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  • Archive for September, 2010

    More on Palin and Elite Status Anxiety

    Posted by Lexington Green on 15th September 2010 (All posts by )

    This is an addendum to Shannon’s post.

    It occurs to me that the whole Obama phenomenon and the vitriolic attack on Gov. Palin are two sides of the same status anxiety.

    Globalization, as it got started, hammered wages in the USA in manufacturing, by exposure to low wage competitors in China and in Mexico, as well as moving the Mexican workforce here. This made white collar workers relatively more wealthy, it gave them domestic servants, it held down inflation so their wages stayed steady while new and better products were coming online, and it did not initially subject them to competition, and they did not initially face job insecurity anything like what blue collar workers faced. As a result they were able to engage in all kinds of luxury purchasing and status posturing. Stylish domestic decor, a refined taste in imported wine, and other SWPL, for example, were noted and status ranking assigned with exquisite care. David Brooks is very good on this status signalling, in his book Bobos in Paradise. This was all flattering to white collar workers, many of whom had non-quantitative degrees, especially law degrees. They had money in their pockets and they had nice stuff in their homes, and foreign-born domestic help. Life looked pretty good. Looking down on the majority of their fellow citizens was a big part of their identity. But then, all of a sudden, they began to feel the winds of change blowing, too. Their jobs became insecure, or disappeared. They began to see that their university educations did not mean a one way ticket to affluence. This terrifying prospect has opened up and getting worse at the same time that blue collar America has had a chance to adjust, and may even be better positioned to handle the ongoing globalization, and other technological changes that are coming along at an accelerating rate.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Conservatism, Elections, Politics, Society, Style, USA | 9 Comments »

    Congrats to the Tea Party

    Posted by Dan from Madison on 15th September 2010 (All posts by )

    As I was listening to Bloomberg on the way into work, a quote of Lex Green’s popped into my head.

    The news came on and yesterday’s primary results were announced (the Tea Party did very well), and one in particular was the most interesting to me. Christine O’Donnell won in Delaware. After the Bloomberg announcer said this, he also said that the Republican Party wouldn’t support her in the general election.

    Reflexively I said out loud “well, Republican Party, you can just get f*cked then”.

    I haven’t had much use for the Republican Party for a long time now. That quote from Lex?

    “This little episode is one shiny tile in a massive mosaic that we are building together.”

    Posted in Conservatism, Politics | 28 Comments »

    Wild Kingdom

    Posted by Jonathan on 15th September 2010 (All posts by )

    crabby hermit

    Chicagoboyz go mano a mano with monsters of the deep.

    Posted in Humor, Photos | 1 Comment »

    Childhood Flashback

    Posted by Lexington Green on 15th September 2010 (All posts by )

    I had a terrific set of army guys.

    I would move the coffee table over, and cover the whole living room floor with three defensive belts, a defense in depth, manned by grey German army guys. They had defenses made of lincoln logs, wooden blocks and those brown sandbag machine gun nests. The Americans had to get ashore. Where the wood floor in the kitchen met the rug was the surf line. The Americans started out with 12 M-60 tanks. I knew they weren’t WWII tanks, but I used what I had. I used log palisade sections from the Ft. Apache set as rafts to get the tanks ashore. American casualties were heavy, with most of the tanks knocked out, especially getting through the second defensive line which had bunkers and an 88 mm antitank gun concealed behind green plastic trees. I had stretcher teams to take out the wounded. I’d get on the floor, with my head on the rug, so I could see the same line of sight the plastic guys could see. I only had two pale grey panzers, which I kept back to counterattack when the green guys finally started to break the second fortress belt. But I knew to send a swarm of bazooka guys in once the line was breached and we made short work of the panzers. The surviving Germans made a fighting retreat to a plastic, three story, Navarone style bunker on the stone floor in front of the fireplace. I had a reserve of goose stepping Germans back there. Before the made the final assault, I would go get dead kneeling and standing shooting rifle guys, and replace them where they fell with goose stepping guys. I would commit these last reserves to the defense. The Americans took out the guns on the fort with counterbattery fire, but then they had to clear out the dead enders with a final tank-infantry assault. Sometimes one tank, sometimes two, would have made it all the way across the grey living room rug. The Germans would not give up. It was room to room in that fort thing at the end, like Stalingrad.

    The set up and battle took several hours.

    I think I was nine, maybe ten.

    Posted in Diversions, Personal Narrative | 9 Comments »

    Prerequisites I

    Posted by TM Lutas on 14th September 2010 (All posts by )

    One of the basic pre-requisites of seriously dealing with government competency in a large, multi-sovereignty federal state is to possess an updated list of all the various governments. It can be quite a big list. In the US it includes
    50 state governments
    3000+ county governments
    tens of thousands of municipal governments
    intermediate government institutions like Indiana’s township governments.

    I have been looking for such a list in the US for some time and have come up empty. There are a lot of sources that do part of the job but nobody seems to be doing the full list.

    So here’s an offer. $20 for a maintained source of all US governments. That should be simple enough. At least I thought so when I started looking for it myself…
    Edit:I apologize for omitting that the offer is good for the first submission only.

    Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

    Palin Dumb? History Says, “Nope!”

    Posted by Shannon Love on 14th September 2010 (All posts by )

    In this previous post, commentator Mauro made this rather typical statement in regard to Palin and Tea Party members.

    Those people in the middle states aren’t “educated elites” (and this is by no means a generalization of *all* people in those middle states), and they have resentment toward those who are more qualified to make rational decisions…And this is *bad*, because it turns out that yes, we college-educated guys *are* so smart, and we don’t go burning Korans or blindly invading Middle Eastern countries when we’re angry.

    Is Mauro correct? Do the “college educated” (by which he clearly means leftist intellectuals) have a track record of making better decisions than the kind of middle-class people who support Palin and join the Tea Party?

    Well, yes and no. It’s pretty safe to say leftists don’t burn Korans. Instead, they burn American flags and drop crucifixes in urine. Plus, its true that they never, ever fight for anyone’s freedom from tyranny, for any reason.

    However, leftists do make their own class of colossally bad decision whose consequences dwarf those made by people like Palin and the Tea Party members.

    Leftists make irrational decisions that arise from their own intellectual hubris. All leftists (and most intellectuals) vastly overestimate their individual and collective understanding of complex, poorly understood and hard to predict phenomena. In every generation leftists have claimed to precisely and accurately understand something that in hindsight they clearly did not. Likewise, in every generation, there were people much like the modern Tea Party or Palin supporters, i.e., religious, supposedly uneducated, dullard bourgeois who told the leftists they were wrong.

    In many major areas, history showed that the supposedly ignorant and unimaginative bourgeois proved correct in the end.

    For reasons of brevity lets look at the two biggest leftwing-intellectual idiocies of the last century: Marxism and Freudianism.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Academia, Human Behavior, Leftism, Political Philosophy | 27 Comments »

    Notes on the Meltdown of Academia under the Hot Texas Sun

    Posted by Ginny on 14th September 2010 (All posts by )

    In the last weeks, the big school across town achieved a high rank in two enviable, practical areas – the amount of actual education (required core courses) and as a place to recruit for the work place. These are, I suspect, not unrelated. And partially we help – a good chunk of those core courses are taught and taken with us; our tuition is cheaper, class sizes smaller, and teachers of those basics more mature and often more degreed. Everything isn’t bad across town – nor here.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Academia, Arts & Letters, Education, Personal Narrative | 4 Comments »

    Sir Keith Park

    Posted by David Foster on 14th September 2010 (All posts by )

    Tomorrow, on Battle of Britain day, a statue of Air Vice Marshal Keith Park will be unveiled in London’s Waterloo Gardens. Military historian Stephen Bungay:

    The Battle of Britain was the most important campaign in the history of the RAF. That it was fought and won was down to three men. The first was Winston Churchill. He decided to fight it. The second was Hugh Dowding. He built the system that made victory possible. The third was Keith Park. He wielded the weapon that Dowding had forged and Churchill decided to use.

    One of the top Allied air aces of the war, Johnnie Johnson, said of Park “He was the only man who could have lost the war in a day or even an afternoon.” And as Churchill said, “The odds were great, our margins small, the stakes infinite.”

    More about Park here.

    Via Mrs Moneypenny at Financial Times

    Posted in Aviation, Britain, History, War and Peace | 6 Comments »

    Ignore The Canary

    Posted by James R. Rummel on 13th September 2010 (All posts by )

    I was talking to someone who grew up around Appalachian coal mines a few days ago.

    “My daddy would always make sure he was the guy who carried the cage with the little bird in it when he went down into the mines. That way he would always be the first to know if there was a problem. He would watch the bird, and would run for the top when it would drop. Everyone else would just watch him, and start running when he would pass them by.”

    It isn’t news that the Obama administration has increased employment in the public sector by an amazing degree, even when individual governments in Europe, and the European Union itself, have slashed budgets.

    When even the cultures which most enthusiastically embraced government intrusion in their economies start to admit that it was a bad idea, it is pretty much the point when the bird stops chirping and keels over. The Democrats in charge of our country should have paid attention some time ago.

    The latest news is that Cuba has announced plans to lay off one million government workers.

    “Those laid off will be encouraged to become self-employed or join new private enterprises, on which some of the current restrictions will be eased.”

    So the Communists are making noises that they are going to give up on a centrally controlled economy? They are gingerly adopting American business practices because it is the only way to survive? And, even though they are discarding the old ways as being self-destructive, the Liberals are enthusiastically embracing those same policies?

    For goodness’ sake, when Cuba passes you in the mine, it is past time to turn around and make a run for the fresh air!

    Posted in Big Government, Cuba, Economics & Finance, Leftism, Obama, Politics | 3 Comments »

    Best Books on American Conservatism

    Posted by Lexington Green on 13th September 2010 (All posts by )

    This is the list.

    Best in what way? For what, and for whom?

    If the question is, name the top five classic, canonical work of American Conservatism, my list would overlap with this list:

    Frederick Hayek, The Road to Serfdom
    Milton Friedman, Free to Choose
    Barry Goldwater, The Conscience of a Conservative
    Whittaker Chambers, Witness
    George H. Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America

    These are very mainstream picks. Four of the books are written for a popular audience, and Nash is the best historian of the movement, but he ends before Reagan. They are genuine classics that everyone should read. But they are all old, and don’t directly address the world of today.

    The peak moment for American Conservatism was Reagan’s election in 1980.

    My list, and the list at the link, inadvertently show that American Conservatism is currently under-theorized.

    There have been lots of good books since Reagan. But a synthesizing and overarching book is needed. If it exists, I don’t know it. Do you?

    What does it mean to be an American conservative? What are we conserving? Why are we conserving it?

    Posted in America 3.0, Book Notes, Conservatism, Libertarianism, Politics, USA | 17 Comments »

    Fisking Mauro, Part 1: Raising Beyond One’s Station

    Posted by Shannon Love on 13th September 2010 (All posts by )

    I am not a big Palin fan. I am an atheist and not a social conservative in any meaningful sense. In my estimation, her chief virtue is that she annoys and enrages all the right people. However, I do recognize that she does honestly represent a wide and vital section of the America polity. I think the left’s inability to see Palin as a legitimate political figure reveals a great deal about their insular mindset and their deep need to see themselves as superior to other people even at the cost of a loss of political power.

    In my previous post on Palin hate as leftwing status-anxiety, an anti-Palin comment by a Mauro jumped out at me as a prime example of how leftists think about themselves and the rest of us. I wanted to go through it in detail to try and explain where these cognitive distortions come from.

    I’ll break this up into several posts. In this post, I will examine how Mauro’s comment reveals his intrinsically elitist world view:

    Mauro starts with:

    … I think that the real issue with her is that she’s basically a walking cliché.

    and followed it by:

    Honestly, I can’t remember any of her positions right now…

    His further comments demonstrate that he really doesn’t understand anything what Palin thinks or even what she has stated. If he doesn’t have even basic knowledge of her positions, how can he say Palin is a cliche?

    Easy: When applied to person, a cliche is just a euphemism for a stereotype. Stereotypes are at best statistical descriptions of groups of people that exist solely in the minds of the individuals holding the stereotypes. In short, stereotypes are simplified cartoons that don’t reflect the real people that they purport to describe.

    Mauro is clearly working from a cartoonish stereotype. He doesn’t know anything about Palin other than she is not one of his imagined leftist elite. So where does he get his stereotype from in the first place?

    It’s not her ideas that are problematic, but her middle-America anti-intellectualism and superstition that is a problem,[emph. added]

    Here we see Mauro’s highly typical leftist elitism in its purest form. It’s not Palin’s ideas that he sees as dangerous but simply who she is. By superstition he means “religious” and by anti-intellectualism he means, “refuses to acknowledge how brilliant and infallible people like Mauro are.”

    Mauro problem with Palin isn’t that she is unusual, Mauro’s problem with Palin is that he believes her to be an ordinary middle-class American who are themselves unfit to influence public policy

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Human Behavior, Leftism, Politics | 45 Comments »

    Wherein Lex takes issue with Seydlitz89

    Posted by Lexington Green on 13th September 2010 (All posts by )

    Our Roundtable colleague Seydlitz89 has a post up which discusses the recent Glen Beck posts, and also my Afghanistan Roundtable wrap-up post.

    His post is here.

    I have several problems with his post. I tried to post a few responses as a comment, but it did not work for some reason. If you are interested in this sort of inter-blog argument, please read his post, and see my responses, below the fold.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Afghanistan 2050, Beck-O-Lanche, Military Affairs | 29 Comments »

    The Looming Numbers

    Posted by Joseph Fouche on 11th September 2010 (All posts by )

    On this day:

    • 9 AD: Hermann marks the outer circuit of the Roman Empire.
    • 1297: The English overload a bridge and get themselves walloped by a bunch of blue painted, skirt-wearing savages shouting “FREEDOM!!!” English driven from Scotland.
    • 1609: The Reconquista is completed when the last Moors are driven from al-Andulus. Hudson finds his River.
    • 1611: Turenne is born.
    • 1649: The English bring peace to Ireland.
    • 1683: Jan Sobieski prepares to drive the Turk from central Europe.
    • 1697: Eugene of Savoy drives the Turk from central Europe.
    • 1708: The cliché that starting a land war in Asia is bad for your health begins.
    • 1709: The bloodiest battle of the eighteenth century: as usual, a French defeat.
    • 1775: Benedict Arnold goes an entire march without betraying anyone.
    • 1776: The American Revolution does not come to an end.
    • 1777: The American Revolution still doesn’t come to an end.
    • 1786: The overthrow of the United States of America begins, followed by the birth of the United States of America.
    • 1789: Alexander Hamilton begins his destruction of the British Empire.
    • 1814: The United States is not destroyed. No one outside Canada notices.
    • 1829: Mexico finally wins its independence and celebrates by overthrowing a government.
    • 1847: Susannah doesn’t cry for me.
    • 1888: Being dead, Sarmiento can neither govern or populate.
    • 1914: High tide of Australian imperialism.
    • 1919: America invades Honduras. No one outside Canada notices.
    • 1922: British Empire acquires a terminal case of indigestion. Hamilton smiles.
    • 1941: The military industrial complex acquires its first of five sides.
    • 1944: Americans reach Germany, like the looks of the place, and move in for the next 67 years.
    • 1948: The father of Pakistan dies.
    • 1950: The father of holism dies.
    • 1965: The Great Ophthalmologist is born.
    • 1973: Communists overthrown by monetarists.
    • 1978: Land apparently brings peace. George Markov dies, killed by a poison umbrella.
    • 1985: Pete Rose breaks Ty Cobb’s career hits record.
    • 1987: Lorne Greene dies.
    • 1989: The Iron Curtain begins unraveling.
    • 1996: The only successful government California ever knew becomes part of the Union Pacific Railroad.
    • 1997: The Scots, inspired by a movie, drive the English from Scotland. Again. Hamilton smiles. Again.
    • 2001: 2,977 Americans are murdered in cold blood as the centerpiece of a takfiri propaganda of the deed.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Afghanistan/Pakistan, Personal Narrative | 2 Comments »

    Afghanistan 2050 Roundtable Summing-Up

    Posted by Lexington Green on 11th September 2010 (All posts by )

    [Other contributors who wish to post any follow-up or further thoughts are welcome to do so.]

    I. Moral Clarity

    I am posting this on September 11, 2010. We attacked the Taliban regime because they supported and granted havens to America’s enemies. That initial invasion was just.

    The Taliban are one of the most vicious and evil enemies America’s soldiers have ever faced. Killing them is just. Our soldiers are on the correct side of the moral equation in this struggle. The Taliban murdered hundreds of thousands of people in the decade they controlled Afghanistan. Destroying their rule was a just cause. Destroying them forever may be beyond our power. But it would be worth doing if it could be done at tolerable cost.

    No one else mentioned this moral dimension except me, in the post that began the Roundtable. And I only did so in an update, after an email exchange with our friend Nate, who is actually serving over there.

    Whatever the wisdom of our strategy, whatever the outcome of our effort, whatever the ultimate fate of Afghanistan, the enemy was mightily worth killing. Our warriors can have pride in their effort and their cause.

    If anyone digs back in 40 years and considers the moral issue, that will still be the correct conclusion.

    II. The Roundtable Posts

    I initiated this effort because I wanted to think-through the current effort in Afghanistan and I was spinning my wheels. I was seeing all kinds of immediately relevant granularity and not much big-picture thinking. For example, within days of announcing it Gen. McChrystal resigned, an event that dominated the headlines for a few days, but is unlikely to even be a footnote in four decades. For me, personally, the RT was a success. I enjoyed the posts, all of which were good, and some of which were excellent. I believe the whole is superior to the sum of its parts. The RT has given me a better idea of the big picture, and I see that others are thinking along similar lines. I hope the rest of our participants and readers also found it valuable or interesting.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Afghanistan 2050 | 8 Comments »

    Judging 9/11

    Posted by TM Lutas on 11th September 2010 (All posts by )

    One of the things that even the right seems to have forgotten about 9/11 is that these attacks, all of them, are the enforcement of judgments of religious courts. The US came to grips with the Taliban, ejected Saddam from power, reworked world finance to track terrorist finance but we’ve never seriously come to grips with the Islamic judges who condemn us to death and invite all Muslims to enforce those judgments by way of violent jihad.

    Nine years after 9/11/2001 do we even have a list of who are these judges? How many of them have condemned us? Which ones of those have followings of sufficient size as to be a problem?

    For all the good that the Bush administration did, it shrank away from doing this basic analysis and educating the public how Islamic courts are a serious problem. The Obama administration is no better and, in fact, considerably worse.

    This is depressing.

    Posted in Islam, National Security, Terrorism, War and Peace | 10 Comments »

    9/11 Plus Nine Years

    Posted by David Foster on 11th September 2010 (All posts by )

    (This is basically a rerun and update of my posts from this day in 2006-2009. Some new links added this year are at the bottom of the post.)

    I am increasingly worried about our prospects for success in the battle against those who would destroy our civilization. America and the other democracies possess great military, economic, and intellectual strengths–but severe internal divisions threaten our ability to use these resources effectively.

    Within days of the collapse of the Towers, it started. “Progressive” demonstrators brought out the stilt-walkers, the Uncle Sam constumes, and the giant puppets of George Bush. They carried signs accusing America of planning “genocide” against the people of Afghanistan.

    Professors and journalists preached about the sins of Western civilization, asserting that we had brought it all on ourselves. A well-known writer wrote of her unease when her daughter chose to buy and display an American flag. Some universities banned the display of American flags in dormitories, claiming that such display was “provocative.”

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Anti-Americanism, History, Islam, Terrorism, USA, War and Peace | 7 Comments »

    Nine Years On

    Posted by James R. Rummel on 11th September 2010 (All posts by )

    When I was four years old, someone told me that Russia was going to bomb the United States some day. There would be sirens before the world ended in fire.

    They test the emergency alert sirens every Wednesday in my town. A few days after getting this thumb-nail version of global brinkmanship, they all went off to mark the start of noon. I sat down on the curb outside of my house, and wept bitter tears while waiting to be swept away in the flash and shockwave.

    That is the best way I can describe what it was like to grow up during The Cold War. We went through life knowing that most of us were going to be smashed flat under the nuclear hammer. I can’t convey how overjoyed I am that we were all wrong.

    The stakes during that unofficial conflict were of the very highest, nothing less than the future history of mankind. One side was going to see their culture prevail, while the other would be forced to mould their own values and beliefs into something that was pretty close. Either that, or be swept into Trotsky’s dustbin of history.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in History, Terrorism | 5 Comments »

    Charles Cameron on “In a Time of Religious Arousal”

    Posted by Zenpundit on 11th September 2010 (All posts by )

    Originally posted at zenpundit.com:

    Charles Cameron is the regular guest-blogger at Zenpundit, and has also posted at Small Wars Journal, All Things Counterterrorism, for the Chicago Boyz Afghanistan 2050 roundtable and elsewhere. Charles read Theology at Christ Church, Oxford, under AE Harvey, and was at one time a Principal Researcher with Boston University’s Center for Millennial Studies and the Senior Analyst with the Arlington Institute:

    In a Time of Religious Arousal

    by Charles Cameron

    We live in times of considerable religious arousal – witness the Manhattan mosque and cultural center controversy, the on-again, off-again Florida Quran burning, last week’s Glenn Beck rally at the Lincoln Memorial, Hindutva violence against Muslims in India, Muslim violence against Christians, the wars ongoing or drawing to an end in Afghanistan and Iraq, the threat of an Israeli or American attack on Iran, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and peace process… In each of these instances, religious arousal has a role to play.

    It would require considerable care, research, and craftsmanship to produce a nuanced and appropriately balanced view of human nature, the current state of the world, American, European and Islamic popular, polite and political opinions, the global admixture of peoples and approaches that characterize Islam, the history of violence, religious and otherwise, the braiding in different times and places of religion with politics, the roots of violence, the roots of peace and its meanings both as a state of cessation of conflict and as a state of contemplative calm…

    Such a presentation would require at least a book-length treatment, and cannot be trotted out every time some new spark emerges from the ancient fires… but perhaps I can lay out some of my own considerations about the topic here, in somewhat condensed form.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Academia, Christianity, History, Islam, Judaism, Middle East, Morality and Philosphy, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Society, War and Peace | 5 Comments »

    Palin and the Left’s Status-Anxiety

    Posted by Shannon Love on 10th September 2010 (All posts by )

    The left’s obsession with Sarah Palin is one of the most interesting political and social phenomena of our time. The degree and volume of venom directed at her staggers the imagination. It is unprecedented in recent times especially for someone who does not currently hold office.

    This comment on a Hit and Run thread, provides a common example:

    You jest, but on my drive home last night I listened to a couple of NPR disembodied voices opining as to how Sara Palin was different, even in today’s polarized political environment, because she demonizes the opposition. The irony was particularly palpable because the “round table” discussion about how evil Sara Palin is was the lead-in to an interview with the author of a “behind the scenes” expose book about Sara Palin that promises to expose her as the evil, manipulative monster that she really is and was immediately preceded by a blurb that the creepy reporter who moved in next door to the Palin family to spy on them had moved out.
     
    The callers were able to restore some balance, however. The first caller they put on wanted to know why the press hadn’t fully investigated Palin (which the panel agreed was singular to Palin and no other politicians escape such scrutiny). The same caller proceeded to point out that she never believed the story about the birth of Trig, the down’s syndrome baby, and wondered why the media never fully investigated that. When the “balanced” round table gave a perfunctory acceptance of the premise rather than denouncing her “birther” views, I gave up and changed the channel.

    Leftists try to rationalize the hatred by claiming that Palin is an extremist, but that is easily disproved by comparing where she stands on various issues versus how many Americans hold the same views. Moreover, if she truly were an extremist, she wouldn’t be a threat because she would have no electoral base.

    No, the best explanation for the left’s bizarre Palin obsession is status-anxiety. Status-anxiety occurs when a person believes that their position in a real or imagined social hierarchy is threatened. Leftists react emotionally to Palin because of the threat she poses to their own individual sense of status. All their other arguments are just put forth to rationalize that emotional reaction.

    In short, it is not the ideas she puts forth, its that someone like her is significant at all.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Morality and Philosphy, Political Philosophy | 240 Comments »

    The Media’s Extremist Pixies

    Posted by Shannon Love on 10th September 2010 (All posts by )

    Don Surber [h/t Instapundit] asks if the media should be ignoring the nutjob pastor in Florida who is threatening to burn Korans.

    I think they should but not for any reason immediately involved with this threat. I think the media should make a point of ignoring all stunts which are clearly designed solely to attract media attention.

    Why shouldn’t the media ignore them? As consumers of media, do any of us personally really care what those nutjobs are doing? Isn’t media coverage the event might get the only reason we might care?

    By paying attention to them in the first place, we’ve created an idiotic feedback loop in which we pay attention to events that are only worthy of attention because we pay attention to them in the first place!

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Media, Terrorism | 8 Comments »

    Bike Parkour!

    Posted by Lexington Green on 9th September 2010 (All posts by )

    Posted in Diversions, Sports, Video | 3 Comments »

    A New Synagogue in Litchfield?

    Posted by David Foster on 9th September 2010 (All posts by )

    The Historic District Commission of Litchfield, CT has–on grounds that many consider as pretty questionable–rejected the application of the Chabad Lubovitch group to renovate a historic house and turn it into a synagogue. The remodeled building was also to have included an apartment for the rabbi, and a swimming pool for the Chabad-sponsored summer camp. Story here.

    I don’t know if the denial of this application is or is not consistent with the rules under with the Historic District Commission is supposed to be operating, but I do think that some of the comments reported to have been made during the discussions were pretty inappropriate and pretty disturbing.

    Now, maybe I missed it, but I haven’t seen the speech in which President Obama defends the Litchfield synagogue in the same way that he defended the Ground Zero mosque. Nor have I seen Nancy Pelosi demanding an investigation of synagogue opponents in the same way that she demanded an investigation of GZ mosque opponents. And will the “human rights activists” and liberal clergymen who have been so fervent in their defense of the mosque project also step up to defend the Litchfield synagogue project? I think we all know the answer.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Islam, Israel, Judaism, Leftism, USA | 6 Comments »

    Excellent analysis of Chicago Mayor’s race

    Posted by Lexington Green on 8th September 2010 (All posts by )

    This piece is from Greg Hinz, from Crain’s Chicago Business, who is usually good. Kinz lays out the potential candidates to replace Da Mayor. His blog has several good posts about the mayoral race. I will be checking it out from time to time.

    I tend to agree with the commenters on the post I linked to. The Chicago business community is looking disaster in the face here.

    My WAG: The money is going to rally to someone early, probably Rahm, who can promise stability.

    Things are very bad. The recession is hitting hard here, on top of a very unfriendly, uncertain and even punitive climate for business in Chicago, Cook County and Illinois.

    The business guys I know (small and medium-sized) all say they would leave if they could, and would never move here if they weren’t here already.

    So, the people who have large investments here, who are committed to the place due to real estate holdings and other fixed investments, and cannot uproot themselves, need to fend off an exodus that a weak or worse, anti-business mayor, would cause. That means they need someone in there who will be up to the job and not just get rolled.

    Then, long term, they need to stop the bleeding and make it worth doing business here. That will not be easy. It may not be possible.

    One of the jokes circulating among my friends is that Blago should run. My response was, what is Lee Kwan Yew doing these days? We could use him there.

    My wife’s first reaction: “We should have sold our house when we had the chance. Now we are going to turn into Detroit.”

    A lot of people have to be thinking this way.

    [See also The Last Boss, from Zenpundit.]

    Posted in Business, Chicagoania, Elections, Politics | 16 Comments »

    Shana Tova: 5771

    Posted by Jonathan on 8th September 2010 (All posts by )

    Best wishes for a sweet and healthy year to my friends, colleagues and readers.
     

    Matzoball Soup

     
    (Photo: Melissa Goodman)
     

    Posted in Announcements, Holidays, Judaism | 9 Comments »

    PC Melville

    Posted by Shannon Love on 7th September 2010 (All posts by )

    Yeah…Come to think of it, what was Melville really trying to say?

    Might be a thesis in this somewhere.

    Posted in Arts & Letters, Humor | 3 Comments »