Feminism, Diagnosis Of: Sclerotic. Treatment Modality: Study Paglia. Prognosis: Guarded

You may recall that this newsletter has advised you to read a bit of Camille Paglia’s work — and that you gave it a pass. What good luck for you, that once again the opportunity beckons.

Paglia is a devoted Obama supporter, feminist, Lesbian and Democrat. She has been savaged by feminist Czarina Gloria Steinem, who at one point imposed censorship on Paglia’s work. Mainstream feminism is nothing if not authoritarian, and Paglia is an original thinker whose intelligence and honesty threaten the Old Guard.

Start here and you will probably read it all, hungrily. Whatever your views, Paglia can only sharpen your vision.

Insight Into The Culture War

Orson Scott Card is a Democrat, a journalist, and a very angry man.

He recently expressed his outrage at the misbehavior of his party and his colleagues in the press. Unfortunately his words will be ignored for two reasons: first, because he is critical of the news media, and second, because he is a Mormon.

Mormons are suspect. Nobody trusts them. On the political right, they are viewed by fundamentalist (“evangelical,” “charismatic”) Christians as literal witches and servants of the devil. On the left, they are considered superstitious, ignorant fanatics whose politics are as crazy as their absurd religious beliefs (because most Mormons are not on the left).

Readers of the Penguin Post are invited to consider the pure meaning of Card’s words, ignore his political, religious and occupational affiliations, and determine whether the man has anything useful to say.

Card begins his philippic by attributing the current financial crisis and stock market crash to political figures:

This was completely foreseeable and in fact many people did foresee it. One political party, in Congress and in the executive branch, tried repeatedly to tighten up the rules. The other party blocked every such attempt and tried to loosen them.

The information the Penguin Post has been able to obtain indicates that Card is correct.

He then addresses his fellow journalists:

I have no doubt that if these facts had pointed to the Republican Party or to John McCain as the guilty parties, you would be treating it as a vast scandal. “Housing-gate,” no doubt. Or “Fannie-gate.”

Instead, it was Senator Christopher Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, both Democrats, who denied that there were any problems, who refused Bush administration requests to set up a regulatory agency to watch over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and who were still pushing for these agencies to go even further in promoting sub-prime mortgage loans almost up to the minute they failed. (Emphasis added.)

Yet when Nancy Pelosi accused the Bush administration and Republican deregulation of causing the crisis, you in the press did not hold her to account for her lie. Instead, you criticized Republicans who took offense at this lie and refused to vote for the bailout!

If you who produce our local daily paper actually had any principles, you would be pounding this story, because the prosperity of all Americans was put at risk by the foolish, short-sighted, politically selfish, and possibly corrupt actions of leading Democrats, including Obama.

If you who produce our local daily paper had any personal honor, you would find it unbearable to let the American people believe that somehow Republicans were to blame for this crisis.

It is interesting that Card feels the propaganda function of the news media results from a lack of personal honor. He may be a bit off base here. Bigoted, dishonest journalists and academics do have senses of personal honor, as did hard core Nazis. Recall the SS motto: Blood and Honor. Thoroughly unethical codes of honor are precedented. And today? For the ideologue who is an editor or reporter, propagandistic dissembling is not a breach of ethics (Google “taqiyya” for a parallel Islamic concept).

Continuing Card’s scolding of bad journalists:

Meanwhile, you have participated in the borking of Sarah Palin, reporting (does Card mean “instigating” or “launching,” rather than “reporting”? — PenPo) savage attacks on her for the pregnancy of her unmarried daughter — while you ignored the story of John Edwards’s own adultery for many months.

So I ask you now: Do you have any standards at all? Do you even know what honesty means?

Is getting people to vote for Barack Obama so important that you will throw away everything that journalism is supposed to stand for?

The above quotes are brief excerpts from an essay that deserves your time.

Journalists have cynically deepened the divide between the bicoastal elites and the nation’s heartland. The implications of that will be with us for many years to come.

This Is What Obama Has In Store

Here it is, ugly as sin and as real as any waking nightmare can be.

This mess is causing the publication of detailed analyses that show how Obama is trying to repeal the first amendment to the US constitution.

A result: the governor of the Show-Me state has decided that he has, indeed, been shown more than enough. That’s going to hurt.

So will this, if lots of people read it.

You Ain’t Seen Nuthin’ Yet, Bunky

You know who Joe the plumber is. He is a liar and rascal who is just trying to stir up hatred of a black man, or he is a guy who wonders whether he’s got a chance to better his life under an Obama administration, and asked about that.

Take your pick.

You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.

One of the facts that might make you a bit uncomfortable is the level of scrutiny Joe attracted, all because he asked a simple question of a man…whose sense of entitlement he thereby offended. In response to that audacity, the news media and a few other people have done all they possibly could to discredit Joe Wurzelbacher. His address was ferreted out and posted on a weblog. His tax situation was researched and disclosed. Perhaps the most interesting and damning thing discovered about this guy is that he fiendishly, deceitfully and maliciously calls himself “Joe” when Joe is not his genuine first name. Imagine: he prefers to go by his middle name! Aha! Gotcha!!

So who’s doing the all the digging into Joe’s life? Select the possibility that’s most probable: either this project has attracted folks who think Joe is all right and has a point, or it’s the work of people who are hoping to come up with something really damning. The second group would be folks like that brat who cracked into Palin’s personal e-mail. He said he did it in order to discredit her.

Who ya got??

The Obama machine has friends in places high and higher, and those friends are willing to abuse the privileges of their offices for illicit purposes. From this newspaper article come the following quotes:

Public records requested by The Dispatch disclose that information on Wurzelbacher’s driver’s license or his sport-utility vehicle was pulled from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles database three times shortly after the debate.

Information on Wurzelbacher was accessed by accounts assigned to the office of Ohio Attorney General Nancy H. Rogers, the Cuyahoga County Child Support Enforcement Agency and the Toledo Police Department.

It has not been determined who checked on Wurzelbacher, or why. Direct access to driver’s license and vehicle registration information from BMV computers is restricted to legitimate law enforcement and government business.

Yes, Nancy has some serious explaining to do. Don’t expect she will ever come clean, though. She knows she does not have to.

Well, now. If you were upset by the Patriot Act’s effects on civil liberties, expect to be pretty disgusted before the Obama gang is through working you over. This will be an administration busy investigating, slandering, libeling, accusing, censoring and intimidating its critics. Obama’s commissars will make yesteryear’s activities of NSA, Nixon, CIA, FBI, Oliver North, J. Edgar (“Sally”) Hoover, Joe McCarthy and HUAC look like warmup exercises.

Don’t expect what is arguably the worst Congress in US history to protect you. The ruling Democrats will be eager to re-implement the “Fairness Doctrine,” which is a measure intended to censor talk radio indirectly. Pelosi will be everywhere, preaching the wisdom of “balance” in programming.

Why is all this happening? (Yes, it has already started.) Obama is intolerant, irritable, unprincipled, autocratic and vengeful. He thinks in terms of organizing people to halt and/or break the system — so he can impose his brand of reform.

More than Obama’s temperament and job experience is involved, however. He’s a Neo-Marxist revolutionary, not a democrat. That ideological mindset involves specific implications, tendencies and guiding pressures that make such people more alike than different.

For example, a lot of energy will be wasted keeping us in line, rather than investigating and dealing with our blood enemies. Neo-Marxists are always excruciatingly sensitive about home-grown opponents. The obedient solidarity of the masses is an instinctive, primary concern.

Then there’s the press, the essential medium through which any Neo-Marxist government worth its name explains The Truth to the masses. It will be fascinating to see how Obama’s team maneuvers to maintain its grip on the news media as the months and years go by.

That may prove irrelevant, for both newspapers and electronic news are declining in influence. The medium that is taking up the slack, the internet, is too wild and too independent for Obama. We can expect, therefore, that the current UN attempt to wrest control of the internet from ICANN will not be opposed by the new administration. Bad, bad news. UN control means censorship, and once it is in place internationally, it will be easier to impose domestically — by extending the Fairness Doctrine, as if that travesty were being perpetrated in order to serve the interests of a global audience.

The greatest sins committed by governments are always those done in the claimed interests of the people. From witch hunts and genocide to confiscatory taxation and the McCain-Feingold Act, we are always abused for our own good. Thus “fairness” and “journalistic responsibility” will usher in tyranny.

When Obama finally targets our internet, the popular response must be shattering, overwhelming. He must be driven back with all the force we can deliver. The rebuke should ideally involve his impeachment and removal from office — though, given a Congress anything like the current mockery of representative democracy, that will prove impossible.

The struggle over the internet could well be bigger and more intense than the NRA’s coming battle to prevent Obama from invalidating or circumventing the SCOTUS Heller decision on the second amendment. (Yes, he will try it — slowly, stealthily, incrementally. An armed citizenry is alien to Obama’s design.)

Politically, the gloves are already off. Obama steamrollered Hillary, using some anti-democratic tactics (reported in this newsletter), and he’ll steamroller anyone else in his way. His cohorts/admirers include some of the meanest mad dogs ever to carry out the implicit instructions of a megalomaniac master. They will eagerly do more than Obama will have to order them to, as ACORN is currently demonstrating.

The pattern is already discernable. It begins when the boss says, “See to it.” Then the middle-level arrangers put some teeth in the order: “Get it done, and don’t be fussy about how. To make an omelette, you have to break eggs.” When this gets down to the agents and cops and bureaucrats who will be whipping the public into line, the context of the order will be, “They are our enemies, they need to be taught a lesson. Make an example of them, and don’t worry about where the chips fall.”

That’s how the Obama machine operates now. For evidence, look again at ACORN’s continuing, flagrant fraud, and recall the fact that Hillary’s supporters were bluntly told, “You can’t come in here. This caucus is for Obama supporters only.”

That’s what apparatchiki do. Their function is to act as cutouts, insulating the top man from blame for the illegal activities. They enable “plausible deniability.” They do the dirty work, leaving The Leader with clean hands — and a glib, smiling retort for his critics.

As Bart Simpson says, “I didn’t do it, nobody saw me do it, you can’t prove a thing!”

This newsletter is predicting nothing. It is reporting what is, and how things work.

More’s the pity.

There’s Just Something About This Guy That’s Repulsive, As James Lileks Deftly Points Out

Attention, Garrison Keillor fans: there’s nothing to see here, move on. Go on — shoo!

That should do it. All right, now that the twits have left us in peace, call this up, scroll down to “The Old Scout,” and bask in the acerbic eloquence of a Master Midwestern Wordsmith. Sample: “The man makes a Manichean look like an agnostic Unitarian.” Aah, heavenly!

Quick Stabs In The Back

Consider this as a way to start your next conversation with a stranger: “George W. Bush is an incisive military strategist who deserves to be ranked with Lincoln.” Many along the coasts of the USA might belt you for delivering yourself of that view, but it’s accurate.

Slowly, slowly, the facts are gaining ground on charlatans like Al Gore. The Penguin Post told you all this, so you probably don’t need more information, but here is a recent report that confirms that anthropogenic global warming is simply not a fact. It can’t hurt to make a note of it, and the next time some hysterical eco-freak starts preaching at you, scribble the URL down and pass it along. No, nutcases don’t often consider facts, and yes, this is a religious issue, not a scientific one…but what the heck? Remember Paul’s accident on the way to Damascus. You never know.

Witty. Trenchant. Unusual. Funny. Rapid-fire opinions delivered by an engaging personality. Three videos to enjoy! One, two, three. Oh, go ahead.

A WaPo columnist catches a Biden goof, but obviously only because she reads weblogs on the internet. Ironic? No, only as it should be but seldom is.

From the folks at HotAir: observations on the sycophancy of the media. You know the story, but this is still worth a look because it has a lot of evidence to back up its claims. Sample quote:

…the New York Times infamously smeared McCain with allegations of a sexual affair based on nothing but gossip from two disgruntled ex-staffers last February, and spent days rolling that out, using four reporters on the story. For the Obama/Ayers connection, they have Scott Shane telling us that there’s nothing to see here.

An interesting notion: graphing the popularity of ivory tower mindrot. It may not be terribly scientific, but then it is not clear that one should waste science on the ideas under observation on this website.

Oh, you say you appreciate pharmacies that remove all “expired” nostrums from their shelves promptly. You need to read this authoritative article.

Remember that bridge that collapsed in Minnesota? There is a very interesting report on its replacement. Worth your time.

This quote comes from a scholarly, reliable source…and it’s surprising:

Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck says the FBI underestimates self-defense killings by citizens because the ones that are not precipitated by felony crimes may not get counted. “Less than a third of (citizen killings) are reported,” he says.

More here.

Nice folks, Ayers and Dohrn. Just the kind you want as neighbors. Gulp!

Why should nonprofits be forbidden to express political opinions??

Boy, what a huge pain those Canucks can be. Imagine a nation where every third person is as reasonable as Al Gore.

Obama has a tax plan. Some economists looked at it. Yikes!

Derangement knows no borders. Rosie O’D. could have a TV show in Moscow if she could oink in Rooshian. Here’s proof that they too have a crop of nuts the year around.

According to one small newspaper, this is how ACORN managed to mess everything up.

A Penguin Post Bonus Feature

For movie fans and cinema enthusiasts alike, the treatment of violence is diagnostic of quality. This website has fifty clips of shootouts, with number fifty being the least impressive and number one the “best.” It’s a treasure chest of bloodshed and mayhem, with some fine acting tossed in. “Acting”?? Yes. It isn’t that easy to kill people convincingly, but DeNiro, Pacino and Finney are journeymen actors, and delights to watch.

There are some slip-ups, of course. The finest, best, most impressive and absolutely most amazing pure shootout ever filmed is rated Number Three in this collection. That’s terrible. And the best battle scenes ever put on celluloid were filmed in the 1950’s by director Akira Kurosawa in Japan. Unfortunately that masterpiece is not represented here. Not a shootout, you say? All done with swords and spears and bows and arrows? No, it’s got firearms. It is also the easiest sequence to follow, making all other film battles confusing by contrast. No one has ever matched Kurosawa’s ability to parse violence, analytically explaining it to us as it unfolds. He was the master. The fact that several of the films on this internet list of clips are pale reflections of his work is not noted. That does not seem quite — respectful.

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Fall In! Dress And Cover! Ready…Sing!!

These folks have been toiling in relative obscurity for years, trying to bring some humor to US politics. They have failed. Their satire is appreciated only by people who think exactly they way they do; in that sense, they are very much like Sandra Bernhard. The difference: Bernhard is politically correct, while these guys are politically obnoxious.

But…who knows? You might find some of their stuff funny. If you watched the Obama-Jugend-Kinderchor and felt as if you were witnessing the return of the ghastly period 1932 – 1945, then you might find this video apt.

Why in the world did the Obama enthusiasts not ponder the implications of what they were about to do before they did it? A moment’s rational thought should have told them that their effort verges on child abuse, and has hideous parallels.

Children are not supposed to be marching, singing, chanting political activists; there is something obscene about pushing them into partisan politics when the girls are Barbie fanatics and the boys want to be firemen.

Yes, it cuts both ways — Palin has her tiny tot admirers, too. They show up carrying pink signs decorated with red, red lips and hearts. That phenomenon is just passable because it has yet to manifest itself as communal activities…such as singing inspirational songs in groups commanded by adults. It’s the organized, “we are all going to participate,” “follow the leader,” “Susie, get your hands up higher and smile” aspect that grates on the nerves of the sensible observer, not the spontaneous, unscripted response of a highly impressionable child to an image.

The Obamaniacs made a huge mistake. Maybe the blunder was due to the infectious Alinsky Syndrome, a pattern of community organizing that walks right up to the creation of a network of neighborhood informers, and may or may not stop.

Or perhaps this group activity was inspired by Camp Obama. It may have come from the collectivist instincts of hard-core Democrats who have no understanding of an individualist political philosophy.

In any event, here’s another video inspired by the DIY kiddie propaganda. It draws blood.

This subject demands our thoughtful, clear-headed introspection. The issues here must be faced honestly, and our responses to them must flow from humane sensibilities.

The imperative: drop your partisanship for a moment, and think just of childhood.

What does it mean to be a child? What is our responsibility to these creatures?

If it still seems appropriate to propagandize, politicize, regiment, manipulate and exploit children in the pursuit of political solidarity, have a look at this book. It met with a tsunami of invective and outrage not long ago. In it you might find parallels that are even more disturbing than that provoked by the Obama-Jugend-Kinderchor. The experience would be salutary.

Finally, a specter-like question necessarily haunts the perceptive and ethical observer: what might some Jews think of this? Would they find it a bit off-putting, just a little too National Socialist American Workers’ Party? Stomp, stomp — goose step? Jackboots? Do any horrific symbols come to mind, or is the evil always in the eye of the skeptic?

Update: the video linked to above — which shows marching, stomping, chanting Obamaniacs in military formation — has been made unavailable. That is very much too bad, but of course it is understandable. The video explicitly reveals a militant mindset that suggests violence. If it becomes available elsewhere, perhaps you can view it…and perhaps you will find it as disturbing as did the staff of this newsletter.

Tangential observation: you can still buy a copy of this challenging book, just as you can still buy a copy of this hoary tract. Seriously, would you have it otherwise?

Old News That Somehow Was Ignored, So Here It Is Again

In his debate with Palin, Biden made some goofy statements — getting simple but essential facts very wrong. He’s counting on the ignorance of the voters and the complicity of the media, it seems. A list:

1. What the job of vice president is: Biden has it wrong when he says it is not a legislative position. It is.

2. What the job of vice president is, part two: if his team wins, it looks as if Biden will be AWOL a lot. The VP does not preside over the senate only in the case of a tie, as Biden mistakenly believes. He (or possibly she) presides all the time. Look, Joe — if you are not up there, in front of everybody, it will be too, too obvious. So you will have to report for work every darn day the Senate meets, Buddy.

3. Biden said that Article I of the federal constitution specifies the structure of the executive branch of the government. Wrong.

4. The costs of fighting imperialist Islam: be sure to read the comments, in which the figures are corrected. Here’s a really angry responseto Biden’s, er, creative statistics.

Now who was it — Couric? — who tried to sharpshoot Palin on what the VP does for a living?

True, none of the above means Palin is fit to serve. But if she had made these mistakes, they would have been shoved down her throat by a hostile press. Reality: these ignorant comments have been ignored because Joe made them.

Need evidence? ABC News claims to have checked the facts presented by the candidates and revealed the truth, but Biden got away with the errors listed above. Have a look.

Also in the “What If” category, there is this: it was a stroke of good luck for Palin that the ideological stance of the moderator was exposed before the debate. That revelation certainly made the moderator aware of the fact that she had to be careful about how she questioned the governor. Yet she still drew some fire for her perceived unfairness: “…was I missing something or did that aspiring author Gwen Ifill give Biden both the first and last words? Is that legal?”

Who won, then? Why, the debate was clearly won by the candidate you hoped would win it!

More On John McCain’s Problem With The Constitution

A law journal turns its attention to the embarrassing fact that McCain can’t constitutionally be president. As one might expect, several scholars try to squeeze McCain past the facts. Find it all here.

As you read, keep these truths in mind:

1. Congress determines who shall enjoy US citizenship.

2. There are two mutually exclusive classes of citizenship. Citizens have either been naturalized, or they have not. Those citizens not naturalized can be called “natural born” citizens.

3. Non-naturalized citizenship is not inherited. It is obtained by those who meet the legal requirements therefor set down by Congress.

4. A natural born citizen need never be naturalized.

5. John McCain was naturalized. The law naturalizing him became effective eleven months after his birth; its specific and express purpose was to naturalize people in exactly his position.

The above facts are not in dispute, as far as the PenPo has been able to determine.

The Trouble With Microsoft Products

“The” trouble? There are multiple problems with Microsoft products, not just one troublesome flaw. But try to find the biggest problem posed by the software from Redmond, and you might come up with this:

Botnets, or networks of infected or robot PCs, are currently the weapons of choice when it comes to spam and so-called “denial of service attacks,” in which computer servers are overwhelmed with internet traffic to shut them down.

Botnets are so troubling because they have massive computing power and a seemingly endless supply of newly infected PCs to replace old ones that are wiped clean or taken offline. Millions of PC have fallen victim. The owners typically never know. (Emphasis added.)


Sometimes people wonder why the PenPo is produced on a Linux computer. The above news is part of the answer. While it is possible to turn a Linux-based computer into a slave controlled by a remote villain, it is a challenging task for a very skilled cracker who is in no hurry — and he may never succeed. (By the way, “cracker” is the correct term for people who break into others’ computers; “hacker” is wrong, as it refers to folks who improve software/hardware, and then make those improvements available for free.)

Unlike Microsoft’s Windows, Linux is under constant study by its creators/maintainers, who issue fixes, patches and updates before crackers can find malevolent ways to exploit the bugs. From the discovery of a Linux vulnerability to the issue of a fix for the problem is usually a matter of just a few hours. And as time goes by, the nature of the vulnerabilities discovered moves from easily exploited to extremely unlikely to be of help to a cracker. It’s a constant winnowing process.

Microsoft, by contrast, is notorious for dragging its feet on security. Months or years can go by with no fix for a serious problem. A recent vulnerability discovered by outsiders is a security hole in Vista that literally cannot be patched. Ever. And here’s another problem.

Why any rational business would permit its Microsoft-equipped computers to talk to or hear from the outside world is a genuine puzzle. Windows should be used exclusively in computers that can receive only data that come from the LAN. Any connections to the telephone lines or to cable internet services are invitations to disaster.

Linux security is strong enough to direct crackers to Microsoft computers, which, after all these years, are still easy to break into and commandeer. It can be done by a robot computer.

A word to the wise.