Page 5 of 15
Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 12:50 pm
'Cause I know how much you guys enjoy your quotations. Pick up a copy of The Quote Verifier, by Ralph Keyes.
I just got wind of this through Kilpatrick's column, and apparently Yogi Berra didn't say a lot of things he's supposed to have said, and Edmund Burke apparently didn't tell us "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
I've got my own opinions about the military, and while I can _intellectually_ agree with the macro-concept of Eric's statement, knowing some of the dudes and dudettes that are in the military I can't bring myself to really agree with it.
On War, Warriors and (hopefully) clarifications.
Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 2:20 pm
Name: Steve (Evil) Dylag
Mr. Sam Waterman wrote
"I'm not so sure Edward Yashinsky, the Yiddish poet who survived the Holocaust only to die in a Communist prison, was all that grateful."
Probably not. But the point isn't that the Evil Empire was any less evil. It is only a question of who destroyed the Nazi regime, and the fact is they did more than we did. Whether this is a good thing or not is another debate.
I appologize if I sounded insensitive to this man's suffering, or indeed any of your troops. But I had to address the "They did this for you" chorus, and the "shut up" it implies. I am not gratefull that this young man lost his arms to an unjust war. I hope he is looked after and made comfortable as possible (despite the Republicans constantly cutting back veteran's benefits), and I won't condemn him personally for serving. But I can't see his actions as heroic. I think they were tragic. That he honestly believed himself to be doing the right thing makes it all the more tragic. These kids are being fed into a meat grinder, and I wish people would stop saying it was for my benfit.
It is a fallacy that opposing the war is by definition not supporting the troops. I support the troops fully and whole heartedly. Tha's why I want to bring them home before any more of them are killed. I don't see how continuing to feed them into the meat grinder constitutes support. ( I am not suggesting this is what you said. This is the attitude I was attempting to address with my previous statement).
And I still do not think it is desirable to have soldiers who don't think about the consequences of their actions, which someone else said.
This is not Canadian smugness but the God's honest truth as I see it. It is not a Canada vs. America thing. (and now Canadians are comming home in body bags as well, and terrorist cells are being uncovered in my own hometown, so my points are more relevant than ever. I would make the same argument for any unjust war being fought anywhere).
It was not my intent to sound patronizing, but I meant what I said.
and Mr. Samuals:
I have indeed read "All Quiet on the Western Front". We have apparently derived different conclusions from it.
- Steve E.
The Whimper of Whipped Dogs
Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 2:54 pm
Chris Johnston Source:
Cliff Pickover's RealityCarnival had this listed...
(05/24/06) Man lists every popular URL on the Internet
At the top of the listings under 'metafilter.com' was this...
The Whimper of Whipped Dogs
The poster doesn't mention Harlan, though.
Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 3:05 pm
Frank Church Source:
That was pretty harsh Harlan, but you are right about your comments regarding the Moore lawsuit. The soldier was probably told to sue, probably by some right wing crazy, like David Horowitz, or the like. They have undertaken a lifelong effort to squash the left, especially someone who connects with mainstream America, like the Flint wonder chunk.
I worry about the outcome because of the hallowed nature of how we view the military here. In the view of most Americans, the cup of Christ touches the lips of every serviceperson who enlists to aid our country's imperial jaunts. We view military people the way many view cops--and you know how many of those creeps go to prison or lose lawsuits. Hell, not even the Rodney King footage could convince the Jury that those fat swine were the racist thugs that they were. But, this soldier, with his puppy dog eyes and his sense of mission could sway any jury.
He also says that if he wins, he will donate all of his money to a charity for soldiers. Now tell me how that doesn't play to even the most leftist of juries?
I also fear that Moore will buckle and give the guy settlement cash. Moore is such a sap, with his frayed image, that it would not surprise me. But the message that would send would open the floodgate for lawsuits. I doubt Moore wants to be part of some lawsuit, when his new film is coming out in September. The dumbest thing he ever did was not respond to the guy. I hear Moore has yet to contact the guy. He said that Moore should apologize to him and he will drop the lawsuit. I just hope that the worst will not happen. Imagine the feeding frenzy?
There are hundreds of times that soldiers have been used by the media that could be seen to imply some slant. So, does that mean that the soldier, if so offended, could sue any network that tries to tell a story he may not like? Every politician has a case then, when it comes to the way footage is used by a network to make a slanted case. But, does that give them the right to sue? There has to be strict criteria when it comes to libel lawsuits. As an anarchist, I don't think there should even be libel laws, but that's for another day.
Cindy, you're a peach, but that last scribbling has no gas, whatsoever.
Those Texas papers are dangerous. hehe.
Well, let's see, the war is illegal, based on international norms of law, so any soldier that kills someone, even under the best intentions is still murdering them. Call that harsh if you will, but under an illegal occupation, the occupier has no rights, only to obey the norms of decency that international treaties give them.
People forget that Fallujah was an outright war crime, much worse that the Haditha murders. All of this on film, by an Italian camera crew. Sure, PBS refused to air the film, but that is its own shame.
I respect the soldiers who are just there, because they are told to, but if they cannot see what they are doing is wrong, then they are about as blind as any patriotic yahoo can be.
Here's one of the better defenses of Moore's film:
http://184.108.40.206/search?q=cache:qAcc ... =clnk&cd=4
Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 4:21 pm
Yeah yeah, not every troop is a crazed maniac. But there's a fairly large number of warped indivduals over there, fighting not for freedom, not for democracy, but for some barbaic lord-knows-what. And those who don't participate, but do know about this tpye of behaviour, are part of the problem by not speaking out soon enough. Why 1.5 years after the fact, do we know just hear about these Caligula-wanna-be's?
I'd support the troops if they self-policed themselves. I'd support the troops if they had the balls to speak out against any of the atrocities of the Iraq war (in an appropriate time frame, not 18 months later). I'd support the troops if they asked Bush what the war is all about.
Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 4:59 pm
Name: Barney Dannelke
Since my initial proposal wasn't mocked eight ways to Sunday, let me just say a few more things.
The points made about Myspace being VERY VERY youth oriented and frequently monkey-butt ugly are true. Utterly true.
***IF*** I were given permission to build a Harlan Ellison [trademark] Myspace page There are a few simple rules that would guide me.
1.] I would keep the page as simple as possible in terms of design layout. There are a million bells and whistles you can put on those pages but things get busy real fast. Put in pre-loading audio and mandatory streaming video and shite and then just waiting for the page to load becomes a data processing career. Some of my own friends are the worst offenders. My own page is ugly ***TODAY*** because I tried to do a tiled image last night and realize the result is just wrong. However that's easily fixed.
2.] I think a couple of eye-friendly background colors, a dozen shots of Harlan [approved by Harlan] from various stages in his career, and links to Webderland and a few other on-line sources COMBINED with some front page info on where and how books and CD's may be purchased is all you would need to start. A news page could come later OR reinforce links to whatever is here. A sort of Ellison Field of Dreams/if-you-build-it-they-will-come deal.
3.] I know Myspace catches a lot of flack for the occasional 300 pound, 40 year old guy pretending to be a teenaged Ukranian immigrant who will do singing telegrams for free breast implants - that's the messed up nature of people and the net. Still, I see lots of "Good cause" Myspace pages and Indy band pages and comics professional pages [Fred Hembeck] that are using Myspace in a constructive fashion to supplement various Mom & Pop enterprises, which the H.E.R.C. clearly is. And I see nothing wrong with that.
I don't see Myspace displacing this venue at all. But what I do see NOW are Myspace profiles where you search for Harlan Ellison and he is listed as one of their favorite authors but those people (who clearly love Harlan's work) NEVER pop up in here. Or they only lurk. But I don't think they're getting here at all.
Then they go on to list TROUBLEMAKERS in their books profile because that book actually sort of does what it was intended to do. Find potential young HArlan readers. This site here is [mostly] for the choir. I like the choir just fine but I'd like to see a bigger congregation.
Supplemental Myspace formating note - There are PLENTY of people who love to tweak Myspace pages by assembling Myspace codes. I bet some of the best aspects of that theoretical Ellison page would be built by people who would love to just build a better Ellison page.
So, those are my slightly expanded thoughts today.
Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 5:28 pm
Name: HARLAN ELLISON
As far as I'm concerned, or WANT TO BE concerned . . . THIS is myspace. The reasons you give for wanting to drag me and/or my name into deeper, more treacherous internet swampsites SEEM quite nice and quite logical . . . if I actually GAVE a fuque about making money, which I pretty much don't, and never have. Oh, I know how to massage the market, all right, but doing things for money has NEVER tilted my pinball-machine.
Nonetheless . . .
I will not blow you off, old chum. I will turn you and this whole MySpace thing over to the Fang Who Walks Like a Woman, the OTHER Ellison. You hash it out with mah honey, and what you can con her into/out of and her decision either way, will be just fine with me.
Tomorrow Susan goes to work at the precinct polling station, all day; and I will be starting Day One of my jury duty in Beverly Hills. The Ellisons will be incommunicado due to Good Citizenship for at least the next 24 hours.
All the rest of you . . . try to behave yourselves till we resurface. And, much as I despise him--and her--I do not for a moment believe this current bullshit rumor about Dubya and Condoleezza having an affair. It is as despicable as what the right wing did to Clinton. For the good of your soul, disregard it.
Yr. pal, Harlan
Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 5:46 pm
Name: Brian Siano
We're supposed to honor and respect the bravery and sacrifices of our veterans. That's only decent, but it's really not as simple as that.
For example, what happens when people are brave, or make those sacrifices, for causes that are simply _wrong_, or for rotten and corrupt regimes? The invasion of Vietnam, conducted to prevent the outcome of that country's election? The annexation of Europe under German rule in the late 1930s? The establishment of Greater Serbia? The defense of Saddam Hussein against an effort by foreign armies to depose him?
When the _war_ is wrong, should we really honor the soldiers who participated? Now, keep in mind that I'm not talking about war crimes committed by individual soldiers under stress; it's horrible, yeah, and it'd be great if we could all be saints, but these are inevitable consequences of being in war.
I'm talking about wars, and tactics, created and implemented by commanders and political leaders: the use of cruel weapons like fuel-air bombs, ordering soldiers to rape civilian woman (as in Bosnia), the recruitment of children as in the Sudan? What if the war is conducted with horrific tactics, a disregard for conventions, and even the intention of targeting civilians?
I mean, we found it repugnant when Reagan dropped a wreath over SS graves at Bitburg; what about U.S. soldiers who participated in war crimes in other wars?
Well, most of us are _not_ strict moralists, and it's more than a little cruel to pass such severe judgements on people who were, like most soldiers, young men misled into hell. So, we decide that we're not holding the soldiers responsible for the policy decisions of the leaders we had at the time. We say that we're honoring _their_ bravery and sacrifice. (We're also deciding to not look too closely at them as individuals. I, for one, reserve the right to _not_ honor such vets as William Calley or Oliver North.)
But that does create a real problem. Because while we're making this adjustment, and while we're _saying_ this, we're avoiding looking at an unpleasant fact: the fact that these noble traits were _misused and wasted_ by the likes of (here in the U.S.) MacNamara, Nixon or Rumsfeld.
There's really no other word for it. Obviously, we appreciate it when soldiers work for a _good_ cause, like ridding the world of Hitler and the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. Their sacrifices were for a good cause that, happily, won. But if equally brave people made the same effort for a cause that was nowhere _near_ as noble, And even if we _respect_ this effort, then we _have_ to face the fact that this wonderful bravery and heroism was _wasted_.
And while we can talk about what we do as a _society_ to deal with this legacy, we also have to ask ourselves what this means for us as individuals. I mean, if I look at the thousands of lives ruined for issues that seemed like a good idea at the time-- well, the _last_ thing in the world I want is for my life to be wasted in the same way. Even if the _cause_ is good, I'm not especially trusting of the people in charge.
So if there is some devaluing of military service in our culture, part of that is due to some fairly basic observation of what the sacrifices of soldiers really amount to. Our leaders obviously regard them as means to ends. Our citizenry is content with empty 'honoring' and cheap sentiment that doesn't _begin_ to address the horrors they've faced. And the people to _sent_ them there? We never punish _them_ for the waste.
Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 6:27 pm
"And, much as I despise him--and her--I do not for a moment believe this current bullshit rumor about Dubya and Condoleezza having an affair"
I'd rather start - and I think it's a lot more justifiable, and BELIEVABLE, for that matter - an affair between Dubya n'Cheney. Who'd be d'man n' who'd be d'woman? Helluva challenge, dat 'n.
And WHAT a Video Spy Cam that would make!
And it's 5-6-7-8,
Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 7:23 pm
Name: Chuck Messer
Open up the pearly gates!
Well, there ain't no time to wonder why,
WHOOPEE! We're gonna die!
So once again, Uncle Sam is in a jam way down yonder in Vietraq. How did it happen? Who let it happen?
The answer: Everybody did.
The Democratic party for running two of the most lackluster presidential campaigns in the partys history (2000 and 2004) and two of the most uninspiring candidates since Mondale and Dukakis (Gore and Kerry). The Republican party, who picked George W (Chimpy McFlightsuit) Bush instead of John McCain, who at least had SOME qualifications for the job, instead of a good PR team, which is all Bush had for the 2000 nomination.
Who else? How about the average voter, who decided not to Change Horses in Midstream, even though the horse was running rampant and threatening to drown the rider.
We all did. I should have become more involved in the campaign, but I was too busy trying to FUCKING STAY ALIVE during the latest bout of unemployment to be bothered. I had every reason to become more involved and certainly had time on my hands, but I couldnt be bothered, had to find a fucking job. Still looking, by the way.
We had a chance. We had a chance to stop this bullshit in Vietraq back in 04, but we didnt. We kept Bush in office, and hes simply done what he originally set out to do, which was to transform the middle east, to make it more friendly to the good ol U S of A. All we need is the same kind of imaginary troops that Hitler had to defend Berlin in the last days of World War Two, and we'll have Iran dancing to our tune in no time.
Yes, we needed to transform the Middle East by BOMBING the love of Uncle Sam into them there ragheads. And make no mistake, many people are using that particular pejorative when referring to anyone living in the Mideast these days.
We will accomplish this laudable goal by using the same strategy, by following the same arrogant ignorance of the region, its people and history that we brought with us into Southeast Asia and the Soviets brought into Afghanistan. Who needs to know anything about the people whose hearts and minds were supposed to be winning? After all, in every gook, theres an American waiting to get out. Yup, that sure worked for us in Southeast Asia, didnt it? Besides, we're the biggest, meanest sumbitch in the valley, right? We can beat them gooks with one hand behind our backs, right?
Yeah, right. Works every time.
As I understand it, there are two rules of war: 1) Know your enemy. 2) Strike for the heart. In Iraq we have done neither. We just send people there and expect them to lose life and limb because its their job. Its what they signed up for, right?
And we must, we must, we MUST support our troops. With photo ops, with statements filled with empty bravado like, Mission Accomplished and Bring it On.
But not with Veterans benefits. Oh, no not that. That would cost money, which is needed to fund the war in Vietraq. Besides, those lazy-ass wounded veterans would just become the latest Welfare Queens, you know, the people who use their food stamps to buy Cadillacs and such. We must provide a disincentive for those who would live off the government teat. Those wounded veterans will just have to make their own way like the rest of us Fungible Assets.
As an example:
This year, the administration increased spending on veterans by $519 million. In 2006, it plans to cut veterans spending by $910 million.
That's a $391 million REDUCTION in veteran's benefits.
Yeah, support our troops. Tell me another joke. I could use the laugh.
RUMSFELD: Come on, people are fungible. You can have them here or there."
adj. Of goods or commodities; freely exchangeable for or replaceable by another of like nature or kind in the satisfaction of an obligation.
Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 9:00 pm
What you say is true. Those who make up lies should be routed out. Of course from where I am perched on the starboard side-- it looks like Michael Moore would be a good place to start the flossing.
I still think Kinky Friedman got it right when he said George W. is a good man trapped in a Republican body. The war started out looking like a necessary thing to get rid of a blood thirsty despot who had used weapons of mass destruction on defenseless children, men and women. I am sickened and ashamed that we stand by and allow something like Darfur to continue.
I don't defend the administration-- just W. I agree he made a mess with those appointments--a swarm of imbeciles. I don't think Clinton did much better with the lick spittle twins Sandy Berger and Madelyn Albright. I believe when closely examined history proves each president ( like each flesh and blood human being on Earth) is a mixed bag. I couldn't abide Clinton when he was in office. I think my antipathy toward him sprang largely from a dislike for his wife's politics and the fact that he was a cheat. Looking back now I can see that I blew the whole matter entirely out of proportion. Clinton had lied so convincingly about not having the affair with Monica that I believed him. I felt sorry for him and thought Monica was the devil in a beret. Later..after the DNA dress; I felt like an idiot for having believed him in the first place. Now with the passage of a few years-- I'm a little older I see things more clearly. Clinton pretty much kicked ass as a president. I applaud what he did in Kosovo and I thought he showed real class when he toured with Bush Sr. The pardons he handed down as he left office could probably still piss me off if I dwelled on it-- but I don't.
No body's perfect; Clinton and his successor are only mortal men. How could they not fuck up? They're people. George W. has acted on some very bad advice in some instances. I still think Iraq needed what we did there. The world needed somebody to cull Sadaam.
P.S. I read the U.N. does not want the " West" to send in troops to Darfur to protect the innocents. WTF? The United Nations' tits on a boar hog approach to human slaughter is unconscionable. What a bunch of pussies. Guilt by ommission is guilt nonetheless.
On fiddling while Rome burned.
Okay; it looked bad-- I'll give you that, but that's one of those scenarios that you can armchair quarterback all day long. Not too many people in the history of this nation have had a test of that magnitude. Truman could tell you what it feels like-- J.F.K. could... other than that ( in recent times) who else? Would Bush not have been equally criticized if he had run from the room flanked by secret service men? He didn't look cool-- he didn't look like a man of action and he didn't look like the leader of the free world at that moment... but hell, he was in shock-- we all were. If this had been a Hollywood script he would have done something better-- but real life is just that and the cameras were rolling. I don't think you can bust his chops for being human or for taking a moment to gather his thoughts and consider his options.
I agree it has nothing to do with patriotism-- mine or anyone else's. My support for this war is actually more of a sad, grim understanding that we can't abandon those we waded in to save until they are secure in their ability to protect themselves.
My permanent jerk of the knee when it comes to Michael Moore stems from his utterly amazing lack of manners and respect. The scene that showed me all I need to know about the man featured an oily Moore worming his way into the home of an elderly man, Charlton Heston. Maybe it's my Southern upbringing-- but at the very least it was inexcusable bad form.
I feel profound gratitude and loyalty toward the honorable service men and women of this country. I feel protective of them as a group and individually-- even though they don't need it. I look at the old men in my town who went to Germany, Switzerland-- France to fight against Hitler and I want to cry. I think about the people they liberated and again I want to cry-- I think about my babies, my brothers, my grandmother, my mom .... and I think about the innocents who were slaughtered. I put myself in their places and I see our soldiers for what they are-- heros. Of course they know what they stand to lose-- but they sign up anyway. I remain in awe. Should those dauntless souls receive deference? Without question and to a greater degree than anyone else I can think of.
You are absolutely correct in your outrage. I feel it too when I consider our men and women were sent in without the very best of everything and lacking in the numbers necessary to complete the job as safely as could be possible. Bad advice was given and those who were responsible for it should be outfitted in the same substandard gear and sent to Fallujah to serve along side those whose lives they have endangered. .
To make our soldiers pay for their own medical treatment, to cut veterans benefits, including veterans disability pay is unconscionable. The deliberate editing of film to warp the statements of a man who has lost both arms in service of our country is egregious. Doubtless there are people he cares about still serving and risking their lives over there. Can you imagine being part of a unit-- being stateside and having someone twist your sentiments to make it look like you were in essence spitting on those whom you left behind? Would you feel like a victim if a propaganda machine had ground up your words and portrayed you as someone who would discount the ongoing war for a cause you would have given your life for?
Anyone who believes as I do understands that we are indeed our brother's keepers.
I've missed your voice here abouts. You're right too. If McDonalds had been warned and they did it anyway then they deserved what they got. You're
also right about the fourth paragraph of Steve Dooner's message.
I''m glad to see you, my friend.
I don't defend the administration-- just W. He's not a rocket scientist-- but I believe he's a good man.
The necessity for the war remains the innocent people who were being butchered under Saddam. The reason we got into the war was Saddam's resolve to restrict the venues required by the U.N. for inspection. Three months, if you recall-- we gave him three months to allow the inspectors to do their jobs. It was ridiculous for the U.N. to put up with Saddam's bullshit. Had Saddam not been a spoiled child he would have opened the palaces the U.N. would have been placated. It didn't work out that way and certainly the U.N. certainly bears some culpability in this mire as well. Had they imposed some stringent sanctions on Iraq back when-- rather than allow Saddam to continue with his reign of terror unchecked perhaps it would not have come to this.
I doubt if the soldier no longer believes in the cause. It IS a righteous war-- just ask the women who no longer wear burquas. Ask the man who had hidden in the walls of his parents home for 30 years becasue he would have been killed if he'd been discovered. Ask those who used to witness the lopping off of heads and hands for minor infractions without trial. The war is righteous. Moore's treatment of the man's statement should result in punishment that deters him from doing it again. It isn't right to present something as truth if it isn't true. Moore re-victimized the soldier.
Moore mischaracterized a disabled veteran-- used him for his own financial and political gain and he should be punished for that.
I share your outrage at the diatribe of the shop keeper. His statement about bombing the men women and children of Iraq is bone chilling. I don't think his "answer to a higher father" remark makes George W. a religious fanatic. To me it just sounds like he wanted to rack up a few points with the churchy sect.
I don't think organized religion in itself is a bad thing- but the extremes of organized religion can be diabolically dangerous.
Steve! Hey, Steve! No, No--the Other Steve
Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 9:57 pm
Name: Douglas Harrison
My "patronizing" remark was actually directed at Steve Barber. I should have used an initial to clarify who the hell I was adressing. Sorry 'bout that.
You were quite kind to apologize for the tone of your comment on the Canadian election, and now I feel guilty for being perhaps a tad too defensive. I'd say, "Damn you for being so reasonable," but that wouldn't be polite.
Posted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:54 am
I meant to take out that part with the "p" word-- that was coarse.
CINDY and the "P" WORD
Posted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:14 am
CINDY: We'll have to agree to disagree about Bushy and the degree of his fantacism -- as well as whether or not organized religion (the kind that prints guidebooks, expects alms, and is generally run by men -- you know what kind of trouble _they_ can cause) is a bad thing. (I dig spirituality -- and even dig the "lessons" of Christ -- but the "wrapper" -- meaning the bible, the Koran, etc -- that most organized religions stick in makes me wanna hurl).
As for using the word Pussy (or pussies), that _ALWAYS_ sounds funny when a woman uses it to describe someone who is being a wimp -- glad you left it in (I've actually gotten a few women I know to jokingly use it against me when I'm whiny).
GUYS: you have to admit, WE are our own worst enemies. In addition to using or dreaming up as many derogatory names for women as we can - bitch, slut, ho, etc. (which is stupid, especially if you want to _attract_ women) -- we've managed to give oral sex a bad image (i.e., calling people we don't like cocksuckers, dicks, pussies, etc.) Hell, we've even managed to make being "pussywhipped" sound like a bad thing, and personally, I wouldn't mind being flayed with such a device (no, I _don't_ mean the mange-covered cat down the street).
CINDY: Keep being sassy -- that's the way we love our women here in Webderland. MUAH (that's a big fat cyberkiss for ya).
--Dorman (who STILL refuses to get a room when flirting with Cindy)
Posted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:44 am
Name: Steve Barber
Harlan's on jury duty, and Susan's running the polling station. Lesson to be learned: Vote and stay out of trouble, especially in Beverly Hills. (BTW - Harlan, got your message and will mail it out tomorrow. Sorry kiddo.)
The war conversation has moved to the Forum (for good reason).
Let's return the Pavilion to much more fun topics, and I'd invite anyone else to continue this debate on the boards....