Saturday, December 12, 2009

Transportation Reform Will Trigger Economic Stimulus

by Smitty (h/t Make)

Coming soon to a garage near you. Right near you. Your own, in fact:


Nestled deep in H.R. 4173 is a provision for "Low Carbon Transportation Development". Taxes and deployment are restricted to red states. Benefits are seen to be:
  • Reduced rubber usage.
  • Elimination of unfit, bitter, clingy citizens.
  • Training infrastructure requirements.
  • Decreased hydrocarbon usage.
  • Decreased food intake, as you and your teammate can't reasonably shop for more than four bags of groceries anymore.
  • Increased Olympic cycling competitiveness.
Oh praise the Hope and Change regime!

EATEN BY WOLVES?

Charles Johnson's Little Green Footballs Calendar is now available -- just five easy payments of $39.95! Featuring brilliant anti-fascist photography and yummy scientific recipes, including Andrew Sullivan's "custard surprise."

ORDER TODAY!

UPDATE (Smitty): Yeah, we'll just be adding a screencap of that one...

Stacy was heard to scream "I was told this was a dancing lessonnnnn!"

UPDATE II: Rave reviews for the LGF calendar:
"Wonderfully vicious and delicious!"
-- Vanderleun

"It was bound to happen!"
-- Paleo Pat
ORDER NOW!

Ingram wins the Heisman Trophy . . .

UPDATE 9 p.m.:
ROLL TIDE!

Now, hit the tip jar, so I can go to Pasadena!

UPDATE 9:25 p.m.: CNN: "Ingram is the first Alabama player to win the Heisman." When the mighty Crimson Tide defense makes Colt McCoy cry the tears of unfathomable sadness, I want to be there to see it in person. Hit the tip jar!

PREVIOUSLY (6:50 p.m.): The ceremony starts at 8:50 ET. If Mark Ingram doesn't win -- especially if he's cheated out of the award by one of the two white quarterbacks from inferior schools -- I will personally contact Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and the NAACP to demand that they protest this blatant racial injustice.

ROLL, TIDE, ROLL!

UPDATE 10:23 (Smitty): More detail at No Sheeples Here.

UPDATE 10/13 (RSM): TrogloPundit:
Rumors that Ingram's victory -- the narrowest ever in Heisman history -- was fueled in part by fear of the race card continue to swirl.
Rumors be damned. Ingram's superiority was so obvious, even a cheesehead troglodyte should recognize it. Ingram earned this trophy, helping lead Alabama to an undefeated season in the nation's toughest football conference. Via Ben Boles at IngramForHeisman.com, here's video of No. 22 interviewed last month after the Mississippi State game:

What's next for the undefeated Crimson Tide?
I understand that the folks in Pasadena, Calif., have scheduled Alabama for a Jan. 7 exhibition game against some second-rate team before officially presenting the championship trophy to the Tide.
That's just 25 days from now, which means there's about a week left before I need to book my flight to Pasadena. Hit the tip jar. Roll Tide!

Mrs. Other McCain gets credit for this

Our 17-year-old son Bob just scored 93% on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, including an impressive 99% in mathematical concepts and problem solving. His scores:

The gap between his reading comprehension (95%) and spelling (35%) probably results from insufficient rigor in spelling drill. Note also his low 47% in mathematical computation, likely resulting from the same sort of insufficiency.

Some things simply must be drilled, and cannot really be learned in any other way. Before we blame maternal indulgence for Bob's shortcomings, however, we must first credit Mrs. Other McCain for his academic excellence. (And good looks.)

When she saw Bob's reading comprehension score, my wife said proudly, "I taught him to read!"

Indeed, he was homeschooled from childhood until he entered church school two years ago. I remember when Mrs. Other McCain convened her first homeschool class in our little house down in Georgia, with Kennedy, 8, and the twins, Bob and Jim, then 5. The curriculum was eclectic which is not necessarily a synonym for "improvised," "ad hoc" or "a hodge-podge of workbooks, flash cards and whatever else came to hand."

Despite every imagined obstacle -- my wife's claim to educational expertise consists of a high-school diploma -- our oldest graduated from Highland View Academy with honors at age 16. Having finished Phi Theta Kappa at Hagerstown Community College, and spent a year abroad in Argentina, Kennedy is now making straight A's as a junior at Frostburg (Md.) State University. And, oh yeah, she's working her way through school and paying rent for her own apartment.

Last month, when Jim was basking in the glory of his field-trip expedition with me to cover the Orlando Tea Party (and learning scuba) his brother Bob was hurt that I hadn't published photos of his performance with the school orchestra.

Sibling rivalry between these boys is intense. They are fraternal, not identical, twins but look so much alike that when they were little -- before they insisted on different haircuts, etc. -- most people couldn't tell them apart.

Both are musical, but Bob's fanatical devotion (he plays guitar and several other instruments) had the effect of encouraging Jim to seek other pursuits, including mechanics (Jim will be replacing the brakes on the family car this evening).

Their differences of personality are interesting, and raise the inevitable question of nature vs. nurture. Raised simultaneously in the same environment by the same parents, it's hard to see how nurture could be credited with their differences. How could we have shown favoritism or partiality, when it was so hard to tell which was which? (We've sometimes called them "JimBob" or usually just "the boys.")

Well, let's leave such theoretical speculation to the experts, shall we? Instead we will celebrate Bob's achievements -- and the widely acknowledged wonderfulness of all six of our children -- as proof of what Sir Francis Galton described as Hereditary Genius.

P.S.: Sending their Dad to Pasadena? Genius!

UPDATE: Another reason to homeschool:

State schools admit they do not push gifted pupils because they don't want to promote 'elitism'

(Via Instapundit.) This phenomenon is not new -- busy work and "group projects" were around even when I was in school -- but it's gotten much worse, because of the alarming decline of the teaching profession. (Fact: Education majors, on average, have the lowest SAT scores among college students.)

Mediocre teachers are more likely to resent intelligence, rather than to admire or encourage it. In this manner, professions of egalitarian concern for "fairness" mask the mediocrity's envious resentment of excellence.

Why parents are so easily convinced to surrender their children to the custody of government bureaucrats -- notice that, even in their architecture, public schools are now barely indistinguiable from Youth Detention Centers -- is a great mystery.

Apaches at the Tea Party

Writing at the American Spectator:
A few weeks ago, I had a long conversation with a liberal journalist who asked me, "Who do you see as the leader of the conservative movement?" I didn't have an answer, but Richard Viguerie is onto something when he emphasizes the "leaderless" quality of the Tea Party grassroots, quoting a historical study of the Apaches: "You wanted to follow Geronimo? You followed Geronimo. You didn't want to follow him? Then you didn't. The power lay with each individual." . . .
Read the rest at the Spectator, and also read Viguerie's thought-provoking article at the American Thinker.

Obama-like 'transparency' on Capitol Hill, as Senate votes on football day, again

Hey, let's vote on half a trillion bucks in new spending on a Saturday morning! In December! Two weeks before Christmas! On Shabbat during Hannukah! The same day as the Army-Navy game and the Heisman Trophy announcement!

Next, let's move to final approval on Sunday! Just when the NFL playoff chase is coming down to the wire! And basketball season is getting underway!

Isn't transparency wonderful?

BlogoMathematics: Word Problem

On Nov. 14, The Other McCain notched its 3 millionth visitor. On Dec. 11, The Other McCain crossed the 3.2 million threshold. -- that is to say, 1/5th of the way to 4 million in 27 days. Therefore: Show your work. This might be on the final exam. And if you're a rich guy, please hit the tip jar. Three million bucks would be OK, but so would $10 or $20.

Possibly the Biggest Legislative Outrage of 2009

by Smitty (h/t Dan Collins at POWIP on Twitter)

Michelle Bachman says that Barny Frank's 1,300 page financial services takeover bill is worse than the healthcare legislation. Three hours of briefing, no analysis, and no debate. It went through the House like...thought...through the Speaker's head. Or something. This steaming pile must be stopped in the Senate at all costs.



Update: Jumping in Pools notes an Idaho Representative who voted in favor of H.R. 4173.

Of course, it the idea is bad, I almost don't need to check to see what my piece of work did. Can't find the voting record yet, but Jim Moran is nothing if not consistent.

Furtive Manbearpig Jester Running Amok

Smitty

As the Naughties draw to a close, who has been more naughty than former Vice President Albert Gore, Junior? Not to accuse the man of lying: he's too smart for that. I'm quite confident he lives a 'filtered fact fantasy', where 'trained professionals' feed him 'groomed information' so that he can maintain plausible deniability at all points. By dividing the effort amongst several compartments, an organization can argue its individual integrity with maximal vigor while being nowhere near forthright, overall. For example, take Iraq. By force. Ah, yes: the raw CRU data were co-located with the WMD. Oh, ManBearPig. Anthropogenic Global Warming is your revenge for being unable to finagle a win in 2000, isn't it? I may feel another bit of farce brewing...

Farces come in various sizes. Hopefully the last bit of the dead 'raaaaacist Stacy' horse has been eliminated, as that zombie pferd was exhumed, ridden, flogged, and dispatched for the third time or so this year by Patterico. For an undead animal, it does manage to imitatate life better than an Alan Colmes post. Wasting time on that proved an unwelcome distraction from blogging substantial news. Let me move on to the FMJRA before I stand accused of over-selling Alan.

Roll Tide (though I confess a preference for Method, since meine frau ist one of thse eco-German types)
Last week's FMJRA was launched amid the Alabama win, which may have been the sand grain a the heart of a pearl informing a hairball that turned into a confusing eruption of whisky-tango-foxtrot-ery last week, courtesy of Patterico.Patterico Suave Starring In: The Case Of The Odd Timing.
One admits that this seems an 'inside baseball' story largely between Jeff Goldstein and Patrick Frey. It seems that ancient mutterings of Robert Stacy McCain are some sort of ping-pong ball between JG and PF. The sad truth of this, alluding to Ronald Regan, is that internecine warfare is joy to the foe.
  • South Texian got in early and played a strong defense.
  • Saberpoint dignified the discussion with the Shakespeare allusion.
  • Paco Enterprises noted the 52 card racial pickup game.
  • Villainous Company took a Tiger Woods swing in the analysis.
  • Carol's Closet hit full-on burnout.
  • Baldilocks: "Charles Johnson is gone. Face it. He was never ours. How about we let him take his delusions and slanders and paranoias and obsessions and falsehoods with him?"
  • American Power: "...it's no surprise that Patrick Frey's trying to weasel out of his insinuations of racism against Robert Stacy McCain."
  • The Reganite Republican Resistance offered some of the LGF backstory.
  • Da Tech Guy speculated as to Patterico's motive.
  • The Old Rebel offered support.
  • Valley of the Shadow, as we've linked previously, indexed ToM and Patterico links in a handy way. His call for Stacy to apologize for misconstruing Patterico's words may go unfulfilled for the foreseeable future.
  • Snapped Shot is also fully supports this blog, fully grasping the underpants gnome business model under which we operate.
  • Enoch Root at Piece of Work in Progress makes a telling point:
    What I am saying is that the discerning of patterns is the only manner in which we can really even glimpse a man's heart. Again, I do not know the details of Mr. McCain's alleged or even real propensities. What I do know is that I am saddened because a man (any man or woman) can do very little to defend himself or herself once a certain meme is floated, introduced, embraced, disseminated--SYNDICATED.
    He then offers a related parable which is worth your time.
  • Bob Belvedere thought that Stacy's apology directed at POWIP was, hopefully the last word on this topic. As your FMJRA summarizer, I would cheerfully direct efforts at other topics. The defensive efforts of friends are laudable, but the energy could be employed more gainfully still somewhere else.
  • Protein Wisdom, home of Jeff Goldstien, was in the thick of things, driving analytic trucks through the contemptable Potemkin village known as Patterico's argument. See also this post getting at the absurdity of using political correctness to draw hasty conclusions. Goldstein has been a top-drawer blog for years, and is well worth subscribing and linking.
  • Little Miss Attila had the family photos. She alludes to RSM cryptically here. The latest dialogue with Patterico, apparently, is happening in her comments section.
Hapless Harry Reid:
  • The Camp of the Saints linked Stacy while rounding up the hammering of Hapless Harry Reid's slavery remark. Concur with TCotS's credit to Paco for best title.
  • Daley Gator reached Dennis Miller-esqe heights of irritation with the dim bulb from Vegas:
    Senator, let me make myself perfectly clear, it sickens me that a Marxist fool such as you is a United States Senator, until the next election anyway, those poll numbers are looking BAD for you Senator. The Founding Fathers would be irate that a miscreant such as yourself had been elected to any office, much less the United States Senate!
Leave the unspeakable unspoken:
Desperately seeking not to be informed about what other consenting adults are getting up to in private.Will Mark Sanford Caddy for Tiger Woods?
  • Obi's Sister quoted the front/back nine jape.
  • Bob Belvedere quoted Mrs. ToM via Stacy: 'I swear to God, Stacy, I'd kill you,' she said. Having come under that gaze myself, I wouldn't go testing that oath for all the data in East Agnlia University.
  • Mulieris Dignitatem linked the post about sympathy for the idea of ventilating Sanford.
Gearing up for the next exlection:
  • Mulieris Dignitatem liked the post about the people picking up the slack from the SCOTUS.
  • Bob Belvedere agreed substantially with my point, though raised the question of whether we should seek to eliminate entitltements outright, rather than punt them to the states. In the comments, I was trying to make the point about segmenting the argument, so that one can use Federalism in discussion with a lefty and not be seen attacking Socialist ideas *as such*. He replied by comparing my position to David Frum. Ow. Let me expand. I'm endorsing Socialist ideas to the extent I endorse unspeakable sexual acts: not at all. However, in the name of suggesting a tangible course of action, I'd say that Socialist ideas and every other uspeakable thing should be allowed to die at the state level, so that conservatives can vote with their feet and let the utopians reap the value of their ideas. Why? Because every human has a finite number of breaths, and why waste my time trying to teach one for whom even experience may prove insufficient?
Other FMJRA action:Miscellaneous Shouts:
  • Over at Progressive Alaska all both of the Progressives in Alaska take Stacy to task for failing blogging about Andrew Sullivan while failing to mention some alleged lie made by Sarah Palin on some Thursday. I need to write a cron job to go through Sitemeter and scrape this sort of hilarity more often.
  • Left Coast Rebel links us while touting Danny Tarkanian for the Senate to replace somebody with the personality of a vacuum cleaner.
  • Troglopundit feels a newfoud sense of acceptance, since Matthews called Sarah Palin a 'Troglodyte'.
  • That's Right linked us while posting Governor Palin and Michelle Malkin, and also on the post-trillion post
That's your FMJRA. Thanks to those who loaded me with links. Gear up for Rule 5 Sunday, sending URLs to Smitty, which will again have a tearline under which any Tiger Woods reporting will go. Sure, it's news, but infedility bites.

Also, links to any sites are concerned with Rule 5 posts only. Inclusion of a link to a Semi-Conscious Liberation Army site does not constitute an endorsement of their insurgency in Zambiniland. Those teddy bear killings are clearly in violation of the Geneva Convention, but Rule 5 goes on in any case.

Cultural intolerance

Dan Collins on Tiger Woods:
Americans have little understanding or tolerance for the Cablinasians in their midst, instead preferring to attempt to impose their values upon this minority. Who is to say that in Cablinasian society it is considered bad form to prefer buxom blondes, or to enjoy threesomes behind one’s wife’s back, fueled by booze, Ambien and Cialis? . . .
Help fight Cablinasianphobia! (If you don't click that link, you're a hater!)

Not exactly news: Democrats continue
to destroy capitalism, prevent recovery

You're not surprised by this, are you?
The House passed the most ambitious restructuring of federal financial regulations since the New Deal on Friday . . .
The sprawling legislation would give the government new powers to break up companies that threaten the economy, create a new agency to oversee consumer banking transactions and shine a light into shadow financial markets that have escaped the oversight of regulators.
The vote was a party-line 223-202. No Republicans voted for the bill; 27 Democrats voted against it.
Hey, did you catch that? The government could "break up companies that threaten the economy."
  • Question: Which companies are targeted by this?
  • Answer: Any big company that gives too much money to Republicans.
Honestly, this misguided legislation is about one thing and one thing only: Expanding government power. A few other tidbits from the Washington Post:
The 1,279-page House bill . . .
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who guided the bill through the House Financial Services Committee . . .
1,279 pages! Let's face it: The Democrats couldn't pass a resolution to honor National Stamp Collecting Week that didn't run at least a thousand pages long with $50 billion in pork-barrel spending buried in the amendments.

And of course Barney Frank is in charge of the bill! Who else can we trust to bring reform and transparency to the financial industry?

And when the bill goes to the Senate, Chris Dodd will be in charge of it. Because this just makes sense, you see?

Please, Mr. Caterpillar, let me hit that hookah. After four or five puffs, maybe the madness will seem sane.

NEWS HEADLINES & ANALYSIS:
Harry Reid tanking in latest poll

ObamaCare Dragging Down Democrat?
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid continues to lag behind all potential Republican challengers in next year’s U.S. Senate race in Nevada, according to new Rasmussen Reports telephone polling in the state.
For now at least, his championing of the president’s health care plan appears to raise further red flags for the Democratic incumbent. Fifty-four percent (54%) of Nevada voters oppose the plan, while 44% favor it.
More significantly, however, those numbers include 49% who strongly oppose the plan while only 23% strongly favor it. . . .
Read the whole thing. Bottom line: All three leading candidates in the GOP primary for next year's Senate election in Nevada now beat Reid in a head-to-head matchup. Beyond the ObamaCare issue, this looks like a generic anti-Reid, anti-Democrat trend, and nothing is likely to halt it anytime soon.

Aranoff: Dem 'Cover-Up' in CrasherGate?
The evidence clearly shows that the congressional investigation of the White House Gatecrashers is being controlled and limited. Homeland Security Committee chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS), now the subject of an Ethics Committee investigation, has made it clear that he wants to limit the investigation. Is he trying to protect White House officials with something to hide?
Ignoring evidence of White House connections to the alleged gatecrashers, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, Thompson will not subpoena Desirée Rogers, the White House social secretary who is a very close friend of Barack and Michelle Obama. . . .
Read the whole thing. During my reporting on IG-Gate, I interviewed Republican congressional staffers who described the work of House Democrat investigative staff as "useless." Even if there were any desire of Democrats in Congress to investigate charges of White House wrongdoing, Democratic staffers simply don't have the skills to run a decent investigation.

Report: ObamaCare Won't Reduce Health Costs
Democrats trying to push President Barack Obama's health care overhaul plan through the Senate got a sober warning Friday that costs will keep going up and proposed Medicare savings may harm the program.
A new report from government economic analysts at the Health and Human Services Department found that the nation's $2.5 trillion annual health care tab won't shrink under the Democratic blueprint that senators are debating. Instead, it would grow somewhat more rapidly than if Congress does nothing. . . .
Read the whole thing. A free-market guy has to begin by scoffing at the idea that HHS "government economic analysts" could be expected to estimate anything accurately. The absurd claim of ObamaCare proponents --that there can be both an expansion of benefits and a reduction in costs -- simply doesn't add up.

Crafted of the Finest Righteousness

by Smitty (h/t That's Right)

Conan O'Brien.
Shatner comes out for a dramatic reading from Going Rogue.
Sarah emerges for counter-battery fire from Up Till Now: The Autobiography.
Shatner's facial expression is that of a man being publicly owned, and savoring every minute of it.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dept. of Holy Freaking Crap

Federal judge enjoins Congress from cutting off funding to ACORN. Like ACORN's got a right to that money, you understand? Commentary from our official legal analyst, Ace of Spades:
The judge claims, weirdly, that there is a separation of powers issue that somehow restrains Congress from exercising its constitutionally-specified power to raise and spend money. Huh? The judge claims some sort of finding of guilt by a court or an executive administrative magistrate is required before Congress can exercise its major constitutionally-specified power.
It's this kind of Through-the-Looking Glass weirdness -- where people have a right to taxpayer money -- that boggles the mind. The caterpillar smoking the hookah may understand it, but I evidently didn't do enough dope back in the day, because this makes zero sense to me. Then again, I don't understand why 14-year-olds need fisting lessons, so I guess I'm a clueless old fuddy-duddy.

More at Memeorandum, Politico and the The Hill.

UPDATE: "Oy," says Michelle Malkin, aggregating some analysis of the case. I'm looking at this Hill story and shaking my head:
Judge Nina Gershon concluded that the ban amounted to a "bill of attainder" that unfairly singled out ACORN.
Permit me to quote a distinguished expert, namely my late father, Bill McCain:
"Boy, who ever told you life was gonna be fair?"
If it is indeed true that anything "unfair" is automatically deemed unconstitutional -- please Mr. Caterpillar, pass the hookah!

UPDATE II: Headline on an item by Alison Roh Park at the Center for Constitutional Rights:
Historic Win for Constitutional Rights!
Which tells you . . . ? Exactly. The Center for Constitutional Rights is a partisan left-wing outfit, either a front-group for labor unions or part of the Soros-funded "progressive" network of organizations who act as wing-men for each other's scams. Anyone care to research their funding?

AFF Christmas Party: Honest, there's nothing to worry about, Mrs. Millspaw

America's Future Foundation hosted a Christmas party Thursday night at the Fund for American Studies. There were a few unfortunate crises during the evening.

First, inadequate planning and an excess of holiday cheer led to a shortage of refreshments. This problem was exacerbated by certain libertarian guests who showed up with the munchies and a bad case of cottonmouth, IYKWIMAITYD. Making my customary late for the soiree, I was told by one glassy-eyed dopehead libertarian, "Dude, there's no beer left." To which I replied, "We'll see about that."

The second crisis of the evening occurred when lovely Tegan Millspaw of Judicial Watch told me, "My Mom loves your blog!" This is not necessarily what a guy wants to hear from his blog groupies, as it leads to the quick mental calculation that Tegan's mom is probably about my age, which would make her slightly older than Mrs. Other McCain and . . .

Nevertheless, no crisis -- emotional or otherwise -- could prevent me from enjoying this festive occasion in the traditional Yuletide spirit of the holiday:

Me and Tegan Millspaw, whose mother might be shocked by the "Fake Intimacy" motif, were it not for . . .

. . . the Fake Intimacy motif of my photo with Matt Keller who is not -- repeat, is not -- gay. NTTAWWT.

OK, I'm sure Keller isn't gay, but I can't rule out the possibility that he was drunk stoned libertarian last night. Shortly after this photo was taken, Keller was reportedly seen pulling holly leaves from the festive decorations, stuffing them into a bong and asking Mary Katharine Ham if he could borrow her lighter.

Garrett Murch and investivative journalist Matthew Vadum look suspiciously stoned libertarian festive.

Of the three dudes in this photo with the Weekly Standard's Mary Katharine Ham, one is her date, one is Dave Weigel of the Washington Independent and one is Radley Balko of Reason magazine. Question: Which one looks most suspiciously festive?

Philip Klein of the American Spectator signifies his membership in the Compton Crips. Weigel kept looking ever more festive as the night wore on. Balko was thinking of joining the Bloods.

So festive, you can't even see their eyes!

Radley Balko winces painfully after realizing he has just joined the "known associates" file.

Christopher Malagisi (left) had a beer, and he wanted his photo taken with a pretty girl. Bartering ensued.

After striking a deal with Malagisi (and his former beer), I celebrated with Curt Levy and Chenelyn Barker.

The Serbo-Alabamian Alliance Against Texo-Croatia is a secretive organization founded by Gavrilo Princip. After the BCS Championship game -- Pasadena is "the tinder-box of college football rivalries" -- we'll all be fleeing to Tuscaloosa.

If Dave Reaboi looks disappointed, it's because Philip Klein just beat him in the Popeye the Sailor Man Lookalike Contest that is a festive tradition at the annual AFF Christmas party. By contrast, Heather Smith maintained a cheerful spirit despite being disqualified from the Olive Oyl Lookalike Contest.

John McCormack -- the Bob Cratchit of D.C. journalists -- finds himself forced to blog even during a Christmas Party by his greedy editors at the Weekly Standard. By extension, this analogy makes Bill Kristol and Fred Barnes the Scrooge and Marley of neoconservatism, except that neither of them is dead yet. And the curtain won't ring down on this melodramatic Dickensian analogy until Mary Katharine Ham says, "God bless us every one!"

Matt Martini works on Capitol Hill. Heather Smith works for Human Life International. Derek Hunter works for the legendary $3 million news organization "Coming Soon."

How did this shady dude score with such a lovely blonde? Five magic words: "Hey, babe, wanna get festive?"

Neither of these fine young people seemed to be particularly festive, but the night was young. IYKWIMAITYD.

Late dinner for the National Desk at the Dupont Circle pub where we convened the festive after-party.

Best. Fisting. Blog. Evah!

Ed Morrissey finds himself forced to go there:
I’ve received a lot of e-mail asking why I haven't written about the controversy over Kevin Jennings, Barack Obama's "safe schools" czar. To be honest, the story is so shocking that I haven't quite grasped how to approach it.
Ed includes YouTube audio of the infamous "FistGate" episode, where GLSEN activists discussed fisting methodology with 14-year-olds:

He also includes video of The Boss on Hannity:

And, finally, the infamous "stampeding toward the clitoris" scene from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life:

Instapundit makes note of the fact that a discussion of the Obama administration's Safe Schools Czar is NSFW. Think about that.

Via Memeorandum, with more commentary from Gateway Pundit, Stop The ACLU, The Lonely Conservative, And So it Goes in Shreveport, Real Barack Obama and Big Government

Dear JSF

Someone pick up a phone and apologize. . . . RS, apologize for misconstruing Patterico's words.
-- JSF, Valley of the Shadow

Smitty already blogged about this, but there is a matter of honorable principle involved which the well-intentioned JSF evidently has not considered. (Ask Jeff Goldstein.)

I was peacefully minding my own business. It was a Sunday afternoon, and I was engaged in nothing more controversial than rattling the tip jar for my Pasadena trip, when Patterico started this, for no reason and with no apparent purpose other than to harsh my mellow.

John Patrick Frey is a deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County. He is also -- strange concidence -- an alumnus of the University of Texas Law School.

Hello? He decides to smear me because of a college football rivalry? And I should apologize to him? That's going to one mighty cold day in hell, my friend.

Now hit the tip jar so I can go to Pasadena in style. In all truth, living well is the best revenge.

Roll, Tide, Roll!

What matters and what doesn't

The University of Alabama Crimson Tide will play for the BCS national championship Jan. 7 in Pasadena. That matters.

Joseph Lawler engages in a debate on the relative merits of the BCS vs. proposals for a Division I football playoff scheme. That doesn't matter. To review the key facts briefly:
  • Alabama.
  • National Championship.
Why is Congress wasting time on a bill to mandate a Division I playoff? Let's get our priorities in order, America.

Everything -- including the name of the Crimson Tide's hapless opponents, who are to 'Bama what the Washington Generals are to the Harlem Globetrotters -- pales in signficance next to the the continuation of the Tide tradition.

And hitting the tip jar to send me to Pasadena.

You should have killed him, Jenny

No South Carolina grand jury would have indicted you:
First Lady Jenny Sanford issued a statement this morning saying she is filing for divorce from Gov. Mark Sanford.
In a two-page filing made this morning in Charleston County family court, Jenny Sanford asked for a divorce on grounds of adultery.
Well, duh! Anyway, her should-have-been-shot scumbag of a soon-to-be-ex-husband remains clueless:
Sanford had told reporters on Wednesday that he was still trying to reconcile with his wife.
"Jenny is a great person, and has been a remarkable wife, mother and first lady. She has been more than gracious these last six months and gone above and beyond in her patience and commitment to put the needs of others in front of her own. While our family structure may change, I know that we will both work earnestly to be the best mom and dad we can be to four of the finest boys on earth," the governor said Friday.
Forgive me for exposing myself to the accusation of "inciting violence," but if Jenny would have shot that two-timing lowdown polecat the minute she found out he'd hiked the Appalachian Trail all the way to Argentina, she'd be more popular among conservative women than Sarah Palin.

UPDATE: Guess which blogger habitually refers to Mark Sanford as "philandering creationist governor"? Hint: Notoriously Discredited Douchebag.

(Via Memeorandum.)

Emphasis on 'slightly'

"Stacy McCain is Hunter S. Thompson with better political sensibilities and a slightly healthier lifestyle. Ace of Spades is the smartest and funniest guy you’ve ever met in your life. You should read their blogs several times a day, and you should send them money. Thus endeth the sermon portion of this blog post."
-- Joe B., NoVaTownhall

And let all God's children say, "Amen." Also, the reason I call him "Joe B." is not because he's anonymous, but because his last name is one of those buy-a-vowel deals -- like Wlady P. at the American Spectator -- and I'm too lazy to look it up.

Joe and I go way back to 2006, when I was blogging for Donkey Cons. That blog nearly got me fired from The Washington Times -- an interesting lesson in Journalism Ethics.

Long story short: The editors sent me down to Georgia to report on the 2006 GOP primary for lieutenant-governor, which pitted Ralph Reed against Casey Cagle. Meanwhile, at the Donkey Cons blog, I was reporting the exclusive scoop: Ralph Reed is a two-faced crapweasel.

Just a neutral, objective fact, but my editor (Ken Hanner, who is now managing editor of Human Events) didn't see it that way, so I was (a) ordered to stop blogging, and (b) placed on a rigorous 90-day probation that kept getting extended -- to about six months -- because I wasn't scrupulous about complying with the absurd jumping-through-hoops requirements of the probation.

Weirdest thing about it? My editors had given me permission to blog independently to promote the book, but ignored what I was doing until my Election Night analysis of the Reed-Cagle race got quoted in Hotline, Congressional Quarterly's daily summary of major political news. My editors always considered it a coup when anything from The Washington Times got quoted in Hotline, but the Hotline citation of my analysis nearly got me fired.

Over beers at a Reason magazine happy hour this summer, Ken Hanner admitted that I was never employed to my fullest capacity at the Times. I kept telling my bosses that, but they never believed it until after I quit, went freelance and turned a Blogspot site into a phenomenon whose "controversial" status is both lucrative and (mostly) accidental.

"Controversy" is just another word for "publicity" and there's no such thing as bad publicity. To repeat: Just because you don't know what I'm doing, don't assume that I don't know what I'm doing.

Journalism Ethics lesson? Ethics, schmethics. Just get the facts right and to hell with everything else.

Neutral, objective fact: Joe B. of NoVaTownhall is a gentleman and a scholar, even if I can't spell his name. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Joe.

Support me supporting you

by Smitty

Valley of the Shadow, among a host of others we'll gather tomorrow, offered support to Stacy during this week's round of the Ancient Mis-interpreted Quotation Sweepstakes.

There is a substantial difference between disagreeing agreeably and offering tacit to support to the opposition via the circular firing squad. Congratulations to Right Wing Nuthouse for making the top 10%.

If you've linked Stacy's efforts to educate people on discerning wheat from chaff, or this blog in general during the last week, please spam Smitty for inclusion in tomorrow's roundup. I read an embarrassing number of blogs. There are a bazillion links to throw in the hopper. However, one always frets about the inadvertent omission.

Domo a-rigatoni-with-meat-sauce.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The people must be the SCOTUS at the ballot box

by Smitty

Great Blogs
The legal blogs like Power Line, The Volokh Conspiracy and Legal Insurrection are among the better reads in the shiny-tubes. When not a cure for insomnia, they often capture subtleties, are well written, and better organized than, say, effingconservatives.

VC had a pointer to a discussion at Heritage.org about the Constitutionality (rather, screaming lack thereof) of the 4-ream reaming of the American people currently contemplated by the Worst Congress Ever. Eugene Volokh points out a crucial judicial failure in the SCOTUS that has been an enabler of the current debacle over the last century:
The premise of much of the Court's expansive view of Congressional powers is deference to Congress. "In considering whether a particular expenditure is intended to serve general public purposes, courts should defer substantially to the judgment of Congress." "[W]e must defer to a congressional finding that a regulated activity affects interstate commerce "if there is any rational basis for such a finding," and we must ensure only that the means selected by Congress are '"reasonably adapted to the end permitted by the Constitution."'"
A Funny
I am reminded of an old Broadside cartoon that I don't have electronically. Jeff Bacon is a Scott Adams gone Navy, and the example in mind had three panels featuring a Submariner, a Surface Warfare Officer (SWO), and an aviator.
Bubble head: If it's not in the book, we can't do it.
SWO: If the book doesn't preclude it, we can do it.
Maverick: It is easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission.

The Progressives have consistently pursued the cavalier 'Maverick' approach for the last century. The SCOTUS and the voters have supported it. Members of the House take an oath (item #3) when they show up to steallegislate. Apparently, that oath is as meaningful to them as Tiger Woods' wedding vows. The Congresscritters have been allowed, cheered, and consistently re-elected for putting the interests of their donors and constitutents ahead of doing The Right Thing. And the SCOTUS has said, in summary, over time: "Two tears in a bucket".

Funky Basketball
Your reward, Americans, for your century of slumber is the kind of European political class people fled ~400 years ago when the colonies were founded, and rebelled against ~230 years ago, in the form of the British crown.

The economic sodomy of chronic deficit spending has been treated casually by the National Funk Congress.


When an actual journalist asked that useless sack of a Speaker of the House if the healthcare debacle is Constitutional, Madame Speaker asked "Are you serious?". Yes, we are in fact electing and paying people to piss down our backs and tell us it's raining. Apologies to the Libertarians who've been screaming about this for years. Send "Liberal Fascism" back in time for an earlier start of the awakening.

The big concern I have is that once the adrenaline of the Tea Parties blows over, the Globetrotters and Generals will go back to business as usual. Irrespective of who wins election, the vast federal bureaucracy knows it will outlive the winner. Congress has legislated the slow Socialist march of Progressivism, and the SCOTUS has fiddled something delicate and mournful, and the Constitution has smoldered since 1913. We can either:
  • Drink the Progressive kool-aid and secure our own supply thereof, or
  • Stand by for extreme pain as all the Socialist band-aids are ripped off our collective backsides.
Why You Don't Want Me in Charge
Since the SCOTUS wasn't packing the gear to preserve a Federalist arrangement, the Tea Parties must refine a set of principles, and then support, contribute, pay attention, demonstrate, and drive the elected officials to adhere to them. Among these should be:
  • Debt sucks. The Federal budget and hiring are frozen, the budget is run at an interest rate plus X percent surplus until further notice or the national debt is eliminated, barring declared war.
  • The following spectacularly bad Federal ideas are kicked down to the state level in Y years. They can be staggered to give States time to figure out what they're doing with the data.
  • The following non-hunting Federal dogs are to be put down:
  • The War Powers Resolution is overhauled. No more invasions w/out declaration of war. A high bar filters out the casual high-jumpers.
Let's not kid ourselves. Even a third of the reforms just outlined is going to cause economic pain. Americans traditionally of find someone to blow sunshine up the public hoo-hah rather than deal with pain. Col. Jessup's "You can't handle the truth" applies.

The quality of long-term American political health is proportional to the capacity of the Tea Partiers to convince the rest that the convulsions which must follow are necessary and worth it. Progressives are going to whine "But States can't afford Social Security," while failing to specifiy the magical means by which the program is Federally solvent.

Face it. The responsible variation of the American future is going to suck. It would have been great if the first black president had a shred of leadership capacity to undertake the necessary reform. However, BHO is very much in keeping with FDR, LBJ, and JEC. The stupidity is at least traditional. And the rubber-stamp role of the SCOTUS is unlikely to change.

Sarah Palin has by no means made the sort of reformist noises I'm advocating here. Nor should she. The Tea Parties haven't matured into a reliable support mechanism for any elected official. Arguably they should not, as they would simply drift in the direction of becoming that which they currently despise.

No, an laundry list of despised legislation does not a viable plan make. For every cut you want to make, there really must be a transition plan. That means time. And that is where the Tea Parties come in, as a watch dog to keep the leadership focused on principles. There is no destination, only a better course to steer. The electorate has punted on checking that course for too many decades, and the SCOTUS has proven unreliable. Such can certainly continue. If it does, then stand by to welcome your shiny new EU overlords, because the Carbonhagen farce is just a little acorn that wants to be your Progressive Yggdrasil. If not now, then soon we will bow before these elite transnational plutocratic overlords. Our challenge, back to the Broadside cartoon, is to locate and support the bubbleheads for office. We must do the job of the SCOTUS at the ballot box, through pain and over time. And we will.

Is Baldilocks onto something?

"LGF is gone. Charles Johnson is gone. Face it. He was never ours. How about we let him take his delusions and slanders and paranoias and obsessions and falsehoods with him?"
-- Baldilocks (Juliette Ochieng)

Juliette certainly is not alone in seeing recent blogospheric rumblings as a belated denouement of the LGF meltdown.

The 2001-2005 period, when the Global War On Terror (GWOT) coincided with the rise of the political blogosphere, was also the apogee of what might be called the Karl Rove Center-Right Strategy.

Seeking to maintain maximum support for President Bush and the Republican Party, the Rove strategy involved "triangulation" to neuter Democratic Party arguments on domestic issues. No Child Left Behind, Medicare rescription drug benefits, the 2006-07 push to grant amnesty or guest-worker status to illegal aliens -- these were typical policy initiatives of the Rove strategy.

Especially after the 9/11 attacks, this "center-right" approach was mirrored in the rhetoric of much of the conservative blogosphere. Many GOP-aligned bloggers were understandably eager to elicit the support of liberals, or members of traditional Democratic constituencies, for the administration's foreign policy:

"Oh, look, this person is gay (or black, or feminist, or Joe Lieberman) and yet is strongly in favor of winning the Iraq war."

Which was all fine and good, in terms of the immediate goal of rallying support for the GOP and the Bush administration. Yet by focusing narrowly on a short-term foreign-policy consensus, the Rove center-right approach sowed the seeds of its own destruction.

The Great Unraveling
Once the war became unpopular, and once Democrats were able to shift the political focus to GOP vulnerabilities -- the Mark Foley and Jack Abramoff scandals in 2006, the economy in 2008 -- the Republican electoral coalition that had triumphed in the 2002 and 2004 elections unraveled with astonishing suddenness.

By attempting to unite disparate constituencies without any general agreement on political principles -- except that the U.S. response to terrorism should be forceful and comprehensive -- the Republican Party under Rove's direction had in some sense replicated LBJ's Vietnam-era debacle.

The Democratic hawks who were so key to the Cold War consensus in the U.S. had believed that popular support for fighting communism abroad could be purchased by enactment of liberal domestic policies. And in LBJ's 1964 landslide win over Barry Goldwater, these Democrats believed they had seen the vindication of that strategy.

Yet by 1968, the bloody prolongation of the Vietnam war and the upsurge of domestic chaos -- urban riots and campus protests -- splintered that victorious 1964 coalition so badly that, at one point, polls indicated that Hubert Humphrey might finish third behind Richard Nixon and George Wallace in the 1968 presidential election. (An anti-Wallace campaign led by the AFL-CIO helped prevent that scenario.)

From Values Voters to Obama Nation
For similar reasons, the Republican electoral coalition that seemed so formidable in the wake of the 2004 election -- remember the liberal panic over the "moral values" exit-poll question? -- has proven less durable than advocates of the Rove Center-Right Strategy hoped. Like the Democrats of 1964, the Rove-era Republicans assembled a coalition fraught with unreconciled conflicts.

We should not be surprised that what has transpired in electoral politics has been mirrored in the political blogosphere. Andrew Sullivan was one of the first to leap off the Bush bandwagon, screaming "homophobia" as he went. More recently we've seen Charles Johnson take his leave from the post-Bush Right, screaming "ultranational neofascist theocratic extremism" as he goes.

It is easy to shrug and to dismiss these developments with two words: "Batshit crazy."

However, the batshit craziness is not without cause, and that cause is the failure of Republican leaders -- and prominent conservative communicators -- to articulate consistently the Reaganesque message of freedom.

Last summer, when arguments over the Wall Street bailout were coming to full boil, I used "Libertarian Populism" as the title of an American Spectator column. Nobody's offered me a book contract to elaborate on that "Libertarian Populism" concept, but that idea is exactly what you've seen at work in the past year in the Tea Party movement.

Those Tea Party crowds are responding to a pro-freedom message expressed in populist language, viewing Big Government and Big Business (think: Tim Geithner, AIG, the GM takeover) as corrupt partners in an insider-elite agreement to defraud taxpayers and disempower citizens.

Another 'Time for Choosing'
It was hardly a coincidence that Charles Johnson reacted so harshly to the Tea Party phenomenon. Johnson and his LGF cult have never been libertarian and were "populist" only insofar as that term meant mocking John Kerry and Muslims.

When the political alignment of 2001-04 -- forged by what I've called the Rove Center-Right Strategy -- collapsed in 2006-08, it was inevitable that some supporters of the former Republican coalition would not be part of whatever new coalition emerged to take its place.

Just as the rise of the Reagan coalition resulted in the obsolescence of the liberal Republicans who had been an important part of the Eisenhower coalition, the emerging Tea Party coalition will render obsolete many of those who were part of the G.W. Bush coalition.

As Reagan famously said in 1964, we are at a crossroads, a "Time for Choosing" and I trust that it is with sadness Juliette bids farewell to former friends.

Merry Christmas!

Regular readers here know Barbara Espinosa of American Freedom blog, whom I first met in August at the Right Online conference in Pittsburgh ("Grandma Is an Angry Mob") and who was my hostess for the Orlando trip last month ("Tea Party Nation").

Barbara will probably get angry at being referred to as Mrs. Espinosa. She's a widow, and is very much in the market for a new boyfriend. She has a lively sense of humor and flirts with my 17-year-old son James, teasing me that she's going to be my daughter-in law one of these days.

The trip to Pittsburgh that was the occasion of my meeting Barbara was funded by the generosity of tip-jar hitters, whom I admittedly don't thank often enough. And, as regular readers know, we're now rattling the Pasadena tip jar to send me to cover the Jan. 7 BCS championship game between Alabama and Texas.

Hope everyone will consider this amusing video not only as a well-deserved tribute to Barbara Espinosa, a philanthropist and true patriot, but also as a thanks to all who have supported this blog.

(BTW, in the video you'll notice 17-year-old Bob stroking his chin, trying to call attention to his pathetic adolescent attempt to grow whiskers.)

Let's parse that sentence again, Dan

Sometimes the help of friends is not as helpful as they might wish, and Dan Collins is only trying to help:
TimB recently visited comments to once again chide me for linking up Stacy McCain. He and others probably also induced Patterico, whom I respect, to question whether Stacy is a racist based on a statement that people naturally feel revolted by miscegenation.
Which is not actually what I said in 1996, and which (mis)interpretation has been the nub of an enormous, if understandable, misunderstanding.

Go back to yesterday's post, "Your Secret Racist Buddy," in which I made reference to a young woman's discussion of interracial relationships that I had summarized in that 1996 debate -- which, I must again emphasize, was an argument with a white separatist named Dennis Wheeler. That George Kalas, Gary Waltrip, Dana Greenblatt and I were arguing for inclusiveness ought to be your first clue that my remarks weren't aimed at justifying racism.

The young woman referenced in that discussion is a black friend of mine who in 1996 had recently returned to Georgia after living in New York. Asked about the state of race relations, North and South, she said it was about the same in both places, except that there was less acceptance of interracial relationships in the South. And she meant this chiefly in regard to the black community. (Her own father is white, and she had dated many white men.)

Notice that my friend's comment is juxtaposed with a passage from Kent Steffgen's book Bondage of the Free, a right-wing critique of the civil-rights movement published in 1966. In that passage, Steffgen talked about the high degree of residential segregation in New York City -- then as now, dominated by liberal politics -- as evidence that what was being attempted under LBJ's "Great Society" was unlikely to produce real improvements in racial harmony.

My friend had been to New York, so I asked her how things were up there, and her remark about interracial relationships struck me as curious:
Why should attitudes toward dating/marriage between the races be considered a litmus test of racial harmony?
As I explained in a comment at Little Miss Attila's blog, my object in that 1996 e-mail debate was to isolate the white separatist Wheeler (and any of his ideological soulmates) on very narrow grounds. Fully comprehending the subtext of his argument, I didn't want Wheeler to win sympathizers on the basis of such a "litmus test."

In other words, just because someone had personal issues about interracial relationships, there was no need for them to endorse a white separatist political agenda. "The personal is the political" is an identity-politics slogan popularized by feminists, and we see how it not only leads to feminist nonsense, but to racialist nonsense and gay-rights nonsense. Here I was, in 1996, confronted with Dennis Wheeler's argument that all whites must adopt a Politics of Whiteness -- an evident fulfillment of Steffgen's 1966 prophecy:
Americans will be told, in effect, that they must make a choice between their own heritage and prejudice toward Negroes. That is the way the Communists have it rigged. Ten thousand interracial themes will not beat a path to brotherhood but into the moral sewers which, in turn, will open up a market for the advocation of pure race doctrines from coast to coast and border to border for the first time in U.S. history. (Emphasis added.)
Steffgen's reference to "Communists" as instigating agents of such a development strikes us as bizarre in 2009, but that was written in 1966. Steffgen's perceived the likelihood of a Newtonian pendulum-swing reaction in racial politics, with militant advocacy of integration provoking a militant opposition. And who can say that Steffgen was not prophetic in this passage?
A Negro will appear in every advertisement and televised audience scene. The cast of characters in major Hollywood productions will conform to the 'racial balance' requirement of the Federal government.
Anyone who pays attention to the content of media has noticed how the quest for "diversity" leads to a sort of tokenism, so that every detective show and hospital melodrama on TV -- and the commercials, too -- reflects the kind of "racial balance" considerations Steffgen described. The Associated Press, Feb. 15, 2005:
Somewhere there's an America that's full of neighborhoods where black and white kids play softball together, where biracial families e-mail photos online and where Asians and blacks dance in the same nightclub.
That America is on your television.
In the idyllic world of TV commercials, Americans increasingly are living together side by side, regardless of race. The diverse images reflect a trend that has been quietly growing in the advertising industry for years: Racially mixed scenarios -- families, friendships, neighborhoods and party scenes -- are often used as a hip backdrop to sell products. . . .
But critics say such ads gloss over persistent and complicated racial realities. Though the proportion of ethnic minorities in America is growing, experts say, more than superficial interaction between groups is still relatively unusual. Most Americans overwhelmingly live and mingle with people from their own racial background.
Advertising, meanwhile, is creating a "carefully manufactured racial utopia, a narrative of colorblindness" says Charles Gallagher, a sociologist at Georgia State University in Atlanta.
Only about 7 percent of all marriages are interracial, according to Census data. About 80 percent of whites live in neighborhoods in which more than 95 percent of their neighbors also are white, and data show that most Americans have few close friends of another race, Gallagher said.
"The lens through which people learn about other races is absolutely through TV, not through human interaction and contact," he said. "Here, we're getting a lens of racial interaction that is far afield from reality." Ads make it seem that race doesn't matter, when real life would tell you something different, he added.
So there is a signfiicant gap between the media portrayal of race and people's actual lives. And now let's look at that 1996 quote for which I've been relentlessly hounded:
As Steffgen predicted, the media now force interracial images into the public mind and a number of perfectly rational people react to these images with an altogether natural revulsion.
The key here is this: To what stimuli do these "perfectly rational people react"? To the media images!

It is the media's depiction of a "carefully manufactured racial utopia," in Professor Gallagher's phrase, which produces the "revulsion" I described -- repeat, "described," not "advocated" or "endorsed." And from there, I proceeded to describe a hypothetical scenario attempting to draw a line between "racism" (i.e., racial hatred or discrimination) and a mere personal preference:
The white person who does not mind transacting business with a black bank clerk may yet be averse to accepting the clerk as his sister-in-law, and THIS IS NOT RACISM, no matter what Madison Avenue, Hollywood and Washington tell us.
A heckuva sentence to be compelled to defend, especially when it has been repeatedly plucked out of its context, having originated in a very lengthy argument with a white separatist. Given everything you now know, however, you likely perceive that sentence in a much different light.

What I was telling the readers of that e-mail list-server with the all-caps "THIS IS NOT RACISM" was to reject the guilt-trip that is constantly being laid on them by the agents of political correctness. Believe it or not, even in 2009, America is still a free country and you still have the right to your own opinion -- even unpopular opinions, and even opinions with which I may disagree. (Being opinionated by nature, I have learned to resist the temptation to turn every conversation into an argument.)

The white separatist Dennis Wheeler classifed me as one of those who "adopt a Libertarian view on race," which is fair enough, even though he obviously meant it as a pejorative.

The point is that I am weary -- and was obviously already weary in 1996 -- of the totalitiarian tendencies of political correctness, where ordinary Americans are made fearful of expressing their opinions because Big Brother Is Watching.

It strikes me as ironic that the Internet, which has been hailed as a liberating force of First Amendment freedom, has been hijacked by some people for the purposes of conducting a Star Court inquisition, so that I have been compelled to spend so much time explaining myself.

Now let my accusers explain themselves.

ADDENDUM: Let me add something that should be obvious to those who've followed these arguments going back to Charles Johnson's Sept. 12 attack on me -- I am a diligent student of history, popular culture, and political philosophy.

In 1996, a few months before this debate with Wheeler, I was awarded the George Washington Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge for a series of columns about the National Standards for U.S. History. Research for that series led me into a study of Marxism, and I sometimes boast that I've read more Marx than have most Marxists.
"How do you tell a communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin."
-- Ronald Reagan
Before I studied communist philosophy, my conception of Marxism was superficial. To me, a Marxist was some old Russian guy in a general's uniform on the reviewing stand during a May Day parade in Red Square, or a bearded crackpot with a megaphone ranting about the bourgeosie, or a Third World guerrila in combat fatigues with an AK-47.

Once I understood the philosophical basis of communism -- dialectical materialism, history as a series of Hegelian conflicts, etc. -- it affected my perception of politics and culture.

There are people who are, we might say, unconscious Marxists. They have been schooled in a particular worldview, taught to view the world through a prism of oppression, exploitation and alienation.

Baptized by immersion in such beliefs (which are nowadays widely promulgated in our educational institutions) these people are incapable of thinking outside the schematic system of categories that has been instilled in their minds. Confronted with a phenomenon that does not fit their schema -- e.g., a poor person who opposes socialism, a lesbian who rejects the dogma of the gay-rights movement -- these people must either ignore the obtrusive phenomenon, rationalize it, or attack and destroy it.

These unconscious Marxists are everywhere, including in the comment fields of conservative blogs. Wise men should not allow such ignorant trolls to go unrebuked.

Quote of the Day Begets Quote of the Day

by Smitty

Ed Driscoll, noting the Obama Administration's employment of Smart Diplomacy against the Norwegians, let fly with:
I thought he was the tautology he’s been waiting for.

Top 10 Things I'm Glad
I Never Said On the Internet

Excepting certain famous proclamations of Gov. Wallace and Sen. Bilbo -- hey, those were in quotation marks, OK? -- this is probably No. 1:
"He's like the whitest black boy you've ever met."
When it rains, it pours for Tiger Woods, thanks to porn star Holly Sampson's description. Did I mention she said it on video? Topless video?

This is one of those Jeff Goldstein "intentionality" situations, I suppose. While Holly's words may be judged racist, her deeds . . .

OK, let's just say that Holly probably won't be getting too many favorable comments at Stormfront.

Or from Denene Miller. IYKWIMAITYD.

(Hat-tip: Instapundit.)