Saturday, August 8, 2009

Follow-on Mound-o'-links Just Roars Ahead

by Smitty

Thanks to everyone for the indulgence on the FMJRA pause last Saturday. Now we can catch up on the previous week's anchor tag festivities. Griffaquiddick really dominates the links, as it did the week. If it wasn't so pathetically stupid, one could wish for similar stories at higher frequency.

...from the POMPETUS of love
  • Right of course had excellent thoughts on the BHO Joker controversy.
Blogger Advice
  • Lonely Conservative liked the advice given to trollish commenters. OK, I had approved the post. My line is drawn in a different location than RSM's.
Snitches Be We
  • Grandpa John tosses a rack of bloggers under the bus using a horseshoe throw thought forgotten lost with the Coolidge administration. Reach-around, indeed.
Vice President Biden
  • Troglopundit thinks that this is a deterrent against asking timeline questions about BHO. This democracy is an experiment, no? I'm ready to try the Jester, instead of the Joker.
  • The Nashville Post liked the birther summary.
  • Pat in Shreveport posts a review of the Walpin case, and also laments that there isn't any media, or Congressional for that matter, interest in IG-Gate.
  • Instapundit notices the connection between Dodd and IG-Gate. And it's not that both are, sadly, cancer-riddled.
  • The Camp of the Saints continues to be the definitive index to the scandal.
Libertarians as GOP bitches
  • Knappster takes Stacy to task for his analysis of the meaning of a six-ballot Barr nomination in 2008. I'll let better looking people than me critique the analysis. My preferred argument is the straight, simple, classical federalist one. You realize that we have 50 different opportunities to be as libertarian, socialist or moderate as we want to, once the Federal vampire is de-fanged. There really isn't a need to argue any viewpoint to conclusion at the Federal level: just make sure that the stake stays stuck in the vampire's heart. OK, Stacy has responded.
Miscellaneous Shouts
  • Mark Thompson of the Ordinary Gentlemen considered the seatbelt law question, linking humans aren't numbers post. Good post, but could be expanded into a general consideration of the Progressive agenda, in my opinion.
  • Caffeinated Thoughts makes a crucial point:
    To those of us who blog there’s a lesson here whether we are conservative, liberal or someplace in between… we can’t just write whatever we want and make up stuff and not expect to reap consequences. It is easy to hide behind anonymity and throw rocks.
    I'll pile on and add that it's not too hard to make a stand in favor of a position in a positive way. Give reasonable space to legitimate counter-arguments. Then attack the opposition with dispassionate questions.
  • Paul at the Home Security Blog rounds up blogadvice, giving appropriate position to Stacy.
  • Jesse Hathaway puts up an excellent post concerning the New Black Panther case dismissal. He linked us, as if daring me to include him in the roundup. I take that dare.
  • Adrienne's Catholic Corner honors Mrs. The Other McCain (who is a wonderful lady, I can say, having met her) after a refreshing photo tour of her garden. If you need a flower break, go to the arboretum, or this post.
  • The Reaganite Republican Resistance liked and linked the Cash for Clunkers post.
  • Bob Belvedere like Brooks bashing, but is lukewarmer(?) than my lukewarm willingness to consider Mitt Romney. And then there is the DK/Rush connection. May need to get together with this guy for a beverage.
The Main Event: Griffaquiddick
  • The fabulous Pamela at Atlas Shrugs picked up on us.
  • Doug at Sondra K wonders aloud how lame you have to be...
  • The Rhetorican picked it up.
  • Al-Wa7a had a lengthy roundup, but little evidence of their origin.
  • Another Black Conservative followed the story, providing an Epic Fail summary, and opined:
    I find it very odd that his supporters seem unbothered by his comments. If you go to the Immoral Minority and read through the comments, no one seems alarmed or creped out by any of his statements. So myopic are they with their Palin hatred, that they readily accept all these disturbing things. It says a lot about the state of politics on the far left.
  • Jimmie invokes the classic adage about discovering you're in a hole, and halting the digging.
This blog will now seek to squelch the rumor that Griffin once fronted the punk outfit The U-Men, and was merely carrying out the mission in their nihilist classic "Dig it a Hole":

In any case, it makes an appropriate theme song for Griffaquiddick.
  • Caffinated Thoughts links to Megyn Kelly discussing Griffaquiddick on O'Reilly. I know, MK is pure Rule 5 by definition, but we're focusing on the legal content here.
  • The Rude News tried to help Griffin, after a fashion:
    Naming the post "Kicking Some Teeth In" in no way endorses violence against losers, wussies, cowards or even decent human beings. It’s just my way of offering Griffin another shelter should he no longer be able to hide behind school children.
    I confess to missing the logic behind this, and request clarification.
  • Chad at the KURU Lounge was unimpressed by the specifics of the problem. The two points he seems to miss are the children at risk to a creepy character, and the fact that this is a shot o'er the bow to all of the clowns who helped drive Sarah out of office in the first place. If you take away those two factors, Chad, sure, the thing becomes a local matter that the POTUS might term 'stupid'.
  • Pumas for Palin suggests Sarah stay silent about the divorce rumor. Good analysis, which she appears to be following. And with the dynamic duo of Riehl and McCain demonstrating the difference between a legitimate journalistic inquiry and a Joe-the-Plumber-esque character assassination, what more need be done?
  • Liberalsmash included Griffaquiddick in a roundup.
  • BelchSpeak emitted a cloud. Which recalls a sausage pizza and a can of ginger ale and a story that, in the name of decency, I shan't continue.
  • Political By Line, the bearer of the big guns, thinks that boy bit off waaay more than he can chew.
  • Cassandra weighed in, generating an absurd rumor of her own.
  • The Rhetorican noted that Griffaquiddick has provided a new Griffin gate, or sorts.
  • Irons in the Fire took notice.
  • We had the honor of making Melissa Clouthier's podcast.
  • The Ruby Slippers Blog clicked its heels.
  • Moe Lane noted that the renegade hockey mom quote is apparently real.
  • The Daley Gator quoted us.
  • Thomas Lamb notes Griffin's affinity for 'bitchy'.
  • Fullosseous Flap had a roundup, including a Facebook screencap.
  • Jimmie mocks the magic of multiple sources.
  • Carolyn Tackett: "Excuse me if my heart doesn't break for poor little Jesse".
  • Rhetorican focused on some legal aspects.
  • Rightofcourse linked the divorce quote in a roundup.
  • Libertarian Republican complements Stacy.
  • Backyard Conservative picked up on the multiple sources angle.
  • Eric Florack over at Pajamas Media: liberal bloggers crash and burn.
  • Joe at NOVA Town Hall: "Sarah Kicks Liberal Ass Just By Walking The Earth".
  • The Confluence noted the tabliod blogging.
  • Blatherings echoed the now-famous quote from the renegade hockey mom.
  • Wake Up America was tracking the story.
  • The Faithful Progressive linked us.
  • Paco linked us faithfully.
  • Kim Priestap linked us, too.
  • Wizbang digs us.
  • The Ruby Slippers Blog likes them some debunkin'.
  • Jimmie makes the depressing observation that a divorce would have been a Christmas present in lefty land.
  • Tigerhawk links us. And we should link TH more.
  • Texas 4 Palin links, and throws in some Monty Python for good justice.
That more or less catches us up. Send your cheers and jeers to Smitty. Pray for peace, keep the powder dry, and hit the tip jar.

Rick Moran: if you were trying to sound a blowhard, you succeeded

by Smitty

Rick Moran, reacting to Sarah Palin's Facebook statement:
I wholeheartedly agree that this statement by Sarah Palin on her Facebook page is unconscionable, outrageous, and either a deliberate lie, or proof that she really is an airhead
Your attention is drawn to the excellent William Jacobson, (emphasis mind)
These critics, however, didn't take the time to find out to what Palin was referring when she used the term "level of productivity in society" as being the basis for determining access to medical care. If the critics, who hold themselves in the highest of intellectual esteem, had bothered to do something other than react, they would have realized that the approach to health care to which Palin was referring was none other than that espoused by key Obama health care adviser Dr. Ezekial Emanuel (brother of Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel).

The article in which Dr. Emanuel puts forth his approach is "Principles for Allocation of Scarce Medical Interventions," published on January 31, 2009. A full copy is embedded below. Read it, particularly the section beginning at page 6 of the embed (page 428 in the original) at which Dr. Emanuel sets forth the principles of "The Complete Lives System."
One of the things that bothers me about Rick Moran's blog is the title "Right Wing Nuthouse". What a misnomer. He seems to have overdosed on the Progressive, centrist kool-aid so long ago, that perhaps "Right Wing Morgue" would be a more accurate title.

It remains to be seen, but it may just be possible that Sarah Palin has as good an platform as anyone. I can, and do, see the wisdom in playing a cautious hand. Some of the Palin blogs, for example, seem as blatantly worshipful as the crappiest Obama pap.

Nevertheless, a strongly Federalist platform is exactly what's needed. Should she deliver such, with the kind of thoughtful analysis shown here, which you seem intent on deeming dishonest, then we'll just mentally group you with the Brooks/Noonan Axis of Useless.

Ann Althouse comes out in defense of Palin. So that's two lawyers not agreeing with Moran's take. My guess is that Mrs. Palin probably has anything public screened to make sure that she's not giving the opposition substantial ammunition.

Tom Knapp is a friend . . .

. . . and therefore I will accept his criticism as sincere, even if I think his analysis of the 2008 Libertarian Party campaign is flawed:
And what, pray tell, did we get out of the [Bob] Barr nomination? . . . [T]he fourth-best results (as a percentage of the vote total) of the Libertarian Party's ten presidential outings. Our reward for taking a flier and running a conservative instead of a libertarian was middle-of-the-pack performance at the polls and incalculable damage to our reputation as a party with principles we weren't willing to sell for a mess of . . . well, let's just note that it was a mess and leave it at that.
One might attack Tom's argument from several directions, but I think the most important point is one which Tom ignores altogether. One of the reasons that the Barr campaign got so much national media attention in Spring 2008 was the widespread belief that, given the strength of the Ron Paul GOP campaign -- especially in terms of online fundraising -- and furthermore considering an established personal friendship between Barr and Paul, if the LP nominated Barr, he would bring much of Paul's financial and grassroots support with him.

While this envisioned scenario did not actually develop after the "Dogfight in Denver" (in which Barr fought for six ballots to gain the LP nomination) this does not mean the original hope of Team Barr was misguided.

There has been a good deal of behind-the-scenes finger-pointing among Libertarians as to what went wrong after the LP convention in May, but a falling-out between Paul and Barr (which seems to have happened in June) could not have been anticipated when Team Barr organized its nomination campaign.

Tom and I met as part of the vanload of "smelly libertarians" who made the road trip to the Denver LP convention. Tom represents a sizeable faction in the Libertarian Party who hate and despise anything "conservative" or Republican. And, of course, there are any number of Republican conservatives who use "libertarian" as an epithet.

This is unfortunate, especially since most Republicans I know are, to some degree, libertarians (with a small "l"). And most Libertarians I know have been involved in primary campaigns for libertarian-leaning Republicans like Ron Paul.

Eric Dondero attempts to bridge this chasm by styling himself a Libertarian Republican. My friend Stephen Gordon has been an operative in both the GOP and LP. Personally, I have attempted to describe "Libertarian Populism" as a potential locus for opposition to both Democratic Party progressive statism and the Progressive Lite go-along-to-get-along approach of GOP "moderates," by offering freedom as the basic answer to populist grievances.

What is at stake in all this is something much more important than divergent estimates of individual candidates or disagreements about campaign strategy. What is at stake is nothing less than liberty itself.

If our nation's future is to be entrusted to Nancy Pelosi and her ilk, then the disagreements between Tom Knapp and myself are moot, no more relevant to contemporary politics than an historical discussion of how the Whigs self-destructed after 1844.

In the present crisis, friends of liberty must prioritize their efforts and focus on practical activism to stop ObamaCare, Waxman-Markey and EFCA -- the Big Three legislative initiatives being pushed through Congress with every resource that can be mustered by the special interests who control the Democratic Party.

The passage of any one of these Big Three initiatives would inflict a damaging blow, perhaps even a fatal wound, to the cause of American liberty. I assume that Tom Knapp fully supports the "angry mob" effort to prevent passage of those initiatives, and therefore do not wish to waste time debating the past.

Let us act now to secure the future of freedom, Tom. We'll leave the historical debates for some occasion when we can sit down together with cold beverages and each tell the other to his face how completely full of crap he is.

3d Loser Award: Lawrence O'Donnell

by Smitty (h/t Hot Air)

This blog hasn't given out a 3-D Loser Award in a while.Then again, Lawrence O'Donnells don't just grow on trees--the whole forest would die.

I'd be the first to admit that a Bill O'Reilly ranting at Barny Frank is also over the top. So, perhaps, all of these talking heads need to go to the William F. Buckley school of interviewing.

Had I been Peter Schiff, I'd have lowered my volume and begun to speak more slowly. As long as the interview is not a dialogue, let the jackass conducting it underscore his rabid partisan fanaticism.

Heaven bless Schiff's campaign. Senator Dodd is completely in need of replacement.

Finally, at a high enough level of abstraction, O'Donnell is sort a humorless John Cleese in the Argument Clinic:

Possibly, the Argument Clinic is the only boondoggle that didn't make the Longevity Abatement Legislation. Yet.

the Investigation; Note on Credit

Matt Carter of the Dallas TV Examiner:
After it was made clear that "Gryphen" (his handle on the blog) was in fact Jesse Griffin, the blogger abruptly resigned from his job as a kindergarten aide at a local Anchorage school. . . .
Since the story broke, some commentators have chosen to add their thoughts. Fox News has been the most prominent channel to televise news of rumors so far, with Bill O'Reilly referring to it as "nasty" and a "vicious attack;" Glenn Beck introduced the story as "Americans ignoring common sense." Fox News is watched by a more conservative audience than CNN or MSNBC. Could this have something to do with why the network is choosing to cover it while others are choosing to turn the other way? (Emphasis added.)
Note the passive construction, "it was made clear." By whom was it made clear? Carter gives no indication, and the unwary reader might be excused for supposing that Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck were responsible.

Given that Dan Riehl and I spent six days sweating blood to get this story, Mr. Carter's failure to acknowledge our work constitutes an attempt to deprive us of proper credit. He should rectify this oversight because, while I am tolerant and forgiving, Dan Riehl is from New Jersey -- IYKWIMAITYD -- and his umbrage is something no one should incur even by well-intentioned oversight, much less by purposeful insult.

Just in case anyone has arrived late at this news, here are links to major items, arranged in chronological order, in the development of the "Gryphen"/Griffin story:
Anyone in any medium (online, print, radio, TV) wishing to report further on this story is free to do so, but anyone who fails to acknowledge the original reporting . . . well, trust me, you wouldn't want Dan Riehl mad at you.

BTW, Dan and I have had the help of various Web scavengers who have not sought credit for their contributions to this investigation. Yet I freely acknowledge, as I am sure Dan also would do, that we could not have done this without the assistance of many unnamed others.

Because I've got other work to do, I'm content to let Dan handle things from here on out. Be sure to check Riehl World View for any further developments. And now, the unofficial Dan Riehl theme song:

"Cheap" I wish. It's a labor of love.

Fortnightly Mama Jamma Rinky-dinky-linky hAmma

by Smitty

Last weekend I fell short of being able to attend a wedding, keep up with my online course, do my weekend warrior thing, and squeeze in an FMJRA post. When sanity and the law limit your stimulants to caffeine, that's what happens.
So we'll have a double browser-buster post this time, split in two parts, and get this porch cleared of debris. They say when the refrigerator count gets above three, you might be lookin' trashy.
These links should have been last Saturday's post, but cherish them nonetheless.

Richmond Tea Party
Stacy continued his illustrious string of Tea Party speeches in Richmond. He's careful to schedule them when I'm unavoidably detained. I think he fears heckling.
  • PAWatercooler posts a shot of RSM hitting a high note. Whether he was referring to himself as "Darlin'" or "Mac the Knife" at that moment is hard to discern from the photo.
  • The mighty Instapundit noticed this humble blog's presence at the Richmond Tea Party.
  • United Conservatives linked the Richmod Tea Party report.
  • Jimmie noted the Richmond Excursion, but seemed challenged to link the Pink Elephant Pundit. What Jimmie was up to that gave him all of this trouble with pink elephants, one cannot say. By the way, what's that potent liquid in the canning jar on the back shelf behind the register at the Sundries Shack?
  • Moe Lane on IG-Gate:
    [Stacy McCain's] not particularly impressed with the willingness of Democrats to ignore the implications - and really, neither am I; but I don’t think that either of us are particularly surprised, either. The more that one looks into this, the more hidden minefields there are in the form of entrenched Democratic party interests. You have to expect that their lower-level staffers and officials are not particularly willing to screw their courage to the sticking point on this one...
    I'll opine that as the Chicago Tumor grows and threatens to metastasize, this probably becomes a handy tool. They keep piling up facts at a low frequency, and, if it becomes expedient, they can probably make it grounds for impeachment. Which doesn't say much for the 111th Congress's committment to integrity as such, but we are talking about Congress. We certainly have the bozos for whom We The People voted.
Sadly, there is no YouTube of Knofpler doing "Punish the Monkey" off of "Kill to Get Crimson", but we do have someone doing a nice job of showing off the guitar part while it plays. I nominate this track as the IG-Gate Theme Song.

Stacy's title alluded to the classic Dire Straits cut, of course. Let's just admit it: Knopfler jams.
Maxine Walters
  • Jimmie was equally dumbfounded at Maxine Walters on The Hill's beauty roundup.
  • The PA Watercooler called for response to the RSM "Pittsburgh Bridge Trolls" taunt
  • Another Black Conservative gives a thumbs down for Maxine Walters.
Abstract Quaffin'
  • Jimmie picked up on the choice of Hunter S. Thompson for a strictly hypothetical beverage.
  • Political By Line, whose Iowa-class battleship masthead really turns my screws, quoted the 'exit criteria' question this blog posed on Gates-aquiddick.
  • Carol linked us in a thorough review of the story, in case anyone was totally asleep on the point.
Health Care Prevention Act
  • Poli-Tea party quotes Stacy on health care reform: "Every Republican vote for such legislation is a nail in the coffin of the GOP...Kill the bill!" Remember, boys and girls, this legislation is a zombie, and the prescription for zombies is shotgun shells, not fire.
  • Right of Course enjoyed the meditation on Romney and Federalism.
  • The Associated Press check called it a "real conservative perspective". The Porch Manqué lives for this sort of feedback.
  • Jimmie rogers up for supporting Romney, if he's got any Federalist thoughts under that immaculate hair.
  • Another Black Conservative plays the Nancy Reagan card on Obamacare.
While I'm theme-songing scandals and legislation, here is one for the Longevity Abatement Act (credit to Paco, AFAIK, for that wonderful moniker):

Malignant Narcissim has a cool story behind it. The female soundbite is from Team America: World Police "Usually a case of malignant narcissism brought on during childhood"
I can understand people not enjoying Geddy's tenor vocals on Rush. But Stacy came up with some cheesy excuse about not liking Rush due to a low blues content. Whatever, man. Readers are encouraged to heap abuse upon Stacy concerning this specific point of silliness.

Economy--Should We Opt For One That Doesn't Suck?
  • Dr. Melissa links a Paul Krugman link while wondering aloud about the recession. I predict that the economic amphetamines wear off after Labor Day, and more dope doesn't help the addict. But that's a common sense prediction, not a doctor's prescription.
  • Joel Pavelski links the economic confusion post in the midst of a broader roundup.
Miscellaneous Shouts
  • Obi's Sister had a roundup asking How Bad is Bad? One is at a loss to figure out how this blog could possibly find itself profiled in such a lineup.
  • Troglopundit hat tips us most graciously for generatl good humor.
  • Jimmie had a qualilty meditation about Dan Rather, in contrast to old-school types like Stacy.
  • Right View from the Left Coast liked the Dead Kennedys link in the Gatesaquiddick fiasco.
  • A shout to Cassandra, and she knows why.
  • Made a roundup at Carolyn Tackett's Closet for the post I Must Be An Idiot. See, Mr. President, what a forthright approach can get you?
  • Rhetorican and I took turns linking each other on a Ben Stein piece.
  • The Knappster links us on the Million Hits topic in suitably shameless fashion, offering a couple of other interesting thoughts.
Stay tuned to this blog, as I've another emacs buffer of links to go through from the last week. You readers are wonderful, and make these compilations quite an HTML party.

Lest we think there is no room for things to worsen here...

by Smitty

Dr. Sanity posts a haunting video compiled by Iranian women in protest to the brutality with which our current administration seems strangely comfortable. Heart wrenching.

Also on the topic of women speaking truth to power, Sarah Palin called Obamacare "downright evil". So, that's going to curry favor with BHO. Hat tip ABC, who also has the best graphic on the topic.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Zappa to Tea Parties

by Smitty

Frank had a potty mouth, so I put it up over at effing conservatives, but it's a nice reggae groove that seems to be a prescient note about the SEIU to the Tea Parties: "We've got to stick together".

Coulter In the House!

Just ducked out of a speech by Ann Coulter here at the YAF National Conservative Student Conference, so I could report her opening line: "I'd like to thank the pharmaceutical industry for putting together this fake audience for me."

Actually, the audience is real -- and it's spectacular! Coulter also said that, thanks to the Obama administration, now every ballerina can grow up to be White House chief of staff.

Will update later . . .

UPDATE: Now it's Q&A time, where Ann has -- in the past -- caused controversy.

UPDATE II: Understand that the last-night dinner at the YAF conference is a big deal, and the young ladies get all dolled up for it. Some of them are dressed in a manner that might best be described as . . . well, Coulteresque.

OK, so a platinum blonde in a zebra-striped dress just asked Ann whether she would advise attending law school, as Coulter herself did.

"Do not go to law school," replies Ann. "Encourage liberals to go to law school. It's a complete waste of time."

Coulter said the only caveat is, it's OK to go to law school if you actually want to practice law. But if you''re just a recent college graduate who doesn't know what to do next, the "Oh, I guess I'll just go to law school" route is a waste of time, she said.

BTW, Coulter was introduced tonight by Ramapo College senior Lauren Scirocco, who was recently interviewed in Time magazine:
I really like Sarah Palin. I think as a conservative woman, I can really relate to her. . . . Conservatives feel like she's someone they can relate to and believe in. Liberals vilify her and make fun of her constantly, and I think that's because they're afraid of her and know she's going to be there in the future. She's not going away.
BTW, Miss Scirocco's dress tonight is . . . Coultersque.

UPDATE III: Just met Robert Vernon Myers III, a recent graduate of Florida International University, and had the opportunity to introduce him to Regis Giles, daughter of popular conservative commentator Doug Giles. Young Miss Giles' black dress tonight is . . . Coulteresque.

UPDATE IV: Speaking of Coulteresque . . .

At left is A.J. Dobson of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, who just had his book signed by Ann Coulter. I jokingly suggested Ann should write her personal cell number under her autograph, but that wouldn't be Coultersque. That would be . . . Cougaresque.

Speaking of bad jokes, remember Jesse Griffin? Miss Coulter told me, "You've been doing some great work lately." She said she had seen the reports that Dan Riehl and I had done about the anti-Palin blogger "Gryphen." BTW, just noticed that story's been linked by Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugs, and meanwhile Dan Riehl has the latest on Jesse.

UPDATE V: To the commenter who asked: Yes, Mrs. Other McCain knows where I am. And she also knows I'll be at the private after-party at an undisclosed location. Mrs. Other McCain has been putting up with my bad jokes for 20 years.

And so, folks . . . on to the after-party!

UPDATE VI: by Smitty
Stacy reports, from an undisclosed location, that at 2300 Eastern, an Coulter ate a cheese-fry. Additionally, she is partaking of a margarita on the rocks for her beverage. This is offered in direct rebuke of the lefties who claim she's a succubus.

UPDATE VII: by Smitty
Via Town Hall, the monologue.

Lieberman, Collins, Grassley express 'serious concern' about ITC's IG

Scored a minor scoop today from Capitol Hill:
Three senators, including Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, have sent a letter to Shara L. Aranoff, chairwoman of the International Trade Commission, expressing "serious concerns" about the contractual terms under which the ITC's inspector general is hired.
The letter, signed by Lieberman, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine -- the committee's ranking Republican -- and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), complained of the ITC's unusual practice of hiring the agency's IG under a six-month contract, which the senators suggest may undermine the watchdog's independence.
Read the whole thing. What is significant is that this is the first evidence that Lieberman's committee is willing to cooperate with Grassley, who has been bulldogging IG-Gate for nearly two months.

Best Wishes, Jenny Sanford

by Smitty (h/t Alan Colmes)

Alan reports that Jenny Sanford is headed back to Charleston for the school year. God strengthen you, lady. Hopefully, "From there we will continue to work on the process of healing our family" will translate into a divorce avoided.
Sanford: resign, fix your mess.

Rahm's Grasp of Democracy

by Smitty (h/t PuffHo)

In the military, blue-on-blue is a Bad Thing. Here, not sure much.
Sources at the meeting tell me that Emanuel really teed off on the Dem-versus-Dem attacks, calling them "f–king stupid." This was a direct attack on some of the attendees in the room, who are running ads against Dems right now.

Tellingly, Rahm raised the specter of a loss on health care, sources at the meeting say — which suggests that the White House may be less certain about victory than officials allow publicly.

Which seems at odds with SEIU, whose propaganda ends with "health care deserves a democratic debate". To the extent that debate drives towards a Constitutional Amendment to state just how the 10th Amendment is over-ridden in the case of health care, one can agree with the SEIU.

'Raised the specter' raises Joe Sestak against Arlen Specter in PA. May they decimate each other, and make room for a non-Progressive of some stripe. The fact that "We the People" have allowed these accretions of power is to our detriment.

Virginia, Meet Your Future Senator

Her name is Kelsey Budd. She is a student at the College of William & Mary, where she runs track and cross-country. She is currently interning for the Claire Boothe Luce Policy Institute -- see her "Student Spotlight" here -- and today at the YAF National Conservative Student Conference, she told me her ambition is to be a senator. Well, why wait to start the campaign?

See my article: "For YAF, the Future Is Now"

The Future of the Conservative Movement

Just brought me lunch:

This is Trey Easton, Sarah T. Herman Intern Scholar for the Young America's Foundation, and a junior majoring in economics at George Mason University.

You may ask yourself, "Why is such a promising young fellow bringing Stacy McCain a cheeseburger, fries and a large sweet iced tea from Wendy's?"

As famed George Mason economist Walter Williams would explain, the secret of capitalism is how "the Invisible Hand" redirects resources to their most valuable use. In this example, the resource involved was time.

There was a line at Wendy's downstairs here at GWU's Marvin Center, site of the YAF National Conservative Student Conference. Would my time be best spent standing in that line, rather than getting my laptop set up and logged in?

So I decided to come up here and was getting set up when -- as if by magic -- the "Invisible Hand" brought me into contact with young Mr. Easton.

"An intern?" I said. "Listen, I've got a job for you . . ."

Never let it be said that I haven't done my share to train the future leaders of the conservative movement in the glories of capitalism!

UPDATE 3:42 p.m.: "Mom?" young Mr. Easton said into his cell phone just now, after I showed him this post. "Mom, go to Google. . . . OK, now type in 'The Other McCain' . . . That's right. The first link at the top of the page. . . . OK, Mom, I gotta run now. Kind of busy. Love you. Bye."

He forgot to add, "Hit the tip jar, Mom." Never let it be said that I haven't done my share to train the future leaders of the conservative movement in the glories of capitalism!

It's a small binary world after all

by Smitty (h/t Open...)

Apparently, some bloke in Georgia (not RSM's home state, but Edward Shevardnadze's) was the cause of a globally visible ruckus yesterday:
A Georgian blogger with accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LiveJournal and Google's Blogger and YouTube was targeted in a denial of service attack that led to the site-wide outage at Twitter and problems at the other sites on Thursday, according to a Facebook executive.
Open... quotes the victim as saying:
this hackers was from Russian KGB
I had a personal, albeit orders of magnitude smaller, experience along these lines last year when I put up something on the Slashdot Firehose.
Displeased people, presumably from Russia, mod-bombed me into oblivion and wrote rather threatening replies all over the site.
Granted, it's only a website, but it does give one pause. The concept of free speech is not universally deemed a feature.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Live from YAF Conference!

I'm at the Young America's Foundation National Conservative Student Conference, where Monica Crowley speaks tonight.

Will update with photos after dessert, but first I've got to tell you some weird news: No fewer than three students here have already told me they read the blog. One of them is Patrick Cassil, whose older sister is Alisa Cassil (a Facebook friend); another is actually Joseph Farah's daughter, Alyssa; and the third is Eva Lorraine Molina, a Sarah Palin fan at Amherst College who's actually been following the Hiroshima/Nagasaki thing that Dan and I have been doing this week.

Also, Eva is a fan of Ace of Spades HG -- the next generation of Morons! Read my American Spectator article about the YAF Conference here.

Will update with photos and speech excerpts after I get my dessert and coffee.

UPDATE I: First two photos:

Monica Crowley and Jason Mattera.

Hannah Giles, Jason Mattera, Alyssa Farah. (Y'know, I think somebody's trying to make somebody jealous.)

UPDATE II: Monica Crowley speaking about Obama: "This guy is even more dangerous than Bill Clinton ever was. . . . He is a radical through and through."

Crowley on the town halls: "I love it that our Democratic elected representatives are afraid of us. . . . And they should be!"

Ah, some more photos of the attendees:

Alisa Cassil and her brother Patrick Cassil.

My tablemates and fellow Georgians, sisters Naomi and Lydia Brown.

Lydia Brown with Stephen Hodgson of the Young Briton's Foundation.

Will update with more photos and quotes . . .

UPDATE III: More photos:

Brittany Bezick, Katelyn Alfano and Elizabeth Davidson.

Kelsey Budd, on the left, actually helped me with some of the IDs of earlier photos, and at right is Eva Lorraine Molina, the AOSHQ fan.

More photos to come . . .

UPDATE IV: In the Q&A, Naomi Brown asked a question and Crowley responded by saying she'd vote to elect Brown president. Also, Crowley called cap-and-trade "tantamount to the largest tax increase in the history of the world" and said the Waxman-Markey bill, if enacted would be "the death knell of the U.S. economy."

A couple more photos:

Adam Destremps and Travis Korson.

Ruth Malhotra and YAF's Patrick Coyle.

Travis Korson, Elizabeth Davidson, Emily O'Neil, Adam Destremps.

Well, they're shutting down here. Be back tomorrow for Ann Coulter!

Known Traffic Menace Terrorizes D.C.

Now I'm on my way to Capitol Hill -- texting this post via cell phone while weaving wildly through traffic -- and I notice I'm linked by The Sarah Palin Blog:
"Gryphen" is upset that "minions" of "the Palin team" exposed him. So it was okay for him to fabricate a story about the Palins and create a rumor cancer that spread on the Internet. But, it is not okay for someone to expose him.
Gryphen, you do see the difference right? What you did is called - "lying." What Dan Riehl did is called - "good reporting." The difference being - now stay with me on this Gryphen - something called - "the truth."
Hey, where's the nuance in that? Please note once more that this post is clearly marked "humor," so I'm probably just joking if I tell you I just had to jump the curb and drive half a block down the sidewalk -- stupid tourist bus! -- so I'm not late for my next appointment.

Well, that's all for now. I might need to drive with both hands for the next maneuver. Be sure to check in at Riehl World View for more good-spirited humor.

What Stogie Said

"The most important thing about this Griffin affair is that it FINALLY fires a needed shot across the bow of the gaggle of Alaskan PDS bloggers who are obsessed with the personal destruction of Sarah Palin. Those bloggers include Jesse Griffin, Jeanne Devon, Linda Kellen Biegel and Shannyn Moore -- obnoxious liars, all."
-- Stogie at Saberpoint

BTW, some idiot tried to leave a comment about me getting clocked doing 85 mph in a 65 mph zone, alleging that this proved I was the real menace to society. Rejected.

Fast driver? Guilty, your honor. Safe driver? Completely. It's that hillbilly moonshiner NASCAR gene. Like that bumper sticker I saw on a pickup truck once: "I'm not speeding. I'm qualifying."

Of course, if that trooper had been parked somewhere else at some other time, he might have clocked me at 110 mph. (N.B.: "If" denotes a hypothetical, and "might" merely suggests a possibility, and since this is clearly marked "humor," I'm probably just joking.)

Meanwhile, my bulldog friend Dan Riehl notices that a certain fellow has some curious research interests . . . NTTAWWT. IYKWIMAITYD.

BTW, I'm blogging from the campus of George Washington University, where the Young America's Foundation is holding its 31st Annual National Conservative Leadership Conference. Just dropped in to say hi to Jason Mattera, who blogged about the massive fail by Campus Progress disrupters.

Meanwhile, the Left is accusing the Right of organizing dissent at congressional town-hall meetings. The great thing about being a Democrat is that no one can accuse you of not having standards. Two of them, in fact!

Me? I'm a one-man angry mob.

Libertarian Skinny-Dipping in Daytona: Hayekian Facts vs. 'Journalism Ethics'

To the commenter who accused me of committing a "travesty of journalistic ethics":
  • Your comment was rejected. If you want to run me down, do it on your own blog. Flame wars are good for traffic, but you do not have permission to use my bandwidth to malign me.
  • Ethics, shmethics. Truth may not be a journalist's only duty, but it's massively more important than whatever's second most important. If I accurately report the facts, I've done my job -- and just getting the facts right is hard enough.
I learned this as a sports writer. Simple question: If I'm covering a high-school baseball game, does accepting free food from the booster moms at the concession stand constitute a breach of "journalistic ethics"?

If so, then I kissed ethics good-bye in 1986. But I always got the final score right and you could probably count on one hand the times I committed the true "travesty" in small-town journalism: Misspelling a kid's name. (Hey, when a kid's mom calls you up to cuss you out, you remember a thing like that.)

Get the facts right, and how many free hot dogs you eat is your own business. Nobody cares about your opinion of the Calhoun High starting backfield -- if this year is like most years, they're a tad on the slow side -- but you've got to accurately report the total rushing yardage. (Which, if this year is like most years, won't be much.)

Because most journalists are Democrats, the political journalist who is not a Democrat tends to be viewed with disdain by the rest of the profession. I'm fine with that. But my political opinions -- "Don't Blame Me, I Voted For Bob Barr!" -- are not a license for other people to give me lectures on "ethics."

You Can Quote Me On That
"Ethics, schmethics," as I told Bob Barr while we walked to the Fish On Fire seafood restaurant from the crappy fleabag hotel ("International Conference Center," my foot) where the Libertarian Party held its March 2007 national conference of state party chairs.

Certainly, I was no less ethical than Dave Weigel, my co-panelist in the "How to Deal With Media" discussion, which was the purpose (or pretext, if you prefer) of our expense-paid junket to Orlando.

Our publications (Dave was then at Reason magazine) got exclusive coverage without having to pay for our travel, which is a pretty cool deal. Of course, under such an arrangement, you're not going to do a rip-the-lid-off exposé -- "Fear and Loathing in Orlando: A Savage and Decadent Saga of Libertarian Depravity" -- but neither are you required to do a total puff piece.

In a universe of facts, not every fact can be reported, and what happens in Orlando stays in Orlando. That's what I tried to explain to Bob Barr, afterI excused myself from dinner with the LP brain trust, went back to my hotel and returned with a stack of towels.

"You were serious?" said the former member of the House Judiciary Committee.

"Serious as a heart attack, Bob," I answered, reiterating the plan I'd been discussing with the LP brain trust. "Look, it's almost 10 o'clock now and it's about an hour drive to Daytona Beach. We could stop by a fireworks store along the way, head to the beach, go skinny-dipping in the ocean, shoot off about $200 worth of fireworks -- have some real fun!"

Did I mention that it was March? Spring break in Daytona, skinny-dipping in the Atlantic with the first member of Congress to bring charges of "high crimes and misdemeanors" against Bill Clinton -- and that was before Lewinsky -- man, what a story!

However, as I promised Bob, the Daytona expedition would remain strictly off-the-record. If the first three rules of journalism are "Accuracy, accuracy and accuracy," then the fourth rule is: A good reporter never burns his sources.

So I can't tell you whether or not the Libertarian Party brain trust took me up on that Daytona road-trip suggestion. (Don't worry, Mrs. Barr. Bob was accompanied by a professional journalist the entire time. And I've got family values.)

However, I remind you of an important corollary to the Fourth Rule of Journalism: A good source never burns a reporter. When I call Bob Barr on his personal cell phone, he takes the call. IYKWIMAITYD.

Hayekian Journalism
This is the kind of keen journalistic insight necessary to advance from being a $4.50-an-hour staff writer for a 6,000-circulation weekly to become a top Hayekian public intellectual.

In a universe of facts, not every fact is sufficiently important to merit inclusion in a 700-word news story. Political news consumers in March 2007 were interested in the Libertarian Party's prospects for . . . well, anything, really. When the Libertarians have nerds like George Phillies, stoners like Steve Kubby and fanatical purists like Mary Ruwart seeking the presidential nomination, and when the party's 2008 convention requires six ballots to decide Barr is the better candidate, you can't be blamed for wondering if they're really serious about politics.

However remote the chance that the LP could influence the outcome of the 2008 election, serious political news consumers were interested in that stuff. Certainly, those readers had no interest in the trivial matter of whether, shortly after 11:30 p.m. on the evening of Saturday, March 17, 2007, Bob Barr and the Libertarian brain trust were cavorting nude with a half-dozen Purdue University coeds in the Atlantic surf of Daytona Beach.

That's the kind of sleazy, sensational tabloid stuff that no serious political journalist would be interested in reporting. For less than $10,000.

Neither Confirm Nor Deny, Bob
Hey, I write for money -- that's what it means to be a professional, as opposed to an amateur clown like Dennis "Bozo" Zaki, who actually lied about being a CNN stringer. In the Hayekian universe of facts, a reporter must exercise judgment about which facts are important enough to include in a news story, but I wouldn't knowingly publish a lie for any sum you could name.

Speculation about the sex lives of Republicans seems to be a full-time career for some people, but until there's actual proof -- a court document, an arrest report, a flight to Argentina -- such gossip is no more newsworthy than baseless innuendo about whether Barr and the LP brain trust took me up on that Daytona road-trip plan.

If some "source" ever tells you over beers that, shortly before dawn on Sunday, March 18, 2007, Bob Barr was passed out nude in the back seat of a rented Chevy SUV, while the other members of the LP brain trust were so hopelessly hammered that they'd taken the desperate measure of agreeing to let me drive back to Orlando -- well, in a circumstance like that, you'd be obligated to let Bob have a chance to give you an official denial before you'd even dream of reporting such potentially defamatory gossip.

("No comment," Bob. Neither confirm nor deny. This will be the most priceless "no comment" in the history of political journalism. And a good source never burns a reporter.)

Likewise with Todd and Sarah Palin. As far as I'm concerned, their love life is not news. But it gets mighty cold in Wasilla sometimes, and there's a Phantom Fireworks Superstore a block south of Silver Beach Avenue in Daytona, so if the Palins ever want to get some advice from a savvy media professional . . .

Well, should anybody feel the urge to hit the tip jar, don't fight the feeling. I'm a professional. I write for money. Photography? That's just a hobby. IYKWIMAITYD.

Nice Career You've Got There,
Lefty Blogger . . .

Advice to amateur Bozos: Next time you get the urge to start making stuff up, don't mess with Dan Riehl.

Of Moonbats and 'Minions'

"Yes I stand by every single word of it. Believe me if it had been wholly inaccurate you would NEVER have witnessed such a response by the Palin team and their minions."
-- "Gryphen," a/k/a Jesse Griffin, Aug. 5, 2009

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."
-- Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003)

One of the basic problems of liberalism is that it requires a false optimism about human nature. If you believe all human problems can be solved by goodwill (and, of course, a few billion dollars of taxpayer money) you are self-evidently a fool, and I'm too old to waste time arguing with fools.

The Vision of the Anointed, as Thomas Sowell has famously called the fundamental delusion of liberalism, necessarily leads to other errors, until eventually the True Believer finds himself imprisoned by a set of false assumptions which he cannot question, lest his entire worldview fall apart. Once a reasonably intelligent person begins in earnest to critically examine the truth-claims of liberalism, he will eventually become an ex-liberal.

Habits of thought, however, can be as difficult to break as a heroin addiction, and someone who gets into the habit of thinking that every Democrat is a saint and every Republican is evil will have a hard time reconciling these beliefs with the facts.

As John Adams said, facts are stubborn things, and the fact is that Jesse Griffin's victimhood schtick looks like the predictable reaction of a narcissistic phony caught in a lie. Griffin is counting on his fellow liberals to subscribe to a syllogism:

  • All liberals are good people;
  • Griffin is a liberal; ergo
  • Griffin is a good person.

If you think like that, you're a chump. And if you think that everyone with a nice smile is a good person, you are also a chump. Ted Bundy had a nice smile. (As does Sarah Palin, for that matter.)

Griffin wants to make this all about Palin, and invite his fellow Palin-haters to believe that Palin is the ultimate source of Griffin's woes.

Very convenient for Griffin, you see, as it seems that every dingbat in Anchorage with access to the Internet is spending all their time spreading malicious nonsense about Sarah Palin. So, by playing this Victim-of-Palin card, Griffin invites the swarm of blogospheric myrmidons to testify what a swell guy he is.

Whatever. I've spent five days working with Dan Riehl on this story, and it's time for me to move on. By the time any members of the Anchorage PDS Moonbat Brigade read this, I'll be on a train to D.C. to get back to the stories I was working on when Griffin ruined my weekend by claiming to know -- for a fact -- that Todd and Sarah Palin were getting divorced. As I wrote in my article earlier this morning:

Griffin's story was immediately promoted by Dennis Zaki's "Alaska Report" site, which claimed that "multiple sources" had confirmed the report. Jeanne Devon, an Anchorage Democratic activist who had previously blogged anonymously, also promoted Griffin's "exclusive" at the Huffington Post.
As a result of this promotion, by Saturday afternoon Zaki's headline, "Todd and Sarah Palin to divorce," was the lead item at the popular Memeorandum political news site, even though it had already been officially denied by Palin spokeswoman Meg Stapleton.
That's where the story stood a little after 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday when, taking a break from an article I was writing for the American Spectator, I decided to check Memeorandum and came to the erroneous conclusion that I'd been scooped by some nobody blogger in Anchorage.

This resulted in a phone call, and by 5:08 p.m., I had an authorized "completely false." By 5:38 p.m., I had a direct quote from Sarah Palin. And I then spent a little time conclusively demonstrating that Dennis Zaki is a clueless Bozo who wouldn't last a week covering the Floyd County Commission for the Rome (Ga.) News-Tribune. (The city editor is Mike Colombo; Bozos need not apply.)

This is what happens when stupid amateurs play "investigative reporter," you see? And then Sunday afternoon, some anonymous Internet dude sent me an e-mail with the identity of "Gryphen." I called Dan Riehl, who was CC'd on the e-mail, asked him what he thought, poked around a bit on the Google, and decided I'd better post it before Dan did, if I wanted the scoop.

Then I spent perhaps the sweatiest four hours of my professional career waiting for Dan to nail down the ID. If Griffin thinks he's suffered hell this week, imagine if my anonymous e-mailer had ID'd the wrong "Gryphen." Some poor schmuck who doesn't even have a blog finds a lynch mob in his front yard -- no, that would not do. Thank God, Dan nailed it.

Everything that I've done since then has been motivated by two factors:

  1. My love of a being in on a big story; and
  2. My personal opinion, as a father of six children, that I would be extremely angry if I found out somebody like Jesse Griffin was a teaching assistant in my kid's kindergarten class.

One of my sources, somebody who was never quoted or even mentioned in our reporting, is a Ph.D. expert in such matters.

"How in the blazes did they hire this guy?" said my source, after being filled in (names excluded) on the background, including the quotes from "Gryphen" when he was still anonymous.

Maybe it's all perfectly innocent. Maybe Griffin's the sweetest guy in the world. But as my source put it, any school principal who hires a middle-aged divorced man as "an assistant teacher in a room full of five year old children" needs to have their head examined.

Simply as a statistical proposition, it's a nightmare of unnecessary risk. My own daughter is majoring in early elementary education, and it's not like there is any shortage of potential kindergarten teachers.

Well, I'll let Dan Riehl fight it out from here. But I still have questions because -- thanks to Dan's ace research skills -- I know what the Anchorage school district was paying Griffin, and it sure isn't enough to make the payments on a $330,000 house.

Griffin keeps talking about having some other job that's his main source of income, but if he's actually being paid -- by the National Enquirer, maybe? -- to do journalism, he needs to be fired from that, too.

Maybe he's not a pervert, but he sure as hell is not a reporter. Now you'll excuse me, I've got a train to catch. And don't forget to hit the tip jar -- good minions don't come cheap.




Jesse Griffin, the Alaska blogger who Saturday claimed in an "exclusive" report that Todd and Sarah Palin were divorcing, will no longer work as an Anchorage kindergarten teaching assistant, school officials confirmed Wednesday.

Griffin's resignation followed revelations that the 49-year-old Griffin had posted (under the alias "Gryphen") sexually explicit advocacy of pornography and masturbation on his "Immoral Minority" blog. (See "Give Jesse Enough Rope" WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE.)

Because Griffin's MySpace profile page featured a link to "Immoral Minority," that material -- as well as other vulgar content, including descriptions of former Gov. Palin as "a nasty b*tch" who wore "f*** me pumps" -- could have been accessed by anyone searching online for "Jesse Griffin" in Anchorage. (See "Jesse Griffin: Disturbing Revelations," by Dan Riehl.)

Investigative blogger Dan Riehl on Wednesday spoke by phone with Anchorage school district officials who seemed to have been previously unaware of the graphic content on Griffin's "Immoral Minority" site. (See "Jesse Griffin: Latest Developments," by Dan Riehl. )

Riehl was interviewed Wednesday evening about the Griffin case on Eddie Burke's popular Anchorage KBYR radio program. Burke said on the program that school officials told him that Griffin had submitted his resignation and that the district had "no record of any inappropriate actions" by Griffin while he was employed at Trailside Elementary School in Anchorage.

"Sarah is finished with Todd and has decided to end their marriage," Griffin wrote at "Immoral Minority" Saturday morning, saying that "one of [his] best sources" had told him the Palins were divorcing. Griffin's story was immediately promoted by Dennis Zaki's "Alaska Report" site, which claimed that "multiple sources" had confirmed the report.

Jeanne Devon, an Anchorage Democratic activist who had previously blogged anonymously, also promoted Griffin's "exclusive" at the Huffington Post. As a result of this promotion, by Saturday afternoon Zaki's headline, "Todd and Sarah Palin to divorce," was the lead item at the popular Memeorandum political news site, even though it had already been officially denied by Palin spokeswoman Meg Stapleton.

Griffin wrote on his blog Wednesday, "I stand by every single word" of the original report, which accused Sarah Palin of attempting "to hide a broken relationship" with husband Todd.

Griffin blamed "the Palin team and their minions" for discovery of his "Gryphen" online alias, which he says resulted in death threats and harassment. During his KBYR interview, Riehl disparaged Griffin's credibility.

"Right now, the best I can tell, [Griffin] has 'bogus' written so much all over him it should be his middle name," Riehl said, adding that he had discovered "one lie after another" from Griffin.

Griffin wrote Wednesday at "Immoral Minority" that he had a "long career working with children in gymnasiums, camps, and various schools."

After revelations that Griffin had used his "Immoral Minority" site to advocate "self pleasure" and express his preference for amateur pornography, Griffin told his blog readers Wednesday: "I think what is truly frightening is how ready some people are to believe that just because you are a male who works with kids you must be a pervert. . . . The truth is that I have never even been accused of anything inappropriate with a child in my classroom, camp, or home. It has simply never happened."

Further updates are expected at RIEHL WORLD VIEW.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


It’s been six months of Groundhog Day with a twist: everyday we wake up to some new piece of jaw-dropping news regarding the short-term tactics and/or long term strategies of this Administration

Dr. Barbara Oakley revisited: does this tinfoil hat make my head look fat?

by Smitty

Stacy, as an actual journalist, responded to Dr. Barbara Oakley's survey of journalistic motives here. As neither a journalist nor a psychologist, and an amateur student of history at best, allow me to opine on some of the drivers that have tipped journalism in the Democrat, or Progressive, direction.

Dr. Oakley's article begins in Soviet Russia, and is justifiably critical of academia:
Most journalists take a number of psychology, sociology, political science, and humanities courses during their early years in college. Unfortunately, these courses have long served as ideological training programs—ignoring biological sources of self-serving, corrupt, and criminal behavior for a number of reasons, including lack of scientific training; postmodern, antiscience bias; and well-intentioned, facts-be-damned desire to have their students view the world from an egalitarian perspective. Instead, these disciplines ram home the idea that troubled behavior can be fixed through expensive socialist programs that, coincidentally, provide employment opportunities for graduates of the social sciences.
For those interested in connecting the dots, you can read about the Cold War interactions of the Soviets and the US, on a political level in Blacklisted by History. Hint: it was a full-on ideological war, which those sycophants of the Soviets did everything they could to disguise. While she mentions the cretin, she appears unfamiliar with Roger Simon's expose on Walter Duranty.

Eric S. Raymond makes the discussion of Soviet ideological war waged against the US quite explicit in Gramscian Damage:
Americans have never really understood ideological warfare. Our gut-level assumption is that everybody in the world really wants the same comfortable material success we have. We use "extremist" as a negative epithet. Even the few fanatics and revolutionary idealists we have, whatever their political flavor, expect everybody else to behave like a bourgeois.

We don't expect ideas to matter — or, when they do, we expect them to matter only because people have been flipped into a vulnerable mode by repression or poverty. Thus all our divagation about the "root causes" of Islamic terrorism, as if the terrorists' very clear and very ideological account of their own theory and motivations is somehow not to be believed.
Further on:
In a previous post on Suicidalism, I identified some of the most important of the Soviet Union’s memetic weapons. Here is that list again:
  • There is no truth, only competing agendas.
  • All Western (and especially American) claims to moral superiority over Communism/Fascism/Islam are vitiated by the West’s history of racism and colonialism.
  • There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another. Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor.
  • The prosperity of the West is built on ruthless exploitation of the Third World; therefore Westerners actually deserve to be impoverished and miserable.
  • Crime is the fault of society, not the individual criminal. Poor criminals are entitled to what they take. Submitting to criminal predation is more virtuous than resisting it.
  • The poor are victims. Criminals are victims. And only victims are virtuous. Therefore only the poor and criminals are virtuous. (Rich people can borrow some virtue by identifying with poor people and criminals.)
  • For a virtuous person, violence and war are never justified. It is always better to be a victim than to fight, or even to defend oneself. But ‘oppressed’ people are allowed to use violence anyway; they are merely reflecting the evil of their oppressors.
  • When confronted with terror, the only moral course for a Westerner is to apologize for past sins, understand the terrorist’s point of view, and make concessions.
Ask Lt. Gen. Pacepa about the related effort to discredit the POTUS. The point is that the Cold War was, indeed, a war. If that point eludes you, refer to ESR: "Americans have never really understood ideological warfare".

Thus, in addition to the growing native affinity for Progressive thought, as explored by Goldberg, there was significant external effort to destabilize the country, possibly roping in current members of Congress.

Of course academia was a target of all this, and the decay produced results explored by Alan Bloom, and wonderfully rendered as a talk at Heritage by Evan Sayet.

Coming full circle to Dr. Oakley's piece, I think she bears witness to some horrible intellectual damage that has been done to the country's academic system. However, addressing the scope and historical roots of the problem with any degree of honesty would trigger a hemorrhage. It just will not happen. A community is just a little lest honest than the worst cretin within. It's tempting to call the current crop of journalists a bunch of Sophists, except that the ancient Sophists probably knew more and thought more effectively.

However, let's not go wasting our hate on these weenies. A proper capitalistic answer, like PJTV to the networks, is to locate and support conservative universities. Learn facts. Understand reasoned arguments. Make liberal heads 'splode. Let's finish on the hyper-cynical note of Don Henley on Dirty Laundry:

'Former Palin Staffer Shopping Book'!?

"Diva moments, when Palin actually first heard from John McCain (not when she claimed), and how Palin believes she's 'the chosen one.' We'll post what we can when we get it."
-- Dennis Zaki,, 8/1

"AlaskaReport has learned that Todd Palin and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin are to divorce. Multiple sources in Wasilla and Anchorage (including a former Palin staffer) have confirmed the split."
-- Dennis Zaki,, 8/5
Wow, if Sarah Palin's lawyer Thomas Van Flein is the omnipotent Rove-like svengali that Jeanne Devon says he is, then it shouldn't be too hard to deduce the identity of that source.

Really: How many Palin-hating former Palin staffers would have a bozo like Dennis Zaki on speed-dial? So add that one to your deposition list, Mr. Van Flein.

Note to the Immoral Minority

One of "The Best Friends in the World" says:

The pro-Palin crowd have got to be the most ignorant, hypocrtical, un-Christian people you will find anywhere in America.
Venom and hate just drip from their bloody jaws.
What would Jesus do? He'd tell them to STFU!
Three relevant points:
  1. Don't Blame Me, I Voted For Bob Barr!
  2. Did Jesse Get Fired Tuesday?
  3. "Gryphen"/Griffin In His Own Words
Because I'm not a divorced gym-buff kindergarten assistant, and given that I'm so ignorant, maybe you can help with this thing I found in my two-volume 1967 World Book (Thorndike-Barnhart) Dictionary:
minority . . . 3. the condition or time of being under the legal age of responsibility.
Based on the general crudeness of Griffin's prose, it would seem to me quite far-fetched to think him clever enough to have crafted such a fiendishly brilliant double-entendre, signifying "immoral youth" while also playing on the name of the defunct Falwell coalition. Still, given some of the things he's written on the blog and . . .

Well, "Griffin"/Griffin was fairly clever -- alternate spelling of a mythical beast and all that. So, as one of the "Best Friends in the World," maybe you could say whether Jesse Griffin is smart enough to dream up "Immoral Minority" as a sort of inside joke of more than coincidental meaning? Surely his friends don't think Jesse's stupid?

The only reason I ask is that I was taught, "If Your Mother Says She Loves You, Check It Out," So I wouldn't want to rule out stupidity as possible evidence of innocence. Which is kind of problematic, considering that Griffin is so insightful as to be an amateur obstetrician who has "absolutely no doubt" that Trig Palin is not Sarah Palin's son.

Is it smart or stupid to have "absolutely no doubt"? Alas, I'm too "ignorant" to answer that question!

Have a nice day! :D