Friday, January 21, 2005

This...is perfect. Perfect, I tell you.

CHEMISTRY

by Semisonic


I remember when I found out about chemistry
It was a long, long way from here
I was old enough to want it but younger than I wanted to be
Suddenly my mission was clear

So for a while I conducted experiments
And I was amazed by the things I learned
From a fine, fine, girl with nothing but good intentions and a
Bad tendency to get burned

All about chemistry
Won’t you show me everything you know
Ah, wonder what you do to me...

Some time later I met a young graduate
When I had nobody to call my own
I told her I was looking for somebody to appreciate
And I just couldn’t do it alone

So for awhile we conducted experiments
In an apartment by the river road
And we found out that the two things we put together had a
Bad tendency to explode

All about chemistry
Won’t you show me everything you’ve learned?
I’ll memorize everything you do to me so I can
Teach it when it comes my turn

Fine spring day, California waves
Sweet Pacific scenes through the
Windows of airplanes and hotel rooms

So when I find myself alone and unworthy
I think about all of the things I learned
From the fine, fine, women with nothing but good intentions and a
Bad tendency to get burned

All about chemistry
Won’t you show me everything you know?
Ah, wonder what you do to me...

All about chemistry
Won’t you show me everything you’ve learned?
I’ll memorize everything you do to me so I can
Teach it when it comes my turn

It’s all about chemistry
It’s all about chemistry...

10 Comments:

Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

He, Yozo... I be wantin yez ta know that my mojo, she be definitely woikin now...

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting reading..
C. Durfor

End-Timers & Neo-Cons
The End of Conservatives

by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts; January 19, 2005

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy during 1981-82. He was also Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review.

I remember when friends would excitedly telephone to report that Rush Limbaugh or G. Gordon Liddy had just read one of my syndicated columns over the air. That was before I became a critic of the US invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration, and the neoconservative ideologues who have seized control of the US government.

America has blundered into a needless and dangerous war, and fully half of the country's population is enthusiastic. Many Christians think that war in the Middle East signals "end times" and that they are about to be wafted up to heaven. Many patriots think that, finally, America is standing up for itself and demonstrating its righteous might. Conservatives are taking out their Vietnam frustrations on Iraqis. Karl Rove is wrapping Bush in the protective cloak of war leader. The military-industrial complex is drooling over the profits of war. And neoconservatives are laying the groundwork for Israeli territorial expansion.

The evening before Thanksgiving Rush Limbaugh was on C-Span TV explaining that these glorious developments would have been impossible if talk radio and the conservative movement had not combined to break the power of the liberal media.

In the Thanksgiving issue of National Review, editor Richard Lowry and former editor John O'Sullivan celebrate Bush's reelection triumph over "a hostile press corps." "Try as they might," crowed O'Sullivan, "they couldn't put Kerry over the top." There was a time when I could rant about the "liberal media" with the best of them. But in recent years I have puzzled over the precise location of the "liberal media."

Not so long ago I would have identified the liberal media as the New York Times and Washington Post, CNN and the three TV networks, and National Public Radio. But both the Times and the Post fell for the Bush administration's lies about WMD and supported the US invasion of Iraq. On balance CNN, the networks, and NPR have not made an issue of the Bush administration's changing explanations for the invasion.

Apparently, Rush Limbaugh and National Review think there is a liberal media because the prison torture scandal could not be suppressed and a cameraman filmed the execution of a wounded Iraqi prisoner by a US Marine. Do the Village Voice and The Nation comprise the "liberal media"? The Village Voice is known for Nat Hentoff and his columns on civil liberties. Every good conservative believes that civil liberties are liberal because they interfere with the police and let criminals go free. The Nation favors spending on the poor and disfavors gun rights, but I don't see the "liberal hate" in The Nation's feeble pages that Rush Limbaugh was denouncing on C-Span.

In the ranks of the new conservatives, however, I see and experience much hate. It comes to me in violently worded, ignorant and irrational emails from self-professed conservatives who literally worship George Bush. Even Christians have fallen into idolatry. There appears to be a large number of Americans who are prepared to kill anyone for George Bush.

The Iraqi War is serving as a great catharsis for multiple conservative frustrations: job loss, drugs, crime, homosexuals, pornography, female promiscuity, abortion, restrictions on prayer in public places, Darwinism and attacks on religion. Liberals are the cause. Liberals are against America. Anyone against the war is against America and is a liberal. "You are with us or against us."

This is the mindset of delusion, and delusion permits no facts or analysis. Blind emotion rules. Americans are right and everyone else is wrong. End of the debate.

That, gentle reader, is the full extent of talk radio, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal Editorial page, National Review, the Weekly Standard, and, indeed, of the entire concentrated corporate media where noncontroversy in the interest of advertising revenue rules.

Once upon a time there was a liberal media. It developed out of the Great Depression and the New Deal. Liberals believed that the private sector is the source of greed that must be restrained by government acting in the public interest. The liberals' mistake was to identify morality with government. Liberals had great suspicion of private power and insufficient suspicion of the power and inclination of government to do good.

Liberals became Benthamites (after Jeremy Bentham). They believed that as the people controlled government through democracy, there was no reason to fear government power, which should be increased in order to accomplish more good.

The conservative movement that I grew up in did not share the liberals' abiding faith in government. "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Today it is liberals, not conservatives, who endeavor to defend civil liberties from the state. Conservatives have been won around to the old liberal view that as long as government power is in their hands, there is no reason to fear it or to limit it. Thus, the Patriot Act, which permits government to suspend a person's civil liberty by calling him a terrorist with or without proof. Thus, preemptive war, which permits the President to invade other countries based on unverified assertions.

There is nothing conservative about these positions. To label them conservative is to make the same error as labeling the 1930s German Brownshirts conservative.

American liberals called the Brownshirts "conservative," because the Brownshirts were obviously not liberal. They were ignorant, violent, delusional, and they worshipped a man of no known distinction. Brownshirts' delusions were protected by an emotional force field. Adulation of power and force prevented Brownshirts from recognizing implications for their country of their reckless doctrines.

Like Brownshirts, the new conservatives take personally any criticism of their leader and his policies. To be a critic is to be an enemy. I went overnight from being an object of conservative adulation to one of derision when I wrote that the US invasion of Iraq was a "strategic blunder."

It is amazing that only a short time ago the Bush administration and its supporters believed that all the US had to do was to appear in Iraq and we would be greeted with flowers. Has there ever been a greater example of delusion? Isn't this on a par with the Children's Crusade against the Saracens in the Middle Ages?

Delusion is still the defining characteristic of the Bush administration. We have smashed Fallujah, a city of 300,000, only to discover that the 10,000 US Marines are bogged down in the ruins of the city. If the Marines leave, the "defeated" insurgents will return. Meanwhile the insurgents have moved on to destabilize Mosul, a city five times as large. Thus, the call for more US troops.

There are no more troops. Our former allies are not going to send troops. The only way the Bush administration can continue with its Iraq policy is to reinstate the draft.

When the draft is reinstated, conservatives will loudly proclaim their pride that their sons, fathers, husbands and brothers are going to die for "our freedom." Not a single one of them will be able to explain why destroying Iraqi cities and occupying the ruins are necessary for "our freedom." But this inability will not lessen the enthusiasm for the project. To protect their delusions from "reality-based" critics, they will demand that the critics be arrested for treason and silenced. Many encouraged by talk radio already speak this way.

Because of the triumph of delusional "new conservatives" and the demise of the liberal media, this war is different from the Vietnam war. As more Americans are killed and maimed in the pointless carnage, more Americans have a powerful emotional stake that the war not be lost and not be in vain. Trapped in violence and unable to admit mistake, a reckless administration will escalate.

The rapidly collapsing US dollar is hard evidence that the world sees the US as bankrupt. Flight from the dollar as the reserve currency will adversely impact American living standards, which are already falling as a result of job outsourcing and offshore production. The US cannot afford a costly and interminable war.

Falling living standards and inability to impose our will on the Middle East will result in great frustrations that will diminish our country.

8:13 AM  
Blogger Gryffilion said...

"Like Brownshirts, the new conservatives take personally any criticism of their leader and his policies. To be a critic is to be an enemy."
--I could say the same thing about leftists. Try being a conservative on campus; you get your views reviled by the adminstration, many professors, and the academic intelligentsia at large. Sad to say, Mr. Durfor, my sympathy is limited, especially after being told last year by your son that my views were "bullshit."

"It is amazing that only a short time ago the Bush administration and its supporters believed that all the US had to do was to appear in Iraq and we would be greeted with flowers. Has there ever been a greater example of delusion? Isn't this on a par with the Children's Crusade against the Saracens in the Middle Ages?"
--Comparing the deaths of somewhat over 1,000 soldiers over the course of almost 2 years to the deaths of a bunch of kids in the middle ages in so asinine that I'm not quite sure what to say here.

There are no more troops. Our former allies are not going to send troops. The only way the Bush administration can continue with its Iraq policy is to reinstate the draft.
--Our former allies ARE sending and WILL send troops. But, as per one of my earlier posts, no one can muster a miltary might on a par with the U.S.'s, hence our military will always be in greater proportion on the field of battle. And from what I've seen in the military science classrooms of W & M, there will never be a dearth of eager, ambitious, and loyal young men and women who are willing to serve their country, even if they don't necessarily believe in its policies. (Can I get a "Hooah!")

To protect their delusions from "reality-based" critics, they will demand that the critics be arrested for treason and silenced. Many encouraged by talk radio already speak this way.
--This is pretty groundless conspiracy-theroy scaremongering that I really don't feel like responding to, considering I haven't had breakfast yet and am still grumpy. However, I will say this: considering all the self-styled dissidents all over both the East and Left coasts, isn't it interesting that none of them have been "hauled away in the night"? I predict that no president would ever be short-sighted enough to shut down radio talk show hosts in the face of the massive opposition and outrage such a thing would do. Then again, our First Amendment rights have already been violated to hell and back by the bipartisan McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Law, so I guess anything is possible. Probably just so long as it's passed by Congress though.

As more Americans are killed and maimed in the pointless carnage...
--Ah yes, the pointless carnage. The pointless carnage that frees millions of people from despotic rules and allows them to live in a world that was only available to them in dreams and flights of fancy heretofore.
Feel free to laugh at me, you proclaimed "cynics" and "realists," but I believe any fight for democracy is a good one. I'm an isolationist at heart--I'd prefer us to say "Fine, ROW, don't like our policies, our soldiers, our American-ness? We'll pull out our bases and our relief stations, give us a couple days." However, if we're gonna get tangled up in things overseas, we might as well do it right and sow the seeds of stable government and the rule of law.

Mr. Durfor, I respect you greatly and think a lot of you. But even if the Iraq war is costly and based on wrong intelligence, freeing so many people from the bonds of slavery is a worthy cause. The Civil War didn't start out to free the slaves, and yet it did as an end result. And no one complains about that 150 years later...

10:05 AM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

Anon said

This is the mindset of delusion, and delusion permits no facts or analysis. Blind emotion rules. Americans are right and everyone else is wrong. End of the debate.

That, gentle reader, is the full extent of talk radio, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal Editorial page, National Review, the Weekly Standard, and, indeed, of the entire concentrated corporate media where noncontroversy in the interest of advertising revenue rules
.

Ah, yes. One would much prefer the "full extent" of the NYT, WaPo, Reuters, AP, Mother Jones, The New Republic, and the LA Times. And let's not forget The Nation and the Big Three nightly "news" programs. And Harper's, Newsweek (see below), Utne, The New Yorker, etc., etc.

Here are some actual statistics from a review by a Harvard economics prof, Robert Barron, of A Measure of Media Bias by two presenters at Stanford's Workshop on The Media and Economic Performance.

These researchers set up an objective measure of bias in U.S. television networks, newspapers, and magazines. The main finding is that the liberal inclination is pronounced. Although Fox News emerges as conservative, it is not nearly as far to the right as many outlets are to the left...Using the ADA measure of voting records of the Senate as their standard,with 0 as most conservative and 100 as most liberal(so that Frist scores 4 and Ted Kennedy scores 82), the median score in the Senate is 39...

next they rated think tanks on the liberal/conservative spectrum and then noted the number of times each senators referenced a think tank and compared that to the frequency with which various media used the same citations. Here's part of what they found:

On the conservative end, Fox News Special Report came out with a rating of 27; that is, 12 points more conservative than the 39 of the median member of the House. The only other right-of-center outlet was The Washington Times, at 34.

On the liberal end, Newsweek had an astonishing rating of 72 -- that's 33 points more liberal than the House median. Other highly liberal outlets included The New York Times, Time magazine, the CBS Evening News, USA Today, and NBC Nightly News. These scores ranged from 62 to 64, about 25 points above the House median. For viewers seeking truly "fair and balanced" reporting, the best outlets were ABC Good Morning America and NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. The ADA scores for these programs were 39 and 41, respectively. Places moderately left of center were CNN's NewsNight with Aaron Brown (49), The Washington Post (53), NPR's Morning Edition (55) and ABC WorldNews Tonight (55).

Bottom line: The Groseclose-Milyo study shows the media are skewed substantially to the left of the typical member of Congress. Thus, if the opinions of viewers and readers are similar to those of their representatives, the media slant is far to the left of that of most of their customers
.

So much for the incredibly mean-spirited author of the opinion piece above. The overflow of bile has a long-term consequence: irrelevance. No one can listen for long to someone so set on skewing reality's numbers...

~D

11:49 AM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

oops...

The measure was the House, not the Senate.

~D

11:53 AM  
Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

Oh, those pesky neoconservatives, always skulking around the administration in their yarmulkes and sidelocks, carrying their big bags of money...

12:42 PM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

And now, for a word from Himself, the great liberal philosopher, John Stuart Mill:

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse.

U go, John.

~D

2:12 PM  
Blogger Gryffilion said...

As long as we're going to quote extensively from other people, I figured I might as well weigh in (since I pulled that other stuff out of my own demented head earlier). This was apparently written by a man named Russ Vaughn, a soldier in the 101st (Airborne, for those of you who aren't military fanatics).

There’s a character trait that’s decided by fate
Comes sadly to many, far too faint, far too late.
They won’t face the aggressor, stand up to his ire
They have not the will to fight his fire with fire.
So they bend over backwards to see all sides as fair,
Till they’re faced with dragon breath fire in their hair.
Like our brethren in France, who’d know better than we,
Yet seem never to learn, seem doomed never to see.

Yes, it seems there are some who’re determined by fate,
To possess not the courage to step up to the plate,
Who shrink from all threat because nothing’s worth war.
But how can they know lest they’ve been there before?
Thank God some have courage, the will, yes, the grace,
To stand for the shirkers, stand strong in their place.
Thank God we have stalwarts who’ll stand for us all,
Who will rise to the challenge at their nation’s call.

The faint-hearted, who fear, whose reaction is flight,
Have no comprehension of those who will fight.
To hide their own trepidation they attempt to demean
The rough men, who defend them, as barbaric, obscene.
Yet these rough men stand ready, hard weapons to hand,
To put placaters behind them, draw a line in the sand,
To preserve for the peaceniks what they won’t defend,
So their own unearned freedom won’t perish, won’t end.

To appeasers, rough men are coarse government tools.
To rough men, appeasers are dumb delusional fools.

4:38 PM  
Blogger Elisha said...

Hmm... chemistry. Will I get any high paying jobs when I get a degree about it?

Thanks for commenting in my blog! Sorry if I did not comment again before.

12:27 PM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

For interesting and well-paying jobs, go into IT--that is, computers. That field now draws the most intelligent and creative of the up-coming generation. Here are two reasons:

(1)the govt. haven't corralled IT yet; it's the Wild West of the 21st century. There, you are known for what you can do.

(2)you don't have to spend years of your young adulthood in an academic ghetto being nice to people you don't respect just to get a piece of paper. Which may, or may not, depending on the economy, be worth anything.

IT is the place to be. It has limitless possibilities.

2:29 PM  

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