Friday, June 29, 2007

Conservative Trifecta


As indicated in our earlier post, conservatives have cause to rejoice greatly this week, scoring three major victories en route to overcoming the malaise that set in after last November's Democrat-sweep of the House and Senate.

What the MSM and the punditocracy have consistently failed to note is that this defeat was caused by an increasing amount of Republican incumbents who seemed intent on using their power to behave like Democrats. I.e., using their positions to dispense favors (earmarks) to wealthy interest groups, all for the purpose of buying large amounts of votes from them. Just like the Democrats have always done.

However, the Repubs had held onto their majority for the better part of 12 years by hewing, pretty much, to most of the tenets of Newt Gingrich's Contract With America. Most particularly by controlling spending and beefing up the national defense which had been eviscerated by the Clintonista's misdirection of the "peace dividend," which they used to fund up pet programs to placate their leftist constituent groups.

When the Repubs started acting like Dems, their base stayed home. Worse still, the "Reagan Democrats" who'd been voting pretty solidly Republican since 1980 apparently decided that if the Repubs were going to act like Democrats, well then, they had ought to go out and elect REAL tax-and-spend Democrats, thus sealing the Republicans' doom.

Acting like the "stupid party" they have often been, the Republican minority didn't help its position when Congress changed hands in January, relentlessly supporting the asinine stuff that had gotten their friends thrown out of office to begin with. The three issues that prove the point all came, perhaps coincidentally, to a head this week. They include:

  1. The Bush-Kennedy-Reid-Whomever Immigration Bill, aka "The Amnesty Bill"
  2. The Supreme Court's somewhat muddy ruling against the country's suicidal Affirmative Action industry
  3. The move by lefties and, astonishingly, by some Repubs, to renew the "Fairness Doctrine" as a way of eliminating Conservative talk radio.
In the case of the Amnesty Bill, this travesty went down to defeat because of a tremendous effort by talk radio and the conservative blogosphere to overcome the obtuse elitists in both houses who intended to use the effort to pander for legal and illegal Latino votes. The MSM insisted on casting the opposition to this bill as racists, "know-nothings," and fascists. In truth, a majority of American citizens, including legal Latino citizens, opposed the bill, recognizing that:

  • By declaring the second "amnesty" in roughly the last 25 years, the bill would clearly communicate to any and all prospective immigrants, including the occasional rogue Islamofascist, that the U.S. was no longer serious about supporting its national sovereignty and identity—precisely the things that have caused foreign nationals to emigrate here to begin with;
  • By nakedly getting in bed with rich corporate donors to create an endless flow of low-wage workers in any number of industries, the bill demonstrated that politicians and industrial barons were in clear collusion, all the better to keep wages stagnant throughout the general populace which has, as a result, has endured an amazing erosion of earning power over the last two decades because of this; and
  • Middle class and working class Americans not designated as "disadvantaged" minorities were fast-becoming the new lower class as leftist class warfare, exemplified in the ultimate aim of this bill, was being waged on anyone who wanted to work hard and earn a traditional American lifestyle.

In short, American middle-tier citizens were "as mad as hell and weren't going to take it anymore." Energized by, you guessed it, talk radio and the conservative blogosphere, they barraged their cynical congressmen to kill this misbegotten bill whose intent they knew full-well was to further marginalize middle-class citizens and their values.

Michelle Malkin, in her running coverage of the action, provides this particularly insightful observation by South Carolina Republican Senator DeMint (the good SC senator) which goes a long way toward explaining what gradually happened to the amnesty travesty:

“This immigration bill has become a war between the American people and their government. It’s a crisis of confidence…This vote today is really not about immigration. It’s about whether we are going to listen to the American people…the allocation of time as we approach this vote is very symbolic. the supporters of this bill out of an hour’s time have allocated 10 minutes to the views of the American people.”

The Amnesty Bill's resounding defeat was a brilliant example of grass-roots populism overwhelming the tone-deaf elitists who are currently running both major parties. In short, the average American citizen, nearly always loathe to stir up any trouble, finally realized that his entire way of life was on the line and decided to draw a line in the sand in order to vigorously oppose his gradual but inevitable marginalization. Congratulations to all. Eternal vigilance, however, is still advised. Ted Kennedy, the ultimate elitist and the Democrats' Chief Bloviator, still lurks in the shadows, stung by this defeat. And even George Bush, whom we generally support, has yet to realize that his support for this monster of a bill has now truly relegated both he and his administration to the status of genuine lame ducks. This, gents, is a classic example of what happens when you don't listen and really piss off the normally silent majority.

Meanwhile, yesterday, as the usual race-baiters demonstrated in front of the Supreme Court, entertaining their fervent supporters in the media, the Roberts Court, in spite of scathing dissents by the court's socialists and a lukewarm endorsement by Justice Kennedy, eroded, albeit not totally, the extraordinarily damaging policy of affirmative action as it relates to public school integration. For decades, the primary purpose of public education in this country has been distorted as money and personnel have been expended on a massive scale to make every classroom "look like America," whatever the Sam Hill that means.

Budgets that should have gone toward upgrading physical plants and hiring more qualified teachers went instead toward massive school bus purchases and, you might imagine, massive increases in gasoline bills necessitated by all these vehicles whose sole purpose, in the end, was to fulfill by force, Socialist fantasies of classrooms made racially diverse to the tenth of a percent. The ruling will probably have a gradual, erosive effect on this wretched policy which elevated phony racial equality above excellence in education.

It took decades to wreck the American public school system, however, and it will probably take decades to fix it, along with the further encouragement of voucher systems which will increase the competition in the educational field and force teachers and administrators to teach real skillsets again rather than encouraging and promoting a viciously perverse "multiculturalism" which is really, in the end, reverse racism in disguise.

What parents of all races have wanted all along is neighborhood schools staffed by real, professional teachers who have no other agenda than to teach the original 3 Rs (stupidly redefined by liberal propagandists in recent years) to their kids to give them a fighting chance to prosper in an increasingly complex world. They don't really much care anymore about a school's racial composition. Rather, they are mightily concerned that their kids are getting the best education possible from the best teachers possible.

The Democrats and their friends on the left love to trumpet to the gullible media that such desires are "racist." The only racists left in this country are a tiny minority of morons who will never learn, and they are becoming an endangered species. Discrimination by race in the public schools is, in fact, no longer a viable concern. What is really a concern is the crappy educational experience in inner city schools, something that forced busing will never solve. The Supremes' ruling, for all its contentiousness, will begin to slowly steer us toward educational excellence once more by emphasizing education over social engineering.

Finally, it's become quite clear that a stealth attempt in congress by lefty Democrats and, astonishingly, by some Republicans like the oily and tone-deaf Trent Lott, to bring back the radio and TV "Fairness Doctrine" as a way of eliminating conservative talk radio has been quietly put to bed by an oddly nonpartisan consensus. Wonk has always said that whenever you hear the word "fairness" uttered by a Democrat, you should check your wallet. The effort here took a slightly different tack, defining "fairness" as a lack of opposition viewpoints.

Even the MSM now openly admits it's over 92-95% biased in favor of the leftist point of view. The only piece of the MSM even marginally controlled by conservatives consists of precisely the Fox News Channel and the Washington Times. It is in this vacuum that conservative talk radio has flourished, aided and abetted more recently by the rise of the right-wing blogosphere, who just combined to defeat the Amnesty Bill, for example. Reconstituting the old "Fairness Doctrine" would have put conservative talk radio and perhaps eventually conservative bloggers as well, right out of business, leaving the left 100% in control of the political message. That definition of "fairness" is a status quo they'd obviously support, too, since they are, paradoxically, closet fascists who, like more public fascists, want complete control of the media and no outlet for the opposition.

Such a situation might be fine for a Hugo Chavez or a Hosni Mubarek. But it's not going to float with the American people. Thus, the left's crude attempt at post-McCarthyite intimidation and repression has, at least for now, fallen flat.

It is eternally fascinating to Wonker that lefties are so bloody passionate about silencing their opponents rather than debating them. They like to call themselves "liberals." But more and more Americans are recognizing them for the fascistic Marxist propagandists they really are. And the lefties hate it, since they know they're intellectually superior to us all. How frustrating for them this week must have been. How irritating that "the people" have actually been heard and have forced these socialist elites to retreat.

Let's hope this continues, as the defeated left now turns its attention back to getting the U.S. humiliated in Iraq.

Back from the West

Today marks Wonker's return from a brief vacation to wild, wonderful West Virginia, beautiful (and very Conservative) Western Maryland, and the adjacent mountains of Pennsylvania, home to great natural beauty as well as to Falling Water, in our opinion, the most fantastic of Frank Lloyd Wright's imaginative houses.

We're getting back to action and have been astounded to see that in our absence, not one, not two, but three fantastic things happened in DC this week indicating that conservatism may very well be on the comeback trail after last year's November shellacking of tax and spend Repubs in the polls.
Further enlightened commentary to follow.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Green Psychosis: Energy, Foreign Policy, and Sense

There are vast, untapped oil fields and other energy sources inside the US:
* Just off the coast of Louisiana, Chevron has found an oil field—the “Jack 2” well—with 15 billion barrels of oil.
* The nonpartisan research firm RAND estimates that Colorado, Utah and Wyoming sit on a goldmine of oil-shale deposits, once thought to be too expensive to convert into petroleum. These states hold between 500 billion and 1.1 trillion recoverable barrels. As RAND’s James Bartis explained in 2005, “We’ve got more oil in this very compact area than the entire Middle East.”[4]
* As The Economist has reported, drillers have discovered a billion barrels of oil in Sevier County, Utah, alone.
* Plus, the so-called Greater Rocky Mountain Region holds between 165 trillion and 260 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, which explains why geologists are calling this swath of the US, “the Persian Gulf of natural gas.” (Iran, by way of comparison, sits atop 26.7 trillion cubic meters of natural gas.)
The Energy Challenge, Alan Dowd, Front Page Magazine, 6/27/2007

If a family acted the way the United States government has been pressed to act by environmentalists, what might the rules be?

1. Sorry, children, we can't live in the house we're paying $3,000 a month mortgage payments for. We're keeping it clean for our great-grandchildren.
2. Sorry, son, the book you wanted to read is locked in the safe to keep the pages from yellowing. I'll give you the combination on your 75th birthday.
3. Sorry, kids, you can't go to school because you'll wear a path in the front lawn.
4. Sorry, dearest, you can't wear your clothes because we'd have to buy new ones.
5. Sorry, everybody, no dinner tonight. We're freezing the barbecue and cole slaw for July 4th, 2023.
6. Sorry, everybody, I know it's 14 below zero, but we're not using the furnace until it's 75 below and at least three of you are frozen to death.
7. Nope, honey, you can't take your heart medication this month because I don't feel like going to the drugstore.

Sound silly? Read Alan Dowd's article. The US is swimming in energy resources, but we don't use them.

A long time ago, Yellowstone Park was barely accessible except to camping expeditions by the very wealthy. It was being "preserved," and preservationists like Teddy Roosevelt made no bones about restricting access. Now while you might not like campgrounds by Old Faithful, fact is that the park is still there, still beautiful, and has better protections for flora and fauna than it had when only the Carnegies and Rockefellers could go there. Why is this so? Yellowstone Park was never "natural." Like Central Park in New York, it was segregated from the wilds and carefully protected (not to mention rebuilt after the occasional earthquake.) And we do that better now than they did a century ago.

Wake up, America. The "environmental protection" that's preventing energy development may not be much different than the old restrictions on Yellowstone Park that limited access to one train per day. It's far better to fill your tank with American oil extracted from Wyoming shale than to send troops to Iran or to kowtow to a thug in the Kremlin.


Why New Yorkers love the NY Post

V-D Day

Paris Liberated
Bimbos Rejoice!

Front page headline, NY Post, 6/27/2007

Click on the link. The front page is rotated in and out of the paper's Web page, but it's worth a look as the picture, highly doctored, suits the headline.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Trent and Diane An Item?

The senators were busy congratulating themselves over their collegiality and how nice senators looked during Seersucker Suit Week in the Senate, and commenting on the ignorance of American talk show listeners...While I'm no fan of incivility, I would have felt far better represented if these two lovebirds had engaged in heated debate and at least one of them demonstrated the faintest connection with us mortals outside the governing class...Chris Wallace asked Lott about his recent statement that "senators on both sides of the aisle are being pounded by these talk radio people who don't even know what's in the bill."...Though Lott lamely attempted to weasel out of his statement, he did nothing to restore his credibility on this issue....Bipartisanship and the Lott/Feinstein Love-Fest, David Limbaugh,, June 26, 2007

"Faintest connection with us mortals outside the governing class" is how David Limbaugh sums up this surreal television show. Penance is a big deal down south, but Senator Trent, you've gone too far. And everybody else, watch out! Trent and friends on the Hill want to bring back the "Fairness" doctrine. That's the arrangement where radio executives, confronted with the requirement that half their talk-show time be committed to what nobody listens to, decide to go to an all-rock or all-country format and drop talk shows altogether. That's what happened from 1930 to the Reagan Administration. Before this marriage spawns this hellish idea, write Senator Lott and his colleagues with a big "NO TO THE FAIRNESS DOCTRINE."

Fairness? That's a standard left buzzword for "nobody can say anything except us."


Supreme Court Whacks McCain-Feingold

Writing for a 5–4 majority — which included Justice Alito in whole and Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy in part — Justice Roberts said that a Wisconsin anti-abortion group should have been allowed to air ads drawing attention to Senator Feingold's opposition to some of President Bush's judicial nominees ahead of the 2004 election. He further argued that the Federal Election Commission's test for determining which ads are legitimate issue ads and which are merely campaign ads in disguise was too broad, writing that "the First Amendment requires us to err on the side of protecting political speech rather than suppressing it."...Court Rocks the 2008 Campaign, Ryan Sager, The New York Sun,, June 26, 2007

Senator McCain may express his opinion by smashing another desk. The delicious irony is that the case involved Senator Feingold. When the law is revisited, as the Supremes promised, maybe the case will involve Senator McCain. Legislating censorship to protect incumbents still loses in the Supreme Court, for which we can be thankful.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Verizon Saga: Act II

Well, Wonker and Mrs. Wonker collectively ended up missing yet another day of work yesterday, due to what eventually turned out to be institutional Verizon idiocy. Fortunately, the story ultimately had a surprise happy ending around dinnertime yesterday. Although we're not going to declare victory quite yet.

Promise on Monday night, after Verizon had stiffed Wonker by making him wait all day for a repair guy who never showed: he'll be there for sure on Tuesday sometime between 8 AM and 12 noon. Okay. Mrs. W agreed to stand watch. Sadly, Wonk had to get in the car and return from work around noon. No repair dude.

Made another call to the tech support supervisor around 2 PM and politely but firmly promised to pull the service contract if the problem weren't resolved that business day. Associate supervisor promised to try to get in touch with local tech to see what could be done, and promised to call back 1/2 hour later since, as he put it, "I could be on hold with them for up to 20 minutes." I totally believed the veracity of that statement.

Well, 20 minutes stretched into half an hour, which stretched into 45 minutes. Still no call. But then a surprise. An actual field tech called me from a location about 10 miles away, told me he was wrapping up a job, and would be over in about 1/2 an hour. It was more like 45 minutes, but what they hey.

Dude shows up, we go out back, and he tells me he's going to test the line for awhile. This he does. At which point he wraps up his equipment, walks up the hill (we have a 3 story townhouse with walkout basement), gets in his truck without telling me anything, and splits. Hmm, I think.

About half an hour later, he returns once again and shows up in the backyard testing the outlet again. Now he knocks to come in. We head upstairs where the room is torn apart to expose the outlet behind some heavy office furniture I foolishly bought. Checks the line there. Tech dude breathes a sigh of relief. Problem is not in my house's telephone wiring, which would've meant he had to re-wire the house. Seems that a card out there in a substation box about 1/2 a mile away is not synching to my house, although my exterior outlet and the DSL modem are synching. This, then, is where the tech dude had been disappearing to.

At which point, he disappeared again, promising to call me or leave me a note if and when he'd solved the issue at the Mother Box. Said I didn't need to be home anymore since the problem obviously had nothing to do with my wiring or equipment.

Randomly checking my machine and modem about another half hour later, I noticed that the DSL light was finally in steady-state, indicating, according to the limited material Verizon provided me, that the DSL connection was good. I booted up Safari on the G-4 dual processor Mac (haven't entered the Intel Mac world yet, sorry Steve), and voilà! Connectivity!! And pretty good speed, importunings of Comcast's Slowskis notwithstanding.

Tech dude called about 10 minutes later to inform me of what became obvious, and I assume that put this trouble ticket to bed.

The lesson here: for all the money they charge us and all the hassle we go through to get service, broadband providers like Verizon might want to adopt a simple system that nearly every vendor in the real world has adopted, assuming it wants to keep your business: CALL YOUR CUSTOMER WITH AN UPDATE FROM THE FIELD. This takes only a minute or two, and would allow people like me to get back to work if a tech isn't going to show on a given day as happened to moi on Monday. It became clear to me, given the time and travel it took my tech to pin down the physical problem, which had nothing to do with me, that some of these connectivity problems are not trivial and can take a good while to solve.

My guess is that the office out of which the local techs operate (wherever it is, Verizon is keeping it a dark secret so customers can't contact it) know damn well at some point if they're running behind and are not going to make a promised deadline. I'd assume that the local office knew that my "Monday 8-1" appointment was hosed by around lunchtime, as the assigned tech was probably stuck on an intractable problem that was eating clock. Would it have killed them to call me and reschedule? I could've gotten back to work to get cracking on my own backlog.

Instead, no one called me at all, and the tech support supervisor I contacted later Monday evening demanded, in a surly voice, to know where I'd gotten this special number. Clearly, the human beings staffing telephonic tech support have no clue from the field support people what's going on, which severely limits their opportunity to provide folks like me with updates. Hey, people, this is VERIZON. DOESN'T ANYBODY OUT THERE IN THE FIELD HAVE A CELL PHONE?????

In the end, the telephonic tech support people were almost embarrassingly nice, except for the evening moron. The local tech, once he showed up, was a bit taciturn but again quite polite, and ultimately successful. For probably not much more effort, would it be too much to put these guys in touch, at least on the supervisory level, to keep a local customer informed to eliminate customer downtime and lost work hours? No. It's just that the bureaucrats in huge companies like Verizon are far more concerned with adding a few pennies to the bottom line by trimming niceties off customer service. And they are probably supported by the math, i.e., most people will put up with the torture rather than can the service.

But it's no way to run customer support. Clearly, Verizon already has good, competent techs and support staff working for them, either directly or on contract. (It's almost certain my first tech phone call was routed to India.) Why make these people look bad or have to endure pissed off customers if just a little call from the field or the local office in real time would clear things up if appointments are running behind?

Okay, this long post is more or less a running diatribe, if you combine it with the previous post, and in some sense, has nothing to do with a blog generally dedicated to the politics of language and culture. But on the other hand, it does. The net experience is increasingly becoming THE way our culture is communicating and morphing. One wonders if part of the insane craziness of the leftwing netroots, and, frankly, some of the vocal wackos on the right as well, aren't in some way aided and abetted by the asinine hoop jumping both sides are forced to do to keep their communications systems running?

Most commuters in urban areas are already frazzled by two frustrating commutes per day. Endless hours are lost, not to mention gallons of fuel, whose profits seem largely going to fund Al Qaeda or Hugo Chavez these days. If you add to this volatile mix endless troubles, billing problems, and hours on hold with telcos, broadband providers, cable providers, etc., not to mention the extortion notes that show up every month disguised as bills, is it any wonder that more and more people are going completely off their rockers?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Troubles With Verizon DSL

Irregular blogging lately, due at least in part to a constant running battle with the incompetents at Verizon. Taking advantage (I thought) of a good offer in April, Wonk finally decided to go broadband at home and cease taking advantage of his esteemed employer's T-1 line. I was notified on April 24 that the service was good to go, but as of yet, I have not even been able to make a connection.

Tried the CD in the self-install kit: dead end, no contact, continuous loop and suggestions no help. Tried the cheesy online help, etc.: ditto. Keep in mind that not only am I NOT computer illiterate. I started out in technical writing in the 1980s writing repair and use manuals for a line of telephone test equipment, and am familiar with most if not all the current terminology. As always, I figured I'd do my best to fix the problem myself before going to the tech support desk at Verizon, since they'd trot me through everything I already did anyway, so I figured I'd save some time on the inevitable phonecall to tech support, realizing I'd be on perpetual hold anyway.

Out of options, called tech support finally last week. Was told I had to be in front of my machine, which I was not. Called 'em again and was. Tech support tried to go into the machine, but no go. It is entirely possible they forgot to hook some necessary hardware onto the line, so they dispatched a support guy to the house yesterday scheduling him for "between 8 AM and 1 PM." Could we get a narrower window than that? "No, we don't control that part of the operation, and they don't tell us anything. But he'll be there for sure." Guaranteed? "He'll be there for sure."

Right. After missing a workday and after making several phone calls, each of which gave me a different arrival window, I escalated to a supervisor who tried to help. No dice. I was trapped in the house for 12 hours, afraid to use the phone and unable to leave the house, which, of course, would trigger the Murphy's Law of repair guys which is, go to the bathroom or leave the house for 5 minutes and that's when the guy will show. And leave.

Mrs. Wonker is now home waiting for Godot. 70-30 against his showing up within the latest promised window of 8 AM to 12 noon. I've informed Verizon that if the dude doesn't show, I'm outta there and want a refund. My guess is that Comcast service is crappy, too, but their local office is 2 miles away, and I'm sure it will take me less than two months of no service to find out.

One of the things that has constantly amazed me about my life is that when I was an impoverished grad student years ago, every vendor in the universe wanted all the money I didn't have. Now that I'm a bit better off, I have a lot more money to give the vendors. Except that now, I guess, I can just piss off.

Life remains a mystery.

I'll keep you posted. But it is depressing when the private sector proves even less efficient than the Federal government. Thanks, Verizon.

Monday, June 11, 2007

More on Crybaby Klein: Wins June Glass Navel

As you may recall, Wonk had a few choice observations on Joe Klein's whine in Time last week. Klein was deploring his decidedly rude treatment at the hands of the leftwing blogosphere for not following the Party Line in a recent story.

No Pity Party here. Earth to Joe: No sympathy from us over here on the right. We've been the target of these vile Stalinists from the get-go, and clowns like you in the reflexively left MSM have been letting them get away with this for years. You guys think it's pretty funny until it happens to you. We hereby elect you an honorary member of the old Saturday Night Live Whiners. You'll fit right in.

Little Green Footballs, whose staunch defense of Israel seems to have earned it the most significant number of Commie attacks, including denial of service attacks, had another take on this over the weekend, similar to ours:
Note to TIME Magazine columnist Joe Klein: suck it up, Joe. Some of us have been targets of the insane bile that pours out of the left-wing blogosphere for years. It didn’t just start recently, and it’s not unusual or rare.
LGF invites Klein and his despicable rag to stew in their own, er, collective juices:
You and your magazine helped build this constituency, Joe. Own it. Be proud of it.

Come to think of it, we haven't given out a Glass Navel Award™ for awhile. So here it is, Joe, all yours, the June 2007 Glass Navel of the Month Award from HazZzMat, proudly bestowed by us upon the dude (or dudette) who's got his or her head so far up the ol' tushie that a surgically implanted glass navel is required to allow for forward navigation.


France: Sarkozy Leading The Cause of Liberty

French President Nicolas Sarkozy's center-right allies were headed for a parliamentary landslide after a first-round legislative election yesterday, bolstering his chances of implementing wide-ranging reforms....Sarkozy heads for a landslide, Jon Boyle, Washington Times, 6/11/2007

It's too bad the painter David isn't around. I think his great painting would have Sarkozy's face on the lady with the flag. Congratulations all around as Sarkozy's UMP heads into the second round.


Rachel Carson's 100th Anniversary

One hundred years after her birth in May of 1907, it's difficult to underestimate Rachel Carson's influence. Unfortunately, it's all bad. That hasn't stopped her from remaining an academic deity to the campus Left...Carson wrote what has become the seminal text of the environmental movement: 1962's Silent Spring...[which] argues that chemicals in the environment do enormous harm to humans and wildlife. The pesticide DDT gets singled out...for destroying wildlife and causing enormous problems in humans. While DDT may harm certain types of wildlife, nobody has even come close to proving Carson's claim that "one in four" people might die from chemically caused the wake of the book, however, DDT faced a near-total worldwide ban...For the world's truly poor, the ban on DDT proved a disaster...millions, most of them children under five living in the underdeveloped world, have died as a result...that hasn't stopped the academic Left and its political allies from continuing to lionize Carson. The book remains required reading on leading college campuses and has evolved into the centerpiece of a sort of environmental theology. All too often, it's read the way fundamentalists read religious texts: without any critical analysis...The Murderous Church of Rachel Carson, Eli Lehrer, Frontpage Magazine

Millions is an understatement. It's more like fifty million, a skyrocketing number that has only recently begun to decline as under-developed countries, one by one, have set aside the UN's ban on DDT. The killer, as always, is the Left's refusal to acknowledge consequences of their disciplehood to a deluded idea. But, let's be honest. This is not a birthday to celebrate but a warning sign of the power of bad ideas. Eli Lehrer's analysis of this pseudo-religion should be required reading for politicians. But, if they won't read it, you read it.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Decline and Fall of Accurate Reporting

Here's a surprisingly good, and succinct, example of just how wrong the increasingly lazy and morbidly ideological MSM have become. To wit, according to Newsweek's Michael Hirsh, the "surge" in Iraq has already failed:
The Washington commentariat has suggested recently that Bush seems ready to pronounce the imminent end of his “surge,” which by several accounts has failed both to secure large parts of Baghdad and, on a more strategic level, to prod the still-paralyzed Iraqi government to govern.
But wait just a dadburn minute. The "Washington commentariat has suggested"? What kind of garbage is this? No facts. No proofs. Apparently Mike's scribbling buddies down at the local watering hole have already pronounced the latest Administration strategery in Iraq a failure. Ergo, it must, therefore, BE a failure. Who are we to quarrel with the "Washington commentariat," who, like Hillary, are the smartest humans the world has ever known?

On the conservative side of the aisle, it is easy—and often correct—to ascribe leftist tics like this as yet another part of the MSM's effort to demonize George W. Bush, ruin the Republicans, and put the Democrats fully back in power in the legislative and executive branches. But upon reading balderdash like the above, one must also wonder whether such mindless and inaccurate observations are simply due to an almost pathological LAZINESS that seems to be raging like a pandemic amongst the scribbling and chattering classes. AMERICA'S DEFEAT IN IRAQ. THE EPIC FAILURE OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S DISCREDITED POLICIES. It's their story and they're sticking to it. But once history unfolds, as it tends to do, later generations may figure otherwise.

But bringing us back to the present, blog commentator Dave Price chooses a third alternative to the above scenarios: blind and seemingly willful stupidity.
Maybe if Hirsh spent less time with the Washington commentariat and more time listening to generals he would know all the troops for the surge haven't even arrived yet, and many won't be deployed into the surge for some time even after they do arrive. How many times has Petraeus said the strategy will take all summer to unfold? Sheesh. Hirsh would have called the D-Day invasion a failure before our troops even got to Normandy.
...the Shiite-led government, which is increasingly dominated by the virulently anti-American Sadr,...
Uh, no. His ministers resigned from the government; at the time, it was called "a blow to the Maliki government." How can such basic errors survive Hirsh's fact-checkers? Or do they simply accept that any bad news must be true, even if it directly contradicts other alleged bad news?
Price ruefully concludes:
Sadly, this sort of thing happens every day, an inexorable, gargantuan flood of execrable misinformation that is the fondest friend and best hope of America's enemies. Most people will simply read Hirsh's piece and accept his assertions as fact, while others even go on to cite it. The vast MSM echo chamber will roll on.
If you ever take away anything from HazZzMat, take away this: Just because you read it in the newspapers, saw it on the network news, or perused it in a magazine doesn't mean it's true. American reporters were once known for their tireless diligence, vigorous fact checking, and exemplary patriotism. For some reason, over the past half-century, they've become dangerously lazy, criminally sloppy partisan hacks who loathe the country that has given them money, fame, and instant recognizability.

If you happen to believe that George Bush's Amerikkka is the problem, that Osama is morally superior to George W. Bush, and that the U.S. would be better off as a one-party state run by the Democrats, America's institutional Socialist Party, you'll continue to unquestioningly believe the kind of drivel Hirsh has sloppily slapped down here. If you believe otherwise and encounter lousy reportage like this, note down the reporter, get on the Web, Google the facts he didn't check (but make sure you check at least two unrelated sources), and discover the truth for yourself. Increasingly, it won't be what you just read in the newspaper. Or Newsweek.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Chucky Schumer's Language Tricks

One of the things we've flogged again and again here in HazZzMat is the way in which the American left continually warps the English language to appear as innocent as the driven snow. While, in fact, committing the same kind of "villainy" that they routinely accuse conservatives of undertaking. PowerLine has a good example of this today.

New York's loathsome Senator Chucky Schumer (actually, New York has two loathsome Senators but we won't go there right now), the Democrat-controlled Senate's attack dog assigned with destroying the Bush Justice Department, hammers away at a DOJ official for allegedly favoring—God forbid—right-leaning legal eagles when making DOJ appointments (links courtesy HazZzMat):
Schumer was grilling [DOJ official Brad] Schlozman about the recruitment policies of the Civil Rights Division. Schlozman testified that the Division recruited at the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society, but also with liberal groups. Pressed by Schumer for the names of such groups, Schlozman cited MALDEF [Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund] and NAPABA [National Asian Pacific American Bar Association].
To which the Dem's pit bull responded:
MALDEF is not the equivalent of the Heritage - the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society have an ideological hue to them. These others are Native American organizations, Hispanic American organizations. Those are different.
Oh, really, Chuck? More precisely, Schumer should have responded like one of the characters in an old Cheech and Chong movie: "It's the same, only different." In point of fact, both MALDEF and NAPABA are the typical leftist front groups masquerading as ethnic benevolent societies, which PowerLine's Paul Mirengoff quickly points out:
...the fact that MALDEF is an Hispanic American organization does not mean it lacks "an ideological hue." The ideology of an organization, if any, is determined by the views it espouses (and arguably the views of its members), not its racial or ethnic composition. MALDEF has consistently espoused left-liberal positions.
Paul concludes:
Schumer is playing an old and intellectually dishonest game -- ascribing an ideological agenda to his opponents while denying that his allies have one. It's a game favored by some modern liberals, but one that suggests a totalitarian mindset.
Game, set, and match. The only improvement I'd make to Paul's comment here would be in his last sentence. This "intellectually dishonest game" doesn't merely suggest a totalitarian mindset. Paul is opening the kimono on a long established, verifiable totalitarian mindset, inspired by Stalinist tactics in the old Soviet Union, and given a subtle face by the ingenious refinements of Marxist theoretician Antonio Gramsci.

It's good that Paul and others have begun to call the Democrats on their thuggish tactics at long last. But this stuff has been going on for so long that it might just be time to treat the subject a little less politely. We could expect no less from the Dem's Grand Inquisitor, Chucky Schumer.

Personal Note: Luther

Sorry to have missed the fun for almost a month. Apartment renovations for a disabled spouse swallowed up the time. Good to see the Wonker wonking the wonkable, of which there is not now, nor has there ever been, a shortage.


Quote of the Day, Diana Furchtgott-Roth in The New York Sun

For the 80 years between 1920 and 2000, 100 million deaths are the equivalent of more than 3,400 persons a day. And billions more suffered. Except for communist party bosses, unfortunate residents had lives crushed by the regime. They were not able to act according to their desires. Their opportunities were stunted...Practically all victims of communism are anonymous. What does it mean to much of the world's population whose lives were demeaned, embittered, and shortened by their own governments to list the names of the victims on a memorial? To even contemplate inscribing the names of the victims on a wall or a pillar is incomprehensible. How much room should be left on such a monument for the future generations of victims in Cuba, North Korea, and China, where communism still exists, or in Russia, where it has not completely been eradicated?...Many Americans view our country's wars with some ambivalence, but one war in which there can be no doubt that we were on the right side, and which we unambiguously won, was the Cold War against communism. Ronald Reagan's epithet to describe the Soviet Union, "the evil empire," seems mild next to the numbers of lives communism destroyed....The Evil We Overcame, Diana Furchtgott-Roth, The New York Sun, 6/8/2007

Why do we need reminding of this? Furchtgott-Roth's litany depicts a system as ghastly as the one wiped out in Germany. How could we forget? It's clear that MSM and their friends on Capitol Hill would like us to, not to mention a host of university professors. We need to remember, not so much for the lost then, but for potential losses to come.

For, the heirs to communism's aggressive and totalizing violence are radical Islamists. Do we still have the will? Will Furchtgott-Roth's daughter write a similar paean to a future victory?


Tyrrell on the Elephant in the Living Room

The presidential candidates, hustling for their parties' presidential nominations, tell us that they are going to make us "energy independent." At the same time they also tell us that $3.00-a-gallon gasoline at the pump is highway robbery. Some announce that they are going to investigate the oil companies. This is political schizophrenia. We cannot approach energy independence and maintain cheap oil prices simultaneously...., Emerging Super-Powers, R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., The New York Sun, 6/8/2007

It should not surprise anyone to learn that $3.00 for a gallon of gasoline, if expressed in terms of 1970 dollars, corresponds to a 1970 price of thirty-nine cents a gallon, exactly a nickel more than the average price of gasoline in 1970. Highway robbery? In 1970, major oil companies owned the oil they sold. Now they have to buy it from someone else, the Russians or the Iranians, for example. In 1970, Americans drove about half as much as we do now. In 1970, the Chinese "economy" was largely an illusion. It's still modest in comparison to the EU or the US, but it's a hundred times bigger than it was then. Oil demand has doubled since 1970. Production has peaked at 85 billion barrels a year. Demand. Price. Simple economics. Reality. Why is it that gadflies have to point out the obvious?

Read Tyrrell's fine piece in the Sun. You shouldn't be surprised. There is a price for being stupid.


Democrats and Iran

With Islamist forces unable to score a military victory over US and allied troops, their fascist terror war for Islamic world domination is a bloody propaganda exercise designed to win the submission of US public opinion. Islamists find their perfect partner in the Democrats who have tied the electoral fortunes of their party to US failure in Iraq. Radical Islamists differ from other Muslims in that they believe worldwide power is now within their reach. The logic of the radicals’ position flows from the defeat of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. The subsequent collapse of the USSR is seen as an act of Allah presaging the defeat by Islamists of the other superpower—the USA....The Democratic-Iranian Plan for Iraq, Andrew Walden, Frontpage Magazine, 6/8/2007

"Tied the electoral fortunes of their party to US failure in Iraq..." That about says it. Treason is now part of the Democrats' explicit campaign platform. What is America coming to?


Free Markets In France? Shades of Reagan

French President Nicolas Sarkozy's government yesterday announced details of a $15 billion master plan to "shock" the economy back to life, the first part of his ambitious economic and social reform drive...The eight-chapter tax and finance bill seeks to exempt overtime work from taxation; make mortgage interest payments tax deductible; all but eliminate inheritance tax; and put a 50-percent cap on overall individual taxation....France to Shock Economy, Rory Mulholland, The Washington Times, June 8, 2007

Shades of 1981! After decades of a sluggish, high-employment, welfare state economy, the new President, with a hefty margin in the French parliament, is going straight at the heart of the French problem. There are familiar statements by naysayers, familiar, that is, if you remember 1981.

But that strategy, which the economy ministry said would cost up to $15 billion worries the European Union, which wants France to rein in its huge public deficit...(France to Shock, continued...)

Yep, just like the Democrats said in 1981, and in 2001, confronted with an attack on the funding sources for their welfare programs. With that big majority, will President Sarkozy be able to restrain spending, what neither Reagan nor Bush 2 were able to do? If he does, France will not only have an enlivened economy but a balanced budget. In a country where tax evasion is a high art, that would be a shocker. But the greater shock is yet to come.

That's when President Sarkozy attempts to match the Iron Maiden, former Prime Minister Thatcher, in privatizing the huge public sector in France. Watch out for that one. That could revolutionize not only France but the entire EU.


Thursday, June 07, 2007

Joe Klein Denounces Left Wingnuts...Sort Of...

Roughly 8 years after the Stalinist left took over the direction of the Democrats as well as nominally supportive websites, Joe Klein of "Time" (Beware the Bloggers' Bile) finally notices how shrill they are when he appears to deviate from the party line in that publication:
But the smart stuff [like Joe Klein's?] is being drowned out by a fierce, bullying, often witless tone of intolerance that has overtaken the left-wing sector of the blogosphere. Anyone who doesn't move in lockstep with the most extreme voices is savaged and ridiculed—especially people like me who often agree with the liberal position but sometimes disagree and are therefore considered traitorously unreliable.
Wow. Is a lefty journalist (what other kind is there in the MSM?) finally learning that you can get read out of The Party if you're not in lockstep with the Stalinists who control its heart? Well, not exactly. Klein, wary of having a public epiphany based on empirical logic, resorts to moral equivalence and effectively blames the left's attitude on (of course) Rush Limbaugh, et. al.:
Some of this is understandable: the left-liberals in the blogosphere are merely aping the odious, disdainful—and politically successful—tone that right-wing radio talk-show hosts like Rush Limbaugh pioneered. They are also justifiably furious at a Bush White House that has specialized in big lies and smear tactics.

And that is precisely the danger here. Fury begets fury. Poison from the right-wing talk shows seeped into the Republican Party's bloodstream and sent that party off the deep end. Limbaugh's show—where Dick Cheney frequently expatiates—has become the voice of the Republican establishment. The same could happen to the Democrats.
You have to love this. Hard-left goons in the blogosphere, who now, egged on by Soros money, set the tone forAmerica's Socialist Party, aka, the Democrats, magically became this way because of Rush Limbaugh. And, of course, the Bushies, with their "big lies and smear tactics." Wonder what Joe thinks of the Clintonistas in retrospect, and their extensive cadre of "leave no opponent unsmeared" attack dogs with their bottomless bag of dirty tricks. Klein and any honest Dems who remain would do well to examine themselves before resorting to the facile (and therefore popular) tactic of blaming their obvious failings on imaginary enemies, the better to preserve their own sense of moral purity. One cannot help but think back to the Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican which efficiently and effectively explained this kind of behavior over 2000 years ago.

And you have to laugh that, after effecting the transference of left wingnut behavior to the Republicans, he worries that "The same could happen to the Democrats." Gee, could it really, Joe? Say it ain't so, Joe!

Klein ingenuously—no, obtusely—boasts that the kind of leftwing "spitballs" (his word) aimed at him for his "fair" reporting of events don't bother him, although they obviously bothered him enough to pen this piece in a way that exonerates his minor deviance from Party discipline by resorting to the usual vacuous attack on the hapless Bushies. But just to make sure we didn't miss his point, he explains to us how lesser mortals, as in Democrat politicians, can, unlike Joe, be ruinously swayed by the poisonous rhetoric emanating from the left-wing blogosphere. Which, of course, is the fault of the Bushies:
But they [the Democrats' field of presidential candidates] allowed themselves to be bullied into a more simplistic, more extreme position [on the war]. Why? Partly because they fear the power of the bloggers to set the debate and raise money against them. They may be right—in the short (primary election) term.... In the long term, however, kowtowing to extremists is exactly the opposite of what this country is looking for after the lethal radicalism of the Bush Administration.
Lethal radicalism. Of the Bush Administration. You have to love this. Democrats as victims. Of course.

It is the intolerance and radicalism of the "progressive" left—undiluted Stalinism, actually—that is proving lethal to our American system and its increasing inability to defend itself from Islamofascist predators. This is not readily apparent today. But the continuous assault on our laws, traditions, and way of life by the radical left in this country, which has continued unabated since the end of the Second World War, is the real lethality here, a stealth lethality that silences its critics while leaving America's enemies not only unscathed but strengthened.

The left is preparing, as it always has, for a political Armageddon it imagines will lead to a Socialist America and to a proletarian paradise that will be led, of course, by themselves. Won't they be surprised to discover that, when facing a prostrate United States at last, their allies, the mad mullahs, have written an entirely different ending for this stealthy revolution.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Are You With Fred?

(For some reason, Blogger didn't follow through and publish this entry I wrote last week. Here it is again, and still timely.)

Fred Thompson, stealth Republican candidate for President, essentially made his first appearance as a would-be party nominee recently in a swiftly-concocted and stunningly effective little video mocking left wing propagandist Michael Moore. (For the resulting video, link here.)

Now, almost overnight, Thompson has a website up. It's still under construction but is already rather slick. Check it out here.

Thompson's increasingly apparent seriousness as a candidate, which will allegedly be confirmed sometime after July 4, is either going to upset all prognostications up to this point or prove to be a colossal flash-in-the-pan. I don't think it's going to be anything in between. His fledgling political media efforts already show a surprising mastery of symbol and message, something the Bushies have been failing miserably at since the 2004 elections.

Fred's off-the-cuff efforts have been somewhat less effective. If we start seeing more of the "mastery" part, however, the former Tennessee senator and now-retiring "Law & Order" star might just be the guy to get hapless Republicans back in the game, just in time for 2008.

Moqtada's Triumphal Return

Here's a disconcerting story from Iraq the Model, via Pajamas Media:
After more than 14 weeks in hiding in Iran, Moqtada al-Sadr returned to Iraq last week. The question before Iraq now is, “Has he returned from Iran stronger than he was before he left?”
Omar, Iraq the Model's blogger, answers his own question:
Given the combination of SIIC leader Abdul Aziz al-Hakim’s [wiki] absence from the Shia political scene, the training Sadr received in Iran, and the timing Tehran chose for his return, Moqtada al-Sadr has obviously returned strong. Strong enough to summon seven Iraqi governors to meet him and listen to his instructions about how they should run their respective provinces in central and southern Iraq at the same time his militiamen were fighting the police forces of at least one of those provinces.
After a pretty good description of what all of this signifies, Omar reaches a most unpleasant conclusion:
Sadr is not simply an outlaw; he represents Iran’s project in Iraq just like Hamas and Nasrallah represent it in the Palestinian territories and Lebanon. These are the three arms of Iran in the Middle East that have worked consistently to ruin every emerging democratic project. And these arms must be cut off sooner rather than later.
One thing that seems lost on the MSM is just how much the Islamofascists, of all flavors, have learned from the tactics of Hitler and Stalin. Negotiation with these types is useless, as all one can do is negotiate the precise terms of one's surrender to these thugs. All forms of civil reasoning are lost on people like this who are essentially totalitarian thugs. In the end, the only thing you can do is whack them. That's the only thing they understand, and that's what they already intend to do to us.

Why the U.S. and the UK did not put Sadr down when they had the chance remains one of the great mysteries of the current war. Omar's final sentence above, I'm afraid, constitutes the truth of the matter. Read the rest of Omar's report here.

U.S. Immigration Bill: Take 2

Although no one wants to discuss this publicly, the apparently bi-partisan support for the idiotic immigration bill—actually an AMNESTY BILL, no matter how much it's supporters get their knickers in a knot about this terminology—is already DOA as far as the average American is concerned.

This bill, and others like it, will ultimately replicate the disastrous initial amnesty bill of the 1980s whose main effect was to communicate to illegal aliens that we weren't serious about enforcing our own laws or borders.

California Dems took this a step further under the Clintonistas by skirting existing laws and registering enough illegals in that state to render it a pretty much permanent prize of that party. Now the Dems want to get enough illegals into our entitlements system and onto the voting rolls to take away the rest of the southern tier of Western states from the Republicans.

Which is why our Republican president, otherwise astute in many things, MSM slanders aside, is really supporting this very bad bill as well. He wants the Republican Party to get into the game and buy votes too, before the Dems get 'em all!

It is amazing that our pols on both sides of the aisle have become so universally asinine on this issue, betraying as they do our national interests by shamelessly pandering to illegals who've swamped us over the past 20 years or so fully expecting that one day they, too, will gain amnesty for their criminal activities. Hey, dudes, WHAT ABOUT THE CITIZENS WHO VOTED FOR YOU? Gee, are we shouting here, or what?

What's fascinating is that all these fools on the hill, and in the White House as well sad to say, have no clue as to how pissed off the electorate is getting on this issue. They are as out of touch as any sorry bunch of pols have been in this history of this country. Don't believe me? Fine. How about the Rasmussen polling organization which is more often right than wrong? Substantial majorities of voters on both sides of the aisle want border enforcement FIRST before we even start to talk about "immigration reform." In other words, let's enforce existing laws before we write new ones. What a concept. Read the details here.

Of course, a column like this one and others like it will be routinely denounced as racist and nativist. But again, these are simplistic, Stalinist attacks that simply don't apply. Every country on this globe, most particularly Mexico, is interested in keeping its borders safe and secure. Why does our desire to do the same thing here in the U.S. get so much flak?

Favoring the enforcement of immigration laws on the books is not anti-immigrant, just as HazZzMat is not anti-immigrant. It's simply common sense. Up to this point in history, we've been a nation of LEGAL immigrants, by and large, and the system has not worked badly. What's the point of blowing it up just so existing political parties can entrench the incumbants by auctioning off the new voters? What's in it for LEGAL Americans, of whom Mrs. Wonker is one. Something to think about. Write or call your Congressman today and point out the latest Rasmussen poll. Politicians are supposed to keep their constituents informed. In this case, looks like the opposite is going to have to happen. Otherwise, you and I know what to do next fall, right?