May 30, 2014

Hunger Games...

Obama Girls Enjoy 'Best School Lunch in America;' Public Schoolers Lament 'Let's Move' Meals | CNS News:

...With public school students using #ThanksMichelle to tweet photos of their skimpy, stomach-turning school lunches, I decided to look at what Michelle Obama's daughters are served at Sidwell Friends school, and it turns out the girls dine on lunches from menus designed by chefs.

First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" program is responsible for low calorie limits on public school students and lunch gruel that resulted in tweets like this:

First Lady Michelle Obama's daughters attend Sidwell Friends, and their meals include hot lunches that are prepared every day fresh-from-scratch. The company that caters the food, Meriwether-Godsey, uses chefs to prepare the food on-site - from scratch - with local and organic foods where possible.

Here's a sampling of the school's "soup of the day": Borscht, Tuscan white bean, Italian bean and kale, calico wild rice, Thai chicken coconut soup, local butternut squash soup, chilled cucumber and mint soup, and chilled blueberry soup.

Other delectable lunch items include:

Crusted tilapia
Herb roasted chicken
Strawberries and chevre salad
Freshly baked muffins
Pesto cream & garden fresh marinara sauce
Cheese tortellini
All natural house-made chicken fingers
Scallion rice
Roasted edamame & Shitake mushrooms ...

There's more, but I'll stop here. Before I barf.

These people are crazy. Liberals have become literally and simply crazy. Insane. Sick. They are lost in a wilderness of their own making.

You have to destroy your mind and conscience to be a "liberal" today. A leftist. A "Progressive," or a "Quaker." These all started out with good intentions, and have all turned into twisted monsters.

Liberalism (libertarianism too) takes many forms, but is always deep-down the idea that we humans can navigate ourselves, by our own reason. Without reference to any external landmarks or guide-stars. This always fails , for the same reason Inertial Navigation always fails for ships or spacecraft. Astronauts on our Lunar flights took frequent star sights, using sextants. They corrected their navigation by referring to the fixed stars.

Every "liberal" voyage goes astray, because they have no fixed stars for guidance.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:33 PM

April 22, 2014

Witless folly...

"Social engineers." Egad. As Tim Blair once wrote, "Nothing good ever begins with the word 'social.'" This piece is a good example.

The Limits of Big Data: A Review of Social Physics by Alex Pentland | MIT Technology Review:

...Even if we assume that the privacy issues can be resolved, the idea of what Pentland calls a "data-driven society" remains problematic. Social physics is a variation on the theory of behavioralism that found favor in McLuhan's day, and it suffers from the same limitations that doomed its predecessor. Defining social relations as a pattern of stimulus and response makes the math easier, but it ignores the deep, structural sources of social ills. Pentland may be right that our behavior is determined largely by social norms and the influences of our peers, but what he fails to see is that those norms and influences are themselves shaped by history, politics, and economics, not to mention power and prejudice. People don't have complete freedom in choosing their peer groups. Their choices are constrained by where they live, where they come from, how much money they have, and what they look like. A statistical model of society that ignores issues of class, that takes patterns of influence as givens rather than as historical contingencies, will tend to perpetuate existing social structures and dynamics. It will encourage us to optimize the status quo rather than challenge it.

Politics is messy because society is messy, not the other way around. Pentland does a commendable job in describing how better data can enhance social planning. But like other would-be social engineers, he overreaches. Letting his enthusiasm get the better of him, he begins to take the metaphor of "social physics" literally, even as he acknowledges that mathematical models will always be reductive. "Because it does not try to capture internal cognitive processes," he writes at one point, "social physics is inherently probabilistic, with an irreducible kernel of uncertainty caused by avoiding the generative nature of conscious human thought." What big data can't account for is what's most unpredictable, and most interesting, about us.

"Social Physics" can't tell you what The Good is. It can't tell you what is important, what it is that you should be looking for. I think it was Einstein who said, your theory controls what you can see.

...Once we write the algorithms needed to parse all that "big data," many sociologists and statisticians believe, we'll be rewarded with a much deeper understanding of what makes society tick...

No you won't. You will just see whatever you already believe. Like those academics who, from time to time, "prove" by "scientific" research that Republicans are crazy and conservatives are stupid. Or that Australian "scientist" who proved that those who deny the Climate Change Religion are more likely to believe crazy conspiracy theories.

You can see here the fundamental absurdity of liberalism, which is always, deep down, the idea that we humans can guide ourselves, by our own reason, without reference to external landmarks. Even if it worked, this kind of thinking can't tell you where you should try to go.

...What really excites Pentland is the prospect of using digital media and related tools to change people's behavior, to motivate groups and individuals to act in more productive and responsible ways...

"More productive" of what? Who defines "responsible?" Wanna bet that "science" will tell us that social scientists from MIT are the ideal candidates for such power?

Posted by John Weidner at 6:35 PM

February 10, 2014

"You can't bring a dead horse to life"

Roger L. Simon » Seinfeld, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times: Scenes from the Culture War:

...I certainly agree about the mind-bending banality of the Times opinion page and the windiness (at best) of Friedman. But I think the reporters are off the mark on the cause.  They can blame it on Rosenthal if they wish -- I have no opinion, not working there -- but the real problem is far greater than any one editor.

To adopt what is becoming a modern cliché -- it's the ideology, stupid.

The Times reporters complained of the page's uniformly negative tone, but not even S.J. Perelman or P.G. Wodehouse could write with verve in the service of modern liberalism.  You can't bring a dead horse to life.  No writer is that good -- at least on a regular basis.

How, for example, do you write an eloquent defense of Obamacare or justify the administration's actions in Benghazi without resorting to the kind of obfuscation that makes for convoluted, or at best tedious, writing? How do you advocate for yet more government programs in a country already so mired in debt it's hard to see how it will ever get out?  It's Keynesian economics itself that's the problem, not Paul Krugman.

Although I admire many of the writers at the Wall Street Journal, let's admit they have a lot more to work with, a plethora of easy targets for a man or woman with even a modicum of wit. We live in an era when readers  are distrusting big government more than ever.  Where does that leave the NYT, that great tribune of of ever-expanding government? With a bunch of grumps on their hands....

When I was young the NYT was referred to as "the flagship of the Eastern Liberal Establishment." But back then there really was an "establishment," a generally recognized set of ideas and people that almost everyone considered the legitimate guides of our society. And it was as much Republican as Democrat.

But that world is gone. Their model was the one created in the last phase of the Industrial Age. It was captured in Richard Nixon's quip, that "we are all Keynesians now." Ironically said at the time when that sort of economics was failing and the Information Age was beginning.

The NYT's business model is to maintain a cocoon where those in denial about the massive failure of "liberal" institutions all around us can pretend that nothing has changed. The real excitement and new ideas are elsewhere.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:21 AM

October 20, 2013

Suppose your "core premise" is a steaming pile of manure?

Obamacare Website Failure Threatens Health Coverage For Millions Of Americans:

...For Obama and the Democrats who've stood behind Obamacare during four years of relentless attacks from Republicans -- including a face-off that led to a 16-day government shutdown and a threat of U.S. default -- failure of this magnitude would discredit a core premise of this presidency, that government can do big things to improve Americans' lives....

It's not just the core premise of this presidency, it's the premise of the entire Democrat party, plus a lot of "establishment Republicans." It's pure Industrial Age thinking, and it should have been dragged into the weeds and shot decades ago.

The simple fact is, that in the Information Age everything moves too fast, changes too frequently, for government regulation and control to work. By the time bureaucrats decide what a problem is and how it should be addressed, the world has moved on and it's all out-of-date. Like the big government anti-trust lawsuit against Microsoft for squooshing Netscape and other companies. Five years later the government was ready to go to court... but Netscape by then was utterly forgotten, and Microsoft was already starting to look like a lumbering dinosaur. (And by the time government is ready to subsidize Microsoft to preserve jobs in Redmond, the situation will have changed again.)

Posted by John Weidner at 7:11 PM

October 6, 2013

It's like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory...

You have doubtless seen the stories about the park service closing monuments, even ones in the open air that need no staff. And spending much more money and manpower to close them than they need when open.

None of this stuff makes sense unless that you realize that 1) The Democrat Party has become government. They are not the party that advocates big government, they are the government. 2) Our government has become a cancer. Like a tumor, it only exists to feed itself, and it needs to eat ceaselessly.

The shutdown threatens its food supply, and its immediate response is to hurt us, the citizens.

Blue Ridge inn's act of defiance lasts about 2 hours:

...O'Connell said Wednesday he would rebel against the order to shutter after seeing World War II veterans reopen their memorial in Washington when barricades blocked the entrances. But he had backed down by the Park Service deadline to close Thursday.

"Conscience, conviction. That's about it," O'Connell said of his decision to reopen after thinking about the situation overnight. He said he would take guests for the weekend as long as the doors were able to remain open.

His family has operated the inn on the parkway about 25 miles from Asheville, N.C., for 35 years. It the only spot for many miles along the 469.1-mile mountain route to sleep or grab a meal and go to the bathroom.

A handful of guests had lunch before Park Service patrol cars blocked the driveways, turning on their orange flashing lights. Rangers turned customers away, saying the government was closed....

I suspect we are in a strange place, well past the leftist plots to gain power that we conservatives often conjecture. That can't explain the quantum weirdness of blocking the access of WWII vets in wheelchairs from an open-air monument. It's political idiocy. But if you imagine the tantrum of a greedy child if you take his candy away...

Posted by John Weidner at 6:21 AM

September 29, 2013

Ha ha. Pelt them with rotten vegetables...

Most fun of the whole day, Study: Everyone hates environmentalists and feminists - Salon.com:

...Why don't people behave in more environmentally friendly ways? New research presents one uncomfortable answer: They don't want to be associated with environmentalists.

That's the conclusion of troubling [charming] new research from Canada, which similarly finds support for feminist goals is hampered by a dislike of feminists.

Participants held strongly negative stereotypes about such activists, and those feelings reduced their willingness "to adopt the behaviors that these activities promoted," reports a research team led by University of Toronto psychologist Nadia Bashir. This surprisingly cruel [accurate] caricaturing, the researchers conclude, plays "a key role in creating resistance to social change." [Social destruction]

Writing in the European Journal of Social Psychology, Bashir and her colleagues describe a series of studies documenting this dynamic. They began with three pilot studies, which found people hold stereotyped [accurate] views of environmentalists and feminists.

In one, the participants--228 Americans recruited via Amazon's Mechanical Turk--described both varieties of activists in "overwhelmingly negative" terms. The most frequently mentioned traits describing "typical feminists" included "man-hating" and "unhygienic;" for "typical environmentalists," they included "tree-hugger" and "hippie." [Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of commies.]...
Posted by John Weidner at 8:24 PM

June 23, 2013

Climate thinking that smells right to me...




Take a look at this graph, from the work of Dr Syun-Ichi Akasofu, of the International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks. [Link]

I spend a lot of time wandering the realm of climate studies. So I'm not ignorant. And Dr Akasofu's graph makes a heap of sense to me. That dashed line is the general warming trend, about 1°C per 100 years, as the earth recovers from the Little Ice Age, which hit its low point about 1800.

The observed climate forms a sine wave superimposed on that warming trend. The box shows the time period with good observational data being considered. Note the darker red line within the box. That follows the increasing temperature trend as the wave leaves the low point of the 1970's, and rises during the 1980's and early 90's.

What happened in that period? Computer climate models were invented. And baked into all the models was the assumption that increasing CO2 would result in warming. And those models all matched reality—the world really was warming at that time! And they all predicted that the globe would continue to warm, since CO2 was continuing to increase. The pink area labeled IPCC (The UN International Panel on Climate Change) can be considered the combined predictions of all the models.The models have come to be treated as if they are the climate themselves, and nature is just a dullard that isn't conforming very well to the software of reality.

Once it dawned on the world's leftists (which includes most scientists) that this predicted warming was a perfect excuse to seize power and wealth, and crush freedom and democracy, warmist scientists were showered with grants, tenures, prestige, and trips to luxurious climate conferences in posh venues. So, surprise surprise, scientists produced ever more of the kind of research that was being rewarded. And any dissenters were attacked and ostracized, so they mostly kept their heads below the parapets.

Akasofu's climate graph


BUT, the sinusoidal wave always turns back. Sometime in the 1990's the climate leveled off. This was assumed at first to be just a random fluctuation. But during the "noughties" (is that a word?) the leveling-off continued, with maybe some signs of cooling, and by, say, 2010, was becoming too obvious to ignore. And people like me made our popcorn, and settled back in our seats to watch the commies squirm and make excuses and lash-out in their desperation.

One of the many reasons that Akasofu's works smells right to me is that I was there back in the 1970's, when predictions of an imminent ice age were being made. And the same power-grabs were being attempted, although they didn't have time to really take effect before the wave headed upwards.

Pollution and cooling requires sacrifice democracy


UPDATE: Here's a very interesting piece on the Little Ice Age. But I was amused by the fear evidenced in this author's intro...

Note to general public:
My position on the current global warming is the same as the overwhelming majority of international climate scientists: the current rate of global warming is unprecedented and is being caused by humans. In no way can my summary of the research regarding the impact of regional climate change on the Viking civilization and Europe during the Little Ice Age be used to "prove" the current global warming is due to a natural cycle...

Of course his work, while not proving anything, is a strong indicator that current warming is in fact natural. The same is true of the Medieval Warm Period. That's why the warmists have used foul deceits to try to make those variations go away.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:55 AM | Comments (8)

June 5, 2013

I witnessed something just like this...

Secret Man Caves Found in EPA Warehouse:

...A warehouse maintained by contractors for the Environmental Protection Agency contained secret rooms full of exercise equipment, televisions and couches, according to an internal audit.

EPA’s inspector general found contractors used partitions, screens and piled up boxes to hide the rooms from security cameras in the 70,000 square-foot building located in Landover, Md. The warehouse -- used for inventory storage -- is owned by the General Services Administration and leased to the EPA for about $750,000 per year....

I used to own a bookstore. It was called Civic Center Books, and it was close to SF's Federal Building. (The old ugly tyrannical one, not the new ugly nihilistic tyrannical one.) The State Building was close too. My main customer base was government workers. A nice bunch in general.

But there was one ugly and smelly middle-aged guy I could have done without. He always wore the green uniform of the people who clean and maintain the Federal Building. And his outfit was always sort of grimy and greasy, as if it hadn't been washed in a long time. Smelled like it too. Every day he came in and bought two copies of the Wall Street Journal.

Then one day we read in the newspaper (remember them?) that it had been discovered that he'd been living in a store-room of the Federal Building for 20 years!

Posted by John Weidner at 12:14 PM | Comments (0)

May 14, 2013

“This is what the beginning of tyranny looks like"

The scandal is just getting off the ground. The Dems and government have become the same thing. They are parasites living off of... us.

Multiple Agencies Involved with IRS in Intimidation:

...True the Vote’s experiences with the IRS’s abuse of power were recently discussed by Catherine Engelbrecht in a previous interview with Breitbart News. She said:
We applied for nonprofit C-3 status early in 2010. Since that time the IRS has run us through a gauntlet of analysts and hundreds of questions over and over again. They’ve requested to see each and every tweet I’ve ever tweeted or Facebook post I’ve ever posted. They also asked to know every place I’ve ever spoken since our inception and to whom, and everywhere I intend to speak in the future.
Engelbrecht’s application with the IRS for non-profit status allegedly triggered aggressive audits of one of her family’s personal businesses as well. The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) began a series of inquiries about her and her group; the BATF (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms) began demanding to see her family's firearms in surprise audits of her and her husband’s small gun dealership--which had done less than $200 in sales; OSHA (Occupational Safety Hazards Administration) began a surprise audit of their small family manufacturing business; and the EPA-affiliated TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environment Quality) did a surprise visit and audit due to “a complaint being called in.” 

The Democratic Party of Texas filed a lawsuit against her, as did an ACORN affiliated group. Both the FBI and the BATF continued to poke around her life, the lives of people in her Tea Party group, and her businesses.

Ultimately, the IRS determined that it actually owed a refund to Engelbrecht; the BATF found nothing wrong in any of its repeated visits and audits; OSHA’s fine-toothed comb found reason to demand $25,000 from Engelbrecht’s family business; and TCEQ demanded the Engelbrechts spend $42,000 on additional storage sheds.

“This is what the beginning of tyranny looks like," Engelbrecht said. "My family and I have lived with great concern that we would be subject to even greater government abuses if we were vocal about what they were doing to us because of our political views and our efforts to increase governmental accountability. 

"We are now convinced the only way to protect ourselves from our government is to speak out and bring our story straight to the American people. If such politically-motivated governmental abuses of power can happen to us, they can happen to anyone,” said Engelbrecht....

Lefties at Yearly Kos
Your IRS representatives are ready to help you


Posted by John Weidner at 5:54 PM | Comments (0)

April 28, 2013

Just typical of our time...

Examiner Editorial: How the FBI was blinded by political correctness | WashingtonExaminer.com:

...It is quite possible, though, the FBI agents who interviewed Tsarnaev on both occasions failed to understand what they saw and heard because that's what they were trained to do. As The Washington Examiner's Mark Flatten reported last year, FBI training manuals were systematically purged in 2011 of all references to Islam that were judged offensive by a specially created five-member panel. Three of the panel members were Muslim advocates from outside the FBI, which still refuses to make public their identities. Nearly 900 pages were removed from the manuals as a result of that review. Several congressmen were allowed to review the removed materials in 2012, on condition that they not disclose what they read to their staffs, the media, or the general public....

They probably didn't have to remove the material for it to be removed from the institutional mind. It's unlikely those agents were all trained after 2011. But they probably had absorbed the message that finding too many Islamic terrorists was not going to make them look good or make FBI happy. And that finding the mythical Tea Party terrorist was the Holy Grail, the thing to look for.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:16 AM | Comments (0)

December 18, 2012

Mass shootings occur where guns are banned...

It's that last paragraph that's the killer.. Remember it....

The Facts about Mass Shootings - John Fund - National Review Online:

...Economists John Lott and William Landes conducted a groundbreaking study in 1999, and found that a common theme of mass shootings is that they occur in places where guns are banned and killers know everyone will be unarmed, such as shopping malls and schools.

I spoke with Lott after the Newtown shooting, and he confirmed that nothing has changed to alter his findings. He noted that the Aurora shooter, who killed twelve people earlier this year, had a choice of seven movie theaters that were showing the Batman movie he was obsessed with. All were within a 20-minute drive of his home. The Cinemark Theater the killer ultimately chose wasn’t the closest, but it was the only one that posted signs saying it banned concealed handguns carried by law-abiding individuals. All of the other theaters allowed the approximately 4 percent of Colorado adults who have a concealed-handgun permit to enter with their weapons.

“Disarming law-abiding citizens leaves them as sitting ducks,” Lott told me. “A couple hundred people were in the Cinemark Theater when the killer arrived. There is an extremely high probability that one or more of them would have had a legal concealed handgun with him if they had not been banned.”

Lott offers a final damning statistic: “With just one single exception, the attack on congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2011, every public shooting since at least 1950 in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry guns.”...
Posted by John Weidner at 8:26 PM | Comments (168)

November 27, 2012

Time for tough hate...

Frank J, Make those lazy job-creators pay - NYPOST.com:

...Businesses are worried about profits? How greedy can these people be? Why can’t they be like the government, which has never once worried about profits? Look at what a finely-tuned, well-oiled machine it is — and it only costs a trillion dollars more per year than we can afford.

So what should we do? Republicans say we should coddle businesses. “Oh, poor job creators, can we cut your taxes some more? How about we get these regulations out of your way? And would you like a foot massage?” It’s disgusting.

No, it’s time for tough love. Or better yet, tough hate.

What the unions did to Hostess was a good start. When that company wouldn’t provide the benefits the union wanted (once again because of some nonsense about “profitability”), they just went ahead and shut the company down.

Sure, it may be hard for the 18,500 employees who are going to be laid off, but they’ll find new jobs in a year or two. Anyway, we can’t let the prospect of job losses keep us from going after businesses owners where it hurts them the most: their companies.

And that’s the tough line the government needs to take with job creators: You will spit out those jobs we demand — and good ones with health-care benefits! — or we will destroy you and your businesses...

Both Charlene and I have our one-person businesses in San Francisco. So we know this evil of old. And neither of us has any intention of hiring anybody ever. If we lived in a more business-friendly place, we might.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:35 AM | Comments (0)

November 21, 2012

Empty language...

David Mamet's The Anarchist: The New Left's Terrible Triumph - Hugh Hewitt - Page 2:

...Ezra Klein, Rachel Maddow, Jon Chait and Chris Hayes are the heirs to and current super-egos of the great noise from four decades back, with Kos as its id. That's it: all that is left of the New Left.

But this underwhelming legacy is why the '60s radicals should be thought of as the winners of a long delayed overtime. Not because they have a certified Alinskyite lefty as president. That's a temporary problem. The president has a sell-by date. He can do a lot more damage and no doubt will, but the House isn't going to agree to anything too stupid.

No, the '60s gang won because their utterly empty language triumphed. Endless talk about quite obviously empty propositions passes for debate. It is all cliche. Read the transcript of the president's presser last week. An avalanche of cliche. He doesn't know how else to talk. The press doesn't know how else to ask questions.

The lasting damage of the New Left isn't the fiscal bankruptcy of the country, but it's intellectual bottoming out. Because they were so vacuous, everything became vacuous. This is what I loved about The Anarchist. It batters the conceits of the Left so thoroughly at no one from that land of absurd arguments can leave without knowing Mamet's got their number. Frauds, all of them. Just frauds. Marcuse. Bloch. Rubin. The whole over-the-hill gang of sloganeering hucksters. For this work I am thankful.

But Lord it is depressing....
Posted by John Weidner at 11:52 AM

October 24, 2012

The Empty Chair of Dorian Gray...

Michelle Malkin has a good piece on the "fashion" industry, and their sick devotion to Obama, Fashion Backward: Obama's Hate Couture Divas:

...Talk about wearing your politics on your sleeve. An elitist clique of fashion designers has banded together to raise money for celebrity-in-chief Barack Obama and browbeat their customers into supporting him. Even worse, the Beautiful People who dress the Powerful People are putting increased pressure on conservatives to stay out of the business altogether.

Out: Haute couture. In: Hate couture....

The fashion muckity-mucks are apparently boycotting Republicans and especially Ann Romney!

I suppose Ann will be gracious and conciliatory, but oh how I long for her to slam those animals hard. I'd love to have her chief of staff announce that Ann feels that the ravaged visages of Wintour or Diane von Fürstenberg are perfect "Dorian Gray" portraits revealing what liberalism and the Democrat Party have become--old and morally debauched. Old old OLD.

And that Mrs Romney is going to be wearing dresses by some cool young Israeli designers....

Friend of Israel emblem


Posted by John Weidner at 5:18 PM

October 7, 2012

A little Sunday something for "social justice" Catholics...

...and all the other fake-liberals who think caring for the poor should be left to big government. For those who think you can be both Christian and Leftist. (The items are from Britain's NHS, National Health Service.)

This is PRECISELY what Obama and Pelosi and Reid and all those other "liberal" animals want for us. This IS "Obamacare" a few decades down the line...

Patients starve and die of thirst on hospital wards - Telegraph:

.Forty-three hospital patients starved to death last year and 111 died of thirst while being treated on wards, new figures disclose today....

* there were 558 cases where doctors recorded that a patient had died in a state of severe dehydration in hospitals;

* 78 hospital and 39 care home patients were killed by bedsores, while a further 650 people who died had their presence noted on their death certificates;

* 21,696 were recorded as suffering from septicemia when they died, a condition which experts say is most often associated with infected wounds.

The records, from the Office for National Statistics, follow a series of scandals of care of the elderly, with doctors forced to prescribe patients with drinking water or put them on drips to make sure they do not become severely dehydrated ...

...In Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, Worcestershire, doctors resorted to prescribing patients with drinking water to ensure nurses did not forget, a report from inspectors warned in May last year.

The Care Quality Commission recorded one case where an elderly patient was found to be malnourished when they were admitted to the ward, yet not reassessed until 16 days later.

In many wards nurses were dumping meal trays in front of patients too weak to feed themselves and then taking them away again untouched.

A report by the Health Service Ombudsman last year condemned the NHS for its inhumane treatment of the most vulnerable.

The investigation found patients were left hungry, unwashed or given the wrong drugs because of the "casual indifference of staff"...

...In July, an inquest heard that a young man who died of dehydration at a leading hospital rang 999 for police because he was so thirsty.

Officers arrived at Kane Gorny's bedside, but were told by nurses that he was in a confused state and were sent away.

The footballer and runner, 22, died of dehydration a few hours later, an inquest heard in July...

UPDATE: I think this stuff is really euthanasia. But not done consciously. These are sort of "Freudian slips" out of the collective unconscious of a culture of death. Expect more of this. All European countries are in demographic collapse, and all be having increasing percentages of elderly people in coming decades, and stagnant economies unable to cope.

Posted by John Weidner at 4:35 PM | Comments (5)

October 6, 2012

Them little critters will just jump up and bite you...

This has got to be the kookiest of warning labels. The protractor in this package is about 5" long. But you should wear eye protection! Lordy, what a flabby age we live in.

Protractor with warning label


WORD NOTE: My Army Reserve son has brought home Army slang: "Eye-pro" and "ear-pro." I've started to say the same. Short punchy terms are good things. And as a cabinetmaker, I say: "Wear your ear-pro and eye-pro. (For power tools I mean. Not protractors.) Nobody has tough eyeballs or ear nerves!"

Posted by John Weidner at 6:21 PM

September 30, 2012

Just Got My Car Keyed. Or, Reason #976 I Despise Our Fake-Liberals.

Right above a certain bumper sticker. (It's not actually on the bumper, that's the back door of my van.)

Hmmm. Don't I remember hearing from Leftists and materialists all about how casting off outmoded ideas like religion and patriotism and limited government and morality was going to produce superior human beings? God-like creatures who could achieve their full-potential? Something like that? Maybe I imagined it.

My car keyed, 9-30-2012


Actually I should be glad. The sentiment of the sticker has just been shown to be prophetic!

UPDATE: Better picture...

My car keyed2

Posted by John Weidner at 7:57 PM

September 26, 2012

There are thouands of stories like this right now...

I've no special reason to post this one. I very much doubt that "progressives" are really going to change their thinking. Leftists made faustian bargains with the public employee unions, gaining massive political donations and help, while the unions were allowed to loot the treasuries. Then sat by for decades as governments promised benefits that can't possibly be paid. Plus sat by and tolerated shoddy work and laziness. They can't re-think, they don't dare, because to do so will threaten to expose their horrid guilt.

Most people just won't re-think, period. Henry Ford famously said hat 95% of people would rather die than think. Weidner's corollary to that rule is that 99% of people would rather die than re-think.

Walter Russell Mead, Progressives Sour on Chicago Teachers:

...The larger problem here is that blue policies simply can’t be made to work. Higher taxes won’t fix the problem of an overpriced, underperforming school system; indeed, they will just drive out even more of the city’s tax-generating economic base.

The city is now on a course to make all its problems steadily worse. Chicago is slowly bankrupting itself to sustain a school system it can’t afford that doesn’t educate its kids very well. Somebody, somewhere should explain why supporting slow urban suicide is a “progressive” position....

Well, I just did explain it. "Take it, you're welcome, no extra charge."

Posted by John Weidner at 9:21 AM | Comments (2)

August 23, 2012

Just an example of sloppy thinking...

Or maybe intentionally deceptive. It's hard to tell with liberals...

Ina Hughs: Rights come from government, not God » Knoxville News Sentinel:

"Our rights come from God and nature, not from government."

Those words brought rousing ovations in Norfolk, Va., as Paul Ryan accepted his candidacy as Mitt Romney's running mate.

But even high-octane tea drinkers from the Grand Old Party surely don't intend for our government to renege on its responsibility to ensure not only our civil rights, but our safety, our productivity, our well-being and our freedom.

How silly to say government isn't the arbiter of our rights as Americans, the protector and safeguard of democracy....

Slippery, slippery. "Rights come from government" becomes government is the "arbiter of our rights." Those are of course two different things. No one is claiming that government should not be an arbiter. And mooshing together civil rights with things like "safety" and "productivity" blurs just what rights are. Plus it takes the great authority of the realm of rights and casts it over lesser things, making it easier for government to expand its control over all aspects of life. If you elevate "safety" to the status of a civil right, then clearly government must put hundreds-of-thousands of safety inspectors to work securing our rights!

Posted by John Weidner at 6:43 AM

July 14, 2012

Lordy, how I hate our fake-liberals...

Walter Russell Mead, Blue Blight Update: Largest CA College to Close?:

The collapse of blue California is picking up speed. California’s largest college, which enrolls 90,000 students, faces closure within a year unless the school can essentially reinvent itself. Bad administration, wasteful personnel spending, poor organization, a lack of strategic vision and a series of budget cuts as the state of California frantically hacks at its own budget deficit have brought City College of San Francisco to the brink.

As the Mercury News reports, the college has been ordered to prepare for closure by next March even as administrators and politicians search for ways to keep the school open.Threatening to pull the plug is the state’s accrediting commission that supervises junior and community colleges. Without major reform, the commission says, the College will lose its accreditation in March of 2013 and without accreditation it would lose access to the state funding that keeps it alive....

The Weidners are less than a mile from the main City College campus. One of my boys has been thinking of taking some courses there. Another learned some welding at the Evans campus. I could say a whole bunch of things about the fecklessness and stupidity of our local government, but why bother. It's all going to crash, and then maybe some sanity will be the result.

...But CCSF’s problems point to an important local failure: deep blue San Francisco is not doing a good job at helping low income people. The noble rhetoric about justice and compassion that liberal politicians so eloquently express doesn’t seem matched by particularly inspiring results. To let the community college that offers low income people their most hopeful route of escape from the poverty trap fall into ruin is not the mark of a compassionate or justice seeking political movement...

The only good part is that there aren't any Republicans involved. This is pure Blue evil. Blue Blight

Posted by John Weidner at 4:28 PM | Comments (2)

June 20, 2012

Growth = Life. Being "Sensible" = Death

Gian posted a quote here, and this post grew out of one of my replies...

"Western civilization has made its peace with the Devil, in return for which it has been granted hitherto unimaginable resources of knowledge, power, and pleasure. This is, of course, the grand theme of the Faust legend, immortalized by Goethe."

"Opposition to the growth juggernaut has gathered pace in recent years. Growth, say critics, is not only failing to make us happier; it is also environmentally disastrous. Both claims may well be true, but they fail to capture our deeper objection to endless growth, which is that it is senseless."

By Robert Skidelsky and Edward Skidelsky,
The Chronicle of Higher Education

"they fail to capture our deeper objection to endless growth, which is that it is senseless"

Growth is life. It is equivalent to youth and vitality in a person. And the different flowerings of life are not separable. You can't say, "Let's stop economic growth, but still have vigor in other areas of life." That doesn't work.

The real problem is that these guys are like adults who only want children around if they are subdued and quiet and orderly. That's really saying they don't want children around, period. Youth is both creative and self-destructive. It is noisy, messy, dangerous....and tons of fun for everyone who is still "alive."

Youth is, precisely, "senseless."

Saying you don't want economic growth is like a couple getting married and planning on having one child. Or like drinking half a bottle of champagne, and putting the rest in the refrigerator! Unreal. Prissy.

It's the attitude I see all around me, in "liberal" San Francisco. Which is like a bunch of old people who are comfortable in their little homes, and never change anything, and want most of all to be safe and secure. They are really already dead.

Life is change. Which means turmoil and upheaval and danger and risk. Life isn't supposed to "make you happy." Life is life, you just do it. You just live, whether happy or unhappy. And when you start to look at it like a critical outsider, then you are effectively dead.

I know nothing about these Skidelsky people, but I'd be willing to bet they sniff in disapproval at big families, space colonies (except maybe safe government ones), hot-gospel religion, military action, guns, Tea Partiers, free enterprise, and, of course, America and Israel.

NOTE: if Faust had been 17 years old, then his bargain would not have been a "Faustian" one. Still wrong, of course, but basically the sort of stupid thing teenage boys do.



Posted by John Weidner at 10:14 AM

May 18, 2012

I think this is hilarious...

Elizabeth Warren in a mock-Ken Burns style documentary!

Of course those who I really want to heap scorn upon are the slime-animals of Harvard. Pompous frauds. It is a delight to see them revealed as the phonies they are, pretending to care about minorities, while using "affirmative action" to hire another white liberal lie themselves. Liberals are the real racists. If a real redskin applied for a Harvard faculty position, they'd suggest that there were openings in the Facilities Maintenance Dept..

Posted by John Weidner at 7:23 PM

April 30, 2012

The "Peace Studies" malarky should be the tip-off...

Walter Russell Mead, Europe's Jew Hatred Isn't Just On The Fringe:

...Not so, alas. Norway's Johan Galtung is no ordinary professor of sociology. Known worldwide as the "father of peace studies," Galtung is famous for his work on the peaceful resolution of conflict. He is the founder of the Peace Research Institute in Oslo and the Journal of Peace Research, the recipient of numerous awards, accolades, and honorary degrees and professorships, as well as a hugely prolific writer on issues of peace and conflict. His Wikipedia entry calls him the "principal founder of the discipline of peace and conflict studies," a discipline offered at universities around the world. He lived through the German occupation of Norway during WWII and saw his father arrested by the Nazis.

Galtung has long been a respected and influential member of the European academy. He is no immigrant from the Middle East and is not identified with any fringe political movements. He is as establishment as they come.

And he is also a vicious and hate-spewing anti-Semite.

In remarks at the University of Oslo and a follow-up email exchange with the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, Galtung betrayed his true feelings on Jews.

He hinted at links between Anders Behring Breivik's attack on civilians in Norway and Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency. He suggested there was some truth behind the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He said that Jews share some of the blame for what happened at Auschwitz -- they had provoked the poor Germans under the Weimar Republic. He suggested that Jews control the American media and academic establishments. The list goes on and on -- the kind of remarks that haters call "common sense" and "daring to tell the truth" but that sane people see as hatred, error and bile....

What fascinates me is that Mead, an intellectual giant, has no explanation for this. He doesn't even make a stab at one. And I, a mere pygmy, have the answer. (OK, OK, I think I have the answer.) He should read RJ.

To boil it down, probably too far, the conventional view is that religious faith in the West has been declining over many centuries. I don't think that is true. Rather, overt Christian and Jewish worship has been declining. BUT, people remained "religious," because they retained many of the habits of thought that derived from faith. They continued to believe in objective truth, for instance. And in objective morality. And many traditional Christian moral beliefs. (They thought divorce and abortion were wrong. And that it is admirable to be a "good Samaritan.") They retained the idea that they might join some cause or truth, even if they had not yet done so. These are all things that are bigger than the "self." All are holdovers from Jewish and Christian faith.

But, habits wear off. These wore off, for many people, around the middle of the 20th century. (Yes, it ties in with the book I'm writing on the transition to the Information Age. They are inter-connected. I'll resist the temptation to go into that now.)

The result was nihilism. That is, as I define it, the lack of any cause or belief bigger than ones self. Maybe for 20%, or 30% of Americans. And for even bigger percentages in Europe. This change in thinking was HUGE! And its effects are seen all around us.

For instance, most of those people assumed disguises, to cover their spiritual nakedness. The most popular one was "liberal." Followed by "pacifist." That's where the "Peace Studies" baloney comes from. Galtung has never accomplished anything in actually promoting peace. But no one cares. The point is, war is vastly offensive to the nihilist.

Why? Because what he hates is belief. And war symbolizes belief, belief that there is something worth fighting for. Even dying for.

I predict, even without knowing anything about him, that Galtung also hates or sneers at America, armed citizens, war (even against the worst tyrants), Israel, Western Civilization, traditional morality, and traditional art and architecture. And most of all, he hates Jews. All symbolize (and I think people mostly react to symbols, not conscious thought) belief in something greater than the self. All are symbolically God.

(I can explain all these points in much greater detail, if anyone cares. Or there are other posts here.)

 

Posted by John Weidner at 8:41 PM

March 29, 2012

Just a bit of sneaky BS...

By Henry Blodget, Americans Angry With Obama As Gas Nears $4 A Gallon | Daily Ticker - Yahoo! Finance:

...Because oil and gas prices are likely trending upward for an excellent fundamental reason, meanwhile—increasing demand from emerging economies like India and China—the only way to bring them down permanently is to diversify the country's sources of energy and reduce the country's consumption of it. [So, you are advocating nuclear power?]

And President Obama is actually doing that. [Baloney. He is at war with all practical forms of energy, because he's a leftist and hates the idea of a strong America.]

U.S. oil production has increased over the last four years, from about 5 million barrels a day to close to 6 million barrels. [Why not be a reporter instead of a lefty liar, and mention that energy production that is under control of the Federal Government has declined by 40% under the Obama regime. All the increased production is from places where Democrats can't kill it.] Natural gas has become so plentiful that prices have crashed. [And leftists are trying hard to kill new production with phony environmental concerns about franking.] And, in part as a result of high gas prices, Americans are driving less and using less fuel. [We are poorer and weaker—ain't that Progressive.]

So the U.S. is actually making progress toward curing its foreign oil addiction. There's a long way to go, of course, and there's no quick and lasting fix to today's high prices, [I bet a President Palin could show you some stuff.] but we're making progress. And Americans frustrated with that progress should probably lay at least some blame at the feet of the Presidents and Congresses that have ignored the finite oil problem for the past 40 years [No, they should lay the blame at the feet of Democrats and fake-environmentalists.]....

Stop global warming sign covered with snow

Posted by John Weidner at 8:31 PM

March 18, 2012

Just thought you might be interested in your masters have in store for you...



A 'modest proposal" from Scientific American, Effective World Government Will Be Needed to Stave Off Climate Catastrophe:

...Unfortunately, far more is needed. To be effective, a new set of institutions would have to be imbued with heavy-handed, transnational enforcement powers. There would have to be consideration of some way of embracing head-in-the-cloud answers to social problems that are usually dismissed by policymakers as academic naivete. In principle, species-wide alteration in basic human behaviors would be a sine qua non, but that kind of pronouncement also profoundly strains credibility in the chaos of the political sphere.

Some of the things that would need to be contemplated: How do we overcome our hard-wired tendency to "discount" the future: valuing what we have today more than what we might receive tomorrow? Would any institution be capable of instilling a permanent crisis mentality lasting decades, if not centuries? How do we create new institutions with enforcement powers way beyond the current mandate of the U.N.? Could we ensure against a malevolent dictator who might abuse the power of such organizations?

Behavioral economics and other forward-looking disciplines in the social sciences try to grapple with weighty questions. But they have never taken on a challenge of this scale, recruiting all seven billion of us to act in unison. The ability to sustain change globally across the entire human population over periods far beyond anything ever attempted would appear to push the relevant objectives well beyond the realm of the attainable. If we are ever to cope with climate change in any fundamental way, radical solutions on the social side are where we must focus, though. The relative efficiency of the next generation of solar cells is trivial by comparison....

I especially like: " Could we ensure against a malevolent dictator who might abuse the power of such organizations?" Oh, right. As opposed to the non-abusive use of: "heavy-handed, transnational enforcement powers" to cause "species-wide alteration in basic human behaviors."

Posted by John Weidner at 3:40 PM | Comments (3)

February 28, 2012

Ignorant masses, linked by blogs..

snowy bear

The Weidners have been most fascinated by the Peter Gleick affair. (Link.) I haven't blogged it, been too busy and tired. But this is worth a mention, because of the way warmists try to portray themselves as little Davids being bullied by Goliaths...

EU Referendum: Wither transparency?:

...While the warmists are successfully focusing attention on the minor-league operations of the Heartland Institute, with a total budget for all its issues, which include health care, education, and technology policy, of around $4.4 million, their own funding arrangements, amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars, are largely evading scrutiny....


...The Climate Works Foundation, though, is of special interest as it was in 2008, awarded $460,800,000 from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, a grant-making organisation with assets of $7.2 billion, which disbursed $353,400,000 in grants in 2011. It has made another grant to Climate Works only last week of $100 million – bringing the total grants to this organisation to just short of $600 million.

Where such huge funding is devoted to global warming advocacy, and policy development, there must indeed be a distortion of the democratic process, especially where politicians are also being paid. These organisations must come clean about the sources of their money, and provide exact details of how much is paid to which organisations, for what purposes....

I've been thinking lately that a lot of the cult-like fervor of supporters of AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) is because it is a sort of "Last Hurrah" of the Blue Model, of Industrial Age thinking. Even as Blue institutions crumble all around us, their crowd has found a way to once again be saviors-of-the-world by the application of massive government control.

If true, it is delicious that the very technologies that have propelled us into the Information Age have undermined the greatest-ever project of Industrial Age rule by-the-expert-few-over-the-ignorant-masses. The ignorant masses can now apply their vast aggregate brain power in a way that the credentialed few can't match. One of the interesting things in this Gleick affair is how bloggers and their commenters instantly began putting together clues as to who had fabricated the "secret memo" of the Elders of the Heartland Institute. They were focusing on Gleick within less than a day, as I recall. Perfect.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:04 AM | Comments (7)

February 6, 2012

Two cultures...

I'm a bitter, clinging, coastal urban sophisticate, and this made me laugh. It's so true.

Hillbuzz Conservative Politics, Analysis & Humor — Kevin DuJan Editor:

...The guy at the end who wants the duck replaced with "eggplant parmesan" reminds me of how frustrating it was to plan political events involving food back when I was a Democrat.  I hosted phone banks every night out of my apartment in Pittsburgh back in the 2004 Kerry campaign and I'd order pizza and soft drinks for the volunteers. I always had to spring for odd sizes of a half dozen different kinds of pizza — because this one person was a vegetarian and this other one couldn't have gluten and someone couldn't share slices from a normal pie and wanted his own personal pan pizza. It was ridiculous, since none of these people ever chipped in and just expected me to pay for everything since I allowed the campaign to use my apartment as a makeshift phone banking office in the evenings.

Now that I'm a Republican, it's completely different. If I have an event and order food, people either gratefully eat whatever's there without complaint or they don't eat if they don't like whatever it was. There's no "substitute eggplant parmesan for the duck and make sure the parmesan is really soy because I'm vegan and ask if the eggplant was cruelty-free and sustainably harvested because I only shop at Whole Foods and only eat vegetables and fruits that naturally of their own volition fell to the ground as Gaea commanded and were not picked by parasitic humans". Instead there's a pepperoni pizza, a Hawaiian, and a BBQ chicken one.  And if someone doesn't like that, there's a cell phone in his pocket for him to call Domino's for himself. People in Republican circles don't have an expectation that each event they go to was designed to cater explicitly to them the way Democrats do.

Oh, and Republicans always leave a few bucks hidden somewhere in the kitchen before they leave to chip in for the food they ate or pop they drank — though they never, ever will hand this to you directly, they'll always hide it so they don't embarrass you by trying to give you money (as if they'd imply they didn't think you could afford to spring for the spread). The only Democrats who would chip in and hide a five or ten somewhere were Hillary Democrats — the conservative Democrats that have been called Jacksonian, Clintonian, Reagan Democrats, and — according to Barack Obama — the "bitter, clinging, Midwesterners"....
Posted by John Weidner at 10:22 AM

February 4, 2012

Reverting to pagan sacrifice...

David Mamet: Israel, Isaac and the Return of Human Sacrifice - WSJ.com:

...What is the essence of the Torah? It is not the Ten Commandments, these were known, and the practice of most aspired to by every civilization. Rabbi Lawrence Kushner teaches they are merely a Calling Card; to wit: "remember me . . . ?"

The essence of the Torah is the Akedah, the Binding of Isaac. The God of Hosts spoke to Abraham, as the various desert gods had spoken to the nomads for thousands of years: "If you wish me to relieve your anxiety, give me the most precious thing you have."

So God's call to Abraham was neither unusual nor, perhaps, unexpected. God had told Abraham to leave his people and his home, and go to the place which God would point out to him. And God told Abraham to take his son up the mountain and kill him, as humans had done for tens of thousands of years.

Now, however, for the first time in history, the narrative changed. The sacrifice, Isaac, spoke back. He asked his father, "Where is the Goat we are to sacrifice?" This was the voice of conscience, and Abraham's hand, as it descended with the knife, was stayed. This was the Birth of the West, and the birth of the West's burden, which is conscience.

Previously the anxiety and fear attendant upon all human life was understood as Fear of the Gods, and dealt with by propitiation, which is to say by sacrifice. Now, however, the human burden was not to give The Gods what one imagined, in one's fear, that they might want, but do, in conscience, those things one understood God to require.

In abandonment of the state of Israel, the West reverts to pagan sacrifice, once again, making a burnt offering not of that which one possesses, but of that which is another's. As Realpolitik, the Liberal West's anti-Semitism can be understood as like Chamberlain's offering of Czechoslovakia to Hitler, a sop thrown to terrorism. On the level of conscience, it is a renewal of the debate on human sacrifice....

Good stuff. And it makes sense to call the Akedah "the Birth of the West." But personally I don't think we are dealing with Realpolitik "sops thrown to terrorism." My suspicion is that the "liberal West" is really hardly aware of terrorism, at least consciously. It is unconsciously reacting to symbols, according to how they they affect their inner suffering--which is also unconscious. They have lost God and Truth, and that's a scary place to be. And so they try to kill God.

What symbolizes God? More than anything else, Jews. Anti-Semitism is, I think, more common now that it was in the 1930's. But it is mostly expressed by proxy. The so-called Palestinians are proxy Jew haters and Jew-killers. And the obsession of the liberal West with the Palestinians is utterly bizarre by any rational standard. One small oppressed group gets more attention than all the other oppressions and genocides of the whole planet. A million dead in Rawanda get far less attention than does some diplomatic wrangle about settlers on the West Bank, with no one even injured.

And we pay the Palestinians to hate Jews. They are economically better off than their brethren in Egypt or Syria or Jordan. Because of our 'foreign aid"--The US for instance gives them 600k a year. Of course they will never stop terrorism, it's their livelihood.

My guess is that the supporting of the Palestinians is a way for Western liberals to "kill God." It always makes me think of how the emperor Julian the Apostate undid his Christian Baptism by having himself "baptized" with bull's blood. It was totally illogical, unless you view it on the level of symbols.

I theorize (yes, yes, I know. I'm way out of the mainstream) that the other popular way to "kill God" is through abortion. If true, that might explain why support for abortion is higher among liberal American Jews than any other group. (The stats are stupefying. Something like 80%. And many more abortionists are Jewish than their numbers would indicate. )Why? Maybe because Jews are the ones who can't easily kill God by supporting Palestinians.

Mount of Olives, looking west over Kidron

Posted by John Weidner at 9:42 PM | Comments (5)

January 24, 2012

"Thou hast shaken hands with reputation... and made him invisible."

Archbishop calls Obama habitual violator of Constitution | Times 247:

Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has recorded a video message bluntly stating that the Obama administration has a habit of advancing policies that violate the U.S. Constitution.

The new video message is the latest step in an escalating and historically unprecedented confrontation between the Roman Catholic Church and an American president.

It centers around what the American Catholic bishops see as the Obama administration's efforts to restrict the right of Catholic citizens and institutions to freely exercise their religion as guaranteed by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution....

His Weightiness the Archbishop speaks out boldly in defense of... the Constitution. Color me unimpressed. Here's the scoop, your Excellency. What you are really talking about is the rule of law. It's an old tradition of this country, and in the Anglosphere, that the laws should be administered without fear or favor. All are equal under the law. That the rights of all are protected. In fact, America is a little like the Catholic Church. Morality, dogma, doctrine... they are binding on all, and they all demand our respect. I'm sure you will agree that it's not cricket to just obey the doctrines you like. Or when you like. That would destroy the Faith that saves us.

The rule of law is similar. It must be respected and maintained. Defended and fought for. Or else you can easily lose it. Sort of like the old lines of John Webster...

"FERDINAND: Dost thou know what reputation is?
I'll tell thee, to small purpose, since th' instruction
Comes now too late."...

I shall tell thee. The leaders of the Church, including you, have given scant respect to the laws of our country. Now you are bleating for help because you are being attacked by a lawless regime. Too late, fools. You cozied up to the Chicago banditti when it was convenient to your politics, and now you pay the price. We all pay the price. Obama got a big chunk of the Catholic vote. "Hey Frodo, let us use that Ring of Power, to help people. What could go wrong?" But it was obvious to any clear-eyed observer that Obama and the Dems were evil-doers and enemies of the Church. People like me told you. Over and over. Click on this LINK. That should have been ALL you needed to know about the Obama regime.

Th' instruction comes now too late, but I will tell thee. If you want the rule of law to protect you, then you must defend the rights of others. You must defend the rule of law. Fight to the death "in a narrow dusty room" if that's what needs to be done. Die in the last ditch. Fight with a knife, or with your teeth. I've yet to hear a Catholic leader even mention the concept. As a small but telling example, a grave injustice was done when the "Occupy Wall Streeters" were allowed to do what is against the law for the rest of us. If tea partiers or pro-lifers, like me, want to have a march or demonstration, we have to get permits, pay money to the city, get big insurance policies. And of course, we must pack up and go home at a set time. These laws were not enforced on OWC, because corrupt officials thought it would be politically advantageous. You acquiesced in this lawlessness. And, if I know my Catholics, many of you thought it was way cool that people like me should get the mucky end of the stick. NOW it is happening to YOU. Wake up! You are in trouble because you did not defend the rights of others. Because you didn't defend MY rights. YOUR rights. I'm now a second-class citizen in San Francisco, because my rights are less than those of others. And you sat by and watched and did nothing. You sat there and let the law be trampled on, and now you say, "Why aren't I protected by the law?"

[By the way, The protestors of the Civil Rights Movement were different.They broke the law as a protest, and then accepted the necessary punishment. They were not lawless.]

You probably sneered at the Tea Parties when they arose. That's what happened in my parish. And lies were told, even from the pulpit. Did you participate in the lies? But the Tea Parties have been trying to prevent the very mess Catholics are in now. The Founders clearly envisioned a limited central government, and they assumed that issues like, say, health care, would be local matters. (This is also a Catholic notion. It is called Subsidiarity. Have you been a fighter for Subsidiarity? Too late now.) Our form of government has been perverted, and the Federal government has grown monstrously, cancerously powerful, to the point where it can simply snuff out Catholic institutions. The Tea parties, to put it bluntly, have been fighting to keep you out of jail.

I tell you, the lawless Dems will gladly throw your Episcopal ass in prison. And laugh! And they may well have the chance to do it. Once you let the law be destroyed, then anything goes. You'll be wearing an orange jump-suit, and leg irons, and whackin' weeds on the county roads. And they will laugh. Wake up!

Now perhaps you see that there is a pertinent reason for limiting government power, and putting it in the hands of states and local governments. And best of all, leaving it to the people. Things will always go wrong when people have power. The Founders believed in Original Sin; the Constitution was designed to limit the damage. Catholic leaders have consistently worked for bigger and more powerful government. You should have thought about Original Sin. The idea behind limited central government (and Subsidiarity) is that, if things go wrong locally, if one part becomes a lawless kleptocracy—say, Chicago—that evil can't spread across the country. Now Chicago politics has been put in charge of the whole country. And you Catholic leaders helped.

Another example, t' small purpose. You Church leaders scoff at the law when the topic is illegal aliens. And, you claim to care about them. But I say you don't care. Do you not realize that most of them would rather stay home with their family and friends, in their own country? Duh! Why don't they? Because there are no jobs. Why are there no jobs? Because they lack the rule of law. Wages are very low in Mexico, the climate is lovely, there are natural resources in abundance, but, mysteriously, industry and commerce do not flourish there as they do in other places. Why? Because corrupt officials will plunder you. Because judges will give verdicts to their relatives. Because thieves and looters run amok. Because bribery is necessary to do anything.

[Please note, I'm not just making stuff up. I grew up in the family nursery business. My father loved Mexico, and started a branch business in Chiapas. He hoped to grow plants in the tropical warmth and ship them to America. That business (and a bunch of jobs for Mexicans) was destroyed because perishable shipments of plants were held up at the border, and died, waiting for someone to find out which officials to pay bribes to.]

If American Catholics really cared about the people who illegally enter America, our very highest priority would be to work for the rule of law in Mexico, and Central America. It never happens. Illegal aliens come here, because we have the rule of law, and therefore prosperity and freedom. By disdaining the law, you are destroying the very reason that people are crawling across burning deserts to get here. And you can't even SEE them. That's my suspicion. They ask for the sweet tortillas, and you give them... Wonder Bread and scorpions. You don't love these people... you love your theories.

Sorry, Your Weightiness. Th' instruction comes now too late. I tried. It's too late, too late, too late to whimper about the Constitution, when you've tolerated and supported thugs who laugh at that document. As the old saying goes, "If you sup with the Devil, bye and bye the waiter will hand you your bill on a little tray."

Suppose you did not fight for the Faith during your life... and the Judgement Day comes... what are you gonna say? Hmm? Similarly, on a much lower plane... if you have never fought for the Constitution... and your Judgement Day comes... like, uh, now... and you haven't stood fast for the Constitution... if you haven't loved her... If you have never put her above your little self... It's like, where are you? Why are you talking about this, M. l'Archevêque? The Constitution will tell you plainly, "I never knew you. Away" ...

Statue of Our Lady destroyed by scum

Posted by John Weidner at 7:10 PM

January 13, 2012

Good point. But...

From Andrea, A message from me to the members of my country’s armed forces:

Could you please stop photographing and filming yourselves doing stuff? Please. Turn off the iPhone, put the Nikon Coolpix back in your pack. No, the folks back home don’t need to see all the fun you get up to. They really don’t. And you know who else doesn’t need to see it? The whole goddamn internet. Because they will. So quit it.

This has nothing to do with how "offensive" whatever you’re up to is. I’m not offended by you — I’m offended by the ever-rising crescendo of whining that we’re now going to have to endure from the pearl-clutchers over here who will now be sputtering and moaning about how "we’re worse than the enemy!" Whine whine whine. It’s like living inside a dentist’s office and the drill is never turned off....

"Pearl-clutchers." Perfect. Write more, Miss Harris!

However, having been recently amongst our warriors, I should point out that... they are a bunch of kids. Lots of them are right out of high school. They are puppies. They don't "act like grownups" because they really aren't. My son is in AIT (Advanced Individual Training) right now, and is repeatedly exasperated because his platoon or company will be collectively punished because one idiot pulls some juvenile prank.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:33 AM | Comments (1)

December 31, 2011

If this don't make your blood boil, you are a worm...

PJ Media » Support the Sacketts: EPA Suit Goes to Supreme Court:

Michael and Chantell Sackett were building their dream home on less than two-thirds of an acre of land near Priest Lake in northern Idaho. They owned a small business nearby and had been looking forward to the day when they could stop renting — they purchased the property in 2005 for $23,000. In 2007, gravel was being laid in preparation for the pouring of a concrete foundation.

However, construction screeched to a halt upon the order of three agents of the Environmental Protection Agency. The property was a federally protected "wetlands," the Sacketts were told, and they were served with a compliance order to immediately restore the property to its prior condition.

In fact, the EPA compliance order went even further. Relying on authority it claimed to have received under the Clean Water Act, EPA officials prescribed a set of conditions that went beyond the prior condition of the property when the Sacketts purchased it.

The Sacketts were ordered to plant "native scrub-shrub, broad-leaved deciduous wetlands plants and [have the property] seeded with native herbaceous plants." Further, they were ordered to fence the property and monitor plant growth for three years.

All of this came as quite a shock to the Sacketts because their sliver of land was located in a platted residential subdivision with water and sewer hook-ups, and was bordered by roads on the front and rear and existing homes on either side.

There wasn’t any natural running or standing water on the property. None of the surrounding homes in the community were designated as having occupied wetlands.

The Sacketts conducted regulatory due diligence before they bought the property. Even the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had been consulted. After buying the property, they applied for and received all of the pertinent local permits to build a residential dwelling as local zoning ordinances permit.

The EPA compliance order ended all of their hard work and saddled them with exorbitant financial costs. They faced monstrous-level fines — currently set at $37,500 for each day they failed to comply with the order.

Today, the Sacketts owe more than $40 million in fines....

Tyrants love to pick victims at random and destroy them publicly. That keeps every else guessing and groveling.

Posted by John Weidner at 1:12 PM | Comments (1)

December 27, 2011

"Optics"

Solyndra: Politics infused Obama energy programs - The Washington Post:

Loathsome animals. But you knew that. What's amazing is how divorced they are from reality. Having government "pick winners" and direct investment into "socially beneficial" industries has always failed. But they seem oblivious.

Partly of course because every failure is just dropped down the memory hole. The Chinese high-speed rail project is now collapsing in scandal and and waste and gross failure. But will Tom Friedman apologize for repeatedly lauding this project and wishing the same on us? No, it will just be dropped and forgotten. The real world isn't real to these people. The 'optics" are reality.

...The documents reviewed by The Post, which began examining the clean-technology program a year ago, provide a detailed look inside the day-to-day workings of the upper levels of the Obama administration. They also give an unprecedented glimpse into high-level maneuvering by politically connected clean-technology investors.

They show that as Solyndra tottered, officials discussed the political fallout from its troubles, the "optics" in Washington and the impact that the company's failure could have on the president's prospects for a second term. Rarely, if ever, was there discussion of the impact that Solyndra's collapse would have on laid-off workers or on the development of clean-energy technology....


....Political calculus was especially on display in an e-mail early this year between administration staffers who calibrated the damage that could result from pushing back Solyndra's collapse by a few months at a time.

"The optics of a Solyndra default will be bad whenever it occurs," an OMB staff member wrote to a colleague. "If Solyndra defaults down the road, the optics will arguably be worse later than they would be today. . . . In addition, the timing will likely coincide with the 2012 campaign season heating up."

Solyndra executives and investors were attuned to the value of playing politics. Memos from Solyndra's lobbying firm, McBee Strategic Consulting, stressed the need to "socialize" with leaders in Washington and to mobilize a lobbying effort described variously as quiet, surgical and aggressive.

Beyond the West Wing, the documents provide a vivid glimpse into high-level machinations inside the world of clean-energy entrepreneurs.

Solyndra's strongest political connection was to George Kaiser, a Democratic fundraiser and oil industry billionaire who had once hosted Obama at his home in Oklahoma. Kaiser's family foundation owned more than a third of the solar panel company, and Kaiser took a direct interest in its operations.

With the 2010 midterm elections just days away, Kaiser flew to Las Vegas to help the party cause. He was a guest at a private fundraising dinner for Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.), but the real attraction at the event was its headliner — Obama. Realizing he might have an opportunity to talk with the president, Kaiser's staff prepped him with talking points about Solyndra.

Kaiser did not have to angle for Obama's attention. Organizers seated him next to the world's most powerful man — for two hours.
Posted by John Weidner at 1:45 PM | Comments (0)

December 10, 2011

Shouldn't Elizabeth Warren and the other fake-liberals...

...be put to work cleaning up this mess? I suggest orange jump-suits, leg-irons, and to clean with, tooth-brushes.

Greenway mass effect! Now comes the cleanup - BostonHerald.com:

The Utopian dreamers of Occupy Boston are leaving behind a disgusting field of filth on the formerly scenic Rose Kennedy Greenway, where trees will have to be replanted, grass resodded, sprinklers repaired or replaced and the entire area power-hosed in a massive cleanup that could take weeks....

"Utopian dreamers?"

Smelly hippie lights cig on burning American flag

Posted by John Weidner at 2:31 PM | Comments (0)

November 23, 2011

Just in case anyone's late to the Orwellian party...

...You can see the famous "Hockey Stick" in the upper part of the graph below. It covers about 1,000 years. Hockey stick-shaped graphs have been reproduced tens-of-thousands of times, in articles, schoolbooks, government reports. When you hear that the science of Anthropogenic Global Warming is "settled," that's the picture you are supposed to be accepting ...

Two climate graphs

The lower part is the consensus view of climate for the last millennium that prevailed until the 1990's. What I grew up with. (The "science was settled!") The big orange bump is the Medieval Warm Period. Remember that? Farms in Greenland? Wine produced in England? And the blue dips comprise the "Little Ice Age." Remember that? Remember reading about ice fairs on the Thames? Hmm?

Well, if such things linger in your head, you are anti-science! You are a crazy right-winger attacking settled truth.

What fills me with exceptional scorn and contempt, is that it was just like Orwell's book 1984, where the totalitarian state has been at war with Oceania. And then it's announced that they are now allied with Oceania, and at war with Eastasia. And the minds of the obedient subjects just flip to the new position, and assume that they have always been at war with Eastasia.

The same kind of flip happened in the 90's. All our obedient fake-liberals flipped, and accepted the new "settled" version without questioning. Without thought. The Medieval Warm was deep-sixed without a qualm. Animals.

Here's the most common version of the 'Hockey Stick," from the original paper by Michael Mann.


And since I'm rambling away here, here's a quote on a "Frost Fair" on the river Thames, from the Diary of John Evelyn, about 1670:

"Coaches plied from Westminster to the Temple, as in the streets; sleds, sliding with skates, bull-baiting, horse and coach races, puppet plays and interludes, cooks, tippling and other lewd places, so that it seemed to be a bacchanalian triumph, or carnival on the water."

Frost Fair 2


Posted by John Weidner at 1:04 PM

November 16, 2011

Don't stop now!

I'm keenly disappointed to hear that the authorities are shutting down the "occupiers."

It's not fair. In a couple of weeks we've recapitulated Animal Farm, and were getting into Lord of the Flies. Murders, rapes, theft and robbery, arson, public defection and urination, foul obscenities, epidemic disease, total inability to self-govern... Buncha rats scuffling in a sack.

I was getting ready to take bets on when the show trials and pubic executions would start, and now they've spoiled the object lesson. We could have been munching popcorn while the barbed wire went up around the re-education tents.

* Update:

Zuccotti cleanout disgusting even for Sanitation workers - NYPOST.com:

City sanitation workers yesterday were forced to pick through a filthy pile of property seized from Zuccotti Park including dirty hypodermic needles, moldy food and glass-littered, broken gadgets.

"I pick up garbage [for a living], and these were some of the worst smells I’ve ever experienced," one worker grumbled to The Post.

About 150 trashmen stuffed the massive pile of soiled tents, old bikes and spoiling food into dump trucks — 26 loads in all — and hauled it to a West 57th Street Sanitation facility so that workers could begin sorting the personal goods from garbage....
Smelly hippie lights cig on burning American flag
Posted by John Weidner at 10:57 AM | Comments (1)

November 9, 2011

Absurd Grinchery...

It's silly to ask, since we'll never get an answer... But WHY does the federal government have to "improve the image and marketing of Christmas trees"? Are Christmas trees considered disreputable? Trashy? Un-cool? Is the industry dying because people are switching to imports? Perhaps the Feds will promote hanging them upside-down from the ceiling—that's apparently a hip new thing. (Or maybe I'm out of the loop, and having an upside-down tree will just get me laughed at, for following last year's fad.)

Obama Couldn't Wait: His New Christmas Tree Tax:

...In the Federal Register of November 8, 2011, Acting Administrator of Agricultural Marketing David R. Shipman announced that the Secretary of Agriculture will appoint a Christmas Tree Promotion Board.  The purpose of the Board is to run a "program of promotion, research, evaluation, and information designed to strengthen the Christmas tree industry's position in the marketplace; maintain and expend existing markets for Christmas trees; and to carry out programs, plans, and projects designed to provide maximum benefits to the Christmas tree industry" (7 CFR 1214.46(n)).  And the program of "information" is to include efforts to "enhance the image of Christmas trees and the Christmas tree industry in the United States" (7 CFR 1214.10).

To pay for the new Federal Christmas tree image improvement and marketing program, the Department of Agriculture imposed a 15-cent fee on all sales of fresh Christmas trees by sellers of more than 500 trees per year (7 CFR 1214.52).  And, of course, the Christmas tree sellers are free to pass along the 15-cent Federal fee to consumers who buy their Christmas trees.

Acting Administrator Shipman had the temerity to say the 15-cent mandatory Christmas tree fee "is not a tax nor does it yield revenue for the Federal government" (76 CFR 69102).  The Federal government mandates that the Christmas tree sellers pay the 15-cents per tree, whether they want to or not.  The Federal government directs that the revenue generated by the 15-cent fee goes to the Board appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture to carry out the Christmas tree program established by the Secretary of Agriculture.  Mr. President, that's a new 15-cent tax to pay for a Federal program to improve the image and marketing of Christmas trees....
Posted by John Weidner at 7:51 AM

November 6, 2011

"Brezhnevite junk heap"

Lexington Green, You Must Love Whittaker Chambers, But You Must Not Drink Too Deeply Of His Perfumed Pessimism:

...I simply do not believe we are at the great nightfall.

We beat the Kaiser, the Nazis, and the Soviet Union.

I really do not think the public sector employees present as great a material threat to America as the Soviet Strategic Rocket Force once did.

Nor do I think that Political Correctness and its minions, for all its poison and perniciousness, presents as great a threat as the cadres of Soviet agents and fellow travelers who once sought our destruction.

We stand within reach of a new flowering of Anglo-American freedom and prosperity. We are on the verge of breathtaking and liberating breakthroughs in science and technology and medicine, which will make the world a better place.  I absolutely believe this.  It is not inevitable, but we are preloaded for it. We just have to seize it.

Only the crumbling, ramshackle, Brezhnevite junk heap of the Twentieth Century Blue Model legacy state stands in our way.  Its defenders have nothing to appeal to, no great principle, no worthy cause, only their own comfort and security at the expense of the great mass of people in America, and at the expense of their hopes for the future.  

That is not, as they say these days a "meta-stable" situation.  What can't go on won't go on.

The rusting junk heap is going to fall apart before our eyes, with a shocking suddenness reminiscent of the collapse of the Soviet Union. That is my prediction.

We need to keep pushing on it, pointing at its bankruptcy, mocking it, and showing people how it could be so much better...

Well, it makes sense, but I'm not sure. I mean I'm pretty sure that the "rusting junk heap" of the Blue Model is indeed going to fall apart. And in fact we can see that happening. But as Solzhenitsyn put it, the dividing line between good and evil runs through every human heart. (Reading that, sometime back in the early Seventies, was one of the great dividing moments of my life. A thousand utilitarian fantasies began to crumble.

But in this turn of the wheel, the barbarians are us. "We have met the enemy, and he is us," as Walt Kelley put it. The empire is crumbling—maybe, maybe, maybe not—and the barbarians are on the march. But this cycle we are creating our own barbarians. Which makes them damn hard to fight. The real metric to pay attention to is the "barbarian-creation-quotient."

I labor always to prevent it, but my guess is that our future is...

Statue of Our Lady destroyed by scum

Posted by John Weidner at 9:39 PM

October 27, 2011

"The nucleus of society"

Paul Ryan on Elizabeth Warren:

...Asked by moderator Ed Feulner about Warren's comments, Ryan responded.

"Money and wealth made and created in America is the government's unless they benevolently spend it back to people. It's the other way around," Ryan said. "No one is suggesting that we don't need good schools and roads and infrastructure as a basis for a free society and a free enterprise system. But the notion that the nucleus of society is the government and not the individual, the family, the entrepreneur, is to me just completely, inherently backwards."
Posted by John Weidner at 8:51 PM | Comments (1)

October 22, 2011

If we are still capable of learning, it's a teaching moment...

Fro Glenn Reynolds, CLASS WAR ERUPTS AT “OCCUPY NEW YORK:" All occupiers are equal -- but some occupiers are more eq…:

...UPDATE: Michael Ubaldi emails: "The Occupation movement is doing for anarchist theory what the Obama administration has done for European-style socialism: put all the myths festering on college campuses over two decades to the test so the world can watch them falter utterly."...

Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of nihilist dimwitskis...

Posted by John Weidner at 10:36 AM | Comments (1)

October 17, 2011

Much worse than reported. Just in case you hadn't guessed...

'Follow the Red Flag!' - By Kevin D. Williamson - The Corner - National Review Online:

...I've been spending as much time as I can down at Occupy Wall Street, listening to the speeches, reading the literature, talking to the organizers. Here's something to keep in mind: You'll hear in a lot of the conservative media that this is some kind of socialist/communist enterprise piggybacking on a populist protest. In reality, it is much worse than even most of the conservative media is reporting.

Almost every organization present at OWS is explicitly communist or socialist. Almost every piece of literature being handed out is explicitly communist or socialist. I don't mean half, and I don't mean the overwhelming majority — I mean almost all of it. Yes, there are the usual union goons trying to figure out how to get OWS to do the bidding of the AFL-CIO and the Democratic party, and the usual smattering of New Age goo (the "Free Empathy" table) and po-mo Left wackiness (animal-rights nuts), the inevitable Let's-Eradicate-Israel crowd ("Free Palestine, from the river to the sea!"). But, that being said, almost every organized enterprise and piece of printed material I have encountered has been socialist or communist. It's been a long time since I saw anybody peddling books by Lenin. It's been a long time since anybody told me the Ukrainians had it coming.

When the protesters were rallying to march to Times Square, out went the call: "Follow the red flag!" Which is what they did, literally and, I fear, figuratively....
Posted by John Weidner at 10:39 AM

October 13, 2011

Emblematic of a whole bunch of stuff...



One good thing about the colossal economic mess we are in is that it shines the harsh light of reality on all sorts of rubbishing ideas. One of which is wind power. I expect to be hearing a lot less about that in the future. Actually, the people who promoted wind power could reasonably be called mass-murderers, since the billions of dollars spent on it could have surely have saved hundreds-of-thousands of lives if used wisely.

Wind turbine FAIL – school left holding the bag for £53,000 | Watts Up With That?:

...An eco-friendly school has been left £55,000 out of pocket after its wind turbine broke – with governors admitting that it was based on "completely unproven technology".

The company that installed the turbine has gone bust leaving the school with a pile of scrap.

The Gorran School in Cornwall revealed its 15 metre turbine in 2008 which was designed to provide it with free electricity – and sell any surplus power to the National Grid.

The system was seen as a green blueprint for clean, sustainable energy for schools nationwide and received grants from various bodies including the EDF power firm.

But soon after being installed the wind turbine became faulty and after a few months seized up – showering the school's playing field with debris.

Since then the school has been locked in a battle with suppliers Proven Energy which has now gone into administration leaving the school with little hope of any money being returned – and a pile of scrap in their field....

One might be tempted to feel sorry for them, except that one knows darn well that any wind-power skeptics would have been made to feel distinctly unwelcome in their school. Like most liberals they do NOT want both sides of the story. One can imagine how puffed up and self-righteous they must have been over their stupid turbine. And think of the unrelenting brain-washing of the students that surely went on.

Posted by John Weidner at 5:03 PM

October 12, 2011

All your butter are belong to us...

Does this not encapsulate most of what's wrong with our world?

Charlene recommends (for heapings of contempt and scorn: NYC Mayor Bloomberg: 'Government’s Highest Duty' Is to Push 'Healthy' Foods:

...Speaking on the government's role in diet and health last week, Bloomberg told the UN General Assembly, "There are powers only governments can exercise, policies only governments can mandate and enforce and results only governments can achieve. To halt the worldwide epidemic of non-communicable diseases, governments at all levels must make healthy solutions the default social option. That is ultimately government’s highest duty."...

I shall dine tonight on roast beef and Scotch whiskey. I have a hunch bordering on a certainty that that's a much more healthy diet than the slop Nurse Bloomberg recommends. We spits upon them with uttermost contempt.

"Nemo Me Impune Lacesset" (No one wounds me with impunity)

Posted by John Weidner at 9:52 PM | Comments (5)

October 9, 2011

"The Occupiers were going to occupy Fleet Week! What could be more exciting than that?"

Blue Angels, Fleet Week SF  2005
    (Picture by me, Fleet Week, 2005)

This is especially funny to me, because we're here in SF, it's Fleet Week, the Blue Angels are flying about, and we are, like every year, loving the scream and bang of them, and hugging ourselves with pleasure thinking of how the nihilist slime-creatures are just hating this. (Pix from a previous year.)

It always amazes me that these fake protestors and fake liberals seem to delight in making themselves into horrid dirty children. Over the cliff of nihilist oblivion goes liberalism...

Zombie:

The "Occupy" movement claims to represent 99% of the people (hence their motto, "We Are the 99%").

The US military stands for everything the Occupiers oppose; it is after all the force which imposes the evils of capitalism on the nation and the world.

Wouldn't it be interesting if, as an experiment, we arranged to have the Occupy movement and the US military each hold events in the same city on the same day – and then see which one drew more visitors? If the Occupiers truly represented the 99%, and if the military really were the musclemen for the corporations, then it'd be no contest – right? And what if we even held the competition in the nation's most left-leaning city, just to give the Occupiers home field advantage?

Well, we don't have to imagine any of this, because it happened yesterday, in San Francisco. The "Occupy SF" protest group held yet another shindig in front of the Federal Reserve Bank on Market Street. And as luck would have it, San Francisco was at the same time hosting "Fleet Week," an annual celebration of all things military and patriotic, including performances by the Blue Angels, the US Navy's aerobatic team. Since the "Occupy SF" group was having a protest at the exact same moment as the Blue Angels show, this would be a perfect test case: Which is more popular?... [Photo essay follows. Don't miss.]

Thank you once again, Zombie.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:05 PM | Comments (1)

September 24, 2011

Styles, fashions, body language... We give ourselves away

Andrea writes:

I have only one thing to say about this Elizabeth Warren person: for God's sakes woman will you do something about your hair? That flattened thing with the part in the middle and that inane flip at the bottom looks good on no one above the age of twelve. You look like a female Emo Phillips. You look like you can't bear to cut your hair completely short because deep in your hind-brain there's a little voice telling you that women with short hair look like dykes. Let me give you some advice: women of a certain age should cut their hair short. No one will think you're a lesbian — they'll think you're a mature woman who has accepted her age. Middle-aged women who cling to little-girl hair fashions make other people uneasy. They sense — and rightly — that they're having a little problem coming to terms with reality. No "compassionate" liberal who is currently drooling over your bland and unoriginal pronouncements because it echoes what they believe will tell you any of this, and you work no doubt among other females in your academic milieu who are just as delusional as you are, which is why you've been allowed to go through life with no one pulling you aside and saying "Honey, I need to tell you something." Fortunately for you, I'm here to help. Cut your hair.

I was going to pummel Warren's snippet of thought, then a whole bunch of people beat me to it. But since I'm *ahem* here at the topic... There are two things obviously wrong with what she said. One, it's a straw man argument. Nobody's objecting to taxes to pay for roads or police or national defense. We conservatives are objecting to government growing into an all-consuming monster that tries to control every aspect of our lives. (And destroy souls; that's the underlying plot.)

The other thing is, yes it's true that the factory depends on things like rule of law, and roads, and fire departments... But, those governmenty things are also all dependent on the factory. None of them would exist without the wealth and technology produced by the private economic sector. You might say it's a chicken/egg question. Well, the theory that underlies our country is that the people came first, and then formed a government to serve them. If what Warren is saying, or rather sort of just assuming, has become our principle, then in a real way America no longer exists. My answer is government should be the servant, not the master.

(The "theory" of the typical European state is exactly the opposite. The state came first—maybe growing out of some Medieval kingdom—and it then allowed allowed the people various rights and privileges, which it can take away.)

But I think Andrea's point is the gravamen. "Middle-aged women who cling to little-girl hair fashions make other people uneasy." We do, and I suspect we feel uneasy for deep and important symbolic reasons. Something is more wrong here than just bad fashion sense. This woman is a major figure in the government of the most powerful nation in history, and she is running for the dignity of the US Senate. And yet she is giving off "I don't want to grow up" vibrations. Something's very off.

* Update: I also suspect that this is a painful example of how our academic institutions have decayed. The poor girl may have become a full "professor" at Harvard without ever having a stiff argument with a conservative colleague--because none are allowed in. (This is called "Academic Freedom," as in freedom to not think.)

Posted by John Weidner at 10:48 AM | Comments (1)

August 13, 2011

Frauds. But you knew that...

The press and the pacifists. Remember when the "press" was salivating over the one-thousandth American death in Iraq? And people like me said that it was phony partisan posturing? Toldja.

And remember the big "anti-war" protests of the Bush years? And how me and many others said they had nothing to do with "conscience," and everything to do with nihilism and hatred of America and President Bush? Ditto.

Obama Gets a Blank Check for Endless War - Reason Magazine:

...Include Iraq, and the comparison tells a similar story: about 1,300 Americans killed in operations related to Iraq and Afghanistan combined during the first two and a half or so years we've had of the Obama administration, versus less than 600 American casualties in the first full three years of the George W. Bush administration.

It all raises at least two related questions. First, where are the antiwar protests? And second, where is the press?

In a phone interview, the national coordinator of United for Peace and Justice, which organized some of the largest antiwar protests during the Bush administration, Michael McPhearson, said part of the explanation is political partisanship. A lot of the antiwar protesters, he said, were Democrats. "Once Obama got into office, they kind of demobilized themselves," he said.

"Because he's a Democrat, they don't want to oppose him in the same way as they opposed Bush," said Mr. McPhearson, who is also a former executive director of Veterans for Peace, and who said he voted for President Obama in 2008. "The politics of it allows him more breathing room when it comes to the wars."...

"More breathing room..." Bullshit. Obama could kill millions, and the fake pacifists and fake Quakers would be ice-heartedly indifferent. Just as the were ice-heartedly indifferent to the hundreds-of-thousands killed by Saddam.

Smelly hippie lights cig on burning American flag


Posted by John Weidner at 10:59 AM

July 15, 2011

Pet peeve (re-posted from 2003)

Something that really bugs me is Science Fiction writers who are afraid of the future, or at least don't want to deal with it.

I just noticed an SF book that (in the blurb) was about a "grey, gritty industrial future." Gimme a break. That's the industrial past. We're IN the industrial future, and the result is an almost nauseating riot of garish color. Just pay a visit to Toys 'r Us...You will wish we we were still in the grey industrial stage...Thank God my children are now old enough that I can avoid that swamp...

For the real future, there's that guy in Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age who makes his mark by inventing animated ads that appear on disposable wooden chopsticks!

I'd post an Amazon link to The Diamond Age, and whatever else struck my fancy.... except that my Amazon Associates account is stopped, due to a new California law that tries to apply sales tax to our sales, though of course I ship nothing from California--I just refer business elsewhere. Pfoooey. Reason #23,099 why I loathe Democrats. (Or rather, their evil stupid ideas--many Dems are personally quite acceptable. But brain-dead.)

Lefty Democrats, you not only stink, your day is just about over. You are the thecodonts, we are the dinosaurs!

Lefties at Yearly Kos


Posted by John Weidner at 2:53 PM

June 9, 2011

sloppy thinking, unexamined assumptions...

The Rise of Benefit Corporations — The Nation:

When America began, the states chartered corporations for public purposes, like building bridges. They could earn profits, but their legitimacy flowed from their delegated mission. [I don't know the history behind that, but it sounds fishy. And wait a minute. When we build a bridge now, who does the work? Corporations, n'est pas?]

Today, corporations are chartered without any public purposes at all. They are legally bound to pursue a single private purpose: profit maximization. [This is a bogus complaint for various reasons. For instance, who owns our corporations? Who gets the profits? Millionaires who light their cigars with $20 bills? NO, the majority of shares are owned by pension funds and mutual funds, which are the investments of workers and the middle class. So the public in fact gets the profits. If The Nation has a retirement fund for its employees, what does it invest in? I'd guess, profitable corporations.] Thus, far from advancing the common good, many for-profit corporations have come to defy the law, corrupt the officials charged with enforcing it and inflict harm on the public with impunity. The consequences are visible in the wreckage left by BP, Massey Energy, Enron, AIG, Lehman Brothers, Blackwater and Exxon Mobil, to name a few recent wrongdoers. Profits rule; anything goes. [For every one of those, there are thousands which don't break the law. Who simply provide the products people need.]

We need a new business model inspired by the old one. Corporations should again come to bolster democratic purposes, not thwart them. [Democratic? Oh, that means the public gets to VOTE on what these purposes might be? No? I'm so surprised.] To be sure, there will be no return to the legislative short leash, especially now that the Supreme Court has invited corporations to spend treasury funds electing pliant and obsequious lawmakers. [The business model of the public employee unions.] But socially minded businesses should at least have the right to operate outside the straitjacket legal requirements of Delaware Code profit maximization. [Actually, straightjackets are good. No organization can operate efficiently unless it is forced to pursue a single clear measurable objective. It is certain that these "B" thingies will use resources unwisely, and probably ask for government assistance.]

Thankfully, a promising alternative is emerging: an entity called the Benefit Corporation, which has been written into law in Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia and Vermont, and is moving quickly in other states too. The new laws permit companies to join the profit motive with the purpose of making a "positive impact on society and the environment." [Positive?] In their articles of incorporation, Benefit Corporations declare their public missions—things like bringing a local river back to life, providing affordable housing, facilitating animal adoptions or promoting adult literacy. Under the law they must go regularly before a third-party validator like B Lab, the visionary Philadelphia-based alliance of more than 400 so-called B Corps across the country, [So the B-Corp "alliance" gets to measure the B Corps. I'm SO surprised. But of course they will be objective and fair, because they are "visionary."] to prove that they are not only meeting their goals but treating their employees, customers, communities and local environments with the same respect as their shareholders. Benefit Corporations can lose their B Corp title and their legal status for not doing right by these standards. [Standards? How do you define "treating the community with the same respect as shareholders?" What IS that? Who decides? By what standards? ] ...

This is such a bunch of malarky. The "standards" will inevitable be the current lefty fads, proclaimed by "activists" and politicians seeking another sneaky way to get power. And they will probably be the worst things possible.

For instance, "treating workers with respect" will surely involve making it harder for lay-off or fire them. But that's the opposite of what is good for workers. When it's easy to get rid of workers, then companies are happy to hire them in great numbers, because they are confident that they won't be stuck if sales go down. Those countries that make it hard to fire workers always have very high unemployment rates.

I could go on for many more paragraphs, but what really really bugs me about this sort of thing (most people won't even care, but it's important) is the assumption that "the good" is obvious. In truth it is hard bordering on impossible to know what the good is. Often in hindsight we see that the common assumptions of some particular time were all wrong. If they had B Corps 200 years ago, "indian killer" would have been considered a "positive impact on society and the environment."

Lefties at Yearly Kos

Posted by John Weidner at 7:06 PM

May 22, 2011

Proxy wars...

Re: Obama's Mania for the "Peace Process"� — Commentary Magazine:

...By throwing in the 1967 borders as the basis for an Israeli-Palestinian agreement, he effectively drowns out his fairly inspiring vision for democratic change in the Arab world. But probably the most glaring lapse in the speech wasn't his call for specific borders; it was his failure to apply his own calls for democracy to the Palestinian regime.

What could have been more natural than to place his own conditions for Palestinian statehood, and to tie them directly to his democratic vision? Rather than just echoing Israel's demands for security and recognition, why not say clearly: Any Palestinian state will have to truly respect the rights of its citizens, to stop oppressing gays and Christians, to extend the same basic human rights to all that America expects of the other Arab states? To affirm equality before the law, freedom of speech and religion, and all the other "core principles" he set forth for Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Bahrain?

The absence of such words, just moments after they were invoked for the other Arab states, raises very uncomfortable questions. Are Palestinians less worthy of such basic rights than other Arabs? Or is the prospect of ensuring them so dim that the President is willing to abandon his own principles and endorse any peace deal between Israel and the PA regime, regardless of where it leaves Palestinians themselves?...

Please tell me if you think I'm crazy (or wrong or stupid or misguided), but it seems glaringly obvious that the purpose of the "Palestinians" is to be proxy Jew-haters. I think anti-Semitism is just as common as it was before WWII, but it's no longer quite as socially acceptable. Polite people no longer kill Jews; instead they pay Palestinians—in the form of foreign aid—to do it for them.

Jew hating used to be associated with the political Right, now it's common on the Left. Why? Because it's always the losers who hate the Jews. (I use the word "loser" in the American slang sense, ie. "I hope she doesn't marry that guy, he's such a loser.")

My guess is that even if Obama really believes in democracy in the Arab world (one doubts) it would never occur to him to include the Palestinians. Just as it never occurs to people like him that a "peace process" that goes on for decades without producing any peace is crazy. It doesn't seem crazy to them because the "peace process" is just a disguise for the keep-killing-Jews process.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:42 AM

April 25, 2011

"Something for something"

Welfare handouts aren't fair – and the public knows it - Telegraph:

...As we report today, Policy Exchange – supposedly the Prime Minister's favourite ideas outlet – has done a brave and unusual thing. Rather than polling the public just on policy and voting intention, it has put a far more abstract moral issue before them. It instructed the pollsters at YouGov to find out precisely what the public thought the most powerful term of approbation in the political lexicon – "fair" – actually amounted to.

The quite unequivocal reply that was received (with breathtakingly enormous majorities in some forms) came as no surprise to this column. To most voters, fairness does not mean an equal distribution of resources and wealth, or even a redistribution of these things according to need. It means, as the report's title – "Just Deserts" – implies, that people get what they deserve. And what is deserved, the respondents made clear, refers to that which is achieved by effort, talent or dedication to duty: in other words, earned on merit.

As I have written so often on this page, when ordinary people use the word "fair", they mean that you should get out of life pretty much what you put in. Or, as the report's authors put it, "Voters' idea of fairness is strongly reciprocal – something for something." By obvious inference, a "something for nothing" society is the opposite of fair. And this view, interestingly, is expressed by Labour voters in pretty much the same proportion as all others.

Imagine that. After all these years of being morally blackmailed by the poverty lobby, harried by socialist ideologues and shouted at by self-serving public sector axe-grinders, the people are not cowed. Even after being bludgeoned by the BBC thought monitors and browbeaten by Left-liberal media academics with the soft Marxist view of a "fair" society – from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs – they have not bought it. They do not believe that if people are poor, it is necessarily society's fault, and therefore society's duty to deal with the consequences....

Even commies don't believe that commie stuff about "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." Imagine the world's most dedicated socialist revolutionary. The one who thinks Pol Pot was a bit of a squish. Suppose his boss says, "Comrade X, you have done more than any other person to advance the revolution. And you will be pleased to know that we are giving the promotion and pay-raise you deserve to Comrade Y, who needs the money more than you do." Ha ha. Smile brother, you believe your theory, don't you?

Posted by John Weidner at 3:38 PM

April 22, 2011

As religions go, this is a really stupid one...

It's perhaps a bit unfair to flog a dead horse such as "Earth Day," but there could hardly be a better example of how bad philosophy leads one into cosmic stupidity...

"We have about five more years at the outside to do something."
• Kenneth Watt, ecologist

"Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind."
• George Wald, Harvard Biologist

"We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation."
• Barry Commoner, Washington University biologist

"Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction."
• New York Times editorial, the day after the first Earth Day

"Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years."
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist
"By...[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s."
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

"It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,"
• Denis Hayes, chief organizer for Earth Day

"Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions....By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine."
• Peter Gunter, professor, North Texas State University

"Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support...the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution...by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half...."
• Life Magazine, January 1970

"At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it's only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable."
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

"Air pollution is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone."
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

"We are prospecting for the very last of our resources and using up the nonrenewable things many times faster than we are finding new ones."
• Martin Litton, Sierra Club director

"By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate...that there won't be any more crude oil. You'll drive up to the pump and say, 'Fill 'er up, buddy,' and he'll say, 'I am very sorry, there isn't any.'"
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

"Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct."
• Sen. Gaylord Nelson

"The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age."
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist
Posted by John Weidner at 9:01 PM

April 20, 2011

"lying, self-serving twaddle"

Glenn on the curious lack of anti-war demonstrations...

...Yeah, it's as if all that self-righteous moralism, and cries of war criminal and illegal wars and concentration camps at Gitmo was just a lot of lying, self-serving twaddle by people who really just wanted power for their team. Who knew?...

All that trouble building those giant puppets, and then they have to learn to love the war. It's rough being a pacifist!

Smelly hippie lights cig on burning American flag
Posted by John Weidner at 11:02 PM

April 11, 2011

"Oh look, Spring Spheres!"

There's a bunch of things one might say about this bit of lunacy (feel free) but the first one that pops into my mind is, these people are afraid! The old lady getting up on a chair because there's a mouse on the floor is brave compared to these doofuses. Yet I bet if you asked them they'd say that their atheist/secularist positions are brave, because, you see, they aren't "using religion as a crutch." They are fearlessly, without illusions, facing a vast cold cosmos, blah blah blahbitty blah. Just don't threaten them with a chocolate egg!

Seattle school renames Easter eggs 'Spring Spheres' - Seattle News - MyNorthwest.com:

...Jessica, 16, told KIRO Radio's Dori Monson Show that a week before spring break, the students commit to a week-long community service project. She decided to volunteer in a third grade class at a public school, which she would like to remain nameless.

"At the end of the week I had an idea to fill little plastic eggs with treats and jelly beans and other candy, but I was kind of unsure how the teacher would feel about that," Jessica said.

She was concerned how the teacher might react to the eggs after of a meeting earlier in the week where she learned about "their abstract behavior rules."

"I went to the teacher to get her approval and she wanted to ask the administration to see if it was okay," Jessica explained. "She said that I could do it as long as I called this treat 'spring spheres.' I couldn't call them Easter eggs."

Rather than question the decision, Jessica opted to "roll with it." But the third graders had other ideas.

"When I took them out of the bag, the teacher said, 'Oh look, spring spheres' and all the kids were like 'Wow, Easter eggs.' So they knew," Jessica said.

The Seattle elementary school isn't the only government organization using spring over Easter. The city's parks department has removed Easter from all of its advertised egg hunts....

St Mary magdalen with miraculous egg that turned red

(The icon portrays an old legend that Mary Magdalene was carrying eggs when she discovered the Resurecton of Christ, and the eggs turned red.)

Posted by John Weidner at 6:09 PM

March 24, 2011

There's a word for those people...

Mark Steyn:

Louise Bagshawe, the chick-lit author and Conservative MP, wrote a piece for the London Telegraph wondering why she hadn't heard about the Fogel murders until she read my Corner post Dead Jews is no news.� Where, she asks, is the BBC coverage?

As I said in my post, there are circles of depravity: The relatively small number of people willing to decapitate a baby; the larger number of Palestinians happy to celebrate the decapitation of a baby; and the massed ranks of Western media anxious to obscure the truth about the nature of the event. The comments below Miss Bagshawe's column provide a glimpse of a fourth circle — the large numbers of Westerners who, even when confronted with the reality of what happened, are nevertheless eager to rationalize it as a legitimate response to a legitimate grievance.

For all the frictions between the aging, fading natives of Europe and their young, assertive Muslim populations, on this one issue at least there is remarkable comity.

A word for all the Jew/Zionist/Israel haters (they're all the same thing). The word is "losers."

If you were making really long-term economic bets, you might want to consider anti-semitism as inverse to economic growth and civilizational health.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:27 AM

March 21, 2011

Bombing for oil...

Andrea
Let me see if I have this right: wars fought under Republican presidents are for bad things, like stealing oil from the nations we war on, getting more money for the fat-cats that own the War Machine™, and oppressing Brown Native Peoples™. Whereas wars fought under Democratic presidents are for good things, like getting rid of evil dictators with bad dress sense, helping the scrappy and grass-roots Rebels™ (who represent all that is good and right, of course) in those countries, and making sure no one can restrict the vital flow of oil which is needed to keep poor people warm. Just checking!

And my own observation-of-the-day: Have you ever noticed how, when the President is a Republican, and our troops are on the ground, patrolling night and day, risking their lives... the "anti-war" activist types refer to this as "bombing." As in, "Why are we bombing Iraq? What did they do to us?"

But when Democrat Presidents go to war, "bombing" is actually what they do! Clinton in Kosovo, Obama doubling drone strikes, and now in Libya... And yet somehow there's nothing wrong with that?

Posted by John Weidner at 11:29 AM

March 19, 2011

Wrongness...

I have a Facebook account, but have almost entirely stopped using it. Because the things I really want to say don't fit the format.

A good example was the other day, when a "pacifist" posted that our military's humanitarian assistance to Japan was all fine and well, but that we should remember that an army is intended to kill people and destroy things.

Now that is a very stupid thing to write. But a rebuttal would bore and perplex most of those who are my "friends" on Facebook. (and of course would be wasted on the person in question.) Blogs are much better for such replies.

The problem with the statement is that an army is a tool of the state. And in a state like ours, a representative democracy, an army is a tool of the people. Of us! If our army smashes things, the real actors are the people of this country. If America bombs Bormenia, WE did it. You and I.

There is a certain type of person, very common these days, who want to fudge that point! Why? Because their pacifism, or anti-war activism, or whatever, is a sham! A pacifist is a person who has renounced violence as a tool to attain his ends. But these fake-pacifists are in fact people who have lost all higher meaning in their lives, and no longer believe in anything. They are people for whom nothing is worth fighting for. So their pretense that they are acting out of conscience or morality is a lie.

They try to create the impression that our military is some kind of autonomous death cloud, some miasma of evil. Then they can oppose the military, and pretend that that is somehow "pacifism." And feel moral and superior, even while enjoying all the good things our superb military provides us, such as peace and safety.

Actually, I suspect that if there are any "real" pacifists among the fakes, they are pretty much fakes, too. They all make sure to live in safe places. Which are kept safe by cops and soldiers. When I hear of pacifists getting killed because they won't call the cops when hoodlums are breaking down their door at night... then maybe I might guess they are for real.

But of course they do call the cops. And the police are also our tools, who do what we the citizens ask. If I call the police because someone's breaking in, I'm starting an action which may lead to people having large holes shot in them by my hired gunmen. Now I'm fine with that. I think about these things a lot. And I accept the moral responsibility. Including the possibility that things may go all random, and the wrong people are killed. That comes with the package.

And I think that's part of our duty as citizens. To make life-and-death choices. To think things through, and sometimes to decide that deadly force is necessary. Just as I thoughtfully decided (and still feel) that our invasion of Iraq was correct and morally justified. So I bear some of the responsibility, and some of the credit if things turn out well in the long run.

And actually almost any political decision has life-and-death consequences. If you vote for more money for X, that means less money for Y, even if you can't see Y. You have a duty to see it, to imagine it, to foresee the consequences and take responsibility. Choosing or voting for "good things" does not get you off the hook, morality-wise. People may suffer or die because you have starved them of the resources that went to your pet project. Even "pacifists" slaughter people in the voting booth.

And deciding to do nothing usually has life-and-death consequences too. Obviously so, though people wish to slither past this truth. Doing nothing doesn't get you off the hook. Doing nothing is often an evil choice.

US Cruiser fires missile
Posted by John Weidner at 9:17 PM

February 26, 2011

"We will die with dignity!"

Charlene recommends some real heroes...

In the ugly world that we live in, there are few things uglier than the nasty little slime-leftists who fawn over Castro's miserable totalitarian garbage pile. How I hate them. How I wish I could send every one of them to spend a year in one of Cuba's prisons or labor camps.

And I still remember vividly the mad heroic attack by Cuban exiles on Castro's tyranny. And the betrayal of them by JFK.

A Genuine Black American Hero for Black History Month:

...For three days his force of mostly volunteer civilians battled savagely against a Soviet-trained and led force 10 times their size, inflicting casualties of 20 to 1. To this day their feat of arms amazes professional military men. Morale will do that to a fighting force. And there's no morale booster like watching Fidel Castro and Che Guevara ravage your homeland and families, believe me.

When his betrayed, decimated, thirst-crazed, and ammo-less men were finally overwhelmed (but NOT defeated!) by Castro's Soviet-led bumblers at the Bay of Pigs, Oliva snarled at his brainless eunuch of a Castroite opponent, Jose Fernandez (a Spaniard, technically): "the only reason you're holding a gun on us right now, Fernandez, is because we ran out of ammo."

During almost two years in Castro's dungeons, Oliva and his men lived under a daily death sentence. Escaping that sentence would have been easy: simply sign a confession offered to them daily by their guards denouncing the U.S.�which is to say: repeating what Danny Glover, Nelson Mandela, Jeremiah Wright, etc. etc. etc. constantly snarl and bellow about the U.S.

Considering their betrayal, you might think these men had pretty good cause to sign it. But Castro got his answer from Oliva and his men as swiftly and as clearly as the Germans got theirs from McAuliffe and his men at The Bulge—"NUTS!"

Oliva and his men repeatedly spat on the Castroite document—convinced this defiance would doom them to death by firing-squad. "No man in Cuba is as free as a political prisoner in rebellion," said longtime Castro political prisoner Francisco Chappi. We were tortured, we were starved. But we lived in total defiance."

"Inside of our souls we were free," said another Bay of Pigs freedom-fighter (also Black and today a proud U.S. citizen) named Sergio Carrillo, a paratrooper at the Bay of Pigs in 1961 and a Catholic priest in America today. Neither Oliva nor any of his men signed the document. His hundreds of men stood solidly with their commander. "We will die with dignity!" snapped Oliva at the furious Castroites again, and again, and again. To a Castroite such an attitude not only enrages but baffles....
Posted by John Weidner at 8:45 PM

February 21, 2011

Bargaining with themselves...

Roger Roger's Rules — Watershed Moment in Wisconsin:

...Obama is so keen to preserve and nurture public sector unions because they are the lifeblood of the contemporary Democratic Party. To an astonishing extent, the unions are the government in many locales.� They elect officials and then sit down to bargain with them over their salaries and benefits. Since they are essentially bargaining with themselves, they generally make out quite nicely. It's a corrupt and ultimately unsustainable practice. Sooner or later, as Margaret Thatcher observed about socialism, they will run out of other people's money. Many of us believe that day is nigh, but the unions and their enablers apparently have calculated that there is at least a little more ruin they can inflict....

The analogy to draw is if, say, the managers of the Ford Motor company were elected. And if the UAW provided many of them with the necessary campaign funds. That would be a preposterous state of affairs and it would not be tolerated.

Posted by John Weidner at 10:21 PM

January 19, 2011

Vindication of me, too...

It's such a pleasure to watch our fake-liberals squirm now that they are running the war.. Actually, Greenwald is more honest than most, who just drop stuff down the memory hole...

The vindication of Dick Cheney - Glenn Greenwald:

...Aside from the repressiveness of the policies themselves, there are three highly significant and enduring harms from Obama's behavior. First, it creates the impression that Republicans were right all along in the Bush-era War on Terror debates and Democratic critics were wrong...

Were WERE right, and you nihilists WERE wrong.

And I predicted what would happen. I several times wrote that Bush had set the template of the War on Terror, just as Truman did for the Cold War.

...Second, Obama has single-handedly eliminated virtually all mainstream debate over these War on Terror policies. At least during the Bush years, we had one party which steadfastly supported them but one party which claimed (albeit not very persuasively) to vehemently oppose them. At least there was a pretense of vigorous debate over their legality, morality, efficacy, and compatibility with our national values.

Those debates are no more. Even the hardest-core right-wing polemicists -- Gen. Hayden, the Heritage Foundation, Dick Cheney -- now praise Obama's actions in these areas. Opposition from national Democrats has faded away to almost complete nonexistence now that it's a Democratic President doing these things. ..

Because you are FRAUDS! You were dishonest all along.

...Third, Obama's embrace of these policies has completely rehabilitated the reputations and standing of the Bush officials responsible for them...

Ha ha.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:27 AM

January 10, 2011

Violent Tea Party quote of the day...

Glenn Reynolds:

...UPDATE: As I think about it, the mental process seems to be something like this:

Lefty: Sarah Palin and the Tea Party movement encourage hatred and violence!

Questioner: How do you know?

Lefty: Because whenever I think about them, I'm filled with hate and a desire to do harm!
Posted by John Weidner at 1:58 PM

January 9, 2011

Just... something to remember...

Watching Leftists instantly try to link conservatives, and especially Sarah, to the shootings (while right-wing sites were asking for prayers) was a very foul and slimy thing to see. Everything is politics on the Left. Here's a very different reaction to a mass-murder...

Journalists urged caution after Ft. Hood, now race to blame Palin after Arizona shootings: (My emphasis)

In November 5, 2009, Maj. Nidal Hasan opened fire at a troop readiness center in Ft. Hood, Texas, killing 13 people. Within hours of the killings, the world knew that Hasan reportedly shouted "Allahu Akbar!" before he began shooting, visited websites associated with Islamist violence, wrote Internet postings justifying Muslim suicide bombings, considered U.S. forces his enemy, opposed American involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan as wars on Islam, and told a neighbor shortly before the shootings that he was going "to do good work for God." There was ample evidence, in other words, that the Ft. Hood attack was an act of Islamist violence.

Nevertheless, public officials, journalists, and commentators were quick to caution that the public should not "jump to conclusions" about Hasan's motive. CNN, in particular, became a forum for repeated warnings that the subject should be discussed with particular care.

"The important thing is for everyone not to jump to conclusions," said retired Gen. Wesley Clark on CNN the night of the shootings.

"We cannot jump to conclusions," said CNN's Jane Velez-Mitchell that same evening. "We have to make sure that we do not jump to any conclusions whatsoever."

"I'm on Pentagon chat room," said former CIA operative Robert Baer on CNN, also the night of the shooting. "Right now, there's messages going back and forth, saying do not jump to the conclusion this had anything to do with Islam."

The next day, President Obama underscored the rapidly-forming conventional wisdom when he told the country, "I would caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all the facts." In the days that followed, CNN journalists and guests repeatedly echoed the president's remarks.

"We can't jump to conclusions," Army Gen. George Casey said on CNN November 8.  The next day, political analyst Mark Halperin urged a "transparent" investigation into the shootings "so the American people don't jump to conclusions." And when Republican Rep. Pete Hoekstra, then the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, suggested that the Ft. Hood attack was terrorism, CNN's John Roberts was quick to intervene. "Now, President Obama has asked people to be very cautious here and to not jump to conclusions," Roberts said to Hoekstra. "By saying that you believe this is an act of terror, are you jumping to a conclusion?"...
Posted by John Weidner at 8:19 AM

January 4, 2011

You Lefties got what you you wanted...

Victor Davis Hanson:

...The same is true of California. Our elites liked the idea of stopping new gas and oil extraction, shutting down the nuclear power industry, freezing state east-west freeways, strangling the mining and timber industries, cutting off water to agriculture in the Central Valley, diverting revenues from fixing roads and bridges to redistributive entitlements, and praising the new multicultural state that would welcome in half the nation's 11-15 million illegal aliens. Better yet, the red-state-minded "they" (the nasty upper one-percent who stole from the rest of us due to their grasping but superfluous businesses) began to leave at the rate of 3,000 a week, ensuring the state a Senator Barbara Boxer into her nineties.

Yes, we are proud that we have changed the attitude, lifestyle, and demography of the state, made it "green," and have the highest paid public employees and the most generous welfare system—and do not have to soil our hands with nasty things like farming, oil production, or nuclear power. And now we are broke. ...

And when the fact that we are broke finally sinks in, the cry will go up: "Capitalism has failed!"

Posted by John Weidner at 9:59 AM

December 27, 2010

Political correctness lowers your effective IQ...

Re-posting of a important point...

From a good piece by Steve Sailor (Thanks to Kathy Shaidle)

...The idea that it is diversity (the researchers used the census’s standard racial categories to define diversity) that drives social capital down has its critics. Among them is Steven Durlauf, an economist at the University of Wisconsin and a critic of Putnam’s past work, who said he thinks some other characteristic, as yet unidentified, explains the lowered trust and social withdrawal of people living in diverse areas. But without clear evidence to the contrary, Putnam says, he has to believe the conclusion is solid.
Many decades ago, I used to run into Steve Durlauf of Burbank H.S. all the time at high school speech and debate tournaments, where he would beat me like a drum. I wasn't terribly good at forensics because I'm not that orally fluent, but even at what I was good at, Durlauf was much better. I don't know if he was the most successful debater in Southern California of his era, but he's the one who most deserved to be. He's just a lot smarter than me. And he's a nice guy, too.

So, why does Prof. Durlauf come out sounding kind of dim on this topic compared to me? Because political correctness lowers your effective IQ. Truths are connected to other truths, so if you are willing to follow the truth wherever it goes, you'll make a lot more progress than if you put up big "Can't Go There" signs in your own head.

"Political correctness lowers your effective IQ." The funny thing is, we see this all the time. But we are so accustomed to the blurred thinking that we usually don't notice it. A good example is the use of the word "diversity" itself. After the Bakke Decision, the word "diversity" was adopted as a code word for racial quotas. That's what the word means in contemporary discourse. As a parent of three children, I see it all the time, in the various pronouncements we get from schools. If your school hires a "diversity coordinator," it means somebody who is going to find more blacks or Hispanics. That's ALL it means.

And everybody knows it, but I've yet to see the slightest evidence of anyone being conscious of the obvious duplicity of what they are saying. People seem to absorb the politically correct speech forms out of the air, without the slightest morsel of critical thought. And once you start on that path, it becomes more and more dangerous to start examining your ideas, because there is a whole structure of thought that might come crashing down. So you put the "Can't Go There" signs up.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:35 PM

"There are two reasons: secularism and socialism (aka the welfare state)."

RealClearPolitics - Vitality Has Been Sucked Out of European Society:

...Outside of politics, sports, and popular entertainment, how many living Germans, or French, or Austrians, or even Brits can you name?

Even well-informed people who love art and literature and who follow developments in science and medicine would be hard pressed to come up with many, more often any, names. In terms of greatness in literature, art, music, the sciences, philosophy, and medical breakthroughs, Europe has virtually fallen off the radar screen.

This is particularly meaningful given how different the answer would have been had you asked anyone the same question between just 80 and 120 years ago...

[...]

...What has happened is that Europe, with a few exceptions, has lost its creativity, intellectual excitement, industrial innovation, and risk taking. Europe's creative energy has been sapped. There are many lovely Europeans; but there aren't many creative, dynamic, or entrepreneurial ones.

The issues that preoccupy most Europeans are overwhelmingly material ones: How many hours per week will I have to work? How much annual vacation time will I have? How many social benefits can I preserve (or increase)? How can my country avoid fighting against anyone or for anyone?

Why has this happened?

There are two reasons: secularism and socialism (aka the welfare state).

Either one alone sucks much of the life out of society. Together they are likely to be lethal....

If anyone out there doesn't like the term "lethal," feel free to make a counter-argument. Betcha can't, cowards.

Myself, I think that "secularism and socialism" are really surface manifestations of the real problem, which is nihilism. Nobody believes in secularism or socialism, no one will fight for them anymore. It is absurd to even imagine some Belgian or Spaniard fighting for........ anything! It don't happen. So they are dead. The corpse staggers along for a few more years, but its dead.

Posted by John Weidner at 5:41 PM

December 13, 2010

"Human nature can be as easily reshaped as hot wax"

I liked this piece, Human Nature and Capitalism By Arthur C. Brooks and Peter Wehner. Not because it gives new ideas, but because it puts old ideas very clearly...

At the core of every social, political, and economic system is a picture of human nature (to paraphrase 20th-century columnist Walter Lippmann). The suppositions we begin with—the ways in which that picture is developed—determine the lives we lead, the institutions we build, and the civilizations we create. They are the foundation stone.

During the 18th century—a period that saw the advent of modern capitalism—there were several different currents of thought about the nature of the human person. Three models were particularly significant.

One model was that humans, while flawed, are perfectible. A second was that we are flawed, and fatally so; we need to accept and build our society around this unpleasant reality. A third view was that although human beings are flawed, we are capable of virtuous acts and self-government—that under the right circumstances, human nature can work to the advantage of the whole.

The first school included those who (representing the French Enlightenment) believed in man's perfectibility and the pre-eminence of scientific rationalism. Their plans were grandiose, utopian, and revolutionary, aiming at "the universal regeneration of mankind" and the creation of a "New Man."

Such notions, espoused by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and other Enlightenment philosophes, heavily influenced a later generation of socialist thinkers. These theorists—Robert Owen, Charles Fourier, and Henri de Saint-Simon among them—believed that human nature can be as easily reshaped as hot wax. They considered human nature plastic and malleable, to the point that no fixed human nature existed to speak of; architects of a social system could, therefore, mold it into anything they imagined.

These theorists dreamed of a communal society, liberated from private property and free of human inequality. They articulated a theory of human nature and socioeconomic organization that eventually influenced capitalism's most famous and bitter critic: the German philosopher, economist, and revolutionary Karl Marx....

Read the whole piece for the other two views. You can probably guess where I align myself.

I recall that John Adams in his cranky post-Presidential years got into a long newspaper battle with Mercy Otis Warren over the meaning of the American Revolution. He was driven to fury by her assumption that America had somehow become a new society, freed from the corruptions of Europe. He was battling against the above view of human nature

On the same subject you might like this long-ago post of mine, on John Adams as blogger...
...The world-peace-through-fuzzy-leftist-thinking that drives today's warbloggers into a frenzy started back in John Adams' time. His was the age of the Philosophes; utopians who wanted to sweep away corrupt old institutions, thereby achieving a perfect society. What they got was the French Revolution, and Napoleon. (And Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot...) The thinking-style of the philosphes is still popular today, despite having killed hundreds of millions of people and failing utterly to achieve anything that could be labeled perfection.

Adams lived for two decades after his presidency. He spent much of his time in his library, reading and furiously arguing in the form of marginal comments in his books (I have a whole book of those scribbles: John Adams & the Prophets of Progress, by Zoltan Haraszti). A favorite target was Mary Wollstonecraft's History of the French Revolution...
     
Posted by John Weidner at 7:47 AM

December 2, 2010

PLEASE make a case...

This interview by HuffPo's Sam Stein with defeated Dem Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, Democrats Suffering From 'Intellectual Elitism', perplexes me. I always wonder, is the Leftie lying, or is he sincerely unaware that there are good arguments for conservative policies? Arguments which can be understood by common folk?

I thought from the title that this prominent Dem might be doing some real soul-searching, but no. It's only that they've "failed to communicate"—that's the only problem.

...But his frustration was evident as the discussion progressed. Talking, unprompted, about the debate over the expiring Bush tax cuts, Strickland said he was dumbfounded at the party's inability to sell the idea that the rates for the wealthy should be allowed to expire.

"I mean, if we can't win that argument we might as well just fold up," he said. "These people are saying we are going to insist on tax cuts for the richest people in the country and we don't care if they are paid for, and we don't think it is a problem if it contributes to the deficit, but we are not going to vote to extend unemployment benefits to working people if they aren't paid for because they contribute to the deficit. I mean, what is wrong with that? How can it be more clear?"...

Does he not know what the problem is? What a conservative would reply? Is this what he really thinks? Can I take a sample of his brain tissue and find out?

"It cuts your heart out," he said, of the party's inability to make a unified, principled case for their priorities.

PLEASE make a case for your priorities. Your number one priority is clearly to increase the size and power of government, so make your case that government can run things better than anyone else! Take it to the voters!

Posted by John Weidner at 10:22 AM

November 8, 2010

Trust us, we are the liberal intelligentsia...

A President At Bay - Walter Russell Mead's Blog - The American Interest:

...All pundits, including yours truly, get it wrong sometimes, and normally there would be little point in dwelling on past blunders. But it this case, it is worth exhuming these vaporous and embarrassing stupidities for a few moments. Many of our nation's intellectual leaders wonder why the rest of the country isn't more respectful of their claims to be guided by and speak for the cool voice of celestial reason. That so many of them gushed over Barack Obama with all of the profundity of reflection and intellectual distance of tweeners at a Justin Bieber concert should help them understand why their claims of superior wisdom are sometimes met with caustic cynicism.

A significant chunk of the American liberal intelligentsia completely lost its head over Barack Obama. They mistook hopes and fantasies for reality. Worse, the disease spread to at least some members of the White House team. An administration elected with a mandate to stabilize the country misread the political situation and came to the belief that the country wanted the kinds of serious and deep changes that liberals have wanted for decades. It was 1933, and President Obama was the new FDR.

They did not perceive just how wrong they were; nor did they understand how the error undermined the logical case they wanted to make in favor of a bigger role for government guided by smart, well-credentialed liberal wonks. Give us more power because we understand the world better than you do, was the message. We are so smart, so well-credentialed, so careful to read all the best papers by all the certified experts that the recommendations we make and the regulations we write, however outlandish and burdensome they look to all you non-experts out there, are certain to work. Trust us because we are always right, and only fools and charlatans would be so stupid as to disagree.....

They may be smarter than me, but who fell for Mr Obama? Hmmm, Peggy?

Posted by John Weidner at 5:29 PM

November 2, 2010

If you read RJ, this probably applies to you...

Posted by John Weidner at 9:35 AM

October 8, 2010

"It compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people"

'A Network of Small Complicated Rules, Minute and Uniform' - By Mark Krikorian - The Corner - National Review Online:

The federal government bans the incandescent light bulb. It bans street signs that have all capital letters and mandates what font they need to be in. Now, Congress has seen fit to focus its august attention on the volume of TV commercials.

The problem is not that these things create unnecessary costs or destroy jobs, which they do, or that lawmakers have more important things to do, which is also true. Rather, the federal government has no business doing any of these things. Yes, the entitlements trainwreck is a bigger issue, but if we, as a people, continue to shrug at this sort of thing, our unfitness for self-government will become undeniable.

It still amazes me that Tocqueville foresaw this soft despotism so long ago:
It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd., till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.
Posted by John Weidner at 6:47 AM

October 2, 2010

Good point....

Immigration and the Tea Party - By Mark Krikorian - The Corner - National Review Online:

...But her main focus was the rule of law, illegal-bad/legal-good — not surprising, since that's sort of the default position on the right, but it's not going to prove adequate in the long run. I'm speaking at the Tea Party Patriots convention in Richmond next week, and I'm going to make the point I made in my Broadside — large-scale immigration (legal or illegal, permanent or "temporary") into a modern society necessarily translates into larger government, not just because it imports disproportionately statist voters but because it shapes society in ways that make statist solutions more plausible to non-immigrant voters — increasing the ranks of the uninsured and the poor, increasing income inequality, increasing diversity (which Putnam has shown results in the retreat of civil society), even increasing density (since more people in the same space almost by definition will result in more government).

We need to acknowledge, but then move past, illegal-bad/legal-good — because whatever your concern, the level of total immigration is the main issue....

It's probably fruitless to even mention such things, but the focus of any immigration debate should be, "What kind of country are we?" And "What kind of country do we want to become?"

Leftist types hate that kind of thinking (and call it racist) because they hate the thought that there are countries or cultures that are superior to others. Because that implies that members of a superior culture should feel loyalty and duty towards it. Should believe. Believe in something bigger than ones self. And that they hate, because, as I've said too often, most of them are nihilists who believe in nothing higher than themselves. A nihilist hates belief.

"Multiculturalism" is intended for the same purpose; to erase the idea (and existence) of superior cultures. And the obviously unwise European immigration policies that have resulted in large unassimilable Muslim populations are also intended to destroy a superior culture. The culture of Western Christendom. And, by extension, Christianity itself. I've read of British politicians who protested against this folly, and who were pilloried as "racists," and driven out of public life.

Posted by John Weidner at 11:17 AM

August 14, 2010

Not a "tragedy," and not a "trauma"

Bill Kristol:

...This is revealing. For Obama, 9/11 was a "deeply traumatic event for our country." Traumatic events invite characteristic reactions and over-reactions--fearfulness, anger, even hysteria. That's how Obama understands the source of objections to the Ground Zero mosque. It's all emotional. The arguments don't have to be taken seriously. The criticisms of the mosque are the emotional reactions of a traumatized people.

But Americans aren't traumatized. 9/11 was an attack on America, to which Americans have responded firmly, maturely, and appropriately. Part of our sensible and healthy reaction is that there shouldn't be a 13-story mosque and Islamic community center next to Ground Zero (especially when it's on a faster track to be built than the long-delayed memorial there). But Obama (like Bloomberg) doesn't feel he even has to engage the arguments against the mosque--because he regards his fellow citizens as emotionally traumatized victims, not citizens who might have a reasonable point of view....

The desperation of Leftists to avoid the implications of 9/11 were evident from day one. You can add this "traumatized" crap to the list, along with "9/11 was a tragedy," And "Americans lashed-out in anger after 9/11." And "All those flags will offend foreign visitors." I'm sure you can think of others...

Posted by John Weidner at 4:48 PM

August 9, 2010

Leftist theories kill millions. Another example...

Tens of millions.

This is the same general catastrophe I wrote about last week here. And Here. To these people, the theory is real; the actual human beings affected are not real. So humans can be killed without a qualm.

Malarial mosquitoes, not bedbugs, are the real pest--Paul Driessen - NYPOST.com:

...DDT is the most powerful, effective, long-lasting mosquito repellant ever invented. Spraying the eaves and inside walls of mud huts and cinderblock homes every six months keeps 80 percent of the flying killers from entering. It irritates most that do enter, so they leave without biting, and kills any that land.

Yet many aid agencies refuse to encourage, endorse or fund spraying. Many don't even want to monitor mosquito and malaria outbreaks or determine success in reducing disease and death rates. That's more difficult and costly than counting the number of bed nets distributed and underscores the embarrassing reality that their "comprehensive" (and politically correct) programs achieve only 20 to 40 percent reductions in morbidity and mortality. By contrast, as South Africa and other countries have shown, adding insecticides and DDT can bring 95 percent success.

Since the Environmental Protection Agency banned DDT in 1972, billions have been stricken by malaria and tens of millions have died. This is intolerable.

We need adult supervision and informed debate on pesticide policies, laws and regulations. We can no longer leave those decisions to anti-chemical activists in unaccountable pressure groups and government agencies. These zealots are making decisions that affect the quality of life for millions of Americans -- and life itself for billions of poor people worldwide....

"Many don't even want to monitor mosquito and malaria outbreaks or determine success in reducing disease and death rates." They don't want to know!

Posted by John Weidner at 6:44 AM

August 2, 2010

My experience exactly...

Paul at Power Line:

Yesterday, I claimed that, while libertarian candidates like Rand Paul are uncomfortable with "fudging" their views, liberal candidates seem quite willing to fudge their beliefs in order to gain office. An email from one of my favorite Power Line correspondents, Scott Smith, prompts me to suggest the following explanation for the difference: liberals think their ideology makes them, above all, morally superior; libertarians think their ideology makes them, above all, intellectually superior.

Moral superiority, for many who feel it, is not compromised by deceptive statements made in the name of gaining the power to "do good." But intellectual superiority is compromised by any statement that is incorrect or intellectually lazy.
Posted by John Weidner at 8:24 AM

July 9, 2010

Lefties must destroy Haitians in order to save them...

Green Menace — The American, A Magazine of Ideas:

...The peasant groups are indigenous in theory, but not when it comes to money, as they rely on U.S. donors for funding. Corresponding sympathetic demonstrations were held in the United States. Groups marched on the Gates Foundation in Seattle (the group is not properly mortified by biotechnology, hence the protests); protesters burned genetically modified seed in Chicago and organized a march in Missoula, Montana; and the Organic Consumers of America sent out 10,000 emails protesting Monsanto's magnanimity.

Doudou Pierre, whose title is the "national coordinating committee member for the National Haitian Network for Food Sovereignty and Food Security," explains the protests this way: "We're for seeds that have never been touched by multinationals." The idea of local seed is driving the protests, as writer Beverly Bell explains: "Haitian social movements' concern is not just about the dangers of the chemicals and the possibility of future GMOs imports. They claim that the future of Haiti depends on local production with local food for local consumption, in what is called food sovereignty."

Hybrid seeds will increase yields over open pollinated seeds, whether purchased fertilizer is applied or not. This is why U.S. farmers adopted hybrids a generation before the widespread availability of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. One in four Haitians is hungry and, even before the earthquake, the average caloric intake in the country was far below United Nations-recommended levels. But that, of course, is of no consequence when compared to the importance of planting seeds untouched by multinational hands. Better starvation than accepting gifts from a company as evil as Monsanto...

Just another in the long list of liberals killing people in service of their ideas. Usually niggers in distant places that can't be seen from San Francisco or Ann Arbor...

Posted by John Weidner at 6:33 AM

June 24, 2010

The deep perniciousness of "social justice"

I saw this quote by one Jerry H. Tempelman in an amazon.com review of Law, Legislation and Liberty, Volume 2: The Mirage of Social Justice, by F. A. Hayek...

...The following passage sums up the entire book quite well: "[I]n...a system in which each is allowed to use his knowledge for his own purposes the concept of 'social justice' is necessarily empty and meaningless, because in it nobody's will can determine the relative incomes of the different people, or prevent that they be partly dependent on accident. 'Social justice' can be given a meaning only in a directed or 'command' economy (such as an army) in which the individuals are ordered what to do; and any particular conception of 'social justice' could be realized only in such a centrally directed system. It presupposes that people are guided by specific directions and not by rules of just individual conduct.

Indeed, no system of rules of just individual conduct, and therefore no free action of the individuals, could produce results satisfying any principle of distributive justice...In a free society in which the position of the different individuals and groups is not the result of anybody's design—or could, within such a society, be altered in accordance with a generally applicable principle—the differences in reward simply cannot meaningfully be described as just or unjust." (pp. 69-70) ...

Thanks, I'm glad I don't need to read the book    ;-)

Actually, I'm posting this mostly because a blog is a good place to store this sort of thing. And I may need it someday because the term "social justice" is heard a lot in the Catholic world. I never say nothin' but I could someday, and I think 'social justice' is a deeply wicked idea.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:05 PM

June 15, 2010

Is we so surprised?

And That�s How You Keep Health Care Costs Down When Government Runs the System — Penraker:

A high proportion of deaths classed as euthanasia in Belgium involved patients who did not ask for their lives to be ended, a study found.

More than 100 nurses admitted to researchers that they had taken part in �terminations without request or consent�.

Although euthanasia is legal in Belgium, it is governed by strict rules which state it should be carried out only by a doctor and with the patient�s permission.

The disturbing revelation� -� which shows that nurses regularly go well beyond their legal role� -� raises fears that were assisted suicides allowed in Britain, they could never be properly regulated.

Since its legalization eight years ago, euthanasia now accounts for 2 per cent of deaths in Belgium� -� or around 2,000 a year....

The really scary thing about this is not the deaths but that one sub-group of humanity can be killed without formality. Can become non-persons, NOT by debate or decision, but just by a swing in public opinion. Those nurses didn't listen to debates on euthanasia, and then reach a decision. I'd be willing to bet money they didn't give it any thought at all. People don't. They absorb popular ideas, and treat them like truth. if the popular whim includes killing people, then the modern miss will kill them with less squemishness than whe killing cockroaches.

And I bet if you had told the Belgian legislators who debated and passed the law that they were on a slippery slope, and that soon inconvenient oldsters would be whacked with no more formality than killing a fly—they would have scoffed at you.

AND, I bet a lot of those "nurses" would describe themselves as pacifistic or "anti-war," and deride as barbaric the idea of killing people. And probably donate to prevent cruelty to animals and the wearing of fur coats..

AND AND the sort of people who like this kind of thing will assure us that tis is the very last situation in which termination of the unwanted will even be contemplated. Babies, check. Old people, check. But nothing else will happen. Scout's honor.

Posted by John Weidner at 10:48 PM

June 2, 2010

The Blue Beast...

(I wrote this a month or two ago, and got busy and never posted it. I actually start a lot more things than I post.)

Jim Geraghty, History Is Calling, but the Phone Keeps Ringing at 3 a.m.:

...It's not sustainable. Of course, as I said earlier this month, "unsustainable is the new normal." We're having a reckoning, but President Obama isn't all that interested in it; he wants to believe that a full, thriving economic recovery, along with rejuvenated tax revenues, is just around the corner.

I'm willing to bet that Walter Russell Mead's grocery list is full of fascinating historical allusions, but he's hit some similar notes in a few lengthy posts about what he calls "the blue beast" — a social model that defined our country for much of the last century, based upon large, stable entities — unionized oligarchies, big corporations, an ever-growing civil service, lifetime employment, etc. But that era has come to an end, and much of our political debate in the past decades is about trying to artificially extend the lifespan of the blue system by taking from the non-blue parts, or moving on to some other way of doing things:
Democratic policy is increasingly limited to one goal: feeding the blue beast. The great public-service providing institutions of our society — schools, universities, the health system, and above all government at municipal, state and federal levels — are built blue and think blue. The Democratic wing of the Democratic Party thinks its job is to make them bigger and keep them blue. Bringing the long green to Big Blue: that's what it's all about...

(There's more. I recommend reading it.)

"Based upon large, stable entities." That was the model of the Industrial Age. The reason was to have an organization that could transmit information reliably. Industrial Age organizations all worked vertically. Information was gathered at the bottom, and passed to the next layer to be organized and consolidated into reports, which were then passed up to the next layer. The retail level reported to the district, which reported to the region, which reported to headquarters, which reported to the top brass. Then instructions went back in the other direction.

In the old days the people on the sales floor might discover something important. Perhaps "Housewives are bored with pastels this Spring; they are asking for bright solid colors." But it could take a month for the news to pass up the levels. And then months for instructions to be pondered and then passed down to buyers and designers and the advertising agency. And months more before that resulted in finished goods and ads.

Today the private sector is increasingly horizontal, and the decision makers are, or should be, scanning blogs and forums, and noticing new trends quickly. And being closely in touch with their own workers, who know a lot. Designers can now send CAD or graphics files to factories, which may be able to shift production immediately. And the elements can be anywhere. The designer might be in San Francisco, the ad agency in London, the factory in Indonesia. UPS might contract for warehousing and fulfillment. And if the company is a lively one, every part of it will be able to simply vibrate with the moods of the market, and change instantaneously if needed.

But that's only where competition forces people to move quickly. Few of us act that way naturally. In the public and quasi-public sectors the Industrial Age model still prevails. And as the pubic sector has become cut-off from the spirit of the age, it has become cancerous. [link]

If you are aware of these changes you start to see them everywhere. For instance in the way David Brooks or Peggy Noonan whine about the loss of respect for elites and grand old institutions. But the "blue-blood establishment" of old was just another of those "large, stable entities." It was like GM, but the product was not cars, it was elite members of the "top brass." And its product, in the form of Ivy League grads, might be slotted into leadership positions in government, or industry, or the academy, or the press, or the "mainline" churches. Even unions! Those were all among the "large, stable entities" of the Industrial Age.

One of the biggest challenges of our age is to somehow transform all the public and quasi-public institutions into Information Age organizations.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:34 PM

May 22, 2010

"Back two spaces" in the board game of life...

A friend of ours, Kirk Kelsen, has written a good piece for the American Thinker, The Speaker Who Won't Speak with the People:

Kirk's attempts to engage Speaker Pelosi's staff in discussing the constitutionality of the health care bill seem naive to the point of being charmingly dream-like. Kirk, she's a demon from Hell, for pity's sake! Asking Pelosi about the Constitution is like asking Grendel to discuss table etiquette for a collation de minuit in a Mead Hall.

But Kirk is just dead-on on the way government regulations morph into government control even in supposedly private institutions. Finicky regulations multiply endlessly, and one says, "What is the purpose of this idiocy?" Well, the purpose is to train us to obedience to the welfare state. And to grind down any energy we might put into questioning the system.

Charlene and I recently applied for a mortgage pre-approval. I submitted recent bank statements, as is usual, and they were rejected! Why? Because they didn't have all their pages. I omitted the page that explains how to balance a bank statement, and also the page that said, "This page left deliberately blank." So, an hour or so wasted finding the statements online and sending them where they should go. My mood, after this and a lot of other hoop-jumpings-though? A kind of dull despair. Reform is impossible—most people can't even grasp what the problem is. (And it is possible that there is no there there. Some regulator may have frowned, and the obedient ant-workers of the "private" sector just imagined that all the pages were required, and spread the word that this is a new "regulation.")

...As massive new regulations blur the division between private business and federal government, choices will become limited to products supplied only by large corporations able to comply.

Or our choices disappear altogether.

Whether for banking or healthcare; or -- if Cap and Trade regulations become law -- selling a home or choosing what to eat, these transactions will be subject to a barrage of applications, either filled out by the citizen directly or shuffled upstream to companies supplying the goods and services we use, everyday. You liked trans-fats? Too bad. New York's Bloomberg regulations are going national.

But we'll get used to it. Engaging in federally restricted activities is like playing a board game: comply, and your application wends through a series of non-negotiable authorizations, albeit at glacial speed. Interrupt the normal process and it could be "back two spaces," so better to keep one's head down. Better, instead (as I did), to sign the Penalty of Perjury statement swearing that I am who I am, and wait for a bureaucrat to agree....

* Update: Interesting in this context are a couple of articles on doctors "dropping out" and working just for cash. Link, link.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:22 AM

May 9, 2010

Lefty bigots

I'm used to the mindless drone about conservative blacks not being "really black," etc. but this seems new to me: a politically conservative Jew isn't a Jew! Well, all I can do is spit with contempt with such idiocy, and suggest, with much better logic, that a liberal Jew isn't really a Jew.

Kevin D. Williamson:

I hate even to take notice of this sort of thing, but it is bothersome:
Along with Jonah Goldberg, one of the main guys who gets my goat is Eric Cantor. There's something unseemly about seeing fellow Jews turn into rightwingers.
Just as Clarence Thomas and Condoleezza Rice are abominated for the crime of being black and conservative, Miguel Estrada for being Hispanic and conservative, Sarah Palin for being a woman and conservative, etc. Eric Cantor is to be held in contempt because he's a conservative and a Jew. I'm no Torah scholar, it is true, so perhaps somebody could explain to me why being Jewish precludes a belief in limited government, individual rights, free enterprise, traditional morals and manners, etc.

And why shouldn't Yglesias be considered a bigot for writing this? Unseemly, indeed.
Posted by John Weidner at 9:48 PM

May 2, 2010

"Till I fill their hearts with knowledge, While I fill their eyes with tears..."

Mark Steyn, Police State:

Well, what else would you call a country where the cops threaten a man with arrest for putting an election sign saying "GET THE LOT OUT" in his window, and charge a Christian with "hooliganism" after he was overheard saying that he believed homosexuality was a sin?

Why the British put up with their capriciously thuggish inept constabulary is a mystery. But certainly a land where displaying the colors of the Union Jack counts as "racist" and expressing what remains the Church of England's official position on homosexuality gets you fingerprinted and locked up is not one that has any meaningful commitment to freedom of expression. The current election feels like a theatrical pseudo-campaign played out in the ruins of a civilization.

Yep. Game's over. But WE are the English now. We fought our revolution for the "Rights of Englishmen," and we still retain... well, some of those rights. And we still retain at least some of the Christian faith that was the basis and wellspring of those rights. The torch has been passed to the Americans, and the Australians. And perhaps to the other lands of the Anglosphere, though the news from Canada is not encouraging...

    THE RECALL
I am the land of their fathers.
In me the virtue stays.
I will bring back my children,
After certain days.

Under their feet in the grasses
My clinging magic runs.
They shall return as strangers.
They shall remain as sons.

Over their heads in the branches
Of their new-bought, ancient trees,
I weave an incantation
And draw them to my knees.

Scent of smoke in the evening,
Smell of rain in the night—
The hours, the days and the seasons,
Order their souls aright,

Till I make plain the meaning
Of all my thousand years—
Till I fill their hearts with knowledge,
While I fill their eyes with tears.
    --Rudyard Kipling

What's really cool is that we Americans have taken this mysterious compelling something, expressed in the phrase The Rights of Englishmen, and we made it universal in its applicability...

New citizens

Posted by John Weidner at 6:54 PM

April 22, 2010

A brutal detail about Waco I didn't know...

Remember this the next time you hear liberal Dems sniveling about Bush "torturing" terrorists, or preening themselves on how "they are doing it for the children." Or when you are told the Hillary Clinton is a kindly and caring soul...

From The Volokh Conspiracy :

...But the FBI knew beforehand that adults in the compound had gas masks; the gas therefore would not put pressure on them. On whom, then? If the FBI knew that the adults had gas masks, but went ahead with the gas attack anyway, it is plain that this "pressure" was brought directly against the children because, as the FBI knew, they could not fit into adult– size gas masks. "Maternal feelings", the FBI hoped, would be unleashed in the mothers by watching their children choking, gasping and blistering from the gas.

The plan Reno approved and took to President Clinton for approval contemplated the children choking in the gas unprotected for forty-eight hours if necessary, to produce the requisite "maternal feelings". By taking aim at the children with potentially lethal gas, their mothers would be compelled, according to the FBI plan repeatedly defended by the Clinton administration afterwards as "rational" planning, to flee with them into the arms of those trying to gas them. [Emphasis added.]

An independent report on Waco written by the Harvard Professor of Law and Psychiatry, Alan A. Stone, for the then Deputy Attorney General Philip Heymann, says it "is difficult to believe that the US government would deliberately plan to expose twenty-five children, most of them infants and toddlers, to CS gas for forty-eight hours". Unfortunately, however, that appears to have been exactly the plan.

The effect of CS gas on an unprotected infant exposed for only two to three hours is discussed in the report; in that case report, dating from the early 1970s, the child's symptoms during the first twenty-four hours were upper respiratory; but, within forty-eight hours his face showed evidence of first degree burns, and he was in severe respiratory distress typical of chemical pneumonia. The infant had cyanosis, required urgent positive pressure pulmonary care, and was hospitalized for twenty– eight days. Other signs of toxicity appeared, including an enlarged liver....

Kinda puts a new gloss of credibility on Linda Tripp's story...

Posted by John Weidner at 9:15 PM

April 5, 2010

Pacifism Kills, #340. (Thank you for the tip, AOG)

AOG writes,

...I want to touch on this comment by Hey Skipper
The common strategy prior to 9/11 was to accede to hijacker demands in order to ensure passenger safety.

How do I know? I was flying for a passenger airline then.

You will, of course, remember hijackings where airplanes flew all over heck and gone, and had hijackers in the cockpit all the while.

After 9/11, the common strategy changed completely. No matter how many pax are getting killed in back, the crew will take the airplane to the closest suitable airport where it will be met with armed force.
Has anyone else noticed how many fewer hijackings have occurred since this change? Another one for the pacifism kills files....

I remember the first airplane hijacking. (Or at least the first one that was famous.) When I was a boy some guy hijacked a plane to Cuba, to the consternation of the country. Of course the authorities did nothing, lest the passengers be endangered. The result was....... a spate of hijackings Cuba-ward, and that hijackings have been a plague ever since.

And I have often thought in recent decades of how history might have been different if those in power had just said "NO." "No, You are not going to Cuba, even if we have to shoot down the plane and kill ALL the passengers." Think of the hundreds—maybe thousands—of hijackings—many ending in bloodshed and loss of life—that might have been prevented. Think of the billions of dollars and millions of man-hours that would not have been squandered on airport security if hijackings weren't a worry. Think of the millions of lives that might have been saved or enriched or improved if that treasure had been put to constructive uses. Oh, and there's the little matter of 9/11. That form of attack would have never even been thought of if we had stood resolutely against hijacking

The "pacifism" (I'm obviously using the word in a broad-brush way) of not fighting back against the first hijacking was MURDER. Pacifism Kills.

But what is more infuriating to me than the waste of human lives is that there was no debate. Nobody made the case for appeasing hijackers; they just drifted along with the conventional wisdom. And while I'm very glad that the newer policy seems to have ended the scourge of hijacking, I don't think anyone is making the case for that either!

[**pause while I kick and pummel and slap some liberals because I am so aggravated by their intellectual pusillanimity** Ah! There, I feel better now...]

And think of this. Probably most of our squashy-brained mushy-thinking pacifist types would agree that it would have been a good idea for the first African tribesmen to have been enslaved to have fought back against capture by slave traders, even if many died in the attempt. Yet anyone who is hijacked or taken hostage is a temporary slave. Or perhaps long-term; many hostages are held for years. Surely the same logic should apply?

Posted by John Weidner at 6:14 PM

March 25, 2010

Pacifism kills #339

Alan Sullivan, Pirate Update:

The hesitancy is incredible. Piracy now and piracy in the Eighteenth Century are no different. Once a coastal people has taken to piracy for a living — the best living the sea has to offer for subsistence fishermen — the only way to break the cycle is to kill a lot of pirates.

Read the article he links to. It is just steeped in the fatuous ideas that I try to pin down under slippery labels like "pacifism" or "non-violence" or "anti-war." They are the very same arguments that are used against fighting terrorists, or deposing fascist dictators, or fighting crime. And they are wrong; they encourage violence and war. Pacifism causes war.

It would have been a merciful deed, and an act of Christian Charity, to smack the pirates hard the very first time they acted, even if it meant killing people. To allow them to get away with piracy in the beginning has confirmed them in the value of a life of crime. We will be probably be fighting pirates for decades to come, probably with increasing violence on both sides. We of the West, of the developed nations, have failed our clear duty.

It is exactly the same with the War on Terror. The West should have slammed Islamic terrorism ruthlessly decades ago, as soon as it reared its head. When it was still small, and had not yet sunk deep roots. The failure to do so will probably cost millions of lives in the long run, if it hasn't already done so. And keep in mind that the terrorists kill about 10 Muslims for every westerner. So failure to stop them early was violence against Muslims.

Pacifism is murder.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:44 AM

March 23, 2010

"Governmentalized health care changes... the very character of the people"

This is the best summing-up of how I feel. Mark Steyn, Happy Dependence Day!:

Well, it seems to be in the bag now. I try to be a sunny the-glass-is-one-sixteenth-full kinda guy, but it's hard to overestimate the magnitude of what the Democrats have accomplished. Whatever is in the bill is an intermediate stage: As the graph posted earlier shows, the governmentalization of health care will accelerate, private insurers will no longer be free to be "insurers" in any meaningful sense of that term (ie, evaluators of risk), and once that's clear we'll be on the fast track to Obama's desired destination of single payer as a fait accomplis.

If Barack Obama does nothing else in his term in office, this will make him one of the most consequential presidents in history. It's a huge transformative event in Americans' view of themselves and of the role of government. You can say, oh, well, the polls show most people opposed to it, but, if that mattered, the Dems wouldn't be doing what they're doing. Their bet is that it can't be undone, and that over time, as I've been saying for years now, governmentalized health care not only changes the relationship of the citizen to the state but the very character of the people. As I wrote in NR recently, there's plenty of evidence to support that from Britain, Canada, and elsewhere.

More prosaically, it's also unaffordable. That's why one of the first things that middle-rank powers abandon once they go down this road is a global military capability. If you take the view that the U.S. is an imperialist aggressor, congratulations: You can cease worrying. But, if you think that America has been the ultimate guarantor of the post-war global order, it's less cheery. Five years from now, just as in Canada and Europe two generations ago, we'll be getting used to announcements of defense cuts to prop up the unsustainable costs of big government at home. And, as the superpower retrenches, America's enemies will be quick to scent opportunity.

Longer wait times, fewer doctors, more bureaucracy, massive IRS expansion, explosive debt, the end of the Pax Americana, and global Armageddon. Must try to look on the bright side...
Posted by John Weidner at 12:01 PM

March 21, 2010

Off the cliff....

Hugh Hewitt : A Defining Weekend for Democrats:

...This is a dramatic moment in American politics, because if Obamacare passes the House, the Democratic Party is defining itself for a generation and probably two as the agent of American decline. It may be that the 1.6 trillion dollar deficit and the "stimulus"-that-wasn't has already done so, but Democrats could always blame the panic of 2008 for those incredibly harmful interventions.

Not so with Obamacare and the assault on the Constitution required to get even this far. They are breaking the American health care system and using extraordinary levels of taxation to cripple the economy at the same time. They are assaulting seniors and they are funding abortion directly with tax dollars. The president and the Speaker have redefined the party to the far left in 15 short months. The country's reaction will be entered in six more. Then the repair of the damage will have to begin.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer provides a glimpse of what House back benchers are feeling in terms of political pressure. Good. They all know that what they are being urged to do is profoundly against the will of their voters. When they are turned out in massive numbers in the fall, they will have no one to blame but themselves. The Boccieris and the Spaces and the Altmires should never have been elected in the first place and they are simply signaling their constituents their inability to genuinely represent them as opposed to the coastal elites and Chicago operators in charge of the party....

This has got to be the strangest political moment I've ever seen. I'd say that on the surface level of rational thought this mad drive off the political cliff is only explained by the expectation that putting the government in control of health care will lead to permanent political dominance by the Left. So much of our lives, especially at our most vulnerable moments, will be controlled by the state that no serious rebellion will be possible.

But my guess is that the real action is on a deeper level. Symbolically America is God. God the Father. America has authority, handed down from the forefathers, and ultimately from God. She demands that we consider her greater than our individual selves, and, when necessary, that we even pay the ultimate price to preserve her.

The Leftists of old often wanted to replace this "god" with a different god, such as socialist or fascist revolution. Or with liberalism's socialism-light, or Progressivism's managerial utopias.

The leadership of the Dem Party is far-left, because they are the ones who get elected to the safe seats in "blue" places like San Francisco or Chicago or New York, and thereafter stay in office long enough to build up massive seniority and influence. And also, I'd guess, because a lot of moderate and "blue dog" Dems are faking it, and are secretly more left-leaning than they admit.

But today's Leftists are not like their grandparents at all. There is no secret program to which they dedicate themselves; nothing they consider bigger than the individual. They worship only themselves; everything else has drained away. Their only goal is to create a world where they can feel comfortable putting themselves at the center of all. This world is very socialistic, with everything wrapped in blankets of government bureaucracy. But it isn't really socialist at all. Obama is an Obama-ist; Pelosi's only program is Pelosi-ism.

Actually, if you think about the old-time Leftists and socialists who went off to fight in the Spanish Civil War, you can see that what the Left is peddling is just as much anti-socialist as it is anti-capitalist. San Fran Nan would be just as repelled by a demand that she risk her life for some socialist program as she is by the demands of America and American liberty (and God, and Western Civilization, and Israel).

People don't see this because most people are stupefyingly ignorant of history. They have never "seen" the old Leftists who often lived lives that were almost "saint-like" in their poverty, obedience to the cause. Even chastity sometimes! Martyrdom often. There's nothing like it today. Lefty politics is just another affectation of the self-indulgent, fitting in with organic foods and expensive "green" automobiles...

Posted by John Weidner at 9:04 AM

February 12, 2010

To be meanly-mouthed is to be a LIAR...

Shaun Waterman, Washington Times, Terror reviews avoid word 'Islamist':

...Two new documents laying out the Obama administration's defense and homeland security strategy over the next four years describe the nation's terrorist enemies in a number of ways but fail to mention the words Islam, Islamic or Islamist.

The 108-page Quadrennial Homeland Security Review, made public last week by the Department of Homeland Security, uses the term "terrorist" a total of 66 times, "al Qaeda" five times and "violent extremism" or "extremist" 14 times. It calls on the U.S. government to "actively engage communities across the United States" to "stop the spread of violent extremism."

Yet in describing terrorist threats against the United States and the ideology that motivates terrorists, the review - like its sister document from the Pentagon, the Quadrennial Defense Review - does not use the words "Islam," "Islamic" or "Islamist" a single time....

Sick. If the Islamic terrorists don't hit us hard just to express their contempt for this sort of death-wish nihilism, they are far bigger wimps that I imagine. America deserves to be attacked, for tolerating such weak-kneed gutless womanish crap.

We will be hit, and then President Palin will take office and chase those flea-ridden scumballs howling back to their caves...

Terrorists turned to grease spot in Yemen.

Posted by John Weidner at 5:56 PM

January 11, 2010

The enemy of my enemy is....

Charlene noticed this post, and tried it herself with the same results. Google Blocking Negative Search Recommendations On Islam – Why?:

Religion always causes a stir when it is debated, and Google seems to know it. Google is not taking a fair approach to the way that it handles searches for different religions.

When you search for the major religions of the world, the monotheistic faiths for example, Google serves up suggestions for the search "Christianity is" such as, "a lie," or false." Try it on a number of faiths, and then Islam.

Notice any difference?

Google is systematically blocking, it seems, all search suggestions for Islam. Why? To remove the chance of an adherent of the faith from being offended by a perhaps severe search suggestion? Why not treat all search terms equally?...

Why? Good question. My guess is that the people who run Google are just garden-variety Lefties, and have absorbed (without actually thinking, of course) the common Lefty position that "offending" Islam is a horrid thing, but other religions can and should be bashed. And my guess is that, on a deep level, the reason for this is that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."

Posted by John Weidner at 6:42 AM

December 27, 2009

The terrorist attempt was successful--it terrorized us...

Andy McCarthy :

...Apropos Mark's observations (here and here), I couldn't help but be struck by this ambiguous passage in the Washington Post's report this morning: "The incident marks the latest apparent attempt by terrorists to bring down a U.S. aircraft through the use of an improvised weapon, and set in motion urgent security measures that disrupted global air travel during the frenetic holiday weekend." No doubt the Post means that "the incident" has "set in motion urgent security measures," but it was just as clearly "an attempt by terrorists" — and a successful attempt, at that — to "set in motion urgent security measures." It sounds trite but it's worth repeating: The object of terrorism is to terrorize, and obviously the mission has been accomplished even if the plane was not brought down.

In Willful Blindness , I recount the debacle of repeated entries into the United States by, among others, the Blind Sheikh (Omar Abdel Rahman) and al Qaeda operative Ali Mohammed — the former permitted free entrance, egress and, finally, a green card (as a special religious worker) even though he was one of the world's most famous jihadists and was on the terror watch lists for having authorized the murder of Anwar Sadat; the latter permitted to immigrate from Egypt and join the U.S. army despite having been caught trying to infiltrate the CIA.

Now, nearly 20 years later — after 9/11, the 9/11 Commission, etc. — we have Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab: He was in the terrorist "database" because we were warned by his own influential father of his radical ties and proclivities, and he was evidently notorious among associates in Africa and Europe for his jihadist leanings; yet, he was issued a multiple-entry visa. And he claims to have been trained in Yemen — the al Qaeda hub to which the administration has just sent a half-dozen trained jihadists previously detained in Gitmo, and where it hopes to send many more...

Well, I've often explained why they are "willfully blind; no need to repeat myself...

Posted by John Weidner at 9:22 PM

December 26, 2009

Drag queen theatrics...

RELIGION OF PEACE ATTEMPTS TO BLOW UP ANOTHER AIRPLANE TODAY — HillBuzz:

...Well, Muslims are the ones blowing up airplanes. Until they stop doing that, profile the living s*** out of them. Make them fly totally naked, with no carry-on bags allowed, or don't let them fly at all. Inconveniencing members of "The Religion of Peace" is a small price to pay for permanently preventing these animals from bringing down any more airplanes.

What's going to happen is this: Liberals will guarantee Muslims will continue to have the ability to kill Americans in airplanes. Muslims will effectively bully the TSA and airlines, with Liberals' aid and comfort, to lower the security levels enough so that they are able to sneak the next generation of liquid and powder explosive combinations onto flights. With love of theatrics greater than any drag queen we've ever known, Muslims will use the current administration's fondness for Islam to stage either another round of hijackings/crashes into buildings or will just pick a day in the future and detonate bombs on a dozen or so planes all at once, putting fireballs over major cities. The Liberal MSM will then puzzle and wonder how this happened, and will of course try to blame the Bush Administration in some way.

It sure feels like Al Queda's back in the air terror business after successfully being shut down during the Bush years. But, with the Lightbringer in office, and Eric Holder in the Justice Department, it sure feels like Muslims are once again comfortable with taking down airplanes.

This appears to be coordinated efforts to test our systems, in advance of another big attack.

Which is all ridiculous, of course, if you believe Islam really is "the religion of peace" — because how could Muslims, if they really do love peace so much, sit quietly on their butts all over this country when their fellow Muslims plot and scheme to bring down planes like this?

That's a question we never can find a very good answer for....

Actually someone pointed out the answer recently. It's perfectly possible to interpret Islam as a "religion of peace." BUT, those Muslims who do so are in much the same position as pro-abortion Christians. They can never win the intellectual battles. They can never be a winning movement that changes the religion as a whole.

Even if most Muslims are peaceful (whatever that may mean to them), "peaceful Islam" is a fringe movement, and will continue to be so until we have pounded on war-loving Islam with murderous violence for a century or two. That's just the way it is.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:39 AM

December 23, 2009

Our insanity is a thing of dream-like beauty, #2

'Huge rise' in number of women seeking help for alcohol addiction | News (Thanks to Orrin Judd):

Soaring numbers of women are seeking help for drink addiction in the run-up to Christmas....

So, Englishmen, how's that post-Christian thing working out?

Didja ever notice something odd about "feminism?" That it was always about encouraging women to mimic the worst characteristics of men? No "feminist" leaders have ever suggested that women adopt honor, chivalry, nobility, stout-heartedness, or defense of the innocent. But pub-crawling, swearing, smoking, careerism, tattoos, casual sex, and a general hardness of heart.... Hey, you've made progress, baby! Just avoid babies, and the sky's the limit.

And how's this for being suicidally stupid:

...Supermarkets are accused of encouraging binge drinking by selling alcohol more cheaply than bottled water. Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury's are among those selling beer at just over 5p per 100ml.

Addictions expert Professor Ian Gilmore, head of the Royal College of Physicians, warned: "Voluntary partnerships with the industry aren't working. They must be backed up with measures from the Government to tackle heavily discounted alcohol this Christmas."...

Oh right. It's purely an economic problem. There's nothing that exists except materialism, which is the answer to every problem. "Experts" will tweak prices, and behavior will be adjusted thereby. The British problem is lack of government regulations!

Pay no attention to those primitivos who suggest that there can be spiritual problems. The science is SETTLED!

Posted by John Weidner at 7:33 AM

December 20, 2009

Our insanity is a thing of dream-like beauty...Failures can be repeated endlessly, effortlessly...

Police expect Mumbai-style terror attack on City of London - Times Online:

Scotland Yard has warned businesses in London to expect a Mumbai-style attack on the capital. ["Expect." But don't you dare DO anything]

In a briefing in the City of London 12 days ago, a senior detective from SO15, the Metropolitan police counter-terrorism command, said: "Mumbai is coming to London." [And we will work really hard at being as sappy and shit-stupid as the Indians.]

The detective said companies should anticipate a shooting and hostage-taking raid "involving a small number of gunmen with handguns and improvised explosive devices". [But shooting back will be punished by long prison terms.]

The warning — the bluntest issued by police — has underlined an assessment that a terrorist cell may be preparing an attack on London early next year

It was issued by the Met through its network of “security forums”, which provide business leaders, local government and the emergency services with counter-terrorism advice. ["Advice." Oh. And what, pray, IS THE ADVICE? Hmm? What COULD it be? How about: "In Case Of Attack, Cower."] ...

Perhaps this, from the same piece, will shed light...

...Earlier this year, police, military and intelligence services held an exercise in Kent to see whether they could defeat a commando raid in London by terrorists.

"The exercise brought out to those taking part that the capability doesn't exist to deal with that situation should it arise," said a military source....
What's the old new saying? "When seconds count, the police will be there in minutes"...
...The Met is understood to be struggling to draw up effective plans to deal with the challenge of mass shootings followed by a prolonged siege with terrorists prepared to kill their hostages and themselves.

In Mumbai, many victims were killed in the first half hour of the attack. The Met is concerned that it will be much longer before the SAS, which has traditionally dealt with terrorist sieges in London, would arrive from its base at Regent's Park barracks...

Of course it must be longer. The laws of physics can't be repealed, even by those Lefty geniuses who would no doubt find it easy to create the "New Soviet Man." Even if SAS commandos were sitting, fully armed, in their helicopters, it would STILL take at least a half hour to get to the scene and get into action. And that's assuming the attackers stay put, instead of fanning out in different directions in the confusion and attacking at random points.

There's only ONE possible answer. I posted this on November 12, 2001!   (My very first week as a blogger. I was telling the TRUTH then, I'm still telling the same truth. And what have I gained? Just a certain personal satisfaction.):
InstaPundit mentions that John Lott has written an exceedingly interesting piece in the New York Post on the Israeli view of concealed handguns.

"Israelis realize that the police and military simply can't be there all the time to protect people when terrorists attack: There are simply too many vulnerable targets. (When the police or military are nearby, terrorists wait until they leave.) And when terrorists strike, their first targets include anyone openly carrying a gun.

What Israel has found helpful in thwarting terrorist attacks is allowing law-abiding, trained citizens to carry concealed handguns. About 10 percent of Jewish adults there now have permits to carry concealed handguns."

I feel quite confident is asserting that the general run of British (and American) Leftists would happily accept tens-of-thousands of deaths rather than adopt the obvious counter-measure, which is an armed citizenry. Leftism is murder. Pacifism is murder. Leftism and pacifism are anti-Christian. They are diabolic.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:59 AM

November 25, 2009

PC imbecilicity...

The ultimate (so far) PC insanity...

Navy SEALs Face Assault Charges for Capturing Most-Wanted Terrorist (and giving him a fat lip):

Navy SEALs have secretly captured one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq — the alleged mastermind of the murder and mutilation of four Blackwater USA security guards in Fallujah in 2004. And three of the SEALs who captured him are now facing criminal charges, sources told FoxNews.com.

The three, all members of the Navy's elite commando unit, have refused non-judicial punishment — called an admiral's mast — and have requested a trial by court-martial.

Ahmed Hashim Abed, whom the military code-named "Objective Amber," told investigators he was punched by his captors — and he had the bloody lip to prove it.

Now, instead of being lauded for bringing to justice a high-value target, three of the SEAL commandos, all enlisted, face assault charges and have retained lawyers....

I was going to vent on this crap, but Uncle Jimbo was there fustest and bestest (addressing a certain fool who wants to toss our guys under the PC bus)

...Let me explain something to you amigo. That wrist slap would be a career-ender in Spec Ops for these men. You understand? We take three guys who accomplish more in a lazy afternoon than you have in your entire anonymous, snarking-from-the-sideline, existence and we put them out of work making dead tangos. And that sounds like what should have happened to this ass clown. If he dies during the take down we have no problems.

I know you have no earthly clue just how god-awful complicated it is to actually perform a raid and scarf up a bad guy, let's just say it rates up there with trying to conduct a Beethoven Symphony with your orchestra in free fall, screaming towards Earth like a phalanx of freaking lawn darts. That is why we like to send a f**king Hellfire down on them and last time I checked that leaves a little more than a god damn bloody lip. And yes I am saying I don't care if he got it once he got to base. What if the guy who clocked his murderous ass knew Scott Helverson, who this bastard helped kill, burn and then defile his corpse? Do you really want to be on record saying he should be made an example of? Do you remember what Kos said about the four men this scumbag killed you dumbass? I'll remind you "F**k them". You are sure in illustrious company.

I realize you get paid to say controversial shite all day long. Every once in a while you ought to take a gander at who gives you the freedom to flap your freakin' gums and think twice before you decide that zero-tolerance demands that your betters suffer for some bullshit like this. Don't offer the PC losers cover, ever. They will use it against my friends.
Posted by John Weidner at 7:44 AM

November 23, 2009

Just the usual craziness..

Dave Winer, No escalation in Afghanistan:

...I assumed that because we elected Obama to end the war in Iraq that it went without saying that the war in Afghanistan would be ended as well.

Apparently not so.

The President is now considering an escalation of the war in Afghanistan...

I can't believe the stupidity of this. Stupid of course on the surface level since Obama and the "democrats" pounded on Bush for years for supposedly neglecting the "good war" in Afghanistan in favor of putting resources into Iraq. Even someone stupid enough to vote for Obama has to realize that it wouldn't be possible to instantly say "We were lying."

But more importantly, stupid in the way we've seen so many times, with Leftists simply not believing that anything is real except the US (and Israel). We saw the same thing in Vietnam. Once the US troops went home, "the war was over." In fact it wasn't over. Millions of people were still to be killed and imprisoned and driven into exile by the Progressives. But to Leftists, the war really was over! Only the US is real to them. Actually, not even that—they are reacting to the bogeyman US that exists only in their heads.

Does any SANE person believe that peace will drop the like the dew on Afghanistan if the Yanks pull out? That "the war will be over?" To a Lefty, only America or Israel wage war. Imagine we leave Afghanistan—leave completely. And imagine a Leftizoid then saying, "There's a war going on between the Taliban and the Afghan Government." It's unimaginable. They would never say it. (Unless they could somehow blame the US. Then it would be a war.)

Posted by John Weidner at 7:53 PM

November 16, 2009

Somebody gettin' nervous?

I think this Newsweek article by Christopher Hitchens is interesting, not because of what it says about Sarah Palin, but what Hitchens is revealing about himself..

Sarah Palin's Political Instincts:

...The Palin problem, then, might be that she cynically incites a crowd that she has no real intention of pleasing. If she were ever to get herself to the nation's capital, the teabaggers would be just as much on the outside as they are now, and would simply have been the instruments that helped get her elected. In my own not-all-that-humble opinion, duping the hicks is a degree or two worse than condescending to them. It's also much more dangerous, because it meanwhile involves giving a sort of respectability to ideas that were discredited when William Jennings Bryan was last on the stump. The Weekly Standard (itself not exactly a prairie-based publication) might want to think twice before flirting with popular delusions and resentments that are as impossible to satisfy as the demand for a silver standard or a ban on the teaching of Darwin, and are for that very reason hard to tamp down. Many of Palin's admirers seem to expect that, on receipt of the Republican Party nomination, she would immediately embark on a crusade against Wall Street and the banks. This notion is stupid to much the same degree that it is irresponsible.

Then there's the question of character and personality. Decades ago, Walter Dean Burnham pointed out that right-wing populists tended to fail because they projected anger and therefore also attracted it. (He was one of the few on the left to predict that the genial Ronald Reagan would win for this very reason.) Let's admit that Sarah Palin is more attractive—some might even want to say more appealing—than much of her enraged core constituency. But then all we are considering is a point of packaging and marketing, where charm is supposed to make up for what education and experience have failed thus far to supply. We are further obliged to consider the question: exactly how charming is the Joan of Arc of the New Right, who also hears voices speaking to her of "spiritual warfare"?...

Now I like Hitchens, and have always respected him even when I disagree with him. But recently he's been writing stuff that's just not very good and not very convincing. His Atheist book, and his scratching at Sarah in particular. And I think that tells us something about him. For instance, what evidence does he have that Sarah is "duping the hicks?" None, as far as I know. And in fact the tea party crowd aren't really hicks. At least, I've been to a tea party and that simply wasn't true. Most attendees were not sophisticated or intellectual, but they seemed to be thoughtful concerned ordinary citizens. Nor did they show any interest in the "teaching of Darwin."

Palin supporters are angry at things that ordinary Americans have always gotten angry about, from the very beginning of this country. Americans have often angrily protested high taxes, big government programs (What were called "improvements" in Jefferson's time) and intrusive government. To pretend that tea parties are some sort of ugly primitive aberration is just stupid. Why is a smart guy like Hitch being stupid?

My theory is that Hitchens has, intellectually, gotten himself into an unnerving spot, and he's lashing out in anger because he's frightened. He has several times in recent years criticized his fellow leftists, for things such as supporting tyrants like Saddam, and not being willing to fight the War on Terror. (For which I honor him.) But for a thinking person (which Hitch is and most Lefties aren't) the obvious question that comes next is, how many other things does my Lefty crowd have wrong? Could we have it ALL wrong?

Palin is a symbol of Hitchens' uneasiness. She's the most exciting politician in the country right now... Maybe in the world. And every aspect of her is a repudiation of the Leftist zeitgeist. Her clothes, her hair, her baby... everything about her. She's far more of a threat to a wavering Lefty than some "moderate" Republican would be, because the threat is that—if she's right—everything might have to change!

Same thing with the atheism schtick. If you are a thinking atheist, there are lots of disturbing things to ponder right now. For instance, Hitch was probably raised to assume that Euro-socialism and secularism were successful projects, the "wave of the future." How's that working out? Or how about those assumptions that humanity was going to "outgrow" religion? Also, it's not a good time to be a thinking atheist, when the only world-class European figure is the Pope!

And that stuff about "duping the hicks?" And "cynically inciting crowds?" Could that be, er, projection, Mr Hitchens?It sounds more like what one might say about Obama than Palin.

Likewise with "instruments that helped get her elected." Perhaps that should read "him?" Or "ideas that were discredited when William Jennings Bryan was last on the stump." What precisely do you mean? I'd say you ought to be pondering whether socialism or big-government liberalism or unions might be called "discredited." I'd be a bit nervous if I were in your intellectual shoes...

Posted by John Weidner at 6:32 PM

November 15, 2009

Just do it...

John Hinderaker, at Power Line:

...On our radio show yesterday, Andy McCarthy proposed an explanation that amplifies on Scott's last paragraph. He suggested that the Obama administration views KSM et al. as its allies (my paraphrase) in its war against the Bush administration. Obama expects them to make their treatment by the Bush administration, real and imagined, the centerpiece of their defense, with the possible result that Bush, Cheney, and others may be indicted as war criminals by European countries or international courts, thereby satisfying the far left of the Democratic Party, which Obama represents. I'll post a podcast of the interview when it's available.

Makes sense to me. Leftists hate President Bush because he is a liberal. (Just think: What could be a more liberal—in the style of Truman and FDR—project, than toppling a fascist dictator and bringing democracy to the liberated.) Bush revealed how utterly empty and fraudulent our "liberals" are. (They hate Sarah Palin because she is.... America. Same dynamic.)

Well, I say, "Bring it on!" Just do it. I hope KSM is "acquitted," and walks out of the courtroom a free man, pumping his fist in the air and yelling "Allahooo Ackabar!" while crowds of smelly hippies and "pacifists" cheer. I look forward to President Palin explaining—politely of course—that any indictments of any Americans by those pygmy "international courts" will constitute an Act of War...

Smelly hippie lights cig on burning American flag

Posted by John Weidner at 9:41 AM

November 6, 2009

Am I right or am I right?

From a CBS News story, Female Cop Hailed as Ft. Hood Hero:

...Hasan, who was facing deployment overseas, was initially reported killed in the attack but he survived his wounds and is currently in stable condition in a civilian hospital. Officials are trying to piece together a possible motive for the attack, believed to be the worst ever at a U.S. domestic military debate. [sic]...

It's gonna be tough, folks. "Piecing together" a "possible motive" for the attack. It's a good thing we have experts who understand these things. Most likely we will just never know why this mentally disturbed person, who belongs to a "religion of peace," went berserk. He was handing out Korans that very morning, which is surly a peaceful thing to do, right? Right?

Maybe it was something he ate.



(In case someone hasn't been following, my title refers to this post, where I quoted:

...Over the past couple of years there have been several SJS incidents directed against Americans. It is remarkable that even when the perpetrator explicitly linked his motives to jihad, the authorities refused to accept his word....)
Posted by John Weidner at 10:58 AM

November 3, 2009

Long march to nowhere...

Belmont Club:

...Although Barack Obama has often been described as an "Alinsky organizer", the calumny was on Alinsky. Barack Obama is the very antithesis of the kind of organizer that Saul Alinsky envisioned: a man who permanently eschewed the limelight; who developed leaders and never became a leader himself and who always lived by the axiom, "let the people decide". In Obama we see a man who purposefully mobilized supporters in order to control them from the outset. Then when Obama attained the White House, he reconfirmed his earlier decision. Organizing For America became Organizing for President Obama.

To the question, "Where are the Tea Parties of the Left?" the simple answer is: they were led from the top. The crucial question which every man of the left must wrestle with is whether Tea Parties of the Left will ever be led from the bottom. George Orwell always assumed the answer to be "yes" until he learned differently in Catalonia. Most people on the Left think that rebellion is a permanent condition of "their" side. When out of power maybe. When in power things are different. Conservatives operate on a different model from that of the Left. They band together at need but tend to form no permanent organizations. By contrast, the Left is a standing political army. It never sleeps. It never disbands. It is always on the march, in season and out of season. And even when it isn't doing anything — it is doing something. And when it is in power, it must do even more....

The problem is that if people are allowed to do what they want, well, another name for that is Capitalism. The underlying philosophy of Leftist thought is what Peter Drucker called "salvation by society." Which means that individuals have to fall in line. Or, oft-times, fall in line and march towards the boxcars. The will never be a leftish version of the Tea Party Movement, at least not for very long....

Posted by John Weidner at 7:49 PM

October 29, 2009

"loafers, chislers and social parasites"

Kurt Schlichter, The Worst Song of All Time: 'Imagine':

...There's also the gratuitous commie babbling: "Imagine no possessions/I wonder if you can/No need for greed or hunger/A brotherhood of man/Imagine all the people/Sharing all the world." To quote a better song by the infinitely more talented Frank Zappa, a man with an admirable lack of patience for such treacle, gag me with a spoon.

I'm not sure of the Lennon timeline, but didn't he write this nonsense about the same time he ditched England because of the tax bite he was taking to help pay for its socialist welfare state? Sure, depriving a rapacious lefty government of revenue by moving to someplace with a more sensible tax rate is clearly the morally correct thing to do, but isn't the transparent hypocrisy of this poser a bit much to stomach?

And if all that's not insipid enough, we also get: "You may say that I'm a dreamer/But I'm not the only one." Oh, please.

The most galling thing about "Imagine" is how it urges the listener to assume the mantle of that "dreamer," thereby joining the ranks of the free spirits, bohemians and other assorted loafers, chislers and social parasites who are only too happy to belly up to the table that is our society but who are nowhere to be found when the check arrives:

"Sorry, I can't be bothered to work to build something or to fight to defend anything — you see, I'm a dreamer, so you just let me know when you've gotten everything ready for me to enjoy.� Until then, I'll be here relaxing on my parents' sofa, pretending to read Gravity's Rainbow."...

The moral bankruptcy of Lefty nihilism is, of course, shocking, but what knocks me out is that people—by the millions—make themselves stupid, in order to belong to that world. People are literally giving themselves "virtual lobotomies," lowering their IQ's, in order to exist in the soft vague floofy green/pacifist/vegetarian/hopeychangey/mystical steaming pile of mindless shit that is Bobo culture. (While expecting to be provided with a middle class lifestyle, and, if there's danger, to be defended by strong people with guns.)

Posted by John Weidner at 8:31 AM

October 28, 2009

"Chilling from the standpoint of freedom"

Good stuff, by Thomas Sowell:

Just one year ago, would you have believed that an unelected government official, not even a Cabinet member confirmed by the Senate but simply one of the many "czars" appointed by the President, could arbitrarily cut the pay of executives in private businesses by 50 percent or 90 percent?

Did you think that another "czar" would be talking about restricting talk radio? That there would be plans afloat to subsidize newspapers— that is, to create a situation where some newspapers' survival would depend on the government liking what they publish?

Did you imagine that anyone would even be talking about having a panel of so-called "experts" deciding who could and could not get life-saving medical treatments?

Scary as that is from a medical standpoint, it is also chilling from the standpoint of freedom. If you have a mother who needs a heart operation or a child with some dire medical condition, how free would you feel to speak out against an administration that has the power to make life and death decisions about your loved ones?...

That last bit is very interesting. Suppose I was in a big hassle with the IRS or some other government agency. And I had to drive to their office and go to meetings that might have dire consequences for me.

I would probably scrape the Republican bumper stickers off my car!

It would just make sense. Most government employees are liberal Democrats. And a large percentage of them are not committed to high ideals of fairness and impartiality. We know this, we can see it. Just think back to when "Joe the plumber" embarrassed Obama in the 2008 campaign, and government employees in Ohio instantly leaked Joe's records to the press.

And the really ugly thing was that none among liberals and Democrats seemed to be ashamed! None of them hung their heads in shame and apologized for this disgusting behavior. And now it is being proposed to give these people control over us in our most weak and vulnerable moments...

Posted by John Weidner at 6:30 AM

October 9, 2009

In honor of the great honor given our president...

Imagine some people who have had a wild drunken party, and now they are starting to sober up... and the sun is coming up, and they are sitting in the squalid mess. Ugh... and they pour one more round of drinks, to try to keep the party alive... That's what I think this "Nobel Prize" idiocy is like.

Musings of a psychotherapist, Robin of Berkeley:

...Even out here, things are starting to feel spooky. While it's always weird central in Berkeley, now there's a malaise in the air.

Yes, there are plenty of people so far into the communist schtick, they would gladly sacrifice their children, their granny, and their life savings for the Left.

But most liberals still want their houses, jobs, Hondas and iPods. When they voted for Obama, they weren't giving a thumbs up for the country to go the way of Ché.

So there's a strange, foreboding vibe in these parts; that creepy feeling you get when you know there's bad news ahead.

Many liberals look dazed and confused because they have no language, no information, no way of understanding what in the world is going on.

Interestingly, there's this eerie silence about Obama. You don't hear a peep about him. Or course, liberals are still foaming at the mouth about Sarah Palin, tea baggers, birthers, and all things conservative.

But adulation for Obama: Missing in Action. A telling sign: the life size black and white cardboard doll of Obama in a storefront near my office has been taken down. Where did it go -- to the local recycling center with other discarded Obamabilia?

Because I'm a psychotherapist, I'm intrigued by what goes on inside and outside. People not only suffer because of neurotic minds, but because of what people do to us when they abuse their power.

The family dramas, problems at work, or dysfunction in D.C. unnerve us. As Presidential nominee, Michael Dukakis, indelicately put it, "Fish rots from the head down." ...
Posted by John Weidner at 7:08 AM

October 8, 2009

Ya know what the best thing about not being a "cradle Catholic" is?

I have NEVER voted for anyone named Kennedy!!!!!

TED KENNEDY: "I SLEPT WITH OVER A THOUSAND WOMEN" —National Enquirer:

Ted Kennedy slept with more than a thousand women — and spent at least $10 million in hush money over the years to keep his skirt-chasing a secret!

The late senator made those sensational confessions in a chapter of his autobiography, but horrified family members and advisers cut them out.

Before he died of brain cancer at age 77 on Aug. 25, the womanizing politician also revealed that he planned to seduce Mary Jo Kopechne on the night she drowned, said a close source.

"While dictating his memoirs into a tape recorder, Ted decided to tell the whole truth about his life - including his love life. He said that his first lover was an Irish nanny. She was about 19, and Ted was only 13," the source divulged....

Perhaps even creepier than the fact that Catholics vote for those animals is that "feminists" do. Yechhh.

Posted by John Weidner at 5:49 PM

September 24, 2009

Subsidiarity. Something all conservatives should be for...

From a column by Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis...

....Reading the commentaries of my brother bishops, I realized that I did not mention another essential Catholic principle that should have been included in my last column: subsidiarity, which posits that health care ought to be determined, administered and coordinated at the lowest level of society whenever possible.

In other words, those intermediary communities and associations that exist between the federal government and the individual must be strengthened and given greater control over policies and practices rather than being given less and less control. [have this sentence tattooed on your arm.]

To usurp this "hierarchy of communities" is terribly damaging in the long run, both to society as a whole and the individual citizen (See Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1883, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, No. 185 ff).

Papal insights

Two quotes from Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI are instructive in this regard:

Pope John Paul II has written:
"By intervening directly and depriving society of its responsibility, the Social Assistance State leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies, which are dominated more by bureaucratic ways of thinking than by concern for serving their clients, and which are accompanied by an enormous increase in spending" (Pope John Paul II, "Centesimus Annus," No. 48).
Pope Benedict writes:
"The State which would provide everything, [That sounds familiar somehow] absorbing everything into itself, would ultimately become a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering person — every person — needs: namely, loving personal concern. We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need . . . . In the end, the claim that just social structures would make works of charity superfluous masks a materialist conception of man: the mistaken notion that man can live ‘by bread alone’ (Mt 4:4; cf. Dt 8:3) — a conviction that demeans man and ultimately disregards all that is specifically human" (Pope Benedict XVI, "Deus Caritas Est," No. 28).
To neglect the principle of subsidiarity inevitably leads to the excessive centralization of human services, which leads to higher costs, less personal responsibility for the individual and a lower quality of care...

Leftism always tends toward increasing the power of the state, and decreasing that of individuals, families, communities churches, and organizations of mutual benefit. In this, and in many other things, Leftism is profoundly anti-Christian. (Also anti-American) It is materialism, it is living by bread alone.

A Christian (or conservative) health care plan would put power into the hands of individuals and families. How to do that? Easy. Put the money in their hands, and let them choose how to best spend it. Then health care organizations and providers would bend their efforts to serving the people, the same way businesses work tirelessly to satisfy and keep customers. (Here are examples. Link. Link]

But that's what you will never see in a Leftist health-care proposal. Instead you get thousands of pages of rules and laws and fines and criminal penalties. And that's just the laws themselves. Those are always supplemented by the regulations. They will end up being tens-of-thousands of pages of the CFR. Just as with the tax laws and regs, no one will know them all, so everyone will be a criminal in having violated some regulation they've never heard of. Which is precisely the point.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:09 PM

September 16, 2009

So well put...

Will Collier on Carter's latest vileness:

For everybody old enough to remember what life was like under Jimmy's stupefying mixture of sophomoric self-righteousness, boundless naivete and gobsmacking incompetence, shoving Mr. Peanut back under the spotlight in his bitter dotage does nothing to help Obama, who's been looking like Carter II since a few hours after his inauguration.

And for those too young to remember history's greatest monster (thanks, Glenn), Jimmah's empty slander is just another sign of the unbecoming moral vanity at the heart of the modern Left, to say nothing of its overweening intolerance for any hint of dissent. People know good and well that being opposed to socialized medicine or trillion-dollar deficits doesn't make them racist. Calling them ugly names isn't going to make them cower away in fear--it's going to make them more convinced than ever that they're in the right.

And John Galt:

I realized that McCain didn't really want to be president when he allowed Obama to call him "Bush's 3rd term" without referring to Obama as "Carter's 2nd Term." That's something Lloyd Bentsen, Ann Richards, and Ronald Reagan all would have said
Posted by John Weidner at 4:08 PM

If your "god" orders you to kill a million people...

What happens?

I recommend this piece by Gregg Easterbrook in WSJ, The Man Who Defused the 'Population Bomb', about Norman Borlaug, whose lifetime of work increasing agricultural yields in Third World countries has saved perhaps a billion lives!

But I have my own special field of blogging interest, which is the change that is coming over the Western world as the "faiths" that substituted for fading Christianity have themselves started to fade. To drain away, leaving only the worship of the most terrifying god of all- — the self. "But wait," you say, "I'm not like that! My 'self' is a pretty good guy." Well, it probably is, but only because you've imbibed habits of morality derived from religious faith. And habits drain away over generations, when their source is forgotten. We see it all around us.

You are not intrinsically one of the good guys. None of us is. And if you think I'm just kooky, ponder the following....

...After his triumph in India and Pakistan and his Nobel Peace Prize, Borlaug turned to raising crop yields in other poor nations especially in Africa, the one place in the world where population is rising faster than farm production and the last outpost of subsistence agriculture. At that point, Borlaug became the target of critics who denounced him because Green Revolution farming requires some pesticide and lots of fertilizer. Trendy environmentalism was catching on, and affluent environmentalists began to say it was "inappropriate" for Africans to have tractors or use modern farming techniques. Borlaug told me a decade ago that most Western environmentalists "have never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for 50 years, they'd be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be outraged that fashionable elitists in wealthy nations were trying to deny them these things."

Environmentalist criticism of Borlaug and his work was puzzling on two fronts. First, absent high-yield agriculture, the world would by now be deforested. The 1950 global grain output of 692 million tons and the 2006 output of 2.3 billion tons came from about the same number of acres three times as much food using little additional land.

"Without high-yield agriculture," Borlaug said, "increases in food output would have been realized through drastic expansion of acres under cultivation, losses of pristine land a hundred times greater than all losses to urban and suburban expansion." Environmentalist criticism was doubly puzzling because in almost every developing nation where high-yield agriculture has been introduced, population growth has slowed as education becomes more important to family success than muscle power....

The "environmentalists" mentioned are certainly all "Liberals." They consider themselves better people than "greedy capitalists" and American "Imperialists" and "heartless conservatives," like me. And yet, after the problem of starvation in India was solved, they can coolly sit and condemn millions of African to likely death by...... starvation! Because tractors would be "inappropriate!"

Think about it! Why should we consider such "Liberals" to be any better than Stalin, who deliberately condemned millions of Ukrainians to death by starvation? Why should they be considered any batter than Hitler? WHY?

What's going on in these people's heads? And it still goes on today; there is, right now, intense resistance to introducing genetically modified crops into Africa.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:52 AM

September 13, 2009

We can all learn from the politesse of the Left...

President Obama says the angry scenes on televised town halls represents a "coarsening of our political dialogue." [link]

Go HERE to see examples of the comity and general un-coarseness of our esteemed opponents on the Left...

Smelly hippie lights cig on burning American flag

Posted by John Weidner at 3:23 PM

September 6, 2009

Believing impossible things before breakfast...

I wasn't going to mention l'affaire Van Jones, since everyone is doing it this morning. But this bit made me think about my own conjecture, that leftists are (unconsciously but intentionally) lowering their own IQ's, in order to not see the contradictions in what they believe.

Mark Steyn:

...Traveling through the Middle East about six months after 9/11, I was struck by the number of Arabs, from Egypt to the Gulf, who simultaneously believed (a) the Mossad were behind the attacks and (b) it was a great victory for the Muslim world. Van Jones would seem to be an American variant of the same phenomenon: a man who believes 9/11 was (a) blowback for the actions of the US government's war machine and (b) an inside job by the US government's war machine.

No wonder the left derides those boorish enough to bring this stuff up: Why, surely all sophisticated persons know these positions are little more than lifestyle accessories or fashion hemlines. One season, everyone on the catwalk is agreed 9/11 was blowback by Jihadists for Social Justice. The next, everyone is equally agreed that Bush called up the White House Steel Melting Czar and buried the whole thing under "miscellaneous" in the budget....

"Jihadists for Social Justice." I like that!

I suspect the same "IQ lowering" thing is at work in some of the traits we see in the Islamic world. They are trying to believe a faith that does not quite make sense (Islam is a Christian gnostic heresy, and like all heresies it takes a portion of Catholic Truth and tries to make it the whole.)

Also the Islamic realm needs to ignore the huge fact that their religion is an utter failure civilizationally.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:36 AM

September 3, 2009

Can we get equal time?

The obvious conservative objections to this have already been made by bloggers, I'm sure. [Link] But I have a few other thoughts...

ADF: NH court orders home-schooled child into government-run school:

...The parents of the child divorced in 1999. The mother has home-schooled their daughter since first grade with curriculum that meets all state review standards. In addition to home schooling, the girl attends supplemental public school classes and has also been involved in a variety of extra-curricular sports activities.

In the process of renegotiating the terms of a parenting plan for the girl, the guardian ad litem involved in the case concluded, according to the court order, that the girl "appeared to reflect her mother's rigidity on questions of faith" and that the girl's interests "would be best served by exposure to a public school setting" and "different points of view at a time when she must begin to critically evaluate multiple systems of belief...in order to select, as a young adult, which of those systems will best suit her own needs."

Marital Master Michael Garner reasoned that the girl's "vigorous defense of her religious beliefs to [her] counselor suggests strongly that she has not had the opportunity to seriously consider any other point of view" and then recommended that the girl be ordered to enroll in a government school instead of being home-schooled. Judge Lucinda V. Sadler approved the recommendation and issued the order on July 14...

But think of the possibilities! I'm surrounded here in SF with children raised with rigidity in the faith of secular humanism. Surely we should be able to take them away from their parents and the government schools, and give them exposure to "different points of view at a time when they must begin to critically evaluate multiple systems of belief..." I can think of quite a few "points of view" I'd love to see little lock-step liberals exposed to.

Also, the article makes no mention of a specific faith. But we all know that it is Christianity. This could be considered yet another item of evidence of the truth of Christian faith. No Lefty judge would care if a child is raised rigidly Buddhist or Baha'i. None of them hate Unitarians or Quakers.

And it would be hilarious if a similar case had been presented just after to the same judge, with the parent being a Moslem, and raising a child as a rigid little jihadi! How funny to watch some cowardly Lefty weasel judge squirm and sweat, and then declare that we must consider all cultures equally valid!

Posted by John Weidner at 8:50 AM

Just what you expected when you voted for Hope n' Change, right?

Health care reform means more power for the IRS | Washington Examiner:

...Under the Democrats' health care proposals, the already powerful — and already feared — IRS would wield even more power and extend its reach even farther into the lives of ordinary Americans, and the presidentially-appointed head of the new health care bureaucracy would have access to confidential IRS information about millions of individual taxpayers.

In short, health care reform, as currently envisioned by Democratic leaders, would be built on the foundation of an expanded and more intrusive IRS.

Under the various proposals now on the table, the IRS would become the main agency for determining who has an "acceptable" health insurance plan; for finding and punishing those who don't have such a plan; for subsidizing individual health insurance costs through the issuance of a tax credits; and for enforcing the rules on those who attempt to opt out, abuse, or game the system. A substantial portion of H.R. 3200, the House health care bill, is devoted to amending the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 in order to give the IRS the authority to perform these new duties....

Posted by John Weidner at 7:25 AM

September 1, 2009

Clever ideas don't matter. Philosophy matters...

Robert Reich, On healthcare, Democrats need to be like GOP | Salon:

... What we learned in August is something we've long known but keep forgetting: The most important difference between America's Democratic left and Republican right is that the left has ideas and the right has discipline. [No, you just pretend our ideas don't exist.] Obama and progressive supporters of health care were outmaneuvered in August -- not because the right had any better idea for solving the health care mess [We have LOTS of ideas, often in bills that have been introduced in congress. Where the Dem leadership won't allow them to come up for a vote. Because you are COWARDS.] but because the rights' attack on the Democrats' idea was far more disciplined than was the Democrats' ability to sell it. [So whose demonstrators get off the chartered buses with pre-printed signs?]

I say the Democrats' "idea" but in fact there was no single idea. Obama never sent any detailed plan to Congress. Meanwhile, congressional Dems were so creative and undisciplined before the August recess they came up with a kaleidoscope of health-care plans. The resulting incoherence served as an open invitation to the Republican right to focus with great precision on convincing the public of their own demonic version of what the Democrats were up to -- that it would take away their Medicare, require "death panels," raise their taxes, and lead to a government takeover of medicine, and so on. [Notice he doesn't engage with those accusations...just waves them away.] The Obama White House -- a veritable idea factory brimming with ingenuity -- thereafter proved unable to come up with a single, convincing narrative to counteract this right-wing hokum. Whatever discipline Obama had mustered during the campaign somehow disappeared. [Ideas are NOT THE POINT. The ground is thickly strewn with interesting ideas—you can pick them up by the bushel. So having "ideas" is WORTH NOTHING. It is your philosophy that matters, because that tells you WHICH ideas to value. We who oppose Obama are OPEN about our underlying philosophy. Obama and his supporters HIDE their philosophy. WHY? ]
This is just the latest chapter of a long saga. Over the last twenty years, as progressives have gushed new ideas, the right has became ever more organized and mobilized in resistance -- capable of executing increasingly consistent and focused attacks, moving in ever more perfect lockstep, imposing an exact discipline often extending even to the phrases and words used repeatedly [Projection] by Hate Radio, Fox News, and the oped pages of The Wall Street Journal ("death tax," "weapons of mass destruction," "government takeover of health care.") I saw it in 1993 and 1994 as the Clinton healthcare plan -- as creatively and wildly convoluted as any policy proposal before or since -- was defeated both by a Democratic majority in congress incapable of coming together around any single bill and a Republican right dedicated to Clinton's destruction. Newt Gingrich's subsequent "contract with America" recaptured Congress for the Republicans not because it contained a single new idea [What it contained was OLD ideas, of the sort that Americans have always resonated to. Alas the execution was flubbed, so Republican gains could not be sustained.] but because Republicans unflinchingly rallied around it while Democrats flailed....

What's horridly dishonest here is that Reich is pretending that he thinks that health care is just a technical problem, like, say, designing a bridge. In fact any "solution" here involves decisions that say profound things about what this country is, and where it is going. Decisions that will SHAPE Americans.

And Reich, and Obama, and their whole crew know where they want to go—but are not about to avow it honestly or openly. They don't dare; Americans would reject them instantly. They snuck Obama under America's guard by a vague campaign of hope 'n change, and even stuff like tax cuts! If Obama had been honest about his intentions he'd have been lucky to take Massachusetts!

Posted by John Weidner at 1:54 PM

August 18, 2009

Surprise, surprise. The "anti-war" movement was a swindle...

Byron York is attending the Netroots Nation conference (formerly known as YearlyKos, a spinoff from the left-wing website DailyKos...

The netroots agenda: War? What war? | Washington Examiner:

...Then Greenberg asked which one of those issues "do you, personally, spend the most time advancing currently?" The winner was health care reform, with 23 percent, and second place was "working to elect progressive candidates in the 2010 elections," with 16 percent. In 11th place -- at the very bottom of the list -- was "working to end our military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan." Just one percent of Netroots Nations attendees listed that as their most important personal priority.

Many observers have remarked that Obama's decision to escalate the war in Afghanistan, and also to escalate the campaign of targeted assassinations using drone aircraft, both in Afghanistan and Pakistan, will cause him trouble on the political left. Indeed, some members of Congress have suggested that the president has just a year to show significant results in Afghanistan before lawmakers begin to pressure him to pull back. But if the Netroots Nation results are any indication, Obama may have more room than previously thought on the war. Not too long ago, with a different president in the White House, the left was obsessed with America's wars. Now, they're not even watching....

Of course not. It was always just politics and anti-Americanism. Pacifists are frauds. "Anti-war" activists are frauds, "Progressives" are frauds. The US military could be cooking Afghan babies like shish-ka-bobs, and as long as there is a Dem in the White House they won't mind at all.

OBAMA himself could be eating Afghan babies for breakfast, and the Quakers would applaud him for being "green" and reducing the burdan on Gaia...

More from York here...

Posted by John Weidner at 6:01 PM

"If we cross this bridge, there's no going back"

Mark Steyn:

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death Panels 
...but you can't have both. On the matter of McCarthy vs the Editors, I'm with Andy. I think Sarah Palin's "death panel" coinage clarified the stakes and resonated in a way that "rationing" and other lingo never quite did. She launched it, and she made it stick. So it was politically effective.

But I'm also with Mrs. Palin on the substance. NR's editorial defines "death panel" too narrowly. What matters is the concept of a government "panel." Right now, if I want a hip replacement, it's between me and my doctor; the government does not have a seat at the table. The minute it does, my hip's needs are subordinate to national hip policy, which in turn is subordinate to macro budgetary considerations. For example:
Health trusts in Suffolk were among the first to announce that obese people would be denied hip and knee replacements on the NHS. The ruling was part of an attempt to save money locally.
The operative word here is "ruling." You know, like judges. You're accepting that the state has jurisdiction over your hip, and your knee, and your prostate and everything else. And once you accept that proposition the fellows who get to make the "ruling" are, ultimately, a death panel. Usually, they call it something nicer — literally, like Britain's National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).

And finally I don't think this is any time for NR to be joining the Frumsters and deploring the halfwit vulgarity of déclassé immoderates like Palin. This is a big-stakes battle: If we cross this bridge, there's no going back. Being "moderate" is not a good strategy. It risks delivering the nation to the usual reach-across-the-aisle compromise that will get Democrats far enough across the bridge that the Big Government ratchet effect will do the rest....
Posted by John Weidner at 11:33 AM

August 15, 2009

"Nothing that described specifics." You are astounded, I'm sure.

Someone is actually trying to read the House health care bill. Perhaps he's the only one! (Surely this constitutes a hate crime?) ... The Gormogons: HR 3200, Pages 1-100:

Your Czar has completed reading pages 1-100 of all 1,017 pages, eager to learn how HR 3200, if passed, would make healthcare affordable to all Americans.

It’s a little hard to fathom that the entire country can be powered by the few words and amendments of the United States Constitution, but it takes 1,017 pages to discuss health insurance. Of course, as you shall read, most of these pages have little to do with health care reform, per se....

...43 pages in, the Czar muttered "Holy cow. Still nothing but definitions of terms and descriptions of people who will have Very Important and Necessary Jobs to do once this is enacted. This is reading more like an operations manual for an insurance company, not a bill." Take note of that. It becomes important later.

Sec 142 (e) "The Commissioner shall provide for the development of standards for the definitions of terms used in health insurance coverage, including insurance-related terms." Yikes. The Commissioner needs to develop standards for health insurance related terms? What's wrong with the ones we use today? Oh, that's right: they don't spend taxpayer money on frivolous jobs.

The Czar began to notice that a lot of the sections, like 2714 and 2754, purport to discuss ensuring lower premiums. But when he read it, he found nothing that described specifics. Instead, there were blanket statements that it will be someone's responsibility to find a way to lower premiums. The Czar cannot imagine this in the real, corporate world. "My proposal is to save to you money." How? "Hire me first, and then I'll come up with something."

Then the Czar gasped at Section 1173A, in which it discusses electronic administrative transactions, and then lovingly describes how databases will be established, down to optional fields, and to ensure the ability to "harmonize all common data elements." Holy crap, when do we discuss font options? HIPAA, godsend of libertarians everywhere, isn't even discussed until page 62....
Posted by John Weidner at 11:43 AM

August 9, 2009

It's like being an anti-genocide activist and a Holocaust-denier at the same time...

I was inspired by this story to put certain things a bit more bluntly than I have in the past.

I love history. And I'm a real book&blog-devourer. As a result, I know a lot of stuff, especially in history and world affairs. (Don't rush to make me a job offer; my grab-bag of history seems to have no practical worth.)

Here's one simple fact. The regime of Saddam Hussein was to mass torture, as Hitler's regime was to mass killing, and Stalin's was to mass imprisonment. In all of history there has been no government that tortured people on the scale of Saddam's Iraq. None even comes close. I won't give you any stomach-turning examples, but they are out there if you want to look them up.

We are probably talking hundreds of thousands of people hideously tormented in a country about the size of California.

Any person who claims to make torture their big issue must be aware of this. To claim ignorance would be like someone (let's call him Mr X), in say the year 1947, whose big issue was genocide, or persecution of Jews—yet who seemed to be ignorant or indifferent to what had just happened in Europe! It is insane to even think about it. Right?

In truth, FDR and Winston Churchill are the two men who have prevented more persecution and murder of Jews than any other individuals in history. That's a simple fact, right?

If you care about Jews, or genocide, you must honor them, even if you hate everything else they stood for.

SO, gentle readers, suppose our "Mr X," in the year 1947, demands stridently that Franklin D Roosevelt (if he'd been still alive) and his men should be investigated and prosecuted because during its tenure American Jews were harassed by hate-groups like the KKK. What would you think, hmmm?

You would think Mr X was deranged with hatred of FDR. (You might say he has RDS, Roosevelt Derangement Syndrome.) Mr X is very sick, very twisted man.

"That's a preposterous hypothetical!" I hear you saying. NOT SO. A very similar thing is happening right now. It is a simple historical fact that former president George W. Bush, by inspiring and leading the coalition that overthrew the torture-obsessed fascist tyranny of Saddam Hussein, prevented more torture than any other human being who has ever lived upon the planet Earth.

And yet, farcical though it seems, we actually have our own "Mr X's." [Link] We really have people who claim to be anti-torture zealots, but are nonetheless ice-heartedly indifferent to the unprecedented sufferings of the Iraqi people. Who simply act as if that holocaust of agony never happened—they never mention it.. And at the same time they drool over the possibility of prosecuting the greatest "anti-torture activist" of all times.




Posted by John Weidner at 9:08 PM

August 4, 2009

All your body are belong to us...

Serving as I am as an embedded journalist in Pelosiville, I have never had the slightest doubt that Obama intends to destroy private health care. Obama is just a golem. He doesn't exist except as a physical projection of the collective psyche of the far left.

And they want a "single-payer" system so badly they are drooling. Not because it would help the poor or provide better medicine, but for the power it will give them. Government bureaucrats are overwhelmingly leftish, and they are going to be in charge of us at our weakest and most vulnerable moments. Think about it.

This video is great! You want to know what they are thinking? Watch...

Think about a future where you scrape the Palin bumper-sticker off your car before you go beg for a CAT scan or MRI...

Posted by John Weidner at 7:22 AM

July 31, 2009

Recommended

Charlene recommends Cultural Kleptos: How the Left Hijacks Art (and Everything Else) for the Good of Mankind, by Charles Winecoff...

...At the forefront of this morphing social tyranny: blacklist survivor Lillian Hellman. Again, she knew just how to make it work - for her. According to author Paul Johnson, after the release of the movie Julia, based on Hellman's fake memoir, the aged playwright enjoyed a renaissance as "the queen of radical chic and the most important single power-broker among the progressive intelligentsia and the society people who seethed around them.... She compiled her own blacklists and had them enforced by scores of servile intellectual flunkies."

Similarly, Karl Marx - the man - extolled the virtues of the working class, agitating for violent revolution, yet "so far as we know," wrote Johnson, "never set foot in a mill, factory, mine or other industrial workplace in the whole of his life. What is even more striking is Marx's hostility to fellow revolutionaries who had such experience - that is, working men who had become politically conscious... Marx made sure that working-class socialists were eliminated from any positions of influence."

Today, in America, we have a President who, rather than level with the trusting, hard-working voters who put him in office, plays mind games with them - asking them to believe that increasing the national debt is decreasing it, that less choice in health care is more choice, that standing up to violent savages makes us the savages, that reverse racism is post-racial. He seems to suck the meaning right out of words as he speaks them, always sure to distract with a mechanical smile.

But maybe he's just stupid....
Posted by John Weidner at 8:40 AM

July 24, 2009

"It's nice to be popular"

CURL: Global Obama fans outpace local ones - Washington Times:

Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright on Thursday delivered some spectacular news to all Americans ashamed of their homeland: With President Obama now in office, you no longer have to pretend you're not from the States when you summer in Europe.

"It is nice to be popular, and I think that people feel better if we are liked, if, you know - Americans now don't have to say they're from Canada when they travel around," the Clinton-era diplomat said to laughter from a roomful of reporters at the National Press Club...

Animals. Worms. "Pretend you're Canadian." Yeah, right. But of course all those slime-animals continue to tuck into all the good things this great country provides, even as they spit upon her.

Hey, creeps, why don't you voluntarily reduce your standard of living to Canadian levels? Hmm? And when you get a rare and deadly disease, how about flying to Toronto? Eh? Or if you are traveling around, pretending not to be a scurvy American, and there's a revolution...and you're about to be lynched... How's about calling the Canadian Army? Hmm? You wouldn't want to get cooties from the US Marines, would you?

"It's nice to be popular." Yeah, like hippie teenagers trashing their middle-brow parents to their cool friends, while continuing to be supported by them. And running to them if they get into trouble.

Posted by John Weidner at 12:19 PM

Roll over the rotting log...

Michelle Malkin, investigating what it might mean when administration officials say, "We'll just let the science decide."

....Well, I did indeed read one of [Obama Administration "science czar"] Holdren's recent works that reveals his clingy reverence for, and allegiance to, the gurus of population control authoritarianism. He's just gotten smarter about cloaking it behind global warming hysteria. In 2007, he addressed the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference. Holdren served as AAAS president; the organization posted his full slide presentation on its website.

In the opening slide, Holdren admitted that his "preoccupation" with apocalyptic matters such as "the rates at which people breed" was a lifelong obsession spurred by scientist Harrison Brown's work. Holdren heaped praise on Brown's half-century-old book, "The Challenge to Man's Future," then proceeded to paint doom-and-gloom scenarios requiring drastic government interventions to control climate change.

Who is Holdren's intellectual mentor, Harrison Brown? He was a "distinguished member" of the International Eugenics Society whom Holdren later worked with on a book about — you guessed it — world population and fertility. Brown advocated the same population control-freak measures Holdren put forth in Ecoscience. In "The Challenge to Man's Future," Brown envisioned a regime in which the "number of abortions and artificial inseminations permitted in a given year would be determined completely by the difference between the number of deaths and the number of births in the year previous."

Brown exhorted readers to accept that "we must reconcile ourselves to the fact that artifical means must be applied to limit birth rates." If we don't, Brown warned, we faced a planet "with a writhing mass of human beings." He likened the global population to a "pulsating mass of maggots."...

One of the promises of the "Enlightenment" was that if people threw off the shackles of "superstition," the result would be happiness and progress. This assumed that the "real person" inside us was born good, and any badness we manifest was learned. But various peculiar things happened when those hoary old superstitions were discraded. One of them was the rise of a considerable number of people who think that "happiness and progress" depend not on enlightening people, but in simply eliminating them!

Guys like Stalin and Mao and Hitler and Pol Pot worked in round numbers of tens of millions. Today's "scientists" consider them pikers trying to nickle-and-dime it. Now we get the "big vision," expressing the numbers of people to be eliminated in nice tidy "billions!"

That's the "real us" that emerges without the "shackles" of traditional "superstition." The "real me" for that matter; I can easily look at the maggot-like masses swarming the city and think, "How much better things would be if the bottom 20% we eliminated." How much happier. How much cleaner!

Posted by John Weidner at 9:01 AM

July 23, 2009

Candle-light vigil postponed...

...Awaiting the inauguration of President Palin. Then the pacifists and fake-Quakers will come out of the woodwork and start blubbering about how un-Christian it is to believe in anything enough to fight for it...

From an Instapundit reader... (Thanks to AOG)

Notice how there was no "antiwar" movement during the '90's, even though we were at war the entire time in Iraq, Haiti, Kosovo, a dab here and there in Afghanistan and Sudan. Then, after 9/11, it was the "Next Vietnam" with a passionate "antiwar" movement with the NYTs full treasonous participation, just like the good old days. And now, even though the daily death count has matched the highest daily rate we ever saw in Iraq, there is no "antiwar" movement or daily casualty count in all the newspapers. It's like the "antiwar" movement can be turned off and on like a switch, depending on which party is in the White House.

It's not war the pacifist dreads, it's when the President says that we are the good guys, undertaking a noble cause worth sacrificing for.

Posted by John Weidner at 5:45 PM

Good GOP commercial....





Posted by John Weidner at 1:47 PM

July 19, 2009

Just... letting you know...

Zelaya Computers had 'certified' results for referendum that was never held. (Thanks to Alan)

...Rick Moran
This has been all over the Honduran and Central American press for more than 24 hours but, as Alberto de la Cruz of Babalu Blog points out, no English speaking wire service or media has picked up on it yet.

Authorities seized several computers used by former president Zelaya that contained "official" results of the constitutional referendum that was never held showing his bid to change the law so that he could run for office again winning easily....

So, Mr Obama, you're planning to say you are sorry? Or are you looking into hiring Honduran computer consultants?

Posted by John Weidner at 7:26 AM

July 16, 2009

Go here, click on chart....

I caught a bit of Rush this morning. He mentioned this New York Post piece, DEMOCRATS HEALTH CARE PLAN FUNDING MAY TAX NEW YORK WEALTHY 57%. I'm sure you agree with all sensible people that the wealthy are parasites who should be relieved of the riches they have stolen from the little people, but, um, there IS the teensy little fact that NYC's economy is dependent, much more than most big cities, on........wealthy people. Get rid of them and the city dies.

...Congressional plans to fund a massive health-care overhaul could have a job-killing effect on New York, creating a tax rate of nearly 60 percent for the state's top earners and possibly pressuring small-business owners to shed workers.

New York's top income bracket could reach as high as 57 percent -- rates not seen in three decades -- to pay for the massive health coverage proposed by House Democrats this week....

The chart that accompanies this article makes things veddy clear. It's no wonder such a bill gets crafted behind closed doors, and that Dems are trying to rush it through.

Rush was also commenting on a poll that showed Sarah Palin with a 72% approval rating among Republicans. And on just how amazing that is, considering the year of non-stop trashing she has received from the media.

Not to mention attacks and sneers by what he called, charmingly, low-wattage looking-down-the-nose elitists on the Republican side.



Posted by John Weidner at 11:02 AM

July 14, 2009

"The logic of the Terror"

Ralph Hancock on Bastille Day...

...The disconcerting suggestion that arises from a comparative reflection on the theoretical cores of the two Revolutions is the idea of human rights that informs the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen of 1789 cannot be altogether severed from the logic of the Terror. The potential for unlimited radicalization seems to exist from the moment the rights of man are extracted from a framework defined by the laws of nature and nature's God and made to stand on their own as assertions of human autonomy.

The germ of the Terror, the dream of the regeneration of humanity by political means, may already be present in the radically modern idea of sovereignty that informs the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen. The political denial of an authoritative realm of meaning beyond politics appears barely separable from the absorption of all meaning into the political realm. Hobbes' radical materialism, which accompanies his rejection of the priority of natural law to human rights, invites Rousseau's idealism, or his craving for a comprehensive moral order not grounded in nature but created by human beings. If politics is all there is, then politics must be everything, it must hold the key to fulfilling not only the ordinary needs but even the deepest longings of humanity.

Those who propose to liberate human beings by reducing them to their naked individuality and destroying the bonds that connect them with principles understood to reside beyond human power risk arrogating to themselves the right to forge new and tighter chains. If there is no Truth above the People, then the People are led to create their own truth — in effect, of course, some revolutionary elite must create it in the name of the People, whatever the human cost. The violence of the Terror appears thus to spring from a theoretical violence to human nature...
Posted by John Weidner at 10:40 AM

July 2, 2009

Palin Derangement Syndrome goes on...

Jim Geraghty, on the absurd Vanity Fair hit piece on Sarah Palin: Why They Hate Her, The Angelina Jolie of Politics:

...Liberals believe their ideas, philosophy, worldview and policies liberate its believers and contend the conservative equivalents limit people. Liberals see themselves are rejecting outdated beliefs and obsolete ideas, overturning established orders and discarding traditions established by superstitious and ignorant forebears who weren't as enlightened as we are. Conservatives, in their minds, are runaway cultural super-egos, always wagging their fingers about individual responsibility, dismissing excuses, reminding people that they always can't do what they want because of the consequences to themselves and to others.

Conservatism, they suspect, will leave you in a marriage that doesn't satisfy you, burden you with children you don't want, repress your passions and trap you in a empty, boring and unfulfilled life, with no hand of government able to help....

...In her opponents' minds, Palin's made all the wrong choices, and cannot, they insist, be very bright. Yet she's happy and successful. She is an anomaly that invalidates their worldview, and for that, they attempt to immiserate her — regardless of whether she wishes to run for national office again....

"An anomaly that invalidates their worldview." That's for sure. And few things have validated my suspicions that most of what's happening in our world are battles over symbols more than the lefty reaction to Sarah Palin. The crazy thing was that Sarah has never been a "values conservative" in her practical political life. Her issues have always been good government and economic development, especially energy policy. She's never fought in the culture war, she's never mounted any attacks on liberalism or secularism!

But that didn't make any difference. Symbolically, she proclaims that the way to happiness and fulfilment is exactly the opposite of what liberal theory says it is.

"..Liberals believe their ideas, philosophy, worldview and policies liberate its believers..." That stuff is not "liberating," it's slavery.


Posted by John Weidner at 11:44 AM

June 28, 2009

A little quote for you...

Roger L. Simon:

All of a sudden... well, not quite all of a sudden, but recently...I have noticed my liberal friends (except for the most extreme and knee-jerk) are not very interested in discussing man-made global warming. The subject rarely comes up and, when it does, it is passed over quickly, given only a nod. It's as if that was last year's — or last decade's — fad, at the very moment the House of Representatives has been browbeaten by LaPelosita into voting for a cap-and-trade bill no known person has read, let alone understood....

It often happens that ideas are defended most furiously just before they collapse. My guess is that AGW is pretty close to the point where a loud noise can start the avalanche.

But what interests me, as always, is the larger question of whether people can or will re-think. My guess is that most leftish types will be able to flip effortlessly to supporting the Kyoto Global-Cooling Treaty, without a moment of self-doubt. They don't dare think or probe.

(Tangentially, I was bothered as a child when my Dad told me that if you throw a ball up, and then it falls down, there is a brief moment when it is stationary. I still find that hard to swallow. I think it's either going up, or going down.)

Posted by John Weidner at 4:30 PM

June 24, 2009

"Have their justice glands been removed in a complicated surgical procedure?"

This is kind of belaboring the obvious, but my little blog is the only means I have to express the vast disgust I feel about all our lefty "pacifists" and Quakers-so-called and all the other "activist" frauds...

And observations of this sort are why I'm totally NOT impressed by declarations that Obama has been doing exactly the right thing by not "meddling" in Iran, and how DARE you suggest he is not eager to see the Iranians gain freedom, you horrid neo-con! Piffle. He is doing exactly what most of the world's leftists are doing. Being not happy to see the little people rebelling against their elite masters.

Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: Where Are All the Demonstrators?:

...Ma'ariv (Monday, June 22, 09) by Ben Caspit and Ben-Dror Yemini (opinion) –

Tell us, where is everyone? Where did all the people who demonstrated against Israel's brutality in Operation Cast Lead, in the Second Lebanon War, in Operation Defensive Shield, or even in The Hague, when we were dragged there unwillingly after daring to build a separation barrier between us and the suicide bombers, disappear to? We see demonstrations here and there, but these are mainly Iranian exiles. Europe, in principle, is peaceful and calm. So is the United States.

Here and there a few dozens, here and there a few hundreds. Have they evaporated because it is Tehran and not here?

All the peace-loving and justice-loving Europeans, British professors in search of freedom and equality, the friends filling the newspapers, magazines and various academic journals with various demands for boycotting Israel, defaming Zionism and blaming us and it for all the ills and woes of the world—could it be that they have taken a long summer vacation? Now of all times, when the Basij hooligans have begun to slaughter innocent civilians in the city squares of Tehran? Aren't they connected to the Internet? Don't they have YouTube? Has a terrible virus struck down their computer? Have their justice glands been removed in a complicated surgical procedure (to be re-implanted successfully for the next confrontation in Gaza)? How can it be that when a Jew kills a Muslim, the entire world boils, and when extremist Islam slaughters its citizens, whose sole sin is the aspiration to freedom, the world is silent?

Imagine that this were not happening now in Tehran, but rather here. Let's say in Nablus. Spontaneous demonstrations of Palestinians turning into an ongoing bloodbath. Border Policemen armed with knives, on motorcycles, butchering demonstrators. A young woman downed by a sniper in midday, dying before the cameras. Actually, why imagine? We can just recall what happened with the child Mohammed a-Dura. How the affair (which was very harsh, admittedly) swept the world from one end to another. The fact that a later independent investigative report raised tough questions as to the identity of the weapon from which a-Dura was shot, did not make a difference to anyone. The Zionists were to blame, and that was that....
Posted by John Weidner at 9:09 AM

June 23, 2009

Doggie diplomacy...

Hoy. Funny, but kinda misses the point...

Another bit that came out of today's press conference was President Obama's refusal to rescind invitations to Iran's diplomats across the globe to July 4 celebrations at U.S. embassies — aptly described as "weenie diplomacy."

All of this, of course, raises a major issue: Are the hot dogs real, American-style hot dogs which are typically made with — pork!? If the embassies are serving all-beef hot dogs, are they Oscar Meyer or are they Hebrew National? Would an Iranian theocrat diplomat eat a Hebrew National hot dog?

Has the White House thought through this very important issue?...
C'mon, Matthew. Obama. State Department...we're talking commies. There will be elegant buffets with things...you know, French. Quelque chose. Any hot dogs cooked up will be just for display; no one will actually eat them. They will smile at them. Democracies, thugocracies, mullahcracies, people's republics, cannibal islanders...it doesn't matter. The elites at the embassies will look at each other and smile.

We could be roasting babies in our various embassy gardens, and everybody would understand that that's what leaders need to do to appease the swining masses so they can get on with the real business of running the world.

Doggie Diner Heads

[Link]

Posted by John Weidner at 10:52 PM

I think this is about right..

Andy McCarthy Understanding Obama on Iran:

...The fact is that, as a man of the hard Left, Obama is more comfortable with a totalitarian Islamic regime than he would be with a free Iranian society. In this he is no different from his allies like the Congressional Black Caucus and Bill Ayers, who have shown themselves perfectly comfortable with Castro and Chàvez. Indeed, he is the product of a hard-Left tradition that apologized for Stalin and was more comfortable with the Soviets than the anti-Communists (and that, in Soros parlance, saw George Bush as a bigger terrorist than bin Laden).

Because of obvious divergences (inequality for women and non-Muslims, hatred of homosexuals) radical Islam and radical Leftism are commonly mistaken to be incompatible. In fact, they have much more in common than not, especially when it comes to suppression of freedom, intrusiveness in all aspects of life, notions of "social justice," and their economic programs. (On this, as in so many other things, Anthony Daniels should be required reading — see his incisive New English Review essay, "There Is No God but Politics", comparing Marx and Muslim Brotherhood theorist Sayyid Qutb.) The divergences between radical Islam and radical Leftism are much overrated — "equal rights" and "social justice" are always more rally-cry propaganda than real goals for totalitarians, and hatred of certain groups is always a feature of their societies.

The key to understanding Obama, on Iran as on other matters, is that he is a power-politician of the hard Left : He is steeped in Leftist ideology, fueled in anger and resentment over what he chooses to see in America's history, but a "pragmatist" in the sense that where ideology and power collide (as they are apt to do when your ideology becomes less popular the more people understand it), Obama will always give ground on ideology (as little as circumstances allow) in order to maintain his grip on power....
Posted by John Weidner at 6:31 AM

June 17, 2009

Test case: Becoming liberal damages the cognitive functions...

The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan:

Will The Neocons Never Learn? Here's Wehner:
How President Obama deals with this matter — whether he takes actions that show tangible support for the forces of liberation or whether he sits passively by as events unfold, nervous to offend cruel regimes — will tell us a lot about him and his core commitments.
Oh, yes, obviously Obama wants the uprising to fail. Jesus, these people are shameless....

That's not even remotely an argument. Just a sneer. Wehner's point is just common sense: what Obama does will tell us a lot about him. Well, duh! Sullivan twists this into a straw-man in a way that is pathetic.

And my memory is that Sullivan never argued poorly when he was a conservative. [link, link, link, link (on neo-cons)]

I've seen this before. Someone moves to the liberal side of the aisle, and becomes stupid. And slippery and imprecise. It is very interesting, or would be if one could study the phenomenon dispassionately, instead of wondering when the self-induced lobotomies will let enough water into the Titanic called Western Civilization to send her to the bottom...

Posted by John Weidner at 12:56 PM

June 15, 2009

How we miss W.

Jennifer Rubin: Don't Iranians Deserve "Hope and Change" Too?:

The Iranian election has given the world a jolt of reality. For those confused about the nature of the Iranian regime, its true colors are now revealed. But it has also been a clarifying event in America.

It has been obvious for some time that the American Left has given up on democracy and human rights as fundamental tenets of American foreign policy. But never before has it been so clear just how ruthless and indifferent they are to the aspirations of those who would be crushed by the boot of despotic regimes. And never before have we seen how Herculean a task it is to deny and obfuscate the nature of these sorts of regimes in order to pursue a policy devoted to stability, engagement, and process as goals in and of themselves (rather than as means to some greater ends).

The Iranian election and its aftermath demonstrate just how vast is the difference in approach between the Obama administration, which has embodied the Left's total embrace of realpolitik, and its conservative critics....

"Realpolitic." "Realism." "stability, engagement, and process as goals in and of themselves." I spit upon such leftist depravities with the utmost contempt.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:39 PM

Hello? "Democrats?"

Any Dems reading this?

Right this moment hundreds of thousands of people are battling a brutal terror-supporting regime. They are fighting and dying in Iran for freedom and democracy.

And your fearless leaders have said nothing. Fake-liberal Mr Obama has said nothing. Fake-liberal Hillary has said nothing. They have given them not the slightest shred of encouragement or moral support.

How can you live with this? How can you look at yourselves in the mirror in the morning?

How can you all be such worms?

* Update: In fairness, lots of liberals really are liberal, and their hearts are in the right place right now. Especially, kudos to Andrew Sullivan, who I normally loath, for covering Iran non-stop...

Posted by John Weidner at 1:41 PM

June 12, 2009

Worth reading:

Dr. Sanity: The Left Legitimizes Anti-Semitism Every Day:

Anthony Watts: Suggestions of "strong negative cloud feedbacks" in a warmer climate

Edgelings.com---The Obama Surprise:

...Be careful what you wish for. No segment of American industry did more than high tech to elect Barack Obama as President of the United States....

...The first surprise to many Valleyites is how innately anti-entrepreneurial the new Administration has turned out to be....
Posted by John Weidner at 7:02 AM

June 6, 2009

All those who harshly criticized Bush for issuing "signing statements..."

You are, are you not, going to criticize Obama now that he's doing the same thing?

Hmmm? I'm waiting..........

(And Clinton too, of course. Somehow people never got around to that one.)

Posted by John Weidner at 12:12 PM

"Men are as clay in the hands of the consummate leader."

From a don't-miss piece by Jonah Goldberg, You want a more 'progressive' America? Careful what you wish for: (Thanks to Rand)

....Wilson, like the bulk of progressive intellectuals in fin-de-siécle America, was deeply influenced by three strands of thought: philosophical Pragmatism, Hegelianism, and Darwinism. This heady intellectual cocktail produced a drunken arrogance and the conviction that the old rules no longer applied.

The classical liberalism of the Founders — free markets, individualism, property rights, etc. — had been eclipsed by a new "experimental" age. Horace Kallen, a protégé of Pragmatism exponent William James, denounced fixed philosophical dogmas as mere rationalizations of the status quo. Sounding much like today's critical theorists, Mr. Kallen lamented that "Men have invented philosophy precisely because they find change, chance, and process too much for them, and desire infallible security and certainty."

The old conception of absolute truths and immutable laws had been replaced by a "Darwinian" vision of organic change.

Hence Wilson argued that the old "Newtonian" vision — fixed rules enshrined in the Constitution and laws — had to give way to the "Darwinian" view of "living constitutions" and the like.

"Government," Wilson wrote approvingly in his magnum opus, "The State," "does now whatever experience permits or the times demand." "No doubt," he wrote elsewhere, taking dead aim at the Declaration of Independence, "a lot of nonsense has been talked about the inalienable rights of the individual, and a great deal that was mere vague sentiment and pleasing speculation has been put forward as fundamental principle."

In his 1890 essay, "Leaders of Men," Wilson explained that a "true leader" uses the masses like "tools." He must inflame their passions with little heed for the facts. "Men are as clay in the hands of the consummate leader."

Wilson once told a black delegation, that "segregation is not a humiliation but a benefit, and ought to be so regarded by you gentlemen." But his racism wasn't just a product of his Southern roots; it was often of a piece with the reigning progressive obsession with eugenics, the pseudoscience that strove to perfect society through better breeding.....

You can slot-in to the above Lenin or Hillary or Hitler or Obama or Alinsky. Or any random sociology prof at your local community college...

What is the intellectual problem with this statement: "The old conception of absolute truths and immutable laws had been replaced by a "Darwinian" vision of organic change..."   What's wrong is that there isn't any "solid ground." No truth that can be used to measure or define anything else.

A "Pragmatist" would say that "what works" is the measure, but there is in his philosophy no absolute standard of "what works." "What works" means whatever you want it to mean. If Wilson had had the power, he probably would have done to inferior races exactly what Hitler did. (He did have the power to introduce Jim Crow laws into the District of Columbia, and proceeded to do so.) And if you accept his philosophy, he would have been perfectly justified in a Final Solution to the negro problem. Eugenics seemed to be "what works" at that moment in time, and Progressives had abandoned any absolute standard that Eugenics might be measured against.

Once you abandon the Truths handed down from our ancestors, then the only "truth" is the intellectual fashion of the moment. Now, kind hearted reader, you may imagine that today's progressives are "nice" people who would not do the horrid things done by Twentieth Century tyrants. Yes? You may believe they would never kill millions of people for the sake of an idea, right? Kill for an intellectual fad? No no no. Impossible.

Well, if you think that, you are wrong. Millions are dying at this moment because a "Progressive" intellectual fad was imposed on hapless people. Read about it in my post here. If you are a leftist, read. Think!



Posted by John Weidner at 8:41 AM

June 5, 2009

"Equidistant Position"

David Frum is very good Obama's speech... (Thanks to Hugh Hewitt.)

...The president's Cairo speech: worse than feared. Let's itemize the ways.

President Obama likes to position himself as an intermediary, explaining two conflicting parties each to the other. He did so in his race speech in Philadelphia, he did so when he spoke about abortion at Notre Dame

In Cairo, he took a similar position between the United States and the Islamic world. He urged Americans to take a positive view of Islam, and urged Muslims to take a positive view of the United States.

But whereas in Philadelphia and Notre Dame Obama was explaining two groups of Americans to each other, in Cairo he exhibited the amazing spectacle of an American president taking an equidistant position between the country he leads and its detractors and enemies. It is as if he saw himself as a judge in some legal dispute, People of the Islamic World v. United States. But the job to which he was elected was not that of impartial judge, but that of leader and champion of the American nation...

There's plenty more worth reading.

Of course that "equidistant position" is exactly how leftists like Obama talk. I hear it here in San Francisco. "Americans are... militaristic/racist/crude/Walmart/greedy...whatever" Said as if the speaker is not part of that horrid crowd.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:58 AM

June 2, 2009

Once the poison is in the system...

Wall Street Journal: Islamists Lose Ground in the Middle East:

...The results of Kuwait's elections last month -- in which Islamists were rebuffed and four women were elected to parliament -- will likely reinvigorate the movement for greater democracy in the region that has stalled since the hopeful "Arab spring" of 2005...

Well, it didn't just "stall." When our "Democrats" undermined their own country in war-time, they were also undermining all the good things that were flowing from our efforts.

...It also puts pressure on the Obama administration to end its deafening silence on democracy promotion....

Yeah, like they care...

...Although ruled by a hereditary monarch, Kuwait is the most democratic of the Arab countries. The press is relatively free, parliament has real power, and politicians are chosen in legitimate elections. However, Kuwait is a part of the Persian Gulf, where the subordination of women is traditionally most severe. Historically, Kuwait's political process was for males only. But in 2005 parliament yielded to female activists and approved a bill giving women the right to vote and hold office.

In 2006 and 2008, several women ran for parliament, though none won. The women that captured four of the 50 seats last month weren't aided by quotas; they won on their own merits. Their success will undoubtedly inspire a new wave of women's activism in nearby countries.

So, "feminist" organizations and leaders. You're going to support this, right? Ha ha.

...Almost as significant as the women's gains were the Islamist losses. The archconservative Salafist Movement's campaign for a boycott of female candidates obviously fell flat, and the number of seats held by Sunni Islamists fell sharply.

Thus continues a string of defeats for Islamists over the last year and a half from west to east...

President George W. Bush knew exactly what he was doing when he injected his democracy juice right into the arteries of Islamic despotism. And our "Democrats" and "pacifists" and "feminists" and all the other fake-leftists knew exactly what they were doing when they fought him every inch of the way. Their aim is tyranny.

(I have no good reason to put this picture in, save to remind us of happier times, and perhaps irritate some prune-faced fake-liberals...)

Barbara, Laura and Jenna Bush

Posted by John Weidner at 7:15 AM

John Ashcroft we hardly knew ye....

Dafydd: The Double-Standard Gauntlet Is Thrown:

...So far as I've heard, every single pro-life organization and a great many pro-life individuals denounced and condemned this murder as despicable, cowardly, and a violation of the entire thrust of the pro-life community. And they did so the very day it happened, Sunday, May 31st, 2009.

But I have yet to hear or read a single radical leftist anti-war organization, politician, or blogger condemning the assassination of Private William Long, United States Army, and the attempted assassination of Private Quinton Ezeagwula, United States Army. As of the timestamp of this post, not a word on the website of International ANSWER; nary a peep from the chicks at Code Pink....

'cause they're on the other side...

Posted by John Weidner at 6:58 AM

May 30, 2009

U kan take it from de Tocqueville...

Charlene recommends this video by Andrew Klavan, aimed at kids graduating from college: Why Are Conservatives So Mean?

I can't embed it like a YouTube, but it's really good, and fun. Please take a look...

Posted by John Weidner at 7:24 AM

May 29, 2009

If three nice people are in love...

...Who could object to their marriage? ...except those insufferable theocrats...

Mr. and Mrs. and Mrs...or Whatever, by Chuck Colson:

...Earlier this month, Maine became the fifth state—and the fourth in New England—to legalize same-sex "marriage". Five thousand miles away in Hawaii, Sasha and Janet Lessin are hoping to build on New England's example.

If they are successful, no one can seriously claim to be surprised.

Writer Abby Ellin described how the Lessins gathered with friends and held what was dubbed a "commitment ceremony." The "commitment" being celebrated wasn't a renewal of their marriage vows—it was the incorporation of a third party, "Shivaya," into their so-called "triad."...

Triads. How could we possibly deny them their "constitutional rights?" It's like the Civil Rights Movement, right? We can't turn certain people into second class citizens, can we? We can't go back to the days of 'back-alley triads," can we?

Of course we won't get an honest debate about whatever the next innovation might be. Leftists and libertarians will ignore the possibility, and scoff at anyone who brings up the subject, until the moment when it becomes a fad, at which point they will consider it a fait accompli, and pretend that conservatives are unreasonably blocking what is "obviously" right and just.

And they will say that anyone who objects has "moved to the right!"

Posted by John Weidner at 6:56 AM

May 26, 2009

Another thought for Memorial Day...

Alan Sullivan:

At 3 PM, President Obama was playing golf very privately at Fort Belvoir, outside of Washington. So much for his ballyhooed "moment of national unity." That is for the God and guns crowd.

I want to dedicate this Memorial Day not only to those who have died in past conflicts, but to those who are going to die because the nation elected this supremely fatuous man to its highest office.

Well, it is probably true.

Think of how many have died because of the fatuousness and weakness of Jimmy Carter. Imagine if he had not ignored a year of warnings about the possibility of a Soviet invasion of Afghanistan? Imagine if he had taken a strong stand in the Iranian hostage crisis? (We now know that the hostage-takers only planned to hold our people for a few days. It was purely Carter's criminal weakness that ended up pinning a "kick me" sign on the USA.) Carter deserves to be called one of history's great mass-murderers.

What I loath most of all is Carter's claiming to be a "Christian," (personally I think he's no Christian at all) with "Christian" meaning being weak in the face of evil, and letting monsters kill and enslave millions of people. Not real people, you understand, just niggers in countries nobody's ever heard of, like Afgnanistan. What could go wrong? (To our "liberals" and "pacifists" the world is similar to that famous New Yorker cover, with a huge Manhattan, and everything else small and obscure.)

I say that's bullshit. I've quoted before the views of St Thomas, in an essay by Darrell Cole, Good Wars. This time I'll give you some John Calvin...
...Calvin, too, looks at the soldier as an agent of God's love. As he argues: "Paul meant to refer the precept of respecting power of magistrates to the law of love." The soldier is thus as much an agent of God's love as he is of God's wrath, for the two characteristics are harmonious in God. Calvin argues in this way because he holds that to soldier justly—to restrain evil out of love for neighbor—is a God-like act. It is God-like because God restrains evil out of love for His creatures. None of this is to say that we fully imitate God or Christ when we use force justly, for the just soldier's acts can never be redemptive acts—acts that have a saving quality for those who are targets of the acts of force (except, of course, in the sense that the just soldier "saves" the unjust neighbor from more unjust acts). Yet the just soldier who cultivates the military virtues in such a way as to harness and direct them toward his final end—beatitude with God—may nevertheless be said to be one who, as the Reformers liked to say, follows Christ at a distance.

How can we follow Christ—even at a distance—while fighting and killing? Calvin gives us an indication by pointing out that Christ's pacific nature (his willingness to suffer violence at the hands of Jewish and Roman authorities) is grounded in the priestly office of reconciliation and intercession that is reserved for him alone. Christ's pacific nature is thus inextricably tied to his role as redeemer and cannot be intended as a model for Christian behavior. No Christian can or should try to act as a redeemer, but all can and should follow Christ in obeying the commands of the Father. And the Father commands the just use of force...

I notice that Cole has a book on this subject. I plan to read it soon...


I notice Glenn Reynolds writes:

"Is Obama Another Jimmy Carter?" Actually, I'm beginning to think that's a best-case situation.


* Update: The SF Public Library is part of a system called LinkPlus, that gives us access to the books of scores of libraries in this region. It is really rare that I can't find a book I want in one of them. But none of them have a copy of Cole's book: When God Says War Is Right. Gee, I wonder why that might be?

I just ordered a copy from amazon.com for $9. I thought immediately of how Milton Friedman wrote about how most of the segregation and racism of the old South was instituted by government, and how the marketplace tended to color-blind!

* Update: Keep in mind that it's the publisher who gets to chose a title for the book. I'd guess that the in-your-face title was not Mr Cole's idea.


Posted by John Weidner at 8:48 AM

May 25, 2009

Of course they won't apologize--he's "the neocon's neocon"...

William A. Jacobson: Will The Left Apologize To Bolton?:

Will The Left Apologize To Bolton? On May 20, 2009, John Bolton wrote an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal titled "Get Ready for Another North Korean Nuke Test" in which he noted that the complacency of the Obama administration about North Korea's nuclear ambitions (and Iran's) was misplaced:
"The curtain is about to rise again on the long-running nuclear tragicomedy, "North Korea Outwits the United States." Despite Kim Jong Il's explicit threats of another nuclear test, U.S. Special Envoy Stephen Bosworth said last week that the Obama administration is "relatively relaxed" and that "there is not a sense of crisis." They're certainly smiling in Pyongyang."
As usual, the Left lashed out at Bolton, who may be third after George Bush and Dick Cheney in being portrayed as crazy and paranoid. Bolton has been derided as "the neocon's neocon" who "laps up the hosannas of fellow knuckle-draggers." ...

Me, I'm proud to be a knuckle-dragger.

Apologize to Bolton? Well, wake us up when that happens. The animals won't, you may feel confident, even apologize to the human race after NK nukes Japan, or Iran nukes Israel.

Posted by John Weidner at 5:38 PM

May 23, 2009

Reasoning with "liberal Jews" is probably a waste of time...

...But the thought of my Jewish friends still holding warm fuzzy thoughts for the "international community" (and of course opposing the horrid cowboy "unilateralism" of President Bush) ... and maybe donating money to UNESCO... and praising the United Nations? Ugh. How sick and suicidal can people be? How STUPID, to make the same STUPID mistakes decade after decade?

Bernard-Henri Lévy: UNESCO: The Shame of a Disaster Foretold:

...Who declared in April 2001: "Israel has never contributed to Civilization in any era, for it has only ever appropriated the contributions of others" -- and added almost two months later: "the Israeli culture is an inhumane culture; it is an aggressive, racist, pretentious culture based on one simple principle: steal what does not belong to in order to then claim its appropriation"?

Who explained in 1997, and has repeated it since in every way possible, that he was the "archenemy" of all attempts to normalize his country's relations with Israel?

Or who, as recently as 2008, responded to a deputy of the Egyptian parliament who was alarmed that Israeli books could be introduced into the Alexandria Library: "Burn these books; if there are any there, I will myself burn them in front of you"?

Who said in 2001 in the newspaper Ruz-al-Yusuf that Israel was "aided" in its dark intrigues by "the infiltration of Jews into the international media" and by their diabolical ability to "spread lies"?...

Who? Why, an honored leader of the "international community," of course...

It take self-induced stupidity for smart people to continue to act stupidly and not see reality right in front of them. And to persist in delusion for lifetimes...

Posted by John Weidner at 7:57 AM

May 21, 2009

"The state has gradually annexed all the responsibilities of adulthood..."

Mark Steyn, writing in Imprimis. And saying the same sort of things I say. But of course saying them far better, so I'm glad he's copying me...

...My book America Alone is often assumed to be about radical Islam, firebreathing imams, the excitable young men jumping up and down in the street doing the old "Death to the Great Satan" dance. It's not. It's about us. It's about a possibly terminal manifestation of an old civilizational temptation: Indolence, as Machiavelli understood, is the greatest enemy of a republic. When I ran into trouble with the so-called "human rights" commissions up in Canada, it seemed bizarre to find the progressive left making common cause with radical Islam. One half of the alliance profess to be pro-gay, pro-feminist secularists; the other half are homophobic, misogynist theocrats. Even as the cheap bus 'n' truck road-tour version of the Hitler-Stalin Pact, it made no sense. But in fact what they have in common overrides their superficially more obvious incompatibilities: Both the secular Big Government progressives and political Islam recoil from the concept of the citizen, of the free individual entrusted to operate within his own societal space, assume his responsibilities, and exploit his potential.

In most of the developed world, the state has gradually annexed all the responsibilities of adulthood—health care, child care, care of the elderly—to the point where it's effectively severed its citizens from humanity's primal instincts, not least the survival instinct. Hillary Rodham Clinton said it takes a village to raise a child. It's supposedly an African proverb—there is no record of anyone in Africa ever using this proverb, but let that pass. P.J. O'Rourke summed up that book superbly: It takes a village to raise a child. The government is the village, and you're the child. Oh, and by the way, even if it did take a village to raise a child, I wouldn't want it to be an African village. If you fly over West Africa at night, the lights form one giant coastal megalopolis: Not even Africans regard the African village as a useful societal model. But nor is the European village. Europe's addiction to big government, unaffordable entitlements, cradle-to-grave welfare, and a dependence on mass immigration needed to sustain it has become an existential threat to some of the oldest nation-states in the world.

And now the last holdout, the United States, is embarking on the same grim path...

Posted by John Weidner at 1:44 PM

May 15, 2009

The Insanity Only Grows #12,963...

Imagine a long-ago (say in the 1960's) conservative who declares that this new thing called "affirmative action" is wicked folly. Of course he's a racist! A bigot! He hates blacks, right?

And suppose he says that "affirmative action" is a bad idea because once it starts, it will just grow like a cancer, metastasizing into every crevice of life, putting more and more decisions into the hands of bureaucrats who will pick and choose life's winners according to the leftist fashion of the moment. Obviously he's CRAZY, right? That couldn't possibly happen, right? There's no such thing as a "slippery slope," right?

Trolley Driver May Get Hit With Charges - ABC News

...The office of Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley made the statement a day after ABCNews.com revealed that Aiden Quinn was hired in 2007 from a lottery that consisted of minority candidates. Quinn's status at that time was female-to-male transgender, and sources told ABC News that status was what qualified him as a minority....

What I find more important is, that if that 1960's conservative had told a liberal friend that someday people would be selected for "preferred minority" status because they were having sex-change operations, the liberal would not only have thought that that was impossible, he would have considered the impossibility as a rock-like certainty that he could have confidence in!

That is, if you told him that his liberal pilgrimage was taking him into a realm where there was no certainty, where every idea or belief could morph and shift, where nothing is dependable... He would not believe it. He would assume that some things will never change.

And what makes me want to scream is that if you encountered that same liberal today, he will still not THINK. Even though heaps of things he once considered settled and trustworthy have been swept away like sand-castles by the tide, he still believes that whatever exists at the moment is secure. He does not DARE to think.

It's like pointing out to a liberal that the same arguments he accepts now for "gay marriage," would (and will) work just as well to "justify" man-boy marriage or human-animal marriage or group marriage. He won't give you any clear answer, won't even take the point. He assumes that won't happen, that "they" won't let it happen. And when the next outrage comes along, he will just drift like jellyfish with the current, and accept the new thing: "You're a bigot to say my daughter shouldn't be able to marry the pony she loves. You are denying her EQUALITY! It's her constitutional right!"

OR, maybe the liberal will "draw the line" at that point, and say no. On what grounds, you might ask? Why, traditional morality of course!



Posted by John Weidner at 10:26 AM

May 14, 2009

"Bake sales against genocide"

Mark Steyn:
Michael, re Obama's view of the Holocaust:
Those numbers can be our future, our fellow citizens of the world showing us how to make the journey from oppression to survival, from witness to resistance and ultimately to reconciliation. That is what we mean when we say "never again."
I take your point that "it may be what he means by 'never again,' but most everybody else means 'we're going to act to throttle the next would-be Hitler.'" But I'm not sure everybody else does mean that, not anymore.

The French thinker (if you'll pardon the expression) Alain Finkielkraut says that "Never again" to a European means "Never again power politics. Never again nationalism. Never again Auschwitz" — which sounds like a slightly different order of priorities from yours. And over the decades the revulsion against any kind of "power politics" has come to trump whatever revulsion post-Auschwitz Europe might feel about mass murder. That's why in the early Nineties the EU let hundreds of thousands die on its borders in the Balkans rather than act to prevent it. Indeed, they "acted" only to prevent the Americans coming in and doing something about it, because they found it easier to tolerate the murder of their fellow Europeans than the idea of American military action to stop it.

It's interesting how easily the Obama definition of "Never again" fits that kind of passivity. Two of the three "causes for hope" the president cites — Rwanda, Sudan — are textbook "Never again" scenarios that roll around again and again and again. In fact, Darfur is still ongoing, so to congratulate yourself merely because some American high-schoolers have formed "Save Darfur" chapters looks at best like moral preening and at worst like the kind of feeble passivity that enabled the Holocaust first time round. It's grand to be a member of the Grade Ten "Save Darfur" campaign, not so good to be back in Darfur wondering when the actual saving's going to start. If "Never again" now means "Bake sales against genocide," we're all doomed.

"Bake sales against genocide." Mr Steyn hits on the right phrase as usual.

How I despise liberals who talk abut Hitler in self-congratulatory terms, as a great liberal victory. Them liberals are long gone. Just imagine the situation of, say, 1936 were to exist today, and President George W Bush was urging Americans to go to war and stop this menace while it could still be done with relatively small loss of life! Do you have any doubt that our 'liberals" and fake-pacifists would happily let the Jews fry?

Posted by John Weidner at 11:16 AM

May 10, 2009

Government health care. Disaster. So, why do it?

Mark Steyn, on the Hugh Hewitt show... (emphasis added)

...HH: Everywhere you try it, you just mentioned Bulgaria, Great Britain and Canada, it is a disaster. Why do they want to do it?

MS: Well, what is does is, if you're a Democrat, what it does is it changes the relationship between the citizen and the state. It alters the equation. If you provide government health care, then suddenly all the elections, they're not thought about war and foreign policy, or even big economic questions. They're suddenly fought about government services, and the level of government services, and that's all they're about, because once you get government health care, the citizens' dependency on government as provider is so fundamentally changed that in effect, every election is fought on left wing terms. And for the Democratic Party, that is a huge, transformative advantage.

HH: Oh, that's very interesting. Now in Canada, though, don't people get mad at their quality of health care? Don't they throw the bums out and perhaps urge a return to American style medicine?
MS: No, because the strange thing is that when people, even when people have really bad experiences, you see this in the British press all the time whenever they have one of these horror stories about someone who goes in because they've got a bad case of, they've got a case of pneumonia, and they wake up and find their left leg's been amputated because the wrong memo went around. All those horror stories are always followed two days later by someone writing a fawningly, groveling letter about having received mediocre, third world care, but being eternally grateful for it. It really does, government health care is really the ditch you want to fight in, because once you surrender that, I think it's very difficult to have genuine self-reliant citizenry every again. It really fundamentally changes the equation.

HH: Then where's the AMA?  Where is business? Why hasn't this battle been joined even as the ink is getting very dry on the big Obama rewrite of American medicine?

MS: Well, because I think most of the spokesmen for the conservative argument in Washington do not make the case. And they don't understand that once you've got a government system, it becomes like any other government program. On Friday, you have to pay the doctor, you have to pay the nurse, you have to pay the janitor. So your only way of controlling the cost is to restrict access to the patient, to the customer. And that's why once you've got a government health care system, everything is about waiting lists and waiting time. It's about waiting two years for a hip operation. It's about waiting 9 months for an MRI. It's about waiting, waiting, waiting....

Some other thoughts by Alan Sullivan here.

Posted by John Weidner at 5:06 PM

May 7, 2009

"Small "t" torture"...

TigerHawk:

...Jon Stewart had to call Truman a war criminal over Hiroshima-Nagasaki, else he'd have lost the debate. QED.

A similar tactic from the left is to force debate over whether waterboarding is or isn't torture. If you admit it is, then waterboarding gets lumped in with far worse tortures -- you lose the debate. But by saying it isn't, you look disingenuous or worse.

I'm convinced waterboarding keeps coming up, because the left enjoys playing this rhetorical game. Waterboarding is a small sideshow in the scheme of things -- it's small "t" torture, didn't happen a lot, and many of us would wish far worse things upon guys like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Obama has dredged it up to make himself look good -- especially with his base -- and as a distraction from more momentous things that are going on.

Exactly. It's a rhetorical game, defining "torture." We always lose.

But more important is not to let the real context of the debate be denied. The US ended torture and cruelty in Iraq and Afghanistan that were millions of times worse than anything we've even been accused of. But this "debate" is one the Left has moved onto it's own ground, where nothing happens unless the US (or Israel) is present. A world where only the US is real. We should not let Lefty psycho-dramas set the terms of debate.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:25 AM

May 4, 2009

Yer toast, Jews...

Roger L. Simon:

...Did Rahm Emanuel just put the screws to his own people? Quite possibly, although all we have at present is a second hand report of what he told 300 big donors to AIPAC in a private meeting. According to the Jerusalem Post: Thwarting Iran's nuclear program is conditional on progress in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. [bold mine]

Great, Rahm. What a guy you are for spelling this out. But before you do anything, would you please explain the word "progress"? When last we saw serious negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians (Bill Clinton and then Taba), the Palestinians, led by Arafat, walked out and began Intifada II. Would you have blamed Israel for that lack of "progress" and allowed Iran to get the bomb? Could it just be that the Palestinians (Hamas and Fatah) don't really want a two-state solution? Has the occurred to you after all this time? What if that turns out to be true? Think about that, Rahm. This isn't a Hollywood negotiation that your brother might conduct between Warner Brothers and Universal. People die here, big time. As Ayatollah Rafsanjani has told us, the Iranians don't fear a nuclear war with Israel because there are hundreds of more millions of Muslims than there are Jews.

One last question, Rahm. How do you sleep?...

Israel better look to itself. The White House is running on the Jeremiah Wright worldview, and Jews are definitely expendable. Israel should pull out all the stops to bolster its alliances with the other friends of America that Obam is now abandoning in favor of tyrants. You know, horrid oppressor countries like India and Turkey and Indonesia and Japan. And she should take out Iran's nukes NOW.

And still American Jews will support Obama. It's part of their religion, which is liberalism. Suicidal liberalism. And if Tel Aviv gets turned to green glass, it will be a "tragedy," and they will STILL vote Democrat. And if they or their loved ones get their heads sawed off with rusty knives, they will STILL not vote for Republicans--why, of course not, that would be tacky!

And the whole business of linking Middle East peace to "progress" in "peace negotiations" between Israel and the Palestinians has always been an utter fraud and sham. It's just an excuse to do nothing, since there will never be peace with a sick death-cult that wants to destroy all the Jews. It's an excuse to leave tyrants in power in the interests of "peace." The peace of death for all the victims of tyranny and anti-Semitism.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:07 PM

May 3, 2009

"Infusions of legitimacy"

... Americans who are apt to argue that U.S. foreign policy needs constant infusions of legitimacy from the approbation of European governments are also apt to deplore, in the domestic culture wars, Eurocentrism in academic curricula. Such Americans resist the cultural products of Europe's centuries of vitality, but defer to the politics of Europe in its decadence.

Why? Perhaps because yesterday's European culture helped make America what it is, and today's European politics expresses resentment and distrust of what America is. Both sensibilities arise from the distaste of some Americans for America...

    -- George Will
Posted by John Weidner at 2:16 PM

April 30, 2009

We are what government says we are...

William C. Duncan - The Corner on National Review Online:

The New Hampshire Senate has just voted 13-11 in favor of a bill that would redefine marriage in the state. This was an amended version of a same-sex marriage bill already approved by the House, so it must now go back to the House for approval before going to the governor. The "concessions" in the Senate version distinguish civil and religious marriages (was that a question?) and allow married couples to choose to be designated as "bride," "groom," or "spouse." One senator is quoted as saying this generosity is "respectful to both sides of the debate" although bill opponents might be forgiven for sensing a patronizing note in this.

One of the many aspects of "gay marriage" that no one seems to care about is that it is a huge expansion of government power. Government never had this power in the past; it has always merely adumbrated the common traditional ideas. One would think that "libertarians" would be concerned, but I haven't seen it.

If I might adapt a common phrase, "The power to define is the power to destroy." Allowing the state to define marriage—and thus implicitely to define almost any personal matter—is a far greater step towards tyranny than the nationalizing of banks or auto companies. Why? Because those economic experiments will probably be given up in the future when their failure becomes evident. But we can never go back to the original state of things where no one even imagined the state could change what marriage or families or personal relationships should be. Or what "grooms" or "spouses" are.

Even to politically fight against gay marriage is to implicitly agree that we are what government says we are.

I don't expect leftists to be able to think clearly, but the acquiescent stupidity of "libertarians" just stupefies me. The same people who—rightly—decry government intervention in the marketplace, and point out that this will inevitably tend to grow and become oppressive, sit supinely while government decides what a family is. And they imagine that this is making them more free.

Equally stupid is the common assumption that of course no one will go any farther in defining stuff. This is the end of the project! This is the only change that will be made! Fools. (One might ponder this: Toppling the last taboo: Is incest merely a relic of a decrepit moral system?) Well, I'm telling you now, they will be back for another redefinition of marriage soon enough. Don't come bleating to me like sheep saying, "I didn't expect this to happen!"

* Update: Underlying the disastrous idea of government defining us is the deeper folly of thinking we can define ourselves. That seems like freedom on the face of it, but the problem is that we then define ourselves according to the common ideas of the moment. We subject ourselves to the tyranny of the crowd. There is no objective standard, no baseline, and so we are soon trapped in a labyrinth of fun-house mirrors. The distorted image becomes the definition of what is "real," and then the next mirror distorts reality in another direction, and that becomes what's "real," and then another...

Then I tear my hair out saying, "Can't you SEE that you've become Gumby! (And people look at me like I'm some kind of nut.)

Posted by John Weidner at 8:41 AM

April 27, 2009

Something to save for next year...

I'm late with this, but it might be worth a look. Pretty funny. (And pretty mendacious, since I doubt any of these people have apologized, and most of them are still spouting any BS that helps the Left, science be damned. Notice the last "prediction.") Earth Day predictions of 1970: (Thanks to Alan. 1970 was the first "Earth Day")

"We have about five more years at the outside to do something."
• Kenneth Watt, ecologist

"Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind."
• George Wald, Harvard Biologist

"We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation."
• Barry Commoner, Washington University biologist

"Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction."
• New York Times editorial, the day after the first Earth Day

"Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years."
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist
"By...[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s."
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

"It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,"
• Denis Hayes, chief organizer for Earth Day

"Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine."
• Peter Gunter, professor, North Texas State University

"Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half…."
• Life Magazine, January 1970

"At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable."
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

"Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone."
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

"We are prospecting for the very last of our resources and using up the nonrenewable things many times faster than we are finding new ones."
• Martin Litton, Sierra Club director

"By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’"
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

"Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct."
• Sen. Gaylord Nelson

"The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age."
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist
Posted by John Weidner at 10:09 AM

April 24, 2009

Yet another comment on a comment....

I started to comment on a comment by my friend Dave T, at this post, but it grew longer and longer, and I decided to make it a stand-alone post because I don't want to waste electrons on Earth Day:

What Dave's given here won't lead to an honest debate [on so-called torture]. There is something askew, something missing.

Think about the recent Israeli incursion into Gaza. Put aside the question of who was right or wrong, and think about the fact that the whole Western world was riveted by the conflict. Why? It was tiny on a global scale, yet it was treated like the biggest of things. Treated as a much bigger deal than, say, the death of a million people in Rawanda. Why? The Middle East has multitudes of oppressions and attacks, but no one cares if Turks kill a bunch of Kurds, or Iranians oppress the Ghashghai. Why is Israel important? It is weird, yet everyone takes it for granted.

I won't keep you in suspense. The reason is that there are only two countries that are real to the average Western Leftist. The USA, and Israel. To most liberals, this planet is like some vast dark warehouse where the only lights are America and Israel. All the other places are only seen if one of us two comes near. Only exist at that moment.

I could cite hundreds of examples, but I'll just give you two. (Extrapolate! You can do it.)

Example: The French are much rougher on terror suspects than we are. Gitmo is a playpen compared to their jails, but no one cares. (This is not just a matter of us Americans giving priority to our own supposed sins; European Lefties obsess over Guantanamo just as much as we do.) Also the French have made numerous military incursions into Africa in the post-colonial period, but no one asks them to obey "international law," or ask permission of the UN. Why? Why do no "pacifists" protest? No one pays the least attention. The US is real, from a Left perspective, and France is not. Why?

Example: In 1992 30,000 Palestinians were kicked out of their homes and sent into exile. Quick, how many of you reading this can name the country that did the deed? Hmmm? And for bonus points, describe the protests that convulsed the globe as liberals and "pacifists" took to the streets demanding justice, and calling on the UN to take action. Well, you can't describe the protests because there weren't any. All those Libs who say they "care" about the Palestinians? They are liars.

Yet....not exactly liars. To them there is no lie, because only Israel is real. Nothing happened to the Palestinians in 1992 because they were not hurt by Israel. Kuwait does not exist to them! It's not real!

We see this stuff all the time, but we don't notice it. I feel like that obnoxious kid pointing out that the Emperor is naked.

Look at the quote by "IOZ" that Dave posted. It is, to put it bluntly, delusional. Crazy. It paints a world where nothing moves except the United States. No one else acts, or speaks, or has any effect on anything. The entire rest of the human race is just a deer in the headlights.

And Dave's own comments assume that the US is the only moral actor that can be considered. The only one that exists. I've followed Dave's writing for many a year, and he has never subjected other countries to intense moral scrutiny. Oh wait, I'm wrong! Actually, it did happen, just once. The country was......Israel! He once heaped harsh moral censure on Israel for striking back against a terror bomber by bulldozing a house. SO, get this, terrorists turn women and children into shredded meat, Israel responds without killing or injuring any person....and who does our supposed pacifist condemn? I've been shaking my head at the sheer craziness of that one for years.

Trying to reason with such a worldview is a waste of time. It's like telling a paranoiac that nobody's trying to get them. The simple fact is that America, which would really like to stay home and enjoy the good life, has been forced into the position of being the decent cop in a rough neighborhood. Of course we slap some wise-guys around, but it's necessary if hoodlums are to be kept from taking over and making things a million times worse.

We water-boarded a few people (and do so routinely to our own troops such as Navy SEALS in training) in the course of fighting against people who interrogate using electric drills to drill into people's heads and knees. That's the context that somehow goes missing when you try to debate with leftists. If poor brown-skinned fellows get tortured or massacred in distant corners of the globe, they don't care. They posture all the time about how "caring" they are, but they. DO. NOT. CARE. It's not even real to them. Therefore what America is doing in the WoT is not real.

Actually they don't even care about the real living breathing America or Israel! These are only important to them as symbols. Remember your college psych class? Symbols, right? Important, psychologically. And spiritually. (Actually in the Catholic worldview symbols can actually "come alive" and be real! Awesome life-changing stuff, but that's for another day.)

So what's going on, symbolically speaking? Well, you have to understand first that liberals are not liberals any more. (Sorry if you've heard this already.) Once upon a time liberalism was a philosophy that people believed in, would fight for. (Imagine Harry Truman or JFK being asked if it's morally right to fight to topple a fascist dictator, and bring democracy to oppressed people! They would have laughed to think one would even need to ask such a question.) Liberalism was a sort of religion, in the sense that it was bigger than the individual.

But that belief has drained away, and left nothing inside. Nothing but self-worship. Nihilism. NOTHING. Now people like IOZ or Dave are wearing liberalism as a kind of disguise.

But if you put yourself in the center, if you make yourself god, then you will hate and fear rival gods. Countries of course are not normally anything like gods. BUT, there are two countries (guess which) on this planet that are something analogous to gods, in the sense that they are really ideas, ideas that demand our service and belief. They are the only two countries you can easily join by accepting their idea. If you dig it, if you "get" the constitution and the Declaration and the Federalist Papers and similar things, then you are an American. Even if you never set foot on US flag territory! (And here's an interesting piece on becoming an Israeli.)

But the nihilist hates and fears belief. He is always against God (sometimes cloaking this in a religious disguise) because being a Christian or a Jew means being a "servant of the Word," or "bearing the yoke of Torah." If you worship yourself you can't be no servant! And on a much lower, but analogous, plane, being an American or an Israeli means being the servant of an idea. It means putting yourself second.

When Leftists rant interminably about the sins of Israel and America, (ignoring everything else in the world) what they are really saying is, "Don't you dare make a claim on me! Don't you dare suggest that anything could be more important than ME! I'm never going to be a servant!" They scrabble endlessly to find excuses to avoid duty, hence the way they savor any mistakes made by... you know who.

This is, I more and more suspect, a very unhappy state of existence. But the empty soul doesn't realize he's unhappy. Why? Because he's like that paranoid, who also doesn't think he's unhappy. He thinks everything would be FINE if only those people weren't trying to kill him! WE know that he's unhappy. He's obviously deeply unhappy. But he can't see it himself.

And the biggest pity is that it's all so unnecessary. People imagine that being a servant to things greater than the self is a kind of death. That it will be a misery. But it is just the opposite. It's hard to demonstrate this point when you look at the big ideas, but the cosmos works by analogies, and there is a small-scale analog close at hand that most people can understand. That is the family. You could look at me as a wretched slave to my wife and children, and in a way I am. But while I've lost big-time as an autonomous individual, I've gained enormous dignity and respect-worthiness as a member—a servant—of my little family. And gained far more than I've lost in richness of life. (And of course we see a lot of people who look on the family in the way Lefties look at America. And call abortion a "blessing," and being unattached "freedom.")

And all the other analogous things work just the same way, up and down the ladder of importance. They look like death to the self, but they are really where the self can be what it wants to be, and was always intended to be, the servant of greater things. Poor IOZ, he thinks he's declaring truths, but he looks to me like some poor ragged wretch walking down the street screaming paranoid fantasies.

Posted by John Weidner at 12:49 AM

April 23, 2009

Just for the record...

You might keep in mind this article from the Washington Post, December 9, 2007, Hill Briefed on Waterboarding in 2002. (From a good piece by Hugh Hewitt.)

This is similar to the abu Ghraib scandal, in which members of Congress knew of the problem months before it hit the news, knew it was being corrected and the guilty were due to be punished...then, when those pictures surfaced, they suddenly discovered that betraying their country with fake outrage would be a big partisan winner.

Same with "torture." Democrat leaders never gave a damn about waterboarding. Not until America was in difficulties. Then the dirty turncoats jumped-ship to what looked like the winning side—al Qaeda.. Leftist fake outrage about torture is treason pure and simple.

And any talk or action now about prosecuting Bush administration officials for things Congress was in agreement with at the time, and declined to make illegal....is not only vile injustice, but treason.

In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.

Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.

"The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough," said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.

Congressional leaders from both parties would later seize on waterboarding as a symbol of the worst excesses of the Bush administration's counterterrorism effort. ...


...Yet long before "waterboarding" entered the public discourse, the CIA gave key legislative overseers about 30 private briefings, some of which included descriptions of that technique and other harsh interrogation methods, according to interviews with multiple U.S. officials with firsthand knowledge.

With one known exception, no formal objections were raised by the lawmakers briefed about the harsh methods during the two years in which waterboarding was employed, from 2002 to 2003, said Democrats and Republicans with direct knowledge of the matter. The lawmakers who held oversight roles during the period included Pelosi and Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and Sens. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), as well as Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan).

Individual lawmakers' recollections of the early briefings varied dramatically, but officials present during the meetings described the reaction as mostly quiet acquiescence, if not outright support. "Among those being briefed, there was a pretty full understanding of what the CIA was doing," said Goss, who chaired the House intelligence committee from 1997 to 2004 and then served as CIA director from 2004 to 2006. "And the reaction in the room was not just approval, but encouragement...
Posted by John Weidner at 8:18 AM

April 22, 2009

"Questions better batted down than answered"


Byron York, in the Washington Times, on the hysterical reactions to the tea party protests: In Time of Victory, Why Is The Left So Angry?

...Then there is the question of self-image. Watching Garofalo and Olbermann discuss the tea parties, it was impossible to avoid the sense that they saw themselves as two good people talking about many bad people. "One of the things about narcissism is that it looks like people who are just proud of themselves and smug, but in fact narcissism is a very brittle and unstable state," Anderson told me. "People who are deeply invested in narcissism spend an awful lot of energy trying to maintain the illusion they have of themselves as being powerful and good, and they are exquisitely sensitive to anything that might prick that balloon."

Again, the tea parties could represent a threat. What if the protesters weren't racists, weren't violent, weren't mentally defective? What if their point was legitimate, or even partly legitimate? Those are questions better batted down than answered....

"Narcissism is a very brittle and unstable state." That sure fits with what I'm seeing around here in Pelosiville. Psychologically it is much wiser and less stressful to believe in Original Sin, and acknowledge that your group and you yourself are prone to error and failure, and that paradise on Earth is not achievable.

Think of the liberals who imagine themselves as still riding the wave of transformative energy of the 1960's and the civil rights movement. They may tell themselves things are going great, but of course nothing has actually gone according to the hopes raised at that period. (I was there—I know.) So the poor liberal has to repress.

The same with the saps who thought things would be better to the extent that we became more "European." How has that worked out? Consciously they may still believe it, but sub-consciously they have to be aware that Europe is somehow not setting the world afire these days. Same with those who think socialist regimes will produce happiness etc. None of them, if they get sick, are going to ask to be flown to Havana! They know, though they may not admit it to themselves.

And it's the same with the Obama regime. Vast clouds of nebulous hope have been frothed-up in front of us, but it's already clear that reality is not going to fit the vague dreams and schemes. It reminds me of a recollection I read by someone who was in the JFK administration, right at the beginning. Apparently they were worried about what they would do in the second term, after they had solved all the country's problems!


Posted by John Weidner at 8:52 AM

April 20, 2009

Commenting on a comment...

I started to answer a comment by our friend Bisaal at this post, and decided to just make my answer—or rather, partial answer—a post in itself.
I am not clear on this subject at all but are you saying that rough work works so it is OK to do it now and then?.

Mark Shea I don't think radiates any partisan hatred or venom. He is consistent: anything that deviates from Church preaching is to be rejected.

Had the Catholics consistently followed this principle, a lot of past trouble eg World Wars might have been avoided.

Maybe you will object, that this goes against Prudence and thus Catholic States never applied such standard to themselves. But perhaps USA needs to set higher standards for itself.

The virtue of Prudence is crucial for Moral Reasoning. (For all people, not just Christians. Moral law exists objectively, applies to all of us, and can be apprehended by reason.) Prudence is not optional. It is not a "lower standard." It is not some sort of fudge-factor added on so that people can compromise with the strict demands of doing what is just. ALL good deeds and good things can be bad if done at the wrong time or place or situation. The beautiful poverty and service of St Francis would have been an evil thing if he had left a wife and children to starve to death!

There is NO situation—either personal or societal—to which one can simply "apply Church teachings" without considering Prudence.

And therefore there is no complex situation where one can simply take one small aspect and demand that people do the moral thing, without considering the whole. Prudence demands looking at the whole picture.

Therefore, if a moralist is going to try to influence people on how we should fight the "War on Terror," then he or she must consider the situation as a whole, and think through things. Think about questions like how, in general, this new kind of war can best be fought. And how those tactics and strategies fit in with moral principles.

As an example, people need to ponder how Christian "Just War" thinking should be applied to a new sort of war Aquinas never imagined. Another example: one needs to think about how our words and actions will be seen by others, and what behavior they will elicit. Are we tempting people to wrong-doing? (I'd say that Mr Shea is broadcasting messages that encourage terrorism.)

There are lots of similar things that need to be considered to decide what the moral way to deal with our world situation is. I don't follow everything Shea writes, so I may be doing him an injustice, but, it looks to me like he has cherry-picked those issues he happens to be interested in, and opines on them without ever articulating a philosophy of how the situation as a whole should be seen, and how dealt with. This is morally wrong; it is a failure to exercise Prudence.

In fact he not only has the duty to think through the whole situation, he also has the duty to encourage criticism and discourse. The way he sneers at those who disagree with him is itself a moral failure—it is doubling-down on his basic failure of Prudence. I wouldn't even consider challenging Shea's ideas at his blog, because I've never heard of him making reasoned responses like this one I'm trying to write. (Bisaal is doing me a favor by criticizing me, by prodding my reasoning, and I'm grateful.)

And I think Shea is partisan because his attitudes and the issues he in interested seem to match precisely those of far-left political activists. You can SEE this. The issues that make his cheeks glow and his eyes sparkle match up closely with groups like moveon.org or Code Pink. And he never seems (I don't read everything he writes, so I may be mistaken) to work up a sweat over the victims of terrorism, or over the war crimes that groups like al-Qaeda commit every day.

Who are the REAL Christians today? Well, I've blogged my opinion on one that often enough. Try this post. Or this....

Cradle
(photo by Michael Yon, of a child deliberately slaughtered by terrorist madmen.)

(And now I've really got to get to work, and I haven't even addressed torture specifically. Oh well, another day)

Posted by John Weidner at 10:31 AM

A Quote for you...

Charlene liked this quote, from a great piece by Kathy Shaidle:

...The Left is very concerned about something they like to call "social justice", which I define as the stubborn application of unworkable solutions to imaginary problems. ...
Posted by John Weidner at 7:38 AM

April 17, 2009

I call them heroes...

John Hinderaker at Power Line, About Those "Torture Memos":

...You can read the memos here. If you do, you will see that DOJ's lawyers grappled carefully and fairly with issues that are, by their nature, both difficult and distasteful. I find much to agree with in the memos and little, if anything, with which I disagree from a legal standpoint. Several things about the memos are striking: the concern that is shown for the health and well-being of the detainees; the very limited circumstances under harsh interrogation techniques were used (only when the CIA had reason to believe that the detainee had knowledge about pending terrorist attacks, among other limitations), and confirmation of the fact that thousands of American servicemen have been waterboarded and subjected to the other techniques in question, as part of their training--a practice that continued at least up to the dates of the memos.

I think the opinions were correct in substance; in any event, CIA officials were obviously justified in relying on them. In this context, the Obama administration's announcement that it will not prosecute the CIA personnel involved is evidently grandstanding. Of course they won't be prosecuted: to do so would be a double-cross of the worst sort, and the likelihood of getting a conviction would be nil. The fact is that the CIA officials who extracted valuable information from captured al Qaeda leaders--information that we have every reason to believe prevented successful terrorist attacks--are heroes. Their task was a thankless one, but, based on all the information we have, including the newly-released DOJ memos, they performed it well....

They are heroes. Exactly. They do the rough work necessary to protect us, while the fake-liberals who sneer and stab at them continue to luxuriate in the safety we have. And would howl in outrage if any danger actually approached them. Frauds. Pigs.

And none of the "anti-torture" crowd acknowledges that the US and Coalition militaries ended (at a painful sacrifice in dead and wounded) torture by the Saddam regime that was a million times worse than even what America is accused of. None of them ever said "thank you" for our ending (while "liberals" sat fat and safe, and never lifted a finger to help the suffering) the mass-production torture that was going on in Iraq. They are frauds, all of them. Their "concern" about torture is pure enmity against America and Bush. (I especially despise Mark Shea in this, since he is a well-known Catholic writer who just radiates partisan hatred and venom. What a twisted disgrace to our faith.)

* Update: [link] "Most prominent among those briefed on waterboarding was Nancy Pelosi. According to the Post’s interviews, members of the Congressional oversight committees understood that they had to weigh the limits of inhumane treatment of people known to have Al Qaeda connections against the threat of new attacks. They believed that these techniques struck the right balance in the circumstances. Yet I haven't heard of any serious call for prosecuting Speaker Pelosi or any of her colleagues for complicity in torture."

Posted by John Weidner at 12:55 PM

April 16, 2009

Emma Sky

Nibras Kazimi, at his blog Talisman Gate:

...The "Sky" I'm referring to is Emma Sky. I've been watching her rise for some time, and couldn't tell whether this was a remarkably deft penetration of the American decision-making process courtesy of the 'cousins' across the pond, or that it was just an accident of history when mediocre characters, thrust into the eye of history, begin making irresponsible and ill-conceived choices. I'm still wavering between the two.

Sky has maneuvered herself into becoming General Ray Odierno's brain.

Sky has been recently quoted as saying:
"It is a fascinating society," she said of Iraq. "They have got things here that we have totally lost in the West: the appreciation of each other, whether it is the family, the clan or the tribe; values that aren't capitalist."
How foolish is that? What toxic mix of cluelessness and self-righteousness is necessary to allow someone to string together these words? Is Emma Sky arguing for a pre-capitalistic society for Iraq? Wheres the sense of irony here?

But I'll hand it to her, she has been quite clever in rallying the ranks of her fellow travelers among the western media (think Tom Ricks), as well as the left-leaning think-tankers. She's managed to manipulate them into adhering to a disciplined message about Iraq, one that is heavily colored by her politics....
"Values that aren't capitalist." When you hear that, don't imagine that the speaker has a non-capitalist economic philosophy, such as socialism or syndicalism or some such. "Capitalist" is a code-word for the dreadful state of affairs where the little people do what they want without being guided by their betters who have taste and style. Sky's "anti-capitalism" is exactly the same philosophy as the quote in yesterday's post:
"..Rid society of the dictatorship of the middle class," Parrington insisted, referring to both democracy and capitalism, "and the artist and the scientist will erect in America a civilization that may become, what civilization was in earlier days, a thing to be respected..."

Sky doesn't really care about "the family, the clan or the tribe;" what's important is that these people are still poor and unsophisticated (and "colorful"), and therefore may be amenable to being guided by people like Ms. Sky. As soon as they start to attain self-confident middle-class status she will drop them.

(Much like our own intelligentsia used to dote on poor wretches in Appalachia, and gourmandised on their folk music and folk art. And congratulated themselves on being caring (with the taxpayers' $'s) and on being cool and "genuine" while listening to recordings of some old granny singing hymns of a faith they in fact despise. And of course once those people managed to escape from dire poverty, they were "rednecks," they were "spoiled by capitalism," and deserved to be sneered-at or ignored.)

It goes without saying that Sky hates "Zionists," and is not fond of Kurds. "..toxic mix of cluelessness and self-righteousness..." Well put.

Posted by John Weidner at 4:02 PM

April 15, 2009

What us schlubs need is "inspired tutelage..."

Fred Siegel, in FrontPage Magazine, has a very worth-reading history of the origins of American liberalism...

...The best short credo of liberalism came from the pen of the literary historian Vernon Parrington in the late 1920s. "Rid society of the dictatorship of the middle class," Parrington insisted, referring to both democracy and capitalism, "and the artist and the scientist will erect in America a civilization that may become, what civilization was in earlier days, a thing to be respected." Alienated from middle-class American life, liberalism drew on an idealized image of both organic pre-modern folkways and the harmony to come when it would re-establish the proper hierarchy of virtue in a post-bourgeois, post-democratic world....

....Croly, said literary critic Edmund Wilson memorializing him, "was a kind of saint." In another age he might have become the "founder of a religious order." Instead he founded The New Republic, which became the primary political organ of the new liberalism. Croly, whose sanctimony was sometimes mocked as "Crolier than thou," told Edmund Wilson that "he saw his culture as mainly French." He was the first child in the United States whose parents christened him, so to speak, into the mid-nineteenth-century French intellectual August Comte's "Religion of Humanity." Comte's concoction was designed to create a scientific, progressive, and comparably hierarchical alternative to Catholicism.

To attain that "religion of humanity," Croly called for a Rousseau-like "reconstruction" of American ideals "on a platform of possible human perfectibility." "What a democratic nation must do is not to accept human nature as it is, but to move it in the direction of improvement." The people in this picture "are not sovereign . . . even when united in a majority." His hope, however was that under inspired tutelage they can "become sovereign . . . in so far as they succeed on reaching and expressing a collective purpose," and that purpose was a strong unified nation in which religion and politics were melded into "the religion of humanity," which would be "a religion based not on conjecture but fact." The famous closing lines of The Promise read: "The common citizen can become something of a saint and something of a hero" if "his exceptional fellow-countrymen" are able to "offer acceptable examples of heroism and saintliness."....

Do read it. And when I write, as I often do, that "liberals" aren't liberals any more, this is the kind of thing I'm referring to. (And I'm sure you can already guess that I think that every morsel of the above quoted ideas are profoundly evil and dangerous. I don't need to spell it all out, right?)

Posted by John Weidner at 8:20 AM

April 14, 2009

Ha ha. I got under somebody's skin...

As I mentioned here, I have an "I miss W." bumper sticker on my truck.

I left my vehicle in a parking lot this morning, and came back to find a note stuck in the door, which read:

Dear GOP
(Grand Old Pedophiles)
Thank you for supporting "W."
We Liberals LOVE it!

Feelin' a little nervous, pal?

(I suspect this is just a morsel more confirmation of my theory that liberals hate Bush because he is a real liberal, and exposes them as being fake liberals. But whatever it is, I bugged somebody!)

Posted by John Weidner at 10:23 AM

April 13, 2009

Worst-case view...

The admirable Caroline Glick at the Jerusalem Post, Surviving in a post-American world:

...Like it or not, the United States of America is no longer the world's policeman. This was the message of Barack Obama's presidential journey to Britain, France, the Czech Republic, Turkey and Iraq this past week.

Somewhere between apologizing for American history - both distant and recent; genuflecting before the unelected, bigoted king of Saudi Arabia; announcing that he will slash the US's nuclear arsenal, scrap much of America's missile defense programs and emasculate the US Navy; leaving Japan to face North Korea and China alone; telling the Czechs, Poles and their fellow former Soviet colonies, "Don't worry, be happy," as he leaves them to Moscow's tender mercies; humiliating Iraq's leaders while kowtowing to Iran; preparing for an open confrontation with Israel; and thanking Islam for its great contribution to American history, President Obama made clear to the world's aggressors that America will not be confronting them for the foreseeable future.

Whether they are aggressors like Russia, proliferators like North Korea, terror exporters like nuclear-armed Pakistan or would-be genocidal-terror-supporting nuclear states like Iran, today, under the new administration, none of them has any reason to fear Washington.

This news is music to the ears of the American Left and their friends in Europe. Obama's supporters like billionaire George Soros couldn't be more excited at the self-induced demise of the American superpower. CNN's former (anti-)Israel bureau chief Walter Rodgers wrote ecstatically in the Christian Science Monitor on Wednesday, "America's... superpower status, is being downgraded as rapidly as its economy."....

If someone has a good argument against this, I've yet to hear it. We saw this kind of thing under Carter. Jay Nordlinger called Carter "the first anti-American president," and I think that was the simple truth. And now we have the second one. The good news is that the Left has to rely on sneakiness to gain power in America. (Carter's disguise was "Christian southerner;" Obama's is "post-partisan post-racial hopey-changy smoke-screen." Neither guy would have been elected if his real views were known.) The bad news is that Obama was more clearly a Leftist, and still got elected.

Leftists are almost always anti-American. (For reasons I've blogged often, and will repeat if anyone needs me to.) The huge question is, is America becoming anti-American?

Glick suggests that those countries who have been our friends and relied on our support should get off the dime and start working with each other to fill the void....

...THE RISKS that the newly inaugurated post-American world pose for America's threatened friends are clear. But viable opportunities for survival do exist, and Israel can and must play a central role in developing them. Specifically, Israel must move swiftly to develop active strategic alliances with Japan, Iraq, Poland, and the Czech Republic and it must expand its alliance with India....

...For the past 16 years, successive Israeli governments have wrongly believed that politics trump strategic interests. The notion that informed Israel's decision-makers - not unlike the notion that now informs the Obama administration - was that Israel's strategic interests would be secured as a consequence of its efforts to appease its enemies by weakening itself. Appreciative of Israel's sacrifices for peace, the nations of the world - and particularly the US, the Arabs and Europe - would come to Israel's defense in its hour of need. Now that the hour of need has arrived, Israel's political strategy for securing itself has been exposed as a complete fiasco.

The good news is that no doubt sooner rather than later, Obama's similarly disastrous bid to denude the US of its military power under the naive assumption that it will be able to use its new stature as a morally pure strategic weakling to win its enemies over to its side will fail spectacularly and America's foreign policy will revert to strategic rationality.

But to survive the current period of American strategic madness, Israel and the US's other unwanted allies must build alliances with one another - covertly if need be - to contain their adversaries in the absence of America. If they do so successfully, then the damage to global security induced by Obama's emasculation of his country will be limited. If on the other hand, they fail, then America's eventual return to its senses will likely come too late for its allies - if not for America itself....

She's dead right. But I'm not too optimistic. Another way of putting the above is that India and Israel (especially) and Japan, Iraq, Poland, and the Czech Republic should.....grow up! But asking democracies to do that? It doesn't happen very often.


Posted by John Weidner at 8:06 AM

April 11, 2009

I would normally just blast the squalid hypocrisy of the Obamanoid's, but...

...even more aggravating is the STUPIDITY of the general population of the world who took the attacks on Guantanamo seriously. If you fight a war, you will have to lock up prisoners, right? Unless you want to just shoot them on the battlefield, right? And you know who to lock up, and how long, only if your enemy follows the LAWS OF WAR, and does things like wearing uniforms, and having ranks and serial numbers, and keeping combat away from civilians.

If an enemy like al-Qaeda does not do such things, then they are committing war crimes. And if we lock up people without being perfectly sure that they are in fact combatants, it is because of al-Qaeda's war crimes. Not because we are doing anything wrong, but because we've been forced into doing things in an imperfect way.

The leftists who heaped criticism on the Bush Administration for Gitmo committed a vile injustice. Which they are now compounding by following—as logic demands—the very same policies. There's nothing I can do about it, except express my utmost contempt for the horrid lefty worms who took part in such a loathsome betrayal of decent Americans. And did so not out of conviction, but to gain political power.

Likewise, it is not our fault if the detention is of indefinite duration. Imagine if our enemies in WWII had been almost impossible to clearly defeat, because they could magically disappear whole armies, and then emerge in a year or two in a distant place to start fighting again. What would have been the fate of any prisoners we held? They would have been kept in indefinite detention, right? Am I right?

Now think of the above fantasy, and imagine that the Republicans orchestrated a huge clamor against Presidents Roosevelt or Truman. Enough so that they seriously hindered the Allied war effort, and forced the administration to release prisoners. Who subsequently returned to the fight and killed American soldiers. What would that be called? What's the word we are groping for???

Obama Administration Will Appeal Court Ruling Which Allows Habeas Petitions for Certain Captives in Afghanistan:

...The Obama administration has announced that it will appeal a recent Federal District Court decision, which held that three captives at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan could challenge their status as "enemy combatants" in United States courts. The District Court held that the Supreme Court's ruling in Boumediene v. Bush, which allows Guantanamo Bay detainees to file habeas corpus petitions, also gives Bagram detainees access to United States courts. The Obama administration opposes the petitions and has announced that it will appeal the District Court's ruling.

Civil liberties advocates blasted the Bush administration for subjecting Guantanamo Bay captives to indefinite detention and for denying them access to federal courts. The outrage over Guantanamo Bay among President Obama's liberal base and among the populations of certain United States allies (particularly in Europe) probably explains why President Obama's first set of executive orders included a provision directing the closure of the controversial detention facility.

The Obama administration, however, has taken the position that Supreme Court's reasoning in Boumediene does not confer habeas rights to Bagram detainees. This is the same argument that the Bush administration made.

This logic, however, could support the capture and transfer of individuals to Bagram, where they could face prolonged and indefinite detention and denial of access to United States courts. Bagram could become the functional equivalent of Guantanamo Bay....
Posted by John Weidner at 2:07 PM

April 9, 2009

Kick a "journalist" today...

The curious case of 200 nearly identical MSM headlines:

The following headlines have appeared in newspapers within the last 24 hours. This is not an inclusive list....
(There follows a buncha headlines, all with the "report" that x-million people in that state lack health insurance.)
...There are more. I just stopped listing them because I grew weary -- so weary -- of the physical labor associated with cutting and pasting.

All of the stories were marketed by a liberal "advocacy group" called Families USA .

According to Discover the Networks, Families USA is a member of the "Progressive States Network", which works closely with (you guessed it) ACORN and the SEIU. These ultra-partisan groups have truly one agenda: big government.

During his presidential campaign, then-Senator Obama spoke to a conference of Family USA activists and promised, "I am absolutely determined that by the end of the first term of the next president, we should have universal health care in this country."

Data from the Census Bureau debunks the lie continually promoted by the mainstream media of the legendary 47 million uninsured Americans:...
Posted by John Weidner at 7:21 AM

April 8, 2009

The Left doesn't care about gays...they're just cannon fodder in the real war

Dafydd asks a great question. There are surely far more homosexuals affected by the ban on their openly serving in the military than there are gays who really want to get married. And far less justification for a ban. So, where is the Left? Why are no "liberals" clamoring for lifting the ban?

...At a guess, I believe that at least a hundred times as many gays serve (more or less secretly) in the military as want to get married to members of the same gender, and an even larger number are veterans or would like to serve in the future. At a guess, if about five million legal American residents are homosexual (loosely defined -- say 2% of men and 1% of women), easily as many as a million could be directly adversely affected by the policy. (I cannot imagine that anywhere near ten thousand gays and lesbians seriously intend to get married.)

And Congress or the president could enact that change right this very minute; I don't think Republicans could possibly muster 41 votes to filibuster a bill to lift the restriction, even if they wanted to -- and assuming congressional action is even required; it's possible that all it would take is an Executive Order from the Commander in Chief.

The Left could do it in a snap, even against unified Republican opposition (which I doubt could be mustered anyway). So why don't they?

Well, I didn't plan to leave that hanging as a rhetorical question. As anybody who has read more of this blog than just the seven paragraphs above knows, I ask because I think I know the answer -- which is simply this...

Democrats and liberals couldn't care less about gays, lesbians, transsexuals, transvestites, or any other such subgroup. They only champion the gay (or blacktivist, or feminist) agenda when a particular policy serves the larger agenda of the hard Left: the destruction of traditional Western culture and its replacement by secular humanism.

Simply and brutally put, destroying traditional marriage advances that liberal agenda, so liberal Democrats pursue it with a passion; but allowing gays to serve openly in the military does not advance that vile agenda -- so liberal Democrats truly could not care less...

There is really only One War. The only thing different now is the openness of the fight. (And yes, you are choosing sides even when you think you are neutral.)

Posted by John Weidner at 9:07 AM

April 7, 2009

World turned upside down...

Mark Steyn - The Corner on National Review Online:

...The North Korean test, about which our new president has issued the feeblest of rote protests, is the flip side of the post below. The western world has no will. So we approach a state in which the planet's wealthiest jurisdictions, from Norway to New Zealand, lack any capacity to defend their borders, and the planet's basket-cases, from North Korea to Sudan, will be nuclear powers.

We'll see how that arrangement works out.

It's deeper than just "lack of will." Even those without the will to act should be able to see an insane situation when it is right in front of their nose, and at least feebly bleat that someone ought to do something. It's not lack of will, but intentional blindness. They don't want to SEE. The implications are too disturbing...

 

Posted by John Weidner at 10:21 AM

March 31, 2009

Another day, another lie...

JustOneMinute: We Get Pensive On Pensions:

...Inspired by a Boston Globe story and aroused by the indignant yet underinformed Josh Marshall, lefties are aghast that the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation switched "much of" (per the Globe) or "most" (per the unflappable Josh Marshall) of its portfolio from safe bonds to risky stocks last February, prior to the stock market wipe-out (see "FEEL THE RAGE", below). However, our friends on the left are so intent on bashing Bush and his appointees that they have overlooked some good news, which I will bury for a while....

In fact it was just a proposal; nothing was done about it. The whole story is bullshit.

But you can depend on it that you will be hearing the lie decades from now as an example of the abhorrent horridness of the Bush Administration. (And of course if the PBGC had done something smart, something that increased their portfolio, that would have nothing to do with Bush and his greedy minions. In that case the agency would have been independent!)

Posted by John Weidner at 9:50 AM

There was another President who embraced evil at Notre Dame...

Here's a historical note on the beginnings of the situation we are now in. (Short version: pacifism kills.)

Jeffrey Lord in American Spectator: Jimmy Carter's Spirit of Notre Dame:

...Perhaps more importantly than Carter's personal political fate the speech signaled his decision to abandon his party's identification with the policies of military strength and American exceptionalism championed by Democrats from FDR to JFK and LBJ. Instead, Carter chose to move the country towards the more left-leaning foreign and defense policies advocated by 1972 nominee Senator George McGovern. The results were decidedly not approved of by the American public....

...The most notable single sentence in Carter's Notre Dame speech was this one:
We are now free of that inordinate fear of Communism which once led us to embrace any dictator who joined us in our fear.
Carter went on to insist that it was time to govern with a "wider framework of international cooperation" because "the world today is in the midst of the most profound and rapid transformation in its entire history." He also added this about the American approach to the Soviet Union in the Carter era: "Our goal is to be fair to both sides, to produce reciprocal stability, parity, and security." In other words, in Carter's view, a view widely held among leftward-leaning elites, both the United States and the Soviet Union had genuinely competing claims. They were morally equal to each other.

The speech was the lead story in the news the next day. By the time Carter left the White House after four years of promoting moral equivalence, the world was in murderous chaos....

"Murderous chaos." That's for sure. And we are still in it. Read the whole thing.

And by the way, not that any leftist would care in the slightest about mere human beings, but the policy sneered at as "embracing any dictator" has proved to be the correct one. The countries where "right-wing" dictators held back Communism are now mostly prosperous and democratic. Where Communism took hold there is unending poverty and tyranny, and the border guards keep people in, not out. Compare Cuba and Chile. Or North and South Korea. Or Taiwan and China.

And both the Notre Dame outrages are really about the same issue. Human beings are to be sacrificed to leftist theories.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:44 AM

March 27, 2009

Don't turn the lights off!

I've heard that some environmentalist flakes are promoting an "Earth Hour," where people are supposed to turn off their lights for an hour and sit in the dark and meditate on how horrible they are for breathing out CO2, and maybe lay some plans to save the planet by killing their children before they are even born. As I'm sure you can guess, I have nothing but contempt for such twisted atheist malarky.

(And it's not even smart on its own terms; it won't make any environmental difference at all. But Leftism is about feeling good, not about actually accomplishing anything.)

As an alternative, there's Human Achievement Hour! The video below is so-so, but I don't have time to make my own. Celebrating human achievements with rock music has gotta be this week's worst idea. Bach, it should have been

Posted by John Weidner at 7:43 PM

March 24, 2009

Two Obamas...

neo-neocon: What's behind Obama's Teleprompter addiction? (thanks to Rand):

...The late great Dean Barnett was one of the first to not only notice this but to understand what it might signify besides a simple desire for fluency. Writing in February 2008 about a speech Obama had made a few days earlier, Barnett shrewdly observed [emphasis mine]:
....But...[w]ith no Teleprompter signaling the prepared text, Obama failed to deliver the speech in his characteristically flawless fashion. He had to rely on notes. And his memory. And he improvised...

Virtually every time Obama deviated from the text, he expressed the partisan anger that has so poisoned the Democratic party. His spontaneous comments eschewed the conciliatory and optimistic tone that has made the Obama campaign such a phenomenon...[T]his different Obama was a far less attractive one...
Barnett noticed—as many had, even at the time—the enormous difference in articulateness between Teleprompter-Obama and Obama unplugged (the latter is the title of Barnett’s article). That was the easy part. The more discriminating observation Barnett made was between the message of Teleprompter Obama and the message of ad-lib Obama. The two were not just different in degree—they were profoundly opposite in tone and essence. Ad-lib Obama was far more angry and more radical—indeed, although Barnett doesn't mention it, this Obama resembled the angrier and more radical Michelle Obama, in her earlier campaign remarks that drew so much controversy.

Obama is addicted to his Teleprompter not only because he knows he sounds better—smoother and smarter—with it than without. The deeper reason for his reliance on it may just be that he differs so profoundly from the persona he wishes to convey that he quite literally cannot trust himself to speak without it....

Until recently it was a given that the Dems could not elect a Northern liberal president. They've only succeeded with Southerners since JFK (who wasn't very liberal by today's standards). And Obama was only elected by sneakiness—if America had known what he was really like he wouldn't have stood a chance.

It's not just being liberal that's the problem, it's that most liberals don't interact with conservatives. They stay in their lefty comfort-zones and talk to each other. And get their comfort-news from the NYT. But if you are going to be a Democrat governor of Arkansas or Georgia, then you need to be able to work with conservatives and Christians. You need to know what they are thinking, even if you don't agree.

Poor Barack is just clueless. He's spent his entire life in big-city Lefty cocoons. He doesn't know stuff.

Posted by John Weidner at 10:24 AM

March 21, 2009

We "are called to the same most high dignity"

Pope Leo XIII on Socialism...

For, indeed, although the socialists, stealing the very Gospel itself with a view to deceive more easily the unwary, have been accustomed to distort it so as to suit their own purposes, nevertheless so great is the difference between their depraved teachings and the most pure doctrine of Christ that none greater could exist: "for what participation hath justice with injustice or what fellowship hath light with darkness?"

Their habit, as we have intimated, is always to maintain that nature has made all men equal, and that, therefore, neither honor nor respect is due to majesty, nor obedience to laws, unless, perhaps, to those sanctioned by their own good pleasure. But, on the contrary, in accordance with the teachings of the Gospel, the equality of men consists in this: that all, having inherited the same nature, are called to the same most high dignity of the sons of God, and that, as one and the same end is set before all, each one is to be judged by the same law and will receive punishment or reward according to his deserts. The inequality of rights and of power proceeds from the very Author of nature, "from whom all paternity in heaven and earth is named."...

...For, while the socialists would destroy the "right" of property, alleging it to be a human invention altogether opposed to the inborn equality of man, and, claiming a community of goods, argue that poverty should not be peaceably endured, and that the property and privileges of the rich may be rightly invaded, the Church, with much greater wisdom and good sense, recognizes the inequality among men, who are born with different powers of body and mind, inequality in actual possession, also, and holds that the right of property and of ownership, which springs from nature itself, must not be touched and stands inviolate. For she knows that stealing and robbery were forbidden in so special a manner by God, the Author and Defender of right, that He would not allow man even to desire what belonged to another, and that thieves and despoilers, no less than adulterers and idolaters, are shut out from the Kingdom of Heaven...
      -- Pope Leo XIII, Quod Apostolici Muneris

Leo XIII is a favorite of mine for various reasons, including that it was he who made John Henry Newman a Cardinal.

And he was the first Pope to have his voice recorded, and to be in a motion picture....in 1903!! (It doesn't sound like much--he was close to death at the time. But it's still a cool thing.)




Posted by John Weidner at 9:57 PM

Retroactive admiration...

Dr. Weevil: Prediction:

...I don't expect anyone except John Weidner and Orrin Judd to agree with me, but I want to put this on record, so I can gloat if it comes true:

If President Obama does not pull himself together and start acting like a president very soon -- and I doubt that he is capable of it -- retroactive admiration for the decency and (relative) competence of George W. Bush may spread so far and fast that Jeb Bush will have a real chance to be nominated and elected president in 2012. In what will surely be a crowded field, I would not put his chances of winning the nomination higher than 5% or 6%, but that's up from .001% in 2008, when it would have taken a meteor shower wiping out all the other candidates to outweigh pandemic Bush fatigue. I do think that whoever wins the Republican nomination in 2012 has at least a 75% chance of winning the election, and that Bush fatigue and even Bush hatred may (note: may) melt away, leaving only a slight, though extraordinarily foul, odor, like a very small piece of Limburger, or the spot on the road where a dead skunk lay before the highway department or a helpful vulture dragged it away....

Sounds good to me. Charlene and I just bought some   I  miss  W.    bumper-stickers (link). And, if Jeb were President, I would not have to add a new post category; I could just keep "President Bush!"

Of course I'd probably have the same frustrations with Jeb as I did with the President. I mean, the task of explaining things really shouldn't fall to me. Why do I have to give the world a list of 14 reasons to invade Iraq? I'm proud that those who read RJ are among the few who actually know what's happening in the world, but still....It does try my patience.

My guess is that Bush-hatred by the real lefties will never die. Sort of like Nixon-hatred. Come to think of it, there's a real parallel. Let me suggest that leftists hate Nixon because he was right about communists, and because he won the Vietnam War. Watergate was just seized upon ex post facto, to personalize the hatred.

Actually, there's a deeper parallel. Nixon was in many ways a liberal. Us conservatives were deeply unhappy with him on many issues. (remember FAP, wage-and-price controls, end of the gold standard? Probably few of you do--I alone have lived to tell thee!) And of course Bush too is in some ways a liberal. Especially in regards to that classic liberal project, overthrowing a fascist dictator and bringing democracy to oppressed people. They will never forgive him for that.

To a considerable extent my championing of George W Bush was only done because nobody else was presenting the positive side, so it fell to me. I could easily have been a much harsher critic from the right, if conservatives had been supporting the president as they should. But people were not being just. Leftists are unjust by nature of course, but many Republicans and conservatives were failing in this regard too.

What I would really like is a Sarah Palin who could articulate a conservative philosophy. But I doubt if she will hire me to get her up to speed....

Posted by John Weidner at 10:06 AM

March 20, 2009

Today's joke...

I just saw a bumper sticker on the car of one of our liberal neighbors (very nice folks, by the way. Nothin' personal): "Unjust War. Unending Debt. The Bush Legacy Continues." Pretty hilarious, seeing that Iraq's now a democracy and safer than many big American cities, and Obam's busy tripling the National debt.

It should be repeated frequently: the Iraq Campaign was a splendid, successful and idealistic liberal project by a great liberal president. That's why nihilists-pretending-to-be-liberals hate it. It exposes them as the frauds they are...

Posted by John Weidner at 12:52 PM

"We are Socialists. We don't pretend to be Christians"

On Charity, by James V. Schall, S.J.

Bruce Fingerhut, the good director of St. Augustine's Press, sent me the other day the following amusing, but provocative citation: "Bertrand Russell, who, when asked why he did not give to charity, replied: "I'm afraid you've got it all wrong. We are Socialists. We don't pretend to be Christians.'" Needless to say, that witty retort contains a whole theology and a philosophy that deserve to be spelled out. The logic of classic socialism makes Christianity not only superfluous�everyone has everything by rights�but impossible�no one has anything to give.

Russell is right, of course. In a socialist world, no charity can exist because there can be no need that is unfulfilled by the commonality's duty. It is a world in which there can be no gratitude. I can thank someone for giving me what is really his. I cannot thank him for giving me what is by rights already mine. And if everything belongs to the community, how can I give it away? Or if I do give it away, how can it be anything but stealing from the commons on my part and receiving illicit booty on the receiver's part?...

Rush Limbaugh: Better He Should FailI remember an incident, maybe back in the 70's? The king of Sweden donated a large sum of money to charity. And Swedish leftists were outraged, and there was a big flap about it! It was treated as an insult to Sweden's socialistic state!

I'd guess that the recent proposal by the Obama administration to limit the deduction for charitable donations was not an accident. Charity is an area where any socialist will want to start squeezing out the private sector and gathering all "charity" into the hands of government...




Posted by John Weidner at 8:57 AM

March 17, 2009

Nudging the data...

Alan Sullivan pointed to this blog post, Kafka at Albany, about the investigation--or rather, non-investigation--of what looks like academic fraud. Fraud involving--you will be so surprised--climate-change and big federal grants.

I suspect there is a lot more of this than we will ever know. We won't know because most of it will be more subtle. Nudging the data rather than fudging. Quite probably much of it is unconscious--very few of us would not be influenced by knowing that finding one kind of data means we remain a "star professor" with a lab full of hot post-docs.....and coming up with a certain other sort of data means academic obscurity and possibly ostracization.

And there's this other thing going on. There is, I think, a lot of incentive towards slanting science due to the personal politics of the people involved. When certain science topics come up, everyone gets twitchy because we know the issues have political implications. One of my sisters is a scientist (smart, honest as they come, not involved in any controversial research) and a liberal. We normally don't mention politics! But climate science came up once in a e-mail exchange, and she made some complaint about Bush/Cheney... and I pointed out that she had in fact instantly turned the science into a political weapon. That ended that conversation pronto, but it's stuck in my mind.

Here's a bit of the post. Looks like a juicy bit of business. (Possibly equivalent to the milching malicho around the "hockey stick" climate-history data...)
...Last June I reported on the allegations of academic fraud levelled by a British mathematician, Doug Keenan, against Professor Wei-Chyung Wang of New York State University at Albany.

Dr Keenan alleged that in work that has come to be widely cited in climate studies, work that included the collation of data from temperature measuring stations in China, Professor Wang made statements that "cannot be true and could not be in error by accident. The statements are fabricated."

In August 2007, Dr Keenan submitted a report (pdf) of his allegations to the Vice President for Research at Wang's university and an inquiry was initiated. In February 2008 this was escalated into a full investigation by the Inquiry Committee.

All this was summarised in my earlier post, together with quotations from Dr Keenan's allegation....
Posted by John Weidner at 8:02 AM

March 12, 2009

An even worse snub to a friend of America....

Big Lizard writes that before Obama's snubs to Gordon Brown, he had treated the PM of Japan even worse...

From a Japanes story on Prime Minister Taro Aso's visit. (Which I bet you didn't even know happened--I didn't.)

...It was unprecedented that there was no state lunch or joint press conference [sound familar?].

There was no private one-on-one meeting, which is what is needed to meet the requirement of a "summit."

Just before the meeting, President Obama talked about the importance of the U.S.-Japan friendship and strengthening the alliance for east-Asian security. However, Mr. Obama did not take any action to publicize the message.

Mr. Obama gave his first speech to Congress that same night. The U.S. government, public, and media attention were all on that speech; they paid little to no attention to the prime minister's visit.

This meeting reminded Japanese of Prime Minister Tomiichi Murakami's visit to the U.S. in January of 1995. However, even during that visit, Murayama was allowed to stay at Blair House, the official guest house. But not Aso; he was forced to stay in a hotel in a Washington DC suburb. The duration of the visit was less than half of Murakami's....

Rush Limbaugh: Better He Should FailThis is insane. Or rather, it is if you think of Obama as a normal president. If you visualize him as a lefty activist-type who would at most make a good president of a state university, THEN it makes perfect sense. Imagine the lefties you know--how many of them would have been pleased to learn that President Bush had strengthened our alliance with Japan? Or with India, which is a far more important accomplishment of the Bush Administration? I'd lay money that the PM of India would be treated the same way, if he visited now. Lefties are anti-American, and Obama is running true-to-form.

More and more I'm coming around to Rush Limbaugh's view. I was originally guessing that Obama would aim to be another Bill Clinton, leftish by inclination but aware that that is not what America wants. Therefore I would support his more sensible moves (similar to my support of NAFTA and welfare reform under Clinton) and argue against his unwise ideas. Now he's looking more like one of those horrid cowardly sneaks trained by Saul Alinsky to pretend to be moderate so they can infiltrate institutions, and then seize power for marxist ends. (If any "Alinsky-ites are reading, I spit upon you with the utmost detestation! Sneaks! Termites!..... Hermaphrodites!)

But it doesn't look like that's what Obama is going to be. So, it is the moral and sensible thing to hope he fails. If anyone is interested, that what I'm feeling at the moment. I hope he fails even worse than Carter, which is saying a lot!. Then at least a few people will wake up from their stupor.

[I put up this picture of Rush so as to be unambiguous about how I'm feeling. Since I'm not a moral coward like 98% of leftists are, I write clearly what I think, and if I change my mind, or turn out to be wrong, I will just say so.]

Posted by John Weidner at 7:51 AM

March 9, 2009

Parody--is it even possible any more?

Drudge Report: Chavez calls on Obama to follow path of socialism:

...Caracas - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Friday called upon US President Barack Obama to follow the path to socialism, which he termed as the "only" way out of the global recession. "Come with us, align yourself, come with us on the road to socialism. This is the only path. Imagine a socialist revolution in the United States," Chavez told a group of workers in the southern Venezuelan state of Bolivar....

...."Nothing is impossible. Who would have thought in the 1980s that the Soviet Union would disappear? No one," he said. ...

(Thanks to Richard Fernandez)

Posted by John Weidner at 1:54 PM

March 8, 2009

Same now as the year I was born.

From a piece by Thomas Sowell, "Not One of Us":

...Governor Palin's candidacy for the vice presidency was what galvanized grass roots Republicans in a way that John McCain never did. But there was something about her that turned even some conservative intellectuals against her and provoked visceral anger and hatred from liberal intellectuals.

Perhaps the best way to try to understand these reactions is to recall what Eleanor Roosevelt said when she first saw Whittaker Chambers, who had accused Alger Hiss of being a spy for the Soviet Union. Upon seeing the slouching, overweight and disheveled Chambers, she said, "He's not one of us."

The trim, erect and impeccably dressed Alger Hiss, with his Ivy League and New Deal pedigree, clearly was "one of us." As it turned out, he was also a liar and a spy for the Soviet Union. Not only did a jury decide that at the time, the opening of the secret files of the Soviet Union in its last days added more evidence of his guilt.

The Hiss-Chambers confrontation of more than half a century ago produced the same kind of visceral polarization that Governor Sarah Palin provokes today.

Before the first trial of Alger Hiss began, reporters who gathered at the courthouse informally sounded each other out as to which of them they believed, before any evidence had been presented. Most believed that Hiss was telling the truth and that it was Chambers who was lying.

More important, those reporters who believed that Chambers was telling the truth were immediately ostracized. None of this could have been based on the evidence for either side, for that evidence had not yet been presented in court....

The causes and people morph and change, but lefties are still working for Stalin. Same as the year I was born, when the guilty verdict was handed down in the Hiss trial. And I used to think that Whittaker Chambers' book Witness was sort of a period piece. Now I think of it in conjunction with Tolkien's words: "...and together through ages of the world we have fought the long defeat."

Witness remains one of the great American books.


Posted by John Weidner at 10:01 PM

March 7, 2009

They're rich liberals...what do they care if pickaninnies suffer?

NY'S SENATORS REFUSE TO 'VOUCH' FOR PUPILS - New York Post:

...New York's two US Democratic senators yesterday said they will vote against an amendment that would preserve a Washington, DC, school-voucher program that helps lower-income students attend private schools....
Their own children of course go to private schools, and don't have to endure the wretchedness of the inner-city schools that Dems impose on the little people they so despise. The teachers unions are the biggest contributors to the "Democrat" Party, so the destruction of whole generations of minority children is obviously a small price to pay for Schumer and Clinton and all the other Dems to retain power and wealth. Another sick fact is that in urban areas public school teachers send their own children to private schools in much greater percentages than the general population. Another sick fact. The vouchers provided to some DC kids are much less than the district is paying per-child for the public schools!
Posted by John Weidner at 6:23 PM

March 5, 2009

Why there aren't any barbers anymore...

Riehl World View: Of Plumbers And Barbers:

...In the 70's and 80's many states merged their Barber and Cosmetology Boards into one. Suddenly a young man who could make a decent living as a Barber couldn't do a partly paid apprenticeship, taking just months to learn a career that could serve him for life. He had to pay to attend a Community College or private tech education program that could last two years, while making him learn a variety of skills he'd never employ. And he, or she was also taught to charge much more for the service.

And that doesn't include the regulation side, which went on to require every Barbershop to meet the standards of the largest women's Salon in terms of specialized sinks and facilities a traditional Barber would never need.

In states where this took place a career once dominated by men became a women's forte - which is fine, though many never have learned how to give a good Men's haircut. Costs of a haircut more than doubled, you could forget getting a nice shave if you wanted it. And businesses saw their overhead costs rise dramatically. And all because the government was just looking out for you....

I'd guess this is just another example of people being destroyed to advance leftist theory. It's a humble example, to be sure, but no different in kind from the many examples of whole countries destroyed, and millions slain. (Like this recent example.)

I don't know any details of how these decisions were made, but one would have to be blind not to realize that the barbershop would be an irritant to "feminists" and the general run of girly-men bureaucrats and academics. Think of it--a bunch of guys sitting around a totally male place, laughing and joking, talking about the game, or listening to Rush..... How the vegetarian-pacifist types must have hated it.

And it was so American...the striped pole, the big chairs, the piles of Sports Illustrated and Playboy. To relaxed shabbiness, and total disinterest in trendy decor and style. I'm sure the faculty lounge crowd recoiled in disgust. You know that.

So they destroyed it. In the same way, though on a miniature scale, that Stalin sent annoying tribes to Siberia, or Castro sends writers to labor camps.

They destroyed it, and we never got a vote. The last thing "Democrats" want is democracy. The nihilists will win in the end, because they are tireless ant-workers, always chewing away at all things tough and meaningful. The decisions are made in obscure bureaucratic corridors, and the battle is lost before the public even realizes there was a battle. And every augmentation of government power and size--you know, the ones done to "help people"--is really about moving more decisions out of private hands, and out of any possibility of people voting on the issues.

My sons will never know that old American institution, the barber shop. And so they will be a little less masculine, a little less confident in this brave new world where real existence is found in cubicles staring at computer monitors. They will have a little less fun--masculine fun. A sick irony; my son the singer knows barbershop quartets... but has probably never been in a barbershop! The barber shop will just be something old guys talk about, before time's river carries them away. Something grandpa bores you by going on about, like patriotism or the Federalist Papers, or the Bataan Death March.

And women will wonder, in the vague ineffectual way proper to their sex, why men are becoming somehow less satisfying, less interesting. Of course they won't wonder enough to actually DO anything, or re-think the crap they have been indoctrinated with--that sort of thinking is upsetting and can make one feel uncomfortable on Facebook!

If this was an influential blog, I might have to keep a civil tone, so as not to alienate readers and make dialog impossible. Since I'm just a very minor blogger, I can say what I like. Say what's true. Liberalism is evil. Leftism is evil. If you are a "Democrat," you are, at the very least, up to your waist in foul evil and nihilism and the destruction of all things good and true. I look on you worms with the utmost contempt!

* Update: Charlene adds that black hair braiding salons are now under pressure to adopt the same (utterly un-needed) "cosmetology" standards . But somehow this is an "institution" that liberals have some sympathy for preserving! I wonda why?

Posted by John Weidner at 7:18 AM

March 4, 2009

I hope he fails too....if he's doing what it looks like he's doing....

Peter Wehner, at the Corner...

I have a few thoughts on the "controversy" about Rush Limbaugh saying he hopes Barack Obama fails -- a claim that, based on the lead in to his show last night, left CNN's Anderson Cooper (among a slew of other media commentators) aghast.

The argument Limbaugh is making is fairly simple to follow: Pres. Obama is proposing plans Limbaugh believes (with justification, in my view) will hurt our economy and hurt our country. If Obama fails in getting his plans through Congress, we will be better off. ...

....But those in the MSM are pretending that those who hope Obama's plans fail are really rooting against America. That is nonsense. Limbaugh wants America to succeed; as a conservative, he hopes Obama's astonishing liberal power-grab fails. It's really not all that complicated to understand.

What I wonder, though, is where Anderson Cooper and his colleagues were during the Iraq debate, when the surge was clearly beginning to work -- yet leading Democrats, one after another, said it was failing. This was a situation in which America was engaged in a war of enormous consequences and, if we had lost, it would have been a geo-political and humanitarian catastrophe. Yet anti-war critics -- including Senator Barack Obama -- insisted on promoting the narrative of America's failure in Iraq when the evidence was the opposite.

Where was the outrage then, I wonder?....

Yeah, and how about some outrage over leftists wanting Bush's plan to save Social Security to fail? (Of course they had an important reason to want it to fail---what could be worse for a Lefty than to have the little people become investors, and perhaps lose their dependency on their betters?)

Posted by John Weidner at 5:31 PM

March 2, 2009

" the conscious atmosphere of corruption and payoff..."

From Maimon Schwarzschild, Not the Spirit of the New Deal:

....There are different streams of ideas on today's politcal left than there were in the 1930s. There is the idea that prosperity and growth are bad: bad for the "planet", hostile to the environment, vulgar, and linked to immoral individualism. There is the idea that a humbler, poorer, less powerful America would be a good thing. These are fundamentally pessimistic ideas, pessimistic about America at least: very different from the buoyant and self-confident (if sometimes, or often, misguided) outlook of FDR and the liberals and leftists who made the New Deal (and who went on to fight the Second World War.)

The spirit of the Obama-Pelosi "stimulus", and the conscious atmosphere of corruption and payoff that surrounds it, is consistent with today's negative, if not sour, leftist worldview. The New Dealers believed they were building a more "scientific" and much more prosperous world. There was a great deal of genuine idealism among them. Today's triumphant political class does not seriously imagine that it will promote economic growth and prosperity. The political class is, at best, ambivalent about whether it even wants such things. What today's political class wants is a massive transfer of power and money to itself. This is what the "stimulus", and much else that will follow, is openly intended to do. If there were a spirit of optimism and generosity and idealism about it, as there was among the New Dealers, there would at least be reason to hope that things wouldn't quickly degenerate into corruption. It seems to me that there is little such spirit, or none at all, today. ..
(Thanks to Chicagoboyz)

SO, are these people, in fact, liberals at all? I'd say Schwarzschild is missing the interesting part of the story, though he's right on the edge of it.

"the liberals and leftists who made the New Deal (and who went on to fight the Second World War.)" Right. They led a great war to overthrow fascist dictators, end genocide, and bring freedom and democracy to oppressed peoples. Today's leftists had an opportunity to do the very same thing. And what happened? They HATED it! Hated it even when things were going well, and millions of Iraqis were braving terrorism to vote in elections. Hated the man in charge (who was the real liberal).

I'd say what we see is NOT merely a "pessimistic outlook." It is nihilism. (Tune out if you've already heard me on this subject.) Leftists are like a church that keeps reciting the Creed every Sunday, even though all faith and belief has leaked away. "Liberals" are NOT liberals, and our world will not make sense as long as you keep thinking they are.

Posted by John Weidner at 10:20 AM

February 26, 2009

Former enemies

Mike Plaiss sent me a link to this Bloomberg piece, Former Iraq Enemies Share Raids as America Prepares to Withdraw. It's interesting to me for several reasons. One is that I think this is the analog, on the level of nations, of the Christian command to love ones enemy. Our contemporary fake-pacifists try to play Christianity as justifying their appeasement of tyrants. But the problem is, they are loving someone else's enemy--and looking on with ice-hearted indifference as the poor someone-else gets shredded like a pi�ata..

Another piece of crap that stories like this give the lie to is the despicable falsehood spread by America-hating toads that we are fighting the War on Terror for revenge.

Feb. 24 -- Capt. John Bradley, patrol leader of a U.S. field-artillery unit, sat with Col. Mohammed, an Iraqi Army officer, sharing tea and ambitions to wipe out rebels.

Mohammed explained how they would raid a roadside-bomb factory together in Mosul. Bradley offered computer discs of city maps to help.

It was a military love-in a long time coming. After the U.S. led an invasion of Iraq in 2003, American administrators disbanded Saddam Hussein's troops as an incorrigible remnant of dictatorship. Now, Mohammed, a Hussein-era vet who asked that only his first name be used for security, was planning forays with a solicitous American counterpart. "We’re here to back you up," Bradley said.

The performance of Iraq's army, rebuilt in the past five years into a force of 210,000 strong, is fundamental to the country's stability. U.S. soldiers, which number 140,000, are scheduled to withdraw from cities by the end of June and from the whole country by late 2011. President Barack Obama is pondering Pentagon proposals to pull out earlier: perhaps 23 months from now or even by mid-2010.

As the clock runs down, the U.S. is shifting responsibility for counterinsurgency to Iraqis, replacing Americans with recent enemies as the vanguard of pacification.

Officers who served under Hussein have quietly enlisted in the army, and on Feb. 15, Iraqi leaders invited more to return from exile and join up. Former Sunni Muslim rebels have been recruited to police troubled neighborhoods in Baghdad and towns in western Iraq. Desert tribes that once blew up oil pipelines to undermine the American occupation now guard them....
Posted by John Weidner at 9:59 PM

February 23, 2009

Flaily flaily...

Tim Blair:
Reader Becky M. notes a climate change ... change:
I was forced to have lunch with two repulsive and rabid environmentalists the other day.

A most unpleasant experience, but I did learn something.

The correct terminology for the phenomenon formerly known as global warming and later as climate change is now to be referred to as "climate disruption." By using "climate disruption," one effectively blocks the "knuckleheads who point to headlines about 'record cold,' etc."
They've already ditched "climate crisis", then. And extreme weather. Can't these clowns make a brand stick? Perhaps we should offer a superior, enduring title -- "weather" might work -- in comments. Otherwise we're going to be hit with New Coke versions of global warming until the End of Days.

"Climate disruption." I'm all agog to see what will happen when it really starts to sink in the the planet is cooling. (Yes, yes, of course the current decade-long cooling trend could reverse. I'll take your bet, if you want to put money on that.)

On the one hand, the chomskies have a lot of credit invested in global warming, so cooling could hit them hard. On the other hand, they don't think or reason (and have no character or honesty) so they will surely try to flip to "Global Cooling Hysteria" without any intervening moment when things are considered OK.

Really, I'm not just being snarky; this very much interests me.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:20 PM

Misses the real question....

Randy Barnett:

...Fair enough. But even with this admonition in mind, I will modify my claim only slightly: No avowedly creationist Republican candidate will be elected President of the United States. Not. Gonna. Happen. And if that creationist Republican candidate is far superior with respect to governing philosophy and executive experience and skills, as he or she may well be, it will be so much the worse for the country. Sorry Bobby, Tim & Mark. Republicans: Do NOT try this electoral experiment. Please!...

(Thanks to Glenn)

My guess is that Randy is off the mark here. The real issue has little to do with science*. (I am by the way a Catholic, and I think Creationism is quite silly. Darwinian evolution is the best model of biological science we have so far, and is not in conflict with Christian faith.)

The real issue is that natural science is commonly used--in a way that has nothing scientific about it--to attack Christian and Jewish faith. We absorb from the culture around us a vague idea that science (or history) has already answered the questions, and have clearly shown that there is no god, etc. Of course science doesn't say anything of the sort.

And this should be of concern even to, say, non-believing libertarians, because the same bogus methods are used to attack things like our civil liberties. Or our belief in our own Western civilization. How so? These things have always been supported by a quasi-religious assumption that they have authority, as things handed down from revered ancestors.

If you say that rights are "inalienable," for instance, you are expressing something analogous to religious faith. Something that can be destroyed by pushing the fraudulent idea that "science" has already debunked all those old fuddy-duddy notions, and that "experts" should be given a free hand to improve and bring-up-to-date. (Experts connected with government, of course.)

A Creationist is attacking an important problem with the wrong weapon. But I would gladly vote for a Creationist if the alternative were someone who vaguely implies that science has rendered things like nations and free speech and human dignity and economic freedom obsolete.

[*As an example of the sort of misuse of science I'm thinking of, I recently read some conservative secularist declare something like "we have no need of improbable events like virgin births..." But an action by God is inherently outside the realm of things we can assign probabilities to. The statement is absurd and meaningless, but many people will take it as good sense.]

Posted by John Weidner at 11:28 AM

February 15, 2009

Of course it's improper to critique a book just from a review....

...but liberal thinking just doesn't compute, and I'm willing to bet money this stuff wouldn't make more sense if I read the whole thing...

Beliefs - The New Atheism, and Something More - NYTimes.com:

...Mr. Aronson proposed that neither it nor the other [atheist] books under review provided "the most urgent need" for secularists today: "a coherent popular philosophy that answers vital questions about how to live one's life." [It can't be done. You've been trying for several centuries now.]

A "new atheism must absorb the experience of the 20th century and the issues of the 21st," he wrote. "It must answer questions about living without God, face issues concerning forces beyond our control as well as our own responsibility, find a satisfying way of thinking about what we may know and what we cannot know, affirm a secular basis for morality, point to ways of coming to terms with death and explore what hope might mean today." [Tall order! You've rejected authority, so if you succeed, what authority will validate your success? It will just be a theory, competing with ten-thousand other theories.]

"Living Without God" (Counterpoint, 2008) is now the title of Mr. Aronson's own effort to provide such a popular philosophy. It is meant to take up, he writes, where books like "The End of Faith" leave off.
Mr. Aronson makes a good argument that Americans are far more secular -- or at least less religious -- than is often recognized. But, he says, contemporary secularism has lost the buoyant confidence it once gained from "its essential link to the idea of Progress, which promised so much and came to such grief during the 20th century." [Nuh uh, pal. Secularism and "Progress" caused the grief of the 20th century. YOU killed a hundred-million or two people in pursuit of various secular paradises. It doesn't work to pretend that these things just happened out of the blue. The blood is on your hands.]

"To live comfortably without God today," he says, "means doing what has not yet been done -- namely, rethinking the secular worldview after the eclipse of modern optimism." [That optimism was itself a transference of the HABIT of Christian Hope to the secular realm. But the habit's wearing off. Now you are realizing you are bankrupt. ]

Indeed, "religion is not really the issue, but rather the incompleteness or tentativeness, the thinness or emptiness [couldn't have described it better myself], of today's atheism, agnosticism and secularism. Living without God means turning toward something." [Well fancy that! Let me just guess--it's going to be a very amorphous "something." Characterized by... incompleteness or tentativeness, thinness, emptiness... Right? C'mon pal, surprise me! Invent a secular worldview that has even one one-hundredth of the gritty REALNESS of the Church Catholic.]

For Mr. Aronson, that "something" is not the ideal of an autonomous individual striding confidently into the dawning future but the drama [drama??] of an interdependent humankind embedded in complex systems of forces, knit into networks of natural environment, historical legacies, social institutions and personal relations. [What a load of galumpfh. "Embedded in complex systems of forces." What does that MEAN? Embedded like bees in a hive? Like raisins in a cookie? If you have complex systems, then decisions need to be made. Who makes them? How do people set priorities and goals?

What if your priority involves my being eliminated for the good of the whole? Hmmm? What if people don't WANT to be knit into networks? Every revolution starts with wooly-headed intellectuals sketching vague paradises of happy embeds. But the kulaks prefer not to be embedded in the collective farm. So then the ruthless rise to the top, and start forcing people into the mold. And probably sending guys like Aronson on that long march to nowhere.]


From this larger story of interdependency, he draws a ground, not surprisingly, for responsibility and morality: a recognizable left-of-center commitment to collective struggle against "domination, inequality and oppression, rooted in scarcity." [This one sentence has enough lunacy to write a whole essay on. To take just one, morality requires drawing lines. Saying X is immoral, and it is wrong to do it. Period. But just proposing your own morality gives no authority to draw hard and fast rules. How can you? What justifies your rule over someone elses?

And, importantly, who DEFINES things? Liberal morality tends to say "I can do what I want if I don't hurt someone." BUT, it's the liberal himself who is defining what "hurt" is. And who is a "someone." So they can define an unborn baby as "not human," and murder it. Or define the entrepreneurs who provide society's wealth as "parasites" and zeks, and expropriate them, or send them to the camps.]


More originally, he argues that this interdependence should summon gratitude -- gratitude "for," even if not "to." Giving thanks, he recognizes, has been central to religion, and secular culture needs to be enriched with an equivalent.... [There is no equivalent. Gratitude is, in its essence, humble. You can't be grateful for something you think you deserve; you are grateful for a gift. You must acknowledge something bigger and better than oneself. But that's a religious attitude. No one's ever going to feel gratitude to "complex systems of forces."]

I suspect that the recent spate of atheist books is not because atheists think they are winning, nor that, as some have suggested, they think they are losing. I think we are at the moment that Guardini predicted, back in the 1950's. (link) They are staring into the abyss. They are finally realizing what it's like to live without God, or without anything greater than the self.

 

Posted by John Weidner at 6:37 PM

February 3, 2009

Remember "Bush epic fail?"

I remember well the foul dishonesty with which lefty-bloggers and "journalists" used Hurricane Katrina as a club to beat President Bush. Now we see how much they really believed what they wrote, as Obama gets a disaster of his own.

I'd say it is time for a lot of people on the Left to apologize. But that would be what adults do; we can't expect it from "liberals." The Anchoress puts things well:

More Ice storm & More | The Anchoress:

...The severe ice storm that has crippled parts of the midwest and devastated Kentucky is getting a little more attention from the press than it has since last Tuesday, when the storm hit. This is the Monday after. Time Magazine writes a professional-sounding piece that is completely devoid of emotion, mentions President Obama exactly once (in passive voice) and never ever strays into unfair wonderings such as "why isn't more being done," or "where is the President, why isn't he present here," or "how can the president stay warm, eat steak and watch football when scores have died, half a million remain cold and helpless, without power, water, heat and sometimes without food?" No one is asking why there are no pictures of bodies for the press to print. Wolf Blitzer, who famously (and terribly) cried of the Katrina displaced, "they are so poor, and so black," is not standing in teeth-chattering frost declaring, "these people are so cold, and so white..."

That would also be a terrible thing to say, and I think playing the racism card is stupid, but the point is, when Katrina hit, the press pulled out every stop they possibly could - including the racism canard - to identify that disaster with a "Bush epic fail." They ignored his early pleadings to Ray Nagin and Kathleen Blanco to evacuate. They ignored his declaring NOLA and surrounding areas as Disaster Areas even before Katrina hit, so the fed could immediately get to work. They ignored the proper jurisdiction of emergencies (local, then state, then fed) and the extreme incompetence of the Louisiana leadership and made Katrina all about "what Bush did or didn't do." By contrast, the press seems to be going out of its way to insure that Obama is not associated with this week-long drama at all.

We"ve heard that "Bush ate cake", while people suffered. (Obama ate steak and watched the Super Bowl). Bush did not quickly enough go to the disaster area to survey it and hug people and cry. (Obama - like the derided Bush - is wisely staying away so as not to impede relief efforts, but he remains un-derided). Bush dared to praise FEMA, even though FEMA was late because flood conditions and Gov. Blanco prevented them from doing much at first. Obama...hasn't said much of anything....

The main responsibility for disaster response is always local. That should be obvious. My criticism of Bush is that he should have used to mandate of 9/11 to make FEMA more of a goad to improve local response capability, rather than trying to place more responsibility at the federal level.

Posted by John Weidner at 4:52 PM

February 1, 2009

It's the "anti-torture" crowd that is promoting torture...

Apparently the Obama Administration is banning "harsh interrogation techniques," but preserving the option of rendition!

The twisted logic of this just stupefies me. It's like chopping off a painfully injured limb to avoid the danger of becoming addicted to painkillers.

The simple fact is that waterboarding someone is a thousand times more humane than shipping them off to Jordan to be tortured. Am I right? Any liberals reading this, am I not right? Hmmm? People undergo waterboarding voluntarily. We use it on our own troops in training.

But "liberalism" is about making liberals feel good, not about actually helping human beings.

LAT: Obama preserves renditions as counter-terrorism tool The role of the CIA's controversial prisoner-transfer program may expand, intelligence experts say.

The CIA's secret prisons are being shuttered. Harsh interrogation techniques are off-limits. And Guantanamo Bay will eventually go back to being a wind-swept naval base on the southeastern corner of Cuba.

But even while dismantling these programs, President Obama left intact an equally controversial counter-terrorism tool.

Under executive orders issued by Obama recently, the CIA still has authority to carry out what are known as renditions, secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to countries that cooperate with the United States.

Current and former U.S. intelligence officials said that the rendition program might be poised to play an expanded role going forward because it was the main remaining mechanism -- aside from Predator missile strikes -- for taking suspected terrorists off the street...

"...taking suspected terrorists off the street." Jeeez. That's what Guantanamo was for. Gitmo is in fact a far more humane facility than ordinary American prisons. European penologists have visited it and reported that it is better than anything they have back home. A thousand times better than what a prisoner will get if shipped to Egypt. But since the evil Bush started it, it has to go. And who cares how much people suffer. Not liberals.

And liberals care nothing about the suffering of the victims of terrorism. In Iraq al-Qaeda has set off powerful bombs in pet markets, where people take children to see the animals. Think about it, you leftists who despise America for extracting information that can stop terror attacks.

Posted by John Weidner at 4:38 PM

January 31, 2009

New Cabinet post: Department of People-elimination,


The American Spectator: Nancy Pelosi's Modest Proposal:

..."It will reduces costs," Nancy Pelosi said on This Week, in reference to the "stimulus" rationale for sending millions of dollars to the states for "family planning."

What would once have been considered an astonishingly chilly and incomprehensible stretch is now blandly stated liberal policy.

The full title of Jonathan Swift's work, A Modest Proposal, was, For Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being a Burden to their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public. Change a few of the words and it could be a Democratic Party policy paper. Swift suggested that 18th-century Ireland stimulate its economy by turning children into food for the wealthy. Pelosi proposes stimulating the U.S. economy by eliminating them....

...Pelosi has helpfully if dimly blurted out what's often implicit in many of the left's schemes for human improvement: that, after all the rhetorical bells and whistles have fallen silent, the final solution concealed within the schemes is to eliminate people.

Alan Weisman's The World Without Us isn't a horrifying thesis to the liberal elite but enjoyable beach reading. Al Gore lists population control as the first solution to global warming and they nod and give him a Nobel Prize.

They name awards after eugenicists like Margaret Sanger. "Unwanted" children are immediately seen as an unspeakable burden. Pregnancy is a punishment, and fertility is little more than a disease. Pelosi's gaffe illustrates the extent to which eugenics and economics merge in the liberal utilitarian mind. Malthus lives.

Hillary Clinton's State Department will soon treat people-elimination, in one form or another, as "development."...

The Lefist obsession with reducing population doesn't make sense if you think of it as "liberalism." But it makes perfect sense if you realize that most leftists (you've heard this from me before--sorry) are really self-worshippers, who care for no cause higher than themselves. I can easily slip into that frame of mind myself, and then it seems obvious that a lot of people should just vanish. Think how much less crowded the freeways would be!

All this is a good example of how there is terrible moral danger in a vague "do-gooder" attitude. What's that Google motto? "Don't be evil"? Something like that. That kind of thinking is a road that leads to....being evil. Morality isn't something you can just take for granted. Your conscience has to be educated. And it has to be exercised. If it isn't you just drift into the path of least resistance, a la Pelosi, and start thinking what a better world it would be if those icky poor people would just stop being born...

   


Posted by John Weidner at 8:08 AM

Thise is what "Democrats" were (and are) against...

BBC NEWS, Iraqis vote in landmark elections:

...The turnout is expected to be strong even in Sunni areas. The head of the Iraqi electoral commission in Anbar province - a centre of the Sunni resistance to the US occupation - said he was expecting a 60% turnout.

Fewer than 2% voted in the 2005 election, with the result that Shia and Kurdish parties took control of parliament. Some Sunnis, like Khaled al-Azemi, said the boycott last time had been a mistake. "We lost a lot because we didn't vote and we saw the result - sectarian violence" he told the BBC. "That's why we want to vote now to avoid the mistakes of the past." The drawing of alienated Sunnis back into the political arena is one of the big changes these elections will crystallise, the BBC's Jim Muir reports from Baghdad.

On the Shia side, the results will also be closely watched amid signs that many voters intend to turn away from the big religious factions and towards nationalist or secular ones....

Thank you President Bush, for standing up for freedom and democracy, even for the "inferior races" that leftists despise. Democracy in Iraq may fail in the future, and it will certainly be more rough and trouble-plagued than ours. (But that's true of all of the poorer democracies.)

But it is still a million times better than what life was like under Saddam. Or under al-Qaeda, as they discovered in places like al Anbar. It was and is something worth fighting for.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:12 AM

January 30, 2009

It's a pity we no longer have a liberal in the White House...

Mark Steyn, talking on the Hugh Hewitt show about Obama's al-Arabiya interview...
Hugh Hewitt: A lot of people have missed the Obama appeal to Arabiya, and the fact that he didn't bring up its gender apartheid, Christopher Hitchens calls it. It's where gays are executed. And he made no rebuke to these societies. I found it astonishing, Mark Steyn. What did you think?

Mark Steyn: Well, you don't have to be gay, an oppressed homosexual about to be executed. You don't have to be a woman who's being sold to an arranged child marriage. You just have to be a moderate, centrist Arab intellectual in, say, Cairo or Amman, and you listen to Obama sucking up to these creeps, and there's nothing for you in it. What he's doing is he says, he's saying to hell with the Bush freedom agenda. We just want to get back to schmoozing the feted Arab dictatorships and the mullahs in Tehran all over again. And so if you're a gay or a woman, you're out of there. And as I said, if you're a moderate Arab who just would like to have a free society in Cairo or Amman or wherever, you're out of it, too. You're on the Obama horizon. It was a pathetic, disgraceful Jimmy Carter speech.

Hugh Hewitt: I agree with this, and he did it on the day that the Iranians arrested those horrible criminals in Tehran who allowed the women soccer players to play with the men soccer players....

Mark Steyn: ....I think in fact, on that al-Arabiya interview, he just sounded basically way out of his league. And I hope someone brings him up to speed soon, because going around giving those interviews, as I said, he was talking about getting us back to thirty years ago. Well, thirty years ago, they were taking Americans hostage in Tehran. Thirty years ago, Jimmy Carter was communicating weakness to the world, and the Ayatollah rightly concluded these Americans are pushovers. And Obama shouldn't be doing that message all over again. [Transcript of the whole interview here.]

"A pathetic, disgraceful Jimmy Carter speech." Exactly.

It's important to remember how strongly Bush was pressuring the Middle East tyrants towards democracy and human rights, before the Democrat/al-Qaeda Alliance cut the ground from under him. Now we get a "Democrat" sucking up to dictators in the true Carter style.

I'm sure glad I'm not a part of such an evil party.

Posted by John Weidner at 11:35 AM

January 29, 2009

It's no longer just that the inmates are running the asylum...

...It's that they elect those among themselves who are mentally retarded to provide leadership.

Berkeley departments skirmish over 3M contract:

...Berkeley's public library will face a showdown with the city's Peace and Justice Commission tonight over whether a service contract for the book check-out system violates the city's nuclear-free ordinance. The dispute centers on a five-year, $63,000 contract the library wants to sign with 3M, an international technology company based in Minnesota, to service five scanner machines library patrons use to check out books.

But 3M, a company with operations in 60 countries, refused to sign Berkeley's nuclear-free disclosure form as required by the Nuclear Free Berkeley Act passed by voters in 1986.

As a result, the library's self-checkout machines have not been serviced in about six months. Library officials say 3M is the only company authorized by the manufacturer to fix the machines, which were purchased in 2004.

The library asked the Peace and Justice Commission for a waiver, but at its Jan. 5 meeting the commission voted 7-1, with two abstentions, to reject the request. The library is now appealing the decision to the City Council...

....The Peace and Justice Commission does not see it that way. Commissioners said the library should try harder to find a company that complies with the Nuclear Free Berkeley Act. "We really mean it when we say we don't want to be part of the nuclear machinery," said commission member George Lippman. "The act is meant to be a blow against nuclear war. We're serious about upholding that."...

It's not a "blow against nuclear war." None of those fake-pacifists care about nuclear weapons in Russia or China or Pakistan. None of them gave any encouragement or support to President Bush in his efforts to diplomatically halt nuclear weapons development in Iran or North Korea.

And they are perfectly happy to be protected by the US military, nukes and all. But in the style of snotty teenagers who accept support from their parents as their due, while pretending to be independent and special.

(Via Mark Steyn)

Posted by John Weidner at 8:15 AM

January 28, 2009

I'm proud to say I've never read Updike...

John Updike's Dead: Do We Still Have To Pretend To Like His Books?:

...Updike was a novelist, not an economist. But the politics with which he infected his craft made him a star.

The media loved Updike because Updike was unsparingly critical of the United States. He castigated it for its greed, its stupidity, its xenophobia. He saw Americans as a group of know-nothing conservatives consumed with money-lust and more typical lust. He saw everyday Americans as hypocrites who thumped both Bibles and the minister's wife.

Updike has been hailed as one of the great American writers. When it comes to American writers, no one surpasses Mark Twain. In his famously brilliant essay, "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses," Twain took James Fenimore Cooper, author of "The Last of the Mohicans," to the woodshed. His words fairly describe Updike:
"A work of art? It has no invention; it has no order, system, sequence, or result; it has no lifelikeness, no thrill, no stir, no seeming of reality; its characters are confusedly drawn, and by their acts and words they prove that they are not the sort of people the author claims that they are; its humor is pathetic; its pathos is funny; its conversations are -- oh! indescribable; its love-scenes odious; its English a crime against the language. Counting these out, what is left is Art. I think we must all admit that.

Long before I was even starting to think clearly about such things, I've had an aversion to all those literary globbits that we are required to like. Supposed to like. You know, supposed to like them because our betters who live in New York tell us to. Fatuous people who write for the New York/er/Times/Review of Books.

"He saw Americans as a group of know-nothing conservatives consumed with money-lust and more typical lust. He saw everyday Americans as hypocrites who thumped both Bibles and the minister's wife." And how did he find that out? From other liberals in Manhattan!

I know how this shit works--I live in San Francisco. Everybody can imitate the accent and asininity of a red-neck southern fundamentalist. How? From the movies, or learned from liberal culture. No liberal I've ever heard of would try to actually get to know small-town or conservative Americans. They already know what to think.

Posted by John Weidner at 12:09 PM

January 20, 2009

Beyond tacky...

Jay Nordlinger - The Corner on National Review Online:

When I read that the crowd today booed President Bush -- and then saw a video of it -- I thought of a quip my friend Eddie made, not long ago: "When the Left asks for a classless society, now I know what they mean."
Posted by John Weidner at 3:18 PM

January 19, 2009

So, when will we hear from the torture crowd?

'Hamas torturing Fatah members in Gaza' -- Jerusalem Post:

...A Fatah official in Ramallah told the Post that at least 100 of his men had been killed or wounded as a result of the massive Hamas crackdown. Some had been brutally tortured, he added.

The official said that the perpetrators belonged to Hamas's armed wing, Izaddin Kassam, and to the movement's Internal Security Force.

According to the official, at least three of the detainees had their eyes put out by their interrogators, who accused them of providing Israel with wartime information about the location of Hamas militiamen and officials.

A number of Hamas leaders and spokesmen have claimed in the past few days that Fatah members in the Gaza Strip had been spying on their movement and passing the information to Israel....

So here's our chance to see if those people who have been howling about waterboarding etc. are really what they claim to be, or if they just hate America...

Oh, and those westerners who claim they care SO much about the Palestinians....are they gonna care about these Palestinians?

Posted by John Weidner at 8:13 PM

Summoned to a great cause, "liberals" have failed the test...

This is a bit of a piece that Orrin Judd has re-posted.

...Even setting aside the dependence of a healthy liberal democracy on a morality that only Judeo-Christianity can supply -- an issue you can probably never convince most secularists of -- it is unarguable that to the extent that you diminish the central role of religious institutions in society you create a vacuum which government fills and in the process cause people to be more dependent on government. Thus does secularism, which usually casts itself as a liberating movement, instead lead inexorably to an ever more powerful and intrusive state. The resulting State has no purpose other than its own continuance, a purpose which is obviously abetted by exactly that dependence which its very rise fosters, in a brilliant kind of recursive loop.

We can not be surprised then when our former liberal democratic allies in Europe prove incapable of being summoned to a higher cause--like liberalizing the Islamic world--their only cause is themselves. Though folk have been slow to accept the fact, it is simply the case that we longer share a common culture with them...

We don't have to look so far to find people "incapable of being summoned to a higher cause." That's the American Left in a nutshell. George W Bush summoned them to a noble and liberal cause, and they have failed the test.

Now we get to hear people gassing endlessly about the Civil Rights Movement, with the implication that they--liberals--are still the same people. That things are the same now as way back then, and we can continue to bask in the light of MLK forever. In fact today's leftists are solidly aligned with tyrants and big government, while the captives groan unheard. (Including minority children trapped in failing public schools--that's the civil rights cause of our time.)

And leftists jabber on and on about Hitler, as if "anti-fascist" is still what they are. But Saddam Hussein was the Hitler of our time, and 99% of "liberals" desperately wanted him to be left in power...because they knew a summons to greatness would reveal their utter emptiness. And they try to cover up by pretending to be "pacifists." Frauds.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:40 AM

January 17, 2009

"Real" truth and the "state" truth

Bookworm, Can't fight group think:

Several years ago, I read one of Natan Sharansky's books in which he described his life as a refusenik in the former Soviet Union. One of the points he made that struck me with incredible force was the way in which citizens in totalitarian regimes develop an internal life entirely separate from the external forces against them. For example, Soviet citizens were forced in public to accept that their economy was a miracle of Communist exceptionalism, even as their logical brains figured out that this propaganda bore no relationship to the truth. Their brains developed a binary quality, processing the "real" truth and the "state" truth, creating an exceptional level of intellectual and emotional stress.

I was rather brutally reminded of that yesterday, when my husband and I had the opportunity to listen to our children speak to third parties about the upcoming inauguration. Both of them, using almost precisely the same words, stated that they were very excited about the inauguration because Obama is the first African-American president, which makes him special.

Later, Mr. Bookworm said to the kids that it sounded a bit funny to him them saying the same thing, and asked if they really meant that. Both assured him that they did not. That is, they didn't bear any hostility to Obama because of his race. They simply didn't care. However, both earnestly explained that, if they didn't say this rote line about Obama's historica importance, they would be ostracized....

A side effect seen in totalitarian states (you could call SF, and Bookworm's Marin County, sort of "honorary totalitarian states") is that those pushing the "state truth" are intellectually weakened, and that they become fearful. Liberals around here are often angry and defensive, and push the "state truth" stridently and insistently. They are afraid. They are living in fear, exactly like a tyrant who does not know who might be plotting against him.

Another irony is that Obama's election has been robbed of most of its "historic meaning" precisely because he ran as someone who was going to be "historic." That's sort of like letting all your friends know you would like a surprise birthday party. The affirmation that you are loved and valued lacks a certain indefinable something...

Posted by John Weidner at 10:10 AM

January 14, 2009

Progressives, Unite Against The Jews!

Charlene recommends this video, How To Effectively Boycott Israel...

Thanks to israellycool

Posted by John Weidner at 6:25 PM

January 13, 2009

Now us reality-based conservatives get to laugh at you...

This is NOT an important post--just my chance to "answer back" to a poor fellow who has enough sense to dimly percieve that something's wrong, but can't connect the dots...

Why the anti-war movement is lost, By John Bruhns:

AS INAUGURATION Day approaches, the anti-war movement is working hard to stay politically relevant. President-elect Barack Obama, the anti-war candidate [Nope. Obama is the Obama candidate.] has been empowered by a frustrated electorate demanding exactly what he promised in his campaign: change. [There were all sorts of "changes" hoped for, and each group of suckers lied to itself and "hoped" Obama agreed with them. Now us reality-based conservatives get to laugh at you.]

But the anti-war movement isn't buying the "change" Obama is selling. [Actually, we still don't know what he's selling.] Instead, they've crafted unrealistic demands for the next president, and should he not kowtow, they'll undoubtedly convince themselves he's no different from George W. Bush. Perhaps they already have. [And nobody will care.]

Most Americans agree that the war in Iraq has been a catastrophe financially and militarily. [In fact, compared to other occasions when America has liberated people from fascist tyranny, this one's been cheap and easy.] Some have strictly advocated against the war from a position of philanthropy for the Iraqi people and our service-people killed in action. Whatever the gripe, all aspects have legitimacy. [They are all just covers for nihilism.]

But many fail to realize that the war isn't something that can be easily corrected, because it's festered for far too long. [Festered? Wake up, mush-brain. The Iraq Campaign's been WON, and you are irrelevant.] And since day one, a bipartisan majority of Congress has repeatedly voted to give the Bush administration every tool needed to continue the war - even members of Congress who receive the anti-war vote. [As they say, never give a sucker an even break.]

In the summer of 2007, I had a meeting with Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) and his senior military adviser. Davis, former chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, struck me as a concerned moderate looking for a practical and realistic solution to the mess in Iraq. [We found one. It's called "victory." Your al-Qaeda pals have been crushed in battle, and the poor people of Iraq have at least a chance at the freedom you despise.]

DAVIS UNDERSTOOD my frustration with the war and said, "We have to be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in." I would hear Obama echo the exact same sentiment repeatedly on the campaign trail. [Ya can't be too careful. We're still in Germany and Japan 60 years later. Why don't we round the number up, and plan for a hundred years?]

Later, I and two other vets met with Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.). He listened for more than an hour. At the end, Castle agreed we needed to get out of Iraq. But he had no concrete solution - and neither did we. [How unfair. Al-Qaeda and the Ba'athists slaughtered tens-of-thousands of civilians for YOU, but some days you just can't get a break.]

As you can see, Republicans are not so different from Democrats on the war issue. [Nah, we're a million miles apart. Republicans love America and work for democracy and freedom. Democrats........]

The main contrast I saw in my years of anti-Iraq war advocacy was that while members of both parties voted the same way, the Democrats griped about their votes. They acknowledge that they were against what they were voting for. [Just when talking to you, sucker.] So what's the alternative? Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney aren't getting elected to anything anytime soon.

And here's what we have to look forward to. On March 19, many anti-war groups will assemble a tumultuous crowd at the post-Bush Pentagon. They'll scream for the immediate withdrawal of our troops from Afghanistan and Iraq while jumping up and down in opposition to the military industrial complex. [It's all about making themselves feel good.]

They'll demand that legal action be taken against Bush for ordering the invasion of Iraq. [They hate Bush because he's a liberal, in the old sense of Truman and JFK. He shows what phonies they are.]

But the Defense Department doesn't decide whether or not we go to war - that's up to the president and Congress. The military HQ is the wrong venue. [They hate our military because it is symbolic of believing in something enough to fight for it---nihilists hate belief.]

Some Iraq vets will join this protest out of a feeling of nostalgia for a time before they were even born. But it's no longer the Vietnam war, civil-rights, military draft '60s. Sporting a grungy military uniform is a tactic that the real policymakers can dismiss as a non-threat to their political viability. Even John Kerry quit that gig more than 30 years ago. [Well put. It was phony all along.]

Over the life of the recent anti-war movement, the attempted revival of the '60s was destined for failure from the beginning. [The 60's were a stupid tacky failure from the beginning--except for the birth of the conservative movement. That was the one success.]

Too many other issues were dragged into the effort. What middle-of-the-road Americans would attend a demonstration against the war if they knew they'd be standing in a mob of Che Guevara T-shirts listening to chants of 'Free Mumia!'? [A tautology. If they are comfortable with leftist lunacy, they are not "middle-of-the-road."]

I support people protesting what they think are injustices, but all issues aren't linked. It's not a good tactic to force people to stand under an umbrella of issues, all of which that they may not support. [Clue-up, dolt. The "anti-war" movement was always and only about the internal psycho-drama of nihilist whack-jobs. They hate America and Israel, and anything else that is symbolic of allegiance to a higher cause.]

In a democracy, strength is in numbers. This anti-establishment and absolutist view of the political process is likely to be the real cause of their implosion. [Kooks are kooks. Can't get around that.]

As someone who's been fighting for years for an end to the war in Iraq, I find this tragic because we need the voices of millions to put pressure on our elected officials to end the conflict and fix the many problems facing our country. But those voices have to be credible to be taken seriously, and circus acts never are. [A question for you, friend. Suppose America pulls out of Iraq. Would you define that as "the end of the conflict," even if fighting goes on for years and millions die subsequently? Hmmm? That's what the Vietnam protestors did. They "ended" the war, and then patted themselves on the back even as MILLIONS were being killed, or put into concentration camps. Is that OK with you? Look at yourself in the mirror when you shave, and ask yourself if you are that kind of person.]

But the truth is that the 'real' anti-war movement has become far too radical to be effective. [It never cared about actual people.]

They've pushed themselves into a corner where there's no possibility of meeting an opposing side halfway. If they ever hope to regroup into a force capable of generating a strong political will, they'll need to accept that it's 2009, not 1969 - and be more tolerant of other opinions. [I beg you, friend, re-think. You take notice of all this craziness and futility--now ask yourself some questions. You are working with people who would flush the entire population of Iraq down the toilet just to feel self-rightous. You are complicit in their evil. Do you think the same way? If America leaves Iraq, will Iraq drop off your radar? Or do you actually care about that land?]

Posted by John Weidner at 8:56 AM

January 8, 2009

Today's bit of leftlunacy...

The Secularist Church must have come down hard on Ms. Huffington! Think of the cocktail parties she must have been about to be disinvited to, for daring to suggest that there might be two sides to a certain issue...

NewsBusters.org: Huffington: 'I Would Not Have Posted' Article Asking Gore To Apologize:

....The associate blog editor published the post. It was an error in judgment. I would not have posted it. Although HuffPost welcomes a vigorous debate on many subjects, I am a firm believer that there are not two sides to every issue, and that on some issues the jury is no longer out. The climate crisis is one of these issues...

Pretty funny. Think about how she must have choked when she discovered that she had published heresy! Here's a link to the article...

Harold Ambler: Mr. Gore: Apology Accepted:

....Mr. Gore has stated, regarding climate change, that 'the science is in.' Well, he is absolutely right about that, except for one tiny thing. It is the biggest whopper ever sold to the public in the history of humankind.

What is wrong with the statement? A brief list:....

* Update: Perhaps I'm too harsh in criticizing "liberals" for having no principles. I'd guess a lot of them are firm believers that the "climate crisis" must not be debated. There's a bedrock principle for you! They will bravely nail their thesis to the door: "There are NOT two sides to every issue."

Posted by John Weidner at 1:04 PM

January 6, 2009

Suddenly we're all interested in the morality of war...

Jeffrey Goldberg, The World's Pornographic Interest in Jewish Moral Failure :

...Okay, yesterday I was depressed. Today, I'm just pissed off. It's absolutely astonishing to me how interested the world is in Israel's failings. This is the source of a bitter but hilarious observation I once heard a Kurdish leader make: He was complaining to me that his people were cursed, and I asked him what he meant: Cursed by geography, cursed by their proximity to Kurd-hating Arabs, what? He said the Kurds were cursed because they didn't have Jewish enemies. Only with Jewish enemies would the world pay attention to their plight...

I'm pissed too. Hamas has been shooting rockets into Israel for what? Three years now? And where were all the moral geniuses then? Where were the "pacifists?" The "anti-war activists?" Where was the Vatican, and "religious leaders?" Where were the "progressives?" What a bunch of phonies.

But let Israel start to fight back, and people start furrowing their brows and pondering ponderously. Suddenly morality is really a big deal. Mostly Jewish morality...

...One more thing, speaking of pornography -- we've all seen endless pictures of dead Palestinian children now. It's a terrible, ghastly, horrible thing, the deaths of children, and for the parents it doesn't matter if they were killed by accident or by mistake. But ask yourselves this: Why are these pictures so omnipresent? I'll tell you why, again from firsthand, and repeated, experience: Hamas (and the Aksa Brigades, and Islamic Jihad, the whole bunch) prevents the burial, or even preparation of the bodies for burial, until the bodies are used as props in the Palestinian Passion Play. Once, in Khan Younis, I actually saw gunmen unwrap a shrouded body, carry it a hundred yards and position it atop a pile of rubble -- and then wait a half-hour until photographers showed. It was one of the more horrible things I've seen in my life. And it's typical of Hamas. If reporters would probe deeper, they'd learn the awful truth of Hamas. But Palestinian moral failings are not of great interest to many people...

The "reporters" won't probe; they are on the other side.

Posted by John Weidner at 3:03 PM

December 30, 2008

Puzzling things...

Madoff the Jew: The Media's Hypocritical Obsession With the Fraudster's Faith, by Phyllis Chesler:

...Most Jews do not recognize themselves in what Madoff did; they still expect to be judged on their own merits. I doubt this will happen. I think� Jews will be judged as if we are all guilty, whether or not we are innocent or poor, and whether or not we fight for justice for Palestinians or for justice for murdered Chabadniks in Mumbai. Here's one reason why.

For days now,� I have been following the media coverage of the Madoff scandal. I could not help but note that the New York Times kept emphasizing that he is Jewish and moved in monied, Jewish circles; not once, but time and again, in the same article, and in article after article. 'Tis true,� alas, 'tis true, the rogue is a Jew: But how exactly is Madoff's religion more relevant than Rod Blagojevich's religion?� The Times has not described Blagojevich� (or Kenneth Lay of Enron) as "Christians," nor do they describe the Arab or south Asian Muslim terrorists as "Muslims."....[Thanks to Bookworm]

That last sentence is misleading. If there was some way to link Ken Lay with real Christianity, they would have leaped at it. Imagine if he had been a pro-life activist!

Still, the kind of Jew-hatred the Times is showing is strange. It is exceedingly likely that most of the Jews touched by the Madoff mess are not very Jewish, except as a cultural holdover. For most American Jews, their real "religion" is liberalism, and the percentage of them who read the NYT is probably far higher than the general population. Yet we se leftist anti-Semitism all the time, especially in the truly insane hatred of the state of Israel. Think how crazy it is--Israel is a tolerant democratic society where Muslim MP's can heckle the Prime Minister, who might well be a woman. Israel is a place that has "gay pride" parades--and yet the Left invariably prefers Muslims who oppress women and gays.

Equally puzzling is why American Jews continue to put up with this. Perhaps they have just transferred their stubborn religious faithfulness to the new faith of liberalism, and are refusing to be detered by persecution!

Also puzzling is the philo-Semitism of so many of us on the Right. We sure don't gain any tangible benefits! One of the oddest things I read this year was this piece about President Bush's speech to the Israeli Knesset on the 60th anniversary of the founding of Israel. The Israelis were quite embarrassed to be lauded as Zionists and the Chosen People. Not to mention those references to that quaint old thing, the Bible!

It's almost like nobody believes the current "non-Jewishness" of so many Jews is real. Like any day now they will pull off the mask and be the People of the Book again...

An excerpt from the article:

....nd most embarrassingly of all, what President Bush believes about the Jews is something that nearly all Jews once believed about themselves. It's aggravating to be reminded of the you you once were and would like to forget. Remember the time back in high school when you had great ambitions and thought you had a God-given talent that the world would hear about some day? Not really, because now, decades later, you've done everything you can to banish it from your mind -- which is why you cringe when you run into an old classmate who recognizes you and exclaims with a slap on the back, "Hey, it's you! I'll never forget the impression you made on me."

For many Jews, President Bush is like that classmate. They wish he hadn't recognized them.

The president, it was observed rather ruefully in Israel, gave a Zionist speech such as hasn't been heard from mainstream Israeli politicians for many years. If by that is meant that he invoked the Bible, rather than the Oslo "peace process" or his own "road map," this is certainly true. The Bible has long ceased to be bon ton in Israeli intellectual life. It has become politically incorrect for Israelis to think that just because some possibly imaginary progenitors of theirs had religious fantasies about God's pledging them a country, their contemporary thinking needs to take this into account. If an American president feels comfortable with such fairy tales, that's no reason why they should.

President Bush clearly believes the Jews are central to history in a way most Jews themselves no longer do. They find such thinking primitive. The only problem is that history itself shows signs of agreeing with the president.

This, really, is the astonishing thing about the country Mr. Bush addressed last week when he said, "Citizens of Israel: Masada shall never fall again and America will be at your side": How central to everything it is. A tiny place with a population that wouldn't fill any of the world's ten largest cities, it finds itself in the middle of all the great conflicts of our times: The battle for democracy, the war against terror, the fight against Islamic fundamentalism, the campaign against nuclear proliferation. Practically every scenario for a nuclear Armageddon, ranging from that of the most wild-eyed preacher of the Gospel to that of the most cool-headed political scientist, revolves around Israel.

Perhaps it really is primitive to believe, as President Bush does, that this has something to do with the Jews being the people of the Bible. Certainly, most Jews themselves would like to think that it has to do with other things. They would rather not be at the center of anything. It makes them nervous when someone reminds them that, despite their best efforts, that's where they still are. The role of being a chosen people is big on them.

The president of the United States disagrees. That's part of the reason why many Jews will be relieved to see him leave office next January. It's not just stem-cell research, or even the war in Iraq. The man thinks too much of us. That's something we're not prepared to put up with...
Posted by John Weidner at 10:57 AM

December 27, 2008

Zombies. They're back again. Can't kill 'em....

I don't know why I bother to repeat this kind of thing...it is about as inevitable as anything can be that Leftists are going to love a regime that hates America and promises to nuke some Jews. What an intoxicating thrill for our "pacifists!" (And they get the added frisson of betraying their supposed feminism and homo-philia. I suspect a lot of lefties get an almost sexual kick from doing these things that are so deliciously wicked and perverse.)

Anyway, read all about it. Code Pink Hearts Iran's Mullahs:

....Benjamin and Evans wrote daily accounts of their trip to Tehran on their blog — and wasted not a word on poor Fatemeh or on the tragedy of women's rights in Iran under the mullahs and their Sharia laws. Benjamin and Evans portray a rosy and unrealistic situation, where Iranians of all social classes and political persuasions welcome them enthusiastically, share their anti-war sentiments, and desire for peaceful and loving relations with the U.S. and all nations. Medea Benjamin, who lived for seven years in Cuba calling the Castro dictatorship "a paradise on earth," notices that in Tehran "public transportation is priced right -- 20 cents for the subway and 2 cents for the bus." She fails to mention that the Iranian currency sustained 700 percent devaluation since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and that inflation is at 23% according to governmental statistics and significantly higher than that according to World Bank estimates. Income per capita in Iran is $300 per year, a pittance when compared to other oil-rich nations in the Persian Gulf, like Kuwait ($26,000), United Arab Emirates ($25,000), or Saudi Arabia ($12,400).

Recently, an Iranian parliamentarian blurted out that almost 50% of Iran, the fourth most oil-rich country in the world, is living on or under $1 a day. This means there are some who are not able to satisfy their basic needs for food, clothing, and housing, let alone transportation, even if the public transportation ticket does "only" cost 20 cents of a toman, the Iranian currency....

By the way, while those limousine radicals were in Iran, a woman was executed there for the crime of killing her husband to prevent him raping their 14-year old daughter. Hung from the neck until dead. Let's all just hold our breaths, waiting for our anti-death-penalty "activists" to raise their voices in protest...

Posted by John Weidner at 7:55 AM

December 26, 2008

Essential reading for the serious person in our time...

Macklin Horton has an important post, on reading the book Witness, by Whittaker Chambers.

I haven't quite finished Whittaker Chambers' Witness, but I'm ready to declare that it's essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the 20th century and the spiritual battle being waged in the modern world generally�meaning, by "modern," roughly "post-Enlightenment"...

...At the end of The Lord of the Rings Sauron is defeated and destroyed. But we are given to understand�I can't remember whether it's in the book or in some remark of Tolkien's elsewhere�that his evil does not cease to exist, but rather spreads as a sort of vapor, dispersing itself throughout the world; from this time on, evil will not be so concentrated and easy to identify, but will work subtly and obscurely.

Something like that is the situation we're in after the fall of the great totalitarian ideologies of the 20th century, communism and fascism. Of the two, the evil of fascism has generally been easier to recognize, or at any rate more widely recognized, principally because of the Holocaust but also because its mythos is in general less appealing, especially to those who set the terms and tone of opinion in our society. Communism had a deeper and wider appeal, in part because it spoke, superficially at least, to more benevolent motives. But if it's possible to say that one is worse than the other, I would say that communism takes the prize, in part because it was more successful and thus able to murder more people, and partly because it was more consciously and systematically an assault on God. Communism involved a cold intention to remove from the universe any moral authority external to man, to seize that authority for man�for the handful of men worthy of it, on behalf of all the rest�and to exercise it for the purpose of creating heaven in the only place where it could possibly exist, in this life. (Fascism, in contrast, seems to have been less coherent.)...

...Like the cloud that was Sauron, communism as an all-explanatory philosophy and an all-encompassing program of action, both directed against God, has been dispersed. There is no single ideology or mass movement with both its coherence and its popularity at work today. But the basic idea�there is no God, and we're glad there isn't, because now we can get on with the business of solving our problems without interference from superstition�is everywhere. The intellectual and spiritual presuppositions of much of our political and social discourse are the same as those of communism...

The "debonair nihilism" of our age does not produce the titanic struggles that were going on when I was a boy, though the battle is just as deadly. Now the "vapor of evil" is everywhere and nowhere, as hard to fight against as blowing leaves. The story Chambers tells is a kind of analog of our own story...

I quoted a little bit from Witness here

...

Posted by John Weidner at 9:38 AM

December 18, 2008

Looks like being in the Loyal Opposition is going to be a lot of laffs...

There are so many funny things lately. I keep finding myself staring at the screen with a big grin. This one sounds like a classic dirty trick played on some Euro-nihilist terror-appeasers who really deserve it...

SPIEGEL ONLINE: US Military Praise 'Ludicrous': Steinmeier Rejects Doubts about Agents in Iraq :

...The parliamentary investigative committee had been meeting for hours by the time daylight began fading in the middle of the afternoon on Thursday in Berlin. But right at 3:24 p.m., Germany's normally unflappable Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier lost his temper. He had said a number of times throughout the day that his patience was growing thin. This time, though, he pounded loudly on the table.

Few were surprised by the display of frustration. Anticipation of Steinmeier's appearance before the committee has been growing all week -- ever since SPIEGEL published US military praise for the help provided by two German intelligence agents stationed in Baghdad in the run-up to the United States-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. At the time, Steinmeier was chief of staff under then Chancellor Gerhard Schr�der, who had staked his political reputation on his opposition to the war. Now, he is the Social Democrat candidate for the Chancellery in next year's elections. Should the investigative committee find that Germany assisted the US invasion, it could seriously harm Steinmeier's credibility.

All of which helps explain Steinmeier's vehement rejection of the new claims that German intelligence played an important role in the Iraq War. Repeatedly, he called the investigative committee "na�ve" for believing that the new US military comments weren't politically motivated. He called US comments 'ludicrous' and 'outlandish.' He said that the military praise of German intelligence was 'poisoned.'

The comments Steinmeier was referring to, though, are difficult to brush aside. General Tommy Franks, who led 'Operation Iraqi Freedom,' told SPIEGEL that 'it would be a huge mistake to underestimate the value of information provided by the Germans. These guys were invaluable.'

General James Marks, who was in charge of pre-invasion reconnaissance, told SPIEGEL that the two German agents from the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany's foreign intelligence agency, were 'heroes' who had helped save American lives. He said 'we trusted the Germans more than we trusted the CIA.'

Marc Garlasco, who was head of High Value Targeting at the Pentagon during the Iraq invasion, told SPIEGEL that 'it is rewriting history to deny that the BND helped us in US military and combat operations during the war.' He also said 'German (human intelligence) was far more robust and ever present than any of the garbage we got from CIA sources. The Germans were reliable, professional military people...

I think W should give the guy a medal. That would fix his wagon!

"...the military praise of German intelligence was 'poisoned.'" Well yeah.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:53 PM

Well, Wright's a prophet, doncha know...

Mary Katharine Ham, Liberal Logic: Wright vs. Warren

Let me get this straight:

A 20-year association with a radically leftist, anti-American, racist preacher whom Obama referred to as a spiritual adviser meant absolutely nothing about Obama's judgment or philosophy, and illustrated only the bigotry of those who dared criticize it.

A 20-minute association with one of the country's most well-liked, mainstream evangelical preachers who happens to support traditional marriage cannot be countenanced and illustrates only the bigotry of those who would dare allow it.

Got it.
Posted by John Weidner at 4:40 PM

How many Progressives does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

We had dinner with a crowd of liberals last night, which provided me with one moment of bliss. A guy told me, with great seriousness, that while the departure of Bush and Sarah Palin from the public scene was good for the country, it was going to be bad for comedians, who will not have anything to poke fun at anymore....


Posted by John Weidner at 1:16 PM

"One must have a heart of stone to read the death of Little Nell without laughing . "

The Phoenix, Take Back Barack:

.....Millions of us stood up and shouted, handed out fliers, talked to our neighbors, donated hard-earned money, and drove people to the polls for Change. We screamed, hugged, kissed, and cried when we learned Change had come to America. We knew Change wouldn't come overnight, that it would take time, but we were excited that we had elected a man who was open to Change, who said he wanted to consider real people's needs while in the Oval Office. We eagerly awaited the first hints of Change, as the president-elect's transition developed.

And now, we have reason to worry that Change is not coming to America after all. For nearly two years we were encouraged to 'Be the Change you want to see in America.' It is now obvious that we have a ways to go toward Being that Change. And so does President-elect Barack Obama. And that, above all else, needs to Change....(Thanks to Orrin Judd.)

I suppose I ought to feel pity for the starry-eyed who swooned over Obam, and worked hard for "Change," but the fact is, they are so STUPID they deserve to be winnowed out of the gene-pool by Darwinian selection. If a person has reached the age of 46 years, then you can see what sort of person they are. If they are one of the rare people who changes things, then they will have already changed something! Accomplished something.

Obama and "change" is like a person who has been a shy introvert all their life announcing that, if elected, they will be an effervescent extrovert. C'mon now, how likely is that? How STUPID would a person have to be to believe that?

Actually, I don't think they are intrinsically stupid. They are rendered stupid by bad ideas.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:08 AM

December 15, 2008

You can't call them Nazis...they have a clinic!

This piece by the "Public Editor" of the NYT, Separating the Terror and the Terrorists, is about the reluctance of the Times to use the word "terrorist."

The namby-pamby-ism is just amazin'. I could write a long thoughtful screed on why obvious terrorists are not called terrorists, but really all it takes is a sentence. The Times, and most of our lefty "journalists," are like the isolationists before WWII trying to write about Nazi Germany. If you tell the truth (then or now) you are lining up for war alongside the United States and the Jews.

....The issue comes up most often in connection with the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and to the dismay of supporters of Israel--and sometimes supporters of the other side, denouncing Israeli military actions--The Times is sparing in its use of 'terrorist' when reporting on that complex struggle.

The reluctance carried over when the Mumbai attacks began. Graham Bowley, who was writing for a Times blog, The Lede, said, "I'm aware very much of the sensitivity around the word, so I knew they had to be 'attackers'�" until the paper knew more. One of his editors, Andrea Kannapell, told me she was much more focused in the early hours on who the people were and what they were doing than on what to call them.

Readers like 'Bill' were having none of it, and as Jim Roberts, the editor of the Web site, read their comments, he began to think they had a point. 'Indiscriminately shooting civilians seems on its very face to be an act of terror,' he said. How, Roberts wondered, could you separate the act from the actor?

He conferred with Kannapell, Paul Winfield, the news editor, and Phil Corbett, Winfield's deputy. Winfield talked with Ian Fisher, a deputy foreign editor. 'Terrorist' became an acceptable term in the Mumbai story. 'We jointly decided we didn't need to be throwing the word around flagrantly, but we didn't need to run away from it, either,' Roberts said.

Ilsa and Lisa Klinghoffer, whose father, Leon, was shot and thrown from a cruise ship by Palestinian terrorists in 1985, wrote a letter to the editor asking why The Times was referring to Lashkar-e-Taiba, the shadowy group that apparently orchestrated the Mumbai attacks, as a 'militant group.' "When people kill innocent civilians for political gain, they should be called 'terrorists,'�" the sisters said.

Susan Chira, the foreign editor, said The Times may eventually put that label on Lashkar, but reporters are still trying to learn more about it. 'Our instinct is to proceed with caution, not rushing to label any group with the word terrorist before we have a deeper understanding of its full dimensions,' she said.

To the consternation of many, The Times does not call Hamas a terrorist organization, though it sponsors acts of terror against Israel. Hamas was elected to govern Gaza. It provides social services and operates charities, hospitals and clinics. Corbett said: 'You get to the question: Somebody works in a Hamas clinic � is that person a terrorist? We don't want to go there.' I think that is right.....

My advice to Lashkar-e-Taiba: open a clinic. That will give the Times cover for its appeasement.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:55 AM

December 14, 2008

The future belongs to those who will fight for it...

I found this piece from The Australian, Obama May Have To Keep Neo-con Ideals, very revealing. For the obvious irony of course, but more for the underlying dilemma of the left--which won't go away because a lefty is in the White House... (I point the problem out in paragraph three.)

Ian Buruma writes:

WITH George W. Bush's presidency about to end, what will happen to the neo-conservatives? Rarely in the history of US politics has a small number of bookish intellectuals had so much influence on foreign policy as the neo-cons had under Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney, neither of whom is noted for his deep intellectual interests. [They are both of them deeper thinkers than the press wants us to know. But more importantly, the job of a leader is NOT to be a clever intellectual, but to have the wisdom to chose the right policies. A wise leader uses intellectuals such as the neo-cons, none of whom should ever be president.]

Most presidents hope to attach some special meaning to their time in office. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, gave neo-con intellectuals the chance to lend their brand of revolutionary idealism to the Bush-Cheney enterprise. [Note how the author insunuates motives here--but he will not present any evidence for the sneer. The neo-cons had been saying for decades that our policies were failing, and we were heading for big trouble. Being right when everyone else was wrong tends to EARN one the job of cleaning up the mess.]

Writing for journals such as The Weekly Standard and using the pulpits of think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute, neo-cons offered an intellectual boost to the invasion of Iraq. The logic of the US mission to spread freedom across the globe - grounded, it was argued, in American history since the founding fathers - demanded nothing less. [I'll fill you in on what's really going on. You can skip the rest of my stuff, but understand this: This "neo-con" notion of overthrowing tyrants and spreading freedom is linked in our history with certain leaders...FDR, Truman, JFK. It is the quintessential LIBERAL project. In fact it is fair to call the neo-cons Liberals, in the older sense of those who think that things and countries can be fixed.

They, and Bush, are the true liberals of our time. That's why they are hated by the Left. Because most leftists are no longer liberals, but are still wearing liberal garments as a disguise. Bush and the Iraq Campaign have shone a cruel spotlight on leftists, and revealed them as the nihilists they have become. You will never understand current politics until you grasp that liberals aren't liberal anymore. Baruma is tiptoeing around the problem in this piece.]

Objections from European and Asian allies were brushed away as old-fashioned, unimaginative, cowardly reactions to the dawn of a new age of worldwide democracy, [Which they were.] enforced by unassailable US military power. [The neo-cons never said any such thing. Rather, that democracy was something that would grow and take root if our power cleared it some space. Since this has happened many times in the post-WWII world, it's not an unreasonable proposal.]

The neo-cons will not be missed by many. [I'd bet money you are wrong.] They made their last stand in the presidential election campaign of Republican John McCain, whose foreign policy advisers included some prominent members of the fraternity. (Most were men.) None, so far, seems to have found much favour in the ranks of Barack Obama's consultants.  [Wait'll he actually decides to accomplish something. He'll need to find some thinkers who still believe that things can be fixed. Nihilists and "realists" won't cut it.]

Such clout as the neo-cons wielded under Bush is unusual in the political culture of the US, which is noted for its scepticism towards intellectual experiments. [And yet with a straight face Leftists will say that Bush is "anti-intellectual."]

A certain degree of philistinism in politics is not a bad thing. Intellectuals, usually powerless themselves outside the rarefied preserves of think tanks and universities, are sometimes too easily attracted to powerful leaders in the hope that such leaders may carry out their ideas.

But wise leaders are necessarily pragmatic because messy reality demands compromise and accommodation. Only zealots want ideas to be pushed to their logical extremes. The combination of powerful leaders with an authoritarian bent and intellectual idealists often results in bad policies. [Baruma's so close, but can't make the leap. The Iraq Campaign was extremely pragmatic. You can read my reasons here.]

This is what happened when Bush and Cheney took up the ideas promoted by the neo-cons. Both previously had been pragmatic men. Bush first ran for office as a cautious conservative, prepared to be moderate at home and humble abroad. Cheney was better known as a ruthless bureaucratic operator than a man of bold ideas. But he was obsessed with the notion of expanding the executive powers of the president. [He was, wisely, concerned to reverse the post-Watergate erosion of Presidential power. It was not an expansion. And each of our major wars has required the amplification of executive power. Bush has done nothing compared to Lincoln or Wilson or FDR.]

The combustible mix of autocratic ambition and misguided idealism took hold soon after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Even if, by some miracle, Iraq were to evolve into a stable, harmonious, liberal democratic state, the price already paid in (mostly Iraqi) blood and (mostly American) treasure is already too high to justify the kind of revolutionary military intervention promoted by the neo-cons. [ Nonsense. The price has been TRIFLING compared to our other experiments in freeing countries and helping them become democratic. About one tenth of the price for South Korea for instance---does the author think that was a mistake? Would he care to compare North and South Korea, and then apply the same standard to Truman that he does to Bush?]

Another casualty of neo-conservative hubris may be the idea of spreading democracy. The word, when voiced by US government spokesmen, has become tainted by neo-imperialist connotations. [The connotations exist only in the heads of lefty nihilists. To the oppressed peoples of the earth the dream is as sweet as ever. As witness the ENVY being expressed in Third World countries because here in America a corrupt governor has been arrested!]

Similar things have happened before, of course. The idealism of Japanese intellectuals in the 1930s and early '40s was partly responsible for Japan's catastrophic war to liberate Asia from Western imperialism. [What pernicious nonsense. This is the usual "moral equivalence" malarky of people desperate to deny that there are high ideals that impose a DUTY on them. ]

The ideal of pan-Asian solidarity in a common struggle for independence was not a bad one; it was commendable. [That "ideal" was never Japanese policy. Our ideals ARE policy.] But the idea that it could be enforced by the imperial Japanese army running amok through China and Southeast Asia was disastrous. [There is no comparison. We have not "run amok;" we have liberated just two countries, and helped them form elected constitutional governments. ]

Socialism, too, was a brave and necessary corrective to the social inequalities that emerged from laissez-faire capitalism. Watered down by the compromises without which liberal democracies cannot thrive, socialism did a great deal of good in western Europe. [Europe is DYING, you fool. Dying of socialism before our eyes. Every European country is in demographic collapse. Europe is bankrupt and decadent, no longer leading in ANY realm except bureaucratic regulation. Not in religion, nor ideas, nor movements, nor economic growth, nor innovation, nor the arts. No one goes to Europe for the exciting new trends. (Except to Vatican City.) Socialism has failed, always and everywhere.] But attempts to implement socialist or communist ideals through force ended in oppression and mass murder.

This is why many central and eastern Europeans view even social democracy with suspicion. Even as Obama is worshipped in western Europe, many Poles, Czechs and Hungarians think he is some kind of socialist. [They KNOW! They know the beast.]

The neo-cons, despite their name, were not really conservatives at all. They were radical opponents of the pragmatic approach to foreign strongmen espoused by people who called themselves realists. Even though the arch-realist Henry Kissinger endorsed the war in Iraq, his brand of realpolitik was the primary target of neo-con intellectuals. [To oppose "realism" does not mean you are not a conservative.]

They believed that aggressive promotion of democracy abroad was not only moral, and in the US tradition, but in the national interest as well. [They didn't just assert it, they made a case. Which leftists have never countered in any credible way. Instead they just pretend the theory has already been invalidated.]

There is a core of truth in this assertion. Liberals, too, can agree that Islamist terrorism, for instance, is linked to the lack of democracy in the Middle East. Realism, in the sense of balancing power by appeasing dictators, has its limits.

Democracy must be encouraged, wherever possible, by the most powerful democracy on earth. But revolutionary wars are not the most effective way to do this. [I've bad news for you pal. It's always going to be a bloody and messy business. Therefore it will only be done by those who still have beliefs they are willing to fight for. Therefore you Eloi are out of the game. You are useless and obsolete. The future belongs to those who will fight for it.]

What is needed is to find a less belligerent, more liberal way to promote democracy, stressing international co-operation instead of blunt military force. [It'll never happen. It's the same with nations as with individuals. Those who are willing to fight are real, all others are just fading shadows. You might notice that the "shadows"�people or nations� have at least two things in common. Lack of Christian or Jewish faith.......and socialism.]

Obama is unlikely to repeat the mistakes of the neo-cons. [He will have to folllow the template Bush has set for the WoT. But he will probably not do it as well.] But, to succeed, he will have to save some of their ideals from the ruins of their disastrous policies. [He is going to piggyback on Bush's successes, and try to claim them as his own.]

Posted by John Weidner at 6:28 PM

December 12, 2008

Rights become negotiable....

Charlene pointed me to these paragraphs from a piece in the Weekly Standard, Human Rights at 60:

....How did we arrive at this dismal state of affairs? The problem is not simply that human rights have become grossly politicized. The problem is that rights have been profoundly secularized--and severed from their deepest moral foundation, the concept of man as the imago Dei, the image of God.

Under the banner of 'multiculturalism,' the United Nations has produced a torrent of treaties and conventions, with ever-expanding categories of rights. In the process, the Western idea of rights as transcendent claims against a coercive state has been greatly weakened. Human rights are on the same footing as social benefits and economic aspirations. Thus, we have the spectacle of the U.N. Commission on Sustainable Development inviting North Korea--a regime that sustains itself by starving its people--to become a member in good standing. We have nations such as Iran claiming an 'inalienable right' to nuclear technology, language that in fact appears in Article IV of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Where is Thomas Jefferson when you need him? When human rights are no longer considered the gift of nature and nature's God, human dignity is made more vulnerable to assault. When repressive regimes are rewarded with membership and voting privileges in U.N. bodies, the entire human rights project is debased. The political result is that fundamental rights--the right to life, freedom of speech, freedom of religion--become negotiable. In the end, they become disposable....

That rights can be negotiable is exactly what the Fathers of this country opposed. "The rights of Englishmen are derived from God, not from king or Parliament, and would be secured by the study of history, law, and tradition." -- John Adams

I despair about these and similar things. Our rights erode before our eyes because we won't think clearly about them. But of course it is always a small minority of human beings who will think clearly about ANY subject. If we are dependent on thinking we are toast, and that's always been the case.

Which is why � you liberals needn't bother reading this; you are probably too far gone to get it � which is why tradition is valuable above almost anything. Individuals don't think, but cultures slowly ruminate, with God's help, and codify wisdom in the form of tradition.

The wise person will consult tradition first, and cherish it because it will be in many ways wiser than he can ever be.

And those who wish to destroy us will attack tradition. Will sneer at it, and undermine it. For instance by inventing new "rights" to destroy the traditional Anglospheric belief that rights are inalienable, which is to say that they are bigger than us, and not something we create.

And the attacks being made on our rights and traditions are always disguised as things beneficial. Liberals today often assert that we have a "right" to health care. This is an extremely evil thing in itself (That's a subject for another post) but it is also a very insidious attack on our rights because who could dare be against health care? How could one be so cold-hearted as to be against such health? How easy it is to denigrate that person, to say they are heartless, and want people to die.!

Posted by John Weidner at 7:51 AM

December 8, 2008

"I should be very much obliged if you would slip your revolver into your pocket, Watson..."

Reason #339 why liberals discourage the study of history... (Thanks to Glenn R.)

If each of us carried a gun--Times Online:

....Rhetoric about standing firm against terrorists aside, in Britain we have no more legal deterrent to prevent an armed assault than did the people of Mumbai, and individually we would be just as helpless as victims. The Mumbai massacre could happen in London tomorrow; but probably it could not have happened to Londoners 100 years ago.

In January 1909 two such anarchists, lately come from an attempt to blow up the president of France, tried to commit a robbery in north London, armed with automatic pistols. Edwardian Londoners, however, shot back -- and the anarchists were pursued through the streets by a spontaneous hue-and-cry. The police, who could not find the key to their own gun cupboard, borrowed at least four pistols from passers-by, while other citizens armed with revolvers and shotguns preferred to use their weapons themselves to bring the assailants down.

Today we are probably more shocked at the idea of so many ordinary Londoners carrying guns in the street than we are at the idea of an armed robbery. But the world of Conan Doyle's Dr Watson, pocketing his revolver before he walked the London streets, was real. The arming of the populace guaranteed rather than disturbed the peace.

That armed England existed within living memory....

I've read about incidents like this in Israel, where people pull out their pistols and chase down terrorists. Terrorism isn't a new concept. what's new is our populations of hapless "protected" people, who are taught to think that nothing's worth fighting for. Also new is the twisted idea that countries can safely wage covert war by supporting terrorist groups. In the past that would have been pointless, because they would have gotten open war pronto. Just another way that pacifism causes war and bloodshed.

The article also has this quote by Ghandi, which I had not seen before:

"Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest"
Posted by John Weidner at 7:55 PM

December 7, 2008

Parasites...

Our letter to Amazon.com, regarding their: "Amazon Music's 12 Days of Holiday" promo... (Thanx to Mark Steyn.)

Please tell someone in charge who cares about your customers (if there are any) that we are people who spend a lot of money with you, and we are disgusted and offended by your "twelve days of holiday" promotion.

You probably have some BS line about "Christmas" being offensive to other faiths, but it isn't. It's only offensive to lefty nihilists. To YOU.

If you don't like "Christmas," why don't you have the HONESTY to stop having what are obviously Christmas promotions, from which you make a mint of money! And stop using a Christmas carol for advertising that is unwilling to use the word "Christmas."

John and Charlene Weidner

PS: Have a happy and Holy Christmas.
Posted by John Weidner at 7:06 PM

December 5, 2008

If the animal-rights loonies don't like it...

....It's good by me!

I was just telling Charlene there's nothing to read on the blogs, and then Andrea came through. Thanks! ...

Yes, there is a Santa Claus:

And I'll bet he eats reindeer sausage.

I don't know about you, but my estimation of Ikea just went up a little from that report. I mean, I love their cheap Swedish-designed crap assembled into flat packs by Chinese political prisoners like anyone else, but selling reindeer meat during the holidays? That takes balls. I wonder if they have any at my local store... (Probably not, I do live near Disney World after all -- God forbid some tourist decide to stop by for Swedish meatballs and see that Donder and Blitzen are shrinkwrapped and ready for snacking...)
Posted by John Weidner at 8:40 PM

December 4, 2008

How likely is the "accident" theory?

A prominent SF Jewish gay pro-Israel activist goes to his Arabic class--which was cancelled, but he didn't get the message--and somehow forces open the door of an out-of-order elevator and falls down the shaft and is killed. Police are calling it an "accident."

Read here.

Of course they call it an accident. THEY DON'T WANT TO KNOW! Don't want to know they're at war.

Same as huge numbers of other people don't want to know. Like these:
...So why are so many prominent Western media reluctant to call the perpetrators terrorists? Why did Jon Snow, one of Britain's most respected TV journalists, use the word "practitioners" when referring to the Mumbai terrorists? Was he perhaps confusing them with doctors?

Why did Britain's highly regarded Channel 4 News state that the "militants" showed a "wanton disregard for race or creed" when exactly the opposite was true: Targets and victims were very carefully selected. Why did the "experts" invited to discuss the Mumbai attacks in one show on the state-funded Radio France Internationale, the voice of France around the world, harp on about Baruch Goldstein (who carried out the Hebron shootings in 1994), virtually the sole case of a Jewish terrorist in living memory?...

Especially sickening to me is that American Jews don't want to know. Or rather, liberal Jews. They've converted to a new secularist faith, and desperately wish that the crazy uncles in their mental attics would just go away, and stop the God talk, so they can assimilate in peace, and enjoy being Eloi.

FOOLS. If you are Jewish, there are millions of people on this planet who would enjoy killing you. Personally. With their own hands. And they don't care that you've discovered flower-power and you think weakness and passivity will make war go away and everyone live as brothers-in-insipidity.

And this would be less of an evil if "liberals" were only endangering themselves. But appeasment tends to get other people killed.
You may not be interested in war,
but war is interested in you.
    -- Leon Trotsky

* ALSO: I wrote a post a couple of years back, about the way police almost always label lone-wolf jihadis as anything except......Islamic terrorists. They are always said to be mentally disturbed individuals who were upset by their purely secular personal life.....even if they put a Koran in their pocket and start killing people. I can't find the post now. Does anybody remember any key-words I can search for?

* Update: Never mind, I found it. The key-word was "Bosnia." GO READ IT!
>

November 26, 2008

"Liberalism" is anti-human...

It's really about the bullying. Liberalism starts out with trying to help people, but there is a little Lenin inside each of us, and if you nourish him, and give him some space to grow, then you are on the road to being a prison-camp guard...
Sunday Mercury: POLITICALLY correct NHS bosses in Birmingham are battling to ban a smoking room for terminally ill patients -- forcing them to be turfed out into the cold to enjoy their final cigarettes.

The Sheldon Unit, a palliative care home for patients dying from lung cancer and other diseases, in Northfield, is one of only two health centres in the region that has escaped rigid Smoke Free legislation on 'sympathetic grounds'.

But when board members of South Birmingham Primary Care Trust, in charge of the unit, heard of plans to upgrade the smoking room with a new ventilation system, the whole scheme went up in smoke.

Bureaucrat Dr Chris Spencer-Jones, South Birmingham public health director, ranted against the renovation plans, saying he did not care if lifelong smokers were dying, he still didn't want them smoking indoors.

"It doesn't matter if patients might be terminally ill," said Dr Spencer-Jones, who also heads the British Medical Association's (BMA) national committee for public health....
Posted by John Weidner at 4:04 PM

He laughs, bitterly...

Michelle, on the latest from the Obama transition process, aka: Becoming Grownups In 60 Days...

...Nothing clarifies the mind like a jihadi boomerang. Never before have an administration and its followers matured so quickly in office -- and they haven't even taken office yet. While Obama paid lip service to the "Close the Gitmo gulag!" agenda on 60 Minutes over the weekend, his kitchen cabinet is proceeding more pragmatically. Believe it or not, the Obama crowd is now contemplating a preventive detention law and an alternative judicial system for the most sensitive national security cases involving the most highly classified information. Information that has no place being aired in the civilian courts for public consumption...

...Moreover, Obama transition team members have suggested to the Wall Street Journal that despite his campaign season CIA-bashing, "Obama may decide he wants to keep the road open in certain cases for the CIA to use techniques not approved by the military, but with much greater oversight."

Next thing you know, they'll start arguing that the world has been fooled by years of sob-story propaganda about the Gitmo detainees-- funded by Kuwaiti government-subsidized lawyers who cast them all as innocent potato farmers and schmucks dazed and confused on battlefields.....

The deeper issue revealed here is that the domestic opponents of our efforts in the War on Terror have been deeply dishonest and morally corrupt. Random Jottings has been arguing that since November 2001. People put on a guise of principled opposition to war, or religious opposition or pacifism or respect for "international law." But these are just camouflage for brutally expedient Leftism.

Just you watch. Once a Dem is in the White House, then a bit of roughness in dealing with terrorists will be no big deal. Laudable, even. Remember, "extraordinary rendition" was an invention of the Clinton Administration.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:49 AM

November 25, 2008

Leftist theory imposed on people; MILLIONS die...

....How many times have we heard that story!

John Noonan, in the Weekly Standard blog...
...The story of Zimbabwe is one of the great tragedies of the 20th century. Once a first-world nation, Rhodesia -- and Zimbabwe during the 80s -- exported enough food to feed roughly half of Africa. Though deeply stained by the apartheid policies of the white minority government, Rhodesia still boasted the largest black middle class in Africa, had a top-tier educational system for both blacks and whites that rivaled those in Europe and the United States, a Rhodesian dollar that was nearly equal with its U.S. cousin, and unemployment that was in the low single digits.

Today, after Robert Mugabe's tyrannical 28 year reign, Zimbabwe has become one of the poorest nations in the world. Unemployment is at 80 percent and rising. Inflation is an unbelievable 2000 percent, also rising. Once the breadbasket of Africa, Zimbabwe is now reliant on Western food relief to feed its people. Refugees pour over the South African and Botswanan borders by the thousands, as AIDS (and now cholera) ravage the countryside. Life expectancy for a Rhodesian male was appx. 67 years. That number has collapsed to an unthinkable 37 years.

To this day, Carter is unrepentant for his assistance in Mugabe's rise to power...

He is unrepentant. In fact, as far as I can see, ALL leftists are unrepentant about this latest batch of millions of deaths they have caused. They don't care---their "theory" is what is real; the human beings are just cardboard figures.

If you are a "liberal," if you are part of Lefty/Progressive/Democrat/Quaker/peacenik/liberal-christian "Axis Of Fuzzy Thinking," then YOU helped destroy these people. Cholera! Cholera in the 21st Century! That's INSANE. But you don't care.

And almost worse than the ice-heartedness of leftists is that none of you will re-think.

In fact I suspect the textbooks will continue to trumpet the great "civil rights" victory of removing whites from power in Rhodesia! That's much more important than the deaths of a few niggers.

One would have thought that the great prosperity of Rhodesia would have caused people to be cautious, so as not to kill the goose whose golden eggs helped blacks as well as white ruling class. (Rhodesia was not "apartheid," by the way). It should have been obvious to anyone that the real resource behind the prosperity of Rhodesia was white people, and that preserving that capital should be the number one priority of anyone who really wanted to help blacks!

But the real priority was always feeding the smugness of "liberals."

People refer to the Gulag, or Pol Pot, or the Cultural Revolution, as mistakes of the past. But the death toll of Jimmy Carter and other liberals who helped Mugabe into power could easily top Cambodia. Jimmy Carter is our Pol Pot!

Posted by John Weidner at 7:59 AM

November 22, 2008

Guess where this is heading...

India Times: India, which is planning to send four more warships to the Gulf of Aden, has already conveyed to Somalia that it will use all necessary means to fight pirates who have targeted merchant ships passing through one of the world's strategic shipping lanes off the coast of Somalia.... [It's in those Anglosphere genes.]

....After the Indian offensive against the pirates, the Indian government is now considering the option of augmenting forces in the pirate-infested waters. [Ramp it up. If nothing else, you will blood the troops.] At present India has deployed INS Tabar, a stealth guided missile frigate, that has successfully defended two merchant ships against a pirate attack and ensured safe passage of many more. [Unilateralist cowboys! Advocates of violence!] The proposal is to send four more warships to the region. Naval officials also met defence minister A K Antony to discuss matters related to the continuing naval operation.

But even as the Navy takes a decision at augmenting its efforts in the Gulf of Aden, there is also consensus within the Navy and the government that the menace can only be tackled effectively if there is a coordinated international effort to take on the pirates who have managed to grab the world's attention by seizing a number of ships including Saudi owned supertanker. At the moment countries are only defending their own merchant ships. [The term you will be needing soon is "Coalition of the Willing." Try the Poles.]

India has been pushing for such an international effort and at a recent meeting of the International Maritime Organisation had revived a proposal to set up a UN peacekeeping force to take on pirates in the region. "These proposals are under consideration," said Mr Ravi, adding that a concrete proposal would emerge after consultations in the UN. [Been there, done that. Won't work.]

Mr Ravi also pointed out that were two United Nations Security Council resolutions on piracy. UN resolution 1816, which was approved on June 2, 2008, allows foreign navies to enter Somalian territorial waters to pursue pirates while resolution 1838, which was passed on October 20, 2008, authorises the use of "necessary means" to combat piracy in international waters. India can take action under these two resolutions but there is recognition that a more substantive resolution is needed for a coordinated international effort. [There were 16 "Binding UN Resolutions" against the Saddam regime. When we finally enforced them, all the world's lefty frauds said we were "violating international law." Just warning you.]

However, India is not isolated in its call for an international effort. The US and other countries have also talked about the need for an international effort against pirates. The US said that it is worked in the Security Council to pass a new resolution piracy. ["The US and other countries..." It's called the "Axis of Good." Guy named Bush started it. It means you go through the UN bullshit, then a few non-decadent countries just go ahead and do what's necessary.]

"It's an international problem. You're not going to solve this � the US is not going to solve this alone," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack was quoted as saying. [Actually, we could. But we are paralyzed by the Nihilist Party.] Similarly, an anti-piracy watchdog, which welcomed the sinking of the pirate ship, also called for an international effort. "If all warships do this, it will be a strong deterrent. But if it's just a rare case, then it won't work," Noel Choong, who heads the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting centre told an agency.... [In other words, the problem could be solved fairly easily if everybody did their duty. Instead the evil of pacifism will prolong the problem indefinitely, and cause rivers of blood to flow...]

(Thanks to O Judd.)

Posted by John Weidner at 6:32 AM

November 20, 2008

If Lenin were here he would know exactly what's going on....

One thing that keeps striking me about certain current conflicts like gay rights and abortion and infanticide rights is that, though it was all in a good cause, the American Civil Rights Movement was also one of the great calamities of our history.

Why do I say such a politically incorrect thing? One which would get me cast out of polite liberal society, had I ever been invited into polite liberal society?

Because it has imposed a template on our world. A template that says that anyone who is campaigning for any sort of imagined "civil right" is entitled to trample their opposition. To just bulldoze over them.

And to feel utterly smug and superior, and to indulge in orgies of self congratulation. To be automatically granted a kind of "secular sainthood."

And, most appealing of all, the template says you can treat your opponents with complete contempt and disrespect....because, of course, they are just "rednecks."

I was recently called a "hateful bigot" by someone who should know better. For what? For simply agreeing with what 99.9999% of human being have always considered to be true. That is, that marriage happens between men and women. Something that no one, liberal or conservative, doubted until a few years ago.

That's the "template" at work. One needs merely assert a new right, and then one can act like a pompous ass.

And the template was always intended for sinister purposes by the Lefty "activists" who organize rights campaigns from the shadows. Our current battles are examples of a type of Leftist plot that the world has seen hundreds of times over the last century. If Lenin were here he would know instantly what's going on, and approve. (And then send the gays to the Gulag when they were no longer needed.)

The scheme is always the same. Champion some "oppressed" group, lure large numbers of "useful idiots" to fight the battle, manipulate the battle to gain Leftist goals, then discard the "oppressed group" the instant they are no longer useful.

The classic example is Communists battling for labor rights, then crushing labor once they gain power. Another is the way, when I was in college, everyone talked about "the People of Vietnam." Those poor souls were instantly forgotten once the Communists were in control. (Stupid me, I thought the peaceniks really cared!) Or the black peoples of South Africa. In the 80's liberals were shedding copious tears over them. But as soon as they were no longer useful they were dropped. People in Soweto are STILL poor and STILL badly governed. Does anybody talk about them now at the Quaker Meeting? Will publishers want to publish their stories NOW? Ha ha.

Most of the supporters of gay marriage are in the "useful idiot" category. The big problem is that relentless propaganda has made the "template" a default mindset for most Americans. They never question anything, no matter how flaky, it it's packaged as a rights crusade. The useful idiots are now approaching a majority of the population!

Andrew, your analogy was really stupid. The question before us is not, "Why can't I marry whoever I want?" The question is, "What IS marriage." All Americans already have the right to marry whoever they want, within the current definition of marriage. YOU are proposing to change the definition. So YOU need to come up with good arguments why people like you know better than all the great thinkers and religious leaders of all of human history, and the common opinion of all of mankind up to very recently.

If you were HONEST, that's what you would be arguing about. But the template frees you from the requirement of honest argument---why, it would be like arguing the merits of segregation. Instead you just make assertions.

The arguments you are making could be used to support my right to marry a two-year old, or to marry three people. Or a dog, or a cute robot. Do you support those things? Do you have a good argument against them? Or for them? Of course not, you haven't done any thinking.

There are going to be lots of new "rights" crusades coming in the future. Have you thought out where you will draw the line?

(What a hateful bigot I am, to suggest that any "rights" could be over the line! I Oughta be shot. I'm just a redneck. The next thing you know I'll be coming up with oppressive hillbilly ideas such as "right and wrong." Or "God," or "morals." Just ignore me; the important thing is that rights must be protected. Especially ancient rights, like ones that are more than 6 weeks old.)

Posted by John Weidner at 7:33 PM

November 19, 2008

Hey Lefties, look in the mirror....

Michelle Malkin...
...Before election day, national media hand-wringers forged a wildly popular narrative: The Right was, in the words of New York Times" columnist Paul Krugman, gripped by "insane rage." Outbreaks of incivility (some real, but mostly imagined) were proof positive of the extremist takeover of the Republican Party. The cluck-cluckers and tut-tutters shook in fear.

But when the GOP took a beating on Nov. 4, no mass protests ensued. No nationwide boycotts erupted. Conservatives took their lumps and began the peaceful post-defeat process of self-flagellation, self-analysis, and self-autopsy. In fact, there's only one angry mob gripped by "insane rage" in the wake of campaign 2008: The mob of left-wing, same-sex marriage activists incensed at their defeat in California. Voters there approved a traditional marriage initiative, Proposition 8, by 52-48.

Instead of introspection and self-criticism, however, the sore losers who opposed Prop. 8 have responded with threats, fists, and blacklists.

That's right. Activists have published an "Anti-Gay Black List" of Prop. 8 donors on the Internet. If the tables had been turned and Prop. 8 proponents created such an enemies" list, everyone in Hollywood would be screaming "McCarthyism" faster than you can count to eight. A Los Angeles restaurant whose manager made a small donation to the Prop. 8 campaign has been besieged nightly by hordes of protesters who have disrupted the business, intimidated patrons, and brought employees there to tears. In fear for their jobs and their lives, workers at El Coyote Mexican Caf� pooled together $500 to pay off the bullies.

Scott Eckern, a beleaguered artistic director at the California Musical Theatre, was forced to resign over his $1,000 donation to the Prop. 8 campaign. The director of the Los Angeles Film Festival, Rich Raddon, is next on the chopping block after the anti-Prop. 8 mob discovered that he had also contributed to the Yes on 8 campaign. Calls have been pouring in for his firing.

Over the past two weeks, anti-Prop. 8 organizers have targeted Mormon, Catholic, and evangelical churches. Sentiments like this one, found on the anti-Prop.8 website "JoeMyGod," are common across the left-wing blogosphere: "Burn their f�ing churches to the ground, and then tax the charred timbers." Thousands of gay-rights demonstrators stood in front of the Mormon temple in Los Angeles shouting "Mormon scum."...

Just in case you thought the "gay marriage" push was about equal rights or something...

Posted by John Weidner at 4:37 PM

November 17, 2008

We get "scaled back" because we are stupid...

This piece about Obama writing to federal employees before the election is a subject where I could criticize the Dems harshly for a variety of conservative reasons. But others will do that job, no doubt. I'm in a mood to criticize... Republicans....

In wooing federal employee votes on the eve of the election, Barack Obama wrote a series of letters to workers that offer detailed descriptions of how he intends to add muscle to specific government programs, give new power to bureaucrats and roll back some Bush administration policies.

The letters, sent to employees at seven agencies, describe Obama's intention to scale back on contracts to private firms doing government work, to remove censorship from scientific research, and to champion tougher industry regulation to protect workers and the environment...

Notice the bold type above. You read in Random Jottings way back in 2002 about what Bush was doing to open federal jobs to private bidders. Link [I've been giving you the straight dope since November-2001! Has it earned me fame and fortune? Nah.]

SO, how much have you heard about this since? In particular, how much support and praise did President Bush get from Republicans? From conservatives? From the "oh-so-wise" at National Review? None, as far as I've noticed. Bush was out in front doing things conservatives should be lauding, encouraging, publicizing.

I'm sure this would have been popular with voters, if it had been publicized. It's not like ordinary Americans are fond of Federal bureaucrats. So why hasn't the party been running on things like this? Bragging about it? And conservatives, libertarians, wake up: this is the closest you are ever going to get to cutting back the Federal monster. Shrinking big government isn't going to happen--but there are a lot of things we can to to mitigate the problem. You had a chance to, and it looks like you blew it...

PS: If you think I'm surprised by anything Obama's doing, well, I notice that I was also writing in 2002 about the fact then emerging that President Carter asked the SOVIETS to help him defeat Reagan! If I write that "Democrats" are evil slime animals, it is not because I'm intemperate and uncharitable, it's because they are, obviously, evil slime animals...

Posted by John Weidner at 9:23 AM

November 13, 2008

Tolerant and diverse Obamanoids.....

This John Kass column doesn't surprise me a bit. Living in SF, I get to see plenty of this kind of thing, and San Francisco isn't really bad compared with--ugh! Barf!-- "affluent suburbs." You have to be somewhat tolerant to live in the City, because there's such a smorgasbord of different types and groups here. If you have a bunch of white liberal elitists living together, then you get the real bigots. (And worse than the bigotry is the way they ooze the butter of self-satisfaction from every pore. Gag me with a silver spoon!) [Thanx to Bookworm]

A liberal gal we know (one with an atypically strong self-image, and a Republican boyfriend) was telling me the other day about her bewilderment at many of her liberal friends, whose reaction to Republicans and opposing ideas was total shut-out: "I don't want to hear it!" I just nodded my head and said Ummm hmmm. That's the era we are in. The Republic is probably doomed, but at least I have the satisfaction of not being part of the idiocy.

Tolerance fails T-shirt test -- chicagotribune.com:

...Catherine Vogt, 14, is an Illinois 8th grader, the daughter of a liberal mom and a conservative dad. She wanted to conduct an experiment in political tolerance and diversity of opinion at her school in the liberal suburb of Oak Park.

She noticed that fellow students at Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama for president. His campaign kept preaching 'inclusion,' and she decided to see how included she could be.

So just before the election, Catherine consulted with her history teacher, then bravely wore a unique T-shirt to school and recorded the comments of teachers and students in her journal. The T-shirt bore the simple yet quite subversive words drawn with a red marker:

'I was just really curious how they'd react to something that different, because a lot of people at my school wore Obama shirts and they are big Obama supporters,' Catherine told us. 'I just really wanted to see what their reaction would be.'

Immediately, Catherine learned she was stupid for wearing a shirt with Republican John McCain's name. Not merely stupid. Very stupid.

'People were upset. But they started saying things, calling me very stupid, telling me my shirt was stupid and I shouldn't be wearing it,' Catherine said. Then it got worse.

'One person told me to go die. It was a lot of dying. A lot of comments about how I should be killed,' Catherine said, of the tolerance in Oak Park.
But students weren't the only ones surprised that she wore a shirt supporting McCain.

'In one class, I had one teacher say she will not judge me for my choice, but that she was surprised that I supported McCain,' Catherine said.

If Catherine was shocked by such passive-aggressive threats from instructors, just wait until she goes to college.

'Later, that teacher found out about the experiment and said she was embarrassed because she knew I was writing down what she said,' Catherine said.

One student suggested that she be put up on a cross for her political beliefs.

'He said, 'You should be crucifixed.' It was kind of funny because, I was like, don't you mean 'crucified?' ' Catherine said.

Other entries in her notebook involved suggestions by classmates that she be 'burned with her shirt on' for 'being a filthy-rich Republican.'

Some said that because she supported McCain, by extension she supported a plan by deranged skinheads to kill Obama before the election. And I thought such politicized logic was confined to American newsrooms. Yet Catherine refused to argue with her peers. She didn't want to jeopardize her experiment.....
Posted by John Weidner at 10:51 PM

November 11, 2008

Surprise! Obama lied.....

We still know little about what sort of President Obama is going to be. But there a certain things leftists always tend towards, and we can be almost certain they will make themselves known in the coming months. One of them is hating Jews and Israel...

Today we got some concrete evidence...

...After it became known Malley was working on the campaign and the ensuing backlash, the Obama campaign immediately issued a statement saying Malley was only giving the campaign "informal advice."

Then in May, the London Times reported that Malley � who wasn't supposed to be working on the campaign � had been sacked from a post on the campaign's Middle East advisory council because he had recently held meetings with Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.

Well now sources are reporting "Aides said Obama had sent senior foreign policy adviser Robert Malley to Egypt and Syria over the last few weeks to outline the Democratic candidate's policy on the Middle East."...

There's going to be lots of this kind of thing over the next four years. The new administration will be filled with leftists, and so they won't be able to help it. Politically it is just not smart to have toxic swine like Malley sucking up to tyrants and terrorists. But you watch. You will see the Obama crowd doing this over and over---and then lying like crazy to cover up their Jew-hatred...

And "liberal Jews" will be squirming and wriggling and doing everything they can to fudge the issue, even though it means helping people who would be delighted to saw their heads off with rusty knives, and then circulate the video-tape...

Posted by John Weidner at 11:17 AM

November 6, 2008

This makes me think about "debating" with liberals...

(An anonymous commenter posted this here long ago.)
Plato knew about nailing jello
(from Theaetetus):

...For, in accordance with their text-books, they are always in motion; but as for dwelling upon an argument or a question, and quietly asking and answering in turn, they can no more do so than they can fly; or rather, the determination of these fellows not to have a particle of rest in them is more than the utmost powers of negation can express. If you ask any of them a question, he will produce, as from a quiver, sayings brief and dark, and shoot them at you; and if you inquire the reason of what he has said, you will be hit by some other new-fangled word, and will make no way with any of them, nor they with one another; their great care is, not to allow of any settled principle either in their arguments or in their minds, conceiving, as I imagine, that any such principle would be stationary; for they are at war with the stationary, and do what they can to drive it out everywhere...
Posted by John Weidner at 8:15 PM

November 3, 2008

Makes 'em feel cool...

From a follow-up by Jay Nordlinger, to that comment of his I quoted yesterday...

....But I was struck by all the e-mails that came from the left: many of them seething with hate, and many of them � surprisingly enough � defending communism. It's not that these readers thought I had defamed Barack Obama; they thought I had defamed communism. Nine decades of killing fields, and still . . . well, never mind....

That doesn't surprise me. There are tons of people around here like that. It's wierd, really. None of them will ever call themselves communists, but anything commie has a glow for them. It gives them a buzz of pleasure to say nice things about Mao or Castro. Sort of like they are fans of a rock band, who never personally endorse their sex-drugs-violence drenched suicidal life-stye, no no no.... but obviously enjoy being close to the thrilling and dirty ambience.

Posted by John Weidner at 5:49 AM

November 2, 2008

Does this say it all or does this say it all?

Jay Nordlinger, at The Corner:


Senator Obama said this about John McCain: "By the end of the week, he'll be accusing me of being a secret communist because I shared my toys in kindergarten. I shared my peanut butter and jelly sandwich." That's interesting. Obama evidently thinks of communists as people who share. I think of them as people who kill.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:21 PM

November 1, 2008

"Who feels threatened?"

This piece, by Caroline Glick of the The Jerusalem Post, The Threat of a Jewish Army, is intensely interesting to me, because I'm obsessed with the broad movements of Western Civilization. Thanks to Richard Fernandez, who writes that Israel is the "canary in the coalmine."�

Glick writes: "The Left's vision of Israel as an atheistic, multicultural, morally relativist society holds little attraction for most Israelis." I sure hope so, since that's the Left's vision of America too. My guess is that the chomskys are going to be very disappointed in the results if their current "Manchurian Candidate" is elected He will have about as much success in advancing socialism as Clinton did. His judicial appointees will do a lot by legislating from the bench, since the vile measures of the Left rarely find favor with American voters they despise. That will be an evil thing, but he won't do any better with his version of HillaryCare than Bill did.

....Under the title "Without a Lord of (Military) Hosts," the paper demanded that IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi "put the military rabbinate in its place" and force it to limit its activities to ensuring that IDF grub is kosher and that religious soldiers have what they need to observe religious laws. Haaretz further insisted that the position of chief rabbi be cancelled and that the position of "chief religious services officer" be created in its place. As the editorial put it, "The injection of a religious dimension into the Israel Defense Forces' goals constitutes a serious internal threat."

The real question is, who feels threatened? The Haaretz editorial claimed that Israel "has a secular majority, which would be outraged if anyone tried to change its way of life through religious coercion." But this is untrue and Haaretz's editors know it.

They know it because last November Haaretz published the results of a survey conducted by the Israeli Democracy Institute regarding how Israeli Jews self-identify on the secular-religious spectrum. The results of that survey showed that only twenty percent of Israelis classify themselves as secular. Eighty percent of Israelis view themselves as either religious or traditional.

Rabbi Ronski himself is the most beloved and charismatic IDF chief rabbi since Rabbi Shmuel Goren, who served as chief rabbi during the Six-Day War. Rabbi Ronski, 56, regularly risks his life by accompanying combat units on missions. He doesn't simply show up. The soldiers ask him to join them.

The popularity of leaders like Rabbi Ronski is an unbearable affront to the Israeli Left. The enthusiasm with which young Israelis embrace their Jewish heritage is a direct assault on the Left's demand for cultural supremacy. But what the Left refuses to acknowledge is the simple fact that Israeli society has never accepted their views of what Israel is supposed to be.

Until the mid-1970s, most of today's leftists were Labor Zionists. They believed Israeli society followed them both for their Zionism and for their socialism. But Israeli society never bought into the Left's utopian social theories. Labor Zionists were the cultural avant-garde because they were Zionists.

When, in the late 1970s, the Labor Zionist movement began disavowing Zionism, it became increasingly estranged from the general public. Religious Zionists like Rabbi Ronski are followed while the leftist cultural elites are ignored because religious Zionists today are the most outspoken advocates of values shared by the vast majority of Israelis.

The Left's vision of Israel as an atheistic, multicultural, morally relativist society holds little attraction for most Israelis. So to reassert their cultural superiority, leftists have increasingly taken to bullying and intimidating the rest of the country to toe their line. The seasonal assaults on religious soldiers are simply one aspect of their larger culture war against Israeli society as a whole.

"When, in the late 1970s, the Labor Zionist movement began disavowing Zionism, it became increasingly estranged from the general public..." Substitute "Democrat Party" for Labor-Zionist, and "Christianity/Judaism" for Zionism, and you describe current American politics. I bet we will be seeing more attacks on the US military for having too many Christians...

Posted by John Weidner at 8:39 AM

October 31, 2008

Literati... Making my day...

The New York Observer:

It seems that the final days of the presidential campaign have made Erica Jong and her friends more than a little anxious.

A few days ago, Jong, the author and self-described feminist, gave an interview to the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, the choicest bits of which were brought to my attention by the reliably sharp-eyed Christian Rocca, the U.S. correspondent of Il Foglio, who published excerpts on his Camillo blog. Basically, Jong says her fear that Obama might lose the election has developed into an 'obsession. A paralyzing terror. An anxious fever that keeps you awake at night.'

...My friends Ken Follett and Susan Cheever are extremely worried. Naomi Wolf calls me every day. Yesterday, Jane Fonda sent me an email to tell me that she cried all night and can't cure her ailing back for all the stress that has reduces her to a bundle of nerves....

Boy, talk about name-dropping! Worried about the "literary reputation," eh Erica?

...My back is also suffering from spasms, so much so that I had to see an acupuncturist and get prescriptions for Valium...

Ooooh. All the pwecious wittle witerati is having spasms! They cwy all night, wowied about wosing their weftist secuwty bwankets! Ha ha ha ha....

...Bush has transformed America into a police state, from torture to the imprisonment of reporters, to the Patriot Act...

So WHY, (as Orrin Judd has asked), are no Obama supporters talking about Obama ending the "police state?" Surely they are looking forward to those poor imprisoned reporters tottering out into the sunlight from their dungeons? And the wiretaps....why is no one celebrating Obama's executive-order-to-come, preserving your right to call madrassahs in Pakistan without interference by Cheney's Gestapo? Why? Whywhywhywhy?

Please win, Sarah! If only just to torture these self-inflated frauds! (I didn't mean literally torture them, but if you do I won't blame you. If I ask him nicely I bet Dick will be willing to stay on for a little extra waterboarding...)

Posted by John Weidner at 12:42 PM

October 29, 2008

"Opposed to Western/Judeo-Christian civilization"

From Orrin, in a post with the splendid title (I envy him this sort of cleverness) Inherit the Windbags, about "conservatives" who support Obama...

....In fact, the only real difference [in Obama's policies compared to McCain] is precisely that he's the most extreme supporter of aggressive social experimentation to be nominated for president during this era. On matters of abortion, infanticide, gay "rights," infant stem cells, euthanasia, etc. he is consistently and radically Pro-Death and opposed to Western/Judeo-Christian civilization. Edmund Burke would have no trouble recognizing the Jacobin in at least this aspect of Mr. Obama's politics

When we consider then what sorts of Republicans are supporting Mr. Obama we would, as Mr. Powers says, expect to find the old Eastern Establishment, secular Darwinist Right. Contrary to Mr. Powers, these issues are pretty much the same and Rockefeller money funded the more openly eugenic experimentation of the early/mid 20th Century. That's not, of course, to say that every "conservative" backing Mr. Obama is doing so because he'd increase abortion and fund it for "the poor," but it is fair to say that they are at least unbothered by the prospect. In fact, even the ostensibly pro-life Doug Kmiec was willing to forgo Communion in order to back Barack Obama.

This is why so many of the converts cite the choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate. The choice drove home the reality that the GOP is and is going to stay the party of the religious. They were hoping for a Joe Lieberman, Colin Powell, Mitt Romney, or Tom Ridge who are indifferent to or supportive of abortion.

Over time this is likely to be a more permanent divide and is certain to impact the Democratic Party more heavily than the Republican. After all, Darwinism is a marginal belief in America while Christianity is central. Eventually one would expect to see the parties divide along more clearly secular vs religious lines and the Democratic hold on entire tribes loosen, a process that will be accelerated by the recognition that intellectual elites support the Democrats in no small part because of "population control."...

It just fascinates me the people who hate Sarah. It's so revealing. The "feminists" who fantasize about seeing her raped or murdered, for example. (Ladies, your guilt is showing.) Or the Colin Powell and Christopher Buckley types on the right.

And this is all extra interesting because traditionally the V-P is someone who can give red meat to the base, allowing the presidential candidate to act "presidential," and move to the center. This is normal in our politics. So why should Republican "centrists" and libertarians hate Sarah? Why?

The real battle is increasingly about who we are. What is America and who are Americans. This is because old habits have worn off. Habits of religion, yes, but also patriotic faith, and faith in those things, including morality, that ancestors and founders have handed down to us---faith that those traditions should be revered. And just---faith in America. When I was growing up, everybody was patriotic.

Sara Palin with ski plane I'd say that when Orrin writes: "...the GOP is and is going to stay the party of the religious," we should think of "the religious" in a broad-brush sort of way. It could include those who cherish the Great Books of Western Civ., and those who get a lump in their throats when they hear the Star Spangled Banner at the ball game. That is, those who think there are things bigger than the almighty self, things which demand an attitude of humility and willingness to sacrifice.

And the irreligious should include many people who still go to church, but recite their creed in the spirit of participating in a charming old folk-ritual. Or who call themselves people of the Right, but recoil from moral responsibility and personal humility.

The battle-lines are shifting, and as they do various people are going to find themselves suddenly stranded in no-man's-land, wondering which way to scurry. A few decades ago we had the neo-cons; Democrats who noticed that the Democrat Party had drawn away from them like the tide going out...and awkwardly found a new home on the right. Perhaps now we will have a bunch of neo-libs!

I'm thinking of Sager especially. The libertarian creep of the world. I should fisk this piece, The Rove Realignment, Have libertarians been driven out of the GOP? But what's the use? He'll never get it. Better he should just head over to the Party of Death where he belongs...

Posted by John Weidner at 5:45 PM

It is morally wrong to say we have a "right" to health care...

Two reasons. One, which I heard Rush elucidate, is that we have a responsibility to maintain our own health, and we have a moral obligation to help those who can't help themselves.

Making health care a "right" destroys both responsibility and obligation, and damages us spiritually.

The other I just noticed, by Rand Simberg:

Does Barack Obama agree with Marcy Kaptur that we need a Second Bill of Rights?...

...Sure he does. He already said in a debate that we all have a "right" to health care. No, I don't think that I, or anyone, has a "right" to stuff that requires taking from others. This is Eurosocialism...

Of course I've always been in agreement with those points, but I hadn't ever expressed them clearly.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:01 AM

October 28, 2008

We are all so GOOD!!!

Ron comments on the previous post:

You know, I've been thinking about this Obama phenomenon for some time, and it just doesn't make any sense. Where did he come from and how in the world did he get such a following in such a short period of time? It's downright spooky. Could someone out there explain this all to me....

You came to the right place, Ron. Random Jottings knows all, tells all. I think this post, with its quote by Shannon Love, gets closest to explaining...

A bit of the quote:

...I think that politics on the Left has become a social process, i.e., a means of group identification and self-validation. Leftists care less about the triumph of ideas and far more about the triumph of a group of people with which they ego-identify. They need their ego-identity candidate to win so that they can feel good about themselves. The character and policies of the actual candidate does not matter....

When I was a wee lad, if a person wanted to be a "non-conformist," they became a Beatnik, or joined some similar artsy subculture. That is, they conformed to the ways of a group that was non-conformist! The idiocy of this sort of thing rarely seems to be noticed, then or now. (I remember it well. People daringly drank French wine and Italian coffee, and ate Moussaka. And looked down on the conformist rabble.)

It's similar now. If you want to be "good," you can't just, like, you know, be good. No way. You have to join a group that is perceived to be good. In popular imagination today that means liberal Democrat. (The fact that they are actually evil is of no consequence.) And then whenever the Democrat candidate wins, you get a sort of "validation." As if the world is giving you an accolade for being "good." Confirming your superiorty, as it were.

Now if the Dem candidate is the usual white middle-aged career pol, this validation is sort of muted. It lacks pizazz. But if the candidate is cool, and handsome, and youngish and well-dressed (all qualities one would like to have rub off on oneself)---wow, the payoff is bigger by an order of magnitude.

AND, if the ego-identity candidate is.....brace yourself for a thrill running down your leg....if he is.....yes......African-American....a magic negro....the coolest thing....the ego-validation is just stratospheric!

The Dems could probably run a cardboard cut-out of Mr Obama and have a good chance of winning....

* Update: As a historical note, I remember reading somewhere about bohemian non-conformist types in New York, around maybe 1910. They would head down to The Village, which was then Italian, and be really artsy and different by eating......Spaghetti! I laugh every time I think of that.

Posted by John Weidner at 10:17 PM

The McCain ad I would be running...

...If I ran the campaign circus... (Inspired by this great post by Bill Dyer)

Scene: A schoolyard. A father is picking up his daughter...

Child: Daddy, daddy, I got 98 points on my math test! That's an "A"

Teacher: Now Susie, you know that 27% of those points will have to be given to those who are less fortunate than you. Other children don't have the points you have. Your grade will be C+.

Child: But, but.....I worked HARD! And those other kids just goofed off!

Teacher: Remember how I told the class how Leader Obama has taught us about "redistributive change.." You are supposed to be happy to help the poor and those harmed by white racism...

Clip of Obama speaking: "... the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which to bring about redistributive change..."

Father: But, what about our Constitution?

Teacher: Leader Obama wishes to preserve our sacred Constitution from desecration and change. That's why he has had it revised and brought up to date...

Clip of Obama speaking: "...The Warren Court, it wasn't that radical. It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution..."

Teacher: Susie, your mind is still filled with white ideas about personal property. Next week we will begin studying Education Leader Ayers' new book "Social Justice for the New Millenium," and you will start to understand about giving to people in accordance with their needs...

Posted by John Weidner at 11:22 AM

October 27, 2008

"redistributive change"

Barack Obama, just a few years ago:
...But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical. It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it's been interpreted, and the Warren Court interpreted it in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties...

And one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, because the civil rights movement became so court-focused, I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which to bring about redistributive change...

He's a Commie, who wants to destroy our country and way of life. It's that simple.

Hey, my Lefty readers. Obama says: "[the Warren Court] didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution" in favor of "redistribution of wealth." That's obviously what Obama wants. Are you OK with this or not? Yes or no? Show some guts and honesty for once, scrubs, and take a clear stand

Posted by John Weidner at 3:21 PM

Be thoughtful--listen to Oprah...

Bookworm writes:

...I was sitting near two women and overheard part of their conversation. After a lengthy back and forth praising Oprah, this gem came out: "Sarah Palin is stupid but she communicates really well to Americans because most Americans are stupid."

I live among this sort of people; that's exactly how they think. In fact a lot of them (including I'm sure these two---this is Marin County) are Democrats because the Dem Party is somehow, in the popular mind, "associated" with intelligence. They would never dream of showing intelligence by actually thinking. Instead they will buy some books Oprah recommends, and put them on the coffee table, to show that they are thoughtful

My experience in seven years of blogging is that Democrats are in fact really stupid. Not one of them has been able to make a case for their vague slippery ideas.

And notice that, while the two women do not precisely say that they themselves are not Americans, they imply it. I hear that kind of thing here often. "Americans" treated in a vague way as some sort of foreign species. You won't ever be able pin them down, but the implication is always there. (But if there were an invasion of terrorists you can bet the sneering metrosexuals and "anti-war" types would be howling for "Americans" to come with guns and bombs to save them!)
Posted by John Weidner at 8:53 AM

October 19, 2008

Rambling answer to libertarian comment...

Hale Adams comments on the previous post, "The New Progressive Person"
I think you're wide of the mark, John.

The coercion in the case of gay marriage lies not in the marriage itself-- one is free to marry or not marry as one pleases. The coercion lies in teaching things to kids who aren't old enough to make sense of them.

So, the anecdote about the cute little Hispanic girl isn't an argument against gay marriage; it's an argument against government-run schools, which are often "captured" by people who really shouldn't be trusted with the power to ram things down the throats of unsuspecting children.

You've just pushed the underlying problem away, not confronted it. The message comes from a hundred directions, not just public schools. And private schools want to push the same message, at least here in SF. (Coming soon to a town near you!) Hollywood and Internet too.

In our world we have a LOT of people who want to change the world into something very different. And it's hard to discuss this because we are using different terminology. In your terms that goal is some sort of socialism. Something like the Euro-socialist welfare state. You see the growth of the state as the problem, and you are right--that's a large part of the plan. (Though notice that there no longer seems to be any worship of the state, as there was in fascist and communist regimes.No demands for sacrifice for the state.)

In my terms the goal is to free themselves of anything that the individual can feel as being bigger than the self. That's the nihilism I keep harping about. The goal is making oneself God. (I would say that gay marriage and socialism and "radical feminism" and the welfare state are exactly the same problem, in different dress. They all have the same underlying goal.)

We are allies in a vast struggle with people who are foes of libertarianism, conservatism, democracy, religion, and tradition. But their tactics are like the peddling of a dangerous and seductive addictive drug. One whose harms only show up slowly, and whose pleasures are immediate. Not like the old socialist revolutions---there's no Comintern anymore.

For want of common terms, I'll call the problem "the Drug."

Libertarianism doesn't have a good answer. Less government doesn't get rid of the problem. The front line is everywhere, not just government. Art, architecture, literature, journalism, entertainment; all are war zones. All are being churned and transformed like a WWI battlefield. The meanings of the very words we speak are being morphed, sometimes deliberately. (And recently we've seen capitalist bastions on Wall Street turn out to be Democrat strongholds!)

Actually the battleground is every person. Libertarianism says to let people choose, but the very essence of the people who do the choosing is what is being struggled over and changed. Changed by this Drug, that gives people the power "to be like gods." To be in control of themselves and others.

I'm sure most libertarians would agree that this drug should be resisted. BUT, the ideas that help fight against the drug did not come from libertarianism. You have inherited those ideas as part of the package of Western---especially Jewish and Christian---civilization.

Libertarianism piggy-backs on a great inheritance of Western ideas and virtues. And you are assuming that most people here have a good stock of those. And that therefore you can give people lots of free choice, and expect good things. But libertarianism has no answer to the problem of when those ideas themselves slip away or grow dim. I think that is happening.

To fight this insidious Drug, we can't just rely on a diminishing stock of inherited virtue. My evidence can be expressed in one word: Europe. We've been watching Europe ratchet down, down, down for the last century, at least. And to me, one of the most salient features of this decline is that, at any particular moment, people assume that ordinary European people will stay the same. They assume that the German will always be hard-working. That the Englishman's home will be his castle. That the Spaniard will be Catholic, and the Italian will have a big extended family with lots of pasta-munching bambinos. That the Frenchman will fight for La Patrie...

But all those assumptions have been WRONG. If you bet any chips on the character, the inherited ideas and culture, on the virtues, of Europeans, you've lost your bet. And this wasn't like a fight between good guys and bad guys. It was a matter of people being "hollowed out." Of virtue just draining away mysteriously.

A telling statistic: By the year 2050, 60% of Italians will not know what it is like to have a brother or a sister or an aunt or an uncle or a nephew or a niece. Italy is in demographic collapse now, and will soon be in population collapse. It is economically stagnant, and produces no exciting new ideas or inventions. But who is the "bad guy?" Who forced this upon the Italians? No one; they chose it.

What does libertarianism offer here? How does it explain this? I think you are carrying a knife to a shotgun fight. You are unarmed.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:27 AM

October 17, 2008

"The New Progressive Person"

This post at The Corner by Maggie Gallagher focused my previously-amorphous thoughts on one of the reasons I think libertarianism is profoundly unwise.

Any libertarian will understand that trying to force people to act contrary to the market is asking for trouble. If, say, his city government decided to issue "voluntary guidelines" on what were "fair wages" for various jobs, alarm bells would go off in his head! He would NOT say, "It's voluntary, so what do I care?" Because he knows darn well that coercion is the next step. And since enforcing such a thing would be like herding cats, there would have to be a LOT of cowboys, with a LOT of coercive power, to move the herd. (Just collecting the needed information would require massive government intrusion on people's lives.)

[Note: The libertarian could be a she, but I'm flouting the "voluntary guidelines" for non-sexist language.]

BUT, the same libertarian, on questions like Gay Marriage, seems to be incapable of understanding that trying to go against human nature is equally a task that requires coercion. Government coercion. It's like trying to force water to run uphill. To say that Gay Marriage---or any marriage---is just a private matter is a cowardly absurdity. The Soviet Union had this idea that their totalitarian state was going to create "The New Soviet Man." Who would be "naturally" socialist, so that further coercion would not be necessary. No libertarian thinks that will ever work! But the same libertarian seems blind to the fact that Gay Marriage inevitably entails people trying to create "The New Progressive Person."
The latest Protect Marriage Yes on 8 television ad in California shows an incredibly cute 8 year old Hispanic girl bringing the book King and King home to her mother saying "Guess what I learned in school today. . . I can marry a princess!"

The anti-Prop 8, pro gay marriage crowd is running ads charging this whole idea that public schools will teach gay marriage is just a "lie."

The latest press release from the Protect Marriage Yes on 8 campaign in California rather cleverly points out the same groups now charging it's a lie public schools will teach about gay marriage whether parents like it or not --- were just in court in Massachussetts filing amicus briefs arguing parents don't have any right to opt their children out of the pro-gay marriage curriculum...

Just read the rest of the post, with the Amicus briefs arguing that parents have no constitutional right to opt-out...

Or check out this...

Lego ad red lighted over shades of pink and blue: A Swedish advertising watchdog has slammed Danish toymaker Lego for a catalogue it claims promotes outdated gender roles.

Sweden's Trade Ethical Council against Sexism in Advertising (ERK) singled out images in a recent Lego catalog which featured a little girl playing in a pink room with ponies, a princess, and a palace accompanied by a caption reading, "Everything a princess could wish for..."

On the opposite side of the page, a little boy can be seen in a blue room playing with a fire station, fire trucks, a police station, and an airplane. The caption beneath reads, "Tons of blocks for slightly older boys." (Thanks to Orrin)

The implications of "human nature" are enormous, and most people don't want to think about them. Don't want to think through what is implied. They are afraid of inferences...

Posted by John Weidner at 11:22 AM

October 14, 2008

Prepare for the Jew-haters...

..and the America-haters...

Jesse Jackson: PREPARE for a new America: That's the message that the Rev. Jesse Jackson conveyed to participants in the first World Policy Forum, held at this French lakeside resort last week.

He promised "fundamental changes" in US foreign policy - saying America must "heal wounds" it has caused to other nations, revive its alliances and apologize for the "arrogance of the Bush administration."

The most important change would occur in the Middle East, where "decades of putting Israel's interests first" would end.

Jackson believes that, although "Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades" remain strong, they'll lose a great deal of their clout when Barack Obama enters the White House....

Actually, although ugly anti-Semitism is still common on the Left, the really big motivator is hatred of developed Western countries that still believe in themselves enough to fight for themselves. Who could that be? Let's start a little list...America...Israel..... Ummm, anybody else? No.

And which countries do Leftists hate? Amazin' coincidence!

(Note: As far as leftists or pacifists care, the people of the undeveloped world can happily slaughter each other. They are not human beings. Unless they ally with the US--then they are evil human beings, and must be opposed by "liberation movements.".)

Posted by John Weidner at 7:08 AM

October 9, 2008

I'm used to this cowardly idiocy...

I posted some of this piece by Bookworm before, but it's more apposite now than ever.
...When I vote against Obama on November 4, 2008:
  • It won't be because Obama thinks that a nuclear Iran is no threat to the Western World, it will be because I'm a racist.
  • It won't be because I think it's an incredibly stupid idea for the most powerful nation in the world to approach evil totalitarian dictators as a supplicant, it will be because I'm a racist.
  • It won't be because I hate the idea of a President who will subordinate America's interests to the UN (as he inevitably will), it will be because I'm a racist.
  • It won't be because Obama has the thinnest resume ever in the history of Presidential candidates, it will be because I'm a racist.
  • It won't be because I think Obama's Leftist connections (Ayres, Dohrn, Soros, Pfleger, Wright, etc.) show him to be either stupid about or complicit with an agenda antithetical to basic American values, it will be because I'm a racist.
  • It won't be because Obama consistently chooses as advisers people who have opted for the wrong side in the completely binary debate about Israel's right to exist, it will be because I'm a racist.
  • It won't be because Obama wants to socialize American medicine, which I believe will destroy the high quality of medical care available to most Americans, it will be because I'm a racist.
  • It won't be because Obama wants to gut the military and reduce us to a nation with a big target painted on our collective backside, it will be because I'm a racist.
  • It won't be because Obama wants to gut the Second Amendment and destroy Americans' Constitutional right to protect themselves from foreign and domestic enemies, it will be because I'm a racist.
  • It won't be because Obama has already announced loud and clear that he will support activist judges who place their “feelings” above the law, it will be because I'm a racist.....

Us Republicans are accustomed to being called "racists" and "homophobes" and "sexists" and all the usual Lefty crap that substitutes for actually debating the issues. I expect to hear a ton of it if Barack loses. Well, in anticipation, I spit with contempt on all cowardly Leftists.

I sometimes get those things on Facebook, like, "Jill Smith has sent you a marine mammal. Click here to accept." I wonder if there's a widget that goes: "John Weidner sends you a huge glob of contempt for your cowardice..."
Posted by John Weidner at 7:20 PM

Don't go there...

You know, if I became a Democrat, and (oxymoron alert) I continued to be able to think and reason clearly, I'd be voting against Barack Obama, because putting him at the center of the world's attention for four years is likely to destroy the Dem Party. There are lots of dead fish starting to float to the surface, but it takes time for hidden facts to be untangled and organized. And for their import to sink in...

Probably, alas, more time than we have before the election. But not more time than we have before 2012...or even 2010... Do you really want to spend the next four years waiting for the next shoe to drop? and the next? Does the name Rashid Khalidi ring a bell? Do you really want to find out?

Dr Sanity:

...Nothing disgusted me more about the last Presidential debate (and believe me, there was LOTS to be disgusted about) than Obama's casual remark that, "A lot of you remember the tragedy of 9/11."

Yeah, I remember that day. And it wasn't a fucking tragedy--like some sort of natural disaster--it was an act of war in which 3000 Americans were killed in the blink of an eye by despicable people with ideologically distorted minds eerily similar to William Ayer's and his ilk. I am not the one who has forgotten that day and what it meant and still means.

Yeah, I remember 9/11; and I am also not likely to forget any terrorists who despise this country and what it stands for and want to destroy it--whether they hail from Al Qaeda, Mr. Obama's neighborhood, or any address on the extreme political left.

The simple fact is that Barack Obama is anti-American. He has spent his adult life swimming in Leftist schools of fish. I know these people. I went to college at Berkeley, and I live in San Francisco. They use code words in public discourse, but they savor any flaw that's noticed about this country. When abu Ghraib is mentioned their cheeks glow and their eyes sparkle.

And even the code words are giveaways to anyone who cares to think and notice. People who refer to 9/11 as a "tragedy" do NOT love this country. Imagine someone whose family-member was brutally murdered by an evil maniac. Would they call it a "tragedy?" As if it was just one of those random bad things that happen? No way! They'd call it murder, and do their best to see that the killer was locked-up forever, at the very least.

Real Americans love their country the way they love their family. (No, I'm not saying that precludes criticism.) I may criticize my relatives, even fight with them, but if one of them is attacked, it's like an attack on ME. I would not be standing at a distance, I would have no cool reserve. Likewise if this country is attacked.

When Leftists reacted to 9/11 with detachment, they were saying clearly that they do not love our country. Barack Obama is wholly a person of the Left. He does not love America. Democrats, if you elect this guy people are going to figure it out eventually.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:09 AM

October 7, 2008

The opiate of the trendy liberal...

Peter Guttman has written a piece which argues that no one should be President who hasn't traveled. (He's a travel writer!) I think he's got it exactly backwards...

...Although historians will long debate how this country arrived at the global mess it's now in, it seems clear that much of it could have been prevented. In fact, I believe that a relatively simple amendment to the Constitution could prevent it from happening again. Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution, drafted in 1787, says that only natural-born Americans, at least 35 years of age, who have lived in the country for 14 years can serve as president or vice president. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has proposed (apparently with his friend, Arnold Schwarzenegger, firmly in mind) that this antiquated provision could best be corrected by opening the presidency to foreign-born U.S. citizens.

[It's hard to debate this guy, since the "global mess" is not defined--sloppy writing. War on Terror? Financial crisis? We're not popular in Belgium? Maybe it's the old "Europeans are so much more sophisticated and nuanced than us crude cowboy Americans" line. I'm guessing he is NOT thinking of Schwarzenegger as a solution to anything. For the record I don't think we are in a "global mess."]

But this adjustment misses the real point. Although a revision to this section is much needed, I believe that qualifications should not be loosened but rather tightened. I suggest the Constitution be amended to require that candidates for the presidency (and vice presidential selections as well) have visited a minimum of 20 countries. The amendment would require that each visit would have been made more than four years before the candidate's possible inauguration and that it would have lasted at least 48 hours. This serves as proof that a candidate is genuinely interested in, and possibly even knowledgeable about, the world around him or her.

[I would argue the opposite. The person who has travelled that much has likely lost the clarity of vision of what America is all about, and in fact probably never had it in the first place. I propose that to be eligible for the Presidency, a person should have lived at least twelve years in rural or heartland America, doing some real job. (Not government or foundation or academic or journalist).]

In the 21st century (unlike the period during which the Constitution was written), travel no longer means days of arduous journey by stagecoach or months aboard a steamship to reach an overseas destination. In a country that hopes to lead the world toward a more enlightened future, it is no longer acceptable to allow the reins of American leadership to reside in the hands of anyone lacking what is perhaps the most valuable credential of all -- the experience of foreign travel.
[If the Founding Fathers had imagined that people would be gadding about aimlessly as we do now, they would have considered it a bad thing. For most people travel is a substitute for deep thought and commitment to things bigger than the self. It's the opiate of the trendy liberal.]

Sadly, we ignored a red flag during our previous two presidential campaigns. Quite simply, a middle-aged man of considerable means and privilege who has freely chosen in his first fortysomething years on this planet to visit fewer than four countries (of the almost 200 United Nations' members) should not be permitted to captain our nation. It is plainly irresponsible to allow a blindfolded driver to navigate through the increasingly chaotic rush-hour traffic of global development, aided only by an off-key chorus of back-seat drivers...

[He misunderstands the Presidency. If the President is steering the car he is failing his duty. (Think Carter.) What the President is supposed to do is to SEE WHEREwe want to get to, and continually nudge the thousands of drivers of our government to move that way.]

...Our recent myopic, good-versus-evil attitude toward foreign policy has been one of the obvious results. Our current cartoon perspective on the world could have been sensibly altered with the experience-tempered subtlety and sophistication of leaders who have spent time outside the country.

[It's the "good-versus-evil attitude" that is reasonable. We face opponents who are evil. And we ARE the good guys. "experience-tempered subtlety and sophistication" are just code-words for moral relativism. and a decadence that will never fight against evil, even if it's throat is about to be sawed through by terrorists.]

I believe that President Bush has been gravely HARMED by the traveling he has done in office. He started out like the child who sees that the Emperor has no clothes, and isn't afraid to point it out. He broke silly taboos, for instance by saying openly that we would defend Taiwan. And demanding that the Palestinians abandon terrorism before getting any more concessions. But we haven't seen much of that refreshing candor lately---too much traveling, I'd guess.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:47 AM

October 2, 2008

I'll drink to her....

Palin family, Piper with tiaraThe more I think about the debate the more jazzed I get. (Or maybe it's the Laphroaig. They have it at Costco now. You just gotta drink it. Life's too short not to.) The attacks on our Sarah over the last few weeks have been the most insane thing I've ever seen in politics.

I was even reading somebody's screed about how her lip liner or lip gloss or some such was a fake! I mean, this was seriously discussed! With blown-up photographs. I kid you not. She is Kryptonite to Lefty losers, and they knew it from the first day McCain announced her. They went berserk, they've thrown everything they could at her...... And tonight she just made all that ankle-biting moot. She just went right past it onto new ground.

And think about when her e-mail was hacked. What was cool and really interesting was that they didn't find anything useful. There was really nothing there for anyone to be ashamed of. Her private life is exactly the same as her public life. Just imagine if people could eavesdrop on a private conversation by Obama and his radical leftist pals. Wow. If that went public he would be dead. Sarah: WYSIWYG

The situation for Republicans is not good, and Mr Creepy may well end up being our Jimmy-Carter-of-color. But that, bad as it will be for the country and the world, will just beg for a Reagan to follow on. And we may have found her....

Posted by John Weidner at 10:23 PM

September 29, 2008

Grim days, I think...

Today's events have really got me down.

I have been arguing for years that the "Left" in this country, and throughout the developed world, is not just pursuing bad policies, but is in deep psychological and existential trouble. Is suffering from pathologies that have no likely cure.

A crisis is an chance to test the theory. The indication is that I'm right. And this is a case where I would LOVE to have been proved wrong. Because I think we are not just looking at one financial crisis. If a large portion of the country---maybe 25%, maybe 33%? Who knows?---is seriously deranged, then we can only expect things to get worse in the future.

Posted by John Weidner at 3:43 PM

September 26, 2008

Only scrubs act like this...

Couric Diminishes Gov. Palin, By The Prowler
CBS New anchor Katie Couric ordered staff to drop all references to "Governor" or "Gov." from her interview with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. When a staff member pointed out that in other venues, Couric and CBS News had referred to Governor Palin's opponent, Joe Biden, using his title of "Senator" or the abbreviation, Couric, according to a CBS News editorial aide, sought approval from CBS News management to drop the "Governor" reference during her broadcast interview with Palin that began on Wednesday night.

"It's not true," said another CBS News source. "We treat everyone the same."

But, in fact, that's not the case: as late as September 22, CBS News and Couric -- even on the CBS website -- used Biden's honorific. Here is an excerpt from the transcript of a Couric interview with "Sen." Biden:
Katie Couric: How is it preparing for the debates?

Sen. Joe Biden: Well, it's kind of hard to prepare because I don't know what she thinks. There's been no -- I don't know a lot about her, so I have to assume for purposes of the debate that she agrees with John on everything.
Now compare that the transcript of the "Palin" interview:
Couric: Why do you say that? Why are they waiting for John McCain and not Barack Obama? Palin: He's got the track record of the leadership qualities and the pragmatism that's needed at a crisis time like this.
In fact, at no point during the broadcast interview does Couric refer to the GOP vice presidential nominee as "Governor."....
How utterly dishonorable and petty. It's the little things that reveal the soul. Democrat souls are shriveled...
Posted by John Weidner at 8:06 AM

September 24, 2008

The usual Quaker scam...

By James Kirchick...
....Meanwhile, other religious figures are reaching out to Ahmadinejad. On Thursday, the Iranian president will be the honored guest at an Iftar dinner--the ceremonial breaking of the Ramadan fast--at the New York Grand Hyatt Hotel. That meal is sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee, the Mennonite Central Committee, Quaker United Nations Office, Religions for Peace, and the World Council of Churches-United Nations Liaison Office (notice the absence of any Jewish organization.) According to the invitation, the assembled guests--including Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann, President of the General Assembly of the United Nations and the Rev. Kjell Bondevik, former Prime Minister of Norway and President of the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights--will hold a "conversation about the role of religions in tackling global challenges and building peaceful societies." The discussion will occur "In the presence of His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran."

You'd think that with such a high-profile figure addressing such an important topic, the Quaker lobby and its friends would want to share their honored guest's views with the world. But the event is closed to the press. So I called Mark Graham, Director of External Relations for the American Friends Service Committee. He said that "Jewish individuals," but not Jewish organizations, had been invited to Thursday's event, though he wouldn't name any of them for me. As far as the program is concerned, the evening's discussion will consist of a "dialogue around the idea that God has created us all and our common humanity. People are going to speak about the politicial, social,and religious implications that it has for their faith perspectives." This is actually the fourth event that AFSC (which has led interfaith delegations to Iran, though, again, with no Jews participating) has held with Ahmadinejad, and when I asked Graham about Ahmadinejad's thoughts on the Holocaust, he defended the Iranian President, telling me that "he readily says that the Holocaust was an historical event and he feels for the Palestinian people since the creation of Israel." When I asked if AFSC would press the Iranian President about his pursuit of nuclear weapons capability, support for international terrorism and the murder of American soldiers in Iraq, Graham told me that, "What we hope for with this event, like with others, is that we will help to understand each other a bit better. We will have more precedent for open questioning and a two-way dialogue that's open and honest."

There will be a protest of this Quaker Meeting. Details here.

The pacifist position is simple. War is something that America and Israel do. Iran openly racing to build nuclear bombs while openly talking about frying Israel is not war. So, why should any pacifist object?

Actually, it's worse than fake-pacifism. The Quakers and all those other "inter-faith/peace" groups are completely hollowed-out. They have no faith of any kind. All that's left is leftist politics. (And they would be much more respect-worthy if they really believed in those.) You can bet money that these useful idiots will conclude that Ahmadinejad is a mis-understood peace-lover, but Sarah Palin is a threat to the planet.

And you can be sure no Quakers will be holding "candle-light vigils" about this Christian convert under sentence of death in Iran.

Posted by John Weidner at 10:30 AM

September 23, 2008

Who do you stand shoulder to shoulder with?

From the always-worth-reading Caroline Glick, in the J Post, on the scandal of Governor Palin being barred from the rally against Iran...
....LIBERAL AMERICAN Jews, like liberal Americans in general, and indeed like their fellow leftists in Israel and throughout the West, uphold themselves as champions of human rights. They claim that they care about the underdog, the wretched of the earth. They care about the environment. They care about securing American women's unfettered access to abortions. They care about keeping Christianity and God out of the public sphere. They care about offering peace to those who are actively seeking their destruction so that they can applaud themselves for their open-mindedness and tell themselves how much better they are than savage conservatives.

Those horrible, war-mongering, Bambi killing, unborn baby defending, God-believing conservatives, who think that there are things worth going to war to protect, must be defeated at all costs. They must intimidate, attack, demonize and defeat those conservatives who think that the free women of the West should be standing shoulder to shoulder not with Planned Parenthood, but with the women of the Islamic world who are enslaved by a misogynist Shari'a legal code that treats them as slaves and deprives them of control not simply of their wombs, but of their faces, their hair, their arms, their legs, their minds and their hearts.

The lives of 6 million Jews in Israel are today tied to the fortunes of those women, to the fortunes of American forces in Iraq, to the willingness of Americans across the political and ideological spectrum to recognize that there is more that unifies them than divides them and to act on that knowledge to defeat the forces of genocide, oppression, hatred and destruction that are led today by the Iranian regime and personified in the brutal personality of Ahmadinejad. But Jewish Democrats chose to ignore this basic truth in order to silence Palin.

They should be ashamed. The Democratic Party should be ashamed. And Jewish American voters should consider carefully whether opposing a woman who opposes the abortion of fetuses is really more important than standing up for the right of already born Jews to continue to live and for the Jewish state to continue to exist. Because this week it came to that.

Most people probably find this situation confusing. Why would Jews reject help in standing up to terrorists who want to kill Jews? Why would they put lefty politics ahead of preventing the possible destruction of Israel? Regular readers of Random Jottings know the answer, everyone else has to flounder.

I was going to rant here, but really, you can guess my opinion on this... and I won't try to top Caroline.

Posted by John Weidner at 10:09 PM

"Today's Democrats will not stand against the darkness"

I think Dr Sanity has this right...

...Because, you see, Iran and the rest of the terrorists are patiently waiting. They are waiting for the Democrats--with all their inherent moral weakness and confusion; the Iranians are waiting because they perceive fear, appeasement, defeat, and surrender in the Democratic rhetoric and behavior. They know that as soon as an Obama gets elected, they will be home free and will not have to suffer any consequences for wiping Israel off the map--from the U.S., anyway. They will be able to do as they like without interference.

The dithering Democrats will excuse, rationalize and basically look for any reason to exculpate any atrocity Iran initiates, because they are 'the party of peace' and they just know they can talk to lunatics and trust them

They Iranians know that today's Democrats will not stand against the darkness; instead they will simply turn off the lights and dwell in the dark without protest--then say it is a good thing...

My own feeling is that we will continue to fight the War on Terror in the pattern wisely set by President Bush. Democrats will have to do it, or be turned out by the voters.

BUT, it will likely be a much bloodier and longer war if we elect Obama, or any similar Dem. The terrorists play a game of advance and retreat. They try to gain objectives by using enough violence to destroy the forces of order and freedom in some odd corner of the globe, without actually rousing various sleeping giants.

Put yourself in the shoes of al-Qaeda, and look at Mr Obama. You just know he doesn't want to fight. Nor do Pelosi or Reid or Biden or any of the Dems. Terrorists will push a lot harder if those people are in control. And all those who look to us for global leadership will be discouraged, and will be less likely to stand up to terrorist intimidation. Eventually we will roused to action, but in the meantime a LOT of people will die. (And Tel Aviv may get turned to green glass, and then Tehran in retaliation, in which case tens-of-millions will die.)

And those deaths will be the responsibility of those who are appeasers. Who project weakness instead of resolve. AND those who vote for them.

Voting for Mr Obama is murder. Voting for the party that ejected its one senior leader who strongly supported the War on Terror is murder.

Voting Democrat right now is voting to kill little brown-skinned people in distant corners of the planet.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:54 AM

September 20, 2008

The looniest lefty meltdown yet...

Oh boy, this cookie takes the cake. And unfortunately she's a local scribbler, and my daughter (who has taste) was required to read one of her books in school. She made my kid suffer, so sympathy is not what I'm feeling...

Anne Lamott:

I had to leave church Sunday morning when it turned out that the sermon was not about bearing up under desperate circumstances, when you feel like you're going crazy because something is being perpetrated upon you and your country that is so obscene that it simply cannot be happening.

I sat outside a 7-Eleven and had a sacramental Dove chocolate bar. Jeez: Here we are again. A man and a woman whose values we loathe and despise -- lying, rageful and incompetent, so dangerous to children and old people, to innocent people in every part of the world -- are being worshiped, exalted by the media, in a position to take a swing at all that is loveliest about this earth and what's left of our precious freedoms.

When I got home from church, I drank a bunch of water to metabolize the Dove bar and called my Jesuit friend, who I know hates these people, too. I asked, "Don't you think God finds these smug egomaniacs morally repellent? Recoils from their smugness as from hot flame?"

And he said, "Absolutely. They are everything He or She hates in a Christian."

I have been in a better mood ever since, and have decided not to even say this woman's name anymore, because she fills me with such existential doubt, such a sense of impending doom and disbelief, that only the Germans could possibly have words for it. Nor am I going to say the word "lipstick" again until after the election, as it would only be used against me. Or "polar bear," because that one image makes me sadder than even horrible old I can stand...

This is especially kooky because I'm sure the author (and her Jesuit pal) would tell you that conservatives are hate-mongers and think God is on their side---and of course that we are deficient in loving-kindness. And yet here she is foaming at the mouth with pure detestation, and writing about how God hates the people she hates! And totally unaware of the irony.

Her problem of course is that she's looking into the future....and she isn't it. Sarah does that to people.

Posted by John Weidner at 10:24 PM

We'll cry all the way to the bank."...

It's getting to be hilarious how freaked-out leftizoids are about our Vice-Presidential pick! I've haven't seen something get under their skin like this since GW Bush suggested to the world's "liberals" that since they are always bloviating about how bad Hitler was---surely they will be glad to help take down a present-day Hitler! Ha ha. Didn't that put the frauds on the hot-spot.

But Palin's better. Her mere existence is like sprinkling salt on Lefty slugs. Pure delight... Like this example:

By Charles M. Blow, NY Times:

Mr. McCain, on Monday you repeated your delusional notion that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. [Grew at a 3.4% rate last quarter--sounds strong to me.] Now, the federal government is working on a deal to save that economy from collapsing. [No retard, it's the financial sector that is a problem, not the economy as a whole. Of course this will damage the economy in the future if not fixed, but right now all the other economic sectors are still strong.] You have admitted that the economy is not your forte, so you could have used a running mate with some financial chops. (Remember Mitt Romney?) [McCain is only a phone call away from Romney's advice. Plus about 10,000 other economic experts. Why this weird obsession about Palin? Since when is the V-P the main economic advisor?]

But no. Who did you pick? SnowJob SquareGlasses whose financial credentials include running Wasilla into debt, [One project got hit with a big lawsuit, and that cost the city millions, but it was otherwise a thrifty administration.] listing (but not selling) a plane on EBay [She got a talking-point that drives you nuts, then she sold the plane the usual way. Sounds pretty smart to me!] and flip-flopping on a bridge to wherever. [Ended up doing the right thing--when has Obama ever?] In fact, when it comes to real issues in general, she may prove to be a liability. [So why aren't you nihilists happy? Hmm? Who are you talking to here? Are you whistling past the graveyard of failed Leftist candidates?]

In what respect, you may ask?

It turns out that the Republican enthusiasm for Sarah Palin is just as superficial as she is. They were so eager for someone to cheer for (because they really don't like you [Actually we like him MUCH more now.]) that they dove face first into the Palin mirage. But, on the issues, even they worry about her. [No, we worry that she may get tripped-up by some Palin-deranged leftist. But she's obviously fundamentally sound and wise.]

In a New York Times/CBS News poll conducted this week 77 percent of Republicans said that they had a favorable opinion of Palin. But when asked what specifically they liked about her, their top five reasons were that she was honest, tough, caring, outspoken and fresh-faced. Sounds like a talk-show host, not a vice president. [Liar. You would KILL for a candidate those words fit. You haven't had one in my lifetime.] (By the way, her intelligence was in a three-way tie for eighth place, right behind "I just like her.") [Oh yeah. Our stupid candidates like Reagan and Bush keep getting rejected by the voters. Not. As my mother says, "I'll cry all the way to the bank."]

When those Republicans were asked what they liked least about her, they started to sound more like everyone else. Aside from those who said that there was nothing they didn't like, [You don't seem to be telling us what percentage said that. I bet it's high.] next on the list were: her lack of experience, her record as governor and her lack of foreign-policy experience.

Also, most Republicans think you only picked her to help with the election, not because she is qualified, and a third said that they would be "concerned" if for some reason she actually had to serve as president. [Concerned about your head exploding and splattering us with brain tissue...]

And Palin is proving to be just as vacant as people suspected. In her interview with Charles Gibson last week, she didn't know what the Bush doctrine was. [I answered that one here. She knows the concept, just not the name. Let me explain. The world is like the Old West. If Jesse James and his gang move in nearby, YOU GUYS want to wait until AFTER he has pillaged the town and raped the women and killed the men to do something (If the UN allows, of course). The dumb cowboy says, "T' hell with that, boys, let's go smoke 'em out!" Would you care to ask ordinary Americans which view they support?]

* Update: I keep laughing about guys like this, who put on a mantle of ponderous seriousness to tell us that Sarah Palin is an insignificant fluff-ball who no one could possibly take seriously! And by the way tell us Republicans what we really think, since we can't figure it out ourselves. Psst. What we really think is that we could kiss Sarah's feet in gratitude, for giving these chomskys indigestion.

Posted by John Weidner at 4:33 PM

September 17, 2008

"Is THIS really how they want to win an election?"

The Anchoress on the hacking of Sarah Palin's e-mail...

...I don't know anyone who has not occasionally used their private email for business and vice versa. But that's not the point. What they've done to Palin is criminal and can bring jailtime. More importantly, is THIS really how they want to win an election? By getting into picayune minutiae of email, trying to find something scandalous, when there is not a politician alive who would want his or her private emails smeared across the internet, of for that matter, anyone else? What gives these people the right to think they can invade someone's privacy like this?

And excuse me, but aren't the people on the left the ones who have been telling us - without basis - for the last 8 years that "evil nazi Bush" has been "intruding into people's private correspondences" and that this (if it were happening) would be a bad thing? Can the hypocrisy get any thicker? First Palin is "not a woman", and "not the mother of her baby," and all the rest of the looney tunes stuff�now, she is not an American entitled to her privacy? Is she associating with known terrorists? Is that why she was invaded?...

Crazy. Literally. I mean, we are so used to Lefty craziness that we hardly notice any more how crazy it is. This is really nuts. Imagine if some McCain supporters had hacked Joe Biden's e-mails and published them, and published his phone numbers and stuff like that. Everyone would go ballistic, and Republicans most of all. We'd be falling all over ourselves to condemn this outrage.

But most Dems seem to think this is no big deal. You guys are just crazy. Lost in a mental wilderness where nothing means anything any more.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:48 PM

September 15, 2008

Lefty panic makes my morning coffee taste SO good...

By Gary Kamiya, in Salon:

....Palin represents the reappearance of the one part of Bush that never died -- the culture warrior. [What's hilarious is that she doesn't have to be a culture warrior. She hardly mentions "God guns 'n gays. Neither did Bush. And Palin never mentions abortion. She just IS the Culture of Life.] Democrats may have forgotten about the notorious red state-blue state divide, or hoped that the failures of the last eight years had made it go away. But it hasn't. It's been there all along. [And it's coming to your home town!] If Palin catapults McCain to victory, it will be revealed to be the most powerful and enduring force in American politics. And that fact will raise serious questions about the viability of American democracy itself. [Right, it's not a democracy if those stupid voters reject their betters]

The culture war is driven by resentment, on the one hand, and crude identification, on the other. Resentment of "elites," "Washington insiders" and overeducated coastal snobs goes hand in hand with an unreflective, emotional identification with candidates who "are just like me." [Resentment of "proles" goes hand in hand with an unreflective, emotional identification with a metrosexual nihilist "who is just like me"]

Large numbers of Americans voted for Bush because he seemed like a regular guy, someone you'd want to have a beer with. [He IS a regular guy.] As Thomas Frank argued in "What's the Matter With Kansas," ideology also played a role. As hard-line "moral values" exponent and former GOP presidential candidate Gary Bauer told the New York Times, "Joe Six-Pack doesn't understand why the world and his culture are changing and why he doesn't have a say in it." [Well, Mr Kamiya, that's a very good question. This is a democracy. Why, EXACTLY, do you think Joe S should NOT have a say?] The GOP appealed to Joe Six-Pack by harping on cultural issues like the "three Gs," gods, guns and gays.... [We don't have to harp. You Lefties keep assaulting the beliefs of ordinary Americans. You do all the heavy lifting. We just have to look like more-or-less like ordinary people, and we get elected.]

....It's terrifying that so many Americans are so driven by resentment that they will vote against more qualified candidates simply because they seem "different" from them. [That's very true. Sarah Palin is clearly the most qualified to be President of the four candidates, yet the resentment of Lefty nihilists because she is "different" won't even let them consider her.]

For what this means is that anyone with expertise, unusual intelligence, mastery, special knowledge, is likely to be rejected by voters who are resentful of "elites." [As an example, mastery of energy issues, expertise in working across the aisle in the Senate, or special knowledge of the nuts and bolts of state and local government. Or the unusual intelligence needed to rise quickly in politics without riding anyones coat-tails, or having an Ivy League education.] This constitutes a rejection of the very idea that it matters if someone is better at something than someone else. [It's a shocking thing. I see it daily here in SF.]

The peculiar thing is that this only applies to politics: Voters who would not dream of taking their car to an incompetent mechanic or their body to an unlicensed physician have no problem electing totally unqualified candidates to perform the most difficult and important job in the world, simply because they identify with them. [The Obama strategy in a nutshell.]

Posted by John Weidner at 9:17 AM

September 12, 2008

If you are not smart enough to earn a living, become a journalist.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) By Ed Stoddard and Yereth Rosen- Is Sarah Palin a friend or foe of big oil?

As governor of Alaska, she raised taxes on oil companies and clashed with them over a planned pipeline through her state.

But on the fundamental issues of drilling for oil and the environment, her positions look very much like those of the man she seeks to replace: Vice President Dick Cheney...

Dick Cheney on a SegwayPersonally I consider a comparison with Dick Cheney to be a big compliment. But this really shows desperation by the Media Wing of the DNC.

And stupidity! The world is not divided between "friends and foes of big oil." Oil companies are just businesses, with good points and bad points. The idea that they are reservoirs of mysterious evil, and that any sane person would be "foes" of them is the level of thinking of sociology professors at junior colleges. Or Reuters "journalists." Imagine someone dividing people into friends or foes of "big auto." Pretty stupid, right?

If you are Governor of Alaska, you very much want to have big oil working in your state, but you need to negotiate hard to get the best terms you can. That's what Palin did. She's neither friend nor foe of the oil industry, and I'm sure they don't consider her a friend or a foe. More like a tough but honest business partner. Alaska is in the oil business almost as much as they are. I'd trust any oil company employee over a Reuters hack.

We are nearing the end of eight years of the Bush Administration. I'll take this moment to say, "Thank you Mr Cheney. You are a patriot and a great public servant, and your life should be an inspiration to all real Americans. And the fact that you have attracted the ankle-biting hatred of the pit-Chihuahua's of the nihilist Left is just confirmation of this."

Posted by John Weidner at 7:10 PM

Kooks---fewer than they appear?

I gave my son a ride to SF State this morning, and we were listing to a bit of Rush. And he said that he thought that the kooks who are at the heart of the Democrat Party are really not that great in number, and that their influence is amplified by the Drive-By Media.

I think there's a lot of truth in that. Actually, I hope there's a lot of truth in it. My perspective is probably slanted, living here in SF as an "embedded journalist" within the post-moral Left.

There are surely large numbers of ordinary Americans who vote Democrat because they always have, and because the liberal platitudes seem appealing. But who would recoil in horror if they could eavesdrop on a private conversation between Barack and his pal Bill Ayers.

Smelly hippie lights cig on burning American flagThe Dem Party is sort of like student government on a college campus. Go to almost any college or university in America, and look at student government, and you would guess that the entire school is a glowing fire-pit of anarchism, Marxism, jihadism, La Raza-ism, and environmentalist-wacko-ism. You would think the guy in the picture is the norm.

Actually, 90% of college students pay no attention to "student government" at all. They just want to get their education, plus have some fun. The Leftizoids can take over the student gov because they are the only ones who care! (It's different in High School, where status is the great disideratum. Thank God my kids are all past that!)

Similarly, Obama was nominated on the strength of the votes of caucus-goers (and the infatuation of the media). If all the states had primaries, he would not be the candidate. It's the extremists who care enough to drag themselves out for the lengthy tedium of a caucus.


Posted by John Weidner at 10:58 AM

September 9, 2008

Evasion ...

Alan Wolfe, in The New Republic blog, What Bristol's baby tells us about the Christian right...
....It may seem like ages ago but during the Clinton administration, conservative traditionalists were everywhere. The nuclear family is sacrosanct. Women should shun the workforce and become full-time moms. Kids should obey their parents and, if they choose not to, discipline, including harsh measures, ought to be applied. Sex outside of marriage is strictly forbidden. Our culture is spinning wildly out of control, and sexual liberation, the worst byproduct of the God-awful 1960s, is the cause. And, by the way, abortion is murder and should be forbidden.

All that is left, if the Palin controversy is any indication, is abortion. Palin's defenders, far from being traditionalists, are moral relativists. We should not rush to judgment. It is important to understand the pressures that families face. Love is all you need. Forgive in order to forget. People are entitled to their privacy, even, if not especially, in the bedroom. The state should not be in the business of telling people what to do. It sounds like the language of the left, but it has also had long resonance on the libertarian right. When the McCain campaign said that Bristol Palin had a choice, it was correct. These days we all have choices. The fact that we do has always bothered conservative traditionalists.

Sarah Palin's nomination is a public service. No longer will we hear lectures from the likes of Newt Gingrich telling poor women on welfare how to conduct their sex lives. Focus on the Family will have to focus on a different kind of family. William Bennett has no virtues left to write about. At long last our national nightmare over sexual hypocrisy has come to an end, and we can all thank John McCain for that...

Conservative traditionalists are still everywhere. And one thing sure hasn't changed since the 90's: Leftists like Mr Wolfe are afraid to engage their actual arguments, and instead desperately erect strawmen to tear down.

Mr Gingrich was not "telling poor women on welfare how to conduct their sex lives," (except in the sense that he may have pointed out that certain actions tend to have bad consequences, such as keeping you mired in poverty and welfare dependency.)

His main point, and mine, is that you, Mr Wolfe,YOU, and your fellow Leftists, are destroying human beings by undermining the intricate web of culture and laws and faith and decent entertainment and traditions and hard work that used to encourage people to live their lives well and sensibly.

The Christian view of sin (or at least the Catholic one I was taught) is not that God is a killjoy who doesn't want you to have fun. Rather, he is like your mother when she told you not to poke the knife into the electrical outlet! God says if you do certain things you will suffer bad consequences. That's just the way the Universe works. (Interestingly, the Hebrew word usually translated as "commandments" can also mean "statements." Think of The Ten Statements, and things will be clearer.)

Conservatives want to discourage sin because people�and societies�who try not to sin do better, in both the short and long run. Bristol and Levi are less likely to have successful lives together because they are marrying as teenagers. It is Christian Charity to try to discourage this. To balance this, they have a greater chance of a good future because they are surrounded by a loving and moral community, that will tend to push them towards lives of hard work and honesty and Christian faith. And will discourage them from taking easy outs like abortion and divorce. This has always been our view.

And what do "Conservative traditionalists" think when they think about the Palin's situation? Have they cynically become "moral relativists?" They think three things.

1. That the Palin's may very well have failed somehow, but that they were probably doing their best. Teenagers happen. And there is nothing cynical about making allowances. We Christians expect that we will often fail, and will pick ourselves up and try again. (Catholics, by the way, call this "continuous conversion," and we think it is a much more realistic picturethan the Evangelical "conversion experience.")

2. We know that there is always a painful trade-off in trying to discourage sin (or crime.) Treating the sinner harshly may be less compassionate than it should be towards the individual, but also is more compassionate towards other people who need to be kept from temptation. The shame that used to surround the unwed mother was harsh on her, but also a kindness to all the others who were discouraged from making the same mistake. (And I know what I'm talking about, because I grew up in that old world, which Mr Wolfe sneers at.)

3. We are always bitterly aware that our children have to grow up in a foul nihilist culture that encourages everything that degrades people, and is designed (consciously or un) to atomize society, the better to make us dependent on the state. To break down all the institutions that stand between the individual and government, in order to give power to bureaucracies that just happen (surprise surprise) to be manned almost entirely by leftists like Mr Wolfe.

We are keenly aware that every institution that assaults tradition, morality, religion, patriotism�think Hollywood, the press, the academy, the "arts"�they ALL of them support Mr Obama. If Bristol and Levi sinned, we are well aware that they are surrounded by enemies who have spared no effort to cause their failure.

Posted by John Weidner at 1:05 PM

September 6, 2008

"in the DNA of the left all along"

I recommend this piece, Why They Hate Her : Sarah Palin is a Smart Missile Aimed at the Heart of the Left, by Jeffrey Bell in The Weekly Standard.

He explains some things that, as usual, I have just been groping towards. In particular, why leftists reacted with instant hatred of Sarah, before we knew anything about her.......except that she has those five children....

....In the short run, most political elites weathered the storm [of the 1960's] . A big reason, the left gradually realized, was that socialist economics had become an albatross. Increasingly, the democratic parties of the left in Western countries downplayed socialism or even decoupled from it, leaving them free to pursue the anti-institutional, relativistic moral crusade that has been in the DNA of the left all along.

This newly revitalized social and cultural agenda made it possible for the left to shrug off the collapse of European communism and the Soviet Union nearly two decades ago. Even in countries like China where the Communist party retained dictatorial power, socialist economics became a thing of the past. Attempts to suppress religion and limit the autonomy of the family did not.

For the post-1960s, post-socialist left, the single most important breakthrough has been the alliance between modern feminism and the sexual revolution. This was far from inevitable. Up until around 1960, attempts at sexual liberation were resisted by most educated women....

....Though earlier versions of feminism tended to embrace children and elevate motherhood, the more adversarial feminism that gained a mass base in virtually every affluent democracy beginning in the 1970s preached that children and childbearing were the central instrumentality of men's subjugation of women. This more than anything else in the menu of the post-socialist left raised toward cultural consensus a vision in which the monogamous family was what prevented humanity from achieving a Rousseau-like "natural" state of freedom from all laws and all bonds of mutual obligation.

If this analysis is correct, the single most important narrative holding the left together in today's politics and culture is the one offered--often with little or no dissent--by adversarial feminism. The premise of this narrative is that for women to achieve dignity and self-fulfillment in modern society, they must distance themselves, not necessarily from men or marriage or childbearing, but from the kind of marriage in which a mother's temptation to be with and enjoy several children becomes a synonym for holding women back and cheating them out of professional success...

...The simple fact of her being a pro-life married mother of five with a thriving political career was--before anything else about her was known--enough for the left and its outliers to target her for destruction. She could not be allowed to contradict symbolically one of the central narratives of the left...

Sara Palin with ski planeIn a sense, Sarah doesn't have to say anything. Her mere existence, her marvelous presence, eclipses many leftish ideas. A slide-show of Sarah pictures makes all sorts of Leftizoid clap-trap suddenly look gray and wispy. Silly. Old. Vegetarianism, Ivy-League superiority, atheist as "Bright," ugly old feminist leader as "liberated," Christians or hunters as "primitive," small-town Americans as dullards.

And there are plenty more. Pacifism and appeasement as having anything to do with peace, for a start. "Community organizer" as serious person. Lofty rhetoric as superior to gritty reality. Biden and Obama as "men of the people."

How you do it, Sarah...I'm mystified. But may God bless you and protect you from your enemies. If you die tomorrow you have already struck a mighty blow for liberty.

Our lives are hectic and frustrating right now, but Charlene and I often just look at each other and start smiling. Or cackling. We hardly need to mention what we are thinking about.


Posted by John Weidner at 9:00 AM

September 5, 2008

Animals...

AOG notes:

Check out this picture (via Just One Minute). It's a lone policeman, knocked to the ground by a group of thugs at the Republican National Convention with lots of media in the circle. Just count the cameras. How many of them do you think would intervene if the thugs started beating the cop bloody? Any? How many do you think would carefully capture any (however justified) retaliation by the cop or his buddies?

Well, amen to that, brother. For citizens to stand aside and snap pictures when an officer (or anybody) is attacked by criminals is despicable.

Actually, I think about 98% of everything that goes under the name of "protest" is just pure evil. Even such a meritorious cause as the Civil Rights Movement was a witch's-brew of things good and things toxic.

You know, I think I'll just post the photo, as an example of everything I despise:

criminal 'demonstrators' attack officer

The photo is credited to a creature named Robert Stolarik of (of course) the NYT. Well Mr Stolarik, you have earned my utmost contempt, along with with all the other fake-journalists in the picture. You do not deserve to live in this great country, if you can stand by cooly as a "disinterested" observer while a citizen is set upon by a mob of hoodlums.

And of course the bogus journalist isn't "disinterested" at all. He hopes that that officer will strike back, so he can snap a picture of "police brutality" and earn his Pulitzer, or some other badge of foulest dishonor and treason. And, as always, help get the Democrat elected. (And if criminals break into his house some night, why, then what will he do? He will...........call the cops! And expect them to risk their lives to protect him.)

Posted by John Weidner at 6:55 PM

September 4, 2008

McCain should use his nukes...

Guardian:

...Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden said yesterday that he and running mate Barack Obama could pursue criminal charges against the Bush administration if they are elected in November. Biden's comments, first reported by ABC news, attracted little notice on a day dominated by the drama surrounding his Republican counterpart, Alaska governor Sarah Palin...

I think this is a great issue for McCain and Palin. "Dirty little lefty animals want to destroy the great men and women who have been leading us in wartime" is what he should say. (Of course putting it in more politic language.) "Who will be willing to serve our country in the future if they have to fear being thrown in prison by commie atheists disguised as Dem politicians?" (Same caveat.)

In fact I'd advise him to ask the President to fly out and speak to the convention tonight, just to publicly spit in the eye of the horrid little traitors in the Appeasement Party.

Thanks to Tigerhawk.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:25 AM

September 3, 2008

Problems should be tidied-away!

This is a good point, thanks to Orrin

When Leftists push the line that Bristol's pregnancy means that Sarah wasn't vetted, it probably makes perfect sense from their viewpoint. They assume a smart politician would have ensured that the little "punishment" slept with the fishes.

Todd, Piper, Willow, Trig on McCain/Palin bus

Photo thanks to Meghan McCain's blog. Which I recommend highly for its pictures of life on the campaign trail. Piper Palin is a pistol!

That's Todd with Piper and Willow. I don't know who is holding the baby...

Posted by John Weidner at 10:46 AM

Desperately seeking Anita...

Michelle writes:

There's something about outspoken conservative women that drives the left mad. It's a peculiar pathology I've reported on for more than 15 years, both as a witness and a target. Thus, the onset of Palin Derangement Syndrome in the media, Democratic circles and the cesspools of the blogosphere came as no surprise. They just can't help themselves.

Liberals hold a special animus for constituencies they deem traitors. Minorities who identify as social and economic conservatives have left the plantation and sold out their people. Women who put an "R" by their name have abandoned their ovaries and betrayed their gender. As female Republican officeholders and female conservative public figures have grown in number and visibility, so has the progression of Conservative Female Abuse. The astonishing vitriol and virulent hatred directed at GOP Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is the most severe manifestation to date.

The first stage of Conservative Female Abuse by the left is infantilization. Right-wing women can't possibly believe what they say they believe about the sanctity of life, self-defense, free markets or foreign policy. They must be submissive little dolls of the White Male Hierarchy. Or, as a far-left (Is there any other kind of left in San Francisco?) San Francisco Chronicle columnist wrote of first lady Laura Bush, they must be put in their place as "docile doormats" with no brains of their own. True to form, no sooner had John McCain announced Gov. Palin as his veep pick than jeers of "Palin = neocon puppet" sprouted across the Internet....

"They just can't help themselves." That's so true. The Left has reacted as a single entity, instantly.

And stupidly, like all hive-minds. My guess is that the odds are at least 95% that these attacks will backfire big. They are obviously attacks on a quintessentially ordinary American, and there are a lot more ordinary Americans than there are effete Lefty snobs. "Flyover country" goes on for a lonnnnng ways.

Do read Michelle's whole piece. We are going to see tons of this stuff.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:59 AM

September 2, 2008

Resistance is futile...

The Battle Of Bristol: John McCain Has The Upper Hand By Kleinheider

...The Left will fight this battle as a political debate. They will argue that Bristol Palin proves their assertions about traditionalism. They will lay it out point by point. The evidence will be solid. And their case will make sense — in theory.

But this is not theory, and to a certain extent i'ts not even politics, this is life. Steve Schmidt is not wrong when in reaction to the news he says, “Life happens.” Life does happen. It happens again and again to people in rural America who go to church, work and pray hard. Everyday life happens. Despite their prayers, it happens.

The Left simply misunderstands the Cultural War because they believe that social and religious conservatives think they are perfect people. Rural, working class people know exactly who they are. The Left seems to think that they are somehow breaking the news to social conservatives that sometimes, even often, kids will have sex and get pregnant. Social conservatives know these things. They are not as divorced from reality as they sometimes get painted...

That's exactly what leftists are doing. For instance, by Sally Quinn:

...And now we learn the 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, is pregnant. She and the father of the child plan to marry. This may be a hard one for the Republican conservative family-values crowd to swallow. Of course, this can happen in any family. But it must certainly raise the question among the evangelical base about whether Sarah Palin has been enough of a hands-on mother…

Stupid. Of course she didn't actually ask anyone in the "conservative family-values crowd" what they thought.

I enjoy the thought of liberals waiting and waiting for social conservatives to recoil in horror because sex has reared its unexpected head. Be patient guys, it will take a little while for this to penetrate the thick skulls of the knuckle draggers. Perhaps you should explain it to them more forcefully. Really make a case. Explain that they should surrender to the zeitgeist, that resistance is futile, and that Hollywood knows what's best for their children.

* Update: Plus I'm really charmed to see Lefties and "feminists" expressing doubt about the possibility of a woman balancing a family and a career. Lovely, lovely, just lovely.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:57 AM

September 1, 2008

The future belongs to those who show up for it...

Regarding the pregnancy of Bristol Palin, Hugh Hewitt published this e-mail:

Hugh –

There couldn’t be a clearer difference between conservatives and liberals than this one…

Obama…
“If my daughter makes a mistake, I don’t want her punished with a baby”

Palin…
“As [our daughter] faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support.”

(also… "Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family.”)


When I, myself, became pregnant in college, my soon-to-be mother in law (a hard-core liberal Democrat who had openly encouraged me to have un-married sex with her son) expressed her “disappointment” in both of us – and immediately pushed for an abortion. My own mother (a sex-before-marriage-is-sin Catholic) immediately comforted me, affirmed her love for me and said, “There’s always room in our family for another baby.” My husband and I have been JOYFULLY married 21 years and have 4 amazing kids…. What an beautiful gift of love my mother gave me that day!

Babies...Punishment vs. Love. I think I’ll take love...

If your worship yourself, you worship a bloodthirsty god. I've come to think that abortion is the sacrament of the nihilist Left. It is fascinating that abortion (indeed, infanticide) is the one issue where Mr Obama has show some political conviction, and done more than was required by political calculation...

Posted by John Weidner at 10:54 AM

August 30, 2008

The best joke of the year...

Mark Steyn, of course, sees the joke...

First, Governor Palin is not merely, as Jay describes her, "all-American", but hyper-American. What other country in the developed world produces beauty queens who hunt caribou and serve up a terrific moose stew? As an immigrant, I'm not saying I came to the United States purely to meet chicks like that, but it was certainly high on my list of priorities. And for the gun-totin' Miss Wasilla then to go on to become Governor while having five kids makes it an even more uniquely American story. Next to her resume, a guy who's done nothing but serve in the phony-baloney job of "community organizer" and write multiple autobiographies looks like just another creepily self-absorbed lifelong member of the full-time political class that infests every advanced democracy...

...Fourth, Governor Palin has what the British Labour Party politician Denis Healy likes to call a "hinterland" - a life beyond politics. Whenever Senator Obama attempts anything non-political (such as bowling), he comes over like a visiting dignitary to a foreign country getting shanghaied into some impenetrable local folk ritual. Sarah Palin isn't just on the right side of the issues intellectually. She won't need the usual stage-managed "hunting" trip to reassure gun owners: she's lived the Second Amendment all her life. Likewise, on abortion, we're often told it's easy to be against it in principle but what if you were a woman facing a difficult birth or a handicapped child? Been there, done that.

Fifth, she complicates all the laziest Democrat pieties. Energy? Unlike Biden and Obama, she's been to ANWR and, like most Alaskans, supports drilling there.

Sixth (see Kathleen's link to Craig Ferguson below), I kinda like the whole naughty librarian vibe.

This is the best joke of the year! Maybe the decade. Us intellectual conservatives have been debating about identity politics and leftist nihilism endlessly, without much success. Who reads boring arguments? And we have been thinking John McCain hasn't been really seeing things clearly enough for our taste. But the party-loving wise-cracking flyboy is wiser than we. And the pie in the face of the pompous fat lady---perfect.

Sarah is a joke that everyone can see at a glance. She is worth a thousand issues of National Review...
Obama, Palin, Three Stooges-1
As I said in a comment to a previous post....

...In postmodern literary terms, what we are doing is subverting the narrative. The text we have presumes a hierarchical distinction of canonical forms whose dialectic cannot be resolved without inverting the bourgeois typos and collectively redefining and reifying the paradigm.

In other words, we are playing with your heads, you silly stuffed-shirts...

Mooseburgers!!!!

Posted by John Weidner at 7:53 AM

August 29, 2008

Palinesques....

Jay Nordlinger writes, at The Corner:

Will Sarah P. be considered a woman — by the media, by the “chattering classes”? That is a question worth pondering. Possibly, she’ll be considered just a conservative Republican. Did anyone ever consider Mrs. Thatcher a woman — in a political-electoral context? Are black conservatives considered black? Are Cuban Americans considered Hispanic?

One of my favorite facts about a recent Supreme Court case had to do with this last question. The case was the University of Michigan Law School case (relating to race preferences). According to documents submitted, an admissions officer questioned whether Cubans should be counted as Hispanic, saying, “Don’t they vote Republican?”....

The feminazis will hate her like poison, and will try to say she's not a "real woman." Good luck with that!

Lexington Green:

....In fact, as I think about it, this is the first moment when I have not been absolutely certain McCain would lose.

McCain is also showing, as he has generally, that he is very aggressive and confident, almost cocky. His congratulation message to Obama was classic. It showed class and it showed fearlessness, and a certain condescension to Obama. It reminds me of David Hackett Fischer’s depiction of the Backcountry selection process for leaders: Tanistry. The Border Scots selected a Thane based on age, strength and cunning, not mere seniority. McCain is a backcountryman by ancestry. They are wily and they are fighters. McCain already seems to be inside Obama’s OODA loop. Making this pick the day after the Donk convention, to steal the buzz, is tactically perfect.

Apparently Palin talks like a hick. She calls herself a “momma” unironically, instead of a mom or a mother. This will cause her to be mocked and jeered at in states the GOP is already going to lose. But it cannot hurt with blue collar voters in WV, OH, PA and MI, which are states Obama could lose....

I don't think Lex quite gets America, if he thinks an old Jacksonian is at a natural disadvantage. Inside his OODA Loop, yeah. Yesterday a graceful congratulation to Barack, then less than 24 hours later, Ker-Whaaap! Ha ha ha. So who do you like, the tough sneaky old fighter or Mr Nuance from Harvard?

And Palin will be mocked as a hick? I can't wait. There are few better indicators of political success in the USA.

Ladyblog: "She has children named “Track”, “Bristol”, and “Willow”. It’s like NASCAR meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer..."

Posted by John Weidner at 7:21 PM

August 26, 2008

Looks like someone hit a nerve....

From a "Daily Kos" diarist:

...The recent William Ayers ad plays on the theme of Obama-is-the-enemy and highlights the Republican platform in 2008. Some Republican Billionaire and accomplice of the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth paid for the Ayers ad

Fortunately for us, the Obama campaign is making good on its promise to prevent McSame's efforts to extend the reign of Bush through the same old lies and tricks.

From Politico: Obama’s campaign has written the Department of Justice demanding a criminal investigation of the “American Issues Project,”

Furthermore, the Obama camp has also written 2 letters to news networks

Here is the key of the whole article from Politico and the essence of the message from our most excellent Presidential nominee:

"The Obama campaign plans to punish the stations that air the ad financially, an Obama aide said, organizing his supporters to target the stations that air it and their advertisers."....

Wow! Something tells me there's more to this Ayers story than we've heard yet. Maybe stuff like this, by Jonah Goldberg:

....Consider Bernadine Dohrn, Ayers' wife and the co-host of Obama's career-launching fundraiser. When she was in the Weather Underground she was one of those members typically fascinated with Charles Manson (I discuss this briefly in my book). Speaking of Manson's famous murders she exclaimed, "Dig It! First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them, they even shoved a fork into a victim’s stomach! Wild!” In appreciation, her Weather Underground cell made a threefingered “fork” gesture its official salute...

Dig It!

Posted by John Weidner at 12:46 PM

August 22, 2008

Same old same old...

Same lefty BS I've been hearing all my adult life---the little jabs about how [insert communist/socialistic country] does something or other better than America. Cuba has wonderful health care, people of X truly enjoy life, Euro product Y has je ne sais quoi, Chinesians don't suffer from individualism... Little jabs and sneers always delivered with a certain glow of satisfaction....

Here's a recent one from Barackmo:

Everybody's watching what's going on in Beijing right now with the Olympics , Think about the amount of money that China has spent on infrastructure. Their ports, their train systems, their airports are vastly the superior to us now, which means if you are a coporation deciding where to do business you're starting to think, "Beijing looks like a pretty good option."

Well, Mr O, China recently had an earthquake. And hundreds of schools collapsed, killing thousands of children. But government buildings did NOT collapse--they were well built. And people like me were outraged and horrified. THAT'S what WE think about when the topic of Chinese infrastructure comes up.

And I think we can guess now that it's not what YOU think of when that subject comes up.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:24 AM

August 20, 2008

To understand the Left, read Lewis Carroll...

So who's blocking "alternative power?" "Renewable energy?" Greens. Leftists. Democrats. No surprise there; once you abandon the use of logic, anything is possible...

WSJ, August 18, 2008: Wind Jammers

In this year's great energy debate, Democrats describe a future when the U.S. finally embraces the anything-but-carbon avant-garde. It turns out, however, that when wind and solar power do start to come on line, they face a familiar obstacle: environmentalists and many Democrats.

To wit, the greens are blocking the very transmission network needed for renewable electricity to move throughout the economy. The best sites for wind and solar energy happen to be in the sticks -- in the desert Southwest where sunlight is most intense for longest, or the plains where the wind blows most often. To exploit this energy, utilities need to build transmission lines to connect their electricity to the places where consumers actually live. In addition to other technical problems, the transmission gap is a big reason wind only provides two-thirds of 1% of electricity generated in the U.S., and solar one-tenth of 1%.

Only last week, Duke Energy and American Electric Power announced a $1 billion joint venture to build a mere 240 miles of transmission line in Indiana necessary to accommodate new wind farms. Yet the utilities don't expect to be able to complete the lines for six long years -- until 2014, at the earliest, because of the time necessary to obtain regulatory approval and rights-of-way, plus the obligatory lawsuits.

In California, hundreds turned out at the end of July to protest a connection between the solar and geothermal fields of the Imperial Valley to Los Angeles and Orange County. The environmental class is likewise lobbying state commissioners to kill a 150-mile link between San Diego and solar panels because it would entail a 20-mile jaunt through Anza-Borrego state park. "It's kind of schizophrenic behavior," Arnold Schwarzenegger said recently. "They say that we want renewable energy, but we don't want you to put it anywhere."....

"Alice laughed: "There's no use trying," she said; "one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

Posted by John Weidner at 8:14 AM

August 14, 2008

Besotted with the candidate...

Walter Shapiro:

...Five days after Edwards flat-lined on "Nightline," I am still embarrassed by how badly I misjudged him both in print and in my personal feelings.

Beginning with a trip to North Carolina in the spring of 2001 to scout this first-term Senate phenom, I chronicled his dogged pursuit of the presidency both as a newspaper columnist and for Salon, as well as making him (and Elizabeth) central figures in my book on the 2004 Democratic primary campaign. My wife (a magazine writer who developed her own friendship with Elizabeth) and I had several off-the-record dinners with the Edwardses, including an emotionally raw evening in Washington two weeks after the 9/11 attacks.

Without overstating these bonds, I naively believed that I knew Edwards as well as I understood anyone in the political center ring. Yet I never saw this sex scandal coming -- partly because I accepted the mythology that surrounded the Edwardses' marriage and partly because I assumed that any hint of a wandering eye would have come out during the 2004 campaign. But then Rielle Hunter and the National Enquirer brought us all into the real world...

What malarky. You were besotted with Edwards because he was (or was pretending to be) a liberal Democrat. And Edwards almost certainly paid flattering attention to the guy who was writing a book about his campaign. You dolt, Edwards and his wife almost certainly coldly planned how to woo you, and knew what your weaknesses are. That's what trial lawyers do with a jury. They study every scrap of information available on each juryman, and, like chameleons, tailor the message, and paint their very selves, to fit them. (I know about this stuff; my dear wife's on the other side, the good side, fighting scoundrels like Edwards every day.)

Everybody who retained any objectivity could see that he was a phony, and were not surprised by this. When a guy talks populism and green-ism while building the biggest mansion in the county, there's a 99% chance that he's a sham. When a guy spends minutes in front of a mirror fluffing his hairdo, there's a 99% chance that he will not resist the sexual temptations available to a celebrity.

And when you make millions as a trial lawyer, it means you are skilled at convincing people of things that just ain't so.

Most importantly, what you are comes out in your life. If you are real, then a presidential campaign will bring lots of stories to the surface, from people who were impressed with the candidate's actions long before they could be helpful in any campaign. If Edwards really cared about that poor little girl supposedly shivering because she could not afford a coat, he would have been spending time working with groups who help the poor. And doing so long ago, before it might gain him any advantage. (And if Shapiro were a real journalist he would have taken note that cheap coats are available at any thrift store, and that people just give old coats away by the ton. The story was always bogus.)

Of course every candidate has to be something of a fake, and present himself in a contrived way. But there should be some congruence between the campaign persona and the real man or woman. Bush wasn't faking his love of sports; he bought, with great difficulty, a team. He wasn't just pretending to be a Texan, he showed it by frequently escaping to the Texas summer heat, to the dismay of reporters. And there have been plenty of stories about him caring for the ordinary people far beyond what the photo-op required. (Read this, for instance.)

* Update: Also, a candidate has an obligation to his party and his supporters. An obligation to campaign in the best way he can, so as not to waste the donations and energy that have been given to him. To not squander the belief that simple people have. Building a mansion while playing the populist card was a betrayal in this sense. He could have just waited a few years, but self-indulgence ruled. He was openly betraying millions of supporters, and that should have been a wake-up for poor Mr Shapiro.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:41 AM

August 9, 2008

I could be wrong...

Russia has invaded Georgia. So where are the giant puppets?

Where is the "anti-war" movement? Where the protests?

Perhaps they just haven't had time to get organized yet. I walked past the Russian consulate on Green Street today, and all was sleepy.

But perhaps the "pacifists" just need a few days to gin up the protest machinery. Right?

It would be wrong to judge them harshly so early in the game. Wrong to indulge my suspicion that they are horrid frauds who are only anti-America, and don't give a damn if distant foreigners live or die.

Perhaps they will surprise me.....

Posted by John Weidner at 9:03 PM

August 5, 2008

Analogy to the Inquisition...

I got another e-mail on the subject of the Inquisition, in response to my post here.

...I'm OK with people calling some beliefs heresy, but killing people for it just feels over the line, especially for someone saying they are fully authorized agent of Jesus. If that's what being a Catholic is, that's a deal breaker for me. Is it still OK to kill heretics?...

No. Absolutely not. And to a considerable extant it never was. I don't think this was ever a part of Catholic dogma or doctrine.

What you have to realize is that until recently religions were the "political" groups. And a person who secretly believed something different from the state religion was often a political danger. Someone who would fight in a rebellion, or assassinate the monarch. If you read a bit about the Wars of Religion, you will see a lot this. There was back then no concept of a "loyal opposition." (In the religious sphere that's actually something that developed in the 17th and 18th Centuries out of the bloodbath of the Thirty Years War.)

And many accounts of the Inquisitions don't give you that context. They leave you to imagine that a bunch of cruel Dominicans were simply imposing their religion on peaceful folk, when in fact the real movers were usually governments worried (often with good reason) about fifth-columnists.

There is something of an analogy in what the Communists in the earlier 20th Century were to us. A Communist back then was NOT just someone with a different philosophy, he was often a secret agent for Lenin or Stalin. For the Comintern. If an American "converted" to Communism, there was a good likelihood that he would no longer be loyal to our country, and might work actively to subvert it. A splendid book to read, to understand the period, is Witness, by Whittaker Chambers.

This justified measures that were not normally acceptable in American tradition. It has never been right in America to blacklist or harass people because of their political beliefs. The "McCarthy Era" is often portrayed by liars as if it were just that, but in fact it was about hunting down people who were secret agents of a totalitarian conspiracy. One that was responsible for at least 100 million deaths in the 20th Century. Of course many of those who were harassed were not working for the Soviet Union, and had no real desire for the triumph of tyranny.

Innocent people were persecuted. BUT, the responsibility for this rests entirely on those traitors who concealed themselves among those who were, as you might say, "loyal communists." If someone was dragged in to testify before HUAC, and maybe had their career ruined, they usually are portrayed by liberal historians as people who were crushed by America, by cruel red-baiters, etc.

Bullshit. The responsibility rests with those who were hiding among them, using them as cover for their attempts to destroy our country. The most famous of these of course was Alger Hiss. And due to the fall of the Soviet Union we now have access to archives that show that Hiss was in fact a Soviet spy. But for 50 years he was pictured by cynical leftists as an "innocent victim" of men like Chambers and Richard Nixon. In fact the opposite was true. Hiss was guilty as hell, and was working hard to give us our own American Gulag Archipelago. And Chambers and Nixon were true American heroes, fighting ugly subversion with necessary roughness.

The "McCarthy Era" is usually portrayed as a period of madness, and analogized to the Salem witch trials. (Or the Inquisition!) The difference is that in the 20th Century there really were witches, and if they had achieved their ends people like you and me might be routinely rounded up at gunpoint and sent on that long march to nowhere....

Posted by John Weidner at 12:31 PM

August 4, 2008

"under the skin of the post-moral left"

I was just rummaging deep in the archives and found this quote from Melanie Phillips, which bears posting again, since it is very close to certain of my own themes...

...Such people often think of themselves as liberals. But authentic liberalism is very different. For it was at its core a moral project, based on the desire to suppress the bad and promote the good in the belief that a better society could and should be built. What has happened in recent decades is that this moral core which upholds social norms and discriminates against values that threaten them has been replaced by a post-modern creed of the left, which has tried to destroy all external authority and moral norms and the institutions that uphold them, and replace them by an individualist, moral free-for-all —the creed which has led to the moral relativism and denial of truth that lie at the core of the anti-war movement.

Where Sullivan is absolutely right is to call Bush a liberal. For in repudiating the corrupted values of both the post-moral left and the reactionary appeasers of the right, Bush has indeed exhibited the classic liberal desire to build a better society, along with the characteristic liberal optimism that such a project can and must succeed.

And this is surely why Bush is so hated by the left. For this hatred wildly exceeds the normal dislike of a political opponent. It is as visceral and obsessive as it is irrational. At root, this is surely because Bush has got under the skin of the post-moral left in a way no true conservative ever would. And this is because he has stolen their own clothes and revealed them to be morally naked. He has exposed the falseness of their own claim to be liberal. He has revealed them instead to be reactionaries, who want both to preserve the despotic and terrorist status quo abroad and to go with the flow of social and moral collapse at home, instead of fighting all these deformities and building a better society....
Posted by John Weidner at 5:10 PM

July 31, 2008

Send the worms to the mud.

An Affair of Honor, by James Bowman

There is something screamingly funny about the media’s lecturing John McCain about the impropriety of his saying in New Hampshire last week that "This is a clear choice that the American people have. I had the courage and the judgment to say I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war. It seems to me that Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign." Joe Klein of Time wrote: "This is the ninth presidential campaign I've covered. I can't remember a more scurrilous statement by a major party candidate. It smacks of desperation. It renews questions about whether McCain has the right temperament for the presidency. How sad." Sad? I’ll just bet he’s shedding tears about it. Likewise David Wright of ABC News, who said to Senator McCain in an interview: "But what you seem to be saying there is that it's all about personal ambition for him and not about what he honestly thinks is right for the country."

For the last five years and upwards, the media have been saying as scurrilous things or worse about President Bush, and routinely reporting without comment or challenge the words of his fiercest critics — who accuse him of "lying" in order to take the country to war in Iraq. In all that time, I cannot recall an occasion when a reporter came back at one of those critics with the suggestion that the president might have gone to war in good faith and therefore on behalf of "what he honestly thinks is right for the country."...

There is a special deep noxious level in Hell waiting for the nihilist worms who claimed that "Bush lied," when he was saying the very same things that all major Dem leaders said, and all the leaders of the major nations said, and all the intelligence services of the major nations said...

Posted by John Weidner at 2:32 PM

July 30, 2008

John Yoo should be shot for this....

(Thanks to Tim B)

The lawyers for the Bali bombers plan to lodge a constitutional court challenge against the way their clients are to be executed...

...Lawyer Mahendra Data said that because their clients may be shot twice before they are dead, there is a potential for them to experience pain...[link].

They "might experience pain!" How dreadful. How barbaric! What is the world coming to? (It's all Bush's fault, torturing people around the globe, just because they want to blow people into bloody shreds of hamburger.)

But talk about "Western cultural imperialism" corrupting the indigenous cultures of the world. Now we got crazed Islamic killers going the ACLU route. (They should never have let in KFC.) Hey stupes, you are supposed to be MARTYRS!

Posted by John Weidner at 9:22 AM

July 25, 2008

Questions for Samantha...

I was thinking of fisking this piece, The Democrats & National Security, by Samantha Power, in New York Review of Books. There's lots to correct, but really, the piece is self-contradictory; there's no point in attacking it. In fact it's kind of comical, in the way it misses the essence of the subject.

It's about the possibility of Democrats reversing the traditional Republican advantage among voters on national security issues and military matters. But all the arguments and assumptions of the article are leftist arguments and assumptions. It amounts to saying that ordinary Americans will trust Dems with national security any minute now---as soon as we start thinking like the people who subscribe to the NY Review of Books.

To be trusted on defense, it's not enough to have a clever policy. There's a certain other quality one must possess...

Samantha, dear, let me ask you a few questions. When was the last time you got a lump in your throat when you heard The Star Spangled Banner? Hmmm? Or when thinking of Pearl Harbor, or the Bataan Death March? When was the last time you were outraged because a hero who was given the Medal of Honor was ignored by the press? Eh? When was the last time you said that the President should be given honor and respect as Commander in Chief, even if one disagrees with his politics?

And your friends. When accusations are made, how often do they give American troops the benefit of the doubt? How often do they suspect that the grunts probably acted correctly, and are being smeared by the press? And is their first instinct to support our leaders in time of war? And what do you kids do on Memorial Day to honor those who have fallen in service of our country? On what days do you fly our flag?

When you hear, Samantha, of someone taking a job in Iraq, or joining the reserves, do you feel envious? Hmmm? Like us ordinary Americans do? And maybe a little bit guilty that you are not also standing on Freedom's Wall?

Is "Freedom's Wall" a phrase you would feel comfortable using? Comfortable among your friends? And your readers at the NY Review of Books? Hmmm? You know, the sort of Democrats who are going to, as you say: "advance a distinct twenty-first-century foreign policy that voters will prefer and trust them to execute?" That doesn't exactly trip off the tongue, does it? Wouldn't it be more poetic to say that you are going to "Stand on Freedom's Wall and defend America?"

Try saying that. Say it out loud. Among your pals. Try it on for size, since you are "auditioning," shall we say, for the part of "trusted with national security."

Or say this:

“We in this country, in this generation, are, by destiny rather than choice, the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of ‘peace on earth, goodwill toward men.’ That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as was written long ago, ‘except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.’”

It was a Democrat who said that. Can you say it?

Posted by John Weidner at 11:35 PM

July 22, 2008

Thoughts to think by the gas pump...

The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management today published proposed regulations to establish a commercial oil shale program that could result in the addition of up to 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil from lands in the western United States....

...The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is only publishing proposed regulations at this time because the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2008 prohibits the agency from using FY2008 funds to prepare or publish final regulations. The President has called on Congress to remove the ban on finalizing oil shale program regulations...

...The largest known deposits of oil shale are located in a 16,000-square mile area in the Green River formation in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. Shale formations in that area hold the equivalent of up to 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil. Federal lands comprise 72 percent of the total surface of oil shale acreage in the Green River formation....

That is to say, in plain English, that Democrats are blocking the extraction of petroleum in the US. How much petroleum? 800 billion barrels...what does number that mean? Hmmm? Well children, the human race has used, to date, about 1 trillion barrels of oil. So the Green River Formation, by itself, is equal to about 80% of all the oil we've ever used on earth. Arabia ain't in it!

Posted by John Weidner at 3:26 PM

July 21, 2008

Why am I not surprised?

So now we discover that most of the "homeless" who infest San Francisco's streets aren't homeless at all...

A long overdue civil grand jury report released Wednesday says that the city should be proud of getting over 4,000 homeless people into housing since 2004 but distressed at the scene on the streets.

Panhandling, public drunkenness and street loitering are still an unpleasant reality downtown.

The mayor and others are now admitting what the grand jury reported - that a majority of those on the streets are not homeless. The head of the city's homeless program, Dariush Kayhan, estimates that 50 to 75 percent of street people live in supportive housing.

"We just warehouse addicts," said the grand jury's Stuart Smith. "Granted, it is a nicer place for them, but it doesn't address the problem."

In short, the jury is reflecting the views of many San Franciscans who made the choice to live here. They understood that housing and taxes would be higher, and so would the cost of a meal in a restaurant. They understand and believe that the city needs to provide for its poorest homeless residents and don't begrudge what the grand jury says is $186 million a year in city funds spent to finance homeless programs.

But, they ask, can't someone stop the panhandling? And, given all the programs and services, is it unreasonable to ask those who are being given supportive housing to start making some effort to be self-sufficient?....

It's unreasonable to ask if you are a liberal.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:40 AM

July 16, 2008

More lies from our "intellectual elites"

Remember all theose sob-stories about how America is responsible for the destruction of Iraq's treasures? They've mostly turned out to be dirty lies. Now another one bites the dust....

So Much for the 'Looted Sites' By MELIK KAYLAN, Wall Street Journal, July 15, 2008; Page D9
A recent mission to Iraq headed by top archaeologists from the U.S. and U.K. who specialize in Mesopotamia found that, contrary to received wisdom, southern Iraq's most important historic sites -- eight of them -- had neither been seriously damaged nor looted after the American invasion. This, according to a report by staff writer Martin Bailey in the July issue of the Art Newspaper. The article has caused confusion, not to say consternation, among archaeologists and has been largely ignored by the mainstream press. Not surprising perhaps, since reports by experts blaming the U.S. for the postinvasion destruction of Iraq's heritage have been regular fixtures of the news.

Up to now, it had seemed a clear-cut case. It stood to reason that a chaotic land rich with artifacts would be easy to loot and plunder. Ergo, the accusations against the U.S., the de facto governing authority, had been taken on faith. No one had bothered to challenge the reports, the evidence or the logic, not least because many ancient sites were in hostile terrain and couldn't be double-checked. By implication, the U.S. had been blamed for that too: After all, the presiding authority is effectively responsible for allowing no-go areas to exist where such things can occur.

Yet, paradoxically, there always was thought to be enough evidence to adduce blame. "We believe that every major site in Southern Iraq is in serious danger," Donny George, the former head of the Baghdad Museum, was quoted as saying in the New York Times in 2003. A recent book by Lawrence Rothfield of the University of Chicago's Cultural Policy Institute carried the estimate that, every year, roughly 10% of Iraq's heritage was being destroyed.

One of the foremost specialists who went on the trip, Elizabeth Stone from Stony Brook University, actually quantified the damage with the help of satellite images -- just before going. Alarmingly, and prematurely it seems, she concluded that nearly 10 miles of land had been looted and hundreds of thousands of objects had been taken. Confident statistics of this kind have been regularly tossed around, yet one wonders how such calculations can be made, not least by viewing the remains of illicit digs from satellite pictures. When looters attacked the Baghdad Museum in 2003, the news media put the number of destroyed and looted objects at 170,000 -- a figure equal to the entire collection. It emerged later that most of the important pieces had been successfully hidden away. Others were soon found. The number of missing objects that is cited has since fluctuated between 3,000 and 15,000, with the figure never taking into account the systematic semiofficial looting and frequent substituting with fakes that occurred in Saddam's time.

Considering the political impact of such data, one would expect the experts to approach the subject with scientific circumspection, using numbers sparingly and conservatively. Too often they seem to have done the reverse. So now, as a matter of course, their method, their probity in sifting the evidence -- do they have a political agenda? -- has come into question...

OF COURSE they have a political agenda. They are America-hating Bush-hating lefty liars. Like a lot of academics, they are dishonorable scoundrels who will bend the evidence to fit the political agenda.

Posted by John Weidner at 5:35 PM

Neither tough nor principled...

Joe Lieberman responds...

...Senator Obama this morning said that he wants a foreign policy that is “tough, smart, and principled.” This afternoon, I ask: was it tough when Senator Obama voted to order U.S. forces to retreat from Iraq on a fixed timeline—regardless of the recommendations of our military commanders, regardless of conditions on the ground? Was it smart when Senator Obama opposed the surge and predicted that it would fail to improve security? Was it principled when Senator Obama said that he would order U.S. troops to retreat from Iraq, regardless of the humanitarian consequences for millions of innocent Iraqis—even genocide? Was it tough and principled when Senator Obama said he would be open to changing his plan for Iraq after going there and talking to General Petraeus—only to change that position a few hours later after being heatedly criticized by organizations like Moveon.org? I say respectfully, the answer to all of those questions is no.

Senator Obama also said this morning that he wants a foreign policy that recognizes that we have interests “not just in Baghdad, but in Kandahar and Karachi and Tokyo and London.” But what Senator Obama does not seem to recognize is that—in an interdependent world—what happens in Baghdad affects our interests in Kandahar and Karachi and Tokyo and London. What Senator Obama does not seem to understand is that—had we taken the course he had counseled and retreated from Iraq—the United States would have suffered a catastrophic defeat that would have left America and our allies less safe not just in Baghdad, but in Kandahar and Karachi and Tokyo and London...

Thank you Senator Joe...

It is good to remember that ALL our big Twentieth Century wars were Democrat wars. WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam... and in ALL of the them Republicans supported America as a LOYAL opposition. This was hard for us, because we had to refrain from many of the criticisms that might have helped us politically. For instance, we've been hearing Democrats howling about mistakes made by the Administration. Well, the mistakes made in the Democrat wars dwarf anything that's happened now. There were mistakes that caused casualties in the tens-of-thousands, in the space of weeks or days. But no Republican leader undermined our war efforts by publicly pillorying the administration.

To be loyal in war time does not mean "no criticism,' but it does mean only constructive criticism within the context of general support for our country and the success of our military.

The Iraq Campaign is not "Bush's war," it is America's war. It was voted for by the Congress of the United States of America. Once that happens, to undermine our troops, to undercut our war efforts for mere political advantage is treason. Sorry, I know that's a harsh word. But I'm a very minor blogger, not influential, and I don't have any reason to pussyfoot.

What the Dems have been doing is treason. What Obama is doing is treason. To encourage our enemies by publicly promising retreat is treason. And, of a certainty, these actions have killed, and will continue to kill, American troops. The blood of our soldiers is on their hands.

To vote Democrat at this particular time is to vote for traitors. It is morally wrong.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:31 AM

July 15, 2008

Slippery deal...

Dafydd has a good post on some attempted "legislation by bureaucrats" that leftists tried to slip under the radar...

...Today, President George W. Bush did something that shocked some of us: With a sweep of his presidential hand, he rejected the attempt by a low-level advisor to the Environmental Protection Agency to force the administration to regular carbon dioxide (which we all exhale) as a "pollutant," defying both the Democrats and the Supreme Court...

Good for him.

This was, of course, an attempt by Democrats/collectivists to create an "establishment" of their (Global Warmist) religion. Without of course allowing voters any say in the matter, and without requiring the Dems in Congress to actually stand up for something and pass legislation. (Too bad they didn't try, it would be fun to watch them write into law that your every exhalation is destroying the planet, and your breath is an affront to Gaia. Hey, they could market an abortifacient mouthwash!)

Thank you President Bush. (Though how I wish, as always, that George W Bush were a communicator, and could take on these evils in open conflict, asking the American people for help and understanding. But that isn't Bush.)

Posted by John Weidner at 10:20 AM

July 14, 2008

The self-described "tolerant."

Andrew Breitbart writes in the Washington Times about Republicans staying in the closet in Hollywood: Spielberg, Tear Down This Wall:

....While it is true that the ratio of Obama-to-McCain bumper stickers in West L.A. is about 250-to-1, there are untold closet Republicans in the entertainment industry who dare not advertise their beliefs in movie studio parking lots. (Unfortunately, car keying is a tactic wielded liberally by the self-described "tolerant.")

But in this land of superficiality and augmented assets, the inconvenient truth is that, in Hollywood, absolute conformity to the Democratic Party is a well-constructed facade. The environment is not so much unfavorable to the Grand Old Party as it is utterly totalitarian. There's simply no lifestyle choice that receives a worse response at dinner parties.

Convicted murderer? Has anyone optioned the rights to your story?

Avowed Marxist? Viva la revolucion!

Scientologist? Do you take Visa or Mastercard?

Syphilitic drug abuser? Let's talk!

Conservative? You should go.

Only proclaiming one's self a practicing Christian is met with greater disdain - making Christian Republicans the gold standard in Hollywood pariah status...

.
...When asked recently what it was like to work with "Republican" Clint Eastwood (the question speaks volumes), Angelina Jolie, a "surge" supporter who also wants to produce Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged," surprised Entertainment Weekly with her answer: "Actually, we don't disagree as much as you'd think. I think people assume I'm a Democrat. But I'm registered independent and I'm still undecided. So I'm looking at McCain as well as Obama."

You hedge, girl....
Posted by John Weidner at 7:24 AM

July 10, 2008

Dangerous if provoked

Paul at PowerLine:

A new Gallup poll on religious belief and preference for president contains much to reflect upon. Like David Hazony, I took particular note of the views of Jewish voters. According to the poll, Jews who see religion as important in their daily lives make up 39 percent of the Jewish vote (an interesting fact in itself). These voters divide evenly between McCain and Obama. However, among the remaining 61 percent, Obama trounces McCain, 68 to 26 percent. When you add it all up, McCain gets about 33 percent of the Jewish vote, compared to 24 percent for President Bush in 2004.

You might think that even Jewish voters for whom their religion isn't terribly important would have serious reservations about a candidate who worshipped for 20 years under the spiritual guidance of a raving hater of Israel, and who himself apparently sympathizes with the Palestinians and, at least until political considerations intervened, favored transforming U.S. Middle East policy accordingly. But it seems that they don't, and I can't say I'm surprised.

I found the 39% surprising also. But otherwise, nope, no surprise.

The two countries Leftists hate are Israel and America. (They usually don't admit it, but watch how their eyes light up when an excuse to criticize those countries comes.) This doesn't make much sense until you realize (because you read Random Jottings) that most leftists or "liberals" are really nihilists. They no longer believe in anything bigger than themselves. And what the nihilist hates is belief. It is an irritant, in a way analogous to how you might be irritated by some snooty person assuming they are socially superior to you, for no discernible reason. The nihilist senses that the believer has a certain je ne sais quoi, but what is it? He suspects we may be laughing at him. Yes, we are.

Israel and America are perpetual irritants to Leftists, because they symbolize belief. They do so in the most concrete way, by being willing to fight for themselves and their interests. They are the only remaining developed Western nations of whom it can be said, "Dangerous if provoked." (And the same irritation extends to the religious belief itself. The term "fundamentalist" is flung around promiscuously.)

A large part of secular Jews fit that category, and they are not going to be much bothered that Obama tends to surround himself with Jew-haters. (Who, if challenged on their anti-Semitism, probably reply, "I'm not one of those anti-Semites who thinks the Jews are secretly controlling the world for their own benefit. I'm just pointing out that ISRAEL is secretly controlling the world for its own benefit.")

Posted by John Weidner at 7:42 AM

July 7, 2008

The flip-side of the story...

NY Daily News:

A young undercover city detective spent four years in the shadowy world of terrorist wanna-bes - taking part in jihadist discussions and training in parks in the dead of night - to get a handle on the homegrown threat.

At great personal risk, he participated in everything from prayers at a mosque to martial arts training under cover of darkness to watching jihadist videos, with many of the activities laced with talk of killing, according to a source familiar with the undercover's investigations.

His experiences paint a vivid portrait of the potential for local terror. While the picture is in no way indicative of the city's Muslim population as a whole, it provides insight into its most radical element.

The detective spent his time interacting with informal groups of youths and men who shared extremist views - and his experiences illustrate what police say is the potential for radicalization of some elements in the community.

He reported that after prayers at a neighborhood mosque, there were often private classes that included discussions about bombing different areas.

The men discussed violent jihad in bookstores, private houses and on buses en route to paintball and shooting-range events.
He was invited to join in "bonding" activities like working out at a gym and martial arts training in parks at night, during which the group discussed ideological justifications for killing Westerners....

It's good to be aware of things like this.

But, as always, what really interests me is the invisible flip-side to the story. If you think of radical Islam as a pressure, tending to expand and grow, there is also a partial vacuum that is encouraging that growth. Drawing it forth.

Let me ask you, why isn't this kind of story in the NYT or the WaPo? It would sell papers. It would be good for business. Why? It is because they and their readers don't want to know.

Leftists often complain about how Bush is destroying the Constitution to wage perpetual war, etc etc blah blah. But if you know anything about our history you know that what is conspicuously absent in this war is tough quasi-lawless action against domestic subversion. If Bush had been acting like Abraham Lincoln (scaled-up to our greater population) there would have been tens-of-thousands of suspicious characters imprisoned, beat-up, roughed-up, kicked-out, disappeared, or hanged at Gitmo. "Terrorist wanna-bes" wouldn't dare go from a mosque to "paintball and shooting-range events." And I say that it is the absence of that fear that is like a vacuum drawing-out violence and terrorism.

My point here is not about whether we should be doing such stuff (that's a different topic), my point is that there is that there is something missing in the souls of maybe 30 or 40 percent of Americans, such that they are repelled by the thought of taking decisive and tough action in defense of our country (and won't give it political support). Something that wasn't missing before. Wilson and FDR were liberals, but they never hesitated to take ruthless action in defense of our nation. Wilson for instance shut down hundreds of newspapers.

And my theory, which I've often mentioned, that it is really the absence of ALL belief that we see here. That most liberals today aren't liberals at all, they are nihilists. That belief in anything (except themselves, and perhaps family) has drained away, leaving them like HD Wells' Invisible Man, wrapping themselves in bandages to conceal their emptiness.

It's not only liberals who are running on empty, but "liberalism" is the most useful set of bandages right now. It allows one to puff up the all-important self without demanding any real commitment. Liberal or New-Age religios now performs the same function. To inflate the ego by being too "spiritually advanced" to believe in anything.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:26 AM

July 6, 2008

Minor fisking...feel free to skip...

It's silly of me to waste time fisking a Boston Globe editorial, but it's my equivalent of watching mindless TV shows when too tired to do anything constructive. This one's from a week ago, which makes it doubly absurd, since Obam's flip-flops have already made it obsolete...

FEW AMERICANS, whatever their political persuasion, will mourn George W. Bush's departure from office. [Me will. And I bet lots of others, once they get a load of whoever comes next.] Democrats and Republicans alike are counting the days until the inauguration of a new president will wipe the slate clean.

Yet in crucial respects, the Bush era will not end Jan. 20, 2009. The administration's many failures, especially those related to Iraq, [where we are trouncing al-Qaeda, ha ha!] mask a considerable legacy. Among other things, the Bush team has accomplished the following:

By almost any measure, this constitutes a record of substantial, if almost entirely malignant, achievement.

Bush's harshest critics, left liberals as well as traditional conservatives, have repeatedly called attention to this record. That criticism has yet to garner mainstream political traction. [Maybe 'cause he's just doing what the situation obviously demands] Throughout the long primary season, even as various contenders in both parties argued endlessly about Iraq, they seemed oblivious to the more fundamental questions raised by the Bush years: whether global war makes sense as an antidote to terror, [it does] whether preventive war works, [it does] whether the costs of "global leadership" are sustainable, [easily] and whether events in Asia rather than the Middle East just might determine the course of the 21st century. [Too late, pal. They are already on the Globalization train. They will be assimilated.]

Now only two candidates remain standing. Senators John McCain and Barack Obama both insist that the presidential contest will mark a historic turning point. Yet, absent a willingness to assess in full all that Bush has wrought, the general election won't signify a real break from the past. [You poor booby. Bush has set the template for a generation to come. It won't matter who's president, you'll still be stuck with him, just like the Brits are tuck with Thatcher. And the template is rejection of nihilism. That means rejection of YOU. The USA is rejecting you.]

The burden of identifying and confronting the Bush legacy necessarily falls on Obama. Although for tactical reasons McCain will distance himself from the president's record, he largely subscribes to the principles informing Bush's post-9/11 policies. McCain's determination to stay the course in Iraq expresses his commitment not simply to the ongoing conflict there, but to the ideas that gave rise to that war in the first place. While McCain may differ with the president on certain particulars, his election will affirm the main thrust of Bush's approach to national security. [And he WILL be elected. And you appeasers will be rejected.]

The challenge facing Obama is clear: he must go beyond merely pointing out the folly of the Iraq war; he must demonstrate that Iraq represents the truest manifestation of an approach to national security that is fundamentally flawed, thereby helping Americans discern the correct lessons of that misbegotten conflict. [it's hilarious to fisk this thing a week late, with Obama now slithering towards the Bush center with such alacrity!]

By showing that Bush has put the country on a path pointing to permanent war, ever increasing debt and dependency, and further abuses of executive authority, Obama can transform the election into a referendum on the current administration's entire national security legacy. [Legacy = victory.] By articulating a set of principles that will safeguard the country's vital interests, both today and in the long run, at a price we can afford [We SO poor.....you wish.] while preserving rather than distorting the Constitution, [You should research what Lincoln Wilson and FDR did in their wars! Bush ain't in it.] Obama can persuade Americans to repudiate the Bush legacy and to choose another course. [which would be.....LOSING! Yeah, Run on it, Barack baby!]

This is a stiff test, not the work of a speech or two, but of an entire campaign. Whether or not Obama passes the test will determine his fitness for the presidency. [Well, looks like he's not fit.]

Posted by John Weidner at 8:49 PM

July 5, 2008

How to lie like a journalist #2338

Here's an interesting article on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's claim that terrorism has been defeated in his country.

But, slipped into the second half of the article is something that seems newsworthy enough for its own article: AP Exclusive: U.S. Removes Uranium From Iraq. It's about how Iraq is shipping Saddam's yellowcake Uranium to Canada, where a company has purchased it for peaceful use.

That's sneaky. And typical. Leftists really really need to downplay the simple fact that Saddam was indeed pursuing nuclear weapons, and had said openly that they were intended for use against Jews. This obvious truth puts those who opposed his overthrow in the same moral position as anyone who tried to prevent us from stopping Hitler from killing Jews.

But what I found especially interesting were the last two sentences, because they are an example of lying without saying anything that is factually untrue. A Satanic skill...

....And, in a symbolic way, the mission linked the current attempts to stabilize Iraq with some of the high-profile claims about Saddam's weapons capabilities in the buildup to the 2003 invasion.

Accusations that Saddam had tried to purchase more yellowcake from the African nation of Niger - and an article by a former U.S. ambassador refuting the claims - led to a wide-ranging probe into Washington leaks that reached high into the Bush administration.

Factually true but totally misleading. In fact, a sneaky dirty lie. You would never guess from reading this that the 9/11 Report showed that the "former U.S. ambassador" lied in that very article, and had previously told the CIA exactly the opposite; that he thought Saddam HAD tried to buy Yellowcake from Niger. You would never guess that that "wide-ranging probe" found that the leak was not in the White House, as had been eagerly hoped, but in the State Department, done by a person who was not friendly to the Administration.

You would never guess that huge numbers of leftists demonstrated that they were despicable frauds when their torrents of faux outrage over the unspeakable crime of "outing a CIA agent" evaporated the instant it was found that the culprit wasn't someone whose fall might hurt the Bush administration. It's also misleading because it is presented in the form of commonly-accepted background information that needn't be scrutinized.

And mostly it is a form of lie because it is deliberate smoke and mirrors to distract us from what we should be pondering. Which is that the Iraq Campaign is pretty much justified by the facts in this article: That a mad and violent dictator was stockpiling Yellowcake with plans to make nuclear weapons.

However, slipped into the second half of the article is something that seems newsworthy enough for its own article: AP Exclusive: U.S. Removes Uranium From Iraq. It's about how Iraq is shipping Saddam's yellowcake Uranium to Canada, where a company has purchased it for peaceful use...

...But what I found even more interesting were the last two sentences, because they are an example of lying without saying anything that is factually untrue. A Satanic skill...

Posted by John Weidner at 3:49 PM

July 4, 2008

Keep THIS to throw in their faces...

There's a common line of sly leftist insinuation, that paints our troops as "victims." You know, rubes, under-educated dupes "sent off to die for oil," and similar dirty lies. (If only we were stealing oil; It's a killer to fill up my truck these days!)

The next time you hear that stuff from America-hating Obama-loving types, you might fling this story from Bob Krumm back at them....

BAGHDAD – How are you spending your 4th of July holiday? While most Americans probably slept, 1,215 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines raised their right hands and committed to a combined 5,500 years of additional service during the largest reenlistment ceremony in the history of the American military. Beneath a large American flag which dwarfed even the enormous chandelier that Saddam Hussein had built for the Al Faw Palace, members of all services, representing all 50 states took the oath administered by Gen. David Petraeus, Commander of Multi-National Forces Iraq.

Petraeus, reiterating earlier remarks made by Command Sergeant Major Hill, said that the unprecedented ceremony sends a “message to friend and foe alike.” He told those assembled that it is “impossible to calculate the value of what you are giving to our country . . . For no bonus, no matter the size, can adequately compensate you for the contribution each of you makes as a custodian of our nation’s defenses.”

Last year Gen. Petraeus, along with Senator John McCain, presided over a similar Independence Day ceremony. Then only 588 servicemen reenlisted. This year’s event, more than twice as large, saw the equivalent of two battalions extend their service in America’s military....

Also, remember, to the "liberal," the "soldiers as victims" meme is just a proxy for the bigger story--that we are all victims! No one should stand tall. Except for government bureaucracies, of course.

* Update: Ethan Hahn sends a link to a picture of the event, from this article, on the official MNF-Iraq web site.

1215 service members re-enlist in Baghdad

1,215 Servicemembers from all over Iraq gather in the Al Faw Palace rotunda on Camp Victory, to re-enlist and celebrate America’s Independence Day, July 4, 2008. Photo by MNF-I Public Affairs.

Posted by John Weidner at 4:51 AM

July 2, 2008

Shoulda known it was a fake...

I wrote yesterday about Mr Obama's embrace of Faith Based Programs. How-ev-er, there's a catch. Obama will, generous fellow that he is, allow your group to be based on faith. But you can't discriminate in hiring, say, by discriminating in favor of those who actually, like, have faith. That would be wrong.

Terry Eastland at the Weekly Standard Blog...

....A key issue in the eight years of Bush’s faith-based initiative has concerned the authority of religious entities as employers: May they take religion into account when hiring people to do the work that government funds? On numerous occasions Bush has asked Congress to pass legislation confirming such authority--on the argument that otherwise the character and mission of faith-based organizations would be compromised. With Congress refusing to do that, Bush has used executive orders to try to secure that authority. In announcing his faith-based initiative yesterday, Obama made clear that he sides with Congress. Which is to say that under Obama religious charities would not be allowed to consider religion when making their hires. In other words, a Methodist charity could not hire only Methodists or otherwise make Methodism a ground for an employment decision.

Obama’s position on this matter is likely to weaken his effort to appeal to religious conservatives. Especially since he also supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (known as ENDA), which would make sexual orientation a forbidden basis for employment decisions--including, necessarily, those made by religious charities taking federal dollars....

The idea that a Catholic charity should hire Catholics, or a Jewish charity should hire Jews, is reasonable. (And in practice such organizations are normally very diverse and tolerant, and are rarely white-supremicist pre-millenarian death-cults.) The opposition by collectivists like Obama has nothing to do with preventing discrimination. It's all about destroying faith.

By the way, I'm by no means sure that Faith-Based is a good idea. I wrote in a comment in that previous post:

I've never decided what I think about Faith Based Programs. On one hand it is indisputable that many of then do a better job, for less, than secular alternatives. And the interpretation of the constitution that claims we can't give funds to them is both both false and stupid.

On the other hand, while I see no plausible danger of faith-based groups corrupting the republic, I see a big danger that government funds may corrupt the groups. If you start sending me a fat monthly check, I'll probably start to discover that your ideas have a lot more merit than I had previously supposed... (I'll try the experiment, if anybody's willing) ;-)

Plus what government agency is going to.........discriminate? Say against nice innocent faith-based Wahabbist groups? Or Scientologists? Or Wiccans? They may do so at first, but then a Dem gets in the White House, or donations are made to congressmen.....
Posted by John Weidner at 5:48 PM

June 29, 2008

The purity-codes of an ersatz religion....

Reading this WSJ article on the absurd contortions of the Dems trying to keep their convention undefiled by the corrupting grossness of the Great Satan, I don't know whether to cry or to hoot with laughter and throw globs of organic waste at the next Prius that drives by....

...To test whether celebratory balloons advertised as biodegradable actually will decompose, Ms. Robinson buried samples in a steaming compost heap. She hired an Official Carbon Adviser, who will measure the greenhouse-gas emissions of every placard, every plane trip, every appetizer prepared and every coffee cup tossed. The Democrats hope to pay penance for those emissions by investing in renewable energy projects.

Perhaps Ms. Robinson's most audacious goal is to reuse, recycle or compost at least 85% of all waste generated during the convention.

The Trash Brigade: To police the four-day event Aug. 25-28, she's assembling (via paperless online signup) a trash brigade. Decked out in green shirts, 900 volunteers will hover at waste-disposal stations to make sure delegates put each scrap of trash in the proper bin. Lest a fork slip into the wrong container unnoticed, volunteers will paw through every bag before it is hauled away.

"That's the only way to make sure it's pure," Ms. Robinson says...

They will "hover at waste-disposal stations." To ensure purity! Wow. Wouldn't that make some very funny campaign commercials? I think Republicans should sponsor, in honor of the Dem convention, a national "Laugh at Looney Lefties Day."

....Republicans are pushing conservation, too.....But Matt Burns, a spokesman for the Republican convention, looks on with undisguised glee at some of the Democrats' efforts -- such as the "lean 'n' green" catering guidelines.

Among them: No fried food. And, on the theory that nutritious food is more vibrant, each meal should include "at least three of the following colors: red, green, yellow, blue/purple, and white." (Garnishes don't count.) At least 70% of ingredients should be organic or grown locally, to minimize emissions from fuel burned during transportation. "One would think," says Mr. Burns, "that the Democrats in Denver have bigger fish to bake -- they have ruled out frying already -- than mandating color-coordinated pretzel platters."...

Makes me want to have chicherones and Coors beer for dinner....

Posted by John Weidner at 9:05 AM

June 27, 2008

"To his credit, Senator Obama has been very artful"

From a talk by Ward Connerly, (Thanks to Alan)

....In my private life, where I began, I worked at the Redevelopment Agency of Sacramento. That was my first job out of college. And my job was to go out and buy properties for the Redevelopment Agency that we would put into more productive uses through the power of eminent domain but in a different context, by defining a neighborhood, and I always had some misgivings about redevelopment process, but nonetheless, a guy's got to eat, and I had a young family, so I went to work right out of college for the Redevelopment Agency.

That's where I learned something about community organizing. My great enemies were community organizers. I have never met in 40-some years a community organizer who was not a socialist.

Now, I don't like to stereotype, but I want to tell you that when you are a community organizer, you have to have a certain view of the world, a certain view of things that puts you at variance with free enterprise, puts you at variance with the notion of individual rights, makes you want to redistribute the wealth. That's what community organization is.

The country seemed surprised by Reverend Wright and Father Phleger's comments. I don't know why you're surprised because if you've had one debate about affirmative action on a college campus, the rhetoric of institutional racism, the nation just heard it with Phleger and Reverend Wright. The problem is the media doesn't understand the debate enough to be able to ask the right questions of Senator Obama, not whether you think the rhetoric is divisive.

You know, when I first got involved in all of this, some of my fellow Republicans would say, "We can't support that because it's divisive." Not a question of divisive. Public policy is divisive. The question is, do you agree or do you disagree with the merits of the issue?

So when Senator Obama says it's divisive, he is very artfully avoiding the question of whether he agrees or disagrees with the inherent philosophy. And what Phleger and Wright are saying is that view of the nation in which whites, basically white males, are inherently evil and don't want to share the good life with anybody else and that the order has to be changed in our nation, change -- change -- so that all of this is reconfigured, this is a defining moment.

To his credit, Senator Obama has been very artful. He has not shucked and jived his way by saying, "I don't agree with the inherent philosophy." He has been artful, and if we let him get away with it, shame on us. But there is a profound change that is being offered to the American people, a profound change about our economic system, about the relationship between the government and its citizens, and if we embrace that, our kids and our grandkids are going to have a tough life from here on out because America, as we know it, folks, will not be the same. It will not be the same....

"Artful." In other words, he's trying to slip a fast one past us. Connerly is saying that being "artful" is better than flat-out lying. I'm not so sure myself. It's like sin. The flagrant sinner is in a better position than the person who thinks, "I'm a good person so God, if there is a God, will surely approve of me." The sinner can see that he's in trouble and repent! The other guy has wrapped himself in dangerous falsehoods that he probably wont be able to see past.

It's the same with Obama's "artfulness." It's designed to prevent serious thought and criticism. To prevent the country from debating and voting on the real issues.

As is much of today's leftist rhetoric. Leftists don't debate the ideas in question, they criticize the delivery. It's "divisive," it's "polarizing," it's "hateful," or "hate speech." It's "contemptuous," it's "questioning my patriotism." It's "censorship."

Well, for the record, I think there are some things that should be hated, that should be treated with contempt. And therefore there is nothing intrinsically wrong with pouring scorn upon them. And if someone doesn't like it, let them debate fairly.

Obama, if he were honest, would possibly talk lot like Wright and Phleger. It would be hateful, but that would be a good thing. The issues could be debated openly. (Or maybe if Obama were really really honest he would say, "I want to be president because I, to myself, am the most important thing in the universe, and my hungers are paramount.)

Posted by John Weidner at 9:39 AM

June 25, 2008

Go for it, Israel...

The Wall Street Journal, on the possibility of Israeli strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities...

....Those exercises – reportedly involving about 100 fighters, tactical bombers, refueling planes and rescue helicopters – were conducted about 900 miles westof Israel's shores in the Mediterranean. Iran's nuclear facilities at Bushehr, Isfahan and Natanz all fall roughly within the same radius, albeit in the opposite direction. The point was not lost on Tehran, which promptly warned of "strong blows" in the event of a pre-emptive Israeli attack.

The more important question is whether the meaning of Israel's exercise registered in Western capitals. It's been six years since Iran's secret nuclear programs were publicly exposed, and Israel has more or less bided its time as the Bush Administration and Europe have pursued diplomacy to induce Tehran to cease enriching uranium.

It hasn't worked. Iran has rejected repeated offers of technical and economic assistance, most recently this month. Despite four years of pleading, the Administration has failed to win anything but weak U.N. sanctions. Russia plans to sell advanced antiaircraft missiles to Iran and finish work on a nuclear reactor at Bushehr, though spent fuel from that reactor could eventually be diverted and reprocessed into weapons-usable plutonium. Chinese companies still invest in Iran, while the U.N.'s chief nuclear inspector, Mohamed ElBaradei, has repeatedly downplayed Iran's nuclear threat...

Diplomacy hasn't worked. WELL OF COURSE IT HASN'T WORKED! Diplomacy works as an alternative to force. If you are too sick and corroded inside to be willing to use force, then why should anyone bother to give you anything at the negotiating table? And if you can't solve problems through diplomacy, what do you get? War!

Weakness leads to war. Pacifism leads to war. Quakerism leads to war.

This one won't be an actual war, just a surgical strike on certain facilities. But there will be casualties, including civilians. That's because the evil Iranian regime has placed it's nuclear bomb facilities to make this happen. Which is a war crime, by the way. Not that they will get any blame for it. Our morally-depraved "liberals" will place all the blame on Israel, as always. How dare the Jews defend themselves against nuclear attack?

Well I say, go for it, Israel. You will only be doing what the US should have done years ago. And doing the world a huge favor.

Posted by John Weidner at 10:25 PM

June 23, 2008

Fraudulent from the beginning...

By Bridget Johnson, PJ Media, The silence of the world grows deafening as Robert Mugabe mercilessly crushes those who dare to oppose him

If you want to challenge Robert Mugabe — who once claimed that he’d be president until 100 years of age — you’ll be lucky to come out of the experience alive.

That’s what makes opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai a true survivor. Tsvangirai’s party announced Sunday that he will pull out of his presidential runoff race against Mugabe in the midst of mounting violence and intimidation...

The world is silent because the western liberals who mobilized the West to bring about the downfall of the white governments of South Africa and Rhodesia—now called Zimbabwe—never gave a damn about the African people involved. It was always just a proxy for domestic politics. A little morality play where the bad guy is the redneck sheriff down south, opposed by the brave and good leftists. It was all about them feeling good about themselves, and laying the propaganda-foundations for taking power.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:46 AM

June 21, 2008

Cowardly liar....

Reuters: Obama says Republicans will use race to stoke fear

JACKSONVILLE, Florida (Reuters) - Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama said on Friday he expects Republicans to highlight the fact that he is black as part of an effort to make voters afraid of him.

"It is going to be very difficult for Republicans to run on their stewardship of the economy or their outstanding foreign policy," Obama told a fundraiser in Jacksonville, Florida. "We know what kind of campaign they're going to run. They're going to try to make you afraid.

"They're going to try to make you afraid of me. He's young and inexperienced and he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?"...

What a vile and despicable accusation. Neither McCain nor any Republicans of prominence have brought race into the campaign. Nor are they going to. (Nor would it do any good, since any racists we might be appealing to probably already have some slight awareness of the color of Mr Obama's skin.)

And it is doubly vile because the only ones who have brought race into politics so far are involved in the Democrat primary. Actually the only real racism in the primary was the fact that neither candidate could slam the other as had as they should have because of fear of being called "racist" or "sexist." The real racism today is contained in the identity politics that leftists practice. It is racist to go light on a candidate because of his race. Or gender.

"They're going to try to make you afraid of me." That's totally bogus. We are planning to make people worry—even be afraid—of where Obama's policies will lead the country. There's nothing wrong with that. Who would bother to try to make people afraid of Obama himself? That would be giving him more substance than he has.

Posted by John Weidner at 12:58 PM

June 18, 2008

Hilarious...

Beware the Chicago boys: Obama's vow of love for free markets gives reason to fear a replay of Bill Clinton's 1993 U-turn (Naomi Klein, 6/13/08, The Guardian)

Barack Obama waited just three days after Hillary Clinton pulled out of the race to declare, on CNBC: "Look. I am a pro-growth, free-market guy. I love the market." Demonstrating that this is no mere spring fling, he has appointed the 37-year-old Jason Furman, one of Wal-Mart's most prominent defenders, to head his economic team....

Delightful, to think of all the leftizoids who will be sucking on this little lemon!

And they tend to love Obama because they think he's magical. If Obama is elected, then things will just happen. There won't be any hard work and discipline needed, the world will just change. (It's like, who could oppose him? That would be racist!) But reality lurks, ready to pounce on even those who eat in the trendiest restaurants.

There are lot of people whose whole economic philosophy is: "Big corporations are icky." (And the really wierd thing is that they can be people who actually know a lot about economics! I love reading tech writer Daniel Eran Dilger, who is totally lucid in explaining what big corporations like Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, Sun etc are up to. But he recently wrote: "Obama’s campaign is known for its grassroots outreach to individuals, as opposed to the typical political campaigns catering to corporate lobbyists...")

And I guess the "big corporations are icky" crowd are going to have some painful shocks if they think a corrupt Chicago pol will make evil economics just magically disappear. Or maybe they won't; human capacity for self-deception is unlimited, and, at least in the news media, ickyness WILL disappear if a Dem is in the White House.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:14 AM

June 10, 2008

FDR Lied....Or should have if it had been necessary.

The Rockefeller Report supposedly substantiates the "Bush lied" line of leftist propaganda. But the actual report demonstrates the opposite, as this editorial in the WaPo (no friends of Bush they) shows...

.....But dive into Rockefeller's report, in search of where exactly President Bush lied about what his intelligence agencies were telling him about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, and you may be surprised by what you find.

On Iraq's nuclear weapons program? The president's statements "were generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates."

On biological weapons, production capability and those infamous mobile laboratories? The president's statements "were substantiated by intelligence information."

On chemical weapons, then? "Substantiated by intelligence information."

On weapons of mass destruction overall (a separate section of the intelligence committee report)? "Generally substantiated by intelligence information." Delivery vehicles such as ballistic missiles? "Generally substantiated by available intelligence." Unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to deliver WMDs? "Generally substantiated by intelligence information."

As you read through the report, you begin to think maybe you've mistakenly picked up the minority dissent. But, no, this is the Rockefeller indictment. So, you think, the smoking gun must appear in the section on Bush's claims about Saddam Hussein's alleged ties to terrorism.

But statements regarding Iraq's support for terrorist groups other than al-Qaeda "were substantiated by intelligence information." Statements that Iraq provided safe haven for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other terrorists with ties to al-Qaeda "were substantiated by the intelligence assessments," and statements regarding Iraq's contacts with al-Qaeda "were substantiated by intelligence information." The report is left to complain about "implications" and statements that "left the impression" that those contacts led to substantive Iraqi cooperation....

Now the "Bush lied" story has always been bullshit, among other reasons because all the Dem leaders are on the record as saying exactly the same sort of things about the dangers posed by the Iraqi regime. And they had access to the same intelligence. Still, it's nice to see the Post confirm it.

But I have always thought that the whole controversy is based on a false and very pernicious philosophy. One that in fact causes war. I think the basic Western default "common wisdom" response to terrorism is the very reason terrorism exists and works. It's a game played by rules that ensure that the game will go on and on.

Imagine that Iran sent a plane and dropped a bomb on some American base, and killed some of our people. We would say that that is an act of war. We would, at the very least, bomb them in retaliation, and make no apologies about it. But suppose Iran covertly supports a terrorist group that sends a suicide bomber and kills the very same Americans. We are supposed to pretend that nothing much has happened. If we suspect an Iranian connection and bomb Iran's Presidential Palace in retaliation, world opinion would say that we are starting a war!

That's crazy. And that kind of thinking is the reason there are terror-supporting nations. They fund and arm terror groups because they can get away with it. Our enemies can attack us without much fear of retaliation. So they do. It is the lack of response that promotes terrorism. We reward them, rather than punishing them.

And the way our "conventional wisdom" works is by declaring the terror-supporting nations innocent until proven guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt. That's what the "Bush lied" campaign is all about.

But Saddam was openly a supporter of terrorism. He was paying bounties for Jews killed. (Some of whom were Americans.) We are in a global war on terrorism. We have a perfect right to attack any terror-supporters and terror groups. Just as we had a right to attack nations that were aiding the Axis during WWII, even though we were not technically at war with them.

The only way to stop terrorism is to stop playing the silly game of "we can't hit back unless we prove beyond doubt that you hit first." That encourages covert attacks. that rewards them. The way to peace is to smack hard any country that even looks like it might be supporting terror groups.

IF Bush lied about the dangers of Iraq (he didn't) it is only because of a crazy system that protects Iraq. We should be taking out obdurate terror-supporters, and if it took a lie to get us doing what was right, then it was a noble deed. He shouldn't even need to ask permission. We are in a war, Iraq was clearly on the other side, President Bush is Commander in Chief, so he should be able to order the invasion of Iraq without any fuss.

President Roosevelt didn't go to Congress for permission to invade North Africa, even though we were not technically at war with French Morocco. He just did it. And if he had not had a loyal opposition party, if he had had a disloyal opposition, an anti_American opposition, as we do now, then he might have had to lie to get permission to attack. And if so, then his duty would have been to lie.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:21 AM

June 8, 2008

We taught them to act that way...

Glenn posted this quote by Norm Geras...

...You couldn't ask for a clearer symbol of the double-edged character of [African] nationalism. At one time a powerful force in the fight for liberation from colonial rule and in the long struggle against apartheid, African nationalism has, in the hands of Mbeki and other African leaders rallying round Mugabe, been transmuted into an apologia and defence of the most blatant criminality and oppression. The US ambassador, representing a country widely derided in liberal circles for its role in international affairs, bears witness to the crimes of the Mugabe regime; the man standing at the head of a nation that won the world's admiration for getting rid of an odious racist system disgraces that legacy.

What is missed here is that the defense of "the most blatant criminality and oppression" was always a part of the Western fight against apartheid. (And also against colonialism.) At least among liberals. Why?

Remember how we heard over and over that South Africa did not have majority rule? I sure do. But the fact is, at that time NO African nation had majority rule. All African countries other than South Africa were ruled by dictators or very small elite groups. None of the anti-apartheid activist types found this objectionable. They implicitly defined brutal tyranny as "majority rule," so long as the Head of State had dark skin! An evil lesson.

The fact that South Africa had an illegal immigrant problem, with black people fleeing to SA from much worse places, did not matter to them at all. Few or no Western "activists" announced that South Africa was just the first problem, and that after it was solved they would turn their efforts to bringing majority rule to other African nations. They didn't care.

So the West has in fact "taught" Africans that dictatorship or one party rule are acceptable. And we are still teaching the same lesson. Those who are upset about Mugabe's oppression are few, and tend not to be the same people who were outraged by the lack of "majority rule" in SA.

The activists never really cared about Africans at all, not as people like us. Their fun was in attacking white conservatives. One those were gone they dropped the whole subject.

* Update: Western leftists have "taught" the same lesson in the Middle East. They "care" about the Palestinians only to the extant that they are injured by Israel. Arab regimes have treated the Palestinians far worse than Israel has, without any protest from the sort of Westerners who wear kaffiyas. (For instance, in 1992 Kuwait booted 30,000 Palestinians out of their homes and out of the country. And protests came there none!)

* One more Update: And right here in the USA. The Civil Rights Movement was, and is, only interesting to leftists to the extant that it can be used to bash conservative whites. Once the "rednecks" were gone, the fun was mostly over. Festering problems within black communities, such as corrupt politicians, crime, poor work and study habits, and anti-white racism are not priorities. If the choice is between fixing inner-city schools, and placating the teachers' unions who bankroll the Democrat Party, the pickininnies get tossed to the sharks every time.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:33 AM

June 7, 2008

Perhaps I owe Mark Morford an apology...

It's possible I was too negative towards Mark Morford in my post this morning.

It's not true that Mr Obama has never accomplished anything. He did in fact have one "Profiles in Courage" moment, when he went out on a limb, and took a stand that was not politically necessary. It was due to "unique high-vibration integrity," I'm sure. (I've copied an article about it below the fold.)

Hey Morford, why don't you show the article to those people you've been talking to? The "enormously smart, wise, spiritually attuned people who've been intuitively blown away by Obama's presence." Could you please bring us some specific reactions from those "spiritually advanced people," those "philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order?"

I'd like to hear their take, being myself just a cowed-by-religion member of the the armies of BushCo darkness. Enlighten me!

Obama More Pro-Choice Than NARAL
by Amanda B. Carpenter
Posted: 12/26/2006

Sen. Barack Obama (D.-Ill.) portrays himself as a thoughtful Democrat who carefully considers both sides of controversial issues, but his radical stance on abortion puts him further left on that issue than even NARAL Pro-Choice America.

In 2002, as an Illinois legislator, Obama voted against the Induced Infant Liability Act, which would have protected babies that survived late-term abortions. That same year a similar federal law, the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, was signed by President Bush. Only 15 members of the U.S. House opposed it, and it passed the Senate unanimously on a voice vote.

Both the Illinois and the federal bill sought equal treatment for babies who survived premature inducement for the purpose of abortion and wanted babies who were born prematurely and given live-saving medical attention.

When the federal bill was being debated, NARAL Pro-Choice America released a statement that said, “Consistent with our position last year, NARAL does not oppose passage of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act ... floor debate served to clarify the bill’s intent and assure us that it is not targeted at Roe v. Wade or a woman’s right to choose.”

But Obama voted against this bill in the Illinois senate and killed it in committee. Twice, the Induced Infant Liability Act came up in the Judiciary Committee on which he served. At its first reading he voted “present.” At the second he voted “no.”

The bill was then referred to the senate’s Health and Human Services Committee, which Obama chaired after the Illinois Senate went Democratic in 2003. As chairman, he never called the bill up for a vote.

Jill Stanek, a registered delivery-ward nurse who was the prime mover behind the legislation after she witnessed aborted babies’ being born alive and left to die, testified twice before Obama in support of the Induced Infant Liability Act bills. She also testified before the U.S. Congress in support of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act.

Stanek told me her testimony “did not faze” Obama.
Posted by John Weidner at 1:08 PM

"I'm feeling those good vibrations"

Hard upon discovering the WaPo editorial I just blogged-up, about Obama re-alligning his foreign policy positions to something amazingly Bush flavored, I read this by Mark Morford, in the SF Chron. The juxtapose is just too too delicious...

I find I'm having this discussion, this weird little debate, more and more, with colleagues, with readers, with liberals and moderates and miserable, deeply depressed Republicans [We are just puddles of misery] and spiritually amped persons of all shapes and stripes and I'm having it in particular with those who seem confused, angry, unsure, thoroughly nonplussed, as they all ask me the same thing: What the hell's the big deal about Obama?

I, of course, have an answer. Sort of.

Warning: If you are a rigid pragmatist/literalist, itchingly evangelical, a scowler, a doubter, a burned-out former '60s radical with no hope left, or are otherwise unable or unwilling to parse alternative New Age speak, click away right now, because you ain't gonna like this one little bit. [Click away? No way brother, you are making my day.]

Ready? It goes likes this: Barack Obama isn't really one of us. Not in the normal way, anyway. [Chariots of the Gods? Remember that one?]

This is what I find myself offering up more and more in response to the whiners and the frowners and to those with broken or sadly dysfunctional karmic antennae - or no antennae at all - to all those who just don't understand and maybe even actively recoil against all this chatter about Obama's aura and feel and MLK/JFK-like vibe.

To them I say, all right, you want to know what it is? The appeal, the pull, the ethereal and magical thing that seems to enthrall millions of people from all over the world, that keeps opening up and firing into new channels of the culture normally completely unaffected by politics?

No, it's not merely his youthful vigor, or handsomeness, or even inspiring rhetoric. It is not fresh ideas or cool charisma or the fact that a black president will be historic and revolutionary in about a thousand different ways. It is something more. Even Bill Clinton, with all his effortless, winking charm, didn't have what Obama has, which is a sort of powerful luminosity, a unique high-vibration integrity. [Chicago politics seems to bring that out in people.]

Dismiss it all you like, but I've heard from far too many enormously smart, wise, spiritually attuned people who've been intuitively blown away by Obama's presence [Intuitively. Not one of them can make a principled argument for any of this.] - not speeches, not policies, but sheer presence - to say it's just a clever marketing ploy, a slick gambit carefully orchestrated by hotshot campaign organizers who, once Obama gets into office, will suddenly turn from perky optimists to vile soul-sucking lobbyist whores, with Obama as their suddenly evil, cackling overlord. [So Mark, shall we put some money on it? My $100 says it's gonna be "vile soul-sucking lobbyist whores" all the way down.]

Here's where it gets gooey. Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious [meaning having a creed that can actually be pinned down], mind you, but deeply spiritual [meaning indistinguishable from nihilism] ) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies [Ooops] or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul. [How about the soul of the Democrat Party? As a kind of, you know, "test case?" Do we see peace? Philosophy? Sweetness and light? Anybody evolvin' there?]
The unusual thing is, true Lightworkers almost never appear on such a brutal, spiritually demeaning stage as national politics. This is why Obama is so rare. [Poor poor Frodo, crawling across Mordor.] And this why he is so often compared to Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., to those leaders in our culture whose stirring vibrations still resonate throughout our short history. [So you would think—Obama is 46 years old—that Mr Morford would now be pointing to some actual "lightwork" that Mr Obama has actually accomplished. If a person is, like, radiant, and he's been involved in public life for a couple of decades, SOMETHING ought to have happened. Right? Hmm? Something, uh, luminous? I'm sitting here, just waiting to be impressed. Mark?]

Are you rolling your eyes and scoffing? Fine by me. But you gotta wonder, why has, say, the JFK legacy lasted so long, is so vital to our national identity? [Maybe because we are narcissists who value feel-good emotions over actual facts?] Yes, the assassination canonized his legend. The Kennedy family is our version of royalty. But there's something more. Those attuned to energies beyond the literal meanings of things, these people say JFK wasn't assassinated for any typical reason you can name. It's because he was just this kind of high-vibration being, a peacemaker, at odds with the war machine, the CIA, the dark side. And it killed him. [He was killed by a Communist "Progressive," who hated it when he got tough on St. Fidel. Ooops, sorry, that's too literal. Stupid of me. I'm SO "not attuned to energies beyond the literal meanings of things."]

Now, Obama. The next step. Another try. And perhaps, as Bush laid waste to the land [smokin' ruins as far as the eye can see] and embarrassed the country [Euro elites and Middle East tyrants, PLEASE forgive us for being Americans] and pummeled our national spirit into disenchanted pulp [Speak for yourself, pulpy pal] and yet ironically, in so doing has helped set the stage for an even larger and more fascinating evolutionary burp,[?] we are finally truly ready for another Lightworker to step up.

Let me be completely clear: I'm not arguing some sort of utopian revolution, a big global group hug with Obama as some sort of happy hippie camp counselor. [Coulda fooled me] I'm not saying the man's going to swoop in like a superhero messiah and stop all wars and make the flowers grow and birds sing and solve world hunger and bring puppies to schoolchildren.

Please. I'm also certainly not saying he's perfect, that his presidency will be free of compromise, or slimy insiders, or great heaps of politics-as-usual. While Obama's certainly an entire universe away from George W. Bush in terms of quality, integrity, intelligence and overall inspirational energy, well, so is your dog. Hell, it isn't hard to stand far above and beyond the worst president in American history. [Hey Morford, want to put another C-note on what the history books end up saying?]

But there simply is no denying that extra kick. As one reader put it to me, in a way, it's not even about Obama, per se. There's a vast amount of positive energy swirling about that's been held back by the armies of BushCo darkness, and this energy has now found a conduit, a lightning rod, is now effortlessly self-organizing around Obama's candidacy. People and emotions and ideas of high and positive vibration are automatically drawn to him. It's exactly like how Bush was a magnet for the low vibrational energies of fear and war and oppression and aggression, but, you know, completely reversed. And different. And far, far better. [That's too intrinsic for me to even comment on. But Mark, would you care to set a few specific benchmarks, so we can eventually come to some judgement on all this?]

Don't buy any of it? Think that's all a bunch of tofu-sucking New Agey bulls-- and Obama is really a dangerously elitist political salesman whose inexperience will lead us further into darkness because, when you're talking national politics, nothing, really, ever changes? [Yep] I understand. I get it. I often believe it myself. Not this time.

Dick Cheney on a Segway

I am evolving! It's a new way of being on the planet!

[By the way, I have nothing against: "...The appeal, the pull, the ethereal and magical thing that seems to enthrall millions of people from all over the world, that keeps opening up and firing into new channels of the culture..." It's real, it just happens to be discoverable in the Church founded by Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago. And not in "swirling vibrational energies." Rather it's about giving up self-love, and taking up ones cross, and following.]

Posted by John Weidner at 9:16 AM

June 5, 2008

If you really want to be of public service...

Thomas Sowell writes...

EVERY YEAR ABOUT THIS TIME, big-government liberals stand up in front of college commencement crowds across the country and urge the graduates to do the noblest thing possible -- become big-government liberals.

That isn't how they phrase it, of course. Commencement speakers express great reverence for "public service," as distinguished from narrow private "greed." There is usually not the slightest sign of embarrassment at this self-serving celebration of the kinds of careers they have chosen -- over and above the careers of others who merely provide us with the food we eat, the homes we live in, the clothes we wear and the medical care that saves our health and our lives.

What I would like to see is someone with the guts to tell those students: Do you want to be of some use and service to your fellow human beings? Then let your fellow human beings tell you what they want -- not with words, but by putting their money where their mouth is.

You want to see more people have better housing? Build it! Become a builder or developer-- if you can stand the sneers and disdain of your classmates and professors who regard the very words as repulsive.

Would you like to see more things become more affordable to more people? Then figure out more efficient ways of getting thousands of things from the producers to the consumers at a lower cost. That's what a man named Richard Sears did a century ago. In the process he rose from near poverty to become one of the richest men around....

Thinking about commencements, the last of our three children just graduated from High School. One naturally feels both pride and sadness at these milestones, and at having our kids grow up and become more independent. (She will start at UC Santa Cruz in September—she's very excited!)

But one aspect of their youth that none of us Weidners will miss at all is school-mandated "community service." It grated upon all of us. And I don't think that we are any less inclined to want to want to help people than other Americans. But involuntary voluntarism is offensive. And the treacly sentiments that go with it are doubly offensive.

And most irritating of all is that the whole process assumes that one has bought-into various liberal pieties. Which you are never allowed to question. Or, actually, saying "never allowed" puts things too clearly. Think of a world where the entire concept of questioning underlying liberal assumptions doesn't exist, and any attempt to do so would be seen as crazy. Not to mention jeopardizing ones chances of getting into college!

Charlene asks, "When did this community-service thing start? I never heard of it when I was in school." These things are fads; they just grow. Why are so many women wearing incredibly-unflattering hip-hugger pants now? Do you think they did any thinking? Of course not. As well ask a school of minnows how they plan their route. Unconsciously I think educators, like leftist politicians, know that the poor and hapless are a precious resource, which needs to be conserved and nurtured, so as to justify big government and anti-Americanism. If one could help homeless people get jobs and get off the street, that would not be "community service."

Posted by John Weidner at 6:32 AM

June 3, 2008

Tip-toe around a little problem...

Yet another Dem lays the groundwork for blaming Obama's coming defeat on racism. It's got to be racism; a repudiation of Leftism or infanticide or "change" can't possibly happen in a country that is eager for higher taxes, racial quotas, feminism, and more government control of everything! Of course Mr Cohen has to tip-toe around a wee teensy little problem....This is a primary, and no Republicans are involved. (Thanks to Hugh)

....I tell them, for I am wont to please, that this campaign is indeed great when, as history will record, it is not. I have come to loathe the campaign.

I loathe above all the resurgence of racism -- or maybe it is merely my appreciation of the fact that it is wider and deeper than I thought. [And it is all among DEMOCRATS. You Lefties have, for decades, been delighted when you could claim (usually dishonestly) that Republicans are racist.The biter is bit.] I am stunned by the numbers of people who have come out to vote against Barack Obama because he is black. I am even more stunned that many of these people have no compunction about telling a pollster they voted on account of race -- one in five whites in Kentucky, for instance. [You "opinion leaders" have TAUGHT them to think in terms of interest groups, not individual worth. And now you are surprised?] Those voters didn't even know enough to lie, which is what, if you look at the numbers, others probably did in other states. Such honesty ought to be commendable. It is, instead, frightening...

[We've been POUNDED with racialist propaganda for half a century. By people like you, Mr Cohen. Everything must be judged in terms of RACE. Or gender, or sexual orientation. (I know this; I've raised three children in SF. My daughter once said that at her school, "Black History Month comes four times a year!") But a lot of us—mostly Republicans—believe that God values every human being equally, and doesn't give a f*** whether they are black or white. We REJECT your leftist racism. We spit upon it. We judge people by their merits, and would have judged Colin Powell or Condi Rice in exactly the same way we chose between McCain and Romney.]

...I acknowledge that some people can find nonracial reasons to vote against Obama -- his youth, his inexperience, his uber-liberalism and, of course, his willingness to abide his minister's admiration for a racist demagogue (Louis Farrakhan) until it was way, way too late. But for too many people, Obama is first and foremost a black man and is rejected for that reason alone. This is very sad. [It is not "sad," it is evil. And it is your evil. Now you have to face it.]

I loathe what has happened to Hillary Clinton. This person of no mean achievement has been witchified, turned into a shrew, so that almost any remark of hers is instantly interpreted as sinister and ugly. All she had to do, for instance, was note that it took Lyndon Johnson to implement Martin Luther King's dream, and somehow it became a racist statement. The Obama camp has been no help in this regard, expressing insincere regret instead of a sincere "that's not what she meant.".... [I could go on and on here, but I've got to get back to work. You get my drift...]

* Update: Remember when Obama gave his fake-apology speech on race, and said, I think, "We need to have a national dialog on race?" Something like that?

Well, we've had a "national monolog" on race for the last 50 years, with liberals endlessly haranguing us ordinary white Americans, who are supposed to hang our heads and shuffle our feet, and feel guilty about how horrible we are. Well, maybe, just maybe, this Obama campaign may be the catalyst for a true dialog. And some people may at last be able to answer back. Starting with answering back to the claim that liberals are "morally superior beings" because they "wave the bloody shirt" of the Civil Rights Movement all the time.

Posted by John Weidner at 10:05 AM

May 31, 2008

"Bogus world brotherhood"

Simon Jenkins, in the Guardian, Once, 'international' sounded saintly. Now it means bureaucracy and waste...(Thanks to Orrin)

Gazing briefly at the Eurovision song contest this week I could not rid my mind of a quite different image, that of Nato's multilateral force headquarters in Kabul. There was the same flag-waving and confusion of purpose, the same small-state rivalry and cynical balancing of interests. There was the same belief that, simply by being international, a so-called community of nations was forged.

For Eurovision and Nato, read the Olympics and Burma, read the Moscow cup final and Darfur. Read the European parliament, Fifa, the World Bank, the Organisation of African Unity, the European parliament. I was brought up to regard "international" as synonymous with saintly. It was a concept to supplant the rude nationalism of the 20th century in a worldwide concord of peace, ruled by a clerisy of selfless bureaucrats; Dag Hammersköld out of Albert Schweitzer.

Today the word "international" suggests tailored suits, tax-free salaries, white Land Cruisers and Geneva. The Eurovision contest is run by the European Broadcasting Union with 400 staff in Switzerland, with no risk of oversight or reform. It takes after the International Olympics Committee, which now charges its host taxpayers $20-30bn for two weeks of extravaganza in the name of bogus world brotherhood...

Read it all; there's lots to appall.

But Jenkins is wrong on one point. Actually, "internationalism" was bogus from the beginning. It was never an "ideal" that was corrupted. The UN was, from its very founding, supported by Leftists because it would hinder and limit the United States of America, and would hurt Western Civilization. Millions of ordinary people bought into the "ideal," and imagined something noble, (Lots still do, despite evidence) but it was always a lie. And it was always intended to thwart what was truly noble, our working to spread freedom and capitalism and—most importantly, democracy, to the masses of this planet.

"Internationalism" is always about elites running things without accountability to voters.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:03 AM

May 28, 2008

My dad called them "educated fools"

Hugh Hewitt writes...

...It has become obvious in a very short period of time that Senator Obama attended some very fine schools and learned almost nothing of American history. He has, however, hung out with radicals for the past few decades, and their view of America and its history has sunk in, leaving Obama not only gaffe-prone, but wholly unprepared to be the Commander-in-Chief. He's a product of his years and years in the Chicago machine with its nonsensical view of why things are the way they are and how the county and the economy works.

This takes us back to the Rev. Wright and Obama's two decades of listening to and reading the pastor's worldview, and before that to his college years in California and New York, and working as a "community organizer" in Chicago. Senator Obama has lived his entire life in places where the distorted history of left-wing radicalism prevailed, and the consequences of this long immersion in pseudo-history and pseudo-economics are easy to see and will be disqualifying for most voters.....

This is absolutely consistent with my experiences, living in liberal SF, but especially in attempting, as a blogger, to have reasoned debates with left-leaning people. Or watching other bloggers do so.

That's never happened. It's never worked. Lefties live in a fantasy world.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:40 AM

May 21, 2008

We're the good guys. Of course we win...

Ralph Peters:

May 20, 2008 -- DO we still have troops in Iraq? Is there still a conflict over there?

If you rely on the so-called mainstream media, you may have difficulty answering those questions these days. As Iraqi and Coalition forces pile up one success after another, Iraq has magically vanished from the headlines.

Want a real "inconvenient truth?" Progress in Iraq is powerful and accelerating.

But that fact isn't helpful to elite media commissars and cadres determined to decide the presidential race over our heads. How dare our troops win? Even worse, Iraqi troops are winning. Daily.

You won't see that above the fold in The New York Times. And forget the Obama-intoxicated news networks - they've adopted his story line that the clock stopped back in 2003.....

...And Obama, the NYT, and al-Qaeda are the bad guys. They want America and the free people of Iraq to lose. They are on the other side.

Oh well. So what else is new...

Posted by John Weidner at 11:54 AM

"A defining feature of his campaign and of his political persona..."

Caroline Glick, from Jerusalem, refreshingly blunt.

....The only strong reaction that Bush's remarks provoked in Israel was relief. In spite of the Bush administration's own participation in the six-party talks with North Korea, its support for the EU-3's feckless discussions with the mullahs, its paralysis in the face of Hizbullah's takeover of Lebanon, and its support for the establishment of a Palestinian state run by Fatah terrorists dedicated to Israel's destruction, at the very least, standing before the Knesset, Bush effectively pledged not to allow Iran to acquire the means to conduct a new Holocaust.

From an Israeli vantage point then, it was shocking to see that immediately after Bush stepped down from the rostrum, Obama and his Democratic supporters began pillorying him for his remarks. Most distressing is what Obama's reaction said about the Democratic presidential hopeful.

Obama's response to Bush's speech was an effective acknowledgement that appeasing Iran and other terror sponsors is a defining feature of his campaign and of his political persona. As far as he is concerned, an attack against appeasement is an attack against Obama....

Of course he's an appeaser. And anti-Israel. He could not possibly be a successful and popular Democrat candidate otherwise. If he weren't, the "activist" Dems would turn on him, like they turned on Joe Lieberman. It's the party of appeasement. And you already know why it's the party of appeasement, 'cause I've told you lots of times.

And also good is Bret Stephens, Obama and the Jews...

...Or take Iran, which Israelis universally see as their deadliest enemy. Yes, there are arguments to be made in favor of presidential-level negotiations between Washington and Tehran – perhaps as a last-ditch effort to avert military strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities. But does anyone seriously think Mr. Obama would authorize such strikes?

Instead, Mr. Obama says he favors "tough diplomacy," including tighter sanctions on Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps. Last fall, however, he was one of only 22 senators to oppose a Senate resolution calling for the IRGC to be designated as a terrorist organization, a vote that made him a dove even within the Democratic Party. Mr. Obama argued at the time the amendment would give the administration a pretext to go to war with Iran. It was an odd claim for a nonbinding resolution...

"Tough diplomacy." Right. There's no such animal. If you are tough in general, then diplomacy often works. Diplomacy is a way of avoiding a fight. But out enemies will look at Obama and know he doesn't want to fight. So why should they negotiate?

Posted by John Weidner at 7:18 AM

May 16, 2008

Can I re-define "taxpayer" to exclude me?

From Justice Baxter's opinion (Quoted by Hugh Hewitt) on the California Supreme Court's

...History confirms the importance of the judiciary’s constitutional role as a check against majoritarian abuse. Still, courts must use caution when exercising the potentially transformative authority to articulate constitutional rights. Otherwise, judges with limited accountability risk infringing upon our society’s most basic shared premise — the People’s general right, directly or through their chosen legislators, to decide fundamental issues of public policy for themselves.

Judicial restraint is particularly appropriate where, as here, the claimed constitutional entitlement is of recent conception and challenges the most fundamental assumption about a basic social institution.

The majority has violated these principles. It simply does not have the right to erase, then recast, the age-old definition of marriage, as virtually all societies have understood it, in order to satisfy its own contemporary notions of equality and justice...

If judges can simply re-define marriage at their whim, then what can't they re-define?

The real issue here is that leftists hate democracy, and work tirelessly to circumvent it. They used to hate it because they were socialists, and no people, knowing what they are getting into, will ever vote for socialism. Now they are nihilists, and their only goal is to worship themselves, and feel good about themselves. But the result is the same. They feel good about themselves because of their supposed superiority, and so they need to circumvent democracy, and impose their superior ideas on people who would never vote for them.

And ALL the lefty whims work in one way or another to destroy those institutions and cultures (such as families, churches, traditional morality) that stand between the individual and the state. To atomize society, so that the state (staffed almost entirely by liberals) will have supreme power. So the end that's being worked-toward is still......socialism!

* Update: It is very ironic here that the twisted and racist accusations of Jeremiah Wright---that whites have invented AIDS, or have introduced cocaine in order to kill blacks---are partly true. White middle-class liberals have worked tirelessly to legalize and legitimize drug use, with devastating effects on black communities. And they've done everything they can to legitimize and popularize the suicidal promiscuity of the gay community. And promiscuity in general. So gays and drug-using minorities are destroyed by AIDS, while the Prius-driving crowd continues to feel superior to all those red-neck conservatives who are so horribly "intolerant" of gays or drug use.

Jeremiah Wright is correct--whites are trying to destroy blacks. White liberals, that is. Like Barack Obama.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:55 AM

May 14, 2008

"The emptiest vessel ever..."

Baseball Crank has a worthwhilepiece on the importance of experience in a presidential candidate...

.....And if one must speak of hypocrisy, it is rather amusing that we heard Democrats the past few years arguing that various Bush appointees were underqualified hacks who lacked the basic qualifications for their jobs (e.g., Miers, Mike Brown), but those same Democrats who were outraged at appointing unqualified people to mid-level jobs in the Administration are suddenly unconcerned about picking a guy without adequate experience for the top job, the guy who appoints all the others.

But for the same reasons why I rejected that style of argument when I came out in opposition to Harriet Miers (here and here) and Mitt Romney, Obama's lack of all the relevant types of experience, taken together, are very much a problem and quite arguably disqualifying by themselves, or at least very substantial reasons to be skeptical of his candidacy. Assuming he does hang on to squeeze Hillary out of the race, Obama is the emptiest vessel ever to get a major party nomination, a man who can't be judged on the results he has achieved because he's scarcely left a trace of results anywhere. It's all too easy to say "yes, we can" when you haven't ever had to be the guy people look to to say "yes we did."

He's never run anything at all, not even a small law practice like John Edwards. Besides his campaign, probably the biggest thing he's ever run was the Harvard Law Review.

He has nothing resembling national security experience or even particularly sustained advocacy on the issue before announcing his candidacy in 2007. The man has apparently hardly even traveled to Europe, to pick one example.

He is running in a contested election outside the insular world of Chicago politics for the first time and has never had any sort of responsibility for political leadership.

He's never served in the military and seems to have scarcely any experience even knowing people who served in the military.

His private-sector business background is negligible.

Are any of these things disqualifying from the Presidency? No. But electing a man who is so seriously lacking in all of them is indeed unprecedented. And that is and should be a central issue in this campaign......

I think Obama's lack of experience is central to his appeal to "core Democrats." They prefer it. Why? Because, as I've argued many times before, Liberals aren't "Liberal" any more. They have no belief in anything bigger than themselves. They wear "Liberalism" as a disguise, and to give themselves reasons to feel superior and important.

Their big fear is that they are going to be called on this. That they will be put into a situation where they will have to either fight fight for something, or admit they are frauds. That's why they hate the Iraq Campaign so bitterly, whether it's going well or badly. Overthrowing a fascist dictator and sponsoring democracy and freedom are Liberal ideas, and leftists still preen themselves on their regime-change in Nazi Germany. Iraq called this bluff.

Even the minimal experience Clinton can claim is associated with making choices. The latte-sipping crowd longs to float above all the gritty choices of practical politics, and just feel good about themselves. They want, for instance, to endlessly bask in the warm glow of the Civil Rights Movement, while ignoring the current plight of minority children in dysfunctional inner-city schools. And ignore the fact that black Africans are being enslaved right now, by Moslems in Sudan.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:53 AM

May 13, 2008

Mommy! Mommy! Johnny McCain said a bad word!

Rich Lowry on the Obama Rules. Which purport to declare all sorts of criticisms of Obama "off-limits" in acceptable political discourse...

....Here are the Obama rules in detail: He can’t be called a “liberal” (“the same names and labels they pin on everyone,” as Obama puts it); his toughness on the war on terror can’t be questioned (“attempts to play on our fears”); his extreme positions on social issues can’t be exposed (“the same efforts to distract us from the issues that affect our lives” and “turn us against each other”); and his Chicago background too is off-limits (“pouncing on every gaffe and association and fake controversy”). Besides that, it should be a freewheeling and spirited campaign.

Democrats always want cultural issues not to matter because they are on the least-popular side of many of them, and want patriotic symbols like the Pledge of Allegiance and flag pins to be irrelevant when they can’t manage to nominate presidential candidates who wholeheartedly embrace them (which shouldn’t be that difficult). As for “fear” and “division,” they are vaporous pejoratives that can be applied to any warning of negative consequences of a given policy or any political position that doesn’t command 100 percent assent....

We've been hearing lots of this poop. We also not supposed to point out that his pastor is a racist jew-hating nut job... "How dare you! He's a prophet!" Or that he's been endorsed by Hamas. (They know a Jimmy Carter when they see one.) Or that he's pals with unrepentant murdering 1960's terrorists.

I'd advise McCain to confront this nonsense directly, and declare that the "rules" are codswallop, and that he's not going to follow any of them. And that he reserves the right to call Obama a white liberal elitist if he wants to!

Posted by John Weidner at 12:01 PM

May 7, 2008

22 Ways to be a good Democrat...

Bookworm posted this....

22 WAYS TO BE A GOOD DEMOCRAT

IT’S NOT SO HARD, EVEN A CAVEMAN CAN DO IT….

1. You have to be against capital punishment, but support abortion on demand.

2. You have to believe that businesses create oppression and governments create prosperity.

3. You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens are more of a threat than nuclear weapons technology in the hands of Chinese and North Korean communists.

4. You have to believe that there was no art before federal funding.

5. You have to believe that global temperatures are more affected by soccer moms driving SUVs than by scientifically documented cyclical changes in the earth’s climate.

6. You have to believe that gender roles are artificial, but being homosexual is natural.

7. You have to believe that the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of federal funding.

8. You have to believe that the same teacher who can’t teach fourth graders how to read is somehow qualified to teach those same kids about sex.

9. You have to believe that hunters don’t care about nature, but loony activists who have never been outside of San Francisco do.

10. You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually doing something to earn it.

11. You have to believe that Mel Gibson spent $25 million of his own money to make The Passion of the Christ for financial gain only.

12. You have to believe that the NRA is bad because it supports certain parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is good because it supports certain parts of the Constitution.

13. You have to believe that taxes are too low, but ATM fees are too high.

14. You have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem are more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Edison, and Alexander Graham Bell.

15. You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas and set-asides are not.

16. You have to believe that Hillary Clinton is normal and is a very nice person.

17. You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn’t worked anywhere it’s been tried is because the right people haven’t been in charge.

18. You have to believe that conservatives telling the truth belong in jail, but a liar and sex offender belonged in the White House.

19. You have to believe that homosexual parades displaying drag, transvestites, and bestiality should be constitutionally protected, and manger scenes at Christmas should be illegal.

20. You have to believe that illegal Democratic Party funding by the Chinese Government is somehow in the best interest of the United States

21. You have to believe that it’s okay to give federal workers the day off on Christmas Day, but it’s not okay to say “Merry Christmas.”

22. You have to believe that this message is part of a vast right wing conspiracy.

As a charter member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, I endorse this message...

Posted by John Weidner at 6:45 AM

Lawsuit over "hostile work environment"

This just tops all...(From WSJ)

Often it seems as though American higher education exists only to provide gag material for the outside world. The latest spectacle is an Ivy League professor threatening to sue her students because, she claims, their "anti-intellectualism" violated her civil rights.

Priya Venkatesan taught English at Dartmouth College. She maintains that some of her students were so unreceptive of "French narrative theory" that it amounted to a hostile working environment. She is also readying lawsuits against her superiors, who she says papered over the harassment, as well as a confessional exposé, which she promises will "name names."...

...Ms. Venkatesan lectured in freshman composition, intended to introduce undergraduates to the rigors of expository argument. "My students were very bully-ish, very aggressive, and very disrespectful," she told Tyler Brace of the Dartmouth Review. "They'd argue with your ideas." This caused "subversiveness," a principle English professors usually favor...

...Ms. Venkatesan informed her pupils that their behavior was "fascist demagoguery." Then, after consulting a physician about "intellectual distress," she cancelled classes for a week. Thus the pending litigation.....

Don't I wish I could sue certain people for inflicting "intellectual distress" on me!

Posted by John Weidner at 6:21 AM

April 22, 2008

good job...

When casualties were high in Iraq, Democrat leaders deplored them loudly. Pretended they gave a damn about Americans and Iraqis dying. And SO, when casualty-rates dropped 80 or 90%, did they express pleasure? Satisfaction? Of course not, the liars.

They just changed the subject, and deplored that Iraq was not making political progress, and not hitting the "benchmarks." Pretended they cared about that. So, now that Iraq has been hitting one benchmark after another, do they say thank you? Do they say "Well done?"

Of course not. They are all black-hearted liars.

Iraq just achieved another one of those benchmarks, with a mass-release of prisoners, mostly Sunni, not accused of serious crimes. Shall I hold my breath waiting for the Ried's and Pelosis and Obama's and Clinton's to acknowledge that goals they said they considered important are being met? Of course not. They were lying. They are America-hating liars, and the magnificent feats-of-arms of our troops and our Iraqi allies are the last thing they want to happen.

They are on the other side.

Well, I'll say it. Congratulations, to Prime Minister al-Maliki, and to the free people of Iraq.

Posted by John Weidner at 12:21 PM

"The mother-of-all-environmental scares"

From Happy Earth Day, by Steven F. Hayward...

More than 30 years ago political scientist Anthony Downs discerned what he called the “issue-attention cycle,” a five-stage process by which the public and especially the news media grow alarmed over an issue, agitate for action, generate piles of scary headlines, and then begin to draw back as we come to recognize that the problem has been exaggerated or misconceived, and the price tag for action comes in. While Downs thought that the issue-attention cycle for the environment would last longer than most issues, it appears the mother-of-all-environmental scares -- global warming -- is following his model and is going to begin to fade like other environmental alarms of the past such as the population bomb and the “we’re running out of everything” scares.

The current media and political blitz on Capitol Hill for government controls on energy production are the product of the panic felt by environmentalists who realize that opinion polls show the public is climbing off global warming bandwagon...

I think a lot of the panic is coming from the unconscious, because even if the globalistas ignore the facts that contradict global warming theory, they had to be expecting a lot more bad news than there has been. Global mean temps have not increased since 1998! That's gotta be making certain people nervous.

And Argo. Argo was going to clinch the case for global warming. People were expecting that. Now you hear almost nothing about it.

What's bothersome to me is that the demise of each scare-issue doesn't cause ordinary people to start thinking for themselves. Minds just gradually adjust to the new CW, without people noticing that there's something really wrong. The "population bomb" fades away, and people stop worrying, but they retain a vague idea that there are too many people, and some of them really ought to be eliminated to "save the planet." That the predictions of mass-starvation never came true.... that's not dwelt upon.

Posted by John Weidner at 10:36 AM

April 21, 2008

They are all snobs...

I just had to fisk this silly thing. I need a bit of fun now and then...

There's real danger to Obama in a cry of 'snob', by Michael Crowley, The Observer, Sunday April 20 2008

....Obama's line was not fatal, but Norquist still has grounds for glee. For a fundamental battle has been joined here - that battle to define the Democratic nominee's character. [The Republican nominee, on the other hand, has always been open and honest about himself. This is a huge advantage for ANY human being.]

One recurring feature of recent presidential campaigns has been the disgraceful effort of the Republican party to compensate for its unpopular positions on major issues, from health care to Iraq, by impugning the character of the Democratic presidential nominee [By telling the truth about them. Notice that Crowley never claims Obama is NOT a person with character flaws. He just wishes the issue would go away.]. Liberals have made this complaint for some time, but I lent it new credence after listening to a senior figure in the Bush political machine. 'You guys never get it,' he said to a group of journalists who'd been debating the politics of some newsworthy issue. 'People don't vote on issues. They vote on character.' [The voters are wise. Issues morph and change; character is forever. And, I hate to break this to you, Mr "Journalist," but "newsworthy" means what people (those horrid little commoners) want to hear about, not what you want to report.]

The man knew whereof he spoke, for character largely explains how Bush won two presidential elections. In 2004, torture and beheadings were the norm in Iraq. [Performed by your al-Qaeda news-generating teams.] Yet Republicans substantially focused the election around John Kerry's persona. He was a flip-flopper, a windsurfer and snowboarder, a Swiss-educated man with a slightly 'foreign' mien. Never mind that Bush was the wealthy son of a former President educated at both Yale and Harvard - he was the 'regular guy'. [Bush IS a regular guy...he oozes Midland Texas from every pore. A fact confirmed by the way Dems heap scorn on all his "regular guy" traits! You can't ridicule someone for mis-pronouncing "nuclear," and then claim he's a rich Ivy-Leaguer]

Amazingly, one poll taken just before the election showed that pro-Bush voters cared more about 'character and strength of leadership than how a candidate stands on the issues' by a nearly three-to-one margin. Is it any wonder American politics is the subject of ridicule and derision around the world? [SO, how's them Italian/German/French/Belgian politics workin' out? Big success, right? Hmmm?]

It had been the same story four years earlier. A long stretch of peace and prosperity had made Al Gore clear favourite to succeed Clinton. But the GOP skilfully caricatured Gore as a pedantic snob [He is], a know-it-all who allegedly claimed to have 'invented' the internet. That defamation campaign, in turn, was modelled after the 1988 ridicule of Michael Dukakis as a product of pointy-headed academic Boston.

In every case, the GOP message to America was the same: the Democratic candidate is too fancy to understand your world. He looks down on you. He is a product of a coastal elite establishment that derides real Americans. [I live among the coastal elites. This is simple truth] Republicans have always known how they would attack Hillary Clinton's character: They've had more than 15 years of trashing her as mean-tempered, ultra-feminist prevaricator. [She is] But Obama's comments, which can at least be construed to deride the legitimate faith, traditions and concerns of small-towners, have opened the GOP door to tarring him with the label of elitist snob. [Notice we are presented with zero evidence showing he is not an elitist snob.] This is how it's going to go. In the derisive commentary of the past two weeks, we can see how Obama is heading for the Kerry-Gore-Dukakis treatment. He will be cast as a 'professor' from the university enclave of Chicago's Hyde Park. [Fits] And just as Kerry was heckled by conservatives for supposedly looking French, the campaign to define Obama as 'foreign', thanks to his Kenyan father and his boyhood years in Indonesia, is already underway. [If the charge is false, it won't stick. So how's that bowling score, Barry? Geeze, I could bowl more convincingly, and I haven't touched a ball for 40 years.]

And just as the elder George Bush used Dukakis's opposition to a constitutional ban on flag burning to impugn his patriotism, so the right is now encouraging the preposterous story that Obama is unpatriotic because he doesn't wear an American flag lapel pin and was once photographed without his hand placed over his heart during the national anthem. [I'm "embedded" among lefty elitists. They are NOT patriotic, and their aversion to flag pins reflects their beliefs perfectly] Attacks like these will be particularly convenient for Republicans given McCain's unimpeachably heroic and patriotic background.

Obama's campaign handlers have proven themselves a highly shrewd bunch. They are already working to bolster his regular-guy credibility - see Obama's recent photo-op at a Pennsylvania bowling alley [Must be the same guys that put Dukakis in a tank. Shrewd, shrewd.] and his endorsement by that ultimate salt-of-the-earth tribune [Triple-Word-Score in Pointy-Head Scrabble™] Bruce Springsteen. [To paraphrase Andy Warhol, there's nothing so un-regular as trying to be a regular guy.]

[Also, stupider by an order-of-magnitude is trying to make a girl a into a "regular guy." Hillary tossing back a shot in a bar tops all of this, in my opinion! Puke-worthy.]

That may help against Clinton on Tuesday. But an autumn endorsement by the Boss, alas, wasn't enough to save Kerry. Obama will have to muster a better defence. He can start by choosing his words more carefully. [Ha ha ha. In other words, be more careful about living a lie. Honest people don't have to worry about "choosing their words carefully." What comes out is what they are.] He can also console himself in knowing that the Bush Republicans have left American in such rotten shape that even the GOP's mendacious character politics may not be enough to save them this time around. [Dream on, Lefty losers.]

What always amazes me is that Dems are so insular and anti-American that they never get serious about fixing these big problems. You'd think they would have a "regular guy" summer camp, where effete coastal snob politicians go to learn how to eat cheese steaks, and drink boiler-makers, and talk to ranchers.

The Newman quote on my sidebar says,
"Aim at things and your words will be right without aiming." But most lefties can't do that, because they live in fear. They no longer have any underlying philosophy they can build their lives on. They are not just hiding their souls from ordinary Americans, they are hiding from themselves. Their dishonesty goes to the bone.

* Update: Another odd thing. Imagine the situation were reversed, and McCain was trying to win the votes of lefty trendoid professors by arranging photo-ops at MOMA, or listening to avant-guard poetry in a coffee house. Who would not laugh at such nonsense? Yet no leftist seems to notice that it is just as preposterous to put Baracky-boy in a bowling alley. I mean, who are the stupids here? Republicans are called the "stupid party," but who's cluelix?

Posted by John Weidner at 8:33 AM

April 19, 2008

I'll just wait for the protests to happen....

From The Australian...

SUPPORTERS of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party have set up a network of torture camps where they have been assaulting opposition activists, a leading rights group says.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch said suspected supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) were being rounded up and then beaten for several hours at a time with wooden sticks and batons in the wake of last month's disputed elections.

"Torture and violence are surging in Zimbabwe," Human Rights Watch's Africa director Georgette Gagnon said in a new report.

"ZANU-PF members are setting up torture camps to systematically target, beat, and torture people suspected of having voted for the MDC in last month's elections."

The organisation said it had conducted interviews with more than 30 people who had sustained serious injuries, including broken limbs, as a result of the beatings in the camps.

The aim of the beatings was to punish people for voting for the opposition in the March 29 polls and coerce them into supporting Mugabe in a possible second round run-off, HRW added. (Thanks to jammiewearingfool)

Any minute now the hundred-thousand or so people who have wailed for years about abu Ghraib will be making ringing denunciations of this new evil. I'll just sit here and hold my breath 'till it happens! Any minute now. Candle-light vigils, for sure. Headlines in the NYT.

Of course they won't do any such thing, the despicable frauds. 99% of the abu Ghraib bitching was pure hatred of America. None of them care about torture, unless there is a political point to be made.

And I'm still disgusted about how the splendid work of the 391st Military Police Battalion, from Columbus, Ohio, has never gotten a single morsel of credit. They are the ones who took over abu Ghraib prison after the scandal, and broke their backs doing everything with scrupulous care, so as to restore our country's honor. The trouble is, shams like Mark Shea, and all the other torture pomposos, couldn't care less. All they are interested in is tearing down this great nation, under the pretense of superior morality. Not a word of thanks ever to those who do things right.

And for that matter, Saddam's regime was, in the opinion of this history buff, the worst for torture in the history of this planet. Saddam's nine different secret police agencies tortured at least ten-thousand people every year, in the most hideous ways imaginable. Like having people eaten alive by dogs. Or torturing children in front of their parents. The US military put an end to that torture—torture on a scale a million times worse than abu Ghraib. And do any of our torture-mongers ever pause from complaining about water-boarding to say thank you to our troops, for stopping Saddam's torture regime, at the risk of their lives?

Of course not. They are all—from Shea on down—utterly uninterested in the subject of torture--a miillion brown-skinned foreigners could be tortured every day, and they would never shed a tear. Unless the USA could be blamed for it. THEN it would be a "moral issue."

Posted by John Weidner at 5:44 PM

Our two critical advantages...

Don't Miss mark Steyn's scathing comments on Mr Obama's rare moment of truthfulness. Guns and God? Hell, yes!

....Sen. Obama's remarks about poor dumb, bitter rural losers "clinging to" guns and God certainly testify to the instinctive snobbery of a big segment of the political class. But we shouldn't let it go by merely deploring coastal condescension toward the knuckledraggers. No, what Michelle Malkin calls Crackerquiddick (quite rightly – it's more than just another dreary "-gate") is not just snobbish nor even merely wrongheaded. It's an attack on two of the critical advantages the United States holds over most of the rest of the Western world. In the other G7 developed nations, nobody clings to God 'n' guns. The guns got taken away, and the Europeans gave up on churchgoing once they embraced Big Government as the new religion.

How's that working out? ....

Workin' out like shit. Spiritual collapse, demographic collapse, economic stagnation, an utter absence of any compelling new movements or dreams. That's Europe. And that's what Obama and the San Francisco Democrats want for us. They want it desperately, even though they dare not make a case for it openly.

Why? Because what they are fleeing from is belief. Belief in anything that is bigger than oneself.

I'd say this is a good answer to nihilist Euro-weenie hate-America Democrats like Clinton and Obama:

Posted by John Weidner at 1:17 PM

April 16, 2008

Rubes, fools, and hate-mongers for John McCain!

From The Rubes and the Elites, by Michael Lind, in Salon...

....In the act of rushing to Obama's defense, some prominent liberal bloggers reinforced the stereotype of elite liberal snobbery. On Friday, regular DailyKos diarist RKA argued, "This quote and the resulting feeding frenzy are a huge opportunity for Obama to get the attention of low-information small-town voters who are skeptical of him and convince some of them to vote their pocketbooks instead of their culture." On TPM Cafe, Todd Gitlin wrote that "Obama spoke artlessly, forgetting that the first law of American politics is: Flatter the rubes."

Now there's a campaign slogan. Hey, rubes -- I mean low-information voters -- Vote Your Pocketbook, Not Your Culture!

Should anyone doubt that dissing rather than flattering the "rubes" is an aberration, examples of liberal snobbery are not hard to find in progressive publications. Sometimes it's genteel, sometimes it's raw. In an essay titled "The Urban Archipelago" a few years ago, the editors of Seattle's alt-weekly the Stranger wrote: "It's time to state something that we've felt for a long time but have been too polite to say out loud: Liberals, progressives, and Democrats do not live in a country that stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from Canada to Mexico. We live on a chain of islands. We are citizens of the Urban Archipelago, the United Cities of America. We live on islands of sanity, liberalism, and compassion -- New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Seattle, St. Louis, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and on and on ... And we are the real Americans. They -- rural, red-state voters, the denizens of the exurbs -- are not real Americans. They are rubes, fools, and hate-mongers ... We can secede emotionally ... by turning our backs on the heartland ... We're everywhere any sane person wants to be. Let them have the shitholes, the Oklahomas, Wyomings, and Alabamas. We'll take Manhattan."....

Doesn't that just capture it all...

Posted by John Weidner at 11:07 AM

April 12, 2008

"Emerging truth"

I commend to your attention this piece from the National Post, about how the BBC was cajoled into changing an article that didn't conform to The Church of Climate Change orthodoxy... (Thanks to Michael Goldfarb)

This is just a part of the quoted e-mail exchange. "Roger" is the journalist, "Jo" is cracking the whip on behalf of the "Campaign Against Climate Change."

jo.

From: Roger Harrabin

The article makes all these points quite clear. We can't ignore the fact that skeptics have jumped on the lack of increase since 1998. It is appearing reguarly now in general media.

Best to tackle this -- and explain it, which is what we have done

Or people feel like debate is being censored, which makes them v. suspicious.

Roger

---

Hi Roger,

... . Your word "debate." This is not an issue of "debate." This is an issue of emerging truth. I don't think you should worry about whether people feel they are countering some kind of conspiracy, or suspicious that the full extent of the truth is being withheld from them.

Every day more information is added to the stack showing the desperate plight of the planet.

It would be better if you did not quote the skeptics. Their voice is heard everywhere, on every channel. They are deliberately obstructing the emergence of the truth.

I would ask : Please reserve the main BBC Online channel for emerging truth.

Otherwise, I would have to conclude that you are insufficiently educated to be able to know when you have been psychologically manipulated. And that would make you an unreliable reporter.

I am about to send your comments to others for their contribution, unless you request I do not. They are likely to want to post your comments on forums/fora, so please indicate if you do not want this to happen. You may appear in an unfavourable light because it could be said that you have had your head turned by the skeptics. Respectfully,

jo.

---

From: Roger Harrabin

Have a look in 10 minutes and tell me you are happier. We have changed headline and more.

"This is not an issue of "debate." This is an issue of emerging truth." You gotta love the frankness!

Notice how Jo Abbess just assumes she has the right to demand suppression of facts! As does the "journalist," Roger Harrabin. He doesn't even pretend to be objective; he merely claims it is better tactics to be open about inconvenient truths.

And this is similar to a few occasions I recall when the Old Media have been c aught being taken to task by Democrats for publishing some story that hurts a Dem. It is just assumed that the media are in the leftist camp, and that it is perfectly proper to tell them they can't publisj tjis or that.

And you just know that these "journalists" go to journalist banquets where they present each other with plaques and awards for journalistic integrity and "speaking truth to power." And listen to speeches about how a free press is essential to the functioning of democracy.

Posted by John Weidner at 1:28 PM

"syllogistic string of superciliousness:"

John Podhorertz: (Thanks to Glenn)

Well, it has finally happened. Barack Obama has done what Democratic candidates for president invariably do — he has revealed the profound sense of unearned superiority that is the sad and persistent hallmark of contemporary liberalism. Obama’s statement today that small-town folk “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations” may be the most distilled example of this train of thought I’ve ever seen.

Obama’s astonishing sentence offers a syllogistic string of superciliousness: Gun ownership is equated with religious fanaticism, which is said to accompany hatred of the other in the form of opposition to immigration and support for trade barriers. It drips with an attitude so important to the spiritual well-being of the American liberal — the paternalistic attitude that says, “Oh, well, people only do thing differently from me because they are ignorant and superstitious and backward” — that it has survived and thrived despite the suicidal impact it has had on the achievement of liberal political goals and aims.....

Actually, feeling superior IS the liberal goal. If you don't believe in anything bigger than yourself, then how you feel is the most important thing there is. And if liberals DO believe in something bigger them themselves, well, what is it? Can someone tell me?

* Update: Hmm. Why does this line seem to have a certain similarity... Beijing's second in command in Tibet, Qiangba Puncog: "I believe Tibetans are a good, simple people who know how to be grateful..."

* Update: Rand Simberg is a don't-miss: "By cracky, it's like the man sees into my soul!

"Thirty years ago, I had a good job in the mill in Pittsburgh. I was bringing in a good income, going to jazz clubs, discussing Proust over white wine and brie, with my gay friends of all colors. I was all for free trade, so that we could sell the steel overseas, and I never bothered to go to church, let alone actually believe in God.

"But then, the plant closed down, and I couldn't get another job. I went on unemployment, and found odd jobs here and there, but they barely paid the rent in the loft, and the payment on the Bimmer. I couldn't afford the wine and brie any more, and had to shift over to beer and brats.

"Of course, as a result, I started hanging out with the wrong crowd--the beer drinkers..."

Posted by John Weidner at 7:34 AM

April 10, 2008

There's nothin' like peace

Israel Today (Thanks to ALa)

Israeli Minister of National Infrastructure Benjamin Ben-Eliezer warned on Monday that if Iran attacks the Jewish state, it will suffer widespread destruction as a result.

Speaking at the headquarters for Israel's largest ever national emergency and defense drill, Ben-Eliezer said that "an Iranian attack will prompt a severe reaction from Israel, which will destroy the Iranian nation."...

....In related news, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proudly announced on Tuesday that his nation had begun installing an additional 6,000 advanced centrifuges for the enrichment of uranium. Iran already has 3,000 uranium enrichment centrifuges on line....

What Iran and Israel are doing makes sense---crazy dictators always want to kill Jews, it's in their nature. And Jews quite naturally have another opinion.

What gets me, what seems just crazy, is that if the US now drops some bunker-busters on those centrifuges, we will be called "warmongers," and aggressors!

And if President Bush does nothing, sits on his hands, lets two countries edge towards nuclear war, that's "peace."

Sick. Pacifism is sick.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:42 AM

April 6, 2008

"The liberal message of national improvement"

The Patriotism Problem Thursday, Apr. 03, 2008 By Joe Klein

....But there was still something missing. I noticed it during Obama's response to a young man who remembered how the country had come together after Sept. 11 and lamented "the dangerously low levels of patriotism and pride in our country, the loss of faith in our elected officials." Obama used this, understandably, to go after George W. Bush. "Cynicism has become the hot stock," he said, "the growth industry during the Bush Administration." He talked about the Administration's mendacity, its incompetence during Hurricane Katrina, its lack of transparency. But he never returned to the question of patriotism. He never said, "But hey, look, we're Americans. This is the greatest country on earth. We'll rise to the occasion."

This is a chronic disease among Democrats, who tend to talk more about what's wrong with America than what's right. When Ronald Reagan touted "Morning in America" in the 1980s, Dick Gephardt famously countered that it was near midnight "and getting darker all the time." This is ironic and weirdly self-defeating, since the liberal message of national improvement is profoundly more optimistic, and patriotic, than the innate conservative pessimism about the perfectibility of human nature. Obama's hopemongering is about as American as a message can get — although, in the end, it is mostly about our ability to transcend our imperfections rather than the effortless brilliance of our diversity, informality and freedom-propelled creativity...

"...the liberal message of national improvement is profoundly more optimistic, and patriotic, than the innate conservative pessimism about the perfectibility of human nature..." What is wrong with this statement? For one thing, "conservative pessimism" is intrinsic to what America IS. It is woven into our Constitution, whose "checks and balances," and limitations on government power assume the non-perfectibility of human nature.

Also, in practice, that "national improvement" stuff starts with the premise that America is a horrid place, except for its liberal elites, and needs to be bullied and "re-educated" towards goals that ordinary Americans by no means hold. It is the opposite of patriotism.

Am I "questioning somebody's patriotism?" Damn right I am. Is there something wrong with questioning people's patriotism? NO! It's my right as a patriotic American. Do I think Mr Klein, Mr Obama, & Mrs Clinton are unpatriotic? Yes, I do. Their underlying assumptions are those of leftist anti-Americanism. They are unpatriotic.

...Patriotism is, sadly, a crucial challenge for Obama now. His aides believe that the Wright controversy was more about anti-Americanism than it was about race. Michelle Obama's unfortunate comment that the success of the campaign had made her proud of America "for the first time" in her adult life and the Senator's own decision to stow his American-flag lapel pin — plus his Islamic-sounding name — have fed a scurrilous undercurrent of doubt about whether he is "American" enough...

Why is it "scurrilous?" Why is it scurrilous to ask if a candidate for President of the US actually loves the US? Why, Mr Klein? Why exactly? And why did you put "American" in scare quotes?

"The liberal message of national improvement.." I for one do not want to be "improved." I spit upon your "improvements" with the utmost contempt. If anyone needs to be improved, it's you anti-American lefties. Maybe a few years in a Cuban prison camp, along with various Cuban writers who dared to suggest improvements in the much-admired Castro's socialist paradise, would give you a little insight into why us non-elite people proudly wear our American flag pins.

* Update: By the way Mr Klein, you seem to disagree with "conservative pessimism about the perfectibility of human nature." Would you be so kind as to share with us your evidence? Could you give us some example of human nature being "perfected?" Or even just slightly improved? I would be very curious to see this wonder.

Posted by John Weidner at 5:00 PM

April 2, 2008

It's about time...

Jeez, it's about time. The Pentagon may finally getting tough with the lefty scoff-laws of the "academy." How I despise fakes, especially fake pacifists. There they sit, fat 'n useless, enjoying prosperity and freedom secured by military violence, and then they spit on our troops, and pretend they are dwelling on some superior moral plane.. And it's not like they actually believe any of their anti-war bullshit. If al Qaeda moved into Berkeley or Ann Arbor, they'd all of them be howling for the Marines.

Army Times: The Defense Department has announced a new get-tough policy with colleges and universities that interfere with the work of military recruiters and Reserve Officer Training Corps programs.

Under rules that will take effect April 28, defense officials said they want the exact same access to student directories that is provided to all other prospective employers.

Students can opt out of having their information turned over to the military only if they opt out of having their information provided to all other recruiters, but schools cannot have policies that exclude only the military, defense officials said in a March 28 notice of the new policy in the Federal Register.

The Defense Department “will honor only those student ‘opt-outs’ from the disclosure of directory information that are even-handedly applied to all prospective employers seeking information for recruiting purposes,” the notice says....

....The new policy also no longer lets schools ban military recruiters from working on campuses solely because a school determines that no students have expressed interest in joining the military. If other employers are invited, the military has to have the same access.

Federal funding can be cut off if colleges and universities do not give recruiters and ROTC programs campus access. While student financial assistance is not at risk, other federal aid, especially research funding, can disappear if a school does not cooperate.

The Pentagon can declare colleges or universities anti-ROTC if they prohibit or prevent a Senior ROTC program from being established, maintained or efficiently operated.

The new policy is, in part, the result of a 2006 U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld the federal government’s ability to use funding as a means of forcing equal access for military recruiters and ROTC units on campuses....
Posted by John Weidner at 6:05 PM

March 24, 2008

A less-than-accurate description of the situation in Baghdad...

Michael Goldfarb gives a quote from a book I'm going to be reading soon, Cheney: The Untold Story of America's Most Powerful and Controversial Vice President

...In 2002, the vice president had been briefed on fresh intelligence that members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad had made their way to Iraq and had begun setting up safe houses in Baghdad. Cheney found the report interesting, but odd. He had understood that Egyptian Islamic Jihad had merged with al Qaeda several years earlier. Ayman al Zawahiri, the group’s longtime leader, was now Osama bin Laden’s chief deputy. Cheney wanted to know why the report did not simply conclude that al Qaeda was setting up safe houses in Baghdad.

He returned the report to the CIA with a question: Would it be accurate to substitute “al Qaeda” for every mention of “Egyptian Islamic Jihad?” The answer did not come immediately, but when it did, the CIA finally acknowledged that members of al Qaeda were operating in Baghdad.

To Cheney, the episode was one example of many that demonstrated the unwillingness of some CIA analysts to take an objective look at Iraq and its support for radical Islamic terrorists, al Qaeda in particular. In this case, analysts were so determined to avoid reporting the presence of al Qaeda members in Iraq that they presented Cheney with a less-than-accurate description of the situation in Baghdad...

To me it is one of the most interesting things of our time, the way liberals (and the CIA is very liberal; it's not a place you will find any Republicans) are repelled, as if by some invisible magnetic field, from looking straight at Iraq. They know, and they knew then, back in 2002, that it was the biggest danger to them. That it would unmask them.

They'd been decrying fascism forever, and preening themselves on their anti-Hitler credentials, and then......comes George W Bush who says, "Bully! Let's all go together and overthrow a fascist dictator who makes Adolph Hitler look like a moderate." Ha ha. He got them, the vile phonies.

If President Bush (along with Vice-President Cheney) never accomplished anything else (in fact the list of his accomplishments is a long one) he would be a great president just because he exposed "liberals" and "pacifists" for the nihilists most of them are.

      Dick Cheney on a Segway

Posted by John Weidner at 9:57 PM

March 22, 2008

In multiculturalist eyes, "understand" means "no criticism."....

William Katz:

When Urgent Agenda began - and that was only two and a half months ago - I promised to defend the English language. I've done too little in that regard, for which I offer apologies. However, let me now try a bit of redemption and discuss briefly the misuse of a word. The word is "understanding."

We're hearing that word every day. Barack Obama's campaign, we're told, is an attempt at "understanding" across racial lines. The intellectual elites tell us we must do more to foster international "understanding." The multicultural industry informs us that "understanding" other cultures is the key to going to Heaven.

But what do they actually mean when they say "understanding"?

What they often mean, without telling us, is "approval." The word "understanding" has been so abused and degraded that it often is a code word for appeasement. "Understanding" across ethnic lines is noble, but the word is often employed to shut down discussion. If we "understand," after all, we must not be "judgmental." Only those who don't "understand" are judgmental.

A true, honest multiculturalist will say that "we must understand other cultures, and they must understand us." But when have you ever heard the second part of that expression? In multiculturalist eyes, "understand" means "no criticism."

So be on guard when you hear the word. The definition of "understanding" may not be the one you would use. A message is often being sent. It is sometimes a dishonest message.

It's almost always a dishonest message. And it's extra-likely to be dishonest when the subject is race in America. The Civil Rights Movement was, like so many other revolutions and noble causes, two-faced. There were crowds of idealists moved by a noble cause, but the inner core was power-hungry leftists, who use movements and causes cynically.

And the Civil Rights Movement was always as much about destroying blacks as it was about freeing them. It is not surprising that we discover black leaders peddling racism and anti-Americanism. That was part of the "movement" from the very beginning.

If you teach someone—anyone—that they should have a sense of grievance and resentment and entitlement...you are trying to destroy them. You are destroying their character. You are killing their spirit. When Jeremiah Wright, and many other black leaders, tell their people that they are "owed," that they are "oppressed" and are entitled to feel resentment and sullenness, they are destroying souls.

Suppose I teach my children that the world is against them, that the world owes them a living, and that they are entitled to special favors to make up for all the blows that life offers to everyone......what would I be doing to them? Would I be helping them or hurting them? You know the answer. What if I taught them that they should not accept criticism?

The Civil Rights Movement (and many other movements) was always two-faced. And this can be seen from the beginning, in the implicit "bargain" offered whites (and blacks too), that we can be on the "right side," that we can be the good guys, as long as we don't criticize blacks.

This was, and is, a pernicious and destructive idea. We all need criticism. It is painful, but it is good for us. We need to get it, and to respond thoughtfully. (And that includes thoughtful rejection of criticism, if it is unwarranted.) The wise person says, "Hit me with your hardest shot. If my beliefs and actions are valid, then they will withstand the test. And if they are not, I should change." And we even need unfair criticism. It's good for us; teaches us to discriminate between valid and invalid.

But the subtext of the Civil Rights Movement was always that any criticism of black Americans was racist. That it was equivalent to those racist claims that "all blacks are shiftless and lazy." That was an evil idea. The leaders of the movement should have been requesting fair criticism.

Black (and other minority) Americans were hurt by this, but they were in fact just collateral damage. The real goal was to protect leftists from criticism, especially leaders.. To protect them from having to defend various quasi-socialist policies on the merits. They have been hiding behind this ever since. The subtext is always "Don't you dare criticize me, because I'm helping [fill in the grievance-group]. If you scrutinize me you are a [fill in the blank: racist/sexist/homophobe, etc.].

The prohibition on criticism of "oppressed" groups creates a penumbra that shields leftists in general. That's why two ludicrously under-qualified candidates are vying for the Democrat nomination right now. Neither of them would even be in the running if they were white males. But each offers the possibility of giving blanket protection to their supporters. Any criticism will be called sexism or racism. No defeat will have to be acknowledged on its merits; it was just evil white/male America destroying the good minority group, as usual. (The same thing would work for Al Gore, but the grievance-group would be Polar Bears.)

Guys like Obama are in the habit, when things get sticky, of trotting out the line about how America needs to have a "conversation about race." This is always a lie; what's envisioned is a monologue, where whites are supposed to shut up and be told how horrid they are, and how minorities need more loot to make up for racism. But If Obama is the nominee, then I can imagine a more honest conversation happening!

The odds are against it, to be sure. Americans have been subjected to decades of relentless propaganda to teach them that this is taboo. McCain won't do it; it would not be smart politics, and he's too moderate. But, the folly called "Campaign Finance Reform" has, thanks to Mr McCain, taken much of election campaigning out of the hands of parties and candidates!

In 2004, the obvious fact that John Kerry's "war hero" status was a sham was taboo to mention, by press, parties and candidates. But the Swift Boat Veterans were not part of that apparatus. (Dems like to claim that they were a plot by Rove, but if they had been they would have been much better-funded!) The Swifties didn't care that they were going to be slammed for daring to break a taboo.

We could see some new variants on the Swifties this year. None of the elites really want to turn over rocks and shine harsh lights on the Jeremiah Wrights. But there are lots of ordinary Americans who might scratch their heads and think, "America has fixed at least 95% of what was wrong before the Civil Rights era, and yet the bellyaching never stops. Something is fishy here. In fact, I think this is a pile of BS."

Same thing about feminism, if Hillary wins the nomination. There's more than a few Americans who would like to turn that rock over and see the ugly bugs squirm in the sunshine. Probably won't happen, but the potential is there. Politics tends to unleash forces like nothing else. The elites are compromised, and won't go against the taboos, but elites matter less in the Information Age. They have less control of the agenda. Information routes around them.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:21 AM

March 20, 2008

Question for "Democrats"

In Mr Obama's speech, he said:

...To succeed in Afghanistan, we also need to fundamentally rethink our Pakistan policy. For years, we have supported stability over democracy in Pakistan, and gotten neither. The core leadership of al Qaeda has a safe-haven in Pakistan. The Taliban are able to strike inside Afghanistan and then return to the mountains of the Pakistani border. Throughout Pakistan, domestic unrest has been rising. The full democratic aspirations of the Pakistani people have been too long denied. A child growing up in Pakistan, more often than not, is taught to see America as a source of hate – not hope...

So, question for Dems, for liberals: WHY are you so disdainful of democracy in Iraq?

WHY did you prefer "stability over democracy" in Iraq? Even to the point of supporting the cruelest fascist tyrant ever?

Iraq just passed its provincial election law, one of the" benchmarks" leftists have been complaining about. WHY is no leftish person expressing happiness?

What is it about Iraq?

My theory is that Iraq is not only the central front of the War on Terror, it is at this moment the "central front" in the much larger struggle for the soul of the Western World.

President Bush, with a wicked cleverness we never dreamed he possessed, has posed, in the form of the Iraq Campaign, the perfect "put up or shut up" test for that vast part of the West that can be labeled "liberal."

I could write a much longer list. Almost everything "liberals" claim to be for, Saddam was against. And when President Bush posed the question, "liberals" (most of them) failed on every count.

The test has been repeated, and "liberals" have failed, repeatedly. Not only did they fail to support, for Iraqis, things like a free press, women's rights, gay rights, worker's rights, the right to travel........they failed even to express pleasure when Iraqis gained any of those rights!

And when al Qaeda and many of the Sunni tried to destroy the new Iraqi democracy by a campaign of savage terror, "liberals" failed again. They were almost all of them in favor of handing the Iraqis over to the butchers. And now that Iraqis have turned strongly against terrorism, and American and Iraqi forces are working together to achieve a stunning victory over al Qaeda, "liberals" have failed yet again. They are not happy with our success at all.

From Obama's speech: "...And that is why Senator McCain can argue – as he did last year – that we couldn’t leave Iraq because violence was up, and then argue this year that we can’t leave Iraq because violence is down..."

Well, I would turn that sentence around. Mr O, whether violence is up or violence is down, you are desperate to get out of Iraq. Why? Whether things are going good, or going bad, whether we are winning or losing, you are desperate to get out of Iraq. Why? Some liberals, like you Mr O, claim they want to get tough in places like Iran, Afghanistan, or Pakistan.....other liberals don't want to get tough anywhere......but you are ALL of you desperate to get out of Iraq. WHY?

I think most liberals are writhing in agony because they are being put to the test over and over again. I bet Obama could have come out in favor of conquering Pakistan and making it an Imperial Protectorate, and no lefties would have minded, as long as he promised to get out of Iraq.

That's what that speech was really about.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:04 AM

March 17, 2008

A quote to start the week...

From the National Post:

...Why aren't the Vietnamese more grateful to Tom Hayden? Recently, he returned for the first time in 36 years to the country that he and his then-wife Jane Fonda tried to save from American domination in the Vietnam war. The trip disappointed him. As he writes in the March 10 issue of The Nation, Vietnam has turned capitalist...

(Thanks to Orrin.)

Posted by John Weidner at 6:05 AM

March 15, 2008

Turning over a rotting log...

OBAMA'S JEREMIAD. By Investor's Business Daily:

Election 2008: Imagine the uproar if John McCain's pastor used the "N"-word and asked God to "damn" blacks. Yet Barack Obama's pastor condemns whites, and liberal pundits bite their lip.

This newspaper was the first to draw attention to Obama's hate-mongering preacher, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright, and his black segregationist church in Chicago. Our January 2007 editorial, "Obama's Real Faith," exposed their preaching of a militantly anti-white and socialist doctrine called the "Black Value System," triggering a major story in the Chicago Tribune, which led to other stories.

Now comes the leaking of recently videotaped sermons by Wright angrily condemning whites as racists and America as evil. If you close your eyes, you'd swear you were listening to the hateful rantings of uber-bigot Louis Farrakhan. Like the Nation of Islam minister, Wright feeds his 8,500-member flock, including Obama and his family, legends about whites keeping blacks down by getting them hooked on crack and then locking them up. He even claims whites invented AIDS to destroy blacks.

Obama is not immune to such myths. Until recently, when he was informed it wasn't true, he repeated a favorite Wright line that "we've got more black men in prison than there are in college."

"The government gives (black men) drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people," Wright thundered in a 2003 sermon. "God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme."

Locked in a Jim Crow time warp, he claims America — which he affectionately calls "the US-KKK-A" — is "controlled by and run by rich white people." Never mind that institutionalized racism is a distant memory. Or that the most popular candidate in the country right now, according to some polls, is his top acolyte.

In 2006, Wright said from the pulpit: "Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run. We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God. And. And-and! God! Has got! To be sick! Of this sh*t!"....

If Mr Obama has been sitting in the pew for twenty years listening to this foul lying stuff, he not only does not deserve to be President, he does not deserve to be welcomed into the company of decent people. And if Democrats are not anti-American racists, they will repudiate him. Ha ha...I won't hold my breath on that one.

Of course in one sense he wasn't sitting in a pew, since this is not religion. It's politics. Mr Wright's church has been "hollowed-out," its faith replaced by politics, just as much as the many mushy white churches that have replaced salvation through the Lord Jesus with "peace 'n justice 'n the UN Millennium Goals."

And of course this is a perfect example of how the news-media hurts Democrats by trying to help them. Maybe, just maybe, certain Democrat Primary voters would have wanted to know this stuff. Hmmm? D'you think? Too late now, suckers. Maybe you Dems should think about telling the press to just report the damn news honestly, instead of trying to mold the country with their superior elite wisdom.

"When mystery no longer counts for anything, then politics necessarily becomes the religion"
      --Pope Benedict XVI, Truth And Tolerance: Christian Belief And World Religions, p. 126

Posted by John Weidner at 8:35 AM

March 8, 2008

Treason pure and simple

Michelle Malkin has a long long LONG report on the many ongoing attacks and harassment of military recruiters by leftists. It's worth reading. These things have nothing to do with any sort of legitimate free speech or democratic political action.

They are crimes, pure and simple. And treason pure and simple. And evil, pure and simple--this has no connection to any sort of real pacifism. (Which is apparently extinct—I don't expect our current crop of fake-pacifists to make any protest against lawless violence. Violence in favor of left-wing goals is always fine with those frauds.)

Leftists hate America, and hate the Iraq Campaign, and hate our military...for one reason. Those three have something in common. They each symbolize a willingness to fight for what one believes in. To the nihilist, belief is an affront and an irritant.

Posted by John Weidner at 12:02 PM

March 6, 2008

"It was always a shabby line of attack"

Jay Nordlinger:

In the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004, we heard this from Democrats, constantly: You have to have worn the uniform, in order to qualify as president. Moreover, you have to have gone to war, in order to qualify as president.

Why did the Democrats say this? Because their nominees were Al Gore and John Kerry, both of whom had been to Vietnam, for some months. And the Republican nominee was George W. Bush, who had merely flown fighter jets in the Guard...

...Okay, my question: Will we hear the same talk from Democrats in 2008? Will they say that you have to have been to war, in order to qualify as president? The Democratic nominee will be either Obama or Hillary; and the Republican will be McCain.

Um, I don’t think so.

It was always a shabby line of attack, that particular one. And I hope that, in retrospect, those who used it will blush a little.

Yeah, right, blush like Ananias. Now they will be back to "soldiers are baby-killers." Frauds.

And you know, I'm still royally pissed about the smears against President Bush's military service. Flying 102's in the Air Guard was more dangerous than the duty Kerry volunteered for--Swift Boats operating off the coast of Vietnam. (It was after he joined them that they were sent up the Mekong. Surprise!) It was certainly more difficult; the F-102 was the crankiest and most crash-prone high-performance jet we have ever put into service. And Bush got high marks for his piloting skill, and gave 2 1/2 years of active service.

Lordy, how I loathe lying leftists. Here are some FACTS on the subject: Link, Link, Link...................

Posted by John Weidner at 12:36 PM

February 28, 2008

The wicked man fleeth, when no man pursueth...

Life.news.com (Thanks to Orrin)

Senator Barack Obama debated his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton on Tuesday night and said his biggest mistake was voting with a unanimous Senate to help save Terri Schiavo. Terri is the disabled Florida woman whose husband won the legal right to starve her to death...

...During the Tuesday debate, Obama said he should have stood up against the life-saving legislation...

This seems strange to me. Maybe I missed something, but I haven't heard that Obama is taking any flack for his Schaivo vote. Hillary isn't saying, "You voted to save Schaivo. You've betrayed a woman's right to choose. Of course here it was a man who got to chose, but it's the principle of the thing!" So why bring the issue up? Is it some kind of Left-wing litmus test?

One would think that, politically, he would just want to let the issue slide. Surely he stands to lose votes over this, at least in the general election?

Maybe it comes from the heart. I've rather suspected, that, to the lefty nihilist, abortion and euthanasia are sacraments.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:07 AM

February 26, 2008

More Republican dirty tricks...

David Freddoso, at The Corner:

Senate Republicans just voted for cloture on the bill to withdraw from Iraq. Cloture was acheived in a 70-24 vote.

Why did they vote that way? So that they could debate it. This is not unlike what happened when Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) attempted to impeach Vice President Cheney. The Republicans there voted to have the debate (although they were stymied by the House Majority).

Majority leader Reid (D-Nev.), who filed for cloture, complains now that the Republicans are engaged in delaying tactics. Why isn't he welcoming a chance to have an up-or-down vote on ending our involvement in Iraq?

It's good to see us Republicans taking advantage of the evil witlessness of Democrats!

Posted by John Weidner at 10:05 PM

February 22, 2008

Ker-bam!

By Thom Shanker. WASHINGTON: Videotape of the U.S. Navy mission to shoot down a dying spy satellite made available shows an interceptor missile ascending atop a bright trail of burning fuel, and then a flash, a fireball and a plume of vapor. A cloud of debris left little doubt that the missile had squarely hit its mark as it spent its final days orbiting high above the Pacific Ocean.

A different kind of doubt still lingers, though, expressed by policy analysts, some politicians and scientists, and not a few foreign powers, especially China and Russia: Should the people of the world be breathing a sigh of relief that the risk has passed of a half-ton of frozen, toxic rocket fuel landing who knows where? Or should they be worried about the latest display of U.S. technical prowess and see it as a thinly veiled test for a shadow antisatellite program?....

"Should the people of the world be worried...." The way the question is put reminds me once again of the contempt I feel for the sort of people who make up the New York Times. (Shanker is their Pentagon reporter.) His loyalty and sympathy, as a member of the "coastal elites," is centered somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, and a lot closer to Paris than to the nasty old USA. His heart is in Belgium.

When he writes "the people of the world," he doesn't mean, like, you know, the actual grubby little people. No. He means their owners, the ruling elites. They are the ones who might not want us to be able to shoot down incoming missiles.

So let me rephrase the question. Should the people of the world be breathing a sigh of relief that the cops are on the beat, and carrying bigger guns than the hoodlums who think they own the neighborhood? Yeah, baby.

Should the people of China be breathing a sigh of relief that their brutal masters are feeling less pushy today? You betcha.

Should the little people of the world feel glad that the liberating spirit of Ronald Reagan has been vindicated today, at the expense of the "realists" who think that we have no "strategic interest" in their freedom and prosperity? And at the expense of the vile leftists who are in favor of tyranny and oppression?

It's no accident that Democrats and Euro-socialists and all the world's tyrants hated Reagan's vision of missile defense, and have fought it tenaciously from that day to now. They hate it because they hate the United States of America, at least when she is strong and proud and free. We are supposed to be humble and conciliatory and meek.

To which I say, Ha ha ha. You lose, sniveling worms. We shot a rocket—not from a stable platform—from a cruiser moving on the waves, and we not only whacked a satellite out of orbit, we hit one particular spot on the thing! To all the fake scientists and fake experts who have declared that this sort of thing is impossible, I spit upon your nihilism. It is ALL possible. Because we are Americans. We can do this stuff.

And thank you, President George W Bush, who made missile-defense and anti-satellite defense a priority.

US Cruiser fires SM-3The guided missile cruiser USS Shiloh launches an SM-3 during a ballistic missile defense exercise. (Photograph courtesy of the U.S. Navy)

Posted by John Weidner at 6:33 PM

February 20, 2008

Si, se puede!

This makes a lot of sense...(By Scott Ott)

(2008-02-19) — As Cuban President Fidel Castro announced today he would end his half-century of totalitarian rule, sources close to Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama tried to tamp down speculation that they were on “the short list” of potential replacements for the ailing Communist dictator.

Rumors in Cuba carry the currency of mainstream media coverage in the U.S., and many Castro-supporters are eager to find new leadership that combines Castro-like charisma with iron-fisted leadership tactics and revolutionary support for government-run health care, education and industry.

“A Clinton-Obama ticket,” said one unnamed Cuba scholar, “combines the power and the glory that was Fidel Castro, with the unshakable commitment to collectivism, controlled economies, and virulent resistance to the United States as a superpower.”...

Either one would be a good fit for the job...

Posted by John Weidner at 5:43 PM

February 19, 2008

"A good synopsis of the current state of American politics"

When Bill Kristol was offered a spot at the NYT, I mostly just hoped he wouldn't goof-up and disgrace us conservatives. I think this piece, Democrats Should Read Kipling, does us proud...

....Orwell offers a highly qualified appreciation of the then (and still) politically incorrect Kipling. He insists that one must admit that Kipling is “morally insensitive and aesthetically disgusting.” Still, he says, Kipling “survives while the refined people who have sniggered at him seem to wear so badly.” One reason for this is that Kipling “identified himself with the ruling power and not with the opposition.”

“In a gifted writer,” Orwell remarks, “this seems to us strange and even disgusting, but it did have the advantage of giving Kipling a certain grip on reality.” Kipling “at least tried to imagine what action and responsibility are like.” For, Orwell explains, “The ruling power is always faced with the question, ‘In such and such circumstances, what would you do?’, whereas the opposition is not obliged to take responsibility or make any real decisions.” Furthermore, “where it is a permanent and pensioned opposition, as in England, the quality of its thought deteriorates accordingly.”

If I may vulgarize the implications of Orwell’s argument a bit: substitute Republicans for Kipling and Democrats for the opposition, and you have a good synopsis of the current state of American politics.

Having controlled the executive branch for 28 of the last 40 years, Republicans tend to think of themselves as the governing party — with some of the arrogance and narrowness that implies, but also with a sense of real-world responsibility. Many Democrats, on the other hand, no longer even try to imagine what action and responsibility are like. They do, however, enjoy the support of many refined people who snigger at the sometimes inept and ungraceful ways of the Republicans....

Well, it's true. Actually, I think that way myself. Of course you will think me a bit absurd, but when I blog I sometimes think of myself as sitting around with George and Condi, puzzling out real-world solutions to problems. And resenting keenly those who propose sweeping solutions or easy generalizations. It does make blogging more fun.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:37 AM

“Socialism works"

Michelle Malkin has a list of quotes by Hollywood drooling idiots about their favorite totalitarian tyrant, (compiled from Fidel: Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant)

“Very selfless and moral. One of the world’s wisest men.” –Oliver Stone.
“Cuba’s Elvis.” –Dan Rather.
“Castro is at the same time the island, the men, the cattle, and the earth. He is the whole island.” –Jean Paul-Sartre.
“A dream come true!” –Naomi Campbell.
“If you believe in freedom, if you believe in justice, if you believe in democracy, you have no choice but to support Fidel Castro!” –Harry Belafonte.
“A genius.” –Jack Nicholson.
“Fidel, I love you. We both have beards. We both have power and want to use it for good purposes.” –Francis Ford Coppola.
“The first and greatest hero to appear in the world since the Second World War.” –Norman Mailer.
“Socialism works. I think Cuba might prove that.” –Chevy Chase.
“Castro is an extraordinary man. He is warm and understanding and seems extremely humane.” –Gina Lollobrigida.

After we conquered Nazi Germany, many German civilians were forced at gunpoint to walk through concentration camps. I think it would be entirely proper if thousands were rounded-up from Hollywood studios and taken for a look at Castro's prisons...

Posted by John Weidner at 6:44 AM

February 18, 2008

The actions NOT taken were the policy...

Jim Miller writes on the Africa policies of Clinton and Bush. Guess who I think history will consider a great president. For this and a lonnng list of other reasons...

...The actions taken not taken in Rwanda were the Clinton administration's important African policy. Besides that, he did little, other than to continue the policies of previous administration. Africa did not much interest either of his secretaries of state, Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright.

In contrast to Clinton, George W. Bush had promised a less activist foreign policy during his initial campaign for office. There were some exceptions. From the beginning, he backed Colin Powell's successful efforts to end the civil war in the southern Sudan, a war that had gone on for decades (or perhaps centuries in some ways of looking at it). (Incidentally, I have thought for some time that Powell has gotten too little credit for that success, and for helping defuse the tension between India and Pakistan, somewhat later.)

But, after the 9/11 attack, that changed, and Bush decided on a more activist foreign policy, in part, I suppose, to get support for the war on terrorism. But the area he chose, and the policies he backed after 9/11 were not inevitable, and show something interesting about the man, and his administration. Bush decided to help the poorest continent, Africa, and decided to help in three principal ways; he provided help for fighting malaria and AIDS, and he set up a new system of foreign aid, which challenges African countries to reform, before they receive the aid.

All three have had successes, some of which you can read about in this article in the Washington Post. It is likely that, in the next decade or so, millions of Africans will live who might have died without these Bush initiatives.

Let's summarize. Bill Clinton could have saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of Africans — but chose not to, in order to preserve his political viability. George W. Bush has saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of Africans, in spite of the political costs.

The political gains for Clinton were not great, and the political costs to Bush were probably small. But the contrast, in which one man does the right thing and the other doesn't tells us more than a little about the two men. And the fact that this contrast has gotten so little coverage tells us more than a little about our "mainstream" journalists.

(I was dubious about the Somalia intervention; I was, to the extent I followed the question, in favor of stopping the genocide in Rwanda. That's because I thought that the first required enormous resources — or exceptionally skillful diplomacy — and that the second required trivial resources. In fact, the UN commander in Rwanda at the time, Roméo Dallaire, thought he could stop the genocide with a mere 4,000 troops. In contrast, to disarm the Somalia clans might have required 400,000 troops, or a very long campaign.)....

Bush is a Christian leader. Clinton is a narcissistic lefty nihilist. The results are plain to see. History will judge.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:52 PM

February 15, 2008

A low-down dirty trick--campaigning on issues and facts!

I found the tone and style of this piece, AlterNet: What Will Obama Do When There's No Hillary Firewall?, by Earl Ofari Hutchinson utterly fascinating for the way it openly assumes that attacking a candidate on the issues, and the way he has voted in the past, is dirty politics, and in some never-specified way "over the line." (Thanks to Glenn.)

I think this is going to be a major theme in the up-coming election. To campaign on a Democrat's issues will be called "swiftboating." (Which is portrayed as a scoundrel trick when, in fact, the Swifties did nothing wrong, Kerry was never able to refute them, and had to admit to one major lie.) And, psychologically, it's preparation for a defeat to come--"We are going to be stabbed in the back. So there will be no need to re-think."

...If her campaign goes down, so will Obama's Hillary firewall. The gloves will be off and it won't be pretty.

There was an early hint of the dirty stuff that will come his way. The instant that Obama announced his campaign last February, National Rifle Association executive vice-president Wayne LaPierre wasted no words when asked about Obama's strong support for a ban on semi-automatic assault weapons, and severe limits on handgun purchases during his tenure in the Illinois Senate. [Why is this "dirty stuff?" If Obama believed in it and voted for it, shouldn't he and his supporters be proud?]

He called Obama's pro-gun control stance "bad politics." LaPierre's admonition was an ominous warning that the powerful gun-lobby group would oppose Obama, and so would millions of other passionate gun owners that take their cue from the NRA. [Isn't that what's supposed to happen in a democracy?]

That's just the start. His votes and views during his days in the Illinois Senate on taxes, abortion, civil liberties, civil rights, law enforcement and capital punishment have so far drawn little public attention, because of the media and a big chunk of the public's obsession with nailing Hillary. But in a head to head match up with the likely GOP presidential nominee John McCain, Republicans and conservative interest groups will surgically dissect his state Senate votes and they will find much there to pound him on. [And he's going to proudly defend his record, right? Stand up for his beliefs, right? And you too, Mr Hutchinson? You will be wearing your candidate's record like a badge of pride, right?]

The National Taxpayers Union will pound him for voting to impose hundreds of new taxes and fees on businesses in his last year in the state Senate. Though the tax hikes were deemed necessary to help close Illinois's crushing budget deficit, business and taxpayer interest groups screamed foul. ["Were deemed." I love the passive voice. Were "deemed" by who? God? So, if something has been "deemed," it's wrong to oppose?]

Obama's vote to raise taxes and his consistent pro-labor votes marked him as another tax and spend Democrat. This has been the dread label that Republicans have tagged Democratic contenders with in elections past. This always strikes an angry chord with millions of voters who equate higher taxes with government waste, inefficiency and pork barrel favoritism. And even more insidiously, equate high taxes with special interest giveaways to minorities and the poor. ["Dread label." You have not argued that he is NOT a tax-and-spend Democrat, so shouldn't you call it an "honest label?" Next you will object to him being "tagged" as a "Democrat!" Insidious, those Republicans.]

Obama got a perfect rating from the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council. In 2001, he backed legislation that restricted medical support in certain types of abortions where the fetus survives. Pro-life groups interpreted that as a vote to strengthen abortion rights. ["Interpreted?" You mean it's not that? Actually, bad news pal, us insidious right-wingers are going to "interpret" it as INFANTICIDE. Which it is.]
His vote and views on choice will make him a prime target for pro-life groups. He got a zero rating from the National Right to Life Committee for voting for stem cell research, for funding abortions abroad, and against parental notification in the U.S. Senate.

Obama's pro-civil liberties votes on capital punishment and police power and the 100 percent rating he got from the ACLU won't help him dodge the soft-on-crime label on the issue of crime and punishment. [Are you claiming he's NOT soft on crime?]

McCain and the GOP hit squads will go for the political jugular and lambaste him as an anti-police, anti-business, pro abortion, pro labor, pro-gun control, tax and spend liberal Democrat. Conservative interest groups will tar him as a liberal Democrat who will bend way over to pander to labor, minorities, and women. Obama's record on civil liberties, civil rights, abortion, and spending will endear him to millions of voters, but not in the South and the heartland states. ["Obama's record"--exactly. You admit it's his record that will be "lambasted" by "hit squads." So perhaps you ought to call them "GOP TRUTH squads?"]

Then there's the personal dirty stuff. They'll hammer him for his dealings with an indicted Chicago financier, for possible conflicts of interest in other financial dealings and legislative votes, and for his fuzzy, oftentimes contradictory, statements and actions on the Iraq War and terrorism. Then there's the ultimate ploy: the race card. [Uh, Obama's whole campaign is a "race card." He'd be a minor politician if he weren't black.] The GOP hit squads will dig, sift and comb through every inch of his personal life and poke through his voting record to find any hint of personal or political muck.

Actually, what I think is most important here is that there's not a hint that Mr Obama might have a political philosophy, or core values, that he is willing to stand for, or defend openly and unashamedly. Nihilism is just assumed to be the normal human condition.

Posted by John Weidner at 9:16 AM

February 11, 2008

Jonah speaks to Nineveh

I suspect that most people just think I'm a bit kooky when I obsess over my theory that most "liberals" aren't liberals at all any more. That they are nihilists, that they've been "hollowed out," that any philosophy or principles that you associate with the term "liberal" are gone. But I see the evidence all around us, and I think it is the real story in our politics, and in the culture war.

You simply won't "get it" if you keep asking why liberals are doing such un-liberal things...It's the wrong question to ask.

Jonah Goldberg has an illustrative piece in NRO (Thanks to Anchoress and Gerald): Taking Issue With the Democratic Race: An Empty Primary...

....But that’s it. The rest of their disagreement boils down to who is a more authentic agent of “change.” In fairness, there’s an interesting debate to be had on that score, as Obama and Hillary’s philosophies of government differ dramatically. Obama believes in a transformative politics where lofty — often gassy — rhetoric is not merely a substitute for action, but actually preferable to the nitty-gritty detail work Hillary prefers.

But that debate is almost entirely theoretical,
[Actually, it's NOT "theoretical"--there's no theory of government ever made explicit] drowned out by the mad scramble to assemble an identity-politics coalition of generic “Hispanics,” “blacks,” “white women,” etc. It’s amazing how complacent the media is in carrying on with this kind of nakedly reductionist analysis. The notion that Hispanics may be voting one way or another for reasons other than their ethnicity seems never to come up.

Meanwhile, on the Republican side, women, blacks and Hispanics vote too, but that’s not how the demographics and coalitions of the right work. GOP candidates actually have to win over people who believe things. (After all, the famed, and tragically frayed, “Reagan coalition” was about different groups of principled people, not a mere hodgepodge of ethnicities and genders.) Exit pollsters ask GOP voters whether they’re committed pro-lifers, whether they think the economy is the most important issue, etc. I’m sure they ask Democratic voters similar questions, but it’s telling how little we hear about that. What Democratic voters actually believe doesn’t seem to be that relevant, in large part because Democrats aren’t voting their beliefs, they’re voting affections.

Obama is “the one” — in Oprah’s words — not because of his policies but because his is a transcendent, unifying, super-nifty-cool personality. Hillary, meanwhile, is staying aloft largely through her ability to guilt-trip female liberals into sticking with her. Her cultivated weepiness and dour lamentations about how she’s been so picked on sometimes make it seem like she’s setting up a political version of one of those “how-does-a-Jewish-mother-change-a-lightbulb?” jokes. Answer: “It’s all right; I’ll just sit in the dark.”...

....The Republican party is a mess, absolutely. Conservatives are sorting out what they believe, what heresies they can tolerate and on which principles they will not bend. At times this argument is loud, ugly and unfortunate. But you know what? At least it’s an argument about something...

Liberalism used to be about liberating oppressed peoples from fascist dictators, and bringing them democracy and opportunity. Too bad no one wants to do that stuff anymore. Oh wait...

Posted by John Weidner at 6:21 AM

February 9, 2008

Send 'em to sensitivity training...

Ponder for a moment the prodigious amounts of energy, money, and human effort lefty Democrats have poured into "healing" discrimination and the divisions of our society. Think of the relentless propaganda that pounds schoolchildren from their tenderest years. Think of the hectoring and bullying of us all; the hearings, the lawsuits, the throngs marched off to "sensitivity training." Think of the pompous self-rightousness with which they wrap themselves in the civil rights movement of ancient history.

Think of the FEAR we all live in, fear of saying or doing something "insensitive," and being branded racist, or sexist, or homophobic, or whatever the current fad. (Well, I'm personally somewhat less afraid, since, as a white male Catholic Republican, I'm by definition racist, sexist and homophobic. An oppressor!)

98% of this stuff is done by Democrats. Right? SO, we would expect Democrats to be the least guilty of discrimination, right? The least divided by sexism, the least polarized by racism. The least plagued by the divisions which, supposedly rend our society.

So, notice some of the the voting breakdowns in the recent California primary. (Thanks to Jayson Javitz) The numbers are Obama/Clinton:

Black men: 81% to 19%. Black women: 75% to 17%! Latino women: 28% to 71%. Latino men: 37% to 62%. White women: 36% to 59%.

Way to "bring us together" Dems!

Of course I'm being sarcastic; the last thing that Democrats want is to end discrimination, it's their stock-in-trade.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:40 AM

February 5, 2008

So insane I'm at a loss for a title...

San Jose State Bans Blood Drives - The Paper Trail (usnews.com):

San Jose State University has banned blood drives on campus because of the FDA's long-standing policy barring gay men from donating blood, the Spartan Daily reports. The school's president says the FDA's restrictions violate SJSU's nondiscrimination policy. "I recognize the importance of giving blood and we know that universities are a significant source of blood," he wrote in an E-mail sent to faculty, staff, students, and alumni. "Our hope is that the FDA will revisit its deferral policy in a timely manner, and we may soon be able to hold blood drives on this campus again."

Critics are calling the move "terribly misguided," saying blood drives on the San Jose campus bring in an estimated 1,000 pints a year. High school and college campuses also account for about 20 percent of all donated blood, and blood drives are often where students develop the habit of becoming lifelong donors

I think they should let those gays give blood, and then inject it randomly into all the faculty and administrators of SJSU. And anyone else who is too stupid to see that "political correctness" is murderous evil.

Posted by John Weidner at 12:11 PM

February 2, 2008

Soon, soon, we will stand straight again...

Winston Churchill once wrote that the best argument against democracy was five minutes of conversation with a voter.

If Obama doesn't crash and burn on Tuesday, we are going to be saying "winston didn't know the half of it." Try, for a sample of what's to come, this stupefyingly banal WaPo op-ed by Susan Eisenhower, the grand-daughter of a great man...

....Given the magnitude of these issues and the cost of addressing them, our next president must be able to bring about a sense of national unity and change. As we no longer have the financial resources to address all these problems comprehensively and simultaneously, setting priorities will be essential. With hard work, much can be done.

The biggest barrier to rolling up our sleeves and preparing for a better future is our own apathy, fear or immobility. We have been living in a zero-sum political environment where all heads have been lowered to avert being lopped off by angry, noisy extremists. I am convinced that Barack Obama is the one presidential candidate today who can encourage ordinary Americans to stand straight again; he is a man who can salve our national wounds and both inspire and pursue genuine bipartisan cooperation. Just as important, Obama can assure the world and Americans that this great nation's impulses are still free, open, fair and broad-minded.

No measures to avert the serious, looming consequences can be taken without this sense of renewal. Uncommon political courage will be required. Yet this courage can be summoned only if something profoundly different transpires. Putting America first -- ahead of our own selfish interests -- must be our national priority if we are to retain our capacity to lead....

I am just SO looking forward to having our "national wounds salved."

Posted by John Weidner at 6:16 PM

"revenues declined 22.4%"

Charlene noticed this Bizzyblog post, about how the news media ignored or downplayed the fact that the two recent bombings in Baghdad we done using mentally retarded women. That's the sort of detail that might make almost anyone realize that surrendering to these monsters is madness. And realize also that al Qaeda is possibly scraping the bottom of the barrel for "single-use activists."

So of course the terrorist-allies in the news media slanted the story to “the new Baghdad feels a lot like the old Baghdad.”

The Bombings were not done to influence Iraqi opinion--it's long past obvious that the Iraqis are not going to be cowed by terror-bombings. Those women and children in the pet markets in Baghdad were killed for the New York Times. And CNN, and CBS, and the rest. They were killed BY our news-media, who have demonstrated a thousand times that they will spread the terrorist story-line. That they will reward al Qaeda for bloody slaughters.

Those poor people were slaughtered to give propaganda ammunition to our "anti-war" activists. They were killed for our "pacifists." They were killed for Barack and Hillary. They were killed for the Democrat Party. They were killed for Ron Paul. they were killed for the Quakers...

But there was a tiny crumb of comfort in the last line of the post:

...In totally related news, the New York Times Company (symbol NYT) reported Thursday that, though it turned a profit in its fourth quarter, December revenues declined a heart-stopping 22.4%.
Posted by John Weidner at 8:46 AM

February 1, 2008

Mrs Thatcher, we pine for you...

From The Corner:

Another [reader] e-mail:
It is very hard to think like a Democrat. Please take this as a gentle reminder: to many of Hillary's women fans the fact that Obama stood up and helped her with her chair is a reason to resent him and to vote against him. If he's caught holding a door for her he'll be finished.

Yes it is hard to think like a Dem. Especially Democrat women. You mustn't hold the door for Hillary, but if the polls look bad she will cry, and the girls will all assume that a certain man has been a brute, and vote against him. And they put on pink t-shirts and demand that Marine recruiters be driven from the neighborhood, but if someone's breaking into their house at night, they call 9-11 and plead for big men with guns to come and save them...

Posted by John Weidner at 12:03 PM

January 29, 2008

"Multiculturalists can't face all this"

PJ Media has a report on rapidly increasing gay-bashing in Europe.

.....Multiculturalists can’t face all this. So it is that even when there are brutal gay-bashings, few journalists write about them; of those who do, few mention that the perpetrators are Muslims; and those who do mention it take the line that these perpetrators are lashing out in desperate response to their own oppression.

Never mind that Europe, far from oppressing Muslims, offers personal freedoms and welfare-state benefits far beyond those available in any Muslim country. Never mind that few if any Europeans – certainly not gay people – are doing any Muslim-bashing. Never mind that Hindu and Buddhist immigrants, or immigrants from South America or China, feel no compulsion to react violently against their “oppression.” No, assaults by Muslims always have to be construed as defensive – as expressions not of power but of weakness, not of aggression but of helplessness. To suggest that the culprits, far from being fragile, sensitive flowers who’ve been pushed over the line by something we did, are in fact bullies driven by an overweening sense of superiority and a deep-seated malice – both of which they’ve been carefully taught at home, at school, and, yes, in the mosque – is verboten...

....Alas, it is now very clearly the opposite. The number of reported gay-bashings in Amsterdam now climbs steadily year by year. Nearly half Muslim, the city is a front in the struggle between democracy and sharia, under which, lest it be forgotten, homosexuality can be a capital offense....

So where are the protests by our "liberals?" Or "progressives," if they prefer that title? They are constantly complaining about Christians being anti-gay. Or Republicans�we're "homophobic," y'know.. But nary a peep do we hear about Moslems, who really are anti-gay.

Sorry to repeat myself, but none of this fits any standard views of "liberalism." It simply does not make sense if you consider liberalism a philosophy or ideology, one that puts a high value on tolerance. It does make perfect sense if you realize that liberals—progressives, leftists, whatever the current name—are completely "hollowed-out," and don't believe in anything at all.

They are—most of them—nihilists. They are wearing "progressivism" as a disguise, and the thing they fear is being called on it. Having the spotlight shine on them, and being asked: "You said you believe in this. Are you ready to fight for it?"

Posted by John Weidner at 6:53 AM

January 25, 2008

Well, this clarifies some things...

Can you believe the NYT endorsement of McCain!

Still, there is a choice to be made, and it is an easy one. Senator John McCain of Arizona is the only Republican who promises to end the George Bush style of governing from and on behalf of a small, angry fringe. [Wot a coincidence; "small angry fringe" was what I was going to call the NYT crowd.] With a record of working across the aisle to develop sound bipartisan legislation [for instance, limiting the citizen's ability to donate money to buy ads for Republicans, while not limiting the media's ability to throw all its weight into electing Democrats. That's called "free speech"] he would offer a choice to a broader range of Americans than the rest of the Republican field. [Whoopee. A choice between pro-war and anti-war Democrats.]

We have shuddered at Mr. McCain’s occasional, tactical pander to the right [Thank you for explaining. I had naively imagined he was at least a little bit Republican] because he has demonstrated that he has the character to stand on principle. He was an early advocate for battling global warming [Which we are supposed to accept on faith, ignoring the actual science] and risked his presidential bid to uphold fundamental American values in the immigration debate [Except the fundamental value called "Rule of Law."]. A genuine war hero among Republicans who proclaim their zeal to be commander in chief, Mr. McCain argues passionately that a country’s treatment of prisoners in the worst of times says a great deal about its character. [It does say a lot. McCains' (and the NYT's) position can be summarized in two words. "Free Mumia." That kind of "character" is Lefty nihilism. Me, I favor those who fight for the victims, not the crooks.]

Posted by John Weidner at 7:51 AM

January 24, 2008

Pacifism gets ready to kill again...

Michael Goldfarb writes in the Weekly Standard blog about a RAND report which drew on Chinese military journals and other unclassified documents to construct a best guess of how a conflict between the U.S. and China would kick off...

....Another interesting item, straight from the report this time:
Chinese analysts assess that even a small number of casualties is sufficient to spark strong popular opposition and erode domestic support for U.S. participation in a conflict. The U.S. experience in Somalia is usually cited in support of this assertion.
It's hard to gauge just how damaging Somalia was to American credibility. It's been much discussed that al Qaeda interpreted that retreat as a sign of U.S. weakness. (And of course, bin Laden claimed that it was al Qaeda trained affiliates that shot down the American helicopters in the Battle of Mogadish.) It seems the Chinese drew the same conclusion--Americans don't have the stomach for a fight. Which leads to the obvious question: how would the Chinese interpret an American withdraw from Iraq?...

[Regular readers can skip this; I've said it before.] Being "anti-war" is the best way to get yourself into a war. Pacifism kills.

Planet Earth is like a rough neighborhood. If you look weak, you get jumped. If you look dangerous you are respected and left alone. (Even better, you should look dangerous and crazy.)

It is very likely that President Clinton's decision to pull out of Somalia after 18 deaths has killed hundreds of thousands of people. And may kill millions in the future. (Our weakness in Vietnam, Lebanon, and the Iran hostage crisis have surely also contributed to the slaughter.)

We probably should not have gone so blithely into Somalia. BUT, once the stuff hit the fan, the most peaceful, the most humane, the most "pacifistic" thing to do would have been to smash the attackers with all available force.

I imagine someone saying about now, "It is always wrong to do evil so that good may come of it." (I have to invent imaginary opponents, because no one ever gives me a good counter-argument.) My reply is that it would NOT have been evil. The correct analogy is to police work, not to "starting wars". We are, de facto, the cops of this burg. Imagine an actual "rough neighborhood." One where gang violence is growing, and threatens to get out of control. Is it evil if the cops go after the gang members, using deadly force if necessary?

What would be the real evil option? A. Storming the gang hideout in a hail of bullets? Or B. Allowing the neighborhood to fall into the control of criminals, and thereby condemning thousands of innocent people to bleak lives of hopelessness and violence and crime?

[And if anyone wiser and more moral than I is reading, and doesn't like this thought, you are welcome to correct my reasoning in the comments.]

Posted by John Weidner at 11:47 AM

January 22, 2008

" waiting for somebody with a bigger megaphone"

Jim Geraghty, postmortem on Fred...

....Thompson more or less “debuted” with the 60 second video responding to Michael Moore, one of the most brilliant media messages we've seen in a long while from a conservative.

I think one of the reasons that video struck a chord with so many righty bloggers was because we're constantly seeing, and confronting, insane political rhetoric from the left. It's maybe even a an obsession of righty bloggers, or perhaps we give it more attention than it deserves. But every time Michael Moore, Rosie O'Donnell or Cindy Sheehan spout off, or Charlie Sheen goes off on his 9/11 conspiracy theories… every time Nancy Pelosi goes to meet with a dictator, or a prominent Democrat refuses to acknowledge progress in Iraq, or somebody on either side of the aisle suggests that wanting immigration law enforced is inherently racist, every time somebody puts out some insane conspiracy theory that suggests President Bush is behind terror attacks…

We on the right hear it, we get driven up the wall by it, we try to push back in our own limited way, and we're waiting for somebody with a bigger megaphone than us to push back. Very few high-profile Republicans give a full-throated pushback because A) they don't see it if they're up to their noses in legislative work on Capitol Hill or in the White House all day and B) they probably see responding to some fat propagandist or screeching antiwar widow-turned-celebrity as beneath them. (I realize this is a separate issue, but this helps explain some of Ann Coulter's appeal even when she goes too far - there is nobody on the left she won't take on).

Along comes Fred, who doesn't act as if rebutting Moore's propaganda is beneath him, and he points out that Moore likes to snuggle with censoring, brutal dictators, he suggests Moore is mentally unstable... and we loved it. We've been looking for this combativeness from a conservative for years, and it makes Giuliani's “I don't need Michael Moore to tell me about 9/11” sound like Marquess de Queensbury rules. To quote Frank J, we've been looking for somebody to “punch the hippies.”

Alas, there was little to none of that from Fred once he became a candidate. It became a fairly ordinary campaign, despite having some good folks around him....

Us old-timers still have sweet sweet memories of the time during the Vietnam War when a bunch of lefty slime animals were protesting in favor of communist tyranny in New York, and some hard hats swarmed out of a construction project and beat them up!

Say I'm weary,
Say I'm sad;
Say that health and wealth have missed me;
Say I'm growing old, but add........
Posted by John Weidner at 1:27 PM

January 21, 2008

Lexus liberals

William Katz:

I doubt if the well-heeled Dems are siding with Obama because they believe in him. They are the modern incarnation of the limousine liberals. (Today they're Lexus liberals, who always opt for the better sound system.) They feel no pain when the policies and leaders they support fail badly. This is no insult to Mr. Obama, who has many worthy qualities, but we've seen this crowd before. Bad schools? They can afford private schools. Crime in the streets? Why, darlings, one moves to the suburbs or into a doorman building. War? Why, of course we're against it. Aren't all the good people?

They side with Obama because it's the stylish thing to do. He's the latest cause, trotted out when the whales are asleep. They can feel good about themselves.
Posted by John Weidner at 1:46 PM

January 19, 2008

"Every revolution devours its offspring..."

Do NOT miss The Wages of Sensitivity: The Democrats' politically correct chickens come home to roost, by Noemie Emery...

.... Looking ahead to the general election, Democrats were prepared to describe any critique made of Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton as an example of the racism and sexism that they like to believe permeates the Republican universe. But this was before their own race became quite so close, and so spirited. They never seem to have stopped to think what might occur if they turned their sensitivity bludgeons against one another. They are now finding out....

"Sensitivity bludgeons." Yeah, they were getting ready to use them against ME. Against YOU. Since I despise from the bottom of my heart the whole foul devil's-brew of sensitivity and identity-politics, this is all just too sweet. It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of pompous frauds.

...Now they [Clintons] find themselves unable to criticize a black man for what they think are legitimate reasons, because they helped to teach people that criticism is bias in disguise, and they can't complain that their words have been misinterpreted, because the theory of hate speech maintains that the listener can project on to words uttered by others whatever motives he wants to see in them. If he declares himself offended, the listener has the last word.

Add this to the unforeseen clash of two groups who have been told for years by liberals that they are victims of everyone, and the result is explosive. It is, David Brooks writes, "a Tom Wolfe novel" beyond even Wolfe's imagining. "All the rhetorical devices that have been a staple of identity politics are now being exploited by the Clinton and Obama campaigns," Brooks continues, "competing to play the victim .  .  . accusing each other of insensitivity .  .  . deliberately misinterpreting each other's comments in order to somehow imply that the other is morally retrograde. All the habits of verbal thuggery that have long been used against critics of affirmative action .  .  . and critics of radical feminism .  .  . are now being turned inward by the Democratic front-runners. .  .  . Every revolution devours its offspring, and it seems that the multicultural one does, too."....

And this, sweet, sweet:

...For the Clintons, with their sense of private entitlement running head on into their boomer assertion of moral enlightenment, all this must come as a shock....

Ha ha and ha. How I despise my generation! At least this aspect of it. "Boomer assertion of moral enlightenment." I grew up in the middle of that, and I hate it. I spit upon it.

And on the plausible presidential candidacies of Liddy Dole and Colin Powell, which did not succeed:

Republicans (conservatives especially) more than Democrats define themselves by ideology--the objections to Powell were based on what the right saw as his deviationist liberal tendencies--and regard everything else as an afterthought. Republicans tend to disdain appeals on the basis of victimhood. They are resistant to group-think and allergic to identity politics. And their major donors and interest groups are race and gender neutral--the right to life movement, the Club for Growth, the National Rifle Association. The only ethnic lobbies they court are purely local affairs (like Miami's Cubans). There are no ethnic and gender spokesmen to deal with, no agendas to speak of, no interest groups to appease.

It is my theory that Leftizoids use "sensitivity bludgeons" not just because they are useful, but because they do not dare to compete in the arena of ideas. They don't have any. That is, they have no underlying beliefs or principles. They are nihilists. Everything I see going on today tends to confirm this.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:25 AM

January 18, 2008

"Hate-speech disguised as a public service"

Ralph Peters is excellently scathing today: The New Lepers: The Times' Trouble With Vets

...The purpose of Sunday's instantly notorious feature "alerting" the American people that our Iraq and Afghanistan vets are all potential murderers when they move in next door was to mark those defenders of freedom as "unclean" - as the new lepers who can't be trusted amid uninfected Americans.

In the more than six years since 9/11, the Times has never run a feature story half as long on any of the hundreds of heroes who've served our country - those who've won medals of honor, distinguished service crosses, Navy crosses, silver stars or bronze stars with a V device (for valor)...

...Pretending to pity tormented veterans (vets don't want our pity - they want our respect), the Times' feature was an artful example of hate-speech disguised as a public service.The image we all were supposed to take away from that story was of hopelessly damaged, victimized, infected human beings who've become outcasts from civilized society. The Times cast our vets as freaks from a slasher flick.The hard left's hatred of our military has deteriorated from a political stance into a pathology: The only good soldier is a dead soldier who can be wielded as a statistic (out of context again). Or a deserter who complains bitterly that he didn't join the Army to fight...

...So let me suggest the best-possible revenge on the veteran-trashing jerks at The New York Times: Instead of fleeing in terror the next time you see a veteran you know, just thank him or her for their service.

And let's save the leper's bells for dishonest journalists.

Smelly hippie lights cig on burning American flag

Posted by John Weidner at 7:38 AM

January 17, 2008

Effete idiocy...

As far as ANWR is concerned, I don’t want to drill in the Grand Canyon, and I don’t want to drill in the Everglades. This is one of the most pristine and beautiful parts of the world. -- John McCain [link]

Well yes, Alaska National Wildlife Refuge IS pristine and beautiful. What rarely gets mentioned is that the lofty snow-clad peaks and Grizzly Bears are not in the area where the oil is. The area proposed for drilling is a coastal mud-flat. A mosquito refuge. A place nobody visits.

And the drilling proposal would only occupy a tiny portion of it, with no likelihood of harm to wildlife—we've already built an oil pipeline all the way across the state without any reported harm to wildlife.

"Pristine and beautiful" are only human values. Nature cares nothing for them. If we used Yosemite Valley as a dumping place for old cars, the birds and raccoons would not mind at all.

But people don't think logically about this stuff. Because "Green" is a religion. The perfect faith for the nihilist, since the Goddess cares nothing about us, "created" us with no conscious intent to do so, may wipe us (and our whole planet) out in the blink of an eye, without remorse, and is "worshipped" by leaving things "pristine and beautiful," which is defined as having no humans touching them.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:33 AM

January 16, 2008

Is this the biggest flip-flop since the Hitler/Stalin Pact?

(Hey Democrats, if you didn't receive the new orders, get your tooth-fillings checked.)

From the Wall St Journal...

If our Washington, D.C., readers noticed a cortege of blue suits carrying a casket in front of the Brookings Institution last week, be not mournful. You were merely watching the leading economists of the Democratic Party burying the faith once known as Rubinomics. May it rest in peace.

Rubinomics is the concept of "deficit reduction" as growth policy: Lower the federal budget deficit and, as dawn follows night, interest rates will fall and prosperity will break upon the land. Named for former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, and much celebrated in the 1990s, the concept was embraced as gospel by nearly all Democrats as recently as a few weeks ago. But last week it officially expired, as those same Democrats reconverted to Keynesian deficit spending in the name of "economic stimulus."

Mr. Rubin's successor at Treasury, Larry Summers, started the bidding with a $65 billion tax rebate and spending plan. Hillary Clinton saw that and raised, and now wants $40 billion in tax rebates and $70 billion in new spending for unemployment insurance, housing assistance, home heating subsidies and green technologies. Barack Obama joined the fray Sunday, proposing a $75 billion "stimulus" that would have the government send millions of Americans a check for $250, plus another $250 in bonus Social Security payments.

But wait, what about those evil Bush deficits? Only weeks ago, Democrats claimed those were the road to perdition, even if the deficit had shrunk to 1.2% of GDP last year thanks to booming revenue growth. Remember the imperative of "pay as you go" budgeting? Ah, that was all before Iraq faded as a political winner and the economy became their favorite issue for regaining the White House. Now, all of a sudden, their motto is tax cut and spend...

The maddening thing is that you won't get the slightest bit of satisfaction from chiding Dems about their sudden change of policy. They won't even understand what you are saying. Once they pick up the new line, they will think that they've been in favor of tax cuts all along, against the resistance of those "greedy" budget-balancing Republicans.

Posted by John Weidner at 6:21 AM

January 13, 2008

"I am here at this government interrogation under protest"

You've probably all already seen this clip, of Ezra Levant testifying before the Canadian "human rights" committee. But if you haven't, it's worth your time. He's a great man!

More Here.

Posted by John Weidner at 4:01 PM

January 11, 2008

They don't call them "feminazis" for nothing.

From the American Jewish Congress... Ms. Magazine Blocks Ad on Israeli Women

NEW YORK, Jan. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ms. Magazine has long been in the forefront of the fight for equal rights and equal opportunities for women. Apparently that is not the case if the women happen to be Israeli.

The magazine has turned down an AJCongress advertisement that did nothing more controversial than call attention to the fact that women currently occupy three of the most significant positions of power in Israeli public life. The proposed ad (The Ad Ms. Didn't Want You To See: http://www.ajcongress.org/site/DocServer/Ms.pdf?docID=1961 ) included a text that merely said, "This is Israel," under photographs of President of the Supreme Court Dorit Beinish, Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni and Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik.

"What other conclusion can we reach," asked Richard Gordon, President of AJCongress, "except that the publishers − and if the publishers are right, a significant number of Ms. Magazine readers − are so hostile to Israel that they do not even want to see an ad that says something positive about Israel?"

When Director of AJCongress' Commission for Women's Empowerment Harriet Kurlander tried to place the ad, she was told that publishing the ad "will set off a firestorm" and that "there are very strong opinions" on the subject − the subject presumably being whether or not one can say anything positive about Israel...

So sick. Are there ANY liberals who aren't total frauds? Well, maybe a few. Maybe 1%.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:38 AM

January 8, 2008

We believe it at the NYT...So that makes it true.

I don't actually have a strong opinion on the death penalty itself.

But I despise utterly the thinking I encounter from "anti-death-penalty-activist" types. Of course I've only encountered some of them, there may be others I could respect. But from what I've seen, they are a scoundrelly and dishonest crowd.

This NYT editorial of yesterday is an example...

The Supreme Court hears arguments on Monday in a case about whether Kentucky’s use of a “cocktail” of injected poisons to carry out the death penalty is unconstitutional. We believe that the death penalty, no matter how it is administered, is unconstitutional and wrong. If a state does execute anyone, it must do so in a way that is humane and does not impose needless