But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” -- Luke 2:10-12
I work in a highly technical job and it continues to come as a surprise to me when I hear people there using the word “basically.” The B-word means, in my experience, that you’re stating something for the record because you want people to behave as if it’s really true, but you aren’t really willing to put your name up next to it without some insulator. That’s what the word “basically” is for, it is an insulator. It has no other purpose.
In my world, that means it might as well be a negator; it might as well be synonymous with “not.” Maybe that’s Dick Blumenthal’s problem, maybe he should have told people “I basically served in Viet Nam.”
I do hate that word.
I basically think poor Blumenthal is being given a bum rap here, and a raw deal. Basically, I agree with the old dictum that every time a democrat is caught lying, a Republican somewhere must have done the same thing, because there is basically perfect symmetry at work here. Basically, all they’re trying to do is help the “little guy” — who is basically you and me — and when they tell you something you can basically trust ‘em.
And it’s such a tragedy this “anti-incumbent mood” is driving so many of them out of office. A real shame. Basically.
To avoid further controversy, the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi has rejected a $20,000 gift intended to underwrite an alternate prom replacing one canceled by a local school district after a lesbian student demanded that she be allowed to attend with her girlfriend.
The gift, to sponsor one of several privately sponsored alternate events, came from the American Humanist Association, an advocacy group whose mission is to promote “good without God.”
“Although we support and understand organizations like yours, the majority of Mississippians tremble in terror at the word ‘atheist,’ ” Jennifer Carr, the fund-raiser for the A.C.L.U of Mississippi, wrote in an e-mail message to Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the humanist group.
Regarding the A.C.L.U. move, Ms. Carr wrote to Mr. Speckhardt: “Our staff has been talking a lot about your donation offer and have found ourselves in a bit of a conflict. We have fears that your organization sponsoring the prom could stir up even more controversy.”
Duh. Of course it’s supposed to stir up controversy. Everyone involved wants controversy. That’s why the girl wanted to wear a tuxedo.
Trouble with just about everything coming off the rails today — everything non-money-related, anyway — is that the people making the most noise, have it exactly bass-ackward who’s trying to grab headlines and who “just wants to be left alone to live their lives as they see fit.” Just about everywhere you look, someone somewhere is claiming to want to be left alone, to just live out their existence peacefully and quietly…and it’s absolutely bullshit. You can’t swing a dead cat around without slapping someone who’s trying to fundamentally re-order and re-organize the protocols under which the rest of us live. To force perfect strangers he or she will never meet, ever, to live under a certain set of new codes. And then hypocritically claiming to want to be left alone to live life their own way, that they don’t really care what everyone else does.
We’re way too tolerant of this. Once it crosses into out-and-out lying, it’s no longer virtuous to be tolerant of it. And I’m sorry, once you’re protesting for your right to wear a tuxedo to the prom when you’re a girl, that’s not about being left alone to live your own life in a manner of your choosing. That’s about being a walking fucking billboard.
The FARK kids, seldom correct but never in doubt, are outraged. Something about constitutional protections. We-ell…back in the day, I didn’t go. Couldn’t get a date. Not hip, with-it, handsome, rich enough…so no prom for Morgie. The cool kids got to go, and hey, that’s life.
Actually, the atheists ought to just love that arrangement. That’s a microcosm of how evolution is supposed to work, isn’t it? The non-social, anti-social, strange weak specimens fail to breed, die off, and strengthen the gene pool by removing themselves from it…right?
Naturally it comes as a bit of a surprise to me that we have a constitutional right to go to a gay atheist prom.
I can’t wait to find out how, when and where Ms. Carr found time to go door-to-door throughout all of Mississippi, yell the word “atheist” at them, and then watch a majority of them tremble in terror. Wonder what kind of majority it was that trembled, just a bare 51% majority, or a huge two-thirds supermajority.
Something tells me someone’s been ignorantly talking out of their own ass about southerners — AGAIN. Could someone get the word out that Lee surrendered at Appomattox and it’s okay to stop shooting?
Rush Limbaugh has penned the editorial we have been wanting to see:
The sports media elicited comments from a handful of players, none of whom I can recall ever meeting. Among other things, at least one said he would never play for a team I was involved in given my racial views. My racial views? You mean, my belief in a colorblind society where every individual is treated as a precious human being without regard to his race? Where football players should earn as much as they can and keep as much as they can, regardless of race? Those controversial racial views?
The NFL players union boss, DeMaurice Smith, jumped in. A Washington criminal defense lawyer, Democratic Party supporter and Barack Obama donor, he sent a much publicized email to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell saying that it was important for the league to reject discrimination and hatred.
As I explained on my radio show, this spectacle is bigger than I am on several levels. There is a contempt in the news business, including the sportswriter community, for conservatives…”Racism” is too often their sledgehammer. And it is being used to try to keep citizens who don’t share the left’s agenda from participating in the full array of opportunities this nation otherwise affords each of us. It was on display many years ago in an effort to smear Clarence Thomas with racist stereotypes and keep him off the Supreme Court. More recently, it was employed against patriotic citizens who attended town-hall meetings and tea-party protests.
These intimidation tactics are working and spreading, and they are a cancer on our society.
I recall hearing someone say this was part of an attempt to keep conservatism from being mainstreamed. That sounds like Rush; maybe I heard it on his show, and thought I’d read it in an article. It was right after this thing was announced.
Anyway — it’s worse than that. As liberalism has become emboldened, “conservatism” has taken up its traditional standard of simply cautioning waitaminnit. As in, waitaminnit, how do you enter arms control treaties with dictators who routinely make promises and then break them? Waitaminnit, with the dollar in free fall from the accumulation of all this debt, where’s the money going to come from to do that? Waitaminnit, didn’t we try this before? Waitaminnit, if we’re supposed to be a color-blind society…how about just once, for a change, we try to be one?
That kind of conservatism is mainstream already. It is a matter of simple, durable logic. When the concepts discussed become sufficiently simple, there is such a thing as an “absolute center.” As in…when a nation seeks to revitalize its economy, a tax cut is more absolutely-centrist than a tax increase. If you have some measure of intellect you can apply and don’t just follow crowds & slogans, you would have to be hoodwinked in some way to support the tax increase over the tax cut.
So this is an attempt…a successful attempt…to make fringe-kooky stuff look centrist, and vice-versa.
I have a list — and I’ve been linking back to it with increasing frequency, as the world has gone increasingly mad — called How To Motivate Large Numbers of People To Do a Dumb Thing, Without Anyone Associating the Dumb Thing With Your Name Later On. That list, other than crediting President Obama for inspiring the last two items, makes no mention of conservatives or liberals. None whatsoever. The third item on the list is “Switch Moderation and Extremism with Each Other.” That means to fool people into thinking whatever seeks to turn everything upside down, doesn’t, and whatever doesn’t, does. Then you describe your revolutionary but dumb idea in terms that suggest it is just the natural, common-sense thing to do…and anybody who opposes it, necessarily, must be a firebrand of hatred, prejudice and acrid zeal.
This NFL-Rush-Limbaugh thing has been a pretty good example of what I was talking about.
Kennedy dispatched former Sen. John Tunney, a fellow Democrat from California, to seek face-to-face meetings between Kennedy and General Secretary Yuri Andropov. Tunney brought with him a memo on the tense relations between the U.S. and Soviets – with Kennedy siding unequivocally with the Soviets and blaming Reagan.
In a report by KGB Chairman Viktor Chebrikov, Kennedy is represented as suggesting “that in the interest of world peace, it would be useful and timely to take a few extra steps to counteract the militaristic policies of Ronald Reagan.”
One of Kennedy’s close friends, former editor of Newsweek and New York Times Magazine Ed Klein, tells the Diane Rehm Show that Chappaquiddick jokes were high up on the list (audio here, at 30:10):
I don’t know if you know this or not, but one of his favorite topics of humor was indeed Chappaquiddick itself. And he would ask people, “have you heard any new jokes about Chappaquiddick?” That is just the most amazing thing. It’s not that he didn’t feel remorse about the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, but that he still always saw the other side of everything and the ridiculous side of things, too.
EXCUSE ME? If that’s true it makes Kennedy kind of a monster. The odd thing is that if you listen to the whole show, the tone of everyone involved is nauseatingly haigographic and reverential. Klein apparently let his guard down a bit; after he lets it slip Kennedy liked to joke about the woman he killed you can actually hear in his voice that he’s trying to backpedal. The show actually cuts to a break as he’s trying to explain himself, and I seriously wonder if it wasn’t the producers trying to do Klein a favor. But I’m sorry, there appears to be little to that could explain this. It goes way beyond “you had to be there.”
If the first thing is true, we’re talking about a traitor. Period, full stop.
If the second thing is true, he was a sociopath.
There doesn’t seem to be any evidence anywhere to suggest a meaningful question with regard to either one.
I’ve been cross-posting on the weekends at Right Wing News for a little over a year now. One thing that takes place over at RWN that doesn’t take place over here, is that readers can click “up” or “down” on a post to rate how well they liked it. Which, to the folks who pump out material for The Blog That Nobody Reads, doesn’t mean very much. Part of putting an honest effort into figuring out what’s really going on, is showing a little bit of a rugged apathy toward who does & doesn’t like what’s being said.
Now partly because of that…this…which is in regard to this post…has never before happened anywhere…
Worthy of notice, I suppose. It seems a certain recently-departed and supposedly venerable member of our nation’s upper legislative chamber, rubbed quite a few folks the wrong way.
The latest left-wing response to the whole David-Letterman-Joke-Problem thing is that Rush Limbaugh did something just as bad. He’s supposed to have called Chelsea Clinton a dog back in 1993, during her father’s first year in office as President.
Let’s just delay addressing the verity of that statement, for just a quick second. Instead, the brand of response is worthy of inspection because this is such a consistent thing with left-wing types. Every single argument, at the time it is dropped and we all go on to the next one, has to be left with the realization that left-wingers are morally superior. Every single one. No exceptions. No matter what awful thing you saw a lefty do, somewhere there was a right-winger who did something far worse…and the right-wingers lack the moral standing to make the same type of counterclaim.
My point is, if left-wing policies were sound — if they produced positive effects just once in awhile — it wouldn’t be necessary to spend so much energy sustaining this. As the twentieth century drew to a close, our left-wing President was enmeshed in a sex scandal and on that one occasion, the defense was a little bit different. It was: A public servant’s private life is separate from his performance in his public office. This, I think, actually made sense on some level. They were flocking to the editorial pages and the airwaves, to lecture us that this guy from our nation’s history was a complete ineffectual dimbulb even though he was faithful to his wife, and that other guy cheated on his wife constantly but without his service, our country never would have gotten past some crisis or another.
Here’s what’s funny. On no other general topic does this argument make more sense, than political correctness. Certainly, it makes a lot more sense there, than it does on the subject of the most powerful man in the world sticking his dick down the throat of a girl young enough to be his daughter. But the editorialists and the pundits and the talk show hosts and others with the “heavy voices” that carry so much influence with the rest of us, never seem to challenge the political correctness codebook with that challenge.
Perhaps it doesn’t happen, because it would make too much sense. Perhaps, if someone with a golden name and platinum reputation worth defending, lent that name and reputation to the idea that hey — you can be politically incorrect as all get-out, and still show some capacity for leaving the world, and your local responsibilities, in a state better than the way you found them — that would be the beginning of some kind of end. The one loose thread that undoes the whole sweater. Just a thought.
Now then. Is it accurate. Or did the liberals, in their embarrassment, their agitation, their eagerness to lash back, dredge up yet another false chestnut. How come it is that when conservatives complain about Letterman’s joke, they have some video to show us, and when liberals take up their righteous indignation about Rush Limbaugh and Chelsea Clinton, all they have is fourth-hand rumors and hearsay? Is that because Letterman engaged his hijinks just this last week but in Limbaugh’s case it was sixteen years ago?
Or has someone’s imagination been working overtime?
I’m not terribly interested in the whole thing because to me, none of this is about personal character. There are decent liberals…I know of a few. There are scumbag liberals, and there are decent and scumbag conservatives. Unless you’re trying to assert that one side or another has a complete monopoly on this character issue, in one direction or another — which is ridiculous — what is the point?
No, to me, the point is the extreme lengths to which one must go, to make a bankrupt ideology look good. That, and this psychotic fixation some of our more prominent lefties have with Alaska’s eleventh Governor. That is the point.
So to me, the whole Limbaugh/Chelsea thing…even if I was open to the idea that liberals are inherently superior to conservatives morally…even if I believed every single word of Al Franken’s urban legend here, uncritically…would be, and is, a change in topic. I would have to hope there was an intent to deceive involved in bringing it up. The alternative explanation is that the liberals bringing it up, don’t realize how off-topic it is, because the whole point to the Letterman kerfuffle went whistling over their heads.
Update: Study in contrasts. Don Surber is, if I’m reading him right — I’m not certain about this — ready to accept the Rush/Chelsea/Dog legend uncritically:
And yes, Rush, love ya but there is no statute of limitations on such stupidity.
One has only to follow the link above to understand why I would consider that to be a little bit of a mistake.
Don Stott at Musket Balls brings us a video embed that captures Keith Olbermann’s take on it. Admittedly, it’s an apples-to-goofballs comparison to draw parallels between Surber and Olbermann…and I realize I already owe Don Surber an apology for it. But Olbermann’s argument is “Alright let’s get this straight, WE are the political-correct folks, those conservatives aren’t allowed to complain about any of this. Even if my side had any flaws. Which it doesn’t.”
This is part of that give-no-quarter, cede-no-territory, admit-no-wrongdoing strategy embraced by the left. Which I guess must ultimately work. But it sure looks silly when you watch it in operation, especially within its intended forum which is in competition with the other guys. Here’s Don Surber making something of a sincere effort to be consistent. He says, yeah, if Rush did the same thing, then that was wrong too. Olbermann’s point is logically absurd; it attacks itself. “It isn’t bad taste when we do it,” or, “It isn’t an unfair attack if it’s done to them.”
And that’s why I don’t think these people are going to be in power too long. The nation is hungry for leadership by grown-ups. I know it doesn’t look that way when a flim-flam man comes along and offers everyone free house payments, free groceries, free gas in the car, the world will love us and we’ll each get a unicorn — and the voters say “Heck yeah, we want this guy!” But I think everyone’s a little sick and tired of the team-team-team stuff. On both sides. The our-guys-can-do-no-wrong, those-other-guys-can-do-nothing-right stuff. I think the nation’s hungry for a discussion about which policies work. I’ve been hungry for that for a long time now, and I know back in November I was shown to be in a decided minority on that.
But since then…we’ve talked about everything else haven’t we? Michelle Obama’s fashion, Michelle Obama’s arms, Barack Obama’s apologies, Barack Obama is still awesome, stimulus plan we oh-so-much-hope works, executives paid too much money, Julia Roberts and Keith Olbermann still hate Republicans…et cetera…et cetera…et cetera…
I think Obama is a one-termer because I think in short order, significant numbers of people are going to be fatigued in the same way I am. It really doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch.
That headline means — let us be clear — Paul Krugman of the New York Times is the one that got p0wned. He did not do the p0wning, although I’m sure he thought in that weasel-reptile brain of his that’s exactly what happened, as his scaly/furry clawed digits glided over the keys.
I’d rebut Krugman’s arguments, only he doesn’t make any. Does he ever? Krugman doesn’t argue, he just vents. This is what we used to call “mailing it in.” If Krugman spent more than 20 minutes writing this column, I’d be shocked.
[Krugman’s writing is pulled out, pieced together, quoted, sliced up, put on a slide, studied under a microscope…or rather a microfiche reader]
[W]hat facts–what arguments–are presented in support of this invective? None. It’s just hyperventilating. I know it’s only the New York Times, but wasn’t there a time when even that paper expected its columnists to expend at least a little effort? Krugman might as well have written “I am a Democrat” over and over again until it added up to 750 words.
This wouldn’t be such extreme p0wnage if it was descriptive only of Krugman’s latest column and of nothing else. As it is, the two paragraphs I extracted could just as reasonably be festooned upon — with some exceptions — anything in the Krugman archives. At least, most of what has come to my attention. It is a generic p0wnage, and therefore, a devastating one.
Going back to those tea parties, Mr. DeLay, a fierce opponent of the theory of evolution — he famously suggested that the teaching of evolution led to the Columbine school massacre — also foreshadowed the denunciations of evolution that have emerged at some of the parties.
These are the kinds of the things Krugman writes that are so frustrating. He’s a brilliant economist but too often drives off the reservation into dishonesty.
After reading Krugman’s account, are you led to believe that Tom DeLay said in a clear declarative sentence that Columbine was the result of the teaching of evolution? That he repeatedly said it and would say it again today if asked?
Krugman has an unusual fixation with Delay and blaming Columbine on the teaching of evolution. He’s mentioned this several times.
Enough of Krugman’s take. Here’s the full story. One week after the Columbine massacre, Addison L. Dawson wrote a letter to the editor to the San Angelo Standard-Times which mocked the idea that guns were to blame:
For the life of me, I can’t understand what could have gone wrong in Littleton, Colorado. If the parents would have only kept their children away from the guns, we wouldn’t have had such a tragedy. Yeah, it must have been the guns.
It couldn’t have been because over half our children are being raised in broken homes.
It couldn’t have been because our school systems teach the children that they are nothing but glorified apes that have evolutionized out of some primordial soup of mud by teaching evolution as fact and by handing out condoms as if they were candy.
It couldn’t have been because we teach our children that there are no laws of morality that transcend us, that everything is relative, and that actions don’t have consequences. What the heck, the President gets away with it
Nah, it must have been the guns.
The letter was later read by Paul Harvey on the radio and then by Tom Delay in Congress on June 16, 1999 during a debate on gun control. (You can see the in the Congressional Record on page H4366.) The words are often credited to DeLay and not Dawson, though DeLay’s reading of it certainly implies an endorsement.
After DeLay spoke, Barney Frank lambasted the letter by saying it was blaming the teaching of evolution for the shooting. That’s where Krugman got his line.
Which brings us back to one of the classical House of Eratosthenes philosophical questions, that ongoing events on the plane of reality compel us to ask. We’ve asked this one before and we’ll be asking it again:
Is it possible to make liberal ideas look good, without misrepresenting something?
By the way, my favorite repulse of the “Gotcha” technique was proposed by Andrew Ferguson (not available online) after Andy Hiller’s famous interrogation of George W Bush in 2000:
Hiller asked him to name the new prime minister of India.
“The new prime minister of India is — no,” Bush said. “Can you name the foreign minister of Mexico?”
“No, sir,” Hiller replied. “But I would say I’m not running for president and I don’t write foreign policy.”
Upon hearing this weaselly dodge, which is perfectly in keeping with the spirit of gotcha, Bush should have switched fields, to Hiller’s own area of expertise. “You’re in television,” Bush might have said. “Who played the professor on Gilligan’s Island?”
Me, I’m just shaking my head and giggling. Dionne has just ‘fessed up to writing about the decision without reading it, and the poor bastard doesn’t even realize that’s what he’s done. But to anyone who’s so much as skimmed through it, it’s crystal-clear.
Dionne writes…apparently, thinking he’s making a great point, and playing the English language like a virtuoso plays a fine Stradivarius violin…
Conservative justices claim that they defer to local authority. Not in this case. They insist that political questions should be decided by elected officials. Not in this case. They argue that they pay careful attention to the precise words of the Constitution. Not in this case. [emphasis mine]
I’m rewording slightly, here, my comments to Phil’s post (pending moderation there as of this writing):
Um, E.J., Justice Scalia began to parse out the exact wording in the Constitution on p. 2 (5 in the Adobe PDF file), and is concerned with absolutely nothing else until p. 27 (30) when he turns to relevant historical events. He even has footnotes in his analysis in which he respectfully deals with opposing viewpoints of the language.
I struggle to remember the last time I’ve seen so few words in the Constitution, analyzed by so many words in the decision that labors to fairly and accurately interpret them. Each significant noun and verb is subject to cool, reasoned scrutiny about what it might possibly mean and what it could be reasonably interpreted to mean. The reading within those 26 pages, as one might expect, ends up being a little dry; so I suppose it’s understandable you couldn’t get around to grinding through it — except, that is, for your wanting to write about it, in which case I would have expected you to at least crack it open.
Now you’re nailed. How embarrassing for you.
How did a talented, intelligent guy like Dionne get here? By being overly concerned with what others are thinking, and trying too hard to be a loyal member of a group. From there the words “The Constitution,” seemingly unambiguous, take on a life of their own. That phrase comes to represent the intents not of the Founding Fathers as they signed a specific document, but of liberals in good standing.
So he ends up bitching at Scalia for not being a good liberal. But as he delivers his snotty lecture, behind him the trained eye can see the DC v. Heller decision lying on his desk, with the seals intact, under a thin layer of dust. Dionne didn’t read it. Dionne didn’t skim it. Dionne knows not of what he speaks. Dionne’s opinion is utterly worthless, and he’s the last one to know how much.
But where it really sucks to be Dionne? A year or two from now, DC v. Heller will be a part of law that you will be expected to know if you’re a first-year law student. It does what Supreme Court decisions are supposed to do — end the debate, not with phony aristocratic authority, but with reasoned scrutiny and logic. It’s settled, and the nation will by then have moved on…and Dionne will be hoping-against-hope that the law students will somehow remain ignorant of his ignorant comment on it.
On April 6, 2008, Barack Obama visited the San Francisco region, zipping from event to event all day long, from one end of the Bay Area to the other.
What? you might ask. How did I miss that? If only I had known, I would have gone to see him.
Well, there’s a reason you didn’t know about it. Obama didn’t want you to know about it. Because the events he was attending weren’t for people like you.
They were for people with lots and lots of money, who use that money to gain access and influence with politicians — especially politicians who might become president.
So although the San Francisco Bay Area is probably the most pro-Obama section of the entire country, with Obama signs and stickers visible everywhere you turn, when Obama himself actually visited his electoral home base, he ignored the hoi polloi — all the little people who swoon over him — and instead, he spent the entire day with the rich.
Heh heh. Hope, change, hope, change, hope, change…the latest charismatic young Robin Hood campaigns on his message of hope-change, while hob-nobbin’ with the big boys just like any spoiled little rich old white Republican. Oh yeah, you riff raff, he really feels your pain.
Have you signed the Pavley Petition yet? (H/T: Boortz.) It says we here in California have to stop George Bush, because he’s been throwing the monkey wrench into the works of good legislation designed to curb the global warming emissions that caused the wildfire down in San Diego.
This is the kind of nonsense that threatens to crumble under it’s own weight, like a beached whale, simply by being taken seriously. This is, in my opinion, exactly what we should do.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The most important issue of the 2008 elections is, who’s going to bring us the biggest pile of scorched terrorist carcasses. You can pontificate and bluster away about gun control and minimum wage to your heart’s content, none of it matters if you aren’t going to run out there and kill me some terrorists. Second most important issue is, is the democrat party stupid or full-blown crazy. The Pavley Petition is advancing a nugget of lunatic logic that is a repeat of what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid already said this week. Questioned about this immediately afterward, Reid himself didn’t seem to put too much stock in his own remarks:
Officials said Tuesday the winds and high temperatures are expected to continue. But when the fires do stop, lawmakers likely will debate the cause of the fire.
“One reason why we have the fires in California is global warming,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters Tuesday, stressing the need to pass the Democrats’ comprehensive energy package.
Moments later, when asked by a reporter if he really believed global warming caused the fires, he appeared to back away from his comments, saying there are many factors that contributed to the disaster.
I think it comes from that huge win the donks had right after Watergate: They seem to be everlastingly convinced that if the news cycle will barf up some all-consuming item that commands everyone’s attention for a week or more, all those bad donk ideas will suddenly look good. It’s as if they’re saying to themselves, hey it worked in ’74, it can work anytime. Bad idea, plus a high profile bit of news that has some real legs to it…equals a good idea, or something that sufficiently resembles a good idea.
Hmmm…now that I think on it, since 2002 this one of the few things on which most of them have been consistent. It’s like they don’t know what to do about Iraq, but they’re dedicated to waiting around for the perfect news item to make their bad ideas look good. Why they don’t just get ahold of a genuinely good idea, so that what’s happening this-day or that-day becomes irrelevant, is something I don’t understand. You’ll have to ask them.
But ideas the donks think are good, seem to have it all in common that they appear to look good, at a given time. They’re conditional. We must keep talking about Abu Ghraib, because that’s when ignoring Saddam Hussein looked in hindsight like a good idea; we must talk about Terri Schaivo, because that’s when they look almost sensible; we must talk about Hurricane Katrina, Jena 6, global temperatures in 1998…etc. Everything is justified by some event, which may or may not be repeated.
It’s like they’re steadfastly opposed to figuring out what makes sense all the time.
No wonder they get so pissy when Dick Cheney says things like “Nine one one changed everything.” He’s stealing their schtick.
Funny thing is, though — killing terrorists does make sense all the time. What nine one one changed, was that up until then we didn’t see it.
I think the donks should write this into the party platform next year. Come on donks, it’s a news event. By the time of your convention, the event will be just nine months old. Talk about those awful fires in California, and how they were caused by global warming…write it into the platform…and four months after that, we’ll all get together and vote on whether you have command of your mental faculties.
1. To accuse a second party, usually in a grandiose and theatrical way, of deeds or thoughts that are actually quite out of harmony with the truth or the speaker’s perception of it. The purpose is ostensibly to uncover one or several hidden agendas and lay them bare, but in reality the purpose is to gain a tactical advantage in front of third parties. 2. More broadly, any act of accusing someone, which is blessed by a substantially greater quantity of bluster than genuine confidence. 3. To accuse someone of something based on feeling rather than thinking.
A specialized ad hominem fallacy capable of jettisoning logic and reason from any debate, for the advantage of whatever party finds logic and reason to be injurious. An accusation designed to shift the focus of an argument, usually deployed when the speaker has been cornered by inconvenient facts. It is a rhetorical weapon designed put the offensive on the defensive and put the defensive on the offensive. Highly effective, although nearly certain to end any rational discussion.
The word is inspired by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s bullcusing Rush Limbaugh of “calling our men and women in uniform who oppose the war in Iraq, and I quote, ‘phony soldiers’.” It is a bullcusation unless one is willing to suppose the Majority Leader actually thought, in his own beady-eyed little head, that Rush said something like this…which seems dubious at best. Senate Majority Leader Reid, therefore, accused Rush of saying something that Senate Majority Leader Reid, himself, knew Rush didn’t say. Senate Majority Leader Reid accused, for the purpose of deceiving others. Senate Majority Leader Reid bullcused.
It has been easier and easier to find examples of this, for the last several decades as information has flowed to more people more quickly. The still-exploding artform of performing in front of the cameras, has made the bullcusation a frequent occurrence.
…we have got to find a word for this someday. This thing liberals do. Where you come up with this accusation out of thin air, and you know the facts aren’t on your side so of course there will be a discussion about whether the accusasion is true or not — which it isn’t. Then, you see to it that instead of being pursued…the discussion is instead prolonged…since, if the discussion were pursued, it would be a very short discussion indeed.
The casual observer will assume the accusation has some merit to it, but that’s a secondary payoff. The primary reward is that there is something you don’t want discussed, and now you’ve generated a distraction from it.
The classic Vaudeville version of this is “When Did You Stop Beating Your Wife?” For the uninitiated, the trick is that if you aren’t a wife-beater, there’s no correct way to answer the question. This is a close cousin to that. You come up with an argument which, plainly, has an inimicable relationship to truth and common sense — like — “we need twice as much money so let’s raise the tax rate twice as high.” I offer the counter-argument that plainly puts the kibosh on yours: “If you raise the tax rate significantly, people will change what they do to pursue their individual interests, and you won’t raise the revenue you expect to; this is basic economics and has proven to be an accurate prediction of human behavior, time and time again.” And you say, “you want the government to run out of money and you want poor people to suffer!”
It is an unfounded inference, one that enjoys no genuine confidence. You would not bet your life, your liberty, your treasured possessions on the axiom that I want the government to run out of money, or that I want poor people to suffer. But it’s an effective counterattack in the political realm, because now we’re going to have a long drawn-out discussion about whether I want the government to run out of money and the poor people to suffer. The genesis of the discourse has to do with whether supply-side economics works. It’s about the Laffer Curve. But with enough energized emotions at work…we’re not talking about that, are we? We’re talking about a sadistic streak I’m supposed to have, that nobody’s really going to bet anything worth keeping that I actually have.
That’s what we need to name, some day.
And that’s what a bullcusation is. A portmanteau between bullshit and accusation…and accusation that is full of bullshit. An accusation offered for the cosmetic purpose of uncovering truth, but in reality, for the purpose of covering up truth and making a red-herring about agendas, motives, character issues, and other junk that has no connection to what was discussed previously.
Do conservatives use this? Do they bullcuse someone when they “question his/my/their patriotism”? I guess that would depend on the situation at hand…it would depend on what inspired such an accusation. How comfortable would reality be with the juxtaposition between the accusation and whatever inspired it. Is it reasonable, for example, to doubt someone’s patriotic sentiments when he interlaces his fingers like a six-year-old brat that could use a good spanking, when it’s time to salute the flag…while he’s running for President? We’ll all just have to make up our own minds about that.
Thanks to blogger friend Phil for sending me this in an off line e-mail.
Hillary Clinton ‘could cost Democrats dear’ By Toby Harnden in Washington
Last Updated: 2:29am BST 27/09/2007
A leaked Democratic poll has suggested that Hillary Clinton, the frontrunner in the race for the party’s presidential nomination, could lose the 2008 election because of her “very polarised image”.
The survey by the Democratic pollsters Lake Research indicated that both Mrs Clinton and Barack Obama, second in the Democratic race, trailed Rudy Giuliani, the Republican front runner, in 31 swing congressional districts.
The private memo, leaked to The Washington Post, painted what researchers described as a “sobering picture” for Democrats who believe that President George W Bush’s disastrous favourability numbers almost guarantee they will capture the White House next year.
All party preference polls show that Democrats are much more popular than Republicans. But when the names of individual candidates are used, the gap narrows considerably.
“The images of the two early [Democratic] favourites are part of the problem,” the memo said.
The poll found that Mrs Clinton, in particular, could damage the chances of congressional Democratic candidates on the ballot. The sensitivity of the issue was underlined by the reluctance of Democrats to discuss the survey.
“We’re not commenting on this poll,” said Daniel Gotoff, co-author of the memo accompanying the Lake Research poll. “It was leaked and obviously not by us.”
It really got me to thinking. If I was a donk party chieftain way high up, responsible for writing party platforms and doing the cool “kingmaker” stuff, figuring out who was going to get nominated…how would I handle this, exactly?
It’s a little awkward for them. See they’ve got this name for themselves…they don’t call themselves “donks,” they call themselves something that has to do with the ancient Greek word demos, for “The People.” And if you call them that but leave the “ic” off the end, they get really cranky — right before insisting you call the Boy Scouts a “hate group.” But for the donks to get out of this malaise they’re in, it seems there’s no avenue available to them except to go by that ancient Greek name, and start living up to it.
But see, they can’t do that. The People want a bunch of things the donks aren’t going to tolerate, let alone promote. Let us have guns. Stop reverse-discrimination on the basis of skin color. Build a border around the country that actually means something. Make public school students repeat grades until they pass the requirements academically…in English. Put the United Nations in the business of bringing food and medicine to those who need it — and nothing else — and put them in the position of supervised, not supervisor.
And, bring me the bodies of dead terrorists. The more the better. Preferably, a little singed around the edges with horrified expressions etched onto their dirty dead faces. But quantity over quality; the bigger the carcass pile, the better.
Take your glowbubble wormening and shove it. Drill in the Arctic. Lower my taxes. Get people off welfare. Let me listen to whatever radio station I think deserves my attention, and let those radio stations broadcast what they think will attract and hold my interest. Treat businesses more like they’re real people…which is what they are…and treat unions as if they’re not, since they aren’t.
They can’t do any of this. And so they are left to make noise about scandals that involve Republicans, so that those scandals end up toppling careers, and direct us to “move on” from scandals that involve donks, so that those scandals don’t.
They do other things to make their image all friendly and happy — and, in a grievous assault upon that Greek name by which they would choose to go, everything they do seems to begin and end with a shady smoke-filled back room handshake with the right people. Union bosses endorse the donk candidate in an important election, and then in so doing insist on being called “the police” or “the firemen.” Our print media journalists, also in the right place at the right time during the back room handshake deal, obediently comply. That funny Greek name, come to think on it, makes perfect sense — as long as you don’t interpret “The People” to mean all of the people. What it means is, the “right” people. Union thugs, crooked politicians, heads of states that sponsor terrorism, or in some other way fail to have our interests at heart. People antagonistic, for whatever reason, to capitalism. Gun-grabbing Nazis. The important thing is, all the definitions are laid out with the captains of all those teams…behind closed doors. Those “people.”
The riffraff, the hoi polloi, they’re just kind of a hydraulic fluid agent through which it’s all supposed to be made to happen.
But the donks do have this going for them — they are popular. They are much more popular than Republicans. Until they select a candidate, and then the worm turns. Any candidate.
How can I not be amused by this? They’ve clearly got something going in their favor right now, even if that something is limited to them simply not being Republicans. The ideas they have, the “principles” under which they operate, if you want to call ‘em that…loser.
Their candidates…bigger losers. We don’t like them because after all the money’s been spent making them likable, the candidates remain anything but. The worst part of it is that just before the candidates stop being likable, what they do to end their likability, has something to do with explaining what they plan to do after they win.
It must be awfully frustrating. Especially when you have that razor-thin window of opportunity after you’ve sent all these faux-grassroots voices out there with their phony bumper-sticker slogans, about so-and-so being “the real deal,” before so-and-so opens his or her mouth and spoils everything. That must be more frustrating than if you didn’t have that narrow window of political victory at all.
Hillary has a good defense here. Nominate her, and she can win — with good timing. If ballots are punched while people are still thinking about poor, poor Hillary and her husband cheating on her, and by golly it’s high time we had a woman in the White House, and oh she is so strong-willed just like someone on a Lifetime television movie airing on a Sunday night…but before they think about issues, and lying, and “I don’t recall,” and Rose Law Firm, and subpoenaed billing records…as long as the election takes place within that narrow window of time, she can win.
If it happens anywhere outside that narrow window, she’s a dead duck.
But the same is true of anybody else who could be nominated. It all demands careful handling and public relations. Very, very careful, with surgical precision…just like any other bad idea.
Some of the words that end with “ist” seem to support weighy, urgent ideas, but enjoy very little by way of definition, especially the ones tossed around over the last thirty years. Chauvinist. Racist. Feminist. People who use these words the most often, seem to be frustrated by something. Maybe they’re frustrated because nobody has any way of knowing exactly what it is they’re trying to say.
…there is something decidedly sexist about Hillary’s star appeal, and the primary force behind it. I’m referring to husband Bill’s chronic infidelity. Were it not for that, I wouldn’t be talking about her, and neither would anybody else.
Now, what would we be saying about a male candidate whose wife was screwing every pair of trousers in town because she had all the scruples of an alley cat? It’s not difficult at all to speculate, with remarkable confidence. We’d probably be abuzz with something like…how, if he can’t preside properly over his own household, does he dare to offer himself in equivalent service to his country. How good can a leader of anything be in a leadership position, when his wife sleeps with other guys? Something questioning his manhood, and his lack of willingness to stand up for it.
We certainly wouldn’t be cluck-clucking over how the poor dear fellow is so put-upon, and deserves to be President. I’m sure very few would be saying anything even remotely similar to that. Even fewer would admit to saying something like that.
People who like Hillary, are often heard to ask a question: “Is America ready for a woman to be President?” My counter-question is whether America is ready for a cuckold to be President…a male cuckold. And the fact is, the country is decidedly NOT. She won’t be. The cuckold’s other qualifications impeccable, unquestionable, polished to a mirror-finish, he wouldn’t last as long as a snowflake on a red hot stove.
But Hillary’s failure to keep her spouse happy — let’s face it, if she was a man, that’s exactly what we’d be calling it — isn’t just a stumbling block that has managed to stay out of her way. It helps her. It is a virtual qualification for the office she seeks.
Arguably, her only one.
Why it’s gotten Hillary this far, is something someone should be called-upon to explain. I’d love to hear the composition of it, although I imagine the substance of it wouldn’t hold much surprise. It says something about women, or more precisely, how they are perceived by those who hold themselves up as tireless champions fighting for the interests of women. And what it says, however it is phrased, can’t be good.
MOVE ON DOT REALITY (n.): (1) An instance or collection of cognitive product, used by left-wing people not to embrace reality as we know it, but rather to ingratiate themselves with each other socially. Such stuff has an occasional collision with truth in the same way a busted clock tells the correct time twice a day.
(2) The otherworldly plane of virtual existence in which one lives when one nurtures a habit of intellectually promoting, and/or fixating on, such stuff.
This is how the “Betray Us” ad backfired this week. That the people we call “progressive” nowadays systematically denounce any and all facts they find to be politically inconvenient, is old news to people like me who lack the dignity to avoid arguing with them on the innernets. To “normal” people who do a much better job of engaging their daily lives and staying away from “all that politics stuff,” it’s still a somewhat shocking revelation. You know…the clock-in, clock-out, go-home, rent-videos, play-video-games crowd.
The people who decide elections.
To them, it’s not so much news that The Left would trash Gen. Petraeus, or that The Left would decide to trash him based on the things he had to say. That, arguably, is what politics is all about. Someone says what you like, the job is to sell everybody on his impeccable credentials. He says something you don’t like, you find some scandals and play them up, never mind that the dirt you dig up pales in comparison to the dirt the other guys could dig up on you. That’s why it’s such a dirty business, and that’s why “mainstream” America wants to have so little to do with it.
Rather, the story is in how quickly The Left decided to do this. General Petraeus isn’t, let’s say, a Jack Abramoff or a Marc Foley or a Larry Craig, someone whose name has been twisting away in an unflattering limelight like an earthworm lacking the stamina and moisture to make it into the grass on a hot summer day, drying out in agony. We haven’t had any months-long inquest in the court of public opinion, about whether Petraeus is inappropriately beholden to the White House’s take on things in the theater under his command. It’s just a tad bit awkward to get such a debate going now just because it’s politically expedient to get such a debate going. “Main Street” can smell those kinds of shenanigans…even on it’s way to the ice cream stand or to the coffee shop.
But the real damage is in the wording. “Betray Us.” It seems SO clever, you know. Petraeus…Betray Us…it rhymes! That means you have to gimme credit for it! This problem arises with the salient question, posed by Main Street USA to the “Move On From Some Things, Dwell Irrationally On Other Things Dot Org” people: What exactly do you mean by “Us”? Do you mean the General means to betray us, as in the country, or by “us” do you mean YOU?
Main Street USA — not anti-left bloggers like me, who lack the dignity to extricate ourselves from the argument on a daily basis, and therefore are numerically insignificant, but the BIG America — saw that the General’s loyalty was being questioned, according to an oath he himself NEVER took. And this shocked them. They saw a bunch of phony political obligations being imposed upon him, and they came to realize they were next. In short, with this silly ad, heartland Americans realized exactly how The Hard Left works nowadays.
The Left pretends to be engaged in reality…they pretend to have a monopoly in this…and none of the things they do, once you list those things and start inspecting them closely, have anything to do with this. Anything at all. Our leftist comedians and pundits want to seize control over what we all think about things, even incredibly important issues like Iraq, so they can take this control and turn it over to someone else. They want to bully and intimidate and coerce us into thinking what they want us to think. They want to blackmail us into helping them. Helping them do…well, nobody’s really sure what. They themselves aren’t really sure.
It’s got something to do with rolling back tax cuts, not fighting any wars, repeating slander about our President and our soldiers, and then bellyaching about how none of the other countries like us.
But as the non-blogger world is slowly finding out, facts have nothing to do with any of this…because on the way to getting it all done, “facts” are reduced to things coming out of the mouths and pens of people considered “loyal,” and loyalty is attached only to people who are observed saying the right “facts.” That’s where this alternative reality comes in. This is where all this nonsensical crap comes in, to consume us if we let it. Where, in all of human history, fire has never once melted steel. Where global warming caused Hurricane Katrina. And the collapse of the bridge in Minnesota was Karl Rove’s fault.
It has nothing to do with what you saw happening, or what you can confirm happened, or what you’d bet some money, happened or might have happened. It’s got to do with what will make you some new friends, if you’re seen mumbling something to the effect you believe it, exhorting others to believe it, or both.
Having waded into the muck some time ago, I’ve known about this for awhile: Thinking through our most critical and crucial problems, to far too many among us — to the loudest among us — is purely a social exercise and has little to do with what’s real, even less to do with solving problems for anybody. Thanks to “Move On From Some Things, Dwell Irrationally On Other Things Dot Org” and their ill-conceived newspaper ad, now the rest of the country is coming around to realizing this too. People who are less aware of what’s going on than I am, because they have more dignity.
This country has some heap-big problems. We can debate some other time whether or not they ALL started with George W. Bush; there are a lot of reasons to question even that. But when we’re deciding who’s going to shoulder the unenviable burden of solving them, we’d better keep the grown-ups in charge, and leave the kiddies at the kiddie table where they belong. I’d like to take this opportunity to publicly thank “Move On From What We Tell You To Move On From Dot Org” for getting that message out. I could never have done it quite as effectively as they managed to, without even trying.
I will not be covering the specimens of democrat ugliness in the days ahead. There is no point. They’re going to be placing impressive quantities of energy on the objective of out-doing each other, seeing who can say the ugliest things about Gen. Petreaus, knowing full well that the second-place winner carries home no prize.
There are people out there blogging so that they have something to do; there are people out there blogging for a living. This ass-race is going to have to be closely tracked, so let them do it. My only contribution, should I choose to undertake such an effort, will be to find something that once-upon-a-time strikes me as particularly odious, highlight it, and then within a matter of hours see that specimen knocked out of the “Ass Hall of Fame” by something much worse.
Not to be outdone on the outrage scale by her South Florida colleague, Bob Wexler, Orange County, California’s Sanchez, the very last person in the House of Representatives that you would expect to be invited to a gathering of Mensa, concluded the Joint House hearing with General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker.
Of all the things she could focus on, she asked a question about the facts on the ground versus an ABC News/BBC poll that better supports the Democrats’ view that there is nothing good to be found in Iraq as long as George Bush has anything to do with it.
Note that after she finally gets around to her question, she directs the poll question to Ambassador Crocker, who cites the statistics he knows. Sanchez interrupts and drops the insinuation that General Petraeus is manipulating the numbers in Iraq, essentially lying in his report, he numbers in his report, saying “and General Petraues will know what I mean by that.”
Later in her presentation, dripping with condescension, she slags the entire Iraqi population as saying we are the only good thing happening in their economy.
She is an idiot. And it is pretty well known even in the House of Representatives that she is an idiot. And idiots being able to prosper and rise to the level of being able to ask questions of four-star generals in time of war is one of the things that is truly remarkable about this country. But no one likes a condescending idiot. It may be fair to say that when compared to the 160,000 men and women under General Petraeus’ command, Congresswoman Sanchez may rank in the 2nd percentile in intelligence.
But make no mistake, Sanchez, like Bob Wexler, like MoveOn.org, like the Code Pink protestors, like the Democrats in the Senate who were silent today when they should have been renouncing the New York Times ad today, does not hold the military in anything but contempt.
So that’s your baseline. Just dis-gus-ting…and it’s going to get worse from there.
I’m not the first to say this and I won’t be the last. There are not enough hours in the week for me to fulfill my civic duty by providing all the scrutiny I should be providing, toward these legislative houses. From what I can see, I do not have what it takes to serve there, or to be in one of the chambers for five minutes. That is NOT a compliment.
Every time I see one of these clips, ever since the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, my confidence in government sags. House…Senate…it makes no difference. I wouldn’t be able to adapt to this in any way, and anybody who can, I don’t want them running so much as a hot dog stand. Let alone a country.
The democrats are supposed to represent the people. That is supposed to be their schtick. Demos…Greek…”people.” From what I can see, Congress is in this downward spiral because of opinions being advanced without fact — opinions manufactured to appeal to certain advocacy groups, and not to the people. Opinions woven together, not for the purpose of logically engaging other opinions, but to bully and intimidate and cudgel anyone who might advance a different opinion.
That is not representing The People. That is representing advocacy groups. When the democrats do this, they defeat the only deliverable they can promise to us when they try to win elections. They’re supposed to pull us out of military theaters prematurely and let Al Qaeda take the place over, tax the snot out of us and take away our guns — so that The People can get some representation in government. Yeah. Well try this. Be a “people” and write a letter to your democrat Congresswoman or Senator, telling him or her you really wish that representative’s position on an issue was different, and politely exploring the reasons why.
You get back a form letter.
Whoever disagrees with them about what should be done, doesn’t count. Whoever offers facts confounding theirs, is a liar. Period. End of story. Hellllooooooooo, Republican campaign organizers and ad designers. Your work is being done for you. Next year should be looking like 1994, or else you need to be finding a different line of work. There’s no reason to be losing against these people. None.
Meredith riffed off Russert’s “credibility” line to take her next shot.
VIEIRA: Well you know you talk about credibility. I want to read you something that New Hampshire Republican chairman Fergus Cullen said about Thompson. He said that the voters in this state are interested in this guy, but, and here’s the but, “for Thompson to go on Jay Leno the same night and be trading jokes while other candidates are having a substantive discussion on issues is not going to be missed by New Hampshire voters.” So it’s possible the decision could backfire, isn’t it?
Russert observed that the influential Manchester Union-Leader has been saying much the same thing, and that “there’s no doubt about it, Thompson has some work to do.”
Of course we all remember the way “Today” roughed up Hillary the morning after she chose to announce via a fluffy chat-on-the-couch. Or not.
Stick a sock in it, Meredith. I’ll tell you one think that wasn’t missed by this voter: A whole gaggle of supposed “Republicans” tittering away…how did you put it? “Trading jokes?” Yeah, doing that, about the one candidate who wasn’t there because they were so pants-crappingly scared of him AND they knew this was the last time they could disparage him without having to worry about a ricochet beatdown.
WONDERFUL. In 2007, politics is all about “we all agree on who the target is, let’s see who’s best at throwing the pie.” Isn’t that just great? The one habit that, since December of 2000, had the least to do with actually solving any of the problems anyone wants to see solved, and it has propagated to bipartisan status now.
Fred, here’s to ya. Hope you show them they had something to worry about all along. You can probably come up with a much better witty comeback on your own. Mine would be something like “I fail to see what any of this has to do with keeping illegal aliens out of the country or killing more terrorists.”
George Galloway is facing suspension from Parliament for 18 days, after an inquiry by its standards watchdog.
MPs said he “damaged the reputation of the House” in his comments about the inquiry into his Mariam Appeal charity.
The suspension was the result of him “concealing the true source of Iraqi funding” and “calling into question” the integrity of standards watchdogs.
If the point of the exercise is to restore some sort of order to the reputation of the British Empire and the House of Commons, by the way, I would have recommended against it. The whole thing is a bit of an embarrassment, is it not? As if to say “Hey lookit, that George Galloway guy isn’t answering our questions, and on top of it he’s saying disparaging things about us!” To which my response would have to be…what was your first clue, Sherlock?
It is the Right Honourable MP’s modus operandi. He accuses the accuser. As Yoda might say, “This one, a long time, have I watched.” He doesn’t answer questions. He changes the subject. He does it with great style and flair, and no small amount of skill; it’s always entertaining to see him do it. But to suspend him for refusing to provide information and to “damage the reputation” of something and call into question the integrity of something…why, it’s kind of like suspending a skunk for stinking isn’t it?
But — I’m still glad they did it. He’s got that coming, and more.
This egghead over here is telling Democrats they need to appeal less to the mind and more to the heart. If they do that, they’ll stop losing elections and start winning them. Enough, already, with that facts and reason and common sense stuff…voters aren’t paying attention to it, and he’s got the brain scans to prove it.
I believe what he’s saying about people in general. Where I think he’s going wrong, is he presumes Democrats have room to maneuver in that direction. Has he been watching the same Democrats I’ve been watching?
Every issue that comes down the pike, domestic or international, the Democrat position has to do with the emotional state in which the loyal liberal is to be placed. American victory in Iraq would have a depressing effect; impeaching George Bush would have a satisfying effect; more burdensome regulation on industry and business would have a bolstering effect, and Hillary Clinton in the White House would have an “I’m really all that and a bag of chips!” effect. The effect of such things on the country’s economic and national-security situations is decidedly second-place.
And this pattern holds up. Lock, stock and barrel. Democrats and liberals are emotional creatures. They care first and foremost about their emotional satisfaction.
You know what issue demonstrates how the conservative mindset contrasts with this? The Death Tax.
A lot of the people we call “conservatives” are filthy rednecks just like me. We don’t earn enough to be impacted by it. We contemplate the Death Tax and once we get all the information, we say “that’s a crock.” Our much smarter blue-blood liberals explain that you have to have money to burn to be affected by the Death Tax, and us poor little red-state rednecks, we toil away far below this threshold. It’s a virtual certainty that poor little hicks like us, will never have to pay this tax…to which we reply, I Don’t Care! It’s unethical and we should do away with it.
It’s a rational, reasoned response. To say the treasury gets a cut every time the same money changes hands, and you can’t call it a double-tax even though the money already has been taxed — for that paradigm to make sense, you have to say the government is some kind of liege and we are it’s vassals, not really “owning” money, just using it to keep track of relatively meaningless material transactions as we toil away like little carpenter ants, giving our hearts and souls for the Queen. We’ve thought it through, and you know what? We don’t think the government is supposed to have that kind of relationship with us. We think the Government is a legal, financial entity, no higher than any other. Just like a corporation, or a person. There are terms by which the Government gets it’s cut, and it already got it’s cut…so away it goes, just like a contractor who has already been paid.
Liberals are emotional creatures already, so they don’t see the logic to that. That we lowly hillbillies would dare oppose a tax to which we are not going to be subjected personally, is ipso facto evidence of our ignorance. If we knew what we were talking about, surely we’d see this is someone else’s tax, and our support would therefore be automatic. Because everybody supports taxes that apply to somebody else, right? With no exceptions?
The Death Tax…like no other issue that has been before us in modern times…is a perfect set-up of the conflict between emotion and reason. Both sides think they’re being “fair.” Both sides are absolutely correct about it. They’re just defining “fair” in different ways…liberals in an emotional way, conservatives in a logical way.
This guy thinks Democrats can win if they get even more emotional.
Gawd, I hope they listen to him. Please, let them listen to him.
Do those look like equally solid debunkings to you? Because the second one I’m still trying to figure out. I’m over thirty; I can remember the seventies; I remember the magazines and news clips very well. That guy’s trying to tell me it didn’t happen. Some of his links, in fact, support the notion that it did.
I guess debunking things is like opening a bag of cereal, you can do it well or you can do it half-assed.
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” — Upton Sinclair
Indeed it is, Upton. Yes indeed. Especially those novelists.
The integrity of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Upton Sinclair has been called into question after the discovery of a letter he wrote about the case of two men convicted of murder in 1927.
Sinclair, a crusading journalist, wrote a fictionalized account of the murder case of two Italian anarchists, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, called Boston, published in 1928. The two were convicted of the deaths of a shoe factory executive and a security guard as well as taking more than $15,000 US from the factory’s payroll. They were electrocuted in 1927.
Their execution galvanized the Left, protests erupted across Europe and the U.S. and Josef Stalin denounced it.
Sinclair’s novel paints the pair as innocent and victims of political persecution. But the recent discovery of a letter dated Sept. 12, 1929 from Sinclair to his attorney friend, John Beardsley, indicates the author may have known the two were guilty at the time he wrote the novel.
In the letter, Sinclair describes a meeting he had with Fred Moore, lawyer for the two men: “He … told me that the men were guilty, and he told me in every detail how he had framed a set of alibis for them … I faced the most difficult ethical problem of my life at that point, I had come to Boston with the announcement that I was going to write the truth about the case.”
I don’t think there’s too much that’s worthy of comment here. Keith Olbermann said stuff, Glenn Beck said some stuff back. Neither one of them said much that was substantial.
I just think this comment is a real hoot. And representative of what passes for discourse nowadays, particularly among those with more sympathy for Keith than for Glenn.
beck did not comment on the CONTENT of anything Keith said.
this is a very typical right-wing tactic, attack so they don’t have to address issues.
the right-wingers are starting to get worried and it shows.
The content of anything Keith said? And that would be what, exactly?
I’m thinking somewhere, out on DailyKOS or maybe one of those mass e-mails from Howard Dean, a talking point has gone out that when liberals argue with conservatives, what the liberals need to do is trot out the adjectives “desperate” and “worried” and affix those descriptors to the conservatives. I notice for the last two years they’re employed where they don’t fit very well.
I could come up with some shining examples of this if I really put some thought into it, and some time I don’t necessarily have at the moment. But the situation at hand demonstrates things well enough. Once again…all you have to do to devastate a silly idea, is take it seriously. Let’s take this one seriously and see what happens.
Beck is “worried.” You can tell because he’s taking the time to respond to Olbermann, instead of ignoring him. Huh. Okay, perfectly sound logic so far…a little bit skewed, a little anxious to come to the conclusion desired, but alright let’s go with it.
Now then, who is Keith Olbermann? He’s a guy who rants on some television show called “Countdown,” and his rants come out in clips five or six minutes long promptly uploaded to YouTube with dizzying speed. Among these clips — do any of them say things that aren’t already said in some of the other clips? Not really. Not much. They say bad things about President Bush, and anyone who might defend him. There’s some variety in whatever late happening inspired the content of the clip, but not much of that either — nine times out of ten, or better, it’s something President Bush said. And a good portion of that remaining one-tenth of inspiring phenomena, is something said by someone defending President Bush, or someone who has been known to do so in the past.
What would you say about extended-family relatives who conducted themselves in this way? “Morning Grandma, isn’t it a wonderful day!” “It would be, if President Bush didn’t give me a leak in my roof.” Eh, I shouldn’t say that…a lot of us have relatives just like this.
Desperate? Well. Whether that fits or not, I’ll leave to the readers to decide. Point made, I think.
Back in 1988, I was instructed that I should believe, along with everyone else, that the “notorious” Willie Horton ad was racist. Or maybe “they” told me I should think that several years later. I don’t remember the timeframe, all I remember is that in this bizarre guilt-by-association tactic lots of other Republican communiques and operatives have been slimed through the establishment of some tenuous connection to that horrible, awful, terrible racist Willie Horton ad.
We all know what an awful ad that was, even though very few folks have ever seen it. I had understood that Willie Horton was some kind of a violent offender who had been sent to prison for a long time, and under the governorship of Michael Dukakis he had been released, or escaped, and allowed to re-offend. The Democrats didn’t like having this pointed out and had managed to convince a lot of people it was inappropriate to discuss it…which may or may not have meant it was unfair to blame Dukakis for this re-offense or potential re-offense.
Well in that new Ann Coulter book, the point is made that the facts in this case are just as damning against Dukakis, and against modern liberalism in general, as you could possibly imagine. Yes Horton re-offended, breaking into the home of Cliff Barnes and Angela Miller, binding Mr. Barnes to a chair in his basement, torturing him for hours, repeatedly assaulting and raping Ms. Miller. Horton was an escapee from a weekend furlough, and no, to any sane person Horton had no business whatsoever being subject to a little “break” in his prison sentence. His crime was robbing a seventeen-year-old gas station attendant, attacking the attendant after the money was handed over, stabbing him nineteen times and shoving him in a garbage can to bleed to death.
To me, Horton had always been in my “undecided” file because there were a lot of facts that had not been made available to me. And there I’m referring to the thumbnail biographical sketch of Mr. Horton, as well as the content of this oh-so-offensive ad.
Well, the facts regarding Mr. Horton can be found in the book. I found the ad when I was searching the innernets, looking for someone to supply the devil’s-advocate point of view. Coulter being Coulter, I thought I should be able to find someone who didn’t like what she had to say, and perhaps be able to get their side of the story. I thought right. This fellow is none to fond of her, and has done an exemplary job of stating the case against the Horton argument, as she presented it.
In 1988, Ann Coulter was probably too busy finishing up law school to follow the Bush-Dukakis race very closely, but she devoted a chapter of her latest book to the infamous Willie Horton ads. There are no citations of sources for the excerpts included in this post, which is just as well, since most of the “facts” are anything but…
From Ann Coulter’s Godless (Chapter 3, p. 66):
There are actually two Willie Horton ads, and they are generally conflated. Both were terrific ads. The Bush campaign’s Willie Horton ad never showed a picture of Horton, which complicated their sneaky plan to appeal to Americans’nearly hysterical hatred of black people. The only ad to show Horton’s face was produced by an independent group that included Horton’s victims, Cliff Barnes and Angela Miller. The victims’ ad was made on a shoestring budget and was probably seen by about six people in West Virginia.
Actually, Ann, there were four Willie Horton ads.
One official Bush campaign ad called “Revolving Door.”
Two ads “produced by an independent group that included Horton’s victims, Cliff Barnes and Angela Miller” respectively in each one (a clip of the Miller spot can be seen approximately 1 minute 50 seconds into this YouTube video). And those ads began running in California where presumably more than six people viewed them.
There’s more, but…it would be misleading to say the best is yet to come, because the counterargument doesn’t get any more compelling than that. Ann Coulter said there were two ads; this guy found four. The producer of the “weekend passes” video used to work for Roger Ailes, and if there was a more solid connection between the video and the Bush Sr. campaign someone would’ve gotten in trouble. But as it was, nobody did.
So to recap. Liberal policies exposed the public to dangerous criminals. Cliff Barnes and Angela Miller paid the price for this. Someone thought this was a legitimate issue for the campaign of 1988 and made some videos reporting the facts — accurately. Our liberals didn’t want people to know the facts, and challenged the legality of this. Our liberals lost. This made them mad and so they started waging a P.R. battle. And for reasons nobody can rationally explain, we all started giving our liberals everything they wanted in this P.R. battle and we’re still doing it.
Meanwhile, the facts say when we put these guys in charge of things, violent criminals are allowed to hurt people. Reality is supposed to get more complicated than that, present us some confounding factoids deep down in the wrinkles when you study them up close, that put everything in a gray area. But when you start looking into it, that isn’t what happens at all. It really is that simple. Dukakis had a policy that was idiotic, and emblematic of what our modern liberals tend to do when they have power. Criminals go free, and innocent people are hurt.
The rest, really, is just a bunch of red herrings.
Regarding the comments section of the post that’s been linked: There are seven comments at this time. Four where the left-winger who’s criticizing Ann Coulter “holds court” among the like-minded; nothing is as good for getting a tea party going as some colorful Coulter-bashing. So he gets his high-fives and pats on the back, and then comment #5 is from “Anonymous.” This all takes place shortly after the post went up, which is roughly the timeframe of the book’s publication on 6/6/06. Anonymous is not me. You’ll just have to take my word for that…anyway, the comment is of the “you missed the point” variety — which I find to be accurate — reminding the left-winger what the subject matter is. Releasing life-sentenced murderers on weekend furlough is freakin’ insane.
And then comment #6 is just a joy to behold. You’ve heard it said that liberals have empty arguments and indulge in name-calling when they are cornered. You may not have believed it…well…there’s your proof.
And then comment #7 is just an exercise in lack of self-restraint, from me. Well…not really. I’d do it again. For one thing, if you can’t keep your mouth shut on just one thing, I think this is a great place to let things slip. Vicious murderers being treated like they’re in prison for contempt-of-court, or keeping a library book too long, or jaywalking or something — and innocent people being hurt as a direct result. There’s no reason for it to keep happening. It’s become a matter of routine, and that’s a poor reflection upon all of us.
And for another thing, I’m genuinely curious about the counter-argument. Maybe this guy didn’t present all of it. Why is the word “racist” applicable to this whole situation? So far, based on the facts I’ve been able to collect, the “R” word got dragged out because Horton happens to be black, and there is a mix of black and white actors walking through the “revolving door.” Yeah that’s right — the ad is racist because they didn’t choose an all-white cast as a metaphorical presentation of the guy who brought the whole subject up, who in real life is black. And…unmentioned in the “revolving door” ad. So is he really on-topic? If so, the ad is racist, if at all, against white folks. If he’s off-topic, then the only argument I can see that the ad was racist, is that it wasn’t skewed against white people quite enough.
I’m just not following.
If I had to pronounce my uncertainty unacceptable and require myself to come to the most sensible conclusion I can, it would have to be that “racist” is just something liberals say when they know they’re wrong. That does seem pretty solid. It passes the “twenty people” argument — it would be easy to round up twenty liberals who think the Willie Horton ad is racist. I doubt like hell that if I could interview them one at a time, I’d get back one single explanation as to why it is racist. I’d guess if there’s any single answer I’d get back from two of those interviewees, or more, it would be “I dunno.”
Of course, there’s only one sensible thing to do here. If I continue to open my mouth every time I’m not sure of what’s going on, eventually I’m going to get into trouble. So I had better stop talking about it.
And maybe that’s exactly the point, huh? We keep exploring the issue, liberals are exposed as people who let vicious murderers out of jail so the murderers can hurt people. So we had better stop exploring it. Don’t want to get into trouble.
Ya just gotta see this. It is a new standard for hypocrisy, inveigling, and obfuscation. I award it a hundred points out of a possible hundred, and vow to protect it and display it and bring it out again, each time I wish to measure another example.
It starts with a revelation Monday that the palatial digs of Al Gore, that pied-piper of global warming, the twenty-first century’s Chicken Little, chews through — get this — twenty times the energy consumption of the average home.
The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average.
Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh—guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.
This may come as quite a shock to folks who loudly advertise how much they hate blogs, and get all their news from the alphabet-soup cable channels and the Daily Show. To “neo-cons” like myself, it’s all par for the course. For a generation or more, the “environmental movement” has diminished into nothing but a two-tiered set of rules for us all, one tier for the “ordinary” folks and one tier for the elite millionaire grown-up hippies like Mr. Gore. We are to apologize for our existence while scuttling about in our little plastic-aluminum sedans that look like lightswitches, and they are to move freely around the world in their Gulfstream jets whenever they want. Ah, but what if you share the political leanings of the glitterati without sharing their status? Then you get to buy a hybrid, and start closing your eyes when you talk and smelling your own farts. Then the glitterati will smile upon you…but kindly move your wretched wrinkly wage-slave ass out of their way when you see ‘em coming, thank you.
Our liberals have become exactly what they call conservatives, whenever the subject of tax breaks comes up.
Well now. I was rather interested when I discovered this little statistic about our Former Next President of the United States, via Captain Ed Morrissey’s fine resource, and as is the case with everything I knew there was bound to be another side to the story coming down the road. And there was. First: It turned out the numbers were bogus.
Ha ha! No, that’s what I was waiting to see happen. You know, it could very well turn out that the numbers were bogus and Gore’s grandkids do their homework by candlelight when they come visit. But a lot of angry liberals have had their crack at this thing, and nobody’s stepped forward to say such a thing. No, the thing that happened first was that Drudge started reporting it — and so the lefties began to present it as a story from that nonsensical no-account conservative hobgobblin Matt Drudge. Y’know…like, it wasn’t actually from him, and even if it was, that by itself doesn’t mean it’s untrue…but if you want to conclude such a thing, the angry leftie telling you about Matt Drudge won’t utter a peep of protest. So don’t think about the numbers. Think about Drudge.
That was the first spin. I dunno if it worked. I wouldn’t put a lot of faith in it because as far as anybody can tell, the numbers are accurate. You light up your house all day, and you’ve burned up all the energy that Mister “Global Warming Will Kill Us All” needs for one single hour.
So it’s still a problem…demanding the Frankensten Monster of solutions. I mean, of P.R. solutions. Something that will put all other P.R. solutions to shame.
The right-wing is angry that Al Gore has won so much public attention and goodwill for his work on global warming. Determined to smear his efforts, Drudge writes in a screaming headline:
POWER: GORE MANSION USES 20X AVERAGE HOUSEHOLD; CONSUMPTION INCREASE AFTER ‘TRUTH’
Responding to Drudge’s attack, Vice President Gore’s office told ThinkProgress:
1) Gore’s family has taken numerous steps to reduce the carbon footprint of their private residence, including signing up for 100 percent green power through Green Power Switch, installing solar panels, and using compact fluorescent bulbs and other energy saving technology.
2) Gore has had a consistent position of purchasing carbon offsets to offset the family’s carbon footprint — a concept the right-wing fails to understand. Gore’s office explains:
What Mr. Gore has asked is that every family calculate their carbon footprint and try to reduce it as much as possible. Once they have done so, he then advocates that they purchase offsets, as the Gore’s do, to bring their footprint down to zero.
This is a masterpiece. Really. There are only so many things they can do to change the subject and divert blame from their revered High Prince of impending doom. And they have hit all the notes, as if someone had a paper-and-clipboard in hand with a bunch of checkboxes on it.
One. They missed the point. Completely. The point is, Al Gore is saying our continuing survival has been placed into question — Manhattan getting flooded, etc. — because we’re having too big of an impact on the environment. Al Gore, through household energy consumption alone, has chosen to have twenty times as big of an impact as everybody else. Carbon offsets or no, he’s simply not taking his own proclamations seriously.
Two. They accuse the other side of missing the point, defining the other side as…anyone who would have a harsh syllable or two for their oh-so-put-upon High Prince Gore. How are Gore’s critics missing the point? Something to do with the carbon offset program…which bring us to…
Three. They get to make money for their friends off of Gore’s hypocrisy. Don’t criticize Al Gore! Buy some carbon offsets instead, like he is! Where’s the money go? Who knows? Who cares?
Four. When you start to read “Gore Responds,” the issue is Al Gore’s hypocrisy. When you’re finished with it, the issue is now “…and what are YOU doing to help the environment, like Al?” You have to admire it. They’ve been caught with their hands right in the cookie jar — or their buddy Al has, anyway — and they’ve turned it into a guilt trip on everybody else.
Five. This is just in the “frosting on the cake” department: The verbs and adjectives. Angry. Smear. Screaming. Desperate. You need to sprinkle these in, densely, as they’ve done, when you rely on spin instead of reason and common sense.
This is far too good to let go. You really don’t have to wait very long at all, in this politically charged climate, for The Left to come out with a scolding expose or rebuttal that hits two, three or even four of those. It is an occasion to bump into a single crown jewel covers all five so thoroughly, and that’s why this is a new yardstick by which similar scolding screeds will be measured.
One thing though. And a reasonably intelligent seventh-grader should be able to understand this. If you buy into the idea that Gore’s purchase of carbon offsets somehow vindicates him from the charge that he’s gulping through twenty times as much juice as the rest of us, then necessarily, you have to take it as proven that wherever the carbon offset revenue is going, it’s doing some good. Not only that, but that it is a hundred percent effective. And, that the offset-for-offset computation, weighed against the ecological-footprint size upon which it is based, is accurate. Pinpoint-accurate. Verifiably so. Remember, Al Gore is using up ten times two times You…the numbers stand unchallenged as his toadies and mooks have showered us with their predictable fury and spittle and righteous indignation. The numbers have not been disputed. Presumably, barring the arrival of new information, the numbers are accurate.
Gore is indeed using up all the power of a sorority house with hairdriers running full power, in all rooms, day and night. And yet — he stands blameless. Because of the carbon offset purchases. Which we must know, therefore, work every bit as reliably and as effectively as they’re supposed to…
…why and how, then, is there a global warming crisis? I mean, I don’t pretend to understand how the carbon offset program works, but it must work pretty well. Let’s just buy up enough carbon offsets to choke a horse, and pollute as much as we want. I mean, Al Gore has shown us how, and it must be okay if he’s doing it, right? By this logic, the situation is well under control. Where’s the crisis?
So after the democrat party got all the kinks wound out of their Six for ’06 platform last year, sanded off those burrs, buffed out those streaks, ironed out those wrinkles — how much sense did the result make to those who were, and are, ostensibly the beneficiaries of it?
Not much, when you weigh the words of former paratrooper Michael Fumento regarding Bullet Point #1, which told us they’d “Double the size of Special Forces to destroy Osama Bin Laden and terrorist networks like al Qaeda.”
First, doubling can only be accomplished by going a disastrous route – making special ops no longer special. Second, false solutions crowd out real ones. Much can be done to improve the quality of our armed forces, but this Democratic proposal doesn’t make the grade.
Just as it’s disturbing that in 31 pages the Democrats couldn’t devote a single line to how they plan to achieve their lofty goal, it’s unsettling that they can’t get their definitions right. “Special Forces,” properly speaking, refers to U.S. Army Special Forces, the Green Berets. But, as Drew Hammill in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office confirmed to me, what the Democrats want to double is the much broader group of “Special Operations Forces” – SOF in military shorthand, or just “special ops.”
Further, just as they don’t seem to know what special ops are, it’s doubtful the concocters of this soundbite know what goes into creating such troops or what a doubling would entail. But in consulting with special ops leaders, trainers, and members – indeed, by merely looking at the numbers – it quickly becomes clear that this “plan” is pie in the sky.
Hat tip to blogger friend Buck, who credits Chapomatic, and also achieved an early nomination for our Best Sentence award:
“Special,” in the Dem lexicon, has more to do with things like the Special Olympics than Special Forces. I despair of the Dems ever understanding the difference.
It’s in the entertainment section of Yahoo News, but apart from that there is no evidence that the editors understand this is satire. Certainly nothing offered to the more gullible amongst the readership.
…transcripts obtained under the Freedom of Information Act showing conversations between Messrs. Bush, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and the Magic 8-Ball make it clear that the ball had the deciding vote when it came to the administration’s pre-war planning.
At one point of the transcript, Mr. Bush asks the Magic 8-Ball flat out, “Does
Saddam Hussein have weapons of mass destruction?”
The ball responded equivocally — “Reply hazy, try again” — prompting the president to repeat his question.
Once Mr. Bush asked the question again moments later, the Magic 8-Ball was more definitive: “Signs point to yes.”
At the White House today, spokesman Tony Snow defended the Magic 8-Ball’s role in gathering pre-war intelligence but said that the ball had left the administration in 2004 to spend more time with its family.
Part of the reason for my unfriendly reaction to the latest “girls and young women traumatized by sexy pictures” thing is that it is tired. It is gawdawful tired. Tired, and unsolicited. I didn’t wake up the last three mornings in a row thinking “gee, I wonder if girls and young women get traumatized when they look at sexy pictures.”
Everybody who does polls and studies, likes their polls and studies to be read by someone. And yet, once again, the researchers at the APA did the study they wanted to do. Ostensibly to sound the alarm about something hitherto ignored…and yet…the study said what many studies before have already said.
How about finding out what people want to know, and then going and figuring out whatever that is?
Here’s a hint, researchers and pollsters. Listen up.
I would like to see a study conducted on Democrats. Democrats who use the phrase “Swift Boat” as if it is a verb. I can’t help but notice when you do a pinpoint-precise Google search, you get back an impressive number of results and each and every single one of those results, seems to have something to do with a Democrat being all big-n-bad.
You know, that thing they call “swaggering” when President Bush does exactly the same thing.
Well. I would like a poll to tell me what this phrase means when you use it as a verb. Does anybody really know? If you ask a hundred Democrats in serial fashion in an isolated setting what this means, do you get back one single answer?
I feel sorry for our liberals, really I do. They’ve achieved a sense of cohesion across the American landscape, about something they oppose…but all they can do with that cohesion is barely touch it, they can never quite grasp it. They certainly can’t translate it into something they support.
In fact, how many words can they get out about this thing they oppose, and why they oppose it, and how they oppose it, before the cohesion slips away from them like a slippery fish? About…four or five, tops.