Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhaoibh

Well, it’s move-in day at the Zen Center (ZCNYC-Fire Lotus Temple). Exactly how long I’m going to be there is up in the air. My intention is to stay at least six months and possibly a year, but we’ll see how it goes. And where I go after that I have no idea.

Anyway, some brief comments — Tom Cotton has learned that Iran is expanding its reach in the Middle East and already controls Tehran. He’s a quick one, our Tom. See also Jeb Lund, “None Dare Call It Treason: Tom Cotton, Iran and Old GOP Ideas.”

The CPAC conference room was standing-room only, stuffy with faint sweat, hot worsted wool and heavy breathing for boilerplate comments you could have predicted before you crossed the threshold. Cotton – who looks appropriately like Anthony Perkins in Psycho – proudly likened America to Rome, an empire that slowly tore itself apart over for-profit foreign wars, external threats leveraged to drown out domestic discontent, revenue diverted from infrastructure. Listeners murmured approvingly. Cotton asserted the need to send America to war to “defend its national interests” against “trans-national terrorist groups.” By his utterly meaningless definitions, we need to fight anyone, and we need to do it anywhere, and it is our right. A thrill went through the audience.

IMO it’s important to understand neocons and other reactionary hawks as pro-active isolationists. Oldstyle isolationists just wanted the outside world to stay out, and maybe go away. Pro-active isolationists will not rest until anything “outside” has been either forced into assimilation or destroyed. They’re something like the Borg, in other words.

Lund goes on to review the history of right-wing obstruction of U.S. foreign policy interests, from the 1930s Neutrality Acts to Richard Nixon’s sabotage of Lyndon Johnson’s attempt to negotiate a peace in Vietnam. And there is a review of Iran-Contra and the lie campaign that stampeded America into invading Iraq. And the fact that nobody ever is held accountable for any of this, and indeed, most of the voting public doesn’t really understand what was done, anyway.  Lund concludes,

In its Constitutional idolatry and boundless bellicosity, Cotton’s Republican Party has arrogated to itself the presumption that anything it does is explicitly American. The normative conditions of patriotism are whatever they want to do at any given moment, because only they have the courage to defend you from enemies abroad with guns and enemies at home via a fundamentalist reading of the texts and hadith of Our Founding Prophets (which, conveniently, also mentions guns). Anything outside their chosen agenda is met with the word no, which is the finest distillation of their agenda for anyone other than their own.

This prospective nuclear deal with Iran merely creates a shredded barbecue plate of corpses and the idea of America as commonwealth of disparate voices represented in equal strength. Government is not allowed to function when it disagrees with Cotton, because he not only considers government’s existence indivisible from his ideology but also because the Constitution in his reading explicitly demands that he do this. You cannot chasten a man who believes by the word of his holiest texts that this is his job. And his job, as written, is to advise and consent. On Iran, his message is clear. His advice is to stop, and you do not have his consent, which reifies not only the illegitimacy of your actions but the holy writ of his own. Without his consent, you cannot have anything at all, except a potential nuclear clash of messianic visions of world order. In which case – to quote the previous president’s nuanced address to the same enemies foreign and domestic – bring it on.

It’s also election day in Israel, and while Netenyahu’s Likud party is likely to lose he likely will be able to put together a coalition that will allow him to keep his position as Prime Minister. A pity.

15 thoughts on “Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhaoibh

  1. Yet another God-bothering, war-mongering, uber-Christian conservative loon – and, Harvard educated, yet!

    It makes me glad I didn’t go to any Ivy League college. When you look at the boatload’s of loon’s they’ve graduated over the last few decades, I think we need to reassess how good the educations from those schools are!

  2. Anthony Perkins in Psycho! Of course!!!

    Ha ha ha… Iran now controls Tehran! Shocking. Does Sen. Norman Bates (R-Crazytown) also realize the French control Paris?! (Except, of course, for those Faux Noise-defined “Muslim no-go zones.”)

    How lovely, to live in a completely fictional universe.

  3. I’d just read some of Voltaire’s short stories, among them, “Zadig” and “Micromegas,” when a gentle funk tugged at my subconscious. It seems likely that we might be witnessing some sort of natural, historical progression here. (Here, meaning the politically dysfunctional USA) The world in which those little stories were written was the world of the Enlightenment, and the ideas and intellectual ambiance seemed so inviting as compared to those taking the stage in our time. Yet, it was the world that gave rise to our nation. How did ideas that were so well established and fruitful come into question? It is probably a little too easy that the political right took on “Enlightenment values” decades ago and put a lot of time and effort into the struggle, because they succeeded in what should have been a fool’s errand. The article that Maha posted yesterday about America becoming a Christian nation, really followed in the same vein. Once the PR men get the ball rolling, we can be led almost anywhere.

    The progeny of people like Newt “Uncle Buck” Gingrich, still rail against the “secularization” of our society. It’s an old saw, but it still cuts, despite the fact that it was some of their own that led the church to the mountaintop and tempted it with political power. In doing that, they, themselves, secularized the church. Joe Campbell, compared similar historical events to a pseudomorph, which is a kind of fossil, where an object is encased in stone and decomposes completely, leaving a void with its precise shape. In the course of time other minerals flow in and assume the form of the creature that had disintegrated, but, despite appearances, it never was what it seems to be. That is what were are dealing with both spiritually, and politically, a pseudomorph.

    From their actions it is easy to make a guess at their aim. They would like a Most Holy Church of the Free Market, a docile, productive workforce and an ocean of humanity incapable of critical thinking, self reflection or rebellion.

    Maybe expansionist movements always broadcast and intensify their creed until they produce an army of true believers. Maybe those true believers become so much at odds with reality that they become ridiculous and unfit to govern. Whatever the case, we may be able to view the next step in the process firsthand, without a “maybe.”

  4. Best wishes to you Barbara. Your path will be very interesting.
    Well written indeed, goatherd. George Carlin made a similar observation which he used as the stock for one of his shows. “Who owns America”. There was a time, not so long ago, when I didn’t see it. It’s a “forest for the trees” thing. As Madge the nail tech said, “you’re soaking in it “

  5. “Fire lotus Temple ”
    What a cool name. If I beat this health issue quickly, I’ll be involved with the lotus plant. I’ll be harvesting wild lotus seed pods and roots to supplement my income in preparation for retirement. The green seed pods are harvested in the summer for the edible and medicinal seeds, they’re great popped like popcorn, and not bad raw. I will enjoy the change in my path also.

  6. Where did this Cotton guy come from? The GOP must have some form of a hatchery that is capable of turning out fully rabid wingnuts that are ready to engage. It’s a real shame that the Iranians took control of Tehran. I guess that’s Jimmy Carter’s fault.

  7. erinyes,
    Sounds like a cool plan!

    BEST WISHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    And keep us updated!

  8. It’s late to be asking this, but google translate doesn’t have Gaelic, can anyone translate the title? I know Maha wiil be too busy. My nephew did have a year of Gaelic in college, so I could ask him.

    As Madge the nail tech said, “you’re soaking in it “ — That puts it simply and right on the mark. Thanks, and good luck with the lotus.

    We’re funny creatures. I remember a George Carlin routine, that’s available on youtube. He goes on a rant about religion and God. He clearly considers it ridiculous, but, he closes with “Good night and may God bless.” Maybe he was just channeling Red Skelton, but some things are so deeply engrained that no amount of ratiocination will wash them away.

    I wish I could remember who said it, but “man has a god shaped hole in his heart that he’s always trying to fill.”

  9. Swami has a new face? I really liked the old one. Anyway, this hatchery of the GOP must be in Texas.

  10. grannyeagle.. No, I didn’t get a new face…I just lost my cookies and couldn’t remember the email address that logs me into wordpress. But I’m back. As sharp as ever and working hard to overcome my insignificance.

  11. That “wikihow” was interesting! I’ve always wondered what Abe Lincoln would look like as a Vulcan!

  12. Traveling mercies, Maha.

    Today’s the 11th anniversary of Howard Dean’s morphing Blog for America into Democracy for America. We blogged all night, fearing he’d shut it down as Edwards had, as Clark had, (and as Kerry did later). My first experience in the power of online communities, and online friendships.

    All this in my first year on the internets.

    I picked Maha up from the Atlantic boards the summer of 2003, and followed her here. She’s nearly co-equal with my entire time online.

    World class lurker, I am, lol!

    Love and appreciate you all!

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