Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Franken Leaves "Err America" to the Bagholders

This today from the Washington Times:
Air America Radio was rescued from bankruptcy yesterday, but still faces the impending loss of Al Franken, its most popular talker.
How tragic. How poignant. The left's most prominent on-air bloviator, who first won some measure of fame years ago as a writer and occasional star on the early, drug-crazed stanzas of Saturday Night Live, is taking a hike now that the ill-fated antidote to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Mark Levin, and others has been sold to the usual suspects, a family pair of rich New York socialists:
The liberal network will be sold to Stephen Green, a Manhattan real estate investment mogul with heavy Democratic ties, including his brother Mark Green, who ran for mayor against Michael R. Bloomberg in 2001. The sale of the network -- deemed a "personal investment" by the two brothers -- will be completed in mid-February for an undisclosed sum.
The problem the Greens are going to have with Err America is the same problem this echt network has always had: no listeners. Or at least not enough to get advertising rates high enough to support the network's relentless diet of nonstop lies and Marxist propaganda:
The network's weekly audience has been stuck at just under 2 million since the beginning -- about one-tenth the number of listeners who tune in each week to conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh.
WashTimes reporter Jennifer Harper quotes an industry source who tells us why this is:
"The current idea in radio is that you have to think outside the box, and find other ways to get content across," said Joe Howard, editor of Radio Ink, an industry publication. "With Air America, you have to wonder if there is enough audience for it to thrive, or if the network is a niche product."
Yeah, and you have to also wonder whether it's thinking "outside the box" at all, given that the three major networks, all the cable networks except Fox, 98% of American daily newspapers, the bulk of the professoriat, and all movie stars—except for Clint Eastwood, Bruce Willis, Bo Derek, maybe Ah-nold, and about 2 others—are preening leftists, mainly because it attracts adoring press, mirabile dictu. (And the lefties were joined today, sad to say, by our favorite young chanteuse, Norah Jones, whose publicists must be seeking brisker CD sales.)

This, actually, highlights the nature of Err America's difficulties. Conservatives need talk radio and the conservative blogosphere to get information that's not tainted with anti-U.S. Marxist propaganda. The left has no such needs. With their near-total control of TV, the film industry, the publishing industry, the newspaper industry, Broadway theater, academia, "educational" radio and NPR, and the bulk of the judiciary, and most Democrats, lefties can bathe themselves 24/7 in the kind of reliable, cheap, self-congratulatory sloganeering and propaganda that puffs them up and makes them feel smug and superior to other Americans who lack their, ah, obvious lack of intelligence and insight.

Ergo, why listen Err America's re-treads and gasbags? There's simply no need for this network and never was. You can only recycle propaganda so many times before it becomes tiresome even to the leftists. This, and nothing else, is why the Err America Idiotarians have failed at talk radio and will fail again. It's like trying to open up your own coffee-house on a block that already has four Starbucks. Your shop will be bankrupt before it opens its doors. You lose.

The Times speculates than Franken may make a run for the Honorable Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman's seat in the upcoming Year of the Hillary. We hope he does. His utter defeat will make for great entertainment, assuming Minnesotans are not dumb enough to vote for him. (Which, come to think of it, given the election's likely coverage in the dreaded Strib, the Midwest's answer to Pravda, we can't be sure of, you betcha.)

But back to Err America. The WashTimes story closes with some apparently unintentional lefty hilarity:
"Air America at best will be another content company with a name tarnished by bad-management bankruptcy. And the prospective rescuers have no experience in radio," Mr. [Sheldon] Drobny [Air America's founder] wrote at the online Huffington Post yesterday, later concluding, "Relying on mega-millionaire liberals to put ego aside for the common good is almost impossible."
Uh, yeah. Preening and posturing is what it's all about, dude, which we're glad you finally noticed. (And BTW, we at HazZzMat have yet to meet a non-mega-millionaire liberal.)

We wish the Greens the best of luck on their doomed endeavor. But, as Sheldon Drobny might observe, they, like most knee-jerk leftists, undoubtedly possess more dollars than sense.

Analyzing the Marxist Left

There is an amazing post today in Belmont Club which is followed by an equally amazing series of incisive comments on the nature of the European left—and by extension, the American left—today. But first, a bit of background is in order. We'll try to be brief, but this stuff is complicated.

It is HazZzMat's ongoing theory that Marxism has become, de facto, the established secular religion of both Europe and the United States, subscribed to by a hard and hardened left that has no respect for any other religion or point of view. Leftists remain determined to impose their social doctrine on everyone and have demonstrated countless times that they are unafraid to destroy whomever and whatever lies in their collective path that might stand in the way of their negative utopian goal, which seems to require that all men and women be made equally miserable in order to achieve "fairness" for all.

Leftist "intellectuals" and theoreticians in Europe and America over the past 50-odd have made stunningly effective use of tactics espoused by the Italian Marxist, Antonio Gramsci, who counseled waging a quiet, gradual revolution that would be accomplished via the slow, thorough evisceration of a country's cultural and political consensus. This revolution was to be waged—and has been waged—by infiltrating and compromising, successively, key organs in the government (such as the Department of State and the Department of Justice); the judiciary itself on all levels; academia; the media; and the written and performing arts.

All these organizations form the bedrock of our national and international political dealings as well as serving as the backdrop and information conduit for transmitting the values of our culture and civilization. Gramsci's theory of cultural hegemony proposed a gradual erosion of traditional influence and authority by means of infiltration, co-option, and propaganda. The aim was to replace, quietly and without detection, existing accepted social and cultural norms with Marxist iconography on all levels.

As of 2007, we must conclude that this revolution has been successful to a great degree, as exemplified by the current, nearly infantile grasp that most American and European intellectuals (so-called) seem to have as to the depth and pervasiveness of the global threat posed by the Islamofascists. In other words, when a nation's foreign policy is dictated by fading movie stars with little education beyond high school, that nation has lost its way and is vulnerable to conquest. Which was precisely Gramsci's goal: social conquest without a shot.

Interestingly, the remaining outlier in a liberal nation's culture is organized religion. For the Gramscian stealth revolution to succeed, the influence or organized religion, too—"the opiate of the people"—must also be destroyed. And it generally has been destroyed in the U.S. and Europe, particularly the latter. How? Again, by a slow undermining of accepted dogma and doctrine. Clergy have been corrupted to the point where some mainstream Protestant faiths have, for example, willfully traded a doctrinal belief in Christian charity for the Marxist tenet of income redistribution.

Belief systems such as the Roman Catholic Church and evangelical Christianity that have largely chosen to resist this onslaught are actively attacked and marginalized by taxpayer-subsidized legal organizations with patriotic names, most notably, the ACLU and the National Lawyers Guild. Their object is to remove yet another near universal religious and cultural standard from the realm of public discourse. And again, this constant undermining has had the desired effect.

Today's Marxists and closet Marxists stand at a crossroads. But they no longer quite know what to do. They have successfully destroyed existing cultural institutions without having concrete plans to replace them, since their own philosophy has proven manifestly useless and unworkable. So they have morphed, effectively, from socialists into fascists, determined, now running on pure instinct, to impose their will and destroy the Great Satan, the U.S., without really knowing why. In this, they currently perceive the Islamofascists as their allies, since both share a common cultural, political, and economic enemy: the U.S. The problem for the Marxists, though, is this: They seem incapable of understanding that, when they and their allies achieve the desired victory, theirs will be the first throats to be slit.

Some leftists, who, astoundingly, continue to remain leftists, have begun to wake up to the very real mess they have caused by undermining the genuinely progressive tenets of what was once known as Western liberalism. But they still have no idea where to go, and just can't abandon their own dysfunctional belief system.

Which is what gets us to Belmont Club. Wretchard comments on a review of Nick Cohen's new book, entitled "What's Left?" Good question:

Nothing so low as a Fallen Angel. When the Guardian reprinted excerpts of Nick Cohen's book about the Left it faced a storm of commentary from its readers....All I can say is that Cohen barely fails to scratch the surface; in terms of absurdity and tragedy, of the Leftist Deep....But the real power of Cohen's book lies in its portrayal of life in the Left itself. Karen Armstrong called Marxism the last great missionary impulse of Europe. It is possibly Europe's only indigenous world religion. Here is how its devotees lived.
Wretchard then provides an excerpt, which we provide below. Please remember, when you're reading it, that this is not intended by the author of the book as satire:

In the early Seventies, my mother searched the supermarkets for politically reputable citrus fruit. She couldn't buy Seville oranges without indirectly subsidising General Francisco Franco, Spain's fascist dictator. Algarve oranges were no good either, because the slightly less gruesome but equally right-wing dictatorship of Antonio Salazar ruled Portugal. She boycotted the piles of Outspan from South Africa as a protest against apartheid, and although neither America nor Israel was a dictatorship, she wouldn't have Florida or Jaffa oranges in the house because she had no time for then President Richard Nixon or the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. ...

Thirty years later, I picked up my mother from my sister Natalie's house. Her children were watching a Disney film; The Jungle Book, I think. 'It's funny, Mum,' I said as we drove home, 'but I don't remember seeing any Disney when I was their age.' 'You've only just noticed? We didn't let you watch rubbish from Hollywood corporations.' ...

I come from a land where you can sell out by buying a comic. I come from the left....I still remember the sense of dislocation I felt at 13 when my English teacher told me he voted Conservative. As his announcement coincided with the shock of puberty, I was unlikely to forget it. I must have understood at some level that real Conservatives lived in Britain - there was a Conservative government at the time, so logic dictated that there had to be Conservative voters. But it was incredible to learn that my teacher was one of them, when he gave every appearance of being a thoughtful and kind man.
The final paragraph rings especially true for Wonker. I recall telling a minority co-worker a number of years ago that I was a conservative Republican. She was quite taken aback, not angrily, however. She was genuinely confused, and said, "But you're so nice, so decent. I can't believe it. Why don't you join us?" As in the example above, it was inconceivable to her that a decent human being could be a Republican and/or a conservative. This is where the Gramscians have brought us today, so thoroughly undermining even civility that a Democrat today finds it impossible to believe that a Republican can even be a human being, let alone a decent one.

Wretchard draws an interesting conclusion to all this. One with which we heartily agree:

It is really impossible to understand the rise of fascism in the world without taking a close look at the single most destructive ideology in modern history. I still remember a close German friend telling me that it was a mistake to imagine that his country's worst export was Hitler. Far from it, he said. That honor was reserved for Karl Marx.
Comments to blogs are often silly and ephemeral, but the comments to this entry in Belmont are especially on target and we'll present a couple of them here. For the rest, please use the link to Belmont that appears earlier in this HazZzMat entry.

Commentator "Meme chose" notes the following:

Socialism in the UK has now become an odd sort of zombie relic. Few people subscribe to its core beliefs, or even take them seriously, but it stumbles on primarily as a tribal phenomenon - the ideology is dead but the tribe still needs it to cohere. As Cohen describes so well, its members would be quite literally lost if they were to abandon it, as he was.
"RWE" observes:

...relative to the oranges issue, [Cohen] still says that while it extended into absurdity, it was still a great thing to grow up in a household where every action was analyzed for its moral implications. And I suppose then after deciding not to buy oranges his Dad went out to sell shoes or play the clarinet or paint houses or whatever he did for a living. There is no indication of an awareness of those, such as the military, who devote - and sometimes give - their lives to a greater cause - but don't give a damn about pissant issues like where the oranges came from.
But we'll let "Cosmo" wrap this up with an appropriate conclusion:

I, too, can attest to the shabby state of grace inhabited not only by portions of the British Left, but enclaves of its American mimics, as well.

Anti-Americanism, in general, and Iraq, in particular seem to be the primary animating impulses, at present, even while the old 'wooden language' of class resentment and redistribution -- leavened with condemnations of 'racism' -- is still spoken.

Funny, but without 9/11 the Western frog was being slowly brought to a boil in a soft-Left broth of multi-culturalism and feminization. It's still going on, but at least some of the frog seems aware of it.
Meanwhile, interestingly, Hugh Hewitt notes painfully that according to a piece in Roll Call (subscription required):

The National Republican Congressional Committee is asking veteran Capitol Hill flacks who now are working in the private sector to volunteer their advice on crafting a communications strategy.
Comments Hugh:

A party punished for insiderism turns to....insiders!
Problem is, the Republican "insiders" don't really have a comprehensive plan for attacking the more effective "insiders" whose activities we've just described here. Neither the NRCC nor the party itself have a clue as to how pervasive the 5th column has become today, and thus has no coherent, comprehensive, long-term strategery for dealing with it. The more immediate problem is, Hillary's up just over the next ridge, and time grows short. Another 50 + years of control by a Democrat Party that was almost completely infiltrated and corrupted by the doctinaire left a generation ago will finish us all off for sure.

Chuck Hagel: A Cowardly Lion's "Profile in Courage"

Instapundit quotes Mickey Kaus this morning on the "bravery" of Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, whom, as we recall, voted for the Iraq War before he came out against it:
Why, exactly, is Sen. Chuck Hagel showing "courage" in conspicuously denouncing the Iraq War now that virtually the entire American establishment has reached that same conclusion--now that Hagel is virtually assured of getting hero treatment from Brian Williams and Tim Russert and long favorable profiles in the newsweeklies?
We, of course, don't bother to listen to "virtually the entire American establishment" since that "establishment" consists exclusively of wealthy leftists who are always wrong. But back to our main point: Mickey continues below, answering his own question somewhat while posing another:
OK, maybe Hagel's not so courageous. Maybe he's just right. Except that he chose, as the moment to make his flamboyant speech, not the vote on the imprudent war itself--he voted for it--but a vote to withdraw support for a last-ditch surge strategy that even the NYT's estimable, on-the-scene pessimist Sabrina Tavernese thinks "may have a chance to work." Was this the right time--it certainly wasn't the courageous time--for a speech like Hagel's? Was he serving the nation or himself?
Again, we don't exactly agree with Mickey's insinuations on just who is "right" here. (This observation has more than a faint odor of the current MSM and Democrat memes.) But you do know the obvious answer to the rhetorical question he poses. And the rest of his remarks on this latest political poseur looking wistfully toward 2008 are pretty good.

To HazZzMat, Hagel looks less like a Profile in Courage than he does like the Cowardly Lion in the film The Wizard of Oz, always willing to put up a good, manly front if only someone like the Scarecrow (John Kerry?) will go first. When Wonk served in the Merchant Marine, the sailors would call that "talking a good fight."

Hagel is merely the latest nominal Republican to become sick and tired, not to mention envious, of the lefties who routinely get the MSM's undivided attention and admiration. Eventually, such Repubs decide to throw overboard any political convictions they might have had in order to grab a little media adulation themselves. Once they've pulled this phony "courage" act, they find they can bask, however briefly, in the MSM's "strange new respect" for a guy they hated just last week. (And maybe gain a tenth of a percent in the polls.)

Instapundit describes this flavor of faux-manliness a bit more pungently:

"Courage" consists of saying what the media want you to say.

Monday, January 29, 2007

"Huge" DC Anti-War Protest Fizzles

We suspected, when penning last week's post on Hanoi Jane and her increasingly geriatric Boomer 5th Columnist pals, that last Saturday's big "anti-war rally" on the Mall would be somewhat less than impressive, in spite of the predicted turn out of "over 100,000" communists, er, anti-war protestors, or maybe, "billions and billions" of them, jokes Redstate. Scott Ott, HazZzMat's favorite satirist, opined in one of his famous "fake but accurate" newsbriefs:
“The speaker roster reminds me of the old Hollywood Squares game show,” said one unnamed staffer of Vegan Lesbians for Racial and Nuclear Justice, whose dozens of members will cross the continent to join the rally today. “I mean Fonda, Sarandon, Glover and Jackson might as well be Charo, Joan Rivers, George Gobel and Paul Lynde. How am I going get my group excited about geopolitical and military strategy with these has beens leading the way?”
Like the propagandists they are, the hard leftists rather dramatically over-estimated (as usual) the pulling power of their patented brand of 24/7 anti-Americanism. They've gotten suddenly mush-mouthed about actual turnout, and some estimates put it at less than 30,000. The MSM did its usual to help out by using tight shots in its photo and TV coverage, a tried and true old trick to make a demo seem larger. And CBS' venerable Bob Schieffer even bought into the propaganda without investigating it, which is apparently becoming a new CBS custom.

Power Line, which provided the tip on Scott's story, also duly noted that the MSM ignored a real protest with a far greater turnout that occurred on the Mall last week, the annual Right to Life protest.

Power Line also provided an antidote to the left's congenital liars by posting a measured but powerful eyewitness account that appeared in its forum section. The whole thing is well worth reading, but a couple of passages are particularly worth repeating here. First of all, this commentator notes quite prominently the tendency of the anti-war zealots to rely on easy sloganeering rather than empirical reasoning—what HazZzMat regards as the infantilism of the left:
Chants and slogans work well with this crowd. Serious debate does not. That’s the problem.
This commentator also points out the left's tendency to develop false opposites. Like you should have "justice" instead of "war." Well, yeah, you should, theoretically. (After all, Pol Pot was a nice guy, theoretically, right.?) But what if the other side starts flying planes into your office buildings? You're supposed to send lawyers after these clowns? Leave it to our favorite narcissistic camera hog to illustrate the point even better:
My favorite was when Jesse Jackson stated that “roads and bridges” were not being built due to the war. The crowd cheered.
After agreeing with our observations that the crowd was actually quite small, he also observes that the use of obscenity was overwhelming and the hatred of Bush pretty much trumped everything else:
It is quite astonishing to experience the depth to which this sentiment pervades the entire message of the crowd, and it is clearly a meme that overwhelms all reason or debate.
Indeed, and also makes it exceptionally easy for the stupid to participate in the party. Hand in hand with this, the commentator also notes the largely predictable composition of the crowd, although we're saving one component for last:
-Hippies. Yup, the Woodstock crowd is hanging on.
-College students. If you’re not liberal when you are young, you don’t have a heart. If you’re not conservative when you are old, you don’t have a brain.
-Alternative lifestylists. They are linking their cause with the anti-war crowd, as has always been true.
The final component disturbs this writer, however, as it does us:
-The Privileged Middle Class. This is the group that concerns me. There were a striking number of couples in their 40s, obviously wealthy, and with their kids. These are the new Europeans. Having never sacrificed anything of import, having never struggled to succeed, they have taken on the idea that America is the great evil in the world. They don’t see that fighting for freedom is the thing that enabled their prosperity. Nothing is sadder than a family that throws its “No Blood for Oil” banner in the trash on its way to the parked Escalade.
This is a devastating but accurate observation, and the writer is to be commended for stating it so succinctly.

We've often observed here that we've never met an impoverished leftist, at least in this country. As in the Vietnam protests, the ones doing most of the ranting actually have the least skin in the game. And, obviously, the most time on their hands. Despicable. But what do you expect from the Idiotarian left, an inertial force surviving from the 1960s that keeps pushing, as if on autopilot, an obsolete Marxist solution to everything in the universe in spite of the fact that no one any longer remembers what it is.

The Hillary Spot: Highly Recommended

Just a friendly public service reminder from HazZzMat, alerting you to the latest re-tooling of Jim Geraghty's blog, which is featured at National Review Online (NRO). He's now re-titled his blog "The Hillary Spot." One guess as to the individual who'll be getting intense and much-needed scrutiny in the months ahead as a counter to the already-prostrate MSM. Hint: She's the smartest woman in the world.

P.S.: Mark Levin lives at NRO, too. Thank me.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Facebook Faces the Academic Censors

It should not surprise anyone that American universities, run by and for Marxist sympathizers, are eager to censor students whenever they deviate from the party line. The usual way this is done is through so-called "speech codes" which are essentially a codified version of the kind of censorship that academics themselves refuse to countenance when they perceive themselves on the receiving end. But just let a student express a conservative viewpoint or pop off a criticism of any individual other than a white male (the only unprotected species), or, for that matter, act just like the usual college idiot who hasn't quite grown up yet, and you could find that your academic career is at an end.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has now discovered that academic censorship today doesn't just stop at verbal expression. Leftists in academia are now actually going into what amounts to a student's private sphere on a witch-hunt for the politically incorrect. To wit: they're now going through social networking sites like Facebook.com, according to writer Greg Lukianoff:
Looking back on FIRE’s work last year, several trends stand out: the disturbing rise of student-led censorship, the increased public awareness of the importance of the right of private conscience, the continued pervasiveness of speech codes and the often willful misinterpretation of “harassment” to squelch speech. One trend, however, strikes me as being truly unique to 2006: the rise of censorship cases and other administrative abuses involving social networking websites like Facebook.com.
For instance:
...in November of 2006, FIRE witnessed one of the most severe punishments it has ever seen meted out for pure speech. At Johns Hopkins University, Justin Park, an 18-year-old junior, was suspended for an entire year for posting an “offensive” Halloween party invitation on Facebook.com. His punishment also included 300 hours of community service, an assignment to read 12 books and write a reflection paper on each, and mandatory attendance at a workshop on diversity and race relations. The incident also led the university to pass an absurd and wildly overbroad speech code prohibiting “rude, disrespectful behavior.”
Are you kidding? Most kids on most college campuses today live for Saturday night when each and every one of them are ready to indulge in plenty of "rude, disrespectful behavior." Not that we think this is a great idea, but just how is one rude, disrespectful kid more rude and disrespectful than another? If he (probably never a she, since only "he's" are "privileged") runs afoul of politically correct speech codes, no doubt. These idiotic and discriminatory codes are bad enough. But by invading what is literally a student's personal space, by rummaging through social networking sites, a university is vastly exceeding its own legal bounds, we think. Perhaps the "right to privacy" is only reserved on campus these days for Marxist professors who really do have something to conceal.

Meanwhile, seems that the stink raised by the Park incident cited above got him an easier "sentence." But one wonders whether the university had any right to give him a sentence after all. Which is where Lukianoff is going next:
While after weeks of public pressure the university backed away from its original punishment, and reached a resolution that satisfied Park, the fact that any punishment remained at all—and that a ludicrous speech code was adopted—should give any student, parent, or potential applicant serious pause. Can a university that claims to respect free speech be taken seriously if it threatens to essentially expel a student and ruin his academic career for a joke gone wrong? Earlier this week, in large part for its remarkable overreaction to online speech, FIRE declared Hopkins its first-ever “Censor of the Year” for 2006.
It's time America's universities themselves were made as accountable as they seem to want to make everyone else. We'll be getting after them quite a bit more in 2007 than we did in 2006. Clearly, it's the violently anti-American ideology these institutions ceaselessly promote that is proving far more dangerous to the average U.S. citizen than a random juvenile student who hasn't quite yet grown into adulthood. (Something that many professors never fully achieve, I might add.)

As you ponder this interesting conundrum, why don't you read the rest of the FIRE story here?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

SMU Tenured Radicals to Bush: Drop Dead!

Wouldn't you know it?
Members of the Southern Methodist University faculty again raised concerns that the building of the George W. Bush presidential library on campus might damage the school's reputation, said a participant at a closed-door meeting on Wednesday.
Of course the faculty has "concerns" which is academese and Washingtonspeak for "we feel threatened by stuff we don't like." And of course, like the he-persons they are, the "concerned" profs would only discuss their "concerns" away from prying eyes. Academics like to do really bad, discriminatory stuff, but they don't like witnesses, which makes them a little like gang members in some respects.

You can see the game here. The lefty profs are afraid that having something that could conceivably attract the kind of conservative scholars they and their ilk have successfully kept off American college campuses since at least the 1970s.

Let's go on to parse the clever professorial obfuscations in this Washington Post article. (Note: Registration may be required.) It will be fun as well as instructive. Back to the faculty meeting:
"We're worried about a group of people on campus with a lot of money and a lot of power who aren't concerned for our values as an academy," Dennis Foster, a professor of English and a faculty senate member said, according to a participant in the meeting who asked not to be identified.
Translation: "We don't want any potential conservatives anywhere near us who might muck up our ability to indoctrinate the next generation of students to hate Amerikkka and love the New Socialist World Order. " Significantly, the stoolie who reported this wants to remain anonymous. One could infer that he/she is either A. a closet conservative afraid of being found out; or B. an uncomfortable untenured faculty member who wants to get this out to the public without risking his or her tenure track.

Turner [the school president] responded by saying that because the institute will be governed by a separate board, any controversy would not reflect poorly on the university.

"The tail will not wag the dog," he said, according to the participant.

Translation: "You're free to piss on these right-wing library jerks and explain to the public that their asininity has nothing to do with our wonderful school. They can't control us. We'll show them." (Alternate translation: "Everything I'm telling you is merely posturing so you'll get off my case. This is already a done deal. I'm actually supporting it but I'm covering my ass because I like what I'm being paid. Leave me alone.")
In the meeting Wednesday, many faculty members expressed concerns that the Bush institute would become nothing more than a conservative think tank working to advance the ideologies and policies of the Bush administration.
Translation: "Concerns" are the phony description for the verbiage that follows that word above. The faculty is really saying: "We don't want any stinking conservatives, capitalists, or Bush administration figures advancing the cause of America and spoiling our ability to transform this campus into yet another propaganda island of Marxist thought. This threatens us because it may expose our own lack of intellectual rigor. There shall be no other ideologies beside our own."
The controversy began in November when two faculty members wrote in the school newspaper criticizing the absence of university-wide discussion about the library. The editorial also questioned the ethics of pursuing a presidential library "regardless of an administration's record and its consequences," a reference to the war in Iraq.

Translation: There never was any controversy, as any university hierarchy worth its salt (and certainly its trustees) would love to have a presidential library on campus, not to mention all the money and attention it brings. The only controversy here was the one raised by predictably leftist, America-hating, terrorist-loving tenured radical professors whose fascistic tendencies cannot risk the location of any ideological competition nearby. Our radical professors were also irritated that the "absence of university-wide discussion" didn't allow them time to employ predictably Stalinist delaying tactics which would permit them to build angry public protests to a fever pitch, creating the intense media pressure needed to force the university administration to back off and capitulate to the radicals' unreasonable demands.

As we've said before in HazZzMat, Chairman Mao did actually have one genuinely good idea. He sent clowns like these profs to the rice paddies for awhile to learn a little bit about the world as it really exists.

Absent that kind of reality therapy, these SMU profs obviously prefer to live in their comfy Marxist fantasyland without scrutiny or oversight. But don't imagine for a moment that they'd allow anyone else, including the President, to enjoy similar privileges.

The Return of Hanoi Jane

Or, Let's Defeat the Good Guys: The Sequel

Tens of thousands of peace advocates from across the country are expected in Washington on Saturday for an anti-war rally that could be among the biggest since the war in Iraq began, organizers said yesterday.

One thing about being a leftist Democrat is that you never have to say you're sorry.

Actually, we think Jane Fonda may have mumbled an apology some years ago for committing treason and actively promoting the death of American soldiers in the Vietnam War by giving aid and comfort to Ho Chi Minh and Company. But hey, that was then, and it probably preceded a film release.

Alas, like most leftist Boomer scum who are joining the defeatist bandwagon, it looks like Jane, apology or no, has decided to use the Iraqi moment of the Global War on Terror to reprise of her disgusting Vietnam-era antics this weekend in Washington, DC. Now in her 60s, perhaps she's just looking for some cheap publicity. Or to be "meaningful and relevant" again! (She sure doesn't need the money.)

What a great Last Hurrah! With a few tokes of Acapulco Gold and a flower behind her ear, she can imagine she's emerged from Barbarella's spaceship into a time-warp where she can transform into a rich hippie just one last time, righteously trashing Chimpy BushMcHitler on the Mall just the way she once dissed LBJ and Tricky Dick. (BTW, did you ever notice how leftists are always pissed?)

In any event, it looks like Hanoi Jane and her equally unattractive comrade-in-arms, the brainless Susan Sarandon, plan to feature themselves as twin commie harpies this weekend when they join the Castroites of the socalled "United for Peace and Justice," which also happens to be virulently anti-Israel. (Who could have guessed?) Who are these "progressives"? Let's take a look:
United for Peace and Justice describes itself as a coalition of 1,400 local and national organizations. Among them are the National Organization for Women, United Church of Christ, the American Friends Service Committee, True Majority, Military Families Speak Out, Iraq Veterans Against the War, the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, CodePink, MoveOn.org, and September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows.
Check out the links we've added to the Washington Post article we're excerpting here. The bulk of the organizations on this list are either communist fronts or certifiable morons like the "September 11th Families" who still think, like the hapless Clintonistas, that terrorists will respect the rule of law if they're tried in a courtroom—a notion emphatically disproven by the antics of Zacharias Moussaoui. The United Church of Christ hierarchy, of course, has given aid and comfort to the hard left for years.

But let's get back to Jane and her little friends, shall we?
Among the featured speakers will be Vietnam War-era protester Jane Fonda, according to the organizers. Others include actors Danny Glover, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, and Carlos Arredondo, who in 2004 set himself on fire after learning of the death in Iraq of his Marine Corps son, Alexander.
All predictable except perhaps for Arredondo, a somewhat naive former illegal immigrant whose stunt surely attracted him to this coalition, which saw they could use him as an "authentic" grieving father, the male counterpart of the odious Mother Sheehan. Both their brave sons would, of course, be disgusted by this spectacle.

As to the rest. Robbins and Glover are well-known Amerikkka-hating socialists. And Jesse. Well, he probably hasn't been getting enough face-time on TV lately, and, well, you know how he hates that.

Mr. and Mrs. Wonker plan to be away in the West Virginia mountains on Saturday, hanging out with patriotic Americans, so it looks like we'll miss the spectacle. You should, too.

ACLU = Anti-Civil Liberties Union

Or, How the Organized Left Subverts the U.S. by Privileging Illegal Immigrants

Wonker has a brilliant notion. Let's let the ACLU use its traditional call letters, but let's rename these 5th columnists, whose origins can be traced back to the Popular Front Communists of the 1930s, the Anti-Civil Liberties Union.

In addition to continuously undermining our legal system and working 24/7 to remove organized religion from public discourse (except for Islamofascism), they're now attempting to break apart the whole controlling metaphor of American jurisdprudence: the protection of Americans themselves and their traditional way of life. How? In the case we're about to explore, by placing illegal aliens above the law and by attempting to force the U.S. to treat them better when arrested than the Feds are required to treat you or I:
The American Civil Liberties Union alleged yesterday that overcrowding at a San Diego corrections facility run by Corrections Corporation of America for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement poses an unconstitutional risk to detained illegal immigrants' health and safety....

ACLU lawyers said the lawsuit, for which they seek class-action status, is the first to argue that illegal immigrants should be treated better than convicted criminals or pretrial inmates because they are held on civil-administrative, not criminal, grounds. Detained illegal immigrants are not appointed counsel, for example, and many have not been convicted of a crime. The case is Kiniti v. Wagner.
These barely closet Marxists have gotten so cocky that they're even bragging about their own audacity in arguing "that illegal immigrants should be treated better than convicted criminals." The constitutional argument they're making is lame as usual. But do note that the ACLU gets away with this sort of constitutional deconstruction all the time, as it takes great care to choose complicit lefty judicial districts to peddle its Gramscian wares.

The ACLU has a few literal fellow travelers. They've also been getting in on the constitution-busting action, this time with a ballsy move to switch legal responsibility for illegal immigrant detention from the Department of Justice, where it obviously belongs, to the Department of Homeland Security, which would presumably render immigrant detention not a matter of law but a matter of easily-manipulated government policy:
Separately, six immigration-law and advocacy groups led by the National Lawyers Guild announced they will petition the Homeland Security Department today on behalf of 83 detained immigrants requesting that the department formally regulate immigrant detention. Advocates said U.S. standards set in 2000 are not enforceable.
In case you weren't aware, the socalled National Lawyers Guild remains today a Communist front organization—one which, as usual, hides behind a name that sounds vaguely patriotic. But like the ACLU, they work 24/7 to eviscerate our system of laws which they hope will lead to the eventual collapse of American capitalism and the rise of a socialist paradise. Just like the Soviet Union, no doubt, to which they apparently still swear allegiance.

What's the strategy? What's the real agenda here? Both groups are obviously anxious for the United States to become steadily more destabilized by the unstemmed flood of illegal immigrants flowing in from south of our borders. Not only will this serve to further weaken American cultural institutions. It will also have the cumulative effect, as each successive "amnesty" is approved, of permanently installing the malleable, leftist-loving Democrat Party in the driver's seat of U.S. domestic policy. The bulk of today's illegals, used only to functioning under socialist governments, will instinctively vote, once they have the vote, for the closest thing the U.S. has to a Socialist Party, which happens to be the Democrats. This, in turn, will move the Revolution, delayed by Newt Gingrich in the 1990s, toward its inevitable Socialist dictatorship.

The Clintonistas actually encouraged this sort of thing in California in the 1990s. Don't believe us? Read it and weep:
A report issued by the Justice Dept. in 2000 detailed a program run under the auspices of then Vice President Gore's "Reinventing Government" project to streamline government services. In a successful effort to clear a backlog of 1.2 million applicants, the INS engaged in this crash program called "Citizenship USA" to naturalize the immigrants between October 1995 and September 1996, not coincidentally, just in time for the presidential election. Douglas Farbrother, an official on Gore's team, is quoted in the report saying he "believed that the (citizenship) program had a deadline that was directly connected to the upcoming election." The Clinton administration bypassed the customary FBI background check for these new citizens demonstrating that creating new Democrat voters was a much higher priority than national security. It is estimated that tens of thousands of applications were approved without FBI review. The Justice Dept. report documented 1,000 cases in Miami; 1,300 cases in Chicago; and an astonishing 2,500 cases in Los Angeles.
Clinton's enablers took the hint and made things even worse:
...thanks to the political pandering of [former California Governor] Gray Davis, millions of illegal aliens will soon have the opportunity to take part in the electoral process. The issuance of driver's licenses to all Californians regardless of immigration status has opened up the door to voter registration fraud and weakened the sanctity of the franchise. As California election officials have admitted, an alien who applies for a license need only lie about their immigration status and they are able to register. Thanks to the Motor Voter law, this affront is possible in 13 other states with similar statutes. As a recent Washington Times article points out, a "stealth amnesty" is underway by the states that accept Matricula ID's, non-regulated ID’s issued by the government of Mexico, and grant driver’s licenses to illegals. A Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) report reveals that "The Matricula card is accepted as a valid form of identification by police departments, banks and 12 states for driver's license applications." This disregard for immigration law has no positive impact for Americans except those who seek to grant Democrats additional power.
Even today, Clinton's hacks are not given nearly enough credit for encouraging the endless tide of law-flouting illegals that has now put California's once-conservative leaning 53 electoral votes permanently out of Republican reach. In Ronald Reagan's home state, no less. Give 'em credit. This was brilliant Tammany Hall-style politics. But disastrous for the rule of law, not to mention the ever-increasing burden for America's taxpayers.

It goes without saying that we here at HazZzMat have absolutely no problem with LEGAL immigration. Nor do we oppose in any way the accepted path to legal American citizenship. This was the path taken by Wonker's granddad early last century and by Mrs. Wonker herself in the 1960s. We have had a workable system in place for a long, long time. It's just that today's Democrats and the longtime front-organizations that support them, hungry for another 50-year run in power, will stop at nothing to insure the eventual successful conclusion of their socialist revolution. Follow the dots.

Just thought you'd like to know.

Cheney Blitzes Wolf

The Washington Post had its usual collection of snide anti-administration stories posing as news in this morning's edition. But surprisingly, one story actually let the Veep get in the last word, and he went for extra points. (Note: this link may require site-registration.)

Battling the predictably-partisan Wolf Blitzer in a one-on-one CNN interview, Cheney took on the media and scored some knockout punches by telling the truth. Like this right hook that leads off the first graf:
Vice President Cheney said yesterday that the administration has achieved "enormous successes" in Iraq but complained that critics and the media "are so eager to write off this effort or declare it a failure" that they are undermining U.S. troops in a war zone...
In case Wolf and his viewers didn't get it, Cheney elaborated:
In a television interview that turned increasingly contentious as it wore on, Cheney rejected the gloomy portrayal of Iraq that has become commonly accepted even among Bush supporters. "There's problems" in Iraq, he said, but it is not a "terrible situation." And congressional opposition "won't stop us" from sending 21,500 more troops, he said, it will only "validate the terrorists' strategy."
A strategy which is 1974 redux, I might add.

Wolf wouldn't give up, though, and he paid the price:
When Blitzer asked whether the administration's credibility had been hurt by "the blunders and the failures" in Iraq, Cheney interjected: "Wolf, Wolf, I simply don't accept the premise of your question. I just think it's hogwash."

Cheney said Blitzer was advocating retreat. "What you're recommending, or at least what you seem to believe the right course is, is to bail out," the vice president said.

"I'm just asking," Blitzer objected.

"No, you're not asking."
Perhaps looking to warm things up, Wolfie wandered into Cheney's domestic territory. Bad move:
Yesterday, the CNN host mentioned that Cheney's lesbian daughter, Mary, has become pregnant and asked whether he wanted to respond to conservatives who have criticized her.

"I'm delighted I'm about to have a sixth grandchild, Wolf," Cheney said. "And obviously, I think the world of both my daughters and all of my grandchildren. And I think, frankly, you're out of line with that question."

Blitzer tried to defend himself: "I think all of us appreciate --" Cheney cut him off: "I think you're out of line."
After Cheney curtly dismissed Hillary's presidential aspirations, Wolf, clearly unnerved, lobbed another touchy-feely question at the Veep. This call and response proved so delicious that even Post reporter Peter Baker just let it stand alone to conclude the piece. And so shall we:
And how did it feel to sit next to Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the first woman to serve as House speaker?

"I prefer Dennis Hastert."

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Democrats: RIP, America

We could not bear to watch Presiden't Bush's State of the Union speech last night and so we didn't. Why? There was simply no point in watching the Dems display their autonomic contempt without subtlety and for the Republicans to echo their political spinelessness without shame. It's really too much for the highly rational Wonker to bear. Coupled with this and the usual, predictably negative and pre-scripted "reactions to the speech" from the talking network heads, we chose to skip the visual experience and read the speech in the morning newspaper, skipping the commentary there as well, generally penned by Gramscian demagogues hewing to the Party Line.

But Hugh Hewitt perhaps sums up the atmosphere in today's Washington best with the following riff on the Democrats:
As I watched the Democrats last night I knew --again-- that the country will not "come together" over the necessity of victory. My friend the officer wrote below of the enormous tragedies and dislocations that would follow in the wake of our withdrawal from the region (including a Turkey-Kurdistan war that destabilizes NATO) but the ears of the Democrats are closed. All they can think of is wounding Bush, and attempting to discredit his legacy that they must realize is secure far beyond their maneuvers, which seems only to madden them more.

This deep derangement of a major political party is unique in American history --not even the southern Democrats of 1860 acted out of Lincoln-hatred when they split the Union, but out of a deeply misguided political theory and the desperation that economic and cultural attachment to slavery had bred.

This modern Democratic Party is almost all fury, a fury fueled by a collective though suppressed understanding that the holocaust of southeast Asia in the late '70s and the vulnerability of America on 9/11 are both burdens at their party's door.Watching their replay of the Vietnam-era tape means that there will be no "debate" on the war, simply the choosing of sides. Republicans who side with the Democrats on this the most important issue of the day should lose the support of their party.
Hugh has it exactly right here. The rich, spoiled Boomer leftists who now serve as the Democrats' Party Theoreticians are less focused on the future of the U. S. than they are on preserving their own narcissistic legacy. An instant replay in Baghdad of our Congressionally-forced retreat from Saigon, running with a Woodstock soundtrack in the background, would allow them to retire gracefully in a pleasantly orgasmic haze, secure in the knowledge that the audacious goal they set in 1968—the cultural weakening and resulting destruction from within of the United States, the last remaing bulwark against the negative utopia of Marxist socialism—had at last been accomplished, bringing to a successful close their subtle and relentless 40 Years' War against those once-traditional American values that were shared by nearly all.

It is, in the end, nearly painless to be a Democrat today. Democrats are nourished by a vast ecosystem of hollow prizes, leftist foundations, and monetary awards that fund and sustain them while denying access to anyone who deviates from the Party Line. The Party-controlled MSM supports them with unanimity and while relentlessly savaging their foes with neverending propaganda fusillades. Ultimately, this allows Democrats to bask effortlessly in the comfortable, positive glow that only unlimited and uncritical face time and softball media questions can assure. Is it a wonder that they have evolved into a human subspecies whose primary characteristics include intellectual vapidity, casual condescension, and a faux Marxist bent that is preached but never practiced?

Democrats never need to fear consequences. A party of wealthy, snarky narcissists and hacks, posing behind a glowing façade of benevolence and humanitarianism, these preening, contemporary Macaronis cannily focus on the outward appearance of grace, the better to mask their near-complete lack of intellectual parts, let alone a discernable moral compass. Like The Great Gatsby's Daisy and Tom Buchanan, they posture as social models and benefactors for us all. Yet from Vietnam, to Cambodia, to the hills of Kent State, they leave chaos and death in their casual wake while others are forced, off-camera, to pick up the grisly pieces. Small wonder leftist Dems regard the Islamofascists as putative allies in their War Against Bush and Amerikkka. These murderous jihadis are the heroic Viet-Cong all over again, an enemy that can inflict enough mass slaughter on us that we'll go home and wait for the end. Dems don't have to worry about this, however, confident that the defeat they're even now engineering can always be peacefully negotiated with genocidal maniacs. (But remember, Dems "support the troops," no doubt while scheming to cut funding for Iraq and "redeploy" it to the socialist kleptocrats in the U.N.)

Meanwhile, the Islamofascists have been watching, and perhaps studying Gramsci and the phenomenon of cultural hegemony as well. Something like this is already helping them topple the ghost of a once-proud Europe, one dhimmi at a time. We're next on the murderous mullahs' list, and the Democrats don't have a clue. Because they really don't care.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Do Wisconsin Nut-Roots Support the Troops? Hell, no!

We love how our Democrat friends always hate "Bush's war" but "support our troops." Here's an example of just how that works in Wisconsin:
An American GI assigned to one of the harshest posts in Iraq had a simple request last week for a Wisconsin mattress company: send some floor mats to help ease the hardship of sleeping on the cold, bug-infested ground.
He requested the mats from a stateside firm via email. Was his request cheerfully granted by patriotic Americans who "support our troops"? Glad you asked:
What he got, instead, was a swift kick from the company's Web site, which not only refused the request but added insult to injury...

SGT Hess

We do not ship to APO addresses, and even if we did, we would NEVER ship to Iraq. If you were sensible, you and your troops would pull out of Iraq.

Bargain SuppliersDiscount-Mats.com
By some strange coincidence, the website is
registered to Faisal Khetani, an American Muslim of Pakistani descent...
Allegedly, the employee who sent the scurrilous email—no doubt an American patriot—was fired. The website, which obviously goes to the mat for our brave warfighters, has also been, er, "temporarily" taken offline. (We'll keep clicking the link just for fun and hope you will, too. The temporary page encourages "phone or email" contact, but helpfully provides no phone number or e-address. Wonder why.)

BTW, the Sarge eventually found a more patriotic supplier, so the story had a happy ending for him after all. But I am haunted by the fact that Islamofascists hiding out in this country, along with their nut-roots apologists, are probably scratching their heads right now, wondering what the problem is here. After all, isn't this merely the exercise of "free speech" by another "patriot" who supports our troops? Good for morale? We report, you decide.

Drudge Crashes U.S. Senate Server

Well, not on purpose.

Remember that link we gave you in a recent post, wherein an Alabama weatherman rebutted the Weather Channel's alleged climatologist, Heidi Cullen? The good Dr. Cullen was making a thinly veiled attempt to impose censorship, via credentialism, on skeptical professional weather dudes who, en masse, aren't buying into the current "global warming" hysteria.

This link later proved exceedingly difficult to access, as was yesterday's link (festooned with an introductory ad you can click out of) to a follow-up story in the Houston Chronicle. Left-wing conspiracy? Commie-led denial-of-service attack?

Nothing that exciting, actually. Seems Drudge's fans—the silent majority that isn't buying the pro-Kyoto, anti-U.S. "global warming" scaremongering—swamped the Senate's servers to access the piece. We can infer something similar happened at the Chronicle, which was also tough to access yesterday.

Guess a lot of folks aren't buying into the "global warming" hype after all, eh? You'd never learn this, though, if you only consulted the MSM. Yet another reason to keep the Internet (and talk radio) free.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Global Warming Freak-Out: Gone too Far?

Drudge has a link today (which at times has been difficult to access) to an article in the Houston Chronicle. It describes the increasing unease of some scientists as they see how politicization has been warping the "global warming" issue.
...it took the dramatic images of a hurricane overtaking New Orleans and searing heat last summer to finally trigger widespread public concern on the issue of global warming.

Climate scientists might be expected to bask in the spotlight after their decades of toil. The general public now cares about greenhouse gases, and with a new Democratic-led Congress, federal action on climate change may be at hand.

Problem is, global warming may not have caused Hurricane Katrina, and last summer's heat waves were equaled and, in many cases, surpassed by heat in the 1930s.

In their efforts to capture the public's attention, then, have climate scientists oversold global warming? It's probably not a majority view, but a few climate scientists are beginning to question whether some dire predictions push the science too far.

"Some of us are wondering if we have created a monster," says Kevin Vranes, a climate scientist at the University of Colorado.
Gosh, do ya think?

Vranes continues:
The science of climate change often is expressed publicly in unambiguous terms.

For example, last summer, Ralph Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences, told the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce: "I think we understand the mechanisms of CO2 and climate better than we do of what causes lung cancer. ... In fact, it is fair to say that global warming may be the most carefully and fully studied scientific topic in human history."

Vranes says, "When I hear things like that, I go crazy."
So do we.

The Chronicle piece avers that scientists (who are not necessarily climatologists) are coalescing around the "global warming" point of view but—contrary to nearly all press reports, particularly those in lefty broadsides like the Washington Post—they're not nearly unanimous about what's causing it or even whether it's particularly out of the norm. After all, the planet has experienced cycles of heating and cooling, sometimes extreme, since it was formed.

In addition, other nefarious factors may be in play in the "global warming" hysteria, as we noted yesterday in citing an Alabama weatherman, James Spann, who responded with extreme negativity toward the Weather Channel's latest attempt at public policy coercion. (For those who entered late, Weather Channel Climate Babe Heidi Cullen encouraged a move to ban AMA certification weather broadcasters who dissented from the Party Line on the "global warming" orthodoxy). Spann says, like Deep Throat, "Follow the money" if you want some answers explaining this kind of Brown Shirt approach to scientific skeptics.

If you take Spann's advice, you might discover something like this observation in the Chronicle piece:
Other climate scientists [...] say there may be some tension as described by Vranes. One of them, Jeffrey Shaman, an assistant professor of atmospheric sciences at Oregon State University, says that unease exists primarily between younger researchers and older, more established scientists.

Shaman says some junior scientists may feel uncomfortable when they see older scientists making claims about the future climate, but he's not sure how widespread that sentiment may be. This kind of tension always has existed in academia, he adds, a system in which senior scientists hold some sway over the grants and research interests of graduate students and junior faculty members.

The question, he says, is whether it's any worse in climate science.

And if it is worse? Would junior scientists feel compelled to mute their findings, out of concern for their careers, if the research contradicts the climate change consensus?
Oh, please. Of course they would. As an ex-academic, the Wonk can tell you, a significant number of junior professors would outfit grandma in cement overshoes if it got them tenured.

This kind of dishonesty does not have a huge economic impact in pure propaganda departments like History and English that long ago ceased to support any kind of academic rigor except doctrinaire Marxism. But when you build a "scientific" consensus on the backs of timid, grant-hungry junior faculties in the sciences, it arguably has a more direct and negative impact on the nation's economy.

In addition, when bogus or unproven "science" is later found misleading at best and fraudulent at worst, scientific perps undercut the public's faith in the disinterestedness of science with predictably negative consequences, of which skepticism is only the beginning.

Make sure you read the whole link above before the Chronicle discovers what they've actually printed and deletes or revises the link.

Dinesh D'Souza: Enemy in the Wrong Place

Much has been made over the last week or so of Dinesh D'Souza's new book, The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11. D'Souza's thesis is fairly simple, according to Dean Barnett, the once and future Soxblog, who is currently lending a healthy assist at Hugh Hewitt's blog. Dean quotes D'Souza:
“I am saying that the cultural left and its allies in Congress, the media, Hollywood, the nonprofit sector, and the universities are the primary cause of the volcano of anger toward America that is erupting from the Islamic world.”
Wonker's read enough negative views of this book from lefties and centrists that he's refrained from shelling out for this tome, the latest from a pretty well-respected young conservative lion. But Dean's comments here distill the basis of the issue: it's wrongheaded oversimplification of a complex issue:
First, if the book’s principal theory gains any traction it would be destructive. If conservatives decide that liberals are the reason we were attacked and why we’re hated, it won’t do anything for domestic unity. D’Souza’s theory in this regard is not only misguided, it is offensive. Liberals won’t have to bother to caricaturize D’Souza’s argument. He did that himself.

Second, and this is also no small thing, it’s not liberals’ fault. Radical Islam hates a respectable Church-going Presbyterian family man every bit as much as it hates a spoiled libertine like Paris Hilton. As far as radical Islam is concerned, the two are in the same basic class; they’re both infidels. Short of conversion or surrender, there is nothing our society can do to appease radical Islam.
Dean is correct on both counts. But then he, himself, stumbles in his conclusion:
One of the most distressing aspects of our domestic debate the past five years is the way our government and our intellectuals have so thoroughly failed to grasp the tenets of Radical Islam. It is dispiriting to see D’Souza stumble so badly, and distressing to think that he is selling the theories of this book as a de facto spokesman for America’s conservatives.
We'll get back to Dean's comment in a minute. Meanwhile, let's rewind the tape. (Or do we need a new metaphor today in this age of the DVD?)

D'Souza is precisely wrong in his thesis. The fundamental nature of his error is as astounding as it is destructive for cultural warriors such as Wonker, who's never had the luxury of being supported by a think tank. In point of fact, liberalism, Western decadence, including the West's flaccid social norms and wilful ignorance of its own Judaeo-Christian cultural roots, are and have been a convenient excuse for the Islamofascists to wage continuous jihad against the "infidel." Western decadence has been and remains just a red herring that the Islamofascists use to stir up the impoverished masses and provide a pseudo-religious rationalization for destroying the West and particularly America.

What we are dealing with here is what we've always dealt with when it comes to dealing with tinhorn dictators or those who would become tinhorn dictators. At their core, all they are interested in is power and domination over others, for whom they have the utmost contempt. Religion, socialism, communism—you name it—are always the outward rationalizations for the seething inward hate that drives would-be world conquerors in their endless drive to slaughter perceived enemies (anyone besides themselves, as Stalin ultimately proved) and remake society into a utopia that somehow enriches them and their sycophants while leaving everyone else either dead or worse off than they were before their liberation.

But a would-be tyrant can't broadcast his real intentions to the world. This would interfere with recruiting propaganda and would expose him to the world as the fraud he really is. So the tyrant must always cloak his radical ambitions in a pure-white utopian garment. In this, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Castro, Chavez, and, of course, Bin Laden and the likes of Hezbollah are all united in the end. Under the cloak of religion and moral purity, they murder, slaughter, and pillage until no effective resistance is left.

The constant denunciation of Western decadence and the West's alleged oppression of the third-world masses is the cloak behind which Al Qaeda and its fellow ideologues hide, much as Industrial Revolution-style capitalism served as the smokescreen obscuring the true intentions of mass-murdering communists like Lenin, Stalin, and Mao.

Dictators and would-be dictators such as these are trapped in an endless do-loop of arrested male adolescence with all its mindless rage and confused sexuality. Power for them is, at its core, extraordinarily Freudian, a means to the end of avenging themselves upon all authority figures that may have offended or actually hurt them in the past. They are smart enough to realize this stuff won't sell, even to a largely uneducated populace, so they manufacture a new backstory, recruit armies of likeminded, muderous adolescents, and have at it.

Which brings us back to D'Souza's fundamental and very damaging error. He is quite simply confusing an outward symptom of Islamofascism, its alleged grievance against Western (liberal) culture with the disease itself which is unbridled, murderous fury against a world the Islamofascists cannot control. It is a tribute to the effectiveness of Islamofascist propaganda that D'Souza should fall into this trap. But, given the amount of time he's had to research this issue, let alone the monetary support he's obviously received, one wonders how such a genuinely bright conservative light could have failed so completely to grasp the obvious.

Dean, too, has missed an important point, however, as he wonders aloud how conservative intellectuals can "fail to grasp" the totalitarian aims of the Islamofascists. While correctly exposing D'Souza's highly-flawed argument, he, too, hangs up on the Islamofascists, who, paradoxically, are the wrong target here.

What conservatives have failed to grasp, are failing to grasp, and seem determined to continue to fail to grasp is the left's true "guilt" for 9/11. The left did not cause 9/11, as D'Souza theorizes. That point of view is simply asinine. But what the left actually accomplished is far more insidious. By weakening our educational system and the objectivity of our courts over the past half century; by transforming the goal of civil rights and equality for all into institutionalized, race-based class struggle; by dominating nearly every outlet for information and by turning most into socialist propaganda mills; by employing the ACLU to rip religious underpinnings out from under American culture and jurisprudence; and, lately, by undermining objective science itself by means of advocacy groups ranging from Greenpeace and the Sierra Club to the so-called Union of Concerned Scientists, American and Western socialists and Marxists not only left our society vulnerable to being blindsided by an enemy it chose not to see. They further hamper us in achieving victory against this enemy because they actively and continuously undermine our ability to mount a sustained, unified response.

Thus, leftist culture did not cause 9/11. Rather, it left us vulnerable to 9/11, provided the Islamofascists with an excuse for 9/11. Further, the left undermines our ability to defeat the Islamofascists post-9/11 because, as an active 5th column, it wants the West, and Amerikkka in particular, to go down to defeat, and will embrace any enemy that will assist them in this endeavor.

D'Souza's absolute failure to distinguish between cause and effect is the fatal flaw in an already weak argument. Making matters worse, his intellectual error is so easy to attack and dismiss that otherwise underequipped liberal propagandists—who could never win a truly objective debate—will have an easy field day. How a conservative could leave himself so vulnerable to a counterattack is simply beyond this writer.

D'Souza' sloppy and rushed semi-scholarship has disastrously muffed a golden opportunity to re-define the culture war in this country and focus conservatives on the best line of counter-attack. His flawed argument has effectively ceded propaganda ground to the left. While his treatise may not be fatal to those of us trying to wage a counterinsurgency in the culture wars, it has probably now set us back 10 years since it diverts attention away from where the real battle for hearts and minds is occurring: right here in this country. America's 5th columnists continue to inflict blow after blow on our cultural and religious strengths, tearing us apart as a country precisely when we need to be unified. Why was this book rushed into publication? Did Doubleday even bother to give this book to an editor or a fact-checker? We may never know.

Radical Islam is not the issue we need to address here. We need to focus on and eliminate the seditionists in this country who, having led to our vulnerability in 9/11, are now softening us up for defeat on a grander scale than has yet been imagined.

Had we remained unified as a country and ignored the propagandists, Iraq would arguably be in better shape and we'd already be addressing the issues of Syria and Iran. But now our 5th columnists are trying to re-create the Vietnam experience in Iraq and are getting ever closer to their goal. The left, through the MSM, persists in giving hope, aid, and comfort to the enemy. And the jihadists in Iraq are enthusiastically returning the favor, re-creating visions a Vietnam-style "quagmire" by slaughtering Iraqis and GI's as a backdrop to Bush's 2007 State of the Union speech. Don't doubt it. Islamofascists love to watch CNN, drawing strength and comfort from each anti-American diatribe, leading to more attacks.

Today, virtually everything in Washington and the Middle East is a deteriorating mess, and we can chalk this state up largely to "liberal activists" (aka socialists), their stooges in the Democrat Party, and their lackeys in the MSM who do their best to portray our own President as the enemy, and celebrate Islamofascists as the aggreived minority (class struggle) rather than the mass-murderers they are.

D'Souza's book is an unmitigated disaster for those of us who are serious about the culture wars. It was rushed to publication to make a big splash, and it did: the wrong kind of splash. It will be tough to recover from the fallout of this debacle. Hopefully, this blog entry will help, at least a little. Dinesh, it's tough enough fighting a legion of enemies on the Gramscian left whose repulsive efforts are further magnified by glowing 24/7 coverage in the MSM. But it's almost impossible to vanquish them when your own supposed friends stream onto the battlefied only to open up a second front against you.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Global Warming: The Weather Channel Caper

The Global Warming Nazis have now infiltrated even the formerly reliable Weather Channel. Have they no decency? Observes Melanie Morgan:
Far-left political ideologies are being promulgated through ever-increasing mediums, and recently I noticed that a once-vaunted American television network, The Weather Channel, had succumbed to the cancerous spread of liberalism.

The Weather Channel debuted in 1982 and went on to earn a reputation as a well-known and respected cable network. The explosive success of the cable channel prompted the publication of a book marking the network's 20th anniversary. That success has been based on the fact that weather forecasts are sought after by a vast number of Americans on a near-daily basis.

What had been nice about The Weather Channel is that through most of its history it stayed clear of political propaganda and focused on delivering weather forecasts to the nation, supplemented with riveting live reports from the front lines of hurricanes, winter blizzards and springtime floods.

But no more. The Weather Channel is now engaged in a con job on the American people, attempting to scare the public that their actions are destroying the planet by creating a global warming crisis.
Yep, the Gramscians in the MSM have infiltrated the once informational and reliable Weather Channel and now are running full-tilt to turn it into yet another propaganda organ for the left. Read on:
The move away from scientific forecasting of the weather to sensationalized leftist political advocacy is in part due to the influence of Wonya Lucas, executive vice president and general manager of The Weather Channel Networks.

Lucas admitted in a recent interview with Media Village that the reprogramming of The Weather Channel was influenced by her tenure at CNN when that network shifted from presenting straight news to personality-driven programming.

Lucas decided that what was good for CNN was good for The Weather Channel, and the objectivity and respectability of the network has now been thrown out the window. It doesn't matter that CNN's turn to the left has caused their ratings to plummet; The Weather Channel's embraced its model.

Media Village reported that the move by The Weather Channel "is intended to establish a broader perspective on the weather category and, says Lucas, to move the brand from functional to emotional."

Emotional weather forecasting?

The Weather Channel is launching a new website and broadband channel dedicated solely to global warming called "One Degree" and has a weekly program called "The Climate Code," devoted almost entirely to liberal advocacy on climate matters.

The network is running advertisements showcasing scared and confused Americans, including children and senior citizens, wondering about the coming apocalypsecaused by global warming. (You can view the ad for yourself here.)
This nonsense is being promulgated by one of the Weather Channel's heavily hyped new hires, Dr. Heidi Cullen. Okay, maybe she does have a doctorate. (So does Wonker.) But she appears to have done the bulk of her work at reliably Communist Columbia University, well known for accepting no dissention in its Stalinist ranks, and her early work appears to have provided just enough nuttiness to establish bona-fide idiotarian credentials:
The chief martyr for the new "emotional" approach to broadcasting at The Weather Channel is Dr. Heidi Cullen, who serves as the network's cheerleader for global warming hysteria. Cullen's supposed expertise on climatology includes, among other things, earning a bachelor's degree in Near Eastern religions and history from Juniata College. One must indeed have to believe in the mystical to accept anything Ms. Cullen has to say about climatology.

Writing for the One Degree blog, Ms. Cullen recently threw a hissy fit that some meteorologists are openly questioning the conclusions drawn by the Greenpeace crowd about the nature, extent, causes and even existence of global warming.

Cullen's diatribe, titled "Junk Controversy Not Junk Science," called on the American Meteorological Society to start requiring all meteorologists to toe the line on liberal interpretation of global warming, or else lose the organization's certification.
Following the link gets us to Heidi's ugly, thinly-veiled (and illogical) threat:

Meteorologists are among the few people trained in the sciences who are permitted regular access to our living rooms. And in that sense, they owe it to their audience to distinguish between solid, peer-reviewed science and junk political controversy. If a meteorologist can't speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS shouldn't give them a Seal of Approval. Clearly, the AMS doesn't agree that global warming can be blamed on cyclical weather patterns. It's like allowing a meteorologist to go on-air and say that hurricanes rotate clockwise and tsunamis are caused by the weather. It's not a political statement...it's just an incorrect statement.
Horse-hockey. Once again, we have lefties trying to subvert a credentialing process in order to disallow dissenters from leftist orthodoxy from participating in the discussion, this time a scientific discussion. But parse the initial statement above: "Meteorologists are among the few people trained in the sciences who are permitted regular access to our living rooms." Thus, they must avoid "junk controversy" (i.e., questioning the lefty, Kyoto Protocol version of "global warming") and favor "science" (i.e., the received orthodoxy of the left, mainly that George Bush and Halliburton are destroying the planet and are solely responsible for what is actually a natural phenomenon of cyclical climate change.)

Cullen's observation is a non-sequitur that keeps on giving. Using her line of reasoning, delete "meteorologists" and "in the sciences" and substitute "attorneys" and "in the law" and now you can delete all conservative attorneys who are not leftist ideologues and prohibit them from appearing on TV. Or "reporters" trained "in journalism" and you can delete all Fox journlalists and their news shows. Simple, easy.

Cullen's idiotarian kowtowing to leftist orthodoxy, however, has succeeded like almost nothing else in arousing her opponents, as in this interesting link posted, of all places, on a U.S. Senate site hosted by that body's Committee on Environment and Public Works. Here, weatherman James Spann opines:
Well, well. Some “climate expert” on “The Weather Channel” wants to take away AMS certification from those of us who believe the recent “global warming” is a natural process. So much for “tolerance”, huh?

I have been in operational meteorology since 1978, and I know dozens and dozens of broadcast meteorologists all over the country. Our big job: look at a large volume of raw data and come up with a public weather forecast for the next seven days. I do not know of a single TV meteorologist who buys into the man-made global warming hype. I know there must be a few out there, but I can’t find them. [Italics by Wonker.]
But after this little tweak, Spann gets down to the real heart of the matter—the subversion of science by political ideologues trolling for grant money. Which of course, can't be obtained and/or replenished unless one uncovers something that can be trumpeted as a catastrophic, world-ending horror:
Here are the basic facts you need to know:

*Billions of dollars of grant money is flowing into the pockets of those on the man-made global warming bandwagon. No man-made global warming, the money dries up. This is big money, make no mistake about it. Always follow the money trail and it tells a story. Even the lady at “The Weather Channel” probably gets paid good money for a prime time show on climate change. No man-made global warming, no show, and no salary. Nothing wrong with making money at all, but when money becomes the motivation for a scientific conclusion, then we have a problem. For many, global warming is a big cash grab.

*The climate of this planet has been changing since God put the planet here. It will always change, and the warming in the last 10 years is not much difference than the warming we saw in the 1930s and other decades. And, lets not forget we are at the end of the ice age in which ice covered most of North America and Northern Europe.

If you don’t like to listen to me, find another meteorologist with no tie to grant money for research on the subject. I would not listen to anyone that is a politician, a journalist, or someone in science who is generating revenue from this issue.
There you have it. The hard left funded by filthy (taxpayer-funded) lucre. What else could you expect? That's how they've managed to subvert so many of our cultural and educational institutions, not to mention the government, for all these years. The lesson here is that earmarks for oil exploration are horrible but earmarks for leftist ideologues posing as scientists are swell. BTW, we've run most of Spann's link here since it's been down for most of the day, indicating that Democrat staffers have been trying to snuff it off the air.

We've tangled with the "global warming" idiotarians here before and will probably have to deal with them again. Could very well be that the planet is warming up a bit these days, although California's wiped-out citrus growers and the millions shivering in the bitter cold tonight in Texas and Oklahoma might question just where this warming is occurring. Nonetheless, if Cadillac Escalades are contributing to this, we're talking about a miniscule percentage of the whole, which has been a periodic global phenomenon since the beginning of time. But the left would have you believe that you, and I, and yeah, SUV driver Al Gore, too, are solely responsible for a dubious planetary catastrophe that could easily be solved if we all rode bikes to work, drank soy milk, and deposed George W. Bush. How asinine is that?

Time to write or email the Weather Channel en masse and explain to them that their advertising empire will topple unless they evict the CNN troglodytes pushing this idiotic global warming meme. We want weather on the Weather Channel, not Storm Stories and recycled Greenpeace propaganda. Let 'em have it. We can get this crap every day in the Washington Post. Why do we need re-runs?

Flash: Redford "Not Very Moderate." Who Knew?

It must be great to be a rich socialist. Diss President Bush and you automatically draw adulation from the brainless. In this case, the brainless are Sundance Film groupies gathering for the Sundance film festival in Park City, Utah, a beautiful preserve catering to wealthy, ski-addicted leftist movie fans. Sundance paterfamilias, the renowned intellectual and bourgeois capitalist Robert Redford, is the latest faux intellectual to offer incisive political analysis:
Anyone with a rational mind and a sense of decency is being positioned as a lefty by the extreme right," he said, responding to an attendee who asked whether he thought Sundance selections were politically oriented to the left. "I believe in the tenets of democracy, and when they get pushed, it pisses me off," he said.

Redford maintained that Sundance films always have been politically diverse but said that "in light of what's happened in the past six years, we haven't adhered to snuffing attempts from the administration. ... (Documentaries) have become more of a truth to power in an environment where lying is treated like a political asset."

"I'm left-handed," he joked. "I'm not a very moderate person."
Let's parse that opening sentence. Hard leftists will never define themselves that way, and they've evolved elaborate circumlocutions designed to tar conservatives as "extremists" while giving themselves a pass for their own manifest extremism. The sentence should read, "Any leftist extremist is being positioned as a lefty by the extreme right." But instead, without evidence, Redford imputes pure good to his fellow extremists, thus allowing him to delete the truth ("leftist extremist") and replace it with "Anyone with a rational mind and a sense of decency..." Redford transforms an obvious fact—that he and his worshippers are leftist extremists—into Really Nice People, which they are not.

In the first place, leftists are not "rational minds" at all, unless you label the trumpeting of meaningless slogans "rational." Leftists do not reason, which is what a rational person does. They make pronouncements without evidence to back them up. This involves memorization of party propaganda, which is not to be confused with an intellectual exercise.

Second of all, what about this implied, shared "sense of decency"? Leftists claim this "sense of decency" as their right. And they do it while aborting babies, protecting terrorists, violating laws they don't like (like immigration laws), ripping religion out of the fabric of American life, denouncing and actively disrespecting the traditional American family...I could go on but you get the picture.

Meanwhile, of course, anyone who opposes them is, quite simply, "extreme right."

Guess this kind of dishonest oversimplification "pisses me off," too, Bob.

Second graf is even more stream-of-consciousness irrational, striking all the memes without much in the way of logic. But all you have to do in a lefty crowd is string the right memes together and they'll think it's brilliant.

In the first place, Sundance films are NEVER politically diverse. Redford's ovservation is an absolute lie. Unfortunately, Redford and his ilk don't actually know this, because "diverse" for them includes only varying nuances of leftist pieties propaganda. We won't be seeing at Sundance anytime soon, for example, an indie film of "Atlas Shrugged," or an admiring "documentary" on Ronald Reagan, will we? But again, political "diversity" for the left is merely different shades of the same thing. Everything else is "right wing extremism" and is thus excluded from consideration when defining "diversity."

Next we have "snuffing attempts" from the right. What "snuffing attempts"? A metaphor, BTW, drawn pointedly from a depraved class of porno films. But leftists love to stretch the metaphorical envelope, so what the hell? A lefty like Redford never has to document such accusations. Merely pronouncing them to have happened is sufficient, because, well, we all "know" that they're true because Bob said so, right? He never tells us about the films the administration has been snuffing, like the phony documentaries by Michael Moore and Al Gore that no one has been able to see.

Gore's crock-umentary on "global warming" (an historic, cyclical phenomenon not caused by George Bush), of course, was a highlight of last year's Sundance, and was given a big push by Redford. Which sort of negates, once again, the phony meme of right wing "snuffing," aka film "censorship," which is, in fact, practiced against the political right 24/7 at Sundance. But hey, being a lefty is never having to say you're sorry, right? Stands to reason for a political philosophy where lying is demonstrably a "political asset," since it's been working for the left most of the time since the end of WWII.

Redford finally lets a little truth slip out in his final statement, but this is merely an afterthought, proving to his audience of dupes that everything he's just said is therefore true, since he's a leftist and because he said so. Count on it. After all, he's "not a very moderate person." Who knew?

It's tought for a rational person to break through this kind of mindless crap, particularly when the MSM reports it in such a way that it appears to be proven fact. But that's the kind of agitprop we're up against these days. It's been weakening the national fiber one tendril at a time, and we're determined to expose it here whenever we can.

The first moral of this story is that while newspapers once printed quite a few well-sourced facts, they now print propaganda that implies a body of facts that don't actually exist. The second moral of the story is that, the more glamorous the speaker, the less you can trust a single word he says, particularly when it's excerpted in newsprint.