Monday, June 2, 2008

Weirdness Fixed - I think

Hmmm, some kind blogger weirdness this morning obviously.

I uploaded the McClellan post from Window Live Writer only once I swear.

I did see a number of errors from blogspot this morning, so I'm chalking the duplicates posts up to that. Also, I'm not sure the comments are actually where they are supposed to be vis a vis the correct post with the correct comment. Seems to be working OK now, maybe the White House didn't like what I had to say. Who knows, I think I've got it fixed.


  1. Unfortunately, my good and on-topic comment seems to have vanished. When I wrote it, there were only two versions of "Loyalty" and I hadn't seen the first one, so I responded to what became the middle one with some comments that were positive and in general agreement with your post, except that I don't think McNamara deserves to be compared to McClellan. I can't remember the whole thing now, but the gist was that I think McNamara had deeper remorse for what he'd done, and far more to be remorseful about. And then I had something vaguely clever about how McNamara might be compared to a tragic figure in a Shakespearean drama--a man with noble qualities who does some shitty things out of pride and takes a fall for it--while McClellan is at best a Rosencrantz or Guildenstern--a minor sap to the villain who ends up with his head on the block.

    Oh well. Such is the ephemera of the intertubes. I guess you'll just have to settle for OH MY GOD ALIENS ARE EATING JIM'S BRAINS! WHAT THE FUCK?!?


  2. (I feel like I should clarify something: when I say McNamara took a fall, I don't mean that something obviously bad happened to him, like he dies from a poisoned rapier slash or gets killed by a man with no mother. But McNamara did end up seeing his policies not only kill and injure thousands of Americans, but also bring down the things he'd worked for. McNamara played a role in the death of the 20th century liberalism of Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Johnson--not only in terms of domestic policy, but in terms of the kind of enlightened foreign policy that could have been Roosevelt's legacy. I.e. McNamara has himself to blame for Nixon, Reagan, and even the present Bush, since McNamara's failures tainted and discredited much of the good work Kennedy and Johnson accomplished or could have accomplished otherwise. McNamara has had to live to see what his whirlwind reaped.)

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Hang on, I just noticed something else.

    What the fuck is "weirness"?

    Weirness... weirness. That would be like Peter Weir, the Australian director, right? Who directed the movie Picnic At Hanging Rock, which is about a group Australian schoolgirls who mysteriously vanish during the titular field trip in 1900. A disappearance which has never been explained, but could have been caused...



    Who's got the X-Files DVDs? Or a copy of Whitley Streiber's Communion? Anyone? While there's still hope for fuck's sake!

  5. Weirdness, dammit.

    I'll fix it. Boy, how embarrassing is it to go out on RSS feed with a misspelling?

    For the record I didn't see your comment, Eric, on any of the three posts that showed up here.

    Sorry for deleting it, baby, bathwater and all that.

  6. I saw it. It was a good comment. Unfortunately it expired out of my rolling back button cache, otherwise I'd dig it up and repost.

  7. Yeah, I checked my cache too. Long gone. If I'd have seen it before I cleared the dupe posts, I would have copied it and moved it to the right place.

    I was interested in what Eric had to say.

    Personally, while I can see where Eric is coming from, as a war vet - I find McNamara's apology and mea culpa distasteful at best and worth a good punch in the mouth most otherwise. Frankly the blood of 50,000 vets is in large part on his hands and I feel the same way about him as I do about Donald fucking Rumsfeld - i.e. the only time I wouldn't piss on him is if he was on fire. But I agree the comparison between MacNamara and McClellan is stretching things a bit - but the mindset behind both their actions is the same.

    But, I'm alway interested in other's view points, and sometimes you guys change my outlook on things. Which is a good thing.

  8. Plus I really wanted to use that "roll it tightly and shove it up ..." line ;)

  9. Heheh.

    You don't still have all comments emailed to you? If you do, it should also be in there somewhere.

  10. I must be slow today. You're right, MWT - I'll check.

    I'm on the den computer - which is the one I check periodically throughout the day, my email goes to my laptop which is usually in the living room. Thanks for the suggestion.

  11. Ya know? This whole thing with Eric claiming to have posted something important or witty or whatever and then the "internet ate it" is getting a little suspect. I think he just looks for wonkiness and then pretends he said something.

    (Disclaimer: It may have been Jeff H. who made that claim before, but the joke only works if I blame it all on Eric.)

  12. My views on McNamara are colored by two things. The most immediate is that I'm currently reading Halberstam's The Best And The Brightest, which does a decent job of explaining the faults of the Kennedy and Johnson administration without justifying them. The second is that McNamara appeared in Errol Morris's The Fog Of War, an excellent documentary where McNamara goes into his mistakes in excruciating detail.

    One of the things about McNamara that's clear from Brightest and Fog is that McNamara tends to be dispassionately logical to a fault--he's not someone who is ever going to break down and cry over the choices he made. That being said, you also can't help suspecting that if you did punch him in the mouth, he'd calmly and coolly say he deserved it and understood why you did it. He will never sound terribly sincere, I suspect, not because he isn't sincere in his regrets, but because his brain is wired in such a way that he will give you both sides of every situation even when the bottom line is that he fucked it up.

    And he did fuck it up. Badly. He can't even say the 50,000 deaths served some higher goal or larger purpose. He instituted policies that were futile and useless, and he continued to crunch his numbers and come out with the results he wanted even when people told him the army brass was lying to him or old Asia hands tried to explain that we were fighting the wrong war, that as far as the Vietnamese were concerned it was a war of liberation and we had merely stepped into the shoes of the French with just as much success and just as much support.

    That may be the fundamental difference between McClellan and McNamara right there, two paragraphs ago. If you punched Scotty in the nose, he'd whine and cry and ask what was wrong with you or try to hit back. If you punched Bob McNamara, he'd probably just look at you for a second and nod, maybe ask you who you lost or where you served. That's not to stick up for the man, I hope you don't get the wrong idea. But I think there's a level of self-awareness there that no past or present member of the Bush administration with the exception of Colin Powell is capable of. McNamara knows he fucked thousands of soldiers and their families, two presidents, the Democratic party, Americans' faith in their own government, and the postwar dream.

    If you can't find my earlier post, it's no big deal. Internet=ephemera. I'm just glad your "headset" is apparently giving you a few minutes of free will now and again. Either your ability to slip a coded reference to Peter Weir into the original title spooked it, or maybe the aliens are less hostile than they first appeared. Possibly they intend for you to be a vessel for diplomacy between their Marc Singer-obsessed culture and our own planet.

  13. No, that was me, Nathan. In fact, you even had me quoted in a place of honor in your sidebar for a little while. All my cleverness has been consumed by the internet. I wrote all of Shakespeare's plays, and my wife wrote all his sonnets, you know.

  14. Statcounter was down due to an explosion at "The Planet" server hosting in Texas. Blogger seemed to be out at the same time, I wonder if they used servers in that location, too.

  15. Eric,


    How the hell am I supposed to take joy in tweaking you for the right statement at the same time as you're posting something like 30 comments that are worthy of being posts in and of themselves?

    I'm pissed off that your off the top of your head writing is so much more cogent than the stuff I take time to research.

    I'm gonna take my cue from another blogger and find some pics of monkeys and tigers fighting.

  16. I put eric's original comment up on the Loyalty post. But, yeah, based on Fog and Brightest, I probably agree with you Eric on your previous comment here.

    And if I recall, somebody did punch him in the nose - or threaten to throw McNamara off the Staten Island (?) Ferry (some ferry anyway), and McNamara declined to press charges - so I'd say your analysis is probably pretty close. I don't think that excuses his actions, but at least he's honestly contrite (or so it would appear).

    However, if McClellan hadn't been shitcanned, he'd still be in there bullshitting for Bush. His book is sour grapes - the White House at least got that right. He's a lamprey, and he'll latch on to whatever ass is closest.

  17. I can't even keep up with you guys on political analysis - I have a low tolerance level for political BS and then I plug my ears and start singing "la la la la". This keeps me from reading about 85% of political news - and it's really a bipartisan challenge.

    The sad thing is that means I get my political news from Eric and Jim's meta-analysis. Media bias much? ;)

  18. Well, yeah, I figure I'm not a news outlet - therefor I'm supposed to be biased, it's the rules ;)


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