December 1, 2010 - November 24, 2010
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
way I see her. Boudica.
ONE. Make no mistake. Without her, there would be no website
called InstaPunk. She is the everything that makes living and hoping
and, yes, writing worthwhile. She's a year older today. My necessary
response is to love her more fiercely every day.
Your assignment is to read these posts about her. None of it is
exaggeration. She really is a queen.
Yeah, there's more than one writer in the family. She's the one who
made me learn about commas. A small thing, you think. It was
transformative. I finally learned what sentence structure was. What writing was. And without her, there
would never have been Psmith
makes me better than I am in every respect. When I contemplate my
sins and my abundant guilt, I have this to rely on: God thought enough
of me to give me Patricia. No greater gift has any man received.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Just for Mrs.
RAVENING. It's her
birthday tomorrow. You know how women are. She's heard about this clip
and laughed in the telling, but there's no way she'll ever look it up
for herself and watch it. I could nag but then she wouldn't enjoy it.
This way, she'll enjoy it. Because there's nobody anywhere who's more
scornful of Faith Hill's weekly intros of Sunday Night Football. Or,
for that matter, of Sunday Night Football. 60 minutes of gridiron action and
180 minutes of commercials and miscellaneous fluff. She's generally
sound asleep before the second quarter begins. I usually outlast her by
five minutes on the game clock. Because I'm so fond of commercials.
This is an early birthday "amuse bouche" for my wife.
Anybody got a problem with that? Good. I thought not.
Via the Right
Scoop, it’s a few days old but shouldn’t pass unmentioned. Skip
ahead to 3:44 for the key bit. In lieu of repeating the points about
WTC7 that I made the last time a Fox News/Business host started Just
Questions about 9/11, let me ask: Precisely how many of
these people does Fox have on staff? Am I going to open a newspaper
tomorrow and find out that Megyn Kelly or Julie Banderas thinks the
Pentagon was hit by a missile? And no, before anyone mentions Beck,
he’s not a Truther. Quite
contrary, in fact.
Between this and Ron Paul wondering on
the House floor whether the U.S. government might cook up a “contrived
Gulf of Tonkin-type incident” to justify war with Iran, I wonder
what the demographic breakdown is among Truthers between Bush-hating
liberals versus strong-form libertarians whose skepticism of government
knows virtually no intellectual limit. Frankly, maybe I’d rather not
know. Oh, and yes — that is indeed the one and only Alex Jones
whom the Judge is chatting with. Wonderful.
We've been hard on AllahPundit
when he deserved it. This time he
deserves our unreserved praise.
Because we're fair that way.
MEMO TO FOX
NEWS: Fire Geraldo and
Napolitano. Pronto. Kick them out on their ass-o.
you took the AllahPundit link above, you got a second chance to see
Phillips video. I know it's long, but take that chance. She's the smartest woman in the
world. As a bonus, you'll get to hear the REAL Oxford stutter. Ever
heard of intellectual porn? Krauthammer just discussing things with Melanie
Phillips. Just a fantasy, but for the mindfolks it would be a climax devoutly to be wished. Not kidding.
. The Wikileaks thing. How could this possibly have happened? I
can think of only three explanations. All of them are frightening.
establishment of the United States is a toothless tiger.
Weeks ago, Jonah Goldberg asked this question about the Wikileaks head
who's been releasing the documents: "Why is he still alive?" We've all
been raised and propagandized by books and Hollywood movies to believe
that the CIA/NSA/DIA complex is capable of almost anything, including
omniscient surveillance, omnipotent influence in the legal and law
enforcement systems of other countries, and omnivorous assets in the
discipline of assassination. Faced with the prospect of what is now
being called a "diplomatic 9/11," who can't imagine in vivid detail the
quiet after-hours meeting between the president's national security
adviser and Leon Panetta in which the order is given, "Make it go
away"? Only it can't be done because there is no Jason Bourne, no Jack
Bauer, no Double-oh section of MI-6, no computer center like the one in
Enemy of the State, no
'Mission Impossible' team whose actions can be "disavowed by the
secretary," no ultra-secret black ops team of any kind that can kill,
kidnap, blackmail, or otherwise deter an incredibly damaging attack on
U.S. foreign policy and national security by a lone provocateur. If
this is true, our entire intelligence apparatus is a joke and we're
defenseless in a world threatened by terrorists and rogue states. But
frankly, this seems far-fetched to me. Not that I believe in Jason
Bourne, but I do believe there are still 'operations' personnel
perfectly capable of finding someone to push a man off a train platform
in Switzerland and erase his office computers.
2. The Obama administration is even
more incompetent than many of us already thought they were.
In this scenario, they believe their own platitudes about solving all
foreign affairs problems via patient diplomacy without resort to
violence or dirty dealing. They therefore order the intelligence
community to stand down while they negotiate with Wikileaks to please
not do this awful, embarrassing thing. And then they fail and are once
again surprised by the reality of catastrophic consequences. This one's
tempting and it's probably how the voters will interpret it: our
amateur ideologue president thought he could talk and "communicate" his
way out of a mess without realizing he was in way over his head. If
this the answer, we're looking at two more years of sequential
disasters, both internationally and domestically. Yet there are are
good reasons why this explanation doesn't make sense, either. The
president's adeptness at Chicago-style politics may not have equipped
him for dealing honestly with the public or fairly with the opposition
in congress, but if there's any realm in which such experience should
be applicable it's foreign affairs. Hardball skullduggery is the name
of the game in matters that reach past American borders, and the
contents of the leaks bear out the notion that the Obama administration
knows how to cut deals, backstab allies, sleep with strange bedfellows, engage
in questionable quid-pro-quos, and generally do whatever's convenient, right
or wrong, with the best (worst) of them. Incompetence caused by principled
naivete is the unlikeliest of explanations for failing to take
effective preventive action in this circumstance. At the least this is
the most gigantic diplomatic scandal in a generation -- worse than
Iran-Contra, worse than Clinton selling advanced missile technology to
China -- because it savages the confidentiality of U.S. communications
with every nation, friend and foe, on earth. Surely, Chicago Barry of
all people would know that what's muttered in the smoke-filled rooms of the
world's capitals has to be kept secret at all costs, particularly if
he's seeking reelection as a champion of global lovey-dovey-ness. It
just doesn't make sense.
3. Obama wanted this to happen.
Hillary Clinton didn't want it to happen. Who's more embarrassed by all
this than the secretary of state? But maybe Obama did. I know it sounds
paranoid, but how do you explain the failure of Explanations 1 and 2 to
explain anything? In this perspective, Obama doesn't care about
reelection. He has bigger fish to fry. He's permanently neutering the
effectiveness of the United States as world policeman and superpower,
just as he's already been doing in his dollar-destroying economic
policies and his secret pact with the Russians to end anti-ballistic
missile programs in the U.S. military. The resultant chaos will elevate
the status and expectations of international bodies like the U.N. Given
his narcissism and limitless ambitions, Obama may actually believe that
he will be given credit on the world stage for destroying the United
States and promoted to Secretary-General-for-Life of the United Nations
and the new world government that will be needed to fill the vaccuum
left by the collapse of the U.S. I concede this is hardly rational, but
the sad fact is that there's no rational explanation for this newest,
obviously preventable debacle. So we're left with the question of which
irrational explanation best fits the facts.
Paranoid Games. Anybody can play. Because we're all on the board, and
we're all likely victims.
. I have mixed feelings about this comparison. My dad
more than he hated FDR, which was a lot, and hatred is not too strong a
word. (You liberals ought to recognize the emotion.) There was a
nightmare in which my dad relived the frightening winds of Hurricane
Hazel, which actually bowed the front door of his 18th century house,
and in the dream there was a knocking at that imperiled door. When he
opened it to see who might be seeking shelter, he beheld Harry Truman.
He refused to let him in. Full disclosure.
But Harry Truman has been embraced by history, including Republicans,
who forget that Truman's last act in office was to set FDR's
"temporary" expansion of the federal government forever in concrete by
service (unfireable) status on all the departments and agencies which
had supposedly been created only to deal with the emergencies of the
Great Depression and World War II. That was the effective end of any
attempt to roll back the incursions of government into private life
wrought by the New Deal.
But Harry Truman has been embraced by history, despite his refusal to
run for reelection in the midst of a war that killed 60,000 American
troops because -- contrary to the mythology -- the most decisive
president of the twentieth century couldn't decide whether to win,
quit, or negotiate a flawed peace.
But Harry Truman has been embraced by history, particularly by
Democrats, because... well, why? Because he dropped the A-Bomb to end
the war and committed to the H-Bomb to defend against Soviet
aggression? Uh, maybe not so much. Because he spent billions that could
have been spent on the poor funding the Marshall Plan to rebuild
Europe? Uh, maybe not so much.
Harry Truman has been embraced by the Democrats because he won an
improbable election campaign against elitist Republican Thomas E.
Dewey, his Ivy League law degree, and his other glossy credentials,
including the governorship of New York. Because, you see, Harry
S. Truman was a perfect Democrat example of the common
Truman was the only president who
served after 1897 without a college degree: poor eyesight prevented him
from applying to West Point (his childhood dream). When his high school
buddies went off to the state university in 1901, Truman instead
enrolled in a local business school, but only lasted a semester. In
1923-25 he took night courses toward a law degree at the Kansas City
Law School (now the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law),
but dropped out after losing his government job.
A month before Truman married, he and Jacobson opened a haberdashery at
104 West 12th Street in downtown Kansas City. After a few successful
years, the store went bankrupt during the recession of 1921.
But he must have done something right because he got elected a U.S.
Senator and the Lord God FDR chose him as a vice-presidential candidate
in 1944. Here's how that went down:
On June 23, 1941, the day after Nazi
Germany attacked the Soviet Union, Senator Truman declared: "If
we see that Germany is winning we ought to help Russia and if Russia is
winning we ought to help Germany, and that way let them kill as many as
possible, although I don't want to see Hitler victorious under any
circumstances. Neither of them thinks anything of their pledged word."
Although the sentiment was in line with what many Americans felt at the
time, it was regarded by later biographers as both inappropriate and
Truman gained national visibility by fighting waste and
mismanagement in the war effort through his committee (popularly known
as the "Truman Committee"). The
Roosevelt administration had initially feared the Truman Committee
would hurt war morale, and Undersecretary of War Robert P. Patterson
wrote to the president declaring it was "in the public interest" to
suspend the committee. Truman replied that the committee was "100
percent behind the administration" and had no intention of criticizing
the military conduct of the war....
After meeting personally with the party
leaders, FDR agreed to
replace Wallace as vice president; however, Roosevelt left the final
selection of a running mate until the end of the Democratic National
Convention in Chicago. Before the convention began, Roosevelt wrote a
note saying he would accept either Truman or Supreme Court Justice
William O. Douglas;
state and city party leaders preferred Truman. Truman himself did not
campaign directly or indirectly that summer for the number two spot on
the ticket, and always maintained that he had not wanted the job of
vice president. As a result, Roosevelt had to put a great deal of
pressure on Truman to accept the vice presidency. On July 19, the party
bosses summoned Truman to a suite in the Blackstone Hotel
to listen in on a phone call that, unknown to the Senator, they had
rehearsed in advance with the President. During the conversation, FDR
asked the party bosses whether Truman would accept the position. When
they said no, FDR angrily accused Truman of disrupting the unity of the
Democratic party then hung up. Feeling as if he had no choice, Truman
reluctantly agreed to become Roosevelt's running mate.
Truman's candidacy was humorously
dubbed the second "Missouri Compromise" at the 1944 Democratic National
Convention in Chicago, as his appeal to the party center contrasted
with the liberal Wallace and the conservative Byrnes.
He came to be called "Give'em hell, Harry," because he always said what
he thought. And he liked the word "hell" and the epithet "S.O.B."
Which he used when defending his daughter from an unkind review in the
Is any of this ringing any bells with you liberals, let alone you
I'm not saying that Sarah
Palin should be president because she's like Truman. But she is a lot like Truman. Both
have strong ties to the military. Truman was a decorated WWI
captain of infantry. Palin has a son who's served in combat. (Go there.
I dare you, feminists male and female.) Truman didn't go to college at
all. Palin has a college degree the party of the common man can't
credit. Both quit at key career moments -- Truman, law school, and Palin, her governorship. Both drew consistent fire for not towing the party line
at all times and for speaking plainly and sometimes vulgarly. Both were made fun of for reasons of naming: The "S" that was Harry's middle
name didn't stand for anything and Sarah's children "Trig" and "Willow"
have been lampooned because who would choose those names? Both
had their early political successes ascribed to deals and weak
candidate pools. Both had their ascendancy to vice-presidential
candidacy dismissed as cynical pandering unrelated to personal merit.
Both had their fitness for high office demeaned and ridiculed.
Both proved unexpectedly combative, resilient, and politically
Which argues that liberal dudgeon against Palin is a lot of hogwash
unless her lefty critics are all complete hypocrites.
Find me a Democrat who's willing to badmouth Truman. Find me a
Republican who's willing to trash both Truman and Palin in the same
breath and in the same terms.
Me? I still despise Truman. And I'm still agnostic about Palin. But I'm
not dismissing her because she didn't get an Ivy League degree. Hell.
On the record, I'm more prepared to support a ban on Columbia
University -- er, Obama and Holder -- than I am on the University of
And if you S.O.B.'s don't like it, tell it to Harry.