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February 05, 2008

Hey Dullblog

I recently went out and voted against Hillary Clinton with all of my might. If she somehow defies me and manages to become president, I hope she'll at least have the honesty and grace to spend every day in office literally covered in human blood.

Anyway, who cares? Far more interesting than the elections is Hey Dullblog, a cleverly-named new group blurrrd focused on the Beatles. One of the five founding blurrrders is Mike, and I recommend you check it out.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at February 5, 2008 09:37 PM


Posted by: at February 5, 2008 10:14 PM

Oboptimus Prime.

Posted by: Dan Coyle at February 5, 2008 10:30 PM

Right Jonathan because Hillary is solely responsible for Iraq.

Other than losing her seat to a Republican what would opposition in the Senate have done?

It amazes me that rational people feel a need to hang Hillary for what was essentially a strategic vote.

No one was going to stop that train in 2002. No one. The time to stop it was in 2000 pre-election or in FL post election pre Supreme Court decision.

Once they were allowed to run away witht the top office, the rest was written in stone.

Maybe we can all just be covered in blood together and admit that as citizens in this monster we are all hopelessly guilty.

Can a flea stop a boulder? Can a mouse? You either step aside or get crushed. If you step aside maybe you can help the other people who survive when the boulder finally rolls to a stop.

Only power can stop power, and the powers in the US decided to support the people who ran away with the election.

Posted by: patience at February 6, 2008 01:48 AM

@patience: Opposition would have made a difference even granting that the administration's drive to war was unstoppable. Clinton didn't just vote for the war, she supported it for years afterward. She still adopts the entire rhetorical framework of the Bush policy, the "war on terror".

Opposition when it counted would have resulted in much earlier and harder questions being asked about goals and cost, not to mention the "evidence" for the lies about weapons and links to terror. It would have freed the party to make the war and occupation an issue in 2004.

'Strategic voting' is too often a euphemism for voting for something you know is wrong, but being afraid to pay the price for doing what you know is right. There is such a thing as a truly strategic vote, but it's usually part of a deal worked out by actual negotiations with opponents, not the pre-emptive capitulation we've come to expect from Democratic "leaders".

Posted by: Nell at February 6, 2008 03:07 AM

god you people are morons. The White House has executive authority over intelligence, foreign policy, and waging war. Clinton as member of the legislative branch was justified, indeed had little other choice, than to rely upon the representations of the executive. They bear far more, far more responsibility than Clinton. Your DB blind hatred of Clinton resembles the rabid right's hatred of her.

And boy is that website dull. Your buddy Mike apparently has the same lame, pathetic sense of humor you do.

And I actually do have a sense of humor, my language prof laughs hysterically at my jokes, rendered not in my native tongue. And I am one of relatively few economist/lawyers to have appeared twice on the Daily Show

Posted by: xyz at February 6, 2008 07:56 AM


To tell the truth, I wasn't thinking of her 2002 vote as much as I was her time as First Lady when we were strangling Iraq for eight years. They had terrifying weapons of mass destruction, you see. I don't think I could vote for her after that anymore than I could vote for Madame Ceausescu.

But more recently, no opposition to the Iraq war by anyone was pointless. It may have been impossible to stop it, but the more opposition, the less bad it and its consequences are. In any case, a US Senator from New York and former First Lady is not a mouse.


Right on. Though I should say that in Hillary's case, I think she voted for the war because she genuinely believes America should go around the world crushing people. I suspect she would have been done the same thing if the political wind had been different.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at February 6, 2008 10:30 AM

Hey xyz!

That's just uncalled for. Why demonize Mike and John? That's nasty and innappropriate.

You made your point in the first paragraph. There's no need to throw in the "and your mom is ugly too!" vitriol.

It's exactly this kind of rhetorical cheap shot that prevents discussion. Stop it.

And frankly it makes you sound silly to claim "comedic" superiority!?

It's unclear from what Johnathan has said that there is any "hatred", as much a moral outrage. My point was that the moral outrage is misplaced.

Frankly I love Mike and John and what they do. And it's normal in human events to have actual disagreements with people over moral grounds without it diminishing the respect with which you hold each other.

What's abnormal is the modern TV/Radio nurturing of a cultural of discourse remade in the image of the WWE, rather than Lincoln/Douglas.

Love is exactly the most important part of disagreement, to cast out love is to explicitly cast apart, rather than bringing together. Attempting to bring together all sides is the point of having a discussion right?

Posted by: patience at February 6, 2008 10:37 AM

well, moral outrage is even worse than blind hatred, thanks for pointing out the distinction. People like Schwartz indulge moral outrage because it strokes their egos and allows them what they believe to be a fashionable pose. ugh.

and good god, the kind of "humor" I see displayed here really is pathetic. Have you seen Schwartz's buddy's Ivy "lampoon"? Ugh, it's so bad it might be funny if it weren't so queaze-inducingly smarmy. and I've been quite lauded for my far more subtle and yet barbed sense of humor, I just don't care to reveal my identity.

Posted by: xyz at February 6, 2008 10:52 AM

I've been quite lauded for my far more subtle and yet barbed sense of humor, I just don't care to reveal my identity.

Lee Siegel?

Posted by: MJN at February 6, 2008 12:02 PM


You're right she does share part of the blame for post Iraq I, during Bill's term. They both did empire expanding things and that means blood.

In that sense, we have been an empire since the Monroe doctrine and our ability to project force has only gotten more terrible since then.

My question for you is do you see anyone at all capable of stopping this from the top, or even who has any intention to try if elected other than Kucinich and/or Paul or maybe Gravel.

And if we go hypothetical and switch the US from an empire to a force for actual peace, without the use of force, would the world permit this? Would the powers in other countries not just eat us up? And could an "empire of peace" really happen here in the US without reconciling all of our internal problems before hand, (eg native american holocaust, slavery, wage slavery, etc).

Given that the powers here have proven a willingness to shoot those who confront them directly and even those who would only get in the way, as the coupes showed us all in the 60s, don't you think it is likely, now that they are stronger, that they will be even more harsh? And given these deaths and the aggregation of power since then, how likely is it that anyone domestically will be permitted to gather power to oppose them ever again? Look at how easily the Yippies were transmuted into Yuppies. When apple is appluaded for using the beatles to sell products, it should be no shock that are "sold change" rather than encouraged "to change". It is for these reasons we can be aboslutely certain that no one who is a product of this political system will ever even attempt to curtail this empire.

The real root of these problems of empire go beyond the economic, cultural, psychological and emotional. If we really look closely at what we are fighting we see it is an ongoing Spiritual battle.

Johnathan, you are exactly looking to cause a change in the spirit of the nation through physical means. But it is not it's body but the collective spirit of this nation that makes it's empire so terrible, mirroring Rome to which most modern empire advocates look for inspiration and direction.

I think, having never met you, that I completely agree with your morality, but I think you are misguided to be directing your efforts at fighting the physical manifestation of what is at it's core a spiritual problem. There are no spiritual candidates in this cycle, only ones that scrap and use guile.

Those few humans who have made progress in our past, and who also been made to pay the ultimate price for that progress, have all done so primarily via spiritual means, their worldy victories coming as a result of spiritual pursuit. Why are things any different now?

It's why Kucinich and Paul are fringe- they have no spiritual component. The best we can hope for on the phyiscal level is that the window is opened again to give us all some air to breather before it is shut permanently. Spiritually we need much more than any worldy figure has promised or could ever promise to turn this tide.

Our choices for leadership of the empire are the blooded and those who will blood themselves given that leadership. Opposing one or supporting another is more a strategic choice about the potential short term and temporary gains either will provide. The blood will continue to be shed on our national altar until the spirit that is being worshiped is thrown down.

When are you going on tour so that we can all talk about these things person to person over food and drinks? It is strange to me to say such intimate things and yet have no real world history with a person. A strange age we live in!

Posted by: patience at February 6, 2008 12:17 PM

Hey "xyz" (clever tag), do you save your subtle barbs for your quite lauded humor? 'Cause it sure ain't evident in your tedious self-promotion.

Posted by: Dennis Perrin at February 6, 2008 12:18 PM

patience/xyz (Lee?) ALL POWER IS derived from the people, WE ARE the powers that be. EXERCISE YOUR POWER, give Nan a call @1-202-225-0100, DEMAND IMPEACHMENT, and don't ever let this nation do that again.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at February 6, 2008 12:23 PM

Since xyz is insisting on trying to stoke personal ire, he isn't serious. No one should take that type of insult with more than a grain of salt.

As an edit to the above: I meant that Kuchinich, Paul and maybe Gravel would attempt to stop empire not they could even come close to pulling it off. I see no one who can stop it and certainly no one left standing is proposing to even try.

Posted by: patience at February 6, 2008 12:29 PM


I used to think that. But I think the awesome power of our modern military with it's massive terrors of destruction, all remotely controlled have permanently changed that equation.

Richard Fineman understood this after he went back to society having helped make the first a-bomb. He started looking at bridges and buildings and thinking, they would all be gone. They wouldn't last. It was all so useless. (source Surely You're Joking Mr. Fineman). I am not as good at Johnathan at digging up the real world text quotes.

This is even more true today, since we have gone in the opposite direction. Instead of building a single big one that would vaporize the world, ala Jules Feiffer, we have learned to concentrate that kind of power into much smaller more personal more precisely targeted packages. The people could overcome power at the beginning of the era before the tech was understood, but now especially with the ground work Team Bush/Cheney has laid down to declare and suppress domestic dissidents the door on "the voice of the people" has been shown to be shutable. And worse the modern protest movements targeting youth are encouraging them to hide ala "anonymous v Sceintology", rather than stand up strongly and be counted. The Bush II generation of youth is already being peeled away from the traditional movements via the first attempts of the establishment to take back the internet.

Yeah you can get your Paul or Kucinich or McKinney into the house, but they will always be marginal figures who require constant struggle from all supporters to even tread water.

What has held back the Bush/Cheney crew from continuing to run the US as a naked empire with total power over citizens and non-citizens is not so much any domestic opposition, but a realization by a faction of the powerful that this current push for world empire is not going to work.

And while the progressive movement has figured out how to use the internet to communicate and coordinate to bring back the apeparance of popular movements from previous eras, there is no guarantee that this hard earned tech advantage can not as easily be co-opted or removed from play or that time and funding is going to be provided to turn these appearances in to a substantial reality.

It's not clear to me that progressive political movements have gotten to the point of being more effective than lobbies. And it's very much not clear to me that as they get closer to that goal of being more effective than lobbies that they won't be viewed as threats and therefore be dealt with in the traditional fashion of co-option or elimination.

In terms of the net being co-opted we can see that already occuring across the discussion rooms and social networks of the left blogsphere as candidate driven rancor turns diverse communities into hegemonies which are willing to silence and discard those voices who disagree, and the leaders of those sites are actively letting that happen. And the leaders we choose from on the donkey side are essentially rerunning the "cola wars" at the political level.

I mean can it be any more obvious that Team Obama is positioning itself as the feel good image driven Pepsi, and that Hillary is the track record work horse Coca-Cola?

The problem is that the High Fructose Corn syrup is killing and even as much as a swallow of plain tap water is not on the menu.

nan may tease you with her sultry looks and come hither stares, she just can't be won over with our good looks and charms.

She take my money when I'm in need
Yeah she's a trifling friend indeed
Oh she's a gold digger way over town
That dig's on me

Now I ain't sayin' she a gold digger (When I'm in Need)
But she ain't messin' with no broke niggas

Posted by: patience at February 6, 2008 01:42 PM

It amazes me that rational people feel a need to hang Hillary for what was essentially a strategic vote.

And your explanation for her support of Kyl-Lieberman...?

Posted by: at February 6, 2008 02:18 PM

patience: Soooo, does that mean YOU aren't going to call? I mean it's ONLY A PHONECALL and not nearly as tough as facing an atom bomb. I call EVERYDAY, no goon squad has shown up yet. I doubt Pelosi or Cheney have discussed me in ANY way or even know if I exist(Of course it's WINTER IN WYOMING and maybe they are waiting for the blizzard to stop and the roads to clear).

Posted by: Mike Meyer at February 6, 2008 05:53 PM

That's just the thing, Mike, no one cares.

Posted by: StO at February 7, 2008 04:23 AM

one obvious fact that people like Schwartz miss is: Iraqis are, by and large, being killed by Iraqis, not Americans. True, the occupation released the bitter divisions that drive the conflict, but it didn't create them. So it's mere hyperventilation to sqqawk that Clinton is covered in innocent blood. It's a bit like the argument I heard in the 90s that the World Bank, the IMF, etc destroyed yee old Yugoland by lending them money that they later couldn't repay. Nonsense. Again, it was locals killing locals. and that's where the primary responsibility has to be placed.

Posted by: xyz at February 7, 2008 04:38 AM

True, the occupation released the bitter divisions that drive the conflict, but it didn't create them.

Oh, so it's actually God's fault for not being more clear with his instructions to begin with. Good to know, but since the old bastard apparently can't be bothered to show up and fix anything ever, it's up to us puny mortals to do the best we can. One axiom, I think, should be: don't fucking start conflicts that are sure to release pent-up bitter divisions and aggression. If you do, knowing full well what's going to happen, then you deserve to own the responsibility.

And for someone who loves to talk about how smart he is, xyz apparently hasn't noticed that there's no "t" in Jon's last name. Fucking moron.

Posted by: at February 7, 2008 09:05 AM

StO: Beg to differ, JUST ASKED Pelosi's Office and they say thousands call everyday and many DEMAND IMPEACHMENT. The question is---DO YOU CARE?

Posted by: Mike Meyer at February 7, 2008 12:12 PM

Mike, you know I care. Even thousands of calls make no difference to them, or they would act differently. Pelosi already sold her soul; it'd take a gun to her head to make her actually try to hold the Bush administration accountable.

Posted by: StO at February 7, 2008 02:34 PM

StO: PELOSI IS A POWER SEEKER, and their AIN'T no bigger pile o' power than that OVAL OFFICE. She WANTS it. THAT'S why she is Speaker---on her way up. BUT she must face Congress, that hard to reach stepping stone, cross that and she's on high ground. To cross, she NEEDS some backup---U&ME.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at February 7, 2008 03:50 PM


I have to agree with St0 who made my point better and shorter.

She doesn't give a shit about us. You want to make a difference to nan? Get all those people to stop calling, but rather to donate their money.

You may already have a 501c in your cause. Get everyone to cough up 100 dollars, and approach her in a way she will understand.

Effective afterdowningstreet: Hey nan. Here is 5 million dollars we would like to give you to do what you should do morally. Not only that there are 50,000 people behind those 5 mill who are willing to yell and scream to support you till the bitter end.

Nan: Golly gush guys you shouldn't have you know I'm not a gold digger, right?

Effective ads: Oh nan we love you. We'd be brought for you to show off out bling downtown, with the other girls. Go make 'em jealous nan.

Nan: Oh ads.

effective ads: Who loves ya baby?

Why does this matter? Ron Paul raised alot of money. He's a fringer but they include him because they have not only people pressure but people willing to put their money where their mouth is.

The current Obama shine has much less to do with his platform, than his effectiveness in raising large amounts of small donations over the net.

Hillary's older advisors have had a real blind spot to the effectiveness of the new tech.

Don't you guys do the same.

The new economy is fundamentally be about who can use the internet to gather their own sources of revenue. Contact management through self identified social networks is exactly the right approach. And over at afterdowningstreet and friends it seems you have enough interest to start being an effective rival to the lobbies, which means money.

Do it transparently and you will become the model everyone else uses to do policy.

And hey if you want someone to help write the donation software you can reach me through Johnathan.

But know that when you start to raise money, you will be a target for the harassment that you have joked about not seeing yet. It's actually how you know you are being effective. It's the next step before acceptance of your legitimacy.

Posted by: patience at February 7, 2008 10:49 PM

MORE of the same IS a loser too.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at February 8, 2008 05:37 AM

Patience: The idea is to puroduce something positive. If the PEOPLE themselves (like YOU) cannot or will not approach OUR Speaker with grievence of such import as OUR PRESENT STATE, then PAYING OFF NAN don't help a bit. But don't let me stop YOU and YOUR software, go for it. If I may point out though, a phonecall would cheaper and imho, more honest. PUT YOUR MOUTH WHERE YOUR MONEY IS.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at February 8, 2008 05:50 AM

Pity your poor simple leaders
They can do only simple sums
Equating power with money
They estimate strength
In numbers of guns.---old song

Posted by: Mike Meyer at February 8, 2008 05:59 AM

I beg you to get a grip and stop blaming Hillary for not being a perfect leftist hero in her every act. I am mad at her over her war vote but have to move forward.

Posted by: Claudia at February 8, 2008 07:30 AM