Friday, November 30, 2007


Charles Johnson has asked that I "update your post to correct those distortions about me, I'd appreciate it. Without correcting them, the falsehoods will continue to spread...." He writes:
Please note that there are numerous lies about me in the emails from Dymphna.
* I do not have the stealth comment deletion system she alleges -- I created a proof of concept for such a system, to demonstrate how the SF Chronicle was doing it, and disabled the concept a day later. And I announced it all publicly with front page posts at LGF.
* When the article about Bat Ye'or appeared in the Times, I was contacted by someone from Bat Ye'or and told about it, and I offered to delete my post. They said it did not matter because it was already out in the New York Times. Yet now, here comes the story, slanted to make me look bad.
* Dymphna and Baron Bodissey have never been banned at LGF.
There's more too, but it's too irritating and depressing to read her demented emails. She is engaged in a campaign of deliberate, dishonest character assassination against me.
He also notes:
You should know that the assertion that Dymphna and Baron Bodissey are banned from LGF is NOT TRUE. They were never banned. Fjordman is banned, but only after he pulled two dramatic exits, announcing he wouldn't be back -- then came back, spewing insults....

Another lie in her email: I never accused of "mounting a DOS attack." That's completely ridiculous.

Even Baron Bodissey insists on correcting some errors in Dymphna's first email. He writes:
The first concerns what she wrote that Bat Ye'or had written in a private email, an insulting reference to Charles Johnson. In fact it was not Bat who said it; it was Andrew Bostom. It was below Bat's text, in the "Original Message" section of the email. I had misread it originally - I went back and checked, and hence this correction.We try hard to correct errors immediately, even in private communications. I know you are meticulous about this yourself.

If LGF had the same policy it would benefit their readers and resolve much of the ongoing debate. Also, Dymphna said Filip Dewinter was a member of the "Belgian parliament", when he is in fact a member of the Flemish parliament. This mistake is understandable, since I was the one who went to Belgium for the conference, and not her. There are actually *three* parliaments in Belgium -- the Flemish, the Wallonian, and the European Union parliament. It can be confusing.

Indeed. Additionally, Siggy writes:
It is ironic that posting corrections seems to be the topic du jour.

In three different exchanges, I noted my heartfelt mea culpa after I referred to Vlaams Belang in the third person singular. Why my errors are continually referenced remains a mystery, especially after I admitted to them and corrected them.

Prior to the podcast I had been doing some research on Belien and Dewinter and absentmindedly referred to the political party in that way.

Further, let's be clear. In the private conversation in question, you gently asked me if Vlaams Belang was also a person (knowing I was in err!). I said that I realized I had misspoke. How your reference was twisted is curious, given that only one side of the conversation was recorded.

I would only hope that the requests for accuracy be applied to myself and my remarks as well.

Lastly, while I have never claimed to be an expert on the maze that is Belgian politics, I do have sightly more than 6 months experience in the European theatre.

Frankly, this is all so ridiculous, I hardly know what to say--and that's definitely a rare occurance, believe me.

Sheesh, we must be dealing with imperfect human beings here....imagine that.


It is with great reluctance and sadness that I address the following issue; but I have been forced to respond because I have been threatened.

Some years ago when I started blogging, two of the first friends I met in the blogsphere were Dymphna and The Baron from The Gates of Vienna blog. Since those early days I have linked to their posts, quoted them, corresponded with them and have had nothing but respect for them. After all, we share the same values, goals and objectives and are on the same side of the political and ideological fence.

So I was somewhat distressed when I observed the growing feud between the folks at GOV and Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs. Since it was my turn to host the podcast for The Sanity Squad, I asked my fellow Squad members if we could discuss what Shrink had called a "family squabble" in one of his posts.

The primary goal of that podcast was to talk more about the bad feelings that had come about because Charles had disagreed with Dymphna and The Baron, and had questioned the advisability of supporting European political organizations that had some shady neo-Nazi connections in their past. Things apparently escalated after that and then Charles banned them and Fjordman (who blogs at GOV) from his site.

Of course The Sanity Squad could not talk about the psychological/emotional aspects of all this without discussing some of the background.

Frankly, I don't particularly care which side turns out to be right or wrong on this issue. As far as I can tell, there is no objective way to tell at this point in time whether the European groups in question have really reformed and renounced their past not only rhetorically, but in action; or if they have only disguised their agenda in order to gain more followers. Time will tell, and my personal opinion is that Charles is right to be leery.

Nevertheless, I also think that banning a friend from your site (as Charles did)--is not a good thing to do generally.

During the Sanity Squad podcast Dymphna phoned in and was given a great deal of time to voice her opinions. What followed after the conclusion of the podcast is something I take full responsibility for.

Those of you who listened to the entire podcast know that there is an "extra" 23 minutes that go beyond the usual 30 minute limit. I logged out of BlogTalkRadio, but apparently had not hung up the phone. Consequently, when I was skyped by Siggy and Shrink and we continued our conversation post-podcast (as we usually do), there was a live mic picking up ONLY my end of the conversation. Shrink left after about 5 minutes and then Siggy and I talked for a while after that.

It was clearly a private conversation and was not meant to be public. But there was nothing said in that conversation that I am ashamed of or embarassed by. In it, I expressed my opinions about the feud we had just discussed in the podcast. I happen to think that Charles had every reason to question the bona fides of the European groups that GOV is consorting with. I can appreciate that Dymphna and The Baron don't like that opinion, but I AM ENTITLED TO IT, just as they are entitled to theirs. As I said before, time will tell if these groups have really abandoned their Nazi philosophy--their behavior and policies will eventually make it clear. So, I prefer to wait and see.

I also spoke to Siggy about Dymphna's emotional state during the podcast. I believe I said that her voice "quivered" --with anger or outrage or some other intense emotion. I wondered if she was afraid of something. I said I hoped a way could be found for everyone to come out of this with their dignity and reputation intact. That is because it saddens me to see people who should be on the same side fighting against the Islamofascists, fighting each other.

Siggy and I also talked about other issues, including Hugo Chavez and some future posts, then said goodbye.

Shortly after the podcast was posted, I became aware of the extra 23 minute segment and received an angry letter from Dymphna, who felt I had insulted her. I immediately went back and listened to my side of the conversation with Siggy and, while it was clear that I disagreed with her and The Baron's position in this matter, I could not see how she could possibly take my compassion about the situation as an "insult" or that I had "turned her into a victim". If she had not made a choice to phone into the live podcast, it is doubtful I would have even discussed her emotional state in my later conversation with Siggy.

I most certainly regret that my private conversation was recorded (at least my side of it, anyway). What I said was not meant to be public, but I will not apologize for it, nor will I delete the entire podcast because of it (it is not possible to delete just the 23 minutes). I never meant to insult Dymphna in any way, shape, or form.

I decided to let things slide, foolishly thinking that friends could reasonably disagree on this issue.

I was wrong. Apparently it is not possible to be a friend to Dymphna if you disagree with her.

Her next letter to me came last night and can only be described as an attempt to blackmail me. What she imagines she can blackmail me with is beyond my comprehension. So, in order to pre-empt her threats, I have decided to encourage my readers to go and listen to the podcast and the one-sided conversation after its completion; or, if GOV publishes the transcript as Dymphna threatened to do, feel free to read it at your leisure and make up your own mind.

Shrink was absolutely correct when he wrote:
I have not carefully studied either side's arguments because we have long since left the realm where any facts can resolve the differences. As with most familial disputes, the dispute has now devolved to an irresolvable question of whose judgment is more right than whose.

I am not saying that my judgment is perfect, nor that GOV (and Dymphna particularly) is wrong in the factual statements made. That was never the issue in the podcast, or in the conversation I had with Siggy afterwards that was mistakenly captured (at least one side of it) on mic. But I will not change my judgment or my opinions because someone--even a friend threatens me with blackmail.

Below are the the two emails I received from her.

This is the first one, received shortly after the podcast:

Do you remember Donald Rumsfeld’s famous (or infamous) line about our state of
knowledge? He said, more or less—

“… as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know."

Sounds like Christopher Bollas, doesn’t he?

The broadcast on 11/19 was a perfect reflection of some of the gaps — one might even term them chasms — in the knowledge of the hosts of your broadcast regarding European politics and the information Charles Johnson claims to have about it.

I hardly know where to start, and I couldn’t possibly cover all the unexamined premises your broadcast assumed as some kind of gospel, but let’s deal with a primary point: Vlaams Belang.

Siggy kept referring to VB as “he” — in fact, your European “expert” repeatedly used the third person masculine singular for what is the largest and most popular Flemish political party. Siggy didn’t even know who or what he was referring to. Then, at the end, when the broadcast is over, you reveal the black hole when you ask him “is Vlaams Belang a person?”

What do any of you know about politics in Belgium or Brussels or Strasbourg? Do you know that there are only state contributions allowed to political parties? If the state does not fund you, then the party does not exist; it has neither seat nor voice. Marginalization is total.

What do you know about Dewinter, who is one of the members of the Belgian Parliament representing Flanders? Do you know that his father and grandfather served in the Resistance in World War II? The man is forty six — what earthly use or respect would he have for neo nazis, given his family history and his age? This is who Charles Johnson is attacking. It’s shameful. If Dewinter cared, he would be within his rights to sue Charles for the very least.

Did you know that the party which preceded Vlaams Belang was dissolved by the Belgian Parliament for being “racist”? They wanted to preserve their Flemish culture and they wanted the great tax burden they bear — which goes to support the socialist French-speaking Walloons welfare progarms — lifted. The latter loathe and despise the Flemish and so Vlaams Blok was successfully dissolved by the Parliament and courts in a coalition among the Walloons and some of the splinter parties.

The Brussels mayor has on occasion used the Walloon police to brutalize the VB parliament members. Can you imagine the mayor of D.C. having Congress members beaten and hauled off to jail because they met outside the building to commemorate our 9/11? Well, that’s actually what Freddy did. The pictures are on my blog to prove it. The Baron’s boss was there and filmed one of the videos.

When VB formed again, it was called Vlaams Belang. In order to cut off its oxygen supply all the other political parties formed what they called a “cordon sanitaire” —a refusal to ever make a coalition with VB in Parliament for any reason. Yet VB’s popularity continues to grow because it represents its voters hopes for the future.

Ironically, they hold the same political principles you do: smaller government,lower taxes, local rule, and a requirement for assimilation for immigrants so that they learn the language and the culture of their new country and become citizens. One of their most radical ideas is that a person ought to be allowed to protect their property. Right: currently that is against the law.

This is a simplified overview, just to give you the basics…I expected that as the hosts of a program on this subject you would know these basics, but that didn't turn out to be the case. Thus, what you decided you heard in my voice — being “scared” is how you described it — was in actuality great anger that anyone would hold this “discussion” with next to no information about the people they tarred and feathered with any number of casual slanders.

I wasn’t scared. Of what?? I was frustrated at the total lack among you of any context about the situation in Brussels and in Belgium and how their political system operates. And I was angry because I did not think any of you listened, that you’d already made up your minds that Charles’ character assassinations of a whole group of people are right. I believe you said his was the “principled” position, using a character out of Ayn Rand to make your point.

So as it turned out, my intuition was correct: in your long, supposedly private phone conversation with Siggy, you proceeded to analyze my feeling state, and expressed pity for the situation the Baron and I are in, and hoped we could find a dignified exit.

Have you ever sat for ten minutes and listened to a live broadcast of a person dissecting you, while you knew they were so far off base they might as well have been talking from Mars? It’s an interesting experience. I listened all the way to the point that you discussed your plane travels for the next day. I also heard you speak disrespectfully of someone who committed six months of her life and some hefty financial resources to bring off that first conference. She was rude? Siggy kept interrupting her. You guys had a leisurely amount of time to defame what we had accomplished, and SHE was rude because she asked Siggy to let her finish her sentence. Have you ever noticed he has trouble with that? With everyone? It was even apparent in your phone conversation.

Unfortunately, I'm in a double bind here. If I "protest too much" about your opinions of me, then I am questionable because I'm too intense and invested -- or whatever tenditious opinion you offered about me. Yet if I leave what you said to stand unchallenged, I am not standing up for myself. That's quite a dilemma, isn't it?

What factual information do you have about the conference in Brussels? Did you read up beforehand? Do you know who the speakers were or why they agreed to come? Do you realize how Charles endangered Bat Y’eor by permitting her real name to be revealed on his site? The New York Times beat him to it, but that’s the company he keeps.

Come to think of it, do you know who Bat Y’eor is? Or Andrew Bostom, M.D.? Or Robert Spencer? These were just some of the speakers at the conference, all happy to be there. I won’t tell you what word Bat Y’eor used to describe what Charles Johnson has done — only because I don’t have her permission. Let’s just say it’s a body part and leave it at that. And if a 75 year old petite little woman who happens to be the world’s expert on Eurabia thinks this of Charles, then might it be a more accurate appraisal than yours?

Pat, there were representatives from 14 European countries at that conference, plus the US and Canada. The Italian contingent chose the occasion to present the national Oriana Fallaci annual award to Bat Ye'or. During her last months, Fallaci turned more and more to Bat; they spoke on the phone several times a day right up to the final hours of Fallaci’s death.

Robert Spencer is carefully silent about all this because…well, because he hasgood reason to be careful. We all have to make a living.

Andrew Bostom is disgusted. He was the one who sent me the hat tip on the American Thinker essay suggesting that Charles had been taken in by Belgian intel psyops. He probably was: he had information up and ready to go instantly. Charles was prepped and prepared. I was blindsided by his hostility and refusal to discuss any of it. It was Charles’ way or the highway.

The Flemish don’t know who Charles Johnson is and they don’t care. He can neither hurt them or help them and they are trying to free their country. He’s simply another American who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The Walloons and the rest of the socialists in the Belgian Parliament can harm them and that is the center of their concern. The Walloons don’t want to surrender their welfare assistance, which is largely supplied by the more industrious and creative Flemish. They will hang onto the golden goose even if they have to wring its neck to do so…

In the long run, Charles can’t hurt us either. CVF Europa is growing by leaps and bounds. More countries are in, more members are joining. More distributed network activities are taking place. CVF in this country is also vital and robust. We are tired of sitting in front of our computer screens simply bloviating. So we put our money where our mouth is and did something.

As a psychiatrist, I am sure you are aware of the common phenomenon of envy. When you start something new, or you go up against authority, there will be people waiting to bring you down a level. That’s all Charles’ “principled” stand amounts to. And if you look at his falling numbers, you can see a possible reason for his need to create another Rathergate.

Meanwhile, what to do about your conversation with Siggy in which I am discussed in not very complimentary terms? And, no, I don’t find condescending pity a compliment. Victimhood doesn’t appeal to me. Your actual words were (about the Baron and me): "what would be helpful is to find a way for them to get out with their dignity intact."

I have no plan to “get out” since I’m not trapped anywhere. I plan to continue with my work and to expand it. Charles Johnson has absolutely no influence on that.

What I do want is a public apology from you and Siggy both. No, his voice couldn’t be heard but it was obvious from the context who you were talking to. I don’t mind if you do it on your blog or on the next radio broadcast. If it is the latter, I would like a transcript of the apology sent to my email address. In other words, I want an apology in writing, addressed to me. It can be a transcription, or it can be a post. Or each of you could decide to do one or the other. I'm also open to any other public venue you might consider.

If that simple request is forthcoming, we can let the matter end here.


This next one is the email attempt to blackmail me if I don't delete the entire podcast:
Dear Pat,

When I received the following email from RedState, it gave me the idea of asking you one more time to --

(A) delete your podcast about Gates of Vienna — due to the content of your comments in the extra 23 minutes that was supposed to be off mike,


(B) to post a brief apology concerning the podcast. No need to take sides in this debate, just some vague reference will do.

I will have to act if I do not hear from you from you by Friday evening, 11/30.

As an example of what I'm talking about, here is what RedState sent today about


Dear RedState Reader:

RedState is calling for CNN to fire Sam Feist, their political director; and David Bohrman, Senior Vice President and Executive Producer of the debate.

During last night's debate, which CNN billed as "a Republican debate, and the goal was to let Republican voters see their candidates," CNN either knowingly or incompetently allowed hardcore left wing activists to plant questions and Anderson Cooper willingly gave one of those activists a soapbox so he could harass the Republican candidates about military policy.

Simple googling would have revealed these left wing activists.

Had CNN done its homework, this would not have happened. They either willfully let it happen, or incompetently bungled it. Either way, heads should roll.


Obviously, amateur podcasters are not in the same boat as the MSM. However, if we say that we are better than the MSM, or have higher standards, then it behooves us to stand by our words…and that podcast didn’t do it.

I haven’t had a reply from you since my first request, but I have had emails on the subject from others. They say you and Siggy appear unprofessional, and I’m sure that is not the perception you want to leave.

Since you did not reply, the Baron has transcribed the extra twenty-three minutes and if you don’t delete the podcast, we will be posting them and will include opinions from others re both the process and content of your regular program and the unintentional Afterword.

If you are unable or unwilling to settle this, then I will post the significant excerpts with a link to the whole transcript on our domain site.

I will also add a link and exposition of the Cyberjounalism’s Code of Ethics, which your podcast violated in myriad ways.

Despite how you framed it, this is not a “family squabble.” Charles has dropped some of his allegations and has been forced by our insistence to retract online his comments accusing us — CVF — of attempting to mount a DOS attack on him (a denial of service). CVF did no such thing.

And despite your opinion that Charles has the “principled” position in this, he does not. — James Lewis in the American Thinker believes he’s a tool of the Belgians. So do I.

Did Neo share with you the comments she received from one person who happens to be quite knowledgeable re the situation in European politics? If not, here they


1. Dear Neo,

that was very hard for me to listen to. I had to stop after appr. 15 minutes cause I couldn’t muster the patience for this total mix-up of facts, factoids, beliefs, assumptions and downright disinformation.

The spat in the blogosphere was definitely about two groups that participated in the Brussels anti-jihad conference in October. These groups were Vlaams Belang from Flanders, Belgium and the Sweden Democrats. Both groups are no different from classic US conservatives and there are no statutes, programs or people in these parties that you could reasonably call fascists or nazis. The European socialist politicians, media and academia call everybody a nazi who speaks up against the islamization of Europe. That means, that people like Charles Johnson do the dirty work for the European Left by denouncing European conservatives as Nazis. To the European left, everybody is a nazi that does not embrace the most foolish political correctness and multiculturalism.

Let me tell you that Bush and Cheney are being called fascists and Nazis too. So, there you go, prove them wrong …

The groups that have been mentioned in that radio show, like the BNP or LePen’s Front National EMBRACE ISLAMISM in Europe, BECAUSE IT IS ANTI-JEWISH!

Vlaams Belang and the Sweden Democrats are the most pro jewish and pro Israel parties you will find in all of Europe. As opposed to all the mainstream parties in all of Western Europe.

I have created my own blog just yesterday and just for the purpose of creating a new marketplace of ideas for a better understanding of Conservatives on both
sides of the Atlantic. I would love to participate in this debate and to bring
some knowledge and facts to the table.

I have left Europe just after 9/11, after spending decades of my life there. Europe will need the US and the US will need Europe. We have a culture in common and a common enemy. This is an important discussion that has to happen.


And to another commenter he says:


1. konservo

I honestly don’t understand how you can equate Paul’s writing with the mud slinging of CJ. What’s wrong with what Paul wrote?

And I never said that “LGF called Vlaams Belang or the Sweden Dems “neo-Nazis” because they spoke out against radical Islam”.

I presume you are American. Let me tell you that your political templates do not work for the present situation in Europe. That’s what I tried to make clear in my comment above.

VB and Sweden Democrats are neither antisemites nor are they racists. There are parties in Europe, like the German NPD that are only antisemite and attract huge followings of skinheads and original nazis. These parties are also openly pro islam because islam is anti jewish. That is a very old alliance. Hitler already allied with the Great Mufti of Jerusalem and there were thousands of muslim SS.

Parties like the NPD have nothing in common with the European Anti Jihad movement and VB or SD. And BNP and the FN seem to be well on their way to exclude all their admittedly black sheep.


So one good thing has come out of your podcast: the blogosphere has a new and credible blog that really knows the situation in Europe and will be refuting the misconceptions of European parties. If you want to see what he has up, it’s called “Transatlantic Conservative.”

And people understand that Charles Johnson is not only engaging in mud-slinging but has banned us, Atlas, Fjordman, and anyone who disagrees with him or agrees with us. Various group blogs have been formed by people who have been banned, often without any reasons given. They’re just gone.

Lately, CJ has introduced a new tweak: he can delete a comment in such a way that the commenter can still see it but the others on the thread see it has been deleted. It’s Kafkaesque — you should have seen what a scare it threw into his followers… and he enjoyed the game.

And he stays in the comments — or did until a couple of days ago — in a manner I’ve never seen before. He would make allegations of things “smelling bad” — sending the faithful into either reassurances he was the greatest or asking for reassurance it wasn’t them.

So for you to say he has the “principled” position is not only wrong, it’s damaging to your own credibility. Given his drastic changes in behavior, I think he’s quite fragile.

If you will agree to delete the podcast and put out a one line comment of apology, I’m willing to drop the whole thing. If not, I can only presume you are operating by MSM standards and I will address that publicly, using the cyberjournalism code of ethics to demonstrate my points.

You see, I have nothing left to lose here. You have made me look bad — “scared,” “angry”, “protesting too much”, etc. But if it goes public, then I will at least have company — to wit, you and Siggy. Your lack of due diligence will be apparent from the first moment off the unofficial podcast , when you ask “is Vlaams Belang a person?” It goes downhill from there.

Thus I ask you to reconsider this and delete the podcast and offer an apology. Otherwise, I have no choice: if I do nothing, in the future, yours will be the only record of this set-to, and when people are searching for material, they will find your podcast. If it doesn’t come down, then my response must of necessity go up to counter your own viewpoint. I am obliged to preserve some historical accuracy here.

If I have not heard from you by tomorrow afternoon, Friday, I will presume your position is the same. So the post will go up on Saturday.

I respect our previous friendship, and hope that this rift can be mended.


Let me reiterate what I said earlier. I have no intention of deleting the podcast, despite the fact that my side of a private conversation was also recorded. I am not ashamed of or embarrassed by any of the opinions I expressed after the podcast. I'm sorry Dymphna's feelings were hurt, but if she can't stand someone disagreeing with her, or suggesting that she felt "'scared', 'angy' or 'protesting too much'" -- then maybe she shouldn't be blogging.

I can't help thinking that for someone who "hates" to be a victim, she's playing it for all its worth.

The world's greatest intellectual achievements sometimes come about as the result of disagreement--even passionate disagreement. Demanding that we all walk in lockstep on an issue is a sure path to intellectual mediocrity.

The worst that can be said about my private comments made public is that I felt bad for the position she and The Baron had gotten themselves into with regard to Charles at LGF (and vice versa).

But clearly there is a pattern developing here. First GOV is fighting with Charles. Then they "end" their connection with the Infidel Blogger's Alliance after feeling slighted (see here and here). The first comment on the latter post is something I can completely agree with:
If anything is pointlessly alienating anybody it has to be this pointless neurotic self analysis.

Stick to you original tenets and those who don;t like it can go their own way.

Stop wasting time and energy on the futile.... get on with business.

And now they seem to be set on completely alienating both me and Siggy if we do not fall into line and agree with, as well as apologize....or else. Their first step was to remove me from their blogroll. Hey! Way to pull a "Charles Johnson." Well, in the end, that is their prerogative.(UPDATE/Correction: Apparantly, I am still on the GOV blogroll...I should point out that GOV will remain on mine whatever).

Well, Dymphna, do whatever you feel you must--as I have just done. I'm sorry our friendship has to end like this, if it ever really was a friendship to begin with. I did nothing of a deliberate or malicious nature that could possibly be construed as "attacking" you--if anything, your exaggerated emotional response to the entire affair only gives more credence to my judgement of your emotional state.

You, on the other hand, have crossed a line with your threats of blackmail and "exposure", simply because I don't happen to agree with you on this one issue.

I find it sad that people who I liked and respected seem to be on a campaign to deliberately sabotage relationships with friends and allies.

I wonder what other friends they will attack next?

Postscript- NO COMMENTS WILL BE ALLOWED ON THIS THREAD. NOR WILL I MAKE ANY FURTHER POSTS ON THIS ISSUE. As far as I am concerned, the matter ends here.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


From a Washington Times article a few days ago:
Democrats like to define themselves as the party of poor and middle-income Americans, but a new study says they now represent the majority of the nation's wealthiest congressional districts.

In a state-by-state, district-by-district comparison of wealth concentrations based on Internal Revenue Service income data, Michael Franc, vice president of government relations at the Heritage Foundation, found that the majority of the nation's wealthiest congressional jurisdictions were represented by Democrats.

He also found that more than half of the wealthiest households were concentrated in the 18 states where Democrats hold both Senate seats....

Mr. Franc's study also showed that contrary to the Democrats' tendency to define Republicans as the party of the rich, "the vast majority of unabashed conservative House members hail from profoundly middle-income districts."

In the 30's and 40's it became increasingly clear to Marxists that something was fundamentally wrong with the master's economic hypotheses. Like the followers of Jesus, they had been waiting a long time for the second coming,and they expected the collapse of capitalism at any moment. In fact, they were greatly encouraged by the Great Depresion and were certain that it was imminent.

But like a bad dream, capitalism just wouldn't go away, and instead of collapsing, it rebounded stronger than ever.

Why, they wondered anxiously, are the proletariat not rising up in rebellion against the oppressive forces of capitalism?

Far from rising up against their "oppressors", that same proletariat were buying into the capitalist system and the "American Dream" in large numbers. The sharp differences between the classes were slowly eroding, and more and more of those in poverty were finding their way into the middle class, thus gaining hope for themselves and their children.

Not only that, to the great astonishment of the socialists etc., the "oppressed" proletariat seemed relatively happy and content with their lot!

Happy and content people do not generally initiate violent revolutions nor rise up against their so-called oppressors--particularly when they don't feel oppressed, but feel empowered.

And, furthermore, much to the puzzlement and subsequent rage of these same intellectuals, in those places in the world where socialist and communist theory had triumphed, wealth was disappearing; initiative was in decline; and the human misery index was climbing. This was the legacy of Marx's "social justice".

Instead of creating a utopia for the proletariat, Marx and his theories only generated the conditions for societal suicide.

The clever capitalist system was actually co-opting the oppressed workers, and helping them enter the dreaded "middle class"!

Marx always expected that the middle class would disappear as capitalism developed, since he believed that the only sustainable positions were the ones of his dialectic.

That is not what actually happens in the real world as it turns out.

Whenever people are given political liberty and allowed to pursue their own happiness (and not the mandates of the state), the ranks of the middle class expand and grow stronger.

In fact, the values and ideals of this particular economic group have come to anchor society in the United States.

Far from wanting to ignite a worker's revolution as Marx predicted, they enjoy the creature comforts of the capitalist system and feel themselves empowered by it. Worse (from the communist/socialist's perspective anyway), the typical person in the middle class believes that he or she can better themselves by using the many opportunities offered by a liberal, capitalistic democracy.

Even in Communist China, capitalistic pursuits and entrepreneurship have become the true "opiates" of the masses--in the sense that to the degree people are free to pursue their own happiness and work for their own interests--i.e., where they have economic freedom, even if they don't have political freedom-- they are relatively content, and are unlikely to fulfill the ardent communist/socialist's revolutionary fantasies.

From a joint post written by Dr. Sanity and SC&A some months ago:

...a successful middle class demands that government answer to them, and not the other way around. Democracies are not developed or sustained by the political extremes- they are the trust and legacy of a vibrant, functioning middle class....

In the most successful societies there is a large middle class, and anyone has the potential to succeed if they have a good idea, commitment to work and plenty of drive. America, Canada, the UK, Australia and Israel are all examples of societies that while very different, are very successful. As barriers to entry into the middle class becomes more onerous and difficult, requiring expensive and hard to obtain permits and licenses; societies are less successful and become progressively more likely to fail. The nations of the Arab world is a good example of that. There is no middle class in most of the middle east; only an elite, plundering class who are the beneficiaries of the oil wealth the land is blessed with; and a lower class, condemned by the elites to poverty, ignorance and oppression.

When there are few barriers to entering the free market, then the middle class can thrive; and the more successful the entrepreneurs and community becomes, the greater the stake the people have in maintaining peace and prosperity.

Thus they become true conservatives. Is it any wonder then that the backbone of society--the hard-working middle class, middle-income Americans-- lean toward the Republican party?

So, how do we explain those many wealthy individuals who make up the ranks of the Democrats--the closest thing we have to the socialist party here in the U.S. (and they are certainly backed by legions of lunatic leftists who wholeheartedly subscribe to Marx's discredited theories)?

Having achieved a degree of success and/or wealth in our free society, a person who has worked their way out of the middle class (or out of poverty) is then subjected to a constant barrage of both subtle and overt messages created to make him/her feel guilty for doing so. Propaganda aimed at discrediting "the rich" (who actually pay a disproportionate amount of taxes to begin with) is pervasive and unrelenting. The Democrats use this rhetoric all the time to stoke the fires of class warfare.

This was not always the case. Once upon a time in America there was a certain pride that came with the "rags to riches" story that many Americans lived. Both Democrats and Republicans believed that this was a country where it was understood that if you worked hard, you could get ahead; make something of yourself and even become President someday! There were no social or class restraints imposed in America and that's why people came to this country to begin with. Equal opportunity meant that anyone with an idea or talent could make a successful life for themselves.

But equal opportunity gradually morphed into a demand for equality of outcome. And that if you don't have what the other guy has, then it must be becaused you have been oppressed by the other guy--after all, you can only get ahead by stepping on someone else. Your gain MUST be someone else's loss.

Here is where the Marxist garbage of "oppressor vs oppressed" has had the most impact on American society. Having been taught from kindergarden on that capitalism is a zero-sum game (and by definition evil) many Americans have difficulty in thinking of resources or wealth as ever-expanding, and tend to think that someone else's gain must be their loss. If you have only two choices--to be either an "oppressor" or one of the "oppressed", most people would generally prefer the latter because it means they must be nicer people.

This kind of thinking inevitably leads to envy, and a cult of victimhood with all the associated social and political conflicts those emotions generate. Envy, in particular, is the lovely human emotion that drives all socialist systems; and it exists in pure, unadulterated and vicious form in those systems. And, in answer to the unspoken question, yes; capitalism also thrives on envy-- and even greed.

But, capitalism within a democratic and politically free system of government offers a healthy channel for the redirection of negative emotions like envy and greed into something positive for both the individual and the larger society.

Something, I might add, that marxism, socialism and all its malignant variants completely fail to do. You cannot escape the reality of this dark side of human nature. You can either channel that dark side and use it constructively to benefit the individual and incidentally the society he lives in; or you can encourage and facilitate it in all its destructive power, and by doing so create the hell on earth we've come to associate with communist and marxist societies.

I'm sure that the usual accusations will instantly be hurled at me for saying such a thing. The victims of the world will rise up against intellectual oppressors like me someday and....wait a minute! Doesn't that proposed scenario sound strangely familiar? Since I started writing this blog, I have been taken to task by the left about how everything economic position I take is "socially unjust" and that policies like that will "impact the poor most of all..."; that conservatism is racist, sexist, or some other such nonsense. I'm sure I will get emails describing how such insensitive suggestions will result in harming little children and puppies disproportionately and without compassion.

But, no matter what they say about my motives, it remains a fact that poverty and misery have a cure; and that cure is capitalism and freedom.

Now, that's rich, isn't it?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY 2008 PLATFORM: "Truth Doesn't Exist and We Possess It"

This is what the Democrats have so far as a platform for 2008...

[More Cartoons by Bob Gorrell ]

...and all they need to do is:

  • Continue to vigorously deny that any progress is being made in Iraq; and even if there is progress being made, insist it is irrelevant because American soldiers have died

  • Keep on focusing on anything negative in the economic news and suggest that imminent economic collapse is upon us--as they have been doing for the last 8 years

  • Insist that the reason the U.S. has not been attacked since 9/11 is because there was NO REAL THREAT TO BEGIN WITH !

  • And, like Bill Clinton did just the other day, rewrite history to make their fantasies all come true. The first step is to fix things so its clear to everyone that their motives have always been pure. Even when Clinton was denouncing Saddam Hussein and voicing his support of Bush's decision to go to war, he was really opposed to it in principle!

    That is how life is lived amidst the postmodern ruins:
    This is one of the reasons that the left habitually attacks motives instead of substance, for they first undermine the idea that you can know anything objectively, and then insist that the purpose of knowledge is domination and oppression anyway. For the last several years, "job one" of of the left has been to make us doubtful of our aims in Iraq, in the hope that we will simply become demoralized and surrender.

    But they do this so selectively that it is mind-boggling. For example, surely there was more credible evidence that Saddam had WMD than that the earth is undergoing catastrophic manmade warming. But in both cases, their main argument is that people who disagree with them have venal motives. In the case of President Bush, he really wanted to invade Iraq because he thought it would somehow enrich his already wealthy "friends." And in the case of global warming, those who reject the theory are simply on the payroll of Bush's wealthy friends. So for all practical purposes, humility is not possible on the left, since their conspiratorial form of thought means that they always have the answer. And it sounds humble to the stupid, since they are always opposed to the intrinsically racist-sexist-homophobic America.

    So, just as the left engages in the moral inversion of detaching virtue from tradition, they engage in a weird "cognitive conversion" that combines "intellectual helplessness" with a kind of monstrously arrogant omniscience. This is how you can spend some $100,000 plus on an elite university education, only to learn that truth doesn't exist and we possess it.

    What they possess is a moral and intellectual confusion that is so pronounced, I hesitate to even call it psychosis. It is more like a deliberate dementia.


    The violence begins in Venezuela:
    Several media outlets in Caracas have reported today that the new protests where thousands of students from all over the country participated against Chavez's Constitutional "reforms," left many students wounded. There were violent confrontations with the police in many Universities and there are reports of protesters having bullet and pellet wounds. Allegedly, one is in critical condition. Some newspapers have published news that many students have been detained by the authorities.

    Demonstrations also occurred in other cities: Maracay ,Valencia ,Yaracuy and Puerto La Cruz and there is information that many professors joined their students. For this Sunday, all the student leaders will join their forces and will march in a huge demonstration to reject Chavez's plans to turn Venezuela into an oppressive and tyrannical country.

    Protein Wisdom reviews the left's response to Chavez "shredding the [Venezuelan] constitution":
    Results 1 - 20 of about 662 for chavez “shredding the constitution”. (0.16 seconds)

    Results 1 - 20 of about 22,200 for bush “shredding the constitution”. (0.30 seconds)

    And lists some of the fawning praises the left has had for this thug. Here's just two:
    So, is Chavez a dictator? Bush, Fox, and the Venezuelan oligarchy will tell you that he is. But they live in a looking-glass world where conquest is called liberation, aggression is called defense, and economic domination is called free trade. A world where real democracy is called dictatorship[emphasis Dr. Sanity].

    Venezuela’s media, owned largely by the country’s wealthy elites, is arguably the most rabidly anti-government media in the world. In the past, opposition figures have appeared on television openly calling for a coup against Chavez, who says he is leading a revolution on behalf of Venezuela’s majority poor. Chavez’s decision not to renew RCTV’s license is not exactly akin to George W. Bush shutting down CBS or NBC because they ran a few stories critical of him. If RCTV were operating in the United States, it’s doubtful that its actions would last more than a few minutes with the FCC.

    Yes, we can clearly see that Chavez has installed a "real" democracy; and that people in the U.S. are living under a brutal and oppressive dictatorship. So sayeth the reality-based community.

    Tuesday, November 27, 2007


    A long time ago I attended a seminar run by noted philosopher and author Dr. Tibor Machan, and during the course of the discussion, he asked us to consider the question (and I'm paraphrasing), "In a democratic and free society would it be legitimate to vote in a dictatorship?"

    The question took me by surprise because I had never even considered the possibility that free people would consciously and deliberately choose a totalitarian system.

    Of course I was wrong about that. Modern history gives us many examples of exactly that scenario transpiring (consider the Palestinians and what passes for democracy in Iran, or the "99%" of the vote in Iraq for Saddam. (Consider Jimmy Carter smiling and blessing such travesties if you really want to be ill).

    My friend Siggy has said repeatedly that democracy is more than just voting, and I completely agree with him... but this article is the exception to that rule because in this case, all of democracy in a great nation hangs on a vote:
    On Dec. 2, Venezuelans will be asked to vote on a whopping 69 constitutional amendments that would greatly reduce the country's democratic governance, strip citizens of still more individual liberties and thus expand President Hugo Chavez's power even beyond what it is today. The sad reality is that voters will probably approve the amendments, as Chavez's opponents have been bumbling around, discredited, disorganized and intimidated.

    The vote will be bad not only for Venezuela but for the rest of Latin America. Chavez-style demagogues -- Chavistas -- are taking control throughout the region, persuading frustrated voters to jettison their often unresponsive democratic governments for the promise of something better, even if that something is a populist dictatorship.

    Chavez already has assumed some of the powers he wants legitimized in the upcoming referendum. Approving the changes will merely legalize what is already in place and further reduce the options and safeguards available to those who disagree with him and his vision of "21st century socialism."

    One of the most disturbing ballot items would allow Chavez to run for president as often as he wishes and make it more difficult for voters to recall a president. He could become, in effect, president for life.

    Recently, the polls suggest that Venezuelans are not going to give up their democracy without a protest; but does anyone doubt for one minute that the egoistical, incredibly malignant narcissist Hugo Chavez will allow the Venezuelans to dismiss him by a vote? Already, he is calling anyone who doesn't vote for the referendum a "traitor".

    Venezuela is on the path to self-destruction.

    Dear Hugo is having what I would compassionately call a nervous breakdown. Frankly, he is completely melting down, even comparing himself to Jesus Christ. From the Investors Business Daily link above:
    Weekend polls showed that ever since the king of Spain publicly told him to "shut up" in Chile two weeks ago, support for Chavez's move to seize absolute power in Venezuela has fallen below 50%.

    Student protests have engulfed Caracas and other towns in protest against his dictatorship. Chavez has denounced them as "rich spoiled brats." But in reality, they often are a pivotal political force, particularly since they include young people from Marxist and lower-class backgrounds.

    Meanwhile, the shelves at food stores are empty and TV shows run by shuttered station RCTV have been canceled.

    For Chavez, this could be a long, hard winter of discontent. Globally, he's become a laughingstock. He's fighting with Chile's socialist leader, Michelle Bachelet, over high oil prices while at home he is facing some of the strongest challenges yet to his iron rule.

    The usual nutjobs at the DU have leaped to the defense of their socialist hero by claiming that he only used a "metaphor" (yeah, right: just like all paranoid delusional patients I treat) and that, since the poor victimized President of Venezuela was viciously attacked and demeaned by the fascist King of Spain, he is justified in his anger.

    Imagine, if you will, what they would say if the Bu$hHitler used a Christ metaphor to describe the attacks the left have made without cessation since Bush was elected.

    But all that happened to Chavez was that someone finally told the bigmouth who has been badmouthing everyone else to shut up. I wouldn't have even said it so politely, considering the BS that regularly comes out of that mouth. The forebearance and polite patience displayed by any normal person who has to interact with Hugo the clown must be of majestic proportions.

    In my professional opinion, the man has crossed over the borderline into the realm of the psychotic. His malignant narcissism/psychopathy is evident to anyone willing to look; and he will not ever give up power easily or willingly. Chavez will either win the "election" that would make him PresidentDictator for life, or there will be hell for the Venezuelans to pay.

    As with all thugs of Chavez' ilk, eventually dead bodies will fill the streets, and when they do, the morons of the Democratic Underground along with all the morally bankrupt political left will scramble to rationalize and excuse his behavior.

    The path to self-destruction is so very easy to follow. Either the Venezuelans will voluntarily walk down that path by "voting" to essentially terminate democracy in their country; or Hugo will order his goons to force them down that psycho path that consolidates his complete power over them.

    In either case, the people of Venezuela will eventually have to fight to keep the freedoms they so cavalierly voted away when they entrusted their future to this pathetic man.

    UPDATE: Another "metaphor"?
    In a speech at an air base west of Caracas on Tuesday, Chavez said Venezuelans will vote "yes" in the referendum to "open the path to a new nation."

    "On Saturday, the final attack begins, and Sunday ... it's written: the people will vote and will say yes to the call we're giving to open the path to a new nation," Chavez said, alluding to the referendum that aims to modify 69 of the 530 articles in the constitution.

    "We can't go backward, we cannot fail! We're obligated to victory, to continue triumphing. This is a battle of world proportions. And Venezuela, there, modestly there, is playing a very important role," Chavez said.

    Or a threat?


    Yesterday evening, The Sanity Squad had a very interesting conversation with Fatima Bhutto in Karachi. Bhutto's famous aunt, Benizir, is one of the major players in events going on there now, and Fatima, who was schooled in the West has a unique perspective on the situation. She skillfully handled a number of questions about her writings and about the upcoming presidential elections.

    You won't want to miss this podcast!

    Ms. Fatima Bhutto clearly has a political future and could very well become a major player in Pakistani politics. You can read some of her controversial pieces here and here. In several of those pieces, she expresses an admiration for both Hugo Chavez and for Hezbollah--neither of which are exactly monuments to democracy or freedom; but Ms. Bhutto handled herself with grace, honesty, and insight while answering in detail some of the hard questions put to her by members of The Squad.

    Join Siggy, Shrink, Neo and me as we have a lively discussion with Pakistan's "other" Bhutto!

    Click on the button to listen:

    Monday, November 26, 2007

    TONITE'S SANITY SQUAD: Fatima Bhutto

    The Sanity Squad will be podcasting live on BlogTalkRadio tonight beginning at 9:30 pm. PLEASE NOTE THE TIME CHANGE...due to time difference between here and Karachi, Pakistan.

    In what promises to be a fascinating podcast, The Sanity Squad will interview Fatima Bhutto, niece of Benizir Bhutto who is one of the opposition leaders in Pakistan. We will discuss the state of emergency in Pakistan; upcoming elections and the prognosis for that country and its relations with the U.S. and the West.

    Ms Bhutto recently penned an important editorial for the LA Times.

    Her Website can be found here; and More from wiki, with links and From MSNBC .

    She will undoubtedly be a player in Pakistan in coming years, depending on the fortunes of her famous aunt.

    You will be able to call in live starting at 9:30 pm (until then, if you click on the link it will play the podcast recorded last Monday) .

    The call-in number for the live program is (646) 716-9116

    Listen live!


    One of the most distressing aspects of the war on terror we have all witnessed since 9/11, and the many acts of Islamic terrorism since that date, is the rush by Western intellectuals to justify and legitimize/rationalize the backwardness, oppression, and anti-human medievalism promulgated by the Islamic fundamentalists of the Middle East.

    The Archbishop of Canterbury, for example, recently spoke at length to a Muslim magazine where he sharply criticized and heaped scorn on American foreign policy and "imperialism" (and was given a "political blessing" by the political establishment in Britain) in no uncertain terms, but then very mildly criticized Islamic societies:
    In Pakistan he was “surprised by how the extremely small Christian minority there is perceived as so deeply threatening by an overwhelming Muslim majority which ought to be more confident and generous about its identity”. He urged the Muslim world to acknowledge that its “present political solutions aren’t always very impressive”.

    Very sporting and, of course, oh so moral of him to gloss over some issues highlighted by Victor Davis Hanson at The Corner in a post appropriately titled "Why You Can Believe all Those Warnings About The Death of the West":
    ...if he [Williams] is worried about the soul of civilization in general, and the U.S. in particular, he might equally ask his Muslim interviewers about the status of women in the Muslim world, polygamy, female circumcision, the existence of slavery in the Sudan, the status of free expression and dissent, and religious tolerance (i.e., he should try to visit Mecca on his next goodwill, interfaith tour).

    Mark Steyn further highlights the confusion of the Archbishop; but Rowan Williams is not alone in his moral and intellectual bankruptcy when it comes to dealing with the barbarism and horrors of the jihadists, whose goal is nothing less than the complete destruction of Western civilization and its replacement by the utopian Caliphate where oppression of women, killing infidels, and religious intolerance are all celebrated as the highest form of worshiping God.

    The conundrum that many on the left in the West seem to run into is the concern that, by fighting back against those manly modern barbarians who cavalierly behead innocents and slaughter fellow muslims with abandon; hide behind women and children and use children and babies as human bombs to murder infidels; and even by voicing a condemnation of such acts or criticizing the fanatical intolerance of Islam toward other religions--they are being, well...intolerant. And not politically correct; and--let's face it--really really mean.

    Especially when you finally wage a war back against barbarians who formally declared war on you in 1996 and have been fighting and killing your people for decades with relative impunity.

    In a comment on this thread at The Belmont Club, Wretchard notes:
    The brilliance of the new barbarism is that you cannot fight it without destroying your own value system into the bargain.

    Traditionally the solution has been to consider wartime a discontinuity, when civilization's rules are suspended. It becomes possible, for example, to lay waste to the Monte Cassino Abbey. Berlin was bombed without regard for its buildings, churches or people.

    The alternative is to create methods of fighting so discriminating that we can literally shoot between the raindrops. But that creates a different problem, for we will need an intelligence system so comprehensive that it will become intrusive.

    Either way, the war cannot be won without cost. And the fundamental fraud foisted on the public is to claim we can have war without horror, conduct an intelligence war without dishonesty and cunning and obtain victory without sacrifice.


    I am confident that we in the West are not in danger of losing our fundamental values; and that our overall moral heading can be recovered should we need to temporarily deviate from the course of the moral compass that guides us. Because, in order to combat and defeat this new barbarism, we must confront it directly and be willing to do whatever it takes to defeat it.

    If we appease or ignore it, it will continue to menace everything we hold dear; and sooner or later, it will sink us--no matter how moral we are or how much restraint we demonstrate to their provocations. Moral virtue and saintly restraint will not win this conflict, at least not without the help of pure, unadulterated brute force to back them up.

    But, first we must be sure in our own hearts and minds of the endurance of our own values in order to use whatever force is necessary. Morally vacuous intellectuals; and historically ignorant churchmen are not the kind of leaders that will help Western values and Western civilization triumph over the new barbarians. They are plagued by pervasive doubts about the worth of our civilization, and are not troubled by the idea of its demise and replacement. In fact, they rather stupidly believe that their own little socialist version of utopia will win over the new barbarians to their way of thinking; that, their lovely tolerance and good intentions will convince the jihadist that he can safely live in peace with them.

    The moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the intellectuals of the political left and their postmodern nihilism is spreading uncertainty and fear--not directed at those who want to kill and enslave us, but toward ourselves and our own motives. This uncertainty is already having a profound effect, and is enabling and encouraging the new barbarians to think they can defeat us--in Iraq; and everywhere. Value by value is already being undermined. Look how willing much of the West was to compromise freedom of speech in the Danish cartoons (no matter how "offensive" they might be taken) in order to accommodate the enemy's threats. Soon, we will have compromised away all that matters to us; and our civilization will disappear, little by little as it is taken over by the barbarians.

    If we continue to appease them, we will be overcome by their ruthlessness and love of death--which in the end, is more than a match for our humanity and love of life and freedom. Can we in the West not even be certain that life is a higher value than death? That freedom is more desirable than oppression? And that life and freedom are causes worth sacrifice?

    The cost of this war will be more than all the lives lost; it will also be for the humanity and civilization we must temporarily abandon to win. I love to read fantasies as much as anyone, but in the real world, the good and virtuous whose cause is just do not always win.

    When we are finally cornered and must allow our own barbarism to surface to combat theirs head to head, then we must be prepared to live with the consequences, including the agonizing guilt that will ensue--or everything we hold dear, everything we aspire to become, will forever perish from this earth. Is it worth this kind of sacrifice to preserve the blessings of liberty for our posterity?

    Those who fought in the two World Wars of the last century thought so.

    I've said it before, but this reality is what I hate and despise most about these Islamic fanatics--who do not let reason or life interfere with their jihad; who abide by no treaties, follow no rules, and scorn the very values upon which Western civilization is founded. We could have lived with them they did not insist that we must become what they are or die. But they have defined the groundrules (or the non-rules) of this conflict; and eventually, we will have to meet them at their level--or they will win. We should hold tight to the thought that it is they who have set the playing field.

    The best strategy of these new barbarians seems to be to unleash their own barbarism, then let the intellectuals of the West make the appropriate apologies for them.

    "Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - There is controversy over who said this, but for a discussion of this quote, see Mudville Gazette.

    One of the leaders of the new barbarians had this to say :
    In the message broadcast by Al-Jazeera television, Ayman al-Zawahri, second in command to Osama bin Laden, said that al-Qaida now views "all the world as a battlefield open in front of us."

    The Egyptian-born physician said that the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah and Palestinian militants would not be ended with "cease-fires or agreements."

    "It is a jihad (holy war) for the sake of God and will last until (our) religion prevails ... from Spain to Iraq," al-Zawahri said. "We will attack everywhere."

    So, what should civilization's response be? Should we pretend we don't hear him? Should we agonize about our own imperfections and shout mea culpas as they continue to kill us? Should we pretent that thugs like Zawahiri and Ahmadinejad don't really mean it? Even if you hate the idea of violence and death --and what sane and rational person doesn't?-- isn't it time to get really serious about this threat and stop pussyfooting around pretending it doesn't exist?

    I think so.


    We arrived back late last night from sunny, WARM, California to snow, sleet, and COLD Michigan.

    Blogging should resume later today!

    It's good to be home!

    Sunday, November 25, 2007


    Image hosted by Time for the weekly insanity update, where the insane, the bizarre, the ridiculous, and the completely absurd are highlighted for all to see! This has been a week of rare idiocy (as always!). So, if you want to remain sane, the best thing is to poke some fun at the more egregious absurdities.

    Send all entries for next week's carnival to Dr. Sanity by 8 pm ET on Saturday for Sunday's Carnival. Only one post entry weekly per blogger, please. And you might read this before submitting an entry.

    **NOTE: I am now getting many more submissions than I can possibly include in the weekly Carnival. Please don't be offended if your submission is not used (oh, okay, be as offended as you like) as it only means that for a variety of reasons I wasn't able to fit it into the "flow" as I put together each Carnival.


    1. Want to bet that he will become dictator for life whether he "wins" the vote or not? Let's hope the country is full of "traitors". Not beguiled describes very well how I feel about that infantile clown and his soul mate.

    2. Defending the undefendable...but it's the Israelis who have cooties...all of which leads to insanity of Biblical proportions?

    3. The state of intellectual property in the Arab world. Unforgivable thoughts.

    4. Code Stink? Do it for the children...then do it for the planet! Clearly we must also be willing to do it for the sake of the universe!

    5. Meanwhile, Nature is fighting back!

    6. Naming names...the purpose of immigration is to make America less American? What ever happened to diversity?

    7. She voted the strait Republican ticket...heh heh. The Former-Presidents-Wives Club?

    8. The Wile E. Coyote phenomenon...Finally! Scientific proof that Bush and his Administration is responsible for everything that has gone wrong! The impeachment circus never takes a holiday.

    9. Oh yeah, this really makes me want to visit London. Not charming, or very cosmopolitan!

    10. So many holiday horror stories, so little time.... Thankstaking holiday...a new left creation? How about the new left math: spanking = waterboarding = evil violence?

    11. The penalty for pruning trees without a license!

    12. Nothing is deeper than a gratuitous laugh!

    13. Sesame Street was intended for adults? And its all because of cow farts.

    14. Sounds like a Google translation... Perhaps this is another Google translation?

    15. Ick. Licking toads to get high? You've got to be kidding. Testesterone-crazed men? Isn't that redundant?

    16. The new Winter Olympic motto: citius, altius, sanguius (swifter, higher, bloodier)....

    17. Sell the Picasso! Or, say goodbye to affordable luxuries!

    18. Great green gobs of greasy grimey gopher guts, mutilated monkey meat....

    Carnival of the Insanities can also be found at The Truth Laid Bear's ÜberCarnival and at the BlogCarnival.

    If you would like to Join the insanity, and add the Carnival of the Insanities button to your sidebar (clicking on it will always take you to the latest update of the Carnival), click on "Word of Blog" below the button to obtain the html code:

    Heard the Word of Blog?

    Saturday, November 24, 2007


    This must really irk many on the political left in the same way any success in Iraq does:
    Scientists have made ordinary human skin cells take on the chameleon-like powers of embryonic stem cells, a startling breakthrough that might someday deliver the medical payoffs of embryo cloning without the controversy.

    Laboratory teams on two continents report success in a pair of landmark papers released Tuesday. It's a neck-and-neck finish to a race that made headlines five months ago, when scientists announced that the feat had been accomplished in mice.

    The "direct reprogramming" technique avoids the swarm of ethical, political and practical obstacles that have stymied attempts to produce human stem cells by cloning embryos.

    Some will say it is unfair of me to suggest that there are quite a few people upset at the above development, but like Kevin Drum, they are far too indulgent toward those well-meaning and oh so caring persons of the leftist persuasion. Without a doubt, there are a sizable number who are deeply committed to the wonderful causes of the left (call them the lunatic fringe, if you like), who "prefer embryonic research for its own sake and will keep fighting for it even if this new approach proves itself completely successful. But why? Inertia? Political bloody mindedness? A demonic delight in destroying embryos for its own sake?"

    No, none of the above actually.

    In case it has escaped Drum's notice, there are many who take such "a demonic delight in destroying" and dismissing anything at all related to George W. Bush, that they long ago lost all perspective, reason and sanity about such things--i.e., they suffer from BDS, which I long ago came to appreciate is a real political psychological disorder that describes a real pathological phenomenon of our time and is not simply a clever witticism.

    This political pathology has had such a major impact on some people's cognitive functioning capabilities, they will not be able to cope with the possibility that anything supported by Bush might triumph.

    The President is, after all, the real enemy that must be defeated--they have based their entire world view, as well as their definition of who they are, on that belief.

    I offer apologies to the few leftists still able to think clearly about any issue which might show the evil and despised Bu$Hitler or his policies in a (gasp) positive light.

    Friday, November 23, 2007


    In the movie 2010: The Year We Make Contact, (the sequel to 2001:A Space Odyssey), just before Jupiter expldes, becoming a new star making the moon Europa able to sustain life; an apparition of the astronaut Frank Bowman appears to Heywood Floyd, warning him that they must leave Jupiter within two days. Floyd asks what will happen at that time and Bowman replies, "Something wonderful."

    He meant that the conditions for intelligent life to develop on Europa now exist.

    Wretchard at The Belmont Club writes about the recent turn of events in Iraq, which has the left and the Democrats somewhat discombobulated :
    The Times Online reports that large numbers of refugees are returning from Syria to Iraq. "The numbers are certainly large enough, as we report today, for a mass convoy to be planned next week as Iraqis who had opted for exile in Syria return to their homeland." Can Iraq be getting better?

    Further, he notes that:
    The current calm in Iraq represents not only a 'partial peace' but a huge victory. For the first time since Algeria at least, a Western army has defeated the combined efforts of a terrorist insurgency, a global radical Islamist attack and the intervention of two neighboring countries in less than five years. Al-Qaeda in Iraq made an explicit effort to precipitate a civil war in Iraq and failed. Syria backed the Sunni insurgency in its effort to restore dominance in Iraq and failed. Iran backed the Shi'ite militias, including the Special Groups and may be failing too....

    Victory is far from completely achieved in Iraq, but most especially with respect to radical Islamism throughout the region and across the globe. We need to know what went right to figure out where to go from here.

    But that understanding must begin with the realization, which the returnees from Baghdad may understand better than the pundits in Washington, that something very wonderful may have been achieved in Middle East.

    When that concept finally penetrates the thick skulls of the political left and the leadership of the Democratic party, both of whom suffer from the bizarre delusion that they are the ones who keep and protect the flame of traditional liberal ideas such as freedom and democracy, I wonder what will happen?

    Victor Davis Hanson has a thought or two about that. In his essay, "With Iraq Improving, Will Neocon Ideas Return?" Hanson states:
    ...for a variety of unforeseen reasons, the furor and partisan bad blood over Iraq are lessening here in the States. The debate over Iraq seems to be changing from "we can't win" to whether victory is worth the aggregate costs.

    Expect this new battle to be more retrospective, as each side tries to inflate or deflate how much blood and treasure have been spent on the Iraq War - and whether the cost has led to greater American security both in and beyond Iraq.

    As fear of defeat in Iraq recedes from the political landscape, look to a growing consensus elsewhere. "Neocon" - the term often used to describe "new" conservatives who today support fostering democracy in the Middle East - may still be a dirty word.

    But if you take the anger about George Bush out of the equation, along with the Iraq war and the fear of any more invasions by the U.S., why not support democratic reform in the Middle East? We know the alternatives only play into the hands of terrorists.

    That's why presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., recently said that America needed to support democracy and pressure Gen. Pervez Musharraf to restore elections in Pakistan.

    Few Democrats or Republicans would disagree with his idealistic rhetoric. Although Obama wouldn't express the same support for the struggling Iraqi democracy, he sort of sounded like a softer neocon - more worried about the lack of freedom in Pakistan than the fact we might undermine a strongman with nukes and a restive population.

    Indeed, if exporting democracy is such a discredited idealistic concept, they why worry about Pakistan with Musharraff consolidating his power? Hanson further argues that:
    A year from now, neither George Bush nor a quieter Iraq will inflame Democrats. And without these familiar bogeymen, they will to have to state what they are for, rather than what they are against.

    If Democrats keep Congress and win the presidency, they probably won't do things much differently in Afghanistan. America's role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict also won't change much. And if the next president is a Republican, it's a safe bet he won't invade any new countries.

    As the Democrats move closer to the controversial neoconservative position of actively supporting democratic reform in the Middle East, they will claim that their strong idealistic diplomacy is the proper corrective to the Bush administration's unilateral misadventures.

    In other words, the Democrats will end up arguing that they were for neoconservatism before they were against it; that it was only the incompetent application of those idealistic principles that they were opposed to, not the idealism itself.

    What Hanson calls the "soft neocons" are really the "utopian neocons", a fair-weather version of neoconservatism, which can only support freedom and democracy when there is no imperfection, no mess, and absolutely no sacrifice present in the process.

    You can bet that the Democrats will appropriate neocon ideas the minute they believe those ideas are popular. Then they will proceed to distort them in the same manner they have distorted all the other great ideas of liberalism; and continue to believe that freedom is free and requires nothing but rhetoric to exist in the world.

    The neoconservative philosophy has always understood that it takes more than rhetoric to counter the forces that would destroy western civilization; and that the pervasive nihilism of the postmodern infection that has spread throughout the once liberal left and which is now promulgated and promoted by the West's own intellectual elites, only facilitates tyranny.

    Neoconservatism is the only intellectual remedy developed in the last five decades to nullify postmodern philosophy and rhetoric and stand up to the forces of de-civilization.

    Something wonderful is happening in the Middle East amid all the violence, chaos and turmoil.

    The conditions for freedom to develop in Iraq now exist.

    UPDATE: Relevant commentary by Charles Krauthammer: "On Iraq, A State of Denial"

    Thursday, November 22, 2007

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING ! Some Food For Thought

    What are you doing reading blogs today???

    Go eat something yummy!

    If you haven't committed to a certain menu, here are three of my favorite holiday dessert recipes. Consider them food for thought, as well as sustenance for the soul and body!

    (Surprise! A real WMD )

    It's very simple to make and my family really likes it. I've been making it for several years now and probably originally got the recipe from some magazine, which one I've long forgotten (otherwise, I'd mention it). I prefer to eat it either unadorned, or with a high quality vanilla ice cream, but if you are a purist, you are free to use chocolate ice cream instead.

    1/4 c. oil
    2 eggs
    1 1/3 c. water
    1 chocolate cake mix (get your favorite--I like devil's food chocolate cake)

    Mix the above ingredients by hand (do not use electric mixer). Pour into greased 9x11 inch pan. Sprinkle 12 ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips on top (I like Hershey's). Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

    Cool about 5 minutes. Poke holes in cake (it should still be warm) and spread with 1 large jar of Smuckers Hot Fudge Topping. ENJOY

    (In honor of all the ding-dongs and nutjobs out there)

    1 C sugar
    1/2 C butter, melted
    1 egg
    pinch of salt
    1 1/2 C applesauce
    1 t cinnamon
    1/2 t cloves
    1/2 t nutmeg
    2 t baking soda
    2 C flour
    1 1/2 C golden raisins
    1 C currants
    1 C candied fruit mix for fruitcake
    1 C pecans
    1 C red candied cherries for fruitcake (one small container)
    1 C candied pineapple chunks for fruitcake (1 small container)

    Blend ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into 2 or 3 loaf pans (depending on the size of the pan) lined with wax paper. Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hour, or until knife inserted in middle comes out clean. Let cool completely. Refrigerate for a day or two before serving. Can be frozen, too. Wrap well in foil and ziploc bags and store in the refrigerator or freezer. You can spike it with brandy, but the applesauce base keeps it moist. Enjoy.

    Moral: Handled properly, a variety of candied fruits and nuts can be extremely delicious after they are all democratically mixed together and baked in an oven possessing a steady temperature.

    (For all the Angels out there!)

    5-6 C day old Challah bread cubes
    4 C scalded milk
    1/2 C butter, melted and cooled
    1 C sugar
    1/2 t salt
    4 eggs, beaten
    1 t cinnamon
    1 t nutmeg
    1 C raisins

    1/2 C white sugar
    1/2 T cornstarch
    1 C hot water
    3 T lemon juice
    1 T lemon zest

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x11 inch casserole with nonstick spray. In a large bowl combine bread cubes, 1 C sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix in raisins. In another bowl, blend milk, melted butter, and eggs. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix together without turning bread mixture into mush. Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish. Place casserole dish into a larger baking pan. Pour hot water into baking pan about 1/2 up the side of the casserole dish, creating a water bath. Bake for 45- 50 minutes. Sauce: In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 C sugar, cornstarch, hot water, butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Cook on medium heat until bubbling and thickened. Stir constantly to avoid scorching. Serve with bread pudding.


    Wednesday, November 21, 2007


    This cartoon captures exactly what I was saying the other day about Ms. Hillary, whose "split personality" alternates between the "Wonder Woman" persona and the "Little Bo Peep" one, depending on which is most advantageous in the moment:
    I can hear people saying now, "Oh, Doc that's not fair! She's a person in her own right..." Exactly. I don't like that person. I don't like how she's used her relationship to a powerful man to leverage her own power. There are brilliant, capable women out there who could do a superb job as the leader of the free world, and who have never, ever used their marriage or relationship with any man--, either positively or negatively to get ahead. And Hillary does both--she plays the "Bill card" to push how much experience and qualifications she has to be president; and at the same time routinely plays the "victim card"--poor little woman burdened with an unfaithful man; or poor little woman abused by the oppressive male power structure--whenever it suits her purposes. Yuck and double yuck.

    I'd just as soon vote for Monica Lewinsky for President.


    Blogging will be light for a few days because I am in California for Thanksgiving. Shockingly, I may not even watch the news while I'm here....

    Tuesday, November 20, 2007

    I WRITE THE SONGS ! (Sort of)

    Well, I might not write the songs that make the whole world sing, but Dr. Sanity has had one of her poems (not the song parodies!) set to music and recorded by the European group 32Crash. this unique group performs straight futuristic electronic tunes with a retro touch and with the unmatched vocal talents of Jean-Luc De Meyer.

    Their latest album "Weird News From An Uncertain Future" is now at Amazon .com and downloadable from iTunes. The more expensive version is in stock and is a limited 2 CD set with remixes by such prestigious artists as: David Carretta, Punx Soundcheck, Tim Schuldt, Nid & Sancy, Helmut Kraft, Millimetric, The Penelopes and Lifelike.

    Here's what one on-line reviewer wrote about the album, giving it 5 Stars:
    Oh, It's just another excellent work with Jean-Luc De Meyer in the middle of it. Really, JLDM knows how to pick the people he's gonna work with and knows how to put out incredible music. The songs on disc 1 start out being good, and they just get stronger as the disc plays on. My first go was on earbuds at my job, but then I got it home and put it in the stereo system. Truly wonderful!

    The exception to me is the song Propaganda on disc1, which seems weak and fluffy. There are a couple of filler pieces, too, but they do serve a purpose, and that is to tell a story which you can read about in the description above.

    I encourage you to go ahead and invest in the ltd 2 disc set because otherwise you will miss out on some incredible remixes, and also the song Anger. Anger sounds like it could have been at home on Cobalt 60's TWELVE album, one of my favorites. Dont get me wrong, this is not a rehash of JLDM's other projects, this is an entirely new thing. Get the Humanity EP if you want to go on a test drive first, it is well worth the $10 or so and has stuff not on the LP. Also, in the 2CD set, you get 32CRASH postcards and a mini-poster which I fully intend to dry mount and hang (above the computer, of course).

    These guys have experience and talent on their side, and De Meyer's voice never gets boring. The concept, packaging, production, attention to detail, and sheer creativity are all here.

    Click on one of the links below:

    Dr. Sanity's song is titled "Spacemen and Poets", and is the third track on the album:


    Can spacemen fall in love in space?
    Can they kiss? Can they embrace?
    Will love last long at speeds of light?
    Can it survive an endless night?

    Will poets ever walk on Mars,
    And write to Earth from dying stars?
    Will life be better, or be worse
    As spacemen rhyme the universe?