Saturday, January 12, 2008

Good advice to those intent on defining their opponents

And it may be especially useful to apply this advice to weblog publishing in the age of instant gratification. Think about it before you hit that post button. From Edwin Tait via Shawn McElhinney:

We always make our opponents out to be more radical than they are, so that we can position ourselves as part of the mainstream. But in times of great social tension this polarizing game can become an extremely dangerous form of self-fulfilling prophecy. We use the alleged radicalism of our opponents as an excuse to become radical ourselves, and thus prompt our opponents to follow suit, turning them into the monsters we thought they were all along (and so justifying further extremism on our part).

Morris on McCain's Strong & Weak Points

From the NY Post.

His record taps into a latent populism that attracts Republicans, Democrats and Independents. His battle against big tobacco, efforts to address global warming, opposition to torture during interrogations and fight to reform corporate governance and to protect investors and pensioners appeal to voters of all stripes.

There's that word again, populism. But I think there is more than one type of populism. My biggest problem with the populism of Huckabee and other mainstream conservatives is the pitchfork style, "send all them immygrants back" anti-elitism. Lou Dobbs comes to mind, a double-chinned multi-millionaire working for a global news corporation who rails against global capitalists and media elites. Whoever they are.

Ultimately, though, he can likely transcend the nativist vote and appeal to the broad spectrum of Republicans. Polls indicate that nobody really believes it is feasible to deport 11 million people back to their home nations. If we can't do that, they'll linger on our streets and in our fields forever, as illegal tomorrow as they are today, unless we move to meet them halfway.


The Pat Buchanans of the world will split their votes between Mitt Romney and Huckabee, so this negative is not likely to prove any more lethal in Michigan, New York or California than it was in New Hampshire.

This is the interesting thing about a primary fight with lots of players. Like we had been discussing in the comments here, you might not be able to beat a strong opponent, but you could beat a whole field of them. You let them tire each other out then come up and deliver the KO. (You have to be awake in order to do that, though, which is why I gave up on Fred Thompson.)

So we might not get the best candidate on all issues when all is said and done, but we'll probably get the one who is the most clever and experienced. And cleverness might come in handy in the "the struggle against radical Islamic extremists", as well as experience.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Brookhiser on the Ron Paul Revelations and "Further Right World"

I found this piece to be insightful, charitable and concise.

If you live in Further Right World, you may well believe that the Constitution was a kind of NATO between the states. I think that is demonstrably wrong, but it is an honorable view (Jefferson, in some moods, professed it).

Close by that view is the view that the slave power was the historic defender of liberty, which I think is both wrong and wicked (Jefferson, in his old age, found himself driven to it).

Many inhabitants of Further Right World are also gold bugs. That may be a mistaken belief, but again it is honorable. Gold buggery goes off the rails when it breeds an unhealthy suspicion of central banks. ("The necessary secrecy of [bankers'] transactions gives unlimited scope to imagination to infer that something is, or may be wrong"—Alexander Hamilton, "Report on a National Bank," 1790). I was startled, the first time I read Lysander Spooner—and if you have spent any time in Further Right World, you will know exactly who that is—to find a little blast at the Rothschilds.

Ron Paul clearly holds the honorable views mentioned above, and everyone who knows him testifies that he does not hold the wicked ones. But it requires eternal vigilance in Further Right World to keep the two apart, and he has not exercised it.

Hat tip Sullivan. Andrew Sullivan, a Paul supporter, admits embarrassment for not knowing about the newsletters and of course was offended by all the anti-gay stuff which I'll admit I found funny and sounded like it was ripped off from Ann Coulter. But then again, maybe I'm a citizen of "Further Guy World".

Thursday, January 10, 2008

NPR Makes Fun of the Holy Eucharist and YOU Get To Pay For It

Hey, sinners who read this blog: do some reparation for this sh*t. From the Catholic League:

An official from Public Radio International, the parent organization that carries “Fair Game with Faith Salie,” called to say that the offensive skit has been pulled from its website and an on-air apology has been given.

We are satisfied with this outcome—it effectively ends this issue.

Original News Release from January 9, 2008


On January 7, an anti-Huckabee skit trashed Jesus on a radio show, “Fair Game with Faith Salie.” It aired on KCPW, Utah’s National Public Radio station. Here is a transcript of the offensive segment:

[Woman’s voice]: And now another Huckabee family recipe leaked by his opponents.

[Male Voice]: Tired of bland unsatisfying Eucharists? Try this Huckabee family favorite. Deep-Fried Body of Christ--boring holy wafers no more. Take one Eucharist. Preferably post transubstantiation. Deep-fry in fat, not vegetable oil, ladies, until crispy. Serve piping hot. Mike likes to top his Christ with whipped cream and sprinkles. But his wife Janet and the boys like theirs with heavy gravy and cream puffs. It goes great with red wine.

[Woman’s voice]: Now that is just ridiculous. Everyone knows evangelicals don’t believe in transubstantiation.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue responded as follows:

“We are lodging a complaint with Ed Sweeney, KCPW’s general manager. This kind of programming would be over-the-top on a shock-jock station, never mind a station funded by the taxpayers. We would also like to know who was behind this assault on Jesus. Therefore, we are asking for an investigation. Whoever it was, he or she used presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee and evangelicals as foil, saving the real sucker punch for Roman Catholics. This is despicable on several counts: it is blasphemous and bigoted. But it may also be motivated by a political calculus, making it really dirty if it is.”

This reminds me of two street acts we saw at a fair up in Canada on summer vacation. The magician was good and we gave him money at the end even though he made fun of President Bush. Because who really cares. The juggler was good and made fun of George Bush too, then he made fun of Jesus. I forget what the jokes were. So he didn't get any money. I explained that to my oldest kid, that we don't really care what anyone says about the President, but you don't joke about Jesus and church and stuff. But as he know, anti-Catholicism is an addictive sickness. As Christ himself said, "His mouth speaks from that which fills his heart." (Lk 6:45)

I feel a binge coming...

A Sifl and Olly binge, i.e.

I'll quit when my wife starts hiding the socks.

Andy, what was the glam song they did, kind of a Bowie send up where the one dude's in a spaceship....

Slightly related, I think one of the reasons I've decided to support McCain for Pres is that he's irritating like me. But in a good way... I mean... right?

Geeky Post with Even Geekier Comments

Regarding the support of mythical Frankensteinesque candidate, McThomneyiani.

Then in the comments everyone tries to "outgeek" each other. But it was enlightening; who knew that there were scores of YouTube videos demonstrating the TRS-80 in action?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

No Boneless Chickens Allowed

My answer to Andy calling me a liberal.

"Mac is Back!"

This is funny to me. Everybody's nuts.

Why Hillary Wins NH

Hillary as America's Folk-hero. This picture says it all:

Thanks to Cubeland for the fun link.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Ron Paul: Unearthed Newsletters Reveal Racism

Well, it's all over the web, but maybe I'll get some hits too. Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Dr. Ron Paul, Libertarian Ron Paul.... hit me, hit me, hit me, hit me....

Here' the Kirchick piece. 847 comments and counting. Excerpt:

Martin Luther King Jr. earned special ire from Paul's newsletters, which attacked the civil rights leader frequently, often to justify opposition to the federal holiday named after him. ("What an infamy Ronald Reagan approved it!" one newsletter complained in 1990. "We can thank him for our annual Hate Whitey Day.") In the early 1990s, a newsletter attacked the "X-Rated Martin Luther King" as a "world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours," "seduced underage girls and boys," and "made a pass at" fellow civil rights leader Ralph Abernathy. One newsletter ridiculed black activists who wanted to rename New York City after King, suggesting that "Welfaria," "Zooville," "Rapetown," "Dirtburg," and "Lazyopolis" were better alternatives. The same year, King was described as "a comsymp, if not an actual party member, and the man who replaced the evil of forced segregation with the evil of forced integration."

While bashing King, the newsletters had kind words for the former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke. In a passage titled "The Duke's Victory," a newsletter celebrated Duke's 44 percent showing in the 1990 Louisiana Senate primary. "Duke lost the election," it said, "but he scared the blazes out of the Establishment." In 1991, a newsletter asked, "Is David Duke's new prominence, despite his losing the gubernatorial election, good for anti-big government forces?" The conclusion was that "our priority should be to take the anti-government, anti-tax, anti-crime, anti-welfare loafers, anti-race privilege, anti-foreign meddling message of Duke, and enclose it in a more consistent package of freedom." Duke is now returning the favor, telling me that, while he will not formally endorse any candidate, he has made information about Ron Paul available on his website.

Anyway, none of this is surprising. As Stephen Bainbridge wrote back in December, "It may not be a case of birds of a feather, but it’s at least a case of lying down with dogs and getting up with fleas."

Susan, please feel free to chime in with your very own toldja-so.

Here's a good report from the PJ Media folks, excerpt from their list of racist pull quotes:

Ron Paul: “But this is normal, and in fact benign, compared to much of the anti-white ideology in the thoroughly racist black community. The black leadership indoctrinates its followers with phony history and phony theory to bolster its claims of victimology.”

Syntactically embarrassing; I imagine the "phony history" to which he is referring is that of hardworking plantation-owners using blacks as slaves. The "phony theory" undoubtedly refers to theoretical lynch mobs.

I feel bad for the well-meaning people who fell for this guy.

McCain Wins NH Primary


I guess kicking ass still beats executive "To Do" lists among the "Live Free or Die" folks.

Monday, January 7, 2008

"...but it just don't work on you."

I was looking for the version where Mitt Romney's dad jammed with these cats.

Michael Medved on Distorting Huckabee's Victory

This is from Medved's latest commentary.

Predictably enough, most media commentators have totally misinterpreted the nature of Mike Huckabee's big win in the Iowa GOP caucuses. Conventional wisdom says that he swept to victory based on overwhelming support from Evangelicals, but conventional wisdom is flat-out wrong.

According to the exit polls used by major news networks, a majority of voters who described themselves as "evangelical" or "born again" Christians actually voted against Huckabee--with 54 percent splitting their support among Romney, McCain, Thompson and Ron Paul. Yes, Huckabee's 46 percent of Evangelicals was a strong showing, but it was directly comparable to his 40 percent of women, or 40 percent of all voters under the age of 30, or 41 percent of those earning less than $30,000 a year. His powerful appeal to females, the young and the poor make him a different kind of Republican, who connects with voting blocs the GOP needs to win back. He's hardly the one-dimensional religious candidate that we see in the media caricature.

I think this is important to note this because the media has been so focused on the religious aspect of the Republican candidates, and I don't think it's because these chatterboxes are genuinely interested in distinctions in Christology and moral theology. Instead I would suggest that it's all to make the Republican's look like panderers to the scary Christians in the guts of this country which they like to caricature as mouth-breathing bumpkin brigades. Huckabee is routinely described as a former Baptist minister, but he was in government for 12 years, longer than he was in church ministry! Contrast this with Edwards, a 1-term Senator who is never referred to as a "Former Ambulance Chaser". Mitt Romney is referred to as a Mormon constantly and does anyone care if he doesn't knock on your door during dinner? Meanwhile we're still dying to find out the exact denomination of Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton.

Cool Magi Art

Adoration of the Magi. Early Renaissance painting by Domenico Ghirlandaio. Click it for the bigger version. Source.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Huckabee and Homeschooling

Yes, I realize that the following video is propaganda, but 'tis the season. The occasion is that my wife told me that there is a homeschooling mom who has been blogging about how Huckabee is unfriendly to the homeschooling cause. He's even got an endorsement from a national homeshooling group and I guess she is furrowing her eyebrows about it, like it's some kind of obvious conspiracy. My guess is that it's another desire for "egg in your beer" on the part of the puristas.

But, speaking of conspiracies, it might also be partially due to an article on World Net Nut Daily which is written in their standard fear mongering fashion. Huckabee received the NEA's endorsement in New Hampshire for the Republican nomination. So what? They endorsed Hillary for the Dems and everyone on the east coast thinks that he's the easiest to beat in the general. Could the NEA be playing politics here? I'd take those odds to Vegas.

And speaking of eggs and beer, I can't think of a better way to ruin a beer than to crack an egg in it. I like mine crisp and clean with no protein. Maybe the saying should be changed to "What do you want, Dewars in your Dos Equis? Stoli in your St. Pauli? Grand Marnier in your Grand Ridge?"

Please feel free to suggest other creative boilermaker combinations in the comments, along with substantial comments about whatever I started talking about here. Oh, yes, Mike Huckabee. Full disclosure: I could be happy vote for that guy, tho' I think he has some nutty, unrealistic ideas about deporting illegals. That's red meat for the wild-eyed fringe, IMO, and he'll convenient toss it in the event that he goes all the way.