micah holmquist's irregular thoughts and links

Welcome to the musings and notes of a Cadillac, Michigan based writer named Micah Holmquist, who is bothered by his own sarcasm.

Please send him email at micahth@chartermi.net.

Holmquist's full archives are listed here.

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Sites Holmquist trys, and often fails, to go no more than a couple of days without visiting (some of which Holmquist regularly swipes links from without attribution)

Aljazeera.Net English
AlterNet (War on Iraq)
Alternative Press Review
Always Low Prices -- Always
Another Irani online
antiwar.com (blog)
Asia Times Online
Axis of Logic
Baghdad Burning (riverbend)
BBC News
blogdex.net ("track this weblog")
The Christian Science Monitor (Daily Update)
Common Dreams
Daily Rotten
Democracy Now
The Drudge Report
Eat the Press (Harry Shearer, The Huffington Post)
Empire Notes (Rahul Mahajan)
frontpagemag.com (HorowitzWatch)
Guardian Unlimited
The Independent
Information Clearing House
Informed Comment (Juan Cole)
Iranians for Peace

Iraq Dispatches (Dahr Jamail)
Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation
Iraq Occupation and Resistance Report (Psychoanalysts for Peace and Justice)
Mr. Show and Other Comedy
The Narco News Bulletin (blog)
The New York Times
Occupation Watch
Political Theory Daily Review
Press Action
Project Syndicate
Raed in the Middle (Raed Jarrar)
The Simpsons Archive
Simpsons Collector Sector
Technorati ("search for mth.blogspot.com")
United States Central Command
U.S. Embassy Baghdad, Iraq
War Report (Project on Defense Alternatives)
The Washington Post
Wildfire (Jo Wilding)
wood s lot
www.mnftiu.cc (David Rees)

Blogs that for one reason or another Holmquist would like to read on at least something of a regular basis (always in development)

Thivai Abhor
As'ad AbuKhalil
Ken Adrian
Christopher Allbritton
Douglas Anders
Mark W. Anderson
Aziz Ansari
Atomic Archive
James Benjamin
Elton Beard
Charlie Bertsch
alister black
Blame India Watch
Blog Left: Critical Interventions Warblog / war blog
Igor Boog
Martin Butler
Chris Campbell
James M. Capozzola
Avedon Carol
Elaine Cassel
cats blog
Jeff Chang
Margaret Cho
Citizens Of Upright Moral Character
Louis CK
Les Dabney
Natalie Davis
Scoobie Davis
The Day Job
Jodi Dean
Dominic Duval
Steve Earle
Daniel Ellsberg
Tom Engelhardt
Lisa English
Barbara Flaska
Brian Flemming
Joe Foster
Yoshie Furuhashi
Al Giordano
Rob Goodspeed
Grand Puba
Guardian Unlimited Weblog
Pete Guither
The Hairy Eyeball
Ray Hanania
Mark Hand
Hector Rottweiller Jr's Web Log Jim Henley Arvin Hill Hit & Run (Reason) Hugo Clark Humphrey Indri The Iraqi Agora Dru Oja Jay Jeff Lynne d Johnson Dallas Jones Julia Kane Blues Benjamin Kepple Ken Layne Phil Leggiere Brian Linse Adam Magazine Majority Report Radio Marc Maron Josh Marshall Jeralyn Merritt J.R. Mooneyham Michael Scott Moore Bob Morris Bob Mould Mr. Show and Tell Muslims For Nader/Camejo David Neiwert NewPages Weblog Aimee Nezhukumatathil Sean O'Brien Patton Oswalt The Panda's Thumb Randy Paul Rodger A. Payne Ian Penman politx Neal Pollack Greg Proops Pro-War.com Pure Polemics Seyed Razavi Rayne Simon Reynolds richardpryor.com Clay Richards Mike Rogers Yuval Rubinstein
Steven Rubio
Saragon Noah Shachtman Court Schuett The Simpsons Archive Amardeep Singh Sam Smith Soundbitten Jack Sparks Ian Spiers Morgan Spurlock Stand Down: The Left-Right Blog Opposing an Invasion of Iraq Aaron Stark Morgaine Swann Tapped (The American Prospect) tex Matthew Tobey Annie Tomlin Tom Tomorrow The University Without Condition Jesse Walker Warblogger Watch Diane Warth The Watchful Babbler The Weblog we have brains Matt Welch
Alex Whalen
Jon Wiener
Lizz Winstead
James Wolcott
Wooster Collective
Mickey Z

Sunday, February 15, 2004
Why Rumplestiltskin envies Team Bush

Jeff Jarvis writes:

Fred Wilson lists 11 character traits that make CEOs fail.
As I read the list, I couldn't help but think the list fits someone running for President pretty well.
You guess.
Looking at the list, I suspect there is a chance that there just might be a possibility that it is Bush, but first it should be noted that Wilson says the list is from a book entitled Why CEOs Fail.

O.K. here are the traits:

Arrogance— you think that you're right, and everyone else is wrong.
Melodrama— you need to be the center of attention.
Volatility— you're subject to mood swings.
Excessive Caution— you're afraid to make decisions.
Habitual Distrust— you focus on the negatives.
Aloofness — you're disengaged and disconnected.
Mischievousness— you believe that rules are made to be broken.
Eccentricity— you try to be different just for the sake of it.
Passive Resistance— what you say is not what you really believe.
Perfectionism— you get the little things right and the big things wrong.
Eagerness to Please— you try to win the popularity contest.

Bush has been known to not answer questions that have been asked of him but just go over the themes he wants to cover thereby indicating that he doesn't feel his decisions should be questioned (arrogance). Bush wants other countries to follow his orders or, to put it another way, he wants everything to revolve around him (melodrama). Before the invasion of Iraq Bush couldn't decide whether Saddam's regime was an imminent threat or not and, in a highly related manner, Bush has said that it was known that Saddam's now deposed regime had weapons of mass destruction but, at another time, only that Saddam could develop them at some point (Volatility). Bush took a fair amount of time to respond to the ostensibly imminent threat of Iraq and wasn't too forceful about finding and neutralizing the weapons of mass destruction that could kill us all once the invasion had begun (Excessive Caution). Bush always focuses on the negatives in terms of the dangers face by the U.S. (Habitual Distrust).

Perhaps what I termed to be an example of "Arrogance" on the part of Bush is really just "Aloofness." The fact that Bush doesn't think he should be held accountable for his administration's changing story is example that fits this definition of "Mischievousness." Bush may not be "Eccentric" but that is probably just because he appears to be a boring person aside from his exercise of power. His rampant dishonesty -"the terrorists" is perhaps the most striking example of this- shows that he fits this definition of "Passive Resistance." The son of H.W. wants to defeat terrorism. Talk about "Perfectionism"! The guy is either extremely manipulative or doesn't understand the absurdity of such a goal. As far as "Eagerness to Please," in his State of the Union addy Bush said "the American people are using their money far better than government" before talking about all the government spending he wants to do. Everyone was supposed to be made happy by this.

So will Bush fail?

My guess is not, either because these metrics don't apply to presidents and/or my responses were as much sarcastic as not. (Take your pick.) I don't fear Bush will "fail." I fear that he will succeed in the most significant arena of his presidency.

Maybe it is just my pessimism but I suspect that Bush will be reelected easily if he puts the focus on his "record," by which I mean the "war on terror" with its very popular narrative. The "war on terror" should be the primary issue in this election and, ironically enough, it most likely will be.

And even if Bush does lose to Kerry, or whoever the Dems nominate, it appears almost certain that the "war on terror" will continue. Bush will still have succeeded with flying colors on the primary project of his administration.

The Bush Administration reminds me of Rumplestiltskin -a character I always had a hard time as seeing morally inferior to the miller's daughter because taking someone's baby as a payment seems no worse than agreeing to give one's baby away for services to be rendered- dancing around the fire, confident of victory. But unlike Rumplestiltskin they can, in the aggregate, admit the secret -that the "war on terror" represents the manipulation of the public as much as anything else- that could in theory cause them to lose. They can do this because just about nobody amongst those of Respectable Opinion will make the critique and point out the truth. There may be spies combing the cyberwoods, but they won't be taken seriously.


The above grafs reflect one of the two things that worry me most about my criticism of the "war on terror." Am I becoming a crank? A paranoid obsessed conspiracy theorist? I don't think so but such people are often not the best judge of their own state.

I also want to avoid personalizing this criticism. Yes I think Bush, Rummy, Powell, Wolfie, Rice and the rest are despicable people but the "war on terror" is best understood not so much as a new physical project but as a new ideological project that aims to give an all-encompassing justification to the interventions Uncle Sam would otherwise have had to come up with a new explanation for in order to participate in. They are products of a system, not those who control the system. (I should point out that I don't believe there actually is anybody in "control." One of the primary deficiencies of much of even the best of Marxist thought is the reliance on the existence of a "ruling class" to explain why something happens, when in fact they should be talking about the dynamics of real existing economic/political systems, which are based, with only very few exceptions, a combination of authoritarianism, central planning, democracy and free markets.)


You'll notice I didn't list "the ability to effect change" in the above section. I've given up on that.

Is it better to be Him than Bugs Raplin, or just more depressing?