Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wicked Witch of the East Rides Tonight

Busy, busy, busy at my real job this week. Thus, the light blogging. But since it's Halloween, I thought I'd take this opportunity to send you all HazZzMat's 2007 Halloween Trick or Treat, with a hat tip to PoliPundit. Where do they get those wonderful toys?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Stanley Fish-ing for Rebuttals to "Indoctrinate U"

Power Line has a good piece on a showing of Evan Coyne Maloney's new flick "Indoctrinate U," which Scott Johnson managed to catch in Minneapolis. Johnson was lucky. The film is basically shown wherever its makers can set up a showing. Its subject: the almost impossibly politicized and Stalinized environment of the average college campus today.

The utter corruption of academia is something that's insufficiently appreciated, we think, by todays parents who take out second mortgages hoping to give their kids a boost in life by helping them earn a college degree. What the kids get instead is nonstop propaganda from a professorial collective that has essentially blackballed even moderately conservative would-be academics from the tenure track, claiming they don't really want to teach college anyway since all they're interested in is filthy lucre.

This is a flat-out falsehood. I know. I was one of the conservative guys who was shut out from academic life in the late 1970s. So don't let any of these unsupervised, lying juvenile delinquents tell you any differently. The result of this nearly unabated hi-jacking of higher education by the Stalinist left is a near-total lack of perspective in pretty near all subject areas, to put it charitably. And filmmaker Maloney is well of this, documenting it in painful detail in his film.

Given its effective denunciation of the left-wing professoriat, the equally leftist entertainment establishment is not about to help Maloney's film gain any traction in the hinterlands. I.e., if you want to see it, you'll have to travel to the film's website and add your name to a petition to get it shown in your area. Unfortunately, we missed the showing in DC, but we're confident it will be back. Scott Johnson gives the film a hearty endorsement as well.

But predictably, renowned wackademic Stanley Fish has a different point of view in the predictably left New York Times. Johnson politely credits him with acknowledging Maloney's "genius," while "pooh-poohing" the filmmaker's pillorying of the university system. Scott is giving Fish too much credit by half. If you read Fish's so-called critique, you'll easily and almost instantly detect the usual cheap tricks employed by lifetime leftists to shift the argument, evade discussing an opponent's valid points, and ultimately attack the opponent's morals or character.

The current hit job is entitled "Yet Once More: Political Correctness On Campus." Even the hed, which may or may not have been penned by Fish, drips of the sneer-fest that's to come.

Before he gets to his topic, Fish leads with a smear, attempting to discredit his opponent before Maloney can even get off a punch:
According to the New York Post of Oct. 7, Maloney, unhappy with the performance of his dry cleaner, began plastering his neighborhood with flyers proclaiming that the offending establishment “sucks and is overpriced.” Now he is being sued for defamation, and he has responded to the suit by declaring that what he did is “clearly protected speech.”
Fish uses this as a segueway into Maloney's film, and it works in a glib sort of way, setting Maloney up as an individual to be reckoned with. But that's just the surface. The smear has already done its job. Even more interesting, Maloney is being smeared with the implication that he's guilty and therefore "sue-able" for doing something American hard leftists routinely get a pass for nearly every day: plastering flyers all over town denouncing anyone, politician or no, that they don't like.

With his commie-symp table set, Fish goes on to describe, more or less accurately, what the film is about by cobbling together a laundry list of Maloney's points, lining them up all the better to denounce them without providing any evidence at all. Maloney's points, as projected by Fish (and edited by me, since this is a Germanic paragraph) go pretty much as follows:
You may think that universities are places where ideas are explored and evaluated in a spirit of objective inquiry. But in fact, Maloney tells us, they are places of indoctrination where a left-leaning faculty teaches every subject, including chemistry and horticulture, through the prism of race, class and gender...where course reading lists are heavy on radical texts and light on texts celebrating the Western tradition; where the American flag is held in suspicion; where military recruiting personnel are either treated rudely or barred from campus; where the default assumption is that anything the United States and Israel do is evil.
Hey, that's pretty accurate. But Fish needs to stand up for his fellow leftists, and now proceeds to play whack-a-mole with very little evidence but quite a lot of condescension. For example, Maloney, and by extension, conservatives, complain (to no avail) how radical leftists are routinely recruited to speak at campuses while conservatives are either ignored on invitation lists, invited and then prevented from speaking, or invited, allowed to speak a little, and then hooted from the stage by the usual complement of brown-shirted leftist hooligans. What silliness, sniffs Fish:
Students who want to hear different speakers should get themselves elected to the committee. Faculty members who feel that speakers of interest to them never get invited should go get a grant or pony up their own research funds (if they have any) or think about going to another department.
Of course, Fish never mentions that the organizations that control the invitation of speakers generally blackball anyone not agreeing with the leftist agenda. So "getting elected" to such a committee is a moot point and Fish knows it. He just isn't going to tell you. By not providing this little snippet of evidence, which any college student will corroborate by the way, he wins a point from any reader not aware of this dirty little secret. Furthermore, he cynically invites faculty members to "pony up their own research funds" knowing that such funds are usually provided via the Feds and are restricted to, well, research. Or, barring that, they should "go get a grant," an equally impossible task as Fish well knows, since the left has taken over very nearly all major grant giving agencies. Fish also knows that even if a right-wing speaker somehow manages to get invited anyway, some university minion will find a way to close and lock the small classroom where the speaker is scheduled to appear anyway.

By sidetracking this issue thusly, Fish evades the question Maloney and the right pose: Why do student activity fees (so-called) always go to Marxist speakers, never, or very nearly never, to anyone else?

Once having finessed this issue, Fish preens by kicking his victim while he's down.
Of course, once a speaker is invited, he or she should be protected from harassment, but heckling and picketing aren’t harassment. They are what you buy when you decide to appear before the public.
What Fish does not mention is that the brown-shirts only show up to trash conservative speakers. Leftists are always listened to with respect and, indeed, rapture. This has happily begun to change just a bit, but Fish is being ingenuous on this point, attempting to portray the small cadre of conservative speakers as a bunch of whiners who can't take criticism. That implication is, quite simply, bogus.

Fish next goes on to challenge Maloney's observations on academia's encouragement of racial segregation on campus due to any number of things springing forth from the quota systems that are still quaintly known as admissions policies. He cites Maloney's juxtaposition of this with old films of 1950s and 1960s integration battles, calling such positioning "dishonest." But what Fish fails to mention is the nasty enclaves of radicals who've managed to enclose themselves in "ethnic studies" departments that are essentially propaganda mills for racists who have used their sanctuaries to re-create Marxian class-struggle along ethnic and even religious lines. Their operation, existence, and structure encourages minorities to bond with their fellows while regarding others as "the enemy." In other words, it's academia itself that encourages this open hostility.

It is perhaps the great irony of our time that these hotbeds of radicalism have effectively been the spur for a "separate but equal" educational system on most college campuses that must have integratonist Martin Luther King spinning in his grave. But Fish chooses instead to aim all this back on Maloney who never had a part in this kind of blasphemy.

Speaking of dishonest, Fish himself is clearly guilty of dishonesty in his next argument, which he purports to handle by, effectively, laughing at it:
Then there’s the matter of speech codes. This is a fake issue. Every speech code that has been tested in the courts has been struck down, often on the very grounds — you can’t criminalize offensiveness — invoked by Maloney. Even though there are such codes on the books of some universities, enforcing them will never hold up. Students don’t have to worry about speech codes.
A "fake issue??" The hell it is. Speech codes have ruined the lives, not to mention the career hopes, of a surprising number of hapless students who've run afoul of them. How is this, for such students, a "fake issue?" (Ask Duke's current athletes what they think of that concept.)

You "can't criminalize offensiveness?" That's exactly what's done all the time to students who somehow manage to transgress university speech codes. They're tried, convicted, and ruined by kangaroo courts without having recourse to attorneys or indeed any kind of defense at all. Students running afoul of speech codes must endure what can only be called "show trials." This has a chilling and intimidating effect on free speech. For any student who might transgress the Party Line. Any parallel speech code violation on the left is okay.

Fish also mentions that speech codes "never hold up." Oh, really? Then why are the show trials still going on? Like the Democrat's legislative maneuvering to legalize illegal immigration, if you thwart speech codes, they'll just show up in new language. Fish's rebuttal is specious and he knows it. But he keeps moving before the average reader knows what he's getting away with.
Another red herring is the accusation that there is too little patriotism on campus. Maloney interviews a bus driver who was forced by a university to remove an American flag because it might make foreign students uncomfortable... Universities by definition are neither patriotic nor unpatriotic; striking political stances in either direction is not the business they are properly in.
Oh, please. There IS too little patriotism on campus. (How many elite schools allow ROTC or military recruiting, for example?) Genuine patriotism and love of the U.S. is actively discouraged by the professoriat as racist, colonialist, and just plain hateful. Any student embracing in public what we used to call patriotism is likely to find himself smack in the middle of a show trial before he knows what hit him, probably for violating a "speech code" that Fish would swear will never hold up in court.

The final statement here is a fitting conclusion to Fish's non-argument, almost shocking in its contempt for readers of this piece. Anyone who is not a card-carrying leftist knows full well that "striking political stances" is PRECISELY the business that modern universities are in. By cleverly inserting the weasel word "properly," however, Fish tries to insulate himself against what we've just accused him of here. Sorry, it doesn't work. Any sentient being knows what Fish really means.

Fish is now so full of himself that he actually attempts to tackle the most telling argument against modern academia today, supported by mountains of irrefutable statistics: the blatant tilt by a huge majority of today's faculties toward the left, generally acknowledged to be in the neighborhood of 92%-95% left and/or Democrat in most objective polls. Fish trots right by the stats, refuting Maloney by making a flat-out statement he simply can't defend:
[Maloney] quotes a student who declares, “The university totally ignores that diversity of thought means political diversity.”

No it doesn’t. Political diversity (a more honest label for what Maloney, following David Horowitz, calls “intellectual diversity”) means that in terms of its partisan affiliations, a university faculty should look like America and display the same balance of Democrats and Republicans as can be found in the country’s voting rolls. But this requirement of proportional political representation makes sense only if you can predict what and how a professor teaches from his or her partisan identification: absent such a correlation, the political makeup of the faculty is not a legitimate pedagogical concern.
Says who? You don't know whether to laugh at a statement like this or put in a call to Tony Soprano to suggest ways to remedy idiocy like this once and for all. Fish says "political diversity" is a more honest label for what his enemies would call "intellectual diversity."

Fish wants to use his own term because he wants to retain control of this non-discussion. Maloney and Horowitz have chosen "intellectual diversity" PRECISELY because it's what they mean. Horowitz in particular is on record all over the web as NOT being interested so much in a professor's politics as he is in the professor's intellectual curiosity and objectivity. Fish is certainly aware of this but insists on using "political diversity" so he can promote yet another flavor of the moral equivalence argument.

Further, you CAN predict what a professor is going to teach if you know he's a leftist. He is going to teach the world according to Karl Marx. He is not going to encourage his students to explore the benefits of capitalism. Thus, the political makeup of a faculty IS a legitimate pedagogical concern. Too monolithic a viewpoint robs a student of any chance of a balanced presentation, encouraging the student to pick up and pass on the received wisdom of Marxism rather than explore alternatives that might contradict academic orthodoxy. Fish knows this as well. Are we sniffing out some real hypocrisy here?

We are. And Fish is happy to prove our point in his grand finale:
In 1915, the American Association of University Professors warned that if we didn’t clean up our own shop, external constituencies, with motives more political than educational, would step in and do it for us. Now they’re doing it in the movies and it’s our own fault.
This is wilfully ingenuous on Fish's part and once again, he knows it. He's a highly-skilled propagandist, adept at effectively committing little sins of omission at every turn, the better to unload on the opposition before they can reload. We strongly suspect that in 1915, the AAUP could never have conceived of the kind of politicization that has nearly ruined higher education in America today. Fish would have his readers believe that his antagonists on the right are the only ones guilty of "motives more political than educational." But, again as he well knows, it is precisely the fascistic, hate-filled leftist mob that rules most college campuses that is "more political and educational."

Having made his declaration of academic disinterestedness preposterous by flat-out ignoring how today's faculties act, confess, and proclaim, it's hilarious to see one of their own openly fearing that things are about to be set, well, aright by the equal but opposite political reaction. A reaction that might never have occurred if the academic idiotocracy had not soiled its own nest by politicizing academia in the first place.

It's typical of the left to falsely accuse the right of crimes the left has already committed. But I think it's too late for them now. They can probably hold out for another generation, but their number is up. People are sick of this, they're going to do something about it, and academia is going to have to learn that they are indeed responsible for their actions. They will soon, as a result, be responsible to their employers as well. Just like the rest of us in the real world. The era of the academic-as-arrested-adolescent is slowly drawing to a close. (But they'll hold out as long as they can.)

Fish is well aware of what's going on here. What he doesn't seem to know is that he's now fighting a rearguard action. And that's how he came to write such a preposterous piece. In the end, preaching his faulty gospel to the same audience over the years has left him in the same pickle as the rest of his fellow Marxist sympathizers and recruiters. He can no longer muster a defensible argument. He has forgotten how to do it if indeed he ever knew how to begin with.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Misleading Headline of the Month

Today's online edition of CNN/Money contains the following swell headline:

Giant tax overhaul bill unveiled

AMT repeal. Lower corporate tax rates. A bill Rep. Charles Rangel offers $1 trillion in cuts. Here's how he would pay for them.

First of all, you have to be on guard with anything Charlie Rangel says, particularly if you value the contents of your wallet. The "$1 trillion in cuts" is the way CNN shills for Democrat Rangel. The "gotcha" is in the next sentence: "Here's how he would pay for them."

In the first place, that last sentence is false. Rangel is not going to "pay" for anything. YOU ARE. Where does money for the Federal budget come from?

Any Democrat's idea of a "tax cut" is robbing Peter to pay Paul (a Democrat supporter), while making sure that this money transfer to Paul is indexed to inflation, meaning that Paul's newly stolen "share" now continuously goes up.

Which means that what Rangel is talking about is not a "tax cut" at all, since, allegedly, the overall tax take would remain the same. That is not a cut. A cut is when the amount of money that the government steals from individuals and corporations goes down. As in the Bush tax cuts. Which are the real target of Rangel's "cuts." Rangel's "cuts," therefore, are simply a re-allocation of resources and money to people who support Rangel. And make no mistake. The tax rates will continue to go up from here.

The centerpiece of Rangel's "cuts" is the hated AMT. He hopes to attract support for his "cuts" by replacing the AMT with something more sinister:
The bill proposes that high-income filers would pay at least a 4 percent surtax on adjusted gross incomes (AGI) above $200,000 for married couples filing jointly.

So for a couple with $300,000 in AGI, they would owe the 4 percent surtax on $100,000 ($300,000 - $200,000). Hence, they would an extra $4,000 on top of their regular tax bill.

For couples with AGIs over $500,000, the surtax applied would be 4.6 percent.

With the repeal of the AMT, the majority of taxpayers with AGIs under $500,000 would pay less than they would under current law, the Tax Policy Center estimates. Under current law, the Bush tax cuts would sunset by 2011 and there would be no patch for the AMT.

Rangel hopes to build support for his "tax cuts" by proving he's still taxing "the wealthy" but has removed the non-inflation guarded AMT that is sneaking up today even on factory workers whose spouses also work. There are also other sneaky things in Rangel's package that are additional tax increases that Rangel is playing down, so read the whole thing, but read between the lines.

The killer, though, is this graf:

More than any other revenue raiser in the bill, this measure is the one that will do the most to compensate for the $800 billion cost of AMT repeal. It's estimated to raise $832 billion over 10 years.

I am constantly amazed at terminology such as that used in the first sentence: "the $800 billion COST of AMT repeal." Emphasis in this quote is mine. THERE IS NO COST OF AMT REPEAL. When the government steals extracts a portion of your paycheck as withholding tax, this costs you money out of your paycheck. It doesn't cost the government anything.

The government takes in only as much revenue, theoretically, as taxpayers feel justified in remitting, as transmitted via the tax code. In other words, taxes cost you and me something. They don't COST the government anything. Likewise, a true tax cut or tax decrease means that taxes COST you and me less. The government, in turn, is going to have to do without something, and this is something the Democrats cannot stand, since they want the government to do everything and have you and me pay for it. But a tax cut COSTS the goverment nothing, because the only money they're allowed to spend is money that you and I send to it based on a grudging agreement as to the "fairness" of the current tax code.

The government works for us, theoretically, at least, not the other way around. If it's time for the Feds to do with a little less, just like you and I have to do all the time, well, then, tough. The government, under a Rooseveltian legacy, still has a tendency to act as if we are its benefactors. In fact, it's the other way around, something folks have forgotten over the last half century or so.

The Democrats have, over the years, reversed terminology. They never apply the term COST to the taxpayer. They apply it to the government. Hence, a true tax cut will COST the government X-billion dollars. This subtle shift in terminology instantly begins to increase the impression that there are some bad rich people out there who are TRYING TO ROB THE GOVERNMENT of its rightful money. Money which, in fact, is rightfully yours and mine. Their preferred terminology creates support for creeping socialism over time, building the impression in people's minds that ROBBING THE GOVERNMENT IS ROBBING YOU. Au contraire. By depriving the government of more and more needless revenue that it will waste, squander, or mail to Charlie Rangel's supporters, you are forcing the government to work more efficiently, to purge useless legacy programs, and to leave more money in your own wallet.

Warning: watch these bastards and their supporters in the media. And put a lock on your wallet. No modern Democrat EVER supported a real, overall tax cut. Not since JFK. Remember that when you read this stuff. All smoke and mirrors.

(NOTE: The only thing useful in this story is that FINALLY, we've gotten a 'Rat to define for us just who is "rich": anyone who's married and filing jointly with a combined income over $200K. Hey, seems like a lot of moolah. But it's all location based. Ask a Manhattan couple making $200K, living in an efficiency that they rent, and sending about half that "income" to the Feds, and the crooks in Albany and in Bloomberg City Hall. They'll tell you how "rich" they are, and they'll use colorful language, too.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Latest on the Culture Wars

Leftie professor associates of mine have lately been indulging in the tactic of declaring the culture wars are over. Conservatives have made their point, they say, so let's

If you get our drift.

The culture wars are far from over and are damn close to lost, so effectively has the hardcore leftists taken over our academic, legal, governmental, and cultural institutions. The development of irritating things ranging from Fox News to the right-wing blogosphere—things the establishment left currently cannot control—freaks these deranged children out, however, forcing them to reveal the fascism that lies at the core of their deconstructed system of unbelief.

That's close to what Mark Steyn is exploring when he discusses what he terms the U.S. "cold civil war" in a piece that appears in the online version of Canadian mag Macleans:
A year before this next election in the U.S., the common space required for civil debate and civilized disagreement has shrivelled to a very thin sliver of ground. Politics requires a minimum of shared assumptions. To compete you have to be playing the same game: you can't thwack the ball back and forth if one of you thinks he's playing baseball and the other fellow thinks he's playing badminton. Likewise, if you want to discuss the best way forward in the war on terror, you can't do that if the guy you're talking to doesn't believe there is a war on terror, only a racket cooked up by the Bushitler and the rest of the Halliburton stooges as a pretext to tear up the constitution.

Americans do not agree on the basic meaning of the last seven years. If you drive around an Ivy League college town -- home to the nation's best and brightest, allegedly -- you notice a wide range of bumper stickers, from the anticipatory ("01/20/09" -- the day of liberation from the Bush tyranny) to the profane ("Buck Fush") to the myopically self-indulgent ("Regime Change Begins At Home") to the exhibitionist paranoid ("9/11 Was An Inside Job"). Let's assume, as polls suggest, that next year's presidential election is pretty open: might be a Democrat, might be a Republican. Suppose it's another 50/50 election with a narrow GOP victory dependent on the electoral college votes of one closely divided state. It's not hard to foresee those stickered Dems concluding that the system has now been entirely delegitimized.

Yeah, and if you happened to have been unfortunate enough to put a Bush-Cheney sticker on your car, the finish by now will have been "keyed" many times over by the juvenile delinquents who've taken over the Democrat Party.

Steyn continues in this vein, making a few telling points:

Well, it takes two to have a cold civil war. The right must be doing some of this stuff, too, surely? Up to a point. But for the most part they either go along, or secede from the system -- they home-school, turn to talk radio and the Internet, read Christian publishers' books that shift millions of copies without ever showing up on a New York Times bestsellers list. The established institutions of the state remain under the monolithic control of forces that ceaselessly applaud themselves for being terrifically iconoclastic:

Hollywood's latest war movie? Rendition. Oh, as in the same old song?

A college kid writes a four-word editorial in a campus newspaper -- "Taser this: F--k Bush" -- and the Denver Post hails him as "the future of journalism. Smart. Confident. Audacious." Anyone audacious enough to write "F--k Hillary" or "F--k Obama" at a college paper? Or would the Muse of Confident Smarts refer you to the relevant portions of the hate-speech code?

Unfortunately, Steyn, a reliably brilliant thinker, doesn't quite seem to know where to go with all this, although his pensées are certainly worth reading. What no one on the right seems to fully recognize, however, is just how thoroughly our educational institutions and cultural institutions have been transformed into, when all is said and done, old-fashioned Communist re-education centers. For the very young, socialism is really the only kind of education they get. They are taught not to think but emote. Thinking is punished, emoting is celebrated. Go to a rock concert, and world hunger is solved. So easy and fun. And so superior to those ugly capitalists who create economies, jobs, and prosperity.

No one on the left ever questions where the money will come from to implement their facile non-solutions. It will come from somebody else, somebody not as "good" as them, someone "richer," even though most of these immature Idiotarians have never known any semblance of poverty.

Being on the right end of the political spectrum is like getting blackballed at a frat house. The young live in fear of this. It's far easier to go along to get along. Neither they nor their immature "instructors" in the educational establishment never get much beyond this extended exercise in self-gratification.

Thus, we get the "me-too" culture, where everyone on the left, trapped forever in a time-warp of arrested adolescence, preens for his or her peers while things fall apart. Nor would these imperfectly formed ideologues know what those things are even if confronted by them; because the world in which they live has been reduced from a place of infinite complexity and awe-inspiring majesty to a claustrophobic box whose limits are defined by cheap slogans, a phony overabundance of hydrocarbons, and an abiding fear of ostracization from one's peers for daring to question the secular religion.

When people who go to the polls lose their capacity to distinguish between Bush and bin Laden, we know that the capacity for political dialogue has ceased. This is essentially Steyn's point. But it seems to bother him so profoundly that he doesn't know where to go next.

Re-Education Camp for Harvard Economists

Provocative snippet just up in Instapundit:
Clicking the link takes you to Greg Mankiw's Blog—Greg being a Harvard economics prof. And indeed, his opening graf here reflects Glenn Reynolds' (Instapundit's) observation:
Recently, I was in downtown Wellesley, in my favorite local bookstore, Starbucks latte in hand, browsing through the new offerings, when I stumbled upon Robert Reich's new book, Supercapitalism. As I stood in the store, I did what every narcissistic Harvard professor (yes, I am being redundant) does: I looked myself up in the index.
But we read on, and things got more interesting. Mankiw goes on to find himself somewhat misquoted, at least contextually, seeming to agree with Reich's observation, viz., to put it somewhat simplistically, that if you tax the living daylights out of overpaid American CEOs, that wouldn't affect the talent pool of overpaid American CEOs. Reich, a former Clintonista and a champion of the "tax the rich" school of socialist economics, thinks this is a great idea, of course.

But economists, we have a problem. The supply of supposedly top level economists is NOT inelastic. It's just perceived that way. There's a similar problem in the rarified world of classical music where famous conductors aren't satisfied with leading just one orchestra. They tread on their names to cop contracts with two or three orchestras simultaneously, shortchanging all three in the process while earning extravagent salaries from each.

Obviously, orchestra boards are eager to generate the PR and supposed prestige that will be conferred upon them by having a superstar at the helm. But what good does it do them if the superstar is only there for one out of 4 concerts? What does their money buy them? And what kind of value does it give the ticket holders?

In the meantime, plenty of junior conductors, fully capable of leading an orchestra to greatness, or at least better ticket sales in a younger demographic, are starving somewhere in the wilderness, victims of orchestra boards who live in a fantasy that only one conductor will do. It is they who are creating the perceived inelasticity in the supply of great conductors. There is, in fact, no inelasticity at all.

Likewise in CEO land. It is a myth that there is an inelastic supply of top flight CEOs. There are plenty of unknowns who can pick up the reins at any company and help the entity to prosper. But boards feel compelled to pay extravagent salaries and perks to alleged superstars who, in reality, quite frequently fail.

"Chainsaw Al" Dunlap was a fairly recent case in point, a notorious layoff artist who built apparent corporate profitability by strewing the landscape with the heads of hapless employees. Chainsaw Al finally was exposed, essentially, as a fraud when his head-chopping and number shaving finally wrecked his last victim, the hapless appliance manufacturer, Sunbeam. And the dopes on Sunbeam's board of directors happily paid him a whole lot of money to do so. They'd have done better by the shareholders if they'd hired a younger, well-credentialed number two or number three away from another company: one with plenty of experience but with enough of an itch to prove himself that he'd come in at a lower price point.

Reich's bright idea of taxing the bejeebers out of overpaid CEOs sounds fine on the face of it. And yeah, they can take it, or move to Europe where they can...well, they can stay in America and take it. But what we're really seeing is the punitive side of the average socialist who'd much rather punish someone than solve the problem.

It's time for our economists to seriously think out of the box on this one. From Chainsaw Al; to the haughty Robert Nardelli, who ruined Home Depot, earning him a golden parachute and a new position heading up the now privately-held Chrysler; to Citigroup's Clown Prince Chuck Prince and dozens more; the landscape is increasingly littered with overpaid idiots brought in as savior CEOs who ended up ruining perfectly good companies. The damage that they do is the problem. Taxing them more will teach them nothing. Firing them will.

So let's abandon the fashionable "taxation as punishment" and "inelastic" CEO supply tropes and start hiring perfectly capable up and coming CEOs who'll eventually earn more when they accomplish more. We fail to see what all the Chainsaw Al clones and their asinine compensation packages are doing to increase American competitiveness along with their companies' and stockholders' profits. These overpaid, egotistical idiots don't need to be taxed more. THEY NEED TO BE FIRED.

How's that for transformative economics, Harvard dudes?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Conservatives Feel the Love from Dee

Some learned observations from "Dee," apparently a budding journalist, who informs readers that "I hate conservatives":
Conservatives are all of the mentally ill people in society. It's not what they claim to believe that makes them so bad, it's the fact that they believe the same things, like in lock step, that makes them so bad. They love to perseverate about black people, ad nauseum and point fingers, endlessly. While the rest of us are trying to make a living, dealing with real life and putting up with daily hassles, conservatives are narcissist who have answers for everyone, on everything at every level. They really need to get over themselves. I am not a liberal but definitely not mentally ill enough to be a conservative.
"Dee" appears to be a proudly "progressive" student in training at the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. The Institute boasts that
For nearly 30 years, the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (MIJE) has helped the nation's news media reflect America's diversity in staffing, content and business operations...The Institute has a history of training and placing more nonwhite journalists than any other single institution in the country.
Dee would appear to be a current beneficiary of the Institute's "training" which apparently includes the application of Stalinist tenets like class hatred and clearly excludes political diversity. It certainly does not perseverate about more mundane aspects of the profession like spelling, editorial usage, and objectivity. But then, that would probably violate minority rights while "privileging" people who can actually write and think.

Obviously, the funniest thing about Dee's Idiotarian screed is her spot-on, unintentionally ironic description of the very fascists she hangs out with.

Personally, I think they are all narcissist and really need to get over themselves.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Nanny State Quote of the Decade

The greater issue, however, is not whether youth mental health screening is appropriate. The real issue is whether the state owns your kids. When the government orders “universal” mental health screening in schools, it really means “mandatory.” Parents, children, and their private doctors should decide whether a child has mental health problems, not government bureaucrats. That this even needs to be stated is a sign of just how obedient our society has become toward government. What kind of free people would turn their children’s most intimate health matters over to government strangers? How in the world have we allowed government to become so powerful and arrogant that it assumes it can force children to accept psychiatric treatment whether parents object or not?...The Psycho State, Rep. Ron Paul, R., Minnesota, 9/14/2004

Whatever your other opinions on Ron Paul, he was on the Nanny State trail when he hammered out this quote for Lew Rockwell's blog. Responding to President Bush (yes! the Nanny State has many disguises) in the President's proposal to mandate universal mental health examinations in the nation's public schools, Paul laid the case on the line.

Do we surrender to the idea that we cannot manage our own lives? Do we surrender to the idea that we cannot be good parents? Do we surrender to the idea that only government can solve our problems, pick up the doctor bill, pay the defaulted mortgage?

If you believe the answer to those questions is "no," welcome to the club. And this club knows what to look for in 2008.


Nanny State In Outer Space

No sooner had SpaceShipOne safely landed in the Mojave Desert, making history as the first privately-funded manned space vehicle, than government officials rekindled their desire to regulate this nascent private industry. Such concern for the safety of future space travelers is commendable but somewhat disingenuous, given Congress' rather poor record of oversight in maintaining the safety of NASA's Space Shuttle program...The Nanny State in Space, Chris Banescu,, 11/1/2004

A brilliant article comparing private enterprise's approach to space travel and development with those over at NASA -- the source may be unusual but what's revealed is not. A typical response to an entrepreneurial effort under Nanny State guidance is to try to control, restrain, or otherwise punish the entrepreneur, usually for the greater good. Let's see, what would that be, the reputation of NASA?


The Nanny State and "Fairness", A Doctrine of Censorship

The Fairness Doctrine was instituted in 1949 as a Federal Communications Commission rule that required broadcasting licensees to provide balanced views on controversial issues. A Democratic Congress voted to turn it into law in 1987, but Ronald Reagan vetoed the bill and the rule was scrapped. In the bloom of freedom, conservative talk radio has dominated...Which is why Democrats want to revive the Fairness Doctrine....The Left's Gag Rule, Editorial, Investor's Business Daily, 10/18/2007

Let's say you're a station manager in a good market, say Cleveland. You're presented with a regulation that says that whenever a political point is made that an equal space of time must be allocated for an opposite point of view. You look at your schedule. You see that Rush Limbaugh has three hours of time between 11AM and 2PM. So, now, by the rules, you have to schedule three hours of time for someone else, say, Al Franken, the would-be Senator from Minnesota. You look at Rush's ratings. You look at the ratings where Franken used to work on radio. You realize that you're going to have three hours that sponsors won't buy. That's when you pick up the booklet from a new network that proposes a guaranteed sponsorship for six hours of lite rock.

This was the predicament of all middle and large market radio stations in the United States from 1949 until Reagan tossed the FCC "Fairness Doctrine". The general solution was to opt for lite rock and to abandon political talk altogether.

What the Nanny state, and its prospective President, Hillary Clinton, refuse to recognize is that market measure is a valid indication not only for products but for ideas. If a huge majority of people don't buy into a set of ideas, such as, say, those offered by socialist Democrats, the market indicator is as definitive as an election. In an election, the losers don't get "their turn". They have to figure out some other program to offer the electorate in the election. Not so in the Nanny State's conception of broadcast media! Nanny says she knows best and anybody who disagrees has to get out of the crib right now.

But in the crib, the Nanny state demands "fairness," i.e. that ideas discredited by the market of listeners deserve equal time. Imagine, if you will, that the leader of the American Nazi Party, if there is any longer such a thing, appeared under this doctrine at a major radio network, and demanded equal time to have "fair" access to the listeners. I suppose Reid and Pelosi wouldn't be that upset if Stalin had "fair" access, if only to counter all those awful stories about the leader of the great patriotic war. But it's doubtful that the vast proportion of radio listeners wouldn't tolerate a Nazi on network radio. How would a station manager respond rationally? "Pitch your crap somewhere else, fella. There's a nice soapbox over at the Garden. Try not to get yourself killed by the traffic."

Freedom of speech means anyone can say whatever they want. It does not mean that anybody else has to listen. Nor does it mean that a broadcaster has to buy an idea that he or she can't sell. The Nanny state disagrees. All ideas, like all people, are equal. Therefore, no idea can have more economic (or social) value than any other.

The natural consequence of this, as broadcasters are private businesses, is that they have historically tossed the talk and bought the rock when confronted by this doctrine. The effect was to censor points of view contrary to socialist Democrats for four decades. Do you suppose that they didn't know this would happen? Don't let it happen again. And don't forget -- the leading sponsor of the return of the "Fairness Doctrine" is Senator Hillary Clinton, the prospective President of the Nanny State.


The Nanny State Doesn't Know Pathogens

We all know the case of Andrew Speaker, the 31-year-old Atlanta lawyer who contracted a highly infectious form of tuberculosis and was able to slip back into the U.S. from Europe via Canada...Speaker did it once. Amado Isidro Armendariz Amaya, a businessman from Juarez, ...did it 76 times — with the full knowledge of the Mexican government and, apparently, our own...while infected with multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), a highly contagious form of the disease...Armendariz's condition was known by the Mexican government for at least five years...[and] by our government at the time of the June hearings on the Speaker case...But Department of Homeland Security employees were warned they'd be fired if the Armendariz case became public knowledge...Why was DHS hiding this information from Congress and the American people?...The airlines on which Armendariz flew...have so far refused to answer whether Homeland Security or Centers for Disease Control officials warned them that a passenger with an infectious disease...was a frequent flier. They cite passenger privacy concerns...Our concern is that our government was so lax about a known health threat from a foreign country....Germ Warfare, Editorial, Investor's Business Daily, 10/18/2007

You can almost hear the prissy little bureaucrat in the background: "don't be alarmed by someone who has skin eruptions and a fever of 104; relax if someone threatens to kill you; be supportive of radical ideas, even if they involve blowing up skyscrapers; don't disturb our other passengers; don't upset our tickets reservation business; don't prejudge a serial killer; don't embarrass the bureau...". Like it or not, Nanny State is in charge of a big chunk of what we like to think of as national security.

At the writer's grandfather's arrival in Detroit in 1912 on The Empress of Ireland, in a scene nicely duplicated in Francis Copolla's Godfather, Part II, if an arrival showed any signs of an infectious disease he or she was put in quarantine. Why do you suppose that was? Was it a vast white conspiracy to imprison Eastern European Jews, or southern Italians, or the sixth wave of the abandonment of Ireland (now substantially reversed since Ireland joined the modern world)? Or did it have something to do with the idea that if a sick foreigner wanted to live here, he or she had to get well first. It was not considered unwelcoming to prevent that person's settlement so long as they could infect and kill hundreds, if not thousands, of people. This was rational policy. The subsequent in-migration of those who had been quarantined contains the fathers and mothers of some very wealthy Eastern European Jews, southern Italians, sixth wave Irish, and millions of others who decided that the first order of business was to become American, whatever that took, and then to take advantage of the system of political and religious liberty, free labor and capital to advance individual and family.

Under the Nanny state, this no longer obtains. Now, when someone arrives, the first observation required is not whether or not the person has a highly communicable disease, such as typhus, or dengue fever, but whether or their status as victim merits inclusion in the socialist Democrat party. This is hardly an exaggeration. Twenty years ago, good friends of the writer's father sought to bring a successful German business family to Florida. They had millions of deutschmarks in investment capital for restaurants they wanted to open (and had a century of experience in running in Germany). They had nary a trace of criminal backgrounds. In fact, since they were Jewish, they were also free of the Nazi taint. As survivors of the nightmarish regime of East Germany, they had long credentials as resistors to communist tyranny. Most of all, they had generations of successful entrepreneurship as background. INS turned them down. They were also turned down on appeal. Why? They weren't oppressed. They didn't have AIDS. They weren't unskilled. They weren't poor. They didn't, in other words, qualify for any of the benefits that being members of the socialist Democrat party entails.

The writer's mother, who was in a wheelchair for the last ten years of her life, after 9/11, was stopped on virtually every flight to and from Florida for extensive searching by airport "security" personnel. While she was searched, the writer's father reported, dozens of men who would obviously fall under the interested eye of security looking out for Arab terrorists, were not even asked to open their briefcases.

This is the Nanny state in action. This is Hillary Clinton redux. Pay attention.


Free Country or Nanny State? Bloomberg & Clinton Represent the Latter

Political correctness is one of the engines of nannyism. Allowing and even encouraging "offensive" ideas is vital for the intellectually health of a free society. Too many of us believe they have the "right" not to hear anything or smell anything or see anything that is offensive. Still, I believe the average American has an innate small "l" libertarian impulse. And that is exactly why nannies will often transform something that is merely annoying, like second-hand smoke, into something that can kill you on contact...It must be added that many conservatives are also ideologically inconsistent on this issue. During the overblown Janet Jackson... controversy, Republicans, who...were advocating the elimination of the FCC, now were entertaining the idea of expanding the regulatory power of that organization to encompass cable and satellite television because a over-the-hill disco singer popped a mammary. There is a difference between condemning the repugnant...and advocating that government protect us from the repugnant. That's the distinction between a nanny and an active citizen. Too many folks, if something is the "right thing to do" government should force us to comply. It's a dangerous idea. Because the right thing is almost always subjective...Nanny State, Interview with David Harsanyi, Jamie Glazov, Front Page Magazine, 10/19/2007

In the Mayoralty of Michael Bloomberg, the Nanny State has found yet another laboratory. Nanny State-ism had long been the province of California, where wacky regulations and laws have been de rigueur for decades, but Mayor Bloomberg's New York, mirrored in the Presidential campaign promises of New York Senator Hillary Clinton, is now a principal center of state intervention in private behavior and state-sponsored lawlessness. Since Mayor Bloomberg came to office in January of 2002, the city has deemed it appropriate to regulate smoking, instruct restaurants on the appropriate fat content in the food they serve (regardless of what customers prefer), has become a leading city in the local attempt to circumvent and violate federal law on immigration, has reinvigorated state intervention in community development through use of eminent domain to subsidize private developers, has pressed for dramatically increased breadth and definition of hate crimes -- in short, Bloomberg is the new state padrone of New York City. Contemptuous of personal choices and liberty, he recently returned from London to tell New Yorkers that they had no right not to be under constant surveillance. All of this, from regulation of consumer choices to destruction of local property owners to bizarre concepts of a "secure" state, is what a President Clinton and the socialist Democrats have planned for the entire country, the utter subversion of liberty and property for "the greater good," i.e., the power and authority of the state.

Harsanyi knows this danger better than most. He came from Hungary in 1969, long before the Reds closed their tank and soldier show. The Reds, in the course of 80 years, killed off twenty to forty million Russians and "allies" for "the greater good". The Nazis, another socialist crew bent on the "greater good" of der volk of Germany, set off a war that killed fifty million more, including six million Jews. When a tiny minority, by lies, cheating, and slander, gains the power to determine what is good and bad, the ultimate results never change. Once a minority presumes it has absolute authority, it will brook no opposition, even if it means killing (or ruining the lives of) half the country.

The totalitarian temptation comes in many guises. We know the big bogeys: Hitler; Stalin; Mao; Pol Pot. But we don't pay attention to another variation of this always fatal infection, the sudden appearance of ranks of people concerned for our welfare, and impatient to the point of hysteria if we disagree with their decisions on how we should run our lives. That kind of soft totalitarian thinking is what's got the socialist Democrat party in a frenzy now. Their whole program has been subverted by it.

Democrats used to stand for equal opportunity with advancement based on merit and achievement instead of on race or sexual preferences. That has been subverted by victim theory to the ideological madness of demanding equal success, where merit, achievement, background, intelligence itself are tossed in the trash in the name of an absolute equality that is observed nowhere in nature. The precedent is not a rural commune under the aegis of Walt Whitman, but the USSR under Josef Stalin.

We will have more on that in subsequent posts. This is to vital to ignore. You might start by looking at this interview.

You should also get Nanny State: How Food Fascists, Teetotaling Do-Gooders, Priggish Moralists, and other Boneheaded Bureaucrats are Turning America into a Nation of Children, Harsanyi's book. It might turn your head from co-conspirators of the Nanny State in either party.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

CA Congressman Goes Starkers Over Bush

Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) reared its ugly head again today as Democrat Congressman Pete Stark (Moonbat-CA)—furious over the President's effective veto that killed off HillaryCare: The Prequel (aka SCHIP2)—ripped the President a new one today in the House of Representatives. And in the process, achieved a new rhetorical low for a party that accomplishes this daily:
During debate on the SCHIP children's health care legislation today, Rep. Stark stated: "You don't have money to fund the war or children. But you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the President's amusement."
Aside from Stark's inability to structure an intelligible English sentence, this sort of rhetoric has become typical of the ad hominem invective that's projectile-vomited from the left side of the aisle nearly every day that the current Congress is in session.

Up for renewal this year, SCHIP was initially designed to provide health care to truly indigent children, as defined by poverty-level family income. The current iteration of SCHIP, designed by the 'Rats to purchase votes in 2008, raised the ante by boosting the eligible income level to encompass not only all children of middle class families, but to qualify kids whose family income could easily be defined as lower-level rich.

Most Repubs are not actually against renewing SCHIP, nor is Bush. But extending subsidized health care to pampered kids in the Hamptons, as the Democrats would like, is just a tad impecunious, dontja think? Not to mention the idiocy of raising taxes on the middle class so that Democrat politicians can hand them (some of) their own money back when they take their kids to the doc.

Chastened by last years' election disasters, in which they were pummelled due to their own impecuniousness (and NOT due to Iraq), Republicans seem to be learning their lesson: they backed the President on this one.

Obviously, this now-failed Democrat SCHIP revision was intended stealth-socialism meant to get us used to the Feds covering more and more people for health care via increased tax dollars. This kind of incremental sneakiness is how the left has been successfully ruining our culture, our educational system, our courts, and our arts for the last 60 years. Why should they stop now?

As we've said before, the Democrats are a party that has fundamentally ceased to be serious. They behave like children, "reason" like children, and, when they don't get their own way, have temper tantrums like children. There are days when you'd like to whack their ample derrières with a paddle. But they've already, ah, flanked us on that old-fashioned remedy, having effectively banned corporal punishment years ago.

Many centuries ago, the Trojans were warned to be wary of Greeks bearing gifts. Times and nations have changed, and that admonition should be updated: Be wary of Democrats who use the word "fair" or the employ the phrase "for the children." And check your wallets.

Our Own Turkey-crats: A Followup Post

Both Luther and Wonker have weighed in on the lunacy of the Congressional Democrats' resolution dumping on condemning the Ottoman Empire's sacking of the Armenians. The timing was clearly meant to screw up the efforts of President Bush and General Petraeus to gradually draw to a conclusion our current efforts in Iraq. But since the 'Rats wouldn't get credit for it, no one else should either. So, hey, let's "support our troops" and raise that American body count again (indirectly, no fingerprints) by crimping military supplies flowing in from Turkey. That way, we can make Bush and Petraeus look bad, all the better for us to win in '08.

After all, it's Bush's War.

Investors Business Daily, whose politics are always right, has expressed its own, more succinct opinion pictorially. (Click image to enlarge.):

(No live link to IBD, a subscription publication. But a hat tip to one of our secret fans for shooting this our way. We keep correspondent identities confidential so free-speech loving moonbats won't key their cars and picket their houses.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Rudy for President????

Seriously. I could get into this. Today's online version of the New York Observer has true-left Noo Yawkers waxing incredulous about Rudy's numbers among Republican voters. Let's quote some of the usual suspects:
It’s the middle of October and Rudy Giuliani is still leading the race for the Republican nomination. His old enemies in New York can’t understand it.

“It’s totally unbelievable,” said Charles Rangel, the dean of the New York Congressional delegation and a longtime adversary of Mr. Giuliani. “I refuse to believe that this could possibly happen to our country. I have too much confidence in our country to believe that this could really happen.”

Thank you, sir, may I have another?

For the first months of his candidacy for president, prominent progressives in New York mocked the notion that a pro-choice, immigration-friendly serial husband with a history of opposition to guns would have a shot at the Republican nomination.

But now, with Mr. Giuliani up nearly 10 percentage points in national polls and unexpectedly competitive in the early primary states of New Hampshire and South Carolina, a mixture of nervousness and disbelief is running through the ranks of his old antagonists.

Gosh, how surprising is this? Could these same "progressives" (read "Stalinists") have had similar thoughts back in 1980 when a twice-married has-been doofus Grade B actor started pulling ahead of the World's Smartest Peanut Farmer? Who knew? Want more? Sure you do.
Norman Siegel, who served as the director of the New York Civil Liberties Union during Mr. Giuliani’s tenure as mayor, said, “I’ve been saying to people in New York, especially the liberal community that I’m proud to be part of, that unless the truth is revealed about the real Rudy, he could win, and not just the Republican nomination, but the presidency as well. Most people in New York look at me, and they say ‘no way.’ They say it can’t happen.
Sure it can. Why doesn't Siegel, former director of the "New York affiliate" of America's original Communist Front group, ask the ghost of the late and not very lamented "film critic" Pauline Kael who actually garnered her true 15 minutes of fame with her refusal to believe that Richard Nixon had won re-election in 1972 against yet another far-left defeatist Democrat, George McGovern; since nobody SHE knew had voted for him. Her Wikipedia entry, probably gussied up by a subtle leftie editorialist, claims this famously stupid quote is apocryphal. But if you know New York Democrats, you know better than that.

Concludes writer Jason Horowitz:
Mr. Giuliani’s detractors lament that his strong showing is a freakish anomaly caused by the overall weakness of the Republican field.
Yes it is, Jason, if you believe that Republicans are not as smart as you. It's probably never occurred to you that the average Republican today is so disgusted with the puerile Pelosi-Reid high school clique currently running what's left of the U.S. Congress, and so appalled at the MSM's anointing of the SMARTEST WOMAN IN THE WORLD as our next President already, that they're figuring out how to win by thinking outside the box.

Ditto for Reagan Democrats, lost to the bumbling spendthrift Repubs in 2006, but ready to come back for almost any reason if Repubs can get their fiscal mojo back. This is called "backlash," remember? Dumb and dumber New York leftists believe they're intellectually superior to the average unemployed auto worker in Detroit. They're not.

Fortunately, commentators on the Observer site are pretty hip to Pauline Kael Syndrome. Let's take a random sample of their snappy remarks:
Mark Green and the other NYC Liberals are too blind to understand how much better Rudy made New York City. Democrats ruled NYC for 100 years leading it down a path of despair and decay. Rudy took NY from a Dem run cesspool and made it a decent place to live again. No he is not perfect. But any honest New Yorker cannot deny what he did .

NY Libs voted for Hillary. A carpet bagging, nasty little New Yorker wanna-be hey seed. Of course they hate Rudy. He's a REAL New Yorker who actually did something while in office!

Charlie Rangel, Mark Green, and Norman there's three fellows I'd really like to have running the show if there was another 9/11. The crybabies in NYC that weren't able to cash in on the tragedy of 9/11 and the greedy survivors always wanting more and never being satisfied...we, in the rest of the US, understand your pain and have deeply discounted it. Rudy has momentum and the chutzpah to carry it off. Get used to it. Rudy is the only one that can beat Hillary and the Republicans know this. He can look at Hillary square in the eyes and ask the hard, prosecutor-type questions that he used to ask the mob before putting them away. What is she going to ask about? His infidelity? That would be worth the price of admission to hear!

Anytime flaming liberals are nervous, then it must be good for America. Charles Rangle? Please. What is this horses as* done for NYS? And, not to mention what has Hillary done? Wait, she promosed 200,000 new jobs for Upstate. Ask the people of Rochester and Buffalo how that lie worked out.

NYC, one of the most liberal cities in the world, elected Rudy twice. That tells me that Dems understand that it takes a Republican to protect them from themselves.

An old cliche goes, "Consider the Source." If Charles Rangel is your harshest critic then you are doing things correctly.

NYC had become a joke before, Mr. Giuliani took over and reigned in the liberal stupidity, (redundancy?)

If the non-producing classes, (progressives, liberals and socio-fascists) are afraid of him, then he will be great for our country.

And finally, from flyover country in the Deep South:
As an active Republican in SC I have to say that opposition from the likes of Rangel and Green will INCREASE the support for Rudy here.

I have not yet decided who I am going to support but this article has given Rudy a boost. Anyone that can get so many stuckup Yankee liberals annoyed must have something going for him.

Pelosi Surrenders through Surrogate Murtha

President Bush: "One thing Congress should not be doing is sorting out the historical record of the Ottoman Empire."

Senator Murtha, predicting that the resolution on Armenian genocide would fail: "We don't have the number of allies we used to have. We've lost so much credibility worldwide." Murtha: Armenian Genocide Vote To Fail, Breitart's, 10/17/07

The high comic point here is that Senator Murtha doesn't seem to realize that the credibility lost is that of the Democrats in the Senate and House who have supported such manipulative and ridiculous resolutions since Speaker Pelosi ascended to head of the House.

Let's see. Pelosi/Reid/Murtha have so far tried to surrender to Al Qaeda, negotiate a separate peace with Syria and Iran, defund a war that American forces and diplomats are winning, and their latest is to try to throw the delicately balanced position of Turkey in both NATO and the Islamic world in the trash for the benefit of their imagined constituents.

We don't doubt that they have constituents. The sad part of this story is that smallmindedness among Republican voters could make this even worse in 2008 by refusing to vote in the next national election. The feeling here is that if W could live with Tony Blair for six years, Republicans could stand Rudolf Giuliani for at least eight.


PS Apologies to President W -- he came out and blasted the Pelosicrats today on this subject, as one can see by the quote.

Pelosi & Reid, the Pierre Laval of 2007?

Last week, Nancy Pelosi and her Democratic colleagues in the house passed a resolution, condemning Turkey for the "genocide" of 1.5 million Armenians during World War I...The event occurred almost 95 years ago...Turkey has become an important U.S. ally...over the past 60 years. Our bases in Turkey provide important logistical support for the War...which is why the Democrats passed the resolution...In the guise of "human rights," the Dems sponsored a resolution guaranteed to upset Ankara...70 percent of the U.S. air cargo to Iraq flies through Turkey...70 percent of the fuel requirements of the U.S. military in Iraq also moves through...Turkey...Turkey also serves as the route for new U.S. armored vehicles to Iraq...That means nothing to Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Hoyer, and the rest of the House Democratic leadership. The only issue that counts is gaining the upper hand on Iraq, and forcing some sort of withdrawal. If that means jeopardizing relations with Turkey, so be it...The Democrats are willing to try anything in their efforts to undermine the war, even if endangers American troops in Iraq, or inflames NATO's critical southern flank. In their calculus, domestic politics trumps everything...Alert the Nobel Committee,, 10/17/2007

To reinforce Wonker's thoughts below, some additional thoughts on the Democrats and Turkey:

Pierre Laval was the last Premiere of the Third Republic of France, brought into office at the 1940 armistice when France was largely intact. Laval, serving primarily party and personal interests, undercut his own country at every chance he got, sabotaging deals, backstabbing allies, sacrificing his country's surviving interests for domestic political considerations. For his efforts, Laval was tried and shot by De Gaulle's forces at the end of the war.

We're not in the same position as France was in June of 1940. We're winning this war. Al Qaeda is not marching down Pennsylvania Avenue. Yet, you'd think they were by the behavior of these ill-begotten, self-righteous hypocrites in the House and Senate. No small part of the blame, however, belongs to a President who has not, and apparently will not, go to the national stage and call the Democratic leadership in the House and Senate what they are: traitors to the cause of freedom; and agents working for a hostile foreign power. As chief magistrate, a title not often mentioned regarding Presidents, the resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has an obligation to do just that. Ronald Reagan wouldn't have hesitated; neither would Harry Truman.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Turkey and Armenia; or, Adult Supervision Needed in Congress

You gotta hand it to the Democrats. How a party that essentially hates the American people and the country's military ever got control of Congress remains a mystery to me, save for the fact that the Republicans paid the price for spending like drunken sailors during the last election cycle.

The mystery deepened over the last few days as the House passed a resolution condemning the Turks for "genocide" vs. the Armenians over 100 years ago. This brilliant move verges on treason.The sole reason for its passage was to embarrass the Bush Administration and make it more difficult for General Petraeus to achieve victory in the current Iraq chapter of the Global War on Terror. Not surprisingly, it probably scored House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a few points with her Armenian constituents.

Hey, don't get us wrong. The Ottoman Empire, in its waning days, went out of its way to whack the Armenians, and no, like slavery or the Holocaust, it was not a good thing. But, like Bill Clinton's bogus apologies to Africa for injustices in the distant past, this idiotic Congressional resolution is a symptom of what the Democrats and their pals in Hollywood and the media do best: making completely pointless and highly public proclamations of their moral superiority in a way that makes them appear like saints while costing them nothing. Where the hell is the adult supervision up there on Capital Hill?

We are not amused at this adolescent bravado. Neither is Thomas Sowell who sees right through it:

If Congress has gone nearly a century without passing a resolution accusing the Turks of genocide, why now, in the midst of the Iraq war?

It is hard to avoid the conclusion that this resolution is just the latest in a series of Congressional efforts to sabotage the conduct of that war.

The Armenian resolution needlessly and pointlessly pisses off the Turks at precisely the point we don't need this in the Iraq conflict. It may force the Turkish government to save face by refusing to allow our military to use that country as a transit point for military supplies. Further, it may force the Turkish government to feel compelled to cross the Iraqi border and pummel our longtime Kurdish allies whose friends, unfortunately, continue to cause a lot of problems in territorial Turkey.

The irresponsibility of the Democrats here is truly breathtaking. They are literally subverting the Commander-in-Chief and the military of the country they themselves have sworn to defend.How treasonous is that? But it's also par for the course, because, as we well know, it's all about Bush, something that Sowell clearly recognizes:

Too many Democrats in Congress have gotten into the habit of treating the Iraq war as President Bush's war -- and therefore fair game for political tactics making it harder for him to conduct that war.

In a rare but revealing slip, Democratic Congressman James Clyburn said that an American victory in Iraq "would be a real big problem for us" in the 2008 elections.

The resolution is unhelpful in another way as well. It has exacerbated the enormous, speculative hikes in the price per barrel of oil, which is going to hit Americans in the pocketbook and help tank our economy while encouraging inflation. All at a time when the huge ripple effect of the subprime mortgage crisis is undermining the entire economy.

But the Democrats simply don't care. Unable to "defeat" General Petraeus and our exceptional armed forces by playing games with military funding and operational capabilities, they're trying to earn points with their Stalinist friends by causing other kinds of trouble. The object, of course, is to put Americans out of work; rout our soldiers on the field; and cause so many calamities to come to a head in 2008 that the Dems will cakewalk to a hat-trick victory next November.

Lose your job? Lose your house? Lose your loved ones in the military because they couldn't get supplies in time? Who cares? The Democrats will be back in power again and will be able to pick up where Bill Clinton left off by stacking the Supreme Court with Marxist justices; creating a Eurostyle Hillarycare entitlement which will work as well as the disastrous Euro-solution does; and de-funding our military to the point where they won't even be able to keep our borders safe let alone pursue Al Qaeda and make sure Iran doesn't get nukes.

Or, as Sowell observes:
Unwilling to take responsibility for ending the war by cutting off the money to fight it, as many of their supporters want them to, Congressional Democrats have instead tried to sabotage the prospects of victory by seeking to micro-manage the deployment of troops, delaying the passing of appropriations -- and now this genocide resolution that is the latest, and perhaps lowest, of these tactics.
Choose your description. Republicans need to get their act together. The last thing we need in a time of war is a nation run with the sense of high seriousness you'd expect from adolescents who are busy trying to cut class, the better to ignore the time-consuming problem of growing up and becoming responsible adults.

Read the rest of Sowell's excellent piece here.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

General Sanchez: Round 3

Silence is still the rule out in MSM Land, but more and more respected bloggers are weighing in on the Sanchez remarks that the MSM DIDN'T report. Or at least they haven't been forced to yet. (See our earlier commentaries here and here.)

Here's Captain Ed:
It seems that half of the message retired General Richard Sanchez intended to deliver missed the cut at most newsrooms, and with most bloggers. Typical among the reports of his blistering oration is the front-page treatment given by the Washington Post's Josh White, the entire first half of Snachez' speech -- found in its entirety here -- gets reduced to a single paragraph at the end of the story. Why? Well, it turns out that Sanchez considered his first target the media itself, which he blames for a large part of the problems he sees in Iraq...
The Captain then cites the General's comments, further edited into normal sentence case. He then provides the following trenchant observations: seems highly ironic that the journalists covering the story attempted to cover up the acidic, biting, and mostly accurate criticisms of their own performance in this war while giving front-page treatment to Sanchez' criticisms of the political structure at the same time. If Sanchez has such credibility and standing to bring this kind of criticism to bear on Washington, why didn't the Post and other news agencies give the same level of exposure to his media criticisms as well? He basically accuses them of cynically selling out the soldiers to defeat American efforts to win the war, and made sure that those accusations came first before his assessment of the political failures, but you'd never know that from the Post.
Italics are mine, as Ed's point here is of the utmost importance. Let there be no doubt: the MSM, in conjunction with the Democrats, have been out to cause a significant American defeat in the Iraqi theater no matter what the eventual consequences.

Neither the Democrats nor their MSM allies can permit either the military or a Republican president to score a military success. To allow such a thing would deal a significant blow to their collective objective of diminishing our capitalist society to the point where it can no longer function. At which point, what's left of the U.S. can be subsumed into some kind of "one world" entity, which is essentially the left's replacement for the fallen Soviet Empire. This is a serious issue and one that Republicans could ride to victory in 2008. If any of them care to pay attention.

General Sanchez: Round 2

Power Line now has a bit more of General Sanchez' assessment of the MSM up on its website, complementing material we dealt with in our previous post. Power Line decided to address the uppercase issue by lowercasing all the text before cutting and pasting. This does make for easier reading. If I get a chance later this weekend, I'll go back to our earlier post and do the same. Meanwhile, I wanted to post some of this additional material.

Early in his remarks, after singling out a few reporters in order to praise their integrity, honesty, and accuracy, Sanchez addresses the rest of the Stalinist horde and quite accurately describes their reprehensible conduct and behavior. Again, keep in mind, this transcript is verbatim, but lowercased by Power Line for ease of reading:
On the other hand, unfortunately, i have issued ultimatums to some of you for unscrupulous reporting that was solely focused on supporting your agenda and preconcieved notions of what our military had done. I also refused to talk to the european stars and stripes for the last two years of my command in germany for their extreme bias and single minded focus on abu gharaib.

Let me review some of the descriptive phrases that have been used by some of you that have made my personal interfaces with the press corps difficult:

"dictatorial and somewhat dense",

"not a strategic thought",


"does not get it" and

The most inexperienced ltg. [Lieutenant General. --ed.]

In some cases i have never even met you, yet you feel qualified to make character judgments that are communicated to the world. My experience is not unique and we can find other examples such as the treatment of secretary brown during katrina. This is the worst display of journalism imaginable by those of us that are bound by a strict value system of selfless service, honor and integrity.
Indeed it is, but they don't care, General. As with their savaging of Brown, in the end, it's all about Bush—perhaps the most astounding pathology of sustained journalistic reductionism in, well, the annals of journalism.

Again, as per our previous post, it will be interesting to see how many of General Sanchez' remarks on the quality of press coverage—delivered to the press but thus far only reported in the conservative blogosphere—show up in the MSM over the next couple of days. Predictably, the media has led with the General's quite-harsh assessment of the political competence, or lack thereof, in both Congress AND the White House. What you will no doubt mostly see, however, is the General's pounding on the Bushies, perhaps a token sample of his poor opinion of the Congress, and probably nothing at all regarding his opinion of the press.

If the blogosphere is able to press this issue, perhaps this will change. If not, the media won't touch it. For, as the General states above, the MSM is solely focused on supporting [their] agenda and preconcieved notions. [Sic.] Which, last time I looked, is called propaganda. Or, at the very least, fiction.

General Sanchez: The REST of the Story

Paul Harvey fans will recognize our headline allusion to a regular feature of his mini-radiocasts. For the uninitiated, Paul spins out an unusual, often gripping story about a famous person without mentioning his name. Cut to a commercial, then back for "the rest of the story," the punchline, in effect.

I drove back into work this morning to finish some stuff I should've finished yesterday. On all-news WTOP-FM, I heard reporters breathlessly pitching the comments of Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez, who roundly savages Congress and, most importantly (for the MSM), the Bush administration for the inept management of our current war efforts. WTOP also posted on its website an AP report underlining the General's anti-administration remarks.

Sanchez—now retired—headed up the military in Iraq before being replaced by General Petraeus. He was, unfairly we think, tarred with blame for the Abu Ghraib kerfuffle, which the media has trumpeted nonstop since 2004 to undercut the war effort. (But they support the troops.)

I was pretty torqued off when I heard this report. But, I suppose, like anyone else accused of malfeasance or forced from office or command, the General is entitled to his say.

Checking out the blogosphere after hearing this report, I was astounded to discover that the General had actually reserved his greatest vitriol for the MSM's lazy, casually destructive Marxist propagandists. The Democracy Project blog has posted this menu pick, and we're going to deliver some tasty slices here. Funny. Not a single word of this emerged in the AP report. Nor have the Stalinist pond scum at Media Matters had anything to say about this reportorial dereliction of duty.

So, HazZzMat fans, let's get down with "the rest of the story," with a hat tip to Democracy Project and to Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds who pointed us there. (Note: for some reason, the cited remarks appear in ALL CAPS.) Referring to MSM "assessments" of what's going on in Iraq, the General notes the following:
As a journalist himself, Wonker can assure you that most editors will instinctively give top billing to a story that raises hell. Whether the hell it raises is ultimately valid or fair is of little matter if it sells papers and ads. If it undermines the troops or the administration, that's their problem, not the reporter's. If the reportage proves false or incomplete, it is surreptitiously corrected if indeed it is corrected at all. Whatever its validity, it has a way of becoming the perceived truth. As the General is all too aware:
The General elaborates:
Now the General gets to his "money graf."
Precisely right. This is how the MSM is "supporting our troops." By killing them.

Bottom line: It seems that Lt. General Sanchez is supremely pissed at today's entire political and journalistic construct when it comes to discussing the Iraqi theater. And indeed, the entire Global War On Terror (GWOT)—which descriptor, BTW, the Democrats and the MSM quietly agreed to abolish earlier this year so as not to dignify "Bush's War" with a greater purpose.

The bulk of Sanchez' remarks and vitriol, however, are clearly directed toward the juvenile delinquents who run today's media empires and who "report" for them. For these lazy, overcompensated leftists, the primary directives are money, fame, and career, not to mention an important value-added benefit: the cooing and fawning adoration they get from their colleagues and the Democrats' cocktail circuit whenever they successfully destroy a Republican or a military reputation. What of the future of America and its free society? Who cares? Pass me a free-range carrot.

Click this link to read the whole thing. Don't expect to see much of this part of the General's jeremiad on CNN. Small wonder the 'Rats are trying to extinguish the conservative blogosphere. Without it, you'd have no chance of learning the unvarnished truth at all.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Fiction of "Fairness" Doctrines

Media Matters used the same tactics against Limbaugh to get Don Imus fired last April. But unlike the Imus case, it had no facts to back its claim against Limbaugh, so its bid for buzz fizzled this time...Having failed with the public, the group may be moving on to Congress. Its Web screeds against Limbaugh have already influenced 41 senators to condemn him to his sponsors in an Oct. 2 letter. Now the American Spectator quotes an anonymous congressional source as saying House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman intends to monitor right-wing commentators...The Plan to Rein in Free Speech, Investors Business Daily, Editorial, 10/11/2007

Oh, and incidentally, Hillary Clinton was one of the founders of Media Matters. A major funding source for Media Matters is, funded by America-hating George Soros.

If Americans remember what country they're citizens in, it's hard to imagine they would support a Presidential candidate who "stood for" such patent nonsense as a "fairness" doctrine whose major effect the forty years it was in effect was to silence most political discussion over the air.


Jay Richards on Gore: Quote of the Day

Gore explains that global warming isn't a political issue at all: "The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity. It is also our greatest opportunity to lift global consciousness to a higher level."

Glad he cleared that up. I had been thinking it had something to do with science...Planet Gore, Jay Richard, National Review Online, 10/12/2007

For some time, Wonker and I have been attempting to explain the fearful parallel of the Global Warming Thesis to other mock religions (communism, nazi-ism, and other totalitarian movements). Like them, it blames a particular group for all the ills of society (those who consume hydrocarbons, you know, the vast proportion of society in the developed AND undeveloped world). Like them, it declares that if these people (you and me) aren't stopped, there will be -- gasp! an Apocalypse, an absolute End of Things As We Know Them Now, and the consequences will last Forever! Only Transforming the Behavior of this Evil Crew will Save the World!


Or Die!

Go home to Tennessee, Al, and concentrate on your tobacco fields and your electric bills.


Gore: An Inconvenient Verdict in UK

As the Nobel Prize committee was pondering whether Vice President Gore deserved a peace prize for his work in raising awareness about the dangers of climate change, a British judge has castigated the former vice president for a catalog of errors in his Oscar-winning documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth."...Judge Chides Gore on Eve of Nobel Award, Nicholas Wapshott, The New York Sun, October 12, 2007

While the Democrat demiurges bow and scrape in the general direction of Al Gore, in the UK High Court Justice Michael Burton drew his bow and fired some arrows at the preening ig-Nobelist -- to wit:

The judge listed nine substantial errors in Mr. Gore's film (Inconvenient Truth). The first was his claim that due to the melting of ice in Antartica or Greenland, sea levels would rise 20 feet "in the near future." The judge said: "This is distinctly alarmist and part of Mr. Gore's ‘wake-up call.' It was common ground that if Greenland melted it would release this amount of water … but only after, and over, millennia."...As for Mr. Gore's contention that low-lying Pacific atolls were "being inundated because of anthropogenic global warming," the judge said there was no evidence that the atolls were being evacuated...Mr. Gore's claim that global warming was "shutting down the Ocean Conveyor," the means by which the Gulf Stream travels over the North Atlantic to western Europe, was met by the judge with a quote from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that it was "very unlikely" the conveyor would be shut down, though it might slow...The judge also knocked down one of Mr. Gore's central arguments, illustrated in the film by graph lines suggesting that the rise in carbon dioxide and the rise in the earth's temperature over 650,000 years showed "an exact fit." While conceding that there was general agreement among scientists that there was a correlation between the two events, "the two graphs do not establish what Mr. Gore asserts."...Judge Chides Gore on Eve of Nobel Award

The Justice did not ban the showing of the film, but suggested that such an alarmist list of misinterpretations might be shown in concert with other points of view.

This won't affect the Demo-demiurges, though. Never let a convenient misinterpretation get in the way of setting policy objectives. That's been a general credo for the Left for a century as it's sent one society after another into turmoil, bankruptcy, war, and, not so occasionally, one Holocaust after another.

The Nobel committee's decision says more about them than it says about Al "Can't Get Enough Power" Gore, however. Some day, we can hope that a Nobel Peace Prize doesn't have a political objective, but don't expect that to happen soon. What you can expect is a whole lot of effort to get Warming Al to run for President.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Giuliani for President?

As the few, the proud, the regular readers of HazZzMat are by now well aware, Wonker is about as conservative as a writer can get. That said, however, listen up. Here comes a modest proposal that might have you doing a double take.

Given the current Republican field of presidential candidates, I'd have to say that their main problem right now is getting anyone in the MSM to say anything positive about them. These media clowns are much more interested in promoting the Hillary Machine 24/7. Or—at least for a few who are not enthralled with the Smartest Woman in the History of the Universe—in touting the virtues of the least-experienced presidential candidate in recent memory, Barack Obama.

Meanwhile, we get the usual negative platitudes about the Republicans, when they're deemed worthy of any platitudes at all. Let's see. McCain is finished. (Which happened when he started talking reality re: the GWOT, alienating his heretofore enthralled MSM fans, who quickly moved on to Obama.)

Tancredo and Paul are fringies not worth covering as contenders but having a right to be heard, although Tancredo articulates many important points that others are afraid to face.

Romney and his Mormonism will continue to be targeted for extinction by the "unbiased" "know-nothing" MSM in spite of his excellent financing and thus far carefully engineered campaign.

Thompson will continue to get denigrated for being too old and too tired by the same clowns who accused Reagan of the same. (Warning to MSM: Don't wish too hard for something. You just might get it.) Oh, yeah, and there's his trophy wife for media twirps to diss.

Huckabee is quirky, lovable, but has no chance. (Veep, anyone?)

Rudy Giuliani? No way he can be the nominee. From marital follies to support for "abortion choice," his nomination would encourage conservatives to stay home on election day. He's just too liberal.

Oh, yeah?

This latter observation might be true for some conservative dead enders. But folks, listen up. And conservative true believers, remember. You don't need to be ideological hacks like your friends across the aisle. You wanna win in 2008? Consider this.

Giuliani is a former law and order prosecutor who actually turned impossible-to-govern New York City around from a corrupt, grafitti-encrusted, filth-strewn, hideous mess into an urban space where you might actually want to live if you could afford an apartment and a tax bill that's bigger than the average annual salary in flyover country. As a Republican, Rudy couldn't have survived in NYC without paying obeisance to a few liberal tics. And indeed, he may even harbor a few of those quirks in his system.

Ted Olson, in an interview excerpted on Hugh Hewitt's blog, has this to say about Giuilani:
Well, A) you can trust Rudy with Supreme Court nominees. He’s the person in America that I trust the most in connection with this. If someone wants to sit out the election because they’re not satisfied with some aspect of Rudy’s background or Rudy’s policy, then he might as well just vote for Hillary Clinton, because that’s what’s going to happen. I think it’s exceedingly important for Republicans and conservatives and moderates alike to take a deep breath, if there’s a high likelihood, as I think there may be, of an even greater Democratic control of both houses of Congress. A Democratic president is going to appoint Supreme Court justices, appellate court judges, and other federal judges, and increase taxes, and increase the federal spending, and doing lots of things that only a Republican president can prevent. And Rudy Giuliani, in my judgment, is the most qualified and the most electable Republican. And anybody on the conservative side that thinks they’re going to sit that out, they might as well contribute to the Democratic victory, and then take responsibility for what happens, because it will be their fault.
Make no mistake. The MSM, and, most of all, Billary, FEAR a Giuliani candidacy though they will never admit it. Why? It's simplicity itself. Like Reagan, Rudy actually has the potential to seriously rearrange the political deck chairs in 2008. Why?

Simple. The media, whether they're just plain lazy and stupid, or, less obviously, devious, have pre-written a standing script wherein if Rudy is the nominee, nobody in the Republican Party will vote for him, and Hillary will win in a landslide. This assumes, however, that not one single Democrat will cross the aisle to vote for Rudy. Or that Hillary, with compellingly strong negatives, will actually win the canonization nomination.

In point of fact, if Rudy runs, Democrats will cross the aisle in DROVES to vote for him, very possibly doing the impossible and tilting California into the Republican column. If not New York. And Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan to boot. Do you think that any blue collar Democrat in flyover country actually LIKES and ADMIRES Nancy Pelosi or Harry "We're Already Whipped" Reid? Are you kidding?

As with Ronald Reagan, who was able to rearrange the standard voting maps for entirely different reasons, there are tons of blue collar Democrats who will be positively THRILLED to have an alternative to Billary, an effective pol that they can seriously relate to, one of the great heroes of 9/11. In spite of his liberal artifacts, he's a Republican at heart when it comes to legal and fiscal issues, the neglect of which caused the Republican whipping in 2006 and NOT IRAQ as the media successfully spun it. Giuiliani will kick Democrat ass and nominate strict constructionists to the Supreme and appallate courts, guaranteed.

In short, he'll redraw the maps like Reagan and send Democrat politicians of the leftist stripe scurrying for the exits. Although he might not win with the Republican coalition that's been in place since Nixon invented it, he can most assuredly win because his candidacy allows an enormous amount of voters, disgusted with their traditional parties, to stick their party leaders in the eye. He can create a NEW Republican coalition. Neither the Democrats nor the MSM can see this because they simply assume that all Republicans and would-be Republicans are as stupid and inflexible as they. Since they are not examining this possibility, they may be in for a well-deserved surprise.

Do not for a moment discount this possibility. You won't see it reported, again, because the media and the Democrats, are incapable of seeing the potential destruction that could be wrought on America's socialist party by Rudy Giluiani.

But Hillary does. Which is why you'll see her supporters attack Giuliani with all the considerable vehemence their propagandists and attack thugs can muster, particularly as primary season approaches.

Think Rudy. Think the Democrats' worst nightmare. Think new coalitions of the willing. You heard it here first.