Saturday, March 21, 2009

Obama Ethics Rules: Bug or Feature?

by Smitty

Newsweak, by way of the Puffington Host, is aflutter because the Obama Administration has
hundreds of top government posts stand empty. One reason: over-the-top ethics rules are disqualifying or driving away some of the best and the brightest
Are we allowed to float the question of whether setting over-the-top ethics rules might, itself, be unethical because it leaves positions unstaffed, and could lead to impropriety?
It's the old law of unintended consequences: in order to satisfy a public desire for squeaky-clean government, elected officials have put at risk a more critical goal: dealing expeditiously with the financial crisis.
Couple of questions for the poor, victimized Administration:
  1. Does anyone, anyone, think that government is, was or will ever be "squeaky clean"?
  2. Does the person in the vegetative state you found in the previous question think that the 111th Congress or the Treasury has been dealing ethically with any of this?
Towards the end of the article we get another taste of "That Darn Technology Done Me Wrong Blues":
Times have changed, of course. There was no cable TV in the 1930s, and government is much more transparent today—not a bad thing. The Obama team has become more than a little sensitive to criticism. "The idea that government is at a total standstill is just ridiculous," says a White House aid speaking under the usual rules of anonymity. "We deserve some credit for what we've gotten done in the little time we've been here, especially considering the environment we're in."
Deserve? Only the Almighty knows what you or the Administration's members deserve, buddy. That the scope of my judgement is limited to the ballot box is surely a feature.

Zobama on PJTV

by Smitty

Little Miss Attila points to Big Mister Zo who will apparently be doing some kind of presidential spoof for PJTV.
You may be familiar with His Zo-ness from YouTube, where his street-wise packaging of common sense is as refreshing as it is offensive to the Republicans Who Really Matter.
What you don't know is that I met the Zo at CPAC and have his autograph on the cover page of my copy of Hayek. So that means I'm kind of a big deal.

Hartford / New Orleans Paint Swap

You've no doubt heard of the collision.
The collision resulted in minor injuries of 15 USS Hartford sailors and a ruptured fuel tank from the New Orleans which resulted in the loss of 25,000 gallons of diesel fuel into the ocean’s waters. Fortunately no damage was done to the submarine’s nuclear propulsion system.
Beyond the press release, some photos of the USS Hartford making way do a lot to assuage fears.
Thankfully, there was no loss of life as in the USS Greenville collision.

'Big Sexy' update

We informed you yesterday that a neutral and objective referee has volunteered to ensure that "The Fight for Big Sexy" is fair (if not indeed balanced). Now Monique Stuart has an update, as does Little Miss Attila, who provides video of the Big Sexy last fall on "Fox & Friends":

Meanwhile, Clever S. falls hard for TrogloPundit. (Go for it, Trog: She digs you primitive types.)

Daffy Math and You: a Study in B0rking the Economy

by Smitty

Mac Beach points to an un-embeddable two minute clip that is well worth your time. Someone with a clue tries to explain to his parents (symbolizing Pelosi and Reid for our purposes) elements of basic arithmetic.

The results would be funny if we weren't awash in enough red ink to sink the Great White Fleet. Bonus points for any commenters who can come up with the IMDB reference on this.

Props to Steve & Steve in the comments, for identifying Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm (1951) as the source.
Anonymous: your link was also appreciated, and we'll offer a shout out to the whole inter-tubes in the hopes of reaching the proper nameless one.

Patterico: 'The Final Word'?

"Conservatives believe that Americans understand that freedom is the foundation of this country. Too many in America started down the wrong path in the last election. But we can't hold these people in contempt, and we can't discount how they will hear the message we preach. Americans are fundamentally reasonable people. And ultimately, our message will win them over -- if we preach it in a proud, confident, and positive way."
-- Patterico
This, as he says on the Tweet deck, is what he means to be "the final word" in his long-running dispute with Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom over Rush Limbaugh and the whole question of conservative "messaging" in general.

My opinion? I'm not sure that the entire Socratic dialogue, amounting to however many tens of thousands of words over the past two weeks, is as important as any 15-minute segment of the Limbaugh show.

What makes Rush different from any other conservative spokesman is that Rush has an independent platform from which he reaches something like 20 million people weekly. There is no network CEO or programming director who can influence Limbaugh. He can't be fired or threatened by some little pencil-necked geek: "Don't say that again, or we'll put you on 90-day probation -- and you know you're coming up on your annual evaluation . . ." blah, blah, blah.

To quote Wally Onakoya, "He is a man, you know."

By virtue of his "talent on loan from God," Limbaugh has utter independence. No radio station that carries him is going to pull him off the air because of a single ill-phrased comment. Having Rush means carrying the No. 1 radio program in America. To pull Rush out of your program lineup means automatically to surrender the lead in your local market.

Therefore, what is remarkable about Limbaugh is not that he occasionally says something like, "I want [Obama] to fail," which can be taken out of context and portrayed as something unseemly. Rather, what is remarkable is that, in 15 hours of live programming weekly over the span of 20 years, Limbaugh has never uttered that one career-destroying gaffe. This suggests to me that Rush is a thoughtful person who fully understands the enormous responsibility that weighs on his shoulders, and who is determined to make his spectacular success a force for good in America.

There is an entire mini-industry of Limbaugh monitors, vile little left-wing worms who spend three hours a day recording and transcribing his broadcasts in hope of catching that one "gotcha" quote. (Pathetic, isn't it?) These nests of vermin specialize in the Ransom-Note Method of partial quotation, claiming to be "fact-checking" Limbaugh's monologues when in fact they're just partisan smearmongers. And then there is the standing offer of a handsome fee for a Newsweek cover story available to any Republican who will denounce Rush. So the man is always a target, always the object of the withering gaze of critical scrutiny.

Do I agree with everything Rush Limbaugh has ever said? What kind of question is that? The point is that Rush "is a man, you know," as the driver of Fairway Cab No. 1 so succinctly put it at CPAC. Whatever Limbaugh's faults, he has that one redeeming value: Courage to speak out, even when speaking out makes him the target of vicious personal smears.

One of the basic principles of military strategy is to reinforce success. If you see a man who fights and wins, give him reinforcements, and bid others to emulate his success. It's like the time when Abraham Lincoln was urged to relieve U.S. Grant of command because Grant was accused of having been drunk on duty. Lincoln answered bluntly: "I can't spare this man. He fights." It's also like the time when Robert E. Lee, confronted at Richmond with George McClellan's much larger Union force, decided to send a division of his little army to the Shenandoah Valley to reinforce Stonewall Jackson. Lee said, "We must aid a gallant man if we perish."

That's why when I see somebody like Kathy Shaidle -- who is to Canada what the Tasmanian devil is to Tasmania -- my instinct is to yell, "Hell, yeah! Give it to 'em, girl! Hit 'em where it hurts and force the cowardly bastards to defend themselves!" Reinforce success.

Tell you what: You find yourself a thousand David Brookses and a thousand Kathleen Parkers, and you give me one Rush Limbaugh and one Kathy Shaidle and, buddy, we'll whup your ass before sundown.

They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty . . .
-- Psalms 69:4 (KJV)
The other day on the phone, I was telling Cynthia Yockey about my admiration for George S. Patton. He was a proud, profane and hot-tempered man. His faults were many, but Patton had two saving graces: Faith in God and a determination to fight.

He believed himself destined for victory, and when he was sidelined after slapping a soldier he considered a malingering coward, Patton felt unfairly cheated of command in the Normandy invasion. He was in a low place, that dark valley that David spoke of in the Psalms, but he was steadfast in his faith.

When the Allies finally broke out of the beachhead at St. Lo, it was Patton who spearheaded the assault. He pushed all the way through to liberate the Brittany peninsula, then turned around and raced southward to crush the German forces around Paris -- a campaign that ranks among the greatest achievements in the history of American arms.

What happened next? Over Patton's vehement objections, Eisenhower reinforced failure, diverting resources for Montgomery's ill-conceived and ill-executed Operation Market Garden, which sacrificed gallant men for minor gains (a tragedy captured in Cornelius Ryan's classic A Bridge Too Far, the film of which I highly recommend.) As a result of this blunder, Hitler was able to regroup and launch the final desperate winter assault that became famous as the Battle of the Bulge. And when the 101st Airborne was besieged at Bastogne, who was it that punched through the encircling enemy to rescue them? Patton, of course.

Constitutional liberty and a free economy, the true principles that conservatives should always aim to defend, are in deep peril. We are in that dark valley. Talk to veteran Republican operatives, and you will find them profoundly concerned about the apparent disorganization at RNC-HQ. If the conservatives are going to prevail in this crisis, it will be up to the grassroots troops in the field.

A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi -- a precipice in front, wolves behind. Yet we see the wheels falling off the wobbly bandwagon of Hope, and we are certain of one thing about Obamanomics: It Won't Work. If truth can get a fair hearing, there is still hope against Hope.

What we need most in this crisis is courage for the fight. We must not take counsel of our fears (click that link to read what is probably my best effort at an in-depth analysis of the current situation). If we heed the voices of defeatism and despair, if we allow ourselves to be distracted by carping criticisms from The Dogs Who Bark While the Caravan Moves On, if we start endlessly second-guessing our gut instincts because we're afraid of offending the sensibilities of the editors at Newsweek -- well, that way lies disaster.

Patterico speaks of the American people as "fundamentally reasonable," and I believe this to be true. When I refer to The Ordinary American, it is this basic decency and the common sense of common people I mean to praise, in contrast to the viciousness and folly of the Establishment elite. (David Brooks being the most salient example of how elitism is a bipartisan problem.) The people may sometimes be misled or deceived, but they cannot be deceived forever.

As the incompetence and corruption of the Obama/Pelosi/Reid regime become increasingly evident, the Ordinary American seeks an alternative. The task of conservatives in this time of peril is to raise a banner around which the good and true will rally. We need a fighting creed, and courageous hearts with strong voices to shout it: WOLVERINES!

Spotlight on Your Favorite Blogger

Ian Faerstein at the National Journal's BlogoMeter has an online interview with You Know Who.

More Scrappleface Goodness

by Smitty

Nobody lays down a quality flogging,
With such consistency while he is blogging,
As Scott Ott does, time after time,
Leaving me to respond with rhyme.

Fuel My Juggernaut Resource Attack

by Smitty

Full Metal Jacket Reach Around Saturday, IAW Rule 2 of ToM-blog-U-fu has been kicked up a notch. You can email me nicely if you've been overlooked, or you can rip my face off (I had it velcroed on USS TwoShipsAgo, for easy re-attachment). The more efficient route is to register on Technorati.

Here I sorted the URLs, then grouped them by whoever sucked up the most often, then applied some other arbitrary rules. These shall not be recorded. Shag legislation, baby. Inter alia, blogging is about ego gratification as much as laughs and learning.
  • The blog celebrates an increasingly good friendship with Cynthia Yockey. I do recall meeting her in the line for an autograph on my copy of "Guilty." This makes me ironically guilty of not chatting her up a bit more. The whole jello wrestling thing is surfing the edge of good taste, at which skill this blog prides itself.
  • Dan Collins over at Protein Wisdom comes next. His mentions wandered from LesbiCon to St. Patrick’s Day a couple of times. Then the sad state of bastardy, and the hope of the resurrection
  • The American Power blog starts off from a standpoint of American exceptionalism and goes immediately to the next step, linking this blog frequently. Here he calls into question the Rule 3 fu. He does recover nicely, picking up the neoconservatives are former liberals who were mugged by reality point. He also buys off on libertarian populism. Keep preaching, APB!
  • The Clever S. Logan continues to brighten the day. Her response to the Tara Wheeler story is exactly the type of linkage for which all bloggers should strive. All Rule 5 posts are indeed welcome. The public declaration of love however, leaves all of the single men in the blogosphere oscillating between hopeful and despondent. :(
  • Moe Lane thinks he has a Rule 5 scoop, stating: "I'm not saying that you can't beat that". Which is good, because, if you look closely, McCain freakin' starred in that clip*. Moe then expressed admiration over the Day by Day 'lanch, and finished off with a note on some of the not-what-we're-talking-about ads that have been seen on the blog of late. I blame Google.
    *No, he didn't
  • She Who Must Be Linked noted both RSM's universal appeal and the Muir 'lanch. I guess Day by Day will be out in dead tree format this year...
  • Dad29, for some reason, wasn't on about the famous speedo shot. He linked the Schaidles post while drawing an important distinction on who are the loudest critics of pro-Israelis. I can think of examples on both sides. Next he notes the hug photo of fellow cheesehead Hackbarth with Moe Lane (NTTAWTT). Is this jealousy?
  • The Political Castaway appreciated the Petraeus post, but that story was quickly, tragically crushed. They also picked up on a HotMES post about the need for Conservatives to communicate, which is something Monique understands more than many.
  • Seymour Nuts admired the pre-Lenten-vow Fisking, as well as HotMES's Testacles about which I have absolutely no comment. Also another shout for the infamous speedo

  • and now those who only linked once, alphabetically

  • Lance Burri thinks Hackbarth in a coat and tie is apocalyptic. The public display of affection was apparently not such a big deal.
  • The Crankycon appreciated the Kathleen Parker blowback.
  • The Weimar America line unnerved Dispeptic Mutterings.
  • Fisherville Mike picked up on some blogger rules, but lamented his lack of speedo photos on the cloudytubes.
  • The weirdly named FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog embedded the now infamous Muir 'strip', then seemed to protest the pictures of men in speedos. Some joke involving "stuck in teeth" wants to form in the mind, but we will resist this.
  • The Jersey Nut gets all LOTR in his anti-Brooksian fervor.
  • Followed by more not-Brooks-love at Just one Minute.
  • Ruby Pratka is another of Stacy's new admirers.
  • The Liberal Values Blog (which title, one could argue, is an oxymoron), offered this entry into the Describe the Democratic Party in 20 Words or Less contest:
    People with a wide variety of beliefs who oppose the authoritarianism and incompetence of recent Republican rule.
    which entry affords me three words to append "opting for worse"
  • Mr. Shown of Rhymes With Clown points to a weak Rule 4 attempt at the NYT.
  • The Right Guy appreciated the POTUS downward spiral tracking offered by RSM.
  • The "Ransom Note Method" receives its due at The End Zone
  • Jason at The Western Experience appreciated the analysis of 'progressive' Republicans
  • Dustbury was taken with the Bad Fast Food Customer
  • Five Feet of Fury noted the Kathy Shaidle picture.
  • Deuce Geary over at Skepticrats has listened to some RSM advice on blogging. We've all much to learn.
Pundit and Pundette pick up where we taper off.
Juggernaut has a completely unexpected etymology. I'd thought it Germanic. Ooops.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Dr. Freaking S. Goodblog's Friday Nite Disco Delite of Linky-Love

By Dr. Freaking S. Goodblog, Ph.D.*
Special Guest-Blogger

Greetings once again, dear chilluns, it is I, your superfine Disco DJ of FMJRA hot pink linky-love! For the second week in a row, your usual host with the most has got to be spending honey-do time with the missus and therefore, at his behest, by special request, he got the best to give you the rest. Let's get it rocking with a few big hits:

Now that we gotcha rockin', it's time for me to remind you that Doctor Freaking S. don't work for free. These hillbillies gots to pay me, see? So you hiphop hotties and disco daddies need to hit the tip jar -- let's say about $10 for the cover charge, but it's always Ladies Night here at the Goodblog Lounge & Discotheque, so we'll pull back the velvet rope and let the sweetness in for $5 each, or 3 for $10 if one of y'all is super-sexy. Now, from the Rule 3 Archives of drastic fantastic classic plastic, here's some more big beats to move your feets:

Now, if there is some blog-jam you want to hear, lemme tell ya what ya gotta do: Send an e-mail to Frequent Commenter Smitty, who's working the bar tonight. Tell the Smittmeister what blog hits you want us to throw down, and we will add the links as space and time allow.

We'll be rockin' the beats 'till the break of dawn, and the Rule 2 action goes on and on, so if you're a blogger who wants to be here, just link this post in your post, and send the URL to Smitty. Then chill, Holmes, whilst we cue up the tunes, and if we don't get ya tonight we're going to get ya real soon.
  • Smitty on the mike. Pundit and Pundette kick off my festivities by posing the question: Is Steyn more eloquent than Burns?
  • They follow that with the revelation that they've got a bigger family than RSM while gently demolishingmocking the First Lady's economic tips.
  • Dan Collins turns in a splendid, lyric effort on Geithner.
  • Dan further forwards some Riehl World View ation on the Today's Clueless Right. Glen Beck was opining that this is all smoke and mirrors to cover the financial gymnastics at the Treasury. Dan's comic poem in the previous link is likely the least of what the fellow deserves.
Feed me, Seymore

Is the picture clear, dear?
Dr. Freaking S. Goodblog, Ph.D.
* Ph.D. = Pretty heavy Dude

The wisdom of the protein has spoken in the comments.
Post theme, sadly disallowing an embed.
Stacy theme:

Update II: How not to do it when emailing smitty
You may be interested to see how I Pine away for the 'Good NEW Days'.
Or perhaps because public shame builds character, you can point out my pitiful attempt at following rule 4... (it really was quite pitiful).
You may also choose to scroll farther down and read the several articles I wrote about AIG a couple days ago.
Clearly I understand as a lowly padawan of such pitiful stature, I am not truly fit to grovel at your feet for this, Rule 2 or not.
How to do it:
See this comment on Equality is for Ugly Losers

'Not surprisingly . . .'

"Most of the poverty in America can be intrinsically linked to the decline of marriage. When cash assistance programs were first introduced . . . during the War on Poverty, less than ten percent of babies were born out of wedlock. For decades long, this well intentioned program had the unfortunate consequence of encouraging single women to have more children out of wedlock and penalized them if they got married or found employment. Not surprisingly, the welfare caseloads exploded and the out of wedlock birth rate steadily rose."


Word problem for the Doubting Padwans of Fu:

Ergo, ceteris paribus:
  • At the current rate of traffic (including relevant calculations for likely rates of increase/decrease), what will be The Other McCain's final daily visitors total for March 20, 2009?
  • Also at the current rate of traffic (including relevant calculations for likely rates of increase/decrease), what will be The Other McCain's final monthly visitors total for March 2009?
  • As of 12:01 a.m., Saturday, March 21 (making relevant calculations based on weekly traffic), what will be The Other McCain's "Average Per Day"?
  • Estimate, to the nearest date, when The Other McCain will exceed 2 million cumulative vistors.
Deadline for eligible entries (either on your own blog or in the comment field) is 10 p.m. ET tonight. This may be on your mid-term exam. No gambling permitted. Hit the tip jar, you ungrateful bastards.

Andrew Breitbart for NetRightNation

Sergio "The Maltese Romeo" Gor introduces Breitbart, who speaks impromptu with a glass of wine in his hand, Big Hollywood explaining why Hollywood and pop culture should matter to conservatives. Watch and learn, ye Padwans of Fu:




Ever wonder why the letters 'O,' 'M' and 'G' were invented?

She is strictly neutral and objective and therefore offers herself as an impartial referee in the Jello wrestling catfight grudge match, The Fight for Big Sexy. Yeah, I know, life is like a box of chocolates but -- Holy Cthulhu! -- I never thought it would come to this . . .

How long until Easter?

Cynthia Yockey was the Good Sapphic Samaritan last week, helping me maintain my Lenten vow (I'm a proud Protestant, but made a promise to a friend who is a notorious Catholic hypocrite), and now as further testimony that the Lord sends "angels unawares," Katha Pollit adds her widow's mite:
But [William Kristol's] presence on the [New York Times op-ed] page reminded readers that David Brooks is not really what Republicanism is all about. Frankly, though, I don't see why there must be two conservatives on the page.
I suppose I should also acknowledge that, via Rule 3, a hat-tip is owed to Matthew Yglesias, even though he couldn't be bothered to read Atlas Shrugged before denouncing it.

Now, I have acknowledged to Cynthia that she is owed an apology, because when I responded at length to her dispute of my views on gay marriage, I ignorantly wounded her -- an unintentional offense, yet an offense nonetheless.

Thinking that Cynthia was currently in a long-term lesbian relationship, I engaged in a hypothetical speculation on the possibility that, should she by misfortune become a "lesbian widow," there would be no guarantee that her next relationship would also be lesbian. Whatever one's orientation or your congenital predisposition, whatever your habit and custom, life is like a box of chocolates, and sometimes a chance encounter becomes a "pivotal life movement." Not until many years later, wondering how you arrived at your present circumstance, do you look back and ask, "When did that road fork? Where did I turn?"

My intention was kindness, but the result was cruelty, for I did not know that Cythnia's 20-year relationship had ended with her partner's death -- after a long, painful, debilitating illness -- on Dec. 7, 2004.

Ms. Yockey has chronicled her devotion to Margaret Ardussi in a page that I promised her I would link. My oppressive patriarchal heteronormativity bids me speak, but as Smitty points out, "He that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding." Therefore, Ms. Yockey, I pray only that my apology is sufficent and acceptable, as it is my continued hope ever to remain
Your most humble and obedient servant,


You Know You're Sucking Pond Water When...

by Smitty

...even you biggest drool buckets are getting sick of your dreck. The Anchoress had an excellent roundup of the POTUS campaignappearance on Leno. However, we should pause for the schadenfruede:
The guy just doesn't know what to say. He can't connect. Emotions are here, he's over there. He can't get the words to match the situation.
This began, I'd argue, from the first moment. He punted on the inaugural. Everybody ran around like crazy trying to praise it because if Barack Obama couldn't give a speech then what?
But now, at week 11, we're face-to-face with the reality, the man can't talk worth a damn.
Let us now enjoy a slightly dusty interjection from special guest commenter Solomon:
Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
-- Proverbs 17:28
It may be time to slip a "No BOT, no slot" rider into some future legislation, making it illegal to book the POTUS in the future without something there telling him what to say. Chances of slipping that into a bill are good with the 111th Congress.

VA Virutcon reports a "Bring it on" from the Special Olympics bowling league. That from Kolan McConiughey, who, it must be said, could thrash me, as well.

A trillion here, a trillion there . . .

"Do any other old codgers out there in my audience remember back when $1 trillion was a noteworthy figure, rather than the minimum price needed to get people to take your policy seriously?"

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Bad FF Customer Feedback

by Smitty

Yesterday's TOM-cat rant about the Bad Fast Food Customer seems to have struck a nerve in Dustbury, but it's OK. You see, Trolling Technorati is a variation on Rule 3 for us wee interns at The Other McCain School of Blogadelic Arts and Craftiness.

Dustbury, besides demonstrating the exquisite taste to quote this blog at length, also used the word "corksoaking", alluding to a most venerable post of his.

This post precedes this (basically) NSFW SNL clip by about a year:

Saturday Night Live - Cork Soakers Season: 29

The meta-joke is watching Janet Jackson attempt to keep a straight face while reading the prompter. Kristen Wiig she ain't.

The Dark Night of Patriarchal Oppression

Big hat tip to Dan Collins for discovering this groundshaking documentary video, exposing the heinous reality of misogynistic sexism before the triumph of the women's movement:

Shameless blogwhoring works!

By relentless application of Rule 1 -- and also applying Rule 5 to Harvard-educated Matt Yglesias -- Donald Douglas gets his first Instalanche, yet another success story for The Other McCain School of Blogging. (Dan Collins please note: If Professor Douglas has "a nice set of cans," that's news to me!)

U.S. spawns record number of bastards

No, we're not talking about Tim Geithner or Chris Dodd, but those 1,714,643 babies born to unmarried women in 2007, according to the National Center for Health Statistics (PDF). Way to go ladies! Just glut the market with free milk so nobody can sell a cow! And congratulations is also due to America's teenage boys and all you other guys who like to shag teenage girls, the New York Times reports:
Also in 2007, for the second straight year and in a trend health officials find worrisome, the rate of births to teenagers rose slightly after declining by one-third from 1991 to 2005.
Score! And of course, we must celebrate diversity:
Racial and ethnic differences remain large: 28 percent of white babies were born to unmarried mothers in 2007, compared with 51 percent of Hispanic babies and 72 percent of black babies. The shares of births to unwed mothers among whites and Hispanics have climbed faster than the share among blacks, but from lower starting points.
More bastards, more knocked-up teenagers -- the future of Weimar America looks bright!

Classic Robert Bork

by Smitty

Hard Truths About the Culture War is 14 years old, but one of those pieces upon which the ink never dries.

Individualism and egalitarianism may seem an odd pair, since liberty in any degree produces inequality, while equality of outcomes requires coercion that destroys liberty. If they are to operate simultaneously, radical egalitarianism and radical individualism, where they do not complement one another, must operate in different areas of life, and that is precisely what we see in today's culture.
Radical egalitarianism advances, on the one hand, in areas of life and society where superior achievement is possible and would be rewarded but for coerced equality: quotas, affirmative action, income redistribution through progressive taxation for some, entitlement programs for others, and the tyranny of political correctness spreading through universities, primary and secondary schools, government, and even the private sector. Radical individualism, on the other hand, is demanded when there is no danger that achievement will produce inequality and people wish to be unhindered in the pursuit of pleasure. This finds expression particularly in the areas of sexuality and violence, and their vicarious enjoyment in popular entertainment.
Given a standard normal distribution of talent, egalitarianism must try to regress everyone to the mean where there are any "materialistic" side-effects. The modern liberal overlords will trumpet radical individualism as both a distractor, and a means of enslavement. Break down families, desensitize people to the violence of abortion, etc. in the name of guiltless "freedom".

Individualism and egalitarianism do not always divide the labor of producing cultural decay. Often enough they collaborate. When egalitarianism reinforces individualism, denying the possibility that one culture or moral view can be superior to another, the result is cultural and moral relativism, whose end products include multiculturalism, sexual license, obscenity in the popular arts, an unwillingness to punish crime adequately and, sometimes, even to convict the obviously guilty. Both the individualist and the egalitarian (usually in the same skin) are antagonistic to society's traditional hierarchies or lines of authority-the one because his pleasures can be maximized only by freedom from authority, the other because he resents any distinction among people or forms of behavior that suggests superiority in one or the other.
This thought is developed and expanded with great wit by Mr. Sayet.

Modern liberalism employs the rhetoric of "rights" incessantly to delegitimize restraints on individuals by communities. It is a pernicious rhetoric because it asserts a right without giving reasons. If there is to be anything that can be called a community, the case for previously unrecognized individual freedoms must be thought through, and "rights" cannot win every time.
And do note the Federal government championing new rights (sans responsibilities) which always seem to trade freedom of action for freedom from fear. "Hush now baby, baby, don't you cry..." as Roger Waters put it.

Are there any other such nuggets as this piece out there?

Commenter TomM alludes to an outing on martinis.

Another amazing alumni success story from The Other McCain School of Blogging

Not only did one of my clients get more than 8,000 hits in just her first 15 days of blogging, but she also finally got Big Sexy to send her that box of Godiva chocolate:

Everybody give her a Rule 2. Yes, that includes you, Monique. You can get your revenge in the Jello wrestling match later.

News of the death of newspapers

Not greatly exaggerated:

And the Dan Rather Award For Outstanding Cluelessness in Journalism goes to whatever Fullerton (Calif.) College student wrote this idiotic editorial in the campus Hornet:

A disturbing trend that also effects newspapers is the rise of the bloggers and the steady increase in their following. There are multiple problems with blogs.
It is impossible to decipher whether or not a blog is being posted by legitimate writers, who have been educated in journalism, or the average Joe, who does not know how to properly write a concise, well-thought out article. Without proper editors, blogs allow themselves to be polluted by unimpressive stories and writing.
Many bloggers also have the tendency of ignoring facts to support their own agendas, effectively eliminating unbiased journalism and creating a plethora of questions regarding ethics. If this trend of growing bloggers continues, newspapers may become glorified blogs themselves. Trying to stay informed in a newspaperless world would be an arduous, time consuming task, of scanning through countless blogs to find unbiased, factual news. We must make sacrifices now, to preserve the future of our profession.

To our award winner -- assuming his or her classmates print out this post and bring it to journalism class or the Hornet office for the edification of their friend, the laughingstock -- let me explain a few things:

  • To begin with, you used "effect" when "affect" was the word you wanted. (Spellcheck doesn't catch homonyms.)
  • If you ever learn "how to properly write a concise, well-thought out article," be sure and let us know.
  • You are absolutely right: Without a "proper" editor, I have quoted your editorial and thus allowed my blog "to be polluted by unimpressive stories and writing."
  • Does it occur to you that "this trend of growing bloggers" includes many people who are "legitimate writers, who have been educated in journalism" and who might be quite happy to work for a newspaper, except that the whole supply-demand thing makes it more lucrative for them to blog?
  • Speaking of "lucrative," as a sideline, I've got a little consulting business teaching newbies to blog. Hit the tip jar, read The Rules, send me an e-mail and let's talk, OK? (Include the word "Cthulhu" in the subject line.)
  • On the other hand, you might be better suited for another online career, as what we call a "concern troll."
  • Has it ever crossed your mind that if newspapers are declining and blogs are growing, then the practicioners of failure ought not take a lecturing tone with the practicioners of success?
In conclusion, my dear clueless Fullerton College Journalism Student, I could summarize my response in two words, but will limit myself to one: Heh.

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers! I was just working on a long post about Charles Winecoff's Damascus Road apostasy from the gay rights movement, when I took a break and checked my SiteMeter and -- kazart! -- Professor Glenn Reynolds hit me when I wasn't looking. ("You said the secret word," to quote Groucho Marx from "You Bet Your Life.")

Newcomers please click around to the linkage and if you haven't yet contributed to the David Brooks Fisking Fund, then hit the tip jar, you ungrateful bastards. Tuesday's coming soon.

UPDATE II: Comments are moderated, and servicing the Instalanche traffic thus requires me to put aside the draft of my Winecoff post for a while, so I will ask you to check out Cynthia "Nice Cans" Yockey:
Charles, I came out in 1972 and I have a question for you: "When was the gay and lesbian community EVER nice?" Because I can't think of a time.
Being a strictly objective professional journalist blogger, my ethical code requires that I remain neutral in this pink-on-lavender dispute. My point about Winecoff's disillusionment has more to do with the nature of disillusionment and I don't give a damn about the meta-gayness of this intellectual three-way Jello wrestling match between Winecoff, Yockey and Gay Patriot.

My true interest, of course, is fundamentally professional -- I Write For Money -- and so once again: Hit the tip jar, you ungrateful bastards. (Because life is like a box of chocolates, and my promotional work on the Jello wrestling catfight for Big Sexy is strictly a charitable endeavor.)

UPDATE III: When the going gets weird . . . oh, never mind. I've apologized like a good Christian and maintained my Lenten vow, so my conscience is clean.

Meanwhile, The Comment Field Research Department suggests Hornet editorial page editor Ian Jacobs as the likely culprit in this atrocity against the English language that wins the coveted Rather Award. (Hey, punk, y'ever hear of An Army of Davids?)

Fear the BOT

by Smitty

We're one step closer to Skynet.
The Barak Obama Teleprompter now has its own blog. Furthermore, you can follow its Twitter feed. One is tempted to make a joke about a Turing test and "helping the POTUS study", but that seems a trifle common.

Pundit and Pundette have additional YouTube goodness.

A resignation demand.

Hat tip: The Corner. Which one of those jokers is the mastermind?

Murphy (D-NY): 'He's One of Them'

(Via Moe Lane.) You should visit the Web site of Murphy's Republican opponent, Jim Tedisco.

Men in Love: The Courage to Conquer

"Men want access to women so they make the effort, or sometimes do. Many men give up. The benefits of companionship don't outweigh the challenges the relationship brings. . . . There has been a concerted attempt to demonize typically masculine behavior. Worst of all, many men seem to have conceded the argument."

Kathy Shaidle: Canada's Limbaugh?

Jason Kenney, Canada's Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, spoke Wednesday at the University of Toronto, and look whose name comes up in the news coverage:
Although Mr. Kenney was heckled on the way to his car, and stopped in the hallway by an Iraq war resister who was carrying a baby while pleading her immigration case, his audience was largely supportive.
An exception came when Mr. Kenney slapped down a question from a student about the recent spate of prepared statements in the House of Commons by Conservative backbenchers criticizing Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella, in part for his campaign against right-wing blogger Kathy Shaidle, whom he accuses of racism.
"I don't know what you're talking about. Sorry. I take it you're from the Liberal club, you've got Warren Kinsella's talking points. Good for you. Send me a memo, I'll look into it," he said.
"He guessed right," said the questioner, Gabe De Roche, recruiting manager for the campus Liberal club.
Kathy has been victimized by the "ransom note method" of smearing: Selective quotation used by political correctoids to dehumanize conservative critics of multicultural groupthink. As with the Obama administration's attacks on Rush Limbaugh, however, when the Left targets someone who dares to fight back -- and Kathy Shaidle fights fiercely -- the result tends to be that the target becomes a hero to people with common sense.

In Ms. Shaidle's case, she became a target because of her outspoken support of Israel and her criticism of the Canadian government's use of "human rights" to stifle free speech. (Get the book, The Tyranny of Nice, which she co-authored with Pete Vere, with an introduction by Mark Steyn.)

What's interesting to me is that I also know conservatives who have been smeared as anti-Semites (or "unpatriotic conservatives") because of their criticism of U.S.-Israel policy. In fact, the term "ransom note method" was coined by one such, who has not taken public credit for the coinage and whose identity I am therefore obligated to protect.

The wise and informed observer recognizes in these opportunistic smears the Left's fundamental dishonesty of discourse. The Left supports Hamas and Hezbollah and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and anyone who criticizes this blood-drenched tacit alliance will be viciously smeared as a Muslim-hating bigot. But if the Left spots a conservative who happens to be critical of the U.S.-Israel alliance, then the target is smeared as a Jew-hating bigot.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't. What the Left counts on is that the majority of conservatives are so cowardly that they won't speak up against these smears, especially when it involves some conservative who isn't part of their particular ideological clique.

It isn't "respectable" to speak up for Limbaugh or Ann Coulter or Kathy Shaidle. You might damage your precious reputation merely by saying that Taki Theodoracopulos has a right to his own political opinions -- knowing that the Left will cry, "Aha! He defends the Jew-hater!" and then combine the "ransom note method" with the old reliable guilt-by-association to accuse you of holding opinions you do not hold.

There is no safety in silence. Fuck those lying left-wing crapweasels. I'm with Kathy:

As Rhett said to Scarlett, "With enough courage, you can do without a reputation." Welcome to The Camp of the Saints, sweetheart.


UPDATE: OK, Cynthia Yockey's joined up for the Fuck The Crapweasels Brigade. Now, who else has the guts to stand in defense of Kathy Shaidle?

JournoList in 15 words

"False modesty? Check. Suck up to the organizer? Check. Underlying, self-satisfied exclusionary impulse? Check."

Gag me with Hope!

Deuce linked this Wall Street Journal column by William McGurn:
By choosing Fort Bragg for her first official trip outside the capital last Thursday, Michelle Obama signaled that she will use her position as First Lady to promote one of America's most deserving causes: our military families. Plainly the families loved it. Just look at the smiles on those children as she read them "The Cat in the Hat."
So it was just a little disconcerting the next morning to hear the First Lady explain how she came to this issue during last year's campaign. "I think I was like most Americans," she told ABC News. "Pretty oblivious to the life of military families. Sort of taking it for granted."
Perhaps Mrs. Obama did take these families for granted. Surely, however, it's extraordinary to suggest that "most Americans" did the same.
Right. Because there are no GIs in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, they might as well not exist, eh? Yet Mrs. Obama was merely expressing the horrible tendency of elitists to assume that their own experience and their own perspective is universal and normative, whereas the Bible-and-gun-clingers in Appalachia . . .

Well, because the lives of those Other People don't measure up to Hyde Park standards, the elitist needs an explanation for why they don't measure up, an explanation that generally takes the form of a condescending (and politically convenient) assumption:
"Oh, they lack adequate health care and they need better schools and, if only it weren't for the greed and selfishness of those right-wing Republicans, we could turn these shiftless inbred peckerwoods into good and decent people like us!"
This is the whole rationale of Mrs. Obama treating military families as if they were helpless victims, charity cases whose primary needs are (a) more federal money, and (b) lots and lots of pity.

What Mrs. Obama wants is for the wives and children of our troops to embrace victimhood status as their political identity, to think of themselves as unable to cope with adversity and therefore in need of humanitarian intervention by those kind, generous Democrats in Washington.

Danger! Danger! Danger!

This might reassure the markets, but as monetary policy, it's a harbinger of disaster:
The Federal Reserve sharply stepped up its efforts to bolster the economy on Wednesday, announcing that it would pump an extra $1 trillion into the financial system by purchasing Treasury bonds and mortgage securities.
Having already reduced the key interest rate it controls nearly to zero, the central bank has increasingly turned to alternatives like buying securities as a way of getting
more dollars into the economy, a tactic that amounts to creating vast new sums
of money out of thin air. But the moves on Wednesday were its biggest yet, almost doubling all of the Fed’s measures in the last year.
So, the Fed will print up worthless money to buy worthless debt. The fact that the Fed is buying long-term debt tells you that there is not enough spare private investment capital in the market to create a genuine demand for the debt the Treasury is selling.

Am I the only one who is inspired to horrifying visions of Weimar America?

Dude, it's about weed

Weed, man. Like some of that tasty Humboldt County sinsemilla, grown hydroponically under lights in the basement, the superfine curly seedless buds packed with such potent concentrations of THC that, like, just three tokes and . . .

I don't know anything about that kind of stuff. It's that chick from California who knows all about the doobage.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Big Party: Big Hollywood, Big Lesbian, Big Sexy, and . . . Big Moe Fu!

Well, you remember that I was asked to get the word out to the 'sphere about The Big Party, hosted at D.C.'s Union Pub by Americans for Limited Government and Net Right Nation. The big celebrity was Washington Times columnist Andrew Breitbart of and Big Hollywood fame, plus some cable-TV talking head whose name escapes me.

Among the cool party people I made sure got invited to the Big Party were lesbian blogger Cynthia Yockey, who came out as a conservative(!) at CPAC, Red State's Moe Lane -- acknowledged master of the ancient mystic art of blog-fu -- and investigative journalist Matthew Vadum. Also in attendance: Jason "Big Sexy" Mattera.

Andrew Breitbart hugs Cynthia Yockey in a transparent effort to make Mrs. Breitbart jealous.

Big Sexy hugs Cynthia Yockey in a transparent effort to make Clever S. Logan jealous.

Sean Hackbarth of the American Mind hugs Moe Lane, with no apparent ulterior motive. Weird.

Cynthia makes a Moe Lane sandwich with Kerry Picket of Newsbusters fame.

Matthew Vadum gets the inside scoop from Cynthia.

Our host, the legendary Sergio Gor, poses with one of the many young lovestruck lovelies of D.C. who dream of someday becoming Mrs. Gor.

Che Goofball

by Smitty

Listen, Mr. Pasciucco: I have a personal vow to treat peoples' names as sacrosanct, or you'd be getting The Treatment. Your fashion statement, not so much love. Since Brooksie Frumdreher is unavailable, it falls to me to let you know that your shirt is roughly about as cool as your company.
One would think that "the current head of AIG Financial Products" would know that Che Guevara was a murderer and your t-shirt is not cool
I've never met you. It is possible that you are not a cretin. But your fashion statement is hurting the benefit of the doubt.

Hat Tip: Anorak News


by Smitty

That's the "Union of Union Representatives" from a WaPo article, by way of The Next Right.
The idea of unions suing unions in a labor dispute sounds like a cross between a Monty Python sketch and a Dilbert cartoon. Or, to paraphrase radically the mighty Steven Wright, a toilet paper self-portrait of a union boss tending a bodily function*.
Unions had a definite place in history. As a sailor, though, I can't view them as anything but a mutiny awaiting its moment. Sorry, Todd Palin.

*The original joke had to do with a rare picture collection, including a photo of Houdini locking his keys in his car, Norman Rockwell beating up a child, and [where I was mooching], a self-portrait of an artist writing his autobiography.

The Bad Fast-Food Customer

You know what you want -- cheeseburger, fries and a Coke. You want it fast, cheap and with no hassle. So you walk into the fast food restaurant, take your place in line, and wait.

And wait. And wait. At first, you're checking your cell-phone messages or daydreaming, and you don't really notice the delay enough to be bothered by it. But as your wait continues, you check your watch and think of other things you need to be doing, and your attention focuses on the customers at the counter, the cashiers taking the orders, the pace of action in the grill room behind the service line. Something has gone awry.

The problem is that customer at the front of the line. For a fast-food operation to work efficiently, customers must grasp the Zen of the thing and do their part to keep the deep-fried kharma flowing. When the cashier says, "May I help you?" the Good Customer speaks his order clearly, watching the cashier as she enters it, so that he doesn't speak faster than the data can be entered into the register. Be clear and concise, so that even a 19-year-old high-school dropout with a meth habit earning $8 an hour can't get your order wrong.

The customer at the counter, however, is the Bad Customer. She doesn't know what she wants, and insists on interrogating the cashier about the menu items and the pricing packages on the menu. "If I get the No. 2, can I substitute onion rings for the fries?" and "Can I get that Super Deluxe Big Burger without lettuce?"

If you had a baseball bat handy, the Bad Customer would not be long for this world. When the line is backed up, and people are waiting behind you for their turn to order, you do not do this. There will be no damned special orders at 12:42 p.m. on Wednesday, ma'am, and if you can't spot something on the menu sign that suits you -- "I would like a No. 3 to go, please" -- then why don't you stay home and eat there?

This is fast food, you idiot woman, and tonight when you go to sleep, you ought to say a prayer of thanksgiving that I didn't have a baseball bat within reach, because your empty skull would have been crushed to a bloody pulp and -- by the time I did in fact finally get to the counter to order my cheeseburger, fries and a coke -- I would have been racing north on I-81 through Pennsylvania at 110 mph hoping to make it to Canada by sundown.
Restaurant Customer in Coma
After Bloody Burger Bashing
That's not a headline that we see often enough, and I hope you enjoyed your fish sandwich (ketchup, no tartar sauce), your onion rings (not fries) and your large chocolate shake, ma'am. You have no earthly idea of what extreme mercy allows your continued existence. Nor was it actually mercy toward you, but rather the concern that strangling you with my bare hands would have been time-consuming, and also an inconvenience to the people in line behind me.

You're welcome. Have a nice day.

Blog habits and the need for speed

"Users become habituated to Web sites that reward their habituation. One of the many reasons that the Drudge Report pulls so many users is that it's always changing. Compared with Drudge, the home pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post move at a pace that would bore a tectonic plate."
-- Jack Shafer*

Continually updating with new content is tremendously important to any Web venture, and certainly is true of blogging. When I was at The Washington Times, where my duties from 2006 onward included acting as ad hoc liaison to the blogosphere, I became intensely aware of what I called The Need for Speed.

In the news business, there is simply no substitute for the ability to work fast. This was always true in some sense, but is now more true than ever, and since leaving the Times, I've tried to explain this to others. Tempus fugits now faster than ever, and if reporters and editors can't "crank it out," they need to find another line of work.

In discussing writing with a friend recently, I explained that writing is a skill, not a talent, and thus one's ability as a writer can be improved by thoughtful effort. The problem with some people is that they graduate college as good writers, experience early success on account of that, and thus never devote themselves diligently to the relentless quest for improvement that could make them great writers. Sometimes I point out that, long after Michael Jordan had become an NBA All-Star, he continued to practice continually at such basic skills as free-throw shooting.

If you are a part-time blogger who finds you have difficulty posting more than one or two new items a day, consider trying to improve your speed of composition. In the news business, the good reporter is the one who turns in "clean copy" -- relatively free from typos, misspellings, grammatical or factual errors -- and cranks it out quickly. Writing clean copy fast means that (a) the editor doesn't have to begin the editing process by fixing innumerable sloppy errors, and (b) the story is turned in fairly early, so that there is time to edit it thoroughly. A writer who is slow and sloppy creates problems up through the editorial process.

No one is born with the ability to write clearly and quickly, and everyone who can write can improve his writing ability. Speed in writing is almost synonymous with fluency in writing. Someone who writes fast also usually writes fluently. This is the pedagogic concept of "Time On Task" (TOT): The more time you spend drilling a skill, the more "reps" you squeeze into that drill time, the faster and farther your advancement will be.

Too many writers have the perverse idea that they should never write anything that they don't publish. This attitude is atavistic nonsense. Go read the collected volume of Hunter S. Thompson's early letters, The Proud Highway, and what you will see is that Thompson used his personal and professional correspondence as an outlet for practice and experimentation.

Ask Frequent Commenter Smitty, who has access to the editorial archives here, how often I'll begin drafting a post, spin it out to 300 or 500 words, find myself distracted by some other task, and just leave the unfinished draft in perpetual limbo.** Is this wasted effort? Not at all! For if nothing else, I have at least stretched my legs and jogged around the track a bit, and am limber and ready when the starting gun sounds.

The part-time blogger who wishes to up his game ought to keep in mind the importance of learning to work faster, of trying to write (and link) as fast as he can, so that the few hours he has to spend each week on his blog are as productive as possible. And ironically, the time that is "wasted" composing posts you never publish can be key to this process, so long as you learn to decide quickly whether a post is going to be completed, and learn to cut bait where you cannot fish effectively.

If you can't compose 400-word rants, try to do some quick aggregation (i.e, posts in which the primary value is the stories that you link, rather than your own writing), but whatever you do, strive for speed. Time is money, and I've spent 40 minutes writing this post, so if you've learned anything from it or been inspired by it, please feel guilty for not hitting the tip jar, you ungrateful bastard (or bitch, as the case may be).

- - -

* I'm obligated to Sully for that link, and don't imagine he even noticed the "magic shillaleigh" joke my drunken Irish guest-blogger made last night.

** Also, I am never able to write anything without at least one glitch or typo. So after I post something, I go read it on the blog, go back and fix the errors, update the page, read it again, and fix anything else I see. This particular post went through that process four times in five minutes after I first published it.

The Amazing Miss Rittlemayer

Helen Rittelmeyer of Cigarette Smoking Blog fame manages to poke her Camel Light's nose into the exclusive tent of National Review Online.

We will say nothing of those who might cast aspersions on Miss Rittelmeyer's patriotism, and merely ask the lovely Helen to give our fondest regards to her roommate in Brooklyn. Toodles!

Lowball? Highball? Screwball!

An Associated Press story quotes "health care experts" who estimate that the $634 billion President Obama has budgeted for "health reform" could be less than half the $1.5 trillion that it will actually cost over the next decade. Michelle Malkin snorts derisively:
As with the Crap Sandwich and every subsequent massive spending plan, the number-crunchers are simply pulling numbers from their you-know-wheres.
Indeed. Whenever the federal government gets involved in anything, prices rise, quality declines and soon there is constant talk of "crisis," a demand that government must spend more and more money to "fix" the problem it has created. Education is a perfect example. The mortgage mess is another.

The main thing wrong with the American health care system is that the federal government has created multiple incentives for third-party-payer schemes, so that there is one person receiving medical care and other persons obligated to pay for the medical care. It's like a teenage girl with daddy's credit card; there is no incentive to thrift.

Once government gets involved in providing any particular good or service, there will soon come a time when people insist that this service could not be provided without government involvement. The government program providing the good or service becomes a necessity, and the good or service itself becomes a right.

For more than 150 years of American history, the federal government had no direct involvement in public education. After World War II, however, by a series of incremental steps -- each justifiable in its own way -- Washington got deeper and deeper into education. In 1979, Jimmy Carter created the Federal department of Education. Reagan campaigned in 1980 on the promise that he would abolish this department. Instead, Reagan eventually appointed Bill Bennett to head the department, increased its budget, and issued a famous report, "A Nation At Risk," that depicted an education "crisis." George H.W. Bush took office in 1989 promising to be the nation's first "education president." And so on, and so forth.

The fact that the American school system circa 1941 was far superior to today's school system, in terms of student achievement, is ignored in contemporary discussion of edcucational problems. People will tell you that education is a right, and federal involvement is a necessity, and talk of abolishing the federal Department of Education -- which was a plank in the Republican Party platform in 1980 -- is now considered lunatic extremism.

So it is, and it will be, with health care. Consider that tuition at many four-year private universities is now in excess of $30,000 a year, a cost that has risen much faster than the rate of inflation, as government subsidies for higher education exert the inevitable inflationary effect. The more government subsidizes anything, the higher the price will be, and the primary economic effect of federal involvement in health care has always been, and will always be, to push prices upward.

When you see a news story where "experts" pretend to estimate the cost of Obama's new spending programs, ask yourself who decided these people were "experts" about anything? There may be some other "expert" in the same area who, if asked about the efficacy of the proposed new program, would answer: "It will be like a metastasizing cancer on the federal budget, a surefire road to fiscal insolvency, just like Social Security and Medicare. Future generations will curse the American people for having allowed Obama to enact this vicious legislation."

But that expert is not interviewed by the Associated Press, and why not? Is it because his grim assessment is less accurate or less "responsible" than those who say this "health reform" will cost taxpayers a mere $1.5 trillion over 10 years? Or should we wonder if perhaps the AP's Ricardo Alonso Zaldivar is one of those on JournoList, conspiring with his fellow liberals to report news in such a way as to advance the Obama agenda?

Gay ads (NTTAWWT)

Part of my agreement with Google A*d*s*e*n*s*e included a clause to the effect that the blog content is not to call attention to the a*d*s, and so I don't want to risk a term-of-service agreement here, but several people have pointed out lately -- with much mirth -- the "Find Sexy Gay Singles" content of display a*d*s on this blog.

Yesterday, Sergio Gor of Americans for Limited Government asked me to get the word out to the D.C.-area New Media community that there would be a special party in Washington to launch a new online initiative. But apparently, the folks at the ALG office got a big laugh when they clicked onto the site, because this is the screen-shot that Sergio sent me:

One doesn't want to appear judgmental or anything, but I'm kind of wondering if what you might call the "conversion rate" -- from page-impression to click-through to final sale of the product -- is really sufficient to justify that.

If the client believes there is an untapped market of potential Larry Craigs and Mark Foleys lurking on conservative blogs, well, OK. But if somehow the Google A*d*s*e*n*s*e algorithm is miscalculating based on certain distinctive phrases in my content (e.g., "blogger in a Speedo") then perhaps I should contact someone at Google to suggest they fine-tune their content/placement formula.

On the other hand, for all I know, Google has its algorithm so fine-tuned as to microtarget users, based upon the individual blog-reader's own Web browser history. That is to say, if you have been surfing through Republican-leaning political blogs, then it will show you an a*d for Ann Coulter's new book. And if you frequently visit hunting sites, you'll see an a*d for the NRA. So why is Sergio seeing an a*d for "Sexy Gay Singles"? Hmmmm . . .