Oh, and you’re ugly too:
My political friendships and sympathies are increasingly determined not by ideology but by methodology. One of the most significant divisions in American public life is not between the Democrats and the Republicans; it is between the Ugly Party and the Grown-Up Party.
The rhetoric of the Ugly Party shares some common themes: urging the death or sexual humiliation of opponents or comparing a political enemy to vermin or diseases. It is not merely an adolescent form of political discourse; it encourages a certain political philosophy — a belief that rivals are somehow less than human, which undermines the idea of equality and the possibility of common purposes.
This distinction came to mind in the case of Washington Post blogger David Weigel, who resigned last week after the leak of messages he wrote disparaging figures he covered … Unlike Weigel, most members of the Ugly Party — liberal and conservative — have little interest in keeping their views private.
The alternative to the Ugly Party is the Grown-Up Party — less edgy and less hip. It is sometimes depicted on the left and on the right as an all-powerful media establishment, stifling creativity, freedom and dissent. The Grown-Up Party, in my experience, is more like a seminar at the Aspen Institute — presentation by David Broder, responses from E.J. Dionne Jr. and David Brooks — on the electoral implications of the energy debate. I am more comfortable in this party for a few reasons: because it is more responsible, more reliable and less likely to wish its opponents would die.
Well, not in public anyway.
If I had a nickel for every time some hand-wringing, garment-wrenching, media “elite” rides to the rescue of one of their liberal brethren being caught slurring the political opposition, I could buy the entire archives of JournoList.
I’d even have enough money left over for some popcorn and a comfy chair. Then I could release those archives and watch the stampede of “Grown-Up Party” snobs falling all over themselves to explain how sophisticated they all are for only “urging the death or sexual humiliation of opponents or comparing a political enemy to vermin or diseases” in the privacy of their own chatrooms. It will be uproariously entertaining to hear how talking behind people’s backs is the epitome of class, while publicly challenging opponents is so lowly and juvenile.
You know, Mr. Gerson, being a “Grown-Up” douchebag isn’t much of an accomplishment.
Metallica: Enter Sandman (Smooth Jazz Version)
I always love it when entertainers suddenly awaken and decide they must get involved in saving the planet.
This time it is Jeremy Irons. He’s decided there are just too many people on our little blue globe. Our lot’s numbers are “unsustainable”, although he’s pretty convinced some “big outbreak of something” will most likely happen because, you know, “the world always takes care of itself”. Of course, because Mother Gaia is a living breathing thinking world.
What he wants to do is make a film (naturally) which will be like Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”. A “documentary about sustainability and waste disposal in the vein of Michael Moore – but “not as silly”. Of course.
Irons describes himself as “deeply socialist” and is also concerned about world hunger. In a stirring and deeply touching (/sarc) call to action, Irons says on the website 1billionhungry.org:
“People around the world suffer hunger — 1 billion. Now that’s bad, worse than bad, that’s crazy! We’ve got to get mad. I want you to get mad. I want you to get up right now, stick your head out of the window and yell, ‘I’m mad as hell’.”
Original, edgy, a real difference maker. Of course it remains to be seen if Irons understands that the reason 1 billion are hungry has little to do with resources and much to do with politics.
Irons announced his new endeavor from one of his 7 houses:
The ultimate solution, he says, is for us all to live less decadently — growing our own food and recycling instead of replacing goods: “People must drop their standard of living [so] the wealth can be spread about. There’s a long way to go.”
James Delingpole shakes his head at the usual hypocrisy:
And just as soon as you show us the way by flogging at least six of your houses, foregoing air travel, subsisting on berries, wild garlic and road kill, and dressing in polyester cast offs from your local charity shop, we’ll take you more seriously still.
Exactly. Delingpole wonders:
Could it be that “sustainability” is a concept one only truly understands when one has grown so incredibly rich that one is able to shelter from the consequences of one’s eco-fanaticism in the seclusion and comfort of one’s many agreeable homes?
Apparently. Delingpole points out that the UK’s new enviroment minister, Chris Huhne has that number of homes. And we know that Al Gore, the Pince of Wales and Zac Goldsmith aren’t far behind. And how knows how many Michael Moore has.
When enforcement is an option, I suppose. Tell me how brilliant this is:
The Obama administration is pressing Congress to provide an exemption from Iran sanctions to companies based in “cooperating countries,” a move that likely would exempt Chinese and Russian concerns from penalties meant to discourage investment in Iran.
The “cooperating countries” language that the White House is pressing would allow the executive branch to designate countries as cooperating with the overall strategy to pressure Iran economically.
According to three congressional staffers familiar with the White House proposal, once a country is on that list, the administration wouldn’t even have to identify companies from that country as selling gasoline or aiding Iran’s refinement industry.
Even if, as current law allows, the administration can waive the penalties on named companies for various reasons, the “cooperating countries” language would deprive the sanctions of their “name-and-shame” power, the staffers said.
The bill in committee now doesn’t have this provision. Essentially what this amounts to is the administration saying “if you’ll sign on to the sanctions (against the importation of gasoline), we won’t enforce them” to “cooperating countries”. Pure symbolism over substance.
“We’re pushing for a ‘cooperating-countries’ exemption,” the White House official said. “It is not targeted to any country in particular, but would be based on objective criteria and made in full consultation with the Congress.”
Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen, however, said the exemption “is aimed at China and Russia specifically.”
“The administration wants to give a pass to countries for merely supporting a watered-down, almost do-nothing U.N. resolution,” she said.
This isn’t coherent foreign policy – this is pure politics mostly designed for domestic consumption. This is about the ability to claim to have made progress against Iran by rallying the rest of the world to our side and imposing “tough new sanctions” via the UN when the intent is to never enforce them.
Of course Iran hasn’t been idle either. They’re not doing “in-kind” bartering with regional neighbors which circumvents any sanction regime. Swap oil for refined petroleum products and they’re not liable to such sanctions. And of course Hugo Chavez and others in the socialist South American cabal have also said they’d ignore such sanctions anyway.
Last, but certainly not least, a gasoline sanction hits those that can’t afford it the most the hardest in Iran. The regime? It will always have plenty of gasoline. The poor Iranian trying to feed his family – not so much.
Instead of playing these sorts of games, which are clearly doomed to failure (or irrelevance), maybe it’s time to reconsider putting back on the table some of the options the administration unilaterally took off the table last year.
I’ve been chuckling my way through this article as it reminds me of a certain denizen of the comment section here. It’s just too freakin’ funny (and accurate) not to share:
Many academics not only envy people with money, but also those who enjoy political authority. Professors are more confident than most that they have the truth and are convinced that, if given the opportunity, they would rule with intelligence, justice, and compassion. The trouble is that few Americans, at least since the time of Andrew Jackson, will vote for intellectuals. (The widespread assumption that Presidents who have Ivy League degrees are intellectuals is highly debatable. The Left declared consistently that George W. Bush, who had diplomas from Yale and Harvard, was mentally challenged. Barak Obama, who was not really a professor, has sealed his academic records.) How many professors run City Hall anywhere? How many would like to? How many humanities and social science professors are consulted when great civic issues are discussed and decided? Who would even invite them to join the Elks?
Instead of steering the machinery of local, state, and national politics, academics are relegated to writing angry articles in journals and websites read by the already converted and pouring their well-considered opinions into the ears of young people who are mostly eager to get drunk, listen to rap, watch ESPN, and find a suitable, or at least willing, bed partner for the night.
On the Left and Right money means power, and we “pointy heads” and “eggheads” are on the outside looking in. One thinks of Arthur Schlesinger Jr swooning over the Kennedys for the rest of his life because they gave him a title and a silent seat in some White House deliberations. Those making as much money as, say, an experienced furnace repairman account for little in this world, despite the PhD. How many academics even sit on the governing board that sets policies for their campus? It is all most humiliating. (To see how intelligently and objectively academics use the authority they have, examine the political correctness the suffocates the employment practices and intellectual lives of almost all American campuses. Aberlour’s Fifth Law: “Political correctness is totalitarianism with a diploma.”)
One way to compensate for this bleak and futureless existence is to become involved in left-wing causes. They give us a sense of identity in a world seemingly owned and operated by Rotarians. And they provide us with hope. In big government we trust, for with the election of sufficiently enlightened officials, we might gain full medical coverage, employment for our children, and good pensions. These same leftist leaders might redistribute income “fairly,” by taking wealth from the “greedy” and giving it to those of us who want more of everything. A “just” world might be created in which sociologists, political scientists, botanists, and romance language professors would achieve the greatness that should be theirs. It’s all a matter of educating the public. And hurling anathemas at people of position and affluence we deeply envy.
Bingo. Those that can, do. And those that can’t … seek tenure.
[HT: Maggies Farm]
I just received this via email, as I assume many others have or will, and I’m not quite sure what to make of it. I did receive it from someone who’s sent me reliable info before, but this is awfully explosive (if in fact real).
Personally, while I’ve always found it suspicious that Obama went to such great pains to hide his birth certificate, I just figured it was for some personal reasons (e.g. parents weren’t married) rather than any eligibility issues. But now I have to question that.
If this discovery turns out to be the real thing, does that mean we’ll be singing “Hail to the Chief” to … President Biden? (Gulp)
(click to enlarge)
Stay tuned for updates …
Ahh, climate change. Although there’s no conceivable connection between AGW and the fact that it rained fish in Lajamanu, Australia, I’m betting that Algoreists will try to finagle one anyway, probably citing some local fourth-grader’s English composition about the event as the expert evidence.
Residents of a small outback Australian town have been left speechless after fish began falling from the sky.
Hundreds of spangled perch bombarded the 650 residents of Lajamanu, shocking local Christine Balmer, who was walking home when the strange ‘weather’ started.
She said: ‘These fish fell in their hundreds and hundreds all over the place. The locals were running around everywhere picking them up.
‘The fish were all alive when they hit the ground so they would have been alive when they were up there flying around the sky.
Meterologists say the incident was probably caused by a tornado. It is common for tornados to suck up water and fish from rivers and drop them hundreds of miles away.
Mark Kersemakers fr0m the Australian Bureau of Meterology said: ‘Once they get up into the weather system, they are pretty much frozen and, after some time, they are released.’
Strangely, Lajamanu has experienced fish rain before. In fact, critter cloudbursts, money monsoons and Titleist torrents are not even that uncommon.
There is a long history of strange objects raining from the sky, with these strange occurrences among the most notable:
1st Century: Pliny The Elder wrote about storms of frogs and fish, foreshadowing many modern incidents.
1794: French soldiers stationed in Lalain, near Lille, reported toads falling from the sky during heavy rain.
1857: Sugar crystals as big as quarter of an inch in diameter fell over the course of two days in Lake County, California.
1876: A woman in Kentucky reported meat flakes raining from the sky. Tests found the meat was venison.
1902: Dust whipped up in Illinois caused muddy rain to fall over many north-eastern U.S. states.
1940: A tornado in Russia brought a shower of coins from the 16th Century.
1969: Golf balls fell from the sky on Punta Gorda in Florida (above).
1976: In San Luis Opisbo in California, blackbirds and pigeons rained from the sky for two days.
The only one I don’t get there is the last one in San Luis Opisbo. I mean, how do you tell the difference between it raining birds and, y’know, them just landing?
Now, if it would only snow gold flakes right into my backyard …
I saw that the Democrats are attempting yet again to reanimate the stinking corpse known as the healthcare bill. Will another jolt of electricity do the trick? Is Obama playing Dr. Frankenstein in the lab? (“That’s Frahnkensteen.”)
Or is this more like Weekend at Bernie’s, a complex kabuki to avoid facing the reality of the bill’s death?
Or perhaps zombies give us the best metaphorical comparison.
I see two key similarities between the Democrats’ healthcare initiative and a zombie.
1. It refuses to die.
2. It apparently eats people’s brains.
Of course, no zombie comparison would be complete without Bob Hope’s famous take:
But then I’m also reminded of Monty Python’s Dead Parrot sketch: “This healthcare bill wouldn’t vrooom if you put 12,000 volts through it.”
So what’s your take? Which of the following metaphors best fits the current state of the healthcare bill?
I really don’t know what to think. The Democrats have apparently concluded that they must pass a healthcare bill at any cost, no matter how high. And I’m not just talking about money.
The risks in pursuing this course are enormous. If current public perception trends continue, Democratic candidates will be in a hole Bill Clinton couldn’t dig out of.
They seem intent on pushing an unpopular healthcare strategy closer and closer to elections, without any assurance that they can get it through. The Blue Dogs could easily abandon them in the House, the Republicans may find various ways to throw sand in the works in the Senate, and even if their bill passes, the Republicans will almost certainly campaign on repealing it. That might provide just the issue they need to get back to majority status.
The Democrats’ entire strategy seems predicated on the idea that if they pass government-dominated healthcare, they will eventually seal their own dominance of the federal government by becoming the arbiters of who gets the goodies. Maybe. But FDR’s New Deal didn’t stop Republican strength in the 1950s, and Johnson’s New Deal didn’t keep Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan from winning big. Just because government-dominated healthcare was the irreversible gate to a welfare state in various European nations doesn’t mean it will do the same thing with we cross-grained Americans, especially when the costs kick in long before the goodies.
Can they actually pass a bill and get it to stick? Looks pretty far-fetched to me. But it’s pretty clear that they’re not prepared to give up.
**** Update Sunday, 21 Feb, 8:30 AM CST ****
Zombie Democrats is the clear favorite at this point, getting just over half the votes, though all four seem to have some support. Weekend at Bernie’s is a respectable second.
In the “Other” category, poll respondents made these suggestions:
From Princess Bride, we have an only-mostly-dead Wesley, which is a pretty good one that I wish I’d thought of.
Night of the Living Dead was also a suggestion. I had actually thought about that one, but left it off since it’s another zombie option. Still, I do sometimes feel like we’re trying to hide from zombie-like politicians who claim to be trying to help us, though they really only want
There was another suggestion for “Highway of Death”, which I presume refers to the slaughter of the Iraqi occupiers of Kuwait on the highway they used to flee. I don’t really get that one. Maybe if Scott Brown, Chris Christie, and a few other Republicans were cast in the role of A-10 Warthog pilots mowing down helpless Democratic politicians trying to flee the wreckage of their party’s over-reaching, you might be able to make it work. But I doubt this is what the poll respondent had in mind.