Thursday, March 27, 2008

Good Ol' CNN

So in coverage of the current clash between Moqtada al-Sadr's shiite militia against the US and Iraqi troops, CNN is referring to the militia members as "outlaws". Not outlaws, mind you, but "outlaws". Members of an illegal militia dedicated to the overthrow of the legal government of Iraq are "outlaws". Meanwhile, mostly-foreign al-Qaeda-in-Iraq members are boldly proclaimed as insurgents, rebels, guerillas, fighters, or any host of names other than "terrorist". With or without the scare quotes.

Disgusting. Predictable, but disgusting.

Update: Here's a screen capture of it for when this inevitably goes down the memory-hole:

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Veep Shenanigans

So let's see... we trade eight years of a Bush and a Dick for the prospect of... a John, and now, possibly Cox? Do we really need to give the late-night talk-show hosts more fodder?

That's why I support Penis Van Lesbian for Vice President. Nothing to make fun of there.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Beautiful Bind

According to this post over at the Corner, the Supreme Court has ruled in Medellin vs. Texas (background, as linked in that post, here), and that ruling serves as both a victory for states' rights and a repudiation of the Bush administration.

This presents a rare and wonderful opportunity for the Left to make a complete ass of itself in trying to "spin" this. If they attack the Court for its effectively anti-International-Court ruling, they implicitly support President Bush's foreign policy and his views of a stronger Executive office. If they hail it as the repudiation of Bush's overreaching that it is, then they must concede that the Roberts court (indeed, the opinion was written by the Chief Justice himself) is neither a rubber-stamp for the Bush administration, nor is it "tilting rightward" to some deleterious effect, as certain court reporters would have one believe.

This ought to be fun to watch. For those of you with seats up front, bring a plastic sheet. Some heads are gonna a-splode.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Stupid IATT Bulletin 1147...

From "Wikihistory", by Desmond Warzel:
At 14:52:28, FreedomFighter69 wrote:
Reporting my first temporal excursion since joining IATT: have just returned from 1936 Berlin, having taken the place of one of Leni Riefenstahl's cameramen and assassinated Adolf Hitler during the opening of the Olympic Games. Let a free world rejoice!

At 14:57:44, SilverFox316 wrote:
Back from 1936 Berlin; incapacitated FreedomFighter69 before he could pull his little stunt. Freedomfighter69, as you are a new member, please read IATT Bulletin 1147 regarding the killing of Hitler before your next excursion. Failure to do so may result in your expulsion per Bylaw 223.

At 18:06:59, BigChill wrote:
Take it easy on the kid, SilverFox316; everybody kills Hitler on their first trip. I did. It always gets fixed within a few minutes, what's the harm?

At 18:33:10, SilverFox316 wrote:
Easy for you to say, BigChill, since to my recollection you've never volunteered to go back and fix it. You think I've got nothing better to do?

Read the whole thing. Heheh...

(HT: Fark)

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On Second Thought...

Recently, I commented whether or not it would be wise to switch parties (I still have six days!) and vote for Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary here in Pennsylvania. At the time, it seemed like voting for Clinton would be the wise maneuver, for the primary reason of keeping the Democratic primary race open until the actual convention, thus fomenting chaos and tearing apart the Democratic base, bolstering McCain's chances in November.

That was before the "Reverend" Jeremiah Wright came along.

Now polls indicate that Hillary has a huge lead over Obama (we're talking in the 10-20 point range here). If these numbers hold true, would there be any reason to vote for her at all? Does she need a complete blow-out to stay in the race, or only a solid (say, 5 point) victory?

That leads to the next question: would my vote be better spent, then, on Obama, to keep Hillary's apparently inevitable lead down? Or should I just salve my conscience and stay Republican, and vote for John McCain (or even write in Fred!) in April? I have some serious thinking to do.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Somebody Pinch Me

Okay, I totally forgot that today was St. Patrick's Day. Fortunately, since I'm not Irish (as far as I know -- the Thompson clan might have some green blood in there somewhere), that doesn't matter. But, in honor of this virtually-irrelevant-to-99%-of-those-who-celebrate-it-in-this-country holiday, I present the following:

(HT: Jonah Goldberg)


Thursday, March 13, 2008

On My Way To The Courthouse Now...

"Bull Dog Pundit" over at the Ankle-biting Pundits enumerates the reasons why he has already switched his party affiliation in his (and my) home state of Pennsylvania (it's a closed primary here) so as to vote for Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary. Some highlights:
1. If Hillary Clinton wins the Pennsylvania primary then it is almost certain that she and Obama will continue their fight for the nomination until the August convention.
4. In the event that Hillary does end up winning the nomination because of the superdelegates, the fracture in their party coming out of that convention (even if Obama takes the #2 slot, which I don’t think will happen), will make divide we witnessed in the GOP primary seem minor.
Read the whole thing. I know at least a few of my readers live here in PA too. Maybe I'm not 100% convinced, but with the deadline approaching (anyone know what it is? BDP indicates that it's "soon", but doesn't say when), it's given me a LOT to think about.

Update: The Indispensable Geraghty™ has done some of the leg-work for me: I have until March 24 to switch registration. On the other hand, he also indicates that Hillary's lead is already quite impressive, on the order of 14-19%, so it may not make much of a difference.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Schadenfreude, cont.

It's funny how such an inconsequential rube with such a silly platform can stir up such passions in people -- both for and against. And yet, Ron Paul manages to do just that in so many people. Now that his Presidential aspirations are once again thwarted, it's time, I'm sure, for the ronpaulians to hunker down and lick their wounds. As is typical with all cults once their raison d'etre has been removed (be it the untimely death of a leader, failure of prophecy to materialize, or, as in this case, reality sinking in), it seems likely that a whole host of rationalizations of their over-exuberance and commitment will begin. In the coming months, if we care enough to pay attention (which may be hazardous to one's health), I expect the following (with considerably worse grammar and spelling, of course):

"Well, we knew we were doomed from the start, but we got out the bigger message!"

"It's not about winning -- it's about shaping the arguments!"

"We were Swift-Newslettered by McCain's neocon goons! Otherwise we would have won!"

"First the twin towers, now Dr. Paul's campaign! How much more do the nasty neo-con jooooos have to destroy before their bloodlust is quenched????"

"That's it, I'm moving to <insert country that, upon closer inspection, actually has nothing in common with Ron Paul's actual politics and is actually demonstrably less free than the USA here>, where at least they have freedom!"

"Super Tuesday was an inside job!"

"In my meticulously internet-researched YouTube documentary, I prove beyond all doubt that through voter fraud, manipulation, and suppression, the Ron Paul vote was stolen, and that he should have won by at least 90% of the electorate, Democrat and Republican alike -- by using the same cluster analysis techniques perfected by The Lancet to prove that 600,000,000 people died in the first four hours of Bushitler's War on the Innocent Iraqi Babies and Puppies!!!!!!"

Now of course I'm using the smallest bit of hyperbole in a few of these, but in particular, the first couple of them I've already begun to see, and I'd like to comment on how completely and utterly wrong they are: how did Ron Paul's candidacy and exuberant support shape the overall campaign? Did John McCain moderate any of his positions due to pressure from the Ron Paul camp? Of course not. One might argue that McCain and Paul had similar views on government spending, through McCain's anti-pork stance and Paul's status as "Dr. No", but Paul himself has always been a considerable porker, ill-fated and obviously doomed no-votes aside, but those positions existed well before Primary Season.

Have Barack or Hillary taken up the mantle of 9/11 "trutherism", or stepped up their anti-war rhetoric to try to capture the vote that Ron Paul's supporters claim is burgeoning on both the right and the left? Hardly. If anything, the Democratic candidates have begun to moderate their own positions, recognizing the realities on the ground regarding the successes of The Surge and the "Anbar Awakening", facts the ronpaulians have had to steadfastly deny or obfuscate over the last year.

As for the now-common "admission" they they already knew he didn't have a chance "all along": liars. You don't call someone "The Only Man Who Can Save America" with the understanding that he can't win. And I've heard it directly from the lips of his most fervent local supporters that a) he's the only person who stands a chance of beating Hillary/Obama (with no evidence, statistical or otherwise, to back this up, of course), b) silly transient "trends" in his polling numbers indicates that he'll run away with the nomination, and c) that he's got a "very strong chance" in both the primary and general election (this last one I heard both before Iowa, after Iowa, and even after New Hampshire).

So what did the Ron Paul campaign accomplish in the way of "getting the message out"? Well, by refusing to prune the undesirables from their ranks (a lesson the late great WFB taught us re: The John Birch Society), they managed to marginalize and "fringe-ify" even the facets of his platform that genuine conservatives might have found appealing -- sound money, states' rights, individualism, limited government, etc. So to all you "true believers" out there, through whose lunacy of zeal and fervor for a darkdead-horse candidate with kooky ideas and kooky supporters you managed to drive several important planks of the conservative platform farther into obscurity: Thanks a whole f***ing lot. Jerks.


We Win!

My high school, Little Rock Catholic High School for Boys, was never known for its athletic prowess, apart from sports dominated by white kids (soccer, swimming, etc.), during my tenure there. Sure, in days gone by, they had won their fair share of state football championships, but by and large they have been a latter-day dud in the "big" sports (football and basketball -- our long-time rector Msgr. George W. Tribou righteously and steadfastly refused to allow a baseball team due to missed school and Sunday games). Now it looks like the tables have turned: As of this weekend, the Catholic High Rockets are officially the 7-A (the state's highest division) Men's Basketball State Champions, after a nerve-wracking 46-44 victory over Conway! Go Rockets!

What's very interesting to me is that it's the same coach we've had for somewhere in the neighborhood of two decades, Tim Ezzi (EASE-eye) (CHS '72), so there must be something in the water for a new crop of boys to do so well.

So please indulge me in a moment of weepy sentimentality with our alma mater:

Proudly we speak your name,
Proudly wear your colors.
Friendships made within these walls
Will mellow through the years.

We in some distant day
May brush away a tear
Borne of memories as these
We hold so very dear


Frank Herbert, Call Your Office

Some guy compares the Democratic nomination race to My Official Favorite Book of All Time, Frank Herbert's Dune. With Obama cast as Paul Atreides. Dangit. Now I feel all icky.

Ok, somebody Photoshop Mr. Hussein-Obama's head onto a sandworm for me.

(HT: Jonah's Odd Link Gal)

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Pardon My Schadenfreude

I found this graphic over at LGF.

All I can say is that, having to put up with the obnoxiousness of our local RP supporter and his "Ron Paul rEVOLution" paraphernalia, this is the most cathartic single graphic I've ever seen.

So if you'll indulge me for a moment:

teehee. heehee. heheh. heheheh. haha. hahahaha. BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Ah. Much better.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

More Stealth Conservatism in Hollywood?

When a phenomenon occurs within a realm generally inhospitable to genuinely conservative thought that actually bolsters the intellectual conservative case, it's always worth pointing out and encouraging -- even when the ostensible conservatism of said event may not have been intentional. Hollywood is, in particular, a place where "inhospitable to conservatism" is a substantial understatement, and I have addressed the issue of "stealth conservatism" with relation to it before. And here I do so again.

Last night, against my will, I watched Something New, a very formulaic chick-flick (and not the romantic-comedy or John Cusack type for which I have an embarrassing soft spot) with the twist being a relationship between a black woman and a white man. The film was clearly aimed at a black audience, as the white male lead was the only white character in the film with more than, say, 5 speaking lines. While doing my absolute best to surf the web on the laptop while my wife watched it, I still managed to capture the gist of the film and a few key moments.

So how did the film, in my own opinion, exercise "stealth conservatism"? Well, first, one must understand and accept that genuine "race-blindness", that is, judging people on, oh, say, the content of their character rather than the color of their skin, is a feature of the modern right (or at least parts thereof), rather than the left -- who still maintain the racist shackles of quotas, affirmative action, talks of reparations, et cetera, ad nauseam. I don't want to get bogged down justifying this point, and to thwart some objections, I will concede that there are, indeed, racist elements of the right as well as left. But by and large, the people agitating for a complete and total blindness to a person's race when considering their worth in the various stations of life find themselves, in these days, on the right side of the aisle.

In light of this, the movie did indeed, repeatedly, make me think that it might have been written by a stuffy white conservative to "prove a point" (note: as far as IMDB can be trusted, it was not). To start: the main character, Kenya, is the typical Black Woman with a Career. If I recall correctly, she was either a high-powered banker or attorney; either way, she was working on a big acquisition deal which, if successfully completed, would earn her a partnership at her firm -- a firm, I shall note now for later reference, in which she was the only Black Woman. All of her circle of friends, indeed, are Black Women with Careers -- the doctor, the lawyer, etc. So in no inconsequential ways, she and her peers have "made it".

Let me take a minor tangent here: one thing very different about this film compared to every other Hollywood film dealing with interracial couples is the great apparent lengths the writer went to making the couple's differences only about race. Kenya and all her peers are not only successful, "integrated" business types, but they all come from well-to-do families. Unlike most films where the minority of a given couple comes from the "wrong side of the tracks", and it's up to the white person to learn to accept that, because he/she/it can never forget where the minority "came from", this film completely levels the playing field by making the main character the daughter of a successful black doctor. Thus, the differences between the main character and her white boyfriend are, indeed, only skin deep, and not socioeconomic.

Back on track: her one complaint is a lack of a love life, and a complaint about her last boyfriend, an ostensibly handsome Black Muslim whom she could not tolerate due to his Black Muslim Misogyny (in fact, to my ears, it appeared there was a disparaging remark involving a "Farrakhan rally" -- bonus points!). So there's our first inkling of stealth conservatism -- Farrakhan = Bad (seriously, why won't the Left denounce him as loudly as the Right?).

No love life? Maybe that's because she needs to try... Something New! (dingdingdingg! We have a title!). Enter Whitey McWhiterson, first a blind date that a friend sets her up with, and then, when she rejects him solely on the basis of his skin (I know I'm not reading too much into that, because a great deal is made over this superficial rejection), her landscape architect. Interestingly, I would classify Whitey (no, he's not called that in the film) as nothing more than a Mary Sue -- handsome, super nice, strong, assertive, understanding, successful... and so on. He's presented in no ways as stereotypically anything apart from the positive traits I've listed -- he even acknowledges that he's dated women of all colors, because he "just loves women" (don't get me wrong -- he's also looking for monogamy!). So the onus of racial prejudice rests solely on the Black Woman. She even admits early on that she's "not racist", she just "prefers black men".

This is a good time to state my disclaimer: as a white male, perhaps there were subtleties in this film that I was simply unable to grasp because I cannot possibly understand the life of a black person, or a woman, much less a Black Woman.

Of course, it only takes a couple of sweaty, shirtless afternoons of work on the part of Whitey to persuade Kenya that race is only skin deep, but rippling biceps go all the way down. Or something. Anywho, she struggles with her "preference", very quickly realizing that, indeed, it IS racist to judge people based solely on the color of their skin. I find this interesting because it is the first time I have witnessed the exposure and rejection of "reverse racism" -- that is to say, black-on-white racism (Note: I loathe the term "reverse racism" because that concedes the post-modernist multiculti argument that "only white people can be racists") in a mainstream Hollywood film.

But there's more! Upon being introduced to her black friends (particularly her male friends), Whitey faces frank and remarkable opposition from these friends on a solely racial basis -- and this opposition is portrayed (again, in my view) in a negative light! He is mercilessly ridiculed, shunned, ignored, taunted, and rejected. Nonetheless, our indefatigable Mary Sue McWhiterson is unperturbed, remaining steadfast in his love for Kenya.

Still, though, the plot must proceed apace. Kenya's succeed-and-get-promoted client is an ugly, fusty old man who can't cope with a Black Woman managing his account, constantly agonizing over everything, second-guessing her, and requesting that senior partners review her work, despite being beyond reproach. In frustration, she tells Whitey about the "black tax" -- that, to succeed in the company of white folk, black people have to work twice as hard so that they're not suspected of getting unfair treatment. If that isn't the most illustrative knock-out-punch description of affirmative action, I don't know what is!

All these rantings about the depredations of The Man against Kenya do take their toll, of course. While shopping together for a romantic dinner, Whitey finally asks out of frustration if they can have "just one night" free of rants about Being A Black Woman. Naturally, that's a bridge too far for Kenya, who insists that she will "never stop being black" (I paraphrase here -- my memory is fuzzy). This of course results in the "break up" phase of the film (like I said, very formulaic).

At any rate, all the friends insist she was better off without him, and "that's what she gets" for dating outside "the race", etc. In fact, only toward the end, when her father realizes that she really did love Whitey, do they begin to accept that maybe love should happen on its own (the father is the only totally-sympathetic character in the film apart from Whitey, as he just wants what is best for his little girl, and if dating a white guy is what does that, then so be it -- it seems, for him, race doesn't enter into it).

Finally, at the very end, was the Big Clincher for me that this movie was refreshingly and genuinely anti-racist. Kenya makes her big pitch to the jerk client, and announces that she really doesn't think that the merger they've proposed is a good idea, going against the grain of her bosses. Of course, the jerk client asks to speak to her bosses alone, so she storms off in a completely understandable rage. At the brink of despair in her office, her boss comes in and tells her that she was right to oppose them, and that that's just the sort of thing they're looking for... in a partner! When she protests, the boss just responds: yeah, that client was an a**hole. But sometimes you get a**holes, and you have to deal with them.

"Just an a**hole" -- it's not endemic racism, it's not a "system of oppression", it's just... an a**hole. And in a big, and admittedly completely unexpected (on my part) twist, she's made a parter, and the bosses never tied it to her race or sex!!! (e.g., yeah, the board of directors wants us to have a Black Woman as a partner, and you're just the one we need!). Nope, she succeeds solely on her own merits, regardless of the color of her skin!

So there you have it: a long-winded review of a movie I barely watched, wherein all the racism is black-on-white and presented as a bad thing, and merit rules the day over racial preferences, and it got made in Hollywood! If you read this far, thank you. There are refreshments in the lobby.