Squaring the Culture




"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

09/08/2009 (10:10 am)

As the Race Meme Rises…

obamafam2

Back in April when President Obama’s “likeability” rating touched 80%, I predicted, agreeing with Jonah Goldberg, that when that rating fell as it inevitably would, the fall would be blamed on racism. It was an easy prediction, and now it’s happening.

The LA Times today notes a precipitous fall in the President’s support among whites, over a photo of the First Family sporting the caption, “The Obama family returns from Camp David. It’s unclear whether President Obama’s ratings slip is based on policy or personal issues.”

Among white Democrats, Obama’s job approval rating has dropped 11 points since his 100-days mark in April, according to surveys by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. It has dropped by 9 points among white independents and whites over 50, and by 12 points among white women — all groups that will be targeted by both parties in next year’s midterm elections.

“While Obama has a lock on African Americans, his support among white voters seems to be almost in a free fall,” said veteran Republican pollster Neil Newhouse.

The writer goes on to list all the controversies stoked by conservatives that he thinks have nothing to do with policy: the inflammatory comments of Van Jones, the invitation of a terrorist-defending attorney to a White House Ramadan celebration, Obama’s plan to address the nation’s schoolchildren, concern over whether Obama was eligible to run for President. He ties these to pre-election controversies over Obama’s association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright… and then subtly slips a Race Bomb under the sofa. He does not actually say “race” — plausible deniability, I suppose — but there it is, in black and wh… oops, I mean in full colo… wait, no, I mean as plain as day.

One black congressman, Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.), was quoted last week alleging that opposition to Obama’s healthcare policies was “a bias, a prejudice, an emotional feeling.”

“Some Americans have not gotten over the fact that Obama is president of the United States. They go to sleep wondering, ‘How did this happen?’ ” Rangel said, according to the New York Post.

Of course, it’s not unclear at all why his popularity has fallen. Even the so-called “personal” issues are not about race, they’re about radicalism. The public is beginning to recognize that we elected a full-blown radical, and that what he intends is a radical shift that they did not, and do not, approve. At the core, the public hates his policies.

This actually gets explained in the LA Times article — neatly split between pages 1 and 2 on the web display (the added emphasis is mine.)

Democratic pollster David Beattie conducted a survey last month in one competitive congressional district that found that more than a quarter of independents believed Obama had not proven his natural-born status. The same sentiment was expressed by nearly 6 in 10 Republican women — a group that Beattie said would be important for a Democratic victory.

He declined to name the district because the polling was private, but said that such questions about Obama’s background seemed to be a “proxy” for voters’ growing unease with Obama’s ambitious agenda, which has included a potential push to create a government-sponsored health insurance plan.

Surveys show that the vast majority of Americans like Obama personally, but that they are increasingly skeptical of policies that seem to expand the scope of government.

“We’re having an economic culture war,” Beattie said.

“The criticisms of Obama are about the fundamental role of government in our economy.”

The decline was inevitable because his policies are starkly socialist, and America is far from a socialist nation. Sooner or later the dislike of his policies would morph into a dislike of the man, and the numbers would show up in the polling.

The resort to racism was inevitable because leftists in America generally believe their relevance lies in their defeat of racism, sexism, homophobia, and militarism. These are the “Liberals Lost in Time” (LLITs, I call them), who continue to talk, write, and argue as though they were battling 1960s attitudes and laws. It’s pitiable in a way, that some adults can only sustain a sense of purpose by continuing to pretend that they live in an embattled past, glorying in the camaraderie of an entirely imaginary struggle against a long-dead foe.

It seems to be the case that primarily whites are responding to the appearance of radicalism in Obama’s back yard, but the LA Times is (again, predictably) raising the wrong question. The question is not, “Why are the whites leaving,” it’s “Why are the blacks not affected?”

There is no “white bloc” vote, but there most certainly is a black one, and it’s at the same time the most potent predictor of political leaning in American politics, and the least sensible one. Democratic policies have ripped the black community to shreds, enslaving multiple generations to the dole, encouraging the breakups of families, planting genocidally-minded clinics among them to reduce their numbers, blocking students from escaping failing inner-city schools, ensuring massive dropout rates from colleges. One would think that black voters would tire of being condescended to by self-righteous activists they know to be motivated by white guilt, and would recognize the routinely devastating consequences of the policies arising from this pathetic, twisted zeitgeist. However, so long as power in the black community flows from church leaders in bed with Democratic city ward masters, inner city blacks will continue to vote for those politicians most thoroughly committed to their continued poverty. The enslavement of the blacks continues unabated in the Democratic party.

08/29/2009 (12:23 pm)

Excusing the Politically Correct

I have avoided the entire Edward Kennedy discussion, choosing instead to pray for the man’s soul. I detested his politics; I was incensed by his involvement in besmirching the reputation of Judge Robert Bork; I heard good things about his personal treatment of employees and constituents; his family has a big house a few miles from where I’ve been living for the past 2 years; he had a reputation as a philanderer and a drunkard; he was a well-liked power broker in the US Senate. That’s how much I know of the man, and I feel I’ve already said too much about a man whose funeral is proceeding even as I write this. He should rest in peace.

However, I’m incredulous after having read this misguided editorial by Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune, who wants us to consider what a shame it would have been if the accident at Chappaquiddick had been the subject of a 21st-century-style media feeding frenzy.

This disgusting piece implies that if it had taken place today, the media would have gone berserk over the accident, turning it into a circus and, in the process, ending Kennedy’s political career. It then simply assumes that nobody disagrees that the remainder of Kennedy’s life was such an unmitigated boon to the public good that we all would have been worse off for his career having ended.

250px-chappaquiddick_bridge1What astounds me is how clueless Zorn is about the protection of privilege in America, particularly Democrat privilege, and how this protection by the press makes a mockery of the central requirement of a free society that every citizen must be equal before the law. The unequal treatment before the law rides on an awful inversion of morality: the bizarre notion that if a man’s politics are Democratic enough, no moral malfeasance, no matter how horrific, is sufficient to offset his virtue. Virtue is defined as “supporting Democratic party initiatives.”

It’s the same blindness that was exhibited as it was becoming embarrassingly obvious that President Clinton was a pathological liar, a perjurer, a grafter, and possibly even a serial rapist. Democrats simply closed their ears and eyes. How could somebody who supported welfare, ecology, and women’s rights be considered morally bad? He is such a good man, simply by virtue of his politics!

This substitution of political correctness for moral character is evil, and undermines our republic.

There is no legitimate doubt that Kennedy avoided serious investigation into the accident by virtue of the fact that he was, in effect, royalty. Whether there ought to have been a conviction, or even an arrest, is completely beside the point; there ought to have been an investigation, and there would have been… except that in Massachusetts, Kennedys are not the subject of investigations, because they’re Kennedys.

There are valid reasons to object to the manner in which media turn a tragedy into a circus. However, the process serves to ensure that no party is exempt from public scrutiny, and eventually from the law. Kennedy did plead guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, arguably because there was no way to avoid the public knowing that he had done so. He was sentenced to 2 months in prison, but the sentence was immediately suspended by the judge. Appropriate press attention could have served to ensure that a proper investigation took place.

So public scrutiny, and particularly press scrutiny, is a necessary goad to produce appropriate legal action, and protects our liberties — when applied in a fair and impartial manner.

The fact is, however, that press attention has long since ceased to be applied fairly and impartially.

In fact, it has become disturbingly common, in modern America, for Democrats generally to believe they are above the law, with good reason. Republicans who get charged with a crime step down; Democrats never do, and the press protects them. Try to imagine what a Lexis-Nexis search of the mainstream media articles would reveal of the $90,000 in Representative Jefferson’s freezer (D, La), the bribery tapes capturing Representative Jack Murtha (D, Pa) making deals, Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D, Ca) shuffling of more than $1 billion in defense contracts to her husband’s company, Senator Harry Reid’s (D, Nv) profiting from land scams, or dozens of the scandals instigated by President Bill Clinton (try to find a discussion of the possible graft in declaring the Grand Escalante Staircase a national park, for instance). Compare them to the unhinged attempts to tie Abu Graib to high public officials who had nothing to do with it (43 days on the front page of the New York Times), the number of mentions of the Abramoff scandals, the coverage of possible indictments of Tom Delay, who, so far as we can tell, is guilty of no crime, and the unspeakable savagery aimed at Sarah Palin, who has not even committed the public appearance of a crime. The truth is, we rely almost entirely on conservative blogs and talk radio for information regarding violations of the law by Democrats, whereas the least foible of any Republican becomes a front-page story and headlines the 6 o’clock news. The Chappaquiddick accident would never become a feeding frenzy unless the Senator were a Republican.

tk-diagram3This is not to say that there has never been an instance of Republicans currying favor so as to avoid prosecution; it happens. However, the imbalance between the way Democrats and Republicans treat felons within their ranks is stark, and makes it clear which party is currently a danger to the rule of law.

One wonders whether Mr. Zorn, or any other Democrat, would so blithely ignore possible disagreement over the value of a politician’s public service if that politician were not of their party. And then one realizes, there is no need to wonder; Ronald Reagan’s death did not benefit from this same assumption of positive feeling, and the deaths of such figures as Tony Snow and Jerry Falwell were used as excuses for rage-filled diatribes against the right. No, in the modern press, liberals are saints, and conservatives, devils. Consequently, the irresponsible killing of a young woman is treated as an unfortunate accident simply because the man who committed it has the right politics in the eyes of reporters. In such an environment, where correct politics are the only publicly-accepted measure of virtue, it is only a matter of time before a legislature passes laws to outlaw conservatism. Liberty is not safe where morality is measured by political correctness.

Zorn’s editorial is nonsense. If he has so little regard for equal protection and so little awareness of how he’s savaging it, he would serve the public better if he kept his mouth shut. However, it is because the law he treats as meaningless still has some power that he retains the right to publish his opinion. He may learn, soon enough, that if he continues to saw the limb of equal protection, it will not be conservatives alone who fall from the tree of liberty; it will be everybody, including himself.

08/18/2009 (4:38 pm)

What the Diversity Czar Thinks

I have spent far too little time documenting the new “Czar” structure of the Obama administration. Better late than never, I suppose.

Czarring is really just appointing an administrator to oversee and coordinate a particular executive function. Many Presidents have one, some two or three, and most recently, George W. Bush appointed more than anyone before him, with something like 19 different “czars,” many of them ad hoc appointments for temporary matters (he had a Katrina Czar, and a Bird Flu Czar.) But the Obama administration has outdone them all, with the President having already appointed some 35 individuals to head new administrative teams reporting to the White House.

As near as I can determine, the practice is Constitutionally iffy. Article II, section 2, clause 2 seems to assume that Congress retains power to confirm Presidential appointments of minor officers in the Executive branch, and can only refrain if it does so explicitly. The same clause seems to imply that executive departments can only be established by acts of Congress, although I doubt that that provision has ever been enforced.

At any rate, the real entertainment associated with all these Executive underlings has been reading the ideas these folks have expressed prior to being appointed to the government. It appears that President Obama has taken to appointing whoever has “progressive” ideas of note and wants a chance to try them out. Some of these ideas have been… interesting.

The latest in the string of “Czar” appointments was the appointment of the Chief Diversity Officer at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Diversity Officer, you ask? Well, apparently the position has never existed before, but now President Obama has created it, and installed in it an attorney named Mark Lloyd, formerly Senior Fellow at the ultra-liberal think tank, the Center for American Progress. Mr. Lloyd has some… ahem… novel ideas about how the government can solve for everybody the horrendous problem the citizenry has been railing about forever, the absence of “progressive” voices in media. Yes, you heard that right.

You see, the fact that leftists utterly control every newsroom of every major television network in America other than Fox, that leftists control perhaps 90% of major market newpaper newsrooms, that leftists dominate scriptwriting and production in television and film, that leftists completely dominate popular music, and that there is practically no such thing as an artist who is not a leftist of some stripe, progressives like Lloyd have expressed outrage that in most radio markets, nearly all the partisan talk shows are conservative. It’s just. Not. Fair.

In a June 2007 paper entitled “The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio,” Lloyd (with 9 others) observed that 91% of talk radio programming is conservative, and only 9% is “progressive.” This does not include government subsidized, mostly leftward-leaning public radio stations, which don’t count because… well, golly, they just don’t. Pay no attention to those government-paid men behind the curtain. The reason for the disparity is as follows:

Our conclusion is that the gap between conservative and progressive talk radio is the result of multiple structural problems in the U.S. regulatory system, particularly the complete breakdown of the public trustee concept of broadcast, the elimination of clear public interest requirements for broadcasting, and the relaxation of ownership rules including the requirement of local participation in management.

If you have your LeftSpeak Jargon Translator turned off, the above translates to “conservatives are talking because we have not officially shut them up yet.” You’ll notice, of course, that consumer demand is missing from the list of the causes of the disparity; it cannot be that there is a lot more conservative talk radio because the public is willing to pay for and listen to a lot more of it. Oh, no. The report does consider the argument that demand causes the disparity, but it dismisses it. It can’t be that, you see, because conservatives are not even half of the total market, but more than 90% of the shows are conservative (not counting NPR and the like.) What’s worse, in the few markets where a leftist talk show is performing well, there is only one such talk show, but there are as many as four conservative talk shows. It’s. Not. Fair. And of course, there’s no reason to consider how nicely the left’s taste for hearing its own talking points gets satisfied by movies, music, TV, the arts, mainstream newspapers, and network “news” programs (“60 Minutes? Middle-of-the-road, of course,) which would explain why leftists feel no urge to listen to radio for information or support. We have to consider radio in a vacuum. It’s the only fair way.

So how can the government solve this awful disparity that the clearly expressed taste of the public has created? How can the government force radio stations to air programming that is truly fair and balanced? Why, by threatening to remove stations’ broadcast licenses every three years if they don’t “serve the public interest” as defined by… well, by Progressives (shouldn’t the public interest be defined by, I dunno, the public?) And by limiting the size of the company that is permitted to control the radio station — because everybody knows that Big Corporations cannot run local radio stations that meet local demand.

New Diversity Czar Lloyd also wrote some ideas in a book entitled Prologue to a Farce in 2006. I’ve not read the book (apparently, very few have), but blurbs suggest that it claims that the fact that communications are carried out by Evil Corporations® means that people cannot find out what they need to find out for a free society. Consequently, Good Progressives® have to correct the Evil produced by these Evil Corporations®, so people get to hear what they genuinely want to hear, instead of what they pay to hear by supporting advertisers. See how easy it is?

In order to tame these Evil Corporations®, apparently Lloyd suggests that the FCC levy a fine on corporate broadcasters equal to — wait for it — equal to their entire operating expenditures. The proceeds would go to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (ok, now public broadcasting counts. Because… um… well, it just does.) And of course, no Big Corporate Broadcaster is going to exit the radio business because they’re being forced to double their expenditures to support their competitors. Big Corporations have unlimited funds, and do not really need to earn a profit. It’s in the public interest. They’ll surely see their responsibility.

Land of the free. Home of the brave.

Listen to Glen Beck discussing the ideas from the book with Seton Motley from the Media Research Center, and brace yourself for American Liberty, Progressive Style. For darkhorse’s sake, though, let’s remember that Czar Lloyd has not actually proposed these ideas as FCC regulations yet, so it constitutes Obama Derangement to suggest that he might consider doing what he’s advocated at some future time. There is no cause to be concerned. All is well. All is well.

Everybody has written about this one: Michelle Malkin, Bobby Eberle, Newsbusters, CNS News. Hat tip goes to Eberle and GOPUSA for the Beck clip.

07/31/2009 (12:41 pm)

Entitlement Culture Gets Its 60 Minutes of Fame

In a passionate speech before the Aspen Institute, bastion of secular humanism and favorite target of Trilateral-Commission-conspiracy-hounds, former CBS anchorman Dan Rather evoked the heart and soul of the American entitlement culture by calling for a Presidential commission to “save the press.” At stake, warned Rather, is the very survival of American democracy.

“I personally encourage the president to establish a White House commission on public media,” the legendary newsman said.

Such a commission on media reform, Rather said, ought to make recommendations on saving journalism jobs and creating new business models to keep news organizations alive.

At stake, he argued, is the very survival of American democracy.

“A truly free and independent press is the red beating heart of democracy and freedom,” Rather said in an interview yesterday afternoon. “This is not something just for journalists to be concerned about, and the loss of jobs and the loss of newspapers, and the diminution of the American press’ traditional role of being the watchdog on power. This is something every citizen should be concerned about.”

Wall. Forehead. Pound.

It apparently did not occur to the venerable Mr. Rather that the market for news is already accomplishing exactly what he’s calling for, without the White House’s help. New sources, new business models, and new media are arising every year, apparently faster than anything with which the old fossil can keep up. It also, apparently, did not occur to him that he of the falsified National Guard memo personifies one of the reasons the traditional news media are faltering.

7_29_danrather_hrI recall watching an exposé of Oral Roberts on 60 Minutes back in the 1980s. At the end of the segment, they ran a video of Oral Roberts’ brother saying simply but emphatically, “Oral Roberts never healed anyone.” From the tone of the piece and the placement of the clip, it was clear that they were supporting the notion that Roberts was a fraud. I discovered in a Christian journal about 2 weeks later that what Roberts’ brother had actually told them in the interview was, “Oral Roberts never healed anybody; God healed all those people.” They ripped a theological distinction clear out of its context and used it to slander the man. It doesn’t matter whether you think Roberts was a legitimate minister or not; there’s no way they did not know they were distorting the meaning of that interview. It was not the first time I’d noted something that sounded wrong from the 60 Minutes gang, but it was the last I would experience personally; I never watched the show again, and I never trusted a word I heard from it.

There’s a lesson for you, Dan. Pay attention. It only takes one outright lie to lose an audience.

It’s a bit of a toss-up, whether traditional news is failing because of widespread perception of bias, or because of the proliferation of new, more accessible sources of information. Both are in the mix, clearly. All media outlets are feeling the pressure to expand into new avenues; who has time to read the paper while rushing out of the house, or wants to have to sit down at precisely 5:30 PM in order to find out what’s happening in the world? Anytime I like, “drudg…” on the keyboard gets me the Drudge Report headlines — and he’s never had to retract a story, not even once. On the other hand, the rise of conservative talk radio and the dominance of somewhat-right-of-center Fox News over traditional-but-clearly-left-of-center news sources like ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC indicate that a large part of the exodus is pent-up demand for news and commentary with a different slant from the one that has dominated news media at least since the advent of television.

I guess we just got tired of the sort of thing that Rather produced just before he was hastily bundled out the revolving door of the CBS building: a “news” report, timed precisely and deliberately to counteract the post-convention “bounce” of a Republican candidate for President, purporting to prove that 30 years ago, the candidate had deliberately avoided military service with the help of his commanding officer — based on a document that was uncorroborated and turns out to have been forged. Of course, Rather produced no comparably-timed report aimed at the Democratic candidate, despite a top-of-the-best-seller-list exposé delivering the ammunition on a platter. God, I miss all that protection of democracy.

exaspbobWhat struck me as truly pathetic was that Rather, in his desperation for something, anything, to rescue the vital but beleaguered traditional press from obscure ruin, calls on… President Obama? If anything illustrates the pervasiveness of infantile thinking in the American left, this has got to be it. “Oh, woe!” cries the crusty but respected newsman. “Our industry faces disaster! Help me, Obi-wan Obama. You’re my only hope.” My first reaction was one that every son needs to hear from his father at some point: if “somebody” ought to do something, maybe that somebody should be you. Dan, if you want somebody to figure out new business models for the news industry, could it be that you ought to sit down with some of your contacts and come up with a few ideas yourself? Why the hell are you, a grown man, running to Papa? And why is that your Papa, a guy who’s never earned a dime from a productive enterprise in his entire, narcissism-driven life?

Of course, we don’t have to get philosophical or esoteric to discover flaws in Rather’s reaction. Perhaps the most telling response came from the reader of the Aspen Times who observed,

He’s looking for the government to help the press watch the government? Does this sound crazy to anyone else?

The swan song of the traditional press was the repulsive fawning over candidate Obama. He’s the last person in the world who needs to be consulted on how to resurrect the deceased news industry.

On the other hand, few things will help the news industry recover its credibility faster than for certain, untrustworthy newsmen to vanish from the scene. I would rather it be sooner than later.

07/15/2009 (12:59 pm)

And Again, the Palin Obsession

Why is it, do you suppose, that leftists continue to obsess about the governor of a relatively unimportant state who has already announced her intent to resign?

The AP headlined the latest in an ongoing harassment exercise by a vicious Democratic party attack machine yesterday. Only, you can’t tell by the headline or the story lede that that’s what it is. By the headline, you’d think it was a serious ethics charge, and one of many. Look:

palin-charges

The lede sentence reads, “Outgoing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is facing yet another ethics complaint — the 18th against her and the very thing that helped to prompt her resignation.” One unfamiliar with the facts would assume that the Governor is actually resigning because of very real ethics concerns. The ambiguity of the sentence is the sort of thing any competent editor would notice and correct immediately — unless the ambiguity is intentional, in which case the editor is blatantly violating professional ethics.

The story notes — at the very bottom — that this particular complaint is the fifth launched by the same individual, and that three of the prior complaints by this individual have been dismissed. At no time does the story mention that none of the 18 ethics complaints against the governor have been substantiated, and that nearly all of them have been dismissed (there seem to be a few that are too new to have been disposed of yet.)

Sigh. Yet another in an unbroken string of deranged, dishonest vitriol, launched against a woman who arguably has achieved nothing more remarkable than the unseating of a corrupt Republican governor (although, frankly, her brief stint as Alaska governor has been impressive).

The fact that the left has gone berserk in their efforts to destroy Gov. Palin by any possible means is not news, nor is the fact that they hate her with an irrational hatred. It is important, though, to ask why. Why her? Why the rage? She’s not running for office; in fact, she’s leaving office. She was a candidate for Vice President; when is the last time a Vice Presidential candidate got mentioned by the press after losing? There is no similar attempt to demolish, say, Mitt Romney, nor was there an attempt to destroy Mark Sanford before he immolated himself. Many Republicans do not even consider her a viable candidate for public office, and if Democrats agreed, you might think they’d quietly encourage a Palin candidacy so they could trounce her. But the stream of vitriol against Palin is unbroken, even after the election.

I was not intending a long analysis, but just out of curiosity I googled “why does the left hate Sarah Palin” and discovered that there’s a cottage industry of Palin Derangement Analysis. By far the most common theme among them notes Ms. Palin as the anti-feminist: beautiful, powerful, high-achieving, and yet family-oriented with an uncastrated husband and a passel of kids, including one that most leftists think people should abort. (I addressed this one myself a while back, in response to a hard-core feminist wondering aloud why the mere sight of Gov. Palin sent her and her friends into Wolf-Woman transmogrification.) However, thoughtful commentators both left and right produce useful insights: “She made anti-liberal choices, and she’s happy and successful” (Jim Geraghty); she’s the probable contender in 2012 (John Hawkins); there’s no “D” after her name, and “this is of a piece with Dubya-hate” (The Anchoress); women envy her, especially those who chose not to have a family for professional reasons (from an astute psychologist quoted in Huffington Post, of all places, by Douglas MacKinnon); even “Trig makes us feel guilty about aborting less-than-perfect kids” (Kevin Burke). All interesting comments, all with their aspect of truth.

Still, I don’t think any of them quite have it. It’s the sheer unreason, you see. Very few of those reasons explain the extreme reactions of leftist men, for one thing, and it’s not just women who are affected. Moreover, the reaction was more or less automatic; there was no latency period, no honeymoon. She showed up, and out came the flame-throwers.

wrybobHonestly, I think The Anchoress gets closest when she observes that it’s all of a type with Bush Derangement — which was, in turn, of a type with Reagan Derangement. To take it further, though, it is also, in my humble opinion, of a type with Quayle derangement, Huckabee derangement, Pat Robertson derangement, and Jerry Falwell derangement. The thing that sets off the deepest hatred is the association with the most spiritual sorts of Christianity, the kind that draws on the power and presence of the Holy Spirit to operate. Mind you, I’m not going to defend all the actions of Pat Robertson or Mike Huckabee, or some others; none of these people are perfect human beings, and some are less perfect than others. But they have in common reliance on a Presence that is not human at all, and if what they believe about the cosmos happens to be true (which I think is the case,) then opposite, non-human presences will naturally react negatively. Those reactions, if the thesis holds, will be utterly vicious and utterly irrational — which these are. (Check.) They will also defy pat analysis, although there will sometimes be psychological processes that parallel the unreason. (Check, again.)

Short version, I think the presence of the Holy Spirit in people sets off the demonic presences in other people. And those are very, very ugly.

Allow me to say, again, that I do not posit any of these politicians as necessarily holy. The irony of Christianity is that none of its practitioners can claim personal superiority over anyone of any other belief system, or over those who have no belief system at all. The mix of the Holy Spirit with human souls is like oil and water, and the most successful Christians are those who permit the Holy Spirit to displace the most of themselves; and whatever has not been displaced, is no better than anyone else. So it’s possible — common, in fact — for practitioners of mystical Christianity to behave in an unholy fashion at times. There’s a mystery here, though, wherein the believer who permits this displacement the most, becomes more like themselves, or rather, more like the self they were supposed to be.

Nor do I posit her opponents as necessarily evil. As with the Holy Spirit, the mix of unclean spirits with human souls is like oil and water, so the reaction of the spirit is not necessarily a reflection of the character of the individual within whom it operates. When such spirits react, people are often surprised by their own actions. So the people who are reacting are intrinsically no worse than anybody else. Human is human. We’re all broken.

There. I’ve said it. Since I’m nobody, there’s no career to ruin by offering this explanation. I happen to think it’s correct. Do with it what you will.

Hat tip to Gateway Pundit for noticing the story.

06/16/2009 (9:54 am)

ABC Becomes White House "Love Slave"

Drudge’s 36-point font headline announces that beginning June 24, ABC News will begin full-throttle propaganda advocating national health care, including broadcasts from inside the White House and addresses by the President. They are not even going to attempt objectivity; requests for air time from the Republicans have been turned down.

The RNC letter to the chief of ABC News includes this nugget:

In the absence of opposition, I am concerned this event will become a glorified infomercial to promote the Democrat agenda. If that is the case, this primetime infomercial should be paid for out of the DNC coffers.

Indeed. In a way, I’m relieved. Mainstream press news has been flacking for the DNC for my entire adult life. It’s an improvement if they admit it. More people will know not to believe them.

More, but not enough. There’s still an uninformed middle that accepts these bozos’ infomercials as objective news reporting. It’s shrinking, but it exists. It’ll take another decade for the rotting corpses of the Big Three network news outfits to decay, maybe more.

Meanwhile, ObamaCare promises to cost in the trillions and not solve the “problem” of uninsured citizens. I’ve still not seen a single instance of a government-financed health care system that produces acceptable results, anywhere in the world, any time in history. If Obama’s sycophants could produce just one example…

05/23/2009 (7:06 am)

What A Difference A "D" Makes

Discussing President Obama’s proposed plan for handling Guantanamo detainees yesterday, the New York Times provided us with a picture of how “shredding the Constitution” gets treated when it’s performed by a Democrat rather than a Republican.

In a somber, thoughtful tones, they inform us that we’re “uncomfortable” with departing from “how we see ourselves” — although, they remind us right at the top, in paragraph 2, there are already several circumstances where we already allow departures for the purpose of safety.

President Obama’s proposal for a new legal system in which terrorism suspects could be held in “prolonged detention” inside the United States without trial would be a departure from the way this country sees itself, as a place where people in the grip of the government either face criminal charges or walk free.

There are, to be sure, already some legal tools that allow for the detention of those who pose danger: quarantine laws as well as court precedents permitting the confinement of sexual predators and the dangerous mentally ill. Every day in America, people are denied bail and locked up because they are found to be a hazard to their communities, though they have yet to be convicted of anything.

Still, the concept of preventive detention is at the very boundary of American law, and legal experts say any new plan for the imprisonment of terrorism suspects without trial would seem inevitably bound for the Supreme Court.

It’s naught but a necessary extension of existing practices, opposed mostly by our feelings, neh?

This stands in stark contrast to measures practiced by the Evil Bush Administration, which shredded the Constitution and damaged the rule of law. Here’s an editorial from just 7 months ago, regarding the Uighurs (who are likely to be included in President Obama’s thoughtful, creative but uncomfortable “prolonged detention” solution):

A federal judge in Washington has struck an important blow for the rule of law by ordering that 17 detainees be freed from Guantánamo Bay. But the Bush administration is fighting the ruling to avoid having the case become an open window into the outlaw world of President Bush’s detention camps.

Oh, those evil, evil, evil Bushites. They oppose the “rule of law.” Theirs is an “outlaw world.”

Or check this article, from March, 2007:

The start of military commission proceedings has opened one new chapter in the five-year saga of the detainees at Guantánamo Bay. The Supreme Court may soon open another.

The court is likely to announce within days whether it will hear appeals filed on behalf of two groups of detainees who have been held at the United States naval base in Cuba, many since early 2002. Their lawyers are asking the justices to strike down a new law that stripped the federal courts of jurisdiction to hear challenges to the validity of the detainees’ confinement…

Only 10 of the 385 prisoners at Guantánamo have been formally charged… the cases challenge the core assumption on which the Bush administration based its legal strategy for handling the hundreds of prisoners the government acquired on and off the battlefield, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Muslim areas of eastern Europe and elsewhere in the months after Sept. 11, 2001: By holding them outside the boundaries of the United States, it could keep them away from the protection, or at least the scrutiny, of the federal courts.

“At issue in this case is nothing less than this country’s commitment to the rule of law,” says the brief filed for one group of detainees, six Algerians seized by the Bosnian police in Sarajevo in 2001.

I guess perpetual detention without trial does not trouble the Constitution at all, so long as it occurs inside the boundaries of the United States. How else are we to explain the newfound calm of those Defenders Of Our Liberties at the Times, given that that is the only detectable difference between Obama’s proposal and the Outlaw World of Bush Detention?

The Times continues its consistent efforts to act as an extension of President Obama’s Ministry of Truth.

Sing with me: “What a difference a ‘D’ makes…”

05/19/2009 (10:28 am)

News Flash: Times Spikes Story to Save Obama Campaign…

…and dog bites man.

I can’t imagine anybody on the right expressing the least bit of surprise over the story that came up again over the weekend, confirming that the New York Times deliberately spiked a story detailing possibly illegal connections between the Obama campaign and ACORN. It seems that an informant to the Times testified before a House Judiciary subcommittee that the Obama campaign printed a list of maxed-out donors and sent it to ACORN so they could ply them for donations for voter registration drives; it seems that the Times reporter knew about the lists but was told by her editors not to publish the story, allegedly remarking that “it was a game-changer.” After 30 years of watching newspapers routinely ply leftist talking points as though they were news and acting in all ways as the propaganda wing of the Democratic party, hearing that the Times would pocket a story that might harm their beloved Obama’s candidacy is about as exciting as a bowl of corn flakes.

I can imagine Democrats expressing nothing but disdain that anybody could possibly question the veracity of the Corporate-America-owned New York Times (I even think some of them might use a sentence like that one, which contains an obvious contradiction). That’s because they’re so used to pretending that the news is either neutral or slanted to the right that they can no longer detect their own dissembling. That the news is completely friendly to the Democrats (apart from Fox) is no longer seriously debatable.

The story is actually oldish, reaching print in Philadelphia back at the end of March. Gateway Pundit reported on it back then, along with some other blogs. This weekend, Clark Hoyt, the Times’ Public Editor wrote in a weekend editorial that upon investigation, the story had actually been killed because none of their leads had panned out. John Hinderaker at Power Line takes this editorial apart, correctly noting that the facts in the editorial grant all the accusations and do nothing to refute them. In short, says Hinderaker, the Times is guilty of what Hoyt himself calls “about the most damning allegation that can be made against a news organization.” The American Spectator piles on with shrewd analysis of Times reporter Stephanie Strom’s series of articles about ACORN based on this same informant’s testimony (the testimony that suddenly “didn’t pan out” when it promised to embarrass the Obama campaign,) and Gateway Pundit follows up its own reporting on the matter.

The take from the 2008 presidential campaign has been that calling the national press corps “the propaganda wing of the Democratic National Committee” is not hyperbole, but operative fact. Welcome to the Democrats’ Brave New World.

05/08/2009 (9:33 am)

The Mustard Wars

My better judgment tells me not even to bring it up…

It started back on Monday, when MSNBC incredibly followed President Obama and Vice President Biden into a well-known burger joint in Arlington, VA for a photo-op to show what regular guys they are. Cornell Law Prof Bill Jacobson, who blogs at Legal Insurrection, wrote a snarky piece about how the swooning groupies at MSNBC (a) covered this as though it were news, and (b) deliberately edited out the part where the President asked for Dijon mustard, ’cause it just didn’t fit their “regular Joe” meme so well. (“I’d like mine medium, with an extra helping of sycophancy, if you don’t mind…”)

Remember when Biden tried this same schtick during the campaign, only he mentioned a restaurant in downtown Wilmington that had been closed for 15 years? Apparently Democrats love that “average guy” image thing so much that they had to retry after a decent interval — but it’s so far from their actual character that they just keep mucking it up, doggone it.

And today, major leftist blogs are all over the spicy hot story, intrepid news hounds that they are, yukking it up about — get this — how stupid the conservatives are for making this a story! Coverage appears on Huffington Post, Hullaballoo, Media Matters, Crooks and Liars… all the leftward Big Boys, except Daily Kos is avoiding the matter. I guess the word went out on JournoList.

Since I really don’t believe those leftie bloggers are so incredibly stupid that they don’t see the irony in MSNBC actually covering a presidential visit to a burger joint, and then editing out/talking over the bit that didn’t fit their narrative…

And since I really don’t believe they’re so incredibly stupid as to miss the tongue-in-cheek tone of Jacobson’s blog piece about it, or the same tone in Hannity’s and Ingraham’s bits…

I have to infer that the potential damage from this story to Obama’s image control (or perhaps to their own, sycophantic imaginations about The One) is large enough to merit a serious attempt to pretend that the conservatives are the story, and not MSNBC, President Obama, and their ludicrous attempts at image control. “OMG, Ezra, this one’s gone OUT OF CONTROL!!! We have to crank up the Echo Machine NOW!!!”

Or maybe they really are that incredibly stupid. It’s hard to say.

Jacobson follows up today with his take on the leftie response.

04/10/2009 (7:24 am)

It's Official: News is Government Propaganda

Day-By-Day this morning points to a frightening story that appeared on Doug Ross @ Journal yesterday, documenting that a single, fallacious study about health insurance by FamiliesUSA, a progressive advocacy group, showed up in more than 200 news headlines on a single day.

When a major news event occurs, like American going to war or a hurricane hitting New Orleans, one can expect all the newspapers in America to headline it. On a slow news day, the headlines ordinarily go all over the map. A study claiming 45 million uninsured Americans for the Nth time does not qualify as a major news event. And yet, there it is, front and center on more than 200 news sites.

This suggests central coordination. We’ve known for years that the news media leaned left, but most of us thought it was subconscious: they all think alike, therefore they all make similar editorial decisions. That’s not true anymore; it’s no longer just a confluence of opinions among like-minded journalists. They’re literally taking their talking points from leftist advocates, just like the leftist bloggers admitted yesterday that they do. They’re accepting instructions from a central, coordinated source that is clearly supportive of the White House’s intentions, and may be the White House itself. This makes it official: the news media in America is a propaganda outlet for the leftist government.

Free-market Pravda. Who says Americans aren’t ingenious?

Ross’ updates inform us that FreedomUSA gets nearly 100% of its funding from big labor organizations, making it essentially a front for unions. It’s a member of a group called the Progressive States Network, a coordinated effort by leftist advocacy groups to produce change in all 50 states. And given what we know about the White House meeting with leftist groups and coordinating strategy, I would guess that the study itself was produced on order from political coordinators.

The Obama administration is not just ushering in an era of big government, it’s producing an era of government propaganda unlike anything seen in America before. And notice the silence from the left, from whom screeches of outrage could be heard around the world when the Pentagon attempted disinformation campaigns to aid war efforts. Apparently White House manipulation of news media is only a threat when a Republican uses it to fight a war. It’s perfectly consistent with American liberty when wielded by a leftist President. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

I wonder if these newspapers can be sued for collusion under the Sherman Antitrust Act? I think perhaps it’s time to take legal action against the Obama administration, before they clap chains on all our ankles.

Ross also explodes the myth of the claim that 45 million Americans lack health insurance; most of those lacking insurance choose not to buy it because they consider themselves in good health, or lack it because they’re in transition between jobs.

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