Thursday, February 03, 2005


And or torture them. So Gonzales was confirmed, ratifying torture as the official policy of the United States. And some crazy general says it's fun to "shoot some people." He actually said it twice--the second time he said it's "a hell of a lot" of fun to shoot people who "ain't got no manhood left anyway."

What the hell kind of message does this send? I mean, it's one thing to talk about the glee one takes in shooting people, but atrocious grammar--that's beyond the pale!

That's a joke, of course. Remember how the Master Narrative required everyone to feel horror because supposedly Palestinians were dancing in the streets when they heard about 9/11? Well, this general's remark is basically the same type of thing. He's speaking for you and for me to the world when he says that, "Hey, I know the President and all his people have to pretend not to like killing Arabs, but I'm here to tell you that in reality, we love it--can't get enough!"

Imagine the right-wing reaction if Mahmoud Abbas or Zarqawi came out and said, "You know, these Americans let their women just run around half-naked all the time which is an insult to both man and God. They have no morals or manhood and so it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them." Oh how Rush-O'Reilly-Coulter-Hannity would burn! Such a remark would be ultimate proof of the inhumanity of "the terrorists," they'd say. These animals actually enjoy shooting people--they just come out and admit it, they'd say. That's why we have to take them out, they'd say. Well, what must the Islamic Rush-O'Reilly-Coulter-Hannity types be saying in response to this general?

And Coulter made a fool of herself on Canadian is awesome!

Hypocracy=hypocrisy + democracy

I received my copy of "Distorted Morality," the Chomsky speech at the Harvard School of Government in 2002. He basic argument is that America's "war on terror" (begun under Reagan) is in fact a logical impossibility because America is a terrorist state and one of the so-called "state sponsors" of terrorism. He lays it out so clearly and with a good deal more humor than is his wont.

Now saying that America is a terrorist state will not get you far on "Hardball" or "O'Reilly" or what have you. But that's because that statement violates the Master Narrative, which states that America is always right and everyone else is always wrong (with the possible exception of the British).

But Chomsky's point, and really it's very elementary, is that if an act is wrong for other people to do, then it is wrong for us to do. He points out that someone who doesn't act in accordance with that truism is what you would call a hypocrite. So for example, when George Bush bemoans the fact that "terrorists" killed 3,000 innocent civilians on 9/11, it is perfectly legitimate for Iraqis to bemoan the fact that U.S. "terrorists" have killed as many as 100,000 civilians. Or, if George Bush says that a "state sponsor of terrorism" like Iran should not be allowed to have a nuclear weapon because they support the Palestinians, it's perfectly legitimate for an ayatollah to say that the U.S. is a "state sponsor of terrorism" because of our support of Israel and yet we're allowed to have nuclear weapons. And so on.

Really, no one should be allowed to have nuclear weapons, but we can't uninvent them. The best way to confront them is to dispense with the idea that might makes right (which typical U.S. rhetoric disparages) and instead, negotiate and compromise with other nations.

Speaking of Iran...

Anybody see this story about Halliburton accepting a contract in Iran? I hope Robert Scheer confronts Tony Blankley with this on Left, Right and Center. Blankley suggested that Seymour Hersh is a traitor for his reporting on U.S. troop insertions in Iran. I wonder what Blankley thinks about Dick Cheney's former company contracting for business with an "evil" country. That would be quite in line with Republican morals and mores--remember Prescott Bush and a certain Austrian with a small mustache?

Johnny Cash and Gordon Perkins

I had no idea until this week that Johnny Cash lifted the melody and a good bit of the lyrics to "Folsom Prison Blues" from the Gordon Jenkins' tune "Crescent City Blues." I had never heard that until I checked out "Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison: The Making Of A Masterpiece" from the library. I guess that story doesn't fit the master narrative about rugged country stars...but it does say something that I've never heard "Crescent City Blues" while "Folsom Prison Blues" is available on 341 different collections done by everyone from the Gin Blossoms to Christ On A Crutch...

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