Archive for May 18th, 2009

May 18, 2009

‘The Fourth Branch of Government . . ‘

“The kind of journalism that inhabits the New York Times, the Washington Post, the major broadcast-news organizations and CNN will not disappear. The government needs it too much, because national news is how the government does its PR. As the media business embarks on a bruising process of transformation, professional journalists will become a fourth branch of government in reality as well as in their own minds. Somehow, but inevitably, today’s mainstream news organizations will become government-sponsored entities funded with taxpayer dollars.”

May 18, 2009

Girl Scouts promote lesbianismand sell delicious Thin Mints . . .

. . . but mainly promote lesbianism:

When many parents think of Girl Scouts, they imagine young girls in uniform selling Thin Mints and Tagalong cookies – not learning about stone labyrinths, world peace, global warming, yoga, avatars, smudging incense, Zen gardens and feminist, communist and lesbian role models.
But that’s exactly what many of 2.7 million Girl Scouts will learn about with a new curriculum called “Journeys” released last year. . . .

Conservatives saw this one coming down the pike a few years ago, when the Boy Scouts got raked over the coals for prohibiting gay scoutmasters and the Girl Scouts were so quiet you could hear the crickets chirping.

Back in the day, Bill Buckley* postulated a law of organizational dynamics:

All institutions that are not explicitly conservative will eventually become liberal.

Fast-forward to 2009, and all institutions that do not explicitly prohibit homosexuality will eventually become pro-gay. So next time the Girl Scouts come knocking at your door selling cookies, try not to notice they’re now wearing flannel shirts, butch haircuts and sensible shoes.

And if you’re foolish enough to let your own child join the Girl Scouts, don’t complain when they come back from their annual camporee spouting quotations from Mary Daley and Shulamith Firestone.

“Really, mom, what kind of self-hating homophobic collaborationist are you?”
“Homophobic? Why, I don’t . . .”
“We’re being oppressed by the patriarchy!”
“Oppressed? What are you . . .”
“It’s dad! Don’t you see? He’s exploiting us!”

Future Femi-Nazis of America!

*A commenter suggests Robert Conquest as the originator of the maxim I’ve attributed to Buckley.

UPDATE II: Linked at the Creative Minority Report. When dealing with feminist dogma, it is important always to be as harsh as possible.

Feminist ideology is so self-evidently counterfactual that only a fool could believe it. Ergo, you should never address a feminist as if you were speaking to a person deserving solicitude, respect and deference, but rather comport yourself as if confronted by an unruly brat throwing a tantrum.

National Offend a Feminist Week was a rousing success. Some of us celebrate all year long.

UPDATE II: Linked at Stop the ACLU and Pirate’s Cove. I’m hoping we get some more linkage so this shows up at Memeorandum. Then Amanda Marcotte and Jessica Valenti will denounce the patriarchal homophobia, and I’ll ride the tsunami of hate to 10,000+ visits tomorrow. So link me now, you misogynistic right-wing bloggers, and we’ll all catch a wave.

May 18, 2009

‘Diversity Through Homogenization’and the Cowardice of the Elite

At Right of Course (FMJRA Site O’ Th’ Day at The Other McCain), Chance makes an important observation about Obama at Notre Dame:

The other problem with this whole ‘open discussion’ argument is the very people making it. These are the same people who see no problem at all with the near monopoly the left holds on the public and secondary education system. There is no open discussion on evolution or global warming, it is taught as absolute fact. I took several Sociology courses at two separate state universities (my college career was long and meandering). There were no opposing arguments offered regarding Karl Marx. I didn’t even hear about Friedrich Hayek (The Road to Serfdom) until after college. These are the same people who invite a man like Mahmoud Ahmadenijad to speak but protest Ann Coulter. These are the same people who attack Carrie Prejean for being against same sex marriage but for breast implants. Open discussion my ass.

Read the whole thing. Way back when, a friend of mine coined the term “diversity through homogenization” to describe the Left’s philosophy of multiculturalism. Rather than democratic pluralism — where different ideas and different people voluntarily cooperate through free institutions — the progressive fanatic insists that all institutions must be equally diverse.

The problem, of course, is that this approach destroys genuine diversity at its very source. The Boy Scouts must be forced to accept gay scoutmasters, Georgia Tech must pander to the Muslim Students Association, Larry Summers cannot be allowed to question feminist dogma at Harvard, and a Catholic university must have “open discussion” on abortion.

Such mindless multiculturalism advances like a conquering army because anyone who questions it is automatically accused of mala fides (bad faith). This is the psychological terror that Perez Hilton sought to wield against Carrie Prejean or Steve Benen wishes to wield against Rush Limbaugh. And it succeeds because most people are either too mentally lazy to analyze the bogus argument or too cowardly to speak the truth:

  • Mental laziness — Most people are smart enough to get the visceral sense that there is something fundamentally wrong and dishonest about progressive dogma. But the Ordinary American has a real life to deal with and isn’t accustomed to deconstructing abstract concepts like “homophobia” and “social justice.” And it is easier for intellectuals (“second-hand dealers in ideas,” as Hayek called them) to speak in widely-accepted categorical generalities than to examine the truth-claims hidden within those generalities. Without intellectual leadership, the opposition to fanatical multiculturalism suffers from a lack of prestige. When all the admirably articulate people haphazardly sling around terms like “income disparity” as if they were describing a manifest threat to civil society, why should Joe the Plumber question these categories?
  • Moral cowardice — The experience of Larry Summers at Harvard is the quintessential example of how the Left wins through intimidation. Summers was a liberal in good standing when he made the mistake of mildly questioning feminist dogma. Feminists believe with religious fervor that “underrepresentation” of women in any field can only be the product of sexist discrimination. This is merely the gynocentric variation of the basic argument of the Left that inequality always equals injustice, a transparent myth of the sort that inspired George Orwell to remark, “One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool.” Summers’ error was to challenge dogma half-heartedly, then to cower defensively when the fanatics howled in rage, rather than speaking with the bold determination of a man convinced of truth. Final score: Feminists 1, Summers 0.

Elitists like Summers are naturally cowards because they are motivated by personal ambition and a desire for prestige. This is why you’re never going to get heroic truth from the likes of David Brooks:

In your meteoric ascent through the ranks of the punditocracy, be sure to choose as your friends only those who are important enough to be helpful in your career. Take care never to stake yourself too clearly to any policy position that might be unfashionable with the producers of “Nightline,” and avoid directly denouncing any Democrat named Kennedy.
This way, no matter which party is in power, you’ll never be out of work and you’ll always be invited to the White House Correspondents Dinner because, after all, you’re so gosh-darn influential. In short, you will be one of The Republicans Who Really Matter.

What the influential elite count on is that none of their members will ever break ranks and call them out as the dishonest cowards they really are. They further assume that no Ordinary American is smart enough to analyze the elite’s output and expose the fraudulence of their “smelly little orthodoxies” (Orwell again).

These assumptions were safe, so long as (a) the only people dealing in second-hand ideas were those who shared the elite’s obsession with prestige; and (b) the elite exercised exclusive control over the means of intellectual production. But then the Fairness Doctrine was repealed, Al Gore invented the Internet, and there gradually emerged an Army of Davids — a hitherto unimagined mass of intelligent people who had “no skin in the game” of elitist ambitions and thus spoke truth fearlessly. Really, why should Matt Drudge, Rush Limbaugh, or Michelle Malkin care what the editors of the New York Times think of them?

“Truth is great and will prevail if left to herself. She is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless, by human interposition, disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate; errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.”
Thomas Jefferson

Well, there I go again, quoting another right-wing extremist. The editors of Newsweek would never hire somebody who does something like that, so I guess I’m never going to be one of The Republicans Who Really Matter. Diversity through homogenization can never succeed, so long as Ordinary Americans do not discard the weapons of “free argument and debate” by succumbing to the cowardice of elite ambition.

Honest people love truth like they love liberty. Better to freeze in the snow of Valley Forge than to be a lickspittle fawning at the feet of tyrants. Better to die for the truth than live for a lie.

“You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin — just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard ’round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn’t die in vain.”
Ronald Reagan, Oct. 27, 1964

Men with less hope of success have stood courageously in defiance of more powerful foes than we face today. One might hope that more Americans, desiring heroic reknown, would emulate the patriots at Concord Bridge.

Why, then, has ambition become the enemy of courage? Of the great many wise things Ronald Reagan said, he seldom spoke truer words than when he said, “You can accomplish much if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

It is the selfish craving for credit, the second-rater’s lust for awards and honors and praise, that characterizes the cowardice of the elite. David Brooks couldn’t stand to be left out of the Atlantic Monthly‘s weekly salmon-and-risotto affairs, because these are the rewards of elite membership, the validation of his prestige.

Such is the nature of this elite that only cowards ever apply for membership. No one expects honesty from the New York Times, because no honest man (or woman) would seek employment there. Yet this craven, selfish, dishonest path of ambition beckons the “best and brightest,” who desire the elite’s admiration so much that they learn to prefer smooth lies to rude truth.

So it is that Notre Dame embraces the lie of “open discussion” — as if the Culture of Death actually believes in “open discussion” — giving Obama a prestigious forum to proclaim the lie of “common ground,” and anyone who dares to disagree will be denounced and ridiculed by the elite.

Question the authority of liberalism, and you will be adjudged guilty of “intolerance,” “divisiveness,” “incivility” and whatever other accusation of mala fides the elite finds convenient to hurl at you. And you will forever be excluded from the ranks of The Republicans Who Really Matter.

May 18, 2009

Newsweek: ‘Counterintuitive’Is the New Stupid

The Washington Post‘s Howard Kurtz reports on the new “strategery” at sister publication Newsweek:

Jon Meacham admits it is hard to explain, even to his own people, why chopping Newsweek’s circulation in half is a good thing.
“It’s hugely counterintuitive,” the magazine’s editor says. “The staff doesn’t understand it.” . . .
Newsweek, owned by The Washington Post Co. . . . is bleeding red ink, losing nearly $20 million in the first quarter. Newsweek, whose circulation was as high as 3.1 million in recent years, plans to cut that to 1.5 million by the beginning of 2010, in part by discouraging renewals. The magazine will begin charging the average subscriber about 90 cents an issue, nearly double the current rate.
“If we can’t convince a million and a half people we’re worth less than a dollar a week, the market will have spoken,” Meacham says. The newsstand price will also jump from $4.95 to $5.95, a buck more than Time.

(Hat-tip: Hot Air Headlines.) Raise the price and discourage subscriptions? Brilliant! And check out their “innovative” idea for revamping content:

Meacham, an admirer of the Economist, is fashioning a serious magazine for what he calls his base, with a heavy emphasis on politics and public policy.

Right. You’re going to turn a mass-circulation news magazine into some sort of highbrow policy journal . . . weekly! And then watch the money roll in! If this isn’t the stupidest business strategy in the history of journalism — that’s a pretty tough competition — it’s certainly in the Top Five.

Notice that Meacham’s idea is to publish a magazine resembling a magazine that he likes to read. Call it the Narcissus Reflecting Pool Theory of journalism: If the top editor admires a certain publication, then trying to imitate that publication must be a good business strategy. What you are doing, therefore, is producing a publication for your own editors, rather than for the readers.

This is all very good if the editor is a visionary with a sense of what the reading public wants. But if your editor is a clueless dingbat like Jon Meacham, you’re screwed.

My advice to Newsweek staffers: Update your resumes.

UPDATE: Welcome, fellow AOSHQ Morons! You might also enjoy my take on MoDoGate, and my most recent American Spectator column, “The Republicans Who Really Matter.”

UPDATE II: Allahpundit loves me again!

It smells like they’re trying to remake themselves into a lefty rag like the American Prospect albeit with a bit more populist appeal and investigative journalism. Not quite as highbrow as TNR, not quite as lowbrow as MSNBC, but extra “serious” and willing to charge a bit more for their new supposed prestige.

Now if I can just get him to front-page my Green Room post about the cowardice of the elite . . .

UPDATE III: Welcome NRO readers! Perhaps you’d like to sample some delicious lesbian cookies?

May 18, 2009

‘Common ground’?

President Obama called for ‘common ground’ on the issue of abortion. . . . So, exactly what ‘common ground’ can be found with someone who doesn’t believe that a ‘non-viable’ infant born alive after an attempted late term abortion should receive medical care?”

May 18, 2009

9/12 Tea Party: 3,467 and growing!

As of May 13, there were already 3,467 registered for the Sept. 12 National Taxpayer Protest in Washington — some people are pledging to come all the way from California and Oregon!

Are you registered yet?

May 18, 2009

What Do the Cool Kids Believe?

“Too often, labeling one’s self as ‘centrist’ is just the moral shorthand of saying, ‘I don’t care.’ . . . Centrists avoid the hard work of forming opinions, preferring to let the ‘cool kids’ tell them what they believe.”

May 18, 2009

Andrew Breitbart apologizes

Jumping to a conclusion, he flipped off a demonstration about the LRA and child soldiers in Uganda.

Ouch. Andrew, you should buy a book and check out the Machine Gun Preacher. He’s been called “Mother Teresa with an AK-47.”

May 18, 2009

MoDo plagiarizes left-wing blogger!

Good-bye, Maureen Dowd:

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, in an email to Huffington Post, admits that a paragraph in her Sunday column was lifted from Talking Points Memo editor Josh Marshall’s blog last Thursday. . . .
[I] was talking to a friend of mine Friday about what I was writing who suggested I make this point, expressing it in a cogent — and I assumed spontaneous — way and I wanted to weave the idea into my column.
[B]ut, clearly, my friend must have read [J]osh [M]arshall without mentioning that to me.we’re fixing it on the web, to give Josh credit, and will include a note, as well as a formal correction tomorrow.

(Hat-tips: Don Surber, Memeorandum.) Her “friend” who gave her the quote was, no doubt, her paid editorial assistant. The New York Times provides all its columnists (including David Brooks, for example) with assistants. This practice is a hold-over from the days when the New York Times actually made money. The purloined paragraph:

More and more the timeline is raising the question of why, if the torture was to prevent terrorist attacks, it seemed to happen mainly during the period when we were looking for what was essentially political information to justify the invasion of Iraq.

This isn’t an obscure fact that you ask an editorial assistant to look up. (“Hey, Jennifer, what’s the GDP of Botswana? And get me a cup of coffee, hon.”) It’s a propaganda claim. That Maureen Dowd is paid $300,000 a year and can’t even be bothered to come up with her own liberal spin should tell you all you need to know about why the New York Times is slouching toward bankruptcy.

UPDATE: “Oh, to be a JournoList blogger tonight!”

UPDATE II: Ed Driscoll notes the history of “Dowdification.” Amazing that she couldn’t accurately quote the President of the United States, but she got Josh Marshall word-for-word.

UPDATE III: Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters: “Exit question: what does the friend know, and when did [s]he know it?”

UPDATE IV: Jimmie Bise at Sundries Shack:

I didn’t think there was a limit to how many times someone could write a column based around the theme “ZOMG! Dick Cheney is teh suck!”

Dowd’s column was part of a pushback against the Pelosi/torture revelations. If you suspect that this pushback was part of an orchestrated effort by Democrats to change the subject, you are a right-wing conspiracy-theorist nutjob.

UPDATE V: Welcome, Cold Fury readers!

May 18, 2009

Works out to just under $4k/word

by Smitty

Common Cents points to some uncommon frogskins. The Community Organizer in Chief delivered a 3,545 word gumflap to the Domers.
The pack of irate alumni at Replace Jenkins have announced a $-13.9 million un-downment as recompense for the days festivities. That works out to the speech costing the school just under $4k per word.
The joke, of course, will fall on the alumni, who mistakenly thought that their opinion matters a fig in Hopey-changereich. Somehow, through means perverse enough to defy a simple imagination, I expect they’ll get rooked like those holding Chrysler debt.