Peeling off the Sotomayor layers

Phyllis Chesler wrote a nice column today reminding conservatives (a) not to Bork Sotomayor (because two wrongs definitely don’t make a right); and (b) to make sure to develop Sotomayor’s understanding of the Constitution and her role as a judge — because, after all, that is what this whole job interview is about.

Because of the good news/bad news that keeps flowing from Sotomayor’s sudden presence in the popular consciousness (which shows her as a potentially racist, potential protector of the First Amendment; potential identity politics ideologue, potential Catholic voter on abortion, etc.), Chesler is absolutely right about approaching Sotomayor with both diligence and respect.  The same good news/bad news cycle also reminded me of the Simpson’s episode “Hungry are the Damned.”  Pay close attention to the cookbook scene:

Liberal fascism

States don’t like families, but even for a fascist state, “you’re too dumb to parent” seems like a bit of a stretch.  Please note that the parent is not retarded in any way.  The state just seems not to like her.

All I can say that a bureaucratic determination that one is “dumb” seems like an awfully slippery slope for the state to justify just about anything it wants to do.  Indeed, I seem to recall a State that did just that:  my great uncle (the one on the goyish side of the family) died in the gas chambers because he was gay and manic depressive.  Apparently the Nazis really thought he was just too “dumb” to survive.

Green scams

I found a lengthy article in Britain’s Daily Mail reprinting an expose of what we we all could have predicted:  the scams that are behind carbon credit trading.  Rather than dissect the article myself (lazy me), I sent it to my friend Laer, whose business is providing PR representation for corporations that find themselves on the wrong end of the Greenies’ gun.  No surprise, therefore, that Laer read the article, distilled its essence, and came up with a short, punchy post about a costly (and often deadly) scam — and one that cap-and-trade will likely make a whole lot costlier.

On a related note, I’ve written before how about my curmedgeonly little son has become anti-Green in response to the endless proselytizing and propaganda at his elementary school.  With his contrarion personality, this wasn’t too surprising.  What was surprising, however, was when my cheerful little daughter, the one who loves middle school and just absorbs every lesson, blew up at her father this morning when he told her to put something in the recycling bin.  “I’m sick of all this Green stuff.  It’s all they talk about in school.  I just don’t care.  They never leave us alone.”  Apparently even children can take only so much indoctrination.

To the media, not all protests are equal

Yesterday, at a swim meet, I chanced upon a copy of the San Francisco Chronicle which is, of course, the major regional paper here in the Bay Area.  On the front page was a close-up picture of some angry protesters, and this caption:  Health care activists lament single-payer snub.  Beyond mumbling to myself that I wished that the protesters had as much in the way of brains as they do in fervor, I ignored the article.  I should have read it.

I received today an email from a conservative friend pointing out something I’d missed about the Chron’s coverage.  This lone “single-payer” protest managed to muster about 200 people and made the front page.  It stands in stark contract to the Chron’s coverage of the April 15 Tax Day Tea Party protest in San Francisco.

By the Chron’s own admission, the Tea Party protest gathering was at least 2.5 times bigger than the single-payer protest (“about 500” showed up at the Tea Party, and more honest reporters estimated between 700 and 1000 showed up).  Further, unlike the single-payer protest, the tax protest wasn’t even a stand alone event.  Instead, as the Chron admitted, it was one of a chain of “Anti-tax, anti-bailout ‘Tea Party’ rallies held around the nation Wednesday.”  (And no wonder, as AJ Strata explains.)  Page one stuff, right?  Wrong.

According to the Chron’s own records, it put its report on the  Tea Party on page A12.  The Chron is not a big paper.  Page 12 is the equivalent of buried.  (The only other nod the Chron gave to this nationwide event was a snarky cartoon showing Romney and Rush delighting in the way they’d made stupid Americans dance to their rich white men’s tune.)

Apparently in Chronicle-land, not all protests are created equal.  A small, isolated protest on a subject near and dear to the editors’ liberal hearts lands on page one.  A large protest that is linked to similar protests all over the nation, but that just doesn’t resonate with the editors, gets buried.

All of this ties in with a thought I had after reading Leo Rennert’s prediction that Obama, like Reagan, will have to pay a price for making a rather crude political visit to a Nazi concentration camp.  I don’t think he’ll have to pay the price, and the difference is the media.

In the 1980s, the media did everything it could to destroy Reagan, including putting on page 1 every fuss any group had with Reagan.  That gave stories legs.  It’s different now.  To the extent people find offensive Obama’s coldly-calculating trip to Buchenwald, the American media is burying the story.  Even if they report on it, it will be buried so deeply within the paper’s pages, or at its website, that only those looking for it will find it.  End of story.

It’s not a surprise to any of us that he who writes the story gets to designate the villians and the good guys.  We also sometimes enjoy seeing a little revisionism that turns things on their heads.  Witness the huge success of Gergory Maguire’s Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. That book paints the pretty Glinda as the evil, totalitarian dictator, and the green Wicked Witch of the West as the misunderstood freedom fighter.

What people forget too often is that what makes for good art often makes for lousy reality.  It’s an awfully bad idea when our press takes upon itself the role of casting director, assigning preferred parties preferential treatment in the papers, thereby perverting the facts on the ground, and wrongly shaping people’s perceptions of those facts.

Liberal ickiness watch, Doonesbury style

I’m not quite sure if it’s hypocrisy, or if it’s just another disgusting example of liberal opportunism, hence the wishy-washy name of this post.  Whatever it is, it sure left me feeling icky.

Oh, you’re wondering what the “it” I’m talking about is, right?  I’m talking about the magical way in which liberals have suddenly changed their observances of Memorial Day now that one of their own is finally in the White House — and it’s not a change for the better.  It’s a change that reveals that all of their high flown rhetoric about honoring the war dead was nothing more than an effort to make the war look as awful as possible in order to harm President Bush.

Incidentally, the reason I learned about this sudden disinterest in the war dead came about because I sent my blog friends an email regarding today’s and yesterday’s Doonesbury cartoons,* both of which take pretty nasty swipes at Obama (as well as a nasty swipe at Bush).  Mike, at Flopping Aces, responded by sending me the link to his post about changing liberal Memorial Day observances.

Bottom line:  liberals are pleased to have Bush out of the White House, but not as pleased as they thought they’d be to have Obama in the White House.


*I haven’t actually read Doonesbury in more than a decade.  I only read it today because someone had the papers at a swim meet I was attending.  My approach when I’ve got a hard copy of the paper is always to turn to the comics first.

A good primer on bad tax policy

It’s not just the video that’s good, it’s John Hindraker’s comment about Obama’s tax policies:

I think President Obama’s worst weakness is that he is ignorant, not only of economics as an academic discipline, but of business as it is commonly experienced and understood by those in the private sector. This lack of understanding promises to be an endless source of bad policy.

Gangsta wear

We all know what gangstas wear, because those same clothes eventually ended up being worn by every middle class boy in America:  unlaced high tops, falling down pants over plaid boxers, t-shirts with menacing images, and reverse baseball caps.

For once, though, there’s a fashion that’s hit both ganstas and middle class kids alike.  How else can one explain these bona fide, gen-u-ine 2008 mugshots, collected at The Smoking Gun:

And over at My Pet Jawa, there’s one more image to add to the collection.

There are bad guys out there; and there are good guys out there

Cretins desecrated the flag that had once draped the coffin of a soldier who died in Iraq.  And an ex-Marine who is now a police officer showed the kind of deep respect that helped soften that blow:

Not since his son was killed in combat in Iraq has Paul Olson felt so emotionally jarred.

On Memorial Day, somebody yanked the American flag out of its metal stand in front of Olson’s Corte Madera house and threw it on the ground.

It was a flag that had been draped over the casket of U.S. Army Cpl. Nicholas Olson, a Novato resident who was killed in Iraq in September 2007.

“My son’s name is on that flag. Now it’s been soiled,” Olson said. “My heart’s broken.”

Olson called the Twin Cities Police Department and filed a report. The flag, which has Nicholas Olson’s name on it, is about 5 by 6 feet and is not easy for one person to fold properly. Twin Cities police Officer Anthony Shaw came out to the house and made an impression on Olson.

“I was so upset, and then he said he had been in the Marine Corps and had done a tour of duty,” Olson said. “Then he said, ‘Would you like like me to help you fold it, sir?’ That really meant a lot to me.”

You can read the rest of the story here.

By the way, this is the second time in as many days that Vets have made a difference in my home County.  As you may recall from an earlier post, when a drunk driver plowed into a dad and daughter (killing the child and almost killing the dad), it was a vet who was able to provide immediate help.  He probably saved the dad’s live, although the dad must be suffering such horrible physical and mental anguish right now, that may not be a gift he can or ever will appreciate.