Saturday, April 25, 2009

Time to retire, Arlen

James Antle notes the Rasmussen poll showing Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter with only 30 percent of the Republican vote against 51 percent for conservative challenger Pat Toomey.

If Specter were a loyal Republican, he would retire, rather than (a) requiring the National Republican Senatorial Committee to spend money on his primary campaign and (b) forcing Toomey to spend millions on his own campaign.

But loyalty's only ever gone one way with Arlen. Even if he could win the primary, Specter would lose the general election. Yet, like all RINOs, the man is vain and selfish. Expect Snarlin' Arlen to wage a bitter fight, smearing Toomey with negative add, paid for with NRSC contributions.

No conservative should give a penny to the NRSC until Specter announces his retirement.

'Could you suggest any biographies?'

A reader wrote to ask for recommendations, and where to start? I look over on my desk at Willard Sterne Randall's Thomas Jefferson: A Life, arguably the best one-volume biography of the author of the Declaration of Independence, and a fine place to start.

Wander over to the bookshelf in my office and see David Horowitz's autobiography, Radical Son. Surely you wouldn't want to miss that, one of the most insightful political memoirs of our era.

Looking up to the top shelf of my desk, I see Robert Novak's memoir, The Prince of Darkness. Anyone interested in the business of journalism should not neglect that. Also up there is Destruction and Reconstruction, the brilliant Civil War memoir of Richard Taylor.

Tucked into the shelf to the left of my computer is The Proud Highway, a collection of Hunter S. Thompson's letters 1955-67. Not a biography, per se, but a splendid insight into the formative years of the great Gonzo.

On a shelf down in the basement is Thomas Wolfe's The Right Stuff, a history of the Mercury space program that is, in some sense, a collective biography of the astronauts and that great non-astronaut, heroic test-pilot Chuck Yeager.

What else? Oh, sitting open on my desk is William Middendorf's A Glorious Disaster, about Barry Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign. Again, a combination of history and biography. Lou Cannon's Governor Reagan is up on the top shelf of my desk, and in my main library (what is now our dining room) are Steven Hayward's The Age of Reagan and the collection Reagan: A Life in Letters. I'd also recommend Reagan, In His Own Hand.

Just wandered into the dining room/library and spotted a couple of books everyone should read: Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington and The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Both of these authors, in one way or another, stand in opposition to the sort of liberalism Shelby Steele examined in White Guilt. If you read Malcolm X carefully, you'll see a man more angry at white liberal condescension than anything else. Sometimes I wonder what might have become of Malcolm X if he hadn't been assassinated.

Well, that's a list to start with, at any rate. I suppose commenters can suggest others.

UPDATE: Jimmie Bise has suggestions, too.

Shhh! Don't tell anyone!

"Large families collect comebacks to the question 'Why do you have so many kids?' and here's one I once heard: 'We're trying to take over the world.' . . . Let God plan your family and the world will be a vastly better place."

Guilt by association

by Smitty

Here's a provocative reply from John, over on the Pam Geller thread:
Guilt by association isn't fun or fair when it's happening to you, is it? See Obama/Ayers
Let's follow this through. So, Pam Geller is to a neo-nazi as Barak Obama is to Bill Ayers?
  • Pam Geller had a neo-nazi mentor.
  • Pam Geller worked with that mentor on various projects.
  • Pam Geller lived near that mentor for a substantial period of time.
  • Pam Geller was systematically evasive about her associations with that mentor.
Ah, yes: as long as we take the deceptively simple premise at face value, John's equivalence works well.
Often, use of the 'f' word is the first indication that the subsequent assertion is anything but fair.

Charlie Crist in trouble in Florida?

Months ago, a conservative Florida Republican named Javier Majarres began e-mailing me to complain about his dissatisfaction with Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and the state GOP chairman, Jim Greer.

Majarres was a big supporter of Lt. Col. Allen West's FL-22 congressional campaign. (I profiled West for The American Spectator and blogged about his campaign through the fall.) Manjarres felt that Crist and Greer didn't do enough to support West.

Manjarres formed the Conservative Republican Alliance, and blogs at Red County. So today, Kid From Brooklyn has a post at the Hot Air Green Room, linking this Orlando Sentinel story:
Before last fall's election, Crist took time out of his work schedule to campaign for McCain, appearing at rallies, raising money for him in Texas and California and visiting the GOP candidate at his ranch in Sedona, Ariz.
"He was with him so many times I thought he was an adopted member of the family," said Mitch Ceasar, Democratic chairman of Broward County.
Back home, Florida's economic crisis was deepening. But Crist did not step up his workload, according to his schedule.
Florida is one of the states hit hardest by the bursting of the housing bubble. There's been lots of noise about Crist running for Senate next year, but as it is, he might be lucky to be re-elected as governor. Manjarres writes:
Crist's indecision is, in all likelihood, delaying the entrance of several candidates into either the Gubernatorial race or Senate race. . . .
In my opinion, I think Governor Crist is very beatable in a primary election. If the right conservative candidate steps up and directly confronts him on both his record and his lack of leadership, he will force Crist to answer to the base of the Republican Party in a primary election. I think he could very well lose because he has disappointed those who elected him, time and time again during his tenure. . . .
Governor Crist is a wounded deer who has fallen completely out of favor with the base of the Republican Party -- the political cover he gave President Obama by supporting the reckless "stimulus" plan was the final straw for many. [Emphasis added.]
Majarres notes that Dr. Marion Thorpe has declared as a Republican candidate in the Florida Senate race, and former state House Speaker Marco Rubio might also get in the race. There may be a Tea Party conservative rebellion brewing against "me too" Republicans like Crist.

Atomization, anarchy and abortion

"If the promotion of the self is understood in terms of absolute autonomy, people inevitably reach the point of rejecting one another. Everyone else is considered an enemy from whom one has to defend oneself. Thus society becomes a mass of individuals placed side by side, but without any mutual bonds. . . . In this way, any reference to common values and to a truth absolutely binding on everyone is lost, and social life ventures on to the shifting sands of complete relativism. At that point, everything is negotiable, everything is open to bargaining: even the first of the fundamental rights, the right to life."

Foolishness Makes Janeane Really Annoying

by Smitty
Today's backronym for the Full Metal Jacket Reach Around brought to you discourteously by Janeane Garofalo, whose chief meaningful contribution was something beginning with "J". To work. There seem to be for major categories of bloggers: journalists (whom you'd expect), lawyers (Insty, PowerLine), academics (American Power), and, finally, the armchair types (me). While there is the occasional Bob's Bar and Grill that can serve up "just folks" in an engaging manner, the better bloggers are those who make a living off of thinking and writing.

In the third category is a Poli-Sci prof out in SoCal named Douglas, who has glommed onto the fact that hyperactively hyperlinking this site is the best traffic driver this side of the mighty Instapundit.
  • Don linked Don't believe the blog hype in his reaction to Mark Penn's posting on blogging as America's newest profession. I rather think most of us are treating it as the oldest profession, no? Except Charles Johnson, who seems to be treating blogging as an occasion for the second oldest profession. Guesses as to the third oldest profession abound. For the sake of argument, let's consider excavation as a candidate for third oldest:
    And if a man shall open a pit, or if a man shall dig a pit, and not cover it, and an ox or an ass fall therein; The owner of the pit shall make it good, and give money unto the owner of them; and the dead beast shall be his.--Exodus 21:33-34
    Who gets Perez Hilton?

    The whole point is as neatly summarized here as anywhere:
    Prager: "I want gays to have every right. However, redefining marriage is not called for."
    That's the key point, by the way. Not simply "civil rights" (which gays enjoy), but the interchangeability of language. Prager hammers Hilton on precisely this issue, and he held himself up quite well; while Hilton responded with same stale talking points from radical gay marriage ayatollahs.
    I know what 'radical', 'gay', 'marriage', and 'ayatollah' mean in isolation. However, the combinatorial paradoxes of the four symbols together are astounding. This level of cognitive dissonance could only be brought about by a modern-day Helen of Troy. Donald's celebration of beauty in his blog honors creation and Rule 5.
  • Suzanna Logan remains coy on whether or not she's one of those women in comfortable shoes. Irrespective of personal choices, she came out swinging on the whineyness of the current generation, though she came nowhere near arguing in favor of feeding them all SoyJoy. Recommendation: do not join the Navy, as the food may not quite be for you. ;) However, that raging blogger paycheck will certainly keep you in SoyJoy more or less indefinitely.
  • Monique Stewart recalls an old family saying on the waterboarding question: "if you're looking for sympathy, it's in the dictionary between scatological and syphilis." (Not far from SoyJoy, it suddenly occurs to me.) She responded to fellow knock-out conservative blogger Clever S.Logan with a firm caution about generalizations. Some people work hard to earn that SoyJoy.
  • The Judge, of course, weighed in on the S.Logan/Monique brat-worst. I won't tell you the final outcome, but I will say that we're going to need a re-match.
  • The Troglopundit picked up the Miss California torch from Douglas. His attentions were drawn elsewhere, to the S.Logan/HotMES imbroglio:
    Suzanna Logan thinks our society is spoiled. Monique Stuart says “I am not!” A debate ensues. Smitty casts his eyes downward and hopes nobody notices him.
    Oh Trog-a-delic one: why, pray tell, are your eyes drawn to me, instead of the two ladies? Wait: I un-ask that question. Please do not respond in any way.He then goes on to notice this blog linking him on the Kerry 'what shall we bail out this week?' story, and says: "R.S. McCain...seems to think I’m trying to shake him down for money when, in fact, I’m trying to shoulder him out of the way." Wow. We give great advice and substantial linky-love, and get treated like a capitalistic idea at an Obama staff meeting.
  • Pundit and Pundette linked us with the ironic video of Carville saying that the Tea Parties had too many old people. I'm just glad they identified the fellow, as I mistook him for T. Herman Zweibel. They picked up the Suzanna/Monique story and added some interesting thoughts. When it came to the blogo-bucks story, their reply was: "Don't hold your breath, kids."
  • Carol's Closet is not a welcome place for Philip of Who-Whom. In reply to his comments on the waterboarding post, she said
    What's got me so fired up? Phillip's comments from this post at The Other McCain. Read his comments and wrap you head around the fact that given the choice between another Breslin School massacre or a 9-11 or waterboarding a terrorist Phillips thinks it is more civil and Christian to let the planes fly and the kids die.
    I'm not sure I agree. Leaders typically do not have a clear choice like: do X or Y happens. It's all probabilistic, and ambiguous. Hence all the debate. Philip would likely make the least-worst decision, if circumstances dictate. It's retaining patience with the likes of Philip while he gets there that remains the challenge. She also linked us in a potent little roundup of that pack of cretinsour government
  • Paco belatedly tried to get in on the Rule 5 game by posting a mere URL to a woman in a wedding dress with a shotgun and evidence of Cheney-esque prowess. But you've got to go that extra mile and actually embed the photo, Paco. However, he blows the lid off of the Stacy McCain palatial estate scandal. He knows more than I, the mere Porch Manqué at the lesser guest-house. Good work.
  • This blog made the Kuru Lounge around the moronosphere in 60 minutes roundup three times in the last week. Good news, bad news, who can say? They also support us on the waterboarding issue. Take that, Young 4 Eyes.
  • Moe Lane thought that the revelation of RSM's vast income from blogging was sad/funny. Moe also linked a mandatory viewing video on the Evil HR875. We need to amp this up. And Moe needs to do a better job of flagging Rule 5 video of Shelly Roach. Dude.
  • In what I thought would be something linking the Monique/S.Logan post, Carol linked the Carrie Prejean post. Isn't calling Perez Hilton a woman just a little misogynistic?
  • Ed Driscoll liked the Neo-Confederate Lesbian post (if Perez can be a woman, why not RSM? Me--too ugly for chick-tacularity) Ed's other angle on the story was Separation Of Church And Blitz.
  • The Shack-tacular Jimmie had a Rule 5 entry that we'll merrily recycle. I read the title of A Few More Dunks Wouldn’t Have Bothered Me and my mind put an 'r' in the fourth word. I look at my tea cup and wonder: was that Earl Grey or Pink Floyd?
  • Pamela Geller, whom I got to thank personally at CPAC for the work involved in bringing Geert Wilders to speak, quotes RSM at length in response for his support. In pointing out the true nature of Mr. Johnson, there was some collateral damage. Sorry, Green Bay Packer fans.
  • The Cranky Conservative agrees with us that Jeff Goldstein nailed the left rather effectively. I'd roll back a step and agree with JG as follows: their arguments stem from a fundamentally flawed view of existence.
  • Fisherville Mike discovered the power of Carrie Prejean bikini pics. He also offers the following observation:
    When I saw this line in Brooks' column - Obama is positioning the Democrats as the party of order, responsibility and small-town values. If he pulls this mantle away from the Republicans, it would be the greatest train robbery in American politics. - I thought "Just because a guy wears a dress doesn't make him a woman."
    Aye, lad:

  • The BlogProf connects the South Park fish-stick joke with David Axelrod. Rather well, too. He also liked the John Galt speech. I thought it tedious, and skipped it in the book.
  • Hyscience was less generous in reviewing Axelrod:
    I view Axelrod's statement as more than offensive, I see it as another frightening indication of the Obama Administration's views and policies regarding free speech and dissent.
    That was patriotic, once. Charles Johnson gets an equally negative billing.
  • Stephen Gordon offers a warning to government officials about the wrath of the people.
  • The Pirate's Cove pointed to the play-by-play on the LGF war. What's interesting is how mired in the past people become on these matters.
  • Dad29 rogered up for the repeal of the Patriot Act. The good news about this administration is that it, along with the tubie-webs, has got a lot more people thinking about what they want the government actually to do. The bad news is that there is about 100 years of increasing centralization against which to fight.
  • Clueless McCain The Younger, i.e. Meghan, took the coveted Useful Idiot Day award over at Obi's Sister. Prize: a dog in the purse, apparently.
  • Lead and Gold lamented having missed Brooks Fisking Day.
  • The Future Republican Senator has some Rule Five-age.
  • Commander Salamander linked the Alabama speech. Go, Sal'!

  • The Creaky Pavillion caught up with one of RSM's musings from weeks past.
  • Cyber Economics links the WSJ blogging loot article. Desert Survivor concludes: "Since its start, this blog has had 4124 page impressions and has earned me a grand total of 65 cents." Let's see what the FMJRA can do for you. Did you get linky-love from anyone else you mentioned? Who loves ya?
  • Maggies Farm added us to their blogroll, amidst a fine roundup.
  • Mickey's Heavy Haul seems to have discovered some ugly truths about politics. There is a certain disadvantage to being a practical sort of fellow, when encountering a politician...
  • Eric Etheridge at starts off a survey of torture memo release responses with RSM's Dunk 'em Again.
  • Rust Belt Philosophy also quoted RSM at length on the torture memos, albeit more favorably.
  • Meanwhile, Mark J. Goluskin calls Carrie Prejean "heroine". Just pay attention to the "e" on the end of that, or the DEA will be after you. Kind of like the second "r" in "let angels prostrate fall". Why does humor involving spelling and punctuation fascinate me so?
  • Tha Anchoress isn't buying off on the blogging loot rumor:
    Most of the time I don’t make $900.00 in a month!
    I blog for the love of it - because I love to write - but now I’m wondering if I’m just doing it wrong! If there is big money to be made in blogging, it has managed to sneak past me.
    And we love you for your love, ma'am.
  • In the same boat is Political Byline.
  • Tigerhawk also poo-poohs the blogging loot rumor, but adds interesting Instapundit speculation. If Insty is doing well, God bless the man. Envy is just not my strong suit. Which might explain why I'm not politically on the left.
  • Dustbury isn't raking the blog loot, either: "I’m delighted to be running at less than a triple-digit loss each year."
  • The Classic Liberal applauded the Alabama speech.
  • True News From Change NYC posts a link roundup of truly bagel-like density. May have more URLs than this monster, in fact. If you follow them all, you get a free mouse.
  • Balloon Juice took RSM's sarcasm for humor.
  • Our favorite Canadian noted the Pam Geller post.
  • Steve Taylor at the Poli Blog links us and PowerLine with dismay that many “conservatives” do see themselves as the defenders of so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques.” I think it has more to do with winning the conflict than sadism, Steve. Somewhere between Neville Chamberlain and the Marquis de Sade is the "reasonable" position. The tradeoffs involved are empirical and ugly.
  • Redstate noted the former VP doubling down on the torture memos.
  • Tito Perdue does an NYT death dance: "I do so hope The New York Times collapses economically, a denouement that balances and more than balances any sort of recession you care to postulate."
  • There is a good roundup of the LGF/Atlas Shrugged/Jihad Watch kerfluffle at Wake Up America.

  • The Blowback Department:
  • The Most Annoying Distortion of the Week Award (MADWA) goes to Evil Bender, who begins:
    As many of my readers will have already observed, there’s some high quality misogynist wingnuttery being emitted from R. S. McCain. Like someone embarrassed to have passed gas, McCain first puts up a post that clearly works under the assumption that women are merely objects to be used by men. When this is pointed out, he fires off some updates to his post, all designed to shield him from the accusations he brought upon himself by his overtly despicable original post.
    I've hung out with Stacy, can affirm that this EB is AFU. However, we include it here in the name of full disclosure. Not everyone seems to grasp the essential grooviness of this blog.
  • On the heels of Evil Bender comes Heretical Ideas, which blog thinks that Republicans Should Just Admit They’re Klingons. I've always felt myself more a Romulan, Alex, when I'm floating in fictional realms. It's a subjective call, I admit.
  • IntoxiNation labels RSM a "wingnut extraordinaire", and asks:
    Now I wonder how many of these wingnuts are gladly accepting the tax cuts under Obama? If they really believe what they say, then shouldn’t they give the money back, or better yet – donate it to a mega corporation of their choice? Prove you mean what you write. Yeah – I doubt that will happen.
    No, we won't gladly accept tax cuts. We'll fight the disgusting premise of the 16th Amendment, that's what we'll do. This country didn't fight for liberation from King George III only to anoint King POTUS Assclown Whoever (not necessarily BHO).
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money (great graphic, BTW) labels RSM Robert Stacy "Emmett Till Had It Coming" McCain and also produces a runner up for the MADWA award, as if supporting Pam Geller equals making it "acceptable for American conservatives to form alliances with neo-fascists"
  • PoliGazette is in mother hen mode:
    Furthermore, GoV and AS have gone off the deep end, and Charles is right to point out that they have and continue to associate with far-right parties and individuals. “Anti-Jihad” bloggers, as they call themselves, have become Anti-Muslim, Anti-Islam, Anti-Tolerance, and Anti-Equality. Reading the comment sections of these websites is a horrific experience for all who care somewhat about common decency and tolerance. These people - again, I am not talking about people like Donald or Robert S. McCain for they are not “anti-Jihad bloggers” but simply conservative bloggers who are also foreign policy hawks - have become radicals in their own right. Associating with them does not merely destroy one’s credibility, it is also a crime against decency.
    To conservative bloggers like RSM and DD I have only this to say: make no mistake about it, AS and GoV are not ‘conservative blogs.’ Nor are they websites you should be associated with. They are ignorant radicals driven by hate. Conservatives everywhere are wise to distance themselves as much as possible from them.
    PG: I yawn at you. Get some rest.
  • Nappycat is included for completeness, and that's about it. The link in question is a sarcastic review of the Plan-B post that isn't even interesting flamebait.

  • Apologies in advance to the following blogs that linked us, but didn't make it through the Technorati/Smitty filter:
  • faustasblog
  • trackacrat
  • adriennescatholiccorner
  • backyardconservative
  • bitchphd
  • politicalcastaway
  • dogfightatbankstown
  • ennuipundit
  • mahablog
  • nationalcenter
  • ordinary-gentlemen
  • celebritypaycut
  • unitedliberty
  • theendzone
  • mudswimmer
  • grandpajohn
  • newsmediamagazine
  • socialnetworksguru
  • This roundup was compiled by Frequent CommenterPorch Manqué Smitty using his army of high-tech clone robots, and emacs. If you've linked us in the past week and are not linked back here, all complaints/requests/death threats should be e-mailed to Smitty, who will either (a) update this post to include you, (b) make sure to give you extra linkage in next week's FMJ Saturday roundup, or (c) hunt you down and beat you into a comma (or other punctuation of your choice).
  • To be linked in Rule 5 Sunday, please follow the Official Guidelines, post your cheesecake/beefcake before 9 p.m. Saturday, and e-mail the URL to Smitty.
  • The Other McCain is not responsible for items lost or stolen while reading this blog, and disclaims responsibility for computer damage caused by spontaneous coffee spew.

Bill Maher hates himself.
And can you blame him?

Via Memorandum, I encountered Bill Maher's 737-word sneer at the Tea Party movement and conservatives in general. Having observed Maher for more than 15 years, I felt obligated to share a few insights:
Years ago, when he still had his ABC show, Politically Incorrect, I observed that Maher had two pet peeves, Christian morality and feminism. This struck me as not coincidental, as both of these belief systems would tend to interfere with what was transparently the chief object of Maher's existence: Getting laid.
After I'd moved to Washington, I became acquainted with someone who had frequently been a guest on Maher's show. When I shared my supposition about the basis of Maher's political fixations, my friend nodded eagerly and said: "Bill Maher's idea of a romantic evening is doing coke with hookers at Sky Bar." . . .
Read the rest at Hot Air's Green Room.

UPDATE: No Sheeples Here:
In a monologue from one of his HBO shows, Maher noted that [Sarah] Palin has five children including an infant that has Down syndrome saying "She had it when she was 43 years old. And it looks a lot like John Edwards."
Maher's never-married status (at age 53) is sort of the "tell" on his game. Marriage is an institution that teaches humility, requiring a man to acknowledge that he isn't always right. As every husband knows, every time you do something stupid, your wife is required to recite the list (which wives memorize and rehearse continually in their minds) of every stupid thing you've ever done. An adolescent narcissist can't deal with that. So it's hookers at Sky Bar for Bill.

Carrie Prejean bikini pics


The politics of coercive approval means that to disagree with the policy of same-sex marriage is to disapprove of homosexuality, which is impermissible. As with other "progressive" causes, the object of the gay rights agenda is not merely a matter of policy. Rather, it aims ultimately at thought-control, to forbid dissent.
By speaking out against same-sex marriage, Miss California USA Carrie Prejean may have lost the Miss USA crown, and now she's the target of "progressive" death threats, as Donald Douglas points out:

You just can't hold an opinion contrary to the secular progressive hordes in this country: They want her DEAD! They want her family DEAD! They want her house burned to the GROUND! They wanna go there in the middle of the night and PISS ON HER ASHES!
Ah, the sweet voices of multicultural tolerance! They want to mount an inquisition because the CIA plays rough with Abu and Khalid, but let someone dare to criticize their agenda, and we see what they're really all about: You have a right to our opinion!

Maybe they just hate her because she's beautiful?

A closer examination of that photo causes me to wonder if Carrie's got implants:

You notice that (a) she's extraordinarily lean, and (b) her breasts have that unnatural globular quality that is the telltale hallmark of fakies.

At least they're a semi-credible B-cup rather than those ginormous porn-star fakies. But I'm still anti-fakie. Whether they're AAs or DDs, ladies, stick with what the good lord gave ya. To do otherwise is as unnatural as . . . uh, same-sex marriage.

UPDATE: Not only am I now the top Google result for "Carrie Prejean bikini," but I'm also the No. 6 result for "Carrie+Prejean+naked." Remember, hits is hits. And since I'm not quite making that $75K/year for 100K visits/month, I'll gladly take the traffic.

UPDATE II: Welcome Townhall readers! Hope you share my traditional-values opposition to breast implants. "Traditional" and "natural" go together. If a girl's naturally skinny, that's OK. And if a girl's got a little more to love . . . well, nothing wrong with that, either. But keep it natural.

UPDATE III: Speaking of naked, check out the naked bias of Miss USA pageant director Shanna Moakler:

But she lost the crown because she wasn't able to convey compassion for ALL the people that as MISS USA she would be representing. and if YOU like it or not, gays and lesbians make up this country as well. THIS is why we have judges so they can find the RIGHT woman who obtains these qualities. they are crucial in my eyes when holding a honor and title as big as being Miss USA. The panel of judges was qualified and did their job, they represented all of us, men, woman, black, white, gay and straight.

OK, to start with, Ms. Moakler, you're blogging on MySpace, OK? But I skip past that, as well as overlooking your UNUSUAL choices of ALLCAPS. What you can't seem to comprehend, Ms. Moakler is how evil it is to make someone's position on a controversial public policy question a measure of their "compassion."

You are evil, Ms. Moakler. Perez Hilton is evil and so are any of the Miss USA judges who share your evil mentality that equates opposition to the politicized gay-rights agenda with a lack of "compassion." How about you arrogant elitists read an actual book once in a while and try to understand why politics as an exercise in moral narcissism -- The Vision of the Anointed, as Thomas Sowell dubbed it -- is so heinously evil.

UPDATE IV: Carrie Prejean: Hateful Oppressor?


(April 25) I am not going to name the distinguished conservative academic who e-mailed me a link to a site titled, "CARRIE PREJEAN NAKED." However, I do want to serve notice that anyone who thinks they can out-pander me has got another think coming. When it comes to random-Google keywords, nobody out-panders the Rule 5 King.

I'm No. 1 on "Carrie Prejean bikini," and if somebody's aced me out on "Carrie Prejean nude," or "Carrie Prejean naked," or "Carrie Prejean upskirt," I'm not going to give in without a fight.

BTW, the photo above is meant to illustrate my earlier argument (I'm currently the No. 4 Google return on "Carrie Prejean fake boobs") that Miss California USA is implant-enhanced. One of the commenters has referred to the clearly evident "refund gap" between Miss Prejean's suspiciously globular breasts.

Having done extensive hands-on field research from 1973-1988, I'm an authority on varieties of female pectoral configuration. Miss Prejean's chest is a phenomenon not found in nature. There is no purely biological possibility of a girl that skinny having breasts that large, perfectly spherical in shape, and separated by several inches of flat sternum. Trust an expert: Those boobs are as unnatural as "Adam and Steve."

Friday, April 24, 2009

Is Samantha Power Doing Her Andy Kaufman Right Now?

by Smitty

Power Line links Politico with a story about Samantha Power and the Armenian Genocide
As president, Obama has not been willing to "commemorate the Armenian genocide." Instead, in his typical weasel fashion, he tries to have it both ways. This, according to Smith, Obama has infuriated the Armenian-American community, including those who strongly supported him.
Amazing, isn't it, that the realpolitik of being the POTUS mocks all the asinine dreams? (To be clear, I refer to the utopian leftist ideals, not the reasonable desire of Armenians for redress of their holocaust.) Turkey, by nature of its geography and the mess that is the Middle East, will drive decisions like this. It's not buying much to take cheap shots at BHO for doing what you have to do as POTUS, any more than it did his predecessor.
To the finned, gilled and scaly fish that voted for him based upon the rainbows coming from the butt end of his unicorn, I have little in the way of solace. You're welcome to come to the Tea Party protests, and build the momentum needed to restore the Constitution to some semblance of the Framer's meaning.
Kumbaya won't do it for you. I think you and Samantha Power will have to reach for the release that can be found in the dadaism of Andy Kaufman:
And, to the Armenians, we can all pray for the return of Christ, when evil will meet final justice.

Friday night: what's your candy up to?

by Smitty (h/t Dustbury)

I take no interest in Dustbury's interest. His business is not my business.

Blind Men and the Elephant: Hayek, Christianity and Catholic 'Social Teaching'

Sometimes I describe myself as a conservative in politics, an Austrian in economics, a Christian by faith, a Calvinist by doctrine and a Southerner by the grace of God. All of these commitments are involved in my colloquy with Andrew Cusack, who took umbrage at my proudly Protestant skepticism toward Catholic "social teaching," inspiring me to respond at length:
Every faithful Christian seeks to understand what is required of him, as an individual, in dealings with his fellow man. We strive, or at least should strive, for honesty and fairness in matters of business. Yet when we attempt to reason upward, as it were, from the level of individual morality to the question of "social justice," the One True Way becomes increasingly less obvious. Thoughtful minds see that this is a utopian mission, an effort toward universalistic one-size-fits-all prescription, with some central authority dictating down to the minutest level what is prohibited and what is required. During the 1970s, after radicals had captured majority power in the municipal government of Berkeley, Calif., a shopkeeper put up a sign in his window sarcastically describing the new order: "That which is not forbidden is mandatory."
This is the meddlesome tendency unleashed when we make "social justice" our goal in politics and economic. What is "social justice" to the SEIU labor organizer, to the ACORN activist, to the HHS bureaucrat, to the La Raza militant, to the GM executive, to Tim Geithner?
Please read the whole thing. Man, this "top Hayekian public intellectual" stuff keeps a fellow busy. You ought to hit the tip jar. That's my idea of "social justice."

'He's done an Andrew Sullivan'

by Smitty

Apparently things are going well, because the concerns over domestic policy and the international situation are so slight that there is time for 'friendly' fire incidents.
Donald Douglas and I are about equally disconnected from all of this, but he still provides an excellent play-by-play including this summary:
I'm not out to ruffle feathers, and not Charles Johnson's by any means. But sometimes you have to take a stand: I think Michael's wrong on this one: Little Green Footballs gives aid and comfort to the enemies of conservatism, or as The Educated Shoprat notes at this post, "He's done an Andrew Sullivan. No other way to put it."

Did Morrissey Miss the Point?

by Smitty
Ed Morrissey seems concerned about these Yemeni enemy combatants, or something:

Barack Obama promised to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay as soon as he took office for almost two years on the campaign trail, and he made that one of his first actions when he assumed office. Now, suddenly, Obama has discovered what we all knew the entire time — that closing Gitmo means sending terrorists back to countries that won’t secure them, especially Yemen. Now they don’t have a Plan B for some of the worst of the worst.
Ed starts off with noticing the roots on the campaign trail...

How many Yemenis remain at Gitmo? Not just one or two or ten, but 97 Yemenis. That’s about 40% of the inmates at Gitmo. No one else in their right mind would take them, certainly not without some sort of payoff, and they’re the last people we want to bring inside the US.
Now, the Obama administration admits they have no Plan B. No wonder; it took Obama more than two years to discover what most of us had been screaming at the top of our lungs about Yemen and the terrorists.
BHO hasn't discovered anything of real importance since November 5, 2008.

Ed, why do you think there is even the slightest concern over these Yemenis or GITMO? It was never anything more than a campaign issue, and a deck of distraction cards pointing back to W to play when helpful.

No, the real question is which righty blogger will play the "hate speech" (formerly known as First Amendment) card so powerfully as to score the first flight down there.

Stand Firm in the Faith

One of the oddities of my career in the blogosphere is that, even though I'm a hard-boiled Protestant, my writings on cultural issues have earned me legions of Catholic admirers . . . . My ancestors were Ulster Scots and Covenanters, and respect for the sacrifices they made to defend their independent faith requires me to stand firm in defiance like the Martyr of the Solway. Yet in our secularized society, when so many have been "conformed to this world," I also stand firm with those of any faith who defy the Contraceptive Culture.

Not Awesome, Ace

by Smitty

AoS has the title "Awesome: Crowd Cheers as GE Shareholder Rips MSNBC". A questioner inquires if the Janine Garofalo clip is "hate speech", and the crowd cheers and the suit waffles, and the crowd boos.
Pay attention class: why was Napoleon successful, until Wellington picked up the same baton and flogged Napoleon therewith? Among other reasons, both generals understood the ground.
In noticing JG, in bothering to attach "hate speech" to her pitiful remarks, you're conceding the ground to the minions of Cthulhu. The Great Old One doesn't care about JG or Sean Penn or the contents of their blather. All the minions want of you is to support the perversion of the First Amendment, and the need/capacity for government to regulate this new legislative product.
There is a place in the bowels of Cthulhu for JG when, to her sanity-shredding horror, her reign of useful idiocy is at an end. The means of avoiding joining her there is to not concede the ground to artful liars peddling nebulous goods: "fairness", "hate speech", and "spreading the wealth" are all markers on bad ground for battle.
Rather than engage the enemy head on, simply ask questions. Let the lack of any foundation in thought, fact, and history make the tower of babble collapse on Old Cthulhu.
Ace may think the MSNBC situation funny, and some sort of win. It was, but not for those concerned with freedom, truth, and the future. Do not concede the ground to the foe.

Update:This cover from the Economist makes the point graphically. The lure is the symbol "hate speech", the school on the port side is anyone buying into its existence, with Cthulhu "smiling" to starboard.

Thanks for nothing, John Kerry

John Kerry, friend of the newspaper industry?
Troubled by the possible shuttering of his hometown paper, Sen. John Kerry reached out to the Boston Globe on Tuesday, then called for Senate hearings to address the woes of the nation's print media. . . .
"America's newspapers are struggling to survive, and while there will be serious consequences in terms of the lives and financial security of the employees involved, including hundreds at the Globe, there will also be serious consequences for our democracy where diversity of opinion and strong debate are paramount," Mr. Kerry said.
Please allow me to point out that no politician ever said the first damned thing about the vital importance of saving the newspaper industry as long as I was working at a newspaper.

And if Lance Burri thinks I'm going to give him any of my blogobucks, he's crazier than I am. You're not fooling me, Burri: I see through your shady little scheme!

Pamela Geller vs. LGF

So I wake up from a nap and, curious to know what's happening out there in blogland, I check Memeorandum and see this headline from Little Green Footballs:

Pamela Geller: Poster Girl for Eurofascists

OK, to boil it down: Next month, Geller will attend a conference in Cologne, Germany, on the Islamicization of Europe. One of the key figures in the German group sponsoring the Cologne conference is Manfred Rouhs. He has appeared at events with neo-Nazi activist Axel Reitz who, in turn, has appeared at events with neo-Nazi activist Christian Worch.

Whence these associations? I've explained it before, but I'll explain it again: The mainstream "conservative" parties in Europe have refused to address effectively the issues of immigration and multiculturalism. (In Europe, multiculturalism takes the form of pandering to their massive number of Islamic immigrants.) Because mainstream politicians have forfeited leadership on these legitimate concerns of their citizens, the vacuum has been filled by the likes of Reitz and Worch. Ergo, if there is a conference in Europe addressing the question of whether Islamicization is a threat, it won't be organized entirely by "respectable" types.

Thus, Johnson's guilt-by-association attack on Geller highlights the real problem we face in America: If the Republican Party and the mainstream conservative movement don't recognize and respond to our own citizens' concerns about immigration and multiculturalism, then those issues will be taken over by similarly disreputable groups.

What should Geller do? Cancel her trip to Germany? I think not. Rather, she use the occasion to alert Germans to the consequences of cowardice by their leaders. Germans, perhaps better than any other people, are aware of the heinous results when democracy fails in a time of crisis.

Anyone who has read William Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich knows that Hitler never would have come to power if the mainstream conservative parties in Germany had more effectively addressed the problems of the Weimar Republic. The German people were desperate for leadership, a credible alternative to the ineptitude of the Social Democrats who dominated Weimar, and Hitler -- who had shrewdly studied the tactics of the Social Democrats in his native Austria -- appeared to offer such an alternative.

Knowing that history, one sees why so many conservatives were frustrated and outraged about George Bush and John McCain's open-borders stance on immigration. Anyone who paid attention to talk radio -- and I was doing a talk-radio tour to promote Donkey Cons while S.2611 was being debated in the Senate -- knew that grassroots conservatives were about 110% against the "shamnesty." And yet the Republican leadership allowed this opposition to be smeared (and, indeed, John McCain himself smeared them) as "anti-immigrant" and worse.

This was a Weimar-style failure of leadership. The Republicans in Washington were doing the exact opposite of what the people who had elected them wanted them to do. No surprise, then, that the GOP lost the 2006 mid-terms. And then the Republicans nominated as their 2008 presidential candidate the chief Senate advocate of "shamnesty," who proceeded to demonstrate he was as inept and tone-deaf on economics as he was on immigration.

So, here we are in 2009. The Republican Party is now nearly irrelevant in Washington and Obama and the Democrats are gearing up to push their own "shamnesty." And what's Charles Johnson doing? Is LGF rallying conservatives to oppose the Obama/Pelosi/Reid agenda?

No. Pamela Geller is doing that. Every freaking day. And also getting smeared by LGF every freaking day. The result? She's doubled her traffic in the past year.

Given the threat we face here in America, I'm willing to let the Germans evaluate how much of a fascist threat Rouhs and Reitz pose to Germany, and I'm willing to let Pamela Geller decide which conferences she does and does not attend.

Mark Steyn, Kathy Shaidle, Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller -- we're all "Rightwing Extremists" now.

UPDATE: Linked by Atlas Shrugs, who laughs at the idea of pro-Israel neo-Nazis. Folks, the tectonic plates of politics are shifting, as I've realized ever since I noticed liberal feminist Phyllis Chesler citing The Camp of the Saints. And if anybody feels tempted to hit my tip jar, please don't resist that temptation.

UPDATE II: Linked at Hyscience, who calls Pamela a "common sense-thinking conservative who's willing to speak out for what she believes in."

I like "Rightwing Extremist" better. Easier to remember. BTW, trivia time: "Pamela" is Greek for "honey."

UPDATE III: Robert Spencer accuses me of writing "sensibly"! And he thinks he's got a libel problem. Next thing you know, I'll be accused of being "a top Hayekian public intellectual." No, wait . . .

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I'm Pro-Environment

by Smitty

...but not as heavy-duty as some. Dr. Sanity posts a great graphic:

The rest of the post is worth your time. However the good doctor missed this one from the Political Castaway, which really turns the oogedy-boogedy up to 11:

Zowies! That video was from a Conservatism Today roundup.
I was born in Western Oregon. I loves me some forest. But not with such Druidic fervor, I fear.

Not just 'yes,' but 'hell, yes!'

God bless Alabama:
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A resolution has been introduced in the Alabama House that praises Miss USA contestant Carrie Prejean for speaking out against gay marriage during Sunday night's televised pageant. . . .
The resolution was introduced Tuesday by Republican Rep. Jay Love of Montgomery.
Love said Prejean showed she was willing to stick to her convictions even if it meant losing the pageant.
Now that's some right-wing extremism!

Silver Medal, Mental Gymnastics

by Smitty

Interesting News Items humorously serves up an interesting point. First the joke, about how ripping peoples' faces off for being stupid produces more 'green' behavior. Mothers around the country nod knowingly.
When rules are just posted, workers aren't as careful. Often they'll forget elementary tasks such as printing paper on both sides, or turning off computers at night." However green compliance skyrocketed in hollering-friendly workplaces.
What's more interesting is the tendency to rationalize despicable behavior by pointing to some purportedly higher 'good'. Take Perez Hilton, for example. Take him somewhere.

It's the expenses they're worried about

"Imagine the trouble Stacy McCain could cause if the Media Research Center, Accuracy in Media, or some other conservative group covered his salary and expenses?"

Video: Treasury press conference

Trust them. They're experts!

Video: The John Galt speech

You may remember this from Atlas Shrugged:

H/T: Young Americans for Liberty.

RELATED: 'Going John Galt'

UNC Values

Rep. Tom Tancredo -- right-wing hater!
Rep. Virgil Goode -- right-wing hater!
Duke rape hoaxer Crystal Mangum -- OK!

What I want to know is when and how did the liberal elite take over Chapel Hill, N.C.? It's a state school best known for its championship basketball program, so how did it become as radical as Berkeley in 1968?

I had the same reaction when Orit Sklar and Ruth Malhotra started describing how they'd been threatened and intimidated by radical gay and Muslim student groups at Georgia Tech.

Georgia Tech? What Lewis Grizzard used to call "The North Avenue Trade School"? A school best known for its engineering program, its ACC basketball team and its "Ramblin' Wreck" fight song? I was born in Atlanta and one of my cousins graduated from Tech, and of all the places I least imagined would ever be taken over by the radical elite, it was Tech.

Radical Muslims at Tech? You're kidding me! And militant gay groups? Well, the coeds at Tech were always a bit on the homely side, so you could understand if the guys got kind of desperate, but . . .

Why is this kind of radicalism, which we had come to expect at elite schools, now trickling down into ordinary state universities? The most obvious answer is that big "CONSERVATIVES NEED NOT APPLY" sign hanging outside the personnel office at most universities for at least the past 30 years. People tend to avoid working in environments where they're not welcome, and so conservative-leaning youth have learned to get their bachelor's degrees and go to work in the private sector, leaving the graduate schools -- where the future faculty members are trained -- totally dominated by the Left.

Even if the trustees of a school like Tech or UNC wanted to hire conservative faculty members, where would they find them, given the rarity of conservatives in grad school? And you'll find that it's the faculty and grad students, not the undergraduates, who are the driving force of leftist radicalism on most campuses today.

Michelle Malkin has more about the UNC protests against Goode's appearance, including this totalitarian wienie:

What next? Over-the-counter roofies?

Plan B -- the drug that allows guys to breathe a sigh of relief the morning after using some chick for selfish pleasure -- will now be available to 17-year-olds without a prescription.

Who cares that she's not even old enough to buy a pack of cigarettes legally? Get her drunk on wine coolers, get what you want, then the next morning, take her to CVS to get Plan B and make sure there's no chance the slut will show up in a few months talking child support payments and DNA tests.

So guys, if you screw a 17-year-old and "forget" to use a condom, remember: Nothing says "thanks a lot, you cheap whore" like the gift of Plan B!

UPDATE: Linked at Mahablog and Pandagon, both of whom ascribe my comments to mental pathology. OK, let's unpack that, shall we?

First, I am anecdotally acquainted with specific examples of how guys are using Plan B in exactly the way described: "Hey, I don't have to use a condom! Just take her to the CVS in the morning and dose her with the 'morning-after pill,' and I'm off the hook!" And their partners feel demeaned by this treatment: "Wow, he really doesn't want to risk a permanent commitment with me, does he?"

Mahablog particularly repeats the lie -- and it's not the first time -- that my comments about the FLDS cult in Texas were intended as an endorsement of their polygamous practices. Rather, I was pointing out the abusive overreach of the Texas officials, who mounted a SWAT raid and put all of the FLDS children in custody, even tiny infants. And I was also pointing out the hypocritical double standard involved, since the putative object of the raid was to prevent teenage motherhood, even while Texas led the nation in teenage pregnancy: "If they're going to stage a paramilitary raid every time a 15-year-old gets pregnant in Texas, they're going to need to hire a lot more SWAT officers."

Finally, and I know this will produce gasps of astonishment from you feminists: Men and women are not "equal," in the sense of being identical and therefore fungible. The sexes are different in ways that are socially important, and only a radical egalitarian fanatic would argue otherwise.

Thus, the idiot commenter who accuses me of denying women's "agency" in sexual activity has ludicrously missed the mark. I don't for a moment deny that women voluntarily choose to have sex; what I deny is that their motives and reasons for doing so are, in general, the same as men's motives and reasons.

The academic/political/legal forces that would compel us to pretend that men and women are identical are engaged in denial of truths that are obvious to any stand-up comedian. C'mon, people: How many thousands of stand-up routines have been built upon observing the differences between men and women? And we laugh because these observations are true.

Yes, men do tend to fetishize power tools and other grown-up "toys." Yes, women are kind of crazy about shoes. Yes, men do tend to go into a store, find exactly what they want and buy it, while women tend to linger in the mall for hours "just looking." Men and women are different, and even if you don't exactly fit the gender-role stereotype, the general differences are observable and funny as hell when Jerry Seinfeld or Jeff Foxworthy points them out.

Gender differences even hold true among homosexuals, as Andrew Sullivan once pointed out by repeating this joke:
Q. What does a lesbian bring on her second date?
A. A U-Haul trailer.
Q. What does a gay man bring on a second date?
A. What's a second date?
Which is to say, the female tendency toward domesticity -- the preference for long-term relationships -- persists even in the otherwise anti-traditional world of lesbianism, and the male tendency toward promiscuity is even more marked among gay men, who don't have women to say "no" to them.

In general, among heterosexual singles, men and women approach the mating ritual with different objectives. The fact that more women nowadays play the role of sexual aggressors cannot be denied, but is an understandable response to decades of egalitarian dogma pumped into the culture. Despite this shift, it is nevertheless still true that women generally date in search of a long-term committed relationship, while men (especially successful, attractive men) are more generally content to "play the field."

It is only the feminist ideologue -- with her androgynous insistence that all things must be equal -- who considers it "empowering" for women to imitate male behavior in the dating game. Men and women are different, and this "pro-sex feminist" strategy of empowerment through promiscuity ultimately disadvantages all women.

But don't let me trouble you with these quibbles, you egalitarian fanatics. Stay comfortable inside your ideological bubble, viewing me as a boorish right-wing misogynist, and employing your Adorno/Hofstadter thesis that all conservatives are repressed mental cases to dismiss any evidence or argument that might contradict your worldview. And when you start reading crime stories about teenage girls being abused by men who use Plan B as part of their exploitation strategies, interpret that data through your narrow prism, ignoring the possibility that you just might be wrong about some things.

UPDATE II: Wow, my third Malkin Award nomination since February! I'd like to thank the Academy . . .

UPDATE III: After commenters are done excoriating me as a "clueless douchebag," they might want to check out Monique Stuart's take on this:
The beauty of a prescription being required is that it might actually involve some parental guidance. That is why this judge is against it. They want to detach children from their parents' social mores.
The drug companies are also involved. They want to make money, and they'll be making a lot more of it if all of this would become over the counter. . . . This is about the companies that produce these drugs opening themselves up to a wider market. It's disgusting.
Anyway, parents just lost some more of their rights. The government, primarily through the courts, have told parents time and again that they have no business in their childrens' lives.
Right. We're just breeder units, producing taxpayer-drones for The State.

UPDATE IV: "Do her. Dose her. Ditch her." Really, Jimmie, I think the Bar Kays said it best:
Hit and run,
You played your game so well,
You really made it hard to tell
That all you planned
Was a one-night stand.

How is it that being an easy pushover for a selfish user is now regarded as "liberation," and anyone who tries to wise you up by pointing out the simple facts of the game is a misogynist oppressor?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ann Coulter's mom, R.I.P.

Very touching:
After reading the eulogy column I wrote for Father last year -- not to excess, probably only about 4,637 times -- Mother realized to her chagrin that she wouldn't be able to read the eulogy column I'd be writing for her, and started hinting that maybe I could rustle up a draft so she could take a peek.
But I couldn't do it, until I had to.
The only thing Mother wanted to be sure my brothers and I included in her remembrances were her contributions to the Republican Party, the New Canaan Republican Town Committee and the Daughters of the American Revolution.
She was a direct descendant of at least a dozen patriots who served the cause of the American Revolution and traced her lineage on both sides of her family to Puritan nonconformists who came to America in 1633 seeking religious freedom on a ship led by Pastor Thomas Hooker. Or, as Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano would call them, "A dangerous right-wing extremist hate group."
If the joke seems out of place, it's not. Ann's mother was a proud Republican. Also, it's not a joke.

BTW, Ann Coulter's mom was from Kentucky, so therefore Ann's a Southern girl despite having been raised in Connecticut. Read the whole thing.

'Forbidding to marry'

Laura from Pursuing Holiness wrote a post at the Hot Air Green Room that inspired me to respond at great length:
Christians believe that marriage is an institution ordained by God, and every marriage is thus blessed. However, in ordaining marriage, God commanded man to "be fruitful and multiply." This commandment has never been repealed or amended, no matter what any Malthusian population-control fanatic tries to tell you. One trend that has undermined marriage has been the rise of the Contraceptive Culture, which celebrates sterility as the norm and views fertility as a pathology requiring medical prevention.
How many Christians have embraced this false -- dare I say, evil -- worldview? How many young Christian married couples use contraception because "we can't afford children now"? And how many married Christian couples have unwittingly subscribed to the Zero Population Growth ideal of exactly two children per couple? Did you know that surgical sterilization (tubal ligation) is the No. 1 form of birth control for American women? It's the "two and tie 'em" mentality: Have exactly two children, then get yourself surgically sterilized. . . .
You should read the whole thing.

UPDATE: In the comments at the Green Room, Anna writes:
My husband and I were married at 21. . . .
What galls me is the anti-child atmosphere nowadays. We have 3 kids (including a set of twins), and we'd love to have another. We aren't really in a position to have another right this minute, but the door is not shut. However, mention this to my (devout Lutheran) in-laws, and they rant about how they'll kill my husband if I get pregnant, and how they don't 'need' any more grandchildren. We even hear from other members of their church about how we're too young to have so many kids - how are we going to pay for college/cars/etc for not only them, but for ourselves. We’re 26/27! How is that too young? There are only so many times that I can retort with "We're old enough/it's our family/you can take out loans for college, but not for retirement!" before I have to run to the bathroom to cry.
Anna, once you understand that their criticisms of you are actually a defense of their own decisions, this anti-baby attitude becomes more comprehensible. People can always justify their own behavior, and people who embrace the Contraceptive Culture typically display these attitudes. Negative conceptions of others -- the "trailer trash" stereotype of large families -- are a defense mechanism to enhance their own self-concept.

Believing that their way is the only way, they must necessarily believe that, by marrying young and having lots of babies, you are dooming yourself (and your children) to misery and poverty. The "how will you pay for college" question is meant to be the ultimate "gotcha." My daughter's working her way through college. Next question?

UPDATE II: More wisdom in the comments (here) from father-of-five Larry:
I cannot count the number of times we have been unintentionally insulted by well meaning, self-identified Christians, asking if we know what causes that (pregnancy) . . .
To which I always answer, "Yes, and we're very good at it." That shuts 'em up quick.

The Three Dimensional Loser Award

by Smitty

Pure ad hominem isn't terribly useful. Even when out hunting RINOs, Stacy manages to slip in some didactic value. Ben Shapiro's Big Hollywood flogging of Sean Penn is the exception that proves the rule.
Here's a sample:
His latest expression of genius bemoans criticism of President Obama - which is not particularly shocking, considering that Penn has had his nose so far up Obama’s posterior for the past few months that there’s a good argument to be made that he’s personally convincing Obama of the need to rethink his position on gay marriage.
“Once again the simple-minded media and its pundits are confused about the nature of Americanism and language,” states the ever-incisive Mr. Penn. “When President Obama today inferred consideration of holding former administration officials accountable to law, he was immediately accused of violating his belief that we should ‘look forward,’” writes Penn, frantically and mistakenly thumbing through an unused thesaurus. It’s “implied,” not “inferred,” Sean.
But back to the idiocy.
The Three Dimensional Loser Award is reserved for those who suck pondwater, no matter the vantage from which you look at them. Sure, we can make a theological case that Penn is a human being, and just as deserving of mercy as anyone else. Check. I'd happily spend some time with Penn and make an effort to make a clue stick to him. On principle, if for no other reason. But his track record goes nowhere useful, and I've got a pizza that says 95+% of the readers of this blog wish that Spicoli would ponder public silence for a very, very long time.

Videos: Sens. Cardin, Kyl condemn DHS report on 'Rightwing Extremist' threat

Thanks to The Washington News Observer for these videos of Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland and Republican Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona showing bipartisan agreement that Janet Napolitano's DHS report was wrong:

Who's purging whom?

Rick Moran thinks I'm trying to set myself up as "an arbiter of 'true conservatism,'" or trying to read Charles Johnson out of the movement. This isn't remotely the case. Obviously, I don't even have that kind of influence.

I'm not angry at Charles Johnson and even if I were angry at him, so what? Compared to Johnson, I'm as inconsequential as a flea on the ass of an elephant -- LGF has 10 times my average daily traffic.

On the other hand, Johnson is trying to kick Pam Geller and Robert Spencer out of the conservative movement, and I'm trying to understand, and to explain, why he's doing it. Perhaps my understanding and my explanation are wrong. But I didn't start studying politics yesterday, and I've seen this "urge to purge" scenario played out over and over again through the years.

You cannot build a successful political movement by a process of subtraction, and building a winning coalition is impossible if you organize on losing principles. Allowing your opposition to dictate the terms of acceptable discourse is a losing principle, as Jeff Goldstein has striven to explain. Ergo, Johnson manifests a defeatist tendency when he pronounces Geller and Spencer "untouchables" because they attended a European conference whose promoters included some unsavory characters.

Was there any genuine danger that Geller and Spencer would return from Brussels singing the Horst Wessel Lied as they goosestepped down Broadway arm-in-arm with David Duke? Or, as I think far more likely, was Johnston concerned that the presence of a neo-Nazi element at Brussels would be used by liberals to discredit mainstream conservatism?

This is the kind of Republican flinch reflex -- "Oh, we can't say that, it might make the liberals angry!" -- that annoys the crap out of me. Look, we've all been officially branded "Rightwing Extremists," so what's the point of this fearful, defensive, cringing quest for "respectability"?

If we are confident that our policy goals are worthy and decent, and that our tactics are honorable and democratic, why should we give a damn what the sneering elitists and smearing propagandists say? Why allow liberals to decide what is scandalously "extreme," while they ignore or dismiss all of Obama's extremist associations? This is not to endorse a "no enemies to the right" strategy, but rather to advocate the pragmatic approach to coalition-building exemplified by Ronald Reagan.

During his 1966 run for governor of California, Reagan was endorsed by, and given campaign contributions by, a right-wing group whose members and leaders had a clear history of kookiness. The newspapers made a big deal about this group and its connection to Reagan. So Reagan called a press conference where he was naturally asked about this "scandal," and his response was simple: "They endorsed me. I didn't endorse them." End of scandal.

Candidates for public office cannot be held responsible for the opinions or actions of every person who supports them. Nor can Pam Geller and Robert Spencer be held responsible for the opinions and actions of every person who attended the Brussels conference. The Left has certainly never applied that kind of standard to Democrats, and if conservatives are going to operate under self-imposed standards intended to pre-empt liberal objections, then liberals have won the game before the first whistle blows.