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January 14, 2007

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If not for the courage of the fearless crew, the White House would be lost.

"I think the Iraqi people owe the American people a huge debt of gratitude." --President Bush, 60 Minutes interview to air tonight.

I can't find the words.

I got Nicola Tesla on the quiz. Somehow that fits.

I am Joshua Abraham Norton.

Nah. You can claim to be His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Norton the Ist, but he'd never claim that other nomenclature.

Charles VI of France, also known as Charles the Mad.

I can live with the mad bit – but France? That’s just wrong.

"Now Turkey is ready to get into the act, threatening to invade northern Iraq to put down the Kurds."

This has been an issue since 2003. (Not saying there aren't the current developments that there are; just saying that putting it as "now Turkey is ready to get into the act" is, ah, not the best description; one could go on and on and on about all the Iraq/Turkey/American developments in the past year alone, let alone four.)

IIRC, both Turkey and Iran have fired across the border into northern Iraq at various Kurdish positions.

There have been especially ominous rumblings from Turkey for a few months now.

That would be such a disaster.

The amount of damage done to the perception of America in Turkey, by our actions in Iraq, is so huge as to be almost unbelievable; and, of course, few Americans have a clue as to how hated we are there now.

It's become a http://amygdalagf.blogspot.com/ turkey">huge cultural and political issue. Last week the Turkish foreign minister referred to us as "so-called allies."

Note that my post is almost a year old, and things have gotten a lot worse since then.

The amount of damage done to the perception of America in Turkey, by our actions in Iraq, is so huge as to be almost unbelievable; and, of course, few Americans have a clue as to how hated we are there now.

It's become a huge cultural and political issue. Last week the Turkish foreign minister referred to us as "so-called allies."

Note that my post is almost a year old, and things have gotten a lot worse since then.

Off topic and not very important, but how come John Cole/Balloon Juice has been dropped from Von's links to the left (not that Left)?

"...but how come John Cole/Balloon Juice has been dropped from Von's links to the left (not that Left)?"

Myself, I think whom one chooses to put, and not to put, on their blogroll, is an entirely personal choice, and asking people why they do or don't like someone... well, maybe other folks do that more than I do.

But I'm still unlikely to send out e-mails to endless bloggers asking why they don't blogroll me. Maybe it's just me to whom that would seem unspeakably rude.

Gary: Agreed. This just seems a little more explicit.

Gary: when I read John's question, for some reason (maybe because it was in fact me who did it) the interpretation 'why did von drop John Cole?', as opposed to 'what befell that entry in von's list?', didn't occur to me.

(And you, naturally, are in multiples, being omniappealing.)

More in the 'astonishing statements from the administration' department, via BitchPhD:

"White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told CNN that Bush's condemnation of what she called "Iran's meddlesomeness" was an important signal to the region.

"Surely the United States is not the one being threatening," she said. "We are not the ones being meddlesome and troublesome in Iraq.""

"'Surely the United States is not the one being threatening,' she said. "We are not the ones being meddlesome and troublesome in Iraq.'"

Doesn't everyone remember Iraq coming under the Monroe Doctrine?

(Actually, it would logically
be the semi-forgotten Carter Doctrine, ironically enough, that they'll claim to file this under.)

John, Gary:

John Cole's Balloon Juice has NOT, in fact, been dropped from the shiny-new, reorganized ObWi blogroll, but has been moved up to the "Multiples" section.

Umm, Hilzoy's first reaction was correct. I was just asking, not accusing Von of any wickedness. Then, of course when I pointed "left", I just had to add "Left", slyboots me.

It's like Beatles -- beetles with an "a" --one word meaning two things. For fun, not profundity, though they were more popular than Christ. Oops!

Thanks Hilzoy and Jay -- I looked under multiples, but like the man who mistook his wife for a hat, I couldn't see what was in front of me.

Also Charles Six. merci maman.

John: until you asked, you couldn't have seen it, since where the phrase 'Balloon Juice' should have been, there was nothing. Just a link with no text.

Caligula for me.

I spit out my coffee when I saw that picture of the Caligula statue. I'm thinking it's a sly dig at the posters at Redstate, many of whom have a fetish for things classical. For yucks per word, you can't beat the turgid prose of "Marcus Trainius".

I'm fixated on Redstate.

Joshua Abraham Norton for me. I'm pretty pleased.

More on Emperor Norton here.

This part seems approriate:

A scandal occurred in 1867 when a police officer named Armand Barbier arrested Norton, for the purpose of committing him to involuntary treatment for a mental disorder. This caused monumental outrage amongst the citizens of San Francisco and sparked a number of scathing editorials in the newspapers. Police Chief Patrick Crowley speedily rectified matters by ordering the "Emperor" released and issuing a formal apology on behalf of the Police Force. The Chief observed of the self-styled monarch "that he had shed no blood; robbed no one; and despoiled no country; which is more than can be said of his fellows in that line."

The whole story makes me really want to visit San Francisco.

"I'm fixated on Redstate."

Isn't life too short for that?

But, hey, far be it for me to advise people on that sort of thing; it's hardly as if my life isn't filled with things that many would fairly categorize as complete wastes of time.

Emperor Norton has long been beloved in the Bay Area; I first ran into friends extolling his history and virtues in 1975. Hell, one of the slightly more eccentric friends of mine more or less made the Emperor a major facet of his life (and spent decades thereafter referring to himself as a "Lhord"; I don't know if he's still doing it only because I've lost touch with him in the last decade).

Another Charles VI here. Not my first choice, actually, that guy had a pretty crappy life.

I did have a friend in high school who built small Tesla coils in his basement. We were, in fact, all very impressed. That seems like a much more fun way to be nuts.

Emperor Norton would be my first choice, though. Sadly, I don't seem to be cut out for it.

CHENEY: If you look at what’s transpired in Iraq, Chris, we have in fact made enormous progress.

All measures of progress depend on what your goal is. The scary thing here is that Cheney may, by his own lights, be telling the truth.

Thanks -

Another Norton here.

Obviously, if I ever have occasion to go to San Francisco and play dress-up, I must don imperial garb, and order the sea lions at Fisherman's Terminal to acclaim my august presence :)

FWIW, my Historical Loony Persona turned out to be the 19th-Century Duke of Portland: the one with the 900 wigs, and the wierd habit of playing "statues" with the help. I feel cheated: the old Duke was a classic cuckoo, of course, but it just didn't seem to have the cachet of a Caligula or Charles VI or Mad King Ludwig. (Or even the fascinating Emperor Norton - must be the titles!)

Yet another Charles the Mad, along with OC Steve, russell, and francis! Quite a little fraternity we've got here.

Or are we (he madly asked) a radish?

Jay C,
I beg to differ! From Wikipedia

He created a complex of underground rooms with an army of hundreds of workmen. They included a large ballroom 174 by 64 feet (53 by 20 metres) wide, a library 250 feet (76 metres) long, an observatory with a large glass roof and a vast billiards-room. The ballroom had a hydraulic lift that could carry 20 guests from the surface and a ceiling that was painted as a giant sunset. However, he never organized any party in this ballroom.

The eight tunnels under his estate were reputed to have totalled 15 miles (24 km) and connected various underground chambers and above-ground buildings. The longest of these was even alleged to have emerged at Worksop railway station, though there is no evidence for this claim. A 1¼ mile (2 km) tunnel runs north-east from the coach house, emerging at South Lodge. This tunnel was supposedly wide enough for two carriages. It had domed skylights and by night it was illuminated by gaslight. This and other tunnels are shown on the Ordnance Survey Explorer map of the area, though only the largest can be readily seen on aerial photographs

(snip)

His workmen were given an order not to recognise his presence (one who saluted him was reputedly dismissed on the spot) and they received all instructions in writing. Otherwise he paid good wages, and his workmen received an umbrella and a donkey to come to work. Roads, farms and schools in his estate were kept in good condition and he created a large vegetable garden.

Good wages for the working man, engineering ability, I'd hoist a pint with him (assuming he would permit it of course)

Cheney's statement is very likely literally and precisely true when you think in the way he seems to, with a detachment from humane concerns. I've commented on this before about some aspects of movement conservative and libertarian thought on some issues. Take health care - they can recite endless statistics about wait times for particular procedures, usage of particular pieces of hardware, and like that, but when you ask about nation-wide issues like how satisfied people are with their care, lifespan, percentage of life spent sick, and so on, then they just go blank. The whole has no meaning or at least no interest for them. Abstractions like per capita income are fine; real wages for any group smaller than the whole are not. And so on, on down the line.

I am quite sure that it doesn't take a whole lot of jiggering to produce many specific quantities one can point at and say "See how improved it is." And they only pale by comparison to the human experiences if you care about the human experiences. Cheney doesn't. Nor do a lot of the people around him.

Off topic - Interview of Chalabi just prior to the Iraq invasion.

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