Thursday, April 28, 2005

Questions for the Blue Staters

Do you think that outside-of-the-US travel makes you worldly? Do you think that eating at the latest trendy restaurant makes you a sophisticate? Do you think that going to the Opera give you elan? Do you believe that visiting a museum exhibit demonstrates that you have a high IQ? Do you feel that atheism and/or a mindless "acceptance" of Islam makes you compassionate?

Sadly, this is what passes for a true life among the Blue State Elites. When they talk about the troglodytic lifestyles of the Red State hordes--that is, whenever they talk about the Red Staters, period--they mean that those unfortunate rustics do not or will not avail themselves of such urban pleasures as listed above.
I have personally known such human being manques as this. They think they are the cultural ne plus ultra...but I call them middlebrows.
Socrates probably never traveled far from Athens. da Vinci is not remembered as a gourmand. Isaac Newton probably couldn't tell a Merlot from a Chardonnay. Dante Alighieri despised Islam.
I guess they'd be called rednecks today!

Monday, April 25, 2005

Breaking News: WaPo Gets It Half Right

Let’s see: Tamarlane was “famously devoted to Islam”, but “His name still reeks of butchery.” Interesting…

History's Pages, Limned In Blood and Stardust

By Paul Richard
Special to The Washington Post
Monday, April 25, 2005; Page C01

In the news, Afghanistan looks like an arid and impoverished place whose bearded mountain warriors have mud-brick houses, AK-47s, daughters who can't read, poppies and not much else. In "In the Realm of Princes" at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Afghanistan one visits doesn't look like that at all.
It isn't arid. Multicolored flowers sprout beneath its trees. And it isn't poor. Its sophisticated rulers dwell in columned halls that are floored with cool glazed tiles and hung with Chinese silks. And it isn't illiterate, it's the opposite of illiterate. Its 15th-century pages -- many from the courtly studios of Herat in northwestern Afghanistan -- are deeply bookish works of art.
…His name still reeks of butchery. When Timur brought his armies against some noble city (Damascus or Aleppo, Babylon or Baghdad) he'd sometimes spare the women and the most accomplished artists, but he'd slaughter the men, and then build columns of their skulls.
…The Timurids were famously devoted to Islam. They built enormous mosques, they enriched theologians. But they didn't ban dancing or outlaw music or declare war on sweet luxury. The Taliban they weren't. One sees that in their art…

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/04/24/AR2005042401448.html

Media Elites Examine Red Staters...And Find The Expected Freak Show

Pa. Cousins Try to Overcome Taboo of 'I Do'
To Bypass Ban, Relatives Wed in Md. After Years of Seeking Acceptance

By Fredrick Kunkle

Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 25, 2005; Page B01

ALTOONA, Pa.

They settled down in their blue-and-white mobile home with three dogs, a cat, two guinea pigs named Beavis and Butt-Head, and an iguana that loves to eat kiwi.
Andrews collects disability payments from the government. Amrhein works at the courtesy desk at Wal-Mart.
"I tell people I married her for the health benefits and the Wal-Mart discount card," Andrews said, only half-joking.
She slapped his thigh.
"Yeah," she said, eyes rolling.
They kid each other a lot and share many interests, such as camping and fishing. They agree to disagree on other things. He smokes Jacks 100's; she prefers Marlboros. He hunts. She loves animals.

…And don't ask her about eating groundhog. "It smells like a pork chop frying. Tastes like chicken," he said, helpfully.
Six years ago, he proposed to her at the jewelry case in Wal-Mart after they spied a pair of wedding bands on sale.
"I said, 'Are you prepared to go through the Hell we're going to go through?' " he said.
Yes, she said, accepting the engagement. But because of a host of concerns, they locked their rings away until last month. After a Pennsylvania court clerk refused to grant a marriage license, the couple challenged the refusal in open court, as allowed by law, and lost.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/04/24/AR2005042401406.html

Liberal Atheist Elites Baffled By Affection For Pope

American Catholics Approve of Pope Benedict XVI

By Richard Morin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 25, 2005; 8:51 AM

If this is true...

An overwhelming majority of American Catholics approve of the selection of Pope Benedict XVI and predicts that he will defend the traditional policies and beliefs of a church that many members say is out of touch with their views, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
The survey found that more than eight in 10 Catholics broadly supported the selection of former German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to replace Pope John Paul II.
Nearly as many, 73 percent, said they were "enthusiastic" about the new pontiff, though only one in four said they were strongly enthusiastic about the choice.

How can this also be true?...

The poll suggested the magnitude (Huh?) of the challenge facing the newly installed pontiff in the United States as he attempts to lead a congregation deeply split between those who want the church to maintain its traditional policies and beliefs, and those who say the church needs to change in order to reflect the way Catholics live today.
Half say they want the church to adhere to traditional values and policies, while almost exactly the same proportion believe the church must change its policies to reflect modern lifestyles and beliefs...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/04/25/AR2005042500202.html


Thursday, April 21, 2005

"...one large, unified, Jew-threatening juggernaut."

I am not a Roman Catholic. In fact, as a conservative, Orthodox Lutheran (Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod) my religious beliefs stand in radical opposition to Roman Catholic dogma and practice. But nevertheless I admire the new Pope, Benedict XVI for his strong stance on the primacy of European (i.e., Western) culture. He is right; the primary dilemma facing the Christian Church today is that of Moral Relativism.

This idea eludes today’s liberal, post-modern atheistic elites. They worship at a different altar—that of so-called “socials justice”. To people of that persuasion, the Christian Church is just another institution that of course needs to be torn down and reassembled to conform to their idealized quasi-Marxist Dictatorship of the Know-It-All Do-Gooders (I jest—but really, this is a serious problem).

In today's WaPo, Richard Cohen uses his opinion column to advocate the destruction of Christianity. Oh, on the surface it seems that Cohen is actually just calling for a "reform" of the existing Roman Catholic Church...but he actually has a darker, more sinister agenda in mind.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A6178-2005Apr20.html

As atheists (that is, as people who do not believe in the literal existence of a transcendental God) Liberals like Cohen claim to want to “fix” Christianity by the imposition of plethora of trendy (since the late ‘60s, that is) programs, chief among them the issues of gay rights, birth control, and the Ordination of married persons.

In other words, all that matters to the Leftist elites is the adoption, by the Roman Catholic Church, of their own secular agenda.

Why would a Jewish atheist like Richard Cohen be so concerned about these issues of Catholic dogma? Cohen would tell you that because he is so concerned about the spread of AIDS in the third world that he supports any policies that advocate the use of birth control (chiefly condoms). As for the ordination of women, well, that’s just his knee-jerk support for boilerplate rhetoric from Leftist feminism—i.e., by abjuring the ordination of women, the Catholic Church is being horribly, unreasonably discriminatory. I’m not sure what Cohen would say to defend his support for a married Priesthood. Presumably he is concerned about the deficit of parish priests in the United States...

So let’s examine these points a bit more deeply. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Would the advocacy of a birth control and especially condom use by the Papacy affect the spread of AIDS in Africa? What about the widespread cultural disdain of condom use n traditional African culture? Does Cohen think that condom use among the poor in the third world would spread, given a Papal Blessing? What is Cohen’s true motive?
  2. Does Cohen advocate the “ordination” of female Muslim Imams? What about female Orthodox Rabbis? What about a female Dalai Lama? Or only for Catholic Priests and Nuns? What is Cohen’s true motive?
  3. Why on earth does Cohen care if Catholic priests were permitted to marry? What is Cohen’s true motive?

Indeed, what is Cohen’s true motive? There is only one answer, and that is the destruction of the venerable Roman Catholic Church, and by proxy, all Christendom. Leftist ideologues like Cohen discern no difference between the Catholic, Methodist, or Eastern Orthodox Churches—they are all repressive, to varying degrees, and must "reform or die".

This point has been made succinctly by Rabbi Daniel Lapin (an Orthodox Jew) in his wonderful book, “America’s Real War”. Writes the Rabbi, “Similar observations over the years have convinced me that most American Jews are highly ignorant about Christians, their beliefs and their practices. I am quite sure that the majority of Jews, even if capable of distinguishing between Catholicism and Protestantism, would be utterly without a clue as to the differences between Baptists, Lutherans. Mennonites, and Presbyterians. Let alone do they realize that these are but a small sampling of Christian groups. This Jewish failure to understand the diversity within Christianity turns the entire non-Jewish world into one large, unified, Jew-threatening juggernaut. Ignorance is always the seed of bigotry, and a stepping stone to hostility”.

Amen, Rabbi, Amen.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Breaking News: Common Sense Deteted Amidst European Intellectuals

Europe weak on rights abuses by Muslims: Humanists
Web posted at: 4/19/2005 11:44:50
Source ::: Reuters

GENEVA: The main global humanist organisation on Monday accused European countries of ignoring violations of human rights in their Islamic communities to preserve “multi-culturalism”.
In a presentation to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and at a separate news conference and a seminar, they also argued that Muslim countries were trying to use the body to quash any discussion of their own rights record.

“Western society tends to turn a blind eye to the plight of European Muslim women and girls because ‘Muslim culture is different’,” Roy Brown, president of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), told the 53-member Commission.

“Yet in Europe many women find themselves subject to domestic violence, undergo forced marriages or are even killed by family members because of some belief that they have tarnished the family honour,” Brown declared.

That view was echoed later by Somali-born Dutch member of parliament Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Iranian exile rights activist Azam Kamguian, Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasrin, historian of Islam Ibn Warraq and French intellectual Caroline Fourest.

Hirsi Ali, who fled to the Netherlands in 1992 to escape an arranged marriage, told the news conference she condemned “the moral relativism in Europe whereby women from Third World countries do not enjoy the same freedoms as native European women enjoy.”

http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/Display_news.asp?section=World_News&subsection=Rest+of+the+World&month=April2005&file=World_News20050419114450.xml

Monday, April 18, 2005

Conservatives? BIASED! Liberals? MISUNDERSTOOD!

Conservatives? BIASED!

Fox's Sandstorm

By William Raspberry
Monday, April 18, 2005; Page A17

The in-your-face right-wing partisanship that marks Fox News Channel's news broadcasts is having two dangerous effects.
The first is that the popularity of the approach -- Fox is clobbering its direct competition (CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, etc.) -- leads other cable broadcasters to mimic it, which in turn debases the quality of the news available to that segment of the TV audience.
The second, far more dangerous, effect is that it threatens to destroy public confidence in all news.
The latter, I admit, is more fear than prediction, but let me tell you what produces that fear. Fox News Channel -- though the people who run the operation are at great pains to insist otherwise -- is deliberately partisan. It is as though right-wing talk radio has metastasized into cable and assumed a new virulence.
The main difference is that radio's Rush Limbaugh, for instance, doesn't pretend even-handedness. As he has said, he doesn't seek to be balanced but to balance the rest of the media, which he sees as generally dominated by left-of-center attitudes.
Part of the FNC approach, on the other hand, is to promote itself as "fair and balanced." I suppose it does so with a wink and a nod to its far-right audience, who must know it isn't balanced. Certainly those near the center of the political spectrum know it…
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61709-2005Apr17.html

Liberals? MISUNDERSTOOD!

Nonexistent Mission
Los Angeles Times columnist Robert Scheer wrote last week that the Bush administration dispatched "self-appointed morals czar" William Bennett in 2003 to tell Vatican officials that the invasion of Iraq would be a just war. This was news to Bennett, who says he never took such a trip and can't understand why Scheer never called him.
Scheer says he was "sloppy" in picking up the tale from the Houston Catholic Worker. "I should have been more careful," he says. Says Times Opinion Editor Michael Kinsley: "I guess I would wonder why a story this juicy would have only been in some Catholic newspaper. That would make me want to check it out."

Premature Journalism
Barbara Stewart, the Boston Globe freelancer dropped over her story about a Canadian seal hunt that had not yet taken place, says she never meant to deceive anyone. She just never checked back to learn that the scheduled hunt had been delayed by bad weather.
"The whole situation, while resulting from an egregious, massive, stupid [screwup] on my part, unbelievable carelessness, was nevertheless not malicious fabrication as in: pretending I was there and deliberately making up a whole scene and attempting to pass it off," Stewart says by e-mail.
"It was stupider and more boring and more flat out dumb on my part. Quite dumb. Remarkably dumb. But not vicious and not really a scandal, for heaven's sake."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61803-2005Apr17.html

Self-pity From the “F*** Bush” Crowd

For Every Story, An Online Epilogue
Via E-Mail and Blog, Anyone's a Critic

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 18, 2005; Page C01

The growing tide of personal attacks by bloggers and e-mailers "can make you really paranoid," says New York Times reporter Adam Nagourney.
ABC's Linda Douglass says she has "learned that I have not just critics but people who seem to hate me that I don't even know about."
"It's very nasty and personal and scatological," says Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank.
The rise of the blogosphere remains one of the most exciting communications developments in decades, giving ordinary folks the chance to bite back at a media establishment widely viewed as arrogant. It's little surprise that mainstream media types don't like being questioned, challenged and chided by critics typing from their basements and bedrooms.
But the increasingly caustic nature of some online criticism is prompting many journalists to complain that their honesty and motivation are being trashed along with their work.
"You want to pay attention to what legitimate critics are saying out there," Nagourney says. "In journalism, you screw up from time to time. But it's become so toxic -- attacks for the sake of attacks."…

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61803-2005Apr17.html

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Islamic Republic of Iran Catching Up To "Enlightened" West

Iran changes abortion law

The Iranian Parliament has approved a bill which will allow women to have an abortion in the first four months of pregnancy, if the baby is mentally or physically handicapped.
Until now, abortion was only allowed if the mother's life was in danger.
The new abortion law was approved by just over half of the members of the Iranian Parliament, but none of the 13 women in the house took part in the debate.
The conditions for allowing abortions still remain very stringent.
Both parents must agree and they need three doctors, as well as the coroners office, to confirm the foetus is damaged or the mother's life is at risk.
Under this new bill, even if a woman is pregnant as a result of rape, she still does not have the right to an abortion (Well, I said that they are "catching up" to the West... - Suburban Cowboy).
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200504/s1343898.htm

Extreme Makeover, Afghan Style

In search of a little nip, tuck

By Kim Barker the Tribune's South Asia correspondent

Most patients want their scars removed, all evidence of burns, skin diseases and even gunshot wounds erased. But others, hiding beneath their burqas, want nose jobs.
Cosmetic surgery has arrived in Kabul, in the form of the tiny Hamkar Surgical Clinic, across the street from the bombed-out Cinema Theatre building, in need of its own face-lift. In this clinic, tucked away at the top of a dark stairway, people can pay for tummy tucks, although no one has been brave enough yet to try. Women will be able to buy larger breasts, although only one woman has expressed interest so far.
"It's peaceful now in Afghanistan," nurse Mohammad Fazel said. "People can get rid of their wrinkles. They can get rid of their bad figures."
Most Afghans are still too busy surviving to worry too much about appearance. But the existence of such a clinic--which charges as little as $100 for a nose job--shows how much Kabul, at least, has changed since the fall of the Taliban in late 2001.
The harsh regime frowned on people changing their appearances. The Taliban would have closed such a surgical clinic and harmed doctors even thinking about opening such a place. It viewed beauty shops as pure vanity.
The surgical clinic is only one example of the changing face of beauty in Kabul. Now, hair salons thrive across the capital. Last week, a new one opened, with a laser machine to get rid of blackheads, and massages are offered for Afghan women--by Afghan women, of course.
"Everybody feels much better after a massage," said Mahjoba Molaee, who works at the Jewel Beauty Center. "Why shouldn't we have massages for Afghan women?"
Bald men can get hair plugs at the Kabul version of a hair club for men, aptly called The Solution for Losing Hair. Mirwais Salehi, who believes he lost his hair six years ago because of hemorrhoids, was an early client.
"I have no problems with my new hair," said Salehi, 36, whose new hair indeed blends in with his old hair and makes him look years younger. "I'm playing soccer in it. I'm washing it. I'm even swimming in it."
He has acted as a walking advertisement, convincing dozens of acquaintances to come here, including two soccer teammates. The Solution for Losing Hair also received a major boost in business a few months ago after a local TV anchor, once bald, suddenly appeared on air with a full head of hair.
But the Hamkar clinic is probably the biggest surprise in the new Afghanistan. It opened early last year, focused primarily on treating cleft lips, cleft palates and the scars left by skin disease. Doctors fixed injuries from 23 years of war, bullet wounds and burns.
Dr. Aminullah Hamkar has photo albums of before and after pictures, of gruesome burns he has fixed, of faces he has repaired. But in recent months, patients have started demanding other procedures.
A woman first asked for a nose job. A month later, an older man came to the clinic. He had scars removed first from his hand, then from his face. Finally, he asked Hamkar to take away wrinkles near his eyes.
"I joked with him and told him, `You want to have a second wife?'" Hamkar recalled.
The man laughed, but insisted on the surgery. Since then, about 15 people, mostly men, have received eyelifts, Hamkar said.
About 10 patients, mostly women who walk into the clinic in burqas, which cover their faces, have had nose jobs.
Sometimes, Hamkar insists on a letter from a therapist certifying a patient's sanity.
"One man said: `Please get rid of the tip of my nose. When I'm reading, it's in the way, hanging down. When I'm sleeping on my right side, it hangs to the right. When I'm sleeping on my left, it hangs to the left,'" said Hamkar, who got a letter and performed the surgery.
Not everyone in Kabul accepts the clinic. Many Muslims here are conservative, and they believe nothing created by God should be changed.
A taxi driver once threatened to kick out a clinic doctor because he was talking about nose jobs. And a government TV station censored an ad that touted breast surgery and tummy tucks.
Clinic workers acknowledge it could be too soon to start talking publicly about such things.
"No one has come so far to fix their breasts, to make them smaller or bigger, or to get rid of their hanging stomachs," Fazel said. "No one has come so far, because our society is still a little bit extremist."
http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&e=5&u=/chitribts/20050412/ts_chicagotrib/insearchofalittleniptuck&sid=84439559

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

A hallucination is a fact...

A hallucination is a fact, not an error; what is erroneous is a judgment based upon it.
--Betrand Russell, “On the Nature of Acquaintance: Neutral Monism,” (1914)

This week’s New York Magazine features a strange story about secular saint Seymour Hersh, of the holy New York Times. Hersh, it seems, is really two journalists in one: “There are two Hershes, really. Seymour M. is the byline. He navigates readers through the byzantine world of America’s overlapping national-security bureaucracies, and his stories form what Hersh has taken to calling an “alternative history” of the Bush administration since September 11, 2001. Then there’s Sy. He’s the public speaker, the pundit. On the podium, Sy is willing to tell a story that’s not quite right, in order to convey a Larger Truth. “Sometimes I change events, dates, and places in a certain way to protect people,” Hersh told me. “I can’t fudge what I write. But I can certainly fudge what I say.” http://newyorkmetro.com/nymetro/news/people/features/11719/index.html

It’s Seymour M. who interests me. Note that New York Magazine blithely lauds Hersh for his dedication to exposing an “alternative history” of the Bush administration. Alternative History: the Watchword of the PoMo Left. Howard Zinn has made a career out of repeating (or is it fabricating?) such biased folderol. Ditto for Noam Chomsky and his legions of dilletantish acolytes. Ham-fisted monstrosity Michael Moore made a mint off of it. Even the MSM has gotten into the act, as evidenced by a recent fantasy-cum-journalistic exercise published in the Los Angeles Times under the byline of antediluvian Leftist Robert Scheer. Writes Scheer, “ Is Al Qaeda Just a Bush Boogeyman? Is it conceivable that Al Qaeda, as defined by President Bush as the center of a vast and well-organized international terrorist conspiracy, does not exist?”
http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0111-31.htm

Lest you think that Scheer is having a florid LSD flashback, consider that fact that Scheer’s “article” is actually a shill for a film aired on BBC in 2004, The Power of Nightmares by academic disinformationist and MSM darling Adam Curtis. Says the London Observer, “"if there has been a theme in Curtis's work since, it has been to look at how different elites have tried to impose an ideology on their times, and the tragi-comic consequences of those attempts." http://www.answers.com/topic/adam-curtis. Adds Curtis, “The central claims are that politicians have exaggerated the scale of the terrorist threat, from which they offer to protect us; that the fortunes of neo-conservatism and radical Islamism are closely connected; and that popular beliefs about these groups are inaccurate.” http://www.answers.com/main/ntquery;jsessionid=1m394abcnt6i9?method=4&dsid=2222&dekey=The+Power+of+Nightmares&gwp=8&curtab=2222_1&sbid=lc03a

What is the root cause of all of this paranoia? Simply put, the people who subscribe to such beliefs—and there are millions of them; they are called Leftists in Europe, Liberals in the US—have a worldview based in Post-Modern Identity Politics and Neo-Marxist Analysis, topped with a generous dollop of emotional instability.

The worldwide Left has been gelded. The God That Failed (see, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0231123957/102-3860228-9248124?v=glance) has failed them, indeed.

Characteristically, the Left cannot conceive of the possibility that it is their beloved socialism that is flawed. The Leftist thinks—knows!--that it has to be lies, damnable lies fomented by the “Neo-Cons” that has placed the Left permanently into the losing role.

And therein lies the real tragedy of the Left.

Who Are The "Good Guys" Here?

China accused of crushing campaign against Muslim Uighurs

Tue Apr 12, 2:25 AM ET

BEIJING (AFP) - China is directing a crushing campaign of religious repression against Muslim Uighurs in the name of anti-separatism and counter-terrorism, a report by two US-based human rights groups said. "At its most extreme, peaceful activists practicing their religion in ways that the Party and government deem unacceptable are arrested, tortured, and at times executed," said the 114-page report by Human Rights Watch and Human Rights in China...

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20050412/ts_afp/chinaxinjiangusrights

See also:

Uighur detainee denies working with al Qaeda

By Guy Taylor
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Published November 8, 2004

U.S. NAVAL BASE GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba -- A terrorism suspect held nearly three years here says he was fleeing persecution in China when U.S.-backed Northern Alliance rebels arrested him in Afghanistan and handed him over to U.S. forces soon after the September 11 attacks.
At a hearing last week on his status as an "enemy combatant," the 33-year-old identified himself as an ethnic Uighur, a population of Muslims in western China, where separatist factions are fighting for independence.
The man, along with about 20 other Uighurs held at Guantanamo, poses an awkward problem for the United States, because returning them to their home country if they are cleared means putting them in the hands of a communist regime accused of routinely violating human rights...
http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20041108-121158-2786r.htm

Monday, April 11, 2005

Feminism, 2005

"...But Alba defends the film (Sin City) from accusations that it is misogynistic. "The women are completely empowered," Alba said. "It's not just women being victimized. It's everybody."


http://entertainment.msn.com/movies/article.aspx?news=187134&GT1=6428

Frank Rich: Still Off His Rocker

Whenever I read the hate-and-rage filled rantings of Frank Rich in the New York Times, I think of the quote by Gunnery Sargeant Hartman (R. Lee Ermey) in Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket: "What is your major malfunction, numbnuts? Didn't Mommy and Daddy show you enough attention when you were a child?" And I wonder what Rich's problem is.
In today's NYT the Limousine Liberal par excellence lets loose with another characteristically loosey-goosey shambling rambling anti-"right" diatribe, mocking, disrespecting, and outright condemning: The Papacy; the Roman Catholic Church, Mel Gibson; "The Passion of the Christ"; Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, authors of the 60-million selling "Left Behind" novels; the NBC Miniseries "Revelations"; Fox News; Sean Hannity; Shepard Smith; Rupert Murdoch; Sky Italia TV; Geraldo Rivera; Dr. Michael Baden; Tim Russert; Julie Andrews (?!); Tom DeLay; Keith Olberman; Prince Rainier of Monaco (!?!); Jesse Jackson (for siding with Terri Schiavo's parents); Terri Schiavo; and of course President Bush...
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/10/opinion/10rich.html?pagewanted=1&8hpib

Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Problems Faced By The Liberal Elites...

An odd twist for an ex-dominatrix
S&M specialist-turned-bureaucrat says she endured harassment from her superior--a former client

By Elizabeth Fernandez, SF Chronicle Staff Writer
Sunday, April 10, 2005

When Susan Peacher hung up her latex evening gown and wooden paddle for a job with the federal government, the former dominatrix thought she was done with abuse.

She went to work for the Treasury Department in San Francisco, but when she arrived at her new job, she found that one of the office managers was a former client.

This man wouldn't leave her alone, she said in a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit, charging that he sexually harassed her, attempting to kiss her in the elevator, telling her she had "luscious lips,'' and repeatedly asking for "sessions.''

When she objected to the salacious advances, Peacher says, the manager manipulatively became her direct supervisor and downgraded her performance evaluation. When she complained to higher-ups, coming out of the closet about her previous line of work, she says she was retaliated against and given little to do.

Rather than sit idly at her desk, Peacher spent her time studying workplace harassment and labor law. She also accumulated an arsenal of damning evidence: phone logs, e-mails, documentation of encounters with her alleged harasser.

Last month, Peacher, 45, reached a settlement with the government, which did not admit liability or fault. She will receive $35,000 in compensatory damages, $25,000 in attorney fees, a job transfer, approval to work at her South Bay home one day a week, and the restoration of almost 800 hours of assorted leave...
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/04/10/MNGDHC62EP1.DTL

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Nov 1998 - "I think I'll take a bath in his blood."

  • Mar 1988 - "When I fight someone, I want to break his will. I want to take his manhood. I want to rip out his heart and show it to him."
  • 18 Jul 1991 - In his hotel room, boxer Mike Tyson rapes Desiree Washington, a Miss Black America contestant.
  • 28 Jun 1997 - During the third round of a title fight, boxer Mike Tyson is disqualified after biting off a one-inch portion of Evander Holyfield's right ear.
  • 14 Sep 2000 - "I'm on the Zoloft to keep me from killing y'all. ... It has really messed me up, and I don't want to be taking it, but they are concerned about the fact that I am a violent person, almost an animal. And they only want me to be an animal in the ring."
  • 1 May 2002 - During a press conference, boxer Mike Tyson tells reporters: "I wish that you guys had children so I could kick them in the fucking head or stomp on their testicles so you could feel my pain because that's the pain I have waking up every day."
  • 21 Jun 2003 - Mike Tyson allegedly beats the crap out of two autograph seekers in the lobby of the Brooklyn Marriott.

El Naar and I were in Borders Books & Music, at White Flint Mall in Rockville, Maryland, today, perusing magazines and books—when there in front of me was Mike Tyson, holding the hand of a cute little girl of about 8 years. I said, “Hey, Champ…how about an autograph?” El Naar handed me a pen and Tyson said, “What’s your name?” He gave me the autograph, which he had to write a second time because he spelled my name wrong the first time. He seemed like a really nice guy, though.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

"Rapacious Capitalism", The Washington Post, and the Papacy

The Leftist punditocracy consistently uses a form of blithe intellectual laziness as a replacement for actual thinking--and as shorthand for their pronouncements of Leftist agenda. In the Liberal Style Book, to take one common example, the "right-wing" leader of a nation (i.e., a leader who is not a communo-fascist, or who is pro-USA) is routinely--and lazily--referred to by the soubriquet "strongman". Thus, in the MSM Augusto Pinochet is referred to as the former Chilean "strongman", yet the abominable Fidel Castro is his nation’s "leader" due to his superstar status in the Leftist pantheon. Now we can add another phrase to the mix, “Rapacious Capitalism”.

Masochistically perusing Richard Cohen's column in yesterday's WaPo ("The Whole Picture on John Paul II" http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A26525-2005Apr4.html), in which Cohen excoriates the late Pontiff for (yawn!) his opposition to birth control and other such Liberal cultural touchstones, I came across the following sentence: "He (the late John Paul II) was that abstraction (sic-ed.) very close to my heart -- a political (not cultural) liberal -- who hated communism and disliked rapacious capitalism and confronted authoritarian regimes wherever he found them."
"Rapacious capitalism". What or who is he talking about? Is Cohen referring to, say, Halliburton (double-yawn!) as an example of this odious political philosophy? Or is he saying that while he basically approves of the capitalist economic system, he is against it in its “rapacious” guise? Typically, he’s unclear. It’s a Leftist manifestation of the Big Lie—say something—anything, no matter how preposterous--with enough authority, and it becomes enveloped in the aura of truth.

He seems to be saying that like the Pope, he, the virtuous Cohen, is against “rapacious capitalism”. But what makes Cohen think that the Pope would agree with him?

That John Paul II’s writings on the capitalist economic system, found in his encyclical, Centesimus Annus, are PRO-Capitalism, is just an inconvenient reality to the fellow travelers of the Left. Writes the Pope, “It would appear that, on the level of individual nations and of international relations, the free market is the most efficient instrument for utilizing resources and effectively responding to needs…” and “The Church acknowledges the legitimate role of profit as an indication that a business is functioning well. When a firm makes a profit, this means that productive factors have been properly employed and corresponding human needs have been duly satisfied.” See, http://www.tompaine.com/articles/papal_legacy_questioning_capitalism.php?dateid=20050404 Yes, the encyclical makes the case that the wealthy have a duty to help the poor—but that is a basic Christian virtue. But nowhere in the encyclical does the Pope use the phrase “rapacious Capitalism”. See, http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_01051991_centesimus-annus_en.html

So, then, what is the genesis of this phrase, endorsed, according to Cohen by the Holy See itself?

The phrase “rapacious Capitalism” is found in the writings of the extreme leftist sociologist Henry Giroux, a leading exponent of the trendy pseudo-philosophy called “Critical Pedagogy.” “Critical pedagogy can best be described as…the neo-Marxist examination of the relationship between power and culture, aimed at addressing issues of class, race, gender, and social justice through the remaking of societal institutions—to the realm of schools…In the Committee for Economic Development’s 1994 report, Putting Learning First,” Giroux states, bizarrely, that the Academy is a place where “anyone who does not believe that rapacious capitalism is the only road to freedom and the good life is dismissed as a crank”. That statement is sheer lunacy, and gives you an idea of the tenor of Giroux's writings, but a discussion of the generally Left-of-Mao political beliefs of Academe are outside the scope of the present blog posting. For an overview of "critical pedagogy”, see, http://www.educationnext.org/20034/77.html

I don’t know if Cohen is familiar with the writings of Henry Giroux, or his colleagues Peter McLaren, and Michael Apple. A quick Google search of the phrase “rapacious capitalism” leads to numerous links, but the fact remains that the phrase has gained a certain status as (falsely) attributed to Pope John Paul II. Thus, through the filter of Leftist Doublespeak, the Papacy becomes allied with the causes championed by Liberal atheists everywhere.

So, here we are faced with the spectacle of columnist Richard Cohen taking the neo-Marxist epithet “rapacious capitalism” and linking it to the Vatican, as Cohen—standing as a surrogate for the Left—basks in the Pope's mojo and thinks that he is thereby lending moral authority to his case.

Through a chimera of intellectual vacuity and ingrained Leftist delusions, Cohen (and his cohorts) use the words “rapacious capitalism” as if the two components were inseparable. But then, the extreme Leftist intelligentsia is incapable of seeing the world through anything but the Red-Colored glasses of Marxist Economic Analysis.

Peanut Butter and Jelly. Love and Marriage—Horse and Carriage. And to the Leftist pundits, “Rapacious” and “Capitalism". It’s a natural.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Snappy!


Roy Orbison, Slim Whitman and the Westerners, 1954

Monday, April 04, 2005

Leftwing Catholics Spew Hatred of Fallen Pope

A leftwing Catholic group in France has issued a statement denouncing the late John Paul II as a bloodthirsty reactionary, according to Agence France-Presse. The group, whose French name "Nous Sommes Aussi l'Église" (NSAE) means, "We Are Also The Church," accused the deceased Pope of a "total rejection of democracy," of "supporting, even giving his blessing to, Latin American dictatorships" and of involving the Vatican in "powerful – even Mafia-like – financial systems, and in financial and economic oppression." (via FreeRepublic)

NSAE was founded by Jacques Jean Edmond Georges Gaillot, who was formerly bishop of Evreux in Normandy. John Paul II stripped Gaillot of his bishopric in 1995 after the rebel cleric repeatedly refused to cease his public denunciations of the Church, of which the above quotations provide characteristic examples.

Nicknamed the "red cleric" for his communist sympathies, Gaillot has delighted the left with such antics as chaining himself to a tenement to protest homelessness, and shipping out with a Greenpeace vessel to harass French naval forces engaged in nuclear testing in the Pacific. Needless to say, Gaillot is an impassioned apologist for Palestinian violence.

Following his demotion, Jacques Gaillot took to the Internet, with a Web site called Partenia.org. His group NSAE claims 400 members.

Despite the venom gushing forth from Gaillot's 400 acolytes, John Paul II was a true friend of the poor, both in word and deed. As John Zmirak notes in the FrontPage article, "Why the Left Hates the Church" – the same article, by the way, which Steven Plaut cites below:

"One of the most surprising aspects of the contemporary Left is its inveterate hostility to the Catholic Church around the world. You’d think that a political tendency whose ostensible purpose is the betterment of the poor would look with favor on the single largest provider on earth of private charity, health care, free education and housing for the needy. … Instead, the Left has focused on issues which really appeal to its privileged constituency—namely, preserving and extending the sexual libertinism that became respectable in the 1960s."

John Paul II is widely known for his role in toppling the Soviet empire. Less well-known are the warnings he issued against an "unbridled capitalism," unrestrained by charity, humility, justice and compassion.
Posted by Richard Poe @ 2:57 PM Eastern Time
http://www.discoverthenetwork.org/moonbatcentral/index.html

Worst of the Worst

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Michael Goldfarb
917-353-5408 (Geneva mobile/dial U.S.)

WORLD'S WORST REGIMES UNVEILED
Several of the World's Greatest Human Rights Violators Sit on UN Human Rights Panel

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, March 31, 2005 -- Freedom House today released its annual list of the world's most repressive regimes at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Six are members of the UN body, charged with monitoring and condemning human rights violations.
The report, "The Worst of the Worst: The World's Most Repressive Societies 2005," includes detailed summations of the dire human rights situations in Belarus, Burma (Myanmar), China, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Haiti, Laos, Libya, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. Chechnya, Tibet, and Western Sahara are included as territories under Russian, Chinese, and Moroccan jurisdictions respectively.
The report is available online.
Significantly, six of the eighteen most repressive governments--those of China, Cuba, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe--are members of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), representing nearly 11 percent of the 53-member body.
"Repressive governments enjoying CHR membership work in concert and have successfully subverted the Commission's mandate," said Freedom House Executive Director Jennifer Windsor. "Rather than serving as the proper international forum for identifying and publicly censuring the world's most egregious human rights violators, the CHR instead protects abusers, enabling them to sit in judgment of democratic states that honor and respect the rule of law," she said.
A report issued March 21 by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan acknowledged that the presence of these nations on the CHR has dealt a severe blow to the UN body's credibility. Mr. Annan recommended that states elected to a reformed "Human Rights Council" be chosen based on their compliance with the "highest human rights standards."
"The Secretary General's recommendation is welcome: the solution to restoring the UN human rights panel's credibility lies in the establishment of strict membership criteria," said Ms. Windsor. "In the short-term, however, it is incumbent upon the CHR's democratic member states to work together as an effective bloc that upholds the Commission's mandate by strengthening and promoting human rights and democracy."
An additional nine countries Freedom House rates as "Not Free" enjoy membership on the Commission: Bhutan, Egypt, Guinea, Mauritania, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Swaziland, and Togo. Together, "Not Free" countries comprise just over one quarter of the Commission's membership. A breakdown by Freedom House ranking of CHR members available online.

The "Worst of the Worst" report is excerpted from Freedom House's forthcoming annual global survey, Freedom in the World 2005. The countries deemed the most repressive earn some of the worst numerical ratings according to the survey's methodology, which measures the state of political rights and civil liberties worldwide, and classifies countries as Free, Partly Free, or Not Free.
Freedom House is a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the United Nations.

-- end --
http://www.freedomhouse.org/media/pressrel/033105.htm

Saturday, April 02, 2005

"It's only a matter of time until they start using guns"

Yet more left wing thuggery

Pat Buchannan was doused with salad dressing while delivering a speech at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo last night. Shouting, "Stop the bigotry," the attacker succeeded in silencing the speech of which he disapproved.

Regrettably, the free speech suppressor was released on a mere $100 bail, and faces only misdemeanor charges. CNN
reports
"He could have faced a felony assault charge, but Pat Buchanan decided to not press that charge," university spokesman Matt Kurz said.

I think this is misplaced compassion on Buchannan's part. I implore him to reconsider, and press felony charges. Why is Buchannan being so soft on serious crime? Yes, serious crime.

My friend and fellow-blogger Steve Bainbridge
commented "It's only a matter of time until they start using guns" and he is entirely correct. Thuggery always escalates unless it is severely repressed. That's why we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, isn't it?
But aside from worrying about where this will lead, there is the little matter of where it has already gotten us. Conservative speakers are obviously regarded as fair game. This is the
second attack on a prominent conservative giving a lecture in three days. And it is the latest chapter in a long and dishonorable list of supposedly "amusing" incidents directed at conservatives.
I have said
before and I will say it again. Cream pies, salad dressing, and other comestible weapons are used to humiliate and ultimately silence political opponents. It is a serious crime against free discourse. The ridiculous weapons employed mask a serious political agenda, one which is totalitarian in aim.
Pat Buchannan should step up and do the right thing. It is not just about him, it is about our freedom of speech.

Thomas Lifson 4 1 05

http://www.americanthinker.com/comments.php?comments_id=1900

Religion of Peace, Part IX

"As the IDF eases restrictions and removes checkpoints throughout Judea, Samaria and Gaza - Arab civilians continue to be caught smuggling weapons in increasingly creative ways..."
http://www.israelnn.com/news.php3?id=79397

Friday, April 01, 2005

It Takes a Tough Man to Make a Tender Chicken

Frank Perdue Dies at 84 After Illness

SALISBURY, Md. - Frank Perdue, who built a backyard egg business into one of the nation's largest poultry processors using the folksy slogan, "It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken," has died, the company said Friday…
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050401/ap_en_tv/obit_perdue