Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun

Political Corrections

A Progress Report


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 23, 2014 8:40 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Harlem: Mecca of the New Negro" and Progressive Dreams

Prosperity Anxiety and Racial Romanticism: 80 Years Ago


RING ANY BELLS? A cover from a 1928 magazine, SURVEY GRAPHIC, that I came across this morning in one of my bottomless image collections. Surprising how the concerns of 80 years ago seem parallel today. But then, the habits of the liberal ("progressive") mind haven't changed all that much....

SURVEY GRAPHIC was a progressive magazine "covering a wide range of important social issues, including race, anti-semitism, housing, labor, educational reform, and nutrition, to name a few." It had laudable goals for the time, but its look was -- for the era-- startling and innovative. It prefigured, in many ways, the work of Edward Tufte.

Chief among the goals of Survey Graphic was to communicate information visually through the use of charts, graphs, illustrations, cartoons and photographs. Paul Kellogg hoped to "engage the attention of a wide audience by use of graphic and literary arts in partnership with the social sciences, to catch the eye and heart as well as the intellect."
As you can see above, it did "catch the eye as well as the intellect" in a way that today's fluff and puff magazines can never hope to emulate.

Another glimpse of the issues that concerned the magazine that are still not resolved today is this cover from a women's issue:


SURVEY GRAPHIC thrived in the 30s but slowly died off after WWII. An excellent essay on the history of this influential magazine is found HERE.

One complete issue, Harlem: Mecca of the New Negro, is online HERE.

Cover by Winold Reiss

This issue was probably assembled by the distinguished Alain Locke ("Father of the Harlem Renaissance"), or at the very least anchored around his three contributions to it. In any case, it certainly owes much of its attitude if not its content to Locke's "The New Negro: An Interpretation" also published in 1925.

Politically revolutionary for its time (1925), the issue appears somewhat more ambiguous in today's eyes with articles like "Harlem Types" -- a meditation on the then residents on Harlem that would get anyone attempting it today imprisoned in "Racist Jail" for life.

Illustrations by Winold Reiss

Even then, the editors knew they were treading on sensitive ground. Witness their copy that accompanies the article:

"Harlem, or any Negro community, spreads a rich and novel palette for the serious artist. It needs but enlightenment of mind and eye to make its intriguing problems and promising resources available for the stimulation and enrichment of American art.

CONVENTIONS stand doubly in the way of artistic portrayal of Negro folk; certain narrowly arbitrary conventions of physical beauty, and as well, that inevitable inscrutability of things seen but not understood. Caricature has put upon the countenance of the Negro the mask of the comic and the grotesque, whereas in deeper truth and comprehension, nature or experience have put there the stamp of the very opposite, the serious, the tragic, the wistful. At times, too, there is a quality of soul that can only be called brooding and mystical. Here they are to be seen as we know them to be in fact. While it is a revealing interpretation for all, for the Negro artist, still for the most part confronting timidly his own material, there is certainly a particular stimulus and inspiration in this redeeming vision. Through it in all likelihood must come his best development in the field of the pictorial arts, for his capacity to express beauty depends vitally upon the capacity to see it in his own life and to generate it out of his own experience."

Today, it is a commonplace to deny that there is any sort of "Plantation Mentality" working within the progressive political community. That may be so, but there's little doubt that a certain heart-felt and "wistful" romanticism worked its magic for poor little white boys lost in the blues in decades now gone by.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 20, 2014 1:32 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Credo

To be born an American, or to become an American, you need only know and understand four things that we have written down. Our founding document, The Declaration of Independence. Our agreement with ourselves and our government that specifies and protects the self-evident truths and freedoms of the Declaration, The Constitution. Our national motto: "In God we trust." And our credo, "The Gettysburg Address." The Address: Seven Score and Nine Years Ago @ AMERICAN DIGEST

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jul 3, 2013 8:39 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?" The longer folks are out of a job, the longer it takes them to find a new one.

Chronic unemployment worse than Great Depression - CBS News

About 6.2 million Americans, 45.1 percent of all unemployed workers in this country, have been jobless for more than six months - a higher percentage than during the Great Depression.

Summer job bummer: Teen unemployment 24 percent -- CBS News
The latest figures show California's unemployment rate among teenagers is more than 34 percent, which is nearly triple the state's overall unemployment rate of 11.9 percent. In cities such as Irvine, California, job fairs have been canceled because few companies have agreed to participate.

Nearly 14 million Americans are looking for work - CBS News
The economic recovery seems to be losing momentum. In May, private companies hired 83,000 new people. But local and state governments cut 28,000 jobs - that's the biggest drop since last November. When all the other sectors are added in, there's a net gain of just 54,000 jobs.
For the United States to gain more jobs it is only necessary to fire one more person, the current president of the United States.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 6, 2011 5:27 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Again with the Doctors Redux!


What can I tell you? I'm having fun with this for a bit. I'll be back to crafting diatribes soon enough.

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 4, 2010 6:19 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The New York Times Truth Will Out. Or Be Outed by Recent Employees

Revkin: "Stuff that the Bush administration got involved in was a no-brainer getting that on the front page of the New York Times."

I've said it before and I'll now say it again: Your go-to point man for everything significant on Climategate is Tom Nelson's aggregation blog. Nelson's got so many links links and pointers going up that you can't really keep up with it all, but Nelson will help you out if you keep scanning.

The most important item this morning is Nelson's quick review of a long audio starring Andrew Revkin, late of the New York Times (Revkin Taking NYT Buyout : Veteran climate reporter to leave paper after Copenhagen summit -- CJR ). Revkin, during his 14-year tenure as one of the Times' top environmental reporters, was often a willing tool and fool of the Alarmists -- before "The Big Cutoff". How did that work for them? Well, as Revkin admits in this long recording from a Harvard / Shorenstein Center seminar "on news coverage of climate change," it was easy....

Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 15, 2010 1:45 PM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Lunchbreath's Top Sekrit Health Plan


Simplicity itself from lunchbreath's Photostream

Alternative: Let the underemployed minions of Barack Obama stop asking us for $5 campaign contributions, find whatever number of million Americans can't afford a healthcare insurance and buy it for them!

Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 16, 2009 1:11 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Light Fuse and Get Away

Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 4, 2009 2:30 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
My New Financial Analyst

Pack up your desk Jim Cramer! Now that you're gelded there's a new rage boy in town! It's Carnageman!

"Recovery? I'll tell you what I think. We're in the eye of the hurricane right now. 'Greenshoot' recovery? Bullshit!"

Not safe for work (if you've got any work), unsafe for computer monitors hung in the shed, unsafe for neon tubes, and very unsafe for credit card companies. Yes, it's a pitch but it's a pitch that's a lot of fun getting to. When this man runs out of things to bust up in his shed and heads for Wall Street look out.

MSNBC should put this guy on against Glenn Beck. Ratings duel in the sun!

Via Cobb: The End of Blackmail who observes that, "When living for hope fails, people get wise. People get pissed."

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 19, 2009 11:29 AM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Saturday Morning News

Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 25, 2009 7:12 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Exurban League: Obama Reaches Out to 'Moderate' Pirate Community


"Since the pirates are still holding the captain, I have sent FBI negotiators to facilitate his safe and speedy release. I assure his friends and family that I will not stop until this man-made disaster is resolved in a peaceful, tolerant and ecologically-sound manner.... For too long, America has been too dismissive of the proud culture and invaluable contributions of the Pirate Community. Whether it is their pioneering work with prosthetics, husbandry of tropical birds or fanciful fashion sense, America owes a deep debt to Pirates." -- The full text of Obama statement can be found at that outpost of sanity deep in our southwestern wastes @ Exurban League

Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 10, 2009 3:28 AM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Obama's Submarine

Obama In The Sea of Hope

Obama's gonna MAKE US RICH! (An answering machine message a Lubbock Texas Bank after the bank had notified a customer that the bank needed to repossess their car. Click to play and wait for the last five seconds.)

Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 6, 2009 5:52 PM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Obamanation of the Day, Friday March 20

Today a twofer as the world's numero uno power couple got their freaks on.

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 20, 2009 8:28 PM |  Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Morbid Major Magazine Song

Bill Dyszel shoots and scores with the scathing Morbid Major Magazine Song As a book and magazine writer, editor, and agent for over 30 years I can attest to the fact that there's nothing but the adamantine truth in this song.

Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 16, 2008 3:34 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Paper Covers Rock in Georgia


From a conversation three minutes ago about the Soviet Russian diplomatic blather rewriting its invasion of Georgia; the "Georgia made us do it" line.

"Kipling writes, 'Iron - cold iron - is master of men all.' "

"Well, of course. Why do people have to be reminded of that? After all, everybody knows that rock breaks scissors."

"Yeah, but everybody knows paper covers rock."

"Fine, but then you've not only got a paper-wrapped rock, you've got a rock you don't see coming."

Posted by Vanderleun at Aug 13, 2008 12:30 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Red State vs Blue State is So 20th Century

Our new great demographic divide is Walmart State vs Starbucks State.


These are maps derived from data on the respective locations and density of these two contemporary monoliths of applied capitalism.

Source: The aptly named Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science where they also deal in the cold, hard data of scatterplots.

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 7, 2008 4:35 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
The Fiddler Now Steps to the Road

With "Welcome to The Fred File" the keenly anticipated Republican Great White Hope, Fred Thompson, has entered the blogosphere with a daily blog which so far has captured his most important statements to the Net of late. As Thompson lopes up to his launch date on July 4th, (as ably reported by Webutante ) this not only be the candidate's blog to watch, but also the blogroll to watch as one Thompson-pumping site after another pushes to be included in this impeccable list of blogs that actually matter.

So far Thompson's blogroll is off to a good start wisely listing the blogs that are likely to be of most use to Thompson. At the same time, it's a good selection of the blogs for whom Thompson might be of use as well. That's the point of blogrolling.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 14, 2007 8:34 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Overwhelmingly Brilliant.

"The security of the United States is not a game. Can we afford a party that treats it like one?"

Posted by Vanderleun at Oct 10, 2006 4:25 PM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink

Liberal spokesman and author David Corn has a site that's been deluged today around his article, "The List" which begins:

There's a list going around. Those disseminating it call it "The List." It's a roster of top-level Republican congressional aides who are gay.
This may well be the reverse Monica of the new century; the first time that a remote hand-job has had a hand, so to speak, in bringing down a government.

At the same time, the rich and full aroma of deep irony revolves around what can only be seen as a Democratic initiated and driven effort to purge Congress at all levels of homosexuals because they are, well, Republicans or work for same. Coming from a party that is first and foremost about advancing gay and lesbian rights on all fronts, it seems especially shameful that -- to settle all their old scores and gripes and grievances -- they are going willing to sacrifice the lives, careers and reputations of their fellow Americans on the altar of their derangement.

It would be obvious and popular to the point to the Hypocrisy! of it all in this case, but that's the cheap and easy way out. It really is more despicable and viscous than that. Corn pretty much sums up this deeply disturbed mindset in his article when he writes:

I have a copy. I'm not going to publish it. For one, I don't know for a fact that the men on the list are gay. And generally I don't fancy outing people--though I have not objected when others have outed gay Republicans, who, after all, work for a party that tries to limit the rights of gays and lesbians and that welcomes the support of those who demonize same-sexers.
You'd be hard pressed to find a statement that more sums up the proposition that "The end justifies the means." Corn's subtext is, of course, 'I'm not going to publish it, because I don't have to. Now that you folks in the media know there's a list, you can go and find it from someone less moral than I am. Please write or call if you'd like a pointer. Strictly on the QT, off-the-record, and very hush-hush.' A morally aware person with a respect for the privacy of a fellow human being's sexuality would not write about such a list at all. Case closed. But I don't look for any real moral awareness to rise from the reactionary spear carrieers of the party of "post-modern moral certitude and relativistic rectitude." It's just another example of the extremes of the Democratic Party going after the blood of the moderates, Democrat or Republican, straight or, in this instance, gay.

It would seem that if you can't win an election on the issues, you win it on outing the gay members of the opposite party. Color me not surprised. Politics as pure perversion. If the moderates of this country have come to believe that the Republicans are "capable of anything," just wait until they get a load of what the New! Improved! and Even More Degenerate Democrats can do.

Gay Partiot is also worth reading on this subject at Gay Patriot More Foley Fallout: The Gay GOP Witchhunt Begins

NOTE: I must confess that I did not coin the term "Masturgate." This crime against the English language was perpetrated by the infamous Roger L. Simon who tells me to note this factoid because, to him, it is a matter of "pride of authorship."

UPDATE: File under Two Minds with but a Single Thought. From the comments:
Mr. Simon will have to show he coined "Masturgate" before October 1. That's when I included it in a post on my blog, which I cross-posted to Daily Kos.

Posted by Vanderleun at Oct 4, 2006 1:25 PM |  Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Much is made this week of conservatives "abandoning" Bush. Some of what is said about it makes sense. Most of it is nonsense.

I'm not a conservative, so I can't speak for them. Who I can speak for are people who are not doctrinaire and locked into eternal opposition to someone or something or some party or some nation. People, in other words, who try to navigate the real world as it happens around them, guided by principles but not ossified by them, aware of ideologies and also of their limitations. Such a person's course of actions is bound to look like a drunken stagger when you only watch the walker, not the pitching deck of the world as it goes on around him."

(Callimachus @ Done With Mirrors)

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 4, 2006 9:44 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
They Hate the Church More Than They Hate Life Itself (Or Do They?)

On modern liberalism considered as "an acid that burns through everything it touches."

Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 2, 2006 1:29 AM |  Comments (34)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Feminist Protests: The Early Years


On the other hand, perhaps not so much progress has been made in Brunette Liberation after all.

Posted on 2006-03-18 by tinabeena93: blondes are stupid brunettes are smart

"blondes are stupid brunettes are smart
hey waz up this is tina & alyssa we are brunettes and we think that blondes are stupid
yah herd meh"

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 18, 2005 1:46 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
President H. R. Clinton? Not Likely

PITY THE DEEPLY CONFLICTED NICK KRISTOF IN TODAY'S NEW YORK TIMES' Who Gets It? Hillary. Indeed, pity all Democrats who, in their quixotic quest for the White House in 2008 feel the need to look towards their chameleon candidate, Senator and Mrs. Hillary Clinton. Kristof begins by noting, as others have, Hillary's coming out... for God, that is:

"I've always been a praying person," Mrs. Clinton declared recently. Of course, this approach works in her case only because her religious faith is longstanding.
Is it? I suppose eight televised years of attending services with her husband as part of the ritual duties of First Lady could be seen as such, but does that really measure well against the much more (some would say too much more) religious faith of George W. Bush? Many people of faith would have their doubts about Hillary's calling. especially when looking at her voting record and affiliations over the years.

Speaking of affiliations, Kristof notes the much bally-hooed shift of Clinton's position on abortion into the "Pro-Not-So-Much-Choice" crowd that occupies the middle: "Mrs. Clinton took a hugely important step in January when she sought common ground and described abortion as a "sad, even tragic choice to many, many women." While it is gratifying to see her assume something approaching a sensible stance, it is also the case that many in the right, left and center will not believe her.

Do these maneuvers alone make Hillary electable? Kristof expresses his limited reservations.

Still, I doubt that Mrs. Clinton can be elected president. I use my hometown, the farming community of Yamhill, Ore., as my touchstone for the heartland, and I have a hard time imagining that she could do well there. Ambitious, high-achieving women are still a turnoff in many areas, particularly if they're liberal and feminist. And that's not just in America: Margaret Thatcher would never have been elected prime minister if she'd been in the Labor Party.

In small towns like Yamhill, any candidate from New York carries a lot of baggage, and Mrs. Clinton more than most. Moreover, television magnifies her emotional reserve and turns her into a frost queen. Mrs. Clinton's negative ratings nationally were still around 40 percent at last count, and Hillary-hating thrives.

Well, you can't go wrong citing "negatives," can you? Nor are you mistaken to say that Hillary-hating thrives. Kristof's been off the farm too long though if he thinks that ambition and achievement are negative factors that will work against Hillary. It's not those things at all. If that was the case, Secretary of State Rice would not be glanced at as a possible Republican candidate. What Kristof can't say, what no Democrat can say, is that the single thing that makes Hillary unelectable is the Humiliation Factor.

What the Democrats are dealing with here is the most famous serving Democrat in the country. The problem is that her fame rests, in large measure, on being the most publicly humiliated woman, wife, and First Lady in the history of the world. The length and depth of that humiliation were of an epic quality and will not soon be forgotten or forgiven by the largest voting bloc in the country, women.

It's a romantic country notion to "Stand by Your Man," but I don't really think the songwriter, singer, or female listeners to this anthem took it to mean 'stand by him even while he's lying, cheating, and doing you wrong from earth's four corners on all news outlets foreign or domestic.' And yet she did and they are married still. On the one hand, you might feel that this is a testament to the strength and enduring nature of the Clinton's love -- though that is mighty hard to see when they do, on rare occassions, appear together. On the other hand, it is also easy to see their marriage as a sham that they stay in because it was part of "her deal" -- 'Me President first, you President later.'

Either way, I don't think it parlays into a Presidency for Hillary no matter how "realistic" that may appear to a party desperate for someone, anyone, who can win. In the end, I don't think she can carry enough women to counter the forces arrayed against her. It may have been true that American women once felt that you had to "stand by your man," but there's a whole new world out there when it comes to women who have let themselves be the patsy on the Adultery channel.

It's true that people vote the issues, but they also vote their gut, and there's not a lot of gut support for Hillary out there. Nobody gets elected President because "Hey, its my turn." Presidents get elected because a majority feel, in their gut, that the person has the judgment necessary for the job. I don't think that letting yourself be humiliated speaks for a person who has that judgment. It could be that, given Bill Clinton's health, he could help his wife up by checking out, but a widow's weeds does not a President make unless it is fortunately timed -- say October 10th, 2008.

Absent something as dramatic as that, I don't think Hillary is going to find fulfillment from her makeover, no matter how extreme. Nor will she gain happiness from her relentless drive to the center. What will stop her, ultimately, will be the legions of women who know the limits of standing by their man; those women that know that when the going gets really tough, the tough move out.

Update: In the comments, Allah disagrees very persuasively with plenty of reasons: "... she seems to me to be almost a sure thing."

Update: Captain Ed has a much more detailed examination of the Kristof column at the aptly titled: Captain's Quarters: Democrats And Kristof Still Don't Get It

More to the point, Kristof wants Democrats to change their rhetoric while keeping to the same core values that marginalized them in the first place. In other words, he wants Democrats to lie; does anyone expect Hillary to press for abortion limitations? Has she voted against NARAL positions since being elected to the Senate? Not according to her NARAL rating -- 100%.

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 16, 2005 6:42 AM |  Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
All You Need to Know About the LeftLogs in One Anonymous Comment

VIETPUNDIT'S ENTRY Silence of the lambs, part two elicited this comment that went far beyond the subject at hand:

"Well you have to remember its nice that the elections in Iraq and Afganistan worked, its nice that Libya has given up its nukes, and that we supported things in Ukraine, and that Egypt is making changes and that the people in Lebanon are opposing an evil occupation, but you have to remember this: A gay prostitute asked a softball question at a press conference. After all first things first." -- Anonymous
This Anonymous guy is rapidly becoming my favorite writer, and, what's more, he's everywhere.

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 3, 2005 1:07 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Inside the Committee that Runs the World

IS THE PROVOCATIVE TITLE OF the new Foreign Policy article by David J. Rothkopf.


An increasingly bitter philosophical debate pits the supporters of the policies of former President George H.W. Bush and many of his one-time team of foreign-policy experts, led by former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft, against those who back views embraced by President George W. Bush and his team, led by Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. What Scowcroft calls the "traditionalists" of the Bush 41 team are pitted against the "transformationalists" of the Bush 43 team, pragmatists vs. neocons, internationalists vs. unilateralists, the people who oversaw the end of the Cold War against those who oversaw the beginning of the War on Terror. Of course, the irony is that many of these people were not too long ago seen as parts of a whole. All are or once were close. What happened?

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 2, 2005 5:42 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Affirmative Action Bottom Feeding

LIBERAL ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS COLUMNIST PAUL CAMPOS continues his masterful takedown of Ward Churchill with Freedom Unused is Abused

Churchill thus represents the reductio ad absurdum of the contemporary university's willingness to subordinate all other values to affirmative action. When such a grotesque fraud - a white man pretending to be an Indian, an intellectual charlatan spewing polemical garbage festooned with phony footnotes, a shameless demagogue fabricating imaginary historical incidents to justify his pathological hatreds, an apparent plagiarist who steals and distorts the work of real scholars - manages to scam his way into a full professorship at what is still a serious research university, we know the practice of affirmative action has hit rock bottom.
If you haven't been following Campos' continuing expose of every element of this fraud's life and career, this is a good place to start. But don't miss last week's look into Churchill's real ancestral line.

Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 17, 2005 12:39 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
You Know, I've Come to Expect Andrew Sullivan to Be on Top of These Issues

Frank Lynch, @ Really not worth archiving. Really. is, like so many others, confused about the Jeff Gannon gay witch hunt currently being pursued by left bloggers with empty scalp belts. He asks, "why the White House would latch on to "Jeff Gannon" as a vehicle for its political message."

My call to a senior White House Official who spoke off the record on this issue revealed the dark intent of the Neocon Satanist Cabal: "Why Gannon? Well, we were going to use Helen Thomas, but an FBI backgrounder revealed that she was not only a bottom but dead to boot."

Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 16, 2005 4:18 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Time for a New Rice Bowl


2/14/2005 1:52:48 PM

From GERARD VAN DER LEUN: Corey Pein [letter below] ,alas, needs to take either a blogging refresher course at Columbia, or a break. He also needs to start living where the news is made, in the now. What may have been a "non-scandal" last week at this time when a Google News search on "Eason Jordan" brought up 8 sources of which 7 were blogs, now delivers over 200 sources -- mostly mainstream newspapers. And if the story means anything in terms of inside baseball at all, it means that "Yes, Corey, you do need to pay more attention, not to certain blogs, but to many." Technote to Corey: News aggregators make this a snap. Get one.

But should journalists "pander to reactionary sentiment"? Heaven forfend. Indeed, Mr. Pein tars decent journalists everywhere by thinking that they would ever pander to any sort of political sentiment. I certainly don't think the Columbia School of Journalism teaches pandering, does it? It seems to me that journalists on the media beat need to have a reportorial mind-set that is pre-judges nothing.

Mr. Pein can begin the healing by putting himself through a re-education process that does not cause his keyboard to jerk from Fox News to Pravada in less than 120 characters. Journalists who maintain this sort of mind-set are not good candidates for the media beat in today's WayNew world. I am sure that not even Mr. Pein or others at "America's Premiere Media Monitor" would argue that assigning a journalist to "report" on a subject who is on record as hating and despising the subject is the way to go here.

In short, although it seems to have eluded Pein, paying more attention to blogs in the wake of the Eason Affair has nothing of the weasel about it. Blogs should have been a staple of the media beat long ago. Reporting on them from the perspective that some are Pravda and others are pure is something that should never have been imported into the beat to begin with.

Blogs rise in value not because "a majority of Americans, journalists included, no longer accept the idea that there is a reality beyond themselves," but because a majority of Americans (journalists included?) no longer accept the version of reality dished up to them by those institutions and organizations that fund operations such as, well, The Columbia Journalism Review.

It seems to me that when somebody breaks your rice bowl you can either 1) get mad at them and try to get even; 2) weep and gnash teeth and rend garments over broken rice bowl; or 3) get a new rice bowl.


EXCERPT FROM LETTER BY COREY PEIN (Assistant Editor, Columbia Journalism Review): "Arguing that we need to pay more attention to certain blogs and get on top of non-scandals like "Easongate" is a weasely way of saying that journalists should pander to reactionary sentiment. But more time spent in front of computers will not save journalism. Nor will looking to Fox News as a model of integrity and audience relations.

What journalists do need to understand is why so many people prefer Pravda...."

Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 14, 2005 12:38 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
CNN CLARIFIES CLARIFICATION: We Cannot Support the Troops.

(Atlanta 2005-02-11) 6:35 EST -- Bowing to the blogstorms of the insidious right to become transparent, CNN this afternoon issued a clarification of their previous clarification via CNN's official spokeswoman, Christa Robinson.

"At a meeting between Eason Jordan and CNN executives this afternoon," Robinson stated, "it was agreed that this unfortunate incident was a learning opportunity for CNN on many levels. Accordingly, it was the consensus of all those at this high-level meeting that CNN immediately adopt the high-principles of journalistic professionalism, consistency, and transparency demanded by the blogosphere.

"It is, then, the official position of CNN News that, since we do not and cannot support the imperialistic American war in Iraq, we do not and cannot support the American troops in Iraq, either as units of the occupying and oppressive fascist forces of Bushism, or as individual Americans.

"We fully realize that by making our previously opaque position perfectly transparent, we are putting our journalists in danger of being assassinated by the stormtroopers of Amerikkka at an even greater rate than that divulged by Chairman Jordan to his friends in Switzerland last month, but that is an acceptable risk.

"Accordingly, we give fair warning to the goose-stepping minions of the Uber-Fascists in the White House, that all our reporters will be armed to the teeth with RPGs, trained to kill on command, and have their SUVs fully armored.

"Chairman Jordan fully endorses this new position and, although he will not make himself available for comment, may be quoted as saying, 'Bring 'em on!'

"Thank you. There's a backgrounder available at Easongate

Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 11, 2005 3:36 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Game and Set to Mr. Jordan and CNN


The dog has barked and, without the videotape, the caravan has moved on.

The Eason Jordan vs The Bloggers match ended its first set today with a high lob set-up from Howard Kurtz at the Washington Post put away by an overhand smash by Mr. Adams of Davos who announced that the videotape of the Davos meeting, in which Jordan claimed the US Military was deliberatly killing journalists in Iraq, would not be released to the public.

Jordan's office also released a yet another "clarifying" statement which was picked up and noted in passing by the Boston Globe.

Yes, the New York Sun and the Washington Times have both covered the story and amplified the reports and the reporting by the blogosphere, with Michelle Malkin being especially distinguished in this regard.

But, for the time being, that's all folks.

As I remarked yesterday, the videotape is the key. But just knowing there is a videotape is not enough. At a bare minimum, the videotape must be seen, and widely seen, for it to make a difference. The Jordan/Davos videotape is the McGuffin here in the same way that the Rathergate CBS PDF documents were in that case. If the Jordan videotape is not seen at all, not all the sworn affidavits and interviews with eye-witnesses nor all the "outrage" of career politicians will matter one whit. And we now know that there will be no videotape released. Videotape, as I have said before, is Mr. Jordan's game. You don't think he'd be stupid enough to let it see the light of day if there were any way in which it could be prevented, do you? As William Burroughs is fond of asking, "Wouldn't you?"

Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 8, 2005 9:54 AM |  Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Soros Buys Kiev Holiday Inn for Inbound Contingent of Blue State Human Shields

Soros to Shields:"If I'm buying, you're flying."

In a stunning move to reverse the threat to democracy in the Ukraine George Soros wrote a check on Sunday to take possession of the Kiev Holiday Inn and Bali-Themed singles Bar in order the guarantee housing for some 15,000 Blue State Human Shields now inbound to the beleaguered Republic.

Working closely with the recently unemployed staff of, Soros raised the money from himself during a tense, non-stop negotiating session at his wet-bar last Friday.

"I thought of all the angst and agita I've experienced over the last three weeks," said the reclusive billionaire at a press conference attended by Graydon Carter, Annie Leibovitz and the entire newroom of The New York Times. "What good is money to me when there are democracies to save? And after all, isn't's motto 'Democracy in Action' ? It is. But what can a humble billionaire do in a world ruled by Halliburton?" Mr. Soros paused as Ms. Leibovitz made a few deft adjustments to his hair.

"Then it came to me. The Human Shields have been out of work and gathering rust and dust in the remainder bins of history for well over a year. The millions of depressed Democrats who have been considering relocation to a Bush-Free Zone have run out of gas long before the petroleum exporting countries ruled by Halliburton. Kerry isn't giving the $16 million back, and I don't know what to think about the rumors that Teresa is out buying a house and new suits for Obama.

"I'm an entrepreneur who's always looking to make lemonade out of lemons, and this thing in the Ukraine seems to have more than its share of lemons. So I thought, hey, we could get the Human Shields back in the game, move on, give the Democrats another chance of saving democracy, and show up that Boston bozo for the stiff that he is. On top of that, if it works out and democracy is actually saved in the Ukraine, I can flip my Holiday Inn for a nice appreciation ride. The left profile is my best, Annie. How many times do I have to tell you?"

Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 28, 2004 10:14 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Legacy of the Long Peace

The peace movements of the last 150 years have been animated by "wishful thinking," which helps to explain their often self-destructive behavior. But .... it's not merely a wish for, but a lust for peace that's the root of this evil. -- Demosophia: Lust for Peace

It isn't always the case that a politician's promise is the birth of a lie. More often than not, it just turns out that way. It turns out that way not because, I hasten to add, the politician lied at the time of the promise, but because the promises of politicians are most often descriptions of a future that can never come to pass.

The promises of our politicians are but articulations of our own fantasies about the future and, since we know in our bones these things can never come to pass, we hear the promises as lies, but go with them anyway if they reflect our own childish wishes. In the political theater of our days, each side gets the audience to chant, "I do believe in fairies," that Tinkerbell might fly. And Tinkerbell does, while all agree not to notice the wires.

The big lie of the bitter season just past was unusual in that, at the bottom, it was a promise not about the future (although both camps insisted it was), but about the past. The big lie promised a return to the lost lands of September 10, 2001 when all was calm and secure. The big lie was "We'll keep you safe."

Neither side wanted to go too deeply into the "how" of this in very specific terms. But a nod is as good as a wink to a willfully blind electorate, and we all knew "how" our candidate of choice would handle things.

Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 28, 2004 9:52 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Shaken & Stirred: Recipe for Ye Olde Democratic Hot Party

Via Gothamist, the always annoying Chi Chi Valenti, "Nightlife Empress" describes how to make "a party HOT." Sounds distressingly familiar, doesn't it?

As an expert, can you tell us what makes a party HOT?

Since someone's always hooking up, getting wasted or starting a fight these days, my standard for a great party is somewhat higher. Most importantly, there must be a MIX - Vampires and diamond dealers, legends and New Kids, fetishists and objects of worship, romantics and cynics, geeks and pop stars, boys, girls and everything in between. Historically, New York's best parties (and club nights) have combined all ages, gender prefs, income levels and style schools. A roomful of one kind of person is boring and predictable - it is the mark of the provinces.

We admit that a few hours in a few rooms with this "selection" of types might be of passing interest on those weekends when nothing new is showing at the multiplex, the NASCAR race has the caution flag out, my Bible's out for repairs, and I'm evicted from my trailer out here in the provinces.

But the idea of the same group running the country for four years is not our current idea of fun.

You know, they talk a good game but I got me a dollar to yer doughnut that Chi-Chi is going to be floor hostess at the 2008 DNC.

Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 8, 2004 3:37 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
If Politics Imitated "The Godfather"


KARL Kerry's dead. So is Little Johnny Edwards -- Michael Moore -- Soros --Daschle -- Teresa. Today I settle all Family business, so don't tell me you're innocent, Dan. Admit what you did.
(then, to CHENEY)
Get him a drink.
(then, to DAN, as KARL shifts in his chair)
Come on. Don't be afraid, Dan -- Come on, you think I'd make my President a man without a 60 Minutes connection? I'm even going to be taking a seat on Viacom's board after the Inauguration , Dan--
(then, after CHENEY hands DAN a glass of wine)
Go ahead, drink it -- drink
(then, after DAN drinks)
No -- Dan -- you're out of the Media business, that's your punishment. You're finished. I'm putting you in a limo to the Columbia School of Journalism.
(then, to CONDOLEZZA RICE, as he reaches out his hand)
(then, after CONDI hands KARL a limo voucher, which he hands to DAN)
I want you to stay at the Columbia School of Journalism, but no messing with young students, boy or girl. Understand?
(then, quietly, after DAN nods and hmmms)
Only don't tell me you're innocent. Because it insults my intelligence -- and makes me very angry...
Now who gave you the documents? Daschle or Teresa?

DAN (after hesitating) It was Teresa.

(then, after standing)
There's a limo waiting for you outside to take you to the Columbia School of Journalism. I'll call your wife, to tell her what classroom you've been assigned.

DAN (as he rises, starts to protest) Karl, please...

KARL Come on -- get outta my sight.

(DAN turns. RICE helps him put on his coat)

CUT TO: West portico of the White House. SECRET SERVICE AGENT is putting Dan's luggage into the rear of the limo. DAN gets into the front seat.

CUT TO: Interior of car. OLIVER NORTH is seen behind DAN, in the back seat.

NORTH Hello, Dan, remember your reports on the Iran-Contra scandal and and what you did to my run for office ...

Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 5, 2004 4:51 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"All the Dogs of Europe Bark"

E. J. Dionne at the Washington Post is beginning to emit foam with . . . He Didn't Get (Yes, that is the complete sputtering headline.) He begins by noting "We" (Oh, Royal We!) "are aghast at the success of a campaign based on vicious personal attacks, the exploitation of strong religious feelings and an effort to create the appearance of strong leadership that would do Hollywood proud."

Well, given to the extent to which Hollywood pulled out all the stops for Dionne's boy and piled up many millions for themselves in the process, we will resist the appropriate response of " Neener.... Neener.... Neener," and issue some calm and reasoned advice to Dionne and his ilk instead.

What you must all do is calmly and reflectively look at the glass America has set before you and ask yourselves, quietly, "Is our glass half full or it is pulverized into leetle flecks of silcon dust and shards so small that not even God, if we believed in Him, could put it back together."

We understand that prayer is not an option so simply check your email for a reply frequently over the next twenty odd years.

Thank you for listening.

Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 5, 2004 3:08 PM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
And the Number One Reason to Vote for Bush is ....

I can't believe I missed this one: "Because he doesn't have a law degree."

From Mitch, who has 99 more @ Shot In The Dark: 100 Reasons I'm Voting For Bush, Not Kerry

Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 1, 2004 10:31 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Bobe Speaks

In a previous life, back when I had a Bobe , I'd note that whenever we came to a question of politics she'd say, with millions of other Bobe's, "Yes, but is it good for the Jews?"

Martin Perez asks the same question today about John Kerry and gives us the answer.

I've searched to find one time when Kerry --even candidate Kerry -- criticized a U.N. action or statement against Israel. I've come up empty. Nor has he defended Israel against the European Union's continuous hectoring. Another thing that bothers me about Kerry is the deus ex machina he has up his sleeve: the appointment of a presidential envoy. It's hard to count how many special emissaries have been dispatched from Washington to the Middle East to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict. What's easy to see is that none of them has gotten to "yes."
-- Kerry the Clueless

Posted by Vanderleun at Oct 18, 2004 9:37 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
The DenBeste Trend

Stephen DenBeste, one of the most lucid minds around, posts a very interesting graph and an even more interesting analysis of the trend behind the months of presidential polling in Poll Trends, 20041016

His analysis is very compelling:

....My first suspicion would be that the test equipment was broken, but in the case of opinion polls there is no such thing. My second suspicion would be fraud.

In September, I think there was a deliberate attempt to depress Kerry's numbers, so as to set up an "October comeback". Of course, the goal was to engineer a bandwagon.

Public opinion isn't usually as ephemeral as these polls suggest that it is. But there can be long-term trends, and I find it interesting that such a thing actually does show through. It's quite striking how close some of the data falls to the long term trendlines which I've drawn in.

The reason the Democrats and the MSM are getting frantic is that they're losing.

Pointer from History's End

Posted by Vanderleun at Oct 16, 2004 8:25 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Lileks Withdraws from Race He Never Joined with Accordion Medley

Based on this report from our reporter in Minnesota, the editorial board at American Digest can only conclude that we were mistaken in our original enthusiasm for a Lileks candidacy. Therefore we take Mr. Lileks at his word (not to mention his actions ) and declare we will no longer support or report on this woeful incident in the history of the blogsphere.

We do this not just for Mr. Lileks, but "for the children."


At his first and last news conference held in the elegant Tiki Lounge at Jasperwood, James Lileks today made the extent of his political ambitions clear. They are somewhere south of absolute zero.

In a stunning wrap-up to what has to be the most meteoric political career in

Posted by Vanderleun at Oct 15, 2004 9:32 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
The Easy Out for Kerry on Taxes

It's a sad, sad thing when you see people so deep in denial that not even a six-foot snorkel will bring them a breath of air. Witness uberblogger and Kerryista Mickey Klaus in his desperate attempt to help "President Kerry" weasel out of his "no-tax-increase-for-people-making-less-than-$200,000 pledge."

If I weren't such an ardent Kerry supporter I might note that Kerry's insta-pledge reflected a disastrous instinctive willingness to pander now and waffle later. ... P.S.: How will Kerry get out of it? First, he could say he was only talking about income taxes (though the pledge was "I am not going to raise taxes" in response to a question about the entire "tax burden," not just income taxes). Then he could blame his staff! -- Mickey Kaus
Let me save Uncle Mickey and thousand of other "Kerry Kool-Aid Kwaffers" a kazillion keystrokes:

John Kerry will never, ever, ever
need to "get out" of his no raising-of-taxes pledge,
because John Kerry will never, ever, ever
become President of the United States.

It's obvious that Kerry and his wife are hip to this. They're more and more into saying whatever comes into their minds in an effort to at least be remembered as Mr. & Mrs. Alfred M. Landon of the 21st century. What keeps the others hanging on is beyond me. Then again, as they say in the National Parks, "Once a bear gets hooked on garbage, there's no cure."

Posted by Vanderleun at Oct 11, 2004 1:36 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Will the Real John Kerry Please, At Last, Speak Up?

The ever insightful Marc Bowen over at Cobb has cracked the code! -- Cobb: The Speech John Kerry Will Never Make

There is a clear choice for Americans in November. War or Peace. President Bush is the choice for War and I am the choice for Peace.

It is a rare occasion when the American people have an opportunity to, with one vote, decide the fate of millions who are currently suffering the ravages of war. But now is that opportunity. This conflict in Iraq is the wrong war at the wrong time. We made a mistake going there and I am the man to correct that mistake. All the possible good that could possibly come from this war has already been accomplished and every minute we remain, we lose the advantage of those gains. There is nothing left to win in Iraq that America is capable of winning. Therefore, I pledge that if I am elected President, I will order the immediate and unconditional withdrawl of all American troops in Iraq.

My fellow Americans there can be no clearer choice before you. There may be a million reasons for going to war and we can debate those forever. There are equally a million reasons for ending war and those too can be debated forever. But when it comes down to it, for you the American voter, you only have one choice - War or Peace. I am here to make that choice crystal clear. Whatever your reasons, if you believe that we belong in Iraq, then cast your vote this election for George W. Bush. But, if you believe as I do that it is time for peace, then your choice is clear.

Vote for me. I will end the war.

You know, if Kerry was a real patriot with real contemporary courage, he'd step up and shout it out.
Posted by Vanderleun at Oct 7, 2004 5:24 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Small Tremors Continue in California

This just in from the excellent L.A. Observed

Sacramento Bee opinion blogger Dan Weintraub passes along two new polls that pick up a slide in Kerry's lead over Bush among California voters. In one, the Democrat's edge is down to six points. Regardless of position, Californians are not subscribers to the belief that the country is split roughly even. They feel, by more than 2 to 1, that Bush will win. On a somewhat similar note, right-leaning columnist Jill Stewart tries to make the case in a recent piece that California is not so liberal.

Now I'm not saying that my state is in any real danger of regaining its sanity, but still a guy can dream, can't he?

Posted by Vanderleun at Oct 6, 2004 12:27 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Okay, Everybody Just Back Away from the Twins!

What is this? Bash the Bush kids night? Almost every blogger on the right that I bring up is dumping all over the Bush Twins this evening.

People need to get a firm grip on the mouse before they select "Save." This pusillanimous dogpiling is lame, halt and betrays a lack of anything substantive to say. The main thing there is to say is short and sweet: "We're not voting on the kids this year so it really doesn't matter."

That's it, but can we stop? No. The Corner's kvetching -- with Goldberg and Lopez in a cross-posting liplock. The cable pundits are ranking on them from wild rank to medium to mild as you tune from CNN to MSNBC to Fox. You can hear the New York Times sending out The Gang of Four to sober up Maureen Dowd. Even the usually well-balanced Reynolds and Roger Simon are throwing brickbats at these feckless 22-year-olds. (Although Reynolds has been bringing in some other reactions that even this out -- that's why he's valuable.)

I shudder to think what's going on at IndyMedia and other moonbat breeding and roosting farms. We can expect their heads grafted onto various obscene poses and bodies within the hour.

Little wonder their parents keep them out of it.

Everybody just needs to hit the brakes and stop this frantic blogeration over every little nit that pops up for picking at the convention. There is bigger game to be bagged and bigger issues to illuminate than the question of how good, bad, sharp, lame, or indifferent a couple of cloistered 22-year-old girls are when trotted out onto a stage in front of the nation.

I seriously doubt that 1.5% of the ladies and gentlemen blasting their bits across the Net tonight could come off one tenth as well.

This is not to say we saw the reincarnation of Winston Churchill as the Doublemint Twins tonight. It's only to say that , for crying out loud, they are twenty-two years old and have the general mental furniture of most twenty-two year olds.

They came out, they said their lines, they said "Hi" to Grandma, they introduced their Dad and they exited. No big thrill? Well, so what?

Not every moment can be a perfect gem, folks.

Posted by Vanderleun at Aug 31, 2004 8:51 PM |  Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Allah Is Just All Right With Us

France Offers Terrorists Historic Compromise

appeasecf.jpg Cox & Forkum: C'est l'appeasement

Speaking from the Elysee Palace in Paris today, President Jacques Chirac announced that, in accordance with its finest military traditions, France was prepared to meet the abductors of its citizens halfway over the Muslim Headscarf issue.

"After extensive consultations with everyone who has worked with France in expanding the horizons of graft in the Middle East over the last fifty year," M. Chirac said, "We have come up with a solution to this unfortunate misunderstanding among friends and equals. We trust that this solution not only underscores our committment to dialogue but also our willingness to seek non-agressive solutions to seemingly insoluble problems.

"France, a proud nation, cannot negotiate with Terrorists. It can, however, move its government to the South of France and re-examine the options. There is ample precedent for this.

"After examining the regulations restricting the wearing of religous symbolism in France's schools, we have decided to compromise by rescinding the ban on headscarfs, but keeping the ban on the Crucifix, the Star of David, and the Yamulke in place.

"Okay? Thanks. Let's eat."

Posted by Vanderleun at Aug 31, 2004 4:09 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
The "Stealth Democrats" of Canada

COMMENTING ON "THE INEVITABLE BUSH BLOWOUT" BELOW Patrick @ Ubi Libertas tells us the instructive tale of a similar situation in Canada. Excerpt:

"A couple of comments on this stealth Democrat theory. First, something very similar happened in Canada about twenty years ago, at a convention to select a new leader for the Tories. One candidate, a well-known woman MP named Flora MacDonald was doing very well in the polls before the convention. Much was made of the possibility that MacDonald might become the first female leader of a major Canadian political party, and quite possibly Prime Minister. But on voting day, MacDonald got only a small fraction of the vote count she was expected to get. Lots of people who said they were going to vote for her - who told MacDonald, told the press, and told pollsters they were going to - got into the privacy of the voting booth and voted for someone else. It was a major story in Canada at the time, and is now referred to as the Flora MacDonald syndrome."
There's more at the link.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 29, 2004 9:40 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
RestoreHonesty Cache Found!


"Sorry, but because of the nature of Google, frame pages cannot be displayed, although the source code of the frames page was visible if viewed. actually was just a frame containing

This is indeed still in the google cache:

However, I do agree that it is more than ironic that the campaign's honesty went 404 ;-)

Here, minus all the rather gruesome graphic

Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 24, 2004 3:12 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Gone But Not Forgotten

Ubique Patriam Reminisci reports that:

Honesty Is Dead

No, really, it is.

Long live REAL honesty.


Slightly oblique, but pleasingly poetic. This item refers to the amazing which was the Joe Wilson tribute page hosted by John Kerry and company. In the last few weeks, the existence of this page was a point of delicious irony to all those who marked out Wilson for the money-grubbing liar he was from the start.

Naturally, having the discredited and now no longer useful fool around the Kerry campaign just wouldn't do. Hence, they blew the page up and also, I note, cleaned out the Google cache.

Then they just swapped in the elegant 404 which carries the zen political phrase: "You have requested a page that has a broken link or is not on the site...," and went on about their business. I think describing Joe Wilson as a broken link no longer on their site is a bit cold, don't you?

A very surgical bit of on the Web historical revisionism. Wiping the cache was an especially deft touch. Has Kos been consulting again?

UPDATE: LINK No cache for Restore Honesty at Google.

UPDATE: CACHE FOUND thanks to astute American Digest reader, Klaus, in this thread. See American Digest: RestoreHonesty Cache Found!

Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 24, 2004 1:09 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Jumping the Gun

WHEN YOU ARE INVOLVED IN A DUEL and you know your opponent is going to miss, it might be a good idea to hold your fire until after he's had his shot, and his gun clicks on empty.

This is hard to do when all your supporters are gathered around you chanting, "Kill him, kill him, kill him, kill him...," but an experienced man can manage. A champion dualist turns to the side, watches carefully, gets his enemy to miss, and holds his fire until he knows that he can put one between the eyes.

It seems to me that, with all the hoopla over the last few months, the President's supporters in the midst of the political melee are getting a wee bit over-anxious to have him open fire. A primary example of this appears today in the National Review as an editorial:

Where, meanwhile, is the positive, substantive side of the campaign? People are noticing that the president has not presented an agenda for his second term should he be re-elected. -- Where's the Beef
To which I would say, "Please get your knickers untwisted and your game face on."

I realize that it has to be tough to sit in the NR's offices day after day and watch the Left and the Democrats sling one plague ridden corpse after another over the wall, but you just have to hunker down and take it until the right moment, which is not.... quite.... yet.

Yes, we've had the Wilson Corpse, the Clarke Corpse, the Clinton Corpse, the Moore Corpse, the 9/11 Report Corpse -- all of these disgusting hunks have been lobbed in and now are scattered about the political landscape in various stages of decomposition. It's got to be getting rank in the Republican Fortifications, and there have to be a lot of people wanting to whip out the flamethrowers and start sanitizing the joint.

But patience, patience, patience please. Always remember that "A Drug and Democrat Free America comes first. "

You see, it really doesn't matter what happens in the next couple of weeks. All that matters is what happens in October.

Yes, there's going to be a Democratic Convention next week. Nothing can be

Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 22, 2004 3:20 PM |  Comments (23)  | QuickLink: Permalink
What Are Your Neighbors Giving and to Which Candidate?

LINKMEISTER SENDS ME THE FOLLOWING Neighbor Search in email with the subject line: "New Fun for you!"

And indeed it is. Just plug in your zip code and see who around you has donated to which political candidate or party in the national elections. The results can be surprising.

This link references my town, Laguna Beach, California AKA 92651. From hanging around the town and cruising past the permanent Saturday Quisling Demonstration I would have thought it was heavily Democratic. Perhaps it is in terms of votes, but money talks and ..... Well, suffice it to say that the Hannas pretty much cancel out most of the Democratic donators in Laguna all by themselves.

Overall, the Republicans seem to be getting the lion's share of Laguna's donations this year.

The Democrats are substantially behind and when you take out all the money flushed away by Dean, Liberman, Kucinich, Clark donations, they are heading towards the hole.

No donations recorded to the Al Sharpton campaign, however, so I guess the town isn't utterly intellectually insane.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 18, 2004 10:03 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"No such thing as 'Al Qaeda'"


In the course of three years' intense study of the issue, I've become convinced that there is -- well, this is a slight exaggeration -- no such thing as 'Al Qaeda'. It is, more precisely, only a name applied vaguely to one of several financing and logistical arms of the Wahabi branch of what could more accurately be called the "Islamic Jihad". Not an army, nor a disciplined network of underground cells, but an historical movement -- and thus more comparable to something like "the Enlightenment" in the West, than to any organized militia. Not to say the Jihad shares ideals with the Enlightenment -- far from it -- but rather, it is similar in being a vast idealistic movement, consciously advanced by men who co-operate as and where they think they can be most effective -- but taking their orders, ultimately, not from men but from "the zeitgeist", or "Allah".

This may sound a very abstract analysis, but it has practical consequences for "homeland security". For starters, it means we cannot draw neat, legalistic lines between who's in and who's out of the cabal. For instance, a journalist working for Al-Jazeera may be every bit as committed to the struggle as a man rehearsing the assembly of a mid-flight bomb. Each is advancing the Jihad by the means most available to him. And, exempting the one from prosecution while arresting the other is entirely obtuse.

Indications especially from the FBI are to expect a major terrorist hit on North America, sometime between now and the U.S. election in November. I think they are right to expect this. The political, economic, and social fallout from such a hit is unpredictably huge. But I am less and less confident that it can be prevented by anything resembling normal police methods. This is because, thanks chiefly to "political correction", we cannot look at the whole Jihad, and are in fact only looking for the pointy bits.

UPDATE: Immediately after posting that excerpt above, I dropped by the Belmont Club to find Wretchard also quoting from Warren, but, as is his wont, taking Warren's thesis to its chilling conclusion:

But the problem with conceding the point to David Warren and Bat Y'eor is that it would cause a revolution in domestic and international politics, something neither the Democratic nor the Republican parties are prepared to do. Domestically it would mean that for the first time in American history, a major branch of a world religion would be declare a de facto enemy of the state. Not people, not a country; nothing with a capital unless it be Mecca, but a system of religious belief. It would strike at the very root of the American Constitutional system, the separation of Church and State. Internationally it would signify that the principal enemy host, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whose ruling house is intimately connected and support this ideology, must be overthrown or changed. It would indicate that the Iraq campaign, which cost the Bush administration so much political capital, is not the end but the mere beginning.

One the most most important lessons of the Global War on Terror is how closely linked it is with Western domestic politics. The Madrid bombing of March 11, 2004 and the American Presidential elections are perfect examples. The reason for this is simple. Fighting the Jihadi enemy would mean overturning the 20th century political and economic foundations to their roots. It would mean disrupting the Big Tent of political correctness; putting a prosperity heavily dependent on oil supplies at risk; and replacing an entire paradigm of international relations. For that reason the act of naming Wahabi Islam as the principal enemy will evaded until it is absolutely unavoidable; until after a mushroom or biological cloud puts a period after the debate. The only exit from the madhouse that Warren and Y'eor describe is through the door we fear the most, the one which compels us to recognize the foe with no name.

Also relevant here is an essay published here in October, 2003: American Digest: The War of Two Religions

Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 17, 2004 10:18 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
This Just In: Bureaucrats Urge New Bureaucracy

IN A REVELATION SURE TO HARELIP EVER'BODY ON BEAR CREEK, the 911 Commission and Clown College Graduating Class of 2004, today called for employment for life for -- themselves!

The final report of the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks will recommend the creation of a cabinet-level post to oversee the nation's intelligence agencies, a position that would take power away from the C.I.A., the F.B.I., the National Security Council, the Pentagon and other agencies that face blistering criticism from the panel, government officials who have seen the report said.
-- 9/11 Panel Urges New Post for Intelligence
I think making one person in government in charge of all the intelligence that is in government is a "slam dunk."

But I think we should take out some insurance since, as has been seen, sometimes the intelligence does not exactly rise to the level of quotient. So, to be sure, I urge that the President appoint a non-partisan Troika.

I nominate:


Joe Wilson ............................. Dick Clarke, and....


Dick Clarke!

Three minds with but a single brain.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 17, 2004 8:11 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Remember those "Unreleased Howard Dean Records?" There was "nothing" in them.

JOE TRIPPI has put the introduction to his book The Revolution Will Not Be Televised online. In it we get this snapshot of Howard Dean in action behind the scenes.

So here we are, in early December 2003, and the senior staff has decided to meet with the governor to plead our case for releasing the records. About fifteen of us have gathered in the long conference room on the third floor of a stale office building in South Burlington, Vermont -- where this rebel campaign had its unlikely rise. We explain that everything is about to hit critical mass, and that we are under a new kind of pressure here. He is now the frontrunner -- everything he does and says will attract new scrutiny --and he can't say out of one side of his mouth that he wants to clean up politics, while out of the other side say that his own records are off-limits for a frickin'decade.

We tell him that it's starting to show up in the polls. We can survive a lot of things, but we can't survive having people see him as just another double-talking politician. The Dean for America campaign is the antithesis of that . . . a grassroots, reform candidacy breaking all the old rules and making people believe in politics again.

"You've got to release the records, Governor."

His eyes are set, and his open face is pulled back defensively into that tree-trunk neck. "But there's nothing in there."

"If there's nothing in there, then we should release them."

"But there's nothing in there."

"That's why we have to release them."

"But why should we release them when there's nothing in there?"

We go around in circles like this until Governor Dean -- whose running mate could have been stubbornness -- ends the debate by saying he's done talking about it. "I would rather withdraw from the race than release those records."

He didn't release and he didn't withdraw. Instead, the voters withdrew from him.

But he still had his secret records with "nothing in them." Call them a "consolation prize."


Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 8, 2004 6:50 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Kerry Narrows VP Selection

"Three coins in the fountain
Through the ripples how they shine
(Just one wish will be granted)
(One heart will wear a valentine)

Make it mine!

Make it mine!
Make it mine!"

Via JL, our mole inside the Kerry Karass

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 25, 2004 2:45 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Fighting Fascism in the American High School

READ ALL ABOUTOPERATION TIGER CLAW --DEBRIEFING from Protest Warrior. A detail account about how one American teenager explores the meanings and limits of free speech at this high school.

My name is Bryan Henderson and I am an 18 year old senior attending Princeton Senior High School. Better known as Templar_Crusader on the PW forum, I am the proud leader of the small but growing PHS chapter of ProtestWarrior.

Operation Tiger Claw was my first attempt at leading a protest against the apathy and leftism running rampant at my school. It all started on Friday, May 14th with a small act of conservative pride. My socialist history teacher was on another kick about how articulate Noam Chomsky was, when I finally reached my limit.....

At the end of the day, my fellow PW chapter members and I felt it was time to fight back and strike at the public education indoctrination machine that seemed to be running out of control. Our school desperately needed some ideological balance, so we decided that the next day we would up the ante and place 500 signs in the halls of the school.

I got to a quick start the next morning...

The rest is well worth reading, and the photographs make this exploration of the small minds teaching your children a special delight.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 23, 2004 4:30 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Air America and the Lying Liars Who Ran It ... Into the Ground

TODAY'S WALL STREET JOURNAL covers the debacle of the Liberal/Left Radio experiment "Air America" in excrutiating detail. In a front page story, Inside Air America's Troubles: Optimism and Shaky Finances (Subscription Required), the outline of the "network's" start up days is notable for the long sequence of lies that began at the top and percolated down through the entire organization.

Of course, Air America's "million-dollar-a-year-man," Al Franken doesn't really see the sordid history of vapor cash at the company as a collection of lies. Franken explains them as: "In a startup, says Mr. Franken, people often exaggerate what they have. Mr. Cohen, he says, "did just that, and somehow got us on the air. For that, I guess I owe him some gratitude." We imagine that Mr. Franken has learned, over the years, how lies can result in profits for himself. Except in this case it would seem Franken himself was shortchanged:

" Mr. Franken had negotiated a pay package valued at more than $1 million a year, according to a copy of the contract viewed by The Wall Street Journal. On the evening of April 26, Mr. Goodfriend says he was asked by Mr. Cohen to show Mr. Franken a deposit slip that would prove he'd been paid a portion of his salary. Mr. Cohen says he only asked Mr. Goodfriend to negotiate with Mr. Franken.

"The next day, Mr. Goodfriend went to Mr. Franken's Manhattan apartment to meet Mr. Franken's wife, who manages her husband's finances. Over the Frankens' kitchen table, the two tore open an envelope sent over by Mr. Cohen that they thought was going to contain proof of the payment. All they found was a stack of irrelevant documents. "

Ooops, no pay slip. One would think that Mr. Franken would have noticed the deposit of a portion of one million dollars into his bank account. Evidently not. Nevertheless, the pattern of one party claiming one thing at Air America and another party denying it seems to be a normal way of doing business. That and short-changing junior staff or just, in the end, stiffing them:
"On March 30, the night before Air America went on the air, the liberal radio network threw itself a $70,000 party at Manhattan's hip Maritime Hotel....

"Today several employees say they still haven't been reimbursed for the costs of attending the New York launch. "It was a fun party, until I knew I was paying for it," says Bob Visotcky, Air America's former Los Angeles market manager, who hasn't been reimbursed for his hotel room and flight."

The primary forces behind the launch of Air America were "Guam-based entrepreneurs Evan M. Cohen and Rex Sorensen." Why, if liberal talk radio was such a hot idea, those wealthy liberals promoting it had to go to a couple of guys from Guam to get it rolling, isn't really clear.

What is clear is that, for all the talk heard from around the liberal cantons, there weren't really all that many of them ready to open their wallets:

"Messrs. Walsh and Saade say Mr. Cohen told them that TV producer Norman Lear had given Air America $2 million and pledged another $2 million. They also say Mr. Cohen told them that Laurie David, wife of comedian Larry David, had invested $2 million and pledged another $4 million.

"Buoyed by the good news, Mr. Walsh told reporters on a March 11 conference call that the network was "well on our way" to raising "upward of $30 million" by its planned March 31 launch.

In fact, Mr. Lear and Ms. David were approached by Mr. Cohen but didn't invest, their spokespeople say."

This pattern of claiming investments from wealthy liberal investors was, evidently, part of Cohen and Sorensen's stock and trade. As was stiffing people they had agreed to pay from the small to the large, starting with the couple that had the "big idea" that a liberal radio network was just what the leftist Doctors of America ordered:
"Air America was conceived by a wealthy Chicago couple, Anita and Sheldon Drobny. Mr. Drobny is a venture capitalist and liberal activist who writes an occasional column for a Web site that has compared Republican control of Congress and the White House to the Nazis' rise to power in Germany. ....

Mr. Cohen teamed up with Mr. Sorensen, 58, a business partner and the founder of Sorensen Pacific Broadcasting Inc., a network of five radio stations in Guam and Saipan. The two men agreed to buy the concept from the Drobnys for about $1 million, according to four people familiar with the transaction. The Drobnys haven't yet been paid. Messrs. Cohen and Sorensen say payment was based on performance milestones that haven't been met. "

Performance milestones which, if they existed, now seem never to be met. Still, seeing a turkey coming down the street for miles did not dissuade Cohen and Sorensen from continuing to pretend the glass was half-full when the glass had never even been a quarter full:
"Many of Air America's investors and executives say they thought the network had raised more than $30 million, based on assurances from its owners, Guam-based entrepreneurs Evan M. Cohen and Rex Sorensen. In fact, Air America had raised only $6 million, Mr. Cohen concedes. Within six weeks of the launch, those funds had been spent and the company owed creditors more than $2 million.

When the problems came to light, "we realized that we had all been duped," says David Goodfriend, the company's acting chief operating officer. Messrs. Cohen and Sorensen say they didn't mislead anyone about the company's finances. They say they planned to invest more over time but didn't because of cultural differences with other managers"

Ah, those "cultural differences," which may mean "We don't want to throw good money after bad," but is more likely to mean that they didn't have any money to throw to begin with. It would seem that the primary funders and raisers for Air America were famous in Guam for what they would become famous for in the United States, stiffing people:
"Joe Calvo, the general manager of Guam's Pacific Telestations Inc., which owns TV and radio stations, says Mr. Cohen's defunct ad agency owes him $20,000. Mark Pangalinan, president of Guam conglomerate M.V. Pangalinan Enterprises, says the same ad company owes his real-estate division four years in rent; it also owes another division several years' worth of employee health-insurance premiums. Mr. Cohen denies owing both companies money. Mr. Goodfriend says he thought Mr. Cohen was a successful businessman and says he was unaware of these disputes. "
But when the chance to stick it to George Bush is dangled in front of some people, it quickly becomes a case of "Fools rush in where fools have been before. Enter Mark Walsh, a 50-year-old former America Online Inc. executive, had run an e-commerce site called Verticalnet Inc., which was briefly one of the highest-flying dot-com stocks with a peak value of $12.4 billion. More recently, Mr. Walsh headed Internet operations for John Kerry's presidential campaign."
Of course, Mr. Walsh did not think of himself as a fool. He was a savvy executive and asked to see some proof of net-worth:
"Mr. Walsh says he asked Mr. Cohen for proof of his assets. The entrepreneur showed Mr. Walsh documents that Mr. Cohen represented as real-estate and cash holdings valued at millions of dollars, Mr. Walsh says. Mr. Cohen denies saying the assets were his alone. He says the documents combined his assets with those of Mr. Sorensen and another business partner, Brooklyn real-estate developer Charles Cara. "
Obviously oblivious to the extent to which a determined person might use copiers and Kinko's to pad their portfolios, Mr. Walsh bought it all. Or perhaps Mr. Walsh, like so many others attached like remora to Air America, just needed to believe in lies and the lying liars who told them.

Be that as it may, the fact that Air America was living in The Land of No Money was increasingly evident to creditors of all shapes and sizes:

"But bills weren't getting paid. Mr. Visotcky, the former Los Angeles market manager, says he discovered in March the company hadn't paid the rent on its office space there. He lost his job later when Air America was kicked off the air in that city. Mr. Cohen says the rent wasn't paid because of a contractual dispute. In April, vendors stopped delivering office supplies because they weren't getting paid and contractors, such as electricians, complained their checks weren't arriving.

One of the network's on-air personalities, Randi Rhodes, formerly of WJNO in West Palm Beach, Fla., opened her own checkbook when her staff wasn't paid. Ms. Rhodes says she found "a group that was running the place that was absolutely not up to it." The New York studio had no air conditioning and some technical equipment didn't work. In its first few days, the network sometimes sputtered off the air.

Mr. Cohen concedes the company should have had tighter financial controls and blames the cash crunch on perks such as car services. "

Ah, yes, those pesky "car services." The last refuge of scoundrels who could not put up or shut up. It wasn't the immense void of advertising interest in Air America that did them in, nor was it the fact that from the moment it was a gleam in the eye of the wealthy but wacky couple from Chicago Air America was stillborn, nor was it the unabashed greed of Al Franken in thinking he could start at one million a year and work up, nor was it a long and now carefully documented tissue of lies, that put Air America on the air with but a wing and a secular prayer. No, it was perks that did them in! The wanton and continuing abuse of 'car services.' Clearly, if Air America really wanted to be a success all it had to do was get the staff to agree to patronize mass transit en masse. After all, that's part of the liberal creed, isn't it?

In the end, those responsible for the limping liftoff of Air America continued to do what all good liars do. They parse the meaning of what is is and keep right on lying:

"[The board] asked Messrs. Cohen and Sorensen to resign and hand over voting control of their shares to Mr. Goodfriend, according to three people familiar with the negotiations.

"After the meeting, Air America executives examined the company's finances. "When we finally gained access to the bank accounts, we realized they were empty," Mr. Saade says. Mr. Cohen denies the bank accounts were empty although he concedes there wasn't much money left."

The bottom line? There never was much bottom line to Air America and it will now continue to exist only by the kindness of liberal strangers willing to dump excess cash into the drain from now until the elections, if then. But will the lies continue? Not at all. What we will see will be, as Mr. Franken parses it, just a little exagerration from time to time.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 21, 2004 9:47 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Not Camelot, but Hamlet

"Consider the following hypothetical situation. In September 2005, the president is informed by his CIA director that they have concluded that there is a one in two chance that North Korea will transfer five nuclear bombs to Osama bin Laden within the next month, and that, after the transfer, despite our best efforts, the CIA judges that it is more likely than not that bin Laden will succeed in detonating at least one of them in a major American city, resulting in 1 million to 3 million deaths. Should the president consider taking pre-emptive military action? And let's assume that the president is named John Kerry." --Tony Blankley


To pre-empt or not to pre-empt:
that is position paper I must commission.

Whether tis enhancing for America to suffer
The fiery loss of Philly or Boston,
Or to deep fry Syria and Korea
And by one MIRV strike end them,
Is to me a serious question
Worthy of endless reflection
While the bombs fall in our direction
Or are snuck in without detection.
But hold, I shall rap not for I be white.

To prevaricate, to procrastinate;
No more; and by a procrastination to say we dither and extend
The conference, the committee,
And the thousand congressional quagmires
That government is heir to, tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd.

To waffle, to straddle,
To flip perchance to flop:
Ay, there's my nub.
For in that flip what flops may come
When three million Americans have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give the Stock Market pause:

Where's the respect I'm due for wooing France,
For handing back Iraq back to terrorists?
Have not I turned my tail enough to these mortal enemies
Hoping in Kofi and Chirac to keep them calm?

Why now do they come to kill us in our beds
When I to the entire Arab League
Have made apologies, have worshiped Allah,
And wept the larger tears than Bill,
And taken from our Pentagon the dough
To buy even one measly clip?

Why now do they whip us with a bright Islamic Bomb
In our fair city? Why do they say that all our law
Shall be but the law of their harsh Prophet, Allah,
(Blessed be his name in my White House)?

Have I not converted with one Executive Order
The National Cathedral into Mosque?

Must I with my bodkin bare look on while all our land
Cowers or converts to the enemies whose caves
Befuddled all our brass?

I, who sent our armies home to harsh defeat
And mustered out all men
And kept the girls alone for they looked nice in uniform.
Oh, I must be the Princely President of Peace at Any Price.
It was the promise made to the mighty MoveOn.

Thus doth my conscience make cowards of us all
And what once was our hue of resolution stern
Now is sicklied o'er with my pale cast of thought
That enterprises of great pitch and moment
With my sallow glance are turned to UN pleasing
And lose the name of action and gain the name of shame

-- Soft me now!
The fair Teresa! Nymph, in thy cash flow
Be all my debts paid off. We shall away
In Air Force One to France while those
Who put me here shall in their own blood drown.

Tomorrow will be time enough for policy.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 4, 2004 1:20 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Bye-Bye Babies of the Blue States

MARK STEYN. LUCID AND CONCISE AS ALWAYS IN The strange death of the liberal West

In practice, a culture that thinks Terri Schiavo's life in Florida or the cleft-lipped baby's in Herefordshire has no value winds up ascribing no value to life in general. Hence, the shrivelled fertility rates in Europe and in blue-state America: John Kerry won the 16 states with the lowest birth rates; George W Bush took 25 of the 26 states with the highest.

The 19th-century Shaker communities were forbidden from breeding and could increase their number only by conversion. The Euro-Canadian-Democratic Party welfare secularists seem to have chosen the same predicament voluntarily, and are likely to meet the same fate. The martyrdom culture of radical Islam is a literal dead end. But so is the slyer death culture of post-Christian radical narcissism. This is the political issue that will determine all the others: it's the demography, stupid.

If I were a fundamentalist Christian I'd put it another way:
It seems almost as if God has said to the Republicans: "Be fruitful and multiply," while Satan has winked at the Democrats and said, "Cut it out."

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 21, 2004 8:02 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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