Thursday, April 27, 2006

Global Warming and Rhetoric

As part of the current media frenzy over the imminent demise of the Earth from global warming, it has become fashionable to demonize global warming skeptics through a variety of tactics. This has recently been accomplished by comparing scientists who don't believe in a global climate catastrophe to those who deny the Holocaust, to those who denied cigarettes cause cancer, or to 'flat-Earthers'...., So Now We're Holocaust Deniers, Dr. Roy Spencer,, 4/27

Welcome to the world of modern politics, Dr. Spencer! Where have you been to be so surprised? The President leads the defense of the United States against Islamist warlords after one of their attacks kills 3,000 Americans, and he's called Adolf Hitler by Al Franken. The Vice President observes that gasoline prices may have something to do with the price of oil, and the manipulation of that price by political interests as much in the US as abroad, and he's described as a villain, a thief, and the Goebbels of the present administration. An ambassador slops his way through a supposed investigation of a major foreign policy issue, lies about the results, and makes phoney claims about the administration's exposure of his non-secret spouse, and the media fall all over it to claim it as further evidence of the moral turpitude of the Bush Administration; Joseph Wilson did this while working for the President's opponent in the 2004 election. PETA makes claims that killing chickens is morally equivalent to the Holocaust. And you're surprised that global warmingists, who've already turned to the church to pitch their cause, having failed with American politicians, are now employing the same sort of rhetorical coverup for their lies, fantasies and hidden agendas?

One of Primo Levi's most powerful and persuasive complaints against fascism was that its exponents substituted rhetoric for reason and evidence; politics became based on hysteria instead of considered positions. The tendency to do this is not native to Italian or German fascism. As Hannah Arendt observed in her essay "Lying in Politics" (Crises of the Republic, 1972), lying is endemic, and even required to some degree, in political life. But it is up to us to determine whether or not we should believe in anything a politician, or his or her expert, has to say. And falling for rhetoric, while a common temptation -- we are not far removed from superstitions as common as astrology, is not the fault of the rhetorician but of the person listening to him. If you know a politician is lying for the worst reasons, turn away or fight; he or she doesn't merit a willing audience.

But try not to be too surprised though when, after you present a reasoned defense of your position, supported with real, not rewritten evidence, when the same people, or their surrogates, start to scream lies again. One thing about liars with constituencies: they never stop. To stop lying, whether about immigration, the oil supply, the war on Islamic fascism, or the weather, would be to sacrifice votes for the truth. Don't expect that to happen any time soon. Fighting back, through direct confrontation or open rejection, supported by reason and evidence, is all that we have between us and the abyss of a totally fabricated political life.


Not All Danes Draw Cartoons

Speaking about the impact on Europe, nobody can neglect the serious consequences to our economy and stability in society. It is well know that the Muslim immigrants are disproportional in representing crime records; that the hate towards Jews is increasing in Europe, because of these groups. The serious mistreatment of women, which we see in the Muslim world, is now also taking place in Europe....we know that the lack of an economic threat to the stability of our societies. In many European countries we speak about the necessity of changing the welfare-payments, but the truth is that if we did not have the Muslim burden, many of these changes would not be required...., Europe's Suicide? interview with Morten Messerschmidt, member, Council of Europe and Danish Parliament,

I hope MP Morten Messerschmidt has good protection from the Danish police. A young politician speaking truth to power, as rare in Europe as a liberal Democrat who believes in defending the United States, is on the front lines by default. And he's not afraid to put his searchlight on what lurks in the shadows.

The left wing has an ideological interest in destablizing the belief in cultural heritage. Therefore the achievement of their ideology goes hand in hand with the multiculturalism that'll break down any cultural starting point....Europe's Suicide? continued...

See Wonker on that. Or remember what we've been dealing with here as crafty lefties debase a notion essential to the survival of any nation, that our blood and soil are not only worth defending, but have intrinsic values not available anywhere else.

In the Second World War, when Hitler's occupiers sent out an order that all Danish Jews should wear the Star of David, the Danish king, who had little power in ordinary times, issued a command that all Danes wear a Star of David. While citizens of Vichy and occupied France turned in their Jewish friends, Danes turned out in force wearing the Star of David. Amazing truth -- the Nazis didn't do anything in reply, an object lesson that's still ignored in today's Paris. It's good that an heir to that proud Danish tradition is standing high above the desolate plain of European "sophistication." He probably shouldn't expect an invitation to be a commencement speaker a Yale or Harvard, though.


Administration 'Gased' Out?

What Bush clearly understands is that prices rise when demand increases faster than supply, and that supply is being limited in the United States by government...., Bush On Gas Prices: Is He Kidding? James Glassman,

So does anyone else who can reason from evidence instead of from hysteria. But as Glassman points out, the President, as leader of a party that came to power claiming it had that gift to offer Americans, has spent a substantial part of his second term acting like the worst kind of Democrat, substituting sloppy thinking, appeasement of Green hysteria, and unimaginative speculation for a hard plan. The claim on the President's domestic flubs, such as the prescription benefit, that he's been driven to ghastly, overpriced, and often unsupportable policy by the Democrats and the permanent government of bureaucrats, seems unsupportable in and of itself. Where is the striking leadership he's exhibited in conducting the war on radical Islam, where he's been confronted by more baldfaced lies, both about the policy and about himself, than any President since Lincoln? Fact is that energy supply is as important a pillar of our national defense as army, navy, airforce and marine operations are. Traditional suppliers, such as Venezuela, Iran, Mexico and Saudi Arabia, have increasingly exercised political control over markets. Democrats, locally and nationally, have exercised political control over energy development, blocking refineries, exploration, and exploitation of national resources throughout the war on terror and long before. Yet what has he done but echo his worst critics? The situation calls for a declaration of national emergency, not meandering chats about the hydrogen-powered car and temporary suspension of rules and regulations that make even less sense now than when they were put in place.


Friday, April 21, 2006

Off to Nirvana in Happy Valley

A final Friday note: Wonker is off this weekend to catch up to Mrs. Wonker who's already in Salt Lake City, Utah on a business trip. From thence, we head up the mountains to the East of the city to holiday for a week in the proverbial "undisclosed location."

So no blogging from the Wonk during this peaceful interval which we suspect we'll be spending blissfully amongst our political kind, and maybe even a stray polar bear who's wandered down to the lower-48 looking to escape global warming in Alaska. Hey, we might even visit Randolph, the town ridiculed by the Washington Post for supporting Bush. If we can find it.

Meanwhile, Luther has been on a tear lately, and we're confident that he'll keep the world safe for democracy while we're gone.

See y'all next week.

Duke Pokes an Ozone Hole in Global Warming

What is it today? Liberal papers, liberal colleges, all on our side in reports. Have they gone mad?

The latest fun today is a study by Duke University physics professors, that at least partially debunks the politicized "global warming" juggernaut:
At least 10 to 30 percent of global warming measured during the past two decades may be due to increased solar output rather than factors such as increased heat-absorbing carbon dioxide gas released by various human activities, two Duke University physicists report.
This research built on studies originating in Columbia University that suggested the role of solar output in charting global warming theories had been underestimated, leading to a rash of alarming conclusions. No one is ready to give up the "global warming" ghost just yet, but these new data inject some needed science into the discussion.
This study does not discount that human-linked greenhouse gases contribute to global warming, they stressed. "Those gases would still give a contribution, but not so strong as was thought," Scafetta [one of the researchers] said.

"We don't know what the Sun will do in the future," Scafetta added. "For now, if our analysis is correct, I think it is important to correct the climate models so that they include reliable sensitivity to solar activity. "Once that is done, then it will be possible to better understand what has happened during the past hundred years."
Which has been our whole point in HazZzMat all along. 10-20 years is not much time in the history of the cosmos. When it comes to things like climate modeling, focusing on 100 year intervals or longer demonstrably makes more sense, and gives a clearer picture of overall developing climate trends, if any.

(BTW, hope these guys are tenured, or they are doomed. At the very least, there'll be no Nobels for these researchers.)

The Washington Times offered further insight into—and backing for—this study:
Supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, the Duke researchers noted that some observational studies predicted that the Earth's temperature could rise as much as 16 degrees in this century because of an increase in carbon dioxide or other so-called greenhouse gases.

The Duke estimates show the chances that the planet's temperature will rise even by 11 degrees is only 5 percent, which falls in line with previous, less-alarming predictions that meteorologists made almost three decades ago.
Of course, this doesn't prevent the usual observations by politicized and, no doubt, "peer reviewed" moonbat scientists elsewhere:
This month, a University of Toronto scientist predicted that a quarter of the planet's plants and animals would be extinct by 2050 because of rising temperatures. On Wednesday, two geophysics professors at the University of Chicago warned those who eat red meat that their increased flatulence contributes to greenhouse gases.
Had to get that vegan sales pitch in there, didn't we, University of Chicago?

And then there's that American hero and inventor of the Internet, Al Gore:
The topic of global warming, meanwhile, will be framed dramatically in "An Inconvenient Truth," a 94-minute documentary featuring former Vice President Al Gore, who has deemed rising temperatures "a planetary emergency." The Hollywood production will be released to theaters in May and is billed by producer Davis Guggenheim as "the most terrifying film you will ever see."
More terrifying, even, than "Triumph of the Will," no doubt. One wonders whether part of the problem the contemporary left has when it comes to recognizing terrorism is that they daily terrorize themselves and others so thoroughly that they can no longer recognize real terrorism when it occurs. Note also the use of the word "Truth" in the title of the Gore propaganda fest. This is a transparent old Stalinist tactic that we're onto here in HazZzMat. Incessantly declaring something that's unproven to be the "truth" does not make it so. Which we will happily point out each and every time the hard left attempts this cheap trick.

In the meantime, with the price of gas lately, this may all prove to be a moot point. At the current per-barrel rate of increase in oil prices, we'll all be riding bicycles before the end of the year anyway.

What?? No Secret CIA Prisons in Europe?

Gosh, another encouraging report from a liberal rag:
BRUSSELS -- Investigations into reports that US agents shipped prisoners through European airports to secret detention centers have produced no evidence of illegal CIA activities, the European Union's antiterrorism coordinator said yesterday.

The investigations also have not turned up any proof of secret renditions of terror suspects on EU territory, Gijs de Vries told a European Parliament committee investigating the allegations.
Of course, this came out on a Friday, so it'll get little if any traction in the MSM over the weekend. Nothing that vindicates the Bushies ever does.

How the Media Takes a Leak

Well, well, well. Looks like we're making some headway on uncovering at least one self-styled "patriot" in the CIA. You know, the kind that likes to leak secrets to the Washington Post because he/she hates Chimpy BushMcHitler and CIA director Porter Goss. From Reuters, no less:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The CIA said on Friday that it fired an intelligence officer for leaking classified information that sources said contributed to a Washington Post report about secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe.

The CIA said the dismissal of a CIA officer over a media leak was extremely rare and resulted from a three-month-old in-house investigation aimed at agency operations that had been the subject of recent media leaks.

Sources familiar with the case said the firing stemmed from the Washington Post's reporting about secret CIA prisons for terrorism suspects in November. The coverage sparked an international outcry over U.S. detainee policies and also won a Pulitzer Prize, America's leading journalism award.
Yep. We commented on the Pulitzers yesterday. All these treason enthusiasts should be ashamed, but shame is alien to their vocab just as long as it weakens the U.S. in its War on Terror and rehashes the lefty glory days of Vietnam.
Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, Republican chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, called for prosecution in the case and said vigorous leak investigations should continue across the international community.

"Clearly, those guilty of improperly disclosing classified information should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," he said in a statement.
Well, yeah. The law is not something that one obeys selectively. Otherwise, all laws are equal targets and society collapses. Which, of course, the moonbat left, inspired by the thought of Antonio Gramsci, would certainly like to see.

Now, let's see the Post and the CIA leaker prosecuted for the treason they committed. And maybe the Pulitzer Committee could be added to the stew as unindicted co-conspirators. Don't miss the next thrilling episode.

Objective Press? Says Who?

Ouch! When it comes to inflation, I figure all those experts who say it's low (supposedly hovering around 2%) and view it as a nonevent must be living in Lalaland…Speaking for myself, I'm inundated by inflation. Granted, the Producer Price Index in March came in at 0.5%, the slowest pace in four months. But then again, the Consumer Price Index in March topped consensus estimates with a 0.4% reading. In any event, over the past six months higher prices have been beating me up all over the place…large container of popcorn at the local theater has climbed to $3.75 from $3 , Inflation is Contained? Says Who? Dan Dorfman NY Sun, 4/21/2006 (requires subscription for full text – you can get a free trial subscription)

Trust, the old saw goes, is a key component of the economy; if there’s no trust, the best financials aren’t worth a thing. What impact would it have on the US economy if we were to find that government statistics are confabulated, especially those regarding inflation upon which so much policy and policy action depends? That's the gist of Dorfman's story in today's NY Sun. Is he right?

For instance, regarding inflation, according to , Commodities, The Financials, (select the 3-year chart) commodities prices have risen 90+% in the last three years. Dorfman cites many anecdotal price increases, from gasoline to wine to pizza. What about rentals? According to The San Francisco Chronicle, as of July of last year, rent levels had declined by 15% from 2000. According to The NY Times, citing Richard J. Rosen of the Chicago Federal Reserve, nationwide rental prices are averaging about 2.3% increase a year, a completely separate trend from the runup in the cost of buying houses. According to the California Department of Agriculture, (select the graphs) the cost of the average “basket” of food has been more or less flat as of its latest reports, with a slight decline in beef prices. Automobile prices are notoriously difficult to judge regarding their contribution to inflation because we like so much stuff on them -- Grandma never had an entertainment center for the kids in the back seat (or the government requires more than last year). And prices haven’t moved much despite that. With American manufacturers, they’ve gone down. Dorfman’s anecdotal prices may reflect the neighborhood he’s living in. If it’s fashionable, as condo prices go up, the local cleaners, food stores, restaurants and bars may decide to raise prices to meet the expectations of richer clientele. In fact, Dorfman may just be another goldbug, seeing doom in every value in the economy except for the ownership of the yellow metal. He may also have risked a lot of capital in commodities – to his credit, it would seem,at least from the record of the last couple of years. He may also be a Democrat. And the commodities market may be about to turn in another direction. Nobody knows. Is it wise to buy at the top of a market? Consult your freshmen economics textbook, if it's not a Marxist screed.

Point? The value of news has as much to do with the beliefs of the reporter as with the quality of the facts gathered. The notion of an objective reporter is a fantasy and always has been. There's nothing wrong with this. What matters is knowing which side your favorite reporter is on. Dorfman has his side. When you read his column, do you know what it is? And which side are you on?

And that’s Luther’s side of this story.


We'll Take Your Untrained, Your Criminals, But Not Your Skilled And Educated

If the federal government ever gets its act together and passes a much-needed immigration reform, I'm giving up my legal career and taking up a profession that will actually allow me to become a U.S. citizen. Like gardening. Or construction. Or anything else that counts as "unskilled." And maybe I'll also fly to Cancun for some sun-and-fun. And come back illegally. (I'm tan and speak fluent Spanish; think I could pass?) Or I'll have a Miami friend take me out on a boat -- so I can come back on a raft. Because I sure ain't gonna get a green card the way I'm going: English-speaking, highly educated, law-abiding, and patriotic. I'm precisely the type of person Uncle Sam would never dream of inviting to be a permanent resident...., Overqualified Immigrant, Ilya Shapiro,, 4/21/2006

If you want to know what the real issue in immigration to the US is, read this stunning piece by Russian immigrant Ilya Shapiro. Because of the bizarre qualification hierarchy established by Congress and the INS, someone can come here who's a terminally ill patient, a career criminal, hates American and wants to overthrow its government, or has no education and no skills. Just don't try to come if you're a research scientist, an engineer, a gifted entrepreneur, or love America. This isn't a political error; it's a deep pathology with roots in the Marxist and post-Marxist delusions of the left. It does no favor for the immigrants it accepts, however. Despite the usual lefty claims for progressive intentions, the results are to consign immigrants to do the sh*twork and scorn those who have the capacity to do anything else.


Global Warming Not As Cool?

Using temperature readings from the past 100 years, 1,000 computer simulations and the evidence left in ancient tree rings, Duke University scientists announced yesterday that "the magnitude of future global warming will likely fall well short of current highest predictions." Supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation...Duke estimates show the chances that the planet's temperature will rise even by 11 degrees is only 5 percent, which falls in line with previous, less-alarming predictions that meteorologists made almost three decades ago...., Scientists Cool Outlook on Global Warming, Jennifer Harper, Washington Times, 4/21, 2006

This from Duke?
Home of English department kooks,
Who want to burn all male-written books?
Must be a fluke.


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Pulitzers Pull Up Lame

Jeff Jarvis, a pioneering journo-blogger of the liberal persuasion has long aired his opinions on his "BuzzMachine" blog. The blog has gotten a bit self-referential of late, and we frequently can't agree with Jeff's opinions, but he hits the nail mostly on the head with his link-rich discussion of the increasingly debased Pulitzer Prizes here.

Jarvis mentions the highly political (i.e., anti-Bush) nature of this year's prizes, which we'll get to in a moment. But he also scores the Pulitzer committee and newspapers in general for pulling back to the point of nonexistence on their coverage of local politics, save when a local politician like Duke Cunningham is caught up in a national scandal. Corruption on Capitol Hill is always good for some juicy stories that gain national recognition for the reporters who break them. But the fact is, most corruption begins at home as all politics, to paraphrase the late Tip O'Neill, is local.

Problem here is that most corrupt, "local," big city mayors and politicoes are either Democrats or the remnants of old Democratic machine politics, and the tendency is for the media, with their liberal bias, to give these crooks a pass. The result has been, over at least the last quarter century, the utter destruction of major cities like Detroit and Los Angeles, not to mention pre-Katrina New Orleans which has been a Democratic disgrace since time immemorial.

And yet, politics aside, another problem the papers have in covering the local angle is that they have no reporters, numerically speaking, to cover the local angle. A three- or four-part series detailing a local scandal is tough to report. The reporter who covers such a story must be an investigative expert to start out with, loaded with excellent contacts who are willing to talk. In the second place, his newspaper must be willing and able to pay him what is probably not an inconsiderable salary for many, many months on end while he conducts R&D and produces no editorial product.

Today, more and more papers have cut staffs to the bone in partial answer to shrinking subscriptions and shriveling ad revenue, due at least in part to the migration of the younger crowd to the Internet for its news and views and exacerbated by the obvious liberal bias that is turning off droves of fair-minded readers on both sides of the aisle. The result is that the papers either don't have real investigative reporters on staff, by and large. And those that do rarely employ them to do the deep digging. Or when they do, they sic them on the Bushies, as opposed to mining the rich mother-lode of local corruption.

An additional victim of this trend is local news itself. We've noted that our old hometown paper, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, always a liberal mess anyway, increasingly buys its stories from the AP and other sources. This is a clear indication that the PD has shrunk its own stable of reporters and has closed any number of bureaus in other cities that it used to have. The result is that local newspapers are increasingly homogenized in the same way that conglomerate-owned radio stations are, robbing the papers of more and more of the local interest stuff that might actually sell papers.

Getting back to the Pulitzers, another part of the problem here, aside from insufficiently rewarding what local advocacy journalism remains in America's papers, is the Committee's increasingly intense politicization. It is already axiomatic that no journalist who's not at least a liberal if not a hard lefty, will ever receive a Pulitzer Prize. What remains of this dubious "honor" is membership in an exclusive club where anyone right of center, or even at the center, is routinely blackballed. Thus, the Pulitzers in journalism have become largely an honor that's bestowed for leftist advocacy journalism, which has nothing to do with quality, accuracy, or common sense.

And this is why two major awards this year went to the Washington Post and the New York Times. What were they awarded Pulitzer honors for? The Posties (via the vile Dana Priest) happily exposed "secret prisons" in Eastern Europe that the U.S. used to interrogate terrorist mass-murder suspects. And the Times, even more egregiously, happily exposed NSA intelligence techniques. Both pieces set off what were clearly intentional firestorms of criticism for the Bushies, as the organized left responded on cue. Both efforts were, in an absolute sense, treason. (Which the administration is cautiously attempting to prosecute, BTW). So what the Pulitzer Committee has done here is to bestow its highest honors on two newspapers that have arguably committed treason and endangered the national interest. The legal eagles at Power Line have an excellent commentary on this disgusting turn of events.

Although the MSM's monolothic leftist culture is largely to blame, Power Line also wags a legal finger at the perps of this latest bogus "prize" outrage, citing an earlier example (1930s) of a NYTimes Reporter who knowingly whitewashed Stalinist terror for years and won a Pulitzer for it—a prize the standing committee, to its everlasting shame, has never revoked. Power Line reaches a logical conclusion, at least regarding the high-handed antics of the NYTimes:
What about the Pulitzer Prize committee? When Walter Duranty won a Pulitzer Prize for the Times in connection with his mendacious coverage of Stalin's Soviet Union, he performed valuable public relations work for a mass murderer. He nevertheless did no direct harm to the United States. Today's Pulitzer Prize award to the Times brings a new shame to the Pulitzer Prize committee that builds on its disgrace last year via the award to the AP.
Amen to that. But they have no shame.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Strategic Planning, Disguised Socialism?

Modern management operates according to The Plan. The Plan is, of course, created by human beings. Most planning models place the responsibility for planning squarely on the shoulders of the CEO. The CEO, in turn, consults with any number of experts to get advice on how to proceed...Nobel laureate economist F.A. Hayek, considered the problems which appeared in planned economies and concluded that we expect too much of our planners. We are asking them, in effect, to "order the unknown" for us. It is foolish of us to expect that any person or group of persons could ever do such a thing. And those presumptuous enough to believe that they can successfully carry out such an assignment are suffering from, according to Hayek, "The Fatal Conceit."...In a market economy knowledge is dispersed among millions of people, each acting interdependently. It is impossible for a single individual to know what all of these other people are doing, let alone know what they are planning to do. Yet, this information is vital if an accurate forecast is to be made, and an accurate forecast is the prerequisite for a valid plan. In a planned economy, whether the economy of a nation or a firm, the planner assumes that he can obtain this information through diligent research. In a free market the information about current conditions is automatically made available to everyone. Consider the following question: Is there a gasoline shortage in your town? You can answer this question with but a moments thought....New Research Casts Doubt On Strategic Planning, Thomas Pyzdek,

Frederick Hayek in The Road To Serfdom spoke at length of the fact that the industrial democracies, despite having crushed one totalitarian system and held another at bay, were nonetheless ill-prepared to stop the same transformation happening in their own countries. The drive to collective thinking and action, without powerful efforts to make both leaders and people aware of the real costs of doing that, had such tempting, if illusory, potentials for benefit that, parading under other names, societies built on individual choice and action were plunging rapidly into the socialist abyss.

As impossible as the job of a planner in a centrally planned economy is, consider how much more difficult the job of the planner is in a free market firm. True, she has the guidance of prices to help her, but now she must contend with a complexity that is made infinitely more vast by the presence of other firms. Some of these firms are direct competitors who will take action to counter the effectiveness of her plans. Others are not directly competing for her market, but they still compete for the same limited quantity of resources. Prices may go up, or they may go down. A new technology may make your products, services, and plans obsolete. The tastes of your customers may suddenly change due to an unexpected cause like a hit movie, a fad, or some world event...Can anyone truly anticipate what will happen in such chaos? Obviously, the answer has to be no. Yet such omniscience is precisely what we expect from our planners....Research Casts Dobut..., Pyzdek

In strategic planning, as in ministries that direct the state sector in France's economy, vast surveys of a firm's market and market potential are undertaken, as well as equally expansive and highly speculative forays into forecasting the future of the market in terms of demographics, economic, social, and technological development. It's the kind of thing that dazzles (and employs) MBA's and Ph.D's with degrees in econometrics, management science, behaviorism (still practiced despite being widely debunked), and a dozen other fields. It's one great big party congress -- sorry, one big conference that can last for years. Unfortunately, unlike most academic conferences and off-site meetings, these years ultimately end, and something comes of them -- the Plan.

Before that, preliminary reports come out, directed at first at the outer ring of participants, to convince them with teases about what's to come, show them that it is all worth the trouble. They are also directed at the outermost ring of obstinate questioners of sense and outward things, fallings out, and vanishing of personnel, to convince them to go along.

At last, the big report, thick, beautifully typeset, on linen paper of outrageous cost, bound as nicely as a trade book, is rolled out to the whole institution, or at least to its senior, middle and junior officers and trainees. Then, especially among the most enthusiastic (whatever their reason -- sycophancy is not low on the list), facilitators are organized to enact the great plan. Their task is to convince the proles through a variety of techniques, including reasoned argument, emotional persuasion, and subliminal or overt intimidation, that the plan is good, and, finally, what their individual or group tasks will be in enacting it.

Pyzdek's report suggests that when it comes time to measure the results, they don't look very good. Markets don't act as predicted, even when the predictions are done in multileveled, 3-dimensional spreadsheets that run only on Sun workstations and are attested to by Ph.D's and the CEO. Spreadsheet knowledge is like that; it's beautiful to look at but there's a problem: contingency. Demographics change suddenly due to factors that have nothing to do with the firm's business. Products go out of fashion. War breaks out. A hurricane drowns a city.

When a whole nation does this, the economy fumbles from one disastrous set of errors to another; in such nations the "real" market is often the black market, which ends up being the only place where rational choices can be made about what individuals actually need or want. (In the US, confronted by the results of strategic planning at General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, American buyers turned to Toyota, Honda, and Datsun). This was the case in the Soviet Union for decades before the system blew up in 1989 and 1991, wonderfully detailed in a series of articles in Harpers whose longtime editor seemed to have missed the author's understanding of what was happening, that socialism was failing. (Management at General Motors still seems unaware that strategic planning is failing.) The central committee and the Communist Party used exactly the same tactics employed by institutional strategic planners in the United States, with exactly the same motivations, that a small group of people in the know were better able to manage markets rationally than a market of individuals making rational choices about themselves.

Strategic planning has dropped out of favor in recent years in private companies. It didn't work terribly well, as this report suggests. Aspects of it remain, especially those involving intensive, detailed study of markets. There, a modern and far more successful version of market research has evolved to where it is nearly possible to tailor products to individual buyers. This is all well and good; management fads have their pluses. But, as the writer's late mother once warned him, a management fad of twenty years ago in private business is likely to reappear in the present as something fresh and new in colleges and universities. And indeed it has in US higher education, with a twist far more treacherous than the one practiced in the private economy some time ago.

In the university version of strategic planning, a prior restraint is put on the planning process in the form of an ideologically-driven notion of educational transformation. While there is a lot of talk about the "market" of present and future students, as well as the market of future employment for graduates, an obvious concern when worrying about filling classes, the driving force is progressive evolution of the educational process. The most popular idea like that now is "student centeredness" (derived from the disastrous "child centeredness" movement in primary and secondary education) which has an arguably pathological assumption (and a transparently political one) that students are better able to direct their education than teachers and administrators. This would be news to teachers of the calculus, a foreign language, or constitutional law, areas of study distant from a student's everyday experience, whether of life enjoyed on a streetcorner, "observed" on TV, or imagined in playing the latest PS3 game. The idea is plainly socialist in origin, harking back to bizarre disasters in the prewar Red Army, when an entire generation of experienced field commanders were sacked in favor of noncoms held more able to direct armies because privates and sergeants were on the lowest level, the edge of the sword as it were. Without a qualified officer corps, the Red Army was battered at horrifying costs by the Wehrmacht until officers hardened and instructed in strategy and tactics by war took over. Under their firm, unstinting, personal direction, the Russians pushed the Nazis back to Berlin.

When a prior restraint, an ideological fixation, is added to the already collectivist qualities of strategic planning, a process begins which is more like covert organization of party cells than management of an insitution hoping to sell its program to future students. The atmosphere is poisoned from the start. Why?

Because the plan, and not an individual or group of individuals, is the guiding force in the transformation, it is impossible for critics, or even supporters, to engage in constructive and critical debate about what works and what doesn't. (As in the USSR, dissenters of any kind are described in the language of psychological pathology -- diseased people unable to think correctly.) Negative results are cast aside as being reflective of a process left over from "Mom-and-Pop store thinking." (In the USSR, they would be called reflective of "bourgeois thinking.") Under the aegis of such a plan, which disregards contingencies with an astonishingly cavalier and often brutal attitude, a great school can become a laughing stock, its degrees held as worthless by outsiders, its administration and faculty as buffoons. Inside the protective ring of the plan, though, you would never know about this because the plan itself denies bad news. When students begin to leave programs, or fewer apply, discussion turns to "a preference for quality," that is to say, students willing to accept the terms of this "transformed" education. (Similar to the startlingly small percentage of Russians willing to go through the rigors of becoming members of the Communist Party -- at its peak, they constituted less than 2% of the population of the USSR).

As a parallel to what happened in the now defunct USSR, strategic planning in the university is without peer or review.


Kahneman & Krueger: What the Left Has Planned For You Next

Roll over, Adam Smith. You said that we can trust the self-interested actions of individuals to benefit others. You said that an "invisible hand" guides markets, meaning that they did not require government control. But some of your economist descendants now claim that the self-interested actions of individuals do not even benefit themselves. Instead, government should intervene to make sure that individual choice serves to promote subjective well-being...., Don't Worry, Be Happy -- Or Else, Arnold Kling,, 4/19/2006

Those who believe statism, or dirigism, or whatever you want to call it -- we call it socialism here, never read or had an idea about intervention in personal choice that didn't tempt them to advocate it in Congress, a regulatory agency, or to a President willing to substitute executive orders for the risk of submitting a program to Congress. Arnold King at, James Glassman's mighty blog, has caught them at it again in his lengthy discussion of Alan Krueger and Daniel Kahneman's study of subjective well-being (we sometimes call this "happiness").

I am not altogether sympathetic to Krueger and Kahneman. In fact, you may think that the totalitarian examples I have come up with are an unfair distortion of their work. They merely claimed to be "interested in maximizing society's welfare." Hasn't that always been the goal of economists?...Indeed most economists, with the exception of the Austrian school, have seen the economist as an adviser to government...Don't Worry..., continued, Kling,

Merely claimed to be interested in maximizing society's welfare--isn't this where we came in? The movie gets old but, like a certain class of Hollywood producers, leftist economists always pitch the same story: we can do it better than you; you are too stupid to choose for yourself; we are wise men (and women too!) and you must accept our gifts or, if unwilling to do so, our generous offer to send you to the Netherlands to be put to sleep for good. And just to make sure we get support from the people, we are making our recommendations required reading (along with sexual training for kindergarteners) in public schools or in any school accredited in the United States. Just try to stop us, fiendish savage of the right! We have your name and number...etc.

There's a 747 leaving for Antarctica; put these idiots on it and have them study the behavior of penguins. Better yet, alter them genetically to become penguins. Then they can applaud each other and bark without the bother of having to conduct "scientific" studies.


Mild Donald Rumsfeld

Actually, Rumsfeld is mild compared to some of the "old school" firebreathers who ran the military in years past. George Patton, who once ordered his command Chaplain to pray for good weather so his men could "kill more Germans" was no shrinking violet. Nor was the lengendary Marine Corps General "Chesty" Puller. In fact, American military history is filled with military leaders who tolerated no fools, and were as hard on their men as they were on themselves....,And They Think Rumsfeld's Tough?, Spook86, In From The Cold, 4/19/2006

Spook86 is more than a commentator; he's a pretty good military historian. His illustrative account of a real military pain in the ass, Admiral King, U.S. Chief of Naval Operations in World War II, which includes marvelous quotes from Dwight Eisenhower about the Naval chief, would do Samuel Eliot Morison proud. And he sure scores points with the notion that the Pentagon Six are star-crossed wusses.


Quote of the Day: Hitchens on Wilson

The closest Wilson ever comes to a notional Iraq-Niger contact is at second hand, when one of his government sources tells of an approach, through a Niger businessman, to meet an Iraqi official at a conference of the Organization of African Unity in Algiers in 1999. Looking back on this event, his source now thinks that he recognizes the Iraqi as Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf. Wilson likes this story enough to tell it twice (on Pages 28 and 424 of his book). And it's a jolly good story, too, since Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf is more widely known as "Baghdad Bob," the information minister who furnished some low comic relief during the last days of the regime in 2003....,Clueless Joe Wilson, Christopher Hitchens,

Well, the left has never been ashamed of emulating its heroes, you know, Stalin, Pol Pot, Baghdad Bob....


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Generals Heel Clique?

The flag officer community in a particular branch of the armed services is a very tight-knit, insular bunch. Many...have known each other since they were captains or lieutenants...providing support and cover for members of their particular clique...Advancing to the flag a bit like climbing the ladder in the PRC Politburo...candidates are identified and screened years in advance, then their careers are carefully managed so they can rise to the top...That sounds a bit sinister...but the system generally works...I am not doubting the loyalty...of any of the officers who have criticized Rumsfeld. But describing their sudden flurry of criticism as "coincidental" is pure bunk. Retired flag officers are a prototypical "good old boy" (and girl) network...they certainly know how the game in Washington is played, right down to a well-timed media a little digging, and you'll find most have some sort of personal beef with both Secretary Rumsfeld and/or the Bush Administration. In the regard, criticism of the war effort (and its leadership) provides an opportunity to settle old scores, with the assistance of a willing press...., The Generals' Revolt, 'Spook86,' In From The Cold

General beefs with Secretary Rumsfeld are not news, but thanks to "Spook86" for reminding us. An awful lot of generals hated Rumsfeld from his first announcement of force reorganization, which cost them many potential commands, especially of ground troops. Three years after the collapse of an opposing army five times the size of the one we fielded to fight it in Iraq, there are lots of retired generals who believe we should have gone into Iraq with the same kind of force fielded by Saddam Hussein. And, as this old spy makes clear, such disputes are nothing new.


Ah, Heck, Joe and Valery Wilson, It Just Gets Worse

In a surprising editorial, The Washington Post deviated from the conventional anti-Bush media position on two counts. It said President Bush was right to declassify parts of a National Intelligence Estimate to make clear why he thought Saddam Hussein was seeking nuclear weapons. And the editorial said ex-ambassador Joseph Wilson was wrong to think he had debunked Bush on the nuclear charge because Wilson's statements after visiting Niger actually "supported the conclusion that Iraq had sought uranium...., It Turns Out Bush Was Right About Iraq's Quest For Uranium, John Leo, and US News & World Report, 4/17/2006

I wonder if Ambassador Wilson and Agent Plame have considered alternative careers, perhaps as talk show hosts on Showtime. They could counterprogram against Phil Maher's fabulations on HBO or against The Sopranos.


Rigging For Effect: Science and Politics

"[T]est results with laboratory mice show a direct cause-and-effect link between exposure to fine particle air pollution and the development of atherosclerosis...[The study] may explain why people who live in highly polluted areas have a higher risk of heart disease." NIH Study on Air Pollution and Health

The study caused a minor media sensation, with both journalists and health experts claiming the study provides strong evidence that PM2.5 is causing serious harm to human beings...there's much less here than meets the eye. The mice used in the study were genetically engineered in ways that make them unrepresentative of even real-world mice, much less of humans. The mice were designed to lack the gene for apolipoprotein E (ApoE), a key substance for fat and cholesterol metabolism. As a result, these ApoE "knockout" mice have blood cholesterol levels 5 to 6 times greater than normal mice when fed regular rat chow....Of Mice and Men, Joel Schwartz, TCSDaily.Com, 4/18/2006

How strange science becomes when desired objectives become imbedded in tests so that tests "prove" expected results. Imagine reporting injury statistics for a given car model, but only including injuries from accidents where the airbags had failed or where seatbelts hadn't been worn. Rigging for effect, in fact, violates a maxim of science, that results can't be decided in advance, especially to suit an ideological bent. There was one place where this didn't apply in recent historical memory, Stalin's Soviet Union, where genetics were expected to prove political objectives. What's going on? Or has it been going on for a long time?



A little black humor from our friends at Cox & Forkum, via Little Green Footballs:

We are at about the place in the time-space continuum with these Islamo-thugs as we were with Adolph Hitler in 1938. Tennis, anyone?

Looney Left II: The Latest on Darfur

In yesterday's post, directly below, we took a loot at the Washington Post's latest portrait of a looney. In this case, a moonbat from Amerikkka's Left Bank who's on a crusade to save the hapless people of Darfur from the predations of the Bush Administration. Obviously severely afflicted by Bush Derangement Syndrome, our leftie blogger couldn't possibly let the facts get in the way of her overpowering rage.

The facts on this issue, however, seem to be a bit at variance with what passes for moonbat wisdumb. Observe the following from today's online edition of the hardly right-wing Times of London:
China and Russia last night thwarted a year-long diplomatic drive by Britain to impose United Nations sanctions on the perpetrators in of the violence in the Darfur province of Sudan.

The two powers, joined by Qatar, used their position on a UN sanctions committee to block the imposition of a UN travel ban and asset freeze on four unnamed Sudanese, including one government official, proposed by Britain.

The United States, which backed the British initiative, reacted angrily by threatening to call a public vote of the 15-nation Security Council that would force Russia and China into making a formal veto.
Thwarted by lefties and their media buddies who have systematically engineered the available news to drag Bush down in the polls since his overwhelming 2004 victory, the Bushies no longer have the base, frankly, to take dramatic and necessary action in either Iran or Darfur (which, not coincidentally, harbors plenty of Islamic terrorists who are happy to practice jihad by offing Christian animists). Consequently, they are forced to labor in the fruitless vineyards of the U.N., an organization that, by contrast, makes the U.S. Senate seem lightning fast when it comes to making decisions.

The Times further notes:
The Security Council voted a year ago to impose sanctions on individuals responsible for the violence in Darfur, where Janjaweed Arab militia have made two million black villagers homeless since 2003.
When you read stuff like this, it just makes you want to donate the U.N. building and the valuable land it's on to Donald Trump so he can do something useful with the property.

Details like those presented in the Times' report, however, will never be persuasive to the likes of Maryscott, who inhabit a virtual space not unlike Rod Serling's "Twilight Zone."

Monday, April 17, 2006

A Portrait of the Looney Left

A number of bloggers have already linked to Saturday's Washington Post profile of a woman who is probably a pretty good stand-in for today's prototypical left-wing, Kos-kid blogger. But Wonker actually describes to Washington's left-wing house organ, and caught the piece first hand whilst trying to down breakfast.

The Posties began their story on page A-1 which one can attribute either to the paper's own political proclivities or the fact that it was a slow news day. (Although they could've expended a bit more ink flogging the anti-Rummy diatribes of a few disgruntled and probably Democratic ex-generals.)

Here's the Post's introduction to our left-wing blogger, who's obviously the cream of the left's intellectual crop:
In the angry life of Maryscott O'Connor, the rage begins as soon as she opens her eyes and realizes that her president is still George W. Bush. The sun has yet to rise and her family is asleep, but no matter; as soon as the realization kicks in, O'Connor, 37, is out of bed and heading toward her computer.

Out there, awaiting her building fury: the Angry Left, where O'Connor's reputation is as one of the angriest of all. "One long, sustained scream" is how she describes the writing she does for various Web logs, as she wonders what she should scream about this day.

She smokes a cigarette. Should it be about Bush, whom she considers "malevolent," a "sociopath" and "the Antichrist"? She smokes another cigarette. Should it be about Vice President Cheney, whom she thinks of as "Satan," or about Karl Rove, "the devil"? Should it be about the "evil" Republican Party, or the "weaselly, capitulating, self-aggrandizing, self-serving" Democrats, or the Catholic Church, for which she says "I have a special place in my heart . . . a burning, sizzling, putrescent place where the guilty suffer the tortures of the damned"?
Sometimes, to the unitiated, it seems as if us right-wing guys get a little imbalanced when talking about the loony left. But these folks are really unhinged. (And we'll let pass for this time the symbolism in the Post's running the last graf cited just above on Holy Saturday.) Further, the moonbats have a habit of limiting their arsenal of descriptive adjectives to one or two words which the Post, of course, chose not to print. Resulting, for example, in observations like this from fellow intellectual giants of the Marxist persuasion:
"I just want to see these [expletive] swinging from their heels in the public square," reads a recent comment from someone named Dave in a discussion about the Bush administration on a Web site called Eschaton.

"Laura Bush Talks; No One Gives a [expletive]," someone who calls himself the Rude Pundit writes on his Web site, and he continues: "The Rude Pundit doesn't give a retarded dog drool what Laura Bush has to say about the Olympics."
How original. You can tell these people have attended a good liberal arts college. Back to Maryscott (notice how many people who are desperate for attention have really nonstandard names?):
"If I can't rant, I don't want to be part of your revolution" is how she signs her comments, in the place other people might write "Sincerely."
Great. Finally, Maryscott is outed. "Revolution." An aging hippie. Except, for some reason, she's a burnt-out 37-year old, according to the paper. How did this happen to her? It's really quite simple. And no doubt not her fault. But let the Post and Maryscott tell you:
She signed petitions. She boycotted veal. She canvassed for Greenpeace. She donated to Planned Parenthood. She read the Nation, the New Yorker, the Utne Reader and Mother Jones. She agonized over low wages for overseas workers every time she bought a $40 leather purse.

Then George W. Bush was elected. Then came 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, the Patriot Act, secret prisons, domestic eavesdropping, the revamping of the Supreme Court, and the thought "It has come to the point where the worst people on Earth are running the Earth." And now, "I have become one of those people with all the bumper stickers on their car," she says. "I am this close to being one of those muttering people pushing a cart.

"I'm insane with rage and grief.

"But I also feel more connected than I ever have."
Yep. It's another case of what some pundits call "Bush derangement syndrome." The folks afflicted by it are all far lefties who simply can't stand it when they're out of power and out of the limelight. Somehow, they are, by nature of their brilliance and enlightenment, the only ones qualified to lead us down the primrose path. And Bush, or any Repub for that matter, took their sense of entitlement away.

Problem is, the reason this happened is that the only program these people have ever had is twofold: to take as much money out of our wallets as possible to distribute to their supporters, and to wreck the United States so that it can be supplanted by a U.N./Third World entity whose record of 100% failure no doubt ensures that this will usher in far better times. Hard to attract thinking voters with a platform like this. Which, of course, is why the 'Rats don't attract thinking voters, just ones who like to preen about their alleged virtue in public.

Again, this is what passes for intellect on the left these days.

The Post reporter penning this feature is a fellow we've seen before, David Finkel, the guy we jumped on a way's back for trashing (by innuendo) the fine people of Randolph, Utah. Could this be an attempt at being "fair and balanced" by trashing someone on the left by innuendo? Hard to say. In any event, these fanatics are far, far more unpleasant than the Utahns, for sure, and Finkel wraps up his piece with a coda of fusillades from the peanut gallery of Maryscott's friends in the blogosphere as if to prove the point:
On Rude Pundit: "George W. Bush is the anti-Midas. Everything he touches turns to [expletive]."

On the Smirking Chimp: "I. Despise. These. [Expletive]!"

And on Daily Kos and My Left Wing, the responses keep rolling in.

"Thank you, Maryscott."

"Thank you for the kick in the [expletive]."

"I wrote to my [expletive] so-called representatives."

"I also wrote to my [expletive] congressman to get off his [expletive] [expletive] and do the right [expletive] thing."
No doubt, these intellectual giants have every right to be torqued off. The obvious sophistication of their political thought process, as characterized and described in the above quotations, is ample proof that the public goofed by electing Chimpy BushMcHitler to the highest office in the land. Absolutely no doubt about it.

Problem is, I, at least, have a problem taking seriously a substantial bloc of people who feel rather than think, emote rather than plan, denounce rather than attempt to persuade, and rant nonstop like the simple, potty-mouthed children that they are. These are people trapped in at best, an arrested adolescence, at worst some kind of twilight zone inhabited by unfortunates whose brains failed to develop fully. They have not grown up and organically cannot grow up. Marxist programming is simple enough for them, allowing them to confuse their preening behavior with ideas that have actual merit. But such distinctions are lost for them as they rant on, like wolves baying at the moon.

For example: The main thing Maryscott is exercised about in Finkel's piece is the murderous problem in Darfur. Well, guess what? So is everyone else. Yet people who bray on about the issue like Maryscott are blissfully unaware that it's their nonsense that is, in large part, preventing the U.S. from taking a proactive position here. By echoing every naysayer around the globe who hates Bush for taking decisive action in Afghanistran and Iraq, Maryscott and her pals have hampered this administration's maneuverability when considering taking on yet another unilateral action. So the U.S. does nothing. And Europe's tired leftists do nothing. And the Arabic world, whose Islamofascist branch in the Sudan is exclusively responsible for the mass murder of the black Christian animists who largely populate the Darfur region, isn't going to lift a finger, since their thugs are already cleansing Darfur for Allah.

Ask Maryscott's friends: should Bush take unilateral military action to solve the problem in Darfur? Answer: [Expletive] NO! [God forbid that he succeed and get credit!] What's their answer? Refer it to the U.N. for a diplomatic solution. Didn't we do that, oh, several years ago? These people don't have a clue. Rage is the opiate of their masses.

The preferred solution to Darfur for Maryscott and her friends? [Expletive] on the [expletive] Bush. And those [expletive] right-wing bloggers, too. That'll show 'em. Hollow slogans for hollow people.

We're Ba-a-ack!

Wonk is back from the holidays but up to the eyeballs doing the business of America, which is making money. Blogging will resume as soon as possible. Plenty of outrages to report, ranging from the delightful guys of Hamas, to the even more delightful Iranian president, to the usual moonbats. Plenty to do, no time to do it. But we shall find the time. Meanwhile, enjoy the beginning of another work week!


Friday, April 14, 2006

Holiday Approaches

Wonk has decided to take Easter Weekend off, so blogging will be light to nonexistent. However, we're confident that adequate provocations will not be in short supply when we resume the search for truth, justice, and the American way next week.

A happy Easter holiday to all those who observe it.


Thursday, April 13, 2006

Code Pink-o Strikes Again

The moonbats of Code Pink-o, perhaps tiring of hassling severely injured American heroes at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in DC, are now busily taking on an even more important task—stopping a war with Iran before it begins. And they're taking their case directly to Iran's deranged terrorist president and kleptocratic mullahs, right. BZZZZZZZZT!!!!!!!!! Wrong Answer! They're taking it to the American people and World Ruler Kofi Annan (he of the Oil for Food scandal) whom they hope will unite with them to stop Chimpy BushMcHitler from saving us again. Here's what they want you to spam the honorable Kofi with (and we'll occasionally interrupt with juicy, fiskful comments):
Dear Mr. Secretary-General,

We are appalled that the United States is threatening a military strike against Iran, possibly using nuclear weapons.
We are shocked, shocked that Code Pink-o would actually believe something that the MSM itself now admits was an unsubstantiated rumor.
As you are well aware, a preventive strike is illegal under international law, and the threat to use nuclear weapons against Iran, a non-nuclear weapons state, is a violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that the United States has signed.
Excuse us, but driving jetliners into the WTC and the Pentagon was rather more illegal, wasn't it, and I guess maybe it wasn't covered by "international law" since Al Qaeda is not a sovereign nation. So maybe we should wait for Kofi and Pooty-poots to rewrite international law for us while the Iranians take out Tel Aviv and whack the Sears Tower? Precisely WHAT international law?

And didn't Iran just announce that it was a nuclear weapons state? Which puts them in actual violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that Iran signed in 1970?
A nuclear strike against Iran would undermine the entire legal framework of disarmament and non-proliferation that so many millions of people around the world, and the United Nations itself, have worked so hard to build and protect.
Kinda like Iran's intended nuking of Israel is already planned to do?
As the head of the United Nations, the repository of international law, you called the U.S./UK invasion of Iraq what it was: illegal.
Ah, so Kofi has sovereignty over the U.S. and the U.K. and can tell us that proactive self defense is illegal? We've been poring over the Constitution for quite awhile now, and we haven't found that clause. Maybe we should declare Code Pink-o's vicious spam for what it is: seditious.
Now we call on you to tell the Bush administration and the world:
From the position of moral authority and stature you gained by gaming the Oil for Peace program, of course.
--That any preventive military strike against Iran is illegal.
But that any preventive military strike by Iran against Israel and the U.S. is legal.
--That even threatening a nuclear strike against Iran - a non-nuclear weapons state - is illegal.
Like even threatening the sovereignty of the U.S. is seditious?
--That a nuclear strike threatens dire consequences - maybe even global war. We urge you to make a diplomatic solution to this crisis your top priority.
But a nuclear strike against Israel and the U.S. does not threaten dire consequences, maybe even global war, er, jihad?

It's pretty clear to any who care to read about Code Pink-o's antics that this is a Stalinist organization that puts out violent agitprop with a remarkable disregard for the lives and welfare of American citizens. They believe, as the Stalinist Communists of the 1930s believed, that the only sovereign state is the world socialist state that will be led by them and their ilk. The original dream had Moscow at the center of the universe, but the socialistic (and largely U.S.-funded) U.N. seems to be the venue of choice at the present time.

To give the Iranian fanatics a pass for their current and ongoing murderous antics is surely seditious and is now fast-approaching treasonous. And their call for a "diplomatic solution" is laughable. We've been trying, directly and indirectly, "diplomatic solutions" with these fanatics since 1979 and nothing has ever changed their ferocious hatred of the West.

The Iranians, in fact, learned an important lesson (as did many of our current enemies) from what the anti-war movement and the North Vietnamese did to us in the Vietnam War. By supporting the murderous Communist regime, the "peace demonstrators," who were, in fact, Marxist stooges, unwitting or no, allowed them to use "negotiations" with the U.S. as a cover that allowed them to continue their aggressive actions.

Iran, likewise, has no intent of "negotiating" seriously. Rather, given any opportunity to "negotiate," they will continue with their belligerance and intransigence while building their nuclear stockpile behind the scenes. When we wake up one morning and find, say, Boston reduced to a cinder, we might then understand what Iran—and Code Pink-o—have in mind when they encourage "negotiations." Never be fooled by known liars.

Miss 'Leeza's Watermelon: Take II

We're happy to report (we think) that the offensive math exam question discovered at Bellevue Community College in Washington State has been properly dealt with, and in fairly short order. We'd reported on this in an earlier post if you want to follow the bouncing reference. According to the Seattle Times:
Bellevue Community College President Jean Floten apologized Wednesday at an emotional open-campus meeting called after students complained about what they said was a racially offensive math question used on a practice test.
We also get a little more insight into how this question got on the exam in the first place:
The test question was originally written with the name of a comedian, Gallagher, whose signature shtick was to smash a variety of objects, often watermelons. Later, the question was rewritten, and the name was changed to Condoleezza, Floten said.
Of course, the college concealed the smoking gun by refusing to out the perp, but whoever it was volunteered for the usual penance:
The college declined to release the name of the teacher who wrote the question. Floten said the teacher has apologized and requested cultural-sensitivity training.
It's amusing to think of a lefty prof having to undergo the kind of punishment usually reserved by the Neanderthals of the right who've somehow slipped through the academic Republican Detection System. But appropriate nonetheless.

On the whole, we congratulate the college for the swift and unambiguous way it dealt with this issue. No crappola, no excuses, no passive resistance, no righteous bluster about "academic freedom" and free speech. And no Marxist cant about McCarthyism.

It's interesting to note that, in the academic pecking order, community colleges are routintely sneered at by tenured lefty academics, who remain comfortable in their cozy adolescent playpens and insulated, unlike the rest of us, from the necessity of taking responsibility for their actions. But community colleges, many of which have dedicated, modestly-paid profs with a heavy courseload and no tenure system at all, are more practical in orientation, and far, far closer to the communities in which they live than the average 4-year state-funded or private institution. So on another level, it's not entirely surprising that Bellevue chose to deal with this issue like adults. We find it rather refreshing. But the likes of Yale will never take note.

What Does It Mean to Be "Progressive"?

Interesting article on Frontpagemag today originating in the college newspaper The Daily Princetonian. The piece describes, in a fairly unbiased fashion, the efforts of Princeton Republican students pushing the student government to support a slightly watered-down version of David Horowitz' Student Bill of Rights, which, among other things, seeks to open up increasingly repressive college classrooms to real freedom of speech. Or, as a Princeton student who supports the measure states:
"We hope to instill in the undergraduates a sense of obligation to uphold the right to free and open debate as well as freedom from instructional bias," College Republicans president Alexander Maugeri '07 said.
It's long been known that the best way for a student, whatever his or her political beliefs, to graduate on time and with a decent grade point average, is to parrot back the sometimes outrageous opinions of professors, particularly the leftist ideologues who propagandize in humanities and social sciences departments, frequently on the direct or indirect dime of unwitting American taxpayers. Predictably, Horowitz' document, which actually echoes in many respects the American Association of University Professors' own teaching guidelines, has not gained much traction on American campuses, however. This is due to the swift, repressive measures that magically arise on each campus where the Bill is brought up. So, too, at Princeton, where the Republicans' proposal attracts fire from the usual suspects in the usual ways:
Progressive students immediately lashed out against the proposed initiative, arguing that it would restrict campus speech and put pressure on faculty to conform.
A little fisking, please. First of all, a word Wonker has grown to hate because of its sheer hypocrisy: "Progressive." "Progressive" is a nice word that's been in use for a long time but in a devious way. The word in and of itself connotes flavors of progress, prosperity, and positivism. Too bad. Because it's really been the long-favored synonym for "Marxist." Thus, the sentence above would have been more accurte if it had begun "Marxist students immediately lashed out..." But, by using the term "progressive," which has, unfortunately become common usage due to its endless promotion for this purpose, this writer, or any writer, becomes a useful idiot who helps distance an organization, individual, or action, from its true roots in fundamental Marxist thought. So, with this in mind, let's learn a little more about the kinds of ideas that one might classify as, er, "progressive":
Asheesh Siddique '07, the former coeditor of the Princeton Progressive Nation, sent out a press release against the SBOR, writing that the "College Republicans' proposed bill would politicize Princeton's classrooms, denying academic freedom and free speech rights to Princeton's students and faculty."
Hmm. Pretty good for openers. Makes you want to go out and trash this proposed bill sooner rather than later. After all, Wonker himself would never support anything that would politicize Princeton's classrooms or deny anyone his or her academic freedom and free speech rights. But wait a minute. Aren't Princeton's and pretty much every American university's campuses ALREADY POLITICIZED? And isn't anyone even slightly right of center politically, student or faculty (if indeed any of the latter can be found), ALREADY DENIED ACADEMIC FREEDOM AND FREE SPEECH RIGHTS? Sheesh, Asheesh, so what are you complaining about? A little fairness?
"Should such a referendum come to fruition," Siddique added, "we urge Princeton students to vote against approval; and should such a referendum pass, we urge Princeton faculty to disregard and ignore it in its entirety."
Again, another standard Marxist pitch, decidedly un-progressive as far as we're concerned. Not only are students supposed to vote against academic freedom. If they actually excersize some academic freedom and vote FOR the proposal's approval, then everyone is supposed to disregard it. This, of course, for a Marxist, is the very definition of democracy. If they win, we have to do what they say. But if we win, we still have to do what they say. (Witness the California school systems where the teachers unions refuse to follow guidelines limiting certain state educational standards.)

Now the windup and the pitch:
"[T]he College Republicans' proposal is nothing short of a full-frontal attack on academic freedom at Princeton," Siddique said in an email. "It's a right-wing ideological agenda-item that's been tried in other parts of the country with disastrous effects for students, professors, and education itself. Rather than protect student interests, it would restrict everyone's ability to learn."
It's clear in this passage this young Marxist who already has his Marxist chops well honed. He's memorized the agenda as well as its Stalinist rules for combat. Mischaracterize your opponent and lie through your teeth by trumpeting unsubstantiated charges. Tell people to ignore your opponent even if he or she wins. And now, having accomplished this, finish things off by smearing your opponent with Big Lies. The lie in this case is that the Student Bill of Rights to the best of our knowledge has not been adopted by a single major college campus in the U.S. For this reason, there have been no "disastrous effects" at all. Of course, the student journalist never challenges this, as would be the case in the MSM as well. Journalists, who tend to be left anyway, generally accept such statements as truth (since the other side has already been characterized as "right-wing" which means their simian thought-patterns can be ignored without consequence). Or, worse, they simply accept the authority of someone's thundering pronouncements because they are delivered with such vehemence. Siddique has already learned at an early age that you can lie, smear, and deceive when characterizing Republicans and easily get away with it since no one will ever examine your assertions.

So it goes with "progressive" thought.

But we're not done with the negative commentary yet. The college Democrats now weigh in and their statements are quite instructive, describing today's political climate in a surprisingly telling microcosm:
Julia Brower '08, president of the College Democrats, said that though her organization does not "believe that [the SBOR] was motivated by anti-liberal sentiments," it decided not to support the initiative.
Okay, let's parse this. The College Republicans aren't "motivated by anti-liberal sentiments," but we won't support 'em anyway. Wonder why? Here's the answer:
"We support the core principles of tolerance, diversity of opinion, and equality embodied in the Bill, but frankly the approach they have chosen is unnecessarily antagonistic," Brower said in an email. "Although we believe the College Republicans have no such intentions, the bill as it stands has the potential to cause professors to unnecessarily censor themselves and to lead to an atmosphere of hypersensitivity to bias."
So, by trying to carve out a little space for academic freedom at Princeton is "unnecessarily antagonistic." This is nice. We suppose if the College Democrats were supporting this referendum, it would, therefore, NOT be "unnecessarily antagonistic." The reason is that anything Republicans do on a college campus is either "unnecessarily antagonistic," or, even worse, "needlessly provocative." Fact is, professors and students already unnecessarily censor themselves and college campuses, with their asinine speech codes, have already created an atmosphere of "hypersensitivity to bias." Once again, the College Repubs are being accused of causing something that has long been established fact and was caused, in actuality, by "Democrats" and "Progressives."

Brower again is precocious. Democrats, no matter what their instincts, cannot in the end, allow their own innate decency to prevail against the leftist agitators that have hijacked their party. Brower says all the right words, but then caves in anyway rather than commit political suicide by showing any solidarity with a perfectly reasonable idea advanced by the opposition. This cave to the far left is couched, of course, in language of extreme reasonableness. But this response is, in fact, the standard capitulation to Marxist provocateurs that has been the stock in trade of the Democratic Party since circa 1968. They couch their effectively unreasonable position in terms of comity and reasonableness. The same tactic is being used elsewhere on this blog by a priest of the "global warming" movement to make pure partisanship look like actual science without giving the other side of the story.

You have to hand it to the left for their skill in manipulating the language. But this is precisely one of the reasons why HazZzMat exists. Since the academic community has been effectively purged of any moderating voices that might counter the Marxism that dominates these taxpayer-funded propaganda mills, it's folks like us who have to do battle to restore the balance. In this case, we support the Princeton College Republicans, although we also assure them that a way will be found by the College Democrats and "Progressives" to scuttle the Bill.

And we advise our readers to carefully parse journalistic reports and features that describe "progressives," "environmentalists," "activists," and "non-partisan studies." Except occasionally for the latter term, the remaining terms are clever disguises for "Marxist" or "socialist." Americans tend to react rather viscerally and negatively to the terms "Marxist" and "socialist," so the Marxist propaganda-meisters substitute synonyms and pound them into the national consciousness to more or less continuously conceal their seditious thoughts and actions. They just don't get away with it here.

If you remain constantly on the lookout for these magic words, and others we'll cite in the future (if we haven't already done so), it won't be long before the articles you read in the Washington Post and the New York Times start taking on the more sinister characteristics and positions these articles are in fact trying to conceal.

BTW, for more of Siddique's agitprop ranting, link here.

More on the Trouble with Boys

Got a nifty comment from a fellow blogger on our fisking a few days back fisking a patently ridiculous Washington Post Sunday Outlook OpEd claiming that rumors of the problems boys are having in the educational system, like reports of Sam Clemens' death, are greatly exaggerated. Rebecca T. digs a little more deeply into the authors' bogus stats and discovers a little "new math" in the process.

Plus, she discusses the other alarming stat glossed over by the authors:
They completely ignore the astonishing facts that boys account for 90% of all ritalin prescriptions and that 1 in 10 ten-year old boys is on medication for ADD.
It could be argued cogently that a great many of these prescriptions are not needed at all, but are forced on some categories of boys because their "boy-ness" needs to be programmed out in order to achieve the feminist ideal of behavior in the classroom, another topic that's rarely approached in the MSM because it violates the feminst orthodoxy.

And there's more:
Then there's the fact that boys are stuck in special education classes at much higher rates than girls, are responsible for most disciplinary problems and on and on. Basically, since the boys who really matter (rich, white, suburban) are doing just fine, we should continue to mindlessly accept the outdated, disproven notion that differences between boys and girls will never be anything other than manufactured societal constraints.

Don't they have fact checkers at the Washington Post? This sort of amateur statistic spinning really doesn't deserve a prominent spot in a prominent newspaper.
Right on, Rebecca T. We can't wrap this up any better than this.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Liberal Racists: Got a Watermelon, 'Leeza?

A math question from a prof at Bellevue Community College in Washington State:
Condoleezza holds a watermelon just over the edge of the roof of the 300 -foot Federal Building, and tosses it up with a velocity of 20 feet per second. The height of the watermelon above the ground t seconds later is given by formula h= -16t2 + 20t + 300

a. How many seconds will it pass her (she's standing at a height of 300 feet) on the way down?

b. When will the watermelon hit ground?
This was posted and verified in Michelle Malkin's online column today. Amazing, but once again, this proves three Known Facts™:

  1. Democrats can say racist things but they are not racists because only Republicans are racists.
  2. Since Condoleeza Rice is a Republican and therefore not black, making disparaging remarks about her is not racist.
  3. And of course, being a Democrat is never having to say you're sorry.

Calling All Illegals...Come On In! Luv, Denny and Bill

Here's the lede from a front page story in today's Washington Times:
Any immigration legislation passed by Congress this year will not include the inflammatory provisions approved by the House last year that make it a felony to be in the United States illegally, Republican leaders on Capitol Hill said yesterday.

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said in a joint statement that "it remains our intent to produce a strong border security bill that will not make unlawful presence in the United States a felony." The commitment removes a primary concern held by many Democrats who say that the yearlong imprisonment carried by a felony conviction is too harsh.
And here's the third graf from a front page story in today's Washington Post:
Yesterday, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) issued a joint statement seeking to deflect blame for the harshest provisions of the House bill toward the Democrats, who they said showed a lack of compassion. "It remains our intent to produce a strong border security bill that will not make unlawful presence in the United States a felony," Hastert and Frist said.
Ted Kennedy offered these helpful comments in the next graf:
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) fired back that "there's no running away from the fact that the Republican House passed a bill and Senator Frist offered one that criminalizes immigrants."
What gives here? Let's see, if I swipe a GameBoy from Toys-R-Us and get caught, that's a felony. But if I'm an illegal immigrant or, hey, even a terrorist, and sneak into the U.S. by swimming the Rio Grande, and I get caught, then that's okay, or at least not a felony? And this will guarantee a strong border security bill?

One of few people alive today who admit to voting for Richard Nixon, Wonker fell off the wagon and voted for St. Jimmy in 1976 and has repented of this sin now for 3 decades. I've voted Republican ever since. But both these stories, one from a rightie paper and one from a leftie rag, cite the same quote, and reveal just how quickly the Republican Party has forgotten about its base since the 2004 elections, which left them victorious and the Democrats eviscerated and demoralized, but even more determined to regain the power they abused for over half a century and which they still regard as their right under God, or would if they believed in God.

What's wrong with the Repubs? We think we know. We would guess that the good folks who put money in their campaign coffers, most notably the U.S. Chamber of Commerce—with whom we generally have no quarrel—like the fact that hordes of new workers, illegal or not, are helping keep wages perpetually low and would like for this to continue. And so they support effectively doing nothing at all about our increasingly laughable border situation.

Earth to the Chamber and to the Repubs: Your core constituency—us—is absolutely and totally pissed on this issue. Unfortunately, you maybe haven't figured that out yet, since most of us don't get funded by leftist organizations to carry on mass demonstrations letting you know what we think of you, which is not bloody much right now. You were elected to hold down the Federal budget, not build Bridges to Nowehere. And you were hired to protect our borders after 9/11, not the Democrats whom we didn't and don't trust.

Remember, it's we who vote for Congress, not the Chamber of Commerce and others who are slap happy with low wages and with not having to pay irritating things like Social Security and Workman's Comp. And there are a LOT more of us than there are donors in the Chambers of Commerce.

You're playing these games with our national security, including creating the impression that our laws and sovereignty can be flouted with impunity, because you're confident that in the end, we'll forgive you and vote for you because we will never vote for a Democrat. And you're partially right. We will never vote for a Democrat.

But if you don't wake up pretty soon, we might just stay home. Think about it.

Challenging Extremist Thought? Perish the Thought...

Belmont Club's ever-thoughtful Wretchard discusses at length today the dangerous paralysis of the European intelligentsia and its political class in the face of overwhelming Islamofascist provocations. One possible solution is confronting the Islamofascists in an intellectually-driven culture ware. But this is tough when the supposed custodians of Western culture would rather raise the white flag than defend their own way of life. Wretchard draws the following conclusion, which can hardly be comforting to the United States:
If developing "norms that challenge and expose extremist thought" are a prerequisite to challenging Islamic extremism then the road will be long and hard. Intellectual challenges to radical Islamism have largely been the effort of outcast intellectuals like Oriana Fallaci, Bat Y'eor, Hirsi Ali and others like them. They live in a shadow world, "scorned by the academic establishment for their politically incorrect views", as Bruce Bawer puts it; and literally on the run. Fallaci in fact, has been ordered to stand trial for "defaming Islam" in her native Italy. Hirsi Ali leads a precarious existence under round-the-clock protection from the Dutch government. On the other hand, as Bawer also notes, European intellectuals like Timothy Garton Ash who argue for submission, who say that "for this increasingly Muslim Europe to define itself against Islam would be ridiculous and suicidal" are free to move, speak and publish. Ash is a professor at "Oxford, where he directs the European Studies Centre, and is a fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. He is considered a world-class expert on Europe and its future, and he refers frequently in his book to his participation in glamorous-sounding international conferences on weighty topics. In short, he is at the heart of the European academic elite". Islam's intellectual challengers live a fugitive existence while its defenders move in a celebrity world. If challenging Islamic extremism intellectually is a necessity then the enterprise has gotten off to a bad start.
This is where the Stalinist-Gramscian left has maneuvered us at the beginning of this new century. Having failed via mass-murder, subversion, proxy wars, and just plain old repression to conquer the world for a brutal socialist ideal, they've now managed to crawl into the philosophical, artistic, and judicial guts of the west and eviscerate the culture, like the parasites they are. This has left not only Europe but the U.S. as well in a highly vulnerable position. Those in positions of respect and authority as custodians of Western culture—largely in academia—are today almost universally either active or passive Marxist ideologues who'd far rather do away with the culture than preserve, protect, and defend it. And they've done a rather good job, too. Wretchard is worried about this and, in the passage above, mightily concerned that the bravest voices are outside the institutions and are thus difficult to hear since they lack access to educational, judicial, and communications apparatus.

It is hard to find a point in history where the entirety of the cultural and much of the judicial intelligentsia of entire continents has become uniformly negative, bitter, intellectually flaccid, and self-destructive, but that's what we're experiencing right now. It's not a pretty picture.

For a broader look at this, by all means surf over to Belmont Club. It's well worth your time.

Joe and Valery Wilson: Check This Out

Wowie Zahawie!
Sorry everyone, but Iraq did go uranium shopping in Niger....Christopher Hitchens, Slate, 4/12/2006

Democrats and their pet Prosecutor Fitzgerald will have to go out and invent some new crimes (again?) as none, other than the interesting "investigation" by Ambassador Wilson, encouraged by his not very secretive bride, seem to have taken place. Well, perhaps, treason, but what's a little treason nowadays? If Al Gore can trade nuclear secrets for campaign funds from the Chinese, what's a little fabrication from an ambassador to that?


Global Warming Intimidation? State of Fear??? can a barely discernible, one-degree increase in the recorded global mean temperature since the late 19th century possibly gain public acceptance as the source of recent weather catastrophes? And how can it translate into unlikely claims about future catastrophes? The answer has much to do with misunderstanding the science of climate, plus a willingness to debase climate science into a triangle of alarmism. Ambiguous scientific statements about climate are hyped by those with a vested interest in alarm, thus raising the political stakes for policy makers who provide funds for more science research to feed more alarm to increase the political stakes....Climate of Fear, Richard Lindzen , Opinion Journal, 4/12/2006

Richard Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT.

...there are the peculiar standards in place in scientific journals for articles submitted by those who raise questions about accepted climate wisdom. At Science and Nature, such papers are commonly refused without review as being without interest....Climate of Fear, continued, Lindzen

Perhaps Dr. Lindzen knows something about what's going on. Holders of major endowed chairs at university are so honored, especially in the sciences, for being especially aware of a particular field. Dr. Lindzen's is atmospheric science which has something to do with the weather, among other things; MIT is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I think he's a little better qualified than a holder of 23 patents in optics to discuss the weather!

Or maybe, because Alfred Sloan was a founder of General Motors, Dr. Lindzen's just a prostitute selling himself to the oil industry. Maybe the sun is actually orbiting the Earth and the moon is blue cheese. Maybe believers in global warming are at the center of the universe. And maybe a reborn Galileo would have found that fighting the Inquisition takes place in a different kind of High Church nowadays, one whose malevolent findings are excused by "peer review."


Immigration: A different view

"All these immigration bills are essentially the same,” the wise man told me. “None are intended to stop illegal immigration. Our restrictions are designed merely to be filters to weed out the weak, lazy and stupid from getting into the U.S. Those who get through will be the fittest, and they will bring America the best genetic stock as new citizens.” This columnist was first to identify the paradox that today’s liberals demand that Darwinian evolution be taught in our public school classrooms but insist that real Darwinian competition – dodge ball, score keeping, the very idea of winners and losers – be banished from the playgrounds of those same schools. Do they believe that Charles Darwin, the founder of evolutionary theory, was right or not? I occasionally interview a deep but cynical thinker. Because he prefers to remain anonymous, I call him “The Darwinian.” Quoted above and hereafter, this is his take on current events....A Darwining View of Immigration, Lowell Ponte, FrontPageMag.Com, 4/12/2006

This article comes close to suggesting that a tired, unmotivated, irreligious, "competition-free" American population is an easy target to be supplanted by aggressive, ambitious, family-oriented, and religious Mexicans. Hey, if you're bored, don't give a damn, believe in nothing, and think fighting for something is passe, don't be surprised if someone shows up next door with an attitude that suggests you could be replaced.

Of course, what's worth noting is that the majority of Americans, i.e., those in the "Red" states, more often than not are not bored, do care, believe in something, and are ready to fight to defend their country, their families, and their beliefs. Maybe, just maybe, they have friends coming across the border. That would sure shock the stuffing out of Democrats.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

More A.N.S.W.E.R.s

Although they got big media hype yesterday, the huge immigration marches that took place were, in general, surprisingly low in turnout according to Power Line which had helped coordinate blog coverage of the events. Once again, the demos were promoted and funded by A.N.S.W.E.R., the hard-left public arm of the Stalinist Workers World Party (WWP). The result was a fair number of Commie banners in the demonstration, such as in this photo borrowed from PowerLine, which was taken in the NYC demo:

Note the Che Guevara flag almost dead center. These Boomer clowns never seem capable of jettisoning their old, Commie-loving Vietnam memories, do they? And of course, this was the real reason why A.N.S.W.E.R. sponsored this demo as they sponsor anti-Global War on Terror demos. (BTW, according to Power Line, the fellow in the dark blue shirt at the right is an A.N.S.W.E.R. bigwig.) The real reason for their presence is to coopt folks demonstrating for other means in order to inflate A.N.S.W.E.R.'s apparent numbers, making them seem stronger than they really are. In other words, these are Stalinists who effectively either create or hijack demonstrations that are meant for one thing, and use it to promote the long-discredited but still pernicious Communist agenda.

Power Line comments:

International A.N.S.W.E.R. passed out thousands of mass-produced, yellow and black signs with exactly the same message. You can see them prominently displayed in our video footage from New York. Here, though, is what I think is even more interesting. At either of the two New York Times pages linked above, [here and here] you can also link to the Times' own video of the New York demonstration. Take a look at it.

Look at the sea of yellow and black, International A.N.S.W.E.R. signs. They vastly outnumber all other signs and banners. They are the dominant visual image of the New York demonstration. It is inconceivable that the Times' reporters could have failed to note the prominent role played by A.N.S.W.E.R. in running the demonstration, or the dominant role played by that group in equipping theprotesters with signs. Yet the organization's role was not acknowledged by the Times, or, to my knowledge, by any other newspaper. Why? The Times' reporters were obviously aware of A.N.S.W.E.R.'s prominent involvement, and thirty seconds' worth of research would have disclosed the fact that the group is an unabashedly Communist organization. It wouldn't have taken much more than that to learn that A.N.S.W.E.R.'s National Coordinator has said that illegal immigration can be the "catalyst for a broader class struggle, even possibly a revolutionary struggle."

Now, I'm not suggesting that most of those who carried A.N.S.W.E.R.'s signs in yesterday's demonstrations sympathize with, or are even aware of, that group's extremist agenda. But isn't A.N.S.W.E.R.'s role newsworthy? Isn't it something that newspaper readers need to be aware of, to get a balanced picture of the demonstrations?

The Times doesn't think so. The Times made the editorial judgment that you're better off not knowing who was responsible for that sea of yellow and black signs so clearly depicted in their own video. Because, when mainstream media organizations start referring to "mischievous toddlers," it's not hard to figure out whose side you're supposed to be on.

Which illustrates pretty well, I think, why we need citizen journalism.

We agree. A leftish friend of ours, a few years back, happily hitched a bus to a DC anti-war demo led by A.N.S.W.E.R., which also apparently had the money to provide plenty of buses. Innocently, my friend shared with the Philadelphia leader of that city's bus brigade, who also happened to be an official of that organization, a copy of a friendly bit of advice I'd emailed her. I had warned my friend to be careful not to get near any of the anarchists and Commies who were sure to be in the demo, as it was not too long after 9/11. The memory of the Pentagon was still fresh, we still hadn't actually gone to war in Iraq, and I felt the cops might be a little less than sympathetic to people whose agenda was trashing the U.S.

Emailing my friend back, the female A.N.S.W.E.R. official would've made Hillary blush with her foul invective denouncing me and other right wing slime, completely missing the whole purpose of my missive. And, fun enough, somehow I was still in the cc: line (usually these people are more careful) and received her slanderous email, never meant for my eyes, which was obviously not my Communist antagonist's intention.

As a result, I decided to respond directly and shocked her with a couple of exchanges where I questioned her integrity and reasoning. She proved completely flustered and unable to parry my questions about her agenda as do most leftists who are only used to associating with their own kind. These people typically are not challenged, and this proved to be an unpleasant experience for her, one from which she extricated herself as quickly as she could. Leftist cant simply can't stand up to reason, at least in part because they don't believe in reason, only the programmed party line.

I challenged my friend why she would hang out with such people. She admitted she sort of knew what their agenda was, but since they were helping out in a "good cause," she didn't have a whole lot of difficulty with making use of their support.

This was naive, which is typical of those who regard themselves as liberals when they encounter the truly hard left. In point of fact, a significant number of people like my friend were coopted by A.N.S.W.E.R. to vastly increase the otherwise small number of demonstrators who would have turned out for an openly Communist event. Thus, the organization was able to show the cameras that it had far more "supporters" than it really has which was a real propaganda coup. The press never reported this, nor did they report the speeches of invited speakers, which included Islamofascist imams who loudly denounced the U.S. and threatened the infidels with death. Such duplicity was always the calling card of the American Communists, even in the 1930s, where their stock in trade was quietly infiltrating and then taking over citizen organizations. At which point they'd turn the organization into another Communist or socialist cadre, no matter what the organization's original mission.

This, in fact, is what's happened over the years to organizations as diverse as the American Bar Association, the American Medical Association, The Sierra Club, etc., all of which are now simply tools of the left and stooges of the Democratic party.

When Communist-led happenings like the antiwar demonstrations and the current ones are not properly characterized by the media, the Communist organizations score a PR coup each and every time. Many members of the MSM are so sympathetic to the hard left that they may not even notice what's going on. Others purposely ignore it and make use of such bogus demos to continue Bush-bashing, which has gotten really effective lately if you look at the polls (which in themselves have become another form of leftist propaganda).

Basically, my friend was duped by A.N.S.W.E.R. as were a good many of the Latino demonstrators yesterday and last week. Further, the Latino demonstrators may soon discover that these Stalinist organized demonstrations may actually have a more sinister purpose. The ignorant MSM has failed to detect the massive backlash that's building among American citizens of all stripes who are absolutely disgusted that what they thought was their government, the one that supposedly represents them, is prepared to file capitulation legislation effectively proclaiming that illegal immigration is a fine thing. Such a backlash could grow to the point where the hard left could delcare "class warfare," which is precisely what their agenda is.

This, of course, is a goal as well for the hard left Democrats who believe that every Latino they can register to vote will perpetually cast a vote for them. That's just swell, and an excellent way to rebuild a dying party. But what kind of message are these Dems sending to new citizens and old about respect for the law and the value of citizenship? The Dems, frankly, don't care. The Republicans are wimping out. But the vast majority of U.S. citizens are very, very afraid of what this means. And they're not racists, as any lefty will try to convince you that they are. Rather, they are deathly afraid of the chaos that will begin to reign in this country when a vast and increasing number of outsiders have a stake neither in our country nor its ideals. If they say nothing, their fears will be fulfilled. If they themselves take to the street, the Stalinists will declare class warfare and things could get violent. Both of which would suit the left just fine. These are despicable people.

Laws only work when they're enforced. What's being proposed here in terms of immigration is the legal equivalent of lowering the basket to 6 ft in the NBA, or bringing the outfield fence in about 200 ft in major league baseball. Suddenly, there's no longer any point buying tickets or in playing the game.

And that's what A.N.S.W.E.R. really wants. The complete breakdown of our society. So their Stalinist cohorts can win without firing a shot. This is the perfection of the Gramscian approach. But few ever saw this one coming.