Archive for December, 2008

December 31, 2008

Seven and a half pounds of joy

Congratulations to James Joyner on the birth of his daughter, Katharine Webb Joyner. (Rumors that Mrs. Joyner might have had something to do with this event could not be immediately confirmed.)

Very clever of James to name the baby after Mary Katharine Ham, in a traffic-baiting stunt so transparent that even I am shocked.
UPDATE: Wizbang notes that, in true Republican fashion, young Miss Joyner arrived just in time to qualify her dad for an extra tax deduction this year.
December 31, 2008

Sex or fireworks?

Italian women threaten a “sex strike” if their menfolk don’t cancel their fireworks. Le mie scuse, donna, but I can’t do without my fireworks.

AFTERTHOUGHT: However, if you guys do go ahead and shoot fireworks, be careful. You’ll be all right, so long as you don’t blow off both hands . . . .

UPDATE: A professional show from Switzerland — 14 minutes, and wait until you see the pyrogasmic finale:

Genf Teil 3 from 3PYRO8 on Vimeo.

December 31, 2008


Just when you think you’ve seen the nadir of liberal idiocy, they manage to surprise you:

Over the past century, of course, the conflict between North and South has been between union and non-union labor. . . .
But, just as Lincoln predicted, the United States was bound to have one labor system prevail, and the debate over the General Motors and Chrysler bailout was really a debate over which system — the United Auto Workers’ or the foreign transplant factories’ — that would be. Where the parallel between periods breaks down, of course, is in partisan alignment. Today’s congressional Republicans are hardly Lincoln’s heirs. If anything, they are descendants of Jefferson Davis’s Confederates.

(H/T: Irons in the Fire.) Where to begin? How about this: During the Civil War, the nascent labor movement in the North was vehemently anti-war. Among other things, the coal miners of Schuykill County rioted against the draft. Indeed, the deadliest race riots in American history — the New York Draft Riots of 1863 — were chiefly motivated by Irish immigrant laborers’ opposition to economic competition from free blacks.

Harold Meyerson’s ugly appeal to sectional prejudice is tolerated only because he chooses as the object of his bigotry the South, a convenient scapegoat, ignoring altogether that opposition to the UAW bailout is just as widespread in Western states with the same right-to-work laws as the South. Never mind the fact that the South and the West have prospered by their pro-business policies and opposition to union goonery, while the industrial Rust Belt has declined by clinging to obsolete economic policies. And never mind that free labor — which is, after all, what Lincoln advocated — is incompatible with the closed-shop slavery that Meyerson endorses.
December 31, 2008

How we got here

In politics, few things are more important to sound strategy than an accurate understanding of history. The widespread notion of Barack Obama as destined for triumphant success is an idea rooted in his supposedly brilliant upset of Hillary Clinton. But as Peter Brown notes, Hillary’s defeat was self-inflicted:

The Clinton strategy had been to clinch the nomination on Feb. 5, when 22 states held Democratic primaries and caucuses. And that day, like most of the other Tuesdays during the winter and spring, they basically wrote off the caucus states.
Sen. Clinton – and basically everyone else – expected her strong name identification and favorable image among Democratic activists, combined with a presumed (incorrectly it turned out) money advantage would deliver her the nomination that day. But Mr. Obama fought her to a virtual draw on Feb. 5, when almost 40% of the delegates were decided. He took the more numerous smaller primaries and caucus states, while she was winning the handful of big prizes — New York, New Jersey and California.
He, however, had planned and budgeted for the 11 contests during the rest of February. She had not – a victim of her campaign believing its own hype about inevitability.

I made a similar point in a recent Pajamas Media column:

Hindsight shows how foolish were the expectations that prevailed as 2007 came to a close. Conservatives shared the Clinton campaign’s belief that the former first lady would score an early knockout in the Democratic primaries, essentially locking up the nomination on Super Tuesday, Feb. 5. As Joshua Green of the Atlantic Monthly has since reported, that mistaken belief was a key factor in the failure of Team Hillary to organize effectively for a long nomination battle.

It is important to understand, also, how Obama benefitted from Republicans’ relentless four-year anti-Hillary campaign. The GOP assumed that Hillary would be the nominee in 2004, and devoted immense resources to demonizing her, thus making her a softer target for her Democratic rivals. One of the reasons Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” did not prevent Obama from locking up the nomination was that many of Limbaugh’s listeners had been so brainwashed by years of anti-Clinton propaganda that they couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Hillary even when Limbaugh told them to.

Too many conservatives seem demoralized by Obama’s election, and part of that demoralization is caused by the “Triumph of Hope” narrative, which omits the important facts of how Obama’s victory was made possible by the failures of others.

December 31, 2008

2009 Prediction Number One

Feminists will continue to provide a target-rich environment in the coming year. This fearless prognostication for 2009 is prompted by blogger Sylvia M.’s demonstration of the magical feminist ability to detect evidence of patriarchal oppression everywhere.

The New York Times: “After a lifetime of being wooed by others, Caroline Kennedy is still learning how to sell herself.”

Sylvia M. “They’re calling her a whore!”

No reasonable person could find sexism in such a commonplace phrase — “selling yourself,” i.e., self-promotion — but a feminist is, by definition, not a reasonable person. Rush Limbaugh gets a lot of grief for coining the term “feminazi,” but that expression captures the fundamental similarity between theories of Aryan supremacy and the feminist worldview of gynocentric biological determinism. And just as the Nazis relentlessly inveighed against “Jewish art” and “Jewish science,” so does the feminist use “sexism” as a synonym for “anything I don’t like.”

Like Nazism, feminism is about fostering a sense of grievance based on evil attributed to a scapegoat. Both ideologies are based on a classic paranoid delusion:

Your failures are not due to any negligence or shortcomings of your own. You are a such a superior person that you are blameless for any misfortune that befalls you. Therefore, your failures are caused by the treachery of your enemies, who so envy your superiority that they conspire to undermine you. You have been betrayed and sabotaged.

This madness is self-contradictory — the scapegoated enemy is both inherently inferior and yet so clever as to thwart the supposedly superior paranoiac. So, just as Nazis believed that the feeble and decadent Jew was able to sabotage the mighty Aryan civilization, the feminist believes that reactionary male troglydytes are capable of oppressing advanced, enlightened womanhood.

Like Nazism, feminism offers to comfort the isolated and fearful individual with the warm security of collective identity. To reject this collectivism is to betray The Cause and give tacit aid to the scapegoated enemy. The German who rejected Nazism was accused of being something other than a True German, and a woman who rejects feminism is not a True Woman.

Of course, a German of the 1920s and ’30s might have been a genuine patriot — sharing the common grievance over the degradingly unfair terms of Versailles, and eager to see his nation restored to strength and health — and yet rejected the Nazis. Similarly, a woman might sincerely believe in the importance of educational and career opportunities for women without embracing the rigid ideology of femisism. Like Nazism, feminism demands that its followers either toe the party line or else be demonized as betrayers.

Tammy Bruce was a feminist in good standing, president of the Los Angeles chapter of NOW, until she refused to go along with NOW’s national leadership in insisting on solidarity with O.J. Simpson. Although she continues to cherish the same ideals of fairness and justice that motivated her as a NOW activist, Bruce is now despised as a turncoat by her former comrades.

The feminist movement — as a movement — is totalitarian. It is one thing to seek to remedy specific and well-defined wrongs against women. It is something very different to portray all men as scapegoats complicit in universal oppression, and to advocate social revolution “by any means necessary” as the only acceptable response.

So it is that with supreme confidence I predict that, in 2009, feminists will continue to make idiots of themselves. Always remember: Equality Is For Ugly Losers.

December 31, 2008

Sound and fury, signifying nothing

Roseanne Barr’s idiot tale:

Israel is a NAZI state. The Jewish Soul is being tortured in Israel. The destruction of the jews in Israel has been assured with this inhuman attack on civilians in gaza. Hamas is the street gangs—this is equivilent [sic] to los angeles attacking and launching war on the people of watts to attempt to kill the bloods and the crips.

Call me old-fashioned, but if someone wishes to put their thoughts into writing, I don’t think it is too much to ask that they pay attention to spelling, capitalization and punctuation. Coherent logic is optional; grammar and orthography are not.

(H/T: Omri Ceren via Hot Air Headlines.)

December 31, 2008

By the way . . .

I have never had sex with any lobbyists, no matter what the New York Times tries to tell you.

I can’t swear that I’ve never had sex in a lobby, but if so, I probably would have been in such a condition that I wouldn’t remember it anyway.

December 31, 2008

Technology vs. enthusiasm

John Hawkins makes a good point: Republicans fascinated by the Obama campaign’s technological sophistication are looking at the wrong variable. The high-tech stuff didn’t drive the enthusiasm, the enthusiasm drove the high-tech stuff.

Which Republican has an online army of 60,000-plus?

The people at Team Sarah aren’t necessarily the most tech-savvy Republicans on the planet. What they have, however, is a candidate who generates real grassroots enthusiasm. You can’t fake that.

December 31, 2008

Ahmadinejad’s oil crisis

The collapse of oil prices has created trouble for Iran’s petroleum-dependent economy:

Iran’s president presented parliament with a sweeping economic package Tuesday that calls for scrapping costly state subsidies for fuel, water and electricity and raising taxes to make up for the steep slide in world oil prices.
The move is a risky one for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who already is facing public disenchantment over Iran’s economic problems as he heads into June elections. . . .
The government budget is largely financed by foreign oil sales and his spending plans have been undercut by the plunge in price from $147 a barrel in July to under $40.
Ahmadinejad says Iran has no alternative but to end government subsidies that keep prices for gasoline, water and electricity artificially low.

(Hat-tip: Meryl Yourish.) The same problem is also impacting Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.

Hey, am I the only one who remembers how liberals kept telling us that no amount of drilling could have an effect on oil prices for 10 years? But even the suggestion of new drilling was enough to knock the bottom out of the market. Oil went over $145 a barrel in July, then Bush announced he was lifting the executive ban on offshore drilling. Within a month, the price fell to $112 a barrel. In September, Congress decided not to renew its own offshore drilling ban, which expired Oct. 1, and now world oil prices are barely a quarter of their July peak and expected to continue falling.

The only reason OPEC has been able to hold America hostage is because of their environmentalist allies, who put America’s resources off-limits and thereby shovel money into the pockets of people like Chavez and Ahmadinejad.

December 31, 2008

Israel: It’s not about Obama

The current Israeli air campaign against Hamas positions in Gaza was undertaken without reference to U.S. politics, an Israeli diplomat said yesterday.

“We took this initiative out of our own concerns and the situation we faced and not because of events elsewhere,” Jeremy Issacharoff, Deputy Chief of Mission for the Embassy of Israel, told bloggers in a conference call reported by Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit.

Some pundits have pondered the war in terms of what it means for the incoming Obama administration, but Issacharoff indicated that political changes in the United States will not influence Israeli policy.

Near the end of the conference call, which also included Israeli Gen. Relik Shafir, Hoft asked: “The Bush Administration has been supportive of Israel. Are there any concerns about the support of the incoming Obama Administration?”

Issachar answered by noting Obama’s own words during a visit to Israel, when the Democrat said, “If someone was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that.” Isaachar continued: “We see a large level of understanding with the Obama team. We have to keep a focus. The contacts before the election with the Obama Team were good. We took this initiative out of our own concerns and the situation we faced and not because of events elsewhere.”