March 08, 2005
Prove gravity exists, make a quick $100,000!
A generous fellow is offering $100,000 "to the first person to deliver a full mathematical, engineering proof of how the impact and/or fires caused any of the WTC buildings to collapse the way the government claims!" These claims are to be reviewed by a team headed by Jeff King, "engineer and doctor educated at MIT."
The site isn't all that clearly written, to be honest, so if you're looking to collect, you may need to spend a while figuring out exactly what kind of proof is required. One of the proofs sought is an explanation of the source of the "energy needed to crush concrete into fine powder [and the] force needed to sheer bolts and rivets." I've never heard of sheer bolts and rivets; I suppose those are what holds together Wonder Woman's invisible jet. Wait — you don't suppose he means "shear," do you? An MIT-educated engineer wouldn't make a piker mistake like that.
An MIT-educated engineer would probably be aware that extremely heavy objects falling from a great height have a tendency to sustain severe damage. It's esoteric, true, but an MIT-educated engineer would have heard of this obscure phenomenon, known to physicists as "the force of gravity". Apparently he feels that this "gravity" thing wouldn't have caused the buildings to destroy themselves with their own weight as they fell. He's the MIT-educated engineer, so he would know.
On the other hand, perhaps he's actually asking for "mathematical, engineering proof" that gravity exists. How do we know that the phenomenon of objects falling to earth with a force commensurate with their weight isn't just the Vengeful Sky God pushing down, or the Greedy Earth God pulling everything towards himself? Prove it! There's a hundred grand in it for you if you can. (I ask only for a modest 5% referral fee.)
February 26, 2005
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.
February 25, 2005
How Bush caused all the world's disasters
We Bush voters, of course, are all too well aware that W has caused virtually everything bad that's happened since he took office. Since we are constantly told that Bush is a moronic cokehead chimp, many of us have been left wondering how he was able to cause, for example, a Tsunami. Wouldn't that require some rather sophisticated know-how?
At last, KorlaPundit has explained it all with graphics simple enough for even a FReeper to understand. All Americans who hope to comprehend the perfidy of the current regime owe it to themselves to view the horrifying explanations of ...
How Bush Caused It (an ongoing series).
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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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?
- 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:
- Why didn't Eason Jordan withdraw CNN's personnel, knowing that they were being targeted for murder? (See this entry.)
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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:
WE'RE BEING CENSORED! OUR VOICES ARE BEING SILENCED! LOOK AT US BEING CENSORED! LOOKY HERE, HOW YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO HEAR OUR POINT OF VIEW!
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.
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.
February 12, 2005
Storytelling time with Dr. Dean
I wrote earlier that if I'm going to pop a cork at every piece of post-Nov. 2 good news, it looks like I'll have to buy at least a case of champagne. Howard Dean's ascendency to the DNC chairmanship is just the excuse I've been waiting for to break out another bottle.
In fact, when I read Powerline this afternoon, I realized I might need a magnum. Dean appears to have fallen victim to the "storytelling" meme that seems to be mass-hypnotizing the left. (CNN's Jon Klein recently proudly pledged allegiance to "storytelling." This was, of course, before Eason's fables tarnished whatever was left of their good name.)
(And what a tragic idea to base your strategy on. "Storytelling" — wasn't that what BusHitler was doing when he read "My Pet Goat" to a classroom full of children as the WTC burned? Isn't that what you do when it's bedtime for the kids — tell them a nice little story?)
So this appears to be the brilliant new Democratic strategy: spoonfeeding spin to the childlike American people. Those Jesuslanders will learn to love the Democrats as soon as they understand liberal ideology as a "story." Suddenly, all those failed mid-20th century ideas will seem different, new, and wonderful! And the nice storyteller will tell the audience who the good guys and bad guys are. None of that tiring "deciding for yourself." And we'll all live happily ever after.*
Today, I raise a glass of champagne to Dr. Dean's idea that it's not the contents, it's the wrapping. It's not the facts, but the light in which the facts are conveyed. To Dr. Dean, for believing that all the Democratic Party needs is a more efficient way to polish the turd it keeps offering us every two years. Keep polishing, Dr. Dean! By 2008, I'm sure it'll look like gold! Cheers!
*Just as soon as Princess Hillary vanquishes the bad man, BusHitler.
February 11, 2005
The REAL reason Eason Jordan was drummed out
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.
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?
January 30, 2005
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:
And this classic snatching-defeat-from-the-jaws-of-victory quote:
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."
January 22, 2005
Feminism, or a return to Victorian stereotypes?
Chavez also notes that feminist Nancy Hopkins, a biologist at MIT, is said to have responded to Summers by citing studies indicating that "women score higher on math tests if there are fewer men in the room while they are taking the test." I know I'm missing something, but doesn't it seem odd that feminists would be interested in embracing "studies" that portray women as so stereotypically fragile?
That's a rhetorical question, of course, because I'm sure Deacon is well aware of the evolution of "feminism" and the "civil rights movement." Once they stood for taking back basic human rights; once they stood for self-sufficiency and an end to subservience. Now their Orwellian watchwords are: "Weakness is Power." "Helplessness is Invulnerability." "Victimhood is Dominance."
The "studies" Ms. Hopkins cites reek to me of feminist apocrypha, like the debunked urban legend that more women are victimized by domestic violence on Super Bowl Sunday than on any other day of the year.
And this quote is a classic of the "Oh, Colonel, I fear I shall swoon" genre of wounded-womynhood writing:
For her part, Hopkins reported that, upon hearing Summers' remarks, "I felt I was going to be sick. . . .My heart was pounding and my breath was shallow."
Dear Lord in heaven, this woman expresses herself in prose torn from the pages of a drugstore romance novel. "At last, my dear lady," the pirate king spat, "I'm going to show you a woman's place on my ship!" As he approached like a prowling leopard, his torn shirt revealing his rippling, dusky chest, I felt I was going to be sick... My heart was pounding and my breath was shallow as he roughly tore my bodice, enfolding me in the strong arms I had struggled so not to desire..."
Perhaps Ms. Hopkins is reading from the official Naomi Wolf Style Manual of Breathlessly Reporting Sexual Harassment and Other Beastly Male Behavior. Compare Ms. Wolf's statement about her "sexual encroachment" by Harold Bloom at Yale:
"He leaned toward me and put his face inches from mine. 'You have the aura of election upon you,' he breathed.
"The next thing I knew, his heavy, boneless hand was hot on my thigh. I lurched away. 'This is not what I meant,' I stammered. The whole thing had suddenly taken on the quality of a bad horror film. The floor spun. By now my back was against the sink, which was as far away as I could get. He came at me. I turned away from him toward the sink and found myself vomiting, in shock."
The quality of a bad horror film, indeed. I share her outrage, though. It's quite negligent of Yale not to have maintenance repair those spinning floors. Someone could get hurt.
Update: Bill at INDC journal examines some of the evidence for innate differences between the brains of men and women. Personally, I find it depressing that at this late date, we are still being asked to: 1. deny that men's brains and women's brains are different, and 2. act as if "different" automatically means "inferior in the case of women, superior in the case of men." As Bill points out, women in general tend to do better on language sections of standardized tests. Where's the outrage over that? Where are the statements that "boys do better on language tests when there are no girls in the room?"
January 19, 2005
More fun with RathergateWhat the hell, right? Pretty soon we won't have Dan Rather to kick around any more, so we might as well enjoy it while we can.
To that end, Korla Pundit has a Rather shocking video of Dan in the halls of CBS, seeking counsel from the ghost of Edward R. Murrow:
(Warning: Not for the easily frightened!)
January 18, 2005
Box Locks FOX, Blocks Shocks (EtherPundit Mocks)
Charles at LGF points us in the direction of a helpful multi-purpose device: A combination Fox News Channel blocker and 'tard detector.
Apparently there are people who are unable to operate a remote control and need to have FNC blocked, lest a nanosecond of news without a smug anti-American gloss accidentally flash on their retinas. Why, it could totally shatter their paradigm! Implode their worldview! Discombobulate their Weltanschauung! Even the slightest passing subliminal screen flicker of Sean Hannity's face in a liberal household could destroy all they hold dear!
Of course, my cable company will block any channel on request. But my guess is that if you haven't even mastered your remote control, you certainly won't be capable of calling your cable company. A shame, that.
(Incidentally, despite the site's claims, advertisers are not looking at the number of Fox-Blockers sold and shaking their heads; they are looking at the channel's actual ratings, and drooling. I think the real motive here is to prevent everyone else in the house from daring to watch a station that one person doesn't like.)
You are owned by the Murdochs, sir!
I must buy these channel-blocks, sir,
To protect my brain from shocks, sir!
(apologies to Dr. Seuss' "Fox in Socks")
Perhaps what these people really need is not a Fox News Channel blocker, but a calcium channel blocker. You know, to prevent the inevitable heart attack when one day they walk into a bar and the wall-mounted TV is tuned to FNC.
Oh, the Hume-Hannity!
January 17, 2005
Barnes & Noble cooking the books? Part II
I posted a while back about the glaringly obvious liberal bias in my local Barnes & Noble’s book displays. I wondered whether the bias was dictated by market forces, or by a political slant coming down from local or national management.
"AkRonin," an Alaskan, responded to my post, saying that there was evident bias even in the B&Ns in Alaska, a red state. Anecdotal evidence, to be sure, but it suggests a political, not commercial, motive. Now I have a bit more information to add to the mix.
First, a friend saved this shocking, yet somehow expected pre-election conversation (.pdf file) from a Borders employee bulletin board. (The site deleted the thread when it started receiving unwanted blog-scrutiny.) Brief sample:
You guys don't actually HAVE to sell [Unfit for Command]! Just "carelessly" hide the boxes, "accidentally" drop them off pallets, "forget" to stock the ones you have, and then suggest a nice Al Franken or Micheal [sic] Moore book as a substitute....
I don't care if these Neandertals in fancy suits get mad at me... Anything you can do to make them feel unwelcome is only fair... And they would censor your speech, your books, your music in a heartbeat, so give them a taste of it!
Borders, of course, is not Barnes, but it’s reasonable to think the same kinds of things might go on, at least at the employee level.
Second, for some time I’ve been noticing the books displayed at the Brooklyn Costco, about 35 blocks from the Barnes & Noble. Costco is famous for its fiercely strategic buying and inventory control. They only keep about 50 or so current titles in stock at any given time, and book inventory flies out of that store; you know they keep a sharp eye on every unit moved. I’ve watched their book selections change over countless visits during the last few years, and their selection seems scrupulously balanced politically. For every “Deliver Us From Evil,” there’s a “Bushwhacked.” For every Al Franken book, there’s an Ann Coulter book.
Could Costco be stocking conservative books just for appearances, even though they don’t sell? It doesn’t seem likely. I think conservative books are selling, at least as well as liberal books, and that’s why the new ones keep getting stocked.
Finally, I’ve been using Amazon for about 4 years now, and I’ve never noticed much of a bias. Sometimes they get some kind of bug up their butt about promoting a certain book, and often these are liberal. (Lately it’s been Jon Stewart’s “America.” I assume they have some sort of sweetheart deal from the publisher in these cases.) I haven’t made a study of it, but it appears that, over time, conservative books have been just as common as liberal books on Amazon’s top-seller lists.
So what other explanation could there be for the Barnes & Noble stock and display policies other than political bias? I hate to believe such a thing of a bookstore, but it’s hard to think of any other motives on their part.
January 15, 2005
Libs' brilliant strategy: Pway wif dollies!
Remember when you were a little kid? When you'd had a bad day in kindergarten, or when mommy and daddy were fighting, or whenever the world seemed bad or sad or out of control, you worked it out by playing with dollies.
It's not just a childish way of coping with anxiety any more. Now it's part of the new Awesome Liberal 2008 Strike Force strategy!
I posted some time ago about a Canadian MP who flaunted the awesome power of Canada on the world stage by boldly stomping on a tiny plastic simulacrum of Bush. Her technique is catching on with liberals in the US, and conservatives are cowering in fear as teensy posable versions of Republicans are humiliated! As Ace points out (referring to a post on Blaster's Blog), Bush and Ann Coulter dolls, perhaps inspired by the scenes of marionette lust in "Team America," have been seen attempting various sinful coital feats with the eager assistance of vengeful Democrats.
The next time Nader runs, instead of debating puppets, he should put on a dolly sex show. Perhaps after the main event, the tiny mannequins can relax with a teensy cigarette and discuss current events with Mr. Nader. I would pay to see Nader voice a nude Hillary doll answering questions from earnest Greens in the audience.
Update: This company offers customized "action figures" (aka dollies), so the left should have plenty to keep them busy. Bush's new cabinet! Potential Republican 2008 candidates! Right-wing pundits! Collect 'em all!
January 10, 2005
This Machine Kills Narcissists
I've been following the Nick Coleman/Powerline saga with interest. By now, all of us bloggers know what a dangerous threat we are to the powers that be — at least according to some of the powers that be. I’ve blogged about Brian Williams and Bill O’Reilly, but they’re just two prancing drum majorettes in the endless parade of MSM blog-haters.
The other day, I happened upon a sprawling, fascinating site about Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Some of the author’s writings on narcissists and the Internet really struck me. Check out the passages below, but for “narcissist” read “mainstream media,” or just insert the name of your favorite blog-hating personality. (Boldface mine.)
The Internet is an egalitarian medium where people are judged by the consistency and quality of their contributions rather than by the content or bombast of their claims. But the narcissist is driven to distracting discomfiture by a lack of clear and commonly accepted hierarchy (with himself at the pinnacle). He fervently and aggressively tries to impose the "natural order" — either by monopolizing the interaction or, if that fails, by becoming a major disruptive influence.
Sound familiar? Nick Coleman, does this resemble anyone you’ve seen in the mirror lately?
But the Internet may also be the closest many narcissists get to psychodynamic therapy. Because it is still largely text-based, the Web is populated by disembodied entities. By interacting with these intermittent, unpredictable, ultimately unknowable, ephemeral, and ethereal voices — the narcissist is compelled to project unto them his own experiences, fears, hopes, and prejudices.
The therapeutic process is set in motion by the — unbridled, uncensored, and brutally honest — reactions to the narcissist's repertory of antics, pretensions, delusions, and fantasies.
The narcissist — ever the intimidating bully — is not accustomed to such resistance. Initially, it may heighten and sharpen his paranoia and lead him to compensate by extending and deepening his grandiosity. Some narcissists withdraw altogether, reverting to the schizoid posture. Others become openly antisocial and seek to subvert, sabotage, and destroy the online sources of their frustration. A few retreat and confine themselves to the company of adoring sycophants and unquestioning groupies.
But take heart, pajamahadeen. The author says there is hope:
But a long exposure to the culture of the Net - irreverent, skeptical, and populist — usually exerts a beneficial effect even on the staunchest and most rigid narcissist. Far less convinced of his own superiority and infallibility, the online narcissist mellows and begins — hesitantly — to listen to others and to collaborate with them.
I think he’s only talking here about narcissists who actually participate in online culture, but who knows? As more and more MSM fixtures find themselves unable to ignore the internet, perhaps they will “begin — hesitantly — to listen to others.”
So I eagerly await the day when a mainstream media fixture says publicly, "Hey, I messed up. Everyone makes mistakes. I'd hate to think I was disseminating flat-out lies. Thanks, bloggers, for setting me straight!"
I have every hope I'll live to see that day. Or at least my grandchildren will. Maybe.
January 08, 2005
My job is secure! Thanks, Michael Moore!
I posted earlier about all the good news that seems to be floating around these days. Maybe it's just me. Maybe now that the unrelenting, oppressive Bush-bashing of everyone in my daily life has stopped, my spirits have permanently recovered. Maybe I'm still high from the election. Maybe I've learned not to let the bad stuff get to me so much.
In any case, news like this is just too good to ignore. As you probably know, Michael Moore, the man who loses elections for the Dems even as he wins awards for himself, is making a movie about the pharmaceutical industry. Moorewatch predicts a flop. Me, I'm rubbing my hands together, waiting for Mikey to work his patented magic. You know, that trick he does? Where he sprinkles some legitimate gripes with the pixie dust of conspiracy theories, until everything is all contaminated with the aura of kookitude? And the signal-to-noise ratio renders it nearly impossible to distinguish between sane critique and loony rant? And Mikey's intended victim is protected, as all criticism starts to blend into one annoying, whiny, accusatory buzz? And all critics of Mikey's putative target start to resemble ill-tempered androids programmed with prefab outbursts from the Moonbats-R-Us Talking Points Generator? That magic trick?
Do it again, Mikey! Do to the pharma industry what you did to Dubya! You see, Michael my dear, like so many others, I work in an industry whose health depends on the health of the pharmaceutical industry. (You'd be surprised how many of us there are! And how much we want to stay employed!) And I just know that once you work your many-chinned magic on Big Pharma, my job security will be guaranteed. Just like W's.
Oh, but there's one little thing, Michael. I'm grateful for all you've done, but you're so mean sometimes. You've made at least one little girl cry.
I think you should kiss her tears away and make it all better.
November 21, 2004
Canadian source: Al-Jazeera fair & balanced, Fox News "right-wing."
According to this article, al-Jazeera is "a credible news source" and "the CNN of the Arab world." Fox News, though, is "right-wing," and "the unofficial official voice of the Bush administration."
Glad we cleared that up, then. But Fox News was launched in 1996; I'm still not clear on whose "unofficial official voice" they were before Bush was
elected selected. Or was the whole coup already in the planning stages even then?
In any case, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission just approved both networks for broadcast on digital services in Canada. Fox, until now, had either been unapproved or outright banned, depending on whom you believe.
It's good to know that any terrorist cells north of the border now have convenient access to videotaped messages from their leaders, including any coded orders contained therein, and an endless supply of gory recruitment propaganda.
November 08, 2004
Perhaps the disgruntled left should focus more on succession and less on secession
Oh, those laughable, lamentable, looney, lugubrious lefties at the NY Times. What will they think of next?
Just kidding, of course. Oh, not about the Times apparently wishing for an assassination. I mean I was kidding when I said this was fresh. It's old hat. I've been reading calls for assassination ever since the first chad began to dangle in 2000. There was even a lame "play," at a "secret location" in NYC, called "I'm Gonna Kill the President."
But here's the part I don't understand. Folks, I'm kinda slow sometimes. (I am a Bush voter, after all, and we all know Republican voters are dumber than Dems not surprising when Bush has been proven dumber than any modern president.) That's why I need some help understanding the supposed benefits of this "assassination" thing.
Has anyone broken the news about succession to the Loony Left? No, not secession. (We'll break the news about that later; let the poor dears dream for now.) I mean succession the protocol of who becomes president if Bush is out of the picture.
Bush dies? Who lies? Why, it's President Dick Cheney! (R)
Cheney's gone? Let's move on! Play "Hail to the Chief" for former House Speaker, President Dennis Hastert! (R)
Hastert's dead? Let's get Ted! Ted Stevens (R), that is. Formerly President Pro Tem of the Senate; now he's President Stevens to you.
And so on.
In practical terms, of course, one of President Cheney's first acts would be to appoint a new Vice President. If there wasn't enough time for that to be accomplished before President Cheney bought the farm, the presidency would move on down a very long line of successors, Bush appointees all. I fail to see any way a non-Republican could become president in the next four years, no matter how many "acts of God" the Times hopes for.
Can anyone find a flaw? Is there something those smart, intel-ek-shul Times folk understand that I'm just not getting? 'Cause I've heard this "hope Bush dies in office" drumbeat so often, and from people I wouldn't expect to be rooting for a President Cheney, that it's starting to cause cognitive dissonance.
And "dissonance" is a mighty big word for a dummy like me. It's giving me a headache. Some compassionate assassination advocate out there, please tell me where I'm miscalculating the order of succession, so I can write the Times and tell them how much I admire their perspicacity.