Thursday, January 05, 2006

Enemies List

This is outrageous.
James Moore, author of Bush's Brain, a book critical of Karl Rove, was put on the Department of Homeland Security No Fly Terror Watch list a year ago, meaning he has to go through a special clearance process each time he travels by plane.
Of course, because this is a counterterrorism program, nobody is willing or obligated to explain to him how his name got on that list.
Seems obvious to me.

The Manchurian President

Richard Condon's novel, The Manchurian Candidate, and the John Frankenheimer film based on it, begin by taking literally a then-current cocktail party put-down: "So-and-so couldn't be doing the communists any more good if he was actually working for them."
In the novel and film, a right-wing presidential candidate turns out to be the stooge of a communist operative, who is also secretly manipulating a decorated Korean War hero.
George W. Bush's out-of-touch demeanor has long suggested that he, too, is a stooge for a behind-the-scenes manipulator. While I have argued against this, believing that it absolves Bush of responsibility for his destructive acts, speculating on who his puppeteer might be is certainly an entertaining pastime.
Dick Cheney, of course, is seen by many as the master manipulator. But to whom should we speculate that Cheney reports in this parlor-game scenario? Osama bin Laden? Saddam Hussein? A right-wing media mogul like Richard Scaiffe or Rupert Murdoch? Some lower-profile (to most Americans) villain such as Vladimir Putin?
Hard to say, although the way that Bush's actions have threatened both our traditional values (such as the quaint concepts of personal liberty and privacy) as well as our security (through misappropriation of Homeland Security funds to small midwestern towns, sapping the strength of the military in the ill-conceived and poorly executed war in Iraq, etc.) in the aftermath of the September 11 attack suggests that ultimately, he works for Osama bin Laden. Makes sense, too, given the close ties of the Bush family to various Saudi oil billionaires.
While it's surely a pipe dream, finding out that Bush really is a pawn of the terrorists in an elegant global conspiracy would tie together a large number of loose ends and explain a lot of otherwise mystifying developments.
Anyway, the guessing game is fun.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

A New Year For Blogging

Welcome to 2006.
As I look back over the first year of this blog, what I see primarily is my loss of energy and interest in posting. I have gone from daily posts to roughly weekly posts to -- most recently -- skipping an entire month.
It's not entirely that I've had nothing I've wanted to say, or that I've been too busy. Mostly, it's the case that I'm easily distracted.
I've had a few readers who started to become regulars, before either my lack of interesting content or lack of consistent new material turned them off. But I thank all of them for stopping by: iddybud, Oyster, Scott, Pusillanimous Wanker, JulieB, Francesca, JR and the others. Some of you have had consistent and interesting blogs yourselves. Others have suffered from the same inconsistencies of time and interest that I've been subject to.
I've done some interesting things in the past year: Started woodworking again after a lapse of almost a decade. Started writing fiction and poetry again after an even longer lapse (see The Practical Press for my infrequent posts there). In the last few months, I've even headed back to the gym with a vengeance. I'm not sure how long any of these refound interests will stick around -- but even if they wax and wane, they're fun while I'm focusing on them.
This year, I would like to set as a goal a weekly post on this blog with at least a little bit of substance. More than a comment or a link. Something that expresses some thought, some reflection -- which of course was the primary rationale for starting up this thing.
Here's to the new year.