan yada yada. And the world would believe it. That's what I'd do.

Get. Out. Now.

2/14/09- Yaming Nina Qi Hanson is looking at 20 years for shipping model airplane control systems to China. She bought them over the internet. You can buy one here. Not making that up.

Look, America. The government is about power. Power increasingly comes from technology. So the government's drive for power means it must increasingly control the advance and spread of technology. This is of course laughably impossible, but since we're talking about the government then the upshot of this laughable impossibility will increasingly be its unbridled and thoroughly ludicrous freedom trampling pursuit.

And another thing. Israel says 1134 Palestinians were killed in Gaza last month. The Palestinian Ministry of Health says 1314. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights puts the number at 1284.

How many Jews were killed by the Nazis? The commonly accepted and in some places legally enforced estimate is 6 million. Some maverick historians place the number as low as 4.4 million.

How many Iraqis have died in the US invasion and occupation of their country? There is no official US estimate, but Bush read somewhere it was "30,000, more or less". Statistical estimates actually range around a million. In the last election I tried without success to persuade Obama and Ron Paul's websites to at least mention the Iraqi dead, whatever the number. You can search Inglis' website if you like.

Holocaust denial. It's not fringe anymore. Be ashamed, America. Or at least embarrassed.

And Obama is covering up torture, rattling against Iran, and bombing Pakistan. Yes indeed. Belief you can change in.

And oh yeah the federal government is going to spend us into a healthy economy. Seems like if that's all it took we'd all be driving Cadillacs by now.

1/21/09- Can I just say this about the inauguration? With all the hoopla, with all the pomp, with all the speeches and parades and of course money money money, with all the tinsel and bunting and panning camera shots it turned out that the one part, the one single solitary 36 word Constitutional part of the entire day long resource clogged gapefest, the one tiny properly codified several second long ceremonial nub around which the entire whirling carousel revolved was screwed up. Repeatedly. By the chief justice of the Supreme (cue the trumpets) Court. So they had to do it again later. 36 words. So yeah, conf-i-dence. It's what's for dinner. You absolutely could not make this stuff up.

And I notice Israel kept killing almost literally to the last minute of the Bush administration, skeedadling out of Gaza like they were part of the inauguration parade. Leaving 410 dead children behind them.

See that red stuff on your hands, America? That's blood.

1/17- bitch slap-
"I said, 'I don't care. I have to talk to him now' ... He (Bush) gave an order to the secretary of state and she did not vote in favour of it -- a resolution she cooked up, phrased, organised and manoeuvered for. She was left pretty shamed and abstained on a resolution she arranged."
                                          -masa Olmert

1/11- So the problem with the economy is a lack of confidence. And the fix is to more than double an already record federal deficit. And if that doesn't bring up enough confidence I guess try doubling the deficit again. And all of the borrowed money sprayed with the usual smiling government efficiency. Seems like we're doomed.

And so what's The Silent One eventually going to say about all them dead Gazans, who may perhaps number in the thousands by the time polite decorum allows him to speak of their slaughter? Any chance of Obama backsassin' The Lobby when it's his turn to speak? We should be so lucky.

1/9/09- Glenn Greenwald lays bare the essential question of why we're paying for the slaughter in Gaza when we don't have a dog in the fight.

12/16-"This is a farewell kiss, you dog, this is for the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq." -Muntadar al-Zeidi

"There is no way of knowing what the motivation of the individual was." -State Department spokesman Robert Wood

You'd think people so ignorant would be better at feigning it.

11/7- To all those who think Obama doesn't look old enough, and I'm one of them, give him a couple of years. And to those who told me on the campaign trail they didn't want a black President, get used to it. Maybe turn up the brightness.

11/4- A hip young black President with a Moslem name. You wouldn't take it seriously in a movie. And a black first family that out Kennedys the Kennedys. I'm too incredulous for patriotism. After eight years of George Bush, the pendulum has swung and then some.

Obama will be stepping into an already powerful office greatly aggrandized by the present occupant, he will have a clear majority in both houses of Congress, he will have substantially unfettered control of a global military machine, and in a time of war and extraordinary economic chaos he will assume office with an unprecedented stock of domestic and international political capital.

Let's hope he proves the measure of the hope. Because in two months he's arguably going to be the most powerful man who ever lived.

And so yeah, grab dictatorial power and then stomp into two Moslem countries and screw it up so bad you wind up putting a black man with a Moslem name in the White House. That plan really dovetailed, didn't it?

Am I making this up? No I am not.

10/6- Beyond the ideological clash and economic peril of commingling government and heretofore private finance, investors want if nothing else predictability. Which isn't the government spraying $700 billion as Paulson sees fit. But being on the other side of the Rubicon, we can expect no recourse but more of the same.

Dow Chemical looks good.

9/27- Bailout Plan Executive Summary:
The people who keep the economy running by lending us money are out. So we have to give them more.

9/24- (Army Times) The 1st BCT’s soldiers also will learn how to use “the first ever nonlethal package that the Army has fielded,” 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier said, referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them.

“I can’t think of a more noble mission than this,” said Cloutier, who took command in July. “We’ve been all over the world during this time of conflict, but now our mission is to take care of citizens at home ..."

9/20- (Antiwar.com) The US said the deaths of the women they killed in the air strike were further proof of al-Qaeda’s willingness to “repeatedly risk the lives of innocent women and children to further their evil work”.

Go halfway around the world to invade and occupy an entire country for no good reason, wage an open ended campaign of aerial bombardment, and then call others evil for the death you wreak. And do it with a straight face. Got to hand it to them.

And what do we think about the massive taxpayer bailout for rich and unscrupulous investors? My bank stocks doubled the last couple of days. So it's hard to complain. Like I say, money talks. Get used to it.

9/18- (McClatchy) After vows to respect sovereignty, U.S. strikes in Pakistan

It really looks like they're trying to get a war on with Pakistan like I wrote below. It would be nice if Congress would say or perhaps even do something about it.

9/17- What's a conspiracy theorist to do? $85 billion later, we now own 80% of AIG. Fannie Mae has been nationalized. The government effectively holds the note on most of the homes in America. Yes indeed, capitalist socialism, or maybe socialist capitalism, a government dictatorship of the financial class. Who's pounding the shoe now, comrade?

But never mind ideology. The government can't even balance it's own books with three trillion dollars a year. Do we really want them running the private financial sector?

And what's the President have to say about all this? "I grant you, you haven't heard from him in a while," said a White House spokesperson.

Absolutely not making any of this up.

9/16- WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration expects an uphill battle with Congress for permission to use counterterrorism funds ($226.5 million) to upgrade Pakistan's F-16 fighters, the State Department's top diplomat for South Asia said Monday.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP)- Pakistan's military has ordered its forces to open fire if U.S. troops launch another air or ground raid across the Afghan border, an army spokesman said Tuesday.

So let's just put those two lead sentences together. We're spending millions of dollars arming a country we're sort of at war with. Okey Dokey. That should help even things up.

And not to get all out there, but somebody should mention Pakistan's a Moslem country. With nuclear weapons. No seriously.

Maybe the idea is to provoke a crisis in or with Pakistan as an excuse to hit their nuclear arsenal, and hit Iran as well because as long as they're at it.

(Reuters)- U.S. forces have focused on Haqqani's network this week, firing missiles from drones into a house and a religious school founded by him in Pakistan's tribal region just across the border, killing 23 people, mostly his relatives.

"... mostly his relatives." Just wanted to mention that.

9/7- OK, how does the government take over operation of and liability for a massive private financial entity like Fannie May? Answer: they just do.

And after years of wild money gushing influence buying fiscal license culminating in a taxpayer soaked bailout for the rich and Chinese, what's the obvious path forward from a forced nationalization of a failed multi-trillion dollar government experiment in private banking? Wait for it .... wait for it ....

"Lockhart said that both Fannie and Freddie would be allowed to increase the size of their holdings of mortgage-backed securities ..."

Couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

9/6- The federal government can't be covering Fannie May preferred. I don't care how bought they are, they just can't.

And hey, are we going to war with Pakistan? Their foreign minister called our attacks on them a few days ago "cowardly acts against innocent civilians" and the Pakistani military "reiterated that Pakistan reserves the right of self-defence to protect our citizens and soldiers." They claim "troops flew in on at least one big CH-47 Chinook transport helicopter, blasted their way into several houses and gunned down men they found there." Which I think we can all understand might lead to some hostility.

8/25- (AP) "U.S. commanders believe al-Qaida in Iraq is increasingly seeking to exploit women unable to deal with the grief of losing husbands, children and others to the violence."

So is exploiting grief worse than causing it?

A poser.

8/24- Looks like we accidentally butchered another 78 Afghanis. Woops.

OK, American, imagine that that you and your family can be blown to chunks at any moment by confused and/or careless foreigners, and the best your scattered remains can hope for afterwards is a reluctant acknowledgment. Imagine there's not the slightest thing you can do about it, not the least defense you can have. You can be killed anytime anyplace for whatever imagined reason works. No warning. No appeal. No questions asked.

Yes it's evil, and palpably so, but beyond the question of mere morality, which we are obviously above, what with Jesus being on our side, beyond considerations of decency not visible from our lofty perch, where do we expect our murderous reality to lead? Can we at least stop with the "hearts and minds" business?

8/20- You know what the problem is in South Ossetia, along with the world generally? You know what the problem is? It's that people can't just be neighbors. They have to be "Georgians" or "Ossetians", "This" or "That", they have to get all twisty about what some distant power addicted politician waving a particular piece of cloth spouts at them, they have to give these ridiculous troublemakers guns and jets and tanks to kill people with. That's the problem. And we need to outgrow it.

8/19- what billmon said-
Even after the fiasco in Iraq, the bloody failure in Lebanon, the downward spiral in Afghanistan and, now, the futile posturing in Georgia, there’s absolutely no evidence the US foreign policy elite is inclined to moderate its ambition to re-organize the world along American lines.

That's why, American voter, you need to replace them.

8/15- Let's be clear- Georgia was the aggressor. The Ossetians would rather be aligned with Russia than Georgia. Practically everything coming out of Washington on the matter is reality free claptrap. And it hurts my brain for Bush to talk about the Russians being bad.

8/13- So now that Russia has rolled into South Ossetia and parts south it turns out you're not supposed to invade other countries. Who knew? Says an unnamed Bush person- "These actions will have consequences long term, in terms of our relationship with Russia". Oooo.

Hopefully Bush will stop at hypocritical posturing, because I shudder to think how bad he could screw up a real war. And unlike Iraq, we know for a fact that Russia has weapons of mass destruction.

7/30- (AP) The Treasury Department gains unlimited power, until the end of 2009, to lend money to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac or buy their stock should they need it.

A stock propup by the federal government. Jesus. Money talks.

7/25- Here's an interesting statistic- By 39 percent to 35 percent, South Koreans saw the United States as a greater threat than North Korea.

... tell me again what we're doing in Korea?

And Mukasey is a plain bad joke.

7/15- Meet the new boss- "Obama says Afghanistan 'a war that we have to win'".

7/13- Haven't written lately about the invasion of Afghanistan being wrong, but with 9 of us quality folks killed there today I'll mention it again. It was wrong.

7/11- "After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes ... The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account."
          -Major General Antonio Taguba (ret.)

7/10- From the AP: "Ahmadinejad, who has often spoken of wiping Israel off the map ..."

Here we have 1) the single most significant US news source, 2) propagating a plain lie, 3) in support of an impending war, and 4) most people believe it.

Get in touch with it, thinkers- reality does not matter. Hate sells.

7/9- Gotta love the 725k cap for the mortgage bailout. Welfare for the rich. Instead of food stamps maybe we could give them restaurant vouchers.

And the message should by now be clear on telecom immunity- the law doesn't apply to the government or to companies working for it. Privacy is quaint. Change the politicians or get used to it.

7/8- So with the exception of a dead duck US administration and the Israeli lobby essentially every political entity and national population in the entire world wants a timetable for US withdrawal from Iraq. And yet somehow it's still fringe. Put that in your military-industrial-media pipe and smoke it.

We need to come to grips with what our country has done in Iraq, in particular how we as a nation cut such a spectacular, immoral, and just plain ridiculous failure out of whole cloth. We need to clean some serious house.

7/1- Went to Bob's Ham House talk yesterday, and if he isn't Hayek or JFK he's in the same sentence. Truth doesn't fit in a bottle, Congressman.

6/30- Still can't sleep past 7. After all those years of sloth. That's what running for office does to you.

Leverage the Iran blowback in 2 years?

6/26- I'm off the donk. It was a short ride. I think I'm just not their hierarchy's kind of folks. And they're not mine.

I've never been clubby anyway.

6/24- Back from doing signs, time to GOTV. Hoping for the forties.

6/21- So Corden has come out with a hit mail piece on me (at bottom of site), cherry picking my much larger website a few days before the election so I can't respond, after avoiding a debate the entire race.

Like I said at the start. A regular politician.

6/19- Teresa the campaign manager gave me my label last night, it turns out I'm an "independent democrat". She didn't say if I was an upper or lower case D, but I like the sound of it.

6/18- Corden seems to have gone underground. He's never been particularly responsive, but since the primary his online schedule lists his events without providing a time or place. Which would make them hard to attend.

Running for office has taught me a lot about politics, which I guess it would. For the hardcore partisan it seems there's no such thing as ideological overlap or congruency of views, or even political expediency. You're either with the tribe or you're not.

6/16- People are always asking me what I'm going to do for them, how I'm going to solve their problems, and I try to give them the best answer I can, but let me just say that if you really think Bob Inglis or Paul Corden have a big stack of quick and easy solutions to all your problems then you need to take a closer look. We need to stop electing politicians who say they have all the answers and start electing some who will admit they don't.

6/15- If anybody has any pictures of me dancing at the Kershaw/Lawson wedding last night, yes I'm a politician with an election in 9 days but keep the price reasonable. Is all I'm saying.

6/11-We're inside the gates, boys and girls.

Here's the deal. Anybody who didn't vote Republican in the primary can vote in the runoff. If we split the McCanless vote 66/33, not implausible under the circumstances, it's neck and neck. Corden got the party hard core yesterday, and that's about all he's going to get. We on the other hand have an entire universe of fed up people to tap into. Do the math.

6/10- In a runoff with Corden. The tactical thrust is to keep hitting him on the debate he won't have. The strategic thrust is change. If you want it, vote for it.

6/8- Made my first campaign promise this morning speaking at Shady Oak Baptist Church, I told them if I became a Congressman I would come back and give them a sermon based on my experiences in Washington. I'm not Rev. Barton, but I'll have a go at it.

6/7- Just cleared 13480 robocalls, didn't want to go there but Corden decided to so I followed, here's the message. Liz Patterson endorses Corden in his message. Because he's the Party's man. Go along. Get along. Faced the VC but wouldn't face me.

If you want change, vote for it.

6/5- So I hear the shtick with Corden's mailing is that he's "the true Democrat", leaving me by implication the false Democrat, though I'm of course unnamed, and I also understand the only way to win the solidly Republican upstate is to be solidly Democrat, whatever that means exactly. It apparently involves indulging in wishful electoral strategizing and making nonspecific partisan insinuations.

6/3- Spoke to the Union County Motorsports Association this evening, they're kind of a lodge for motorheads, yard sign guy Ron Henderson hooked me up with them. Found out when I got to town I was front page news, with picture.

I suppose if I become a Congressman I'll get used to this sort of thing.

6/2- Busy day in Union, scheduled to go back tomorrow at 7. Met with the Greenville Baptist Minister's Association this evening, need to write about it.

6/1- Bob McLain of WORD said he never heard back from my opponents about an on air debate. Two Democratic candidates for the US Congress didn't even have the fortitude to respond to his invitation. Why hasn't anybody heard a WORD about it?

And Bush, at Furman, urges 'culture of responsibility'.

Be careful what you wish for, Mr. President.


Let's face it, the chance that the Greenville News was going to endorse a candidate with enough sense to oppose the war ... well, it is to laugh.

And yeah, Paul's "the most knowledgeable candidate". Guess he just didn't want to show me up in a debate.

Like I wrote back in March-
"The Greenville News clearly considers Paul the lesser of two Democratic evils.

Why settle for the lesser of two evils?"

5/28- Turns out WORD is all talk.

5/27- I was on my way out the door running late to the Young Democrats candidate meet and greet at the Handlebar this evening when someone called to tell me how great he thought my talk on Channel 4 was, it had just aired and he looked up my number. The rest of the story is that he was a Republican. So if I make it through the primary, the general election might actually be easier.

5/26- Spent the day in Union, had an interview with the Union Daily Times, visited the radio station, put out yard signs and talked to people. It's a nice town. And $2.85 for the jumbo frank plate at Hearts is hard to beat.

5/23- The Channel 4 taping went OK I think, it airs Tuesday at the end of the 5:00 news. I still think politicians are overpaid, but not as much as I used to.

5/21- Beyond simple supply and demand, the skyrocketing price of oil is being driven principally by speculation over Bush attacking Iran.

5/19- Filming with Channel 4 Friday, have a debate in the works with WORD.

5/16- The latest rumor, and I've heard it from two independent sources, but the word is that I'm a fundamentalist Republican. So how about that. Gotta love politics.

5/13- In something of a public flame war with camp Corden over the debate, or lack of it. Got a $200 check, the largest so far.

5/12- Need to do a shoot for Channel 7, still pushing for a debate.

5/9- I dealt with the Sudanese government some years ago. The UN should put a gun to the Myanmar government's head and tell it to get out of the way.

5/6- Had an interview with the Greenville News today, and Channel 4 called for me to come in and give them some footage. Russell set up the facebook page yesterday, and I met with Jonathan the media planner.

It's all definitely not rocket science. But it's hopefully close enough.

4/29- Went to the debate last night between Inglis and Jeter, put on by the Young Republicans. The format seemed to work fairly well, with impromptu rebuttal and reasonable restraint instead of a formal structure and time limits. Inglis displayed all of the footwork that has him running for a sixth term, and Jeter did well, particularly for a first effort. He may not have Inglis's experience, but at least he's not running on his record.

In other news Monday, 4 US Soldiers, 43 Iraqis Killed; 112 Iraqis Wounded.

4/21- Went to the Republican 4th district convention this evening, and I had thought to just loiter around the fringe but it turns out that's hard to do when you can't find the center. All the nonparticipants were initially supposed to sit on the stage. Not making that up.

4/20- Had breakfast this morning with Griff at Stax, and who else would happen along but one of the two other candidates, Bryan McCanless, who I hadn't met. Griff had to rush off to church, Bryan ended up missing it. He's an interesting guy.

4/17- Say what you want about Jimmy Carter, and a lot of people do, but he was certainly the most decent President this country has had in my lifetime. If he wants to talk to Hamas or Fatah or the devil himself I have no doubt he's doing it out of sincere conviction, and it's a testament to the stranglehold the Israeli lobby has on the levers in this country that he can be so thoroughly shunned for it not just by the Republicans and the media, but by his own alleged party as well.

In other news, 250 yard signs were ordered today and should be ready Tuesday. A campaign event is being planned, in part to distribute them.

4/15- Yesterday evening's Democratic party meeting took an unexpected turn, when a gentleman took such offense at the words on this very website that he rose and read them aloud before the people assembled.

And the words went from being on the internet to being spoken openly at a public meeting. And you couldn't help but notice that the world went right on spinning. And not only that, but there seemed a general consensus that the truth was something we might discuss more.

4/9- Griff, the previous nominee, has been working on setting up a debate, but word now is Paul doesn't want to participate. Maybe send him some encouragement. Because if he can't handle it here, he won't be able to handle it in Washington.

4/5- The details of the Bear Stearns deal are of course too complicated and arcane and otherwise shrouded to more than casually contemplate, per which the general impression is one of people in suits making money, in this instance with the active intervention of the US government, but the one detail that sticks in my mind is the buyout going from 2 to 10 dollars over a weekend, a 500% increase. And I've been in a few buyouts, from both shareholder ends. And that just doesn't happen.

4/1- Out on the campaign trail today, and on the way home I stopped at Snapshot Cafe and managed to arrive shortly before a debate being held by Furman students on the question "Do Democrats Have All the Answers". I can't say for sure which way my input swung it, but if this level of blind luck holds, the campaign should go well.

3/31- Just back from the kickoff press conference.

It didn't go badly.

So my headline in the Greenville News is 4th District race gets third Democrat, or at least I think that's my headline. It's above an article about me. I actually filed first, the day before Corden and two weeks before McCanless.

The money quote comes from county GOP chairman Samuel Harms, in response to my observation about US military expenditures exceeding that of every other nation on earth combined. "I hope he keeps it up," he said. "That’s not a winning theme in this district."

Because see, kids, it's not about hard numbers and objective reality, national debt and legitimate defensive need, flag draped coffins and missing limbs. It's about "winning themes". It is plainly a marketing game for them. And make no mistake that no one else's sacrifice is too great to win it.

addendum to the addendum
So now my headline is Christian kicks off 4th District campaign.

Which is correct.

3/26- The Greenville News clearly considers Paul the lesser of two Democratic evils.

Why settle for the lesser of two evils?

3/25- Paul Corden, the only other candidate so far registered for the primary, put up his website today. I'll be posting a review within the next few days, but as I've been saying in conversation, my impression is that Inglis isn't beatable from inside the mainstream. Inglis has been a professional politician a fair bit of his life. He knows the business, he has the money. He's a Republican incumbent in a solidly Republican district. He isn't going to be beaten with a running game. If Democrats want to win, they have to go to the air. I think Paul could get solidly in the 30s, maybe up into the 40s. I think I would be somewhere between 20 up into the 50s. That's it in a nutshell.

3/21- Bush declared Wednesday in a propaganda speech beamed into Iran that the Iranian government has "declared they want to have a nuclear weapon to destroy people, some in the Middle East", which I think raises the question of whether its OK for our President to use government money to broadcast wild, eye-bulging lies.

3/17- Just back from Bob's Ham House talk on the economy, and it turns out what's needed is "confidence". Maybe we can get some at WalMart.

And Bob's for telecom immunity because the phone companies "cooperated", or as the mafia says, "cooperated".

And when it comes to earmarks stay a pig, don't be a hog, or very nearly those actual words to whatever effect.

3/12/08 (AFP)-"I want to assure you -- just like I assure military families and the troops -- the politics of 2008 is not going to enter into my calculation, it is the peace of years to come that will enter into my calculation," he pledged to a Christian broadcasters association.

"They're not coming home based upon defeat, or based upon opinion polls, or based upon focus groups, or based upon politics, they're coming home because we're successful," he said, to thunderous applause.

Here's a news flash, Mr. President- it looks like Obama will probably win, and when he does he's going to promptly close the books on your six year blood shower. But until then you just keep right on grinding, spunky.

3/11/08- Went to the party convention yesterday evening, and let's talk about what wasn't talked about- the objectively grotesque military budget, the semi official demise of the bill of rights, the nation's steady decent into abject usury, the fairly third world decline of the dollar, the codification of torture, and that our President is a bloodsoaked nitwit. None of those things were mentioned. We said the pledge, sang the national anthem, prayed twice, and debated the colors on the party logo.

3/6/08- Had coffee this afternoon with Paul Corden, a fellow potential 4th congressional district democratic nominee candidate. We got together with Griff to talk politics and maybe do some ad hoc power brokering, whatever that would look like. Paul looks the part, and with a law degree, ground combat experience, and a background in marketing, central casting could have sent over a lot worse. My impression is we don't have differences in ideology so much as a distinction in how far down the sleeve to wear it. Paul and Griff trend toward pragmatic, I trend toward ... well, I guess I'd have to characterize it as less pragmatic, though I'm not sure our positions aren't in fact functionally reversed. I think under the circumstances the most pragmatic approach may be to throw pragmatism to the winds. I have no hard numerical data on this.

It will be interesting to see what Paul puts on his website.

And re: the killings in the previous entry, it turns out they apparently murdered the wrong uncharged people, three women and three children. The intended victim was one Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, wanted by the FBI for questioning. No one seems to have pointed this out so I'll do it here, but a cruise missile is rather an awkward instrument of interrogation.

The bombing targeted a "facility where there were known terrorists", a government term for "huts full of people".

The White House stressed its intention to "go after" anyone and anyone affiliated with anyone "plotting and planning ... to inflict terror". The villagers for their part "fled in fear of another attack".

The Bush administration is out of control.

3/3/08- The Israelis keep some number of big plays mapped out, and the time to act on one would be while Bush is still in office, depending on how much they think remains to get out of him and whether they think Obama is going to win. The big play might involve some sort of attempted final solution to the Palestinian problem and/or an attack on Iran, possibly with nuclear weapons, which the Israelis may decide need to be actively introduced.

Yes, the big play would be a bad idea. That may stop them. It may not.

And Ahmadinejad just finished the first state visit ever made to Iraq by an Iranian leader. Bush really is the great uniter.

And the latest terminally guided killing warrants a comment on the American government's shift away from the rule of law. Our government now routinely kills people suspected of connections to groups tied to or believed to be engaged in activities in support of terrorist related etc. etc. etc.. No one is charged, no one is convicted, no one is sentenced. A decision is simply made somewhere, a missile is simply launched, and people in this or that faraway country are simply murdered. That the murdering entity doesn't bother with its own elaborate and expensively maintained court system doesn't seem to matter to anyone of any significance, and that the murdering entity in fact gets the guilt of entire nations wrong doesn't seem to matter either. And morality aside, make no mistake that one dark facet of this dark gem is that the high tech murder anywhere at anytime for any reason paradigm will not remain a one way street.

2/29/08- Telecom immunity is bad, but can Congress actually pass a law retroactively immunizing a private entity from civil liability in an ongoing action? What's a judge supposed to do with that?

It's called the rule of law, and like them or not it seems the Bush administration has pretty well dispensed with it.

2/27/08- Anybody else notice al-Sadr just extended his cease fire until two months before the election? What's up with that? Doesn't he know we're going to be busy with political stuff then?

But never mind that. Friends, Romans, coconspirators, settle no longer for getting your news from an ivory tower, because Beth at the Greenville News is now literally relaying it from Babel.

Maybe we really are on some preordained apocalypse gig.

2/26/08- I notice Paul Harvel's cartoon about Bob's new video is a reproduction.

2/23/08- Anybody besides me notice Turkey has invaded Iraq and our embassy in Serbia was looted yesterday?

2/22/08- Got an email from Bob this morning about his new video/campaign theme Get Down with Bob, and I'm actually at kind of a loss to parody it. And to be honest, I kind of feel like making fun of Bob is my turf and I don't need the competition. To be even more honest, his email arrived at the same time as an email with the news that Shriners has decided to accept Rusul for treatment. Rusul is an Iraqi girl who was injured in the war. She and her uncle will hopefully be here soon, and it looks like the decision is going to be to cut her foot off. And it's just not funny.

2/18/08- Back from Bob's Ham House talk, and let's just say it- the Republicans have screwed up so bad that like as not a black man with a Moslem name is going to be the next President. This awful reality hung palpably in the air, unspoken if not unmuttered, and no passing slogan nor wanly whistled tune could dispel its terrible onrush.

Turns out their big problem is a charisma deficit, so that they must now by way of remedy attempt to sell their war "winsomely", and I'm not making that up. I don't recall how they plan to sell everything else, but the prospect of selling a war winsomely sticks in my mind as perhaps the most novel marketing scheme in the long and colorful history of the discipline.

But for the cost, it would be a hoot.

2/6/08- Watched the clip of Bob on Colbert, and it was an appropriate venue to discuss his idea about a 35 foot high concrete wall along the Mexican border. As I put it in an email, it's probably more brainless than fascist. But I don't suppose practicality is much of a consideration.

Marketing, baby.


1/31/08- It looks like health care is going to be the big framing effort for Bob, which makes sense. It wasn't going to be the economy or immigration, and certainly not the war. Yes, health care is a mess, and no you couldn't realistically expect the Republicans to correct it, seeing as how they've overseen the descent, but at least it isn't a catastrophic failure, and who's to confidently say the Democrats wouldn't have done worse.

We aren't going to have socialized medicine in this country, there's too much money involved. We'll probably continue to slide that general direction, but we won't go so far as to materially impact the corporate bottom line, at least not anytime soon. Both parties are going to continue to pursue business as usual, and what's left of the free market will continue to try and cope. Get used to it.

1/18/08- Today's political phrase that pays is "economic stimulus", which coming from politicians means some variation on one or the other of the government's two basic tricks of taking or spending money, the conventional wisdom being that less of the first and more of the second is good for the economy. Of course anybody with a credit card can tell you where this will eventually lead, except that since the government can't exactly go "bankrupt" it instead sinks into "massive crippling debt", which leads to "runaway inflation". Which I suppose would call for the opposite of "economic stimulus", whatever the phrase for that is.

1/15/08- Had lunch with Griff today, and I think his idea about a federal community service program has merit, only I wouldn’t make it compulsory. It occurred to me talking about it that it could maybe get two or three birds with one stone if it was structured right. Such a program would be Constitutional if it was voluntary and if it employed people in pursuit of legitimate Constitutional ends, though let’s be clear that those legitimate ends don’t include giving the nation’s unfocused youth something to do, though I think that’s a fine side benefit. But perhaps the larger benefit of a correctly structured program might be to help revitalize the federal government with a steady infusion of youthful energy and ideas in place of the current ossification. Young people might come away from the program with an increased sense of maturity and purpose, and who’s to say the government might not do the same.

We also talked about the economy, and I’m supposed to come up with something to do about it. It’s the burger and fries of politics to make sweeping campaign promises about the economy, when in fact politicians actually have very little if any direct control over it. The truth is that the economy is basically just people doing things for each other, generally for money. The process requires a common transportation infrastructure, a regulatory playing field, and a medium of exchange, and the government helps the economy in such measure as it effectively and predictably provides these things. Beyond that, the government is in fact a demonstrable drain on the economy. Take as a particularly bad example the trillion dollars spent so far in Iraq. What do we have to show for it? Do we have a trillion dollars worth of roads or bridges? Do we have a trillion dollars worth of factories, homes, or food? No, we have a trillion dollars worth of corpses and a trillion dollars worth of ill will dragging down our exports to the rest of the world, along with the added drain of the usual wartime inflation. So be wary when these same architects tell you what they’re going to do for the economy.

6/24/08, post election- 32%. I'm not sure how often somebody gets a lower percentage in the runoff than in the primary. It looks like Corden's hit piece did its job. I talked fairly nonstop to voters the last few days and the animosity from a number of them was apparent. It was a cheap shot by a cheap politician. It worked.

Thanks to everybody who helped out. The core fringe discussed future options at Teresa's place this evening.

Ted. Doggonnit. You're not a bad dude, just tryin to be honest in a currupt game of crooked politics. If it means anything to you, YOU have revived my interest in politics. -Alan

lessons learned:
The biggest data point is just how far the system is from an ideal model, which is to say not really in the ballpark. So that's important to know.
campaign news

"Crestfallen campaign update"
Daisy's Dead Air, June 26, 2008

"Corden wins District 4 runoff"
Greenville News, June 25, 2008

"Christian's best for 4th District"
Greenville News, June 21, 2008

Daisy's Dead Air, June 11, 2008

"Energy, Iraq on candidates' minds"
Spartanburg Herald-Jrnl, June 9, 2008

"Christian disagrees with Inglis on energy"
Union Daily Times, June 3, 2008

"Twisting words"
Spartanburg Herald-Jrnl, June 2, 2008

"America's military too large, Congressional hopeful says"
Union Daily Times, June 2, 2008

"Inglis, Corden are top picks in 4th District race" Greenville News, May 29, 2008

Channel 4 video, May 23, 2008

Channel 7 video, May 16, 2008

"Taken out of context"
Spartanburg Herald-Jrnl, May 23, 2008

"It DOES take a rocket scientist!"
Daisy's Dead Air, May 15, 2008

"On 4/25, a letter was published supporting Ted Christian ..." Spartanburg Herald-Jrnl, May 4, 2008

"Christian for Congress!"
Daisy's Dead Air, April 18, 2008

"Democrat with coffers bare seeking Inglis' seat" Spartanburg Herald-Jrnl, April 8, 2008

"Upstate progressive throws hat into ring" SC Prog Blog, April 7, 2008

"Christian kicks off 4th District campaign"
Greenville News, March 31, 2008

"Local interest in 4th District high on both sides" Greenville News, March 30, 2008

"Two Democrats file for 4th District race"
Greenville News, March 20, 2008

how you can help
 put out a yard sign
 phone bank
 spread the word

Sharon says:
Thank you very much for being honest with me. I will do what I can to see you get elected. Please send me signs and let me know how I can help.

Ann says:
... just gave your business card (last night) to one of my colleagues who's with me and lives in Greenville (actually not far from you). I was talking to her about your campaign and you have the votes of her and her husband. I think you just might pull this off, Ted!

Ed says:
It’s great to see someone take on Inglis. Wish I could vote for this guy. We need some new blood, new ideas. Maybe we really are ready for change.

Daisy says:
Wow--he cleans up real good! Who knew?
Antiwar activist and all-round swell guy Ted Christian is running for Congress, South Carolina 4th district. The district Democratic primary is June 10th. If you are local, vote for him. If not, send him money!

Jennifer says:
you go for it, ted!

"B" (a Republican) says:
If you make it that far, I'll vote for you.

Jack Taylor says:
We need his mind at work in Washington.
quotes of the week:
“We have made it so politically dangerous and so legally difficult that we don’t capture anyone anymore,” Hayden said. “We take another option, we kill them. Now. I don’t morally oppose that.”
-Michael Hayden

"The American forces gathered the family members in one room and executed 11 persons, including five children, four women and two men."
-UN report

"The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians."
-Harry S. Truman

"You know what I worry most about: an unholy alliance between the right and the left." -Lindsey Graham

Daisy says:
I will be leafletting for Ted and busting my butt before the primary. He is a shaft of sunlight peeping through the door, a harbinger of a new Upstate that thrives on diversity and real debate. He signifies that the 4th district has come of age and is ready to entertain some actual political argument. GO TED!

John says:
After reading your thoughts on nuclear weapons, Guantanamo, the economy, social security, and so much more, you have my full support.

Gwynn T says:
You are definitely a small ray of hope in a big ugly place (politics) that I have long ago started to ignore. ... Thank you, and good luck... I'm gonna go pick out a shirt.

Steve says:
Great site. It took me getting my picture on there to go to it. I'm going to send it to my friends.

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last updated: September 12, 2012

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