Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Will Wonders Never Cease?

I'm floored. I'm stunned. Joe Klein grows a SPINE, and ADMITS gross errors of judgement in the past. Check this out in Time's Swampland Blog.

July 29, 2008 4:58
When Extremists Attack
Posted by Joe Klein | Comments (173) | Permalink | Trackbacks (0) | Email This
I have now been called antisemitic and intellectually unstable and a whole bunch of other silly things by the folks over at the Commentary blog. They want Time Magazine to fire or silence me. This is happening because I said something that is palpably true, but unspoken in polite society: There is a small group of Jewish neoconservatives who unsuccessfully tried to get Benjamin Netanyahu to attack Saddam Hussein in the 1990s, and then successfully helped provide the intellectual rationale for George Bush to do it in 2003. Their motivations involve a confused conflation of what they think are Israel's best interests with those of the United States. They are now leading the charge for war with Iran.

Happily, these people represent a very small sliver of the Jewish population in this country. Unhappily, their views have had an impact in the highest reaches of the Bush Administration--and seem to have an influence on John McCain's campaign as well. Happily, the Bush Administration seems more interested in talking to the Iranians than in launching on them--and, according to my Israeli friends, the Israelis are not going to do anything foolish, either. I remain proud of my Jewish heritage, a strong supporter of Israel and a realist about the slim chance of finding some common ground with the Iranians. But I am not willing to grant these ideologues the anonymity they seek.

In early 2003, during my first weeks as a Time Magazine columnist, I wrote a handful of skeptical columns about the coming war in Iraq, including this one about Israel's security as a hidden casus belli. Then, with the troops in place and the war about to begin, I said something stupid on Tim Russert's cable TV show--reluctantly saying ok, we should proceed with the attack. It was the only statement I made in favor of the war and I quickly came to my senses--but that's no excuse. We have lost more than 4000 Americans, tens of thousands have come home grievously injured, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed and wounded, and we are weaker, palpably and morally, as a result.

I am not going to make the same mistake twice. I don't think a war with Iran is coming, thank God, but this time I am not going to pull any punches. My voice isn't very important in the grand scheme of things, but I'm going to do my job--and that means letting you know exactly where I stand and what I believe. I believe there are a small group of Jewish neoconservatives who are pushing for war with Iran because they believe it is in America's long-term interests and because they believe Israel's existence is at stake. They are wrong and recent history tells us they are dangerous. They are also bullies and I'm not going to be intimidated by them.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Doctor Fish

I used to work in the cosmetics industry. Nutty narcissism is a necessary component to keep the business going. I was blessed by the skin goddess with an epidermis that is smooth, soft and clear. I am also a spa freak, and have often had my hands or weirdly, even feet, caressed and been told they were soft and graceful. Ummm. An embarrassed thank you is usually all I can manage. So perhaps this is why I can't fathom anyone being willing to let fish eat the calluses off their feet...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Is McCain Stupid, High, or Simply Shameless?

I have to admit that is a harsh question, but I do wonder this as I read more of his remarks, ones such as this: "it seems to me that Senator Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign."

Eh? First of all, what exactly would we be "winning" in Iraq? Removal of Saddam? Oops, done that already. Finding WMDs? Please...there's a better chance of finding Jimmy Hoffa, he's under the Meadowlands. Everyone from North Jersey knows that. Establish a new Iraqi government? Dysfunctional and impotent though it may be, there is one there now, Senator McCain. Stop the sectarian violence? Pandora's box has been opened, unfortunately by America, and if one recalls the myth all that is left at the bottom is the injured, and delicate creature called Hope. I hope the Sunnis and Shites come to their senses and stop killing each other over something as ridiculous as differing religious practices within the same fucking religion, but thinking that stationing our troops there will ameliorate the situation is nothing short of delusional.

Note to warmongers: guns and planes and tanks make people fear you, they do not win hearts and minds.

What else? Osama? Not there-try Pakistan? Taliban? The place where that group of lunatics reside is called...Afghanistan. Remember that Bush removed all the troops from Afghanistan so they could go to Iraq?

This is not a game of Risk, you fake war hero fuck. You are not Eisenhower, or Grant or Washington. Hell, you're not even Colin Powell. You finished 894 of 899 in Annapolis. Did you even attend classes? Perhaps this explains why you twice crashed your plane into power lines? You became a POW because you were shot down (crashed yet again?) into Truc Bach Lake in Hanoi, and nearly drowned before the Vietnamese got to you, and put you in the Hanoi Hilton.

I find it unbelievably offensive that a man who endured five and a half years in a prison camp as the result of an illegitimate war wants to keeps our troops in a conflict that makes even less sense than the one he himself was so badly injured in that he can no longer raise his arms above his head, and made numerous suicide attempts while a POW.

There is no winning in Iraq.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sick Humor? Poor Taste? Assholery?

I believe we have all heard about the damned ape joke. If told by a 21 year old frat boy half-tanked in a bar...tasteless. If you were drinking along with him: possibly funny. The kid told a shocking joke, big deal. When told by a US senator in his 50's, a man with power over the lives of women: sick, tasteless, and in no way amusing. When twenty-two years later, that man with a long history of mean-spirited misogynistic behavior, and a voting record that shows he clearly thinks women are second-class citizens, and is now running for president...horrifying.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My Secret Shame...My Misspent Youth...

I was reading-here during a rare lull at work (shhh!) the Feministing site, and they had a post all about the resurgence of debutante balls. I had hoped this insulting tradition had gone the way of wearing hats and white gloves, and slips. I hate slips. Though full slips make me think of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, so they are kind of sexy, but only if that's all one is wearing.

I digress. Debutante balls seem stubbornly resistant to social change, and are still largely segregated, class-based affairs that are meant to put adolescent girls on the marriage market.

All right...let's all shudder and gag. EWWWW. Marriage and market, two words that should never, ever, be paired.

Despite having a rather forward-thinking set of parents, I, um, kinda, participated in one of these extra special events as a junior deb-a yellow dressed, hoop-skirted, silk-flower crowned attendant to one of the debutantes when I was thirteen. It remains one of the top ten most humiliating experiences of my life thus far. My mother loaned me out-yes, I said LOANED ME OUT! Me, her precious only daughter, to one of her closest friends who was childless, and wished to participate in the damned thing her sorority was partially sponsoring. It meant so much to her my mother couldn't say no. I had a very bad feeling about this. But what could I do? My mother had already committed me. I would look like a rude brat throwing a tantrum if I refused now. My mom knew I wouldn't like to give that impression. Trapped, trapped...

The experience actually met...and surpassed my incredibly low expectations. There were classes, practice sessions, to prepare one for ridiculous, regressive, sexist public humiliation. It was somewhere around the ninth level of Hell, the one Dante claimed was circling Satan's scrotum. Yeah, that sounds like the place. The old women, and very queeny old men who fussed over us, and dressed us...I didn't know people like this even existed. My pediatrician had looked at my body with less scrutiny. They turned us around like we were little deaf things, never registering what they were saying as they clucked over everything. I was apparently too tall for most of the boys, but if I wore flats my feet would look too big, and duck-like. They thought I had webbed toes?? Apparently, I frowned too much as well, that was going to cause deep wrinkles in the future. (Well, fuck you, it didn't.)

I held my tongue, it was difficult, but I did it. I was a child who had been on the whole, approved of, and told that I was special, and wonderful and beautiful. No one had ever spoken to me, or about me where I could overhear in this manner. Thank God, I'm of a temperament where I get angry about stuff like this and consider the source, and do not absorb it.

The waltz lessons, and posture, curtsying, and fucking white gloves! I came home after one of these sessions and told my mother she had earned a place in Hell for putting me through this. At least Purgatory.

I like attention as much as the next extroverted Leo, but there was something creepy about this focus on our adolescent sexuality, and dressing us up like china dolls, watching us dance with equally uncomfortable boys. After it was all over, and I managed not to trip down the curving staircase into the ballroom, though I did mess up a couple of dance steps. I found my parents. My dad took the crown of flowers off my head, and mussed my hair, looking at my mother like she was Lucy Ricardo. I was not doing this again when I was old enough to wear the white dress. She nodded, and was uncharacteristically quiet the whole ride home.

This is no rite of passage. I can't imagine the reasoning that goes into putting your children through this. Girls are bombarded with so many images that give them the message that their looks and sexuality are what advance them in life...shame on Gen X for continuing this so-called tradition.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008



In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.

Main Entry:
in·ex·cus·able Listen to the pronunciation of inexcusable
Middle English, from Latin inexcusabilis, from in- + excusabilis excusable
15th century

: impossible to excuse or justify
— in·ex·cus·able·ness noun
— in·ex·cus·ably Listen to the pronunciation of inexcusably \-blē\ adverb

Geraldo Rivera, little gutter rat that he is, and Fox News, orgy of propaganda and yellow journalism that it is, have sunk so disgustingly low in the coverage of the death of model Ruslana Korshunova. The poor girl was only twenty, and died Saturday in a fall from her 9th floor apt in NYC. The circumstances of her death are admittedly, somewhat odd-women, especially beautiful ones, rarely commit suicide in ways that destroy their bodies. And no one seemed to think she was depressed or unstable.

Covering her death was expected, however, the repeated references to her being Russian, the emphasis on her foreignness, as if Americans don't kill themselves, crossed the line. That line was obliterated, as Geraldo at Large actually showed Korshunova's body, blood running out the side of her mouth. It used to be that Fox's journalistic standards were low, and their taste it seems there are no standards at all. Fines are levied for Janet Jackson's frigging nipple, but not for something like this?

May you find peace in your next life, Ruslana.