Sunday, September 26, 2004


The AP write that "Bush Twists Kerry's Words". An examination of the facts cited in the article prove that Bush is doing no such thing. Example. Kerry says that "we have traded a dictator for a chaos that has left America less secure." Then Bush says: ""he would prefer the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein to the situation in Iraq today." That sound like a twist to you? Read the details.

But wait, there's more. It turns out that the writer of the AP story just happens to be married to a man who "was previously deputy assistant to President Clinton for environmental initiatives and chairman of the White House Climate Change Task Force". No bias here folks, no sir. Move along.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

The New Centurion

A man named Richard Dunbar has argued that 150 is the maximum number of individuals who can cohere as a natural group and that this limit is an inherent one in the very wiring of our brains. Beyond 150, he claims, it becomes necessary to start to institute government, in the form of formal laws and regulations. Even before the 150 limit there begins to be a deterioration in our ability to handle it, as early as 80. Here are three good articles about this and related topics, for example how this puts limits on al Qaida.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Too Bizarre

Some days it just defies description.
It's All Our Fault

"Why do they hate us?" a little girl asked me right after the World Trade Center attacks. I didn't have an answer. I'm still not sure that I do. But enlightenment has suddenly arrived courtesy of others. It's all our fault you see.

I got an email the other day which explained that it's all our fault because of the Crusades. Yep. No statute of limitations on that one, we're guilty as charged. Never mind that your ancestors may have been toiling away in sub-Saharan Africa, or the fields of southern China, or else raiding Europe while wearing horned helmets at the time. No, never mind all that. The Crusades were an affront to all Muslims which must be avenged on the Americans of the Twenty-First Century. It's only reasonable.

I've also heard that it's all our fault because of imperialism (never mind that the US steadfastly opposed imperialism from the beginning--ever heard of the "Monroe Doctrine" or the "Suez Crisis"?). And it's all our fault because of Israel (we didn't create it either, but never mind). It's all our fault because George Bush used the word "crusade" and it's all our fault because of our "arrogant" multi-national corporations which try to give the world a Coke instead of allowing them to drink their colorful native beverage.

One thing I've noticed is that the people who strenuously claim it is all "our" fault don't usually mean that it is literally their fault. Canadians for example are fond of saying it's "our" fault meaning that it's the fault of the citizens of the United States. Democrats believe it is "our" fault in the sense that it is the fault of the Republicans. Californians believe that it is "our" fault in the sense that it is the fault of Texans. So there's a sort of false modesty here: "I take full responsibility, naturally, but hang that guy instead." "Feeding the crocodile" Winston Churchill called it.

But there is something else, something subtle. Lurking behind all the permutations and combinations of ways in which it can be construed to be our fault is the flabbergasting mind-numbing arrogance and conceit that everything in the world is controlled by the United States. In this view, other people, when you come right down to it, just don't matter. They're not fully human, they're merely children--or maybe animals--utterly incapable of thinking thoughts on their own or taking responsibility for their own actions or even making mistakes without being pulled by those ubiquitous American (or is that "Haliburton") strings dangling like the ether all over the world. You can't see them, but those who know know that they're there.

This is the ultimate dehumanization. "You little unimportant non-humans are not even allowed acts of terrorism. Blow yourselves up in the grisliest manner conceivable, torture and maim as many little children as you will, saw off head after head on live television, commit the most atrocious acts against humanity ever conceived by any society anywhere, and it will never really matter. Nothing you can do whatsoever will matter because your causes, your beliefs are in the end only an artifact of the omnipotent Americans."

Now there's cause to be angry.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Who Said It?

Have you ever heard that quotation that goes "Whoever is not a socialist at age 20 doesn't have a heart, but anybody who is still at age 30 doesn't have a brain."? There are lots of variants around. Sometimes the top age is 40, sometimes it's "Democrat" and "Republican" instead of "socialist", sometimes it's "communist". Sometimes it's attributed to Churchill, sometimes to Clemenceau, sometimes to Bismarck, but what's the real deal? I decided to take a look on Google and this is what I came up with.

Apparently the original quote is due to a Frenchman, Francois Guisot who apparently wrote
Not to be a Republican at 20 is proof of want of heart; to be one at 30 is proof of want of head.
A "Republican" in that quote of course refers to the Republicans of the French Revolution, the revolutionaries who were opposed to the "Monarchists".

A good page of quotes similar to the above and attributed to various people can be found here. More discussion can be found here, here, here, and here.

The fact that this quote is so often quoted and so widely attributed is testament to the strength with which its truth seems to resonate in the human mind (or is that heart?).

Among these links is another quote from Churchill that I liked:
Liberalism is not Socialism, and never will be. There is a great gulf fixed. It is not a gulf of method, it is a gulf of principle.... Socialism seeks to pull down wealth. Liberalism seeks to raise up poverty. Socialism would destroy private interests; Liberalism would preserve private interests in the only way in which they can be safely and justly preserved, namely by reconciling them with public right. Socialism would kill enterprise; Liberalism would rescue enterprise from the trammels of privilege and preference.... Socialism exalts the rule; Liberalism exalts the man. Socialism attacks capital; Liberalism attacks monopoly.
This reconfirms what I posted the other day, that I am a "liberal" but not a "leftist".

It's Vietnam Again

When American troops returned from Vietnam they were frequently shocked to find that the country for which they were fighting, the country for which they were risking their lives, had turned on them in their absence. They were frequently called "baby killers", were spat upon, had hot plastic thrown on them when they arrived at the airport, etc. It's not clear where all this left-wing virulence came from but some have pointed the finger at John Kerry and his testimony before the Senate to the effect that there were war crimes being committed by American troops all over the place and at every level in Vietnam.

Now attacks on the servicemen seem to be happening again.
The Sad, Sad Truth of the Dirty Lowdown

Dear Sirs,

I am a senior citizen.

During the Clinton Administration I had an extremely good and well paying

I took numerous vacations and had several vacation homes.

Since President Bush took office, I have watched my entire life change for
the worse.

I lost my job.

I lost my two sons in that terrible Iraqi War.

I lost my homes.

I lost my health insurance.

As a matter of fact I lost virtually everything and became homeless.

Adding insult to injury, when the authorities found me living like an
animal, instead of helping me, they arrested me.

I will do anything that Senator Kerry wants to insure that a Democrat is
back in the White House come next year.

Bush has to go.


Saddam Hussein

Democratic Tricks

Here are some details on why the documents are forgeries.
New Engines for a New World

Some articles about some cool new engines (acoustic and scramjet) being developed are here and here and here. The supersonic scramjet has no moving parts!
Frogs at Work

Kerry says we need more of these guys in Iraq.
Which Country Was That Again?

The Kerry doctrine, fisked.
Fun in LaLa Land

I have been in the Midwest too long. I'd completely forgotten how much fun Berkeley can be.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Micro vs. Macro

Google plans to take on the evil empire directly. All I can say is, they've got cojones. I wish them luck.
A Fish by any Other Name Would Stink as Much

CBS has been coordinating their fake memos with the DNC's "fortunate son" campaign. This is spilling all over the internet tonight. Here's one reference.

But don't worry. They're still unbiased in an "accurate" way.
Swift Boat Truth

In case you're one of those who has bought the DNC line that the Swift Boat veterans are wrong, a good summary of the situation was provided by some Minnesota lawyers in today's New York Post.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Ship of State?

What exactly is a "state"?

I submit that it is a concentration of power, of the ability to perform and to control physical violence. While there are other forms of power besides physical violence, physical violence is the form of power of last resort when those other forms of power fail to achieve their ends. That is why we have wars.

The extent of a state is always in flux. This is true in two senses, the extent within their own lives of the coercion the state exhibits over its citizens, and the geographical extent of the state.

Concerning the former, there is always a tug-of-war between the individual and the state. The state is after all about coercion, about forcing individuals to do things or not do things which they would not themselves choose. In modern Western states that tug-of-war has been increasingly pulled to the side of the state to the detriment of the individual. It's clear that the Twentieth Century has witnessed a vast extension of the realm which is deemed legitimate state business, as opposed to family business, or personal business. A century ago cocaine and marijuana were legal; being a dope addict was considered foolish but your own business. A century ago the ability of the parents to discipline their children was restrained by community mores and religious concerns; today nearly every state boasts an all-intrusive human-services department with virtually unlimited powers.

Concerning the geographic extent of a state, one may be subject simultaneously to several states and the question arises as to which of these is paramount. The power relationships betwee these various entities itself shifts over time.

For example, there was considerable disagreement in the United States in the year 1861 as to what this might be. People living in Virginia were torn as to whether they belonged to the state called "Virginia" or the state called the "United States". Which was the true state, on which lay the true allegiances, was a matter of dispute even within the consciences of single individuals such as Robert E. Lee, who took considerable time determining which way to jump. A federal system necessarily fudges the issue of where the ultimate sovereignty lies. Normally this doesn't matter but when serious undecidable disagreements arise then a choice must be made. If broad agreement on the choice then war, as the final arbiter of power, must needs be the result.

A similar event is occurring within Europe today. The seat of sovereignty of the European countries is gradually if imperceptibly shifting from their national capitals to Brussels. This won't matter as long as no serious disagreement arises. It is estimated that at present one-third of all the laws governing the British are now produced in Brussels.

States can contract as well as expand. During the 1970s the United States began to observe in many of its largest cities a contraction of the state from its traditional role as keeper of the peace on the streets. Crime rates soared and vigilantes started taking matters into their own hands.

There seems to be a certain minimal level of day-to-day state control which is necessary. When state power falls below that level new miniature states ascend to fill the market need as it were. This explains the creation of "gated communities" in the United States in recent decades. Because the ordinary state agents are unable to protect the citizens in many areas, they have taken matters into their own hands by hiring their own police. A similar phenomenon occurred at the end of the Roman Empire in the West, as groups of people who were no longer protected by the late Roman state from bands of marauders chose to form their own defensive structures which eventually became castles. The castles in turn formed the basis of the new medieval states which arose in response to the decline of the further decline of the Empire. Those who ruled such castles were the significant players in the new states, and that is why nobility was determined by how many manors or fiefs one controlled.

The expansion or contraction of the state is to some extent predicated on technical abilities. Without access to modern computer data-bases it would be impossible to enforce the level of obtrusiveness into the family exhibited by modern human-services departments. Similarly, the ability of Ulysses Grant to coordinate attacks off sufficient force so as to overwhelm the Confederates and maintain the Union was predicated on his ability to use the telegraph and the railroad to direct and move troops without requiring his physical presence in every battle theater.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

The New Social Lies

As identified by Richard McEnroe:
"I'm not anti-semitic, I'm just anti-zionist."
"I don't hate the troops, I just hate the war.
"Some of my best friends are colored people."
"I'm a patriot, that's why I oppose my country."
A Test

Here's a little quiz for you:
  1. Do you dislike American military action overseas?
  2. Do you think American corporations are willing to exploit American soldiers' deaths in Iraq and elsewhere for political gain?
  3. Do you believe American actions in the War on Terror are driven by imperialism?
  4. Are you sorry that the terrorists attacked the World Trade Center because half of the people inside were Democrats?
  5. Do you believe that President Bush had foreknowledge of 9/11?
These are all beliefs held by Michael Moore. You can see how closely your beliefs match to his. Michael Moore was an honored guest at the Democratic convention, sitting right next to Jimmy Carter. Michael Moore's positions match Kerry's in at least five ways, according to Bill Roggio:
Five memes shared between John Kerry and the Minuteman were easily found: Bush Lied, Bush Was AWOL, My Pet Goat, Saudi Cover-ups and Halliburton is a War Profiteer. If you want evidence that the Democrat party has truly embraced the far Left, this is a good start.

And if you still believe the anti-American propaganda in Moore's film, I suggest you go here to reconsider.
Truth from Iraq

It would appear that things are going much better in Iraq than we're hearing from the anti-war, anti-American news media. Here's a report from an actual Marine major on the staff in Baghdad.

The US media is abuzz today with the news of an intelligence report that is very negative about the prospects for Iraq’s future. CNN’s website says, “[The] National Intelligence Estimate was sent to the White House in July with a classified warning predicting the best case for Iraq was ‘tenuous stability’ and the worst case was civil war.” That report, along with the car bombings and kidnappings in Baghdad in the past couple days are being portrayed in the media as more proof of absolute chaos and the intransigence of the insurgency.

From where I sit, at the Operational Headquarters in Baghdad, that just isn’t the case....

The naysayers will point to the recent battles in Najaf and draw parallels between that and what happened in Fallujah in April. They aren’t even close. The bad guys did us a HUGE favor by gathering together in one place and trying to make a stand. It allowed us to focus on them and defeat them. Make no mistake, Al Sadr’s troops were thoroughly smashed. The estimated enemy killed in action is huge. Before the battles, the residents of the city were afraid to walk the streets. Al Sadr’s enforcers would seize people and bring them to his Islamic court where sentence was passed for religious or other violations. Long before the battles people were looking for their lost loved ones who had been taken to “court” and never seen again. Now Najafians can and do walk their streets in safety. Commerce has returned and the city is being rebuilt. Iraqi security forces and US troops are welcomed and smiled upon. That city was liberated again. It was not like Fallujah – the bad guys lost and are in hiding or dead.

You may not have even heard about the city of Samarra. Two weeks ago, that Sunni Triangle city was a “No-go” area for US troops. But guess what? The locals got sick of living in fear from the insurgents and foreign fighters that were there and let them know they weren’t welcome. They stopped hosting them in their houses and the mayor of the town brokered a deal with the US commander to return Iraqi government sovereignty to the city without a fight. The people saw what was on the horizon and decided they didn’t want their city looking like Fallujah in April or Najaf in August.

Boom, boom, just like that two major “hot spots” cool down in rapid succession. Does that mean that those towns are completely pacified? No. What it does mean is that we are learning how to do this the right way. The US commander in Samarra saw an opportunity and took it – probably the biggest victory of his military career and nary a shot was fired in anger.

I guess that's the problem when the entire news apparatus becomes too concentrated in the hands of a few and starts to rot. We ordinary citizens are only subjected to the "truths" that are in our benevolent reporters' heads rather than the truths that are actually perceptible through the ordinary five senses to the rest of us.
Help is on the Way

Since, as pointed out by David Brooks in today's Pravda on the Hudson, Kerry is having a very tough time settling in on what his message really is, iowahawk has decided to help him out. Here are some of his suggestions:

I Will Keep Our Enemies Guessing, Too

Projecting American Strength Through Intricately Complex Nuance

The Thinking Man's Self-Confessed War Criminal

Vote For Me or My Running Mate Will Sue

Those Atrocity Stories? Dude, I Was Just Shitting You

I Will Do For You the Many Wonderous Things I Have Done For Massachusetts

Fear Not, America, I Have Deigned to Lead You

I Will Never Recuse My UN Ambassador from the Vote to Ask for a Permission Slip to Defend This Country

The Next Time America is Attacked, I Promise To Open Up a Carafe of Whupass

Post-Emptive Leadership For A Safer World

I Have Three Words For George Bush -- Bring It On

I Have Five More Words For George Bush -- Call Off Your On-Bringers

Restoring America's Seat At The Global Popular Table

Come Home Again, America... No Wait, Stay There Again

There Once Was A Man From Nantucket, If You Get My Drift

Shaggin' Billionaire Bag Ladies So You Don't Have To

Some Look at Things As They Are And Say, 'Why?' Others Look at Things As They Are Not And Say, 'Why Not?', And I Suppose A Few Might Look at Things As They Are Not, And Say 'Why?', and Vice-Versa, and So Forth, And One Might Be Tempted To Look at These People Looking at Things And Ask 'Who?' But This Would Not Be Constructive, Because The Important Thing To Realize Is That Some People Like To Look At Things, And This Is Precisely My Point


Studies show that Dan Rather's minions are heavy contributors to Democratic causes. His daughter is a big activist in Democratic politics in Texas. But I'm sure we can expect Dan and the gang to be superhuman and ignore their real interests while they're blatantly using forged documents to propagandize the country and sway an election, oops, I mean report the news.
Organization Charts the NYT Will Never Publish

The Democrats and CBS are found to be linked in an intricate web.
CBS Continues the Old Double Standard

From Powerline:
Yesterday, we noted that General Staudt had given an interview to ABC in which he denied that he had pressured anyone about Lt. Bush, and put to rest the claim that he had somehow come out of retirement to do it. In addition, Staudt drove a stake through the heart of the claim that Bush received preferential treatment in getting into the Guard. Staudt said that he was the person who accepted Bush as a pilot, that he did so solely because he thought Bush would make a fine pilot, and that he received no communications from anyone in relation to Bush's application. (Contrary to what is often reported in the press, there was no "waiting list" at that time to become a pilot in the Texas Air National Guard.)

Staudt's testimony would seem to definitively put the lie to CBS's faked memos, but that's not how CBS sees it. Yesterday CBS spokeswoman Sandy Genelius brushed off Staudt's comments:

In a debate this heated, one can hardly expect Gen. Staudt to endorse the point of view that he exerted undue influence.

So if you slander a man, as CBS did General Staudt, the fact that he has been slandered makes his response so suspect that it can safely be disregarded. And information from a person in a unique position to know the facts, like General Staudt, is immaterial; but Bill Burkett, a long-time Bush hater and Democratic activist who knows nothing about Bush's Guard service, is an "unimpeachable source," while a comment by Robert Strong to the effect that the forged documents sound like something that could have been written in the early 1970's satisfactorily confirms the documents' authenticity, even though, by his own account, Strong has never met President Bush, never spoke to Jerry Killian about President Bush, and has no idea whether the documents are forgeries or not.

But CBS's story must be true. They just know it.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Daily Press Bias

This article documents the outrageous disparity between the way the Associated Press has handled questions about Bush's past versus the way they have handled questions about Kerry's past. Another good place to look for these sorts of stories is here.
Free Speech, Take II

In this picture, the Democrats show their true colors concerning free speech. An isolated incident you say? As noted in the citation,
A week or two ago, this partisan violence, once unheard of in Minnesota politics, occurred at the Minnesota State Fair when Democratic thugs roughed up a couple of Republican college students.
The bully in the picture is wearing a T-shirt from the IUPAT union. Here's what they have to say about their political activities:
In 2001, the AFL-CIO named the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades the most effective political organization in the labor movement. IUPAT members quickly became known as the 'Army of Black and Gold' as we attended political events throughout North America in our signature black and gold t-shirts.
Now we know what the Army of Black and Gold does at those political rallies.

Roger Simon has an interesting piece up about George Soros, the billionaire bankrupter of small countries. Soros has become important in this election because he is the principal financer of the Democratic 527 group The list of top contributors to 527s is here. Intriguingly, there are persistent rumors swirling around Soros that he was trained by the KGB. Among the frequent posters on Roger's blog is one who calls himself "jerry" who seems to have ties to the intelligence community. He has some interesting things to say about this here.
OK, first I want to say the "some say he was KGB trained" piece is actually a fairly widely held position in the non-DO intel community. The DO community doesn’t speculate, they know. I happen to subscribe to the theory that he was intended to be the Hammer replacement because there is another Soviet Jew (actually only on the paternal side) who both Russians, US intel and the Israelis also believe was a KGB project. That is Vladimir "mad Vlad" Zhironovsky...
He clarifies:
DO = CIA Directorate of Operations. And to clarify further I mean they know either way whether stories are true or false.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11 Again

Omar of Iraq the Model has a movie review up. It's interesting if nothing else to see an Iraqi's point of view.
Tell It Betsy!

Here's Betsy's take on Dan Rather's descent into cloud cuckoo land. She says it better than I.

"In an interview with the New York Observer, Rather also uses the phrase "fundamental truth." This is 1960s babble that amounts to saying: I, as a liberal, can tell lies for the greater good; my surface dishonesty conveys a deeper truth. Rather is falling back on the Noble Lie -- the idea that the enlightened are entitled to heap fables upon the hoi polloi for the sake of preserving proper order.

The transcendent truth that mitigates Rather's faked-up memos is apparently that Bush missed a physical examination over three decades ago -- not exactly the justification for the Noble Lie Plato envisioned in The Republic. Why allegations about a missed physical and truncated National Guard service trouble Rather so deeply when Bill Clinton's draft-dodging did not is another question Rather isn't likely to answer. "

Read the rest. It seems that this is the new approach to everything the liberals believe. I see a grand unity here. Kitty Kelley's gossip is fine because it's a core truth. Wishful thinking that the UN and France might support a Kerry-led action into Iraq, despite all evidence to the contrary, is fine because it says something about a core truth about how we might wish to conduct foreign affairs. Post-modern literary criticism far removed from anything the author may have intended is fine because it expresses a core truth about what the reader feels about the book. Demagogic deceptions about outsourcing or Social Security are fine, because the core truth is that liberals care more about the unemployed and elderly. Lies about Christmas in Cambodia are fine because there is a core truth about intervention in Nicaragua that Kerry wanted to make.

We're in the postmodernist world now and truth is really just an elastic concept. Woe is us, if this is true. And, hey, it doesn't matter if it isn't, because it's my core truth.

Kerry Who?

Why on earth did the Democrats pick Kerry, who seems now to be the worst candidate in modern times? Some of the answer is given here.
The Truth Shall (Not) Set You Free

The recent polarization in the electorate seems to be based on a fundamental difference in the perception of reality. Now CBS has chosen to weigh in on reality, accusing Bush of a fraud concerning his service 30 years ago in the Texas Air National Guard. CBS has, after a five-year investigation, presented some memos as proof that Bush did not fulfill the requirements. The only problem is that the memos are rather obvious fakes. Apparently this is more blatant lying in order to elect Kerry. Yesterday even CBS admitted that the documents are not "authentic" but says that they are "accurate" in some deeper sense, whatever that means.

CBS seems to be saying "It's true if I say it's true" and the facts be damned. That standard for truth means that objective truth stands for nothing, evidence stands for nothing, and all that matters is true belief. This has always been the standard of the religious fanatic. It's like the old saw "God exists because the Bible is the word of God because the Bible says so."

"It's true if I say so" has of course been the position of Marxists throughout the Twentieth Century. It didn't matter if those Koolaks literally committed crimes against the state because their crimes were true to those who could see. It is also, not coincidentally, the standard for truth among the "post-modernists" who have taken over much of academia: it doesn't matter what Shakespeare said; all that matters is what I say he said. As a formula for raw power, I guess you can't beat it. If you're a person for whom the end justifies the means then this sort of reasoning is tailor-made for you.

"Bush lied, people died." "Bush was AWOL." These statements are now articles of religious faith among some Democrats. There's no nicer way to put it. Whether these statements are true or not no longer matters in the proximate sense because according to the Democratic partisans they are true in the ultimate sense.

As far as I'm concerned, this is complete cloud cuckoo land territory.

Here's what Donald Sensing has to say about it.

CBS News has admitted there is controversy about the authenticity of the forged memos it showed on 60 Minutes II last week, but has never come close to admitting the memos are phonies. Instead, today's statement by the news division's president, Andrew Heyward, lays out the New Truth:
We established to our satisfaction that the memos were accurate... .
Meaning, of course, that CBSN is really saying: Forgeries, schmorgeries, the memos say Bush was a shirker and that's good enough for us. In the first nightly newscast after the forgery broke and which I recorded, Dan Rather explicitly said that "the key questions" were what mattered, not the documents' legacy. The "key questions" were, of course, solely those casting aspersions on Bush's Air Guard service.

But we cannot bifurcate the memos from their accusations. We cannot separate the message from the messenger. Here's why the memos' authenticity does matter: if the memos carrying the accusations do not matter, then why bother with memos at all?...

The authenticity of the memos is the most important aspect of this whole scandal. If documents can be forged, handed to co-conspiratorial media and used to hammer or destroy a political figure without regard to the fact that the documents are forged, then what the Left has long claimed about America will come true: we are not far removed from a Gestapo regime. Only the Left will itself will have brought it about, and the Left will be the new reichsfuhrers.

But maybe that's the point, do you suppose?

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Big as in Big

How the Han Chinese became the world's biggest tribe. Note that the male genes travelled, the female ones did not. I wonder what happened to the other men??

Liberal Schmiberal

The words "liberal", "conservative", etc. have become vastly overwrought and essentially destroyed as far as their information content goes but despite all that I still consider myself "liberal". I am open-minded and I view a certain level of open-mindedness to be a necessity of membership in civilized society. Though the (meaningless anyway) words "liberal" and "leftist" are often conflated, I would fain distinguish between them. The "leftist" is a member of the new religion, a Neopuritan, whether he knows it or not. Almost by definition, he does not. This is a person who has an agenda to push and push it he will whether it contradicts itself, whether it changes dramatically from one period to the next, whether it defies the facts, or even whether it defies reality itself. Anyone who departs from the canonical leftist position on even one point is immediately labelled an unbeliever ("conservative") and excommunicated from the Church of the Left.

That liberals differ in kind from leftists is made starkly clear by the necessity for Republicans in New York to remain in the closet. Here is the followup.
Free Speech

It seems that Borders employees are trying to hide Unfit for Command. You can't have people who don't agree with you getting their opinions out now, can you? They're not really people after all. Just "neanderthals in suits".

The cost of wind power is now down to only 1 cent more than conventional power. For those who have seen the vast wind farms starting in Wyoming and those who are concerned about greenhouse gasses, this seems like very good news.
Top Monkey

The Democrats are always complaining that they are the victims of a vast right-wing smear machine and that their problem is they aren't aggressive enough. This doens't make any sense to me. I don't see any evidence for any such machine and the Democrats look far more aggressive and nasty than the Republicans from where I sit. The Democrats own the New York Times, the Washington Post, CBS, NBC, ABC, USAToday, the AP, Reuters, etc. How can they feel like they are losing?

This post from Catherine on Roger's blog explains a lot.

There is a famous study of dominance, aggression, and serotonin in vervet monkeys, done by Michael Raleigh & others at UCLA. I heard Raleigh talk about it.

He found that the dominant monkey always has the highest levels of serotonin.

AND: the dominant monkey does not have the highest levels of aggression.

The lower-ranking monkeys are more aggressive.

(I don't know whether this is true of other animals, but I wouldn't be surprised.)

Also: at this point I'm having to rely on memory, so take this with a grain of salt. But I'm 99% sure I'm remembering correctly.

The dominant monkeys were high in effective, targeted aggression.

If someone threatened the troop they responded rapidly, forcefully, and effectively.

But the rest of the time the dominant monkeys were cheerful and good-natured and peaceable, which is consistent with having high serotonin.

The lower-ranking monkeys showed a lot of impulsive aggression. They lashed out at other monkeys, got in fights, got hurt, hurt others, and so on, all without good reason.

And they never moved up in the ranks.

The Democrats think they have a problem with "aggression."

What they really have a problem with is "dominance."

The dominant animal in a group of primates uses aggression sparingly, effectively, and only when he has to.

The subordinate animal flails out wildly and unpredictably.

Last night I heard two men on NPR discussing the Democrats' meanness deficit.

The interviewer sounded weak and almost foppish (I'm not using "foppish" as code for gay). He used phrasing like, "Kerry supporters do not feel pleasure in Kerry's campaign. So what can be done to increase the pleasure Kerry supporters feel in Kerry's campaign, or to decrease the lack of pleasure they feel?" He must have said the word "pleasure" about 10 times.

That's not guy talk.

The guest's answer was, and I could have written this out on an index card for him, "When Kerry gets hit he has to hit back hard."

Democrats are obsessed with that.

"Hitting back hard."

Well, of course, that's the exact problem we all had with Kerry's convention speech: If attacked I will respond agressively, or whatever it was he said.

The point being: I'm giving the bad guys the first swing.

Democrats seem to have almost no concept of staying on the offensive. To them, aggression is defensive.

And they seem to have almost no idea how to use aggression effectively.

Even the Clintonistas don't have a clue, ultimately.

Look at Susan Estrich's column.

If she were a male vervet monkey, she'd be at the bottom of the troop. Her column is the ultimate example of impulsive, unpredictable, and ineffective aggression.

She even starts out that way: "My Democratic friends are mad," she says. "So we're going to get nasty."

That's not a dominant animal talking.

It's entirely possible that a dominant animal doesn't really get mad, but instead uses a kind of rational, or cool, aggression. (This isn't fully established, but there is research showing that "intermale aggression" doesn't activate the rage circuits in the brain.)

The Democratic notion of aggression is akin to a tantrum. You get furiously angry, you pick up your machine gun, and you just start shooting.

That's why we keep seeing so much collateral damage in the Democratic campaign.

Smear the bloggers!

Smear the Right Wingers!

Smear the experts!

That's a whole lot of folks to smear in one story cycle.

CBS is flailing.

Terry McAuliffe is flailing.

Bush is way at the top of the dominance hierarchy, and he's using aggression the way the dominant animal uses aggression.

Sparingly, and effectively.

I haven't found a good link for Raleigh's study, but this discussion isn't bad.


WWI, Arabian Style

According to this article in the well-respected German newspaer Die Welt, Syria has been experimenting with the use of chemical weapons on completely innocent Christian civilians in Khartoum. I wonder where Syria obtained chemical weapons???

I'm sure they would never have done it if George Bush had avoided the use of the word "crusade".

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Pravda on the Hudson Snidely Reports Liberal Bias

"So how does the New York Times handle the release of the study? With a snide story by Eduardo Porter -- exactly one of the biased economics reporters the study is talking about (thanks to reader Jill Olson for the link). Less than half the story is given to explaining the study. The rest is dirt on the authors that Porter dug up, and a line-up of "experts" tearing the story down -- every single one of which is somehow Democratically biased, ranging from former Clinton appointees to leftist attack dog economist Brad DeLong. Porter ends the story with a comment from DeLong -- giving him the last word, as it were. And it's nothing but pure nastiness, devoid of any substantive economic thought."

Monday, September 13, 2004

Daily Media Bias Update

This time it's about economics. It would seem the media slant positive for the Democrats and negative for the Republicans. Shock.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Bias From the Cameraman's Mouth

This from a cameraman who shoots stuff in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

"Dan [Rather] is nuts. Has been for a long time. Nothing happened to Gunga Dan when he faked his famous mujahideen moment...arranging with a network stringer in Peshawar to recreate an actual battle. ( wasn't me! Though an Afghan friend, Mohammed Salaam told me all about accompanying him. Full disclosure: I'm still sore at that network's newsmag for refusing to pay me for contracted work that took me a lot of time to shoot over there.)

In the course of the Afghan/Soviet war I met a lot of these phonies, producers and 'talent' alike. If only I'd filmed their off-camera moments of honest disdain--real hatred-- for all things Republican (Reagan,) I'd have a hit movie a la Michael Moore. Biased doesn't begin to describe their political agenda. Watching this crew massage and edit answers is a real education on MSM.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Mainstream Media Begins Lying to Elect Kerry

President Bush was at a rally in Wisconsin when news arrived about former president Clinton's hospitalization. Here's how that was reported by the Associated Press:

President Bush (news - web sites) on Friday wished Bill Clinton (news - web sites) "best wishes for a swift and speedy recovery."

"He's is in our thoughts and prayers, Bush said at a campaign rally.

Bush's audience of thousands in West Allis, Wis., booed. Bush did nothing to stop them.

In fact, however, the crowd had responded with respectful applause. The whole story is here (and many other places around the blogosphere). How could this blatant lie have occurred? Apparently, according to one supposedly inside report, the writer was an AP reporter named Scott Lindlaw who has publicly stated that his "mission" is to get Bush. Another writeup about this can be found here.

Even the most fanatical Bush-hater should agree that it is not the job of AP reporters to get Bush or any other politician. Their job is to report the facts. If their religious convictions get in the way they should step aside for someone rational.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Non-Bounce vs. Bounce

How Pravda West (aka the LA Times) covered Bush's bounce in comparison to its coverage of Kerry's non-bounce.