Saturday, August 29, 2009

John Batchelor: Elitist

by Smitty

I have seen the face of elitism on the right, and it is John Batchelor.

In the PJTV segment linked, John Batchelor has a point: the egalitarian mindset is at odds with the elitist mindset. The modern GOP elitist mindset is as wrong now as when the Founding Fathers rejected The British Parliament's elitist mindset.
"I'm not going to pretend there is anything genuine about [the Tea Party Movement].
This is about people putting their faces on TV."
Anything, Mr. Batchelor? Anything? I've attended three Tea Parties in the greater DC area.

The media are sparse, except insofar as they're cherry-picking shots for blatant propaganda pieces. Typically, when someone builds an arugment around an absolute assertion such as "there is nothing genuine about the Tea Party Movement" my first reaction is that this is not in fact a dialogue or anything resembling an attempt to discuss a point. It's a rant.

The wife wandered by while I viewed the clip:
Mrs. Porch Manqué: "Is this parody?"
Porch Manqué: "This is self-parody."

Mr. Batchelor says at one point: "The chief idea of the party is liberty." And yet, you've conveniently labeled reasonably orderly, if raucus and spirited, dissent as "anarchy". Mr. Batchelor, how can you even play the anarchy card? All of the violence of which I'm aware has been carried out by those who oppose Tea Party Movement and its noble goals.

Mr. Batchelor on future voices of the GOP: "Right now, if I know their names, they're not the furture leaders."

Based upon the content of this clip, Mr. Batchelor, anyone you endorse is probably going to be a tool, a tool's tool, a machine tool for producing new tools. So my advice to you, Mr. Batchelor, is that your influence is best enhanced by endorsing everyone else, so that the sewage of your condescension doesn't become a stench overwhelming the aroma of your candidate.

Mr. Batchelor: "GOP is Confederacy-lite"

Get bent, John. I was just out on the Oregon coast at a family reunion. The people, while insufficiently loquacious and, no doubt, lacking the educational credentials from the 'proper' schools to show up on your radar, are pissed. And I don't mean that in a jolly, drunken British English sense. No, I mean a traditional, smelling a scam when confronted thereby, tired of having their good nature impinged pissed.

The Tea Party Movement is "We the People," irrespective of State. Your attempt at dismissive regionalism is wildly inaccurate at best. Let me attribute it to your elitism and ignorance, as opposed to wondering aloud who funds you.

Mr. Batchelor:
"Liberty requires order, and decency, and respect. Acting out, throwing signs out, getting thrown out of meetings, or making loud speeches to the television camera is not about liberty."
Let me translate: "Only I give good theater."

More importantly, who persuaded you that you are an arbiter of First Amendment employment? "To every thing there is a season," as somebody with a far greater reputation for wisdom than you once said. Every single bit of expression counts, sir. And the less constrained that expression is by elitists packing their own agendas, the better.

Restated, there is a tradeoff between efficiency and authenticity. Sure, the hand-made signs, malapropisms, and lack of coordination make you wince a bit. You'd like to give everyone a three hour course in Montesquieu before they get in front of a camera.

The Colonial Army would have also looked a pile of ass on the parade field, compared to the Redcoats.

Mr. Batchelor: "Future is about Republican party is about maintaining order and having ideas that connect with the American people."

If you mean the Rule of Law, such as it obtains under Eric Holder's Department of What?, then I can follow you. But I sense, based upon tone and content, that you may be referring to the permanent political class that has sprung up in the last century.

"One Graph to Rule them All," the Jacksoninan Party link says, combining Tolkein and something the Founding Fathers feared, and tried to engineer out of the Constitution (of which word you seem as aware as Jim Moran, I note). Are you little snobs growing fearful, not so much for your physical safety, but that a private citizen with a FaceBook page can pull back the curtain and reveal how lame you are without the megaphone?

Consider this, Mr. Batchelor. This is the Information Age. More people are tuning in, finding information, thinking independetly of your ilk, and forming the conclusion that We Don't Need You. Nautically speaking, you are a sailmaker. We are amidst a sea change away from being powered by your wind. Your sails pitch is falling flat. We will give you the shaft, and your boat will be screwed. And "We the People" will navigate away from the shoals of tyranny.

PS: As a measure of decency and restraint, I decided not to embed an abstract portrait of you. Some day you will thank me for this. I'm waiting.

This blog gets linkage and love from:John Batchelor, not so much.

Update II:
The Sundries Shack comes through with excellent reinforcements.

Not even Google escapes

by Smitty

Knowledge is Power tweaks Google's foppish little tribute to the King of Fop with a little memorial to somebody who joined his brothers in Arlington, VA on a permanent basis.

'But let us be charitable' . . er, let's not

Gallant Doug Ross undertakes to fisk Conor Friedersdorf, and let the readers assess for themselves how Doug has performed that task.

But Doug, you don't waste time fisking someone whose chief error is impudence. Smack the punk and be done with it.

The merits of the punk's argument are irrelevant to the key point: Friedersdorf lacks standing to criticize Levin, whose years of honest and useful service to the conservative cause -- remember, Levin worked for Meese in the Reagan administration -- should put him beyond reach of the arrogant scribblings of such a parvenu.

What are Friedersdorf's accomplishments? What has he ever done, as a conservative, that might cause any intelligent person sincerely to give a damn about his critical opinions of Mark Levin's best-selling book?

Friedersdorf's most notable journalistic achievement was as a Culture 11 crew member helping David Kuo squander a million dollars or more on that notorious disaster:
"I never even heard of this Culture11 site until I read that it was gone," said veteran conservative blogger Dan Riehl. "If someone wants to know why it failed, extrapolate that out to other bloggers and web surfers, that was it. Having never seen it, all I can conclude is that it really must have sucked."
Friedersdorf wrote a classic example (alas, now evidently departed from the Internet) of a useless though surprisingly persistent literary genre, "The Conservative Case for [Insert Pet Liberal Cause Here]." In Friedersdorf's version, the pet liberal cause was gay marriage, which I gave the only response it deserved:
We are barely five years past Lawrence v. Texas, but Conor Friedersdorf apparently can think of no legitimate argument against gay marriage and certainly will cede nothing to Mona Charen.
Is there anyone under 30 who opposes gay marriage? Is the passage of five years sufficient to deprive Justice Scalia's dissent of intellectual respectability?
I'm still thinking about Roy Moore's ruling in Ex Parte H.H. . . .
In a follow-up, Friedersdorf says, "my support for gay marriage is so inextricably tied to my conservatism." And the only wonder is that Willmoore Kendall, Russell Kirk and Richard Weaver didn't beat him to it.
Well, you can read the whole thing, but you see the point. When smacking a punk, it is important to be as high-handed as possible, to expose him to ridicule, for unless he can be made to realize what a laughingstock he's making of himself, there will be no hope for his redemption.

Therefore, do not engage his argument, dismiss it.

This is efficient, since you neither waste your time, nor that of the casual reader -- who needs merely know that the punk is not to be taken seriously. Skim the punk's article, locate your target and attack. Friedersdorf:
But let us be charitable. Perhaps Mr. Levin, writing with an eye toward current events, began the conflict between liberty and tyranny in FDR’s America because he regards it as when the particular threat to liberty that the United States today faces began.
Ah, so Friedersdorf views Mr. Levin as being in need of intellectual charity, does he? Let the conservative reader, familiar with Mr. Levin and the history of the 20th century, ask merely if Friedersdorf's insulting tone is more important than any specific criticism this insufferable whelp might make. Again, skipping past a few hundred words of nonsense, here is Friedersdorf's conclusion:
Liberty and Tyranny at its best is a Cliffs Notes refresher on conservatism for the reader too busy to read the Federalist Papers and Edmund Burke. At its worst, it is a counterproductive tome that misleads conservatives about the nature of their fellow Americans, distracts from the actual disagreements and differing priorities that separate us, and in so doing exacerbates the hard right’s present tendency to cede all reality based arguments about governance by never engaging them at all.
Exactly two questions now require an answer:
  • Is the Atlantic Monthly actually paying Friedersdorf to write this stuff?
  • Does Mr. Levin really need any help defending himself here?
It's as if a gnat were attempting to rape an elephant. Why bother defending the elephant against an assailant whose ill-considered attack the intended victim probably won't even notice?

Levin wrote a book intended for a general readership, the title of which is Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto. Having not read it myself -- no one bothers to send a mere blogger review copies of books, it seems, nor have my friends at Levin's P.R. firm thought to call and ask me if I'd like to interview The Great One -- I'd hate to judge a book by its cover.

That Liberty and Tyranny is a far better book than Friedersdorf (or Rod Dreher) is willing to recognize is evidenced by this paragraph from Richard Spencer, a brilliant young radical who dissents decidedly rightward of mainstream "Movement" conservatism:
As for Levin and his new book Liberty and Tyranny: I was given a copy as a gift and have crashed through it. There is, as you might guess, a whole lot of material in his “On Self-Preservation” chapter with which I disagree. . . . This being said, the brunt of the rest of the book I endorse. Republicans have a tendency to sound like Ron Paul when they’re out of office, and then act like LBJ once they get elected. Sure. But Levin has laid down some explicit constitutional, pro-liberty principles with real, concrete consequences.
Alas, young Spencer went to Duke University and has read too much Nietzsche, so considering that you'll rarely hear him say a nice word about any "Movement" conservative, his measured praise is practically a "two thumbs up!"

Even if Liberty and Tyranny were merely, as Friedersdorf says, a "Cliff Notes" of conservative basics -- well, what's wrong with that? Not everyone majors in political science in college or aspires to be considered an intellectual. And thank God for that!

Most normal young people are apathetic about politics and are decidely uninterested in a philosophical or historical approach to the subject. They'll sit through lectures in required courses and study those dull college textbooks just well enough to get a "B." They'll get their diplomas, get a job, get married, have kids, pay taxes and probably not really think much about politics as they pursue their own slice of The American Dream.

God Bless America! Who wants to live in a nation of philosophes, where nobody ever talks about or pays attention to anything but political theory? The beauty of limited government is that we can safely ignore it, which is why men who love liberty take alarm when power falls into the hands of men with boundless ambitions for the expansion of government.

Levin has taken alarm and, for those lovers of liberty who spent their college years in the grand American tradition -- frat parties, football games and avid heterosexuality -- rather than earnestly studying amorphous philosophical abstractions like some kind of neurasthenic geek, Liberty and Tyranny may be just the sort of common-sense book they need.

And it's a New York Times bestseller. Leave the gnat alone. The elephant notices perhaps only a minor itch. And more important annoyances require my diligent attention.

Of course, I don't know what's on Page 291 of Liberty and Tyranny, so I can't pronounce it the Best. Book. Evah! However, I'm sure that's an innocent oversight that Levin will remedy in his forthcoming book, Shut Your Stupid Piehole, You Miserable Twerp: Rod Dreher, David Brooks and Other Bozo Losers Who Should Be Ignored.

(UNNECESSARY LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Any resemblance between the "order page" for Shut Your Stupid Piehole, You Miserable Twerp and a so-called "tip jar" PayPal site is probably not accidental, and people contributing to that fund should not expect to receive an actual book. But keep in mind that Conor Friedersdorf actually gets paid to trash Mark Levin, while my services as a punk-smacker are entirely uncompensated unless readers want to send a message of support to me by hitting the tip jar.)

Rep. Diane Watson (D-Havana) Unwittingly Consigns Herself to Hell

Thanks to Michelle Malkin for transcribing this remarkable rant by the Castroite congresswoman:
It was just mentioned to me by our esteemed speaker, "Did anyone say anything about the Cuban health system?"
And lemme tell ya, before you say "Oh, it's a commu–" you need to go down there and see what Fidel Castro put in place. And I want you to know, now, you can think whatever you want to about Fidel Castro, but he was one of the brightest leaders I have ever met. [APPLAUSE]
And you know, the Cuban revolution that kicked out the wealthy, Che Guevara did that, and then, after they took over, they went out among the population to find someone who could lead this new nation, and they found . . . well, just leave it there (laughs), an attorney by the name of Fidel Castro . . .
Many critics have focused on the racial aspect of Rep. Watson's remarks, in which she bashed Rush Limbaugh for his oft-misinterpreted "I hope he fails" remark about Obama. Watson said Republicans "are trying to see that the first president that looks likes me fails."

Dear Ms. Watson: Barack Obama does not look like you, for which fact he should be eternally grateful.

And as much as I would enjoy unpacking what my old college buddy Bobby "The Hamp" Shearer would call your "signifying jive," it is far more important that your admiration for Fidel Castro and his murderous Marxist henchman, Che Guevara, be exposed as a species of subversive totalitarian propaganda.

Whether anyone is black or white, Jewish or Gentile, Protestant or Catholic, believer or atheist, gay or straight, native or immigrant, rich or poor is irrelevant to whether he is an American. Yet to deny the founding principles of this great nation -- as you, Ms. Watson, have done by your embrace of that ideology of evil known as Marxism -- is to deserve the contempt of every man and woman who would claim the high honor of being an American.

Assignment From the Site Meter
There were other things I might have done today -- oh, look, Ted Kennedy was a commie-loving traitor, too! -- but when I woke up, grabbed a cup of coffee, and checked my SiteMeter (the Small Blogger's habit I hope I never lose) I noticed traffic from Michelle Malkin.

Hmmm, had The Boss linked me? Well, merely a "Buzzworthy" sidebar link to my denunciation of Eric Zorn. Ah, but there on Mrs. Malkin's front page was her transcription of your remarks on this YouTube video:

Now, Mrs. Malkin is a journalist who has acquired fame and fortune by the most honorable of methods: Hard work. When we hung out in Denver a year ago, I had the opportunity to watch her live-blog the famous "Barackopolis" acceptance speech. The lady is a lean, mean, blogging machine. Her focus and discipline are an amazing thing to see.

Now, Ms. Watson, what does it mean that such a person as Michelle Malkin would devote even a small part of her precious allotment of time on this earth to transcribing your idiotic remarks? If there is any journalistic duty worse than transcribing audio, I don't know what it is. And I say that as someone whose early career as a small-town sports writer involved typing in bowling league results.

Having spent more than two decades clawing my way up from the very lowest rung of the American newspaper industry, having won awards and seen my reporting lead to legislative action in the halls of Congress, and especially having won acclaim as a top Hayekian public intellectual, I deeply resent it when at the advanced age of 49, I find myself required to do journalistic scutwork, as if I were some grass-green newbie "agate maggot" on the sports desk.

Old School Hayekian
Such are my feelings about transcribing audio. I'll do it if I have to do it. But whenever I'm cussing my way through a transcription, I always hear the inner voice of an Old School editor -- whom I picture in suspenders, sleeves rolled up, unbuttoned collar, loosened tie, an unfiltered Chesterfield hanging from the corner of his mouth and a pint of cheap whiskey in his desk drawer -- sharing a Hayekian insight:

Stop wasting your time on that crap, McCain. What the hell are interns for?
Such is the Old Schooler's concern for efficiency, his Hayekian conception of the division-of-labor benefits of organizational hierarchy, wherein the experienced editor assigns menial duties to an unfortunate young flunky, so that the grizzled veteran may apply his hard-won skills where they are most needed.

Wes Pruden often wore suspenders although I never saw him smoke a Chesterfield and, really, who knows what he kept in his desk drawer? But Mr. Pruden didn't work his way to the top of the heap so that he could spend his day transcribing audio. At some point, an old newspaperman -- Mr. Pruden notoriously hated the word "journalist" -- has earned the right to assign scutwork to others.

Blogospheric Punk-Smacking
Well, here I am in the blogosphere, in the New Media age where arrogant young know-it-alls think themselves too good to do scutwork. Every overprivileged 23-year-old punk fresh out of College Republicans is a pundit these days -- a commentator, a media critic, a political strategist, a regular by-God intellectual -- and heaven forbid anyone should expect one of these young geniuses to do the scutwork of mere reporting. (Anyone want to spot me an over/under on the total number of hours of his life Ross Douthat ever spent transcribing audio? I'd lay $20 it's less than 40 hours, and I'd bet the farm he's never typed in bowling-league results.)

Therefore, Ms. Watson, I considered it quite a marvelous and significant thing when, this morning, it came to my attention that no less a personage than Michelle Malkin -- the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of The Best. Book. Evah! -- had assigned herself the scutwork of transcribing this bit of audio.

It would seem as if something utterly accidental and random has called you, Rep. Diane Watson, to my attention. And as every regular reader knows, I don't believe in accidents.

People who know how to hit a man's tip jar thereby acquire his special favor. So when I woke up this morning, Ms. Watson, I quickly discerned the ministry to which I was called to devote myself this day. You have unwittingly incurred the diligent performance of a most solemn duty, ma'am.

The Series Continues

Like Belshazzar: The Self-Destruction of Diane Watson

Finally, Mary Jo's Recompense Arrives

by Smitty

Title assist goes to fellow backronym fetishist Fishersville Mike.

Today's FMJRA salute goes out to a true Rule 5 lady and her Rule -50 date. Irrespective of whether you want to argue that some sort of penance was affected, subsequent to the tragedy, the twin evils of
  • a blatantly two-tier justice system and
  • Camel Snot, that American variation on the theme of aristocracy,
render it hard to say much of anything positive regarding the Cheetah of the Senate (or am I herding my cats improperly, in my pussyfooting fashion?)

The one time I encountered him, as I walked by First Class on a US Air flight from Logan to DC in early 2007, I said "Good afternoon, Senator", and earned a "Howaya?" for my effort. So, there you have it. Give the man credit where he accomplished positive things, and blow Camel Snot and the two-tier justice system to hell. If you can take out the 16th Amendment and Charlie Rangle's non-command of compliance to the tax code with it, you win four TCP/IP protocols.

This post goes in reverse chronological order. Normally not a problem, as few stories eat the whole g'dang week, you'll need to scroll down to the bloated bottom of the Ted Kennedy story and read upward for a chronological take.

Department of Naval Science
They say every ship is a minesweeper...once. So, too, is every car a submarine.
  • Paco summarizes beautifully:
    I don’t know about you, but I went through the five stages of grief over Kennedy’s death in record time. Watching the MSM cast him as John the Baptist to Obama’s Jesus helped a lot...
    The subtle connection between Chappaquiddick and 'Baptist' really takes the bre-no. Putting the joke down now.
  • Bob Belvedere, in contrast, works out the heaviness of his heart by shameless devotion to Rule #2. He links us here, and again for MJK Day, and a third time, and then one last. Let this be an inspiration to all.
  • Southern Appeal "Giving the bayonet to the 'dictatorship of relativism' since 2002" linked us at length and in detail. "Who knows — maybe she’d feel it was worth it."--Melissa Lasfky. Will we say the same as we crawl out from under the wreckage of this administration?
  • The blog storm known as Pundette picked up SA's title, but also found We don't know how much Kennedy was affected by her death... which seems to bring out the fury in the Pundette.
  • Cranky Con was right there as well.
  • Gloves off, announces The Rude News. "Kennedycare: Uncle Ted will do for you, what he did for Mary Jo."
  • Andrew Ian Dodge rounds up the anti-memorials and has some BBC confirmation about Ted's sub-marine humor.
  • Obi's sister laments that Mary Jo had no more time to see the sunny South. She also tried to find some sympathy for Ted Kennedy. Strange thing. Even the dictionary page containing 'sympathy' was gone. Poor lady has to get a new dictionary.
  • Nova Town Hall has a roundup, and salutes Donkey Cons co-author Stacy.
  • The Classic Liberal notches it up a bit by calling Ted the personification of tyranny. I'll throw that out there, but I'm well short of agreement. It's really hard to quantify things at that level of abstraction. The left are masters of disproportionate comparison. Ted has a lot of competition for the title, and I'm unsure his monstrosity achieved quite that height. Though he is an intriguing variation on the theme.
  • No Runny Eggs linked us in a roundup that includes Headless Blogger, making a connection I'm mildly embarrassed to have overlooked. All me to tease:
    Oh life's a dream with you, Miss Lily White
    Jane Fonda on the screen today
    Convinced the liberals it's okay
    So let's get dressed and dance away the night...
    (Whereas Bob Belvedere suggests the (NSFW) DK: TDTF. It's fairly clear from the lyrics that they were not targeting Ted personally with the song. Drunken swine in general, sure.)
  • And the Mean ol' Meanie stays in character and broadens the discussion to the whole clan. He may have pulled a punch in there, somewhere, but I'll admit that the probability is low.
  • Pulling us back into focus is HotMES:
    I’m sorry for his family and their loss, but I’m not sorry for him. Forty years ago last month he killed a woman. He then went on to have a very successful career as a politician and lived a free and rich (and long) life. One can only hope he is paying for his sins now. And, the death of this murderer should not be the death of any campaign against this health care bill.
  • HyScience linked the O'Reilly ricochet, where Stacy took papa bear to task for being a Kennedy apologist.
  • Rightofcourse was correct, as expected.
  • Insty picked up the Mary Jo tribute.
  • The Daley Gator aimed for a moderate tone, and was mostly successful.
  • Daily Pundit rogers up for Mary Jo Day on 26 August. And the location is the Rock It Grill in Alexandria, VA.
  • Deuce warned of the politicizing of Ted's death.
  • Carol at No Sheeples Here: Chappaquiddicare, and also Leaving The Scene Of An Accident Was Teddy’s 'True Compass'. There is a reason we endeavor not to irritate Carol.
  • Carol's Closet had a link list.
Carol O'Connor was a hoot:

  • Government Mess orbits the moral black hole.
  • WyBlog: "Today Ted Kennedy meets his Maker. And Ted's got some 'splaining to do."
  • Twitze, which looks like an aggregator has some clips.
  • Public Secrets was bluntly disdainful.
  • Jules Crittenden raises a specter: "There’s the other issue, being much discussed, of who gets to be the next iconic liberal lion." Well, if we change the first 'c' to an 'r', Arlen Specter himself is already an ironic liberal lion.
  • The Reaganite Republican Resistance was early in the game.
  • The Hill Street Blahg quotes the POTUS on the topic. Ahem.
  • Bitsblog phrased it nicelybluntly.
  • Western Experience went snark-free.
  • A Conservative Shemale:
    The Times doesn't bother to mention the fact that he was responsible for cutting off aid to the South Vietnamese when North Vietnam invaded, which directly lead to the fall of South Vietnam and the boat people crisis of the late 70's and 80's.
Department of Literary Allusion
When you start to have goofy literary allusions about public figures, you know you're probably not alone in the concepts, execution, or appreciation.
  • Rightofcourse features an entire series of Eldricht Farce, the tales of Y'Obama Mythos. Read, enjoy, add your own to the chorus. While we'll be celebrating our own Rule 5 tomorrow, Alinsky Rule 5 says:
    "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon." There is no defense. It's irrational. It's infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.
    Fresh off OediPOTUS Wrecks, I'll add that the literary flavor allows you to (a) have fun and (b) serve up some thoughts which, in a straightforward piece, would be quite a challenge to undertake.
  • The Camp of the Saints gave me a nice review of OediPOTUS, and a custom piece of real estate at the top of the page. Responding to this is going to call for extreme shamelessness on my part, but I'm just the sort of dignity-free fellow for the task.
Department of Criminally Silly Science
Department of Airbrushing, under which can be found History
  • Instapundit links a post recalling when Matt Cooper used to be a journalist.
Department of Public Health
  • Caroline joined my derision of health care as 'a right'.
Department of Uncontrolled Wedding Tackle
[Had been 'Tanya', but that didn't pass editorial review]
First, an idiot stole art to pay for an abortion for his rape victim.

Then, there is Copperfield:
This talk recalls this old Sublime video, which is probably NSWF due to minor potty mouth and mature content. Ultimately, if she's not your wife, what are you on about?

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Political Science, AKA The Toolbox
  • Below the Beltway quoted me in my adrenaline flush post right after the town hall. I stand by the words, but have to laugh at my efforts after a certain hour of the night, when beauty sleep might be a better option.
  • Pundette put a name to the Moran protester for me: Randall Terry.
  • Paco linked my polite letter to Representative Moran.
Department of (You Don't Need to Know)
Department of Xenobiology
  • The Most Important News thought Janeane Garofalo's Uganda knowledge was important. Close. It's really her in-depth grasp of Bulungi.
  • Linked by 'The Blogprof', whose academic stamina for viewing clips of the twit is amazing. I think I've embedded "Idiot Wind" by Dylan recently, so I can't offer that up as an editorial. I try to cling to the hope that people really aren't that stupid; they're just paid to sound that way. Hopefully, I never meet JG so that my fantasy remains intact. And your dirty mind in tact.
  • WyBlog uses the phrase "functionally retarded" in a post on banned phrases in the EU.
Miscellaneous Shouts:
The boss called, and there will be an update to catch other links from last weekend, plus those cats and dogs not in the Technorati pool who've emailed separately.
Questions, comments, concerns: Smitty. Check this post in an hour or so for the balance.

Deadlines and PHBs meant that we had to go with the above, and finish the task getting through the links.
Miscellaneous Shouts, Now Echoing:
Department of Irregular Warfare
  • After Jon Voight's provocative statement The Sundries Shack downplayed the threat of Civil War. While there is plenty of angst on any number of topics, I don't think its really all that close, either. I do foresee continued provocations from an Imperial Fed, but think that the Article V approach, while a steep grade indeed, is the correct long-term goal.
  • Reganite Republican Resistance has a Mach 1.0 nosedive assessment for the Administration.
Department of Fascist Archaeology

All right. This post started with a pool of something like 80 URLs. Keep me loaded, people. Pray for peace.

I weep with joy at the site of this URL

by Smitty

It may not be legally binding, but the knowledge that someone is driving for it is beautiful. I hope they consider my favorite drum in detail. With sufficient advertising of the idea amongst "We the People", it can build on the Tea Party success, and the (hoped for) November election successes in VA and NJ.

Last Tuesday I heard with my own ears my Congressman compare the President to Pharaoh in the Book of Exodus. The context was the wisdom of an autocrat in preparing for a famine seen in a vision. Sadly, the notion that our Constitution is written with intent to preclude autocracy seems to escape my Congressman.

"We the People" must oppose this, or our capacity to oppose will be denied.


The FMJRA nears fruition. The post is so big already, you're going to need two web browsers to load it. So you've got about another hour to go find an extra one.

Admirable brutality, Mr. Flynn!

By God, sir, I thought I had it down to a science, but you have written four of the best sentences ever written about Ted Kennedy:
The election of such a man to the United States Senate in 1962 struck many, particularly the liberals who would grow to lionize Ted Kennedy, as a bad joke. Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr dubbed the youngest Kennedy son's bid for office "an affront to political decency." Washington Post columnist Mary McGrory said the trick in discussing the neophyte’s senate run was "to keep an absolutely straight face." Prof. Mark De Wolfe Howe of Harvard Law School, a sometime advisor to John F. Kennedy, found the youngest Kennedy’s candidacy "preposterous and insulting." . . .
And he's written much more, so read the whole thing. Meanwhile, I'll call the Pulitzer committee. Surely, this year they should award a special prize for brutal excoriations of Ted Kennedy and, confronted with the masterful work of my friend Daniel Flynn, I confess myself unworthy.

It's like wrestling a pig, sometimes

by Smitty


Dr. Sanity neglects both to drop in on, and to link Dr. Helen and Dr. Oakley on PJTV. The two ladies were also doing a bit of greased porcine grappling. In a field. In bikinis. No, that never happened. Great clip, though.

Zorn: The Nadir of American Journalism

Weasel Zippers says, "Vomit Alert." Excuse me even for quoting this execrable emetic which the editors of the Chicago Tribune actually had the bad taste to publish:
If we'd had insatiable 24/7 cable news networks in July 1969, the accident on Chappaquiddick Island in which a passenger in a car driven by Sen. Edward Kennedy drowned would likely have dominated the national consciousness for months. . . .
Was it just as well that we didn't -- couldn't -- have a media feeding frenzy over Chappaquiddick in 1969? Would the nation have been better off if Kennedy had been shamed into private life? . . .
Or, as I believe, is the nation -- particularly our disabled and disadvantaged residents -- better off for the 40 years of service he was able to render after that terrible night?
And Mary Jo Kopechne still could not be reached for comment.

One hesitates to say that American journalism can't get any worse. We said that after Stephen Glass and Jayson Blair and yet, as if determined to prove us wrong, these elitist nincompoops who've hijacked the news business keep coming up with new crimes against their own profession.

Ed Driscoll has some thoughts, and links some honest commentary by Mark Steyn and a brutally factual American Spectator account of Chappaquiddick by Daniel Flynn.

Still,, even the antidote of such good journalism cannot quell the Zorn-induced nausea. I'm depressed by this evidence that there must not be one Old School journalist left in Chicago. An arrogant intellectual punk like Zorn? Mike Royko would have punched him out.

UPDATE: Not worthy of a Royko punch-out, but this paragraph by CNN's Elliott McLaughlin has a glaringly bad word choice:
In his national address, Kennedy said he was driving Kopechne to a ferry landing because she was tired. He denied "widely circulated suspicions of immoral conduct" and also refuted reports that he was "driving under the influence of liquor."
Kennedy "refuted" nothing. I understand McLaughlin's reluctance to use "denied" twice in the same sentence, but "refuted" means to disprove.

Multiple witnesses confirmed that Ted Kennedy had been drinking heavily all day that Saturday. Supplies for the regatta party -- attended by six married men and six single women, incidentally -- included three half-gallons of vodka, four fifths of scotch, two bottles of rum and two cases of beer. And then there is the rather telling circumstantial evidence that Ted drove off the freaking bridge.

On that night, Kennedy was drunk as a skunk, high as a kite, three sheets to the wind. He was hammered, wasted, soused, tanked, blotto, sloshed. He was, in a word, intoxicated.

I'd go so far as to say he was driving while intoxicated, except that rolling an Oldsmobile off a bridge is not really what most folks down home would call "driving."

Nothing he said in his subsequent speech "refuted" the fact that Teddy was drunk, nor will it ever.

Friday, August 28, 2009

'Melancholy'? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Doug Ross catches this incredibly stupid Twitter message from Matt Cooper:

It feels a bit like 9/11 on Martha's Vineyard. End-of-summer weather is achingly beautiful but the mood is melancholy because of Teddy.
Good God! I remember when Matt Cooper used to be a journalist! Now he's doing some kind of pathetic Twitter haiku? Like a dreamy dimwitted schoolgirl?

Henceforth, if anyone asks me why the news business is going to hell in a handbasket, my answer will be two words: Testosterone deficiency.

(Hat-tip: The Blogprof.)

UPDATE (By Smitty): PJTV has an 11 minute talking head clip talking about politicizing TK, the HuffPo's atrocious blog on Mary Jo's approval, and Camelsnot.

Bleg: can anyone geo-locate the Ayn Rand Institute guy's accent? Sounds vaguely Germanic by way of New England or something. Pennsylvania Deutsch?

UPDATE II: Welcome, Instapundit readers! "Journalist," "reporter," to-may-to, to-mah-to. At heart, I'm still the same class clown I was in third grade. As I said Friday, I consider it a duty to laugh Teddy into hell. So . . . How to Remember Ted Kennedy (If You Must):
Edward M. Kennedy became a laughingstock the old-fashioned way: He earned it. . . .
If there were any justice in this world, Teddy would have been drummed out of the Senate as a disgrace as soon as the facts were known about what happened at Chappaquiddick on July 19, 1969. If there were any justice in the world, Ted Kennedy would have gone to prison for vehicular manslaughter. Instead, because he was born with the right last name, he was allowed to cop a plea to a misdemeanor charge of "leaving the scene of an accident." . . .
With a guest appearance by the inimitable "Shecky" McCain:
He’s a man after Ted Kennedy’s own heart. The main difference between Shecky and Teddy is this: Shecky doesn't like to share waitresses with Chris Dodd, so he always orders the open-faced sandwich! . . .
Shecky’s never met a tasteless Ted Kennedy joke he wouldn’t steal in a New York heartbeat. Fat jokes! Drunk jokes! Any joke that makes Ted Kennedy look like the lying, lecherous liberal he was, you can bet Shecky’s going to steal it. . . .
Democrats are trying to use Teddy’s bloated corpse to pass health-care reform — man, what a joke that is! Yet we must pay tribute to his real legacy, the way that womanizing old alcoholic would want to be remembered. . . . We’re not laughing with Teddy. We’re laughing at Teddy.
Read the whole thing. And remember to tip your waitresses. Try the veal. I'll be here all week.

Go, Baldilocks, go

by Smitty

Apparently, while I was inside laughing mabooty off at the Jim & Howie Show, someone in uniform outside did one of those Things That Give You Your 15 Minutes of Fame (TTGYY15MOF).

Baldilocks raises the Gates-aquiddick question: how long until the officer gets chided by the POTUS for "acting stupidly".

Now, there wasn't an arrest in this case, or any exchange of racial adjectives, but one expects a teachable moment, some kum-ba-ya, and maybe a latte summit, no?

Sorry, Professor, I didn't click that link

Maybe if it had been three, I would have clicked it, but . . . "The Story of the One-Boobed Stripper"?

No thanks. I mean, it's not that I lack morbid curiosity, but I'm just too busy today, laughing Ted Kennedy into Hell.

The Ted Kennedy Memorial Stand-Up Routine Will Be Continued . . .

Thanks to The Underground Conservative for giving an appropriately respectful name to the performance by that show-biz legend, "Shecky" McCain.

Now, everybody at Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy HQ is grateful to know how much you folks love The Shecky Show. Like Ted Kennedy, Shecky kills 'em every time. (Yeah, we heard your ominous stentorian laughter, Ed.)

But while Shecky's shtupping a cocktail waitress in his dressing room taking a much-needed rest, we bring you some light Kennedyesque entertainment from Stop the ACLU:
Nothing quite so humorous as jokes about a woman that died in your car thanks to your own cowardice.
Hey, no respect, no respect at all, you see? And our old pal Jimmy Antle has a great joke:
Senator Michael Dukakis!
Like the kids say, Jimmy, ROTFLMAO. Anyway, folks, we're going to take a short intermission here, but as soon as Shecky finishes shtupping that cocktail waitresses his much-needed rest, he'll be back for another show.

Meanwhile, remember to tip your waitresses -- they love Shecky, too -- and enjoy this delightful video:

Hey, Darleen, what's with this "Twatwaffle" stuff? Is that kinda like Ted Kennedy's "moral clarity"? A joke, right?

If it was OK for Ted Kennedy to joke about killing Mary Jo Kopechne . . .

Shouldn't everyone emulate the Lion of the Senate?
Newsweek’s Ed Klein (told interviewer) Katty Kay about Kennedy’s love of humor. How the late senator loved to hear and tell Chappaquiddick jokes, and was always eager to know if anyone had heard any new ones.
More at Newsbusters, Hot Air, Memeorandum and thanks for the linkage from Paul Zummo at Southern Appeal. In case you folks haven't heard, the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy just hired me to provide entertainment as a stand-up comedian at Kennedy's wake.

God bless him, but ol' Teddy was the life of the party, even if he was also the death of partygoers. Hey, did you folks hear this one yet?
Q. What's the difference between Ted Kennedy and Ronald Reagan?
A. As a young man Ronnie saved girls from drowning!
Oh, I got a million of 'em, folks. I just swam in from Chappaquiddick, and boy, are my arms tired.

I tell, ya, Ted Kennedy gets no respect, no respect at all. Why, when Ted Kennedy came out in favor of abortion, his own mother said, "Oh, now he tells me!"

But really, we need to respect this man's great legacy as a legislator. For instance, in one of his final acts of progressive humanitarianism, even from his deathbed Teddy ordered a staffer to insert an earmark into the stimulus bill, giving a major Democratic campaign contributor a lucrative contract to provide scuba training for congressional aides.

Seriously, folks, appropriate tributes to Ted Kennedy's legacy are a bipartisan obligation. As a matter of fact, the Republican National Committee is now raising money to fund the Edward M. Kennedy Memorial on the national mall in Washington. A leading sculptor has already been commissioned to create a monumental statue of an inverted Oldsmobile . . .

Oh, yeah, and my good buddy Van Helsing offers this thoroughly appropriate suggestion:

C'mon, don't I even get a rimshot from my drummer for that? The name's "Shecky" McCain, folks, and I'll be here all week. Remember to tip your bartenders and waitresses. Try the veal.

ENCORE: Thank ya, folks! It's great to be back here at Teddy's wake, I tell ya. But it's hard work, because everybody's a comedian nowadays, y'know what I mean? Take that Richard McEnroe at Three Beers Later . . .

Hey, give me a fourth beer, Richard, and I might take your wife up on that offer. Wait a minute, I just got another look at her. Better make that five beers, Rich.

But seriously, folks, isn't time we paid Ted Kennedy the kind of respect he deserves? Think of all he's done for the American people. And the Vietnamese people. And the Cambodian people.

Really, I mean this sincerely, from the bottom of a mass grave of innocent Cambodian civilians slaughtered by the Communists with Ted Kennedy's help.

Speaking of help -- and Rich McEnroe's wife -- I tell ya folks, my wife, she gives me no respect at all.

"Why are you always doing that blog stuff?" she says.

"Because people hit the tip jar," I tell her.

"You mean they give you money?" she says. "Why would people give you money for telling tasteless jokes?"

"Tasteless jokes?" I said. "Really, honey, why do you have to bring Rich McEnroe's wife into this?"

Ba-da-bing! I'll be here all week, folks . . .

INTERMISSION . . . but there's more Shecky to come. Please tip your waitresses, as we keep telling Shecky.

Have you ever noticed how reasonably each incision is delivered?

by Smitty

Internet companies and civil liberties groups were alarmed this spring when a U.S. Senate bill proposed handing the White House the power to disconnect private-sector computers from the Internet.

They're not much happier about a revised version that aides to Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, have spent months drafting behind closed doors. CNET News has obtained a copy of the 55-page draft of S.773 (excerpt), which still appears to permit the president to seize temporary control of private-sector networks during a so-called cybersecurity emergency.
If they screwed up and left me alone with the legislation, I'd throw in a rider:

Immediately after restoration of service, there is a national referendum on whether or not the President finishes out the term office in Fort Leavenworth.

Blogprof covered this story with significant additional detail.

OediPOTUS Wrecks: Finale

by Smitty

(Start here) Character List
  1. In the Prologue, a Rose Garden press conference announces a connection between the tanked economy to a monstrous evil pertaining to the death of the 42nd POTUS.
  2. Scene I brings in a prophetess with a palindromic name and a chip on her shoulder. Verbal sparring ensues, ending in an accusation.
  3. Scene II has Ramen the Chief of Staff trying to clear himself as a suspect. The question of the death of the 42nd POTUS looms. His widow, Cthulia, the Secretary of State under OediPOTUS, arrives to try to defuse the situation.
  4. Scene III has an old family friend come to announce the death of the man who was a father to OediPOTUS. The news brings little comfort, as unsustainable tragedy begins a methodical turn to farce.
  5. In the final installment, the mysterious Rosor arrives to tie everything up, in his fashion.

OediPOTUS enters, paces

OediPOTUS Wrecks: When will this doctor arrive?

Sandy Hamburger and Esarhaddon Cyphre enter

Sandy Hamburger: Your family doctor, Esarhaddon Cyphre, Mr. President.

You're related to Ramen? I guess I never made the connection.

Esarhaddon Cyphre:
Brothers, yes. We're everywhere. "You can't de-Cyphre the world," as we like to joke. But this is not the time for stand-up. The news is terrible. Kerry Kennedy has passed. My condolences, Mr. President.

OW: Thank you. But I didn't drag you here for an obituary. Sandy has stated that you know something important about my birth. From where did I come?

EC: Ah, that detail. This is not easy.

OW: Indeed. My entire worldview is upended. I really don't know where I came from, where I am, or where I should go.

EC: I understand. This isn't easy. What I can tell you is that we took an embryo from the fertility clinic that originally came from--

Cthulia enters

Cthulia: Mr. President, I have come to proffer my resignation. I can no longer serve in your cabinet. This looks completely disloyal, given that the international situation is as bad a shambles as the domestic. However, with your sudden focus on ancient history, and unwillingness to heed wise counsel, there really isn't anything more to accomplish.

OW: No problem. I only needed you for the votes, never trusted you fully, and have been seeking to undermine you at every opportunity. Please go on, Dr. Cyphre.

EC: Well, since she's here, I'll announce that the embryo implanted in Olga Kennedy was removed from a British fertility clinic, and that one of the provisions of Kerry Kennedy's will was that you be made aware that Cthulia Williams is, in fact, your mother.

Here: puke into this.

Cthulia screams, exits, leaving OediPOTUS heaving into a wastebasket

Ohgodohgodohgod, but…I didn't kill Williams, did I? How can this inconceivable thing be happening?

Enter Rosor

Rosor: OediPOTUS, you ignorant slut. You have managed to destroy everything. One derives a foolproof plan; the universe produces a bigger fool.

I needed a moron to accomplish my task of destroying the US economy, in service of the goal of a unified world government. Jefferson Williams was the seed moron, as a father and President. Yet that Vast Right Wing Conspiracy kept Pettifogger from winning the election in 2000. However, Sphinxor proved quite the silicon boob when he was in office: obvious; defiant of everything, including gravity. The consolation party for Pettifogger was to be the time I revealed the grand design to both of you.

You managed not only to be late to the soirée, but to kill your own sire in a feat of vehicular manslaughter. Bravo. Manipulating the investigation to keep you out of trouble was a challenge. Brainwashing you to forget being fished out of the water, and depositing your bewildered butt in Newport proved so trivial as to be sad.

OW: What are you TALKING ABOUT?

R: I made you. Every bit of your political rise was due to me. Every person who advised you, every event that seemed due to your supposed brilliance, every tragic boo-boo that seemed to occur to your foes, is entirely due to my Machiavellian machinations. Roughly the only thing I could not do is prevent you from destroying yourself as a result of your own arrogance and incompetence. You are fired.

OW: Liar! I am the President of the United States! I used all of the tools of Alinsky to beat my foes as fairly as anyone else! Only the Congress can remove me, and I'll bury them in peaches before any impeaches. I'm sick of your phone calls, giving me orders all the time. I'm the PRESIDENT. You can't take this office. No, you can't take that away from me!

Guards appear and move toward OW to take him under control. He struggles.

R: Oh, dear. That fragile mind has snapped. *sigh* Who did we put on the ticket as Vice President, again? Bring in that bit of Folderol.

Copyright 2009, Christopher L. Smith

Finally, I decided to write about
something other than my penis . . .

While I hate to disappoint my loyal readers, who enjoy nothing so much as a TMI discussion of the Speedo Monster, the Alabama Hammer, otherwise known affectionately as "Ralph," there comes a point at which this subject begins to bore even me.

However, if my fellow bloggers and journalists don't stop yakking about their packages -- this means you, too, David Harsanyi! -- it will be time to pass the torch to a new generation, as they say, and I'll allow my teenage son to start guest-blogging on the topic, "Some Traits Are Hereditary (Including Arrogance)." Don't say you haven't been warned.

Meanwhile, we move on, to discuss a subject of endless fascination, why July 19, 1969 was the defining moment in the career of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Chappaquiddick).

Read the whole thing, because you wouldn't want to read more about something else, would you?

UPDATE: It's as if Little Miss Atilla were daring me to whip it out. And, quite frankly, I'm beginning to wonder if Cynthia Yockey hates the penis as much as a lesbian should. A reminder, ladies, I do have a digital camera. IYKWIMAITYD.

UPDATE II: Continuing to distract from the tragic finale of tragic finale of OediPOTUS Wrecks -- Smitty's magnum opus of Hope-us -- now some damned Wisconsonian jumps into the foreskin forensics, as does Fisherville Mike. And trust me, there is nothing on earth about which I want to think less than Ed Morrissey's equipment. Still, you've got to love Ed's oblique shot at Sully:
Let me try to explain this in small words for people who like to give “awards” for hysteria but still demand to see Sarah Palin’s gynecological records. . . .
Brilliant, Ed. Not as brilliant as OediPOTUS Wrecks, but nonetheless brilliant.

David Harsanyi, cut that out!

Despite my efforts to end The World's Most Idiotic Debate, I hesitate to accuse my fellow foreskinless journalist David Harsanyi of overcompensating by contributing 610 words:
Growing up in the Jewish faith, I witnessed my fair share of 7-day-olds taken from their parents to face scalpel, prayer and barbaric snip. Why seven days? Undoubtedly, the number of Jewish boys converting to Methodism grows exponentially each day the foreskin remains attached. . . .
(Nyukyukyuk. He's got a million of 'em folks! He just flew in from Denver and, boy, are his arms tired!)
Newborn circumcision rates are at 65 percent, but have dropped for decades since just after World War II, when they were at more than 80 percent. This might be partially attributable to immigration of non-circumcising populations. There are also various movements afoot that question both the health benefits and the morality of slicing a newborn.
I do not possess any ironclad opinion on the topic of circumcision -- and, perhaps, not so coincidentally, I also do not have a son. Many of you, I will assume, are foreskin-neutral. . . .
(Entirely so. Unlike Andrew Sullivan, I am not obsessed with other men's penises.)
Here's the problem: Why is the CDC launching campaigns to "universally" promote a medical procedure? If you're an adult (and nuts), or a parent, no one stands in your way of having a bris. Today, 79 percent of men are already circumcised, and even if 100 percent the effect on the collective health of the nation would be negligible. If this is the standard, where does it stop?
And what would a proactive CDC mean when government operated health care insurance? No, I don't believe Washington would deploy a phalanx of grinning, twisted doctors to perform coerced circumcisions. But when the CDC dispenses medical advice of the "universal" brand, it's difficult to accept that a government-run public insurance outfit wouldn't heed advice and act accordingly. . .
Read the whole thing -- or maybe it's not the whole thing. Perhaps Harsanyi's column was originally longer, before his editors at the Denver Post performed a bris.

Male Journalistic Mutilation!

(Hat-tip: The Jawa Report, avoiding the TMI factor.)

UPDATE: OMG, now a Memeorandum thread. I'm warning you people . . .

Kate Southwood: See Alinsky Rule #4

by Smitty

Kate Southwood arouse ire with the question "Why Isn't Health Care a Right?" and proceeds down a fine anecdotal path.

I'll offer a tactical and a strategic response.

Tactically, Alinsky Rule #4 says: "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules." Now, I don't consider you an enemy, Kate, or have an interest in making you such. I would substitute "opposition" here, but I don't really oppose the idea of people democratically choosing some kind of public health care program, in accordance with the laws of the State in which they reside. I'm libertarian enough in attitude to tolerate non-libertarian States. I might even cruise through occasionally to inspect the fruit of the utopian seeds and offer a "Yep".

What, though, is the book of rules in this question, Kate? Why, that would be the Constitution. The simple fact is that those pursuing this change are starting everywhere but square #1 in convincing me (and a jolly big chunk of other citizens) that this idea is more than so much fail. The thinking, the tactics, the advertising, the parliamentary maneuvers on display so far have been so bereft of anything resembling clear appeal to the intellect as to make one wonder if we're not trapped in a collective high-pressure sales pitch. Put the Sham-Wow guy out there, for increased honesty.

Or, given recent departures, consider Billy Mays.

Strategically, if you followed the Perot Charts link under 'so much fail' above, these entitlements are on a trend to capsize the country financially at some point. While 'legislate in haste, repent at leisure' may work for you, Kate, many consider passing unread legislation a particularly stupid means of inviting tyranny. The 111th Congress is a beacon of irresponsibility on so many levels.

So, Kate, opposing this methodology for improving health care is not about being a meanie. It's about ensuring that any decision undertaken has been thoroughly picked over, carefully considered, and doesn't omit such crucial details as the Constitution and tort reform. Call an Article V convention. Make it an Amendment. If we're going to do something as wrong-headed as the 16th Amendment, then please attach a number to it so that it's useful as a target on a dart board.

I'll fall short of attributing bad motives to you Kate, and hope you can return the favor.

Linked at Carol's Closet.

Update II:
American Thinker argues that Health Care is not a group service. Good point, especially as far as the actual visit goes. But that visit is the tip of the iceberg. There are aspects, such as the FDA, that I would not seriously argue should be scuttled. What's needed is thorough analysis, which you're not getting from the Wicked Witch of the West and the Dim Bulb from Vegas.

Continuing to whet the literary appetite

by Smitty

McSweeney's has an ADD version of Hamlet.
Ophelia loves flowers. Flowers flowers flowers flowers flowers. Oh, look, a river.

Two hours until the finale of OediPOTUS Wrecks.

For those seeking the Grail

by Smitty

Chance at Rightofcourse maps a classic Monty Python scene to the current political situation.

That'll whet your whistle for the finale to OediPOTUS Wrecks, coming up in ~3.5 hours.

My voice in the chorus of boos

by Smitty (h/t Townhall)

If you listen very closely, I'm coming in from the right side of the screen, and you can hear me add to the booing of Howard Dean. No, you can't.

Nevertheless, I encourage everyone to comb their Congresscritter's website, find the town hall meeting, attend, and enjoy a bit of primal scream therapy. You, and the unborn generations supporting the federal pyramid scheme, are paying an awful lot of money for the privilege. These are not cheap yucks. Get some.

The clip ends just short of Dean's use of the word 'Constitution', the sole appearance of the noun the whole evening, from the stage, anyway. A few of us up in nosebleed honored it in this horrible breach called ObamaCare. That they even fielded a question on tort reform was somewhat impressive, but the answer was akin to describing having four slashed tires on the car and only replacing three. Is the question actually about a systematic analysis of medicine in the US, or a battle of the word processors to see who can turn the most byzantine cross-breed of Molloy and War and Peace.

Or, as Madison laid it down with less hyperbole:
It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow.

Americans For Prosperity Announces...

by Smitty

In the email from AFP, emphasis mine:
We're thrilled at the news today from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that there won't be a vote this year on the outrageously misnamed 'Employee Free Choice Act'. This bill would take the secret ballot away from workers in union organizing elections, and I personally saw how offensive that notion is to thousands of hard-working Americans at Save My Ballot Tour events we held throughout the Spring. Americans made clear that they won't give in to union intimidation and coercion without a fight, and at least for now, they won.

Why does this historical tune seem so appropriate?

We're rich! We're rich! We're . . .
OK, I'm really not that stupid

Text of an e-mail I received last night:
Attn User:
This is to notify you that this e-mail address was entered during the Paypal European selection Draw and has won the sum of $950,000.00 (Nine Hundred And Fifty thousand dollars only). For claim please contact the below company for immediate process of your claim; Rememebr to quote these numbers below for verification by the company. REF: PP-21180-ES and BATCH: PP-245-44 you should include Your Name, Address, Sex, Age, Occupation, Nationality, Phone Number

Dr. Fred walter (Claim Director)
Tel; Tel:+34-634-130-267

Mrs. Anita Carlos
Paypal Europe Co-ordinator.
Right. They've got $950,000 for me, but somehow they don't have my personal information. I'm tempted to reply by e-mail, explaining that I am, in fact, the former Interior Minister of Nigeria . . .

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The World's Most Idiotic Debate

Because I knew Andrew Sullivan to be a foreskin fetishist (NTTAWWT), I intended only to have some mocking fun with his guest-blogger Hannah Rosin, who so heedlessly violated a Daily Dish taboo by expressing indifference to the procedure that Sully calls "Male Genital Mutilation."

That Sully is himself "cut," and yet expresses such a vehement preference for the "uncut" variety -- circumcision self-hatred, we might call it -- suggests to me merely that Sully has devoted too much of his life to other men's penises. NTTAWWT.

Because I am currently on deadline for an American Spectator article having nothing to do with the Great Prepuce Debate, I don't have time to engage in a full-bore reaction to Mara Gay's claim that Ms. Rosin has provoked "a very intimate kind of outcry from male commentators" -- myself among them.

Being quite happily married for 20 years, after having previously spent more than a decade as an equally happy and reasonably popular bachelor, I protest any suggestion that I really give a damn about anyone else's penis but my own. While quite satisfied with my own equipment, I think it unseemly that I should boast of its merits, or to cast aspersions on the equipment of others.

What obtrudes here -- and it obtrudes from only one direction in the present discourse -- is the Foreskin Lobby's repeated assertion that the circumcised penis is "mutilated" or in some other way inferior to the unmodified phallus.

This is an attack requiring a response, you see, and while loath to engage in such a time-wasting and uncivilized discussion, I've just about had enough of these hateful insinuations.

A Gentile myself, yet having been circumcised as an infant (as were my brothers), we might speculate that this decision was made on the basis of medical advice related to convenience of hygiene and health. Or one might speculate that my farm-born father, having the rather common experience of men who underwent this procedure as adults after being drafted into the Army in World War II, thought it wise to spare his sons such trauma. Or one might even speculate that it was my mother who most influenced this decision.

All that is speculation of a fruitless sort, and given the extreme unlikelihood that Andrew Sullivan shall ever sire his own sons, his relentless advocacy -- which amounts to a personal insult to my penis -- is in extraordinarily bad taste. Given the well-known nature of his interest in penises, it well behooves Sully to stop attempting to influence the decisions of parents in regard to their own sons.

While it might be too much to assume the ethnicity or religious affiliation of someone named "Hannah Rosin," let us stipulate the likelihood that she is Jewish. If this is true, then it is very much to be expected that Ms. Rosin would defend the historic custom -- indeed, the divine covenant -- which requires that every male heir of the patrimony of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob be circumcised.

So, are those who derogate the foreskinless phallus as "mutilated" expressing some sort of religious bigotry? I hesitate to suggest such a thing, but sincerely wish that these barbaric aficionados of heathen penises would cease inciting unseemly debates over a subject so offensive to so many.

Grab a cup of STFU, you foreskin-fascinated freaks! By your folly you are in danger of inciting wrath such as befell the residents Shalem, when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite offended Levi and Simeon by shamefully mistreating their sister, Jacob and Leah's daughter Dinah.

Somehow, that old story seems relevant. Look it up, heathen -- and beware!

UPDATE: Sigh. No sooner do I attempt to return to my work -- dammit, I'm on deadline here, people! -- than Memeorandum calls my attention to this, this, this and (unkindest uncut of all) Cassandra at Villainous Company, with my own Porsche Manque in the comments!

Smitty, how are we supposed to accomplish our goal of world domination, when we're working at cross-purposes?