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June 16, 2010 - June 9, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


POS POTUS

President of Some People of the United States.

ED NAILS IT. I told you at the very beginning he wasn't my president. By which I meant he wasn't going to be everybody else's president, either. He's president of some of the people, the ones his community activist heart believes are worthy victims. And not all victims are worthy. Some of them were just asking for it, for various reasons. Which is why he can't speak from the heart to the whole nation. Every national audience contains multitudes of people he despises. His mission in life is to humble and punish and 'reeducate' and ultimately control those people.

I didn't watch the speech because I already knew it wasn't aimed at reassuring me or most of America. So I won't give you a review. What I will do is share the best rundown I've come across in a morning of surfing the Interwebs:

Nothing Left to Say   [Daniel Foster]

The Left's rejection of President Obama's speech last night was breathtaking in its scope.

RCP has some tidbits from the MSNBC set — Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Howard Fineman — which we've already highlighted on the homepage:

Olbermann: "It was a great speech if you were on another planet for the last 57 days."

Matthews compared Obama to Carter.

Olbermann: "Nothing specific at all was said."

Matthews: "No direction."

Howard Fineman: "He wasn't specific enough."

Olbermann: "I don't think he aimed low, I don't think he aimed at all. It's startling."

Howard Fineman: Obama should be acting like a "commander-in-chief."

Matthews: Ludicrous that he keeps saying [Secretary of Energy] Chu has a Nobel prize. "I'll barf if he does it one more time."

Matthews: "A lot of meritocracy, a lot of blue ribbon talk."

Matthews: "I don't sense executive command."

Kevin Drum at Mother Jones called it a "terrible speech."

This gives pablum a bad name. Obama wants a bill. Pretty much any bill will do. But he didn't say a single word about what he himself wanted. A carbon tax? Cap-and-trade? Nuclear subsidies? Electric cars? Who knows? And as Kate Sheppard notes, he didn't breathe so much as a word about climate change.

I dunno. This speech felt entirely by-the-numbers to me. He told us about the spill. He told us the best minds in the country were working on it. He told us BP would pay for it. He told us he was setting up some commissions. He said he wanted an energy bill of some kind. Then he told us all to pray. It felt like he was reading off a PowerPoint deck.

This is, by a long way, the most negative reaction I've ever had to an Obama speech. Even on Afghanistan, where I was dubious of his strategy and felt his address at West Point was technocratic and unconvincing, I thought his speech had at least a few redeeming features. But this one? There was just nothing there. I felt better about Obama's response to the spill before the speech than I do now.

At The Atlantic, James Fallows' response was a "sigh."

Do we think anything different about our problems, our policies, the possible solutions, or the Administration's intentions after this speech than we did before hearing it? For many of Obama's big speeches, from "race" in 2008 to national security last month, the answer is Yes. To me, the answer for this speech is No. If this speech resembles anything in the past Obama canon, it is his address last December, at West Point, announcing an increase in U.S. troop commitment to Afghanistan. Unfortunately.

Jonathan Chait said the part of Obama's speech concerning Obama's energy and climate bill "revealed just how much Obama is operating from a position of weakness."

Even Ezra Klein, for whom Obama's wonky sobriety is ever a source of starry-eyed optimism, couldn't help but fret over the speech's lack of specifics:

The optimistic take, at least for environmentalists, is that this is the language and approach Obama uses when he really means to legislate. The pessimistic take is that Obama shied away from clearly describing the problem, did not endorse specific legislation, did not set benchmarks, and chose poll-tested language rather than a sharper case that might persuade skeptics.

But perhaps the most damning commentary came from Jon Stewart, in a show taped hours before the president's speech. It doesn't cover the BP stuff but is well worth a watch as a pure distillate of the left's disaffection...

Overlook the lefty rhetoric. What they're discovering goes deeper than that. They're finally realizing that POSPOTUS is an incompetent empty suit who can't see past his own ideological cant to communicate anything helpful, meaningful, or substantive to the American people.

Just to rub it in, here's part of what I said on Election Night, November 4, 2008:

I'm not urging violence of any kind. I'm simply declaring my unalterable opposition to the worst electoral decision this country has ever made. I will not wait and see. I will not give him the benefit of the doubt. I will not hope for the best. His election is the greatest catastrophe that has befallen this republic in 232 years. Clinton was just corrupt. Obama is a nemesis. I will do everything I can to turn him legally out of office as soon as possible.

I'm sure there's going to be a lot of making nice in the next few days and weeks. I won't be part of that. When you get sick of all the attempts to put the best possible face on this unutterable disaster, come here. We'll be at the old stand as usual, fighting for what remains of this stricken dream, our country.

Let me repeat a couple of suddenly relevant words from that post: Catastrophe. Disaster.

It's time to start thinking about impeachment.





Time Capsule

Coolest thing about the Internet? It preserves history many would like to forget.

OOPS. WE CAN PROVE IT. After putting up my last post, which referenced my thoughts on Election Night, November 4, 2008, I chanced to go back and read the comments it received. They represent a slice of time past, something like those ice cores they dig out of Antarctica. So I thought it might be illuminating to show you one of those cores, unexpurgated and unfiltered by convenient selections. The McCain camp on that night was in agony, the Obama supporters jubilant and triumphalist. Just how dumb and thick-headed and backward were the conservatives? Just how far-seeing and accurately visionary were the libs? Take a look. I'll begin with the first three paragraphs of the post that drew the comments. Then I'll show you what people were saying on that momentous night.

ADDING IT ALL UP. I have no intention of being gracious about this. I'd like to say I never thought I'd see the day we'd elect a president of the United States who hates the United States, but the truth is I've been fighting against this day for 35 years. I always knew this day could come. I just hoped it wouldn't.

Right now I'm in the mood for kicking ass and taking names. Top of the list, John McCain. I always had doubts about whether he really wanted to win, and his refusal to use the legitimate issue of Jerermiah Wright seals it as far as I'm concerned. After that, the turncoat Republican pundits -- David Brooks, George Will, Peggy Noonan, Kathleen Parker, David Frum, Christopher Buckley, Ann Applebaum, Michael Smerconish, and the snipers like Michelle Malkin and even Ann Coulter -- it doesn't matter who you ultimately voted for, because you did your damage long before election day. You helped turn this country over to a vengeful marxist without portfolio because he made your panties wet. I don't care how much damage it does to the Republican Party to read you out of it. The Republican Party is better off without you, ALL of you. Go to hell. Except, sadly, you're taking all of us with you.

Next up, the American people. I urge you to support your new president with all your patriotic fervor and belief. Because I won't. I refuse to accept a president who thinks our constitution is fatally flawed and who sees nothing wrong with choosing a black racist as a mentor or a murderous terrorist as a partner in a conspiracy to radicalize school children rather than teach them to read and write. To every one of you who voted for this pampered, resentful faker, I have just four words: I spit on you.

Now the comments. The only changes I've made are to eliminate comments consisting solely of links that no longer work and to boldface the ones written by Obama supporters/defenders (Warning: some are NSFW):

seraphim31587  2008-11-04 09:30:00

Amen.


jwillmoney  2008-11-04 09:45:00

Well put. President Obama WILL be an unmitigated disaster....


Wade  2008-11-04 10:17:00

I voted for him. And I couldn't be happier with the way tonight has gone. As for your spit, well, I suppose I'll have to take it in stride. Perhaps I can give you some advice that I was given in 2004. "If you don't like it that much, then move to fucking Canada." Good night, all. A very, very good night.


BahHumbug  2008-11-04 10:19:00

7 years after 09/11, our friends the pali's can once again dance in the streets. And to think that Jewish votes and money was instrumental to that... Only 7 years later. It boggles the mind. A fucking nightmare is what it is.


Chris P  2008-11-04 10:28:00

Instapunk: Beautiful. Yep, leave no name unscathed when it comes to calling out the bullshit.

And let me add this: As we regroup and reenergize the conservative movement and/or Republican Party, let's make especially sure that the Ross Douthats and other young wide-eyed nitwits don't have any sway in the matter, either.

BahHumbug: Time moves fast now, doesn't it? It's all sped up. Seven years was seven lifetimes ago to most of our zoned-out, happily fattened fellow citizens. They don't know history, or see its broader arcs. Pray God they and we don't have to learn the hard way again.


apotheosis  2008-11-04 10:30:00

Us.1.2-5


David  2008-11-04 10:51:00

The purge must begin: obviously the Noonans, the Douthats, the Buckleys and the Brookses must be ostracized, literally. Thrown out of the party and not given voice. That part is simple.

More complex is how to refine policy changes. This will come, and will be dictated by events. One of our hopes is the Supreme Court.

One hopes that this will be made more easy by the (soon to come) Carter-esque mistakes of the incipient Obama administration.


The Kid  2008-11-04 11:14:00

I feel as though all is lost.

I feel rage.

I feel the need for vengeance just as much as you do.

I feel all of those years of watching CASINO running through my veins (I know YOU know what I mean).

On the bright side of things, this LOSS will encourage me to become more politically learned and ultimately more politically active. As I get older, I only grow wiser (I had a pretty good start to begin with).


qrstuv  2008-11-05 04:36:00

He stole it, at least in some states.

And I'm with you. He gets as much support from me on day one as Bush got from the left.


trencher  2008-11-05 06:28:00

what? Obama is a marxist? I knew he was bad, but not that bad?!


JS  2008-11-05 06:32:00

Honest to God, if there really was somewhere to go I'd leave this pathetic place. What we just elected is nothing more than a common street thug. There will be no "re-energizing" of the Republican blablabla at all. The epitome of the dreaded "N" word is now in control of our military, and darling commentators across the bloggosphere are offering congrats. Jerkoffs like Malkin and Hannity and Limbaugh and Ingraham and all of them got just what they wanted: They selfishly NEEDED to "prove" that they were the purest of pure conservatism, even if it meant an American hating racist dolt would win (giving all of us dumb whites the "finger" as he moved along, for God's sake). From Wright to now, Barry has hidden NOTHING about himself. Time for a black president? Fuck all of you.


Mephitis  2008-11-05 07:49:00

I agree on most of what you said, but I divide the pundits into two categories ... the hoity toity republicans, and the died in the wool conservative ones. I think the conservative ones were right, the wimpy ones just too scared to take a stand against THE ONE.

Having said that, I believe that MM and Ann are on the good side of the fight and I do not advocate throwing them under the bus, but following their advice and nominating a good conservative that is not a career politician. (Sarah and Ronald Reagan have a lot in common).

Having said that, when do we get started so that we do not get our next nomination delivered to us by the Northwestern states that overwhelmingly went to the opposition this year? How do we take back the party? How do we get a good candidate? Frankly Sarah and Bobby Jindal are both better candidates than any of the field that McCain beat, so how do we get a potential winner on the ballot?


Brizoni  2008-11-05 09:37:00

JS:

You're mostly right, so I hate to argue what might seem like a minor point. But our new president isn't "The epitome of the dreaded 'N' word." (that'd be Lil Wayne)



Barry is something much, much worse. He's more like a suicide bomber driving a van full of chemical fertilizer into our national morale. We're walking away from the next four years like the girl from Trang Bang.




Brizoni  2008-11-05 09:46:00

Mephitis:

"when do we get started so that we do not get our next nomination delivered to us by the states that overwhelmingly went to the opposition this year?"

To do that, we'd have to change their fundamental beliefs about the role of government. Namely, they'll have to stop believing that people need to be protected from each other by government. They'll have to want to protect each other FROM government. A huge sea change in their common morality.

If anyone has any ideas, speak the hell up.


Gareth  2008-11-05 09:52:00

We're Spiralling...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-LZ7yH-JBM

Maybe I'll just stop working and jump on the Obama wagon. They probably have some good weed.


me  2008-11-05 10:48:00

Needless to say, all those who voted for him will soon see

Atlas shrugging... and weaklings that they are, they will not be able to bear under the weight of it. I feel like someone died today...


Yeswecan  2008-11-05 01:52:00

I suppose all of you hoped for a better tomorrow with Miss Bikini and old McDonald. Wow, the dream team. McCain and Palin were just not good enough. Remove your heads from your underwear and start sniffing something else. Raise your heads high and be optimistic. At least, he will try to get you out of the shit that the real bastard put you in with his war against terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. America is writing history here, hope is around the corner; try to surf on the wave instead of looking down. This is why America never goes anywhere, everybody is against change.


IP  2008-11-05 02:40:00

Yeswecan:

"This is why America never goes anywhere, everybody is against change. "

What're you, sixteen? Change is the engine of America. Always has been. When it comes to looking down," your man is the champ. Everything is dismal in his sight. You seem to be cut from the same cloth. If you can even think the phrase "why America never goes anywhere," you're no optimist. You're just a bitter malcontent who thinks that because your own glass looks half empty, you're entitled to drink from everyone else's glass. But why should they bother refilling them if they know you're going to take them away.

Enjoy your victory while you can, and gloat all you want. Just remember that there's bad change as well as good, and the only area where your man has shown any talent or accomplishment is getting elected. You'd better invest all your newfound "Hope" in one area: that Obama can somehow learn how to be an effective president before his airball notions sink the whole damn country.

Now run along and play.


JS  2008-11-05 05:09:00

Brizoni,

Point taken...


JD  2008-11-05 07:35:00

YesWeCan:

"This is why America never goes anywhere, everybody is against change."

1st - America has gone from British colony to

undisputed leader of the free world, yet in your opinion that's never going anywhere.

2nd - The type of people who made America great didn't spend two seconds thinking about change. They selfishly bettered themselves and in the process dragged the whole world to higher levels of freedom and prosperity. Their ideas and hard work led to freed slaves, women's rights, the end of child labor, and on and on.

All those mistreated poor folks you're so concerned about couldn't have built this country no matter what advantages they might have been given, and they won't improve it no matter how much money and favors you throw their way. And you know what, neither could I. I'm not industrious or smart enough. However, I am smart enough to know my limitations and be thankful that there have been enough of those selfish types to create a nation where I can have nice things and never be hungry despite working less than half as hard as EVERYONE born only a few years before me.

Now you naive assclowns who think you can perfect the world (if only those selfish people can be forced into the hope and change corral with the rest of the sheep that need to be minded) have elected us all a savior. Yippee. Let's see how good he is at rewiring human nature. Let's see how he magically produces a better society and spreads wealth to every corner of the globe while pulling the rug out from under the people who created the wealth in the first place.

I sincerely hope the man only screws things up enough to ensure his own political demise and not that of our freedom and prosperity. But even if that's what happens, it doesn't absolve the clowns who voted for a man who's still living on ideas that most of us outgrew at 22. If you had given the thugs of the world (Putin, Achmadenijihad, Chavez, etc) their pick of the entire country, they would have been hard pressed to find anyone who would do more to further their interests than this overgrown child from Illinois.



The Kid  2008-11-05 07:36:00

As much as we just love Ludacris...



There are a great many words that come to mind having wasted a few moments of my life on this video. One is: sickening.

I'm sickened that I can't be outspoken about my support for the Republican party without being branded a racist; however, the African-American community is being just what they accuse of me: racist. They have shown to me in HUNDREDS of ways that they only voted for Obama because of the color of his skin. This video is the epitome of what they collectively believe is a right to the highest office of this country.


BahHumbug  2008-11-05 07:49:00

"Barack Obama, by reportedly tapping a prominent Jewish congressman to be his chief of staff, earned renewed support from the Jewish community here and abroad "

They obviously haven't read Lenin on useful idiots, and Machiavelli of course. He has. And once again they'll ask "why us, God, why us?".


JS  2008-11-05 08:37:00

It's sad/comical. All the talking heads/bloggers, are throwing Sarah under the bus now; they are discussing why "we" lost, as though this thing were a real election, with real disputes, and not a MSM "power left"; they are categorically ignoring the 500 lb gorilla in the room - we just elected a racist - so that they can "regroup" for 2010 and 2012, and not be seen as the racists that they ARE. Jerks. This thing is not reversible. As soon as this SOB appoints his supreme court justices, it is end game. The "Fairness Doctrine" is not constitutional? It is now! Reparations? What the?? Yup. Pay up stupid. And on and on...


Captain America  2008-11-06 03:34:00

It's astounding to me that you bunch of ridiculous cracker assholes actually appear to believe that Barack Obama is a Marxist. It would be completely hilarious if you could just take a moment to explain to me how you came to that conclusion.

The US Presidency is a middle management position, and Obama is no more than a nice smiley-faced centrist executive who has done nothing but demonstrate that he will be a willing and able servant of the great American Imperial Project. His electoral success is already providing some much-needed positive PR for the empire, which has been suffering from a severely bad rep for the last few years (although it has deserved this rep for much longer).

He is as beholden to corporate power as any of the other multi-millionaires you macho dudes have shined your boner for in the past, if not more so. Don't fucking panic. There is no chance in hell that Obama will do anything even remotely Marxist. None.

The US will fall at some point; it is very possibly already doing so. This will not be the result of Obama's stewardship, but the inevitable result of a system which is predicated on perpetual growth and consumption in a finite space with finite resources. It is a process which is thousands of years old, and way, way bigger than any cheesy-grinned, media-friendly corporate middle manager.

You bunch of bitches will need to get over your obsession with "leaders" and big, strong powerful men to tuck you in at night. Fucking pussies.


apotheosis  2008-11-06 07:42:00

Gosh, Cappy, that was so...so forceful. Dominating. I almost want to elect you.

I believe in you, Cap! I do!


J.  2008-11-06 08:33:00

As if you weren't already painfully aware, one glance at the exit polls reveals precisely which groups made this election a racial issue. Hint: It wasn't whites, who split 43-55.

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/polls/#USP00p1



Reggie1971  2008-11-06 10:55:00

I intend to respect BO about as much as your average Daily Kossack respects GWB or any other Republican (though it's hard for me at this stage to consider GWB a Republican).

November 4th was the darkest day in American history. A certain percentage of us know that now. In the coming months and years other Americans should come to realize it too when they understand that they were hoodwinked into voting for a marxist by an America hating media. We were given hope off the left teleprompter and change off the right, and that was enough to make a tingle go up the leg of fickle America. God help us.


Jim Treacher  2008-11-06 04:57:00

"I suppose all of you hoped for a better tomorrow with Miss Bikini"

Hey look, the guy who's never heard of Photoshop is giving civics lessons. Everybody siddown and listen.

"It's astounding to me that you bunch of ridiculous cracker assholes actually appear to believe that Barack Obama is a Marxist."

It's astounding to me that someone so ignorant, incurious, and insulting actually took the time to keep typing after an opening sentence like that.


I love Penny  2008-11-07 08:35:00

Capt. America,

I think one of the keys to answering your question is the phrasing of your preceding statement, “appear to believe that Barack Obama is a Marxist.” You see, I don’t know that Obama is a Marxist, but there are several aspects of his history, campaign and comportment that might lead a rational person to believe that he is a Marxist, or at least holds principles closely akin to or derived from Marxism.

He has a history of being in the company of parents, family friends, mentors, etc. who hold Marxist ideals. He worked for an organization that is arguably a Marxist/communist front.

The manual he taught from was written by an affirmed Marxist, and his performance in the campaign was praised by the son of the author as being a textbook example of his father’s theories on community organizing.

I also think Obama’s “spread the wealth around” comment is significant. I’ve heard Democratic strategists explain the comment away as a politician “closing the play book” and speaking “off the cuff”. They criticize those, who jumped on the comment as proof-positive that “Obama is a communist”, as penalizing a politician for trying to speak plainly and get away from canned answers. What bothers me is that when Obama decided to turn off the teleprompter and start shooting from the hip, he was firing off Marxist talking points. When he takes down the campaign filter so he can relate to regular Joe as a regular person, the Barak that comes out speaks Marxish.

I know you’ll disagree that any of this is Marxist. Perhaps you are a Marxist yourself, and are better acquainted with what constitutes Marxist practice and policy. Or perhaps you are simply a student of history and have read about Marxism than I have. Either way, I’ll hold to my belief that what Obama will do is further a progressive agenda entailing more state regulation of the market, higher tax rates, increased government spending on programs that alternately relieve the populace of personal responsibility and restrict the populace’s liberty and freedom, and redistribute private property per the mandate of the proletariat.

While it may not be Marxist to the letter, it seems remotely close to me. If you think Obama is centrist I’ll venture to guess that your own spot on the political power spectrum is just left of Fidel.


mlah  2008-11-08 12:48:00

yeah. i give the same benefit of the doubt to obama that libs gave to bush.

There you have it. It's not all pretty. Note that I didn't eliminate references to race. This is fair and accurate reporting. If you read past your liberal hot-headedness, you'll see that conservatives were concerned more about Obama's potential racism than the mere fact of his race. This has proven to be a legitimate concern in matters large and small, from the silly Cambridge police incident (small) to Eric Holder's refusal to prosecute Black Panther violence at the the polls in Philadelphia (large).

The bigger question remains. Who was prescient, and who was deluded? You tell me.





I love me some Fat Man


REMEMBER WHEN. I know this is already all over the Internet, but I'm repeating it because I have some provenance here. He's my governor, I voted for him, and I just can't manage the electoral math that makes him a 2012 presidential candidate, but that's what we need. He's the ultimate antithesis of Obama. He speaks from the heart, he knows the people, he has no teleprompter, he's bold, direct, humble, plain-spoken, and he's as far from telegenic as you can get (he's fat, fat, fat, SOOO fat), and he connects. Which is exactly what Obama has just proven he cannot do.

So there's no math that works. But who would ever have thought that the heir to Ronald Reagan might just be a sweaty fat man from New Jersey who remembers the American Dream?




Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Psmith.

He died yesterday.

THE ANCIENT ONES. Pardon me. I don't care about any of you today. This is a Scots day. He was better than everybody, including me. I won't tell you anything about the history of deerhounds, or Sir Walter Scott, or any of that guff. I know I made fun of him here, because he had no IQ, but he was the best soul I've ever met. Some ghost of ancient lords, maybe, but sanctified and purified somehow. Never saw him curl a lip or snarl at anyone, man or beast. He was, from first to last, a prince walking among us. Now he's dead.



He particularly loved the smaller and less potent among us. Our granddaughter Anna immediately saw that he was submissive to her. His huge size scared her not at all. In fact, he loved all the lovely, sweet, most open ones: our tiny Bengal cat, my stepdaughter, and most recently Anna. He wanted to condense his great size to something they could accept without fear. He would touch noses in the morning with Izzie -- her seven pounds against his hundred-plus -- because he was Psmith and she was Isis.

He grew up surrounded by greyhounds, who might have been (slightly) faster, but he had their blood in his blood too. He was the one who had been bred to bring down stags with his tree-trunk legs, but he was also the one who was Scottish through and through, with that coat which was proof against weather even greyhounds couldn't survive.

And he had that Scottish reserve. He didn't like the nastiness at dinnertime, though he was the best buddy of the pug who started all the nastiness at mealtime. It reached a point where he couldn't eat, knowing what was coming -- female pug against female greyhound. That's when we had to begin feeding him separately. Which is the thing I'm clinging to now. Because for most of a year, I had to dish his food apart from the others and let him eat alone. It gave me my only intimate moments with the man of ultimate reserve. He learned to let me pat him on the head and steer his huge hind-end out the door of the dog room after he was done.

Which leads me to a second soundtrack for him. The one that characterized his last day and, come to think of it, a lot of days before. Listen to this while I tell you of the brave. mischievous, wonderful, Scottish Psmith I will miss for the rest of my life.



He liked the ladies, and they all loved him. My stepdaughter house-sat for us for a week during our honeymoon and she announced afterwards that he insisted on accompanying her into the bathroom for showers and such (which he never did with us), and while he was never so forward with anyone else, he always seemed to like the young ladies best; he responded more to women of all ages. Because he may have been dumb, but he was never stupid.

When new children came to visit, he was always there with a wagging tail and that big friendly nose. What few people saw were those ancient eyes, buried in the Scottish way, under brows that had seen absolutely everything ever. It looks like kindness when you're a child. When you're an adult, you know it's the wisdom of the ages: I've seen every kind of slaughter, murder, and torture a human can commit, and I've come back this time only because I don't have to participate. That's how I fell in love with the breed. From a picture of a deerhound. It was my wife who made the dream come true. You get to borrow such souls for a time, and when they are withdrawn you feel as if you have been tossed farther from the seat of God.

He convinced Mrs. CP that he should spend his mornings on the sofa in the tack room, while the greys and the pug remained gated inside the breezeway. Then he convinced me that he had to rejoin them in the early afternoon, because they were always a pack and always missed one another after too many hours of absence.

But he was always, gentle as he was, a lord. When the moment came, he was so brave that it's all I can remember of the entire nightmare. He was succumbing to the bloat -- an ailment of giant dogs and horses -- which usually means a fatally twisted gut. He passed up his breakfast, then lay down panting slightly. Mrs. CP knew the symptoms, though, and placed an emergency Sunday call to our veterinary hospital. They said they'd be waiting when we arrived. He allowed me to hoist him into the car, then sat quietly while we drove the half hour up the Turnpike. He was suffering when we arrived, but without a whimper, he allowed us to half-carry him, Mrs. CP at his head and me steering his once mighty, now stumbling hindquarters up the long, jointed ramp (stairs were out of the question) to the foyer. Where he collapsed. His heart stopped beating when he thought he had made it.

We told him it would be okay. All the way up the Turnpike. The vet and her assistants swarmed in with a stretcher. They hustled him away and restarted his heart. They operated, severed and reconnected his twisted gut, removed his spleen, and brought him out of anesthesthia. He sat up briefly. Then collapsed. They gave him valium. He fell asleep. Then arrested again and was gone.

We told him it would be okay. He was a couple weeks away from his sixth birthday. And now I'm assailing myself with the idea that the dumbass actually believed us. That if he could make it from the car to the foyer, our promises would be fulfilled.

But that's not true. Psmith did that last journey from the car to the vet foyer on sheer courage. I know it because the thought of it brings me to tears every time I think of it. He did it because we asked him to. Because we asked him to. And he made it the whole way.

O Lord. Give me the courage of Psmith to do one impossible thing and I will be content.



Give me one moment of the beauty of Psmith and I will lay down my pen.





World Cup!


SPORTS NEWS. We're anxiously awaiting a report from one of our (two if you count Puck Punk) far-flung foreign sports correspondents, hoping against hope that his story about the gloriously talented Team USA will arrive before they are inevitably laughed out of the competition.

In the meantime, we looked up our own report on the last World Cup and discovered that it's just as appropriate this time. So here's a word-for-word reprint of our post from exactly four years ago today.

*****************

Goal!

You wanna play? Play here.

PSAYINGS.5A.30. So it's the World Cup... Where were we? Uh, yeah. The big international championship of soccer. Also called futbol. By people who don't know what football is.

As usual, the Americans have a team. A bad one, of course. This is a big part of why we're so not liked around the world. We have the best athletes, and somehow we can't field a soccer team that can measure up to the best of the Czech Republic. Maybe we should learn something from the fact that the children of all those Clinton-loving soccer moms aren't automatically good at soccer just because their doting mothers drive them to practice in Range Rovers and cheer their pathetic attempts to KICK THE BALL.

Which brings us to the biggest reason why Amerians suck at soccer. American moms don't understand any game, period, and since they're the only ones in this country who pay attention to soccer, the sad fact is, nobody in this country knows anything about the rules of soccer. Today we're going to correct that.

Soccer. It's a European imitation of hockey, played without violence (on the field) and on a much bigger scale, in order to insure that nothing ever actually happens in the course of play. The soccer field, for example, is the largest arena in sport, 340 yards long and 135 yards wide. Teams use 25 players on the field per side, and they play three halves of forty minutes each. The action consists of players in short pants KICKING THE BALL back and forth, up and down, hither and yon, to and fro, etc, for hours at a time, in front of hundreds of thousands of drunken spectators who assault one another with bottles and brickbats as a kind of homage to their team's ability to KICK THE BALL.

Despite the violence among the spectators, soccer is essentially an aesthetic experience, akin to a bullfight, in that there's an ideal, more important than mere winning or losing, to which all teams aspire: the nil-nil tie. Nothing inflames the soccer fan like hours of frenzied KICKING OF THE BALL that ends with no result of any kind. For true afficianados, this particular outcome is more satisfying than a sexual orgasm.

Nevertheless, on rare occasions, scores do occur. This happens when the ball inadvertently leaves the field of play and falls into a zone called the Goal. All soccer teams work very hard to make sure this happenstance is avoided, but even the best athletes make occasional mistakes. One in four soccer contests are marred by the instance of at least one goal. When the calamity transpires, soccer announcers express their disappointment by bellowing the word "Goal" for some five minutes at a time. Generally, players are so chastened by this verbal denunciation that they prevent any subsequent reoccurrence: 90 percent of the games that do not end in the preferred nil-nil tie conclude with a 1-0 score. Teams that consistently fail to achieve the nil-nil outcome are eliminated from competition.

It's a shame that Americans can't quite get on board with this, the most popular sport in the world. If we could, we might have more appreciation for not only soccer, but the incredibly important role played by the U.N. in keeping the peace (a.k.a. KICKING THE BALL), which we really should learn to think of as a nil-nil tie, regardless of how many hooligans perish during the fighting in the stands.

Got it? Good. That's our G-O-O-O-A-A-A-A-L!

*****************

With the benefit of hindsight, we wouldn't change a thing. But at least we can share the thoughts of one of our commenters on that piece:

Dan  2006-06-16 04:20:00

Soccer is a beautiful sport. You're right that soccer moms have helped stunt the growth of the sport in this country.

Your ridiculous analysis and sarcasm make it apparent that you'd rather see sports like American football where some of the 'athletes' are encouraged to be grossly overweight for the purpose of providing a wall for other players. A sport where the coaches tell the players exactly what to do every 30 seconds and where you have a stop in play every 5-10 minutes for 2-3 minutes of ads. Yeah baby we rule!

Screw you for making fun of soccer, it is the beautiful game, it is physically exhausting and takes great coordination, and some Americans are actually good at it, and a lot enjoy watching it.

It's only taken us four years to find the perfect rebuttal, courtesy of The Onion (h/t Hotair):


And, oh yeah, you can check out Allahpundit's riff on NPR cup coverage if you feel like it.

P.S. And from almost exactly two years ago, an Instapunk reaction to an actual, complete, real-world soccer match, with some honest suggestions about how to improve the game.





Honorary Punk Award


QUEEN FOR A WHILE. Only the fourth time we've awarded it in seven years. This time it goes, magnificently, to the first female recipient (Yay!), Mona Charen of the National Review, who wrote the speech Obama really should give tonight. But won't. Here it is in its entirety:

What Obama Should Say Tuesday Night

My fellow Americans: Events of the past 55 days have taught me some valuable lessons about leadership and I’d like to share those with you tonight.

When the Deepwater Horizon rig blew up and spawned a terrible oil spill on April 22, my administration’s response was conditioned by decades of liberal and leftist thinking about business and government. My background in academia and community activism had never exposed me to the basics of making business decisions or to the fundamentals of a market economy. To the contrary, my friends on the left and I tended to see businessmen, doctors, bankers — pretty much anyone who made a profit — as selfish creeps. “There comes a point when you’ve made enough money,” I scolded, when urging passage of a financial-reform bill.

So when the oil spill became a national story, our instinct was to bash the company. “I am angry and frustrated that BP has been unable to stop the leak,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar complained. “We’re 33 days in, and deadline after deadline has been missed.” Salazar seemed to believe that BP — which was losing millions of dollars a day, had lost half its market capitalization since April, and was potentially facing ruin if the spill could not be contained — somehow lacked a sense of urgency. “We’re keeping our boot on the neck of BP,” Salazar assured members of Congress.

Going beyond rhetorical overkill, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department had opened a criminal probe into the oil spill — though without offering a shred of evidence that any laws had been broken.

I piled on, offering that I would have fired Tony Hayward if he had been working for me, and allowing as how I was studying whose derriere to kick. And this leads me to the other problem with our approach.

Because my party and I have a quasi-religious belief in the power of government, I rushed to position myself as the responsible party in this crisis. “I’m the president and the buck stops with me,” I intoned. “It is my job to make sure that everything is done to shut this down. . . . I ultimately take responsibility for solving this crisis.”

That was foolish. Just as Jimmy Carter permitted the Iranian regime to take his presidency hostage by making the release of our diplomats his overriding, even obsessive concern, I have permitted this oil spill to swallow my presidency. In truth, I have no idea how to stop the oil spill (as I mentioned to Gulf coast residents), and I should have been more humble about what government can and cannot do.

We certainly can make a terrible situation worse — and I’ve become convinced that the arbitrary six-month moratorium on new deepwater drilling will further damage the already-reeling economies of the Gulf states and could result in the loss of 20,000 oil-industry jobs in addition to the losses being suffered in the fishing and tourism industries.

 By demonizing BP and searching for scalps to display in this crisis, I’ve shown poor leadership. I regret that now. Here is the truth:

Our economy cannot function without fossil fuels — not now and not for the near future (wind, solar, and geothermal fantasies notwithstanding). There is nothing immoral about companies that extract the coal, oil, and gas from the earth — no more than those of us who enjoy air-conditioning, computers, cars, and airplanes are immoral for using those fuels. Perhaps we’ve all learned now that we must take another look at ANWR and shallower waters. Environmentalists did us no favors by agitating for bans on drilling in more accessible sites. At least if a spill happens there, it can be dealt with.

But most of all, we must, as grown-ups, recognize that sometimes terrible things happen and there is no one to blame. The search for villains is unbecoming to a mature people. My administration will drop the criminal probe. We will abandon the paradoxical posture of saying that we are responsible for the response to the spill yet at the same time hurling thunderbolts at BP. Every government asset that can be mobilized to help with this mess will be made available. Our job is to ensure that the more than twelve government agencies cooperating to mitigate the damage (including OSHA, the Coast Guard, EPA, FEMA, NOAA, Interior, and the U.S. Geological Survey) will not impede one another or BP.

I won the confidence of many voters by showing that I didn’t lose my head in the midst of the financial crisis of 2008. In response to the Gulf spill, I forgot that. I’ve tried bullying, boasting, threatening, and emoting. I now understand that the best course is one I’ve never considered for myself or my political philosophy — modesty.

It's perfect. That almost never happens. Usually, we have something to add. (Previous winners are here, here, and here.)

Congratulations, Ms. Charen, on an award you're almost certain never to learn you've won.





Commenters

We deal with them as best we can.

AWWW. Just a reminder. The purpose of some commenters is to confuse the issue, get people talking at cross-purposes, and then magically disappear with hurt feelings or unappeased grudges that might change the subject. These, in fact, are specialties of those who espouse causes as opposed to overcoming obstacles. If you really care about something, I shouldn't be able to piss you off enough to keep you from participating in what needs to be done.

I still want to start a website called "It's Happening Again." It's my mule. We still need an email address where can meet and a web design. And, yes, we still need a format that will walk the tightrope between "me too" and Instapunk's talent for repulsing casual visitors.

So let's forget all the previous posts and do our brainstorming here. In comments on this post. Whether anyone's feelings have gotten hurt or not, we're still staring into the barrel of planned genocide.

What are we going to do about it?

If you have no interest, I'll keep doing what I do. But some of you seem to think that just pisses people off. So I'm waiting to hear what would be better. My foot is tapping....





Dog Years & Life Gravity


AFTERSHOCKS. Obviously, I'm thinking about dog years, for obvious reasons. It begins easily enough. Why do dogs live so much shorter lives than we humans do? Seems unfair doesn't it, given that they're generally nicer people than we are?

But do they live shorter lives? Really? What if they live every second of every day of their lives and we don't? Would that change the equation?

I'm thinking most people live a dog's lifespan, if that, in terms of what I'd call real years. Bear with me for a second or so here. (You've got that much in you, don't you? Dog seconds?)

Face it. Lots of what we non-dogs do is treading water. Human consciousness is about making decisions. What do we base those decisions on? Usually, only a handful of years that shape our views about character, sex, the way of the world, and human relationships of every kind.

Permit me to use myself as an example. Most of my memories are a blur. I have a narrative that makes sense to me about my childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, and early career. Everything I am now flows from those taproots. And if someone were to ask me about any of those essential elements of my life, I would think immediately of SPECIFIC highly memorable, evocative, even transformational experiences which I can focus on out of the general blur associated with all of them.

I don't remember every class I ever took, every test I did well or poorly on, every girl whose boob I tried to feel, every academic achievement I sought and won, every paragraph I tried to write, or even every paragraph I did write. What I remember are moments, the pivotal, life-changing moments where something changed for better or worse. It is those moments which constitute the life I remember and make decisions to this day on the basis of.

I learned at one point in my life how to cook. I don't remember all the eggs I've massacred or transformed in the interim or since. To be more pragmatically specific, I had a pretty successful management consulting and writing career whose fundamental truths -- decision bases -- all derive from the 15 months I spent at NCR Corporation in Dayton, Ohio. In terms of the specific gravity of my business life it dwarfs everything before and since. It might as well have been 15 years. I'm not saying I never learned anything before or after that, but that 15 months is the gravitational center of my business life. I understood everything I ever learned before and after in terms of that time. It was sufficient to make me good at what I did.

As I sit here in my computer chair, pontificating, I'm thinking that everything else in life can be described in terms of moments or spans of the same kind of specific gravity. A few months that taught me everything I'll ever know about sex. A few key events that constitute what I remember and still pretend I know about mechanics. A few hours of intense driving that stand in for 40 years behind the wheel. A few ceremonies, joyful and sorrowful, that constitute my reference points for the milestones of life. A few episodes in business life, airline travel, success, failure, that stand in for years of grinding this and that.

When I ask you to remember the past, just how big is the past you're calling on? I'm thinking the sum total of life lessons, joys, horrors, and ordeals amounts to something under ten years, no matter how old you are.

Because the human curse is that we never live completely in the present. We're dwelling in the past, dreaming of the future, cruising through today, blah, blah.

While our dogs patiently try, and fail, to teach us that life is today, this moment, right now. No wonder it wears them out. But at the end, who's lived the longer life?

Do the math. Add up all the moments that constitute your reservoir of pleasure, taste, knowledge and wisdom about what you do, why, and how. Some of it is essential; the rest is a time-killing blur of repetition and if not boredom forgettable forgottenness. Then tell me how much of your chronological life you've lived -- in Dog Years.





World Cup Live Blog!


Come for the anti-climactic 1-1 tie, stay for the mind-melting buzzing!


KICK THE BALL! That's right, Puck Punk isn't the only one that can cover crazy sports no one else cares about! Where has he been since the Canadiens were buzz-sawed by the Flyers, anyway? Oh well, no matter. It's time for everyone to catch WORLD CUP FEEVAH!!!  So lucky for you I forced myself to watch (most) of the USA's big game 1 against our favorite colonial oppressors: England! Why am I doing this? Partially for your amusement, but also because a friend of mine recently berated me for making fun of soccer.  He pointed out that I like hockey, and hockey is merely soccer on ice, so I should like both of them or neither. Is that true? Let's find out:


2:25 pm EST - Well it’s very nice to see the whole team put their hands over their hearts during the National Anthem, unlike our President.

 

2:32 - Soccer should have a clock that counts down, not up. You count up when you're timing how long it takes someone to do something, like running a race. You count down when you're giving someone a set amount of time to accomplish something, like scoring more goals than their opponent (or not scoring any goals at all).

 

2:35 - Goal for England on a pathetically defended situation by the US. Goal scoring in soccer is like anti-hockey. Not exciting, the crowd noise stays pretty much the same (a constant buzzing & thrum), and the goalie is practically a spectator because the goal itself is so damn big.

 

2:37 - You can blatantly trip people with practically no penalty. Weak. There is nothing like the power play in soccer.

 

2:40 - What is up with this buzzing noise?  It sounds like the game is being played inside of some turbine engine room or there is a swarm of bees on the PA system.

 

2:41 – The “action”, such as it is, stops an average of every 10 seconds when the ball goes out of bounds. It is then that we are treated to excessive commentary from the announcers and boring, ultra slow motion replays of things that happened in the previous 10 seconds, like close ups of people’s feet and elbows as they fall down.  Ah, finally an entertaining replay: a slow motion shot of the English coach scratching his eye.

 

2:44 – If you’re in trouble in your defensive zone, you only have to wildly kick the ball out of bounds or up the field. This should answer everybody’s question about why there is icing in hockey as well as explain why scoring two goals in soccer is considered “running away” with a game. 

 

2:46 – Make soccer more exciting: replace the sidelines with walls. No more out of bounds. This constant stoppage of play is unbearably tedious.

 

2:54 – I’m finally getting around to watching that viral video of that drummer guy as I noticed Lake just posted it on Facebook, making him the 1,000th person to do so, so I should probably get in on this now. The infernal stadium buzzing continues. Now I think I hear a brass section playing? Is the source of the buzzing people blowing into trumpets to make noise?

 

3:00 – Wow, that drummer is really into it! Meanwhile, the US goalie dove to swat away a ball and got hurt! This results in a long stoppage of play as he looks like he may die from the unspecified injury. Are you kidding me??  This is soooooo the opposite of hockey. I think the English guy that ran into our goalie got the dreaded YELLOW CARD! Oooooooo! That means that like, he better be careful or something. Because the ref is seriously considering possibly doing something to him next time he breaks the rules. Boo-yah!

 

3:02 – Look, fucking get up, goalie guy. I played soccer for years and never once crumpled up like a bitch on the field, not even when the ball nailed me in the nuts one time. I only played soccer through 8th grade, but still. Represent!

 

3:04 – Slow motion shot of our goalie wincing. Playing hurt, I guess. What a trooper. Get this guy a Purple Heart. The announcers talk about how you are expected to be brave in “those situations”, which I guess means when somebody is streaking toward you with the ball trying to score? Which, is your job if you’re a goalie, right? I dunno, how about standing still and letting a 90 MPH puck smash into your helmet to stop a goal? Is that brave? No? How about blocking a puck if you're a defenseman and don't have all those goalie pads?

 

3:06 – Number 10 of England is a bit fat. His shirt is rather tight. Not the first image that comes to mind when you think about the average soccer player’s physique. Er - not that I sit around and think about the average soccer player's physique.

 

3:08 – Don’t forget: tomorrow at 9:30 AM Eastern, World Cup action continues with Serbia vs. Ghana!!! Thanks for the reminder, announcers.

 

3:11 – Remember what I said about goalies being spectators? The English goalie just completely choked.  Hope he doesn’t end up assassinated like the Colombian dude that scored on his own goal a few World Cups back.

 

3:12 – Announcers can’t stop talking about what a sorry sack of shit that English goalie is.  The British announcer is extremely upset. Compares the US goal to winning a raffle.

 

3:13 – They stop the gratuitous replays of the US goal and the camera comes back to show two English players lying down on the field, writhing in pain. Huh? Oh well, back to more replays of the newly-crowned most hated man in Britain blowing the save! Let’s add the obligatory angry still of David Beckham, decked out in his $1,000 suit, glaring from the sidelines. “Ay, guv’na! ‘ho let this sorry buggah on the pitch, then? I should ‘ave ‘im killed roit now, I should!”

 

3:14 – Luckily, that US goal has not lessened the passion of whoever is creating that awful buzzing noise as it enters its 44th straight minute. I swear people are just razzing trumpets in the stands.

 

3:26 – Oh, is it halftime


3:28 - Getting a kick out of the American announcers, pulled from their other sport duties, trying to look passionate & knowledgeable as they talk about soccer. There is one guy with some accent that seems like a legitimate soccer person. Pele, maybe? I don't know. What other soccer figure would the audience of ABC be expected to recognize?

 

3:35 – The players may have taken a break during halftime, but the buzzing didn’t! Still going strong to start the second half.

 

3:39 – So it seems that any time soccer players come into contact with each other, at least one of them stays on the ground, collapsed in a heap of pain. And it's funny, but I don’t remember being allowed to grab people and lock my arm around their neck when I played soccer. I guess that’s the refs “letting them play”.

 

3:41 – US goalie comes up with a huge stop, but then again the English guy did kick the ball directly at him.  No, wait, I mean, U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

 

3:42 – Ultra-slow replay confirms: the English guy shot the ball directly into our goalie’s chest. British announcer upset again.

 

3:50 – The build up for the dramatic free kick! Aaaaaannnnnnd...as with every soccer free kick I’ve ever seen on TV, it simply gets knocked out of bounds. Landon Donovan took that one. Isn’t he like 45 years old now?

 

4:00 – So this US forward had what would be called a breakaway in hockey and the English defender basically runs up and pushes him down. The only consequence is that the US gets a free kick relatively far away from the goal. So during some of the biggest scoring chances, defenders can just kick the ball out of bounds or break the rules and knock attackers down. Very exciting *yawn*.

 

4:04 – I know I will regret saying this, but I guess the US goalie is all right after all. He's had a couple quality saves.

 

4:08 – Another thing I’ve never liked about soccer is that the US team always makes their uniforms look very European and distinctly un-American. It feels like they do this to fit in with the international community because it wouldn’t be cool to have a uniform that broadcasts you are, without a doubt, American.  Case in point, this season’s uniforms look more like the Norwegian flag than anything else.  Why do our Olympic uniforms always make you think “America” and the soccer uniforms make you think anything but?


Yeah! Doesn't this just scream "America"? The little crest seems
to be saying, "PSSST. -- I'm American. Please don't be offended."

 

So in summary, the game ends in a 1-1 tie and soccer still sucks. Something that comes along every four years to wild international excitement has games that can end in a tie. Really?? I know they go to shootouts after a certain point, but why not just start with shootouts? I would like to definitively beat opponents, even if that means we might lose, instead of walking away with nobody knowing who might have won. Is that too much to ask?


Also, the biggest buzz (no pun intended) surrounding the World Cup so far has been over those annoying horns (which everybody apparently hates and wants banned, which begs the question of who all the people are in the stands that are blowing them) and most especially the Great Adidas Soccer Ball Design Conspiracy (boldface mine):

The infamous Jabulani World Cup ball has had goalkeepers in the tournament worrying, panicking and complaining for the past week. Now it has reduced one of them to tears.

Algeria’s Fawzi Chaouchi was the latest keeper to be impacted when he allowed a long-range strike from Slovenia’s Robert Koren to evade his grasp and produce the only goal of a 1-0 loss at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday....

That ball is the Adidas Jabulani, and it already has sparked a storm of controversy. The manufacturer claims it is the most accurate ball ever made, but some weird plays on the field say otherwise.

Its unpredictability may have benefited the United States on Saturday night, when Clint Dempsey’s tame effort worked its way past England’s Robert Green. In truth, both Green and Algeria’s Chaouchi should have made comfortable saves on the goals they conceded.

Oh just come right out and say it: it's the ball's fault that the US tied that game! Never mind the quality saves that the US goalie had, or the fact that the English goalie had roughly his entire body on top of the ball but still let it slip through. It's the ball's fault! Did I mention that the author of this article is British? Hard to believe, I know.


I heard about this ball controversy a few weeks ago and knew that whoever ended up losing would blame it on the ball. Why? Because an incredible majority of soccer games are decided by one goal (or end in ties, as previously mentioned) and most importantly: Europeans are whiny, shitty losers. This is especially true if they lose to (or tie) the hated, war-mongering United States.


And this list of game summaries through June 15 is the final reason soccer sucks. There sure are a whole lot of ones and zeroes there. Even a couple of zeroes and zeroes. Awesome. There are three exceptions: two games that ended 2-0 and Germany pounding the scheisse out of Australia 4-0, which is funny to me for some reason. I think this lack of scoring has something to do with the number of players on the field and how they should get rid of at least two of them.


Soccer is the world's favorite game, yet it's slow, supremely low-scoring, and has frequent stops in play. The only thing it's really got going for it is that there aren't any commercial breaks. The real question is, though, given how boring soccer is, why don't more foreigners like American football, baseball, and, well, hockey? I think it's because they are too American, even though hockey is from Canada. Anyone else have any better theories?

UPDATE. Too good to pass up: this video posted in comments by Lake.





Watch and laugh.




Monday, June 14, 2010


What's in a Name?


KNOW THE TRUTH AND THEN CALL IT BY ANOTHER NAME. Here's a link to the context of the address in which the above quote occurred:

John Brennan's "Al Quds" NYU Address - Providing Aid and Comfort to the Islamists

In Wake of Uproar, White House Pulls Main Brennan Video Links

By WILLIAM MAYER

May 25, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - On February 13 at New York University, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, John Brennan, delivered a 34 minute address.

Brennan's remarks were made at an event entitled, "A Dialogue on our National Security" which was sponsored by the Islamic Center at NYU and the school's Islamic Law Student's Association. [see, White House website, Brennan Speaks at NYU]

Brennan was introduced by Dr. Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America [ISNA]1, an Islamist organization named as an unindicted co-conspirator in America's largest terror funding trial, U.S. vs. Holy Land Foundation [HLF]. The trial, which resulted in the conviction of all of the defendants on a total of 108 charges, proved that HLF funneled over $12 million to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.

"Prosecutors applied the label of 'unindicted co-conspirator' to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America, and the North American Islamic Trust in connection with a trial planned in Texas next month for five officials of a defunct charity, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development." [source, New York Sun, June 4, 2007, Islamic Groups Named in Hamas Funding Case]

Brennan, acknowledging Mattson, thanked her "...for your leadership as an academic whose research continues the rich tradition of Islamic scholarship, and as the president of the Islamic Society of North America, where you have been a voice for the tolerance and diversity which defines Islam."

It's sick bullshit. Maybe Diogenes and Tatioso can explain it to me. If you don't want to start calling out accomplices because their ignorant friends and acquaintances might be offended, you're opposing genocide with cocktail party etiquette.

That's called diplomacy. It's worked out much less well than saving physically imperiled populations from the sword they don't want to see until it's sawing at their necks.

I don't give a rat's ass about Barney Frank. I want to save those whose necks are about to be separated from their heads, which is very different from saving malcontents from the poor choices they've made about education, pop culture, and peer pressure.

And when I say I'm not about understanding, it's not because I don't understand a lot. It's because when war has been well and truly joined, as it has here, there's absolutely no point in pretending the other side has a point other than the one on the end of their knives. We're looking at the smooth diplomatic buildup to the acceptance of genocide. I don't care who's part of that, what color their robes and hats are, what the meaning might be of their strategic silences, or the rationalizations that pour from one side of their mouths while the other side is making self-serving deals. The Saudis are prepared to help the Israelis, are they? Or they're prepared to allow the Israelis to take out one of their enemies in a way that escalates worldwide anti-semitism?

Distinction without a difference. When the world is rife with those, the value of understanding falls below the value of being prepared to deal from a position of unwavering strength rather than ambivalent groping for a fantasy of common ground.

The time is here, now. All of you who are timid and measured about speaking the truth need to ask yourselves why you are timid, or, if you prefer, patient. And what measured and thoughtful and patient and understanding will really buy you when Tel Aviv is a smoking ruin and Jerusalem or "Quds" is only a memory.

It's okay to yell fire in a burning building, but only if you do it in an undemanding voice, to those who are already inclined to agree.




Friday, June 11, 2010


Blacks Hate Jews


WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON? I wrote this post, understood its toxicity, and so ran it by the two people I most respect on such issues, my wife and my friend from Philly, who is Jewish, though that's far from the only thing he is. Thirty years of friendship does not turn on religion or race. It has no hinge. It just is. My wife said, no, you can't post this. No matter how well intended or true it is, you just can't do it. My friend said, I mostly agree, and I'd like you to post it, but I fear for you if you do. "Let's sleep on it," he said.

So I slept on it  and woke to the following comment from the perpetual thorn in the side of this site:

Input?

IP, you have a world class brain occupying a fifty-something, male, right-wing, American body.

You're a Christian, so I know you've already contemplated leaving your body behind after death.

Might you think about leaving it behind while still fully alive?

The internet doesn't need any more news aggregators. The internet doesn't need any more conservative or liberal sites that exist to "prove" their original, dyed in sheep's wool, premise .

What the internet DOES need is thoughtful people who are willing to leave their "bodies" behind in order to discuss philosophical and moral outcomes for the world at large if we continue down the path we are on.

We have more than enough people out there who are DEAD sure their assumptions are "right". And if we keep those same assumptions, we will more likely find ourselves, very literally, DEAD.

We need a site with more questions than answers. We need a place where we listen, if only for understanding another person's position.

We need a site where we PROTECT the minority view, as if it were our own, but more importantly, a site where each of us understands that it is our OBLIGATION to stand up as the voice of ONE.

It is with that last thought in mind that I stand up as ONE who says we can best help the Israelis by not standing behind them right now. [boldface added]

Really? Who does that help, exactly? Only those people whose idea of morality is mixed up with their idea of politeness. But politeness isn't going to save the Jews or anyone else in a world riven by gutter-ugly hatred. So, having slept on it, here's my  post, as I wrote it in the first place.

********************
 
Yeah. Everybody knows it. Why do we have to pretend? In this case, it's not pure political correctness. It's the collision of two narratives we'd like to keep separate. The first narrative is the Civil Rights story, which we want to see as pure and beautiful and perfect, regardless of any infections it might carry like mould in its innerds. The second narrative is the rescue of the Jews from Nazi genocide, which is, in some ways, the ultimate immigration success -- smart, capable, civilized people who came here and immediately contributed to national prosperity even if they didn't get into all the best country clubs. We Americans don't like the idea of two success stories clashing in any ugly way. In much the same way we don't hold black leaders accountable for promoting illegal alien amnesty despite the fact that the first victims of such amnesty will be black people.

We also have to pretend because the Jews insist we pretend. Which they do for two reasons. They're proud of how much they contributed to the Civil Rights movement, which could never have succeeded without their activism, legal counsel, and proven martyrdom. And they are ashamed of the fact (yes, fact) that they have never regarded black people as equals. But, then again, they've never regarded any other group as their equals. So this particular intance is, well, embarrassing. It's the one that makes them look, uh, illiberal.

Does any of this matter? Well, yeah, it does. Black people hate the Jews (and, oh yes, they really really hate the Jews), and Jews pretend they don't notice because mostly they can live somewhere far away from the "Schwartzes," but it's the rest of us who have to deal with the consequences without offending anyone's feelings.

Here's the thing. The Jews are holding a secret in their way-too-smart heads. They know that we're not all created equal, because we're not equal to them. This is true of both the orthodox and the supremely secular Jews. This is also the rot that leads to self-hating Jews of the type who defend muslim terrorists and work to destroy Israel. They suffer from a common delusion: being smarter means you're better.

They're wrong about that, but who's to tell them they're wrong? That's why it's our job to save them from themselves. Human value is not about smart. It's not about degrees, cultural impact, academic breakthroughs, Einsteins. We need all those things, but they're not the definition of superiority. Because that would be kind of a Hitlerian idea, wouldn't it?

Which is why blacks hate Jews. They sense the contempt, despite the courage and sacrifice Jews have shown for the "schwartzes." They sense that Jews are stooping when they advocate for black causes.

Which is where America comes in. Most of us are just garden variety Americans. We don't care who's smart, who's not, who's Ivy League, and who's high school. We really don't..Which is why we're big enough, finally, to absorb everyone.

Except we said that it matters. Why? Because now the whole world wants the Jews dead. If we let any group get away with wanting the Jews dead without calling them to account, we are accomplices.

Meaning it's time to call African-Americans to account for hating Jews. It's not acceptable. Even if the Jews keep on accepting it.

P.S. My wife is mad, mad, mad at me for posting this. Maybe she's right. But maybe for once I'm right. When millions of lives are at stake, maybe it's time to stop pretending. When does the truth have currency? When does it matter? If not now, when?





InstaPunk Rebuffed


WE'RE NOT COMPLETELY AWFUL
. I told a longime Catholic friend that I was not the enemy but a critic. He chastened me thus:

All right.  Accepted.

But, it is difficult to imagine that the Church at this time in history needs another critic.  There seems to be a surplus both within and without.

Thinking about our talk the other day reminded me of Pope Benedict's discussion in Introduction to Christianity, Chapter 1, §4 where the difference between defining knowledge in a "make-know" paradigm is compared and contrasted with knowledge arrived at in a "stand-understand" framework ( §5).  Moving toward a conclusion (pp. 57 - 74) he writes:

"What is belief really? . . .It is a human way of taking up a stand in the totality of reality, a way that cannot be reduced to knowledge; it is the bestowal of meaning without which the totality of man would remain homeless, on which man's calculations and actions are based, and without which in the last resort he could not calculate and act, because he can only do this in the context of a meaning that bears him up" (p. 72).

And finishing:

"Without the word, without meaning, without love he falls into the situation of no longer being able to live, even when earthly comfort is present in abundance . . . But meaning is not derived from knowledge.  To try to manufacture it in this way, that is, out of the provable knowledge of what can be made . . . No one can pull himself up out of the bog of uncertainty, of not being able to live, by his own exertions; nor can we pull ourselves up, as Descartes still thought we could, by a cogito ergo sum, by a series of intellectual deductions.  Meaning that is self-made is in the last analysis no meaning.  Meaning, that is, the ground on which our existence as a totality can stand and live, cannot be made but only received"  (p. 73).

Now seems to be a time for men to take a stand and work toward understanding. 

I'm not disposed to understanding. I'm a Scot. I'm pretty much about war.





Gorecki


HUNG UP. The biggest disappointment in my life was when a a Harvard friend of mine told me Gorecki was "boring." He's anything but. Everyone who thinks he is is, uh, boring. Here is the second movement.



And the third: Don't look. Just listen. Eyes closed.



All done.




Thursday, June 10, 2010


Beck does Kipling


RAPPING THE WRAP. So Glenn Beck has a new book coming out, this time a work of fiction he wrote during lunch hour (Brizoni take note). I have no idea what it's about, and the trailer above certainly doesn't help. But at least I recognized the voice of Rudyard Kipling, although I don't understand what this poem is about, either. In general, I'm hugely in favor of Kipling. At his best (which this isn't), he has a kind of Swinburnian momentum that just feels good to recite out loud, whether it actually means anything or not. Is that what Beck is hoping for?

The Gods of the Copybook Headings

AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all...

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome...

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wobbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

Apocalypse may be heading our way, but if it resuscitates Rudyard Kipling, I'm pretty much for it.





Tick, Tick


SITTING IN THE FIRST ROW. Our president hates the Jews. That's a serious situation.




Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Woman versus Womanish

Make up your own storyline. Obama kicking BP ass?
Michelle or Maureen or Nancy Pelosi to the rescue?

YOU ALREADY KNOW WHAT THE MEN THINK... Remember how nobody could figure out any way to make fun of Barack Obama? Cough. That's all over now. Everyone's doing it. But today belongs to the women:



So I thought it might be a good time to highlight the fact that some of the fastest guns facing down Obama right now are also women. This is our little tribute to them.

There's Dorothy Rabinowitz of the Wall Street Journal:

[I]t was clear from the first that this president—single-minded, ever-visible, confident in his program for a reformed America saved from darkness by his arrival—was wanting in certain qualities citizens have until now taken for granted in their presidents. Namely, a tone and presence that said: This is the Americans' leader, a man of them, for them, the nation's voice and champion. Mr. Obama wasn't lacking in concern about the oil spill. What he lacked was that voice—and for good reason.

Those qualities to be expected in a president were never about rhetoric; Mr. Obama had proved himself a dab hand at that on the campaign trail. They were a matter of identification with the nation and to all that binds its people together in pride and allegiance. These are feelings held deep in American hearts, unvoiced mostly, but unmistakably there and not only on the Fourth of July.

A great part of America now understands that this president's sense of identification lies elsewhere, and is in profound ways unlike theirs. He is hard put to sound convincingly like the leader of the nation, because he is, at heart and by instinct, the voice mainly of his ideological class. He is the alien in the White House, a matter having nothing to do with delusions about his birthplace cherished by the demented fringe.

There's S. E. Cupp of the New York Daily News:

The question of the moment is whether Barack Obama understands the power of fear, or if, like Gandhi, he prefers the power of love. If the last month is any indication, he doesn't seem particularly effective at either.

After outcries from the left and the right that the President hasn't been an effective leader on the oil spill, he seems to have read those cries as a push for, well, more profanity, telling aides to "plug the damn hole" and the "Today" show that he wants to know whose "ass to kick."

While his momentary turn as foulmouthed intimidator (I can't recall a time when another President had to be bleeped during a televised interview) may reveal he knows the value of bravado, there is much evidence to show he hasn't quite mastered the power of fear and intimidation to actually get what he wants. Obama may be walking loudly, but he is carrying a very small stick.

There's "Mama Grizzlie" Palin:

Less Talkin’, More Kickin’

50 days in, and we’ve just learned another shocking revelation concerning the Obama administration’s response to the Gulf oil spill. In an interview aired this morning, President Obama admitted that he hasn’t met with or spoken directly to BP’s CEO Tony Hayward. His reasoning: “Because my experience is, when you talk to a guy like a BP CEO, he’s gonna say all the right things to me. I’m not interested in words. I’m interested in actions.”

First, to the “informed and enlightened” mainstream media: in all the discussions you’ve had with the White House about the spill, did it not occur to you before today to ask how the CEO-to-CEO level discussions were progressing to remedy this tragedy? You never cease to amaze. (Kind of reminds us of the months on end when you never bothered to ask if the President was meeting with General McChrystal to talk about our strategy in Afghanistan.)

Second, to fellow baffled Americans: this revelation is further proof that it bodes well to have some sort of executive experience before occupying the Oval Office (as if the painfully slow response to the oil spill, confusion of duties, finger-pointing, lack of preparedness, and inability to grant local government simple requests weren’t proof enough). The current administration may be unaware that it’s the President’s duty, meeting on a CEO-to-CEO level with Hayward, to verify what BP reports. In an interview a few weeks ago with Greta Van Susteren, I noted that based on my experience working with oil execs as an oil regulator and then as a Governor, you must verify what the oil companies claim – because their perception of circumstances and situations dealing with public resources and public trust is not necessarily shared by those who own America’s public resources and trust. I was about run out of town in Alaska for what critics decried at the time as my “playing hardball with Big Oil,” and those same adversaries (both shortsighted Repubs and Dems) continue to this day to try to discredit my administration’s efforts in holding Big Oil accountable to operate ethically and responsibly.

Mr. President: with all due respect, you have to get involved, sir.

And one of the truly legendary fast guns in town, Ann Coulter:

Oil is spewing from beneath a British Petroleum oil rig into the Gulf of Mexico at a rate of about 1 million gallons a day. There's no end in sight -- although White House officials have made it clear their goal is to stop the leak before the midterm elections in November.

Obama now spends at least half of every day answering pointed, increasingly aggressive questions about the oil spill, most of them from his daughter Malia.

The president finally went down to take a look at the oil disaster last week –- which is weird because I didn't even know there were golf courses near the Gulf. To show his concern, Obama is thinking about returning some of the nearly $1 million the oil industry donated to his campaign.

Ha, ha -- just kidding. He's not returning any oil money. But the situation has gotten so urgent that Obama did take time off from his golf game to praise the Phoenix Suns for protesting Arizona’s new immigration law.

Which is why it's so critical that like Don Knotts in the clip above, The One has a woman to do some backshooting for him -- the crazy in love with all things Obama, Maureen Dowd:

It’s not a good narrative arc: The man who walked on water is now ensnared by a crisis under water.

One little hole a mile down on the ocean floor, so deep it seems like hell spewing up its sulfurous smoke, has turned the thrilling saga of “The One” into the gurgling horror of “The Abyss.” (Thank goodness James Cameron, the director of “The Abyss,” came to Washington Tuesday to help the administration figure out how to cap the BP well. What’s next? Sending down the Transformers and Megan Fox?)

With as much as 34 million gallons of oil inking the Gulf of Mexico, “Yes we can” has been downgraded to “Will we ever?”

It’s impossible not to feel sorry for President Obama, pummeled by the cascading disasters, at home and abroad, unleashed by two war-mongering oil men — plus scary escalations by Israel, Iran and North Korea...

Obama wanted to be a transformative president and now the presidency is transforming him.

Instead of buoyant, he seems put upon. Instead of the fairy dust of hopefulness, there’s the bitter draught of helplessness.

Oops. We'll know it's really over when DoDo finally figures out that the "scary escalations" she's worried about aren't natural disasters but the kind of man-made disasters you bring on yourself by a policy of weakness, appeasement, dithering, and apologies to all the wrong people.

Maybe that won't ever happen. All women may be created equal, but some women are less equal than others.





Input

NEXT. As we had hoped, you're fired up, too. Here's what we're getting. Diogenes has volunteered to rewrite our Mission statement:

We recognize that the world is moving toward a consensus that the state of Israel be eliminated.  We cannot allow the extermination of Israel to happen: should it happen, we will all die as civilized men and women; and we will have silently permitted a dark age to arise that our children and grandchildren won't see the end of.

Hence the new site “title of site” is dedicated to stopping the extermination of Israel and a promised second holocaust.

Our mission is to resist the growing tide of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism. Hence we speak to Jews who have not realized their danger, and who hence cannot begin yet to respond to it; we speak to non-Jewish religious people of good will who understand that the highest ethical standards of the world arise from Hellenized Judaism, and that thus its creators must not be destroyed; and we secularists who abhor the fact that genocide is again coming.

This site will be:

1.    A news aggregation site:
a.    For news about Israel
b.    For news about anti-Semitism
c.    For news about violence against Jews
d.    For news about violence against Israel
e.    For news about responses to sections a - d from other open sources

2.    A site for deep moral commentary demonstrating that news listed in part 1 has importance for all western civilization.

3.    A site connecting to others who perceive the danger and wish to resist it.

We include news and analysis that pertains to our mission.  We include topical information as well as historical texts.  We provide links to other sites and media that contribute to or support our mission.

We report on or connect with news, commenting on and questioning it.  We provide the historical and cultural context in which that news has meaning so as to understand and prevent the second holocaust.

We seek out exclusive interviews and essays from the people who are involved in policy and punditry. We question them in order to draw out their knowledge, without recourse to any political agenda apart from the salvation of Israel.

This site will not be political in any partisan or ideological sense to the extent the editors can avoid such partisanship.

It will not be a commercial site created to make money for participants.

It will not be an exclusive voice, advocate, or outlet for any one interest group or player in the issues which it addresses.

We measure the success of our mission by the extent to which we come to be seen as a nonpartisan advocate of civilization, as opposed to barbarism.

Eduardo has thoughts about how the site should look and feel:

So I've been thinking about the best way to set up this site and my opinion is that it should be modeled after the Drudge Report. This is because we want traffic. The beauty of Drudge is the quick access to copious links on a variety of subjects. Already know about something? Then keep looking until you see something that interests you. And it's all concisely organized into an easy to scan format. The opposite of this would be a site like HuffPo that looks like someone threw up on a monitor and things fell all over the place. I think the site contributors should be scouring the net for Israel-related stories and linking to those.
 
Hot Air is another high traffic site, but I think our site should be less like that. At HA, Ed & Allah pretty much link to things and pontificate a great deal. I think our site should be more about simply providing access to information. If something requires commentary, it could be done at InstaPunk (with a link to the IP post on the new site under the headline, of course, as Drudge often does).
 
There are already a plethora of pro-Israel sites out there, many of which link to each other. We have to make sure there is something unique about our site and we're not just a "me too" blog or there will be no reason for anyone to visit. News breaks fast on the internet, and thinking realistically I doubt our site will be breaking a whole lot of news, so the best we can probably do is to collect the most important news out there as quickly as we can and try to highlight more obscure things that people might not have heard about in addition to all of the major stories. And, as I mentioned, InstaPunk would be where all of the heavy intellectual hitting is done when the need arises.
 
Them there's my two cents. A bit unoriginal, perhaps, but it's not about style points, just traffic.

Then he has additional ideas:

More thoughts:
 
I agree that the site should be non-partisan, but we've still got to be able to call a spade a spade. Peripheral jabs at Obama and Co. should not be made (like about the oil spill & teleprompter), but when he's screwing Israel over and dining with anti-Semites we need to be able to trash him for that. We definitely need to avoid Allah & Ed-style "infinity & beyond" evenhandedness.
 
All of the extras you mention in the mission statement would be nice, but it feels a little like overreaching. Links, commentary, news, history...I think we need to go Drudge-style minimalist at first to get things up and running and get people involved. I think the more people get involved and see what is happening, the more they will want to get further involved and start offering up their own commentary. Then we can build off of that. But I don't like the column idea. That seems less like a total traffic site and more like a niche site. When I go to a new site and there is stuff all over the place, my first thought is, "I don't have time for this." You know, like you said about my emails and comments (ha-ha).
 
Maybe we could add all of those bells & whistles eventually, but I don't think we should try to start out like that. It may be too overwhelming and become one of those things that doesn't get done. Let's get a basic framework set up and develop from there.
 
If you agree, that is.
 
And btw, what I can bring to the table: I have serviceable photoshop & video editing skills.  I can also look around for news to link to and write when appropriate. 

Comment. Yell. Agree or disagree. What I see is that people care about this and are prepared to work. So let's hammer out what we have to do and start doing it. I have no ego on the line here. Nothing anybody says will offend me. Let's get to work.




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