Saturday, November 14, 2009

I guess Darleen isn't a feminist superstarlet

by Smitty

Amanda Marcotte at Double X:
But you don’t see many 16-year-olds hosting their own talk shows on major news networks. Having a baby is a lot of work, absolutely, but if it required the genius-level capabilities, the human race would have died out a long time ago.
Darleen Click:
And one doesn’t see many 16-year-olds successfully raising children on their own either. Mandy is not stupid enough to pretend giving birth is the same as parenting.

Is it possible that these levels of contempt for family and children exists beyond the Vagina Warrior class and contributes to the dismal portrayal of same in Western entertainment media, if not a birthrate that is way below replacement?
Marcotte continues:
And let's not forget how these arguments sound to people who can't have kids, because they're infertile or for some other reason. Telling women that having kids is the most important thing they can do makes the deliberately childless laugh at you, but for women who can't have kids, it's much like telling them they aren't even real women.
One wonders if the real discussion here is more about materialism than parenting. All I can tell women is that the older business norm of driving the house is every bit as valuable in the long run as the secular career. With the additional value that motherhood, by childbirth or adoption, as the case may be, can love you in your old age. Ask that of your pen or watch you get from your company. Or your pension plan that got cleaned out by white-collar thieves.

The denigration of the traditional family arrangement by feminists is as false and hollow as the denigration of capitalism by socialists. Yet feminists and socialists will preach their hellish anti-gospel while they've breath.

You economy meets Scylla and Charybdis, may not fare well

by Smitty

Chris Dodd is pushing a Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

My Senator, Mark Warner, is pushing a "Systemic Risk Council".

Last words never sounded so famous as this Warner speech. The mummy is faring poorly, but the government feels a few more bandages can make everything stable.

I don't pretend to understand all of the nuances of the Dodd's CFPA or Warner's SRC. The behavior pattern of the 111th Congress is such that one doubts that they do, either. Americans: are we going to just say fuggedaboudit and all get sucked into the Brave New Federal Borg, or are we going to admit that capitalism is great, and these cheap collectivist knockoffs not so much?

Particularly poignant is Warner's cheap invocation of the Founding Fathers. As I was literally two blocks from Gadsby's Tavern, protesting the Amnesty legislation at Jim Moran's office, it's disgusting to consider how the Federal government has become the type of tyrannical beast against which those original patriots fought.

Update: Jennifer Rubin, at Commentary Magazine
Now it has unfolded. We know what Obamaism looks like. On the domestic side, it is liberal statism: higher taxes, mammoth bureaucracies, and a vortex of government regulation that sucks up private enterprise and transforms business decisions into political ones. It comes with an ungracious and sneering contempt for opposition. On the international scene, we have the intersection of incompetence and folly, with a strong element of cynicism. The Obami have deployed aggressive and losing gambits (Honduras and the Middle East), betrayed friends (Israel, Poland, the Czech Republic), snubbed allies (the Churchill bust goes home), thrown ourselves at the feet of adversaries (Russia, Iran), jettisoned human rights and the defense of democracy (Burma, Sudan, Iran), projected angst-ridden indecision (Afghanistan-war formulation), damaged our fighting ability (defense cuts and missile-defense withdrawal), and shown deference to debased institutions (the UN). Most alarmingly, Obama and his attorney general have scarred and scared our intelligence community and placed Lefty pie-in-the-sky moralizing above the safety of Americans (trying KSM, closing Guantanamo, and halting enhanced interrogations).

And so what should conservatives be doing? Well now it’s obvious — oppose, obstruct, warn, and cajole. There aren’t many weapons at conservatives’ disposal, but there are some. And the greatest is to be found in the reservoir of common sense and decency of the America people, who, when stirred, have risen up to oppose pernicious legislation and those whom they mistakenly trusted to behave in a responsible fashion. As Kristol points out, three years is a long time, but the congressional elections are approaching and the argument has begun. And now conservatives know precisely what must be done: as best they are able, slow and stop Obamaism until reinforcements arrive and the voters can render their verdict.
Let's take that a bit further, Jennifer. The ship of state has had about left 5˚ rudder on since 1913, and BHO threw the helm over hard left.

In the long term, we need a come-to-beavis meeting where we decide whether to roll over and take it like good socialists, or unwind the stack of centralization legislation. Delegate these unsustainable programs and their costs to the States. If Virgnia can't fund Social Security for her citizens, then how about some honesty about the viability of the program? Reverse chronological order would be a good going-in position, but any number of other possibilites are also workable.


We are approaching the 3-million hit mark at The Other McCain. We crossed the threshold of 1 million visitors on Feb. 13 -- slightly less than a year after the March 2008 start of full-time blogging here -- and hit 2 million on July 19, about five months later.

The third million was notched in just a bit less than four months. If the current rate of traffic growth continues and Carrie Prejean keeps making headlines, we may be closing in on the 4-million mark by the time CPAC 2010 arrives in February.

Appropriate festivities are being planned to commemorate our three millionth visitor. However, first I've got to check out of this posh hotel in Orlando -- where I covered Thursday's Tea Party (photos here and here) -- and then we're driving back home, to arrive Sunday evening.

Florida Manatee Joins Right-wing Alliance...

by Smitty

...and inadvertently knocks down economic stimulus project raised in praise of some Blathering Hack Orator on his first time out with the anti-gravity device.
Fortunately Stacy McCain was standing by with a camera to catch what will surely go down as one of the great unreported calamities in human history:

Tea Party in Florida:
Stacy's Florida campaign continues this blogs tradition of taking it on the road.
  • American Glob caught Stacy's poetry in Southward motion, and also the GOP Civil War.
  • Paco noted the Florida GOP rebellion.
  • Carolyn Tackett got to meed Stacy. I hope the lady can make CPAC.
  • WyBlog picks us up on the local Anti-Amnesty blog, for which I've a sign to make, STAT!
Fort Hood:
Will the Major join KSM in New York? Given the wackiness factor of everything this Administration does, I wish I could feel confident about saying 'No'.
Sarah and the Conservative Media:
There is room to complain about Sarah extending the laurel branch to the her foes, but I submit that, thus far, she's played an excellent hand. To flog Stacy with his own saying, "Just because you don't understand what Sarah's doing, doesn't mean Sarah doesn't understand what Sarah is doing."

Now, if you s/Sarah/Barack/g in the last sentence, you could lose your breakfast, so take care.Nancy Pelosi is One-Third of the Try-Dumb-Virate:
She really has to be the worst Speaker of the House ever.
  • Fischersville Mike agreed with the analysis that the Speaker of the House is evil for scheduling the healthcare debate during football.
Further NY-23 bits:
It doesn't sound like the absentee ballot is going to favor Hoffman, but, given the overall predictability of 2009, who knows?
Carrie, Lozenges, Gorgonzola, Fritters:
She seems the modern, female, attractive version of Lot. She's been chillin' in Sodom and Gomorrah, with predictable results. Does she have the actual, no-kidding Christianity required to grow as a person, develop some character? Can she step into the role of serious Christian she crafted for herself, and then punted? In three words, "repent, repent, repent".

Whereas the the Germans say Ist der Ruf erst ruiniert, lebt es sich ganz ungeniert, or "Once your reputation is ruined, you can live shamelessly".
  • Rightofcourse linked us discussing the sex tape, and shouted out to the Marine Corps.
  • American Power picked up E.D. Kain's interview with Charles Johnson. This blog thanks Donald Douglas for his daredevil efforts.
  • House of Eratosthenes, ever the source of wry enumerations, has a list of possible peace overtures:
    5. The DailyKOS folks could invite Karl Rove over for Thanksgiving dinner (brave, brave Karl).
    6. Charles Johnson could invite Robert Stacy McCain over for Thanksgiving dinner.
    7. The NAACP could invite Clarence Thomas over for Thanksgiving dinner.
    Oh, that zany Morgan.
Other FMJRA outings:Miscellaneous Shouts:
  • American Glob took a nice victory lap for his Allah Pundit linkage.
  • Rightofcourse mentions us in a phobia roundup.
  • Political Byline linked Stacy's Washington Times post, and the Obey 'So What' moment.
  • Makes My Brain Itch linked us discussing the overall decay of society.
  • SI VIS PACEM linked us in "GOING ROUGE! Saving the Right from Conservatism"
  • Fischersville Mike commented on the hammering of Ezra Klein over his Stupak comments.
  • No Sheeples Here thanks us in conjunction with the Weblog awards. As they have no category for Really Bad Farce, I don't see me as having a dog in the fight.
  • Dustbury, like so many of us, is saying "give atavistic xenophobia a chance". OK, I'm not saying that, though clearly I pasted it into a post.
  • Carol's Closet links Stacy's echo of Ace, and opines: "I would say the term feminist is synonymous with "dour, sour, humorless, bitch." One supposes that we'll be having an "offend a feminist" week starting, oh, now.
  • Obi's Sister ends us off with a philosophical post on how baked everything seems, linking the Obey clip.
That's your FMJRA. I'm not going to put lipstick on the pig: I wish we had a more substantial outing to celebrate hitting 3 Megahits. I'll take full responsibility: I've been surfing the Google Reader at unsafe speeds while recovering from the jet lag last week, and haven't finished the research on the GData approach. It takes time and release from ADD to work on that. So bomb me at Smitty, in the SMTP sort of way, and let's see if we can improve this.

David Brooks and the Obama man-crush

David Brooks' Friday column was a paean to Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) -- a dream vehicle for the "Anybody But Palin" Coalition? -- but there was something obtrusive, as Ryan Cole notes at The American Spectator:
[A]s is the routine with everything Brooks' pen produces these days, an otherwise coherent piece is disrupted by the author's gratuitous displays of affection towards President Barack Obama.
After ticking off all of the qualities that might make Thune presidential material and the issues that may lead the country towards a GOP revival . . . Brooks (perhaps fearing the White House might construe this as some sort of criticism) quickly reminds readers that Obama is "the most talented political figure of the age." Really? After a year in the Oval Office, what tangible evidence is there to support this theory? Cash for Clunkers? . . .
Read the whole thing. I do not deny that Obama has political talent, most especially the oratorical power of his sonorous baritone. But Rush Limbaugh also has a great baritone voice. It takes more than political talent to be a good president, and political talent that is employed to advance bad policies is a net negative.

The reason that Obama is so effusively praised is the same reason he's a bad president: He is a liberal. It is Brooks' desire to be considered "thoughtful" by his liberal peers that causes him to engage in this ridiculous genuflections before their temple-cult idol, Obama.

Brooks is not a conservative. Being a conservative begins with the fundamental assumption that liberals are always wrong, about everything. If liberals generally admire someone, you may be sure that the object of their admiration is a deeply flawed personality (e.g., Bill Clinton). The frenzied enthusiasm for Obama (who is to liberals what Joe Jonas is to 13-year-old girls) exceeds even the worst excesses of Clintonmania, which is a sure sign that Obama will be a spectacularly bad president.

Please read "How to Think About Liberalism (If You Must)."

We defer to His Aceness

I linked Ace last night, but his analysis of feminism deserves its own shout-out:
I don't understand why the feminist ideal should be acting like a total douchebag about everything.
Every so often, some feminist writer will come out with an essay bemoaning the fact that, despite all that The Sisterhood claims to have done for womankind, most women don't identify themselves as feminists.

Why is this? I would suggest it's because any woman who has set foot on a college campus during the past 20 years automatically identifies "feminist" as a term synonymous with "maladjusted, overprivileged, angry, ugly Women's Studies major."

It's very similar to the reason most people have negative opinions of Christian conservatives, a category associated in the public mind with uptight, hypocritical, fearful, humorless closet cases. The Ted Haggard Syndrome, as it were.

As we have recently come to realize, Charles Johnson is the Ted Haggard of atheism. While all atheists are obnoxious at some level, at least Christopher Hitchens is the whiskey-swilling, cigarette-smoking, dirty-joking variety of obnoxious. Hitch is fun, in other words. What's the point of defying the Almighty, if all you're going to do with your godlessness is to ride bicycles and take boring photos?

First day, new eyes

by Smitty

Taking a break from work on the FMJRA post, to which you should submit links, I scanned the Google Reader.

The Puffington Host has one of those sordid tales of woe all too common in these trying economic times: strippers, unable to make the rent, forced into plying their trade on the very streets of Lost Wages. Suitably encased in a plastic box, of course:
"The girls are wearing more than the girls at the swimming pool wear," Beard said this week. "Even though they're not stripping and taking their clothes off I think people are offended because of the idea that they do."

The truck rolled for 13 nights along the Las Vegas Strip from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m., trying to lure customers to the club. Three sides had windows that weren't tinted, offering views of the strippers dancing around a stripper pole.

The tactic worked, with business booming since the truck started going out, Beard said.
The block after the video clip was confusing, however:

One sort of hopes the guy in the picture is the DOE spokesman entreating these sweet young thangs to depart the street and repair to the classroom, to improve the quality of teenage daydreamseducation.

Friday, November 13, 2009

VIDEO: Orlando Tea Party

I've got lots of video and photos to upload from Thursday night, when Tea Party Nation erupted in Orlando's Lake Eola Park. It will take a while to get them all uploaded, so come back for the updates. Andrea Shea King, Carol Tackett and Donald Douglas have also blogged about Tea Party Nation, as has Barbara Espinosa.

Let's start with the arrival of the Tea Party Express, which was like the Beatles landing at JFK in '64 for Barbara and her friend Susan Wellington:

Lloyd Marcus leads the crowd singing "2010."

Rivoli Revue performs "U.S.S. of A.":

Brief interview with Ron and Kay Rivoli:

Interview with Kenneth Gladney, who was never involved in politics until he got beaten up by SEIU goons while selling flags at a town-hall meeting:

First Amendment or "angry mob?" We report, Pelosi decides.

Ron and Kay Rivoli.

Kenneth Gladney, Barbara Espinosa, and Tea Party organizer Sal Russo, an alumnus of Team Reagan.

Click the photo and you can see that the orange flyer is promoting a "Freedom Rally" during next February's Bike Week in Daytona. You know you want me to cover that one, right?

Barbara and Susan with my son James.

Who is that woman with WDBO radio star Mike Synan? It's Eyewitness News anchor Barbara West, who asked Joe Biden about Obama's socialist agenda last year.

Not sure exactly why Susan decided on the "off-the-shoulder" look, but let's face it, there's nothing like a gal with a "Don't Tread On Me" flag, except maybe a gal with a "Don't Tread On Me" tattoo.

Barbara hangs out backstage with Lloyd Marcus. BTW, Barbara's yellow 9/12 volunteer T-shirt was the equivalent of an all-access pass in Orlando. I'm surprised she didn't just write her name into the program and give 'em a speech.

This one's for you, Charles Johnson!

To explain, Professor Althouse

You ask, why didn't Sarah Palin "have a say" in her media strategy? The answer is simple and obvious: It wasn't her campaign and it wasn't her staff.

John McCain and his campaign team called all the shots. When Palin balked at their bad advice, she was accused of "going rogue" and badmouthed by anonymous leakers who were, in many cases, the same staffers responsible for the botched strategy. When Palin complained about being unfairly disparaged in the media, she was then accused of "whining." She was cornered, trapped in a can't-win situation.

What happened to Palin was quite similar to what happened to Barry Goldwater in 1964: Democratic attacks on Goldwater were effective mainly because they were echoed by Goldwater's Republican enemies: "Hey, look, even Republicans say Barry's a dangerous warmongering kook!"

We are still three years away from the 2012 presidential election, and I am disappointed by Professor Althouse's effort to portray Palin as not merely unready for the presidency now, but so irremediably inferior as to be permanently disqualified for high office.

Obviously, statesmanship requires traits more weighty than the sort of personal charisma that generates intense grassroots enthusiasm. Otherwise Barack Obama wouldn't be so far along the path to becoming a 21st-century Jimmy Carter. Yet what other 2012 GOP presidential hopeful has a fraction of the grassroots enthusiasm that Palin would bring to the campaign?

The Republican "Anybody But Palin" Coalition seems willing to discard that grassroots enthusiasm, without which Obama's re-election is a near certainty. (If Mitt Romney couldn't even beat that notorious loser John McCain . . .)

Any Republican who disaparages Palin without suggesting a feasible GOP alternative can therefore be said to be objectively pro-Obama.

Ace of Spades and Conservative for Palin have more comment.

Does no one see the economic stimulus?

by Smitty (h/t Insty)

Here is an embattled POTUS trying to scare up a few, say, 2,000 jobs for New York, but Just One Minute is all up in arms about Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the NY trial. Oh, come on: as some nitwit was saying on the local news, we really can't trust the reliability of the military courts. And think of the 20,000 jobs that will be created or saved.

Never mind the non-command of the Laws of War on display, much less the non-grasp of the duties as Commander in Chief of the armed forces. We're talking about creating, saving, or upgrading ~200,000 jobs here.

This trial promises to be a steady stream of distraction from all of the other issues that the Administration would prefer go unnoticed, and may even directly lead to a US economic Renaissance of Industrial Revolution proportions, only with a little more green spin.


It actually could be worse. BHO could try to punt KSM upstream to the Haig Hague or something.

Tea Party Against Amnesty

by Smitty

The effort to remind Congress that they work for us, not we for them, continues.

Michelle Malkin posts quoting the New York Slime on the Obama Administration's exciting plans to endanger the US still further by offering amnesty.

The Tea Party against Amnesty has been under-advertised, but is still worth your time to get out and support.

There is a local Virginia outing to which all are invited:
November 14, Saturday
Time: 11am-1pm
Congressman Moran's District Office
333 N. Fairfax St., Suite 201
Alexandria, VA 22314

I'll invite Matthew Berry, one fellow with the guts to charge the hill against Jim Moran in 2010.

It's not a hard question

by Smitty

Responding to Power and Control's post "Dual Loyalties".
The question: Are you first an American, or of X Religious Affiliation? seems bogus to me in an American context.

We have a separation of sacred and profane in this country. I'm every bit the right wing reactionary Baptist in the sacred context. And I tend towards a Libertarian outlook where profane political considerations are under discussion. Attempting to push my conservative social agenda through legislation, particularly at the federal level, is every bit as dumb in the modern context as it was 2k years ago, when The Carpenter was nailing the Pharisees, rhetorically speaking.

If we want to punt on this excellent dichotomy between sacred and profane, then we'd screw ourselves. Say we went back in time 100 years. If we start letting the Federal government peek into wallets, if we take away advocacy for States in DC, if we allow the Federal government to dilute the value of the currency at will through a Federal Reserve system, then I bet we'd end up with:
  • People more reliant on the Federal government than themeselves and their community of faith.
  • Mind numbing deficits.
  • Back breaking debt.
  • Serious questions about where the loyalties lay.
Just because Moses is cooling the heels upon Mt. Sinai, ye Americans, is no occasion to melt down your gold for some Aaron to craft some Washington DC calf and tell you that this is the god that brought you liberty.

Unfortunately, that last century has been a slide into decadence. FDR and LBJ preached the golden Socialist calf. BHO is merely the edge of the cliff. Princess Pelosi doesn't even blink when people raise Constitutional objections to the golden calf. Her worship thereof is complete. It's indeed strange from the perspective of the Obama/Pelosi/Reid Try-Dumb-virate that this blog and the rest of the dextrosphere even question the Left.

The advent of Islamism and the idea of restoring a caliphate is among the main drivers of the question of whether one is loyal first to faith and then country. But the error is in putting these orthogonal concepts in series, where one must precede the other.

Perhaps the very nature of this question helps to explain the sick, tacit alliance between the dhimmi Left and the jihadists who'd cheerfully shorten them: both the Left and the jihadists seek to take the properly separate American concepts of sacred and profane and merge them into a single world government. A giant Socialist machine, or a caliphate.

The historical trend doesn't seem to have hit nadir yet. Too many people remain in denial about the gravity of the situation. However, the number of people screaming some flavor of WTF?! seems to be increasing. Not only that, the amount of tangible, principled, still peaceful action seems to be going up as well. It's going to be a near-run thing.

However, as long as we retain our personal religious affirmations, and communicate them positively and non-legislatively, we can heal the secular society.

PS: On an unrelated note, my FMJRA input is low this week. I was on travel. Mailbomb Smitty for good justice.

Disagreeing with Driscoll and Crittenden here

by Smitty

Ed Driscoll gives a quote of the day to Jules, who concluded about BHO vs. LBJ on targeting: "[BHO is] actively not picking targets from the Oval Office."

Ed, Jules, you may not be getting it yet: our whole flipping country Is The Target.

May fortune bless the efforts of Zuhdi Jasser

by Smitty (h/t Grandpa John)

Zuhdi Jasser is worth your time. He sounds like the sort of voice that we need to hear more of. To paraphrase, he suggests that that around 1 in 20 Muslims are violent Islamists, whereas around 1 in 3 are interested in passively rejecting Western civilization in favor of a new caliphate.

He's so thoughtful, he even draws a competent interview out of Chris Matthews, something I was unsure was possible:

Improving the situation has to start somewhere, and one hopes that this gentleman can provide that leadership.

Why is Sarah Palin dissing
conservative media?

Associated Press was provided with an advance copy of Sarah Palin's new book, Going Rogue, so they get the scoop on its contents.

I attempted to get an advance copy of Palin's book. No dice. Embargoed. "Under lock and key," I was told.

So the American Spectator doesn't get the scoop. Neither does National Review, nor the Weekly Standard, Human Events, et cetera. (Hey, welcome to the New Media Age: They could have given the scoop to Right Wing News, Red State or Conservatives for Palin.)

Oh, and when it comes to the big TV interview, it's Oprah who "gets the get," not Michelle Malkin.

Being a conservative journalist means that not only do your liberal peers in the MSM treat you like crap, but Republican politicians do, too. What mystifies me is why other conservative journalists don't complain about getting second-rate treatment from GOP big shots.

Sarah Palin suffered so much last year because she was advised by the usual "media strategists," including the self-serving Nicolle Wallace, a torpedo from Team Bush. And yet she allows the P.R. geniuses at Harper Collins to pick and choose their favorites in the media roll-out.

Look, Governor: I know you're under contract, but if you're going to call your book Going Rogue, how about a little "rogue" action on the media strategy?

(Cross-posted at Right Wing News.)

UPDATE: Some of the commenters seem to believe that I'm advocating that Palin "preach to the choir," which is not at all my intention, and I think this misconception -- that only "the base" read conservative publications -- is part of the problem of the way Republicans think about media strategy.

In the New Media age, the Big Story is not determined by the top editors of the New York Times. The Big Story is whatever the main headline is at the Drudge Report. If Sarah Palin gave her first exclusive interview to Matthew Continetti of the Weekly Standard, and Drudge made that the top item at his site, every political reporter in the country would be forced to quote Continetti's interview.

You really need to hear Andrew Breitbart explain this. The first time I met Breitbart -- at CPAC 2007 -- I spent about three hours just listening to him explain the awesomeness of Drudge Power, which can change the narrative merely by the selection of headlines.

Think about this: Matt Drudge, a former 7-Eleven clerk, and Andrew Breitbart, a Gen X slacker with ADD, are among the two most influential figures in modern media. The Deciders didn't decide that. In fact, the Deciders very much resent the success of Drudge, Breitbart and other New Media revolutionaires -- the lean and hungry competition who've been eating the MSM's lunch for years.

Old Media still have influence, but they no longer have monopoly power as "gatekeepers." The key to an insurgent approach to public relations is to use New Media to leverage MSM coverage: Subvert the media hierarchy, so that CBS and the Washington Post are force to hustle to catch up.

In terms of Republican politicans, the tactical and strategic implications of this approach are profound. I'd love to explain the implications of this, but:
  • If I explain everything on my blog, then the liberals can read it, too; and
  • People pay good money for my advice nowadays, so why should I give it away?
I'm Old School in the New Media, and the big problem with these GOP punks like Tucker Bounds is they don't know from Old School. But the other problem is that too many people allow the hidebound ancient categories -- in which NBC is "mainstream," but Rush Limbaugh is not -- to dominate their thinking to such an extent that they effectively forfeit the subversive leverage of New Media.

So many people talk about "thinking outside the box," but never really do. Me? I don't even have a box. I think I may have smoked the box about 1978, but memories of that year are kind of hazy.

Will Bush repudiate any of his own policies?

by Smitty (via Drudge)

W in the Washington Times:
Delivering a speech on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, future home to the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the former president sought to explain his decision to have the federal government intervene at the beginning of the economic downturn last fall.

"I believe in the power of the free enterprise system, which made the decision I faced last fall one of the most difficult of my presidency. I went against my free market instincts and approved a temporary government intervention to unfreeze credit and prevent a global financial catastrophe," he said.

While many economists credit that early action with halting the economic freefall, Mr. Bush said the only answer to returning America to prosperity is to remove government controls on the private sector and continue to force open markets to U.S. goods.

"Trade has been one of the world's most powerful engines of economic growth, and one of the most effective ways to lift people out of poverty. Yet a 60-year movement toward trade liberalization is under threat from creeping protectionism and isolationism," Mr. Bush said.

Mr. Bush did not cite his successor by name, but many of his warnings seemed directed at policies Mr. Obama has embraced.
President Bush:

If the country doesn't examine the systemic erosion of Federalism that precipitated the collapse, and doesn't follow up that examination with systemic changes designed to reconstitute the 50 States as meaningful centers of political power, then alles macht nichts.

The problem isn't so much the jackasses burning the broth, but the lousy kitchen putting them there. Swapping out this jackass for that constitutes scant improvement.

Orlando Tea Party: LIBERTY!

The final stop of the Tea Party Express at Lake Eola Park was a whirlwind of wonderfulness. So many good people, so little time and a deadline for The American Spectator:
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Andrea Shea King stood backstage during Thursday night's Tea Party rally at Lake Eola Park here, where thousands turned out on a cool, overcast evening to raise their voices for liberty.
"You should have been here in March," said King, who spoke at one of the earliest rallies in what has since become a nationwide phenomenon. "It was mobbed -- and the media barely paid attention."
The media are paying attention now. They have no choice. . . .
Read the whole thing. Photos? Videos? I got megabytes of that stuff. But I'm tired now.

A few hours ago, Mike Harris and his amazingly translucent wife Rachel left the posh Hilton HQ of the National Desk. Watching a journalist trying to hit his deadline is probably not everybody's idea of entertainment, but the Harrises seemed reasonably amused. Just a sample of the photos:

Free Republic babe magnet Jim Robinson with Barbara Espinosa of American Freedom and Andrea Shea King of Radio Patriot.

Carol Tackett attracts yet another lovestruck admirer.

These two dudes married beautiful women. What's your excuse, buddy?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

See, now, if I was WH communications director...

by Smitty (h/t Insty)

So there is a Christopher Walken clip doing a dramatic reading:

And here is the related Lady Gaga clip, so rudely un-embeddable.

The question I have is, why not take it the other way? Has anyone considered that Lady Gaga, combined with some Hopium and Change-eeba speeches, might just be the lethal combination that gets Conservatives to drink the kool-aid?

This blog doesn't find Lady Gaga's 100% unnatural look terribly compelling, but her over-the-top vamping combined with the potent platitudes of the Community Organizer in Chief could be the two wrongs that make it all right.

We'll let the Troglopundit, The Camp of the Saints, and Three Beers Later, that trio of Rule 5 aficionadoes, weigh in on the matter. Hopefully their analysis includes auto-tune.

Update: Bob Belvedere comes through with the graphic,

How about some civil disobedience?

by Smitty

La Shawn Barber mentions that "Columbia University [students] are in a tizzy over ethnic cleansing of a sort. Schools are subject to a new federal survey that lumps people of North African and Middle Eastern descent into the 'White' category."

Her post concludes:
Discussing the U.S. Census on the 'Uncommon Knowledge' show in 2002, the American Civil Rights Institute's Ward Connerly said, "I think that we need to reach the point where the census doesn't even ask you about race."

Connerly added that race "is a political phenomenon essentially that's been used to divide people, to segregate people and to engage in all other kinds of societal mischief. And I think that the more people are aware of the fact that this purity of races is kind of like the Nuremberg laws and is something that America should get away from."

If only we could! But the government won’t allow it. I'd vote for the removal of race/ethnicity boxes from all government applications.
We just all need to agree collectively to ignore these statistical shackles. Leave it blank, or pick Other and put in 'fnord' or something.

Whatever sociological value can be argued for trying to track this information, the institutional racism of Affirmative Action is an order of magnitude more troubling.

Libertarian sideboob?

Yes, that's right: Matt Welch and Reason magazine have tried their hand at Rule 5, with super-sexy Lobster Girl showing her lateral boobage.

Once upon a time, patriotism was the last refuge of a scoundrel. Nowadays, libertarianism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. Also, they throw great parties with free food, et cetera. So you should click that link and dig the hot babe.

35 good ideas from VotS

by Smitty

Valley of the Shadow has a helpful post of conversation starters and TODO list items, if you didn't know what to do in preparation for the crucial 2010 mid-terms.

This blog offers no guarantees about #35, but JSF gives good blog, FWIW.

I hope Florida elects Lt. Col. Alan West

by Smitty (h/t Old VA Blog)

The GOP had better get Alan West promoted from a radar contact to a contender (emphasis mine):
A military installation is supposed to be a place where our Warriors train for war, to serve and protect our Nation.

On Thursday, 5 November 2009 Ft Hood became a part of the battlefield in the war against Islamic totalitarianism and state sponsored terrorism.

There may be those who feel threatened by my words and would even recommend they not be uttered. To those individuals I say step aside because now is not the time for cowardice. Our Country has become so paralyzed by political correctness that we have allowed a vile and determined enemy to breach what should be the safest place in America, an Army post.

We have become so politically correct that our media is more concerned about the stress of the shooter, Major Nidal Malik Hasan. The misplaced benevolence intending to portray him as a victim is despicable.
Old VA Blog notes:
Lt. Colonel West is a native Southerner and the same man who was reprimanded and fined for firing his pistol near a terrorist's head in order to get him to reveal information that ultimately saved the lives of men under West's command. He retired after the incident. He is an old-school American patriot and a hero who loves his country. If I had a son serving in the military, I'd want him under the command of a man like West. He was defeated in a run for Congress in 2008, but is running again in 2010. I predict he will win. I'm also predicting he will become a national figure. I'm supporting his candidacy and hope my readers will as well. He has a blog.
This blog hopes that there is a camera trained on Princess Pelosi when West gives her The Look and her botox freezes solid.

Orlando Diary: 'Mom's going to kill us'

That's my son Jim's verdict about the enviable poshness of our existence here at the Hilton International Resort in Orlando.

I've got an excuse. I'm here to cover the final stop of the Tea Party Express. How was I to know that Barbara Espinosa of American Freedom blog had booked us into such luxurious accommodations? My teenage son (yeah, that's him in the poolside photo) is spending the trip sprawled on the king-size bed watching the big-screen TV, or lounging around the pool and chilling in the hot tub. Me? I'm sitting here blogging, just like I'd be doing in my own basement.

Enjoy these three short videos of Jim's scuba lesson. And please tell Mrs. Other McCain we miss her!

UPDATE: Barbara corrects me: It was her friend Susan Wellington of Michigan who selected the Hilton as our Orlando headquarters. So now we know who to blame for destroying my blue-collar, low-budget blogger street-cred.

NY23 recount: What it really means

A source with the Doug Hoffman campaign called this morning to tell me that the official ballot count in the NY23 special election had narrowed the margin.

Michelle Malkin asks, "Did Doug Hoffman concede too early?" Well, there are still about 10,000 absentee and military ballots that won't be added to the count until next week. While my source doesn't expect there to be enough votes to change the outcome, there is encouragement for Hoffman supporters in discovering that the official count shows a closer result than the unofficial 5,000-vote margin on Election Night.

Furthermore, my source points out, the fact that Democrat Bill Owens was sworn in -- and voted for ObamaCare -- before the official result was certified by New York election officials, demonstrates the fundamental lawlessness of Nancy Pelosi's regime in Washington.

And, yes, according to my source, Hoffman is currently "leaning toward" challenging Owens in 2010. The backstabbing RINO Dede Scozzafava won't be around to screw things up next November. In two words:


'Twitter Narcissism'? A few thoughts on the legitimacy of self-promotion

A Twitter exchange between Jon Henke and Jim Treacher causes my friend Jeff Quinton to contemplate the issue of "Twitter narcissism":
There is nothing done on Twitter or anywhere else online that isn’t driven in some fashion by desire to have other people see it. That includes everything Henke writes online, everything Treacher writes online, and even this blog post. That's the whole point of the forum. If you didn't want to make your ideas known, why bother to even post?
Exactly. The term "self-promoter" is commonly used as a pejorative, but one of the great insights of the New Media age is this: If you don't promote yourself, nobody else will.

If you have your own TV or radio show, if you have a new book or a political campaign, you automatically enlist the support of professional P.R. people whose job is to get you publicity. But if you're just a blogger, a writer, a consultant -- an individual without your own built-in publicity apparatus -- it's up to you to make yourself known to the world.

Self-promotion is entirely legitimate. If you do good work, if you've got ideas or services that can be helpful to others, then self-promotion -- i.e., do-it-yourself publicity -- is actually beneficial to others because, without it, people would be unaware of your good work.

You know who taught me this? David Horowitz. From his years of experience, Horowitz evidently discovered a profound truth: Publicity is too important to be entrusted to the P.R. staff. If Horowitz has a new book or activism venture, he does not hesitate to become personally involved in the promotional effort. Many were the times, during my years at The Washington Times, when Horowitz would call or e-mail me to say, "Hey, why haven't you written about our new project?"

Now, if someone as eminent as David Horowitz can do that, who am I to disdain such methods? I'm a shameless self-promoter for the simple reason that there is no cause for shame. I'm a capitalist: I Write For Money.

I'm selling a product in the marketplace. You -- the reader -- are the consumer. If my stuff is good, then making other people aware of my stuff is a philanthropic humanitarian endeavor: Let all mankind benefit from the blinding brilliance of my sagacious insights!

Megalomania? Maybe. But it's a far different thing than the self-obsessed narcissism involved in a quest for mere celebrity -- the Reality TV Ethos wherein talentless people seek to become famous for being famous. I'm not a wealthy dilettante like Paris Hilton or Meghan McCain.

I'm an online freelancer -- a New Media entrepreneur. I'm actually working for a living here, and self-promotion is part of the job. To repeat myself:
Just because you don't know what I'm doing, don't assume that I don't know what I'm doing.
Capitalism is a beautiful thing. If I don't make money at this gig, it undermines the legitimacy of my megalomania-for-profit scheme. So hit the tip jar.

Rebellion in Florida GOP?

Here in Orlando for today's last stop of the Tea Party Express, I find some interesting local news:
The rebellion against Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer appears to be coming to a head. As first reported by Gary Fineout of The Fine Print, a number of GOP leaders Florida are demanding a "special emergency closed meeting'' of the state party's executive board.
Notice that the St. Petersburg Times is forced to admit they got beat by a blog. Gary Fineout reports:
Greer, the state GOP chairman since 2007 and an ally of Gov. Charlie Crist, has been accused of everything from playing favorites, turning his back to dirty tricks by party operatives and failing to properly supervise the use of party credit cards. While some have characterized Greer’s critics as a small minority, the call for the meeting shows that recent incidents are beginning to worry party leaders.
Part of the controversy involves the Florida GOP's relationship with accused Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein. No wonder Charlie Crist is starting to panic.

We must achieve energy self-sufficiency by rolling the rock

by Smitty

The Sisyphean challenge of improving US oil production may be linked to upgrading the sad state of American rock'n'roll, according to the Constitution Club.

I, for one, recommend we start with Chickenfoot:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Orlando: Life is good

When Barbara Espinosa of American Freedom blog invited me to join her in Orlando to cover Thursday's final stop of the Tea Party Express tour, her offer to provide a hotel room seemed an afterthought.

A hotel is a hotel is a hotel, right? Wrong. This place puts the "luxe" in deluxe.

My son James just got back from a swim and I heard him on the phone to one of his buddies, "Dude, this is the most awesome place ever."

After 27 hours on the road to get here, I'm almost too tired to enjoy it. Almost, I said. But I'll be enjoying it in my sleep.
by Smitty

Mac Beach has a great quote from a radio caller:
"It's a badge of honor to be called a teabagger by a scumbag."
I thought that our modern liberal overlords were superior to all that name-calling, but there you have it. Why can't Young 4 Eyes get them to be the morally superior people they claim to be?

Four hours to Orlando!

We stopped off in Savannah, where we met up with Ali Akbar:

Note the Spanish moss in the tree. Earlier today, the boys and I had lunch at an Atlanta landmark:

Chili cheesesteak, rings, F.O. -- family tradition!

Veteran Says Thank You

by Smitty

I'd like to thank the blogosphere for supporting veterans and projects like Valour-IT.

Furthermore, those who support political involvement along Constitutional lines are a great source of encouragement. Those who swear to support and defend the document are increasingly discouraged by the willingness to of some to move in directions that are inimical to the blessings of liberty.
The deliberations of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 were held in strict secrecy. Consequently, anxious citizens gathered outside Independence Hall when the proceedings ended in order to learn what had been produced behind closed doors. The answer was provided immediately. A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, "Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, "A republic, if you can keep it."
Let us keep it, based upon your support, ye Americans

Senator DeMint Sponsors Term Limits

by Smitty (h/t Audacity of Hypocrisy)

Senator DeMint continues to impress. As incumbency is one of the three Big Evils of the Federal Government (interference with private citizens and the Federal Reserve's "Cosmic Credit Card" being the other two), anything to help restore citizen representation as a meaningful concept at the Federal level is welcome:
Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), and kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) cosponsored the bill. Coburn has long supported term limits. He retired from the House in 2000 after being elected in 1994, pledging only to serve three consecutive terms.

Coburn then ran for Senate and won in 2004. Brownback is stepping down from the Senate in 2010 to run for governor, citing his support for term limits. Hutchison is running for governor against incumbent Rick Perry (R), who is running for a third term in 2010. If elected, Perry will become the longest serving governor in Texas history.
While the argument that limiting the people who can be on the ballot is a Bad Thing, the level of debt and corruption generated in the last century would seem to indicate that incumbency is an order of magnitude worse, or better.

New USNA Raaaaacial Purity: Pure Bollocks

by Smitty (h/t La Shawn Barber)

Leaders of the U.S. Naval Academy tinkered with the composition of the color guard that appeared at a World Series game last month so the group would not be exclusively white and male.

Accounts differ as to who was added to or removed from the Oct. 29 color guard. But the net result was that one of the six who marched on Yankee Stadium's field, Midshipman 2nd Class Hannah Allaire, was selected because her presence would make the service academy look more diverse before a national audience.
Human diversity cannot exceed 23 chromosomes. Anyone continuing to perpetuate the myth that the thin veneer of genetic variation that makes people physically distinguishable Means Anything needs to go take a biochemistry course and disabuse themselves of their medieval notions.

Policy makers, senior officials and the media have got to stop perpetuating the intellectual vomit of racism. Making decisions based upon the color of peoples' skin is false, false, and false.

How sick, embarrassing, craven, an insult to all USNA graduates, as well as the country they serve, these shenanigans.

Update: I'll double down on my point. I claim, with gold-medal hand-waving, that the Political Correctness on display here is a diluted form of the institutional falsehood that helped create the context for last week's Fort Hood tragedy.

Update II: PowerLine has a summary and links.

Stacy needs to interview Gorbachev

by Smitty

Ed Driscoll re-tweets Mikhail S. "The US need their own Perestroika these changes have started now and can be seen in Obama."

From Wikipedia: "Its literal meaning is 'restructuring', referring to the restructuring of the Soviet economy. Perestroika is often argued to be one reason for the fall of communist political forces in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and for the end of the Cold War."

One hopes that Mikhail refers to the Tea Party Express and general American awakening to the fact that the Progressives have hijacked the country and its destiny over the last century.

I submit that an interview by Stacy McCain would help clear up the ambiguity. Maybe those American Spectator bigwigs can set it up. Even if he meant the opposite, and he intends perestroika to mean the continued diplomatic, military, and economic deconstruction of all we hold dear, it is my contention that the look in Stacy's eyes will help calibrate Mr. Gorbachev's thinking.

Classic Rush and BHO on the Ft. Hood Tragedy

by Smitty

My feeling on the official reaction to Ft. Hood mirrors that at the time of the USS Cole attack. Policy drives strategy. You'd likely get a much different reaction from the uniformed talking heads away from any recording devices. Not so sure about the elected boobs and their spokespuppets. Dan Riehl, for one, isn't impressed by the Campaigner in Chief. Rhetoric and a couple of bucks will get you coffee at Starbucks.

While I'm here at the dealership trying to squeeze a couple more years out of the '02 PT Cruiser, the iPod Shuffle is a great way to block out the CNN drones on the flat panel. Some jackass grilling the head of the Veteran's Administration (from memory)

Clown: "Is it possible that you've got a lot of work to do to support veterans suffering from PTSD? What are you going to do to get it done?"

The reason I don't have a cabinet-level job is that I would shred the idiot:
"First, you ask a question, and then assert your desired answer in the follow-on. Second, you treat the topic as though it were some mathematical problem with a closed-form solution. Why don't you quit treating your audience and me like idiots, and we can have a discussion."

Rush is far less pathetic than CNN. Fifteen years ago they released a rather grungy outing called Counterparts. The second track on there, "Stick it Out" has a lyrical passage that seems apropos the rampant gutlessness on display from senior leadership concerning Fort Hood:
Each time we bathe our reactions
In artificial light
Each time we alter the focus
To make a wrong move seem right

You get so used to deception
You make yourself a nervous wreck
You get so used to surrender
Running back to cover your neck

"Stick it Out" is followed by "Cut to the Chase" which does a fine job of recovering the mood. Maybe someday these words will bring BHO to mind:
You may be right
It's all a waste of time
I guess that's just a chance
I'm prepared to take
A danger I'm prepared to face
Cut to the chase
OK, I don't seriously expect that, either. But one can wish, even if hope has that scuttled look.


by Smitty

Aliester, over at American Glob writes that Road Scholar Stacy McCain is headed to Florida for next Tuesday's Triumphal Tea Party arrival.

There was something of a fat-chewing going on. For a nominal hit to the tip jar, you too can freely associate with Stacy the Notorious Free Associator. Although you should RTWT, Aliester ends with:
The libertarians need to stop bashing the neocons, the neocons need to stop trashing the Paulistas, the beltway pros need to stop trashing the grassroots and on and on...

Michael Steele, the head of the Republican National Committee, says he wants to build a big tent. Let’s give it to him.

We can start by working together. Let’s settle the small stuff after the 2010 elections.
I'd expand that thought to note that the bulk of the 'small stuff' arguments I here seem to be built upon the notion that only DC can lead on any issue.

Let's put pluribus over unum for domestic questions, which is where that 'small stuff' should play itself out, good people.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Congratulations, Dr. Kaufman

Even though you've chosen to celebrate your millionth hit with a non sequitur swipe at me -- Rule 4! -- a million hits is a million hits, and success is to be commended.

However, (a) your Site Meter total is actually 981K and (b) you joined Site Meter in May 2005. Also, ~22K visits/month you're currently on a 250K/year pace. As they say on the essay-question finals: Compare and contrast.

Don't diss the Rules, Doc. And next time you go looking for somebody to piss off, don't catch me in a bad mood.

We're going to Disney World! Er, actually, no, but it's kind of in that neighborhood

As previously blogged yesterday, I've been invited by Barbara Espinosa of American Freedom blog to join her in Orlando to cover Thursday's final stop of the Tea Party Express tour.

Mrs. Other McCain has to work, so she can't make the trip, but two of my sons -- James, 16, and Jefferson, 10 -- will be coming along for the ride. Jeff was packing this afternoon and I said, "Make sure you bring a swimsuit." And he asked, "Why?" I said, "There's a pool at the hotel and besides, it's Florida. We may get a chance to go to the beach."

It's not a vacation for me, but it is for two of my six kids. And if you guessed that this is the post where I put up a picture of my cute kids and try to guilt-trip you into hitting the tip jar, you're right.

That's my wife and three youngest at a Hagerstown Suns minor-league baseball game last year. Consider this a "family values" message for aspiring bloggers. If you want to succeed in the blogosphere, it helps to have a beautiful family.

Now, please hit the tip jar. Even if we can't afford to go to Disney World, these kids are going to eat a lot of footlong hot dogs ($3), drink a lot of Slushies ($2), play Skeeball at the boardwalk arcade ($10), and demand that I stop every time we see a "Fireworks" sign at the Interstate exit ($50).

The Shack is back!

Yes, that's right, folks: Jimmie Bise Jr. has ended his blogging hiatus at the Sundries Shack, and thus resumes his crucial role in our insane scheme to take over the entire freaking blogosphere.

Carrie Prejean sex video?

Oh, this is not going to be good for her:
Sean Hannity . . . had the 22-year-old author on his Fox News Channel program last night.
As he so succinctly put it, "We might as well go right to it." . . .
Prejean replied . . . yes, there was a tape she had done as a teenager. She made it for a distant boyfriend whom she loved at the time. She said TMZ can call it a "sex tape" if it wants. But she was alone on the video, and no one else was in the room.
Groan. Bad for Carrie. Good for "Carrie Prejean sex video" Google-bombers. Even I hate to have to troll for that kind of traffic, but if conservative bloggers don't do it, the Perez Hiltons will monopolize it. And that would be wrong.

Mamas Don't Let Your Daughters Grow Up to Be Downloads.

UPDATE: Among the conservative bloggers joining the Google-bomb bonanza: Ann Althouse, Doug Mataconis, the BlogProf and Professor Donald Douglas. This shouldn't have to be explained, but you shouldn't actually post the Carrie Prejean sex video when (and if) it ever actually comes out.

The whole point here is to prevent the Left and sleazy celeb-tabloid blogs from getting all the Google-search traffic. Every time a porn-freak Googles "Carrie Prejean sex video," there should be at least a 50% chance he'll click onto a blog that makes him ask himself, "Don't you have anything better to do with your life, you sick freak?"

Maybe it will change their life, maybe not. But either way, I'm figuring that a good percentage of those sick freaks aren't down for the whole deficit-spending Obama/Pelosi liberal agenda.

Even sick freaks can vote, you know. I'm figuring there's probably enough recovering porn addicts in Nevada to beat Harry Reid, if we can just find a way to reach them. So maybe this Carrie Prejean sex video is a blessing in disguise.

Lemons = lemonade?

UPDATE II: Jimmie Bise looks on the bright side.

UPDATE III: Turns out Monique Stuart beat me -- no pun intended -- to this story last week:
Carrie Prejean demanded more than a million dollars during her settlement negotiations with Miss California USA Pageant officials -- that is, until the lawyer for the Pageant showed Carrie an XXX home video of her handiwork. . . .
Let’s just say, Carrie has a promising solo career.
Not good for Carrie.

Is Obama bungling the Middle East?

Sammy Benoit thinks so:
President Obama's Middle East policy is in ruins. While the U.S. continues to press Israel for a settlement freeze (and a freeze on Jerusalem), Obama's strategy is falling apart piece by piece. He has turned the Israeli populace against him and strengthened the hand of Prime Minister Netanyahu. At the same time, he has eroded his own support among American Jews and other U.S. friends of Israel. This is why he has pressured political hacks such as Congressman Steve Israel to lend their names to the anti-Israel group known as J Street. . . .
You should read the whole thing. It seems Obama is repeating the errors of the Clinton administration, trying to make peace with people who don't actually want peace -- unless you define "peace" as the liquidation of Israel, which is the ultimate objective of Fatah, Hamas and Hezbollah.

Sammy blogs at Yid With Lid.

Tucker Carlson continues slow-motion rollout of

Having missed its previously expected Nov. 9 debut, the site is still "coming soon" but at last Tucker has finally hired an actual reporter, my old buddy Jon Ward of The Washington Times:
I'm excited to announce that I have accepted a job as senior political and White House reporter for "The Daily Caller," the new political news website being launched by Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel. . . .
As I told Tucker the first time I met him, I'm invigorated by the opportunity to inhabit the new media space while reincarnating timeless journalistic values . . . I also think the Daily Caller's revenue-based compensation system for freelance work is going to be an innovative and precedent-setting part of being successful in a web-only venture. . . . (Emphasis added.)
Right. If Tucker ever actually gets the site online, his "revenue-based compensation system" will separate the haves from the have-nots. Whereas Tucker and the permanent staff (presumably including Ward) will receive actual salaries, the freelancers will be paid on a page-view basis.

When this plan was first described to me, I was like, "Whoa!" Having worked as both an editor who commissioned freelance work and as a freelancer, this sounds an awful lot like what we call "working on spec" -- first, you write the article, and then we'll decide if we're going to publish it and what we'll pay you, if anything.

That's OK, if you're a beginner looking to break into the game. But it's an insult to offer that kind of arrangement to an experienced professional, a known quantity in journalism who can be relied upon to deliver quality copy on deadline. The freelancer pitches an idea via phone or e-mail and the editor says "yea" or "nay." The fee is agreed in advance, and acceptance of the finished piece is more or less guaranteed, providing the writer can deliver what he promised. The freelancer gets that kind of commission agreement before he ever begins writing the article.

It's a simple fee-for-service arrangement and, while feelings can sometimes get hurt by a rejection, as least if when the freelancer gets the assignment, he knows up-front what the payment will be. This "revenue-based compensation system" that Carlson projects for the Daily Caller looks like a recipe for resentment from writers who feel they're being gypped: "Hey, why did you promote So-And-So's story at the top of the page, and not my story?"

When Jimmie Bise and I have occasionally discussed our own ideas for an online news operation -- and I agree with Jimmie that such a site could be launched on $500,000 first-year budget with no problem -- I've always insisted there should be a budget category for payments to freelancers. Fees might range from $20 to $200 per item, but if your average fee were $75 per item and you had a $75,000 freelancer budget, that's about 20 items a week right there. And in the world of online journalism, the freelancer who could reliably deliver three items a week would be earning more than some reasonably successful bloggers.

Anyway, if Tucker's partner Neil Patel is the same Neil Patel who wrote "Beginner’s Guide to Finding the Right Business Partner" -- irony alert! irony alert!

Of all the things that Tucker Carlson's ever done in his life, there is nothing in his biography to suggest he knows how to improvise a news operation on a shoestring budget. He may yet succeed wildly, but given that he announced in May that he'd be online in a matter of weeks -- and that the Daily Caller roll-out has now taken nearly six months, which is eons in the Blog Age -- the omens do not appear fortuitous.

To repeat: It had better not suck.

Dede, the moderate victim?

Gag me with a Washington Post puff-piece:
Violet semicircles hung below her teary eyes as she recounted how Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and other conservative leaders excoriated her for less-than-orthodox positions on gay rights, abortion and organized labor. Her nose reddened as she recalled her abrupt exit from the special election to replace John M. McHugh, whom President Obama had appointed as secretary of the Army earlier in the year.
The conservative movement's third-party candidate, Doug Hoffman, expected her support but, she said, the newcomer accountant "had no integrity." Plus, the Democrats were so nice! They called. They sympathized. They made her feel good about tossing her support to Bill Owens, who -- with her help -- became the area's first Democratic representative in more than a century. . . .
Dede Scozzafava says Doug Hoffman lacks "integrity"? Make me laugh. As to her victim status, her salary as an assemblywoman is more than $100,000. Nice work victimhood if you can get it.

Atavism and xenophobia get a bad rap

OK, that's a joke at Andrew Sullivan's expense:
It can be hard to see developments like the civil rights movement for African-Americans, or the fight for women's or gay equality, as engines of economic growth. But they are; and they remain one of the West's core advantages, unless we too succumb to atavism and xenophobia.
Sully's moralistic posturing was prompted by Reihan Salam's article fretting over "the new racism that is taking shape in Asia."

Actually, I don't think it's new racism. It's just that Korea and China (the nations Salam cites) have until recently been sufficiently homogenous that ethnic discrimination wasn't a pronounced societal pattern.

You can't discriminate against minorities you don't have. I'm reminded of the story about the Japanese diplomat who visited Germany in the 1930s and expressed his admiration for the Nazi system, then lamented how unfortunate it was that Japan didn't have any Jews to scapegoat.

People tend to discriminate against whatever groups are available. I'm sure Alaskans have epithets for Eskimos that no one in the lower 48 ever heard of. Black inner-city residents do not hesitate to employ racial language against Asian merchants in their communities. And people who live in relatively homogenous communities often think of themselves as free from etnocentrism -- until the homogeneity is threatened by some sudden influx of outsiders (e.g., the Hmong in Wisconsin and Minnesota, Arabs in Michigan, Somalis in Maine).

Ace of Spades once did a brilliant parody about hating Scandinavians as "filthy Scandis" -- icebacks, snow-wops, toboggan monkeys, lutefish-gobblers, etc. Nobody (at least in America, that we know of) actually hates Scandinavians as a group, simply because historical circumstances haven't situated them as a distinct ethnic minority. Therefore, it's funny to laugh at the idea of anti-Scandi bigotry, whereas anti-Muslim bigotry . . . eh, not so much.

Fact: Prior to World War I, New York City had a thriving German-American community -- German restaurants, German social clubs, German-language newspapers, etc. But such was the intensity of sentiment aroused during the war that, over the course of just a couple of decades, this distinctive ethnic culture disappeared. The force of public odium prompted these German-Americans to assimilate very rapidly so that, by the time WWII broke out, there was no "German community" to speak of in New York.

Which brings us back to Sully's snooty remarks about "atavism and xenophobia." The biggest reason that America nowadays has as much ethnic friction as it does is that there are so many incentives against assimilation.

Forty or 50 years ago, the newly-landed immigrant encountered a mainstream American culture that was almost triumphantly self-assured, so that to become an American was certainly a step upward. Now, we're so busy celebrating "diversity" that it's more rewarding to stay outside the mainstream, to form your own particular identity-group, to play the victimhood card and demand recognition in terms of "civil rights."

And Sully is himself a classic example of this, as his pet cause is gay rights -- a self-imposed minority identity. Note how the gay-rights movement has popularized the pejorative "closet" to apply to gay people who don't advertise their sexual orientation to the world. This is very much akin to the claims of some black activists that middle-class black people are guilty of "acting white" or "abandoning the community."

Except for straight, white, Protestant males, the only path to authentic identity under the multicultural regime is to separate yourself from the mainstream and strike a pose of alienated grievance. You're only an authentic woman if you're a militant feminist, and you're only an authentic Latino if you're marching with MALDEF.

Because such a posture only makes sense in the context of oppression and victimhood, everybody walks around with their insensitivity-detectors set to "stun," prepared to blast anyone suspected of less-than-perfect tolerance. If it weren't for racism, sexism and homophobia, the identity-politics lobbies wouldn't have a fundraising raison d'etre, so they have a vested interest in magnifying every grievance.

This mau-mau attitude actually causes more problems than it solves. The activist types who acquire money and influence by exaggerating evidence of "oppression" don't really give a damn about the people they claim to represent. CAIR isn't about the average Muslim any more than the National Council of Churches is about the average Methodist or the AFL-CIO is about the average blue-collar worker. The identity-politics professionals are merely exploiting the collective groups they claim to represent.

So I say, give atavistic xenophobia a chance!