Archive for March 15th, 2009

March 15, 2009

Ross Douthat, porn expert?

“Forget ‘normalizing homosexuality’ — something the Right has been worrying over since the advent of gay liberation. Today, the Internet and DirecTV are normalizing everything, from group sex to bestiality to darker things that decency forbids mentioning. And as for pedophilia — why, any erotic website worth its salt promises links to images of the ‘barely legal,’ ‘young teen sluts,’ and all the rest. Today, Nabokov’s Humbert would need not be a tragic figure; instead, he could have spent his years ensconced in front of a glowing computer screen, with a thousand Lolitas for his delectation.”

* * *

“Over the past three decades, the VCR, on-demand cable service, and the Internet have completely overhauled the ways in which people interact with porn. Innovation has piled on innovation, making modern pornography a more immediate, visceral, and personalized experience. Nothing in the long history of erotica compares with the way millions of Americans experience porn today, and our moral intuitions are struggling to catch up.”

* * * *

A Catholic friend advises me that Lenten vows are not enforced on Sunday. Or, as we call it around here, Rule 5 Sunday.

March 15, 2009

Michelle Malkin brings the Mother Of All Punk-Smackings down on BBW Meghan

Just go read every brutal word of it. Michelle Malkin reminds me of my wife in this sense: You never want her mad at you.

Others have taken their turns punk-smacking Meghan: Jimmie Duncan, Donald Douglas, Monique Stuart and me. But just consider that Saturday night, while Meghan was doing whatever she was doing — hanging out with The Republicans Who Really Matter, perhaps — Malkin was at home, writing up that brutal punk-smacking, which Meghan didn’t even know was coming.

Pity the fool. That Rule 4’s gonna leave a mark on her chubby caboose.

UPDATE: Dan Riehl notes that Meghan’s got a fat head: Cellulite of the mind! And from Paleo Pat: “Memo to Meghan McCain: You don’t speak for me, bitch

UPDATE II: Welcome Pandagon readers! Perhaps you will also enjoy my recent 2,400-word treatise, “How to Hate Feminism (As You Must).”

UPDATE III: The chubby caboose gets kicked by Kyle Smith in his latest New York Post column, with a Kathy Shaidle assist helping Ed Driscoll to declare: “I Never Sold Out Because Nobody Asked Me.”

UPDATE IV: Mike at Cold Fury deems Kyle Smith’s column “some of the tastiest snark ever,” while Don Surber of the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail calls it “a terrific little column.” (Don’t worry, Don. I’m sure Tina Brown will be in touch with you any day now.)

UPDATE V: Conservatives4Palin:

A few days ago, I got another SPAM email from Sen. McCain’s PAC asking for money. My reply was short and simple, “Dear Sen. McCain, every time your daughter shows up on television shooting her mouth off about things she knows nothing of, I donate to SarahPAC. I don’t have any time or money left for you.”

Give to SarahPAC. Or hit my tip jar. Either way, it’s a good cause. It’s almost Tuesday, you know. As I recently explained to a Texan who hit the tip jar for $10: “Another 29,999 like that, and I’ll be even with David Brooks.”

March 15, 2009

A 2010 Commencement Address to Watch

by Smitty

Gateway Pundit offers some breadcrumbs that lead to The Weekly Standard. Juicy tidbits:

Petraeus will also be addressing the commissioning ceremonies for Harvard and MIT ROTC. THE WEEKLY STANDARD has learned that General Petraeus is planning on delivering the commencement address at the University of Iowa in 2010. Hmmm.

It seems like the POTUS and VP need to have a good balance of domestic/foreign policy chops. Palin/Petraeus 2012, anyone?

Besides the speech itself, the other interesting thing will be watching the Frum/Douthat/Brooks Axis of Wobbly try to explain that the classical American values which a Petraeus will likely espouse are somehow passed into history. Trade courage for nuance, freedom of action for the warm arms of the state, the traditions that made you strong for some nebulous abstraction.

Even if the schedule changes in the next year, and Petraeus doesn’t actually make this speech, the good General has already made my day.

NOTE (RSM): Full disclosure: Smitty’s a Navy veteran. To anyone complaining of anti-Army bias in this post, I say, “Ethics, schmethics“!

March 15, 2009

Ethics, schmethics!

Michael Rubin at National Review:

Many think-tanks, especially those on the left, have taken journalists as fellows. It is a strategy that works to promote and publicize products when the journalists fail to disclose their financial ties to the organization. Case in point: The Politico’s David S. Cloud, who for a year, was a “writer in residence” at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). In fully a quarter of all his subsequent stories, he cites CNAS reports — without acknowledging his links to the organization.

(H/T: Instapundit.) This kind of hand-wringing over potential conflicts of interest in journalism is a Washington game of “gotcha” I don’t like to play. If David Cloud cites a CNAS analysis by Dennis Ross, that is wrong because . . .?

What counts in the news business is getting the facts right and getting the story first. Everything else is incidental. A scoop is a scoop is a scoop, and if Ross has been plying Cloud with free whiskey (or vice-versa) this becomes the subject of complaint only if Cloud’s story is inaccurate. If Cloud’s editors don’t mind him knocking down the single malts with his sources, why should we?

CNAS is a Democrat/liberal operation. Rubin apparently means to suggest that Cloud’s reporting has been slanted because the erstwhile CNAS affiliation reveals that Cloud is a liberal journalist — shock and horrror! Absent any assertion of inaccuracy or distortion in Cloud’s articles, the likelihood that his political leanings are left of Lenin doesn’t really distinguish him from the D.C. herd.

Some of our uptight media-critic types need to read Bob Novak’s The Prince of Darkness. Novak routinely wined and dined with his sources, and if he had spent all his time worrying about the appearance of impropriety over who paid the tab, how many fewer scoops would he have gotten?

If reporters would concern themselves more with reporting facts accurately, the question of who’s paying their bar tabs would be moot.

March 15, 2009

Not difficult for me, but . . .

“Do you know what I have discovered is the most difficult (and yes, again, humbling) thing? To stand still and allow someone to compliment you; to give someone the chance to say what they want to say, when it makes you very uncomfortable to hear it.”

March 15, 2009

Smoke up, it’s for the children!

“You will always have one more cigarette, whether it’s at a funeral, or at the bar. You never truly quit, there will always be another cigarette, another drag. President Obama gets that. He’s a Marlboro Man, the only reason I have left to like him. What I don’t like, though, is that he has placed the burden of middle-class children’s healthcare upon my shoulders. Can someone, anyone, please, explain to me why I should be responsible for the healthcare of middle-class children just because I smoke? I’m not really getting the connection.”

March 15, 2009

Lesbian war cry: "WOLVERINES!"

Conservative lesbian Cynthia Yockey declares herself part of the guerrilla resistance. One of the amazing things about Obamaism is how it has clarified allegiances so starkly. You are either a butt boy for The One, or else you will inevitably find yourself in the wilderness bunker with all the other outlaws whose names appear on Patriot Rock.

Jed Eckert: Well, who is on our side?
Col. Andy Tanner: Six hundred million screaming Chinamen.
Darryl Bates: Last I heard, there were a billion screaming Chinamen.
Col. Andy Tanner: There were.

The oft-repeated saying “9/11 changed everything,” is not literally true. Yet if 9/11 didn’t really change everything, it definitely changed some things, and the rise of the Pelosi/Reid/Obama hegemon has changed a few more. As I recently told my friend Tito Perdue, the past few years have been like watching a geological upheaval, as political alliances shift like tectonic plates.

You’re either with the Evil Coalition of Liars and Fools, or you’re against them , and if you’re against them, let me hear you scream: WOLVERINES!

(The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. However, the Apocalypse Will Be Blogged.)

A few years ago, Phyllis Chesler sent me her book The Death of Feminism, and when I got home with it and started reading, I was shocked to see her citing Jean Raspail’s notorious novel, The Camp of the Saints. (That passage is substantially excerpted in an online essay at her Web site.)

For years, Raspail’s 1973 French novel enjoyed a sort of samizdat cult following among critics of multiculturalism and opponents of open-borders immigration policy (which would be more properly termed a non-policy, but let us not digress.) Raspail himself has said that Le Camp Des Saints could not be published in France today because of the “human rights” nonsense that is slowly strangling free speech in Europe (and Canada). And the book’s reputation as a hateful expression of xenophobic nativism makes it one of those Books You’re Not Supposed to Read.

Thus, I was startled to see Chesler, a liberal feminist all her life, citing Raspail’s book as prophetic. Yet Chesler had been able to see past the superficial text of the novel to comprehend its deeper significance as a metaphor for the demoralization of the West. In this sense, Raspail was describing the same larger phenomenon that Shelby Steele describes in White Guilt, that Pat Buchanan describes in The Death of the West, that Michelle Malkin describes in Invasion, that Thomas Sowell describes in The Vision of the Anointed, and that Peter Brimelow describes in Alien Nation.

These are all very different writers, with different interests, different aims, and different philosophies. However, they all share the fundamental understanding that liberalism is a soul-destroying disease, a sort of intellectual anti-virus that exposes its host to destruction by weakening the individual cells of the national immune system. To the extent that your mind is cluttered with the glittering generalities of modern liberalism — “social justice,” etc. — you will be unable to resist and will inevitably succumb to the agonizing spiritual death that beckons at the end of that road.

In war, few things are more important to an army than morale. And it breaks my heart to see the discouragement and demoralization when the enemy is seemingly triumphant and when all the glory and honor of this world accrues to so-called “conservatives” who do everything in their power to undermine actual conservatism, while genuine conservatives are fighting their hearts out in obscurity. Dan Riehl:

I’m mostly sick of it and hard-pressed to find good reason for good conservatives not to simply go off the grid. If the day ever comes for conservatives to have a serious voice again, I’m unconvinced it will be through the GOP and I know for a fact, it’ll never be through the New York Times.

(H/T: Cold Fury.) To quote Jed Eckert again: “Let it turn.” Let them choke on their ill-gotten gains. Let them have their 30 pieces of silver. Let your rage and resentment toward them turn to something useful: The savage fury of the warrior.

Resolve to fight that much harder. Train your mind so that when you are not fighting, your constant object of contemplation is how to fight smarter. Excuse the martial metaphors, but a War of Ideas is a war nonetheless.

When you’re in a fight, the only things that really matter are the fight itself, your own willingness to fight like hell, and knowing who’s on your side. (IFF: Identity Friend or Foe.) Those who join up with The Republicans Who Really Matter like Coddy Voorhees and Brooksie Frumdreher are de facto allies of the Evil Coalition of Liars and Fools. You who live on scanty cold rations, huddled in the wilderness, short on supplies and wondering how much longer you can hold out — you, the soldiers in this Army of Davids, will one day proudly recall that you served with heroes in the Camp of the Saints.

Courageous new recruits like Cynthia Yockey are coming into camp every day. Whatever their histories, whatever their reasons for hating the Evil Coalition of Liars and Fools, their willingness to join a seemingly hopeless cause in combat against an evidently invulnerable opponent tells us that they are real fighters. These recruits need training and leadership. As this army grows stronger, we know that victory awaits us, but we don’t need to wait for Election Day to cheer.

Every time another soldier joins the ranks, this is a victory in its own right and should inspire the troops to scream out the battle cry: WOLVERINES!

UPDATE: Linked as “Quote of the Day” by Ed Driscoll.

March 15, 2009

What’s killing Russia?

Russia has been described as “sliding into a demographic abyss“:

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russian fertility rate plummeted from 2.19 children per woman in 1986 to 1987 to 1.17 in 1999. In 2001, the fertility rate was 1.25 in Russia.

This is unsustainable, and a big part of the explanation is that Russia has long relied on abortion as a primary form of birth control. The Bolsheviks had pro-abortion views nearly as extreme as NARAL and the liquidation of Christianity under Soviet rule meant that there was no political, moral or cultural opposition to the practice. Abortion-on-demand thus became deeply engrained in the medical and social traditions of the nation, a Culture of Death that has outlived the regime that spawned it.

A new documentary, Killing Girls, chronicles the brutal reality of this, as St. Blogustine explains:

The film follows three teenage girls in Russia from the time they enter the abortion clinic until after they leave, delving into their circumstances for being pregnant, their reasons for having late-term, labor induced abortions, and the state of moral decay in today’s Russia that would result in such an alarming trend (80% of today’s Russian women have between 2 and 10 abortions in their lifetimes).

Here’s the trailer for the film:

March 15, 2009

Eutopia. Eusocial. Europe.

by Smitty

Ross, I love you nearly as much as I love your ivory tower. Let’s have some fun with The Case For Small Government:

At bottom, I think the argument suffers from a problem that’s common to both sides in the debates over the desirability of European-style social democracy – namely, the hope that what’s ultimately a philosophical and moral controversy can have a tidy empirical resolution.

Is the Decline and Fall of Europe insufficient for you? Are shenanigans like the Treaty of Lisbon not a good enough indicator? Do you read The Brussels Journal? My wife is German. Maybe I am too lost in anecdotal evidence that the likelihood of success of “European-style social democracy” in the US has been captured here: It Won’t Work. Uless you’re eusocial.

In both cases, there’s an unwarranted hope that the right facts and figures can settle a debate that ultimately depends on the philosophical assumptions that you bring to it.

Hogwash. Facts matter. As does history. If the foundation of your eutopian la-la land rests upon demonstrably bogus assertions about your demographics, WTF good is it? Unless you’re taking a foppish deconstructionist route, that is. Then you can just “feel” something.

I would just deny that they can come close to settling, in any meaningful sense, the debate over how big the American welfare state should be overall, and whether we should copy Western Europe or disdain it.

And why should you? Recall, These United States are still 50 in number. If you have any sort of bully pulpit from your lofty heights, you should argue the Constitution, and the right of states to be as “Massachusetts” as they wanna be, without taking the whole country down roads that historically lead to swamps.

That’s because both the American and the European models of government are successful in purely practical terms, to the extent that purely practical terms exist – which is to say, both models have provided, over an extended period of time, levels of prosperity and stability unparalleled in human history.

PAX ROMANA, anyone? Or are you taking the condescending view that history began in 1636, with the founding of Hah-vuhd?

(Yes, the stresses that Islamic immigration and demographic decline are imposing on Europe are real and serious – but I think it’s too soon to say, with Murray and many on the Right, that “the European model can’t continue to work much longer,” full stop. The end of history may be more resilient than we think!)

Don’t look at reality too long, buddy: someone might steal your lenses. No, you’re right: Geert’s just paranoid and stuff.

And as long as this remains the case, where you come out on the debates over whether we should prefer the continent’s sturdier safety nets to America’s lower unemployment and higher growth rates (or the continent’s more equible provision of health care to America’s lead in health-care innovation, or what-have-you) will ultimately boil down to values as much as it will to what the numbers say.

Back to my European in-laws: that “sturdier safety net” has little empirical meaning. Then again, I’m only talking to a small sample, so you could be right. Not that I seriously think so, just that sounding too certain is rather tacky. Oh, and the wife works in pharma, and is unenthusiastic about the “lead in health-care innovation” you’re touting here. I wouldn’t play a straight libertarian hand, but I would say “less is more” when it comes to regulation. Each new law is another bandage on the patient. Governments rarely, if ever, cut away any of the old stuff. Result: mummy. But we’ll just have to crash the system and then see what you dreamers can do to continue blaming Bush rather than analyze anything.

How much do you prize equality and ease of life? The more you do, the more you’ll favor a European approach to the relationship between state and society. How much do you prize voluntarism, entrepreneurship, and the value of lives oriented around service to one’s family, and to God?

Oh, step up to the plate and just admit it: in Socialism, the state is God. At some point, however, even the biggest Einstein must tire of the failures of idolizing the state.

Eutopia. Eusocial. Europe. You go, dude. There.

March 15, 2009

Rule 5 Sunday

Yes, once again, it is time for our weekly celebration of that most beloved dictum of “How to Get a Million Hits On Your Blog,” Rule 5!

Special thematic art is Bouguereau’s “Nymphs and Satyr,” because that one fleshy nymph at the right of this famous neoclassical painting kind of reminds me of BBW Meghan McCain.

Poor pitiful Meghan! She’s struggled with body-image issues. Isn’t that tragic? Don’t you feel sorry for her? Because I know I spend all my time feeling sorry for the spoiled-brat children of wealthy and influential people.

Don’t worry, Meg. It’s all good. More to love, sugar. Somewhere out there is a guy just dying to meet a rich girl with low self-esteem and cellulite on her butt. So go ahead, eat another quart of Hagen-Daas and stop worrying about your body-image issues. It’s all in your mind, Meghan. You’re beautiful on the inside. And that’s what really counts, right?

Now, on to happier topics:

  • At his Point of a Gun blog, frequent commenter Dave C has a real beauty.
  • At Sundries Shack, Jimmie Bise goes out of his way to give you Christina Hendricks on a flimsy pretext. Bonus points for difficulty, Jimmie.
  • Moe Lane offers a Bollywood-style video of belly-dancer chicks shaking it for . . . an Israeli weapons manufacturer? It makes no sense at all, but it’s worth a look.
  • Cassie Fiano ponders research showing that, during economic recessions, men prefer more full-figured gals. (Hang in there, Meghan! And enjoy the Hagen-Daas.)
  • Sunday is always “Patriotic Pinup” day at Pirate’s Cove.
  • If you haven’t heard of Denyce Graves, then roll it back a couple months for a bit of Pundit & Pundette. They speculate that Denyce’s sin of having performed at a Bush inauguration held her back. Many Other Mischievous Options Might Obtain. The video at the end of the post is well worth your time.
  • The Elder of Ziyon, while by no means a dirty old man, does demonstrate a healthy appreciation for aesthetics here.
  • It initially appeared that Pat in Shreveport had hacked Stacy’s vacation photo album, but the security emergency turned out to be some “Matthew McConaughey” bloke. This is included to remind all of us guys to aspire to a physique as robust as Stacy’s. To the gym with you!
  • The Wyblog takes us away from Y chromosomes to our regular programming with some Salma Hayek appreciation. Is she as lovely as Friedrich’s thought is powerful? Does that comparison even work?
  • Late entry from Bill Dupray at The Patriot Room: “Top 10 Hottest College Basketball Cheerleaders.” (Bonus points for the timely theme. How about next Sunday, “The Top 10 Irish Hotties”?)
  • We also not some Shannen Doherty from the Troglopundit, who also raises the Laura Ingraham flag before going for a Michelle Malkin trifecta, and then falling just short. Rule 5 has a Photoshop Is ++Ungood clause. Our aesthetic sensibility hinges upon appreciation of the Creator’s handiwork.

We’ll update later as other bloggers post their Rule 5 contributions and e-mail the URLs to Smitty. In the meantime, here’s something we have never done before. But don’t worry: It’s art. More by the great 19th-century neoclassical master, William Adolphe Bourguereau:

You can order prints of that painting from the Art Renewal Center, which has also recently published the Catalog Raisonne of Bouguereau’s work, with more than 250 color images and including “information on all of William Bouguereau’s 826 known paintings, as well as the entire 600 page biography written by Damien Bartoli, along with an introduction by Fred Ross, ARC Chairman and President of the Bouguereau Committee.” Price $370. (Hey, rich people read blogs, too, right?)

Even if you’re not rolling in cash, the Art Renewal Center site has lots of interesting stuff for free, including a whole section on the magnificent Bouguereau, a/k/a The Greatest Artist You’ve Probably Never Heard Of.

It’s Sunday, and you probably need to be feeling guilty just about now, so here is Bouguereau’s Flagellation of Christ: