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March 10, 2005

Oh, Danny Boy, the blogs, the blogs are calling....

To show the proof, the proof that you have lied.
The trust is gone, your ratings have been falling.
'Tis you, 'tis you must go, and FOX must bide.

Missing Dan already? Thought not. Still, check out these two collections of Dan's Greatest Naked-Liberal-Bias Hits!*

Remember this one? I do, because I saw it live.

“Nineteen days after the presidential election, Florida’s Republican Secretary of State is about to announce the winner — as she sees it and she decrees it — of the state’s potentially decisive 25 electoral votes. Katherine Harris will officially certify the state’s election returns....The believed certification — as the Republican Secretary of State sees it — is coming just hours after a court ordered deadline.... The certification — as the Florida Secretary of State sees it and decrees it — is being signed.”
- During CBS News live coverage, November 26, 2000

And I watched this gem, too.

“Good evening. Texas Governor George Bush tonight will assume the mantle and the honor of President-elect. This comes 24 hours after a sharply split and, some say, politically and ideologically motivated U.S. Supreme Court ended Vice President Gore’s contest of the Florida election and, in effect, handed the presidency to Bush.”
- Beginning the December 13, 2000, CBS Evening News

Assume the "mantle" and the honor... oh, man, I'm telling you, that takes me back... *snif* ...that's just classic Rather...

{warbling} Mem'ries... light the cor-ners of my mind...

Oh, Dan, we hardly knew ye!


* The bias is naked, not Dan. Come on, I wouldn't do that to my readers.

Posted by EtherPundit at 09:21 AM | Comments (4)

March 06, 2005

Caption this, baby. You know you want to.

Instapundit, in the post I just cited here, writes the following about this photo:

Capt.Bei10403062029.Mideast Lebanon Syria Bei104

[AP caption:] "Syrian workers hold pictures of Syrian President Bashar Assad as one cuts himself with a knife during a pro-Syrian demonstration in Beirut, Lebanon, Sunday, March 6, 2005. Man cuts himself to show his support and commitment to his president."

[LATER: I didn't notice this the first time, but is it me or does the guy in the middle give the impression that he'd rather be hanging out with the hot chicks? He's my brother, he's into knives and Assad, Mom said to keep an eye on him, what can you do? So, you free Saturday night?]

That's a good caption. Many other good ones spring to mind:

"What do you mean my Ass-ad 4-Ever tattoo looks 'gay'? I'm'a cut you!"

"Give us all your money, infidel! Can you not see that our Judas Priest cover band has so far only been able to afford one Rob Halford wristband?"

"According to DSM-IV, self-injury is a cry for help! Do you hear, little Satan? A cry for help!"

Got any good ones? Put 'em in the comments.

Update: My Pet Jawa's got a contest going on a similar photo.

Posted by EtherPundit at 11:22 PM | Comments (9)

Instapundit: Now DENIES being InstaPropagandist! Update!

Apparently lots of people have been noticing Insty's suspicious selection of only hot babes to represent the demonstrators in Lebanon. I just blogged on it yesterday, myself.

Insty denies that he's going out of his way to select hotties, and cites evidence that the "Beautiful Pro-Democracy Demonstrators" theme is spreading. Who the hell are these photographers, and where have they been for the last three years? Oh, well — they're here now, and it's never too late to make positive developments look good, instead of focusing on angry faces, tearful babies, and smoking ruins, as they've been doing for as long as I can remember.

To atone for his chick-centric posts, Insty throws the gals a bone at last. Hell-ooo, handsome! Have I told you how much I hate Basho whatzisface? That Syria guy? Yeah, he's awful. Hate 'im! Listen, after the demo, let's go to your place and discuss further uprisings...


Posted by EtherPundit at 10:24 PM | Comments (2)

Instapundit: InstaPropagandist!

Asymmetrical Information posts on a phenomenon I've been noticing lately: If you're reading Instapundit, you'd think that every protestor in Lebanon is a drop-dead gorgeous female. To wit:

beautiful women,

gorgeous chicks,

stunning babes, and

a real hottie.

Insty is not dumb. Insty knows what he's doing. Sex is the best propaganda. The subliminal suggestion is: Girls say YES to boys who say NO (to Syria). Look at these women! Governments have been overthrown for less. (And you just know a revolutionary girl would be feral in the sack.)

Way to make antitotalitarianism cool, Glenn! Way to make those A.N.S.W.E.R. guys look around at the chicks at their protests and wonder whether they've chosen the wrong side...

Update: LogicalMeme is on the hottie beat too.

Update: Insty denies being a gynocentric propagandist! Post here!

Posted by EtherPundit at 01:08 AM | Comments (2)

February 27, 2005

Gannon-fodder for the gay-hating Left.

I've refrained from commenting on Gannongate because, honestly, I haven't been able to figure out exactly what it's about. I've read thousands of words about it, yet if you asked me to write a one-sentence summary of the issues at stake, I really couldn't.

I figured maybe I just wasn't paying enough attention. That's common enough. Or maybe I wasn't smart enough, or versed enough in the context of the case, to make any sense of it. Also not unheard of. Or maybe I was just missing that one key piece of information that would make everything fall into place with a satisfied, "Aha!"

But I'm coming to believe that the reason I can't understand Gannongate is that there's really no "there" there. Gannongate is a fierce dust storm whipping around all kinds of garbage and detritus, but every time I look past the pelting filth and into the vortex, there's nothing in there.

The strongest impression I'm left with after brushing off all the flying dreck is this.

The left is furious because the Bush administration:

Basically, the Bush administration is being pilloried for not being bigoted enough.

I'm stunned by the gleeful openness of the Left's jihad against this guy for having allegedly been a gay escort.

More than that, I continue to be incredibly discouraged by the free pass the Left gets from gays.

This is one of the many reasons why, though I care a great deal about civil rights for gays, I can never, ever support the Democratic party in its current form ever again. Forced to choose, I settle for the Republican stance on homosexuality. I don't agree with it, and I wish it were progressive, instead of just seeking to solidify the current status quo, but at least the Republican Party says what it means on gay rights.

By contrast, I am disgusted by the pathetic, pandering lip service the Democrats offer gays, and the tragic eagerness with which the "gay community" laps up the half-assed, wishy-washy sorta-promises year after year. No wonder the Republicans write gays off; they can afford to. Nothing they can do or say will win them those votes anyway. Gays have asked for nothing from the Dems, and have eagerly accepted the nothing they receive, while always finding a way to blame "the Right" for the scarcity of gay-rights goodies. I don't know whether homosexuality is hard-wired from the womb, but apparently the need to vote Democrat is hard-wired in homosexuals.

But maybe Gannongate explains the need for gays to vote Democrat: Because a gay Republican unleashes the inner Fred Phelps in every Lefty. Gay Democrats, you see, are a put-upon, protected, victimized minority, and anyone who has a critical thing to say about them is a bigot indulging in hate speech. But gay Republicans — why, they're unclean, immoral faggots who'd hump any filthy pervert with a few dollars in his Vaseline-smeared paws, and how dare they even hope for a place in the public discourse, let alone in the White House press room!

There are some things I'll just never understand. One of them is why most gays think the Democratic Party is on their side, or has any use for them beyond their ability to pull a lever in a voting booth.

Update: More on this at Right Wing News and Brainster.

Update: Just One Minute reports great news from the White House Correspondents Association: They're not accepting the Gay Hustler Trojan Horse that comes bearing a press credentialing crackdown. Pressure to crack down on who has access to the White House -- isn't it delicious that this should come from the same moonbats who screamed about the loss of free speech in AshKKKroft's AmeriKKKa?

Posted by EtherPundit at 08:10 AM | Comments (9)

February 26, 2005

GWOT got ya down? Need a laugh?

Of course you do.

This'll cure what ails ya: The latest revision of combat hand signals.


Posted by EtherPundit at 07:55 PM | Comments (1)

God's own living avatar = shameless liar?

Isn't anyone else noticing the screaming cognitive dissonance between what the Vatican is saying about the Pope and what's really happening? I haven't encountered a single report that doesn't state unquestioningly, with a straight face, that the Pontiff is suffering from "flu." Jeez, of all the times when we really could use some scare quotes, and now they won't touch 'em.

What kind of flu rebounds after a month? What kind of flu requires a tracheotomy? Answer: No kind of flu. To be very charitable and credulous, we might speculate that the Pope is suffering from complications from influenza, perhaps pneumonia or a bronchial infection.

Why do the media refuse to acknowledge that the Vatican is flat-out lying? At least there was some skepticism about the reports of Arafat's condition being "stable." (Verrrry stable.) At least those reports were usually prefaced by, "According to Palestinian Authority spokesman so-and-so...."

This is the kind of whitewash you'd expect from the PA, or the USSR. But I think Catholics deserve far better than to be baldly lied to by the very authority that's supposed to serve as their moral guide. I believe Catholics can face the truth about the Pope's condition, whatever it is; I wonder why the Vatican can't?

As it is, every time I hear that the Pope is "resting comfortably" or "serene," I think of mourners commenting on the corpse at an open-coffin funeral. In fact, hmm... I wonder if he is already "stable"?

Update: Seems Ken Wheaton has noticed the same thing. Whew. It always makes me nervous when I'm the only damn person to notice something, and it seems to happen more and more often.

Posted by EtherPundit at 12:28 PM | Comments (3)

EtherHouse *EXCLUSIVE*! -- More Ward Churchill art!

Regular readers may be surprised, but I think it's time some of us on the right stepped up to defend Ward Churchill. I can't applaud his defense of terrorists and their right — indeed, obligation — to murder "little Eichmanns" (defined as: everyone who died on Sept. 11). I can't condone his instructing his audiences on the most effective ways to carry out terrorism. And, of course, I can't stifle a laugh when I see photos of him in his office, Capitalism Condemnation Central, unironically surrounded by a shiny new iMac and assorted technological trappings.

But let's give credit where credit is due, shall we? Ward Churchill turns out to be a truly important visual artist, with a lot to say about the plight of Native Americans. Michelle Malkin, Myopic Zeal, Brainster, Ace, Say Anything, Speed of Thought, Protein Wisdom, and Confederate Yankee have all had their snarky say about this alleged plagiarism:


"Winter Attack," by Ward Churchill, circa 1980 (Photo: CBS4, Denver)


From "The Mystic Warriors of the Plains," by Thomas E. Mails, published 1972 (Photo: CBS4, Denver)

These self-styled "pundits" are saying that Churchill's art is just a reversed image of Mails'. But it's so easy to mock heartfelt artworks, isn't it, when their message makes us uncomfortable? It's so easy to condemn an image as "derivative" when what we're really trying to do is avert our eyes from the shameful truths it contains.

I ask my readers to reconsider. Thanks to a friend in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado, I was able to obtain some little-known Churchill originals. Regardless of what you think of Churchill's political views, these works show that as an authentic Native American, he is truly committed to salvaging his nearly exterminated culture. For that, and for his innovative artistic vision, even his enemies must respect him.

The keen eye; the fine brushstrokes; the skilled application of chiaroscuro and manipulation of positive and negative space; the use of color to both shock and beguile the eye — all hallmarks of a master craftsman, capable of wielding his awesome technique to repudiate the postmodern even as he elevates it. Churchill's art will do more than just challenge your assumptions about Native and European cultures; it will overturn your outmoded ideas about art itself.

Churchill is no plagiarist! Perhaps coincidentally, the pieces above looked similar. But when you look at the works I'm showing, these EtherHouse exclusives, you'll realize that his vision is wholly original. I defy you to show me any "source" that can remotely claim to have inspired these pieces. You've never seen anything like them, I guarantee!

Now forget politics for a moment, and feel yourself transported to the Great Plains, to a time before the European brought pestilence, theft, and "ethnic cleansing" to the land. Open your mind to Churchill's sensitive explorations of Native American cuture. Let the raw emotion of these blazingly original, inventive images affect you.

"Warrior: Creek Nation of Georgia." Early mosaic work (c. 1967), from the "Creek Nation" series.

"Creek Tomahawk and Stitched Bull Hide." Gouache on board. 1993, from the "Creek Nation" series.

"Hopi Rain Dancer at Rest." Seriegraph. 1990, from the "Woo-Woo Indians, not Dot-Head Indians, Stupid" series.

"White Man Doritos Bags, Beer Cans, and Technology In General Make-um Ward Churchill Heap Big Cry." Lithograph. 1999.


"What You Mean 'WE,' Kemo Sabe?" Oil on linen. 2002.

"Indigenous American, Holding Sacred Smoking Materials Forbidden by Unelected Fascist US Regime, Stares Longingly, Hopelessly Across Florida Straits Towards Free Land of Cuba, Workers' Paradise." Acrylic on fiberglass. 2003.

Posted by EtherPundit at 11:12 AM | Comments (15)

February 21, 2005

EXTRY! EXTRY! Left doesn't even try for plausibility anymore! Read all about it!

Michelle Malkin and A Confederate Yankee blog about Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), who believes Karl Rove was the source of the Rathergate memos. Hell, I remember conservative blogs saying that at the time. Of course, they were joking, and Hinchey is serious. But Hinchey is actually funnier! Go figure!

Heeeeeeeeeeeere's Hinchey! (from LGF)

They’ve had a very very direct, aggressive attack on the, on the media, and the way it’s handled. Probably the most flagrant example of that is the way they set up Dan Rather. Now, I mean, I have my own beliefs about how that happened: it originated with Karl Rove, in my belief, in the White House. They set that up with those false papers. Why did they do it? They knew that Bush was a draft dodger. They knew that he had run away from his responsibilties in the Air National Guard in Texas, gone out of the state intentionally for a long period of time. They knew that he had no defense for that period in his life. And so what they did was, expecting that that was going to come up, they accentuated it: they produced papers that made it look even worse. And they — and they distributed those out to elements of the media. And it was only — what, like was it CBS? Or whatever, whatever which one Rather works for. They — the people there — they finally bought into it, and they, and they aired it. And when they did, they had ’em. They didn’t care who did it! All they had to do is to get some element of the media to advance that issue. Based upon the false papers that they produced.

Honestly, even reading such drivel fills me with ennui; it's not even worth Fisking.

What is worth noting, though, is the new wave of defensive memes from the Left, and particular from the defenders of the MSM. These new narratives are notable because they no longer bother to even aim for plausibility. I take back what I said earlier about Hinchey being funny; it's not funny that an elected official not only makes up stories, but presumes his audience doesn't even expect the stories to make sense, even in their own internal logic.

Forget for a moment whether this story is true, and just consider its own internal logical conundrums.

  1. Karl Rove is capable of duping the mainstream media into running stories, even with the flimsiest of slapped-together "evidence." Yet of all the stories he could have planted with fabricated evidence — say, proof of WMD in Iraq, or proof that Bush didn't know of 9/11 in advance — he chose to plant one about Bush being AWOL in 1973. Even though time had already shown that the AWOL story had no legs, because voters don't much care about what happened 30 years ago when they already have 4 years of Bush's presidency to draw their own conclusions from.
  2. In order to draw attention away from Bush's actions in 1973, Rove planted a story about Bush's actions in 1973. How was this supposed to work again?
  3. For some reason, CBS and Dan Rather have refrained from reporting that Rove was feeding them bogus memos. Even though this story would be bigger than Watergate. Even though Dan Rather announced that if the memos were fake, "I'd like to be the one to break that story." Even though revealing Rove as the architect of the memos would restore the luster to CBS, replace Rather on his throne, and probably translate to millions in recovered ad revenue for the network.
  4. What about Mary Mapes? She could restore her reputation and bring down the corrupt BusHitler administration with proof of Rove's involvement. Why is she silent? It couldn't be because she's afraid of repercussions from Bush's thugs; she had no fear of publicizing what she believed were real, incriminating memos.
  5. Why not cut CBS in for a large share of the blame? After all, they were the ones who flogged Rove's exceedingly poorly forged memos. Shouldn't they have done their due diligence as a free press requires, instead of being mindless patsies?
  6. Considering that Bill Burkett was disgraced and wronged by Rove, why won't he talk either? And we never found out who "Lucy Ramirez" is. Is she Karl Rove?
  7. These papers, according to Hinchey, were shopped to "elements of the media," but only CBS bit. Who else was shown the memos, and why won't they talk? This is a chance to kick a rival network while it's down and break a history-making story.

(And just out of curiosity, does anyone know whether Hinchey realized immediately that this was the work of Rove? He wasn't by chance one of those who defended the memos until the very last page of the last copy of the Thornburgh report was printed, was he?)

Another sad example of an internally self-contradictory story is the defense of Eason Jordan by many in the MSM. Take Jeremy Scahill's comments in The Nation about Jordan:

But the real controversy here should not be over Jordan's comments. The controversy ought to be over the unconscionable silence in the United States about the military's repeated killing of journalists in Iraq.

The article goes on to very strongly suggest that Jordan was right, and the US is deliberately assassinating journalists in Iraq.

Look, here's the problem. If the US military is indeed deliberately killing journalists, again, this is a scandal that makes Abu Ghraib look like pretzelgate. I would be outraged to find this is true, and so would countless other Bush supporters. But I promised you I wouldn't focus on objective truth, but just show you the internal contradictions, didn't I? Okay.

The internal problems with this defense of Jordan:

  1. Why didn't Eason Jordan withdraw CNN's personnel, knowing that they were being targeted for murder? (See this entry.)
  2. Why would the MSM avoid reporting that their own colleagues were being deliberately murdered? They've covered plenty of bad news from Iraq; why not this?
  3. Eason Jordan was the MSM! Why the hell didn't he see to it that these journalist assassinations were reported on CNN? Wow, what a story to break! And when he did point out these murders, why did he backtrack, knowing that his return to silence was dooming other journalists to die? Does Scahill not find this appallingly dishonorable?
  4. Why doesn't the article provide any proof of the allegations of intentional murder of journalists? Is Scahill holding back? If so, how can he criticize others for not covering the story adequately?
  5. How can there be "unconscionable silence" about these murders when the Jordan case was all over the media, and now Scahill's own article complaining about silence is being published in a major magazine?

And this brings me to one of the Left's greatest self-contradictions. It's one I hear more and more often — as if the volume at which it's repeated makes it truer, instead of less true:


And yet... and yet... the very fact that you're complaining that STORY X IS BEING CENSORED, and I'm hearing your complaint without having sought it out, is proof that STORY X IS NOT BEING CENSORED.

My poor dear Left, once so vital and proud, and now deafened by your own echo chamber. It's not that no one hears you; it's that no one cares.

Posted by EtherPundit at 07:44 PM | Comments (3)

Sometimes I really hate living in Park Slope.

This New York Post story, cited by Wizbang, really burns my butt.

February 21, 2005 -- An American soldier overseas is fuming over letters he received from Brooklyn middle-school children accusing GIs of destroying mosques and killing civilians in Iraq.

Pfc. Rob Jacobs of New Jersey said he was initially ecstatic to get a package of letters from sixth-graders at JHS 51 in Park Slope last month at his base 10 miles from the North Korea border.

That changed when he opened the envelope and found missives strewn with politically charged rhetoric, vicious accusations and demoralizing predictions that only a handful of soldiers would leave the Iraq war alive.

"It's hard enough for soldiers to deal with being away from their families, they don't need to be getting letters like this," Jacobs, 20, said in a phone interview from his base at Camp Casey.

Most readers of this blog are probably not familiar with Park Slope, Brooklyn. In many ways, it's a lovely place to live, and on most days I'm happy I live here. But this is as close as you can get to Berkeley on the East Coast, and at times the seething Bush hatred on these lovely brownstoned streets has been so in-your-face that I feel like a spy in enemy territory. This story doesn't surprise me. The neighborhood is still festooned with huge "We the People Say NO to the Bush Agenda" banners, stencil renditions of Bush as Satan, hate-Bush window signs, bumper stickers, T-shirts, etc.

For an accurate snapshot of Park Slope's politics, savor this excerpt from an article titled "Liberal Brooklynites Bummed Out," printed in the November 6, 2004 Park Slope Paper. Please note that the article is not intended to be funny, but if you burst into a spasm of derisive hilarity, I won't hold it against you. Lord knows my sides were sore when I finished reading. Perhaps the laughter was more of a release than anything else — a release of the unrelenting tension I'd felt for so long. I couldn't bear to throw the article away; that's why I still have it here to quote from.

The announcement came over the loudspeakers at the Park Slope Food Co-op shortly before noon: Sen. John Kerry was conceding. People looked at each other, stricken over the soymilk and organic vegetables.

Pilates instructor Rachel Priebe ran weeping from the store.

"I'm heartbroken," said Priebe, 30, sobbing gently as she loaded her bicycle on a Brooklyn sidewalk. "The rest of the country must be pretty out of touch with reality."

"I'm devastated," writer Emma Starr said as she left the nation's largest member-owned and -operated food co-op. "I have proposed that we should have two distinct nations. Why should we be forced to live together under the rule of an evil dictator?"

That pretty much sums up the average Sloper. It's shamefully easy to laugh at these people's pain, because they made Park Slope such an aggressively hate-filled, rageful, oppressive place for such a long time leading up to the election. (And Emma Starr, my dear, if you want two nations, you leave. I was born and raised in New York. This is my home. I ain't leavin'.)

Back to Wizbang's citation: The article about JHS 51 brought up some issues for me. EtherHub and I have been talking about having children, but we have serious questions about where we could send them to school. We're atheists, but not militant ones; EtherHub was raised Catholic in Brooklyn, and I would gladly consider Catholic school. However, the Catholic archdiocese apparently doesn't think Catholic schools are important, because they're closing a bunch of them. (What the hell, right? It's not as if there are all that many Catholics in Brooklyn. It ain't like it's "da borough of choiches," or nothin'.)

Public schools are obviously out of the question, even "good" ones like JHS 51. The story cited at the top of this post sums up the reason why. Private schools in this neighborhood have tuitions that would put most private colleges to shame. Besides, I went to a "good" private school in Manhattan, and didn't get much of an education. Oh, no, wait -- I learned that drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol are so wonderful that there's really no need to acknowledge the existence of anyone who doesn't enjoy indulging (like me). I learned that a girl isn't worth anything without a boyfriend, and sex is required. Meh. I'm not sure I'd want my kids learning that. And that was back in the early 80s; hard to imagine what it's like in private school now. I wouldn't expect a school to teach my kids values, of course. I'd just expect them not to spend each day tearing down the values I tried to teach the previous night.

Is home schooling the only alternative? I'll do it if I have to, but how sad that someone whose values are as truly middle-of-the-road as mine would have to shun all local schools for their radicalism.

Anyone out there faced a similar problem? I'd love to know how you handled it.

Posted by EtherPundit at 02:57 PM | Comments (11)

February 11, 2005

The REAL reason Eason Jordan was drummed out

Powerline reports that Eason Jordan has called it quits, only a day late and a dollar short. Michelle Malkin and Wizbang have good roundups.

Oh, the blogosphere is doing a victory lap, sure. Back-slapping and high-fives all around. But has anyone considered precisely why this guy was forced out?

Ask yourself how the CNN staff stationed in Iraq must have felt when they learned Jordan knew all along they were being targeted for assassination by American troops, yet he never made a move to recall them. Depraved, really. Sending CNN's own unarmed, unsuspecting journalists out to get shot down by US soldiers — can't have a guy like that running the organization. I'm surprised he was willing to openly admit his own indifference to CNN employees' safety to the entire World Economic Summit at Davos. No wonder he was forced out.

(I mean, he was telling the truth about the US targeting journalists, wasn't he? He had to have been. The Eason Jordan we know would never pull a sleazy stunt like lying. Never happen.)

Anyway, I'm sure whoever replaces him will immediately recall all CNN personnel from anywhere US troops are stationed. No sense taking crazy risks.

Wait a minute... there are US troops stationed right here in America! That means all of CNN's journalists are in constant danger, right, Eason? Perhaps the best course of action would be to shut down the whole operation, just to be on the safe side.

Posted by EtherPundit at 11:12 PM | Comments (1)

February 02, 2005

Photo PROOF that captured "doll" is an actual American operative!

The blogosphere has been abuzz with self-styled "journalists" claiming the John Adam hostage photo is a "hoax." Summaries of the "evidence" were found at blogs such as Powerline, ASV, Myopic Zeal, Backcountry Conservative, and Wizbang. Ace of Spades even created a "humorous" top ten list designed to mock this sickening event, and ScrappleFace joined in the mockery.

However, as the file photo and story below conclusively prove, John Adam IS a real American soldier. Those who find this tragic story an occasion for humor should hang their heads in shame.


John Adam in a photo taken by his captors.
Teamamerica-1 File photo of
captured Military Man
John Adam with
other members of
Team America





FOX News, February 1 — A jihadi web site today gave Americans shocking evidence that “freedom isn’t free."

Derkaderkistani insurgents, working with terrorist leader al-Zarqawi, have captured Team America member John Adam, an operative under deep cover. A photograph of Adam, bound and seated in front of a flag proclaiming, “There is no god but God and Muhammed is his prophet” was displayed on a web site frequently used by terrorist groups. "Our mujahedeen heroes of Iraq’s Jihadi Battallion were able to capture American military man John Adam,” said a statement on the web site. "If you wish to see his safe return, we demand a hefty f@#%in' fee."

Disturbing proof of the terrorists’ claim to be holding Adam was revealed by Team America Leader Colonel Spotswoode at a hastily arranged press conference. “They appear to have inside intelligence,” said Spotswoode. “Only an insider would know that John holds the official rank of Military Man.”

“Team America members Gary, Chris, Sara, Lisa, and Joe have been deployed to Iraq to save the motherf%$#@ day, yeah,” Spotswoode added, warning the captors, “Terrorists, your game is through, ‘cause now you have to answer to America, F%#@ Yeah!”


Update: In what appears to have been a botched rescue operation, Team America operative Gary Johnston has apparently been captured by Iraqi militants...   Developing...



But seriously, folks.

I’m proud to say I believe I was the first blogger to detect the "score political points by pwaying wif dollies" meme — see here and here.

I had no idea it would go so far, but honestly, I greatly prefer it to the “beheading actual people” meme.






The next kidnap victim?

I have a 12-inch talking Rummy doll. Press a button and he declines to answer questions. Press again and he talks about “known knowns” versus “known unknowns.” Press again and he slyly insults the press corps. Very realistic. May I suggest the jihadis kidnap my Talking Rummy the next time they need to make a big statement? I’d gladly volunteer him to save a real soldier.

Posted by EtherPundit at 12:30 AM | Comments (5)

February 01, 2005

Why the left needs Iraq to be Vietnam

Wizbang gives a little pixel-ink to Kos' nostalgic Vietnam comparisons.

Hitchens ain't having any, thanks.

I suppose it's obvious that I was not a supporter of the Vietnam War. Indeed, the principles of the antiwar movement of that epoch still mean a good deal to me. That's why I retch every time I hear these principles recycled, by narrow minds or in a shallow manner, in order to pass off third-rate excuses for Baathism or jihadism. But one must also be capable of being offended objectively.

Hitch valiantly attempts to nail the coffin lid shut with the paragraph that's been crying out to be written:

The Vietnam/Iraq babble is, from any point of view, a busted flush. It's no good. It's a stiff. It's passed on. It has ceased to be. It's joined the choir invisible. It's turned up its toes. It's gone. It's an ex-analogy.

Jolly good try, Christopher. But I'm afraid the Vietnam analogy is just resting, pining for the Mekong Delta.

Lefties need Iraq to be Vietnam. No matter how obvious the mismatch, they'll just hammer Iraq into the Vietnam-shaped hole in their cause until it fits. They need Vietnam back because it was the shining hour when they held the moral high ground and all the media reflected their glory back at them. Even Uncle Walter — even Mom and Dad's most trusted newsman — said the war was an unwinnable debacle! Take that, Mr. and Mrs. Bourgeois White Picket Fence!

Vietnam was that golden moment just before the “progressive” left jumped the shark, when it seemed that America was crumbling and total cultural and political victory lay before them.

They appear to be unaware that their magic talisman of Vietnam holds very little sway over the American public's imagination today. The laughable histrionics of John Kerry were wasted on most of us, I'm afraid. You know, the “Reporting for Duty,” “band of brothers” crap for the bible-belt rubes, the “sobbing as he tosses his medals away” story for the enlightened antiwar Left — all sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Isn't it ironic that those who protested it the most are the ones who desperately want their beloved Vietnam back?

Posted by EtherPundit at 08:36 AM | Comments (1)

January 30, 2005

New Memes: A Fearless Prediction from Madame LaEtherPundit!

Welcome, my children! Welcome to the lair of Madame LaEtherPundit! Come close, my children! Gather round! Do not be afraid!

Gather round my crystal ball, and prepare to feel the hair on your necks stand on end as I look into the very future, where mortal eyes dare not see! Please place your $5 donation in the lockbox slot.

NOW, my children, gaze in awe as I predict the headlines not of tomorrow... not of the day after tomorrow... but of sometime late this week!

I see... I see... everywhere, I see long faces. Sad faces! Disappointed faces! No, my children, not of Iraqis — of Democrats! I can almost taste their salty tears as they see their 'quagmire' evaporating before their eyes! As they see their 'insurgents represent the true people's government' shibboleth fading away, the 'Arabs are incapable of democracy' meme vanishing — VANISHING, my children! As the fog vanishes before the dawn!

But look closely. Bend in as I caress the crystal ball, the orb of seers. For if you concentrate, you can see the new meme. It is coming, my children! The new nay-sayers' meme, the very lifeblood of the Bush haters! For they cannot live without new memes, my children, any more than a vampire can live without FRESH BLOOD!

No, no, come back, my dears. Madame LaEtherPundit is sorry she frightened you with tales of Democrats and memes. Come close. Look into the glass. What do you see? I see... I see that "The Elections Were Plagued by Massive Voter Fraud"!

I see that "Many Iraqis Were Disenfranchised, Frightened Away From the Polls by Armed Police"!

I see that "Sunnis Refused to Participate in a Rigged Vote, Rendering the Election Result Illegitimate"!

I see — do I see? Can it be? "High Illiteracy Rates in Iraq Meant Iraqis Didn't Even Know Who They Were Voting For"! They could have been voting for Saddam Hussein; they could have been voting for Pat Buchanan! Who knows? The point is: The elections were a sham of a farce of a mockery, one of many brought to you by Resident Chimpy McOilthief!

Oh, my children. Madame LaEtherPundit is exhausted with her labors. Sometimes the future is a very scary place.

I am going to recline on the divan and fan myself. Please offer your gratuities in the coffee can to the right of the door on your way out.

Posted by EtherPundit at 11:11 PM | Comments (1)

Iraq vote "not legitimate"; Berlin Wall "torn down by a few lawless vandals."

There are many on the left who have never had a positive word to say about anything that's happened in Iraq. I take their silence on this day, as noted by Michelle Malkin, as a very positive sign.

My joy is only tempered slightly by my horror at how close this guy came to sitting in the Oval Office:

"No one in the United States should try to overhype this election." -- John Kerry, on "Meet the Press."

And this classic snatching-defeat-from-the-jaws-of-victory quote:

"It's hard to say that something is legitimate when a whole portion of the country can't vote and doesn't vote."

If the current crop of embittered nihilists had been running the news media when the Berlin Wall fell, what a chorus we would have been treated to:

Michael Dukakis: "Let's not overstate the importance of what was, after all, only a purely symbolic stack of bricks and mortar."

Christiane Amanpour, CNN: "Critics charge the Wall's collapse was caused by a Soviet Union whose finances were stretched so thin by Reagan's arms race that they could no longer afford even to maintain the structural integrity and safety of a simple wall."

BBC: "Thousands streamed through the hole, greeting their West German relatives with joy and celebrating late into the night. But some question whether a wall's destruction by a few thousand determined vandals can ever be representative of the will of the East German people as a whole -- an East German people who, as seen in this clip of an East German child flying a kite, were by all accounts very happy under Soviet rule."

Robert Fisk: "While the stammering scarecrow who stole the election from Dukakis perches upon his purloined throne, the people of East Berlin are watching their dreams of unity shattered along with the wall. I stopped a bleeding woman in the street as she ran, sobbing, from the border and back to the East. "The people," she wept, "The people of East Berlin were united in a collective desire for the Worker's Revolution! Then these, these West Berliners — they tore down our beautiful wall, and with it tore down the hopes for a fair and equal society where the capitalist pig cannot peddle his empty consumerist ethos to the downtrodden!" The horror-stricken look in her face still haunts me. In a just world, it would haunt Ronald Ray-Gun to his unmourned grave."

Update: Bill at INDC has a comprehensive, and vitriolic, roundup of nattering nabobs of negativism. PoliBlog continues the roundup of reactions good and bad.

Posted by EtherPundit at 02:27 PM | Comments (1)

January 28, 2005

Pay no attention to the death camp behind the parka.

I note that today, as the Vice President attended ceremonies marking the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the left wing of the blogosphere lit itself afire with fury.

• Fury over the memory of the families mercilessly incinerated?

• Fury that the German people and government today dare to sanctimoniously lecture the US on the need for tolerance and peace?

• Fury at the knowledge that some still deny the Holocaust?

• Fury that the world allowed it to go on in the first place?

• Fury over the fact that the Nazi ideology still survives intact in Islamofascism, and Americans are still losing their lives fighting it today?

Obviously not. Who could be offended by such trivialities? The Left has unleashed its sputtering rage on the military-issue parka Dick Cheney wore in the subzero weather.

Over here -- no, don't look that way -- not at the camp -- don't look at the ovens -- over here! There's an outrage taking place! A parka! A PARKA, for God's sake! Don't distract yourself with the bitter reminder of a history that is still playing itself out today in the Middle East! Don't ask what Auschwitz means to its survivors, to their descendents in the diaspora, to the birth and history of Israel, to the war on terror today, to humanity! Realize the real story is in the parka! The PARKA!

You are looking at the eeeevilll parka. You are loooooking at the paaaarrrrrrkka. You are getting sleeeeepy... you are forgetting what antisemitism really means... you are forgetting what fascism really is.... concentrate on Cheney... the paaaarrrrkka... the paaaarrrrrrrkkka.... the paaaaarrrrrrkkkkaaaaa.....

Update: I'm glad to see that Say Anything [in the persona of Ace of Spades] is on the case as well, as is Jeff from Protein Wisdom. Jeff is in particularly fine form with lines like "Gore could have shown up at Auschwitz wearing a suit made from Jackie Mason and trimmed with the ass hair of Woody Allen..." and the Left would have called it a "daring deconstruction..." Oh, just Read the Whole Thing.*

* "Read the Whole Thing" is a trademark of the Instapundit International Sinister Rightwing Consortium.


Posted by EtherPundit at 08:46 PM | Comments (2)

Sudden realization: We are blessed. SO blessed.

Every so often, something just pulls you right up short, right out of any funk you might have been in danger of sinking into. Once in a while, the light breaks through the clouds of January gloom and something illuminates your mood as if the very face of God were beaming down its favor upon you.

That something is seldom an internet pop-up ad.

That's why I wanted to share this sure-fire day-brightener.*

Kerrygoodleader 728X90 U

I never thought the use of the past conditional tense could bring me such joy.

Think what we nearly had, or should I say what we nearly lost. Think how January 20th could have felt. Keep your "FREE $100," spamsters. The feeling I get from this ad is priceless.

Is it odd for an athiest to thank God? Maybe I'll just stick to thanking all of those much-maligned Jesuslanders. Thanks, "Jesusland!" No matter what the pundits tell you, someone in New York City loves ya.

* The ad's not live. Don't bother clicking on it. Just savor the sight.

Posted by EtherPundit at 06:18 PM | Comments (1)

The MSM's transparent hope for Iraq election failure

Captain's Quarters writes, as have many others, of the mainstream media's undisguised hope that the Iraqi elections will fail.

I've been extremely disturbed by the attitude of the MSM, and most of the Left, towards the idea of an Iraqi democracy. I can't help asking myself why self-proclaimed lovers of freedom and haters of fascism want to dismiss the possibility of an Arab democracy out of hand. Why does it threaten them so?

To answer that question properly would require an 8-volume collaborative historical dissertation with appendices, indices, and a live web site annex. But I'm ambitious, so I'm going to advance one of the possible reasons right here:

When you have sufficiently demonized your political foe, you can no longer accept any of his actions as right or good.

I'm old enough to remember this happening with Reagan and his attempts to bring down the Soviet empire. As unseemly -- no, as horrifying -- as it was to see Americans defend the Soviet Union, portraying it as a peace-loving victim of Reagan's warmongering, it made some kind of sense. At the time, I struggled to understand, and finally decided that for some Western socialists, the Soviet Union was a kind of presumptive utopia that they simply refused to believe anything bad about, lest it tarnish their own socialist ideals. Okay. USSR = socialism = collectivism. Collectivism = good. So anyone who threatens the USSR = bad. Fine. Got it.

But Saddam was a fascist, not a Communist. None of the Arab regimes are Communist. Clearly, my earlier beliefs about the motives behind the loathing of Reagan's drive to "tear down this wall" were mistaken.

The whole thing makes much more sense when seen as a cult of personality. When Kennedy announced in his inaugural address that the US would "pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty," that was a stirring sentiment, an aspiration to man's highest ideals. When Bush, last week, said, "It is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in the world," that was a warmongering shot across the bow of the already-oppressed Muslim world. When Kennedy fought Communism, that was our brave, boyish leader lighting the way for Liberty. When Reagan fought Communism, that was a broken-down B actor dodderingly leading us all to nuclear annihilation.

Why were such different criteria applied to these presidents? Because one was "our guy" and one was "their guy" -- the hated them, the other. And both were the subjects, in their way, of cults of personality -- only, for those who hated him, Reagan was the subject of an inverse cult of personality.

And so is Bush. Instead of blindly following Bush, the members of this cult blindly reject everything he does, everything he stands for. No need to examine each individual case; if Bush is behind it, it's bad. A simple paradigm. Bush is the anti-guru, the anti-messiah. He can do no right. If he appears to be doing right, then, like Satan, he is simply making a transparent attempt to deceive the righteous.

When you have sufficiently demonized your political foe, you can no longer accept any of his actions as right or good.

Therefore, elections in Iraq must be a disaster, by definition, because they are seen as Bush's pet project. If there's no apparent way in which they are a disaster, the MSM will find a way. The other option is unacceptable: If Bush has advanced a good cause, he cannot be a true demon. And the worldview of the Bush-haters, the anti-Bush cult of personality, will collapse.

Update: Wellsir, I'm afraid that Frank J at IMAO has found a way to say kinda the same thing I said above, and make it funny. I observe, and learn. Of course, my commentary had nuance.

Update: Right Wing News, quoting Greyhawk from Mudville Gazette, covers the topic very perceptively.

Posted by EtherPundit at 11:14 AM | Comments (1)

November 19, 2004

Bellicose women for porn rights!

Daily Pundit links to a story of some anti-porn crusaders and their disingenuous drive to curtail established First Amendment rights under the guise of "protecting the children."

This quote just slays me:

Some of his middle-age male friends limit their time alone in hotel rooms to avoid the temptation of graphic pay-per-view movies, Brownback said.

The hell....? Why dither around with half-measures? Why not cut off your damn hand instead?

There are so many things wrong with this line of thinking I can't even begin to delve into them in a single post. I'll hit the obvious highlights:

Hey, "It exploits women, and men are beasts" feminists!

Hey, "We've got to curtail everyone's rights... for the sake of the children" conservatives!

I'm about to tell you something that'll make all your heads spin until your brains are flat against your skulls.

I'm female... I support Bush... I consume porn... and I vote! Deal with it, and mess with my First Amendment rights at your peril.

Posted by EtherPundit at 08:00 PM | Comments (3)

November 15, 2004

A Jesusland of one.

John Hinderaker at Power Line has a post up today about Amnesty International that got me thinking. He posts a flyer from Amnesty that compares Bush to... guess what? Oh, you'll never guess. Go on, I dare you! Give up? A Nazi! Innovative, eh?

My cue to roll my eyes and scroll ahead to the next post. I believe I've heard this song before. But then he writes:

Amnesty International was once a great organization, notable for opposing tyranny of all stripes.

Really? Not in my living memory. But sure, I'll take Hinderaker's word for it. I've only really started paying attention to politics, foreign policy, and international organizations in the last few years after a lifetime of being a largely apolitical little-L libertarian. But I can say this: I can barely believe that Amnesty International was ever anything but a society with an Orwellian name and a brief for excusing dictators and rebuking America (or, as my vague impression had it, anything to do with the free market or capitalism). Watching the watchmen -- Amnesty and the UN, in particular -- was one of the factors that led me to wilfully turn my head from all things political early in my adulthood. The cognitive dissonance of knowing that groups like these were meant to be taken as the world's conscience disgusted me, until I learned to laugh with ironic detachment. (And then I had to unlearn that ironic detachment very quickly one morning at about 8:45. Now I'm back at "disgust.")

I'm not a kid. I can remember back a couple decades. So these sentences really struck me:

Whatever happened to the left? When did it give up on the cause of freedom? I don't know. But the American left's abandonment of the cause of liberty is one of the saddest facts of modern history.

The idea that the left ever championed liberty is unfathomable to me. I'll take it on faith, if my betters tell me it was so. Just as I take on faith that Manhattan was once a forest, and Broadway a footpath. But I can't really picture it.

I grew up surrounded by the left, in the heart of Manhattan. As a young teenager, I listened to Pacifica on WBAI. I read Mother Jones and the Village Voice. I was truly curious. I wanted to understand, and I wanted to believe as everyone else did. But I never could. There was such a dissonance between what I was told was true ("the left champions freedom") and what I knew from observation to be true (the left never met a form of tyranny, interpersonal or political, that it didn't like). This dissonance became more and more deafening, until I concluded (because I never met anyone who wasn't somehow on the left) that all of politics, and all of national affairs, and all international bodies, and all forms of political belief and action were based on an enormous lie that no one was allowed to question on pain of excommunication, and I became a laughing buddha of detachment.

(Until that morning at 8:45.)

All my friends, all my coworkers, still look with pious eyes to groups like Amnesty International and International ANSWER for moral guidance, and gratefully swallow the bromides they're given. I don't know anyone who would disapprove of the latest Bush=Hitler flyer.

I guess I'm a Jesusland of one.

Posted by EtherPundit at 11:36 PM | Comments (1)

November 14, 2004

Poison? A Comb? Whatever killed Arafat, it CERTAINLY wasn't AIDS!

Charles at lgf observes the French government's delicate gavottes around the sensitive issue of the cause of Arafat's death. "Sensitive," of course, because to admit he died of AIDS, and not from Zionist poisoning, would apparently cause the Middle East to explode in violent recriminations.

Oh, wait -- it's already been in the process of doing that for several years.

In any event, I expect that eventually we can all settle down with a nice synthesis of the competing theories: Arafat died of AIDS, which he was given by the Zionists to discredit him. Nice try, Mossad, but it's not gonna work this time.

Personally, I blame those castrating Zionist combs.

Posted by EtherPundit at 03:35 PM | Comments (1)

November 08, 2004

Carter the Unstoppable Sanctimony Machine

While we're on the topic of bashing ol' Jimmuh... Somehow, years ago, I got on the Habitat for Humanity mailing list. Here's a sign o' the times: I just got my first H. for H. mailing that wasn't "from" President Jimmy Carter. In fact, the mailing didn't mention him at all. Has the other 48% of the country finally woken up to what a liability this cringing, appeasing embarrassment still is? Is the tide turning? Is money talking, and bullshit at last walking?

Whoops. Sorry. I forgot to show the proper respect to a Nobel "Peace" Prize winner, a category that includes that other exalted Great Statesman of peace, Yasser Arafat. In October 2002, the unbiased gentlefolk of the Nobel Committee had this to say about our beloved ex-Prez:

In a situation currently marked by threats of the use of power, Carter has stood by the principles that conflicts must as far as possible be resolved through mediation and international co-operation based on international law, respect for human rights, and economic development.

Avoiding threats of the use of power... respect for human rights... economic development... Yep, that describes Arafat to a tee!

Posted by EtherPundit at 09:05 PM | Comments (3)