I just needed a few slow nights, a week without tragedy followed by a couple of days off

I once had what would probably be described by many as a liberal history professor. It is true that he was a classical liberal that believed in individual rights and being fair minded. he never said those things outright, he showed those qualities by the way he approached the subject of history. He did make the observation, prefaced by “in his opinion” that when you go far enough to the left or right you just get two heads on the same coin. With that in mind, Who Is ‘We’?

One of the beliefs that most distinguished the fascists, Nazis, and communists of the 20th century was their organic view of society. Proponents of all three ideologies thought of society as an organism – and of each of you, dear readers, as simply a cell in some part of the organism. And just as our cells have no importance outside their ability to serve our whole body, in the aforementioned three ideologies, our whole beings had no importance aside from their ability to serve the whole society. So, of what value was the individual? He was simply a tool for the ends of others, none of whom have importance either because they, also, were tools. And if society was an organism, then it made sense for the head to run things, right? Government was thought to be the head. And, of course, because there were many people within government, the true head was leader of the government – Mussolini, Hitler, and Lenin or Stalin.

It is not surprising or really all that ironic that America’s far right has embraced government as some holy shrine not to be questioned. There may have been some genuine small government conservatives back in the sixties, but since Nixon, given the chance to govern modern conservatism has always been about power. Power for the shrill pleasure of it, a huge monolithic authority, and regardless of how many examples you offer up of corruption, ineptitude, the cost in lives and taxes, the collective monolith is always right. This is the right’s version of a collective, some organic entity that cannot be questioned. For them to admit that they were wrong about even one thing invites the possibility that they were wrong about others things. It is very akin to those that take religious texts literally, if you show through the rational scientific method that one incident was surely a parable, then you have opened up the possibility that the texts are not infallible. This accounts for the bizarre denial of Cheney and Rove’s involvement with outing a CIA agent as political revenge among other nefarious acts by the administration and Congressional conservatives. Nothing they do can ever be wrong, there are never any negative consequences to their acts and if push should come to shove all is forgiven by a god that they feel they own.

A take down of Powerline, a fringe right blog that spouts lies like their was a grave national shortage, is easy, but always gratifying to see. Nitpicker ups the take-down score by knocking a couple inches off Newt Gingrich in the process, Power Line: Bush at the top of his game

what kind of kooky liberals would suggest Bush wasn’t working hard to bring peace to the Middle East? Oh, that’s right, it was the American Enterprise Institute, in 2002.

Newt doing his collective infallibility impression,

Remember, though, this is the party that brokered the deal that enabled North Korea to obtain nuclear weapons, yet now blames that regime’s nuclear status on President Bush.

and Nitpicker has to go and drag reality into the discussion,

May I point this out just one more time? In 2002, just months after it had achieved “Axis of Evil” status, Bush handed North Korea a bunch of money and said “We don’t want to see what you’re hiding.”

Bush turned his back on the N. Korea problem his like he turned his back on the presidential daily brief that said Bin Laden likely to attack. “We” did not use our worse judgement, “we” were not the ones that after six plus years did nothing about N.K. They all sit around and in their wise and wonderful way and made deeply intelligent decisions that have been wrong at every turn. You buy the conservative mindset and you buy the malicious intentions that goes along with it.

Villa mosaic’s secrets revealed

The mosaic, which dates back to the 4th Century, is part of the Dinnington Roman Villa site near Ilminster.
It is thought to be the only one of its kind in the country to feature the figures from Greek mythology.

The treasure was uncovered by a team of experts from Somerset County Council and students from Winchester University and Taunton’s Richard Huish College.

Frank’s detached voice speaks over the urban landscape:

Thursday started out with a bang: a
gunshot to the chest on a drug deal
gone bad. Heat, humidity, moonlight–
all the elements in place for a long
weekend. I was good at my job: there
were periods when my hands moved
with a speed and skill beyond me and
my mind worked with a cool authority
I had never known. But in the last
year I had started to lose that
control. Things had turned bad. I
hadn’t saved anyone for months. I
just needed a few slow nights, a
week without tragedy followed by a
couple of days off.

from the screenplay BRINGING OUT THE DEAD by Paul Schrader, based on the novel by
Joseph Connelly