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this just in...from DC

i the president of these united states declare that we are addicted to oil from unstable regions...therefore, i will no longer fly my family home to texas at all during the remaining 3 years of my [insert descriptor of my tenure]...in fact, knowing how much gas gets used when i mount up in my bullet proof cavalcade of black gas-guzzlers, neither myself nor my family will leave the white house, unless we are mounted on a fleet of bikes…mountain, road, tandem, i don’t care.

i’m the president by golly, and i’m all about proactively leading by example!



Shucks. I was going to post on the SoTU address to say it was the Best speech ever! Now you’ve killed my desire. Want to buy some wood?

oh go ahead and do a serious post…but, i would expect you to note his various disassemblings (for definition see May 31)

though, that might be too strong a word for the various half-truths he told regarding foreign oil, wire tapping, the success of no child left behind…

and his smirky reference to congress passing the line item veto. the best solution to solve ear-marking...give me more power...and then he smiled.

and his statement about how fiscally responsible his administration has been cutting 144 gov programs…while exponentially expanding our “security spending”.

yes, he is the hopefull president for the hopefull society.

i must say, however, aside from the ubiquitous for or against me rhetoric…it was the best one of his that i’ve seen, in terms of delivery.

he actually said rostrum!

Who said anything about a serious post? :)

I laughed when he said “rostrum.” It’s a word, like “nuclear” that, coming from this PoTUS, is inherently funny. I didn’t think the speech itself was as rhetorically savvy as his 2nd inaugural, which was all BIG IDEA, ARTFULLY STATED. That was the kind of thing everyone could agree with until the point it was put into practice. This SoTU was stabs of policy, interspersed with unintended comedy. I do appreciate that he didn’t find necessity to smirk.

It was also disassembled code, too, something of a game in which it’s necessary to decipher the code to discover exactly what he meant. That makes for fun, if also distressing, listening.

Catectomy accomplished; I went to get my notes. In roughly the order of the speech:

Coretta Scott King: a.k.a. force CNN cameramen to isolate all the black people in the congress.


Theme: Against Isolation. Terrorists “lack the military strength to challenge us directly, so they use the tactic of fear.” Meaningless. (No nation-state, much less a transnational ideological organization, has the “military strength” to attack the U.S. directly. The line signifies a problem with this administration’s understanding of terrorism from the beginning: it wants to put orgs like Al Qaida into a nation-state box, to pretend it’s a MAJOR POWER to be fought. Hence grandiose allusions to WW2.)

“Liberty is the right and hope of all humanity.” Word!

More high ideals. HIV/AIDS is important too. Patriot Act rocks. “If people are talkin’ to Al Qaida, we want to know about it!” Amen. (But shouldn’t you do so with legal authority? What does it say to Palestine and Egypt, for example, that you appeal to them to create a government under the law, when you, Mr. President, find parts of your own law too onerous to follow? Do what I say, not what I do!) Obligatory Hillary Clinton shot. She laughs.

Theme: Pour water on the economy, and watch it grow! “Congress did not act on my proposal to save social security.” Dems applaud. Hilarity ensues. “Yet the rising cost of entitlements is not going away!” GOP applauds: solidarity against “entitlements” if you call them that. (but if you call them “Energy Bill,” and “relaxed regulations,” they’re wonderful.) Fix health care through technology and HSAs.

“America is addicted to oil!” Specifically, middle east oil, in spite of the fact that most of where we get oil is from Canada.

“American competitiveness initiative.” We love the sciences. Humanities, arts? What’s that? “A lot of parents are concerned about the fundamental institutions of our culture.” That’s why activist courts suck. But the Supreme Court doesn’t suck anymore.

Louisiana (shot of Kathleen Blanco). Promises, promises.

...I stopped taking notes there (kl & I were talking a lot during and about.)

why is radical islam an ideology?

i get the “hate” part…they don’t like us…good. and my quarrel, at the moment, isn’t with that… but why is it an ideology. i’ve never understood this.

put it another way…do we follow an ideology of love? or an ideology of compassion? what does this look like?

as i understand it, there’s this great religion called islam and these are the muslims that live peacefully in our nation (and other western societies and possibly the muslims that safe-guarded greek knowledge and science during the middle ages) and then the perverters of islam that follow an ideology of hate…or maybe have turned islam into an ideology of hate.

is religion an ideology? or just perverted religion?

are emotions ideolgical in nature? or just “evil” ones?

didn’t you mean HILLARY-ty?

I actually thought of writing hillaryity, but then promptly forgot before I hit “Submit.”

As I understand it—and certainly by Marxist reckoning (I’m thinking Althusser?)—religion is an ideology, but I suspect that Bush only calls Islamic fundamentalism an “ideology” because they’re Islamic. I doubt he’d allow Christian fundamentalists to be “ideologues.” That's the way the orientalism crumbles.

Aside: I dream of the day that the OED lets Google at its etymologies. Already a “define:” search on Google’s good; with OED, it’ll be first-rate.

i am back to staying up late nights…gotta get a conference presentation written…on this mexican nun no less.

yes, i would guess that most “secularists” would define religion as an ideology…especially to the extent that religious ideas go about shaping political action, organization and egagement.

i, too, doubt that he would consider xianity, our hopeful narrative, for our hopeful society, an ideology.

which is why this bothers me.

plus, an ideology of hate seems very different than refering to bombings as ideological violence…hate, no doubt, is something that is exploited.

an ideology of hate would seem to imply that hate is all there is and the only thing that motivates and it seems to push these actions towards pure, unintelligible evil that must be stamped out.

I agree on the hate/violence distinction in principle, although I don’t know that violence is quite the right counterpoint, since it’s a strategy, like terror is a strategy, that plays on the sensibilities of civilization.

yeah, i should’ve said i’ve heard others refer to suicide bombing as ideological violence.

but, precisely because terror and violence are tactics, (tactics? strategy?, tactics that are part of a strategy?)

it seems that ideological violence is a better descriptor for suicide bombing—should one understand islam, or radicalized isalm as an ideology…or even should one think that religion actually plays a supporting (like the role played by hate) and that economic/political disenfranchisment are at the heart of this violence

This makes me wish I had gotten to that “Young Osama” essay that was linked on the right a month ago.

I guess the question whether OBL and his ilk are more or less like Dan and Ron Lafferty.

On another SOTU tack, there are cuts in Middle East oil imports, and then there are not cuts in Middle East oil imports. To wit:

Bush vowed to fund research into better batteries for hybrid vehicles and more production of the alternative fuel ethanol, setting a lofty goal of replacing “more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025.”

He pledged to “move beyond a petroleum-based economy and make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past.”

Not exactly, though, it turns out.

“This was purely an example,” Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said.

He said the broad goal was to displace foreign oil imports, from anywhere, with domestic alternatives. He acknowledged that oil is a freely traded commodity bought and sold globally by private firms. Consequently, it would be very difficult to reduce imports from any single region, especially the most oil-rich region on Earth.

Asked why the president used the words “the Middle East” when he didn’t really mean them, one administration official said Bush wanted to dramatize the issue in a way that “every American sitting out there listening to the speech understands.”

I love it when “75 percent” equals “figure of speech.”