Sunday, November 09, 2008


[cartoons by Eric Allie]


See you then--always supposing I can cope with all the genuine and sincere expressions of love now being directed in this political direction. Aren't these the same loving clueless dudes who four years ago sent out a very different message?

I see that they remain, on the whole, pretty sorry specimens.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

SO LONG (for a while)... IT'S BEEN FUN !

I am going to be taking a break from all the political insanity until the first of the year.

The next four years will be challenging to say the least. It looks like our hapless vice-President elect was absolutely correct, (except that he was off by a mere 4310 hours too long) about how quickly our enemies would seize the opportunity to test out the scary appeasement strategies of the President-elect.

Vanderleun collected the various "tests" that were promptly (and probably laughingly) issued to "O" within 10 hours of His ascension:
It would seem that some people just don't know the difference between November and January:
Stocks fall as investors ponder Obama presidency

Baghdad rocked by fresh bombings

Gaza rockets fired after clashes

Iran army warns US forces to steer clear of borders

Russia to move missiles to Baltic

Perhaps George Bush, as a parting gift to an ungrateful nation, could remind them.

If you thought things were insane over the last eight years, just wait until the Obamaniacs/inmates officially take over the asylum on January 20th.... (of course, I am assuming that they don't let their messianic fervor overcome their steady baseline dysfunctionality--but perhaps even that is too much to hope for these days).

I'll need to be well-rested and armed with all the latest diagnostic and therapeutic tools to deal effectively with the expected "surge" of political psychopathology. While the leftist hysterics are busy with their destructive agenda:

We conservatives will have to remain:

(suggestions for sign recycling here)

It's been fun...see you in the New Year!**

**Unless you happen to know a way to make blogging financially worth my while-- in which case I might come back sooner....

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


One of my most favorite songs to close out the election cycle:

That's life, that's what all the people say.
You're riding high in April,
Shot down in May
But I know I'm gonna change that tune,
When I'm back on top, back on top in June.

I said that's life, and as funny as it may seem
Some people get their kicks,
Stompin' on a dream
But I don't let it, let it get me down,
'Cause this fine ol' world it keeps spinning around

I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate,
A poet, a pawn and a king.
I've been up and down and over and out
And I know one thing:
Each time I find myself, flat on my face,
I pick myself up and get back in the race.

That's life
I tell ya, I can't deny it,
I thought of quitting baby,
But my heart just ain't gonna buy it.
And if I didn't think it was worth one single try,
I'd jump right on a big bird and then I'd fly

I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate,
A poet, a pawn and a king.
I've been up and down and over and out
And I know one thing:
Each time I find myself laying flat on my face,
I just pick myself up and get back in the race

That's life
That's life and I can't deny it
Many times I thought of cutting out
But my heart won't buy it
But if there's nothing shakin' come this here july
I'm gonna roll myself up in a big ball and die
My, My

Meanwhile let me just echo what Lisa Schriffren has to say about President Bush:
...I thought this was going to be a sniffy, "thanks alot for getting us into this mess" kind of piece. But no, it is genuine thanks to a President who did a few really important things, because they were the right and not the popular thing to do. And he did them with the sure knowledge that his thanks will come when he is long gone. I join Andrew Breitbart in still believing, despite all the domestic failings, despite the policies that leave conservatism in a heap on the ground, awaiting revival, that George Bush is a genuinely decent man, with very solid instincts in the War on Terror — the signal issue of his terms. Keeping us safe is not a small thing. So thank you, Mr. President, indeed. We hope your successor does as well.

Keeping us safe is no small thing at all. I don't think our next President will do nearly as well, but I hope I am wrong about that.

Time will tell.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Maybe this will help you decide about one candidate's character and leadership:


Because it will soon be finally over...thank God.

Monday, November 03, 2008


[hat tip: Oh Bloody Hell]


I'm with Bill Kristol:
Barack Obama will probably win the 2008 presidential election. If he does, we conservatives will greet the news with our usual resolute stoicism or cheerful fatalism. Being conservative means never being too surprised by disappointment.

But what if John McCain pulls off an upset?

I’m worried about my compatriots on the left. Michael Powell reports in Saturday’s New York Times that even the possibility of an Obama defeat has driven many liberals into in a state of high anxiety. And then there’s a young woman from Denver who “told her boyfriend that their love life was on hold while she sweated out Mr. Obama’s performance in Colorado.” Well, what if Obama loses Colorado? Or the presidency? As a compassionate conservative, I’m concerned about the well-being of that boyfriend — and of others who might be similarly situated. I feel an obligation to help.

Kristol then goes on to give the left some consolation; and even why they would be cheerful.

Of course, they would not agree with any of his points.

In fact, I don't believe that side of the political spectrum--particularly the leadership of the Democrats and the leftist bloggers are capable of seeing outside their usual paranoia and projection. See Erica Jong for a typical example of the sort of widespread hysteria and insanity we can expect if the wishes and fantasies of these emotion worshippers are not immediately gratified.

The beginning of the 21st century will surely be looked back on as a golden age of paranoia. The headlines of today fairly ooze with the delusions and vast conspiracies dreamed of in the mind of the paranoid left.

If we go back a little we can find reams of material to document this process, but let's look at a few.

There has been a series of bizarre conspiracy theories emanating from anxious leftists in the last 8 years as they attempt to keep the holes in their ideology plugged; thus preventing any reality from washing over them or flooding their cognitive processes.

Every time a leak in that ideological dike appears, the paranoid brand chewing gum is brought out to stop it up. The TNG memos were a clever plot by Karl Rove. The Bush Administration was behind 9/11; Katrina was allowed to destroy New Orleans because Bush hates blacks. George Bush is about to impose a theocracy on the unsuspecting U.S. Pat Tillman was murdered because he wanted to meet with anti-war activist Norm Chomsky. The list of the paranoid delusions goes on and on and on.

Taken as a whole, they are evidence of an ongoing and determined refusal to face reality--because it is a reality that threatens the belief systm of a whole section of the American population. Without the delusions and conspiracies concocted by the always creative political left, their whole house of Marxist cards will come crumblin down.

Some have said that Unwillingness To Face Reality And Its Consequences is the most serious mental illness of our time; and that is most certainly true.

Erica Jong and her equally paranoid frieds are perfect examples of how the bacteria of paranoid stupidity is spread. The infecting agent is usually a true believer who cannot face some unpleasant aspect of reality (i.e. that always "unpleasant truth") that is starting to trickle out into the open. It must dammed up immediately. The paranoid gum is handy and easy to use--just chew it up and plaster it over the hole.

For the political left, the gum has created a full blown conspiracy theory that links the Bush Administration to anything bad in the world--in this case to discredit a celebrity military hero who died under tragic circumstances, but who died fighting for his country. Such a bizarre distortion of the cirucumstances of his death serves to undermine his bona fides as a real patriot while demonizing the entire Bush Administration and the war on terror. It is simply another manifestation of BDS.

Just as the Jews serve as the handy scapegoat on which the dysfunctional Arab/Islamic culture in the Middle East can blame all their own societal failures; Conservatives and the political right serve the function of being the source of all evil in American society to the dysfunctional political left. If they did not have a George Bush on which to blame all societies ills, they would have to invent him--or, in recent weeks, we have seen how they have forced Sarah Palin into the same scapegoat mold, prepared to transfer all their rage and hostility toward her. Not to have such a scapegoat on which to project their own inadequacies would mean they would have to question some very basic assumptions about their fantasized superiority.

In making paranoid pronouncements, the paranoid person always takes himself or herself extremely seriously. Rarely do people like Jong--or Islamic paranoid for that matter--present themselves to a mental health professionals seeking help; or even complaining about their psychological projections, no matter how bizarre or dysfunctional they may be. That is because for them, the paranoia and the accompanying projections explain away and rationalize so much about their failures as individuals and cultures.

The insane asylum we refer to as the Middle East and all its affiliates in Africa and Indonesia where Islamic delusion runs rampant, have a fully formed paranod fantasy that explains their lack of progress and their dysfunction in the real world. Likewise, the lunatic left also subscribes to their own special convoluted explantions of dysfunction and lack of power. In both cases, if the object of their projections did not exist, they would have to invent them because their world view cannot be held together without the gummy glue of the paranoid fantasies that connect all their dots. To them, the fact that Blackwaters and Halliburtons--or any successful capitalist business exists--is enough to explain their own dysfunction and lack of progress.

Funny, isn't it, how this characteristic and prevalent delusion of the political left perfectly parallels the paranoid delusions of the backward Islamic oountries of the Middle East and their attitude toward the "evil Jews."

If only Israel and the Jews could be "wiped off the map"; or, if only those evil capitalist companies could be "torn up into a thousand pieces and scatter[ed] to the wind" then Islam/Progressivism would be more successful.

Everything can be explained by this kind of paranoid logic. In fact, paranoia is really nothing more than the use of reason and logic in the service of the irrational and bizarre.
  • Are you poor? Someone must have robbed you of what you are entitled to!
  • Are you angry and experiencing hatred, but like to think of yourself as a loving, compassionate sort of person? Then the object of your hatred magically becomes the one who!
  • Is your genius not universally recognized? You must have powerful enemies that prevent you from achieving the success you know should be yours.
  • Have you made mistakes in your life? Someone has clearly tricked you into acting a certain way otherwise you wouldn't have.
Has your ideology continually and repeatedly failed in the real world and resulted in death and misery for all who implement it? Take heart! It is not your fault or your ideology's! Either it wasn't implemented virutously enough; or there were evil [Republican, Neocon, Male, White, Christian, Jewish] forces (choose one or more) that have been plotting against it!

The above mental gymnastics allow the paranoid person to externalize blame and avoid responsibility for his situation in life, as well as his own feelings. It is always someone else's fault and not his. It is always someone else who is experiencing the objectionable feelings, and he is always the victim of it.

In addition to externalizing blame for one's own pitiful situation in life, there is yet another advantage to paranoia and projection: very often, a creative distortion of reality can reliably pump up one's own self-esteem! You are the righteous; persecuting the true racists thus proving you, yourself, are incapable of any racist thoughts or emotions! Aren't you wonderful?

Sometimes, it pumps it that self-esteem up at the expense of a great deal of fear; but nevertheless, it is comforting to know that someone appreciates your genius or the threat you represent. Clearly if the CIA, FBI, aliens, Jews , POTUS, Republicans, Business/capitalism, Big Oil [--fill in your favorite bogeyman here--] are out to get you, you must be very special and unique indeed.

In short, paranoia and its baby brother projection organize and distort reality in a way that makes it palatable; and, at the same time help the user to avoid recognizing some unpleasant truths about himself. When practiced on a societal or cultural level, it accomplishes the same thing on a larger scale. All you have to do is eliminate the external problem and everything will be all right and you'll never have to question your beliefs--or say you are sorry-- again.

The con artist does this consciously and deliberately and understands the effectiveness of the psychological maneuver. Con artists come in all sorts of political stripes, of course, but in our day the great examples are pretty much exclusive to the political left, because the vast majority of the left's minions have such an intense need to appear virtuous. In fact, the appearance of virtue in themselves is much more important than any other reality.

Reality is always redrawn in order to pump up their own righteousness and virtue. Anyone who opposes their policies is automatically branded as racist, sexist, homophobic, islamophobic-- take your pick, depending on the circumstances.

Hell, anyone who offers ANY new ideas in these areas are automatically branded with one of the "isms".

It is useless to point out the truth to people in the grip of these kind of paranoid delusions. It is just so easy to attribute one's own cynical motives and unacceptable feelings to others, particularly when such attribution is culturally sanctioned.

It is inconceivable to paranoid persons that people actually exist who view the situation differently from them. It is inconceivable that they could be wrong about their perception of reality. Con men always think others are out to con them. In fact, most paranoids consider themselves the ONLY reality-based community, because they get to define what reality is and it is always what they happen to feel. And it is always about making sure they feel good and virtuous and self-righteous.

Paranoia and projection also provide a rationale and justification (to the paranoid, at least) for acting out against those who--from their perspective-- stand in the way of implementing their social programs; or will not submit to the will of their god (whoever and whatever it may be).

Oh, and by the way: DO NOT make the mistake of thinking that only psychiatric patients who have a serious mental illness utilize these defense mechanisms. Paranoia is a symptom of many mental illnesses; but both paranoia and projection are also physiological states of the brain that can be achieved by otherwise "normal" people under the proper circumstances. The distortion of reality that occurs with the use of these defenses is always done to serve inner psychological needs.

Paranoia and projection as psychological defenses used by otherwise normal people are not mental illnesses that can be "cured" by mass quantities of antipsychotic medication in the water supply. Instead, they represent a distortion of reality that occurs in order to meet the inner needs of a crumbling self (or a crumbling ideology, culture, or society) that cannot otherwise be psychologically sustained.

To those who are using such a defense, their behavior and rhetoric seem perfectly logical and internally consistent. It is, in fact, as impeccable as any reasoning can be--considering that it originates from distorted premises. Paranoia has been referred to as "the rational in the service of the irrational" for good reasons.

And, by that kind of "logic" it makes perfect sense to use the maximum force possible to destroy those who the paranoid believes are responsible for the evil: e.g., all those absurd conspiracies that are wholeheartedly supported by the left that claim Bush and Cheney downed the twin towers; and have those who oppose them murdered. All those absurd theories that the Israelis created a disease that is specific to Arab genes or that the fictional Protocols are behind the lack of Nobel Prizes for Muslims; or even that the genocide in Darfur is just another Jewish conspiracy. These kind of paranoid fantasies all comes from the same psychological source.

As long as they maintain those delusions, they do not have to deal with the sad state of their own culture; their own sick religion; or their pathetic ideological inadequacies.

Bill Kristol makes some good--even therapeutic--suggestions to help the left deal with their pathology come election day if things don't go their way (and I fervently hope that things don't go much in their direction). But I think that Erica Jong's mental gyrations are closer to characterizing the deep level of pathology that exists today in both the Democratic Party and their leftist base. If they lose, there probably will be "blood on the streets"--they are certainly capable of such destruction and sociopathic behavior. But I don't expect that an Obama win will "heal" the fundamental psychopathological and paranoid defect that drives them currently. On the contrary, winning will only further harden the projection and paranoia and extend the delusions and conspiracies.

After all, they will now have to explain why their policies make things worse, instead of better.

What I am more worried about is the destructive and sociopathic behaviors; the anti-freedom, anti-capitalist and anti-American behaviors we can expect to witness if they win.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

CARNIVAL OF THE INSANITIES - A Messianic Election Special !

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.

Keep those entries coming in every week, and try to get them to me by Saturday. If you have questions, go here before submitting an entry. You can also submit an entry via Blog Carnival.

Try to make it funny, ironic, or clearly insane, people...I get a lot of "self-help" stuff that doesn't seem particularly funny or even ironic to me--and, if it doesn't seem that way to me, then its likely it won't be included-- unless it just happens to fit in with one of the COTI themes for the week.

Also, a link back to the Carnival if your submitted post is included would be appreciated...and some extremely harsh penalties await those who do not comply with this simple and reasonable request!


1. Happy Halloween? I'm not sure lynching is a PC activity...but a guillotine sure is! Wait a minute, it's not Halloween...It's Christmas! And here come's Obama Claus.

2. He likes the cut of his jib! Twas brillig, really. Men in BlackBarack?

3. Ignorance is O-bliss. The new National Anthem? Quick! Somebody alert the messiah!

4. It's not even a symbolic achievement...we're still racist. Michelle's America, I guess. The blood in the streets will prove it beyond a doubt anyway.

5. Voter fraud chic....Messianic zeal? Everything you need to know to grow an ACORN.

6. The three stooges were a lot smarter.....Translating Democratese...! The virtue of where have I read that before?

7. One vacation = One wardrobe. But, we'll let the court decide.

8. Marriage = 1 man + 1 comic book? Spiderman told me to vote!

9. Must be a real doozy of a video...too bad we can't make up our own minds. Remember, one may smile, smile and still be a villain.

10. Witch doctors for change! Children for change! Journalists for change!

11. Next time you need a cop, call a hippie. First there was Joe the Plumer, now we have Tito the Builder!

12. Whoops! Great moments in election year blogging? Not ready for prime time--but they were both on SNL and that seems to count as experience....probably more than a stinkin' passport.

13. A Freudian typo? Does Obama heart Syria and not Pakistan?

14. Also my choice for Press Secretary in a McCain administration.

15. Clearly Al was visiting at the time. Or, maybe he was in Tibet? Just another nutty idea, I guess.

16. Now that the campaigning and infomercials are done, is it going to be heaven or hell? If you're going to pull an all-nighter to find out--go here!

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 01, 2008


...until the three amigos are in charge... or is it the three stooges?

[More Cartoons by Glenn Foden ]

Meanwhile, Michael Barone isn't feeling completely hopeless about the situation yet!

UPDATE: McCain has moved into lead 48-47 in one day polling at Zogby....stay tuned. Gosh those voters are selfish.

Friday, October 31, 2008


This was the scariest card I could find!


It's Halloween...don't overdo the candy or the drinking tonight! Stay safe.


Interesting and rather hopeful:
Democrats are beaming that their party is outperforming the Republicans in early voting, releasing numbers Wednesday that show registrants of their party ahead 54 percent to 30 percent among the 1.4 million voters who have gone to the polls early.
"We're thrilled at the record turnout so far," said Democratic Party of Florida spokesman Eric Jotkoff. "It's a clear indication that Democrats want to elect Barack Obama and Democrats up and down the ballot so that we can start creating good jobs, rebuilding our economy and getting our nation back on track."

But party breakdowns for turnout aren't the same as final tallies, and at least one poll offered a different view for the campaign of Republican John McCain.

A Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll gave McCain a 49-45 lead over Democrat Barack Obama among Floridians who have already voted.

And Republicans continued to show a traditional strength, leading 50 percent to the Democrats' 30 percent in the 1.2 million absentee ballots already returned.

There have also been other indicators that early voting in other states--even in California--do not show the surge that Obama is expecting will necessarily go his way. Several analyses have predicted this, suggesting that the national polls are significantly off this election year.

Which, if it says anything, suggests that Democrats are not necessarily voting for the Democratic candidate. Wouldn't it be funny if all those ACORN registrants actually voted for McCain?

Poetic Votetic justice, I would think.


A really remarkable piece of work by Stanley Kurtz on Obama and the New Party:
Obama’s New Party-endorsed first run for office began in late 1995. So it’s of interest that New Party co-founder Joel Rogers published an essay describing the Left’s need for the New Party in the March/April 1995 issue of The New Left Review. (The New Left Review, can fairly be described as a prestigious outlet for writing that is largely Marxist/Socialist in content.) Since the revelation of Obama’s New Party ties, Rogers has striven to paint his outlook as mainstream and moderate. Yet this 1995 article, contemporaneous with Obama’s run for office as a New Party-endorsed candidate, gives the lie to that claim....

In Rogers’s view, then, American capitalism needs to be tamed and transformed in fundamental, structural, ways, a task which mere liberals are unable and unwilling to undertake. Rogers does also slam America’s use of force in pursuit of its foreign policy goals, and decry our legacy of “four hundred years’ racism.” Yet his focus is clearly on the need to transform the very structure of the American economy.

This is why Rogers addresses himself, not to Clintonian liberals, but to “progressives.” For Rogers, the key difference between the two is that liberals are unwilling to generate a popular movement from below that would remove command of the economy from the hands of corporate capitalists. Liberals are content to manipulate the public from above, when what’s actually needed, says Rogers, is “mobilizing outside the state.” Only such grassroots mobilizing can hope to challenge corporate power.

Incremental Socialism?
Does this make Rogers’s a socialist? Arguably, yes. But the answer to that question is not a simple one. Rogers hopes to avoid the socialist label. Like many on the far left, he couches his ultimate goals in euphemism and convoluted language. So instead of calling for socialism, Rogers demands “economic democracy.” That sort of euphemism produces locutions that would strike most Americans as odd: “The biggest ‘rule’ and barrier to democracy, of course, is capitalism–private ownership of the means of production...and what follows does not seek to change that rule directly.” In this passage, the word “democracy,” serves as a virtual synonym for socialism, to the point where capitalism itself is described as the greatest “barrier to democracy.” What Rogers seems to want to say here is that the entire capitalist system is blocking his ultimate socialist goal. But of course he can’t afford to say that out loud. So instead he simply calls capitalism “undemocratic.”

I think it's interesting that the left has such a variety of "code words" to use when they really mean socialism. They have learned that you can't say the word socialism in America without getting funny looks, thus they have managed to put 'lipstick on a pig'--if I may coin a phrase.

That's why Obama and his progressive friends can nervously laugh when they are accused of being socialist; they really are socialists, but they believed they had made up that pig to be unrecognizable as a swine.

Sadly for them, it still 'oinks'. Please read all of Kurtz' article.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


We have to choose, and, as a wise old Templar once pointed out, there are consequences for choosing poorly....

Senator McCain's remarks in Florida yesterday: (hat tip: The Corner)

"Victory must still be secured, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Senator Obama opposed removing the dictator in Iraq, and now obstinately opposes the need to defend the young democracy in that country — even with victory so clearly in sight. He cites as his most courageous moment in public life a speech he gave in 2002 — against a war resolution on which he had no vote, on a matter of national security for which he bore no responsibility. He hopes you will forget the votes he cast when he actually did have responsibility ... his votes to prevent the strategy that is leading to victory, and to deny funding for the troops who are gaining that victory. And now he hopes that in the cloud of crisis at home you will forget the stakes in Iraq — the disaster and tragedy that would follow if American forces leave in retreat.

With terrorists still plotting new strikes across the world, millions of innocent lives are still at stake, including American lives. Our enemies' violent ambitions must still be prevented — by American vigilance, by diplomacy and cooperation with our partners, and by force of arms as a last resort. In his four years in the Senate, two of them spent running for president, Barack Obama has displayed some impressive qualities. But the question is whether this is a man who has what it takes to protect America from Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda, and other grave threats in the world. And he has given you no reason to answer in the affirmative.

Senator Joe Biden has a way of straying off message and stumbling on the truth, and his most recent warning bears close attention. He cautioned us — in fact, he guaranteed his listeners — that because he is untested Barack Obama would only invite an international crisis. And we know well what one of those crises could be — the success of the Iranian regime in its program of acquiring nuclear weapons. If such a thing were to happen, our troubles of today would dramatically escalate, as a nuclear-armed Iran threatened Israel or sparked an uncontrollable nuclear arms race across the region.

In the same way, my opponent assumes far more good will than is warranted from Kim Jong Il, the tyrant of North Korea ... Hugo Chavez, the leader of Venezuela who wishes to export instability to neighboring countries ... and the Castro brothers, who have given Cuba fifty years' worth of socialist misery and are still at it. In each case, Senator Obama presents his plan for direct talks as if no one before had ever considered that. He seems unaware that mere talk has been tried many times, to no avail and that our adversaries recognize such gestures as a sign of weakness.

They will draw similar assumptions from the plans, already proposed by the chairman of the House Finance Committee, Congressman Barney Frank, to cut defense spending by 25 percent. Even with our troops engaged in two wars, and with a force in need of rebuilding, we're getting a glimpse of what one-party rule would look like under Obama, Pelosi, and Reid. Apparently it starts with lowering our defenses and raising our taxes.

Our national security is dependent on our economic security, and the plans of a Democratic dominated Washington would harm both. Raising taxes and unilaterally renegotiating trade agreements as they have promised would make a bad economy even worse, and undermine our national security, even as they slash defense spending. At least when European nations chose the path of higher taxes and cutting defense, they knew that their security would still be guaranteed by America. But if America takes the same path, who will guarantee our security?

In an unusual refrain for a closing argument, Senator Obama has lately taken to telling America that on many great issues, quote, "we don't have to choose." It is a fitting motto for a man who throughout his career has so often voted "present," instead of giving a simple "yes" or "no." But ladies and gentlemen, there is a time for choosing. It is six days away. America has a decision to make, on these fateful questions and more. And when you cast your vote, my fellow citizens, let there be no confusion about the threats we face and the costs of failing to meet them.

I've had to make a few defining choices of my own along the way. One of them came last year, when I told you that I would rather lose an election than see my country lose a war. I chose that course because I know the quality of those who fight our wars, but also because I know the character of the American people. I believed that you, too, would persevere in support of our most fundamental interests in the world — and you did, America. You gave our troops time to complete their mission, and they almost have. And at a crucial hour in a vital cause, that has made all the difference. Because of that support, our troops will soon come home in victory.

We have passed through a difficult time, and more courage will be needed in the years ahead. But there is a direction to events, and the sacrifices of the present have not been in vain. We will build on our hard-won victories to extend the security of our nation and of every nation that seeks to live in freedom. We will not yield to intimidation, and by our strength we will prevent threats from turning into tragedies. This is America's work in the world, as it has always been in our finest moments. We are called still to spread liberty, to assure justice, to be the makers of peace. And this is the great work I will carry on as your president and commander in chief. Thank you very much."

Meanwhile, is Obama ready for prime time? He wasn't ready as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (hat tip: Ace):

By way of contrast, here is the new Axis of Evil reacting to an Obama victory (purely imaginary, of course, and all in good fun :-) Bwahahahaha )

TOO LATE TO APOLOGIGE (late apologies to One Republic)

He's gonna tax the rich,
Gonna spread that wealth around;
He's gonna take small business--run 'em right into the ground
He tells us we'll get tax breaks
But our jobs will not rebound;
He'll tell us that he's sorry
His economics were unsound...

It's too late to apologize, it's too late
We said it's too late to apologize, it's too late

Why should we take a chance, take a fall
Take a shot for 'O'?
When what we need are new ways to make our country grow
[We're sayin' D'oh]
Our country was once red-
Now it's turning blue, and you say...
"Sorry" like an angel heaven let us think was you
But we're afraid...

It's too late to apologize, it's too late
It will be too late to apologize, too late....


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

“You may have the rest of the media in the tank, but Fox News reports it straight.”

Megyn Kelly of Fox News takes down an Obamatron.

I like this video because it clearly shows how Obama goes in to kill the messenger--i.e., anybody who dares to expose his real agenda. It's fascinating how that messenger --e.g., Joe the Plumber or Fox News--then becomes the issue and not the holiness of the messiah himself--who is indisputably pure and perfect in the present (because he has no past).

And, while I am on the subject of Fox News, which does report it straight, as well as fair and balanced; I am definitely going to miss Brit Hume when he steps down after November 4.

Funny how much rage is directed at Hume's "almost pathological conservative bent" (the key word being "almost", since Fox is the ONLY channel with any significant amount of conservative leaning); as opposed to the clearly pathological leftist bent of CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC etc. etc., which is rarely considered a problem. However, there are some signs that some people in the media are definitely waking up to reality.

UPDATE: Jeff Jacoby wonders if Obama intends to stifle his critics when (if) he becomes President. We have seen numerous signs in both the Democratic primary and in the general election that is exactly what he will do (see above for one of his favorite techniques--kill the messenger).

Thus we will have a perfect crossover experiment set up when the messiah reigns. For 8 years the left have been wailing that Bush has stifled their free speech; or that he was imminently going to stifle their free speech and trample on their rights; shred the Constitution; that he was going to impose a theocracy etc. etc. etc. (lace of space restrains me from listing all the accusations hurled at the BusHitler). No evidence to support such accusations has ever materialized, and the sheer number of [unrestrained, unjailed] voices raised in this outcry would seem to detract from their essential point.

I have maintained all along that these accusations are primarily a psychological projection on the part of the left; i.e., that it is they who in their deepest hearts wish to silence all opposition to their agenda--but since they don't want to face that unpleasant little reality about themselves, they outsource it to the other side. I therefore predict that under an Obama adminstration, these leftist hitler-wannabees will feel completely psychologically free to impose their dictates on all of us. They will stifle free speech (and call it "human rights" as they do in the so-called "human rights panels" of our socialist neighbors to the north); they will subvert the U.S. Constitution (and call it "social justice"); they will silence all opposition (and call it "fairness") and so on. We have already seen how a supposedly "post-racial" candidate who is going to "bring us all together" has wonderfully succeeded in advancing his entire campaign on accusations of racism and bigotry; it should not be much of a surprise to discover that the same psychological dynamic will infuse his Administration.

In fact, I predict the greatest suppression of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in the history of our country.

The experiment is set to begin shortly after November 5th.








[h/t The Corner and, of course,]

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I'm coming a little late to this party, but this definitely needs to be spread around (h/t Neoneocon):


This is the real Obama, the "One" he doesn't want us to know about. Now you know why. And he wasn't 8 years old when he said this; nor was he 8 years old when he repeated the essential point to Joe the Plumber.


...As does the hate. What will the lefties do when he is gone? Who will they displace their rage onto??

I wonder how they would react if a McCain rally featured an "Obama whacking" or "lynching"? (oh, but that would be racist and insensitive, wouldn't it?) Bush Whacking, of course, is all in good fun....

Monday, October 27, 2008


Following up on Mark Levin's post from The Corner yesterday (a key quote I posted here), Melanie Phillips asks, "Is America Really Going To Do This?"

She makes many excellent points, but here are a few key ones:
...the only way to assess their position is to look at each man in the round, at what his general attitude is towards war and self-defence, aggression and appeasement, the values of the west and those of its enemies and – perhaps most crucially of all – the nature of the advisers and associates to whom he is listening. As I have said before, I do not trust McCain; I think his judgment is erratic and impetuous, and sometimes wrong. But on the big picture, he gets it. He will defend America and the free world whereas Obama will undermine them and aid their enemies.

Here’s why. McCain believes in protecting and defending America as it is. Obama tells the world he is ashamed of America and wants to change it into something else. McCain stands for American exceptionalism, the belief that American values are superior to tyrannies. Obama stands for the expiation of America’s original sin in oppressing black people, the third world and the poor.

Obama thinks world conflicts are basically the west’s fault, and so it must right the injustices it has inflicted. That’s why he believes in ‘soft power’ — diplomacy, aid, rectifying ‘grievances’ (thus legitimising them, encouraging terror and promoting injustice) and resolving conflict by talking. As a result, he will take an axe to America’s defences at the very time when they need to be built up. He has said he will ‘cut investments in unproven missile defense systems’; he will ‘not weaponize space’; he will ‘slow our development of future combat systems’; and he will also ‘not develop nuclear weapons,’ pledging to seek ‘deep cuts’ in America’s arsenal, thus unilaterally disabling its nuclear deterrent as Russia and China engage in massive military buildups.

McCain understands that an Islamic war of conquest is being waged on a number of diverse fronts which all have to be seen in relation to each other. For Obama, however, the real source of evil in the world is America. The evil represented by Iran and the Islamic jihadists is apparently all America’s fault. ‘A lot of evil’s been perpetuated based on the claim that we were fighting evil,’ he said. Last May, he dismissed Iran as a tiny place which posed no threat to the US -- before reversing himself the very next day when he said Iran was a great threat which had to be defeated. He has also said that Hezbollah and Hamas have ‘legitimate grievances’. Really? And what might they be? Their grievances are a) the existence of Israel b) its support by America c) the absence of salafist Islam in the world. Does Obama think these ‘grievances’ are legitimate?

To solve world conflict, Obama places his faith in the UN club of terror and tyranny, which is currently fuelling the murderous global demonisation of Israel for having the temerity to defend itself and is even now preparing for a rerun of its own anti-Jew hate-fest of Durban 2, which preceded 9/11 by a matter of days.

McCain understands that Israel is the victim rather than the victimiser in the Middle East, that it is surrounded by genocidal enemies whose undiminished intention is to destroy it as a Jewish state, and that is both the first line of defence against the Islamist attack on the free world and its most immediate and important target.

Even Joe the Plughead has warned us about the dangers America will face because of an Obama presidency--and his analysis is correct; because not only would Obama's "mettle" be tested by our enemies, but because those enemies already have acquired a pretty good idea of the quality of that "mettle"--or rather, the lack thereof.

Biden, as well as any nation or terror group who has been listening to the vascilating, appeasing words of The One, knows full well how Obama will respond in a crisis situation: it will be the way he has always responded, i.e., Blame America First. He is a dream-come-true for the jihadists; their ace in the hole and their best chance for success on all fronts in the war they are waging against western values.

McCain may have a lot of faults, but he understands clearly that America is still that shining city on a hill; a beacon of freedom and liberty for a world that is slowly but surely being engulfed by the darkness of a new tyranny.

To stand agains that tyranny, we need a person whose mettle--i.e, character--is tough, tested and true; and not a pleasantly charismatic demagogue, completely seduced by the ideology of that same darkness.


This is a great clip from O'Reilly related to Bill Ayers, where Ayers calls the police on a Fox Reporter:

First, note that Ayers is depending on the police (I believe they were known as "pigs" by the Weather Underground) to rescue him from the evil Fox News; and second, there is one point where Ayers tells the reporter, "you're on my property now, get out." But, hey! Spread the wealth man! It's everyone's property, don't you know?

Ironic isn't it, that this idiot who has worked his entire life to bring down American capitalism, when stressed must rely on something as historically antiquated as "property rights"?

I suggest that all nearby homeless people immediately make a beeline for the property that Ayers seems to think he owns and wants the police to protect for him. But doesn't it seem clear that Ayers must be social parsite who stole his wealth from the hard work and sweat of the poor oppressed masses?

The mighty marxist radical seems to be under the ideological delusion that he is entitled to property rights? What a capitalist/imperialist swine, comrades. Property rights? He needs a little re-education from his friends Hugo and Fidel.

Notice how it's always the other guy's wealth and/or property they want to redistribute...

Guilty as a Marxist, Free as a Capitalist; America, what a great country!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Mark Levin at The Corner:

"But beyond the elites and the media, my greatest concern is whether this election will show a majority of the voters susceptible to the appeal of a charismatic demagogue. This may seem a harsh term to some, and no doubt will to Obama supporters, but it is a perfectly appropriate characterization. Obama's entire campaign is built on class warfare and human envy. The "change" he peddles is not new. We've seen it before. It is change that diminishes individual liberty for the soft authoritarianism of socialism. It is a populist appeal that disguises government mandated wealth redistribution as tax cuts for the middle class, falsely blames capitalism for the social policies and government corruption (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) that led to the current turmoil in our financial markets, fuels contempt for commerce and trade by stigmatizing those who run successful small and large businesses, and exploits human imperfection as a justification for a massive expansion of centralized government. Obama's appeal to the middle class is an appeal to the "the proletariat," as an infamous philosopher once described it, about which a mythology has been created. Rather than pursue the American Dream, he insists that the American Dream has arbitrary limits, limits Obama would set for the rest of us — today it's $250,000 for businesses and even less for individuals. If the individual dares to succeed beyond the limits set by Obama, he is punished for he's now officially "rich." The value of his physical and intellectual labor must be confiscated in greater amounts for the good of the proletariat (the middle class). And so it is that the middle class, the birth-child of capitalism, is both celebrated and enslaved — for its own good and the greater good. The "hope" Obama represents, therefore, is not hope at all. It is the misery of his utopianism imposed on the individual."

Read it all.


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.

Keep those entries coming in every week, and try to get them to me by Saturday. If you have questions, go here before submitting an entry. You can also submit an entry via Blog Carnival.

Try to make it funny, ironic, or clearly insane, people...I get a lot of "self-help" stuff that doesn't seem particularly funny or even ironic to me--and, if it doesn't seem that way to me, then its likely it won't be included-- unless it just happens to fit in with one of the COTI themes for the week.

Also, a link back to the Carnival if your submitted post is included would be appreciated...and some extremely harsh penalties await those who do not comply with this simple and reasonable request!


1. A charismatic demagogue...yes. Thank goodness someone is finally saying it...(but he better watch out or the wrath of The Messiah shall decend upon him)

2. Ready for that Armegeddon showdown? Looking forward to a post-American world, eh? Hard to believe that he has even more damning associations than Wright and Ayers.

3. One Ring to rule them All...Damn, damn, damn.

4. Socialism is dead meat and "communist" is a codeword for "idiot".

5. Dumb and Dumberer. Senator Dumb clarifies earlier remarks about the rocky road ahead. The plumber vs. the hair-plugger.

6. If at first you don't succeed....

7. It must be due to racism!! Of course, this explains a lot.

8. Anti-semitic 6th graders? It's all part of getting in the 'spirit'. Join Jewish Democrats Anonymous ! Once again, everything's all the Jews' you wonder where 6th graders get the inspiration?

9. Reaching rabid level and at the other end of the psychotic spectrum we have this. Splitting much? But perhaps they'll eventually be blown away. Always support a woman's right to shoes!

10. Pidgeon Paranoia. And speaking of psychosis...the hate gets out of hand. Really!

11. Some have the "pro" vs "anti" -American criteria all figured out! (they think)

12. Existential panic? We always knew it was junk. Their reporters probably feel narcissistically ungratified.

13. Who is John Galt? Move along, there's no story here. The evidence always seems to "disappear".... and, anything positive about your adversay is suppressed (no bias here)

14. Dumb and Dumberer. Senator Dumb clarifies earlier remarks about the rocky road ahead. The plumber vs. the hair-plugger.

15. They'd love to acknowledge the One's achievment, but unfortunately, he hasn't achieved it yet.

16. The Crone Wars! Rush Limbaugh is a terrorist, or so says Bagdad Bob; or is it Burbank Barbie?

17. Bringing back unfairness. It's the Democratic Party way!

18. Whoops! Yet another blow to the environment. Alert John McCain! (or John Kerry)

19. Virtual murder? A red letter day. Going viral!

20. A double subscription is the prescription.

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, October 25, 2008


Lisa Schiffren says she hasn't heard so much about John Galt since...well, ever.
I suppose, with all the projections of the Obama administration and its confiscatory tax rates on people and businesses, subordination of the productive to the dependent, public schools turned into training camps for radicals and legions of speech/thought police — i.e. — the end of liberty as we knew it — it might be time to start thinking about the mechanics of Galt's Gulch. Actually, this is probably a great time to buy property in the Rockies. Love to see the video for that...

However, I am not ready yet to give up on the possibility of John McCain losingwinning this election, let alone give up on America and Freedom. I think an Obama administration would be catastrophic--philosophically, economically, and from the standpoint of liberty. It would represent a triumph for scum like William Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, Rashid Khalili and terrorist organizations like Hamas and Al Qaeda; it would encourage and enable despots and thugs like Chavez and Ahmadinejad.

In short, Reagan's 'shining city on a hill' would dim and the forces of darkness would be poised to make a dramatic comeback in our world.

I wish I thought diffently, and that I could be as sanguine as all Obama's maniacal believers are that He will usher us into a New Age because he is "The One". I wish I even thought that an Obama victory would be as benignly counterproductive as most Democratic victories have been since the mid-20th century. But I've never been one to remain happily in denial about reality for long.

Nevertheless, the election is not over. Even if Obama wins, it is possible that things may not be as desperate as I think they will be. It is possible that after four years of non-stop Obama nonsense, it will not be enough to bring down that shining city; and that the always resilient, ever-practical, common-sense,no-nonsense, freedom-loving American spirit (the kind that Sarah Palin represents, for example) will be revived with a vengeance.

In the meantime, a little more than one week before the election, Bill Kristol's editorial, "McCain vs The Juggernaut" concludes with a rather inspiring quotation:
But for now, we can only echo the words of the 30-year-old Abraham Lincoln. On December 26, 1839, responding to the confident prediction of one of his political opponents "that every State in the Union will vote for Mr. Van Buren at the next Presidential election" and that Lincoln's opposition to the Van Buren forces was therefore bound to be in vain, Lincoln responded:
Address that argument to cowards and to knaves; with the free and the brave it will effect nothing. It may be true; if it must, let it. .  .  . The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just. .  .  . Let none falter, who thinks he is right, and we may succeed. But if after all, we shall fail, be it so.

As it happens, the Whig ticket Lincoln supported won that 1840 election. So might, against the odds, the party of Lincoln win this year.

Sorry, I'm not quite ready to give up on the greatest country in the history of civilization for Ayn Rand's--or anybody's-- utopian fantasy. I support a cause--one that believes in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness--and in that cause, America has never faltered; but if she does, so be it.

America has never been down for long.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Peter Robinson quoting Thomas Sowell on the upcoming election (read the whole article):
"Classical left ideology," responds Sowell. "It will create disasters in the economy."

Take it all together, Sowell believes, and this election will prove decisive.

"There is such a thing as a point of no return," he says. If Obama wins the White House and Democrats expand their majorities in the House and Senate, they will intervene in the economy and redistribute wealth. Yet their economic policies "will pale by comparison to what they will do in permitting countries to acquire nuclear weapons and turn them over to terrorists. Once that happens, we're at the point of no return. The next generation will live under that threat as far out as the eye can see."

"The unconstrained vision is really an elitist vision," Sowell explains. "This man [Obama] really does believe that he can change the world. And people like that are infinitely more dangerous than mere crooked politicians."

Indeed. That's the difference between malignant narcissism of the selfish variety and malignant narcissism of the idealist variety--the latter I refer to as "sociopathic selflessness". This malignant selflessness allows the Bill Ayers of the left to cooly contemplate killing 25 million people in order to usher in the leftist utopia.

What's a little genocide, after all ?

(see here for more)


Sexist jerks. Yeah, that's about right; and of course this oozes with the usual bigoted, class struggle talk Democrats like to bring up at every opportunity, which is why the NYTimes ran with this story on its front page--the better to stoke the fires of the marxist "class struggle". But, since Palin and her husband are solid middle class stock; and they happen to be the only couple in this campaign who are not millionaires; the left alternate between that template and the "poor white trash" one.

And dare we ask about the cost of Hillary's--or even Michelle Obama's wardrobe? Or, how much money does Obama spend on his clothes? Or, John Edwards? How about Biden's (or Kerry's) plastic surgery bill? Inquiring minds want to know.

And, who precisely is harmed when the clothes in question are purchased from private donations and will be donated to charity at the end of the campaign?

By way of comparison, here's Palin in more traditional Alaskan garb:

Meanwhile, in another more important "wardrobe malfunction", the naked bigotry and racial politics of Obama are displayed for all to see over at Gateway Pundit. Watch the video of an old interview by Obama he has up, (if it hasn't already been taken down by Google) which shows that Jeremiah Wright's bigoted influence has had a large part to play in Obama's political journey--certainly more of an influence than Obama wants you to know about.

In this case, it's clear that the "messiah" has no clothes.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


[More Cartoons by Eric Allie]

...or, as Power Line argues, this lack of curiosity may well signal the end of journalism as we know it. John quotes Orson Scott Card's "Open Letter to Journalists", which I had read a few days ago and was meaning to comment on:

I remember reading All the President's Men and thinking: That's journalism. You do what it takes to get the truth and you lay it before the public, because the public has a right to know.

This housing crisis didn't come out of nowhere. It was not a vague emanation of the evil Bush administration.

It was a direct result of the political decision, back in the late 1990s, to loosen the rules of lending so that home loans would be more accessible to poor people. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were authorized to approve risky loans.

What is a risky loan? It's a loan that the recipient is likely not to be able to repay.

The goal of this rule change was to help the poor — which especially would help members of minority groups. But how does it help these people to give them a loan that they can't repay? They get into a house, yes, but when they can't make the payments, they lose the house — along with their credit rating.

They end up worse off than before.

This was completely foreseeable and in fact many people did foresee it. One political party, in Congress and in the executive branch, tried repeatedly to tighten up the rules. The other party blocked every such attempt and tried to loosen them.

Furthermore, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were making political contributions to the very members of Congress who were allowing them to make irresponsible loans. (Though why quasi-federal agencies were allowed to do so baffles me. It's as if the Pentagon were allowed to contribute to the political campaigns of Congressmen who support increasing their budget.)

Isn't there a story here? Doesn't journalism require that you who produce our daily paper tell the truth about who brought us to a position where the only way to keep confidence in our economy was a $700 billion bailout? Aren't you supposed to follow the money and see which politicians were benefiting personally from the deregulation of mortgage lending?

I have no doubt that if these facts had pointed to the Republican Party or to John McCain as the guilty parties, you would be treating it as a vast scandal. "Housing-gate," no doubt. Or "Fannie-gate."

Instead, it was Senator Christopher Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, both Democrats, who denied that there were any problems, who refused Bush administration requests to set up a regulatory agency to watch over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and who were still pushing for these agencies to go even further in promoting sub-prime mortgage loans almost up to the minute they failed.

As Thomas Sowell points out in a essay entitled "Do Facts Matter?" (] ): "Alan Greenspan warned them four years ago. So did the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to the President. So did Bush's Secretary of the Treasury."

These are facts. This financial crisis was completely preventable. The party that blocked any attempt to prevent it was ... the Democratic Party. The party that tried to prevent it was ... the Republican Party.

Yet when Nancy Pelosi accused the Bush administration and Republican deregulation of causing the crisis, you in the press did not hold her to account for her lie. Instead, you criticized Republicans who took offense at this lie and refused to vote for the bailout!

There's more, so read it all.

When finsished, you realize that there is not a lot more to say on the subject of journalistic bias, but there is a lot that can be said about the tendency today to consider the perception of reality as the same thing as the reality itself. And, the leftist bias of the media has a lot to do with that.

In the postmodern world, the Democrat's outright distortions of truth get more play than truth.f. The Democrats and their leftist base understand--consciously or unconsciously, it really doesn't matter anymore--that the only thing that counts anymore is perception. Truth is passé and irrelevant. All that matters is making people perceive it the way you want.

This is why, of course, they put so much stock in polls and other instruments that measure popularity and what people believe is true.

This is why destroying the messenger or anyone who attempts to bring truth back into the discussion is such a high priority. Just ask Joe the Plumber.

This is one of the principal reasons that with almost all media--both news and entertainment--deeply in the tank for Barack Obama has been so frustrating for conservatives. And the few outlets that are not swimming in that tank (i.e., Fox) are the subject of ridicule and contempt for daring to present the news without as much leftist spin.

That's why John goes on to suggest that it is time to move on :
But the mainstream media--which is to say, most reporters and editors who work for "mainstream" news organizations--have no honor and are not interested in truth. They are, as Card says, "the public relations machine of the Democratic Party." It's time to accept that fact and move on. Our existing news organizations--the New York Times, the Associated Press, NBC, CNN, CBS, and so on--can't be reformed, they can only be ignored. It is time for conservatives, libertarians, moderates, and normal citizens who are interested in straightforward reporting of the news to build their own news organizations in competition with the corrupt ones that now exist.

But I must disagree with him a little. I think his suggestion is a good one; and in the blogsphere we have begun to set up that competition and break the stranglehold of the MSM on news.

But the fundamental issue at heart here is a philosophical one.


The issues that underscore journalistic incuriousity and the distortion of truth are philosophical and thus the battleground must also be on a philosophical level. And it's important to remember that philosophical battles cannot be won unless we go back to fundmental philosophical premises. And that brings me around to the role of our academic institutions--supposedly the repository of our knowledge--in understanding reality and searching for truth.

As it turns out, these institutions are also in thrall to postmodern relativism / nihilism.

A former military person andcommenter from yesterday's post who states that he used to run a "string of informants in the SDS and, later, in the support elements of the Weather Underground" has this to say:

It is amazing to me to now encounter names and even people from that period who run municipal governments, have high office in all branches and levels of government and are prominent in law and business. I can only imagine what it must of been like living split lives, inwardly still the sociopaths and outwardly the people in PTA and gardening on weekends. They are very dangerous people since they are still True Believers described by Hoffer and able to dissemble so well from many years of practice.

Ayers now uses the contemporary fiction that he was "fighting religious fundamentalism" but those who knew him and his expanded circle know full well that he is still the "Revolutionary Communist" he used as a descriptor back in the day.

I ran the operation for nearly five years before handing over to the Feds and backing out when the Movement went totally underground to emerge like cicadas in the current political climate.

They didn't really frighten me in those days but they scare the hell out of me now.

Yes. These people and their motives have not changed. But what has changed is that the underlying philosophical ideas that drove those motives have now become mainstream in America. Postmodernism has eroded away the cognitive tools that once could have been used to dismiss or counter the nonsense coming out of the mouths of today's politicians, today's media stars and today's journalists. In fact, almost everything about today's popular culture is derived from and owes allegiance to postmodern philosophical ideas and rhetoric.

I remember a really excellent Mark Steyn piece that came out in The New Criterion in 2007. This article discussed the 20th anniversary of Allan Bloom's book, The Closing of the American Mind.

Bloom's controversial exposé of the shallowness and meaninglessness of American pop culture was a bombshell when it first was published in 1987; and, his analysis seems even more prescient when one considers the evolution of that pop culture over the last 20 years.

Bloom was the quintessential academic and a true liberal intellectual (in the traditional meaning of that word), and he could not help noticing that the university--which used to see its mission as the maintainence and transmission of civilization and learning--was failing in that mission. Instead of countering the pervasively vapid "pop" psychology that passed for deep thought about the meaning and purpose of life, it gave credibility to the emptiness and facilitated and celebrated the shallowness.

Instead of preparing young minds with the great ideas and thoughts that had preceded the modern day and which were the very foundation of western civilization; it was deconstructing those ideas willy-nilly; dismissing those thinkers and invalidating their ideas, because they lacked 'modern' sensibilities.

In a previous post I wrote:
By using the now-common relativistic formula, all individuals and thinkers in the past are ridiculed, demeaned, and scorned because they fail to live up to postmodern and politically correct standards of conduct. Thus, their ideas are considered meaningless and described as "hypocritical"--the absolutely worse possible sin from the leftist perspective.

Thomas Jefferson, George Washington--all the Founding Fathers for the most part--did not have the consciousness of the postmodern intellectual: they were slaveholders! Yet they dared to consider the problem of human freedom, bound as they were to the cultural norms of their time. That they could not entirely break out of the culture of their time, but still could push the envelope of civilization forward is irrelevant to the postmodern left. From the left's perch of moral superiority they blithely dismiss these "white males" as hypocrites with no moral standing. Thus are the foundations and the generationally built constructs of civilization invalidated and destroyed. Is it any wonder that all that is left is the nihilistic garbage that postmodernism deems as "reality"?

But consider, if we do not understand the past; if we abandon the ideas that underlie our values and our morality-- how can we appreciate who we are today? If we are only allowed to think of Thomas Jefferson as a hypocritical colonial slaveholder, then we are forced to pronounce his ideas on the struggle for human freedom as no better and no worse than Hitler's Kampf.

And so, Jefferson's mind-blowing, paradigm-shattering declaration, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" has no more meaning or worth than Yasser Arafat's statement that, "Since we cannot defeat Israel in war; we do this in stages. We take any and every territory that we can of Palestine, and establish sovereignty there, and we use it as a springboard to take more. When the time comes, we can get the Arab nations to join us for the final blow against Israel." Both are either completely meaningless; or both are examples of freedom-fighters--who cares which? Bush = Hitler; Good = Evil; Freedom = Slavery; there is no way to judge because the nihilistic relativism we subscribe to has taken away our ability to morally distinguish and discriminate between right and wrong.

By disgarding reason and reality; by abandoning the past and embracing moral and cultural relativism, the left has brought us to this place where we are morally and physically paralyzed and cannot distinguish between the deliberate targeting and killing of innocents and the accidental killing of innocents despite herculean efforts to avoid it; between waging war to give people a chance at freedom and democracy; and waging war for domination and imperialism; between standing up for what is right and accepting the consequences, and abandoning one's values and surrendering with "honor" to the scum of the earth.

By mocking intellectual giants like Thomas Jefferson and dragging him through the postmodern mud; by equating Bush with Hitler; or the behavior of the Palestinians with the behavior of the Israelis; the actions of the U.S. military with the actions of the Islamofanatic terrorist thugs-- the left is desperately trying to numb the mind of the West. Who are we to judge? they scream, desperately trying to prevent history from judging their own unbelievable and pathological destructiveness, their own morally repugnant behavior and ideology.

This is their quest. To establish themselves as the arbiters of moral behavior by behaving immorally; of being "reality-based" without the necessity of having to acknowledge reality; of speaking "truth" to power, without being capable of recognizing truth (isn't all truth relative, after all?).

Bloom argued persuasively in his book that the modern mindset is running on empty compared to the ancient and enlighted thinkers of history. His argument struck me forcefully when I first read his book some years back; and it has even more meaning for me today when I consider the complete corruption of the academic world and ascendency of those marxist and postmodern nihilistic forces within it who see education only as a tool for the indoctrination of young minds into politically correct ideology and who have transformed academia into an educational gulag.

The rich complexity and depth of understanding that can be gleaned from studying the classics of western intellectual thought has been swept away by today's almost exclusive emphasis on the more shallow and infinitely more convenient modern ones. And like Bloom's students in the 80's, who were programmed to seek 'relevance', they still can't be bothered to care about the ideas of the past. Today, however, this is also the mindset of the faculty who teach them.

Thus, both students and teachers are cut off from the great history of ideas and are tossed about by relativistic winds like intellectual feathers.

Are human beings created in the image of God and capable of reason; choice and both great good and evil; or are they merely alive to follow their animal instincts; without free will or a higher consiousness; incapable of rational thought and a servant to emotion?

America was founded on the idea that reason rules emotion; that religion and brute force are not primary; and it was the concrete example of the abstract ideas of Enlightenment philosophers such as Thomas Paine, Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and David Hume. These philosophers built upon the ideas of those who had gone before. They questioned the role of religion and the state; but also argued that societies are not sustained by reason alone. And the Founding Fathers were inspired to create a society that promoted life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Bloom's discussions of both culture and values were--then and now--breathtaking in their acuity and insight. As I read somewhere once, we Americans may quote the words of Jefferson, but we have really come to believe the nihilistic words of Nietzsche.

Getting back to Steyn's excellent essay, he noted:
Popular culture” is more accurately a “present-tense culture”: You’re celebrating the millennium but you can barely conceive of anything before the mid-1960s. We’re at school longer than any society in human history, entering kindergarten at four or five and leaving college the best part of a quarter-century later—or thirty years later in Germany. Yet in all those decades we exist in the din of the present. A classical education considers society as a kind of iceberg, and teaches you the seven-eighths below the surface. Today, we live on the top eighth bobbing around in the flotsam and jetsam of the here and now. And, without the seven-eighths under the water, what’s left on the surface gets thinner and thinner.

Steyn next focused on the part of Bloom's book where he rips apart modern "pop" music:

So Bloom is less concerned with music criticism than with what happens when a society’s incidental music becomes its manifesto. The key to what’s happened is in the famous first sentence of the book. “There is,” writes the author, “one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative.” To quote the African dictator in a Tom Stoppard play, a relatively free press is a free press run by one of my relatives. A relative culture ends up ever shorter of any relatives to relate to. In educational theory, it’s not about culture vs. “counter-culture” but rather what I once called lunch-counterculture: It’s all lined up for you and you pick what you want. It’s the display case of rotating pies at the diner: one day the student might pick Milton, the next Bob Dylan. But, if Milton and Bob Dylan are equally “valid,” equally worthy of study, then Bob Dylan will be studied and Milton will languish. And so it’s proved, most exhaustively, in music.
He recounts an MTV interview of John Kerry in 2004:

The interviewer asks his guest: “Well, we know that you were into rock and roll when you were in high school, and we know that you play the guitar now. Are there any trends out there in music, or even in popular culture in general, that have piqued your interest?”

And the guest—presidential candidate John Kerry—replied: “Oh sure. I follow and I’m interested. I’m fascinated by rap and by hip-hop. I think there’s a lot of poetry in it. There’s a lot of anger, a lot of social energy in it. And I think you’d better listen to it pretty carefully, ’cause it’s important. I’m still listening because I know that it’s a reflection of the street and it’s a reflection of life.”

Really? John Kerry is “fascinated” by rap and “listening” to hip-hop? Think if you broke into the Kerry household and riffled through John and Teresa’s CD collection you’d find a single rap album? I didn’t mind Senator Kerry when he was being mocked as a flip-flopper, but I find him even less plausible as America’s first flip-flopper hip-hopper. You can smell the fear in his answer.

And consider his recitation of rap’s virtues: there’s “a lot of anger, a lot of social energy … it’s a reflection of the street.” That’s something else that happens in a relativist culture. First, if Tupac Shakur is just as good as Milton, then everybody drops Milton. Then comes the second stage: once Milton’s dropped, and Bach and Keats and Mozart, you no longer have a very clear idea of who exactly Tupac Shakur is meant to be as good as. It’s not comparative anymore: he’s all there is. The argument is that, oh, well, you uptight squares are always objecting to stuff: you thought Sinatra exciting bobbysoxers was dangerous, and the Viennese waltz was the mating dance of a hypersexualized culture. No. Benny Goodman, noted by Bloom, was a huge pop star but he could play the Mozart clarinet concerto. Popular culture used to be very at ease with the inheritance of the past. One of the trends of the last forty years is not just the vanishing of “high culture” but of low-culture jokes about high culture—the variety-show sketches in which Schubert’s mates urge him to come down the pub with him and he says “No, I’ve got to stay in and finish my symphony.” It assumes a residual familiarity—from some half-recalled school lesson—with a bloke called Schubert who wrote an “Unfinished Symphony.”

Likewise, P. G. Wodehouse is stuffed with literary and classical and Biblical allusions: “He conveyed to young Mr. Rastall-Retford the impression that, in the dear old ’Varsity days, they had shared each other’s joys and sorrows, and, generally, had made Damon and Pythias look like a pair of cross-talk knockabouts at one of the rowdier music-halls.” Wodehouse assumes you know who Damon and Pythias are: They were best pals back in the fourth century BC. Ran into a spot of bother with Dionysius of Syracuse. You could junk Damon and Pythias and replace them with Damon and Affleck—Matt Damon and Ben Affleck: They’re also best pals, they make movies together. But eventually you dwindle down to a present-tense culture unable to refer to anything beyond itself. You can make the argument that, say, Jerome Kern, the first great Broadway composer of the twentieth century, is at his best as harmonically sophisticated as Schubert. But to do that you would first have to know something about Schubert. I think it’s harder to make the claim to harmonic sophistication in the Beatles, but William Mann, the music critic of The Times of London, gave it a go in 1963, comparing the Aeolian cadence in “Not A Second Time” with the end of Mahler’s “Song of the Earth.” But, as I said, to do that you have to know about Mahler.

And once Mahler’s gone and Schubert’s gone, you can no longer make musical claims for rock and rap, so all you do is hail it for its authenticity and its energy and, as John Kerry did, its copious amounts of “anger.” Thus, the loss of a high-culture aesthetic eventually undermines your pop culture, too

Now, I quote from Steyn's piece at some length (and you need to read it all) because it really captures the relativism and nihilism of postmodern philosophy and demonstrate the consequences those ideas have had on art; and specifically, in this case, music.

But this is the same relativism and nihilism that it has had on all aspects of American society in the last fifty years or so; and that is why all these 'social justice' terrorists; all the dead-end remnants of the radical 60's; all the deposed communists and socialists of the 20th century have just been quietly waiting underground, biding their time.

Because, once the genie of postmodern moral relativism was released into Western intellectual thought, it was only a matter of time before it would eat away at the foundationss of that thought and undermine history, reality, and truth in order to maintain its blatantly contradictory and irrational discourse.

Without a rational metaphysics--or worldview--that explains the nature of existence and reality; and without an epistemology that says our minds are able to acquire knowledge of that reality; then it is easy for the postmodernists to enforce conformity of ideas (while preaching 'diversity'), totalitarian policies (even as they tout 'free speech'), and 'social justice' (even as they perpetuate victimhood).

Ethics, the study of how man should behave in the world--or, what is good and what is evil--is totally dependent on both metaphysics and epistemology, because it is impossible to make choices without knowledge; just as it is impossible to have knowledge without a reality that can be known and understoody by our minds.

What matters in the postmodernist's convoluted thinking is not truth or falsity--only the effectiveness of the language used. Lies, distortions, ad hominem attacks; attempts to silence opposing views--all are strategies that are perfectly satisfactory if they achieve the desired effect. Ideas and reason must make way for reification of feelings; and freedom is replaced by thought control.

Esthetics is a branch of philosophy that studies art; and it is dependent on metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. The essence of postmodern esthetics is the destruction, often deliberate, of beauty and meaning--two of the greatest and most significant aspects of art.

In the shallow, nihilistic blackness of postmodern art, all one is usually left with in place of beauty is a pile of negative emotions--usually of the anger and rage variety; and, the place of meaning has been appropriated by the opiate of the neo-marxist masses, i.e., the ever-useful concept of "social justice", which can always be pointed to as the "deep" meaning of the work, be it painting, music, literature, or whatever.

Art can be thought of as a selective recreation of reality. Its basic purpose is to take an abstraction and make it concrete; and thus to bring an idea or emotion to physical life. Since it is 'selective' in its recreation, the values of the painter, musician etc. are key to understanding its meaning.

Music is an extremely powerful medium that unlocks and expresses emotion through patterns of sound.

And, as Steyn comments, "It was twenty years ago today, sang the Beatles forty years ago today, that Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play. Well, it was twenty years ago today—1987—that Professor Bloom taught us the band had nothing to say."

Most of the 'present-tense' culture that Bloom wrote about in 1987 has become even more cut-off from any esthetic and intellectual roots; and is even more shallow, meaningless, repulsive and mind-bogglingly ugly than would have been thought possible a mere two decades ago. By looking at the postmodern evolution of popular music, we can begin to understand the enormity of the cultural problem we face.

I used to get mad at my school
The teachers who taught me weren't cool
You're holding me down, turning me round
Filling me up with your rules.

The children of postmodernism are now the teachers, professors, and administrators who run the schools. They are now the keepers of knowledge and history; and postmodernism has no use for either.

But, whether they like it or not, ideas have consequences in the real world. And very bad ideas unfortunately have very bad consequences--which can be seen clearly when one considers the current financial meltdown. Ignoring reality in favor of one's feelings and wishes can lead to devastating consequences.

In order to counter the tide of postmodern nonsense epitomized by the vacuous messiah of the Democrats/left, we need more than just a counterculture media like the blogsphere--we need to go back to basic premises and stand behind the ideas and values that created western civilization.

Until we do, we will only be shouting in the postmodern wilderness. Lack of curiosity killed the cat; but lack of dedication to reason and truth will kill western civilization.

UPDATE: If the Democratic candidate is, in truth, a "philosopher king", then I'm afraid it is precisely his philosophy that will be disastrous for this country.