Tuesday, January 30, 2007

conservative political correctness

Political correctness, once deferential to minorities and easily lampooned as the busywork of ism-ized faculty committees, began to change with the election of George W. Bush and was totally redefined after 9/11.

John Podhoretz perfeectly exemplifies this changing of the guard, taking a lazy swipe at a Johns Hopkins history professor whose sin was to suggest pursuing terrorists with "coolness, resolve, and stamina."

And now we have Cpl. Joshua Starling. The man lost part of his leg in Ramadi, and now shameless wingnutters are parading the gasbag--and his father--all over the media, knowing that he's untouchable. Who would dare assail a man who served so honorably?

Well, assail him we should. We can praise his sacrifice on the battlefield without having to suffer his father's spastic mendacity in civilian life. We certainly don't have to take each of his extremely suspect words as gospel truth. To do so would be to give in to political correctness, supposedly the bane--and apparently now the shield--of all reactionary charlatans and professional chest-beaters, especially the ones who pick and choose their veterans.

Any suggestions for the new "nuke the gay baby whales for Jesus"?

What's in a name?

PETRAEUS: A friend of Philip V., King of Macedonia, who was sent by that monarch to receive the submission of the Lacedaemonians, and confirm them in their allegiance to Macedonia.

Philip V of Macedon was an empire builder; he eagerly sought to extend Macedonian control over more territory. In Macedonia...young Philip V anxious to prove himself became entangled in all kinds of Balkan intrigues…[He] succeeded Antigonus, assuming the title hegemon. As the new hegemon he felt it was his duty to appropriately respond to the Aetolian aggression so he declared war on them.

Is This Any Way For A Blossom To Appear In Public?

Can't the President of the World Bank afford to have a spare pair of dress-socks handy?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

ad urbinem attack

A Hopkins professor dares to put 9/11 in perspective, and John Podhoretz at National Review not only oversimplifies the piece through conservative-style political correctness, but slams him just for being from the same city as Nancy Pelosi and Divine. This, from an Upper West Side snickerdoodle whose sole redeeming feature is that he seems to surpass the combined nepotistical credibility of Bill Kristol and Jonah Goldberg.

Jay adds: If Podhoretz means to imply that Baltimore (population 650k) is a bigger freak parade than Manhattan, I think the least we can say is "Thank you!" It's especially nice he credits Baltimore with Divine, because unlike Nancy Pelosi (who is from Baltimore), Divine is from Towson and did his teenage years in Lutherville* (where he met John Waters). From this data, one could be tempted to draw conclusions about what living in a Brooksian Paradise does to the minds of sensitive teens, but that'd be as silly as looking to John Podhoretz for a rational argument.

* Saying someone from Baltimore County is "from Baltimore" is sort of like saying someone from White Plains is from the Bronx.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Political Blogging Koan

If a wingut* manages to be funny and insightful - at the same time! - does he cease to be a wingnut?

* The question might be totally moot, as "wingnut" may not be a fair characterization of William Lind. Mr. Lind is a regular contributor to antiwar.com, but then again, so is Pat Buchanan. Lots of Mr. Lind's contributions to antiwar.com are also published at News At Defense and the National Interest (a site I totally recommend, by the way), but the ones that appear on antiwar only represent a subset of those at DNI. Mr. Lind is also a member of the Free Congress Foundation (on that site today one of his columns appears side by side with one by Paul Weyrich). I'm not suggesting I judge a man by the company he keeps, but Mr. Lind'status as a bona-fide Culture Warrior (on who should be allowed to immigrate to the United States: only white Christians need apply) certainly put him closer to the wingnut column. This might just be another instance of apparent political reconfiguration brought about by the rule of the Bungler In Chief. I look forward to the day when he is finally out of office and we can all get back to knowing which side we're supposed to be on.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Dang, That Didn't Take Long...

Not that I'm a huge Obama booster or anything (it's way too damn early to be making any such decisions, I think), but this does make me wonder if the Ministry of Information is already terrified that he might win.

Even More Effin' Perfect

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Too Effin' Perfect....

From the header of the Wikipedia article on "Irony":

"Ironic" redirects here. For the song by Alanis Morissette, see Ironic (song).

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Breadcrumb sins

"If we increase our support at this crucial moment, and help the Iraqis break the current cycle of violence, we can hasten the day our troops begin coming home."
- George W. Bush, January 10, 2007

"Cycle of violence"? President Bush thinks a 15 percent increase in troops will "break the cycle of violence" in Baghdad? Has he been to Baltimore lately? It's taking a little longer than we thought to break the cycle of violence there, too. (Cal got elected to the Hall of Fame, and the Ravens might go to the Super Bowl. Yay.)

Here's the big set up from President Bush:

Many listening tonight will ask why this effort will succeed when previous operations to secure Baghdad did not.

Here are the differences.

Then, somehow avoiding the use of the words Shia, Sadr, or Mahdi, he says:

In earlier operations, political and sectarian interference prevented Iraqi and American forces from going into neighborhoods that are home to those fueling the sectarian violence. This time, Iraqi and American forces will have a green light to enter these neighborhoods. And Prime Minister Maliki has pledged that political or sectarian interference will not be tolerated.

In other words, "We're taking on the Mahdi army." Get ready for the bloodbath. I give Maliki a month, tops.

And on his Conradian--if only fanciful--voyage into the dusty, explosive neighborhoods of Baghdad, he leaves behind him real live breadcrumbs of justified withdrawal:

I have made it clear to the prime minister and Iraq's other leaders that America's commitment is not open-ended. If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people.

In other words, he wants out now, but instead he will, with his polished turd of a legacy in mind, invent a scenario that allows him to withdraw from Iraq while placing all the blame on its "government." It's like a petulant couple, knowing their relationship is doomed yet lacking the guts to break it off, giving it "one more try." Except in this case, the boyfriend is George W. Bush, and he's going to smack Iraq around one more time and then never talk to her again.

Would that Iraq could take out a restraining order.