Utterly Reprehensible. Primitive. Anticipated.

The culture war continues. Letterman “jokes” that Sarah Palin’s fourteen year-old daughter was impregnated by a famous sports figure (yes, he did say that, though he denied it later: Palin’s eighteen year-old daughter did not go to the baseball game with her mother and younger sister — a fact Letterman knew — and so could not have been the “daughter” Letterman was referring to). CBS tried to prevent trouble by censoring the transcript, but a video exists. Letterman is indeed lying. Then a genuinely humorous response to the filth appeared.

This newsletter predicted long ago that the attacks on Sarah Palin would be vicious, and would definitely involve sex. Unfortunately the PenPo knows the “progressive” mindset too well, and cannot be said to be shocked by the subsequent excesses of the leftists.

Further, it is with chagrin that the PenPo confesses to an error of omission in the previous issue. A reference to pregnancy and abortions was deleted from the item on the Playboy attack on “wingnut” females. At the last minute, a question arose: did the filthy Playboy article include a comment to the effect that because the targets of the attack would not abort any pregnancies resulting from the suggested “hate fuck” assaults, they would deservedly suffer the consequences of the sexual activity? Yes, that rationale was spelled out in the magazine’s attack. And this newsletter erred when, in mistaken doubt as to the truth, it removed mention of it. Please accept the PenPo’s apologies for the deletion of particularly revealing and relevant information.

All of this distressingly distasteful news points to a profound puzzle: how is it that rape can be a weapon, and hate can drive sexual arousal? Simply pointing to the observations of Ovid will not do as an explanation. Listing instances of sadism and rapine in warfare is equally unsatisfactory. The why of the matter remains, at least as far as this newsletter is concerned, inexplicable.

That said, there are some generalizations that might be productive of insight into the issue.

First, note the similarities between the total excitations of the nervous system that occur during both agonizing pain and sexual transport. Child victims of torture are likely to be confused later in life by the powerful transformations of mind produced by both lust and agony. The obvious lesson: parents, do not cause your children to suffer overwhelming pain at your hands! A loved figure who is also a literal torturer may be responsible for the formation of imponderably dangerous impressions in the mind of a child.

Second, note that if males responded with weakness and complete sensitivity to female anguish, childbirth would be militated against. There may be something in the genetic code that necessarily hardens men to the suffering of the distaff portion of humanity.

Third, the link between humiliation and sex may result from the sheer strength of the family bond, which is an expression of exclusivity and precedence. Those adaptive mechanisms are protective, and give rise to a sense of propriety that often draws sharp lines between the public and the private. Wherever privacy is considered a requisite for sexual activity, its opposite is threatening. That makes some sexual references inherently hostile. The ultimate extension of this hostility could well be the violent imposition of sex on the unwilling.

These three observations are almost certainly incorrect in many details, and cannot be considered particularly helpful. As speculations, they hardly matter at all. But…where are we to start, when dealing with behavior that is so violently anti-social, so logically contrary, that it defies reason? How can hate provoke a forced act of sexual congress?

It is a puzzle, and there is hardly anything to be said about it except to deal with it descriptively. Let there be candor, then. In truth, a kind of madness has gripped the left. It is terrifying in its bitterness and feral intensity. Yes, it is widespread: note how silent the feminists have been through this nightmare. There can be no more damning indictment of the hypocrisy and shallowness of the orthodox feminist movement.

It is the right that is howling, and not because their icon, a woman cursed by her attractiveness, is being smeared. The outrage of the conservatives stems from their recognition of the fact that prominent idea-mongers on the left have literally abandoned civilized discourse in favor of primal, libidinous hatred.

These wholesalers of depravity are followed by millions of “activists” and “progressives” who see politics as just cause to savage women, impose punitive pregnancies on them, and mock them as sluts — no matter what their obvious values and behaviors.

It’s not just rednecks and hicks and hayseeds like Palin that are hated. The left has in fact moved closer to hatred in general. There is a fundamental hatred of the West, expressed in the servile worship of books like Said’s toxic hallucination, Orientalism. One should not be surprised to see “progressives” often embracing the oldest and most vile of all mankind’s delusions: Jew-hatred. Israel, watch out!

Domestic politics are no less the target of the culture-wreckers. In fantasizing about disarming the “wingnuts” in flyover country and breaking the back of capitalism, the left targets the fundamentals that made a representative democracy based on individualism work as well as it did…and gave us all not just hope and change, but the genuine promise of a better future.

By their choice of words and causes and targets, leftists have declared themselves. The culture war, in other words, is actually a war to decide whether the noblest achievements of Western Civilization shall survive.

Note: the following segment should be considered optional reading, as it will be of interest primarily to those who wish to glimpse the history of obnoxious speech in US politics.

The Decline Of Civil Commentary In US Political Discourse

Horrid things have been said about candidates for public office in the USA for many decades, but it seems that the advent of the twenty-first century has been marked by an unprecedented plunge into filth. Why this has occurred — if it has — deserves consideration.

In 1884, Grover Cleveland was the target of wags who felt his paternity of a child born out of wedlock was worthy of mockery. The doggerel, “Ma, Ma, where’s my Pa?/Gone to the White House/Ha ha ha” was considered racy and damning. Cleveland shrugged it off and won the election, as he deserved to. In later years, FDR and Eisenhower were able to carry off affairs without exciting widespread prurient comment. Even Jack Kennedy, whose swordsmanship was legendary, was unmolested by the press and public. The USA was willing to turn a blind eye to discreet misbehavior by its political elite.

That changed with Ted Kennedy. The juvenile, clumsy and ethically egregious behavior of the senator was so horrid that a girl died — utterly needlessly, and because of Kennedy’s self-absorption and cowardice. The consequences of the tragedy saw the senator lie and stonewall his way to technical innocence, hiding behind the cover of intimidated, coached witnesses. The criminal justice system knelt to the USA’s version of royalty, and justice was mocked. The shock to the body politic was palpable and durable.

Thus it was that when the prodigious sexual accomplishments of Governor and President Slick Willy became widely known, there was a sense that propriety had been flouted once too often. In what may have been the last gasp of contemporary political cynicism about sexual adventurism, the Democrats fell back on the contention that perjury is not always perjury — because everyone lies about his extramarital sexual excursions.

At the same time, Senator Packwood, as noted above, was hounded from office by howling feminists who savaged him for behavior that came nowhere near Slick’s serial conquests. The final element was in place: extramarital sex, or a succession of sex partners while in high office, were neither just a breach of domestic faith nor even an offense against the public’s proclaimed ideals. They were crimes to be judged not on ethical grounds, but on the basis of political partisanship. Slick, surely one of the most successful seducers of recent memory, was exonerated, and is said to carry on his obsessive activities, unperturbed by guilt or remorse. Packwood’s career was destroyed. He was probably ashamed of being accused of “womanizing,” whatever that bizarre and perverse term means. (Isn’t it odd that women are so bitter about men who associate intimately with women who are very receptive to the attentions of men?)

Lurking in the wings was Gloria Steinem, a devout liberal Democrat and one of the second generation of founders of contemporary feminism. Censorious, dictatorial and quintessentially political to the core, Steinem continues to influence feminists to this day. Her primitive tactics were and are directed at keeping the “women’s movement” free of polluting intellectual sophistication, such as the valuable ruminations of liberal Democrat Camille Paglia. For Steinem, as for many leftist luminaries such as Markos Moulitsas, it’s all about winning. Some say that rather than inject feminism with liberalism, she resuscitated moribund liberalism by injecting it with trendy feminist ardor.

As the bicoastal elite/liberal establishment maintained and extended its grip on the media, entertainment became more politicized. The smooth sophistication of Mort Sahl gradually gave way to a more obscene commentary, and the tradition pioneered by Lenny Bruce expanded. When Bush ran against Kerry in 2004, “comic” and actress Whoopi Goldberg felt it both appropriate and hilarious to regale her paying audience of liberal faithful with a protracted standup routine based on the fact that the word “bush” is a vulgar term for female pubic hair. This was a signal event, for it was subjected to scarce and mild criticism from the left (inaccurately reported as both widespread and severe), even though it was unimaginative, devoid of wit, and stunningly pre-adolescent.

A comparison is in order. Lyndon Johnson, president during the peak of the crisis of US Vietnam policy, was subjected to unprecedented vilification by many “pacifist” groups, and the taste of many of the demonstrations and plays, public performances and rallies left something to be desired. But nothing in that era — if memory serves — matched the sheer stupidity and boring childishness of Goldberg’s prolonged harping on a single lexical coincidence. A new low had been reached, for vulgarity of the most simpleminded sort had triumphed before a crowd of glitterati…because it pandered to their political views.

Sexual themes were now part of the standard vocabulary of political discourse. Now of course no rational person bases his voting decisions purely on smutty jokes; even Goldberg knows that. What was taking place was not the unfolding of a new articulation of political issues, but the exploitation of the media in the creation of an environment, an ambiance, a general mood. This involved the destruction of respect.

An example may help to clarify this point. Many years ago, a dignified and honorable man ran for president, and was defeated. He was the perfect liberal of his time, a tax-and-spend advocate of big government and statist policies that limited the choices of the individual. Those ideals made Adlai Stevenson, former governor of Illinois, a target of rock-ribbed conservatives. He was fair game in a rough-and-tumble contest. Yet he was not personally attacked, no sexual jokes were made about him, he was not accused of personal impropriety, and, as far as this newsletter knows, no effort was made to discover whether the polished and elegant gentleman was a homosexual or had a mistress. Even Stevenson’s most bitter enemies conceded that the man was personally “clean” by the standards of the day. It was, all in all, a fair fight. (How boorish of Jack Kennedy, therefore, to deliver a “stab in the back” to the governor in later years.)

The contrast with Bush’s reception cannot be more pointed. The former pilot, flat-stomached, extraordinarily fit and sartorially impeccable, was savaged for wearing a flight suit when in a military aircraft, endlessly hounded for his mispronunciation of a single word, damned as an alcoholic who might just fall into drunkenness at any moment, criticized for the stereotypical behavior of his teenage daughters, and…the list is virtually without limit. Stevenson was never similarly reviled.

Consider now the growing usefulness of sexual topics and terms as weapons in political disputes. Vulgarisms were becoming almost de rigueur in the degenerating political climate, as the respect accorded the office and the process (if not the man) were gradually chipped away. Smutty language gnawed at the public’s vague impressions of the presidency, eroding the understanding that the president is assumed to be an honorable and respectable man. Disagree with his policies, but treat him personally and his office with civility? No longer. Political disagreement justifies the most obscene and irrational expressions of contempt.

Into this setting of deteriorating commentary came a godsend to the architects of sexual vilification: Sarah Palin. This newsletter flatly predicted that she would be subjected to obscene verbal attacks without precedent, and that prediction was almost, but not perfectly, accurate (fortunately the bit about the sled dogs never materialized). Note that the objections to Palin were overwhelmingly cultural (she wears her hair up, can you believe it?), rather than political. No list need be presented here, for everyone recalls the wide-ranging remarks that were directed at this candidate from flyover country. Literally everything about her was damned.

The direct assault on the dignity of politically incorrect politicians is a fact of life. It targets candidates who are too attractive, come from the wrong part of the country, are too attached to “family values,” and are believed representative of a segment of US society that takes no interest in the amusements of the bicoastal elite. The bad taste that characterizes Palin and her ilk is reviled by the chattering class, and that estrangement from the elite permits Palin to be called a whore, bitch and slut (even as she is proclaimed by a feminist university professor “not a woman”). It allows a talk show comic (who years ago quailed when Dr. Ruth Westheimer, a sex researcher, uttered the word “penis” on his show) to joke about a fourteen year-old girl being impregnated by a baseball player while her mother, the real target of the slur, was irresponsibly preoccupied with the game.

Clearly, political orientation gives the left carte blanche, and part of that permission to babble like a sex-obsessed preteen is the permission to lie, and insist that the offensive “joke” was not what it actually was.

No, Letterman’s braying is not inconsequential. It is significant because it is considered almost required in the entertainment industry: Letterman’s instinct for what will get a laugh is highly developed. Yet he lies; that is a tacit admission of his guilt. He knows that what he said was beyond the pale.

The lessons originally taught by Lenny Bruce, Ted Kennedy and Whoopi Goldberg have been learned, and we are all the poorer for it.

If what Obama is doing to the nation can be opposed, it can be opposed on its demerits — without, in other words, engaging in any irrelevant vulgarisms. Yes, his programs are fascistic, even reminiscent of Nazi insanities, and no, his ideas are not consonant with a sophisticated understanding of the philosophy that underlies the constitution in its current evolved state. He is an ethical/political disaster, a genuine danger, and a Pied Piper. But as trenchant as this newsletter’s criticism of him has been and will be, the disgustingly low standards set by Goldberg and Bernhard remain far beneath the PenPo’s consideration.

Well. It is significant, is it not, that the “wingnuts” display a much greater tendency to civility than do the “moonbats”? Why might that be?

The answer is complex, but can be summarized without doing too much damage to the truth. The left is revolutionary, root and branch. It has come down to us from Marxism, which was a failed attempt to justify, in pursuit of Utopia, the overthrow of monarchs and republicans. The left is by origin and tradition results-oriented, as noted above, so it is willing to take the gloves off. It has a long history of not being very critical of men like Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and Castro, and today, many on the left are of Galloway’s ilk. The individual is expected to serve the collective, which explains Obama’s responses to Joe the Plumber, as well as why Obama favors a higher capital gains tax.

There is, therefore, a militant, Utopian aspect to the left, a fundamental desire to coerce and manipulate people in order to make them all literally equal, that naturally tends to transmute authoritarianism into totalitarianism. Violence is never far from consideration, and that explains why there is an emphasis on firearms control: the state will brook no potential counter-revolutionaries, but will monopolize violence. We await Obama’s word on that domestic “security force” he wants.

The right, by sharp contrast, begins with individual rights (Locke) and the benefits of free markets (Bastiat), then often plunging recklessly into a conformist prudery. When that occurs, the fascism that results is indistinguishable from the fascism of the left, and governance becomes the tool of a privileged elite. Free markets are captured by crony capitalists with connections, and the state pulls too many fast ones in its pursuit of public order. Censorship, though far from the exclusive property of the right, becomes more popular as religious nonsense replaces reason, and the police often carry out their duties with excessive zeal. Moralistic nonsense like the “war” on drugs and the persecution of prostitutes spreads.

What to do? This newsletter suggests that the electorate consider first the attempts to control information (the bias of the press) and the tone of the debate (the use of obscenity to erode respect) in judging the quality of its leaders. In those and all other matters, tell the rascals what you require, and hold them to a high standard. Left and right can be rotten, or they can be decent; what they choose to do depends on your reactions. So…react. Or you will lose the ability.

Final word: consider an alternative to both left and right. Keep reading the Penguin Post, and ponder its essential message carefully.

Links

Government health care, as seen by a Canadian…who tells US citizens what to expect if they don’t insist on the right choice.

Pakistan seems to be trying, but as the US soldiers in Somalia whose story was told in Blackhawk Down could tell you, Pakistanis are often very trying. Meanwhile Al Qaeda has plans of its own for the Pakistanis.

Afghanistan: too many US soldiers, or not enough? Some say the US Army needs to get outside the wire more, a tactic that worked very well in Iraq.

Some Iraqi reactions to Obama’s Cairo speech. Oops.

News from a remote corner of Iraq that is vital to the success of the US effort.

There is a case to be made for liberal views, and a case to be made for conservative views. John Bolton provides perhaps the beststatement of conservative values, and the best assessment of the right’s alternatives, this newsletter has seen in a long time. The left, being in command of government, the press and world opinion, has no need of a spokesman as articulate as he — at least not now. The day will come. Meanwhile, what about the individualist, moderate libertarian (i.e.non-Ron Paul, non-Randian libertarian) views that underlie The Penguin Post? That political orientation is almost totally irrelevant because it is known to only the tiniest minority, and understood by almost no one. (Sigh.)

Is anyone studying the possible impact of drug legalization on Afghan poppy growers? Unh, probably not, but harm reduction in the USA would be good for US foreign policy, because it would be good for the Afghan economy. It would also hurt the Taliban.

Pakistan claims to have “ turned the tide“. Sure thing. Right. Yes, you bet. Got it.

Before the election, this newsletter advised Obama to be completely candid about his birth certificate. He ignored the suggestion. As a result, people like this are prospering. The White House line is that the birth record posted on the internet is genuine and definitive; whether it is can be debated. As long as there is room for that debate, there is a problem you can see here. Obama could end this nonsenseat a stroke, and the longer he waits to do that, the more numerous and worked up the conspiracy theorists will become. He’s made the wrong decision.

The Foggy Bottom Medicine Show on the road: Obama the diplomat explains the debt Western science owes to the sages of Islam. Who writes his stuff, Clifford Irving?

Obama’s team has the dinosaurs on leashes. The details of how it’s done are fascinating. The relationship between press and White House has become an open secret. Meanwhile some folks think tamed and trained media are bad for good government, so there are some Bronx cheers coming from the cheap seats.

It was pork, payoffs and politics, not “stimulus.” Proof. Yet more proof.

You might wonder why The Penguin Post is so interested in debunking anthropogenic global warming. First, because it’s very bad science; second, because it’s a perversion of science; and third, because of this. And this is an irritant, as well.

While warfare has its academic side — theory and strategy — outcomes are mostly a matter of will. That’s the challenge the West faces, and it’s discussed brilliantly in the linked essay. Don’t pass up this opportunity to read it. Discussions of this subject have become vitally important, for decades of collectivism and political correctness, followed by the many terrible choices the US made in its Vietnam misadventure, have emboldened Islam. The world’s most evil religion believes its opportunity has come.

This would have been a good April Fool’s Day item, had it appeared some weeks ago. The PenPo could have promoted it as “proof that anthropogenic global warming is a fact, and that the world is going to melt down soon.” The proof would be in the prediction of a “summerless year,” which, as we all know, simply must be a result of AGW. After all, whatever the effects — from blizzards and floods to heat waves and droughts — the cause is always Mr. and Mrs. USA and their damnable SUVs, selfishly dumping tons and tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Obama’s concept of government-paid health care for the masses is summarized and outlined for you in this overview. Then there are (a) this look at the possibility of coercing people into signing up, (b) the exposure of claimed cost reductions that are inaccurate and deceitful, and (c) a pensive commentary that notes, “…most newspapers aren’t making the case against Obama’s proposals, either because their journalists are … firmly in his pocket or because they themselves don’t understand the issues involved.”

Time magazine goes a little goofy-nutty now and then. Proof.

Here’s a biography of the gnome who invented, and pushed the development of, the mobile phone. This newsletter is assembling a Vodoun doll of the fellow. Evidently he does not get to public restaurants these days, and therefore need not experience the misery his infernal device visits daily upon decent people everywhere.

The facts of history be damned: contemporary “progressives” are still trying to peddle outrageous lies about traitors of the not-so-distant past — Hiss, Stone, and the Rosenbergs, for example. The effort is part of an attack on critics of Marxism and its current variants.

Related to the above: how many factions are there in the culture war? Several, and some are becoming more obvious. Call one the culture of treason. Note its Xerox-like similarity to the “progressive” mindset — which turns out to be great camouflage for spies.

Police in Britain are abusing the laws to arrest minors, get their fingerprints and DNA into the police records, and then drop the charges. They suspect the “children” will soon be active criminals, and serious ones at that. Yes, it’s improper, and this certainly is a police state in operation. Read the post, and then decide whether you feel this is a policy that can be debated, rather than simply condemned. What is the insult to the individual whose DNA is on record? Which of his rights has been violated?

From The Archive

Two brief comments from the pre-Terrapin Gazette days: the first dates to November 18, 2003.

The more things change….

According to reports on the internet, journalists in Iraq are now hiring “minders” to take them around and help them gather information. This because most of them don’t speak Arabic, don’t know how to find the toilets, have little idea of which way is north, and so on.

OK, fine.

The fly in the ointment: the journalists are hiring the same people who were their minders under the Saddam regime.

The translator/guides are Ba’ath Party functionaries.

That’s right: the journalists will not know what anyone says to them, they will only know what the translators tell them was said. And the people talking to each translator will often know who and what he is. That means they will be afraid of him.

Now that’s what I call a perfect example of one of the very good reasons why we should NOT trust the major news media. Any journalist who resorts to relying on the enemy for objective help in information-gathering has to be profoundly biased, incompetent or just an ignoramus.

Overall, botched coverage of the entire region has made the last decade or so one of the most disgraceful periods in the history of journalism.

The news media have a long way to go before they will deserve our respect and trust. They seem disinclined to make the journey.

From December 31, 2003, these complaints about weapons inspectors continue to echo in Washington….

More on Iraq: I have seldom been so disappointed by otherwise intelligent people…that is to say, the folks who put so much faith in those weapons inspectors let us all down, didn’t they? They have always insisted that all we have to do is get a rogue government to agree to inspections, and all will be well.

Leading the pack of goofballs is the empty suit who heads the IAEA, Mohammed El Baradei. I never trusted him, and now it turns out he has finally realized that he made exactly the mistake I avoided. He once trusted himself and his team to do a thorough job.

At least he admits now how wrong he was. Here, shamelessly stolen off the internet, is what this wide-eyed naif had to say after Khadaffy, the dictator of Libya, realized what the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq really meant, and opened Libya fully for the first time:

The veteran inspector said the findings highlighted the inadequacy of international inspections. IAEA teams have been visiting Libya for years and knew nothing about the equipment they saw Sunday. Some of it was found along dirt alleys in urban neighborhoods.

Even permission to allow surprise inspections would not guarantee discovery of a nuclear weapons program. `Low-level programs like this are difficult to detect. They can be run in a garage,’ El Baradei said. `You would have to be lucky or have very good intelligence to run across it. We’re doing a lot of soul-searching.’

Keep searching, Mohammed. Everybody needs a hobby.

Sigh…. While it heartens me to see that some of the bozos are finally getting a grip on reality, I’m not turning handsprings. We have a long, long way to go in Iraq. It may take us decades to discover half of what Saddam’s boys hid there.