I rarely venture into the wilds of the right wing blogosphere. Trash television is enough of a fix. But, for whatever reason, I ventured out there today only to discover this unbelievable trash. Why or why would two thousand dead need to be put into scare quotes, as if it were not real, as if it were simply a fiction? Why does MM need to cast doubt on the Times story by calling it an 'opus,' as if there were a problem in an article that could be understood in terms of approximately twenty-three words per dead American?
On Wednesday, the NYTimes published a 4,625-word opus on the "2,000 dead" milestone--a "grim mark," read the headline--on page A2.
Of course, given that MM is a propagandist, her 'story' is about one
soldier who didn't regret going to Iraq to die. Ok. The Bush administration
doesn't have any regrets about the lies it told to get that soldier
over there either. And, MM doesn't seem to regret continue the feast of lies.
But two thousand dead is not a fiction. And, as long as it is treated as a fiction, Michelle Malkin and those who join her in supporting the Bush administration's unjust, unjustified, and unjustifiable war will continue to feed upon the dead.
It's not Watergate. No Democratic Congress--and even if there were, today's democrats are spineless squids. No real press--instead, we got 24/7 press light, all speculation, all entertainment, all the time. But, I remember the days, my friends. I remember when scandal was more than jumping the shark. Sometimes, unindictments can say quite a bit. Co-conspirators, just you wait.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 - Lawyers in the C.I.A. leak case said Thursday that they expected I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, to be indicted on Friday, charged with making false statements to the grand jury.
Karl Rove, President Bush's senior adviser and deputy chief of staff, will not be charged on Friday, but will remain under investigation, people briefed officially about the case said. As a result, they said, the special counsel in the case, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, was likely to extend the term of the federal grand jury beyond its scheduled expiration on Friday.
On one level, it doesn't matter why America went to war. All sorts of interpretations are possible, equiplausible. All the conspiracies are equally true, exchangeable. Trying to combat their force with `the truth', well, that not only isn't likely to work, but will actually make it worse.
I disagree. All interpretations are not equally plausible. That interpretations may be differently true (fantastically, symbolically, Really) doesn't mean that there is no truth at all. First, the administration had to present its goals in terms of an ideological truth of American freedom. Second, it presented its goals as legally true as in justifiable under international laws and norms. Third, there was a Real truth regarding the antagonisms of Capital.
Thus, one should definitely combat administration lies with truth--with more and more truth. The US is not only a simulacrum, as Katrina made all too clear. A failure of administration is Real. Sometimes the truth is reached through comedy. Sometimes it is reached through violence. And sometimes it may be reached through the Symbolic.
Insofar as the administration is compelled to lie, it submits itself to the norm of truth. If it cannot say its intentions directly, if it relies on suppressing its obscene intentions, then it can be judged according to its own rhetoric and standards. This is what the Daily Show does so well: it reminds us of the past words of the administration and the contradictions between its words and its acts. In so doing, it holds up's the administration's self-proclaimed norms, applying a kind of reflexive judgment.
Paul and I have radically different (a modification that clearly exemplifies the banalization of radicality in some leftist writing) takes on trick or treat. I say that the phrase is a veiled threat: if the homeowner refuses to provide a treat, then those behind the masks will play tricks on him. Paul says that the beggars can't be choosers, that they are expressing this impossibility and making themselves vulnerable to the homeowner: will he give them a treat or trick them instead? Is it possible to decide between these versions or are they, ultimately, incompatible?
These two versions rely on different placements of vulnerability and mastery. My version sees the power in the hands of those wearing the masks. They are unknown, threatening. They confront the homeowner with a demand for hospitality, marking, in a way, the loss of an ethic of hospitality in modernity. Paul's version acknowledges the problem of hospitality in a different way: travelers make themselves vulnerable, in demanding treats they place themself at the mercy of the warm, secure, homeowner, who can easily twist the treat into something else, who can, in other words, trick the already displaced travelers.
(I admit that this was not my first response to Paul's version. My response was that he presupposed neighborhoods of sadistic pedophiles. He thought I was over-reacting and offered the 'primary vulnerability' reading. I calmed down. And, I admit that I'm not going to try to reconcile these two versions. But, maybe they should be understood as a parallax.....Nah.)
Here's an excerpt from a terrific Dissident Voice article by Leilla Matsui and Stella La Chance, SS Katrina Sinks Bush
On the other hand, we should at least consider the possibility that abject fear and paranoia lies at the root of Bush's bizarre choice. Could it be that George's real concern is that history will describe his major legacy as starting (and losing) a war based on a mountain of lies as opposed to being the first United States President to end up in prison for his achievement?
Perhaps Harriet's secret asset and only real qualification for the highest court is her assurance of a “not guilty” verdict on appeal, should Dubya be forced to answer to a jury of American citizens angry at being manipulated, repeatedly lied to, and exploited for their warm bodies and tax dollars in the name of “Operation Iraqi Freedom” or any number of other high crimes and misdemeanors, including making torture a national policy and revealing the names of CIA operatives during wartime?
Conservative opposition to Harriet Miers’ nomination is only based in part on her ambiguous stance on Roe v Wade, contrary to what the blowholes of the religious right would have us believe. More likely, it stems from the residual rage Bush loyalists feel after seeing “Dear Leader” exposed as a drooling dummy, wholly dependent on Karl Rove's Light and Magic wizardry to prop him up.
Image, more than ideology, has always explained the political genius of George Bush. By maintaining a barricaded and heavily armed distance from the grunts on the ground (at home and in Iraq), the boy king's regal disregard for human suffering could always be marketed to his advantage at the skilled hands of his puppet masters. Through the power of image, the silver spoon he was born with became a dirt tipped shovel, his cowardice, “courage”, and his notorious insensitivity, “compassion”.
But almost overnight, it seems, Bush has transformed from the HSS Lincoln's buff, “commanderin’” chief into a cowardly deck hand standing idiotically resolute on the prow of a life boat, watching helplessly as his slave ship sinks. That's not to say that his supporters are shedding too many tears for the chained human cargo that perished aboard the “SS Katrina.” Indeed they have made clear that they privately endorse genocide if it accomplishes what decades of tax breaks for the rich, cuts to social services, and curbs on civil liberties have failed to do, namely kill off “undesirable” populations and keep the remaining majority paralyzed with fear and uncertainty.
Link: Dialogic. Thivai refers to this fascinating, useful word:
amphibology \am-fuh-BAH-luh-jee\ noun
: a sentence or phrase that can be interpreted in more than one way
Not wanting to voice what I really felt, I resorted to amphibology and said, "I can't say too many good things about her."
Did you know?
A venerable old word in English, "amphibology" is from Greek "amphibolos" (via Late Latin and Latin). "Amphibolos," from "amphi-" ("both") and "ballein" ("to throw"), literally means "encompassing" or "hitting at both ends"; figuratively it means "ambiguous." Amphibology is an equivocator's friend. An editor who has been sent an unsolicited manuscript to critique, for example, might reply, "I shall lose no time in reading your book." Or a dinner guest who feels the onset of heartburn might say something like, "Ah, that was a meal I shall not soon forget!"
But amphibology's ambiguity can be unintended and undesirable as well, as in "When Mom talked to Judy, she said she might call her back the next day." (Who said who might call whom back?)
My question: is there a sentence that is not amphibologic?
Yesterday I was ruminating over msm tendencies to focus on what will happen. They create a kind of loop of speculation, words that circulate with and as financial markets. The market in ideas, then, is a kind of speculation, a gambling, a predictive game that never ends.
What struck me later is how all this speculation closes off the future. The future seems completely inaccessible. We're trapped in a circuit of drive in which the future doesn't appear. Maybe this is why 'retro future' images and designs are so fabulous--they remind us that we used to be able to imagine other futures.
Also lost in the neverending circulation of speculation is the possibility that something, or someone, could change everything, that an intervention is possible. Speculation tells us what might happen to us. It leaves out the possibility that we might act or react to this information, that we might try to change things. Instead, it gives us a perptual sense of waiting to see what will happen--we need more information, things could change, better wait and see.