Wednesday, October 01, 2014

...UNTIL GOLDBERG WRITES SOMETHING ELSE, PART 3,402.

Bucket-footed press critic Jonah Goldberg thinks he's got a hot one:
I must say, there’s something about the way accused White House intruder Omar Gonzalez is constantly described in the media that bothers me. I keep hearing him called “Army veteran Omar Gonzalez.” It’s true he’s an Army veteran. So I’m not disputing the fact.
Oh Jesus.
But I have a little trouble with the relevance. I know there is a cottage industry out there trying to hype up the threat of returning vets as the real source of domestic terrorism (we all remember the DHS-report controversy).
That's why, every time a veteran knocks over a liquor store, the liberal media runs his mugshot next to a picture of Tim McVeigh.
But it’s worth noting that Gonzalez’s alleged motivation was to tell the president the atmosphere is collapsing. In other words, while PTSD — or some other mental defect — may be to blame for his delusions, describing him as “Army veteran Omar Gonzalez” doesn’t really tell us anything about his motivations. It doesn’t fit into the “narrative” save as evidence that he might have PTSD. But to use “Army veteran” as a euphemism for PTSD sufferer is somewhat obscene.
People think Gonzalez might have PTSD because a family member told reporters he had PTSD. His bizarre post-service actions may reflect a madness independent of post traumatic stress disorder, which is why responsible media and public officials have been pretty good about not saying for sure that he has it -- with the understanding that the modifier "responsible" excludes some people, like Howard Kurtz ("The fact that Gonzalez, a war veteran suffering from PTSD, even made it to the door"), Darrell Issa ("...a crazed, solo, knife-wielding veteran with PTSD..."), et alia.

This is why Goldberg is very careful about decoupling his "calling Gonzalez a veteran, though true, is unfair" charge from his charge that something something media PTSD. He's not smart, but he does possess a certain low animal cunning.

Goldberg goes on --
... But compare all this to the coverage of Alton Nolen... He’s never described as “Muslim Alton Nolen” or “Islamic extremist Alton Nolen.” And that’s probably right. But why is Omar Gonzalez not afforded the same standard? In the case of Nolen, I suspect part of the reason is that the press, like the White House, is very reluctant to say anything that might cast aspersions on the larger Muslim community.
This is bullshit. The New York Times, like every other news source on the planet, has told readers the guy is a Muslim. (The Times said "Mr. Nolen is a recent convert to Islam," which is the same thing as saying he's Muslim, unless what you're going for is some sort of pejorative lilt, a la "Dirty Dingus Magee" or "Evil Roy Slade.")

As for calling him “Islamic extremist Alton Nolen," that would be much further out than suggesting Gonzalez might have PTSD -- though (as detailed in my recent Village Voice column, which you really should read or at least click on) there are plenty of media outlets that are not only doing that, but also asserting that Nolen is part of a jihad army, fanning out across the heartland on the orders of some Islamic Mr. Big.

Goldberg's big close:
That’s perfectly defensible (though calling the beheading simple “work place violence” is indefensible Orwellian nonsense).
Nolen went to his workplace and committed violence. Newspeak!
But shouldn’t the larger community of Army vets get at least the same deference?
"Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America" was funny in the movie, Jonah, but as you may have noticed at parties, if you want to be asked back you're gonna need some fresher material.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

LET US CLASP HANDS OVER THE BLOODY CHASM.

Ole Perfesser Glenn Reynolds thinks Obama should pick a Republican for Attorney General because bipartisanship:
Perhaps President Obama — and, for that matter, future presidents — should take a lesson from the way we handle the Department of Defense, and apply it to the Department of Justice: Consider naming someone outside his own party as attorney general... 
Having a Defense secretary from the other party makes war bipartisan, and reassures members of the opposition that the powers of the sword aren't being abused.
Defense -- you mean Chuck Hagel? I remember that confirmation fight -- here are some typically bipartisan Instapundit posts by Glenn Reynolds from that time:
CHUCK HAGEL: “Let the Jews Pay For It.” Related: Obama Expected To Pick Hagel.

WHY IS CHUCK HAGEL STILL IN THE MIX? [quote from Jennifer Rubin screed about Hagel's unacceptable positions, including "poisonous animosity toward the Jewish state."] Personnel is policy. If Obama appoints Hagel, you’ll know what his policy is, regardless of what he says. 
CHUCK HAGEL: It was a war for oil! [quote from Billy Kristol screed about how Hagel's "far left" and "vulgar and disgusting charge" proves he's a peacenik nogoodnik; "Is President Obama really going to nominate this man as secretary of defense?"] Well, really, isn’t Hagel a perfect fit?

SO HOW’D THAT HAGEL HEARING GO? “It is very clear from the testimony that Sen. Hagel will not be bringing the potato salad to the next Mensa picnic.” And that’s from a Democrat... 
DAMAGED GOODS: Hagel's Brand Suffers from Confirmation Battle. I think the original plan was to nominate a Republican who could take the blame for defense cuts — and actions. I don’t think Hagel can fill that role usefully now, even if he’s confirmed.
Etc. After Hagel got in, Reynolds did posts on him like "JAMES TARANTO ON MILITARY JUSTICE: Hagel’s Science of Logic: The Secretary compounds Obama’s unlawful command influence," and "WITH THINGS FALLING APART ALL AROUND THE WORLD, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Is Talking About the NFL. UPDATE: From the comments: 'And even there, he’s punching above his weight.'" That last one, by the way, was from nine days ago.

So yeah, reach out, Obama. The Perfesser's got your back.

Their occasional swinging of the bipartisanship incense pot probably doesn't convince much of anyone anymore, but it's always good to be reminded that our cynicism is amply justified by their mendacity.

Speaking of bullshit, guess who agrees with Reynolds, and in the sort of convoluted language that shows he's hoping no one holds him to it:
I'm not sure I want war to be bipartisan but the idea of a Republican AG would really restart any number of conversations that have stalled out or stopped due to acrimony all around.
Ladies and gentlemen, Nick Gillespie for the libertarians, serving their traditional role in these interparty disputes.

Monday, September 29, 2014

CONSERVATIVE (AND LIBERTARIAN) OUTREACH TO WOMEN IS GOING GREAT, CONT.

Last week I mentioned the  spate of  conservative complaints about Emma Watson's very measured feminist speech at the U.N., which apparently spoiled their bedtime Hermione fantasies. Since then, in Time magazine -- a major outlet of what was once called the Liberal Media, for reasons lost to history -- Cathy Young of Reason has delivered the libertarian response. Guess how that goes?
Sorry, Emma Watson, but HeForShe Is Rotten for Men
Until feminism recognizes discrimination against men, the movement for gender equality will be incomplete.
Lots of weeping about "anti-male biases in the court system," and how if a woman beats up a man (as they frequently do) no one sympathizes, whereas if a guy beats up a chick everyone gets bent out of shape, etc. This pretty much comports with what libertarians usually say about women's rights. I wouldn't be surprised if folks started catching on at last that social issues don't mean as much to libertarians as the transfer of wealth from paupers to the deserving rich.

While his colleagues were raging at Watson, Kevin D. Williamson of National Review kicked it old school with a rant about Lena Dunham. the Brooklyn actress who started driving culture warriors crazy during the 2012 campaign, and whom, despite their protestations of disgust with her tattooed ass, they just cain't quit.

Dunham wrote a pamphlet for Planned Parenthood (or, in Williamson’s view, “a gang of abortion profiteers”) called “5 Reasons Why I Vote (and You Should, Too),” spurring his column-length sputter. Mostly it was about  how voting is stupid (“the most shallow gesture of citizenship there is”) because people with whom he disagrees get to do it (and are only doing so “as an act of self-gratification,” not to get candidates elected) and seem at present to outnumber him and his lunatic fringe. But Williamson managed to stuff unchivalrous comments about Dunham in there, too, and plenty of abortion ravings, including an assertion that women have abortions out of a “desire to fit nicely into a prom dress."  "FWIW, I've been dumping of democracy/voting fetishization for almost two decades," cheered Jonah Goldberg in response.

Later Williamson went on Twitter to tell people that women who had abortions should be hanged as murderers. The boy will go far.

Our favorite stray ladyragebit, though, is a line from Bryan Preston at PJ Media. Angered to learn that Alicia Keys was appearing naked for some social justice thing, Preston seethed, “She and the [New York] Times see this as ‘empowering.’ Is it empowering that an insanely successful woman and mother believes that getting naked before the entire world is the best way to draw attention to her cause? Or is it just plain old attention-whoring from her, and sucking up to leftwing celebrities from the New York Times?” Fucking bitches, with their whoring and sucking! 

“Yet here she is,” sneered Preston, “being all empowered. Naked, to push for gun control.” And now, his piece de resistance:
Try confronting an Islamist madman like this.
Message discipline is message discipline -- squads of headchoppers roam America's streets! Even in the midst of ladyrage, there's always time to pick on Muslims.  

Sunday, September 28, 2014

NEW VILLAGE VOICE COLUMN UP...

...about Alton Nolan, the mad jihadist of Moore, Oklahoma. The idea this guy is just a nut who happens to be Muslim seems to elude the brethren, who affect to believe that Nolan's attack on his ex-workplace means Oklahoma is now crawling with ISIS sleeper cells. Well, maybe it'll give the boys on the range something to talk about, though I suspect they're too smart to fall for it.

UPDATE. In comments, randomworker: "Now, if someone was selling (at flea markets out of the back of their Impala station wagon) a semi-automatic beheader that could behead up to 20 people before needing a reload, I imagine the bedwetters would be calling for some kind of regulation on that device!"

Friday, September 26, 2014

FRIDAY ROUND-THE-HORN.

•   Though it's been days since Emma Watson's perfectly sensible feminist speech at the U.N., willful misunderstandings keep rolling in from our conservative brothers and sisters. There are, as you would expect, the usual blarhars from local oafs: Watson "hopped on the misogyny-patriarchy-rape-train," says Phil Elmore at WorldNetDaily; Breitbart's Milo Yiannopoulos yammers on about Watson's "figure-hugging overcoat" and "ten-thousand dollar outfits, with jackets cut perfectly to accentuate every curve of her body," apparently to make clear that the bitch is asking for it. But some conservatives put a little spin on their spin, so to speak,  portraying Watson's speech itself as anti-feminist. When Watson said, "Fighting for women's rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. Feminism, by definition, is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities," Rush Limbaugh pounced: "Right there she's telling you, feminism, as she learned it, means man-hating, means men are the enemy, means men are predators, rapists, brutes, purse snatchers, muggers and all that." "EMMA WATSON CONCEDES WOMEN 'ARE CHOOSING NOT TO IDENTIFY AS FEMINISTS,'" headlined Breitbart's Tony Lee. Etc. The weirdest bit so far, though, comes from Heather Wilhelm at The Federalist:
...[Watson said,] “I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body.” (Here, of course, was a bout of wild applause.) “I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decisions that will affect my life.” (Good thing all women think the same!)
In other words, the leftists who hijacked feminism have twisted it to be about female autonomy and basic human rights, whereas it used to be all about the music. They musta got that from Alinsky!

•   As near as I can figure this out: Katy Waldman wrote a column objecting to an A.J. Delgado column about how women make up rape accusations. Later Cathy Young also published a column about how women make up rape accusations. Brendon Bordelon finds the liberal hypocrisy: All three columns appeared at Slate! Thus:
Slate Attacks NR for ‘Crying Rape’ Column, Then Uses Exact Same Headline Months Later
Slate could avoid this sort of thing by not publishing Delgado or Young, both of whom are incredibly awful wingnuts, but then by the rules of conservative victimhood that'd be censoring/oppressing them. You can't win (except in elections).

•   Grim laughs from the American Enterprise Institute (catch the byline):

Whereas Yoo refused to obey the Geneva Conventions, and has no regrets at all. Every time I see that man's name, I get the same feeling that comes over me when the narrator at the end of A Man For All Seasons tells us Richard Rich died in his bed.

•   To me, it's not even so much that Ilya Shapiro compared Eric Holder to George Wallace -- "please proceed, wingnut" is usually my reaction to something like that -- but more that he (or his editor, assuming despite appearances that he has one) removed the reference without acknowledging it. Come on, buddy, you've deprived us of a perfectly hilarious explanation.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

ANNALS OF THE CULTURE WAR, PART 91,048,281.

New! At libertarian flagship Reason:

Lost is all about challenging authority and seeking a non-coercive way to live together. Libertarians don't need to claim the show as theirs exclusively, but they should at least recognize it as friendly to their outlook.
But by then everyone had left because it was a nice day outside, and he smelled.

Also new! From Nick Gillespie at The Daily Beast:


Between this and their hundreds of articles about millennials, tomorrow belongs to them. Prepare yourselves for the ice floes, statist seniors!

UPDATE. sharculese, in comments: "You know what else Lost is about? Ten years old, now."

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

TEMPEST IN A TEACUP.

You have probably seen the fauxtrage over Obama saluting Marines with a cup of tea in his hand. Power Line's Paul Mirengoff, for example, declares it "speaks volumes about President Obama, not only concerning his underlying disdain for our military, but also as regards basic decency." He also claims he knew "a lawyer who was badly wounded serving in Iraq" who was also offended. Why he didn't call up the veterans who were turned away from the WWII Memorial during the government shutdown and get their opinion I'll never know.

My favorite coverage so far is that of Debra Heine of Breitbart.com.  First, this:
Not seeing a problem, the president's aides published the video on his Instagram account.
Assuming no one has caved yet and issued an apology, good for the White House. Better still, Heine feels the need to explain why the outrage is such an outrage, which works as well as you'd expect:
ABC excused the sloppy salute, saying, "while it is protocol for U.S. service members in uniform to salute the commander in chief, it’s not required for a civilian president to salute back, military experts say." 
Ronald Reagan is said to have begun the practice back in 1981. 
Whether or not it's "protocol" to do something that has been the practice for over 30 years, it is official protocol to execute a salute properly.
Then she quotes noted military expert Neil Munro on how to execute a salute properly. I believe in the military, and elsewhere, this is known as picking corn out of shit.

UPDATE. There is nothing on earth, no matter how awful, that cannot be made worse by a column from Andrew Fucking Malcolm.
The military salute is a simple hand gesture but loaded with tradition, honor, symbolism and packed with respect, both given and returned. It began in the days of chivalry when knights would raise their right hand approaching other knights to show they had no weapon unsheathed.
Obama's disrespectful not only of Our Fighting Men, but also those of bygone eras. Zoom in on a single tear running down the face of Genghis Khan.
And both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have had trouble with the salute. Clinton because his first-term salutes were sloppy and awkward.
In his second term, Monica Lewinsky helped Bill snap to attention. Hey-yo!
By definition, all presidential gestures -- physical or verbal -- are loaded with extra significance. George Washington, for instance, refused to shake hands as beneath his dignity. Thomas Jefferson thought such gestures a welcome sign of democracy among countrymen. 
Today, American politicians shake so many hands, they must at times soak theirs in ice to stem the swelling. Chief executives use their gestures to advantage, waving or pointing into crowds where hundreds will recall the gesture was directed at them.
To the extent this means anything besides "have I hit my word count yet," this suggests that Presidential gestures are heavy weapons, and Obama is wantonly misusing them like Mapache with the gatling gun in The Wild Bunch. Probably doesn't ice his hands properly after handshaking, either. Make sure to get that in the Bill of Impeachment!

Oh, and extra hack points for "former Navy officer Ronald Reagan."