Archive for April 14th, 2009

April 14, 2009

For the corner of the three signs I’m bringing:

by Smitty (hat tip: Dr. Helen)

April 14, 2009

That ‘Fairness’ Bugaboo

By Smitty

Lane, over at Crooked Timber weighs in with a post entitled Reducing inequality: what’s the problem?

Lane, the problem is that instead of driving for equality of opportunity, you play the standard class warfare cards. There is the graph showing that the (implicitly evil) 1% is getting richer, while everyone else’s income stays flat over time.

Then you go on about fairness and the consequences of inequality. Standard tropes, both. We are next treated to the following strange analysis:

As Robert Frank has pointed out, super-high incomes also have led to an arms race in consumption, especially in housing. Spending among the rich has escalated dramatically, encouraging middle- and upper-middle-class households to take on more and more debt in order to keep pace.

Lane, are you a Calvinist? Am I so divinely “encouraged” by what Bill Gates does that I just can’t stop until my tragic destiny has me looking like AIG? Way not to encourage free will, maturity, and responsibility there.

“So what should we do? Stay tuned.”

Looking forward to a series of posts that argues for more government control. Because if people are not sheep, then they must be reprogrammed as such at all costs. Otherwise, the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx won’t be happy.

April 14, 2009

Alabama, here I come!

All right, folks, this will be my last post here for a while, because I’m about to pack up the laptop and drive 700 miles to attend Wednesday’s Alabama Tea Party. Of course, just like the folks on JournoList, I’m strictly a neutral, objective observer, and I’ve got a neutral, objective post over at the new Hot Air Green Room you might want to check out.

While I’m on the road, all you bloggers should e-mail your Rule 1/Rule 2 requests to Smitty. Everybody else, please hit the tip jar, because if this thing is being funded by “right-wing billionaires,” they sure are a bunch of cheapskate billionaires.

Important news: Just in case you missed it, the DHS “terrorist” smear against conservatives — we reported it at 3:14 a.m. Mondayhas been confirmed by Michelle Malkin. My buddy Stephen Gordon shares credit with Radio America’s Roger Hedgecock for breaking that story. My old buddy Audrey Hudson got the scoop, and look how the JournoListers are pushing back at Memeorandum. (Heh! Blame that subversive Constitution!) Trust me, there will be more shoes dropping over the next few days, as we learn who was behind the DHS smear.

WOLVERINES! HIT THE TIP JAR! And now, boys, let’s hit that theme song:

April 14, 2009

Porn star Marilyn Chamber dead

The L.A. Times reports:

Marilyn Chambers, a former Ivory Snow detergent model who became a porn star, died Sunday at her Canyon Country home. She was 56.
Chambers, whose real name is Marilyn Ann Taylor, was found unresponsive at 8:51 p.m. at her residence it the 16000 block of Vasquez Canyon, said Los Angeles County coroner’s spokesman Ed Winter. The cause of death is under investigation but foul play was not suspected and an autopsy is pending.
Chambers became a pop culture phenomenon when she gave up work as a model advertising Ivory Snow laundry detergent to star in the X-rated “Behind the Green Door” in 1972.

This was actually tipped to me by a commenter at The Green Room. Green Room, Green Door, what’s the difference, right?

April 14, 2009

‘Whip It, Whip It Good’

by Smitty

The joys of the the Hate America Firsters are boundless. The fun couple over at “Who, Whom?” do not disappoint with What We Have Sown. The hostage has been rescued, the pirates sent to Davy Jones, and Becca and Philip must substitute ‘America’ for ‘It’ in the Devo classic.
The WWHS post is formulaic in its approach:

With the explosion of Somali piracy, America is reaping what it has sown. In many ways, we have nobody to blame but ourselves for the emergence of high-seas crime threatening to disrupt important lanes of trade.
America’s support for a violent strongman during Somalia’s formative post-colonial years hindered the development of stable political institutions and severely complicated its capacity for effective self-rule and sustainable growth.
The country’s markets are also victims of foreign meddling, fatalities of the backhanded ‘charity’ which has made Western actors—and especially the U.S.—distrusted throughout the Third World. Rendered economically impotent through the misapplication of aid and assistance by the U.S. government and various NGOs, it is no surprise that Somalis have turned to brigandry for sustenance.

*whoosh*It’s our fault!*snap*
The rest of the post sounds researched and official in tone (care to link to any sources, people? Wikipedia, even?). What it could use is a bit of balance. Is it possible that China has a presence in the region? What about the influence of radical Islam, or does that disrupt the narrative too greatly?
Also missing are links to some of the positive US efforts in Africa:

  • The State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs. Not much here. Possibly due to the fact that the State Department doesn’t do much in war zones. Next.
  • Combined Joint Task Force Horn Of Africa(CJTFHOA)* which “arrived in the Horn of Africa on Dec. 8, 2002”.

“Who, Whom” concludes:

America must learn to be highly conscientious of who it aids and how it aids them. It must accept that actions have consequences, that we are not immune to the forces of reaction. It must recognize that short-term Machiavellian tactics are no substitute for long-term developmental strategies. The latter will help produce a more just and equitable world; the former will surely come back to haunt.

There is more to the world than the standard Berkeley screed that may or may not impress a chick:

*Fear the “Joint Extended Three Letter Acronym Grouping Sequence” (JETLAGS)

April 14, 2009

Bush Blaming Alive And Well At HuffPo

by Smitty

Still, the ahistorical, “Alinksy Rule #12” approach bears some study, as evidenced in this example from Donnie Fowler:

How Bush Ruined the Free Market
(or Why Your Cousin on Wall Street Can’t Bet With Your Money Anymore)

Do you realize it took George Bush longer to “win” his war against a small, third world nation once led by a third-rate dictator than it took us the U.S. to defeat the two empires of Germany & Japan in World War II? Well, while Karl Rove, Ari Fleischer, and Dick Cheney continue to make their case for W’s legacy on national security, they missed their president’s most astounding accomplishment of all.
No one since the era of slavery has done more damage to the free market than George W. Bush.

The propaganda piece goes on, neglecting to note any history prior to Bush (Fannie, Freddie), and then climaxes:

The GOP’s stated ideology of smaller government, individual responsibility, and moral behavior surely could not have resulted in economic policies that have resulted in what Barack Obama now has to clean up:

  • more people out of work than at any time in decades
  • the end of the budget surplus that Bill Clinton deeded to George Bush
  • a federal government that was bloated by cronyism at best and criminal malfeasance at worst
  • the short-term government control, beginning with strokes of Bush’s pen in 2007 & 2008, of many large banks
  • and, worst of all, the destruction of millions of Americans’ hard-earned life savings while corporate executives and government leaders argued that they deserved their golden parachutes, fat tax cuts, and free government bailout money

I suppose it’s important, as we gear up for the Tea Parties tomorrow, to keep the ship of crap afloat by putting out as much propaganda as possible. Keep up the “useful idiot” behavior, Donnie. Cthulhu loves you.

April 14, 2009

Culture of Death

“We need to create a world where a woman having an abortion is as respected and supported as a woman having a baby. As the movement for abortion pride and the recognition of women’s human rights progresses, we will continue to speak out with our voices, our experiences, our bodies – and our lives. YES – ABORTION PRIDE!”

April 14, 2009

Penn State: Thanks for Nothing

by Smitty

Forwarded on a military mailing list:

I taught as an adjunct for a couple of semesters earlier this decade. There was more stress brought on by the spoiled brats who figured that paying the tuition meant daddy had bought an “A”.
In contrast, we have Big Hollywood showing some enlightenment.

April 14, 2009

Meghan loves her some Log Cabin!

Via Hot Air, and as promoted yesterday via Twitter, here’s Meghan McCain’s magnum opus:

So why are gay issues so important to me? At the most basic level, sexual orientation should not be a factor in how you are treated. If the Republican Party has any hope of gaining substantial support from a wider, younger base, we need to get past our anti-gay rhetoric. . . . A dear friend of mine who’s both gay and Republican told me, “I find myself constantly being asked how I can reconcile who I am as a person with a party that lately has had such a gay-unfriendly message. Where I stand politically doesn’t begin and end with my sexuality.”

Meghan’s “sexuality,” BTW, is slut . . or so one hears. But who am I to repeat mere gossip? Of course, even if it were true that she puts out like Pez dispenser, that sort of ad hominem attack is invalid as logic and has nothing to do with the truth or falsehood of Meghan’s argument for . . .

Wait a minute. What, exactly, is she arguing for? And what is her argument? Let’s see: She has a “dear friend” who is gay, and she is concerned about “anti-gay rhetoric” and a “gay-unfriendly message.”

Free markets, low taxes, limited government, traditional values and a strong defense — if you’re for that, you’re a conservative Republican same as anybody else. Nobody cares whether you’re hanging out in gay bars or, in Meghan’s case, pulling a train at the Teke house. (I don’t personally believe those rumors, but I’m just saying that this is politically irrevelant.)

So whether you’re gay or straight, married, divorced or single, monogamously chaste or promiscuously Meghanesque — well, these sorts of personal sexuality issues should be no deterrent to voting Republican. What really matters is solid conservative principles, like not pissing in the cornflakes of all those evangelicals and Catholics who make up the hard-core party base in the Red States.

Meghan’s argument is not to be taken lightly because it was ghost-written by someone else, or because she’s said to be a pushover for any guy who can afford the price of three vodka tonics. In fact, Meghan doesn’t really have an argument in any forensic sense.

Which is to say: Megan, you ignorant slut.

UPDATE: Donald Douglas at American Power:

Much of the meme on the left (alleging conservative bigotry) is in fact progressive totalitarianism and intolerance toward the traditional culture. That’s why so many regular folks get turned off by the debate: They are hesitant to wade into the culture wars for fear of being attacked and browbeaten as homophobic when they are anything but.

Stogie at Saberpoint links with an unfortunate headline: “Meghan McCain on Gay Republicans.” (Gay Republicans: “Help! Get that fat cow off us!”)

Stogie’s argument, alas, falls into the problematic tendency of, “Look, here is a gay person who is an admirable citizen.” And therefore . . .?

This does not address the issue of same-sex marriage. The question under consideration is not whether gay people are admirable citizens, either as individuals or, in comparison to heterosexuals, on average, whether gay people are better or worse citizens. There is a matter of law and policy at stake, and one’s position on that matter does not necessarily reflect a value judgment on any given person affected by the policy.

Such arguments are reminiscent of those who, when you try to debate immigration policy, will immediately say, “Oh, my grandfather came over from Ireland!” or “I know a nice Mexican man!” And therefore . . .?

Have you read Thomas Sowell’s The Vision of the Anointed or Friedrich Hayek’s The Mirage of Social Justice? I’m trying to think of some other books that argue against this kind of thinking. Reader suggestions are welcome.

April 14, 2009

Speaking of too easy, Philip…

by Smitty

Brief disclaimer: I have every respect for those who adhere seriously to a pacifist viewpoint, e.g. the Amish.
For Philip over at Who, Whom, the jury is still out.

Be Like Christ?
In a post entitled “God bless the Navy Seals,” Rod Dreher cheers: “Killed three Somali pirates, rescued the American hostage. Hooray!” This just above an open thread about Easter.
“Hooray”? Really, Rod? What’s that about respect for all human life? What’s that about all of us being sinners before the eyes of an angry God? What’s that about forgiveness, turning the other cheek, loving thy enemy?
Just too easy, sometimes.

Philip, I’d be interested in your exegesis on the following passage from the Gospel of Luke:

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
–Luke 14:28-31

Does it seem odd that the King of the Jews uses the example of a king “going to make war” without even the slightest hint of “forgiveness, turning the other cheek, loving thy enemy” in the conversation?
Could it be that the Sermon on the Mount, while truly life-changing expression of relations between God and man, and among men and women, isn’t intended as much of a foreign policy statement?
Could it be that Jesus, who was of the line of David, understood that combat is a part of the tragic godlessness of the world, e.g. David vs. Goliath?
Something to ponder there, boss.