With his attack on the NRA, former VP Al Gore stands fully revealed as an American-hating nut

You all know how much I dislike and disrespect Al Gore.  With a recent attack against the NRA, he’s managed to drop even further in my estimation, something I didn’t think was possible.  The following post (which I wrote) originally appeared at Mr. Conservative:

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Al Gore’s name has become synonymous with hypocrisy. He tells Americans they most freeze in the winter, bake in the summer, and drive microscopically small cars to afford $5/gallon gas. Meanwhile, he has a disproportionately huge carbon footprint. He owns numerous properties, all of which suck up more energy than the average American home, and he uses jets and SUVs to travel between his homes and his speaking gigs.

Recently, he refused to sell his failed “Current TV” cable station to Glenn Beck, citing incompatible values. When he eventually sold it (netting himself $100 million) the purchaser was Al Jazeera, an America-hating, anti-Semitic Qatari media empire that now has a foothold in America.

To Gore (or, as we here like to call him since that sale, “alGore”), the sale made perfect sense because Al Jazeera shares its values with this man who once stood a heartbeat away from the President and hoped to be elected to that office in his own right:

Current Media was built based on a few key goals: To give voice to those who are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the stories that no one else is telling.

Al-Jazeera has the same goals and, like Current, believes that facts and truth lead to a better understanding of the world around us.

Gore couldn’t have made himself clearer: He has more in common with anti-American Al Jazeera than he does with all-American Glenn Beck.

Now Al Gore has taken yet another step to distance himself from American values, while still claiming to represent American interests. In a keynote speech he gave to the annual South By Southwest Conferences (SXSW), a gathering spot for stars in film, music, technology, and politics, Al Gore launched a direct attack on that most American of institutions – the NRA:

The NRA is a complete fraud because it is financed by the gun manufacturers.

Right. Got it. Al Gore’s plan is clear: pull the plug on the energy usage that makes American a dynamic, first-world country; disarm Americans by backing gun control and attacking the NRA, an organization that has been a bastion of individual rights since the end of the Civil War; and use Al Jazeera to indoctrinate Americans with its toxic blend of anti-American and anti-Semitic news.

The worst thing about those drone strikes is Obama’s moral preening and hypocrisy

There’s been a lot of upset in the conservative blogosphere about Obama’s drone strike policy.  The way the administration phrased it, as “legal,” “ethical,” and “wise,” got a lot of hackles up, especially when Michael Isikoff let slip how little oversight there is — including oversight over decisions to kill American citizens.

A lot of people are very worried about this, because they see a government that feels unfettered by the protections accorded citizens under the Bill of Rights.  The problem, as conservatives see it, isn’t so much what the administration does, but the attitude it has when it does it.  Thus, the administration manifestly refuses to acknowledge that the rights stated in the Bill of Rights are inherent in all citizens and that the government has the burden of proving good cause to implicate or limit those rights in any way.

Instead, in every instance, the Obama administration takes the position that government has the inherent power to impinge upon and limit citizen’s freedoms, or even take their lives, leaving citizens with the burden of proving that the government has overreached.  To the extent that the attitude inverts both the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, people who care about those documents and the unalienable rights they establish and protect are going to view anything the administration does with a jaundiced eye.

Rusty Shackleford, however, who knows as much about Al Qaeda and other Islamist extremists as anyone else on this earth, tells conservatives not to get too uptight about those American citizens that the Obama administration targets for drone killing.  These people aren’t just any old Americans.  Instead, they are citizens who have deliberately thrown their lot in with al Qaeda, thereby taking upon themselves enemy status:

If you think it’s unconstitutional or immoral to kill a member of a terrorist organization living abroad then you and I have very different readings of the Constitution and very different sets of moral standards.

Moreover, it’s just basic common sense that in warfare you don’t stop to ask the person you’re about to shoot for a copy of their passport. Who gives a rat’s ass if bin Laden was Saudi or if he was born in Colorado?

Please, go read the report. Nowhere in it is there even a smidgen of a hint that drones could be used against Americans … in America.

The memo in question sets up a three tiered test for when it’s okay to kill an American living — and this is a direct quote from the memo — “in a foreign country“.

1) He must be an immanent threat. By immanent, we don’t mean the threat is immediate. What we mean is that the person is involved in operations that will go forward unless he is killed. In other words, we don’t have to wait for a suicide bomber to get on the airplane before we kill him.

2) Capture is infeasible. This means that a terrorist living in France will be treated differently than a terrorist living in Mali. The major difference being that the French police are perfectly capable (assuming they have the backbone) of arresting a suspected terrorist. In the hinterlands of Mali, not so much.

Please read the rest of Rusty’s post here.  It will assuage some of your worries about the administration’s acts.

Having said all that, I still think Obama is a rotten stinker for what he’s doing.  I’m not saying that it’s bad to kill al Qaeda operatives wherever and whenever we find them in a foreign country, and regardless of whether they are American or non-American.  Rather, my view arises because Obama is a hypocrite who hasn’t had the decency to come before the American people and say that he was wrong to malign George Bush and our troops as rabid killers.

Nick Gillespie, who has the true libertarian’s disdain for these killings (and I don’t necessarily agree with him, but I do admire his consistency), perfectly sums up Obama’s disgusting double standards:

There is a darkly comic aspect to this, I suppose: Here’s a president who once taught classes in constitutional law and swore up and down that America doesn’t torture, that he was against “dumb wars” waged by his predecessors, that he was more transparent than a glass of triple-filtered water, and who won a goddamned Nobel Peace Prize! And he turns out to be not just a little iffy when it comes to being constrained in his willingness to break all sorts of rules but downright godawful.

And his main mouthpiece is a former MSM drone whose babyface is quickly turning into a map of wrinkles brought on by working for an administration which has manifestly failed to live up to even the mediocre standards of the previous occupant of the White House.

The same president who sounded all high and mighty about Gitmo and the fact that American troops are “air raiding villages and killing civilians” seems to have no problem with going into Pakistan, a country with which we’re not at war, and, once there, drone raiding villages and killing civilians.

Unlike Gillespie, I believe that the Bush people were doing the right thing in their battle against an amorphous enemy that transcends borders and draws fellow travelers from myriad nations.  In that regard, it’s telling that the Bush administration had so many good things going there that Obama, in one of the few wise acts of his presidency, built upon their original programs.

What’s sickening is that Obama has never retracted his attacks against those Americans who spent so much time during the Bush years defending us and, when he does the same thing (only more so), he has his flunkies announce that, because it’s The Won who’s killing and torturing, it’s suddenly legal, ethical, and wise.  Along these lines, don’t forget that Eric Holder spent almost four years wrecking havoc in the lives of CIA agents who used techniques less bad than those Obama now countenances, and only let them off the hook this past August.

Bottom line:  there are few things more loathsome than someone who yells at you and humiliates you for doing something, then does the same thing himself, and, if you call him upon it, says that the mere fact that it is he who’s doing it, not you, makes it all right.

Book Review — Greg Gutfeld’s The Joy of Hate: How to Triumph over Whiners in the Age of Phony Outrage

I have some very exciting news: I have found my long-lost identical twin. It’s amazing, really. Like me, my twin grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area during the 60s and 70s. Like me, my twin went to UC Berkeley and found Leftist antics revolting. Like me, my twin now does conservative commentary, with lots of self-deprecating parentheticals peppering observations about the illogic, hypocrisy, and mental sterility of the Leftist intellectual universe. And like me, my twin is short (or at least, claims to be short).

Okay, I’ll admit that there are a few differences. My long-lost twin is somewhat younger than I; Catholic, rather than Jewish; and, of course, he’s male. Other than that, the only really significant difference is that he’s famous, and he’s much more brilliant and amusing than I am — two qualities he amply demonstrates in his most recent book, The Joy of Hate: How to Triumph over Whiners in the Age of Phony Outrage.

I often start reading books that focus on the way the Left has taken over America’s intellectual universe, substituting emotion for reason and intellectual bullying for genuine political discourse.  Sadly, with many of these books, I stop reading about halfway through.  It’s not that the books are badly written or that I disagree with the premise.  The problem is that I end up so depressed that, despite applauding the author’s data and insights, I just can’t make myself pick the book up again.

There are a few exceptions, of course:  Jonah Goldberg and Ann Coulter spring to mind.  In addition to being informed and insightful, their books are also quite amusing. Even if I don’t agree with all of their conclusions or if I find their facts and conclusions depressing, I’m still laughing as I face ugly truths about the bankruptcy the Left has visited upon America’s marketplace of ideas.  With the publication of The Joy of Hate, I can add a new author to the list of those whose books I read right to the end, even though a part of me is practically weeping about the vast and angry intellectual wasteland he describes.

Gutfeld’s target is the Left’s habit of using the cloak of “tolerance” to justify turning manufactured outrage on anything that is inconsistent with Leftist norms.  In other words, as used by the Left, tolerance is a euphemism for grossly hypocritical.  A good example is Gutfeld’s chapter on the American military, in which he analyzes the professional Left’s (i.e., the media’s and Hollywood’s) outrage with a video purporting to show Marines peeing on a corpse.

Gutfeld acknowledges that peeing on a corpse is not a nice thing to do.  Reasonable people of good will might think that a good military kills its enemy, but it needn’t sink to the vulgarity of peeing on its enemy.  So the Left could have a point, except…

But you won’t find that sensible understanding from the left.  Which I’d accept — if they were consistent about all types of atrocity.

Here’s where the tolerant left falls apart once again.  You never see them express outrage when our enemies behead, mutilate, or hang our soldiers.  You never hear them express outrage over what these beasts do to women, gays, and whomever else they consider worthless, according to their caveman mentality.  They are vicious, backward, murderous assholes — but according to the left, our guys are worse because they peed on those assholes’ corpses.  (By the way, here’s another bizarre inconsistency:  How is pissing on a corpse worse than turning that guy into a corpse?  I mean, we accept that our troops go there to kill people, and I can safely say that being killed has to be worse than getting splashed with urine.  It defies logic that drones are preferable to water sports.)

Likewise, in his chapter on “Unreal Estate,” Gutfeld takes sharp, effective jabs at the way the Left uses faux tolerance to create an intellectual environment in which banks were afraid to say that giving loans to people who cannot afford them was an economic disaster waiting to happen:

The banks were encouraged to approve the loans, and for a while everyone was happy, or at least not in foreclosure.   But what would happen if some banking dude had said that this practice [of giving loans in such a non-discriminatory fashion that the ability to repay wasn't even considered] might be a bad idea:  that approving loans to millions of people who can’t afford them spells disaster?  That would be discriminatory.  Clearly, Mr. Evil Banker (who must look like the mustachioed Monopoly guy) doesn’t want blacks or Hispanics to own homes.  Yep, if you don’t approve of that loan, you’re probably a racist, Mr. Moneybags (never mind that whites got nailed, too).

For those of us who are political junkies, there are no new facts in The Joy of Hate.  What makes the book interesting, is the way Gutfeld follows the common thread binding such disparate characters and entities as Sandra Fluke, ESPN, Bill Maher, Robert Redford, and Janeane Garofalo, among others — all of them, under the guise of a vast tolerance, use nuclear-powered outrage to quash any views or beliefs that don’t fit within their anti-American, anti-capitalist, victim-centric world view.

Much of what Gutfeld does is to validate your and my common sense.  No, we’re not crazy if we think corporations are useful enterprises for getting things done on a larger scale than individuals on their own could accomplish.  Likewise, we’re not delusional if we think it’s appropriate for banks to make decisions based upon business considerations and we believe that deadbeats with expensive Womyn’s Studies or Puppetry degrees should be censured, more than pitied.  Put another way, Gutfeld is the antidote to cognitive dissonance.

Importantly, because it preserves him from being charged with hypocrisy, Gutfeld also isn’t afraid to turn his fire on conservatives.  We conservatives don’t help this overheated atmosphere by being “outraged” at things that are stupid or merely offensive.  We need to save the outrage for outrageous things — and use logic and intelligent sneering for the other stuff.

To begin with, without heat, and possibly with humor, we should also call the Left on its hypocrisy.  Clashing outrage convinces no one, but it does tend to favor the side with the bully pulpit (newspapers, TV news shows, movies, etc.).  Rather than weeping and wailing about Bill Maher’s tacky habit of affixing four letter sexual epithets only on conservative women, we should be asking him why he isn’t affixing those same purely sexual descriptions on any Leftist women.  I mean, considering that the Left won the election, in part, by focusing on women’s lady parts, isn’t he engaging in gross discrimination when he doesn’t call Babs Streisand or Cher a c**t?

As someone I know says, “Don’t get furious, get curious.”  Which leads to Dennis Prager’s preference for “clarity over agreement.”  Asking polite (or sarcastic, that’s okay too) questions does two things:  it forces people to examine their own beliefs, and perhaps change their minds, or it forces them to speak truths that they know make them look ugly.

Knowing all of you as I do — funny, informed, somewhat cynical, and intelligent — I think you’ll genuinely enjoy The Joy of Hate: How to Triumph over Whiners in the Age of Phony Outrage, and that you’ll like it from beginning to end.  It also has the virtue of being the kind of book you can give to your liberal friend who is a Jon Stewart fan.  Gutfeld’s somewhat rough, scatalogical humor (okay, so we’re not quite identical twins), should appeal to the same people who like Jon Stewart’s foul-mouthed encomiums to Leftism, and it might open their eyes a little bit.  They may not change their minds, but they might start questioning the hypocrisy that underpins the Left’s perpetual outrage.

By the way, if you’re in a book buying mood, don’t forget my books, which aren’t half as good as Greg’s, but may still while away a few idle hours (assuming you have any of those):

Michelle Obama — one unhappy vacation after the other

In her speech, Michelle makes it clear that, if we’re not enjoying the finer things in life, she can’t be happy when she enjoys the finer things in life.  Nevertheless, she did manage 16 luxury vacations at taxpayer’s expense over the course of just three years:

Marie Antoinette apparently never said “Let them eat cake.” Michelle Obama pretty much just did.

Hat tip: The Political Commentator

San Francisco discovers free enterprise

San Francisco is definitely up in the top five when it comes to “most Progressively governed cities in America.”  No surprise, then, that the city’s finances are in a shambles.  What is a surprise is the fact that, faced with a looming budget collapse, the City has suddenly discovered capitalist incentives:  it’s offering the big employers tax cuts to stay in the City.

This is a smart move on San Francisco’s part.  (And I can’t believe I wrote that sentence about the City that doesn’t know how.)  The Leftists may call them “the rich people” or “blood sucking corporations,” but I have another name for them:  employers.  The City has discovered that if you constantly penalize employers, they go away.

As Obama’s vicious, dishonest budget speech shows, he hasn’t yet come to that little realization.  Nor, despite his intellectual common ground with Tom Friedman, has he seemed to realize that Friedman is right about one thing:  the earth is indeed flat.  In the old days, employers had nowhere to run to and nowhere to hide.  Now, the corporations can go to all the other socialist countries that have lower corporate tax rates than the U.S., while individuals simply bid a fond adieu to their natal land.

I realized today that what makes Obama’s class warfare even more disgusting is that he makes no attempt to pretend that he’s one of the little people.  As I read in Ronald Kessler’s In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect, when Jimmy Carter, the last president who presided over such a disastrous economy, paraded around carrying his own suitcase, it was pure theater:  the suitcase was empty.  Nevertheless, he made the effort.

Obama, however, doesn’t bother.  Even as he demagogues about the fat cats, stopping just short of demanding their heads on pikes, he openly revels in the kind of lifestyle only the very rich can afford.  While he lectures us about heat and air-c0nditioning, he keeps his White House digs at 75 all year round; while he tells us to trade in our tried and true cars for expensive hybrids, he and his family jet all over the world on exotic vacations, traveling in gas guzzlers everywhere they go; while he “commiserates” with our belt tightening, he and his family dine on lobster, Kobe beef, and foie gras.  His arrogance is so overweening that he assumes that he is entitled to these luxuries — at our expense, of course — even as he insists that we cut back, tone done, retrench and, of course, destroy our employer class.

Putz isn’t a strong enough word, but it’s the only one I’ll use on my PG blog.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

The Bookworm Turns : A Secret Conservative in Liberal Land,
available in e-format for $4.99 at Amazon or Smashwords.

Carrie Prejean: Not a hypocrite

As one of the weapons in its arsenal against Carrie Prejean, the attack media has dug up the fact that both her parents, during their obviously rancorous divorce, hurled charges at the other regarding homosexuality, and now another paper alleges that Prejean’s mother walked away from a lesbian affair.  No magazine has yet claimed that Prejean herself has been involved in a lesbian affair.  The implication of all these reports, of course, is that Prejean, with her background, is a gross hypocrite for daring to state politely that she favored traditional marriage.

Aside from the fact that Prejean is (so far as we know) not herself a lesbian nor is she married, so she cannot be deemed a hypocrite for preventing others from living a life she herself enjoys, there is nothing hypocritical about gays supporting civil unions without supporting the cultural sea change of gay marriage.  There is nothing inherently hypocritical in being gay, or having friends who are gay, but still have a reasoned, principle opposition to changing the age-old, religiously charged institution of male/female marriage.

Rhetoric versus reality

One of the things that’s been playing through my head lately is the distance between the liberal worldview and actual reality.  The media arguments directed at Palin, especially those that deal with women’s issues, really highlighted that divide for me.

Let’s begin with the way in which liberals distinguish themselves from conservativeds, something David Smithee examines in Palin and the Left’s Comprehension Gap.  The title is self-explanatory.  Smithee explains that part of the hubris that characterizes the Left is the fact that it is unable to take a clear look at conservatives.  It sets up easily defeated straw men, without ever really touching upon true conservatism, a mistake the conservatives tend not to make:

But we also know that when liberals look at conservatives, no such courtesy or openness of mind is extended. They don’t see considered issues, critical thought, or the faintest possibility of reason. They see white trash men waving bibles at teen brides, while a gaggle of kids groom each other for lice on a cracked linoleum floor. ‘Bitter clingers’ who mindlessly adhere to second-amendment rights so they can shoot baby possum off a tin fence on slow Friday nights. The other sort of conservative invariably invokes 19th century robber barons, plutocrat industrialists swollen with loot plundered from the proletariat, abating their whipping of Dickensian child labor just long enough to polish a monocle.

The flip side of this hysterical denigration is the liberals’ own self-aggrandizement.  If conservatives are people who crawl in the dirt, alternately praying to God and picking lice, liberals, by obvious corollary, are higher beings, with vast intelligence and delicately refined sensibilities.

Certainly that’s how I always understand myself as a Democrat:  I was better educated, more refined, and better traveled than my conservative counterparts.  Therefore, any conclusions I drew, values I had, and opinions I held must be better too.  Never mind that there are large numbers of educated, refined, and well traveled conservatives, and never mind that conservative conclusions, values and opinions actually operate with more efficiency and humanity in the real world (as opposed to the theoretical one).  It was enough that I knew I was better than they were.

For a long time, because they own the MSM, Lefties have been able to sell the American public on their “we’re better than you are, so just shut up and follow our lead” meme.  What’s so wonderful about the Palin candidacy is less what it says about conservatives, who really haven’t changed, and more what it says about liberals, who are casting off their loving sheep mantels and showing the wolfish reality behind the rhetoric.  It’s not pretty.

The “feminist” attacks on Palin are the ugliest thing of all, of course.  They reveal that “feminism” has absolutely nothing to do with enabling women to live as fully realized citizens in the United States of America, able to strive for all the opportunities this great country makes available to its citizens.  (Or, alternatively, opting to take advantage of the opportunity to be an old-fashioned wife and mother, which is just another right of citizenship in America.)

Instead, feminism has almost nothing to do with paving the way for full and equal citizenship for women, and everything to do with bowing before the Leftist political line.  Politically-aware conservatives have long known this.  The attacks on Palin allow others to see it.  (For more on this topic, I recommend Jonah Goldberg’s column, which spells out what’s going on with these current anti-Palin attacks, and Christina Hoff-Sommer’s wonderful Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Have Betrayed Women, which was published in 1995, but is as fresh today as the day it was written.)

When it comes to women, Obama is just as guilty of putting distance between himself and his high flown rhetoric.  Despite the fact that equal pay for equal work has been the law of the land since 1964, Obama has shrilly demanded he be elected because, he assures us, under his tender loving care American will finally see the realization of the historic goal  of “equal pay for equal worth.”  Let’s ignore the fact that his muddled rhetoric really seems to be aiming at the nightmare of “comparable worth” pay, which seeks to have some Leftist college professor assign an abstract value to women dominated jobs, to make them line up nice will men dominated jobs.  The Hell with the market.  Let the government and the professors assign wages.  It worked in the Soviet Union, right?

But as I said, let’s ignore that.  Instead, let’s focus on Obama’s own reality.  It’s obvious that, if he’s saying those things he must mean them, right?  Right? I’m sorry to say that the answer is “wrong.”  As Deroy Murdock explains, a non-partisan group that presents data about the wages American senators pay their staff reveals Obama’s ugly little secret:  the women who work for him have lower level positions and lower wages.  Strikingly, McCain’s staff has women holding the higher level positions and receiving higher wages.

Keeping on the subject of women, it turns out that the whole “pro-Choice” theme constantly sounded by Leftists since 1973 is also more rhetoric than reality.  For 30 plus years, Americans have been told that the Left isn’t pro-Abortion, it’s pro-Choice (with the corollary being that the conservatives are anti-Choice).  It turns out that this too was also more rhetoric than reality.  I already quoted the following yesterday, but I’m going to quote it again today — “it” being James Taranto’s analysis of three of the more horrible attacks against Sarah Palin for her decision to have baby Trig:

This is worse than tasteless or even unhinged. It is depraved. It represents an inversion of any reasonable conception of right and wrong, including liberal conceptions.

Fowler uses Palin’s motherhood to disparage her accomplishments, an obvious betrayal of the principle of women’s equality. And although proponents of permissive abortion laws nearly always claim to support not abortion but “a woman’s right to choose,” here we have three of them rebuking Palin for choosing not to abort her baby.

Sullivan and Wilson go further, ascribing evil intent to an act of maternal love. To Sullivan, Palin’s decision to carry her child to term is a salvo in a “culture war”–that is, an act of aggression against those with different political views. (That, at least, is how he sees it for the purpose of this post. In an earlier one, he praised her for going through “eight months of pregnancy and a painful, difficult, endless labor for a cause she believes in”–which, although considerably less obnoxious, still depicts the decision as a political rather than a personal one.)

To Wilson, Palin’s adherence to her own principles about the sanctity of life is an act of neglect toward her children–proof “that her most beloved child is the antiabortion platform.” Never mind that the alternative would have ensured that one of her actual children did not live.

Since I’ve kept these examples of the vast gulf between Leftist rhetoric and Leftist reality in the realm of women’s issues, I’m going to close with another example that arises, not at the political level, but at the personal level — and that appears in a book that, like Hoff-Sommer’s book, was originally published in the 1990s (and republished in 2003).  The book is called The Second Shift, and it focuses on the fact that the average working woman work harder than her average husband, since the woman, on average, layers housework and childcare on top of her paid job.

I don’t think most women will find this conclusion all that exciting.  What the writer did find — at least in the 1990s edition of the book, which is the edition I read — is a fascinating divide between older, traditional men and younger, more liberated men.  The older men resented bitterly that their wives had to work, believing women should take care of the home and children.  The younger men thought it was wonderful that the women contributed to the family wealth and said that, of course, they (the men) would help in the home.  One would think, therefore, that the women in traditional households would be buried under double loads of work, while the women in progressive households would have an equal partner.  The opposite was true.

It turned out that the conservative men actually valued what the women did in the home, and helped a great deal.  (And indeed, my father exemplified this attitude when my mom was forced to take a job.)  The progressive, modern men paid lip service but, in fact, did almost nothing.  They’d say things such as “We’ve divided it in half.  I do the outdoor work, she does the indoor work.”  It sounded good, but the reality was that the outdoor work consisted of taking out the garbage and mowing the lawn once a week, while the indoor work meant shopping, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry and taking care of the kids, all on a daily basis.  There was a complete divergence between rhetoric and reality in the progressive households and it did not redound to the women’s benefit.

I leave you to find other examples of the divide between Leftist words and Leftist reality.  While Leftists blindly castigate the conservative straw men they’ve created, they remain curiously unmoved by the vast divide between their perfect intellectual world and their own acts.  However, because of Palin, ordinary Americans are getting a glimpe of this divide, and they might not like what they see.  If for this reason alone, therefore, the Palin nomination was a blessing for America.