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October 2, 2009 - September 25, 2009

Friday, October 02, 2009


The One kayoed in Copenhagen!

One of the most shocking upsets in ring(s) history.

2016. The Obamedia still can't comprehend the scale of the humiliation. It's hard to find appropriate metaphors. One can only appeal effectively to sport and to poetry, preferably poetry about sports:



No joy in Mudville Boston Chicago... That's for sure.

But maybe Chicago's been praying to the wrong One. Drudge clearly thinks so.




Something to be said for experience after all, I guess.




Thursday, October 01, 2009


Cruising the Intertubes...


ANOTHER CHILL BLAST. Just the beginning of Doctor Zero's latest:

Rumors are swirling that Democrats will try to push ObamaCare through Congress as early as next Thursday, by attaching the unwritten health-care bill to another bill that has already passed the House. The idea, detailed in this Human Events article, is to graft the Senate health-care framework onto a House bill designed to tax bonuses paid to employees of companies that received TARP benefits, such as the notorious AIG. The Democrats in the House and Senate would then shove the hybrid bill onto President Obama’s desk with a party-line vote. Of course, since the health care reform bill remains largely unwritten, Obama would essentially be signing a blank check to himself, backed by vast amounts of power and taxpayer money, for a government-run health care system to be designed and implemented later....

How many people who supported taxing the “outrageous” bonuses paid to those evil AIG employees realized they were actually supporting the destruction and re-creation of the health insurance industry? How many understood that by raising their hands to shred the property rights of the gang at AIG, they were actually agreeing to a bill that would mutate into fines and jail time against them, for failing to purchase government-approved health insurance?

Big Government wants this health-care plan much more than the American people, who have organized with remarkable vigor against it. If the Democrats short-circuit representative government and reasoned deliberation, to force the greatest expansion of government power in American history down our throats with a parliamentary trick, it would be a triumph of power and aggression for a State that has come to see its people as obstacles to be overcome, rather than constituents to be served. “The heart wants what it wants,” said Woody Allen, in defense of his degenerate relationship with the adopted daughter of his ex-wife. The State wants what it wants, and right now it’s calculating the odds of completing a Hail Mary pass to itself, to win the big seventy-year game against the independent middle class....

But he goes on to do some cheerleading (or is it dreaming?) for our side, too.

Speaking of dreaming, here's an overdue introduction to a pleasing wit hiding in the pages of the National Review: David Kahane. First there's a nightmare you'll actually enjoy. And there's also a link from that to an older piece that amusingly spells out some biographical details about the new Washington "Mob." Here's one excerpt from that:

Maerose Prizzi (Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi) — a fictional character from Prizzi’s Honor, the femme fatale so memorably portrayed by Anjelica Huston in her daddy’s movie finds a real-life counterpart in Nancy Pelosi (net worth: $19 million). She’s the daughter of “Old Tommy” d’Alesandro, whose “parking garage” connections forced him out of the Maryland gubernatorial race in 1953, and the sister of Franklin D. Roosevelt “Roosey” d’Alesandro, arrested in 1954 along with 15 other youths, as Time magazine reported at the time, for “taking two girls, ages 13 and 11, on an all night joy ride and keeping them in a furnished flat for a week. He was acquitted of the rape charge, but out of the investigation of this case grew a perjury indictment against 21-year-old Roosey.” Nancy’s mama, Anunciata, got into trouble that same year when she admitted on the witness stand to receiving $11,000 from a contractor named Dominic Piracci, who was convicted of conspiracy to defraud the city. Oddly enough, Piracci’s daughter married Tommy d’Alesandro III, who later followed his father into the Baltimore mayoralty. All in the family!

Next, a shrewd analysis of the phenomenon of Obama-worshipping schoolchildren.

Finally, a (fairly) lighthearted take on the Obama Olympic junket, including this:

Like an adolescent, Obama has plenty of homework right now. He has health care reform, which he chose to make a priority in his young presidency. He has a still-flagging economy to contend with. (He also has a history report due Wednesday.) So what does he do? He hops on a plane (in the back seat of a friend’s car) and heads off to Denmark to make a pitch to the International Olympic Committee on behalf of his buddies in Chicago (heads to the arcade at the mall).

To make matters worse, teen Obama has no conception of — or at least no concern for — what things cost. His trip to Copenhagen, by some estimates, will cost taxpayers $10 million, partly because his “girlfriend” had to be included and went in a separate plane (car).

Oh these kids today...




Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Two Cheers for CBS News

EVEN A BROKEN CLOCK IS RIGHT TWICE A DAY. The first cheer is for the fact that CBS News chose to fight rather than settle Dan Rather's ridiculous wrongful termination suit and finally got it thrown out of court today.

The second is for the story above (h/t Jonah Goldberg). It's not a complete emotional homerun, because one is left with at least a faint suspicion that the family doesn't care as much for the dog as the dog cares for the family, but there's an image in there I don't think I'll ever forget. Something about the way a grieving spouse or parent enshrines common belongings as sacred relics. There wasn't any poetry in the reporting, but there didn't need to be. It was already there for everyone to see.

Now, if only CBS News could remember how to do day-to-day reporting of the news. That would be a cheer worth shouting.






Odd Couples II

Not giving up on this, kids. Look UP. Life awaits.

MORE THAN PUNKS. Disappointment would be too mild a word. The Odd Couples post wasn't a trick or an offhanded remark. It was a question. Your relative silence thus far is the answer. I could easily extend the same idea to novels, poetry, plays, art, architecture, history, philosophy, and every other aspect of the culture we're now being forced to defend against thudding collectivist annihilation. When I offer you a narrow slice of interest -- sci fi, punk rock -- you're all over it. When I ask you to str-e-e-e-e-e-tch from one pole of life's dazzling variety of experience to its opposite, you show no interest.

Hmmmph. I'm not letting you off the hook. I'm supposed to be the narrow-minded, bigoted, racist one. God knows I've taken enough heat for it. All I'm asking is that you show me you're not living in the confined slots and boxes the lefty haters say you are.

For example. I started the Odd Couples post partly to make a point, but also to illustrate the extraordinary creativity of the human spirit across time, ethnicity, class, geography, and cultural tradition. Having started, I really can't stop. Odd Couples are not linear at all; they're the integral of infinite human expressiveness. Two points standing in for hundreds, thousands, millions. Because I love my species, I can't get enough. They're like peanuts to me. I want more and more and more. Every connection makes my mind explode and start looking for the field the integral has collapsed to a line.

You? Not so much. Apparently.

So, whether you like it or not, whether you're bored or not, I'm launching Round 2. The same old rules apply.

Ghosts. What does it mean when talent is hidden behind talent? Sometimes it doesn't work. Edmund Purdom. Sometimes it does. Audrey Hepburn.

Honesty. Sinatra. (I can't find any of his truly great stuff on the Internet. Does that tell you anything?) But there's also George Jones.

Abused Women. Ronny took it. Tina did too, but she eventually got over it. America really is about getting better and better...

Crazy Women. They're a constant of life. Ask the Romans, Russians, Chinese, and Vikings. Which leaves us with two tonally different contemporary "superstars." Sinead O'Connor and Courtney Love.

Death. It comes to us all. Sometimes the big men talk about it (or not). But always on their own terms. Jimmie Rodgers (days before his long anticipated death from TB) and Warren Zevon.

Clowns. Antipodes. Leoncavallo and Sondheim.

Breaking the Rules. In completely different ways. But all ways are important. Ravel and Slash.

Cross-Pollination. High and low culture interact. Examples: Glass/Bowie and the technotronic version of Carmina Burana.

Gender Benders. The sexes have played at being each other forever, all the way back to Greek and Roman dramatists. Here are two recent players. Mary Martin and Boy George.

Impossible Stretches. Maybe the biggest thing I'm asking. Can you get from here to there without losing your mind? From Hush Little Baby to Eminem?

Quiet Types. At least I spared you a Chopin nocturne. Satie and Radiohead.

Electronic. The age we live in. It began with Autobahn. It cried itself to sleep, along with all of you it seems, to Porcelain.

Dammit. Life is a fantastic carnival. Buy some goddamn tickets and start riding the rides. And if Eduardo can do half a pair, so can I. Listen all the way through to what starts playing (and, well, the other stuff, too) when you go here. This is not a class war. It's a life war. It doesn't matter where we start from. What matters is where we end up.




Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Serendicity


BACKGROUND. I'm not sure whether this is a case of serendipity or synchronicity. Hence the portmanteau title. But the clever Klavan monologue certainly anticipates to a tee the disgusting apologetics we're seeing from celebrities, the mass media, and the western world's cynical diplomatic corps with respect to the arrest in Switzerland of Roman Polanski.

If Polanski's fate were the only moral issue at stake here, I probably wouldn't even comment on it. There is no case on his behalf, and outrage at his arrest by any party is as ludicrous as it is loathsome. He pleaded guilty to a repulsive crime, fled the country to escape sentencing, and regardless of his age, is obviously subject to punishment for the original crime and for his flight from American justice. Period.

But this is what liberals so often like to call a "teachable moment." Some aspects of the Polanski affair, whether by serendipity or synchronicity, are curiously resonant with a multitude of other recent events in our national life. Which is why they are worth commenting on. They expose the profound moral corruption of those who claim to have a monopoly on what's best for the American people. Consider all the disturbing echoes, parallels, ironies, and tin-eared hypocrisies in play here.

There's the sudden dramatic confirmation of Klavan's metaphor, proof that celebrities really are an oddball manifestation of the worst of identity politics. The group to which Polanski belongs -- er, Hollywood -- closes ranks around a threatened member without hesitation, freely reorienting the narrative away from simple right and wrong to the grievances and persecutions they pretend are products of their unique status in the culture. An obvious criminal is, in convenient relativist terms, really the victim of establishment bigotry that has nothing to do with his own actions. If he weren't a star, nobody would have thought him worth pursuing, so the pursuit is itself a kind of hate crime.

Which is reminiscent of the furor surrounding the recent return of Michael Vick to the NFL. We saw the same kind of determination to diminish, by omission and misreprepresentation of fact, the crimes that made him a convicted felon in the first place. We were told that he has paid his debt to society in terms that make absolutely no sense to average citizens -- he lost more money than any of you could make in a score of lifetimes, and how dare any of you seek to deprive him of the opportunity to "practice his profession" or "make use of his extraordinary talents" to punish him further for behaviors which his particular ethnic identity made him more vulnerable to than any of you could possibly understand? Never mind that an attorney who commits a felony is automatically barred from practicing his profession or using his laboriously acquired mental skills to return to his prior level of financial prosperity. That attorney is probably a Jew anyway.

Which is another peculiarly illuminating aspect of the Polanski defense. When's the last time you heard a self-professed liberal employ the "victim of the holocaust" defense for any kind of antisocial behavior? It's certainly not permitted to the state of Israel, which is ubiquitously and uniformly condemned for supposed war crimes against a Palestinian population who have publicly, repeatedly, and unmistakably endorsed the exact same genocidal intentions that led to the murder of 6 million Jews under Hitler. In the larger instance, the Jews are the criminals. (It was only days ago, wasn't it, that our president publicly scolded Israel to the U.N. General Assembly for intransigence in negotiating with enemies who have never even conceded their basic right to exist?) In the specific celebrity instance of Polanski, the Jew is the victim. The Jew who drugged, raped and sodomized by force a 13-year old girl. After all, she's 45 now and never won an Oscar.

Which... let me know when you start to see the serendicity... reminds me of the "liberal" outrage when conservatives presumed to mention the name of Mary Jo Kopechne during the hagiographic bathos surrounding the death of Teddy Kennedy. Serious, admired (in some quarters) columnists fearlessly denounced such quibbles regarding the late senator's character and advanced the argument that Teddy's devotion to liberal causes like socialized medicine was, on balance, worth the death of a young woman who made the mistake of fluttering too near the searing flame of Kennedy family destiny.

All this from the people who claim to care the most about the weak, the voiceless, the downtrodden. Michael Vick's football talent outweighs the torture and murder of mere dogs. Teddy Kennedy's senate career outweighs the inadvertent death (negligent homicide) of a young woman he casually seduced and abandoned in an underwater Oldsmobile. Roman Polanski's cinematic gifts outweigh the long ago rape of a child who probably looked older than 13 at the time, has long since been publicly identified (outed?) by the press, and doesn't want another encounter with celebrity.

Oh. And another thing. The Europeans are up in arms about the Polanski case. Specifically, France and Poland. Which is supposed to make us feel small? Aren't these the newly secular cultures whose enlightened take on the role of government in looking out for the defenseless little people, and their healthcare and welfare and all that crap, are driving our new president's agenda to remake America in their image? Aren't they? So. In Europe, drugging a 13-year-old and fucking her in the ass against her will is okay? If the buggerer in question is a "great" movie director? Got it. Democracy and the preeminence of the common man over the aristocratic elites is well and truly dead in the part of the world that raised aristocratic elites to a height that led to the revolutionary establishment of the United States in the first place. Glad that's settled. Just as our president is steering us harshly in their direction.

Is that the end of our (not so) brief? No. There's one final point, a last act to the drama that might actually make sense of it all. (Pay attention, AllahPundit: here's a hint about the consequences of your tedious, feckless cheerleading for secularism.) What precisely is it that makes Roman Polanski such a cultural aristocrat that he should be exempt from the criminal justice system? His movies, right? Well, let's take a look at them.

Rosemary's Baby. A young woman manipulated by her husband and his friends into being raped by the devil and then forced to deliver the Antichrist. She ultimately consents in her role as the mother of all evil. Chinatown. A movie that hinges on the dark secret that an incredibly powerful man forced his own daughter into incest and has like designs on the child of that perverted union. The Ninth Gate. A quest for Satanic power whose surprise ending turns the supposed hero into the inheritor of the evil omnipotence the audience assumes he's been attempting to prevent. Such movies may be well crafted, brilliantly shot and edited, masterfully directed, but that doesn't make them great. Content matters.

I don't know what happened in Roman Polanski's youth. I don't presume to judge that. What I do know is that his movies do not illuminate anything other than the extraordinary darkness of his soul. For that he may deserve our sympathy, apart from his real world victims, but he does not deserve our admiration as the kind of artist who inspires his audience to live up to the best that is in them. Rather, he has fulfilled the destiny of doomed artists in every age: he has mapped for us, exposed to us, the pathologies that have twisted and destroyed his own life.

There are at least two lessons to be drawn from the fiasco that is Roman Polanski's existential plight. First, there are always unintended consequences, even in the world of "art." We will never know what process of serendicity made Sharon Tate the victim of the Manson family. The damnably pesky problem is that her horrific murder is so esthetically consistent with the entire life and "oeuvre" of Roman Polanski. Is that coincidence? Or some sequence of cause and effect that all of us, including him, can only guess at? We can only, and mostly sadly, wonder.

Second, the tone-deaf defense of this sexual offender by elites in show business, the media, and other centers of power should serve as a warning to the rest of us that the rational utopia being plotted for us by the most gifted, intelligent, and highly educated among us is a post-modern nightmare almost beyond imagining. Kind of like The Ninth Gate. Is this really the nature of the illuminated elite we're being asked to defer to and trust?

Whatever they say, and no matter how eloquently and persuasively they say it, the elites who are so convinced they know better than we do how our lives should be lived, regulated, and confined lack a true moral compass. Their decisions on elementary questions of right and wrong change depending on who the subject of consideration is, not what the applicable principles of morality and justice might be to the ancient legal standard of the "reasonable man."

Or woman.


Whoopi. If anybody knows about women's rights, she does.

Which... yeah, I know... reminds me of the ACORN mess. ACORN employees calmly discussing ways of setting up houses of underage illegal alien prostitutes are cause, among the elite liberals, for investigating the wicked journalists who entrapped them and made them, uh, what's the word?, "victims." Not that there's any pattern here. As Andrew Klavan scrupulously points out in his video. Right and wrong are defined by who you are, who's asking, and, sometimes, by what color and ethnicity you are.

Welcome to the Brave New World. Let's all pray for the freedom of Roman Polanski from all possible personal responsibility for the decisions he's made in his life.

Amen. Not that we believe in a higher power or anything disgusting like that...

P.S. I'm not planning to pepper this post with hot links to individual voices in the controversy. However, if enough of you don't know what all I'm referring to in current media, let me know, and I'll go back and give you the links.




Monday, September 28, 2009


Diplomacy

Remind you of anyone? Adumjihad smirks like this every time
he professes that Iran's nuclear ambitions are peaceful. Who
could believe him? Only diplomats in the uniquely dumb west.

WHAT WE ALL WANT. Sorry about the downtime. The whole punk crew got together to watch the U.N. circus last week and fell deathly ill. We're blaming it on the Schweinfurt Flu (and, we believe with good reason -- it attacks the 'T-punkt' cells, as Google demonstrates).

Anyway. Can't even comprehend the lunacy of our beloved president's latest foray into international diplomacy. Hell, when even the French president thinks you're a naive, appeasing wuss, you've got big problems.

Sarkozy Mocks Obama at UN Security Council: Hello, Big Media?

by Maura Flynn

One of my favorite features of the Newseum in Washington, DC is the daily display of newspaper front pages from around the world. Today, Canada’s National Post was a standout with Alex Spillius’ coverage of a clash between Presidents Obama and Sarkozy.

For reasons yet to be determined, the National Post appears to have de-linked their own front page story on their website. Mr. Spillius reported a similar (albeit watered-down) version in the UK’s Telegraph.

Obama: “We must never stop until we see the day when nuclear arms have been banished from the face of the earth.”

Sarkozy: “We live in the real world, not the virtual world. And the real world expects us to take decisions.”

The rest of Sarkozy’s remarks were, well, remarkable:

“President Obama dreams of a world without weapons … but right in front of us two countries are doing the exact opposite.

“Iran since 2005 has flouted five security council resolutions. North Korea has been defying council resolutions since 1993.

“I support the extended hand of the Americans, but what good has proposals for dialogue brought the international community? More uranium enrichment and declarations by the leaders of Iran to wipe a UN member state off the map,” he continued, referring to Israel.

The sharp-tongued French leader even implied that Mr Obama’s resolution 1887 had used up valuable diplomatic energy.

“If we have courage to impose sanctions together it will lend viability to our commitment to reduce our own weapons and to making a world without nuke weapons,” he said.

Mr Sarkozy has previously called the US president’s disarmament crusade “naive.”

No American newspapers seem to have featured Sarkozy’s justifiably derisive remarks about Obama’s naivete regarding the realities of nuclear technology.

But, a little harsh, don't you think? Anyone with half an Ivy League-educated brain (that's "Just-a-Pinch" of brain in normal humans) can see that the Iranians don't really want to nuke Israel. It's all just over-the-top rhetoric designed to drive a harder bargain. Because Islam is, at base (and we do mean base) a religion of, um, peace. Wasn't there a row of burkha-clad women sitting behind you at your last Columbia-Yale football game? They seemed to be enjoying it... sort of...... didn't they? A little?

Still. Ahdumjihad's speech was when we all unaccountably developed overwhelming symptoms of nausea, vomiting, bug-eyes, instantaneous outbreaks of Tourette's Syndrome, and those totally unexpected four-hour erections. (Maybe it's time to lay off the brandy and CialisTM cocktails that seemed like such a good way to cope with America's international apology implosion. At the time. As in, "peace in our time.")

Sorry. We're mostly feeling much better now. Except for recurring nightmares like this:


For the audio of this surreal event, click here.

Thanks for asking. Not that any of you did. We're feeling better regardless.





Odd Couples

Sometimes they belong together, somethimes they don't.

WHERE WE LEFT OFF. Right before the lights went out, we were having a spirited discussion with some commenters about punk music. But there's a lot more than punk music in the world, and so we decided to do something completely different. The idea is, we show you how to do it, and then you give us YOUR nominations for what we call odd couples. There are too many in this list to show all the actual videos, but the links are good. Take the time to work through the list, then feel free to comment and make your own suggestions. What we're not going to do is explain our pairings. That's your job. Explain them to yourselves and/or to us, as you see fit or outraged enough to do so.

The idea is not intimidation. It's conversation. There's something moving about every pairing we've selected. If you can't see it or find it, maybe the fault is in you. But maybe it's in us, too. Nevertheless, we think someone who listens to all of these works will not come away unchanged by the experience. Human beings are a marvelous, incredible, beautiful species, and that's a fact. Don't be coming at us with any objections to that perspective. Got it?

Guitar. Ry Cooder (sorry about the kid actor, but the sound is true) and some classical dude.

Forgiveness as Harmony. Mozart (be patient; it gets great) and the Rolling Stones. (You know I had to.)

True love. The Blind PBS Dude and Nat King Cole.

The Clarinet. Mozart and Artie Shaw.

The Trumpet. Pure genius and impure genius. (Spare me your Miles Davis spiel. Make your own list.)

The Female Heart. Un Bel Di and Ozzie's Harriet (plus a bonus to soothe your rattled soul).

Piano. The transcendant Glenn Gould and the tormented Bill Evans.

Prayer (More than one kind there is). The Lord's and Tom Traubert's.

The Violin. Isaac Stern. Period. And then Mairead Nesbitt. Which one makes your heart sing?

The Stage. A Cool Cat and a little cat.

Divinity. Suo-Gan. And, oh yes, Halleluiah. (Screw Allahpundit and the horse he rode in on.)

Americans. By choice and by voice.

American Romance. Elvis and Judy.

Blues. Country and Country.

Sorrow. Solo and Chorale.

I know that more than one can play at this game. Nominate your own odd couples, and I'll post as many as I can. Promise. Think of this as a way we can all get to know each other better -- beyond the jousting and sparring we do over ideas.

We've entered a time when we need to build such bonds.

UPDATE. All right. I'll bite. Beckoning Chasm says Robert Fripp is "the guitarist's guitarist, the man who knows music theory, notation, harmony, how it should all work together..."

He didn't give me a song to link to, so I linked to the top one at YouTube: Starless.

And here's Brian Eno (same process): An Ending (Ascent)

Work with me, people. This isn't a trick. There has to be music that actually moves you, speaks to your lives and loves...

Doesn't there?

UPDATE 2. Told you I'd faithfully post the pairings of those who wanted to participate. Here's an offering from Eduardo:

I may have gotten a little carried away (imagine that), but I really like what you're doing with this post, IP. This is cool, although I'm a little upset that you beat me to Agnus Dei. Here are my odd couples:

Courage: Catholics have the best hymns. Deal with it. And this may not be a hymn, but it's still inspiring (it builds to the last minute; helps to know the context, too).

Loss: East meets West edition. Please ignore everything peripheral about the "East" selection and just focus on the music.

Out of reach: Couldn't find the version I wanted of this song, but I found one that's almost as good. And here is a song that keeps things on the same island.

Hollow: Nothing beats a supposed French song sung by a Filipina. Here is the Country vibe.

Finally, I couldn't think of any pairing for my last video that would not be insulting to Paco. This song truly deserves a listen anyway. It is absolutely fantastic.

That last one breaks the rules, but we'll let it slide this one time because Eduardo was first. Not again, though. Odd Couples or nothing.


UPDATE 3. This one's from Alfa (onesies are perfectly fine too):

An Odd Couple I couldn't resist: Wagner and Billy Idol.

btw, am I crazy or is the violinist in the Wagner clip a certain ex-governor of Alaska?




Friday, September 25, 2009


Everyone Misses the Point

Everyone misses the point.

EVERYONE MISSES THE POINT. Everyone misses the point. YOU miss the point. You see the easiest thing to get pissed off about, and you pounce. You never look to see if there's something you might have missed. Like a dog. You're distracted from a pile of raw bacon ten yards away by one lousy Snausage under your noses.

Yes, he's lying. He's a liar. We know. He's not even a good liar. Consulting the dictionary is a stretch? Only a black president in the age of affirmative action could get away with that crap. Duh. NOT THE POINT.

­It doesn't matter if he calls the tax increase a tax increase. In fact, if you hadn't been satisfied with the morsel of semantics, you could have had a whole buffet with his freudian use of the word "mandate."

As in mandatory. As in the choice to participate has been taken away from you. Remember the days when you could decide if you had insurance? Gone, if Obama has his way.

Under Obamacare, you will pay more, not less, for health care. For a system that is, if Europe's experience is anything to go by, at least as big a crap shoot as the one we have now. This has never been about making health care affordable. This has always been about power. Specifically, about letting (letting) you have less and less freedom. Because they know better.

THAT's the point.

The point of this post? Stop missing the point.




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