March 12, 2008 - March 4, 2008
No matter who wins, Obama or Hillary will wage a war of attrition
against personal freedom,
disguised as a war against general danger. Think of it as a wolf in
golden retriever's clothing. They're so smart, and they want so much to
help us, they can't not go
all out to protect us from ourselves. God save us from their love.
But we the people are as responsible for our personal, individual freedom as the government is. National defense we habitually leave entirely to the government to manage. The Democrats seem to believe that the only actual fighting-and-killing offensive they can sanction in the whole War on Terror is against one man: Osama bin Laden.
But if President Clinton should personally shoot bin Laden in the head during a "police-action" firefight in the first month of her administration, would that end terrorism? Would tens of millions of actively militant Muslims just... run out of steam? Would Chechnyan rebels stop eyeing elementary schools to take hostages (Oh, it was just the one time, and it's both jingoistic and racist to imply they'll do it again... Sorry. Didn't realize it was merely a fluke. I withdraw my previous slander.) Would the major Palestinian political parties cease hating Israel enough to stop attacking nightclubs and goddamn seminaries? Not bloody likely.
The attack on the seminary happened last night. Probably while you were watching the CSI rerun. (Damn that writers' strike, anyway.) It wasn't a simple organized massacre carried out by grubby malcontents. Hamas, the Palestinian party in power, has triumphantly claimed responsibility. Imagine if the National Action Party periodically launched attacks on schools, nightclubs, pizza parlors, and army bases in El Paso and San Antonio. (Hey, we'll give them Austin. They want to be punished, don't they?) Imagine if crowds all across Mexico cheered and celebrated when attacks on authentic parts of Texas were successfully carried out, smearing co-eds across the grave of Sam Houston in, well, a bloody jelly punctuated by severed heads. Does that give you some perspective? At all?
Or, if this is easier for you, imagine California's Republican Party -- led obviously by evangelical Christians and a few well groomed Mormons -- waged similar guerilla warfare throughout Baja. Imagine coupon-clipping soccer moms and Boston Pops patrons celebrating over the dismembered corpses of cheerleaders whose MySpace pages evinced excessive fondness for Obama, astrology, and Global Warming.
Here's the Awful Question: What will we do when our new president proves persistently committed to his/her humiliatingly doomed "Diplomacy on Terror" (Gee, for some reason they still want us dead. We were nice and everything, too)? Am I the only one looking for any excuse at all not to inaugurate the "Vigilante Foreign Policy"? Or is that starting to smell good to more than a handful of troglodyte Obama skeptics?
What will we do? What will you do? Anything?
Me, I'm pricing pistol-grip shotguns.
It's not the Friday Follies, because nobody around here is dancing. Did
you look at any of the news this morning? Is this what they
mean by "March Madness"? I guess not. That's actually a reference to
team sport played in America. Apart from politics, that is.
Anyhow. With so much silliness going on, it's definitely not a day for serious essays or deep thoughts. I mean, who can talk about the gender-race showdown between Gloria Steinem and Michelle Obama over who's the most subjugated victim in the U.S. presidential race when the real race is being run in socially enlightened Amsterdam on stiletto heels?
Everywhere you look, there are new phony controversies. Did anyone really need Prince Charles to weigh in on Global Warming and decide for us which scientists are right and which are "sheer madness"? No doubt, such judgments were reached at a colloquium of well born Brits like this one.
And then there are the acts of individual animal cruelty which have
become the basis for condemning whole groups of people. Is it really
fair that because one
golfer murdered one hawk, the mass media should be painting the
entire PGA as sociopathic killers? Personally, I don't think so. I
think they should be ashamed
Even St. Patrick's Day has been dragged into the phony controversy trap. An Irish pub owner in Manhattan has banned the singing of Danny Boy just because the words to the Irish tune weren't written by an Irishman. He also says it's too sad. Oh really. Like the Irish have something against sad songs. Here's a version of Danny Boy everyone ought to be able to live with.
The French decided to top everybody by pretending they've just
discovered that French women are sexual
predators and French men are chickenshit wussies. Who on earth
didn't already know that? There's documentary evidence from way back in
1992 below the fold, but it's fairly NSFW, so be warned.
If you're too good to look, see you next week.
P.S. btw, we DID warn you to keep an eye on Samantha Power. But do you ever listen...?
P.P.S. Our post about the cars we imprinted on at the age of 17 has drawn some breathtaking responses, which we've published photos of in an update. If you want to come clean yourselves, we'll continue to update the entry. It's highly therapeutic. And fun.
In the bad old days before young people got so in tune with the
environment and protecting the planet from nasty hydro-carbons, one of
the first statements of individual personality an adolescent could make
was his choice of automobile. I'm not talking about the first
automobile actually owned or driven, but the one imprinted on, the
object of desire featured in individual fantasies of moving out into
the big wide world in style. For example, this was mine:
I could claim that I outgrew it, but I didn't. Not really. It's still
there in the back of my mind, that vision of myself young and fancy
free driving like the wind in what I still think is the most beautiful
production car ever made. A lot of you know what I mean. You see the
view from the driver's seat and the picture of yourself driving it
simultaneously, and you know exactly where you're going, how the ride
sounds and smells and feels, and even what music is playing on the
radio. It's all just burned in there, hence my use of the word
I think the archetypal age is seventeen, which is when most of us got our licenses and acquired the first experience of being in charge behind the wheel. Everything before that moment is infantile voyeurism. Afterwards the imagination incorporates all the senses into the fantasy. It becomes a very detailed metaphor for how we see ourselves at the cusp of adulthood.
What was the automobile you imprinted on? And what, just for fun, were the automobiles that figured in the first thrusts of self-definition by Hillary Rodham, Barack Obama, and John McCain when they were seventeen? Not having met them, obviously, we have to go on what they've done, what they say they believe, and what we can infer from the way they act on the public stage. So here are my guesses. You're free to disagree or nominate your own alternatives. All I ask is that if you do disagree, please explain your choices as logically as I explain mine. The formula is simple: date of birth plus 17 identifies the year in which the brand new vehicle that's always the stuff of fantasy was made. Ladies first:
Hillary = 1947 + 17 = 1964
She's always been motivated by the concept of service rather than fun. Practicality would be key, the ability to carry things and people from where they are to where she knows they ought to go. Convertibles are unsafe, big luxury cruisers are ostentatious and anti-egalitarian, and trucks resonate with the worst of all substances on earth, testosterone. Given what we know of her sojourns at Yale and Berkeley during the radical era, it's tempting to think she'd have been captivated by a VW bus replete with (anachronistic) McCarthy sticker. But that's too easy and probably wrong. She's always had the solidarity with labor that accompanies her humble origins in coal-mining country. She would absolutely have wanted an American car, and perferably one manufactured by a company that wasn't as obsessed with profits as the Big Three. Here's our nomination.
It's a blue-state feminist's dream, isn't it? You could put a whole
buttload of entitlements into the back end of that thing, and it's still not a big-ass truck. (Not even wide at the hips.) Also,
Studebaker had the good taste to go out of business a few years after
this eminently utilitarian vehicle failed to attract lots of unseemly
sales. Which is really hard to understand, because look at the
campaign they ran. (All right. I'm not exactly sure what I mean
by 'progressive' in this context. But I don't know what Hillary means
by 'progressive' in the context of her atavistic Great Society-like social program
proposals, either. Consider it a blind spot on my part.) Here's what I
do know, though. The song that would be playing on the radio is one of
hits by Gerry
& the Pacemakers. It kind of breaks your heart a little bit.
Obama = 1961 + 17 = 1978
He's so serious looking in the picture up top. You can tell he'd want something a little dignified, but nothing that anyone would interpret as flashy or superficial. It would have to be sensible and economical, because look at what's happening with gas prices in spite of Jimmy Carter's heroic middle east diplomacy. And it would absolutely have to be American, because all this business of trading with foreign countries is a slippery slope (besides, Kenya wasn't making cars back then). But there should also be just a hint of a statement, maybe not as far as a Ferrakhan would go, but despite all his disgusting millions, Henry Ford had it right about some things. Maybe this would have been young Obama's dream.
It's a fine picture, isn't it? There you are with your best girl in the
dark night of that terrible time in America before Columbia and
Princeton and Harvard started knocking down doors to get you to grace
them with your presence, and all you have in this moment of Godforsaken
limbo is the blazing light of your own high beams to illuminate the
impossibly difficult road ahead. And the stars, of course, which were
always there to signify the immense importance of your personal
journey. What's playing on the Fairmont
radio as the lovers snuggle discontentedly together in the bleakness of
their velour despair? One of these songs,
perhaps this one
by Deniece Williams and Johnny Mathis. Yeah, that sounds about right.
McCain = 1936 +17 = 1953
Let's face it. John-Boy McCain wasn't exactly a visionary when he was seventeen. He was a military brat who'd be scraping through Annapolis at the bottom of his class in a few years. So there's no mystery at all about the piece of Detroit iron he'd have imprinted on. Something about flying low with a gorgeous blonde at your elbow. There was only one real choice for a red-blooded American jock.
Sad in a way. It can't help but point out what an old man he is now,
obsolete in his utter lack of finesse and nuance. Who on earth would
share this particular juvenile
fantasy in our day and age? I hate to mention what was probably
playing on the radio. It would have to have been one of these dinsosaur
tunes. Probably this one.
But, as I said, I could be dead wrong. If I am, I'm sure some of you will let me know.
UPDATE. A couple of commenters have checked in with their "imprint" vehicles. One is the same as mine (see above). Two others are so cool they really have to be shared with all of you.
. The InstaPundit has
a link today to a lefty
apologist who praises the Chicago
Sun-Times for this
bit of editorial wisdom:
Maybe not completely time.
Phony Flap No. 6,537,203 still offers a few crumbs of interest. To me,
anyway. The nicest touch in the whole piece -- apart from the generally superior, dismissive tone -- was the assumptive close on
the assertion that "the nation's press can't be entirely familiar with
Ayers." He's a nonentity, you see, a mere "Chicago boy," who got into a
spot of trouble a long time ago. Well, if the nation's press doesn't
have its head stuffed "entirely" up its ass, it should be familiar with Ayers. He
was a genuine terrorist, with very real blood on his hands. Without
luck for the Weathermen (that's good luck to you and me), he'd have
been an accomplice in the greatest attack on America's home soil since
Pearl Harbor. In 1970. Does
that ring any faint bells?
Perhaps we're not as beatifically ignorant as the nation's press, but we thought it significant when Ayers popped his head up to discuss his Weatherman career in April 2004. That's why we posted this:
What redeemed the documentary were some of the interviews with former members of the Weather Underground, all of whom eventually turned themselves in after nearly a decade of political bombings... The only really condemning voice we hear is that of Todd Gitlin, himself a former leader of the infamous SDS, who nevertheless was shocked and disgusted when the Weatherman "hijacked" the SDS and transformed it into a vehicle for political terrorism.
But we do hear voices of regret and even shame. Oddly, there seems an almost complete schism between the perspectives of the two sexes of Weathermen. The women, including the once fiery spokesperson Bernadine Dohrn, seem sorry that the Weather Underground failed to make any real difference. Yet they remain politically active, principally in feminist and environmental causes, and they seem to yearn for a return of the heady days of revolution. Naomi Jaffe and Laura Whitehorn both said on camera that they would do it all again. The men were a different story, with the possible exception of Bill Ayers, who is married to Bernadine Dohrn and and didn't speak with the same depth of emotion as the others... Brian Flanagan and Mark Rudd... appear to look at the defining events of their lives with a kind of shocked puzzlement. They use terms like "crazed," "kind of crazy," and "overwhelmed by the war" as they grope for explanations of their actions. Flanagan makes open comparisons between their state of mind and that of the 9/11 terrorists. "When you believe you have right on your side, you can do terrible things," he says. Mark Rudd is candid about his own anguish. "I feel shame and guilt," he confesses. "We were full of hatred. I clung to my hatred."
The documentary ends with a surprising
snippet of Brian Flanagan, who
now owns a bar in New York City, appearing as a contestant on Jeopardy.
He won $21,000. Some of the others are doing well for themselves, too,
by the look of it. Bill Ayers is a
university professor (of course),
and his wife Bernadine Dohrn is a lecturer at Northwestern University
School. Mark Rudd teaches math at a community college in New
Mexico. [emphases added.]
But the Sun-Times assures us, "Ayers is nothing more than an aging
lefty with a foolish past who is doing good."
A foolish past? Oh. Is that what we're hearing from Brian Flanagan and Mark Rudd, that they were just being foolish, and everything's better now that they're "doing good" again?
I don't think the implied redemption the Sun-Times is conferring comes from doing good. I think it comes from being successful, an accomplishment in which there has been loads of mass media collusion, all for the purpose of burying a whole army of embarrassing skeletons that could otherwise be unearthed among the "aging lefties" who now control the mass media, the nation's colleges and universities, and numerous fiefdoms of government, business, politics, the arts, and science. For example, Instapunk was also paying attention when Ayers's wife Bernadine Dohrn crept out from under her rock back into the limelight to do her part in the 2004 election:
The warning note I sounded then still holds true, I believe:
But according to the Sun-Times,
it's all cool. We're not supposed to remember Obama's middle name,
although show me anyone else in public life who can get away with
turning his own middle name into a banished term of hate speech. Okay.
We're not supposed to get agitated about Obama's long relationship with
this indicted Rezko character, whose connections go deep into the
quasi-espionage world of Syrian and Saudi influence buyers. Okay. We're
not supposed to feel any tingles of suspicion about the fact that
Obama's mother was a committed Marxist, who remains largely unknown
because her son preferred writing books about the father who deserted
him rather than the mother who raised him, educated him, and groomed
him for power. Okay. And we're not supposed to feel any qualms
whatsoever about the fact that Obama had an apparently cordial
relationship with a Chicago community activist who also, quite
coincidentally, was a confessed terrorist who bombed the U.S. Capitol.
Even so. Are any of you out there willing to slip for just a moment behind the curtain? Let's say you happened to meet a man who had spent more than a decade actively plotting the overthrow of the U.S. government and had, in furtherance of that cause, participated in acts that either intended the death of innocents or resulted in the violent deaths of his fellow conspirators. Would you want to go so far as to shake hands with him, smile at him, agree to call each other by first (no, not middle) names, affect even a superficial kind of businesslike bonhomie? Think about it. Upon learning who this man was and what he had done, mightn't you have felt a sick lurch in your stomach and a quick, clear conviction that though God might forgive a man such sins, you simply don't want to, can't bring yourself to, associate with him yourself?
Phony flap? Okay. Have it your way. But I have no compunction about showing my own intolerance about certain things. I don't like Bill Ayers. I don't like people who like Bill Ayers. And I'm not at all friendly to people who are willing to apologize for him, either.
So who's the morally corrupt screwball here? Me? Or the Sun-Times? How do you really feel about their golden boy? And while we're posing quiz questions, who do you think is the lady being asked to lay across that big brass bed?