Archive for April 17th, 2009

April 17, 2009

VIDEO: The ‘Bama Tea Party speech

You might be a right-wing extremist if . . .

I’m actually much better-looking in person.

Stephen Gordon at Liberty Papers has the best roundup on the Alabama Tea Party scene.

4/17: Dear Ross Douthat
4/17: I Question the Timing!
4/16: The World’s Worst TV Reporter
4/16: ‘Bama Tea: How big is huge?
4/14: Alabama, here I come!

April 17, 2009

Dear Ross Douthat

Hey, Boy Genius, have you ever done any actual reporting in your life? Or are you Harvard guys too good to do anything except sneer?

[The Tea Party] have all of the weaknesses of the anti-war marches: Their message is intertwined with a sense of disenfranchisement and all kinds of inchoate cultural resentments, they’ve brought various wacky extremists out of the woodwork (you know, like Glenn Beck), and just as George W. Bush benefited from having opposition to his policies identified with peacenik marchers in Berkeley and Ann Arbor, so Barack Obama probably benefits from having the opposition (such as it is) associated with a bunch of Fox News fans marching through the streets on Tax Day, parroting talk radio tropes and shouting about socialism. Obama is a very popular President, at the moment, his unpopularity among Republicans notwithstanding, and it’s awfully hard to see the Tea Parties doing much to change that reality in the short run; if anything, they’re far more likely to reconfirm the majority in its opinion that American conservatism is increasingly wacky, echo-chamberish, and out-of-touch.

Politics as an abstract concept formed by reading Talking Points Memo may be sufficiently prestigious for you, Mr. Working Class Hero, but if you weren’t gunning the turn-only lane on Valleydale Road in Hoover in a desperate haste to reach Wednesday’s rally with Rick and Bubba, Lee Davis and Tim James, don’t tell me what the Tea Party movement is about, OK?

You and David Brooks make such a perfect couple. Perfectly useless, that is. Go surf some more ‘barely legal’ porn. and stop pretending to know anything about actual politics.

Lent’s over, douchebag, and it’s punk-smacking season.

UPDATE: Linked by Cynthia Yockey, who stepped up to help fill the gap by punk-smacking Douthat while I was bound by my Lenten vow.

April 17, 2009

Extremist: ‘I Question the Timing!’

The Associated Press reveals the hot haste with which the Department of Homeland Security rushed out its report on the terrorist threat posed by veterans, pro-lifers, etc. This puts notorious “rightwing extremist” Ed Morrissey in suspicious frame of mind:

In fact, it was such a rush job that Janet Napolitano couldn’t wait to resolve the obvious civil-liberty concerns raised by her own lawyers before shoving it out the door. Napolitano would later have to backtrack on the exact same language flagged by the attorneys by claiming that she didn’t specifically approve the report issued by her office and that she would have changed the language in hindsight. She had the opportunity to fix it before its release, but the completely threadbare report was deemed such a high priority that it went out anyway.
Now, what could have triggered that? Anyone know of events occurring just after April 7, 2009, that such an assessment could have painted as radical, extremist, and threats to national security? Hmmm.

Glenn Beck was called a kook for saying that the Obama administration was threatening civil liberties. Now John Ziegler gets handcuffed for the crime of journalism and Team Obama is turning Homeland Security loose against dometic political opponents. Who’s the kook now?

UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers! You might be a right-wing extremist if . . . you’re blogging from the Alabama home of reactionary novelist Tito Perdue.

April 17, 2009

Tito Perdue, literary genius

Woke up this morning at 8:30 a.m. after staying up until 3 a.m. talking to my old friend Tito Perdue. The morning sun is streaming down on the lakefront here about 10 miles north of Wetumpka, Alabama. It’s beautiful, although I thought the midnight stars were more beautiful.

We watched opera last night, and Tito reminded me how we met. I’d written a column for the Rome (Ga.) News-Tribune which (humorously, I thought) explained why I couldn’t stand the caterwauling of an operatic soprano. Tito, who was then living in Cave Spring, Ga., wrote a letter to the editor denouncing me as a philistine. This was the start of a long and eventful friendship. More after this operatic interlude featuring the Russian soprano Netrebko:

Among other things, I’m semi-responsible for Tito’s “outing” as something other than a liberal. (Don’t ever call him a “conservative”; he’ll reply, “No, I’m a reactionary!”) Tito’s first two novels were published to critical acclaim and he looked to be well on his way to being the next Winston Groom (who is, in fact, a cousin of his). Critics thought his Faulkneresque style was “postmodern,” and he was favorably reviewed in the New York Times, etc.

Then, after we met, I wrote a feature profile about Tito, describing his library full of classics, his enjoyment of Wagner, his admiration of Nietzsche, his general loathing of all things new or even recent. Among other things, he mentioned in the interview that, if there were ever to be a film made of his books, the only director he’d want would be Elia Kazan — who, you may recall, “named names” for the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

Tito thought the article was splendid, and copies of the article were distributed by his agent. At which point, the game was up. His book contract was cancelled and it was a couple of years before he published his next novel, which the New York Times didn’t review. Difficult as is the life of a literary novelist in the Age of Illiteracy, imagine what it’s like for Tito being marked as an antagonist of the liberal culture — really, an antagonist of the entirety of contemporary society. And, doggone it, Elia Kazan is dead!

Tito is a fine storyteller and his first novel, Lee, is great, even if the critics agree. The book introduces the protagonist Lee Pefley, who is featured in his other novels. His second book, The New Austerities, was actually better, I thought. More recently, he’s published a wonderful tale of Lee Pefley’s romantic youth, The Sweet Scented Manuscript. This is a roman a clef of Tito’s own wild experience at Ohio’s Antioch College, where he met, wooed and married his wife Judy.

Their love affair was scandalous enough to get them both kicked out of school in 1957. They’ve now been married 51 years, and I think young readers — who have zero idea of what the 1950s were really like, much less the kind of love that causes two kids to get married at 18 — would get a thrill out of The Sweet Scented Manuscript. Of course, this postulates the hypothetical existence of young people who read literary novels for any reason other than being assigned to do so by their teachers. Sigh.

At any rate, I’m sitting barefoot in Tito’s living room, which has a magnificent view of the lake. Last night, as we stood out on the deck underneath a star-filled sky, I said I wished my friends up in D.C. had any inkling of how wonderful Alabama is. This horrified Judy, who expressed the fear that such a revelation might result in an influx that would ruin the place.

So whatever you do, don’t tell anyone that the nearest place to heaven on earth is 10 miles north of Wetumpka on Alabama Highway 111, just off County Road 23. Take a right turn at Martin’s Bait & Tackle and keep going until you find the end of Muscadine Lane.

Of course, you’ll never find the place. You probably won’t even bother to try. And isn’t that sad?

April 17, 2009

Thought for the Day

My cousin, Georgia newspaper columnist Pepper Ellis Hagebak, posted this on her Facebook page:

Since when is flying to Europe torture? Stuffing babies, elderly people, sick people, whole families, into boxcars, with no food or water for a nice trip to the “country work camp,” that’s torture. I say give Mr. Demjanjuk a first class ticket and an extra blanket and send the son-of-a-bitch to meet his justice.

Attitude runs in the family.

April 17, 2009

Let Me Get This Straight

by Smitty

Donald Douglas writes a mildly mocking piece about the Evil Bush Administration’s memo approving the use of insects in confined spaces as a means of encouraging The Bad Guys to reveal information in the GWOT. And the Spanish are all in a rush not to make the case international:

Yes, it turns out that in all of their angst, the leftists are crestfallen now that Candido Conde-Pumpido, Spain’s top prosecutor, “has rejected opening an investigation into whether six Bush administration officials sanctioned torture against terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, saying Thursday a U.S. courtroom would be the proper forum.”

The Gateway Pundit goes beyond merely laughing at the fauxtrage:

In response to this latest move by the White House, Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said Barack Obama is endangering the country by releasing Justice Department memos.
Does anyone else question the timing of this news story?

Ah, yes: with Texas and Montana making the noises of States United, and DHS looking like a pack of scoundrels, it would make much sense to try to gain control of the news cycle. No, that doesn’t reek of desperation, not at all. Not a whiff.

April 17, 2009

Right-Wing (Rule 5) Extremists

Donald Douglas has a sweet shot of a couple of blonde hotties who, according to Janet Napolitano, pose a threat to the regime.

April 17, 2009

‘Stars Fell on Alabama’

I’m here at the home of novelist Tito Perdue, on the lakefront about 10 miles north of Wetumpka, Alabama. We were out on the deck, beneath a clear midnight sky, and I couldn’t help but think of the splendid arrangement of “Stars Fell On Alabama” performed by the world-famous Marching Southerners of my alma mater, Jacksonville (Ala.) State University.

UPDATE: Thanks to Cynthia Yockey for this Doris Day rendition of “Stars Fell On Alabama”:

Man, they don’t write ’em like that anymore.

April 17, 2009

Iron Sailor Well Honored

by Smitty

The Navy will commission the newest Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer, Stockdale, during an 11:00 a.m. PST ceremony on Saturday, April 18, 2009, in Port Hueneme, Calif.
Designated DDG 106, the new destroyer honors Medal of Honor recipient Vice Adm. James Bond Stockdale (1923-2005), the legendary leader of American prisoners of war (POWs) during the Vietnam War.
Stockdale was the highest-ranking naval officer ever held as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. His plane was shot down Sept. 9, 1965, while flying combat missions over North Vietnam. Stockdale spent more than seven years in captivity at prisons in North Vietnam, including time at the infamous “Hanoi Hilton.” Four of those years were spent in solitary confinement. While imprisoned, Stockdale is credited with organizing a set of rules to govern the behavior of fellow prisoners of war and for helping to develop a code for prisoners to communicate with each other that included tapping on cell walls. In recognition of his leadership and sacrifice he was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1976.

I never had the privilege of meeting the man in person, but his leadership model is all I retain from four years of leadersleep classes in college.
The other point of connection was voting for him and Perot in ’92, for which I was rewarded with eight years of Clinton.
In supporting the Tea Party protests, and struggling to restore the Constitution to relevance in Washington, DC, we can honor these men who’ve made what freedom we retain possible.

April 17, 2009


by Smitty

Nothing more than an eyeblink of flyover country, Council, Idaho (~3.5 hours north of Boise on US95) had its tea party.

View Larger Map
How do I know? I goaded my mother into showing up, that’s how:

She says:

Paster Ted and Karen and I were at Council, Idaho. There were between 20 and 30 people when we were there. The wind was miserable. A lot of flag waving and horn honking went on. Sure you can post the pictures. Love, M.

Go, Mom!