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Saturday, December 06, 2008
The Peter Principle At Work

Gail Collins used to be one of the regular OpEd writers at the New York Times before she was kicked upstairs to be the editor of the editorial page. It's clear why they did it, because she was the worst of the OpEd writers, and on a page that features Paul Krugman and Bob Herbert, that's pretty bad.

Consider today's offering from her feeble brain. She bashes Saxby Chambliss:

Anyhow, the Georgia runoff was more important than you might imagine. Certainly more significant than anything Chambliss has done since he skipped a closed-door Senate session on Iraq intelligence data to go golfing with Tiger Woods. His victory means that the Republicans will have at least 41 seats in the Senate when Barack Obama becomes president. (This is actually going to happen eventually. I promise.)

Never mind that most of the Democrats didn't study the Iraq prewar intelligence either.

The article mostly gripes about how unfair it is that the Democrats won't have 60 seats in the Senate. Inevitably she hops on the Joe Lieberman-bashing bandwagon:

Besides, if the Democrats did get the 60 seats, one of them would belong to Joe Lieberman. You may recall that although Lieberman spent the last year campaigning for John McCain (and, as it turns out, donating money to Republican candidates for the senate), the Democrats were so desperate to keep him in their caucus that they caved in to his demands to keep his committee chairmanship. If Lieberman had turned out to be Mr. 60, he would not only have wanted the committee, he would have insisted on being carried to all its meetings on a litter, borne by the fellow senators who failed to appreciate him, with Lindsey Graham running ahead, clashing cymbals.

Jeez, Gail, leave the humor to Mo Dowd, who is at least capable of being funny.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Interesting portrait of Naomi Klein, leftist nutbar in the New Yorker.

It confirms much of what we've long known about the far Left; that it runs in families. Klein's parents and grandparents were left-wing agitators; her grandfather's brother moved to the USSR after the communist revolution there. So in that sense, it's not surprising. But I did enjoy a few bits, including this:

Because Klein doesn’t expect much from any politician, she doesn’t spend time wishing Obama were more progressive. “I don’t want to appear too cynical, but when I first saw the ‘Yes We Can’ rock video that Will.I.Am made, my first response was ‘Wow, finally a politician is making ads that are as good as Nike’s,’ ” she says. “The ‘Yes We Can’ slogan means whatever you want it to mean. It’s very ‘Just Do It.’ When you hear it, you catch yourself thinking, Yeah! We’re gonna end torture and shut down Guantánamo and get out of Iraq! And then you think, Wait a minute, is he really saying that? He’s not really saying that, is he? He’s saying we’re going to send more troops to Afghanistan. He’s telling regular people what they want to hear, and then in the back rooms he’s making deals and signing on to the status quo. But if people don’t like where Obama is they should move the center.” To this end, Klein has been taking every opportunity to call for the nationalization of the oil companies. “It’s the job of the left to move the center,” she says. “Get out there and say some crazy stuff! And then, suddenly, it’ll seem more reasonable for politicians to take riskier positions.”

Yes, let's propose something really crazy so that then something only mildly crazy can get accomplished. And get this discussion of a leftist group:

The evening was sponsored in part by the Platypus Affiliated Society—a student-teacher reading group that focusses on the Frankfurt School and the Second International period of Marxism—and a few of Platypus’s members, tall, thin, pale young men, had set up a table out front. Platypus was founded on the idea that the left didn’t have a proper sense of its own history, especially the bad bits, and that a study of that history would help it emerge from the troubled state in which it found itself. (“Protest has devolved into an insular subculture of self-hatred, frustration, and anxiety derived from a pathological attitude towards social integration,” a typically morose editorial in the Platypus Review declares.) Given its emphasis on self-criticism, Platypus was not a natural constituency for Klein’s work, but because she was coming to the campus the group read “The Shock Doctrine,” and also Hayek and Friedman. “The conservatives engage the questions of freedom and utopia directly,” Ian Morrison, the editor of Platypus’s newsletter, said. “We were very struck that Klein seemed to back away from utopianism, because we feel that the left has liquidated itself in part because it’s conceded talk about freedom to someone like Bush.” Platypus’s interrogation of the past has led it in a variety of directions. Several of its members also belonged to the new Students for a Democratic Society, a revival of the new-left group from the sixties. In August, Platypus participated in a historical reënactment, in Grant Park, of the 1968 Democratic Convention, minus the police. “As a group of young, largely inexperienced activists it was the only organizing framework we could find which emphasized active participation,” read a writeup of the event in the Platypus Review. “Other forms seemed linguistically and ideologically flaccid. . . . We didn’t want to view our history—our radical history—as if from a riverbank, we wanted to jump in and splash around in it. . . . We debated, for instance, the ethics of nominating a live pig for the presidency: what should we feed it, and where would it stay?”

LOL! Of course, these Platypus guys didn't realize they'd just be imitating the TV show Green Acres from the 1960s, which had a pig named Arnold Ziffel running for President.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Deborah Lawrence's "Art"

This gal attracted some attention by putting a message of impeachment on a Christmas tree ornament that will be hung in the White House:

The nine-inch ball is covered with swirly red and white stripes -- and, in tiny glued-on text, salutes the Democratic congressman's support for a resolution to impeach President Bush. (Also showcased: Washington state's 1919 labor strike, its suffrage movement and the violent anti-World Trade Organization riots of 1999.) Lawrence sent it off to D.C. in September and was very surprised it was accepted for the tree -- and that she was invited to this afternoon's White House reception for the artists, which she flew to D.C. to attend.

Well, the part there that immediately caught my eye was the bit about "glued-on text". My theory is that the quality of art is inversely proportional to the number of words incorporated into the art. Sure enough, it looks like Lawrence is more of an aspiring editorial cartoonist than an artist. Check out some other examples:

Mrs M is reminded of crank letter writers:

I occasionally get hate mail written in the teeniest, tiniest scrawl that will go on and on for pages. I’m always fascinated by the painstaking script — and the amount of time that must have gone into working out whatever strange pathologies gripped the writer.
More Heroism In Mumbai

Gripping story here:

After that near-miss, my wife and I decided we should hide in different rooms. While we hoped to be together at the end, our primary obligation was to our children. We wanted to keep one parent alive. Because I am American and my wife is Indian, and news reports said the terrorists were targeting U.S. and U.K. nationals, I believed I would further endanger her life if we were together in a hostage situation.

Imagine having to make that kind of decision. Excellent article, great writing.
Monday, December 01, 2008
Heroic Female Medic Awarded Silver Star

Check out this terrific story:

Brown's instincts kicked in with bullets whizzing by and mortars exploding around her. This young woman, who was not even supposed to be in front line combat, threw her body over the wounded paratroopers to protect them. "It was an uncontrollable situation," she remembers. "And I just dove over Spray, 'cause Spray can't defend himself. It's not like he can go anywhere to take cover. So, I dove over him. Make sure he didn't get any shrapnel or anything from it."

Then, while still under fire, Santos and Brown dragged the injured men into a pick-up truck. Brown once again covered them with her body as Santos drove them to an area where they could be treated.

Not all war heroes are men. Kudos to Private Brown!
Sunday, November 30, 2008
On Sex With Sheep

Oh, my, this is one of the funniest things I have ever read.

Signora Fallaci then moves on to the livelier examples of contemporary Islam -- for example, Ayatollah Khomeini's "Blue Book" and its helpful advice on romantic matters: "If a man marries a minor who has reached the age of nine and if during the defloration he immediately breaks the hymen, he cannot enjoy her any longer." I'll say. I know it always ruins my evening. Also: "A man who has had sexual relations with an animal, such as a sheep, may not eat its meat. He would commit sin." Indeed. A quiet cigarette afterwards as you listen to your favourite Johnny Mathis LP and then a promise to call her next week and swing by the pasture is by far the best way. It may also be a sin to roast your nine-year-old wife, but the Ayatollah's not clear on that.

Well, a bunch of particularly buffoonish liberals thought they'd caught Steyn (and Fallaci) propagating a hoax. But (surprise, surprise), they'd been punk'd themselves.

As one of the commenters over at Big City Liberal (BCL) notes:

Well, the good news, BCL is that it would be Haraam for Steyn to actually eat you after what he has just done to you in print.

Hat Tip: Memeorandum.




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