1. The Phallusies of Dick and Bush
As noted in my blog, I predicted that the Taliban in Afghanistan were about to pull a John Paul Jones: they have just begun to fight. This was not prescient. This has been their pattern over the last 7,000 years. The invader invades and scores an "easy" victory. They wait. They watch. They expel the invader.
But what scared the heck out of me was the "year in the planning" offensive against the "Taliban." Note how conveniently any Afghan who opposes us is "Taliban." How about those Afghans who, in their ancient and venerable AND successful tradition, don't want to be occupied?
(Note: I have been informed that the Russians are back in Afghanistan, via a veteran who recently returned from that theater. Most frighteningly, when asked about the Russian presence in the only web research 'hit' I've found so far, the ever-parsing State Department Spokesperson stated this spring, "There are no Russians in Afghanistan, today." Note the "today." The Russians, it is no secret albeit underreported, are massed along the Afghan border, ostensibly to keep the "Jihadists" from entering the former Soviet Union -- Russia doesn't border Afghanistan, of course. The vet's story was horrific, more about it later).
The name of our operation? "Operation Mountain Thrust."
Hey, 'Operation Mount and Thrust' is a porn movie title. And in the political pornography of this braggadocio of bullies (as in a covey of quail, a pod of dolphins, etc.), I don't think it's an accident. They might have thunk it up subconsciously, but I think they noticed. Too bad the media hasn't.
But it sure as heck is the kind of "Macho" sort of bluster that a bunch of draft-dodging chickenhawks would come up with, don't you think?
"Operation Mountain Thrust": I guess it's their version of the Big Bang Theory.
2. Warren Buffett, Benefactor of Humanity
I had the distinct horror of attending a tax convention last week (21 hours of Continuing Education. 30 required to renew my license.). The finale was a slimy estate attorney who claims to be on the "Death Tax" committee of the American Bar Association.
And, you know his bias.
So, as he was explaining his satanic dodges to get around the estate tax, he gleefully outlined how the Rockefellers used the "Foundation" dodge. You put all your megabucks in a Foundation. Bingo! It's all charitable. Then, your family members become members of the Board. As such, they're entitled to a hefty salary from the foundation, which is taxed at the best rate a sleazy estate attorney can come up with, but the PRINCIPAL remains untouched, and the "Benefactor" zillionaire gets to live out his life zapping around the globe to wherever people can thank him for his largesse (and conveniently forget if, like Andrew Carnagie, he was an unprincipled S.O.B. in his prior, rapacious incarnation).
And, of course, Warren Buffett spent the early part of this week being lionized for his great benificence. Got to be in favor of the Estate Tax while getting around it, and got to claim that his kids didn't deserve immeasurable wealth merely because of the accident of their birth.
Wonder how many will end up members of the board?
And he gave the bucks to Bill Gates' foundation, which was undoubtedly engineered with Swiss precision by the best sleazy estate lawyers he could dig up.
Maybe this IS all altruism. But it was too much of a synchronicity to have learned the ins and outs of the dodge (hint: your "foundation" doesn't have to necessarily give out any charitable monies. If the salaries of the Board eat up all the available interest, well, then, so be it. Tax code says that's just fine. Thousandaires take note.)
You don't suppose that Ted Turner was ... nawww. He's the most benevolent man on Earth, dollar for dollar. Right? Right?
3. Our Catholic Court
It is a coincidence that we have five Catholic Supreme Court Justices, of course. It's no coincidence that Antonin Scalia CONVERTED Clarence "Me Too" Thomas to Catholicism, of course.
And in the last week, the second remarkable coincidence: that the five Catholics -- Roberts, Alito, Thomas, Scalia and Kennedy -- coincidentally formed the majority in several 5-4 decisions. The most famous, of course, was the decision allowing that the police no longer have to knock before kicking in your door, as long as they've got a search warrant.
Hell of a coincidence. I mean it's as fantastic as someone named Lou Gehrig coming into the hospital with Lou Gehrig's Disease, don't you think?
I warned about this sort of thing back in the Alito confirmation days, and sure as hell, he's as big a barking moonbat as I feared he'd be. Barking Moonbat, as defined by its coiner means 'someone at the extreme fringe of their "ism" whatever their "ism" happens to be.' It doesn't mean 'Democrat' or 'Liberal.' That's just what subliterate Republican Moonbats have decided to misinterpret it as meaning.
Book learning ain't never been high on their hidden agenda.
Still, don't you think that it ratchets up the probability that the Princes of the Church will start twisting Supreme arms to get their "culture of Life" agenda approved by the Supremes?
After all, if your name is Scalia, you're got some serious crimes against the state (Bush v. Gore) and humanity (pick your own example) to face up to come Judgment Day, and you could use all the Papal Indulgences that you can scrape up.
In the last, "Hamdan v. Rumsfeld," three of the Four Horsemen of the Vatican Apocalypse (Scalia, Thomas and Alito) all voted against the 5-3 decision noting that the 'Gitmo Experience' is, in salient portions, unconstitutional. They all filed dissents, too. Some 81 pages' worth, I would note. Scalia was most verbose, followed by Thomas, followed by Alito, with a mere nine pages of finely crafted rationalizations.
Scalia argues that such and such is a "time honored" principle, while conveniently ignoring the even MORE time-honored principle of habeas corpus, which dates from the Magna Carta in the Thirteenth Century.
Thomas harps continually on the Commander-in-Chief's powers "in a time of war," while conveniently forgetting that THIS IS NOT A WAR in any legal sense. No declaration of war exists, and, to the extent that Afghanistan and Iraq are wars, they both represent wars of choice, with Iraq PURELY a war of choice.
Remember, he was authorized to go after Al Qaeda, and the nation-building in Afghanistan is only tenuously connected to the actual "going after bin Laden."
In Iraq, it has NOTHING to do with September 11, 2001 which -- guess what!? Thomas invokes in his dissent.
Here's a pithy paragraph from a most definitely UNpithy "Me Too" Thomas (albeit a pith-ed off one):
For the reasons set forth in JUSTICE SCALIA’s dissent, it is clear that this Court lacks jurisdiction to entertain petitioner’s claims, see ante, at 1–11. The Court having concluded otherwise, it is appropriate to respond to the Court’s resolution of the merits of petitioner’s claims because its opinion openly flouts our well-established duty to respect the Executive’s judgment in matters of military operations and foreign affairs. The Court’s evident belief that it is qualified to pass on the “[m]ilitary necessity,” ante, at 48, of the Commander in Chief’s decision to employ a particular form of force against our enemies is so antithetical to our constitutional structure that it simply cannot go unanswered. I respectfully dissent.Roberts rightly recused himself, having ruled in favor of the government when he was a D.C. Court of Appeals judge, and maybe even got himself nominated in part because of his decision. Kennedy wrote a concurrence, which left the door open to his joining the Pious Papists at some future date. He was the swing vote, but just BARELY.
So, that one (5-3 against Military Kangaroo Courts in "Hamdan v. Rumsfeld" -- kangaroo, since the accused did not need to be present, his lawyers would be barred, hearsay would be admitted, and the defendant couldn't see the evidence against him, or do I misunderstand what an abortion of justice actually is?) well, it's that Catholic bloc emerging -- Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Roberts firm on authoritarian rule of the rich elite, occasionally backed by Kennedy -- that's the real news of the Supreme Court.
Doesn't look good for the forces of Light. Advantage Darkness, although we're still at deuce.
4. Apologies from Abortion Land
Did my guard duty today. The usual geriatric suspects were there, marching half-heartedly (any slower or any longer breaks and they'd have been loitering) all morning. The Usuals were joined by a new blue-haired granny lady whom I didn't recognize. (Funny how the prunes are so up in arms about the plums, the raisins protesting the grapes.)
They took out our Oak tree, which was the shade, and so I sat in the sun for two hours, and the left side of my body is turning an ugly red as I type this. Oh well. Maybe I can get some discount Melanoma treatment when I explain how I got it. The sunburn is a gonna hurt. Ouch.
The one old fellow decided to stand on the grass (the rule is, they have a legal right to the sidewalk, but trespassing onto clinic grounds is trespassing).
After timing him at eight minutes, I shouted out:
"Hey! Old dude! You're trespassing! Off the grass!"
He came back with some rationalization, but I was listening to Air America (which I always do for guard duty), and I replied to his "witty" retort:
"If you're such a goddamned self-righteous sonofabitch, you can obey the fucking laws. It's a BIG damned sidewalk."
That shut him up.
An hour later, when I left, he STOPPED me, and apologized for whatever it was that he'd said. He hadn't realized he was trespassing, he wouldn't do it again, etc.
He wanted absolution. I gave it to him, even though it went against my "don't talk to bigots" situational ethics. I'm such a softie. But he was happy. He would go and sin no more.
I guess there's something to be said here about moral authority, but I don't have the foggiest notion what.