Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ron Chusid: Let's Talk Classical Liberal Values

by Smitty

Ron Chusid at Liberal Values, "Defending Liberty and Enlightened Thought", condescended to notice the 21Mar09 FMJRA post, wherein this blog appended three words to LV's description of the Democratic Party to read:
People with a wide variety of beliefs who oppose the authoritarianism and incompetence of recent Republican rule, opting for worse.

LV notes: This phrasing does seem to sound like an acceptance of the description of Republicans.
In today's FMJRA post, this blog briefly drew a distinction between RINOs and CPAC attendees. People who consider themselves conservative very often have little trouble criticizing recent Republican rule. It sucked much pondwater in many important ways. Whoopee.
Then LV gets into the heart of an interesting discussion of values as such:
Many conservatives show their lack of understanding of both politics and morality (or values) as they believe that only they have values. In the case of conservatives such as Robert Stacy McCain, holding values comes down to following what they believe is the word of God as I discussed here. Only such conservatives would fail to recognize these liberal values as values (regardless of whether they agree with them):
Couldn't agree less with the choice of the word "many". I might give you "some", but really think it's closer to "darn few".
  1. In the first place, many conservatives of the more geeky bent will quickly acknowledge the ideas of classical liberalism as foundational. To quote Wikipedia:
    Friedrich Hayek identified two different traditions within classical liberalism: the "British tradition" and the "French tradition". Hayek saw the British philosophers David Hume, Adam Smith, Adam Ferguson, Josiah Tucker, Edmund Burke and William Paley as representative of a tradition that articulated beliefs in empiricism, the common law, and in traditions and institutions which had spontaneously evolved but were imperfectly understood. The French tradition included Rousseau, Condorcet, the Encyclopedists and the Physiocrats. This tradition believed in rationalism and the unlimited powers of reason, and sometimes showed hostility to tradition and religion. Hayek conceded that the national labels did not exactly correspond to those belonging to each tradition: Hayek saw the Frenchmen Montesquieu, Constant and Tocqueville as belonging to the "British tradition" and the British Thomas Hobbes, Godwin, Priestley, Richard Price and Thomas Paine as belonging to the "French tradition". Hayek also rejected the label "laissez faire" as originating from the French tradition and alien to the beliefs of Hume, Smith and Burke.
    The reason conservatives shun the term "liberal" to describe these values is that the term has been hijacked by a pack of crypto-Marxist twits. Which brings us to point two:
  2. In Classic Robert Bork, this blog reviewed a mid-90s essay that discussed two modern liberal values in some detail: radical individualism and radical egalitarianism. These values inform much of the wrongheadedness currently on display. Worth your time.
But let's return to the LV post for a thorough examination of the values that many conservatives are purported to abhor:
  • Support for individual liberty
<sarcasm>Absolutely. Our contempt for the Bill of Rights in general, and the Second Amendment in particular, is legendary. Sharia for me-uh!</sarcasm>
  • Support for a free market economy in which everyone has the opportunity to succeed based upon their own actions
<sarcasm>Indeed. Centralized planning, and state control are historical winners.</sarcasm>
  • Tolerance of others living a life style different from your own
This blog, for example, has a downright libertarian outlook on behavior.
  • Support for a sensible foreign policy which defends the country while respecting principles such as the Geneva Convention and follows international law opposing the use of torture
Who are these endorsers of torture, again?
  • Making health care accessible to all, as is the case in every other industrialized nation
Who is denying you health care? Who is saying that it is reasonably "accessible" elsewhere? My German wife can offer interesting anecdotal counter-evidence. Even if you cheerfully ignore the 10th Amendment and allow the Federal government the chance to sodomizefix health care, the Faustian nature of the bargain is unlikely to please.
  • Taking care of the environment which we all depend upon
<sarcasm>You have me here. Compulsive pyromaniac that I am, I hop in my SUV and drive at high speeds to forests, and burn them. The concept of ecological stewardship is utterly lost on me.</sarcasm>
  • Support for basing political decisions based upon empiric data as opposed to religious belief
<sarcasm>It is our responsibility to set up these straw men for you to topple. Why do you hate our teamwork arrangement?</sarcasm>
  • Respecting the rights of all to worship or not worship as they choose, which can only be guaranteed by respecting the goal of the Founding Fathers to establish a secular government
<sarcasm>You will worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster or else I will continue to repeat myself, unbeliever! FSM: now comes with wiki. Some assembly and a little bit of C coding required, works with GCC, except where it doesn't.</sarcasm>
  • Respect for science as the best way to understand the universe
<sarcasm>I, for one, admire the use of science as a source of propaganda, in particular, the Anthropogenic Global Warming clowns.</sarcasm>
Less sarcastically, my first job out of High School was as a AN/UYK-7 ('yuck 7') technician. Working hard, I earned an appointment to a service academy and pursued and engineering degree. I've also taken and failed some Master's level Biochemistry.
Why do you care?
Listen: fixing broken things, engineering new things, and deriving the scientific underpinnings of things are merely variations on the theme of common sense. Attempting to treat the scientific method as an existential answer to the meaning of life is absurd. Science explains the 'what' of existence; it is impotent at explaining the 'why'. I happen to personally hold the Bible account of creation as received truth, a beautiful and poetic abstract as to 'why'. When we meet the Creator, and have the intellectual capacity to grasp the nuances of How It Was All Done, we're going to discover that the current vast amount of knowledge we possess is but a grain of sand on the divine beach of knowledge. That's no reason to be any less inquisitive, but every reason to remain humble while so doing. I shan't waste your time attempting to argue a strict Creationism, if you'll forgive my amusement at the Theory of the Week Club, with its constant revisions of estimates of literally everything. You don't know; I don't know (at a scientifically provable level) anything more than
Psalm 90:4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
You could argue that the Psalmist contradicts himself in the space of a single sentence, or you could view it as an intellectual get-out-of-jail-free card.
Painting conservatives as disrespectful of science is off base.

Summary:
Dear Mr. Chusid sir,
Your parade of "many" strawmen looks impressive from a distance. You might find small numbers of actual examples of people adhering to these absurdities, for example a Fred Phelps. I submit though, that the bulk of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy conforming to this silliness you decry exists in the imaginations of some propaganda flaks. Did you attend CPAC, or any of the Tea Party protests? Let me buy you your beverage of choice on 15April at a protest meeting. I usually wear a USS Constitution ballcap, because that's what's on my mind.
Cheers,
Chris

Powerful Professor Goes All the Way With Britney Spears -- And You Can, Too!

If you want to be linked in Rule 5 Sunday, the Professor shows you how to do it like it should be done:
  • Create a blog post with a photo, or a link to a photo, of an attractive female;
  • Try to keep it to PG-13, at most; no nudity, please;
  • Additional insightful political news commentary on the same post is suggested, although not strictly necessary;
  • Ladybloggers can be eligible by posting beefcake;
  • Gaybloggers cannot be eligible by posting beefcake, but can qualify by posting Marilyn Monroe or other camp diva photos;
  • Include a link to The Other McCain;
  • Make sure you have Technorati installed on your blog;
  • Publish your post before 9 p.m. Saturday; and
  • E-mail the URL of your post to Smitty.

You'll be linked in the roundup, which usually goes live before noon Sunday. If you feel your contributions have been neglected, e-mail Smitty again.

Whatever you do, guys, please hit the tip jar. Because I'm a married man and my wife only puts up with this silly blogging nonsense on the condition that it generates revenue. Mrs. Other McCain is a wonderful woman, but she's got a kitchen drawer full of knives, and I've got to sleep sometime.

Is HUMAN EVENTS in trouble?

The publisher of the venerable conservative weekly sent out an e-mail this morning imploring the assistance of supporters:

Dear Friend of HUMAN EVENTS:
It pains me terribly to write a letter like this, but a crisis that threatens the very existence of HUMAN EVENTS forces me to ask for your help.
Let me explain...
You may recall that, just over a year ago, the federal government's taxpayer-subsidized mail-delivery monopoly -- aka the United States Postal Service -- hit us with a whopping 20 percent rate increase that drove up our annual delivery costs by more than $120,000.
Well, believe it or not, they've just done it again.
That's right: the USPS is hitting us with yet another postal increase that will jack up our annual delivery costs by an additional $51,568.
Together, this one-two punch of rate hikes amounts to more than $170,000 in increased annual delivery costs -- a staggering sum that we simply can't afford.
Now, it's outrageous enough that the USPS can continually jack up our rates without fearing any loss of our business to more cost-efficient competitors -- something it can do ONLY because federal law effectively protects it from private competition.
But what really burns me up is that these increases are part of a new rate system that was designed in part by lobbyists for liberal media giant Time Warner and other large publishers to benefit themselves at the expense of smaller competitors such as HUMAN EVENTS.
So instead of Time Warner's mailing costs ratcheting up like ours, the cost of delivering liberal Time magazine and other Big Media publications will increase at about half the rate hike forced on HUMAN EVENTS (and that's after some of those publications actually had a decrease in postage costs last year!).
Economists call the kind of behavior that Time Warner and the Big Media conglomerates are engaged in "rent seeking" -- using government to gain advantage over competitors.
And that economic advantage obviously can translate into political advantage, as well. By "gaming the system" in their favor, these liberal media conglomerates have taken a big step toward silencing their conservative opposition.
This means there's much more at stake here than the survival of HUMAN EVENTS. Free speech, and the right of conservatives to get their message out on the same terms as liberals, is also at stake.
And if the liberal media giants such as Time Warner get away with this ploy, the consequences for the future of our country -- at a time when the Obama administration is trying to turn us into a European-style socialist state -- could be catastrophic.
Please help us defray the cost of this outrageously unfair postal increase. The only alternatives we have are to cut our already down-to-the-bone editorial budget -- or to hike our subscription rates.
Both alternatives are unacceptable. That is why I'm turning to you: frankly, I have nowhere else to go. HUMAN EVENTS needs you to help us cover this shortfall, and we need that help now.
Please send as large a gift as you possibly can. Our readers have never let us down in the past. We appreciate all your support over the years -- and thanks in advance for your generous assistance today.
Click HERE to Help Save HUMAN EVENTS
Sincerely,
Tom Winter
President and Editor in Chief, HUMAN EVENTS
P.S. For 65 years, HUMAN EVENTS has been fighting the good fight for conservatives. Now, this postal hike threatens our very existence.
We need your help now -- so please be generous!
Every conservative reading this is obliged to do what he can to assist HUMAN EVENTS in this critical fight. One of the things that grassroots conservatives always say to me is, "Gee, Stacy, I really want to do something to help. But what can I do? I'm just one little guy."

Oh, yeah? Well, David was just one little guy when he went up against Goliath. And let me tell you a little secret pal: You'll never slay that giant if you don't do everything within your power. You may be small and weak, but if you will do everything you can -- take full advantage of opportunities as they present themselves -- you will be surprised at what you can accomplish.

Therefore, my advice to you is, SUBSCRIBE TO HUMAN EVENTS NOW! Don't wait. Don't delay. Do it now. And if you are already a subscriber, give a subscription as a gift to a friend or a family member. Be a giant killer!

Alan Colmes Has Incredible Insight

By Smitty
Alan claims that Joe the Plumber is now being used by the right wing to speak against the Employee Free Choice Act.
Alan's post could be improved by demonstrating just how he comes by the knowledge that Joe is not a free moral agent. Possibly Joe's common sense allows him to see the handcuffs for what they really are, Alan.
The Free Employee Choice Act/Legislation (FECAL) is a fine set of what Freeberg calls opposite words. Joe represents a blue-collar Inigo Montoya:
Democrats: You don't like the Employee Free Choice Act? INCONCEIVABLE.
Joe: You keep using those words. I do not think they mean what you would have me think they mean.
I'm fairly certain, having met Joe, that he's not a tool. Alan Colmes, not so sure.

'The Full Monty Joint Review' Avalanche

By Smitty
The title may or may not be a jello-wrestling reference. Ambiguity, while death to computer code, flavors the humor nicely. Back on topic: Saturday's Full Metal Jacket Reach Around extravaganza is here.
  • Owning lesser mortals in a truly biblical fashion is Donald Douglas at American Power Blog. He jumped right on the Frum love train. He deftly played the Rule 5 card with some Scarlett goodness. He proffered a thoughtful roundup on Culture 11. He quoted this blog at length while mourning the demise of the BHO honeymoon. Quoting this blog remains your chief source of exquisite, yet free, good blog karma. (Almost as good as linking Little Miss Attila.) Professor Douglas's roundup of the Goldstein/Patterico dust-up made sense of something that wasn't previously clear (to your writer). His Sullivan roundup recalled the National Greatness post. He went above and beyond the call of Rule 5 by inviting Code Pink onto his page. Tough as nails, that one. The real amazement, must be saved for his tracking down this Rule 5 video of Stacy doing some turntable work for Lady GaGa. McCain is more than just your average karaoke king.
  • Dan Collins of Protein Wisdom fame was our second most energetic linker this past week. He connected this blog's notice of the lesbian thrashing of transgenders with that ABC bit about two gay men finding evidence in a bar that George W. Bush skipped out service with the Texas ANG or something Rather silly like that. His Director of Hillary: The Movie post cleverly used an unrelated Brooks fisking post to increase his Technorati link count. We admire those creatively pointing out the lack of rules around here. Dan gets the Greek mythology hat tip for the Icarus reference while noting the POTUS Poll Plunge Post amidst a lengthy Geithner roundup. Oh, yes, and the Patterico business. This seems blown over, thankfully. This fine post by Serr8d, a frequent commenter here, crept in for reasons that are obscure. Nice title, Serr8d, but remember this about liberals: an American anus admires assonance als alliteration.
  • Lance, our primitive troglodyte pundit, starts off with a proper homage to the Rules in his review of the AIG "Outta beer: outta here" letter. He ventures onto some thin ice here putting ToM's name in the title (good) and then opining that he needs a new hobby (not so much). I hear that trogs regenerate. He does recover nicely with the Rule 5-age, revealing that Bruce Willis is violating the half-your-age-plus-seven rule (or does that only apply when you're under 50?). He goes for Rule 3 on the Geithner WSJ editorial. Dude, at least throw in some YouTube-age, a'ight? ;). He did have a nice Rule 5 offering, so there is obviously hope.
  • Monique remains a source of excellent blogging. Hope her health improves. Especially in time for whenever the jello wrestling is set. She opted to allude to the teleprompter while reviewing the POTUS press conference. The Alabama condom post earned a lengthy, turgid remembrance.
  • Obi's Sister is pleased that Tuesdays are Useful Idiot(s) Day. The helpful guide How to speak to an Obamanoid brought forth a fun little poll with ++ungood results, seen from the Administration perspective. The ACORN alumnus judicial nomination triggered a mention amidst the heroic dinner hold-down of the 60 Minutes interview. Also, looking forward to Easter in a roundup on phones.
  • Paco Enterprises enjoyed a fuzzy memory at the mention of the new Al Gore 'Cli-fi' opus. While enjoying a mild Barney Frank rant (who doesn't?) he brought in the related How to Speak to an Obamanoid. Paco's taste in Rule 5 work is impeccable. He offers a strangely linked hat tip. Possibly he meant this.
  • The Nutty One launched with the teleprompter, as did so many this week. Would that it could be merely funny. Led to the noted poll dip. Seymour's FMJRA offering was a fine example of the genre. And the review of the Obamanoidspeak post "absolutely classic" is very warmly received.
  • The Griffon heaped a smallish helping of abuse on Rachel for moving to England. The Griffon merits an atta-boymythological-creature for his response to the tough love proffered by this blog. Those who can take it as well as dish it out are respected. May the fu belong to you!
  • Clever S.Logan wins an award for most updated post I've ever seen at 9 and counting. It's almost as if she's trying to cover up something. Could this post metastasize and form its own blog? Stay raptly attentive, but don't be a stalker. She does everything but link The Georgia Satellites in this post. And, of course she offered a heap of sympathy for the Griffon, whom I was very nearly close to beginning to think about starting to feel bad about having abused. Thanks for getting me off that hook, Suzanna. Note the splitting of the affection between the Troglopundit and the Griffon. Both gracious and wise, this one. Careful, men!
  • Cynthia, the jello wrestling referee, put in a plea for decorum, for all the match scheduling isn't complete yet. Even though she's a newly minted conservative, she finds it hard to grasp how Senator Specter misses the point on secret ballots. Or, to judge by her title, she may understand why all too well.
  • The neighborly Pundit and Pundette note RSM's reporting on David Horowitz. They briefly noted Specter's sudden recollection of the letter 'R'. They also had a linkfest, though they haven't quite reached the "volume of fire has an accuracy all its own" approach of, for example, this blog.
  • Bob offers up some armed Rule 5, followed by some Rule NaN* arm. I may need a break after this. My mind is bleeding.
    *Not a Number, for the non-JavaScript geeks in the crowd.
  • Fear and Loathing debates the bond market in a reasonable way, with a jolly Strangelove reference. FLG follows up here.
  • Mike in Fisherville noted the McAuliffe post, as well as last week's FMJRA post, which invites the question of how much circular reasoning it will take to cross the Groucho Marx horizon.
  • Craig at Pb'n'Au links to the Gonzo article at Taki. Maybe it's just because I'm nearly punch drunk enough for 60 Minutes, but this is worth a few extra bytes on the post:
    The Other McCain has a post up that defends the execrable David Frum. Admittedly, he does so in the course of bashing David Brooks, but that is no excuse. That is the equivalent of praising gonorrhea while condemning syphilis.
    Well done, sir.
  • Moe notes the ACORN Judiciary post, as well as offering up the third part of the Andrew Breitbart bit at NetRightNation.
  • David Wiegel at WI derided the Obama at 50/50 post. Here he summarizes RSM's Culture11 obituary:
    "If you want to create a brand of conservatism that doesn’t yet exist, you have to do more than write columns and movie reviews." If you want to write columns and movie reviews, they have to be in the "liberals are awful and destroying freedom" mold.
    Whereas I would say "Liberals begin from a flawed existential model; bogosity ensues."
  • Jason at Western Experience picked up the teleprompter post. He was also pleased to make last week's Juggernaut roundup.. Aside: Jellytoast, we refuse to link you just because you linked Jason. Oh, wait...
  • The Pirate's Cove (and we can't have too much nautical nuance, mates) noted the teleprompter review. They also had some Rule 5-age. Send that in earlier to make the proper roundup!


  • And thus we reach the single digit locker

  • Somebody with the silly name 'Instapundit' linked the And the Bad News Is post. Terrible name for a blog. He'd better improve on that name if he ever wants to get any traffic. I'm just saying.
  • Steven Green, the Vodkapundit, linked the How to get a million hits... post, not knowing that Blogger was unappreciative of the higher-tech version, and we rolled it back. I will improve my fu. I'm good enough, smart...
  • If you missed Gahrie's Nolan link last Rule 5 Sunday, we have you covered.
  • The Skepitcrats live up to the billing:
    Someone please track down Uncle Jimbo and the guy in the Blackfive video and slap them back to reality. They seem to think that the young Code Pinko’s Blackfive interviewed are “cute.” Let’s get this straight: for a conservative, there should be no such thing as a “Code Pink Cutie.”
    I'll wait for RSM to pass the final judgment on this important controversy, but allow me to tilt the argument by reminding everyone that "who is pleased easily is pleased often".
  • Below the Beltway debunks BHO's 50-50 Zogby poll thoroughly.
  • The Political Castaway is dubious about Senator Specter's lack of enthusiasm for Card Check.
  • "Gag me with a teleprompter", says Colorado Right, of the Ann Compton kneepad story. Say hello to the Vodka Pundit for us.
  • Comments from Left Field also debunks the Zogby poll, giving RSM the first link. We covet such left-handed complements.
  • Cyber Economics approved of the way RSM "cuts through all the polite and euphemistic terms and tells it like it is" on the US spawns record number of bastards post.
  • Dad29 picked up the Baghdad Bob coverage. Must have been the in-depth, hard hitting research. One wonders how applicable to the POTUS are these words written for Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf by Jean-Pierre McGarrigle:
    In an age of spin, al-Sahaf offers feeling and authenticity. His message is consistent -- unshakeable, in fact, no matter the evidence -- but he commands daily attention by his on-the-spot, invective-rich variations on the theme. His lunatic counterfactual art is more appealing than the banal awfulness of the Reliable Sources. He is a Method actor in a production that will close in a couple of days. He stands superior to truth.
    Surely this blog should enshrine such an excellent review
  • Minimal Coverage notes the smirk on Stacy's face over the epic jello wrestling match, but goes the extra mile and offers a (possibly sacrilegious for Catholics) variation on the Beatles' Lady Madonna, the first verse of which we'll drop as a tease:
    Lady Godiva, clothing at your feet
    I’ll be at the tea party we should meet
    Protesting money our Congress has spent
    They’ve all forgotten who they represent
  • Environmental Republican noted the "Death of Newspapers" story in a Sixth Anniversary posting.
  • The Gay Conservative was equally appalled by the David F. Hamilton appointment.
  • Instaputz thought RSM was being ironic when he wrote this post. I don't know why the famous speedo picture was captioned "Fap fap fap" here, and I will protect my ignorance with vigor.
  • Kirbside goes for Rule 1 with gusto. We like and appreciate.
  • The Mean ol' Meany picked up on the economic advice in And the bad news is...
  • The heat generated by the debate with the Liberal Values blog, which was triggered by last week's 'opting for worse' rider, continues to be measurable by well-calibrated lab equipment. The response doesn't seem to apprehend the difference perceived on the right between a RINO and a CPAC attendee. A more full response is owed, but there are just a few links left to go here at the Full Monty.
  • Maggie has a great ACORN post pointing back to MSNBC suckage.
  • Michelle Malkin, that giantess among bloggers, linked the ACORN court post with a cool graphic.
  • The local NOVA Townhall blog refers to Obamanoids as 'brownshirts'. One hopes things fall short of what that implies.
  • Cuffy at Perfunctions serves up some Ominous photoshoppage related to The World's Most Famous Teleprompter.
  • The Nashville Post picked up RSM's foray into Netiquette Law on the Godwin post.
  • Right View From the Left Coast notes the Brooks beatings, but wonders: Where is the Frum bat?
  • Sense of Events took a more mellow stance on the Dan Rather Award
  • Serr8d got linked above in the Protein Wisdom section, but we'll spot a twofer, because you can't over-link the good stuff. Though we try.
  • Sharp Right Turn joined in the condomnation of the switch to Chinese 'French Houses'. Next link: this jape is shredded.
  • Steve Skojec quoted the bad news post at length in this response. Steve, we like your ideas.
  • The Classical Liberal also got on the quote wagon, referencing the Meghan McCain reportage from the old days.
  • The Moderate Voice liked 'The guy is becoming a punchline.'
  • The Side Track quoted the Washington Independent quoting RSM on Zogby. ST observse
    if the media stopped talking about Zogby polls as if they meant something, maybe Zogby would be inclined to improve their polling methods and produce a poll that actually does mean something?
    Sure, but then people would have to do research and think about what to write, or something stupid like that.
  • Wizbang has some good introductory financial background on a post that links the bond market going wobbly post.
  • Bizzy Blog hat tipped the ACORN judge nomination.
  • Cathouse Chat (now there's a great name for a blog) liked the Obamabots post.
  • Dustbury weighs in on the Full Monty Question with a nuanced take and yet another ancient link.
  • Five Feet of Fury forgets us not.
  • MacTelepromptlet, concludes Jules Crittenden, keying off the Richard III allusion in the teleprompter post.
  • NewsTechZilla noted the 'newspapers are dying' post.
  • Riehl World View noted the 'bad news is' post in a roundup of feedback for the politically depressed.
  • Over at Stop the ACLU there was some pile-on about the teleprompter. It's hard to imagine four years of laughing at a teleprompter. It has the feel of those "Magruber" bits on SNL.
  • Stephen over at the Liberty Papers has another review of the jello wrestling question, and ends off with some libertarian Rule 5 linkage.
  • The Political Cesspool noted the Nigerian cab driver who loves Rush Limbaugh, proving the value of the back catalogue.
This post has been brought to you by a firm commitment to:

This post culled from Technorati links. If you've been overlooked, request a shout so we can add to this glorious outing.
Update:Jimmie has brought forward the problem that Technorati can be hit or miss. He offers righteous link-fu on conservative bloggers and Paris Hilton. This was all I could find for a quick check (he said, admitting he'd neglected to subscribe). Best wishes, Jimmie. Let's see if we can come up with a work around for the reach around.

Thoughts on the 'Ransom-Note Method' and the Twelfth Commandment

Ed Driscoll says he doesn't know whether it was me or Kathy Shaidle who coined the term "Ransom-Note Method" to describe the way the Left uses selective quotation to smear its targets.

It was me, but with a caveat: The Ransom-Note Method was actually first labeled such by another one of its victims, a friend of mine who hasn't claimed credit for the coinage and whose name I therefore can't reveal.

The term derives from the way the smear merchants typically assemble their smears by quoting a phrase here, two words there, and two sentences from something else, and then gluing it together with their own perjorative interpolations and a bit of guilt-by-association, much like a kidnapper cutting out words from a magazine to paste together a ransom note.

This was how Rush Limbaugh's "I want him to fail" remark became such a scandalous thing. As Jeff Goldstein has pointed out, if you read Limbaugh's remarks in context -- I actually heard the whole monologue as Rush did it live on the radio -- it is very clear the point he was making:
Obama is trying to implement a liberal agenda. I am not a liberal, and I think liberalism is bad for the country. Therefore, I hope Obama fails in his attempt to implement it.
The only thing really "controversial" in Rush's monologue is the belief that liberalism is a bad thing, which is something that every real conservative ought to believe. And Limbaugh, as he made clear from the outset, was responding to a "major American print publication" which was "asking a handful of very prominent politicians, statesmen, scholars, businessmen, commentators, and economists to write 400 words on their hope for the Obama presidency."

Stimuli and Responses
The fact that Limbaugh's "I hope he fails" was a response to such an insipid inquiry -- this newspaper was actually framing their inaugural commentary in terms of "Hope," the Obama campaign's own propaganda slogan -- has received too little attention. One of the basic tactics of the Ransom-Note Method is to separate the stimulus from the response in this manner. In other words, someone sees or hears something outrageous, says or writes something outrageous in response, and the smear merchants then isolate the response, so that it is presented without adequate reference to whatever stimulus produced it.

BTW, sometimes conservatives are guilty of using the same technique, turning a 15-second audio clip into an hour's worth of a talk-radio denunciation. Unfair rhetorical methods are unfair rhetorical methods, whoever employs them. (Where I come from, I never heard of a "fair fight.") But the way the Left uses this tactic is wicked. What makes the Ransom-Note Method so lethally effective? Three things:
  • Liberal dominance in major media. Having worked more than two decades in the news business, I never had a real newsroom argument about politics until I stopped being a Democrat. The extent to which the Democratic hegemony among journalists actually produces bias, well, you can argue that with Bernie Goldberg if you want. My point is that journalists in general are more receptive to negative reports about Republicans, and therefore smears against Republicans get more traction in the media. George F. Allen's "macaca" ran on the front page of the Washington Post for seven consecutive days. QED.
  • The imputation of bad faith. One of the tricks of effective propaganda is to connect a new accusation to what "everybody knows" -- that is, to present new information in a way that reinforces the pre-existing beliefs of Conventional Wisdom. Liberals have labored mightily for decades to convince Americans that Republicans are evil racist sexist bigoted homophobes, and so when a conservative says something that can be construed as reinforcing that perception, the smear-mongers say, "A-ha! See? We told you so!" The issue then becomes not so much the specific facts of the latest accusation, but rather the larger question of bad faith (mala fides). No one ever credibly suggested that George Allen hated Indian-Americans, but "macaca" was contextualized as part of the "Republicans are racists" meme, an accusation of bad faith, so that nothing Allen said in his own defense could get a fair hearing.
  • Republican cowardice. Few things infuriate me so much as the cringing defensiveness of Republicans who think they can concede every premise of the liberal syllogism and yet expect voters to come to some other conclusion than "Vote Democrat." Too many Republicans have that cowardly punk reflex where, whenever there's a fight, their first concern is for their own safety, rather than trying to win the fight. So when they saw George Allen under assault for "macaca," too many Republicans were silent and did not stand up to denounce the unfair and untrue accusations of racism against him.
You see this "punk factor" in the GOP all the time, but never so much as when unfair charges are leveled against a prominent conservative fighter like Limbaugh or Ann Coulter. A cowardly punk never admires or strives to emulate success, but always envies and resents it. The punk's habitual modus operandi is to encourage others to join his efforts to undermine the prestige and authority of successful leadership. The punk assembles a coalition of losers, an army of naysayers who sit around griping and grumbling about everything, telling each other how unfairly they've been treated, and blaming all their woes on the successful people.

Opportunities for Opportunists
Success is attractive. But any successful effort also attracts cowardly punks, who desire to benefit parasitically from the vision and hard work of others. And so during what we might call The Golden Age of Conservatism -- the 25 years from Reagan's 1981 inauguration to the GOP debacle of the 2006 election -- the conservative movement attracted a lot of shrewd self-interested people who saw the "conservative" label as a vehicle for their own personal ambition. Hello, David Brooks.

American Spectator publisher Al Regnery was born and raised in the conservative movement and worked in the Reagan administration. His father, Henry Regnery, published many of the classic works of conservatism, including William F. Buckley Jr.'s God and Man at Yale. Last spring, I interviewed Regnery about his book Upstream: The Ascendance of American Conservatism. I asked Regnery for his thoughts on how the movement had seemed to lose its way in recent years, and his reply was memorable:
"You look back in the earlier times, there were no opportunities, so there were no opportunists," Regnery says, noting how liberals heaped abusive epithets on Buckley, Goldwater, and other early conservative leaders. "Later on, you have all these people who figure it's probably a pretty good political thing to do. And so they start talking about being conservative when they're running [for office], but they really aren't. So when they get to Congress or wherever they go, they're pretty easily dissuaded."
Regnery was speaking specifically about Republican politicians, but what he said could be applied with equal truth to "conservative" intellectuals like David Brooks -- parasites who latched onto The Movement for the opportunities it offered, rather than from any courageous conviction of the need to stand athwart history and yell, "Stop!"

The Crapweasel Coalition
When the chips are down, when the GOP is hurting from electoral disaster, when the conservative movement is discordant and demoralized, nothing helpful or constructive can be expected from the David Brookses, the parasitical opportunists, the pathetic fleas who ride on the elephant's ass.

Brooks revealed himself as a worthless punk with his "National Greatness" nonsense in 1997, which ought to have resulted in his immediate disfellowship as a heretic to the faith. Yet because he was deemed useful to the ambitions of others -- having kissed all the right asses in his sycophantic ascent -- Brooks was allowed to remain in the congregation, sowing discontent and promoting heresy among fellow congregants, which brought him to the attention of the New York Times.

Here's a clue for the youngsters: If the New York Times ever offers to publish you, you're doing something wrong.

It is cowardly punks like David Brooks, and all their sorry crapweasel imitators, who make the Ransom Note Method such an effective weapon for liberals. What has become known as "the 11th Commandment" -- Thou shalt speak no ill of a fellow Republican -- is usually, and wrongly, attributed to Ronald Reagan, and it is also widely misunderstood.

The 11th Commandment was actually coined by California state Republican Party chairman Gaylord Parkinson during the 1966 GOP gubernatorial primary. Parkinson had seen how, during the fight for the 1964 Republican presidential nomination, the milquetoast moderate opponents of Barry Goldwater had done the Democrats' dirty work for them, by labeling Goldwater a radical warmongering demagogue. Thus, once Goldwater won the nomination, all LBJ's henchmen had to do was to repeat the accusation: "Barry Goldwater is a paranoid wacko extremist -- as even his fellow Republicans agree!"

David Brooks is not a candidate for public office and is therefore not covered by the 11th Commandment. Thus to denounce him is no sin and, as a neutral objective professional journalist, my first obligation is to the write The Truth: David Brooks is a crapweasel.

Furthermore, the next time some genuine conservative who's trying to accomplish something useful says something subject to misinterpretation and thus finds himself under attack by the Ransom Note Method, I will invoke what I call the 12th Commandment:
Thou shalt have no mercy on a crapweasel.
Don't say you weren't warned, punks.

UPDATE: "Read the whole thing," says Kathy Shaidle, and aren't you glad you did? Think about it: Would any wise man risk The Wrath of Kathy by disobeying her?

UPDATE II: Another woman whose righteous wrathfulness reminds me of my wife, Monique Stuart advises, "It’s well worth a thorough read!"

UPDATE III: "If you don't read it, my Irish wife will hunt you down and kill you."

UPDATE IV: "The Other McCain once again enlightens on the nuts-and-bolts of the manipulation of thought through the manipulation of language."

UPDATE V: Dad29 praises "this perceptive observation."

UPDATE VI: James Fulford links and comments.

UPDATE VII: WELCOME, INSTAPUNDIT READERS! Please leave a comment, buy a book, check out Britney Spears, or watch this inspirational video.

UPDATE VIII: Now a Memeorandum thread (Rule 3), we're linked by Pat at So It Goes In Shreveport and Chris at Point of a Gun. Meanwhile, No Sheeples Here came up with this artwork:

UPDATE IX: Speaking of artwork, Lady Godiva invokes Commandment XII, even if she's a little confused as to the Seventh Day.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sham Ow!

by Smitty
Shlomi down from engaging in bad humor, but this is a test of the theory that all publicity is good publicity. The Sham Wow guy was
arrested last month on a felony battery charge following a violent confrontation with a prostitute in his South Beach hotel room. According to an arrest affidavit, Shlomi met Sasha Harris, 26, at a Miami Beach nightclub on February 7 and subsequently retired with her to his $750 room at the lavish Setai hotel. Shlomi told cops he paid Harris about $1000 in cash after she "propositioned him for straight sex." Shlomi said that when he kissed Harris, she suddenly "bit his tongue and would not let go." Shlomi then punched Harris several times until she released his tongue.
To follow the link and examine the mug shots, the experience was bad enough to turn him into Al Franken's younger sibling. Let us now consult Ancient Commenter Solomon:
Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman: that they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.
For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, and beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house, in the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:
And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart. (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)
So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee. I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves. For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.
With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.
Proverbs 7:4-23
Or, in this case, merely a bit of the tongue. Hat tip: Wallet Pop.

Of Course Drugs Will Be Legalized

by Smitty
Let's review a short list of "obvious" points:
  1. Government is responsible for making us all happy.
  2. Crushing deficits loom.
  3. Recreational drug use is a zero-guilt way to create new revenue streams for the government.
  4. Universal health care is an imperative.
  5. As HotMES notes: "Legalizing drugs would put the Mexican drug gangs out of business a lot quicker and a lot more effectively than anything our two governments can come up with."
Your attention is drawn to #2 and #4. The funding profile for universal health care will be greatly improved if people
a) die earlier while hopped up on whatever
b) curtail their golden years because of the side effects of that youthful hellraising.
In the future, staying blotto will be your patriotic duty. A Kieth Richards constitution will be the only Constitutional requirement for office.

Rule -5: I see an image and I want to paint it black...

A related bit here. (H/T: Instapundit)
"The answer is no, I don't think [legalizing marijuana] is a good strategy to grow the economy.--BHO"
His ability to count to 5 days of sunshine on the Porkulus Bill is all we need to know about how far ahead of the curve the good POTUS is on this growth strategy.

Paris Hilton explains nightclub brawl: 'He was so unbelievably rude'

They called the cops to Miami's Fountainbleu Hotel after a fight involving Paris Hilton's bodyguard and boyfriend. Paris's explanation? In two words, "Techno sucks":
I've been getting a lot of calls and emails regarding these subjects I'm about to discuss. First of all, last night at a club my boyfriend and I were assaulted for no reason at all.
The DJ (I don't even know his name cause he sucks so bad) was playing the worst music ever! I like certain techno music, but this was not even danceable and was frankly giving me a migraine.
I asked one of my friends who runs the hotel if he could change the music and he said. "I'll lead you up to the DJ booth tell him and he'll play whatever you want."
So he walked Doug and I over there. I asked the DJ if he could please play Daft Punk or Bob Sinclair and he rudely snapped at me and was like 'I only play this kind of music."
I think he was jealous cause Bob Sinclair is a far better DJ then this guy by about a million times. He was so unbelievably rude and all because I asked to play one good song.
Then out of nowhere his bodyguard (don't ask me why he has a bodyguard, like he really needs one. Ha) pushed me really hard, that's when my boyfriend, like my knight in shining armor, stepped in and told the guy to keep his hands off of me. Then all hell broke loose, it was like something out of a fight movie, it was so frightening. . . .
Well, that so totally makes sense, right?

UPDATE: I used to do this all the time, but haven't done it since December, so . . .
CELEBRITY NEWS UPDATE!
Yes, once again, dear readers, it is time to wade into the shallow world of the glitterati, where everything is fake, except the snark, which is frighteningly real:

¿Qué pasa?

"Don't we do enough for Mexico already? I mean, we allow millions of their citizens to pour over our border, annually, take jobs that 'Americans won't do,' and then send their earnings back home to boost their economy. Now, we have to start fixing their drug problems, too?"

UPDATE: My old Washington Times buddy Audrey Hudson reports:
American truck drivers operating near the U.S.-Mexico border are being warned of increasing violence among warring drug cartels and told to stay on alert against attacks or hijackings.
"Violence amongst Mexican drug cartels in the border states, on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border, has exponentially increased in the past year," according to the alert from First Observer, a trucking security program funded by a Homeland Security grant.
"Truck drivers carry a risk as they are involved in operations that might interest these criminals," the alert said.
The alert cited the efforts of Mexican President Feilpe Calderon to crack down on cross-border smuggling of drugs, which it says has hurt the cartels' operations.
"With these difficulties, the cartels' gangs have become more aggressive and dangerous with their tactics," the alert said. "Violent crimes have surged throughout border cities and the violence that primarily occurred on the Mexican side has begun to spill into the United States."
Read the reat here.

The GIVE Act: 'Anatomy of a scam'

That's what Carter Clews of Americans for Limited Government calls the GIVE (Generations Invigorating Volunteers and Education) Act:
[Supporters of the bill] would tell you that all they’re trying to do is help 250,000 wonderful young unemployed volunteers find a way to serve the country. And who could possibly oppose that?
Well, perhaps, the wonderful older employed workers who are going to be forced to foot the bill – beginning at $5 billion for starters and ending at God knows where.
Read the whole thing.

Video so good, it's better than sex

Via Dave C. at Point of a Gun:

Your 'right' to get nude in nightclubs

I'm sure this is what George Mason had in mind:
A popular Colorado Springs nightclub that was punished by the city's liquor board with a 10-day suspension of its liquor license after several women exposed their breasts during a rowdy "Girls Gone Wild" filming is appealing the decision.
An attorney representing the owners of 13 Pure, 217 E. Pikes Peak Ave., said women flashing their breasts is protected by the First Amendment.
"It's our position that it's constitutionally protected conduct," Denver-based attorney Mike Gross said Thursday.
But prosecuting attorney Scott Patlin said the nightclub violated local and state laws.
See, this is just like "gay rights." If I happen to be in a nightclub and the girls start taking off their clothes -- which is strictly a hypothetical scenario, you understand -- I'm not going to file a complaint with the City Liquor Board. On the other hand, don't tell me it's your "right."

This is another one of those phony liberal "rights" you don't actually have. Liberals peddle phony "rights" because it's a way of convincing people they're being victimized and oppressed by The Man. The intended message here is: "Vote Democrat, or else those evil Republicans will force you to keep your clothes on in a nightclub."

You're not stupid enough to believe that, are you? Now, you're probably wondering: What about the "right" to get nekkid as a jaybird to protest taxes? That's different. Ever hear of "civil disobedience"?

(H/T: Hot Air, the coolest blog evah.)

UPDATE: I've got a few minutes here before a blogger conference call, so why don't I refer you to my story about Judge Roy Moore and Ex Parte HH. People want to imply that, just because you disagree with someone about their "rights," it means you don't like them. Can anyone credibly accuse me of hating hotties? Am I "anti-breast"? You people need to wake up and smell the indoctrination. You've been brainwashed and haven't even been through the "rinse" cycle yet. HTTJYUB.

UPDATE II: Hey, how about a teacher's "right" to have sex with her teenage student?

UPDATE III: Linked by Doug Mataconis, with whom I have a dialogue in the comments.

UPDATE IV: Dave C. e-mails to say the back-and-forth in the comments reminds him of this joke:
Three married men were talking about their sex lives during coffee. The first man -- the newlywed of the bunch -- said, "It's been good. No complaints here. My wife and I have sex three to four times a week."
The second man -- at the seven year mark -- gloomily mumbled, "Once or twice a month. If I'm lucky."
The last man -- who has been married the longest -- was bouncing off his seat when he said, "Once a year!"
The other two men looked at him in astonishment.
"Why are you so excited then?" one of them asked.
"Because tonight's the night!"
Yeah. But I've dug my grave so deep now, I'm going to stop digging before I get to China.

Gay people should stay single

Excuse me, but I saw this headline:
McCain strategist endorses
same-sex marriage

Schmidt urges GOP to be
more welcoming of gays
To which I must obviously reply:
The Other McCain doesn't
endorse this trendy nonsense
'But OK with teh ghey,' says
blogger known for Speedo
Don't hate me, gay people. I'm an old-fashioned dude. Like 1977 old-fashioned. Back In The Day, gay people had a reputation for being tolerant, open-minded and non-judgmental.

For instance, if a 17-year-old dopehead boy wanted to drink in a bar in midtown Atlanta, he could always bebop his way up to the Sweet Gum Head on Cheshire Bridge Road and if he was kind of cute -- that tanned, skinny, long-haired, tight-jeans-and-an-unbuttoned-chambray-shirt-with-puka-shell-necklace kind of cute -- nobody would card him at the door. Not only that, but the patrons of such an establishment would be very eager to buy the boy a drink and teach him how to dance the Latin hustle.

Or so I'm told.

What I want to know is, when did you queers -- a term I use in that signifying radical postmodern transgressive sense, you understand -- stop being cool like that? Because from everything I see, all the intolerence, close-mindedness and judgmentalism nowadays is coming from you.

Yeah, that's right. It's like when the Germans went from being famous for beer and lederhosen to being famous for gas chambers and ovens. Ordinary gay people, I get along with fine. But ever since the Reagan administration, everything is about The Movement, isn't it?

"Gay" is no longer about disco music and sharing some butyl nitrite with a thirsty long-haired teenage dopehead while the Donna Summer thumps out of the sound system. Now, being "gay" is some kind of politicized identity (like being "Aryan") and the leadership of The Movement -- those Faggot Fuehrers and Dyke Dictators who want to tell you what to think -- spend all their time teaching people to hate anybody who disagrees with The Movement.

So if The Movement says that same-sex marriage is a "right" (just like the Aryan master race had a "right" to the Danzig Corridor), then anybody who doesn't salute and start marching is an Evil Homophobic Hate Monger.

I liked it better when you did the Latin hustle. This goosestepping stuff isn't sexy. And ditch the brown shirts. Faded chambray brings out the blue in my eyes.

Or so I'm told.

BTW, you should think about ditching that crappy Euro/techno music and bringing some Old School.

UPDATE: Linked by Evil Homophobic Hate Monger Dan Collins. (Dan, green and orange? I mean, really.)

UPDATE II: For the sake of perspective, I should point out that I also disagree with the "right" of young hotties to get naked in nightclubs. NTTAWWT.

Things You Can't Safely Do With Mohammed

By Smitty
Hat tip: Anorak
"In Russia they play Jesus Monopoly - Go directly to jail, do no pass go(d)…"


In my Father's monopoly, there are multitudes of houses and hotels. Shouldst thou already labour under the waters of a mortgage on thy devalued property, even thine only domicile, and thou then landest on mine, then it biteth to be thee. Theology is theology; verily, business is business. And neglect ye not the tip jar, lest thy ungratefulness exceed even mine.
--Not the Gospel of John

'The Silver-Spoon Snobs'

If you ever wanted to read an inspiring rebuttal to the anti-Palin elitists . . . .

JournoList: 'People with the skill'

Nice to know that Matthew Yglesia, who has argued that "what the right lacks are people with the skill to do the job" of news reporting, has nothing better to do than to respond to a JournoList thread like this:
From: Matthew Yglesias Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2009 14:00:31 -0400 Local: Tues, Mar 24 2009 2:00 pm Subject: Re: [JournoList] BREAKING: Marty Peretz is a Crazy-Ass Racist . . .
The subject of discussion there is a Marty Peretz item from The New Republic about narco-terrorism and governmental dysfunction in Mexico. Ergo, unless you avert your eyes to the rapidly deteriorating situation in Mexico and pretend that Ciudad Juarez is like Disney World (except happier), you are a "Crazy-Ass Racist" like the venerable liberal publisher of TNR. The other major "revelation" about JournoList is described by Jeff Goldstein:
Think "Woodward and Bernstein bring down Nixon,” only replace "Woodward and Bernstein bring down Nixon" with “A bunch of guys who were beaten up daily in junior high show why they almost certainly had it coming."
(Hat-tip: Jimmie Bise Jr. at Sundries Shack.) Indeed, a "plague of neurasthenia." At almost the exact same hour that Yglesias was on JournoList discussing the "news" about Marty "I Hate Beaners" Peretz, a real journalist, Dave Weigel, was breaking a scoop. ("Scoops" -- what a concept!)

Joe The Plumber Can Be More Than A Gimmick

By Smitty
Monique gets in a bit of hammer time on Joe, having met him at CPAC:
I wasn’t impressed. I mean, what is this guy famous for, asking a question? That’s retarded. I think his fifteen minutes of fame should have ended a while, ago. I’m not trying to be mean, And, it’s nothing personal. But, come on now. Is Pawlenty going to tap him next to be the poster-child for these "Sam’s Club Republicans" he keeps talking about?
Joe the Plumber is a gimmick. The people see through that. If you really want to campaign against this bill why don’t you find a spokesperson who would actually be harmed by it? Stop reinforcing the idea that all Republicans are rich elitists that can’t communicate with the "common man."
I met him, too, and got a signed copy of his book. It's worth mentioning that he went to Gaza as a correspondent, and had done some other spots you can catch over on PJTV. We should all continue to read, think, and take action to improve the country. It looks like he's striving to go beyond "one trick pony." Just because he'll never make it as a Jello wrestler is no reason to hand out a beat-down.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

More reporting conservatives don't do

Tonight at George Washington University, David Horowitz made news:
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- There is a "100% chance that there will be . . . an attack on U.S. soil," conservative author David Horowitz said Thursday.
Horowitz made the prediction while speaking to a George Washington University student group, after being asked about the possibility of U.S.-Iranian conflict. In the event of such a terror attack against the American homeland, Horowitz predicted, there will be widespread public outrage against U.S. liberals. . . .
Having spent more than two decades in the news business, I was outraged in January when Michael Goldfarb at the Weekly Standard said conservative bloggers don't do reporting. I'd love to do more, but the stuck-up know-it-alls at the Weekly Standard never asked, and they don't ever link me off their blog, so . . . OK, /rage.

But then Matthew Yglesias jumped in with his "nyah nyahs," prompting Malkin to demonstrate, au contraire, that conservative bloggers do report. And I know doggone well that they could do a lot more reporting, if anyone with any influence in the conservative movement had a freaking clue about the news business. But they don't, and so I'm out here shaking the tip jar at 11 at night, while some other people on fat salaries are at home in bed.

F--- them.

Dan Collins has further thoughts on the subject. I'm too tired and angry to write about it now.

UPDATE: Linked by Pundit & Pundette.

In Search of Right-Wing Gonzo

Or, Why Culture 11 Sucked So Bad:
In less than six months of publication, Culture 11 burned through a stack of start-up capital rumored to be north of $1 million. . . .
"I never even heard of this Culture11 site until I read that it was gone," said veteran conservative blogger Dan Riehl. "If someone wants to know why it failed, extrapolate that out to other bloggers and web surfers, that was it. Having never seen it, all I can conclude is that it really must have sucked."
Charles Homan of the liberal Washington Monthly naturally pursues the theme that there is some ideological flaw in conservatism that accounts for the failure of Culture11. . . .
Homan has got it all wrong. The problem at Culture11 was that personnel is policy.
Please read every brutal word, you stupid punks.

UPDATE: Linked at Nashville Post.

UPDATE II: Linked by Paco.

What Cool Was, 1977

From the J.C. Penney Summer Catalog in 1977, the year I graduated from Lithia Springs (Ga.) High School:

These kids today don't know anything about being cool -- to say nothing of being "solid." Or "heavy." Or "righteous," "happening" or "far out."

TONIGHT: David Horowitz in D.C.

I'll be in Washington tonight to see David Horowitz's 7 p.m. speech at the State Plaza Hotel (2117 E Street, NW):
The George Washington University Chapter of the Young America's Foundation is pleased to announce that they will be hosting David Horowitz at a dinner this Thursday, March 26th to discuss his new book, One Party Classroom.
The son of two life-long members of the Communist Party, and a former supporter of Marxism as well as a former member of the New Left in the 1960s, Horowitz later renounced his "left-wing political radicalism" and became an advocate for conservatism. He is a founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center and has served as president of that organization for many years. He is the editor of the conservative website FrontPage Magazine, and his writings can be read on news sites and publications, including the conservative magazine NewsMax.
Horowitz’s new book, One Party Classroom, is a non-fiction outlining the liberal bias on college campuses. The book includes a list of the top 150 most radical classes in American school’s course catalogues and is broken down into 12 chapters, each focusing on a particular school. The range in size of schools is astonishing; from large state schools to small private schools, a telling sign of the widespread bias. Through careful examination of the school’s curriculum and course catalog, Mr. Horowitz shows that these biases have resulted not because of administrative oversight, but are due to a sincere effort by the University to use the classroom as a platform for liberal bias. The book does not focus on individual classes, but instead investigates the underlying factors that make the existence of radical classes possible.
"Exposing bias in education is one of the main missions of the Young America's Foundation. We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to bring Mr. Horowitz to George Washington to discuss this very important topic. While the recent firing of Ward Churchill was a step in the right direction to end bias, there is still a long way to go. We are eager to help spread the message by bringing Mr. Horowitz to the University," Travis Korson, Director of Press said.
The event will be held at 7:00pm in the Diplomat Room of the State Plaza Hotel. The hotel is located at 2117 E Street, NW Washington DC. The event will be televised by C-Span and is free and open to the public.

(Cross-posted at Right Wing News and AmSpecBlog.)

Fear & Loathing in the Hotel Bar

"What happened?" said our friend. "What did they do to her?" He seemed very agitated by what he was hearing.
"Do?" said my attorney. "Jesus Christ man. They chopped her goddamned head off right there in the parking lot! Then they cut all kinds of holes in her and sucked out the blood!"
"God almighty!" the Georgia man exclaimed... "And nobody did anything?"
"What could they do?" I said. "The guy that took the head was about six-seven and maybe three hundred pounds. He was packing two Lugers, and the others had M-16s. They were all veterans..."
"The big guy used to be a major in the Marines," said my attorney. "We know where he lives, but we can't get near the house."
"Naw!" our friend shouted. "Not a major!"
"He wanted the pineal gland," I said. "That's how he got so big. When he quit the Marines he was just a little guy."
"O my god!" said our friend. "That's horrible!"
"It happens every day," said my attorney. "Usually it's whole families. During the night. Most of them don't even wake up until they feel their heads going -- and then of course, it's too late."
The bartender had stopped to listen. I'd been watching him. His expression was not calm.
"Three more rums," I said. "With plenty of ice, and maybe a handful of lime chunks."
He nodded, but I could see that his mind was not on his work. He was staring at our name-tags. "Are you guys with the police convention upstairs?" he said finally.
"We sure are, my friend," said the Georgia man with a big smile.
The bartender shook his head sadly. "I thought so," he said. "I never heard that kind of talk at this bar before. Jesus Christ! How do you guys stand that kind of work?"
My attorney smiled at him. "We like it," he said. "It's groovy."

Godwin's Law in Tennessee

A.C. Kleinheider:
In the unwritten rules of online political debate there is an axiom. It is called Godwin's Law and it states, according to Wikipedia, that "the person who first makes an unwarranted reference to Nazi Germany or Hitler in an argument loses that argument automatically."
By any definition opponents of state Sen. Dewayne Bunch were well within their rights to invoke the rule during the senator's performance last week on the floor of the state Senate. . . .
"[I]f you’re trying to be the nutritional Nazi police on school campuses, then we need to have someone there to keep them from buying more than one product if it's eight ounces. If there's an issue of nutrition, with buying two — they can simply buy two and circumvent that," stated Bunch. . . .
Examining the video from the proceedings, Bunch is clearly nonplussed by his own words. A colleague, however, Sen. Tim Burchett, seated behind him reacts and winces visibly when Bunch makes his utterance. Why? Was it his dismay at the debate tactics Bunch was engaged in? Was Burchett upset about the decline in the discourse?
No, the animated reaction by Burchett was because his colleague's opponent in debate that day was Sen. Andy Berke, the chamber's only Jewish member.
Oops. A Godwin's Law violation is always a disqualifier, but doing it in debate with a Jewish person can get you tarred-and feathered. The denouement:
Of course, upon realizing that a gaffe was made, Bunch quickly asked forgiveness and apologized to both Senator Berke and the full Senate explaining that he had no idea that Berke was Jewish. Bunch assured folks that he was merely referencing the 'Soup Nazi' character from the popular television show Seinfield, not authentic National Socialists.
Right. The term "Nazi," when modified as Bunch used it ("nutritional Nazi police") is clearly not meant as a literal analogy to genocidal tyrrany, but rather to the kind of fanatical intolerance for dissent that Limbaugh implies by the term "femi-Nazi." Thus, though Bunch's remark might have been thoughtless, he did not actually violate Godwin's law. Next time, Sen. Bunch, try "food fascists."

The Mehlman-Rove Legacy

The 2004 Republican primary in Georgia stands out in my memory. My older brother Kirby, who lives in Douglas County, Ga., and who is not famous for his political correctness (I put it mildly), called me in Washington that spring raving with enthusiasm for Herman Cain.

A businessman who made a fortune as an executive in the food-service industry, Cain is solidly conservative and preaches a pro-free-market message of individual empowerment. Cain sold his company, Godfather's Pizza, and entered the Senate race to replace retiring Sen. Zell Miller. If elected, Cain would have become the first black senator from Georgia since Reconstruction, and his endorsement by my politically incorrect brother struck me as highly signficant.

Alas, the primary was won by Rep. Johnny Isakson, who became a congressman by winning the special election to replace Newt Gingrich, who had stepped down after the 1998 election. Isakson had a reputation among Georgia Republicans as a squishy moderate, and I've always blamed his Senate victory over Cain on interference in that primary by the national GOP apparatus, particularly then-RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman and Bush political advisor Karl Rove.

During the Bush years, one often sensed the Mehlman-Rove thumb on the scales in key Republican primaries. The influence of that thumb was explicit in the 2004 Pennsylvania primary where Pat Toomey challenged Arlen Specter. The NRSC moved heaven and earth to defend Specter, and the White House put heavy pressure on Sen. Rick Santorum, forcing him to abandon his preferred neutrality and endorse Specter.

In the Georgia Senate race that year, the Mehlman-Rove thumb was not explicit, and they would probably deny interfering at all, but . . . Well, let's just say that the White House didn't do Herman Cain any favors. You hear things, y'know what I'm saying?

And so I told you that long story because today, Red State's Erick Erickson has a post about Isakson's enthusiastic endorsement of the ObamaCorps Youth Slavery Act. It's the kind of anti-freedom legislation that no friend of liberty could ever support, so once again Isakson betrays his unprincipled establishmentarianism by supporting it.

It's dumbass moves like this -- and this is certainly not the first such move by Isakson -- that make me think, "Damn, if only Herman Cain had been elected!"

The official national GOP apparatus should always be strictly neutral in contested Republican primaries, even where incumbents like Specter are facing primary challenges (as Specter is again this year from Pat Toomey). The NRSC and the NRCC should never spend a dime to defend an incumbent in a race like that; such favoritism is a violation of principle that kills grassroots enthusiasm.

However, the Republican Party is a conservative party, and if the party's national leaders should ever get involved individually in contested GOP primaries, then they should, in general, favor the more conservative candidate. Otherwise, they forfeit their claim to legitimacy as conservatives. The national Republicans who backed Isakson in the 2004 primary should feel ashamed of themselves.

(H/T: NetRightNation.)