Tuesday, February 28, 2012

NEW FRONTIERS IN DOUCHEBAGGERY. Here's a guy at the Daily Caller who wants to fix it so you can only use food stamps to buy low-quality shit in packages designed to look ugly.
There should be humiliation and pain in government assistance. Every time someone accepts food stamps, they are spitting on the principles of independence, and they, not the taxpayers who fund the program, should be reminded of that fact.
He also seems to think that you can currently buy cigarettes and beer with food stamps.

There's no getting around it anymore: Everything you ever thought about conservatives, no matter how uncharitable, is true.
THE HARD BIGOTRY OF LOW EXPECTATIONS. The sad thing about the Santorum snob comment is, I can imagine a society where you don't have to have a college degree to have dignity and the prospect of a decent life -- because I was born into that society, and I've seen it under assault for years, as manufacturing jobs are pissed away and unions are busted by people who portray themselves as champions of the working class.

So I'd like to believe Santorum was trying to get to a sensible point about this, and just had the usual trouble expressing himself. But this is clearly not the case. From Robert Costa's tongue-bath at National Review:
"The last I checked, about a third of the people in this country have a college degree,” [Republican operative] Musgrave says. Santorum’s remark, she says, connects with voters who are skeptical of Obama’s emphasis on higher education, which is a costly endeavor for many families and unnecessary for many workers...

[Campaign advisor] Brabender acknowledges that Santorum’s jibes may not be warmly received by reporters or by every voter. But he does not expect Santorum to back away from calling Obama a snob or touting the benefits of growing the economy in ways that do not revolve around academic credentials.

“What Obama and Romney do not understand is that there is a lot of passion and anger out there,” Brabender says. “There is a sense that our basic freedoms are being destroyed. People are gravitating around somebody who is not shy, who stands up and says what they really believe.”
This is how you talk when you have propaganda instead of a policy. These people have no coherent plan for restoring a blue-collar economy except trickle-down bullshit draped in moldy populism.  They yelled when Obama bailed out Detroit and saved the kind of jobs they claim to honor, and propose to replace this approach with tax cuts and "passion and anger."

Refresh my memory: Who are the class warriors, again?

Monday, February 27, 2012

THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT. Luke Thompson was hoping I'd do something on rightbloggers slagging the Oscars. Sadly I'm too busy to pick corn out of that particular shit, but this bit from one of the crazy fucks at HillBuzz ought to be enough for anyone:
Last night I recorded the broadcast, and later I watched small snips of it, fast-forwarding through 95% of it and just stopping at a few of the winning announcements:
Actress: The winner: Meryl Streep for a role that made Margaret Thatcher look like a senile old woman rather than the magnificent world leader she was and is
Foreign Film: nominees from Israel, Belgium, Canada, Iran, and Poland. The winner: IRAN
Supporting Actress: nominees were 4 white women and 1 black woman. The winner: the black woman
Supporting Actor: The winner: Christopher Plummer for playing an older man who comes out as gay later in life.
I reiterate that I have not seen most of these films.
The whole thing's a treasure, especially when she does the "You Hollyweird lieberals are so 'courageous,' here's what would be really courageous" schtick -- in my humble opinion, as well as it's ever been done:
Here’s what I believe would have been courageous: And entire Oscar broadcast without one snarky remark about Republicans, conservatives, family values, Christians or Jews. Beginning the show with the Pledge of Allegiance. Or an invocation. Having a singer sing the National Anthem. Giving free front row seats to members of the United States Military, veterans, wounded warriors, family of troops currently serving in harm’s way. Creating an “American Patriot” award, analogous to the Lifetime Achievement awards they present to someone who has had a long, illustrious career in Hollywood. [I would nominate Gary Sinise for this]...
Don't dream it, honey, be it. I believe Rick Santorum's got an old barn in Bucks County. Let's put on a show!

UPDATE. Right up there with this cowgirl are some crazy fucks from Iran, in their celebration of the A Separation win for Best Foreign Film. Talk about sore winners:
Iran hailed the country's first Oscar-winning film as a triumph over arch-foe Israel on Monday... 
A state TV broadcast said the award succeeded in "leaving behind" a film from Israel. Javad Shamaghdari, head of the state Cinematic Agency, portrayed the Oscar win as the "beginning of the collapse" of Israeli influence that "beats the drum of war" in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Wow -- movies really are magic!

THE HORROR: Pakistanis Desecrate Holy Korans in Smelly Sewage Ditch (Video).

Like black people saying “Nigger,” it’s okay when they do it.
I used to hear this one a lot on the playground, but I think even the dimmer kids realized it wasn't folk wisdom by the time they reached 9th grade. If the election doesn't go his way, maybe the Perfesser will haul out the one about fucking dogs to make hippies.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

NEW VOICE COLUMN UP, wrapping three weeks of rightblogger sex madness. Probably have to do it again in another three weeks.
I'D LIKE TO THANK THE ACADEMY. I didn't see much of anything from 2011, but I do this every year regardless of qualifications, so here goes nothin'.

I will add that I saw The Artist recently and was very charmed, especially at the beginning. What great style, and what a lovely performance from Jean Dujardin as Valentin -- he embodies the star power beautifully, as well as the easy grace with which he dispenses it; his descent is believable, as is the humanity it brings out -- the scene in which he dismisses his driver is just about my favorite thing in the movie. But I have to agree with the people who say they liked it better when it was Singin' in the Rain. After a while the seriousness with which Valentin's downfall is treated annoyed me. The filmmakers had the tools, and the stylistic opportunity, to take it in the direction of King Vidor circa The Crowd, or Josef von Sternberg circa The Salvation Hunters. But they didn't; the Valentin agon was just a sad story, kicked along with cheap tricks rather than by character transformation. I think they were counting on Valentin's relationship with Peppy Miller to elevate it but, after a promising beginning, I couldn't see why it existed except as a vehicle for redemption. I missed the breezy confidence with which the adventure started. Though that is a nice dance at the end, and the dog is very cute.

Okay, the picks:

Best Picture: Hugo
Best Actor: George Clooney, The Descendants
Best Actress: Viola Davis, The Help
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Best Director: Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Best Original Screenplay: Midnight in Paris
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Descendants
Best Animated Feature: Rango
Best Cinematography: Robert Richardson, Hugo
Best Art Direction: The Artist
Best Costume Design: Hugo
Best Documentary Feature: Pina
Best Documentary Short: Incident in New Baghdad
Best Film Editing: Moneyball
Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation
Best Makeup: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Best Original Score: The Artist
Best Song: Man or Muppet
Best Animated Short: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Best Live Short: Time Freak
Best Sound Editing: War Horse
Sound Mixing: Moneyball
Best Visual Effects: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

UPDATE. 8:40 -- Holy shit, this show sucks. 

UPDATE 2. I'm 1 for 1!

UPDATE 3. This isn't Chuck Workman, is it? I see film history began in 1968 now.

UPDATE 4. Urgh, I lose.

UPDATE 5. More celebs yakking on film. I see now why movies suck -- the people who make them have absolutely wretched taste.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

SHORTER ROD DREHER. This gay guy moved from the country to the city, he says, and one day he came back and told his mother he was gay, and she has snubbed him ever since. How dare he!

UPDATE. Dreher, in his own comments section: "I imagine most people who read this guy’s article will think of his mother as a hateful bigot. That seems wrong to me, even if she is rightly thought of as a bigot." Later: "For all we know, he flew into town and used a big family occasion to make this announcement, and caused a huge row." I've heard more than one queen say he was crazy about gay men, but none of them was as crazy about them as Brother Rod.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

TONIGHT'S DEBATE. Except for Ron Paul they seem to have forgotten all about Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet they're eager to go to war with Iran.

The debacles of 2006 and 2008 were rougher on them than I thought. The Republican Party clearly suffers from a traumatic brain injury.

Are they going to have another one of these things? Then they should start by booing John King for 20 minutes for asking about birth control when it's clearly irrelevant to the Presidency, then spend 70 minutes talking about birth control and its irrelevance to the Presidency. Then, if there's time, Oscar predictions!
ICD-10 QUESTION. Anybody know anything interesting about the planned implementation delay in the ICD-10 medical coding standard? Comments if you like, my email for deep background.

Hate to bleg, but I'm asking for a friend, by which I mean a paying customer.
SHORTER HEATHER MAC DONALD. Since marriage makes people rich, it stands to reason that when there is no more marriage, everyone will live in the ghetto.

(This does not, of course, apply to Katie Roiphe or to homosexuals.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

SHORTER RICH LOWRY: Democrats are constantly telling people what Rick Santorum said. It's so unfair.

UPDATE. I mean, come on:
The former Pennsylvania senator criticized the president’s environmentalism as representative of a “phony theology.” The press snipped the remark out of the context...
Out of context! How can that be out of context? That's like saying you can't appreciate the pyrotechnic qualities of the Challenger disaster if you insist on focusing on the people who died in it.

UPDATE 2. commie atheist asks in comments, "Didn't Newt Gingrich already do that 'if you quote my exact words I will call you a liar' thing already?" Yeah. It occurs to me that Santorum is pretty Gingrichesque -- he regurgitates tropes from the right-blogosphere that sound great to the initiates but fill normal people with horror and contempt, and he has no sense of responsibility for what he's said.

His backers are no better. The Drudge Report committed the sin of repeating some heretofore unknown crazy thing Santorum said, and look at how they've reacted:

It's like they're not merely detached from reality, but hermetically sealed off from it.

Monday, February 20, 2012

FATHERS OF LIES. Kathryn Jean Lopez said something weird today -- yeah, I know, what else is new, but it struck me funny:
Internationally, this administration has been arguing for freedom of worship instead of freedom of religion. That’s not just semantics.
So I went and looked it up. Apparently this was a big rightwing thing back in 2010 (I don't see how I missed it; maybe I'm getting too old for this game): The more Jesusy conservatives (and Fox News) were then telling the world that Obama and his handmaiden Hillary Clinton had stopped using the words "freedom of religion" and started using the words "freedom of worship," in order to usher in a new age where people could pray all they liked but they couldn't go to the park, wave their Bibles at young fornicators and yell, "Howl ye, for the day of judgement is at hand," because Obama is Your God Now or something -- here, let one of those crazy fuckers who's still running this scam explain it to you himself:
The reason is simple. Any person of faith knows that religious exercise is about a lot more than freedom of worship. It’s about the right to dress according to one’s religious dictates, to preach openly, to evangelize, to engage in the public square. Everyone knows that religious Jews keep kosher, religious Quakers don’t go to war, and religious Muslim women wear headscarves—yet “freedom of worship” would protect none of these acts of faith.
Those who would limit religious practice to the cathedral and the home are the very same people who would strip the public square of any religious presence. They are working to tear down roadside memorial crosses built to commemorate fallen state troopers in Utah, to strip “Under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance, and they recently stopped a protester from entering an art gallery because she wore a pro-life pin.
Thin end of the wedge! Soon the sheeple will be so lulled by the incantation of "freedom of worship," they'll forget all about freedom of religion, and when Obama turns their churches into gay abortion bathhouses they won't remember why they're supposed to be upset.

It's all bullshit, of course -- Right Wing Watch did us all the favor of looking up all Obama's mentions of F of R, and found them numerous, decisively outpacing his mentions of F of W.

But being full of shit never stopped them before. And why should it? Now they've got a new spokesmodel for their madness:
Referring to the Obama administration, Santorum said: "You can see why they don't stand up for religious liberties. It's pretty obvious that they don't think religious liberties are particularly a high priority. When you have the president of the United States referring to the freedom of religion and you have the secretary of State referring to the freedom of religion, not as the freedom of religion but the freedom of worship, you should get very nervous, very nervous. 
"Because there's a lot of tyrants around the world who will talk about freedom of worship, but they won't talk about freedom of religion. Freedom of worship is what you do within the four walls of the church. Freedom of religion is what you do outside the four walls of the church. What the president is now seeming to mold, in the image of other elitists who think that they know best, is to limit the role of faith in the public square and your role to live that faith out in your public and private lives..."
People sometimes wonder aloud why Santorum has been saying so many absurd things lately. I'm becoming convinced that he's too busy campaigning to make up his own remarks anymore, or even think about what he's saying, and so is just taking handoffs from staff who comb the fringe right blogs and Opus Dei newsletters for material that suits his image as a hardass religious conservative.

Maybe he's as horrified as we are when he sees himself on the news later -- "I said what? OK, that's the last time we use copy from First Things!" At least it pleases me to think so. Maybe by the time we get to Super Tuesday he'll be cadging lines from Father Coughlin and Cotton Mather.

(Edited for clarity.)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

NEW VOICE COLUMN UP, about that Virginia transvaginal wanding thing and the rightbloggers who love it.  I guess the headline at Glenn Beck's The Blaze sort of sums up their argument: "IF STATE-REQUIRED ULTRASOUND IS ‘INVASIVE’, WHAT DO WOMEN EXPECT OF THE ACTUAL ABORTION PROCEDURE?" As I've observed before, the whole concept of consent seems to elude them.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

ADDENDUM. A day late, sorry, but because I hate to think that in the event of JS-Kit's demise we would lose Michael Bérubé's epic response to my plea for analysis of young Mr. Poulos' recent article on the lady problem, it is reproduced here:
Thank you for summoning me, Mr. Edroso! Though in the future I would prefer that you use the MLA "President-signal," a powerful beam that casts the silhouette of Edward Said over the cityscape of Manhattan (don't ask how. No, really, don't.)

I have determined, on the basis of my thirty years of advanced (and, on occasion, national-security seekrit) literary study, that Mr. Poulos' work is indeed modern, perhaps on the very cusp of the post-modern. To wit, forthwith, and without further ado, my textual evidence:

To the growing discomfort of many, that framework hasn’t come anywhere close to answering even the most basic questions about what women are for — despite pretty much universal recognition across the political spectrum that a civilization of men, for men, and by men is no civilization at all, a monstrously barbaric, bloody, and brutal enterprise. Given the existence as uttered forth in the public works of Puncher and Wattmann of a personal God quaquaquaqua with white beard quaquaquaqua outside time without extension who from the heights of divine apathia a few inherently meaningful implications about what women are for flow naturally from this wise and enduring consensus, but no faction of conservatives or liberals has figured out how to fully grasp, translate, and reconcile them in the context of our political life it is established beyond all doubt what many deny that man in Possy of Testew and Cunard that man in Essy that man in short that man in brief in spite of the strides of alimentation and defecation wastes and pines wastes and pines and concurrently simultaneously ironically, one of the best places to look for a way out of the impasse is the strain of left feminism that insists an inherently unique female “voice” actually exists that’s a claim about nature what is more for reasons unknown in spite of the strides of physical culture the practice of sports such as tennis football running cycling swimming flying floating riding gliding conating camogie skating tennis of all kinds dying flying sports of all sorts autumn summer winter winter tennis of all kinds hockey of all sorts penicillin and succedanea much good would come from a broader recognition that women have a privileged relationship with the natural world. That’s a relationship which must receive its social due — if masculinity in its inherent and imitative varieties (including imitation by quasi-feminized males of quasi-masculinized females!) is not to conquer the world.

Honestly, Roy, I think this pretty much speaks for itself. Modern, postmodern -- it speaks to us all.
I don't know about you, but I feel much improved by Professor B's address. We should have him at the Lyceum more often.

Tbogg got on this, and also noticed Poulos' follow-up. I refer you to SEK of Lawyers Guns & Money for a close read of that -- I only note Poulos' close:
If my claim is doomed to be met with an avalanche of contempt, it seems likely that in our lifetimes social conservatism as we know it will be mocked, despised, and shamed right out of existence. 
Hot diggity damn!
You might be deeply uncomfortable with that even if you do hope to see an America without a social conservative movement.
It would cut into my sources of material, but in this ObamaHitler Socialist Republic we all must make sacrifices for the greater good. Plus there'll always be something to mock, despise, and shame; it's not like Jonah Goldberg retired.

Friday, February 17, 2012

HOW HAS THE LEFT OPPRESSED YOU TODAY? asks James Taranto, reacting to conservative columnists who don't like Rick Santorum:
In liberal metropolises like Los Angeles, Washington and New York (homes of [Conor] Friedersdorf, [Jennifer] Rubin and this columnist, respectively), a high proportion of conservatives have internalized the assumptions of feminism. One of those assumptions is that female sexual freedom, an essential component of sexual equality, is an unadulterated good. Santorum's statements to the contrary challenge this deeply held view.
Similarly, black activists/poverty pimps talk about black people's social freedom as if it were an unadulterated good. But intelligent people can disagree!
Furthermore, contemporary feminism is, as we recently argued, a totalitarian ideology, by which we mean one that tolerates no divergence between the personal and the political. If you are not a feminist, you can enjoy a lifestyle of sexual freedom and also take seriously the idea that sexual freedom is bad for society. If you are a feminist, that is a thoughtcrime.
People who have read 1984 but haven't kept up with rightwing theology may wonder how this thoughtcrime is punished. Does Big Feminism run the boardrooms and factory floors, and are offending non-feminists fired from their jobs and forced to live in shanties in Butchtown?

No. In real life, the answer is: They are sometimes made fun of for obvious hypocrisy. It's their Room 101!

It figures that Taranto has confused "laughing at your ridiculous arguments" with totalitarianism. The crazy, misogynistic shit they're forced to defend in these days of Surging Santorum has made them so ridiculous, it must feel like torture.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

THAT'S WHAT THE NEW BREED SAY. James Poulos, a promising young rightwing intellectual, breaks it down:
In a simpler time Sigmund Freud struggled to understand what women want. Today the significant battle is over what women are for.
I'm going to make a wild guess and predict: On the one side, babies and Jesus, and on the other side, sterility, plus maybe careers, soft drugs, Tumblr, and kittens.
None of our culture warriors are anywhere close to settling the matter. The prevailing answer is the non-answer, a Newt-worthy challenge to the premise that insists the real purpose of women is nothing in particular.
I'm liking my odds thus far.
If the conservative movement’s nominal unity is actually belied by a stunning range of right-wing views on the status and purpose of women (and believe me, it is), the left’s alleged philosophical uniformity on the woman question is a complete fabrication — despite the fanatical discipline and norm-enforcement of much of the liberal cultural establishment.
I'm not expecting to hear an actual explanation of this "stunning range" of conservative opinions of what women should be -- maybe it has to do with this idiotic CPAC slutwear debate -- but I am eager to hear about "the left's alleged philosophical uniformity."
The purpose of lifting the left’s Potemkin skirts is not to score tits for tats.

Let me shorten things up: careworn liberal consensus blah blah Sandra Day O’Connor blah blah Planned Parenthood v. Casey blah blah suffering of the crucified Christ. OK, onward:
Lurking beneath this procedural non-judgmentalism was a stubbornly conspicuous judgmental end. Roe couldn’t be overturned, the plurality argued, because Americans might think the Supreme Court was bending to public pressure. The court’s solution was to bend to the public reality that millions of women had altered what it meant to be a woman — and what status that meaning conferred — by having or supporting abortions. On the bogus theory that all linear change is progress, the plurality embraced the immoderate view that a descent into barbarism is impossible.
I can only extrapolate from these bits of rightwing cuneiform that women's insistence on having abortions is commandeering the meaning of What Women Ought To Be from the people who by right should be deciding it: Male public policy dorks.
Continued on Page 2 >>
Oh shit.
Today, the left is increasingly torn between old-school modern liberals who think like O’Connor and new-school postmodern liberals who find their cognitive elders in thrall to a haute-bourgeois conventionality that the deep premises of their own thought seem to strip of authority.
OK, I get that the O'Connor team hearts abortions, but what's the postmodern crew about?
So postmodern Cynthia Nixon, who used to be straight but now isn’t, tells The New York Times Sunday Magazine exactly what establishment liberals don’t want to hear when it comes to the sexual politics of women — “you don’t get to define my gayness for me.”
Gasp! He's onto us! This was all the liberals at my liberal cocktail parties have been talking about all week -- the crack in the aborto-haute-bourgeois facade represented by Cynthia fucking Nixon.
Nixon was swiftly accused by the left’s cultural policemen of “aiding and abetting bigots and bashers.”
I may be old-fashioned, but it seems to me you oughtn't use the plural of "basher" when you're talking about one guy, particularly one who added, "it might be wise if Nixon articulated her feelings in a more thoughtful way that would not lead to LGBT youth stuck in Bible Belt communities ending up in 'ex-gay' boot camps." Call me childish-foolish, but I have a hunch deviation from liberal orthodoxy was not high on his list of concerns.
Reihan Salam
Oh Jesus Christ.
has hinted that typically left-wing implications of academic theories like “erotic capital,” including mainstreaming prostitution, point in directions quite at odds with the dominant but failing framework of liberal sexual politics.
I have seen Poulos in the flesh; I know he gets around. Yet to read this anyone would be tempted to imagine he'd been imprisoned in a faculty lounge since infancy. At union demonstrations against Scott Walker, the brethren would only be talking about "erotic capital" if it were the name of a strip joint in Madison.
To the growing discomfort of many, that framework hasn’t come anywhere close to answering even the most basic questions about what women are for — despite pretty much universal recognition across the political spectrum that a civilization of men, for men, and by men is no civilization at all, a monstrously barbaric, bloody, and brutal enterprise. A few inherently meaningful implications about what women are for flow naturally from this wise and enduring consensus, but no faction of conservatives or liberals has figured out how to fully grasp, translate, and reconcile them in the context of our political life. 
Ironically, one of the best places to look for a way out of the impasse is the strain of left feminism that insists an inherently unique female “voice” actually exists. That’s a claim about nature. Much good would come from a broader recognition that women have a privileged relationship with the natural world. That’s a relationship which must receive its social due — if masculinity in its inherent and imitative varieties (including imitation by quasi-feminized males of quasi-masculinized females!) is not to conquer the world.
Pardon me, I realize this (thankfully closing) section is long, but I have included it because I have something I wanted to ask about it:

What the fuck is he talking about?

Seriously. I'm not very well educated, and half drunk most of the time, but I do know how to read, and I swear to God I have no idea what he's saying. I don't know how "a civilization of men, for men, and by men" relates to anything else he said. I don't know what he means by women's "privileged relationship with the natural world," unless my browser has failed to show me the picture of a lady sniffing a purty flower that was supposed to explain it. And as to "imitation by quasi-feminized males of quasi-masculinized females," it sounds like Archie Bunker had one of those Flowers for Algernon operations.

MLA President Michael Bérubé, I know you read this thing -- help a blogger out. Is it modern?

(h/t Tbogg)
NOT EXACTLY JESUITICAL. In case you were wondering whether the Catholic Church really wants to get rid of birth control, here's what the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops came up with at the Congressional hearings today:
The bishops say that the White House’s proposal for insurance companies to directly pay for and provide contraception to the employees of Catholic universities and hospitals and other religiously affiliated institutions couldn’t work because “the cost of providing those service are born some place.” The Catholic Church opposes most forms of birth control.
Guess the new Magisterium says that if anybody pays for contraception, it's a reverse Inquisition.

At National Review, where they've all gone coo-coo for contraception, attend the ravings of Andrew C. McCarthy:
First, the Left is getting away with saying that religious organizations want to deny coverage for birth control. That is sheer idiocy. As I contended in last weekend’s column, contraceptives and abortifacients are cheap, cheap, cheap in this country. If there were enough months in the year, you could have two second-trimester abortions for less than I spend on pizza — to say nothing of flat-screen TVs, iPods, X-boxes and the scores of other extravagances that the “poor” in America manage to score without government mandates. What we are talking about here is not walling people off from birth-control — condoms will still be free in New York City, the pill will still set you back less than $4 per week, and so on. 
So, to recap: The proof that the Catholic Church doesn't want to deny birth control coverage is that "poor" people get all the good electronics plus birth control, and Andrew C. McCarthy spends a surprising amount on pizza (perhaps because he has it specially delivered by Gitmo slaves just for the lulz).

Why are we acting as if these people even have an argument, again?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

SHE ENJOYED IT. I thought we'd have to wait for the general election for this kind of thing, but here comes Daniel Foster at National Review with a defense of Mitt Romney strapping that dog to the roof of his car:
See, some people think that Romney’s decision, 20 years ago, to strap his Irish Setter (ensconced in a canine travel crate) to the roof of his station wagon during a family trip was an act of animal cruelty. Was it? Depends on the dog. I can certainly think of some dogs who would be terrified of such a prospect. Others — including pooches I have known who favor riding in the front seat with fully half their body out the open window, jowels aflap — would probably find it exhilarating.
Later Foster affects to find carrying a small dog in a protester's papoose inhumane. Maybe his physical universe has different properties than the one the rest of us inhabit.

Expect this to become a conservative thing; for example, the new vaginal wanding forced on abortion patients in Virginia will be explained as an act of kindness because women who want abortions are all sluts who probably like dildos.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

THE WAR ON VALENTINE'S DAY. Did you see that cute Google doodle today? Didn't that sixth-of-a-screen, nano-seconds long image of two gay men ruin it for you, like it did for Tim Graham?
The animation’s finish includes a half-dozen tiles featuring various ”couples,” including an astronaut and an alien; a dog and a cat; and a frog and a prince, reported the Post's Michael Cavna. "Some early viewers of the Doodle wondered whether the tile featuring two tuxedoed men holding hands would stir any controversy." Says the animator, Michael Lipman: “I think Google was pretty aware of everybody in those final squares and they decided [them] with purpose.” 
Gay advocates would likely claim that the cartoon before the end is awfully "heteronormative." Perhaps they'll complain that they don't like to be compared to love between an astronaut and a space alien.
I don't know what's sadder here: NewsBuster Graham's eagerness to show us that, oh no, the gayness wasn't sneaked in by stoned animators behind their bosses' backs but approved by the Google Central Committee; or the "gay advocates would likely claim" bit, apparently meant to exempt Graham from charges of bigotry on the grounds that the homosexuals in his head are totally bigoted against something ha ha joke (commonly known as the Goldberg Maneuver).

I predict this becomes the next big social conservative thing: Liberals, having previous ruined Valentine's Day with vaginas, are now double-ruining it by promoting sexual behaviors outside the approval range of Ludwig Von Mises. Wachet auf! 

UPDATE. In comments, Michael Bérubé catches the "frog and a prince" bit, and reacts: "You thought Tim could watch that little cartoon without thinking man-on-frog? You were wrong." Man on frog! Now you know how that slope got so slippery.

Oh and hey, Michael, congratulations on the MLA Presidency. Use your powers only for good, however much you're tempted.

UPDATE 2. Steve M. sinks the hook shot.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

NEW VOICE COLUMN UP, about this whole stupid birth control thing. Their latest argument seems to be that because insurers will use money paid to them by Catholics to finance birth control benefits, it's a violation of religious freedom. I had no idea they were so fastidious about where their money went. Prada better watch its investments or Ratzinger may switch designers.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

WHERE THEY'RE COMING FROM. I see National Review has gone coo-coo for contraception coverage. Andrew C. McCarthy takes time off from his usual torture advocacy to steer the conversation into surrealism -- from making Catholic hospitals offer employees health insurance that includes birth control pills (triple Hitler to the beliggerati, a big yawn to even most Catholics) to a late-term abortion bill from years past which has nothing to do with what's going on now. McCarthy quotes his own long-ago attempt to scare people off voting for Obama, hoping in the heat of the present Pillmania it will rattle some bones:
Infanticide is a bracing word. But in this context, it’s the only word that fits. Obama heard the testimony of a nurse, Jill Stanek. She recounted how she’d spent 45 minutes holding a living baby left to die.
Hold on a minute -- Jill Stanek? Here's a sample of how Stanek's been keeping body and soul together since then: Waving dismembered fetus photos at Jimmy Kimmel.
The youth pro-life activist group Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust is picketing comedian Jimmy Kimmel's Los Angeles home as I type (read to end) and will be picketing his studio on Hollywood Blvd later today. 
The group is demanding an apology, and here's why.... 
On June 25 the Survivors were holding a Face the Truth event in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Blvd (click photos to enlarge).... 
A Kimmel crew showed up to film a stunt across the street from the Survivors. You can see their light set-up and intended direction of the shoot in the photo, right (click to enlarge). 
But at some point the crew became aggravated by the pro-life activists because they refused to move along and turned one of the hot spotlights on Survivor Ryan Bueler... 
Bueler refused to move and for 15 minutes there was a stand-off, during which time a bracelet he was wearing and his sign were partially melted, although he escaped uncooked. 
The police were called, and of course they arrested a pro-lifer, Survivors founder Jeff White...
All inappropriate typography and ellipses in the original. (Follow-up here.) This is the sort of nutcake who's trying to control this debate, and with the help of dopes like Chris Matthews they may pull it off.

It's almost heartbreaking to consider what a fine country this could be if we weren't in the habit of treating babbling lunatics as if they represented anyone besides other babbling lunatics.

UPDATE. Thanks to commenter wjts for providing some background on that 2002 "Born Alive" bill via RH Reality Check.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

ALLOW ME TO EXPLAIN. Jazz Shaw tries the Because of The Hypocrisy schtick:
...here’s a video of the President explaining his position to clearly skeptical gay marriage rights activists. I mean, he’s not against gays having equal rights. He just doesn’t want them getting married.
Let me field this one: Obama was lying. Because the woods are still full of mouth-breathing douchebags like you and he didn't  have time to mess with them. And that turned out to be the smart move: Now he's President, people are getting with marriage equality,  and Prop 8's on its way to the ash heap of history. Maybe next year this time, we'll have White House Pride Day rainbow parties for which the CoC will oil up and get down while you wallflowers are whining about the hypocrisy of it all.

Happy Gay Day, asshole!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

HISTORY REPEATING. A new rightwing pennysaver, the Washington Free Beacon, has debuted, and the introductory essay by Matthew Continetti catches perfectly the tone of modern conservatism: an endless mobius-strip mood-swing from triumphalism to persecution mania and back again.
Antipathy between the right and the establishment press was of course not new. The animosity has deep roots. The decades after World War II had seen journalism transformed from a blue-collar to a white-collar profession.
Things were fine when it was all Ida Tarbell and George Seldes.
The postwar journalists who came of age in the late ’60s or early ’70s saw themselves not only as reporters but also as devoted servants of truth and adversaries of authority. Happy coincidence for them that the country’s president at the time was a Texas Democrat overseeing a liberal establishment which was losing confidence in itself and in its country. The striving and conniving moderate Republican Richard Nixon was no more likely than Johnson to win the journalists’ affections. The media campaign against the Vietnam War and the presidency of Nixon was relentless—and successful.
So... the muckraking press took down liberal LBJ and conniving moderate Nixon -- this was a good thing, right?
Conservatives responded to the assault in two ways.
Never satisfied, these people.

Continetti's all over the place. He celebrates the ever-expanding Mighty Wurlitzer -- Safire and Spiro, the Media Research Center, the Murdoch empire ("News Corp.’s purchase of the Wall Street Journal in 2007 led to editorial improvements"), the Washington Times, Rathergate, etc. -- and it sounds like America's team has got the commies on the run.

But "in the end," says Continetti, "there was no way for a handful of papers and a single television network to nullify or even sublimate the loud, constant, coherent progressive roar of" lefty networks, newspapers, blogs, Hollywood, Soros, etc. "Try as they might," says Continetti, "conservatives could not command anything that approached the cultural power of the progressives."

Sounds like the commies have them on the run! But hold on --
...these groups may have excelled at rallying the small but ferocious left-wing base of the Democratic Party, but they were unable to accomplish their foremost goal: defeating George W. Bush.
So much for the cultural power of the progressives! What happened? Maybe Jesus intervened; Continetti doesn't say.

But he knows what the libs thought: That the problem was "not only conservative organization and Republican perfidy, but also Democratic squishiness. The Democrats were not anti-Bush, anti-Republican, and anti-war enough."

So the libs pumped up their awesome cultural power even more, with... the netroots and Ned Lamont.

Meanwhile, "The political tide began to change in a liberal direction, as well. Bush’s second term was a disaster from start to finish..."

Someone else might have stopped there and thought: Maybe this Miltonian media struggle isn't nearly as important as retail politics and the caprices of fate. Maybe the really good reason to talk about these subjects at all is not to try and advance some agenda, but because they interest you and give you something interesting to say. But that someone would be less devoted to justifying yet another think-tank giveaway and his employment therein than Continetti. I mean, come on, look at this:
Whether the victim was George Bush, Joseph Lieberman, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Charles and David Koch, the Chamber of Commerce, Fox News Channel, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, or Mitt Romney, the technique was the same.
That's quite an impressive and well-compensated list of victims. God send that I could be that victimized! I got people calling me names now, and I'm wearing a cardboard belt. But on Continetti goes, promising to show us "what would happen... if a website covered the left in the same way that the left covers the right," as if this wretched game of Spy Vs. Spy hadn't already been going on for decades. Hell, the Beacon's current front-page headline, "CHINESE COMMUNISTS INFLUENCE U.S. POLICY THROUGH EX-MILITARY OFFICIALS," could have been written by Robert Welch.

I'm beginning to think Obama's next bailout should be of the PR industry, so these schlubs could redirect their talents toward writing press releases for widget manufacturers and cabaret performers.  Everyone would be better off. Well, except maybe the widget manufacturers and cabaret performers.

UPDATE. Lots of commenters zero in on Continetti's bad writing. "Continetti's last paragraph is so sodden with ersatz testosterone that it should be adorned with a pair of truck nuts," says mortimer. A few others have fun with the sleigh driver of the wolf pack, etc.

Bad writing is in this case not a bug but a feature, because it aids the whole smoke-and-mirrors approach to history in which events are chosen and sequenced not to create a coherent narrative, but to rotate emotional effects; when he senses the tales of liberal media Moloch have gotten too dispiriting, Continetti fires the blood with brave tales of propaganda victory -- which have heretofore been insufficient but just you wait because here comes the Beacon! It's like an adventure story written by an 8-year-old who has ferocious ADD and is very mad at his mother.

Monday, February 06, 2012

IMA CROWDSOURCE. Some commenters, mostly from Australia, tell me they're having trouble accessing comments here. They think it has something to do with Google. I'm thrown. Know anything?

UPDATE. Thanks guys. Apparently, in order to censor websites more efficiently, our dread lord Google has stuck country codes to the ends of Blogspot addresses, which affects the comments for some reason. Commenter Andrew sends us here for advice:
However, if the blog’s readers would prefer to reach the U.S. (non-censored) version of the site, they can add “ncr/,” which stands for “No Country Redirect” to the end of the URL (i.e. http://name.blogspot.com/ncr/) and the user will no longer be served the country-specific (potentially censored) version of the blog.
So if you're having the comments problem, you can try that. Fish (and a correspondent named Hamish) recommend Tor.

AD NAUSEAM. Must be a slow day at The Corner. Here's Christian Schneider going deep on a fucking car commercial:
But in Wisconsin, where the entire state is still grieving over the Packers’ loss to the Giants three weeks ago, the reaction was much different. While most cheeseheads saw the Super Bowl as a rare night off from the sucking hole of union politics, there it was in the ad — an image of the state capitol occupation by union protesters nearly a year ago.
How could you force Wisconsin to endure five seconds of a protest scene made generic by the removal of union signs? Don't you know how they've suffered?

Also, Eastwood accompanied a generic scene of division with a generic plea for unity. To normal human beings, this is advertising, but to Schneider this is injustice. Because division isn't what's bad -- it's unions!
Of course, the “division, discord, and blame,” in Wisconsin began when unions tried the burn the state down over Governor Scott Walker’s plan requiring them to begin paying into their own pension accounts... 
Everyone knows the results. Union protesters calling the Lieutenant Governor a “f***ing whore” to her husband’s face after a Walker speech. Screeching demonstrators being dragged out while attempting to disrupt Walker’s State of the State address. WWII veterans being greeted with Nazi salutes at a capitol Christmas-tree-lighting ceremony. Protesters disrupting a Walker-led ceremony for Special Olympics award recipients. Forged recall petition signatures. Lawmakers having beers dumped on their heads. The list goes on and on.
Wow, swearing and beer-dumping. It's a wonder no one called out the National Guard. Oh wait...
According to Chrysler, these are times when we just “didn’t understand each other,” and where both sides can be ascribed “blame.” In fact, it was the union protesters that understood perfectly — that their boorish behavior would probably one day land them in an ad lauding their activism.
Clint  Eastwood occasionally got on the wireless and rasped to the union thugs, "You boys ain't cuttin' the mustard. Now I wanna see some boorishness and I want to see it now. No beer-bath, no TV! I'm not doing this because I want to take long showers with you assholes..."

I'm going over to the Times. Surely Douthat must be explaining by now how the Fiat ad is weakening America by something something sex.

UPDATE. Schneider's colleague Charles C.W. Cooke leaps in with the Goldbergian Unity is Slavery angle:
The commercial’s theme was more closely informed by Barack Obama’s recent SOTU call for the country to put aside its differences and march to the president’s tune than by the rugged individualism that one usually associates with the star who played Dirty Harry and The Man with No Name. It was full of injunctions to “all pull together” and calls to “rally around what [is] right and act as one,” which are fine if one wishes to storm the beaches of Iwo Jima, but are the death knell of a healthy democratic culture.
A car commercial. It's a car commercial. I --

Oh to hell with it. If you showed this guy the Mean Joe Green Coke ad he'd probably interpret it as propaganda for a radical redistribution of Pittsburgh Steelers jerseys.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

NEW VOICE COLUMN UP, about the Komen/Planned Parenthood thing. It's the usual passive-aggressive routine, with the brethren Electric-Sliding between chest-thumps and victim-cries. But don't worry, abortion and The Anchoress keep the laughs coming. (I didn't use too many straight-up Jesus sources -- the first dozen or so bloggers using "Planned Parenthood a/k/a Worse Than Murder, Inc" as something other than a joke are amusing, but after that they start to get creepy.)

Thursday, February 02, 2012

THE UNWORTHY POOR. Remember that "Look, these so-called 'poor' have refrigerators" thing? In preparation for the Age of Mitt Romney, they're ramping that shit up. From the Washington Examiner:
As President Obama crafts a reelection income equality message aimed at punishing the rich and rewarding the poor, his own government finds that the 46 million living below the so-called “poverty line” live and spend pretty much like everyone else.
Forget the image of Appalachia or rundown ghettos: A collection of federal household consumption surveys collected by pollster Scott Rasmussen finds that 74 percent of the poor own a car or truck, 70 percent have a VCR, 64 percent have a DVD, 63 percent have cable or satellite, 53 percent have a video game system, 50 percent have a computer, 30 percent have two or more cars and 23 percent use TiVo.
The new model conservative is a Victorian gent who would pity the poor, but has seen them dicing and drinking instead of acting out pathetic scenes from melodramas, and so cuffs them whenever they ask for change. Or a job. (The cheek! To think he would employ such as them in his sky garage.)

Here's the most damning evidence of all:
83 percent of the poor said they have enough to eat.
You want their sympathy? Show them some distended ribs!

The intended target, of course, isn't the poor, since no one in American politics cares about them. It's all those formerly or soon-to-be-formerly middle-class people who are with reason worried about becoming poor in this shitty economy. First, they want to assure you it won't be so bad: When you bottom out, you'll still be able to surf for porn and Tivo Toddlers & Tiaras. Second, they want to remind you of the public treatment you'll get if you become poor and complain about it. The Village doesn't like pauper ingrates!

Cars and VCRs, can you imagine? Charles Murray can't assemble his gang of upscale Belmont busy-bodies fast enough. Someone's got to get these wastrels reading the Bible and embroidering samplers that read ONLY MYSELF TO BLAME.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

TOPSY-TURVY.  A lot of people marveled when Dr. Keith Ablow told the world, apparently with a straight face, that Newt Gingrich's multiple marriages were a sign that he'd make a good President. But as I have discussed here many times, part of the conservative project, especially since the multiple Republican scandals of 2006, has been to turn conventional ideas of decent human behavior on their head. Conservatives have long been in the habit of dispensing Values yak but, since some of them started getting caught with their pants down in spectacular ways, they have become equally accustomed to defend swinishness, unless it's exhibited by Democrats, it which case it's back to the yak.

(I think this informs their excitement over Charles Murray's latest prole-uplift project: It implies that their own Belmont crew, while not as butch as the Fishtown proles they wish to redeem, are morally superior to them because the stats show they stay married and "defer gratification" better. Statistical superiority is something they can all share. Rising tide and all that.)

Anyway, here's the latest example from Jason Lee Steorts, talking at National Review about Mitt Romey's tendency to reveal himself as a clueless rich prick:
It’s peculiar that Romney so often gets criticized for seeming inauthentic. A gaffe such as today’s is the essence of authenticity: The problem, politically speaking, is precisely that he failed to calculate about how his remark would be received. Ditto his comment about liking to be able to fire people. It was all too authentic when he revealed that $10,000 would be a trivial sum for him to wager. And there is a deal of authenticity in the naked ambition of a statement such as “I can’t have illegals, for Pete’s sake — I’m running for office!”

Maybe there is some angel out there who could be, without effort, precisely what we want our politicians to be. But what we really seem to expect of them — for we well know they aren’t angels — is a believable sort of fakery. (Romney sometimes does fake it, of course, but he doesn’t seem believable — e.g., his pink-slip comment.)
I especially like the "maybe there is some angel out there..." bit.  It not only suggests that it is we who have let Mitt down by indulging all those fake populists for so long -- it also suggests some wonderful bumper sticker ideas: He may be a prick but at least he's not pretending! If you were that rich you'd be an asshole too! etc.