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If I have seen further,

it is by standing on ye shoulders of Giants.

            – Sir Isaac Newton

I remember when I was in junior high school, we had to read a book called Flatland. It wasn’t a very long book – more like a novella, really – certainly not a weighty tome like The Iliad, or a classic work of literature like Great Expectations, both of which we also read. It was a small book, paperback, not much bigger than The Elements of Style, a book you could read in one sitting easily, if you stayed focused. I took two or three sittings, as I recall.

As I say, Flatland was no Iliad. But while Edwin A. Abbott’s opus didn’t carry the physical or cultural heft of Homer or Dickens, I remember to this day its lesson, a lesson about perspective, ignorance and arrogance.

Which brings me, unavoidably, to the Democratic Party.

Congressional Dems: Smell that? It’s coffee. Wake up!

The election results coming out of places like Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Virginia this week should be a wakeup call for Congressional Democrats.

Wow. Ernie Fletcher – Republic governor of the same state that has sent Mitch McConnell to the United States Senate without fail since Ronald Reagan sat in the Oval Office, the same state that gave George Bush 57% and 60%, respectively, in the last two presidential elections – gets tossed out on his ear in a huge landslide.

Oh – did I say, “Republic governor”? Excuse me, I meant, corrupt Republic governor” – which might be a tautology; I’m not sure.

Yeah – the voters of Kentucky – not exactly the most rabid tree-huggin’, latte-sippin’, windsurfin’, gun-takin’, terrist-lovin’ bunch of folks you could find – overwhelmingly told the Republic governor to stuff it.

Important If True: “No Pennies for the Di” edition

TERRORISM TAKES A HOLIDAY: So, today is http://www.infopleas… >the day the Brits celebrate an anti-Christian, civilian-bombing, government-hating insurgent by going door-to-door and asking for money (“Penny for the Guy?”). Why do the British hate America? . . . . Michael Mukasey would approve: After he was captured, before he could detonate his bomb that was intended to destroy the Protestant Parliament, Fawkes was tortured, at the explicit direction of King James, who instructed that the torture should be gentle at first, and increase in severity. (And yes, I’m sure King James had a note from his solicitor general saying that the whole thing was perfectly OK, provided there was no organ failure.) “The torture only revealed the names of those conspirators who were already dead or whose names were known to the authorities,” according to Wikipedia. Why does Wikipedia hate America?

George Bush: Best. Democratic strategist. EVER.

Remember back before the congressional elections last November? Remember how so many well-wishing rightwing pundits were so full of concern that they offered all kinds of advice to the Democrats about what they needed to do in order to appeal to the American electorate?

Remember how utterly, fantastically wrong all of those concern trolls were? Yeah. What a shock.

It can be safely said that the November 2006 elections clearly demonstrated that whatever a Republic advises Democrats to do “for their own good,” or “for the good of the country,” Democrats should do exactly the opposite.

Important If True

wherein the diarist cobbles together on a semi-regular basis a collection of seemingly random thoughts, no single one of which, taken by itself, may be worthy of your attention, dear reader(s?), but which, when presented en masse in a veritable mélange, a pastiche, as it were, of cerebral offal, might thus put to rest any niggling doubts that you may have had about whether the effort would be worth it. Or, to paraphrase someone, you should waste no time in reading this . . .

PAGING CAPT. OBVIOUS: I wonder why President Bush was in such a big hurry to get to the San Diego County photo op? I mean, it took him four days to land in New Orleans and screw up rescue efforts, right? Well, folks, the answer should be easy – it’s as simple as black and white – erm, I mean, blue and red (just zoom in on this map of the 2004 presidential vote by county; San Diego, Orange and Riverside counties are all the way down in the lower left-hand corner) . . .

Important If True . . .

prosecution of key anti terrorism case falls apart http://www.latimes.c… “serious consequences” Cheney uses the phrase to set up an attack on Iran. How ’bout we use the phrase on congressional Dems to set up a primary challenge to them?

Important If True . . . : Herb Caen edition

Back when I was a kid, I used to look forward every day to reading the San Francisco Chronicle. The Chronicle was a paper that was – how to put this – unique in its outlook and editorial stance. Freed from the stifling journalistic rigor of, say, its distant and uptight cousins, The New York Times or the The Washington Post (and if you’re wondering how I can use the phrase “journalistic rigor” in the same sentence as “The New York Times” or “The Washington Post,” remember: this was when I was a kid, okay?), the Chron (as we called it) practiced a more, umm, Bohemian style of journalism, one that reflected, perhaps, the decidedly less weighty priorities of the residents of Baghdad-by-the-Bay and its environs.

Send Chris Dodd some love


What I learned from President Bush today

I hope you never have to learn what a SigAlert is.

Okay, I’ll tell you: A SigAlert is when traffic gets so bad on an L.A. freeway that even L.A. drivers say, “Damn! This traffic is bad!

I had the opportunity to enjoy a SigAlert this morning. It was not my first SigAlert.

Which – as I found out – gave me something in common with President Bush. Sort of.

C’mon, Nancy – the Republics are falling apart

– as in, decomposing?

You know – rotting away?

The ones in office are “retiring” or changing parties, the ones who would otherwise vote Republican are defecting in huge numbers – hell, even the ones who should be manning the ramparts, the architects of the Thousand-Year Republic Majority, those who you would think would form the bulwark of Republic stalwartness – BushCheney’s Republican Guard, if you will – are shedding their uniforms and melting into the general populace, in Shock and Awe at the reversal of their fortunes.

You can be replaced, you know

Did you ever have an employee who just wouldn’t do what he was asked to do? Who just – in spite of clear and concise instructions – never managed to accomplish what it was you hired him to do? The guy who came off great in his interviews, who tossed around an impressive-looking résumé, but once he was hired, all of a sudden became the living embodiment of the Peter Principle?

You think to yourself, cheeeez, exactly how many times do I have to tell this person what to do? I mean, what does he want – a fax, for God’s sake? A written invitation? A full-page ad in the friggin’ New York Times??

All politics is cosmic

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.
  – John Donne, Meditation XVII

We the People  of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
  – Constitution of the United States of America

We’re all in this together.
  – High School Musical

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