Sunday, October 31, 2010

"But we support the troops"...

When proggs say that they support the troops, what many of them really mean is that they pity the troops, poor deluded unemployable children that they are. Amazingly enough, there is a difference. If you'd like to really support the troops, please consider one of these:

Soldiers Angels


Trust me: it's no more a violation of your flamin' "conscience" than supporting the post office is.

Rally to Restore Sanity

So, ten thousand liberals out having a laugh at Tea Partiers. (The jabs at msnbc are strictly pro forma) Like that's going to make the TP activists stay home on election day.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Uganda anti-gay bill might soon become law

How terrible... Although I confess it took me a few moments of consideration to reach that conclusion. There's a cute verse by Dorothy Parker, that goes:

As I grow older and older
And totter towards the tomb
I find that I care less and less
Who goes to bed with whom

I'm not there yet. I'm not able to divorce sexuality and morality, as the prevailing winds of the current era demand that I must. But neither do I wish harm upon anyone for being what they were seemingly born to be.

I don't have a pat answer, terrible.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Juan Williams parsed on LGF

So a few days ago curiosity once again got the better of me, and I clicked over to see what Little Green Footballs would have to say about the Juan Williams affair. LGF couldn't honestly call him a racist bigot, as the site would have with a white conservative voicing the same opinion. So instead there was a hanging insinuation that he was bought off, secretly & in advance, by that $2 million payday from Fox News. Reminded me of similar failures of imagination in the past, where some bewildered conservatives thought that Charles just had to be taking money from some liberal backer, to have shifted course like he did. No, sometimes it's just a case of the lightbulb coming on.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Holy Crap...

No, really. I just saw my first commercial for the Creation Museum in Kentucky, the creationist monument to the willful ignorance of biblical inerrancy. A real spit-take moment, glad I wasn't drinking anything. It was similar to this, only it featured people together with dinosaurs:

Like I always say, to believe in things that can't be proved takes faith. To disbelieve in things that have been proved takes obstinance.

Juan Williams, you poor fall guy...

Okay, all very true. But he must realize that liberals like him are merely beards for hardline progressives. They've mostly completed their long march through academia and the news media, begun in the 60s, and don't need to pretend to share the fair-mindedness of liberals like Williams. If you dissent from the line that all people, all cultures, all religions, are equally uplifting and valid, that the only differences are those of headgear and cuisine, then you are branded a bigot by those in charge of enforcing the goodthink.

In prosperity our friends know us. In adversity we know our friends.
-- Caleb Churton Collins

Juan Williams fired from NPR, for comments on Fox News O'Reilly Factor

Juan Williams' fears are misplaced.

With the exception of the Fort Hood shooter, the Muslim terrorists on American soil of recent years have been dressed in Western garb. They wanted to blend in, to go unnoticed. So I'd actually feel more at ease on an airplane, sitting next to someone in a full Arab or Pakistani costume. Chances are good that they aren't up to anything.

That said, I can't help but grimace at NPR's PC enforcement. No doubt if Williams said something about feeling uncomfortable at a NASCAR race, he'd get a ten-year extension on his contract.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ancient History

Here's an interesting article in Der Spiegel about how pre-historic Middle Eastern farmers invaded and settled much of Europe, with the help of fresh milk. It reminds me of this quote by G. K. Chesterton:

But the truth is that the curtain rises upon the play already in progress In one sense it is a true paradox that there was history before history. But it is not the irrational paradox implied in prehistoric history; for it is a history we do not know. Very probably it was exceedingly like the history we do know, except in the one
detail that we do not know it. [...]

The most ancient records we have not only mention but take for granted things like kings and priests and princes and assemblies of the people; they describe communities that are roughly recognisable as communities in our own sense. Some of them are despotic; but we cannot tell that they have always been despotic. Some of them may be already decadent and nearly all are mentioned as if they were old. We do not know what really happened in the world before those records; but the little we do know would leave us anything but astonished if we learnt that it was very much like what happens in this world now. There would be nothing inconsistent or confounding about the discovery that those unknown ages were full of republics collapsing under monarchies and rising again as republics, empires expanding and finding colonies and then losing colonies. Kingdoms combining again into world states and breaking up again into small nationalities, classes selling themselves
into slavery and marching out once more into liberty; all that procession of humanity which may or may not be a progress but most assuredly a romance. But the first chapters of the romance have been torn out of the book; and we shall never read them.
-- G. K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man, 1925

Sunday, October 17, 2010


So I joined recently, and began cyber-connecting with friends and relatives. I encountered friends of friends whom I used to know, long ago. Some of these I joyfully re-established contact with. Others, I took a long, long look at, and finally clicked away, humming the CSN lyric to myself:

Don't let the past
Remind us of
What we are not now

And I'm pretty sure other former acquaintances have done the same to me, or will do so. I've no problem with that. As the years roll on, it's enough to just hope that those years have been good to them.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Chinese miners trapped

Here we go again. "Miners trapped in China" is as much a news cliche as "Bus plunges into ravine in India" or "Apartment fire in Atlanta" Poor fellows, I hope they get out okay. But I don't look for much in the way of improvement in China, the land of disposable labor.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Chile mine rescue live feed

I'm watching it on, minus the yammering news anchors. The first miner just came up. Good show all around!

Bolas de aceros...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Newsweek defends Ann Coulter against The New York Times

I'll pause while you climb back into your chair...

And actually, it is Mickey Kaus writing this piece. He's taken more care in nailing down the facts than Coulter seems to do, most times.

I enjoy Ann Coulter's zingers as much as anyone. But I find that I can abide her offerings more if I remember that she isn't arguing, so much as she's performing.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

What you mean "we", kemo sabe?

Hypocrisy in anything whatever may deceive the cleverest and most penetrating man, but the least wide-awake of children recognizes it, and is revolted by it, however ingeniously it may be disguised.
--Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Over at HuffPo, an academic you've never heard of, who imagines that his eminence in his specialty translates into political perspicacity, pens this self-congratulating sneer.

...Finished? Okay. No one likes a concern troll. In the interest of honesty, let him replace "we" with "you effin' peasants". And all the lines that begin "We care about etc, etc...", change those to "You effin's peasants care about things which don't jibe with my proggy hobbyhorses." There, all fixed.

And that's really all the notice that screed deserves, but honestly, how can someone be this out of touch?

"We don't care about religion unless a mosque is being proposed near Ground Zero." Huh? Tell that to the 40% of Americans who say they attend church regularly. To all those rural storekeepers who put bible verses on their roadside signs. To those Americans who even in the hardest times give twice as much to charity as the next most generous nation.

"We don't care about the homeless and the poor unless they are dying on our doorstep." As above. For proggs, the prescription for society's ills is ever harsher scourgings of ordinary people.

"We care about entertainment not meaningful creation." No doubt his idea of "meaningful creation" is some piece of dadaist installation art which cost a zillion government art grant dollars to produce.

"We care about style not substance." A common plaint of people who are deficient in both.

"We care about shopping malls filled with unnecessary imported junk that advertisers convince us we "need" to have." Tell me: did Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissaro, and Eduard Degas create an "artificial demand" for Impressionism?

"We care about having vast amounts of inexpensive food." Says a man who's doubtless never endured a day without food in his life. And even if he has, let him remember that asceticism is a personal choice, not a public policy to be imposed by proggy wiseheads.

Just as youth is wasted on the young, so America is wasted on Americans like this.

The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer.
-- Theodore Roosevelt

Everyone with a gripe against Israel or America has joined the orgy in the guise of "analysis." Analyze this, you bastards.
-- Andrea Peyser, front page editorial, the New York Post, 9-21-01

Cato the Elder banned at Little Green Footballs

Just heard this today, en route to looking up something else. Another one of my old stablemates from the Class of '04 gone, one who had seemingly adapted to the changing times over there. Is everyone sitting on an ejector seat now?

I've got no problem with Charles changing his mind rightward to leftward (or center-ward) about things. John Cole at Balloon Juice did it, and so did Stephen Sherman of the now discontinued but once big time The Political Diktat. It happens. I respect his independence in staking out unpopular positions, defiantly declaring what he perceives as the truth, against what he perceives as a hurricane of distortions. It takes guts to do that, whatever one's position.

But goodness, couldn't all this have been accomplished without needlessly antagonizing so many former allies? Without having so much personal abuse play out on the pages of LGF these past two years? How can he regain transparency, so that the content of his bloggage rather than his personality will be the takeaway? How in the world is everyone on all sides going to climb down from all this hostility? It can't continue indefinitely. Can it?

10 10 No Pressure Video, adapted to a certain other "no pressure" situation...

I denounce myself in advance for posting this. If the LiveLeak embed doesn't work, as is its wont, just double-click it to go and view it directly on LiveLeak.

...and if the thing doesn't show at all, just click this link.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Westboro Baptist Church lawsuit

What, if anything, to do about the creepy picketers from Westboro Baptist Church at military funerals? I propose the following legislation for these cases:

Any person who commits assault and battery against any other person engaged in picketing or protesting a military funeral shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by not more than one hour incarceration or a fine of not more than five dollars.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Keith Ellison calls for tolerance

Home-grown Nation of Islam types are bad enough--street thugs in dinner jackets. Wahabbist and Deobandi Muslims are downright lethal to everything we'd recognize as civilization. Let's hope Keith Ellison is neither one of those.

Newsflash: General Philippe Petain still an anti-semitic creep, only moreso.

The Nazis chose their tool well.

A newly discovered document proves that Philippe Petain, the infamous leader who set up the puppet Vichy regime, in fact spearheaded the persecution between 1940 and 1944.

Petain had always claimed that he opposed the deportation of Jews to concentration camps, and in fact tried to do everything he could to stop it.

But a handwritten note from Petain in fact proves that he complained that his fellow countrymen were not doing enough to attack Jews during World War Two.
The original Statue on Jews, discriminatory laws passed by the French collaborators, read that 'descendants of Jews born in France or naturalised before 1860' would be spared internment.

But Petain crossed out the exemption clause and even suggested that Jews should be banned from becoming lawyers or teachers.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Germany's 20th reunion anniversary

The most momentous years I personally ever lived through were 1989-90, the West's victory in the Cold War. During the failed Soviet coup against Gorbachev, I pounded the steering wheel of my van in excitement, listening to the developments on the radio. Congratulations to the Germans on finally reuniting after all those decades spent asunder. Hope Otto von Bismarck has been resting more peacefully since then.

Recalling the slogan of the East German freedom movement of 1989, Mr Wulff on Sunday told his audience that “We are the people” was “an invitation to everyone” – immigrants and natives alike – to take part in the forging of a nation.

“When German Muslims write to me to say that I’m their president, then I answer, ‘Of course I’m your president’,” he said in reference to a recent public debate about whether some immigrant groups are more resistant to integrating.

Christianity and Judaism were key to German culture, he said, and so too should the country accept that “Islam has also become a part of it”. It was right that the Muslim religion should be taught alongside others at German schools.

“The future belongs to those nations ... which are open to cultural diversity,” Mr Wulff said to applause. “In the race for the brightest minds, we have to be able to attract them and to be attractive to them.”

Correction: Germany is becoming part of Islam, along with the rest of Europe. Cultural diversity will be a sad mock, if one culture insists upon an adversarial, supremacist course.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

10-10 No Pressure video

Me being a literal-minded Yank, I'd be appalled at this if I didn't have some Australian acquaintances. But remember, this is a country that honored a prime minister who died by drowning by naming a municipal swimming pool after him. So, consider the audience.

UPDATE: I've since learned that this is a British production, not Australian. So, color me reverting to being appalled. For filmmaker Richard Curtis and crew, this is one of those revealing instances where people do not see what you want them to see. Instead, they see what you really are.

What a baroque religion Hinduism is...

I'm reading William Dalrymple's Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India. Some of the rituals he mentions are preserved on YouTube. Like theyyam dancing, where dancers travel from village to village, invoking the deities and taking prayer requests from the locals. And singing the epic of Pabuji, a medieval warrior from Rajasthan whom time and renown has promoted to godhood, in that region. The performers sing his story for nights on end, before a phad, an illustrated tapestry of the epic, which doubles as a portable shrine. In the media age, with fewer people keeping to the old ways, fewer people have time to devote to listening to the whole thing, and so this tradition is slowly dying out.