Andrew Sullivan is just so thoroughly tickled that corporations are going to start targeting younger and younger boys with shampoos, facial gels, toners, scents, and other accountrements
of the not-quite-gay-but-pretty-damn-close.
It kind of makes us pine for the days when we were young lads, when just about the most wonderful thing in the world was braiding our freinds' hair while paging through the new issue of Cosmopolitan
and telling silly gossip about cute boys.
So we completely share in Andrew's bumptuous enthusiasm for this trend. We look forward to the day that young boys have absolutely no embarassment, as we once did, about purchasing health and beauty-care products for their vaginas.
Friendly Note to Andrew:
Gay marriage advocates like yourself spend 90% of their time assuring everyone that they don't actually wish to see society or the institution of marriage actually changed. It's not helpful when your buddies slip up and mention their hopes that gay-marriage will move us away from the "monogamy model" of marriage, or when you get all giggly about the metrosexualization of American youth.
Try adhering more closely to your talking points: You don't wish to change society, but only join it as an equal member, etc. These slip-ups are sloppy and damaging. Never let the public understand the actual ambitions of your project; the truth must be hidden until the breeders have been better shaped to handle it.
Husky Huckster Michael Moore on Howard Dean: "He's sort of a prick"
If you haven't yet had enough of these two loathsome individuals, AllahPundit
has the holy word on the catfight, if someone weighing approximately as much as a 1975 Dodge Durango can be likened in any way to a cat.
..on all counts.
We have two fond hopes:
1, that this "sends a message" to the corporate community that further unethical behavior will be vigorously prosecuted and punished.
and, more importantly,
2, that we never read or hear the words "Martha Effing Stewart" again for the rest of our lives.
We have maintained a consistent and simple position on this imbroglio throughout: We don't give a rat's ass one way or the other,
and no amount of media brow-beating is going to move us off that well-considered stance.
Today's Top Ten
Northestern kneejerk paleo-liberal George Mitchell, new Chairman of Disney.
...from the Home Office in Butte, Montana...
Top Ten Changes at Disney Under Former Liberal Senator George Mitchell
10. Goofy's dark skin tone changed to less-offensive pinkish-white
9. "Pirates of the Caribbean" ride renamed "Homeless Agrarian Reformers of the Sea;" animatronic Ralph Nader helps deprogram children's false consciousness as they watch ship-based "Agrarian Reformers" nationalize other ships they encounter
8. Old Donald Duck: Angry, pantless white male with apparent background in US Navy; New Donald Duck: Sensitive, "gender-confused" social worker
7. EPCOT center expanded to include "The Wonderful, Funderful Gaza Strip"
6. All instances of guns or shootings in Disney features digitally removed; Bambi's mother dies of complications due to Hepatitis C
5. Mousketeers get "hipper, edgier, more urban" image; begin flashing gang-signs with "pro-social messages"
4. "The Magic Kingdom" renamed "The Faith Community of Progressive Democratic Syndicalism"
3. Old cost for three hot dogs and two Cokes: $85.00; new cost, the same, but purchases over $50.00 come with free pamphlet describing the political legacy of Eugene V. Debs
2. Mickey and Minnie reuninte for a very special cartoon feature aimed at young teens, No Means No: If He Says He Loves Me, How Could it Be Rape?
... and the Number One Change at Disney Under Former Liberal Senator George Mitchell...
1. Winnie the Pooh and Piglet finally
Six Degrees of Evil
There's a theory that we just made up that says all evil-doers are connected to each other by six or less steps.
If you watch The Apprentice
, you know that Omarosa is pretty evil. Not Osama-level evil, but definitely Ted Kennedy level evil.
Check out the photos here.
And then dare to call our theory "crazy."
Crazy? You cannot deny the witness of your own eyes.
Thanks to Free Republic.
Dahlia Lithwick-- The Maureen Dowd of Legal Commentary
If you don't know who Dahlia Lithwick is yet, there's no need to go learning, because she's merely a stridently-liberal and somewhat-incompetent minor legal analyst on an amateur webzine named Slate
. So, if you don't know who she is -- keep it that way. It's for the best, trust us.
On the other hand, if you've been bothered by her before, you'd do well to check out the Curmudgeonly Clerk's
round up of disparaging information and commentary on her.
The main problem with Lithwick isn't just that she's a kneejerk lefty. That is, of course, par for the course.
It's that she's incompetent and uninformed regarding the field of knowledge in which she postures as an expert. We can't remember how many times we've read her flatly misstating a rather simple point of black-letter law we knew from mere memory. She makes the sort of mistakes that a 1L student makes -- a somewhat poor
Either she didn't go to law school at all, or, like Demi Moore in A Few Good Men
, she was absent on the day they taught law there.
Kondracke: Press Ignores Dem Slime Attacks in Headlong Rush to Accuse Bush of "Smearing"
Wow. Strong stuff. And uncharacteristically so, coming from Moderate & Mild Mort.
It's conventional wisdom now that this may be one of the nastiest presidential campaigns ever. But those keeping score should observe that, right now, the muddy epithets thrown at President Bush outweigh those thrown at Democrats by tons.
That's not the way things are being reported, though. The media seem to be uncritically accepting the Democratic charge that any criticism of Sen. John Kerry's, D-Mass., public record is "sliming" or "smearing."
But for months now, Democrats have accused Bush of being a "liar" who "misled" or "deceived" the nation into the Iraq war; a "usurper" who "stole" the 2000 election in Florida; "a right-wing extremist" on tax, social and foreign policy; and a "menace to the nation's basic liberties," owing to his employment of Attorney General John Ashcroft.
Former Vice President Al Gore said Bush had "betrayed" the country in Iraq. No major Democrat said afterward that Gore had gone too far.
Democrats claim that Republicans either have questioned or will question their patriotism in this campaign, but actually the only accusations of lacking patriotism have come from Democrats.
Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., when he was a candidate, said that Bush's Iraq policy was "anti-patriotic at the core." Last September, Kerry said that Bush "lives out a creed of greed for he and his friends" and that it was "unpatriotic" for Bush's "friends" (i.e., corporate executives) to move jobs offshore. It was a regular staple of retired Gen. Wesley Clark's campaign to say that Bush's policies were "not patriotic."
Howard Dean, when he was a candidate, charged that Ashcroft "is no patriot. He's a direct descendant of Joseph McCarthy."
...the Bush campaign has every right to raise doubts about Kerry's record and programs, including on defense issues. And the media ought to cry foul when the Kerry campaign tries to put such discussion off limits...
We'd quote more, because the whole thing is just one deadly fact after another, but at some point that becomes plagiarism. But don't think we've just given you the "good parts." Except for one or two limp paragraphs, the whole thing is nothing but good parts.
One question for our "neutral and objective" press: If attacking Kerry's record constitutes an "attack on his patriotism," as you're so willing to suggest, does attacking Bush's record constitute an attack on his
It seems awfully convenient that the press has decided that only one candidate's record is fair game for political criticism. No one will be shocked to learn that it's the Democrat who is to be protected, and the Republican to be attacked.
Funny how it always turns out that way, isn't it?
Kerry's "Complexities" in Tabular Form
Via Instapundit, this absolutely indispensible, and absolutely unflinching,
examination of Kerry's lesser-known flip-flops, waffles, equivocations, and having-it-both-ways bullshit.
Seriously: Don't miss it.
UPDATE to Andrew Sullivan Civility Watch
Just to let you know, we've updated our post on Andrew Sullivan's ever-changeable standards for "civility"
by answering each of his idiotic claims.
(We'd say it's a "fisking," but we hate that term. But we guess that's what it is.)
Those of you who are bored by this topic -- and who could blame you, quite frankly -- should just continue ignoring the post, the way you did the first time 'round.
Rachael Corrie is Still Valiantly Fighting in Her Struggle to Remain Dead
FloridaCracker links to & quotes from the Jerusalem Post, which "eulogizes" Rachael Corrie on the anniversary of her death.
FloridaCracker refers to Rachael Corrie as a 'dozered darling.
Any post that calls Rachael Corrie a 'dozered darling is probably a post worth reading.
Again, this is just our rule. You may have a different rule. But this rule has generally worked for us.
And look where we are now. We have a blog
Ted Rall Dumped from New York Times; A Nation Mourns
Any post that smacks up both Ted Rall and Tim Robbins
is probably a post worth reading.
That's our rule.
The Movie Alphabet Game
links to a fun, but hard, game. Personally, we gave up after getting the easy ones. You might have better luck, especially with Spoons feeding you answers in the comments.
What Spoons doesn't know is this: There are two
Movie Alphabet games, 1 and 2. Once you've gone to the game he links to, you can change the final number in the URL (web address) from "1" to "2" and there's a whole new game.
Which is even tougher.
Andrew Sullivan Civility Watch: Tarranto Picks Up on the Obvious
Tarranto, of Best of the Web Today,
notes that Sullivan first condemns political opponents who use the overheated rhetoric of war and armed struggle, and then, oddly enough, uses the exact same sort of rhetoric himself.
Sullivan (first entry, which is to say last entry, of the day)
is just dumstruck at the claim. He doesn't even attempting to refute the charge; he just sort of says, "How so?"
The intensely ad hominem, personal, and hyperemotional Sullivan just doesn't understand he can't sermonize about civility in debate and then engage in blatant incivility himself. He claims the point is too subtle for him to grasp.
Of course, readers of Ace of Spades HQ knew all about this last week.
Ace of Spades HQ: The Best of the Web Today, Last Week!
UPDATE: We didn't bother reading Sullivan's response before, since we generally don't bother reading him anymore. But we just read it, and boy
, was it worth it.
Just to bring you up to speed: the instant dispute arises from Sullivan's condemnations of the remarks of Dennis Prager. Sullivan awarded him a "Derbyshire Award," which is a whole 'nother argument right there. One we won't get into.
What did Sullivan find so offensive in Prager?
Here's Prager: America is engaged in two wars for the survival of its civilization. The war over same-sex marriage and the war against Islamic totalitarianism are actually two fronts in the same war - a war for the preservation of the unique American creation known as Judeo-Christian civilization.
One enemy is religious extremism. The other is secular extremism.
One enemy is led from abroad. The other is directed from home.
The first war is against the Islamic attempt to crush whoever stands in the way of the spread of violent Islamic theocracies, such as al Qaeda, the Taliban, the Iranian mullahs and Hamas. The other war is against the secular nihilism that manifests itself in much of Western Europe, in parts of America such as San Francisco and in many of our universities...
All this explains why the passions are so intense regarding same-sex marriage. Most of the activists in the movement to redefine marriage wish to overthrow the predominance of Judeo-Christian values in American life. Those who oppose same-sex marriage understand that redefining the central human institution marks the beginning of the end of Judeo-Christian civilization.
Now, this heated rhetoric of the type we don't favor. We favor other
sorts of heated rhetoric, but this isn't our particular taste. We prefer using the language of war to describe, you know, actual war
, and the language of partisan politics to describe partisan politics.
Sullivan whines: So now gay people - many of whom are conservative and people of faith and are fighting simply to commit to one another under the law - are the moral equivalent of Osama bin Laden. This is Jerry Falwell territory.
Now, Tarranto (and us before him) expose Sullivan for using the precise sort of language-of-war-for-politics that he so piously and righteously condemns in others.
Here's Sullivan's response to that charge: One question: how? The context of these remarks is my attempt to argue against the notion that I should support the president because the war on terror is more important than the president's support for a constitutional amendment to ban gay citizens from civil marriage. My point is that I consider the fight for civil rights indistinguishable in my eyes from the fight for freedom abroad.
Sullivan screams that it's wrong to suggest that the fight against Al Qaeda is anything like the political fight against gay marriage, and then likens the fight against Al Qaeda to the political fight for
And when called on it, he just says (paraphrased), "Well, I just think the fight for freedom abroad is just like the fight for freedom at home." He calls the two "indistinguishable" in his eyes.
So what have we learned? That it is the height of irresponsibility and incivility to liken the fight against Al Qaeda to the fight over domestic sexual issues, except when it isn't, and it isn't when Sullivan agrees with the tactic.
More Sullivan: And I consider the way in which the president has chosen to raise the stakes over civil marriage to a national, constitutional level - where it does not and need not belong - to be recklessly divisive while we are at war.
It's not recklessly divisive to press the issue in the affirmative while we are at war, however.
How is that ugly? Dennis Prager equated gay couples seeking civil marriage with terrorists. I simply bemoan the fact that a president I have loyally supported during a vital war should decide to endorse profound discrimination against a group of Americans. I fail to see any comparison.
Because you didn't merely "bemoan" that, Sullivan. In this very rejoinder, you said you saw the two "wars" as "indistinguishable" in your eyes. And yet you subject us another one of your insufferably prickish sermonettes about the danger of conflating the two.
And I fail to see the slightest ugliness or intemperance.
Except in Taranto's ugly and intemperate remarks.
Ah. He's the bad guy. It's not ugly and intemperate for Sullivan to use the language of war in a discussion of politics and to conflate the real war abroad with the political struggle at home. But it is ugly and intemperate for Prager to do so.
And it's also ugly and intemperate for Tarranto to point out the disgusting hypocrisy here.
Narcissists are dangerous. They are simply incapable of believing they ever make any errors or indulge in any bad behavior or hypocrisy. They are not to be trusted in real life, nor in political commentary.
Arrogance, Thy Name is "Europe"
The Candidate: A landslide for Kerry. But can he now unseat Bush?
By Rupert Cornwell in Washington
04 March 2004
If the human race as a whole, rather than 50 states plus the District of Colombia, could cast a ballot this coming November, John Kerry would surely win the presidency by a landslide.
Unfortunately for President Bush-haters around the world, only the 200 million United States citizens of voting age will have that right - and the outcome is anything but sure.
Further stupidity here.
This is a point we just can't help but make with great repetitiveness.
Part of the difference of opinion between Europe and America is summed up in those monstrously idiotic opening paragraphs.
Americans think that we ought to be able to decide our nation's policies ourselves.
Europeans think they are, somehow, deserving of special status as Honorary American Voters -- based, perhaps, on their undying notion that they are intellectually and culturally superior -- and therefore they ought to have at least an equal role in shaping America's foreign policy.
And its domestic policy, too.
We've mentioned it before, but what, praytell, were Europeans doing screaming about Bush's plan to terminate the ABM Treaty (by the terms of the treaty itself, which allowed for an opt-out after six month's notice)? The Europeans were not parties to the treaty-- the treaty was perfectly bilateral, signed by America and Russia/the Soviet Union alone, binding only them, and binding only them to each other
, not to any third party.
Russia, ultimately, signaled its reluctant but not terribly put-off acceptace of the President's decision. What else could it do? The treaty provided for a lawful opt-out.
And yet the Europeans carried on about it, and carry on about it to this day.
Think about the arrogance of that-- does the US routinely go batshit crazy over whether Spain is honoring its bilateral fishery treaties with England? Do we interject ourselves into such disputes, demanding that our precious, exquisitely-cultured voices be heard?
And yet, time and time again, day in and day out, Europe presumes
to offer us its unrequested assistance in handling our own affairs.
The jackass above uses a somewhat arch tone to convey his disappointment that there will be no European Plebiscite on the American Presidential Succession. But humor is often used to convey someone's true feelings.
Europeans really do
think they have some sort of God-granted right -- whoa, this is Europe
we're talking about, scratch that; make it a right granted by their supremely complex cultural and bureaucratic traditions -- to dictate to America what America shall do. And not do.
And the more we politely, but pointedly, ignore them, the more they ratchet up their retarded caterwaulings to a crystal-resonating pitch.
And their arrogance is also racist
, because they don't generally imagine that the world population at large should be empowered to manage America; they do not demand this strange power on behalf of Africans, or Asians, or Indians, or Fijians.
No, such swarthy and/or exotic foreign folk do not have the requisite enlightened European cultural traditions to guide them. When Europe speaks of "the world" having a say about America, they mean the white
European part of the world.
Europe: Iett u sangua
*, we think, is the way the Sicilians might say it.
Go away, drop dead, and please keep your jealous noses out of our important business. We've got a world
to run, in case you hadn't noticed.
The only thing more exasperating than Europeans thinking they ought to have a virtual vote in the conduct of American policy, both foreign and domestic, is the fact that 90% of liberal Americans
also believe this.
* We're not sure if the spelling is right, but we think that's Sicilian-dialect for "Go slit your own throat," or, more literally, "Go let your blood." An ugly curse, quite specific and evocative in its nastiness, and therefore one of our all-time favorites. Right up there with "I wouldn't piss down your throat if your heart were on fire."
Plus, of course, we don't have to slap a language warning on such foreign expressions, no matter how obscene.
Today's Top Ten
The hints in Kerry's senatorial resume aren't encouraging. Legislating is an almost pathologically collaborative effort, and Kerry has been a conspicuous non-performer in the legislation department. Time magazine found exactly "three substantive bills passed with Kerry's name on them." Two of these "had to do with marine research and protecting fisheries." (The other was "designed to provide grants for women starting small businesses.")
-- Mickey Kaus, kausfiles
from the home office in Butte, Montana...
Top Ten Secret John Kerry Senatorial Accomplishments
10. Played synthesizer on Erasure's Chains of Love
9. Made billions with his own start-up company, Gap for Dogs
8. Batted for a .545 slugging average in 1996 National League Championship Series
7. Suggested to Jesse Jackson that he start describing any racially-tense situation as being "Selma all over again," and the son-of-a-bitch just ran with it
6. First guy to declare "Hawaiian Shirt Thursdays" in an office; later, in collaboration with Ted Kennedy, invented "Pantless Tuesdays"
5. Once "copped a feel" off Eleanor Mondale
4. Chief theorist behind innovative foreign policy doctrine known as "The Wait-and-See Attitude"
3. Creator and star of self-titled WB comedy, Moesha
2. Has used Vietnam training to make deadly weapons out of common, everyday objects, like pencils, paper-clips, and hunting rifles
and the number one Secret John Kerry Senatorial Accomplishment...
1. Laid a lot of pipe
Andrew Sullivan-- Hoaxer
We long contended that Andrew Sullivan would "flip" to liberal; we were right.
We also contended that he's been something of a hoaxer and charlatan all around-- that is, that most of his claimed political "positions" are artificial and false. He really only cares about gay marriage and the legalization of ecstasy; he just sidles up to the Republicans, with the notion that only a "friend" can change someone's opinion.
The proof isn't quite here yet; but this
seems awfully relevant to the charge:
I was a bit surprised to see Andrew Sullivan link to an attack on the Kass council personnel changes--an attack that centers on the question of embryonic stem-cell research--and write, "More evidence of the Bush administration's catering to the anti-technological views of some on the far right. More reason for Independent voters to reconsider their support." Isn't Sullivan himself a "far right" guy on this issue? Back in 2001, when the big debate about federal funding for such research was raging, Sullivan wrote an eloquent column coming out against the research--and even tiptoeing toward the view that IVF clinics should be regulated. I hope that Sullivan's passionate opposition to the Bush administration (and to religious conservatives) on other issues isn't clouding his judgment on this one.
We understand that this is a very difficult issue, and honestly, we don't cry "Heathen!" or "Traitor!" against you no matter where you come down on it.
But we have trouble with someone, like Andrew Sullivan, who apparently comes down passionately on both sides
of the issue. He previously wrote that the blastocyst is "the purest form of human being" and to kill it is to "extinguish us."
He went on:
"Federal law makes it a crime to kill or injure a bald eagle....It is also a crime to kill or injure a bald eagle's egg."
"Once a blastocyst is killed, the human being coiled inexorably inside is no more. If that isn't killing, what is? And why are we more coherent when it comes to eagles than when it comes to humans?"
"I know of no better description of evil [than to treat humans life as an instrument]. Such evil cannot be morally counterbalanced by any good that medical breakthroughs might bring. This is especially true when it is possible to cultivate stem cells from other sources."
Now, two years later, Bush's appointees to the Bioethics panel cause Sullivan to charge:
"More evidence of the Bush administration's catering to the anti-technological views of some on the far right. More reason for Independent voters to reconsider their support."
WTFF? (The double-f is not a typo. We mean the f twice, once with the -ing suffix.)
How can Andrew Sullivan be slamming Bush so hard for a position Sullivan himself passionately articulated
This is precisely
the sort of thing we meant when we first began tossing out our hoaxer charge. It is simply not credible
that he actually thinks this way. A more likely theory is that he doesn't think much about anything, except about gay marriage and ecstasy, so it's no great trick for him to change his nominal "position" from "1000 percent opposed" to "1000 percent in favor" without batting an eye.
UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan-- Emotional Basket-Case.
Actually, maybe it's wrong to cite this as evidence that Sullivan is a hoaxer/fraud.
There may be a simpler explanation.
Sullivan's a shrill, emotional, often unprincipled creature. His politics are intensely personal. He not only argues in an intesely personal fashion, he thinks
in such a fashion. Where he stands on your argument depends almost exclusively upon his personal feelings towards you.
When he is emotionally on your side -- as he was, once upon a time, with Bush -- he makes arguments for you so gushingly adoring and goofy they'd make a schoolgirl blush.
And when he's against you-- well, out comes the shrillness.
So this might not be evidence of Sullivan's intentional and conscious opportunism. It just might be his typically hysterical pattern of choosing his stand on issues based upon his own personal political "Who's Hot/Who's Not" list of the moment.
When Bush is on the "Hot" list, Bush can do no wrong, and Andrew defends his stem-cell decisions.
But when he's on the "Not" list... well, then-- Andrew is scarcely aware of his own previous words on the subject, and Bush's position is one to be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
Double-Secret Bonus Credit
: We added Sullivan's own words on embryos into the post. Nicholas Kronos supplied us with them in the comments.
Nick is sort of like a conservative Marshall MacLuhan in Annie Hall
. He's this guy that steps out of nowhere to prove your point for you when you're on th losing end of an argument. You say something you're not sure of, like "Clinton used to ritually slaughter wildebeests at NAMBLA meetings, I think," and just when you feel your cheeks turning red with embarassment at your mistake, Nick pops up with three or four on-point citations proving just that. And you just sort of pretend you knew that all along, and you just say, "Uh, yeah Nick
, I was just getting to those citations; let me tell the story here, huh?"
Kind Purple Hearts & Coronets
People remain curious about Kerry's medical records.
Specifically, they want to know precisely how serious -- or how superficial and trivial -- were the three wounds that Kerry used as a pretext for getting out of 'Nam after four months.
Four months in Vietnam is still four months of heroic service. But if a man has been coasting on his four-month resume for the last forty years
, we'd say the public has a right to know everything about that resume.
And if he got out early over very minor fleshwounds-- well, no one would blame
him. But neither would people credit
him as much as he's demanding we do.
John Kerry: Moronic Dupe
This Deb Saunders column is awfully strong.
She starts by noting John Kerry's odd claim that he was "misled" by Bush as to his intentions regarding Iraq. John Kerry claims Bush promised to "build an international coalition, to work with the United Nations and only go to war as a last resort."
Kerry claims that Bush lied in making these promises.
Kerry's story only works if you don't know that the resolution didn't bind Bush as Kerry said.
A month before Kerry's "yes'' vote, Bush went to the United Nations and said the following: "Saddam Hussein has defied the United Nations 16 times. Not once, not twice -- 16 times he has defied the U. N. The U.N. has told him after the (Persian) Gulf War what to do, what the world expected, and 16 times he's defied it. And enough is enough. The U.N. will either be able to function as a peacekeeping body as we head into the 21st century, or it will be irrelevant. And that's what we're about to find out.''
When Kerry met with The Chronicle Editorial Board on Friday, I had the chance to ask the senator how [Bush could have misled Kerry, given that Bush clearly announced his intentions].
That was "rhetorical," Kerry answered. And "a whole bunch of very smart legitimate people" not running for president thought as he did. "So most people, actually on the inside, really felt that (Bush) himself was looking for the way out to sort of satisfy Cheney, satisfy Wolfowitz, but not get stuck." Kerry continued, "The fact that he jumped and went the other way, I think, shocked them and shocked us."
So Kerry was "misled" because he believed that Bush didn't mean what Bush said.
Talk about your dirty tricks . . .
Hooboy. Now that's a liberal complaint if ever we heard one. He's accusing Bush of "misleading" by telling the truth
, which is something our Fearless Lieutenant just wasn't expecting.
One can hardly fault Kerry-- after all, Kerry has flat-out lied about his real feelings on important votes throughout his career. It's only natural that he expects Bush to do likewise.
As bad as that is, what's on the way is almost worse. Kerry claims that Bush didn't need the authorization anyway; that he had the power to invade Iraq on his own whim. (Which is kind of scary-- if Kerry thinks Bush has that power, you've got to think that he himself would have at least that power as President.)
And then, this:
At the same time, Kerry asserted that his vote for military force made it "harder" for Bush to go to war.
Ah. So, not
giving Bush the authorization to go to war would have been giving him the green-light to go to war, since he didn't need the authorization.
On the other hand, by voting to authorize Bush to go to war, Kerry actually sought to restrain
him from doing so.
No authorization = unlimited power and discretion to wage unilateral war
Authorization = forces Bush to go to UN and beg the French
We know a lot of moderates, libertarians, and harder-core conservatives have been pretty upset with Bush lately.
Are any of you really going to vote for this clown?
Kerry: I committed atrocities in 'Nam
If he says so, we're inclined to believe him.
Thanks to Free Republic.
A Bipartisan Politicization of Science
The left, predictably, charges Bush with distorting science to further his political ends.
rejoinds that politicization of science is inevitable whenever politicians control science.
He then links to this excellent Reason
article detailing the Clinton Administration's own distortions of science to help make the public case for its political positions.
And, as you might guess, the left never uttered a peep.
We agree with Volokh. All of this is of course bad, but to a large degree unavoidable when politicians are funding science (or, sometimes, "science"). Liberal scientists who complain about Bush have little credibility, as they were generally gung-ho in favor of Clinton's equal politicization of science.
It's a simple rule, people: You can't just claim that something is unfair or wrong only when it hurts your political side. If you're silent when the same unfair or wrong actions are helping you and hurting your opponents, then you've lost your right to speak out against similar actions when they hurt you and help your opponents.
At least, you've lost the right to be taken seriously while doing so.
North Koreans For Kerry
It's no joke-- Kim Il-Jung is actually a solid Kerry supporter.
Ace of Spades HQ: The Number Three Producer of Tapioca in the US
Yeah, it's dumb and self-indulgent to note it, but whatever. We are
dumb and self-indulgent.
Sometimes you get hits off Yahoo searches you'd never guess at. Today, someone searched "current producers of tapioca in usa yahoo.com," and Ace of Spades HQ -- one of America's most trusted producers of quality tapioca at family-friendly prices-- came up as #3 on the search list.
Ace of Spades HQ: You'll like our rightwing political commentary. But you'll love
Breaking News: The Left is Dishonest and Preposterously Illogical
suggests that Howard Stern, a Bush supporter to one extent or the other since 9-11, might have been suspended by Clear Channel for reversing course on Bush and savagely bashing him.
Another clear case of the left's precious "right to free speech" being "chilled" by the black-hatted "forces of repression"?
Certainly, a strong case could be made: Clear Channel banned Stern on almost the same day he suddenly reversed course on Bush. The timing is suspicious.
On the other hand, the timing is a little off. Because, you see, Clear Channel first
announced it was suspending Stern, and then -- after
that; the next day, in fact -- Stern began railing against Bush, whom he blames for Clear Channel's decision.
Now, as a general rule, logic usually demands that cause
actually preceed effect
, rather than vice-versa. We usually say "the bullet caused the resulting wound," not "the resulting wound caused the bullet to fly into it by some process of wound-magnetism."
But this is a trivial and quite nettlesome rule for the left, and they feel they have the general right to suspend the operations of logic and physical laws when they become inconvenient. Perhaps they all believe in the near-term possiblity of time-travel, as does their once-hero, General Wesley "TimeRanger" Clark.
But the rest of us are left wondering. It seems to us that Stern's Bush-hatred was caused by the Clear Channel suspension which preceeded it, since the latter came earlier in time than the former. First the supension; then the anti-Bush remarks; ipso facto, the first thing caused the second.
We can't understand how Stern's Bush-bashing retroactively
caused Clear Channel to suspend him the day before. Which would be a case of something happening on Wednesday causing something to happen on the preceeding Tuesday.
But then, we suppose that just further demonstrates our simplissime
and "lack of nuance" and our ignorant preference for simple-to-understand rules over an appreciation for the actual "complexities" of reality.
We're just not as smart as the lefties, who can see through the maddening streams of space-time that Bush is always somehow, sometime
We knew he was dangerous; we just never knew he had the power to reach back into history in order to manipulate the present.
We've got to figure one of these days he'll get around to going back in time to "cleanse" his National Guard records by actually posing for photographs while on duty.
"Non-Violent" Crimes Shouldn't Be Punished By Prison Time?
Dave, a frequent reader and commenter on our site, mentions "non-violent" offenders in the comments following our post on prison rape, and suggests that perhaps we might want to stop locking them up.
We suspect he really means "drug dealers" specifically, and not "non-violent" offenders generally. More on that later.
This phraseology bugs us to no end. We don't mean to pick on Dave; it's just he's pushed one of our personal idiosyncratic buttons. The rest of this post isn't a rejoinder to Dave specifically; we're not saying he supports the positions we're about to attack. We're just noting that it was Dave's post that set us off.
Suggesting that "non-violent offenders" should not generally get prison-time is both propagandistic and deceptive. It's worse than calling illegal immigrants "undocumented workers." That
phraseology is merely propagandistic; while it seeks to change one's views through simple word-substitutions, it's not inherently deceptive.
But suggesting that we shouldn't lock up "non-violent" offenders is inherently deceptive, or at least inherently misleading, because the premise is just flat-out wrong. Those who suggest this usually do so as a dishonest rhetorical ploy without believing it for a moment. Because it's just not true that "violence" is the only thing our criminal codes are concerned with-- and they know it.
Violence is of course one of the worst crimes possible-- and rape and murder are the worst of all violent crimes. But there are numerous crimes which are not actually violent and yet are undeniably serious: Car theft. Burglary (which isn't violent, as opposed to robbery). Serious fraud of all types, be it wire, financial, or even more serious street cons. Embezzlement. Intentionally dumping toxic waste illegally.
Are those who are always beating the drum for leniency for "non-violent" offenses suggesting that perpetrators of any of the above crimes not be sentenced to substantial time in prison?
Not only is it silly to suggest that "non-violent" means "non-serious" or "non-felonious," but it's also silly to suggest the opposite, that "violence" automatically
translates to seriousness. We ask you: Would you rather see a lengthy stay in prison for someone who slugs you in the course of a heated argument (assault and battery), or someone who non-violently steals your car?
Unless the guy hitting us actually broke a nose, cheek, or jaw, we could see him being sentenced, if at all, to time served plus probation, and we'd say justice was more or less done.
The guy who steals our car, on the other hand-- well, we'd like to see him cool his heels in the clink for a couple of years.
Your mileage, of course, may vary. Maybe we just dig cars.
Or consider a burglar, someone who creeps into your home to steal your property while you and your family sleep. The situation is not violent, though it has the potential
to become so; and certainly it is violative
. A burglar might be as elegant and dapper a gentleman-thief as Cary Grant, but if he's skulking around our house at night, we want him in the slammer for a good, long time. Much longer than a guy who punches us in the course of a dispute.
The left-- which is always on about this -- doesn't seem to have any problem with locking up other
"non-violent" offenders, like corporate crooks who non-violently
steal millions from shareholders, or polluters who non-violently
drive their trucks into a swamp at night and start off-loading the benzene.
cases, the left seems to grasp full well that "violence" is not the only determinant in gauging the seriousness and harm of a crime.
And yet, when it comes to illegal business activity they support or at least would countenance -- i.e., the illegal business activity of selling drugs -- suddenly they're dumbstruck at the thought that "non-violent" offenders should ever be sentenced to prison.
Some on the left actually seem to believe this. Some on the left actually seem to think that anything less serious than a rape, murder, or "crime against the patriotic masses" (such as corporate crime and pollution) should almost never be punished by jail-time. "Non-violent" thieves should just get a ticket and perhaps some counselling. They perhaps should be forced to wear tee-shirts emblazoned with the mottos, "Sharing is Caring" or "It's Cool
to Respect the Private Property of Others!"
Such people are certainly not in the mainstream, and can be largely dismissed as bleeding-heart cranks of the silliest sort.
But there are a lot of people who don't believe such preposterous nonsense, and yet use the deceptively propagandistic term "non-violent offenders" just the same. They know
, or at least suspect, that just because a crime is non-violent doesn't mean it's non-serious; and yet they find the phraseology so useful they use it anyway, despite the inherent deceptiveness of it.
If you want to legalize drugs, that's fine by us. It's a respectable enough position. We don't generally agree, although, to be honest, sometimes we do begin to find ourselves nodding in agreement with the pro-legalization forces.
But please-- make your case straight. Make it factual. Make it honestly. Don't go about suggesting that we should generally not imprison "non-violent offenders" if you know that there are often non-violent crimes which do in fact demand prison time. Don't make the silly claim that "non-violent" crimes should generally not be felonies; make the specific case that one particular
sort of non-violent crime -- drug dealing -- should not be a felony.
And do please explain why this brand of "non-violent" illegal business activity should be favored or privileged over other non-violent illegal business activities like embezzlement, fraud, or illegal polluting.
It is simply not a fact, as is implied by the "non-violent crimes" phraseology, that an offense which isn't violent is therefore not serious. So stop vaguely suggesting otherwise. As a friend of ours was fond of saying, you can have your own opinion, but not your own facts. We're not saying you can't make your case; but we do require you actually attempt doing so honestly, rather than dishonestly suggesting a generally-applicable rule that "non-violent" equals "non-serious." That's just not a "fact" you can claim in the course of your argument.
UPDATE: By the way, remember when Clinton pardoned the Puerto Rican terrorists? He claimed their crimes were "non-violent."
After all, all some
of them did was help procure the materials and plans for building bombs
But hey-- assisting in the construction of a bomb to be used for terroristic purposes isn't really "violent," now is it?
Pardon our wordplay, but people seem to be doing a great deal of violence to the meaning of "non-violent."
Growing Danger: Kerry's Already Showing Us More Than Gore
Anyone remember this? As one of our on-line friends remarked, "It's difficult to guage the electoral impact of a tumescent penis the approximate dimensions of a fungo bat."
Well, if that cover was good enough to get Gore 49.6% of the vote, Bush might have his hands even fuller with John F. Kerry.
links to this very frightening photo found by Wonkette
Wonkette's post contains an image that is kind of racy, if you think it depicts what it almost certainly does not.
Jeepers! Even we're
considering voting for Kerry now! That's gotta do something for a guy's confidence! Now
we see what Andrew Sullivan has been getting at!
Arnold's Loan-and-Limit Budget Plan Passes by Muscular Majorities
Arnold snatches and deadlifts the loan proposition with 61% of the vote; he cleans and jerks the budget-limiting proposition with 71%.
It can't hurt Bush that one-sixth of the American economy is now on firmer footing.
And it's kinda sorta interesting, isn't it, that even in batshit-crazy liberal California, the budget-limiting proposition passed with such a bulging margin.
Liberals are always thinking they can finally sell the public on the idea of higher taxes in exchange for something liberals value. But California is pretty much as liberal a state as you could want (sure, there are three or four more liberal, but even so), and Californians, given the choice, would rather have:
-- lower taxes
-- increased borrowing if necessary under the circumstances
-- legislatively-limited budget growth
A Fine Line Between Clever and Stupid
Some schticks are simultaneously so brilliant and so dumb we curse ourselves for not thinking of them first.
is currently running a schtick wherein he... well, you can see for yourselves. Compare the linked-to post with the post on water on Mars, three or four posts below.
It's both subtle and sledgehammer at once.
Warning: The moment AllahPundit lapses in this schtick, we will steal it ourselves.
From the home office in Butte, Montana...
Top Ten John Edwards Campaign Excuses
10. Mistakenly believed he was running for President of South Carolina
9. NAFTA caused his job as "serious Democratic contender" to be exported to Indonesia, where a nine-year-old boy named Siraj is currently accumulating gravitas and delegates at $1.60 per week
8. Surprise campaign-stop reunion with former Hardy Boys
co-star Parker Stephenson didn't generate the media heat he was expecting
7. The wily Al Sharpton tricked him into thinking the California primary was a best-of-seven series
6. Ill-advised decision to scrap his standard "Two Americas" stump speech in favor of convoluted fable about "the real America" and its ongoing battle against its goatee-wearing evil twin, "Garth America"
5. Appearing on stage with Kucinich just kept "freaking the shit" out of him
4. Campaign was constantly in fear that media would discover that Edwards "once got busy in a Burger King bathroom"
3. Now he's free to pursue his real
dream -- the Joy Behar slot on The View
2. His natural base of Southern lawyer-loving liberal retirees-- the so-called "Matlock voters" -- just never rallied around him
and the number one John Edwards Campaign Excuse...
1. He actually still has a good shot of being elected President of "the Other
Kerry's Nebulous Nuances on Gay Marriage
It's good stuff. Ohhhhhh, it's good stuff.
Via Alarming News/Spot On
UPDATE: Bad link to Alarming News/Spot On has now been fixed. We forgot the "http://" thing.
The Passion Versus the Anti-Christian The DaVinci Code -- Guess Which One the Media Fancies
National Review Online
wants to know why it is that the media only seems so protective of the sensitivities of non-Christians.
Now, we wouldn't, of course, want to ban The DaVinci Code. It's a silly little bit of pulp.
But its premise is, of course, downright blasphemous to practicing Christians and especially Catholics.
And we can't seem to recall any media fuss about readers being possibly "offended" by this book.
The media is very, very big on safeguarding the sensitivities of the American public, so long as the American public's sensitivities are perfectly in line with its own.
Prison Rape: No Joking Around
comments upon the problem of prison rape.
We think the public, and especially conservatives, ought to take this problem much more seriously. It can't be good
that prisoners are routinely savaged and dehumanized in jail by rape. We imagine that when they come out of prison -- as most prisoners eventually do -- they'll be a little bit surly about it, and more eager to savage and dehumanize others.
There's a good conservative reason to vigorously support anti-prison-rape initiatives. Bill Lockyer, AG of California (and a liberal, go figure), makes jokes about prison-rape and actively wishes it upon prisoners.
This idea is probably pretty ingrained into the public mind. "Why should we care about prison rape?" people might think. "They deserve all they get."
There may or may not be some truth in that.
But it can't be claimed that prisoners generally "deserve" such awful treatment. One could be forgiven for not being terribly concerned about a serial rapist being himself serially raped, but most prisoners being raped are the mildest, weakest, and meekest of lawbreakers -- and not the type of guys one might actually say "deserve" such a fate.
And consider prison rape from the point of view of the thug doing the raping.
For those doing the raping -- those on the giving side of the equation -- widespread and unchecked prison rape is an unequaled boon and benefit of prison life.
It's a buffet of sexual cruelty where there's always some delicious new dish to be sampled.
Until prison rape is stamped out, we're giving the vilest, cruelest, most savage prisoners absolute sexual license to rape those weaker or less savage than they -- a veritable cornucopia of free, forcible sexual satisfaction.
If one wants to speak of "deserving" -- what on earth did these vicious animals do to "deserve" such a wonderful benefit? How can we press for "tougher" prison conditions -- a spartan lifestyle, chain-gang labor, etc. -- while simultaneously allowing the very worst prisoners to enjoy what is, to them at least, the greatest and most satisfying benefit in the entire world?
Widespread and unchecked prison rape allows the worst of the worst to live, for them, an absolute dream lifestyle. It would be as if we here at Ace of Spades HQ suddenly woke up in the middle of a Russ Meyer film. (One of the ones without Nazis, please.)
Conservatives get outraged about prisoners getting free HBO and the like. Can't we muster a bit of outrage about the worst, biggest, and most savage prisoners having the forcible-sodomy equivalent of the cable rainbow package, all provided for free on the state's dime?
UPDATE: We here at Ace of Spades HQ live by the credo, "Any point worth making is also a point worth driving into the ground."
So we can't help but note that, for the worst and most savage criminals, life in prison is actually pretty good, thanks to the state-permitted serial rape.
It's like those old, pulp sci-fi plots where a crew of cleancut American astronauts is abducted by a race of buxom women. They're told they'll remain prisoners on Planet Aureola forever, forced to have nonstop sex in order to breed super-warriors who will conquer earth.
And these plots never actually work in dramatic terms. They're titillating to young boys, but they fail in dramatic terms because, of course, there's little downside
to the predicament at all.
Every boy reading or watching such sexual pulp is hoping in his heart the stupid astronauts will fail
in their rather short-sighted efforts to escape. Sure, if they remain on the planet, they lose their freedom and they'll be used to create an army of super space Amazons that will enslave Earth.
On the other hand: There is all that sex. And Just look
at the hooters on Subcommander Depravia!!
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
finally had a character say what any red-blooded man would actually say if under such implausible circumstances.
Sir Galahad, told that he must remain a prisoner in Castle Anthrax amongst its population of buxom women "aged sixteen to nineteen" to indulge the women's passion for "spankings" and "oral sex," actually says what we, as boys, all knew we'd actually say were we lucky enough to be abducted by hot, horny, big-breasted women:
"Well," Galahad decides. "I could stay a bit
And that's the current situation in our prisons. We want prisoners to despise prison so much that they won't ever come back.
But for the thugs allowed to freely rape whatever young boys they fancy, it's a situation where they must be thinking, "Well, I could stay a bit
There is little downside to such incarceration. For many, the benefits far exceed the drawbacks, and we shouldn't be so surprised to see thugs like this happily re-offending.
RELATED POINT: Spoons
is sick of and angered by the continuing jokes about prison-rape in our society.
We get what he's saying, but we're not quite sure we completely agree with him on this one. There are lots of things that are said which are only funny because they are so awful. Some humor finds its funniness not in the fact that the thing being said is acceptable to joke about, but because it's not socially acceptable to say at all, even as a joke.
We just don't buy the premise that joking about something constitutes intellectual or emotional acceptance of that thing. Were that the case, black comedy or gallows humor would always be, de facto, a blameworthy thing, since both derive laughs from a situation which is usually not laughable at all.
And we just hope Spoons doesn't read our Dennis Miller impression.
Our marketing department recently freed up $500,000 to take out a week-long ad on the website of the very cool and very arch AllahPundit.
(At least-- we think
he's being arch. We sure hope so.)
So, there may be some new readers here, or "jihadis" interested in understanding the thought processes of the various Little Satans of the West.
New jihadis are especially directed to our Greatest Hitjobs at the left sidebar. The following posts might be especially useful in planning future attacks:
"Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny"
is a prolonged fatwa
against an especially decadent and unIslamic cow who dares to wear pants in public. And speak in public, too, if you can imagine such a thing.
In More Margaret Cho Abuse
, we continue the fatwa.
A Question of Character: A D&D Guide to the Democratic Presidential Candidates
is a screed against the now-depleted Democratic field. Most of the humor comes from references to the unIslamic, and also uncool, hobby called in the West "fantasy role-playing." (Which is different from the similar Al Qaeda pasttime, where largely incompetent and unskilled buffoons play army dress-up in the desert and play at "killing infidels" while being videotaped for Al Jazeera.)
Jihadis may also enjoy our attacks on Maureen Dowd (a woman who works for a living-- sort of
), Paul Krugman (confirmed infidel; also, an idiot), and Michael Moore (very, very fat-- that's got to be a sin of some sort).
Something So Stupid, Only Europeans Could Have Thought of It
Marketing: What Women Want
The Times (of London)
This week, among all the macho swagger and the muscle-car posturing of the Geneva Motor Show, an altogether more alluring project will be unveiled. Volvo, a company not normally noted for being adventurous, will present to the world the first car designed, engineered and built by women.
The car will be called the Vulva.
The Your Concept Car (YCC) has been built on a modest budget of [pounds] 2m by a team of nine women, none of whom had worked on a concept car before. They include an engineer who is also a mother of three, an interior designer whose background is in home wares and a team leader of 27 called Anna Rosen, who graduated from design school only three years ago.
They sound like just the crew we'd pick to design and build a car. Just about any time we need our car fixed, we either call a mother or an interior designer, or sometimes both.
The project has met with the approval of Hans-Olov Olsson, president of Volvo. "Initially I think the team faced a lot of resistance," he says. "People were asking 'Will they be able?', 'Will this work?' But they have more than proved themselves."
Unfortunely the car's delicate systems have several bugs, and it will be in the shop five days per month.
The car itself is stunning: muscular and catlike, with 225bhp on tap. It is as sexy and seductive as any new sports coupe should be, with gullwing doors and a futuristic feel. But it's the interior that points to its genesis: it is swimming with tactile, eye-friendly textures, from the sea anemone carpets to the oak-panelled console and the changeable seat pads.
Yeah, and Georgia O'Keefe paintings all over the place. Subtle
The dash is voluptuous and packed with voice-activated media.
Sounds just like our girlfriends. Does the "voice-activated media" keep asking you "Are you mad at me?" whe you don't say something for five minutes?
The YCC boasts a glass roof and graduated yellow-to-red brake lights. Sparkly optic fibres line the ceiling for that starry, starry night effect as you glide home at the end of the day, while the doors are voice-activated and a sill folds down to aid access.
We're glad they avoided playing into the stereotype of frivolity.
Gender-savvy marketing is the current buzz, and when you compare the YCC with the teutonic masculinity of BMW or the old-boy feel of Jaguar, Volvo does seem to be forging ahead rather nicely.
This is just too PC. BMW and Jaguar have long-established track records.
Let's see if the Vulva can actually make it around the test track before we start declaring that it's superior to top-of-the-line cars, huh?
According to Olsson, the YCC is no gimmick, but the first step in a concerted drive to allow women to have more influence within his company and the car industry.
Our Rule: Any time someone says this isn't about money, it's totally about money.
Any time someone says this isn't a gimmick, it's a massive
"Shifting the balance of gender is something I'm very much behind, but it's not something we are going to achieve with one car," he says. So what does he hope to achieve with the YCC? "My main hope would be that a girl of 16 will say, 'I love cars, why shouldn't I go and work with them?'" To this end Volvo also hopes that by next year women will make up 20% of its managers rather than the present 11%.
Those are his main hopes, note. Not to, you know, actually sell cars at a profit.
If you own stock in any European companies, you might want to consider selling it. It can't be comforting to know that your money is invested in companies run by men who are primarily interested in "shifting the balance of gender."
Not that such incredulity put her team off. "The all-woman team is a huge step forward not just for the car industry but for society in general. I feel there's a lot at stake." She is prickly towards suggestions that the car is nothing more than a cliched and old fashioned male vision of what women might want. "We threw a list of suggestions about what to include in the car out of the window," she says. "One was a cappuccino maker, another was a high-heel support in the footwell. But these were all suggested by our female focus groups."
Ummm, okay, those are dumb. Then again, this car's big selling point is that it has a "starry night" thing in the roof and "tactile" surfaces inside the car. We're not sure that women are going to go ga-ga over "sea anemonie" patterns in a car.
Strike that-- we're sure they won't.
Here's a wild idea: Maybe a car is more like an umbrella than clothing. Maybe you actually don't need to design a car for women, just like you don't need to specifically design an umbrella for women.
Her own vision for the car --which she is determined to see go into production within five years -- is very much that of a 21st century woman. "I wanted the car to have presence and have attitude," she says, "like a wild cat." But she saves her most radical idea for last: "It's not a car made by women for women, it is a car made by women for everyone."
In short, it's the car that puts the "You" in "Yugo."
Lock-of-the-Week Prediction: This car will never be produced, ever, and would not be bought if it were.
Next up: A car designed entirely by Jewish mothers. When you put the car into drive, it says, "For this I sent you to Yale?" or "Keep it under 25, Mr. Big Shot who's always in such a hurry he doesn't have time to call."
If you want more of this stupidity, here's the link (requires registration).
Shock: Media Discovers Liberals Hate Bush!
Does anyone remember the Clinton years? Anyone, anyone at all?
We seem to remember a lot of people hating Clinton. In fact, such persons included ourselves. And a lot of people we knew.
We have difficulty, however, remember the media reporting on this phenomenon as a genuine political story -- except, and only except, when it wished to dismiss such passionate feelings as the "hatred" felt by "wackos" and "extremists."
We search in vain for stories about Bush-hatred to find reporters expressing such clear antipathy for their subjects. Indeed, reporters seem to have suddenly discovered that political hatred isn't necessarily such a bad thing... it just depends on whom you hate.
WASHINGTON - In Arizona, Judy Donovan says she feels desperate for a new president. In Tennessee, Robert Wilson says he finds the president revolting. In Washington state, Maria Yurasek says she'd vote for a dog if it could beat President Bush.
The emotions are reported perfectly neutrally. There is no editorializing-- no suggest that such feelings are "fringe" or "extremist" or to be dismissed as crazy.
Which is fine. But we don't seem to remember many instances of neutral language being used to report on Clinton-hatred, to the extent it was reported on at all.
A subtext to this year's presidential campaign is the intense anger that many Democrats are directing toward Bush, an attitude that has been growing in recent months.
You mean, in the months before an election? Another shocker.
"I've never seen anything like it," says Ted Jelen, a political science professor at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. "There are people who just really, really hate this person."
Never? Ted Jelen is one of those political science professors who just moved back to America after having been a visiting professor on Mars through the nineties.
This is so... Pauline Kael.
Kael once remarked, notoriously, that she couldn't understand how Nixon was elected in 1972, since no one she knew voted for him. (Remember, this was a landslide election.)
We're quite sure that many liberals haven't really seen political antipathy for liberal politicians before-- after all, all their nice friends loved Clinton, adore Hillary, and are just batshit crazy about John Kerry.
It takes a certain arrogance -- always on-hand in liberal stock-rooms -- to universalize from one's own narrow experiences.
This is why liberals are forever calling themselves "mainstream," and frequently claiming that they're perfectly non-ideological. They're so arrogant that it just never occurs to them that there is any other genuine other way to think about an issue at all; hence, their positions are never ideological or slanted to one side of the political spectrum.
They're always simply "commonsense" and "pragmatic" and, yeah, "mainstream."
Fully a quarter of Americans -- mostly Democrats -- tell pollsters they have a very unfavorable opinion of the president, more than double the number from last April. When only Democrats are polled, more than half report they feel that way.
Further, in exit polls conducted during Democratic primaries, a sizable chunk of voters have been describing themselves as not just dissatisfied with Bush but outright angry -- 51 percent in Delaware, 46 percent in Arizona and New Hampshire, 44 percent in Virginia and Wisconsin.
Ummm, again, none of this is substantially different from anti-Clinton anger amongst Republicans in the nineties.
But then, of course, that was extremist
. Liberal hatred of Bush is, on the other hand, just "pragmatic mainstream commonsense."
"They really have a head of steam up against Bush," said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. He said the level of political polarization surrounding Bush, the division between Republicans who favor him and Democrats who don't, exceeds even that for President Clinton in September 1998 during the impeachment battle.
Exceeds by how much exactly? Enough to say that anti-Bush loathing is qualtitaively a different phenomenon than anti-Clinton loathing?
Is a 5% difference, or whatever it is (it is almost certainly narrow), enough to say that this
phenomenon is suddenly worthy of serious, rather than dismissive, media attention?
We know the difference must be slender, for several reasons. One is common sense-- we know that about half of both parties are intensely ideological; so about the same number of people can be expected to loathe Bush as loathed Clinton.
But more importantly, we know the difference is narrow because if there were any firm numbers demonstrating that Bush-hatred was substantially more widespread than Clinton-hatred, the liberal reporter would certainly have quoted those numbers.
The fact that he needs to suddenly get very vague in an article that is otherwise specific in terms of poll numbers is the best available evidence that the actual numbers would contradict his thesis.
A substantial number of independents who voted in the Democratic primaries expressed anger at Bush as well, exit polls found. For example, almost half of independents in the Delaware primary said they were angry, and about four in 10 in Virginia, Arizona, Iowa and New Hampshire. In Wisconsin, one in 10 of the Republicans who voted in the primaries said they were angry at Bush, and more than twice that many said they were dissatisfied.
Again, note the perfectly matter-of-fact and neutral style of reportage here. Yes, this is how the story should be
reported; we're just saying we would have appreciated this fidelity to objectivity during the nineties.
Via Electric Venom/Venomous Kate,
who has what must be the coolest and grabbiest name/design/attitude on the web.
Media: Only Some Hate Crimes are Actually Hateful
These stories are just too common. As is the media silence on them.
Basically, a Chinese delivery boy was beaten near to death, and then stabbed multiple times to finish off the job:
After placing a plastic bag over Huang Chen's head, they tossed him into a shopping cart and wheeled him into his own car for the short trip to Brookville Park where he was dumped in a pond like garbage. Hours later, when police finally arrived at the address left at the restaurant for the delivery of the food, they found Nayquan Miller wearing a bloody shirt trying to clean large amounts of blood splattered on the ceiling and walls, graphically demonstrating the horror of the last moments of Huang Chen's young life.
The fact that a Chinese restaurant was targeted was no accident. A recent article in the New York Post described a new inner-city sport known as "Chink Bashing" which involves racist, premeditated assaults and worse on Chinese delivery boys. Of course, with the selective indignation of the politically correct media, it is very doubtful whether the appropriate government officials from the U.S. Justice Department will ever investigate this heinous murder and violation of civil rights. ...
It is interesting to note that when a black youth is killed in any racially tinged incident, the regular media invariably refer to the victim as a "boy," usually accompanied by a sympathetic graduation picture. In this case, however, where the victim is an Asian boy killed in what is undeniably a hate crime, the media chose to call him a man; no pictures accompanied any of the NY City newspaper articles. Apparently some victims of racist murder warrant more sympathy from the media than others. It is time that all victims of such vile hate crimes receive equal attention and that the evil hypocrisy of selective indignation is ended.
In case you couldn't tell from context, the killers were black.
And of course blacks can't commit hate crimes. At least according to our objective, neutral, straight-down-the-middle-no-slanting media.
Poll: Florida Leans Towards Bush
We here at Ace of Spades HQ have the same opinion on polls as nearly everyone else: When they say something we like, we trumpet them as well-nigh conclusive; when they go against us, we say "it's still early" and that "polls don't mean anything, votes do."
Sometimes, when a poll goes against us, we'll say, "That poll contains too much 'statistical noise' and is therefore unreliable." Which means-- well, we don't know what that means, really. But it sounds a lot better than just calling a poll "stinky."
Hey-- we're human. We admit we do that. You can admit it too.
brings a smile to our faces this afternoon by linking to a poll which we find surprisingly authoritative and predictive
Phew! It's been a while since we've seen one of those accurate polls
we like so well. The media has been giving us a bunch of statistically unreliable polls
-- i.e., "stinky polls" -- for the past two months.
Like the man said: Florida, Florida, Florida.
Andrew Sullivan Flip Watch-- Final
We had intended to announce that the Andrew Sullivan Flip Watch had hit 12:00 midnight last week, meaning he had, in fact, now flipped, as was inevitable, to strident liberal douchebag. We never got quite around to it, though.
Today's posts end all debate on the matter:
["Email of the Day" from a reader:]
"You claim in your blog that 'It looks increasingly as if anyone who cares about fiscal sanity is going to have to sit this election out.' However, isn't it obvious that the only way to impose some sort of fiscal sanity is to vote Kerry -- resulting in a split government that can't reach any sort of agreement as to how to spend money?
Additionally, if we are going to spend money like drunken sailors wouldn't we rather have Kerry, who will at least tax the baby-boomer generation that is benefitting from all this spending, instead of Bush who wants to run up huge deficits and force these problems on future generations... people like ME?
As an uncatered to libertarian in my twenties, I think the answers to both of these questions are 'yes' and 'yes'. I intend to vote Republican except for President, where I intend to vote a big fat 'D'. Then I'll sit back and pray for government gridlock."
[Sullivan now comments:] I think this guy is right. If you take seriously the fact that this country is headed toward fiscal catastrophe in the next decade, then restraining spending and raising some taxes in the next four years is almost as essential as tackling the entitlement crunch. Neither Bush nor Kerry wants to help. They're both cowards (although Kerry seems to have a better grip on fiscal reality than Bush does). So gridlock is the best option. The combination of Bill Clinton and a Republican Congress was great for the country's fiscal standing. Independents and anyone under 40 concerned with the deficit don't need a Perot. They just need to vote for Kerry and hope the GOP retains control of at least one half of Congress.
Sullivan, being a thoroughly dishonest commentator, will continue to maintain the fiction that he is still weakly in the Bush camp, in order to gain the rhetorical advantage of being deemed one of those media-cherished "conservatives" who can be quoted following the sentence, "Even some conservatives
now passionately disagree with the Bush Administration on [insert issue here]."
(Which doesn't mean such conservatives don't exist-- of course they do. But liberals and the media (redundant, we know) see a lot more "conservatives who hate Bush" than exist in reality. Actual "conservatives who hate Bush" tend to be people the media despises, like Pat Buchanan and Judge Roy Moore.)
Sullivan flipped over the past month as was predicted here-- not that this was a tough call, of course. This shrill propagandist is married to the idea of gay marriage, after all.
It's only today, though, where he inadvertantly and inadvisedly admits this. Look for him to attempt to backpedal a bit in the coming days in order to dishonestly maintain his claim to be a conservative. He wants his critique of Bush to have the greatest rhetorical impact, so he will claim to be someone "reluctantly" forced to slam Bush at every turn.
If he gave up this charade, after all, he'd just be another gay liberal shrieking about gay marriage. And he can't have that.
For the last time, just to make it nice and official:
At the tone, the Andrew Sullivan Flip Watch displays a time of
12:00 midnight-- the flip has been completed
By the way-- a lot of conservatives and right-leaning moderates have thought of Andrew Sullivan as a "fair" and "thoughtful" commentator in the past.
But he generally has not been. He's been as nasty and ad hominem as any of the commentators he so piously attacks for daring to inject such emotion and "hate" into the public debate-- Coulter, etc. After all, this is the guy who announced the presence of a treasonous "Fifth Column" within America in the days after 9-11, and has defended that claim ever since.
It's not that that is necessarily an outrageous claim-- we think that sometimes, too. But please-- if you're going to toss out such extreme charges against political opponents, frigging spare us
the pious sermonizing on the invective of Ann Coulter.
It's just been hard for conservatives and right-leaners to see this, since he's generally pretended to be on our side; one always is less sensitive to unfairness and nastiness when it's directed at one's political opponents. We certainly are guilty of that ourselves, all the time.
Get ready to see the nasty ad hominem emotionalism which has been Sullivan's stock in trade throughout his career increasingly directed towards us. And you.
Factory Activity (Again!) at Near-20-Year High
Great news, but of course they've been booming for months now.
Eventually, we suppose, the major media just might get around to noting this on the front page or near the top of the broacast.
Eventually, we say.
As in, "In the first month of President Kerry's first term, should he be elected."
Otherwise, of course, it's a yawner. The media is focused like a laser on the economy, so long as the economy can be used to bash Bush.
Hugo Chavez Agrees, Once Again, With Michael Moore and Terry McAuliffe
From Drudge, the fascist leftist strongman calls Bush an "asshole."
Which places him squarely within the "mainstream" of the American political left.
It's always amusing to note how much common-ground exists between our own somewhat-loyal opposition and the worst tyrants in the world.
Iraqis Approve Outline of Provisional Constitution
Both the devil and God are, as they say, in the details, which remain sketchy.
But it sounds like a good compromise under the circumstances.
We could never really hope for a purely secularist constitution out of this part of the world-- the idea that Allah's law should be the governing law of society remains too strong with too many people. The only way to secure such a purely secularist constitution would be to impose it by external force-- which might be a positive step in terms of promoting small-l liberal governance, but it would be a massive
negative step in terms of actual democracy.
As is the case in America, where judges attempt to impose their notions of the good liberal society upon the unwilling public. Even if they're right that gay marriage, for example, is objectively good, they only achieve their goals by actively and inarguably undermining, if not outright repealing, the public's general right to decide upon its own rules, laws, and values.
Furthermore, constitutions imposed by force tend to last almost precisely as long as significant numbers of foreign troops remain in country.
A perfect document? Almost certainly not, by any stretch of the imagination. But it does sound like the most important objective of a constitution has been achieved-- a compromise under which almost all can live without feeling the need to resort to political violence or full-scale civil war.
And that's not peanuts. Political progress only comes during periods of general civil peaceableness.
UPDATE!: How long before the media begins attacking the constitution for not enshrining "progressive" values not generally considered values of our own Constitution until sometime after 1968?
Expect Hillary Clinton to complain that the document does not specifically
guarantee a woman's right to, say, drive a bus.
Kurtz: Conservative Law-Breaking Dangerous, Liberal Law-Breaking Heroic
Someone in the media finally got around to noticing, or rather acknowledging, that which is too obvious to pretend to ignore forever.
As usual, the liberal press has to go immediately into overdrive inventing fanciful and convoluted "politically neutral, objective rules" to explain this divergence of treatment.
"It's a piece of political theater designed to prove these couples are harmless," says Andrew Sullivan, an online columnist and one of the nation's most prominent gay journalists. "I don't think it's unfair for the press to cover symbolism, even though it's an advantage for one side. . . . You can't spin a picture."
Uh-huh. The media, we suppose, is just giving us pictures that can't be spun, Andrew?
Um... anyone want to make a bet regarding which
pictures get published? Does anyone think the media are publishing the photos of the most attractive and conservatively dressed, or the least attractive and those dressed in such a way as to demean the institution?
Times reporter Dean Murphy says his profile of Newsom "wasn't really meant to be sympathetic or not sympathetic. The story started to become, who is this guy and why is he doing this?"
Liberal media bias just sort of unexpectedly happens, we guess.
Actually, it probably does, we're certain. But note this guy's non-denial denial. He just notes that the coverage wasn't meant
to be sympathetic or not sympathetic. Even if you believe him (we don't), we can't help noticing that formulation neatly avoids asking the actual question posed to him-- Was
the coverage biased, and if so, why
does the media allow it to be so biased?
He avoids this question in favor of answering one he'd prefer to answer-- about the initial intentions regarding bias.
It's like a murder suspect being asked if he killed his wife with the machette, and all he'll say is, "Well, I didn't mean
to kill her." There's a defense in there somewhere, but that answer is non-responsive to the question actually posed.
Saunders found herself being mistakenly applauded when she and another female Chronicle reporter emerged from the site of the wedding ceremonies. "When you go to city hall and see all the couples getting married, there's an infectious joy, and that's going to rub off on the media," she says.
People who believe marriage is between a man and a woman, of course, may not have the same reaction to those pictures.
And there were people quite happy to see the Ten Commandments displayed in Judge Moore's courthouse. Oddly enough, the media managed quite heroically and stoically to fend off these virulently-contagious feelings of "infectious joy" in that case, however.
"Some people look at it and feel horrified," Sullivan says. "It's impossible to write a story that accommodates both reactions. It's another example of the culture wars in which the press really can't win."
Ah. The best of all-- the press just can't
be objective due to circumstances outside its control. So, apparently, it's allowed to be as liberal as it wants to be.
It's awfully funny. When the press writes about Bush or Iraq War, it has no difficulty whatsoever
noting that 40% of the country loathe both. It somehow manages to find the column-inches to squeeze this fact in, so as not to suggest to a reader that Bush or the Iraq War are universally popular.
And yet-- Andrew Sullivan now informs us that it would be "impossible" to write a story which details the strong feelings on both sides of the issue. It just couldn't be done.
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