From today’s Korea Times, an article titled “Civic Groups Split on Condolences“:
Civic groups and bloggers are divided over whether to offer condolences on the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.
Liberal groups claim it is necessary to express sympathy for humanitarian reasons, with some already announcing their own messages of condolences, while conservative groups claim it is nonsense to sympathize with the death of a dictator who killed thousands of his people.
As the government tendered sympathy to the North Korean people Tuesday, progressive groups generally welcomed the move.
Peace Network said in a statement; “Controlling the situation on the Korean Peninsula stably and ensuring peace will benefit all countries including the two Koreas and the United States.”
The nation’s two umbrella labor unions, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions and the Federation of Korean Trade Unions, sent telegrams of condolence to their North Korean counterpart.
Yes, “Peace Network” and the trade unions, engaged in “smart diplomacy.” If only Kim had lived long enough for them to release a statement with just the exact right wording to melt his totalitarian heart.
So what do the South Korean conservatives think?
Conservative groups, however, not only oppose sending condolences but also welcomed Kim’s death.
Some 150 members of six conservative civic groups said in a press briefing that Dec. 19 will be the first day of a new Korea.
“As human beings, we may have to express sympathy over a person’s death. But we won’t. How many people have to die in pain because of Kim Jong-il? During the time of the Arduous March, millions of North Korean people died. As a leader of a state, he committed countless crimes against the North, the South and the world,” they said in a statement.
“South Korea’s No. 1 enemy is dead, and it is absurd that the government expresses sympathy. If anybody wanting to visit the North to offer condolence, we’ll fight to stop them,” they said.
Another group, Right Korea, said, “The death of dictator Kim, who suppressed his people and starved millions of them to death, is nothing to be mourned. Most South Koreans welcome his death, regarding it as a signal for North Korea’s democratization.”
Conservative critic Cho Gab-je said, “The government should not tender condolences. It is a lasting regret that we ourselves couldn’t get rid of the slaughterer.”
Yes, I am requesting Cho Gab-je post at the Tatler, in case you’d like to hear more from him.
With the least surprising news of the day — that the Occupy movement has turned violent, and “G-d bless them” — it is worth revisiting the despicable report on “rightwing extremism” released in 2009 by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano:
The Department of Homeland Security is warning law enforcement officials about a rise in “rightwing extremist activity,” saying the economic recession, the election of America’s first black president and the return of a few disgruntled war veterans could swell the ranks of white-power militias.
A footnote attached to the report by the Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis defines “rightwing extremism in the United States” as including not just racist or hate groups, but also groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority.
“It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single-issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration,” the warning says.
The report, which was first disclosed to the public by nationally syndicated radio host Roger Hedgecock, makes clear that the Homeland Security Department does not have “specific information that domestic rightwing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence.” It warns that fringe organizations are gaining recruits, but it provides no numbers.
An objective observer would have come to the conclusion that nothing in the conservative/libertarian rise pointed to a penchant for or intentions of violence, whereas leftists not only have had violence on the table, but have literally been shouting it through megaphones.
Even without the blaring evidence, the objective observer would have deduced the difference in behavior expected from those desiring a return to the rule of law versus those desiring limitations on liberty.
The government should have been prepared for leftist violence, and now it’s here, and they are not ready because resources were devoted to harassing the law-abiding.
No, I’m not making this up.
New York’s CBS 880 AM aired an interview with protester Gene Wagner this morning, during which Wagner aired his frustration with Mayor Bloomberg’s announced cleaning of Zuccotti Park. Said Wagner:
“There’s a lot of stuff we wouldn’t have to clean up if the city provided basic human rights, like a Port-A-Potty,” said demonstrator Gene Wagner. “If you would’ve given us a Port-A-Potty 30 days ago, we would’ve maintained it ourselves.”
Rugged individualism, indeed.
This appears to be Gene, with some of his art.
Ok, we’re done.
Newt won this thing hands-down, and surprisingly, I think that matters. He just moved into first place for the VP slot. Cain certainly didn’t help himself and likely hurt his chances, which was the most likely scenario for him coming in. Perry is not worth discussing anymore.
Romney is going to come away with this nomination unless tea partiers make a stink, which better happen soon.
9:46 Good lord — Karen Tumulty brought up an income inequality question straight from an occupy Wall Street sign. She is an unrepentant radical who thinks she has some blockbuster soundbite that will smack down any conservative, not realizing she’s a caricature.
9:42 Newt smashes another one, gives a rather inspiring answer about America being able to get back on the right track if it decides to.
9:40 Solyndra question from Karen Tumulty a wolf in sheep’s clothing — she follows up a swipe about Solyndra with a question about Perry’s record on giving to businesses in Texas. It’s the type of disingenuous journalism you get from, say, a Martin Bashir.
9:31 Paul: Greenspan was a disaster.
9:30 Who’s your favorite Fed chairman? Cain: Alan Greenspan. Ugh.
9:23 Perry campaign is dead, by the way.
9:22 Santorum strong on TARP question. Yes, four of these candidates supported TARP, and they should be held to it.
9:20 Romney decides to question Bachmann, which is bizarre. How could he possibly think picking on her is a good use of his time?
9:16 Perry gets to Romneycare. Good move, since he’s otherwise flailing.
9:14 Ron Paul Federal Reserve fed depression abolish evil fed. Free Mumia.
9:12 Huntsman went from funny drunk uncle to the guy no one wants around with that question. Nasty.
9:10 Newt takes on Romney rather than Cain. Smart guy.
9:10 Cain goes after Romney, wins. The point being that Romney is a classic ruling class type who thinks you need the most complex bill created by the brainiest folks he can find to cut the deficit. Just stop spending!
9:07 Bachmann ties Perry to Gore. It’s like the consolation game at the World Cup with these two.
9:05 They should make Bachmann and Perry leave for the final segment, like that espn show that boots a commentator every break.
9:03 I think my pre-debate prediction is holding — Perry never had a chance here, as he’s already lost his conservative credentials. Cain can only hurt himself unless he’s perfect.
8:59 Commercial break, after which the candidates are to be allowed to question each other. This sounds like a slightly worse idea than letting Charlie Rose question them.
8:57 “Repeal Obamacare” first uttered by Mitt.
8:55 Even Santorum seeming more dynamic than Perry.
8:53 Perry back on energy. He’s falling flat with this approach here because he’s a crummy debater, which is a shame because energy is integral to a jobs discussion.
8:48 Bachmann just tried a folksy Palin approach that fell flat. Plus, associating Cain’s 999 plan with satan can’t be good for her image as a bit unhinged, entirely formed by the gardasil stance.
8:47 Great answer from Cain, he did a decent job covering a wonky subject with a short soundbite. He hasn’t hurt himself here.
8:45 Cain: “The problem with that analysis is that it is incorrect.”
8:44 Cain gets his own video clip displayed. Huh?
8:42 Newt! “Stupid!” Awesome.
8:39 Misleading video clip of Reagan claiming he would accept tax increases in exchange for spending reductions. Perry points out the obvious, historically accurate point: Reagan never saw those reductions from Congress. Also, Reagan was talking about a decrease in tax cuts.
8:36 First commercial break. Any reasonably unbiased observer without knowledge of the campaign would assume Newt Gingrich is the frontrunner. This thing is about more than debating though, and I simply don’t believe he can get over his popularity issues and standing as a pre-Tea Party establishment guy, fair or not.
8:35 Perry can feel his run draining as he sits there. Debatin’ ain’t easy.
8:30 We know who Romney is now — another “there’s a crisis, must act now” guy. I have no doubt that Romney would rush to spend a few billion rather than wait out the news cycle whenever a situation arises.
8:25 Romney does not rule out another bailout. Bad bad.
8:23 Cain is using tonight to focus on 9/9/9, which is a bit too wonky for a debate setup. He simply doesn’t have the time here to elucidate a plan like this.
8:20 Huntsman is a little too into this dinner table setup. I think he actually believes he’s in some guy’s dining room with these avuncular answers. Someone get him a snifter.
8:19 The questioner just presented herself as being pro-death panel, and Gingrich called her on it, actually using the term “death panel.” Newt!
8:16 Huntsman! He’s speaking in Clintonesque platitudes, as is his wont.
8:15 Santorum also doing that “shake-off the catcher” thing. “My jobs is different than the other ones proposed here because my plan will pass.”
8:15 Newt wins the first 15 minutes, hands-down.
8:10 Newt: “The first person to fire is Bernanke, the second is Geithner.” Whoa — want to put people in jail, the first people to look at our Barney Frank and Chris Dodd!”
Newt just started a real campaign here.
8:08 This question approved by Occupy Wall Street. Seriously, this is a bush league question she just pushed at Bachmann, and Bachmann is doing a tremendous job of explaining.
8:07 Would like to hear Gingrich here. Pipe in, Newt.
8:05 Perry points out that he has been good working with people on both sides of the aisle. Not what we’re interested in. Also, he will lay out his plan over the “next three days.” Huh?
8:03 Cain mentions the 9/9/9 plan within the first three words of the debate. He also claims revenues will equal spending during his first year as president.
8:02 And we’re off.
7:50 Goolsbee has a permanent “shaking off the catcher” face.
7:50 I close my eyes, and this anchor sounds exactly like Marty Funkhouser.
7:45 Goolsbee: “Small businessmen do not mention high taxes and regulations as their biggest problems.” Son of a …
7:43 The protesters have quieted, but “Stop the War on Women” signs have taken up residence in the background. The signs all say NARAL.
7:42 Austin Goolsbee! Hide the silver!
7:41 Interview with a local furniture maker/retailer: he claims he has to constantly be pricing his products at 20-25% off his regular retail, whereas a 5% sale used to be enough to spike his profits. Yikes.
7:36 I am truly excited to hear Cain speak tonight. Contrary to Perry, Cain has made his name as job creator in the private sector, rather than Perry’s work facilitating a free-market atmosphere as a politician. I prefer Cain’s experience in this regard: a job creator in the private sector like Cain is very likely to successfully follow Perry’s path once in office. A politician headed to the private sector is starting from scratch as a businessman, lest his contacts.
7:30 Good lord, it’s Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway. He wants to know how the candidates are going to encourage innovation. Supposedly so our kids don’t fall behind the world in making prohibitively expensive scooters for mall cops and Gob Bluth.
7:12 Protesters are overwhelming the anchors, but I can’t make out what they are chanting about. “More free s***” or something.
7:10 Candidates will be seated at a round table. I suppose this is intended to make us think they are more approachable, perhaps … human. But it makes me think Benihana.
7:05 I simply don’t see this as a big opportunity for Perry, I see a greater likelihood that his chances are done. This is the Economy Debate, yes, which should seemingly provide Perry with a window to play to his greatest strength, his undeniable success with creating a free-market business atmosphere in Texas that has kept the country from a possible depression. However — this campaign season has shown only one noticeable trend: the candidate viewed as most conservative rockets to the top, and falls back in the pack when their bonafides are tested.
Perry is simply not going to convince the electorate that he’s a solid conservative at this point.
Which opens up tonight’s likely storyline: Cain is considered a strong conservative already. He can only hurt his image tonight — perhaps if guns come up — though not particularly help it.
6:30 Newt reportedly getting fired up backstage by doing the Ray Lewis dance.
5:00 Off to pickup son from daycare. Twenty-one month-old Jack, who by the way has already mastered the nuanced political sloganeering of the Democrats: he’ll have a plate full of food, but he’ll still point at whatever on the plate he finds to be the yummiest item and shout: “Moooooooooore!”
4:55 Bold debate prediction: Milwaukee, Texas take Game Threes
4:50 Bold debate prediction: Newt offers Contract With America IV: The Wrath of Khan
4:45 Bold debate prediction: Jon Huntsman claims able to “see both sides” of an issue
4:30 Romney and Christie doing tremendous job of invigorating Perry’s campaign today.
CBS News has the goods, in the form of two documents and an email. And that’s not even the worst of his problems this evening.
Check back in with PJ Media at midnight Pacific.
I believe we’re all done here. Huckabee was excellent.
To wrap up: Upon arriving at the conference, I got a sense of rote, habitual behavior about it. “Sigh — Ahmadinejad again. Let’s hold another counter-conference, so they don’t think we’re growing weary of it all.”
Couldn’t be further from the truth, as it unspooled through the afternoon. Be confident that the face of your cause here is the most determined, studied, driven group of leaders you could hope for at this time of farce across the street. This is a tireless, eloquent group, and the Durban folks, already waning in influence considering their poor international PR for their conference, can never match it. Not the energy, nor the unity of message.
5:30 p.m. — Syria is now addressing Durban. No need for comment.
Huckabee, in a great contrast, is at the same moment discussing his frequent visits to Oskar Schindler’s grave with the tours he goes on. He points out that Schindler was a scoundrel in his private life, but his grave has the most rocks placed on it, because his faith was more evident by the things he did saving the Jews. He did great things, while others who are rather pious don’t take the risks he did.
5:20 p.m. — Huckabee has the best tie of the day. Masculine, yet pink.
He’s giving the “What if Canada shot Katyushas at the U.S.” analogy. “We cannot ask other nations to tolerate what we would be unwilling to tolerate.”
The room just went silent at the mention of the Fogel family, slaughtered with knives in the West Bank.
“If what Israel does is racism, we need more racism.”
Suck it, Olmert: “Jerusalem must remain undivided … so it can remain a city where people can go and worship whoever they may be.” The point being, A Jerusalem divided is soon Judenrein. And Christianrein.
He calls for an acceleration of construction in the West Bank — it draws a standing O, the biggest applause of the day.
5:16 p.m. — It’s hot in here, everyone’s tired, but the attention span of the crowd isn’t waning in the slightest. Just more repositioning in our seats, rolled up sleeves, etc. This is a serious, dedicated crowd, and I’m heartened having heard these leaders and knowing we have a strong crop fighting the UN at this pivotal time.
5:10 p.m. — Huckabee.
For the first time all day we hear the word “Obama.” Honestly, I don’t think anyone here even noticed the absence of talk about him, and I’m taking that as a sign that Obama’s relevance to the Jewish community is simply on the wane. Huckabee just mentioned NY-9 and its relevance to Obama’s treatment of Israel, to great applause.
Obama has been an afterthought here, and possibly at Durban as well.
5:02 p.m. — “Only at the UN could rearranging an acronym be considered major reform.” He’ll be here all week.
On an irrelevant sidenote, I often get my son to fall asleep at night by humming “O Canada.” I don’t know the words.
4:56 p.m. — Just noticed that Kenney’s title is Minister of Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism.
I assume Kenney takes issue with his title, judging from his talk — he’d trim that M-word.
4:50 p.m. — Canadian Jason Kenney now. He’s discussing Canada’s decision to drop out of Durban — the UN Human Rights chief was “shocked and dissappointed” with them, apparently. He says the chief lives in “an upside-down world.”
The Russian Federation is now addressing Durban, one of the few nations whose words should be taken seriously here. I fear the return of airlifting Jews out of Russia is not far off.
4:43 p.m. — “America should discontinue aid to the U.N.” Big applause.
“Zionism is philanthropy, a belief in helping others, a belief in freedom.” When Voight speaks, he gets this reverb in his voice like he’s got a subwoofer hidden in his pants. I would pay to hear him read the legal exceptions on my Roomba warranty. Anything. It’s really cool.
4:41 p.m. — “If Simon can survive what he went through, and come here and speak this truth … all will be well.”
4:38 p.m. — “America should stop funding Israel’s enemies.” Voight thinks Douglas Murray is a “comic maestro.” Is CAA here?
4:35 p.m. — Jon Voight! He looks genuinely shaken from hearing Simon Deng.
4:33 p.m. — His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Abdellahi Ould Khatra, Commissioner for Human Rights from Mauritania, is now educating Durban III on the problems of tribalism, water scarcity, and some Jewess he knows named Shana.
4:32 p.m. — “I have been to Israel five times visiting Sudanese refugees … they had hoped to find refuge in Egypt. They were wrong … they realized that the Arab racism was the same, whether Khartoum or Cairo. … They looked for a different refuge, they found it in Israel.”
“They said that compared to Egypt, Israel was heaven to them.”
4:30 p.m. — “Khartoum declared jihad on my people. … We believe that up to 200,000 were abducted and sold into slavery.”
“I was a slave for 3 and a half years.”
4:20 p.m. – Simon Deng is speaking now. From his Wiki:
“… I was a slave. … When I was nine year’s old, my village was raided by Arab troops in the pay of Khartoum. As we ran into the bush to escape I watched as childhood friends were shot dead and the old and the weak who were unable to run were burned alive in their huts. I was abducted and given to an Arab family as a “gift”.
He is speaking about how the Palestinians are hijacking the international human rights issue, while his people are actually suffering, dying, at the hands of Islamists.
4:11 p.m. — Murray just pointed out that Ahmadinejad opened his speech with an exhortation to hasten the arrival of the 12th Imam, and how that would be front page horror at the NYT if Bush had started a speech with religious talk. But when an Islamist does it — and to a genocidal messiah, no less — no one notices.
(I did though! Scroll down.)
Meanwhile, over at Durban III, Ecuador is very concerned about racism, poverty, and also Jews.
4:05 p.m. — “At Durban, the countries that were first to abolish slavery are now getting attacked by the countries that are still practicing slavery.”
“In the last 20 years, the life expectancy in Zimbabwe has dropped by a third.” Just because of Mugabe. I didnt know that.
4:00 p.m. — Douglas Murray is the British Dave Barry. Watch the PJTV feed when you get a chance. He just referred to “Idi Amin, the wife-eater.”
3:56 p.m. — Douglas Murray: ” I picked up the NYT this morning … actually, the hotel gave it to me. That’s the only reason I have it.” Heh.
“Every day, the UN maintains this fiction that all states and all governments are essentially equal.”
3:45 p.m. — “We need to create a narrative that is not poetic, but literal … that the problem in the Middle East is not white supremacy, but the end of white supremacy.”
He’s addressing a psychological bent here, which we haven’t heard yet today: the problem of a newly freed man having to address his condition at the bottom of the totem pole. When freedom doesn’t bring prosperity, people choose to readopt the narrative of victimhood rather than address their difficulties and failures.
While it’s just a contributing factor — obviously, as all the Islamists across the street are bloody wealthy — I’m glad that Steele is bringing this up. Switch over to the Durban livestream to hear how dead on he is about the narratives.
3:30 p.m. — Shelby Steele, who looks great behind a podium. I’m calling a casting director.
“We have done a poor job to offer a narrative to combat the narrative on the other side.” That might be the first criticism towards this side of the aisle here, I’m curious where he goes with this.
“Racism no longer prevents to forward progress of blacks in the U.S. Yet it remains the centerpiece of what we talk about regarding this country.”
“Racism is about the 25th thing on the list of things affecting blacks today.”
“Who would the Palestinians be if they weren’t the supposed victims of white supremacy? They would just be poor people. It’s the source of their self-esteem. … The idea that the problem is Israel protects them from having to confront their societal inferiority.”
I like Shelby Steele.
3:20 p.m. — Further, the International Olympic Committee will be speaking at Durban today, to discuss how the scourge of Zionism affects the greater luge community.
Representing the IOC will be a man named Mr. Sithole.
3:10 p.m. — Roger looks to be grabbing a few words with Zuhdi Jasser and perhaps Shelby Steele and Ruth Wisse. Again, if you have a chance to listen to Ms. Wisse sometime, it will be time well-spent.
Claudia has left us, headed back to that sinkhole across the street.
3:02 p.m. — Alert: Liechtenstein will be addressing the Durban conference this afternoon. I repeat: Liech. Tenstein.
Liechtenstein has a population of 35,000, is primarily Catholic, and is apparently terribly concerned with the danger of an encroaching Zionist regime.
2:42 p.m. — Coffee break, PJTV off to grab some interviews.
2:37 p.m. — So Jesse Jackson is sitting with the South African delegation, as a stream of South African reps take to the microphone. Not sure why he’s sitting there, but pleased he couldn’t attend as a U.S. representative.
2:24 p.m. — Harvard Professor Ruth Wisse: “Durban III is the time to ask whether the remedy of the United Nations is worse than the condition it came to cure.” (Note to self: ask Ruth Wisse to get on PJM. Watch her on PJTV now — this is a public speaker.)
“Hitler had to quit the League of Nations to carry out his intentions. Not so with the Islamist countries and the UN.” Well, there’s your answer to Wisse’s question.
2:12 p.m. — JESSE FREAKING JACKSON is now addressing the Durban conference!
Actually, now that I’ve settled down from the shock, I don’t know why I was so surprised he was attending. I suppose it’s not the discovery that he might feel sympathy for such views — we knew that — but that he would be so careless as to walk into such a publicity nightmare.
2:10 p.m. — Zuhdi Jasser slams the Dalai Lama! I did not see that sentence coming when I woke this morning. The Dalai Lama was apparently a signer of a statement equating criticism of religion with hate speech.
He states that there are in fact groups in Islamist countries holding signs clamoring for separation of mosque and state, but they do not garner respect at the UN because they are bereft of petrodollars.
“I’m offended that Durban III is taking place near Ground Zero.”
1:55 p.m. — “Every other person I meet in the West Bank says their dream is to become an Israeli citizen and move to Israel. It’s not because they’re Zionists, but because they are not stupid.”
“Every morning I say ‘Thank G-d I am an Israeli citizen.’”
“Sometimes I feel safer talking to members of Fatah and Hamas then I do on a U.S. university campus.” He isn’t kidding, he needs security detail when he speaks here.
1:45 p.m. — “When I try to alert my fellow journalists to the presence of monetary corruption in the P.A. my colleagues ask: Are you being paid by the Jewish lobby? … Others tell me: How can we report negatively on the PA, and return to Ramallah safely?”
He says: “If you guys are afraid to cover a conflict, what are you doing here covering a conflict? Go home and cover sports.” Heh.
“These stories play into the hands of Jews”, he was told by diplomats and foreign media.
He relays a story of making up ridiculous anti-Israel stories, just to see if foreign media will try to cover it. They do.
1:40 p.m. — Khaled Abu Toameh takes the stage, and I realize that for the past half hour, I’ve been sitting next to Khaled Abu-Toameh.
1:35 p.m. — A round of applause for her call for the UN to protect Muslim women from honor killing. “What has the UN done to stop this appalling trend? Mr. Ban Ki Moon, we take notice and we are outraged.”
“All these supposedly “progessive” leaders have allowed this to continue.” She’s speaking our language now.
Standing ovation as she finishes.
The streaming video of today’s anti-capitalist Day of Rage in Manhattan requires that you watch a fifteen-second ad before the video starts. Mine was for Toshiba notebooks.
When the ad finished and the video began, the player ran a continuous pop-up ad for Blue Cross Anthem Health Care.
Ever watch the X-Games, where the “counterculture” snowboarders have a sponsor label on every item of apparel?
Next to the Gore Effect, the only joy I take from the Anthropogenic Global Warming movement is that it birthed the fad of Geoengineering. It’s kind of like sixth-grade social studies — “we should drag icebergs from the South Pole to Africa to end thirst!” — but it involves adults: soft scientists masquerading as the real kind competing to devise the largest Rube Goldberg device, extra points awarded when the project looks likely to run into the quadrillions, winner gets a mention in the NY Times Freakonomics blog.
My previous favorite was the Fertilize the Ocean! project, in which plankton food would be spread across the waters, stimulating the mildly erotic sea creature, the salp, to come to the surface and feed, during which time it would consume some carbon, following which it would take a s***. The carbon would fall to the bottom of the ocean, thus saving Earth from something or other at a cost of Germany’s GDP in plankton food.
But last week, Freakonomics gave us the wonderful headline: “Finally: A Garden Hose to the Sky”, a title that doesn’t make sense for, like, four reasons:
Well, it’s actually happening. An idea reported extensively in SuperFreakonomics has come to fruition, and some mad scientists are getting their way (and a little government funding) to build a garden hose to the sky — and potentially save the world by cooling it down.
A team of British researchers called SPICE (Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering) is trying to pump particles of water into the atmosphere as a test run before moving onto sulfates and aerosols that would reflect sunlight away from earth, mimicking the aftereffect of a massive volcanic eruption. SPICE is building the garden hose at an undisclosed location, with £1.6 million in U.K. government funding and the backing of the Royal Society.
Check out Steven Levitt’s interview with Jon Stewart from 2009, where he discusses the idea (beginning at about the 2:20 mark).
(Raise your hand if you sensed that somehow, by the grace of … leftism, the words “Jon Stewart” would show up in that piece.)
Take a look: the article includes some helpful illustrations, including an artist’s rendering of what is described as the “very long hose.”
“Should the starting salary for a teacher be $60,000?”
This wisdom emanates not from a teachers’ union, although I’m sure it does somewhere, but from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. His logic, which of course is not actually definable as logic:
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan proposed last month that a significant boost in teacher salaries could transform public schools for the better by luring the country’s brightest college graduates into the profession.
“Flaw A: There Is No Money For This” dwarfs the other deficiencies with this plan. Flaw B rests with the false assumption that subpar teachers are the cause of our public schools cranking out ninnies without marketable skills (a profound distinction from our private schools, which crank out ninnies without marketable skills who can quote Richard Hofstadter).
Nevermind that Duncan is explicitly insulting all of the wonderful teachers who understand the necessary salary structure of their chosen profession and do it anyway as not being the best and brightest, although I’m certain they do mind. The most galling concern here is this being the latest example of how the shining lights of leftism always arrive at the same conclusion, all the Ph.Ds and weekend conferences and breakout discussions inevitably arrive at the same conclusion after having falsely identified the same problem: we haven’t been “investing” enough.
Stoll points out the key passage from the article:
The Yahoo! News article reports: “smaller raises of 20 percent or less have been ineffective, and one New York City school that embraced much higher pay has so far underperformed on state tests.” It also says there were certain tradeoffs, like larger class sizes.
First reports imply that the attack was made possible by Egypt no longer controlling the Gaza border, an outcome of Mubarak’s ouster.
Israel claims knowledge that the attackers came from Gaza via Egypt, and Netanyahu has already vowed to respond. Per Netanyahu’s previous behavior, “respond” should be taken to mean military action.
Rasmussen has Rick Perry, who has spent roughly the length of an Obama lunch break campaigning, up 11 points on Romney. This is apparently a Gamechanger! moment, according to the media sources whose promos declare “The Coverage You Can Depend On” while a news chopper circles a glass tower.
That Perry has jumped to the lead, with Bachmann in the neighborhood, constitutes surprising news only to the remaining members of our political class.
Perry is in the lead because he appears to be the most conservative GOP candidate. For the duration of the 2012 campaign — should Marco Rubio or Paul Ryan opt in, and one of them will — and looking backwards even to Trump, the candidate perceived as the most solid conservative (Trump wasn’t, of course) has and will spend some time as the frontrunner.
I wrote the following back on March 21, and I’m reposting it here not because I claim to have some preternatural ability to divine the will of the country, but precisely the opposite: this is a pie-in-the-face obvious observation and the majority of Americans not named F. Chuck Todd have already made it:
The self-evident truth regarding running as a conservative — an identity which overwhelmingly comprises America’s biggest voting bloc — is that conservatives do not care who wins the GOP nomination. They are happy; they are self-sufficient and will fight on their own. If the party gets onboard with the base, good for the party, but the base is aboard with the Constitution first and the GOP second or never.
This has been evident since the Founders; this was demonstrated truth during the 2010 elections. How can you not know this yet?
We want statesmen, not Miramax thugging around for Best Picture. We truly don’t concern ourselves with who you are, your face, your alliances, what state you were raised in. We don’t care about your name. Seriously — don’t even tell us your name. We want John Doe, the vessel of Constitutional originalism, who understands natural rights are the way of nature and not the Founders’ trendy theory, and that natural rights are most threatened now by a weak border, Islamism and Communism, and — above all — the biggest government to ever exist, and that’s what he’s going to spend the next four years working on, and eight if we so honor him.
We’re begging for truth, not Rovian theory. Be American, or keep diddling and lose the West.
He will be the next president, because that’s what the market is dictating. I told you this weeks ago. Just sayin’.
Says the Weekly Standard:
Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan is strongly considering a run for president. Ryan, who has been quietly meeting with political strategists to discuss a bid over the past three months, is on vacation in Colorado discussing a prospective run with his family. Ryan’s concerns about the effects of a presidential campaign – and perhaps a presidency – on his family have been his primary focus as he thinks through his political future.
“He’s coming around,” says a Republican source close to Ryan, who has been urging the 41-year-old to run.
“With Paul, it’s more about obligation than opportunity,” says another Wisconsin Republican. “He is determined to have the 2012 election be about the big things. If that means he has to run, he’s open to it.”
Ryan hinted at his thinking during a candid interview Friday with Charlie Sykes, an influential talk radio host in Milwaukee, telling Sykes that he was unsatisfied with the current crop of Republican candidates.
Sykes asked Ryan about state of the Republican presidential campaign. “Looking at the Republican field right now, are you confident that the candidates there are able to articulate the issues of the debt and the deficit and the need to reform entitlements in the way that you want to see done?”
Ryan laughed. “Why did you ask me that?”
“You know exactly why I asked you that question.”
“I know. We’ll see. I didn’t see it last night. I haven’t seen it to date. We’ll see. People’s campaigns evolve – they get better. So we’ll see.”
UPDATE: The Hill now says he “denies he’s considering 2012 bid”, but that doesn’t seem to be an accurate description of the new statement from Ryan’s spokesman:
“While grateful for the continued support and encouragement, Congressman Ryan has not changed his mind,” spokesman Kevin Seifert said.
That’s not a denial of consideration, it’s a carefully worded response pointing out that Ryan has not entered the race. My take is that Ryan went a tad further than he intended in his appearance with Sykes, and that if he does choose to run, it won’t be a wink-wink affair in the days prior as happened with Huntsman’s clownish meta-campaign. Ryan is a Tea Partier: no Roveian PR, just an announcement when he is ready.
Rumors of Unfair Labor Practices at S&P Surface
The S&P Cabal: How White Accountants Downgraded the First Black President
Bought and Paid For: Prominent GOP Fundraiser Lunches with S&P VP
Murky Past, Questionable Present: Did S&P Fund Nazi Empire?
How Israel Benefits From S&P Downgrade
Just two minutes before discovering Jonah Goldberg’s piece today, I had posted the “I’m Mad as Hell” pic on Roger Kimball’s featured PJM article. Because Kimball, too, appears mad as hell, and I’ve been there for a while, and I know you guys and you’re mad as hell.
I could enlist a sociology grad student to find the exact Malcolm Gladwell tipping point, but I’m comfortable with pinning it on the four or five prominent instances of “terrorist” that just got thrown about: Washington and the MSM just sparked a prairie fire. Expect this week to be recalled as the moment we stopped tiptoeing in polite company.
Here’s some Jonah:
But think about this for a second. The Giffords shooting sent the media elite in this country into a bout of St. Vitus’ dance that would have warranted an army of exorcists in previous ages. Sarah Palin’s Facebook map was an evil totem that forced some guy to go on a shooting spree. The New York Times, The Washington Post, all three broadcast networks, particularly NBC whose senior foreign affairs correspondent — Andrea Mitchell — devotes, by my rough reckoning, ten times as much air time to whining about Sarah Palin as she does about anything having to do with foreign affairs, flooded the zone with “Have you no shame finger wagging.” A memo went forth demanding that everyone at MSNBC get their dresses over their heads about the evil “tone” from the right. Media Matters went into overdrive working the interns 24/7 to “prove” that Republicans deliberately foment violence with their evil targets on their evil congressional maps.
Everyone “knew” the shooter was a tea partier. Except he wasn’t. He wasn’t even a conservative. He was a sick, demented, nutball. And it still didn’t matter! More bleating and caterwauling about the “tone” followed. More chin stroking and tut-tutting from Meet the Press roundtables and “very special segments” on the Today Show. More pizzas were ordered for the Media Matters galley slaves.
Finally, president Obama, our national-healer gives a speech. It was good speech. Indeed it was one of the first speeches in a long while that got anything like bipartisan support. Civility. New tone. No more martial metaphors. These were the takeaways.
So flashforward to this week. Tom Friedman — who knows a bit about Hezbollah — calls the tea partiers the “Hezbollah faction” of the GOP bent on taking the country on a “suicide mission.” All over the place, conservative Republicans are “hostage takers” and “terrorists,” “terrorists” and “traitors.” They want to “end life as we know it on this planet,” says Nancy Pelosi. They are betraying the founders, too. Chris Matthews all but signs up for the “Make an Ass of Yourself” contest at the State Fair. Joe Nocera writes today that “the Tea Party Republicans can put aside their suicide vests.” Lord knows what Krugman and Olbermann have said.
Then last night. on the very day Gabby Giffords heroically returns to cast her first vote since that tragic attack seven months ago, the Vice President of the United States calls the Republican Party a bunch of terrorists.
UPDATE: Malkin’s had it, too.
Gabby Giffords is the new Chuck Norris. Except she’s real, of course.
As anyone who has witnessed someone facing death and disease will tell you, luck about the “bullet just missing” such-and-such vital organ tissue is just one element of survival. People will themselves to live for a wedding or a new grandkid all the time. Quite literally, Mrs. Giffords is alive because she decided to be.
Throughout the day, the most profound element of the debt ceiling slapfight became evident to most, a nagging truth that most of America realized but hadn’t yet addressed with all the play-by-play stealing the dialogue. But it’s there now, with another bill passed and another bill tabled by Senate Dems, and the ruling class Republicans vs. the conservatives is the least interesting narrative. Rather than being the drama of the day, it’s hardly worth a mention.
The Dems have no cards left to play, and not just for this hand. The Dems just have no cards left, and I’m not even sure they know why they sat at the table. What was the best possible outcome for them? A raised debt ceiling, and another tax increase, followed by another week of horrible economic data? The game really is over, the world understands its over, and I think the Dems do as well. They played the “let’s see if the Republicans fold” card, because, well … they were already at the Capitol building. But I don’t see any heart left. Reid may still be scrapping, but I don’t see any heart left.
That happened on June 3, 2008, “… the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”
Done. And. Done.
Don’t you remember? Have you been fussing about all this time, worried about the fate of humanity, like we didn’t already fix that?
Today should present an interesting couple hours of testimony, per the press release:
Watch the livestream here.
Apparently the pre-Bush tax levels were “normal,” so any future tax raises would not be tax raises, they would be … not tax raises. They would not exist in space-time.
The question that should occur to the people like us who … question things:
As tax rates have changed countless times in this country’s history, how do you decide which era was “normal?” Can I go back to 1874? I think that would be a cool year for a “baseline.”
Mika Brzezinski isn’t the only person continually employing this argument either, and I would Google the others, but I assume you are already bored.
Thanks to upstate New York’s Cornell University — long seeking to raise their cache in the downstate realm of unhappy hipsterism — you may soon be able to experience the Sartre-style angst of the forgotten nameless urban dweller without even needing to grow spotty facial hair:
Cornell Team Builds Space-Time Invisibility Cloak
The theoretical possibility of an “event cloak” — a metamaterial space-time device that could theoretically conceal an entire event in time from the view of an outsider — has been written about for years. And while some bright minds have been talking about bending space-time to their whims, a team at Cornell was doing it. And it works. For 110 nanoseconds.
Yes, it only lasts 110 nanoseconds, but that’s a feature, as the true unhappy hipster embraces only that which is both alienating and fleeting. I should also point out that Cornell also owns the most alienating architectural structure in the world, this …
… which either represents two pigs at a trough, or two hydrogen zeppelins, their shape held only by air, and lightweight air at that, biding their existence until they inevitably encounter a spark and explode.
Bravo, Cornell, home of the “unofficial, unnamed” football mascot. Bravo.
Harvard’s Associate Professor of Tyranny and It Takes a Village, Dr. David Ludwig:
“In severe instances of childhood obesity, removal from the home may be justifiable, from a legal standpoint, because of imminent health risks and the parents’ chronic failure to address medical problems,” Ludwig co-wrote with Lindsey Murtagh, a lawyer and researcher at Harvard’s School of Public Health.
Of course. Interestingly, a dissenting voice of liberty from … Yale:
Dr. David Katz, founder of the Yale Prevention Center, said that there is no evidence that the state would do a better job of feeding children than their parents.
That’s part of it, the other being: there is no evidence that one man has the goddam right to take another’s kids. One family that had to endure the nightmare scenario proposed by Ludwig has spoken up:
In a case that shocked many people across the country, 3-year-old Anamarie Regino, weighing 90 pounds, was taken from her outraged parents by government officials and placed in foster care.
“Literally, it was two months of hell. It seemed like the longest two months of my life,” mother Adela Martinez said.
As it turned out, it was two unnecessary months of hell. Anamarie didn’t improve at all in foster care, and she was returned to her parents. The young girl was later diagnosed with a genetic predisposition.
“They say it’s for the well-being of the child but it did more damage that any money or therapy could ever to do to fix it,” Martinez said.
Anamarie, who is now 14, agreed.
“It’s not right, what [Dr. Ludwig] is doing, because to get better you need to be with your family, instead of being surrounded by doctors,” she said.
From Jodi Carroll, a “regretful Obama voter“:
I thought conservatives and Republicans were the ones who were really dishonest about facts and wanting suppress my freedoms. I have found, however, that conservatives and Republicans are much more honest and liberalism really does not function well when reality and facts are ubiquitous.
I’d like to take that as praise of New Media: we’re doing our best here at PJM to make reality and facts ubiquitous.
If this story pans out, Owen, I predict it blossoms into a larger story than we might expect, and tangibly, it is.
The left — and this includes any form of leftism, from Islamism to Marxism — always has its “lightworkers” at the helm: those who the followers consider to be wiser, to have the firmest possible grasp of the movement pillars. This is necessary, because when you believe laws are made by men and not nature, you’ve got to find the men who sit above us all, and more importantly, you’ve got to believe these men exist.
The fascist, communist, totalitarian ’60s revolved around John Lennon’s perfect thoughts. Now, he was just a man. How could that be?
We still have a chance to accurately record the 60s for prosperity, which is not at all similar to the history as recorded by the wide-eyed who circled Lennon, which still dominates the culture.
Via Glenn, I’ve just been informed that an eight-foot long mountain lion was spotted today some 400 yards or so from my apartment. I shall spend much of tomorrow “acting large, standing up tall, waving my arms, and making noises,” just in case.
Because it’s Friday.
Barkley has very recently decided to fight his epic post-retirement weight gain, for which he should be commended. And he’s not screwing around with some calorie-counting program — he went straight to CrossFit.
But Shaq says he is likely getting Achilles surgery, which will prevent him from doing much of anything for a while. Retirement, a naturally huge frame, and a bum leg, and this could get heavy real quick. Let’s hope he stays healthy for a long time, by all accounts he is a heck of a nice guy.
I think Rep. Weiner may have lost any remaining defenders with this latest emission.
I like to relax by reading up on sports and fitness; my wife, celebrity gossip. (This may be a gender trend, though of course there is no clear demarcation on this one, as she also knows sports as well as I do, she just ran a half-marathon, and she certainly could manage the bullpen better than Girardi.)
She’s pointed out a more disquieting trend to me today: Whenever Hollywood blogs mention Jews, or Israel, or anti-Semitism, or in this specific instance, Hitler, it’s just a matter of time before a commenter accuses the Jews of genocide.
“Miley to perform at Bar Mitzvah?” Comment 37: “Sharon was a butcher, nuff said”
“Amare Stoudamire exploring his Jewish heritage”? Comment 43: “Israel just acts like they can do whatev they want because of Holocost, it’s f***d up.”
Today we’ve got “Banned Cannes director Lars Von Trier explains his Nazi rant“, and it only takes until comment 15 this time, so I’m going to have to run the math by William Briggs for probabilities. But I think we have an amendment to Godwin’s Law here.
Yesterday, utilizing my intelligence acquisition expertise — the kind of competence one can only accrue via being alive since the year 2000 — I searched the background of Jesse Lee, the newly hired White House Director of Progressive Media & Online Response/Woodrow Wilson Comes Alive! Laser Light Show Project.
I typed “Jesse Lee” into Google. Thirty seconds later, I knew that not only did Lee once sound like a navel-gazing twit at an undergraduate philosophy conference a decade ago, but that he recently married a woman named Nita Choudhary. Choudhary is a prominent figure at MoveOn.org, was the leader of MoveOn.org’s anti-Iraq war campaign, and also may have once made a tiny error in judgment, nothing to speak of really, but for the sake of transparency, she may have purchased a full-page ad in a national newspaper dubbing General Petraeus “Betray Us,” and then suffering from Crime and Punishment-level pangs of guilt, or the opposite of that, she went on C-SPAN and ardently defended the ad.
As Lee is now responsible for defending the administration from damaging PR, and as Petraeus is a member of the administration whom Lee might be asked to defend, you might identify this as a showstopper conflict of interest. The NSA, or whoever is in charge of WH employee background checks — let’s say Al Franken — did as well, which is why, at an elaborate State dinner, Valerie Jarrett went out of her way to create the perfect opportunity for Lee to propose marriage to Choudhary. Don’t question Franken. (Hat tip: Dan Riehl.)
It’s not necessary to bother Petraeus’ office for comment regarding how the very person who slandered him received special treatment by the White House, we won’t be doing that.
What you should take from this story: the most anti-American, anti-military elements of our society are not simply tolerated by the Obama administration; they are not simply, and cynically, welcomed as potential voters.
This administration is more comfortable around people like Nita Choudhary then around people who disagree with her. Lee’s relationship with Choudhary was not a negative for his White House career. I’ll posit it was a plus.
UPDATE: Lee is married to Nita Chaudary. Here is a CSPAN transcript from Sep. 10, 2007, wherein Chaudary represents — and ardently defends — MoveOn.org for publishing the Petraeus smear ad prior to Petraeus speaking a word before Congress.
We want to make sure the truth gets out there in advance of this testimony.
I found the following bio for Chaudary from 2008:
Nita Chaudhary, Campaign Director at MoveOn.org Political Action: Nita leads MoveOn’s campaigns on the Iraq War, Constitutional Liberties as well as running the fundraising program for MoveOn’s 2008 electoral effort. In the past she was the Director of Online organizing for the DNC. She’s also held several positions at People for the American Way, including Media Research Analyst, Web Editor, and Online Organizer.
I think it fairly safe to hypothesize that Chaudary may own that ad: as the leader of MoveOn’s campaigns regarding the Iraq war, the ad as conceived may be her work.
As Bryan reported yesterday, the Obama White House has hired a man named Jesse Lee to be its new Director of Progressive Media & Online Response or something. This is believed to imply that when people such as, say, Christian Adams say negative things about the administration that are provably true, Lee will “Respond” somehow on Twitter. And Facebook. And there will be links.
Anyway, I just performed a 30-second background check on Lee. And while I feel that most people shouldn’t be held accountable for anything political they say before the age of 25, a couple of wacky things authored by him shortly after college do turn up, probably best considered, if at all, as an example of the narcissism cultured by our developing higher education bubble.
From the SUNY Oneonta 2001 Undergraduate Philosophy Conference:
I sure hope the current GOP hopefuls/Paul Ryan understood the larger message of Netanyahu’s speech today: logic, reason, clarity, and uncompromising commitment to the values of the West aren’t simply the current wave of contemporary politics: they are essential to liberty’s survival.
Forget Rovian tactics; we want statesmen. Be like Netanyahu and you will be the next president.
Ever seen the 12th Imam and Santorum in the same place? Just sayin’.
… is an anagram for Dominique Strauss-Khan.
Maid Squashes Oink Runt
S*** Aroma, Squid Sunken
Shadier Anus Monk Quits
Monied S*** Quasar Sunk
A Unkind Risque Moth Ass
Inn Ass Muskier, Quoth D.A.
And, for his socialist supporters:
Asshead Quits, Kin Mourn
Let’s call this an overnight thread.
Paul’s conspiracy-theory laced history of isolationism has American Jews agreeing about something, which is good.
Anything to limit the appearance of those Ron Paul “Revolution” signs with “love” spelled backwards, which always made think of Paul as a guy who may, without warning, get a little handsy.
Walker in the Senate sounds good to me. And please, nobody bother Paul Ryan, as we need him elsewhere.
UPDATE: Nevermind the below gasket-blowing: it wasn’t Obama, it was GOP’er Mike Rogers. Well, don’t ignore it, instead redirect your ire.
Yes, Obama just made a moral equivalency between our soldiers and bin Laden.
And yes, he just insinuated that Americans would go shootin’ some imams or something if al-Qaeda were to kill an American and post photos of it on the internet — WHICH THEY HAVE DONE EVERY DAY, including videos of the towers collapsing, Daniel Pearl, and Nick Berg, and Mogadishu, and IED videos, WHICH ARE ALL OVER THE DAMNED INTERNET, and which have never resulted in even a damned bloody nose doled out to an innocent Muslim by an American.
Cowboy up, America, and tell the president what you think of this.