Inhuman Swill : Page 152
Why is my blog called Inhuman Swill? Because you can unscramble the pieces to make William Shunn.

Loose lips sink ships

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A sobering little tale can be found here, relating to a Secret Service visit one [info]anniesj received as a result of a LiveJournal posting. It's sobering not because it shows the Secret Service is thorough about investigating threats to POTUS, but because it reminds us there are people out there ready to report the silliest things to the FBI.

(Via King of Zembla.)

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Coffee, tea, or privacy?

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I'm delighted to say I can finally trump the stories we've swapped here about cell phones in men's room stalls. A few minutes ago I was contentedly ensconced in a stall, musing on the conundra of existence, when I heard the outer door open.

"Bill? Bill?" called the voice of a fellow employee.

Had something happened to my wife? "Uh, yeah?" I called back.

"I'm going out for coffee. Want coffee?"

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I ran across this strange passage ... oh, somewhere online, in some old science fiction story:

Mr. Kemmelman had once been a protestor, as I have learned from various sources at the Hawthorne Academy. He once led faculty opposition to many of the policies of the Board of Trustees, and when most of the Board had wanted him terminated, it was Jack Wheelock who had saved him. Wheelock had persuaded the Board that it was better to grant the faculty a few concessions than to risk creating a martyr.

Now Mr. Kemmelman was a player in Wheelock's inauguration, about to demonstrate to the nation the depths of his support for the new president. This is what becomes of protestors in the new America. A way is found to turn them. The lucky ones, that is.

All the October polls had showed Wheelock behind. According to the media, there was no way he could win—but then he did win, decisively. He found the support he needed when he needed it, in places no one else had thought to look, and this leads me to a heretical thought:

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String of moonstones

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Here's the necklace I want.

(Hey, my first non-political post in days!)

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Whither P&T?

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Anyone else finding it impossible to access NielsenHayden.com today?

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The white hats

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I posted the following in response to comments in [info]the_monkey_king's journal. Since by the time I was finished ranting, I wasn't sure the response was actually relevant to the discussion any longer, I figured I'd reproduce it here.


Our problem is that we are inevitably the hero of our national narrative. It isn't just the politicians of today but the American myth itself that tells us we're always the Good Guy, the White Hat, the Messiah Hisself, and that we can never do any wrong. What America does is, a priori, the Right Thing To Do.

Of course, it's not that way to everyone, but enough people have unquestioningly absorbed this myth that belief in the national narrative is now the only possible definition of patriotism in their minds. America has done nothing terrible enough yet—at least, nothing that the world has been able to force us to confront, as happened with Germany in World War II—to force us to reevaluate this myth. (America has skeletons in its closet a-plenty, starting with genocide during the Philippine-American war between 1899 and 1902, or probably starting earlier, but nothing we've let stick to us.)

My father says that no one person has done more damage to America in the past 30 years than John Kerry. I assume he believes this outrageous sentiment because Kerry dared to stand up in 1971 as a decorated war hero and point out that the American myth was untrue, that the emperor had no clothes. I believe there's still a giant, blinkered segment of the populace that will never forgive him for that. (Kerry, I mean, not my father.)

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A yard or two

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Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo says:

This isn't 1964 or 1972 or 1980. This wans't a blow-out or a repudiation. It was close to a tie -- unfortunately, on the other guy's side. Let's not put our heads in the sand but let's also not get knocked off our game....

Take time to feel the desolation and disappointment. But I remain confident that time is not on the side of the kind of values and politics that President Bush represents. It took conservatives two decades to build up the institutional muscle they have today....

President Bush and the Republicans now control the entire national government, even more surely now than they have over the last four years. They do so on the basis of garnering the votes of 51% or 52% of the population. But they will use that power as though there were no opposition at all. That needs to be countered.

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Cue "Taps"

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Consider our Arab friends

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Before I say what I have to say, consider that I do not believe fundamentalism to be a necessary consequence of religious belief or spiritual practice, at least not at an individual level.

Now consider that during Europe's Dark Ages there was no civilization where the light of education, science, and the arts flourished as it did in the Islamic world.

Now consider the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and where the Middle East is today economically, socially, and politically.

Now consider the rise and dawning triumph of Christian fundamentalism in America, and I dare you not to tremble as you contemplate the treacherous, slippery, precipitous slope that lies just beyond our feet.

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Dear rest of the world and future generations—

We're sorry we let you down. We'll try harder next time, we promise.

William Shunn

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The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

Signed editions
that even a
missionary
could afford.

Order yours now!

William Shunn

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