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Ed Driscoll

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Great Moments in Instructional Literature

June 12th, 2015 - 6:02 pm

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

I’m not sure if the first image is a Photoshop — the author’s being a good sport about it, either way — but in any case, as our nation continues its wacky fun rollercoaster descent to Chavezland Mark II (thanks, Barry!) today was a welcome respite from the recent horrors and those to come. (Thanks, Rachel!)
Exit question:

Update: Almost forgot this one:

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

A $190 million summer blockbuster starring George Clooney based on an area in a Disney theme park hits theaters, presumably hoping to rake in at least that much at the box office. Its narrative goal, however: to get you to stop caring so much about the vapid capitalistic things that are ruining us all and instead maybe do something to make the world a better place.

“George Clooney’s Global Warming Shaming: George Clooney’s new summer blockbuster shames us for our roles in global warming and a potpourri of other earthly calamities,” the Daily Beast, May 24th.

Mission accomplished, fellas! “Disney Could Lose $140 Million on ‘Tomorrowland’ Flop,” says the Hollywood Reporter today.

Obviously, audiences took Disney’s advice and stopped “caring so much about the vapid capitalistic things that are ruining us all,” including their movie, so it’s all good for Disney, right?

No? Then, perhaps the filmmakers should have heeded the advice of one of Uncle Walt’s chief competitors. As MGM’s Sam Goldwyn famously said, “Pictures are entertainment, messages should be delivered by Western Union.” It’s a lot cheaper and more reliable than shaming your customers.

Poisoning Pigeons in the Persian Gulf

June 3rd, 2015 - 10:07 am

Islamofascists certainly are rather obsessed with genitalia, aren’t they? And not just human genitalia either. Which is why, now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

Senior clerics fighting for the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq have issued a diktat banning pigeon breeding as they claim the sight of the birds’ genitals as they fly overhead is offensive to Islam.

—The London Daily Mail, yesterday.

During a press conference at a local hotel in Islamabad, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islami Fazl (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman asked the Pakistani armed forces to launch a military operation against women wearing jeans all over Pakistan.

According to him, the immodesty of women is the cause behind earthquakes, inflation and other kinds of disasters.

Fazlur Rehman went on to say that a woman who is not covered like a ‘sack of flour’ is a mobile weapon of mass destruction for her state and that Pakistan has multitude of such nuclear missiles in all its major cities.

Rehman then blamed ‘immodest women’ for the Baluchistan crisis, lack of energy supply and the deteriorating security situation in Pakistan.

“Pakistani Nutcase Wants Military to Launch War Against Women Wearing Jeans, Says They’re Causing Earthquakes,” Jammie Wearing Fool blog, yesterday.

Of course, given the mind-warping effects of “Progressivism,” it’s not like American totalitarians are any saner than their Middle Eastern counterparts:

Last week, California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHA) proposed a new raft of safety standards for porn production sets in the state, raising ire and eyebrows in the process. The standards, which have yet to be finalized, fill 21 pages and detail a wide range of new safety protocols actors and their employers would have to abide by on set. Nestled among them is a provision about “eye protection.” That’s right, goggles. Goggles, to be worn by porn actors, in porn films.

No word yet when Sacramento will demand California’s pigeons wear tiny trousers of a non-denim nature. Perhaps I shouldn’t give them any ideas…

(Headline via Tom Lehrer.)

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

“Today, I can announce that our review is complete, and that the United States will pursue a new strategy to end the war in Iraq through a transition to full Iraqi responsibility.

This strategy is grounded in a clear and achievable goal shared by the Iraqi people and the American people: an Iraq that is sovereign, stable, and self-reliant.

[W]e will work to promote an Iraqi government that is just, representative, and accountable, and that provides neither support nor safe haven to terrorists.”

“Obama in 2011: ‘We’re Leaving Behind A Stable And Self-Reliant Iraq,’” IJ Review, June 18, 2014

The fall of the critically important Iraqi city Ramadi to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is a “terribly significant” event that shows the need for more U.S. forces on the ground, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Monday.

“I think it’s, unfortunately, terribly significant, capital of Anbar Province, the deaths of hundreds, the displacement of thousands and thousands,” he said Monday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“Not the 82nd Airborne, but we’ll have to have more people on the ground and this is really serious, the fall of Ramadi,” he said. …

McCain said fault lay with former Iraqi Prime Minster Nouri al-Maliki, for firing competent military leaders. But he also blamed President Obama’s administration for withdrawing all U.S. forces in Iraq in 2011.

“I hate to be repetitious, but the fact is that thanks to the surge, we had it under control and this is another consequence of the failure of this administration and this president to leave a residual force behind,” he said.

“Total collapse: ‘Elite’ Iraqi units routed in Ramadi counteroffensive,” Hot Air, today.

Update: “Time for Military to Admit ISIS is Winning.”

Two Condé Nasts in One!

May 14th, 2015 - 7:23 pm

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

Data center emissions account for small percentage of global emissions, Greenpeace information technology analyst Gary Cook tells us. That’s not much compared to 14 percent that goes towards agriculture or the 13 percent that goes to transportation. But data center emissions are growing by at least 13 percent per year, Cook says. And within two years, information technology in general, including manufacturing servers and other gear, is expected to be to account for between seven and 12 percent of all electrical use, according the report.

Data centers are expected to account for about 21 percent of that usage, mostly because of the explosive demand for streaming video. Cook explains that even though streaming can offset some emissions, such as the manufacture and delivery of DVDs or BluRay disks, the convenience of streaming is leading us to consume more content. Instead of buying a few videos and watching them again and again, we’re now binge-watching entire seasons of shows in a sitting, which ends up creating a bigger carbon footprint overall.

“Your binge-watching is making the planet warmer,” Wired magazine, owned by Condé Nast publications. (Link safe; goes to excerpt at Hot Air.)

Condé Nast Entertainment has begun streaming more than 600 episodes of digital video content on Roku, the “over the top” set-top box that streams programming to the Internet. “CNE now produces up to 40 new episodes a week on a growing portfolio of regular shows,” writes Steve Smith.

And in mid-March the glossy publisher’s Brides magazine will begin streaming its second version of “Brides Live Wedding,”  a weekly Web series “where readers can plan a couple’s wedding via social media by voting on everything from the dress to the flowers,”  writes Lucia Moses in Adweek. “Every aspect of the wedding will have a sponsor, from the registry (Target) to hair and beauty (Neutrogena) and wedding bands (Simon G.).”

“Conde Nast Starts Streaming Digital Content On Roku,” MediaPost, December 9, 2013.

As the Insta-Professor likes to say, I’ll believe it’s a crisis when the people who tell me it’s a crisis start to act like it’s a crisis themselves. If Condé Nast don’t want to look like hypocrites, they need to not only immediately cease streaming their videos, but close down their Websites, which are also housed in data centers and server farms.

Flashback: From 2010, “Springtime for Algore:” Condé Nast’s Traveler‘s Romantic Pilgrimage to Germany’s ‘Eco–Anschluss.’

When 2+2 = 5

April 25th, 2015 - 2:08 pm

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

In all of these places, my experience has been that when it suits the ends of power, ideology can be invoked to prove that 2+2 = 5, or 3, or any other number that suits the state, and to demand that all embrace the madness. It is a truly frightening thing to interview a top-ranked nuclear scientist, or a distinguished brain surgeon, or a concert pianist, as I did in China under the sway of Mao, and to hear them, as ideological outcasts, justify with utter conviction the brutalities inflicted on them by their ideology-crazed persecutors — crushed fingers, smashed heads, broken marriages, vilification by their own families.

Elsewhere, the lunacy was of an order that invited a response of laughing mockery, if that were not potentially fatal to the system’s loyalists, or those pretending to be so. In North Korea, while Kim Il-sung was still alive, there was a brand new, high-tech hospital built in his name in Pyongyang, floor after floor laden with tens of millions of dollars in the latest American, Swiss and German equipment, but no patients to be seen. And why not? “As we have explained,” the most senior comrade-physician responded, “the Korean people’s great leader Comrade Kim Il-sung has taken such care for the health of his beloved people that none of his people gets sick.”

Not ever? “No, never,” was the reply.

“The Things I Carried Back,” John F. Burns, the New York Times, April 11th, 2015.

The Columbia University student being called a rapist by members of the media and a woman who has been carrying her mattress around for performance art is suing.

Paul Nungesser was accused by fellow Columbia student Emma Sulkowicz of brutally beating and raping her during a sexual encounter he insists was consensual. Despite a police investigation that failed to charge Nungesser and the university finding him “not responsible,” Sulkowicz and her enablers — including Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, have continued to harass Nungesser by calling him a “rapist.”

Now, Nungesser is suing his university, its president and trustees and the visual arts professor that allowed the mattress project to go forward.

“Columbia student defamed by mattress girl is suing,”Ashe Schow, the Washington Examiner, yesterday.

Left-leaning student activists at Oberlin College hung posters at the Christina Hoff Sommers event earlier this week that identified the students involved in bringing the individualist-feminist and AEI scholar to campus.

Each poster gave the name of a specific student-member of the Oberlin College Republicans and Libertarians and accused that person of perpetuating rape culture.

Images of the posters were sent to Reason via a source who asked not to be named for fear of retaliation. The last names of the students identified by the posters were blurred before Reason received them.

According to the source, a group of approximately 10 student-activists were behind the posters.

They have the right to denounce their fellow students as perpetuators of rape culture, I suppose, though the fact that some students would smear others with this charge for merely bringing a speaker to campus is disappointing. Do students no longer recognize that the entire point of challenge is to grapple with new and different ways of thinking about the world?

“Oberlin Activists Posted Creepy Messages Accusing Specific Students of Perpetuating Rape Culture: Their crime? Bringing Christina Hoff Sommers to campus,” Robby Soave, Reason, April 23rd.

Like my RedState colleague Bryan Pruitt, I feel sorry for these guys: “The gay New York City hoteliers who recently played host to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) have their own controversy to deal with: Activists are calling for the boycott of their properties, including a gay hotel and establishments on Fire Island.”  Essentially, Ian Reisner and Mati Weiderpass had a reception where they had Ted Cruz speak to a group on foreign policy, Israel (particularly noting its attitudes on gay rights) – and, shockingly, how Ted Cruz doesn’t think Barack Obama is doing well on either.  Oh, mustn’t forget: Ted Cruz will still love his kids if they turn out to be gay.

And so… for allowing this man to speak to their friends, Mr. Reisner and Mr. Weiderpass must of course be chastised.  In fact, they should consider themselves fortunate that their own side is not calling them to be burned at the stake for heresy. Yet.  The day is still young, after all.

“More on Ted Cruz and the Activist Left’s ‘SHUT UP!’ principle in action,” Moe Lane, yesterday.

After decades of left-wing intellectuals churning out treatises on the evils of “moral panics” and “shame culture,” the same crowd is now using these very tactics for their ends, utterly oblivious to their own hypocrisy.

That they are doing so should be very worrisome to conservatives, because enforcing orthodoxy against heretics is what the winners do to the losers. That is precisely why this phenomena is most powerful on college campuses — because that is where the secular orthodox are at their most powerful.

On campus and off, today’s losers — social conservatives, climate “deniers,” rape-panic skeptics, even supporters of free speech qua free speech — are being told that they must bend to the shaming of the mob. In the long run I don’t think it will work. But there’s no immutable law — of nature, democracy, modernity, morality whatever — that I can point to back up that conviction.

—The “We’re All Shamers” subsection of Jonah Goldberg’s weekly G-File column, online today.

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

If you want to understand why so many Democrats believe it’s okay to circumvent Congress and let international agreements dictate environmental policies—well, other than their newfound respect for monocracy—you don’t have to look much farther than the new poll by Gallup.Since 1989, there’s been no significant change in the public’s concern level over global warming. To put this in perspective, note that the most expensive public-relations campaign in history—one that includes most governmental agencies, a long list of welfare-sucking corporations, the public school system, the universities, an infinite parade of celebrities, think tanks, well-funded environmental groups and an entire major political party—has, over the past 25 years or so, increased the number of Democrats who “worry greatly” about global warming by a mere four percentage points.

During this era, they’ve gone from gentle nudging to stern warnings, to fearmongering, to conflating the predictive abilities of scientists with science itself, to launching ugly campaigns to shame and shut down anyone who deviates from liberal orthodoxy—which includes not only the existence of anthropogenic global warming, but an entire ideological framework that supposedly “addresses” the problem.

“The Campaign To Make You Care About Climate Change Is Failing Miserably: The number of Democrats who ‘worry greatly’ has increased by four percentage points in 25 years,” David Harsanyi, the Federalist, March 26.

And it’s wreaking havoc with the nervous systems of the true believers:

“And so I came to feel miserably conflicted about climate change. I accepted its supremacy as the environmental issue of our time, but I felt bullied by its dominance. Not only did it make every grocery-store run a guilt trip; it made me feel selfish for caring more about birds in the present than about people in the future. What were the eagles and the condors killed by wind turbines compared with the impact of rising sea levels on poor nations? What were the endemic cloud-forest birds of the Andes compared with the atmospheric benefits of Andean hydroelectric projects?”

—Jonathan Franzen, “someone who cares more about birds than the next man,” in the New Yorker. (Link safe, goes to Kate of Small Dead Animals, who adds an appropriate “world’s smallest violin” gif to the quote.)

And as with Indiana pizza parlors, dissent will not be tolerated by the religious left, who must banish heretics to the cornfield at all costs:

Update: “Economics Is a Form of Brain Damage,” Steve Hayward writes at Power Line:

That slogan, which you can see on display in this 1993 full-page New York Times ad nearby, is making a comeback of sorts on the left. A generation ago it was the slogan of the environmental left, which hates the fact that we live in a world of tradeoffs, and which thinks we live in a world where the only unlimited resource is other people’s money. The late David Brower was quoting environmental activist Hazel Henderson in that expensive ad; Henderson said at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 that when the green revolution finally comes, economists would be rounded up and sent to re-education camps.

Where, if the left has their way, they’ll be joined by Indiana pizza parlor owners.

Springtime for Hillary

March 20th, 2015 - 10:56 am

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

CARL REINER: I’d like you to meet the German representative from Nartzi? Narzi? Narzi! From the Narzi Film Company, Herr Adolph Hartler.   Good afternoon, Herr Hartler!

MEL BROOKS: Heil Hartler, how are you?!

* * * * * *

REINER: Sir, you’re wearing your bathing suit, I noticed. And as you scratched your head, I noticed a little “SS” tattooed under your arm. What does that mean?

BROOKS:  Oh, uh, uh, well, wait — oh, that’s the “Simon Says!”

REINER: The what?! The what?!

BROOKS: “Simon Says.” We play that on the beach. I’m the captain of the Simon Says Team und that’s vhere ve get SS from!

REINER: You think it’s worth tattooing on your arm, just to be a Simon Says leader?

BROOKS: Oh, vell, I’m serious about the game, I love it, and so I had myself tattooed Simon Says!

REINER: How did you feel about Stanley Kramer’s motion picture, Judgment at Nuremberg?

BROOKS: Unfair!

REINER: Why did you consider it unfair?

BROOKS: Well, because he didn’t tell the whole truth. Vhat vas the picture about? Really about? A misunderstanding really, wasn’t it? I mean, look: you send people to camp don’t you, in the summer?  We sent a few people to camp! I don’t know what the whole…fuss is about!  Send some nice people to camp. Mostly in the summer!

—From the comedy album Carl Reiner & Mel Brooks at the Cannes Film Festival, 1962.

Hillary Clinton wants to send all Americans back to camp because they are not having enough fun.

In another paid speech, Clinton addressed a group of camp counselors Thursday. She lauded the camp experience for teaching important life skills and fostering personal growth.

“As I have gotten older, I have decided we really need camps for adults,” Clinton said.

The former Secretary of State lectured the audience, telling them that Americans need more fun.

“I think we have a huge fun deficit in America,” Clinton said.

Clinton did not explain why she felt Americans were not having fun but it is not difficult to understand her reasoning after going through Clinton’s list of hobbies.

“Her favorite fitness activity, according to her MySpace page, is speed walking. Her hobbies include crossword puzzles, Scrabble and gardening. Organizing her closets is stress relief. Sleeping in until 7 a.m. is her idea of being naughty.”*

“Hillary Clinton Says to Fix The ‘Fun-Deficit’ in America, ‘We Really Need Camps for Adults,’” the Washington Free Beacon, yesterday.

As a normal, sane, red-blooded American, I am, of course, dreading the possibility of a Hillary Clinton presidency, just as a super-majority of Americans previously were in 2007. As a blogger, journalist, and editor, assuming I don’t wind up in one of Hillary’s reeducation fun camps, I am positively thrilled about covering the insanity that will emerge. The amount of crazy schemes and cover-ups to emerge from Team Hillary will dwarf the Blogosphere, especially since the MSM will be too in the tank to cover most of it.

Update: In case anyone is surprised by Hillary’s latest brainstorm, recall her past attempts at totalitarian spitballing:

Orwell’s was a daddy-dystopia, where the state is abusive and bullying, maintaining its authority through a permanent climate of war and the manufacture of convenient enemies. Huxley’s is a maternal misery, where man is smothered with care, not cruelty. But for all our talk these days about manliness, individualism, and even the ‘nanny state,’ we still don’t have the vocabulary to fight off nice totalitarianism, liberal fascism.

With that distinction in mind, let us revisit It Takes a Village. On page after page, Clinton extols the idea that just about everything is a health issue. Divorce should be treated like a “public health issue” because it creates stress in children. The very basics of parenting are health issues because “how infants are held, touched, fed, spoken to, and gazed at”determines whether our brains can be “hijacked”by our emotions, potentially making us murderously violent. Mrs. Clinton tells us that Janet Reno issued a report which found that gang violence and gun use are the products of people with badly imprinted brains who become “emotionally hijacked”with little provocation. Quoting doctors, friendly activists, social workers, and random real Americans, in chapter after chapter she argues for interventions on behalf of children from literally the moment they are born. Children need “[g]entle, intimate, consistent contact” to reduce stress, which can “create feelings of helplessness that lead to later developmental problems.”Even well-to-do parents need help because after all everyone feels stress, and “we know that babies sense the stress.” It’s fair to say that a state empowered to eliminate parental stress is a state with a Huxleyan mandate. And a state with an extreme mandate must logically go to extremes.

Hence Clinton argues for the diffusion of parental training into every nook and cranny of public life. Here’s one such suggestion: “Videos with scenes of common-sense baby care—how to burp an infant, what to do when soap gets in his eyes, how to make a baby with an earache comfortable—could be running continuously in doctors’ offices, clinics, hospitals, motor vehicle offices, or any place where people gather and have to wait.” Imagine if these sorts of ideas were fully implemented at the Department of Motor Vehicles, the passport office, and other places “where people gather and have to wait.”Giant flat screens at the airport pumping breast-feeding advice? The JumboTron at football games? At what point would the Brave New World seem to be heading down the pike?

And in-between Madison Avenue letting its inner Socialist Justice Warrior out to run amok during the commercials of the most recent Super Bowl, and Starbucks unleashing its own crusading socialist evangelism, the off-ramp for Brave New World certainly appears well within sight.

Exit question: Has Hillary nailed down the name for her camps yet? Why not go with a proven winner, such as “Strength Through Joy”?

* Huh — so Hillary’s just a babe in the woods when it comes to knowing about her husband’s ideas of “being naughty,” I guess. And how does “sleeping in until 7:00 am” fit in with promising to be on the job and ready to swing into action when the phone rings at 3:00 AM?

Don’t Hold Your Breath, Rudy

February 22nd, 2015 - 11:01 pm

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

Barack Obama’s victory should once and for all finally break the notion that race is a barrier to any goal in the United States. And those who’ve built their power from anger and racial divisiveness, like Ayers, the Panthers, and Reverend Wright should now be mocked like the small men they are. It will be up to Obama as president to transcend the figures of his past–and it’s up to the rest of us as a nation to finally put them into the rearview mirror.

“Congratulations, President Elect Obama,” Ed Driscoll.com, November 4th, 2008.

I hope and pray that President Obama can rise to the occasion and underscore America’s greatness as our history and values merit. If he does so, I will be the first to applaud him. But I can only be disheartened when I hear him claim, as he did last August, that our response to 9/11 betrayed the ideals of this country. When he interjected that “we tortured some folks,” he undermined those who managed successfully to protect us from further attack.

And to say, as the president has, that American exceptionalism is no more exceptional than the exceptionalism of any other country in the world, does not suggest a becoming and endearing modesty, but rather a stark lack of moral clarity.

Over my years as mayor of New York City and as a federal prosecutor, I earned a certain reputation for being blunt. The thoughts I express, whether clearly or ambiguously, are my own and they are my individual responsibility. But whether you agree or not with what I said last week, I hope the intention behind those words can be the basis for a real conversation about national leadership and the importance of confidence and optimism in framing America’s way forward. I hope also that our president will start acting and speaking in a way that draws sharp, clear distinctions between us and those who threaten our way of life.

—”Rudy Giuliani: My Bluntness Overshadowed My Message. Whether you agreed with me or not, I hope this can be the basis of a real conversation about national leadership,” Rudy Giuliani in the Wall Street Journal, today.

Given that our semi-retired president is clearly in the You’re Only President Once back nine phase of his time in office, I doubt anyone, least of all America’s Mayor Emeritus, is waiting for Mr. Obama to “start acting and speaking in a way that draws sharp, clear distinctions between us and those who threaten our way of life” anytime soon.

On the other hand, “Marie Harf has Turned all Democrats into Neocons,” Leon Wolf quips at Red State, as Harf, Media Matters and other leftists were all frantically quoting GWB to justify Harf’s loopy “jobs for ISIS” dissembling:

Of course, the Democrats don’t really believe this, inasmuch as they don’t believe anything of conviction with respect to foreign policy. They are merely saying it aloud because they are reflexively incapable of refusing to defend anything the Obama administration does, even though Obama is term limited and the statement in question fell out of the mouth of the Lucy and Ethel duo that have been systematically (and probably purposefully) embarrassing the State Department since their arrival. It does not matter – if Obama (or even one of Obama’s low-level flunkies) wants them to be neocons, then neocons they shall be.

And if you wanted people who were capable of a coherent view of foreign policy, you shouldn’t have voted to put Democrats in charge.

Well, yes. But then, as Glenn Reynolds writes at USA Today, “Unpatriotic voters elect unpatriotic leaders,” though I think the fault lies much more in the pundit class, who built a failed community organizer turned tyro senator with excellent trousers into the second coming of JFK, FDR and Lincoln than the voters who blindly accepted their rhetoric.

Meanwhile, Over at the Ministry of Truth

February 9th, 2015 - 11:50 am

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

Really hard to imagine why MSNBC is failing so horribly in the ratings with top-tier talent like this.

Attorney General Eric Holder on Sunday refused an unusual request during an interview, declining to quack like a duck.

At the end of an interview that touched on the Voting Rights Act and use of force by police, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry asked the outgoing Justice Department head to imitate a duck.

“You know, we call you ‘The Duck’ in nerdland,” Harris-Perry said, referring to fans of her show.

“The duck?” Holder asked.

“We call you the duck.”

“We say you have a very sort of placid and even way of presenting, but you are just working for justice underneath,” Harris-Perry explained as Holder stroked his mustache.

She moved her arms and head vigorously to describe the underwater movement.

“Would you quack for us?” she then asked.

“Well, I’m not sure I’m going to do that,” Holder replied, smiling.

— ”MSNBC Kook Asks Eric Holder: ‘Would you quack for us?’”, the JammieWearingFools blog, today.

Duckspeak is a Newspeak term meaning literally to quack like a duck or to speak without thinking. Duckspeak can be either good or “ungood” (bad), depending on who is speaking, and whether what they are saying is in following with the ideals of Big Brother. To speak rubbish and lies may be ungood, but to speak rubbish and lies for the good of “The Party” may be good. In the appendix to 1984, Orwell explains:

“Ultimately it was hoped to make articulate speech issue from the larynx without involving the higher brain centres at all. This aim was frankly admitted in the Newspeak word duckspeak […]. Like various words in the B vocabulary, duckspeak was ambivalent in meaning. Provided that the opinions which were quacked out were orthodox ones, it implied nothing but praise, and when the Times referred to one of the orators of the Party as a doubleplusgood duckspeaker it was paying a warm and valued compliment.”

—Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

An example of a skillful duckspeaker in action is provided in the beginning of chapter 9, in which an Inner Party speaker is haranguing the crowd about the crimes of Eurasia when a note is passed into his hand; he does not stop speaking for a moment, or change his voice or manner, but (according to the changed party line) he now condemns the crimes of Eastasia, which is Oceania’s new enemy.

“List of Newspeak words,” Wikipedia.com.

Incidentally, given MSNBC’s ratings abyss, Stacy McCain ponders just how far network president Phil Griffin is prepared to go to um, re-inflate things. And speaking of NBC’s crazy sister network, it’s always a fun exercise to scan otherwise interesting articles with headlines such as “The Decline and Fall of NBC News” and “Brian Williams has put NBC’s credibility on the line,” and then hit CTL-F and type “Sharpton” to discover that the left-leaning writer simply isn’t prepared to explore just how deep the rot has set in amongst the once respectable peacock network.

Related: Did Eric Holder ever really understand what his job was as Attorney General?

Update: Does the MSNBC interview strategy work for other members of the Obama administration?

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

Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.

—Karl Rove, June 22nd of 2005.

Compare these two passages from a top [New York Times] story entitled “U.S. Joins Europe in Effort to End Fighting in Ukraine:”

 1. “The Russians have sent modern T-80 tanks, whose armor cannot be penetrated by Ukraine’s aging and largely inoperative antitank weapons, along with Grad rockets and other heavy weapons. Russian forces have also used electronic jamming equipment to interfere with the Ukrainians’ communications….Ukraine has requested arms and equipment, including ammunition, sniper rifles, mortars, grenade launchers, antitank missiles, armored personnel carriers, mobile field hospitals, counterbattery radars and reconnaissance drones.”

2. “The $16.4 million in aid that Mr. Kerry will announce in Kiev is intended to help people trapped by the fighting in Donetsk and Luhansk. The aid will be used to buy basic items like blankets and clothing, along with counseling for traumatized civilians and to help those who have fled the fighting.”

— Elliott Abrams, today, who adds, “It is as if Roosevelt offered Churchill the Lend-Lease not of battleships but of blankets for Londoners made homeless by the Blitz.”


MSNBC: Still Jim Crow TV

January 29th, 2015 - 10:47 am

“Just when you thought MSNBC was giving up on calling everyone racist…”, Noah Rothman writes at Hot Air. Though that headline precedes from a false assumption: Nobody thinks that paranoid NBC and its spin-off channels would give up on calling its enemies racist:

In a discussion on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Thursday, NBC Foreign Affairs Correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin was asked for his thoughts on the wildly popular film American Sniper. After conceding that the film is powerful, Mohyeldin was prompted to expand on his obvious reservations about the movie’s subject matter. He let the veil drop.

“When you juxtapose it with the real Chris Kyle, and the story, and what has emerged about what kind of personality he was in his own words,” Mohyeldin began, “A lot of stories about when he was back home in Texas. A lot of his own personal opinions about what he was doing in Iraq; how he viewed Iraqis. Some of what people have described as his racist tendencies toward Iraqis and Muslim as he was going on some of these, you know, killing sprees in Iraq on assignment.”

Jaws hit the floor. To describe the performance of a decorated combat veteran in a hostile theater as a killing spree is to confess a level of bias that is virtually disqualifying for a foreign affairs reporter. The stigma associated with serving as a sniper in a war is painful enough for proficient sharpshooters, but to directly equate the actions of those servicemen with the behavior of a mass murder is beyond the pale.

Add this to the remarks from Michael Moore, Seth Rogen, and Max Blumenthal on Kyle, the left is once again revealing themselves as really not supporting the troops, no matter what their mission, a regression to their McGovern-era id. As with their lack of support of free speech and their terror over losing the PC overculture they’ve built, it’s a reminder that yet another modified limited hangout of the left has now concluded. (Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it.) And as Jeffrey Lord wrote at the American Spectator last year, MSNBC won’t be losing its sobriquet as “Jim Crow TV” anytime soon.

CNN, Where Time Stands Still

January 21st, 2015 - 12:29 pm

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

When Fox News started out, it got a generally skeptical and unfriendly reception from the journalistic establishment. Even reporters, who generally view any news media organization as a good thing (not to mention a potential source of employment), were largely disapproving. But no one greeted Fox News with more pure vitriol than CNN founder Ted Turner.

“I look forward to crushing Rupert Murdoch like a bug,” Turner told the press. He compared Murdoch to Hitler, which would make Roger Ailes a reincarnation of Goebbels, and followed up with an explanation, quoted by the Los Angeles Times [in October of 1996]: “The late Führer, the first thing he did, like all dictators, was take over the press and use it to further his agenda. Basically, that is what Rupert Murdoch does with his media.  .  .  .” The Nazi analogy was too much for the Anti-Defamation League, which rebuked Turner for trivializing the Holocaust. Turner apologized, but that didn’t prevent him from likening Murdoch to “the late Führer” a year later; or, in 2005, comparing the success of Fox News to the rise of Hitler.

— From Roger Ailes: Off Camera, by Zev Chafets.

Flash-forward to this week: “CNN’s Zakaria Takes Shot at Murdoch, ‘Quasi-Fascist’ Fox Hosts,” Mediaite’s Josh Feldman reports.

Both of which seem like pretty odd complaints, both from Turner, who after leaving the network he founded has gone on to praise North Korea, and from Zakaria, who in-between dodging plagiarism allegations, has complained on CNN that the American people have too much freedom and too little regulation.

Related: “Washington Post Catches CNN Red-Handed Reporting On Muslim ‘No-Go Zones.’”

And from Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit, “Sure, Take Out Your Frustrations And Anxiety On Fox, They Won’t Behead You: Paris mayor threatens to sue Fox for insulting Paris and injuring its honor (with ‘no-go zones’).”

It was pretty much a given that it wouldn’t be very long at all before the French would revert to form and quickly begin to lose the goodwill of the American people after the horror of the Islamofascist attack on Charlie Hebdo. Or as Glenn adds, “Funny, I could have sworn that there were a lot of people marching for free speech in Paris recently.”

We’re quickly discovering how many of them were simply engaging in pantomime.

Update: “Je Suis Fox News?” asks Ricochet’s John Gabriel:

Fox News’ jealous critics and the Parisian mayor should re-read their week-old paroxysms of support for an unbridled press. Because free speech doesn’t work if you’re only allowed to offend religious figures but not secular ones.

Heh, indeed.™

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

Yet here’s my puzzlement. Let’s agree, for the sake of the discussion, that the 9/11 bombers did not speak for Islam. Ditto the London murders. Indeed, let’s say that neither the Boston marathon bombers nor the people who murdered a total of 16 people in Paris last week (the 12 at Charlie Hebdo and four at the kosher market), let’s say that they did not speak for Islam either. Like Major Hasan, who murdered 13 people at Ft Hood in 2009 while shouting “Allahu Akbar,” they were just “lone extremists” who carry out murder and mayhem while shouting “Allahu Akbar.” But that has nothing to do with Islam. OK. Got it.

But here’s my question: Who does speak for Islam? We are assured that it’s not the group that now calls itself Islamic State, but which, following Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, I am considering calling Daesh, a name they apparently dislike. Anyway, we know that they don’t speak for Islam because our political leaders and our media have told us so. It’s the same with Boko Haram, the Nigerian Muslim group.  This morning, quoting the Australian journalist Andrew Bolt, I noted that they had kidnapped and sold into sex slavery 300 Nigerian school girls. That was before I saw the story that Boko Haram had just invaded another town killing as many as 2000. Boko Haram appears to believe that they represent Islamic teaching, but no: our leaders have assured us that that is not the case. Ditto about Syria: this summer an adulteress or two were stoned to death, but that, of course, was the work not of Islam but of “extremists,” if not quite “lone extremists.”

So who, according to the establishment gospel, does speak for Islam? The Ayatollah Khomeni was the spiritual leader of Iran, a great Shia Muslim country. Did he speak for Islam?  He didn’t like a novel by Salman Rushdie and told his followers to kill him for insulting Islam. Did the ayatollah speak for Islam?

Two days ago, Raif Badawi, a 30-year-old Saudi blogger, was given 50 lashes by the Saudi authorities for the crime of “insulting Islam.” It was the first installment of 1000 lashes, scheduled to be administered with 50 lashes a session for 20 weeks. No one expects him to last that long, for the order specifies that he is to be “lashed very severely” and be denied medical care.

Saudi Arabia is a great Sunni Muslim nation, our “friend” and “ally.” Do they speak for Islam?

“Who Speaks for Islam?”, Roger Kimball at PJM yesterday. And speaking of magic get out of the MSM’s rhetorical jail free cards:

One intrepid CNN reporter offered her theory for why Obama declined to attend the rally in Paris when so many of heads of state around the globe did: Politics.

“President Obama, while he obviously does things to deal with terrorism, this isn’t the issue that he wants to be fully front and center out there with, I think is fair to say,” said CNN Senior Political Correspondent Brianna Keilar.

“CNN: Terrorism really isn’t Obama’s ‘issue,’” Noah Rothman at Hot Air, today. (Do other presidents get to use this get out of jail free card? “Let’s face it. Shrinking the size of the federal government just isn’t really LBJ’s issue.” “Let’s face it. Embassy security just isn’t Jimmy Carter’s issue.” “Let’s face it. Keeping students safe while protesting on campus just isn’t Richard Nixon’s issue.”)

To slightly modify one of John Nolte’s catch phrases at Big Journalism, let’s face it: Democrats — and their MSM-protected constituencies — sure got it good. And conversely:

Related: “Barack Obama’s Harriet Miers moment. Seriously.”

ISIS Hot Stuntaz

December 27th, 2014 - 12:12 am

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


“Mystery of ‘Britain’s White Jihadi’ with the baby face: Counter-terrorism experts probe meek-looking Islamic State suspect amid claims photo could be sophisticated fake,” the London Daily Mail reports, embedding the above photo, which quickly that went viral on Twitter.

Fake or not, I sense something. A presence I’ve not felt since


The douchebaggery…the douchebaggery…

Shep Smith Fails the Ailes Test

December 17th, 2014 - 8:18 pm

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

[Roger Ailes] offered [self-admitted Democrat Chris Wallace] the job of hosting Fox’s Washington Sunday morning talk show—Rupert Murdoch’s favorite program— on two conditions. “Roger told me, ‘I want you to be equally tough on Republicans and Democrats. And I want to know if you can get up in the morning and not think that America is to blame for most of the world’s problems.’” Wallace assured Ailes that he could deliver on both counts, and went on the air in early December 2003.

—Zev Chafets, Roger Ailes: Off Camera, 2013.

Flash-forward to today, where Allahpundit catches Shep Smith wondering, is America about to “ruin” Cuba?

Actual quote about an honest to goodness police state, no apparent irony intended: “The last thing they need is a Taco Bell and a Lowe’s.”

Two ways to read that, I guess. One is that he’s objecting to having the wrong priorities, not to American businesses invading the island. Cubans need basic necessities, not fast food. Get a couple of Charmin factories in there churning out TP and that’d be a corporate move worth applauding. But wait — if that’s his point, why’s he reminiscing at the start of the segment about the sweet-ass four-dollar Cuban rum he likes to bring back whenever he travels there? That’s not a necessity. Which brings us to theory two: This is exactly what it sounds like, a guy seemingly willing to trade away greater prosperity for Cubans if it means Americanizing the island in return for preserving the quaint, simple culture that decades of authoritarianism and economic retardation have produced. It’s basically the “noble savage” view of economics. What doth it profit a Cuban to gain a middle-American depot for cheap building materials if he lose his cheap-rum-making soul? Where are we going to go to watch people riding around in 60-year-old Studebakers now?

Ahh, omnipotent tourism syndrome — even a Fox anchor isn’t immune:


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

“NBC’s [Andrea] Mitchell Declares [fellow NBC employee] Al Sharpton In Ferguson ‘On A Peace Mission.’”

—Headline, NewsBusters, August 17th.

“‘I’m Lost Now’: Can Ferguson’s Businesses Ever Rise From Rubble?”

—Headline at NBC, today.

Curiously, hitting CTL-F and typing in “Natalie’s Cakes,” which has received over $230,000 in donated funds after her building was trashed by rioters on Monday doesn’t bring up a reference in the article. Wonder why?

(Quote on our mock ad for Al Sharpton’s MSNBC show atop this post from network president Phil Griffin.)

It’s Deja DNC All Over Again

October 23rd, 2014 - 3:59 pm

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

Rekha Basu, the outspoken Des Moines Register columnist who has written frequently about the Iowa Senate race, says her son’s paid work for Democratic candidate Bruce Braley has no bearing on her paper’s endorsement process.

Basu, who describes herself as “very progressive,” has written several columns on the Iowa Senate race and is highly critical of Republican candidate Joni Ernst. Her most recent column, a wide-ranging critique of Ernst and her policies, is titled “This isn’t the Iowa woman we should elect.”

Basu’s latest column mentions that her son, Romen Borsellino, is employed by the Braley campaign. Pay stubs reviewed by POLITICO show that, on and off for the last year, Borsellino has received a biweekly salary of $998, translating to roughly $2,000 a month.

* * * * * * *

“I’ve been open about  my son’s work for the campaign,” Basu wrote later in the email. “I wrote about it in my column Sunday. Readers who have followed me for more than two decades know my views to be very progressive (my detractors call them socialist) on reproductive choice, immigration, gun control, environmental safety, the Iraq war,  poverty and class issues, among others. I don’t think there’s a single issue on which they align with Ernst’s, although I would love to see an Iowa woman elected to Congress someday.”

Rick Green, the Register’s president and publisher, similarly told POLITICO, “Any affiliation that Basu’s son has with Braley’s campaign is not a factor in our endorsement process. Rekha is not a member of our editorial board.”

—Dylan Byers, The Politico, today.

Chicago Sun-Times reporter Dave McKinney resigned from the paper just days after the Free Beacon reported that his wife’s political firm was working to defeat Republican Bruce Rauner, who had been at the center of several critical reports by McKinney.

In a letter Wednesday to Sun-Times Chairman Michael Ferro, McKinney tendered his resignation.

“It is with great sadness today that I tender my immediate resignation from the Sun-Times,” McKinney wrote on his personal blog.

While the reporter denied the allegations made by the Rauner campaign that his wife Ann Liston’s work conflicted with his political reporting, McKinney still decided to leave the paper after being placed on temporary leave.

Public records and other information obtained by the Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo connected Liston’s firm, Adelstein/Liston, to the Illinois Freedom Political Action Committee, which is backed by pro-Quinn public employee unions and has targeted Rauner throughout the 2014 campaign.

The Rauner campaign said McKinney had a clear conflict of interest and maintained that it could have impacted his work on a controversial story that accused the Republican of threatening a former colleague.

McKinney admitted that his wife does Democratic political work, but denied she is working to defeat Rauner.

“Sun-Times Reporter Resigns After Free Beacon Report,” the Washington Free Beacon, yesterday.

As Glenn Reynolds has noted, ”Think of the [MSM] as Democratic operatives with bylines and you won’t be far wrong.”

Related: Speaking of which, “New York Times Tries to Discredit NRA on Bruce Braley’s Gun Control Stance.”

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



Of all the weekends to cancel the obligatory Saturday golf game, this would have been a good one, not the least of which because his administration and its steno pool inside the New York Times worked to craft what is effectively a press release on Obama “seething” over how he and his administration have botched the Ebola crisis — one year after the disastrous rollout of his signature socialized medicine bill. (Fun fact: On this date a year ago, the otherwise Obama-friendly Huffington Post ran the headline, “Obamacare Website Failure Threatens Health Coverage For Millions Of Americans.”

Glenn Reynolds rounds up Bobby Jindal’s complete four-step plan for how the increasingly semi-retired president acts during one of his administration’s many clusterfarks; apparently interim steps 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, and 4.5 can be summed as: Fore!

Meanwhile, Roger L. Simon posits that administration officials will find an obscure video to blame for Ebola when they make their rounds on the Sunday talk shows tomorrow. Paraphrasing historian Robert Conquest’s Third Law of Politics, which states that “The behavior of any bureaucratic organization can best be understood by
assuming that it is controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies,” Roger wonders how the ghost of Andrew Breitbart got inside the controls of the administration’s evermore wobbly machine.


I’m Sure It’s Purely a Coincidence

October 6th, 2014 - 2:19 pm

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

A report into the British Broadcasting Corporation handling of the Jimmy Savile child-sex abuse scandal was released Wednesday, and the upper management of the BBC got off lightly, though the management culture of the BBC came in for criticism. One prominent member of that management: Mark Thompson, who served as director-general of the BBC for eight years until earlier this year, when he became chief executive of the New York Times Co.

Clay Waters, NewsBusters, December 20, 2012.

The nation’s tough anti-pedophilia laws are unfair to pedophiles, according to an op-ed published by The New York Times’ editors.

“One can live with pedophilia and not act on it,” says Margo Kaplan, an entrepreneurial assistant law professor at Rutgers University, and a former lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union.

Tragically, the roughly 1 percent of “people who are sexually attracted to children] must hide their disorder from everyone they know — or risk losing educational and job opportunities, and face the prospect of harassment and even violence,” she wrote.

“Pedophilia Deserves Civil Rights, Says New York Times’ Op-Ed,” Neil Munro, the Daily Caller, today.

Related: As Mark Steyn writes, the Times decided that it would be play the self-appointed role of being “A Teacher for the Apple” this weekend, hectoring Silicon Valley for its perceived lack of diversity — an astonishing statement for thus us who happen to lives in Silicon Valley:

No doubt “many” “studies” can be found that show such things. In which case, as John Hinderaker points out, why doesn’t the New York Times editorial board give “diversity” a try?

The Times says it is a “problem” that “Most [Silicon Valley] employees are white and Asian men.” So let’s count! Sure enough, 11 of the editorial board’s 19 members are white or Asian men. Worse, only one out of 19 is African-American. That’s a little under one-half the proportion of African-Americans in the population. How about a Rooney Rule for the New York Times?

You know those white lesbian parents who are suing the sperm bank for selling them African-American sperm rather than the Caucasian sperm they requested, and thus forcing them to raise a black child in their overwhelmingly white neighborhood? There are surely days when the Grey Lady’s lone black guy feels like the mis-inseminated lesbian’s daughter of the Times editorial board.

But, beyond the usual cheap laughs at the diversity poseurs’ expense, how ridiculous is it that The New York Times is offering advice on how to be “more creative” and “more profitable” to Google, Apple and Facebook? This is the company that so mismanaged its affairs its old-money patriarch had to call in a Mexican sugar daddy to bail them out. These are the “creative” geniuses who in the 1990s paid $1.4 billion for The Boston Globe and The Worcester Telegram, only to unload them for a combined $70 million, while retaining $100 million in pension liabilities. (In other words, they gave the papers away.)

Last year, Amazon (which presumably is as non-diverse as Google et al) bought The Washington Post for less than the Times paid for The Worcester Telegram in 1999. Why would anyone take business advice from The New York Times?