Tuesday, August 29, 2006

In Case You Wondered About Hillary's Roots

It’s a poorly-kept secret, however. At the annual Take Back America! conference on June 3, 2004, Hillary gave Soros a glowing introduction, saying, “We need people like George Soros, who is fearless, and willing to step up when it counts.” More importantly, her right hand man, Harold Ickes – who served the Clinton White House as deputy chief of staff – now serves Soros as de facto CEO of the Shadow Party....The Shadow Party, interview with Richard Poe, co-author of The Shadow Party: How George Soros, Hillary Clinton and Sixties Radicals Seized Control of the Democratic Party,Jamie Glazov, Frontpagemag.com

For those who didn't know, this is a valuable review of an even more valuable book. They have taken over -- fair warning to voters!


An Academic Boner in Washington

The Washington Post's almost-always irritating Dana Milbank, who generally forgets whether he's wearing a reporter's or a columnist's hat, has a rather interesting report today on a CAIR-sponsored hate-Israel fest at the National Press Club. (The "Council on American-Islamic Relations," allegedly a nonpartisan organization, is nothing more than an Islamist front organization that has in the past even hornswoggled the usually alert Bush Administration into thinking they represented moderate Islam.) This propaganda session for the press, er, news event, featured the University of Chicago's leading Israel hater, "political scientist" John Mearsheimer. Mearsheimer bills himself as a Washington expert. Oh, really?
University of Chicago political scientist John Mearsheimer was in town yesterday to elaborate on his view that American Jewish groups are responsible for the war in Iraq, the destruction of Lebanon's infrastructure and many other bad things. As evidence, he cited the influence pro-Israel groups have on "John Boner, the House majority leader."

Actually, Professor, it's "BAY-ner." But Mearsheimer quickly dispensed with Boehner (R-Ohio) and moved on to Jewish groups' nefarious sway over Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), who Mearsheimer called " Von Hollen."

Such gaffes would be trivial -- if Mearsheimer weren't claiming to be an authority on Washington and how power is wielded here. But Mearsheimer, with co-author Stephen Walt of Harvard's Kennedy School, set off a furious debate this spring when they argued that "the Israel lobby" is exerting undue influence in Washington; opponents called them anti-Semitic.
And parental units pay big tuition bucks for this? But, of course, everyone knows that Mearsheimer and his pal Walt are distinguished and non-partisan. Merely disinterested academics pursuing the truth. And what might that truth be?
When the two professors finished, they were besieged by autograph- and photo-seekers and Arab television correspondents. Walt could be heard telling one that if an American criticizes Israel, "it might have some economic consequences for your business."

Before leaving for an interview with al-Jazeera, Mearsheimer accepted a button proclaiming "Walt & Mearsheimer Rock. Fight the Israel Lobby."

"I like it," he said, beaming.
Wonder what kind of pipe Mearsheimer's smoking.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The End of History?

Luther's previous post on the disaster otherwise mislabeled "America's public education system" is hugely on target, and gives me an interesting notion: I wonder sometimes if the NEA's animosity toward the "No Child Left Behind Act" is in large part due to the fact that this and other state initiatives are exposing the lousy socialist careerism behind this union's gutting of our education system, over which the teachers' unions hold a near-monopolistic control. They're getting paid a lot of money and teach our kids diddly.

They've hornswoggled even our own neighborhood school system in Fairfax County, Virginia, allegedly one of the best in the country. But most of the Fairfax system's top graduates couldn't hold an intelligent debate on any topic with, say, a 1950s public high school student who managed to time-travel to 2006. Who's fault is that?

One of the ways the educationaloids have managed to gut education while setting up taxpayer-funded propaganda mills is to eviscerate actual subject matter either by replacing it with socialist propaganda. And by engineering fact-based education right out of the system. Certainly we've seen this in literature classes. But have you noted how ignorant the average student is today about history? Busy working parents have little time to notice what's happening. The lefties have taken full advantage of this, particularly since virulently Marxist/New Leftist Boomers took over the educational system in its entirety in the 1970s.

The Washington Post's resident socialist pundit, E.J. Dionne, whom we cordially despise, published an op-ed piece in today's paper (registration may be required to read it) that was truly astonishing. Even he, who never met a Republican he didn't hate, seems to be onto this wreckage of our educational systems, although his piece comes to an inevitably dumb conclusion. Noting the decline of history in public education, Dionne observes how the current conservative government in Australia has seized upon its own similar problem:
MELBOURNE, Australia -- A battle over the future of the past broke out here last week. The fight explains a great deal about how Australia's conservative prime minister, John Howard, has hung on to power for a decade.

Pay attention to Howard. His approach could be a model for how parties of the right -- including Republicans in the United States -- manage to build majorities in turbulent times.

Last week, Howard organized a "history summit" to call attention to the decline of Australian history as a subject in high schools. In most states here, history has been subsumed within (and thus displaced by) a broader social studies curriculum focused on "studies of society and the environment."
Sound familiar? The problem, that is? It should.

Part of the reason the obviously youthful correspondents of leftwing screeds like the Daily Kos scream so much about "the war," "Bushitler," etc., is due to their abysmal ignorance of history. The Anglosphere on either side of the Pacific has been shortchanged for at least a generation when it comes to educating young people in their heritage, which would allow them to place their own lives in the context of a larger history and culture. A generation of our young people has been indoctrinated in socialist theory that caricatures the U.S. while never acknowledging its impressive record against fascism and communist totalitarianism. It's small wonder that significant numbers of them can shout slogans like "Bush lied, people died" without a clue as to how the world really works and who the villains really are. Thus, they prove useful and non-troubling tools for the anti-American puppet masters of the hard left. They are shock troops who are battling bravely to destroy their own lives.

John Howard has encountered similarly profound and aggressive ignorance on his own continent. But what Dionne grasps about what's going on down under is something the Bushies and the Republicans do not. Dionne is mightily impressed by Howard's grasp of the culture wars and the depth to which his nation is being undermined by the left's dominance of cultural and educational institutions. Like our own, these institutions have been transformed into Marxist-oriented propaganda mills bent on creating a permanent fifth column from a generation of student-fodder, all the better to destroy the culture that has made Australia great.

Howard has recognized the true root of the problem: the breeding, by the educationaloids, of pure ignorance. This ignorance, when goaded into a passionate, angry, emotional response against specific targets by the cynical, relativistic modern left, is impervious to both facts and logic. They are completely unpersuadable, impermeable to argumentation. But eminently manipulable by party hacks. Which is just the way the lefties like it.

While citing Howard's rhetoric and approving of its effectiveness, Dionne makes an astounding admission:
"I think we have taught history as some kind of fragmented stew of moods and events," Howard declared, "rather than some kind of proper narrative."

This is the sort of cultural and educational fight familiar to Americans. My gut is with those who see history as a distinct subject. Wherever we live, we should know our country's national story.

Notice what has just happened: This writer, on the other side of politics from the Australian prime minister, has embraced his argument that old-fashioned history is worth teaching.
(Wonker's italics.)

Obviously, Howard's simple logic has awakened something of primal importance in Dionne's pre-Marxist brainstem, which is why he felt compelled to write the type of piece that we have rarely if ever seen in his column. Dionne appreciates Howard's political acumen, realizing that this kind of issue can bring surprisingly different kinds of people into a champion's own tent:
Howard has a genius for picking the right wedge issues. In this case, his argument appeals to conservatives who don't like what Howard has called "black armband history" -- i.e., a history that is primarily critical of Australia's white settlers. But it also draws in many from outside the ranks of the right who have moderately traditional views about school curriculums.
The rest of the piece is mostly in this vein, as even Howard's Laborite opponent in the next election weighs in with substantial agreement. Clearly, this issue has given at least one MSM leftist-in-good-standing, E. J. Dionne, some pause. And some reason to fear that if our own conservatives jumped on this bandwagon, they might find a surprising depth of consensus in many a surprising place.

This blog has long-lamented the way in which the left, particularly in its dominance of educational, judicial, and artistic institutions, has dumbed down or negated our own magnificent culture to the point where many would no longer bother to defend it against the current Islamofascist enemy. We've begun to see evidence, as in today's Post piece, that even some of the leftie perps are beginning to regret the looming world disaster that is occurring at least partially as a consequence of their own actions. But it probably hasn't bothered them enough yet to grit their teeth and pull the "R" lever this November.

Cycles of Ignorance

A school district in Suffolk County (NY) gave teaching applicants an 11th grade reading test which three-quarters of them failed. One-third of applicants failed a basic-skills test in Virginia. Such horror stories permeate the public education system, including the fact that half the math and science teachers in California were discovered to have no training in these subjects. Clearly, it would be an understatement to assert that incompetency is rampant and stupidity abounds in the public education system. Indeed, while the system routinely graduates illiterates who can't read their own diplomas, it also employs teachers who can only charitably be described as dullards...The Unspoken Truth, Frank Borzellieri, New Century Books (1999)

And you thought it was getting better?

Efforts to reform our public education system received a blow recently when a federal court reopened a challenge to the testing procedure the State of New York requires as part of the certification process for new teachers...A disproportionate number of black and Hispanic teachers and prospective teachers failed this exam. The complaint is that the city discriminated against those removed from the classroom after failing the test...I have had some contact with this exam. My son is a teacher, and took the test four years ago. I was shocked when I first saw this exam...The test appears to me to be more appropriate as an exit exam required for high school graduation than as an entrance exam for new teachers. The claims of the plaintiffs that the test is "culturally and generationally bound" is absurd. This is a simple test of general knowledge and skills that represents the least that we should expect of someone to whom we entrust with the education of our children....Why We're Losing Ground," Andrew Wolf, The New York Sun, August 25, 2006

When "prejudice" comes to mean any negative opinion about any individual in a given group, it ceases to have meaning. It becomes instead a means of preserving the assumed rights of something akin to a royal family. They can smash the china at the palace, ransack the treasury, and be as dull as sheep, but don't dare say anything about them. These tests examine an individual's capacity for teaching. The possibility that mostly dolts would bother with the teaching profession in New York (or elsewhere)has nothing to do with race, but the condition of the profession itself, one wracked with wacko educational theories introduced by educrats with more interest in punching a ticket than educating a student. And it is getting worse.

Those who believe in the ideology behind this suit also have their sights set on another area of the city's educational scene, the specialized high schools...."Why We're Losing Ground," Wolf, NY Sun

Of the very few ways that public schools keep "taxpayer students" from leaving for private schools, gifted student programs and schools are among the most important. It is not surprising that the race merchants and the equal outcomes fantasizers would obsess about these programs and schools. Such programs and schools acknowledge what even fools know, that equal though we may be before the law, in matters of intelligence and talent, the dice fall differently individual to individual. This profoundly offends race and equal outcomes merchants; the evidence defies everything they claim to believe in. And Wolf is right to title is article "Why We're Losing Ground," because we are, especially any student with special gifts, or any parent who can't afford private schools.


Wretchard Riffs on Niall Ferguson's Future Shock

Wretchard, whom we've already introduced below, mostly turns over the podium to Niall Ferguson today, commenting on Ferguson's recent, "provocative summary" in Foreign Affairs. (You can link to FA for a preview, but reading the whole piece requires a subscription.) Ferguson's initial observation:
The twentieth century was the bloodiest era in history. Despite the comfortable assumption that the twenty-first will be more peaceful, the same ingredients that made the last hundred years so destructive are present today. In particular, a conflict in the Middle East may well spark another global conflagration. The United States could prevent such an outcome -- but it may not be willing to.
Good stuff. Since you can't really link to the original unless you subscribe to Foreign Affairs, you'll find Wretchard's citations and comments the next best thing as he guides you through Ferguson's interesting reason.

BTW, Foreign Affairs—published every other month by the Council on Foreign Relations—while at times maddening for its occasional leftist tics, is nonetheless an old-style, popular, and relatively nonpartisan academic publication whose distinguished writers offer deep and very frequently perceptive insights into the murky world of global politics. It's the kind of content Americans rarely see anymore. We've subscribed from time to time (it ain't cheap), and find the publication generally first rate and loaded with the kind of genuine intellectual heft you won't find in the MSM, on TV, or in the usual political debate and commentary. For info and sample content, click here.

Wretchard Amongst the Cockroach Men

Moving right along from our previous post, we next highly recommend a fine essay posted yesterday by Wretchard on his Belmont Club blog. One of the best commentators in the blogosphere, Wretchard's entries have been a little weak of late (maybe he has a day job, too), but yesterday's piece, Forward Together, relates the tale of the Cockroach Men of the Phillipines (Wretchard is actually a native Phillipino) and uses it to riff on America's evolving battle plan against Iraq's batallions of religious and ethnic terrorists in places like Baghdad. The essay is vintage Wretchard, a classic piece of vintage British-style storytelling that has a point to make but offers interesting diversions along the way.

Toward Defining Leftist Intellectuals

Many good things to report yesterday and today, but Wonk is having to earn a living today. So the next best thing is to refer you to a few great posts on other sites that elaborate on some of the things we've been trying to deal with here at HazZzMat.

Our first interesting tidbit emanates from the always-reliable crew at Power Line. John Hinderaker deconstructs a feeble historical analogy recently nattered by long-ago has-been presidential candidate, Gary Hartpence (aka Gary Hart):
Hart compares the United States in the early 21st century with ancient Rome, and argues that the Bush administration represents the end of the American republic, just as the accession of Augustus as Emperor of Rome signaled the end of the Roman republic.
Read about the rest of this absurd analogy here, including a link to the original.

Best of all, however, is John's punchy conclusion about Hartpence and all the other phony intellectualoids of America's 5th-column party:
Gary Hart is sadly typical of the Democrat Party: an ignoramus masquerading as an intellectual.
Repeat that phrase: An ignoramus masquerading as an intellectual. It describes quite accurately the entire American left, from the hapless Hartpence, to the moronic Murtha, to the shallow, vulgar fulminators that inhabit the Soros-backed Daily Kos.

John actually lobs in a lovely coda to this piece as well, calling to mind the open, shipboard promiscuity with an empty blonde tart that derailed Hartpence's presidential ambitions:
For what it's worth, if a neutral observer were looking for a parallel to the Roman Empire, he might well find it in Hart's famous sex-booze-and-rock-and-roll debauchery aboard the Monkey Business, which led to his salutary retirement from public life.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Civilian Casualties: Part VI

The astute Victor Davis Hansen cites seven critical lessons learned thus far as we wage the Global War on Terror (GWOT, aka WW III). The seventh sounds a rather familiar refrain for us and for HazZzMat readers:
...the reputation of the international media in the Middle East for both accuracy and fairness has been lost. In the recent war in Lebanon, news agencies were accused by bloggers of publishing staged photos, and one agency, Reuters, was embarrassed when it found out - thanks again to the work of bloggers - that one of its freelancers had doctored war-zone photos.

Journalists rarely interviewed or filmed Hezbollah soldiers; we still
have no idea how many so-called "civilians" reported killed were, in fact, Hezbollah terrorists.
In the Middle East, reporters are scared stiff of Islamic fundamentalists, but not the Israeli or American military.
(Italics are Wonker's.)

We certainly agree, and that's precisely the point. The MSM, always anti-Bush, anti-Israel, and more than likely anti-American (but, of course, "patriots"), are either too frightened or too lazy to search for the truth in Middle Eastern war zones. Rather, they're content to parrot the enemy's allegations of "civilian casualties" as an established fact. But, as we've learned in Afghanistan, and, occasionally, in Pakistan's lawless tribal zones, terrorists are "civilians" too, since they aren't soldiers of any country. Thus, 100 "civilian"deaths trumpted by Hezbollah's Stalinist-quality propaganda machine could range anywhere from 100 women and children to 100 jihadis, or any combination in-between.

This distinction led to the MSM being easily suckered on the Qana "scandal" where they first trumpeted Hezbollah's and the Lebanese governments wild claims for an enormous number of "civilian casualties." The number was later radically reduced, and even then, of that number, no one is really sure of the number of Hezbollah "civilian casualties" involved in that raid. For, conveniently enough, by the time the question arose, the site had been more or less sanitized.

Although the left, over the last century, has done its best to destroy the meaning of critical descriptive vocabulary by robbing it of meaning, we can't let them get away with it. Words have meaning, precise meaning, and we need to work to retain meaning rather than allow it to be obliterated by a bizarre kind of moral equivalency.

A civilian is a civilian--a noncombatant who is not involved even in a support role unless coerced. A combatant of any kind in the Middle East, particularly if he doesn't wear a uniform, is NOT a civilian. And should not be allowed to be counted or treated as such.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Truth in Advertising

We gagged when we spotted Time's current cover grafik online today. Airbrush, anyone?

But later in the day, we were mightily amused to discover this subtle cover makeover, which more honestly portrays this once-important newsmagazine's real intent:

LOL. Hezbollah's propagandists could use this dude in their Photoshop operation for sure.

Hip-Hop Republicans?

My, how demographics can change:
Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons will be the host of a campaign fundraiser Thursday for Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele's run for U.S. Senate.

The fundraiser for Mr. Steele, a Republican who would be the state's first black U.S. senator if elected, will be held at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park in Baltimore.

Also scheduled to participate in the event are Cathy Hughes, founder and chairman of Radio One, a black-run broadcasting company specializing in urban markets, and hip-hop pioneer DJ Kid Capri.

Tickets to the reception are $35. VIP reception tickets are $500. An estimate of how much the event will raise was not available.

Ms. Hughes and Mr. Simmons, the man behind the Def Jam Recordings music label and the platinum-plated careers of acts including the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J and Run-DMC, embody Mr. Steele's message of economic opportunity, campaign spokesman Doug Heye said.

"These are both people who not only built extremely successful companies but companies that are actively involved in their communities," Mr. Heye said. "It goes to what Mr. Steele talks about in building legacy wealth."

Mr. Simmons, who often has used his music empire to advance liberal political activism, has backed the Republican administration in Maryland.
Okay, we're too realistic to get our hopes up for 2006, but this might be the early stage of a trend that bears watching.

The piece is from today's Washington Times. Where else?

Senator Allen Follies: Week II

For those of you who haven't been following the latest MSM anti-Republican flap, Virginia Senator George Allen, fighting in a surprisingly close re-election campaign against ex-Reaganite-conveniently-turned-Dem James Webb, dissed a weirdly-clad opposition political operative a couple of weeks ago in a way that may or may not have been "offensive." The Washington Post's reliably objective (NOT) and ironically-named Mike Allen, after trashing the Senator's allegedly feeble grasp of culinary terminology, recaps the incident:
...Allen certainly did not help himself two Fridays ago when he made fun of a Webb campaign volunteer who was following him around. Such workers are called "trackers," and both parties use them. But Allen pointed to the dark-skinned volunteer -- a Virginia native of Indian descent -- before welcoming him "to America and the real world of Virginia" and calling him "Macaca." The word can be a slur (it literally means a type of monkey), but Allen aides said it was a play on "mohawk," for the 20-year-old's partly shaved head. Webb's campaign soon posted the embarrassing clip on YouTube.com, producing a spate of front-page stories.
Whatever Allen meant, he should have learned long ago that as a Repub, you can't even give the appearance of insensitivity in this environment. Now it's open season, as this latest Post article proves, as it goes on to cite the existence of an even more shocking skeleton stashed in Allen's political closet:
Allen's indiscretion reinforced one of his fundamental vulnerabilities: his past embrace of the Confederate flag, which he says was a manifestation of youthful rebellion. The New Republic's Ryan Lizza provoked astonished murmuring in GOP circles with a May article about "George Allen's race problem." The 5,000-word evisceration revealed that Allen, at age 17, had worn a Confederate flag pin for a yearbook photo at his high school in Palos Verdes, Calif. Allen's office confirmed to Lizza that it was a rebel flag, and said it was possible that he also sported the Stars and Bars on his Mustang, as classmates had recalled.
The horror, the horror!

Obviously, Allen's reward for his recent dubious slip has been wall-to-wall derision from the local and national media, as they continue their neverending quest to help the clueless Dems retake the Senate this year. Clearly, Allen has a "race problem."

Dems, of course, don't have "race problems" and don't need to endure this kind of scrutiny. Hearken back to WV Senator Robert Byrd's interesting comments to Tony Snow on Fox News, recapped here by Michell Malkin:
The ex-Klansman showed his true colors when asked by Fox News Sunday morning talk show host Tony Snow about the state of race relations in America. Sen. Byrd warned: "There are white niggers. I've seen a lot of white niggers in my time. I'm going to use that word. We just need to work together to make our country a better country, and I'd just as soon quit talking about it so much."
Now rewind the tape. For the past two weeks, George Allen has been dogged on the campaign trail for his apparent "macaca" gaffe and has apologized numerous times in public, trying to get the flap behind him. His reward: a relentless media shark-attack to which has been added a revival of an ancient story about Allen's sporting a Confederate flag pin in high school. The media inference: obviously Allen is a racist and this obviously should disqualify him from even running again for the U.S. Senate.

But Bobby Byrd, the former Klansman, skated away from his obviously racist remarks with barely a murmur from the MSM. And no apology. Proving once again that being a Democrat never means having to say you're sorry.

Repubs from George Allen to Rick Santorum need to remind themselves that they are under 24/7 attack by the MSM which will show them no mercy if they stumble on the podium or in their personal lives. It's a handicap that Democrats never have to worry about.

As Malkin puts it, referencing Byrd:
If this ex-Klansman were a conservative Republican, he would never hear the end of his sordid past. "Ex-Klansman who opposed civil rights and black justices" would appear in every reference to Sen. Byrd. And even the "ex-" would be in doubt. Maxine Waters and Ralph Neas and Julianne Malveaux and Al Sharpton and all the other left-wing bloodhounds who sniff racism in every crevice of American life would be barking up a storm over Sen. Byrd's latest fulminations. Instead, the attack dogs are busy decrying latent racial bigotry where it doesn't exist, while the real thing roams wild and free in their own political backyard.
(Note: You may have to register to read the online Washington Post link.)

Scientists Discover New Element

As we await the Mad Mullahs' non-answer to the West's latest appeasement suck-up, er, offer, here's the latest scientific discovery that provides evidence for the increasing torpor and ineffectiveness of today's solons and diplomats. Our periodic table will never be the same...

(Actually, this is a scurrilous missive we received via email, and we're posting it here with a bit of editing. We all can use a bit of humor, particularly when it's basically true. We have no idea who originated it, so if any of our readers know, please send us a comment along with some evidence, and we'll be glad to give credit):


The recent spate hurricanes and gasoline pricing issues have provided us with convincing proof of the existence of a new chemical element. A major research institution has recently announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element has been named Governmentium.

Governmentium (Gv) has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, its presence can be easily detected because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second to take over four days to complete.

Governmentium has a normal half-life of 4 years. It does not decay, but instead undergoes reorganization, in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each successive reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming potentially radioactive isodopes.

Moron promotion, uniquely peculiar to this element, has led some scientists to believe that Governmentium is generated whenever morons reach a critical concentration in a given environment. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.

When the catalyst of money is applied, Governmentium is transformed into Administratium. Scientists have noted that Administratium radiates just as much energy as Governmentium, probably due to the fact that it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

In business circles, Governmentium has come to be known as Managerium.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Adolescent Boomers; or, the Mouse That Roared

James Lileks returns to form today and comes out swinging at leftist hypocrites of Boomer vintage who seem to misremember the 1950s. Their continuing childishness in socalled Western intellectual precincts, continually noted here in HazZzMat, surfaces once again in a "cutting edge" Scottish play trashing—what else—the McCarthy Witch Hunts and Walt Disney and his Mouse's part in them.
I’m not going to defend McCarthy, because he was a brute and boor and a butter-eating drunk who set back the anti-Communist cause four decades. To say that he was sorta right, in the sense that there were Commies about, is like saying that J. Robert Oppenheimer had a salutory effect on Japanese urban renewal. I’m not interested in those debates right now. I’d just like to point out that it’s a little late in the game to trot out a play about the mean old witch-hunts. The bravery of the scrappy idealists! The piggish philistinism of the anti-commie brutes! The smothering wet quilt of Conformity that held America motionless until it was thrown off by the undulating hips of Elvis!...It's just interesting how Westerners think that that Red Scare was a historical event of such towering proportions it trumps the tales of the Soviet Union in the same period. US version: communist sympathizers frozen out of screenwriting jobs, justly or unjustly. USSR version: actual communists killed in ghastly numbers by a parody of a legal system underwritten by brute force and an industrialized penal system built on slave labor. Why is the latter ignored, and the former celebrated?

Because a herd of frozen zeks dying in the snows of Wherdifugistan doesn’t really connect, you know? Whereas six guys sitting around the Carnegie Deli bitching about cowardly sponsors, that strikes a chord.
Lileks comes to a preliminary conclusion about this latest leftist gilding of the lily, all too common in smug, "artistic" precincts where "shocking the middle class" is seen as progress, even though these idiots have been doing this for 60+ years now and the middle class has mostly moved on:
There’s a clinical psychological term for all this, and it’s “Pissed at Daddy.”
Indeed. Lileks is just getting warmed up now:
It made me think of the perpetual adolescent strain in post-WW2 culture. Before the 50s, when there were actual problems like an interminable Depression and Nazis, adolescents were mostly unseen in the culture. You had kids, and you had grown-ups. Adolescents were young grownups, expected to adhere to the same general rules of behavior. It was an adult culture, and adolescents were the interns. The culture would tolerate some things like Bobby Soxers, but with wry eye-rolling amusement. After the war, though, the adolescent was not only the focus of the culture’s attention, he was taken seriously.
Lileks drives relentlessly and savagely toward his conclusion:
Among the wise and brave in the west, the Red Scare and the Eisenhower Golfocracy will remain the go-to era for the modern Dark Ages, a time when talented, witty people couldn’t glibly support a collectivist blood-soaked totalitarian system without fear their boss might get the wrong idea. You can see why the “Mouse is Dead” premise, however historically flawed, was catnip for the playwrights. Disney = Mickey, and everyone loved Mickey Mouse. He was cheerful, brave, industrious, ingenious, faithful, fair, scrappy and true. He was everything the grownups said we should be.

God how we hate him.
Read the whole thing. The absolute best rant ever about the arrested leftie adolescents who continue to be taken seriously as "artists."

Shut Up and Listen to the Left

Lefty law prof Lawrence Tribe has been urging folks to just look at the conclusion of Judge Taylor's idiotic ruling against the NSA wiretaps last week. Forget the reasoning behind it, which is, in fact, the cause of much bitter mirth, even in lefty legal circles, due to its utter ineptitude.

Tribe's admonition betrays its Marxist core. Marxism, after all, runs on the engine of the dialectic, fueld by party discipline. And if the party says it's so, well then, it's so. So don't bother me with logic, which is a tool of imperialist hegemonists anyway.

Ann Althouse calls him on his smug elitism and contradictory reasoning, linking it to Rathergate's "fake but accurate" meme. Meanwhile, Power Line's John Hinderaker, himself an attorney, makes the following observation:
A lot of years have gone by since I knew Larry Tribe as a superbly fair-minded professor. It is inconceivable that, in those days, he would have defended a district court opinion that failed even to acknowledge the fact that it conflicted with every appellate decision on the controlling issue. But the Democratic Party, to which Larry is loyal, has become a party of hate; and hate has superseded any pretense of rational analysis. It is a sad fate for a once-fine intellect.
Indeed. But I've never seen any evidence, over his long and loud career, that Tribe ever had a "once-fine intellect." If he ever did possess this grasp of the law, it was soon extinguished by the necessity of adhering to the party line. Pathetic.

Euro Chicken Hawks

Well, well, well. After all the feather-ruffling and bluster, our always-reliable friends, the French, are backpedaling on their commitment of troops to help the Lebanese Army clear the south of that country of Hezbollah murderers and criminals. Looks like the Italians and Finns are following along. When the rubber meets the road, looks like the Euros are prone to burn rubber in the opposite direction. Little Green Footballs hits the nail on the head:
The only purpose of this cynical charade was to enable France to improve their image in the Islamic world, at Israel’s expense. They never intended to follow through.
We'd expect no less of the French.

However, there is a fairly plausible reason for this backpedaling says lgf, citing a seemingly reliable report in the NY Times:
Some countries, like Australia, which has placed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, have flatly refused to commit troops. “We have no intention of making any significant contribution,” said a senior Australian government official, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. “We don’t have any confidence in it. It is not going to have the mandate to disarm Hezbollah.”
Well, yes, and this is an intriguing point. The "mandate" to disarm Hezbollah was never particularly clear in the U.N. resolution with regard to how this might be done. This, of course, was to provide political cover for the extraordinarily weak Lebanese government as well as the over-romanticized (by the west) mass-murderers who head up Hezbollah which, along with its masters in Tehran, have no intention of disarming anyway as that would rob them of their raison d'etre, if you'll forgive the phrase.

But the reason why the mandate was not clear was because the French betrayed the U.S. at the last moment by forcing a watering-down of the stronger resolution that had originally been offered.

Bait and switch. Par for the course in a nation that once boasted Vercingetorix and Charlemagne as heroes and role models.

Like that old Midas muffler commercial used to say: "You can pay me now, or you can pay me later." The implication here was that stalling a repair until later would be a whole lot more expensive than dealing with the problem right now. And you'd still have to deal with it anyway. No escape. It's the same deal here. History tells us we can never escape dealing decisively with murderous thugs, lest we be overcome by them. And history also teaches us that postponing the day of reckoning makes it a lot more expensive later. When will they ever learn?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Iran: Cassandra Speaks Again

The tyrants of Teheran are led by a messianic cult that dominates the civilian and military leadership and is in complete control of the war plan. This cult, with its spokesman Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has openly broadcast that the period from sundown in Jerusalem on August 21 to sundown in Jerusalem on August 22 of this year is a profound moment that is associated with the return of the Twelfth Imam. All Iranian war plans are organized around the phenomenon of the imminent return of the Mahdi, who vanished in the Tenth Century. As of this writing, there is no good indication of what the Iranians are expecting to have happen other than that it will be nasty....Sea of Assassins, John Batchelor, NY Sun, 8/18/2006

John Batchelor, who hosts ABC talk radio from 11:30PM-1AM EDST, is not in the habit of wearing sandwich boards that say WORLD ENDS, but he continues to beat the warning drum about Teheran. Is this August 1914 or December 1941? So many actors are onstage that it has become hard to tell who's doing the right thing, or if anyone is.


Clinton Era Rerun? A Short Play

A federal judge in Detroit ruled yesterday that the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance program is unconstitutional, delivering the first decision that the Bush administration's effort to monitor communications without court oversight runs afoul of the Bill of Rights and federal law....Judges Rules Against Wiretaps, Washington Post, 8/18/2006

SETTING: Detroit, a judge's chambers
CHARACTERS: Intelligence Agent, Judge, Director of Homeland Security
DIRECTOR OF HS: We have to take action, Judge. We have proof. We can't wait any longer. I have to call in the troops or all is lost.
JUDGE: That's what you guys always say. What proof?
DIRECTOR OF HS: Tell her, Harry.
INTELLIGENCE AGENT: Judge, your honor, I've got a recording of a guy who says he's going to blow up Lake Erie.
JUDGE: Did you record this on the telephone?
JUDGE: Oh my God!, The horror! The horror!
INTELLIGENCE AGENT: What did you think, that I invited the guy to lunch, announced that I was going to tape our conversation, and brought this information back?
JUDGE: (Screams hysterically) My God! You taped it from the telephone! That's unconstitutional. No, you may not act upon this. Go get some other form of proof!
DIRECTOR OF HS: That's all we've got.
JUDGE: That's what you guys are always saying.
DIRECTOR OF HS: What about Lake Erie?
JUDGE: What about it?
JUDGE: What's that sound?
INTELLIGENCE AGENT: (From offstage) It's 9/11 all over again!
DIRECTOR OF HS: Where's your canoe?
JUDGE: I showed them, didn't I?

You were expecting Hamlet?


Freedom, Justice, Dissent and Democrats

A group of Senate Democrats is growing increasingly angry about Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (D-Conn.) campaign tactics since he lost the Democratic primary last week. If he continues to alienate his colleagues, Lieberman could be stripped of his seniority within the Democratic caucus should he defeat Democrat Ned Lamont in the general election this November, according to some senior Democratic aides....Dem angst escalates, Alexander Bolton, The Hill

It's a funny thing about lefties. The more they sue for "freedom" the more they try to silence and punish dissent. Senator Lieberman, no friend of Republicans or the of the Right on most issues, has come to serve as a marvelous reminder of what pigheaded halfwits dominate the Democrat Party, a party that used to include Scoop Jackson and JFK, but now houses Michael Moore, Howard Dean, and Hillary Clinton. In Connecticut, it looks like a transition from chicken soup to nuts.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Media Leak Freaks: Chickens Coming Home to Roost

Fascinating online piece today in the New York Observer's online version. Reporter Niall Stanage observes that:
When prosecutors won the right to inspect reporters’ phone records earlier this month—potentially unmasking numerous secret sources—the story barely caused a ripple.

Such a blatant threat to the freedom of the media might once have stirred national outrage, or at least a spirited debate.

But if government intrusion into the media’s rights isn’t receiving the attention it deserves, the press has only itself to blame, with leading outlets like The New York Times weighing in on the subject inconsistently and in a way that seems to be motivated more by political ideology than institutional self-interest.
Indeed. We, and for that matter, the right-side-of-the-aisle blogosphere have been pushing this simple observation for years with very little effect. But perhaps with both the Times and the Washington Post copping Pulitzers for their own highly subjective and highly treasonous leaking of secret documents, damaging the government's War on Terror (aka WW III), the media has gotten a little too cocky with "the public's right to know." Now, their obviously hard-driving leftwing disdain for this administration is coming home to roost. Their cherished ability to "protect anonymous sources" is now rapidly eroding. They only have their own adolescent irresponsibility to blame.

The report explains the particulars of this case:
The recent ruling on phone records was issued by a federal appeals court in New York on Aug. 1. It related to a grand-jury investigation into who told Times reporters that two Islamic charities were going to be the subject of government action in 2001.

Prosecutors contend that phone calls the reporters made seeking comment from the charities tipped off the organizations to forthcoming raids and asset freezes.
He then gets to the heart of this matter:
The editorial and opinion pages of The Times, in particular, have condemned disclosures that have been helpful to the Bush administration, while defending the broad right of officials to secretly pass on information.
Citing the increasingly phony "Plame Affair" and the pre-Iraq War intelligence material backgrounding conducted by the Administration in its own defense, Stanage wonders why this is somehow bad while the NYT and WaPo security leaks are somehow good. He then pretty much answers his own question:
The problem with [the administration's] leaks, for at least some in the media, seemed to be that the information they revealed favored Mr. Bush.

In an April editorial during the N.I.E. flap, The Times huffed that “this president has never shown the slightest interest in disclosure, except when it suits his political purposes.”
Stanage's wrap up is factual but devastating:
The same could be said of almost all Mr. Bush’s critics. Yet The Times, like any other media organization, would not (and should not) complain about briefings by the President’s detractors if the details they revealed were true.

The press’ most esteemed outlets have embraced this selective argument and, in so doing, have ceded precious ground to their tormentors.

That ground will not be easily won back. And m­any reporters will yet have cause to rue the confused rationales offered up by the high priests of their profession.
He's got that right. We'd add further that the Administration's leaked material was offered by a beleagured White House desperately attempting to defend this country from a largely unknown foe while fending off a hostile press actively seeking to defeat the U.S. on the battlefield by revealing to the terrorists and to the world each and every trick in our intelligence arsenal that might make a difference. Further, before these activities occurred, it's clear that plenty of legal advice had been sought ahead of time to minimize the chance that, in attempting to defend the country by defending their own actions, the Administration didn't violate the law.

It's now increasingly clear that they didn't violate the law, either in "PlameGate" or in the alleged WMD misinformation flap. On the other hand, it is by no means clear that the Times and the Post did not commit collective treason by aiding and abetting the dissemination of national security information by disgruntled, Bush-hating govies.

The MSM's continuing lack of balance, not to mention their complete disdain for discretion and morality, has undermined their claim to privilege. Acting in league with the armada of far-left critics and politicians seeking to destroy this Administration, they have destroyed any argument they once might have had as to their objectivity. And they are now beginning to pay the price.

Don't be surprised if the Attorney General is readying more indictments for the Pulitzer Prize winning leakmongers at both papers. It will serve them right. They only have themselves and Karl Marx to blame.

Connect the dots. Selective reporting of damaging security leaks. "Fake but accurate" memos. Printing on a massive scale of obviously Photoshopped Middle-East war photogs snapped by partisan Islamofascist hacks hired by cheapskate news organizations and not carefully examined before publication. Smarmy interviews with "authentic" Islamofascist murderers showing their "human side." We witnessed this kind of propaganda from the left throughout the long and arduous Cold War. (Which we one, by the way, to the great anguish of the die-hard left.) But now it's the reporters who are indulging in it in an incredible display of hatred and disdain for their fellow countrymen who desperately want to be free from lurking terror. Is it any wonder why media credibility is now lower in some opinion polls than the credibility of a bow-tied used car salesman?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Boyz N Z (Middle East) Hood

Now here's a truly fascinating thought:

Hat tip to Lucianne.com. This cartoonist may just be onto something...

Resisting "Resistance": Propaganda as News on CNN

During earlier coverage on Sunday, CNN chose the word "resistance" to describe Hizbullah's actions in Lebanon – a term used by Hizbullah - as well as Hamas - to describe their own attacks - implicitly presuming that armed jihad organizations are 'resisting' and defending against aggression, rather than initiating it.
This excerpt is from a longer report on CNN's phenomenal anti-Israeli bias in its reporting from the Middle East. CNN's behavior, of course, is not exceptional. The MSM as a whole have very much taken to parroting Hezbollah's party line in the current conflict, having cheerleaded for the terrorists from the very outset of the current war, proclaiming Hezbollah as the victors even before the guns were more or less silenced yesterday.

The above excerpt is a particularly fine example of the way our language is slowly, inexorably being used to strangle the truth. By accepting the premises of our sworn enemies, the MSM become, inexplicably, a willing tool in the destruction of the west. This is the Marxist-Gramscian impulse run wild, the undermining of a culture just for the hell of it. And the media and the MSM do it every day. Wonk is beginning to seriously wonder if there is any way to stop it.

The example above is quite simple. CNN thoughtlessly parrots to its audience Hezbollah's concept of itself as a "resistance." But wait just a cotton pickin' minute here. "Resistance" to what?

In the case of the strage entity currently known as "Palestine"—in spite of the fact that there is no ethnicity that can actually call itself Palestinian—one might have legitimately described their terrorists as a "resistance" during the Israeli occupation. If you accept Palestine as currently defined as the homeland of the people who live there, you could legitimately describe those fighting against that occupation, as odious as they may be, as a sort of "resistance."

But we have a set of different circumstances operating in what I think is still called Lebanon. Here, a group of terrorist thugs calling itself Hezbollah and funded by the thugs in Damascus and the terrorists and fascists in Tehran, crossed over the border of a sovereign nation, Israel, and kidnapped two of its soldiers while murdering half a dozen more. When Israel crossed over the Lebanese border in pursuit of these thugs, and to deny them resupply of weaponry, they were within their right to defend themselves, much the way we were when we took it to the terrorists hiding in the failed state of Afghanistan.

The point to make here is that, while, due to Syrian and Iranian duplicity and the desperate ignorance of the impoverished Shiites inhabiting the south of Lebanon, Hezbollah has a couple of ministers in the current Lebanese government, they do not CONSTITUTE the legitimately elected Lebanese government which, as the government of an allegedly sovereign state, has authority over all its people.

But at base, Hezbollah regards their organization as a law unto itself, and does, in fact, not recognize the authority of the government of which they are a part. Therefore they, unilaterally, and without a thought or care as to the consequences of their actions (or possibly in spite of this), deliberately provoked the Israelis to come after them. Once having done so, they then had and have the chutzpah to call themselves the "resistance." This is not only a murderous concept. But it's the wholesale slaughter of the meaning of the term "resistance," turning it on its ear.

Were Hezbollah the legitimately elected government of Lebanon, the term might have some resonance. But acting without the authority of the legitimate Lebanese government, they provoked the wholesale destruction of an infrastructure that Lebanon has been painstakingly rebuilding for the last 5-10 years, and most particularly during the last 6, after the unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the south of Lebanon.

In other words, prior to the Hezbollah provocation, neither the state of Lebanon nor the state of Israel had any problems with one another per se, in spite of the lack of a treaty and in spite of periodic provocations by Hezbollah thugs.

In its blatantly provocative kidnapping of the two soldiers, Hezbollah assumed that the spirit of the status quo would prevail, and that they'd be rewarded, after a time, with yet another lopsided prisoner swap, trading the two Israeli citizen-soldiers for, no doubt, hundreds of murderers currently incarcerated by the Israelis, and for good reason. But they miscalculated, as did Al Qaeda in NYC and Arlington, Virginia. Since they don't recognize the concept of a nation-state, Hezbollah failed to note that its trespass on sovereign territory, a trifle to them, was a huge provocation to a beleaguered state. And in so doing, they provoked the wrath of a sovereign state, legitimately defending itself, upon the entirety of Lebanon, whose infrastructure had to be destroyed to prevent a massive resupply of an enemy whose supplies had been discovered to be surprisingly inexhaustible.

The point of all this is that when all is said and done, the concept of Hezbollah as the leaders of a "resistance" is as laughable and illegitimate as it is a complete contravention of international law. "Resistance" connotes a brave people fighting to regain control of their own legitimately held territory. The problem is that, in Lebanon, it is the Lebanese government that legitimately hold its own territory, not Hezbollah, which LEGITIMATELY holds NO TERRITORY. Thus, for Hezbollah to call itself a "resistance," and for the MSM to simply accept this characterization, is to accept Hezbollah's concept of itself, which again is against all known tenets of international law.

Ominously, however, in many ways, that's the point. Old line U.S. communists in the 1950s were always fond of calling themselves "patriots." And they were. What they didn't tell you that their "patriotism" was not on behalf of the U.S., but on behalf of the World Socialist Republic whose seat was then in Moscow. This sly twisting of the word fooled many, as it does today for organizations stemming from this political geneology like ANSWER, Code Pink, and moveon.org. Their "patriotism" too, far from being protected by the Constitution, is seditious and treasonous, as it does not recognize the authority of the U.S. government, only the world socialist order.

Likewise, the sinister meaning behind Hezbollah's use of the term "resistance" is that they do not and never will recognize the states of Israel and Lebanon. Or Jordan, or Egypt, or France, or the U.S., or anything. They represent the Shiite flavor (as opposed to the Wahhabi flavor) of the now nearly mythic Islamic "caliphate." They are a law unto themselves, much as is Al Qaeda. They are the SS as opposed to the Wahhabi Kremlin. They are, in the end, fascists who seek world domination through the excuse of an apocalyptic and murderous interpretation of Islam.

They are, in short, the "resistance" only if you agree with them that they can legitimately murder anytime, anywhere, in search of a restored caliphate. They are certainly not a "resistance" in any rational understanding of what this word really means.

By accepting their terminology, however, CNN and the MSM once again are proving to be even greater enemies of democracy and what is left of Western culture. For by accepting Hezbollah's depraved concept of themselves, CNN and the MSM are brainlessly paving the way for the legitimization of a New Caliphate. The masterminds behind CNN and the MSM, of course, would be horrified at this observation. But by becoming the willing stooges of the Islamofascists, and by defining the meaning of our language in their direction, they are aiding and abetting the rise of the Hitlers and Stalins of the 21st century. Stupified by the puerile left and incapacitated by a terminal case of Bush Derangement Syndrome, they are, nonetheless, leading us to an apocalypse that we don't want but are going to get.

Words matter. And we may find this out much sooner than we think.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Vileness of the Left: A Blog Highlight

RedState has an excellent sample of the left's adolescent viciousness posted today under the title we've referenced in our headline. With reference to the apparent kidnapping of two Fox journalists by Iraqi-based terrorists, lefties on the Huffington Post weigh in with juvenile glee, which RedState sums up aptly:
Can we afford to have these people be victorious in November? I think not. The left has become fascist -- wishing death on its opponents, demanding to be heard, crying censorship when we ignore them, and themselves trying to silence those with whom they disagree.
That's about right. To read the latest disgusting observations from the folks who deem themselves the party worthy of taking over Congress this fall, click on the link here.

Samizdat in England

If the solution to Muslim extremism in Britain being offered by 'moderate' Muslims is to give the extremists what they want (i.e. changes in British foreign policy), then the so-called 'moderates' are nothing more than the mouthpieces of the extremists they claim to reject. No doubt if given the changes they want, we will be told that only if yet more legal restrictions are placed on what we kuffir can say about Islam will we be able to to placate Muslim 'anger' and thereby prevent those wicked extremists from blowing us up....Recognizing Muslim 'anger' for what it is, Perry de Haviland, samizdata.net/blog.

Samizdat, for those who have forgotten the ways of the old Soviet Union, was a name for an underground network, a distribution system for literature and opinion regarded as politically incorrect by the Politburo's censors. If you wanted to publish a report about, say, a factory for baby carriages that produced nothing but transfer payments for the commissar who ran it, you'd put it on a mimeograph master, run your little hand press to make some copies, and distribute it surreptitiously. In London, described as Londonistan by several bloggers and a recent novelist, it is illegal to openly criticize any benighted group, even if leaders of that group advocate the slaughter of Britons, the overthrow of the English government, and the conversion of the survivors to an alien faith. Perry de Havilland probably puts himself at significant risk in putting this blog online, but kudos to him for doing so. In a country where defending yourself from an armed robber can put you in jail, an underground network to speak truth to power is needed.


Jihad the Ultimate Globalization Campaign?

Lebanon is a sovereign state. It has an executive and a military. But its military has less sophisticated weaponry than Hezbollah and its executive wields less authority over its jurisdiction than Hezbollah. In the old days, the Lebanese government would have fallen and Hezbollah would have formally supplanted the state. But non-state actors like the Hezbo crowd and al-Qaeda have no interest in graduating to statehood. They've got bigger fish to fry. If you're interested in establishing a global caliphate, getting a UN seat and an Olympic team only gets in the way. The "sovereign" state is of use to such groups merely as a base of operations, as Afghanistan was and Lebanon is. They act locally but they think globally....Unraveling the World, Mark Steyn, The New York Sun, 8/14/2006

Lost in the smugly self-righteous appeals to surmount the parochialism of the nation-state is what Mark Steyn nails in this brilliant piece in today's NY Sun, that the disintegration of the nation-state's authority has allowed radical Islamic tribalism to run rampant to chase across the global landscape as fast as the global economic, professional and political classes unravel state power. What the professional globalist ignores, be it George Soros or any of a thousand other non-representative figures, is that national loyalty matters in defending civilization from tribal barbarism. If nobody cares about boundaries and the polities responsible for them, who will defend us from psychotics whose global view encompasses mass murder of anyone not in the tribe?


Planned Parenthood Jihad?

Hate-filled mums willing to sacrifice themselves and their BABIES are being hunted in the war on terror. Security sources confirmed last night that alleged “baby bombers” were among those arrested over the plot to massacre thousands by downing transatlantic flights. Those being quizzed included a husband and wife with a six-month-old infant.
The discovery prompted fears that there were fanatical mothers in secret al-Qaeda cells in Britain ready to become suicide bombers — and to die with their tots in their arms....Hunt on for Baby Bombers, John Kay and Simon Hughes,The Sun Online (cited in Front Page, 8/14).

Expect intense debate in the inner circles of NOW and Planned Parenthood about this latest variation on homicide bombing. Debate points might include the following:
1) Can a mother do a post-natal abortion while killing herself and several hundred airline passengers?
2) Is the Sun Online engaging in a conspiracy to stop abortion through reporting this horrifying story?
3) Are there any opportunities for female lawyers here?


Friday, August 11, 2006

Iran: Anybody Paying Attention, II

Worshippers of the Twelfth Imam are knows as the Twelvers; and chief among them is Ahmadinejad and the leadership of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Before the revolution, Ahmadinejad belonged to a messianic cult known as Hojjatieh, later disbanded, which believed that chaos will hasten the return of the Mahdi. Today, such extreme conviction is shot through the Tehran regime, especially among the privy council called the Partisans of the Mahdi; and the televising of the combat on the Lebanon front looks to vindicate the prophesy.

When Ahmadinejad says, "Lebanon is the scene of an historic test, which will determine the future of humanity," he is speaking not in the hyperbole of a tyrant but in the language of messianic faith....Ghostly Shadows, John Batchelor,, NY Sun,, August 4, 2006

ABC Radio's John Batchelor, who has run a nightly show for years dedicated to foreign affairs (11:30-1AM, Monday through Friday, 770 AM), has been paying close attention to Iran for a long time. The Teheran Mullahcracy has been directing the terrorist war for three decades. Yet, in the strange world of diplomacy, this seems to have escaped the attention of professionals in Foggy Bottom (and among their compatriots in France, Germany, and Spain). Batchelor's voice, which may be seen in the NY Sun several times in a week, may strike some as the voice of Cassandra, that Greek seeress. The term is usually applied as an insult, but, for those who haven't read Greek drama, Cassandra was right.


Telling the Truth in Princeton

Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words:

Hat tip to TigerHawk, who comments on the NY Slimes' latest idiotorial:

The lead editorial in this morning's New York Times is nothing less than astonishing. Largely devoted to bashing President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Senator Lieberman for politicizing yesterday's arrests -- I read their statements as advocating for policies that they doggedly support -- the editorial concludes with this delightful paragraph:

Here is what we want to do in the wake of the arrests in Britain. We want to understand as much as possible about what terrorists were planning. To talk about airport security and how to make it better. To celebrate what worked in the British investigation and discuss how to push these efforts farther. It would be a blessed moment in modern American history if we could do that without turning this into a political game plan.

Of course, when the Times says "we want to understand as much as possible," it literally means to include itself in the "we." No doubt so it can then tell the other side what works, and how we will "push these efforts farther." Do they have any idea how idiotic this editorial is in light of their own program to expose any covert effort, legal or otherwise, that they think people have a "right to know" about

Answer: No.

Latest Terror Intercept

This inside terrorista scoop via Samizdata:
“Did you see the news today, Ahmad? All the brothers had to do was TALK ABOUT carrying bombs onto airplanes, ans now they quake in fear of every gym bag! Until the end of time, no Infidel will carry a Godless bottle of water or satanic book onto an airplane! Millions of money and thousands of hours of aggravation, just from talk!

Allah is truly mighty, that the west cowers from the very thought of martyrdom operations!”
(Wonker trusts you have already caught the writer's tongue firmly in cheek.)

Courtesy of Belmont Club.

Neologism of the Week

Having helped uncover the Reuters/Hezbollah Photoshop fraud earlier this week, Charles Johnson, of Little Green Footballs fame, dubbed it "Reutersgate," no doubt in honor of the earlier scandal he'd unearthed: Dan Rather's infamous "fake but accurate" slander of George W. Bush during the 2004 fall election campaign. Which Johnson dubbed "Rathergate."

But Johnson topped himself with a neologism that really takes the cake, which he uses to describe the increasing number of faked photographs put out by the media-savvy Islamofascists and foisted upon the public as the truth by their willing lefty dupes in the MSM: "fauxtography."

Wonker is green with envy at this brilliant neologism, and may, at some point in the future, attempt to claim credit for its invention. Grrr. I hate it when this happens.

I'm also probably envious. I created a brilliant neologism years ago to describe Bill Clinton's serial sexual transgressions, calling him our "priapatetic" president. I thought this was pretty brilliant myself. But it never got the traction that I'm sure "fauxtography" will get.

So a begrudging congrats to lgf for adding a swell new word to the English language.

Bush Behind Terrorist Plot?

ABC news, in an online report, has ID'd three of the suspects in yesterday's mass arrest of alleged terrorists in the UK—all with Arabic/Pakistani names. Typically, however, in the comment section below this short report, a moonbat has weighed in with a standard leftie "wag the dog" observation, naming the real three suspects. Without any corroborating facts, however:
'Three Alleged Ringleaders ID'd' <--Bush, Cheney, Rove? Bush bin Laden is planning another 9/11 - to strike just before the November 'elections' - as Lamont has shown that even Diebold can't save them now.
Note the pure, blissful stupidity here, thickened with additional snide "insider" references that ultimately don't really parse. There is, today, not much difference between Western leftists and Islamofascists, both of whom offer, at the drop of a hat, rote propaganda blaming others for their own myriad failings and lack of humanity. These are people who talk at you, not with you.

Clearly, both the modern American/European left and the Islamofascists share a common psychological defect. Both groups are trapped forever in their own facile and dangerous adolescence, much like fossilized flies embedded in ancient chunks of amber. The poor flies, however, had an excuse. They just weren't paying attention and got stuck forever. On the other hand, lefties, like Islamofascists, glory in their own sticky prison of malevolent ignorance. They have made a conscious decision to hate those who don't ascribe to their sickening dogmas an pre-programmed propaganda talking points. The truth of life for them is far too complicated to consider. Better, and easier, to kill those who don't agree with you rather than forcing yourself to think, which entails the clear and present danger of unmasking your belief system as a complete fraud.

BTW, I am hearing increasingly that it's disrespectful to refer to Islamic terrorists—whose world view essentially conforms to Adolf Hitler's—as "Islamofascists" or followers of the RoP (Religion of Peace). I will be happy to drop my use of this term when I start seeing massive peace demonstrations undertaken by the peace-loving mainstream of Islam. I'm actually sure that such people exist. But I have yet to see this exemplified in any meaningful way.

We are frequently harangued (almost always by the left) that if enough "good Germans" and "devout Christians" had stood up to Hitler when he commenced the Holocaust, the Holocaust might never have been able to unfold. But for whatever reason, they didn't and it did. There's a lesson in this. If you allow your country or your religion to be hijacked by murderous fanatics, you are complicit in their actions whether you like it or not. It was true in the 1930s. And it's just as true today.

UPDATE: A similar observation from Power Line:

"First, CAIR [Council on American-Islamic Relations] endlessly tells us that Muslims are peaceful and not terrorists. But then, in the next breath, it sticks up for the terrorists and objects to their being called fascists. Second, CAIR seems to object to any pejorative reference to Islamic terrorists. If we can't call them fascists, or militant jihadists, or Islamic radicals, or totalitarians or imperialists, what on earth are we supposed to call them?"
Hat tip to Instapundit, which has further links on this.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Lamont and His Ilk

Wonker has often opined to anyone who will listen that part of the problem with Democrats-Socialists-Redistributionists-Marxists in the U.S. is that the most obnoxious and vociferous of them happily feed at the trough of capitalism and enjoy far more wealth and a vastly more opulent lifestyle than you or I. This is particularly true in the entertainment world where Hollywood stars with empty brains and bulging wallets bitterly lecture us peons on how evil and selfish we are, and a bunch of polluters to boot. Then they happily kick their Hummers into gear and drive off into the Sunset Strip, smug and happy that they are so smart.

The left in this country (and in Europe for that matter) has become a like we used to think Republicans were, a self-congratulatory country club crowd of smug, rich bastards who think they are somehow entitled to lead because they are so much better and smarter than we. And above all, they get invited to the best parties.

And herein lies the crux of the matter. Slaves to their tribe, fashionable country club and entertainment lefties dare not break with the Party Line, such as it is, or they risk ostracization from the best clubs, the best parties, and automatic Pulitzer Prizes for treason. So they won't do it, even to save their lives. As if they needed an example of what happens to those who dare to stray from their faux-Marxist orthodoxy, they have the example of Joe Lieberman, who, having strayed from the socialist path on a single issue—the life and death struggle between the free world and the Islamo-Nazis—had his incumbent head handed to him on a platter by wealthy Commie Ned Lamont in the People's Republic of Connecticut.

Blogger, mystery novelist, and screenwriter Roger L. Simon—hardly a conservative, but sensibly caucusing with them in these troubled times—sums this up perhaps more pithily, observing that:
The problem with Lamont and his ilk is that they are unable to wrap their minds around the fact that Islamic Fascsim is a deeply real and pervasive phenomenon with hundreds of millions of adherents and fellow travelers. Surely, these soi-disant liberals think, these people can be reasoned with. But it couldn't be more obvious that they can't. They are imbued with a fanatical religious culture vastly different from and in complete opposition to ours. However, for these "liberals" to face this uncomfortable reality would vastly disrupt their weltanschauung and cost them power, money, position, prestige, etc. It might even cause personality disintegration. This is the Culture of Narcissism gone berserk.

Moonbats in De-Nile...

Even as the U.S. pursues approximately 9 still "missing" Egyptian "students" who never showed up when they were supposed to at a Montana college—against the backdrop of a nearly completed mass-murder plot by terrorists operating out of Londinistan—leftie moonbats continue to operate their fully-functional parallel universe where all that is evil (or apparently so, since they're all moral relativists) emanates from George "Beelzebub" Bush and his diabolical sidekick, Karl "The Manipulator" Rove:

Most of the liberal blogs are pretty quiet about the British terror plot so far this morning. Their prerogative. They're in Nedrenaline mode anyway.

But AmericaBlog takes the chance to do some early-morning shark-jumping. His theory?

The Republican administration responded to the thwarting of an "imminent" and "massive" terror attack on trans-Atlantic flights with a Code Red security alert because a Democrat incumbent lost in a Connecticut Senate primary.
Read the rest here. Hat tip to Soxblogger Dean Barnett who's temporarily on leave from his own blog to fill in for the busy Hugh Hewitt.

Of course, Dean must have written this without seeing an informal "poll" conducted by the Krazy Kos Kids, who've concluded, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that "BushCo" created this non-event to keep us all "scared." Frankly, it's idiotarians like the Kos Kids that keep Wonker very afraid.

Of course, these Mad Hatters jumped the shark a long time ago. (PS: The link may offer a plausible explanation for KosCo's enfeebled brains.)

Mike Wallace Disgraces Himself Again

Well, given today's events, here's something that's exquisitely distasteful: an 88 year old "respected " journalist disgracing himself in public by suckling up to the world's next Hitler. Power Line has the gory details via a preview:
Of Ahmadinejad, Wallace said, "He's an impressive fellow, this guy. He really is. He's obviously smart as hell."
Oh, indeed. Say, and so was Adolf, don't ya know? Power Line further elucidates (italics are from the preview):
This is reminiscent of the way journalists and others would react after meeting Hitler. He wasn't a raving lunatic, like I expected! He was calm! Rational! Even Charming! (I wonder whether Ahmadinejad is a vegetarian.) What did Wallace expect? That a village idiot somehow ended up running a nation of 68 million?

Then there's this:

"He's actually, in a strange way, he's a rather attractive man, very smart, savvy, self-assured, good looking in a strange way," Wallace said. "He's very, very short but he's comfortable in his own skin."
What is this, a Tiger Beat interview? Just once, I wish MSM reporters would adopt the same adversarial attitude toward foreign leaders who are deadly enemies of the United States that they take toward members of the Bush

Wonker again. Indeed. Bash Bush and suck up to mass murderers. That's the lunatic left and their fellow travelers in the MSM these days. 9/11 has taught them nothing. It is now clear that they are unteachable and also have no shame.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Reutersgate and Armageddon

As per Luther's post below notes—along with Little Green Footballs' now nationally recognized work in unearthing Reuters' cynical lack of editorial control over its "stringers" (who are clearly Hezbollah Hacks)—the reporting of war, along with the resultant "civilian casualties" (which only occur on the Lebanese side of the border), prove the dishonesty, banality, and self-loathing of the MSM and the so-called intellectual classes. When the fashionable Communism/Socialism they embraced in their private clubs was abruptly terminated by the fall of the Berlin Wall, having been recognized at last by all for the fraud that it was and is, the intellectual left swiftly disintegrated into a dangerously cynical cadre of fascist-lovers. Their bizarre self-loathing is now inviting the Middle-East's Islamo-Nazis to step in and take over where the caliphate left off roughly a millennium ago. How they figure out this new universe will be better than capitalism is beyond me.

Case in point: Joe Lieberman, an honest Connecticut Senator of the Democratic persuasion, though a bit too liberal for this Virginian, was dealt a knockout-punch in yesterday's Connecticut primary by the current generation of blind, anti-war freaks, bred and indoctrinated by the spoiled new leftist Boomers who sired them. (The Commie Boomers themselves obviously helped in this lynching-purging of the ideologically impure.)

Lieberman's sin? The senator had the bad taste, of course, to side with George W. Bush on a single issue, the Global War on Terror (GWOT, aka WWIII, aka WWIV), thus provoking a massive outburst of Bush Derangement Syndrome at the polling places. Joe, of course, otherwise has about a 95% liberal rating on everything else, but no matter. The lefty nihilists supporting Lieberman's far-left opponent Ned Lamont (another ultra-leftie who is somehow authentic while being richer than Crassus, not to mention you or me) decided to chuck him out of the party and revive the Democrats' McGovernite Wing. You know, the one that favored defeat over victory in Vietnam and later scored a Pyrrhic victory by ousting the overwhelmingly re-elected Richard Nixxon over his coverup of a petty theft. So now, a generation later, we get to watch the 'Rats try to subvert yet another re-elected Republican president's attempt to save the United States from yet another onslaught by the world's latest crop of ideological thugs. Makes a guy want to sing that old refrain, "When will they ever learn?" Except that that's from a lefty song.

Let's step back and observe two things. First of all, Lieberman's likely to win the election as an independent anyway—one who is no longer particularly beholden to the party that abandoned him. So Lamont's, and the left's, "victory" won't last very long, aside from today's MSM headlines proclaiming Republican disaster this November.

But let's also pause to get back to our original topic, the Middle East, and the triumph of the propagandists. We are being temporarily lulled by the moonbat left into forgetting our little friends in Iran. You know, the ones who refused to respond to the UN's halfhearted hissy fit last month, re: their "peaceful" nuclear weapons program. The ones who promised us they themselves would choose the date of the response, and it would be August 22.

If we didn't learn in the 1930s to take the ravings of megalomaniacs seriously, we found out the hard way first in 1938 and then in 1941, as the Germans and the Japanese proceeded to rip the world apart to make it safer for their own special brand of murderous bigotry. I am now wondering if we'll need to find it out the hard way again in 2006.

The ravings of Iran's current "president" may be just that: ravings. But there's a better than even chance that he and the mad mullahs who support him have something nasty in store for all of us later this month. Certainly John Batchelor thinks so in today's New York Sun. Addressing this country's historic weakness when it comes to international proactivity, Batchelor observes that:
What this all means to me today is that America was expectant of the crisis that fell on December 7, 1941; and yet America remained reluctant to say out loud that war was unavoidable, inevitable, already under way — the nation holding back as if the obvious war plans in Berlin and Tokyo were going to vanish like a lightning storm. When the Japanese fleet did maul our Pacific fleet, the Roosevelt administration was rattled and the public was grim. It will be the same for us when this premonitory waiting lifts and the main action begins, both frightful and logical. The Lebanese Front, the Iraqi Front, the Afghan and Kashmir Fronts, or the Haifa blitz will no more solve themselves than did the China-Burma Front, the North African Front, the Atlantic Front, the London blitz of 65 years ago. Who will publish the last magazine before the day of infamy comes again?
Who indeed? Is anyone in the MSM game for blaming George W. Bush on The Day After? Watch them attempt just that.

We as a nation need to start taking seriously what is going on in the Middle East. Two factions of Islamofascist craziness—the Sunni-Wahhabi flavor and the Shia-Khomenei flavor—are busily planning an exciting sequel to 9/11 in one or more places around the world. If not on August 22, their igniting of Armageddon will happen sooner or later. I have long feared that it would take another cataclysmic, spectacular event, perhaps even larger than 9/11 and far more dramatic, to silence the death-wishing moonbats of the international left—embodied in this country by the suicidally cynical Gramscian Marxists who now control the Democratic party, the media, academia, and the arts—who regard George Bush as the ultimate enemy and the worst embodiment of evil that the universe has ever seen. When this horrific event does occur, the idiotarian left may very well at last be silenced forever. I'm confident this will happen. But I'm no longer sure that a lot of us won't have to lose our lives in our own backyards to win this political argument for once and for all.

HazZzMat advises the few, the proud, our readers, to be ever more skeptical these days when it comes to evaluating the truth component in what is reported and photographed by the MSM as the "news." It's not meant to inform. It's only meant to make sure you're sleeping when the Islamofascists reach over to turn out your lights forever. The idiotarian left, exemplified by the Kos Kids, hates and loathes itself and has turned suicidal. And they want to take you with them.

Ratherization of AP & Reuters?

A woman has made two appearances in photographs used by the Associated Press and Reuters, allegedly wailing over the destruction of her Beirut home. US bloggers have however noticed that photographs were taken two weeks apart from each other, according to times stamps on the images, and that the photographs were taken in different locations..."AP Beirut photo faces questions, Yaakov Lapin

First, it was the LA Times with creative 'shopping of pictures of the Iraq war. Then, it was Reuters last week. Now it's AP. Is Dan Rather a consultant for those services, or is this just the tip of the iceberg?

We're not sure here, but it seems that almost every story of horrors perpetrated by the Israelis turns out a week or two later to have been staged, 'shopped, or made up. This is not unique in war. It's even the subject of parody, as in the scene were Copolla appears onscreen as he directs combat soldiers in how to act properly warlike in Apocalypse Now. What is new is the outright refusal of MSM to broadcast retractions.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Elephant in the Demographics Living Room

What, basically, persuades people not to have babies even when they have the political, social and economic stability to do so? Among the eras and nations where this phenomenon occurs or occurred one basic characteristic stands out: the loss of a transcendent future. What I mean by "transcendent" is some ideal or love or hope or faith that rises above the interests of the self, the practicalities of expected income, the security of predictable outcomes, and the lifetime of the individual. What I mean by "future" is that it is an ideal, love, hope, or faith that extends beyond the present and is not satisfied with an instantaneous and eternal reward in the now....
Culture and the Demographic Crisis, Frederick Turner, TCS Daily

For those convinced that only wackos like Pat Buchanan talk about population trends, this article on TCS Daily should be a fine tonic. Turner, a futurist, social commentator, scientist and epic poet, is hardly one of Buchanan's friends. But, as he pitches his idea, he throws what seems like an unhittable curveball.

The Martian might well recognize our need and thirst for meaning, as a linguistic species, but might well ask why the human race had not adopted a sensible position like secular humanism or existentialism. In such views the meaning of things is rooted in human life or experience itself, where in Keats' words, "Life's self is nourish'd by its proper pith".

Only after a study of the evolutionary history of the species would the Martian come to the shocking realization that the reason such sensible, inexpensive and prudent views did not prevail across the globe was that every society that adopted them had died out from lack of natural increase. He would note that all the cultures of the present day that had taken the intelligent position on meaning were undergoing demographic collapse and would, in geological time, be extinct tomorrow...."Culture and the Demographic Crisis," Turner, continued...

Powerful stuff and hardly deniable. After a certain number of repetitions, we can take for granted that patterns, even on so large a fabric as history, will repeat themselves. Watching the current "Manhattanization" of Brooklyn, which includes a futureless, relativistic, faithless, boutique leftism, the writer knows exactly what a barren generation is going to leave us with -- empty houses filled with designer furniture and worn-out iPods. He's right in turning aside all the nonsense about lead poisoning or other ecological messes. Kudos to Turner for taking this approach instead of Buchanan's hysterical views of competing races.

Today, however, making this case successfully may be harder for writers like Turner than it has been for Buchanan. The latter's arguments are built from appeals to irrational fears about the other. Turner's arguments go directly at what's looking at us in the mirror. That's much more threatening, not to mention reasonable. Also, it's hard to make historically-founded arguments to contemporary audiences. Why?

The words fall like autumn leaves from deaf ears, especially among products of American education, because history isn't taught there any longer. We get the endless now of the mall and the college dormitory instead. We get multicultural "history" and its repetitions of the old fool's nonsense that judgment is nothing more than an arbitrary decision about equally valid interpretations of experience. We get sometimes witty, but always bleakly cynical, denunciations of religious faith. Some very smart people do this, enlisting the blacklisting techniques of older, far more savage politics. Look at Dawkins with his advocacy of an organization of "Brights," i.e., those who don't believe in God, with its use of labeling, segregation of certain kinds of people, and implicit presumption of the superiority of the likeminded, and the inferiority of the faithful. Goebbels would have applauded the rhetoric as well as the idea.

This odd, massively destructive pedagogy seems designed to blind, not to educate. In its lessons, what was once held certain, that it's not possible to go forward without knowledge of where we've been, is held as a belief for old fogeys unwilling to let go of their power -- a variation on "dull" religious faith.

As Turner suggests, in choosing to blind their students, professors and mentors who pursue this pathological pedagogy have left their prodigies defenseless and,more significantly, uninterested in investing in the future through children. (Another aspect of 'Manhattanization'..., the replacement of family boroughs with an infinite club scene.) Graduates have been left standing at the shoreline, eyes tight shut, hands pressed over their ears, and the thought in each mind that 'I have seen the light.' Senseless, they cannot assess hurricane winds as coming from a storm.

Fortunately, Turner's smarter than the average ideologue. Demographics is wildly irregular in the United States, with few children being born in expensive big city boroughs, but quite a few being born to both native Red staters and immigrants. America is not Rome.

But for those who have fallen for the weird pedagogy offered in those expensive boroughs, to twist the old phrase, God won't help those who won't help themselves (or are prevented from doing so). To be heard, writers like Turner may have to reach out and slap someone. Of course if he does that, he'll be sued for child abuse, even if, as is so often the case in the developed world, the child is over 21.


Friday, August 04, 2006

Civilian Casualties: Part VI

Re: our irregular series, aimed at blunting the highly successful propaganda war being waged by the Iranian Army and Intelligence Services, aka "Hezbollah" gets a boost from Israeli PM Olmert in an interview appearing in the London Times:
The difference between us and Hezbollah is that when we kill innocent people we consider it a failure, when they kill innocent people they consider it a success.

Tell me, who are they aiming at when they shoot already 2800 rockets on Haifa, Hanariya, Akko, Sefat, Afula and the rest of the places, if not to kill innocent people? So I’m sorry for every individual that was killed that was not involved.

And by the way, how do you really know that 400 innocent civilians were killed? How do you know who is innocent and who is not? Why? This is not an army. They don’t wear uniforms that distinguish them from other civilians. We didn’t attack any of the Christian quarters of Beirut. We didn’t attack any of the Christian residential areas in any part of Lebanon. We attacked only those areas where they had the Katyusha launchers, where they had the missile launchers, where they had the command positions of Hezbollah, where they had the storage houses, the logistic centres and so on and so forth.

So the fact that people were killed there who were not dressed in uniforms doesn’t mean that they were innocent civilians. There were Hezbollah people, they are the terrorists. Did you ever see terrorists dressed with military uniforms like we have in our army? No.

Exactly. Bonus points for Mr. Olmert who tells it like it is. (Bold text courtesy HazZzMat.)

Folks, it's 1938 and counting. I wonder when, or if, the MSM is going to wake up to the fact that the Islamofascists are playing them like a collective Stradivarius. Better, I would guess, for the Free World (or what's left of it) to be terminated by 7th century jihadists than to help Chimpy BushMcHitler preserve what's left of our culture and values. At least for the MSM and their "intellectual" friends, the appeasers, the heirs-apparent to Neville Chamberlain.

Hat tip to Power Line.