Friday, October 03, 2008

Bush and Palin anti-intellectualism

Radley Balko on Palin's performance in the VP debate:
Palin was rambling, didn’t answer the questions she was asked, and the folksy stuff felt contrived. I suppose Palin did okay in that she didn’t come off like the train wreck she was in her Katie Couric interview, but Jesus, is that the standard? Is the bar that low for vice president of the United States? That seems to be the way the conventional wisdom is playing out. Oddly, the Couric interview may have actually helped her, then.

Palin seems to have crammed just enough so she could toss out key phrases here and there to give the veneer that she’s informed. But it’s pretty clear she was in way over her head for most of the debate. Pick her apart with follow-up questions, as Couric and Gibson did, and she falls to pieces.

This growing anti-intellectualism on the right is alarming. It isn’t that Palin is dumb. I don’t think she is. It’s that she has no interest in learning, no interest in reading or experiencing anything that might challenge what she already knows she believes. She thinks with her gut, as Steven Colbert might put it. She’s a female W. And they seem to love her for it. The GOP has gone populist. Knowledge, worldliness, and learning are to be shunned, swept aside as East Coast elitism. It’s all about insularity, earthy values, and simpleness. Remember the beating John Kerry took in 2004 for daring to use the word “nuance?” There’s no room for complexity on the right anymore. It’s good and evil. Black and white. Us and them.

Maybe a good butt-kicking this November will bring about some soul searching.

And Ed Brayton on Bush, quoting this ABC News story:
After some more give and take, Sen. Richard Shelby, the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, presents a five-page list of 192 economists and business school professors who oppose the plan. Bush isn't impressed. "I don't care what somebody on some college campus says," Bush says.

He might as well have said, "I ain't never had no need for book learnin'."

I agree with Balko--Palin seems exactly like a female "W" in this respect.


Hume's Ghost said...

Think Progress has a video posted showing that Palin was relying heavily on scripted answers from her notes ... this wasn't as obvious in the network broadcast because the podium they were standing at hid the notes from view.

I've started to think of Palin as Mrs. Windrip - an allusion to Buzz Windrip from It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis.

From the review in the link:

PICTURE THIS: A folksy, self-consciously plainspoken Southern politician rises to power during a period of profound unrest in America. The nation is facing one of the half-dozen or so of its worst existential crises to date, and the people, once sunny, confident, and striving, are now scared, angry, and disillusioned.

This politician, a ''Professional Common Man,'' executes his rise by relentlessly attacking the liberal media, fancy-talking intellectuals, shiftless progressives, pinkos, promiscuity, and welfare hangers-on, all the while clamoring for a return to traditional values, to love of country, to the pie-scented days of old when things made sense and Americans were indisputably American. He speaks almost entirely in ''noble but slippery abstractions''-Liberty, Freedom, Equality-and people love him, even if they can't fully articulate why without resorting to abstractions themselves.

Through a combination of factors-his easy bearing chief among them (along with massive cash donations from Big Business; disorganization in the liberal opposition; a stuffy, aloof opponent; and support from religious fanatics who feel they've been unfairly marginalized)-he wins the presidential election.

Hume's Ghost said...

D'oh! I see TP has updated that post since I first looked at and says Palin was reading from notes she wrote during the the course of the debate.

Larry Moran said...

It's frustrating, isn't it?

We're all in favor of democracy but some of us get real upset when a majority of the people elect fools. It's even worse when they re-elect them (this is about to happen in Canada).

You really can't blame the fools, can you? We need to start blaming the voters for being so foolish but that's not politically correct.

RD said...

Well said. We will never know if Palin is intelligent, since she bends most of her mental capacity towards embracing and furthering unsound ideology.

The anti-intellectualism of the Right is deeply concerning. It hinders America's ability to develop solutions to problems like climate change, energy dependence, and economic instability, as I recently argued at Pendulum Politics.

The reward for conservative anti-intellectualism is, in part, complete irrelevance of the GOP for at least 4, probably more, years.

Ktisophilos said...

When was the last time Couric really grilled a liberal Democrat? And Couric is hardly an intellectual giant.

Wakefield Tolbert said...

This post, as with the one below by goof-off Sam Harris, who never misses any opportunity to omit vast swaths of context and history about Christianity and his own ignorant/take/opinions on Church crimes vs. those of secular regimes, and who for the life of him cannot see analogies, metaphors, and valid comparisons, nor plays by a fair record-keeping book, is hilarious.

What is more important? Impressing the elites of Manhattan coffee shop encounters and blogfests while pretending to work?

Or maintaining cultural confidence in an age when, as one writer placed it decades ago, it is "closing time in the gardens of the West"?

Remember that the latter is a form of "elitism" as well--albeit a good one. As "elitist" himself Henry William III wrote in 1993, there is a form of elitism that is good to the effect that it honors Western civilizational confidence in the face of what appears to be a darkening world, both economically and spiritually.

A good call can be made for the latter, now that not only can we NOT afford our increasingly comfy entitlements modeled on Euro fashion for the sumptuous generation of two it might last, but we're facing enemies with a more determined grit than any in history. As Calvin Coolege said, "I favor the policy of 'economy' not to save money, but to save PEOPLE."

Meaning: Free-born citizens need cultural and personal confidence of the variety generally missing from the clientele of European state welfarism now coming to America in from of ever more edicts from government. In an age when the burning questions of life are about sexual appetites and "free" daycare and other forms of care for this and that need, the freeborn citizen is hijacked, gets his life contracted out to government busybodies of the creepy types that infest all "advanced" "social democracies", and the bigger questions of life are on the back burner. In a wonderful book called The Servile State, written long before socialist pieties, author Hillarie Belloc warned about where "progressive" economic and not a few liberal social policies leave the population: Infantilized.

We demand thousands of actual choices on CD selections and food, but defer to government on health care and keeping granny well-heeled and shut away on the taxpayer dime outside our own little flat?

Not good. Not the higher path to creativity, independence (both economic and social), and freedom.

Obama is the epitome of being steeped in this kind of Euro crap. Of course, every culture and nation is different, and no doubt our path to self-immolation and where the mockery of the more "folksy" polititions will yield more creeps like him will be a different path. Perhaps slower to boot.

As I wrote a while back, when the Coalition of the Cockamamie (see John Zogby's research on this one, speaking of less than elite thinking), who now think that their fuel needs/mortgages will be all but scott-free, showed us the full monty of the word "elite" after November 4 of '08:

Obama has written autobiographies before almost anything else in life, before actual achievement; certainly before stepping so much as to the podium of higher level politics. This is not, contra the NY Times' opinion, the making of a legendary writer along the lines of Teddy Roosevelt, but a self-absorbed individual steeped in Leftist ideology and the Political Machine. GOVERNOR Palin has run a commercial fishing operation, a town, and a state that has more than a smidgen to do with energy policy from time to time. Obama has, for the most part, merely run his mouth. His real-world experience with "business" concerns and monetary transaction is making pitches to the public schools growing wish list of social activism, and the baloney of "community organizer" in Chicago. Whatever that really means.

Palin, the "ignorant" Guns-n'-God Girl, by contrast, has what British Labour Party pol Denis Healy likes to call a "hinterland" existence - a life beyond politics. When Senator Obama attempts anything "beyond" politics, such as bowling, or visiting a Waffle House, he comes over like a visiting dignitary to a foreign country getting conscripted into some bizarre local folk ritual for the camera. Sarah Palin isn't just on the right side of the issues intellectually. She won't need the usual staged "hunting" trip to reassure gun owners: she's lived the Second Amendment all her life. Likewise, on abortion, we're often told it's easy to be against it in principle, but what if you were a woman facing a difficult birth or a handicapped child? Been there, done that. Got the T-shirt. Energy? Unlike Biden and Obama and virtually all polysci profs and urban-bound bureaucracy peddling politicians alike, she's been to the icebound wasteland called ANWR and, like most Alaskans, supports drilling there. There is more than meets the eye here. Cultural confidence of Palin's type--not eggheadery--is key to a nation's long-term survival. Recognition of freedom, our past, our core values, our faiths, our confidence and not compromise and "negotiation" with the terror lords, our shared experience as Americans, etc.

Citizens should be given a DECENT education and then mostly cut loose to reproduce and get on with job training, child rearing, and the fripperies as well as other rewards and trials of life. The elite need not worry. They can scratch their own backs and fund their own issues of whatever level. More important and far more edifying than the Soviet styled, post-industrial learning regimen that John T. Gatto warns is ruining young minds in the public schools, would be a policy of a good education where, since no high school kids can recite Boyle's law with any regularity anyhow, you get a good education on the fundamentals, offer competitive choices like vouchers and reimbursed homeschooling, and thus halt or slow down using the public schools as the reproductive system of leftism.

Jim Lippard said...

This post isn't about Obama, it's about Palin and Bush.

Palin's "confidence" is an arrogance combined with ignorance, which is the worst kind.

Wakefield Tolbert said...

When it comes to the starkness of this contrast, the missive works just fine. I don't notice any of an Obama-esque arrogance in GOVERNOR Palin. IN the real world, outisde of the creepy self-absorption of the type you handily find in Chicago's inner city, you have to have a true resume to work either in the private or public realm. One wonders if newbies in your own profession would be welcome in IT for merely glaring at computer screens.

I'm betting not.

Likewise, Palin's "ignorance" (or Bush's) on abstruse subjects the media fantasizes about when asking about the current governor of Zanzibar all the while tossing one softball question to men like Obama after another (and to boot, never met the word "no" in his life), makes this all the more stark.

On where it matters, Bush and Palin are heads above most of the ninnies who breathe politics. At least at one time their "arrogance" hails from real jobs.

Jim Lippard said...

Your comment doesn't seem to have much to do with reality.

George W. Bush never had a real job in his life--he's lived a life of privilege, with businesses handed to him which he ran into the ground. When he speaks he frequently makes major faux pas, which is why there are multiple books of "Bushisms" (and enough to fill several years worth of calendars). He thinks with his gut rather than his intellect, isn't interested in details, and his administration rewarded loyalty rather than (and at the expense of) competence. Numerous posts at this blog over the years have documented examples.

Palin's history in Alaska seems to be somewhat similar--she's engaged in crony politics. Her only non-government jobs were a year as a sports reporter and helping her husband's commercial fishing business. Her anti-intellectualism, like Bush's, has been documented in numerous posts at this blog. Like Bush, she seems uninterested in things like details or facts.

Wakefield Tolbert said...

I have not commented on most items here but am in fact quite aware that your blog parrots most of the angry chorus I'd see at some other places and media driven fantasy about what the coffee house crowd thinks is important. Most of it is not. And even if it was, it is more than doubtful if Obama and other wet-eared people are really on top of all this hype just because he speaks melliflously and gives some pathetic grown men shivers down their legs. Or that he's surrounded himself with men who slam corporate jets and have no idea that that is a legitimate use that also puts hundreds of other to work every time one is fired up, but can't manage to pay their own taxes they onerously plop in OUR laps, and make full use of taxpayer dough all the while never having any real world experience in most matters themselves. When have these men even heard the word "no"-as have Palin and Bush, for example, in their "hinterland" careers? Not once. Does having an armada of minutia at your side that pleases Manhattan elites and promises the obliteration of capitalism (pleasing his radical friends and playing the Envy Card to full measure) really mean you can govern effectively? NO. How could it?

By contrast, regardless of whether you like their style or their input on many matters, Palin and Bush HAVE GOVERNED. They have made the unpopular moves and dealt with the wind. They didn't hold their fingers in the wind to see the mood of things and pals.

To govern is to CHOOSE. Something Obama has not done, and never had to face until very recently. Not once in his life has he heard the magical and edifying word "no". Not when he voted about 93% of the time with his own party. Not when he was absolved from paying his own way to college. Not when he voted PRESENT on a host of controversial issues. Not when he refused to answser hard queries about his past and his associations and when the Obots and Oprah types in the media fawned over his visage and shielded and coddled him from tough answers. The list goes on and on.
Thinking with your guts has served human beings more than is generally acknowledged. The brain assesses a range of information far beyond that the alleged "facts of the matter" often detail. We can ask any war historican who would claim that on paper the "facts of the matter" detail the "facts" that the South was a shoo-in for victory owing their familiarity with the countryside and rural life and horses and living off the land, or that the combo of Nazis and Tojo's forces were all but unbeatable in 1941.
Sheer will and determination is often the key to success. The world is loaded with eggheads and men like Obama. It is NOT loaded with people who intuitively know how to get things done. And as is painfully obvious from these last few weeks, Obama is a know-nothing on economics, disdains the common sense that escaped FDR's ruinous push to socialization, and his team is a laughing stock of utter incompetence. A major study came out a while back from O'hanian about how government intervention and massive spending in the 1930's actually prolongued desperate economic times, and the EZ credit then, as now, was actually the proximate cause of the economic downturn, the overextension of credit, and housing crunchs. So when it comes to ignoring "facts" of the matter, no one has bested the Messiah. More ominous than his ignorance of economic history or his associations with radicals determined to have us all in hock to government and spend trillions we don't have and therefore monetorized the debt, is this anacountable adulation. I thought that died with Mao's little Red Brevities.

Bush has at least held down real occupations. It is common in the business world to hand down professions. So what? That common tactic is what used to be called in the olden days the "apprenticeship"--and I'be noticed in my line of work few high rollers COMPLETELY invented EVERYTING that they themselves deal with on a daily basis. That is a metaphysical requirement you asking that is difficult to require. And rare. Many times children take the reigns of business or somesuch.

And what kinds of facts and details would you have them learn?

Obama has never held a real job in his life. Not once. And certainly nothing dealing with the intricacies of fishing interest. He's a self-absorbed creep who piddles with--and always did--a kind of radicalism for which marxian dialectics and other hogwash (separated from the real world of "facts" of the kind most of the rest of us deal with) is minimal entry. His associations also have no input on real world issues except to make ludicrous and contradictory statements about small business owners being non-productive or non-hiring next to the bigwigs (worse than untrue--as self made people and their employees are statistically far more common than the big wheels you see on the front of magazines). His associates range from the criminally neglegent and outright weird to tax cheats who've honed their skills of evasion and chicanery with Chicago styled intrique--at best. That's not a good thing.

As to cronyism and Palin, I;'ll take her path that contains an actual resume to run with next to the New Messiah's any day of the week. Most of the claims about Palin are either untrue, or as with the whole "wolf"-killing bruha actually initiated by the State of Alaska's DNR agency, has been vastly blown out of proportion. Context is key. And on most every issues where Bush and Palin are accused of something ignorant or nefarious, there is vast context missing, whereas by contrast we see Obama getting the kid glove treatments and softball questions about his alleged martydom or some other cornball claim.

For both Bush and Palin, the alleged anti "intellectualism" is actually the Left's obsessive focus on minutia to no effect and fantasy about terminology like Charle's Gibson's faux pax on "the Bush Doctrine" (there are several different forumaltions of this myth, and non are official policy, as was the old claim about M.A.D.), etc. These are at their core policy disputes about things like Iraq, embyonic stem cells (for which Palin knows the real science supports ADULT stems cell research, and that it is a lie that the other version is outlawed, etc), homeschooling, union issues,and other initiatives the Left wants to see fulfilled. This is all too funny, as on some blogs the accusaion against Palin in particular is that she hails from some elitist background, and yet she's held real jobs with concrete results, and

Most of these claims are tall tales at best.

I made the stark contrast with Obama since apparently when it comes to resumes, I'd say non-governmental jobs in the Hinterlands can also have another angle. What about hobbies? What about a LIFE beyond politics? What about a life beyond figuring out yet more ways to CONTROL other human beings?

In the final analysis, it is like Mark Steyn said: In an age when a darker and more dangerous world is upon us, when Islamists get a foothold every day due to PC and multi-culti pieties and legalisms strategically designed to hamstring us, when allies now have inacted de fact and de jure Sharia Law in a desperate gambit to pacify 9th century warriors--we need more than people who pinter around with blogs and laptops and minutia that for the most part is media-driven fantasy. I have more knowledge than most people on crocodilians. I doubt Obama or any other pol could tell me about the intricate difference between caiman crocodylus vs. caiman yacare, or cite the relevant laws and ecological preservation acts that surround either. But so what? How is that germain to economic policy? Likewise I'm not familiar with many of the plants and trees I grew up with, and many people are.

So what? The ability to govern does not hinge on these things. An overall sense of perspective IS how this is done. Palin and Bush have this. More important than crocs and species of trees is a cultural imperitive to defend this Republic--another requirement of the Constitution, speaking of those "constitution free zones the ACLU claims", and actually combat what will be a darker and more demographically upheaved world.

We have far more to fear, according to many demographers, from Islamist claims and demographics, than any theoretical sinking of the Maldive Islands.

I promise you. That is our imperitive at this moment in history. If we follow the Euro path, if we don't reign in unaffordable albeit sumptious entitlements, and if we can't make tax policies that stop punishing people for reproducing and can't sustain our culture--we're cooked.

The Maldives and the fate of Surinamean dart frogs might have to wait on the back burner. Those are fripparies. Humans and law are paramount. Real governance knows that along these lines you have to CHOOSE. We can't do it all. Obama is not about to make these hard choices. Bush and Palin can and have already done so. They know--"intuitively, in the guts--that we can't be all things to all people.

Wakefield Tolbert said...


"cronyism" is also a political skilled that has to be honed to be effective.

It is merely the pejorative form of saying "associations" and "pals" and other individuals in one's inner circle of aids.




ice--frozen water.

The terms are interchangeable, depending on use.

Obama, of courfse, has merely his "associations."

Jim Lippard said...

I'm not defending Obama here, I'm criticizing Bush and Palin, and you don't appear to want to engage with what I've actually written.

You write that "Bush has at least held down real occupations." Name one that he has "held down" by demonstrating success or business acumen.

You write: "For both Bush and Palin, the alleged anti "intellectualism" is actually the Left's obsessive focus on minutia to no effect and fantasy about terminology like Charle's Gibson's faux pax on "the Bush Doctrine" (there are several different forumaltions of this myth, and non are official policy, as was the old claim about M.A.D.), etc."

Nonsense. Bush has engaged in political interference in scientific reporting, he's filled volumes of "Bushisms" books with ignorant misspeaking, and he made a gigantic mess in Iraq by staffing the occupational government with loyal incompetents. He passed a gigantic government boondoggle in the Medicare drug act, did significant damage to the Bill of Rights (carrying on the work of predecessors in the office), and squandered a budget surplus, nearly doubled the national debt, and left office with the economy in shambles, for which he and his party take at least partial blame.

Your suggestion that Palin's problem with the Bush doctrine was that she had too nuanced a view of the terminology strikes me as patently ludicrous.

I agree with you that entitlements and the so-called "nondiscretionary" budget items are a huge looming problem that needs a radical solution, but I didn't see Bush make any progress on that front.

Wakefield Tolbert said...

(Mr. Lippard's comments in italics)

I'm not defending Obama here, I'm criticizing Bush and Palin, and you don't appear to want to engage with what I've actually written.

You write that "Bush has at least held down real occupations." Name one that he has "held down" by demonstrating success or business acumen.

You write: "For both Bush and Palin, the alleged anti "intellectualism" is actually the Left's obsessive focus on minutia to no effect and fantasy about terminology like Charle's Gibson's faux pax on "the Bush Doctrine" (there are several different formulations of this myth, and non are official policy, as was the old claim about M.A.D.), etc."

Nonsense. Bush has engaged in political interference in scientific reporting, he's filled volumes of "Bushisms" books with ignorant misspeaking, and he made a gigantic mess in Iraq by staffing the occupational government with loyal incompetents. He passed a gigantic government boondoggle in the Medicare drug act, did significant damage to the Bill of Rights (carrying on the work of predecessors in the office), and squandered a budget surplus, nearly doubled the national debt, and left office with the economy in shambles, for which he and his party take at least partial blame.

I agree with you that entitlements and the so-called "nondiscretionary" budget items are a huge looming problem that needs a radical solution, but I didn't see Bush make any progress on that front.

As for loyal but affible incompetents, one IS taken aback. Yeah. Bad stuff. Like Tim Geithner--the "only" man for the job of the TREASURY, who seems to have a lapse with the realm of numbers, eh?

While it's true that Bush, bowing to political pressures, initiated many obnoxious things like the boondoggle in both the Medicare department and other areas, this only highlights the fact that compromise is not a noble goal sometimes. No surprises there. What Bush should have done, now that I see someone is interested in the hard nosed old days when "budget" surpluses are back on the menu, and not multi-trillion buck expenditures, is to recognize what all pols should: The issue is not taxations per se. It is the programs. It is the spending. And theoretically you can reach a point where spending is so high (fast approaching that point) where a 95% tax on every man, child, dog, and a few pet birds to boot would not cover the bill. You're right. It has to be paid for with our monetorizing the debt. Bush's real incompetence came in trying to pacify the liberals both here and abroad. But the appeal to internationalists (and international socialism) is of limited or little effect, if any. The children of the next generation are broke before their very first job.

Most of said programs of which would be immoral in any case. Even if covered completely, in fact. These programs would be a scourge to free enterprise and initiative even if Bill Gates and George Soros wrote a personal check to cover the whole packet. This coddling of the population and both Republican and Democrat compromise to a Euro styled socialism is the undoing of a free born people. And I take it as given that we're not improving the situtation on Bush's errors by forcing unionism down the gullets of even small businesses with the "card check" stuff to apply pressure on the holdouts, all these massive bailouts that will no doubt create inflationary pressures at a time when we can hardly even keep up with the treadmill on the home front of just buying food and insurance for the kids. The bailout for the banks and the insurance industry is not even working in a bad, half-assed manner. Obama's ideology since his days being raised by a hippy mom and a non-existant father who had a cock-of-the-walk (big rooster in charge) mentality about females, has been that life is just capricious and unfair, and those who earn or have wealth didn't really earn it.

As to jobs and those "inherited" not being "real"?

That's one heck of a note, Mr. Lippard.

One must assume then that of the millions and millions and millions and millions of Americans who've taken the reigns of power on business large and small from their parents, that these are therefore not "real jobs"--or their continuation is sheer luck (which, come to think of it, some people DO think business success is all in the realm of luck and no other input is necessary; Vladimir Lenin, Karl Marx, and our own dear Bambi Obama think this as well, so you do have some noble company. )

The reason I mentioned Obama, although there does seem to be defense by default here, is that HE, and not the others, is the very epitome of nonsensical, coddling, and childlike assertions that is not just bad policy making, as with some allegations about Bush, but rather a complete otherworldly persona that has no contact with real world issues.

One supposes that since I am taking over my own father's business (eventually), it is therefore not a "real occupation" next to being, organizer????
So, no insights on how the daily grind of business can be handled?

Or the dozens of other people in similar situations I know of personally? The rules of my own line of work were written, as is typically the case, by people who came long before us. The software and equipment was created by others. How many tens of millions of people, who participate in jobs they had no input in "creating" (to your satisfaction) in the very first place way back in eons of time, would therefore not qualify as showing "initiative", or holding "real jobs." Modern blacksmiths didn't invent the processes they themselves use. Do they therefore not work for a living, what few there are left of them?

Is your standard, then, that only ORIGINAL innovation qualifies as work? Would a failure in business mean you weren't working at all--next to being a rabble rousier in Chicago's ACORN shakedown artistry on the streets.

Are you an inventor of the modern computer? Did the very concept of IT security evolve only with YOU?

Of course not. This is not to say you're not a hard worker knowledgeable in your own area. I'm sure you are.

So, I have engaged what you've written.

Minutia about things (some of which are media fantasy and not even real) is not what policy is about.

Politicians of all types DELEGATE those kinds of responsibilities. You have to. There is no other way. (i.e.--"cronyism")
That's the first rule in politics. I can ask questions of some fellow political scientists that few could answer if I get detailed enough. So what?
The acumen comes in when learning how to assess the information as a whole. Sometimes you defer to others if necessary. Which for most of us is quite often.

I can formulate 20 questions about science myself that few people could answer, much less most politicians. That does not mean they have no muster in politics, or that my local plumber is incompetent due to not sharing my peculiar interests in crocodilians and gardening and abstruse books on philosophy.

And, as with all the hoopla about alleged "suppression" of science (though to that point, real biologists and meteorologists and climatologists and some other researchers HAVE lost their tenure or jobs regarding no towing some ideological line in science), the real issues, as I said before, had to do with ideology. Not science. On some rare occasions this cat gets let out of the bag as when Anna Quindlin and other journalists paint this stem cell issue (as but one example) as some kind of Galileo vs. the Church issue. When in fact as science journalist Michael Fumento pointed out, there is much lying here going on over at Science Blogs, and Tim Lambert's Vendetta/ styled websites. On stem cells, the heavy lifting is done by ASCs (adult stem cells), not the embryonic version that has its tin cup out for federal monies. And the issue of climate change is no more settled than water-witching, now that 100 years of "climate change" (the new term that makes sure that no amount of contraindicative evidence can falsify what used to be called "global warming") just got nixed with falling temps for the last 10 years of global cooling. Beyond this, and knowing that in the distant past there were times it never snowed even north of the Arctic Circle and by contrast we had ice down to what is now St. Louis--what IS the ideal temperature of the earth, and should be keep it from shifting again? As no doubt it will, carbon variation or not? Research done by Dr. Hugh W. Ellsaesser indicates that carbon contribution of human beings is too small in the overall workings of the carbon cycle to make any significant contribution to carbon induced warming. But having the sky fall has been a perennial favorite of politicians of all stripes since long before Chicken Little. For a more detailed history on this, I would suggest you read Rational Readings on Environmental Concerns(Jay H. Lehr): A very long book that details not only the myths about climate, asbestos, landfills, dioxin, the Alar flim flam, DDT' untimely demise in saving human life, nuclear energy, and a host of other scares, but also goes over the rather suspect, illogical, and quasi-religious undertones of the modern environmentalist movement and its roots in radicalist ideology and mysticism and statism. Even if you disagree with what you find, you'll come away with a larger perspective on such matters. And that Chris Mooney has some "learnin'" to do yet. And that media can and does have bias and complicity in enviro-fads.

So, these are policy issue differences. Not science disputes per se.

Besides, if Bush was really that ignorant, then he'd not even know how to go about "suppressing" certain kinds of scientific not to his liking (RE: ideological, actually) issues in the first place, while keeping the others. Notice that the bruha on "science" from Chris Mooney and others is generally about items requiring massive expenditures to fix some hobgoblin that somehow manages to yet again outsource our lives and money to yet another UNELECTED, perpetual crisis-mongering lobby as the solution. Interesting. No one is hitting anyone over the head regarding Boyle's Law. Presumably because this can't be used to justify more tax revenue to government coffers or control people's lives.

That's the real animus here, and why it looks contradictory. And everyone knows it. The mudslinging is about ideology--not science. It is about control; of business, of people, of habits, of lifestyles, and some socialist perceptions about our collective resources as a nation. It is about some pet projects not getting funding to whatever level. And all this crap about Europe and Hong Kong and other making the great strides vs. us in science research is bull. Their men of science typically study over here, and admire the open pursuit of science fostered by our more accepting culture. That is the testimony given to me. They know where the studying is most likely to yield results.

Example on the alleged "suppression": The "science" of the AIDS-gripe lobby has no facts behind the notion that monogamous, married people need to hit the sack dripping with nonoxynal-9 and condoms, vs. the reality that rectal thrusting is the proximate vector of transmission. They DO get sympathy and tears and all manner of myth making when it comes to making sure tax dollars flow to African warlords (the usual destination) even as Bush gave 64 BILLION DOLLARS under such nonsensical pressure--only to be slammed for not giving yet more. He can't win. I don't know about you, but 64 billion in my thinking is quite a bit of dough to hand out over a policy that is baloney in the first place only to get nailed for it nonetheless---as uncompassionate. On and on it goes. The stem cell lobby does not like the fact they can't yet force the taxpayer to cough up the dough by legislative fiat, or that others are aware that when it comes to killers of human beings in Africa, the very real but NON-sexy, boring, NON-politicized diseases like dysentery and malaria kill MAGNITUDES more humans than AIDS, so they get mad, chimp out, like PZ Myers' shtick---and start calling names. Then they murmur about "hate" and anti-"science" types for not holding a certain ideological position when in fact real dangers to the commonweal are far less expensive if our goal is to help people, rather than keep the AIDS lobby in business to legitimize certain dangerous behavior-driven illnesses. Fumento goes on to demonstrate (actually done years ago) that true heterosexual AIDS is about as common as winning the Powerball lottery several times in a row. We know the vector, and how to stanch it. Its not for lack of Trojans at the local curb store, or not teaching 5th graders how to put them on cucumbers. But that's not nice to talk about these days.

Other examples abound: In the case of stem cells, for example it is myth that the embryonic version is banned. It is not. Only FEDERAL FUNDING is, and even at that only new lines are banned---private donations were never outlawed, nor state funding. It is just that when it comes to budgetary priorities, we see that these studies (contrasted next to ASCs, which can be pulled from tissue without destruction of embryos and are almost as pluripotent in some varieties as ESCs, and can also be custom-designed) show ESCs ineffective. The penchant the media has for telling parts of the whole brings home the reality that agendas are the order of the day, not "facts" in an of themselves. Context is such a magical word. As Newsweek's Anna Quindlin admitted, the abortion issue looms in the minds of people here also. As with illegals popping people's heads under the presumption that to make a more noble society you have to crack of few heads once in a while, and prohibit the rights of native born people, (and the analogy to some being akin to making a nice omelet by breaking some eggs), so too here the "higher" of halting opposition to abortion is a large measure of support for piercing allegedly lesser forms of human life (human embryos). Of course, for a noble cause like making Michael J. Fox get back to Back to the Future again, or maybe having Al Gore stop talking through his nose. Problem is, so far, ESCs have bombed out. No matter. This advocacy "softens the blow" on the "A-Word", so to speak.

As Fumento follows up elsewhere, the real "War on Science" (Mooney's phase) comes generally from the Left's determination to revert to a kind of sun worship and primitivism and the advocacy of a cosseted poverty on behalf of Gaia (Mother Earth worship), and is in fact its own form of religion from which we should be shielded. The Left of Mooney's and PZ Myers' stripe is Luddite in orientation; they exhibit a general mistrust of technology the Left is famous for, though their worries have been exploded since the days of Thomas Malthus (Julian Simon, among others). They praise "all Natural" this and that (when in fact with Nature, death and horror and misery are just as common as beauty), and have a general disdain for the fact that "better living through science" is supposed to HELP humanity (and has). For the Left, "science" means creative ways to inact virtual economic serfdom, and a dependency on government and carbon demonization in order to save the beloved cutey-pie polar bear and stink beetles. This quasi-religious worship of non-human animation and even inanimate rock and ice formations is a reversion to a type of primitive animism, and serves primarily politicians and university research grants, but not their citizens who'll pay for all this largesse.
Perhaps for his next trick, Chris Mooney can charm his Atlantic Monthly readers by getting his crack team of investigators to proclaim that his version of "science" will now squeeze blood from turnips and rocks, spin hay into gold, make Obama walk on water, spray the Palestinians with Peaceout Mist, end foreclosures with the Mortgage-O-Matic Magic Money Printer, and have food stamps supplanted with a fish-and-loaves trick the real Messiah would be proud of. Mooney, PZ Myers, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Peter Singer, Stephen Pinker, Tim Lambert, and the others who haunt ScienceBlogs and other outlets are Leftists, almost to a person. It is highly unlikely these individuals give a piffle about the future of science and science education per se, except as it furthers an agenda about the nature of government and power. They all but admit this. Their goal, and perpetual frustration, is that like all Leftists they see the world as a place that must have absolute equality, nothing left to chance, no disparities, no anomolies in life, no problems, no differences (cultural, economic, meritous, ability or otherwise), no heirarchies, and no capitalist impulses that supposedly create all these alleged problems. To that end, these men have, like the media, their goal of transformation of society in utopia. All else is secondary. They hate modern society, its wealth, its money, its divisions, its inequalities, its uncertainties, etc. The destruction of this one is paramount. This is why you see sympathy from liberals and leftists--indeed, outright admiration--of massive power (other than American) and statism, and dictatorial regimes. The early days of the ACLU and similar organizations saw advocacy of the USSR. Today it is Cuba and the ugly, bootstomping, nanny-state, statist impulses of secular modern Europe. Why should I place trust in detractors like these? Mooney and Lambert and Dawkins and Dennett and that chimpanzee Myers believe fairly much the same in one form or another: Wealth just falls out of the sky and hits some people and not others, like some fortuitous meteor wheeling in from outer space. This is the liberal mentality about wealth. It is stolen, at best, or it just "happens", like leaves growing on a tree or low lying areas turning into mudpuddles. We must "magage" the mudpuddles and leaves that the gods of nature never saw fit to dole out equally across all racial and gender and ethnic lines. No intelligence or input need apply, because they never did. Their "science" advocacy is about agendas and directions. If this intelligentsia/brain trust is on par with Obama's (and it seems to be a mirror reflection at least on ideology), then this does not bode well.

Sophistication can often be merely a cover for sheer sophistry. In WWII, the Soviet Army was mocked by Hitler's generals. Indeed, the writings of Soviets on matters of war have been as primitive as their take on economics. But nevertheless these primitives SMASHED the German Wermacht. Tenacity, more than most anything else, is often the key to getting things done.

Your suggestion that Palin's problem with the Bush doctrine was that she had too nuanced a view of the terminology strikes me as patently ludicrous.

Indeed. I can see why, too: I made no such claim.

I did not suggest of imply that Governor Palin had some "nuanced" view of the "Bush Doctrine" that Gibson got away with by merely talking through his media hat. The reason is that no nuance exists. The reason, in turn, for THAT, is that as far as policy there is no doctrine of such, except in the minds of media mythmakers based on a couple of statements by Bush.
That's all. Like MAD, it is myth. It is just a notion, and an ethereal one at that known to talking heads and poly sci wonks. Palin didn't know for the same reason Charlie Gibson didn't know either. Neither do the experts. There was little to know. Just because pundits elsewhere yammer about something on cable TV does not give the beast any reality. Except as some ethereal, grandiose claim about security, it is a myth.

Gibson had this myth whispered in his ear about some meme that the studio discovered was circulating like chewing gum going from shoe to shoe in some Chatter Class circles with perhaps some input from idiot boxes like Slate Magazine's Jacob Weisberg. But that does not make it real. It's just a very generalized NOTION about policy in the 21st century that says--again very generally--that our security depends on the freedom aspirations of others. That's a swell notion, but hard to encode into any real policy. And hell on earth, that's only one form of what the experts chatter about. Gibson pulled this off easily not for his erudition, but rather due to few people knowing, investigating, or giving a rat's rump outside the Chatter Class's pretensions.

If I make up the name of a fictional creature known only to fantasy types who piddle in their parents' basements, it is no real crime that I would not know the name of Lord Yipnarth, the Scion of Darkness, known to gaming boarders only. The so-called experts thought of about 7 or 8 differing formulations on the Bush Doctrine, some of which are contradictory since they didn't think matters through. A common media myth sign. Some said there are only two. And also as to Gibson and that lovable Eva Braun of America, Katie Couric, you cannot find a more laughable set up. Both of whom claimed they had used Palin's "exact" quotes on issues like religion--and then it turns out this was far from the case, as with Gibson's mention of Lincoln praying to God about wisdom during some dark days of the Civil War. On and on it goes. Other tales have her doing everything from sleeping with a friend's husband to firing people without cause (both untrue), and getting the issue of Vice Presidential power wrong. Turns out she got that one right after all, and a little deeper consultation about that role confirms this.

Then there is that crap about Russia being visible from Alaska.
On this issue, as with the bruha about the alleged Bush Doctrine, it is noteworthy that Wikipedia got mysteriously edited at the last minute to make sure the "facts" jived more closely with Gibson's version of the tales of "exact" quotes--of which they were not, of course. Same for Eva Braun's, err, I mean, Katie Couric's "exact" quotes.

Some "feminists", like the hysterical Eve Ensler and the laughable Virginia Wolf, hate Palin because she's actually dared to reproduce in an age when that's considered an icky redneck thing to do with one's uterus, and of course for not supporting abortion on demand every time a teen chick is too chunky to fit into her prom dress. So this is primarily a clash of culture and priorities more than knowledge. It is about belief systems. Motherhood is passé and icky. (Apparently the vagina is to be merely a fleshly amusement park, and not to be considered for making babies).

Other examples Chris Mooney and others like to groan about include abstinence education, and the insistence by some groups on oversexualizing youth and then making sure that the self-fulfilling prophecy that the kids can't keep their zippers up is made manifest when told that being a Trojan warrior makes the going great with no consequences emotionally or spiritually either, and that your parents are just old fogies. (Apparently today's teens are so blinkered stupid they know where to buy cigarettes and booze at the local corner pantry store, but are not aware by age 19 that Trojans are also sold there).

The point I was making was that this kind of fretting over things the media have set up, and that they themselves (including not a few policy wonks) are not sure about, is an absurdity. Moreover, it is not even on par with their softball, messianic complex questions to Obama, about his laughable "martyrdom" at the hands of increasingly vocal critics. I point out these stark contrasts to demonstrate not only the Death of Journalism in 2008, where enemies of certain ideologies are investigated--but not facts. But rather, to also point out the utter hypocrisy of their tactics and plaintive wails of mistreatment and faux moral outrage. All through the Bush years--from DAY ONE of his presidency on January 20th 2001, the media assailed HIM, conservative talk radio, some magazines, most all pundits on the Right, and others along with the administration on policy issues on.....whatever. "Artists" made movies about killing Bush in those days, and wrote entire novels to that effect. The mockery/hatred didn't pretend to be subtle. At every turn the media myrmidons of the Left accused the troops and the military leadership of murder and virtual Nazism on and off the field. Bush was parodied in every possible manner and some new types as well. Palin and Bush and even the Great Compromiser John McCain who "reached across the aisles", were burned and/or hung in effigy.

Now that the tables are turned, the major media cry foul. One radio personality--just one--is causing a surrealist firestorm in the Bambi administration. A minority conservative ideology that still has a voice is a voice too loud to some liberals: The Democrats are raising hell with every broadcast of late night radio. It's surrealistic. We're not being "fair" to Barry. We're "mean." We're "not on board" with the Messiah's Changy-Change mantras, his Maoist praises, or the rapid expansion of government into...well...just about everything. At first this was denied, but in a recent forum from a history prof. writing in Newsweek, we see the proud crowing from a Yale historian about the proximate cause for Obama's ascendancy being the role of government, not Iraq. On the former, the issue with some voters in the aftermath of Katrina and the dependency class fostered there in New Orleans, was the perception among the elites that government is simply too damned SMALL, not too large. So for all his blunders on expansion of government and government spending, the elites and "sophisticates" in the media now proudly proclaim the coming age of government after all. It is far less about blunders about Iraq, Joe Wilson's lying pie hole on WMD and Nigerian yellowcake, or volumes of Bushspeak. It is about Bush expanding some areas of government but not--in their own ISM books--not quite enough. This is now admitted by those liberals less shy about their words now that the election is over and Bambi is nationalizing everything just shy of your corner Pantry store. And even that might be on the docket soon.

We're said to hope for "failure" of the new Prez, when in fact the real context of that statement now making the rounds is that anyone who cares about this nation would more properly be justified in saying they hope for a failure of these new Marxian economics. Not the man as a person. Then as expected, as with Palin's unwarranted rectal probing by the media and the tall tales, we had this new tale of people catcalling to "kill" Obama at McCain/Palin rallies. The Secret Service confirms what I had suspected from day one when the story hit the waves--false.

So, in an age when the media have as their mission to investigate their perceived enemies--not the facts (ask Joe the Plumber at the hands of the Ohio Secretary of State, an action yet to be punished)--and to send teams of lawyers and talking heads to give Palin's associations virtual rectal exams and spill out all manner of salacious and generally false information while giving Bambi a free ride to his throne, you'll forgive me for having a jaundiced eye about these "facts", as concocted.

As to leaving the "economy in shambles", you can mostly credit the CRA and other loan mills that, under pressure from various heavy hitting con artist agencies like ACORN and left wing ninnies who think home ownership is some kind of "right", made sure that the erstwhile hard-nosed banks plopped people in housing both participants in these transactions knew they could NOT afford. It started under Carter, but under Clinton this passion for loosening the rules of mortgages under Fannie Mae was more than just a gentle "nudge" or "handy memo" "suggestion" to the banks. What is that old phase about the nature of the road to Hell and noble intentions? This is all very well documented. It's kinda odd that the same crowd that yells that yard services and golf courses are supposedly to have free reign over hiring practices in the name of "market forces" don't see this Econ 101 rule when it comes to housing and other major segments--like health care and banking--of the nation's economy. The ripple effect of this cannot be discounted. I see it everywhere I go in my line of work. Having your brother-in-law help you make payments on occasion, welfare payments, and food stamps, should not qualify at the local bank for the lofty but rather difficult goal of home ownership. Sorry, its not that easy. Rather, it shouldn't be. The economy needs to return to a more hard-nosed way of looking at things if we're to get out of this mess. And leave government intervention behind in the FDR days where it failed us for the first time until WWII came along to actually bail us with higher productivity beyond shoveling dirt from point A to point B----and handing out checks. Bush's compromises certainly made a mockery of free-market ideas. True. For that, his worst legacy other than Illegal Migration, is one of appearances; the irony is that now capitalism is blamed on the sinking morass, and the apparent answer from Bambi is going to be a trickle-upward poverty and government worker expenditures and government job programs, all the while slamming productive people, and proclaiming his corrupt administration of erstwhile jobless hacks and tax cheats is the Change We Need. Cute. And if you're worried about a doubling of the national debt, compared to the current situation, those would be the good old nostalgic days. Ironic, really. These problems are now blamed on "free markets" and Bush's alleged connection to such (far from the case, as any real conservative knows that the whole "Bush" family name rhymes with "Squish", when it comes to conservative economics), all the while it was Democrats who encouraged and goaded most of the very Democrat inspired, government intervention in the housing markets that caused all this. However, now that Obama and his associates, or "cronies", as you might say, are garnering most of the benefits of the "bailout" or "stimulus" money, and the Dow has been hacked in half, it remains to be seen (but one can guess) as to the future of the markets under a neo-socialist thinker. Obama and his "associates" may yet make Bernie Madoff look like a Boy Scout.

As to the Bill of Rights, I have no idea what you would be talking about regarding Bush. It is the Left that is petering around with the Fairness Doctrine, of rather questionable history and application to modern media and surely outlived its decades old beginnings about "public ownership" of airwaves and other nonsense (the reasoning here is even worse, as that issue was about wavelength separation, not first amendment issues), and contra the efforts of Ginsberg and three others, his best legacy is shielding the Second Amendment from big city crappola about public safety meaning private citizens can't own guns. That's the greatest victory for Rights since the Founding. Freeborn people own guns. Slaves and serfs do not.

As to the first Amendment, it was not designed by the Founders to create a religion-free zone in public life--just simply not an advocacy of one faith over another. This is confirmed in modern decisions as well as Court historians such as Joseph Story. It is the Democrats--not the Republicans--who own the major media, the courts, the universities, the public schools, most all Hollywood sap tales that praise city workers as "bold" gay men for merely having sex with other males, and of course now the other branches of government and most every municipality with tins cups out for more tax money and bailout. The response from Democrats, contra the First Amendment, is to nip the remainder---the internet and talk radio--with some form of heavy regulation. Liberal scholar of some part time variety Carl Sunstein, author of frets that too many people are getting info tailor-made from the Net, thus more regulation is in order to control the flow of opinion. Echoing his sentiments is not the unsophisticated Bush. Nay, that would be one high brow charmer named Will Hutton, who boasts that the Europeans know just how to control speech and opinion in THEIR airwaves with the bland phrase called "Public Interest Criteria" and other bureaucratic speak. The people are too dangerous, says Hutton, to go with the traditional interpretation of the First Amendment, which for his part he despises and suggests a more, shall we say, "collective understanding" of political opinion content. Could have guessed that one from today's "liberals." The so-called "Fairness Doctrine", the only demon left to unleash against conservative late talk radio, is now on the burner to be resurrected at some point 50 years after losing its original intent. But liberals are not happy that there is one major holdout to their monopoly. Air America blew its propellers, so libs can't compete in the free market of ideas and must resort to the F.D. and NPR (which would be exempt, as would all other media now controlled by the left). Charming. To the last.

As to the war in Iraq, while it was true that Bush had some major bungling of operations, such as the military-recommended dismantling of the Iraqi army (though this idea was the military leaderships, I suppose we can place the final go-ahead at Bush's feet), the war itself is more likely than not to be a general success. If, as you've claimed elsewhere, our goal should be ethics and compassion to the disinherited of the Earth, then in addition to handing all these goodies and medical rescue missions to the world's beleaguered, we might also consider the ideology and governmental structure of some of these places. And make adjustments to that as needed. Liberals get contradictory in saying that Africa needs AIDS money, Darfur needs humanitarian relief from war, and throngs of people elsewhere need food and meds, but we are not to question the type of governments (typically statist or some other authoritarians) that have a large part in this societal rot in the first place. The two ideas feed off one another. Intervention is intervention, and if we're talking ethics of helping others, then using the Marines to kick sand around while ignoring the warlords but handing out sacks of rice with empty rifle cartridges slung on their backs is useless, as is saying that we should feed millions of Mexicans but are not to expect fundamental changes in their arid, socialist economy and so "business as usual" with poverty and desperation. If the question is what is the least bloody (for us) kind of operation or "intervention", then we'll always be running at the first pinprick, even with historically low albeit tragic deaths of American soldiers in places like Iraq. What is the next threshold for running with tails tucked firmly under the legs? 1000 deaths? 500? 50? 25?

The biggest error in Iraq was having Hussein hang around as long as he did, and paying far too much attention in Gulf I to our idiot allies' demands that he stay in power and the mandate should stop thusly at the gates of Baghdad. Bad move. Clinton and Bush followed up to the massacre of the Kurd by Hussein by some rather ineffective flyovers and bombing hits every other week, during which "containment" time the Left complained that millions of Iraqis were perishing to hunger. In reality, the Oil for Food scam did most of this damage. But no matter, as soon as Bush invaded Iraq in 2003, the Left figured out that "containment" was a holy, blessed event after all. Again, an elastic agenda bubbles forth to smirk at us. The reality is that containment, like "balance of power" is something that many political scientists like myself know to be another one of those highly overvalued commodities that mean little in reality. "Containment" is really just a spineless way of saying you're in a Mexican standoff and hope nobody makes a brash move. It is an expensive dictator management program, and not just in dollars, but in human lives. Just ask the citizens of Eastern Europe, pacified and imprisoned by communism's "containment" for half a century in the name of "peace" and "stability." When in reality no such animal was materialized. Just a slower spiritual death of a people.

The Bush administration rightly considered the issue of terror, WMD, and Iraq's grotesque abuse of human rights (real one's--not the rectal pump ethics of Richard Dawkins and pals) to be linked. This is one sandwich. Others knew this as well.

Leftist Christopher Hitchens, to his credit, also recognized these nefarious Sadammic connections to terror and quelled the myth that all was loving and lovely and peaceful and terror/conflict free in the good old days of Hussein's gentle, flower-strewn rule.

While it turned out Hussein did not have WMD to any real degree after all, the Duelfer Report, which was the final word on the issue and exhaustively researched, said he DID want to have them BACK once the cat and mouse games with the UN inspectors was done and gone. Not good. And while there was never any evidence that Iraq was connected directly with 911, Hussein did have working relationships with numerous terror organizations like Hamas, and was involved in the gut-splat self-detonation techniques used frequently against allies like Israel. That is fact, not conjecture. Bush never claimed Iraq had anything to do with 911, as is yet another common high-cotton mythology generated by sophisticates like Dan Rather (who got burned on another issue, come to think of it), but that Hussein had too cozy a relationship with terrorists generally in the region, and that his removal for a number of reasons would bring some semblance of stability and economic order to the region. Other non-ignorant media stars: Joe Wilson turned out to be a contemptible liar on the issue of Nigerian uranium. The British government's Intel agencies know to this day that Saddam wanted to obtain such material's for exploration of nuclear weapons. Much as Iran is now. Bush never said, as Wilson claimed in an adulating Vanity Fair write-up along side his secret cloak and dagger wife, Valerie Plame (whose not-so-secret code name, despite the liars about her outing, was....."Valerie Plame"), that Hussein HAD yellowcake. Only that he SOUGHT it at one point. Elsewhere many agencies around the world at the time, including Hans Blix, the UN, the Israeli Mossad, the Russians, and dozens of other agencies and governments, thought Hussein had access to WMD. Bush's team made an error in this calculation. But he was not lying. This has been confirmed also by non-partisan investigation teams like

Those on the Paleo Right, like Pat Buchanan, and the Neo-Isolationist Left who pretend to be "internationalist" because they advocate UN sanction for all actions, might both want to reconsider the wisdom of proclaiming that we need only defend our borders with a mulish stubbornness to see beyond even that. In fact, as you well know, we lack the political courage to defend our own borders. So the "non-interventionist" crowds of both Right and Left converge against the common sense realities of the modern era. They call themselves the "RealPolitick" crowd. But they might want to get "real." You can't say on the one hand it's OK to send money to African warlords to continue torment of their own people while calling this "AIDS" money (or just "aid" money), but disdain the need to intervene when the planet begins to fall to pieces on numerous fronts; the Left, the Old Right, the libertarian nutcases like Ron Paul, all giving us a new version of isolationism with a sappy face, called "sophistication" and "compromise" on issues like the Hamas intent of ridding the planet of Jews and terrorists nipping heads, need to understand that its not a good show to think the rest of the world can go to hell and we'll be OK on the home front so long as we just adjust the tax tables and have "free" healthcare. We'll supposedly limp on as a lonely candle of freedom in a darkening world that gets darker by the month in the new Dark Ages. Let's see here. A totalitarian China, a demographically crumbling Russia, an crapped out Middle East where nukes and nuts are snickering at Obama and planning to send the Jews into the sea, a disease-ridden Africa, a civil war torn Europe of tomorrow? Dream on, Peaceniks and do-gooders who claim to love humanity. On this, Bush's legacy is at least one where it is recognized that we can't wait for a complete spinout to take action. The Iraqi people will be better off for our efforts, and not those of Cindy Sheehan and Michael Moore. Even if Iraq must eventually be divided into several zones.

In any event, perhaps worse than even the Obama neo-Maoist children's choirs sprouting up singing the paeans to the Dear Leader, when it comes to the sheer advocacy of "ignorance" as blissful Hopey Changmass style and panache, I can see your claim and raise you one:

I have to give Obama credit for throwing people off the ballot in Chicago, and learning what the media likes to see and report. It was an unprecedented ugly move to toss three people off, but he's clever in that regard. He's been a gunslinger fast on the draw. True enough.

Now, if you truly care to see the face of ignorance, just find a car that has one of those Obama stickers on the back of some wretched Volkswagen or Volvo or other Changemobiles zooming through stop signs and red lights and delivering the finger to anyone who honks at them or screeches out of the way. For that matter, just hang up posters of race-baiters Joseph Lowry and Eric Holder, nutcases like Andrea Dworkin, Maxine Waters, Cynthia McKinney, expert climatologists Paul Begala, Albert Gore Jr., James Carville, neo-Trotskyist Paul Krugman (though in his case he might just be a good liar on economics), legal experts Patrick Leahy and Joe Biden, giggle box Rachel Maddow, the affable quote manufacturers Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric, NPR's multiculturalist anchorette, Renee Montagne, Jocelyn Elders, or Barbara Boxer--or beloved Cindy Sheehan. The last three faces certainly no strangers to confusion. Not to mention Barbara Eirenreich and Gloria Steinem. (The last of whom discovered that women might need bicycles as much as fish do after all--after she got hitched up after long denouncing marriage as "mating in captivity.")

For sheer stupidity in the black-tie cocktail attire, I could always mention the academic scribblers who plague the universities with advocacy of the virtual destruction of Israel and our economy and replacing petroleum with chicken manure and windmills but naysaying the best de-carbonizer, nuclear power. Bambi hasn't mentioned it either, come to think of it.

Madalene Albright also went to the hoity-toity schools for smart girls and helped oversee the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Africans and other suave adventures in running from terror lords and tribal warriors. Perhaps you'd enjoy the precious insights of high-cotton warriors like Robert McNamara: Mastermind of the Vietnam war. With a multicultural, well-heeled, decidedly non-Palinesque IQ allegedly high enough to boil water for tea, and carrying himself with far more style and panache than the man he worked for at first (LBJ), this warrior of book tours and the martyrdom of the cocktail party circuit. He helped engineer a ground war in the damned jungle with little military direction or sustainable goals for freedom for the South Vietnamese and made sure we fought under constraints that assured 50,000 young men died for literally no reason. 30 years later he pens a book declaring his suspicion it (the war) was all for naught after all. Beautiful. Atta Boy, Bobby Mac. Compared to Palin, I hear he DOES gave one hell of a toast.

**tink tink tink** Here here.

Keep in mind that sophistication has not always been a positive word. It comes from the Greek word for chicanery and specious arguments designed to make short quips that shut out all other inquiry. That fits today's political and intellectual climate to a tee. For more on this, you might consult Peter Shaw's The War Against the Intellect, along with Allen Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind, both of which describe the academic rot and demotion of human values and the rusting of erstwhile standards and culture that used to define American culture.

My larger point about Palin, for her end of things, is that she has a cultural confidence that is far more important than "community organizer" horsecrap (and the crap from the Glurge Gallery above) for what will no doubt be a darker and uglier world. One where the sappy-faced nothingness of multi-culti and PCism is no match for Islam's numerous challenges. Bambi is not up to it, but then, few are. A culture that is secularist is not actually even a real culture. Just an amusement park of fleshly and temporal delights that specializes in using government to make assertions about sex and fun time at the beach and endless amusements to oblivion. Like modern Europe. The ultimate in adolescent fantasy. The government hands you goodies, watches the kids, tells you how to raise your rugrats, takes care of gramps and grandma so you can work 28 hours a week and take 8 weeks of paid vacation on year one of your first job, but gives the "freedom" to bob your head up and down like a teenaged girl with an Ipod stapled to your ear. 10,000 choices on music. Few on the core responsibilities of life.

Not good enough. There IS some fraying on the edges in the modern secular state, and not just in the department of low birth rates needing massive immigration to sustain the bustling old folks homes in contrast to the dearth of babies in maternity wards who could be future taxpayers. More seriously, this is seen in the fact that hundreds of young men with pasty white faces in places like Limerick and London and Paris and Antwerp are turning to Islam yearly for more "meat" in their lives than the vapid nothingness offered by secularism. Secularism is just a happy faced lollipop on a government-sponsored stick.

As the churches empty and the atheists pump their fists and say hurrah, they might keep in mind that the mosques are beginning to fill up, ever so slowly, like a garden hose hung over the side of a large pool. The water level shift is imperceptible to most, but rise the water will. The reason is simple: Secularism is a "culture" that has no moorings or meaning, and thus is a "culture" that has no faith in itself. How can it? And there is no market for a culture that has no faith in itself. That ready-made market is at the local mosque, however many more hundreds will be built in Europe by next summer. It is counteracted by its own pieties about mutli-culti and PCness telling us that all cultures are equal. But how could this be?

To be sure, the candy asses in the Republican party and their golf pals hanging out coddling drinks while asking about the par 3 problems at Hole 15 won't do the trick either. Now, Palin certainly would not have their style and panache in the club house. No question she can't sparkle like a trophy wife. And she's probably not as familiar with Beltway types on some terminology. Why would she? But she has sources of pride far removed from dripping with emeralds and giving great toasts. Alaskans pride themselves on a life based on freedom. They don't typically conspire to control the lives and economics of whole nations. Palin lives a life outside of the creepy interactions of politics and the demiurge to control other people, and is willing to have Hamas, the sons of Allah, Sharia Law, the headnippers, Handgun control, Inc, and socialist muck and mire and multi-culti nonsense in the schools blown to oblivion, both figuratively and/or literally as needed, in order to save America. That's a good start. Nor did she have to consult Couric or Gibson's mythology, or phony "exact quote" quotes to come up with this. As Mark Steyn has written, contra what you thought you learned from Katrina, it is BIG GOVERNMENT--not limited government--that the Founders knew would be the enemy of freedom in the future. In fact it is said that Big Government, like terror, is actually a security threat. It saps will and initiative of the common person when government mandates, adjudicates, and micromanages all areas of life. People like Sarah Palin instinctively understand this, while others wring their hands as to why the sons of Allah keep trying to nip heads and push planes through windows, nor matter how much we accommodate and apologize for our very existence. Oh yeah--and she would at least know enough in her Snobilly ignorance to not diss the leader of America's closet ally, Great Britain. Icons of western political saavy, like Winston Churchill's bust, would get to stay.

It was big government that failed us on 9/11. All the rules were followed the walls of separation between agencies to assure the rights of those investigated were held high and proud even as Islamists ended up abusing the visa schedule and crashed through windows. The airlines safety protocols were the epitome of this. The modern jet under FAA guidelines is the microcosm of big nanny government, gone airborne, making your decisions for you: Sit down, shut up, no guns, no smoking, be still, stay in your seat--and yet under those same rules, box cutters managed to sneak through the dragnet anyhow. It was private citizens taking action after defenseless pilots got their throats slashed, who downed Flight 93. Everyone on board died, yes, but the plane did not wreak the intended Jihad of hitting another target in DC. That speaks for something about the assertion of individual rights. Governor Palin, more than the cocktail circuit set, or Sean Penn's whine at another Hollywood backslap session, or PZ Myers' chimp-out sessions, and the people who post their snarlings to his site, is far ahead of the game here. But this is the legacy of the New Left's ascension to power. No doubt Bush was rightfully targeted on some issues and was contradictory about ideology. We all know that.
But Palin, as surely you know, was targeted for being a very real threat to the plans of people who lack an individualist spirit and worship government power. Virile, sexual, attractive, confident, still sleeping with her husband, and not looking like some vicious harpie from N.O.W., living the 2nd Amendment rather than just jawboning about endless theoretical constructs, and the fact that she was a successful businesswoman and governor with a high approval rating from a relatively conservative state? Thus, she is an irritant to many women who lack self-confidence and power but jabber about such things. She lived success. And still does.

There is your answer to the media's insistence on destroying her while greasing the racetrack for the beloved neo-Marxian Bambi. Like El Presedente' Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's Latin version of Obama, the American media and "academic" community are standard setters of using themselves as attack lap dogs--as with the incessant smearing of Palin--to destroy political enemies. Thus the almost other-worldly attack by Obama and his media warriors against radio personalities and the proposed legislation to end what is left of that medium.

The trend is to continue.

Jim Lippard said...

I'm not sure this is worth my time to read, let alone respond to. Skimming it I saw a comment about how Valerie Plame's secret code name was Valerie Plame, a point which fails to comprehend how the CIA operates. Plame was a covert agent for the CIA when she was outed in 2003, and had previously traveled under aliases and under her real name with both official and non-official cover. It's common for CIA covert agents to use their real names, but use cover such as an appointment in the State Department or in a private company.

You say it's the Democrats, not the Republicans, who own the major media. I'll give you Sumner Redstone, CEO of Viacom, even though he supported George W. Bush in 2004, but apparently you've forgotten about Rupert Murdoch of News Corp. The CEOs of Disney and Time Warner seem to give money to whichever political party is in power (or most likely to be in power).

You claim CRA is responsible for the economy being in shambles, but omit the role of credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations--CRA loans were only a very tiny percentage of the subprime and Alt-A loans going bad. While I don't dispute that the Clinton-era changes to the CRA may have had an impact, the financial instruments that created the leverage, the Fed rate being held low for too long, and the excess capital seeking return were what inflated the bubble.

Alaskans may pride themselves on freedom, but they are also federal welfare pigs in a state that has opposed justice for William Osborne in a way that should be criminal.

You continue to go on about Obama and big government. Even though I preferred Obama to McCain, I'm no advocate of big government. See my review of Randy Barnett's Restoring the Lost Constitution, for example.

Regarding bumper stickers, anyone with more than three bumper stickers on the back of their car is probably a loony, regardless of what the stickers say.

Wakefield Tolbert said...

By no means will I tell you what is worth YOUR time. No doubt most posters don't get into it with you. That's fine too. I'm not trying to be difficult or acrimonious, but since this weighs on interests of mine, I chipped in where I could. Which is not often. So feel honored compared to most bloggers. Right? Despite our profound disagreements, yours is a higher level of thinking things through than about 98 percent.

Yes, it is common for some names to be "hiding" in plain site. But is was a Democrat operative, not Karl Rove or some other negarious cloak, who outed Plame.

Joe Wilson was a Waler Mitty fantasist who in point of fact got his facts wrong. I don't even know where to start except to give a precis on this: Wilson was a low level wonk who got the job at the behest of his wife, his info was contradicted by Brit Intel, and as far as anyone can tell, it was Richard Armitage who "outed" the low level, but admittedly rather striking Plame.

He is wrong for the issue at hand, and wrong that the main impetus for the war was claims about uranium. Like even the anti-war libertarian economist and historian Thomas DiLorenzo has commented, it is very common that wars are always complex events, and to say that this one did not have numerous layers of its own complexity is beyond the pale or reason. I'm NOT going to get into the history of all this about Iraq. For this kind of trouble would have been absurd. Wilson did most of his own discrediting himself, as, among other sites, attests to.

You can find hypocrisy in Alaskans just as the other 49 states, I'm sure. I doubt Simon-purity can even be found in today's politics.

AS far as the banks, that issue was fairly well summed up by Manikow and many others. The banks will always get their dough. Else they won't be banks but charitable trusts that hand out money. The deregulation bugbear du jour is a side issue. I'll stop with the references, but suffice it to say that creative financing is what you can expect when food stamps and your brother in law's job count as "income" for collateral. The banks, like all of us, deal with unfunded mandates to the degree they can. As Mankow pointed out, at some point the chickens come home....

Some, like the aforementioned Steve Kangas and others, go on and on about media ownership. But ownership is not always about the talking heads. Most people could not tell you the names you just mentioned. I know them, yes. But the public face is more often Rachel Maddow than some sultan who works the crowd along with the stock market. It's the message, not the medium. This is why what cannot be controlled makes some Democrats very nervous.

Seems counterintuitive, yes.

But business is just business.

One guessed that's why Columbia Farms disdains the workers who will kill chickens for 8 bucks an hour (country boys from town with names like Elgin) for the workers who're not even supposed to be in town. Which is exactly why ideologically many outlets are in trouble. They will have a hard core cadre of lookers who giggle at what amuses them while the rest of the populace eventually moves on.

As you mentioned yourself, its about power.

Not good.

It should be about honest investigations. Not power brokerage to curry favor with Mr. Whomever.

Jim Lippard said...

Abstinence education doesn't result in abstinence, it results in a slight deferral of first sexual activity AND an increase in STDs and unwanted pregnancies. It doesn't do what it's supposed to do.

If you think Wikipedia got "mysteriously edited," point out the identity or IP address of the mysterious editor.

You write: "As to jobs and those "inherited" not being "real"?"

You are the one who introduced talk of "real" jobs, accusing Obama of never having had one, to which I responded that Bush had his jobs handed to him rather than earning them through his own efforts. You responded that "Bush has at least held down real occupations," to which I responded by asking you a question which you haven't answered: "Name one that he has 'held down' by demonstrating success or business acumen."

Why do you refer to Obama as "Bambi"? It doesn't seem to add any credence or persuasiveness to your argument--on the contrary, it makes you sound like a kook.

Ktisophilos said...

Yeah, how silly, Palin thinking that Austrians spoke Austrian. … Oh wait, this was the Hopechanger-In-Chief, He Who Can Do No Wrong: “I don’t know what the term is in Austrian”.

Wakefield Tolbert said...

Why do you refer to Obama as "Bambi

...because his child-like innocence at how the world actually operates is about on par with that Disney character.

I though it a better fit at the moment. More so now.


As to abstinence education, that is debatable and depends on the exact methodology of what is being offered and how the material is taught.

It's like saying that a study of Emerson is not worthy for mention in a poetry class and no one gets much from it, only to discover the course syllubus gleans over all his material and just has the students draw a cartoon or some such.

Whatever the case, it is hard to fathom that anything done, unfortunately, in the public schools is of much value despite however earnestly taught.

You wanted links, so at the end of this one you'll find some studies regarding abstinence and its effectiveness, etc.

Wakefield Tolbert said...

No-not to plug my own site, but at the end of this article are some stats on the differing methodologies of abstinence education.

Wakefield Tolbert said...

I searched out the Wikipedia issue and discovered that people can hide their IP addresses, unless perhaps by "point out" them I could somehow get Wiki site workers to hand these over, which is unlikely.

In any case, regarding Obama and Bush, while it's true Bush is the scion of privledge in his own way, whereas Obama's situation is to have had the skids greased for him all his life and having never heard the magical word "no", I'd say that at least Bush has ATTENDED the running of business.

Howz that? That counts for more than is given credit. I've failed in things like sales and keying crap into computers for an insurance company. But the current gig is doing well, and the business acumen gained if for the price of experience alone is more than acknowledged.

Jim Lippard said...


Wikipedia retains a history of all edits to all pages. In that history, for each edit, there is either a Wikipedia user ID or, if the edit was performed anonymously, an IP address. That information is publicly available.

If the editing is done with a user ID, the IP address is not publicly available (though Wikipedia has that information for itself).

It is possible to use proxies as a way of hiding oneself, in which case the IP address that Wikipedia sees is the IP address of the proxy rather than the ultimate source IP.

But in any case, the information I was after was a reference to the "mysterious edits" in question, which should be present in the Wikipedia history. Then the proximate IP address or Wikipedia user name would be available, associated with that edit in the history.