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  • Archive for July, 2003

    Dean, McGovernization and a Donk Trainwreck

    Posted by Chicago Boyz Archive on 9th July 2003 (All posts by )

    Dick Morris bewails the impact of Howard Dean:

    In forcing the party left, Dean is picking up where Jesse Jackson left off, creating a gantlet of liberal litmus tests that a nominee must pass to win the nomination – locking him into positions that invite certain defeat in November. No candidate can win a presidential race advocating gay marriage and opposing the military action in Iraq.

    In other words, Dean is not only going to cost the Donks 2004, he’s going to do long term damage. “[I]f somebody doesn’t stop Howard Dean, he and his ideas will be permanent plagues on the Democratic Party, forcing nominees to toe a line that so offends traditional values as to make its candidates unelectable.” Morris makes the case that Dean may well defeat Kerry in New Hampshire, or force him so far to the left to win that he is unelectable in the Fall.

    Wow, I nearly swoon at the deligthful prospects thus opened up. Let us devoutly hope that Morris is correct.

    Michael Barone, being Michael Barone, makes a more measured and scholarly case, but still sees strong potential for Dean to grab it all: “Core Democrats, the 20 to 25 percent of the electorate who hate Bush and ooze contempt for him, are flocking to the banner of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who last week had a big lead in the Internet poll run by MoveOn.org.” Barone notes that this “snob factor” will be a big deal in the primaries. If you don’t hate Bush, the core Donk voters won’t vote for you. I like it. Let the Donks clutch their imaginary superiority to their bosoms as they sink to the fathomless bottom of an icy and nightblack sea. Yes. Yes.

    Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

    Photo

    Posted by Jonathan on 9th July 2003 (All posts by )

    night of the living dead shrubs

    night of the living dead shrubs

    Posted in Photos | 4 Comments »

    Sullivan Weighs in Against Coulter

    Posted by Chicago Boyz Archive on 8th July 2003 (All posts by )

    Andrew Sullivan weighed in against Ann Coulter today. How cute: “CoulterKampf”. By using a German sounding word, Sullivan gets to call Ann Coulter a Nazi, without actually saying it. He gets to throw a sucker punch at a woman while maintaining deniability. Maybe he’s afraid she’ll take off one of her stilleto heels and slap him around with it. And this is just the insinuating and underhanded start to a piece where Sullivan tries hard to suck up to the kind of people who routinely call anyone who disagrees with them a Nazi. (The fact that Ann Coulter is not a fan of Sullivan’s pet causes like “gay marriage” may have something to do with it, too.)

    Sullivan’s great fear seems to be the taunting of liberals: “…when liberals taunt conservatives with being McCarthyites, conservatives now have to concede that some of their allies, namely Coulter, obviously are McCarthyites – and proud of it.” Trust me, liberals don’t care if they are taunted by Conservatives. They expect nothing less from fascists. That outrage is feigned. It is a tactic. And they counter-attack. Sullivan takes Coulter to task for “making huge and sweeping generalizations about all liberals.” Liberals do this all the time. Conservative? You’re a racist, a fascist, you want women to be barred from the workplace, to be illiterate, you want to poison the Earth. Please. This crap is so common it is taken for granted. It is the air we breathe. It is taken for normal. It’s like the Matrix, an all-pervasive cocoon of lies. If you are in favor of abortion, for example, you are a moderate, but if you are opposed you are a right-wing religious extremist. Coulter’s return fire leaves everyone appalled. But not me. I find it very refreshing to have at least one conservative who slaps them around in the fashion they so casually dish out. Turnabout is fair play.

    And I am happy to join Coulter as being, at minimum, an anti-anti-McCarthyite.

    I suppose I should say just whom I refer to when I use “liberals” as a noun in the foregoing since I am being so mean to them. Do I refer to my neighbors in the socialist village of Oak Park? No. My colleagues who are Democrats? No, not really. People who work in the real world, especially in commercial businesses with customers and clients are exposed to too much ordinary human variety every day to become prisoners of a truth-defying ideology. What I mean by “liberals” in this context is people who have a professional and public stake in liberal and leftist causes, the types of people who are drawn to that type of work, and the type of mindset that flourishes in that milieu. Specifically, people who work at think tanks and public interest groups, at activist liberal law firms, university departments especially in the humanities and social sciences, people who work in the senior ranks of government bureaucracies, most Democratic politicians and their professional staffs and consultants who work for them, people who work in entertainment media and publishing, and most especially at the major media operations like television and newspapers. People in these settings rarely meet anyone who serioiusly disagrees with them. They are free to demonize an imaginary “other”. They think Archie Bunker is social realism. They think George Bush is an idiot. They think people who go to church are pathetic, deluded simpletons. They think there is such a thing as “the global justice movement “. And such people have an enormous amount of control over what is and is not discussed or taken seriously since they hold the “commanding heights” of the media, the academy and the entertainment industry. This loose commuity is more or less whom Coulter is referring to, too, when she says “liberal”. Sullivan works in this world, and he has to maintain some liberal street cred as a matter of professional prudence. Attacking the religious right no doubt makes him some useful friends, as does being forthrightly gay, probably. Attacking Ann Coulter will also help him professionally. One does what one must, doesn’t one? If this seems too tough on Sullivan, note that his piece presumes that Coulter is motivated by money. A base charge indeed.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Politics | 4 Comments »

    Rabinowitz, Have you no shame?

    Posted by Chicago Boyz Archive on 7th July 2003 (All posts by )

    Dorothy Rabinowitz was responsible for a dishonest and misleading attack on Ann Coulter’s book “Treason”, which appeared in today’s Wall St. Journal. I just finished reading the Coulter book the other day. Ann is pretty busy throwing punches in that book. She is really mean to a lot of people. But so what? She is mean to the people who need being mean to. The main thing here is that Rabinowitz fails entirely to respond to the core of Coulter’s book, which can be summed up in one sentence: The decrypted Venona messages prove that there were hundreds of Soviet agents in the United States government, that McCarthy was absolutely right to demand that they be exposed and investigated, and that liberals opposed him not because they were innocent, but because they were complicit, and guilty, so they “fought like animals.”

    Rabinowitz talks about peoples lives being ruined. OK. What about Soviet spies working in the U. S. Government? There were plenty of them. More than most people ever were willing to admit. They were helping Stalin. Stalin destroyed a lot more lives than McCarthy. And no lives would have been destroyed if the commie bastards had confessed what they knew. No, they fought like animals, and maybe some people got hurt who probably shouldn’t have. Well, purging Soviet spies from the U.S. Government was necessary at the height of the Cold War, and collateral damage is how the cookie crumbles. Anyway, Rabinowitz talks only in vague generalities about people who suffered these supposedly horrible atrocities due to McCarthy. Why no names, why no pathos-filled details of innocent victims? Because there aren’t any.

    Daniel Patrick Moynihan discussed this in his book Secrecy, which Coulter refers to. Moynihan says, yeah, there were a Hell of a lot of Soviet spies, making essentially the same case as Coulter. Coulter however, puts two and two together — these people were spies for Stalin’s Russia, the worst tyranny ever (top 3, anyway), their liberal friends knew it, and lied for them and protected them. Not treason? OK, what then?

    Rabinowitz refers to the Annie Lee Moss episode, in which a purportedly poor and ignorant woman claimed to be mystified at the suggestion that she was a Soviet agent. This vaudeville act appealed to liberals who think that black people are wise and good, yet somehow also stupid and needing their help. My mother saw that hearing and thought Moss was lying. Coulter’s discussion of the matter is much stronger than the dishonest version Rabinowitz presents, and much more convincing.

    Rabinowitz fails completely to come to grips with Coulter’s case, for reasons which make no sense to me. Maybe she is put off by the sheer bloody-minded hatred which exudes from every page, the gobs of spit and flailing fists. Why? People who betrayed their country to Stalin, or who lied to protect spies for Stalin, and continued to lie about it for decades, and who have now been smoked out and continue to lie, don’t merit hatred? Why? If not, who does?

    Rabinowitz’s title is also wrong. Coulter is not the Maureen Dowd of the Conservatives. She is our Johnny Rotten. She doesn’t care what anybody thinks is appropriate behavior, or which topics are just not talked about, or about the liberal pieties, she snarls right back. And if she is over the top, she is at worst doing what one of her villains Dean Acheson admitted to be doing — speaking more plainly than the truth in order that the truth will be heard. And evil should be called evil, in season and out of season.

    I was not an Ann Coulter fan until I read this book. Now I am. I hadn’t paid much attention to Rabinowitz until today. I now know she is dishonest and can’t be trusted. I’ll never read another word she writes after this.

    (I await with very great eagerness the forthcoming book Ann Coulter mentions by M. Stanton Evans about McCarthy. That will be a scholarly tome which will help to set the record straight on these major events.)

    Posted in Politics | 2 Comments »

    Another Reason To Oppose Zoning Laws

    Posted by Jonathan on 6th July 2003 (All posts by )

    The city government of Hollywood, Florida, on behalf of residents who don’t like to have certain kinds of Jews as neighbors, is using zoning laws to harass the Jews while it leaves members of other religious groups alone.

    The Jews voted with their dollars and their feet to live and worship in Hollywood. Their neighbors are free to leave if they don’t like the situation, but instead are using the city’s legal muscle to try and keep the newcomers out. (Religious Jews always live near their synagogues, so forbidding synagogues in residential areas makes it difficult for religious Jews to live in those areas.)

    There would be an outcry and lawsuits if any American city tried such tactics against blacks or gays or members of other minority groups. What’s different here? Nothing, except that the Jews in question are a very small minority and Hollywood thinks it can get away with pushing them around. This is an appropriate occasion for an anti-discrimination suit against the City, and it’s nice to hear that the Chabad people are planning one.

    The mayor of Hollywood is trying to protect herself and her cronies by vigorously supporting anti-religious zoning restrictions, but insisting, somewhat belatedly, that they be applied evenhandedly. No thanks. One of the main problems with such restrictions is that it’s easy for cities to get away with not applying them evenhandedly. That’s part of why they are useful to politicians. Hollywood is only vulnerable here because it applied its own rules in such a heavy handed and blatantly discriminatory way as to make its adversaries’ case for them; the City might well have gotten away with it if its officials had been a bit more subtle and tactful. And who is the mayor of Hollywood, an ex-social worker, to say that organized religious observance is inappropriate in residential neighborhoods? That kind of arrogance in government officials is a much bigger problem than are low-key Sabbath gatherings in people’s residences.

    Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

    Blogging and Remembrance

    Posted by Jonathan on 4th July 2003 (All posts by )

    Bigwig of the Silflay Hraka blog posts photos and commentary about the liberation of the Ohrdruf concentration camp in 1945. The photos came into his possession by accident and he thinks they may never have been published. They are gruesome reminders of why we fought but also of why we are fighting, and are worth looking at even if you have seen such things many times before. Bigwig’s comments add quite a lot, as do some of the comments left by his readers.

    Bigwig is ambivalent about posting previously-unpublished historical images on his blog. I don’t think he should be. Blogs are perfect for this sort of thing. If he had given the photos straightaway to a museum or other institution they might have been filed away for years until someone got around to looking at them. Now he can scan them onto his blog and people will see them immediately, and he can still give them to an institution for preservation. This was a great idea on his part. The more people who use blogs to post historically significant photos and reminiscences, the better.

    Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

    July 4 and the Triumph of Liberty

    Posted by Chicago Boyz Archive on 4th July 2003 (All posts by )

    What was the American Revolution really all about? Modern cynics would have us believe that it was about something other than freedom. But examining the words and actions of the American rebels shows that they were struggling for freedom. And not just some abstract notion of freedom, but what they perceived as the “liberties of Englishmen” — specific, historically-grounded liberties.

    David Hackett Fischer’s masterful book Paul Revere’s Ride makes this clear. Some of the New Englanders refused to flee as the redcoats came past on their retreat from Concord, on that greatest of days, April 19, 1775. One such was Jason Russell of Menotomy, Massachusetts.

    One of these embattled householders was Jason Russell, fifty-eight years old and so lame that he could barely walk. Russell sent his family to safety, then made a breastwork from a pile of shingles at his front door. Friends urged him to flee. Russell answered simply, “An Englishman’s home is his castle.” Others rallied to him, and a fierce fight took place in the dooryard of the Russell house. A party of grenadiers was sent to storm the building. Most of the Americans retreated inside or ran away, but Jason Russell was too lame to run. He stayed and fought, until a grenadier killed him in his own doorway. His wife and children returned to find his body pierced with many bayonet wounds. Altogether eleven Americans were found dead at the Russell house.

    One of the great dividing lines in American life is between those who have an emotional, pre-rational love for their country, similar to their love for their parents or children, and those who are repelled by this. I have a friend who is a liberal lawyer, an activist, a smart, hardworking, skillful, honest, dedicated man. On the anniversary of 9/11 I had lunch with him. I offered him an American flag pin. He recoiled. To people like him, even the best of them, American history is one of struggle and reform against injustice, a story of the failed effort to establish a more egalitarian society, a struggle which goes on, and any American greatness exists in a vision of what it might some day be. As Richard Rorty put it, liberals hope some day to “achieve their country”, a country which exists in their minds.

    I’ll stick to my approach. America is not a project in the present requiring the bulldozing of the past. Nor, especially is it a mirage, an imaginary and pernicious utopia lodged somewhere in the future. It is a concrete reality of land and people and laws and customs. It is the gift bought with blood at Midway and Bastogne and Little Round Top and Yorktown. It is the work of countless hands that laid the bricks and railroad tracks and power lines, that dug the mines and dredged the harbors, that built the farmhouses and town squares, the skyscrapers and bungalows. It is the work of generations of jurors and schoolteachers and engineers and salesmen and mothers wiping muddy faces. It is the hard suffering of the Atlantic crossing, whether by slaves or free people. And back before all this, even before the rattling of musketry at Concord Bridge, before the pronouncements in the Declaration, the English liberties transplanted to these shores. And even farther, into the distant ages of the past, the slow growth of those liberties over the centuries. And progress, change, development for a conservative must take place with an awareness of this inheritance, and humility before it, in a spirit of custodianship, as part of the larger democracy, as Edmund Burke put it, which includes both the dead and those yet to be.

    The universalist statements of the Declaration, “all men … ” were founded not on abstractions but on real institutions, legal norms and practical conduct which embodied and give substance to these rights. The Anglosphere countries have inherited all this. It is up to the rest of the world to come up with their own solutions to realizing in practice these universal rights. Merely pronouncing them won’t do it nor, most likely, will simply transplanting American methods into alien soil. The world presents many challenges and tasks, and the domain of liberty will expand only by hard effort, and then only by fits and starts, and the end of history remains far, far off.

    God rest the soul of Jason Russell, American, who knew that an Englishman’s home is his castle, and died for it.

    God bless America.

    Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

    Yet Another Cool French Woman

    Posted by Chicago Boyz Archive on 2nd July 2003 (All posts by )

    Libertarian Samizdata has this post about Cécile Philippe, director of the newly formed Molinari Institute, a “free market think-tank”. Lib Samiz goes on to say that she is ” both a fearless and uncompromising libertarian activist, and a thoroughly charming and civilised person, two things which don’t always go together. ” That is delicately put. Too many libertarians have a bucket of good ideas, zeal and energy — but such a dearth of social skills that they couldn’t sell a sandwich to a starving man. A wave of groovy French women pushing this sort of good idea will be way more effective. As Lib Samiz notes, that would be formidable indeed.

    Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Yet Another Cool French Woman

    Sabine Herold II

    Posted by Jonathan on 2nd July 2003 (All posts by )

    “bubba” in the comments forwards this photo:

    Sabine Herold

    Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

    Until next week

    Posted by Ralf Goergens on 1st July 2003 (All posts by )

    I won’t do any blogging for the next week, so I have collected these items to make up for the lost time. Those lower down are links to older articles I had never had gotten around to posting.

    I got most of links from these news sources:

    Arts & Letters Daily
    SciTechDaily
    BusinessDailyreview

    Public Relations on the cheap:

    PR on a Low Budget: Combine 3 Tactics for Peak Impact

    A long-awaited “Star Wars” role playing game is set to be released for the Xbox this month:

    Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

    It’s set 4000 years before the movies, though.

    How to become a disastrous boss:

    7 Habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful Executives

    US companies can now officially be sued for defending themselves against criticism:

    Supreme Court paves way for trial on Nike’s free speech rights

    A bubble bursting?

    Gartner says Wireless LANs fair way away

    Working overtime to make mischief:

    Virus writers boost output in 2003

    Patents granted for somewhat peculiar inventions:

    You Can Patent That?

    I just might try the “Semen taste-enhancement dietary supplement”.

    Future interconnected networks of sensors:

    Sensors of the World, Unite!

    Proposed new airport scanners reveal a bit too much:

    ‘Nice Bombs Ya Got There’

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) in computer games

    Mind Games

    Electronic Arts becoming”the greatest entertainment company ever”?

    Could This Be the Next Disney?

    Bjørn Lomborg and Olivier Rubin review the latest edition of “Limits to growth”

    Chris Taylor whose company made the great roleplaying game Dungeon Siege on the Future of PC Gaming

    The Spectator on the “savage new religion of celebrity”:

    Why our gods must die

    Comedian Jeff Wayne does to Michael Moore what Moore did to Roger Smith:

    Michael And Me

    A great book review by Paul Krugman, from the time before he became a political activist:

    The Accidental Theorist

    An article that claims that Moore’s Law isn’t good for the high tech industry:

    Forget Moore’s Law

    A not quite official homepage of the science fiction author Larry Niven:

    Known Space

    The hierarchy of High School:

    Why Nerds Are Unpopular

    Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Until next week