Upworthy and Good Men Project: Progressive sites for people seeking to save their souls through politics

AXRJP4I’ve noticed a trend on my “real me” Facebook page.  More and more of my liberal friends (and that means almost all of my real world, as opposed to cyber world, friends) are regularly linking to Upworthy and the Good Men Project.  Conservatives should heed the rise of these two sites they market themselves to knee-jerk liberals who cast votes as a way of saving their (non-religious) souls.

Upworthy is a site that posts made-for-Facebook (i.e., made-for-easy-distribution) videos showing people striking blows against racism, sexism (i.e., male chauvinism), hetereronomativism, homophobia, Islamophobia, etc. Here’s just a sampling of the videos of the moment (sans hyperlinks):

  • “Her Husband’s Abuse Once Kept Her Behind Closed Doors. Now She’s Speaking Out, Loud And Clear.”  (Evil male hegemony)
  • “They’re Harassed And Criminalized. But Could They Be The Solution To A Big Sex Industry Problem?”(Fighting prostitutophobia)
  • “Bully Calls News Anchor Fat, News Anchor Destroys Him On Live TV” (Beating back weight-ism)
  • “Meet The 17-Year-Old Who Blew The Lid Off Racial Profiling With His iPod” (The war on racism)
  • “You Might See Tattoos In A New Light After You See Them On This Woman” (Don’t judge a woman by her tramp-stamp)
  • “Good military men who support gay marriage” (Even baby killers can be good if they like gays)
  • “Nearly 1/3 Of All Campaign Dollars in 2013 Came From A Tiny Group Of People. Care To Guess Who?” (Rich people are evil, a video made by the AFL-CIO. Interestingly, the AFL-CIO forget to say that unions are the nation’s top political donors, and that these donations only go Democrat.)
  • “9 Out Of 10 Americans Are Completely Wrong About This Mind-Blowing Fact” (Income inequality, brought to you by the corporate branch of the Occupy movement)
  • “A Boy Makes Anti-Muslim Comments In Front Of An American Soldier. The Soldier’s Reply: Priceless.” (Islamophobia is irrational)

For a website devoted to victim-hood, I find it interesting that I can’t find any videos at Upworthy in which people strike self-righteous blows against antisemitism, which is rearing its hydra-head in virulent form around the world.  A quick search reveals that neither the word “antisemitism” nor the word “anti-semitism” has ever appeared at Upworthy.  There also don’t seem to be any videos exposing the deadly anti-Christian ideology that’s rapidly stripping the Middle East and parts of Africa of their Christian citizens.  Instead, I found only videos attacking Christians for being homophobic (such as this one).  Also lacking are videos striking self-righteous blows against the misogyny and homophobia in the Middle East and Africa, that deprives women and gays of any rights whatsoever, and that routinely sees them hanged or stoned for imaginary crimes of adultery or for real or imagined acts of sodomy.

It’s entirely possible that Upworthy’s contributors support Jews, Christians, women, and gays at the mercy of Islamists, and are simply too scared to say anything, just as the Monty Python guys are now too scared to touch Islam.  Or it could be — which I think is the truth — that they don’t give a flying whatsit for these truly persecuted (i.e., real victim) groups.

It’s telling that, if you search “Islam” at Upworthy, you only get dozens of variations on “Islam is a religion of peace — honest.”  The Upworthy people apparently weren’t paying attention to 9/11, the Fort Hood shooting, the Madrid train bombing, the London subway and bus bombings, the Mumbai massacre, the Bali disco bombing, the London soldier beheading, the attempted Times Square Bombing, the Boston Marathon massacre, the Kenya mall massacre, and all of the other mass murders with perpetrators who made explicit the fact that they were acting in Islam’s name.  Alternatively, the Upworthy crew defines “peace” this way:  “If I appease them, they’ll leave me alone, which is very peaceful.”  Thinking about it, Upworthy’s contributors probably aren’t that familiar with Churchill either (“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”)

As for the Good Men Project, I’ll let Kevin Williamson describe it, as well as describing one of its latest offerings, which is a gender-neutral dating guide:

“It’s not possible to have a completely gender neutral date,” writes therapist Andrew Smiler in a head-clutchingly asinine essay for the Good Men Project, a repository of painfully navel-gazing male-feminist apologetics that describes itself as “not so much a magazine as a social movement.” While acknowledging the impossibility of his daunting task, Mr. Smiler goes on to offer a great many helpful tips in his “Guy’s Guide to the Gender-Minimized First Date.” But not before making a full and frank apology in advance: “I’m trying to write this guide to apply across all genders, masculine, feminine, trans*, etc. If I’ve missed or something is very wrong, I have faith someone will let me know in the comments. I’m also writing based on my own American background and referring primarily to gender roles as they currently exist in the U.S. Depending on where you’re from, you may have grown up with this approach or you may find it completely foreign.” An asterisk on that asterisk: “Trans*” I am reliably informed, is the new, more inclusive way of referring in writing to the phenomenon of transsexualism, or as the ever-helpful FAQ at “Ask a Trans Woman” explains: “Trans, sans asterisk, has a tendency to mean gender-binary folk (trans men and trans women, often by the DSM-IV, GID definition of the words.) Trans* is more inclusive.” It is getting difficult to keep up.

Mr. Smiler’s advice, almost all of which is catastrophically bad, consists in the main of pre-cooking evasive strategies for such potentially fraught issues as deciding who pays for dinner or whether to split the check in the name of sexual egalitarianism. His guidance: The party proffering the invitation pays for the party accepting it. This is the sole area in which Mr. Smiler, otherwise a celebrant of sexual fluidity, concedes that expectations may be fixed by circumstance. “You can maintain one roll [sic] . . . or you can switch around,” except when the bill comes, which is to say you can pass the rolls but not the check. Not my own style, though fair enough. (But who says you get to make the rules, Mr. Man?)

You can read the rest of Williamson’s exposé here, but I’d definitely recommend having an emesis basin at your side while you read.

Moving beyond Williamson’s “general neutral dating” focus, today’s Good Men Project offerings include the following:

  • “Be Honest With Yourself – How Racist Are You?”  (More than you know, my friend.  More than you know.)
  • “My Daughter’s Room is Grey for a Reason” (What could be more gender neutral than gray?)
  • “The Most Dangerous Four-Letter Word (Dick Simon has found a single word that marginalizes, isolate and insult. That word is THEM.)”  (You need to know that not all Muslims are terrorists.  To which I reply that I totally agree with that statement.  I’m just troubled by the fact that the vast majority of terrorists are Muslims — and, worse, they you refuse to acknowledge that reality.)
  • “Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person”  (Believe it or not, it can be done.  All white people are guilty.)
  • “What’s Law Got to Do With It? A Straight Married Guy’s Perspective on Marriage Know Thyself: An Open Letter to My Transgender Child” (I’m glad you love your child.  Now stop politicizing it.)

If you like your men gender-neutral, and that’s how you want to raise your own sons, Good Men Project is definitely the site for you. Me?  I like my men a little more . . . you know, manly, so the site doesn’t just leave me cold, it leaves me with a creepy, crawly, itchy feeling on my skin.

What both these sites offer are huge, gushy, pillowy mountains of soul-saving emotion.  Their implicit promise is that if you are a gender-neutral, non-heteronormative person who is in touch with your feelings; if you provide unswerving, unquestioning support for blacks, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals, other sexuals, hefty people, tattooed people, prostitutes, beaten wives, and all of the other officially sanctioned victim classes; and, most importantly, if you revile Republicans and vote Democrat . . . you will be saved.  Hallelujah!!

It’s easy to laugh at Upworthy and the Good Men Project, since they seem more like parodies than anything else.  I can easily imagine Greg Gutfeld and crew laughingly brainstorming “dumb websites for Leftists” and coming up with imaginary sites that are indistinguishable from these two sites.

The reality is, though, that not only aren’t these websites parodies, there’s nothing funny about them.  They’re emotional soul-saving candy for people who have abandoned traditional faiths but still worry about their eternal salvation.  To them, a vote isn’t about what’s best for the country, as a whole; it’s about what’s most likely to make them feel virtuous.  In the absence of a traditional God, spiritual redemption can be found in feel-good Progressivism.

It’s these salvation-seekers who, when asked say that they’re liberals.  Right now, they’re at 23% of the population, which seems like an insignificant number.  It’s not.  For those seeking a return to constitutional government, individual freedom, and a sturdy sense of self-reliance, that 23% is scary because it’s really “23% and counting.”  Part of why this number is rising, even as Obama’s poll numbers and policies are falling, is that sites such as Upworthy and Good Men Project promise eternal salvation in a non-religious world.  If you side with the Progressive’s carefully identified victim-classes, your non-religious soul will be saved from eternal Republican damnation.

All of which gets me back to a point I made a long time ago:  To win this fight, conservatives too must offer the American people a vision that allows them to save their souls.  There’s actually nothing new about this.  In a country that hasn’t stood still since the first European set foot on its shores, Americans, feeling adrift, have always sought salvation, whether it was 18th and 19th century religious revivals, Aimee Semple McPherson hucksterism, or (as is the case now) redemption through voting Democrat. Conservatives have allowed a status quo to exist in which Democrats point to conservatives as the devil incarnate (which is ironic given that are more likely than Progressives to espouse traditional religious views), while promising a baptism and rebirth at the altar of government.

I’ve mentioned before that conservatives with money and style should create a series of widely promoted commercials showing someone doing something wonderful — helping the poor, being an awesome athlete, growing a business out of a home that employs hundreds of people, being an artist, etc. — and all ending with the tag line “and I’m a conservative.”  These people should be Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, White, Black, Asian, Hispanic, Male, Female, Gay, Straight, Young, and Old (and anything else I’ve forgotten).  What’s important is that conservatives must deprive Progressives of their self-anointed status as the group that determines who in America is saved and who is damned.

We keep trying to give intellectual food to people who want only emotional and spiritual reassurance.  It’s fine for us to say that ours are the better ideas, but ideas, no matter how good, are useless if one continuously loses at the ballot box, in the court houses, and, worst of all, in the court of public opinion.  Our first and biggest job is to show that conservatives are nice and that, if you’re looking to save your soul, conservativism is at least as good as, and quite possibly much better than, the Progressivism so relentlessly foisted on them.  Everything else flows from that.

“Keynes” and other back-pats

Here’s a Robert Samuelson article, “bye bye Keynes” that should give us all pause: the arguments he uses to write Keynes’ obituary are arguments that we all posited in our own excoriation of Keynes in years past, in response to a string of commentators, ranging from A to Z.

I’ve been reviewing our last few years at Bookworm Room and I think that we all deserve a round of huzzas and raised beer mugs or wine glasses, whatever is at hand. We’ve been so right about so many issues, be it “Keynesian”economics; anthropogenic global warming; the Islamist threat; U.S. fossil fuel reserves; “green” energy; Iraq; Obama; the EU’s collapse…and on and on und so weiter.  Sometimes, our prescience has preceded events on the ground by years.

To all of you Bookworm guests and, especially, to Bookworm, our hostess: I’m so d*** proud to know you! I am so much smarter for having enjoyed the many experiences of your insights and commentary.

“I” conflicted

The Obama administration is headed for a big showdown with judicial accountability next year. Let’s look at the dance list thus far:

1. The “Fast and Furious” gunwalker scandal, involving potential collusion from the top of our government to funnel automatic weapons and explosives to drug cartels operating within and actively undermining a friendly government. Democrats lied, people died.

2. Solyndra: potential crony capitalism whereby more-than half a billion dollars of public monies disappeared and remain unaccounted for within a private company, actively supported by Obama administration officials, that went bankrupt. Who benefited? Where did that money go?

3. Lightsquared: a privately held company in which the President of the United States was a shareholder, that potentially benefited from tainted government testimony to implement a technology that may have put our defense systems at great risk.

Something tells me there will be other scandals to surface as well.

Put it all together and the Obama Administration may find itself in a maelstrom next year… just before election time.

As even major media outlets are acknowledging, this reeks of crony capitalism and the “Chicago Way”. Unfortunately, I fear that the details will go over the heads of most Americans, many of whom would prefer to avoid the facts altogether and worry about their personal economic lives.

Here’s my dilemma: if real crimes were committed, there has to be accountability. If not, crony capitalism and 3rd world corruption will become the new norm and, as Bookworm pointed out, we will inevitably evolve into a fascist state. However, to have accountability, we would need impeachment hearings to get out the truth.

The atmospherics for this would be terrible.

I suspect that most Americans are still emotionally and mentally exhausted from the Clinton impeachment hearings. Now, in the midst of a depression (let’s not kid ourselves otherwise) and a world spiraling into a new round of economic disasters and global conflicts, the American electorate would again be subjected to the divisive, gut-wrenching politics of impeachment hearings involving America’s first black president and attorney general.

Whether or not the Obama administration skates or we engage in impeachment hearings, I see either scenario as lose-lose-lose: for the Democrats, for the Republicans and for the country. We would end up at each others throats and it could tear our country apart.

Does anyone else see it differently? If so, please enlighten me, because I find this prospect to be so very depressing…either way.

Harvard Magazine and the Left’s Andrew Sullivan love affair

Speaking of Harvard, I just got a gander at Harvard Magazine, which has a smugly grinning Andrew Sullivan on the cover, as the exemplar of “The New Media.”  I thought the article would be about bloggers generally, but the table of contents tells me I’m wrong:  “World’s Best Blogger?” it asks.  It then explains that the article is about “Andrew Sullivan, fiscal conservative [huh?] and social liberal, navigates the changing media landscape.”  Turn to the article itself, and the caption says:  “World’s Best Blogger?  Andrew Sullivan’s views are predictable in only one way:  always stimulating.”

To give you an inkling of the level of research that goes into this type of sycophancy — sycophancy that’s mailed on a regular basis to all Harvard grads — get a load of this exchange between one reader of the article (which is on the internet) and the article’s author, Jesse Kornbluth.  First, the reader comment:

Andrew Sullivan didn’t engage in partisan speculation (or, for that matter, ascribe partisan blame) after the Tuscon shootings?? Really??

What world are you living in??

Perhaps it is the same one Sullivan is living in, there one where he still believes that Sarah Palin faked her pregnancy.

The guy is one step short of wearing tin foil on his head. If that’s your criteria for world’s best blogger, then you’ve made a very good choice. Just ask yourself this question: If Andrew Sullivan were as “relentless” in asking Barack Obama for HIS birth certificate, would you still consider him the blogger of the year?

Yeah, didn’t think so. (nor should you; but I guess it’s OK, because his utter lunacy is directed at someone you both mutually hate).

Second, Jesse Kornbluth’s polite, but utterly clueless, reply:

As the author of the piece, I could respond better to these charges if you’d cite some specifics. Namely: could you provide a link to Sullivan’s Tuscon coverage in which he points a finger at a group or person who directed the shooter? And, in regard to Governor Palin, could you provide a link to a passage in the Dish where Sullivan makes the claim that she’s not Trig’s mother? Many thanks. JK

In about one second, any doofus can summon up myriad posts Sullivan did about Palin and Trig, or can find conservative comments castigating him for his lunatic monomania.  Here are a bazillion such links.  The same holds true for Sullivan’s hysterical screeds about Tucson.  But someone who wrote an entire article about Sullivan for the glossy Harvard Magazine was not only unable to find evidence of his quixotic little obsessions in the first place, but also was either unable to do so (or couldn’t be bothered to do so) in the second instance, when someone brought those facts to his attention.  You’d think that a Harvard grad (Class of ’68) could do better than that.

Andrew Sullivan is a bright guy.  He’s also one of the people I credit with helping me cross the Rubicon from political Left to political Right.  I was a New Republic subscriber for years.  When he took over as editor, his editorials were so ludicrous and hysterical, I started getting jaundiced with the magazine and ended up being open to new influences.  (Same holds true for Paul Krugman, whose anti-Bush hysteria leeched out any credibility from his writings, again sending me looking for more intelligence in political and economic commentary.)  I have reason, therefore, to be grateful to Sullivan.  But to laud the guy as a great thinker — he’s simply not.  And for someone to write a whole laudatory article about the man without being aware of one of his overriding political passions (that his, his obsession with the identity of Trig’s birth mother) or of his ill-informed, partisan, post-Tucson rants, reveals lazy thinking, lazy research and lazy writing — which, sadly, is about all I expect from a lot of Harvard’s brand nowadays.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

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Getting a closer look at why liberals continue to feel that blacks should be held to a different standard

A few days ago, in the wake of a concerted (and almost certainly fraudulent) attack against the Tea Party by claiming its members are racist, I wrote a post in which I said that, if I’m going to be called a racist, I get to define the term to accord with my understanding of race.

I was wordy (so, sue me; so was Charles Dickens), but it boiled down to my firm belief that, while blacks needed a helping hand in the immediate aftermath of first wave of Civil Rights (the mid-1960s), the system has become perverted, encouraging blacks to become dependent on rich white liberals.  I contrasted the black experience with the Asian immigrant experience (or you could contrast it with the Irish immigration experience, or the Jewish, or the Italian…), all of which show groups that had the same handicaps as post-Jim Crow blacks — illiterate, poverty stricken, and ghettoized — but that nevertheless managed to mainstream within a generation.

The problem, I said, does not lie with blacks; it lies, instead, with liberal policies that persist in treating blacks as if they are helpless, intellectually incapable, non-rational beings.  If I’m racist, it’s because I look at blacks and think that, without the smothering influence of white liberal guilt, they are, as a group, every bit as competent, capable and rational as any other group.

In other words, my racism consists in think that blacks are pretty much like me.  So, again, sue me.

My post got picked up at a liberal site (a very liberal site, which is flattering in a weird kind of way) and I got taken to task for failing to understanding black people’s suffering and, therefore, making the racist and condescending demand that blacks should be treated like . . . well, like people.  Or at least, that’s what I think the site is saying.  The writing is bit convoluted, giving the feeling the author went to a liberal arts college and majored in post-modern thinking.  Take this, for example:

It’s a magnum opus of white resentment at underlying racist attitudes, laid out in a series of patronizing missives to the dark ones among us.

What does that mean — “white resentment at underlying racist attitudes?”  I certainly resent being called a racist.  And I resent attitudes and policies that demean blacks by consistently holding them to a lower standard based on the premise that they’re incapable of achieving a higher standard.  Color me racist, but I hate to see people classified and graded by race.  (Incidentally, Martin Luther King did too:  “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”)  As far as I can tell, that sentence is a classic example of the finest modern education can offer — it’s silly.

Or try this sentence, which the blog author offers immediately after quoting me.  (My quoted material was to the effect that we harm the black community tremendously by allowing blacks to prey on each other, because liberals, with a kind of gushing love, believe that blacks are just locked into that type of behavior):

Essentially, believing that white racism has held black people back is terrible and demeaning to blacks, the response to which is to believe that liberal white racism has held black people back.

Again, what in the world does that mean?  Perhaps there’s a word missing, but the writer seems to be saying that it’s really demeaning to believe that white racism harms blacks, and that the appropriate response to this horrible viewpoint is to argue that liberal white racism harms blacks.  Well, I do argue that liberal white racism does harm blacks.  And what’s even worse is that it’s not even an in-your-face racism that you can stand up and fight.

In the horrible Jim Crow days, racists said bluntly “You’re stupid and you’re evil,” statements that all right thinking people could reasonably challenge.  These were ugly, uncomplicated fighting words, and blacks fought back.

In the horrible liberal PC days, well-meaning whites say “I’m sure you’re really smart, but we hurt you so badly you don’t have to prove that you’re smart, and I’m sure you’re essentially honest, but because of all the bad things we’ve done to you, it’s not surprising that you engage in criminal activity at a rate higher than other races in this country, and I know that you’re a very moral people, only it’s all our fault that the nuclear family in the black family has been pretty much destroyed.”  You can dress it up in as many apologies as you like, but the fact remains that after almost 50 years of liberal love, blacks are hurting, because they and their white co-dependents keep giving them a free pass for self-destructive behavior.  (And if I remember correctly, Bill Cosby made pretty much the same point.)

Here’s the next sentence, a lovely example of post-modern thinking that nicely distills into utter meaninglessness:

Reading through this, it becomes clear that this lovely crystallization of conservative thought on race is fundamentally about an underestimation and denigration of the capacities of black Americans to understand their own history and the causes of their problems.  Post-racial conservatism, at its core, presumes that the great bulk of black America is too stupid and too misled to understand its position in the American diaspora; the only forces arrayed against black people are the ones black people depend on and trust in.

Before I get to substance, I want to thank the writer of the above for saying I wrote a “lovely crystallization of conservative thought.”  I appreciate that.  But about that substance….

The paragraph jumbles together three thoughts:  (i) I don’t understand black history or root causes, (ii) I think that blacks are stupid, and (iii) I think the blacks are depending on the wrong people.  The first thought is wrong, and irrelevant.  I’m fully cognizant of black history.  I’m saying, though, that history does not have to be determinative of our future beings.  American blacks are not dealing with the problems of 1770, or 1830, or 1860, or 1877 or 1955.   Instead, they live in 2010.  All humans must adapt.  This writer essentially contends that, because blacks had a bad historic deal, they don’t have to adapt, but may wallow in it forever.  I think that’s an outrageous argument.  Others have had bad deals and have moved forward:

Jews:  2,000 years of persecution at the hands of . . . everyone.  Large scale immigration to America following the Russian and Polish pogroms and the Holocaust.  They adapted.

Irish:  500 years of persecution at British hands.  Large scale immigration to America following the devastating Irish potato famine.  They adapted.

Vietnamese and Cambodians:  Decades of persecution at Communist hands, devastating wars and, in the case of the Cambodians, the Killing Fields, which saw 30% of the population executed.  They adapted.

Chinese:  A feudal society, which was followed by a Revolution, which was followed by the Great Leap Forward (with estimates of 70,000,000 – 100,000,000 killed).  They adapted.

Blacks:  A feudal society (because slavery is feudalism), which was followed by almost a century of gross discrimination, which was followed by 50 years of affirmative action.  They still haven’t adapted.

Why are blacks different?  Well, contrary to the liberal blogger, I don’t think its because they’re stupid or they don’t understand their history.  I do think it’s because they’re depending on the wrong friends.  Tough love doesn’t just work for teenagers.  Humans need to deal with reality, rather than being protected so much that they’re rendered angry at their lack of free will, and dysfunctional because they cannot exercise their core human right to self-determination.

In other words, people, when given freedom of opportunity (even when that freedom is hedged with thorns and obstacles) adapt.  It’s the smothering, guilt-laden love of American liberals that keeps blacks cocooned in a perpetual and dysfunctional state of victimhood.

And here’s that liberal blogger’s last word on the subject, which is a complete inversion of what I said:

The best reading of this list of resentment is that the author views black people as noble savages, people so backwards that the only way we can move forward is to be left alone to figure out things for ourselves.  My reading, however, goes a little bit deeper than that.  The easiest way to excuse racism is to rewrite and reinterpret history so that its effects are divorced from the cause.  If racism causes suffering, you get around it by blaming the suffering on the victims.  Of course, this is in and of itself racist – the reason a persecuted minority was persecuted is because they’re so weak and dumb and persecutable.  But it allows the racist to distance themselves from their own beliefs by saying that they aren’t being racist, they’re just reflecting a reality without racism.  A reality which happens to be racist as fuck.

No, I don’t consider blacks noble savages — you, the liberal, do. I consider them my peers in the human race, and think they ought to be treated as such, and not as a bizarre combination of fragile flower and uncontrolled id.

And no, I haven’t rewritten history. I didn’t actually touch upon history, except the history of liberalism and its deleterious effect on blacks.

And most importantly, I’m not arguing for persecution, which is what that liberal implies I’m saying. Instead, I’m saying in as many ways as I possibly can that we as a nation err (both practically and morally) by treating blacks as a separate species.  Blacks deserve to be treated like everyone else. Funnily enough, the only way to get from what I said to the liberal’s claim that I demand black persecution is for the liberal writer to concede that white Americans are being persecuted.

Is that what you’re saying, oh liberal one?

The line of the night

Christmas dinner (which was lovely), included in a brief foray into discussing the Senate’s health care bill.  A liberal friend let loose with this terrific line after I said that the Senate had raided Medicare and Medicare Advantage to make the bill ostensibly revenue neutral:  “I don’t know anything about the bill, but I know that you’re wrong.”

A matter of tone

I got pinged back to a blog called the Culture Warrior. It’s a liberal blog, and my posts wouldn’t normally show up there. The Culture Warrior, however, is the blogger who expressed disappointment that Judge Roberts had merely had a seizure, rather than died. A lot of conservative bloggers found that sentiment in bad taste and blogged about it, as did I. The Culture Warrior seemed surprised that his remarks might upset people, and thoughtfully gathered in one place all of the conservative posts that linked to him, which is how I ended up pinged back. What I found interesting was the tone Culture Warrior took in this post. Here, read it yourself:

The other day, I made a little joke over at Wonkette about being dead that raised some ire among some self-righteous conservative folks. They took a break from pretending not to get erect from hate speech long enough to produce pages and pages of Technorati listings. All the big names are there (Malkin, LGF, Althouse) and lots of little ones, in no particular order, after the jump.

You’ll notice that I assumed, without checking, that Culture Warrior is a guy. I did so in part because it’s truly a guy thing to launch a massive insult and then retreat without apology by saying “I was just joking.” You know: “I couldn’t believe how stupid you looked in that red dress. [pause] Aw, honey, why are you getting all mad at me for saying that? I was just joking.”

The other thing I noticed was the crudity. At periodic intervals I’ve mentioned the fact that I’m more likely to find sexual references, scatalogical references, racial insults, and sexual insults in political commentary at liberal blogs than I am at conservative blogs. I’m not accusing Culture Warrior of racial or sexual insults here, or even scatalogical references, but I do find intriguing the fact that he assumes a sexual component to political beliefs.

UPDATESome recent evidence of the crude tone that seems to characterize the Lefter side of the blogosphere.

Nobody hits my brother but me….

Long time readers may recognize the following, which is a recycled post from February 2005 (when I was still on Blogger).  At the bottom, I’ll explain why I’m resurrecting it:

Remember from playground days how, when someone was picking on your little brother, you’d rush over to defend him, and announce to the perpetrators, “Only I get to call my brother names”? I thought of that when I read this Hindrocket PowerLine post (which I reproduce here in its entirety, although I’ve omitted the original internal links):

The ‘Jeff Gannon’ affair has been a mini-cause celebre on the liberal side of the blogosphere over the past several days, to the point where we have gotten several belligerent emails from lefties demanding to know why we aren’t covering the story. My response has been that I can’t figure out what the story is. ‘Gannon’ wrote for the Talon news service and was occasionally cleared to participate in White House press briefings. He apparently is a conservative, and on some occasions he asked questions with a twist that was friendly to the administration. The ‘scandal’ that has erupted over the past few days involves the following elements: 1) ‘Jeff Gannon’ isn’t his real name; it’s James Guckert; 2) Guckert is alleged to be a homosexual (Markos Moulitsos of the Daily Kos has made a big deal out of this); and 3) several gay porn sites are registered in Guckert’s name. Gannon/Guckert has now resigned from Talon due to the attention. The first actual news story I’ve seen on the Gannon affair is this AP report, which quotes Scott McClellan:

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Guckert did not have a regular White House press pass but was cleared on a day-by-day basis to attend briefings and used his real name. ‘He, like anyone else, showed that he was representing a news organization that published regularly and so he was cleared two years ago to receive daily passes just like many others are,’ McClellan said. ‘In this day and age, when you have a changing media, it’s not an easy issue to decide, to try to pick and choose who is a journalist. It gets into the issue of advocacy journalism. Where do you draw the line? There are a number of people who cross that line in the briefing room.’

I still don’t get it. Gannon has been attacked for not being a ‘real’ journalist–as compared to whom, Helen Thomas? He called himself a “voice of the new media” on his web site, and it seems passing strange to me for bloggers to suggest that only journalism school graduates are qualified to ask questions at press briefings. As far as I can tell, the only thing that distinguished Gannon from the other reporters is that he is a partisan conservative, whereas they are nearly all partisan liberals. I’d be happy if the administration threw the whole lot of them out and took questions from people on the street. Inasmuch as I still don’t see that there is much of a story here–apart, of course, from the somewhat entertaining strangeness of it all–I’ll stop writing now.

I can’t add anything better to what Hindrocket already said about the core issue (i.e., Gannon’s right to appear at press conferences). What surprised me was that the left is apparently terribly upset about Gannon’s purported homosexuality. Indeed, as far as I can tell from this comment at DailyKos, Claude Raines-like, the Lefties are “shocked, shocked” that Gannon might have a homosexual past — one, indeed, that might include prostitution. That’s sordid, I agree, but two things: that accusation might be false, and, if true, Gannon may well have reformed his wild ways.

My real point, though, is how the Left appears to feel that, while the right cannot comment on race, mental abilities, or sexuality, the Lefties can, with impunity. How else to explain their despicably racist comments regarding Condi Rice, the “cartoons” depicting George Bush as mentally retarded, and now this “homosexual agenda” attack on Gannon? Does being the self-proclaimed champion of people of color, the mentally handicapped, and gays mean that you get to insult them with impunity? I certainly wouldn’t want such offensive people to speak on my behalf. Indeed, I might prefer someone else’s tender mercies to those of my ostensible benefactors.

This old post keeps circling around to the forefront of my brain and reminding me of its currency.  A month ago, there was the uproar that Matt Sanchez had a past in gay porn, although I think that outrage was more about perceived hypocrisy than about his actual gayness.  (Dennis Prager handled that point here.)

Showing that the Left never learns when it comes to exposing its deep, deep disdain for those who deviate from identity politics servitude, Confederate Yankee points out that a liberal blogger has made racially demeaning comments about Condi Rice, calling her “Brown Sugar,” a manifestly sexual term reserved for African-American females.  Apparently tbogg, a fairly well-ranked liberal blogger, figures that the monthly uproar quota for inflammatory racial remarks has been used up, and that he’s free to say what he wants.  Or, more likely, he knows that, because his comment is directed at a conservative black, he’ll get a free pass.

Be that as it may, it shows once again that the liberals’ ostensible concern with racial or sexual identity has little to do with compassion, and everything to do with driving home ideological points and political demands.

The Left wing blogs and Israel

I started a series of posts aimed at examining what the Left side of the blogosphere had to say about what I think is one of the biggest stories of our day: Israel’s major military initiative against Hezbollah. What I discovered, and why I’ve sort of dried up on checking out those blogs, is that they have absolutely nothing to say on the subject — and Dean Barnett explains why. Barnett starts with a discussion about the Jews’ reliable support for the Democratic party, which has Democratic political leaders careful, in public at least, to support Israel. That’s the “one hand.” The other hand is the Daily Kos community. Barnett explains what this community is, what drives its thinking, and how it has responded to the Israel/Hezbollah War, both on the front page and behind the scenes. I’m going to include a fairly long quotation here, but the article has lots more, and I think it’s well worth reading:

On the other hand, there is the Daily Kos community. As proprietor Markos Moulitsas frequently notes, the Kos community is representative of the “people-powered movement.” They are not led by one person; indeed, they are not led at all.

The miracle of the Kossacks is that they are tens of thousands of like-minded people who have used the site to find one another. Although they differ on many details, they tend to monolithically detest George W. Bush and American conservatives. They also tend to distrust or loathe anything or anyone that winds up in Bush’s literal or metaphorical embrace. Like Joe Lieberman. Or Israel.

THE CONFLAGRATION in Lebanon has provided an example of the people-powered movement’s potential to be a liability for the politicians who have tried to curry favor with it.

Perhaps sensing that this issue could highlight just how far removed the Kos community is from the American mainstream, Moulitsas and his other front-page bloggers have opted to ignore Israel’s war. Combined, the half dozen front-pagers have written exactly one post on the subject. And that post, authored by Moulitsas, simply declared that he wouldn’t write anything further on the subject. So while the most important story of the year develops, the nation’s leading progressive blog has chosen to focus on the Indiana second district House race between Chris Chocola and Joe Donnelly. Nothing wrong with that; it’s their prerogative to blog about whatever they like.

But inside the Kos diaries, it’s been a different story. The conversation in the diaries has been overwhelmingly anti-Israel–and potentially disastrous for the Democratic party.

Barnett then follows up by simply quoting from the diaries, a stomach churning journey into old-fashioned Jew-hatred.

Right now, those Democratic politicians who wish to maintain their reliable Jewish base have only two forms of protection. The first is the fact that a large portion of Jewish voters are probably completely unaware of this sewer swirling at the Democrats’ feet. The second is the double think leaders on the Jewish left are currently using to insulate themselves from the hatred against them welling up on their side of the political spectrum. The most perfect, latest, and loudest example of this comes from Sheldon Drobny, who founded Air America, the Left’s “answer” to Rush [hat tip: American Thinker]:

I came to the conclusion that the hostile comments about Israel on these liberal blogs are not coming from true liberals. Most of the anti-Semitism comes from racism and most of the racism I have experienced has come from the far right, not the left. And history shows that the Christo-fascist policies of the right have been responsible for historical anti-Judaism. It is only lately that the extreme evangelical groups have conveniently aligned with Israel now to validate their biblical beliefs. These extreme evangelicals were the most anti-Jewish because of the Passion Narratives of the New Testament. And for my friends in AIPAC, they should be aware that short-term alliances with people who have endemic hatred of you could be disastrous. The early Zionists found this out when they signed a trade agreement with Germany hoping that Germany would deport the Jews to Palestine.

To those who believe that Palestine historically belonged to either the Jews or the Arabs I say read my previous post. Palestine and Iraq were all part of the Ottoman Empire and were made up countries by decree. After the First World War, the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire gave us artificial countries such as Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia and neither country exists today. Iraq is still a horrible remnant of artificial combinations of disparate ethnic regions. The fact is that the U.N. as did the League of Nations before set up countries by decree without much foresight and washed their hands of the consequences. Had the U.N. been responsible in 1948, they had the power to make a difference in that region. Unfortunately, they did not.

I have no easy solutions for the Israel/Palestine issue but I will say that one must evaluate which of the combatants benefit from the conflict. And I can easily exclude Israel from that group. After Israel signed the Oslo Accords in 1993 it experienced its greatest economic and technological advancement. Whether or not Israel was wise in rejecting the 2000 proposal that was advanced by Arafat at Camp David is subject to historical evaluation. But, Israel has suffered economically since the last intifada and has no benefit to its people by having perpetual war. On the other hand, the militant Arab leaders have a lot to gain by perpetual war with Israel to divert their people’s attention from the harsh treatment of their own citizens. And the armaments industries in the nations comprising the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council have lots of reasons to fuel the fires. I suggest seeing the motion picture Lord of War with Nicholas Cage if anyone has any doubts.

So my conclusion is that the bloggers who violently hate Israel and see it in black and white terms are not really liberals. They may even be anti-Semites, but they are not representative of the liberal community that was so active in achieving racial and ethnic equality. It is a contradiction for a true liberal to be an anti-Semite. Furthermore, I would not put it past the right wing to flood the liberal blogs with hateful criticisms of Israel to advance a perception that liberals are anti-Israel or anti-Semitic. And I see Karl Rove’s fingerprints all over this.

If you wade through this convoluted argument, you discover that Drobny simply can’t believe that the Left, which has always been anti-Semitic and anti-Israel (witness, for example, the National Socialist Movement, aka the Nazis; the Russian Communists; and Hugh Chavez, who is probably not Rove’s puppet), is actually — gasp! — anti-Israel. And since this historical truism can’t be true, it must be Rove’s fault (or it’s fluoride in the water — one or the other). As Charles Thompson, of Little Green Footballs, said to Dennis Prager when discussing Drobny’s bizarre conclusion, this is serious “cognitive dissonance.” Thinking about it, Thompson is being kind. It’s delusional thinking, pure and simple, and in another age would have landed Drobny in an asylum, walking around with the other crazy Napoleon and Elvis wannabees.

UPDATE:  Dennis Prager is speaking to Sheldon Drobny even as we speak.  Drobny, aside from suffering from severe verbal diarrhea, is woefully ill-informed.  His statements about Evangelical Christians rely solely on canards and have nothing to do with reality.  It’s amazing that someone so narrow-minded and unaware of the reality of the world — as opposed to his imaginary world construct — can have carved himself such a prominent niche.

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Ostrich syndrome continues on the Left

I’m really enjoying the periodic forays I’ve been making into Leftie land regarding the current Israeli/Hezbollah war (you can see my previous posts here and here), so I thought I’d keep going.

No survey would be complete without checking in with Howard Dean. I know it’s already old news (two days old already), but you’ve just got to love it when Howard Dean, the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee comes out with these words of wisdom regarding the Middle East:

“If you think what’s going on in the Middle East today would be going on if the Democrats were in control, it wouldn’t, because we would have worked day after day after day to make sure we didn’t get where we are today. We would have had the moral authority that Bill Clinton had when he brought together the Northern Irish and the IRA, when he brought together the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

I assume that when Dean talks of “bringing together the Israelis and Palestinians” in a Clinton-designed Utopia, he’s factoring in the unending Qassam rockets the Palestinians fire on Israel. Or maybe he’s talking about the more than 70 suicide bombings in just the five years from 2000 to 2005 (a definite Clinton legacy). Or maybe he’s talking about Israeli’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, which had nothing whatsoever to do with Clinton, and which sparked a new cycle of violence culminating in Cpl. Gilad Shalit’s kidnapping from Israeli soil. In any event, all his talk is not only stupid on its face, it’s irrelevant, since I haven’t heard anything about Clinton’s peace making with Hezbollah, which is the real face of this war. Many have said it, but I’ll say it again — Howard Dean is God’s gift to Republicans. And now to the blogs….

The Daily Kos front page yesterday finally got around to tackling what’s going on in Southern Lebanon. The man who fancies himself a king-maker had this to say:

Kevin Drum explains his reasons for steering clear of this morass of a mess of a disaster of a quagmire of a sinkhole of a clusterfuck that is completely FUBAR.

Me? I grew up in a war zone. And there was one clear lesson I learned — there will never be peace unless both sides get tired of the fighting and start seeking an alternative.

It’s clear that in the Middle East, no one is sick of the fighting. They have centuries of grudges to resolve, and will continue fighting until they can get over them. And considering that they obviously have no interest in “getting over them”, we’re stuck with a war that will not end in any forseable future. It doesn’t matter what we bloggers say. It doesn’t matter what the President of the United States says. Or the United Nations. Or the usual bloviating gasbag pundits.

When two sides are this dead-set on killing each other, very little can get in the way.

And I, for one, sure as heck have no desire to get sucked into that no-win situation. I just hope that war-fatigue sets in at some point.

Wow, that’s deep. If I understand correctly (and I may be missing something in his positively Zen-like simplicity), Kos is saying they — that is, both sides of the battle lines — like to fight over there. That’s just staggeringly ill informed. As Dennis Prager pointed out today, the Israelis want to do anything but fight:

As a lifelong liberal critic of Israeli policies, the New York Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman wrote just two weeks ago: “The Palestinians could have a state on the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem tomorrow, if they and the Arab League clearly recognized Israel, normalized relations and renounced violence. Anyone who says otherwise doesn’t know Israel today.”

Give Israel peace, and Israel will give you land.

It is the Arabs surrounding Israel, and their Iranian (Persian) masters who like to fight, and who embrace Israel’s destruction as their guiding principle. For Kos to equate the two sides as equally culpable in spoiling for a fight betrays an ignorance so vast and deep its tremendously scary when one thinks of the Democratic politicians courting him.

The Huffington Post, showing that it understands the significance of what’s going on, has expanded its coverage. It doesn’t take sides, offering blogging perspectives from all over, another bit of moral equivalence that irks me. Nonetheless, it gets points for taking the whole thing seriously and at least grappling with the deeper issues.

At Crooks & Liars, Amato takes Tony Snow to task for taking Helen Thomas to task (you go, Tony!); points to a story about James Woolsey calling for an attack on Syria; and cites Juan Cole approvingly when the latter criticizes Bush. In other words, at Crooks & Liars, it’s politics as usual. Amato gives no indication that he understands, or even cares about, what’s going on in the Middle East. In this, he’s taking precisely the same passive view as Kos, although not stating so explicitly. Again, from someone who has leveraged himself to a point of power where he is one of the primary liberal volices in a new political medium, this ignorance is downright scary.

It doesn’t get any better at Wonkette, whose mystique continues to elude me. Her blog plays out as a mere political gossip rag. I give her big points, though, for pausing to trash both Hillary and John Kerry along with her bad-mouthing of everyone else. If you’re going to be perpetually and shallowly mean, at least do it in an equal opportunity way. Because Wonkette has been assiduous in avoiding any mention of the Israeli/Hezbollah war, I’m going to remove her from future surveys and congratulate her for knowing her limitations (which seem to be many).

Eschaton, whose cryptic posts are too much work for me to link through and decipher, is also utterly silent about events in the Middle East. He, too, gets crossed from my list.

AMERICAblog against shows itself to be the blog with the most depth — although, I think, it reaches incorrect conclusions — when it comes to the current war against Hezbollah. It links to news stories about big events in the region, and even attempts some analysis of the situation. This analysis, however, misfires from the get go, by asserting that what we’re seeing is just more of the “cycle of violence” (or, as the analysis says, “tit for tat”). There is no cycle of violence. There is an organization that aims to obliterate Israel (that would be Hezbollah) and a country that wants desperately to be left alone, and will react to defend herself (that would be Israel). Only someone detached from reality could see those situations as equivalent.

Still, AJ, writing for AMERICAblog, figures out, as Howard Dean did not, that there fight with Hezbollah is different from the “same old, same old” fight with the peace-loving Palestinians. Thus, says AJ:

The current conflict is between Hezbollah and Israel, and in this fight Israel has more legitimacy than some give it credit for. This position is further supported by the remarkable and unprecedented recent reactions from other Arab states, which have criticized Hezbollah rather than the usual approach of blaming everything on Israel. A decent analogy is (the old) Afghanistan, a sovereign nation wherein a terrorist group operated with impunity. Virtually everyone agreed that the U.S. had the right to invade Afghanistan to get at al-Qa’ida because the Afghan government wouldn’t (and really couldn’t) control them itself.

So far, so good — and then the analysis collapses into the usual “disproportionate force” garbage. Apparently American liberal rules of fair play dictate that you should only fight a way if you’re pretty sure you’ll lose (that is, it’s unfair for a good army to fight a bad army). And if you actually have an advantage, you shouldn’t use it, so that you won’t run the risk of winning against the bad Army. Certainly, AJ’s underlying point in this regard is consistent with what I’ve heard on the radio lately from people sahing America and Israel are bullies because they’re fighting wars that they can actually win and, worse, they have the temerity when fighting these wars actually to try to win. The chutzpah! I really don’t think this ludicrous definition of “sportsmanship” is the type of thing Wellington was thinking when he talked about the playing fields of Eton, and their role in Britain’s ultimate victory over Napoleon at Waterloo.

Anyway, I’m probably beating a dead horse by now. It just disturbs me deeply that the blogs that have garnered the most support on the liberal side of the blogosphere, and that have positioned themselves most closely to Democratic politicans, are so abysmally ignorant about and disinterested in what I think is one of the most pressing and far-reaching issues of our day.

I’d be interested in your comments. Am I overreacting? Is there a real problem here? If I’ve correctly identified a problem, will it at least have the beneficial consequence of harming Democrats in November, when the American public starts thinking about whether liberals or conservatives will best be able to protect American interests in a changing world?

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