Wednesday, May 31, 2006


I heard Neil Young’s new song “Let’s Impeach the President” on the radio yesterday. It was shockingly lame— apparently he could only spare about four notes in total for this effort, and some trite, junior-high lyrics pulled out of the hippie-dippie drawer. I voted twice for Bush and I could have served up much
more biting, and more specific, lyrical bashes about him than this guy with the advanced case of Bush Derangement Syndrome.

Various commentators have remarked on ho
w slow and creaky this particular bandwagon has rolled in for Neil. Let’s recall that he was supportive of America as terrorist victim with his “Let’s Roll” in 2001, but obviously things have gone sour—not an uncommon sentiment these days. But it’s odd that it took this long for Young to package his outrage, and that having been so long in coming it is so shallow and weenie.

A couple of interesting notes on this:
(a) Neil is advocating impeaching the president of a country where he has lived for about 40 years without ever becoming a citizen—he’s a transplanted Canadian [remember those lyrice to "Helpless" about the town in north Ontario?], long-resident as a guest in California.

I know how that works. I am Young’s opposite number, and in more than just hygiene! (I once heard a DJ call him the Human Dust Bunny). So that’s okay—I understand his perspective entirely.

Over the years I’ve involved myself marginally in Canadian politics, to the extent that laws of both countries allow. (And for years election enumerators have tried to register me to vote, some
even despite my admission that I’m not eligible—they go door-to-door, and get paid by the name apparently.) I’ve privately expressed strong opinions about certain political figures from time to time. But I can’t imagine having the nerve to grab the public megaphone and let loose with this kind of “Let’s Impeach” blast to influence the thinking of voters in a country where I can’t vote myself. By so doing, I think Young has seriously undermined his own position.

(b) The lyrics of the song’s verses are a yawn, but towards the end I started to wonder whether they weren’t just the intro to the real substance of the song, which comes when a crowd of folks shout out the refrain “Thank…God!...” over and over, having fixed on Bush’s religious self-expression as one of his most grave sins. Earlier on in the song a series of Bush sou
nd-bytes had been punctuated by another refrain, “flip….flop…”—a motif exhausted two years ago (and much more cleverly) by many anti-Kerry forces. But the “Thank God” refrain stands alone, and evinces a certain disgust.

Some overly generous soul— at FoxNews, of all places—reviewed the song as "a melodic, rocking campfire ode…[and] the catchiest protest song since Country Joe and the Fish’s anti-Vietnam ditty, “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die.” Ex-squeeze-me? WTF? I always considered Country Joe’s song to be cruel and heavy-handed, but it was biting satire, with a classic tune that was as unforgettable as the song was infuriating. Neil Young’s new entry is so dull and light-weight it may prove to be the tailor-made anthem of the nascent Al Gore in ’08 campaign— just like Al, it’s a stiff, full of sound and fury signifying nada.
Big disappoin
tment, Neil. You can, and have, done better—like when you pissed off Lynyrd Skynyrd in your trashing of Alabama, and then they smacked you back with their “Sweet Home” ode. That was a great culture clash. This is a snoozefest.


There’s a seismic shift—sort of—in the ’08 prognostications (and here and here -- warning: typical left-blog language that would make a sailor blush) of Democratic partisans: that Hillary Clinton’s moment has passed, and it’s time to bring on the guy whose moment passed so long ago he’s ready to pass another one: our buddy, AlBore Gore. I call it a "sort-of" seismic shift because those of us who have watched from the sidelines of the right could see this coming. Shrillary is just more than any of us can imagine as Nagger-in-Chief for even four years—forget eight. The closer she gets to the ’08 run-up, the higher and more shattering her vocal range is going to get, and she’ll have even mainstream Demos running for the exits. That’s my prediction, and I’m sticking to it—especially since it’s already underway. Oh Al !—BRING HIM ON! Let the Circular Firing Squad which is the Democratic primaries begin! (And let’s hope the Republi-cringe party can avoid the same-- you should pardon the expression,-- “quagmire.”)

SPORTS UPDATE: “To commit suicide in Buffalo is redundant.”
(from A Chorus Line)

Oh poor old misprised Buffalo—will they catch a break?

URVIVES TO FORCE GAME SEVEN in search of a Stanley Cup finals play-off berth. Buffalo is my default hockey team in the NHL play-offs when the Maple Leafs do their annual late-season crash, and the Habs slip through the cracks in post-season play.

Buffalo, New York, after all, is just down the road—we share their stinking climate and we feel their pain.

One more gasp. Go Sabres.


The current absolute favourite story of the American mainstream media, the left-wing blogosphere, and elected Democrats who really ought to know better, is the ALLEGED deliberate murder of about 25 Iraqi civilians ALLEGEDLY at the hands of United States Marines. It’s a deeply disturbing story, and if it’s true, the military’s strongest supporters—and the war’s strongest supporters—will be the first to want to see the perpetrators punished to the full extent of military law (which is likely to hand down stiffer sentences than any civilian court).

To nobody’s great surprise, the MSM newsdudes have been unconscionably sloppy in their application of the “innocent-until-proven-guilty” standard which American law, and basic decency, demand. Americans have learned to frown on lynchings, and just because the person inciting one is a decorated war veteran doesn’t make it acceptable. For that matter, just because someone’s a decorated war veteran doesn’t mean he can’t grow up to be a senile old man.

Murtha’s performance with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week” wasn’t his most incoherent rant, but it was still an embarrassing diatribe. This is not a bright man (check out his website statements)—decorated veterans can be dumb too. Stephanopoulos phrased his questions pretty carefully to give Murtha every chance to modify his words or frame the reports as inconclusive so far-- but he was on a roll and his babbling couldn’t be curbed or called to order.

He even gratuitously implicated Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Peter Pace, and then backed off as if this casual mental excursion didn’t amount to much. It is not clear why anyone still considers Murtha reliable enough to receive military briefings when he has proved himself a loose cannon who cannot be trusted to distinguish between an ongoing investigation and a verdict. The mention of Pace by name is the closest Murtha has yet come to libel, but if someone doesn't tie him down to his lazy-boy recliner soon he is eventually going to veer off into language that is actionable, and his victim may decide to make him pay the consequences—a humiliating end to an (until recently) admirable career.

Murtha is a danger to himself and his own reputation, and one wonders why it is thought to be his province as a member of the Defense Appropriations Committee to be briefed on possible criminal behavior. He has stated, definitively, again and again, that Marines flat-out committed murder—yet NO ONE HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH ANYTHING.

Unfortunately Congressman Murtha is so self-absorbed and unintelligent that he forgets to mask his personal agenda while posing as a seeker after justice. In the past he has let slip that he might have kept his criticisms to himself had the President agreed to meet privately with him when he requested it. Now he deplores this [ALLEGED] criminal
activity nakedly within the context that we have “lost direction in this war” and “can’t win it militarily” and calls our “political successes” in Iraq “rhetorical” (it’s hard to say what he mean by that—I suspect he is foggy on the definition of the word). He included in that phrase the establishment of the Iraqi government—what a condescending insult to people risking their lives to give birth to their new country.

I have no patience with people who decide to respond to Congressman Murtha’s muddle-headed slanders by questioning his military record—frankly, who cares whether it’s sterling or ordinary? Anyone who’s been paying attention to the whole history of the United States knows how much is owed to the sacrifices of very “ordinary” men. As long as he’s not a fake (like Jesse Macbeth or some of John Kerry’s posturing Winter Soldier colleagues proved to be) let the past be.

What’s important now is that Jack
Murtha is disgracing himself with conduct unbecoming a lawmaker—grandstanding before the cameras, undermining the judicial process by disseminating half-digested evidence and convicting defendants who have yet to be named of the most heinous crimes, apparently in the service of his anti-war position. This is a travesty of justice, a betrayal of his comrades in arms, and a grievous breach of ethics.

When New York Senator Hillary Clinton characterized the not-yet adjudicated police shooting of Amadou Diallo as a “tragic murder” she was forced to back-pedal and characterize her statement as a "slip of the tongue." This was far short of the apology she owed, but at least her remark was an aside within a larger context, of which the shooting was not the principal subject. Congressman Murtha is deliberately meting out lynch-mob justice within the conduct of his professional duties. He is also making a fool of himself. HE SHOULD BE CENSURED—FOR HIS OWN GOOD.

Samir Sumaidaie, the brand ne
w Iraqi ambassador to the United States and the first such representative of the new-born government, last year made the accusation that a Marine executed a member of his family. In a May 30 interview on CNN he also made it clear that he finds the accusations related to the Haditha killings to be plausible, and he wants the United States to get to the bottom of them. Nevertheless, he must have surprised Wolf Blitzer when he ended his interview with the following:
But let me say this, Wolf, events like this, Abu Ghraib, killing, intentional killing like this, ... as I said in my statement at the time in July of last year, ... are a betrayal to the American people. They're a betrayal to what the Marines are doing and what the American Army is doing.

On the whole, the United States and the military are doing an honorable job on an honorable project, which is of immense potential benefit for the United States and for us. Such crimes detract from that.

The focus in all the international media has been on these things, not on the good things. And I do believe that for every bad apple, bad Marine, there are thousands and thousands of good -- good ones doing [a] good job, doing the best they can under difficult circumstances.
However, it is absolutely imperative that we remove the bad apples and we expose them and we don't try to cover them up.
He is right, he and his countrymen deserve satisfaction, and he showed himself a man more temperate, more intelligent, and more honorable than the Pennsylvania Congressman who is smearing the Marines and denigrating the progress of the new Iraq.


Ah, corporal mortification! Such an archaic, barbaric idea! Cha-ching-- another few pence for Dan Brown's retirement fund.