America: 1 in 4 believe the unthinkable

Posted at 06:54 PM Newsgroups

From the AB Progressives Newsgroup.

From: Randall
Date: December 30, 2005 1:56:54 PM EST
Subject: Re: [IP] more on Interesting Harris poll: 24% of Americans still believe that 9/11 hijackers were Iraqis]

On Fri, 2005-12-30 at 10:58 -0500, David Farber wrote:
> Dave,
> I believe that it was John Kenneth Galbraith who observed, given that
> 1/4 of the American populace continued to support Richard Nixon after
> he resigned in disgrace over the Watergate coverup, that you could
> persuade 25% of Americans to believe ANYTHING.

A fellow going by the Nym ShadowThief once wrote:

"Bush could beat a sweet little old lady to death with a bag full of cute puppies and STILL get 45% of the American people to approve of him. Reality just does not affect that 45%." -- Shadowthief

A fellow nymed Patmaniac wrote:

"If you believe in the creation of the Universe in 6 days, Adam and Eve, talking serpents, a man being swallowed by a fish and emerging unharmed to tell the tale, a trumpet knocking down the walls of Jericho, Commandments chiseled into stone tablets by a burning bush, an old man collecting 2 of every animal on earth onto one boat, virgin birth, walking on water, 900 year old people, raising people from the dead after their bodies have begun rotting, etc... If you can believe all of those ridiculous fairy tales, then I guess it isn't such a stretch that you might also believe that George Bush is a good President". -- "Patmaniac"
Those two quotes describe the phenomenon perfectly.


Re: [oriental-list] MEEP!! MEEEEEEEP!!!

Posted at 12:47 AM Newsgroups
Continue reading "Re: [oriental-list] MEEP!! MEEEEEEEP!!!"

The Screwtape Letters & Mysticism, in these critical times...

Posted at 03:44 AM Newsgroups

A suggestion for the Critical Texts for Critical Times page...

From: "Drew Clausen"
To: [Helprin List]
Sent: Thursday, September 20, 2001 6:56 AM
Subject: Re: [Helprin] Critical Texts for Critical Times

I've just finished reading C.S. Lewis's "The Screwtape Letters" for this first time (after many aborted attempts) and if you're open to something that's not "eastern" in thought or philosophy, I would definitely add this one to your list. Everyone knows the "plot," right? Through a series of letters, an elder demon instructs his nephew in the art of temptation.

What makes this book timely is that it is set at the start of World War II, and much of the conversation concerns the "patient's" thoughts and attitudes about war and his view of the enemy.
Continue reading "The Screwtape Letters & Mysticism, in these critical times..."

Behold the man!

Posted at 03:34 AM Gems, Newsgroups, Received

I had just announced my Critical Texts for Critical Times page to the Mark Helprin listserver, not even two weeks after 9-11. A few list members came back with excellent suggestions for additional texts. This one, unfortunately, didn't fit the page.

From: "Keith Morgan" To: [Helprin] Sent: Thursday, September 20, 2001 7:53 AM Subject: Re: [Helprin] Critical Texts for Critical Times

If, in an odd angle of the hutment,
A puppy laps the water from a can
Of flowers, and the drunk sergeant shaving
Whistles O Paradiso!--shall I say that man
Is not as men have said: a wolf to man?

The other murderers troop in yawning;
Three of them play Pitch, one sleeps, and one
Lies counting missions, lies there sweating
Till even his heart beats: One; One; One.
O murderers! . . . Still, this is how it's done:

This is a war . . . But since these play, before they die,
Like puppies with their puppy; since, a man,
I did as these have done, but did not die--
I will content the people as I can
And give up these to them: Behold the man!

I have suffered, in a dream, because of him,
Many things; for this last saviour, man,
I have lied as I lie now. But what is lying?
Men wash their hands, in blood, as best they can:
I find no fault in this just man.

Eighth Air Force
Randall Jarrell


Presently listening to:
When Doves Cry (Acoustic Live) - Barenaked Ladies - acoustic & live december (02:36)


Re: [Helprin] Bush's Speech [rather verbose]

Posted at 06:07 PM Gems, Newsgroups, Written

This post appears in a much shortened form, and is more tightly edited, at Reciprocal Madness, as part of my eJournal Travelogue. In that form, Reciprocal Madness, appeared as part of the In Honor of the Bravest gallery show mounted by the Aaron Ross Gallery, September 3-30, 2002 in Vancouver, Canada. The final word of the exhibit, the text was printed in full to a single 12 foot long X 11" sheet which hung from the exhibit wall at 6' and ran out several feet onto the gallery floor.

Among the newsgroups and mailing lists I belong to is one devoted to Mark Helprin, one of my favourite authors. While Helprin has written several extraordinary novels, most of which I've loved to dog-eared tatters, he also regularly contributes opinion pieces to the Wall Street Journal. I am often stunned by them, not simply for their right-wing political stance but, most remarkably, the jingoism and unabashed militarism defining them. Shortly after 9-11, I was forced me to re-evaluate his fiction. In the process, I was motivated to speak to larger issues.

Before posting it to the mailing list, just to make certain I was on the right track, I emailed it to another list member for comment.

Continue reading "Re: [Helprin] Bush's Speech [rather verbose]"

Re: Military family organization protests US presence in Iraq

Posted at 11:46 PM Newsgroups
"Otis Willie" wrote in message
> Military family organization protests US presence in Iraq

[Link to news article deleted]
[Patrick Responds]

From the article, beginning with the wife of a serviceman:

"Sometimes, I think that Congress thinks it is so easy to make a decision that involves another country, but they overlook the effects it will have on our military, their families and children," she said. "No one speaks up, but our voices need to be heard."
Continue reading "Re: Military family organization protests US presence in Iraq"

Symbols of government.

Posted at 11:18 PM Newsgroups, Written
Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2003 12:01 PM
Subject: Symbols of government.
I was watching 60 minutes last night. The entire show focussed, in documentary format, on Bush's experience during the minutes, hours and days following the 9-11 attacks. Interesting and often riveting show, even if it glossed over those shaky early hours (remember that phone call to--was it Giuliani?--from the oval office? -- 60 minutes left it on the cutting room floor.)
Continue reading "Symbols of government."

Mo're: Bullies

Posted at 08:54 AM Newsgroups

Below, MJ and I pick up the thread begun in re: Bullies. If you haven't read that one yet, you might want to first.

Continue reading "Mo're: Bullies"

re: Bullies

Posted at 06:43 AM Newsgroups

Newsgroups like and alt.politics are a good places to get a feel of what the mood of the politically loud-mouthed is.There's a fair bit of rhetoric, much jockeying for position, posturing, pontificating and rampant back-pedalling attacks. Really it's all just a big pissing contest. Still, in the storm of ego and self-conscious witticism--and I am often no better than most of the participants if I stick around in these things too long--there are some good points made. But mostly I go back for visits to refresh my distaste for the adversarial forum. And to fire off shots from the grand stand.

Continue reading "re: Bullies"