Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Don't forget Iran.

Syria Reactor Story a Diversion; But From What?

Repeating the Crime: The Iraq War Morphs Into the Iran War

Is an Attack on Iran Imminent? (via)

U.S. Prepares ‘New Options’ To Attack Iran, Deploys Second Carrier To Persian Gulf

Such Men Are Dangerous

Digby tut-tuts Rev. Wright, and he deserves every tut, but surely this is not unexpected. We already knew Wright was angry, unsurprisingly he's also angry at Obama. Obama had the opportunity to be another Martin Luther King, but he gave it up to be part of the power structure that considers men like him disposable. Obama refused to risk his image as a safe black man, refused to say that yes, he is angry at the treatment of black people, and he has every right to be. Just as Obama refuses to see the US as a menace in the Middle East. And just as Clinton gives little or no hint of the enormous rage she must feel at the thousands of insults and injustices women receive, especially those with brains and ambition.

However, Digby quotes something I find far more alarming than opportunism and anger.

I watched Obama today and felt very sorry for him on a human level. As Joan
Walsh pointed out in a series of sensitive posts on the subject, this is a guy who has written a book about being abandoned by his father and here comes
father figure
Wright, so self-centered that he apparently couldn't accept that his own star burned less brightly than the younger man who was very
possibly on his way to becoming America's first black president.
(Emphasis is mine.)

If Obama is indeed a man searching for a father figure, that is an authority figure, such men are dangerous. He has already chosen to side with authority too many times, to protect government lawbreakers or save the world.

He will not prosecute anyone in the government. He has too much respect for its institutions. He will not get us out of the Middle East. He sees us as saviors of the world. He will not restore the rule of law. As Chris Floyd says, to do so would be to implicate those who broke it. He will support religions over secular society, out of respect for religion if not for many of those who practice it. He sees religion as an authority to succumb to, a necessary part of public, not just private, life.

"[Americans] want a sense of purpose, a narrative arc to their lives. They're looking to relieve a chronic loneliness, a feeling supported by a recent study that shows Americans have fewer close friends and confidants than ever before. And so they need an assurance that somebody out there cares about them, is listening to them - that they are not just destined to travel down that long highway towards nothingness.

And I speak with some experience on this matter.... And in time, I came to realize that something was missing as well -- that without a vessel for my beliefs, without a commitment to a particular community of faith, at some level I would always remain apart, and alone."

Any Democrat is preferable over any Republican. Their time has come and gone, at least until the famously short American memory dims again and they can return to power, the next generation of Goldbergs and Podhoretzes and Bushes. But I don't think the changes we are hoping for will happen if Obama is elected. When in the course of human history did those in power willingly give up power, especially ill-gotten power that might never come again? When did people ever gain freedom except by fighting for it?


Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Arthur Silber speaks.

Most people completely failed to grasp the breadth of Obama's commitment to
America's mythologized history in his "nuanced," "historical" speech on race, or
his unbreached determination to lie about anything and everything. They were --
and are -- incapable of understanding this issue for the simple reason that
they, too, embrace this mythology. If they are deprived of their belief in
America's, and their own, claim to being "unique" and "special" in all of
history, they will die psychologically. Our mythologized history has become a
crucial part of their own identities. Obama's condemnation of Wright today
amounts to an emphatic postscript to his earlier speech: "I meant it. I will lie
to you about anything you want. I will lie about everything."

We are not special. The United States is not moral. We are not a force for good. We built our nation on blood and theft. We do not bring freedom to the world. Blacks are not inferior to whites. Women are not inferior to men. Children don't owe their parents obedience. Blind obedience is bad. Religion is useless and harmful. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

We watch the world drowning in our lies, begging for rescue, and tell ourselves that they are waving.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

K-Lo Goes To Confession

III Shorter

K-Lo: Bless--

Father: (firmly) No.

K-Lo: But--

Father: Forget it

K-Lo: Baby Jesus---

Father: (weakly) Sin?

K-Lo: Porn week

Father: No

K-Lo: Faaaaatheeeer!

Father: No.

K-Lo: (very rapidly) Teenagegirlsinblondwigs.

Father: Well, maybe we can make an exception this time.

Kathryn Jean Lopez, Vagina Inspector

Kathryn Jean Lopez is on the alert. Somewhere, her nose tells her, a woman is taking off her shirt in front of a camera. Hark!

Achy Breaky Heart: The pornification of Hannah

Dear me, that really is a shame. The kid's only 15. And it's not like she's from a bad family; her dad's a country-and-western singing star, and we know what good American Judeo-Christian values they all have.

Oh, no! Some people are upset Kathryn Jean called Disney's teenage star a porn princess.

I posted a quick item on the
Vanity Fair inciden
t on Sunday and have gotten many e-mails
from people who are upset that I may have been too hard on Cyrus. I didn't write
much, so I don't think I was.

"Porn" says so much, doesn't it Katy Jean? Maybe that's why you keep slinging the word around so often.

But Kathryn Jean is looking for teenage girl porn for your own good, don't forget.

But while I don't buy that the Cyruses were complete innocents here — at which point
when the teenager takes off her shirt does dad think this is not bad news — I
might be more bothered that there is an audience for this. What does it say
about us?

I think it says that Cyrus is ambitious, people like pictures of scantily clad pretty girls, and you need to stop thinking about sex. Really, girl. Give it a rest. Think about Mitt Romney for a while instead.


Monday, April 28, 2008

Sir John Bull----

John Derbyshire ticks off his readers by dissing Expelled. To explain, he extols the virtues of the scientific method, that crowning achievement of Western Civilization. Take it away, Derb. We don't want to miss a single word.

In any case, I am not reviewing the movie. What I am doing is, heaping
well-justified abuse on the heads of people who, for "sentimental qualms" and
from a position of ignorance, trash scientific method, the greatest achievement
of our civilization.
And uniquely of our civilization. A mature scientific
theory is as much a glory of our civilization as is a cathedral or a university;
and it is uniquely of ours. Other civilizations had temples, universities,
systems of government, literature, philosophy; but only we of the West came up
with scientific method, and the whole world owes the innumerable fruits of that
method to us.
I am a huge fan of Western civilization. Thus, when
people — well-educated people, who ought to set an example for the
general — sneer at and spit on these majestic creations of the human
intellect, I get mad. They are taking sides with barbarism. They ought to be
ashamed of themselves.

Say, Derb, didn't an Arab, Ibn al-Haytham, invent the scientific method?

And he's the smart one.

Friday, April 25, 2008

K-Lo Goes To Confession

These are from my comments at Sadly, No, always a source of inspiration.

I. The Funeral

K-Lo: Bless me Father for I have sinned. It’s been 13 hours and 45 minutes since my last confess—

Priest: Kathryn Jean, is that you? Young lady, you have to actually sin again before you go to confession. I’m not a video game you know.

K-Lo: —ion. Father, you’re not supposed to interrrupt. My mother said it makes Baby Jesus cry.

Priest: Your mother is a fine woman, Kathryn Jean, but perhaps a little too exact in her adherence to dogma.

K-Lo: Father!

Priest: (hastily) You were sinning, you said?

K-Lo: Yes Father. I went to funeral today and I was overcome by lust, mostly of a political nature which is probably just a venal sin, but also of a carnal nature which is probably a cardinal sin, right, Father? At least that’s what Sister—

Priest: I’m sorry, my dear, you said you were at a wedding and overcome by lust?

K-Lo: No, Father, a funeral. (Loudly) F-U-N-E-R-A-L.

Priest: (heavily) Perhaps you’d better explain.

II. The Playboy Magazine

K-Lo: Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. It’s been twenty-six hours, thirteen minutes since my last confession. I’m sorry, Father, I had a deadline. I promise I’ll–Father, what’s that thumping sound?

Father: Ow. Nothing, Kathryn Jean. It’s so nice to see you again. Why don’t we skip the formalities and go straight to the sinning, seeing as there’s a basketball game on in ten minutes.

K-Lo: (deep breath) Father, I spent the week thinking about pornography.

Father: I’m sorry, what?

K-Lo: Father, I spoke to your before about your hearing. Maybe you should get it checked.

Father: I beg your pardon, my dear. You said you spent the week thinking about ornithography?

K-Lo: No, silly, I mean Father. Dirty pictures. Smut. Licentious women lolling around half-dressed in lacey pajamas. Men giving into their sinful natures, their manhood straining—

Father: Yes, Kathryn Jean, I understand now. Please stop, I beg of you. Just—-continue.

K-Lo: I promise, it was for work. I am campaigning tirelessly to help our brave warriors turn away from Playboy, but nobody in the office will back me up. Jonah just sniggered and twitched, Derbyshire looked down my shirt, and Mark Steyn pretended he was going to hit my arm.

Father: That’s a shame, my dear, for you are doing God’s work.

K-Lo: That’s the problem, Father! Every time I looked at the filth to see what the boys were laughing about, I had strange thoughts. So I tried to think about Jesus instead and my thoughts got even stranger. Do you remember that part in the bible when a woman washed Jesus’ feet with her hair? Of course, I’d have to let it grow, but—–

Father:(hastily) Kathryn Jean, that’s between you and your Lord. So to speak. You’re absolved, say a Hail Mary and ten Our Fathers. And I think it’s time you tried our singles’ mixer, young lady. Before it’s too late.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Later today I"ll concentrate on that Great American Hero, John McCain. It's time the nation takes a good look at the Man Who Will Be King, and his pill-popping wife too. Let Hillary and Obama duke it out, we have a lot to cover in McCain's life.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Snark weighs drops anchor today, as the captain and crew have fallen ill.

In the meantime, check out Lisa Schiffren, who promises to be a veritable fountain of stupidity. Whether it's calling Obama's birth a commie plot* or making an exception regarding breaking up families especially for Hillary, she's the new go-to girl for mindless Republican cheerleading. She has something to say about Dick Nixon's daughter Julie.

Perhaps we humans are psychologically limited in our options, to following
in the footsteps of, or rejecting and rebelling against our various
patrimonies. Or, given the linked picture, perhaps the fact that she
looks like a carbon copy of her mother — a bit mad, but with a little more iron
about the jaw — suggests that she is not her father's daughter after all.

The "smart" one changes her mind and goes for Obama, while the other one "still looks like the girl America knew." You mean the smart one looks older (after 40 years) and the "other" one still looks like the kid she was four decades ago? Because that's just creepy.

*Check out this reference to her post, because the commenters discuss if Obama is more Vulcan or Romulan, which is one of the greatest debates evah!

(Note: heavily edited because of illness, versus the usual heavy editing due to carelessness)

(Another note: In Megan's post ironically titled "ask the blogger," Megan avoids answering pertinent questions to quibble about irrelevant details. If Megan can't defend her decisions to a housewife, why is she blogging at all?)

(Not that I want Megan to quit. Most Republican bloggers are too stupid to debate. I had hopes that a fuzzy-headed fake conservative would be better, but unfortunately not.)

(And yes, I am acting as if Megan exists purely for my personal enjoyment. Since she has yet to do anything else of value, this will have to do.)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


There are two issues I want to discuss regarding feminism. The first is the female role and the second is a case of feminism's misuse. I am not a trained feminist or academic so I'm going to use the tactic Republicans love, which is to take my own opinion and present it as universal.

Starting backwards, we've recently seen a couple of accusations of sexism from women mocked in an article in the Village Voice.

Ann Althouse responds:

Yes, the lefties think sexism is quite okay when it's used to attack their opponents. I'm too thick-skinned — despite the routine application of moisturizer — to let things like that annoy me anymore. But I don't mind saving the evidence to use against people like Roy when my wily feminine emotions tell me to attack.

Athouse later quotes Megan McArdle:

... I'm annoyed that a typically female narrative style, which touches on personal experience, is derided as fundamentally unserious--particularly when it is so derided by people who admire it in feminist bloggers.

Both women play to traditional gender roles to win support, roles that the substance of their lives contradict.

It's a canny dodge, since no liberal wants to be seen as sexist, and so many sexist conservatives are convinced that deep down, everyone else is like them. But it only works if women critics and substantive criticisms are ignored. That gap is so obvious that calls of sexism are extremely weak.

Logic ought to tell McArdle that if liberals admire the female narrative style yet criticize her, they aren't criticizing her female narrative style; they're criticizing her content. But it's easier and more pleasant to claim victimization than it is to respond honestly. Self-styled independent thinkers ought to have principles based on reason and careful thought, and should be able to defend them.

I'm sure there's no malice involved, however. They probably aren't trying to avoid criticism, they just think that there's no chance they could be wrong.

Gender identity is much more complex and will take a longer post.

Endless War

Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense, promises endless war.

"But the kind of enemy we face today — violent jihadist networks — will not
allow us to remain at peace," he said. "What has been called the `long war' is
likely to be many years of persistent, engaged combat all around the world in
differing degrees of size and intensity. This generational challenge cannot be
wished away or put on a timetable. There are no exit strategies."

Thanks, Gates. This should be plastered on every billboard in the country.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Morsel of Megan

I feel as if I'm poaching on Fire Megan McArdle's territory, but you have to point out giggles when you find them.

Megan tells us she doesn't think like a mathematician so she can tell us she solved her Rubik's Cube in/after grammar school "by extremely long trial and error." Thanks, Megan. I couldn't have gone through my day without another Megan!Fact. I guess writing about the relationship between economics and mathematics would just be boring and the little people don't want to hear about it.

Hey, here's an article on Bloomberg that addresses the collapsing economy. It seems the "Bank of America Corp., the second- largest U.S. bank, said profit dropped for a third straight quarter as the company set aside $6.01 billion for bad loans. "

Maybe Megan will mention it so she can say she doesn't understand why people don't pay off their loans because she pays off her loans every time.

Update: BINGO! Megan shows why she'll always be American's Sweetheart, plucky and predictable.

That depends on whether you want to walk away, stiff the bank, and end up
with a 150 point drop in your credit score that will severely impact your
ability to get a new house, or walk away even. Me, I borrowed the money, I try
to pay the money.

Megan, you'll always be Veruca Salt to me.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Mary Margaret Catherine O'Dowd

I finally read Molly Ivors on Maureen Dowd and my goodness, I can't see what all the fuss is about. All Mary Margaret Catherine O'Dowd said was that Obama was an elite (which everyone knows is just true). Yes, an admiral's son and grandson is like minor royalty in the services, and McCain grew up all over the world, just like Obama. But we all know that white Americans in the military are so much better than black men of different nations and/or religions. And white women who marry black men, well, you all know what they say about them. But Mary Margaret would never say such a thing because she's a nice Catholic girl with a cop father, and they mind their manners.

McCain is a manly man of action, Mary Margaret says, and Obama is wimpy and odd. Even Hillary is more manly than Obama, albeit also a shrew. Mary Margaret's Daddy doesn't like it when women talk a lot because their voices are shrill and hurt his ears. Obama wants to hang out with economic experts (during a recession no less, how unmanly) and people like McCain hang out with models, and which is more cool, Paul Krugman or a model?

I thought so too.

Mary Margaret quotes Stephen Colbert dissing Obama, which is cool too, even though Colbert was making fun of people like Mary Margaret while doing it. But who cares, because quoting Colbert is cool and all her friends do it.

In conculsion, I think Molly is silly and just jealous of Mary Margaret, who is cool and pretty and knows all the kids on the student council.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Currently on Megan McArdle's blog:

Megan tells Ezra she'll provide him with a real bagel.

Megan tells us she's multilingual.

Megan tells us she must have her Sephora products, at least when the mean airlines will let her.

Megan tells us that she thinks skirt-chasing is "seen as" manly.

Megan tells us she knows lots of people.

Megan tells us she doesn't fall for silly philosophical arguments.

Megan accidentally tells us she drank grass. (Unless she actually did.)

Megan says it's silly to worry about one's child's safety because she was safe as a child.

Megan tells us Starbucks coffee is below her standards.

Megan tells us drugs are bad, and she doesn't use them.

Megan tells us she doesn't make enough money. And then does it again.

I think I am perceiving a theme.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Someone is being stupid on the internet again.

Parochial schools that serve mostly non-Catholics are performing a vital
public service as it is; it’s time they received public funding. It’s hard to
repent for the sins of the sex abuse scandal, but it’s not too late to reverse
the human misery caused by the shuttering of Catholic schools.

Being molested is like having to go to public school. My god, conservatives are just stupid.

It's not that they have different ideologies, or morals, or ideals. They're stupid. They don't understand the words coming out of people's mouths. They don't understand what they read. They don't understand what they say. They are stupid.

And they are hurting people because of it. It's time to call an idiot an idiot.

Like lipstick on a pig in high heels.

Often when I'm reading Kunstler or Calculated Risk or Boondad Blog, I think to myself, "I wonder where the fools go to read about economics."

Then I discovered here.

It's not the lipstick that's the problem, Megan. It's the pig wearing the lipstick.

For instance, in this post Megan parrots the libertarian let-them-have-drugs line, while fretting about the effects. That is, of course, not the interesting part, however.

As I've written before, I don't think that there's any metaphysical state which can be defined as the "true" self, such that people shouldn't depart from it. We all have multiple potential selves within us, none of which is more "real" than any other. To me, the important question is: does the self I have now want to be different from
what it is in some fundamental way? If so, you have a perfect right to seek
other, more satisfying selves, whether through drugs, transcendental meditation,
or voting for Barack Obama.

You're not talking about personhood, Megan, you're talking about persona. The shell we create to provide a buffer between ourselves and the world. It's not a bad thing to do, but it is not our true selves, almost always. When we are true to ourselves we experience the most satisfying feeling of all, that of knowing who we are and accepting that person. Not seeking out a mask to find something more satisfying than the false front we are currently projecting onto the world.

When we know and trust ourselves, we make decisions based on who we are, not on what someone else tells us to think and do. We don't need drugs or religion or the style section of the newspaper to tell us what to feel, want or need. It's this profound lack of knowledge and understanding of human nature that makes Megan a poor columnist, not her sex or her size or her make-up. It's why she so often says, "I don't understand why people __________."

She really doesn't understand. And if you don't understand people, how can you hope to understand human behavior in the marketplace?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

"A Confederacy of Dunces"

If you haven't read Roy Edroso yet, what are you doing at my blog?

Later today: I will carve up Mary Margaret Catherine Maureen O'Dowd, wearing a blindfold.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Psssst---McCain Is Fascist; Pass It On

The Republicans have a new meme: Obama is Marxist. Never mind that almost nobody can tell anyone what a Marxist is--Karl or Groucho. Obama's now an elite Marxist (!!).

I have a new meme too: McCain is fascist. There are plenty of speeches and articles written by him that call for massive mobilization in time of war. According to noted right-wing intellectual Jonah Goldberg, Woodrow Wilson was our first fascist president because he mobilized the entire nation for a common purpose. (It works if you re-define "fascist," "common," and "entire." And are very vague about "purpose.")

Therefore McCain is fascist, and since Hitler was fascist, McCain is Hitler.

Q. E. D.

Goldberg said some other stupid things too but I don't have all day.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Torture

You've already read dday, right? Okay, this is what I have to say.

Morris believes that the scandal...gave us someone to blame.

"The Iraq war," said Morris, "was essentially a war of sexual humiliation."

These are perhaps two different issue, indirectly related. We didn't need someone to blame because we just decided it didn't really happen. We grabbed at the excuses offered and accepted them eagerly because we can't accept that we are causing others such pain. Most of us deny our own pain, and therefore deny others' pain also, an inevitable side effect. It's pretty much all or nothing when it comes to emotions.

The sexual humiliation comes from our need to reinforce our identity, via imposition of sexual roles. Power is a by-product of gender and therefore to make us feel powerless is also to make some of us feel sexually inadequate.

We learn these roles, our identity, our acceptance of emotions, from our parents in the first years of our lives. It all begins with the family, and affects the entire world.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Thomas Sowell is a brilliant Republican thinker.

"...I began reading not only the economics of Thomas Sowell (our greatest contemporary philosopher) but Milton Friedman, Paul Johnson, and Shelby Steele..." David Mamet

The brilliant Thomas Sowell says that the Republican Party can peel off 20% of black voters by changing unsuccessful tactics to successful ones. And what are his suggestions?

"A sober presentation of the facts — "straight talk," if you will — gives Senator McCain and Republicans their best shot at a larger share of the votes of blacks....

There is plenty to talk straight about, including all the things that the Democrats are committed to that work to the disadvantage of blacks, beginning with Democrats' adamant support of teachers' unions in their opposition to parental choice through vouchers.The teachers' unions are just one of the sacred-cow constituencies of the Democratic Party whose agendas are very harmful to blacks....

Black voters also need to be told about the tens of thousands of blacks who have been forced out of a number of liberal Democratic California counties by skyrocketing housing prices, brought on by Democratic environmentalists' severe restrictions on the building of homes or apartments."

And that's it. Teachers' unions, which are very weak to non-existant in the south, and the rise in property values in San Francisco, one of the most desired locations to live in the nation. Plus school vouchers, which parents fully realize would not pay for transportation to a charter school, which often don't like to take at-risk kids, who need more and expensive services. The brilliant Thomas Sowell actually can't come up with a single convincing reason in his little op-ed. Did he write this on the train on his way in to work?

Friday, April 11, 2008

The League of Extraordinary Bloggers: A Fresh Face

In a Secret Location, deep beneath the bowels, entrails and colon of Pennsylvania Avenue, a Meeting of Diabolical Minds takes place. It is the League of Extraordinary Bloggers, each a hero (or a heroine or a Coulter) in his (or hers, or Coulter's) own sphere. They are:

Col. Glenn Reynolds—famous defender of guns, wherever they are needed to fight the Brown Menace.

Michelle Malkin—a creature of the night, with an insatiable thirst for blood under her modest, cheerleader-clad fa├žade.

Jonah Goldberg—A barefoot man-boy with cheek, famous for being so lazy he got his research assistant to paint his fence.

Hugh Hewitt—a man so colorless that he can be seen right through, unless clothed in the garb of authoritarian man-love. Might also be an albino.

Ann Althouse—A respectable professor who digs deep into the evil aspects of her psyche when she drink an experimental potion know as “Merlot.”

Part I
Part II

Reynolds: We are here to initiate our newest member of The League of Extraordinary Bloggers. Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Megan McArdle.

Althouse: Hello, Megan. How do you do?

Megan: Six-two.

Althouse: What?

Megan: I'm six feet, two inches tall.

Goldberg: What does that have to do with anything?

Megan: People always want to know how tall I am, so I tell them first thing. Then they usually want to know where I went to school, so I tell them that, and how many degrees I have. It's a curse being so overeducated and over bred.

Goldberg: (giggles) You said "breed."

Malkin: What happened to Hewitt?

Reynolds: He was touring a dairy factory and fell into a vat of milk. Poor chap, he drowned before they could find him.

Megan: Do you want to know what I think about Hugh?

All: No.

Reynolds: I'm bringing in Megan because we Extraordinary Bloggers need someone to explain Bush's economic policies to the little people.

Althouse: Dwarfs need economic advice?

Goldberg: No, stupid, he means Munchkins.

Megan: Some people say I look like an elf.

The Bloggers all turn and look at Megan.

Megan: What? They do.

Reynolds: I MEAN the common folk, the rank-and-file, the hoi polloi, the--

Malkin: The dirty, heaving masses yearning to breath free, eat free, go to school free--- (Malkin twitches violently and screams.)

Reynolds pulls a pistol from under his Browncoat and shoves it into Malkin's face.

Malkin: Don't shoot me! I thought I saw an Islamofascist in the shadows of the cave. Shoot him! And his little anchor babies too!

Reynolds reholsters his gun.

Goldberg: Hey, Malkin, aren't you a---

Malkin, in one fluid movement, whips a knife out from under her cheerleader sweater and points the tip under Goldberg's chins.

Malkin: Go ahead, Fat Boy. Finish that sentence and my dentist will be picking you out from between my teeth.

Goldberg: I eat Daily Lunch Specials bigger than you, Malkin. Your reputation doesn't frighten me.

Malkin growls, showing small pointed teeth.

Malkin: I know where you live, Jonah. Cosmo's going to fit into a martini glass when I'm done with him.

Goldberg: (whining) Make her stop, Reynolds. She's scary.

Reynolds: All of you stop. We have a new member and you're all acting like stupid liberals.

Goldberg: Nobody's stupider than liberals.

They all laugh.

Reynolds: Heh. Indeed. Stupid liberals. Okay, first order of business. Rove wants us to destroy Michelle Obama. He wants her running home crying to her mama by the time we're done with her. Each of you knows what to do. Malkin, you accuse her of having a French first name and secret underground parties with Eurotrash.

Michelle Malkin: Got it.

Reynolds: Goldberg, find a passage in your book that provides an "intellectual" argument for calling Mrs. Obama a fascist.

Goldberg: Right, Chief. I'll bleg right away for the information.

Reynolds: Ann, you just go on taking pretty pictures. Oh, wait, I have a present for you.

Althouse: For me! I love presents for me! It's so much more fun than presents for anyone else. Why, it's a bottle of Merlot! Ordinarily I wouldn't imbibe, but it would be rude not to. Does anyone have----

Reynolds pulls a glass from his pocket and pops the cork from the top of the already-opened bottle of magical potion. He hands Althouse the glass and she drains it quickly, then shudders.

Althouse: Megan, have you ever seen "Blow Up"? My favorite scene has two women and----

Reynolds: (hastily) Ann, didn't you want to write about Mrs. Obama's secret homosexual leanings?

Althouse beams and nods.

Reynolds: Megan, you have the most important job. You need discuss Mrs. Obama's Communist leanings.

Megan: I'm not so sure that will work, Glenn. I kind of had a problem a little while ago, just a misunderstanding of my work, mind you, but it might make it hard to pull that off.

Reynolds: (sternly) Are you or are you not an Extraordinary Blogger?

Megan: I have an MBA, don't I?

Reynolds: Good girl. Now, everyone get to work. The administration needs these caves for a brunch and torture demonstration.

Let us cultivate our own gardens.

Chris Floyd has a haunting post up about the emptiness of power and the transcendence of daily life. Most of my favorite books are immersed in daily, family activities. It's immensely satisfying to take this life we are given and see its passage as meaningful in itself. The physical acts of tending, making, creating. The sights and sounds and smells and pleasures of making a home. I'm a housewife for a reason, because cultivating my own garden is the best thing I can do when my family is young. The pressures and fears of one income are beyond intense, but creating a home, family and life is worth it.

So many people think we need to worship a god to feel worthwhile and good. That living a human life by human rules is immoral and wrong. Life is a blessing, no matter where it came from or where it leads to, if anywhere. The world is filled with so much beauty and terror, wonder and pain, that adding a layer of gods and goddesses to it seems totally unnecessary, and a refutation of our potential.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

They Are All Jonahs Now

Victor Davis Hanson says that liberals are no longer liberals, that is, classical liberal. Classical liberals were like modern conservatives, though, so he is really complaining that liberals don't act like conservatives. Another underlying complaint, however, is that conservatives don't act like conservatives, that is classical liberals, either. If conservatives talked more about how classically liberal they are then they could borrow some of the rise in popularity of liberalism. People still remember liberals gave peace and prosperity and are forgetting the sex scandal, and conservatives are very concerned.

Obviously Hanson is trying to rewrite definitions to rid himself of the stench of failure wafting off of conservatism. Rod Dreher is also trying to wash off the stink as quickly as possible.

[...T]he problem with conservatism today is not that it is too unworldly, but
that it has become too worldly. When you have the conservative party having run
up unconscionable budget deficits and gotten the country stuck in a quagmire of
a war in the Middle East, and when there was no effective right-wing opposition
to these trends as they were playing out because deficit spending and militant
nationalism were popular -- well, it seems pretty clear that the problem is that
conservatives have traded principle for the maintenance of power. Which is why
we're at a dead end today.

What conservatism needs, he muses, is a good, radical re-thinking. Since conservatism wasn't at fault, the answer is more conservatism!

Preferably the kind that comes with a nice paycheck, no doubt.

If you don't like something, just rename it. Forget fixing its problems, call it classical liberalism, call it progressivism. We know the Republicans are self-deluded. What about liberals? How do we define ourselves?

It might be that our leaders, too, have rewritten the definition of who we are. We'd better find out before it's too late.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Snark Hunting

The last of the crew needs especial remark,
Though he looked an incredible dunce:
He had just one idea--but, that one being "Snark,"
The good Bellman engaged him at once.

Jonah Goldberg finds it necessary to tell us murder is murder, and murder is wrong. After he clears that up, he moves on to his cash cow, calling liberals/progressives Nazis. (Don't believe me?) The Soviets wanted to change society, progressives want to change society, so progressives are Marxist and Marxists are progressive. Therefore, the Enlightenment was fascist. But let's let Jonah speak for himself.

The climate of anti-Semitism made the Holocaust possible, but so did
Enlightenment bias, which holds that almost anything can be justified in the
name of progress.

Jonah Goldberg, who is Jewish, just put anti-Semitism on the same level as the Enlightenment. The mind boggles.

I truly think Goldberg doesn't have the faintest idea that his actions could have consequences. He doesn't think that far ahead. By insinuating that day care and universal health care have the same intellectual rationale as the Lebensborn and the gas chambers, Goldberg is trivializing the systematic scapegoating of his own people. Day cares are for working mothers, not a breeding factory. Universal health care is health care, not execution. That's pretty obvious to most people. But Jonah's not writing for most people, he's writing for the typical Corner denizen, who will take only one message from the book: Liberals are just as bad as I thought, but Hitler wasn't as bad as everyone said after all.

From the Desk of Miss Kathryn Jean Lopez

This interview with Tony Blair about religion leaves me aching for more.

And the rest refers to the Islamic takeover of London, I think; it's rather hard to tell. Plus, I was laughing too hard to pay close attention.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I know, I don't see the correlation either.

Now that he personally might be affected, Dreher bravely states that"those who sent [soldiers] to Iraq" were wrong. And therefore blacks should be permitted to self-destruct from their inherent inferiority, since "Whole peoples can go bad, and sometimes it is necessary to prevent them from doing evil by winnowing their ranks," according to a quote that Dreher provides and links to.

After all, we must face the hard truths. Men die for nothing, blacks are criminals.

I really think they deny evolution because it would mean they are related to black people.

And who would they feel superior to then?

I hear the islands are charming this time of year.

A spoiled, lazy girl-woman shrugs her shoulders at torture. She lifts a languid hand and slaps the face of the man who calls her on her behavior. She shrugs again.

Brave, brave John McCain

Whiskey Fire reminds us that John McCain called his wife a cunt in front of reporters, at a time when her drug problems were at their worst.

At one point, Cindy playfully twirled McCain's hair and said, "You're getting a
little thin up there." McCain's face reddened, and he responded, "At least I
don't plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt."
That is an extremely ugly word to use to one's wife. People just don't do that in public unless there's a lot going on under the surface. What triggered McCain's famous temper, making him lose control and lash out at his wife in front of reporters taking down every word?

Obviously, Mrs. McCain touched on a sore spot, and mistakenly thought she could tease her husband about it. Hair is a sign of youth and virility, for both men and women. Men can be very touchy about losing their hair, because it's an indication of aging and loss of virility. And Cindy McCain did it in public, making him lose face in front of the people he was jollying along to give him good campaign coverage. It's understandable he'd be embarrassed. It's not understandable that he'd call his wife a cunt. That shows he utterly lost control of his emotions, and reacted out of all proportion to the words. Which shows that McCain cannot tolerate challenges to his manhood.

Maybe this seems like a small matter, but McCain shows this tendency on much more important matters also. His bravado regarding Iran is also out of proportion to the threat they present. He's admitted he doesn't know much about the Middle East, and with his words he reveals that he overreacts to perceived threats to his manhood, I mean his country.

It's no wonder. He was broken by the Vietnamese and forced to make treasonous broadcasts for them. He was imprisoned and tortured, spending two years in solitary confinement, finally emerging from his experience with crippling injuries.

When a man has been figuratively emasculated by a life experience, he can either come to terms with it or deny it. McCain admits he was broken, but his hair-trigger temper and eagerness for more military victories show that he never healed properly. He divorced his wife, who had become crippled and disfigured while he was away, married Cindy, and went into politics. When Cindy had problems, he ignored them, according to one of Cindy's employees.

During my short tenure at AVMT I have been surrounded by what on the surface
appears to be the ultimate all-American family. In reality, I am working for
a very sad, lonely woman whose marriage of convenience to a U.S. Senator has driven her to: distance herself from friends; cover feelings of despair with drugs; and replace lonely moments with self-indulgences.
Even worse, McCain tried to pull strings to have the whistle-blowing employee arrested for extortion, despite the fact that he had gone to the DEA before he tried to settle a wrongful termination case with Mrs. McCain.

McCain is a third generation military man, and I doubt you will find anyone more authoritarian than people like him. Obeying orders and sacrificing one's self are honorable and almost sacred goals to them. So is sacrificing others. Authoritarians find it easy to carry out even the most heinous actions "for your own good." All they need is permission from a greater authority, or belief in their own authority. In his speeches McCain advocated for complete militarization of the country to attain its military objectives. He also believes in American exceptionalism, and that we are inherently moral. It seems that Vietnam taught him a permanent lesson--fight with everything you've got, and annihilated the enemy. It's something we like to see in our combat pilots. But do we want that in a politician who has power over nuclear weapons, at a time when Bush has brought us to the brink of chaos?

Can we afford McCain's bravery?

UPDATE: Authoritarianism is handed down from generation to generation. From a New York Times article:

Indeed, John McCain’s own parents were dressing for a dinner party in
when they learned he had been shot down. They went anyway, never telling
other guests. Later, Admiral McCain ordered air strikes on Hanoi, where he
his son was imprisoned.

McCain's sons are in the military also, and one was in Iraq. (The other two are too old and too young.) They are all probably very brave soldiers also. The purpose of a soldier is to fight a war. That is not the purpose of the government.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Authoritarian Good Little Boys and Girls

K-Lo lauds Important Catholic WTFuckley. Apparently, What Would Jesus Do includes bigotry against the poor and black. K-Lo's religious beliefs are so shallow that she thinks praising God is the same as following His Word. Yet she is just following the religion of her parents.

Jonah Goldberg does a radio interview in which he admits that "there is some spite" in his motivation for writing "Liberal Fascism." A major source of his anger at liberals is that they have called his father and others like him fascist. He also admitted that his father wouldn't have praised him for having a best-selling book. "I can hear what he would say, "Eh, it's better than not being number one." If my child got on the New York Times best seller list, I would definitely tell her I was proud of her. It wouldn't occur to me to belittle her accomplishment. I don't know whether to feel sorry for authoritarian conservatives or be angry with their blindness. They are constantly seeking approval withheld from them by their parents. And constantly angry that they'll never get it.

We can see a similar phenomenon with Rod Dreher. A transsexual is pregnant, and Dreher is disgusted by the "freakish" person.

Beatie wants to be a man, and sees no reason why he shouldn't be. Modern technology and modern legal mechanisms help him achieve that goal. But he also
wants to be a mother. In the consumerist utopia that we've built and are building, the individual's desires are God. Nothing is more important in this world than what Thomas Beatie wants. Thomas Beatie creates his own reality, heedless of the things that are. And we bless this tyrannization of nature as liberation.

How dare a person go against God, as interpreted by Dreher. The person's needs don't matter, only God's. This is utterly typical of the Authoritarian, who was forced to submit to his parents' authority throughout his childhood. Only his parents' wants and needs matter, not little Rod's. Thus the child is taught to deny himself to conform to his parents' ideals, which were probably the result of their parents' ideals.

When you are forced to give up who you are to keep your parents' approval (and, implicitly, love), you become enraged when others do what you dare not do. Freedom is a threat to the Authoritarian. It shows that everything is a choice, and we must all make those choices for ourselves. Authoritarians have been forced to give up their own right to choose, and accept their parents' choices. Nothing is worse than being told you can't be who you are. So feminists and gays etc. are evil and wrong for choosing their own sexual roles instead of adhering to traditional roles handed down by Authority. And Dreher finds ever-smaller boxes to shut himself into, bouncing from one restrictive religion to another even more restrictive religion, to eliminate any choice at all from his life. The only fun he has is berating others for not living up to the impossible goals he's accepted for himself.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

"Evolution of Religious Bigotry"

Dearest Livia,

I am having that funny little man who squats in the marketplace write this letter to you and yours. I hope you are all in good health, and that Marcus's foot no longer aches from the gout. We are well, although experiencing some problems I will describe later. The children are very busy. Julia is contracted to be married and Justus fights with his men in Gaul. The troubles are elsewhere in our household.

The servants have all gone mad for some doomsday prophet. They actually think that the Gods and Goddesses we have been praying and sacrificing to for all eternity are false! Do they know something everyone else does not? How arrogant can you be! Are they smarter than their Ruler, their nobility, even their mothers and fathers? Is everyone in the Western World wrong and they are right? How stupid can they be?

Cicero is wrong. Euclid. Aristotle. Plato Socrates. All wrong. I can hardly speak for laughing. And they creep around, with their little games and secret handshakes, like children. Really! The women priests preach to the slaves, the men to the boys in the marketplace. They are committing sacrilege and treason, as well as forgoing any claim to Reason. The more you argue, the more stubborn they become. I can only hope this new religious fad will fad away like so many others.

As long as it is not outlawed, of course. That will make it more popular than before!

Black gold, Texas tea

Paul Craig Roberts lists another group that doesn't think we'll attack Iran: Iran.

The Iranians don't seem to believe it, despite the dispatch of US nuclear
submarines and another aircraft carrier attack group to the Persian Gulf. To
counter any Iranian missiles launched in response to an attack, the US is
deploying anti-missile defenses to protect US bases and Saudi oil

Just as the world could not believe Hitler's next horror and thus was always unprepared, the Iranians despite all the evidence cannot believe that even the GreatSatan would gratuitously attack Iran based on nothing but lies about non-existent nuclear weapons.

(If the wingnuts out there don't like Roberts' use of Hitler in an argument, don't
use it yourselves
. You're the ones who put that particularly dirty card on the table.

But no worries. I'm sure that after spending the last remaining decades of his life planning and implementing his Middle East oil strategy, Dick Cheney will just abandon it and go hunting instead.