Raznor's Rants

Costarring Raznor's reality-based friends!

Monday, November 29, 2004


Well, I've now applied to McGill and Princeton. Still have Berkeley, UC San Diego, Michigan, and Maryland and others to do. But it's coming along.

Sometime in the near future I plan on an in depth post on the remarkable parallels between George W Bush and Napoleon III. Soon, I say.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Damn, been a while since I blogged

Busy, and all. Crunch time for grad apps, again. Maybe by next year I'll be in Berkeley or Montreal. We'll see.

Friday, November 12, 2004


Well, I've got the GRE Subject test tomorrow in Phoenix (since it's not offered in Flagstaff). Wish me luck. And for any Raznor fans who happen to work with ETS, it would be both unethical and wrong for you to e-mail me the answers so (wink) don't . . .

But wish me luck anyway.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Breaking News: Bush Appoints the Dread Lord Cthuhlu as New Attorney General

Count on Raznor's Rants to bring you breaking news as it happens:

WASHINGTON(Reuters)-Shortly after the resignation of John Ashcroft from the office of Attorney General, newly reelected President George W. Bush has appointed the Lord Cthuhlu to replace him.

"I still remember the objectives John [Ashcroft] added to his resume," Vice President Dick Cheney said in a soon to be televised interview with Dan Rather. "They were simple: to burn the Bill of Rights and destroy the lives of countless Americans. I remember thinking, 'wow, this guy is evil.' But now that he's gone, I thought it was time to take things to the next step. When I saw Cthuhlu's objectives I was floored. I mean, don't get me wrong, John's evil, but he's not eat-the-world evil. I believe the new Attorney General will be able to take this whole evil thing to a whole new level."

Cthuhlu was unavailable for comment, as he was busy with his new responsibilities which include, according to a recent press release, revising the PATRIOT act, reviewing lists of wanted terrorists and other criminals, and reawakening the Pantheon of Elder Gods that they may lay their seeds of destruction across the entire planet and all who live upon it.

Cthuhlu was appointed overwhelmingly in both houses of Congress. After the vote, Senate Democrats proceeded to bend over so that Republicans could stuff various alien objects in their asses. This was in accordance with protocol passed unanimously shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001 while the Democratic standard practice was letting Bush get away with whatever the fuck he wants.

As predicted by beltway pundits, the appointment of the Cthuhlu did not effect the President's popularity among his base. When asked for comment, Pat Robertson, who was at the time enduring tortuous pain at the hands of the Elder Gods, said, "I am pleased that we have a morally righteous administration in the White House." Robertson was then swallowed alive by the dread Cthuhlu, where he is expected to remain alive for a week while undergoing what can only be described as unimaginable pain.

Ohio resident Kris Grabbel, who voted for Bush in last week's election, defended his choice when asked, stating, "Hey, there's no reason to fear terrorism anymore."

He then added, "ARGH, THE UNSPEAKABLE PAIN!!!!"

Preach on, Tomorrow!

I loved this little tidbit from Tom Tomorrow:

...when I use the shorthand of "red staters," I guess I mean it more as a state of mind--remember, I am from Iowa myself, and not given to writing people off on the basis of geography. Nonetheless, I have been rightly chastised for promulgating this red v. blue crap--when the reality is that it's mostly a purple country that happens to have tilted ever-so-slightly in favor of the Republicans this year.

Damn straight. Just 'cos someone is from a red state or blue state doesn't determine their political orientation. I'm a red-stater - since Arizona voters gave Truman the nod in 1948, the only Democratic candidate to get Arizona's vote was Clinton in 1996 - yet as we all know, I'm also a GAY British Socialist from New York. Figure that one out.

David Rees sums up the election

Monday, November 08, 2004

The Importance of Fallujah

Before I begin, the usual disclaimers - this will be a post analyzing the current siege on Fallujah. As such I should remind you that I'm not an expert of military tactics, and I don't claim to know all the details of the current conflict. The nature of military conflict is such that even commanders on the field can't possibly perceive all relevant details, let alone a civilian who resides safely thousands of miles away from the battlefield. One would hope that in twenty years, military historians will be able to sort through the mesh and find the relevant facts, but even then it's never easy. Still, I'll do what I can.

My longtime readers know I've been pretty skeptical about comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam, but lately it's looking more and more like Vietnam is the best analogy to our conflict with Iraq. What I mean is, there was a point in Vietnam, say by 1969, where we couldn't win. But it still took 4 years, and thousands of American lives before we finally pulled out, and in the end, all we accomplished was delaying the North's conquest of South Vietnam until 1975.

So, how is this analogous to our current operation in Iraq? Well, I believe that our current operations in Fallujah is quite possibly the most critical part of this war. By which I mean, if we fail to stabilize Fallujah, we have no hope of stabilizing Iraq.

Now, I should clarify what I mean by "stabilizing Fallujah". It's not enough to establish a clear military victory, nor to demonstrate our military might to insurgents. That's the easy part (and likely that will be hard enough on it's own). What I mean by stability is a standard of law and order in the streets, and the overwhelming majority of the population either supports our actions, support the stability we bring, or are too scared to resist. Turning Fallujah into a happy terrorist and insurgent free land with gum drop trees and unicorns dancing on rainbows is probably outside of our ability, but things can still remain relatively peaceful.

Before elaborating, I'll say that even if we succeed in stabilizing Fallujah, that does not mean we'll have this war won, nor does it even mean we have victory in our sights. What it means is that the war can be won in the foreseeable future, by which I mean, we can turn Iraq into a relatively stable, relatively Democratic sovereign nation.

But what if we fail? The rational course of action, as I see it, would be to pull out. I should clarify, we should loudly pull out, and announce to the world we cannot maintain a stabile Iraq and cannot afford the level of casualties we are seeing for the foreseeable future, and plan to have all forces out of Iraq shortly after the January elections - say, by February. At this point, we can wait and see what happens - any nation whose national interest requires a stabile Mesopotamia will likely, should they believe that we are serious, offer a portion of their Armed forces to help in Iraq on condition that America stays. If we get enough international help, this can put a new face on the conflict - we would absorb fewer casualties, and a more international coalition would receive more popular support. However, if we do not get enough foreign help for this, we should then make good on our promise and pull out. At worst, this means Iraq will descend into chaos and civil war, but that's better than losing thousands of American soldiers only to have Iraq descend into chaos and civil war anyway.

Do I expect this to occur? Well, I doubt it. Bush has established firmly that he will not accept the reality of Iraq, and even if he did, he would not take such a surely unpopular course in Iraq. But, that's just what's happening specifically with Bush. Even if we had a President Kerry, or a President Dean, or a President McCain, or even a President Nader, I'd doubt they'd take this action, even if my assessment of Fallujah is correct. Universally, national policy is usually not rationally based. This is especially true in a time of war, when National Pride comes to play. So the best we, over here, can hope for is that the raids in Fallujah go well, and we succeed in stabilizing the city. We'll have to wait and see.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Somebody really, REALLY hates me

Someone went onto a rightwingnews.com on september 4 and wrote this:


Anybody following the link will come here. I, of course never wrote that. So, to any readers who may have followed the link, I do not goad people to come here like that. If you want to debate, no problem, but this all comes from a vendetta from Bill, who if you'll read below has already committed fraud in his personal crusade against me, so like any maniac, I wouldn't put anything past him.

Friday, November 05, 2004

And a note to other commenters, don't feed the trolls

If you see a comment by Bill or one of his obvious alteregos, or any troll, simply ignore them. Since Bill's supposed to be banned anyway, I'll delete him whenever he gets around it.

Okay Bill, or whoever, this has gone far enough

I received this e-mail from E-Bay:

Dear eBay member,

You have received this email because you or someone else had used your identity to make false purchases on eBay. For security reasons, we are required to open an investigation on this matter. We treat online fraud seriously and all cases which cannot be resolved between eBay and the other involved party are forwarded for further investigations to the proper authorities. To speed up this process, you are required to verify your personal information against the eBay account registration data we have on file by following the link below.

Of course, I don't even have an account with E-Bay, never have. The fact that this e-mail was sent to my blog e-mail account means this account was opened in retaliation.

Filling out guestbooks is one thing, actual fraud is another. I sent them as much information as I could on you, I hope it's enough.

I don't see what you think you're accomplishing by fighting me, but I've had enough of it.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Some good post-election posts

Ampersand has probably the best post-election post out there. Here's an excerpt:

In 1986, Ronald Reagan won re-election, and the world seemed pretty hopeless. Look at all that's happened since then - not all good, but real progress has been made. Not all of the next twenty years will be good, either - but that doesn't mean that we can't move forward a lot between now and 2024.

Read the rest, a little cautious optimism is better than no optimism at all.

In a similar vein, Josh Marshall reminds Democrats not to give up our newfound organizational strength, just because it failed to get a Democrat elected after 24 months.

In the meanwhile, August Pollak reminds us who Bush's constitiency really is. My favorite line:

For one thing, this "Bush recieved more votes in any election" line is kind of silly, considering the person who recieved the second-largest amount of votes in any presidential election, if I'm not mistaken, was John Kerry. The attempt to cast Bush's 1%-in-Ohio victory as a Reagan revolution is laughable.

So enjoy.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Look on the bright side

After another four years, this first Bush term will seem like some sort of Utopian fantasy land by comparison!

Oh well. If nothing else, this reminds me that I have to finish my application to McGill. Then I could be laughing it up in Montreal, listening to The Stills and going to Candiens games while America is burning.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Florida? That is sooo 2000!!

Don't you know, Ohio is the new Florida.

On Punditry

As I tell anyone who will listen, the reason I can't stand telivision is because it essentially amounts to a self-fellating contest. For that reason, I like blogs a lot more. They're more independent, and you can find quite a few good ones.

That doesn't mean that there are blogs with an overhyped sense of self-importance, who are more than willing to step in and say, "Look, TV Pundits, I can self-fellate too!"

For example, via Crooked Timber Roger L Simon had this to say about the election:

If the Kerry does win, the mainstream media will have gotten him elected with their biased coverage and they will pay for it more than they could imagine. And it will be the blogosphere and you, our supporters, who will make them pay. Our strength will grow incremently [sic] with a Kerry victory in terms of influence and even economic power. And both will be at the expense of the mainstream media. Yes, we too have “plans.”

Glenn Reynolds says a similar thing. Basically, the media, which has constantly focused on Kerry's "flip-flops", allowed a clearly lying group of Swift Boat Veterans and overly political archbishops their anti-Kerry say, and gives a basic clearance to so many of Bush's obvious lies, are biased against Kerry since they refuse to simply report that things are going swimmingly in Iraq, which they clearly are because Dear Fatherly Leader says so!


Monday, November 01, 2004

Don't forget to vote

Me, I'm voting for Cobra Commander.

Seriously, though, get out and vote.

PS If Cobra Commander loses this election, you know it'll be due to the media, and their damn pro-GI Joe propaganda.