Saturday, May 11, 2002

Ha Ha Ha!

Fox's Faux Colonel

After hearing about Fox's faux colonel, I've decided it's time for me to land one of those cushy news consultant jobs.

From: Tim
To: Roger Ailes
Subject: I'm your man

Dear Mr. Ailes,

As a former prime minister of the State of Israel and a member of the Royal House of Saud, I think I can be of service to your network. I've lived
on both sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict. I can bring a unique perspective to your news programs.

Let's get together to discuss this opportunity further. I'm free for lunch on Friday.

Prince Tim
Royal House of Saud
Prime Minister, State of Israel (ret.)

PS. I play cribbage with Robert Blake every Thursday.

Unsurprisingly, Fox responds! go for the rest..

On one hand, all the righties in Blogistan object to the characterization of Fortuyn as "right wing". On the other hand, they all really seem to have liked him.

Kausfiles, predictably, chimes in to sympathize with poor Andy Sullivan's censorship at the hands of the Left Wing Cabal at the NYT headed by Howell "Hillary must prove her innocence of unspecified charges" Raines.

You see, in the real world, not the mutual appreciation circle jerk society inhabited by Sully and Kaus, it's called getting fired.

You know what, I'm banned by the New York Times too! They STILL refuse to publish my piece on the dangers that British ex-pats pose to our national security...
Nothing's more fun than watching America's Compassionate Conservatives discuss Sully...

Any time he's brought up they all end up needing a reboot..
Privateer is a bit of a silly goose, but I agree with him on this one. This article in Cockburn's Counterpunch basically says that we currently have a Zionist Occupation Government.

Anti-semitism, that special place where the far Left meet the far Right...

Note to Katrina van den Heuvel... I hear there's a two for one special on the firing of disgusting, lying, bigoted columnists..
A Sullivan Apologist, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, questions in the comments our smacking around of Sully over his Rhode Island innumeracy

Realize that attacking Sullivan in this way is just a parody of his M.O. He frequently takes people to task on minutiae not central to their argument, and then uses this to justify dismissing everything else they have said and will ever say. I'm sure there's some funky Latin term for this logical fallacy, but my edumacashun didn't cover it.

It matters not if Holland is 1, two, or 10 Rhode Islands really. But imagine if Paul Krugman had made such a mistake?

In addition, his attempt to blame "multiple media mentions" for his mistake is silly. Why blame anyone? Just say "oops, I goofed." Instead of taking responsibility for even a minor mistake Sully blames "the media" which in SullyLand is code for "evil liberal assassins of Fortuyn."
Maybe Fred Phelps is just a bit dyslexic:

the next day, when they came from Bethany, he
was hungry:

And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he
came, if perhaps he might find any thing on it:
and when he came to it, he found nothing but
leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.

And Jesus answered and said to it, No man eat
fruit of you hereafter forever. And his disciples
heard it.

--Mark 11:12-14

I'm really looking forward to the day when all of the citizens of Blogistan who know nothing of Dutch politics stop talking about...Dutch Politics. But, what Crazy Andy says here [WARNING SULLIVAN LINK ALERT] * doesn't make any sense:

By the way, Fortuyn's party is not "anti-immigration." It fully supports the right of every current immigrant in Holland to stay and be assimilated. All it wants is an end to
further immigration in a country the size of Maryland** with a population of 16 million.

Immigration is a flow, immigrants are a stock. Fortuyn can be anti-immigration and pro-immigrant (whether he really was is a separate debate). Is Andy stupid or just trying desperately to score dumb points as usual? Who can tell anymore...

*some of my readers have expressed a desire for me to explicitly warn them when I link to Biggie the Neck as they do not wish to give him any hits or be exposed to his power glutes.

**originally Rhode Island.

Something is afoot at the Circle-K..

stay tuned...


Friday, May 10, 2002

ChickenHawk Alert!

Heard on NPR today, from a Palestinian-American 18 year old:

"If I wasn't living here in suburban Virginia, I would be a suicide bomber."

Hey, while we're on Andy - he's been canned!

I guess he's the first person in America to be fired for criticizing his bosses. Oh, no, wait, the first was Ann Coulter. He must be the second then.

Well-off white people sho have it tough.
The person I promised to ignore, Sully, in the grand old tradition of that party of personal responsibility blames his now-amended claim that Rhode Island and the Netherlands are of equal size on the fact that there have been many such media mentions lately.

I don't know what media Andy imbibes - perhaps his good friend Rush Limbaugh has been saying it. However, I did search Lexis-Nexis over the past month - both general news and TV transcripts, for either "Netherlands", "Dutch", or "Holland" within 30 words of "Rhode" and I couldn't find a thing.

Maybe he heard it from the leader of the European Socialist Death Squad, "Mike".

Oh boy, Bradley and Reich together...

Any Bradley fans out there? Can any of you tell me what he, um, stood for?
I'm trying to put together my Big Long Fortuyn post, but it's taking me a little time. However one thing this whole episode has made clear is how many right wingers out there in blogistan really do perceive themselves to be a disadvantaged victim group and they are now identifying in collective group martyrdom with a real victim, Fortuyn. (See Crazy Andy for the worst examples of this, as always).

Much like bigotboy Horowitz, many of them really do seem to think, as I said below, that they believe their 1st amendment rights include the right to not be disagreed with.

It is not surprising that 'till this day, as evidenced on a recent Capital Gang flashback to Oklahoma City, the Right either misunderstands or deliberately misrepresents Clinton's Voices of Hate speech made after that dreadful day. Never did Clinton call for the regulation of speech, or even attempt to scare it into submission as Ms. Cheney and Bill Bennet have. He simply said that the rest of us have a responsibility to make our voices heard as well. Whether it is explicit racism, anti-semitism, or calls for violence, the silence on the other side should never be as deafening as it sometimes is. Other views need to be heard by those who are simply listening, rather than taking part in the political crossfire.

One can credit Fortuyn for bringing genuinely important issues into the public dialogue in the Netherlands, as one can credit Pat Buchanan for sometimes doing the same thing in this country at various times in his career. But, one should not ignore their more loathsome views or their race-baiting. And those who do are doing themselves a disservice.

Many European countries are increasingly having to come to terms with their newly multicultural societies. Simply stating that Fortuyn had the courage and panache to bring these issues forward in no way excuses him for his policy recommendations. I appreciate that Pat Buchanan talks about immigration, because in our country too it is difficult to have an open (if in his case repugnant and not entirely honest) dialogue about the subject. It is an important issue. But as
Death of the West makes clear, whatever other contributions Pat may have on the subject, in the end he just doesn't like Brown People, not even good Catholic Brown People.

This wasn't meant to be my long Fortuyn post, because that was supposed to have links to all the silliness in Blogistan, but now I'm just too lazy.
Why are conservative Christians so obsessed with sexual sins? I mean, there are sooo many sins to choose from, so why does sex get all the attention? Particularly since Jebus H. Keerist didn't have all that much to say about it.

Of course I think I know the answer, but maybe some of them can explain it to me...

Vaara discovers Andy Sullivan can't count.

I know now that I can never again trust anything he writes. How will I know when he is lying, or simply making things up?
I kinda feel bad for Marshall. Isn't it time he just gave up trying to pull the right wing to the center, and join the democrats who are currently sitting there?

More later, gotta go teach a class.
Jebus H. Keerist. What is with homophobic whiners who can dish it out but can't take it? What is with these right wing practioners of victim politics, like bigotboy Horowitz, who think anyone who actually disagrees with them is a P.C. fascist trying to silence them? Just because people call you on your bullshit, and it IS bullshit, doesn't mean they're trying to stifle speech. If you want to preach your crap, us more tolerant folk are gonna preach our crap more loudly. Don't like it? Move somewhere we don't have the right to speak. Why DO you hate America so much, assholes?

Exhibit A.

This guy is a bigot and a moron.

Naked Writing reams him a new one. I'm too pissed to respond in a less vitriolic fashion. I am just so tired of right wing assholes who equate disagreement with an attempt to stifle speech. It is obviously an admission that they are, indeed, full of shit, but shocked that anyone would dare to call them on it.

You wanna debate? Bring it on. You got nothing but moronic hate.

Disagreement is NOT an attempt to take away your right to speak. Only in your deluded insecure senstive pathetic little baby brains it that the case. You got something to say? Say it. But I'm gonna call you on it, bigotboy.

You just have to read this. It is a study in confusion. And, what happens when our politicians are puritan pretenders.

• Yesterday in the New York Post, Lott was quoted as cracking to a group of Senate reporters: "Good thing they didn't have a peephole when Clinton was president. They
would have seen something big, no pun intended."

• On Monday's flight aboard Air Force One from a presidential speech in Michigan, as the Washington Times's Joseph Curl noted in his pool report, passengers in the
press and Secret Service cabins watched "Not Another Teen Movie," which was rated R for "strong, crude sexual content and humor, language and some drug content."

Now the fallout:

• After our item ran Tuesday, "Not Another Teen Movie" was summarily removed from the Air Force One video collection. "I'm shocked, shocked, that the press would
watch any such movie, no matter where they are," White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer told us yesterday.

• Clinton spokeswoman Julia Payne pointed out that there was, too, a peephole when her boss sat in the Oval Office. "I'm not going to lower myself to the level of Trent

• Democrat James Carville, who shares his bed with staunch Cheney adviser Mary Matalin, told us: "I have never seen a political party so obsessed with sex as the
Republicans. They want to have single-sex schools, but then they show sex movies on Air Force One. They have a love-hate relationship with sex. They hate for anybody
else to have it, but they love having it themselves."

Thursday, May 09, 2002

If we had any doubt before about whether Al Gore was just a tool of the VHC (vast homosexual conspiracy), here he is with Tinky Winky!

There's nothing like Young Republicans...

(And, no, this isn't the pot-smoking pages story..)
Okay, seriously - what is the deal with Bush's face? Aside from the fact that the pretzel injury seems not to have healed, he seems to get a new heavily made-up blemish every few days.
I just realized something. Newt Gingrich isn't (wasn't?) Catholic. I can't find out if the second Mrs. Gingrich (Marianne) is Catholic or if they had a Catholic wedding. Callista is. Is he converting to catholicism? Mm.. maybe there's spot in the pews that Robert Haansen left empty...

[UPDATE: My catholic correspondent informs me that it doesn't matter what church married Newtie previously, Callista can't take part in the sacraments until he gets it annulled. Why the Church can annul a marriage it didn't officiate over confuses me a bit, but either way it sounds as if they just should've continued with the adultery...

But...wait! Does this mean he has to annul his FIRST marriage too?


Yet another reason to praise David Brock! He finally got Christopher Hitchens to take a shower!.

Actually, don't click that link. Complete waste of time, unless you really need another reason to cancel your subscription to the Nation.

Why is it that those who would have mocked any criticism of California's energy deregulation plan when it was put into place now enjoy criticizing it so? It wasn't us lefties who thought it was a good idea..

And why do they always imply that Grey Davis was governor at the time?
I honestly have no idea why Slate is going to pay to bring Kausfiles "in-house." Kaus just isn't a very prolific blogger. While I am not equating quantity of output with quality, it just doesn't seem clear why an e-zine wishing to capitalize on the blogger phenomenon would hire someone who cranks out only about two paragraphs of commentary per day.

But, hey, what do I know, my tip jar is empty...
More proof the pipe bomber is a lefitst!

Obviously a conservative would never approve of this:

Although, maybe this one...

Predictably, Newsmax decides the Pipe Bomber is a lefty AND chastizes the media for covering up this little fact. I'm quite impressed that they were able to decipher his rantings, which probably says more about the mental state of Newsmax writers than the Pipe Bomber's politics.

Ah, we knew Newtie had been schtupping Calista for awhile, but I don't think we knew it had been for 7 years. That would mean from 1992 onwards.

Yet another open secret our crack press corps chose not to reveal...

Slow start today. Windows 2000 ate itself. argh, what a pain. My magic emergency recovery disk of course didn't work...
Safire has entered Sullivan territory, as Josh Marshall makes clear.
There is riot in your conversation.
Stick a fork in him...

Get your American Crusade Trading Cards!


Wednesday, May 08, 2002

Caught by MWO :

CNN Crawl (5/8):

"Woman killed while selling encyclopedias door-to-door in nearly all-white neighborhood"
Ah, I love when the VRWC fights each other.

"There is no other cure than to kill Matt Drudge," O'Reilly charged on the IMUS in the MORNING radio show on Wednesday.

"I just want to tell everybody that Matt Drudge is smoking crack - right now, in South Miami Beach on Washington Avenue... And the
authorities should know it."

pass the popcorn.
Tim Blair has a nice little piece about the non-stop whining from the left about how Clinton is personally responsible for an ever-changing number of dead Iraqi children. This mantra became gospel to the annoying left, particularly after Madeline Albright's very bungled "yes it is worth it" comment. Bad PR aside, it was always one of those little factoids that was stupid on its face, but continually repeated, much like the women over 40 have more chance of being killed by a terrorist than getting married canard...
With comments like these:

"What was striking is what was absent," said Amnesty International delegation member Derrick Pounder at a press conference. "There were very few bodies in the hospital. There were also none who were seriously injured, only the 'walking wounded.' Thus we have to ask, Where are the bodies and where are the seriously injured?''

is it any wonder Israel gets a bit annoyed with these organizations? This is Dan Burton-Worthy...
Jonathan Chait blows the lid off Bush's johnny-come-lately (and in extremely poor taste) escape clause regarding the budget. I want to puke every time I hear him make his little trifecta joke and now we know that didn't show up until August 2001, long after promises were made.
Following up some more on Amygdala's post...

The phenomenon he discusses - political punditry as sport - was not invented in Blogistan and Bloggers are no more guilty of it than our Professional Paid Pundits. In fact, to a large degree I see the rise of Political Bloggers as a response to that. If the elite political discourse in this country has sunk completely into the sewer, then the rest of us may as well jump into the muck as well.

So, I'll just keep lobbing my little tennis balls...
O'Rourkian does too..
Instapundit starts in with the cheap shots on the pipe bomber:

Posted 5/8/2002 01:42:01 PM by Glenn Reynolds
IS IT JUST ME or does this letter from Luke Helder make him sound a bit like the guy who shot Pim

Doesn't quite call him a Lefty, but I think that's what he meant..

Well, it looks like Vaara wins the prize for predicting the killer's motive. Okay, it wasn't leather, but it was fur...
Amygdala links my post below about who gets to claim the Pipe Bomber. He fleshes out the point I was making with what was intended to be a joke, though that may not have been entirely clear.
Holy Crap!

I never expected Kathleen Willey's radio show to last more than 3 weeks, but nor did I expect Ken Starr to be one of the guests..... See MWO:

The final Office of the Independent Counsel's report, issued by Robert Ray, revealed that Willey "gave false information to the FBI" after being
granted immunity, in violation of her immunity agreement (Final Report, pp. 92-3). In short, she lied. The report also explicitly reveals that the
OIC came to abandon any belief in Willey's credibility.

And yet, one of the guests who turned up to chat on and promote Willey's short-lived show was none other than...Kenneth Starr!

Um...I admit to having a couple of drinks..but...

It's MoDo time. Usually she hates everyone, but tonight...I don't know what the hell she's talking about.

Tuesday, May 07, 2002

The burning question on every political warrior;s mind right now is -- what kind of anti-government nutball is the Pipe Bomber?

Who gets to claim him, Right or Left?

My conservative pal, Snotglass, gives us his view of the Pipe Bomber:

Reliable sources close to the investigation have linked suspected pipe bomber Luke John Helder directly to the leftist regime of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. According to intelligence analyists at the respected James J. Angleton Center for Applied Sleuthing at the Heritage Foundation, Helder met with agents of the Iraqi intelligence service in the Czech Republic late last year to discuss plans to disrupt the American postal grid in preparation for an Iraqi invasion of the American midwest. Together with experts from North Korea and Iran, the Iraqi agents developed an elaborate deep-cover plan for Helder to disguise his activities as the work of a domestic anti-government Christian fundamentalist.

Additional research conducted by noted international strategist Jonah Goldberg revealed that Helder is also a graduate of the Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigade advanced explosives course. However, Goldberg cautioned, Helder missed the last seminar in the course. This analysis was confirmed by sources close to Ariel Sharon, who said that Helder had already applied for a next-of-kin beneficiery pension under the Saudi Terrorists' Bill of Rights.

In the wake of these revelations, defense policy experts at the American Enterprise Institute said this incident confirms the justification for an immediate campaign to liberate the Iraqi people and free the world from the threat of Iraqi pipe bombs of mass destruction. In the long term, however, the experts also said that only early deployment of a National Missle Defense system would ensure American domestic security in the face of wide-spread pipe-bomb technology sponsored by rogue states.

Respected economists at the Evergreen Freedom Foundation and the Club for Growth called for tax cuts to provide stimulus to the economically critical homesecurity and rural mailbox protection industries.

You people should research credible sources of information before you speculate.

Four county commissioners in Escambia County, Florida were just indicted for a bunch of stuff (not clear what, yet, really).

This is only really notable because Escambia County is where there was prima facie evidence of fraud in the 2000 election.

Well, prima facie in my opinion anyway...

For journalists, bloggers, and pundits alike, the evaluation and re-evaluation of Fortuyn has been in constant flux. Initially taking our cue from the European press he was first labelled as an extreme right wing candidate, the Dutch Le Pen. Then, revisionism quickly set in and people began to backpedal from that characterization, culminating in his canonization by Andy Sullivan.

But, revisionists should perhaps revise again. He may not have been the Great Satan, and he obviously differed substantially from Le Pen, but on the issues for which Le Pen took the most heat, Fortuyn may not have be all that different as is made apparent here. (linked by War Liberal):

Fortuyn regards migrants as "a dead weight in society" and wants to scrap Article 1 of the Dutch constitution which enshrines equal treatment of all citizens of the Netherlands. He reserves much venom for Muslims, stating: "If I can get it right juridically, no Muslim will enter our country anymore."

It is here that his racism is put on show. His statement about the "criminal behaviour" of Moroccan youth in some cities ­ "Moroccan boys never steal from Moroccans. Did you notice that? We can be stolen from, but not them" ­ has already become quite infamous.

There is also a latent antisemitism in another remark ­ on reparations paid to the Jewish community for its sufferings under the Nazis ­ in his book: "The mistake is made when we bend to the Jewish lobby. Not in the sense of compensation for theft and harm made to those directly involved or relatives , but in the sense of the general compensation which was handed out to all kinds of Jewish foundations, which can use that money, our money, for every purpose they want, even to hand it out among the poor. This action I put in the category, Once, but never again!"

The discussion about compensation for relatives of victims of slavery also stirs up Fortuyn¹s anger: "People who say they still suffer from the past of the slavery of their far ancestors belong at the psychiatrist's, not at the negotiating table for financial compensation". Fortuyn devotes a lot of space to the "lower class" and blames migrants for the heavy pressures on public transport and the waiting lists in the health sector.

I expect this from Rush "If you take away the Black vote, Bush won by a landslide!" Limbaugh, but CNN?

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Judy, how dependent are Democrats on the African-American vote?

Without black voters, the 1992 and 1996 presidential elections would have been virtually tied,just like the 2000 election. Oh no, more Florida recounts!


(voice-over): What would have happened if no blacks had voted in 2000? Six states would have shifted from Al Gore to George W. Bush: Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Oregon. Bush would have won by 187 electoral votes, instead of five. A Florida recount? Not necessary.

Right now, there are 50 Democrats in the Senate. How many would be there without African-American voters? We checked the state exit polls for the 1996, 1998, and 2000 elections. If no blacks had voted, many Southern Democrats would not have made it to the Senate. Both Max Cleland and Zell Miller needed black votes to win in Georgia. So did Mary Landrieu in Louisiana, Bill Nelson in Florida, John Edwards in North Carolina, and Ernest Hollings in South Carolina.

Black votes were also crucial for Jon Corzine in New Jersey, Debbie Stabenow in Michigan, and Jean Carnahan in Missouri. Washington state and Nevada don't have many black voters, but they were still crucial to the victories of Harry Reid in Nevada and Maria Cantwell in Washington.

Nebraska and Wisconsin don't have many black voters either, but Ben Nelson would have lost Nebraska without them and Russ Feingold would have lost Wisconsin, too, in both cases by less than half-a- percent. Bottom line? Without the African-American vote, the number of Democrats in the Senate would be reduced from 50 to 37.


SCHNEIDER: A hopeless minority. And Jim Jeffords' defection from the GOP would not have meant a thing -- Judy.

And, yes, I know that examining voting demographics is interesting and appropriate. But, discussing it in this fashion...

"A hopeless minority."

Nice one, Bill.

Crazy Andy is messing with me again. He completely agrees with Krugman's article about those Red States. Of course, he blames the evil Democrats (who do deserve blame of course) and doesn't bother to put it in the context of his earlier fetishization of The True America that I bet he's never bothered to visit.
The police have released the name of a suspect in the pipebombing case. And, true to form the compassionate conservatives at the Free Republic have already started in on their unique form of cowardly vigilante justice.

Although, at least one Freeper understands the Freepers' "Inner Freeper", so to speak:

Is there any tinfoil-ranting Freeper who has suddenly gone quiet in the last week? Ya know, always blaming a sneeze on Waco, Ruby Ridge, jackbooted yadayada, the Bildebergers, claiming Bush is a commie plant to establish the New World Order and take away all of our God-given rights to build personal nukes? The type who always comes on here and cheers that the latest cop killed had it coming because of the oppressive WOD that is actually a CIA plot?

The American Prospect weighs in once again on the neverending saga of Steno Sue Schmidt.

Be sure not to miss the laughable Len Downie quote at the end. I have been unable to locate a transcript, but his performance on Charlie Rose the other night was pathetically comical.

Update: The piece always basically makes Tucker Carlson a liar. I was at that Crossfire taping and he did indeed call those who claimed Sue Schmidt contacted their employers liars. That is not an "unfair characterization."

Courtesy of Dr. Limerick.

[ON edit: damnit, Dr. Limerick changed his picture on me..

All the Red ones voted for Bush. The Dark red ones are those who are dependent on the generosity of other states. The Light Red ones are themselves generous with their tax dollars. All the white states went for Gore.

I expected to wake up this morning to find impassioned critiques of Krugman's article from the libertarianoids in Blogistan. Haven't yet seen any, so if you do please bring'em to my attention.
I'd like to join Larry Flynt in recommending my pal the Daily Brew. He's no longer daily, but nonetheless worth a visit.

Monday, May 06, 2002

Does Paul Krugman read Eschaton?

Seems like it...

But what's really outrageous is the claim that the heartland is
self-reliant. That grotesque farm bill, by itself, should put an end to all
such assertions; but it only adds to the immense subsidies the heartland
already receives from the rest of the country. As a group, red states
pay considerably less in taxes than the federal government spends
within their borders; blue states pay considerably more. Over all, blue
America subsidizes red America to the tune of $90 billion or so each

And within the red states, it's the metropolitan areas that pay the taxes,
while the rural regions get the subsidies. When you do the numbers
for red states without major cities, you find that they look like
Montana, which in 1999 received $1.75 in federal spending for every
dollar it paid in federal taxes. The numbers for my home state of New
Jersey were almost the opposite. Add in the hidden subsidies, like
below-cost provision of water for irrigation, nearly free use of federal
land for grazing and so on, and it becomes clear that in economic
terms America's rural heartland is our version of southern Italy: a
region whose inhabitants are largely supported by aid from their more
productive compatriots.

Hey, did we catch the anthrax mailer yet?

Just checkin...but looky here:

The U.S. Army's Dugway
Proving Ground confirmed
last night that it has produced
dry anthrax powder in recent
years but said the anthrax has
been "well-protected" and is
all accounted for.

The Dugway statement was
issued in response to an
article in The Sun yesterday
revealing that the Army
facility in the Utah desert has
produced weapons-grade
anthrax identical in important
respects to the anthrax used
in the postal attacks.

Is it now okay to say the Ashcroft and his FBI are at best incompetent? and, at worst...well...
I'm no fan of George Stephanopolous. I frankly don't care one way or another whether or not he succeeds in his new role on This Week. However, I'm pretty saddened that the conservative loons are already trying to attack his ability to be "objective". They are, of course, not trying to get him fired. They're just trying to intimidate him to keep him in line.. If he had any balls, he'd say fine, I'm a liberal, just deal with it. But, he won't.

[not that he is much of a liberal, of course.]

I hope my rather flippant post below regarding Fortuyn wasn't misinterpreted. This is an incredibly unpleasant and disturbing development, both for supporters and detractors of the man. Apparently they have arrested a "white man of Dutch nationality" (whatever that means) but I haven't yet heard of a motive.

Fortuyn's problem, to the extent that I understand it, is not that he is anti-immigration, it is that he is anti-immigrant and anti-anyone who doesn't fit his idea of proper Dutchness. I, myself, am very pro-immigration with respect to this country - in fact, I would argue that increased immigration in the 90s did much to bring the country out of a cultural and economic stagnation. But, it is perfectly valid to be against immigration for whatever reason, even if some of those reasons might spring from ugly racist roots. But, it is not okay to campaign against the enemy within - to consign a portion of your legal population to the margins of society by pitting "us" against "them."

On the other hand, some European countries need to come to terms with a very real problem they have. Europeans I know generally try to pretend the issue isn't really there - or that it's simply a conflict between National Front types and immigrants, with the rest of the population simply washing their hands of the problem. In Slate, this passage is revealing:

Strangest of all, the touchy issue of France's large immigrant population, their alleged failure to assimilate, and their supposed responsibility for France's huge crime wave has received relatively few mentions in public. Even the postelection TV coverage on French state television—at least the first few hours of it—included virtually no mention of immigrants or immigration. Strangely, to my American eye, no Arab or black leaders had even been invited into the studio to offer instant comment on the results.

[aside: this of course is no different than our news media's almost complete failure to provide a platform to gay men to discuss/refute claimed links between homosexuality and pedophilia.]

France prides itself on the fact that they collect no race-based statistics of any kind, and though this attitude is somewhat laudable it is also both naive and damaging. There is no data, so there is no problem.

Of course, the fact this is of any concern to me is partially motivated by my annoyance of European smugness about those racist Americans. One friend who came to visit honestly seemed to believe that our entire African-American population was living in walled-off ghettos without indoor plumbing, and was genuinely shocked to discover that this was not the case.

I am the stupidest person ever. Page formatting problem was due to the picture of the stupid freepers being too big.

Things better now?

Avedon Carol was kind enough to point out I'm having formatting problems. I can't seem to find the mistake however. The lower part of the web page should use the top table as its parent, but for some reason it isn't...
Vaara wittily and succintly explains my concerns far better than I did about the new LA newspaper. He refers to the New York Sun as the world's first "dead-tree weblog" which is what one worries the Examiner will be.

Well, the Dutch Andy Sullivan*** is no more.

*** cheap shot, I know. And I already violated my oath. Ah well.

[update]: oops, that article says he's still alive. I swear I saw one that said he was dead, but I can't find it...

developing hard, as they say.

ah yes, here it is.
From: Seattle Times 5 May 2002

Gasoline Fumes
The Times quotes Mike Gwinn of Pomeroy, Washington, “We want nice roads as much as anybody, but it’s hard for me to vote for a tax.” It might interest your readers to know that according to the farm subsidy database available through the Environmental Working Group, “Michael & Alice Gwinn of Pomeroy, Washington” received USDA farm subsidies of $662,669 between 1996 and 2001. During the same period, farm subsidy recipients in Garfield County received $50,838,847. With the reported population of about 2,400, that works out to more than $21,000 per person. The story reports Gwinn buys 50 galIons per week; the 9-cent-per-gallon tax increase will cost him $234 per year.

Jeff Krautkraemer Pullman, Washington

This is also a bit late. But, havng read back through a bunch of bloggers' backlogs... why is that everyone feels qualified to comment on the Cornel West issue?

Seriously. Please. Let me know. Also, let me know what other fields you feel qualified to comment on. Also, let me know which other high profile academic moves you've discussed recently.

From the Department of Dignitude:

I really don't know what to say about this I think it speaks for itself really.

Late last month, a quarter-million households received an official-looking brown envelope, with a return address on the front identifying it as a "REGISTERED CENSUS DOCUMENT." Large letters next to the address window commanded, "DO NOT BEND." Adding to the governmental imprimatur, the second and third lines of the return address read, "Penalty for Private Use (Rev. 3/95)."

Imagine the surprise when the enclosure turned out to be the National Republican Senatorial Committee "Chairman's Census," with tough questions such as these: "Did you know that Republicans must defend 20 seats and Democrats only defend 14? Are you aware that the progress of the Bush Administration is currently being completely obstructed by Tom Daschle and his Democratic Senate majority? Are you prepared to help us win this fight?"

The four-page enclosed letter from the committee chairman, Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), like the "Census" form, concluded with a standard pitch for contributions from $25 up.

Asked about the deceptive envelope, committee officials shifted the responsibility to an unidentified private direct-mail vendor. "We have an elaborate sign-off system for every piece of mail that goes out," said NRSC spokeswoman Ginny Wolfe, "but we never looked at the envelope. From now on, we will."

This has been oft-quoted in Blogistan. But, Hey, I'm fairly new to this country, and maybe some of my readers are as well, so I thought I'd recycle this already WEEK-OLD bit by Charles Dodgson:

The true Bush diplomatic strategy, they claim, is deep and complex, and cannot be understood by simply taking the administration's public positions at face value. It is an elaborate series of bluffs, feints, and jabs, a kind of diplomatic blindfold chess, at once treacherous and Machiavellian in its methods, and nobly Jeffersonian in its outlook and aspirations--which just happens to require, at this point in time, in service of its recondite tactics, that the President appear to be a dim-witted rube who agrees with whatever he most recently heard from anyone with a manly voice and a firm handshake.

as linked by Electrolite.

P.S. Dodgson was kind enough to write me a nice email that I have failed to respond to, only because it required too much thinking and my brain has been hurting lately....
French Election post-Mortem

I'm glad to have been wrong on this one. I was too willing to believe that France's inner Freeper was bigger than polls predicted.

Sunday, May 05, 2002

Bigotboy is whining because no one likes him. Actually, in his mind it's an evil liberal plot. But, the truth is, he's pathetic and no one likes him. Get over it, asshole.
Well, I agree with the "corrupt media" part...

[picture of very sexy freepers removed due to the fact it was messing with my page format]

I have a theory about Andrew Sullivan.

Hear me out.

Andrew Sullivan is the ultimate troll. And, no, I’m not referring to his outlandish neck.

Anyone who has spent time on message boards on the internet knows what a troll is. They have various methods, but their primary purpose is to shut down any interesting discussion. Some use rather thuggish methods – spamming forums with racist comments and obscenities. On moderated forums this doesn’t work, so they’ve had to develop more subtle methods.

One brand of troll is the “Energy Creature.” Their particular skill is somehow managing to shift the focus of all conversation to them.

One way to do this is to make a somewhat (but not too) outrageous claim. When people refute it they demand proof. When proof is provided they demand more proof. When you provide absolutely irrefutable proof they claim they meant something else, which is also false. So, then you finally manage to prove them wrong (After a few tries, of course). Then, three days later they again state their outrageous claim as if it is fact and the conversation never happened.

After a few rounds of this, of course, people get wise to them and start ignoring them. So, they start being reasonable for a while, and buttering people up. They can be charming when they want to, so they get other people to be sympathetic to them. They play nice for a bit, and then just when others have decided they’re a bit reasonable…they start back up again.

Well, anyway, you get the idea. Using this, and other methods, they eventually manage to enrage people on all sides and completely destroy a forum. The only way to get them to go away is to stop feeding these energy creatures by completely ignore them.

I think Andy Sullivan is trying to shut down the left wing (what little there is) of the punditocracy. Michael Kinsley recently stated that you could waste an entire career swatting flies off the Wall Street Journal editorial page. But, they’re so ridiculous that one quickly tires of the exercise. Andy’s more skilled than that. He knows how to be just interesting enough and just reasonable enough to keep people come back for more again and again. Besides, it’s so easy he makes it kind of fun.

But, I think it is time to stop wasting time on this ridiculous individual. There have to be more important things to do than swat flies off the Daily Dish.

So, left wing pundits and bloggers unite with me! Take the pledge! From now on, ignore Andy Sullivan! Do not take the bait!

Do not feed the energy creature!

And maybe he’ll just go away…

ah, I know I won't be able to resist...damnit

Oh no! Only one more season of Buffy?!

[linked by War Liberal]
Some cretin is giving a bizarre commentary on CNN's "Business Unusual." Basically, he's attacking the French for subsidizing their film industry. That's fine, but he's making the broader point that they need to choose between "global capitalism" and, well, I guess "not global capitalism." I get so tired of the mass delusion that's perpetuated in this country that somehow we have no tarriffs and no subsidies and everyone else does. Our farm subsidies are larger (and growing ever larger) than Europe's. Our television networks are subsidized with free spots on the spectrum. Movie production is regularly subsidized, if not by the Feds, by the various state and local governments that offer them inducements to come. We have steel tariffs. We have textile tariffs. We have agricultural tariffs. The list goes on and on and on and on...

Vaara (yes, I know how incestual this is getting, but us sophomoric liberal airheads need to stick together) has an excellent post about the book Coloring the Media. I also have not read the book, but in the meta-verse we now reside that of course does not disqualify me from expressing an opinion.

I do not know why the book did not get more attention than it did. I suppose we can be thankful that it wasn’t given the Bias treatment. Perhaps it was simply the timing, or perhaps the book is as ridiculous and loathsome as it sounds.

I do have some exposure to the author, so I can comment on that. I had the misfortune of hearing him on a local NPR talk show. The host, who is fairly bright but nonconfrontational let him present his views, though a few callers did challenge him.

First of all, the guy is obviously a bully with a grudge. He was a jerk to the host who wasn’t pushing him very hard, and a complete jerk to the callers who tried to. Like many of his ilk, he considers his critics to be the racist bigots, and not him. His main thesis seemed to be simply that affirmative action in the newsroom had led to a proliferation of minorities in the newsroom and this brown mob that had infected the place refused to allow stories to be run that were critical of minority communities. Or something like that.

Of course, his premise is wrong and his conclusion is just silly. Though many of the top newspapers have increased their minority hiring, minorities are still often underrepresented. Last I checked, broadly defined non-whites made up 30% of the population nationally. Not everyone gets a picture by their by-line, but I don’t think 30% or more is too common in even the major newspapers. And, once you get below the major markets, most of the smaller dailies – from which the great mass of the country gets their news – have abominable records on minority hires.

As for his conclusion, well… There are plenty of stories that editors do not want to cover. Exhibit A: The Catholic Church sex scandals. Of course, now it is covered because eventually a certain threshold was crossed. But, it was given scant attention for years. What editor of a Boston paper would want to be the first to take that one on? Locally, the shenanigans of our Business Elite are regularly not covered at all in the Orange County Register. If not for the only recently established weekly alternative rag, it would be as if the criminal and civil trials of some of these folks didn’t happen at all. Local political and business corruption is almost completely ignored by the daily, even when there are arrests and court dates. Unless, of course, Loretta Sanchez is somehow involved.

We all know that media is not the sacred cow it pretends to be – that financial and other considerations govern what is and isn't reported, and how. But, this book puts McGowan in the same category as Ann Coulter who recently claimed that white males have no political power in this country. Even if some of his specific allegations of biased coverage are true, the notion that the subversive influence of minorities on the news can even come close to outmatching the influence of the entrenched interest groups – white males and the local political, business, and religious community– is utterly ludicrous.

If you give these people enough credit to allow that they might actually believe what they say, and aren’t simply Horowitz-style propaganda-writing whores, then this belief can only stem from a firmly installed belief that “Whiteness” is the norm, and all of its biases and transgressions are somehow unimportant, while any inroads by minorities into the media and politics is somehow less valid and deserving of more scrutiny. I’m sure minorities bring their biases and personal agendas into the newsroom no more or less than anyone involved in the media. It doesn’t mean that these things don’t deserve some scrutiny, but placing such emphasis on them folks without acknowledging the fact that, by and large, there’s much more whiting out of the media than coloring, betrays an inherent profound bigotry of white entitlement.

First French exit polls:

82% Chirac, 18% Le Pen.

So much for my predictive abilities.

But, I'll wait for the final numbers...

Following up on my new pet project below regarding Luis Giusti, this article from the Houston Chronicle about a conference of energy experts, while not proving a White House connection, does seem kind of comical now:

Other participants included Enron Corp. Chairman Ken Lay; Dynegy Chief Executive Chuck Watson; former Deputy
Energy Secretary Bill White; former Deputy Energy Secretary Charles Curtis; Houston earth scientist and engineer
Michel Halbouty; Simmons & Co. President Matthew Simmons; ChevronTexaco Chief Executive David O'Reilly;
former Petroleos de Venezuela Chairman Luis Giusti; and Cambridge Energy Research Associates Chairman Daniel

Oh, and James Baker was there, of course.
How embarassing must it be to have to parse the nuances of the Bush Doctrine, as Condi Rice is attempting to do now on Late Edition.

If I were conducting that interview I would have collapsed into giggles by now.

I mean, we're supposed to take seriously a foreign policy with a guiding principle of (in Condi's words, roughly): "he did say that if you continue to harbor terrorists then you are against us.."?

MWO gets another plug in print here.
The Hamster had a much more positive view of the Correspondents Dinner than I did.

But, he did post Al Franken's 1994 and 1996

Will Tim Russert ever stop talking about Clinton's cock?


It's really veered off into surreal self-parody territory.

CNN Ticker just said that turnout in the French elections was only 5% higher than last time. I assume they probably meant 5 percentage points, but either way it is a surprisingly small increase.
As a resident of the greater LA metropolitan region, I welcome a new newspaper. I really do. And, I also welcome the stated goals of the various apparent contributors to this thing. On the other hand, I worry that they will focus on anti-journalism rather than actual journalism. One big problem with weeklies - which are usually liberal, and the only competition to the local media monopolies in a lot of places - is that they spend too much time criticizing the existing "mainstream" paper instead of simply trying to be a better paper. The Examiner folks, along with the New York Sun folks, all sound like their goal is to attack the existing mainstream paper. Well, that's fine I suppose, but it's harder than you think and requires more than simply making nasty comments about the quality of the existing publication.

The LA Times is particularly bad in its coverage of local news - both that of L.A. itself and that of the surrounding counties. But, a new quality paper will require quality reporting, and not just snarky critiques of the competition.

Hey, I wish them well. I just hope they realize this.