“The flood of money that gushes into politics today is a pollution of democracy.” — Theodore H. White
SUMMERTIME AND THE BREATHIN’ IS WHEEZY
Hooray for summer! Today’s the first Ozone Action Day of 2012 for the Bloomington area.
Do everybody’s lungs a favor: take the bus, ride your bike, or walk. And lay off the power mower for a few days.
HOT SPELL IN EGYPT
I called it a year and a half ago when Hosni Mubarek was overthrown in Egypt.
Everybody was jumping for joy over the Arab Spring. I cautioned, Be careful what you wish for.
Egypt may tumble into civil war in the wake of some controversial supreme court rulings this week. It must be said, Egyptians have a choice in who crushes their dreams of freedom: the Muslim Brotherhood or the military.
An Egyptian Military Council Leader
I’m no jingoist but the situation in Egypt does remind me that the American revolution turned out not so bad after all. And many, many of the tyrannies that the Founding Daddy-os neglected to toss out have been addressed in the ensuing two and a half centuries.
THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL
Yesterday, Christopher Buckley in Salon argued that “Moby Dick” is the greatest American novel ever written.
Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is far superior. And if you prefer a less iconic choice, how about Thomas Berger’s “Little Big Man”?
In fact, I’ll take LBM over TAoHF. Berger’s epic recounting of late 19th Century American history through bullshitter-supreme Jack Crabb’s eyes is America. Crabb was “Zelig” before Woody Allen even thought of the man who was everywhere.
Ranker.com lists “The All-Time Worst People in History” today.
Adolf Hitler, natch, tops the list, garnering a few more votes than his on-again, off-again ally Joe Stalin. Three of Hitler’s henchmen (Himmler, Goebbels, and Mengele as well as his idiot son Mussolini also make the list).
George W. Bush ranks No. 20 which is ludicrous. His inclusion on the list shows that liberals verey, very often can be as knuckleheaded as conservatives. Well, not very, very often. Actually, not even often at all. Occasionally.
Anyway, here’s my own list of The Worst Americans in History, in no particular order:
- J. Edgar Hoover — One of the few Americans who would have fit in well with the Fuehrer’s crowd.
- Joseph McCarthy — McCarthyism. Need I say more?
- Father Charles Coughlin — Noted radio anti-Semite and blame-meister.
- Rush Limbaugh — If you have to ask, you’ll never understand.
How I Wish That Was An Exploding Cigar
- Morrison Waite — US Supreme Court Chief Justice whose court handed down decisions overturning Ku Klax Klan murder convictions and a notorious racial massacre, affirming the rights of states to deny women the vote, and generally restricted the federal government’s power to enforce civil rights legislation. Waite himself threw in a comment giving birth to the corporate personhood concept in an otherwise unremarkable case.
- Donald Trump — You have to ask?
- Fred Koch & Robert Welch, Jr. — Financier and founder, respectively, of the John Birch Society. Koch was daddy-o to the two Koch Brothers, David and Charles, who finance the Tea Party and are working really, really hard to join this list.
Working On It: Charles (L) & David Koch
- George Wallace –“Segregation now. Segregation tomorrow. Segregation forever!”
- Orval Faubus — Arkansas governor who called out the National Guard to stop black students from attending a predominantly white school in 1957.
- Curtis LeMay — Even though he was instrumental in the US victory over Japan in World War II, LeMay was nuts. I suppose if you’re fighting a “good” war, you want generals who are more whacked-out than the enemy’s. LeMay was brilliant, daring, innovative — and whacked-the-fk-out. Ran with Wallace as a third party candidate in the ’68 presidential election.
Oh, and Paris Hilton. I know she’s yesterday’s news but, still, she represents everything bad about the celebrity culture, nonproductive wealth, women-as-objects, arrogance, and a host of other American ills.
We Mustn’t Forget Paris Hilton