Friday, December 30, 2005

Happy (early) New Year!!

Light blogging this weekend as Luther is lost in the wilderness of Pennsylvania and Wonker is preparing for a weekend filled with the consumption of mass quantities of adult beverages. Don't worry, we consume them at home. And we're not actually that bad. The Animal House stuff is far in the past. And besides, we only experimented, we didn't inhale.

Happy New Year to all!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Propaganda or Reporting?

Among the other bogus controversies swirling about the Bushies over the past month—as treasonous intelligence officials past and present have united with the socialists running the MSM to further compromise our Nation's safety and security—we've been regaled with tall tales (and maybe true) of the armed forces' efforts to plant a bit of pro-US spin in the Iraqi press. We're shocked! Shocked!

Wretchard of Belmont Club fame takes on this issue in a recent piece. He argues, effectively, that in past times, we could usually depend on our "objective" press to back the US and its military when we were at war, thus providing crucial social and cultural backup to our armed forces. We'd observe that since 'Nam, however, the media in this country and in the West in general, have indulged in precisely the opposite behavior, "reporting" with universal disapproval of our actions, in a way that actively undermines this country's safety and the wellbeing of the military engaged in the fight. With Al Jazeera happily cheerleading the Islamofascists on to greater atrocities, the West unfortunately lacks a counterpart to help out our guys. Our media today happily marches to the tune of the jihad's propagandists, no doubt as part of a near-Gramscian effort to entirely undermine the credibility of the US. And, of course, fulfill the media's current prime directive: destroy George W. Bush, a task of far greater importance to them than helping protect us against the predations of medieval savages.

So what's a military to do when their own guys effectively support the enemy 24/7? If they can't get support from the media anymore—support they once could count on in the days before the MSM considered itself the intellectual elite—they have decided that they'll generate that support for themselves. Good choice.

Wretchard concludes:
If there is any evil greater than war itself it must surely be to make war without meaning it; to recruit allies without intending to stand by them; to send men into battle without purposing victory; to embark on campaign of arms that we ourselves do not believe in; and to kill in preference to persuasion. But maybe there's a greater. One writer at Slate argued that a worse danger is the conceit that any message is worth persuading others to believe. "The notion of evil has become profoundly maladaptive. Today, saying our enemy is 'evil' is like saying a preventable tragedy is 'God's will': It's a way of letting ourselves off the hook for crimes committed in our name. Not incidentally, it's also a way for our enemies to let themselves off the hook." They don't need to be let off the hook; they were never on it.
The italics are ours, and highlight the voice of Wretchard commenting on the Slate writer's inanity and hollow reasoning. The phenomenon Wretchard describes is essentially a self-preening sedition cloaked in the phoney intellectual fog of negative utopianism. It is at its base the same, harping moral equivalency meme that has dry rotted our democracy from within, just as Antonio Gramsci, the stealth Marxist revolutionary, predicted it would.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Is Germany Funding the Terrorists—Again?

Susanne Osthoff, the German nutcase and convert to Islam who got herself kidnapped in Iraq and who was probably ransomed by the Germans (who generally prefers bribery to bravery these days), now plans to return to Iraq again. No doubt she hopes to raise further funds for her Sunni friends by getting herself kidnapped again. In fact, she actually regards this type of fundraising activity as entirely legitimate. TigerHawk cites at least some fulminations from sensible Germans:
German newspapers have been full of letters complaining about how much she has cost the taxpayer. Peter Scholl-Latour, the country’s leading Middle East expert, complained: “She is absolutely irresponsible — she is just kicking the Government on the shins.”

But TigerHawk draws a different conclusion:
Mein herren, if you paid a ransom to secure Frau Osthoff's release, you have kicked American soldiers in the shins, and it is Iraq that is footing the bill.

Read the rest here and here.

BTW, TigerHawk is escalating matters by adding Osthoff as a new nominee to Little Green Footballs' list of candidates for that site's 2005 Fiskie (Idiotarian) Awards. Check out the current roster here. Mary Mapes ("fake but accurate") will be a serious condender here, but Wonker, as well as Charles Johnson (the Little Green Football himself) plan to bet on Cindy "Mother" Sheehan.

BTW II, for the uninitiated, an idiotarian is generally defined as "an advocate of what are deemed to be irrationalist and subjectivist values that have very little reference to the workings of the real world." In our point of view, idiotarians are invariably on the leftist fringe, but it's not out of the question that some creatures of the far right could inhabit the idiotarian fringe as well. For more elucidation, check this out.

New York Times Malkin-ized

Kudos to the brilliant (and fetching) Michelle Malkin whose column in today's zaps the New York Times editors' (we call 'em the Treason-istas) nonstop smear campaign against President Bush and Amerikkka. They regard this kind of sliming as patriotism, which we suppose it is if you support a world government led by the benevolent Greens who appear to be today's stand-ins for the pre-1989 Stalinists. But Malkin cites chapter and verse in her devastating little piece, including the following shameful happening:

In June, Debra Burlingame, sister of Charles F. "Chic" Burlingame III, pilot of downed American Airlines Flight 77, blew the whistle on plans by civil liberties zealots to turn Ground Zero in New York into a Blame America monument. On July 29, the Times editorial page, stocked with liberals who snort and stamp whenever their patriotism is questioned, slammed Burlingame and her supporters at Take Back the Memorial as "un-American" -- for exercising their free speech rights.
As we said, the NYT's regards its sliming of Amerikkka as "free speech," but feels that anyone who defends our country, including the sister of a patriot slaughtered by the Islamofascists, is not entitled to the same rights. A case we would guess of all animals being equal. But some are more equal than others.

In this case, the Gramscian leftists controlling the MSM regard themselves as obviously our intellectual betters. But Americans in general don't cotton to this kind of condescension. The NYT and the MSM obviously still don't have a clue about this, however, as they continue to pursue fake but accurate stories. Readers are wising up, though, as evidenced by Bush's latest bounce in the pollsafter all the treasonous leaks on the domestic spy program came out. Funny. The same poll finds that 64% of Americans actually support NSA's domestic skulduggery. Who knew?

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Graz, Austria: Terminated

Arnold Schwarzeneggar, the current occupant of Cal-ee-for-nee-ah's Executive Mansion, did the right thing a couple of weeks ago by declining to commute the death penalty of Crips gang founder Tookie Williams, who was then summarily and justly executed for a series of particularly disgusting murders. The families of the victims were final able to breath a well-deserved sigh of relief that Williams, for sure, would no longer walk the streets again, courtesy of some closet Marxist judge, of whom California has many. But Arnie terminated that, and rightly so.

Uh, save for the usual peaceniks, as well as the Greens (read closet Communists) who seem to be running the show these days in Arnie's hometown of Graz in Austria. They'd named their stadium after the pre-Tookie Terminator several years ago to honor their most famous contemporary son, a classic poor-boy-made-good in America.

Except that now, he'd made bad. Always ready to forgive violent criminals, mass-murderers, and dictators, but never giving a rat's derriere about their victims, the Greens raised a ruckus and got Schwarzeneggar's name removed from their stadium. But, actually, not quite:
...when Schwarzenegger, now governor of California, declined to commute the death sentence for Stanley Tookie Williams, the former Los Angeles gang leader who was executed in California two weeks ago, the reaction in Graz, where the death penalty is seen as a medieval atrocity, was swift and angry.

"I submitted a petition to the City Council to remove his name from the stadium, and to take away his status as an honorary citizen," Sigrid Binder, the leader of the Green Party said in an interview in Graz's stately City Hall, describing the first step in the chain of events that led to the renaming of the stadium. "The petition was accepted by a majority on the Council."

But before a formal vote was taken on the petition, Schwarzenegger made a kind of pre-emptive strike, writing a letter to Siegfried Nagl, the town's conservative mayor, informing him that he was withdrawing Graz's right to use his name in association with the stadium.

There will be other death penalty decisions ahead, Schwarzenegger wrote, and so he decided to spare the responsible politicians of the City of Graz further concern.
Ganz' Mayor Nagel, who claims to be against the death penalty himself, tried to "reason" with Arnold, knowing the PR blow this nonsense would deal to his town. NY Times reporter Richard Bernstein observed that Nagel
...blames the leftist majority on the City Council - consisting of Greens, Social-Democrats and two Communists - for trying to score some local political gain at Schwarzenegger's and - he believes - Graz's own expense.

"One stands by a friend and a great citizen of our city and does not drag his name through the mud even when there is a difference of opinion," Nagl said in a letter he wrote to Schwarzenegger. "I would like to ask you to keep the Ring of Honor of the city of Graz which you received."
Arnold by not only pre-emptively withdrew naming rights to the stadium, but Terminated his "honorary citizenship" as well, shipping back Granz' "Ring of Honor" which had obviously become quite the opposite.

Bernstein, ever the NYTimes reporter (the piece appeared in the International Herald Tribune, once co-owned by the Times and the Washington Post, but now only owned by the former, which pulled the rug out from under the Posties a couple of years ago), now editorializes, but inadvertently tips his leftist hand in favor of the Grandstanding Greens:
The very heated nature of the debate revealed something very European about the collective consciousness, how a relatively small place like Graz, certainly a place with no military might or diplomatic power, wants to play a role as a sort of moral beacon, waging the struggle for the good.

Graz, a place of old, onion steeples, museums, and art nouveau architecture, designated itself five years ago, via a unanimous vote of the City Council, to be Europes first official city of human rights, and while the designation has no juridical meaning, it provides a sort of goal to live up to.

"We are against the death penalty not only in word, but really against the death penalty," Wolfgang Benedek, a professor of international law at Graz university, said. Benedek is also director of the European Training Center for Human Rights, created five years ago in Graz to further its ambition to be a human rights center. It is a sort of human rights academy designed to promote respect for the rule of law especially among the new democracies of Southeastern Europe.
Yeah, right. Wonder what kind of world we'd live in today if the patrons of those "onion steeples" had put themselves on record as opposing the Nazis in the 1930s. Of course, moral equivalency reigns supreme again today, as one can easily see in this cynical treatment of an American Republican, even a nominal one like Arnie. Such a surprise.

Once again we note the invisible hand of the contemporary "international government" lobby, which is where the collectivists have gone to hide since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Eastern Europe's Workers Paradise. Ever wonder why Amerikkka's left, and its friends in the judiciary cite "international law," which actually has little if any real standing in US jurisprudence? No doubt, this lobby would rather be ruled by the good Greens of Granz rather than the Chimpy BushMcHitlers in Washington, DC. We are still dealing with an international movement here. It's merely morphed in a sinister way that's tough to detect unless you parse each sentence carefully.

Observe: Austria's highly moral Pope Benedek is quite obviously a kind-hearted fellow who is moved by the usual repentance shown by mass-murderers in Amerikkka whose appeals are running out:
It was also the particular circumstances of this case that led to this reaction, Benedek continued, meaning the special circumstances surrounding Williams case, of a man who had written a children's book aimed at steering young people away from violence, had already spent two decades in jail , and who seemed, to many Europeans at least, to have reformed himself.
Write a children's book, win a Get Out of Jail Free card. What a concept! Again, in case you missed it, there's not a word in this article about the victims of Tookie's murderous rage nor their families. Because that's never the point.

Never forget that the bleatings of frauds like Ganz' Greens and legal professors like Benedek all have a single purpose—the undermining of Western traditions, in this case legal ones, and the relentless advancement of a collectivist agenda that will be led, of course, by them. It was fine for Arnold Schwarzeneggar to be an honorary citizen and have a sports stadium named after him. Until he deviated from leftist orthodoxy. The penalty for all such transgressions is clear: you will be thrown out into the darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Arnold was not really important. But the symbolism was.

But Arnold fooled them. He terminated Ganz and all its pretensions. There's a lesson here, folks, for all those who would seek accommodation with the die-hard left. Terminated.

UPDATE: Graz officials have apparently revised Website materials in a way that essentially "terminates" Ah-nold from their history. Didn't the Commies used to do this in their history books? Hmmmm...

The Return of Wonker

FYI, Wonk is back in town after a rainy, snowy Christmas jaunt to lovely Cleveland, Ohio—a trip just long enough for the Wonk to remember why, long ago, he moved down South to DC many years ago. Of course, the DC metro area was a bit on the nasty and cold side as well. But somehow, nothing can match the gloom of the Rust Belt's low-hanging, steel-gray winter skies. These cloud formations predominate from Halloween on to roughly Easter, sometimes longer, gifting towns like Cleveland, Buffalo, Toledo, and Detroit a prolonged Prozac Moment and spurring suicidal thoughts from those afflicted by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

While, as anywhere in the U.S., you can find much wealth—from the storied mansions of suburban Bratenahl to the newly-minted lakeside mansions of Bay Village and Avon Lake:—Ohio, from Columbus on up, seems to be in a prolonged decline and it's easy to see why. And it's not the gloomy, snowy winters. (Otherwise, who'd vacation in Vail?) It's the death-grip that the Demos have on Northern Ohio voters. Having rapaciously taxed and spent workers and businesses into oblivion (real estate taxes in Cuyahoga county on a $200,000 house are roughly twice those levied on a $500,000 house in Northern Virginia for starters), there's not much work available for a substantial population used to good-paying blue-collar union jobs.

Odd thing is that many of those folks refuse to move out of the area and down to the sunny South where there's plenty of work in the trades particularly. Reason? The South is largely hostile to trade unions. So let's check out the logic here. Better to be a member of a trade union in Cleveland where work, if you can get it, is seasonal anyway; than to have the opportunity to work 24/7, 365 days a year in the booming South where the wage rate in skilled trades is not a whole lot less than union scale. Inertia is a powerful emotion, it seems.

Much of the malaise in Northern Ohio is due to the unions pricing themselves right out of the competitive market. But what the unions couldn't do—create a thoroughly hostile business climate—has been done for them by the Democrats whose corrupt machine has had a lock on local politics since the time of FDR. Real estate and business taxes are so high that neither businesses nor owners of rental housing can afford to do business there anymore. Right, we're exaggerating slightly. But we can't help sensing that if the Rust Belt really wants to come back, they're going to have to abandon their entitlement mentality and tax and spend habits and take a cue from the South which, over many years, has stolen all those businesses that have not already fled abroad by providing a hospitable business environment, increasingly decent schools, and a generally higher respect for the law. Not to mention a much higher quality of life.

It's sad to "go home" and find out that for anyone with any economic sense, there's nothing left. It's hard to remember that Cleveland was, albeit briefly, the second biggest city in the US after New York and the place where the Rockefellers actually made their fortune—something few people are even aware of today. It was a city that was hospitable to business, and indeed, experienced a brief second renaissance in the late 1940s and early 1950s as ex-GIs flocked to town after the War to sign up for the abundant industrial jobs so they could make money while attending college in the evening for free on the GI bill.

Those days are long gone, as is Cleveland's importance. Yes, they still have the Browns, the Indians, and the Cavaliers. And the incomparable Cleveland Orchestra. And maybe even the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame. But it seems as if almost everything else has been taxed away.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Christmas in Iraq

In today's Washington Post, columnist David Ignatius, who tilts a bit left but generally exhibits considerably more sense than most of his colleagues, does a smart thing and lets America's soldier-bloggers in Iraq do most of the talking, as in this snippet from Captain B:
Lacking ornaments for the most part, we used bullets, cigars, Marlboro packs and other things we like and hung them on the tree. It looks like a freaking train wreck but it's our train wreck.
Read the rest of this unusual Christmas column here if you want a taste of the real America as told by real American heroes. In fact, as Wonker himself prepares to take a few days off from blogging to rehearse for a series of Christmas Eve Masses before taking a whistle-stop trip back home to Cleveland, he'd like to close this entry with a perfect observation from one of Ignatius' military bloggers that pretty much says it all:
And when the soldiers finally make it home, there is joy -- and also introspection, like that voiced by a blogger who calls himself Where's Your Baghdaddy? and who left Iraq a few weeks ago: "I once read somewhere that, 'going into a combat zone is a one-way door since the person that leaves is not the same person that returns.' This new person returning is committed to being a better husband, father and friend. I have felt the pain of leaving all that I hold dear, and I will not take it for granted again."
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night. See you next week.

Al Qaeda Stealth Plan Revealed

In a stunning development, HazZzmat has learned of a secret Al Qaeda plot to employ comely secret operatives to surreptitiously corrupt the West from within, leading to the infidels' eventual bloodless collapse and subsequent defeat. This diabolical plan commences its initial rollout next month in the pages of GQ. The January issue will be graced by alluring pictorials featuring Osama Bin Laden's niece, Wafah Dufour. We've obtained one of the top secret photos:

Hokey Smoke, Bullwinkle, Arabian Nights were never like this!

(Oh, okay. Ms. Dufour is actually a nice young lady who adopted her mom's maiden name to get out from under the family stigma. She's trying to start a modeling career and we wish her well. Get the real newsbrief here.)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Capitol Hill Hottie Spreads Christmas Cheer!!

Seeing is indeed believing. We've been able to access the 2004 and 2005 Christmas cards of California leftwing Democratic Representative Loretta Sanchez, courtesy of Mickey Kaus who observes critically that:

In a significant disappointment, Hon. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) has failed to match the standard of Congressional dignity she set in her holiday card last year. But it's close!

Follow the links and send us your informed criticism if you can stop laughing long enough to hit "send." Actually, the cards are rather tastefully erotic, we think. But from a member of the U.S. House of Representatives? No wonder everyone calls Cal-ee-for-nee-ah America's Left Bank.

Pricks and Kicks

Our headline was the title of an old British novel, whose author escapes the Wonk's fading synapses just now. But we thought of this immediately upon encountering, via Instapundit, a link, leading to another link, to a small site apparently to our left, decrying the absolute condescending nastiness of the blogosphere's left sphere both here and here. Although the title of the first post brings a Christmas smile to our increasingly wizened visages: "Has the Left Been Invaded by Condescending Pricks?"

Right answer.

Loaded Mouth details his complaint:
Longtime Mouth readers know that I've always had problems with the lack of recognition that members from our side give to each other. I think it leads to important stories and commentary to be buried, and the talents of those being buried could help our side score political victories. Yet if I or somebody else complains about this, we're labeled as whiners and those who feel like their being eregiously attacked morph straight into martyr complex mode.

And on the right...? Hey, small bloggers are welcome! No insults thrown.

Does anybody else see a problem with this? With our sides seeming lack of openness?
The funny thing is that, upon a brief examination, this blogger appears to be on the left and is astounded by his marginalization by said left just because he's a little guy. Read the posts and some of the comments, too. They're quite revealing.

Political nomenclature, thanks to the Gramscian left, is getting increasingly difficult to parse. Wonk would make an educated guess that a good 65% of the folks who call themselves conservatives today, maybe more, would have been bursting with pride if they'd been called liberals in the 1920s. A significant majority of the right believes in freedom of religion, freedom of the press, the right to assembly, etc. They give plenty to the poor, take care of their parents, and actually do the best they can to keep their families OFF the Federal dole, all the better to conserve fiscal resources. And above all, they love the U.S. What's so wrong with this? Furthermore, as the Mouth and his readers have begun to observe, to their apparent horror, conservatives are just friendlier than the hard lefties who are elitist, exclusionary, and condescending, not to mention that they act like a bunch of fascists. All things they accuse conservatives of doing. All things that most conservatives would never do.

We'd invite Mouth and other inhabitants of the left to spend a little more time with guys like us. They might be really surprised to find a community of people who actually believe in what they preach and who are happy to admit new friends to the clubhouse even if those new friends might occasionally have a point of view that varies a bit with the "party line." Just try that kind of behavior during a hard-left cocktail party and see if you get invited back.

Luther Missing in New York Transit Strike!

We hear that a solution to the current Scrooge-like impasse regarding the New York Transit system is imminent. Perhaps we'll soon find out where on the Brooklyn Bridge our good friend Luther has been trapped for the last two days! Good luck, pal, and phone home soon!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Kos and Gramsci: Together Again

As you might imagine, the hard left's favorite flamethrowers at the Daily Kos run free and loose with the "known facts" accusing their friends at the New York Times of letting Bush win the 2004 election when they coulda brought him down:
The NY Times was sitting on the biggest story of the year. The NY Times was sitting on the information that the President of the United States was illegally spying on citizens of this country. The NY Times knew that the administration was carrying on illegal surveillance of the American people before those very Americans were going to the polls to elect a president. Hmmmm.... It would have been kind of handy to have had that information on November 2, 2004, wouldn't it? As for why they held it? Care to explain, Bill Keller?
Bold text courtesy of Wonker to illustrate an important point. Note the classic tactics of Antonio Gramsci here—twist an opinion into a "known fact" (Bush's activities were "illegal") and then use the word again in the same short paragraph to drive the "known truth" home.

Visit half a dozen liberal and conservative sites on the NSA wiretap brouhaha and you'll find the same thing. Legal scholars and pundits of all stripes are all over the board. The Bushies meticulously discharged their duties under the current set of laws. They cleared these activities with NSA's own counsel. Members of the Congress with a need to know were kept in the loop. This wasn't a great secret. But like anything in wartime, which this is, the administration is forced to walk a fine line when defending the American people including Kos' treasonous patriots.

As is often the case, we're in a legal gray area here and until and unless the legal morass in this situation is further clarified, it is simply flat out wrong to trumpet "illegal" because no one really knows.

But that's what the left does. They latch onto an opinion, always consistent with Marxist doctrine which posits a greater socialist authority over the existence of a free nation-state, and then trumpet it until it's drilled in as the "truth." That's how our Marxist friends who control today's Democrat party have slowly undermined our culture and our legal system, as outlined by Gramsci, who correctly recognized that you didn't need to fire a single bullet in order to win a socialist revolution. You simply had to wreck the traditional consensus by stealth until no further resistance remained.

If you follow the logic here as well, such as it is, you'll catch another flaw here as the dialectic surges over reason as it always must. If you'll check the timeframe, the Times was also more than likely holding back the story not only because of White House pressure (understandable) and perhaps, a desire to provide a plug for the author's book when the publication date neared; but also, in the context of the Rathergate brouhaha, the Times was no doubt gun-shy of exposing themselves to that kind of ruinously negative publicity. But in the Kos Kidz' distorted universe, that could NEVER be a possibility, could it?

Once again, readers need to be aware of the left's cute rhetorical tricks in the coming weeks. Not only do they fail to report the truth. They distort the law and the Constitution all the better to topple the U.S. for once and for all. We'll continue, though, to expose them for you. Language is a subtle way to fight a war, but we're fighting back. Calling an action illegal again and again is swell rhetoric. But it offers no proof at all. And if you'll search the whole piece, you won't find anything to back up any of the column's allegations. You never do.

The real story here, or the one waiting to be told is: Who at the NSA leaked this info—which he or she or they had sworn under oath to protect—and when will they be prosecuted for treason? Don't hold your breath. Neither Kos nor the Democrats nor the NYTimes are much interested in this one. They'd rather keep applying the term "illegal" to Bush, a term that is actual factual when it describes the NSA scoundrels who leaked our country's secrets to the enemy.

Mugger: Clean for Gene

Nope, we're not talking about cloning, a keyword that seems, inexplicably, to be getting the most hits on this blog lately. We're talking about former Senator Eugene McCarthy whose recent passing elicited a ripple in the fabric of liberal time.

Russ Smith, aka "Mugger," currently writing a column for the semi-sleazy tabloid New York Press--which he used to own--seems almost back to his rollicking old form here. It's something he seems to have lost for a time after he sold his paper and moved back to his native Baltimore. Somehow his stuff was, oh, less piquant, perhaps having something to do with the more relaxed atmosphere of Charm City, the home of ego-freak Peter Angelos' sorry, steroid-crazed Orioles.

But we wander far afield. Smith reminisces on his own youthful 1968 infatuation with the Quixotic "other McCarthy" whose anti-war quest to grab the presidency from the tanking Lyndon Johnson was emblematic of the 1960s. Also emblematic, however, was what happened next. Since "Clean Gene" had proved to be a Giant Killer, it was time for a REAL contendah to step up to the plate. Who else but the boyishly handsome and condescending brat Robert Kennedy. With McCarthy having done the heavy lifting, Bobby, having previously professed no interest in the White House, instantly experience a Pauline change of heart and blew McCarthy's challenge away promising a return to the glory days of a bogus Camelot.

Mugger's take is right on:
I was disgusted at Kennedy’s entrance into the race just days after McCarthy’s strong showing in the New Hampshire primary, a stunning event that led LBJ to quit politics, and while RFK’s assassination that June was tragic—if not for the nation, certainly his wife and children—it led to all sorts of revisionism about the Sophocles-spouting senator. Lost in all the hagiography of Kennedy mingling with the underprivileged and fruit-pickers in California was his splintering the anti-war movement’s momentum by cynically challenging McCarthy after he’d promised to stay on the sidelines. In retrospect, a better choice would’ve been to wait till 1972 or ‘76—he might still be alive—but Kennedy, displaying the dirty, money-fueled politics of his family, just couldn’t resist.
Yep. Back in his liberal phase, Wonker felt the same, and it was an uncomfortable feeling indeed. The Wonk was living at the time in the dorm of a Washington, DC college which shall remain nameless (its main claim to shame being the charming Arkansas bumpkin-alumnus-President who got himself impeached for the improper use of a fine cigar, a high crime and misdemeanor if there ever was one).

And whom should we have on our floor at the time but a live-in priest who was essentially chaplain to the RFK clan and highly partisan as a result. Like Smith, the Wonk, too, felt Bobby's move was more than a bit opportunistic, but it was socially unacceptable to say that at the time and incur the wrath of the peaceful priest-prefect, not to mention epithets of opprobrium from the hordes of young Democrat-forever automatons hailing from New Jersey, Philly, and New York who inhabited most of this floor. The situation was sort of a precursor to today's PC campuses where it's unacceptable to venture any opinion that hasn't been granted the nihil obstat and imprimatur of St. Noam Chomsky.

The denoument to McCarthy's excellent adventure should have been predictable but we were all naive. Even idealists eventually have to realize that politics is Darwinianism at its finest. Vicious or not, McCarthy was out and Kennedy was in until--in an odd foreshadowing of our more recent history--he harmonically converged with his fate: a final, murderous encounter with a Bin-Laden precursor in the galley of a La-La Land hotel. The collapse of the entire Democratic kiddie crusade after that led directly to the first collapse of that party and the Second Coming of Nixxon Agonistes. The Dems next drafted the ridiculous George McGovern (another looney professor), and began their long descent into the tar-pit of the Hate Amerikka Left under the direction of Antonio Gramsci's ghost.

It's interesting to reflect on those days when a goofball English professor who wrote very bad poetry might have made it to the White House. But the Kennedy machine put a stop to that, souring many youthful political neophytes while little realizing that its own days were numbered.

Smith is right to remind us of those days long gone and scarcely acknowledged by young people today. The 1960s, far from the vaunted Age of Aquarius, marked the violent beginning of the end of the domination of the US Government by racist Democrats. The Dems were the bad guys then and the Repubs won 1968 almost by default. But revisionist history since then has left a great many Americans convinced that the Republicans, the party of Lincoln, were the historical racists who also got us into Vietnam, and that somehow, the evils of capitalism, rather than deranged Communist and Islamist assassins, brought down the twin flowers of a Camelot that never was. (Oddly, the earlier Bobby was quite the Commie fighter back in the days of the "old" Senator McCarthy.)

But no matter. Eugene the Weird will live on in the flowery memories of the hundreds of thousands of once and future Boomer hippies who crusaded for him.

It is possible that today's young people will never understand the 1960s. That decade and its continuing aftermath are being fuzzed over by revisionist history books lauding the traitorous left as modern patriots. But perhaps worse, the collapse of America's best-educated generation of youth into a babbling horde of vulgar, middle-aged, slogan-shouting swine driving Ford Excursions while cursing Exxon's environmental record is probably in the end, inexplicable to all save the Almighty, Who, even now, may be questioning the intelligence of His own design.

Technical Difficulties

We've changed our template on Blogger, partially because we needed more real estate than our previous, nifty, faux-literary template provided, but also because, for some reason, its alignment got screwed up and Wonker couldn't quite figure out how to code in the fix. Rather than spend endless time on it, the switch is made, and so there it is.

All links should now be restored, and we'll be back shortly blogging on the Technical Difficulties both the Democrats and certain libertarian, "moderate," or clueless Republicans have in understanding the President's lawful need to tweak a civil liberty here and there to prevent our terrorista friends from shape-shifting in an instant. Everyone is no doubt convinced that Lincoln and FDR would never have done such a thing in wartime, which shows the sorry state to which education in American History has fallen due to the PC police and the ACLU.

We'll rant on this a bit later as time permits.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Senator Reid = Wile E. Coyote?

A Power Line reader who once worked with immortal Warner Brothers cartoonist Chuck Jones offers the following interesting analogy, referring to the current cadre of cut-and-run Democrats who think that trashing the President and our military will win them the next few elections:
Having spoken with Chuck about Wile more times than I can count, I can say with great conviction that your suggestion that the Murtha, Dean, Kerry, Boxer et al, position with regards to the GWOT and the war in Iraq, is appropriately analogous to Wile and to his innumerable, ill-considered, and near fatally-flawed plans to catch the Roadrunner—a good many of which resulted in him falling off of a cliff.

Chuck defined Wile in the words of George Santayana who said: "A fanatic is one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim." Assuming that the Dems' aims are to regain control of the House, the Senate and the White House and based upon their seemingly fevered attempts to discredit President Bush by mis-representing the success of the war, advocating for our withdrawal/surrender, and purposefully undermining our efforts/abilities to wage war on an enemy unlike any we have faced before, I think it's fair to say that the Democrats clearly meet Santayana's definition of a fanatic. And since it is Santayana's definition of a fanatic with which Wile's own creator described him, I would conclude that your comparison of our luckless, over-zealous and too-clever-by-half coyote to the leaders of the Democratic party, is not only correct but painfully (for the Dems), astute.
Damn, wish we'd thought of that.

Read the rest of the post here.

Friday, December 16, 2005

New York Times, Take 2. Roll 'em...

It appears that the guys at Power Line agree with our earlier post on the Treasonistas at the New York Times and the NSA (even though they probably never saw our earlier post here at HazZzmat). You know, the patriots in the Federal government and the MSM who just outted another secret surveillance tactic in our War on Terror:
How does the Times know this? Because intelligence officials who are hostile to the Bush administration, and disagree with its policies, leaked the information:

Nearly a dozen current and former officials, who were granted anonymity because of the classified nature of the program, discussed it with reporters for The New York Times because of their concerns about the operation's legality and oversight.
Right. Their real concerns involve a Republican in the White House. Power Line comes to the appropriate conclusion:
The Times believes that it should be the arbiter of what will and will not help the terrorists and thus impair our national security. I don't agree. Under the Plame precedent, this case is a no-brainer. The intelligence officials who leaked to the Times should be identified, criminally prosecuted, and sent to prison. Under the Pentagon Papers case, the reporters and editors at the Times who published the leaked story can't be criminally prosecuted. Perhaps the Supreme Court should revisit that precedent when the opportunity arises.
Yep. In fact, here's an even better idea. We at HazZzmat dare call this treason. Do a search on that word the next time you read the U.S. Constitution. Or better yet, we'll help. Check out a transcript of the Constitution. Try Article IV, Section 3. It's a useful trip down memory lane that maybe Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, and their friends in the CIA, NSA, and State should take. Along with the Attorney General and the current leaders of Congress. The language is a bit archaic. But the legal path is quite clear.

Drudge Outs Motive Behind Latest New York Times Bush Attack

The New York Times has been ballyhooing it's latest "scoop," clearly derived from disgruntled Federal employees (this time at the NSA), meant to undermine the Bush Administration's continuing War on Terror. The socalled "bombshell" retails the story about how the President himself authorized the NSA to secretly tap into civilian communications. Not only is it interesting that this story was dropped the day Bush was getting maximum exposure from the astounding success of the Iraqi elections, however. The intrepid Matt Drudge drops an additional bombshell of his own—on the NYTimes itself:
On the front page of today's NEW YORK TIMES, national security reporter James Risen claims that "months after the September 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials."

Risen claims the White House asked the paper not to publish the article, saying that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny.

Risen claims the TIMES delayed publication of the article for a year to conduct additional reporting.

But now comes word James Risen's article is only one of many "explosive newsbreaking" stories that can be found -- in his upcoming book!

The paper failed to reveal the urgent story was tied
to a book release.
(HazZzmat's italics.)
So let's see. Elements in the CIA are working against the President already, colluding with the Washington Post. Now elements of the NSA, America's super-secret military spy agency, are colluding with the New York Times. And, as we all know, the collectivists in the Dept. of State have been colluding with everyone all along against the Bushies.

Any of these brave civil libertarians ever hear of the word "treason" before? Government employees are supposed to serve whatever party and whatever administration is currently in power, having been duly elected by the voters of America. Is there anything in their job descriptions that exempts them from this requirement if the current White House occupant is a Republican?

Now the Democrats and their collectivist allies in the ACLU are sure to be calling for yet another "investigation". Of whom?

An Old-Fashioned American

If we do not oppose and defeat Islamic gender Apartheid, democracy and freedom cannot flourish in the Arab and Islamic world. If we do not join forces with Muslim dissident and feminist groups; and, above all, if we do not have one universal standard of human rights for all—then we will fail our own Judeo-Christian and secular western ideals. We will also inherit the whirlwind. If we do not stop Islamic gender and religious Apartheid abroad, be assured: It is coming our way soon. Indeed, it is already here. I document Islamic gender Apartheid in both Europe and North America in my new book The Death of Feminism. What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom...It is dangerous to say what I have just said on most campuses in Europe and North America. If one describes the barbaric human rights violations being carried out in the name of Islam, one is instantly accused of being a “racist,” a “Zionist,” an American “imperialist,” and, the worse epithet of all, a “pro-war neo-conservative.” Islamic associations in the West, radical mullahs and Muslim leaders abroad, and culturally relativist western thinkers will sue you, shout you down, refuse to publish you, and refuse to listen to you...First, I am a feminist and an American patriot. Yes, one can be both. I am also an internationalist. I believe in one universal standard of human rights for everyone. Finally, I am a religious Jew and am sympathetic to both religious and secular world-views. Being religious does not compromise my feminism. On the contrary, it gives me the strength and a necessarily humbled perspective to continue the struggle for justice....Phyllis Chesler, Islamic Gender Apartheid in today's

Phyllis Chesler, for decades, was a darling of the feminist left, but her friends, allies, and colleagues, not to mention book reviewers, many of whom now openly scorn her, must have missed something. Like her partner, Chesler is a warrior for liberty. She's radical all right, the way Nat Turner was, the way Lincoln was, the way Americans of the best stripe always have been. That makes the Streisands and Sarandons of this world furious, because nothing so offends their sensibilities than the perspective that, when America is working, it's a force for liberation, of groups and individuals, and sometimes of whole nations. Author of the brilliant Women and Madness, recently re-released in a new edition, she has a new book, The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom, that's as bold, not to mention far more hazardous for her to publish, as anything she's written. Not all feminists think that the way to freedom is to surrender to the "cultural value" of political pathologies like the former regime of Saddam Hussein's or the former regime of the Taliban.


What Now, Babs?


Exactly how is Not In Our Name going to cope with the Iraqi elections? Will they demand recounts? Will they send Susan Sarandon to demand a new, fairer election? I have a suggestion for George Soros. Maybe, instead of investing in the future of a Democrat Party that seems to have lost more ways in recent days than any herd of sheep, maybe George Soros should invest in the Iraqi oil business. It looks like it might have a future. Can the same be said for the assorted cranks in the Senate?


Iraq, The Model

This, from, about says it:

Joe Biden should be so lucky that anybody notices him in downtown Baghdad.


Thursday, December 15, 2005

Simon Sez...

The always-interesting Roger Simon has an interesting observation this morning on the apparently massively successful Iraqi parliamentary election, just coming to a close this morning:
BIG LOSERS of the day so far: Howard Dean, Jack Murtha, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the rest of the reactionary, fuddy-duddy leadership of the Democratic Party. (To call them "liberals" is absured because they have no ideology whatsoever.) How will they spin this? Of course the second big loser is the Mainstream Media - again without ideology, really.
Read the rest here.

Simon's comments on ideology are interesting. It's a novel viewpoint from our perspective. These folks actually don't even deserve to be called liberals, a once respected term back when it actually meant something and referred to patriotic Democrats like Scoop Jackson who loved America and supported our military. But Wonker thinks it's a bit wrong to posit that the folks cited above have no ideology at all. At their very core, consciously or unconsciously, dwells a pernicious kernel of collectivism that's completely at odds with the American Way.


The hard leftists at have decided to gin up the usual simplistic petition/protest drive today targeting select Congressmen today and haranguing them to join the "Cut and Run" club. They're promoting their latest asinine gesture by declaring as a "known fact" (see HazZzMat: A Known Fact: ™ How Propaganda Works) that the vast majority of Americans are against the Iraq War, something thoroughly disproved even by normally biased MSM polling data. But then, the truth never deterred the Stalinists at MoveOn.

But the intrepid Citizen Smash posts a novel solution to help subvert today's phony media event. Click the link here to see how you can help. It's fun, it's easy, and above all, it's patriotic, which will surely infuriate MoveOn's Ministers of Propaganda.

Longer term, we wonder why some of the larger organizations on the right don't start mounting a campaign to remove MoveOn's 501(c)(4) nonprofit status. It's surely justified beyond a shadow of a doubt. As hired shills of the Democratic Party and hardened seditionists to boot, they've already violated, countless times, the terms under which they are allowed to operate as a nonprofit. It's high time patriotic Americans took a good look at how American tax loopholes are allowing subversive partisan hacks such as these to flourish with the unwitting support of millions of taxpayers who would be appalled if they knew how this was happening. Removing the extensive, free, taxpayer and foundation support that allows these creeps to thrive will go a long way toward restoring American cultural values at a time when the world is most in need of them.

Meanwhile, help out Citizen Smash and his friends.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A Mammoth Thanksgiving, Part II: The Kennedy Room

Wonker promised to get back to HazZzmat fans with more on the excellent vacation he and Mrs. Wonker took to the cave country of Kentucky late last month.

As you remember from our last episode, we'd arrived in not-quite-so-scenic Ashland, KY, on the way to the caves and found the town interesting if paradoxical, a washed out relic of rustbelt days, south-of-Ohio style, which nonetheless possessed some of its faded glory still, as personified in a series of magnificently restored Victorian mansions.

Whilst in Ashland's environs, we stayed in a charming if slightly eccentric B&B slightly south of town called the "President's House," so named because its last owner or so has avidly collected original Presidential memorabilia to the extent where each room is named after a President and contains many of these appropriate historical artifacts.

Typical of this area, we'd suspect, proclivities tend to be Democratic, alas, and we stayed in the charming "Kennedy Room" on the main floor. (The "Carter Room" is upstairs.) From signed proclamations to vintage copies of LIFE magazine featuring the ubiquitous Jackie on the cover, the room was a sort of late 1950s-early 1960s time warp, bringing back bittersweet memories of an Ohio childhood and the first shattering experiences of adulthood. Wonker recalls when the good nuns at his Catholic grade school lined up all the kids outside to greet then-candidate Jack Kennedy as his motorcade, headed from Cleveland to Lorain, passed by the school on the main thoroughfare. This was back in the soon-to-be-no-more open top days when candidates motored from event to event seated in the back of open convertibles, which allowed them to rise up and seat themselves on the "boot" to wave to their adoring fans.

And, candidly, Jack was a looker, no doubt. TV never did him justice. At 43 or so, he looked, at a slight distance, as if he were 10 years younger. And to this day, I remain a bit surprised that his ample head of hair, which always appeared brown in color photos, actually radiated a surprising background of red. Kennedy's motorcade slowed, he climbed up, smiled broadly, and waved to the youthful crowd. Girls swooned, even churlish guys were impressed, and we all went back to class feeling pretty good about this guy.

For, as perhaps few remember now, Jack was attempting to surmount the same taboo that defeated Al Smith much earlier in the century--his Catholicism. Then as now, individuals, particularly hardline Protestants, or, worse, the hardcore atheist left, still clung to the Know-Nothing beliefs of the 19th century that regarded, among other things, Catholics as nothing more than mindless papists who were crude to boot, distinctly not representative of America, and thus, entirely unfit to run for President let alone win an election.

Jack Kennedy shattered the myth for once and for all, and it is hard today to convince anyone of the chest-bursting pride that Catholics all over the country felt when he won election. It was as if on that election day, 1960, that we Catholics had finally achieved full citizenship in this country. Blacks are not the only group of citizens who've been discriminated against in this country, although what happened to them is by far the greatest blot on the early history of the US. But Catholics, too, largely derived from Irish and Italian waves of emigration in the 19th and early 20th centuries, have long experienced a subtler kind of discrimination that still persists today in pockets of the country, as do persistent pockets of racial discrimination.

The main thing is, though, that Protestant fundamentalists have long since--for the most part--recognized that most Catholics are inherently law abiding and conservatives, save for a few rabid liberation theologians and there followers here and there. And thus, fundamentalists and Catholics have joined in a common cause to restore a moral tone to a relativist universe.

However, Catholics continue to be, quite literally, persecuted for their beliefs, as evidenced by the (thankfully successful) Senate hearings for now Chief Justice Roberts, and the ongoing charade of "fairness" playing out with prospective Justice Alito, whom, we hope, will likewise be elevated to the Nation's highest court. Both judges, of course, being Catholics--Alito being the worst one since he's also Italian like Justice Scalia--have dared to question the central sacrament of the Church of the Left--abortion--which simply confirms today's Know-Nothings in their anti-Catholic righteousness.

But this is the discrimination that's condoned by the press, and so it isn't discrimination at all. The Roman Catholic clergy, currently fatally corrupt in its higher reaches, didn't help any with its silent condoning of pederasty. But even without this, Catholics remain a severely put upon class.

So, as we've mentioned, it was nice to think again on those thrilling days of yesteryear when one of our own actually broke the anti-Catholic barrier to become President. Of course he's been disgraced posthumously, and shown in retrospect to have had the sexual morals of a feral tomcat. But 1960 was a magic moment, and one whose memory still feels right, at least in that respect.

Needless to say, we've been diverted once again in our journey, so why don't we get our Saturn VUE back on the road, onto the Blue Grass Parkway (now being re-named for some politician, alive or posthumous, who, no doubt, stole enough money from the taxpayers to build it and take credit for their work), heading west to Park City, the somewhat shabby entryway to what is billed as the World's Longest Cave.

More anon.

Nastygrams for the Strib

The "Strib"? Well, according to James Lileks, at least, this is the nickname for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, very probably the most radical-left of America's larger newspapers, worse, if you can imagine, than the New York Times. That's probably why Strib editorial writer Jim Boyd copped an award from "Editor and Publisher," proving that the best way to further your career in the MSM is to trash President Bush, conservatives, Republicans, and anyone living in flyover country who happens to disagree with you.

But readers struck back in 3 letters published in E&P, according to Power Line. Here are choice excerpts. First up, one letter writer gets directly to the point:
Boyd's antipathy for all things remotely conservative results in spewing vile stuff, not reasoned argument. His "exhaustive research [and] a willingness to tell truth to power," as the loony tunes award citation claims, is a crock. It fails the giggle test among legions who do not share in Boyd's leftist fantasyland.

Shame on the American Academy of Diplomacy for getting it so wrong, so ironically wrong, about Boyd, painting him as a mythic heroic figure in journalism, when he is clearly a blight on that trade, a poster boy for partisan flackery. Like Dan Rather, he is a purveyor of falsehoods when it suits his partisan purposes.
Another writer describes in loving detail why news and commentary on the Net is fast supplanting the rantings of MSM demagogues like Boyd:
The condescending, victimized, nasty tone of Jim Boyd towards the freedom of speech exercised by people who disagree with him is symbolic of the decline of the mainstream media. Americans do not consider the MSM the final word in truth, in fact, it seems each day the lies and partisanship of the supposed truth-tellers are exposed. When you have the next big symposium on why readership is declining, let topic #1 be the treatment of dissent by editorial writers. The Internet is the better mousetrap: it was created out of necessity because the first mousetrap, the MSM, failed miserably.
Best of all is the observation by yet another writer who, along with stating his opinion, is terminating his Strib subscription out of disgust with the paper's blatant anti-Americanism. Citing Boyd's customary hate-filled editorial rantings, this EX-reader notes that:
Your acceptance speech for you award was an interesting study in rhetoric. It's a funny thing about the Left. They devise all these awards and give them to each other as a measure of their ideological purity.
The always-verbose Wonker is jealous. In this short, pithy sentence, the last letter-writer exposes one of the left-literati's main PR rackets, the founding of bogus awards or the subverting of old ones (like the Pulitzer Prize) to create a recognition machine promoting the careers of all those who slavishly follow the Party Line, even though they're no longer exactly sure what the Party is for the most part. From the Nobel Prize to the Pulitzer, to the more recent "Genius Grants," nearly all these prize machines—at least in the arts and humanities—have been taken over by the Gramscians over the past 5 decades. Once each institutional prize is firmly in control, the Gramscians exploit it to support their powerfully socialist message that literary, artistic, and journalistic excellence are only possible if the writer or artist embrace extremist socialism wholly and uncritically. The Prize Machine smooths the career of leftist comformists and makes impossible in the current environment the serious and deserved recognition of anyone with remotely dissenting views. It is a major scandal, but even conservatives don't pay much attention to its devastating effect on potential new voices in literature, journalism, and the arts.

The reason most Republicans end up in business is because they're rigorously excluded from intellectual lines of work by the always vigilent left who will brook no interference with their hard-won citadels of intolerance in the media and the arts. The more the public is made aware of this, the more likely it will be that these leftist monopolies will be smashed, similar to the way that trade unionists took their unions back from the communists that had subverted them during and after the Second World War. Barring that, it's time to found new clubs and new awards to recognize demonstrable excellence and intellectual courage as opposed to using such vehicles to glorify a slavish conformity to a long-ago discredited and ruinous ideology.

The Popular Kids of the Goose-Stepping Left

Fascinating post this morning on Clive Davis' site on today's "Conventional Wisdom" Hollywood-style:
Mick Hartley listens to Jarhead director, Sam Mendes unburden himself of the usual menu of right-on platitudes. I'm always struck by the uniformity of views among the artists and literati I've interviewed. For almost all of them, the notion that there might just be another point of view simply doesn't exist. It's their religion, really, which is ironic, since they usually make a point of saying how much they distrust religion. Other people's religion, that is.

(My least favourite radical chic interviewee: the talented but humourless Ute Lemper. Ensconced in a luxury suite at the Savoy, she embarked on a lecture about the downtrodden masses, and was so busy talking about how East German workers were exploited that she forgot to even acknowledge the existence of the maid who'd put a tray of tea in front of her.)
Follow up on this entry, including incisive comments, can be found here.

One of the commentators, posting at Evil Pundit of Doom, makes the following interesting observation:
I think we are looking at a hyper-conformist subculture.

Within the humanities, any given individuals personal success is wholly dependent on the good opinion of one's professional peers. Its not like in the sciences or business where natural or market forces can prove an iconoclast right. In the humanities, popularity is everything and those that do not conform to current fads face professionally fatal ostracism.

Combine this fear of expulsion with a culture of overweening intellectual and moral arrogance that leads them to believe that no other group has ideas or experiences of any worth whatsoever and you get a subculture of individuals who will not deviate from the herd in the least.
Well, yes. As Wonker has suggested many times, let's take this one step further. The mental age of most of these leftist intellectuals (a term as oxy-moronic as "Conventional Wisdom" is when referring to Hollywood), is approximately 15. You can only find this kind of goose-stepping conformity and cliquishness in the average suburban high school—or, historically, in Stalin's Kremlin, Hitler's Third Reich, or, more recently, Saddam's Iraqi thug-ocracy. Such figures as these as well as their contemporary imitators, have abandoned intellect altogether in favor of a highly-refined herding instinct that places them at the head of a mindless larger herd that exists for their personal convenience. The irony is that the larger herds, collectively and individually, possesses significantly greater intelligence than the poseurs at the head of the herds. But all are afraid to break ranks in order to confront the uncomfortable world of reality they feel they've finessed by creating a fantasy world of their own.

The result: the oppressed right today is vastly more articulate, disciplined, and reasonable than the left. This is why the left sends goons and thugs to break up every campus public event that dares speak from the right. These Stalinists know they'll get what's left of their heads handed back to them on a platter if conservatives are allowed to hold forth uninterrupted for any length of time. (Observe, too, the verbal diarrhea of leftist pundits on the cable talk shows who eat up all available minutes spewing talking points, depriving their more polite opposition on the right of the opportunity to get in a word edgewise before the commercial break cuts them off.) The left simply no longer possess the intelligence or the cogent arguments to confront the right intellectually. So they try to intimidate or silence all speakers from the right.

This crude tactic, aided and abetted by the MSM, worked brilliantly for a time. But now with cable TV and the Web making short work of these leftist gatekeepers, their days of ruling the roost, or, if you will, of heading up the herd, are now drawing to a close. And they will soon find that they are members of no clique at all, a fate worse for them than death itself.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

John Murtha's Solipsistic Logic

Power Line continues its admirable work today exposing the defects in the Democrats' current "cut and run" and "cut and run lite" lines on withdrawal from Iraq, exposing, as usual, the 'Rats' entire lack of seriousness. John Hinderaker, highlighting yesterday's underreported ABC News poll highlighting good news for the Bushies, makes the following observation:
...most Iraqis view the occupation exactly as President Bush and most Americans do: they want our forces to stay until the Iraqis can maintain reasonable security on their own, then leave. The ABC News poll released yesterday found that only 26% of respondents want coalition troops to "leave now." Further, only 10% list the withdrawal of foreign troops within the next year as a "high priority."

Murtha's conviction that American troops are the problem in Iraq, not the solution, and that things woud be better if we would only leave, exemplifies the childish solipsism so often seen on the Left, where American actions are generally seen as the causes of all events—or all bad ones, anyway.
"Solipsism" is a good way to describe the defective reasoning that is currently spreading like a pandemic throughout the American left. Nearly all observations from this political spectrum are self-referential. They never involve the careful consideration of outside opinion (other than to sneer at it), and are condescending in the extreme to not only the average American but especially to conservatives (who actually do think, unlike perpetual adolescent Howard Dean). Such reasoning, or lack thereof, reflects a party line time-warped in the era when the Stalinist-Gramscian control of ideas and message began to infiltrate the American and European left "intelligentsia" in the 1950s. Then, as now, even the slightest deviation from party-line thinking will result in the irrevocable expulsion from the intellectual and literary life.

Such thinking, or lack thereof, also reflects the inherent childishness of the left—which is an increasingly uncomfortable place for thinking men and women to reside. There's plenty of room on the right, and plenty of diversity, too, no matter how the MSM tries to convince intellectuals otherwise. Their choice is increasingly clear: permanently give in to the left's neverending demand for mind-control, or join the new free expression clubs that are springing up on the right. The secret password is: integrity.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Riotous Times in the Merry Old Land of Oz

Much has happened during our recent hiatus, including more slaughter by the benevolent Chinese government and now, what is starting to look like an instant replay, Aussie-style, of the recent French rioting by Islamist thugs. Looks like down-under fellow travelers of the French rioters went crazy yesterday, trashing cars and people in the vicinity of a Sydney beach. Well, apparently the Aussie lads didn't appreciate the gesture, and took some direct action themselves today.

All of which provides the ever-vigilent Wretchard of Belmont Club an opportunity to opine, drilling down on the moral equivalency bleatings of the politically correct who probably figure this is all Australia's (or America's) fault:

I get a little emotional sometimes watching these peacenik types defend blatant murderers because by frustrating justice they are building up tectonic pressures that will go snap one day, and it won't be their necks at the end of a rope. What the world needs isn't the fake sympathy of the Euro-human rights crowd but justice. They should remember that in the absence of justice there is only revenge.
Wretchard gets the point here--if governments don't start defending their own people against the predations of religious thugs in their midst, the people themselves will do it. Neither Aussie nor American lefties in the intelligentsia have a clue about this. They will.

UPDATE: Apparently, the sequence of events above has been a bit more complicated than described in this post. More recent news sources blame the initial riots on native Aussies reacting to a story or rumor (which we can't yet verify) that Lebanese thugs had attacked some Aussie lifeguards. The overriding tension, in turn, seems to have stemmed from an actual gang rape of Aussie women by Lebanese criminals who chanted racial epithets while committing the crime. (More here.) The upshot, whatever the true sequence of events, is the exposure once again of more unassimilated and impoverished Middle Eastern immigrants in yet another western country.

The West, whether the US, Canada, Australia, or what is fast turning into Eurabia, is going to have to decide, and soon, whether they intend to fully incorporate immigrants from all locales into their own societies or allow them to remain a largely-ignored, dissatisfied, and potentially murderous band of outsiders who will easily become, upon the least provocation, an attacking proletariat with fascist tendencies. It is ironic that we are seeing most of this in countries that pride themselves on their left-liberal endorsement of socialism while at the same time condescending to those who are truly outside. Those on the left actually remain imperialists in their own hearts, in spite of their pious liberal bleatings. They prefer for the disadvantaged to stay disadvantaged, so that they can be "helped" by the left, which will then be rewarded for its giveaways at the ballot box.

But what if these new postcolonial colonials catch on to the game?

Earth to Sulzberger: Pinch Me...

The New York Daily News today dishes on growing criticism of doctrinaire leftist and rich NYTimes helmsman Pinch Sulzberger, citing a Ken Auletta piece in the current New Yorker. The Daily News cites, f'rexample, Pinch's delicious and decorous wit:
Among several examples was an editorial lunch with Secretary of State Condi Rice where Sulzberger kept alluding to the fact that a bomb-sniffing dog had thrown up on the carpet. "Thank you for sharing that," said Rice, as "some of the reporters present cringed."
LOL, and a hat tip for this week's funniest response to a straight line to the Secretary of State. Gotta love it.

More seriously, both the NY (and the LA Times for that matter) are fast becoming outside-the-Beltway, outside of Manhattan jokes. Any wonder why the right-minded portion of the blogosphere is fast becoming the place where you gather the actual news as opposed to the left-wing propaganda mill that the once great NYTimes has become?

Slaughterhouse Six: The Fantasyland of Kurt Vonnegut

You have to really wonder about the glitterati lately, most recently, the once and future vastly overrated Kurt Vonnegut. Check out Jim Lileks' latest observations on this has-been scribbler:

I never “got into” Vonnegut, or “dug” his work like my “buds,” several of whom pronounced his work as “intense,” so I am not particularly bothered to find he applauds suicide bombers, and thinks they experience “an amazing high.” In the literal sense, perhaps; it’s possible that skull fragments may reach the third floor before they carom off a balcony and patter back to earth.

I should note that Mr. Vonnegut’s comments, reported in the Australian, were made while touring to promote a collection of anti-Bush essays, and as such all attempts to refute them are intended to suppress his freedom of speech. It goes without saying he will be spending his senior years naked in a cell, fighting rats for a scrap of bread, writing brave quatrains on the wall with a shoelace-tip dipped in rat’s blood, awakened daily at 4 AM with bright lights and the national anthem. Such is life in Chimpsuit McHallihitler’s America...
Wonker actually taught Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse Five" back in his liberal university phase, before the professoriat decided that Wonker might be hazardous to the complacency of America's English Departments as they morphed into propaganda mills promoting unintelligible theories and turgid writing. Even at that point, however, one had to wonder at the hollowness of Vonnegut's content-free little books, of which "Five" was merely the most hyped.

A senior professor, and noted Vonnegut scholar at the time, came to the sage conclusion that "Slaughterhouse Five" was really the apotheosis of Vonnegut's profound social message, which somehow conflated the revenge firebombing of Dresden by the allies with the evils of Naziism and Communism, a kind of prequel to today's monolithic moral relativism. The professor triumphantly concluded that Vonnegut's conclusion was: "Well, what can you really say about a war?"

Brilliant stuff. Wonker is certain that this brilliant insight alone will place Vonnegut right up there in the firmament with other great chroniclers of humanity like Tolstoy.


If Vonnegut is what passes for today's literary intelligence in America, it's clearly time that we start all over again with people who can think before they write. Vonnegut is yet another case of a scribbler who's career ended long ago and who is attempting to regain it by sucking up to the zeit geist of the New York Times and the few hundred remaining leaders who take the opinion of other has-beens like Maureen Dowd seriously. The pathetically myopic world of the American and European intellectual today differs little from the cliquish adolescent societies that impose, er, party discipline at particularly snotty high schools in affluent city and suburban neighborhoods. Be there, or be talked about.

But hey, Lileks sums this up a lot better. Catch the rest of his article here.

Light Blogging Excuses

Light blogging for the last few days from the Wonk. Big corporate doings (the accursed "day job") etc. keeping us away from saving the world if not the universe. We'll be back shortly to re-commence this Herculean task. Meanwhile, check out our newest "good guy" link, now posted to the left, Strategy Page, which provides you with more news and less propaganda on the Global War on Terror (WWIII or IV, depending on your definition).

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The High Price of Congress

The manipulation of hysteria by politicians is nowhere more evident than in various tax campaigns, such as that of Fall 2005 regarding a "windfall profits tax" on oil companies. While we had a few months of very high prices for gasoline and high heating oil prices linger, it would be useful from time to time to look at actual costs for delivering energy products. Democrats and their friends among Republicans seem to think cheap energy prices are a natural right, regardless of what those cheap prices might cost, and, increasingly, whether or not they are even possible. Denying access to American energy resources, a standard political game by Democrats (and a few Republicans) for decades, is on the contrary a guarantee that prices will go up, whether in the form of prices at the pump, or in vastly increased expenditures to keep a military watch on overseas suppliers. And what exactly do they mean by "excess profits"? Marlo Lewis, a Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, has extensive remarks on this at TechCentralStation, heavily documented I might add.

In the second quarter of 2005, U.S. oil companies earned about 7.7 cents for every dollar of sales. That is slightly below the average for all U.S. industries (7.9 cents), and considerably below the earnings rates of several other industries including banks (19.5 cents), pharmaceuticals (18.6 cents), software and services (17 cents), semiconductors (14.6 cents), diversified financials (11.3 cents), and household and personal products (10.9 cents)...Third quarter oil industry profits rose to 8.1 cents per dollar of sales -- still in line with the U.S. industry average...Exxon Mobil's third-quarter financial statement reports that the company's year-to-date tax payments total $72.9 billion. That is almost triple the $25.4 billion the company earned in year-to-date profits.[20] By what reasonable metric can it be argued that ExxonMobil's tax payments are deficient in relation to its profits, or that its profits are excessive in relation to its tax payments?...According to the Tax Foundation, between 1977 and 2004, the 29 largest U.S. energy firms collectively earned $630 billion in net income after adjusting for inflation. During that same period, those companies paid more than three times as much -- over $2.2 trillion -- in royalties, state and federal motor fuel taxes, and corporate income taxes....

Read the rest of Lewis's article. The expectations that Democrats and other politicians play upon year in and year out call to mind Ortega Y Gassett's warning about a certain kind of "mass intelligence," widespread convictions that resources and systems built with vast expenditures of capital, labor, and resources are somehow "natural," something that we're entitled to simply because we exist. In the real world, when a hurricane knocks out shipping terminals, refineries, offshore rigs, and trucking routes, oil companies had to spend two to three times as much money to deliver each gallon of fuel to the marketplace. Who's supposed to pay for that? Shall we bomb the Saudis if they don't cut the price of oil? The thing is, with markets, if you follow the logic and the documentation, something will come to you: how much things cost and how much you can expect to pay for them if you're willing to buy. Anything else is a socialist fantasy.


Monday, December 05, 2005

Christmas Wars: Beyond Belief?

Just when you think America's institutional left can't sink any lower, you find this:

Los Angeles, December 5, 2005 -- Beyond Belief Media has formally declared war on Christmas, the December 25 holiday in which Christians celebrate the birth of the mythical figure Jesus Christ, the company announced today.

“Christian conservatives complain nonstop about the ‘War on Christmas,’ but there really isn’t any such war,” said Beyond Belief Media president Brian Flemming , a former fundamentalist Christian who is now an atheist activist. “So we have decided to wage one, to demonstrate what it would look like if Jesus’ birthday were truly attacked.”

As its opening salvo, Beyond Belief Media has purchased advertisements this week in the New York Times , USA Today and the New Yorker magazine. The company’s 300-member volunteer “street team” is also descending on Christmas-themed public events with random “guerilla giveaways” of Beyond Belief’s acclaimed DVD THE GOD WHO WASN'T THERE .

“No Christmas pageant or Nativity display is safe from our troops,” said Flemming. “Wherever the mythical figure Jesus is celebrated as if he were real, we will be there with an information barrage. We will undercut the idea that there is any point at all to celebrating the ‘birth’ of a character in a fairy tale.”
Say, is that a threat, dude? PS, we'd like to know who "acclaimed" the DVD. Michael Moore?

What you're reading here is an excerpt from an actual PR release pushing Flemming's radical left agenda which clearly includes ridiculing Christianity in a way that would earn you a swift death in Mecca. The very Jolly Roger flavor of this press release is deeply offensive, but hey, that's okay, we're only dissing Christians who don't deserve any respect anyway, right? In fact, we're probably working against Christmas inadvertently by running even a portion of this vile stuff for our reader's edification and outrage.

What's particularly asinine about this release is Flemming's assertion that the "figure" of Jesus is "mythical." Even respectable left-wing historians acknowledge the historical Jesus as fact. There's no "myth" involved at all. While conceding readily that miracles attributed to Jesus may be for some an article of faith rather than hard science, there are few who dispute his physical existence. Flemming's empty assertion is thus another page out of the Michael Moore playbook.

Meanwhile, we note with satisfaction that Target, which cut the Salvation Army bell ringers out of its corporate equation last year, have chimed in with new ads in major newspapers this year supporting the Army. Guess they listened to what happened last year. We suspect that Flemming won't. He's clearly on an ego-crusade like Mother Sheehan, and neither common sense nor human decency will deter him. But a lack of sales and attention sure will, so do your part.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Democracy in Egypt?

Okay, so I swore off blogging for the weekend. But I just discovered this post/photoblog by Omar on the excellent "Iraq the Model" and couldn't resist. Looks like a bunch of Egyptians, the kind the left says are "not ready for democracy," didn't get the message. Here they are, sneaking in the back way, into a polling place they were being kept out of.

Read the rest here.

Ah, but I guess we should cut and run from Iraq, eh Ms. Pelosi? They're obviously not ready either.

Happy Weekend!

Another long workweek for Wonker with resultant light blogging. But be sure to catch Luther's previous post and link—well worth reading and pondering.

I'll be taking a day or two off but will be back blogging, bloviating, and otherwise pontificating on Monday. Meanwhile, get a jump on that CHRISTMAS shopping, eh?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Following a Different Shepherd

From the way MSM cover the "news," one could easily get the impression, if one looked only to such dinosaurs for truth and consequences, that a vast, unified front of Democrats is rising, like a tsunami, to wash away the Republicans and the Bush Administration. One suggestion that this might not be so was the 404-3 vote in Congress against setting a "withdrawal" deadline (Ann Coulter would describe it better as a "surrender deadline"). That struck this observer as being akin to hearing a Weather channel reporter go on for twenty minutes about global warming causing another terrible storm-- coming to your city in the next hour!-- then going outside and finding the sun out in a cloudless sky. Over at, they have a similar curiosity. Incidentally, the credo of Dinocrat is "Dedicated to DINOs, from one who realized that 33 years as a Democrat was enough."

What is going on? First there was the 1000th death in Iraq, then the 2000th. Now this. What is with all the multiple-of-1000 death stories? Is the connection that the US under the GOP is so cruel and heartless that it kills mercilessly our soldiers and the pitiful on death row? ...We note for the record that 14,121 people were murdered in 2004 in the United States, so the MSM could run a 1000th, 2000th, etc., story more than once a month on murder victims....

The "opposite" side of the aisle may have fewer people in it that we thought. Dinocrat is curious about something else too. Not only does MSM seem to be reporting news from another planet, and most certainly from another era (is it always 1974 in MSM?), but the intellectual elite seems to have lost its senses.

It is interesting, for example, that leftist intellectuals give a pass to, or overtly admire, authentic men of violence like Castro or Arafat or Stalin, but vilify the good guys who are their enemies...Maybe it comes down to power, with the wimpy intellectuals jealous and fearful of powerful and straightforward men. Maybe it has a religious element, with the vanity of the intellectuals a graven image they have made to themselves in a Marxist, materialistic universe. Maybe it is because because they stop too soon in their inquiries — having replaced the ten commandments with ten questions, they fail to engage the serious moral issue of how should one live one’s life....(from The Ruined Dictatorship of the Intellectuals", 11/22/05)

We get so much preaching to the converted, even among bloggers, that hearing the shout of a voice presumed lost is thrilling. It suggests that beyond the howling and gnashing of teeth in MSM that more than a few right wing bloggers think that the elites who claim to speak for us have lost their way. Perhaps if MSM would stop behaving like sheep following a mad shepherd, they could, as new DINOcrats, find their way home.


Small Victories Against the Left

An interesting short post today from Wretchard at the invaluable Belmont Club.
BTW, according to Michelle Malkin, quoting AP, the Flight 93 Crescent of Embrace memorial is history. The interesting thing about this episode is how illustrates that that leftist meme machine isn't irresistible. It has its limits. Once the inappropriateness of the design had been pointed out, whether the result of an unintentional oversight or not, it ran into opposition. Resistance is not futile.
Wretchard has it exactly right, and his comments accurately describe one of the primary things we're trying to do on this website—expose the manipulation of language, religion, culture, and the arts by the hard left in their attempt to eviscerate American society. We intend to take America back. Wretchard points out that we are not alone and that we all can win if we stick to it and stick it to them.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The CIA's Spooky Leaks

A few weeks back, we opined on the open undermining of the Bush administration undertaken by unnamed operatives and/or officials at the CIA—you know, the ones who show up in the Washington Post every few weeks trashing current CIA Director Porter Goss and his evil staff of Republican minions. Well, John Hinderaker follows up on this with a good bit more detail in the online Weekly Standard:
THE CIA'S WAR against the Bush administration is one of the great untold storiesof the past three years. It is, perhaps, the agency's most successful covertaction of recent times. The CIA has used its budget to fund criticism of the administration by former Democratic officeholders. The agency allowed an employee, Michael Scheuer, to publish and promote a book containing classified information, as long as, in Scheuer's words, "the book was being used to bash the president." However, the agency's preferred weapon has been the leak. In one leak after another, generally to the New York Times or the Washington Post, CIA officials have sought to undermine America's foreign policy. Usually this is done by leaking reports or memos critical of administration policies or skeptical of their prospects. Through it all, our principal news outlets, which share the agency's agenda and profit from its torrent of leaks, have maintained a discreet silence about what should be a major scandal.
Read the rest of it here. Hinderaker's conclusions are chilling and well worth pondering.

Wonker would take these conclusions further. With the crucial exception of the military, patriots to the core, the entire Federal bureaucracy, more or less, has been populated by leftist, unionist supporters of the Democratic Party since the time of Roosevelt. At times, the Government has been infiltrated and, in fact, deeply penetrated by agents, operatives, or sympathizers of the former Soviet union and American interests have been actively undermined. Such penetration is not, of course, exclusive to the United States. But it is surprising how effective it becomes when most of an operative's colleagues are, at least philosophically, fellow travelers.

The tendency of the Federal government today is for many Federal employees to actively support and carry out the initiatives of Democratic presidents while undermining, stalling, or otherwise stymieing those of Republicans until Democrats can be returned to office. Republican presidents—not just Bush—are simply not regarded as legitimate. Therefore it is not treasonous to oppose them. Astonishing but true. It's important to remember this as the real CIA scandal begins to unfold. BTW, this scandal will almost certainly be reported only in the blogosphere, as the media, specifically the Washington Post and the New York Times, are deeply involved in conveying the CIA's anti-Bush leakage to the public while covering up the administration's many successes.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Mother Sheehan's Christmas Gift

Returning to blogging belatedly after our own excellent holiday trip, we've discovered pictures from yet another holiday voyage—Mother Sheehan's vaunted book-signing tent out near the Bush ranch, in yet another hard left-attempt to dog the President. Cindy drew the predictable admiring crowds:

Oops. Guess the 15-minute clock has elapsed, albeit a bit belatedly. But nonetheless a fitting Christmas gift.

Merry Christmas, Denny

Looks like the effort to resurrect Christmas is starting to get seriously on track this season:
House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert has told federal officials that the lighted, decorated tree on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol -- known in recent years as the "Holiday Tree" -- should be renamed the "Capitol Christmas Tree," as it was called until the late 1990s....

"It was known as the 'Holiday Tree' for several years and just recently was changed back to the 'Capitol Christmas Tree.' This was a directive from the speaker," said Capitol architect Matthew Evans.

"The speaker believes a Christmas tree is a Christmas tree, and it is as simple as that," said Ron Bonjean, spokesman for the Illinois Republican.
Yeah, it is. A little common sense from flyover country, which is mostly where you find it these days. More here.

European New Right?

Random surfing today, Wonker encountered a most interesting and somewhat peculiar blog discussing what the blogger calls the "European New Right" or ENR. Employing a sort of reverse Gramscianism, the movement is allegedly attempting to resurrect Europe's sclerotic politics and culture.
A large sector in the ENR subscribes to what they call le Gramscisme de Droite. The ENR (like Gramsci) reverses Marx's idea of base and superstructure. It believes that changes in the ideological superstructure among the cultural and elite opinion-forming groups determine social change. Gramsci called on intellectuals to change society in a socialist direction. The ENR adopts this approach to their own programs. This is called metapolitics. The ENR also identifies with the appeal to populism in Gramsci, although it rejects the rest of the Marxist apparatus.
Well, we're not so sure. As the author describes it, the so-called ENR seems more like warmed-over Marxism than it does a new kind of conservative philosophy. The ENR, such as it may be, is tinged with paganism, and spiced with anti-Semitism, anti-Catholicism, and (of course) anti-Americanism. The portrait of Noam Chomsky on the blog's index page is sort of a dead giveaway that blogger Mark Wegierski is not exactly in Pat Buchanan's pocket. And he isn't exactly forthcoming in his bio either.

Rather than embodying anything that Americans would recognize as ideas of the "right," the ENR, as described in this piece, seems, in the end, yet another way of resurrecting Marxism via the manipulation of words—here disguising the nature of the experiment by insisting that it comes from the "right." Additionally, its restatement of dialectical materialism is what is really meant by the term "metapolitics" employed in the quote above.

This kind of socio-political chicanery is a little like putting a circa-1968 hippie into a Brooks Brothers suit—you can change his appearance, but you can't alter his nature no matter how you try to disguise it.

Nonetheless, as an extended exercise in rationalization, the piece is well written and well worth reading, shedding light on the nature of a left that has now grown so pathetic and devoid of new ideas that it tires to recycle old ones under a "conservative" banner. A visual caution: as with many blogs, this one employs thin white text on a black background, which is virtually unreadable on many monitors. To make things easier, highlight the text you're reading, which will turn the immediate background gray and the text black which is easier to deal with.

A Mammoth Thanksgiving

Wonker promised you a brief overview (or 3) of his recently concluded Thanksgiving holiday voyage to the cavelands of Western Kentucky. Along with the Mad Redhead, aka, Mrs. Wonker, W (not to be confused with the real W) traversed hill and dale, staying overnight in picturesque Ashland, KY (home of a huge Marathon oil refinery on the banks of the Ohio River). After dining at the badly decaying town's one decent restaurant, we traveled a few blocks to drive around the central park of which featured an impressive nighttime Winter Wonderland of Lights, ranging from Santa and his elves to—quel horreur!—a Nativity Scene also done up in lights.

Ringing the park and its extensive, picturesque displays were what appeared to be as many as two dozen or more immense, magnificent Victorian houses, most in pretty good repair, that were completely at odds with the town's otherwise shabby appearance. According to the restaurant's maitre d', Marathon had moved its corporate headquarters out of Ashland some time ago, leading to a major exodus of jobs to neighboring Ohio which copped the new HQ. That, plus other decaying industries, give poor Ashland a lean and hungry look. But the town is not without its resources. These include the impressive King's Daughters Medical Center and the well regarded Morehead State University. The former, in fact, is at least indirectly responsible for the care and feeding of Ashland's Victorian homes. The big-name doctors attracted to the Medical Center become smitten with the huge houses, it seems, purchase them for a song, and spiff them up to a fare-thee-well, creating one of the best-looking groupings of such houses east of the Mississippi. Things are not always what they seem in America.

More anon. Meanwhile, a hearty hat-tip to Luther who kept HazZzmat buzzing blizzfully whilst Wonker was out consuming mass quantities of cheap Kentucky gasoline (as low as $1.92 per gallon) as he continued on to Mammoth Cave. Guess it helps to have a refinery in your backyard. Maybe Libs should stop sneering at those canny Midwesterners who can fill their Democratic Hummers far more cheaply than the New Yorkers who seem to have greater need of them.