A new online paper headlines Leftist conduct *UPDATED*

The Washington Free Beacon is a new online paper with an interesting premise:  unlike MSM papers, which treat liberalism as the norm, and conservativism as a headline grabbing abnormality, this publication gives the big scare headlines to the Left.  In other words, it’s not just that it reports the stories, but that it reports them so as to highlight Progressive malfeasance.

I like the idea.  This site gets a bookmark on my Firefox.

UPDATE:  Matthew Continetti explains what “combat journalism” is and why two can and should play at this, to date, one-sided game.

Lynn Woolsey, unconstrained by reelection, lets loose, and it’s not pretty

There’s nothing like a Progressive who’s not worrying about reelection.  If you thought Barney Frank’s moobs were repellent, wait until you get a look inside Lynn Woolsey’s brain.  The 10-term House Democrat from Marin County is retiring this year, so she finally feels that she can speak freely.  It’s not pretty.

For example, we learn why Woolsey doesn’t like Michelle Bachmann, who holds, not just a JD, but an LL.M. from the prestigious William & Mary School of Law:

“[S]he’s an idiot,” Woolsey said. “It’s not very politic to say that of another member of Congress, but she is.”

As it happens, I’m not overly impressed with academic credentials, since I think they often train people away from decency, logic and common sense, but I feel obligated to point out here that Woolsey’s education consists of . . . well, it’s unclear.  According to Wikipedia, she attended a lot of schools, but doesn’t seem to have emerged with any discernible degrees.  That’s okay.  She clearly had enough education to lose her decency, logic and common sense anyway.

Woolsey doesn’t like Newt Gingrich either:

“He would be the worst president on earth.”

She does concede, though, that he’s got a brain, which would make him more dangerous than the “idiot” Michelle Bachmann.

The Tea Party crowd don’t fare well in Woolsey world, since she sees them as an impediment to saving the world from climate change (never mind that the climate change narrative is unraveling before Woolsey’s eyes):

“Half of them have never held an elected office in their lives; they don’t know nothing,” Woolsey said. “They don’t know why they’re against what they’re against. They don’t know what is happening to our environment. All they know is it’s not something they’re supposed to support.”

Poor Lynn.  She apparently missed the poll showing a wide-spread belief that Tea Party members are better informed than your average 10-term member of the House of Representatives.  I guess it’s axiomatic that the ill-informed are always the last to know to that particular truth about themselves.

Lynn may not like Tea Partiers, but she does love the Occupy crowd:

“I love the Occupiers,” Woolsey said. “They’re such a breath of fresh air for me. I’ve been waiting for them for a long time.”

There’s nothing like a gang of Apple computer toting, drug-taking, dirty, vomiting, defecating, raping, murderous thugs to excite an aging Progressive politician.

Interestingly, Woolsey is not a Barack Obama fan.  Not only is he too conservative for her (“He’s a moderate president. He’s not a progressive.”), she thinks he’s not a very nice person:

“He is kind of a cold, aloof guy.”

Back in 2008, she was rooting for Hillary, both because she thinks Hillary is a more principled Progressive than Obama (there’s a scary thought), but also because she thinks Hillary has the cajones Obama lacks.

Woosley, apparently, isn’t the only one who isn’t thrilled about Barry.  Although Woolsey was speaking to an “overwhelmingly liberal” crowd, I think she sensed a certain chill in the air when it came to Obama.  How else to explain the fact that she felt compelled to tell those in attendance that they must vote for him in 2012:

“Do not stay home,” she said. “Any one of those other people — we thought George Bush was a problem, huh.”

I wish I’d been at Woolsey’s talk.  Seeing the Progressive mind unfettered is kind of like wading in an old swamp.  It looks ugly and smells bad, but there are still interesting things swimming in the depths.

Fast and Furious — killing people to weaken the Second Amendment

Many, many have written on this, but I like Keith Koffler’s summation the best, as I think he does a remarkably good getting to the core point about the latest twist in Fast and Furious.  He also manages to highlight why I like Rush:  Rush is not afraid to identify and accurately predict the evil that lurks in the heart of Progressives.

Proving Darwin’s theory

Item:  At the Occupy Wall Street protest, one of the 99% is spotted leaving his mark on a New York City police car:

Item:  During the height of the Bush-era anti-war riots, one of the protesters was photographed as he proudly left his own personal offering to a smoldering American flag:

ItemThe Atlantic’s photographer, Jill Greenberg, when assigned to do a photoshoot of then candidate John McCain, does a little creative work on the side:

ItemAugust 19, 2011 –  “German soccer club FC Cologne announced Thursday three fans accused of throwing urine and feces during a German league game have been handed a three-year nationwide ban from all German stadiums.”

Item:  Kathleen Ensz, a Weld County Democratic volunteer, left an envelope filled with dog feces at rival Republican campaign headquarters.

Item:  Monkeys and other primates throw feces at their enemies:

Conclusion:  I think we can ignore all the fancy scientific arguments, and confidently say that Progressives prove Darwin’s theory.

(Please note that I’ve had a little fun with all the photos to give them a unified look.  The underlying images, though, are what they are.)

Legislating religion to death

During the gay marriage debate, I mentioned to a lawyer friend of mine that gay marriage would inevitably set up a church versus state conflict if a church refused to marry a gay couple — especially the Catholic Church, which counts marriage amongst its sacraments.  My lawyer friend came back with what he thought was a brilliant riposte:  “Well, abortion hasn’t created a church versus state conflict.”  I reminded him, gently, that the church doesn’t perform abortions, it just advocates against them, but that it does in fact perform marriages.  He looked perplexed.  I didn’t press the point, believing that it was more useful for his thought process to marinate in the idea.

Will you be surprised to learn that the Anchoress has taken my narrow, shallowly expressed thought and delved into it much more deeply?  No?  I wasn’t surprised either.  Please read what the Anchoress has to say on constant Progressive legislation that undermines religion’s reach in America and, if you feel so inclined, come back here and talk about it with me.

Peculiarly enough, a hypothetical third party for independents would look like Progressives on steroids

I do love the way my liberal Facebook friends make me aware of things I wouldn’t otherwise notice.  One of those things is a Matt Miller op-ed in the Washington Post, which imagines the perfect speech a dream independent candidate would give.  As Miller describes it:

This is one columnist’s stab at what a candidate might sound like if he or she were trying to appeal to the majority of voters in the middle of the electorate who feel both parties are failing us.

This dream speech, the one Miller imagines appealing to “the majority of voters in the middle of the electorate,” goes on for five looonnnggg screens.  I stopped reading halfway through the second paragraph.  Why?  Because of the sentence I highlighted:

I’m running for president as an independent because we need to change the debate if we’re going to change the country.  Neither of our two major parties has a strategy for solving our biggest problems; they have strategies for winning elections, which isn’t the same thing. Democrats and Republicans will tell you, as I do, that they want to make America competitive again, keep faith with our deepest values of fairness and opportunity, and fix our broken political system. But the Democrats’ timid half-measures and the Republicans’ mindless anti-government creed can’t begin to get us there.

If you’ll allow me to translate that emphasized sentence, Miller is saying that the solution to our nation’s problems is to ignore anything the Republicans say and, instead, go full throttle on the Progressive agenda.  That is the only way to understand his statement that the Democrats are too timid to implement full measures, while everything that the Republicans propose is mindlessly stupid.  Presumably, he then goes on for several more screens to explain precisely how he’d implement this hyper-Progressive agenda.

In what logical universe does Miller exist that makes him think that moving to the left of Left will “appeal to the majority of voters in the middle of the electorate”?  You can see why I stopped reading right about there.  Anyone who cannot recognize his own ideological blindness probably will not think or write well enough to justify the time I would have to spend reading his article.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

“Red, white and blue, we spit on you”

I thought you’d like to see the face of some of Barack Obama’s most ardent supporters, shown here in San Francisco on the occasion of Obama’s visit to raise funds for Boxer (a visit clearly more important than visiting the beleaguered Gulf Coast, with that “damn hole“):

For more on what Bay Area Tea Partiers faced when they went to encourage Democrats to cut spending and taxing, go here.

The illogical behavior and beliefs of the American Statist

“Logic! Why don’t they teach logic at these schools?” — C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Neither Data nor Mr. Spock, two relentlessly logical creations, could ever be liberals or Democrats or Progressives, or whatever the Hell else they’re calling themselves nowadays.  (For convenience, I’ll just lump them all together under the “Statist” title).  As I realized over the 20 plus years of my political journey from knee-jerk Statist to thinking Individualist, the single greatest difference between the two ideologies is that the former lives in a logic-free world.

Sure, as Statists will always shrilly point out, more Individualists than Statists subscribe to traditional religion — and the belief in God definitely requires a leap of faith — but that’s just about the only leap of faith in their lives.  Their political positions are almost always driven by a solid understanding, not only of human nature, but also of the realities of cause and effect.  Liberals, on the other hand, even as they pride themselves on the logic of their abandoning God (never mind that they cannot satisfactorily prove God’s nonexistence), apply magical thinking to just about everything else.

Here, in no particular order, is a laundry list of illogical policies espoused by Statists (with the understanding that modern statism is driven by identity politics and self-loathing):

Statists believe that America’s out-of-control illegal immigration has nothing to do with the fact that, when illegal immigrants sneak across the border, we provide them with education, health care, welfare, food stamps, and the promise that they will be allowed to remain in the country regardless of their unlawful status.  These same Statists, blind to the laws of cause and effect, are always shocked when temporary crackdowns result in a corollary (and, equally temporary) diminution in the number of illegal aliens.

Statists are wedded to the idea that government creates wealth.  To this end, they are bound and determined to use taxes to consolidate as much money as possible in government hands so that the government can go about its magical wealth creation business.  The fact that those countries that have all or most of their wealth concentrated in government hands have collapsed economically (Eastern Europe, Cuba) or are in the process of collapsing (Western Europe) doesn’t impinge on this belief.  As even my 10 year old and 12 year old understand, the government’s ability to print money is not the same as an ability to create wealth.  The best way for a government to create wealth is to ensure a level playing field with honestly enforced rules — and then to get out of the way.

Statists believe that no-strings-attached welfare has nothing to do with the creation of a welfare culture.  My father, the ex-Communist, figured this one out:  “If you’re going to pay women to have babies (meaning constantly increasing welfare benefits), they’re going to have babies.”  In 1994, a Republican Congress forced Clinton to change “welfare as we know it.”  To the Statists’ chagrin, all their dire predictions about weening Americans off the government teat proved false.  Poor people are not stupid people.  If they’re getting paid to do nothing, they’ll do nothing.  If that money vanishes, they’ll work.  By the way, I’m not arguing here against charity for those who cannot care for themselves.  I’m only railing against a political system that encourages whole classes of people to abandon employment.  This subject is relevant now, in 2010, because there is no doubt but that, Rahm-like, Democrats are using the current economic situation as a backdoor to increase welfare benefits to pre-1994 standards.

During the run-up to the ObamaCare vote, Statists adamantly contended that, even if employers would find it far cheaper to pay fines than to provide insurance coverage for their employees, they would still provide coverage.  Likewise, they refused to acknowledge that, if insurers could no longer refuse coverage for preexisting conditions, and if individual fines were cheaper than insurance, savvy consumers would jettison insurance and wait until they were actively ill before knocking on the insurer’s door.  In both cases, the Statists’ illogical beliefs about human nature and economics were proven absolutely and conclusively wrong.  (Info and examples are here, here and here.)

For decades, Statists have contended that if we can just get guns out of citizens’ hands crime will go away.  To the Statists, the problem isn’t one of culture and policing, it’s that the guns themselves cause crime.  What’s fascinating is that they continue in this belief despite manifest evidence that it is untrue.  The NRA was right all along:  If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

Statists firmly believe that Individualists (a group that includes Republicans, conservatives, libertarians, and other “bitter” Americans), are an angry mob, primed and ready to explode against all non-white, non-straight, non-Christians.  They do so despite hard evidence that angry mobs, as opposed to scattered angry individuals, reside solely on the Left, anti-American side of the political spectrum.

Statist gays, who feel obligated to be Leftists because of identity politics, throw their wholehearted support behind Palestinians, whom they see as the beleaguered victims of evil Israeli imperialism.  They hold to this view despite the fact that Palestinians kills gays, and Palestinian gays regularly try to immigrate to the safe haven of Israel.  In the same way, Statist gays, hewing to their solid Leftist credentials, side with Iran against America, despite the fact that Iran is able to boast about the absence of homosexuals only because it routinely kills them.

Statist blacks, who feel obligated to be Leftists  because of identity politics, are deeply hostile to the police.  While there is absolutely no doubt that, in the past, police routinely harassed, arrested, and killed black people just for being black, we’re not living in the past anymore.  In modern America, the person most likely to kill a black person is another black person.  Blacks need police more than I do, sitting in my comfortable safe, suburbia — yet it’s here, in white suburbia, that our police force, which is largely decorative, is appreciated and admired.

American Statists believe that, if you placate a bully, he will see the error of his ways and become nice.  It didn’t work for Chamberlain in 1938, and I’m pretty damned sure it won’t work for us, whether the bully is Iran, Venezuela, China, Russia or any other totalitarian government intent upon expanding its power beyond its own borders.  I’m not advocating unbridled aggression our part.  That would mean we’re no better than the bullies arrayed against us.  I’m more of a Teddy Roosevelt, in that I’ll allow us to speak softly, as long as we carry a big stick.  Self-defense is not aggression — and sometimes you have to fight to defend a principle, a person, or a nation.

Statist women are silent, absolutely silent, about the condition of women across most of the Muslim world.  I think I’ll rename them “sadist” women, not “statist” women.

Statists tout as a quality Supreme Court justice Elena Kagan, who violated American law to bar the military from her campus because of Clinton’s don’t ask/don’t tell policy, but who cheerfully accepted millions of dollars and a chair from the same Saudis who murder homosexuals and treat women like 32nd class citizens.  There’s logic for you.

I opened this post with a quotation from C.S. Lewis regarding the absence of logic in education.  We can see the profoundly dangerous effect that lack of logic has on real world policies.  I’ll end with Tweedledee and Tweedledum opining on logic in a way that only a Statist could appreciate and understand:

“I know what you’re thinking about,” said Tweedledum: “but it isn’t so, nohow.”

“Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”

A delightful political ad — wish there were more like this

The Progressives are characterized by solemnity and pomposity.  They take themselves very, very seriously.  Barbara Boxer personified this obsession with self-worth when she chastised a general for respectfully addressing her as “Ma’am” instead of “Senator.”  I really wonder if she thought people were impressed by her thin skin and self-aggrandizement.  As the Anchoress says, though, we need to laugh at them, constantly.  Start here for a good laugh and, once you’re done, press “more” and laugh harder.

Why Elena Kagan’s sexual orientation is irrelevant

I know that much is being said amongst both Progressives and Conservatives about Kagan’s possible lesbianism.  Progressives are mad at her for being in the closet; Conservatives are worried about her orientation affecting her rulings as a Supreme Court judge.  Both are completely wrong.

Regarding the Progressive’s disdain for Kagan’s decision to keep her private life private, I say get out of people’s bedrooms.  This is Kagan’s private life we’re talking about.  She gets to decide how she wants to handle it.  It’s not for political activists to decide what is best for her, her family, and her significant others and friends.

As for Conservatives, even if Kagan is lesbian, it’s irrelevant.  What matters is her unabashed Progressivism.  That will control her thinking on whatever issue comes before her, whether it’s corporate taxes, the death penalty, abortion or gay marriage.  Her decisions will be completely consistent with any other Progressive’s, regardless of hetero- or homosexuality.  Her bedroom behavior is no one’s business because her political decisions are affected by her political orientation, not her sexual orientation.

You and I may have cause to decry the fact that gays and lesbians, as part of identity politics, gravitate almost unthinkingly to Progressive positions, but that’s not the issue with Kagan.  That is, we’re not arguing whether her sexuality decided her politics.  The fact is that she is now, for whatever reason, a Progressive, and it’s her politics, not her sex life, that should be under scrutiny.

The passive aggressive selfishness and racism of the open borders crowd *UPDATED*

The next big thing on the political agenda is, again, immigration “reform.”  As someone said, it’s 2006 all over again, right down to the conveniently available, often Communist-provided signs.

The matter might have sat around for a little longer, but Arizona pulled the trigger on debate by looking at its impressive levels of border crime and welfare, and then enacting a law that authorizes it to act within the parameters of existing federal law regarding illegal immigration.  The Progressives (and by now that means most of the loud mouths in the Democratic party) are incensed.  They’re likening Arizona to Nazi Germany for having the temerity to ask people to show their citizenship papers.  Given the point of origin for most illegal immigrants (hint:  it’s not Denmark), those most likely to be asked are Hispanics.  Quell coincidence!

Rush, of course, instantly pointed out the most obvious hypocrisy behind the Progressive hue-and-cry:  Progressives have enacted and strenuously support a law requiring every American citizen to show papers to the IRS or risk a fine; but they are shocked beyond measure that a state rife with crime may want to enforce pre-existing law that allows them to ask people to prove that they even belong in the country in the first place.

“Belonging in the country” is where things really get interesting.  As best as I can tell, the Open Borders crowd is convinced that the illegals here do really belong in the country.  Whether they’re making hopey-changey arguments; or “we Hispanics were here first” arguments (a line of argument that actually applies only to Native Americans, with everyone else being an invader); or “we’ve imposed so much misery on oppressed people of the world we deserve to suffer” arguments, the gist of the Progressive world view is that it’s simply unfair that people south of the Border live in poverty.

For purposes of this post, I’m going to accept the Progressive argument at face value:  it’s horribly unfair that people south of the Border live in countries rife with crime, sexual violence, drugs and poverty, when we have this perfectly nice, clean, relatively safe country just hovering north of them as a perpetual enticement.  And if you buy that it’s all our fault that they suffer so terribly down there, it’s even more unfair.

The easy answer, the answer the Progressive’s espouse, is simply to open the borders and let some of the tired, poor, huddled masses from down south pour in.  Not only will they get to live in a nicer place (if you think urban slums and crime ridden border towns are nicer), but we Americans will be forced to pay a perpetual penance in the form of fewer jobs for legal citizens, higher taxes to cover welfare for illegals, and increased crime rates everywhere illegals are.  We deserve to be punished, right?

What the Progressive’s refuse to recognize is that their cute little game of allow a continuous trickle of illegal aliens over the border is a cop-out.  No matter how many come in here, there are still a much larger number abandoned way back there.  And what’s even worse is that, by allowing utterly corrupt governments (Mexico comes to mind) to have this safety valve, we are giving those governments carte blanche to continue in their reckless, corrupt, abusive ways.  As long as we siphon off the poorest and, sometimes, the most criminal citizens, the same governments that are grossly abusing their citizens continue to get a free pass.

If Progressives actually wanted to make a change South of the Border, they’d close our border and start putting really serious pressure on Latin American countries to start engaging in true reform.  The Mexican government, denied a safety valve (plus the billions of dollars the illegals send home to float the Mexican economy), would have to reform or, probably, collapse.  Clearing out that rot, allow room for true reform and real Democratic impulses, would be the true gift we, as Americans, could give people South of the Border.

Right now, all that the shrill, abusive Progressive rhetoric is doing is propping up tyrants, demagogues, criminals and incompetents.  That the Progressives’ goal is to punish Americans, not to aid Latin American, is made manifest by the fact that they aggressively refuse to help the greater number of Hispanics repair the situation at home, choosing instead to abuse their own country by putting small percentages of Hispanics in ghettos in America, all the while implicitly and explicitly supporting the same horrible regimes that sent these people fleeing in the first place.

UPDATE:  Speaking of Mexico, Michelle Malkin explains how Mexico treats its illegal immigrants.  Unconstrained by PC guilt, it’s not pretty.  Also, it was the Anchoress who said it’s 2006 all over again, and now I’ve got a good link to that effect.

San Francisco mulls expanding gay rights program at expense of academic programs *UPDATED*

[UPDATE:  The school board stopped mulling and decided to act.]

Last week, I wrote a long, ruminative post questioning how far a democracy must go to protect its minorities.  Stepping in, right on cue, the San Francisco School District, which is facing a disastrous budget shortfall, is considering a huge expansion in a program aimed and supporting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered youth within the school district.  Put simply, the City is seriously contemplating further destroying academic opportunities for the many in order to engage in statistics and psychobabble for the few:

With everything from art classes, summer school and jobs on the chopping block this year, the San Francisco school board will decide this week whether to greatly expand school services, support and instruction on issues of sexual orientation.

The decision could cost the school district, which is facing a $113 million budget shortfall over the next two years, at least $120,000 a year – enough cash to cover the salaries of two classroom teachers.

The school board is expected to vote Tuesday on the fiscally controversial resolution calling for San Francisco Unified to add a new full-time staffer to manage “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning” youth issues in the district’s Student Support Services Department.

It also would require the district to track harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation and distribute an educational packet to parents, encouraging them to discuss “the issues of sexuality, gender identity and safety” with their children.

That commitment probably would cost about $90,000 a year for the staffer and maybe another $30,000 for the rest.

Read the rest here.  It is worth remembering at this point that, even by generous estimates, those gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered students constitute only a very small portion of the San Francisco student population:

Various estimates of percentage of US population that is gay:

Average guess by polled Americans: 21% of men, 22% of women

Alfred Kinsey’s Sexual Behavior in the Human Male: 10%

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force: 3% to 8%

The Family Research Report: 2% to 3% of men, 2% of women

The 2000 US Census Bureau: less than 1%

It’s also worth thinking about how San Francisco’s school system currently ranks (and this ranking is before the projected cuts to academics have gone into effect).  Out of 752 school districts in California, San Francisco comes in at 382 — a little over halfway to the bottom. It could certainly be worse, but considering San Francisco’s prestige and sophistication, that’s a pretty pathetic showing.

Of course, San Francisco isn’t alone in this desire to appease minority sensibilities at the expense of the majority.  Berkeley, right across the Bay, garnered significant headlines when its school district proposed cutting science programs (that is, solidly academic programs) because not enough minorities were signing up for them.  After an uproar from parents who care more about their children’s education than parading them as sacrificial lambs to Progressive politics, the school district has backed off the plan, at least for now.

What’s so fascinating about these Progressive initiatives is that they are not being put in place to address manifest wrongs.  That is, I don’t see any argument that black and Hispanic students are being discouraged from taking science classes in Berkeley, or that they are the subjects of rank discrimination.  Likewise, the San Francisco school district isn’t using an epidemic of anti-gay violence to justify redirecting funds from academics to a designated victim group.  Instead, this is simply the Progressive mindset at work:  minorities are victims; victims need reparations; within the context of public education, reparations come in the form of denying academic opp0rtunities to all students (including, of course, the victims themselves).

I know I’m sounding like a broken record, but I’m beginning to think that, provided Obama doesn’t bankrupt us or Iran bomb us, Obama’s election may be a blessing in disguise.  Progressives outside of power managed to convince vast swathes of America that Progressives were interested only in the good of all, while inherently evil conservatives were dedicated to the destruction of everyone but white males (plus a few pro-Life pseudo-females).

The election, however, has gone to the Progressives’ heads.  They are revealing themselves in all their ugliness.  When it comes to education, their goal isn’t to educate children, but to indoctrinate them in an anti-American, anti-Israel curriculum that elevates victim status over academics.  On abortion, they’re not pro-Choice, but pro-Death.  On national security, their anti-Bush diatribes proved to be rooted in an affinity with the terrorists over the interests and security of Americans.  Their ostensible concern about the economy is merely an umbrella to transfer all wealth to the government.

You can add to this list, ’cause you know where I’m going.  Before the election, we saw the eternally pure and youthful Dorian Gray; now we see the picture in which reposes all the actual ugliness and evil.

Spengler (David Goldman) gets to the core problems with Obama’s economic analyses

There were so many things wrong with Obama’s speech last night, whether because of dumb ideas, lies, vicious attacks against Constitutional guardians, etc., that criticism actually becomes difficult.  It’s kind of like punching Jello, because you just get sucked in.  Nevertheless, it is important to criticize, not just Obama’s untruths, but the fundamental flaws in his reasoning.  David Goldman (aka Spengler) does precisely that when he goes after Obama’s facile prescription for America’s economic malaise.  Aside from learning more about Obama’s profound wrongness when it comes to economics, you’ll get to read this gem of a paragraph:

In his attempt to emulate Clinton’s success, President Obama resembles nothing so much a the New Guinea aboriginals who built model airfields complete with straw control towers and airplanes after the Second World War and the departure of the American army. The Americans had summoned cargo from the sky through such magical devices, so thought the aboriginals, and by building what looked like airfields, so might they. But Obama can no more conjure up an economic recovery by doing things that look like what Clinton did, than the natives of New Guinea could draw cargo from the sky with straw totems. Marx’s crack about history repeating itself—the first time as tragedy and the second as farce—comes to mind.

Incidentally, Obama is the lightening rod for this critique, because he is the President who uttered the words showing his profound inability to understand economic forces. Democrats, however, are supporters and enablers, so please don’t give any Dems in Congress a pass on this. Statistics show that America’s Congressional Democrats are as loony-toons liberal as they come. Even the Blue Dogs are simply “blue,” without any mitigating “dog” attached.

Progressives and their poopy mouths

Years ago, when I first became aware of the blogosphere, I noticed a single huge dividing line between Progressive and conservative political writers:  the former have dirty mouths.  Their blogs are filled with references to human waste and human sexual acts, all spelled out in the crudest terms.  Interestingly enough, I see that at home too, although it may just be the difference between boys and girls.  I, a conservative, never swear (except when some idiot driver almost t-bones me), whereas my husband, a liberal, swears with increasing fervor as he ages.

Now, for the first time, in San Francisco, swearing has become the official public policy for at least one Progressive stupidvisor.  This would be the execrable Chris Daly, who has announced that, henceforth, he will make sure to drop the F-bomb at every single Stupidvisor meeting in 2010.  The really sad thing is that, on the list of political transgressions Daly routinely commits, this is probably the least harmful.  It may offend the refined, but it won’t have an actual impact on poor, battered San Francisco.

Use Obama’s school speech as a teachable moment *UPDATED*

I am not at all pleased that Obama is going to descend upon an impressionable and captive audience on September 8.  While I don’t expect him to do much more than mouth “lame” platitudes about education and service (meaning, of course, service to liberal causes not, God forbid, military service), I’m offended on principle to a highly partisan president speaking directly to all children without their parents there to mediate.

Making it worse, of course, is the “course material” all the schools are receiving.  This material encourages the adminstration — the same people we instruct our children to respect — to have the children read bios about Obama (and perhaps some other dead white presidents), and to figure out what Obama wants them to do.  In my school district, which is heavily liberal (the bumper stickers are the giveaway), this is a problematic window of opportunity for both express and implied bias.

Unsurprisingly, there is a movement afoot for conservative parents to keep their children at home:

In impossible times, the only way to be a responsible parent is to do the irresponsible thing. If my son were in a public school…

I’d call him in sick next Tuesday. I’d keep him home. I suggest you do so. I urge you to do so. If pressed, be honest about your reasons — but be reasonable about presenting them. Otherwise, don’t offer an explanation. Make it a silent protest.

And while your kids are home, think up some patriotic games to play. Rent the delightful (and true-in-spirit-if-not-in-fact) musical, 1776. Set off some fireworks. Make it a mini Fourth of July.

Can’t take the time off work? Well, I’m sure you have at least one patriotic neighbor with an older child, who might jump at the chance to play a little sanctioned hooky — and make some babysitting money, too.

Spread the word. Pass the link around. And see if the President’s face is still smiling, when he realizes he’s talking to half-empty classrooms. Do make it a teachable moment — one where the would-be teacher does the learning.

I actually have a different idea (although I still recommend 1776).  You see, what we’ve got here is one of those incredibly rare opportunities when we know in advance the Progressive political material heading for our children.  Those moments are so rare.  I know, of course, that my children’s public school education is permeated by liberal-think but, short of attending school with them and reading every bit of material put before them, I have no idea what, precisely, that material is or when it’s going to be funneled into their absorbent little minds.  At home, I try to keep the kids grounded with a global conservative perspective (patriotism, self-reliance, capitalism, a strong self-defense), but those general principles may not protect them against some insidious little seed planted in their fertile brains.

The most common situation is that which parents in Utah facedAfter the fact, those parents learned that their children had been exposed to a blatantly propagandistic film urging them to pledge themselves to serve Obama.  At that point, parents are left with nothing more than damage control.  The kids can’t understand why Mommy and Daddy are getting so red in the face, and they’re embarrassed by those calls to the principal.

It’s so much better to teach our children prospective critical thinking so that they can put this whole thing — Obama’s inevitably vapid speech and the faculty’s equally inevitable swooning — in perspective.  We all have the tendency to shelter our children from ideas we don’t like but, when we do, we become exactly like our Progressive counterparts.  By barring from the classroom anything but PC thought, they are steadily destroy critical thinking in multiple generations of American youth.  I can’t shelter my children forever.  They have to go out in the world and learn how to analyze facts and arguments on their own.  If I don’t teach them these analytical skills, they will forever be prey to every ugly trend and evil demagogue.

So rather than keeping your kids at home on Tuesday, spend the Labor Day weekend talking with them.  In age appropriate language, you can talk to them about their responsibility as students, a responsibility that includes, not just learning, but also thinking.

Explain to them that public schools are meant to serve all people in America, whether they like the president or not.  Ask them to observe whether the faculty at their school seems to like Obama or not.  Explain that someone’s likes or dislikes may color the way that person presents information.  I frequently give my children detailed data about my dislike for Obama, but I’m always careful to add:  “Remember, I don’t like Obama.  That’s going to color what I tell you.  Talk to your father for the other side.”  (So far, Dad hasn’t convinced them, but he doesn’t have much to work with, does he?)

We can also remind our children that, just as a stopped watch is right twice a day, a politician whose ideas offend us (as Obama’s do me) can still have some good ideas.  If Obama really is encouraging children to work hard in school, he’s right.

Since we know Obama’s going to make a call for service, and that he will either say or imply (as will most school faculty), that this service requires abandoning the private sector and propping up government, explain to your children your concern that too much service from government saps individual self-reliance, and leads to weak and unhappy people.  (And if you need examples for this premise, open any British newspaper on any day of the year.)  Ask your children to think about types of service that make us strong, or that are so necessary to a nation’s survival that they are worth the risks.  For example, military service requires strong troops, but it certainly leads to a population that has abdicated its own role in its defense.  Israel, of course, circumvents this Catch-22 by making service mandatory of all citizens.

Although the whole idea of an Obama lecture to America’s youth is unpleasant, I think we’ve been handed a golden opportunity to engage our children before they get hit by a Progressive education bomb.  The lessons in critical thinking that they take away from this moment may prove a useful building block to a more meaningful education, one in which they are able to separate educational wheat from Progressive chaff.

UPDATEThe Anchoress provides today’s perfect example of England’s continued decline as the government saps its citizens’ self-sufficient.

UPDATE II:  Bob Owens thinks as I do:

[F]orbidding your children from hearing his empty platitudes gives the impression that there is something in his speech that constitutes a threat to what they are being taught at home. It makes him forbidden fruit, instead of merely a fruitcake. It also teaches them that they should quit or skulk away when they encounter a bad idea of a problem, instead of taking it head-on. I want my kids to face life by taking on challenges, not shirking them.

Sterilizing our way to Paradise *UPDATED*

If you read Michelle Malkin, you already know about Zombie’s post exposing the unrepentant eugenicist past of John Holdren, Obama’s science czar.  Writing in the early 1970s, when the trendy concern was the population explosion (promising every a brutish Malthusian future), Holdren eagerly espoused a world order with forced abortions; mandatory sterliziation of those deemed unfit; birth-control chemicals running freely through our water and food; and a transnational global economy policed by a new world order.  Michelle Malkin has already commented on the fact that Holdren’s writing perfectly harmonizes with the eugencist thinking common among early 20th century Progressives, especially Margaret Sanger (and, of course, some late 20th century Progressives, such as Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg).

When confronted with these facts which sound so ugly when stated openly, the average liberal’s impulse is to deny their brutality and focus on the humanity behind them.  They’ll point to the fact that, beginning in the industrial era, rich women have controlled their fertility, and that there is a correlation between a nation’s affluence and its control over its birth rate.  (Although that last is actually a very 70s argument.  Looking at nations such as Japan or Italy, which have negative population growth and sagging economies because they no longer have a productive sector, one can see that controlled population growth can quickly reach a point of diminishing returns.)  They’ll tell you that they only desire a world in which “every child is a wanted one.”

It’s hard to argue with those facts.  As is typical for the utopian agenda, the end goal is always a lovely one.  After all, a lovely end goal is, by definition, the nature of a utopia:  it is a perfect place.  A utopia is also, as Thomas More recognized when he coined the name, a place that cannot exist.  (Utopia is Greek for “not place” — that is, an impossible place suitable only for allegory.)

People of goodwill have always envisioned a place in which everyone lives in harmony and material comfort.  War is gone.  Hunger is gone.  Each community is a perfect amalgam of density and space, allowing for high functionality and rural aesthetics that flow effortlessly into each other.  Heaven on earth.

The only problem with this whole Heaven on earth thing, of course, is those pesky humans.  Humans are erratic.  Some have the temerity to be born smart and some dumb; some are placid, some feisty; some strong, some weak; some submissive, some aggressive.  Whole cultures are poisoned by these variables.  The people who keep giving into their base human nature are making perfection impossible.

For many, the solution to these impossible humans has been a strong hand:  Hitler promised perfection, as did Mussolini, Lenin, Mao, Pol Pot and Stalin.  Humans — damn their imperfect hearts — could be corralled into virtue, and if corralling didn’t work, killing would suffice.

Given the effort it takes to force humans to be perfect, all of these Statists, without exception, realized that some humans simply weren’t worth the effort it would take to perfect them.  They were in the way.  How much better, then, simply to rid the world of them before they even became nascent.  The was Margaret Sanger’s plan.  Hitler liked that idea too.  Through a combination of genocide (Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, etc.) and sterilization (the generic “unfit,” although quite a few, my uncle included, came in for genocide too), he was acting with the best will in the world.  How else, after all, could he make the world a better place for his good Germans?  And undoubtedly, if asked, he would have said, “What’s good for the Germans is good for the planet.”

What’s so fascinating about these Statists — these people who believe that human-kind can be perfected through a governmental program of purging and heavy-handed guidance — is that, while they loath humans, they really like animals.  To get back to Hitler, you may recall that he was famed for his vegetarianism and love of dogs.  How can a man who loves dogs be all bad?

Sadly, while Sanger has been bathed in a misty glow, not as a crude eugenicist, but as the savior of poor women dying from too many pregnancies, and Hitler (thank goodness) has been discredited, these eugenic ideas live on, and at a very high level too.  Peter Singer, for example, holds an endowed chair at Princeton.  His books include Should the Baby Live?: The Problem of Handicapped Infants (Studies in Bioethics), Animal Liberation and In Defense of Animals: The Second WaveShould the Baby Live pretty much sums up the man’s philosophy:  he advocates euthanizing handicapped infants.  (Sarah Palin apparently forgot to read this book.)  He is, of course, reviled by the handicapped community (and rightly so).

The moral abyss Singer creates with his euthanasia musings is highlighted by the fact that his animal liberation writings make him a founding father of the animal rights movement — a movement that’s come to full flower in PETA insanity (which analogizes the death of chickens to the death of Jews in Hitler’s gas chambers). Singer explicitly believes that a healthy animal has greater rights than a sick person.  (As a side point, Singer has also made clear that he has no moral problem with bestiality, provided that the animal consents. Amusingly, this last viewpoint has put Singer at odds with the same animal rights movement he was so instrumental in creating.)

Getting back to Holdren, it’s fascinating to discover that he too places animals over humans. Thus, as Zombie notes, while Holdren enthusiastically supports mass sterilization through food and water additives, he adds a caveat — you can do it in the water supply as long as you don’t harm the horses (or dogs, cats, guinea pigs and hamsters):

Adding a sterilant to drinking water or staple foods is a suggestion that seems to horrify people more than most proposals for involuntary fertility control. Indeed, this would pose some very difficult political, legal, and social questions, to say nothing of the technical problems. No such sterilant exists today, nor does one appear to be under development. To be acceptable, such a substance would have to meet some rather stiff requirements: it must be uniformly effective, despite widely varying doses received by individuals, and despite varying degrees of fertility and sensitivity among individuals; it must be free of dangerous or unpleasant side effects; and it must have no effect on members of the opposite sex, children, old people, pets, or livestock.

The desperate need to eradicate an ever escalating number of humans, coupled with the mirror obsession for animal well-being establishes that, all Progressive protestations aside, utopianism has nothing to do with perfecting mankind.  Instead, it’s about mankind’s slow eradication, with an ultimate return to a time before homonids walked the earth.  You see, fundamentally, the Progressive isn’t Progressive at all.  By slowly removing people from the earth, one category a time, the so-called Progressive can regress to that true Utopia, before the snake, the woman and apple drove man from Paradise.

Masaccio's Explusion from the Garden of Eden

Masaccio's Explusion from the Garden of Eden

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

UPDATE:  Would you be surprised that other bloggers are concerned too?  At NoisyRoom, Terresa has more links to examples of eugenics ideas on the Left.  The Confederate Yankee adds his own spin about Holdren’s “dark mind.”

UPDATE IIMark Steyn’s latest column, about climate change/apocalyptic thinking, ties in nicely with this post.

Bio friendly products

So much of what Progressives seek for us is a return to the less than lovely and easy parts of the past.  For example, in the greenie world, who needs warm, efficient, useful incandescent light bulbs?  How much better if we bathe the environment in love by using light bulbs that would have been familiar in the 1920s:  buzzy, weak, ugly light, unreliable and, as an added 21st century bonus, filled with toxic mercury.

And pity the poor people in Washington state, forced by law to use dish washing liquids that don’t actually wash dishes.  Woo-hoo!

The quest for squeaky-clean dishes has turned some law-abiding people in Spokane into dishwater-detergent smugglers. They are bringing Cascade or Electrasol in from out of state because the eco-friendly varieties required under Washington state law don’t work as well. Spokane County became the launch pad last July for the nation’s strictest ban on dishwasher detergent made with phosphates, a measure aimed at reducing water pollution. The ban will be expanded statewide in July 2010, the same time similar laws take effect in several other states.

But it’s not easy to get sparkling dishes when you go green.

Many people were shocked to find that products like Seventh Generation, Ecover and Trader Joe’s left their dishes encrusted with food, smeared with grease and too gross to use without rewashing them by hand. The culprit was hard water, which is mineral-rich and resistant to soap.

In addition to the CFL light bulbs peppering my house (buzz, buzz, buzz, to the point where I’m thinking of making an aluminum helmet because I’m beginning to think the Martians are trying to talk to me), I’ve had yet another irritating brush with bio-friendly products.  This time the culprit is paper towel made from recycled materials, a binge buy by Mr. Bookworm who takes very seriously every global warming column written by that well-known scientist Tom Friedman, of the New York Times.  (What?!  You’re telling me Friedman isn’t a scientist?  I’m shocked!  Shocked!  I heard he was a top ranked graduate of the Algore School of Boiling Frogs.)

Anyway, paper towel.  Since Mr. Bookworm shopped at Costco, he didn’t just get one or three or four rolls of recycled paper towel, he got 24.  My cupboards are packed with the stuff.  The only consolation is that I’m going through the rolls of towel at warp speed . . . BECAUSE THEY DON’T WORK! A spill that would have taken one standard paper towel takes me five or six of these earth friend towels.  They have no absorption, they fall apart at the lightest touch, and they’re so poorly perforated that, even when I try to rip small, I end up getting big.  They remind me very much of the Soviet era toilet paper I suffered through during a long-ago trip to Czechoslovakia.  In other words, they’re a completely regressive product that offsets any “earth friendly” virtues by being completely useless and functional only if used in vast and wasteful quantities.

All of which allows you to get a little insight into the average Progressive family’s green home:  They don’t have flush toilets, creating the risk of disease and uncontrolled waste pollution; they have Soviet era paper products, that are not just unpleasant but have to be used to wasteful quantities to work; they have light bulbs that self-destruct so quickly they’re essentially landfill, except for that toxic mercury problem;, and, if they live in Washington state or are simply committed greenies, their dishes emerge from the dishwasher so dirty that they require vast amounts of water to offset the “green” detergent’s inefficiencies.

Given that so many of the “green” products “progressives” tout (or mandate) are so inefficient that they are a throwback to a less comfortable past and are vastly wasteful, it’s obvious that, for a “progressive greenie,” cognitive dissonance is a way of life.

Perpetually selfish anger and victimhood *UPDATED*

Ymarsakar brought to my attention a post I wrote over three years ago.  I’m reprinting a slightly edited version here, not just because I think it describes well the Arab psyche that drives so much of current international politics (and fears) today, but also because I think it does a good job of describing the Leftist psyche, which sees all politics as personal, and which wallows in victimization and anger:

***

Neo-Neocon got hold of an Atlantic Monthly from October 1961 with a Martha Gelhorn article about the Palestinian refugees, who were still a reasonably new phenomenon back then. Neo-Neocon’s whole post, which excerpts large parts of the article is sad reading, and Martha Gelhorn is amazingly prescient.  I wanted to focus on just one part of the article, in which Gelhorn describes the fact that, despite the rather pathetic situation of many of the Arabs (and Gelhorn is clearly sympathetic to their plight), she simply cannot feel sorry for them:

I had appreciated and admired individual refugees but realized I had felt no blanket empathy for the Palestinian refugees, and finally I knew why…It is hard to sorrow for those who only sorrow over themselves. It is difficult to pity the pitiless. To wring the heart past all doubt, those who cry aloud for justice must be innocent. They cannot have wished for a victorious rewarding war, blame everyone else for their defeat, and remain guiltless….

Arabs gorge on hate, they roll in it, they breathe it. Jews top the hate list, but any foreigners are hateful enough. Arabs also hate each other, separately and en masse. Their politicians change the direction of their hate as they would change their shirts. Their press is vulgarly base with hate-filled cartoons; their reporting describes whatever hate is now uppermost and convenient. Their radio is a long scream of hate, a call to hate. They teach their children hate in school. They must love the taste of hate; it is their daily bread. And what good has it done them?

There is no future in spending UN money to breed hate. There is no future in nagging or bullying Israel to commit suicide by the admission of a fatal locust swarm of enemies. There is no future in Nasser’s solution, the Holy War against Israel; and we had better make this very clear, very quickly.

There are a couple of interesting things about Gelhorn’s conclusion. First, I think it goes a long way to put to rest the Left’s drum beat about our being the logical victims of Arab hate because of the things we’ve done to them. America is not hated because she is the evil Imperialist boogey man of the world.  Instead, she is currently the most logical victim of Arab hate because hate is an integral part of Arab culture and we’re simply the biggest target — not to mention (at least to date) Israel’s staunchest friend.

Second, I found this 44 year old language made a nice bookend to a book review that the American Enterprise Institute did about a book written by a U.N. insider (hat tip: Power Line). The book being reviewed is The UN Gang: A Memoir of Incompetence, Corruption, Espionage, Anti-Semitism and Islamic Extremism at the UN Secretariat, by Pedro Sanjuan, an American who served on the staff of the secretary-general for more than a decade. The review is aptly entitled A Stagnant Cesspool in Turtle Bay.

You don’t need a lot of imagination or insight to realize that both the review and the book describe an organization that, since its post-WWII heyday (or maybe its post-Cold War heyday), is nothing but a money-wasting boondoggle for professional bureaucrats hostile to the U.S. (Nothing like biting the hand that feeds you.) What makes the review interesting for purposes of this post is the fact that the U.N. has gone from being a Western dominated institution to being one in the thrall of multiple Islamic countries who draw their U.N. salaries from the West (mostly America), but are irrevocably (and corruptly) hostile to its interest and to Israel.

In other words, they still are filled with hate, just as they were 44 years ago:

During the Cold War, the most serious problem posed by the organization was infiltration of the Secretariat by Soviet intelligence. Indeed, Mr. Sanjuan writes, “the Soviets actually controlled every important aspect of the U.N. Secretariat.” Some of his anecdotes are wildly funny–though they weren’t so funny at the time.

Since the end of the Cold War, Soviet hegemony at the Secretariat has been replaced by the growing influence of the Islamic bloc. Further, before 1989 the U.N. was basically a playground for representatives of irrelevant Third World states to pretend to be important (and enjoy shopping at Bloomingdale’s), while the U.S. and the Soviet Union confronted one another in more important places. Since the collapse of the latter, however, the Secretariat has refocused on undermining the United States–and the U.N.’s other bugaboo–Israel.

Indeed, the most shocking part of this book is the unwholesome obsession of the U.N. culture with Jews real or imagined, whether in Israel or the United States. Although Israel should have roughly 15 nominees working in the Secretariat, until recently there wasn’t a single one; even now, a disproportionate number are Palestianians with Israeli passports. As for the United States, it is alleged to be wholly under the thumb of Jews. When congressional critics like Senator Nancy Kassebaum or the late Senator John Heinz raise embarrassing questions that have nothing to do with Israel–say, about the U.N.’s finances–they are blithely dismissed as Jews themselves.

Apparently the first question put to Mr. Sanjuan himself when he joined the secretary-general’s staff (by his Soviet deputy) was “So your father was a Jew, yes?”) That such nonsense could take place during the tenure of a recycled Austrian Nazi like Kurt Waldheim can hardly surprise, but what are we to say when they continue under his successor, a low-rent Peruvian with the made-up name of Perez de Cuellar?

The only thing that saves the Jews from the malevolent obsession that the Islamic countries have brought to the U.N. is the organization’s gross inefficiency.  It burns up money, but does nothing (if you ignore school girl rapes and massive financial scandals, of course):

The principal characteristic of the organization, in Mr. Sanjuan’s telling, is its massive waste of resources. The Secretariat alone employs 6,000 people at annual budget of more than $2 billion. What do these people do? Nobody can actually say, and it is considered bad form to ask.  Its functionaries arrive at 10 a.m., take a three-hour lunch, and usually depart for their homes at 4 p.m. to avoid the evening traffic. Even during “working” hours many prefer to while away their time in a luxurious cafe-lounge on the top floor of the building.

It’s not clear, either, what useful tasks are performed by those who bother to remain on the floors below, since there is massive duplication of functions and no attempt whatever at rationalization or coordination. One example of expensive make-work is the U.N. publications department, which churns out thousands of documents that nobody reads in half a dozen languages, at a cost of $750 per page. Perhaps the most serious work being accomplished in the building takes place in the garage, where–during Mr. Sanjuan’s time at least–a very sophisticated drug-smuggling operation was under way.

Don’t rely on my summaries, though. Go to Neo-Neocon’s original post, and check out the American Enterprise Institute book review.

***

The above is (more or less) what I wrote in 2005.  The seething, churning, self-pitying hate, though, should be familiar to all who have watched the “progressives” suffer through the last eight (and, especially, the last eight) years of the Bush administration. Progressives have never really had a plan other than to destroy Bush and everything he respresents absolutely and completely. In this, they differ profoundly from conservatives.

As all of you have noticed, the reaction to this most recent election amongst mainstream (and defeated) conservatives is to engage in rational thought aimed at rejiggering conservatism to help Americans recognize that true conservativism will give the greatest benefits to the greatest number of people.  We’re not shrieking about stolen elections or about the terrible new evil resident in the White House (although I think that Obama, if he fails to recognize the innate evil that lives in Iran or Syria or North Korea or Venezuela, or other like places, is a fool, and possibly a dangerous one). Instead, we’re engaged in self-analysis, a bit of self-pity, and a lot of re-messaging.

Given that those same very self-pitying, perpetually victimized Leftists now hold the reins of American power, I think one of the best things we can hope for is that, like a U.N. populated with Islamic Jew-haters, bureacratic inefficiency will outweigh the hatred.  The desire to change will be there — and the Democrats will undoubtedly effectuate a good many changes — but the sheer weight of their commitment to the governmental, bureaucratic process is going to slow them down.  And if Fred Barnes is right, they’ll manage to do just enough to create openings for thoughtful conservatives who have refined their messages and positioned themselves for a victory predicated, not on victimhood and hatred, but on optimism and a belief in American exceptionalism.

UPDATE:  One of the other things that occurred to me about a commonality between the Left and the Arabs is that they’re not only sore losers (with the most recent evidence amongst the Left being the savage response to the will of the people vis a vis Prop. 8), it’s also that they’re ungracious, vicious winners.  This should be a reminder to Israel (who seems to need this reminder on a perpetual basis) that, when the inevitable upcoming “peace” talks begin with the Obama presidency, she’s still in a no win situation:  win or lose, Arab rage and pity will continue unabated.

Oil shale

I know nothing about oil shale.  Harry Reid, however, made it news by trying to sneak an amendment into a bill that would block developing oil shale.  With oil shale being news, I’ve now learned from someone who seems to be well-informed on the subject (one of Anchoress’ readers) that Reid is acting as if it’s 1970 when he tries to block its use as an energy source.  In fact, says that knowledgeable person, we have vast reserves, and they can be accessed through methods that have minimal environmental impact.

Before I go on this subject, it reminds me again of my point that those who now style themselves Progressive are actually regressive.  The valid debate about abortion is conducted as if out-of-wedlock pregnancies are a heinous social sin, birth control is unavailable, and back alley abortions are commonplace.  The debate about racism is conducted as if Jim Crow still controls, not just the South, but the whole nation.  And now we learn that Harry Reid’s non-debate, sneak tactic about oil shale is, in all probability based on information that is 30 years out of date.

The fierce hatred the Left feels for religion

The other day, as part of my “false syllogism” post, I noted the way in which the Left continues to be, as it was in Marx’s heyday, fanatically hostile to religion.  If you doubt me, just check out Patrick’s gimlet eyed examination of Cintra Wilson’s attacks on Palin and other openly religious public figures, as well as the larger attacks on faith emanating from the Progressive side of the political spectrum.

Untraining Pavlov’s dog *UPDATED*

Was I the only one who found it hysterically funny that Nancy Pelosi, after building a political career on the cult of victimhood — especially women’s victimhood — is now snapping at all those well-trained victimized women to give it up and get with the program?

“I think that women, we have to get away from the politics of victim. This is about you go out there and you fight,” she said. “I think that what Hillary Clinton did was tremendous for the country. She has kicked open many doors, which now we have to bring many more women through, millions more women through. My being speaker of the House was breaking the marble ceiling in Congress, which is hard. Sen. Clinton [had] a bigger challenge to run for president of the United States. What we have to do now is say, we have to translate that not just for individuals, but for all women.”

It’s nice to see the victim concept step out from behind the curtain.  As you and I have long realized, it has nothing to do with ones actual status, and everything to do with where one stands vis-a-vis the Democratic Party and its goals.

(As a by the way, I’ve been reading a delightful book about Einstein, and I’ve learned a lot of about the theory of relativity.  I can assure you, therefore, that when Einstein talked about relativity, he wasn’t contemplating whether the Democratic Party thought you were for it or against it.)

On the same trained dog theory, is it any surprise that Barack Obama, running for President of this land, is trying to terrorize TV stations into pulling an ad reminding people of his close ties to a terrorist?  When you’re a Leftist, you never fight ideas with ideas (or with truth), you just bring in the big guns.  Of course, given that the truth, for Obama, can only hurt him, it’s probably not surprising that he’s opting for bullying and threats in the face of a very damaging ad.

Here’s one more piece of food for thought about that Ayers ad.  The same news article that describes Obama’s bullying tactics contains this line:  “Obama has denounced Ayers’ past activities.”  All well and good, but please note that Ayers himself has never apologized or expressed remorse.  To the contrary:  He’s proud of what he did, wishes he’d done more, and believes that the “in-America” terrorist fight should continue.  Given that Ayers is unrepentent, who cares that Obama has “denounced” the acts he committed in the 1960s?  What matters is that Obama is completely comfortable with someone who continues to hold radical, violent anti-American views.  Again, sometimes you just can’t untrain Pavlov’s dog.

UPDATE:  I knew I’d seen the Ayers ad somewhere, but couldn’t find it.  Power Line has a copy running, though, so here it is.  So far as I know, there is nothing in that ad that is untrue.

Marin County’s hidden conservatives *UPDATED*

It was Aristotle who first stated that man is a social animal.  He was right.  Humans define themselves by their allegiance to their family, their community and their country.  The ancient desert rule condemning a thief to lose his hand (an idea that Mohammed co-opted), was not intended simply to cause physical pain and suffering.  Instead, in a society without cutlery, amputation meant that the thief had to use the same hand for both eating and personal hygiene.  This revolting combination turned the one-handed thief into a social pariah — and it was this change in status that was the true punishment imposed against him.

In America, we can break the social compact in many ways, all of them less extreme than having our hands cut off.  We can cheat, abuse our spouses and children, shoplift, forget to bathe, or admit to liking Liberace.  Most Americans, however, pride themselves on their tolerance and will let all of these failures go by without the ultimate social weapons of abuse and ostracism.  In many of these same ostensibly tolerant places, though, there is one sin that is unforgivable, so much so that it cannot be excused away by pointing to a bad childhood, socioeconomic handicaps or charming eccentricity.  That sin is being politically conservative.  I live in one of those communities.

For those who don’t know it, Marin County is located due north of San Francisco (on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge).  It’s a gorgeously situated community, bounded on one side by the San Francisco Bay and on the other side by the Pacific Ocean.  Drive a little ways further north and you’ll find yourself in the world-famous Napa Valley.  Not only is the Marin geography lovely, so is the climate, with temperatures ranging from winter lows in the 50s to summer highs in the 70s (barring a few heat waves).

Approximately 85% of Marin’s land has been protected from development in one way or another, a policy that deprives the poor of housing, but that satisfies the aesthetic needs of the wealthy.  Speaking of wealth, according to the 2000 census, Marin had the highest per capital income in the country (a status quo pretty much unchanged as of the last tax year).

Although one might think that, with Marin’s wealth, it would be rather like the old style white-shoe conservative communities one finds in the Northeast or South, that assumption would be wrong.  Instead, Marin is peopled with the same elites who have been flocking to Obama all America — and that’s despite the fact that there’s no University of note here.

Just to give you an idea of Marin’s politics, Lynn Woolsey is Marin’s choice for the House of Representatives and ultra-liberal California Senator Barbara Boxer hails from Marin. In the State Senate, Marin’s representative is Carole Migden, who lives to oppose the War (and who will probably be replaced by Mark Leno, who makes Migden look stodgy politically).

In the 2004 election, only San Francisco County and Alameda County (home to Berkeley), cast more Democratic votes than Marin did. This didn’t come as any surprise to those who know that a mere 21.3% of Marin’s registered voters are Republicans. Indeed, of the many little towns that make up Marin, just one (Belvedere) has more Republicans than Democrats, and that by only an 8 person margin.  Republicans aren’t just a mere minority, they’re a minority vastly outweighed by the majority.

Given that liberals are in the catbird seat, and given their much-vaunted tolerance, one might think that they’d be kind to, indeed solicitous of, the few Republicans in the midst.  Sadly, however, that’s not the case.  As regular readers know, I’ve chosen to keep my political life separate from the day-to-day aspects of my life.  I simply can’t (and don’t want to) run the risk of tainting my carpools, my neighborhood barbecues, my kids’ comfort level at school, the camaraderie of the sports teams with which we’re involved, etc., by exposing myself to the obloquy that is routinely heaped on conservatives here — and this is a hostility that increases as elections draw near, of course.

During the 2004 elections, people who were unaware of my political inclinations announced in front of me that “Bush is the worst President ever,” “Republicans are stupid,” “Republicans are evil,” “Bush is stupid,” “Republicans are corrupt,” “Republicans are fascists” and “Bush should be impeached.”  Children ran up to me on the sidewalk chanting “Bush is evil, Bush is evil”  — so you know what their parents were saying at the dinner table.  In this election cycle, one of my children announced after school that she was voting for Barack Obama “since every one is because he’s black.”  I quickly scotched that line of reasoning.

I know I should be speaking out when I hear statements such as these, but the sad fact is that I like these people.  Barring their monomaniacal animosity towards Bush and the Republicans, they’re otherwise very nice:  they’re hard workers, loving parents, good neighbors and helpful and reliable friends.  Being the social creature that I am, I don’t want with one word (“Republican”) to turn these friendships upside down and inside out.  (I’m not the only one with this problem.)  I don’t want to be on the receiving end of some hideous Jekyll to Hyde transformation, so I just keep my mouth shut.

Those people I know who have spoken aloud their new conservative political views have been horrified by the animosity turned against them by formerly friendly neighbors and colleagues.  My in-laws who are, like me, 9/11 neocons (down in Los Angeles) have stared open-mouthed at colleagues who use staff meetings to revile Bush and the Republicans — all to the cheers and huzzahs of the other staff members.  (Indeed, what they describe sounds remarkably like Orwell’s Two Minutes Hate.)  On the occasions when they’ve suggested that maybe, just maybe, Bush isn’t the Antichrist, they’ve found themselves shunned by these same colleagues.

My relatives aren’t in the film industry, but this same kind of aggressive pressure to conform goes double there.  Conservatives have been reduced to creating an underground organization called the Party of Abe, membership in which is so dangerous it practically has secret handshakes and false names.  The paranoia in the film industry is so extreme that it can result in scenarios that read like badly scripted movies.  When David Zucker was casting his upcoming movie American Carol, which takes on the Left’s lunacy about terrorism, he wanted Kevin Farley (Chris Farley’s brother) in the lead role, as a Michael Moore-esque character.  In the beginning, their negotiations were a landmine of unspoken assumptions:

Zucker and Sokoloff met Farley in April 2007. Zucker described his new film with words he had chosen carefully. “I figured he was like everyone else in Hollywood–a Democrat,” Zucker recalls. “And we knew that this was not a Democrat movie.” It would be a satirical look at the war on terror, he told Farley, and explained that he and Sokoloff were political “moderates.”

Farley hadn’t seen any of Zucker’s ads and assumed he was like everyone else in Hollywood–a Democrat. So he answered with some strategic ambiguity of his own. “I consider myself a centrist,” he said, worried that they might press him more about his political views.

Zucker gave Farley the script and, concerned that Farley’s agent would advise him against accepting the role because of the film’s politics, told the actor not to show it to anyone. Farley, best known for his recurring role in a series of Hertz commercials, read the script and called back the next day to accept.

When he met Zucker and Sokoloff on the set as shooting on the film began, he told them that he, too, had long considered himself a conservative. “I couldn’t believe it,” says Sokoloff. “We were afraid that he would not want to be involved in something that was so directly taking on the left and that he would not want to play the Michael Moore character.”

Zucker’s and Farley’s delicate dance would be funny if it weren’t for the fact that ordinary Hollywood types aren’t shy about stating that people with the wrong political persuasion should not be employed.  A perfect example came when Jeffrey Wells (a well-known Hollywood cybergossip) commented on Jon Voight’s op-ed criticizing the Left:

I’ll always admire and respect Voight’s better performances (Luke in Coming Home, Reynolds in Enemy of the State, Ed in Deliverance, Howard Cosell in Ali, Manny in Runaway Train, FDR in Pearl Harbor, Jack in Desert Bloom, Paul Serone in Anaconda). And he’s obviously entitled to say and write whatever he wants. But it’s only natural that industry-based Obama supporters will henceforth regard him askance. Honestly? If I were a producer and I had to make a casting decision about hiring Voight or some older actor who hadn’t pissed me off with an idiotic Washington Times op-ed piece, I might very well say to myself, “Voight? Let him eat cake.”

Wells later delivered a non-apology apology in which he wondered why everyone got so upset that he merely expressed his personal opinion, especially since he has no actual hiring or firing power over Voight.  Maybe everyone got upset because Wells’ opinion — that people should be discriminated against on a systematic basis because they support the “wrong” party in a two-party system — is both really bad one and one that people close to the industry feel comfortable voicing aloud.

In Hollywood, everything is writ large, whether it’s rampant Progressivism or a growing subterranean conservative movement.  In Marin, though, I’m seeing the same thing played out on a less dramatic scale, with more and more secret conservatives inching about on the outskirts.  This fact struck me forcibly last week when I finally pried myself away from my keyboard and did something more active to advance John McCain’s candidacy — I attended the first formal meeting of the local Republican party.

Contrary to my expectations, the meeting was not held in some $25 million dollar Belvedere mansion (’cause remember that, in Belvedere, there are eight more Republicans than Democrats).  Instead, it was held in a perfectly ordinary (although very charming) home a few blocks from my own house.  By Marin standards, it was solid middle class.

With about 25 of us clustered about the living room, the local chair called the meeting to order, and asked us to begin by identifying ourselves.  One after another, people stated their names and their City.  Everything stopped, though, when a young woman, maybe 25, spoke her name very softly and added that “I’m a secret Republican.”  With that single statement, the stories started.

One of the attendees, who had been asked to make phone calls on behalf of McCain, said that he spoke to one lady who said, “Don’t call me again.  I’m going to vote Republican, but I can’t let anybody know.  It’s got to stay a secret.”  Another person recalled a party he attended a few months ago.  When he mentioned, discreetly, that he was a Republican, a young lady sidled up to him and whispered, “I’m conservative too, but don’t let anyone know.  I also have two friends here.  I’ll point them out to you.  They’re also secret conservatives.”  Incidentally, I was unable to interview either of the people who told these anecdotes because both were afraid that any more details might give away their identities and harm them professionally.  (Clearly, in their lines of work, they need two resumes, one for public consumption and one that is their secret one.)

The people who told these stories were white — and they were still afraid to voice their political views.  Things get even worse when you move into the two demographics that have a particularly strong affiliation with the Democratic party:  African-Americans and Hispanics.  People in these groups who are conservative are viewed, not merely as evil or stupid, but as true class traitors.  If it’s difficult for a white woman or man to admit to that he worries about Obama and intends to vote for McCain, imagine the strength of character, and the willingness to accept pariah-status that you need if you’re an African-American or Hispanic voter who has a political yearning to be conservative.  As it happens, at my local McCain meeting, there was one Hispanic and one African-American, both of whom are deeply committed to conservative values.  Again, neither wanted to see his or her name, or any identifying information, used in this post.

Once upon a time, I would have added Jews to the list of groups too strongly affiliated with the Democratic party to allow for any deviation from the party line.  However, I think that Obama is proving so frightening to many Jews who support Israel that they are become bolder and more willing to break with party Orthodoxy.  (Not to mention the fact that they’ve seen the Left make common cause with the same Islamists who call Jews pigs and apes, and who urge their annihilation.)  While they once looked askance at the few conservatives within their midst, they are now approaching them, not only with respectful curiosity, but with a genuine desire to learn why it won’t run counter to Mosaic law for a Jew to vote Republican.

I’m not writing this post merely to complain about my own situation, or to observe that there are others like me.  I hope to write it as a battle call for other crypto-conservatives scattered throughout the United States in true blue communities:  You are not alone! And if you need numbers to prove it, as opposed to the anecdotal evidence I offer here, in 2004, despite the fact that only 30,992 registered voters in Marin were Republican, 34,378 people voted Republican.  In other words, a good chunk of Marin’s voters –  whether Independents, Decline to States, or even Democrats — were voting Republican the last time around, and that was with a much less polarizing Democratic candidate than Obama.

I have a proposal for all of you reading this who live in hostile Blue territory and feel isolated in your conservative political views.  The next time you’re at a party, or chit chatting in a park, or standing in line at a store, if the person to whom you’re talking seems like an intelligent, common-sensical type, throw in a reference to Adam Smith.  If your conversational partner jumps on that reference, opining that Smith was a great economic philosopher, you’ve just discovered that you’re not alone.

Even if you chose, however, to keep your political affiliations secret — whether because you’re afraid for your job, worried about your friendships, or are just deeply private — please hie yourself to the polls on November 4, 2008, and cast your vote for John McCain.  I have a strong suspicion that there’ll be an awful lot of unexpected votes for McCain, not because people are too racist to voice their true political viewpoints to the pollsters, but because they are too intimidated by the Progressives around them to do so.

Lastly, if you live in Marin, get involved with the Marin for McCain organization.  I can promise you that we’ll respect your conservative secrets — especially since so many of us have a few of our own.  (And if you live somewhere other than Marin, look up your local Republican organization.  I bet you’ll be pleasant surprised by the people you meet there.)

UPDATE: Thinking about it, I wonder if this urge to keep ones identity secret isn’t more common amongst women than men.  In my experience, women are more likely to seek conciliatory relationships than men, and are more likely to be demoralized, rather than invigorated, by a direct confrontation.  What do you think?  Am I being sexist or is this election’s secret army (assuming there is one), going to boast an unusually large number of women?

UPDATE II:  Although not quite on point, the service that Amazon allegedly provided for Nancy Pelosi’s book – a service that it apparently does not provide for conservative authors — gives one a good idea of how stalwart your average conservative has to be against the slings and arrows of outrageous liberals.

Obamessiah

We know that Obama is just like any other human being, only perhaps more flawed. Aside from being your average bright law school grad, he smells bad in the morning (or so his wife says); he speaks his mind even when there’s nothing in it; he hangs around with some exceptionally foul people; he lies; he prevaricates; and, sin of sins, when he’s off the life-enabling teleprompter, he falls into the “um, er, like, you know” trap typical of young folk today and vapid minds of yesterday.

However, if government is your religion, apparently this manifestly flawed being is still good enough to qualify as the God-figure you’ve been looking for since Hitler went away. And I am not comparing Obama’s values to Hitler although, if he throws the Jews to the Iranians, I will, of course, but we’ll hope that doesn’t come to pass. Right now, though, I’m simply comparing Obama worship, which is a product of elevating the State to a religion, to Hitler worship, which was the perfect example of elevating the State to a religion.

The execrable Mark Morford, writing at the San Francisco Chronicle, provides the most recent, and most perfect, example, of these search for the Messiah amongst those worshiping at the State’s alter:

I find I’m having this discussion, this weird little debate, more and more, with colleagues, with readers, with liberals and moderates and miserable, deeply depressed Republicans and spiritually amped persons of all shapes and stripes and I’m having it in particular with those who seem confused, angry, unsure, thoroughly nonplussed, as they all ask me the same thing: What the hell’s the big deal about Obama?

I, of course, have an answer. Sort of.

Warning: If you are a rigid pragmatist/literalist, itchingly evangelical, a scowler, a doubter, a burned-out former ’60s radical with no hope left, or are otherwise unable or unwilling to parse alternative New Age speak, click away right now, because you ain’t gonna like this one little bit.

Ready? It goes likes this:

Barack Obama isn’t really one of us. Not in the normal way, anyway.

This is what I find myself offering up more and more in response to the whiners and the frowners and to those with broken or sadly dysfunctional karmic antennae – or no antennae at all – to all those who just don’t understand and maybe even actively recoil against all this chatter about Obama’s aura and feel and MLK/JFK-like vibe.

To them I say, all right, you want to know what it is? The appeal, the pull, the ethereal and magical thing that seems to enthrall millions of people from all over the world, that keeps opening up and firing into new channels of the culture normally completely unaffected by politics?

[snip]

Dismiss it all you like, but I’ve heard from far too many enormously smart, wise, spiritually attuned people who’ve been intuitively blown away by Obama’s presence – not speeches, not policies, but sheer presence – to say it’s just a clever marketing ploy, a slick gambit carefully orchestrated by hotshot campaign organizers who, once Obama gets into office, will suddenly turn from perky optimists to vile soul-sucking lobbyist whores, with Obama as their suddenly evil, cackling overlord.

Here’s where it gets gooey. Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul.

The nausea continues here. Iit’s a staggering bit of work, as a man hostile to traditional religion sees in this rather ordinary, deeply flawed man, a spiritual Savior.

The search for false Gods can have dangerous results, although Morford’s abasement before this ordinary man reminds me of nothing so much as the scene in Monty Python’s Life of Brian. You remember that scene don’t you? It’s the one in which the hapless Brian comes to the attention of the Messiah-seekers, who then imbue his every word and motion with mystical significance:

Life of Brian, of course, is a big joke. As I noted at the start of this post, worshiping at the altar of an ordinary politician can have infinitely more dangerous consequences.

Hat tip: JL

Other’s blogging: Hot Air, LGF

They really do hate the troops

In honor of Tom Harkin’s most recent attack on American troops, John Hawkins, at Right Wing News, has assembled a fine collection of quotations from the Statists, in which they express their deep, abiding feelings for those Americans who put their lives on the line daily to protect us.  Some examples:

“Through every Abu aib and Haditha, through every rape and murder, the American public has indulged those in uniform….We pay the soldiers a decent wage, take care of their families, provide them with housing and medical care and vast social support systems and ship obscene amenities into the war zone for them, we support them in every possible way, and their attitude is that we should in addition roll over and play dead, defer to the military and the generals and let them fight their war, and give up our rights and responsibilities to speak up because they are above society?…[T]he recent NBC report is just an ugly reminder of the price we pay for a mercenary — oops sorry, volunteer — force that thinks it is doing the dirty work.” — Washington Post blogger, William Arkin

[snip]

“Real freedom will come when [U.S.] soldiers in Iraq turn their guns on their superiors.” — Warren County Community College adjunct English professor, John Daly

[snip]

“In Vietnam, our soldiers came back and they were reviled as baby killers, in shame and humiliation. It isn’t happening now, but I will tell you, there has never been an [American] army as violent and murderous as our army has been in Iraq.” — Seymour Hersh

You can read the rest here.

Liberals and Iraq

While I worked on an appellate brief last night, Mr. Bookworm watched Frontline’s Bush’s War. I was not surprised to learn that it characterized the Bush administration as not only profoundly stupid, but also deviously Machiavellian, with Bush in charge, except that he’s so stupid that he is actually manipulated by the evil Cheney.  At least, that’s what Mr. Bookworm told me.  The bottom line, as my very upset husband said, was that the “worst presidency in history” used all its fatal flaws to get us into Iraq.

I didn’t feel like debating the merits. First, I hadn’t watched the show. Second, it was impossible for me to amass all the necessary facts. I would have also gotten stuck in the morass of conceding that the Bush administration definitely made mistakes.  This concession would have led into an extended discussion about the fact that, in all wars, the good, winning side makes devastatingly bad mistakes because in war you use the information you have, not the information you will have when the dust clears.

Instead, I put the matter differently: “Accepting everything as true, what would you do now? For good or bad, we’re in Iraq now.” Interestingly, Mr. Bookworm refused to engage, falling back on harping on the evils of the Bush administration and its bad decision making. “Yes,” I said. “But that’s the past. We’re in Iraq now. Bush and his whole team are leaving office in January 2009. What would you do?” The only answer I got back was “I don’t want to talk about it.”

Mr. Bookworm’s preference for wallowing in the past and his unwillingness to deal with present realities is hardly surprising. In his world — the New York Times, the New Yorker, NPR, PBS — only the past gets discussed. To the extent that there is an Iraq plan, it can be summarized in one phrase: “Get out.” Of course, smart liberals, and my husband is very smart, know that “Get out” is neither an operational plan, nor a good one.

Equally unsurprising is the fact that Barack Obama, a man who is rather strikingly uninformed about foreign affairs given the fact that he has voluntarily plunged into the center of political life during time of war, has exactly the same attitude. He too never looks beyond the liberal media world and, while perfectly ready to spell out the Bush administration’s past failures, is incapable of dealing with the current reality, which is that we’re in war in Iraq. The best he can do is misrepresent John McCain’s statement that American interests are best protected by a continuing American presence in Iraq, just as we have a continuing American presence in former hot spots such as Germany, Japan and Korea.

John Fund highlights only the most recent example of Obama’s almost frightening lack of vision and knowledge when it comes to foreign policy:

This week, Mr. Obama stumbled again after he declared he wants to withdraw from Iraq but “leave enough troops in Iraq to guard our embassy and diplomats, and a counter-terrorism force to strike al Qaeda if it forms a base that the Iraqis cannot destroy.”

John McCain quickly leaped on the notion of keeping a “strike force” in Iraq and noted it was in direct contradiction to previous Obama statements that he would fully withdraw almost all troops. Mr. McCain had a series of questions: “I think it might be appropriate to describe exactly what that means. Does that mean 100,000 troops? Where are they based? What is their mission?”

Given that the Progressives seem irrevocably tied to the past, whether it’s endlessly rehashing the Vietnam War or Bush’s mistakes in this War, this is not going to be the only time that Obama stumbles and tumbles into a debate with McCain that he can’t win. McCain may be the Old Dude, so old that he actually served in Vietnam, but when it comes to this War McCain resolutely faces the future. He’s actually thought about what’s going on now, and what America needs to do to best protect her troops and her national interests. As Fund says:

Look for an ongoing debate between the two men over just what presence in Iraq Mr. Obama envisions should he win the White House. Present evidence would indicate that both men see a substantial U.S. role in the country, but that Mr. McCain’s stated goal is to achieve victory and Mr. Obama has a far more muddled outcome in mind.

The Presidential campaign is going to prove that, when it comes to the Iraq War, you can run to the past, but you can’t hide there.  Unless Obama comes up with a real plan, recognizing the actual on-the-ground realities in Iraq, I suspect significant numbers of Americans are going to worry that, not only are the Democrats obsessed with the Vietnam War, they’re planning on repeating all of its worst mistakes.