Thursday, January 22, 2009

La Cosa Nostra

cross-posted at Broadway Carl's Blog-O-Mania

-- NOTE : I am now guest posting over at my friend Broadway Carl's place, this site is still otherwise shut down --

Please allow me to introduce myself.

My nom de plume is Armadillo Joe. My old blog was (is?) called Expatriate Thoughts ...from a Texan living in New York City because, well, because Texans and New Yorkers each think they've got it all figured out, have outsized egos about their own importance and no qualms about telling everyone else what they think. I guess I thought if I could combine the reflected glory of my heart's two homes, I could reach out and change some minds and, well, make a difference.

Somewhere.

Somehow.

After three and a half years of blogging, about three weeks ago, I shuttered that blog with fewer cumulative hits than driftglass gets on an average weekday afternoon. With no audience, I really had to ask myself what I was doing when I realized that my readership was limited to people I could actually call but more probably would just poke individually on Facebook. Who was my audience?

Frankly, I had hoped it could be my dad. My Nixon-hating, Vietnam War-opposing, gun control-supporting, tree & greenery-loving, Navy vet dad. My Reagan Democrat dad. My Clinton-hating, Limbaugh & Hannity-worshipping, Fox News-watching dad. My Texas Republican dad. Who lives in Dallas. Where the most recent ex-President is calling home. Where our last great president died. He chose well, Mr. Bush, as Dallas is an intellectual cesspool swimming with brain-washed Fox News zombies who will loudly and proudly and with guns defend their man should the nation turn on him and demand retribution for any of his crimes, from looting the treasury to authorizing war crimes. My dad would man the barricades with them. And I thought he'd somehow read my measly little blog and get his mind changed.

Ha!

So, not so much. As I learned about a month before the election. More to come on the fine-grained details of that topic.

But it was such a glorious plan, though, really. Because it seemed to me, and to all us bloggers madly clacking away on our keyboards at every outrage emanating from the putrid soul of Nixon's GOP, that in George W. Bush's America, that post-9/11 Märchenland of metasisizing corporate feudalism and billowing pollution with visions of torture and death and drowning amid waking authoritarian nightmares where sons turn their fathers in, it seemed to a few of us that perhaps arranging electrons on a glowing screen into black squiggle-marks expressing thoughts and ideas in a new variation of the ancient Art of Writing in service of our own Résistance française -- our own Radio Free America -- broadcasting it out there into the vast and nebulous inter-webs in an attempt to express our inner anguish, hoping to find like-minded souls from the safety of our homes and apartments (better than a street corner -- beset as they were by GOP brownshirts -- or the Tee-Vee -- infested as it was with bootlicking opinion enforcers), somehow trusting that it all was connecting to someone, somehow, somewhere...

...and trusting that it all mattered.

The seeming futility of it all, at first. When John "Glass-Jaw" Kerry went down in 2004 with $15 million in the bank (some of those were my dollars, BTW) and barely a whimper, I know that I retreated in anger from the internet and almost all other news sources beyond weather and sports for almost six months and it never occured to me to actually post my thoughts on anything like a blog. When I emerged in mid-2005, I read and read and finally had to start writing. And writing. At LiveJournal, here. Then I switched to Blogger, here.

Such grand plans we all had, eh? Well, by the fall of 2006, yes. We helped to turn the tide. And 2008 belongs to us, too. The hard work isn't done, but it is all starting to seem worth it, just a little.

I never changed my dad's mind and I think I may have hardened him in the other direction. Alas, a new day dawns in America without him. I'm with Fraulein here in enjoying how much Barack Hussein Obama drives the racists, and my dad, nuts just by being who he is: post-racial, erudite, urban, intelligent, worldly, classy, urbane and, well, black. Beautifully, dashingly, unambiguously black.

He inspires me.

I'm guest-posting here at Broadway Carl's invitation, because if Billmon can return from the dead, I guess I can too.

Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Signing Off

So, after much internal deliberation, I have realized that this blog is pretty much a waste of time. Besides being a place to vent my opinions for the eyes of a couple of friends, to whom I will likely just repeat the same bloviations in person over beers in the near future, I don't really see the point of this exercise. It sort of helps me to organize my thoughts about the current events and how they relate to larger ideas that bounce around in my head, but why do I have to do that in a public forum? Other bloggers say pretty much what I want to say, just much better and more incisively. And quicker, too. I'm looking at you, drifty.

I'm not changing any minds or influencing policy or deconstructing important issues in a fresh and exciting way here and I just never found the audience I hoped to one day have. Maybe I even thought I might, but besides a forum for my bitching about random shit, the inchoate vibe of this particular stop on the inter-webs never really gelled into an interesting and coherent identity.

I've been at this blogging thing for almost three years now and my readership has never grown beyond people I actually know personally, and even among that limited group, I remain stubbornly stuck in the single digits for readership. And as for actual dedicated, interested readers... those I could count on one hand. Twice.

Granted, most of the fault for this paucity of traffic is my own. I know that in the blogosphere, much like in Life, one must give love to get love. You really do get back what you give out and in this venue I am about as generous as a frozen stone. I don't do much commenting on other blogs, which is far and away the best way to generate traffic. Too busy trying to read them all and compose my own posts in my limited time, I guess. Since I have a day job (OK -- evening, actually), my chances of having the free time to do enough research and composition to become the go-to blog on some emerging hot topic hover somewhere between nil and oblivion. Blogging is hard work.

So, until further notice, I sign off with my favorite literary quote from Walt Whitman's epic poem "Song of Myself" from the 1856 edition of Leaves of Grass (of "Look for me under your bootsoles" fame). Later editions put a period after the last word, in fact they added all the requisite commas at the ends of lines and periods after stanzas and other such "proper" following of poetic rules, too. Which is why I love the version from the earlier edition so much. A period is too final and not in keeping with the openness and rebellion embedded in the sentiment. I tried to find the exact version on the web, but only the punctutation-laden late versions seem to be out there. This is from memory:
Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged
Missing me one place search another
I stop somewhere waiting for you

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fratricide

Fucking Democrats, doing the Republican's work for them.
  1. DiFi throws a hissy because Obama didn't check with her first before appointing someone, though for the last eight fucking years she always seemed all too keen to slurp the cock of whatever wild-eyed wingnut neocon loser the GOP submitted for a dog-and-pony show of approval. Now she decides to show a little independence. The FISA vote would have been a much better time to grow a spine, bee-yotch.

  2. Harry Reid, in a predictable show of spinelessness, folds at the mere threat of a GOP filibuster (as per usual) over seating Al Franken. Which is OK, in one sense, because...

  3. ...Harry Reid, in a predictable show of misapplied vigilance, was so keen on scoring a couple of cheap tough-guy points to butch up his well-oiled Über-wimp image to all those dumb jocks in the GOP that he very publicly painted himself into a corner by piling onto the "Lynch-Blagojevich" Bandwagon with the expectation that Blagojevich would simply fold (for some reason) under the frowning but basically unthreatening glare of widespread Democratic mucky-muck disapproval. Well, it seems Reid forgot The Chicago Way. He and most of the rest of the Dems brought a (rubber) knife to a (live-ammo) gun fight. The Windy City crook with the bad haircut proved some mad skillz by appointing the one guy in the whole state who was both eligible and completely unobjectionable in any form by anyone of any color, race, creed, religion or political persuasion and then daring the Dems to put-up or shut-up about how ba-a-a-a-d they were gonna fu-u-u-u-uck him u-u-u-up, yo. Dude, Reid and the whole slithery lot of them got punk'd. What's more, they deserved to.
Now, ladies and germs, we are treated to the sight of a national party with a freshly-minted president (dashing, smart & handsome) with an actual popular mandate backed up by the largest margins in Congress since before Word War 2 opposed by an increasingly minor regional party in the midst of a disorganized intra-party feeding frenzy and weighed down by a crushingly unpopular outgoing president folding -- FOLDING! -- when they should be standing up to Republican bullying and then -- THEN! -- shivving one of their own, like they're trying to establish street cred on their first day in prison. I have thought for a long time (OK, since the initial excitement over the 2006 election gave way to resignation at Democratic wimpiness) that the D's suffered from some political form of battered-wife syndrome. Until they actually stand-up and fight on our behalf as we have hired them to do by, you know, electing them, instead of depending on us out here in the Land of Average Voters to deliver unto them some magical, insurmountable margin of victory, I don't think they can do anything but talk tough. Remember Nancy "New Sheriff In Town" Pelosi's first few days as speaker?

With Democrats like these, actual card-carrying Republicans seem rather, well, redundant.

I want a new party.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Haiku

My friend Broadway Carl gets some love from The Rude One in the wake of his call for 2008 End od the Year political haiku:
One day soon Limbaugh
Will clutch his chest and collapse
I will dance a jig
Other good ones:

From Chuck D. (no, not that one):
Farewell, W.
Please accept this flying shoe
As your good-bye gift.


From The Rude One:
Did Giuliani
really think America
needs Nosferatu?

Obama said, “Yes,
we can.” And we finally
believed that we could.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Friday, January 2, 2009

(sigh)







Well, the Texas Tech Red Raiders once again proved that they are not all they want to be, nor even what they seem to be, nor even what they're cracked-up to be. Ole Miss kicked their asses 47-34.

It was not as close as the score.

Well, the Texas Longhorns will hopefully do some damage against Ohio State next week, but I don't have high hopes.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

I feel longer, more frequent posts will be forthcoming this year. It is, afterall, one of my many New Year's resolutions (along with finally really using Rosetta Stone to get fluent enough in French to have a conversation in French with my friends in Paris - which connects to my resolution to be more in touch generally with friends and loved ones not in my immediate work orbit, finally learning to play a complete song - however simple - on my guitar instead of the three tentative chords I can barely muster now, exercising more, volunteering more of my time instead of just donating money and being better at handling the money I do make... these resolutions don't ever really seem to change from year to year). For today, though, the best I can do for a blogpost is this YouTube, a year in 40 seconds (via Elliot at FireDogLake):

Monday, December 29, 2008

I Require Validation, and get it

When I said this, first back in September after McSame & Moose-a-lini started slinging mud at Obama and then again in the wake of the embarrassing Rick Warren debacle, I felt I was distilling down a certain zeitgeist that had been taking hold across Left Blogistan for some time:
Why am I and my fellow progressives, liberals & Democrats expected to take the high road every single time? Why is the onus on us to make nice and maintain civility while the other side gets to wreck and rob the place with impunity, spewing hate and flinging poo like a monkey? Why are we supposed to just sit there and take it? It is almost as though they know these people are over-grown children and, like children, we grown-ups are required to be patient and tolerant while they go through some adult version of the terrible twos, except sustained and culture-wide.
Then, just today I read this at Group News Blog, again regarding the "wisdom" of Mr. Warren's selection (bold-face mine):
Warren panders not just to queer-hating but woman-hating, class exploitation, child abuse, apocalyptic nihilism, and white supremacy. Within a few years, he will be brought down by some seamy scandal (probably related to gay sex) and his brief validation on an international stage will be revealed for the sick joke it is.

In the meantime, however, he and his ilk operate from the developmental level of five-year-olds and talking about "tolerance" has no real meaning to them. If your five-year-old throws a screaming fit because she wants more cookies, you can sit her down and have a long talk with her about nutritional balance, but if you then give her one more cookie for participating, she will take away from that the lesson "if I throw a fit, I can get more cookies". Somebody has to be the grown-up with these people. They are not a majority, they are not even that powerful, it's all a house of cards. I want a President who will move in the other direction, away from giving them more room in our public discourse.
And then I read this at Crooks and Liars, not about Rick Warren but about the notion of bi-partisanship with the GOP in general, of which Warren is only a mis-represented and misunderstood facet (again, boldface mine):
I find it hilarious that after all of the petty partisanship of the last eight years that somehow it's incumbent upon the Democrats to be the grown-ups in Washington and reach across the aisle. Where was all the talk in the media circles of bipartisanship for the last eight years? Is it that the media knows that Republicans aren't mature enough to do so? And where, in all their history, have the Republicans shown themselves to be able to do anything for the good of the country instead of their party...?
Can we stop pretending these WATB's are serious people? On purpose and by design, they have no understanding of the demands of public policy or the laws of physics or basic facts of history or science or any complex theory of any kind. I know we are supposedly a representative democracy, but they demand a level of public validation that is far out of proportion to their percentage of the population and that validation, quite frankly, is Manichean in its desired totality. Anything short of fascist adulation and ring-kissing of their leaders bundled with unquestioned submission of any hint of any and all dissenting views is characterized as an attack on their personhood, a chip-on-the-shoulder, persecution-complexed worldview that is corrosive to healthy discourse in civil society. They should be marginalized for the good of the country, but Obama seems to buy into their self-serving hype as fully as the Washington Villagers.

I guess I can't let this Rick Warren thing go. Sue me.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Regarding Justice

Regarding the Obama Justice Department pursuing Bush Admin folks for the torture policy of the last eight years, I think Maru at WTF Is It Now?!? says it the best, so I shall quote (almost) in full:
Blowjob. National unity my ass. And you can blow me, you hypocritical motherfucker. Accountability for war crimes is not "vengeance," you chickenshit little fuckweasel. Remember this? Rule of law! Rule of law! Shoe's on the other foot now, isn't it, you smarmy little shit. I sincerly hope all your neocon pals and their fucking retarded POS monkey-puppet are fucking called to the Hague, you cumdribbling bastard. Fuck you.
End transmission.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Simply Marvelous

Not as angry with the Obama Administration right now. Still bitter about the ugliness of the naked pandering in the Rick Warren selection, sure, but this story about a quieter and far more morally commendable aspect of the inauguration is the kind of small-scale victory that I hope will only become more pervasive and commonplace as the idealism inspired by the ascent of Barack Hussein Obama takes hold of the national psyche (from NYTimes, via Mahablog):
ON Thursday, Dec. 11, Jim Donnelly got the call at his office on Jay Street in Dumbo for the biggest job he had ever had. Emmett Beliveau, the executive director of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, told him that Precise Continental, Mr. Donnelly’s 26-year-old printing company, had won the bid to produce one million gold-and-black engraved invitations for the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama.

[...]

Precise Continental was selected over rival printers because it is a union company, it uses recycled paper and it is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which promotes responsible forest management.

[...]

“This is a real economy,” Mr. Donnelly said of the printing business. “This is not that bogus economy of Wall Street. This country used to manufacture things.”
Yo, Brooklyn, U.S.A.! BTW, Dumbo means Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass for those who don't live in New York.

Good, well-made, earth-friendly products, made by solid union labor, and made in America (howevermuch this particular part may be judged as "anti-" by people whose forefathers committed treason by seceding - natch). Despite a faltering economy, some of my union brothers and sisters are working this holiday season and that is a good thing.

Happy Christmahanakwanzika everybody.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Comment cross-posting

From the comment thread of this post, my very good friend Broadway Carl wrote the following:
Hey Joe,

What you doin' with that gun in your hand? (Sorry I couldn't resist.) I understand the frustration with the Warren crap, but ultimately will it matter? He chose Warren to give an invocation, not to become his new Senior Policy Advisor. I know it seems like a slap in the face to us now, but who's really gonna give a shit a month from now? That's how I'm looking at it. Obama is not all of a sudden going to become pro-life.

This is why I disagree with the Greenwald quote in your post - because his decision to include Warren in his inauguration for a 3 minute prayer (something that shouldn't be a part of the ceremony to begin with, IMHO) isn't going to change his mind on pro-choice, or closing Gitmo, or troop withdrawal from Iraq, or suddenly make him think conservative judges are what we need in the Supreme Court.

Sure, I'm disappointed that he chose Warren for all the same reasons everyone else is, but I don't find the invocation so important that I believe it's the beginning of the end for the Obama administration. Unemployment, health care, getting out of the Middle East, vets care, the economy - these are the things that are important to me, not who says what prayer when.

Which is why I don't agree with Hitchens either. Yes, Obama can be inclusive - that's what he campaigned on - but not on Inauguration day. Either Obama is going to believe what he says every day, or he's going to be politically manuevering every day. I hope it's the former, but it has to be every day.

And look at it another way. Warren's acceptance of the invitation is not sitting well with his base. I would say the evangelical right is freaking out about Warren's attendance more than the liberal left is. So, although I doubt this is the reason, Warren's power and influence is possibly being compromised on Obama's first day in office. That can only be a good thing.

And finally, "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."? Seriously?
To which I replied:
New boss? Well, yeah.

New Boss Obama is triangulating his little heart out with all the mighty force of Old Boss Clinton. Up to now, it has been part of some master plan and I was (and still am) willing to sign on because, as you say, in the long run we trust that we will still get what we want on choice, Gitmo, Iraq, environmental policy, etc... Note that I said "trust." Signs are good, sure, but I realize that Washington politics is like making sausage and I'm not going to like a lot of what comes out of the Obama Administration over the next four years. That not-liking starts today.

The Warren choice smacks of wishful thinking to me. Why waste such a valuable moral commodity as the invocation at one's own historic inauguration? Such a bully pulpit for declaring and demonstrating a new direction, wasted on a bigot with a top-shelf PR team.

If Obama understands just how odious Warren (a liar & a bigot) is and thinks throwing these ravenous wolves a bone will quiet them, I point to Bill Clinton's impeachment as counter-evidence. If he understands how odious Warren is and doesn't care, then he needs to be made to show respect to this portion of his coalition. If he understands how odious Warren is and actually agrees with him, god help us, then he isn't the person we've supported all this time and should be called out loudly and often.

I don't think saying to such an important component of the Obama coalition "get over it" is really honest or fair, since that's what the whole political left in this country has heard since BushCo. stole the election in 2000. Warren equates homosexuality with incest and bestiality and loudly and publicly declares that Jews are going to hell. Lending him the weight of the Office of the President legitimizes his bigotry and spits in the face of the people who put him there. It fails to honor their blood, sweat, toil and tears.
The last paragraph of my response, ultimately, gets to the heart of how I read Carl's critique of my post, and his take on the whole Warren thing altogether, which is to say: "get over it," which misses the point. Warren is free to spew his hate all he wants. Sure, he's not quite the hellfire-and-brimstone Old Time Religion bigot that Fallwell was and Robertson still is, with his Hawaiian shirts and Van Dyke beard, but he still thinks homosexuality equates to incest, child rape and bestiality. He still thinks Jews are going to hell. And while to hold and express out loud those beliefs is still perfectly legal in an America where free speech is supposedly allowed, that still doesn't mean that it is altogether fitting and proper that Obama should give such a person a platform on the day of his inauguration.

On the other hand, it is Obama's Big Day and he can invite whoever the fuck he wants. I can have an opinion about it, though, and I think it is an insult.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Buzz Lightyear!

He's real!


Zooming Around the Alps In a Homemade Wing Suit
By Craig Whitlock
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, July 4, 2008


CRANS-PRES-CELIGNY, Switzerland -- Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's . . . Fusion Man!

Make that Yves Rossy, a 48-year-old Swiss daredevil also known as Jet Man, Rocket Man, the Bird Man of the Alps.

Thanks to his homemade, jet-powered wing suit, Rossy can flash through the air at a Superman-like 186 mph.

[...]

on May 14, high above the Alps near the Swiss town of Bex, Rossy put it all on the line. He invited journalists and camera crews and promised a mind-blowing show, fully realizing that if he flamed out or crashed, they'd portray him as a world-class fool.

At an altitude of 7,700 feet, he dropped out of an airplane, his 120-pound wing suit strapped around his shoulders, back and arms. He gassed the throttle and off he went: soaring across the sky at race-car speeds as a helicopter tried to keep up so it could videotape his performance.

After a flight of slightly more than five minutes, with fuel running out, Fusion Man pulled the cord on his chute and floated gracefully to the ground, landing on his feet.

More Shooz

OK, time to wade in hip deep. We all saw this:



and this is what The Editors had to say about it. I happen to agree whole-heartedly:
George W. Bush has spent most of his life fucking things up horribly, and then escaping any consequences for his incompetence and indifference. This is who he is. What you have seen is not a moment of quick thinking, it was the man’s essence.
So may this shoe-throwing moment come to represent his entire presidency, in fact it can and likely will become the very symbol of his whole miserable life.

Though I was rooting for the pretzel.

More about Warren (UPDATED)

So, I hadn't realized this, but via a Steve Benen at Washington Monthly, I learn that we've spent most of our history without an invocation nor a benediction. FDR added both at his inauguration in 1933 and, sadly, they've been part of the program ever since.

This factoid makes me even angrier than I was before.

While I grant that Obama is elected to be the president of all the people, not just the people who voted for him - something the current occupant just never got through his thick skull - I still say Rick Warren is quite simply a bridge too far. I have read a lot in the last few days about this issue, both pro and con, and I still come down where I was before: Rick Warren is the wrong choice, a walking, talking insult to the spirit of inclusion Obama has spent so much time and energy creating.

I hate quoting myself, but I must raise a question I asked back in September in the wake of the McCain campaign's mud-slinging: why are we always the ones who must suck it up?
Why am I and my fellow progressives, liberals & Democrats expected to take the high road every single time? Why is the onus on us to make nice and maintain civility while the other side gets to wreck and rob the place with impunity, spewing hate and flinging poo like a monkey? Why are we supposed to just sit there and take it? It is almost as though they know these people are over-grown children and, like children, we grown-ups are required to be patient and tolerant while they go through some adult version of the terrible twos, except sustained and culture-wide.
So, once again, The Left is expected to sit down, shut up and take one for the team, to just be grateful for the fucking-over not being worse than it otherwise would have been. The emotional retards on the other end of the spectrum once again have to be pandered-to, because they will otherwise get their widdle feelers hurt and take their toys home to pout. I just don't recall seeing a reciprocal show of respect when the other side stole the last two elections. I just remember a lot of crowing and chest-thumping about "mandates."

I find the inclusion of Rick Warren to be sickening because the most favorable spin I can put on it is to think that maybe he wants to insure the largest possible audience for the launching of his bold new direction in government and putting Warren at the beginning of the program is the least odious way to get and keep the eyes and ears of a large group of people who would otherwise range from the curiously skeptical to the overtly hostile. Warren, with his genial demeanor and Hawaiian shirts, projects an approachable warmth (however manufactured and shallow it may be) that his predecessors Robertson and Falwell lack and maybe that is a factor for Obama as well, though I must say that even with all of that in mind I still don't think this is what we who worked his campaign and gave him money had in mind.

The intolerant learn nothing when tolerated; for them it just means the suckers on the other side didn't have the guts to let their hate win the day.

Because I think the thing all the Obama defenders lose sight of amid this whole brouhaha is that we've been here before. Democrats have been sucking up to the Reich-Wing since Saint Ronnie of the Ray-Gun slithered into Washington on a tide of racial fear-mongering and cultural resentment. It has never, ever, provided any long-term benefit for the Democrats except to encourage the poo-flinging monkeys to fling even more poo. "Triangulating Bill" Clinton tried and tried and tried to accomodate a burgeoning and ascendant Political Right, in fact he was the finest Republican president we ever had, and all he ever got was impeached for his efforts.

I think some of this has to do with the old saw about a liberal being someone who won't take his own side in an argument. As liberals, we think surely some common ground can be found on any issue since we generally try to see other sides of arguments. Righties think god is on their side and the devil is in any opposition. In such a formulation, how can we ever find the middle? We can't because there isn't one. As Glenn Greenwald wrote yesterday:
Ultimately, the reason politics is unavoidably "divisive" is because people have really divergent and irreconcilable views on passion-provoking controversies. That's what politics is. It's what it always has been. At some point, Obama either will or won't repeal DOMA and don't-ask-don't-tell; he either will or won't rescind Bush's anti-abortion regulations and appoint new Supreme Court Justices likely to re-affirm Roe; he either will or won't close Gitmo; he either will or won't withdraw from Iraq; he either will or won't investigate Bush war crimes; he either will or won't deliver on his promises to unions, etc. People feel very strongly -- and very differently -- about those issues.
And besides, at the end of the day, being an unapologetic atheist, I have to agree with (...a-hem...) Christopher Hitchens when he writes:
As Barack Obama is gradually learning, his job is to be the president of all Americans at all times. If he likes, he can oppose the idea of marriage for Americans who are homosexual. That's a policy question on which people may and will disagree. However, the man he has chosen to deliver his inaugural invocation is a relentless clerical businessman who raises money on the proposition that certain Americans—non-Christians, the wrong kind of Christians, homosexuals, nonbelievers—are of less worth and littler virtue than his own lovely flock of redeemed and salvaged and paid-up donors.

This quite simply cannot stand.

[...]

A president may by all means use his office to gain re-election, to shore up his existing base, or to attract a new one. But the day of his inauguration is not one of the days on which he should be doing that. It is an event that belongs principally to the voters and to their descendants, who are called to see that a long tradition of peaceful transition is cheerfully upheld, even in those years when the outcome is disputed.
So, Obama promises us a new politics. With the Rick Warren selection, Obama reveals himself as an epic genius with a secret plan so grand no mere mortal can guess it, or else he is either more of a cynical operator than we thought or more gullible and stupid than he seems.

I'm not sure I like any of those options. I know, I know, he's still the far better option and he's going to give us what we want on Iraq, Gitmo, minority rights, energy policy, environmental policy, labor policy, and he projects competence and tolerance while single-handedly changing the image America projects to the world, blah-blah-blah, but right now, I'm angry and I choose to stay that way until he gives me a reason not to be.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

UPDATE:
From the marvelously poisonous pen of Jillian over at Sadly, No:
I must confess that over the past few years I have been completely nauseated by the Sensible Liberal. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Left’s greatest stumbling block is not the Republican party or the Freepers of the world, but the moderate Democrat, who is more devoted to “winning” than to justice, who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension, often called “inclusion” or “getting along”, to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who says “I agree with the goal you seek, but I also understand the point of view of people who think you are little more than crazed pedophiles”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s full citizenship; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the fag to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Change? Where?

So, Obama is trying to gain some street cred with The Village poobahs the way all the Dems have always done since the early days of "Triangulating Bill" Clinton - by kicking the dirty fucking hippies in the nuts. Bigot, liar and all-around general hater Rick Warren will be giving the invocation at The Inauguration, and will do so at Obama's invitation.

I know he's trying to be a new kind of politician and all that shit, but... but...

Aw, hell, I think Ezra said it best:
This might be a wise political calculation on Obama's part. But it is a cruel thing to ask of his coalition. There's a time to pander to intolerance, and it is called the election. The election is over. January 20th is the inauguration. Pro-choice women and gays were a significant part of Obama's coalition, and they're being forced to accept that the candidate they worked for will use the election they won to elevate a powerful religious leader who works often and publicly against their interests. For them, the day will be darkened.
So many liberal Christians out there, to say nothing of other faiths (I'm certain no rabbis, imams or maharajahs will speak on January 20th), instead of giving yet another high-profile platform to someone already famous, couldn't Obama use the awesome weight and power and global visibility of that day to raise the profile of some non-bigoted, non-lying, non-hating Christian? We all already know who these evangelical fucktards are and what they stand for and using that day to suck up to the Christo-paths is, I think, a misuse of the power of his office and a violation of the trust he asked of the people who worked so hard to get him elected.

So, I say fuck you, Mr. Obama.

This Man Is A War Criminal



He should be arrested, tried and convicted of war crimes, then sent to prison for the rest of his unholy life. He dared the incoming administration to do just that a couple of days ago. I don't think anything will come of it and he will live happily ever after.

Because Dems are wimps.

It's not even past, PART 2

As if on cue, amid my re-watching of Ken Burns' "The Civil War," Salon.com runs a piece today about how the Southerners in the Senate are selling out the country to foreign automakers for the sake of sticking it to the north and that such behavior had been SOP for Southern politicians throughout the 20th Century. Motivations vary, but the result is always the same:
In the early 20th century, the Southern states were the first to adopt conscious statewide economic development policies, which then as now meant poaching industries from New England and the Midwest where wages and public spending and regulation were greater. That's how the South took the textile industry from New England, before losing it to lower-wage Asia. Now with the help of Nissan, Toyota, and BMW, the South is trying to replace Detroit as the center of U.S. automobile production, using low wages, anti-union laws, and low taxes to benefit from the outsourcing of industry from societies more advanced than the South, like Japan and Germany. The economic Axis is collaborating with the neo-Confederates against their common opponent -- the American Union. If they succeed, the losers will be not only non-Southern regions in the U.S., but the majority of Southerners of all races, whose interest in decent wages, good education, and adequate public services have almost always been sacrificed to the greed of the well-connected few by Southern statehouse gangs.
The past is present. Once severed from The Union, the unruly confederate states couldn't short-term sacrifice for the long-term greater good long enough to gel into a coherent nation and would have thus lost the civil war sooner had the men in gray not been so ferociously committed to "The Cause," whatever that actually is. And so, now, today their descendants continue to fight those meddling Yankees by gladly selling out the greater good of the nation (for which they believe they have the greater claim to patriotism, backed by God himself) for the strictly small-time and narrowly local economic gain of their region or state. More more to the point, for the strictly small-time and narrowly local gain of the few people at the top of the economic and social ladder of their region or state while the rest of the population sees ever lower wages and standard of living.

It is no wonder why they hate unions so much. Organized labor gives the workers a voice when the "Culture" of The South has trained their ruling class that everyone who is not one of them are to be exploited and sold-off once no longer useful. Once a plantation culture, always a plantation culture. All the little people need to just sit down, STFU and be grateful for the scraps massa lets drop from his table.

This is no way to run a modern industrial country or even a political party, but then that's Today's GOP: yesterday's Democratic Party.

Again, Michael Lind:
"A house divided against itself cannot stand." At each of the defining crises in American history, a major expansion of federal authority was necessary to overcome a division between North and South that threatened the future of the U.S. as a democratic, middle-class nation. The division between slave and free states was overcome by the defeat of the Confederacy and the Reconstruction amendments that abolished slavery and established national citizenship for the first time. During the New Deal era, the enormous gap between the agrarian South and West and the industrial Northeast was overcome by federal programs like rural electrification and highway building, federal regulation, and federal social insurance.

Today the division is no longer between slave and free states, or agrarian and industrial states, but between two models of industrial society -- the Northern model, based on adequate public service funding and taxation and unionization, and the Southern model, based on low-tax, low-service government and low-wage, non-unionized, easily exploited labor.
Reconstruction, however imperfect, was about re-stitching the slave and free states back into a whole nation and was largely successful despite later social lapses, best embodied in the rise of the KKK. Much of the policy of FDR's New Deal was about bringing the South's infrastructure into the 20th Century, material improvements that paid dividends in the post WW2 economy. The Civil Rights era was about forcing their social norms and standards to adhere to 20th Century standards, for the sake of the country. The two latter forced-improvements culminated in the sleek, shiny New South of the 1980's & 1990's, for the world would not have paid such economic attention to the poor, ignorant, violent backwater the South would have otherwise been without the continual intervention of the Civil War's victors and their descendants in the affairs of the region.

So, Michael Lind cogently argues for a new Reconstruction to keep the rest of the country from becoming a low-wage sewer like the South:
The Southern conservatives of the GOP are not irrational when they denounce the very idea of a national economic strategy as "socialism" or "industrial policy" while each of their states pursues its own "socialist industrial policy" within its state borders. They are being strategic. They understand their interests, as they define them. A U.S. economic development strategy would make it more difficult for individual state governments and their crony capitalist allies to engage in the beggar-thy-neighbor policies that the Southern elites have specialized in for nearly a century. And a national economic development system would thwart the ultimate goal of the extreme right in America -- the leveling down of the entire U.S. to the South's inhumane and primitive standards.
I think he makes good points. Go read the whole thing.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The past is never dead. It's not even past

Lots of ideas bouncing around in my head right now, the result (as usual) of things I've been reading and watching, which all seem to converge in strange ways.

Allow me to explain.

I've railed time and again about how much of a diseased cur Richard M. Nixon was and how his terrible legacy haunts our republic in body, mind and spirit. Today, in the wake of the Blagojevich freakshow, driftglass re-runs Hunter S. Thompson's awesome eulogy of Nixon, someone Blago evidently admires. Here's a taste:
If the right people had been in charge of Nixon's funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Even his funeral was illegal. He was queer in the deepest way. His body should have been burned in a trash bin.

These are harsh words for a man only recently canonized by President Clinton and my old friend George McGovern--but I have written worse things about Nixon, many times, and the record will show that I kicked him repeatedly long before he went down. I beat him like a mad dog with mange every time I got a chance, and I am proud of it. He was scum.



He was utterly without ethics or morals or any bedrock sense of decency. Nobody trusted him--except maybe the Stalinist Chinese, and honest historians will remember him mainly as a rat who kept scrambling to get back on the ship.



Some people will say that words like scum and rotten are wrong for Objective Journalism--which is true, but they miss the point. It was the built-in blind spots of the Objective rules and dogma that allowed Nixon to slither into the White House in the first place. He looked so good on paper that you could almost vote for him sight unseen. He seemed so all-American, so much like Horatio Alger, that he was able to slip through the cracks of Objective Journalism. You had to get Subjective to see Nixon clearly, and the shock of recognition was often painful.



Nixon's spirit will be with us for the rest of our lives--whether you're me or Bill Clinton or you or Kurt Cobain or Bishop Tutu or Keith Richards or Amy Fisher or Boris Yeltsin's daughter or your fiancee's 16-year-old beer-drunk brother with his braided goatee and his whole life like a thundercloud out in front of him. This is not a generational thing. You don't even have to know who Richard Nixon was to be a victim of his ugly, Nazi spirit.

He has poisoned our water forever. Nixon will be remembered as a classic case of a smart man shitting in his own nest. But he also shit in our nests, and that was the crime that history will burn on his memory like a brand. By disgracing and degrading the Presidency of the United States, by fleeing the White House like a diseased cur, Richard Nixon broke the heart of the American Dream.

So Nixon's toxic legacy pervades the smoldering wreckage of our once great nation lying all around us now, a slow-motion disaster we've watched happen since the ascension of the snake-oil salesman from California, which tracks with my recent conclusion of the elegaic HBO series "The Wire." Saint Ronnie bequeathed unto us the constitution-shredding War on Drugs, and that war has ruined our cities, as intended. "The Wire" is, over five seasons, a kind of extended autopsy of the remnants of Baltimore, Maryland. The clash between police and the inner-city drug trade are the jumping-off point for an unflinching examination of the whole city's degeneration, from the corruption and violence in the police department to the lasting damage of generations of neglect of the city's poor and helpless to the ugly wheeling and dealing in her courts to those trying to survive amid a ruined industrial base or her failing schools to the "sausage-making" of big-city politics to the leveraged soul of it's once-proud newspaper, the home of H.L. Mencken: The Baltimore Sun, while never shrinking from the fundamental issues of race and class that lie at the secret heart of the American war on her cities. No American city, between five seasons of "The Wire" and seven of "Homicide: Life on the Streets," has ever been more thoroughly magisterially depicted warts and all. Baltimore is a perfect symbol for everything America has done wrong with her cities since World War Two.

We've never been a nation of cities. From our birth over two centuries ago, America has been conflicted about the role of cities in the life of a nation, from the epic struggle between Jefferson and Hamilton to define us as agrarian and rural or industrial and urban right up to today, with our red states and blue states. You know, patriots versus latte-sippers.

Not for us is the idea that a nation's great cities embody the soul of its people: Paris, London, Moscow, Prague, Rome, New Delhi, Athens, Cairo, Tokyo. Each city is evocative of its host nation, and it is no accident that each is the seat of government.

What else is Washington D.C. but a sort of grand college campus structured around the seasonal influx and evacuation of an ever-changing cast of characters with an ever-changing set of agendas - few of which circumscribe the ongoing needs of The District, apart from the bureacrats who are eternal. What else is New York City - the largest city in the world that is not also some seat of government - but a sprawling laboratory built for the sole and unrestrained purpose of making money, all other arenas of achievement pursued within its five boroughs however florid or grandiose springing from that initial formative commandment. We were never to be what Paris or London or Rome were in their respective hey-days, the unquestioned beating heart of The Empire where all things French or English or, well, Roman were legislated, elevated, celebrated and defended above all others. Had New York remained the nation's capital, perhaps we would have an American Paris or an American London, but History has left such an epic metropolis only to our dreams.

Where shall a traveler look to see the distilled essence of our country? Our regional differences belie any such simple answer, which gets to the heart of the continuing conflict in Washington D.C.. Washington may be our capital city, named after our greatest general, but it is a bloodlessly administrative beehive jealous that the very names of Boston and Philadelphia seem embued with the symbolism of our Glorious Revolution, while New York and Los Angeles (Hollywood) are our cultural megaphones to the world and Las Vegas is our national id made manifest in the scorching western desert.

Where shall a traveler look? The answer is, I think, nowhere and that gets to the core of not only our problems in Washington but to the core of our uniquely American condition. The fact that Baltimore has been allowed to fail is of a piece with the failure of Detroit or Buffalo or Pittsburgh or the attempted shivving of New York City in the 1970's. Digby calls it tribalism, and I think that is a fair assessment of what we of late call Red State/Blue State because it isn't just regionalism or race or class or religion or musical preference, although all of those are factors. It is about some manner of amorphous cultural identity, of tendencies, of elective affinities. The most vocal of the proponents of this form of social identification can't rightly say what or whom is in any of these groups, but they sure as shit can tell you who and what isn't. Right now, we are organized along the lines of the Red Tribe and the Blue Tribe, though the clutural cleavages embodied in that formulation date back to before the Revolution, and though we can't fully and objectively list the pre-req's for membership in either tribe, the grounds for rejection are easily intuited: Pat Robertson is not in the Blue Tribe and Barbra Streisand is not in the Red.

The most sickening part of all this stupidity for me is that is so fucking artificial. I don't mean the underlying chasms in our culture - those are there and they are real and often dangerous, perhaps mortally - but the pervasiveness and intensity of the divides are wholly artifical. Which brings me back to Nixon. It is all about the ginned-up controversies and manufactured wedge-issues that drove that goddamned Southern Strategy.

After Barry Goldwater damaged the foundations of our American consensus in '64, Nixon slithered into power through the widening cracks, a one-man wedge-issue utterly without conscience in exploiting the nastiest corners of the American psyche to get and keep votes in a decade that amounted to one long, sustained national family screaming match. His tactics nor his ruthless application of them were not new, but his success their use and the failure to adequately punish all bad actors upon discovery of the scope of his crimes has made everything since fruit of the poisonous tree. The GOP hegemony that lasted from November of 1968 until November of 2006 was built on Nixonian lies, muscle, manpower and mythology. No matter how important the Frost/Nixon interviews may have seemed at the time and ever since - now in the form of a hit Broadway play and new Ron Howard movie! - the fact that Nixon was not sent to prison like the common criminal he was, followed by all of his knowledgable co-conspirators, all on the pretext of protecting the dignity of the office and putting the past behind us for the good of the nation, allowed the Nixon cancer to metastasize until it has now spread throughout and consumed our whole body politic. Two days ago, Darth "The Big Dick" Cheney, unreconstructed Nixonite toady, has essentially dared President-elect Obama and the Democratic Congress to prosecute him for war crimes. We all know he won't and they won't and that is, in some perverse way, the more perfect coda than even Sarah "Moose-alini" Palin here at the bitter end of Nixon's GOP: the bad guys got all the money and rode off into the sunset while flipping the bird, roll credits.

And they did it with those artificial cultural issues, the chips on regional shoulders, the demonization of "Blue" places like cities, rife as they are with crime and negros and all those queers and snooty liberals and their dangerous "ideas". Baltimore as depicted in "The Wire" is perfect as neither a northern city punished by the toothless goobers for being on the winning side of The Civil War, nor a southern city (Maryland was a slave state, but did not secede) re-born as a sprawling, shiny, disorganized Sun Belt suburban metro-area non-city wasteland. It is merely an old, dirty, failing city - more of a overlarge town, really - choked to death by the ascension of a cultural hostility to the very idea of people gathering in cities. If my reference to our War Between the States seems too much of an historical call-back, I remind you that the great William Faulkner of Mississippi, a slave state that seceded if I recall correctly, once wrote "The past is never dead. It's not even past."

As a final point, our civil war has also been very much on my mind these days because I am re-watching Ken Burns' transcendant "The Civil War," a documentary so well made that it ceases to be a mere historical documentary and instead rises to the level of art. In so watching this magisterial work, I am reminded of our last president from Illinois and the challenges he faced. Digby recently touched on this, almost spooky in the timing as I began re-watching "The Civil War" on the same day she wrote about some Southern "partriots" who continue to deny that Lincoln was a great president and instead still consider him a hypocritical dictator and criminal. I leave the final analysis to Digby:

Yesterday, today and tomorrow:
Where Lincoln is concerned, no such schism exists. He is "considered by both historians and ordinary Americans to have been the greatest American president," says the taxpayer-supported website of the Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. Oh, really? Tell that to Bragdon Bowling, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He won't be lighting any candles for Abraham Lincoln on Feb. 12.

"Lincoln is responsible for the devastation of the founding principles of our country, and you can lay 600,000 bodies at his feet, the casualties of a totally unnecessary war," Bowling told me. As for the bicentennial, "It's just a continuation of the Lincoln myth-making paid for with public dollars."

Bowling sounds like an outlier crank, but south of the Mason-Dixon line his views aren't particularly radical. His anti-Lincoln line springs partly from popular culture, and partly from academic scholarship. In the marketplace of ideas the Lincoln-o-phobes lack the throw weight of, say, David Herbert Donald (of Lincoln, Mass.) or Doris Kearns Goodwin. But they are there, for those who want to hear them.

What's their beef? They view Lincoln as a cynical, self-serving politician with no particular aversion to slavery, who precipitated the Civil War, sorry - the War Against Southern Independence - to keep his Republican party in the White House. "It was all about power," Bowling observed at an anti-Lincoln rally in Richmond in 2003. "All so Lincoln and his friends could consolidate their power to tell other people how to live their lives."

Former University of South Carolina historian Clyde Wilson particularly objects to the beatification of the 16th president as a genial, all-knowing Christ figure trapped in a bloody hecatomb not of his own making. Writing on the website of the Abbeville Institute, a think tank for revisionist Southern scholarship, Wilson calls Lincoln "the tender-hearted leader who authorized ruthless terrorism against women and children, refused generous offers of prisoner exchange while declaring medicine a contraband of war, accepted Grant's costly policy of losing three men for every one Confederate killed, was not above keeping his own son out of harm's way, and invited his own fate by clandestinely organizing the attempted assassination of Jefferson Davis."

Wilson sent me a copy of a forthcoming anti-Lincoln article, timed to coincide with the bicentennial. Inter alia, it reserves particular scorn for Boston, whose citizens, Wilson believes, fanned the flames of war to ensure the economic hegemony of the industrial North over the agrarian South. Yankee hypocrisy is a favorite target: "New England shippers got rich in the illegal African slave trade to Cuba and Brazil right up to The War and Bostonians owned slave sugar plantations in Cuba even after The War," he writes.

Wilson even assails Ms. Julia Ward Howe of Mt. Vernon Street, for the "bigotry and blasphemy" of her composition, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." "She subsumes Christ to her secular vengeance and conquest," he explained to me. That's a little rich, I'd say.
I always find it fascinating that the people who want to reach into your bedrooms, hospital rooms and wombs, are always upset about some phantom liberal who supposedly wants to tell them how to live. But it seems to be based upon this odd idea that goes all the way back to the civil war that if a fellow American is not in 100% agreement that they are trying to inflict their "values" on others.

Gay marriage is a good example. Nobody says that people must be gay and must marry others of the same sex. But these people simply can't live and let live. The mere fact that others don't believe as they do is seen as a threat and they seek to stop it. And they always do it while excoriating the other side for "seeking power."

(And the irony of excoriating Lincoln for spilling the blood of hundreds of thousands for immoral reasons in an unnecessary war for the benefit of rich hypocrites who made money arming the enemy is just too rich...)

I don't know that there are very many of these anti-Lincoln cranks out there. But the underlying philosophy is quite pervasive among conservatives, even if they don't trace it to Lincoln and the civil war. I recall another conservative from a few years back who also seemed to believe that the Democrats were only interested in power for its own sake:
By "the left" I'm including almost the entire Democratic Party, you can count the exceptions on your fingers, you can name them, Zell Miller, Joe Lieberman...The whole mainstream of the party is engaged in an effort that is a betrayal of America, what they care about is not winning the war on terror...I don't think they care about the danger to us as Americans or the danger to people in other countries. They care about power.
That's right. Everyone in the Democratic party was engaged in an effort to betray America because they only care about power. Just like Lincoln and the northerners. I suspect that projection is the foundation of this ongoing sense of conservative victimization. They have to quiet the voices in their own heads by shutting up those who disagree with them.



Wednesday, December 10, 2008

More pictures

Again, not mine, but this place has been really dull lately, so I'm borrowing some art to spruce it up:

New Flickr Account

I haven't uploaded anything yet, but I thought this was a really spectacular photo, so I downloaded it.

Because it's pretty.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Light posting

Apologies all five of you out there for the light posting these last few weeks. I've been preoccupied with some personal shit and blogging was very, very low on my list of priorities for spending time.

That said, a few quick hits:

1. I'm still in mourning for the shellacking Texas Tech took at the hands of the Sooners on November 22nd, falling from a #2 ranking to #7 and out of contention for the national championship. At least the team who did that to them are themselves now playing for the national championship and Tech will be playing (#25) Ole Miss in the Cotton Bowl on January 2nd.

2. Holy Shit a fighter jet crashes into a tranquil San Diego neighborhood! (h/t Broadway Carl)

3. This afternoon, I just finished reading "The Road." I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it yet, but I'm still disturbed and upset so that may or may not be a good thing. Right now, I'm leaning towards thinking that the whole thing is some kind of metaphor for something. Details to follow.

4. I am almost done watching HBO's "The Wire" (all five seasons!) and that show does an amazing job at fictionalizing the futility of Reagan's War on Drugs, a war that continues to this day, unabated. It also depicts very clearly the depravity such a futile war generates in the policing organizations charged with enforcing it's anti-Constitutional dictates, a depravity that deepens every day as all our rights and liberties are abrogated in the name of Law & Order (the concept, not the Tee-Vee show). In most essential ways, the War on Drugs was a dress-rehearsal for the War on Terror and the concommitant shredding of the Constitution.

Thus, no other explanation than gross police misconduct can explain both this (via Digby's Hullabaloo):
Man dies during arrest in Minneapolis.
Officers found the man on the street and tried to arrest him. He resisted and officers shot him with a Taser, Palmer said.
So, just remember that the Police can taser you if you don't show them enough respect and it's all A-OK.
and this (via Balloon Juice). Unlike the last one, this one is so many different levels of awesome.
KopBusters rented a house in Odessa, Texas and began growing two small Christmas trees under a grow light similar to those used for growing marijuana. When faced with a suspected marijuana grow, the police usually use illegal FLIR cameras and/or lie on the search warrant affidavit claiming they have probable cause to raid the house. Instead of conducting a proper investigation which usually leads to no probable cause, the Kops lie on the affidavit claiming a confidential informant saw the plants and/or the police could smell marijuana coming from the suspected house.

The trap was set and less than 24 hours later, the Odessa narcotics unit raided the house only to find KopBuster’s attorney waiting under a system of complex gadgetry and spy cameras that streamed online to the KopBuster’s secret mobile office nearby.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I Thought Turkies Could Fly (UPDATED)

For my money, one of the single funniest moments in Tee-Vee history, and the funniest Thanksgiving-themed moment:


Happy Turkey Day!

UPDATE:
Except that Mrs. Joe has reminded me of the new contender for the funniest Turkey-Day clip:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Tree Grows There

One of my favorite websites (non-political) is a place called "Forgotten NY." Lots of explorations of dark and crumbling places in this city that never sleeps or remembers any of her history at all. The people who run the site go all over the five boroughs looking for remnants of the older city, no matter how old or obscure or tiny.

Tear it down! Build a newer and better and shinier and more expensive one!

I guess it's something of a sore subject for me right now because the theater near where I work is at 46th & 8th, the northeast corner of which once sported one of the great bars of all time: McHale's, featured in the monster Wesley Snipes/Woody Harrelson hit movie "Money Train." Now, instead of a warm, noisy and welcoming bar with pretty waitresses serving the best hamburger in New York City to hungry stagehands, performers and other assorted theater folk, that same corner now has the sleek, cold, glass-paned lobby manned by a scowling security guard of a luxury residential building that is so pretentious the people who built it don't think a mere street address is sufficient. They actually gave it a name: Platinum. It is not a place for rowdies and the common folk, I assure you. This lobby is a gatehouse intended to present to the street the exact income level desired for anyone to even enter. It, naturally, makes me want to camp out in front on the sidewalk (roughly where my favorite booth used to be at McHale's), eat my lunch and smile at the people coming and going.

You see, it's always about class with me. At least when the revolution begins, this building will at least keep the rich fucks corraled and easier to find.

Anyway, I've watched this shiny concrete and steel ugliness rise up over Hell's Kitchen for the last three years and I've resented every foot of its ascent. Now, for the last few months, I've endured seeing the old low-rise buildings (3 & 4-story) on the corner next to my theater and directly across the street from this futuristic architectural atrocity being razed, presumably for yet another luxury high-rise with another austere sidewalk presentation that will naturally rob this neighborhood of even more street-level vitality. I resent it and it makes me pine for an older New York City, one that I can see in little snippets and flashes.

Another interesting and colorful part of New York City is yet again in danger of being paved over to build something safe for the wealthy to enjoy a Disney-fied city and it's history forgotten.

Well, Forgotten NY's latest spread is about Smith Street in Brooklyn. Those of you who have known me for a long time will know that I used to live there and probably visited me there. For those of you who don't know, I got priced out of the place as the yuppies and hipster parents invaded and rents skyrocketed. I sometimes go back just to walk around, but the place hardly looks the same anymore.

The link is here. See pics of where I used to live and then stay at the website for a while and explore other places.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

LIE-berdouche is safe

It's been hard to compose a post these last few days. My guy wins and, well, the outrage that has driven my blogging these last three years or so has started to abate.

However, I have no doubt that the outrage will return. In fact, it has already begun.

The Quisling from Connecticut, the sniveling piece of opportunistic dog shit that barely resembles a human being (much less a senator) who once occupied a place on the Democratic ticket only because he had no qualms about doing the dirty work of the opposition party by publicly scolding the leader of his own party -- a risk/reward object lesson he hasn't forgotten in an era of GOP ascendancy and which has ever since only driven him to ever higher levels of party disloyalty under the guise of "bipartisanship" wrapped in a flaky veneer of "principle" -- a lying, sanctimonious toad who was rejected by the people of his own state party, has been given a reprieve by his fellow Senators. He gets to keep his seniority and gavel at Homeland Security.

Which is why the Rethugli-goons and the other members of the Reich-wing all think Dems are a bunch of pussies. I'm all full of the milk of human kindness and bleeding-heart fuzzy-headed magnaminity, but how bad how bad do you have to fuck up to be punished in any meaningful way by the larger membership of the Democratic congress? The GOP would never have stood for something even remotely hinting at disloyalty, much less something akin to that first time he spoke out on the floor of the Senate against Bill Clinton a decade ago. He would have been shunned, stripped of any position of power and driven from the caucus. The Repukes may defend the multiple marriage womanizers and closeted homosexuals and drug addicts and child-molesters in their midst to the bitter end, but one whisper of disloyalty and you're out.

And don't bother me with platitudes about reconciliation or us being made of better stuff or "change" or some other kum-ba-ya horse hockey, this is why the other side doesn't respect us. Why would we expect something better or something more? Why should we?

May they all rot in hell.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pitchforks & Torches

How else could a committed redistributionist like me react to news like this:
According to a report from financial news agency Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs, for example, has set aside $6.8 billion for bonuses, and Morgan Stanley, $6.4 billion.

[...]

[Stephen] Gandel, who's a Money magazine senior writer and contributor to Time.com says, "Compensation should be down 70 percent but, because all this new money is coming from the government, the firms are now saying they can pay more, and so they're only going to cut bonuses by 40 percent.

Even without bonuses, the mean annual salary for a securities industry employee was just under $400,000, David notes, ten times more than the average U.S. worker.
When the howling jackals of the political right screech about "Marxism" or "communism" or some other such hoary authoritarian bullshit extracted from deep inside their partisan id, remember that for them it is only bad to redistribute when it goes downhill. Increasing the wealth of the wealthy, to them, is far preferable to spreading the wealth so those who don't got a lot, get a little more.

That's bad.

Somehow, one is stealing and the other is... um... not stealing.

What is most appalling to me is that these people see nothing wrong with what they are doing. Somehow, because they've read Ayn Rand and imagine themselves some kind of mighty John Galt-type, astride the world and held back from even further greatness and glory by hangers-on, bloodsuckers and sycophants, they see this as their due.

They think we owe them this kind of treatment because we wouldn't exist without them. Sez them. Clearly, it is the other way around. Try doing my job for a day. I'm sure I could fake my way through theirs for a day, or even longer, much more successfully.

Something more akin to the French Revolution should be in order for these people.

If someone doesn't go to jail over this, that may very well be what happens.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Honor the Veterans

On this Veteran's Day, honor those who have served their country by giving some badly needed money to Jim Martin, Democrat for Senate in Georgia (and Vietnam vet, BTW) who is running against the odious Saxby Chambliss (a draft dodger) who defeated another decorated Vietnam vet, Max Cleland, six years ago in one of the ugliest campaigns in modern American political history. Mr. Cleland is also a triple-amputee, but he didn't lose his limbs in surgery, rather he left them on a battle field in South East Asia, a place Mr. Chambliss went 39 years after others of his generation gave their last full measure of devotion there. Mr. Chambliss played a round of golf.

Let's render Mr. Chambliss unemployed as soon as possible by honoring our vets, something Saxby knows nothing about.

In case anyone has forgotten just how sleazy Chambliss' attacks on Cleland were, here's a YouTube of the ad in question:

Veteran's Day

In Flanders Fields
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

Iraq 2008

Joshua R. Anderson, 24, Army Private 1st Class • Jan 02, 2008 • (Jordan, Minnesota)
Ryan D. Maseth, 24, Army Staff Sergeant • Jan 02, 2008 • (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
Thomas J. Casey, 32, Army Captain • Jan 03, 2008 • (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
Andrew J. Olmsted, 37, Army Major • Jan 03, 2008 • (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
Menelek M. Brown, 24, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class • Jan 04, 2008 • (Roswell, New Mexico)
Jason F. Lemke, 30, Army Private 1st Class • Jan 05, 2008 • (West Allis, Wisconsin)
James D. Gudridge, 20, Army Specialist • Jan 06, 2008 • (Carthage, New York)
Timothy R. Hanson, 23, Army Private 1st Class • Jan 07, 2008 • (Kenosha, Wisconsin)
David J. Hart, 22, Army Sergeant • Jan 08, 2008 • (Lake View Terrace, California)
Ivan E. Merlo, 19, Army Private 1st Class • Jan 08, 2008 • (San Marcos, California)
Phillip J. Pannier, 20, Army Private 1st Class • Jan 08, 2008 • (Washburn, Illinois)
Zachary W. McBride, 20, Army Sergeant • Jan 09, 2008 • (Bend, Oregon)
Todd E. Davis, 22, Army Specialist • Jan 09, 2008 • (Raymore, Missouri)
Sean M. Gaul, 29, Army Staff Sergeant • Jan 09, 2008 • (Reno, Nevada)
Christopher A. Sanders, 22, Army Sergeant • Jan 09, 2008 • (Roswell, New Mexico)
Jonathan Kilian Dozier, 30, Army Staff Sergeant • Jan 09, 2008 • (Rutherford, Tennessee)
Matthew I. Pionk, 30, Army Sergeant 1st Class • Jan 09, 2008 • (Superior, Wisconsin)
Curtis A. Christensen Jr., 29, Marine Lance Corporal • Jan 11, 2008 • (Collingswood, New Jersey)
Keith E. Lloyd, 26, Army Private 1st Class • Jan 12, 2008 • (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
Danny L. Kimme, 27, Army Private 1st Class • Jan 16, 2008 • (Fisher, Illinois)
David H. Sharrett II, 27, Army Private 1st Class • Jan 16, 2008 • (Oakton, Virginia)
John P. Sigsbee, 21, Army Specialist • Jan 16, 2008 • (Waterville, New York)
Justin R. Whiting, 27, Army Staff Sergeant • Jan 19, 2008 • (Hancock, New York)
Richard B. Burress, 25, Army Specialist • Jan 19, 2008 • (Naples, Florida)
James M. Gluff, 20, Marine Lance Corporal • Jan 19, 2008 • (Tunnel Hill, Georgia)
Jon M. Schoolcraft III, 26, Army Specialist • Jan 19, 2008 • (Wapakoneta, Ohio)
Michael R. Sturdivant, 20, Army Sergeant • Jan 22, 2008 • (Conway, Arkansas)
Duncan Charles Crookston, 19, Army Private 1st Class • Jan 25, 2008 • (Denver, Colorado)
Tracy Renee Birkman, 41, Army Sergeant • Jan 25, 2008 • (New Castle, Virginia)
Robert J. Wilson, 28, Army Staff Sergeant • Jan 26, 2008 • (Boynton Beach, Florida)
Mikeal W. Miller, 22, Army Sergeant • Jan 27, 2008 • (Albany, Oregon)
Alan G. Rogers, 40, Army Major • Jan 27, 2008 • (Hampton, Florida)
Evan A. Marshall, 21, Army Specialist • Jan 28, 2008 • (Athens, Georgia)
James E. Craig, 26, Army Sergeant • Jan 28, 2008 • (Hollywood, California)
Brandon A. Meyer, 20, Army Private 1st Class • Jan 28, 2008 • (Orange, California)
Joshua A. R. Young, 21, Army Private • Jan 28, 2008 • (Riddle, Oregon)
Gary W. Jeffries, 37, Army Staff Sergeant • Jan 28, 2008 • (Roscoe, Texas)
David E. Schultz, 25, Army 1st Lieutenant • Jan 31, 2008 • (Blue Island, Illinois)
Michael A. Norman, 36, Army Captain • Jan 31, 2008 • (Killeen, Texas)
Matthew F. Straughter, 27, Army National Guard Sergeant • Jan 31, 2008 • (St. Charles, Missouri)
Chad A. Barrett, 35, Army Staff Sergeant • Feb 02, 2008 • (Saltville, Virginia)
Christopher J. West, 26, Army Specialist • Feb 04, 2008 • (Arlington, Texas)
Nathan H. Hardy, 29, Navy Chief Petty Officer • Feb 04, 2008 • (Durham, New Hampshire)
Michael E. Koch, 29, Navy Chief Petty Officer • Feb 04, 2008 • (State College, Pennsylvania)
Rafael Alicearivera, 30, Army Sergeant • Feb 05, 2008 • (Bayamon, Puerto Rico)
Miguel A. Baez, 32, Army Specialist • Feb 05, 2008 • (Bonaire, Georgia)
John C. Osmolski, 23, Army Sergeant • Feb 05, 2008 • (Eustis, Florida)
Timothy R. Van Orman, 24, Army Sergeant • Feb 05, 2008 • (Port Matilda, Pennsylvania)
Bradley J. Skelton, 40, Army National Guard Sergeant • Feb 06, 2008 • (Gordonville, Missouri)
Luis A. Souffront, 25, Navy Petty Officer 1st Class • Feb 07, 2008 • (Miami, Florida)
Michael T. Manibog, 31, Army Specialist • Feb 08, 2008 • (Alameda, California)
Gary D. Willett, 34, Army Sergeant • Feb 08, 2008 • (Alameda, California)
Jack T. Sweet, 19, Army Private 1st Class • Feb 08, 2008 • (Alexandria Bay, New York)
Jerald A. Whisenhunt, 32, Army Staff Sergeant • Feb 08, 2008 • (Orrick, Missouri)
Timothy P. Martin, 27, Army Sergeant • Feb 08, 2008 • (Pixley, California)
Corey E. Spates, 21, Army Sergeant • Feb 10, 2008 • (LaGrange, Georgia)
Javares J. Washington, 27, Army Staff Sergeant • Feb 14, 2008 • (Pensacola, Florida)
Chad D. Groepper, 21, Army Specialist • Feb 17, 2008 • (Kingsley, Iowa)
Luke S. Runyan, 21, Army Specialist • Feb 17, 2008 • (Spring Grove, Pennsylvania)
Conrad Alvarez, 22, Army Sergeant • Feb 20, 2008 • (Big Spring, Texas)
Albert Bitton, 20, Army Corporal • Feb 20, 2008 • (Chicago, Illinois)
Bryant W. Mackey, 30, Army Staff Sergeant • Feb 20, 2008 • (Eureka, Kansas)
Micheal B. Matlock Jr., 21, Army Specialist • Feb 20, 2008 • (Glen Burnie, Maryland)
Nathan R. Raudenbush, 25, Army Captain • Feb 20, 2008 • (Royersford, Pennsylvania)
Drew W. Weaver, 20, Marine Lance Corporal • Feb 21, 2008 • (St. Charles, Missouri)
Keisha M. Morgan, 25, Army Specialist • Feb 22, 2008 • (Washington, District of Columbia)
Micheal E. Phillips, 19, Army Private 1st Class • Feb 24, 2008 • (Ardmore, Oklahoma)
Orlando A. Perez, 23, Army Specialist • Feb 24, 2008 • (Houston, Texas)
Kevin S. Mowl, 22, Army Specialist • Feb 25, 2008 • (Pittsford, New York)
Christopher S. Frost, 24, Air Force Staff Sergeant • Mar 04, 2008 • (Waukesha, Wisconsin)
Jose A. Paniagua-Morales, 22, Army Corporal • Mar 07, 2008 • (Bell Gardens, California)
Donald A. Burkett, 24, Army Specialist • Mar 10, 2008 • (Comanche, Texas)
Ernesto G. Cimarrusti, 25, Army Staff Sergeant • Mar 10, 2008 • (Douglas, Arizona)
David D. Julian, 31, Army Staff Sergeant • Mar 10, 2008 • (Evanston, Wyoming)
Phillip R. Anderson, 28, Army Sergeant • Mar 10, 2008 • (Everett, Washington)
Shawn M. Suzch, 32, Army Sergeant 1st Class • Mar 10, 2008 • (Hilltown, Pennsylvania)
Scott A. McIntosh, 26, Army Corporal • Mar 10, 2008 • (Houston, Texas)
Torre R. Mallard, 27, Army Captain • Mar 10, 2008 • (Not reported yet, Oklahoma)
Robert T. McDavid, 28, Army Corporal • Mar 10, 2008 • (Starkville, Mississippi)
Laurent J. West, 32, Army Staff Sergeant • Mar 11, 2008 • (Raleigh, North Carolina)
Dustin C. Jackson, 21, Army Specialist • Mar 12, 2008 • (Arlington, Texas)
Juantrea T. Bradley, 28, Army Staff Sergeant • Mar 12, 2008 • (Greenville, North Carolina)
Tenzin L. Samten, 33, Army Private 1st Class • Mar 12, 2008 • (Prescott, Arizona)
Lerando J. Brown, 27, Army National Guard Specialist • Mar 15, 2008 • (Gulfport, Mississippi)
William D. O’Brien, 19, Army Specialist • Mar 15, 2008 • (Rice, Texas)
Michael D. Elledge, 41, Army Staff Sergeant • Mar 17, 2008 • (Brownsburg, Indiana)
Christopher C. Simpson, 23, Army Specialist • Mar 17, 2008 • (Hampton, Virginia)
Gregory D. Unruh, 28, Army Sergeant • Mar 19, 2008 • (Dickinson, Texas)
Keith M. Maupin, 20, Army Sergeant • Mar 21, 2008 • (Batavia, Ohio)
Tyler J. Smith, 22, Army Private 1st Class • Mar 21, 2008 • (Bethel, Maine)
David S. Stelmat, 27, Army National Guard Specialist • Mar 22, 2008 • (Littleton, New Hampshire)
David B. Williams, 26, Army National Guard Sergeant • Mar 22, 2008 • (Tarboro, North Carolina)
Thomas C. Ray II, 40, Army National Guard Sergeant • Mar 22, 2008 • (Weaverville, North Carolina)
Christopher M. Hake, 26, Army Staff Sergeant • Mar 23, 2008 • (Enid, Oklahoma)
Andrew J. Habsieger, 22, Army Private 1st Class • Mar 23, 2008 • (Festus, Missouri)
Jose A. Rubio Hernandez, 24, Army Specialist • Mar 23, 2008 • (Mission, Texas)
George Delgado, 21, Army Private • Mar 23, 2008 • (Palmdale, California)
Joseph D. Gamboa, 34, Army Staff Sergeant • Mar 25, 2008 • (Yigo, Guam)
Steven I. Candelo, 26, Army Corporal • Mar 26, 2008 • (Houston, Texas)
Gregory B. Rundell, 21, Army Specialist • Mar 26, 2008 • (St. Paul, Not reported yet)
Joshua A. Molina, 20, Army Specialist • Mar 27, 2008 • (Houston, Texas)
Charles A. Jankowski, 24, Army Not reported yet • Mar 28, 2008 • (Panama City, Florida)
Patrick J. Miller, 23, Army Private 1st Class • Mar 29, 2008 • (New Port Richey, Florida)
Jevon K. Jordan, 32, Army Sergeant • Mar 29, 2008 • (Norfolk, Virginia)
Durrell L. Bennett, 22, Army Specialist • Mar 29, 2008 • (Spanaway, Washington)
Terrell W. Gilmore, 38, Army National Guard Sergeant • Mar 30, 2008 • (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
William G. Hall, 38, Marine Major • Mar 30, 2008 • (Seattle, Washington)
Dayne D. Dhanoolal, 26, Army Sergeant • Mar 31, 2008 • (Brooklyn, New York)
Travis L. Griffin, 27, Air Force Staff Sergeant • Apr 03, 2008 • (Dover, Delaware)
Matthew T. Morris, 23, Army Specialist • Apr 06, 2008 • (Cedar Park, Texas)
Stuart A. Wolfer, 36, Army Major • Apr 06, 2008 • (Coral Springs, Florida)
Stephen K. Scott, 54, Army Colonel • Apr 06, 2008 • (New Market, Alabama)
Jeremiah E. McNeal, 23, Air National Guard Staff Sergeant • Apr 06, 2008 • (Norfolk, Virginia)
Ulises Burgos-Cruz, 29, Army Captain • Apr 06, 2008 • (Not reported yet, Puerto Rico)
Shane D. Penley, 19, Army Private 1st Class • Apr 06, 2008 • (Sauk Village, Illinois)
Emanuel Pickett, 34, Army National Guard Staff Sergeant • Apr 06, 2008 • (Teachey, North Carolina)
Michael T. Lilly, 23, Army Sergeant • Apr 07, 2008 • (Boise, Idaho)
Jason C. Kazarick, 30, Army Specialist • Apr 07, 2008 • (Oakmont, Pennsylvania)
Richard A. Vaughn, 22, Army Sergeant • Apr 07, 2008 • (San Diego, California)
Timothy M. Smith, 25, Army Sergeant • Apr 07, 2008 • (South Lake Tahoe, California)
Jeffery L. Hartley, 25, Army Staff Sergeant • Apr 08, 2008 • (Hempstead, Texas)
Mark E. Rosenberg, 32, Army Major • Apr 08, 2008 • (Miami Lakes, Florida)
Jesse A. Ault, 28, Army Sergeant • Apr 09, 2008 • (Dublin, Virginia)
Anthony L. Capra, 31, Air Force Technical Sergeant • Apr 09, 2008 • (Hanford, California)
Shaun P. Tousha, 30, Army Sergeant • Apr 09, 2008 • (Hull, Texas)
Jeremiah C. Hughes, 26, Army Specialist • Apr 09, 2008 • (Jacksonville, Florida)
Jacob J. Fairbanks, 22, Army Specialist • Apr 09, 2008 • (Saint Paul, Minnesota)
Merlin German, 22, Marine Sergeant • Apr 11, 2008 • (Manhattan, New York)
William E. Allmon, 25, Army Specialist • Apr 12, 2008 • (Ardmore, Oklahoma)
Arturo Huerta-Cruz, 23, Army Specialist • Apr 14, 2008 • (Clearwater, Florida)
Joseph A. Richard III, 27, Army Sergeant • Apr 14, 2008 • (Lafayette, Louisiana)
Richard J. Nelson, 23, Marine Reserve Corporal • Apr 14, 2008 • (Racine, Wisconsin)
Dean D. Opicka, 29, Marine Reserve Lance Corporal • Apr 14, 2008 • (Waukesha, Wisconsin)
Jason L. Brown, 29, Army Staff Sergeant • Apr 17, 2008 • (Magnolia, Texas)
Lance O. Eakes, 25, Army Specialist • Apr 18, 2008 • (Apex, North Carolina)
Benjamin K. Brosh, 22, Army Specialist • Apr 18, 2008 • (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
Cherie L. Morton, 40, Navy Petty Officer 1st Class • Apr 20, 2008 • (Bakersfield, California)
Steven J. Christofferson, 20, Army Specialist • Apr 21, 2008 • (Cudahy, Wisconsin)
Adrian M. Campos, 22, Navy Airman Apprentice • Apr 21, 2008 • (El Paso, Texas)
Matthew R. Vandergrift, 28, Marine 1st Lieutenant • Apr 21, 2008 • (Littleton, Colorado)
Adam J. Kohlhaas, 26, Army Sergeant • Apr 21, 2008 • (Perryville, Missouri)
Jonathan T. Yale, 21, Marine Corporal • Apr 22, 2008 • (Burkeville, Virginia)
Ronald R. Harrison, 25, Army Private • Apr 22, 2008 • (Morris Plains, New Jersey)
Jordan C. Haerter, 19, Marine Lance Corporal • Apr 22, 2008 • (Sag Harbor, New York)
Timothy W. Cunningham, 26, Army 1st Lieutenant • Apr 23, 2008 • (College Station, Texas)
John T. Bishop, 22, Army Private 1st Class • Apr 23, 2008 • (Gaylord, Michigan)
Guadalupe Cervantes Ramirez, 26, Army Sergeant • Apr 23, 2008 • (Mohave Valley, Arizona)
Ronald C. Blystone, 34, Army Staff Sergeant • Apr 23, 2008 • (Springfield, Missouri)
Shaun J. Whitehead, 24, Army Staff Sergeant • Apr 24, 2008 • (Commerce, Georgia)
William T. Dix, 32, Army Private 1st Class • Apr 27, 2008 • (Culver City, California)
Mark A. Stone, 22, Army Sergeant • Apr 28, 2008 • (Buchanan Dam, Texas)
David P. McCormick, 26, Army Specialist • Apr 28, 2008 • (Fresno, Texas)
Adam L. Marion, 26, Army Private 1st Class • Apr 28, 2008 • (Mount Airy, North Carolina)
Marcus C. Mathes, 26, Army Sergeant • Apr 28, 2008 • (Zephyrhills, Florida)
Bryan E. Bolander, 26, Army Staff Sergeant • Apr 29, 2008 • (Bakersfield, California)
Clay A. Craig, 22, Army Staff Sergeant • Apr 29, 2008 • (Mesquite, Texas)
Andrew. R. Pearson, 32, Army Captain • Apr 30, 2008 • (Billings, Montana)
Ronald J. Tucker, 21, Army Specialist • Apr 30, 2008 • (Fountain, Colorado)
Lawrence D. Ezell, 30, Army Sergeant 1st Class • Apr 30, 2008 • (Portland, Texas)
Chad A. Caldwell, 24, Army Staff Sergeant • Apr 30, 2008 • (Spokane, Washington)
Glen E. Martinez, 31, Marine Sergeant • May 01, 2008 • (Boulder, Colorado)
James F. Kimple, 21, Marine Lance Corporal • May 01, 2008 • (Carroll, Ohio)
Jeffrey F. Nichols, 21, Army Specialist • May 01, 2008 • (Granite Shoals, Texas)
Casey L. Casanova, 22, Marine Lance Corporal • May 01, 2008 • (McComb, Mississippi)
Miguel A. Guzman, 21, Marine Corporal • May 01, 2008 • (Norwalk, California)
Corey L. Hicks, 22, Army Private • May 02, 2008 • (Glendale, Arizona)
Aaron J. Ward, 19, Army Private 1st Class • May 06, 2008 • (Jacinto, California)
Alex D. Gonzalez, 21, Army Specialist • May 06, 2008 • (Mission, Texas)
Mary J. Jaenichen, 20, Army Specialist • May 09, 2008 • (Temecula, California)
Joseph A. Ford, 23, Army National Guard Specialist • May 10, 2008 • (Knox, Indiana)
Jessica A. Ellis, 24, Army Corporal • May 11, 2008 • (Bend, Oregon)
Victor M. Cota, 33, Army Sergeant • May 14, 2008 • (Tucson, Arizona)
John K. Daggett, 21, Army Sergeant • May 15, 2008 • (Phoenix, Arizona)
Branden P. Haunert, 21, Army Private • May 18, 2008 • (Blue Ash, Ohio)
Kyle Phillip Norris, 22, Army Private 1st Class • May 22, 2008 • (Zanesville, Ohio)
Jason F. Dene, 37, Army Sergeant 1st Class • May 25, 2008 • (Castleton, Vermont)
Frank J. Gasper, 25, Army Sergeant • May 25, 2008 • (Merced, California)
Blake W. Evans, 24, Army Sergeant • May 25, 2008 • (Rockford, Illinois)
Christian S. Cotner, 20, Marine Corporal • May 30, 2008 • (Waterbury, Connecticut)
Justin R. Mixon, 22, Army Specialist • Jun 01, 2008 • (Bogalusa, Louisiana)
Christopher D. McCarthy, 28, Army Reserve Specialist • Jun 01, 2008 • (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
Quincy J. Green, 26, Army Specialist • Jun 03, 2008 • (El Paso, Texas)
Joshua E. Waltenbaugh, 19, Army Private 1st Class • Jun 03, 2008 • (Ford City, Pennsylvania)
Cody R. Legg, 23, Army Sergeant • Jun 04, 2008 • (Escondido, California)
Jonathan D. A. Emard, 20, Army Specialist • Jun 04, 2008 • (Mesquite, Texas)
Shane P. Duffy, 22, Army Sergeant • Jun 04, 2008 • (Taunton, Massachusetts)
David R. Hurst, 31, Army Sergeant 1st Class • Jun 07, 2008 • (Fort Sill, Oklahoma)
Tyler E. Pickett, 28, Army Staff Sergeant • Jun 08, 2008 • (Saratoga, Wyoming)
Thomas F. Duncan III, 21, Army Specialist • Jun 09, 2008 • (Rowlett, Texas)
Steve A. McCoy, 23, Army Sergeant • Jun 10, 2008 • (Moultrie, Georgia)
Gerard M. Reed, 40, Army Sergeant 1st Class • Jun 11, 2008 • (Jacksonville Beach, Florida)
Eugene D. M. Kanakaole, 19, Army Private • Jun 11, 2008 • (Maui, Hawaii)
Javier Perales Jr., 19, Marine Lance Corporal • Jun 11, 2008 • (San Elizario, Texas)
Kelly E. C. Watters, 19, Marine Lance Corporal • Jun 11, 2008 • (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
John D. Aragon, 22, Army Sergeant • Jun 12, 2008 • (Antioch, California)
Jason N. Cox, 21, Army Specialist • Jun 16, 2008 • (Elyria, Ohio)
Du Hai Tran, 30, Army Staff Sergeant • Jun 20, 2008 • (Reseda, California)
Gregory T. Dalessio, 30, Army Captain • Jun 23, 2008 • (Cherry Hill, New Jersey)
Bryan M. Thomas, 22, Army Private 1st Class • Jun 23, 2008 • (Lake Charles, Louisiana)
Robert C. Hammett, 39, Army Chief Warrant Officer • Jun 24, 2008 • (Tucson, Arizona)
Dwayne M. Kelley, 48, Army Major • Jun 24, 2008 • (Willingboro, New Jersey)
Joshua L. Plocica, 20, Army Specialist • Jun 25, 2008 • (Clarksville, Tennessee)
James M. Yohn, 25, Army Private 1st Class • Jun 25, 2008 • (Highspire, Pennsylvania)
Joel A. Taylor, 20, Army Specialist • Jun 25, 2008 • (Pinetown, North Carolina)
Alejandro A. Dominguez, 24, Army Sergeant • Jun 25, 2008 • (San Diego, California)
Philip J. Dykeman, 38, Marine Captain • Jun 26, 2008 • (Brockport, New York)
Marcus W. Preudhomme, 23, Marine Corporal • Jun 26, 2008 • (North Miami Beach, Florida)
Max A. Galeai, 42, Marine Lieutenant Colonel • Jun 26, 2008 • (Pago Pago, American Samoa)
Anthony Lynn Woodham, 37, Army National Guard Sergeant 1st Class • Jul 05, 2008 • (Rogers, Arkansas)
William L. McMillan III, 22, Army Specialist • Jul 08, 2008 • (Lexington, Kentucky)
Alex R. Jimenez, 25, Army Sergeant • Jul 09, 2008 • (Lawrence, Massachusetts)
Steven J. Chevalier, 35, Army Sergeant 1st Class • Jul 09, 2008 • (Flint, Michigan)
Byron J. Fouty, 19, Army Private • Jul 09, 2008 • (Waterford, Michigan)
Jeffery S. Stevenson, 20, Marine Lance Corporal • Jul 13, 2008 • (Newton, New Jersey)
Danny Dupre, 28, Marine Staff Sergeant • Jul 14, 2008 • (Lockport, Louisiana)
Daniel R. Verbeke, 25, Navy Aviation Boatswain Mate 3rd Class • Jul 14, 2008 • (Exton, Pennsylvania)
David W. Textor, 27, Army Staff Sergeant • Jul 15, 2008 • (Roanoke, Virginia)
Jeremy D. Vrooman, 28, Army Staff Sergeant • Jul 15, 2008 • (Sioux Falls, South Dakota)
Jackie L. Larsen, 37, Air Force Technical Sergeant • Jul 17, 2008 • (Tacoma, Washington)
James A. McHale, 31, Army Sergeant • Jul 30, 2008 • (Fairfield, Montana)
Andre Darnell Mitchell, 25, Army Specialist • Jul 31, 2008 • (Elmont, New York)
Jennifer L. Cole, 34, Army Private 1st Class • Aug 02, 2008 • (American Canyon, California)
Brian K. Miller, 37, Army National Guard Sergeant • Aug 02, 2008 • (Pendleton, Indiana)
Kevin R. Dickson, 21, Army Specialist • Aug 02, 2008 • (Steelville, Missouri)
Ronald Andrew Schmidt, 18, Army National Guard Specialist • Aug 03, 2008 • (Newton, Kansas)
Timothy J. Hutton, 21, Army Private • Aug 04, 2008 • (Dillon, Montana)
Gary M Henry, 34, Army National Guard Sergeant • Aug 04, 2008 • (Indianapolis, Illinois)
Jonathan D. Menke, 22, Army National Guard Specialist • Aug 04, 2008 • (Madison, Indiana)
Danny E. Maybin, 47, Army Main Sergeant • Aug 07, 2008 • (Columbia, South Carolina)
Adam T. McKiski, 21, Marine Corporal • Aug 07, 2008 • (Cherry Valley, Illinois)
Stewart S. Trejo, 25, Marine Corporal • Aug 07, 2008 • (Whitefish, Montana)
Jose E. Ulloa, 23, Army Sergeant • Aug 09, 2008 • (New York, New York)
Kenneth B. Gibson, 25, Army Sergeant • Aug 10, 2008 • (Christiansburg, Virginia)
Michael H. Ferschke Jr., 22, Marine Sergeant • Aug 10, 2008 • (Maryville, Tennessee)
James M. Hale, 23, Army Corporal • Aug 13, 2008 • (Naperville, Illinois)
Daniel A. C. McGuire, 19, Marine Private 1st Class • Aug 14, 2008 • (Mashpee, Massachusetts)
Janelle F. King, 23, Army Private • Aug 14, 2008 • (Merced, California)
Travis M. Stottlemyer, 20, Marine Lance Corporal • Aug 17, 2008 • (Hatfield, Pennsylvania)
George Stanciel, 40, Army Not reported yet • Aug 19, 2008 • (Greenwood, Mississippi)
Steven J. Fitzmorris, 26, Army Specialist • Aug 25, 2008 • (Columbia, Missouri)
Carlo E. Alfonso, 23, Army Specialist • Aug 26, 2008 • (Spokane, Washington)
David K. Cooper, 25, Army Sergeant • Aug 27, 2008 • (Williamsburg, Kentucky)
Jorge L. Feliz Nieve, 26, Army Specialist • Aug 28, 2008 • (Queens, New York)
Michael L. Gonzalez, 20, Army Specialist • Aug 28, 2008 • (Spotswood, New Jersey)
Patrick W. May, 22, Army Private 1st Class • Sep 02, 2008 • (Jamestown, New York)
Bryan R. Thomas, 22, Army Private 1st Class • Sep 04, 2008 • (Battle Creek, Michigan)
Kenneth W. Mayne, 29, Army Sergeant • Sep 04, 2008 • (Fort Benning, Georgia)
Jordan P. P. Thibeault, 22, Army Private • Sep 05, 2008 • (South Jordan, Utah)
Daniel R. Sexton, 53, Army Sergeant 1st Class • Sep 10, 2008 • (Wentzville, Missouri)
Sidney J. Marceaux Jr., 69, Army Colonel (Chaplain) • Sep 14, 2008 • (Beaumont, Texas)
Ralph J. Marino, 46, Army Lieutenant Colonel • Sep 14, 2008 • (Houston, Pennsylvania)
Darris J. Dawson, 24, Army Staff Sergeant • Sep 14, 2008 • (Pensacola, Florida)
Wesley R. Durbin, 26, Army Sergeant • Sep 14, 2008 • (Hurst, Texas)
Leonard J. Gulczynski I, 19, Army Private 1st Class • Sep 17, 2008 • (Carol Stream, Illinois)
Darrick D. Wright, 37, Army Captain • Sep 17, 2008 • (Nashville, Tennessee)
Michael E. Thompson, 23, Army National Guard Corporal • Sep 18, 2008 • (Harrah, Oklahoma)
Corry A. Edwards, 38, Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer • Sep 18, 2008 • (Kennedale, Texas)
Daniel M. Eshbaugh, 43, Army National Guard Sergeant • Sep 18, 2008 • (Norman, Oklahoma)
Brady J. Rudolf, 37, Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer • Sep 18, 2008 • (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
Robert Vallejo II, 28, Army National Guard Not reported yet • Sep 18, 2008 • (Richland Hills, Texas)
Julio C. Ordonez, 54, Army National Guard 1st Sergeant • Sep 18, 2008 • (San Antonio, Texas)
Anthony L. Mason, 37, Army National Guard Sergeant • Sep 18, 2008 • (Springtown, Texas)
Matthew J. Taylor, 25, Army Staff Sergeant • Sep 21, 2008 • (Charleston, South Carolina)
Thomas J. Brown, 26, Army 1st Lieutenant • Sep 23, 2008 • (Shelton, Virginia)
Michael J. Medders, 25, Army Captain • Sep 24, 2008 • (Elyria, Ohio)
Ronald Phillips Jr., 33, Army Staff Sergeant • Sep 25, 2008 • (Conway, South Carolina)
Jamel A. Bryant, 22, Army Private 1st Class • Sep 27, 2008 • (Belleville, Illinois)
Christopher T. Fox, 21, Army Specialist • Sep 29, 2008 • (Memphis, Tennessee)
Christopher A. Bartkiewicz, 25, Army Private 1st Class • Sep 30, 2008 • (Dunfermline, Illinois)
Tavarus D. Setzler, 23, Army Private 1st Class • Oct 03, 2008 • (Jacksonville, Florida)
Michael R. Stahlman, 45, Marine Colonel • Oct 05, 2008 • (Chevy Chase, Maryland)
William P. Rudd, 27, Army Sergeant • Oct 05, 2008 • (Madisonville, Kentucky)
Michael K. Clark, 24, Army Sergeant • Oct 07, 2008 • (Sacramento, California)
Reuben M. Fernandez III, 22, Army Corporal • Oct 11, 2008 • (Abilene, Texas)
Geoffrey G. Johnson, 28, Army Specialist • Oct 12, 2008 • (Lubbock, Texas)
Christopher A. McCraw, 23, Army Private 1st Class • Oct 14, 2008 • (Columbia, Mississippi)
Justin A. Saint, 22, Army Specialist • Oct 15, 2008 • (Albertville, Alabama)
Heath K. Pickard, 25, Army Private 1st Class • Oct 16, 2008 • (Palestine, Texas)
Stacy A. Dryden, 22, Marine Lance Corporal • Oct 20, 2008 • (North Canton, Ohio)
Brian P. Hause, 29, Air Force Staff Sergeant • Oct 23, 2008 • (Stoystown, Pennsylvania)
Cody J. Eggleston, 21, Army Private 1st Class • Oct 24, 2008 • (Eugene, Oregon)
Scott J. Metcalf, 36, Army Sergeant • Oct 29, 2008 • (Framingham, Massachusetts)
Bradley S. Coleman, 24, Army Private 1st Class • Oct 29, 2008 • (Martinsville, Virginia)
Adam McKamey Wenger, 27, Army Specialist • Nov 05, 2008 • (Mount Pleasant, South Carolina)
Theron V. Hobbs, 22, Army Private 1st Class • Nov 06, 2008 • (Albany, Georgia)
Timothy H. Walker, 38, Army Staff Sergeant • Nov 08, 2008 • (Franklin, Tennessee)