Monday, June 6, 2011

Dictator's Weekend Activities, Sarah's Revere Gaffe, Weiner Owns Up To Weiner

Paul Krugman

"With Tea Party conservatives and many Republicans balking at raising the debt ceiling, let me offer them an example of a nation that lives up to their ideals. It has among the lowest tax burdens of any major country: fewer than 2 percent of the people pay any taxes. Government is limited, so that burdensome regulations never kill jobs.

This society embraces traditional religious values and a conservative sensibility. Nobody minds school prayer, same-sex marriage isn’t imaginable, and criminals are never coddled. The budget priority is a strong military, the nation’s most respected institution. When generals decide on a policy for, say, Afghanistan, politicians defer to them. Citizens are deeply patriotic, and nobody burns flags.

So what is this Republican Eden, this Utopia? Why, it’s Pakistan." - Nicholas Kristoff

I include the quote from Nicholas Kristoff, because he makes the same case that I have been posting for two years now; that Right Wing Conservatism is universal, and manifests itself in ugly ways. If we are blind to seeing how certain policies proposed by the wingnuts running the GOP, we merely have to see how they are working in other countries, because almost everything that is proposed by them is in effect somewhere else in the world. Kristoff goes on to say that its the old feudal supporting folks in Pakistan who want to keep education for those who can afford private schools, and its the newly rising Pakistani middle class that's criticizing the military, building the schools, and trying to take care of the homeless.

It used to be that the weekend was the slow cycle for the news, but now its the most active time in the Middle East, after Friday prayers is when most protests are planned. This weekend, Palestinians who live in Syria planned a non-violent dash across the border into the Golan Heights. They were shot at by Israeli forces... It's not clear exactly why these folks are volunteering to martyr themselves without wearing the latest in Iranian suicide vests, but they are succeeding in causing an international incident and showing how hot-headed many Israeli troops are... Speaking of hot-headed troops, the Syrian army claims that over 80 officers were killed, along with 40 civilians, in a war with some "armed gangs" in the north. The Syrian government has been long saying that the agitators against them are all from the outside, and that often the civilian population is begging the army to protect them and interfere with the protests... The NY Times interviewed one protest organizer, who said: “I have seen no evidence of organized violence by protesters against the regime,” said Wissam Tarif, a Syrian human rights activist currently outside the country. “Protesters do not have weapons they could even use against tanks and helicopters, which the regime is using.”
You'll notice that any negotiations with the Assad government is all being done behind closed doors, it's just difficult to remove the hot-headed brothers and sister of Bashar al Assad and their autocratic followers. But, as I said earlier, we really are witnessing the last throes of the dictators, and soon their style of rule will go the way of the dinosaurs, swept into the dustbin of history, or as many other trite phrases that I can think of. It looks like the new Dictator's Row housing compounds will be located in Riyadh or Dubai... Although I don't  know if Qaddafi's family will show or not, the longer they stay in Tripoli, the longer it looks like they may become victims of the Ceacescu Solution. Even if it's really an urban myth, it makes good history, adding to the darkness of Romania, home to Transylvania and the peddling of children to pedophiles worldwide...

They’re selling postcards of the hanging
They’re painting the passports brown
The beauty parlor is filled with sailors
The circus is in town...

And the Good Samaritan, he’s dressing
He’s getting ready for the show
He’s going to the carnival tonight
On Desolation Row - Bob Dylan

So, Sarah Palin makes the news by committing another gaffe, proving that she hasn't picked up a book since her infamous Katy Couric interview, much less read a newspaper. In an interview in Boston, Sarah tried for an impromptu remark, or maybe she couldn't remember the script, when she referred to Paul Revere's historic ride: "He who warned, uh, the British that they weren't going to be taking away our arms uh by ringing those bells and making sure as he's riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free and we were going to be armed."

She was then ridiculed for saying that Paul Revere warned the British that the Americans were coming, years before porn dominated the internet. Then, on Fox News Sunday, she said that she really didn't make a mistake, transcript courtesy of TPM: "You know what, I didn't mess up about Paul Revere," Palin said. She went on:

Here's what Paul Revere did. He warned the Americans that the British were coming, the British were coming and they are going to try to take our arms so we have to make sure that we were protecting ourselves and shoring up all of our ammunitions and our firearms, so that they couldn't take them. But remember that the British had already been there, many soldiers, for seven years in that area. And part of Paul Revere's ride, and it wasn't just one ride -- he was a courier, he was a messenger -- part of his ride was to warn the British that were already there that, "hey, you are not going succeed, you are not going to take American arms. You are not going beat our own well-armed persons, individual private militia that we have." He did warn the British, and in a shout-out gotcha type of question that was asked of me I answered candidly. And I know my American history."

She was referring to an obscure letter that Revere wrote, where he said that during his ride he was stopped by some British troops, an officer put a gun to his head and asked what he was doing out at night, and he told them that he was out informing the colonialists that the British troops were advancing. The question is why they let him go... The debate this weekend isn't why Sarah leaves her bus to fly to Fox studios, but the depth of her knowledge of American history, and I feel a quiz coming on, Sarah to be invited on the set on Are You Smarter Than A Sixth-Grader? It's bad enough that some sneaky Sarah supporters tried to literally rewrite history by going on wikipedia and rewriting the section on Paul Revere to reflect Sarah's version of history, while her detractors are saying that telling a cop what you are up to to save your life is different than riding up to houses and informing British citizens that their army was advancing, if you please, while historians are searching all sources trying to find out where being a courier then meant what she said...

And even more piddling is the uncovering of more photos of Anthony Weiner's weiner, with him admitting to sending them to someone other than his wife.. Uh, oh, he may never appear on the Rachel Maddow show again, his rising in the Senate clipped, and the ethics committee will have to discuss if his tumescent penis is worthy of an investigation, or if it's much ado about nothing...

And that French guy pleaded not guilty to accosting the hotel chambermaid. He has hired the best lawyers around to defame the woman making the accusation, and if this only were France, she would have been deported already. At least I understand that Italy Silvio Berlesconi has a job lined up for her...

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