nolanimrod on August 13th, 2014

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. A very, very rude beast. It takes the words of a poet to begin to describe the hor­rors these furies are inflict­ing in such a res­olute and busi­nesslike way. If you haven’t read it, or haven’t read it in a while, you might read or reread Yeats’ The Sec­ond Com­ing.

Mere anar­chy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-​​dimmed tide is loosed, and every­where
    The cer­e­mony of inno­cence is drowned;
    The best lack all con­vic­tion, while the worst
    Are full of pas­sion­ate intensity.

Maybe after that Matthew Arnold’s Dover Beach.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So var­i­ous, so beau­ti­ful, so new,
Hath really nei­ther joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor cer­ti­tude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a dark­ling plain
Swept with con­fused alarms of strug­gle and flight,
Where igno­rant armies clash by night.

 

[UPDATE]: When I first put this out to the web I was so affected by those pic­tures that I omit­ted the rel­e­vant por­tions of text and also hyper-​​links to the entire poems. That is fixed. I am not usu­ally unmoored by gory pho­tographs. Ser­vice years ago on a grand jury inured me to revul­sion at pic­tures of wounds and dead bod­ies. No, the thing about the pic­tures which threw me was the feel­ing that some­thing implaca­ble, insa­tiable, some­thing raw and ragged lurked just behind the sur­faces of the pho­tos, some­thing more akin to Mor­dor or Azk­a­ban than some­thing that, hor­ri­ble though it was, might look bet­ter in the morn­ing. I don’t know if any­one who was able to sur­vive these hor­rors will ever know dawn or morn­ing again.

At least that is what I felt. That only great poetry could reach deeply enough inside to touch the place that is sick­ened by words and pic­tures like these in this bul­letin from The Tele­graph.

That was my first thought.

My sec­ond thought was for the peo­ple who were dri­ven to apoplexia by just the idea that we might have put some water up the noses of  a few peo­ple who like to orga­nize par­ties like these.

My third thought was how glad I was that Barack Obama, hav­ing per­son­ally killed Osama bin Laden, had fled from Iraq so that all our weapons, tanks, half-​​tracks, planes, and mil­i­tary bases could be taken over by peo­ple who would put them to such good use.

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Tags: Iraq, Islam, Jihad, Muslims

 Golfers frisked as Obama arrives at Martha’s Vine­yard club.

In fact, con­sid­er­ing where every­body around Obama has to keep his head in order to stay on his good side and not force him to make a moue they ought to be check­ing the nose-​​hairs of his four­some for crab lice.

The word head­winds takes on a new mean­ing when your head is up someone’s behind.

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Tags: annoyances, brown-nosing, frisking, Headwinds

That’s what it seems like.

A guy owns a busi­ness. Runs it for years. Has a bank account. He is happy with his bank. His bank is happy with him. Then one day his bank sends him a notice that his account is closed and the bank doesn’t want his business.

Some­thing must have gone wrong, you think to your­self. And you would be right.

Some­thing was wrong. The Pres­i­dent of the United States had decided one day that there was some­thing icky about the guy’s busi­ness. Not ille­gal. Not tax-​​delinquent.  Noth­ing unhealthy, immoral, or fat­ten­ing. Just icky. And so the Pres­i­dent of the United States cre­ated Oper­a­tion Choke Point. Quite a name, isn’t it? Sounds like some­thing Lucky Luciano’s boys would come up with. But no, it wasn’t a cheap mob­ster, it was the Amer­i­can Pres­i­dent. Aren’t you ashamed of your­self for think­ing some­thing the Pres­i­dent did was the tac­tic of a cheap mobster?

The guy with the busi­ness and no bank account was. But he had to admit that was how things looked.

After research­ing his case on the Inter­net, Brook­man says he con­cluded that his banker, JP Mor­gan Chase, closed the account because two of his busi­ness activ­i­ties — deal­ing in vin­tage coins and sell­ing firearms — were labeled “high risk” by fed­eral bureau­crats as part of an Obama admin­is­tra­tion ini­tia­tive called Oper­a­tion Choke Point.

That’s the way the story about the whole mess seemed to me, too. I guess the answer is to write the White House and ask the Pres­i­dent what kinds of busi­nesses he favors and start one of them. And if you never hear back just remem­ber: they always need Greeters at Wal­mart. But I’ve heard a lot of Democ­rats look down their noses at Wal­mart, too. Well, I guess the Greeter’s OK even if the rest of Wal­mart is sub­ject to Pres­i­den­tial Dis­dain. Who can object to say­ing Hello?

And as the sun sets on the good ship Repub­lic we bid good bye to our out-​​dated notions about a lim­ited gov­ern­ment of laws serv­ing a self-​​reliant free peo­ple and learn how to tug at our fore­locks and bow deco­rously to our bet­ters and mas­ters in the hope that one day we might open the kind of small busi­ness that won’t offend the long, del­i­cate nose of Our President.

 

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Tags: icky, Obama

nolanimrod on August 11th, 2014

There is a new app that alerts users that a neigh­bor­hood might not be one they really want to visit. Of course the Usual Sus­pects have denounced the app for the usual rea­sons. It seems like it could come in handy. When I first moved to Chicago a police car, see­ing my Texas plates, pulled me over and the police offi­cer asked me where I was going and I said I was just wan­der­ing around. He pro­ceeded to inform me that I could go any­where I liked but that, as the forms he had to fill out when they found my nude body in an alley were so annoy­ing and took so much time he hoped I would make a U-​​turn and fol­low him out of the Area. And I did.  I later learned I was cruis­ing through a sec­tion of a project called Cabrini Green, a place where cop cars got sniped at at night.

Any­way, the app is called Sketchie.

 

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Tags: reality