Tuesday, February 24, 2009

C.S. Lewis & JRR Tolkien Versus Today

on C.S. Lewis an hour ago, it was moving that he and Tolkien [who affected me greatly while I was in France & later] were so near and yet at the opposite poles of the mythological universe. First, it's a shame that Tolkien was the ONLY SURVIVOR of his prep school class of 30 males! That MUST have affected his spirituality. C.S. Lewis also was in the trenches and nearly killed---he was a militant atheist and prided himself that he "never sunk to prayer." When they hooked up as unbelievably brilliant Oxford dons [Lewis had a TRIPLE FIRST in mods, greats and English lit], Tolkien had already achieved academic superstardom for single-handedly rescuing Beowulf from total obscurity. Lewis describes his bizarre conversion to Christianity [he was a logician and a complete rationalist, and mentally argued all the proofs against God until he "became the least grateful convert in England."]. The Catholic Tolkien had a lot to do with it, and had already begun his fantastically successful The Hobbit. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings has the complete mythological universe of Aquinases' Summa Theologica or Wagner's Ring of the Nibelungs [Tolkien was of German descent with both parents born in Germany, then moved to S. Africa, and JRRT got into Oxford]. My Alma Mater Marquette University has all his life's papers in Milwaukee, so I obsess occasionally about JRRT. Tolkien consulted with a Jesuit at Oxford when he had Gandalf die in one book and be resurrected in the next! Sorry for obsessive digression. He & Tolkien read their works out loud while downing pints every Tuesday morning among The Inklings, a tiny club which met at the Eagle & Child [now Bird and Baby], and the endless editing caused Lewis & Tolkien headaches. Unlike the Hegelian JRRT, Lewis was a whimsical Protestant theologian, whose Arslan also dies and comes back [CSL was raised on Beatrix Potter].

But then Lewis read his book The Screwtape Letters over BBC in 1940 during The Battle of Britain & became a household word, hitting the cover of Time Mag and achieving celebrity abruptly. Then Lewis & his dotty brother took in four kids from London during the Blitz, which fathered The Chronicles of Narnia So both were famous in the forties and since then have become the two most famous Brit [or arguably any] authors of the twentieth century, selling between them close to a billion books in every language & massive movies.

All this is a prologue to the University Challenge scandal in the UK, where an utterly brilliant young PhD candidate [Latin Lit] named Gail Trimble, amassing 825 out of 1235 points gained by Corpus Christi, Oxford on their way to a win. For her brilliance, scorn and ridicule ['Smug', 'brain-rupturingly irritating', 'vicious bitch', 'a horse-toothed snob'.] are the prize, while Jade Goody on Big Brother pronounced East Anglia "East Angular" & thought it a foreign country. Niki had heard of Jade's bout with cancer and deathbed wedding [Facebook], but not of Gail. So nowadays, if you get a Triple First, you sit on a public dunking stool getting rotten eggs thrown at you? I'm afraid the people left of Obama want the US to be the same cesspool of class hatred that the know-nothings & skinheads dwell in today in the UK. Plus that 9% of the UK population born outside the country which hates the natives! Melanie Phillips accurately assesses the entire situation, with emphasis on "Britain’s steady descent into baying brutishness."

Monday, February 23, 2009

Smile Pinki Scores another "indian" Oscar

Slumdog Millionaire was my favorite movie in the last six months [my daughter hangs at UMiami with a kid named Anil who does Indie flicks produced by one of the several SM producers], but now I want to see Smile Pinki, a documentary about fixing cleft palates.

Mark Steyn on Britain's HUMILIATING "Recessional"

Jacqui Smith is the type of Home Secretary who reflects the nose-dive that the UK has been taking on Islamic issues. She had Geert Wilders arrested at Heathrow while bringing his film [at the invitation of The House Of Lords] Fitna to be screened.
Why? Because some fire-breathing Muslim gasbag MP threatened to bring 10,000 screaming ragheads to surround The House Of Lords. Here's Mark Steyn's sardonic take on the subject:
The Home Secretary is best known for an inspired change of terminology: Last year she announced that henceforth Muslim terrorism (an unhelpful phrase) would be reclassified as “anti-Islamic activity.” Seriously. The logic being that Muslims blowing stuff up tends not to do much for Islam’s reputation — i.e., it’s an “anti-Islamic activity” in the same sense that Pearl Harbor was an anti-Japanese activity.

Mark looks like the chef in Hell's Kitchen as he continues to dissect Jacqui-baby and slices/dices her internal organs:
So, confronted by blackmail, the British government caved. So did the Pakistani government in Swat. But, in fairness to Islamabad, they waited until the shooting was well underway before throwing in the towel. In London, you no longer have to go that far. You just give the impression your more excitable chums might not be able to restrain themselves. “Nice little G7 advanced western democracy you got here. Shame if anything were to happen to it.” Twenty years ago this month, Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative ministry defended the right of a left-wing author Salman Rushdie to publish a book in the face of Muslim riots and the Ayatollah Khomeini’s attempted mob hit. Two decades on, a supposedly progressive government surrenders to the mob before it’s even taken to the streets.

But the moral cowardice and ignorance isn't solely to be laid at the Brits' door:
In his first TV interview as president, Barack Obama told viewers of al-Arabiya TV that he wanted to restore the “same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago.” I’m not sure quite what golden age he’s looking back to there — the Beirut barracks slaughter? the embassy hostages? — but the point is, it’s very hard to turn back the clock. Because the facts on the ground change, and change remorselessly. Even in 30 years. Between 1970 and 2000, the developed world declined from just under 30 percent of the global population to just over 20 percent, while the Muslim world increased from 15 percent to 20 percent. And in 2030, it won’t even be possible to re-take that survey, because by that point half the “developed world“ will itself be Muslim: In Bradford — as in London, Amsterdam, Brussels, and almost every other western European city from Malmo to Marseilles — the principal population growth comes from Islam. Thirty years ago, in the Obama golden age, a British documentary-maker was so horrified by the “honor killing” of a teenage member of the House of Saud at the behest of her father, the king’s brother, that he made a famous TV film about it, Death Of A Princess. The furious Saudis threatened a trade boycott with Britain over this unwanted exposure. Today, we have honor killings not just in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, but in Germany, Scandinavia, Britain, Toronto, Dallas, and Buffalo. And they barely raise an eyebrow....Along with the demographic growth has come radicalization: It’s not just that there are more Muslims, but that, within that growing population, moderate Islam is on the decline — in Singapore, in the Balkans, in northern England — and radicalized, Arabized, Wahhabized Islam is on the rise. So we have degrees of accommodation: surrender in Islamabad, appeasement in London, acceptance in Toronto and Buffalo.

Will the perennial slackers and stoners on foreign policy, the Democrats, confront this menace and steel themselves for the long haul or will they avert their gaze at the gradual deterioration of American values the honor killings in Buffalo and Dallas imply? One indication of the future is one of the first things the Chosen One did upon taking over the Oval Office:
President Obama has removed Winston Churchill’s bust from the Oval Office and returned it to the British. Given what Sir Winston had to say about Islam in his book on the Sudanese campaign, the bust will almost certainly be arrested at Heathrow and deported as a threat to public order.

On the other hand, it appears that the one thing that makes radical Islam weaken is sustained governance, as weasel zippers notes.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

DC Police: Affirmative Action Produces Low IQ Eff-ups?

The Chandra Levy case appears to be reaching a solution & it reminded me of an incident concerning another female jogger twenty years earlier, when Marion Barry presided over the human sewer of DC government.

I was told by two friends living in an apartment near Rock Creek Park that they had happened across a murder scene of a young female jogger who had evidently just been killed in late afternoon near a jogging trail she had been running on. The reason I despise the DC police is that after the crime I and my friends read the Washington Post and watched local TV news for any follow-up on the crime.

None, it was as if the young girl had dematerialized. After a week or so, it became apparent that the nasty black racist politics of the city had caused the story to be buried.

Oh yeah, the young girl was white, but I guess you may have figured that out.

Eurotrash Parliament Erupts as Czech Prez Speaks Sense

Vaclav Havel lived for decades under brutal Soviet Communist rule. He gave a speech in Strasbourg to the assembled moral lepers who call themselves [though not really elected in any real sense] a "parliament:"
In a normal parliamentary system, part of the MPs support the government and part support the opposition. In the European parliament, this arrangement has been missing. Here, only one single alternative is being promoted and those who dare thinking about a different option are labelled as enemies of the European integration. Not so long ago, in our part of Europe we lived in a political system that permitted no alternatives and therefore also no parliamentary opposition. It was through this experience that we learned the bitter lesson that with no opposition, there is no freedom. That is why political alternatives must exist.

In Latin America a dictatorship of government institutions in the sixties in Argentina, Brazil and Chile was awarded a Political Science designation, as "Bureaucratic Authoritarianism," a praetorian rule through government institutions.
Sean Hanley has written a book on how the Czech Republic is fighting that trap & Havel's speech opposes the new EU system of faceless functionaries as a variant of Russian Communism or Latin American Corporatism.

Allende as president combined Marxist assault on the owners of the means of production with populist lavishing of short-term benefits on his working-class followers, and on both counts he stirred violent resentment among upper- and middle-class Chileans ...

Hey wait! That could be our stimulus/porkulus package by another name!
UPDATE The Same Scumbag Tax-Cheats Rebuking Vaclav Havel are keeping an audit on how the average Eurotrash Parliament Member earns ONE MILLION POUNDS in a five-year term TOP SECRET because these vile parasitic specimens of political toxic waste wouldn't want their home countries to know how much they rake in under the table and in Brussells and Strasbourg scams and rip-offs [aka perks].

Sounds like the State of Illinois, only more socialist and predatory.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Moyers Outed as Homophobe, Presser-Scripter, General All-round Creep

My flesh crawls whenever this odious hypocrite's smug mug stains the TV screen on PBS:
...compare Moyers' willingness to script Johnson new conferences with the sanctimonious interview he gave to Buzzflash in October 2003. He observes that modern journalists "who don't serve a partisan purpose and who try to be disinterested observers find themselves whipsawed between these corporate and ideological forces" and goes on to complain about the White House press corps, saying:
I think these forces have unbalanced the relationship between this White House and the press. Frankly, even if we had tried it in LBJ's time, we wouldn't have gotten away with the kind of press conference President Bush conducted on the eve of the invasion of Iraq—the one that even the President admitted was wholly scripted, with reporters raising their hands and posing so as to appear spontaneous.
Where does the guy who planted questions at LBJ news conferences, who told Nancy Dickerson that previous press secretaries had done it, and who told her that planting questions was necessary get the moxie to accuse the Bush press corps of participating in a scripted news conference?

Bill O'Reilly was onto this phony dwarf long ago, and it's just now that the libs are waking up to this opportunistic two-faced moron. Jack Shafer of Slate is downright adamant:
Bush isn't the only president to have relied on the list approach. Barack Obama favors it, too, something that Chicago Sun-Times columnist Carol Marin was complaining about in early January, before the Obama inauguration and well before his first news conference (Feb. 9). As you may recall, Obama made no effort to conceal his reliance on a list as he called on reporters. I await Moyers' "expose" of the Obama administration's blatantly scripted news conferences.

I'd go further and hope PBS yanks this impostor ASAP. Knowing the production values and straight-party-line dishonesty of this "public" network which is actually an affiliate of the Democratic National Committee, ain't gonna happen soon.
UPDATEDonald Duncan at American Power has pointed out the excellent Wall Street Journal piece on Moyers, which has this sanctimonious little prig "forgetting" about siccing the FBI on Goldwater's staff in retaliation for the Walter Johnson Affaire during the '64 Election. Judge Silberman 's comments are worthy of note, and Moyers should now be on the carpet, if the MSM has any investigative genes left in its DNA [which I question, when it comes to Democrats].

Rush Defends the Marketplace of Ideas

Democratic Murmurs about the oxymoronic "Fairness Doctrine" are preemptively confuted in this almost elegaic defense of the Bill of Rights and Free Speech by Rush Limbaugh. Here is the peroration:
Mr. President, we both know that this new effort at regulating speech is not about diversity but conformity. It should be rejected. You've said you're against reinstating the Fairness Doctrine, but you've not made it clear where you stand on possible regulatory efforts to impose so-called local content, diversity-of-ownership, and public-interest rules that your FCC could issue.

I do not favor content-based regulation of National Public Radio, newspapers, or broadcast or cable TV networks. I would encourage you not to allow your office to be misused to advance a political vendetta against certain broadcasters whose opinions are not shared by many in your party and ideologically liberal groups such as Acorn, the Center for American Progress, and MoveOn.org. There is no groundswell of support behind this movement. Indeed, there is a groundswell against it.

The fact that the federal government issues broadcast licenses, the original purpose of which was to regulate radio signals, ought not become an excuse to destroy one of the most accessible and popular marketplaces of expression. The AM broadcast spectrum cannot honestly be considered a "scarce" resource. So as the temporary custodian of your office, you should agree that the Constitution is more important than scoring transient political victories, even when couched in the language of public interest.

We in talk radio await your answer. What will it be? Government-imposed censorship disguised as "fairness" and "balance"? Or will the arena of ideas remain a free market?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Super Bowl Drew Three Times the Viewership of Oscars last year

Timothy Noah in Slate notes that the Super Bowl drew 99 million viewers Feb 1st. And the Oscars last year drew 33 million watchers. What that tells perceptive watchers of the national Zeitgeist is that the Sports Industry is becoming the new entertainment industry of the USA.

"The [ridiculously misnamed] Fairness Doctrine" will soon transfer to TV as well as radio, since Hollyweird will want the citizens of this land to watch their crappy second-rate flicks---NFL Football simply isn't enough.

And airhead ditz female half-wits don't like all that violence---NOW would protest---unless, of course, it is a reactionary violent Muslim male beheading his architect wife. That's evidently okay, until the NOW bimbo biyotches & their ninny come up with a better whine than the ridiculous:
Past studies have also shown that when men view images of highly sexualized women, and then interact with a woman in a separate setting, they are more likely to have sexual words on their minds, she said. They are also more likely to remember the woman's physical appearance, and sit closer to her -- for instance, at a job interview.

Taken together, the research suggests that viewing certain images is not appropriate in the workplace, Fiske said.

"I'm not advocating censorship, but I do think people need to know what settings should discourage the display and possession of these kinds of things," she said.

Both women and men have something to learn from this line of research, Raison said. Women should be aware of how they are perceived when wearing provocative clothing, and men shouldn't let feelings of impersonal sexual longing interfere with their more personal relationships with other women, including female friends. "Many men make foolish choices because of sexual attraction," he said.

"The suggestion might be that there's some hard-wiring there that can interfere with the average man's ability to interact on deeper levels with really hot looking stranger women in bikinis," he said.

Women may also depersonalize men in certain situations, but published research on the subject has not been done, experts say. Evolutionary psychology would theorize that men view women as objects in terms of their youth and apparent fertility, while women might view men as instrumental in terms of their status and resources," Fiske said.

Another "fertile" line of questioning, probably never occurring to the clueless Susan Fiske, would be to examine why women wear bikinis in the first place..... Duh.

Natalie Angier on Why More Women Are Not Scientists

In her latest exhalation on how it is so unfair that women only have 6% of the science jobs at the highest levels,
Natalie Angier unwittingly demonstrates the lack of women, at least in her own case, capable of high-level productive work at scientific institutes.

"‘Geek Chic’ and Obama, New Hope for Lifting Women in Science" shows that Angier herself is incapable of engaging in a serious dialogue, with a sample of her dialectic below:
Others have insisted that women just don’t like physics, perhaps because it seems cold and abstract, concerned with things rather than the flesh-and-blood focus of female-friendly fields like biology. But such reasoning, Dr. Gates said, cannot account for the fact that women earn half of the undergraduate degrees in chemistry, which is not quite plush toy material. “Something different is going on with physics, and we don’t know what it is yet,” she said. The culture? Bubble-headed television shows like “The Big Bang Theory,” with its four nerdy male physics prodigies and the fetching blond girl next door?

More seriously, Angier is simply dishonest. Here is one of those little splinters of fact which, unexplained, make perfect sense:
in an analysis of high school students’ performance on standardized math tests, published last summer in the journal Science, Janet Hyde and her colleagues found no gender differences in average performance, and even at the uppermost tails of achievement the discrepancies were minor and inconsistent: among whites who scored in the top 1 percent, there were two boys for every girl, whereas among Asian top scorers, there was one full girl for every nine-tenths of a boy. Besides, said Dr. Gates, female students earn half of the bachelor’s degrees in another math-heavy discipline called — mathematics.

Larry Summers got fired from his Harvard presidency for statements revealing the stupidity of Angiers solecism above. If at the high end, whites got two boys for every girl, perhaps there is an innate deficiency, at least in the white "genome sector." But of course, Angier's apodictic a priori doctrine that women are equal with men across the board cannot admit of such "scientific reality."

Heather MacDonald has more on the befuddled mindset of over-the-hill feminists whose "thinking" has been disproven by actual science.

As one scientist said, "science is objective, but scientists are human and subject to bias and error." Q.E.D. for Ms. Angier.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Moynihan Rule

Jonah Goldberg has a good article on how fearful the MSM currently are to speak "truth to POLITICALLY CORRECT power." Recently, I cited a couple of Moynihan Rules with regard to journalists:
"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."

And more on point with Jonah's article, here is a recent lucubration from my midnight pen:
Daniel Patrick Moynihan once noted that the cowards in the US media routinely cower before nasty dictators---much more craven than the brave young Elenas, Anastasias, and other investigative journalists in Russia and other press-hounding places, which thus get favorable press [Iran, e.g.] because, as Moynihan noted, US columnists and reporters lash out with impunity on honorable gentlemen like George W. Bush, aware they are unaccountable for their hectoring libelous exaggerations. Moynihan noted their reticence in cases where their own careers or reputation or hides might be in jeopardy.

So murderers like Putin and Amadinnerjacket get fawning kowtows from the likes of Christiane Amanpour while GWB & Tony Blair are excoriated by moral retards and physical cowards who know that they can lie with impunity and that in the boardrooms of the NYT and WaPo, ideology trumps truth in making a "journalist's" career.

To call journalists cowards and hacks and obsequious kow-towing butt-kissers isn't enough however, as they are exceeding their brief in a two-fold manner, not only inventing their own facts, but screeching about freedom of the press:
Serial fraud Jane Hamsher quotes "rudderless" Daily Kos "Polls" which are about as biased and unprofessional as the rest of DailyKos's flawed product.

My daughter is taking a course in polling in an uppergrad Poli Sci course at UMiami [whose Poli Sci Dept is led, informally, by Donna Shalala] and tells me each week how she is learning more about how polls can be skewed and positioned to get the response desired.

Frauds like Hamsher and Moulitsas are only the most extreme examples of how Moynihan's dictum about "inventing facts" is becoming an art form on the nihilistic left.

Obama Flails at Republicans Who Oppose his Socialization of Industries & Tax Hikes

The Economist has a nice little rejoinder to the torrent of crud that the American media lays daily on the laps of befuddled and bemused citizens wondering how the "stimulus/porkulus" package will ever get done. As for the banks, no one ever discusses the Resolution Trust Corporation and how that squeezed the toxic S&L assets out of the US banking system. Here is a nice sum-up:
Republicans also worry that the bill marks the start of a big expansion of government. Some recall that, when Franklin Roosevelt unleashed the New Deal to tackle the Depression, government grew beyond recognition and stayed big. They fear that Mr Obama plans to hire an army of bureaucrats, who will never be sacked and will mostly vote Democratic. And they fear a “tax tipping-point”, when a majority of Americans pay little or no taxes and discover that they can vote themselves goodies paid for by others. Currently, the top 20% of earners pay 69% of federal taxes, and that share is rising.

Obama ignores what Amity Schlaes points out in that 50% of economists who now look back at the FDR attempt to seize a Democrat kleptocracy [packing the SCOTUS in '37 is left unmentioned] and believe the "chameleon on plaid" was a con-man at worst and a baby-kissing faineant when it came to actually achieving a real recovery until the Second World War.

But that would be something that the newest con-man ignores:
Mr Obama has a holster of quick-fire retorts. To the Republicans’ earnest discussions of history, he scoffs: “They’re fighting battles that I thought were resolved a pretty long time ago.”

Those battles are never really resolved, young man....

Stanford Tip of Dem RICO Crime Syndicate?

Prostitute of The House Pelosi is depicted in a photo with her arms around the disappeared money magnate Allen Stanford, as is unconvicted felon William Jefferson Clinton. In another Dem scandal, studiously ignored by the MSM which only identify it as "another Abramoff scandal," [even though all the culprits are DEMOCRATS which probably is why we aren't hearing of it except in an ABC crawler], contemptible contemptuous crook Murtha of PA refused to respond to questions concerning he would return the more than $100.000 that PMA disbursed into his campaign funds. My guess: the treasonous criminal will thumb his nose for a while, then let the money dribble back.

Of course, one of the main recipients of the tainted cash is Zoe Lofgren [D-CA], CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE ETHICS COMMITTEE.

My bet is that this blogsite might be one of the few times this "Abramoff-size" scandal is called what it really is----the tip of the Iceberg [along with Stanford] of the many scams and other illegal fund-raising means [re: Sen Burris D-IL] that the Dems employed over the last few years to become the TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY that rams through a $787 billion pork package with less than 24 hours review and no examination/debate permitted about its many [unconstitutional?] disbursements.

And if you believe Obama's earnest pronoucements that he will change the political culture of the RICO lobbies, "The war is lost" Sen. Majority Leader Reid set the Jumped-Up Jr. Sen. from Illinois straight rapidly on Jan. 20 by noticing that
"People should understand that lobbyists, per se, are someone's father, mother, son, daughter," said Reid. "They work for a living." The Democratic leader's sons and a son-in-law have worked as lobbyists.

It's obvious that the Democrats are getting a free ride from the huge majority of the mainstream media, who overlook and refuse to seriously investigate the gigantic criminal operations a Stanford or a Murtha-run PMA lobby are among the perps.

Already, unconvicted-felon BillyJeff is musing about a "Fairness Doctrine" without the oxymoronic name [and unconstitutiona frills] .

And when tax-cheat Rahm Emanuel gets his hands on the 2010 census, the hapless rump of loyal Repubs [sine RINO RICOs like Specter & the two ME crones] might as well become a debating society.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Shipping Containers: Icons of Our Era?

Boing-Boing has a photo of shipping containers looming over a Hong Kong neighborhood like a coal tip in Wales. My friend in the State Dept recently assigned to Kabul for several months spent down-time living in a shipping container, as did a lot of US contractors & Embassy personnel with special security provisos. And the containers were part of a security project I was [slightly] involved in a few years ago for the Port of Miami, just after 9/11. X-Raying the containers while checking them for ambient radiation. I wonder if they are used as dwellings elsewhere---thought I saw a Nova about a project north of the Arctic Circle that employed them as temporary housing.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Ex-Astronaut & Senator PhD Flips Bird at Global Warming Hoax

Harrison Schmitt reminds one of Capt. Sullenberger who piloted that USAir plane onto the Hudson without losing his composure. This pre-Boomer won't be stampeded like the mindless morons of academcide over political cliffs.
Former astronaut Harrison Schmitt, who walked on the moon and once served New Mexico in the U.S. Senate, doesn’t believe that humans are causing global warming.

"I don’t think the human effect is significant compared to the natural effect," said Schmitt, who is among 70 skeptics scheduled to speak next month at the International Conference on Climate Change in New York.

Schmitt contends that scientists "are being intimidated" if they disagree with the idea that burning fossil fuels has increased carbon dioxide levels, temperatures and sea levels.

Intimidated? I wonder how. Harrison explains:
"They’ve seen too many of their colleagues lose grant funding when they haven’t gone along with the so-called political consensus that we’re in a human-caused global warming," Schmitt said.

Dan Williams, publisher with the Chicago-based Heartland Institute, which is hosting the climate change conference, said he invited Schmitt after reading about his resignation from The Planetary Society, a nonprofit dedicated to space exploration.

Schmitt resigned after the group blamed global warming on human activity. In his resignation letter, the 74-year-old geologist argued that the "global warming scare is being used as a political tool to increase government control over American lives, incomes and decision making."

Williams said Heartland is skeptical about the crisis that people are proclaiming in global warming.

"Not that the planet hasn’t warmed. We know it has or we’d all still be in the Ice Age," he said. "But it has not reached a crisis proportion and, even among us skeptics, there’s disagreement about how much man has been responsible for that warming."

Schmitt has an undergrad degree from CalTech and a PhD in geology from Harvard, so he actually knows more about the Global Warming Chicken Little Hoax than Sam Champion or Soledad O'Brien:
Schmitt said historical documents indicate average temperatures have risen by 1 degree per century since around 1400 A.D., and the rise in carbon dioxide is because of the temperature rise.

Schmitt also said geological evidence indicates changes in sea level have been going on for thousands of years. He said smaller changes are related to changes in the elevation of land masses — for example, the Great Lakes are rising because the earth’s crust is rebounding from being depressed by glaciers.

A down-to-earth geologist who's walked on the moon knows more than the Boomer Pied Pipers and Nobel Frauds---plus he has integrity, a waning commodity in the wreckage of the Boomer Extravaganza.....

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday the 13th Bill Means Stagflation Coming Along With British & Japanese Diseases

David Brooks has a "worst-case scenario" up in today's Op-Ed in the NYT of the results of this disastrous abortion of a bill. The grab-bag of scams and pork projects the Democrats have filled as though they were their own Santa putting the presents under their own tree is not likely to work, implies the Brooks scenario.

Looks like Friday the 13th is the appropriate day to pass a bill pushed through by crazed madwoman Pelosi in the H[ous]ive of Drones. Reid is just as unbalanced, as the US takes on obligations surpassing the world's GDP. Norman Thomas said it best: "The American people will vote for socialism without the word ever being used," and it appears the infrastructure of the USA is now paved with many roads to serfdom.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Language of Desperation Sets in on Dumbocrats

The Wall Street Journal charts another devolution in the language of political discourse as the alternatively splenetic [Bob Shrum] and idiotic [Bob Herbert] employ the word "Taliban" to describe Republicans unwilling to buy into Obama's attempt to morph our democracy into some sort of nanny-state Banana Republic. "Uncle Tom" Herbert is of course a prime example of affirmative action gone ridiculously wrong, but Bob Shrum exceeds all boundaries in his irrational diatribe:
The Republican purpose is clearly to destroy the Obama Presidency, to frustrate economic recovery and then blame the Democrats--and so recapture the Congress and the White House on the backs of a broken middle class.
This appears to be an almost universal Republican resolve. John McCain, feted by Obama at a pre-Inaugural dinner, has repaid the gesture with sour grapes. Someone who knows him well reports that he's consumed with bitterness toward an "unfair" press, as well as toward his successful rival. He can forgive his North Vietnamese captors, but apparently not North American voters. . . .
In the closing weeks of the presidential contest, the GOP harped on the prediction that President Obama would be tested in his first weeks in office. Who knew the test would come not from the Taliban in Afghanistan, but from the Taliban in Washington? President Obama is about to pass that test. The experience will arm him for his next engagement with the Taliban Republicans.

James Taranto dresses down this serial loser much better than I could ever do, but Shrum is a specimen of an unhinged hysteric along the lines of the females now running the Democratic Party---Nancy Pelosi railing about 500 million Americans losing jobs in all 57 states.

[By the way, Bob Shrum, it was Joe Biden who harped that Obama would be tested in his first weeks of office, not that accuracy and Shrum, or even winning campaigns and Shrum, have anythng to do with one another.]

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chicken Little MSM Hoodwinks American People Again

Jammie Wearing Wiseman quotes The NY Post, a much more reliable source than the Pinch-Pravda NYT on the current mild recession, to compare the current downturn with previous messes, like the one created by First Fool Jimmy Carter during the Four Year Disaster he presided over until Ronald Reagan brought supply-side economics to rescue the national economy.

The MSM continues its slavish dedication to disinformation and distracting hysterical anecdotes as Obama tries to rush socialism into the nanny-state agenda he's planning in order to Oprah-fy a country previously priding itself on self-sufficiency---a concept now forgotten by both Bolshie Democrats and RINO Repubs eager to get pork on their own constituents' plates.


Zinni Nomination to Iraq Just One More Obama Eff=Up?

The MSM appears still unable to accept the fact that its Golden Boy Messiah has hair all over himself when it comes to appointments. Even the New York Times wonders, however, why Arabic-speaking Gen. Zinni, who was perhaps the first to inveigh against the Iraq War in a position of any credibility, was offered the job by NSC Chair Gen. James Jones, then abruptly sh*tcanned without an explanation and replaced by Christopher Hill, an able diplomat, but one without actual regional experience in the troubled Fertile Crescent of Chaos.

Daschle & other appointments ran onto the rocks of ethical cred or other problems, but the Zinni appointment might have run into an ideological fault-line in the anti-military Hate America wing of the Democratic One-Worlders. Or perhaps it was just the first power play in the new White House that promised to eschew such old-fashioned tactics based on the bad habits of inside-the-beltway machinations practiced by virtually every administration since George Washington. Foreign Policy mag quotes one of Joe Biden's former minions and others:
"It's also reflective of the larger problem," the Democratic foreign-policy hand said. "Number one, they are swamped with candidates. There are 20 candidates for every job. Everybody has friends who are promising things. And they have multiple power centers they have to negotiate. That gets ugly.

"[Former Council on Foreign Relations head] Les Gelb recently said, he has never seen an administration where political handlers veto so many things coming from below," the Democratic foreign-policy hand continued. "You cannot get a dogcatcher through without" it being vetted by political operatives. Obama political campaign guru David Axelrod was said to have vetoed some recent administration job offers.

Zinni's treatment as he describes it suggests "this is really amateur hour and I can't believe they would string out a respected individual like General Zinni in this fashion unless something dramatic happened late in the game," commented one Democratic Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffer.

"That was incredibly unprofessional, and somebody just plain dropped the ball. They ended up making someone who should be a strong ally into someone now skeptical of their basic competence."

"What changed between last Monday, when HRC was ready to give him the post, and this Monday, when he was told it was a no go?" the staffer continued. "The growing ethics controversies over both [deputy defense secretary nominee] Bill Lynn and [former HHS nominee] Tom Daschle. The administration made the calculation that it could not afford yet another ethics controversy, especially with so sensitive a position as the Iraq ambassadorship. ... The Dyncorps connection is the key variable."

"Zinni is a very popular general," says one former Hill foreign-policy staffer. "And he was one of the first pro-Bush generals to turn on Bush. The Democratic party has been trying to recruit military leaders of varying levels to the party, to run for office, to help in the messaging and selling of the Democratic foreign policy agenda. And [in the Zinni case], it was blown by Jim Jones, and by Obama. The one that doesn't take the blame on this is Hillary."

Gelb has seen many bonehead moves in his long tenure in a senior foreign policy perch of one kind or another since Jimmy Carter's hysterical band of amateurs set an impossibly low standard to surpass in appointment-making, and for the same reason that he cites now, the multiple power centers of a populist apparatus Will Rogers once described as "no organized political party." Perhaps the Dyncorp connection was important, but an operation as important as Iraq shouldn't be handed to an FSO with no previous regional experience, despite the pretensions of a Service that operates as a professional diplomatic corps. And the incredible blunder of admitting that the Administration "didn't care" about whom it appointed to the Ambassador's position in Saudi Arabia was a stupendous eff-up which didn't get much attention in the fawning hagiography which characterizes the MSM's coverage of this new president's honeymoon period. Why heedlessly offend a major Middle East power whose friendship and assistance will be needed in the fight to keep the nutjobs from taking over that important region?

POLITICO quotes Lawrence Korb, incorrectly identified as a "senior Reagan" appointee even though he was let go ASAP after the Reagan Administration recognized this Carter mole for who he was. And Korb hilariously says that "nobody knew who Kissinger was" before he effectively took over the Nixon foreign policy apparatus even though Nixon's V.P. in the '60 race for POTUS, Henry Cabot Lodge, recommended Kissinger to Nixon despite HK's previous dalliance with the Rockefeller machine {h/t: Peter Tarnoff, who relayed this to me in a personal communication]. Like the proverbial broken clock, Korb is correct on the Zinni score that very many Chiefs [not among them Hillary Clinton, James Jones and Joe Biden, all of whom signed onto Zinni as USamb to Iraq] are moving the furniture about in what could be a repeat of the GWB debacle where Rumsfeld and Cheney took over the foreign policy reins in the absent-minded leadership vacuum at the very top [hint: Oval Office] during the unfortunate aftermath of the success of the Iraq invasion....

While I hope along with Rush Limbaugh that Obama's domestic policy agenda to turn the USA into a nanny-state EU clone fails, I do not want American foreign policy to stumble and blunder into another Slough of Despond like the quagmire of contempt that GWB's hapless cronies got us into. [Although I still imagine that GWB's eventual reputation might be resurrected, Truman-style, from the contemporaneous contempt paralleling that in which HST was held at the end of his seven years in office.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Dalrymple on The Return of Ideology

Substitute the word "religion" for "ideology" and many of the same solutions come up for the eternal question that leisure tends to induce in the thinking person. Theodore Dalrymple himself rejects the comparison of religion and ideology, because religon recognizes limitations in the individual and a higher power. First Dalyrmple quotes J.S. Mill:
“Suppose that all your objects in life were realized; that all the changes in institutions and opinions which you are looking forward to, could be effected at this very instant: would this be a great joy and happiness to you?” And an irrepressible self-consciousness distinctly answered, “No!” At this my heart sank within me: the whole foundation on which my life was constructed fell down. All my happiness was to have been found in the continual pursuit of this end. The end had ceased to charm, and how could there ever again be any interest in the means? I seemed to have nothing left to live for."

Then TD follow Mill with this observation:
This is the question that all ideologists fear, and it explains why reform, far from delighting them, only increases their anxiety and rage. It also explains why traditional religious belief is not an ideology in the sense in which I am using the term, for unlike ideology, it explicitly recognizes the limitations of earthly existence, what we can expect of it, and what we can do by our own unaided efforts. Some ideologies have the flavor of religion; but the absolute certainty of, say, the Anabaptists of Münster, or of today’s Islamists, is ultimately irreligious, since they claimed or claim to know in the very last detail what God requires of us.

Dalrymple then points out the coincidence of values that violent reactionary Islamists share with Marxist-Leninists and serial treasonous card-carrying Stalinists like Eric Hobsbawm [who is in his nineties delighting in what His Dotage believes is the downfall of capitalism]. Then TD notes of the Egyptian founder of Al Qaeda in his book Milestones:
Qutb was a strange man: he never married, for example, because (so he claimed) he found no woman of sufficient purity for him. You wouldn’t need to be Freud to find the explanation suspect, or to find his reaction to Greeley, Colorado, in 1950, where he spent time on a scholarship—he saw it as a hotbed of unrestrained vice—somewhat hysterical, a cover for something seething deeply and disturbingly inside him. Devotion to an ideology can provide an answer of sorts to personal problems, and since personal problems are common, it isn’t surprising that a number of people choose ideology as the solution
I myself felt during my five years in the Middle East a certain sort of restive murmuring or susurrus that lay beneath daily life, denoting a restlessness which seemed as though the Saudis or Lebanese at any time would, like Malays, suddenly "run amok" and go batsh*t just like that [of course, living in France gave me parallel experiences! And the Lebanese broke into a fifteen-year civil war shortly after I left for my Saudi embassy assignment.].
Buy, of course, there is one new ideology above all others that the apodictic peremptory airheads of all stripes and persuasions push forward nowadays. I and everyone else is against littering, including dirty air and toxic waste in our water. But Dalyrmple sees much more in today's "ideologie du jour."
The most popular and widest-ranging ideology in the West today is environmentalism, replacing not only Marxism but all the nationalist and xenophobic ideologies that Benda accused intellectuals of espousing in the 1920s [in "Les trahison des clercs" as TD noted beforehand, ed. note]. Now, no one who has suffered respiratory difficulties because of smog, or seen the effects of unrestrained industrial pollution, can be indifferent to the environmental consequences of man’s activities; pure laissez-faire will not do. But it isn’t difficult to spot in environmentalists’ work something more than mere concern with a practical problem. Their writings often show themselves akin to the calls to repentance of seventeenth-century divines in the face of plague epidemics, but with the patina of rationality that every ideology needs to disguise its true source in existential angst.

A very current example of hysteria contains the unreflective lunacy: "Over this century, the average global temperature is expected to rise between 1 degrees and 6 degrees Celsius. Glaciers will melt, seas will rise, extremes in precipitation will occur, according to scientists' predictions.[my emphasis]" Not "some scientists," since about 19,000 senior scientific minds have refuted the nonsense cited above. But that is The Boston Globe, fast going out of dead-tree business.

Or the "penitentes" who on Good Friday have themselves affixed to crosses, or any manner of the several "Great Awakenings" that gave rise to American prominence for the Methodists, Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons, and even The Oxford Movement among Anglicans.... I believe that the newest and latest form of transcendentalism is an updated Emerson and Thoreau [Emerson in the end repudiated Thoreau's naive Chicken Little views of railroad & telegraph as Luddite excesses]] which posits planetary thrombosis by toxins generated by you and me. Dalrymple goes beyond the silliness of a Col. Blimp like Al Gore and the cheesy maniacs in the Guardian whom he cites and then deconstructs with a damning historical parallel:
The environmentalist ideology threatens to make serious inroads into the rule of law in Britain. This past September, six environmentalists were acquitted of having caused $50,000 worth of damage to a power station—not because they did not do it but because four witnesses, including a Greenlander, testified to the reality of global warming.

One recalls the disastrous 1878 jury acquittal in St. Petersburg of Vera Zasulich for the attempted assassination of General Trepov, on the grounds of the supposed purity of her motives. The acquittal destroyed all hope of establishing the rule of law in Russia and ushered in an age of terrorism that led directly to one of the greatest catastrophes in human history.

Spengler may have been most prescient in his Untergang des Abendlands and Toynbee would have noted the similar aspects to the religious crises which brought down previous civilizations. The U.K. is in profound spiritual misery. The silly socialist nostrums Gordon Brown peddles and the ridiculous judicial rulings there could be a harbinger of parallel nonsense on this side of the Atlantic.

G.K. Chesterton a Prophet about Islam Taking Over England?

The Flying Inn is a short novel by Chesterton set in 1914 which posits an England of the future ruled by a form of Islam forbidding alcohol consumption. Judging from the present condition of English universities, perhaps women will be the first forbidden the nectar of the Gods...!

Friday, February 06, 2009

No Rosalita At the Super Bowl Halftime, why not, Bruce??

Rosalita was the most beautiful and athletic cat I have ever encountered in a lifetime full of felines of all breeds and sizes and at least two genders.... Every time I hear Springsteen's signature song, I think of our gorgeous Abyssinian now in Cat Nirvana.

About 25 years ago, my wife & I lucked into getting last minute tickets to a Springsteen concert in DC. It was a few years after Born to Run, but before Born in the USA vaulted him into the rock empyrean. The concert was one of the best I've ever attended, and I saw it unencumbered or unenhanced with the aid of alcohol or other mind-altering substances, a rare occasion for a fellow who's seen The Who live five times, and the Stones and Hendrix and many others in varying states of exaltation.

Soon after, we bought an Abyssinian cat from a cattery in McLean, VA, sired by a San Francisco showcat named Spartacus. We paid only the spaying fee, and the two cathouse owners wished us luck, as this particular cat was loaded with plenty of cattitude, as cat owners call tempermental kitties and had been neutered because she was TOO STUCK UP to be exhibited at cat shows with mere mortals, refusing to look pretty and play the role of just another gorgeous feline. Although her original moniker was Penny, we named her Rosalita because on taking her home, she completely and totally disappeared without a trace for almost a week in our apartment, but suddenly appeared at the very moment the song "Rosalita" was playing on the FM radio! She was from then on the de facto ruler of the household, and would display herself prominently whenever guests gathered and elicited oohs and ahs from everyone who liked cats and had an esthetic bent. In this, she competed with our female Maltese dog, Lacey, who would play with David Brinkley's wife's dogs across the street from where we were renting in Wesley Heights. Mrs. Brinkley would lunch with Nancy Reagan, then First Lady, in restaurants about town, but with Lacey would crawl hands and knees on our front lawn while her own dogs growled jealously behind her. She just loved our Maltese Lacey, who was vying for alpha animal with Rosalita at the time [Rosie would hold even humans in disdain, her sense of superiority was so deeply rooted.]

The competition for top pet was indeed fierce. For example, a then-young newly-arrived from the UK writer named Christopher Hitchens used to drink copiously at our house and would occasionally lapse into staring at Rosalita in an alcoholic haze for up to a half-hour at a time in silent reverie, an incomprehensible situation to anyone who knows how voluble Hitchens can be on any subject under the sun. Once he somewhat ceremoniously pronounced her "the most beautiful creature I have ever seen."

But Rosalita was much much more than a self-possessed good-looking cat. She would lick me long periods with her sandpaper tongue, a sort of ritual that female cats occasionally perform, perhaps to taste whatever testoserone she might sense with her astounding powers of sight, smell, and hearing. Rosalita combined these senses to become a bird-catcher & leaper of phenomenal skills---several times she jumped off our third-story outdoor porch to the ground unharmed and then evaded capture in skunk/cat/possum traps we would set for her laced with delicious cat treats for weeks at a time. We caught six or eight varmints, but we knew Rosalita had been there when the animal had stolen the bait while avoiding the trapdoor, a feat of incredible skill and athleticism, not to mention intelligence.

The most memorable time Rosalita pulled her dramatic skills off impeccably was when my wife was testifying to the misdeeds of Sen. Mark Hatfield, who was being paid under the table through Hatfield's wife Antoinette for non-existent home decorating advice [$90,000?] by my wife's employer Basil Tsakos who was lobbying the US Govt for subsidies to build a Trans-African Pipeline [Oil prices were $40/barrel & the Iran-Iraq War was inhibiting supply]. Two FBI agents were sitting in our dining room questioning my wife, one of them an attractive woman named Robin [You can't make these things up!], when Rosalita appeared in the window with a still fluttering robin in her mouth. Robin the G-woman screamed and said she was going to be sick. The male agent went to the window and wondered how in the world Rosalita had jumped the fifteen feet necessary to reach the window sill from the ground outdoors, a prodigious example of her athleticism. [During the Hatfield episode, many reporters came to the house for interviews, including Howie Kurtz and Judith Warner of the NYT, to name two who are still under byline.] My wife was on the evening news of all three US networks and CBC of Canada. I went to pick up the morning paper in our front yard and a CBS TV crew with cameras running [I was in my underwear] came up to ask questions. Rosalita would often dramatically appear while the ink-stained wretch would be interviewing at our kitchen table simply to elicit the adoration she unquestionably deserved.

Rosalita was admired by all our visitors who liked cats. Among our frequent guests at the time was George Tenet [who had been Repub Sen. Heinz's aide, but was out-of-a-job temporarily when Heinz was killed in a helicopter crash], Helen Thomas and her still-living husband [she drank a third of a bottle of our Dewar's], the aforementioned Christopher Hitchens, a scattering of diplomats from the Embassies, Tip O'Neill's niece, and other friends and notables of the day [Phil Geyelin of the WaPo, Joe Fitchett of the Int Herald Trib, Bill Richardson for whom we threw a fund-raiser---he had dated my wife at Tufts---and some State Dept. buddies, including John Limbert, ex-Iranian hostage and future AFSA president], and all were either dazzled or dissed by the aristocratic Rosalita, who displayed herself with queenly dignity and the comportment of a truly magnificent feline,

Sadly, Rosalita eventually ran out of her nine lives [and about twenty-plus more] when she chased a bird into heavy traffic and paid dearly for the mistake....! She is now in Cat Valhalla queening it over lesser felines. We still have the pictures and every time I hear the song, I see Rosalita making unbelievable standing leaps to our window sill to get into the house with a bird in her mouth---she was an Olympian in the cat world...!

All this came back to me when on the FOX Sports Channel radio, there was a betting pool of which songs Bruce Springsteen would play during the Halftime Show---Born To Run, Glory Days, and Rosalita were among the top five. I loved the eventual song choices and Bruce kept politics out of the act, which is a blessing, but I wished for one moment, Rosalita would again have her name in bright lights across the land!

Decline & Fall Of MicroSoft, Chapter XXVII [Or So...]

While Bill Gates showboats to get his charity "good works" on the front pages and TV News, a nutcase named Steve Ballmer is busy driving the MicroSoft brand into the ground as Ballmer makes MSNBC simply another version of AOL/TimeWarner in messing up the Mission Statement with the Vision Statement in some sort of kitchen appliance cum lawn sprinker programmer Brave New World of cyberspace?
Here's the operative paragrapH:
Were this rate of accelerating decline for Windows market share to continue, Microsoft's OS would fall off the charts completely sometime around 2022. At this rate of accelerating increase for Mac's OS, the point of parity with Windows (equal market share) should be reached in or near 2015 - just over 6 years out.

P.S. I'm writing this on a desktop iMac a year and change after switching from fried motherboards and virus-bombarded Windows with its inverted pyramid of pay-to-play cockamamie gimcrackery....and Vista BS to the factor of 10! By 2015, I may be with the majority!

New Republic Ejaculations on Conservatism Premature and Self-Induced

Sam Tanenhaus trots out the biennial "death of conservatism" trope so beloved of the truffle-snuffing hedonists on the lefter fringes of the Obama psychosis [for Obama substitute the du jour cliche of the moment favored by the autistic narcissists in the MSM]. Roger Kimball in Armavirumque does a good job interpreting the gist of culture warrior Tanenhaus's latest breathless exhalations:
when someone of Tanenhaus’s disposition comes along bearing tidings–and in The New Republic, no less–that Conservatism is Dead, it is time for us knuckle-dragging right wingers to rejoice. It’s not just that Tanenhaus doesn’t get what conservatism is all about: his immersion in the left-wing echo chamber that is The New York Times assures that his understanding of recent history will be composed entirely of fact resistant establishment clichés.

Tanenhaus begins by telling his readers that, bad though things were for conservatives after Barry Goldwater’s defeat in 1964, they are actually much worse now:

After George W. Bush’s two terms, conservatives must reckon with the consequences of a presidency that failed, in large part, because of its fervent commitment to movement ideology: the aggressively unilateralist foreign policy; the blind faith in a deregulated, Wall Street-centric market; the harshly punitive “culture war” waged against liberal “elites.”

This is one of those rhetorical gems that requires the tartness of Mary McCarthy on Lillian Hellman’s veracity–every word out of her mouth, said McCarthy, is a lie, including “and” and “but.” McCarthy’s judgment has to be somewhat altered in the case of Tanenhaus, for the lack of truth is not, I think, a product of mendacity so much as sclerotic liberal orthodoxy. The Left is everywhere engaged in a process of mythopoeic misrepresentation. George W. Bush must be demonized so that the Messiah, BHO, can be properly exalted.

Absent that distorting filter, we can see that 1) President Bush’s presidency cannot really be said to have “failed” 2) far from being committed to “movement ideology,” Bush was strikingly wet on many issues (prescription drugs for seniors, no child left behind, “compassionate”–gag–”conservatism,” etc.); 3) his foreign policy was not “aggressively unilateralist”: it just wasn’t a model of capitulation; 4) Bush did not exhibit a “blind faith in a deregulated, Wall-Street centric market” but intervened massively in the market when the economy faltered; 4) he did not, alas, pursue a culture war, “harshly punitive” or otherwise, against liberal “elites,” much as we might have wished he had. One sentence, five untruths: good job, Sam! But I do want to give credit where credit is due and point out that there is one element of truth to that sentence. It’s not an assertion, or even a word, rather a bit of punctuation: the scare quotes around “elite.” Conservatives should be proud to welcome genuine elites–i.e., those who excel in one pursuit or another–and he is surely correct that liberals can only be described as “elite” in a Pickwickian sense.

Kimball goes on to deconstruct more of the Tanenhaus rodomontade, but doesn't mention that Rush Limbaugh is beginning to replace George W. as the bete noire of the livid arm-wavers like HuffPuff and Odorboy, and that demonization will proceed along the lines of a "standard of accountability" such as the one Debbie Stabenow is beginning to tout, the first oomph in the pushing and shoving to enact a "Fairness Doctrine," which is by no means fair, but very doctrinal. Marty Peretz and some others in the New Republic keep it from going entirely bolshie, but Tanenhaus appears a throwback to the Uncle Joe-loving past of this rag's flirtations with totalitarianism, as long as it was of the left, sinister, Euro-red side of the spectrum.
...[Tanenhaus] ends by calling on conservatives to reject “ideology” and “recover their honorable intellectual and political tradition.” What he means, of course, is that conservatives should stop being conservatives and get with the leftoid program as epitomized by the Geist of The New York Times and Barack Obama. Sam Tanenhaus has written a piece that is half epitaph, half sermon for the conversion of sinners. He tells us that conservatism is dead, and then how conservatives might save themselves. Most conservatives, I suspect, will take a pass on the offer of redemption à la Tanenhaus. And as for the funeral Tanenhaus came to preside over, I suspect that conservatives will respond as Mark Twain is said to have done when he heard of his own obituary: rumors of their death have been exaggerated.

I can recall how Goldwater's '64 defeat heralded the end of conservatism. Funny how Carter's double-digit inflation & interest rates are nowhere near as Chicken Little as the current economic downturn.....guess that media barrage of superlative exaggerations has got Nancy Pelosi upping our jobless rate to 500 million per month in all 57 states....two examples of how long I expect this current round of conservatism's death throes to last!

Is Obama another LBJ, propounding a "war" on poverty and a "great" society? Or as the Democrats' chief mentor put it, is history repeating itself the second time as farce?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Mich Sen. Debbie Stabenow's Call for Fairness Doctrine: Could Hubby's job as Air America Exec Be Involved?,

Senator Stabenow is calling for "a standard" while her conflict of interest is ignored by the MSM. Here is a "Note" from Joe Bob, a commenter on the site announcing Debbie's bold thrust against the First Amendment:
Sen. Debbie Stabenow's husband is Thomas Athans.

Thomas Athans is the founder of Democracy Radio.

Thomas Athans joined Air America as Executive Vice President per the November 1, 2005 press release which can be found here:


Hmm, do I detect a thread here? Could Ms. Stabenow have a possible personal and financial stake in the success or failure of conservative talk radio?

Just follow the money and you'll get to the bottom of things pretty quickly. This lady is dirty.

BTW, just for the fun of it, Thomas Athans was caught paying $150 to a prostitute in February of 2008.

While the last line might be deemed a cheap shot, check Debbie's picture on the link above to understand why her hubby might wish for less gravity-challenged female companionship!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Hoist By Own Petard: Dead-Tree Newspapers Exit Left

The American Spectator has a sayonara-sucker valedictory for the daily newspaper delivered at the door. [h/t: James Taranto] Here is the lede/nutshell in my longish thank-you/good-bye to a profession I once practiced as International Editor in a daily newspaper:
The market (when, as in the present case, allowed by statists actually to work) is cold and unforgiving , like a vulture in the Serengeti. Whatever the marketplace repudiates or depreciates isn't long for this world. But I think it useful to talk. I am far from convinced the newspapers aren't to some degree the authors of their own soap opera. No trend ever has a precise starting point, but I think a strong case can be made for dating the newspapers' plight from 1974. Does that ring a bell? We were then just winding down a political cataclysm, one known colloquially as Watergate.

It didn't look much like a moment of decline, rather one of triumph. A pair of newspapermen , as Americans were regularly invited to acknowledge, had contributed significantly to the downfall of a president who, as public officials sometimes will, thought he could do what he wanted to. Well, no… he couldn't.

My point is not that newspapers began some time in the aftermath of Watergate to pursue a confrontational, finger-pointing approach to news coverage, especially with Republicans and conservatives as the targets. Many papers did so; nevertheless, my main point is an auxiliary, and less noisy, one. It is that, due in large measure to Watergate, and the go-get-'em, spirit Watergate inspired in the liberal breast, the relationship of the business to the customers began to change. There appeared in newsrooms, from the '70s on, larger and larger numbers of people largely unlike those who had populated that workplace earlier.

If I am wrong about this, at least I have been telling the story the same way for quite a while, based on first-hand observation. The story is of a profession invaded and subjugated by a type of journalist far less like the average reader than like, well, the members of a political science seminar at an upscale Eastern or West Coast university. That's irrespective of whether such journalists ever caught sight of a college seminar room. They tended to see journalism as a platform for identifying, investigating, exposing, and addressing social and political grievances: such grievances as often enough the customers didn't see for themselves, but here was a new breed of newsmen to show them what they had missed.

The old-style newspaperman whom I came to know face to face in the '60s was a differently colored nag. He -- he usually was that -- had far likelier attended a state school than Yale or Harvard or Berkeley, assuming he went to college at all. He was jocular and irreverent in a newspaperly sort of way. Never slugged down a drink of whiskey he didn't like. Dressed with minimal attention to fashion.

Our old-style guy, over a draft Bud at the bar in the next block, liked to rhapsodize about how much better, given the chance, he and his comperes could run the city desk than did the poor dumb city editor. He generally lacked a sense of social importance or professional entitlement. Liked cops and kids and soldiers. Tended to job-jump. Sometimes made up a quote or a name and put it in a story just to see if he could get it past the copy desk. Drove a Ford or a Chevy, rarely brand-new. Sported nicotine stains on bony fingers. Didn't like hippies. Voted -- here's what you were really wondering about -- conservative, or something approaching it.

A couple of decades after I got to know him, his like was gone. People of his sort didn't go into newspapering anymore. People with master's degrees in English literature from Columbia did; people inherently suspicious of the mores and institutions and personalities dominant in America before the tumultuous Sixties. The newsroom became an unlikely place to search for affirmation of middle-American norms.

I wouldn't for a minute posit that my old friends of the pre-1974 newsroom were a superior class of news-gatherers and communicators. They were different. In some sense they were of the readers, by the readers, for the readers. The categories overlapped -- readers and writers and reporters. They knew one another. The reporters knew what readers liked and tried to deliver it to them. It was a good commercial marriage.

After Watergate the paradigmatic reporter was a man -- or, now, a woman -- with a high-minded mission; namely to instruct society concerning its tastes and habits; to improve things. No problem there -- a little improvement never hurt anyone. Problems arose only when the bearer of news arrived at the home of the recipient of news with the look of a doctor preparing a rabies injection.

The politics of the breed of reporter who entered the business after Watergate was, most of the time, liberal. That was part of the problem but not the essential part. The essential part was the tendency of this breed of reporter to misunderstand what readers wanted, meaning a combination of information and entertainment, with some political philosophy thrown in, as long as the philosophy in question didn't grate or offend deep instincts.

The readership of the American newspaper was middle-class, patriotic, churchgoing, optimistic. Along came these guys (and, subsequently gals) from Columbia U. and Berkeley to tell readers just how morally burdened and ripe for reform their country was. It wasn't precisely what the customers wanted to hear. In fact, it was the opposite of what they wanted to hear.

To the old breed of American the new breed of reporter and editor seemed always to be complaining, particularly about those less interested in overhaul of existing arrangements: moral, spiritual, political, whatever. The new breed seemed always to be waggling its forefinger in readers' faces: Now, now, this just won't do; come on, we've got to move forward.

Conservative editorial pages turned left. Brides' pages went away. Tofu, reggae, Madonna, films with Susan Sarandon, and books by Bret Easton Ellis found their champions on reviewing staffs. Staff photographers went on the street with instructions to seek racial and sexual diversity among subjects. Four-letter words -- not the whole range, put part of it -- began to appear in print. Coverage of religious news waned. Coverage of GLBT's waxed.

The sellers (publishers) had begun telling the buyers (readers) what was good for them. Their insistence had predictable effects. First the customers scratched their heads in puzzlement. Then they balked. They looked elsewhere for the information and entertainment they wanted. More and more the newspaper exasperated or just plain bored, with its high-minded earnestness about matters more entrancing in the seminar room than in front of the home coffee pot. Pulitzer Prizes went to endeavors such as a wonky and stultifying series on how the federal government investigates plane crashes.

A thesis as broad and encompassing as mine is subject to a million objections. The best newspapers always have led their communities. (Yes, they have.) The new breed of newsman brought much to the profession by way of knowledge and understanding. (True.) The old breed could be provincial and unintelligent when not dead drunk. (Also true.) Life is more than Perry Como and the St. Louis Cardinals. (Yes.) The papers sell an old product that can't compete easily with the instantaneity of the Internet. (Just so.) Nothing stays the same. Everything changes. Even styles in communication. (Yes, yes, yes.)

Here's the crucial element: The old, long-gone owners, editors, and reporters knew better than to make themselves tedious and irksome to the readers. They knew you don't sell papers that way.

"Don't bore the customers. Don't lecture them either." Really, why isn't such a remarkable piece of wisdom engraved above the front door of every newspaper building in the land? Because the right to bore and lecture in the name of post-Watergate Uplift and Reform and Improvement is protected by the U.S. Constitution.

Tiresome, irksome, meddlesome, idiotic all sum up the NYT Op-Ed and editorial pages, whence the [metaphor alert!] logorrhea flows into the arteries, veins, and capillaries of the thousands of dailies now gangrenous with NYT toxic waste and ready to be lopped off like a rotten appendage of a rotten core.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Europeans Wake Up and Discover they are SERFS!

The Telegraph's Janet Daley writes one of those infrequent articles in a newspaper which define the present crisis in broadest terms---The EU Elitist Oligarchy is the end of Enlightenment Government by Consent of the Governed. Here is some text setting up the context of the current crisis:
...[UK strikers], demonstrators in Paris and the recalcitrant electorate in Germany are waking up to the consequences of what two generations of European ideologues have thrust upon them: the burden not just of their own economic problems but also the obligation to accept the consequences of their neighbours' debts and failures. Each country is true to its own history in the way it expresses its rage: in France, they take to the streets and throw things at the police, in Germany they threaten the stability of the coalition government, and here, we revive the tradition of wildcat strikes.

The Commissars and Gauleiters of Brussels respond to workers threatened with foreign EU scabs with "accusations of foolhardy protectionism or racist nationalism" while the US is being urged by Obama to "buy American" while Janet says "I eagerly await the condemnation of his proposal for US economic isolationism from all those European leaders who were so anxious to see him elected." It all boils down to the death of democracy by a thousand cuts from Brussels' faceless functionaries while Janet explains how such a grand plan could come into being. Was it a fit of absent-mindedness on the part of European leaders when they signed up to give away sovereignty and autonomy?
In the grand abstract terms of the enlightenment, the legitimacy of government derives from the consent of the governed, and therefore no government should have the right to hand over its authority to some external body which is not democratically accountable to its own people. So when the framers of the EU arranged for the nations of Europe to do exactly that, they were repudiating the two centuries old political struggle for the rights and liberties of ordinary citizens, of government "of the people, by the people and for the people". It has always been my view that this was a quite conscious decision by the EU founders who, in the wake of two world wars, came to believe that the infamous national crimes of the 20th century could be traced directly to the democratic revolutions of the 18th century, and that the only long-term solution to this was to replace democracy with oligarchy. [my emph.]

So the national leaders of the member states of the EU find themselves in a devil of a quandry:
here we are, with a generation of European political leaders who almost all accept the terms in which their predecessors gave away the most important principle of that great democratic pact between a free people and its government. While times were good and there was enough prosperity to keep everybody distracted and happy, the loss went almost unnoticed except by a few persistent and despairing critics. Well, not any more. The American government may be committing itself to a policy that is economically unsound and even irresponsible, but its insistence on maintaining the compact with its own voters – on putting their concerns first – will at least ensure that democracy will survive there. I am not at all sure that will be true in Europe.

Americans will not allow their government to unseat govt "by, for and of the people" without a great struggle. For the Europeans, who are exhausted after a century and a half of internecine strife [five hundred years, to be more encompassing], may be simply willing to once again submit to the rule of bureaucratic elites, much like Austria-Hungary, Wilhelmine Germany, and Tsarist Russia before the two world wars and Cold War completely left them epuise, as the French put it.

In the meantime, I am applauding the resistance of British, French and German workers to the imposition of foreign scabs subsidized by the Brussels Politburo.

Why Rush Derangement Syndrome is Replacing BDS

The NY Post explains why BarackO mentioned Rush Limbaugh to the Repubs in his tete-a-tetes recently as a bete noire. And The Wall Street Journal has a different approach describing the bipolar nuttiness of the ultra-left Dems who need to demonize their opponents to mask the utterly silly and self-contradicting policy options they are propounding in the "stimulus" package. After citing Hamilton in The Federalist Papers, the WSJ article gets down to cases:
Bush hatred and Obama euphoria are particularly toxic because they thrive in and have been promoted by the news media, whose professional responsibility, it has long been thought, is to gather the facts and analyze their significance, and by the academy, whose scholarly training, it is commonly assumed, reflects an aptitude for and dedication to systematic study and impartial inquiry.

From the avalanche of vehement and ignorant attacks on Bush v. Gore and the oft-made and oft-refuted allegation that the Bush administration lied about WMD in Iraq, to the remarkable lack of interest in Mr. Obama's career in Illinois politics and the determined indifference to his wrongness about the surge, wide swaths of the media and the academy have concentrated on stoking passions rather than appealing to reason.

Some will speculate that the outbreak of hatred and euphoria in our politics is the result of the transformation of left-liberalism into a religion, its promulgation as dogma by our universities, and students' absorption of their professors' lesson of immoderation. This is unfair to religion.

Even religions in their advanced forms advocate some sort of limitation based on the frailty of human nature. However, the sad state of secular propagation of the civic faiths of today lack much of the nobility and universality of old-time religion:
biblical faith encourages skepticism about grand claims to moral and political authority and an appreciation of the limits of one's knowledge, both of which well serve liberal democracy.

In contrast, by assembling and maintaining faculties that think alike about politics and think alike that the university curriculum must instill correct political opinions, our universities cultivate intellectual conformity and discourage the exercise of reason in public life. It is not that our universities invest the fundamental principles of liberalism with religious meaning -- after all the Declaration of Independence identifies a religious root of our freedom and equality. Rather, they infuse a certain progressive interpretation of our freedom and equality with sacred significance, zealously requiring not only outward obedience to its policy dictates but inner persuasion of the heart and mind. This transforms dissenters into apostates or heretics, and leaders into redeemers.

Consequently, though Bush hatred may weaken as the 43rd president minds his business back home in Texas, and while Obama euphoria may fade as the 44th president is compelled to immerse himself in the daunting ambiguities of power, our universities will continue to educate students to believe that hatred and euphoria reflect political wisdom. Urgent though the problem is, not even the efficient and responsible spending of a $1 trillion stimulus package would begin to address it.

Yes, the fickle and transient passions of the weak-minded academics and other purveyors in the "marketplace of ideas" are switching to what Saul Alinsky used to call a rallying-cry for the committed men/women of the left---ridiculing and reviling Rush Limbaugh, who averages 20 million listeners on a daily basis, making him more widely listened to than any opponent on his left. Michelle Malkin notes concerning Obama's recent anti-Rush remarks:
it points to a neurosis on the part of Democrats. By defining themselves more by who they oppose rather than who they are, they find themselves lost without an enemy.

The stimulus bill is a prime example - a collection of pet projects connected by no coherent ideological strategy except spending. Do Democrats really support it because it's a good bill? Or is it simply because Republicans oppose it?

Either way, picking a fight with Rush was disastrous for the White House. Obama's criticism of Limbaugh - and by extension, the broader influence of conservative talk radio and grass-roots activism - galvanized the base. Let's face it - there's been a little bit of moping since the November losses. Conservatives retreated into think tanks and blogs, trying to figure out what went wrong, sure that the public mood for empty promises would sour soon enough.

It didn't take long. My colleagues here at the New York Post tell me after the newspaper ran its story about Obama calling out Rush, the article vaulted to No. 1 on its Web site for three consecutive days - and garnered more than 4,200 comments.

I asked Limbaugh this week why his enemies on the Left repeatedly fall into the trap of distorting his words and overreaching in their anti-talk radio demagoguery. Why, after 20 years, don't they learn?

"On the contrary," he said, "I think they believe all of these campaigns to have been profoundly successful. Their objective is to use their brethren in the drive-by media to echo their charges against me for the purpose of ensuring that I do not become 'mainstream' in the popular and political cultures. They strive to have the general population, particularly those who do not listen to the radio, hate me (and by association, all of conservatism). This happens for one reason: I am effective and thus have to be marginalized as an extremist, fringe figure." Invoking Obama intellectual mentor Saul Alinsky's "Rule for Radicals," Limbaugh has reminded his audience of Rule No. 13 to explain the White House strategy: "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." Indeed, outraged that conservative talk radio has succeeded in the marketplace while liberals have bombed, and unnerved that new media outlets have upended mainstream journalism's monopoly apple cart, liberals have long targeted, personalized, and polarized the medium. Bill Clinton blamed the Oklahoma City bombing on the "many loud and angry voices" in conservative talk radio that "spread hate." Democrats continue to deride "Republican noise machines" and have long worked in Congress to marginalize, regulate and stifle influential talkers - most notably by pressing for the Armed Forces Radio Network to drop Limbaugh (Sen. Tom Harkin's failed hobby horse in 2004) and by threatening to reinstitute the Orwellian Fairness Doctrine (as Sen. Jeff Bingaman did last fall when he hailed a return to the equal-time mandate as a way to force radio to reach its "higher calling.") It's all part of a recurring pattern. Conservative dissent cannot stand. Two years ago, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid picked a fight with Limbaugh over comment he made on his show about soldiers who had falsified their records. Indignant Democrats, looking to bolster damaged credibility over their failure to support the Surge, accused Limbaugh of calling all troops "phony soldiers." Senate Democrats sent a letter of condemnation to Limbaugh. The radio host pulled a jujitsu move, calling out the distortion and auctioning off the letter on eBay for $2.1 million - which he donated to the children of fallen Marines and law enforcement officers. Limbaugh, 1; Reid, 0

Aside from the Dem's aversion to criticism and affection for totalitarian-leaning ideologues like Alinsky, there is another reason for the Dem's penchant to pick a shibboleth or symbol for uniting their cadres in opposition. Their control of vast swathes of the "thundering herd" of mediocre journalistic pressies allows them to exaggerate without much contradiction:
During the election season, meanwhile, Team Obama personalized the campaign fight with a ridiculous Spanish-language smear ad tying Limbaugh to McCain.

The spot so egregiously distorted Limbaugh's monologues on immigration and the North American Free Trade Agreement that even ABC News jumped into the fray to debunk it. Wrote Jake Tapper: "There are some real factual problems with this ad, which is titled 'Dos Caras,' or two faces First of all, tying Sen. McCain - especially on the issue of immigration reform - to Limbaugh is unfair. Limbaugh opposed McCain on that issue. Vociferously. And in a larger sense, it's unfair to link McCain to Limbaugh on a host of issues since Limbaugh, as any even occasional listener of his knows, doesn't particularly care for McCain. Second, the quotes of Limbaugh's are out of context." Again, par for the course. And now with Obama in the Oval Office, the cycle continues. Right on cue (or rather, Left on cue), the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched a petition drive against Limbaugh over his hope that Obama's expansive government policies fail (What he actually said: "I do not want the government in charge of all of these things. I don't want this to work.") Next, the George Soros-funded MoveOn rolled out a Limbaugh-bashing ad to scare up votes for the increasingly unpopular stimulus bill. To borrow Obama's frequent explanation, it's all a grand distraction.

Whether Limbaugh's common sense caveats and recitations of the many ridiculous items in the "Stimulus" package are actually changing public opinion or not, the Dems want to discredit Limbaugh's ideas through personal attacks on his integrity and political honesty:
As Limbaugh told me: "I am being used to distract from the polls [Rasmussen] showing falling support for the Porkulus bill. Senate Republicans need to understand that this is also about intimidating them, especially after the show of unity in the House. It is about the 2010 and 2012 elections. This is an opportunity for Republicans to redefine themselves after a few years of wandering aimlessly looking for a 'brand' and identity." "Remember, the Left needs a villain, a demon, to advance their agenda. They cannot win a single argument in the arena of ideas, so they have to try and destroy the credibility and reputation of the person they feel most threatened by. In that sense I guess I have taken the place of President Bush." And so the torch has been passed. What was once all Bush's fault is now all Rush's. The difference this time? The conservative talk radio bogeyman of the unhinged relishes fighting back, poking his enemies in the eye - and winning.

As is evident from his last term, George W. Bush was more of a cheerleader than a quarterback, leaving the strategy ["strategery"] to coaches like Rumsfeld and Cheney and the down-and-dirty backroom dealing to Karl Rove and other operatives. GWB was more a figurehead than a hands-on political junkie like Clinton or Obama. GWB was a gentleman who allowed too many nasty innuendoes and ridiculous accusations to go unanswered, simply because he knew the swinish nature [or vapid nitwittery in the cases of Reid and Pelosi] of his opponents.

Hopefully, the Repubs will be as disloyal an opposition as the Dems were in both GWB's terms, and if someone like Rush points out strategy and tactics on-air daily, so much the better.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Anthropogenic GW, Greatest Fraud in History?

James Lewis makes a good case, while the Goracle is ridiculed in the WaPo by resident funnyman Dana Milbank during his ice-storm appearance in front of Congress waving his arms about the sky about to fall on all of us. Here's a tidbit:
Scientists get seduced by enticing ideas and bits of evidence all the time. That’s why every scientist I’ve ever known is a thorough-going skeptic, even about his or her own data. Especially about one’s own data, because one’s career is on the line if it doesn’t check out. So we need skepticism in ourselves and others. Good science honors the rational skeptic.

Which is why it’s beyond outrageous that AGW believers are publicly attacking thoughtful skeptics — not on the facts, but on their sheer temerity in doubting their precious orthodoxy.

According to the Guardian:

James Hansen, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, will today call for the chief executives of large fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature, accusing them of actively spreading doubt about global warming in the same way that tobacco companies blurred the links between smoking and cancer.

That is Stalinism; it is never, ever done in real science. Stalin shot real scientists and promoted scientific frauds who helped to kill Soviet food production. Right there we know we’re looking at political corruption and not real science.

Hansen, of course, is the real criminal in this funhouse mirror parody of the mad scientist followed by pitchfork-waving "climatologists" and egged on by the silly Veep who lost the 2000 election by a combination of low-IQ dorkiness and sheer stupidity. The Gorebot-Goracle is now a rich man wearing a worthless Nobel Prize, devalued by the series of lowlifes [Arafat, Krugman, Carter, et al.] awarded by a bunch of dumb Norwegians.

Back when a Nobel Prize meant something, Nobel [Physics] Winner Richard Feynman prophetically warned of Cargo Cult Science, the best description of Anthropogenic Global Warming that could ever be devised.

Criminal-in-Chief Hansen is the Torquemada [or perhaps Lavrenti Beria?] of the new religious terrorism overtaking fake science when it is confronted with the scientific method and healthy scepticism.

UPDATEI find The Reference Frame makes my point much better than I have above about Feynman and which he might have said about the nitwittery of the Anthropogenic Global Warming populists with their Chicken Little hysterics.

Female Cub Reporter Murdered in Moscow---MSM Ignores, and Putin Has Another Notch in His Pistol

Vlad The Empoisoner doesn't like the reporters of Novaya Gazeta, it seems:
In a country considered one of the most dangerous for journalists, no Russian newspaper has suffered like Novaya Gazeta. In a country where most media have been cowed into submission, no other newspaper publishes such probing investigative articles and acid commentary about government corruption, police-state politics and Chechnya war abuses.
"Every two or three years, we lose someone," says Elena Kostyuchenko, a 21-year-old investigative writer for the paper. "But you just have to write, write, write and keep writing. You have to."
Some 16 journalists have died in contract-style slayings or under suspicious circumstances in Russia since 2000. Many more have been assaulted or threatened.
Under Vladimir Putin, who became president in 2000 and now is prime minister, the TV networks watched by most Russians were taken over by the state, their news operations highly sanitized. Big-selling newspapers are either sympathetic to the Kremlin or owned by Kremlin-allied business groups.
Dwarf-in-Chief Putin has the respect of western press flunkies, who don't want to be in his cross-hairs and thus write flattering pieces or ignore the Russian slaughter of investigative journalists.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan once noted that the cowards in the US media routinely cower before nasty dictators---much more craven than the brave young Elenas, Anastasias, and other investigative journalists in Russia and other press-hounding places, which thus get favorable press [Iran, e.g.] because, as Moynihan noted, US columnists and reporters lash out with impunity on honorable gentlemen like George W. Bush, aware they are unaccountable for their hectoring libelous exaggerations. Moynihan noted their reticence in cases where their own careers or reputation or hides might be in jeopardy.

So murderers like Putin and Amadinnerjacket get fawning kowtows from the likes of Christiane Amanpour while GWB & Tony Blair are excoriated by moral retards and physical cowards who know that they can lie with impunity and that in the boardrooms of the NYT and WaPo, ideology trumps truth in making a "journalist's" career.