Saturday, June 26, 2004

My defining Michael Moore moment was once on the now-mercifully-forgotten Politically Incorrect program on ABC where he was one of the guests along with some hapless Republican who happened to mention in passing that Bill Clinton had fired all the U.S. Attorneys in the country when he took office. This was perfectly true,--Janet Reno fired all 93 U.S. Attorneys upon taking office as Attorney General--but Moore had apparently never heard of this, so his reaction was to guffaw loudly and lead Bill Maher and the audience in ridiculing the person who could make such a hilarious statement. This gave me a permanent personal and career insight into Moore. The personal one is fairly obvious: The pudgy, bullied kid who becomes a bully the first chance he gets. The career insight is more telling, and more relevant today, as Moore basks in the applause for his (per critics who should know better) "powerful," "compelling" movie Fahrenheit 911. The career insight from that moment on PI is that Moore ridicules when confronted by the truth, and that lies are always more "powerful" and "compelling" to the simpleminded.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Some notes on the Bill Clinton 60 Minutes interview by Dan Rather:

I'm struck (though not surprised) by Rather's constant attempts to explain Clinton to the audience, rather than to be adversarial (as he would undoubtedly be if he were interviewing a Republican). He raises some difficult questions (Monica, the Rich pardon), but his obvious purpose is to allow Clinton to communicate his point of view to the country, and Clinton's point of view is the final one given to the audience. There are none of the "others disagree" pronouncements that would inevitably follow, say, a Bush interview.

The low point in the entire mess--indeed, the Marianas Trench of recent broadcast journalism--is where Rather mentions that Clinton is haunted by the 18 dead on Somalia and felt it was a mistake. I'll repeat that, Rather is telling us Clinton's state of mind. Really, I have never, ever seen anything as shameless from a journalist in a free society. Never.

Among the many unintentionally revealing statements from BC: Signing the peace agreement on the White House lawn with Arafat and Rabin is "one of the greatest moments of my life." Of course it would be--even though this "peace" agreement was a total sham and led inevitably to the Second Intifada, which cost a thousand Israeli and far more Palestinian lives, and which only came to an end during the hard-line Bush and Sharon administrations.

But of course Clinton would view such a phony, hollow occasion as a moment of greatness. Even though the accords were a disaster, the signing ceremony was a magnificent photo-op where Bill got to bask in the applause and love of the entire world, and as we all know, that's all that matters.

This guy beats Nixon and Kennedy as the most wildly-disordered personality (Narcissistic Personality Disorder, in this case) ever to inhabit the White House.

Hugh Hewitt pointed out something interesting on his radio show, that BC's remarks about Monica are also typical. Bill can't simply say "I did it because I'm just a horn dog"--he must say "I did it because I could." Hewitt observes that here Clinton is (presumably unintentionally)
recalling Augustine and his distinctions between the sins of Lust vs. Pride. Pride ("I did it because I could") is the worst of all sins, says Augustine; Clinton can't settle for ordinary Lust, because he's too important.

Rather asks Bill about the Marc Rich pardon and Bill evinces regrets about it, but only for the problems it caused, not for the merits of the pardon, which Bill assures us are considerable. And what might these merits be? Rather doesn't ask. (I might speculate that they would involve a combination of cash and Denise Rich's remarkable, um, persuasive powers, but I have a dirty mind. Ignore me).

And here again Bill is being revealing, for here he is vocalizing one of the core beliefs of his life: It's only regrettable if you get caught. I wanted to create a drinking game where you chug every time Bill says, when asked if he did something, "there is no evidence that I did it..." instead of "I didn't do it." Yes, I realize that I don't drink, but this interview nearly made me start again.

Bill refers to himself with that loathsome pop-psychology term "change agent." A ridiculous contention, in that Clinton--who lucked out into welfare reform, the Internet boom, and a stock market hysteria--did perhaps less to change things than any President in history.

He says that "there is no evidence" that he was offered Osama Bin Laden by the Sudanese government in 1996. But there is.

"No one could ever honestly accuse me of not believing in anything." Absolutely true--because no one could deny Bill's overwhelming belief in himself.

I knew this.....

"God will not suffer man to have the knowledge of things to come; for if he had prescience
of his prosperity he would be careless; and understanding of his adversity he would be senseless."

You are Augustine!

You love to study tough issues and don't mind it if you lose sleep over them.
Everyone loves you and wants to talk to you and hear your views, you even get things like "nice debating
with you." Yep, you are super smart, even if you are still trying to figure it all out. You're also
very honest, something people admire, even when you do stupid things.

What theologian are you?

A creation of Henderson

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

A wonderful day. I sign on, up comes the newswire on my homepage, and what do I see but four, count 'em, four, unspinnable headlines that I suspect the AP writers had to type with gritted teeth:

U.N. Endorses Iraq Sovereignty Transfer (The UN Security Council votes 15-0 in favor of the plan negotiated by the Bush administration and rips John Kerry's favorite campaign issue into teeny tiny little pieces)

Crowds Wait Hours to View Reagan Casket (Enormous, viscerally emotional public reactions to the passing of Ronald Reagan force leading Democrats to go on TV and lie about what they thought about him)

Bush, G-8 Leaders Show Harmony on Iraq (Only two days ago the headline was Weakened Bush Hosts G8 Summit. Tee hee)

U.S. Forces Free Hostages in Baghdad Raid (It's a quagmire, I tell you)

Thursday, June 03, 2004

As Joe Biden would say, illiterately, "Mea Coopa, Mea Coopa, Mea Moxima Coopa." I apologize for being such a poor blogger lately. I do have to write something soon, as Andy has requested my ATO #9 column by the end of June, in an email full of such touching praise that I want to write the damn thing right now. My brother is still in Russia, my sister is still slaying Chaos Trolls, so I don't have any family stories to share. My Memorial Day was marked by nine hours working in the store, both on ebaying and on moving stuff around. (We had a long-expected visit from the fire inspector, and for some reason he wanted us to keep the aisles in the upstairs storage area clear, the task of which recalls the labor of Hercules at the Augean stables). Tomorrow is my biweekly two-auction day, so I get to play hooky from the store all day.

And that is that.

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