That no particular scandal once can touch But it confounds the breather

Odd how some things converge, “From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism” (University of Chicago Press),

there is no way to separate cyberculture from counterculture; indeed, cyberculture grew from its predecessor’s compost. Mr. Turner suggests that Stewart Brand, who created the “Whole Earth Catalog,” was the major node in a network of countercultural speculators, promoters, inventors and entrepreneurs who helped change the world in ways quite different from those they originally envisioned.

Mr. Turner, who teaches in the communication department at Stanford University, is rigorous in his argument, thorough to the point of exhaustion, and impressive in his range. The basic premise, though, is not unfamiliar. A decade ago the cultural critic Mark Dery suggested in his book “Escape Velocity” that the PC revolution could well be called “Counterculture 2.0.” Other writers have also pointed out uncanny overlaps.

And some of the anecdotal evidence is familiar. Steve Jobs created and promoted Apple as a countercultural computer company, most famously in the 1984 television ad that associated it with the demolishment of a totalitarian Big Brother. Even I.B.M., in promoting its first PC, tried to undermine the computer’s association with corporate power, marketing its machine using images of Charlie Chaplin’s tramp, who had twitted the gears of industry in “Modern Times.”

There’s physical perversity and then there is ideological perversity. President Bunnypants decides to ignore laws passed by Congress and the media just barely covers the story. The Congressman Foley’s behavior is important and since it involves an unconsenting minor rather then a consenting adult, but it bothers me that this is the scandal that will stick to conservatives above dozens of others. We probably have the most corrupt governing body in Washington that anyone could imagine. Its not just that the conservative majority in both Houses are bought and paid for it seems that there is no ideological low to which they will not sink, How Mark Foley Represents The Entire Republican Party

What’s illuminating here is not that a pedophile held Congressional office. That’s just sad and awful, especially for the children he took advantage of and exploited. What’s illuminating is the Congressman’s behavior. Sending text messages and emails? As if he could never be caught; as if he was invulnerable. And it’s exactly the kind of arrogance and poor judgement that has come to dominate the Republican Party. Like Bob Ney and Duke Cunningham who brazenly accepted bribes and illegal campaign contributions. Same with Tom DeLay. Worse, like George Bush and Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, tirelessly insisting we’re winning, things are getting better in Iraq, when anybody can see they’re getting worse. As if the truth won’t come out. It’s a culture of corruption that believes it can never get caught.

Populism has two faces. One where someone like Senator Harry Reid or a Bill Clinton honestly relates to the masses and their concerns. The other side of populism is a little ugly. Its where the pundit class ranging from television to newspapers to blogs don’t cross that sacred line where they hold the masses responsible. Could conservatives get away with the cronyism that crippled the reconstruction of Iraq without popular support? Conservatives couldn’t engage in the kind of momentous corruption they have engaged in from the halls of Congress to the Oval office without the tacit support of a good part of the electorate. Joe and Jane Republican are just as much to blame for Bush’s trampling of the Constitution, the Iraq quagmire, and the Foley cover-up as those directly involved. Main Street conservatives are the enablers. They have given their elected representatives at a free hand, a cockeyed wink of approval to do whatever they feel they must do to get and keep power. In the process they have become very good at the power of denial. At the second link above many of these conservative bloggers condemned both Foley and Rep. Hastert (R-Ill), but many of them couldn’t just take the facts and digest the implications. No they had to dream up some conspiracy about the “timing”. These conservative bloggers who are representative of the average conservative voter would rather crawl over burning coals then look inward at what conservatives and their movement have become.

White House hits out at Woodward book

The Bush administration remains on the defensive over the latest bad news to surface about its conduct of the war on terror and the war in Iraq.

White House counselor Dan Bartlett hit the Sunday talk-show circuit to challenge the key contention in Bob Woodward’s bombshell new book, State of Denial, that President Bush and his advisers have been misleading the country about Iraq.

“The evidence in the book … contradicts his very thesis of denial,” Mr Bartlett told CNN.

“Throughout this book, throughout many of the president’s public speeches, he’s been very blunt with the American people about the difficulty of this war,” Mr Bartlett said.

In the book, Woodward writes that: The administration got bleak reports about worsening violence in Iraq but gave the public a rosy picture; that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice dismissed requests to kill Osama bin Laden before Sept. 11 when she was national security adviser, and that even though Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld bungled the war, he survived internal White House calls for his head.

Well Mr Bartlett should get together with his boss and decide what the story is or the lasting narrative they will feed the public,

We also keep our promise to destroy every remnant of that regime and to help the people of Iraq to govern themselves in freedom. In the 83 days since I announced the end of major combat operations in Iraq, we have made progress, steady progress, in restoring hope in a nation beaten down by decades of tyranny. – Bush, Office of the Press Secretary July 23, 2003

Under The Prime Minister’s Leadership, Coalition And Iraqi Leaders Are Modifying Operations To Help Bring Greater Security To The Iraqi Capital. Coalition and Iraqi forces will secure individual neighborhoods, ensure the existence of an Iraqi security presence in them, and gradually expand the security presence as Iraqi citizens help them root out those instigating violence. The plan will involve embedding more U.S. military police with Iraqi police units to make them more effective. – Whitehouse web site Sept. 2006

Poll: Iraqis back attacks on U.S. troops

About six in 10 Iraqis say they approve of attacks on U.S.-led forces, and slightly more than that want their government to ask U.S. troops to leave within a year, according to a poll in that country.

The Iraqis also have negative views of Osama bin Laden, according to the early September poll of 1,150.

VIDEO: Iraqis form opinions

The poll, done for University of Maryland’s Program on International Policy Attitudes, found:

•Almost four in five Iraqis say the U.S. military force in Iraq provokes more violence than it prevents.

About 61% approved of the attacks — up from 47% in January. A solid majority of Shiite and Sunni Arabs approved of the attacks, according to the poll. The increase came mostly among Shiite Iraqis.

•An overwhelmingly

•Three-fourths say they think the United States plans to keep military bases in Iraq permanently.

They don’t like Bush or Bin Laden. The reasons for being in Iraq have always been tenuous, it just becomes more so as the years pass, the troops keep dying, and the violence become part of the fabric of Iraqi life.

That no particular scandal once can touch
But it confounds the breather.
from Measure for Measure – Act 4 by Shakespeare