Reducing patriotism to a sleazy roll in the hay

Mr. Bookworm is catching up with the Jon Stewart episodes he missed while we were away. One particular segment, which starts at the 2 minute mark, caught my eye. In it, Perry talks about love for country, clearly distinguishing himself from Obama, who hasn’t shown such love, either explicitly or implicitly. Take a look at what Stewart, a very bright, and periodically honest, dyed-in-the-wool Progressive, does with Perry’s simple statement of patriotism:

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I was disgusted, not just because I’m not a fan of coarseness as a substitute for humor, but because I think this is the perfect example of what the Left has done to patriotism. It’s reduced it from love of country to a sleazy roll in the hay, something embarrassing, wrong and deserving of no respect. You, my readers, get this. A whole generation of young people, however, raised on 30 years of Progressive education, no doubt feels that this little “comedy” segment is the perfect epitaph for that embarrassing animal known as American patriotism.

That same Leftist embarrassment with patriotism is manifest in the White House’s approach to 9/11.  Stated simply, on September 11, 2001, shortly before 9 a.m. E.S.T., nineteen men, all of whom were foreign nationals and Al Qaeda members, hijacked four jets.  They flew two into the World Trade Center towers, one into the Pentagon, and one crash landed in a field in Pennsylvania, a crash that almost certainly averted a direct hit on the Capitol or the White House.  Almost 3,000 people, most of them Americans, died that day.  Or more briefly, ten years ago, foreign nationals, acting on American soil, slaughtered almost 3,000 Americans.

Even more briefly:  This was an American tragedy.  Is that how the Obama Administration is framing it, though?  You tell me (emphasis mine):

The guidelines list what themes to underscore — and, just as important, what tone to set. Officials are instructed to memorialize those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and thank those in the military, law enforcement, intelligence or homeland security for their contributions since.

A chief goal of our communications is to present a positive, forward-looking narrative,” the foreign guidelines state.

Copies of the internal documents were provided to The New York Times by officials in several agencies involved in planning the anniversary commemorations. “The important theme is to show the world how much we realize that 9/11 — the attacks themselves and violent extremism writ large — is not ‘just about us,’ ” said one official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe internal White House planning.

I don’t know about you, but I think the tenth anniversary of one of the greatest tragedies in American history is an appropriate time for looking backwards and mourning, rather than a time to engage in feel-good cheer.  Contrary to that official’s blithe assurance, it was just about us.  The attack took place on American shores, against American symbols, and killed American citizens.  Sure, there’s a larger narrative — Islam against the West —  but our current government is as steadfast in its refusal to acknowledge that larger narrative as it is to acknowledge an American tragedy.

What we’re left with is a government that won’t acknowledge that 9/11 was an attack against us, nor will it acknowledge that it’s a subset of a larger existential war.  If our government fails to acknowledge those vital facts, what’s left?

The box the government has locked itself into, one that sees it commemorating a transformative national event for a nation it doesn’t love and an event, moreover, that was a battlefield in a war our government refuses to acknowledge, effectively exposes the nihilism underlying Stewart’s sordid attack on simple patriotism.  The Left has left itself with nothing.  Sadly, as is typical for all degraded movements, it tries to take everyone else down with it.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

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Obama’s effort to preempt the upcoming Republican debate

By now you’ve heard that the President, who’s been sitting on his jobs speech for days, if not weeks (or maybe years), has suddenly announced that he’s going to give it on the same night as a Republican presidential candidate debate that’s been schedule for months.  It’s a tacky gesture, at best (and at worst, come to think of it).  To the extent that Obama wants to address Congress, many are advising Boehner to say, “Sorry, no can do.  Save it for another night.”

Anchoress has a better idea:  given that the President’s speeches haven’t been very inspiring of late, delay the debate for an hour or two, so that it falls immediately after the President’s inevitably divisive, soporific and platitudinous speech.

I think Boehner should say, “by all means, Mr. President; we’re so anxious to hear your jobs plan that we’ll be glad to put off our debate by a few hours. Our candidates should have a chance to hear your ideas, so they can include them within the context of their own ideas about job creation. We welcome the opportunity to demonstrate our stark distinctions.”

That sort of response disarms Obama, who then won’t be able to crow “they don’t care about jobs” and it arms the debate participants, who will be able to go into their debate with Obama’s plans ripe for deconstruction.

This would be an especially good tactic for Perry and Bachmann, both of whom are dynamic speakers.  It will also be good for Romney who, tho’ not dynamic, can speak about economic issues with tremendous authority.  Obama will come off looking not only petty, divisive, soporific and platitudinous, he’ll also look ill-informed, unimaginative and, basically, small.  (I do love my adjectives.)

Ace has an equally good idea, which is to have Boehner say, essentially, “If this is such an important issue, Mr. President, don’t wait.  Give us your speech immediately!”

The one thing the Republicans shouldn’t do is play this squirrely game by Obama’s rules.  As Anchoress says, rightly, “What the GOP needs to remember is that the Democrats no longer govern; they just maneuver, and they do it brilliantly. The GOP needs to learn how to do it.”

Really, when you think about it, it’s kind of a shame that my favorite pundits aren’t Republican tactical advisers.  We can only hope that the Republicans are paying attention to them, even if they’re not paying them for their advice.

The media to Americans: Who are you going to believe — us or your lying eyes?

A couple of years ago, I wrote that, when it came to the media love affair with the Obamas, the scales fell from my Mom’s eyes when Time had a cover touting Michelle Obama as the most beautiful, stylish woman since Jackie O.  My Mom refused to accept this as an objective statement of fact.  It started a thought cascade.  If Time was pushing the truth envelope about Michelle, then everything else might be untrue as well.  The wall, once it started crumbling, crumbled hard and fast.

I thought of my Mom’s epiphany when I looked back at the media swoon about Obama’s “gutsy” bin Laden call:

Ordinary Americans have long recognized that, while it was a smart thing to send in the incredibly competent SEALS to take out bin Laden, it wasn’t that gutsy a call.  I mean, this is what Commanders in Chief are supposed to do during times of war (or in chess):  Kill the enemy’s king.  For Obama, sitting in the White House with reasonably solid intelligence at hand to announce, “Yeah, you, uh, should, uh, kill, uh, bin Laden,” doesn’t strike anyone as being an unusually onerous task for a wartime president.

By constantly emphasizing Obama’s gutsiness, the media harmed him and themselves.  They harmed him by appearing surprised that he had the courage to make a responsible decision in his capacity as Commander in Chief, and they harmed themselves by exposing their credibility problem to the American people.

(And yes, I know this is old news, but the “gutsy” video just came to my attention recently, so it seemed as good a time as any to post on the subject.)


An amusing mistake from the Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal is a well edited newspaper, and it usually offers little in the way of “corrections” amusement, at least not when compared to The New York Times.  Even Caesar slips up occasionally, as you will see when you examine the two pictures illustrating this review of a book about Jane Fonda:



As the master (mistress?) of typos, I have to admit to enjoying it way too much when other publications, better written and edited than mine, make the same mistakes I do.  It’s not exactly schadenfreude, but a sense of shared humanity, I think (and hope).

The Left still shapes the debate

One of the big issues heating up for the election is “science.”  I noted the other day that Krugman has thrown down the gauntlet, saying that the Republicans are returning us to a flat earth world, and, many, including Roger L. Simon, have picked it up, pointing out that Krugman and others have totally abandoned scientific method in order to support their ever-more-dubious claims. Rich Lowry continues in the Simon vein, elaborating on the way in which Leftists use science as a political and social bludgeon, instead of a method of rigorous analysis.

Jonah Goldberg, however, makes the best point of all, which is to challenge the way in which the Left still determines which science matters:

Rich: I liked your column today. But you only struck a glancing blow at my biggest peeve about the whole anti-science thing: Why does the Left get to pick which issues are the benchmarks for “science”? Why can’t the measure of being pro-science be the question of heritability of intelligence? Or the existence of fetal pain? Or the distribution of cognitive abilities among the sexes at the extreme right tail of the bell curve? Or if that’s too upsetting, how about dividing the line between those who are pro- and anti-science along the lines of support for geoengineering? Or — coming soon — the role cosmic rays play in cloud formation? Why not make it about support for nuclear power? Or Yucca Mountain? Why not deride the idiots who oppose genetically modified crops, even when they might prevent blindness in children?

Goldberg has focused upon a small subset of a much larger issue:  not only does the Left still control the dissemination of information (so that its decision to be silent about Obama’s history with Rev. Wright meant most people didn’t hear about it), it also decides what topics are worthy and what aren’t.  Using it’s still bullyish pulpit, it dictates that Republican candidates deserve to have their colons examined, while Democrat candidates get kudos.

During the Bush era, the media focused obsessively on battle deaths, but during the Obama era, that tragic information is all but ignored, even if it takes a more startling or extreme form than it did under Bush’s watch.  It takes the Army to tell us what the MSM ignores.  (Proving, definitely I think, that the focus on deaths was never out of respect for the dead but was always intended to make Bush look like the man murdering, en masse, American youth.)

I am reminded of George Orwell’s point in Newspeak:  if the vocabulary is killed, the ability to think the thoughts dies too.  The media, which has a weakened, but still strangling, hold on American discourse, is trying to place some ideas in our minds (Perry is a stupid, anti-scientific troglodyte) while utterly erasing others (anything bad about Obama).  Since it frames the debate, and sets the rules, it’s going to win or, at the very least, have an disproportionate advantage.

This media framing may be why the guy who picked winners in the last seven elections thinks Obama will win the next one.  Obama fits the majority of Lichtman’s 13 “keys” to election or, in Obama’s case, re-election.  Most interestingly, he counts ObamaCare and the stimulus in Obama’s favor (“major domestic-policy changes in his first term”).  Allahpundit rightly points out that these are deeply unpopular measures, so they shouldn’t count:

[S]urreally, he’s counting the stimulus, which the public reviles, and ObamaCare, about which the public is deeply suspicious, as a point in Obama’s favor because they are, after all, major “changes” to American domestic policy. By that standard, even the dumbest, most hated piece of legislation should be treated as an asset to a presidential campaign so long as it’s significant enough to constitute “major change.” If you flip that Key to the GOP, then you’ve got six for the Republicans — enough to take the White House by Lichtman’s own metrics.

What Allahpundit isn’t considering, though, is that the media, which will shape the prism through which the election plays out, will constantly sell both the stimulus and ObamaCare to the public as “good things.”  The question is whether the public is going to believe the media or its lying eyes.  Past elections, sadly, have shown that, to paraphrase Mencken, you can never go broke underestimating the analytical abilities of the American public.  (Although Ace wonders if even the public can be that dumb.)

Can’t talk now — I’m busy thinking

The post title is a bit misleading.  I actually mean that I can’t blog now, as opposed to talk now, but it is true that I’m very, very busy with deep thoughts.  I’m working on a new project, having tons of fun, learning lots, and my mind is bubbling with ideas.  This afternoon, when the ferment settles a bit, I’ll start blogging again.

Also, I’m not blogging now because of that expression holding that, “if you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.”  Anything I would say right now would be precisely the same as something I’ve said before — no fresh facts, no fresh spin, no new insights.  You deserve better than stale blogging.  By this afternoon, I hope to have disposed of the ideas that are past their “sell by” date and have my mind restocked with new exciting new mental product.

Within days, or weeks, I also hope to augment my political and domestic posts with descriptions of me, once again exercising my Second Amendment rights.  We’ll see how NavyOne’s imaginative and generous idea plays out.

Everything about the man is fake *UPDATED*

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Thank goodness for DQ. He went back AJ Strata’s original post, and discovered that, since first writing it up, AJ thinks the whole story may be a fake. My apologies to the President and to you for relaying this fable. The one thing that disappoints me is that my very first pun was for naught. What a waste!

AJ Strata is the first to bring to my attention the fact that Barack Obama didn’t ride in that Canadian made bus, whether sitting in the front or back.  Well, that’s not true.  He rode on it for a few minutes at a time.  As for the rest of the time . . . well, you have to read this to appreciate it.

I’ve heard of ghost writing (which Obama has also used), but now, apparently, we have ghost riding.  (The previous pun was inspired by Sadie, whose bad good influence is rubbing off on me.)

Steve Schippert gave me the perfect musical link to back up my pun:

Feminism in a nutshell

Sometimes a post just nails things at every level and explains so much.  That’s the case with a Front Page Magazine article about feminism and Marxism.  I especially loved this:

Phyllis Schlafly​, who has spent a lifetime pointing out liberal hypocrisy on issues of gender, says that it’s no wonder liberal women think men are pigs: Their men are pigs.

Well, yes, absolutely.  There are no greater sexists than liberal men who pay lip service to women’s equality because they’ve figured out that it’s an easy way to get extra labor and easy sex.  At a very fundamental level, too many liberal men don’t seem to like women very much or to respect them at all.

Years ago, when I first started blogging, I commented on the fact that conservative men, especially Christian conservative men, genuinely seem to like their wives.  That struck me as odd, because it’s not something I see moving in liberal circles.  Sure there are love matches around me but, for the most part, the men and women in my world resent each other more than they respect each other.  Even if the conservative men are lying about their feelings towards their wives, at least they subscribe to the notion that you ought to love and respect your spouse.  Liberals no longer seem to make the effort.

I think a lot of it has to do with competitive martyrdom.  When the man in a marriage served his wife by making money, and the wife in a marriage served her husband by having children and keeping the house, they weren’t competing.  Instead, they were both contributing.  Even in my parents’ marriage, when my mother had to work because there was no money, my Dad felt terrible that she had to make the sacrifice.  He deeply appreciated the work she did on the family’s behalf and therefore helped out around the house as much as possible to offset the fact that he wasn’t earning enough so that she could play her role and only her role in the marriage.

In modern liberal marriages, though, both partners are expected to bring in money.  This works right up until the children come along.  Then, the woman’s at-home workload skyrockets exponentially.  The men, contrary to their feminist mouthings, do not help out as much.  Aside from the fact that the children want Mommy, the men aren’t going to cook or do laundry or do anything but the basics.  (I know exceptions, but this is the rule in my world.)  The women become terribly resentful that, suddenly, they have two full time jobs.  After terrible fights, the women cut back on work or quit it entirely — at which time the men become terribly resentful that they have to go into the office, while the women get to lollygag around the house with the children.  Of course, both parties have hard jobs, but neither can admit that, for fear of falling into a one-down position in the martyrdom competition.  This is not a recipe for happy relationships.

Roger Simon cleans Paul Krugman’s clock

Paul Krugman, aided by more than 500 commenters, launched a hysterical rant about the Republican war on science, all of which is embodied in Perry’s skepticism about anthropogenic global warming.  Krugman and his acolytes are unanimous in their opinion:  Republicans are anti-scientific, book burning, people burning, Galileo hating, troglodytes.  (Neither he nor his groupies are as elegant or eloquent as I in saying so.)

There’s only one little problem:  in his rant, Krugman kind of forgot, just a little bit, er, science.  Roger Simon explains it to him, using simple words that even Paulie could probably understand.  Here’s a taste:

But wait a minute. I don’t want to be unfair to Paul. He may not be up to speed on the latest findings, but he knows how you prove things scientifically. He tell us “…the scientific consensus about man-made global warming — which includes 97 percent to 98 percent of researchers in the field, according to the National Academy of Sciences — is getting stronger, not weaker, as the evidence for climate change just keeps mounting.”

I get it. The more people that believe something, the more it is true…. Oh, no. Sorry, Paul. I have to tell you you just flunked seventh grade general science. Or you forgot it. The number of people who believe something is irrelevant. What proves something to be true is that it can be replicated by experiment.


Colin Powell — backstabber (and frontstabber)

I’ve never liked Colin Powell.  I always viewed him as a political hack, despite his military chops.  My dislike for him increased exponentially when I read one of Bob Woodward’s hatchet jobs on George W. Bush and quickly realized that Powell was Woodward’s main source.  Although Woodward didn’t say that, it didn’t take a genius to figure out that all the passages lambasting Bush and highlighting Powell’s brilliance and prescience came from Powell himself.  He’s a sneaky bastard, and I don’t say that as a backhanded compliment.

Powell’s sneaky bastardness continues unabated in his current attack on Cheney.  Aside from being a full frontal attack, it turns out, as Jennifer Rubin explains, that it’s predicated entirely on lies and, worse, on lies that are meant to obscure Powell’s own reprehensible behavior.