Friday, September 28, 2007

Debunking the Goracle's Intellectual Prowess

Riffing on our previous story, wherein we take the Goracle to task for claiming to have invented the Internet:

We once used to have some respect for the debunking website, which is allegedly dedicated to busting "urban legend" myths, one of which is the story claiming that Al Gore had taken credit for "inventing" the Internet. Snopes regards this is bunk, blaming it on some poor phrasing by Gore during a CNN interview. To wit:
During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country’s economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.
Snopes' Gore apologists then go on to paper over what Gore obviously meant or meant to imply: that without him, the Internet would not have come to be. Balderdash. ARPA (now DARPA), the military R&D agency had had early versions of today's Internet cooking since the late 1960s. Vint Cerf was also an important pioneer:
In 1974, Vint Cerf (known to some as the "father of the Internet"), along with Bob Kahn, wrote a new protocol, TCP (Transmission Control Protocol, that would become the accepted standard. The implementation of TCP allowed the various networks to connect into a true "internet."

The Internet became widely popular in the computer and scientific research communities. By the 1980's most universities and research-oriented institutions had computers that were connected to the Internet.

Gore made his bogus claim in 1999. Which means that, in no way did Al Gore actually "take the initiative" for creating the Internet unless he can time travel like Doctor Who. Clearly, what became the modern Internet had actaully been invented when he was in college, where he was a stunningly mediocre student busily racking up lower grades than Chimpy BushMcHitler. (More here.)

So why the hell does anybody listen to him now? Simple: they're all on the same "one world" socialist cheerleading squad. The people at Snopes need to get a clue. Unless they'd always intended to become yet another cog in the leftist propaganda mill.

Al Gore: The Artful Dodger

According to a piece by Bonner R. Cohen in TCS Daily, it seems that Al Gore, aka the Goracle and the widely renowned inventor of the Internet*, has been dodging challenges by qualified experts to debate him on his pet issue: "global warming." Wonder if this incident has prompted Gore's radio silence on this non-issue:
Gore's reluctance to go toe-to-toe with global warming skeptics may have something to do with the - from the standpoint of climate change alarmists - unfortunate outcome of a global warming debate in New York last March. In the debate, a team of global warming skeptics composed of MIT scientist Richard Lindzen, University of London emeritus professor of biogeology Philip Stott, and physician-turned novelist/filmmaker Michael Crichton handily defeated a team of climate alarmists headed by NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt. Before the start of the nearly two-hour debate, the audience of several thousand polled 57.3 percent to 29.9 percent in favor of the proposition that global warming is a "crisis." At the end of the debate, the numbers had changed dramatically, with 46.2 percent favoring the skeptical point of view and 42.2 percent siding with the alarmists.
Doesn't take long for the experts to shoot down this kind of mass hysteria, does it? Like all Stalinists, Gore can't deal with science and logic, and so takes great care to make his photo-ops and personal appearances only at guaranteed friendly venues where he can avoid hostile questions. Like all the Stalinist bullies, he prefers to denounce and belittle those who differ from him from afar. He knows he can't stand up to their arguments in person.

Czech Republic president Vaclav Klaus knows what's really going on here. And he had ought to, having lived under an oppressive Communist puppet regime for much of his life:

President Klaus has not minced words on what he sees as the real agenda of those promoting climate hysteria. In an op-ed in the Financial Times (June 13, pointedly titled "Freedom, Not Climate, is at Risk," Klaus said: "Let us not scare ourselves with catastrophic forecasts, or use them to defend and promote irrational interventions in human lives." Arguing that the issue of global warming "is more about social than about natural sciences and more about man and his freedom than about tenths of a degree Celsius changes in average global temperature," Klaus rejected the notion of a "scientific consensus" on climate change as an effort by a "loud minority" to impose its will on a "silent majority."

However, Klaus reserved his unkindest cut of all for the movement that has joined forces with Gore is spreading fear about global warming:

"As someone who lived under communism for most of his life, I feel obliged to say that I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious environmentalism, not in communism. This ideology wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central (now global) planning." [Italics provided by HazZzMat.]

By the way, both of HazZzMat's commentators are news junkies. Why did we miss entirely last spring's global climate debate? Could the MSM possibly not have reported it widely? Naaaah.

**ADDENDUM: For more on this, see our later blog entry.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Katie Couric Does DC

The latest words of wis-dumb from Her Highness, News Empress Katie Couric, who speechified in nonpartisan fashion at the National Press Club yesterday:
Couric referenced comments made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday’s “The Charlie Rose Show,” and said she actually agreed with Ahmadinejad on one point. “Oftentimes Westerners don’t really understand fully the values of this particular culture,” said Couric. “And I think the jury is still out as to whether democracy can really thrive in Iraq.”
Sorry, Katie, maybe you don't understand Ahmadinejad and his culture, but the average "Westerner" most certainly does. Ahmadinejad and Iran's Mad Mullah's want the destruction by fire of Israel (most likely accomplished by the nukes they are clearly building) and the slaughter of all Westerners who don't convert to their crazed version of Islam right now.

How do we know this? Ahmadinejad says it all the time. Where were you, Katie? Clearly, the Queen O'Cute is running a little short on gray matter. No wonder her CBS Evening News remains at the bottom of the ratings tank, same position as earlier this year.

When confronted with this kind of willful obtuseness, I continue to ask the obtuse, "Just what was it that you didn't understand about 9/11?" Wahhabi fanatics, Shi'ia fanatics, there's really no difference when it comes to their desired outcome: the death of all of us. You, too, Katie.

So you see, we understand "that particular" third world culture much better than you.

(Completely candid, un-retouched photograph of Katie via a link to NewsBusters.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Soros Client Pushes Law of the Seas Treaty

On Thursday, presidential wannabe Biden will chair hearings intended to lead to the ratification of the quarter-century-old Law of the Sea treaty (LOST), a document that would severely restrict our ability to use oceans to defend ourselves and would turn over control of 70% of the world's surface to a U.N. bureaucracy...., Editorial, Investor's Business Daily, 9/25/2007

The acronym LOST for Law of the Seas Treaty is probably posted on a solid gold sign in George Soros's office. Ronald Reagan tossed this bad treaty in the trash twenty-five years ago, as have a number of subsequent Senates. LOST was written by the former Soviet bloc in an effort to restrict US naval supremacy. This history is evidently lost on Sen. Biden. It should not be lost on you. Do you like the idea of having to ask permission if we can defend our own bays, inlets and harbors? Write your Senator to vote "NO" on the Law of the Seas Treaty.


Soros's Nose in NASA "Science" As well?

How many people know that James Hansen, a man billed as a lonely "NASA whistleblower" standing up to the mighty U.S. government, was really funded by Soros' Open Society Institute ?...Hansen was packaged for the media by Soros' flagship "philanthropy," by as much as $720,000, most likely under the OSI's "politicization of science" program...Hansen had media flacks help him get on the evening news to push his agenda and lawyers pressuring officials to let him spout his supposedly "censored" spiel for weeks in the name of advancing the global warming agenda...Hansen even succeeded, with public pressure from his nightly news performances, in forcing NASA to change its media policies to his advantage. Had Hansen's OSI-funding been known, the public might have viewed the whole production differently....George Soros & Exclusive Series, Editorial, Investor's Business Daily, 9/24/2007

How many knew? Certainly no major news outlet on television "knew." They may have known but they didn't let on. As with other stories countering the nonexistent consensus on global warming, the patron for the NASA whistleblower story was concealed to prevent injury to the cause.

One would be naive to assume, however, that Soros is the only man manipulating the press. Take it as a lesson that the blame-America-first crowd is using modern public relations methods. That's never good news. Better they should back to using mimeograph machines in basements, but that's not likely to happen. Take it as a lesson also that widely-disseminated news stories about science should be carefully looked into to see who's paying for the news.


Monday, September 24, 2007

Dan Rather: Phone Home

One of the things that has never ceased to amaze me is just how many rich leftists out there just don't have a clue. Take Dapper Dan Rather of "fake but accurate" fame. Rather has now announced he's filing a $70M suit against CBS, his former employer, for the way it treated him after he spent a considerable amount of the network's time and money promoting a lie. Writes Howard Kurtz:
I've been scouring the Net, searching for anyone this side of Mary Mapes who says Dan Rather helped himself with his $70-million suit against CBS. No luck.
Uh, yeah Howie. Even a sentient 10-year old would have been able to figure out quite quickly that Rather's "smoking gun" indictment of Bush was a clearly faked document: faked in a way so sublimely stupid as to guarantee getting caught red-handed. Except if your MSM target was in the throes of Bush Derangement Syndrome .

What's really going on with Rather is the same thing that periodically agitates the "reverends" Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. If they're off-camera long enough, they can't stand it and will arrange to show up, uninvited, at the latest alleged racial outrage. Not in order to solve the problem. But to get camera face time themselves. Hope these clowns don't work with a PR agent. They don't need one.

Rather has a mutation of the same disease. He hates not being able to denounce the Bushies every night on network TV. Can't stand it. Wants attention and face time again to raise the same bloody issue that was discredited the first time around. Best way to do this? Blame it on somebody else, like your employer for example. Like any good Democrat, Dan is a victim. Hence, the suit.

That's all it is. Camera time and vanity. And, of course, obtuseness in Dan's case, as he continues to swear that an obvious forgery is a valid document. What an arrogant dope.

Shun Ted Stevens?

This from today's Instapundit:

JOHN FUND: Republicans should shun Ted Stevens:

It's time for Senate Republicans to step up to the plate. It's increasingly clear that their Sen. Stevens has ethically compromised himself and brought shame to the Senate. Will his colleagues continue to kowtow to him as a powerful Appropriations Committee member and allow him to serve on other key committees? Or will they send a signal that they are prepared to shun senators who abuse the public trust?

We generally agree with Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds on most things, though not all. And this is one of those cases. Glenn says he agrees with Fund. We do not. Hear us out.

HazZzMat has cordially despised the thuggish Senator Stevens for years. He's your typical, arrogant, old-style pol, the kind of guy whose always tempted (whether he does it or not) to send someone out to kneecap people who disagree with him.

That said, I'll be happy to jump on Stevens as soon as the Democrats expel Representative William "The Fridge" Jefferson (D-LA). You know. The dude who keeps tens of thousands of dollars in cash in his freezer, whom, like Stephens the FBI is also after. True, the Dems took away any possibility of Jefferson's getting to chair a committee, but he's still on whatever committees he wants to be. But he's just as big a hack as Stevens. So why no outcry here?

We've said it before, we'll say it again: the Stupid Party, of which we are currently members, still does not understand that if you demand your own people resign from the House or the Senate every time they're accused of something, you can lose your majority pretty quickly. Since the Repubs have already lost their majority, they would only be digging the hole deeper if they take John Fund's advice seriously at least at this moment.

The Democrats believe that their people are innocent until proven guilty. (Because they can count.) But when it comes to Republicans, they're guilty until proven innocent. This is bad enough. But for Republicans like Fund or Libertarians like Glenn to help the Democrats increase their majority by throwing out Republicans each time they get a dirty look—well, I'm sorry, how dumb is that? It's going to be hard enough to regain a majority in either house next year. Why make it even tougher?

The odious Stevens stays until Jefferson goes. I'm tired of this.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Another Triumph for Harry Reid

Yet another Democratic amendment on Iraq failed Friday morning, and this one didn't even earn a majority of Senate votes. The vote was 47-47 on an amendment sponsored by Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) that would have required a change of mission in Iraq while mandating firm timetables for withdrawal. The amendment needed 60 votes to pass, and three Democrats voted against the measure, making it clear that no matter how Democrats craft their legislation, a majority of senators are uncomfortable mandating time tables for troop withdrawal. Only one Republican, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), backed the measure...The rejection of the Levin-Reed proposal means the only amendment passed by the Senate this week was a resounding 72-25 condemnation of the now infamous ad that portrayed Gen. David Petraeus as "General Betray Us."...Another Democratic Iraq Amendment Goes Down,, 9/21/2007

Maybe Harry should take the hint from the vote on Moveon?


A History of Alarmism

Click on this for an engaging pamphlet from The Pacific Institute's Amy Kaleita and Gregory R. Forbes on the various hysterias of recent years. Entitled Hysteria's History: Environmental Alarmism in Context, it should be required reading in the Senate and House. When you're done with that, check out Michael Crichton's State of Fear.


Quote of the Day: Theodore Dalrymple

Islam is fast becoming the Marxism of our times. Had Fritz G. and Daniel S. grown up a generation earlier, they would have become members of the Baader-Meinhof Gang rather than Islamic extremists. The dictatorship of the proletariat, it seems, has given way before the establishment of the Caliphate as the transcendent answer to some German youths’ personal angst...Islam, the Marxism of Our Time, Theodore Dalrymple, City Journal and, 9/21/2007

Read the rest. Happy Fall.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ahmadinejad Does Columbia. Time to Clean Up Academia's Augean Stables?

Much is being made of the efforts of Iran's chief secular Islamonazi, "President" Ahmadinejad, to pay his respects to the still-gaping hole in Manhattan formerly known as the World Trade Center. Holocaust Denier Ahmadinejad obviously wants to spend a moment in silent grief in honor of the roughly 3,000 innocent civilians slaughtered here due, as we all should know by now, to the Zionist pact between Great Satan George W. Bush and the crude pigs and monkeys currently inhabiting Occupied Palestine. Hizzoner, Mayor Bloomberg (Idiotarian-NY), was going to give Ahmadinejad a pass. New York's finest vetoed it. Latest word is that he will get a Secret Service escort to the site. Anyone asleep here?

Meanwhile, Columbia University's Idiotarian President Bollinger has invited Ahmadinejad to speak on campus where, last time I talked to someone in the know, at least a third of the students are Jewish and maybe more. For the past roughly 8 years, Columbia's students have been carefully insulated, of course, from the harmful views of George W. Bush, chief oil Nazi Dick Cheney, and fascist central planner Karl Rove by these same enlightened campus administrators. Good to know that in loco parentis, not to mention faultless moral and academic judgment, is still alive and well at Columbia.

Bollinger alleges that he'll question Ahmadinejad sharply on all the controversies he's enjoyed raising ever since being "democratically elected" to his office by an electorate that was first thoroughly purged of any voters (or candidates for that matter) who might cause him significant opposition. This is not atypical in sham democracies that use the trappings of democratic techniques to sandbag the electorate while instituting or perpetuating various flavors of fascist dictatorships. Ask Castro successor and Ahmadinejad bosom buddy Hugo Chavez how that works. Or Hamas for that matter. Anyhow, we have full confidence that Bollinger will badger the bejeebers out of Ahmadinejad. NOT.

Power Line's normally restrained Scott Johnson tries to put things in perspective in a piece he simply entitles "Columbia's Disgrace":
Columbia and President Bollinger are a disgrace. They welcome to their campus a man who is a ringleader in the seizure of American hostages, a terrorist, the president of a terrorist regime, and the representative of a regime responsible at present for the deaths of American soldiers on the field of battle. Columbia's prattle about free speech may be a tale told by an idiot, but it signifies something. And President Bollinger is a fool who is not excused from the dishonor he brings to his institution and his fellow citizens by the fact that he doesn't know what he is doing.
With regard to Scott's second sentence, BTW, there's always been some controversy concerning whether or not Ahmadinejad was one of the ringleaders in the 1979 hostage crisis where Saint Jimmy Carter's non-response encouraged Ayatollah Khomeini, his clerical fellow-thugs, and "student" Islamonazis like Ahmadinejad to commence setting the table for an eventual Armageddon. If you have any question about Ahmadinejad's early training, please examine this:

Check out the hirsute dude who's second from the right.

In a separate Power Line entry where this photo appears, Scott provides this caption:

"Without any doubt Ahmadinejad was one of the central players in the group that seized the embassy and held hostages."

--Mark Bowden, Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America's War With Militant Islam (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2006), page 615.

Now that we've set the table, let's cite Scott's initial comment on Columbia's latest disgrace. Except for the fact that it's the opening sentence in his blog entry on the subject, we think it's a heck of a good way to wrap this up. Let's put it in bold:
There is a suicidal mania that grips elite opinion in the United States. It is exemplified nowhere better than in our elite educational institutions.
It's time for those who believe in REAL academic freedom to band together and undertake a genuinely Herculean effort to clean out academia's Augean Stables. The leftist jihadists who've transformed America's once-great universities into 3rd-rate propaganda mills have got to go.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Jesse Jackson: Racist

One of the wonderful things about living in a Marxist world, as so many Democrats do, is the casual way that officially vetted "minorities," "oppressed peoples," and, of course, hardcore Democrats are allowed to get away with stuff that would get the rest of us banned from society for life.

A few entries ago, we discussed the strange case of Congressman Moran (D-VA), whose near-constant stream of anti-Semetic invective over the years makes poor Senator Craig's shoe touching set-up seem positively amateurish. But Craig is a Republican, so he'll be out of the Senate shortly. Meanwhile, Jim Moran is, as we've indicated, a Democrat. Thus, while the media keeps harping on the evil of Craig (who—like all Republicans, the Duke University soccer players, and Cut & Run Congressman John Murtha's (D-PA) U.S. Marines—is guilty until proven innocent) , we have yet to see a denunciation of Moran's shameful tirade appear anywhere else except Colby King's column in last Saturday's Washington Post. Which apparently, even the Post's editors haven't bothered to read.

You'd think we'd all had enough of this kind of Democrat-centric hypocrisy lately. But just when you thought it was safe to go outside, America's Extortionist-in-Chief, Jesse Jackson, felt the need for some face time with the media:
Jesse Jackson reportedly ripped presidential candidate Barack Obama for "acting like he's white," according to The State newspaper in South Carolina, but the civil rights leader says he doesn't recall making any such comment.
Just like he didn't say anything about "Hymietown" a number of years back? The Democrat credo is, "When caught red-handed, lie."

Jackson, who endorsed Obama for president in March, reportedly blasted the Illinois senator for failing to bring attention to the case of six black kids arrested on attempted murder charges in Jena, La.

He later told the newspaper that he did not remember making the remark, but State reporter Roddie Burris told FOX News that Jackson's "acting like he's white" comment came during a 45-minute, one-on-one interview Tuesday after an hour-long speech at Benedict College in Columbia, S.C. Burris said he stands by his report.

There you go.

This will blow over in a day or two. Or less. Why? Not only is Jesse Jackson a member of the minority community. He's also a Democrat. Remember how that works? Meanwhile, remember how Republican Trent Lott's silly, well-meant but gauche birthday salute to the tottering Strom Thurmond got him ejected from the Senate leadership in a matter of days? Oddly, the Republicans themselves piled on here, instinctively flinching away from the inevitable, left-wing MSM attacks that followed, fearing the worst. (And we are witnessing a reprise of this with the exiling of Senator Craig, mentioned above.) So afraid have the Republicans become of selective left-wing media hysteria that they'll cut and run on their own again and again, helping assure that the Democrats' planned 2008 power grab becomes easier by the day.

Jesse Jackson, by his many obnoxious ethnic slurs over the years, has proven himself beyond any reasonable doubt to be an anti-Semite and a racist. Paradoxically, however, the Democrats' socialist dialectic assures us that, since he is deemed to be an "authentic" minority, he therefore cannot be an anti-Semite or a racist.

Do you ever wonder where a white dude would be right now if someone caught him telling Barack Obama that he was "acting white"? Of course you don't.

UPDATE: Hey, wait a minute I ACT WHITE ALL THE TIME. Forget it, Barack. It's okay.

Speaking of Which, NannyCare Comes Back!

Clinton's new plan is all about “choice,” a word the senator employed at least 20 times in her Monday remarks. What’s not to like? A great deal, actually. Start with the so-called “individual mandate.” This provision of Clinton’s plan would require all Americans to purchase health insurance. Refusal is not option: fail to follow the government’s orders and you will be subject to penalties... , The Return of Hillary Care, Jacob Laksin, Front Page Magazine, 9/19/2007

For those of you old enough to remember, back in the 1970's one of the Kennedy's was an advocate of a school program which employed "mandatory volunteering". That little oxymoron is a paradigm for liberal, nanny-statism.

Look, medical insurance is a bet. If you're twenty-five you have several options. You can bet about $20,000 a year for comprehensive medical coverage that you will get sick, and that it will cost a lot more than $20,000 to pay the bill. Or you can bet that you won't get sick. If you don't get sick, you'll save $20,000. If you lose, you'll be paying the bill for twenty years.

Another bet, of special interest to women, you can bet that limited coverage that might cost you $7500 a year, coverage which includes the costs surrounding giving birth, is a better bet than comprehensive care, which includes coverage for such illnesses as prostate cancer and heart attack, neither of which are very likely to affect a 25-year-old woman.

These bets are what economists call market choices. What Senator "NannyCare" Clinton proposes to do is to remove the market choice from medicine. You will have to take what the government decides is comprehensive coverage (which might not be sufficient, and might be mostly unnecessary) or you will be in violation of employment law. This is classic liberal interventionism. The net result will be a perverse mixture of over-insurance and rationing, what is sometimes called Canadian medicine.

If you think this sounds suspiciously like Clinton’s old plan, you haven’t been properly listening to spinmeisters. What makes the new plan different, they say, is that small businesses will no longer be punished for failing to provide insurance. Instead, they will be encouraged to do so through tax credits. Large businesses will still be required to provide insurance. Two conclusions follow. The first is that Clinton has plainly absorbed the lessons of her 1993 defeat, which sent the country’s leading small-business organization, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, fleeing headlong into the Republican camp. The second is that the concepts of basic economics continue to elude her. How else to account for the senator’s peculiar notion that strong-arming employers to provide coverage -- a measure that will only serve to discourage hiring -- is a step toward progress?...Hillary Care..., Continued....

Well, not to put to fine a point on it, but ignoring the marketplace is precisely what avowed socialists like Senator Clinton do as a matter of principle. Who cares about the impact on employment? As long as the dirty market isn't allowed to make choices, all will be well.

Indeed, like it’s ill-starred predecessor, the new Clinton plan should make even a first-year economics student wince. For instance, Clinton proposes massive regulation of the insurance industry as means to “end discrimination” against those with pre-existing health problems....Hillary Care, Leksin, continued...

The writer has some familiarity with differential rates and differential coverage. His spouse has a serious medical condition which will not go away, and has had it for thirteen years. Can she and I reasonably expect everyone to have pay for coverage for the exorbitantly expensive medications she takes? If that kind of coverage were required for everyone in the United States, nobody could afford health insurance. This may sound terribly unfair, but the fact is that between our coverage and our income we feel it's appropriate to pay the extra cost. If we didn't, to sustain the coverage, everyone else would have to pay for our exceptional coverage.

And it's on that fact that socialism runs into the shoals of rationing. To provide exactly the same coverage to everyone flies in the face of actual need and completely screws up supply. The likely result is that those drugs will not be available for the small populations that can get some use out of them. "Justice" will mean rationing and exclusion. You want it? Try Canada first.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

New Title for Republicans' Reading Lists

"Liberals" (we call 'em Socialists here at HazZzMat) fairly burst with pride when they describe their endless "tolerance" for Islamofascists, Fidel Castro, perverts, you name it, they're "tolerant."

Except, of course, for Conservatives, Republicans, married people, church-goers, patriots, "the troops" (which of course, they "support")...well, you get the picture.

Ironically, though, these hypocrites become pretty intolerant when it comes to how we conduct our daily lives. Tobacco products are increasingly banned everywhere. Foie gras is now verboten in Chicago, courtesy of "tolerant" animal rights freaks who obviously never saw a lion violating a gazelle's animal rights on Animal Planet. ("Why do you think they call them ANIMALS?" snarled one commercial a few years back.) The heavenly smell of movie theater popcorn popped in coconut oil has been banned for years, courtesy of the bogus lobbying organization for leftist busybodies disguised as the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Next thing you know, the Carbon Police will be inspecting your light bulbs and handing out tickets for incandescents.

I don't know about you, but one of the major reasons I moved away from home many years ago was to get away from mom's endless fussing, rulemaking, and generally restrictive rule system that required me to be "normal" at all times. Who knew that decades later, an army of "tolerant liberals," i.e., lifestyle fascists, would take up, for all of us, where mom left off?

Well, if you're sick of the creeping Nanny State, there's hope:

Got a credit card? Buy it here.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Jim Moran (D-VA) "Macacas" Again. Who Cares?

Northern Virginia Congressman James Moran (D-VA) has made a career, it seems, of tossing out casual, anti-Semetic statements and screeds again and again. Usually, there's a little half-hearted dust up in the Washington Post, and then everything is okay shortly thereafter. So it's not surprising that he's done it yet again, this time more or less accusing Jews of being the evil power behind "Bush's War," which rational people still call the Global War on Terrorism.

Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds comments:
“There are only so many mistakes he can make before it’s fair to call him an anti-Semite.” Are we there yet?
Well, Glenn, we've been "there" again and again. I oughta know. He's my Congressman, unfortunately. (Don't blame me. They gerrymandered a safe district for him after the last census, and yeah, the Repubs cooperated to keep their seats safe, too. The great weakness in our electoral system, I think.)

Glenn continues:
And this advice: "How should Democrats deal with this guy? Here’s a proposal: Ask Mark Warner."
Earth to Glenn: The Democrats don't NEED to deal with this guy. He's a Democrat. They will not call for him to resign. Any criticism coming from them will be muted to zero. The Washington Times will stay on him for awhile, as befits them in their role as Washington's better paper. And the Post will harrumph in an editorial and an op-ed or two (as today), and then he'll get another pass.

Remember. Moran is a Democrat. He will stay. And he will be re-elected by his Democrat-heavy gerrymandered district if he chooses to run next year. This unlike the hapless former Senator George Allen (R-VA), who's silly "macaca" comment drove the Post's A-Section for the bulk of Election Summer 2006 helping cost him his senate seat. Which, of course, gave the Senate to the 'Rats.

How could this have happened? Allen is a Republican, of course. One unfortunate word was sufficient to undo his entire career as a popular Governor and legislator.

Jim Moran is a Democrat. Nothing will undo his career unless he decides to do it himself. Most certainly not his stellar, never-ending stream of anti-Semetic comments. He apologizes every time he does it, and the matter is always dropped shortly thereafter.

And the Post won't whack him in the A-Section all next summer either.

Remember, Glenn, the Dems will never do anything to mess with their majorities. But the Republicans, the Stupid Party, always will. And the MSM will always help.

(BTW, Mark Warner (D-VA) will probably win retiring John Warner's (R-VA, no relation) senate seat next fall. More on this later.)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Lies, Damned Lies, and Democrats

Apropos of a pretty good week for the Bushies—which, of course, America's Socialist Party immediately attempted to redefine as failure (without much success)—we thought it might be fun to head into the weekend with a scientific treatise on Rat DNA. By a cat, of course. Who would know better about such things? Hat tip to one of our favorite readers (who will remain anonymous) for emailing this charming bit of scurrilousness earlier this week on the day of the Petraeus hearings. (But prior to President Harry Reid's termination of Bush's next attorney general. Which appointment, of course, has yet to be announced.)

Presbyopics: Click on the grafik below for a larger image.

After a little sleuthing, we discovered a link to the cartoonist's page on the UFS, Inc. website. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Fred Thompson vs. moveon Morons

Both Bob Novak and George Will whacked away at Fred Thompson's newly-minted Presidential candidacy today in the Washington Post's op-ed pages (links may require free registration). Pretty much pronounced it dead on arrival, boring, lifeless, lacking in inspiring moments, sort of like the Petraeus surge strategy was for the Democrats before it was announced.

That having been said, what, then, should HazZzMat make of this?

Sounds pretty good to me, guys. Could this be an old media thing? Could the Fredster be doing an end run in plain sight? Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007's Petraeus Slander: A Fisking

We finally got a chance to take a look at's repulsive New York Times ad (possibly sold by the paper for a heavily discounted price, BTW) slandering General Petraeus and, by extension, the U.S. military which, of course, moveon's Democrat pals "support."

(For a full-size PDF of this classic Stalinist smearfest, visit Hugh Hewitt's site here.)

We're surprised no one on the better-known conservative blogsites has bothered to fisk this vile brew. HazZzMat will rectify this omission immediately by pasting in the offending text here and rebutting this feeble, predictable, formulaic screed. It's not too tough because, like most of today's infantile propagandists, moveon's lazy writers don't back up a single thing they say with either fact or content.

Let's begin with their opening paragraph.
General Petraeus is a military man constantly at war with the facts. In 2004, just before the election, he said there was “tangible progress” in Iraq and that “Iraqi leaders are stepping forward.” And last week Petraeus, the architect of the escalation of troops in Iraq, said, “We say we have achieved progress, and we are obviously going to do everything we can to build on that progress.”
Like every classic piece of Marxist propaganda, the moveon ad opens with a breathtaking assertion that purposely confuses the issue. General Petraeus is supposed to be "at war with the facts." So what are the "facts?" In 2004, according to the ad, he stated that there'd been "tangible progress" and that "Iraqi leaders are stepping forward." In point of fact, both statements were true. Progress was, in fact, being made. Admittedly with painful slowness, but it was happening.

Furthermore, Iraqi leaders were indeed stepping forward and still are. Perhaps not on moveon's theoretical timetable (which like everything else is never enumerated). But certainly faster than our own leaders stepped forward after we won the Revolutionary War. Without disproving General Petraeus' alleged statements or making any actual connection to his 2004 pull quotes, moveon breezily juxtaposes the earlier quotes with a current quote. A clever tactic, implying, but never proving, untruthfulness on the part of the general.

Cocooned in their own self-congratulatory rhetoric and never having to prove their sweeping assertions, the hard left has grown accustomed to making such statements without having to worry about criticism.
Every independent report on the ground situation in Iraq shows that the surge strategy has failed. Yet the General claims a reduction in violence. That’s because, according to the New York Times, the Pentagon has adopted a bizarre formula for keeping tabs on violence. For example, deaths by car bombs don’t count. The Washington Post reported that assassinations only count if you’re shot in the back of the head — not the front. According to the Associated Press, there have been more civilian deaths and more American soldier deaths in the past three months than in any other summer we’ve been there. We’ll hear of neighborhoods where violence has decreased. But we won’t hear that those neighborhoods have been ethnically cleansed.
Again, the paragraph begins with a sweeping assertion. "Every independent report?" Implicit in this uncorroborated statement is that in moveon's universe, "every" includes only those reports that moveon agrees with. But they're too dishonest to admit this. To the contrary, they cite no report whatsoever that backs their argument. They merely allege that such reports exist. Moveon states X. Therefore it is true.

Ergo, "every independent report" of which we have none in this context, is said to claim the surge has "failed." Of course, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also asserted this even before the surge was undertaken. This is a classic propaganda tactic we've seen again and again from the anti-American left whose base dwells within the Democrat Party. Take your unproven and unprovable talking points, trumpet them again and again into a lazy media filled with fellow travelers, and repeat loudly and often until the talking points, based upon nothing at all, become the perceived truth.

The remainder of this paragraph lists undocumented assertions allegedly made by the military followed by undocumented rebuttals culled only from reliable leftist newspapers. In all honesty, moveon offers no proof as to the veracity of any of these statements, whether made by the military or by the media, although you can be sure that everything is excerpted or twisted out of context. By positioning the military statement first followed by the press statement in rebuttal position, moveon's clever propagandist creates the impression that the media have effectively rebutted the military's "lies." The propagandist thus creates the appearance of an intellectual argument where none actually exists. And since the military "always lies" and the New York Times and the Washington Post "always tell the truth," we know who gets to win.

Alas, it's all smoke and mirrors.

The paragraph ends with a mini-version of the same game. Violence is reported to have decreased in certain neighborhoods. "But we won't hear that those neighborhoods have been ethnically cleansed." Huh? Non sequitur. The second sentence does not necessarily follow from the first. And even if it did, who did the ethnic cleansing? Moveon doesn't say. But, of course, the implication is that our evil troops, which everyone "supports," did the cleansing.

Back to the real world. If anyone in Iraq has indulged in "ethnic cleansing," it's been Al Qaeda and the Sunnis vs. the Shi'ites and the Mahdi Army and vice-versa. Or before them, Saddam vs. the Shi'ites and the Kurds. But who cares? To pause a moment to consider moveon's breathaking lack of proof for their baseless assertions is to spoil the fun. In the end, we all know that Bush did it anyway.
Most importantly, General Petraeus will not admit what everyone knows: Iraq is mired in an unwinnable religious civil war. We may hear of a plan to withdraw a few thousand American troops. But we won’t hear what Americans are desperate to hear: a timetable for withdrawing all our troops. General Petraeus has actually said American troops will need to stay in Iraq for as long as ten years.
The first sentence here contains another propaganda classic: EVERYONE KNOWS. Well gosh, if everyone knows that Iraq is mired in an "unwinnable religious civil war," why aren't we outta there? That's because EVERYONE KNOWS NO SUCH THING. What Al Qaeda, we mean, moveon "knows" is only the propaganda they put out, propaganda that needs no proof because they said so.

The key here is to present the appearance of an irresistible groundswell of negative public opinion where, in fact, a universality of opinion does not exist. (Same deal with the "global warming" freaks.) This enables the propagandist to summarily dismiss any "outliers" as morons and, well, move on, liberating leftists from the necessity of engaging in rational argumentation: something they are no longer equipped to do.

The throwaway in this paragraph is also clever if transparent. For weeks, pundits on both left and right have assumed the general would offer some sort of withdrawal timeframe in his testimony to Congress. So moveon simply dismisses what the general has not yet said as an outright falsehood. Like Harry Reid's idiotic assertion addressed here earlier, there's nothing like pre-emptively dismissing a statement you haven't even heard by slandering and discrediting the messenger prior to the delivery of the message. In so doing, you free your target audience from the responsibility of actually having to listen and evaluate opposing arguments. Why? Because, well, EVERYONE KNOWS.
Today, before Congress and before the American people, General Petraeus is likely to become General Betray Us.
This final graf, such as it is, has grabbed most of the headlines. It's an all time low for a leftist organization that has yet to touch bottom. Moveon's cheap shot is, in fact, just that: a cheap shot. It's pure Stalinist sloganeering, still entwined in the DNA of old-style Communists who have yet to acknowledge the guilt of the Rosenbergs or the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The ideology and indeed the very lives of hardcore leftists and their many fans in the Democrat party seem forever enrobed in the sticky Marxist amber of 1968, like prehistoric bugs, perfectly preserved in their tiny, translucent tombs. With their infantile tantrums and Freudian resentments frozen in time, there can be for them no loving and no learning. Blinded by a resentful, hate-filled ideology and organically unable to distinguish wily foes from intelligent friends, they will continue to attack in perpetuity the American system and philosophy that even now still graciously permits them to behave like the suicidal, self-destructive idiots they truly are.

Remembering 9/11

It's been 6 years now since nearly 3,000 innocent civilians from all walks of life in New York City, Arlington, Virginia, and in a field near Somerset, Pennsylvania were terminated by Islamofascists who glory in their contempt for human life and Western-style democracy. Most Americans today remember that day in the way that most older Americans must have remembered December 7, 1941.

Such dates are a beginning and an end. The beginning of a protracted battle against the enemies of democracy and civilization. And the end of life as we knew it prior to such a cataclysmic event.

The best way to prevent another such event is to terminate not only the lives of those who would perpetrate such deeds, but the underlying philosophy that drives them on. As we witness the Idiotarian attacks on General Petraeus this week, let's try to remember: it's the general and our brave soldiers in the field who are defending Western democracy, no matter how bad things might look at the moment.

The childish adolescents of all ages who've been throwing stones at the general while "supporting our troops" are going to have a lot of explaining to do in the coming months and years. They and their ilk are courting another 9/11. The troops they "support" are doing their best to prevent it.

(BTW: Don't be surprised if the General becomes a candidate for President at some point in the future. At some point, Americans will feel a compelling need for this kind of integrity at the helm. The kind of integrity that is becoming scarce in the Nation's Capital. You heard it here first.)

Public Sector Unions: Tip of a Vast Socialist Iceberg

An interesting, almost offhand observation in Kausfiles today got me thinking:
About 50% of California's legislative politics seems to involve Democratic officeholders trying to please public sector unions. That's the game here, much more than on the national level.
What's Kaus' evidence?
Telemundo anchor Mirthala Salinas' former boyfriend, California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, is trying to please the powerful state teachers' unions by passing a bill that would let local school boards kill charter schools after three years.** Telemundo anchor Mirthala Salinas' current boyfriend, formerly married L.A. Mayor Antonia Villaraigosa, has been a supporter of L.A.'s Greeh Dot charter schools, which the local school board has viewed as a threat. Since Villaraigosa seems to be on the right side of this one, I say we let Mirthala decide. ...
We're going to leave this here for now after a parting thought. I've been thinking about this public sector union stuff a lot, particularly here in the DC area. Probably since the time of Franklin Roosevelt, public sector employees in the Federal, state, and local sectors have increasingly been represented by trade unions like AFSCME and the corrupt NEA.

This is not necessarily wrong, but it has become pernicious, as the salaries and rich benefits of public sector employees are paid by taxpayers, not greedy corporate bastards. Taxpayers who often don't have equal benefits or wages themselves. Yet public sector unions seek the same kind of wage increases, the same kind of anti-competitive job protection and above all, exhibit the same contempt for management—in this case us—as do their union brothers and sisters in the private and/or industrial sector.

Worse, they have become accustomed to extorting support from the left-leaning Democrats who traditionally count on their votes. Thus, the bigger the bureaucracy, the more likely left-wing Democrats are to retain their hold on government to the detriment of the average taxpayer. To oppose anything the public sector unions support, however pernicious it might be, is to lose the next election. Which is always the last thing from a machine Democrat's mind. Think about it.

Monday, September 10, 2007 Hits Bottom?

Well, that's the headline for Power Line's top story at the moment.

Even before General Petraeus commenced his long-awaited Congressional testimony on "the surge" in Iraq this morning, moveon's Stalinist propaganda cadre had already sprung into action:
This morning, the leftist group ran an ad in the New York Times that accused Petraeus of betraying his country. The ad was called "General Petraeus or General Betray us? Cooking the books for the White House." In the view of, General Petraeus betrays his country by not sharing that organization's gloomy assessment of the situation in Iraq. Yet Petraeus's view that we have made substanial progress is shared by liberal observers such as Michael O'Hanlon and even by an anti-war Congressman who recently visited Iraq. But even in the absence of this kind of testimony by liberals,'s claim that Petraeus has betrayed his country by disputing the left's narrative on Iraq is disgraceful. You can find a list of the general's decorations here at NRO's The Tank.
Lest you think, however, that this notorious Marxist front group is the only pack of liars involved in rewriting history, think again:
On Friday, the Politico quoted a Democratic Senator as saying, "'No one wants to call [Petraeus] a liar on national TV. The expectation is that the outside groups will do this for us." Yet I wonder whether even this Democrat expected to attack Petraeus so crudely. To many congressional Democrats, the latest ad will confirm Rep. David Obey's view that the anti-war left is dominated by "liberal idiots."
Obey ought to know one when he sees one. However, it is somewhat refreshing to see that even this ultra-liberal Rep can only be pushed so far by the New York Times favorite Stalinists, indicating that at least some standards remain in the Democrat-controlled Congress.

What's baffling here, though, is the momentary breakdown in the quality of Power Line's Paul Mirengoff who authored the above piece. Or maybe it's his headline writer who doesn't understand what's going on here.

Earth to Power Line: "hitting bottom" is not news. This happens every day. It's what this organization does. Tighten it up, guys!

Friday, September 07, 2007

West Virginia Tilting Toward Thompson?

It's been painful for a kindly old right-winger like Wonker to read the newspapers day after day about what a painful thrashing the Republicans are in for in 2008. But I'm increasingly beginning to wonder if my Democrat friends aren't taking on an excess of hubris in their already leaky campaign vessel.

I'm thinking this because I just read an entry from a new West Virginia website that's supporting Fred Thompson's recently-announced presidential candidacy. Here's a sample:
Aside from the Birkenstock wearing northeastern liberals who trek to the hills of Boone County to protest mining, the real threat to West Virginia jobs is posed by the Global Warming crowd. The Democrat party has surrendered to the same "science by consensus" that once deemed Galileo a heretic for opposing the conventional wisdom of a geocentric universe.

Recently, top Senate Democrat Harry Reid declared that there should be a global moratorium on the construction of new power plants. I can think of no other time at which the leadership of a political party has been a greater threat to West Virginia jobs.
Bad stuff indeed. Pump the bilges! So what's a patriotic West Virginia voter to do?
Fred Thompson is the candidate most likely to draw a connection to the American people between drilling in ANWAR, drilling off the Continental Shelf, and allowing more refineries to be built as the way to lower gas prices.

Fred Thompson is the candidate most likely to push for tax reform and deregulation that could allow the steel industry to come back from the dead, increasing the demand for top dollar WV metallurgical grade coal which fetches far more revenue than steam coal for power.
Pretty strong stuff, and quite interesting too, the reference to metallurgical coal, something the average soft-handed Democrat Party elitist is not likely to understand.

Lest we forget, perpetually blue West Virginia went Republican in the last two presidential elections. Why? This is a state where hunting is very, very important. Many families in the most impoverished areas of the state literally need their own quota of venison each year in order to put meat on the table.

Both Al Gore and John Kerry—particularly Gore—tirelessly preached the Democrat's idiotic anti-gun legislation. And they paid for it in West Virginia, with voters there rightly perceiving that the Dems fully intended, if left to their own devices, to take away their guns, leaving them and their families without venison for the coming harsh mountain winner.

Likewise, for better or worse, West Virginia is a major coal mining state. Coal mining is one rough job. But it also supports countless West Virginia families. And also provides, among other things, a cheap and abundant heating fuel that, if more fully utilized by power plants, could significantly reduce America's independence from foreign oil.

But this doesn't matter to a leftie Democrat. We should ban coal, too. If it throws half of West Virginia out of work, who cares? They can do something else. Coal pollutes. So we shouldn't use it. So what if we mine it here, keeping more dollars out of the hands of Islamofascists and Hugo Chavez. Who cares. We're green. (And now, can you pass the chardonnay?)

Both of West Virginia's senators, Byrd and Rockefeller are Democrats, but they're not dumb enough to get behind the coal and gun haters who currently control their party. Their seats are safe. But West Virginia's 5 electoral votes will be headed toward the Republican column next fall. That may not be a lot. But in a closely contested election, that may be enough.

Our conclusion? Oh, let our friends in wild, wonderful West Virginia have the last word:
As the second richest state in terms of natural resources (only Alaska has more), it only makes sense to support the candidate that would install the fewest impediments to getting those resources to market.

West Virginia NEEDS Fred Thompson.
(Full disclosure: Wonker owns a weekend home in West Virginia. It's a wonderful state.)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Dennis the Menace Strikes Again: A Fisking

This time in the Middle East, which is just what the U.S. needs right now.

Oh, for the unititiated, Dennis the Menace is Democrat Dennis Kucinich, a lifelong extreme leftist who "serves" (I use the word loosely) in the U.S. House of Representatives, presumably on behalf of his largely Cuyahoga County, Ohio constituents in the 10th Congressional District. (Which, sadly, encompasses part of Wonker's old childhood stomping grounds.)

Dennis, of course, is running for president AGAIN, no doubt hoping to have himself remembered as the Democrat Party's Harold Stassen, the perennial GOP presidential candidate who would never go away. His mantra: "Strength through peace." "Peace" in this case, is the usual far-left code-word for "capitulation."

Kucinich first won fame years ago by nearly running Cleveland into the ground when he served as mayor. He systematically pissed off businesses, banks, utilities, you name it, whilst posing as a sort of Robin Hood to the Masses, standing up against the Military-Industrial Complex. His grandstanding ultimately got him booted right out of office. But the constituents in his 'hood have been re-electing him to Congress ever since where he does what he does best: grandstand and bloviate.

His latest gambol is in the Middle East, where the aspiring U.S. president has toadied up to Bashar Assad, Syria's chinless President and best friend of Iran and Hezbollah. Let's fisk this AP report on the visit. The AP appropriates Kucinich as a useful idiot through whom they can articulate their own anti-American, anti-Bush propaganda.

US Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich, on a Mideast visit that included a stop in Syria, said the country lambasted by the Bush administration deserves credit for taking in more than a million Iraqi refugees.

Kucinich, a strong anti-war opponent who trails far in the US presidential polls, also said he won't visit Iraq on his trip to the region because he considers the US military deployment there illegal.

The opening graf is the first of two references sucking up to Assad for doing the "humanitarian" thing and taking in all those Iraqi refugees who had to flee their own country because of "Bush's War." Two things wrong with this deceitful observation. First of all, the initial batch of "refugees" were the Saddamists, Baathists, and outright thugs who'd been running Iraq before the U.S. invaded. They, and their ill-gotten wealth, fled post-haste to Syria where they were welcomed by the only remaining Baathist regime on the planet. These poor, hapless refugees have been providing funds, men, and support and have been helping murder American soldiers and honest Iraqis ever since, in a bid to get their power and influence back.

The remaining "refugees" are indeed real ones. They've been driven out of their homes not by the United States, but by the goons employed by the first "refugees."

Syria, in other words, is ground zero for a manufactured "refugee crisis" that they have supported and encouraged from day one. Either Dennis and the AP don't get this, or they don't want to acknowledge it. Likely, the latter.

Second graf: Dennis "considers" U.S. actions illegal. Note the verbal arabesques of the left. Whether this is an indirect quote from Kucinich or an interpolation by the AP, the word "considers" is cleverly deployed here. U.S. actions are, in fact, quite legal. But by employing "considers," either Kucinich or the reporter make it tough to refute them in terms of law. A flat, declarative statement would have exposed either to legal refutation. But "considers" provides a dodge in case someone catches them in the legal and logical crosshairs. BTW, the verb form "feel" accomplishes much the same thing.
"I feel the United States is engaging in an illegal occupation ... I don't want to bless that occupation with my presence," he said in an interview in Lebanon, after visiting Syria. "I will not do it."

Kucinich, who accused the Bush administration of policies that have destabilized the Mideast, met with Syrian President Bashar Assad during his visit to Damascus. He said Assad was receptive to his ideas of "strength through peace."

Oops, there's that word, "feel." See our comments above. Also note that the lofty, Zeus-like Dennis doesn't "want to bless that occupation" with his "presence." We are not amused. There is not even a theoretical limitation on this pint-sized turncoat's outsized ego, is there. In point of fact, he has no actual authority to "bless" anything.

Note, too, how it's Bush's policies "that have destabilized the Mideast." Who's this doofus kidding? It's the Taliban and Al Qaeda that got the whole destabilization game going here, and it's Iran and Syria who, by funding and arming to the teeth their Hezbollah and Hamas proxies who are destabilizing the Mideast. Kucinich's Marxist roots are showing here. By means of rhetoric, every rotten thing being done by Iran and its Syrian stooges to slaughter innocents in the Middle East is Bush's fault. THEY are doing it. THEY are funding it. But it's Bush's fault.
"What most people are not aware of is that Syria has taken in more than 1.5 million Iraqi refugees," Kucinich said. "The Syrian government has actually shown a lot of compassion in keeping its doors open, and being a host for so many refugees."
Most people? Or "everybody except really smart people like me," Dennis? See our comment on "refugees" above. Syria is showing no "compassion" here at all. It's they and their Baathist and Iranian pals who continue to stir the refugee pot.

It's a fact that Syrian officials' palms are getting well and truly greased by the Iranian radicals and Iraqi Baathists who are using Syria as a base to cause mayhem throughout the Middle East. When someone like Kucinich makes a breathtakingly stupid assertion like this, ignoring the real reason behind the "refugee crisis," you are never really sure whether it's due to his unbending Marxist ideology or whether Dennis is just plain ignorant. An excellent case can be made for either outcome.

Kucinich said he would ask UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to follow up on the "dire conditions" in southern Lebanon, especially Israeli cluster bombs leftover [sic] from the war that have killed more than 30 and injured at least 200 since the fighting's end.

Well, Dennis, actually, the dire condition in Southern Lebanon is the massive stocking of lethal weaponry that's been funded through Iran and enabled by Syria. It's going to lead to another, bigger war in that vicinity and probably pretty soon. Could very well be that a few Israeli cluster bombs are laying around. But as far as death is concerned, how many Lebanese and Israeli citizens were killed in the last conflict, which was started by Hezbollah, supplied by Syria, and funded by Iran? You know, the freedom fighters who casually lobbed unguided missiles by the hundreds onto Israeli popuation centers. Oh, right, that doesn't count.

"There has to be a commitment to cleaning up these cluster bombs," Kucinich said.

That's how the article concludes, with a typical, high-sounding bureaucratic statement signifying nothing, but making the speaker feel and indeed seem morally superior. "There has to be a commitment" conveniently relieves Dennis from the necessity to do anything himself. But it sounds really good.

Which is the whole point of Kucinich's grandstanding. He plays to his hard-left audience by scoring all the propaganda points he can. He ingratiates himself with our enemies, who, of course, are therefore his friends. And, in the end, gives aid and comfort to a network of implacable American enemies, thereby helping infuse them with the courage and conviction to continue their systematic slaughter of Americans, Israelis, and anyone else who disagrees with them. All the while, he hides behind rhetorical devices that cast him centerstage as a savior who is to be admired. He is, fortunately, a marginal figure on the national scene. But he is nonteheless capable of great damage to our foreign policy, as this scurrilous and essentially approving AP article unwittingly proves.

After all these years, he's still Dennis the Menace, isn't he?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Finis à l'affaire Finkelstein

Nifty tidbit via Little Green Footballs:

Anti-Israel wacademic Norman Finkelstein has resigned from DePaul University, after being denied tenure.

For those who haven't been following the ongoing chaos, Finkelstein is yet another example of the kind of "professor" whose notion of intellectual engagement is hurling unsubstantiated opinions and biases forth as fact. Scholarship this ain't. What makes it worse is that, like the execrable Ward Churchill (whom we think might finally be well and truly removed from his former position), Finkelstein had a habit of being chronically disagreeable. Particularly when denied tenure:
In fact, according to the Chicago Tribune, Finkelstein had several encounters with DePaul administrators, and cops were called:
Oral and physical confrontations between Finkelstein and university officials began shortly after his tenure denial, according to a memo written by university Provost Helmut Epp.

The provost's memo, dated June 26, alleges that Finkelstein "angrily confronted" other faculty and staff and engaged them with "threatening and discourteous behavior" after being denied tenure.

On three such occasions, campus security officers were called to intervene, according to the provost's memo. When a dean [Chuck Suchar, of course] tried to escape a confrontation by ducking into an elevator, Finkelstein physically tried to keep the door from closing, according to the provost's account.
In an Opinion Journal piece this spring, under the general head of "Academentia," Alan Dershowitz described in detail Finkelstein's brilliant academic career prior to arriving at DePaul:
Norman Finkelstein brags that "never has one of [his] articles been published in a scientific magazine." By his own account he has been fired by "every school in New York," including Brooklyn College, Hunter and NYU. His chairman at one of these colleges said that Mr. Finkelstein was fired for "incompetence," "mental instability" and "abuse" of students with politics different from his own. His prospects seemed bleak, so when radical Islamist Aminah McCloud--a follower of Louis Farrakhan--helped him land a job at DePaul, a school that Mr. Finkelstein describes as "a third-rate Catholic university," he accepted "exile."
What a sweetie. There's gratitude for ya.

The only thing more astounding than DePaul's hiring this obvious troublemaker is the language his former colleagues used to describe him above, the kind of verbiage normally mild-mannered academics usually reserve for describing George W. Bush. Which gives you a pretty good idea as to the extent of Finkelstein's social skills.

To make a long story short, Finkelstein is yet another active Holocaust Denier. This is easily seen in his curriculum vitae (academic resumé), still posted via the DePaul website, although we're not quite sure how long the link will remain. Tellingly, on the last page, he lists, without honoraria, two and only two references:
Noam Chomsky, M.I.T.

Avi Shlaim, Oxford University
The latter is an anti-Israeli Baghdadi Jew who teaches at Oxford, while the former...well, the less said about this notorious lifetime Communist and Amerikkka hater, the better. DePaul should have 86'd Finkelstein's resume at this point.

Here we have yet another example of the kind of "academic" that hiring committees make job offers to while doing their best to blackball any scholar whose opinion might be one millimeter to the right of Karl Marx. That the faculty and administration of DePaul did the right thing here is to be commended. That they even took this fellow seriously, however, illustrates how badly removed from current reality the modern academic really is.

A thought: If you have a kid in college today, you're paying for stuff like this.

Michigan in the Tank, Granholm Flushes, Dean Helps

RedState informs us that, in case you hadn't noticed, all is not well in Michigan:
Reports started swirling late yesterday and are all over the papers this morning that Volkswagen and Audi are almost certainly, now, going to announce Thursday their plans to outsource anywhere from 1,000 to closer to 1,600 Michigan jobs. But not to Mexico or Guatemala or China. To the east coast. Of the United States.
This might seem unexceptional to the so-called intelligentsia on America's coasts. After all, they've been well aware that both Michigan, as well as Wonker's home state of Ohio, have been slowly drowning in the economic toilet largely prepared for them by the Democrats they slavishly re-elect to high office each and every year. Manufacturing jobs are leaving both states in droves, driven off as much by unrealistic wage and benefit scales as they are by hideously high state, local, and real estate taxes.

As a result of the job exodus, Michigan and Ohio also rank high on the list of states who are suffering massively from subprime and even prime mortgage foreclosures.

Both states are also a little schizzy, politics-wise. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan and roughly the Southern half of Ohio tend to be staunchly Republican. Ohio, in particular, tends to vote Republican in national elections largely due to the growth in its Southern half, which usually overwhelms the shrinking Rust Belt Democrat machine vote in Northern Ohio, dominated by cities like Cleveland, Lorain, and Toledo (home of the Mud Hens). Michigan's Upper Peninsula is sparsely populated, however, leaving the heavily Democrat Lower Peninsula to turn the state a consistent blue in recent elections. That's been their misfortune.

In Ohio, Republicans have hurt themselves recently with a series of political scandals on the state and national level. This is recoverable, MSM handicapping aside. But the Dems will make a strong drive here in 2008, thoroughly pissed that Bush took the state twice.

Arguably, however, Michigan is in even worse shape and is even more in denial than Ohio, as exemplified by the state's clueless and politically tone-deaf Governor Jennifer Granholm. Don't believe us? Read the following by Detroit News journo Daniel Howes:

Volkswagen AG, which employs roughly 1,600 in two Oakland County sites, could announce as early as Thursday its plans to move the automaker's North American headquarters to a Virginia suburb of Washington D.C.

"My guess is it's 1,000 jobs that will be either moved or lost when it's all said and done," a source familiar with the details of the impending move said, adding that hundreds of customer service jobs are likely to remain behind. "The ship has sailed. It's guaranteed that they're announcing on Thursday."

Not the kind of news you want to hear in a state already battered by the near death of Detroit's once mighty "Big Three" automakers. But hey, the Governor's now going to step in and save the day, right? Well, maybe. The ship may be sailing,

But not without a last-ditch appeal by Gov. Jennifer Granholm, recently returned from an investment mission to Sweden and Germany that did not include a stop at VW's corporate headquarters in Wolfsburg. The governor is scheduled to meet at 8 tonight in her Lansing home with Stefan Jacoby, newly arrived CEO of VW North America, to plead her case.

"We're conceding nothing," said Liz Boyd, Granholm's spokeswoman. "The governor is always making the case for Michigan and will continue to make the case for Michigan."

Brave words, Liz, but they're just words. You've actually skipped part of this story, duly noted by the RedState article (cross-posted from, a site that's new to us): Governor Granholm has just returned from a trip to Germany where she simply couldn't find the time on her schedule to meet with the German corporate bigwigs. How dumb is that?

It was during that trip to Germany that the public first learned the new VW leadership team here in the states was seriously considering an eastward move. The call went out immediately for the governor to make a stop at HQ. No dice. She was booked solid, her spokespeople said. Think now she wishes she’d cancelled a chicken dinner and made the trip?

Amazing. And just think of all the union dues that went to pay for Granholm's election. Not to mention lefty Democrat Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow. Fun fact:

Nearly 40 percent of union workers today are registered Republicans, but a sizeable chunk of their wages is taken and used to elect Democrats.
Like black Americans, union execs have consistently backed the Democrats ever since Wonker was a kid (an increasingly long time ago). But, like black voters who do the same, they tend to get little if anything in return. You'd think they'd start reconsidering their knee-jerk support for socialism, particularly in Michigan which has been losing jobs faster than any state in the union, due as much to an unbelievable corporate and personal tax burden as it is to the unrealistic union contracts that have made the Big Three non-competitive on the world automotive stage. Democrats are screwing the union brothers blind by taking their money, shoveling it to do-nothing Democrats, and doing nothing to help the workers' situation.

Meanwhile Michiganders' esteemed Senator Levin remains far more interested in getting our troops defeated in Iraq, no doubt lessening further the need for Detroit-manufactured military hardware. And, of course, as we've already mentioned, there's the Governor, who couldn't find a little time to save jobs during her German sojourn.

Oh, where are the lost jobs probably going to go? Maybe near the county where Wonker is typing this blog entry or about 7 miles from Wonker's house a few miles down the road:

Most likely to depart for new offices outside Arlington, Va., and near Dulles International Airport would be headquarters officials, executives of the three brands and top managers in sales, marketing, communications and human resources. The thinking is that a move ostensibly would distance Audi, VW and Bentley from troubled Michigan and its beleaguered hometown auto industry.
Why here? Back to the Detroit News:

VW assumes the move would enable parent VW to burnish its brands on the import-minded coasts by attracting talent that otherwise wouldn't consider opportunities here, including their own Germany-based employees who are likely to be more interested in a stint in suburban Washington than in Metro Detroit.

Finally, a move would theoretically jump-start flagging energy at VW's brands in the States, partly by culling Michiganians unwilling to uproot and partly by getting them out from under the shadow of Detroit's lumbering automakers.

Think things aren't bad enough?

Enter, stage left, Democrat Party chair Howard "The Scream" Dean. Trying to get some attention for their plight, Michigan Dems plan to move up their primary so maybe one or two presidential hopefuls might come up and talk to them in January. No dice, says über-diktator Dean, who's already jettisoned Florida delegates for doing the same thing. Now he's threatening Michigan with the same political death.

How dumb is this? Well, maybe not so dumb, as all the unemployed people will probably vote Democrat anyway, even though they've been marginalized and dissed. Go figure.

MTV Needs (Conservative) Young Journalists

Hugh Hewitt reports that MTV is looking for young journalists to cover the 2008 election action. Here's a description of the kind of young dude or dudette they're looking for:
Ideal candidates will have their finger on the pulse of issues that are important to young people in their state and be passionate about politics and the possibilities of new technology. Strong writing and reporting skills are a must; distinct voice and authoritative point of view… even better.
Observes Hugh:
MTV wants you. And I hope some young conservatives apply.
So do I, Hugh.

But I hope you're not betting real money that even one young conservative making the cut. As we both know, the young today are only "passionate" about "Global Warming" and ending Chimpy BushMacHitler's insane and illegal war. All competing belief systems lack a "distinct voice" and an "authoritative" point of view. And besides, as Duke professor Robert Brandon famously asserted, we all know that conservatives are stupid anyway. So who are you or I or MTV to argue with our intellectual superiors like Professor Bob?

DiCaprio Eco-Freakout Tanks

It's a Hollywood truth universally acknowledged that any hit film is in want of a sequel. The "hit" film in question here is the Goracle's "An Inconvenient Truth," the former Veep's ridiculous propaganda screed masquerading as a documentary. (See Michael Moore.)

Not willing to let his bankable millions from successful film roles ("Titanic," "The Aviator," etc.) sit idle, Leonardo DiCaprio's tries to do the pompous Gore one better in his stultifying, me-too eco-epic "The 11th Hour." Unfortunately for Leo, his film investment is sinking faster than the Titanic after it drove into that fatal iceberg. (Although this will probably make his accountant happy.)

But that's not really the topic of this entry. More to the point is an interesting passage in which a Fox News reporter critic, Roger Friedman, drops the mask, probably unintentionally, to illustrate how he and his dishonest leftist friends will manipulate the truth to suit the Party's ideological aims.
I hesitated to say before "11th Hour" actually opened how mind-numbingly dull it was for fear that I would ruin it for those interested in the subject of global warming. But at Cannes, when the film by Nadia Conners and Leila Conners Petersen was shown to journalists, nearly the entire room fell asleep.

A Russian filmmaker told us afterward that she was the only person in the room who was awake at one point.
The first sentence above says it all. Friedman confesses that he purposely held off these comments for 18 days. Why? To enable the maximum number of "Global Warming" true believers to shell out their (presumably) hard-earned dollars on a turkey that would bore even them. This, in turn, allowed the right-thinking DiCaprio to get some of his investment back before word of mouth sent this sinker to the DVD showers. Always help a comrade, right, Roger?

Had this film been a debunking of the "Global Warming" mythology, however, you can bet your sweet bippy that Friedman and his pals would have been heaping it with opprobrium even before it had been edited into the final cut.

Friedman is now feigning honesty, presumably, to free himself from being blamed for the film's box office failure. It's a nice twist, but it doesn't work. Friedman committed a sin of omission by allowing countless wallets of gullible eco-freak lambs to be led to the slaughter. The sin itself was disgusting. But his attempt at exoneration is disgraceful. Unwilling to break with the party line as a critic, he can now pretend to be a "reporter" who's "objectively" reporting the secondary news that the film has bombed in public release. Which he knew in advance that it would. What a convoluted way of trying to keep your street cred while still getting invited to the best leftist A-list parties. Inadvertently, Friedman provides us yet with another juicy example of why all leftists are essentially dishonest.

Now that he's granted himself reportorial absolution, Friedman can write what he should have written 18 days ago:
"The 11th Hour" is grindingly boring. Basically, a series of scientists, one after another, warn the audience that the world is coming to an end. These talking heads are interspersed with stock footage of melting glaciers. The film has the effect of Ambien — with no hangover post-nap.
So does all the "Global Warming" propaganda. It's turning into a metaphorical iceberg for this Titanic of a theory, flogged as it is by Congressional puffer pigeons and legions of dishonest, always grant-hungry academic scientists preening for the camera. Friedman can hardly believe that DiCaprio's film is "grindingly boring?" We can. "Global warming" hype itself jumped the shark long ago with the release of Al Gore's own exercise in agitprop. "11th Hour" is simply déjà vu all over again.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Rough Draft of History...Whose?

Instapundit links to an interesting meditation on contemporary American history and how it has been shamefully and falsely re-written over the last few decades. I.e., how, again and again, the positive American virtues of optimism, perseverance, and and plain old common sense are ritually trashed by the so-called intelligentsia. They have created instead the enduring myth that America is an evil, bumbling colonial power that always gets it wrong and destroys tens of thousands of lives in the process. You know them. They're the same ones who mythologized the Tet Offensive as an American shellacking and the Vietnam War as a stunning American defeat—both of which memes, objectively speaking, are lies.

Now they're in the midst of trying to play the same game with the current situation in Iraq. Completely ignoring the increasingly optimistic truth on the ground in Iraq, the increasing success of "the surge," our leftist brainiacs, cheered on by their friends in the MSM, are laying the groundwork for yet another enduring myth of American defeat. But the right wing blogosphere is onto their tricks. After recounting the heroism of American soldiers like Jeremiah Denton, Cassandra concludes with this ringing valedictory:

Contrary to the countless media stories of crazed vets returning with PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder], these men are not broken. They endured horrors vastly worse than the average soldier or Marine in today's conflict. Jeremiah Denton survived nearly eight years in a North Vietnamese prison camp and went on to become a United States Senator for his home state, Alabama. How many people know that?

There is hope. Beliefs matter, but what is more important, standing up for your beliefs matters. The support and respect of your peers matters. But even if you are spat upon when you come home, even if your heroism is never recognized, even if your service is forgotten by a biased press that distorts history, you are not defeated, you are not shamed, you are not broken unless and until you decide to be.

The sad thing is that the past is about to repeat itself. What will future generations know about Iraq and Afghanistan?

The first rough draft of history is getting it all wrong again. Somebody get me rewrite.

The Gramscians (or perhaps more appropriately, the neo-Gramscians) who rewrote the history of the 1970s and 1980s—during which mostly conservative administrations actually destroyed Communism as we knew it—would have us believe that the U.S. is sliding toward oblivion, all the better to institute some kind of failed World Socialist Order dominated by, of course, them. This is classic counter-hegemonism as currently espoused by Theodore H. Cohen.

HazZzMat is not as pessimistic as Cassandra, although getting rewrite is certainly the first order of business. We are certainly taking a hit from the Gramscians at the moment and need to rectify the situation. Interestingly, the 'Nam vets, by and large, have been among the first to recognize the essence of this problem. They have become the first to mount the barricades against these Benedict Arnolds, as witnessed during a recent Marxist demonstration in the nation's capital. They're not about to let their sons and daughters in the military receive the same kind of homecoming they received in the 1960s and 1079s. The rest of us need to follow their lead. Sooner rather than later.