Saturday, February 21, 2009
Because the Democrats carefully wrote the "stimulus" bill to ensure that I didn't get one red cent out of it, I'm on my own here. That means I'm counting on you -- The American People -- to help me meet this looming crisis. Trust me, if you've ever had the misfortune to meet Little Miss Attila when she's sober, you don't ever want to see that again. Won't you please hit the tip jar? It's for the children!
UPDATE: Don't be deceived by Little Miss Attila's charade -- no matter how much money you give her, when she gets thirsty, I'll be on the hook for her gin. (And she's always thirsty.)
So give her money for her plane ticket, give her pearls and diamonds and rubies if you want, but for the love of all that is holy, help me be ready when the L.A. Gin Monster hits the Omni Shoreham bar like Godzilla hit Tokyo.
UPDATE II: Welcome Five Feet of Fury readers. Your Canadian hostess has mistakenly described this as a fund to get me drunk during CPAC. In fact, I'll be sober as a judge, as always. The purpose of the Emergency Martini Fund is to prevent Little Miss Attila from getting sober, which is at least theoretically possible. And VodkaPundit's going to be at CPAC for the first time ever, so this year's Cirrosis Derby is going to be a closely-watched competition this year.
Give now: Vermouth is a terrible thing to waste.
With so many problems afflicting America today, especially with the economy in crisis, what purpose was served by [Attorney General Eric] Holder's remarks? Trillions of dollars in asset value were wiped out by the collapse of the housing "bubble" and the ripple effects of that collapse have shaken financial institutions worldwide to their very foundations. It hardly seems a convenient moment for an angry racial harangue from the nation's chief law enforcement official.You should read the whole thing. And here's a half-hour documentary video (a rough-cut of a new production by Nina May scheduled for release next month) that defies Holder's "nation of cowards" slur:
Particularly odd was that Holder chose to deliver his lecture in the middle of Black History Month, when America's school children are annually immersed in the subject of race. Originally conceived by pioneering scholar Carter G. Woodson as a means of inspiring black youth by celebrating the accomplishments of overlooked achievers, in recent decades Black History Month has been hijacked by those who view the story of African-Americans not as one of hard-earned progress, but of perpetual victimhood and permanent grievance.
Most Americans over age 30 have little idea how the teaching of history has been perverted by the damaging attitudes Shelby Steele examined in his 2007 bestseller, White Guilt. And because history has been hijacked by grievance mongers and guilt-trippers, most Americans under age 30 have absolutely no idea of what a triumphant tale our nation has to tell . . .
Here's the thing: If people want responsible commentary, they can pick up the Wall Street Journal. Blog readers love a good flame war, fought by Arkansas knife-fight rules: If you're going to cut a man, eviscerate him.
Run the black flag up the mast and yell, "No quarter!" Pile on the invective and ad hominem. This is not the Oxford Debate Society, it's the freaking blogosphere. Excuse me if I go all "meta" here, but there is method to the madness. When I was a young man, I read Edgar Allen Poe's "Philosophy of Composition" and was struck by how conscious Poe was of attempting to achieve an effect in the reader. Long years of attempting to emulate that idea in writing has created a habit, so that I am seldom even conscious of applying this method.
Blogwhoring and logic
Bashing Greenwald is almost a guaranteed Instalanche and so when I spotted Greenwald's latest Salon column as "featured post" at Memeorandum (Rule 3), my blogwhoring instinct saw an opportunity. Whatever Greenwald's argument was, it was going to be subjected to vicious ridicule. Greenwald was in one of those inter-tribal conflicts with Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic, a pro-Istrael liberal/moderate who accused Greenwald of giving legitimacy to anti-Semtism by publishing in The American Conservative. Oh, boy. "Let's you and him fight."
Having published in The American Conservative twice (a 2004 news-analysis about the failure of No Child Left Behind and a 2005 Super Bowl-themed book review of a Joe Namath biography), I certainly do not consider this evidence of anti-Semitism. (And any left-wing Knesset members who bring this up during the debate over whether I should become the first Gentile prime minister of Israel will be rebuked by those who will attest that I have never violated Genesis 12:3.)
That the editorial line of TAC is consistently critical of the U.S.-Israel alliance is admitted. But to say that everyone ever published by TAC is a Jew-hater -- an "Unpatriotic Conservative" -- is to attribute motive, to position oneself as an expert psychologist administering a Rorschach inkblot test:
"And what do you see here? What does it look like to you?"This is not merely unfair, but invalid as logic. The snipe-hunt for bigotry is a bad habit that liberalism has made respectable, so that there are some who endeavor to dismiss anything I write as "neo-Confederate" -- tribalism is not the exclusive province of MOTs -- by way of avoiding engagement with whatever facts or argument or literary method I may bring to bear on an issue. The fact that I may be prejudiced against know-it-all Yankee meddlers does not mean that Example X (the latest example of Yankee meddling I denounce) is good policy.
"I see Jews! Crafty, cunning, dishonest Jews conspiring against me!"
"Ah! You should write for Scott McConnell."
'A Jet all the way'
So the question of motive in TAC's anti-Israel line is neither here nor there in determining the validity of any particular argument they make in advancing that line, nor does it justify a guilt-by-association smear against Greenwald. On the other hand, this isn't a Forensic Club conference, it's the blogosphere, and when you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way. (Imagine the homophobic reader: "Gee, what's with all those show tunes references?")
If Greenwald is accused of abetting anti-Semitism, this opens him up to the accusation of being that sad stereotype, the self-hating Jew. Greenwald is much more fairly accused of being vain and humorless -- monomaniacally obsessed with being taken seriously -- and so if one were to distill this charge of collaborationist self-abnegation to its poisonous essence, to resort to the most vicious satire possible . . .
There is an art to this, you see. Having lighted upon this theme as the angle of attack, everything else followed logically from there. The original 636-word post was written in the course of about an hour, and when Greenwald responded in a dismissive update, I doubled down with the 157-word update that earned the Malkin Award nomination from Sully. But even before Sully took notice, I'd added a 119-word second update to make reference to my original incendiary reference to Sherman and the Gaza war.
Take a look through the comments from Greenwald's admirers (or Sully's readers) and you will notice a theme: Greenwald is a more intelligent and erudite writer, an all-around better human being than me, because he agrees with them.
"Tribalism," indeed! And if the Left wants to go with the Jet-all-the-way philosophy, who am I to object? But they ought not be allowed to believe that their ideological affiliation constitutes a superiority of intelligence, knowledge or morality, and I will not let them do so.
Loyalty and duty
When I left Rome, Georgia, in 1997 to join the staff of The Washington Times as an assistant national editor, I left behind many good people. I had prayed to get my new job, and was deeply conscious of being on a mission. Why are the good people out there in "flyover country" so ill-understood and misrepresented among the elite in the power axis of Washington, New York and Hollywood? Because they have no advocate, no tribune, no voice capable of engaging the elite in terms that the elite cannot safely ignore.
There are other such tribunes: Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, Pat Buchanan, Phyllis Schlafly, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, Mark Steyn, G. Gordon Liddy, Ann Coulter -- though they differ somewhat in philosophy and method, all of these conservative voices share a common concern for the common people, the Ordinary Americans who deserve better than to be sneered at and misled by the elite.
For more than a decade, I worked loyally at The Washington Times, an opportunity for which I am eternally grateful. But I was merely a cog in the wheel, a "man under authority" (Matthew 8:9) and was not permitted to speak my mind or write whatever I felt like writing. Even when I was vilely smeared, as a "man under authority" I was not at liberty to respond. Anyone who knows me will tell you that the rarest sentence in the English language is, "Gee, Stacy, why don't you tell us what you really think?" But loyalty forbade me to speak, and so I stifled my resentment and soldiered on.
Then came that day in January 2008 when it was announced that a Washington Post staffer would become the new editor of The Washington Times. As one colleague said to me, "If I'd wanted to work for a Postie, I'd have applied at the Post." It's not personal -- people whom I respect spoke well of John Solomon -- but there seemed to be a matter of principle involved. It was as if God said, "Go."
A year (and a million hits) later, I am doing OK as a freelancer, and also earning some money as a video editor, and so the earnest question I was often asked when I tendered my resigination -- "What will you do?" -- seems to be answering itself. But there was something else one of my friends said when I left The Washington Times that ought not be ignored.
"Oh my God -- think of Stacy without anybody to keep him in line!" A loose cannon, rolling around the deck, firing randomly. It's a heckuva thing, isn't it?
Arguments and enemies
Concern trolls wringing their hands over the vituperative tone of blogospheric combat are completely missing the medium's delightful potential as entertainment. "Oh, look, McCain and Sully and Greenwald in a cage match -- I'll pop the popcorn!"
Last month, I picked a fight with Slate's Ron Rosenbaum over Billy Joel. Opinionated by nature, I'm always looking for a good argument. When I worked at The Washington Times, I used to get in arguments with my friend Victor Morton (who has a master's degree from Notre Dame and knows all my rhetorical bad habits). Sometimes these arguments became so hotly contested that the copy desk chief would have to tell us to keep it down, and I'd get so infuriated I'd shout something foolish and walk out. Thank goodness Victor, a pious Catholic who once considered entering the priesthood, never mistook me for an enemy. An idiot, perhaps, but not an enemy.
Friends can disagree -- and disagree vehemently -- and still remain friends. Some of my conservative blogger friends can't stand Ann Coulter, and others insist that no decent human being should ever link Andrew Sullivan.
Well, as disgusting as Sully's Trig Trutherism may be (and I believe I've diagnosed it as a symptom of incipient dementia) he will never admit the error of his ways if he's cast out among the moonbats, with no hope of ever being received back into the fold of decent human beings. Furthermore, Sullivan's past services to the cause of reasoned discourse -- he especially deserves credit for allowing a free-wheeling debate over Murray and Herrnstein -- ought not be forgotten merely because he is now reduced by misfortune to trafficking in moonbattery. And I would be remiss if I did not point out the signficance of Sully having been victimized by Michelangelo Signorile. Signorile does not attack the unimportant.
That people have been threatened and smeared and "outed" because they dared enter the fray as political polemicists is an affront to decency. People saying wretched things about Jeff Goldstein's son, or people publishing Michelle Malkin's home address -- this is a species of nihilism that deserves the utmost scorn. God knows I have a hot temper, and God knows I've been through a few Arkansas-knife-fight arguments over the years, but there is a bright line between invective and violence. If I can be in the same room with David Brooks and resist the urge to beat him into a coma, then liberals ought to be able to resist the malevolent impulse to incite the mob against Malkin.
And when I begin a sentence with the hypothetical supposition that Israelis might some day choose me as their first Gentile prime minister, then the rest of that sentence should be considered in the appropriate context:
- If the publishers of Salon were to hire me as their Middle East correspondent . . .
- If Salma Hayek ever gets bored with her billionaire husband and wants some hillbilly lovin' . . .
- If Ferrari is looking for someone to test-drive their SUV prototype . . .
- If 2% of my blog readers would hit the tip jar with $20 . . .
- If a frog had wings . . .
The polemicist has real opinions and real loyalties, but he should have few real enemies. Cicero's orations against Catiline are a worthy model of emulation, but we must remember that Cicero and Catiline weren't merely writers quibbling over policy. Cicero was a Senator, and Catiline was conspiring to overthrow the Republic (a plot eventually accomplished by the Second Triumvirate, after they'd assassinated Cicero), and Cicero's denunciation of Catiline was an act of state. If Glenn Greenwald and I were both senators . . .
Well, that's another hypothetical, you see. Just like the chance that you might actually hit the tip jar.
UPDATE: Thanks to Kathy Shaidle on the copy desk for the correction. Also, Mike at Cold Fury says in Rain Man fashion, "Sideboobs. Definitely the sideboobs."
- SUNDRIES SHACK: Mileage tracking bad.
- DAD29: Priorities for Wisconsin's Democratic governor? Gay-partner benefits for state employees.
- JULES CRITTENDEN: Bright blue Eric Holder?
- ED DRISCOLL: Presidential failure happens faster in the Age of the Internet.
- VODKA: Blog week in review.
- CONSERVATIVES4PALIN: Democratic governor of Montana attempts Sarah Palin joke.
- LOCOMOTIVE BREATH: Cheap scumbag Chicago politician shortchanges the city.
- JAWAS: War Porn Greatest Hits
- TORREY SPEARS: Upside Eric Holder's head.
- JEFF GOLDSTEIN: James Wolcott must have a masochistic desire for ridicule.
- MELISSA CLOUTHIER: CPAC countdown!
- KATHY SHAIDLE: Islam gaining converts in U.S. prisons; experts are worried.
Attitude I offer gratis; substance you gotta pay for.
Friday, February 20, 2009
UPDATE: Guys, if "I'm the Brilliant One," I'd hate to see the Dumb One. ;-)
By age 15, he was living on his own. He began drinking. He dropped out of high school.And that was before the indecent exposure charge involving a nun . . . and it gets worse. Via notorious hobophobe, Kathy Shaidle.
His early adulthood was characterized by a "sporadic employment history, transient lifestyle and accommodation patterns, substance abuse issues and failed short-term intimate relationships," state the documents.
His first conviction resulted from a 1982 Edmonton break-in. During the next 16 years, he amassed more than two dozen other convictions across Canada . . .
Bakouma died in December of malaria. He was 14 years old.Environmentalism kills. Spread the word.
Bakouma was one of approximately one million people who died of malaria last year. Almost all of them were like him: poor, young, and African. And almost all of those deaths could have been prevented through vaccines, insecticide-treated netting, and (gasp) DDT spraying. Empirical research supports the indoor residual spraying (IRS) of DDT as not only safe, but the most economical and effective method for malaria prevention. . . Facing a mounting death toll across Africa the World Health Organization and USAID have recently lent support to IRS using DDT, but its adoption continues to be opposed by environmental extremists relying on shoddy science and fearmongering.
(H/T: Protein Wisdom.)
Like you needed an expert to tell you that . . . and, I hasten to add, if you think we see them as objects when they're wearing bikinis, imagine how we view them when they're totally stark naked.
UPDATE: Donald Douglas includes a bikini-clad hottie in his analysis of this ground-breaking research (Rule 5). And, rather than merely reacting viscerally to the headline, he actually quotes the article:
New research shows that, in men, the brain areas associated with handling tools and the intention to perform actions light up when viewing images of women in bikinis.OK, resisting the temptation to a homo faber pun, I'll say this explains why I call my wife "The Hammer."
UPDATE II: Jame Joyner gives no linky-love, but still he's good people anyway.
UPDATE III: Noted expert Jules Crittenden:
Well, yeah. It’s a holdover from adolescence, when the sight of a girl in a bikini makes any guy want to handle his tool. Later on, the guy learns how to use dinner, movies, flowers, flattery, alcohol, that kind of stuff . . .Jules, you forgot "sense of humor." Chicks like a sense of humor, especially when it belongs to a millionaire Adonis driving a Porsche. Or a 73-year-old French billionaire. With a billion dollars, chicks will think you're hilarious.
Now, I am friends with some of the writers Greenwald names as contributors to The American Conservative, a publication to which I have twice contributed myself. I understand well what a world of evil is involved in the business of denouncing as anti-Semites all critics of Israel, all critics of U.S.-Israeli relations and all critics of U.S. Middle East policy. The world is more complex than that.
David Frum has recently expressed regret that he and others paid insufficient heed to Iraq war skeptics, but he's never apologized for his "Unpatriotic Conservatives" smear that impugned Bob Novak among others. Oh, that the Bush administration had included some of those "unpatriotic" voices, to counterbalance the "Cakewalk Ken" Adelmans!
Some would accuse Frum of having been biased on the issue of the Iraq war because he is Jewish and Saddam Hussein was hostile to Israel. Frum would naturally be expected to defend himself as having been concerned only with U.S. interests, and to argue that our alliance with Israel furthers U.S. interests. Many other Americans, Jew and Gentile alike, believe the same thing. The arguments for and against that position have been expounded at great length. That is not a debate I wish to revisit here and now.
What I do want to say is this: If Frum were pro-Israel purely because he himself is Jewish, such a sentiment would be entirely healthy, normal and defensible. I expect Sean Hannity to care more for Ireland than for Iceland, and I expect Barack Obama to care more for Kenya than for Cambodia. The Jew who is proudly Jewish, the Arab who is proudly Arab -- these are men I admire and understand, even if I wish their ancient quarrels didn't continually result in hatred, murder and wars that cause me to pay more for a gallon of gasoline.
By God, I remember when gas was 39 cents a gallon and I believe in my heart that if the descendants of Ishmael and the descendants of Isaac could live in peace, we would get back to 39 cents a gallon again. (Providing, of course, President Palin's first executive order in 2013 is to round up the environmentalist nitwits and ship them to Gitmo, where they belong.)
On the other hand, if some of the more atavistic descendants of Ishmael continue vowing to kill every Jew they can get their hands on, then it behooves every Jew with any sense of honor to respond: War to the knife, and knife to the hilt.
When you're a Jet, you're Jet all the way. Certainly American Jews can disagree over the wisdom of Israeli policy, considering that the Israelis disagree amongst themselves. But to denounce Israel as guilty of "terrorism" for responding forcefully to repeated rocket and mortar attacks by those Hamas thugs in Gaza, to denounce Marty Peretz's defense of Israel as "uniquely despicable" -- this is what Greenwald has done, and in so doing has covered himself with dishonor.
The effect of Greenwald's discourse is that Israel can undertake no meaningful action against her enemies without being condemned in similar terms. If it were within Greenwald's power to enforce his policy preferences, Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and every other half-baked cabal of terrorist crackpots would be able to kill Jews with impunity.
The terrorists have no intent or purpose -- no political philosophy or policy aim -- that cannot be summed up in two words: Kill Jews.
If Glenn Greenwald can't see that, he's blind. And if he sees it, but would deny Israel the right to fight back against genocidal hatred, he's perverse.
But perhaps I've told you something you already knew.
UPDATE: Greenwald (who's obviously got Google alerts for all his sockpuppet pseudonyms) accuses me of "trite little condemnations so predictable and over-used that one almost falls asleep reading them," while mocking as "adolescent" Jeffrey Goldberg's response:
[H]e knows that I'm not a revanchist Zionist, but falsely accuses me of being one anyway. What a putz.Does that make me a "revanchist Zionist" or what? Swear to God, if they ever want a Gentile prime minister, my first order would be to deploy the IDF in a north-south line, facing east. My second order would be "forward march" and the order to halt would not be given until it was time for the troops to rinse their bayonets in the Jordan. After a brief rest halt, the order "about face" would be given, and the next halt would be at the Mediterranean coast.
That's my "Middle East peace plan," and until it's carried out, there will be no peace.
UPDATE II: Excuse my extremism, but if you're going to conquer the land, by God, conquer the land. This was kind of the point of my citing Sherman in response to Greenwald during the Gaza war. The South, really, should be grateful that men like Grant and Sherman finally determined to win the war. Otherwise, the headlines would still be all about the latest "incident" in Nashville or the "uprising" in Charleston, with the United Nations dithering about whether to impose sanctions and crap like that.
While I'm opposed to federal tyranny -- and boreal supremacy -- you cannot end hostilities fighting by half-measures. A hard war brings a more durable peace. Notice that the Comanches haven't scalped any settlers lately?
Remind them about their new pro-torture stance! That's always good for extra spittle.Moe's blog-fu is impressive.UPDATE VII: Welcome Instapundit readers! What Professor Reynolds may not realize is that if they let me be prime minister, he'll be my defense minister. But first he's got to get himself one of those cool Moshe Dayan eye patches. Because chicks dig that. (And if anybody wants to hit the tip jar, be my guest!)
Of this I've been accused by Dan Collins at Protein Wisdom. Actually, I suffer from a chronic case of bloggernoia, defined as the sneaking suspicion that other bloggers aren't linking you on purpose.
That is to say, it's not merely an oversight, or the fact that your blog sucks, or that blogospheric giants like Glenn Reynolds and Michelle Malkin get 2,000 e-mails a day from pesky little blogwhores begging for linkage. Rather, the bloggernoiac fears that there is some malevolent intent behind the non-linkage. In the rampant stage of this incurable disorder, the bloggernoiac may fear that other bloggers are talking behind his back, conspiring to deprive him of his righteous share of traffic.
"Is Ace angry that I stole his shtick with that last hobo joke?" or "Did my defense of Ann Coulter offend Charles Johnson?" Or, in the really dark moments of despair: "Has my utter shamelessness become so disgusting that people are embarrassed to link me?"
Bloggers, believe it or not, are human beings and, as such, have been known to harbor grudges and seek retribution and -- because they are scattered across a continent, sitting alone in front of their computers unbathed and unloved -- such foibles aren't exactly unknown among bloggers.
So when it seems like months since I've been linked by Pam Geller, can you blame me for being paranoid? I love Pam, she's prominently linked on my page, we had a grand old time at CPAC last year. What's up with the non-linkage?
Me not know. Me primitive Unfrozen Caveman Blogger. Me fear bad mojo.
Having been obnoxious since birth, whenever things go bad, I always figure it's my fault. And I'm always right. Somewhere, there's always someone sticking pins in a voodoo doll of me, or praying to Ba'al that I should be smitten with a plague of warts. Whatever I did to deserve such curses and vows of eternal enmity, there can be no doubt that I do indeed deserve them in the cosmic, kharmic scheme of things. I am wretched beyond words.
So when the traffic sags and nobody's clicking the tip jar, I start wondering if today's the day all that bad mojo's finally going to come down on my head -- car repossessed, electricity shut off, evicted from my home, abandoned by my family, living in a cardboard box under the bridge without even a decent WiFi connection to comfort me. But if I could just get one more Instalanche before that tow truck shows up to take my car . . .
UPDATE: Oh, no -- they've discovered my secret!
UPDATE II: Dan Collins now accuses me of "stalwart naivete" for believing that bloggers are human. And he's got a point -- not all of them are. For example:
- Dr. Helen is actually an advanced prototype fembot.
- Although many say Ace of Spades resembles an Ewok, in reality he is a satyr.
- Thomas J. Marier is a large douchebag.
- Jonah Goldberg is only half-human. His mother is Vulcan.
- Jeff Goldstein is a spectral image projected by the spirit of an ancient Ninja warrior.
- "Rusty Shackleford" is, in fact, an Internet alias shared by a cell of rogue CIA operatives. The guy who showed up at the YAF 2007 West Coast Conference using the name "Rusty Shackleford" was merely one member of the cell. This national security secret was revealed in the scandal known as RoofieGate, when several College Republican girls claimed they had been drugged and molested by "Rusty." The rogue CIA cell is believed to have killed the agent who compromised their security. Ironically, it wasn't "Rusty" who molested the coeds. However, sources say, everyone with knowledge of the true identity of the perpetrator or perpetrators has been sworn to secrecy, in order to protect the Toronto-based Ruhypnol cartel that funds the rogue agents.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Beirut isn't just a loose city by Middle East standards; it's a loose city by American standards. In fact, it's a loose city by Vegas standards. Pretty much nothing is against the law and the sh*t that isn't against the law isn't terribly against the law.If you're wondering why I slightly censored you, Ace -- yesterday I found out that Jesse Malkin's got me on his RSS feed. So I'm trying to be a little more "family values" and all that. Don't want to get Jesse in trouble with the Missus. She ain't been linking me all that much lately, but if she finds out I'm a bad influence on the hubby, it's gonna be a long slog to 2 million visits, eh?
So I guess I still don't have a real answer to the question.
Oh, let me mention the women dressing sexily. I joked during the Feb 14 rally that the eighties didn't die, they just came to Beirut and mutated.
There's a curiously standard fashion among young girls and women here -- very tight jeans and leather or suede boots coming up to the knee. Sometimes, in a flair I approve of, they roll up their jeans to reveal one or two inches of stockings or tights beneath, before the tights disappear into the boots.
What they dress like, in other words, is all the "bad girls" I was so h*rny for in middle school and high school. If only the feather ear-ring came into style here, it would be perfect.
UPDATE: Just in case anybody thinks this post represents the lowest possible depths of shameless blogwhoring, think again.
Your bigoted comments make me wish that your jaw gets f*cked up more than your hero Ann Coulter's did. . . . I'd like to see you walk a week in her shoes as a homeless person. You wouldn’t survive. You pampered little b*tch.Of course, the "woman of color" toward whom this "open-minded, pluralistic" discourse was offered is Michelle Malkin. The assertion that Malkin's "hero" is Ann Coulter would, I imagine, be equally surprising to both Malkin and Coulter. They are very different writers and very different personalities, and all they really have in common are (a) they're women, (b) they're conservative, and (c) they appear frequently on Fox News.
I rock along somewhere upwards of 60 words per minute. I actually learned to use the tool. Whereas Marc Pascal is a tool.
QWERTY rules. Anybody can get Mavis Beacon and be touch-typing 30 wpm in about six weeks with a little practice. Or not. But don't insist that the tool is flawed because you're too lazy to learn to use it.
Bill Lann Lee, head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, insisted that the LAPD be put under a federal monitor who would dictate nearly every aspect of policing practice and policy for a minimum of five years. Lee presented the city with a massive consent decree that would bind the LAPD to the DOJ's supervision -- and if the city refused to sign, DOJ would take Los Angeles to court. Included in the proposed decree's 180 provisions were mandates to record the race of every suspect whom officers stopped, though the Rampart scandal had had nothing to do with so-called "racial profiling."In other words, rather than having police do their jobs -- busting criminals -- Holder insisted they spent untold thousands of man-hours filling out federal compliance paperwork to prove that L.A. cops weren't "profiling," even though the pretext for this intervention had nothing to do with "profiling."
In their September 2000 call to Deputy Attorney General Holder, Mayor Riordan and Chief Parks stressed that the city was already doing everything possible to prevent a reoccurrence of the abuses and that a federal monitor would only impede the department’s ability to operate and pursue existing reforms. Holder was unmoved. DOJ would either see Los Angeles in court or impose a consent decree on it, he wrote back. The federal juggernaut was unstoppable. In 2001, the LAPD signed the decree, starting a process of debilitating resource-drain and wholly useless bureaucratic paper-pushing. Holder had played a significant role in "negotiating" the decree, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Complying with the federal straitjacket cost the always cash-starved LAPD $40 million in its first year and $50 million each year thereafter, according to city estimates.
Montgomery County's [Maryland] Department of Health and Human Services can't account for more than $900,000 it paid to a child-care center for Latino immigrants founded by a local school board member, according to the county's inspector general.Just show up with some invoices, collect $900,000 from the taxpayers. "It's for the children." Si se puede!
The county approved 70 invoices to Centro Familia in fiscal years 2007 and 2008 without verifying the "validity and appropriateness" of the payments, Inspector General Thomas Dagley wrote in a memo to the County Council on Wednesday. . . .
Centro Familia was founded in 1998 by Nancy Navarro, who is now a county school board member, and Pilar Torres with a goal of responding “to a dire but invisible crisis” concerning Latino immigrant children's early education, according to the organization's Web site.
Navarro, who no longer works at Centro Familia, is running for a vacant County Council seat.
So, if we change the right sidebar to make it 20px or 40px narrower; move all the elements that could use extra width to left sidebar; add the extra width to the main column; and find some way to futz around with the text fonts -- to signal to the reader that the main column is, indeed, the main column -- that should do the trick, yes?
Will consult with our VPIT, Eric Reasons, and try to figure out what we can do to improve the readability. I wish the folks at Blogger were paying attention and would try to create a 3-column ready-made template, so we hillbillies wouldn't have to figure this stuff out on our own. Sorry for the temporary ugliness.
PREVIOUSLY: Miss Attila no like. Me primitive Unfrozen Caveman Blogger. Me like three column.
Want wider center column, like Ace? How?
Me not know.
Side columns make skinny? Stuff fit?
Me not know.
What happen page width go past 880 px?
Me not know.
Maybe blog eat sun. World end. Bad mojo.
It seems like only yesterday that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were promising "the most open and honest Congress ever" in American history."The public's right to know"? Surely, you didn't think Democrats were serious about that?
Reid and Pelosi -- as well as President Barack Obama -- have flooded the airwaves in recent years with fine-sounding words extolling transparency in government, but their actions on the $787 billion economic stimulus package prove the hollowness of their talk. . . .
At one point, Republican Study Committee chairman Rep. Tom Price, R-GA, stood outside Pelosi’s office while the conference report was being written, laughing sardonically because the official conference committee was scheduled to convene at 3:00 that afternoon. He knew the real work was going on behind the Speaker’s door and the afternoon meeting was a masquerade for the cameras.
Considering how Democrats like Pelosi and others on the Left screamed to high heaven whenever President George W. Bush acted against the public's right to know (a not-infrequent occurrence, to be sure), one might now expect to hear similar protests as Democrats in Congress make a mockery of their transparency promises. One would be wrong.
More than 100 House members secured earmarks in a major spending bill for clients of a single lobbying firm — The PMA Group — known for its close ties to John P. Murtha, the congressman in charge of Pentagon appropriations. . . .Yeah, so while the lede of the CQ story portrays this as a bipartisan scandal, in fact all four of the top PMA money-getters were Democrats. Sigh.
In the spending bill managed by Murtha, the fiscal 2008 Defense appropriation, 104 House members got earmarks for projects sought by PMA clients, according to Congressional Quarterly's analysis of a database constructed by Ashdown's group.
Those House members, plus a handful of senators, combined to route nearly $300 million in public money to clients of PMA through that one law (PL 110-116). . . .
Indiana Rep. Peter J. Visclosky [D-Ind.], who serves on Murtha's subcommittee and additionally is chairman of the subcommittee that allocates money for the Pentagon's nuclear programs, earmarked $23.8 million for PMA clients in the fiscal 2008 defense spending bill.
His former chief of staff, Richard Kaelin, lobbies for PMA, as does Melissa Koloszar, a former top aide to defense appropriator James P. Moran , D-Va.
Moran sponsored $10.8 million for PMA clients, and Rep. Norm Dicks , D-Wash., another member of the subcommittee, sponsored $12.1 million.
Visclosky raked in $219,000 in campaign donations from PMA and its employees since 2001. That's more money than he spent in three of his 13 elections.
Murtha's political committees have collected $143,600 in contributions from PMA's employees and its political action committee during the same period.
Moran ranks third, having taken $125,250 in PMA contributions since 2001.
Dicks is fourth at $91,600.
"There's a potentially big story brewing on Capitol Hill. . . . Apparently 104 members of Congress of both parties -- 42 Republicans and 62 Democrats -- secured earmarks for a lobbying firm linked to Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) in a single bill. The earmarks were inserted in a bill Murtha controlled as the defense appropriations subcommittee chairman. The firm's executives and clients are among Murtha's biggest sources of campaign contributions."Huh. Good thing Nancy Pelosi ended that "culture of corruption," right? Somebody should write a book.
When Arthur Sulzberger Jr. refused to talk to his own reporter about the financial condition of the New York Times Co., it was the latest sign of an industry in deep trouble. . . .Well, you can read the whole thing -- click the link, support poor Howard. Give him some pity traffic, people. Because, no kidding, journalism is on the verge of become charity work:
Sulzberger . . . declined to comment for an article last week that described the Times Co. borrowing $25 million at 14 percent interest from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu -- described by the paper two years ago as having a "robber baron reputation"-- while trying to arrange a sale-leaseback of its Manhattan headquarters and unload its stake in the Boston Red Sox.
The Times . . . has barely cut its 1,300-person newsroom, the largest in the business. . . .
Online ad revenue remains far too modest to support the sizable reporting staffs that make newspapers worth reading and enable them to do real digging. . . .
A wave of newspaper shutdowns seems likely this year as revenue continues to plummet. Tribune Co. and the Minneapolis Star Tribune are bankrupt. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Rocky Mountain News are for sale and will probably close if buyers cannot be found. Layoffs, buyouts and cutbacks are endemic. Even among the biggest papers, the Times has folded its Metro section into the paper, while The Post has killed its Sunday Source section and is dropping Book World as a separate section. . . .
[T]he New Yorker's Steve Coll, a former Post managing editor, [say] an endowment should be raised to support quality journalism -- a $2 billion fund that, he says, could underwrite The Post's news operation by spending 5 percent a year. But that not only treats newspapers as a charity case, it raises ethical concerns: Who would manage the fund, who would contribute, and how could the newsroom be protected from donors' political influence?"Ethical concerns"? Yeah -- you're producing goods for which there is no demand, or at least, less demand than would be necessary to make a profit. The fact that something can no longer be done for a profit is a sign from the market, telling you that you should stop doing whatever it is you're losing money at.
Give it up, Howard: Print journalism is going the way of the buggy whip. An industry dependent on reading cannot survive in a post-lterate culture.
Try riding a Metro train sometime and pay close attention to the younger riders, those under 30. They're not reading newspapers. They're not reading magazines. They're not reading books. They're not reading anything. Young people don't read anything any more, except maybe text messages: c u later lol
You picture the college dorm-room scene:
STUDENT 1: Dude, wazzup?So what does this mean for the future of the newspaper business? It means the newspaper business has no future, except as a streamlined, bare-bones, low-budget operation. Oh: With lots of photos of celebrities. The Three S's: Sex! Scandal! Sports! Something like the London tabloids or the New York Post.
STUDENT 2: Reading a blog.
STUDENT 1: Why?
STUDENT 2: Just reading.
STUDENT 1: I mean, like, for a test?
STUDENT 2: No, just reading.
STUDENT 1: Dude, that's retarded.
And no more layers and layers of management. If your ambition in the newspaper business was to become assistant managing editor, you're screwed, because the managing editor of the future will have no assistant. He'll have a clerk/receptionist maybe, but none of this stuff with people paid to sit in offices and attend meetings all day.
The only people who will work at the newspaper of the future will work at the newspaper of the future. That weekly "advanced planning meeting"? Cancelled -- permanently. People in the newspaper of the future will just know their job and do it, and there won't be any time to sit around planning what you're going to do in two weeks or two months.
Every reporter will be a news reporter. The Robin Givhans of the world --- the low-productivity "style" writers -- are a luxury that the newspaper of the future cannot afford.
The newspaper of the future will have fewer specialists, more generalists. And everyone in the office will be expected to do their share of the drudgery -- helping compile the columns of briefs and "community news" and maybe covering a Friday night high school football game, too.
If you want to work at the newspaper of the future, forget about the eight-hour day and get used to the 50- or 60-hour week, working from home on weekends. Vacation? Forget that, too. Maybe you'll get a three-day weekend once in a while.
The newspaper of the future will be nothing like the bloated, boring bureaucratic behemoths over which the Pinch Sulzburgers of the world have accustomed themselves to presiding. And that is a good thing.
TUCSON, Ariz. — A federal jury found Tuesday that a southern Arizona rancher didn't violate the civil rights of a group of illegal immigrants who said he detained them at gunpoint in 2004.They should have got nothing, but that's OK.
The eight-member civil jury also found Roger Barnett wasn't liable on claims of battery and false imprisonment.
But the jury did find him liable on four claims of assault and four claims of infliction of emotional distress and ordered Barnett to pay $77,804 in damages — $60,000 of which were punitive.
Barnett declined to comment afterward, but one of his attorneys, David Hardy, said the plaintiffs lost on the bulk of their claims and that Barnett has a good basis for appeal on the two counts on which he lost.
"They won a fraction of the damages they were seeking," Hardy said.
[B]ack in 1964, [Jack] Valenti was a Houston ad executive newly installed at the White House as a top aide to President Lyndon B. Johnson. And J. Edgar Hoover's FBI found itself quietly consumed with the vexing question of whether Valenti was gay.We distort. You decide.
Previously confidential FBI files show that Hoover's deputies set out to determine whether Valenti . . . maintained a relationship with a male commercial photographer. . . .
Bill Moyers, a White House aide now best known as a liberal television commentator, is described in the records as seeking information on the sexual preferences of White House staff members. Moyers said by e-mail yesterday that his memory is unclear after so many years but that he may have been simply looking for details of allegations first brought to the president by Hoover. . . .
Newly elected Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele plans an "off the hook" public relations offensive to attract younger voters, especially blacks and Hispanics, by applying the party's principles to “urban-suburban hip-hop settings."
The RNC's first black chairman will “surprise everyone” when updating the party's image using the Internet and advertisements on radio, on television and in print, he told The Washington Times.
Now you asked me, baby,
Say, what's my name?
I said I go by the name
Of Stacy McCain
And I'm the best --
I'm the creme de la creme!
My friends are all jealous
'Cause I'm better than them.
I'm a master of the amorous arts,
A well-known breaker
Of the ladies' hearts.
I been breakin' hearts
From coast to coast.
I'm in the Guinness Book of Records
'Cause I broke the most.
Now, it's time to introduce you
To my man Mike.
He's a free-stylin' daddy
Like I know you'll like.
Gonna bring some magic action
To the GOP.
With some super satisfaction
From the RNC.
Democrats ain't that
'Cause they can't bring the funk
Like Mike excites the night
With the elephant's trunk.
Now, let me hear you cheer
The American Dream!
From Maryland, our chairman's
Gonna make you scream.
Like the Reagan Revolution
And like in '94,
Mike's got the Right solution
That you want some more.
See the fact is that your taxes
Are still way too high.
Mama, that Democrat
Is gonna drain you dry.
Now I could keep on syncopatin'
'Til the break of dawn,
But the time for celebratin'
Will be later on.
And just in case you missed it,
Ladies, let's be clear:
Mike's number is unlisted
But the party's right here,
With a hiphop chairman
At the RNC,
He's a mojo repairman --
And you heard it from me!
Is that fresh? Is it def?
Is my jive signified?
Baby, I just bring the beats.
I hiphop. You decide.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Saudi Arabia's most senior cleric was quoted Wednesday as saying it is permissible for 10-year-old girls to marry and those who think they're too young are doing the girls an injustice.Right. You're being "unfair to her." And that doesn't even begin to address the injustice to the elderly sheik, whom these so-called "rights groups" want to deprive of his 10-year-old fourth wife.
The mufti's comments showed the conservative clergy's opposition to a drive by Saudi rights groups, including government ones, to define the age of marriage and put an end to the phenomenon of child marriages.
"It is wrong to say it's not permitted to marry off girls who are 15 and younger," Sheik Abdul-Aziz Al Sheikh, the country's grand mufti, was quoted as saying.
"A female who is 10 or 12 is marriageable and those who think she's too young are wrong and are being unfair to her," he said during a Monday lecture, according to the pan-Arab Al-Hayat newspaper.
After all, who are we to judge? Let's see what the progressive feminist womyn have to say about this:
"[T]he need to confront our racial past and to understand our racial present, and to understand the history of African people in this country -- that all endures. . . . Though race-related issues continue to occupy a significant portion of our political discussion, and though there remain many unresolved racial issues in this nation, we, average Americans, simply do not talk enough with each other about things racial."
-- Eric Holder
Let's start with the fact that some "talk . . . about things racial" is privileged and celebrated, whereas other "talk . . . about things racial" is streng verboten. Also, let's talk about the fact that liberals are absolutely humorless and vindictive douchebags. Or better yet, let's don't talk about it at all, because I'm tired of talking about it, and would never introduce the topic except that it seems to be just about the only thing that liberals want to talk about while they hand each other million-dollar "genius" grants and congratulate themselves on how morally superior they are.
Bite me, Eric Holder, you corrupt thug.UPDATE: ". . . aside from the occasional insinuation that McCain’s a bigot . . ." No, not me -- this time. UPDATE II: Lorie Byrd has an interesting reaction. She also has an interesting photo of Beyonce. NTTATWWT. (Wait a minute -- is that Beyonce or Mariah? Eh, who cares? You've seen one diva, you've seen 'em all.)
UPDATE III: Linked by Kathy Shaidle, who informs me that her "tolerant" enemies consider her very existence a human-rights violation.
UPDATE IV: Eric Holder slanders America
UPDATE V: More courageous conversation!
Atheists claim to value reason above blind faith and individuality above the lock-step certitude of religion. My own rejection of faith, I hoped, would allow me to indulge in wicked thoughts and pork-based dishes. I hoped I could, forever, avoid hallelujah get-togethers, groupthinky organizations and constraining labels.Ouch. Read the whole thing by David Harsanyi in the Denver Post.
Yet, these days, atheists are organized. They're activists. They will probably sue you. They have become exasperatingly earnest, hopelessly serious and unnecessarily pushy.
They have, in other words, become as tedious as Joel Osteen. And there are few greater sins.
Uh, Andrew, maybe you missed the part where I explained that it was a joke. (Rule 4) Tell Russ to buy you a beer and talk things over. No hard feelings on my part. If you ever generate a million visits a year with a crappy Blogspot page, buddy, let me know. (Rule 2)
As you know, a few years back, as a gag, the [Massachusetts] Legislature passed a bill allowing the state’s pony-tailed, trust-funded liberals to voluntarily pay at the old 5.85 percent income tax rate, rather than at the reduced 5.3 percent rate.Read the whole thing by Howie Carr of the Boston Herald.
Considering that in 2000, 40 percent of the electorate voted against cutting the state income tax, you might have expected hundreds of thousands of the blow-in drifters now squatting in Cambridge and Brookline and Amherst to voluntarily ante up.
But no. The state, it appears, is teeming with Leona Helmsleys. Taxes are for the little people, not the Beautiful People.
Here are the latest DOR numbers. As of yesterday, 640,783 individual taxpayers had filed their 2008 returns. Of those 640,783, exactly 293 opted to pay at the higher 5.85 percent rate.
UPDATE: John Berlau of CEI:
The new $75 billion foreclosure avoidance plan to be unveiled today by President Obama, from initial reports, continues the misguided efforts of the Bush administration and Congress to "keep people in their homes" at all costs. Such policies only end up disserving taxpayers, the economy, and frequently troubled borrowers themselves.Read the whole thing, my fellow deadbeats. And my creditors, too: Honest, I'm gonna pay you next week, guys.
Indianapolis - Police arrested a man wanted in connection with a robbery and attempted rape of a 17-year-old on January 4th. . . .It's more common than you think.
Police got a break when officers arrested [41-year-old hobo Louis] McCoin on a shoplifting charge. At that point they realized McCoin was wanted on the other charges.
McCoin faces charges of Criminal Deviate Conduct, A Felony, and Criminal Confinement, B Felony with a $100,000 bond. He was arrested on those charges and transported to the Arrestee Processing Center.
UPDATE: What did I tell you?
BERKELEY, CA -- A homeless man who recently was released from state prison has been arrested on suspicion of peeping, prowling, burglary, sexual battery and a parole violation in connection with a prowling incident in Berkeley last Thursday night, police spokesman Andrew Frankel said today.Ever since the 1980s, when liberals seized on "homelessness" as a tactic to portray the Reagan administration as the second coming of Herbert Hoover, the media have been trying to brainwash Americans to believe that every bum and wino is an innocent victim of circumstance. It's not true.
Frankel said 46-year-old James Beldin, who was released from state prison early this month, allegedly peered into a residence in the 2000 block of Parker Street on Thursday night.
Frankel said one of the alleged victims discovered a prowler who was using a ladder to peep into his girlfriend's second floor apartment window.
Many of those we call "homeless" are psychotics who have been set loose on the streets by the Carter-era policy of "deinstitutionalizing" the mentally ill. Others are recently-paroled criminals who are so anti-social -- drug-addicted, violent or just plain obnoxious -- that their own families won't have anything to do with them.
Liberals who yammer on about the "root causes" of the problem completely miss the point that, whatever the cause of the problem in the past tense, the present-tense reality is that you've got crazies, dopeheads and felons wandering the streets, protected by the cloak of victimhood that liberals have draped around them. And when you call to their attention this reality -- hobo sex offenders who threaten the safety of innocent citizens -- you're accused of "blaming the victim," as if the dopehead criminal bum were more of a victim than his actual victims.
Homelessness is not a "poverty" problem. Poverty alone does not cause homelessness. If you want to understand why this is so, you should read Adam Shephard's excellent new book, Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream. Seeking to refute Barbara Ehrenreich's thesis in Nickel and Dimed -- that the poor were structurally prevented from escaping poverty by the inherent unfairness of capitalism -- Shephard set out with $25 in his pocket, relocated to a town he'd never been to, moved into a homeless shelter, and took work as a day laborer. Within a matter of months, by hard work and thrift, he had saved up enough money to rent his own apartment, buy a used truck, and had thousands of dollars in the bank.
You should read that book, and also read Thomas Sowell's The Vision of the Anointed Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy, which explains exactly what's wrong with the liberal mentality that conceives of drug-addicted sociopathic criminals as homeless "victims."
UPDATE II: Linked by noted hobophobe Kathy Shaidle.
The central idea of the stimulus plan, he said last week, is "to put Americans back to work doing the work America needs to be done." These are "not just any jobs"; there are "jobs that meet the needs we've neglected for far too long, jobs that lay the groundwork for long-term economic growth; jobs fixing our schools; computerizing medical records to save costs and save lives; jobs repairing our roads and our bridges and our levees; jobs investing in renewable energy to help us move towards energy independence." In other words, these are jobs that are totally worth doing on their own merits, because they will deliver benefits that exceed their costs. Regardless of the economy's condition, according to Obama, this money would be well spent.Which is to say, Democrats have just dressed up their pet projects in "stimulus" drag, so that if you criticize Project X or Project Y, you're "anti-recovery." And the media are too busy drooling all over Obama to notice the dishonesty of it all.