Roger Ebert on the mosque-troversy

Roger Ebert’s post on the Park 51 project is a must-read, but this bit about Sarah Palin was especially good:

6. Somewhere on the Right is an anonymous genius at creating memes. Sarah Palin floats a suspicious number of them: Death Panels, Ground Zero Mosque, 9/11 Mosque, Terror Babies. Her tweets are mine fields of coded words; for her, “patriot” is defined as, “those who agree with me.” When she says “Americans,” it is not inclusive. These two must have been carefully composed in advance to be tweeted within 60 seconds of each other:

     palin 21-38-56.jpg

By using the evocative word “shackles” she associates Dr. Laura’s use of the N-word with the suffering of slaves. By implying Dr. Laura was silenced by “Constitutional obstructionists,” she employs the methodology of the Big Lie, defined in Mein Kampf as an untruth so colossal that “no one would believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.” She uses the trigger word “reload” to evoke her support of Second Amendment activists while attacking “activists” for evoking the First.

She really does represent everything that is wrong with conservatism in this country. Nationalistic, hawkish, vapid, and above all dishonest. Quite the avatar for a dying movement. (Well, perhaps not quite dead yet…we’ll see what the upcoming elections hold. Still – any gains will be short-lived. There is no long-term sustainability to this movement. Obstructionism does not lead to good governance.)

Ebert also notes that on a 55,000 square foot retail mall is going to be built on Ground Zero – like some grotesque monument to the gods of consumerism, an epilogue to the infamous “don’t let the terrorists keep you from shopping” plea from George W. Bush. His (Ebert’s) alternative is much better (from a piece he wrote on September 12 2001):

If there is to be a memorial, let it not be of stone and steel. Fly no flag above it, for it is not the possession of a nation but a sorrow shared with the world.Let it be a green field, with trees and flowers. Let there be paths that wind through the shade. Put out park benches where old people can sun in the springtime, and a pond where children can skate in the winter.

Beneath this field will lie entombed forever some of the victims of September 11. It is not where they thought to end their lives. Like the sailors of the battleship Arizona, they rest where they fell.

Let this field stretch from one end of the destruction to the other. Let this open space among the towers mark the emptiness in our hearts. But do not make it a sad place. Give it no name. Let people think of it as the green field. Every living thing that is planted here will show faith in the future.

Let students from all lands take a sunny corner of the field and plant a crop there. Perhaps corn, our native grain. Let the harvest be shared all over the world, with friends and enemies, because that is the teaching of our religions. Let the harvest show that life prevails over death, and let the sharing show that we love our neighbors.

Do not build again on this place. No building can stand here. No building, no statue, no column, no arch, no symbol, no name, no date, no statement. Just the comfort of the earth, to remind us that we share it.

Amen to that.

P.S. – I almost forgot. This Julian Sanchez post is really also quite good as well:

David Roberts tweets:

Every ‘winger-driven faux story now has two phases. First headline: “Faux story!” Second: “Faux story becomes huge story!” Pathetic.

This is actually a bit truncated.  The steps are:

  1. Faux Story
  2. Why is the Em-Ess-Em ignoring this huge Faux Story?
  3. After days or weeks of flood-the-zone coverage across multiple conservative media outlets, some significant portion of the base is convinced that the faux story is true and/or significant.
  4. Mainstream press takes note of (3) and speculates about the political and electoral consequences
  5. Panicked Democrats react as though the faux story is true and/or significant
  6. See, we told you it was a huge story!

Lather, rinse, repeat.

I think there needs to be a bit about blaming the victim in there somewhere also, but otherwise this is just about right…






154 replies
  1. 1
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    She really does represent everything that is wrong with conservatism in this country. Nationalistic, hawkish, vapid, and above all dishonest

    Don’t forget paranoid nativism, anti-intellectualism and resentment.
    I would further add that no one should ever mention the poison that is Sarah Palin without recalling that there is only one reason she is a national figure: John McCain.
    And no one should ever mention John McCain without mentioning the poison he injected into our politics, in an act of cheap and calculated contempt for women, his own base, the Constitution, and the country.

    Ebert really is brilliant. PIty he never made the full on leap to the op-ed page like Frank Rich did. I think he’s much better.

  2. 2
    TuiMel says:

    I think Roger Ebert is a beautiful soul.

  3. 3
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: @TuiMel: I agree. Ebert is one of the best writers out there. And really pretty reliable with the film critiques as well.

  4. 4
    Gebghis says:

    If that is GW then I am shocked and amazed.

  5. 5
    duck-billed placelot says:

    oh, HI, there, E.D. Kain The Commenter! Come on in; the water’s fine! (Particularly on a post like this, which is pretty unobjectionable and points out some lovely writing by Ebert, who is quite the national treasure. [Maybe tomorrow you can try wading into comments on your own writing?])

  6. 6
    John Thullen says:

    E. D. Kain ain’t so bad, his own self.

    That said, this: “There is no long-term sustainability to this movement”

    There was no long-term sustainability to the Third Reich, nor to Stalinism, nor to the Kymer Rouge either.

    We’re dealing with evil here. It’s sustainability depends on the amount of violence – blood and treasure – used against it.
    The fact that it wears lipstick and possesses perky tits isn’t going to lower the body count.

    So, who is the anonymous genius behind Death Palin’s tweets whom Ebert refers to?

    Are we going to opinionate or report? That would be a scoop.

  7. 7
    MNPundit says:

    It doesn’t really matter if it is short lived. The window for meaningful action on things like climate change is nearly closed if not there already. By the time this ends it will be too late and then it will a time of iron and blood to secure resources.

    Thus we need to make it end.

  8. 8
    E.D. Kain says:

    @duck-billed placelot: Well maybe I will! (Though I’m told we like short pieces around here…)

  9. 9
    Yutsano says:

    @E.D. Kain: Screw that. Be you. Let the commentariat handle their own lookout.

  10. 10
    Mark S. says:

    Her tweets are mine fields of coded words; for her, “patriot” is defined as, “those who agree with me.” When she says “Americans,” it is not inclusive.

    I really think Palin is the most divisive politician I’ve ever seen. Most politicians at least occasionally try to say something inspiring or uplifting, imply that whatever our differences we are all Americans and we’re all one people, but not Sarah. It’s a constant barrage of us vs. them, snooty elitists trying to screw us real Muricans, etc.

  11. 11
    duck-billed placelot says:

    @E.D. Kain: Excellent news!

    sotto voce: For Hillary.

  12. 12
    d.s. says:

    Liberals never take conservatives seriously, and then they’re shocked as each successively more extreme version of conservatism hands their asses over to them at the ballot box.

    In 1978 Ronald Reagan was taken less seriously than Sarah Palin is today.

  13. 13
    joeyess says:

    Every ‘winger-driven faux story now has two phases. First headline: “Faux story!” Second: “Faux story becomes huge story!” Pathetic. This is actually a bit truncated. The steps are: Faux Story
    Why is the Em-Ess-Em ignoring this huge Faux Story?
    After days or weeks of flood-the-zone coverage across multiple conservative media outlets, some significant portion of the base is convinced that the faux story is true and/or significant.
    Mainstream press takes note of (3) and speculates about the political and electoral consequences
    Panicked Democrats react as though the faux story is true and/or significant
    See, we told you it was a huge story!
    Lather, rinse, repeat.

    and this is news, exactly, to whom?

    This shit has been going on for nearly 20 years now. Are some people just catching up to the game plan? How much film do you need?

    Jesus. No wonder this country is caught flat-footed on hot button issues.

  14. 14
    MeDrewNotYou says:

    Ebert also notes that on a 55,000 square foot retail mall is going to be built on Ground Zero – like some grotesque monument to the gods of consumerism, an epilogue to the infamous “don’t let the terrorists keep you from shopping” plea from George W. Bush.

    I hate to do this, so know that I mock you with love. Are you an idiot? Of course that’s the perfect memorial! Like building a mosque where Mohammed went to heaven, or a church where Jesus was born, we Americans are simply professing our faith.

  15. 15
    David Brooks (not that one) says:

    @duck-billed placelot: I don’t understand. After the initial criticism, and his reported difficulty of accessing it from work, I have seen significant amounts of Erik in the comments recently.

  16. 16
    MTiffany says:

    She really does represent everything that is wrong with conservatism in this country. Nationalistic, hawkish, vapid, and above all dishonest. Quite the avatar for a dying movement. (Well, perhaps not quite dead yet…we’ll see what the upcoming elections hold. Still – any gains will be short-lived. There is no long-term sustainability to this movement. Obstructionism does not lead to good governance.)

    I’m sure that lots of folks in Weimar Germany thought exactly the same about Hitler and the Nazis.

  17. 17

    Re: Ebert, I thought the New Yorker (?) profile a few months back was grand, and really made me appreciate him more. He always came off as something of an ass when he was on At the Movies with Siskel. Perhaps he’s mellowed with age.

    That said, the natural question that flows from your post (and previous posts) is why would you want to be associated in any way, shape or form with these assholes? It’s not just John Boehner or Sarah the Idiotarod from Alaska, but Megan McArdle and her ilk as well. And we’re not even approaching Michael Steele levels yet.

    Seriously, Kain, you need to come over to the dark side, where we can actually agree to disagree and still work the politics (firebaggers notwithstanding).

  18. 18
    Mary G says:

    Love Roger, also you, E.D., hang in there.

    What would really win over the commentariat here is pets. Even though you don’t have your own, find a relative or friend who will let you have some adorable pictures to post here.

  19. 19
    duck-billed placelot says:

    @David Brooks (not that one): See the Cash-For-Clunkers Clusterf*ck, and this post: http://www.balloon-juice.com/2.....nt-1990294

    Note: I am actually, despite my ‘for Hillary’ aside, quite looking forward to Kain engaging more in comments.

  20. 20
    d.s. says:

    @Mark S.: Oh come on. Barry Goldwater ran on a hysterical campaign that denied the humanity of African Americans and insisted that providing health care to the elderly was giving into the Russians.

    Reagan started his campaign on the spot where civil rights workers were murdered and praised “states rights.” He created a late swing in his favor by carpeting the airwaves in the South with ads that literally said “Gays in San Francisco elected a mayor. (Referring to the murdered mayor Moscone) Now they’re flexing their political message to elect a president. President Carter supports homosexual rights. Christians for Ronald Reagan.”

    Bush I made his campaign a referendum on a scary black rapist.

    Conservatives are evil, divisive people. They always have been.

  21. 21
    MattR says:

    Pretty sure I disagree with Ebert’s number 3

    The choice of location shows flawed judgment on the part of its imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf. He undoubtedly knows that now, and I expect his project to be relocated. The imam would be prudent to chose another location, because the far right wing has seized on the issue as an occasion for fanning hatred against Muslims.

  22. 22
    suzanne says:

    I don’t know about y’all, but I’m getting REEEEAL tired of people who aren’t architects, artists or urban planners talking about what *should* be at Ground Zero. A fucking interactive cornfield? Bush, you’re a fucking moron. An ice skating pond? Seriously, just shut the fuck up.

    I’d say we should get Maya Lin on the case, but after the abuse she got the last time, she probably wouldn’t want the work.

  23. 23
    Violet says:

    @Gebghis:
    It’s not GW. It’s Ebert. Kain’s sentence prior to the quote is slightly confusing.

    She really does represent everything that is wrong with conservatism in this country. Nationalistic, hawkish, vapid, and above all dishonest. Quite the avatar for a dying movement. (Well, perhaps not quite dead yet…we’ll see what the upcoming elections hold. Still – any gains will be short-lived. There is no long-term sustainability to this movement. Obstructionism does not lead to good governance.)

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. That’s funny. I thought you were suggesting that conservatives want to govern and do it well. Oh, wait…you’re serious? Really? Since when have conservatives been serious about governing? I haven’t seen evidence of it in quite some time. Decades, really. They’ve been all about social issues and divisive wedge issues for ages.

  24. 24
    Yutsano says:

    @suzanne: Is she even working? I agree that she most likely wouldn’t go through that again, however her design was selected in a contest so saying the Viet Nam memorial is all her fault is a bit disingenuous. Of course we’re talking about conservatives here…

    And having been to the Viet Nam Veterans’ Memorial, I found it both respectful and moving. I even saw a couple of vets rub names off while I was there.

    @Violet: Governing means making unpopular decisions that may not enrich the top 1% and also don’t result in bumper sticker sized slogans. Better to pout like children and let the Democrats clean up the messes and then give out the goodies when the public sours on the actual governance.

  25. 25
    E.D. Kain says:

    @John Thullen: That would be a good scoop! But I have no idea. Matt Continetti maybe…?

  26. 26
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Yutsano: Heh. Thanks Yutsano.

  27. 27
    Violet says:

    @suzanne:
    It’s not Bush. It’s Ebert’s article from September 12, 2001.

  28. 28

    @Yutsano:
    Yeah, she caught a lot of shit for the Vietnam Memorial, but after it was actually built and all, it’s been one of the more “successful” memorials, imho. That WWII memorial is just way too audacious. I think she struck the right tone. My vet father and stepfather are of a similar opinion.

  29. 29
    Violet says:

    @Yutsano:

    Governing means making unpopular decisions that may not enrich the top 1% and also don’t result in bumper sticker sized slogans. Better to pout like children and let the Democrats clean up the messes and then give out the goodies when the public sours on the actual governance.

    Exactly. The suggestion that conservatives want to govern is hilarious to me. No disrespect meant to Kain. But I literally laughed out loud when I read his sentence. When the “Republicans are the Party of No” thing was going on last year, the Republicans were just giddy being the Party of No. They were happy to be known as doing nothing.

    Sarah Palin is the crystallization of that do-nothing governing style. She doesn’t do work, period. Fits them just perfectly.

  30. 30
    Jewish Steel says:

    Shorter John Thullen/arguingwithsignposts/d s/et al:

    Mr. Kain, you party sucks.

  31. 31
    suzanne says:

    @Yutsano: Yes, she’s still working. She does more sculptural stuff now. She’s awesome, and I love her.

    I think the Vietnam Vets Memorial is one of the most amazingly beautiful experiences I have ever had. An interactive place for memory and healing, while courageously confronting horror. It makes me angry to think about the hell she went through while that project was built. Well, she got the last laugh—it’s beloved now.

  32. 32
    duck-billed placelot says:

    @suzanne: What Violet said, and also – I’m pretty much ok with people saying what SHOULD be at Ground Zero. Since it’s, like, a national monument space to a shared traumatic event (obviously more closely shared and more traumatic for some). Ideas: welcome! It’s when people bitch and moan about what shouldn’t be at (areas vaguely near) Ground Zero that I get all het up.

  33. 33
    Kryptik says:

    @MattR:

    Honestly, from my understanding, the location was chosen not for its actual proximity toward…anywhere specific aside from being located in lower Manhattan, but for a more practical reason. That being, the previous owner(s) couldn’t give the place away before and it was eventually priced at a relative steal.

    And honestly, for all his lucidity, I find myself disappointed that Ebert would endorse moving the location, precisely because of the hate and bigotry that the place is supposed to help fight against.

  34. 34
    suzanne says:

    @Violet: Ah, thank you, I misread the line before the blockquote.

    In that case, Ebert, seriously. I love you, man, but shut the hell up.

  35. 35
    Yutsano says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: It would be nice if they gave the actual history of the Iwo Jima flag raising while also memorializing the whole war. It was done twice because the cameraman wanted a better angle for the filming. Our entertainment culture doesn’t come out of a vacuum.

    @Violet: It seems like beating up, but there’s a fantastic example of this effect down south of me: California. The Republican governor will do everything BUT the one thing that makes sense and is virtually impossible to do because of structural issues: raise taxes. They can’t even get themselves to admit that before Prop 13 the state was doing some amazing social good. Instead of common sense tweaks to keep folks in their homes they gave away the farm to the ultra rich and then played games until it all fell apart.

  36. 36
    Mark S. says:

    @d.s.:

    I’m not saying Palin invented this type of rhetoric; I’m saying it’s the only rhetoric she ever uses.

  37. 37
    E.D. Kain says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: I’m not really sure why you think I’m associated with anyone in particular. Generally I write from a liberal or liberal-tarianish perspective about things. Occasionally I try to poke holes in some economics issues that I think some liberals are wrong about, but I’m hardly doing anything to ingratiate myself with the conservative movement or with libertarians writ large.

  38. 38
    duck-billed placelot says:

    @Jewish Steel: I’m pretty sure Kain has protested vehemently that he’s not a Republican. Not that many people around here hold libertarians in much higher regard…

  39. 39
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Violet: Where did I write that I think conservatives are serious about governing. Quite the contrary. Conservatives are serious about winning.

  40. 40

    @E.D. Kain:

    And now, we welcome Mr. Kain to Balloon Juice. For Reals.

  41. 41
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Mary G: Aw…thanks. I appreciate that.

  42. 42
    duck-billed placelot says:

    @E.D. Kain: Aw, the warm and fuzzy Ebert-appreciation thread was nice while it lasted, wasn’t it? Good on you, though, and looking forward to more Kain 2.0: Now With Interactive Features.

  43. 43
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Violet: I’m honestly confused by how you read my sentence. What exactly do you think I’m saying when I write that obstructionism does not lead to good governance?

  44. 44
    suzanne says:

    @duck-billed placelot: Perhaps I’m just pissy because I just had to pee for the third time in half an hour, maybe it’s because I’m an architecture student, but I get real cranky when people make completely unrealistic and poorly-thought-through suggestions based on emotion. That chunk of land is enormous and hugely valuable—converting it all into a fucking cornfield is ridiculous. And, of all the beautiful and moving memorials I’ve ever been to, none of them have involved a kids’ ice rink. There are many constituencies at play in this case, and a bucolic vision of children dancing in a fake-ass meadow isn’t moving the already torturous process forward an inch.

    Damn, I have to go pee AGAIN.

  45. 45
    Violet says:

    @E.D. Kain:
    Somebody thinks you’re a conservative, since you made that list of up and coming conservatives, or whatever they called it. DougJ linked to it last week, I think. Don’t recall who compiled the list.

    Didn’t John Cole introduce you to us as a conservative? I can’t remember now.

  46. 46

    @duck-billed placelot:

    I’m pretty much ok with people saying what SHOULD be at Ground Zero. Since it’s, like, a national monument space to a shared traumatic event (obviously more closely shared and more traumatic for some).

    Um, no. I’m sorry. I was in South Carolina at the time, and although there was a lot of emo in the immediate aftermath (“Things will never be the same”), it honestly didn’t affect me or the people I interacted with one way or another.

    So I think people who aren’t in NYC or the vicinity shouldn’t have a goddamned thing to say about it.

    Murrah Federal Bldg. Walk through that memorial sometime and see those small chairs for all the kids that were killed.

    Fuck, I hate rightwhiners so much sometimes.

  47. 47
    jacy says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    Not necessarily short pieces, but just a few points at a time. Makes for easier targets. I kid, I kid.

    I have been enjoying your posts on your own blog, which I would not have found had you not been here. There a place for everything.

  48. 48
    Jewish Steel says:

    @duck-billed placelot:

    Ah yes, I see. Just as he as said right above you.

    I suspected the lack of definite party affiliation but it ruined my nice Ebert allusion you see…

    And I won’t have my hands tied by the truth.

  49. 49
    Church Lady says:

    @E.D. Kain: Then it seems that there will be a lot of happy Conservatives next November.

  50. 50
    E.D. Kain says:

    @duck-billed placelot: I’m neither a Republican or a libertarian. I have some libertarian beliefs and I may tend to be a bit more economically conservative than a lot of people around here, but I think I’m pretty much an independent with pretty liberal leanings on most issues. I still think decentralizing power, using markets wherever possible, etc. are good things that have good effects on society as a whole but I would hardly qualify myself as conservative or libertarian and most conservatives and libertarians would agree.

  51. 51

    @E.D. Kain:
    I’m sorry if I misconstrued the direction you’re coming from. But your billing here was something of a conservative/libertarian viewpoint.

    But the people you seem to like to cite are not serious. Yglesias being the latest point of reference, not to mention the C4C fiasco.

  52. 52
  53. 53
  54. 54
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Violet: Violet, when the Arizona SB 1070 law went into effect I basically said screw conservatism I want nothing to do with it. I’m trying to figure out what to do with the ashes of my ideology.

  55. 55
    jacy says:

    @Violet:

    I think Cole used the phrase “sane conservative.”

    He did it on purpose, I’m sure. Like a red flag in a corral of bulls. In retrospect, probably not the most helpful introduction for Mr. Kain. Unless Cole has taken up 11-dimensional chess and has outsmarted us all.

    Sometimes I wish labels were less, well, label-y, but those are the breaks.

  56. 56
    duck-billed placelot says:

    @suzanne:

    Yeah, I get that Ebert’s idea is practically impossible. But I do think it’s a category apart from the whole non-mosque near Ground Zero bullshit. “Sweet But Useless” versus “Barely Disguised Racist Fear-Mongering”. And yes, a ag-student project and an ice rink seem pretty preposterous, although I kind of love the idea of there being a government position of “Monument Zamboni Operator”. (As for the peeing, I shouldn’t inquire, but my curiosity is completely piqued. Espresso shots or a bambino?)

  57. 57
    E.D. Kain says:

    @jacy: Thanks, glad to hear it. Hey, just thought of this. Here’s an interview I did with John Cole at the League a while back y’all might find interesting.

  58. 58

    @E.D. Kain:
    Technically, SB1070 still isn’t in effect, but I get your point.

    p.s. – reacting in the comments. I like this new Kain. What did you do with that other bastard, Brick oven Bill?!?!?

  59. 59
    E.D. Kain says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: We’re not always going to agree, you know? I like Yglesias quite a bit. And I linked to Quiggin the other day – surely he’s considered serious around these parts? I have been thinking a Lot about the C4C thing by the way. I’m going to respond but I have to sort out my thoughts. Lots of good (and some not so good) pushback and I think I have some ‘splainin to do.

  60. 60
    Violet says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    I’m honestly confused by how you read my sentence. What exactly do you think I’m saying when I write that obstructionism does not lead to good governance?

    I’ll try to answer. You wrote:

    She really does represent everything that is wrong with conservatism in this country. Nationalistic, hawkish, vapid, and above all dishonest. Quite the avatar for a dying movement. (Well, perhaps not quite dead yet…we’ll see what the upcoming elections hold. Still – any gains will be short-lived. There is no long-term sustainability to this movement. Obstructionism does not lead to good governance.)

    You are referring to Sarah Palin (she is the “She” in the opening sentence). You describe her as “everything that’s wrong with conservatism.” If she is “everything that is wrong,” then what is right with it? Anything? Rather than you saying that the problem is conservatism in general (as it’s defined in modern day American, not as it might be in some perfect world), you set up the structure so that there is someone who embodies everything that is wrong, so there logically must be someone or something that embodies what is right. (Reagan, possibly?)

    You also refer to the movement as “dying,” which implies that at some point it must have been more vibrantly alive. Following that, you describe it as not having long-term sustainability and then describe why: because it’s based on obstructionism, which doesn’t lead to good governance.

    I completely agree that obstructionism doesn’t lead to good governance. You’ll get no arguments there from me. What I don’t agree with, and perhaps you didn’t mean it this way and I am reading into what you wrote, is the implication that the movement was better in some past time, but now it’s “nationalistic, hawkish, vapid, and above all dishonest.”

    I think that for some time now, decades even, what self-proclaimed conservatives claim is conservatism has been exactly what you described. So that’s why I laughed. It was at the implication that it’s somehow worse now, that Sarah Palin is the apex, or nadir, of conservatism. She’s awful, for sure. But she’s not a lot different than other conservatives in the past. She’s just less polished and more open about it.

    And welcome to the comments, btw! It’s good to discuss things with you here. You’re up late. Baby keeping you up?

  61. 61
    Mike Schilling says:

    Conservatives are serious about winning.

    No shit. Liberals like to count moral victories while conservatives grab the real ones. “Look, while they were securing their base by smearing Elena Kagan, they slandered Thurgood Marshall too. That’s really going to hurt them with all the fair-minded people who remember what a great man Marshall was.”

  62. 62
    duck-billed placelot says:

    @Jewish Steel: And I won’t have my hands tied by people posting comments during the time it takes me to type mine!!

    Ah, balloon-juice. I wonder what the average wpm typing speed of the commentariat is here?

  63. 63
    E.D. Kain says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: I had to put him down, unfortunately. Poor bastard.

  64. 64

    @E.D. Kain:
    Actually, I though the interviews with various bloggers was one of the things that was nice about LoOG (after seeing the Cole interview). But I admit I didn’t follow it too closely. Not enough pet threads. :)

  65. 65
    Yutsano says:

    @E.D. Kain: Oh see you just HAD to go and show a pic of Lily and Tunch. Now how are we supposed to poutrage at you after seeing that?

  66. 66
    duck-billed placelot says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: This is…interesting. I feel like there might be some fertile territory in the question of how large (and how appropriately/inappropriately) 9/11 looms in our culture – both inside and outside. How it changed our path, and how it colors how the world sees us.

    I mean, yes, clearly, if your brother was a firefighter who died in the towers, 9/11 wounded you in a way that the rest of us have no claim on. And also, 100% clearly, no-one (I’d say not even 9/11 victims’ familes) should have a say-so on NYC zoning laws.

  67. 67
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Violet: I see. Well, look, I think that these labels are simply disastrous to how we talk about politics. Was there a golden age of conservatism? No, probably not. Has there been usefulness in some conservative ideas? I think so. But I was referring to the conservative movement dying and there has been nothing useful about it even when it was very much alive.

    No – the baby isn’t keeping me up. I’m staying up late to chat with you all. And have a beer. I’m in a much better mood than I was yesterday, so…why not hang out and chat?

  68. 68
    suzanne says:

    @duck-billed placelot: Okay, I see your point. I just get frustrated because of the whole tendency to design by committee, which invariably produces shit. The design that won the planning competition already sucks. The buildings aren’t any better. Sadly, the new WTC is not going to have the clarity and power of the first.

    Oh, and the answer is bambino. Well, bambina. Who is currently kickboxing my internal organs. I guess they needed the workout.

  69. 69
    Violet says:

    @E.D. Kain:
    It sucks when your ideology is destroyed. It’s healthy too, though. It forces you to look at things more realistically, rather than getting by on sticking with a team just because.

    I don’t think you are going to find a party that represents your ideology. You’re going to have to do the best you can. Right now, as someone on this blog (was it Cole?) wrote recently, the Democrats are the only party that is even dealing in reality. The Republicans are so crazy as to be scary. So I’m sticking with the Dems unless a better option comes along.

  70. 70
    300baud says:

    I appreciate being reminded that there are conservatives who are not part of this vileness. From the media, it’s hard to tell that sometimes.

    I agree that this madness is not sustainable, but I am becoming concerned about the amount it will take down with it when it goes. For example, 10 years ago I never would have imagined that I would have to actually advocate against government torture, let alone apparently be in the minority on it.

  71. 71
    GregB says:

    Sarah Palin is an anagram for Sharia Plan.

    Thought you all should know.

    She’s the real Manicurian Candidate.

  72. 72
    Violet says:

    @E.D. Kain:
    But you can’t really have politics without labels. Eventually people need to corral together to get things done. Hence political parties. The ones we’ve got now are moribund and outdated and could probably do with a refresh. Perhaps that’s what we’re seeing now with the Tea Party.

    Conservatism as a leaning seems okay to me. As a movement it seems impossible to sustain. It’s sort of based on not wanting things to change. That’s impossible.

  73. 73
    Violet says:

    @E.D. Kain:
    BTW, I appreciate you staying up to chat with us. It definitely makes the discussion more interesting. I wish you could find a workaround for during the day, but thanks for making the effort tonight. I’m heading to bed, where I should have been hours ago. Enjoy your beer!

  74. 74
    Yutsano says:

    @suzanne: I just noticed this:

    Perhaps I’m just pissy because I just had to pee for the third time in half an hour, maybe it’s because I’m an architecture student, but I get real cranky when people make completely unrealistic and poorly-thought-through suggestions based on emotion.

    ARCHITORTURE?? ARE YOU DAFT WOMAN?? I’m amazed they even let you out of the building! The running joke when I was in college was by your third year you were essentially imprisoned in the building and allowed to emerge the day before graduation. I respect you and all but dear Allah how are you even able to comment??

  75. 75
    Jewish Steel says:

    @duck-billed placelot:

    In five minutes light travels 55 884 600 miles.

    Mars is about 78 million miles away, so posting on WP with its five minute delay is a bit like communicating with Earth on one’s way to Mars.

    I know that’s barely relevant to your point, but it just occurred to me. Science fiction dork that I am.

  76. 76
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Violet: I typically vote Democratic – but here in AZ the GOP is especially loony. So even when I was calling myself a conservative I didn’t vote GOP!

  77. 77
    Violet says:

    @E.D. Kain:
    LOL. Well, Nixon would be considered a raving commie pinko soshulist these days, so labels are pretty fluid.

    Isn’t your Governor up for re-election this year? Is she going to win?

    Okay, I really do have to get to bed. Night all.

  78. 78
    duck-billed placelot says:

    @E.D. Kain: @E.D. Kain: As many have pointed out, you were sold to us (and apparently whoever lists up-and-coming bright young conservative things) as a conservative or libertarian of some flavor. Violet makes a pretty good case on the no-good-options thing. And actually.. this is something you’ve run into here before, right? Labels: you hate them, we totally get it. But, alas, there are truly horrible ‘centrist’ people, who cover for those people you find so reprehensible. So most likely people here will keep pushing, because it makes no sense (to us) for you to keep lending some of your nice-guy-cred to those awful jerks. And that’s what it feels like, due to the crappily sophomoric political culture. I mean, if you have to qualify your labels anyway, why not just lend progressives your nice guy cred, and explain to conservatives that, actually, you like market-based solutions?

  79. 79
    duck-billed placelot says:

    @suzanne: Congratulations! I hear pliable organs are healthier; think of it as a massage for your spleen.

    Also, I don’t know what you’re talking about, vis a vis problems with design by committee. Most Hollywood blockbusters are designed by committee, and those are excellent pieces of artwork that will stand the test of time!

  80. 80
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Violet: It’s fun! I wish I could do it more! Cheers!

  81. 81
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    She really does represent everything that is wrong with conservatism in this country. Nationalistic, hawkish, vapid, and above all dishonest

    I have tried to imagine her in her private moments. No matter how hard I try, I just can never visualize her having a conversation with Todd (for instance) about any ideals that drive her – “Honey, people have stopped believing in the exceptionalism of this great country. I think we need to work to restore that sense of greatness.” Seriously, I can’t even see her talking about running for mayor in any sort of altruistic way. Every step has been about consolidating her own position, feeding her own narcissism, advancing her/their self-interest.

    I suggest this as a mental exercise for anyone who imagines for a minute that the Palins are anything but deeply cynical hucksters.

  82. 82
    E.D. Kain says:

    @duck-billed placelot: Yeah, this is just one of my failings. I’ve called myself a progressive before, however, though I spent way too many words trying to say it.

  83. 83

    @E.D. Kain:
    Ur doing it wrong. I believe the correct term is “suck a bag of salty dicks.”

  84. 84
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals: I see them talking about money a lot, though. And how to make loads and loads more of it.

  85. 85

    @E.D. Kain:

    It’s hard to know who to look to for information. It’s harder even to find sources of info that are intellectually honest and rigorous. I myself, identify first and foremost as a Skeptic. Politics comes a bit further down the road, but this is the community I have identified and associated with the most. Politics has experienced vitriol as long as there has been a place in it for free speech, but in the skeptical community, it is creeping and hatred and a priori dismissal along with an attitude of hubris have found their way into intra-communal discussions. Dr. Phil Plait from Discover magazine (his show debuts this Sunday. Set your DVRs) addressed this head on in a speech to fellow Skeptics last July. I think many of the points he raises could also be applied easily to the political conversation and the partisan climate in this country.

    http://mblogs.discovermagazine.....the-video/

  86. 86
    E.D. Kain says:

    Okay I’m off to bed. Will try to catch up a bit more in the AM. Cheers.

  87. 87
    duck-billed placelot says:

    @Jewish Steel: Uh, I believe relevance is irrelevant when you manage to liken my arguing on the Internet with freaking spacetravel in a rational and reasonable way.

    Screw pajamas; I’m getting a spacesuit.

  88. 88
    Mark S. says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    Also, the late night crew here is generally a lot more laid back than the morning one.

  89. 89
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    Yeppers.

  90. 90
    duck-billed placelot says:

    @E.D. Kain: Yeah, your linked piece (although I didn’t read the embedded links there) was interesting, but when you qualify progressive with ‘maybe, just barely’, it only maybe just barely counts. As for the labels as a whole – as someone who thinks we’ll see Roe v Wade rolled back within the next 20 years, I found your ‘pro-life’ label really troubling for the same reasons your aversion to calling yourself progressive – and your willingness to claim the conservative label, even if only for sections of your ideology – is troubling. It comes down to this: Those guys are assholes! You’re not an asshole! Don’t let them point to you as proof that they’re not all assholes!

    Thanks for joining us tonight.

  91. 91
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals:

    What an interesting thought experiment. I’m trying it with all kinds of politicians.

    Mostly I’m seeing stereotypes. That is doubtless a failure of imagination on my part coupled with the 2 dimensional figures politicians perforce cut in order to get their point across.

    My own dear mother has a streak of conservatism in her. It is fueled in part by a healthy paranoia she developed being a single mom who struggled to get on in the world. I get why she feels selfish about some stuff. She had to be tough in order to see us through.

    I imagine the Palins have this same kind of paranoia but ramped up to a sociopathic degree. If you could peer behind the curtain I’ll bet you’d find Nixonian levels of fear and loathing. A world populated soley by enemies or benefactors.

  92. 92
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @MattR: Agreed. When I first read this list, I wanted to yell at him for that one. It nearly negates the rest of his points because this is the one that is so insidious. There was nothing wrong in the choice of location–as evidenced by no outcry when the project first came into being.

    @E.D. Kain: After reading your first few posts, I knew you were not a Republican or even a libertarian, really. And, I back Yutsy on using as many words as you like. I enjoy the pontification, but that’s probably because I’m apt to do it myself.

    @suzanne: OK, what grief did she get at the time? Am I gonna be really mad when I Google this?

  93. 93
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Mark S.: NB: The inventor of the rusty pitchfork and/or Garden Weasel is a late nighter.

    And we love her. Just put the farm implements down…

  94. 94
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Mark S.: Fuck you! We are not! You take that back, asshole!

    Heh. I’m just messing with you. It’s actually one reason I prefer the late-night shift, myself.

    @NobodySpecial: Fuck you, too! Hey! I resemble that remark! Where’s my Roto-Rooter?? #Storms off in a huff#

    I love messing with you guys.

  95. 95

    @asiangrrlMN:
    The non-gentlewoman from Minnesota will yield. She is correct to hold her rusty farm implements ™ at ease! /anthonyweinervoice.

  96. 96
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: The non-gentlewoman from MN WILL NOT yield her rusty farm implements! The “gentleman” from the Land of Lincoln is correct in backing the fuck down!

    @Yutsano: I read. And now, it’s revered. Funny how history can do that. I will check out the link naow.

  97. 97
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: In extremely brief summary: when her design was revealed it was considered both disrespectful and had sociaIist elements, so a few vets raised an unholy stink. It now stands as not only one of the most visited monuments in DC but is also considered one of the most moving. I’ll be even happier when they finish the war dog memorial.

    And ED gave you an extra special present in the interview he linked to with JC. The interview itself is good but it’ll become obvious once you open it up. :)

  98. 98
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Yutsano: Oh yeah! I saw that when it was first posted because Cole linked to it. TUNCHIE! #Swooning so hard, I drop my trusty rusty pitchfork#

    @arguingwithsignposts: No. I do not consider that an insult. Unless it’s a bag of dicks that include Cheney’s, McCain’s, and Rummy’s.

  99. 99

    @asiangrrlMN:
    What, no “suck a bag of salty dicks”? {sulks to the corner}

  100. 100
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: I love how Miss Lily looks every inch the lady that she is. But yeah I knew for sure what exactly was going to warm your heart there. :)

    @arguingwithsignposts: Get over it Alice. We can’t all be superstars.

  101. 101

    @Yutsano:
    C’mon, Yuts. “Lighten up, Francis” is the corrective that is in order here.

    Such a sloppy commentariat! What is wrong with you people on the Internets!

  102. 102
    MattR says:

    If y’all could only see how much crap I am packing for my three week “work-cation” to a beach house on the jersey shore. Yet I am still convinced that I am gonna forget something important. Good thing it is only an hour and a half drive back home. I just grabbed my checkbook. What else am I forgetting that is unique to being gone that long?

  103. 103
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    I agree it’s hard to see most politicians being motivated privately by some of the blather they spout publicly.

    But Palin’s blather is way over the top, and in addition she chooses to make her narrative highly personal.

    Now I can see the young married Obamas, for instance, discussing larger ideas in all sincerity. After all, he was a community organizer and later an academic, both of which require a level of …what, ideation? In any case, while much of his public speaking is lofty, he has a pragmatism to him and I can sense the connection to some personal values.

    The Clintons? All policy all the time. No doubt a lot of their personal time was given to politicizing and plotting self-advancement, but still you have the sense that they operate off ideas if not ideals.

    With Palin, I get a total disconnect.

  104. 104
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @MattR: If you are of the non-white persuasion, your birth certificate. Other than that, you can pretty much buy anything you need. Unless you don’t have your credit card. Seriously. I used to do what you’re doing until I realized that I really only needed monies and my ticket (if I was flying).

    ETA: Condoms. Just in case.

    @Yutsano: Lily was in the picture?

    ETA: Night, hon. Hope you can tolerate the miserable city tomorrow and that your headache goes away.

    @arguingwithsignposts: Fuck you with a rusty pitchfork! There. You just got hit with my own special tagline. You can unclutch your pearls now.

  105. 105
    Yutsano says:

    @MattR: My rule on this: take anything you can’t go to the store and buy easily. Please note this includes clothing and other accessories. Otherwise just make sure you have everything necessary to work. Oh and there had better be fun in there too. We shan’t stand for anything less.

    @arguingwithsignposts: Sheesh. I get creative ONCE and it gets shot down. I’mma gonna go pout now!

    Actually I’m going to bed because A) I have a headache and B) I have to drive in the morning. Night y’all.

  106. 106
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @MattR:

    Prescriptions. Never know when you might need a refill or lose your glasses.

  107. 107
    James E. Powell says:

    @d.s.:

    Reagan was taken very seriously in 1978. He mounted a pretty strong challenge to a sitting president in 1976. He was a national figure when there was no right-wing media complex. He was, at all times leading up to the 1980 primaries, a major contender if not the front-runner. That he lost the Iowa caucuses to Bush was more about the low regard for the Iowa caucuses at that time than it was about Reagan’s candidacy.

  108. 108
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals: By the way, I tried your method for parallel parking and totally fucked it up, so I resorted to my old method of jerking back and forth until the car was reasonably park. I am an idiot.

  109. 109

    @asiangrrlMN:
    I bow in honor of the queen. :)

    given the well-known care with which you season your rusty farm implements ™, I cannot but consider it an honor to have my pearls skewered in such a manner!

  110. 110
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Lighten up, Francis! Heh. How you be? How is the lovely Lady Smudge?

    @Zuzu’s Petals: The problem is I’m an idiot with no spatial/depth perception. In other words, user error!

  111. 111

    @Zuzu’s Petals:
    Seconded. If you have contacts, make sure the replacement lenses are in the kit bag.

  112. 112
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    No! I can’t believe it. It’s foolproof…well, supposedly.

    Was there a problem lining up the car in your mirror in the first place? That does take some positioning.

  113. 113
    MattR says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals: I am actually getting my new glasses tomorrow and picking up refills from CVS.

    @Yutsano: I am going to be very close to where they are filming The Jersey Shore, but I don’t think they share my idea of fun. There will definitely be plenty of relaxing and I will be getting visitors on the weekend.

    I know I can buy anything I need but I would prefer to avoid the tourist prices. And I dont really want/need another set of linens or a towel or things like that (The house supposedly has all that, but I am kinda picky about that kind of thing) Right now I think the craziest thing I am bringing is my printer, though I can’t pack any of the computer gear until after work tomorrow.

    @arguingwithsignposts: Unfortunately, I have only a single “sample” set of the new lenses. My order is not gonna make it in time. But I think they said they would give me a second set of samples to see me through.

    (EDIT: Not that I will complain if this happens, but Murphy’s Law dictates that someone will make an offer on my condo during the first few days I am gone since that means I will have to come home and take care of all those details, including finding a new house)

  114. 114

    @asiangrrlMN:
    the Lady is currently sleeping at the end of the bed, curled up in a ball. I imagine she is plotting her return to my chest/head after I fall asleep at some point this evening, where she can exercise her claws and purr til her heart’s content.

  115. 115
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Yep. I remember the woman in back of me on the airport shuttle bus realizing she’d left her glasses at home just as we pulled away. “Now my whole vacation will be ruined,” she moaned.

    Of course there were plenty of optometrists in Puerta Vallarta (her destination) where she could easily have gotten new glasses if she had her prescription with her. Failing that, she could have had her own optometrist fax it to them.

    Anyhoo, I always travel with my eyeglass prescription.

  116. 116
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @MattR: I hear you. No reason to be gouged if you can avoid it. Still, really, toothpaste/brush/floss, soap, shampoo/conditioner, shaving stuff…I think that should about cover it for a guy, yes?

    I actually have a back-up pair of specs, so I could bring that, too if need be. I have no idea where my prescription is.

    @arguingwithsignposts: Aw. Love that girl. And, I know you do, too, no matter how much she tries to smother you in your sleep.

  117. 117
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @MattR:

    Well heck, if you’re driving you might as well do what I do when car camping: bring your special pillow.

    IOW, you can’t really overpack.

  118. 118
    MattR says:

    @asiangrrlMN: It’s all the random crap that could happen during three weeks. For example, how much long sleeved clothing do I bring? The next few days look like pretty warm weather, but I expect there will be at least a few evening that get quite cool.

    (I do think I got all the improtant dog things including the month end heartworm and flea/tick treatments)

    @Zuzu’s Petals: Which is why I started my original comment with “If y’all could only see how much crap I am packing” :) Yet I know despite all the overpacking I will forget something important and obvious. (I actually managed to come home from college one weekend without packing underwear)

  119. 119

    @Zuzu’s Petals:

    bring your special pillow.

    Did anyone see Yglesias’ “special pillow” post a couple of days ago.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  120. 120
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    I imagine the Palins have this same kind of paranoia but ramped up to a sociopathic degree. If you could peer behind the curtain I’ll bet you’d find Nixonian levels of fear and loathing. A world populated soley by enemies or benefactors.

    PS, I’d meant to say I think this is spot on.

  121. 121
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @MattR: Oh, I definitely hear you on that. I always bring too much clothes because of the vagaries of weather. I am with you on that one. Glad Ellie is going with you this trip! How is she?

    @arguingwithsignposts: Ha! That’s funny. I often travel with a stuffed animal.

  122. 122
    Shalimar says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals: If Sarah Palin really is the narcissist she appears to be, then there are no ideals which drive her that she could talk about. There is her “team” that helps her achieve her personal goals, and then her enemies who have said mean things about her. That is her world, and there is nothing more to it than for or against her. No one else even reaches the level of consciousness, let alone empathy.

    If true, this would be why she isn’t even coherent when she talks. There are no underlying values behind the words she strings together.

  123. 123
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Well sure. They’re Brits. And Spaniards.

  124. 124
    MattR says:

    @asiangrrlMN: She is doing well. Curious to see how she reacts to the beach and ocean. She doesn’t seem to like the water much but I am hoping she just needs to get used to it (and maybe seeing some other dogs having fun will encourage her) The real annoyance (or maybe godsend) is that I put a ton of stuff in storage several months ago as I prepared to put my place on the market and I dont know that I want to dig through it all to get a couple things I would like to have – speakers for my mp3 player, some DVDs and books, some of the extra linens I didn’t think I would need.

    @arguingwithsignposts: No special pillow for me. I do still have one stuffed animal, Herman, a stuffed giraffe I got when I was an infant but he does not travel with me.

  125. 125
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Shalimar:

    Right. And I really started thinking about this while watching the more recent videos of her taken while she was in the midst of hanging with her family. How she could just be snapping her gum one minute and then spring into that strained, screechy talking-point mode with strangers holding up signs or walking up to her in airports…so jarring when you’re used to seeing the prepackaged media presentation.

  126. 126
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Shalimar: I am with you on ‘no underlying value’ to her words. There is no there there, so I try to pay as little attention to her as possible.

    @MattR: Get pics if you can! And, I think being forced to go through your things is probably a good thing, even though it’s a pain in the neck. When are you leaving for Jersey?

  127. 127

    @MattR:
    disclaimer: I have a special pillow. It was a pillow my mom sewed together from two Snoopy washcloths when I was a kid. It doesn’t go anywhere. But I would never throw it away. But I never did the stuffed animal thing. Daughters are very protective of their blankets, OTOH, even if the “blanket” is just a little square that’s been left after multiple washings (almost Linus-like).

  128. 128
    MattR says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Camera is already packed. I am actually looking forward to going through my crap once I move to a new place and can unpack at my pace. But I dont want to drive to the storage unit and dig through boxes there. And I can’t really bring them back to the apt since I am trying to keep it neat in case people want to come look while I am gone. I already live in Northern NJ, but I am heading to the beach on Saturday or Sunday. Depends on if I go to a BBQ/fantasy football draft on Saturday night for a league I am not part of. It is about an hour and a half the wrong direction, but there are a couple out of town friends driving in. So I am pretty sure I am gonna go for the pre-draft get together (assuming I dont oversleep until 5 pm). Since I am staying until Sept 20ish I dont feel a huge urge to maximize my beach time this weekend. That and the fact that the beach brings out the Irish part of my heritage.

    (EDIT: Watching Sportcenter and see that the Cleveland Indians had Puppypalooza last night with 269 dogs in attendence. Some cute footage. Too bad Ellie could never stay calm enough at something like that)

  129. 129
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @MattR: Wait, beaches and Irish? What? You mean easy to burn? So this is a vacation, but not really a vacation? At any rate, I hope you do get a chance to relax and frolic in the waves. And pics. Must have pics.

  130. 130
    MattR says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Yep, I burn pretty easily so it is not really a sit at the beach all day vacation. Sadly, I think I am the most excited about working from somewhere other than my apartment. (and grilling on the BBQ) I still plan to hit the beach every day but it will be for a couple hours as an extended lunch or in the evening after work. I can’t wait to see how many bikinis will “coincidentally” end up in the background of the Ellie pics.

  131. 131
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @MattR: Ha! It’ll be the BJ drinking game. Drink every time you see a bikini! And on that note, I’m out. Good luck with the packing, and good-night, all!

  132. 132
    scarshapedstar says:

    I think there needs to be a bit about blaming the victim in there somewhere also, but otherwise this is just about right…

    7. Several months later, major media outlet grudgingly admits that faux story was fake, in back-page correction following “Justin Bieber’s name was incorrectly spelled as ‘Justin Beiber.'”

    8. Chuck Todd smarmily wonders why the Democrats didn’t alert the media that the story was fake.

    9. The faux story is circulated in Wingnet emails until the nuclear armageddon of 2028.

  133. 133
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    After all the incoherent bellowing and high-pitched whining about what gets built at Ground Zero and nearby, I fully expect that what actually gets built is…

    The new FOX News headquarters.

    Probably named “Beck Tower”.

  134. 134
    Lysana says:

    Since I was one of the folks getting verbal about my frustration with your lack of commenting, E.D., I want to thank you for taking the time to do so. It’s been illuminating.

  135. 135
    rickstersherpa says:

    @MTiffany: Exactly. My Mom just passed away and I inherited from her some of her books, including William L. Shirer’s autobiography. Shirer was the the first popular historian of the 3rd Reich and made no bones about his contempt and hatred for the people he covered as journalist from 1925 to 1941 as journalist for various newspapers, wire services, and finally CBS radio. And he portrayed the Nazis as they were, thuggish, intellectually stupid and incurious, nationalistic, vicious to the weak and defenseless in society, and promoting an insane and self-destructive program that no rational man or woman took seriously. But 1932, with 25% unemployment and vicious debt inflation reigning in Germany, Hitler and his boys became the largest party and took power in January 1933. And then they became one of the most dynamic mass movements the world had ever seen as John Lukacs discusses in his book “5-Days in London.” Eric Hoffer points out that whatever the ostensible ideology of a mass movement, what individuals find attractive and useful about is the way it is a vehicle for power and establishing legitimate authority and giving energy to that authority. A Tea Party- Movement Conservative victroy in November will be seen as a mandate for radical action. Fox and Rush will be pushing the line that “Obama and Democrats repudiated,” “Obama and Biden should resign,” and, if they don’t, “impeach Obama and Biden.” Really, these folks will be agitating for coup d’etat (after all they did this during Clinton and they are even more agressive and furious now). Like their love of unborn “babies,” their love of the Constitution is fro an abstraction, not the real thing. I do note that when crazy, stupid people start running your Government, whether it is Nazi Germany, the Confederacy, or Napoleonic France, it usually does not work out so well in the long run. (I am using “stupid” in the sense of being “foolish and without sense, purposely unreasonable,” and Napoleon is an example of how a bright and clever man can render himself stupid and self-destructive when he suspends all self-critical mental faculities.)

    Even if you are not unemployed, people are pretty cranky about all that lost housing equity. http://www.calculatedriskblog......-with.html

    And cranky, anxoius, mad people vote their crankiness. The Conservative meme is to blame the other: blame the illegal (Mexican) immigrant, blame the Moslems, and blame Obama. And Obama, much like Clinton in 1994, has not given his base much reason to rally to him in the context of the economic distress they feel. (After the 1990-91 recession, a job less, slow growth recovery ran through 1994 and housing price were falling, relative to inflation, during this period. And then Clinton threw the industrial unions under the bus with NAFTA and his health care plan famously blew up and died and lots of blue collar folks and minorities stayed home rather than vote, like they stayed home in Virginia last year, and it looks like they will stay home this November.

  136. 136
    Frank says:

    @Mike Schilling:

    No shit. Liberals like to count moral victories while conservatives grab the real ones.

    Heck, after having watched the HCR debate, I don’t even think liberals care if they win or not. The Dailykos crowd claimed they weren’t even going to vote in 2012 or in the midterms if they didn’t get single payer. Yes, that sure will get you single payer sooner…

    Liberals seem to be of the mind that if I don’t get this now, I’m taking my ball and go home. Republicans, on the other hand, are patient and realize that it will take more than one election to get to their goals.

  137. 137
    AnnaN says:

    Good post – nicely done.

    (I don’t want to only weigh-in when I’m being critical at you.)

  138. 138
    suzanne says:

    @Yutsano: Prolly you’re not reading anymore but what the hell. Heh. The reason they let me out of the building (we called it Architraz) is ’cause I graduated (finished my MArch) in May. Right now, I’m taking a break before finishing my thesis on my MS degree. Yeah, I couldn’t really comment/do anything until my degree was done. That sucked. Glad to be done. Would love to be employed, but the job market sucks here.

    @asiangrrlMN: Not only did that group of vets freak out over her design, she faced a lot of ugliness and was called (and the media picked up on it) all sorts of slurs for being Chinese and a woman. Apparently Ross Perot called her an “egg roll”. Classy dude.

    @E.D. Kain: You’re in AZ, too? Are you my neighbor?

  139. 139
    JohnR says:

    @John Thullen:

    Exactly my thinking! One of the biggest advantages such groups have is the naive perception among “cultured, civilized, sensible people” that their obvious vicious insanity will keep them from gaining power. For God’s sake; history tells us that they often don’t even have to sieze power – it is often handed to them by short-sighted people anxious to remove the uncertainty and worry of social or economic upheaval. A strong Leader is always comforting in times of unrest, and there are enough cynical students of history around that times of unrest can be created out of whole cloth if desired. Most of those students of history always assume that they’ll be Joseph Goebbels rather than Ernst Rohm, of course.
    Edit – ah, Rickster; you’ve discovered Shirer. His leter, better-known book is good, but his earlier one covering the early days of the Nazi times is also worth a read. This myth of the NSDP as asuperior, organized, efficient group, both before and after they gained power, deserves to be strongly repudiated. Apart from the street fighting, there’s a lot to compare with Palin’s and Beck’s Boys today

  140. 140
    JITC says:

    Has anyone noticed that the same people who say it’s “insensitive” to build a not-mosque at not-ground-zero are the exact same people who defend the right to fly confederate flags in the faces of the descendants Confederacy’s victims?

  141. 141
    Bob says:

    @Violet: I told you so. HaHa.

    E.D. enjoys the twoing and froeing. Made an effort to do it, Now let’s move on to substantive issues where one parts ways with him. And there will be issues.

  142. 142

    I can’t agree with the idea that nothing should ever be built on the former site of the Twin Towers. That, after all, is what Osama bin Laden would want, for the site to remain barren and vacant.

    I always hated the WTC. Ugly damned things. But we shouldn’t let Osama have the last word on whether the towers should stand.

    Far better to put up something tall and bold. Better still, put the towers back up, 110 storeys each, only with better safety systems and less energy consumption.

    Best of all: make one of the towers 111 storeys tall, and put the memorial up there. Invite people to make the pilgrimage on foot, up the stairs where so many firefighters died.

  143. 143
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @suzanne: That was the part I was wondering about. Thanks for filling me in. Egg roll, indeed.

  144. 144
    Gus says:

    @d.s.:

    In 1978 Ronald Reagan was taken less seriously than Sarah Palin is today.

    Not true. Reagan actually finished two terms as governor, and was considered a threat by Nixon as a potential Presidential rival as early as 1968. He was also considered a potential nominee in 1976. Bonzo jokes notwithstanding, I think he was taken seriously by 1978.

  145. 145
    Brachiator says:

    Obstructionism does not lead to good governance.

    This is an excellent observation. Unfortunately, the GOP and their worst supporters are simply interested in regaining power. Governing is a side issue.

    If there is to be a memorial, let it not be of stone and steel. Fly no flag above it, for it is not the possession of a nation but a sorrow shared with the world.

    Land in New York City (and the space above it) is too valuable.

  146. 146
    John says:

    Beneath this field will lie entombed forever some of the victims of September 11.

    No one is entombed at the WTC site, however loosely you define that word. Yes, there were people in the buildings when they fell, but all the debris was trucked out of there and there were exhaustive searches for any traces of human remains.

    This is one of those things that gives support to the notion that this is hallowed ground. It isn’t.

  147. 147
    bjacques says:

    Pack half as much crap, take twice as much munnies.

    Never misunderestimate the Repubs’ capacity to bring a lunatic eruption between now and November, but don’t rely on that to deliver the Democratic vote alone. If the 2008 GOTV machine hasn’t been completely dismantled, it’s time to get busy starting now, or at least after Labor Day. And mock the hell out of the lunatic right’s antics publicly but gently address unsettling questions to your “independent (i.e., Republican-voting-but-won’t admit-it) relatives.

  148. 148
    KipKrao says:

    There is something disturbing about the obsession over the terror attack of the world trade center. There is no doubt it has been a tragedy but the place it occupies in the culture is totally disproportional to what happened there.
    Bin Laden played the marketing card well (9-11 date was not chosen randomly) but it was amplified by the media (live broadcast worldwide) and the Bush administration made sure to make this tragic event something even more unique to use to beat the war drums.

    Compare it with what has happened in other countries where towns have been leveled by bombs (London, Tokyo, Dresden, etc) or even places where there have been terror attacks. We do not find the same “hallowed ground” obsession.

    Again, there is no doubt it was a tragedy but the best is to rebuild, continue with our lives and not let that tragedy be a propaganda tool.

  149. 149
    Violet says:

    @Bob:

    I told you so. HaHa.

    I didn’t doubt that he was engaging in comments over at the LOOG. I understood that he was capable and willing to do it. The problem was, he wasn’t doing it HERE when he was posting during the day. And he was posting a lot. Not engaging in the comments of those posts, especially as a new front pager, was causing problems. I wasn’t the only one who pointed it out. And in fact, if you go back and read my comments and compare them to those of others, you’ll see that I was one who understood his work limitations and family commitments. Not everyone did.

    I’m glad he’s engaging in the comments and look forward to discussing something more substantial than whether or not he is willing to comment on his own posts.

  150. 150
    James E. Powell says:

    @scarshapedstar:

    Chuck Todd and most of the corporate press/media express admiration for the Republicans and their ability to make Democrats jump with a lie.

    “So, although the story turns out not to be true, it does point out the president’s problems right-wing racists many voters on the issue of . . .

  151. 151
    Ruckus says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:
    Never seen the Viet memorial in person but it looks just right in pics. What could be better than the 53K+ names? To the government they were only numbers when they were alive and less than that when dead. A few statues? What’s the value in that? With their names displayed they become real people, who really died. And we get to see some of the enormity of that entire decade of death.

  152. 152
    Dr.BDH says:

    …There is no long-term sustainability to this movement. Obstructionism does not lead to good governance.

    Obstructionism leads to the levers of power. The levers of power in the hands of Republicans leads to power and money for the oligarchy, militarism, and an enfeebled middle class. These in turn lead to more power for the favored. Temporary detours on this road, via the election of Democrats, used to disrupt this pattern, but not any longer. Corporatist politicians in both parties use obstructionism to ensure the continued dominance of the corporatist/military oligarchy. Airy dismissals of the core reality of our current governance doesn’t make it untrue.

    Here endeth the lesson.

  153. 153
    neil says:

    @Yutsano: I saw a hard-bitten ex-Marine tear up and touch the name of a fallen friend at the Vietnam memorial. A few minutes later, I found the name of a family friend who died in ‘Nam in ’67. He was so blown to bits there was nothing left to ship home – but his name was there. That’s when I burst into tears.

    The Vietnam Memorial is so much more than a work of art. It’s the most moving war memorial I’ve ever seen.

  154. 154
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @neil:

    I saw it for the first time a few years back. You come away wondering how anyone could not be changed by the experience.

    My brother is a VN vet. One of those names on the wall belongs to a friend after whom he named his son.

Comments are closed.