Archive for December 23rd, 2008

December 23, 2008

Reuters misquotes the Pope!

So much for those layers and layers of fact-checkers, eh? (H/T: Kathy Shaidle.)

December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas, Marty Beckerman

My favorite Jew has a holiday column entitled “WHY CHRISTMAS KICKS THE LIVING S— OUT OF HANUKKAH”:

Not to sound like arch-conservative television host Bill O’Reilly . . . but when hysterical Jewish parents (are there any other kind?) protest secular mentions of Christmas in the public square, I want to shove mistletoe down their Grinchy throats. For example, earlier this month a Jewish mother temporarily convinced a North Carolina elementary school to ban “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” from its kindergarten concert . . . .
By the way, this hysterical Jewish mother is probably unaware that a Jew wrote “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” In fact, Jews are behind such secular holiday classics as “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire),” “Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Silver Bells,” “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “Sleigh Ride,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “Let It Snow! Let it Snow! Let It Snow!” and “White Christmas,” the perennial favorite of neo-Nazis around the world.

Marty’s got a point: Jews trying to ban Christmas music are self-haters trying to cheat their fellow MOTs out of ASCAP royalties. (BTW, a friend just informed me that Kohl’s — one of the few department-store chains to use “Christmas” in their sales ads — was started by a family of Russian Jewish immigrants.)

Marty’s also got a larger point, namely that Jewish attacks on public expressions of Christian faith are ultimately self-defeating. This is especially true because evangelical Christians are some of the most enthusiastic Zionists on the planet. Your typical Southern Baptist views the Middle East from a perspective that makes the Likkudniks look like pacifist sellouts.

The myth that Christian fundamentalists are anti-Semitic is absurd. Christians love Jews so much that genocide-by-assimilation is the only threat (ask Marty’s goy girlfriend!) and if it weren’t for the high birth rates of ultra-Orthodox Jews (who are more pro-life than some Catholics I know) we’d probably have already run out of Jews to intermarry with.

UPDATE: Wait a minute. By calling Marty “my favorite Jew,” I didn’t mean to insult my Jewish cousins in Alabama. Yes, I said, “Jewish cousins in Alabama.” Everybody makes fun of Southerners and their cousins, but . . . hey, you ought to see my cousins! Here’s Mandy:

And here’s Elizabeth:

Zaftig, y’all!

December 23, 2008

Ross Douthat on film

It’s good when he writes about things he actually knows something about. His point is that you’re more likely to get across a political point in a movie if the point is somewhat ambiguous, if the audience leaves the theater arguing over exactly what the story implies.

Douthat cites the examples of The Dark Knight (either an endorsement or an indictment of the Bush administration’s anti-terror policies) and WALL-E (a sweet love story with an anti-consumerist message tucked into the conclusion). I would cite The Terminator (the original, not the crappy sequels) which at one level is an ultra-violent apocalypse, but at another level is one of the most effective pieces of pro-life propaganda ever produced, since the whole point of the movie is that John Connor must be born, if he is to save mankind.

And Douthat is exactly right about the failure of most political movies: They hammer you over the head with their point, attempting to substitute ideological certainty for dramatic interest. Frost/Nixon is a sermon, not a movie, and even most liberals aren’t so stupid as to pay $10 to sit through a two-hour sermon about the evils of Richard Nixon.

December 23, 2008

Nuke Fiji!

A couple of days ago, I joked about prejudice against Fijians. Today, the morons at AOSHQ demand “nuking the place into a glazed parking lot” to eradicate the “Fiji Menace.” It’s hard work, staying ahead of the hate curve.

UPDATE: Smitty asks, what about San Marino? Face it, Smitty. If the San Marinese can’t get past the Italian army, they don’t pose much of a threat to us. And if they do get past the Italian army, they only way they could threaten us is by hijacking the Italian navy, which would never make it across the ocean. I’d make a joke about the Italian air force, but it’s already a joke.

December 23, 2008

Palin confirmed for CPAC?

The Anchorage Daily News reports that a spokesman for Gov. Sarah Palin isn’t sure she will be at CPAC:

Bill McAllister said Palin has merely been invited and that she has not confirmed. “It’s not scheduled, she’s not told them yes.”

Solution? Fire your spokesman, governor! You absolutely don’t want to miss CPAC this year. (H/T: SarahPalinBlog.)

December 23, 2008

Who’s afraid of the C-word?

Washington Times columnist Pete Parisi examines The Holiday That Dare Not Speak Its Name:

Beginning with Black Friday, so named because it’s supposedly the day on which retailers finally make it into the black for the year, retailers’ sales brochures have been bedecked with Christmas iconography – red ribbons and bows, tree ornaments, strings of lights, mistletoe and holly, Santas and the like – but with few exceptions (given due credit below), none have had banner headlines proclaiming Christmas as the reason for the buying season they were so desperately encouraging.
At J.C. Penney, it was an “After Thanksgiving furniture and mattress sale,” Sears touted a catchall “Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving sale,” and at Lowe’s, the home-repair and hardware chain, it was “Let’s Holiday” – as if holiday were a verb. Office Depot similarly turned “gift” into a verb: “Gift smarter. The holiday gifts they really want.” Not to be outdone, Old Navy proclaimed an “Extravaganza humongous honkin’ 3-day BIG weekend sale.”

It’s not totally Grinchy out there. Pete finds that two chains — Kohl’s and Rite-Aid — consistently use “Christmas” in their ads. Read the whole thing.

(Cross-posted at AmSpecBlog.)

December 23, 2008

Blaming Sarah

A HuffPoster’s screed blaming Sarah Palin for an alleged “brewing cauldron of racist anger” inspired my latest American Spectator column:

The tactic of blaming Palin for “racist anger” toward Obama developed as a theme during the fall campaign, evidently based on post hoc ergo propter hoc thinking within Team Obama. Threats against Obama increased as the campaign heated up after Labor Day, and since this followed the Aug. 29 announcement of the Alaska governor as Republican running mate, Palin herself was scapegoated.
That claim was distilled in a November article in the London Daily Telegraph with the misleading headline, “Sarah Palin blamed by the US Secret Service over death threats against Barack Obama.”
The Secret Service never said any such thing . . .

Please read the whole thing. I actually spoke to a Secret Service spokesman about this yesterday (after I’d already filed the column) and he said there’s no way they would have ever made any claim like that.

December 23, 2008

Babysit my kids, Matthew!

Listen, Matthew Yglesias, since you’re so committed to child care, would you mind if I dropped my six kids at your place this evening? My wife and I have some Christmas shopping to do.

December 23, 2008

MRC’s Notable Quotables

The Media Research Center has announced its 2008 Notable Quotable Awards, with Quote of the Year going to — who else? — Chris Matthews:

The competition was probably toughest for the Obamagasm Award, won by Nancy Gibbs of Time magazine for this foray into disinterested objectivity:

Some princes are born in palaces. Some are born in mangers. But a few are born in the imagination, out of scraps of history and hope….

Gibbs beat out David Gergen — CNN’s idea of a Republican — who said of Obama’s Denver convention speech that “it was less a speech than a symphony. . . . a masterpiece.”

There’s much, much more, including:

. . . and don’t miss this hard-hitting interview by Brian Williams, which rated only runner-up for the “Let Us Fluff Your Pillow Award”:

Brian should demand a recount!

(Cross-posted at AmSpecBlog.)

December 23, 2008

The Yglesias shuffle

If Matthew Yglesias were any part of a man, he’d quit ThinkProgress immediately, after Jennifer Palmieri embarrassed him on his own blog.

Yglesias had criticized a liberal group, Third Way, as offering “hyper-timid incrementalist bullshit,” and then Palmieri (of ThinkProgress’s parent organization) puts up a post at Yglesias’ blog saying they have”partnered with Third Way on a number of important projects” and calling them “key leaders in the progressive movement.”

I’ve quit better jobs than a non-profit think-tank gig over less provocation than that, and the fact that Yglesia accepts such a rebuke without protest — well, it’s kind of “hyper-timid,” if not indeed “incrementalist bullshit.”