Friday, March 31, 2006

Sock a Cop. Be a Victim

Seems Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (Moonbat-GA as one blogger put it) got so peeved by the security protocols of the Capitol Hill Police that she bitch-slapped, socked, or otherwise popped one of the officers who was trying to do his job. Well, sports fans, guess what? The Capitol Hill Cops (who are, after all, actual cops) are debating whether or not to issue a warrant for her arrest. Assaulting a cop would put you or moi in the slammer, of course, so why not McKinney, one of the three or four certifiable morons inhabiting a Congressional office at the moment? (There are many other partial morons on both sides of the aisle, of course.) BTW, if you don't believe us on this, check out the sordid history of McKinney's treasonous behavior here. But now back to our story.

Figuring she'd unload a pre-emptive strike a la the Clintonistas, she's got a lawyer on the case, who made the following brilliant observation:
Her lawyer, James W. Myart Jr., said, "Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, like thousands of average Americans across this country, is, too, a victim of the excessive use of force by law enforcement officials because of how she looks and the color of her skin."

"Ms. McKinney is just a victim of being in Congress while black," Myart said. "Congresswoman McKinney will be exonerated."
Victim? Who was it that delivered the punch? And exonerated from what? Something she hasn't been charged with yet? (But hopefully will be.)

By similar logic, Wonker (who admits to being unfashionably male and Caucasian) can sock a black cop and then hold a press conference claiming excessive use of police force because Wonker is a victim of not being in Congress while white. Somehow, though, this particular twisting of the class struggle meme is probably doomed to failure.

The online CBS news piece we're referencing here quickly cites the villainous Republicans for taking some political advantage of this situation, something the Dems would never do under similar circumstances. And CBS also gratuitously dumps a chamber pot on the CapCops for having escorted "Mother Heroine of the People" Cindy Sheehan out of the House gallery this past January where she'd smuggled herself to pull a PR stunt during this year's State of the Union address. Such reportage would be a disgrace if CBS were capable of acknowledging the concept of disgrace, which it cannot.

But they do note one interesting point which tends to undercut Ms. McKinney's hypocritical gasbagging:
The [police] department is tasked with protecting the 535 members of Congress and the vast Capitol complex in an atmosphere thick with politics and privilege.
They also helpfully explain why the cops are touchy about security issues. But then they conclude in that same graf by sneakily undercutting even this observation, noting that police security concerns stem from an incident that had occurred near the offices of someone the MSM would rather have seen lying in a pool of his own blood:
The safety of its [Congress'] members became a sensitive issue after a gunman in 1998 killed two officers outside the office of then-Republican Whip Tom DeLay of Texas.
Yes, by all means let's have some fun reminding folks that DeLay resigned his seat by couching this irrelevant fact in a marginally relevant aside. But what do you expect from the "fake but accurate" network?

Meanwhile, the Congresswoman and her legal hired gun plan a press conference this evening with Lethal Weapon legal expert and noted intellectual Danny Glover at Howard University. Glover, no doubt, just happened to be passing through town.

The lack of shame on the left is nothing short of spectacular. But their lack of functional intellect is even worse. A lifetime of slavishly hewing to the Party Line clearly severs all neural connections to reality.

MSM Disgraces Itself Again

This snippet from a truth-telling piece by Victor Davis Hansen:
Now we hear Time Baghdad Bureau Chief Michael Ware, in a drunken, live interview (“In fact, I'm drinking now…I try to stay as drunk for as long as possible while I'm here”) from the heart of dry Muslim Iraq, recklessly throwing around charges that American soldiers are guilty of manhandling Iraqi women (“We've seen allegations that women have been mishandled or roughly handled. That always inflames passions”) and terrorizing civilians (“We've also seen insurgents criticize other insurgent groups, 'cause you're not doing enough to get the chicks out! I mean, that's how important it can be, this is a matter of great honor, and it's a spark”). Ware’s are precisely the lies and fantasies that feed the Islamists.
If any of our lefty fans doubt the authenticity of this MSM outrage, (Hansen doesn't link to a source), why don't you check out the actual video here?

Hansen arrives at the obvious conclusion. Rarely, however, has it been outlined so succinctly.
Indeed, the better example of ineptitude in this war lies with the media that demands from others apologies for incompetence that it will never offer itself. Few professions today ask so much of so many others and so very little of themselves.
As Instapundit is wont to say: Heh.

Clubbing Baby Seals

Looks like we've had issues with the Canadian baby seal harvest again. Queue up the usual suspects, courtesy of Slate:
Animal welfare activists clashed with seal-pup hunters in Canada this week, just a few days into the annual sealing season. A commercial vessel rammed an inflatable boat filled with protesters over the weekend, and hunters threw seal guts. Animal rights groups oppose the clubbing and shooting of young seals.
The Slate piece goes on to explain, whether you approve or not, that if you're hunting for fur pelts, clubbing the little guys doesn't wreck the fur and is also more humane, as you'd have to take several shots from a bobbing boat to deliver a lethal bullet and the animals would suffer more.

Aside from the relative morality of harvesting animal fur (we don't have a problem with it), one issue we've always wondered about with regard to the baby seal flap is this: It's lefty bleeding-hearts who abhor whacking baby seals upside the head as evil, heartless, and cruel, right? We wonder if these folks have the same issue with picking up a forceps and crunching the head of a helpless third trimester human infant that's proving inconvenient to the mom who conceived him or her. Any thoughts, liberal friends?

(BTW, don't give me that guff about these being two entirely different issues. If one of these activities is heartless and undeserved cruelty, so is the other.)

Critical Mass in the Culture Wars

From Power Line:
Yale freshman Daniel Gelernter announces a new blog to unite college conservatives:
The renaissance of American culture will be the work of conservative students now on college campuses. We have seen religion in America grow weak and we want to make it strong again. We have seen Americans forget the meaning of good and evil, and of man and woman; we want to remind them. We have seen teachers politicize literature, art, and history; we want to restore art for art’s sake, and for the sake of truth and beauty – not for politics or "social justice." We want history professors to teach us the truth – not feminism, multiculturalism, or the latest revisionist fads.

There are some of us on every campus, but on most we are outnumbered. No single college has the critical mass of conservative student intellectuals we need in order to resuscitate this country and prepare its next Great Awakening.

The Critical Mass blog will unite conservatives on campuses across the country. It is a stream of information flowing through American colleges, growing with each new contributor and contribution, turning gradually into a river of conservative thought. The Critical Mass blog carries the ideas of today’s young conservatives.

Critical Mass ran its first piece three months ago, starting with a staff of three writers from two colleges. We now have pieces from nine different students at five different colleges, and we are ready to announce ourselves to the rest of the blogging world.
Wow. Allies!! Who knew? We're gonna put these kids in our Good Guys list. Thank God. Just as us Conservative Boomers who've fought the good fight are developing chronic arthritis, young allies are appearing on the horizon. Fresh reinforcements for the bloodied faithful. And the kids are right. The monolithic left has ground down those of us who remain on this side of the argument so thoroughly that it's probably the kids themselves who will finally gallop up the hill to plant the final Victory flag. But that's just fine. We'll watch from our wheelchairs, cheering lustily! Check them out.

Global Warming Critic

Gary Novak is one of those scientists who really distress absolute materialists. He believes in God and evolution (the standard position in Catholicism these days as well). He's also got a few things to say about global warming, which he interprets as a Green rewrite of their global cooling hypothesis of the 1970's.

Everything in the atmosphere is a greenhouse gas including water vapor which is a hundred times more prevalent than carbon dioxide. People don't know this, because promoters of GW do so much lying....Global Warming, Gary Novak, biologist, on

And water vapor is increasing, Novak notes, as do a number of other meteorologists and geologists, because the oceans are getting warmer. And that's not caused by human beings. He suggests, as do many others, that: "Global warming is occurring due to oceans heating, not greenhouse gases. The oceans are heating due to hot spots rotating in the earth's core, which is the cause of ice ages..."

And there lies a far bigger problem than global warming. After an initial warming period caused by warmer ocean water, the vast increase in water vapor in the atmosphere will return to earth as heavy rain and snowfall, which is precisely what is happening in the American northwest, and in Antarctica where snowfalls have been heavier in the last five to ten years than they have been in centuries. The real danger right now, Novak suggests, is not global warming but a new Ice Age, not caused by people but by periodic planetary cycles.

Is Novak a quack or an informed critic of the global warming scientific qua political global warming theory? It's hard to tell. As Michael Crichton has found again and again, even well-known scientific studies that contradict this theory are deliberately misquoted, and their executive summaries rewritten, to uphold conclusions which the data they report don't support.


Thursday, March 30, 2006

Plagiarism, Take 3...

We've written here and here on the issue of plagiarism, prompted by the Washington Post's precipitous firing and precipitous firing of token conservative blogger Ben Domenech. Wonk voiced the opinion, which was dissed in some quarters, that plagiarism stinks no matter which side of the aisle it comes from, but isn't it funny how rightie miscreants receive swifter justice than do lefties who commit the same sin.

Well, damn, I plum forgot all about the master of serial plagiarism, "historian" Doris Kearns Goodwin. But Mickey Kaus remembered:
Note to Doris Kearns Goodwin--Ben Domenech Died for Your Sins: Maybe Domenech just wanted to win $50,000 from the New York Historical Society! ... Eric Weiner notes that the wages of plagiarism are good if you have a survival network that includes Walter Isaacson and Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. ... For more of the goods on Goodwin: See this summary and try to find the damning LAT piece cited here. ...
Kaus' links are good, particularly the one to Weiner, who cites a 2002 story in the online Daily Standard that relates Goodwin's sins in chapter and verse, noting that, according to Weiner, that Goodwin was "forced to reach an 'understanding' with one author she ripped off. (In other words, Goodwin paid off a lesser-known historian to prevent her good name from being smeared.)"

Weiner continues:
Goodwin's so popular with her highly respected colleagues that nearly two years after the plagiarism scandal broke several prominent historians and media folks -- everyone from Arthur Schlesinger Jr. to Walter Isaacson -- actually signed a letter to the New York Times asserting that she didn't plagiarize anyone. You can make your own call, but in my mind Slate columnist Timothy Noah pretty much pantsed them in this column that ran shortly after the letter appeared.
Funny thing about this is, last time I looked, both Kaus and Noah were and are libs. But it seems that even being outed by conservative and liberal bloggers alike is not enough to put a pinhole leak in Goodwin's balloon. She's a certified lefty "intellectual" and the elites are gonna take care of her anyway, even to the tune of the $50K award Kaus cites.

Looks like all animals are indeed equal, but some are still more equal than others. Particularly if they inhabit the clubby world of the left-wing elites. Perhaps Domenech's real sin was that he picked the wrong side.

Now eagle-eyes out there might say, "Hah, you mind-numbed hypocrite. Didn't you cite the downfall of lefties like Jayson Blair and Janet Cooke in your earlier misinformed rants?" Indeed I did. But there's a hairsplit here worth noting in the code of conduct observed by leftist intellectualoids. Neither Blair nor Cooke had yet made it into the Elite Club. Therefore, their status was "unprotected." Once you're in the club, you're there, dude and can write anything you want even if someone else wrote it first. Ask Goodwin how that works. Wonk will never know.

Gets bloody depressing sometimes, don't it?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Truth In Immigration Advertising?

...Between March of 2000 and 2005 the number of adult immigrants (legal and illegal) with only a high school degree or less in the labor force increased by 1.6 million... At the same time, unemployment among less-educated adult natives increased by nearly one million, and the number of natives who left the labor force altogether increased by 1.5 million....'Illegals Squeeze Out U.S. Workers,' Steven A. Camarota, Front Page Magazine, 3/29/2006

This huge article, with numerous charts describing what population has what jobs, should be required reading in the United States Senate. This assumes, of course, that Senators can read. Truth in advertising is a slogan that is rarely applied to politics, however.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Meet the Miracle Allah Fish

Folks, we can't possibly be creative enough to make this stuff up. There is a miraculous tropical fish in the UK that "bears the name of Allah." Here he is:

FYI, in case you can't make it out, the spelling is in Arabic, not English.

This miracle fish—apparently a cichlid whose name, in Arabic, may be pronounced something like Oscar—even has his own website, wherein you can study and observe jpegs of his miraculous finny visage and even watch a movie of him doing his miraculous thing, complete with authentic miraculous voiceover. Cichlids are known for attacking other fish, BTW, which could in this case be profoundly symbolic as well.

This obviously stunning manifestation may very well be the most famous divine apparition to occur on this planet since the face of Jesus miraculously appeared on a tortilla nearly 30 years ago. We are not quite sure where in sacred scripture or the Koran such contemporary miracles are foretold, but this pair of sightings strikes us as oddly ecumenical.

Hat tip to Little Green Footballs, which also has a link to a related cock & bull story. (And now we'll have to go hide out with the Danish cartoonists.)

Monday, March 27, 2006

FEC Gets Out of Internet Politics

The Federal Election Commission decided Monday that the nation's new campaign finance law will not apply to most political activity on the Internet. In a 6-0 vote, the commission decided to regulate only paid political ads placed on another person's Web site... David Pace,

When regulators don't regulate, that's cause for rejoicing, but it's also a cue to memory: the FEC in the future can still do what it refused to do today (unanimously), so, fellow bloggers, don't let down your guard. McCain-Feingold, that coward's way out from under critical examination of individuals in office, is still out there.


Plagiarism: The Final Frontier

Well, damn, looks like for once the libs and lefty moonbats were right, and Ben Domenech is history at the Washington Post standing convicted of plagiarism in his not-too-distant past. I hate it when that happens. Michelle Malkin gives a pretty good wrap-up of the affair with useful links.

Wonk will still contend vigorously, however, that far more egrigious examples of plagiarism by lefty journos are uncovered and remedied with far less efficiency and force in the current environment. That doesn't make plagiarism right for either side of the aisle, but we need a little perspective here on the swiftness of justice.

Longer term, I begin to wonder whether writers, particularly the younger crowd, even fully appreciate just what constitutes plagiarism anymore. I recall grading college theme papers where students would just glue together direct and indirect quotes from other sources, sometimes attributing them, sometimes not. The notion, I guess, was that other people knew better than they did, so putting down other people's wisdom, attributed or not, was the best way to an A. I always had a hard time convincing them that writing a paper was an exercise in thinking for themselves, shoring up their arguments only where they felt they needed another source for evidence to back up their conclusions.

This sort of stringing along of unattributed or poorly attributed quotes may very well have been what Martin Luther King was doing in his own Divinity School thesis, which is now well-known to have chunks of plagiarized text. (For a niftily obscurantist reading of this, click here. For a more partisan view, click here.) Not to let Dr. King or anyone else off the hook, but I am just no longer certain how vigorously the immorality of stealing someone else's stuff and passing it off as your own is really taught these days in the lefty, relativistic environment that academia has become. With some exceptions, I wonder if the notion of plagiarism is taught in public high schools at all, or if that's been yet another thing crowded out by instructional sessions on the correct application and use of condoms.

Furthermore, the whole notion of plagiarism in this century has developed some interesting wrinkles, including some I never thought of. For example, a one-time dance critic at the San Francisco Chronicle, Octavio Roca, was hired away by the Miami Herald last year. So far so good. But a few months later, he was dismissed by his new employers. The charges? He plagiarized himself! Seems that Roca, who has actually had a distinguished career up to that point, filed away some of his tastiest prose bits and recycled them from time to time. This raises an interesting issue: Can you plagiarize from yourself? Now we're in a thicket, aren't we?

Novelists, prose writers, even poets, not to mention composers—Gustav Mahler comes to mind—frequently recycle their own stuff, sometimes from lesser works or magazine pieces. Rossini would recycle some of his favorite overtures and tunes from operas that had flopped into new operas. (Which is why the overtures to some of his operas don't have a single tune in them from the opera itself.) I am told (and perhaps this is just a legend) that when pressed for time when ordered to compose a new commissioned work, Bach once turned the score for one of his earlier works upside down and rescored it that way, thus producing a "new" work. Is this morally wrong? Probably not.

Where Roca appears to have crossed the line here was not necessarily in swiping his own stuff—in this he has a lot of company—but in swiping it from his previous employer under whom it was copyrighted and then redeploying it as "new" for his current employer. But then, this would appear to be more of a copyright violation than an instance of plagiarism, wouldn't you think?

Things get murky, too, in showbiz, where reporters or reviewers, frequently pressed by an impossible deadline for making the early edition of a newspaper, will borrow a few factual sentences from a PR flack's press release and plug it into a hastily constructed preview piece. The PR person invariably has the facts right, but has also put a bit of favorable spin into the piece which then graces the reporter's piece. But in this case everyone is happy. The editor has the piece on time, the writer doesn't get yelled at by the copyeditor for having the facts wrong, and the PR person in this case, is amazingly happy that his or her press release was plagiarized because that assures that the PR spin is now the newspaper's spin as well. What a world. (Of course, this is also why entertainment journalism has become increasingly unreliable of late.)


Blogging is still pretty new to us here at HazZzMat, but we always endeavor to cite our sources, by links when we can find 'em. It's the right thing to do. As a writer, one sometimes regrets a competitor's brilliant turn of phrase, and there's always a fleeting temptation to appropriate it for one's own if one thinks he or she can get away with it.

Fact is, though, that this is morally and ethically wrong.

What we may be dealing with at this point in our writerly history is not only the wholesale trashing of ethical systems that have served us in good stead for many years. It is, worse, the replacement of these systems with a sort of "Looking Out for Number One" flavor of post-1960s situation ethics. (Yeah, and both of these are other people's terms, BTW, references to which I don't currently have.)

In yesterday's competitive writerly world, you'd try to beat the other guy by doing something better. More and more, it seems, in the writerly world of the 21st century, you now try to whack your fellow writers, in extremis, by swiping really good prose chunks from other writers who might not catch you at it. (You hope.) Perhaps this itself, in turn, is the product of a university environment where A-earning term papers are casually bought and sold so that lazy students can spend most of their time drinking beer while still copping a respectable B or C.

Plagiarism in writing. Steroids in athletics. Serial monogamy from Hollywood to Capitol Hill. Winning and fame have become everything, whereas how you achieve them seems to be less and less of an issue all around. So it's not surprising that in journalism, in addition to the by-now notorious cases of Jayson Blair at the NYTimes and Janet Cooke at the Washington Post, we should start seeing this behavior occurring on the right side of the aisle. Et tu, Brute? (William Shakespeare: Julius Caesar.)

Look, writers. Why don't you just cite the damned references, at least in passing? It's not a career killer. And furthermore, it may help re-introduce the old notion of graciousness back into the writerly world. Almost any piece written today, in all honesty, is built on the ancestry of hundreds of thousands of writers and chroniclers who've gone before. How is giving such sources a bit of credit going to damage your own brilliant career? Or if that concept doesn't move you, remember, too: there's now a legion of bloggers out in cyberspace that's ready to pounce on any prose transgression if you happen to piss them off enough.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Washington Post Boots Domenech

Well, goodness, that didn't take long. Since we ran our post on this topic this morning, the WaPo's new conservative blogger has, er, resigned. Charges from the left have been plagiarism, and it's interesting that it should have only taken about 24-48 hours for the Post eds to react. We have not yet investigated on our own to determine whether the plagiarism charges are really valid or not, but we can't help but think if this blogger had been a leftie, more folks might've papered this over for him, if indeed the charges are true.

Bottom line: we oppose plagiarism, and endeavor to source all our posts here at HazZzMat. After all, we figure we're quite brilliant enough without lifting other people's stuff. That having been said, it doesn't take much to bring a rightie down as opposed to a leftie.

The lesson in all this, as it is for anyone on the right and for any conservative Republican: Unless you have and maintain the conduct of a saint, you WILL be slandered, smeared, and, if possible, toppled.

We'll look into all the flak on this, much of which is cited at Instapundit (including conservative critiques), and weigh back in when we feel we can do so with some conviction.

Saddam Tapes and Bureaucratic Inertia

SADDAM'S ULTRA-LOYAL Fedayeen martyrs were ordered to carry out bombings and assassinations in London, Iran, and "self ruled areas" of Iraq in May 1999, according to a newly released Iraqi intelligence document. One such operation, codenamed "Tamooz Mubarak" or "Blessed July," was apparently intended to hunt down Iraqi dissidents and bomb other unspecified locations....'Blessed July,' Thomas Joscelyn, Daily Standard, 3/24/2006

What was the new Director of National Intelligence thinking in not releasing these documents a year ago? Is bureaucratic inertia that bad? One is reminded of the last scene in an Indiana Jones movie, when the rediscovered Ark of the Covenant, dutifully crated, is stored with half a million other similar crates. That was just a movie, of course. But this wasn't. Instead it was material significant in a struggle that is literally about the life and future of the West. One hopes that Director Negroponte isn't inadvertently sitting on a tape where Saddam and Osama are toasting each other about 9/11. Plots hatch; buried intelligence doesn't.


St. Paul Boots the Easter Bunny

St. Paul, Minnesota, that is:
So long, Easter Bunny.

A toy rabbit decorating the entrance of the St. Paul City Council offices went hop-hop-hoppin' on down the bunny trail Wednesday after the city's human rights director said non-Christians might be offended by it.

The decorations — including the stuffed rabbit, Easter eggs and a handcrafted sign saying "Happy Easter," but nothing depicting the biblical account of Christ's death and resurrection — were put up this week in the office of the City Council by a council secretary.

It was not the first holiday decoration ever to go up in the building, but City Hall observers believe it is the first one to come down out of concerns for religious sensitivity.

"I sent an e-mail that Easter is viewed as a Christian holiday and advised that it be taken down," said Tyrone Terrill, the city's human rights director. "It wasn't a big deal."
Earth to Tyrone Terrill: After an exhaustive, scholarly reading of the New Testament and every one of the Gnostic Gospels, Wonker has decisively concluded that the Easter Bunny is not mentioned anywhere in these documents.

Political Correctness is now plumbing the absolute depths of stupidity, rooting our Christianity where it does not even exist. Really exposes the lefties' Gramscian Game Plan, don't it? How long are Minnesotans going to go along with this kind of crap? Don't answer that, okey dokey.

New Research Standards at Harvard Kennedy School?

A prominent Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz, is alleging that the authors of a Harvard Kennedy School paper about the "Israel lobby," one of which is the Kennedy School's academic dean, culled sections of the paper from neo-Nazi and other anti-Israel hate Web sites...Meghan Clyne, The NY Sun

While MSM is out there looking for reasons to excuse the Dean of the Harvard Kennedy School's co-authoring an anti-Semitic screed (described as a "working paper"), at least the NY Sun is acting like a newspaper. And what a story!

Background for the story doesn't have to include the obvious, but we'll put in a little here. A scandal in higher education these days is the use of the Web as a substitute for vetted research; professors complain all the time about students doing this. Apparently, the Dean of Harvard Kennedy School and his co-conspirator Stephen Walt, are not as troubled about the vagaries of Web "research" as one might have guessed from the anguished cries of despair one hears and reads from professors. Hey, as long as the story supports your prejudice, go ahead and quote it!


Trusting the Russian Bear, Beware

another critical point about what Saddam did in the days leading up to Iraqi Freedom. Intelligence information takes on its greatest value when it's acted upon, leading to changes in governmental policies or military force deployments. Saddam did nothing with the information provided by the Russians, believing that his friends in Moscow, Beijing, Paris (and elsewhere) would bail him out in the UNSC, and prevent a U.S.-led invasion.

It's also worth noting that this wasn't the first time Saddam dismissed information on U.S. military plans. In early 1991, the Russians offered a similar pitch, detailing American preparations for Desert Storm. Saddam also ignored that data, convinced that the U.S. lacked the will to actually liberate Kuwait, and crush his military forces. In both cases, Saddam ignored intelligence information, at his own peril...'Spook 86' on formerspook blog.

Spook 86 isn't all the convinced that the Russian Ambassador did anything but pass on Russian intelligence on American troop movements, which is normal spooky business. The story is that the Russians aren't to be trusted which one would think would have been old news after the 1991 war. Iraq was a member of the Warsaw Pact; collective and mutual defense was a fundamental part of that organization. The Russians not only left town in 1991; the Soviet system collapsed and the hammer and sickle came down.

Spook 86 is a very smart guy. His blog suggests that his sign is a pseudonym for a good reason, that he used to work in one of the agencies now subsumed under the Director of National Intelligence. Check Spook 86 out; he's a little too sharp and detailed in his writing for someone wholly on the outside.


Return of the Russian Bear?

The first document (CMPC-2003-001950) is a handwritten account of a meeting with the Russian ambassador that details his description of the composition, size, location and type of U.S. military forces arrayed in the Gulf and Jordan....ABC News: 'US War Plan Leaked to Iraqis by Russian Ambassador.'

This is not a surprise, of course. If you remember the war, there was a huge incident with a pair of Russian generals stopped by American forces in a shootout as Baghdad was about to fall. The story here is not about perfidious Russians as much as it is an astounding fact, that MSM is starting to tell true stories about the war. This one even has the nerve to relate its facts to another, equally devastating story.

(Editor's Note: The Russian ambassador in March 2003 was Vladimir Teterenko. Teterenko appears in documents released by the Volker Commission, which investigated the Oil for Food scandal, as receiving allocations of 3 million barrels of oil ...ABC News: 'US War Plan Leaked to Iraqis by Russian Ambassador.'

Will wonders never cease? MSM telling actual stories instead of making them up? What would happen if they did this at the NY Times>?


Danger, Will Robinson! Conservatives Invade the Washington Post!

Howard Kurtz reports on a big brouhaha at the Washington Post. Gosh, they hired a conservative blogger for their online edition and look what happened:
The Washington Post Co.'s Web operation has touched off an online furor by hiring as a blogger a 24-year-old former Bush administration aide who co-founded a conservative site and recently referred to Coretta Scott King as a "communist."

Ben Domenech, an editor at the conservative Regnery Publishing, said he regrets the King reference, which he insists was tongue-in-cheek, and that the reaction to his new "Red America" blog is "a little meaner" than he expected.

Conservative blogger Ben Domenech called the late civil rights activist Coretta Scott King "a communist," a remark he later regretted making.

More than 1,000 people and a Democratic member of Congress have sent the newspaper letters of complaint. The decision to hire Domenech was made by, an Arlington-based division that works with the newspaper but is editorially independent.
Of course later we find that this "online furor" has been orchestrated by the usual suspects:
Late yesterday, the liberal Web sites Daily Kos and Atrios posted examples of what appeared to be instances of plagiarism from Domenech's writing at the William & Mary student paper...

Liberal bloggers, some of whom have been criticizing The Post since its editorial page backed the war in Iraq, have expressed varying degrees of outrage over Domenech's hiring. Many say there is a false equivalence in hiring a Republican political activist to balance Post bloggers, such Froomkin, who are viewed as left-leaning but have journalistic backgrounds.

Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo wrote that he is "embarrassed for The Post" and that the editors' explanation "doesn't cut it. If they want to make a blogger Crossfire with a firebreather on the left and on the right, they should do it. . . . But here they've just been played by bullies and played for fools.
"It's kind of funny reading this kind of blather from Kos and Marshall, both of whom are well-known for their online flamefests which constantly feature undocumented slanders of writers anywhere to the right of their own political belief systems—probably a good 80% of known writers, even liberals. And love the remark on Froomkin, who's "left-leaning" but okay because he has a "journalistic background." Is that sort of like Dan Rather's and Mary Mapes' "fake but accurate?"

Domenech's main problem is that he carries political baggage as "one of the founders of," which has been antagonizing the Kos Kids and their brownshirted bretheren for quite some time now. So looks like it's payback time, eh?

Most telling in this article, however, is its concluding graf:
John Amato of Crooks and Liars wrote that The Post "continues to become more and more a mouthpiece for the GOP by hiring a right-wing blogger."
Once again, it's easy to detect the Stalinist reflex of the Gramscians, who, like termites, have so infested journalism that the edifice itself is getting close to collapse. The notion of the virtually socialist Washington Post getting even close to being "a mouthpiece for the GOP" is laughable. Taken as a group, 90-95% of the editors and writers at this paper probably never met a Republican they liked, except maybe John McCain.

But just as Communist house organ Pravda was (and may once be again) carefully edited to parrot the party line back in the good old days of the Soviet Union, so too, according to today's American Marxists and Stalinists, must papers like the Post and the NYTimes hew to the party line as well, 100% of the time. Anything less is deviation from the party orthodoxy. Following this line of reasoning, the Post's editors should all be purged for deviating from this orthodoxy.

More likely, the pressure will continue instead to purge Domenech. It's funny how lefties like Amato will claim that the hard left reportage and editorial opinion common in today's MSM is "unbiased," while at the same time suppressing any attempt to broaden coverage in the opinion arena. Increasingly, American readers are rejecting this kind of intellectual bankruptcy which is why newspapers, including the Post, are experiencing plummeting sales figures. They are no longer trusted as unbiased carriers of the news.

We'll watch this situation with some care. It will be interesting to see how long the left's smear campaign against Domenech will continue. And if the Post's editors will bow to the onslaught. The Post has actually made a good business situation that will drive readers to their website, as they will soon see. With their declining circulation numbers, it will be intriguing to watch the battle between the business people and the ideologues as this little battle plays out.

Meanwhile, if Domenech survives, we may just put him in our list of "good guys" to the left, which would be a first for a Postie.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Newspapers: Do You Hear That Distant Flushing Commode?

In today's TCS Daily (the former Tech Central Station), Glenn Reynolds has a timely article on the slo-mo demise of the American newspapers, slowly being killed by sloppiness and reflexive leftism that increasingly fools no one. He cites commentary from a source at ABC:
These certainly look like dark days for the newspaper industry generally. ABC's Michael Malone writes:

It was just a year ago that I predicted -- to considerable consternation and censure from the press -- that most major newspapers would be dead or dying by the end of this decade. Apparently, I was being conservative.

As I look around California, for example, I see the San Francisco Chronicle turning into the Daily Worker for baby boomers, the Los Angeles Times selecting stories based on political considerations, and now, the only real newspaper of any size left, the Mercury News, apparently orphaned.
Read the rest here.

NYTimes Red-faced Again

Our headline is rather presumptive, of course, because it presupposes that NYTimes editors have some sense of shame, which obviously they do not.

At any rate, PowerLine reports today that the Times' crack reporters have been caught altering history yet again. They quote from the paper itself:
An article in The Metro Section on March 8 profiled Donna Fenton, identifying her as a 37-year-old victim of Hurricane Katrina who had fled Biloxi, Miss., and who was frustrated in efforts to get federal aid as she and her children remained as emergency residents of a hotel in Queens.

Yesterday, the New York police arrested Ms. Fenton, charging her with several counts of welfare fraud and grand larceny. Prosecutors in Brooklyn say she was not a Katrina victim, never lived in Biloxi and had improperly received thousands of dollars in government aid. Ms. Fenton has pleaded not guilty.

For its profile, The Times did not conduct adequate interviews or public record checks to verify Ms. Fenton's account, including her claim that she had lived in Biloxi. Such checks would have uncovered a fraud conviction and raised serious questions about the truthfulness of her account.

An article about her arrest and the findings from additional reporting about her claims appears today on Page B1.
PowerLine concludes that:
A lot of mainstream reporters seem to believe that if a story fits with their preconceived opinions, there is no need to check the facts.
Well, yes, because they are, after all, Known Facts™ and therefore don't need second sourcing. Except that they do. Reporting over the past ten years has gotten sloppier and sloppier precisely because fact-checking has been transformed from an editorial obsession into a relativistic activity. If it's anything pro-left, it doesn't get fact checked because it must be true. Ditto with anything that's anti-right, particularly if it will cost Bush another point in the polls. But if it's pro-right, pro-Bush, pro-Iraq War, they'll check the "facts" until they find at least one person who disagrees with those facts, and then they'll run with that opinion.

Kinda reminds you of the old Pravda, don't it?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Conservative Are Whiners. Who Knew?

This scare pull-quote from today's Toronto Star:
Whiny children, claims a new study, tend to grow up rigid and traditional. Future liberals, on the other hand ...
Of course, the "study" was undertaken by a University of California-Berkeley professor who was "studying" a batch of Berkeley pre-schoolers over a protracted period of time. Hard to get an objective study done in a universe whose members all live within a "nuclear-free zone." But what the hell...

The Star story is actually fairly even-handed, and includes defenses of the study, as well as a strong rebuttal from another professor:
"I found [the study] to be biased, shoddy work, poor science at best," he said... He thinks insecure, defensive, rigid people can as easily gravitate to left-wing ideologies as right-wing ones. He suspects that in Communist China, those kinds of people would likely become fervid party members.

It's amazing the number of "studies" that have come out since the Y2K elections that attempt, via shoddy research, questionable sampling, dubious methodology, etc., to "prove" that conservatives are really rotten, subnormal buffoons whose ideas, such as they are, are beneath contempt and therefore not worthy of even passing consideration. Such "studies" are, in fact, Gramscian attempts (often surprisingly successful) to politicize the last bastion of objective study in the American university system—the sciences.

For the hard left, science is the last frontier. Having already wrecked literary culture by theorizing it to death; having destroyed classical music by institutionalizing atonalism as the only acceptable means of expression; having trivialized art by obliterating any objective standards of excellence; and having utterly destroyed the vitality of American drama by workshopping and propagandizing it to death, our Marxist destructors are determined to obliterate the last academic disciplines worthy of respect by trivializing each field with snitty studies whose lack of high seriousness can only transform the sciences, like the arts, into objects of ridicule.

And how about "global warming" as interpreted by internationally renowned Inuit experts in today's above-the-fold piece in the Washington Post? Don't get me started...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Daily Bush-Bashing at the Washington Post

By all accounts (at least the fair and balanced ones) President Bush gave an eloquent defense of his international policy decisions yesterday in Cleveland, Ohio. PowerLine thinks so:
The full text of the excellent speech on Iraq President Bush gave in Cleveland yesterday is available here. The centerpiece of the speech was an extended narrative of events in Tal Afar (or Tall 'Afar), which coalition forces recently liberated from the grip of al Qaeda. President Bush quoted briefly from the inspiring letter of thanks that the Mayor of Tal Afar wrote to the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment. We wrote about the liberation of Tal Afar and quoted the Mayor's letter in full here. I think the blogosphere deserves some credit for spreading the word about this important story.
Yes, indeed, the blogosphere does deserve credit. But count on the Washington Post to start undermining the story immediately:
CLEVELAND, March 20 -- As President Bush tells the tale, the battle for Tall Afar offers a case study in how U.S. and Iraqi forces working together can root out insurgents and restore stability. "The example of Tall Afar," he told an audience here Monday, "gives me confidence in our strategy."

Reports from the streets of Tall Afar, half a world away, offer a more complex story. U.S. forces last fall did drive out radicals who had brutalized the mid-size city near the Syrian border. But lately, residents say, the city has taken another dark turn. "The armed men are fewer," Nassir Sebti, 42, an air-conditioning mechanic, told a Washington Post interviewer Monday, "but the assassinations between Sunni and Shiites have increased."
You know, you always wonder about general nouns such as the one that begins the second graf above, "Reports." In this particular paragraph, the source is a "Washington Post interviewer." But who is this "interviewer?" A reporter? A Sunni Iraqi who hates the U.S. and has an agenda? A Spanish Commie stringing for the Post? (We're told at the end that this individual is a Post "employee" which is no more enlightening, as it's not uncommon to have local stringers in foreign countries whose objectivity is not verifiable.) It's just like the other articles that start with an assertion by the President and immediately follow by asserting: "But critics say..." Who the hell are these critics? Often, we're not told. But we're given the impression, correct or not, that their numbers are legion.

Reporter Peter Baker continues with the studied skepticism:
If Americans knew about the success stories, the White House maintains, they would understand Bush's confidence of victory.

Yet even the success stories seem to come with asterisks. The administration hailed the election of a new democratic parliament last year, but the new body has so far proved incapable of forming a government for more than three months.

Yet, yet, but, but. Just keep undercutting away. Baker continues:
All this has taken its toll on Bush's credibility, Republican strategists say, making it hard for him to make people see what he sees in Iraq.
Well, yeah! When all people ever read, when all they ever see on TV is piece after piece, story after story whose sole purpose is to recreate the Vietnam "quagmire" in the Iraqi sands, of course this has taken its toll on Bush's credibility. If Baker and his pals had people beating on them 24/7 with this same kind of relentless ferocity, they'd be in the same boat.

Baker at least gives Bush the last word in this article, after undercutting him again. But the intentional damage is already done, so he can afford to appear gracious. Yet that apparent graciousness, like the alleged objectivity of this piece, is only a Gramscian ruse. The Post's alternative reality has already supplanted the truth in the reader's mind. Propaganda doesn't have to be shrill to be effective.

Palestinians Fleeing Iraq. Wonder Why?

We're a day late on this, due to Blogger's difficulties yesterday, but check out this fascinating reportage from the NYTimes:
BAGHDAD, Iraq, March 20 — More than 100 Palestinians fleeing violence in Baghdad and seeking refuge in Jordan have been denied entry by Jordanian border officials for their failure to have proper entry permits, a spokesman for the Jordanian government said today.
Ooh, those terrible Jordanians. But wait, there's more:
In recent weeks, as Iraq has experienced a surge in sectarian violence, Palestinians have increasingly become the targets of Shiite militias, both because they are Sunni Arabs and because they enjoyed certain privileges under Saddam Hussein that provoked animosity among some Shiites. Many Palestinians were members of the Baath Party, and Mr. Hussein granted them free schooling and free housing, among other favors.

Residents of Baladiat, an eastern Baghdad neighborhood where Palestinians are concentrated, say that dozens of people have been kidnapped in recent weeks and that many have turned up dead in the morgue. The residents have accused Shiite militias operating in the area, which is located adjacent to Sadr City, the vast Shiite slum.
Hmmm. Could some of these dead Palestinians have been numbered among the vast "Civil War" casualties the media loves to crow about? Ah, more than likely, their plight is Israel's fault. Time to get fisking:

Most of the Palestinians who were stopped at the border over the weekend were residents of a housing complex that the Baath Party created for Palestinians who
fled to Iraq following the creation of Israel in 1948. They had arrived at the border crossing on Sunday in two buses, government officials and Baladiat residents said, and were permitted to pass through the Iraqi checkpoint, but they were turned back on the Jordanian side of a no-man's land.
Of course, we have no details about whether any of these people or their descendents are actually FROM the 1948 diaspora. Maybe Al Qaeda just recruited them last month. But what the heck, let's let the non-sequitur go unchallenged. It was, after all, written by a NYTimes reporter. Who are we to quarrel with this logical lapse when dealing with our intellectual superiors? But let's get back to our, er, story:
The issue unfolded against a backdrop of more violence around Iraq.

The Iraqi police found nine bodies in Baghdad today, each handcuffed and blindfolded with their hands bound and gunshots to the head, in the latest indication that new sectarian vengeance appeared to be sweeping the capital.

The bodies were found in six different locations and brought to more than 210 the number of execution-style victims that have been dumped and found in the streets and fetid swales of the capital in the past two weeks alone.

"Fetid swales?" Guess the swells at the NYT are trying to stretch out the vocabs of the unwashed bit, eh? Pulitzer Prize, anyone? For creative writing? Note also the "more violence" meme, relentless over the last few weeks as lefty journos, sensing figurative Republican blood flowing in the midst of actual Middle Eastern blood, continue to hammer relentlessly at anything that might further sink Bush's poll results, which themselves are largely being caused by advocacy push-polling. But we digress:

While corpses have periodically turned up in the city since the invasion, the frequency of such reports has leaped since the bombing of a leading Shiite shrine in the city of Samarra, north of Baghdad, last month. That attack provoked an eruption of reprisal attacks in the days after, mostly by Shiite militias in eastern Baghdad against Sunni Arabs and their mosques, leaving hundreds dead.

The authorities have not declared a motive for most of the slayings since then, but many follow a pattern usually associated with sectarian reprisal killings, with the victims, many of them Sunni Arab, pulled from their homes by gunmen for no explicit reason and hauled away to their death.
Aren't Palestinians generally Sunni Arabs? And if so, is that largely who's getting whacked here? And if so, are they getting "hauled away" for no reason? Except maybe they had served as Saddam's enforcers? Or helped to blow up the Shiite mosque in Samarra, where they had an appointment with the devil? Wonder why they're trying to "get out" of Iraq? Maybe they've been part of Al Qaeda and/or the "insurgency," eh? A reporter can't speculate, of course (though they always do if they think it will hurt Bush). But you'd think the NYTimes might just be a tad curious about why all these innocent Palestinians are getting offed, dontja think?

Moving right along, no NYTimes story on Iraq is complete without either some off-topic interlude of Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld bashing or a snide aside or two about our always-willing-to-be-brutal military. This time, it's the military's turn, even though, of course, the patriotic press supports them. So let's take a brief detour and describe how Americans might be killing civilians:
American troops are frequently accused of killing civilians, although most of the allegations are later proven to be untrue.
Oh, right, it's not generally true, but let's report it anyway. Wonk has never yet seen or read of a media type who has been honest enough to report that ALL TERRORISTS ARE "CIVILIANS." They are not part of any hostile foreign army. They're just hostile. Which is why, this time around, we can't possibly declare war in a legal sense, because wars are declared against states or governments.

Clever, eh? So if the U.S. is, on occasion, whacking "civilians," just what political philosophy might those "civilians" represent? Of course, for a lefty media used to regularly distorting the language for the purpose of, say, portraying the Noam Chomskys of the world as "patriots" and supporters of "free speech," distinctions like this one are easily lost as they are quite inconvenient to their 24/7 anti-U.S., anti-ChimpyBushMcHitler meme. By failing to distinguish potential or actual terrorist "civilians" from real ones, the press, trapped in a 1968 time-warp, has continually striven to subtly undermine the military effort by accusing our soldiers, implicitly, of atrocities that in fact may be, and probably mostly are, legitimate attacks on enemy forces.

Media dishonesty and propaganda in this clash of civilizations has really gotten beyond the pale. For every agenda journalist disguising his or her propaganda as a "story," there are probably two or three who actually don't have a clue while writing in that style anyway. So steeped are they in the Marxist mythos they may actually think that the undisguised contempt flowing from their metaphorical pens is unbiased journalism.

This "story" isn't actually the worst we've seen, but it does exhibit the typical lack of MSM journalistic curiosity with regard to "Sunnis," "civilians," and so forth. Used to having won the battle of language in the late 1960s, they and their younger successors fail to recognize when the same propaganda tricks are actually being pulled by someone else like the "insurgents."

The media is clearly skeptical of only one side: ours.

Hat Tip to the Salt Lake Tribune: "Peace" Protests Fizzle

Maybe they like just conservatives out there in Utah. Whatever the case, though, it's getting increasingly irritating to this blogger, who lives here in Washington, DC, that us political junkies here are denied access to a lot of really meaningful news.

No such problem, apparently, in Salt Lake City, which runs an informative study on the utter failure of this weekend's essentially anti-Bush protests across the nation. Since they failed, the MSM didn't bother to tell you much, if anything about them. But the truth-tellers at the Salt Lake Tribune ponied up with the good news (The paper actually cites one of their reporters, the AP, and the NYTimes as sources, but we never saw anything like this in the print media. Maybe it was wire only.):
By the time the war protesters began their march Saturday morning in Salt Lake City, only about 50 people had gathered. Their numbers had swelled to about 200 by noon - and that was with a little high-tech help from a marcher who text-messaged friends to join him.
The protesters, according to the article, were "organized" by the "People for Peace and Justice of Utah." There's your first clue as to where these patriots are coming from. It's a lead-pipe cinch that anytime you see the word "Peace" in an organization, or at least 98% of the time, it's being funded by some kind of Marxist cell.

More encouraging, turnout was pitiful in non-Navy blue NYC:
In Times Square, about 1,000 anti-war protesters rallied outside a military recruiting station, demanding that troops be withdrawn from Iraq.
The always reliable Euro-Commies did a bit better, but probably didn't invite anyone from the Guinness Book of World Records to attend:
Police in London said 15,000 people joined a march from Parliament and Big Ben to a rally in Trafalgar Square. The anniversary last year attracted 45,000 protesters in the city.
But the Muslims in Turkey can do better, right? Right?
In Turkey, where opposition to the war cuts across all political stripes, about 3,000 protesters gathered in Istanbul, police said. ''Murderer USA,'' read a sign in Taksim Square.

Touching, no? But best of all was the truly impressive turn out in the Socialist People's Republic of the Left Bank:
One of the biggest protests was in San Francisco, for decades a hub of anti-war sentiment. Police there estimated the crowd gathered outside City Hall at about 6,000 people. Many chanted slogans opposing Bush, and most appeared to hail from a distinctly grayer demographic than that of other protest events.
Yep, there's the key, a grayer demographic. Marxist Boomer dead-enders trying to relive the Glorious Revolution of 1968. But today's kids apparently see it differently:
There are not enough young people here,'' said Paul Perchonock, 61, a physician. ''They don't see themselves as having a stake.''
Awwww. Glad Paul isn't my physician. Maybe he should heal himself of a lifetime of prejudices. The "young people" have a stake, all right. A stake in not getting beheaded or wearing burqas. But Paul doesn't have a clue. It's all about Bush, obviously, which is what all this "anti-war" stuff is all about anyway. If the U.S. should actually succeed in this and related endeavors, there won't be anymore fact time for the usual treasonistas.

But it gets even better:
In Washington, a relatively small crowd of about 300 gathered at the Naval Observatory, where Vice President Dick Cheney lives, and marched to Dupont Circle. Debbie Boch, 52, a restaurant manager from Denver, said she and two friends bought plane tickets to Washington two months ago, before the demonstration had been planned. It was the fifth protest march she had attended since the war began, she said, and among the smallest.

''It's very disappointing, especially in Washington, D.C.,'' she said. ''You think this is the place where people come to make things happen. I'm just not sure why there aren't more people here today.''

Do we hear a violin out there playing "Hearts and Flowers" anyone? People ARE making things happen, Deb. You just don't have a clue.

Back in Salt Lake City, Amerikkka's intellectual elite tried to educate the public and get them out of their collective cocoon of abysmal ignorance:
Throughout the morning, a group of eight women dressed in pink-and-black outfits occasionally broke out in chants. "Resist, resist, raise up your fist," shouted Raphael Cordray of Salt Lake, one of the "Pom Poms Not Bomb Bombs" cheerleaders. "Show 'em that you're pissed. Resist, resist, fight the capitalists."
Of course, the last two sentences say it all. Use a vulgarity to show how intelligent you are. And then let everyone know that you're Marxists. Gee, the Old Left used to try at least to conceal their proclivities from the Feds. These moonbats don't even have enough polish to lie about their real affiliation.

Meanwhile, the clueless MSM continues to spin the news. Check our next story.

Blogger Back Up?

Looks like it. We'll attempt to put up a post we tried to foist on an unexpecting public yesterday. Maybe this whole outage thing was a left-wing conspiracy. We'll report. You decide!


Monday, March 20, 2006

Blogger Server Issues

Blogger has apparently been plagued with server issues since Saturday, making it tough for some blogs, like this one, to post. Functionality seems to be coming back, although we find it easier, at the moment, to make connections via Firefox rather than Explorer. Some Blogger-hosted sites, like our friends at Iraq the Model, seem tough to access right now. But Blogger seems to be getting a grip, and we hope outages will shortly come to an end. Meanwhile, we'll post as we're able.


Thursday, March 16, 2006

More On Justice Ginsburg's Cheap Shots

Power Line (which is authored by a trio of attorneys, BTW), has further comments on the Ginsburg flap here and here. The latter piece is quite detailed. We'd forgotten to mention in our own post yesterday that Justice Ginsburg used to do work for the ACLU, founded as a Communist Front organization many years ago and still essentially serving that function as it works tirelessly to remove religion from the public forum and destroy public legal consensus. The Justice's outside activities, including her endorsing the extensive use of foreign jurisprudence in establishing readings of the American Constitution, would appear to be consistent with these aims.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

AP Media Bias Shows Again

Well, now here's the deal: The AP (or maybe—more on this later)reports that Supreme Court Justices Ruth Ginsburg and Sandra O'Connor have received death threats due to Republican extremist provocations! First up:
Conservative commentator Ann Coulter joked earlier this year that Justice John Paul Stevens should be poisoned. Over the past few months O'Connor has complained that criticism, mainly by Republicans, has threatened judicial independence to deal with difficult issues like gay marriage.
My, oh, my. And the pro-death lobby doesn't threaten judicial independence? But wait, there's more:
Ginsburg said the Web threat was apparently prompted by legislation in Congress, filed by Republicans, that would bar judges from relying on foreign laws or court decisions.

"It is disquieting that they have attracted sizable support. And one not-so-small concern _ they fuel the irrational fringe," she said in a speech posted online by the court earlier this month and first reported Wednesday by

According to Ginsburg, someone in a Web site chat room wrote: "Okay commandoes, here is your first patriotic assignment ... an easy one. Supreme Court Justices Ginsburg and O'Connor have publicly stated that they use (foreign) laws and rulings to decide how to rule on American cases. This is a huge threat to our Republic and Constitutional freedom. ... If you are what you say you are, and NOT armchair patriots, then those two justices will not live another week."
Very interesting. The article goes on to describe Justice Ginsburg's love for international law:

Justices, in some of their most hotly contested rulings, have looked overseas. Last year, for example, justices barred the executions of juvenile killers on a 5-4 vote. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said then that "it is proper that we acknowledge the overwhelming weight of international opinion against the juvenile death penalty."

In an angry dissent to that decision, Justice Antonin Scalia said capital punishment policy should be set by states, not "the subjective views of five members of this court and like-minded foreigners."

Ginsburg said, "Critics in Congress and in the media misperceive how and why U.S. courts refer to foreign and international court decisions." She said those decisions are used for guidance only.
Wrong answer, Justice G. Leftists in the judiciary themselves misperceive "international law" (usually socialist international law) as superior to US jurisprudence which contains enough of its own precedents to more than suffice in any context. But if a Justice like the wobbly Kennedy can't find his point of view here, he's obviously more than happy to find support overseas, indulging in the usual fallacy that all other countries are always right, apparently, particularly if they're Euro-socialists.

Do we support death threats against Justices like Ginsburg or O'Connor? Of course not. But the main reason we posted this is not to air the erroneous reasoning of leftist judges or to quarrel with the hyperbole of Ann Coulter.

Basically what we have here is another non-story by the lefty media that puts a total distortion field around reality. In the first place, I flat out guarantee you that ALL Supreme Court Justices get death threats. I also guarantee you that the conservative Justices get their death threats from the moonbats who flutter about the likes of the Soros-funded Daily Kos where vile comments on and threats to conservatives are the average daily fare.

The AP story fails to pursue these threads, thus creating the erroneous implications that left wing Justices are always correct and are wrongly persecuted; and that all death threats to sitting leftist judges come from the right. And that all people on the right, including Justice Scalia, are nuts and, above all, "angry." Now, the reporter doesn't flat out say this, but the implication is purposely left. The implication is further bolstered by the addition of allegedly conservative Justice O'Connor to the stew, showing just how evil these righties are.

The citation of Scalia above is particularly telling, alleging an "angry" dissent and quoting a single line. But let's provide a little more context to Scalia's remarks by citing more, as in this paragraph from a different writer addressing the same issue:
Citing criticisms of the practice by Justice Antonin Scalia and 7th Circuit appeals Judge Richard Posner, Ginsburg cautioned that “Foreign opinions are not authoritative; they set no binding precedent for the U.S. judge. But they can add to the store of knowledge relevant to the solution of trying questions. Yes, we should approach foreign legal materials with sensitivity to our differences, deficiencies, and imperfect understanding, but imperfection, I believe, should not lead us to abandon the effort to learn what we can from the experience and good thinking foreign sources may convey.”
Heavens, now, what's "angry" about this. "Angry" is the AP reporter's editorial comment, not a fact, something journalists aren't supposed to do unless they're writing opinions pieces. (We'll provide you with the mystery source of this paragraph below.)

Fact is, the story is at best a half truth and is again merely an attempt to smear Republicans by tarring them with the irrational acts of a few, something the lefties will never allow you to do to them without screaming bloody murder, accusing you of McCarthyite tactics, and calling the ACLU.

An interesting postscript: Reason we listed both sources above is that it looks, at times, like the AP reporter may have plagiarized the more thorough LegalTimes story. Check it out for yourself. (Our snips are from the AP story, save for the mystery quote.) Bits of evidence abound, including one case where precisely the same ellipsis is employed in a quotation.

This kind of laziness and casual borrowing is not uncommon in today's media. But it also leads to misleading reportage when juicy pieces are taken out of context and used to paint the smear and hit pieces so favored by the advocacy media, particularly by the lesser known reporters laboring for the AP and Reuters. You'll note that the story, while scarcely flattering to crazies on the right, is also far more fair and balanced, providing responses from Justice Scalia on the international law flap along with plenty of context for the story. And the story is also where we took the more balanced view on Scalia's opinion that we provided in the mystery quote above.

Like the phony Iran "report" we punched out in this morning's post, it's precisely this savage onslaught of hit pieces, like this one from the AP, that has us losing the war in Iraq when we're winning it, losing friends across the world when we're starting to gain great new ones like India, and so forth ad infinitum. The Gramscian left, particularly those working for the MSM, labor 24/7 to create a false reality that is uniformly damaging to United States interests and above all, reliably slanderous and invariably false or misleading when referencing President Bush or Republicans. Then, by borrowing each false meme, passing it on, borrowing it again, trumpeting it, and amplifying it, the leftist MSM spreads the false reality so extensively that, within days, it magically becomes the truth.

But they forgot about HazZzmat.

Freedom of Speech at the Daily Illini

An editor at the college newspaper The Daily Illini was sacked for publishing the Danish cartoons of Mohammed that stirred up paid jihadist thugs around the world—months after they were published and when the Iranians viewed such demonstrations as politically expedient, of course.

But wait! The editor wasn't really fired for publishing the cartoons:
At the time, Daily Illini publishers said the action was taken against [Acton H.] Gorton not for publishing the cartoons, but for failing to discuss it with others in the newsroom first.
So, what we have here is merely a failure to communicate. Note this careful dodge, at which academics are the true masters. They did, in fact, fire Gorton for publishing the cartoons. But they will never say so. They will employ another legalistic reason for having done so, using it as a smoke screen for their real reason, which is censhorship of someone who had the timerity to violate the journalistic tenets of the Gramscian academic left:
The Illini Media Co. board of directors, which comprises students and faculty, voted unanimously to fire the editor after a review "found that Gorton violated Daily Illini policies about thoughtful discussion of and preparation for the publication of inflammatory material," according to a statement.
Now we all know how upset these people would have been had Gorton run an anti-Bush cartoon, a hate-Israel screed, or a photo of Piss Christ. That's right, he'd have been nominated for a college journalism prize for "hard-hitting reporting." No "thoughtful discussion" would have been needed. No regard for the taboos and sensitivities of others. These sanctimonious bastards are really quite good at maintaining their ruthless double-standards, aren't they?
Gorton has said he sought out advice from The Daily Illini's former editor-in-chief and others before deciding to run the cartoons. He has said that accusations he tried to hide his decision were wrong.

On Tuesday, he called his firing a blow against free speech on college campuses.
One of dozens of daily blows, we might add. Another (ex) editor adds a bit more:
The paper's opinions page editor, Chuck Prochaska, also was suspended for his role in publishing the cartoons. He declined to be reinstated, the board said.

Prochaska said he and Gorton moved quickly to publish the cartoons because they were newsworthy.

"We had a news story on our hands, with violence erupting about imagery, but you can't show it because of a taboo, because of a taboo that's not a Western taboo but a Muslim taboo?" he said. "That's a blow to journalism."
Prochaska's onto something, eh? We'd advise him not to attempt eventual employment at the MSM, however. He and Gorton have already been blackballed. That's because the MSM, like the Gramscian leftists running the Daily Illini, can't handle the truth.

Randoph UT Redux: Finkel Trashing Bush Again

Regular readers of HazZzmat (assuming we have them!) will recall a little flap the Wonk started by fisking Washington Post "reporter" David Finkel's trashing of little Randolph, UT for being stupid enough to whole-heartedly embrace George W. Bush and vote for him en masse in 2004.

We then jumped on a number of sites obtained via a piece in another website/blog that seemed to agree for the most part with Finkel's little essay in trash journalism:
Mercy buckets to ("Where political junkies get their daily fix") for noting our fisking yesterday of the Washington Post's extended insult directed at the good citizens of Randolph, UT. In its short mention of us in its Blog Watch section, the site accurately characterizes the

...Washington Post article that implies the citizens of Randolph, Utah, support Pres. Bush because they're ignorant, Dijon mustard-deprived hicks (see also here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here)...
Well, looks like Finkel is at it again, co-authoring with another Postie, Karl Vick, a Post piece that appeared yesterday, excoriating Bush's attempt to help out Iran's hapless supporters of democracy. This gist of this journalistic hit piece is that America's help for Iran's true patriots can only hurt them. They then cite as corroborating evidence a statement from one of these patriots. But read the statement carefully:
"We are under pressure here both from hard-liners in the judiciary and that stupid George Bush," human rights activist Emad Baghi said as he waited anxiously for his wife and daughter to emerge from interrogation last week. "When he says he wants to promote democracy in Iran, he gives money to these outside groups and we're in here suffering."
Yep, that's right. Vick and Finkel get a trash-Bush quote out of a real Iranian democrat which proves their point, right? Wrong answer! Baghi's wife and daughter are under "interrogation" by Iran's thug-ocracy. What the hell else is he going to say???

NRO's Michael Ledeen noted the same thing, observing further:
I love the moral equivalence: Bush wants to help them acquire freedom, while the regime (neatly reduced to a couple of bad guys in the Ministry of Injustice) crushes them. And Bush is the stupid one...

So, in keeping with the paradigm established by Walter Duranty — the man who never found Stalin the least bit objectionable — Vick/Finkel blame Bush for the ongoing savagery of the Islamic republic. No matter that pro-democracy dissidents have been arrested, tortured, and murdered for 27 long years in Iran; the actions of the regime are simply blamed on Bush. “You know what a vulnerable situation we have here in Iran,” Baghi says, “It was not a good thing to invite us to such a workshop.”
Duranty, BTW, was the "reporter" who knew about Stalin's mass murdering in the 1930s and covered up for him in the New York Times, eventually copping a Pulitzer for his brilliance! Duranty has become the gold standard, it seems, for contemporary reporters who pen propaganda while disguising it as journalism. (The Pulitzer People, infested by Gramscian Marxists, have never withdrawn the prize, interestingly enough. Complicity, anyone?)

Ledeen lets Vick and Finkel have it, so be sure to read his piece.

Meanwhile, for those bloggers who thought Wonker was off the wall when he interpreted Finkel's breezy Utah trashing of country conservatives for what it was, think again. Finkel is clearly establishing himself as a leftwing advocacy journalist whose articles cannot be trusted as factual. Like an increasing number of journos, he's following the NYTimes model of reporting which seems to be defined roughly along the lines of Pravda's pre-Berlin Wall "reporting."

Which is why I'm putting "reporting" in scare quotes. This is not reporting, folks. This is propaganda, pure and simple. AKA, trash journalism. Increasingly, you cannot believe a word that you read in the MSM when it involves George W. Bush or the Global War on Terror.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

NY Times Caught Fabricating Again

America's Former Paper of Record has been retailing another phony story, this time purporting to get up close and personal with the infamous hooded prisoner who was the most famous image of the Abu Ghraib scandal, The Story That Would Not Die (if you are a leftist). Well, it seems as if the Commies at, of all places, have discovered that, as usual, the Times reporters have no clue as to what they're talking about. The AP reports the NYT's usual, mealymouthed reply:
"We take questions about our reporting very seriously, and we will carefully investigate Salon's findings," Susan Chira, the Times' foreign editor, said in Tuesday's editions. "We attempted to verify the claims of Mr. Qaissi thoroughly. We spoke with representatives of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, who had interviewed Mr. Qaissi and believed him to be the man in the photographs."
Frankly, if the NYT took its reporting "seriously," it wouldn't be peddling out-and-out fabrications as news stories. Except that in the world of the hard left, I guess one has to assume that "fake but accurate" is good enough.

But as Little Green Footballs points out, note to whom the NYT turned for verification of its fake but accurate facts: Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International—two Marxist organizations that never met an anti-Bush lie they didn't love.

Says lgf:
Interesting. When the Times wants to check a story about Abu Ghraib, they don’t call anyone in the US government. They call Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, two of the most politicized left-wing NGOs in the world.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Copland in Utopia

Re: our previous post on one aspect of the culture wars. Should you doubt what we're talking about here, check out the Washington Times' take on a recent musico-political sleight of hand that occurred recently at a University of Maryland music festival. One event was dedicated, essentially, to blaming Joe McCarthy for derailing the beloved Copland of "Appalachian Spring" and sending him back to the modernism and atonalism that began and ended his career:
In the program's second half, faculty members reading from transcripts re-enacted Mr. Copland's evasive testimony at the McCarthy hearings. The skit's intention was clear: to illustrate how Aaron Copland, political innocent, had been unjustly persecuted by the great Satan of the left.

The truth is that Mr. Copland, like many in his circle, was an artful dodger, and his obvious non-answers prove it. We know now that he had been deeply involved with communist and popular-front organizations whose first allegiance was to Moscow -- something glossed over or trivialized by this presentation.
Read the rest here.

Like Pete Seeger, Peter Paul and Mary, Woody and Arlo Guthrie, and many, many others, Copland was up to his eyeballs in leftist politics, protestations of innocence notwithstanding. Attempts like this one to obscure that fact are part of an effort dating back to the origins of the Popular Front in 1935 and continuing today. Again, the idea is to wrap passive and active advocates of the destruction of America with the red, white, and blue of patriotism while concealing their true allegiance to a proposed world order of socialism.

One can recognize the originality and musicianship of such artists. Their musical talents are undeniable. But portraying them as American patriots was, is, and always will be an absolute falsehood.

Wretchard on Information Warfare

Belmont Club's Wretchard has some excellent observations on the information warfare that America is losing to the jihadists, courtesy of the MSM and the conservatives' own asinine lack of interest in how the culture wars are being lost—by us:
The underlying reason why America is doing so poorly in the field of "information warfare" against the Jihad is that its traditional organs of articulation -- the academy, media, Hollywood -- are largely hostile to the War on Terror itself. It's conceivable that an Iranian might flee persecution only to be taught at a US university that he ought to embrace it by the many academic departments whose point of view is exactly that. In a fundamental sense, the War on Terror is twinned to the greatest single issue dividing the Left and Right, which is whether the United States, as a nation, is legitimate or whether, as some would maintain, it is Amerika: an abomination whose demise must be hastened by any means necessary.
Wretchard hits the nail on the head in his last sentence, which is the skeleton key to how the left has dominated communication since they were beaten back—temporarily—by the McCarthy Hearings, against which they've been on jihad ever since.

Note carefully, from the McCarthy days to our own, how extreme leftists (and fellow travelers like John Kerry) always proclaim their patriotism and express outrage that conservatives should impugn this. What the average American simply doesn't know any more is that this is a classic Marxist-Leninist dodge. As Wretchard indicates to some extent in his final comment above, the hard left does indeed regard "Amerika" (or "Amerikkka" as they used to call us in 1968 et. al.), as an abomination and an aberration. What all leftists are actually "patriotic" about is a Marxist Utopia. Until the fall of the Berlin Wall, it was always assumed that the Marxist Utopia would be run from Moscow, and it was to Moscow (and today to virtual Moscow) that the left's "patriotism" was being directed. By craftily misusing this terminology, correctly relying on help from the average American's incredible ignorance of logic as well as linguistics, the left has created the impression over the years that its openly seditious and treasonous activities are well within the scope of the U.S. Constitution, which they are not.

This is a very difficult hairsplit to grasp, and the left has always counted on that in its neverending campaign of obfuscation. The left regarded and regards themselves as American "patriots" because they are dedicated to helping all Americans to learning the error of their ways and adopting the wisdom of Big Brother, aka, World Socialism. Thus, these "patriots" are actually "patriots" of a higher order, "patriotically" helping Americans break with their somehow illegal capitalist government and achieve true freedom under a world socialist dictatorship. How nuts is that? No one in the media today ever bothers to reason this stuff out, and so it stands as "truth."

But if you don't have the capacity to parse this kind of thick illogic, which is based on replacing objective truth with "sincere feelings," you can't defeat it.

The hard and ever-Marxist left mastered long ago the art of Doublespeak. Meanwhile, the American right has never been fully able to grasp how ephemeral things like art and culture, which never make money (except in the movies), can be used to re-define the rules of debate and defeat them every time. They are probing for logic and never finding it in the arguments of the left. So they declare the left to be stupid and figure they've actually won the argument, even as the losses pile up in front of their collective nose. But the righy never looks for the hidden dialectic—effectively the art of moving the revolution forward by the guided struggle of opposites—and thus loses the argument every time.

This is not a way to win a war waged by jihadist totalitarians who are experts in the art of dialectical propaganda and who are themselves supported by the past masters of the same. The constantly maligned George W. Bush actually understands this. The rest of his party, astoundingly, does not.

Fruit Loops, Anyone?

The delightful Ben Stein on Yale's admission of a genuine Taliban to its hallowed halls:

... then he put on his "reason hat" and let me know what he thought of Mr. Rahmatullah's presence on campus. "It's extremely discouraging. It's as if Yale had admitted a largely unrepentant SS man after World War II on the theory he would help rebuild Germany." He told me. "Yale is being run by Froot Loops and is wacky."

Well, yeah. But there's more to the whole story which you can discover by reading John Fund's latest in Opinion Journal.

Fruit Loops. We like that.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Market Matters

As long as consumers collude with providers, what they consume will be certification, not education...Autumn of the Humanities,, Uriah Kriegel

Uriah Kriegel, a professor of philosophy at the universities of Sydney and Arizona, shows that even a philosopher might be able to balance a checkbook. Why do responsible parties (parents, guardians, trust funds) willingly pay for the children under their protection to waste four years acquiring a degree with no employment prospects other than as a possible adjunct instructor? And why in a field in which, for students, as Dr. Kriegel puts it, "the only rationalization they can make of their need to sit in classrooms for four years is the prize at the end of the road: the practical dividends of holding a BA, preferably from a top university..."?

The piece of paper is worth more than the education. The piece of paper is the product purchased, not the field of study. Students and their parents are willing to put up with anything so long as they get that degree. They know employers care less about what the student read than that he or she finished the course. For faculty faced with market pressure on students like this, it's become an opportunity to teach whatever bias, prejudice, or political thesis they can slip in under a course description. There may come a day, however, when a group of Fortune 500 CEO's announces that BA's in the humanities are not worth the paper they're printed on. Count on parents, guardians and students to disappear from the halls of humanities departments when that occurs. Market matters.


Decline of Western Culture At an End?

In an encouraging sign, Drudge reports today:


Let's see. There are no conservative titles in here. The Carville/Begala and Daily Kos screeds are predictable leftist trash, so the lefties must not be interested in re-hashed trash since no one else is either, obviously. Meanwhile, the former Wonkette may have left her day job too soon. Aside from a pert attractiveness and a few good connections, we never could understand the media fascination with her stint at that blog, except perhaps for her periodic obsession with anal sex. Fact is, a "novel" about Washington's boring 30-somethings apparently bored even them. And Cox still can't write, although she has a remarkable talent for stringing glib phrases together. Perhaps Hillary could use a speechwriter...

It's probably too much to get what's left of the book publishing industry to focus on turning out good, interesting titles anymore, loaded with quality content and free of leftist cant. The industry seems to have become a high-priced mass market vanity press for highly-flakked celebrities who have nothing between their ears. The buying public seems to have caught onto this. But we only find this out from Drudge. They'll never tell.

Cosmically, what does this mean? Simple. The folks in flyover country are far more sophisticated that the East Coast leftie glitterati could ever imagine. Perhaps we are now arresting the cultural decline of the West. But we still have a long way to go.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Moonbats for Peace

In case you forgot, a group of "Christian peace activists" (read "anti-US socialists") from "Christian Peacemaker Teams" (the word "peace" in anything is a totally reliable signal that we're dealing with Marxist recidivists) were kidnapped in Iraq by some group of jihadists or another, and are being threatened, of course, with death. Their parent organization made this amusing observation:

“We believe that the root cause of the abduction of our colleagues is the US and British-led invasion and occupation of Iraq,” it said in a statement. “Many in Iraq have experienced this long war as terrorism. The occupation must end.”

Yep, you heard it. The "root cause" (another leftist marker) of the moonbats being kidnapped was the US and British-led "invasion" of Iraq. Excuse us? Wasn't the "root cause" of this kidnapping the fact that the peacenik moonbats were wandering through Iraq all by their little selves, uninvited by either the Iraqis or us? Wasn't the "root cause" their own wilful arrogance and stupidity?

Obviously not, if you're a moonbat. It is always someone else's fault. Everyone else is the "root cause" of the left's dissatisfaction today. It is never the left. Because they are always right.

Hat tip to Little Green Footballs for the original lead on this story.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Camille Paglia Disses Academia--Sort Of...

(A Reluctant Fisking)

In a blistering New York Times piece today, renegade academic Camille Paglia, frequently the most understandable if not the most controversial humanities professor on the American university scene, delivers a blistering attack on the recent asininity at Harvard. Praising—somewhat faintly—outgoing Harvard president Larry Summers' brave but doomed attempt to open the academy up to serious discourse, Paglia then takes a slightly different tack:
But whatever his good intentions, Mr. Summers often inspired more heat than light. His stellar early career as an economics professor did not prepare him for dealing with an ingrown humanities faculty that has been sunk in political correctness for decades. As president, he had a duty to research the tribal creeds and customs of those he wished to convert. Foolishly thinking plain speech and common sense would suffice, he flunked Academic Anthropology 101.
Paglia has got that precisely correct. And she continues:
While many issues are rumored to have played a role in Mr. Summers's resignation (including charges of favoritism in a messy legal case involving foreign investments), the controversy that will inevitably symbolize his presidency was the manufactured outcry early last year over his glancing reference at a conference to possible innate differences between the sexes in aptitude for science and math. The feminist pressure groups rose en masse from their lavishly feathered nests and set up a furious cackle that led to a 218-to-185 vote of no confidence by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences last March.

Instead of welcoming this golden opportunity to introduce the forbidden subject of biology to academic gender studies (where a rigid dogma of social constructionism reigns), Mr. Summers collapsed like a rag doll. A few months later, after issuing one abject apology after another, he threw $50 million at a jerrybuilt program to expand the comfort zone of female scientists and others on campus. That one desperate act of profligate appeasement tells volumes about the climate of persecution and extortion around gender issues at too many American universities.
Paglia then takes a somewhat arcane journey down the twisted path of academic cronyism, but then moves toward an astonishing conclusion—astonishing for a brilliant light like herself who has often been denied respect in academia because her opinions frequently veer out of the well-traveled realms of fashionable leftism. Even after the Summers debacle and after the constant harassment of student exercising their right to free speech, Paglia stands foursquare behind the dogged intent of tenured radicals to destroy the American system of education, particularly in the humanities, and replace it with far left propaganda and agitprop:
The ideological groupthink of Harvard's humanities faculty does patent disservice to the undergraduates in their charge, but it is the faculty alone that should properly determine curriculum and academic policy, a responsibility that descends from the birth of European universities in the Middle Ages. Over the past 40 years, there has been a radical expansion of administrative bureaucracies on American college campuses that has distorted the budget and turned education toward consumerism, a checkbook alliance with parents who are being bled dry by grotesquely exorbitant tuitions.

Mr. Summers's strategic blunders unfortunately took the spotlight off entrenched political correctness and changed the debate to academic power: who has it, and how should it be exercised? Nationwide, campus administrations faced with factionalized or obdurate faculties have in some cases taken matters into their own hands by creating programs or reducing and even eliminating departments. The trend is disturbingly away from faculty power.
Disturbingly? As one who has admired the feisty Paglia for years, even when disagreeing with her at times, I find her faulty logic here to be nothing short of breathtaking. After correctly drubbing the out-of-control hard leftists who infest and destroy America's humanities departments like steel-gutted Formosan termites, she actually expresses concern that an increasingly infuriated public, disgusted at getting ripped off for all the dollars it spends on higher education, is threatening to take away the power the tenured radicals have already squandered ten times over. Does Paglia actually think that these intellectual pygmies will police themselves????

In a way, she seems to grasp this paradox:
It now remains to be seen whether Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences is capable of self-critique. Will its members acknowledge their own insularity and excesses, or will they continue down the path of smug self-congratulation and vanity? Harvard's reputation for disinterested scholarship has been severely gored by the shadowy manipulations of the self-serving cabal who forced Mr. Summers's premature resignation. That so few of the ostensibly aggrieved faculty members deigned to speak on the record to The Crimson, the student newspaper, illustrates the cagey hypocrisy that permeates fashionable campus leftism, which worships diversity in all things except diversity of thought.
Well, yes. I recall a poet and writer-in-residence who once sent me an extraordinarily candid email on just this topic. And then proceeded to write, "But please, don't make this public or mention my name in public. I am dreadfully afraid of those people." He was referring, of course, to the hard leftists who would not only muscle him out of his non-tenured slot, but would blackball him across the 50 states in the process, guaranteeing he'd never ply his trade again. He was literally petrified that I might betray him. Which I did not. But it's good folks like this gent who, afraid to lift a finger in dissent, allowed Hitler's rise in the 1930s. And it's decent Muslim Arabs who hide quietly away while the Islamofascists slaughter anyone who gets in their way. They don't want trouble. But somehow, it comes anyway, doesn't it?

Again, trying to write herself, Paglia continues:

If Harvard cannot correct itself in this crisis, it will signal that academe cannot be trusted to reform itself from within. There is a rising tide of off-campus discontent with the monolithic orthodoxies of humanities departments. David Horowitz, a 1960's radical turned conservative, has researched the lopsided party registration of humanities professors (who tend to be Democrats like me) and proposed an "academic bill of rights" to guarantee fairness and political balance in the classroom. The conservative radio host Sean Hannity regularly broadcasts students' justifiable complaints about biased teachers and urges students to take recording devices to class to gather evidence.

These efforts to hold professors accountable are welcome and bracing, but the danger is that such tactics can be abused. Tenure owes its very existence to past intrusions by state legislatures in the curricular business of state universities. If politicians start to meddle in campus governance, academic freedom will be the victim. And when students become snitches, we are heading toward dictatorship by Mao's Red Guards or Hitler Youth.

Oh, please. Is this a whiff of the anti-Bush meme again? Where is the logic here? We should continue to allow the corrupt tenure system to wreck the American university because "meddling" by outsiders will guarantee that "academic freedom will be the victim"? Excuse me? ACADEMIC FREEDOM IS ALREADY THE VICTIM. Who is Paglia kidding?

To even imagine that these witless poseurs who call themselves the "tenured faculty" can police themselves out of political correctness and academic oppression is beyond laughable. And the split metaphor accusing concerned students of emulating Mao's Red Guards or Hitler Youth? Earth to Camille: The Red Guards already run the humanities departments. And if you want to see Hitler Youth, why don't you check out the violent brown shirts of the left who show up to disrupt each and every attempt (few though they are) by a conservative to speak at a college campus?

Paglia concludes:
Over the last three decades of trendy poststructuralism and postmodernism, American humanities professors fell under the sway of a ruthless guild mentality. Corruption and cronyism became systemic, spread by the ostentatious conference circuit and the new humanities centers of the 1980's. Harvard did not begin that blight but became an extreme example of it. Amid the ruins of the Summers presidency, there is a tremendous opportunity for recovery and renewal of the humanities. Which way will Harvard go?
Camille, we already know which way Harvard went. The radicals ousted the square peg, in spite of the fact that the professional schools and the students overwhelmingly favored keeping Summers. This is not rocket science.

It is self evident to any sentient being at this point, except perhaps a professor, that any renewal in college Humanities Departments will take place from without, not from within. As he has for nearly 30 years now, Wonker calls for the immediate abolition of the corrupt tenure system and its replacement with a merit system imposed on the professoriat by outside, independent Boards of Trustees or Supervisors.

Perhaps some day in the distant future, some form of tenure could be reconsidered, once the Marxist ideologues are ousted from the schools and departments that they have utterly ruined by destroying any attempt at permitting diversity of ideas. But until then, it is crystal clear that the danger to the American academy is firmly entrenched within.

Saddam Hussein never willingly gave up his power. And still imagines he has it. He cannot conceive of not being in charge. The entrenched, bitter, dead-end left in academia is no different, as they hide snugly in their spider holes, smugly collecting handsome salaries (at least at the LaBrea Tarpits that constitute Harvard's humanities departments), sneering at their country and their benefactors, literally daring the chickenhearted public to come in and put a stop to it. Perhaps it's now time to oblige them and put their intellectual intimidation to a deserved end.

And perhaps it's time for Camille Paglia to realize that today's huge cadre of tenured radicals has no intention of giving up their tribe's control. It is a truth universally acknowledged that if you hang around bad people long enough, you're likely to become one of them. We'd ask Professor Paglia to consider that before she chucks a brilliant and highly original career in order to defend the demonstrably and utterly indefensible.