Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson: you find the present tense, but the past perfect

According to some folks there was a time ( my best guess is between 1776 and before John F. Kennedy became president) when America was as pure as mythical snow. Everyone during this time did nothing but work, read the Bible and whip their kids into responsible adults the likes of which we’ll never see again because the wicked liberals spoiled everything. Those times never existed except in a few prurient imaginations that were and still are in denial. Mary Ann Hall’s High-Class Brothel and Prostitution in Antebellum Washington

Mary Ann Hall built her brothel in a convenient location near the U.S. Capitol Building in a city known for its large population of transient men who came from all over the country, usually unaccompanied by women, to transact business in the national capital. 5 Tax records show that Mary Hall prospered during her first decade in business, the value of her property doubling between 1840 and 1850 and her personal property increasing by more than thirty percent. 6

Although little published information survives about Mary Ann Hall’s brothel or about prostitution in general in nineteenth-century Washington, Hall probably operated her establishment in a manner similar to the high-class “parlor houses” common in New York City at the time. The typical parlor house served men of wealth and distinction in a discreet and elegant environment, each transaction beginning with a shared bottle of champagne provided, at an exorbitant price, by the house. The prostitutes who worked in these houses were noted for their youth, beauty, and social refinement. 7 In a rare nineteenth-century publication entitled Mysteries and Miseries of America’s Great Cities, a full chapter is devoted to illicit activities in Washington, D.C. In the book, the author implies that the nature of Washington as the national capital offered high-class prostitutes additional business opportunities, because they could be hired to use their charms to influence the passage of particular laws on the floors of Congress. If they succeeded, they were rewarded handsomely by the corporate interests who derived benefits from the legislation

Officials: Pentagon Probed Finances

The military’s expanded use of the records authority was first reported yesterday on the Web site of the New York Times, which said that military officials had made more than 500 such requests since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Quoting unnamed military intelligence officials, the Times said that the actual number of letters was probably well into the thousands, because a single investigation often resulted in requests to multiple institutions.

By law, the FBI is charged with conducting investigations of U.S. citizens and with counterterrorism activities in this country.

Domestic intelligence-gathering by the CIA and the military is sharply restricted. In the military’s case, such activities have generally involved investigations of direct threats to military installations and personnel in the United States, as well as inquiries into possible criminal activities by uniformed or civilian Defense Department employees.

Under then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, the Pentagon expanded its collection of intelligence within the borders of the United States — a development that stirred concern among members of Congress and prompted stern criticism and lawsuits from civil liberties advocates.

This doesn’t matter if you don’t mind your country slipping yet another inch toward being a banana republic.

Mahablog has this confessional from a conservative, Betrayal

In Iraq, this Republican President for whom I voted twice has shamed our country with weakness and incompetence, and the consequences of his failure will be far, far worse than anything Carter did.

The fraud, the mendacity, the utter haplessness of our government’s conduct of the Iraq war have been shattering to me.

It wasn’t supposed to turn out like this. Not under a Republican President.

I find it difficult to give a damn that some die hard air head conservative finally had a single clear thought. The question is what is Rod Dreher going to do the rest of his life for being part of the movement that has worked everyday for the last fifty years to betray every value that can be called American. He’s just one of millions that have more in common with the worse draconian political movements in human history then Thomas Jefferson or James Madison. Conservatism is a dangerous farce. Think of everything that conservatives say they stand for: fiscal responsibility, ethics, family values, love of country, small government, cautious prudent foreign policy. Whenever they have been given any opportunity, certainly since Richard Nixon they turned their back on everyone of those principles. The conservative movement, like any garden variety authoritarianism has been about power and and the arrogant exercise of authority ( I didn’t mention religion because the real powers of the conservatism used it as part of the big con). So Rod is forty. He and his age cohorts don’t have much time so they better get to work making amends and stop wasting my time at least, with the too late epiphanies.

Now this next part is very very secret. You see the right-wing blogs want you believe that the constant violence in Iraq is just a big conspiracy all made up by the Associated Press and Jamil (Jamail) Hussein. So don’t tell anyone you read this it’ll spoil the illusion.

01/13/07 Reuters: Mortar fire kills 2 in Baghdad’s Zaafaraniya district
Mortars landed in the Baghdad district of Zaafaraniya on Saturday, killing one woman and wounding 10 people, police said.
01/13/07 Reuters: 31 bodies found in Baghdad
Police in Baghdad found 31 bodies, many shot dead and tortured, in the 24 hours to Saturday night, an interior ministry source said.
01/13/07 DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Cpl. Stephen J. Raderstorf, 21, of Peoria, Ariz., died Jan. 7 in Balad, Iraq, of wounds sustained during combat operations. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
01/13/07 BBC: Two British troops die overseas
One British soldier has been killed in Iraq and a British marine has been killed in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence has said. The soldier died while on duty in Basra and the marine was killed during operations in the southern province of Helmand
01/13/07 Reuters: Gunmenkill three civilians on in Ishaqi
Gunmen shot dead three civilians on Friday night in the town of Ishaqi, 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.
01/13/07 Reuters: Two civilians killed in Baiji
Gunmen killed two civilians and stole their vehicle in Baiji, 180 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.
01/13/07 Reuters: Two bodies found in Iskandariya
Police found two bodies, tortured, blindfolded and shot dead, in Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said. One victim was a policeman.

“Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson: you find the present tense, but the past perfect!” – Owens Lee Pomeroy