Meet the new boss.
Not quite the same as the old boss.
They rise to the height of hypocrisy when blaming - or condoning - the identical hypocrisy of others.
They are veritable geniuses of fraud.
Look at what a job they have done establishing the ridiculous reversal of the truth that prostitution is a case of men exploiting women.
He is an anti-interventionist popular with the small minority among liberals and the larger minority among conservatives who do not think a "small America" foreign policy a bad thing.
And he is a conservative who has refused from the beginning to believe in Obama's sincere belief that while the Iraq war was stupid the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan were good policy.
He was and is mistaken.
All the more so if he does not understand Obama is a Wilsonian globo-do-gooder of a darker hue and a Muslim childhood.
He is totally not surprised that the grandchildren of Lithuanians want to extend American and NATO protection to Lithuania.
He claims surprise that Obama, a man with serious identity issues and a second generation Kenyan brought up in Indonesia, accepts a special mission for America to play globo-cop and make the world shape up.
I voted for him twice and remain glad he defeated both Republicans.
But everything is what it is, and is not another thing, and I have no wish to be deceived.
Obama does not share Bacevich's views, and never did.
Sartre's conception of freedom is worse than an exaggeration; it is an error that ignores the depth of facticity.
We choose just as we stumble or fall.
Choice is not chosen; choice happens.
In truth, the scope of the unchosen in our lives, of what simply befalls us includes all conation.
Quite apart from whether logical, physical, or psychological determinism are true.
Or any other.
Jesus, this crap is such crap.
Chris Stedman on CNN says that on some Oprah Winfrey thing Diana Nyad, a swimmer, told OW she is an atheist who "experiences awe and wonder at the natural world and humanity."
Of course she does.
Can't have atheists - or maybe anyone - missing that stuff, after all.
If they did atheism would be bad.
But since they don't, maybe it's OK.
In case you missed it, mass media are for morons.
I'll believe it when I hear O has signed it.
But the Internet is flooded with the news of Republican collapse.
I don't know how you feel about it, but I think this has been a valuable lesson on the true nature of the mislabeled American conservative movement, its radicalism, its irresponsibility, and its profound hatred for the real America.
And the terrible threat posed by the possibility that it will someday again control the Congress and the presidency.
Genuine, honest to God fear of what they would do to America, to my family, and to me brought me to the polls in 2008, 2010, and 2012.
In 2004, out of disgust with Kerry, I voted for Nader.
But the conservatives have never seemed quite this radical and dangerous.
Their aims have not changed since the days of Goldwater.
But with the passing years their methods have gotten worse.
My fear of them is now at a high point.
I doubt I will ever vote for a minor party, again.
Or sit out an election.
Irrational, I know.
One vote is insignificant, meaningless, an historic and political invisibility.
But there it is.
It would be comforting to think lots of people felt the same.
But I fear America has not learned the proper lesson.
At 1149 EDT people are optimistic there is some sort of deal coming that will push the next crisis into the winter with no, or no serious, concessions to the hostage takers.
Anyway, none yet.
I have the impression part of the deal, however, is an agreement to talk about spending reduction.
And that is already a concession, and an important one, when you consider they should be talking about significant tax hikes and spending increases aimed at getting people back to work.
No, the Democrats did not force the Republicans to abolish the debt limit and re-open the government for good.
The Republicans still do not accept that extortion by closing the government and threatening default along with the national and perhaps global economic disaster likely to result is not acceptable.
The plea that "they have no alternative" because, as they only control one house in a bicameral legislature and do not control the White House, they cannot get what they want by getting bills passed and made into law in the constitutionally prescribed manner, is simply not acceptable.
"We have no alternative" is no more acceptable when Republicans target America than when terrorists do it, or when people on that argument start a civil war.
And yet that very plea was made only yesterday in those very words by Pat Buchanan, and it has been made for weeks not only by the more radical Republican legislators but by their leadership in the house, many of them in the senate, and nearly all of the names big and small of the right wing noise machine.
In all these weeks of struggle, leading movement conservatives who have been around forever, since Nixon, since Reagan, and some even since Goldwater, stood solidly in support of the most radical of tea-bag Republicans in the house and the senate.
Nobody is apologizing.
This is not the first time these faux conservatives, who are actually right wing revolutionaries who want to destroy the modestly social democratic and secularist America that has grown up in the last century, have threatened to wreck America to get their way.
It won't be the last.
Heck, as it isn't a done deal until both houses agree and the president signs on, the current episode may not even be over.
The senate was supposed to announce step 1 of the deal at noon. It's 12:08. No announcement.
Children do not fear death.
They know nothing about it.
They fear pain and sometimes anger, perhaps in the guise of a neighbor's dog.
But not death, the idea of which never so much as occurs to them until they see it in a dead animal or person, a pet or perhaps a relative.
But then, as soon as they get it, they are afraid.
Though it still doesn't really prey upon them until they realize it inescapably will happen also to them.
That's sometime in adolescence, usually.
And then they acquire fear of death as a permanent feature of their human condition that barely lapses even for the most desperately suicidal.
Or so it seems.
Michael Dibdin, perhaps his best book.
Of the several of his I have read so far this is the most like a real policier.
Often his cop, Aurelio Zen, just blunders around - interestingly - until the case solves itself.
Not this time.
And yet, he still doesn't get it right.
Hence one who offers us as reasons what he believes to be false is a liar at least by intention if not also in fact.
Little better if at all, and indeed sometimes worse, is one who in his own understanding offers reasons that, though valid, are defeated by better.
And then there are those who offer what they believe irrelevant, or what they think would be that if true.
We ask for bread and we are given stones.
But all's fair in love and war, eh?
And politics is just war with less violence.
What is one to do, after all, if, about to be religiously slaughtered, he sees that a lying story of God's will may help?
If, about to be punished for the most moral of reasons for a harmless episode with a consenting adult, he sees that a certain meaningless moral jabber might get him free?
Did not Bill Clinton's defenders remind us with a sort of shrug that everyone - yes, they said that, everyone - lies about sex?
And business is business, is it not?
And, anyway, what is all this nonsense about what's "fair"?
Compare the 1950s film noir of Fritz Lang - or TV's Dragnet, for that matter - to the criminal brutality of police in contemporary depiction.
In While The City Sleeps, a movie of 1956, police search desperately for a serial killer who, from what we are told, would today be described as a sexual sadist.
We are shown a few minutes of them questioning a suspect they have been grilling for hours.
They never touch the man, crowd him, or seem to threaten violence.
There is no bullying, at all.
There is no profanity, and they don't even raise their voices.
He's not the guy, and when they finally trap the real killer they handle him with minimal force.
Too, we are shown a crime scene.
An actress in disheveled clothes plays dead.
No blood, not much mess, no nudity.
Police behavior in the classic, The Naked City, is much the same.
The contrast with contemporary depiction could hardly be more egregious.
Blue Bloods is one of TV's more "wholesome" cop shows and its hero, Danny Reagan, is a sociopathic brute who regularly beats people, sometimes to obtain a confession, and in nearly every episode violates someone's rights out of irrepressible rage in his never flagging refusal to work within the law.
And then there is Low Winter Sun.
Whatever this change says about our society, whatever it does to it, I suppose it can't be good.
To begin with, it makes the piece artistically worse, substituting for dramatic representation matter primarily appealing to the prurient interest - entirely appropriate for porn and sex shows - or the sadism and vicarious brutality of boxing and other fight shows.
Think of it as a rule.
Artistic representation is not the real thing, and vice versa.
Watching what is unmistakably an artistic representation for entertainment is psychologically different from watching the real thing, or even a visual recording of the real thing, and sometimes radically so.
Was that not the lesson of 8 Millimeter?
I refer both to acts of violence and to sexual acts and displays.
If there is a sort of continuum, then the more realistic the portrayal the more the experience approaches that of watching the real thing, and so the less it is an experience of art.
Hence the use of color rather than black and white is rarely an aesthetic improvement.
But in the matter of this change in the depiction of the police and their everyday work, something else is also at stake.
I refer to the public perception of the police, public expectations of them, and public expectations regarding our own treatment at the hands of the police.
Are they the guys next door, our neighbors, the decent fellows we might invite over for a Labor Day barbecue, people we and our families are safe with?
Or are they thugs and riff raff employed by the state to repress the rest of society's trash, those the state does not employ?
People you would certainly not feel comfortable having too close to yourself or your family?
And which, for that matter, do we want to be true?
Do we want our police to be law abiding, decent fellows or sociopathic brutes?
And which do our rulers want?
Sure, many of us want it both ways.
We want the cops to be savages with the savage but mild and safe as Mister Rodgers with us and our own.
But can you ever really trust an attack dog bred to rip people apart and to kill?
Are Plato's guardians, here as well, a kind of Jeckle and Hyde pipe dream?
Poetry in English, like God, is dead.
It was killed in America by Whitman, though that was not his intention.
Anyone with even a minor in English knows this.
Interesting that painting, too, became gravely ill, and sculpture only in lesser degree, over the same period.
Critics, museums, patrons, schools, and producers can call anything art, poetry, music, drama, or dance, in defiance of meanings settled by centuries of practice.
That doesn't make it true.
Nor even that, though different, it's just as good, or anyway somewhat good.
Audiences don't need to play along.