More popcorn, please

•26 June 2010 • Comments Off on More popcorn, please


It is sometimes amusing to examine the Gordian-knot-like illogic of the left as they try to rationalize away their emotion-driven frenzies. Sarah Palin provokes such raving lunacy from lefties that any media appearance she makes gives the non-leftist observer a smorgasbord of rationalizations to unpack and ponder.

Joan Walsh’s recent vaporings on Salon are, in this light, choice:

I know she’s going to make herself a martyr over this

Before the sentence even gets properly underway, we’ve got ourselves a howler. Here’s how Merriam-Webster defines “martyr“:

martyr. noun.
1 : a person who voluntarily suffers death as the penalty of witnessing to and refusing to renounce a religion
2 : a person who sacrifices something of great value and especially life itself for the sake of principle
3 : victim; especially : a great or constant sufferer

Now, definitions one and two are right out, except as sneering hyperbole (which, granted, may well be how Walsh intended the word). Palin in no wise is suffering death, either literal or metaphorical, and certainly is not attempting to do so by choice. She also is not sacrificing anything of great value. In fact, a year or so ago, she “sacrificed” political power for something she held as a greater value — her family. And it drove the left berserk (perhaps because they cannot comprehend someone who values anything in the universe more than power). As we shall come to presently, one of the major complaints Walsh has about Palin is that she did not sacrifice for this speech, she profited. (Consistency of principle is impossible when a lefty really gets going — Palin is the Ultimate Evil, so any means to attack her are valid, even mutually exclusive ones.)

Definition three, however, is a not-unreasonable usage. Palin has indeed been the constant target of leftist and media hatred, without relief.

But in what sense has Palin ever “made herself” a martyr? She has been attacked, her family has been attacked, all rules of civilised discourse went out the window immediately she was nominated as McCain’s running mate.

Walsh, there is a term for this sort of thing: “blaming the victim”.

– and among her followers, it will probably work –

Never, ever deal with the truth or falsity of an idea. Instead, recast it in terms of the social metaphysical “us versus them”, and imply that “they” are automatically wrong.

but Sarah Palin got remarkably candid reviews of her Friday night speech in Turlock, Calif., when an open mic picked up reporters savaging the former Alaska governor’s performance. I just checked Palin’s Facebook page and Twitter feed, and she hasn’t started trying to drum up sympathy by trashing the Lamestream Media yet, but she almost certainly will.

Another tactic of the social metaphysician: attempt to change the terms of the argument to your advantage.

Here, Walsh takes as a given the idea that reporters are objective, ignoring completely the real argument — that the Mainstream Media, beneath the lie of impartiality, are in fact irredeemably biased. This incident is just one more evidence of it, and anyone not in the media or firmly committed to the left has known it for years. But Walsh manages to assume the conclusion, and treats the “remarkably candid reviews” as unquestionably fair.

And then to sneer at Palin’s response before she even responds.

(So far the Lamestream Media hasn’t covered the open mic kerfuffle; I found the story on The Political Carnival.)

Question: Why would the “impartial” media cover a story that exposes their extreme partiality?

They won’t, of course, until they are forced to do so.

But Walsh, naturally, uses this lack of response to imply that the story is no big deal at all, and that Palin, in responding to this non-story, is hopelessly out of touch with reality.

Even though Palin has not, as of Walsh’s writing, responded to it.

This next bit is just amazingly fun.

Palin’s entire appearance was controversial. Raising money for California State University-Stanislaus, she reportedly charged a $75,000 speaker’s fee and asked for another $18,000 or so in expenses,

Which is way more than any other political or public figure charges for giving a speech of any kind.

Like, say, former President William Jefferson Clinton.

Or, to pick another totally random example, former Vice-President Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. Mr. Gore is, as is widely known, so thoroughly committed to the cause of environmentalism that he donates any money he has ever made in his life to green charities, and lives in a cave in rural Tennessee, without benefit of power, modern telecommunications, or even hot water.

As for the expenses, I feel entirely certain that Joan Walsh never, ever takes deductions from her income taxes for business expenses. Why, that would be dishonest! And nobody ever, ever bills expenses separately from what they invoice for their services. Parts and labor are always included in the total amount; doing otherwise would be dastardly.

including first class plane travel for her entourage and luxury accommodations.

“Entourage” is a loaded word, chosen to imply that Palin is a superstar, completely out of touch with the world. It’s backed up by the “first class” plane ticket and “luxury” accomodations. All details chosen to color your judgement against Palin.

Mr. Gore, as we well know, travels only via carbon-neutral pack mules.

Mr. Clinton uses hamster-powered teleporters.

Both always stay at Motel Six, neither ever using more than one room.

Although CSU is a public university, its leaders didn’t disclose Palin’s demands — saying a private foundation was raising the funds, and was thus exempt from public disclosure laws —

If CSU was not paying the bill, why should its leaders disclose the amount? “Forget it, man, [s]he’s rolling.

When Palin quotes her speaker’s fee, she is issuing “demands”, just like terrorists and hostage takers.

When Clinton and Gore quote their speakers’ fees — oh, right, wait, I forgot. They never charge anything.

And if a private foundation footed the bill, what business is it of Joan Walsh’s what they paid? Well, except to allow her to sneeringly imply — falsely, of course — that a public university is wasting its funds (not) paying Palin’s fee and expenses.

Walsh is trying to wave her hands rapidly enough so that you, the reader, do not notice that the implication she wants you to arrive at — Palin is wasting taxpayers’ money! — is refuted by the facts that Walsh herself is giving you.

and we only know about them because intrepid student journalists found the contract in a dumpster.

They oughtta give medals to dumpster divers!

Now Walsh goes into connotative overdrive:

In her speech Friday night, the vengeful Palin trashed the students as “dumpster divers” with her trademark meanness:

Palin is “vengeful”, “trashes” poor, innocent, heroic students, does so with “trademark meanness”, and dares to call these valiant heroes of the people’s revolution “dumpster divers” as if they had done something vile, lowdown, and dirty like actually entering a dumpster to find private records of a private transaction in order to defame an individual citizen! This demands scare quotes!

Wait, what was that Walsh said in just the last sentence? “[S]tudent journalists found the contract in a dumpster.” So, if they didn’t go dumpster diving, who did? Their personal servants?

Now, before reading the actual quote, take away the prejudgement-encouraging words and scare quotes with which Walsh tried to color your view of what Palin said, and see for yourself if what she actually said was reasonable:

“Students who spent their valuable, precious time diving through dumpsters before this event in order to silence someone … what a wasted resource,” she told the crowd. “A suggestion for those Dumpster divers: Instead of trying to tell people to sit down and shut up … spend some time telling people like our president to finally stand up.” CSU student journalists were barred from the speech.

Is it really that out of line? I certainly don’t think so. They did go dumpster diving, and it almost certainly was done in an attempt to stop Palin’s speech or, at the least, to discredit her.

And if a specific group of people picked through your rubbish in an attempt to shut you up or discredit you before you had even spoken, would you let them attend your speech?

But this is Sarah Palin, so the normal rules do not apply. It is axiomatic.

But the journalists who got to attend Palin’s speech were no more impressed than her student critics. The reviews begin as soon as Palin says her final “God bless America.”

And it is perfectly their right to do so, because, as they keep assuring us, they are perfectly objective, impartial, and unbiased. So Palin must be evil.

“I feel like I just got off a rollercoaster,” one man says (the voices, so far unidentified, were all male.) “I don’t know how you’re gonna make a story out of that,” another remarks, and someone comments, “Well, that’s the story.” Another describes the speech as something like a student paper, where “you just try to jam as many quotes in as possible, from as many random things.” The most cutting line of all: “Now I know, the dumbness doesn’t come from just soundbites.”

Wow. That’s cutting. Because nobody has ever called Palin dumb before.

It’s funny that some of the sharpest media criticism of Palin has come in open mic mishaps. During the 2008 Republican convention, Peggy Noonan had a rare moment of clarity on MSNBC, when Chuck Todd asked during a commercial if she thought Palin was the most qualified VP choice: “The most qualified? No. I think they went for this, excuse me, political bullshit about narratives. Every time the Republicans do that, because that’s not where they live and that’s not what they’re good at, they blow it.”

A conservative has a “rare moment of clarity” when agreeing with the neverending leftist hatefest. Uh. Huh.

CSU officials said they made $200,000, even after paying Palin’s fees

But according to Walsh herself, CSU did not pay Palin’s fees. In any event, the fundraiser raised funds.

and erecting tall, temporary security fences around the event.

And, of course, it’s Palin’s fault that security fences had to be erected.

While Palin endorsed GOP Senate candidate Carly Fiorina, she didn’t bother to campaign for her while in the state, perhaps an acknowledgement that the Palin brand is a boost in a GOP primary but death in the general election in this true-blue state.

And if she had mentioned Fiorina, Walsh would call the mention “inappropriate for a fundraiser” or something else even more negative. Because Palin Is Evil, and Everything She Does Is Wrong.

Could Walsh possibly have made a more abject confession that leftist ideology is bankrupt, empty, and incapable of dealing with even its weakest opponents?


The Anointed are never wrong

•29 September 2009 • 1 Comment


Quick thought about “bite me, jewboy”

•26 September 2009 • Comments Off on Quick thought about “bite me, jewboy”

In case you haven’t come across it yet, an NBC producer apparently responded to a standard press release with the above-mentioned pithy invective.

NBC, naturally, is denying it all, and claiming that the anti-semitic slur is a fabrication.

Now, let us look at this for one moment.

Which side is more likely to have done the incredibly stupid thing?

Americans for Limited Government is an organization with a classically liberal stance which, by default, gets treated with suspicion and disdain (and, more likely, outright contempt) by any MSM entity any time it even rises to the notice of The Anointed. Anything and everything that gets reported about ALG will be micro-analyzed for anything that could even remotely be branded as racist, so that The Anointed can dismiss everything else ALG might have to say without actually confronting it directly.

Is it likely that an organization used to being held to such a standard would make such an obvious — and easily detectable — blunder?

On the other side is an NBC produer, one of The Anointed and card-carrying member of the MSM. Membership in The Anointed grants one an easy pass — assumptions go unchallenged, biases are accepted uncritically, everything is easy if you harbor the correct belief system. Living in the MSM cocoon, it is acceptable to smear incorrect beliefs, because such beliefs represent an unacceptable attack upon one’s very sense of self.

Given such circumstances, is it really likely that this member of The Anointed did not lash out, and instead is being defamed with a forged email?

Oh, it’s certainly in the realm of the possible. But until proof comes acropper, it’s sure a hell of a lot more likely that this producer vented, and got caught with her bloomers down.

Remember. Always.

•11 September 2009 • Comments Off on Remember. Always.

Falling Man

Exquisite grief

•20 July 2009 • 1 Comment

I’ve been listening to Allison Crowe for many months, now. Her voice, and her musicality, both explain my continuing interest, but there’s more. There is the pain. Such pain. The kind of pain that makes you want to take her in your arms and protect her from the world forever.

The kind of pain, and response, you hear in the song above.

Until finding this song, and the story behind it, I had no idea of the source of that pain. Now, knowing how “Lisa’s Song” came to be, I know at least part of its origin.

Miss Crowe had been touring. When she returned home, one of her friends, Lise Marie Young, was gone. Disappeared one night, under mysterious circumstances.

This song was Crowe’s response, raw and emotional, wanting to save her friend, terrified that it’s too late. She gave the song to her friend’s family to use in any way they chose, to keep awareness of Lisa’s disappearance high.

It’s seven years later, and Lisa Marie Young has still not been found.

The song may be downloaded on the album Lisa’s Song + 6 Songs from Jamendo.

Here are the lyrics:

I want to be the one
To say that I found you safe
And held you in my arms
I want anyone else in the world
To tell me
That they did too
And took you home

Across the field and to your door
And said, hey baby it’s cool,
There’s no reason to be scared anymore.
Took you home
And held you in, held you in, held you in.

Just stay home
Don’t come outside to play
Circumstance beyond control
I feel so helpless
Mind is racing and breaking
Me in to a million pieces
Because I can’t

Take you home
Across the river and to your door
Take you home and
Cut through the darkness
You don’t have to cry anymore
Take you home
And hold you in, hold you in, hold you in.

Take you home
Across the sea and to your door
Take you home
But I’m so scared
That home isn’t here anymore
Take you home
And hold you in
Through the nightshade and under the stars
And hold you in…

Help Find Lisa

Four yesses and one “hell yeah!”

•3 July 2009 • 1 Comment

So, Sarah Palin is resigning early. With a typical politician, the reason would be some scandal that was about to break — but Palin is not a typical politician.

Oh, it could be a scandal. We literally know nothing about the reasons. Scandal, however, seems unlikely. Somewhat more likely is a family situation, a severe illness or the like.

But most likely is that Palin is taking her family out of the line of fire. She cannot say one word, take even the slightest action, without bringing vicious, personal attacks upon not only herself, but everyone in her family. It may be that she’s doing so with the intention of staying out of public life, or in preparation for future public life. That decision may not, in fact, have been made yet.

So, in ignorance, I offer this speculative advice.

  1. Take a year out of the spotlight. Even if she intends to return, in whatever capacity, Palin and her family need a break from the bile and venom. They also need to prepare for more if she returns. The kids, especially, will need to be coached in how to ignore what the media will say. Because you know that they won’t hold back, right? Also, Palin needs to bone up in all sorts of areas. A year of study and training will not hurt in any way. I could make recommendations here, but won’t for the moment.
  2. Follow Reagan’s example. After losing to Jerry Ford in 1976, Reagan did some amazing preparation for his 1980 run for President. He didn’t run for any office, he didn’t serve the public in any official capacity. Instead, he did a weekly radio address, and a several-times-a-week newspaper column examining the issues of the day, without ever once attacking the Carter administration. He focused on policy, not personality. You should come back as a pundit, but on her terms, not the media’s. You should probably start a policy blog and podcast (or video cast). You should not accept any public office position, which would minimize (not remove) the rest of the Palin family’s exposure to attack. Make yourself the voice of reason, the voice of those who believe in the rule of law, limited government, accountable government, government that would all but disappear from daily news. Make clear that while government is important, for specific reasons (protecting individual rights, national defense), it should also be something that the average citizen only needs to think about once every two years. Maybe less.
  3. Quit the Republican Party. Publicly, and really loudly. Explain what you stand for, what you don’t, and list all the reasons that the Party does not represent you or millions of others. This would be an excellent time to make clear that you believe in total separation of church and state, reaffirming your personal belief while at the same time making it crystal clear that your religious beliefs have no place in public office. Make clear that you would love to return, but only if the RP does serious housecleaning. And fumigation. If that doesn’t happen, then you will remain independent, or perhaps start a Constitutionalist Party.
  4. Learn media aikido. They are always going to hate hate hate you. Use it against them. Don’t go on SNL, don’t do the Daily Show, don’t give them any chance to control your image. Set up traps for them to walk into and embarrass themselves. Think of Dan Rather, although probably you won’t want to be quite that direct. But definitely let “leaks” of unlikely scandals get out, causing the leftist media and the Kos Kidz to go berserk. And make sure that the “scandal” is easily and quickly shown to be dead wrong. Let each one go a different length of time, but then expose the truth, and let the media twist in the wind upon their own petards.
  5. Make it about ideas and policy. Not personality. Yes, you have a fine personality, and one that drives the media out of their minds, and it’s okay to use that. But that should never be your focus. When your children are attacked, as they will be, make the issue civility and decorum (though don’t use those words, too foppish). Ask the country if they really want a culture in which joking about the rape of innocent children is acceptable or excusable. Don’t just take it, dish it out, but always at a higher level than you’re getting it. Rise above, and show everyone outside the media bubble a better way. It won’t stop the attacks — it will, in fact, guarantee that they will get more vicious, more personal, and more deranged. But the more that happens, the more the attackers will vanish into irrelevance. Your enemies have no shame, but they are a minority. Use that.

That’s what I’ve been thinking today. Anyone have further advice for Mrs. Palin?

Cri de coeur

•11 June 2009 • Comments Off on Cri de coeur

I wrote the following letter on April 30th.

Dear D—,

Even while writing this, I’m fighting myself over whether it would be better to shut up and never be heard from again, or if I can actually help by contacting you. If this comes off a bit schizo, please bear with me.

I saw your post about all the “bottles” you have had to deal with, and I was struck by the fear that one (or more) of those might have my name on them. I hope that that fear is wrong. I had hoped, when I learned that you were happily married, that you had finally forgiven yourself and moved on, emotionally.

It is out of fear that some of that guilt still lingers that I write this. Unless there is some way I can actually help, beyond what I’m writing here, then please don’t reply. Your life is better without me in it, I think.

What happened was my fault. OK, not totally and completely, I know that. But at the core, in an essential way, we would never have hurt each other if I had made just one decision differently. You asked for my guidance and my advice, not as a lover, not as your fiancé, but as your best friend. I failed you.

And after that, I kept on failing you. I failed to tell you what I was feeling. I failed to talk with you about how hurt I was. I failed to see how much you were hurting yourself and being hurt by me. I failed to fight for the love of the woman I had pledged my life to.

And, in the end, I failed to be strong when you begged me to stay. I never should have left, I should have stayed and helped you deal with all of the guilt I had put upon you. My only excuse is that I had spent my strength at that point, and had no more.

In leaving you, I was attempting to take as much of the guilt off of you as was possible. I knew that you would blame yourself, but I tried to minimize it as much as I could. Five years later, when I begged your forgiveness, you cannot imagine my reaction when you made it clear that you did not blame me at all, that you were still blaming yourself.

The guilt was never yours, D—. Yes, you made mistakes, bad decisions, and tried to evade the consequences of those decisions. But you never, ever would have done so without my help. All I had to do was say “no”. All of the guilt, all of the pain, the years of misery that followed, all of it was because I didn’t say no.

That is not your fault, and it never was.

I wish and hope that you understand this now. I truly hope that you have understood it for years, and only write this in case you haven’t.

In any case, know that I wish you nothing but happiness, joy and success. You deserve nothing less.


I struggled with myself over sending this, but decided in the end not to. I would have been sending it for myself, not for her. I still crave the forgiveness, or even the condemnation, which I never got. I have been punishing myself for eleven years over how I hurt her (and how I was hurt myself).

But the pain and the guilt will always be with me. I just have to keep living with it, to stop punishing myself quite so much. And maybe to find someone willing to help ease my pain, even if only a little.

I hope she has forgiven herself. I hope she will never know the hells I have gone through.