Three degrees of separation

I enjoy reading my Liberal-Lefty friends’ Facebook posts because they are so insightful into the mindsets of the Left.

One insight that I have gained over time is that the differences between us conservatives and the Progressive/Left are so profound that they are unlikely to ever be bridged, barring some cataclysmic, life-changing events. What I have tried to do is understand why this is so. I share this with you because I greatly appreciate the insights that Bookworm group has to offer on such issues – be it “yay” or “nay”.

Our disagreements appear to come down to three levels of separation.

1) First, there are objective facts (OK, I am being deliberately redundant here). These are easy enough to resolve. Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock world has arrived: everybody is so overwhelmed with information that we can’t absorb and process all there is to know and we therefore choose our facts selectively.

As Ronald Reagan said, ““It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.”

In discussions, factual disputes are easy enough to resolve: my typical response to Liberal /Lefties is simply tell them to “Google it”. Amazingly, many apparently don’t know that you can Google entire texts or sentences. A good example was the recent George Zimmerman trial…many people with whom I disagreed told me outright they were too busy to bother looking up facts. The Left operates on so many facts that just aren’t so.

2) The second level of separation involves our assumptions or premises. These are tougher to resolve, because we assume and presume events based on our past experiences. I suspect that we humans are hard-wired to build assumptions (true or false) as a defense mechanism: for example, my cave ancestors probably assumed that to allow a saber-tooth tiger to stand in their path was not a good thing and that such assumption is one reason why I stand here today.

We go through life building mental templates on how the world works in order to short-circuit decision making and evaluation. Otherwise, we would soon be overwhelmed with indecision. As long as our world templates work for us, we continue to hold onto them. Many formerly Liberals (e.g., David Horowitz, Bookworm) only became conservative when one or more events (e.g., 9/11) rendered their previously comfortable world views untenable. For me it was Reagan’s second term, when his policies led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and an economic resurgence. I, young man at the time, knew then that my Democrat world template had been very, very wrong.

I use the word “comfortable” deliberately, because our templates represent our comfort zones. Losing that comfort zone is terrifying. Imagine if all of a sudden nothing in the world made any sense to you; you would feel totally deracinated and quite possibly insane. You would also feel a deep sense of personal failure, as in “how in the world could I have been so deluded?”

And, the older you get, the more frightening that sense of loss, confusion and failure would be. So, the older we get, the more desperately we defend our mental templates, selecting and force-fitting “facts” to fit our own perceptions of reality. I believe this is where modern Liberalism and Progressivism are today (Google “Paul Krugman”). As Thomas Sowell put it, people of the Left expect the world to conform to their misperceptions. Eventually, however, reality hits like a 2 x 4 between the brow…as in “Detroit”.

I believe that this dynamic also explains the sheer viciousness expressed by many on the Left when the presumptions of their world templates are threatened (as by Sarah Palin or by black conservatives, for example). This is also the reason why I believe that world Islam will fail, because it doesn’t work and eventually people in Muslim worlds, aided by the internet, will eventually realize this (some of my Middle Eastern friends assure me that many already do). Reality is a harsh mistress.

This level of separation helps to explain why Liberals and Conservatives usually talk past each other. We try to rationalize our positions to each other, but our rationalizations only make sense if the other party shares the same assumptions and understandings of how the world works. We operate from completely different templates.

3) Faith. This the most difficult and potentially dangerous degree of separation, because it addresses fundamental values that are non-negotiable. Our “faith” defines how we perceive ourselves and our place in the world, irrespective of facts, logic and reason. I cannot, for example, “prove” the veracity of my Christian faith. Environmental extremists and atheists cannot “prove” the righteousness of their positions. We just “know” that what we believe to be true is true. There is no logical argument that I know of that can challenge faith-based values. Our values define who we are and how we perceive the world to be. Utopian fascist ideals (Progressivism, Nazism, communism, Islamism, etc.), for example, are defined by a faith in a future to come – they require no proof. Abortion is a similar issue of faith and values – there is no middle-of-the-road compromise if you believe abortion to be murder and that murder is wrong (a value proposition). Psychologists have claimed that only very powerful shocks to the system can challenge faith.

I have no dealing with the first degree of separation. I admit, however, that I am totally stumped on how to address (2) and (3). Any ideas?

Missing: a commanding presence.

There is a quality to real leaders called a “command presence”. You know the type: they walk into a room and by their force of presence, command of the facts, unshaken confidence and leadership qualities, they capture the narrative and control the agenda. That command presence is a necessary mark of a good leader.

In part, this is what I’ve been looking for in these debates and the most recent debate in New Hampshire helped crystallize for me what is wrong with the Republican candidates: I have yet to see a convincing command performance.

I’ve seen it with Govs. Christie and Palin. I’ve seen it in Lt. Col. and Florida Congressional Representative Allen West. I thought that I saw it in Cain, Bachman and Gingrich. I’ve been especially Gingrich’s ability to control the  moronic chickadees of the MSM.

However, I definitely did not see a command presence when Governor Romney allowed an intellectual lightweight like George Stephanopoulos to control the narrative with his ridiculous obsession with contraception (I sense an inner conflict…care to share, Georgie?). Romney wanted to get along, to find the road to peace and harmony…so, instead, Georgie Stephanopoulos got to drive the agenda instead of getting slapped down and named for the trivial man he is.
So, after that, I was pretty much confirmed in my decision to support Gingrich as the one who best offered a vision and command presence for America. That was. This is now. The fact that Gingrich could not condemn the following ad that was posted by one of his PAC tells me that, when necessary, Gingrich will readily descend into the role of the demagogue, much like those on the Left.

You cannot be a proponent of capitalism while playing upon its worst caricatures for short-term political gain. This ad is vile. Romney was part of a turnaround corporation. Such companies play an important role in supporting the vitality and creative destruction and renewal of  capitalist economies. As history has shown over and over again, the alternative is far worse.

After this ad, I can no longer support Gingrich. We’ve already got a demagogue-in-chief. His name is Obama.

So, with great reluctance, I throw my support to Romney. Anybody but Obama!

 

Labor Day with Sarah Palin, by guest blogger Bizcor

Our own Bizcor had the opportunity to attend a Tea Party Express rally on Labor Day.  Here are his impressions:

On Labor Day I attended a Tea Party Rally for the very first time and I really only went because Sarah Palin was going to speak. I am an unabashed admirer.

As far as the Tea Party goes. I basically agree with what it stands for but don’t attend the rallies because I already “get it,” if you will. I work behind the scenes to help local, state, and national candidates with conservative values get elected. Judging from the comments I read in the Bookworm Room, I think most of you would agree with the folks that I work with. It is all unpaid volunteer work but it literally gives me a direct line to my representation. From dog catcher all the way up. Obama doesn’t take my calls but the next guy or gal might.

The “Tea Party Rally” was a very interesting gathering of people. I have long been an observer of people. It began in the spring and summer of 1970 when I lived in New York City. On my Sundays off. I would buy a cup of coffee and go sit on bench in Central Park and just watch people. It was always entertaining. There were hippies smoking pot, little kids vexing their parents, skaters, folks feeding the pigeons and of course the ever popular crazy people who would do some of the…. well…. craziest things. One can learn a lot from simple observation.

The “Tea Party” people gathered Monday were old, young, black, Hispanic, white, Asian, and Middle Eastern. They were well dressed, poorly dress, long haired, short haired, and no haired either by design or nature. There were motorcycle guys and gals with magnificent tattoos, there were business men and women, politicians, and small children. In short it was a true cross section of the American population. AND, AND, AND as diverse as the crowd was everyone was well behaved and polite, smiling and nodding as they moved about. It was easy to talk with the people there. They, like me, are absolutely fed up with what is going on in the country today and had gathered to listen to Sarah Palin and other featured speakers as well as each other.

(Photo from Bizcor's own collection)

It is always interesting for me to watch news coverage of an event I have attended. Not only do I observe people I also know how to estimate crowds. The local TV news reports said Sarah Palin spoke to several hundred people. My estimate was at least 1500 or more. There you go again underestimating the crowd because after all it is Sarah Palin and the Tea party so you wouldn’t want to give them any credit. I had a very good spot and heard every word Sarah said. From where I stood my deaf old ears could have heard her without the benefit of a microphone. The local TV news reports complained that all she did was complain about the media. Admittedly she did take some swings at the media. Can you blame her? I can’t recall anyone who has been maligned the way she has. Sarah, however, spoke of many things such as ending crony capitalism, that it exists on both sides of the isle, and it needs to stop right now. She reminded the audience that she had taken on big oil in Alaska and taken on her own party in an effort to end the crony capitalism and corruption. She explained we need a President who is willing to do the same thing in Washington. America needs someone with the courage to cut the out of control spending. She even poked fun at herself reminding us of the now famous “refutiate” mistake. She does however know that there are only 50 states.

Sarah Palin stood there on the stage and made people want to go out and participate in the process in a positive way. She did it with a smile on her face, a bright gleam in her eye, and conviction in her voice. She didn’t resort to name calling. She didn’t stumble during her speech, she was able to ad lib without an “umm” or an “ahh” and she was able to get back to her prepared remarks smoothly after the ad lib. Not bad for a dummy huh?

Sarah Palin has been the brunt of jokes portraying her as stupid. She is not. People have wished her dead, raped, beaten and more. Her family has been threatened. Media hacks have gone through her trash and e-mails looking for the slightest minutia. She has taken everything they have dished out and she keeps on going. Lesser people would have folded. I really believe it makes her stronger. I wonder how Barak Obama would have stood up to the same scrutiny. To my mind Sarah Palin has the same stuff as Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Abraham Lincoln. She is brave, courageous, bold, and unapologetic about who she is and where she stands which is why I admire Sarah Palin. That is also why I got up early, got to the event early, and picked out front row spot. I wanted to see her eyes while she spoke and you can see from the photo I included with this I could see her eyes. I wanted to hear her entire speech not just what the media wanted me to hear. I have yet to meet her in person but look forward to the day that I do. I think she is the real deal.

On the subject of “President Palin” I don’t know. Do I think she could do the job? Yes, I do. Her electability is the question. The media has so prejudiced the people of this country against her I don’t know how one would overcome it. It is not just the left who is afraid her. The elitists in the Republican Party aren’t too keen on the idea of Sarah in White House because she would start cleaning house and it wouldn’t matter which side of the “House” you sat in. It would seem to me that corruption is corruption in her mind. Could you imagine what Sarah Palin, Jim DeMint, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, and Allen West could do to turn the tide of this country for the better if they were working in concert? Finally, I think Sarah has taken too long to announce whether or not she is running.

As I said I admire Sarah Palin and I see her as a person of interest in this election cycle. Maybe she will be a candidate maybe she won’t. I don’t know her mind. Being in the trenches with all the other behind the scenes people my odds on favorite and it is early but…my odds on guess as to the nominee for the GOP? Rick Perry. Governor Perry unless he does something really stupid should beat Obama in 2012.

About Obama’s bus tour

Is it just me, or does the bus tour make Obama look like a Palin wannabe?  Also, do you think the visuals are going to be good when (if my predictions are accurate), he’s met by no crowds or small, angry crowds, as opposed to Sarah’s huge, enthusiastic crowds?

Whoever came up with this idea sounds to me like a candidate for a good firing.

Most brilliant video I’ve seen in I don’t know how long *UPDATED*

This is it, the ultimate video.  Every American should watch it.  It pretty much sums up everything.  Occasional word soup from someone in the hot seat all the time is okay, but the appalling ignorance is pretty unforgivable.

Don’t believe me?  Watch it yourself:

UPDATE:  Welcome, I Own The World readers.  The great thing about my post here is that the I Own The World video is so good, not only did I post it but, virtually simultaneously, one of my fellow bloggers posted it too.  The result was that readers visiting my blog were treated to the same video in two separate, back-to-back posts.

Palin’s bus trip

The Anchoress quite correctly identifies Palin’s bus trip as game-playing.  Palin, having been harassed unmercifully by the MSM since she burst upon the national political scene, is finally having her nyah-nyah-nyah moment.  She’s turned the tables and is now harassing the MSM, which is very satisfying.  The Anchoress suspects that Palin’s nose thumbing will not end well, and she may be right.

I wonder, though, if Palin might not end up reinstating what should be the norm, which is that the media is a news follower, not a news creator.  Because she’s keeping the media types guessing, they are unable to engage in their usual trick of shaping the narrative and are limited to actual reporting.  As the reporters are quickly discovering, the only alternative to actual reporting is whining.  They’re doing a lot of whining now, but they may soon realize is not a tactic that will endear them to a national audience.  (Even nasty jokes are hard to come by, as Jon Stewart discovered when he was limited to joking about the media’s whining, rather than his preferred target of Sarah Palin herself.)

So Anchoress is right that this may backfire on Palin herself, but I still wonder if it won’t open a door to the Republicans finally, finally, controlling the media rather than letting the media control them.

What do you think?

James Taranto on Sarah Palin’s abortion effect on liberals

Mr. Bookworm loathes Sarah Palin:  “She’s not one of us.”  I don’t know what he means.  She’s a married mom with children.  She went to college.  She and her husband work.  They pay taxes.  She doesn’t drink (or not to excess), smoke, or do drugs (so far as we know).  She’s well-groomed.  She has a sense of humor.  She’s interested in the world around her.  She’s religious but we actually have some friends and neighbors who are religious too.

Of course, she’s really religious.  She actually takes it seriously.  I think that’s what irks him so much.

And that’s kind of what irks others about her.  Or, as James Taranto makes more specific, its her moral objection to abortion, which is undoubtedly a byproduct of her religion, that drives the women bonkers.  To the pro-choice crowd, abortion is the last gasp of freedom.

I know this for a fact, because it’s the way I thought.  Abstinence is great as birth control, but it denies a woman access to one of life’s fundamental pleasures.  Birth control itself is great, except for all the problems with it:  the hormonal nightmare of the pill, the mess of the diaphragm, the risk and embarrassment of the condom.

When all else fails, when you’ve given in to your instincts, but the birth control didn’t work, you’ve still got abortion.  Abortion keeps you from a life of less money, less sleep, less freedom, less control over your time, less self-indulgence, less time for movies, reading, dinners out, dates, etc.  And all that’s after the baby’s born.  Abortion also keeps you from nine months of vomiting, non-stop peeing, back pain, hemorrhoids, massive weight gain, heart burn, sleepless nights, all of which suffering is followed by a few minutes to several days worth of incredible pain.  Oh, yeah!

I totally get it.  I really, really get it.

The only problem is that the other end of this equation, the one causing the nine months of discomfort, followed by the 18 years of sleepless nights, no money, etc., is a human being.  It’s a baby, a toddler, a child, an adolescent and a young adult.  It is a person, whose smell is instantly recognizable to you, who turns to you in times of happiness and times of need, who constantly grows and changes, often making you very proud.  It is a potential mother, father, sister, brother, doctor, soldier, maintenance person, bus driver, lawyer, good Samaritan, criminal.  It is potential.  It is life.

These facts, the imbalance of parenting, means that those who are invested in freedom from pregnancy because it makes their own lives better (and it does) are very angry at Palin.  She reminds them that, not only is another life involved, but also that one can be happy and productive, both despite and because of that other life — even if that other life is disabled.  She makes liberals, especially women, feel inferior.  And there’s no one better to savage than the woman who makes you feel lazy, whiny, self-centered, and ugly.

Yes, Palin was the victim of a blood libel

I don’t have problems with calling things by their true names.  So, I don’t think Palin erred in using the correct phrase — blood libel — to describe the heinous rhetorical attacks leveled against her.

Barry Rubin does an excellent job explaining precisely why her word choice was so accurate.

Jews have suffered inordinately from blood libels, but it doesn’t mean that they’re the only ones against whom that particularly malevolent type of falsehood is uttered.  Call things by their true names.  That’s part of freeing oneself with the truth.

The vicious Palin tweets

A couple of days ago, I posted a YouTube video made up entirely of tweets from Palin haters.  It was a classic “unclear on the concept” thing, as the tweeters, in response to their perception that Palin’s “hate speech” caused the Tucson shooting, tried to top each other with vivid and obscene fantasies about Palin’s torture, death and dismemberment.

YouTube has removed that video.  I don’t know if it was a principled stand against violent threats against a politician, or a craven attempt to hide Lefty violence.  

Whatever.  I think people need to see the ugliness emanating from the Left.  The video is still on Vimeo, so I’m reposting it here.

Palin Death Wish Tweets Re Tucson Shooting from Legal Insurrection on Vimeo.

(Thanks to Lulu for the new link)

The Ivory Tower gets further sullied; and by the way, Sarah Palin was the victim of a blood libel

Ivory Tower used to be a compliment.  Now, just as ivory has degraded in social standing (the whole death of elephants thing), so too has the Ivory Tower’s star fallen (the whole death of logic, common sense, morality and actual education thing).  This morning, I posted about UC Berkeley’s buffoonish Chancellor (paid by taxpayers, both state and federal), who waded in on behalf of lunatics everywhere by opining that the insane, vaguely Leftist Loughner was a manifestation of the conservative movement.  Oh, yeah!

My friend Zombie now alerts me to the fact that — and this is true — since 2009, Berkeley has played host to a “scholarly,” taxpayer-funded, “academic” center that focuses on right wing movements.  No, really.  It’s true.  Really.

As Zombie says, “Students can now get a Bachelor’s degree in TEAPARTY=NAZI with a minor in OMGREDNECKS!”

What Zombie further discovered was that — no surprise here — one of the center’s scholars in residence has given his scholarly opinion (Did you get that?  This whole thing is scholarly, so you have to take it seriously) that the Tucson shooting is all the fault of American conservatives.  Zombie comments amusingly (as always) on the fact that this academic freely admits that there is no connection between Loughner and the right wing but, res ipsa loquitur, he still concludes that right wingery must be Loughner’s motivating force — because, after all, what else could be?  (Hint:  Loughner hears voices in his head.)

Aside from the rank intellectual dishonesty behind that scholarly conclusion (and that’s the nicest thing I can think to say), what really impressed me was the way in which it was written.  Since these opinings are the product of a modern academic, the writing is turgid, polemical, cant-filled, and barely intelligible:

Unlike in the case of Oklahoma City, where the perpetrator was explicit in his insurrectionary aim and managed to pull off his catastrophe, in Tucson there is enough ambiguity about the perpetrator that radicalism on the right is unlikely to feel the need to abate. In the absence of, as it were, a smoking gun—the perpetrator himself assuming responsibility in the name of the movement—the impact of Tucson is likely to be an amplification rather than any amelioration of the fierceness of our political climate.

This unintelligibility is, of course, the product of Leftist education. When I was at Berkeley 30 years ago, I drove my professors bonkers when I kept asking them to explain their Marxist claptrap. I was sufficient naive that, at the time, I didn’t know it was Marxist claptrap.  As a grammarian and lover of the English language, I simply knew that it was impossible to understand the arcane words, bizarre sentence structure and illogical ideas I routinely heard and read in my classes. You couldn’t parse those sentences for love or money.

So, respectfully, I kept asking them — teachers and fellow students — to explain. And they couldn’t. They couldn’t because (a) they had no idea what the phrases they were parroting meant and/or (b) they understand that there was no meaning behind those phrases.  (As for choice “a,” I will forever lovingly recall the desperate student who wrote, regarding The Picture of Dorian Gray, the Oscar Wilde’s descriptions of flowers throughout the text were “meant to represent the phallic symbolism of the female sexual organs.”  Ooo-rah!)

Just to show that I’m not making this up (or that I wasn’t too stupid to understand my teachers and their texts), here is an actual prize-winning example of bad writing from UC Professor Judith Butler:

“The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relationships in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power.”

Take that, oh ignorant Sarah Palin, who has the temerity to communicate using familiar words, organized in logical fashion, adding up to understandable ideas. How dare she?

And speaking of “how dare she?,” somehow all this ties into Palin’s newest (alleged) rhetorical crime, which consists of using the phrase “blood libel” to describe what the chattering classes aimed at her in the wake of the Tucson shooting. Many (well, make that the New York Times) are upset about this. The paper of anti-Israel record is horrified that one of the most philosemitic politicians in America would dare to use a phrase associated with Jews.

Color me limited (and Jewish), but it seems to me that she used the perfect phrase.  You see, a blood libel, such as the one aimed for centuries at Jews (still aimed, by the way) is a statement that, without any proof whatsoever, accuses someone of having  . . . yes, innocent blood on his or her hands.

In today’s news context, to savage Palin for accurately describing what was being done to her as a “blood libel” is the equivalent of a high tech lynching.  Whoops!  Did I use another metaphor that is only allowed for certain races?  Silly me.  I thought language in America was a vehicle for communicating ideas, not for isolating (or slicing and dicing) races, classes, and victims.

Our universities have a lot to answer for.  In the 1960s, craven administrators, embarrassed by their possible  complicity in racism, collapsed before the student revolts.  Worse, in the coming years, they took those students into the fold as academics themselves, nursing the viper to their collective breasts.  The result is a generation of Marxist, antisemitic, statist, incoherent people who use their academic credentials and bombastic, unintelligible writing to flim-flam the masses and, worse, to try to control the intellectual tone in this country.

Sarah Palin’s statement

If you haven’t already seen it, here’s a link to the video of Sarah Palin’s response to the shootings — the actual bullets aimed at real bodies in Tucson, and the rhetorical bullets aimed at political bodies in Tucson’s wake.

The beginning, with it’s platitudes about “the process of healing” (and when did mourning become therapeutic) left me cold.  Palin hits her stride, though, when she quotes Reagan, and she just keeps going. I’m ambivalent about a Palin presidency, but I sure think she’s an important, clear and honest voice on the political scene, and she grows in stature with every bizarre attack against her.

Political violence: from whence does it emanate

“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” – President Barack Hussein Obama

I posted this as a comment to Book’s previous post, but have now posted it independently as a challenge to all of us Bookworm salon aficionados.

Here’s the premise: virtually all the political violence that has happened in America as come from people associated with the Democrat and/or the Left.

Here’s my list thus far (continuous updating):

DEMOCRAT /LEFT – LINKED VIOLENCE

  1. Mass. Sen. Charles Sumner beaten by S. Carolina Rep. Preston Brooks over perceived insults made in speech by Brooks (1856).
  2. John Wilkes Booth (anti-Republican Democrat) assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
  3. Southern night riders and the KKK during Reconstruction and into the mid-1900s. (Democrats) – question: do we count each of the lynchings as separate acts of violence?
  4. Chicago Haymarket riot (1886)
  5. Pres. McKinley’s 1901 assassination by Leon Frank Czolgosz (Leftwing anarchist)
  6. Sedition Act of 1918 by Woodrow Wilson (Progressive Democrat)
  7. Assassination attempt on FDR, killing Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak, by Guiseppe Zangara in 1933 (left-wing anarchist)
  8. FDR’s internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII (Democrat progressive)
  9. FALN attack against Pres. Harry Truman (communist)
  10. Sheriff Bull Connors, Gov. George Wallace (Democrats)
  11. John Kennedy’s assassin Lee Harvey Oswald (communist)
  12. Pres. Johnson’s “War on Poverty”
  13. 1968 Democrat Convention
  14. Robert Kennedy’s assassin Sirhan Sirhan (leftwing Palestinian supporter)
  15. Sarah Jane Moore’s attempted assassination of Pres. Gerald Ford
  16. Berkeley People’s Park riot in 1969 (campus socialists, communists and anarchists)
  17. Students for a Democratic Society aka SDS (communist)
  18. Bombing (1970) of Math Center at University of Wisconsin-Madison (anti-war communists)
  19. Symbionese Liberation Army (communists)
  20. American Indian Movement (AIM) killing of FBI agents at Wounded Knee (socialist American Indian activists)
  21. The Weathermen, incl. Dohrn and Ayers (communist)
  22. Puerto Rican terrorist group FALN bombings (communist)
  23. Black Panthers (Left-wing socialist/communist)
  24. James Jones of Jonestown fame (apostolic socialism)
  25. Earth Liberation Front (ELF)
  26. Attack on Branch Davidians (Janet Reno, Clinton Administration)
  27. Ted Kaczynski – Unabomber (leftwing anarchist and environmental fanatic, Gore acolyte)
  28. Left-wing violence, destruction and physical assaults at 1999 G-20 meeting in Seattle.
  29. Attack on Washington, D.C. Holocaust Memorial by James Wenneker von Brunn (anti-U.S. socialist sympathizer)
  30. Left-wing violence, destruction, physical assaults and weapons convictions at 2008 Republican Convention in Minneapolis.
  31. Joe Stack, Austin IRS bomber (anti-Republican, anti-capitalist, anti-wealthy people)
  32. Physical attacks on conservative speakers at university campuses
  33. Multiple physical attacks against Tea Party rallies by SEIU and others (2009).
  34. Shooting of pro-life demonstrator James Pouillon in Owosso, MI (2009)
  35. Physical assault by S. Carolina Rep. Bob Etheridge against student, caught on video.
  36. Discovery Center attack and hostage-taking by James Lee in Sept. 2010 (leftwing environmentalist)

REPUBLICAN, CONSERVATIVE – LINKED VIOLENCE

  1. John Brown’s attack on Harper’s Ferry (?)
  2. Attacks on abortion clinics and murders and attempted murders of abortion providers (conservative Christian group-affiliated (?) individuals)
  3. Firearm attack by Jim D. Adkisson against Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, claiming opposition to its policies (2008)
  4. 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing by Eric Robert Rudolph (see “attacks on abortion clinics” above).

xxxxxxxxxxx

Please delete, amend or add-to the list as you see fit.

Or, let’s have even more fun: how about a comparable list of CONSERVATIVE acts of political violence?

We shall then be able to offer two lists for posterity.

Comments and contributions? Please make them as specific as possible.

UPDATE***

I have broken these out into two lists and will make additions as they come in.

UPDATE***

OK…I’m convinced. I’ve taken the Tuscon, Ariz. shooting off of the “Left” column.

Helping American Jews learn to give Sarah Palin the love she deserves

Israel has no greater friend than Sarah Palin.  She has shown repeatedly that she has a deep and abiding respect for the Jewish state, and that she understands the existential stresses under which it survives.  Benyamin Korn gets this and, despite incredible derision from Jewish Democrats, has begun working to build a Jewish coalition recognizing Sarah’s myriad virtues vis a vis Israel.

As part of Korn’s effort, he has started a blog site called Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin.  The website needs a bit of polishing, especially since the newest posts seem to be appearing at the bottom, not the top, which makes the site look stale, rather than vital.

That’s cosmetic stuff, though, and easily fixed.  What matters is the substance here, which is that Korn is trying to get American Jews past their superficial prejudices (“she’s from Alaska;” “she speaks funny;” “she didn’t go to an Ivy League college;” “she belongs to a fundamentalist Christian sect;” etc.) and instead to look at the woman’s substance.

I don’t know whether Sarah is ready to be president, whether she is electable (given how much the Left’s hatred permeates society, infecting people who are casual about their politics), or whether she is actually presidential material.  Only time will tell.  What I do know about Sarah is that she is a truly admirable American, many of whose values resonate with me and with most Americans (even those prejudiced Jews); that she is a bone-deep philosemite, whose appreciation for Jews extends to the state of Israel; and that she is a political powerhouse who cannot and should not be ignored.

So, please, check out Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin.  Help make it a vital, much-read website.  American Jews, how have long been on the receiving end of unthinking prejudice, need to expand their minds.  They need to leave behind a Left that is increasingly, and openly, antisemitic, and they need to look to their true friends.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

Round-up of random stuff

I have a bunch of open tabs on my monitor, so I’m just going to jumble all of the stuff here, in one post:

On Obama, the UN, and the World:

I noted yesterday that Obama seems to have a huge problem with the more democratic nations in the world, and a corresponding affinity for the totalitarian dictators.  That’s why I think his “naive” speech about the UN having more power isn’t naive at all, but is part of his desire to place more power in the hands of the dictators.  And you know you’re in good company with that kind of viewpoint when Anne Bayefsky, the greatest UN Watcher of them all, says that Obama’s speech was deliberately calculated to appeal to the totalitarian in the UN.  The speech should also be seen as part of a package that has Obama offending Britain again, while bullheadedly siding with a would-be Honduran dictator who has tin-foil delusions about Israeli operatives beaming radiation into his head.

On media matters:

Just to let you know that Rachel Maddow is not only biased, she is completely dishonest.  But you knew that already, didn’t you?

The potential AIDS vaccine

I supposed it’s good news that scientists have come up with an AIDS vaccine.  Except that it only protests 30% of the people who use it.  To me, that means “back to the drawing board.”  However, some in the scientific community seem to believe that it means it’s ready for prime time:  “Even a marginally helpful vaccine could have a big impact. Every day, 7,500 people worldwide are newly infected with HIV; 2 million died of AIDS in 2007, the U.N. agency UNAIDS estimates.” Color me stupid, but wouldn’t you think that giving people this vaccine would increase high risk activity, something that would offset and possibly exceed any benefits from the vaccine?

The New York Times continues to explore the possibility that Obama is not perfect

In a long, boring editorial in the NYT today, the editors did something bizarre. After first making sure we all knew that Afghanistan is George Bush’s fault, they suggested that maybe, just maybe, the Dear Leader might want to get off his tuchis and figure out a way to prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming an Al Qaeda/Taliban cesspool out of which the worst kind of destructive Islamic germs emerge.

As the inexperienced Obama self-destructs before us, Palin grows

Obama may be so bad that he’s scaring even his friends, but the opposite news is that Sarah Palin, who wasn’t ready for prime time (not that it mattered because she was only running for Veep, and she has more smarts in her finger than Biden in his whole brain), is polishing herself, learning and growing.

Can’t we just dislike the man because he’s a yutz and a putz?

Did you know that Walter Mondale is still alive? Go figure. Well, he is, and he’s assuring us (thoughtfully, of course) that yes, racism is what makes people hate Obama. Not all people, but some people. Well, that’s probably true. But I’m willing to bet that the critical mass of people who are turning against him — many of whom voted for whom or were just neutral — dislike the man because he’s incompetent on the economy, and all too competent when it comes to destroying America’s strength and standing in the world.

A trend we hope stays in Britain

The newest trend amongst Britain’s elementary school aged children is “shag-bands.“  Shag is the British slang for copulation.  The different colored bracelets represent an ascending scale of sexual acts from kissing and touching to things you don’t want to know about.  The younger elementary children see the bracelets as decorative.  The older ones are putting them to the purpose for which they were intended.

The past you always have with you

An amateur treasure hunter in England turned up one of the largest Anglo-Saxon hoards ever.   It is a reminder of how little we still know about the world around us.  It is a wonderful window to the past.  And it is a reminder that civilizations come and civilizations go.

A liberal defends the media’s savage attack on Palin

Last week, I recommended that you read Carl Cannon’s Sarah “Barracuda” Palin and the Piranhas of the Press.  Cannon, who holds no brief for Palin, nevertheless thinks that the press’s behavior once she was on the national scene demonstrates that the American media is in freefall.

Cannon begins by pointing out that, after offering their opinions (“Sarah is an idiot”) as fact, the media moved on to relaying rumors as actual news stories.  These rumors included (but certainly are not limited to) the claims that Trig was in fact Bristol’s son, that she advocated book burning, and that she was a Patrick Buchanan supporter.  Minimal investigation, of the type the MSM was unwilling to make, would instantly have disproven each of these scurrilous charges.

What particularly incensed Cannon, though, was the media’s handling of the Vice Presidential debate.  While Palin’s showing was unpolished and she made errors, Biden went off the deep end with lies, lies, and idiocies.  A fair media would have reported on both side’s errors.  Our media, however, attacked Cannon and gave Biden a free pass.

This is old history for you, although Cannon sews it together so well.  What’s new is the reaction I got from one of my very liberal friends when I posted a link to Cannon’s article on facebook, along with my comment that it’s time for the American media to become like the British media, and simply announce its political orientation up front.

My liberal friend was incensed by the article.  What was so funny was his justification for thinking it was a bad article.  I won’t quote my friend here, but the bottom line was his belief that Cannon’s essay should not be taken seriously because Palin was such an unserious figure.  In other words, the press was under no obligation to report honestly about her (or about Biden), because she didn’t deserve to be elected.

Think about that:  my friend believes that it is the media’s responsibility to weed out bad candidates by whatever means possible, including lying to and withholding information from the American people.  I’ve heard of monarchies, oligarchies, theocracies, democracies, but my friend is now proposing a media-ocracy (a concept that sounds remarkably close to mediocrity).  I don’t know about you, but that’s one of the scariest damn things I’ve ever heard.

Palin’s pass

You all know by now that Palin is abruptly quitting her job as Alaska’s governor.  Speculation is rife as to her motives.  Many see her as planning for her next political office.  I don’t believe that.  Nobody’s going to want a quitter in the White House.  There’s got to be something more going on here.

I hope it’s not ill health on anyone’s part.  It may just be that the attacks on her family have gotten too vicious.  While I suspect she can take it, maybe they can’t.  Or maybe she can’t take it either.  I don’t believe I’ve ever seen such vicious personal attack in my entire life.  It would be sad, though, if the politics of personal destruction — a tactic that’s entirely unrelated to her politics or competence — proved so spectacularly successful.

Obama’s positions — some of which you might not like

At HotAir, you can read this long, detailed and thoughtful post examining Obama’s positions on myriad issues.  As you read the post, think about what I was trying to say yesterday:  figure out what beliefs you hold, and then match them to the candidate.  We’ve been so personality driven this election, that it’s been all too easy to say Obama = smart, dumb, honest, crooked, inspired, drab, inexperienced, etc., or Palin = savvy, idiotic, conservative, wacky, intelligent, inexperienced, experienced, etc.  All these adjectives are easy to throw around, but neither adjective in this war of words (or invective) presents an honest assessment of the beliefs these two lightening rods hold.

As I said before, if your fundamental belief is that government is the answer, Obama, whether he’s smart, dumb, honest, dishonest, or whatever, is your candidate.  (Although you might want to heed Biden’s warning that America will be attacked by a foreign entity and Obama’s response will challenge even the faithful.)

On the other hand, if you think government’s role is to protect Americans’ freedom as much as possible, and to step in only to police deviations from honesty, than the McCain-Palin ticket is your answer, and that’s true regardless of whether you think McCain is old, experienced, too aggressive, not aggressive enough, or whatever.  Incidentally, I’d add to this that you’re a McCain-Palin kind of voter if you don’t like OPEC manipulating world oil prices to our detriment and pouring the profits into funding radical Islam around the world.

Anyway, ignore the personalities and the invective.  Look at your beliefs, align them with the candidates’ records (not their rhetoric), and vote accordingly.

One other reminder:  For those who are pro-Choice, but are in all other respects aligned with the McCain-Palin ticket, please don’t let that stop you from voting for them.  The worst that will happen is what should have happened all along, before the dishonest Roe v. Wade opinion (and even abortion proponents concede its dishonesty):  The issue will be recognized as one that is not a proper matter for federal involvement and will be returned to the States.

In blue states, it will remain entirely legal.  In purple states, it will remain entirely or mostly legal.  In the handful of true, blue red states, it might, might be narrowed, although it will always be available in cases of rape, incest or risk to the mother.

I know this is an important issue for conservative pro-Choicers, but don’t let it narrow your frame of reference so much that it blinds you to all the other important issues, many of which will have more and greater impact on the greatest number of Americans than abortion ever will.

Remember thatr PBS poll I told you about?

The other day, I asked you to respond to the poll because we individualists (my new, Century-appropriate name for conservatives) didn’t want it to be one-sided (as in limited only to liberal, or statist, PBS viewers).  It turns out that the PBS viewers are also worried about the outcome.  That’s why I got this in an email (emphasis mine):

This seems to be important, it only takes about 5 seconds.  Thought you’d want to know.

PBS has an online poll posted asking if Sarah Palin is qualified.  Apparently the right wing knew about this in advance and are flooding the voting with YES votes.  The poll will be reported on PBS and picked up by mainstream media.  It can influence undecided voters in swing states.

Please do two things — takes 20 seconds.

1) Click on link and vote yourself.

Here’s the link:

http://www.pbs.org/now/polls/poll-435.html

2) Then send this to every single Obama-Biden voter you know, and urge them to vote and pass it on.

The last thing we need is PBS saying their viewers think Sarah Palin is qualified.

God forbid that a taxpayer funded media organization should represent alternative political views, right?

(BTW, don’t bother to go to the poll.  As we already discovered, it’s old and dysfunctional.)

Don’t believe everything — or even anything — that you read in the papers

From James Taranto’s Best of the Web Today:

The McCain campaign has released Todd and Sarah Palin’s 2006 and 2007 tax returns, the Associated Press notes in a brief dispatch, which ends as follows:

The McCain-Palin campaign had said the tax returns would be released Monday, but it suddenly put them out Friday afternoon–a time long used by government to reveal embarrassing news because few people watch TV or read newspapers Friday evening and Saturday.

And the Palins’ tax returns are embarrassing because . . . well, the AP doesn’t say in its brief (129-word) dispatch. A later, longer version of the dispatch, which contains the same closing paragraph about “embarrassing news,” reveals that the Palins’ tax liability for 2007 turned out to be greater than they thought when they filed for an extension in April. As a result they may owe the IRS interest but not penalties. That’s embarrassing?

Could it be that the AP just throws in that disclaimer about “embarrassing news” on all Friday afternoon stories? Nope, NewsBusters.org notes that when Joe and Jill Biden released their tax returns three Fridays earlier, no such disclaimer was included in the AP’s report.

It did, however, mention that “the Bidens’ move is designed to pressure Republican vice presidential pick Sarah Palin to release her financial records.” Apparently in the AP’s eyes, all news is embarrassing to Sarah Palin.

A hilarious example of press bias against Palin occurred last FridayI on “The Diane Rehm Show,” a production of Washington’s WAMU-FM. The exchange between hostess Rehm, caller Tom of Norwich, Vt., and Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne begins at about 46:10 of the “10:00 News Roundup”:

Tom: I just wonder why not more has been made of the statement by Palin during the debate last night that “Maliki and the Talabani”–this is a quote from the transcript–”also in working with us are knowing again that we are getting closer and closer to the point of victory.” The Talibani obviously are our absolute enemy and have been since 9/11; Maliki, our central ally in Iraq. This to me is a tremendous blunder, revealing a very superficial familiarity with these sorts of terms.

Rehm: Thanks for calling, Tom. . . . E.J.?

Dionne: I think that “superficial” is absolutely the right word for the knowledge or the lack of knowledge Palin showed yesterday. I’m glad the caller raised that one, and I suspect there is going to be a scouring of that transcript for exactly that sort of gaffe. That has echoes of some of the stuff she said to Katie Couric.

If you look at the debate transcript, however, you will see that the reference is not to “the Talabani” but to Talabani–as in Jalal Talabani, the president of Iraq.

Unlike Tom and Dionne’s misunderstanding, Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi‘s misquotation of Palin can’t be chalked up to superficiality. Her Sunday column included the following correction of her Friday column:

My column on the vice presidential debate incorrectly quoted Sarah Palin. Here is the correct quote: “And I may not answer the questions that either the moderator or you want to hear, but I’m going to talk straight to the American people.”

The correction is a bit of a misquote too. Palin actually said, “I may not answer the questions the way that either the moderator or you want to hear,” as the official transcript confirms; some media transcripts missed the two italicized words.

Although the Web version of Vennochi’s Friday column has the almost-correct quote, we were able to retrieve the original column from Factiva. Here is how Vennochi quoted Palin:

The strategy for John McCain’s running mate was clear. Be folksy and perky. Her answers were sprinkled with “darn right,” and “betcha.” Early on, Palin told moderator Gwen Ifill she could ask whatever she wanted; “I’m gonna answer whatever I want.”

The most charitable explanation for this is that Vennochi, making notes during the debate, wrote down her interpretation of what Palin said and then mistook it for an actual quote.
Oh, the Sunday column that includes the correction is headlined, “Instead of Hype, How About Honesty?” Good question!

Keeping the faith *UPDATED*

I did something kind of special today:  I went to a big fundraiser and heard Sarah Palin speak before a relatively small audience (1,200 of her closest friends in Northern California).  There are definitely perks to being a political volunteer.

I had a wonderful time, too.  I got to check people in, and everybody was so very happy to be there.  If things were a little wrong with the contents of their envelope (tickets, name tags, etc), they were so cheerful about it, just because they felt that they were in a special place, at a special time.

Once my volunteer stint finished, I was able to go into the large ballroom, pull up a chair, have a lovely brunch, and listen to Sarah Palin speak.  She didn’t say anything you haven’t already heard:  she spoke about her accomplishments, about John McCain’s accomplishments, about cleaning house in Washington, and about Obama’s association with Bill Ayers.  She gave a funny apology for the Couric interview, saying that the fault was hers, because she wanted to talk about substance, and Couric kept asking her insubstantial questions that frustrated her.

It’s always interesting to see in person someone you’ve only seen on TV, especially someone you’ve seen only in two settings:  before hostile interviewers or before tens of thousands of adoring fans.  In the more “intimate” setting of an approving, well-informed audience of 1,200, she was a true star.  Her rhythm is just great.  She knows how to time things, and she makes the whole speech sound very personal.

Palin had no teleprompter, just some notes in front of her, to which she referred occasionally.  She sounded very conversational and, the more conversational she sounded, the more charming she got.  Everyone sitting there (and everyone reading this post) knows and admires a woman just like her.  These women work with you, they carpool with you, they hang out at your kids sports with you, they’re at the bus stop, and sometimes you just socialize with them:  they’re funny, warm, incredibly competent, well-organized, attractive without being threatening.  It’s of these women that you always hear other women say “I’d hate her if she wasn’t so nice”  — with “hate” being the operative term for, “I’m incredibly jealous of this woman who makes me look lazy and incompetent,” but she’s just too delightful not to enjoy.

Watching Sarah, and feeling the enthusiasm and warmth in the room, made me realize that there is still hope for this campaign.  McCain has been declared politically dead over and over in the past two years, and he keeps coming back.  He’s a warrior, not some weenie guy who slinks away in the night.  And William Kristol reminds us that, in the waning days of the most bizarre campaign in American history, despair is our enemy (emphasis mine):

The odds are against John McCain and Sarah Palin winning this election. It’s not easy to make up a 6-point deficit in the last four weeks. But it can be done.

Look at history. The Gore-Lieberman ticket gained about 6 points in the final two weeks of the 2000 campaign. Ford-Dole came back more than 20 points in less than two months in the fall of 1976. Both tickets were from the party holding the White House, and both were running against inexperienced, and arguably risky, opponents.

What’s more, this year’s race has already–twice–moved by more than 6 points over a span of only a few weeks. The race went from McCain up 2 (these are the Real Clear Politics averages) on September 14 to Obama plus 6 on October 2, less than three weeks later. In the four weeks before that, the race had moved from Obama plus 5 on August 12 to McCain plus 2 on September 12.

So while there’s reason for McCain-Palin supporters to worry, there’s no reason to despair.

Despair is what the Obama campaign is hoping and working for. If a campaign can convince supporters of the other candidate that the race is effectively over, the enthusiasm and volunteer efforts drop off–as does, ultimately, their turnout on Election Day. Just as important, undecided and loosely affiliated voters become persuaded there’s no real contest and lose any incentive to look closely at the candidates. This explains the efforts of the Obama campaign–aided by a colluding media–to sell the notion that the race is over, that McCain supporters should give up, and undecided voters should tune out.

Don’t despair. It’s not over ’til it’s over. Obama is worse than we thought, and McCain is better than we often give him credit for being. And Sarah is a great politician, with a wonderful future no matter what happens. All is not lost.

UPDATEA post from another blogger who was there and felt that same enthusiasm, with a bit more substance, too, than my impressionistic post.

UPDATE II:  Despite the enthusiasm, Melanie Morgan (who was there too) says that some of the movers and shakers want McCain to get off his derriere and do some moving and shaking of his own — and Palin did promise that he would.

A few comments about the debate *UPDATED*

I’ve watched almost all of the debate, but it’s bedtime now, and I’ll have to save the rest for later.  Three comments:

1.  The first, the most obvious, and the most pressing question:  How many botoxes did they kill to create that abnormally smooth, completely motionless forehead Biden was sporting?  That was creepy.

2.  Was I the only who noticed that Biden speaks in the language of class warfare, while Palin talks of American exceptionalism?

3.  Regarding the debacle on Wall Street, I wish someone would explain clearly the difference between deregulation, and the issue of oversight, which would have prevented this from happening.

The problem on Wall Street wasn’t deregulation.  Instead, it was a problem of too much regulation — that is, the government started telling banks how to loan money.  The instructions required loans that went against banks’ financial interests, so banks started doing funny-money stuff to protect themselves — and they did so with Fannie’s and Freddie’s active participation.  That was the Democratic side.

None of this would have happened if there had been oversight.  Oversight doesn’t mean telling Wall Street what to do, it means policing Wall Street to make sure that, when it makes business decisions, it does so honestly.

Obama/Biden want to increase how much government dictates to Wall Street, and we’ve seen what a disaster that is.  McCain/Palin want to get government out of bossing Wall Street around, and get government to do its more natural and appropriate role of policing Wall Street.

Those two concepts are hugely different from each other but, because nobody’s articulating this difference, including McCain and Palin, Obama and Biden are getting away with conflating the terms, muddying the waters, and besmirching McCain’s reputation and foresight.

Overall, Biden smirked but didn’t gaffe; Palin was a little nervous, but hit the high points.

UPDATE:  I see I was not the only one to notice Biden’s forehead shield.

UPDATE II:  I’m sure you’ve already read what the top bloggers have to say.  Here are links to what some of my friends (some of whom are coincidentally pretty top bloggers themselves) have to say:

The Anchoress (who has wonderful links)

Lorie Byrd at Wizbang

Steve Schippert at Wizbang

Cheat-Seeking Missiles

Brutally Honest

Flopping Aces

If you think someone wrote a particularly good debate post, please feel free to link in the comments.

The debate

I haven’t watched the debate yet.  I’ve been doing volunteer work (yes, we selfish conservatives sometimes give generously of our time), getting food, preparing dinner, and wrapping up a brief that needs to be filed tomorrow.  What I thought I’d do, therefore, is reprint here a prediction I made about the debate in an email I sent a friend early this afternoon. Since I probably won’t get to watch Sarah in action until the weekend, you can tell me if I’m right or wrong.  Here’s my email:

I can predict the only possible outcomes for this debate:

Whether she does well or not, the MSM will savage her.

If she truly does well (outside of MSM perceptions), the conservative blogosphere will celebrate and hope for an 11th hour victory among ordinary Americans.

If she truly does badly (outside of MSM perceptions), we’ll be enveloped in despair, because the election will be over.  Barring a true October surprise showing something not just awful, but new and awful about Obama, it will have ended tonight.

If she does medium well (outside of MSM perceptions), we will still have lost, because the media savagery will control the public perceptions.

In other words, there’s only one possibility for a good outcome, and that’s if Palin truly shines.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Trying to break through the media fire

Since the moment Palin burst onto the scene, the media has engaged in the most sustained attack I’ve ever seen on a single political candidate.  Outright lies, partial lies, rumors, half-truths, full truths — it doesn’t matter.  There’s just a giant information dump onto the public radar, with the hope that most people will never sort through the information, but will just be left with a general impression that Palin is an idiot who lies, cheats, steals, slaughters animals indiscriminately, hunts and burns witches, sleeps with her whole family, censors books (but probably can’t read ‘em), and (worst of all) believes in God.

The McCain campaign has now set up a pretty cute little website aimed at countering the worst of the smears against her.  It’s called, appropriately enough, Palin Truth Files, and it deserves some attention.