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Wasting Away Again In Obamaville

July 28th, 2014 - 4:19 pm

obamaville_11-21-11

Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

On Tuesday, the chief human resources officers of more than 100 large corporations sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urging quick passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

The officials represent companies with a vast array of business interests: General Electric, The Walt Disney Company, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, McDonald’s Corporation, The Wendy’s Company, Coca-Cola, The Cheesecake Factory, Johnson & Johnson, Verizon Communications, Hewlett-Packard, General Mills, and many more. All want to see increases in immigration levels for low-skill as well as high-skill workers, in addition to a path to citizenship for the millions of immigrants currently in the U.S. illegally.

“Companies lay off thousands, then demand immigration reform for new labor,” Byron York, the Washington Examiner, September 11, 2013.

But where to house all those illegal immigrants flooding the border to replace American workers? The big box stores emptied out by the Obama economy, of course:

The Obama administration is reportedly looking to house illegal immigrant juveniles in empty big box stores and even airplane hangars across the nation.

According to a report in The New Republic, “in recent weeks, FEMA representatives have sent mass emails to advocacy networks throughout the country soliciting potential detention facilities and offering guidelines for acceptable spaces.” Suggestions for “workable locations” include “Office space, warehouse, big box store, shopping mall with interior concourse, event venues, hotel or dorms, aircraft hangers [sic].”

“Report: FEMA Looking to House Illegals in Empty Big Box Stores, Aircraft Hangars,” Tony Lee, Big Government, yesterday.

Strengthening the American economy: the parties intertwined in the deeply dysfunctional corporatist marriage between the left and big business just might be doing it wrong.

Update: As Investor’s Business Daily notes, “Democrats Admit Amnesty Is For Political Purposes,” which also explains why their enabling friends in big business are so eager to go along.

Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

● “Univision anchor: No government should be in the business of deporting children.”

—Headline, Hot Air.com, yesterday.

“‘No business should ever have to turn away customers’: Nathan Fielder reveals how liquor stores can sell alcohol to minors LEGALLY.”

—Headline, the London Daily Mail today, linking to a Comedy Central skit.

Obviously, one of these headlines is a cable TV star playing a TV anchor befuddled by reality as the rest of the world knows it — the other is a headline that was sponsored by Comedy Central.

In any case, the advice proffered by future Senator John Blutarsky seems highly apropos right now given the state of the country and its media overlords.

It’s Deja Socialism All Over Again

July 21st, 2014 - 7:26 pm

Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

“Elizabeth Warren Would Be the Most Liberal Democratic Nominee Since 1972.”

– Headline, FiveThirtyEight, today.

“Study: Obama most liberal senator last year — A new study suggests Obama had the most liberal voting record in 2007.”

– Headline and lede at CNN, January 31st, 2008.

In both cases, the headline writers spelled Leftist wrong — and in both cases, the far left senators had nightmarish theme songs to kick off what seemed at the time like longshot presidential bids. And in both cases — well, if I was Hillary’s campaign advisor, I’d be more than a little worried right now.

Minor language and sanity warnings apply:

Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

What explains Obama’s robust showing with white liberals?

Some elements of the answer are obvious: his high-toned oratory, his promises of reconciliation in a divisive time, a background in community organizing that suggests both idealism and a talent for problem-solving. But another clue may lie in the presidential bid of a figure Obama’s devotees love to invoke: John F. Kennedy.

When answering the charge that the Illinois senator lacks the record of achievement befitting a White House aspirant, Obama’s backers often stack him next to JFK. Obama is 44, they note, older than JFK was when he ran. Skeptics derided JFK, as they now do Obama, as callow and ill-versed in substantive issues. And yet Obama, similar to JFK, manages to inspire people with sex appeal, cerebral cool, and a message of generational change.

—”Playing the Tolerance Card: How Obama is like JFK,” Slate, then owned by the Washington Post, April 20, 2007.

Six months after becoming president, JFK had his calamitous meeting with Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna — a meeting The New York Times described as “one of the more self-destructive American actions of the Cold War, and one that contributed to the most dangerous crisis of the nuclear age.” (The Times admitted that a half-century later. At the time, the Newspaper of Record lied about the meeting.)

For two days, Khrushchev batted Kennedy around, leaving the president’s own advisers white-faced and shaken. Kennedy’s Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Nitze called the meeting “just a disaster.”

Khrushchev was delighted to discover that the U.S. president was so “weak.” A Russian aide said the American president seemed “very inexperienced, even immature.”

Seeing he was dealing with a naif, Khrushchev promptly sent missiles to Cuba. The Kennedy Myth Machine has somehow turned JFK’s handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis into a brilliant foreign policy coup. The truth is: (1) Russia would never have dared move missiles to Cuba had Khrushchev not realized that JFK was a nincompoop; and (2) it wasn’t a victory.

In exchange for Russia’s laughably empty threats about Cuba, JFK removed our missiles from Turkey — a major retreat. As Khrushchev put it in his memoirs: “It would have been ridiculous for us to go to war over Cuba — for a country 12,000 miles away. For us, war was unthinkable. We ended up getting exactly what we’d wanted all along, security for Fidel Castro’s regime and American missiles removed from Turkey.”

* * * * * * * * * *

So now, another Russian leader is playing cat-and-mouse with an American president — and guess who’s the mouse? Putin has taunted Obama in Iran, in Syria and with Edward Snowden. By now, Obama has become such an object for Putin’s amusement that the fastest way to get the Russians out of Crimea would be for Obama to call on Putin to invade Ukraine.

—”Column: From JFK to Obama, Democratic Presidents Have Shown Weakness in Face of Aggression,” Ann Coulter, NewsBusters, March 5th, 2014.

Moscow has since shown a new interest in Latin America and its Cold War ally Cuba and relations with the West have deteriorated amid the Ukraine crisis.

The base was set up in 1964 after the Cuban missile crisis to spy on the United States.

Just 155 miles from the U.S. coast, it was the Soviet Union’s largest covert military outpost abroad with up to 3,000 staff.

It was used to listen in to radio signals including those from submarines and ships and satellite communications.

‘All I can say is – finally!’ one Russian source told Kommersant of the reported reopening.

—”Russia ‘to reopen Cold War Cuban listening post used to spy on America,’” the London Daily Mail, today.

Turning Japanese? I Really Think So

July 12th, 2014 - 12:05 pm

Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

What are the lessons for the U.S. from Japan’s experience? Reason Foundation policy analyst Anthony Randazzo is the co-author of the recent study “Avoiding an American Lost Decade: Lessons from Japan’s bubble and recession” and a July 2009 cover story for Reason magazine, “Turning Japanese: Japan’s post-bubble policies produced a ‘lost decade.’ So why is President Obama emulating them?”

“Turning Japanese,” Reason.com, June 23rd, 2009, the source of Nick Gillespie’s video atop this post, also from 2009.

Flash-forward to today:

“U.S. stocks will be ‘very disappointing’ for 10 years.”

—Headline at the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch column.

Unexpectedly, as Bloomberg.com would say.

If the Swastika Fits…

July 10th, 2014 - 8:56 am

Some juxtapositions juxtapose themselves. Shot:


Chaser: “A large Nazi flag was seen on Sunday flying over the West Bank Palestinian town of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, only several kilometers away from a field where the bodies of three murdered Israeli teenagers were found buried last week…Residents of Beit Ummar have flown Nazi flags in their town in the past as well, including above a mosque:”

Roger Waters could not be reached to provide moral equivalence, anti-Semitism. But as a far saner Roger writes today, “Hold the Hudna” please:

We’ve all built our Arabic vocabularies a touch since 9-11, but the definition of words can often be problematic.  The meaning of concepts like, say, jihad, are notoriously difficult to pin down, even when they shouldn’t be; I think deliberately. One of those elusive terms is hudna, meaning a temporary truce or “quiet.”  A permanent truce, i.e.,  genuine peace, does not seem part of the vocabulary of jihadists whose sworn goal is to make the world Islamic, sooner or later, like it or not. They just take a time out when it looks as if they could be in trouble, like a hockey player with a twisted ankle.  As an example, Hamas is known for its hudnas, cooling down (or pretending to) and then heating up again as soon as possible  to do what the beginning of its charter always promised it would do — destroy Israel.

For years the bien pensant of the West (Europe, the U.S.) have urged, actually put strong pressure on, Israel to play the hudna game with Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad and the rest of the sociopathic Islamofascist crew.  The Israelis, from a humanistic tradition and anxious to be thought well of, have acquiesced, even when they have the extreme whip hand. The results have been as one would predict: another war, another hudna and on and  onThis has been going on since the founding of the state of Israel in 1948, even before that really.  In other words, for a long while.

Maybe it’s time for a different approach.  How about just…winning?

Works for me. Read the whole thing.

Life Imitates Night Shift

June 29th, 2014 - 9:15 pm

Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

Wanna know why I carry this tape recorder? To tape things. See, I’m an idea man, Chuck. I get ideas coming at me all day. I can’t control ‘em. I can’t even fight ‘em if I want to. You know, ‘AHHH!’ So I say ‘em in here, and that way I never forget ‘em. You see what I’m sayin’?

[speaking into tape recorder]

Stand back, this is Bill. Idea to eliminate garbage. Edible paper. You eat it, it’s gone! You eat it, it’s outta there! No more garbage!

—Michael Keaton as Manhattan morgue attendant turned would-be pimp “Bill Blazejowski” in the 1982 film Night Shift.

I’m a weirdo who eats her cupcakes with a fork, but thanks to these new edible cupcake wrappers, I guess I don’t have to anymore! I can bite right into the side of the thing without having to worry about peeling the paper back without dropping half the cupcake onto the sidewalk (okay, wait, the visual of haphazardly chomping into a delicate baked good doesn’t sound too dignified either).

The wrappers, made by Dr. Oetker, are wafer-like, gluten free*, and can survive being baked. They can even hold up in the oven without a cupcake tray — on what planet is that a reality!? The downside is that they’re pretty pricey. A pack of six is $4, which is a bit too steep to be worth it — unless, of course, they start turning up in Pinterest recipes. Then maybe I’ll consider the splurge.

“We Obviously All Need These Edible Cupcake Wrappers,” The Frisky, yesterday.

Found via Maetenloch at AoSHQ; truly, we live in an age of technological and gustatory miracles.

* What is Gluten?

Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

“NYT Admits: ‘Somewhat Late’ on IRS Story, But Editor Swears ‘We’ve Paid Copious Attention.’”

—Headline, NewsBusters, yesterday.

“New York Times Maintains Blackout on Philadelphia Abortionist Gosnell’s Trial on Infanticide.”

—Headline, NewsBusters, April 15, 2013.

“Nothing Funny about New York Times Coverage of the Catholic Church.”

—Headline at NRO’s Corner blog, September 4, 2013.

Kate Zernike of the New York Times describes how tea-party activists explore “dusty bookshelves for long-dormant ideas” and study “once-obscure texts” by “long-dead authors.” She is of course referring to Friedrich Hayek, whose book The Road to Serfdom was excerpted in Reader’s Digest and never has been out of print, whose Nobel Prize for economics in 1974 celebrated the importance and mainstream acceptance of his thinking, and whose death in 1992 isn’t exactly ancient history. The article fails to illuminate tea-party philosophy and some of what it tries to say is bizarre. (Check out Zernike’s jaw-dropping attempt to define “the rule of law,” which is apparently a term she hadn’t heard until recently.) But it does serve the useful purpose of highlighting the biases and blinders of certain journalists.

“Obscurantism,” a post by John J. Miller at the Corner, October 3, 2010.

Or as Neo-Neocon wrote earlier this week on the NYT blackout of the IRS scandal, “what the Times is doing is ass-covering:”

They can’t think of a way to spin Obama’s abysmal failures any more (they do have certain standards, although those standards are pretty low), so they are silent.

They’re also very accustomed to setting the news agenda, and think they can get away with ignoring news they don’t like. That Times slogan “All the news that’s fit to print” takes on new meaning, doesn’t it? Up till now I’d always assumed they were conveying the idea that they cover the news thoroughly (they’d like us to think they cover it objectively, too, but that’s an absurdity). But did you ever wonder what sort of news isn’t “fit to print”? Why, it’s news that would hurt liberals and help conservatives, that’s what news. And it doesn’t matter if that news constitutes the biggest scandal since Watergate—potentially even bigger than Watergate.

The Gray Lady fancies itself a world-class newspaper, and a paper capable of covering all of America, but its output is as remarkably provincial as the worldview depicted in Saul Steinberg’s classic “View of the World from 9th Avenue” New Yorker cover from 1976. Which is exactly how Timesmen view middle America — just ask them.

But of course, all of this presumes that the Times, in classic Orwellian doublethink mode, still primarily considers itself a newspaper, and not a house organ for a political party.

Or to  put it another way, “Rush Limbaugh Was Right: For Liberals In And Out Of Media, It’s The Ideology, Stupid.”

Oh, to be in Bipolar England

June 26th, 2014 - 2:16 pm

Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

Bella Mackie, a Guardian comment moderator and daughter of the paper’s editor Alan Rusbridger, recounts her own fearless, indeed Herculean struggle with an addiction to… Diet Coke: “Giving up my favourite drink was as difficult as I had feared. I set about it with a determination to go cold turkey, knowing that even one can would make me slip back into old habits.” There followed a dark downward spiral. “For the first month, I felt exhausted and could barely keep my eyes open at my desk. Then came the nerves, the feeling that something was missing.” Yes, dear reader. Feel her pain and weep.

Contrast the above (as spotted by David Thompson) with this passage from Theodore Dalrymple’s recent speech to Hillsdale College:

Withdrawal from opiates, the fearfulness of which, reiterated in film and book, is often given as one of the main reasons for not abandoning the habit, is in fact a pretty trivial condition, certainly by comparison with illnesses which most of us have experienced, or by comparison with withdrawal from other drugs. I have never heard an alcoholic say, for example, that he fears to give up alcohol because of delirium tremens—a genuinely dangerous medical condition, unlike withdrawal from heroin. Research has shown that medical treatment is not necessary for heroin addicts to abandon their habit and that many thousands do so without any medical intervention whatsoever.

In Britain at least, heroin addicts do not become criminals because they are addicted (and can raise funds to buy their drugs only by crime); those who take heroin and indulge in criminal behavior have almost always indulged in extensive criminal behavior before they were ever addicted. Criminality is a better predictor of addiction than is addiction of criminality.

In other words, all the bases upon which heroin addiction is treated as if it is something that happens to people rather than something that people do are false, and easily shown to be false. This is so whatever the latest neuro-scientific research may supposedly show.

I have taken the example of heroin addiction as emblematic of what, with some trepidation, I may call the dialectical relationship between the worldview of those at the bottom of society and the complementary worldview of what one might call the salvationist bureaucracy of the government. In the old Soviet Union there was a joke in which the workers would say to the party bosses, “We pretend to work and you pretend to pay us.” In the case of the heroin addicts, they might say, “We pretend to be ill, and you pretend to cure us.”

Dalrymple is a daily reminder than the British used to be made of sterner stuff. Still, I can’t help but think that somewhere in the Bizarro World, a still-alive Lou Reed is busy re-writing the lyrics to “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony),” the 1971 Coca-Cola ad.

(Via Maggie’s Farm.)

Another Expiration Date Bests Obama

June 19th, 2014 - 3:28 pm

“Obama admits today what was true all along: he didn’t end the Iraq War, Iraq just refused to let the troops stay,” Trevor Timm, UK Guardian contributor tweets, linking to this article in the Washington Post, which notes that “President Obama took credit in 2012 for withdrawing all troops from Iraq. Today he said something different:”

“With regards to Iraq, you and I agreed, I believe, that there should be a status of forces agreement,” Romney told Obama as the two convened on the Lynn University campus in Boca Raton, Fla., that October evening. ”That’s not true,” Obama interjected. “Oh, you didn’t want a status of forces agreement?” Romney asked as an argument ensued. “No,” Obama said. “What I would not have done is left 10,000 troops in Iraq that would tie us down. That certainly would not help us in the Middle East.”

On Thursday, Obama addressed reporters in the White House Briefing Room about Iraq’s latest crisis. “Do you wish you had left a residual force in Iraq? Any regrets about that decision in 2011?” a reporter asked. “Well, keep in mind that wasn’t a decision made by me,” Obama said. “That was a decision made by the Iraqi government.”

In that same foreign policy debate, Obama scolded Romney — for failing to state his position in a way voters could understand. “Here’s one thing … I’ve learned as commander in chief,” Obama said. “You’ve got to be clear, both to our allies and our enemies, about where you stand and what you mean.”

Huh. His pre-postmodern predecessor knew that before he became commander in chief. As Mark Steyn warned when Dubya bid the world vaya con dios, “George W. Bush is who he is, and he never pretended to be anything but. Do you know how rare that is? If you don’t, you surely will after six months of Barack Obama’s enigmatic cool.”

And speaking of postmodernism, with the London Telegraph reporting, “Isis jihadists ‘seize Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons stockpile,’” now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

● “Where Are Saddam’s WMD?”

— Headline, Time magazine, September 26, 2003.

● “Iraq Militants Seize Old Chemical Weapons Facility.”

— Headline, Time magazine, today.

As one Ricochet contributor asks today, “What the heck is a WMD?”

I thought it was a weapon that killed a bunch of people at once.

Like a chemical weapon or a nuclear bomb .

If Saddam Hussein had stockpiles of chemical weapons, how does  everybody justify the “they lied about WMD” trope?

Don’t worry, “The weapons that remain are probably useless,” Time assures us today. These aren’t the WMDs you were looking for; they can go about their business, no matter who has control over them — or wherever they ultimately end up.

Update: Speaking of headlines from 2002 and 2003 getting a fresh new spin, is the president seeking regime change in Iraq? Everything old is new again!

(Yes, the headline was written in the passive tense, which journalists are increasingly using to describe a president being overcome by events occurring on his watch.)

“The Problem With the Klinghoffer Opera” currently playing at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, is explored by Jonathan S. Tobin at Commentary. Kudos for using the singular version of the word “problem” in Tobin’s headline:

Defenders of Klinghoffer will claim, not without some justice, that many staples of the classic operatic repertory were once politically controversial and subjected to censorship. But comparisons with the operas of Giuseppe Verdi, to take just one prominent example, which were often rightly seen as subverting repressive monarchies or promoting the cause of Italian freedom, and Adams’ excursion into the Middle East conflict, are not apt. The libretto of “Klinghoffer” rationalizes terrorism, denigrates Jews and treats the plight of the Palestinians as morally equivalent to the Holocaust. Whether or not one accepts the notion that Adams’ creation is a musical masterpiece, as the Met insists, the point of the piece is one that is not merely offensive. It is, in its own way, a part of the global campaign of delegitimization of the Jewish state and the Jewish people. As such, the decision of one of the world’s leading arts organizations as well as one of the great cultural institutions of the city with the world’ largest Jewish populations, to produce this atrocity, even if won’t be shown around the world, is deeply troubling.

The problem with Klinghoffer is not, as some of its defenders have always claimed, that it humanizes the Palestinians. But by using the story of the hijacking of the Italian cruise ship, Achille Lauro as the setting for its attempt to juxtapose the Jews and the Palestinians, it creates a false moral equivalence thought ought to offend all decent persons, especially in the city where the 9/11 attacks occurred less than 13 years ago.

C’mon — if you’re going to craft a story of Jews being murdered to advance totalitarian political goals for the New York stage, why not think big?

(Additionally, perhaps Mel Brooks should slap a “don’t try this at home, kids” sticker on DVDs of The Producers. But as it always must, reality finally catches up to even the zaniest of satirists.)

Update: Target audience for opera discovered.

As Always, Life Imitates Monty Python

June 8th, 2014 - 11:01 am

Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

First up, Monty Python’s classic “Batley Townswomen’s Guild Presents the Battle of Pearl Harbor” sketch from December of 1969:

Flash-forward to another war-related moment that will live in infamy: Friday’s surreal interpretive dance routine to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day, performed in front of a retinue of bewildered world leaders assembled at Normandy:

At first glance, this appears to be an example of Malcolm Muggeridge’s Law, which states that there’s no way for a satirist to improve upon real life for its pure absurdity, but this is one case where the satirists got there first — and provided a far more entertaining presentation than its real life follow-up nearly half a century later.

(Via Rick Moran.)

Quotes of the Day

May 26th, 2014 - 8:00 pm

Now is the time when AWR Hawkins of Big Journalism juxtaposes:

The NRA is to blame for Santa Barbara because it allegedly spent its time fighting to be sure Americans “have as little access to information as possible that might help save lives.”

By the way, Elliot Rodger is the person who actually carried out the attacks in Santa Barbara. His name does not appear in Schecter’s [Daily Beast] column.

“The Daily Beast: NRA the New Marlboro Man, Santa Barbara Its Fault,” AWR Hawkins, today.

“But come on, Dems: Make 2014 a referendum on gun control. You know you want to.”

—Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit.com, today.

Related: “Three myths about ‘right-wing lunatic virgin’ Elliot Rodger that the Left wants you to believe.”

(Lede inspired by the recurring leitmotif of Small Dead Animals.)

Life Imitates Night Shift

April 28th, 2014 - 6:15 pm

Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

Wanna know why I carry this tape recorder? To tape things. See, I’m an idea man, Chuck. I get ideas coming at me all day. I can’t control ‘em. I can’t even fight ‘em if I want to. You know, ‘AHHH!’ So I say ‘em in here, and that way I never forget ‘em. You see what I’m sayin’?

[speaking into tape recorder]

Stand back, this is Bill. Idea to eliminate garbage. Edible paper. You eat it, it’s gone! You eat it, it’s outta there! No more garbage!

—Michael Keaton as Manhattan morgue attendant turned would-be pimp “Bill Blazejowski” in the 1982 film Night Shift.

A new breakthrough by a team of London scientists could mean we are soon eating our water bottles instead of throwing them away.

Design students from Imperial College London have developed the Ooho water container, an edible water bottle, which could save the world from one of its biggest environmental threats — plastic waste.

“Edible Water Bottles to Tackle Plastic Menace?”, International Business Times, today.

Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

“Hamburgers are the Hummers of Food in Global Warming: Scientists.”

—Headline at far left Common Dreams.org linking to an article by (often as far left) Agence France Presse wire service, February 16, 2009.

“Multi-million dollar global warming disaster epic ‘Years of Living Dangerously’ beaten in TV ratings by ‘Bob’s Burgers’ reruns.”

—Headline at Anthony Watts’ Watts Up With That enviro-blog Tuesday, who adds that based on the ratings numbers, “Even this blog reached more people on Sunday…typically one of our slowest days.”

Speaking of hamburgers and global warming (and the lack thereof), I wonder if Harrison Ford headed off in his private plane for yet another cheeseburger run, after filming his segment for the sandwich-board-style doomsday crankery of the Showtime series?

(Via SDA.)

Clearly Barack’s Sycophants

April 13th, 2014 - 6:35 pm

mussolini_obama_lerner_forward_6-13-13-1

Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

● “Attkisson: CBSNEWS producers don’t want to deal with ‘headache’ of covering Obama controversies…”

—Headline, the Drudge Report today.

● “CBS’s Bob Schieffer Interviews Dem. Elijah Cummings, Ignores His Relationship With Lois Lerner.”

—Headline, Newsbusters today.

Good thing CBS News doesn’t have a half century history of being wildly partisan towards the left, while continually feigning objectivity…

Related: Meanwhile, at NBC, “Andrea Mitchell Fails to Ask Kathleen Sebelius Obvious (HuffPost) Question About ‘Resignation.’”

Unexpectedly.

Jay Carney Comes Full Circle

April 11th, 2014 - 3:58 pm

Hey, give Carney credit for pro-Communist consistency.

Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

“In towns like Pushkino (pop. 90,000), many Russians view the tumult sweeping Moscow with more anxiety and skepticism than do their big-city compatriots…they wonder if the destruction of Soviet communism will bring them anything more than uncertainty and hardship.”

—Jay Carney, cub reporter at Time magazine, September 9, 1991.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and his family are featured in a worshipful profile in this month’s Washingtonian magazine.

It’s the sort of adoring journalistic exercise reserved for only the most handsome of the power elite. In it you can find out details about the Carney dog (a cousin to presidential pooch Sonny!), and how much the press secretary’s tie costs ($135).

But keen observers may notice the kitchen decor in the photo: Soviet propaganda posters. They really are the perfect pop of color whether you are the dour and sincere Nikita Khrushchev or the cheeky press-wrangler for a president who is constantly accused of being a socialist himself.

“Obama’s press secretary decorates home with Soviet propaganda,” The Week, today.

And do not miss Noah Rothman at Mediaite, who spots the Washingtonian doing some sort of Photoshopping on the books on Carney’s bookshelves: “Carney is surrounded by shelves and shelves of the same books. The photo-shopping was so hurried, in fact, that Carney’s son’s finger was never removed:”

And the same photo “updated with more duplicated books.”

Not surprisingly, Twitter is having a field day with the Washingtonian’s Photoshop meltdown.

My Back Pages

April 9th, 2014 - 1:47 pm

Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

The individuals in the Tea Party may come from very different walks of life, but most of them have a few things in common…Each and every one of them is the only person in America who has ever read the Constitution or watched Schoolhouse Rock. (Here they have guidance from Armey, who explains that the problem with “people who do not cherish America the way we do” is that “they did not read the Federalist Papers.”)

Rolling Stone, “The Truth About the Tea Party,” September 28, 2010.

Flash-forward to today:

rolling_stone_julia_dreyfus_john_hancock_constitution_4-9-14

“Rolling Stone Mistakenly Plants John Hancock on Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s Back,” Josh Encinias, at the NRO Corner today. As Justin Green of the Washington Examiner tweets, “Pro tip: John Hancock didn’t sign the Constitution.”

But it’s a nice bit of karmic blowback against a magazine, which in addition to despising anyone to the right of Pete Seeger, last year thought Boston bomber Dzohkar Tsarnaev was so totally cool and early Jim Morrison dreamy that he was worth featuring on their cover. In his terrific new book Not Cool, Greg Gutfeld describes that gesture as the end product of a sclerotic leftwing magazine on life support, asking, “If the Rolling Stone offices had been the target of bombing, would they have put such an adoring photo on their cover?”

Actually, maybe they would. Think back to Robert Fisk, the leftwing British journalist and namesake of the popular Blogosphere technique of fisking, who famously wrote after being attacked while covering the war in Afghanistan in late 2001, “My Beating is a Symbol of this Filthy War.” Fisk added, “In fact, if I were the Afghan refugees of Kila Abdullah, close to the Afghan-Pakistan border, I would have done just the same to Robert Fisk. Or any other Westerner I could find.” In other words, In other words, ‘I totally had it coming.’

Or as Gutfeld himself quips, “If only bin Laden had been younger and hotter. If only he’d had abs. Then Jann Wenner, publisher of Rolling Stone, who put the Boston Bomber on the cover of his rag, might have done him first.”

America’s Broken Legal System

March 20th, 2014 - 12:11 pm

Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

Here’s how it’s supposed to work: Upon evidence that a crime has been committed — Professor Plum, found dead in the conservatory with a lead pipe on the floor next to him, say — the police commence an investigation. When they have probable cause to believe that someone is guilty, the case is taken to a prosecutor, who (in the federal system, and many states) puts it before a grand jury. If the grand jury agrees that there’s probable cause, it indicts. The case goes to trial, where a jury of 12 ordinary citizens hears the evidence. If they judge the accused guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, they convict. If they think the accused not guilty — or even simply believe that a conviction would be unjust — they acquit.

Here’s how things all-too-often work today: Law enforcement decides that a person is suspicious (or, possibly, just a political enemy). Upon investigation into every aspect of his/her life, they find possible violations of the law, often involving obscure, technical statutes that no one really knows. They then file a “kitchen-sink” indictment involving dozens, or even hundreds of charges, which the grand jury rubber stamps. The accused then must choose between a plea bargain, or the risk of a trial in which a jury might convict on one or two felony counts simply on a “where there’s smoke there must be fire” theory even if the evidence seems less than compelling.

“Our criminal justice system has become a crime,” Glenn Reynolds, USA Today.

Ken White at Popehat concedes that “the system is broken“. After a year and a half ensnared by poisonous fecal tendrils in the unpumped toxic septic tank of DC “justice”, I don’t think “broken” quite covers it. To any non-American, this system is utterly repulsive. In England, trial by jury replaced trial by ordeal. Somehow America has managed to turn trial by jury into a mere postscript to trial by ordeal. I think it ought to be possible to litigate a 270-word blog post in under 270 weeks. So let’s get on with it.

“Oh, Won’t You Stay-ay-ay Just a Little Bit Longer?”, Mark Steyn at SteynOnline.com.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results:

[A] phalanx of progressive reformers saw the home as the front line in the war to transform men into compliant social organs. Often the answer was to get children out of the home as quickly as possible. An archipelago of agencies, commissions, and bureaus sprang up overnight to take the place of the anti-organic, contra-evolutionary influences of the family. The home could no longer be seen as an island, separate and sovereign from the rest of society. John Dewey helped create kindergartens in America for precisely this purpose—to shape the apples before they fell from the tree—while at the other end of the educational process stood reformers like [Woodrow] Wilson, who summarized the progressive attitude perfectly when, as president of Princeton, he told an audience, “Our problem is not merely to help the students to adjust themselves to world life…[but] to make them as unlike their fathers as we can.”

— From Jonah Goldberg’s 2008 book, Liberal Fascism.

“Suddenly everyone stood – began to applaud – to cheer – and to smile. The children waved. In a box to the right – smiling and applauding the audience – as well as the artists on the stage – stood the great Stalin. I remember the tears began to quietly flow. and I too smiled and waved. Here was clearly a man who seemed to embrace all. So kindly – I can never forget that warm feeling of kindliness and also a feeling of sureness. Here was one who was wise and good – the world and especially the socialist world was fortunate indeed to have his daily guidance. I lifted high my son Pauli to wave to this world leader, and his leader. For Paul, Jr. had entered school in Moscow, in the land of the Soviets… In all spheres of modern life the influence of Stalin reaches wide and deep. From his last simply written but vastly discerning and comprehensive document, back through the years, his contributions to the science of our world society remain invaluable. One reverently speaks of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin – the shapers of humanity’s richest present and future. Yes, through his deep humanity, by his wise understanding, he leaves us a rich and monumental heritage. Most importantly – he has charted the direction of our present and future struggles. He has pointed the way to peace – to friendly co-existence – to the exchange of mutual scientific and cultural contributions – to the end of war and destruction. How consistently, how patiently, he labored for peace and ever increasing abundance, with what deep kindliness and wisdom. He leaves tens of millions all over the earth bowed in heart-aching grief. But, as he well knew, the struggle continues. So, inspired by his noble example, let us lift our heads slowly but proudly high and march forward in the fight for peace – for a rich and rewarding life for all.”

Paul Robeson in 1953, losing himself in the hallucinogenic reverie of a full Stalingasm.

Flash-forward to today:

Sorry, mom jeans do not a dad make. But Think Progress’s cult worship causes Sonny Bunch of the Washington Free Beacon to juxtapose with this:

And as Iowahawk asks, “If they’re my parents, how come I’m the one paying their allowance?”

And if they really are America’s parents, when will they ask their kids to hike up their pants and turn their damn boom boxes off?

Related: Woodrow Wilson, “Schoolmaster to the World,” in which Christopher Caldwell deconstructs the original president who thought it was necessary to destroy America in order to save it. And note how well this quote…

“I shall not be a constitutional governor,” he said, “because there is one thing that a man has to obey over and above the State constitution, and that is his own constitution.”

…Dovetails with Mr. Obama being asked in 2004 by a religion reporter with the Chicago Sun-Times, “what is sin?”, and replying, “Being out of alignment with my values.”

We are the solipsists we’ve been waiting for!

Since at least 1913, come to think of it: