Bribe, What Bribe?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010 \PM\.\Tue\.

Open Thread, anything and everything.

(Biretta tip:  Lucianne)

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Political Correctness Trumps Expertise in Gulf Oil Spill Response

Tuesday, June 1, 2010 \PM\.\Tue\.

During his press statement last week, President Obama said that in dealing with the recent oil spill in the Gulf, he was “examining every recommendation, every idea that’s out there, and making our best judgment as to whether these are the right steps to take, based on the best experts that we know of.”

That, however, is not entirely true:

A St. Louis scientist who was among a select group picked by the Obama administration to pursue a solution to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has been removed from the group because of writings on his website, the U.S. Energy Department confirmed Wednesday.

Washington University physics professor Jonathan Katz was one of five top scientists chosen by the Department of Energy and attended meetings in Houston last week.

Though considered a leading scientist, Katz’s website postings often touch on social issues. Some of those writings have stirred anger in the past and include postings defending homophobia and questioning the value of racial diversity efforts.

Read the rest of this entry »


Israel vs. the “Freedom Flotilla”

Tuesday, June 1, 2010 \AM\.\Tue\.

I’m generally sympathetic to Israel. Despite its faults, it’s one of the most stable and liberal regimes in the region, and many of its critics fail to account for the corrosive effect on the national consciousness of being surrounded by peoples who want them exterminated and routinely take steps (however ineffective) to visit random violence upon them.

However, while it’s easy to understand their seige mentality, this doesn’t mean that this mentality does not at times cause them to go to far and put themselves in the wrong. In this regard, I think Megan McArdle has a pretty good and balanced response to the attack on the “Freedom Flotilla”: Read the rest of this entry »


Alternate History: What If Lincoln Allowed Secession?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010 \AM\.\Tue\.

An exchange on my personal blog over yesterday’s post about Gettysburg swerved into a question which I imagine our history-minded readers would enjoy commenting on: What would things look like today if Lincoln had simply allowed the CSA to leave and recognized it as a separate country?

Given Lincolns character and beliefs, this seems almost impossible to imagine, but these sorts of alternative history exercises can be an interesting diversion, if only because they make us think about the interconnectedness of history. A few thoughts of my own:

One of the major questions there would, of course, be: Which CSA?

The deep south seceded immediately after Lincolns election, but the mid and upper south didn’t secede until after Lincoln responded to the attack on Fort Sumpter with a call for the states to raise militias.

Personally, I think you’d also have to imagine that a Union which let the South secede would probably have broken up further over the following 60 years. Once the precedent for peaceful secession was made, it would be an obvious answer to regional tensions between East and West, etc.

A final factor which shouldn’t be overlooked: If the CSA had been left independant, Wilson would clearly never have become president of the US — and the presidency of Wilson (who said his earliest memory was of huddling with his family in the steeple of his father’s Presbyterian church and watching the flames of Sherman’s army passing through Georgia) was one of the formative influences on the US in the 20th century and on the modern Democratic Party.


Palin Derangement Syndrome

Tuesday, June 1, 2010 \AM\.\Tue\.

Hattip to my friend Paul Zummo, the Cranky Conservative.  One of the bright spots in life during the ongoing disaster that is the Obama administration is the way in which so many people, most, but certainly not all, Leftists, completely beclown themselves when the subject of Sarah Palin arises.  Case in point:  the Washington Post has a reporter David Weigel who reports for the dwindling Post readership on that small, only 40% of the American public, cult known as American conservatives.  The column is always good for a dose of unintentional humor, but on May 25, 2010 Weigel outdid himself.  Responding to the news that Sarah Palin had welcomed stalker  journalist, Joe McGinniss, who decided to rent a house next door to Palin as he is preparing an anti-Palin tome, with this light-hearted response, Weigel thundered that Palin was “despicable” for being a bit put out.  As Paul Zummo notes, 

A journalist rents a house next door to Sarah Palin with the sole intent to write a book about her, Sarah Palin writes some fairly tongue-in-cheek things in response to this development, and it the latter who is “despicable?”

Gee, I wonder why the Washington Post has roughly zero credibility at this point.

The indispensable Iowahawk explains what is going on for us in the daffy world of Palin obsession:

Knockity knock!

Oh hi there! I was out shooting caribou on the Arctic Cat and saw your synapse lights on, and so I said to myself, “now, gosh darn it, Sarah, you’ve been living inside this nice person’s cerebral cortex for, what is it, almost two years now? By golly, it’s about time you dropped in at their frontal lobe with a plate of your famous homemade Alaska welcome wagon cookies and introduced yourself.” So anyhoo, I sure hope you like ’em. Don’t want to give out a family recipe, but the secret ingredient is baby seal. I clubbed ’em fresh this morning!

Oh my goodness… you look kind of confused. I get that a lot! You were probably thinking, “hey, I only wanted to move next door to Sarah Palin — now what in the goshdarned heck is she doing inside my brain?” Well ya see, the deal is I’m not Sarah, but boy I gotta tell ya, we sure do get mistaken all the time! No, I’m just a plain ol’ homunculus Sarah Palin that your own id created to sublimate your deep-seated psychosexual neuroses. Or so those egghead books say, anyway. But if you ask me that sure sounds like a lot of elite Anti-America liberal professor gobbledegook! By the way, your id says hi.
Gosh darn it, where the heck are my manners? Here I am, gabbing away, like some plainspoken chatty old chatterbox, while you’ve probably got things to do. I imagine you’ve got an important op-ed or comedy skit to write about that other Sarah Palin, the one from corporeal reality. And why she’s irrelevant and ridiculous and such. Oh no, don’t worry, I won’t take it personal. After all I’m not her, remember? Though I bet it can probably get confusing trying to keep straight which one of us is which, and who really said what. Tell you what — why don’t you just take the cookies as my gift, and I’ll drop by later when it’s more convenient. Or, if you like, I’ll just be on my way and let you live in peace. You tell me. After all, I’m really only a figment of your imagination. Just stop thinking about me, and poof — I’ll mush the ol’ dogsled straight back to your subconscious forever.

Alright, if you insist! Like they say, you should never be too busy to visit with those obsessive hallucinations who live in your head. Now you go brew up a hot pot of Folgers, and I’ll take the Saran wrap off those cookies. Mind if I take a quick look-see around while you’re fiddling in the kitchen?  I gotta say this sure is a beautiful anterior conscious you’ve got here! I absolutely love the open floor plan. It reminds me a lot of Andrew Sullivan’s brain. How many square feet did you say? So spacious and clean and open minded, with the neutral colors. I could really see myself in a place like this, especially with a few moose heads and Eskimo dolls to brighten things up.  

Say now, that’s one heckuva bookshelf you’ve got! Mind if I browse? Not much of a reader myself, other than the good book of course… let’s see… 101 Things You Didn’t Know About Sarah Palin… Going Rouge: An American Nightmare … Sarah Palin’s Secret Diary … Terminatrix: The Sarah Palin Chronicles … The Lies of Sarah Palin … Thanks But No Thanks: A Voter Guide to Sarah Palin … You Betcha!: The Witless Wisdom of Sarah Palin … Hockey Mom: Sarah Palin’s Shot at Glory … Going Rude: Sarah Palin … wow! With all that heavy reading you do, it sure must be hard keeping up with your housework!

Oh, there we are! By golly, that coffee sure smells great. Skim milk no sugar for me thanks, gotta watch the ol’ figure. How about the two of us have a sit down on the couch and get to know each other, because I have a feeling we’re gonna be spending a lot of time together. You betcha, a whole lot of time. I always say it’s important to get to really know folks, especially if you’re gonna be camping out in their cerebellum for a few years. Because sometimes you can get off on the wrong foot, ya know?  I’m guilty of it myself sometimes. Ya know, as much as I go off and complain about those goshdarn Washington and Hollywood elites, I gotta say those folks are just about the most welcoming, hospitable people on God’s green earth. I swear, once they invite you in their head, they’ll insist you help yourself their last neuron! Take that Tina Fey for instance. She’s pretty much given me the run of her place, rent free. Her id says it’s because she has severe body image anxieties, but if you ask me I think she’s just lonely and needs somebody to talk to.

Say, do you mind if I use your little girl’s room? I just realized I’m going into labor. Back in a jiff! Read the rest of this entry »


Fascism in Arizona – Que?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010 \AM\.\Tue\.

On Saturday an estimated 10-20,000 people descended upon downtown Phoenix to protest SB 1070, Arizona’s new draconian fascist anti-Mexican immigrant hating legislation. For exercising their first amendment right to petition the government for a redress of grievances, they were mowed down by machine-gun fire before saber-wielding dragoons charged the crowd and sliced innocent children to shreds. The survivors were rounded up and sent to concentration camps, from which the ashes of their bodies, immolated by mass cremation in industrial-sized ovens, ascended up into the air before draping the entire city with a grey coat of human remains. The perpetrators of the mass murder, all white, then held a victory march to the Horst Wessel Lied down Central Ave.

Oh wait. What actually happened was that a crowd that was supposed to be 50,000 large, but only ended up being 10,000 large, went to protest the local enforcement of a federal law that has been on the books for nearly 60 years. They were angry because this evil fascist hellhole of a state wasn’t allowing enough workers to illegally settle in their evil, fascist hellhole – everyone has a divine right to live in a fascist hellhole, and to take their families their too. After all, if you were in Denmark in 1936 and you needed a job to feed your family, wouldn’t the logical choice be the Third Reich?

In attendance at the march were many illegal aliens as well. Instead of being rounded up and murdered, or even deported, or even fined, they appeared to be able to vent their outrage at the American republic and the state of Arizona without any fear of reprisal. Fascism must be losing its touch.

Read the rest and comment here.