I may break 100k today

Granted, Firedoglake does that every 16 hours or something, but it’s a big deal to me, damnit!

The 100kth visitor, if I can figure out who they are, will be announced here, and we can see if they’re a real reader or another in the long line of “girl f**king dog” google searches that make up 7/8 of my total visitors.

BTW- Bravo, WordPress

WordPress handles spam like no other blogging software that I have ever used. It just sails right into the spam folder and I never see it. Every now and then I peek in there to see what sort of crap is accumulating on the filter, but other than that, it’s totally transparent.

Who wouldn’t love that?

You can’t make this stuff up

thoughts on the Tacitus “Online Integrity” crusade

From Joseph Heller’s Catch-22:

Almost overnight the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was in full flower, and Captain Black was enraptured to discover himself spearheading it. He had really hit on something. All the enlisted men and officers on combat duty had to sign a loyalty oath to get their map cases from the intelligence tent, a second loyalty oath to receive their flak suits and parachutes from the parachute tent, a third loyalty oath for Lieutenant Balkington, the motor vehicle officer, to be allowed to ride from the squadron to the airfield in one of the trucks. Every time they turned around there was another loyalty oath to be signed.They signed a loyalty oath to get their pay from the finance officer, to obtain their PX supplies, to have their hair cut by the Italian barbers.

To Captain Black, every officer who supported his Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was a competitor, and he planned and plotted twnety-four hours a day to keep one step ahead. He would stand second to none in his devotion to country. When other officers had followed his urging and introduced loyalty oaths of their own, he went them one better by making every son of a bitch who came to his intelligence tent sign two loyalty oaths, then three, then four; then he introduced the pledge of allegiance, and after that “The Star-Spangled Banner,” one chorus, two choruses, three choruses, four choruses. Each time Captain Black forged ahead of his competitors, he swung upon them scornfully for their failure to follow his example. Each time they followed his example, he retreated with concern and racked his brain for some new strategem that would enable him to turn upon them scornfully again.

Without realizing how it had come about, the combat men in the squandron discovered themselves dominated by the administrators appointed to serve them. They were bullied, insulted, harassed and shoved about all day long by one after the other. When they voiced objection, Captain Black replied that people who were loyal would not mind signing all the loyalty oaths they had to. To anyone who questioned the effectiveness of the loyalty oaths, he replied that people who really did owe allegiance to their country would be proud to pledge it as often as he forced them to. And to anyone who questioned the morality, he replied that “The Star-Spangled Banner” was the greatest piece of music ever composed. The more loyalty oaths a person signed, the more loyal he was; to Captain Black it was as simple as that, and he had Corporal Kolodny sign hundreds with his name each day so that he could always prove he was more loyal than anyone else.

“The important thing is to keep them pledging,” he explained to his cohorts. “It doesn’t matter whether they mean it or not. That’s why they make little kids pledge allegiance even before they know what ‘pledge’ and ‘allegiance’ mean.”

–Joseph Heller
p. 122-123 of Catch-22

The World Cup of Candyass

My twin brother and Jane Hamsher have really stirred the hornets’ nest this week, which I find myself watching with some amused detachment. I mean, as I said in the comments at FDL,

I actually think there’s something to this whole right wingers and drugs/anti-social behavior thing. I have been debating on giving The Waste of Paste™ a pass for a while until I am more sure of it, because I actually think the guy’s “tetched,” as we say Down South.

I remember that there was another right wing blogger back in the early days who was quite frank about his social anxiety disorder between posts about the Islamo-fascist-boogieman threat. Damn if I can remember who it was, but I think that they’re gone now. It all sort of fell into place for me after that, and I wrote a kind of snide post called “Birth of the Security Mom” linking anti-social behavior, 9/11 and abuse of Metabolife.

However, as I was sort of resting on my laurels after the whole ‘Heart of Darkness’ dustup, it occurred to me… I think this guy might be seriously crazy, and if that’s the case, then I am going to stop being Part of the Problem.

On the other hand, I didn’t know he was accusing recovering persons of being drunks. That kind of mitigates any shame I might have felt for making fun of the retarded guy.

And really, it boils down to that. I remember reading Protein Wisdom for the first time back in, I think 2002, and I was stunned at the just plain nastiness of the tone of the writing. As I recall, Jeff was in some OTHER dustup with some OTHER blogger, and he was really getting personal and piling it on, and I thought… fuck, what an asshole.

Sow the wind, and all that.

However, MAN have the kewl kids in the bleachers jumped up on the world’s shortest herd of high horses about this. I mean, the whole “HOW DARE YOU!!” tone has me smacking my forehead.

(Sadly, NO! has a nice rundown of one of the real winner’s greatest hits, by the way…)

This whole thing reminds me of something that often happens in the last ten minutes of regulation play in a soccer match… the English call it “diving,” which is where a soccer player who has experienced a rough check falls to the ground and positively WRITHES in agony, gripping his (almost certainly crippled) leg and gasping for breath between the HORRIBLE waves of pain. Because injury time can stretch out a match, it’s naturally the losing team most often seen diving in the waning minutes of the game in order to stop the clock.

I watch a bit of soccer with friends from the UK, and if it’s one of the team who they are rooting for who is on the ground, the often shout “Oh, you fucking BRUTAL BASTARDS! This is football (meaning, of course, “soccer”), not boxing! DISGRACEFUL!!”

Of course, if it’s one of opposing team, they’ll mutter something like “Oh, sweetheart…. that must be AWFULLY painful for you… tell me, does your husband play this game, as well?”

So, yeah, as I watched the pack of shitheels who beat their chests and cheered for the Swiftboat Vets, wondered aloud if Hillary was a lesbian, came over here to MY little corner of the web and called me a moonbat, unhinged, a hysteric and worse (for having the temerity to suggest that the war in Iraq might, y’know, turn out exactly like what it’s turned out to be)… They called Cindy Sheehan a grief pimp, turned on Nick Berg’s father the second he stopped singing from their hymnal, they excoriated Kristen Breitweiser (saying of the 9/11 widow: “In reality she’s an ignorant, Bush-hating, media-whore.” Yes, one of them actually said that.) and to be honest, most of us haven’t forgotten. The litany of nastiness and “uncivility” from the Right is endless.

So it’s kind of hard, at this juncture not to say…”Oh, just put a little ice on it if it stings, you candyasses. Suck it up and quit crying.”

The game looks like it’s winding down, anyway…

Um… one thing, Mr. Cohen…

Richard Cohen (or as I call him, Putzilla) didn’t think Stephen Colbert was funny at the White House Press Corps Grip’n’Grin. Fair enough. I mean, he’s wrong, but fair enough. He wrote about it in the Washington Post. Alright, also fair and excusable behavior. Of course, he got a ton of emails from people who thought Colbert was a riot and that Cohen’s Cohorts (kind of like Hogan’s Heroes, actually, with Rove as Sgt. Schultz, but I digress) in the Washington Press Corps are at least partially culpable for the disaster in Iraq and the mess into which our country is devolving. This apparently hurt his little feelings. He writes in the WaPo:

The e-mails pulse in my queue, emanating raw hatred. This spells trouble — not for Bush or, in 2008, the next GOP presidential candidate, but for Democrats. The anger festering on the Democratic left will be taken out on the Democratic middle. (Watch out, Hillary!) I have seen this anger before — back in the Vietnam War era.

Um… Putzilla…. we were right then, too, ‘k? Maybe you should pick some other time when Anger and Hatred for a sitting president were completely unreasonable… like Whitewater or Cumstaingate.

Because this time, we’re right and you’re on the Wrong Side of History. Again.

How to read right wing spin

Of course, you know all about the Washington Times (aka “All the news that the Reverend Moon sees fit to print…”) and what a right wing spin machine it is.

Sis sent me this link, earlier today. Go ahead and read the article….

Some key paragraphs….

President Bush and U.S. policy-makers are receiving more intelligence from open sources such as Internet blogs and foreign newspapers than they previously did, senior intelligence officials said.
The new Open Source Center (OSC) at CIA headquarters recently stepped up data collection and analysis based on bloggers worldwide and is developing new methods to gauge the reliability of the content, said OSC Director Douglas J. Naquin.
“A lot of blogs now have become very big on the Internet, and we’re getting a lot of rich information on blogs that are telling us a lot about social perspectives and everything from what the general feeling is to … people putting information on there that doesn’t exist anywhere else,” Mr. Naquin told The Washington Times.

Translation: “We’re watching you fuckers. And we’re filtering it. FOR CONTENT.” Reflect on that for a moment, kids.

The OSC uses powerful computers and software technology to “sift” the Internet for valuable intelligence. It also buys information from commercial databases.
In the past, open-source reports were used mainly by intelligence analysts.
“But now our customer base literally ranges from the president to local police departments,” Mr. Naquin said. The Fairfax County police use OSC products, as do police departments in San Diego, New York and Baltimore. The center also provides support to the U.S. military.

Translation: “We’re not only watching you fuckers, but we’re talking to your local police department, too.”

Um. Holy shit?

The article in question is this sort of celebration of the new capacity for sifting data on weblogs and providing it to the executive branch, but what I read it as is the announcement of an EVEN FURTHER incursion by the State into your ability to freely express yourself online without having the NSA sifting through it. This is a fantastic breakthrough, if you’re one of Glenn Greenwald’s Authoritarian Cultists… for the rest of us, well, this is kind of ominous.

In other news, Oceania’s forces fighting on the Malabar Front have reported a stunning victory over the forces of Eurasia Eastasia….