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Thursday, February 02, 2006
SOMETIME A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS
or, JUST SAVED OURSELVES 985 WORDS
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
or THE OBLIGATORY STATE OF THE UNION COMMENTARY
I saw history today, but I don't know what it means.
I don't know what I saw today: There was too much to take in at one squint. In the wee hours of the morning, I heard the breaking news that Coretta Scott King had died. Died in her sleep. Died after a long illness. The hours filled in details, as the story will grow in the weeks ahead.
It felt like the end of an era. Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King. History, but I don't see where it leads.
Then, I continued to wait for the filibuster fiasco to make sense. As a present to their self-crowned king, George, Senate Leader Bill Frist, who had stepped into the leadership role after Trent Lott, of whom King George had felt had not shewn proper respect and deference, and who shortly thence found himself embroiled in a firestorm over comments made at Strom Thurmond's 200th Birthday Party and was force to step down in favor of ... ah, Bill Frist was presenting the "head" of Samuel Alito to the "President" (King George's incognito role, a charming bumpkin who "really cares" about "protecting" America). A coronation token.
And then, trying to have their cake and eat it too, seventeen craven, despicable little senators switched their anti-filibuster vote to a "No" on Alito vote, and I thought, "What a nest of serpents." But it cleared something up. And later, watching the State of the Onion patriotic weeper, I saw Joe Lieberman, who had been the Vice Presidential candidate whose election King George had stolen, I saw Joe Lieberman stand alone of his section to applaud King George like someone whose wife and kids are being held at gunpoint at his house.
Alito was HUSTLED to be sworn in by Bush's Chief Injustice, John Roberts, who had promised Oregon's Ron Wyden that he wouldn't touch Oregon's "Death With Dignity" law, and promptly lied and voted to strike it down.
Somehow, when I think of a judge, I think of someone I could trust not to lie to me. When I think of a Chief Justice who will lie to me in any way to get what he wants, I shudder a little at WHAT he wants.
And such a serpent then swore in "in a private ceremony" Alito, so that he could be perfumed, rouged, his judicial robe tailored and shoved into the front row of the Onion Stating festivities, a symbol of the power and the majesty of his majesty, George, King of Kinginess.
And when, during the Onion Stating itself, King George made a sly joke about his father, the former, would-be King George I, and one William Jefferson Clinton, the antiChrist King George had run against (and not Sir Albert of Gore), I thought,"Good God: he ever needs to publicly subvert his conquered foes."
King George opened with a carefully, if hastily written "new" section of the speech he'd been practicing all week, paying homage to Coretta Scott King, and pretending to be the greatest friend that Blacks ever had (King George spent his entire first "term" with black children in his lap at photo-ops).
The sly minister, Count "Machiavelli" Rove had successfully suckered the press with "preliminary" speech releases, and background stories that the Onion Stated would be mostly a domestic Onion, and very little a Foreign War Against either Saddam or Al Qaeda or Osama bin Laden or all "Terrorism" everywhere, which really, really WAS a war, and therefore triggered the super-secret, little known codicil of the Constitution -- that document whose subversion finally undid the Common Law mischief called the Magna Carta that had started this whole "rights," "assemblies," "voting," and "rights" nonsense in the first place -- that clearly gave King George his unlimited Imperial powers.
And such an Onion was precisely that which didst King George vouchsafe midway through his Stateing. I have constitutional powers. I am using my powers to bypass congress and the courts during my vaguely defined "War" to PROTECT America from future September 11's.
And I thought, leave it to King George to One-Up Adolph Hitler. Hitler took power by forcing the German Assembly to pass the Enabling Act after the burning of the Reichstag. King George asserts that, following the Elevening of September, Congress PASSED the enabling act, and they have just forgot it.
The Media, always being fair and balanced, makes sure that it's six on one, half dozen of another, and I thought of poor Sir Thomas Moore, put to death for refusing to say that what he thought was wrong was right to please a megalomaniacal king.
And I thought of strange old Leo Strauss, that Chicago Philosophy professor who has put forth the Machiavellian principles of the so-called "Neo-Cons" (a modern, subtle term for the Cavaliers), including the necessity of lying, and the doctrine of perpetual war to unite the "lesser" men that the Karl Roves are supposed to manipulate, men addicted to and intoxicated by glory.
And you have to admire King George for the sheer cheek, the sheer brass, the utter brazenness of his astonishing lie -- after warming us up with, "We're Winning" and how it's everybody's birthright and destiny to have Liberty, even as he denies American liberties, even as he ends the liberty to attend a speech of the Office Formerly Known As The Presidency. Even as he praises a democracy that he is hostile to in Palestine, and here at home.
It's called chutzpah in spades. And, if successful, I will have morphed the "king" metaphor into reality with nearly the same degree of aplomb that royal George has morphed figurative War into literal war and back again. And how he's morphed "Commander in Chief" into Caesar.
Cindy Sheehan got herself arrested in the gallery before the King had arrived, and I thought that her timing was impeccable, and I thought of the suffragettes who had been arrested for unfurling banners at a similar presidential speech, and, for the first time didst I apprehend the concept behind the colloquialism of recent vintage, "You go girl."
Well, she did. And let's stop talking about "spine" and "balls" and "guts" and the rest. Let's just call it moral backbone. Compared to Cindy, seventeen Democratic Senators are single-celled sacks of formless protoplasm.
With such as these are we to defend ourselves from a "POTUS" gone mad? Today was the coronation of his King's Court. Today was his self-announced proclamation as Emperor. (Either that, or else it was the first time that any United States President used the State of the Onion speeking to confess to a series of felonies. But then, George IS already the first President to serve who IS a convicted felon. You could look it up.)
With such as these, who would enthrone the bloody coat hanger and the endless war; who would pretend to vote against a man whose appointment only the day before they had assured; with such as THESE are we supposed to form opposition?
If there is a mercy in Coretta Scott King's death, it may surely be that she did not have to live for a single day under the New King's Court, the Canon Law Court, the Robots Court.
Today, the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a class action suit on behalf of the telephone company customers whose provider handed over their lines to the NSA. That case may well be decided by this court.
At least we have Cindy Sheehan, who was arrested for wearing a T-shirt. We are now being protected from T-shirts.
I saw history today. I don't know what it means, but
The Onion Hath Been Stated[exeunt]
* POTUS = Secret Service Speak for P resident O f T he U nited S tates. Any slip between POTUS and "Potentate" or ruler, is strictly Freudian. The First Lady is, FLOTUS, the Supreme Court is SCOTUS, and Vice President Cheney is a Dick.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
TOLD JA SO, PART IIhart williams
or, TOLD YA SO, AGAIN
I had pointed out that they're going after the internet. The degree of freedom of speech -- speech that THEY don't like -- on the internet is a thorn in the side of any regime dedicated to controlling information:
Tuesday, January 10, 2006And the beat goes on:
BBC Friday, 27 January 2006, 18:05 GMTTold ja so.
And I had warned about the effect of a majority of Catholic justices on the Supreme Court (significantly, in the Death With Dignity case, new Chief Justice Roberts joined with Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas in a [fundamentally religious] automatic presumption that allowing a terminally ill patient to self-administer a lethal dose of medication could not POSSIBLY be "proper" medical practice.
I said this:
Wednesday, January 25, 2006And, the following day, Pope Benedict, nee Cardinal Ratzinger, issued his first Encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, or "God is ... caritas." (based on an old Cat Stevens song?). It's being translated in the media as "God is Love," but, as per usual, they're missing the specific intent of the Encyclical, and the message being sent. The Pope is reaffirming St. Augustine's initial formulation of Catholic doctrine. Here, according to Richard Hooker of Washington State University (Hooker is an historian of some breadth and sagacity, and you ought to read the entire article cited, if you have a couple of minutes ...)
Augustine, though, was more concerned with what made the will go wrong. He was particularly fascinated by the fact that one could will contradictory things. I don't want to commit adultery but I do it anyway, or, in his most famous words, "Give me chastity . . . but not yet."And what did the Encyclical say? (Along, of course, with a warning from the Vatican press to any presumptuous publishers who would attempt to reprint it. The Church holds copyright, the press release notes).
Find the whole thing here: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/
ENCYCLICAL LETTERFirst, the restatement (and hostility towards sexuality that, one surmises, a celibate priest might harbor) of the Augustinian premises:
"Eros" and "Agape" - difference and unityAnd then, later on, this strange, Freudian slip of a philosophical point:
10. We have seen that God's eros for man is also totally agape. This is not only because it is bestowed in a completely gratuitous manner, without any previous merit, but also because it is love which forgives. Hosea above all shows us that this agape dimension of God's love for man goes far beyond the aspect of gratuity. Israel has committed "adultery" and has broken the covenant; God should judge and repudiate her.WHAT??!? OK, there is an extended metaphor or homily or preachment there, which I'm not doing justice to, but doesn't there seem a fundamental hostility towards sexuality? Isn't he trying to make Augustine's point again? "God's eros for man"? God wants to have sex with us? Because, face it, kids, "eros" has a very specific meaning, and it ain't snuggling with God and drinking hot chocolate in front of a roaring fire after everyone else has gone to bed.
This is pure-dee ... weird stuff.
And, of course, the inevitable preachment against sex by someone not allowed to have it (except, perhaps, with God):
5. [...] Nowadays Christianity of the past is often criticized as having been opposed to the body; and it is quite true that tendencies of this sort have always existed. Yet the contemporary way of exalting the body is deceptive. Eros, reduced to pure "sex", has become a commodity, a mere "thing" to be bought and sold, or rather, man himself becomes a commodity. This is hardly man's great "yes" to the body. On the contrary, he now considers his body and his sexuality as the purely material part of himself, to be used and exploited at will. Nor does he see it as an arena for the exercise of his freedom, but as a mere object that he attempts, as he pleases, to make both enjoyable and harmless. Here we are actually dealing with a debasement of the human body: no longer is it integrated into our overall existential freedom; no longer is it a vital expression of our whole being, but it is more or less relegated to the purely biological sphere. The apparent exaltation of the body can quickly turn into a hatred of bodiliness. Christian faith, on the other hand, has always considered man a unity in duality, a reality in which spirit and matter copenetrate, and in which each is brought to a new nobility. True, eros tends to rise "in ecstasy" towards the Divine, to lead us beyond ourselves; yet for this very reason it calls for a path of ascent, renunciation, purification and healing.But the sucker punch is hidden down below:
28. [...]This is where Catholic social doctrine has its place: it has no intention of giving the Church power over the State. Even less is it an attempt to impose on those who do not share the faith ways of thinking and modes of conduct proper to faith. Its aim is simply to help purify reason and to contribute, here and now, to the acknowledgment and attainment of what is just.Got that? The Church shouldn't get involved in politics.
Whew! That's sure a relief. Except ...
29. [...] We have seen that the formation of just structures is not directly the duty of the Church, but belongs to the world of politics, the sphere of the autonomous use of reason. The Church has an indirect duty here, in that she is called to contribute to the purification of reason and to the reawakening of those moral forces without which just structures are neither established nor prove effective in the long run.Got it? WE, as the Church won't interfere in politics, but it is the DUTY of our church members to engage in the "social charity" of carrying out Church doctrine in the name of "justice."
Like Scalia and Roberts and Thomas do.
Quod erat demonstrandum.
And don't you be having none of that debased sex, neither.
Told ya so.
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* O T H E R S T U F Fo There is no other stuff at this time. There might be someday, though. One can always hope.