Saturday, September 4, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
I had blogged a lot about this phenomenon last fall, and my friend had pretty much stopped all the paranoid email; his last one was sent on 10/31/09. But he's back, and has just hit a font size of 36 as of yesterday when he sent a crazed rant about Monsanto. Another email about the great intelligence and sanctity of Alex Jones was delivered to my inbox today. So I'm speculating that this is something which happens whenever flu shots are advertised, although I will not pursue any more scientific investitigation at this time.
Man, Cooper did not let up on her. Good for him.
"I made a mistake." So did Nixon, baby.
My favorite line from her feeble explanation is "I work pretty hard."
After listening to Hugh Hewitt talking about the Discovery Wacko a few nights back, I felt a little bad for my original title of Al Gore's Legacy for this blog post about the nut who took hostages at the Discovery Network. So I changed it. Hewitt's point was that we shouldn't mirror what the left does when they blame the actions of some nut on the conservative movement. Environmentalists in general don't call for violence or hostage-taking, so it's inaccurate to blame them for the actions of an individual.
Plus Al Gore has much more to his legacy than just making a propaganda film. From inventing the internets to scoring female massage therapists to his poetic remark, "What about the Dingell-Norwood bill?", there's much more to Al Gore's legacy than mainstreaming environmentalist lunacy. And that's not mentioning his inspiring an epic tale much greater than Love Story―Man Bear Pig.
While Hewitt's point is well taken, I think it is made with his judge hat on rather than his persuasive hat. Sure, he'd throw a case out of court if someone wanted to bring charges against those whom James Jay Lee claimed were the inspiration for his actions. But after reading this post by Melissa Clouthier on how to instruct those living in their own constructed world like leftists do, I think that accuracy may have to take a back seat to rhetoric in order to teach wisdom. Excerpt:
One of my children has autism. An autistic child is inside his own head and lacks a certain self-awareness. So, for example, when the child does repetitive behaviors called "stimming" like rocking in place or flapping his hands in front of his eyes, he doesn't realize what he's doing. A parent might say, "Johnny, stop swaying" or "Stop flapping" and the child will continue. He doesn't know that he's doing anything.
Modeling normative behavior can help-but only if the child is aware of the normative behavior. That is, if he is not "seeing" it, he cannot model it. He is internally focused and that's the problem.
So how do you get that child out of his head? You mirror his behavior. Try it some time. A child who is swaying or flapping will show a dawn of awareness when the parent or teacher mirrors what the child is doing in front of his face. So, in my house, I will start flapping my hands in front of my face and my son will get a sly smile of awareness and he'll stop. He gets out of his own head for a minute, registers his behavior and quits. It is very effective. In fact, it is far more effective than modeling...until the unwanted behavior stops. Once the child stops the asocial behavior, he will start watching for different behavior. Awareness comes first.
You can see where I'm going with this. From what I can tell, and it's a scientific fact to boot, leftists lack empathy. That is, they cannot put themselves in someone else's shoes and modify behavior based on how they would feel if the behavior was turned toward them. They are rather autistic about their intellectual and social behavior. They'll tar and feather a whole segment of people based on the action of one crazy and not even bat an eye. However, when their own crazy gets caught, they want the more reasonable and reasoned and logical response of not smearing a whole group of people (say, all people who watched and liked the Al Gore movie An Inconvenient Truth).
So I think we can point these influences out as long as we don't harp on them too much or imply that some kind of legal indictment is in order for those doing the influencing. You might even be able to elicit logical thinking from your opponent in the form of a verbal response which may then be used later when someone makes a similar illogical claim, e.g., a Glenn Beck fan said something racist, ergo... etc. If you still think that modeling normative behavior is the only way to go and doubt that this behavior mirroring can be wise and effective, ask yourself if you think Solomon was really going to have that chick's baby cut in half.
Hat tip goes to Red Hat and Big Government. Watch the following movie made by a constitutional activist.
"Jackpot, Brother," says the film-maker. Love it. Then at the end, Hare and cronies get into their SUV so they can go to Red Lobster and pig out and complain about their pesky constituents.
I just gave $25 to Hare's opponent, Bobby Schilling. We got to dump guys like this who don't know the our founding documents, don't care about them and think that their job is to redistribute money. I know people who owed huge hospital bills―they are doing fine.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Gloria Berger from CNN serves up a good analysis of the political situation for Barack Obama. Excerpt:
It's strange, really, that the man who touched so many during the campaign has failed to connect in the same way during his presidency.
The president, for all of his success in checking off his to-do list, is now seen as just more of the same...
It's not that we don't see Obama; we see him more than just about any other president. So why is it that we still can't figure out who he is? Because a Zelig-like devotion to announcing one more agenda item or one more stimulus project or give one more speech just isn't enough.
Visibility doesn't guarantee connection. Connection guarantees connection.
That's where Bill Clinton comes in. There's no one who was better at empathy. And so, as Obama and the Democrats trudge toward an election bound to make them unhappy, the question is this: If Obama loses seats (or even control of the House), who will he be? Will he be Bill Clinton (a la 1994, after losing the House to Newt Gingrich and the GOP), adjusting to his new circumstance, working to pass welfare reform and a budget agreement? Or will be Jimmy Carter, who went from bad to worse, sulking with not much to show for it?
The other thing I liked in the article is her noticing how President Obama wouldn't mention in his victory speech the surge strategy which he opposed while a Senator and which worked in Iraq and which he used himself is employing in Afghanistan. I guess we'll assume that he really didn't think it would work back in 2007 and go with the "on the job training theory."
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
I have enjoyed some things which Ross Douthat has written in the past, and I think if I recall they have all been about religion, not politics. Whenever he talks about politics I have trouble seeing his point. To me, it comes across as impressionistic and supercilious, and I'm not really into modern art. His piece on the Beck rally is no exception. He says it was "stranger" than his on-air rants against liberalism, it was like a revival meeting or a product of identity politics without the actual politics. His description is not very descriptive and he was supposedly actually there.
It seems like Mr. Douthat may be trying to prove Mr. Levin correct in his assessment; Levin is quite a bit plainer-spoken than Douthat is.
Douthat is illustrative of a desperate climber trying to claw his way to the top. And he is encouraged on his journey by other obscure light-weights who clap like trained seals for they share in his delusion. But he damns himself with his regular ramblings in the New York Times -- he, a failed author to boot. Thoughts?
Here are my thoughts: Mark Levin will probably not be asked to write for the NY Times any time soon, and Ross Douthat wouldn't be very good at doing talk radio. Perhaps he is a thinker, contrary to Levin's doubts, but he is not good at communicating those thoughts.
Does anyone have an answer to this brilliant observation from William Donohue? I don't think so.
Every now and then the media go into a spasm about one or another Catholic teaching they object to, and their latest outrage is fixated on women's ordination. They do not object that Orthodox Jews do not ordain women. They do not object that Islam has no role for female clergy. They only get upset when the Catholic Church doesn't do what they demand. This not only goes to show how phony they are, it proves how they delight in taking another swipe at Catholicism.
I like Jack Cafferty at CNN, but does he really have the guts to slam Orthodox Jews or Islam over this issue? And if he does it now, why didn't he include them in his commentary last night? Even better, why didn't Jack nail Jews and Muslims and give Catholics a pass?
The New York Times has also editorialized on the subject, singling out Catholicism. TV stations have polled their viewers asking them what they think. And to think that these same people can say with a straight face that they really believe in diversity—it's just too much to bear.
America is awash in religions, and the great thing about it is that we don't force them to adopt the same strictures. Sadly, there are those who do believe in one-size-fits all, and if they had it in their power, they would do what comes natural to them—they would impose their secular will on all religions.
Finally, if the critics are right that the Catholic Church oppresses women because it does not permit women priests, then it should be dying and the mainline Protestant religions should be spiking. Yet the evidence shows that just the reverse is true. Guess liberals can't get anything right these days.
One possible answer for this could be my Droid/Wookie theory.
James Jay Lee is an environmentalist wacko who was radicalized in part by watching Al Gore's documentary An Inconvenient Truth. Currently he is holding hostages in the Discovery Building. Here's the dweeb's manifesto in which he describes human babies as being pollution, disgusting and filthy. Here's a semi-amusing excerpt:
Saving the environment and the remaning species diversity of the planet is now your mindset. Nothing is more important than saving them. The Lions, Tigers, Giraffes, Elephants, Froggies, Turtles, Apes, Raccoons, Beetles, Ants, Sharks, Bears, and, of course, the Squirrels.
The humans? The planet does not need humans.
Why does the planet "need" froggies if there are no children to capture them and make a "froggy house" out of a 5" x 10" Rubbermaid container and then later it spills on the carpet and the froggy escapes and then a week later, you smell something in the basement....
Anyway, I hope this guy does not kill himself and gets out of this alive. Then I hope we get more left-wing material from him, maybe writing from prison or something. Sunlight is the best disinfectant; let's put the environmentalist lunacy on display.
Whoops, bad information. The guy has been shot and killed.
I'll give you the highlights of Mo Dowd's critique of the new oval office decor so you don't have to read the silly parts. Ain't I great?
The Oval Office was done over by the chichi decorator Michael Smith, who was previously paid $800,000 for his part in refurnishing the lair of the former Merrill Lynch C.E.O. John Thain (a $1.2 million project featuring the notorious $35,000 antique cabinet, or commode).
The Oval Office, the classiest, most powerful place on earth, is now suffused with browns and beiges and leather and resembles an upscale hotel conference room or a ’70s conversation pit with a boxy coffee table that even some Obama aides find ugly.
$800,000 worth of toe cheese. Nice.
The recession redo, paid for by the nonprofit White House Historical Association, was the latest tone-deaf move by a White House that was supposed to excel at connection and communication. Message: I care, but not enough to stop the fancy vacations and posh renovations.
As Obama himself said in February 2009 when he released his first budget: “There are times where you can afford to redecorate your house, and there are times where you need to focus on rebuilding the foundation.”
It might have been wise, given America’s slough of despond, to hark back to a time when presidents just went to work and took their office pretty much as they found it, without the need to make a personal statement. As the former White House curator Rex Scouten once told me, in the era from Taft to Truman, the green rug in the president’s office was changed only once, when it wore out, to a new green rug.
The new cream-of-wheat-colored rug is made of 25 percent recycled wool and features 100 percent recycled quotes around the border that have significance for President Obama. (Which means, of course, that the next chief executive will want to carpet copy-edit and put his or her own special quotes on the Oval rug. If the Tea Party triumphs, it might be “Don’t Tread on Me.” If Sarah Palin ascends, it will no doubt be a mama grizzly bear rug, personally bagged by her.)
The first thing the once inspirational orator should embroider around the rug, the maxim that sums up so much of what’s wrong with the administration now, is the immortal line from “Cool Hand Luke”: “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.”
That seems to be a good take-away from this incident where Hamas killed four Israeli civilians. When you live in Israel and hear that peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians are imminent, go on increased alert and prepare to defend yourself from Hamas terrorist attacks. Or else your death might be used as a stake in the heart of the talks. You'll become a human sword, which is even worse than a human shield.
Here's the White House's response:
The White House, in a statement, condemned the attack, saying it "underscores how far the enemies of peace will go to try to block progress. It is crucial that the parties persevere, keep moving forward even through difficult times."
OK, but could be stronger. I guess they have to be diplomatic, but wouldn't it be nice if they could peg those responsible.
Despite occasional attacks, Israeli security officials say the past year has been one of the most peaceful in Israel's history. Officials credit the improved functioning of Palestinian security forces, the Israeli military's efforts against militants, and the deterrent effect they say was created by Israel's wars against the Palestinian uprising in 2001, Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006 and Hamas in Gaza in 2009.
Maybe there's hope....
Red State reports how conservatives are pushing out the "establishment" Repubs. Excerpt:
Consider another fact: Conservatives, led by Jim DeMint and Sarah Palin, are potentially creating the most conservative Senate Republican Conference in the last thirty or so years: Sharron Angle, Ken Buck, Mike Lee, Joe Miller, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Pat Toomey will be joining Jim DeMint, Tom Coburn, and David Vitter.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Awhile ago I was in the doctor's office and found myself reading the letters to the editor in the May 31, 2010 issue of Time magazine. Several were from Muslims commenting on the bombing attempt by the Islamic terrorist Faisal Shahzad. I jotted a few of them down verbatim and have read them several times over the last several months.
I was going to blog on them earlier, but I decided at the time to merely continue to think about what they wrote for a bit longer. The reason I have done this is because I want to better understand the thought patterns of Muslims and not just jump on everything they say as anyone slightly critical of Islam is currently being accused of. The people who sent these in seem like decent enough folks, and I'll assume they are. My main point here is not to argue against what they wrote. It takes some effort to write letters to the editor, so I can safely suggest that these succinct messages are thoughtful responses to Time's reporting of the attempted terrorist bombing in NYC 2 weeks earlier.
Here is the first letter:
"The worst thing that came from Shazad's botched bombing is that it further damaged the reputation of Muslims in the U.S." - Reem Bakkar, New York City, responding to "Broadway Bomber" May 17.
Here is the second letter:
"Although the events in Times Square were certainly frightening, the political backlash against the Pakistanis and Muslims was even more so. As a Pakistani American, I implore my fellow citizens to practice tolerance toward this culturally rich, peaceful community whose members have overwhelmingly turned their backs on the terrorism and violence that have plagued their native region. Don't make us pay for the mistakes of others." - Zoya Mehmoud, Alexandria, VA
Even now reading these again I don't want to pass any judgment on the words or the speakers of the words. I just want to try a thought experiment. Imagine a Catholic talking about the clergy abuse scandal with the same language, and then substitute the word "Catholics" for "Muslims". To be clear about what I mean, I'll write them out for you:
The worst thing that came from the Catholic clergy sex scandal is that it further damaged the reputation of Catholics in the U.S.
Although the Catholic clergy abuse scandal was certainly atrocious, the backlash against the Catholics was even more so. As a Catholic American, I implore my fellow citizens to practice tolerance toward this culturally rich, peaceful community whose members have overwhelmingly turned their backs on the abuse that have plagued their parishes. Don't make us pay for the mistakes of others.
If a Catholic said those things, would he be accused of not assuming the correct attitude about the atrocities? Would he be accused of downplaying the gravity of the perpetrators' actions? or of ignoring a systemic problem within his "faith community"? Would he be scolded for not prefacing these remarks with a long acknowledgment of the problem and for being glib and insensitive to the plight of the victims?
These are merely questions that I ask, and I leave others to answer them. Please leave your thoughts and answers in the comment boxes below, if you have any.
Just in case you missed it. This is a companion piece to David Horowitz's exchange with a Muslim student at UCSD back in May 2010.
Uhhh, students, this question is going to be on the test from now on, so make sure you can answer it before showing up to class.