I have always deplored the BCS system for its arbitrary and arcane anointing of national champions in college football. However, since Obama has deigned to weigh into the fray, and "fix" the college championships, I now find myself decrying the loss of Tradition we have enjoyed in the past under the glorious BCS system.
My hypocrisy is tempered only by the prejudicial treatment the current scalawags have always given the SEC, so it's really a net-net for me insofar as my soul is concerned.
Do you think there exists, in today's publishing world, another Maxwell Perkins?
In a decade of excellence he published the first novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald (1920), Ernest Hemingway (1926), and Thomas Wolfe (1929). In each instance against the desires of his bosses at Scribner's, who didn't "get" what Perkins saw in these writers. He single-handedly took the raw talent, the ego, the alcoholic dysfunction of all three and formed complete and often prolific voices. He also discovered J.P. Marquand, Erskine Caldwell, and James Jones. That, Intrepids, is a nose for talent.
So does such an editor exist today? Equal parts editor, rewriter, muse, slavedriver, and nursemaid? I doubt it.
Today's editors, for the most part, appear to be mere red-liners and highlighters. People of no genius and no particular talent. If they do possess any talent, it is to sniff the prevailing winds, and glom onto the current trends. You have any number of YA "editors" who are seeking out the next Potter or Twilight, sci-fi "editors" who are only interested in grinding out volume, GLBT "editors" who want to provide a platform for yet another pathetic, transgendered loser.
It strikes me that the average editor exists not within a creative dynamic, but as a mere conduit, or gatekeeper. Someone like Vanderleun, who is closer to this subject than I, might disabuse me of this notion, but from my distant observations I see the current crop as a writhing bucket of leeches. Even the most distinguished writers seem to suffer their editors, rather than flower under their guidance.
Perhaps that is why there are so many vampire novels these days. Not because the kids are clamoring for them, but because the editors see kindred souls contained therein. Protecting the species, so to speak.
Next: literary agents: ghouls, or mere harlots?
This was shipped to me today:
If you know what it is, you'll appreciate where I'm going with this. If you don't, just consider it Hillbilly Lego. Or, as the man said, Build it, and they will
As I told Vanderleun, God is my co-sniper.
I think my neighbor is having some issues with the local domesticated fauna:
I understand his wrath, as I have seen those chickens meandering about the yard. They were pretty damn good-looking chickens. But here's the thing: there aren't any leash laws out here. Most responsible people fence their dogs, but in my opinion it is unwise to raise free-range chickens where you have a known cohort of free-range dogs. Not to mention free-range raptors, coyotes, and varmints.
If you have chickens you have to have a coop for the beasties anyway, so adding a chicken run or even a chicken tractor is only a few more dollars. And wheeling the tractor around the yard makes the little buggers feel like they're free-ranging it. Much as our being able to drive from one state into another to purchase fireworks and liquor on Sundays anesthetizes us to the fact that as citizens we are, in truth, but kept creatures of the Mighty Integral.
As an aside, I'm sure one or two of these birds succumbed to vehicular traffic. They're always on the edge of the asphalt, extracting by peckification tiny grinding pebbles for their gizzards. Why did the chicken cross the road? Because she's a stupid fucking brute, like most animals, with no sentience or comprehension of internal combustion devices. That's why.
P.S. I apologize for the poor quality of the picture. I took it on the fly as I was coming home. Because I have no idea if that sign represents an all-inclusive list of things that will be shot by this dude, or if he deems his efforts scalable.
$8 billion taxpayer dollars in high speed rail!
Because you know who rides high speed rail? Fucking nobody. Except Joe Biden.
Why don't people ride high speed rail? Because we have SUV's, you stupid nipple. Sure, the Japs and Frogs like it, because they can save a few yen or euro and commit indecent acts of frottage upon the female passengers. The rest of us? Well, let's just say you can't pull a bullet train into the local packie and lounge for three stiff ones and a brown paper bag to go. Like the bumper sticker should say: you can take my right to drunk driving away when you can pry the ankle monitor from my cold, dead
hand foot. Or perhaps a foot from the family of five I encountered. Might have to call in Bones to clarify that one.
At any rate, the high speed rail money always goes to select districts as bribe money, never to the few places that might actually benefit from it. You know where we need high speed rail? Not DC to Boston. Fuck that. We need it from Atlanta to Vegas. Half the goddam country can fly to Atlanta for $49. An additional $49 ticket for an 8 hour 200 mile per hour maglev to Vegas? Solid gold. Private cars with strippers at a $100 an hour tariff wouldn't be a bad idea, either, from a revenue perspective. Just brainsturm und dranging here.
But no: we'll get $3 billion spent for a rail project form Tampa to Orlando that is never completed. Not that we need a 4 minute train ride from Tampa to Orlando. And $5 billion for a train that takes Wall Streeters from Manhattan to Vermont to pick some fucking apples. When what we really need is a high speed rail to take the Creole criminals from Houston back to New Orleans, where they can prey on each other again, like they did in their original Rousseauian state of nature.
Personally, I'd like to see the taxpayers keep their money in this instance. Although a small stipend thrown my way so I could take the Tweetsie Railroad the three miles from Boone to Blowing Rock would be appreciated. Provided the government throws in some free liquor to ameliorate my genetically inherited illness, for which I am not responsible. Of course.
Watching what few minutes of the State of the Union speech I could stomach, I found myself thinking this guy reminds me of someone...
It's not that he's wrong on all the salient issues. It's that you're too fucking stupid to get it. Now reach deep into your paychecks and give the dickhead some gum-gum.
I'm rather flummoxed as to how Obama went from pimping Stimulus 2 to a spending freeze in approximately two days. The last time I saw a reversal that drastic the top three inches of Jayne Mansfield's skull lay on Highway 90 outside Biloxi, Mississippi. I don't believe him, of course. He's merely reacting to the auto de fé he sees manifesting itself on the far hill he fears is his Golgotha.
No, rampaging spending will continue apace. There is nothing new under the sun. The announcement of the spending freeze did signify two things, however:
1. There is no money for you middling class tea partiers and whiners. Go fuck yourselves, and, no, I will not use the magic word.
2. All of you deep-pocketed enablers should consider yourselves paid in full. Thanks for the donations and contributions, but the vigorish has now been delivered, the graft is complete. Don't bother knocking on my door any more, because I already threw a trillion dollars your way. If you didn't get a mouthful you must be the runt of the litter. Piss off. I'm bigger than you.
Do we really have thirty six more months of this complete and total fuck-up ahead of us? I am dismayed at the thought. I feel like that fellow in Quest For Fire who hung suspended from a tree, one limb already lopped off and roasting on the fire, waiting for the cannibals to finish him off.
The good news is: the GOP has a plan. The bad news is: the GOP has a plan. I'm sure the plan is to marginalize any true fiscal conservatives as "unwinnable," while they craft a superior platform based on a kinder, gentler sigmoidoscopy of the public fisc. The Anthill of Davids (Brooks et Frum) will undoubtedly break off their fellatiatory daisy chain to murmur their huzzahs. John McCain might even run again, but without that damned chillbilly, who really should be busy breeding chinchillas, fecund, strumpet daughters, and the occasional idiot manchild.
A spending freeze. Indeed. Probably should start with that F-22 Raptor, eh? And mebbe sumdat missile defense. CIA? Whoo. You bastard offspring of Angleton are truly screwed. You made me look bad. The Bush middle-class tax cuts expire when? This year? Hello, Betty.
Yep. Sucks to be a loser. Losers.
Those of a certain age will recall hours watching Let's Make a Deal as a child. Well, if not watching it directly, absorbing it in the background.
One of the fundamental constructs of the show was for Monty Hall to present the contestant with a fairly good prize, like a pair of minibikes, revealed behind Door Number 1. There was usually a booby prize behind another door, and there was a fucking awesommus prize behind a third door. The contestant just did not know which of the remaining two doors held the awesummus. That's when Monty would play to the contestant's greed.
Now: take the pair of minibikes, which is yours right now! Or go for broke and try to guess which door hides the king hell trip to Switzerland!
You can't con a person who ain't greedy in the first place, they say. And you can't buy off an American hausfrau swaddled in velour with a pair of farfuckity minibikes. As a child of six or eight or twelve I must confess I enjoyed the schadenfreude, watching a greedhead go down, and unwisely pick the booby prize. It was often a pair of goats, or a balsa wood gin-rickshaw, or something equally designed to let the contestant know, in no uncertain terms, that their greed had fucked them all up.
I look today at the people who voted for Obama, and wonder: how does it feel to buy a pig in a poke, and have it blow up in your face? You could have had a crusty old Arizonan. Not much to look at, but at least as exciting as a brace of minibikes. And minibikes are fun!
But no: you had to go for the trip to Switzerland. Not predicated on knowing it was behind Door Number 3, but because you hoped it was behind Door Number 3.
Now you want to blame the rest of us for not talking you into taking the minibikes. Because now you're stuck with a pair of goats, and they're already crapping on the floor.
You can't con a person who ain't greedy in the first place. And I am enjoying watching you hausfraus and bone heads writhe in your velour sad rags, sweeping up after the goats.
I wonder if there's money to be made in velour straightjackets? I sense an uptick in that market.
If Congress really feels the need to find something constructive to do with itself, it could start by banning all scenes of childbirth in cinema or the televisuals. There are any number of aesthetic reasons for this ban, however in its simplest form it boils down to:
Who the fuck wants to watch this shit?
It's bad enough when one's own child is being born, but at least you've got skin in the game. What primordial sense of masochism could possibly induce me to watch someone else's child being squirted out in brutish degradation? I'd as soon watch someone take a damned defecation. Well, at least someone on a healthy diet, so it's not painful. If I wanted to see pain and torture I could watch al-Qaeda videos.
Here's another thing: male actors never have to do the childbirth scene. Every actress has to do a childbirth rendition at some point in the parabolic arc of their whorish, demeaning careers in the stage crafts. It almost doesn't seem fair.
Do you know what I like when I watch film or hypnobox? Escape. Fantasy. Something that momentarily allows me to forget that I share 99% of my chromosomes with filthy rodents and armadillos. Amazingly, watching childbirth doesn't do that for me.
Here's a video of a woman experiencing premeditated orgasm during childbirth:
I'm crying bullshit on that one. I think she was merely passing a fart, which can certainly be orgasmic in the right setting, like that hot tub.
As an aside, I was quite perturbed by the number of guys who posted video on YouTube of their wives giving birth. Fuck, dudes. Your wife's pussy looks like the dog's face splitting open in The Thing. You should probably keep that to yourself.
Oh! Hey! Here it is!
Yeah. That's what it looked like. Thank you for sharing, and we'll keep the light on.
That would be the horror vacui, the abhorrence of a vacuum by Mother Nature. (An aside: I don't like the term Mother Nature. It's too formal. I alway suspected guys who called their mama Mother to be Little Lord Fauntleroys, which is a kind way of saying fluttering cocksuckers. At any rate, I see Mother Nature as an emotionless, violent, and unfocused monster. More Ma Barker than Mother Teresa. If Gaia could be corporealized, I imagine she would be smoking a cheap cigar, drunk to dishevelment, and liable to have runs in the stockings rolled below her corpulent thighs. So it's Ma Nature to me).
But to the plenum. For many years the vacuum existed on the conservative side. The nature of the classical liberal is to eschew action for the sake of action. Not so the leftist. He is always abuzz and animated with the next great social upheaval, the one that will finally fix all of humanity's ills. It is always action, action, action. March, protest, legislate when possible, cajole and threaten if necessary. If that does not work engage in dirty tricks. Steal elections. Stuff ballot boxes with the votes of the deceased and deranged. Legislate from the bench when public opinion is inconvenient. Prevaricate about the goals and the opposition. Consort with the enemy for cheap political gain at the cost of citizens' lives.
John Q. Public is not politically savvy. He follows politics loosely as a rule, and misguidedly presumes his representatives have his best interests at heart. He is a fool, of course. He will soon be parted with his freedom, and his money. Into this vacuum of public apathy swarm the progressives like the dread marabunta ant. The conservative, conflict averse, absorbed in the personal, is blindsided by the terrible actions that fill the vacuum he had not known existed.
In Massachusetts today we witnessed a turning of the tide, a reversal of the horror vacui. John Q. Public has awakened from his slumber, and seen the true vacuum: the empty promises, vacuous lies, hollow souls, and empty brainpans of the left. After decades of promising more, delivering less, and robbing the public blind it has become apparent it was all a shell game, a dastardly Ponzi scheme that did not even benefit the poor, but Goldman Sachs and their ilk of thieves masquerading as capitalists. Not that the recipients mattered: it was the theft by taking that rankled the soul of the average American in the first place. Wither the largesse has always been immaterial. And now, in one fell swoop, the message has been nailed to the door like Luther's theses:
Fuck with me at your peril. For even as I tolerate the bully on the bus, or the inebriate at the bar, I will eventually come upon the bitter end of my rope. That time is now, and now is the time for you to follow me behind schoolyard and tavern, and tremble in anticipation. That taste in your mouth is failure, and fear.
Apropos my earlier post, Robert smoked me out pretty quickly. I take that as an indication I have discriminating readers. And, yes: I've had the above poster on a wall since 1971, from my parents' house to college to any number of my own homes, both small and big. Why? Because Alvin is The Man.
Here's two sweeties:
I drove from Savannah to Jacksonville in 1978 to see Alvin. Drifted into town on fumes. Siphoned a few gallons for my Beetle from a few cars in Springfield (Negro town) to make it back home. Twenty years later when I moved to Jacksonville for the corporation I went back to Springfield and gave away twenty gallons of gasoline to people who didn't know what the hell my freak was. They thought I was a mere guilted up liberal. And I suppose I was. True story, and shameful to admit.
It is with a mixture of horror and hope that I view the goings-on in Haiti. Horror at the carnage, and the lack of central authority, and the misery piled upon pre-existing misery. Hope that the great nations of western civilization hie to the rescue.
The United States, of course, leads the way. Not just from a unique sense of mercy, but from the fact that we are in proximity, we have the resources, we have the nurturing soul of a truly great power. To be honest, we have prepositioned ourselves to be that omnipotent first responder by our collective generosity of spirit, and good intentions. We are there fustus with the mostus because we are that people: winners. It is in our civic DNA to minister to the less fortunate.
By the by, I do not see any Muslims racing to the task of helping the poor benighted souls of Haiti. Never mind the poorer nations. The oil-rich kingdoms of Arabia and the Emirates, the cash-flush mullahs of Persia, the beneficiaries of American aid like Egypt and Lebanon are all absent from the game. As we knew they would be. No one looks for help from a Moslem. They refuse to even help themselves.
The sad truth is, Islam does not succor the infidel. In fact, their raison d'etre is to make life a fucking living hell for the infidel. That is why Islam is not a religion as we know it, but a vile concoction of dogshit blatherings, a merciless cult constructed upon an evil edifice of cruelty.
We were there for Bam. Islam will never be there for us.
I presume God is unhappy with me for wanting to smite the Mahometans for the wicked ways of their beliefs. I'll just have to live with that.
Introducing the Tac-15 customized tactical crossbow for AR-15's:
Because everyone needs a contingency plan. Sure, you can mutilate scores of zombies with the 90 round magazine on your black rifle, but how will you kill the errant and occasional vampire? Huh? Huh?
Whoever came up with this idea needs a fucking Ford Foundation grant, or some weapons-grade funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Because this dude has it going on.
As an aside, I hope to capitalize on the soon-to-be-elitist need for AR-15 crossbow bolts in exotic hardwoods. I've already smoothed out a few specimens in cocobolo, Brazilian rosewood, and bocote. It's nice to be able to combine killing things with depleting endangered natural resources, I always say.
In homage to Sippican's Whose House Is This? series, I ask you: Whose guitar is Big Red? It's a Gibson 335, like BB King's original Lucille. It's also played a lot of blues, like Lucille. But it was once known as the fastest guitar in rock and roll.
Footnote: I believe the picture above is of the exact replica made for the owner by Gibson to take on the road, as the original has been valued in excess of $500,000, and is simply too valuable to tour with.
As I predicted earlier this week, the
Cult of Doomsayers, Marxists, and Onanists Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the clock back today, to six minutes to midnight.
Gee, let us recap what has occurred since the Bulletin last adjusted The Clock in 2007:
Iran began testing advanced centrifuges
Russia began developing new offensive nuclear strike systems
Iran doubled their number of centrifuges to 6,000
North Korea launched a long-range Taepodong-2 nuclear capable missile toward Japan
Iran refused to halt their nuclear weapons program
The United States reversed its decision to deploy missile defense in eastern Europe
Iran activated a uranium conversion facility capable of creating a nuclear weapon
Now I'll admit I am but a hayseed, but aren't all of these events bad? Do they not all lead to further nuclear instability? Do they not bring us closer to a dreaded nuclear exchange? Then why do the Atomic Scientists move the clock back?
Well, we do have a clean, articulate, light-skinned, dialect-averse Negro in the Oval Office, you fucking silly billies. Get with the program.
If there is a downside to my bucolic residence in north Georgia it is the ubiquitous presence of the chicken house. There are probably twelve houses within a square mile area. Don't know what a chicken house is? Here's a fine example:
Much finer than what you'll find around here, by the way. The local ones are much more ramshackle.
Here's the inside of a chicken house:
(I do believe the public relations folk photoshopped all the eight hundred pounds of eye-tearing, vomit-inducing shit out of this picture, by the way).
The upside of a chicken house is that it's usually empty. The downside is that it smells like fucking ass. Normally the prevailing winds keep the stench in the other direction, however every once in a while a wind shift will bring the funk on. A few weeks after I moved here I was convinced there was a dead animal under Key's front porch.
"It's a fucking possum," I declared. "No cat could smell this bad." I fished around under there for an hour, and gave up. An hour later I was going to look again and the smell was miraculously gone. Wind shift.
"Something got that dead possum," I declared. "It doesn't smell anymore. Do we have coyotes?" Apparently she had become vexed with me, for she walked outside and said "Oh. That was the chicken house."
I'm fairly certain Nagasaki at H-Hour + 1 smelled better than the chicken house, but I sucked it up, and resigned myself to the fact that every few weeks I'd get an hour or two of the barnyard pimps, as my light-skinned Negro friends in jail called them. Plus, it only takes six weeks to raise a brood, what with the steroids, and the locals only raise about three broods a year.
The hilarious part of this story is how I purchase and consume this disgusting steroidal garbage while convincing myself it is healthier than those several hundred Black Angus I see grazing alfalfa as I drive to and from work.
I really need to eat more red meat. It is the Lord's will. In fact, I have several employees who raise the Anguses. Farm women. I wonder how a video called "Two Girls, One Boltgun" would fare on YouTube?
P.S. I should have added the phrase "smells like ass" to my 2010 dead pool. I apologize for its banal use. Which reminds me of another point: I had a friend who forever lamented his lack of more heightened senses, like the other animals, or superheroes. I told him, loosely, "I wouldn't mind having a bit keener eyesight, but I cannot handle any greater sense of smell. The very idea that I could smell your freshly digested kohlrabi from across the street does not enthuse me, sir. As it is, I'm smelling all I can tolerate of anything."
Imagine living in a fetid hellhole of unspeakable squalor. No jobs, a hunter-gatherer economy, basic sanitation and potable water nearly impossible to find unless you are a member of the vanishingly small ruling elite. A civilization so dispiriting and pathetic it makes a cannibalistic African kleptocracy seem inviting.
Now layer a 7.0 magnitude earthquake on top of that, annihilating up to 5% of your entire population.
I have an employee from Port-au-Prince. A simply excellent fellow. He finally reached his godfather in Miami this afternoon and learned his mother is alive. His friends and the rest of his family? No idea. Apparently the entire city simply pancaked upon itself.
There must be a God, for no mortal could be so cruel. Say a prayer to Him anyway, and tremble.
Every species is born into a world of uncertainty and fear, whether that creature is hatched from an egg, birthed whole and gasping via canal, released from the bondage of the chrysalis, or sprouted amphibiously, like the lowly polliwog. Each creature finds itself thrust into a terribly unforgiving world, where survival depends upon nurturing, luck, and innate ability.
Some animals, like the shark, venture forth whole, prey to few, immediately endowed with survival instinct and hunger. Others need nurturing: the featherless bird in the nest, the tiny rabbit, the helpless human infant. All, however, find themselves in the real world, susceptible to the elements, predators, viruses and bacteria. There's no turning back for a newborn: life is what it is. One survives or does not. That's a reality that cannot be unmade.
There does exist one small tranche of zoology, however, an infraclass of Phylum Chordata, that does not adhere to the instantaneous revelation of birth: to wit, our friends Marsupialia; the wombat and honey possum, the kangaroo and koala, the bandicoot and bilbie. They alone know a kindler, gentler entrance to existence.
The marsupial is born quite prematurely, exits its mother's womb, then crawls into the safety of the mother's pouch, there to latch upon nipple, and grow at a comfortable and secure rate, venturing forth from the pouch occasionally, until inexorably kicked from that pouch by the bedraggled and consumed mother.
I often think of my liberal counterparts as the marsupial class in the taxonomy of sentience. Once they are "born," or achieve an age of reason, they look upon the realities of life and are afraid. They therefore retreat back into the metaphorical maternal pouch for protection against reality. There they can nurse upon a safe teat, and peek over the horizon as curiosity allows. If the world is too violent, they may retreat. If the face of reality is fearsome, there is mother's bosom to make the nightmares dissipate.
The pouch of security for the marsuperal takes many forms, but it is most recognized in the forms of academe, government sinecure, and the arts. These are the safe rooms to which the liberal will retreat when the peek over the horizon is too ghastly to bear. In the nurturing faux womb the liberal may reinforce their ill-formed opinions of the outside world, of reality, and feel safe and cozy.
Unlike the true marsupial, the marsuperal often never matures. The sinecures provide sustenance to the host mother, who is then become slothful to the fate of her offspring. They may reside in the pouch forever, so long as the parasite in the pouch provides a modicum of sustenance. Of course the marsuperal grows ever larger, and with larger appetites. Theoretically, as California shows us, the marsuperal can actually kill off the host, who will die with the spark of maternal love still in its eye.
It is a pressing, often hot world for those who eschew the faux womb. There are creatures out there who abhor us. Creatures who are jealous of us. Creatures who merely crave the same resources we do. That is the reality. Resisting the logic of this, the fact of this, and retreating to the pouch will not make these bogeymen go away. It merely empowers them, and brings them nearer.
Our planet appears quite peaceful and serene from the Earthrise view. This is a figment of perspective. Beneath the clouds, beneath the seas, is turmoil. Life on this planet is consumption and creation. The animal and plant consume, yet they create: muscle, fiber, energy. That is the order of things. The wolf will not live with the lamb. No number of seminars and treatises from the pouch of academe will make this so. No number of usurpations from the public fisc by the government suzerains will make this so. And no number of pop lyrics will make this so.
When the marsupial liberal is willing to live freely, of his own breath, and forego the pouch of failure, we will all be equal creatures. Until then he is merely a titbound creature, useful for observation, but hardly a specimen for emulation.
I normally eschew political kiss-and-tell books, especially those by journalists, because they are almost uniformly self-serving to the authors, biased in favor of the author's predilections, and impregnated with unprovable slanders and gossip by unnamed sources with axes to grind. I believe I shall purchase John Heileman and Mark Halperin's Game Change, however, because early snippets suggest the sources are factual, the methodology take-no-prisoners regardless of political persuasion, and, most importantly, the reveals salacious.
Here is Harry Reid on record saying Obama could win because he's "light-skinned" and doesn't speak with a "negro dialect." Reid has already apologized for the statement, therefore I'm reasonably satisfied with the accuracy of the book to this point.
There is Bill Clinton, begging Ted Kennedy for the Camelot endorsement after Obama's Iowa win, saying "A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee."
(And Great God, how racist liberals are in private. One would almost believe they only care about minorities for their votes, or something.)
Yonder are the megalomaniacal John Edwards, his harridan wife, and his psychotic bitch fling imploding before our eyes in a torrid fuck scandal, which scandal the entire country was aware of even as not one outlet would report on it, other than the National Enquirer.
This book looks like it's going the distance. I must read more. As an aside, I note the only thing on Palin I've read so far, that she kept calling Biden O'Biden during debate rehearsals, was already copped to in her book, so that's a nonstarter. And McCain advisor Steve "The Tumor" Schmidt was a primary source for this work. I therefore feel confident the dozens of AP and Big Three and WaPo and NYT resources devouring this book haven't discovered anything of import on my favorite thrillbilly.
I do notice there has been no advance grease on Obama in this thing. I attribute this to media blackout. It's like the Luftwaffe trying to find a light in London during the Blitz, is shedding light on this guy. (I was going to offer the metaphor of no light being able to escape a black hole, but that would be racist, like Harry Reid).
In short, I look forward to dining on the entrails of some of our more infamous public figures, iffen the stories do not all leak out before my copy arrives. I am as the vulture to their Prometheus, tiny of brainpan but convinced I am ordained by the gods. Which conceit, coincidentally, got John Edwards uncomfortably close to being President of the United States, now that I think about it.
This Big Journalism piece on the end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it Brothers
Ninnyhammer Schell reminded me that, over the decades, few things have managed to chap my withers more than the moralistic preening and hand-wringing fatalism of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and their pet project, the Doomsday Clock.
Far from being a diverse representation of free world nuclear physicists, this is a rag-tag group of fellow travelers, death cultists, and anti-Western propagandists who hijacked the Bulletin in 1947 from its Mahattan Project founders in order to propagandize doomsday scenarios for their Soviet puppetmasters in the hope of frightening the West into abandoning nuclear weapons.
A review of the timeline of the Clock over the last 63 years reveals the remarkable fact that, despite great upheavals in world affairs, there is an amazing level of the unremarkable in the doomsday predictions: it's almost always 7 minutes to midnight. As the Bulletin's resident Chicken Littles began with a completely fabricated baseline, I'd say that's an insanely awesome feat we warmongers managed to achieve.
Let us look at the timeline of the Big Old Clock, and see if we might ascertain any politicization of the process:
1947: 7 minutes to Midnight. Considering the US was the only possessor of nuclear weapons at that point, and the Great Patriotic War was over, I'd say the only alarm the Atomic Scientists were reacting to was the fact that the Soviet Union had yet to successfully create an A-bomb from the secrets the Scientists had so assiduously stolen for them.
1953: 2 minutes to Midnight. After the balancing of power in the aftermath of Russia's A-bomb, the bloodthirsty Americans detonated an H-bomb, those bastards. Time to ramp up the espionage, Fellow Scientists.
1963: 12 minutes to Midnight. Despite the recent Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Soviet's detonation of Tsar Bomba, the largest nuclear device ever tested, well, it was Camelot time. The Clock always moves back for Democrats.
1968: 7 minutes to Midnight. That fucking Nixon was elected. Better move the Clock up. Plus, those damned Israelis had the temerity to defend themselves successfully again against our boys. End of Times stuff, sladkayas.
1972: 12 minutes to Midnight. That crazy Nixon signed SALT and the ABM Treaty and supped with Chairman Mao! He is botching our gig, and we still hate him, but the impending election of McGovern allows us to move the hand back a few minutes.
1981: 4 minutes to Midnight. Forget the invasion of Afghanistan and the rise of the Islamic Republic of Iran last year. Ronnie Raygun just got elected. Better move the hand up a few minutes while we wait for this rodeo clown to annihilate us.
1984: 3 minutes to Midnight. The rodeo clown was reelected. Need we say more?
1991: 17 minutes to Midnight. The Cold War is over, no thanks to us. It's the end of history!
2002: 7 minutes to Midnight. Another rodeo clown in the White House. Nuclear stockpiles are at an all-time low, but did we mention there's another rodeo clown in the White House? Memo to self: Pete says it's Ivan's turn to stand in front of the cameras and move the minute hand up while scowling at the audience in resignation and despair. I thought it was my turn.
You realize, of course, that with the fall of the Soviet Union the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists was in grave danger of becoming obsolete. Fortunately they were able to add Climate Change and Biosecurity to their list of concerns, they being Atomic Scientists and all. That should be good for another sixty years of posturing and fulminating.
I've saved the best for last: there is to be a New Announcement on January 14th! Please join the Bulletin "for a live streaming of the event from the New York Academy of Sciences featuring a question and answer session open to you, the online audience."
I know you all are as pregnant with anticipation as I am. I figure with Obama watching over us as we sleep the Bulletin will move the Clock all the way back to 5 AM. Unless we don't get Cap and Trade. Then it will be, like, noon. As catastrophic as Climate Change is, I'm sure the Atomic Scientists figure Obama's pecs are worth at least twelve hours.
H/T Gerard at American Digest for the Big Government article, and the memorable expression "Upper West Side brain slop served in a drool cup."
A few words and phrases I have added to my Dead Pool for 2010 in faint hope of their imminent demise:
1. Lawyer up
2. Amour propre
6. Mash up
7. Hide the decline
8. Put me some knowledge
9. Not so much
11. First African-American (fill-in-the-blank)
12. Man-caused disasters
13. Religion of peace
14. Health care reform
15. Dead pool
I have a million more, but I'd rather read your nominations at the January assizes of the Court of Peeves, Crotchets, & Irks, with all due apologies to James J. Kilpatrick.
An axe-wielding Islamic savage attacks a 74-year-old Danish cartoonist. We all know why, no need to belabor the obvious. Old man and 5-year-old granddaughter flee to safe room until cops shoot and wound would-be axe murderer.
Another day in Islamic paradise. No comment from B. Hussein Obama, other than a cryptic "Swing away, Merrill."
By the way, here's Westergaard's cartoon. I'm pretty well satisfied the penises in Superbad were more shocking than this:
The Burj Dubai is scheduled to open January 4, 2010 in the bankrupt oil kleptocracy of Dubai.
"It's pretty fucking tall," admitted noted arrogant tyrant Nimrod. "I tried something like that once up the road in Babel, and everybody ended up talking raccoon."
Various Nevada gaming concerns are already accepting wagers on precisely when some brain-damaged, pin-dicked Musselman will blow the fucker up.
My civil libertarian streak runs deeper than my conservative streak for the simple reason that I believe all authority corrupts to some extent, and even though we may of necessity depend on a civilian state security apparatus, they are often at best first responders to crime after the fact, and at worst susceptible to the same corruption of any bureaucracy. That, and what I do in the privacy of my crawl space with an Araucana chicken is my own damned business.
I have nothing against policemen, of course. They are overworked and underpaid for the gritty nature of the job. If my daughter breaks down on a lonely stretch of road I want the car that pulls up behind her to have bubbles on top.
I do have a problem with the occasional paramilitarization of police forces, however. There's mission creep in any organization, but the citizenry must be on guard against the us vs. them mentality. When that occurs, and jurisdictions allow law enforcement departments to keep the ill-gotten gains of drug dealers, you end up with sheriff's departments sporting around town in armored personnel carriers. This is a very bad idea.
This is not a knock against law enforcement departments in particular, but against security apparatuses in general that abuse their authority, or worse, are sanctioned by the state to abuse our liberties. The incidences of no-knock search warrant tragedies has grown by leaps and bounds, for instance.
Now comes the Obama administration's amendment of the Reagan-era executive order 12425, which had defined the privileges and immunities international organizations enjoy while operating within the United States. The original executive order expressly exempted INTERPOL from immunity from the search and seizure of their property and assets domestically domiciled. The president's amendment now provides that immunity. It also lifts constitutional constraints on INTERPOL's domestic activities.
Why on earth Obama would lift these restraints on INTERPOL, essentially allowing them to operate at will within our territorial borders, escapes me. The amendment was quiet, off-the-radar. It is not the usual modus operandi employed by politicians of both parties attempting to look "tough on crime." It is a puzzlement.
I do know that I now not only have to worry about the local polizia kicking my door in in the middle of the night because some drug addict gave a bad address, I now have to worry about an INTERPOL invasion. The local boys I'm not worried about. I gave my lab puppy to a local deputy, I know the sheriff and a lot of his people due to my job. I have recourse there. I'm concerned about some transnational anonymities conducting a search and seizure because I happened to blog an unpopular opinion with an ill-advised fuck-bomb or two in it. Where will my recourse then be? Certainly not the locals, or the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. They wouldn't, couldn't say or do anything. Might lose their armored personnel carriers. The FBI? Are you kidding me? They're not politicized. They'll be Smee to INTERPOL's Hook.
Again, I'm no conspiracy buff, unless you count my unabiding belief that the government sucked all of the hotness out of Kathleen Turner in one horrible session in 1993, rendering her overnight into a sexless, bloated old bag. (Rumor has it they even play with her hotness late at night at Area 51, rolling it around the table like a bead of quicksilver). Nonetheless, I am not inclined to give the government, any government, the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the sanctity of my personal life. And somehow I don't think Obama's loosing the dogs of INTERPOL has anything to do with catching mad Islamic bombers.
Warrantless, unassailable searches and seizures, under color of international law. It is a puzzlement, indeed.