Crafting Reality

Pre-emptive strikes are the order of the day. Given that the press is for the most part biased toward collectivist politicians, it might come as no surprise that specific individuals are being targeted by the left for “de-legitimization” if (a) they are of or near the political right and (b) they are deemed likely to arouse popular support in the political center. Some of this activity may be revenge for the Swift Boat Vets’ campaign against Kerry, and some of it is part and parcel of the widespread hatred of G. W. Bush. There is no doubt, however, that Sarah Palin touched off a firestorm of fear and revulsion on the left, and can be considered the proximate cause of today’s pre-emptive strike phenomenon. It’s an interesting tactic, discussed in detail here.

It is necessary to note that this website, www.thenextright.com, is blocked to the PenPo. Accordingly, the URL given here may not be complete, which means it might work for you. If it does not, and you want to read the article, begin by calling up just the website (if that does not work, try this link instead) and then use the site’s search feature to locate and open the specific entry you want. Key words for this post are, “Bobby Jindal, CPAC, Hurricane Katrina, investigative journalism, Louisiana, Media.” Use them to search for the article titled, “While You Were at CPAC,” by Patrick Ruffini.

Continuing along the tangent…you may find the story behind this blocking of a website intriguing. Why are some sites blocked to some people?

Usually it’s because of misbehavior of the ISP that is requesting access to the site. That means that if Joe in Omaha uses ISP “SooperNet” for his browsing and e-mail, and SooperNet is a known conduit for spam, many ISPs around the world may refuse SooperNet’s attempts to connect to their customers. The ISPs are protecting people from the rogue, scofflaw SooperNet, in other words. So if Joe wants to get to a blocked site, he’s going to have to tell SooperNet to clean up its act — and get SooperNet to do it.

PenPo staff confronted a local ISP with proof that the ISP was running an open relay that caused the ISP to be blacklisted internationally. You would think that would take care of things, eh? This newsletter was told simply that an open relay makes money for the unprincipled ISP, and the PenPo could take its concerns right back out onto the street. That’s typical Thai business practice — part of what the PenPo calls “The Chinese Shopkeeper Syndrome.” In the USA, you could express it as “The customer is always wrong.”

There are other reasons for blocking websites. A block can be imposed by the ISP of the person trying to call the websites up. That seems to be the case here with www.thenextright.com, which some would call a “wingnut” site. It is one of at least eight websites that basically oppose Obama and are all blocked to the PenPo. (Recent development: there are five blocked sites now; why things changed is a puzzle.) No pro-Obama (“moonbat”) sites are blocked, as far as the PenPo knows. The placing of the blocks does seem to be based on political ideology, in other words, although that cannot be proved conclusively. Certainly this newsletter has seen no instances of an exception to the rule that the political right is partially blocked and the left is blocked not at all.

Note well: we all live with the censorship imposed by the biased media. It’s not just some pissant ISP in Thailand that pulls stunts like this.

Sure, in most cases, the censorship is not this crude and obvious. Clever newspaper censorship typically allows some reports to be circulated locally (in a restricted geographical area) but not in big markets; then the reports are dropped and ignored. This happens to a lot of stories about the UN’s corruption, blunders and incompetence, for example; the reports can be found, if you dig, but the outrages are stunningly under-reported, and the dearth of facts contributes to the generation of myths.

Do you recall that Libya was inspected by the UN’s IAEA, and then, when Qaddafi decided to come clean, he showed the IAEA where to look? It was a hugely embarrassing moment because it exposed the incompetence of the UN’s star nuke-smeller, Mohamed ElBaradei, so reports of it and its many extraordinarily serious implications are very thin on the ground. ElBaradei continues to be portrayed as competent and his accomplishments are still regarded as not just effective, but sufficient. Few things could be further from the truth.

Then there was the confusing fuss over Valerie Plame Wilson, with some falsehoods reported as fact (those Italian documents were fakes, and were early on exposed as such; the real information, which was correct about Saddam and Niger, came from the French, who can’t admit that). There was limited coverage of the truth, and it has left its footprints on the internet, but we live in an age in which people tend to believe the prevailing news. The prevailing news, the consensus, defines what “everybody knows.”

It’s not a plot, it’s not a coordinated conspiracy — it’s people making choices according to their pre-existing preferences; it’s value systems operating normally. Call it groupthink, call it the dominance of an elite, call it radical chic, a shared mindset, or group ethos. It is probably not terribly inaccurate to call that ethos collectivism.

Censorship does not have to be total to be effective. Censorship can shape the popular wisdom by restricting, rather than cutting off, distribution of some facts. That allows fables to form. Fables become slogans; the slogans become shibboleths for ideologues; the orthodox believers rise in the news media hierarchy, while heretics do not; the patterns of censorship support the orthodoxy. Reality is not apprehended — it is crafted.

Breaking the cycle is difficult, but the internet is a new medium in which the orthodoxy is just another participant. That’s why the UN wants to seize control of ICANN.

US Troops Prepare to Come Home After Years Of Frustration

It’s been tough and it’s been slow, but it’s almost over. Violence almost without parallel devastated the area, and society broke down completely. Thugs threatened the residents, many of whom left for good. Many returnees faced serious security problems. For over three years, the US military struggled to pacify and stabilize the area, and now, at long last, the soldiers are leaving. They will turn peacekeeping over to the traditionally corrupt and incompetent local authorities. Will it work? Many residents are pessimistic. But sooner or later, US troops will depart New Orleans, Louisiana. The full story of the city’s misery might provide a bit of perspective for those pondering US foreign policy.

This Guy Is An Ethical Disgrace, Not A Rational Choice

President Obama has appointed one Charles Freeman to be the chairman of the National Intelligence Council.

Freeman’s job will be to edit the daily reports of the various intelligence agencies for Obama, and present to the chief executive those items important enough for him to know about. Freeman will, in other words, be functioning as a one-man censor, telling the president what he wants the president to know in ways (emphasis, detail) that he wants to the president to hear it. The gatekeepers in the major news media must be incandescent Kelly green with envy.

Obviously the man who can, if he wishes, trivialize the monumental and emphasize the inconsequential must be more pure than the driven snow. His objectivity, ethics and sagacity must be utterly without appearance of blemish. The nation’s security in a terrifying era depends on those virtues.

Obama has blundered.

Or, worse, he is plotting something horrible.

This embryonic disaster was brought to the PenPo’s attention by a weblogger who posted as follows:

I can’t understand why the media hasn’t (sic) even reported on the appointment of Freeman.

The lack of concern about Freeman from the media and from the Left shows how much they value critics of Israel. In any other circumstance an appointment of someone with Freeman’s conflicts of interest would be the subject of scrutiny. I guess his anti-Israel stands trump all else. [Funny, I thought The New Republic was leftist.]

Well, two comments: yes, The New Republic is left, though it is also clumsier and more transparently dishonest than a third-rate high school monthly (Glass, “Thomas”). Second, the appointment is getting some major media attention. Using his credentials as a New Republic senior editor, John Chait wrote a column for the Washington Post, backing up his boss Peretz. For once someone at The New Republic was on target. Selected quotes:

Freeman belongs to the camp that’s the mortal enemy of the neoconservatives: the realists. Realist ideology pays no attention to moral differences between states.

…realists are the mirror image of neoconservatives in that they are completely blind to the moral dimensions of international politics.

Taken to extremes, realism’s blindness to morality can lead it wildly astray. Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, both staunch realists, wrote “The Israel Lobby,” a hyperbolic attack on Zionist political influence. The central error of their thesis was that, since America’s alliance with Israel does not advance American interests, it could be explained only by sinister lobbying influence. They seemed unable to grasp even the possibility that Americans, rightly or wrongly, have an affinity for a fellow democracy surrounded by hostile dictatorships. Consider, perhaps, if eunuchs tried to explain the way teenage boys act around girls.

Freeman praised “The Israel Lobby” while indulging in its characteristic paranoia. “No one else in the United States has dared to publish this article,” he told a Saudi news service in 2006, “given the political penalties that the lobby imposes on those who criticize it.” In fact, the article was printed as a book the next year by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in New York.

Freeman wrote that his only problem with what most of us call “the Tiananmen Square Massacre” was an excess of restraint:

“[T]he truly unforgivable mistake of the Chinese authorities was the failure to intervene on a timely basis to nip the demonstrations in the bud…”

Well, there is more to it than that — the USA had an excellent reason for supporting Israel when the USSR existed, as CIA and other intelligence agencies had few good sources of information inside the Soviet empire and the Israelis had virtually the only access. Too, the Israeli air force was of great importance to the defense of the eastern Mediterranean against the Soviet navy.

Those days are gone, and as the collision of the West with the violent segment of Islam became more obvious, opposition to Israeli policies and the partnership with the USA increased. The complaints against Israel are peculiar, as they do not involve the harm done the USA by Zionists and their causes — the objections are almost all based on the claimed abuse of “Palestinians.” When the USA should have lowered the boom on Israel, it did not; the ethically flexible President Johnson, horrified by the implications of the attack on the USS Liberty, insisted that nothing be done. If ever there was a time to call Israel to account, that was it. Yet the bizarre crisis was papered over.

Over time, the hard left in the West became increasingly hostile toward Israeli interests and Jews. Leo Strauss at the University of Chicago became the devil behind the nefarious neoconservative cult, and opposition to a philosophically sophisticated political right hardened. Strauss was a Jew…!

The left began wriggling and writhing under the intellectual challenge. How was it that these ignorant hicks got into college and graduated with their political orientations intact? The response sometimes took the form of a humanitarian pose inspired by the UN’s vaunted goals. This in turn spawned undeserved sympathy for “Palestinians,” a self-defined ethnic group that, as a general rule, longs for the murder of all Jews. As the circle closes, we note the affinity between Cuban communism, the dictatorship of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, the mythology of Che Guevara’s risible revolutionary career, and solidarity with the “Palestinian” cause. The implications of this linkage are extraordinary: how the Koran can be squared with communism, Marxism or even neo-Marxism is a puzzle.

It seems the enemies of the West consider the Jews to be exponents of a world-view that cannot be tolerated, whether because of their religious traditions and past as the only group to refuse steadfastly to convert to Islam, or simply because they are an Eastern people who have embraced the West’s practice of Enlightenment values.

Now look at the other side in the feud. There is more at work here than straightforward sympathy for a tiny group of people who are considered inferior by the Arab world, and have accordingly taken on the role of martyrs. The “Palestinians” believe that their cause is supported by Islamists and “progressives” the world over, but once again, they delude themselves. It is the Jews who are hated, not the “Palestinians” who are loved.

To oppose Zionism is to oppose the West and its capitalism, the concepts of Liberty and the sovereign dignity of the individual. After all, the USA is a nation that has given Jews the freedom to exploit their intelligence and industry. Under a “fair” socialist system that punishes success, that will all be ended.

To hate the Jews is to hate the USA as it is, and even the most simple-minded bigot in the Ku Klux Klan grasps that fact. The censors, “progressives” and realists have varying levels of intolerance for a system that rewards merit. Success is vile if it is not collective, as Obama explained to Joe the Plumber. (“Collective” means a circumstance in which A has the authority to confiscate the wealth of B and give it to C, all without the permission of B. The selection of C to receive the treasure of B is made by A.)

Yes, the president’s view is exactly that dysfunctional and realistic. Those capital gains taxes must be raised, said The One, in the interests of “fairness.” Taxation as an instrument of social policy was always a mistake, and once that error was permitted, a Pandora’s box was opened. Taxing is now a punitive procedure. It is designed to harm those who have had either the good luck or the canny craft to invest profitably. That is not just mean-spirited; it is blatantly anti-Western.

If he spoke his mind without considering the consequences of total candor, Obama would — in the sheer, unsupportable opinion of this newsletter — have some vile things to say about Jews. And why? Simply because given Liberty, the Jews do quite well for themselves and their hosts. It often seems they don’t need community organizers.

An image comes unbidden to mind: one is reminded that the Islamist conspiracy in the United Kingdom that perpetrated a number of murders was particularly peculiar because a large percentage of its members were physicians. Healers, slaughtering the public at large, selecting victims at random, in the name of pious religious faith?

One wonders whether even the Stern Gang would have done that, or could have included physicians in its ranks. To the extent that Western values are less than perfectly transmitted in some Western societies, the answer is yes. It is precisely that imperfect dissemination of Enlightenment ethics that must be militated against, and that imperative should be utterly obvious. Men like Freeman, pure realists as cold and amoral as any machine, cannot be relied upon to uphold, exemplify and defend the fundamentals of our culture. They do not understand them, feel them, in the first place.

To return to the main theme: Jew-hatred is USA-hatred, and the reverse is true. If you nod sagely as Noam Chomsky murmurs his way through another of those calm lie-laced sermons damning Washington, you come to realize that a certain suspicion of and disgust for Jews is fundamental to your world-view. So it is with Chomsky, who won’t stoop to crass rants about how Israel is an abomination and Jews in the US hierarchy are scheming termites. Chomsky just declines to identify virulent Jew-hatred as such, when he remarks on it at all. Oliver Kamm, a favorite source for items in the PenPo — quod vide — has long been at pains to vivisect Chomsky’s deceit in this area.

The insidious intrusion of Jew-hatred into the USA’s political ethos has shocked some observers, and none have been more devastated than the long-term friends of Israel. They find it hard to believe that the traditional assumptions regarding Israel’s importance to the USA are now regarded with profound suspicion.

Accordingly, opposition to Freeman’s appointment has so far been more a matter of knee-jerk reflex than carefully reasoned argument. That’s a shame, because the loudest howls have come from people who simply can’t afford to say, “I’m a Jew, I love Israel, this bigot Freeman hates me and the cradle of my faith, so I don’t want him in a high position in government!” That would, of course, play into the hands of the watchful, suspicious and covertly bigoted “progressives” in the bicoastal elite.

The outrage of supporters of Israel is also due to a second circumstance that again restricts what they can say. They were had by Obama.

They never expected this from The One; he was too smooth, too slick for them, and they gullibly worked hard to put him in the White House. They projected their hopes and expectations into the man, and he has betrayed the trust they assumed reposed in him. It gets worse: there is not a word to be pointed to in order to back up the charge that Obama suckered them. The quintessential Method actor played the role without dialogue, speaking no lines but convincing his rapt audience that he was, indeed, The One. Think of the humiliation of his victims!

That’s a hell of a bind for good people to find themselves in. In all likelihood, many in the Jewish community are livid and pondering how to get even.

For more information, try these links: a libertarian source; the New Republic’s stunned and outraged attack on Freeman; a column in theWall Street Journal; two articles in an Israel-friendly “wingnut” publication, here and then here; and an article in The Atlantic that minces no words. If you don’t believe those shoddy sources, revisit PenPo Number 65.

As always, even when one asserts that the earth is a spheroid, there is a contrary view. It can be found in this article, but this newsletter apologizes in advance for the simplicity and irrelevance of this defense of Freeman. It is included here simply because it is all the pro-Freeman commentary that was evident.

What’s next? Some might say that Obama has stupidly found a way to split the left, weakening the monolithic power that put him into office. His virtual carte blanche to change the USA from a basically individualist aggregation of states to a collectivist worker’s paradise would be at serious risk.

Well, that’s probably too simple and too extreme. But it is clear that The One has stepped on a rusty nail. The ugly strain of Jew-hatred is now likely to become more obvious to many in the political center, and the disillusionment of the left may accelerate. The realization that hating Jews and Israel is wrong may broaden to the insight that this specific bigotry is paired with suicidal contempt for Western civilization. If the center could grasp the full implications of the hard left’s assumptions, principles, manifestos and delusions, the voting patterns of the bicoastal elite would shatter.

That moves this discussion beyond its original scope. The Left Coast, California in particular, is now suffering the consequences of huge government and irrational entitlements. Pair that with the enmity a scolding and snotty Hillary shows for Israel; then include the appointment of Freeman and the shock wave moving through the community of Israel’s US friends, and you can discern multiple reasons for a redefinition of government in one of the left’s formerly invincible strongholds. Look, people are leaving California, and for cause. Could…could reform be in the offing? None dare call it likely. Yet.

Let’s Blame It On China

Doubtless Frank and Dodd will be happy to see this interesting interpretation, as it basically exonerates them:

China, with its cheap exports, kept cheap by its artificially low and fixed exchange rate, earned huge amounts of money by selling this stuff to the West; in turn, the Chinese needed to reinvest the proceeds – there would be no point earning money you cannot spend – and they reinvested those proceeds in things like US government securities. As a result, long-term bond yields in the US fell, which enabled Mr and Mrs Westerner to renegotiate their long-term mortgages, release equity from their homes, and spend even more of their inflated wealth on – yes you guessed it – Chinese consumer goods. Result: a whacking great housing and consumer spending boom that inevitably crashed.

Ahem. First, China did not make fabulous amounts of money selling stuff to the USA — many of those products were sold for the thinnest profit margins possible, just to sell them (and kill US manufacturing capacity, or sabotage our IT networks). Second, the picture is a lot more complex than this analysis suggests, because the lunatic lending policies of the USA, generated by ideology that is on clear display, were irresponsible. Lending money to people who can’t pay it back is not prudent, d’uh.

Never mind. China did help cause the damage, and the Chinese have a lot to answer for; many of their sins are not mentioned in the piece sited above. Read the full article anyway, because it has a wider perspective than the quote here suggests.

Afghanistan Yet Again

Here’s a link to an article by one Max Boot on an important subject; teaser:

I have just returned from Afghanistan shocked by the depth of the disconnect between reality and reporting.

The coalition officers that I spoke with expressed confidence that with the US reinforcements now flowing into the country, they will be able to score victories against insurgents who have been given free reign in some areas because of a paucity of NATO resources. But even before the 17,000 additional US troops arrive, the situation is hardly critical. Kabul and the other major cities are safe, and even large swathes of the countryside are hardly infested by insurgents.

That is the reality. This is the reporting:

Here’s a scary thought. The United States could be walking in the Soviet Union’s shoes…. The United States went in there in 2001 to crush Al Qaeda and push the Taliban from power so Afghanistan would never again be used as a staging area for terrorist attacks…. The problem is that America is now in danger of falling short of that limited goal, and even losing the war. Sending more U.S. soldiers is not the answer.

Boot then provides the facts as he discovered them and discusses their implications. His conclusion:

I may be attaching undue importance to this one article but I think it has been worth deconstructing because it is such a perfect reflection of the emerging Zeitgeist on Afghanistan, which bears scant relation to what is actually happening in Afghanistan.

Moreover, what happens in that distant land is vitally important to millions of Muslims — many of whom will never know the full story. That ignorance works to the advantage of the bloodthirsty lunatics of Islam. If this newsletter could make one change in the Islamic world, it would be to create an objective, truthful news medium that could reach every family. Islamic governments hate the very idea, of course.

Parenthetical subsequent thought: where in the world does such a news conduit exist?? Right — the news media hate the very idea, as well….

Just Wait

Recently the PenPo reprinted information on “mad cow disease.” Now there is this from Spain, where a fifth victim of the condition recently died:

“The appearance of sporadic cases of the disease does not indicate new risks for the health of the public,” it (the health ministry) said in a statement.

From time of exposure to onset of symptoms can be one or two decades. If “new risks” are reduced to zero, there can still be no assurances that thousands will not die in years to come. No one knows how many persons are carrying the malformed proteins (prions) that cause the illness. Remember, too, that “mad cow” arises spontaneously in herds, so it cannot be prevented by controlling the animals’ feed.

It’s Debatable, But Hillary Is Correct

Hillary has offended the Brits with her remark that US democracy is senior to theirs. The Reuters report:

“It is hard enough with two parties to come to any resolution, and I say this very respectfully, because I feel the same way about our own democracy, which has been around a lot longer than European democracy.”

The remark provoked much headshaking in the parliament of a bloc that likes to trace back its democratic tradition thousands of years to the days of classical Greece.

Well, sure, Hillary has never been known as a crafter of unctuous diplomatic prose. In fact, she has a tendency to deliver spontaneously snotty remarks that make headlines — and then there’s that embarrassing “Kentucky Fried Hillary” accent with which she abuses black audiences. There’s no doubt that this female needs assertive minders. But she has a point here.

The US democracy dates to at least 1788, with the adoption of the constitution. In 1788, Britain’s monarchy was by no stretch of the imagination a democratic government. Yes, the miffed Brits would huff and puff about the Greeks and The Magna Carta — but that is a tradition that the USA shares with Britain, and it absolutely does not define full democracy. The French did not do away with their monarchy and establish a dictatorial faux “democracy” until 1789. Nobody else in Europe was nearly as democratic as the USA back then, so…Hillary was correct.

Yes, it was a stupid thing to say. No, she’s not qualified for the post. In fact, she’s less qualified for her position than Sarah Palin is to be vice president of the USA.

But she was right. And that’s something, even if it was just an accident.

This Is Surprising And Disappointing, Because Outrage Was Such A Sensible Book

Years ago, it was established that G. W. Bush did not say, in a State of the Union address to Congress, that Saddam Hussein/Iraq represented an imminent threat to the USA. Now Vincent Bugloisi claims otherwise.

I have documentary evidence that when George Bush told the nation on the evening of October 7, 2002, that Saddam Hussein was a “great danger” to America who might give his weapons of mass destruction to a terrorist group “on any given day” to attack us (meaning, the threat was imminent), he was telling millions of unsuspecting Americans the exact opposite of what his own CIA had told administration officials just six days earlier, in a classified report on October 1, that Hussein was not an imminent threat.

Regarding which, two points. First, “on any given day” does not mean “imminent,” and Bugliosi won’t be able to show otherwise. On any given day, a huge comet might strike the earth; that’s true, and it’s not a warning that the event is imminent. Second, the claim that Bush did say “imminent” in his address is generally believed to be factual, thanks to a very effective propaganda campaign by the media.

Vinnie should recall the (possibly apocryphal) words of George Patton: “You don’t win a war by dying for your country. You win a war by making the other son-of-a-bitch die for his.” Bush did not send anyone to die in Iraq. If you send your brother to the store and he is killed moments later in a car crash, are you a murderer? When the local police put their officers on patrol in the morning, is the chief of police trying to murder them? Nor did W murder any Iraqis. Law has been clear on those points for centuries.

Bugliosi is arguing that the casus belli was insufficient, and that makes ordering troops into battle an act of homicide. It’s a novel bit of sophistry, but ultimately silly: who decides when the reason for hostilities between nations is insufficient? How can that claim be proved beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law, as it must be?

Links For Fan And Prophet

“What does a woman want?” Freud’s question is considered by many women to be an insult, yet it is important and it has never been answered. Some folks are trying hard. One of their startling discoveries is this: after viewing videos of different types of sexual activity, “The men’s minds and genitals were in agreement. All was different with the women.” As you might expect, the summary of research and results so far is a long article.

If you have been keeping up with the story of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) as told in the PenPo, you won’t need this fine overview of the farce. And…

…today’s news is that yesterday’s charlatan is still at it, in spite of his increasing irrelevance…

…yeah, and you knew this was coming. Any excuse to raise taxes will do, even if it’s junk science.

The UN wants you to shut up about Islam’s horrors. Remember this when the UN control of the internet is proposed yet again.

Oh, this is just great. How do we apologize for our lumpish president and his foul-tongued (“There’s nothing special about Britain. You’re just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn’t expect special treatment”) department of state? It’s impossible. — Hat tip to JY.

Regaining perspective, the hard way. Nervous Nellies are starting to whimper. Relax, everybody…we’re just socializing!

Vulnerability means this sort of helplessness.

Eight minutes thirty-seven seconds of what just may be the most nauseating video you can possibly imagine — right here. Screw up your courage and watch it.

Here’s a piece subtitled, “Why the Democrats killed a reasonable GOP proposal that was ignored by the mainstream media.” It seems a shame that this good idea was not recognized and accepted.

Are the major news media reconsidering their ideological bias? Probably not, but there are occasional hints that something has prompted wider and more fair coverage of politics. Here’s one from CBS, a piece on the tea party movement that opposes Obama’s giveaways, and then ABC has produced a report on what the Democrats are doing to keep Congress corrupt. My, my.

URLs for Obama lovers: information on the social impact of The One’s policies; the necessary adjustment of the stock market; incentives for a worthy organization; change comes to traditional farming; and medicine becomes social and organized. Nifty!

According to this report, Pelosi and Reid have nixed a reinstatement of a ban on assault rifles. Figuring out why is like trying to solve a Chinese puzzle that’s broken.

Gosh, this newsletter missed the Congressional pay raise. Surely everybody else read about it or saw it on TV.

The census. Wasn’t there something on that in a recent PenPo? Unh, yeah, and here’s more. What’s going on and why it matters turn out to be — well, profoundly political. But the census is just supposed to count people, isn’t it? Heh! Not in the vision of a sly community organizer!

Remember the trailer for the Mel Brooks film, Young Frankenstein? Brooks says it is in “black and white — no offense.” That was funny;this isn’t.

“…diplomacy has not and will not reduce Iran’s nuclear program.” So says John Bolton. He was unwelcome at the UN, which makes him someone the electorate should listen to. He hints at the only way the West can prevent the insane mullahs from cheerfully starting a nuclear exchange that they know will kill tens of millions of their people: “They have won the nuclear race, absent imminent regime change or military action.” There you have it.

Consider the bizarre history of Alan Greenspan, chameleon. If he had remained true to his ideology, would he be accused of having caused today’s economic mess? Was he corrupted by the power he wielded?

Boy, times really are tough: a headline on a news site tells us, “Death Camps May Charge Admission.”

Remembering the White House Enemies List…. Presumably Nixon longed to give the people on it What For. But nobody was afraid of being listed. Well, here’s a new enemies list, and this time it’s really scary. Its author threatens to go visit the people on it.

It’s all part of the unconscious self-hatred that characterizes so much of the left these days. Everything is our fault, you see — from the behavior of maniacs to the weather, we are the villains who caused it all.

Loony Conspiracist Confabulation Number 46,827: Santelli and the Faux Indians, or, Welcome to the Tea Party, Paisan. This one is really goofy. The far left swallowed it, hook, line, sinker, reel and pole. “Please read the whole article at ….,” it says on the website; you can’t do that, though, because the original fantasy has been quietly disavowed by its gullible promoters. And who would they be? Hah! Just titular sages.

Is this madcap feminism, just a dumb joke, or science? Males are “…an enormous genetic experiment carried out by females.” More such talk here; have fun.

Fearless prediction: this book will cause almost as much anguish and outrage on the hard left as did Liberal Fascism. If it’s as advertised, it will be a cogent presentation of themes this newsletter and its predecessors have been advocating for years. More here.

A commenter on a weblog says: “I wonder if (sic, he means “whether”) our intrepid social engineers simply don’t understand basic human behavior and the correlation between productivity and quality of life, or if (sic) they simply see economic equality as a more noble goal for society than high quality of life.” He wonders?? Recall what Obama said when he was asked why he would raise the percentage of the capital gains tax, even though that would reduce total revenue.

The new line: “Global warming is stalled, and it will get colder — but then later, maybe in a couple years or maybe in thirty years or so, it will get real real hot, see, and that shows that we was right about global warming, and like that.” Oh; the house is haunted, but the ghost is not in. Got it.

Ah, speaking of ghosts…is the shade of Leona Helmsley lurking in the White House, whispering in ears? Or is the weirdness the result of anobamaddiction?

From The Archive

Today’s selections first appeared in the February 5, 2005 Terrapin Gazette. Old links may not work….

Paul Volcker Submits His Report

It will be some days before the meaning and impact of the report sink in. We don’t know whether analysts will claim it makes serious errors of omission, or praise it as having revealed enough of the truth to send some people to jail.

While I have a definite opinion already, I’m not saying anything.

For starters, go here… …and after you have digested the account, note these words of wisdom from Bay: “The Internet allows for instant depth and background.”

Over the months, I have nagged you with continual references to the largest financial scandal in human history, savaged the UN in various ways, and praised the Pulitzer-worthy work of Claudia Rosett. Still you may wonder who this Benon Sevan is and why he matters; here is a good overview…and here is a second piece that even provides a photo of Sevan.

Well, it’s just money, right? No. It’s corruption that gave an evil man time to hide and export his unconventional weapons; it’s overwhelming evidence that the UN is a disaster; it’s an episode that resulted in illness and death for an unknown number of people; and it’s proof that matters affecting peace and justice cannot be left to “the international community,” or to some “multilateral” consensus.

Who knows how much responsibility the UN should bear for the loss of Iraqi lives? Clearly, that is exactly what the corruption caused, but Kofi won’t ever say, “We made tragically bad decisions, evil people prospered, and innocent lives were lost. I am heartsick and will never be able to set aside my burden of guilt.”

In more civilized times, when a high but corrupt official rediscovered his principles, the gentlemen who had heard his confession would take pity on the miserable wretch and leave him alone in a room with a revolver.

But Kofi is from The Third World, and he’s an international civil servant, and he means well, and…face it: the man will never never never accept moral culpability. He has the ethical sense of an alley cat. He will forever blame others.

Still it is to our benefit to know the truth, and that includes the possibility that money from the Oil-for-Food program may well have been put to murderous purposes:

Safia al-Souhail was a special guest of the First Family last night at the State of the Union Address. According to al-Souhail, the man who murdered her father on Saddam’s behalf just happens to be one of the businessman who made millions off of the Oil-for-Food scam. Al-Souhail even says that the assassin received the oil vouchers as a reward for his work.

For more on this, go to this web page.

Yes, it’s bad — very, very bad. And for months, in spite of shocking revelations of the wickedness, almost no one in the mass media gave a hoot about any of it. The way this unfolding scandal was reported is a damning indictment of the journalistic establishment.

– – –

This One Got Ahead Of Me

When I first read about Ward Churchill, here, I was not particularly impressed. Whoa, big mistake! I should have jumped on the affair at once — because then I would have had “You read it here first!” bragging rights.

Now the story has blown up and splattered everywhere. Here’s an overview:

First, who is Ward Churchill, and what’s special about him? Read this.

That’s right, he’s a Native American activist and academic who also happens to have several screws loose. Isn’t that photo a scream??

Ugh. Red Man understand Paleface, you betchum. Paleface make heap trouble for Those Who Ride Camels, Paleface live in tall stone teepee with other little Eichmanns. Teepee fall down when great iron bird fly into it. Heap plenty Paleface die. That plenty good, you betchum. Paleface deserve die. Now me go seminar, teach young Paleface hate Great White Father in Washington on big water Po-to-mac.

So far, so politically correct. But then — Oooops! Now it turns out that Ward Churchill is NOT even a Native American!!

Ugh, not good, heap plenty not good. Me gotum tenure, gotum AK-47, gotum fatigues and beret and sunglasses, me lookum like heap badass Injun! Me Injun, you betchum!

No, he’s a charlatan and an ideological nutcase and a poseur, and he also happens to have all sorts of educational credentials and he’s got quite a history of pulling the wool over the eyes of the hated White Man. Glenn Reynolds is not impressed:

…Churchill’s beliefs are representative of a depressingly wide swath of academia. There’s clearly a swath that prefers a fake Indian spouting extreme European leftism when it can get one, so much so that the spouter is actively sought out because of those views. That’s no surprise, of course, to anyone who has been paying attention to academia….

Right. It’s the age of the noble savage. Being a Native American is cool, but being a Jew is definitely not.

Ugh, and heap plenty more Ugh! Paleface speak with forked tongue! Me gottum tenure, me no likeum listen Paleface talk plenty trash! Me scalpum!

Fine, Gets-Up-With-Fleas, you “scalpum.” Now run off and play with your toys and go “bang bang” at a picture of Great White Father. We decent folks have some thinking to do, because, you see, we are worried about the state of our universities because of what you loons have done to academic freedom. Ugh!