January 23, 2006 - January 16, 2006
Monday, January 23, 2006
OF A LADY. What I first noticed as an annoyance at Amazon.com a
year ago -- nasty reviews of conservative books by lefties who
obviously hadn't read them -- has escalated to become the internet's
newest form of ad-hominem assault and battery. Michelle Malkin
today flags the large-scale hate campaign orchestrated by Jane Hamsher
(who blogs at Firedoglake.com) against Kate O'Beirne's new book on its
Amazon page. While La Malkin devotes most of her attention to the
mugging by phony review of Fred Barnes's new book, she also informs us
that Ms. Hamsher, who refers to Kate O'Beirne as "sandpaper snatch" and
worse, has been invited to defend her new hobby at a live Washington Post roundtable
For those of you who don't know who Jane Hamsher is, I thought I'd share a
couple of excerpts of her own contributions to prose. (Warning: NSFW).
Here is her response to "jurassicpork," a sympathetic reader of her
blog who nevertheless objected to the ugliness of the assault on
jurassicpork -- I don't need to read
that fucking book to know it's dangerous, I see her face all the time
on cable news and read enough exerpts [sic] to confirm that the worst is not
even close. Her eliminationist rhetoric is disturbingly omnipresent and
there are critical times in its dissemination cycle when it is
vulnerable to counter-attack before it can do its damage. That time is
now, not six weeks from now when everyone's had themselves a good,
This is not a book club. We are not here discussing the fine points of
literary style. The effectiveness of making an example of someone like
Kate O'Beirne depends on hitting them during peak interest time, right
as the book is being released. I'll leave the tea sipping to the
literary critics, this is politics down and dirty. Nothing more,
What's much better, of course, is Hamsher's own contributions to the
world of art and literature. She was, for example, one of the original
producers of Natural Born Killers
(not to be confused with the director, writer, or any creative role other
than owning rights to a screenplay and hanging grimly on to the income
the making of the movie). On the literary side she wrote a book about
her big lucky breakthrough, which represents a marvelous addition to the
thriving field of personal journalism. Here are the first few
paragraphs of that masterpiece:
Well, you get the idea, I'm sure -- a distaff Hunter Thompson. It's
called Killer Instinct, but
it probably could have as easily been named Fear and Loathing in Hollywood. Her
other producer credits include From
Hell, the umpteenth reworking of the Jack the Ripper legend, and
Permanent Midnight, a sweet
little movie about a real-life comedy writer who used to take his
along on his heroin buys. The works of, you know, a progressive and
idealistic charm princess.
I'm not providing links to her blog, her Amazon page, or her movies
because I'm not soliciting abuse of her. I'm just suggesting that you
remember the name. It may come up again.
Saturday, January 21, 2006
The Illiterate Left
He's a kid. And he's (let's be
honest) a smacked ass.
looked in on the influential political factotum known as the Daily Kos.
I'm told that he and Atrios and other lefty bloggers are responsible
for the lefthand spin-out of the Democratic Party. That without the
leadership of people like Kos, Kennedy, Biden, Leahy, and company
wouldn't have made such outstanding jackasses of themselves during the
Alito hearings. Here's what I found when I went looking for the
political science of Kos:
In the 1700s Englightenment
thinkers constrained the power of unearned wealth and unmerited
privledge [sic] because they saw it was destroying civil society.
In the process they brought into existence a society where wealth and
privledge [sic] were theoretically to be achievable by people solely
through their own inborn gifts and personal efforts. This altered
the churn of history, bringing more and more people and their otherwise
unlooked-for talents to bear on problems and ideas that would have
never occurred to inbred, drooling royalty.
Where to begin? With the spelling errors? Spell the same word wrong
twice in the same paragraph and you're telling us -- what? Right. That
you're perfectly equipped to lecture George Will. (Which we have done here
by the way. But not this
way.) George may be a prig, but he's got an intellect that wasn't
fabricated in a video-game chat room.
Uh, yeah. I just got the bulletin about how not being able to spell is
only proof of the imperative of the masses to smash the bourgeoisie or
something. Something about the ubiquity of spell checkers in the 21st
century.Sorry. When you go up against George Will, you better KNOW HOW
TO SPELL even if you look like Gilbert Gottfried. (I suspect even
Gilbert Gottfried knows how to spell "privilege.")
Moving on. The Enlightenment thinkers didn't "constrain" anything. They
began a dialogue in the marketplace of ideas that ultimately invested
individuals with the confidence to act on their own behalf. Of course,
constraining is a reflexive power of government, not independent
thinkers. Perhaps that's what confused "Kos" about the Enlightenment.
He never understood that it constituted an act of reclaiming power from government rather than
acceding more power to
Oh come on. Who are we kidding? Kos is a boy. A not particularly bright
or well educated boy. Yeah,
he's grown up enough to use his website as a seine for despicable and
obscene assaults on Michelle Malkin, but who on earth would ever take
him seriously as a leading exponent of ideas for a major political
party? He can't write. He can't spell. He conflates hatred with
argument and abuse with proof.
Bah. If this is the best the Democrats can do, let them do their worst best. We're ready.
Bring it on, all you pitiful little putzes.
Golden Globes, etc
THE G-BLOCK. We tend
not to pay too much attention to Brent Bozell's columns
on entertainment. He's undoubtedly a good and smart man, but we've
always had the feeling -- rightly or wrongly -- that in his ideal
universe, movies and television would be reduced to an endless rerun of
the old Wonderful World of Disney
series. We really do like South Park,
and despite the depressing scriptwriting trend exemplified by Deadwood and its wall-to-wall
F-Words, we still think parents in control of the off-button is the
preferred form of censorship. But every once in a while, Brent makes a
point worth noting. Here's an excerpt from his current entry on the Golden
It’s become a cliche to note that
the Golden Globe Awards voter pool is an extremely small clique for
such a big-buzz awards show. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association
(HFPA) boasts “about 90" members, many of them Europeans. But their
influence over the Oscars, and then the culture, is enormous....
Look no further for the European sexual decadence than the movie acting
categories. The best-actor contest for a drama was a neck-and-neck race
between Heath Ledger, playing the gay sheepherder in “Brokeback
Mountain,” and Philip Seymour Hoffman, playing the gay writer Truman
Capote in “Capote.” The best-actress nod went to Felicity Huffman for
playing a male-to-female transgendered person in “TransAmerica,” a film
presently in nine – count ‘em, nine – theatres in these United States.
Or should she be in the best actor category? Perhaps in the future,
we’ll have a best Transgendered Performance category.
A delighted Michael Musto of the Village Voice summed it up on MSNBC:
“It was gayer than an Ikea on Super Bowl Sunday.”
We don't object to the fact that there are dramas on the big and little
screens about being gay. We object a little to the Big Lie perpetuated
by gay people that they represent 10 percent of the population. That's
a long discredited statistic culled from the laughably unscientific
studies of Kinsey. The real number is about 1 1/2 percent, which is
slightly higher than the percentage of the world's population that is
It turns out that this is an interesting comparison to make. Jews have
long played a dominant role in the mass media, having owned and
developed much of the content for movies, television, and newspapers
since their inception. They are also over-represented (versus their
percentage of the population) in the performance professions, notably
as actors and comedians. Exactly the same can be said of gay people,
who are over-represented among the ranks of actors, dancers, set
and costume designers, hairstylists, writers, and fine artists . Both
Jews and homosexuals have been persecuted for centuries. It's hardly
surprising that either group would occasionally call attention to its
own experience of life, given that they have spent so much time
reflecting and illuminating our -- to them -- alien lifestyles. Too,
both groups have contributed substantially more to the cultural canon
than their percentage of the population would seem to predict.
One can try to draw distinctions. For example, one could try to
asseverate that Jews are not afflicted with a plague that kills them
for acting on their Jewishness. But this argument does not hold up.
Jews are routinely killed simply for being Jewish. Substitute Hamas for
AIDS and you'll see what we mean.
So why would anyone object to the exceptional year in which gay people
dominate the Golden Globes? Haven't they earned one year in which they can crow and
parade their differentness?
Yes and no. There are differences between Jews and homosexuals. Unlike
Christians, for example, Jews rarely proselytize. They accept their
Jewishness and are proud of it, but they also know theirs is a club you
can't join. You have to be born into it. The tremendous body of
literature written by Jews about being Jewish is chiefly notable for
its self-deprecation, self-doubt, and its humor. Scratch any Jew and
you'll find someone who has at least wondered if life mightn't have
been easier as a Methodist. Jews speak of the Jewish "lifestyle" only
in terms of comedy, as a continuous joke that they have learned to
appreciate and now want to share with others.
Psychologically, the exact same condition must predominate with
homosexuals. But that's not what we see. Jews do not secretly believe
that everyone else is Jewish at heart. Homosexuals, on the other hand,
are -- and this is 1-1/2 percent of the population, remember --
convinced that everyone else is, in their heart of hearts, like them.
There is a difference between pride and hubris. The hubris of
homosexuals is their failure to fully understand that heterosexual
tolerance for their proclivities is he very best they can hope for.
They will gain no converts. They will not become a movement or a
philosophy. Judaism is a religion, but to the overwhelming majority of
the world's population, homosexuality is only a pathology, a condition
to be pitied if not censured.
Context. We are in a time of worldwide upheaval and threat. It wouldn't
be inappropriate if this were the year of Schindler's List and a remembrance
of the suffering of the Jews. But it is an inappropriate time for
obsessing about a tiny minority who are distinguished not by their
history, philosophy, or convictions, but only their specific sexual
In THIS year, the homosexual focus of the Golden Globes is denial. And
liberal elite -- you know, the ones who are so much better and smarter
than the rest of us -- seem to be having themselves a bad week in all
kinds of arenas.
Hollywood liberal genius George Clooney probably thought he was being
as witty as a latter-day Oscar Wilde at the Golden Globes:
...Clooney, during his acceptance
speech for best supporting actor, thanked Jack Abramoff “just
because” and made a comment about the lobbyist’s name.
“Who would name their kid Jack with the last words ‘off’ at the end of
your last name? No wonder that guy is screwed up,” Clooney said during
the internationally televised awards show.
But a joke can be said to have backfired when an aged parent of the
target offers up this kind of response:
“You want to make fun. You can do that,
but you don't make fun of someone else's hardships and misery,” the
78-year-old Abramoff said. “We’ve gone through quite a bit in our
family. But the political end of it and the media end of it and all the
other areas are one thing. When you see something like that on a show
for 500 million people, it was not only a slap in my son’s face but in
There can't be anything much worse than being made to feel small by one
of your inferiors. But that's been happening with regularity this week.
Consider the sad plight of the Numero
Uno Democrat legislator:
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid on
Thursday apologized to 33 Republican senators singled out for ethics
criticism in a report from his office titled "Republican Abuse of
"The document released by my office yesterday went too far and I want
to convey to you my personal regrets," Reid said in a letter.
"I am writing to apologize for the tone of this document and the
decision to single out individual senators for criticism in it."
Reid came under attack Wednesday over the report, which was issued by
his staff on Senate letterhead, even as he and fellow Democrats
released ethics overhaul proposals.
That's got to sting, having to swallow words of that sort. But it's
nothing compared to what Teddy Kennedy, as well as other members of the
Senate Judiciary Committee, have had to swallow. Kennedy publicly accused
Judge Alito of belonging to a sexist Ivy League organization, only to
be exposed himself as a current member of a sexist
Ivy league organization. Kennedy said Judge Alito was "itching to
overturn Roe v. Wade," only to have the National
Enquirer expose an "itch" of his own that fully explains why the
senator is so passionately devoted to legal abortion. Kennedy and his
committee colleagues have also been subjected to disciplinary
treatment of this sort:
On the other side of the aisle,
Republicans treated the confirmation hearings like some kind of
incredibly arduous burden that might prove impossible for the judge to
endure. Some Republicans seem to be amazed that Alito has survived at
For example, Senator Orrin Hatch said, "I don't think you've been
fairly treated and it makes everybody wonder why would anyone want to
do these jobs."
While I am amazed that Alito managed to stay awake the whole time,
let's not get carried away here.
Granted, sitting in any kind of forum and being forced to talk to
Kennedy, Durbin, and Schumer is a borderline violation of Geneva
Convention rules against torture. You'll get no argument from me,
there. But it's not like these people are destroying Alito’s
For Alito, being lectured by these three goons on character and
morality is like having Manson, Bundy, and Dahmer chairing a committee
that criticizes your "sketchy people skills and inability to play well
with others." I seriously doubt that Justice Alito goes home crying at
night because Ted Kennedy was mean to him.
Mean? Is it really possible that liberals can be characterized as mean? According to the Washington
The Washington Post shut down one
of its blogs Thursday after the newspaper's ombudsman raised the ire of
readers by writing that lobbyist Jack Abramoff gave money to the
Democrats as well as to Republicans.
At the center of a congressional bribery investigation, Abramoff gave
money to Republicans while he had his clients donate to both parties,
though mostly to Republicans.
In her Sunday column, ombudsman Deborah Howell wrote that Abramoff "had
made substantial campaign contributions to both major parties,"
prompting a wave of nasty reader postings on post.blog.
There were so many personal attacks that the newspaper's staff could
not "keep the board clean, there was some pretty filthy stuff," and so
the Post shut down comments on the blog, or Web log, said Jim Brady,
executive editor of washingtonpost.com.
"We're not giving up on the concept of having a healthy public dialogue
with our readers, but this experience shows that we need to think more
carefully about how we do it," Brady wrote on the newspaper's Web site.
"There are things that we said we would not allow, including personal
attacks, the use of profanity and hate speech."
At the risk of trampling further on already bruised liberal toes, I'm
going to suggest that there's a pattern in all this. If the libs
involved in all these instances had simply remembered what it is to be
polite, none of these unfortunate after-effects would have occurred.
Imagine what the week's news would have been like if George Clooney,
Harry Reid, Teddy Kennedy, Chuck Schumer, Patrick Leahy, Dick Durbin,
Joe Biden, and the passionately liberal readers of the Washington Post had observed the
following simple rules from the child's tutorial above:
Do not use Bad Language.
Do not Bully; only Cowards do this.
Be Pleasant, and not Quarrelsome.
Do not Jeer at your Schoolmates, or call them Names which they do not
Do not make Fun of Old or Crippled People, but be particularly Polite
to them, as well as to Strangers and Foreigners.
Never be Rude to anybody, whether older or younger, richer or poorer,
Never Interrupt when a person is speaking.
Always mind your own Business.
I'm well aware that manners is an old-fashioned and outdated subject,
which means that George and Harry and company will merely snort if the
word is mentioned to them, but there might be a way to help the
liberals through this and many future rough patches nonetheless. It's
called Sensitivity Training, a mandated program of education that is
generally required in any mixed environment of the demographic regarded
as the most overprivileged of the group. When black and white conflict
in an organization, the whites are consigned to sensitivity training.
When men and women conflict in an organization, men are sent to
sensitivity training. When black and hispanic and muslim conflict in an
organization, whites are ordered to sensitivity training. And so on.
Now if the liberals really believe that they are smarter, better
educated, and more enlightened generally than the rest of us, they
should be able to see that it is they
who are obligated to learn how to get along with the rest of us, not the other way around. The
course can be called whatever it has to be to procure their
participation, but I'm pretty sure the most effective content would be
the one-pager shown above.
that the new president of CBS News has changed course from the
direction plotted by CBS Corp. President Les Moonves in 2005.
Moonves last year
suggested that CBS News might benefit by
moving away from the traditional newscast presentations with a solo
delivering the news as if he or she were "the voice of God."
Since assuming his new position, though, Sean
McManus has decided that the CBS audience really does want "the voice
"I think having one
person as your primary anchor is
the way to go," McManus said. He confirmed that the new anchor would
from outside of the existing CBS News stable and that he and CBS Corp.
Leslie Moonves are eyeing a "relatively" short list of candidates.
Makes sense. There can't be a long list of people with the
credibility and authority to be as godlike as Walter Cronkite. You're
looking for a particular kind of attitude, charisma, and world view
that are darned hard to find. Everyone knows that Katie Couric is on
the list, but hardly anyone knows what we've been able to learn -- the
names of the other candidates for the CBS Throne of God. Here they are:
If it's okay for God to be a complete blithering
idiot, Keith would be a good choice. We'd bet a month's pay that this
schmuck still believes Dan Rather's forged documents were authentic.
She's the star of NPR's most popular interview
program (dozens and dozens of people listen to it), and she sounds the
way God would sound if He were a skinny woman with glasses and a lot of
weird ideas. At least everyone would know that CBS wasn't trying to
pull off a Peter Jennings imitation, like NBC did with Brian Williams.
People would get used to her in time. Sort of.
Don't laugh. He's got that CBS News voice --
pompous, gravelly, and ponderous. He went to Harvard, you know, and his
politics are right on the money. God is probably a stretch for him, but
he is an actor; he might be able to get away with it. Look how long
it's taken everybody to figure out that Walter Cronkite has the IQ of a
With Air America going down in flames, this chick
is going to need a job. She's probably only on the list because she's a
female broadcaster who's also a certified Communist, but we think it
would be a good idea to put her behind the big desk. We haven't watched
CBS News for 40 years, so it's a good way to get her out of circulation.
Is there really that big a difference between
being God and thinking you're God? Oh. Well, she's already famous and
she likes to talk about politics. No? Okay.
Osama Bin Laden
Now that he's not dead again, he's the perfect
choice. He hates George Bush (almost) as much as all the others, and
he's been working on the "voice of God" thing for most of his adult
life. He also has Walter Cronkite's unique knack for turning American
victories into crushing defeats. And think how wonderful it would be if
CBS News did only one broadcast a year for about ten minutes. Cool.
Sorry, Katie. Maybe when we're all living under
Sharia... Oops. Maybe not.
there's hope after all. Probably not. Sure as shooting, Kiefer's on
record supporting his old man's crazy
politics. That would be Donald,
by the way. The one who's currently playing the psychopathic Republican
staffer on Commander-in-Chief
(lower left) while his son has become the long-awaited American
Bond, the affectless patriot and deadly efficient anti-terrorist of
The thing is, even if Kiefer claims to be a member of the Hollywood
liberal cabal, we'd have a hard time believing it. He's the executive
producer of 24, which means
he gets to approve the story lines. Somehow, he keeps showing us that
when it comes to battling enemies of our country, you have to be
prepared to be ruthless, decisive, and resolute.
He reminds us of Chris Wallace, who is the best professional mainstream
media interviewer we've ever seen. Chris is never impolite. But he
always asks hard, clear questions. And he's always there -- meaning
physically present and ready for a determined follow-up -- when the
questions are being asked. Unlike his own crazy
father, who had a habit of being
filmed asking the questions into a camera after the interviewees
had already been filmed and set up by Don Hewitt's favored editor.
It's tempting to ask what Donald Sutherland and Mike Wallace -- the
Dads -- had in common. We think we know. Cheekbones. The poor,
struggling younger sons had to carve out their careers with rounder,
less predatory faces and, in place of melodramatic eyebrows, talent.
Cheekbones versus talent. Talent versus cheekbones. It's so hard to
pick. But we have to. So we will. The answer is: Cheekbones. Time to
flush all those round-faced, chinless, nerdy sons of famous men down
the john. Why?
We have pretty goddam nice cheekbones ourself. You don't like it?. Go
whine to Instapunk. He might even agree with you, but he's too tired of
everyone to raise a stink about it. And let's face it. If Instapunk
doesn't care anymore, the game is completely and utterly over.
kinds of people have been digging deep into history to
uncover the evil sexist, racist history
of the Owl Club at Harvard. For
once it's time to give Teddy a pass.
The chief claim to fame of the
Owl Club was not secret male-worshipping rituals, but something far
simpler than that. Turkey sandwiches. Really good turkey sandwiches
always available in the refrigerator for members AND guests (of all
sexes). Better than the excrescence shown in the picture above -- no
vile cucumbers, just the right amount of mayo, and quantities of rich
roast white turkey breast. If Teddy somehow failed to keep up with the
recent checkered history of the organization, it's almost certainly
because he thought of it as a place where he could always stop in the
vicinity of Cambridge to get a between-meal turkey sandwich. Just sign
the chit and dig in. You want something more sinister than this
explanation? Look at him, for God's sake.
Has this man been eating turkey
He didn't know the Owl Club was oppressing women like that silly
school in New Jersey Alito went to. Ask him. I'll bet he confirms every
All kidding aside, the blogger Mad Mikey needs our help. La Malkin has
the links. Do what you can.
. We always like to seize the moment when we agree
substantially with Hugh Hewitt, since there have been times in the past
when we didn't. But his application
questionnaire for those seeking GOP leadership positions looks like
a winner to us, especially the integrity stuff and this:
IV. The Media Stuff
Please attach a video file of your three best appearances on
television. We'll be the judge of that.
Thank you for your interest. We'll be in touch.
But after watching the current contenders for House Majority Leader on
Fox News Sunday, we think an additional very specific question is
needed here in Part IV: Has anyone ever told you, or suggested,
or hinted, however jokingly, that you look like Howdy Doody?
More generally, we'd also like to express our consternation and concern
about the fact that so many Republican members of Congress (past and
present) do look like
Howdy-Doody -- or his father, cousin, sister, or dumber brother. Maybe
Hugh would take the time to explain that to us, given how nice we're
Is there anything we can do about this? Seems like it would help.