a civil rights leader who really leads
back when i was in high school, the hot topics of debate were whether wayne and garth were cooler than bill and ted, and "ebonics." the one was debated in the mandatory time wasters known as study halls, the other with my family around the dinner table. i'll let you decide which was where.
ebonics--essentially proclaiming the gutter english spoken by many black youths an innovation; a dialect to be esteemed on par with its parent language--we now realize, was inevitable. the liberal mindset that's held sway over public schools for the last forty years has doomed the hopes and dreams of a frightful lot of children by abandoning time-tested methods that acknowledge the basic truths of human intellectual wiring in favor of new-fangled gimmicks that better accommodated the musings of trendy academics. the result was a bunch of kids who couldn't read, write, or arithmetize. what to do? well, there were two options. the first was to admit failure and go back to traditional methods, the second was to call the failure a success.
the decision to revel in the intellectual castration of a generation of children rather than confront it was as much pragmatism as it was vanity. going back would have been a disgrace, but it also would have been difficult. curriculums would have needed revised, teachers would have needed retrained. basically they would have had to slam head first into the onrushing tidal wave of academic and bureaucratic inertia. but that's not to say there wasn't a significant ideological component as well.
consider the liberal notion of self-esteem, which is the core of ebonics marketing. the idea, proponents claim, is to make kids think highly of themselves. this is usually offered as an end in itself, but if further justification is needed, it could be supposed that kids who feel good about themselves will make better students than kids who don't. the spurious logic is just wholesome enough to make a first-rate poison: self-esteem of the sort profitable in education is based on students pushing themselves beyond their current station, of reaching out for things beyond their grasp, and attaining them. the liberal version is a satanic deflection of that, self-esteem is good, yes, but we need to feel good about where we are right now. hence, you don't need to learn proper english, what you're currently speaking is proper. i have written at other times of the debilitating effects of this attitude in the scientific community, where the unwillingness to abandon long-standing prejudices has led at times to stagnation, and at times to the laughably absurd. to see it wrought upon children, though...
i was therefore delighted to learn of a emergence of a new, old leader within the black community:
I can't even talk the way these people talk, 'Why you ain't,' 'Where you is' ... and I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. And then I heard the father talk ... Everybody knows it's important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth.
the hellfire called down upon the coz's head for this little pearl was nothing new. back when the cosby show was a national phenomenon, an all-too-similar controversy was raging: why were the huxtables so white?
blacks don't live in elegant brownstones and work as doctors and lawyers. they live in slums and ghettos. by erecting the facade of upward mobility in the black community, cosby had cashed in on his heritage by abandoning it. he'd sold out, and, like all good sell-outs, he rubbed the faces of his one-time kin in their failure through the scorn of his success. good black sitcoms are supposed to embrace the decay of civilization, extol it as a virtue, make black viewers feel good about where they are right now.
then as now, cosby defended himself by pointing out that blacks had to aspire beyond their current station, reach out for what lie beyond their grasp, before they could begin to accomplish it. he was presenting the possibility of being successful and black in the united states of america, which is, to believe his liberal critics, the greatest possible act of racial treason.
what the liberals wanted in a black leader was an ebonics instructor. someone who took the squalor in the black community and held it up as the very essence of black culture. (the KKK would be hard pressed to find better propaganda, for instance, than that had by the lyrics of your average rap.) they wanted leaders who were stationed firmly at the rear, pushing the mob ever closer to the brink.
cosby is about sprinting out ahead of the crowd, planting his flag on the highest mountain, and then shouting down from above. he exhorts those below to come up with him. he refuses to follow, refuses to cave to pressures internal and external, refuses to fail, and most of all, refuses to pretend that failure is noble. he's a leader.
Let me tell you something, your dirty laundry gets out of school at 2:30 every day, it's cursing and calling each other nigger as they're walking up and down the street. They think they're hip. They can't read; they can't write. They're laughing and giggling, and they're going nowhere.
locdog would also like to commend jesse jackson, who had the guts (though is suspect it was more media savvy) to affirm cosby's bold stand
give him a fair trial, then hang him
More than a million Iraqis are missing as a result of events that occurred during the former regime. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis of all religions and ethnic groups are believed to be buried in mass graves. I know I speak for my fellow countrymen when I say I look forward to the day when former regime leaders face justice, God willing.
--iraqi prime minister iyad allawi as quoted in the new york times
more than a million missing iraqis and hundreds of thousands buried in mass graves. clinton's lauded humanitarian interventions were prompted by far lesser atrocities, yet clinton's supporters, almost to a man, persist in questioning the legitimacy of the iraq war. just how many corpses does it take to justify a war? everyone is clear on six million. and comparatively meager hundreds of thousands did the trick in kosovo and somalia, both of which, by the way, are still disaster zones. seems like a million is bracketed quite nicely by precedent. seems like, given clinton's only justification for kosovo and somalia was the humanitarian one, even people who considered saddam no threat to american interests at all ought to have been sold on iraq II.
seems like the eighty percent of iraqis who were on the short end of saddam's apartheid rule are with me on this one. they want to reinstate the death penalty, just for him. from what a i hear, a public hanging is not out of the question. personally, i'm more of a beheading man. no, not the gruesome sawing spectacle of islamic sociopaths, the western version. the old fashioned big-axe-and-chopping-block town fair that used to consummate the deposing of a king. call me a romantic.
what should saddam's trial be like? seems like the only way saddam could go free is if the trial was unfair. there is no question of his guilt. there is no defense for his actions. there are no circumstances to mitigate. he's a monster, a monster of historic proportions. so let his defense team have their say (may i suggest johnnie cochran for entertainment value) let the jury have their vote, then off with his head, sez i.
and while we're on the topic of executions, allow me the opportunity to use saddam as a death penalty referendum. some of you people oppose the death penalty on moral grounds. others seem to support it in principle, but oppose it on practical grounds (questions of innocence prompted by sloppy defense, new information, tainted juries, etc.) but who is who? are they really all one in the same? as one of my physics profs used to say, and as i have quoted many times, you don't really understand what's happening until you understand the limiting cases, and saddam is the limiting case of justice. since no reasonable person could possibly dispute his guilt, should saddam die?
locdog gives him the thumbs-down
the best part of the RNC hitler ad...
(originally posted in response to this slate article featuring a dialogue between william saletan and jacob weisberg.
...was the part slate left out:
The following video contains remarks made by and images from ads sponsored by Kerry Supporters.
i'm not sure if i can fault them with the omission or not since it may have been added after saletan and weisberg had their exchange. i must admit that the RNC didn't consult me during the creative or publishing phases of this production. and credence is lent to this proposition by the fact that the printed transcript of the article does not include the prologue (the slate wags would call it a "disclaimer") given above.
still, is it any great mystery that drawing similarities between the republicans and the nazis, accusing the administration of fascist tactics, or, better still, comparing bush to hitler outright, is a hallowed tradition among democrats?
if, after all, the wide-eyed ad is based on a single spot (there were actually two member-submitted moveon.org bush/hitler ads; more on that in a bit) only tenuously connected to moveon.org to begin with, and later renounced, then this ad could be little more than precisely what saletan and weisberg (way to present all sides of the issue, slate) have made it out to be: a gratuitous kerry/hitler slam winkingly excused as a critique of those same tactics.
if, on the other hand, the democrats have a long and fabled history of said gratuitous slams, then this spot is spot-on.
ah, where to begin. let's start with a golden-oldie offering from clinton-era congressman john lewis (d, ga) who deliberately echoed rev. martin nielmoller's famous 1945 lament on apathy in the face of nazi encroachment "First they came for the Communists..."
said lewis after referencing the above: "They're coming for the children. They're coming for the poor. They're coming for the sick, the elderly and the disabled." lewis' comments came in the context of a republican-lead welfare reform initiative, one (herr?) clinton later signed and took credit for.
nudge the way-back machine ahead a few years to the 2000 presidential election, when congressman jerry nadler (d, ny) famously detected a "whiff of fascism" in the GOP's legal tactics, the beginning of a wave of abiding analogies between the election of president george w. bush and the ascendancy of fascism in pre-world war II europe.
only eight days ago--nearly four full years after the election--2nd circuit court of appeals judge guido calabresi, a clinton appointee and one-time chair of yale law school, addressed a convention of lawyers with this little gem:
In a way that occurred before but is rare in the United States…somebody came to power as a result of the illegitimate acts of a legitimate institution that had the right to put somebody in power. That is what the Supreme Court did in Bush versus Gore. It put somebody in power.
present at the convention and in full concurrence with judge fruitcake's opinion was former al gore chief of staff ronald klain, who said that "I absolutely obviously agree with what Judge Calabresi was trying to get at." and why shouldn't he, when his ex-boss himself has gone a step further by arguing that bush is actively creating the conditions which will lead to the ascension of another hitler?
in a 2002 speech in san francisco, al gore said that bush's policies echoed post-world war I decisions that "led directly to the conditions which made Germany vulnerable to fascism and the rise of Adolf Hitler, and made all of Europe vulnerable to his evil designs."
it might be argued that neither of the two previous remarks constitute a comparison between bush and der fuhrer, but the argument would be no less sleazy than the one the bobsy twins are accusing the republicans of attempting to hide behind with the wide-eyed ad. if these aren't attempts to have one's cake and eat it too, then nothing is.
fortunately, there's no need to get bogged down in endless lawyering. george soros rides to the rescue, knifing through the confusion with a laser-like beam of stupidity. of bush's "supremacist ideology," soros told the washington post
America, under Bush, is a danger to the world ... When I hear Bush say, 'You're either with us or against us,' it reminds me of the Germans ... My experiences under Nazi and Soviet rule have sensitized me.
as if that's not bad enough, soros has given five million dollars--that we know of--to moveon.org. the same moveon.org tweedle dee and tweedle dum were so quick to exonerate in their cutesy conversation. does the knowledge that their primary sponsor is a man who sees george w. bush as nothing less than the 21st century incarnation of the third reich trouble the bush-bashing website? if so, they've been awfully slow to return soros' mega-bucks.
one might rationalize moveon's reluctance to disassociate themselves from the man who made them what they are today, but their recalcitrance in the matter of member-produced bush/hitler ads is a tougher nut to crack.
stepping back a bit to look at the specifics, moveon.org did indeed post a user-submitted ad comparing bush to hitler on it's website in late 2003. and this did indeed draw outrage from ever-opportunistic RNC chairman ed gillespie (imagine! party chairmen engaged in shameless politicking!) as dumb and dumber gleefully made mention. but i very seriously doubt that moveon.org lost any sleep over gillespie's plea. more likely it was outrage from abe foxman's anti-defamation league and a devastating critique offered by american jewish congress president jack rosen in a notable wall street journal editorial. rosen hammered moveon.org for using the memory of the holocaust as "a political prop," calling the ad in general "morally outrageous." moveon.org quickly responded with apologies and deep regrets and not-our-faults-but-we'll-do-betters yada yada yada. they must have been so overcome with penitent grief that they forgot their pledge to "create a more effective filtering system," because in january of 2004, they ran a second ad after pulling their first.
some have defended moveon.org's editorial laxity by pointing out that when the user-submitted ads were voted on by members, neither of the hitler ads became finalists. they trusted their members, the cream rose to the top, so on and so forth. now judging those creamy finalists was none other than our good friend michael moore, whose tasteless academy awards tirade was included in the wide-eyed ad. where does moore stand on the whole bush/hitler thing? in his typically sniggering, adolescent style, moore writes in dude, where's my country that "The Patriot Act is as un-American as Mein Kampf." when robert novak later called him on this brain fart, moore demurred with
The Patriot Act is the first step. Mein Kampf was written long before Hitler came to power. And if the people of Germany had done something early on to stop these early signs...if people don’t speak up against this, you end up with something like they had in Germany.
fellow icon of the low-brow left and moveon.org finalist judge janeane garofalo kicked in her two cents by calling the bush administration "the 43rd reich."
while none of the two bush/hitler ads made the finals, one of the ads that did and that actually got televised, "an army of one," was made by the same collection of crackpots who hacked up "bust is not a nazi, so stop saying that." a web-film that can only be described as the mother of all bush/hitler comparisons. thanks to national review white house correspondent byron york for bringing the above-mentioned moveon.org to, ah, bush-is-a-nazi sympathizer connections to light.
the links between moveon.org and the absurd tactics the GOP decries in wide-eyed exceed the criteria needed for, say, a michael moore documentary by a dozen light years. it's so blatant that calling slate's ignorance in this matter "willful" would seem almost beside the point. those between democrats in general and the same absurdity are clearer still, and even john kerry's hands are sullied. when the original moveon.org bush/hitler ad ran, ed gillespie called on the then 9 democratic presidential candidates to publicly condemn the spot. kerry studiously ignored gillespie's pleas, but found his sense of moral proportion just in time to decry the exposure of his own coalition of the wide-eyed--and this despite the fact that, as the RNC spot correctly points out, kerry has yet to decry spear-chuckers gore and soros for the behavior that prompted wide-eyed in the first place.
it may be that the wide-eyed ad is in poor taste (i think it is) and it will almost certainly prove to be useless if not counterproductive, but the hysterics of democrats and their media shills doesn't just strain credulity, it shatters it, burns its remains, and uses the ashes for kitty litter. the republicans have endured every provocation the left could dream up en route to this ad, so, poor taste and all, it remains a point well taken.
locdog recognizes that truth is seldom politically expedient, and advises them to pull the ad all the same
God help us: war on terror up to the courts
not much time to post, but my initial reaction to the supreme court's decision is that it isn't "a setback to the Bush administration's war against terrorism," as the palpably delighted AP writer gushed, it's a setback to the war on terror. period.
now we can be treated to the zacarias moussaoui spectacle a thousand times over, as deranged jihadis grandstand for fun and profit, vomiting out their fever-dream ravings for months on end.
it might be hard for AP writers and liberals in general to grasp what i'm about to say since, to them, this is about sticking it in the face of a republican president, but hear me and hear me well: it isn't locdog the republican who's smarting over the gitmo decision. it isn't even locdog the american. plain and simple, it's locdog the human. the one who enjoys such activities as existing and breathing and being. stuff like that.
the supreme court did not defend civil liberties today as much as they went a long way towards precluding the possibility of that defense. it's not hard to envision a scenario in which we're holding terrorists in possession of valuable, life-saving information that we can't get at because it's all tied up in the courts.
really, it's all a question of trust. do you believe that the president is sincere in his desire to stop terrorists, or that he wants to abuse that power for the sake of pure meanness like a snidely whiplash cartoon villain? put another way, who's the greater threat, the president, or the terrorists he's trying to stop? it seems to me that the overwhelming majority of those who will celebrate this decision (democrats and, of course, trial lawyers) fall into the snidely-whiplash/ashcroft-worse-than-osama category. but if you are, on the other hand, capable of rational thought, you can't help but despair: how has the war on terror been improved by the incorporation of the bloated monstrosity that is today’s american legal system?
locdog knows that the first time innocent americans die because of today's decision, the ones dancing in the streets now will be pointing fingers and shouting the loudest then