The Virginia race for Senate between George “macaca” Allen and former Secreatary of the Navy Jim Webb is interesting in how it defines political dividing lines. Webb is running as a Democrat, but is conservative in a way that would have almost defined conservatism 30 thirty years ago, but now he is running against the new conservatism of the Allen-Bush-Rove variety. Allen-Bush-Rove, with the help of the right-wing pundits have moved what the definition of center is so far to the Right that Webb is now on the left. Strange times.
With this shift of center to the fringe Right is also a shifting of what is reasonable or even sane. The actions that conservatives have taken and new actions which they continue to consider are so extreme that rational behavior seems to be shifting from what would once been thought of as morally repugnant to yawn, oh its just another day. Perhaps the almost daily outrages of Bush and a ultra right-wing Congress serve some ulterior motive, to make plausible those options just one notch below insanity, War Clouds, Plus — Worst Idea Ever
At this point, I think I need to bring up what one might call the Craziest Goddamn Thing I’ve Heard In a Long Time. This story came to me last week from an anonymous individual who I would say is in a position to know about such things. According to this person, the DOD has (naturally) been doing some analysis on airstrikes against Iran. The upshot of the analysis was that conventional bombardment would degrade the Iranian nuclear program by about 50 percent. By contrast, if the arsenal included small nuclear weapons, we could get up to about 80 percent destroying. In response to this, persons inside the Office of the Vice President took the view that we could use the nukes — in other words, launch an unprovoked nuclear first strike against Iran — and then simply deny that we’d done so.
My apologies to Matthew for stealing the payoff to the punchline. So they decide not to use nukes, but just use a comprehensive bombing campaign which pushes the middle-east further into chaos, causing catastrophic economic consequences for the rest of the world. After which they claim how rational they are because they had first considered nukes and then rejected that idea. This talk or chatter may serve another purpose. To shore up Bush’s poll numbers for being tough on some issue that has to do with brown people 20,000 miles away, the one area where he still has at least a marginal amount of support. Most of us find the tough talk more then a little high schoolish, but it does have a certain appeal to the raw meat crowd.
Physics was never my strong suit, but I feel obligated to read the occasional article. Kind of trying to keep up with the universe and all. I saw a special on String Theory once and was fascinated by the idea of multiple universes or at least the possibility of a mirror universe. It looks like String Theory and its supporters may be in need of some breakthrough. Some are beginning to wonder if there is any there there, String Theory is the darling of theoretical physics but there’s no way to test it. Does this qualify as a dead end?
Smolin, a theoretician at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada, also takes issue with the landscape. But as a proponent of a rival theory known as loop quantum gravity, Smolin has a slightly different perspective. While string theory modifies the structure of subatomic particles—proposing that they’re stringy rather than pointlike—loop quantum gravity modifies the structure of space and time, positing that they are gnarled and tangled rather than smooth like relativity implies. Smolin, who’s worked on string theory in the past, struggles to keep his book from seeming like a partisan attack from a rival. “I can only insist that I am writing this book not to attack string theory or those who believe in it, but out of admiration for them and, above all, as an expression of faith in the physics scientific community,” he writes. However, when he accuses string theorists of “groupthink,” it’s hard to imagine it’s done out of admiration.
Since I already see the world as “gnarled and tangled”, Smolin is already playing to my prejudices.
Michelle Malkin and the Gateway Pundit are having a bad day, the poor things. It seems that without human rights, fair trials, legal representation, rules of evidence and the Geneva Convention the world is just one big hell hole. Wait…I…think I just blew a circuit, the fringe Right thinks that the rule of law is a necessary component of a civilized world, Well beyond satire
This post writes itself. For instance, I thought (from having read Michelle’s blog) that people who were concerned about due process for Terrorists are themselves pro-terrorists. I wonder what it is about this case that makes Michelle and Gateway Pundit so concerned for the Rights of Terrorists when normally they mock those who express such concern?
Some other blogs that are currently using duct tape to keep themselves from falling off their chairs laughing at the bald faced hypocrisy of the Right’s sudden embrace of human rights, The Sport of Us vs. Them, Wha???, Right Wing Bloggers Protecting Terrorists
More on M’s Unhinged Malkin, The Pulitzer Prize for Right-Wing Distortion
1) Powerline, Michelle Malkin and the others like them have no respect for the American principle of a free and unfettered press, no understanding of what a photojournalist does or the importance that uncensored photos can play in the political debate half a world away. The bottom line is they’d like to destroy any photographic evidence of how badly their president’s lie-laden misadventure has gone in Iraq.
A bonus piece of wing-anger for the day from the comments at The Jawa Report, September 19, 2006, AP Responds to Bloggers: Cite Known Terrorist Sympathizer as Source
I’ve had a big problem with the AP ever since they first insisted on writing “war on terror” in quotation marks and lowercase letters instead of rightfully writing it as the War on Terror. That shows their own left wing bias that we aren’t really at war and Bush is just exaggerating the threat.
Posted by: Thrill at September 19, 2006 06:13 PM
That damn small case using liberal press do they know no shame.