Saturday, July 12, 2008

Karl Rove: Rats Desert the Ship of State

Where in the World is Karl Rove? « NotionsCapital: "Where in the World is Karl Rove?
Where in the World is Karl Rove? That’s the big Blogosphere question tonight. See it here and here and here.
This so needs to be a T-Shirt.

But as hot and topical as this is, I find it difficult to say anything of substance, beyond "aw, fuck, what did you think was going to happen?"

I said difficult. Not impossible.

There's more...

But let's start with some hindsight. I typed "Karl Rove" into my site search. Just mine. I imagine the results would be similar on pretty much any reality-based site, or even, say The New York Times.

The results on this one person blog would choke a goat.

Meet the New Smirk; Same as the old Smirk.

I used to respect John McCain a great deal. But I'm afraid that he's lost his way; while politics is the art of compromise, it is not supposed to be the art of compromising one's principles to the end of gaining power.

He's now forthright for torture and supports the police state tactics that the Bush Cabal desires - most lately endorsing warrantless wiretapping "In this time of war." A "war" will last just as long as needed to justify the "emergency procedures" Karl Rove desires.

Whatever the orthodoxy of the Republican Party thinks, whatever their media machine believes, McCain's actual chance of winning an even somewhat honest election at this point, with the Bush Albatross around his neck and a ringing promise of a hundred more years of war in the middle east if that's what it takes to "win" is that of a urinal puck in a Texas Honky-Tonk.

Pot. Kettle. Rove.

But, thanks to Susie, I was directed to this article on BoingBoing:

"I'm the proud owner of Karl Rove’s father’s solid gold cock ring."

You know, that might well be the most compelling headline of the decade.

Well, now; that explains a lot, don't it? Oh, and Karl was raised in Sparks, Nev, just for that local interest angle.

I've always thought that Karl was a little bit "queer" myself. Not in the way his dad was, but in the sense of being ooozingly, off-puttingly not quite right. In the old sense, before the word came to be a synonym for homosexuality, one connotation was the sort of person that caused you to wipe your hand on your pants-leg after shaking their hand.

And oddly enough, Karl is the exact sort that would like you to confuse those terms, with the sort of pasty phiz you see in sex-offender registries.

Siegelman and Scrushy - Tip of the Iceburg?

The story itself bears so much similarity to so many other stories that it seems almost routine. It took a few of the comments to make me realize that suddenly "Dog bites Man" is genuine news.

The news is that "plausible deniablity" is off the table. We now know that when "Dog bites Man," it's almost always the same goddamn dog - just as we always suspected.

And on, and on and on. Siebel Edwards, Valerie Plaime,
Eliot Spitzer, Siegelman and Scrushy are just a few of the names we know, people that for some reason or another would not yield and therefore got "Roved." It surely leads one to wonder who caved in. Nancy Pelosi seems an obvious suspect, as does our own Harry Reid.

But considering what Rove hath wrought upon those whom he has been displeased with, getting full cover from the Justice Department even in acts of outright treason, it's really difficult to gin up any great moral outrage at a failure of courage in such straits.

Hell, consider this:

The Pragmatic Progressive: Puzzling cluster of dead microbiologists.

Consider that all the targets of the Anthrax terror attack were Democrats, and that the agent was a weapons grade strain of anthrax processed to make it go easily airborne that clearly came from our own bio-warfare labs.

A fact, of course, that had to be confirmed by microbiology and genetics.

Hm. Not sayin' there's a direct connection between the two things, of course. But the net impression from this and many hundreds of other hints dropped upon us is that there is no length to which these people will not go. Indeed, they have gone there, and are clearly comfortable with doing it again, harder.

Nor are they even embarrassed to point to what their tactics have achieved - or apparently even conscious of the costs imposed upon us to make their gains. Just ask John McCain's economic advisor, Phil Grahm. He'll tell you:

" 'We have sort of become a nation of whiners,' he said. 'You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline' despite a major export boom that is the primary reason that growth continues in the economy, he said.

" 'We've never been more dominant; we've never had more natural advantages than we have today,' he said. 'We have benefited greatly' from the globalization of the economy in the last 30 years.

And that is all very true - depending on what your definition of "we" is. It surely does not include me. It almost certainly does not include you. If you happen to be Libral, gay, black, mexican or of middle-eastern, non-Israeli origin., you are specifically dis included. (Jews, of course, need to be kept around so they can be the centerpiece of the great Armageddon Barbecue.)

It's very clear we have a government led by, informed by and beholden to people that consider the citizenry to be of little more importance than serfs, wage-slaves at the vast latifundia of Wal-Mart and the Military-Industrial Complexes scattered about our land.

Those who believe our voices should count get counted out. One way or another and by whatever means are most convenient, without any need to consider ethics, morality or consequences.

Rove - probably THE key figure in all of this - is quite obviously a sociopath. Equally obviously, he depends upon and promotes a network of the gullible, fellow sociopaths, the greedy and the corruptible. He's used by people even more evil than he, for most are probably NOT such pure-strain sociopaths themselves.

Being what he is and knowing what he knows, he's certainly not going to allow his employers to throw him to the mob as a sop to apparent justice, but I'm somewhat surprised that such a trove of information was allowed to slip out of the country. Perhaps he's in a secure, undisclosed location. It would not suprise me (nor, I wager, him) to learn that he's now deceased. But should he actually BE on a "long planned vacation" with the sort of security a man with his official (rather than actual) status has, I'd consider it damnably remiss of any foreign intelligence agency to not explore a kidnap and interrogation operation.

I mean, consider the leverage a few weeks of determined interrogation could produce. The man who knows where all the bodies are buried, because he bought all the shovels? My word.

As lovely as it is to think of, say, MI6 or perhaps some deniable contractors professionally questioning Karl in some atmospherically ancient dungeon, one can learn a great deal simply by looking at all the long-term associates and entanglements with Rove.

Personally, I do not think it would be unreasonable or unwise to presume that those who deal with such a treasonous malevolent bastard as a matter of choice are any better than he, nor would it be wise to think they have any greater concern for the ethics of power.

You can start with Phil Graham, by informing him that when the rats start to desert the Ship of State, it's clear that the gilding above the waterline is hiding some serious structural defects.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Karl Rove Flees the Country

Bush's Brain flouts subpoena, leaves US without telling Congress. Karl Rove's contempt for the rule of law and contempt of Congress is astonishing, even after so many demonstrations of his personal hubris. Scheduled to testify before a Congressional Committee, he travels abroad instead.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

How did we ever manage without tasers?

clipped from
Zachery Ty Bryan, who played Brad Taylor on "Home Improvement" -- is suing Choice Hotels International over an incident back in April 2008. Zach claims he was staying at a hotel in San Diego when he and a few friends went across the street to grab a Gatorade. When he came back just after midnight, Bryan's lawyer claims the hotel wouldn't let him upstairs, since the room wasn't in his name.
Bryan's lawyer claims Zach tried explaining his wife was in the room, but the hotel refused to call her. He claims an off-duty manager, who was not involved in the initial argument, came out of nowhere and tasered Zach in the neck. Cops came but no charges were filed.
A hotel employee tells us Zach went nuts on the staff, a lot of alcohol was involved, and tasering the dude was the only safe bet.
blog it
Choice Hotels and Noble House Trust may be learning to do that soon - as well as a hard lesson as to the price of turning your good name into a rapidly spreading oxymoron. "Oxymoron" is not a snide reference to Rush Limbaugh. It's an inherent contradiction in terms. Kinda like "Military Intelligence," and (in certain lights "Family Values."

As my sarcastic headline implies, I do wonder how the hospitality industry ever managed to deal with (allegedly) drunken guests who have forgotten their room keys. I am not entirely sure, but I'm fairly certain that assistant managers did not carry Glocks, as a general rule; certainly not in your better establishments. I believe they relied on... oh, what was that device? Oh yes.

A telephone.


Bryan's lawyer claims Zach tried explaining his wife was in the room, but the hotel refused to call her. He claims an off-duty manager, who was not involved in the initial argument, came out of nowhere and tasered Zach in the neck. Cops came but no charges were filed.

More on this as the story develops, as they say. I've contacted the firm representing Ty for specifics. It is worth noting that TMZ is an AOL thing and, if you are familiar with AOL culture, the hand holding the taser is never wrong.

For myself, I am very dubious that an off duty assistant manager is in any way authorized security personel or trained to judge when a "situation" has become an "incident" requiring force.

Top Scientists Demand Names Removed From Climate List

Dozens of scientists are demanding that their names be removed from a widely distributed Heartland Institute article entitled 500 Scientists with Documented Doubts of Man-Made Global Warming Scares.There are allegations, by the by, that the Heartland Institute is funded by Exxon-Mobil. If so, you would think they could afford a better quality of disinformation.

read more | digg story

Monday, July 07, 2008

Damn Conservative Environmentalists

Aside from the silly splatting (we know damn well what D#@*$% means, so it's like pasties on a set of 38DD's), this question needs to be asked by all of us.
God's Politics - Jim Wallis : D#@*$% Environmentalists! (by Brian McLaren)
"A friend of mine recalls a dinner-table conversation one day when she was a schoolgirl. Her dad had come home unusually frustrated from his job as a city planner. 'D#@*$% environmentalists!' he said over dinner. 'Dad, I thought you were an environmentalist,' she said. 'Why are you so upset?'

'All day long,' he answered, 'environmentalists come to me with problems and complaints, and business people come to me with ideas and projects. Why can't the environmentalists be proactive and come to the table with some creative ideas to make things better, instead of just trying to get in the way of things they don't want to see happen?'"
McLaren has his own answer - which somehow morphs into faith-based initiatives. Well, Ok - there's no rule that says that you need one huge answer for every large problem. So, with a hat tip to Brian and Jim Wallace, I shall diverge at this point.

For myself, while I am a person of faith, in situations like this I don't see faith as being significant.

Faith is the answer when you are not sure of the facts, the implementation of the facts, or do not have the critical facilities to get from what you see to what you should do about it. In the latter case, you need to put your faith in people who can and have proven that they know what they are talking about, and can explain it with diagrams, models and math.

I've long held that Conservation is the ultimate Conservatism. So is environmentalism. "Fix it up, Use it up, Make it Do" is a virtue I grew up with. One of my personal bugaboos is the overwhelming avalanche of plastic crap that cannot be fixed up, used up or made to do. Hell, most often it doesn't even quite do when brand new.

And as I grew up in the Pacific Northwest in the midst of way more "environment" than most folks do, I grew up thinking of it as both a rich resource and my personal preferred environment.

While I value softwood lumber, I hate clear cuts - for the same reason you would hate someone bulldozing three houses across the street for the copper plumbing and leaving all the residue behind. That would be unethical, even had they paid for the property rights that would permit them to do that and even if there were no laws and regulations requiring cleanup. Indeed, those laws and regulations exist in recognition of the ethical requirements and serve as a sort of enforcible morality that applies in such a case.

As a good rule of thumb, if it's ugly and it smells bad, it's probably the result of some form of unethical behavior. Oh, and aside from that, it's wasteful of resources and therefore more expensive and less profitable than it could otherwise be.

When ethics and impact are divorced from the equation, you get both opportunism and NIMBYism. And frankly, much of what passes for environmentalism is some variety of Not In My Backyard. Spotted Owls be damned.

And then there's another point - one that seems to evade people on both sides of any of these debates where taking sides makes a solid resolution impractical or entirely impossible.

Every participant in an ecosystem has an impact; that impact must balance with it's contribution, or the ecosystem will tend to adapt and drive that participant to extinction. And we, our cities and all our glorious and terrible achievements are within the context of a large ecosystem called The Earth, which would get along just fine without us.

These are not matters of faith or ideological conviction, they are matters of fact and the factual, predictable consequences of acting counter to the interests of the ecosystem as a whole.

The only question then is how to go about doing that while preserving, and indeed, improving the parts of the environment we live in while not degrading the parts that other beings require. But none of this precludes change. Without change over time, an ecosystem is dead. We are part of it, unavoidably a dominant force within it, and when we find ourselves choking on our own filth in a silent wasteland, we should be able to come to the obvious conclusion - that we have screwed up and need to change our ways.

Why? Because it's ugly and it stinks.


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