The Danes are selling 17% more of their cool stuff to us since the whole cartoon debacle and Muslim boycott.
Legos people. Buy Legos.
Saturday, September 30, 2006
The Danes are selling 17% more of their cool stuff to us since the whole cartoon debacle and Muslim boycott.
I slow down on the weekends. Hey, a girl needs her beauty sleep, right?
In the meantime, I've been reading up and here's some reading to keep you busy, too:
Victor Davis Hanson on former President Carter:
In his dotage, Carter is proving once again that he is as malicious and mean-spirited a public figure as he is historically ignorant. And for all his sanctimonious Christian veneer, and fly-fishing, ‘aw shucks blue-jeans image, he can’t hide an essentially ungracious and unkind soul.If you do not have Dr. Hanson bookmarked yet, please do so. His words serve as a tincture on the would of our moral relativistic times.
Jonah Goldberg calls the Iraq War the extremists "exuse du jour". Of course Iraq has "made us less safe" and here is why:
If you’ve ever stood up to a bully, you know how this works. Confrontation tends to increase the chances of violence in the short term but decreases its likelihood in the long term. Any hunter will tell you that the most dangerous moment is when you’ve cornered an animal, and any cop will tell you that standing up to muggers puts you in danger. American colonists were less safe for standing up to King George III, and the United States was certainly safer in the short term when we stood on the sidelines while Germany was conquering Europe. Heck, we would have been safer in the short run if we’d responded to Pearl Harbor by telling the Japanese they could have the Pacific to themselves.He contrasts standing up versus appeasement German style:
For me, the truly dismaying news this week didn’t come from the NIE but from the German media. A German opera house announced that it would cancel its staging of Mozart’s “Idomeneo” because Berlin police concluded that staging the opera — which includes a scene in which Jesus, Buddha, Poseidon and Muhammad are beheaded — would pose an “incalculable security risk” from jihadists. Germany, recall, proudly opposed the Iraq war — but still narrowly missed a Spain-style terrorist attack on its rail system this summer.First it was Mozart and you said nothing. Then they came for Bach and you looked the other way. And then they came for the Dixie Chicks.....
A leading Muslim spokesman in Germany explained that he was all for free speech, as long as it didn’t offend Muslims. The Germans’ all-too-typical appeasement of terrorism no doubt makes them “safer” and “creates” fewer terrorists.
And all it cost them — for now — is Mozart.
Dean Barrett over at Hugh Hewitt interviews himself about torture and even describes water boarding for those who would like to know....and I think you should know, if you're to form an intelligent opinion on the torture issue.
5) What’s the best way to get information?Is it torture? To my way of thinking: Yes. Should torture be used to extract information from a terrorist in the midst of a horrid plan to kill people? Yes. Will some innocent people be harmed? Yes.
6) Gosh, I live in an intellectual broom closet and determinedly try to avoid any enlightenment on this subject. Please, please, please – don’t tell me what water-boarding is.
No dice. In water-boarding, the subject is strapped to a board with his feet above his head. A sheet of cellophane is placed over his face. Since the technique has existed and been used successfully for centuries, cellophane wasn’t always the face-covering tool of choice. It used to just be a cloth. The interrogator pours water over the cellophane. This triggers a gag reflex. The prisoner feels like he’s drowning. He feels that way because the combination of everything causes supreme disorientation. If one speaks with intelligence agents who openly used this technique like the French, Germans or Russians, they swear by it. It also works quickly. The rumor is that Khalid Sheikh Muhammad broke in under a minute.
Do the terroists conform modern notions of warfare? No. Are their methods aimed at military targets? Not when they succeed in their mission.
Shouldn't we be better than terrorists? We are better than the terrorists. Ask the current residents at Abu Graib asking for the U.S. troops to "please come back". The U.S. is not engaging in wanton use of intense interrogation methods wantonly or without cause. This is war. It is hell. There is nothing nice about killing someone, to state the obvious. Remember Sheikh Kahlid Mohammed is still alive and to be tried by military tribunal. Hopefully, he is given a death sentence and publicly hanged.
Repeat: We are at war.
Michelle Malkin is on a blogging roll. Her topics range from an FBI Raid in Louisiana against Arab store-owners. Very interesting. Watch for updates. She also talks about how God has to be taken out of Veggie Tales on NBC. Yes, that would be one of the pillars of the Mainstream Media displaying their tolerance for all to see. Finally, read her post about the French writer and teacher who is in hiding for having the temerity to say that Mohammed was a polygamist and the Koran reeks of violence.
Finally, over at Ace some much need levity: First, the new Miss World order is looking, um, perky. The question on everyone's mind: Do all young ladies in the Czech Republic look that naturally beautiful? Hey, I just report. You decide. Second, Muslim cabbies in Minneapolis offended by booze swilling Westerners now get Taxi signs notifying potential customers to move along if they have booze. There will be unintended consequences to this latest indulgence in political correctness. First it was the drinkers. Then, it was the ham-sandwichers. And when they stopped driving Senate members who harrass young boys. Oh, wait, they are still welcome. I bet no one saw this coming.....
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 8:23 PM
Friday, September 29, 2006
- Should a Pastor drive a Mercedes? Is it right for him to fly First Class?
- How rich is too rich? At what point should someone donate their earnings in the service of a greater good?
- Is it right to have children if you can't care for them under the modern guidelines of "good parenting"--college education, lots of lessons, etc.
- Are American's gluttons--taking more than they should? Or is that just the philosophy of a scarcity mentality? Is it possible to answer yes to both?
Here's an article that will buoy your sagging spirits: Super wealthy dad marries his daughter super secretly. No, this is not a joke, just like the bestiality camp in the Netherlands. Perversion aplenty even State side. And no, the couple is not Woody Allen and once step-like daughter Soon Yi.
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 5:02 PM
Not so sure about this "clarifying" technology. When you text someone and you're trying to be polite but the person is clearly a dumb butt, do you want the face recognition technology pick up your "personalized emoticon".
"You seem mad."
"I'm not mad."
"But your emoticon says you are mad and it doesn't lie."
"I'm not mad."
"Your emoticon says..."
"Okay, now I'm mad...."
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 4:00 PM
Does that sound painful to you? According to first-hand accounts, having the wire bars unscrewed from Aaron's head hurt like screws being pulled out of one's skull. It got worse, the source says. He had to put his neck into flexion and extension for an X-ray to determine if the joint was stable.
There is very, very good news to reprt: his neck continues to heal and he now is the proud owner of a very hard neck brace. He can wear a different one to take a shower. Remember, he hasn't had a full shower for over three months. Yes, I'm sure it is vile. Me wonders if he has indulged in a bath yet. Hmmm... Time for a phone call. Just a sec......
Okay, just got off the phone with the former Dr. Wileystein. Here's the news:
- His neck is sore. He is moving a lot to get into postitions that feel better.
- He has big, gaping holes in his head. He says it looks like a giant snake bit his head and left venom holes. I told him I'd be right over to take some cool pictures. Yeah, I know, it's gross. It's kinda like giving birth, though. All that pain and misery and surrealness needs to be captured otherwise it becomes a misty water-colored memory.
- He has NOT taken a shower or otherwise immersed himself in a bath. He needs to protect the venom holes so they don't get infected. Fair enough. Maybe I'll postpone the visit a few days.
- He watched Million Dollar Baby the night before the appointment. Coincidentally, he had to fill out his Living Will before the appointment. How ominous is that? Thankfully, Rhonda didn't see it.
- He's in good spirits and feels optimistic. More friends/family visiting this week so they will have company again. Everyone is back to being healthy (kids had snotty stuff).
For fun, I created a website using the whole iMac stuff for the Wiley family. There are more pictures and all the previous posts in one place. I'll add to it as I have more time. Buwahahaha! Okay, I'll add a post here and there and add the pictures. Let me know what you think. It will be a kind of permanent archive to the whole ordeal.
Do you think the war against Soviet domination and totalitarianism finished with Reagan? Do you think that an armed-to-the-teeth Chinese aren't interested in pressing their advantage? Do you think that Iran would flex it's flimsy muscles without being aided, abetted and given comfort by the above suspects in addition to a complicit France, the whore always willing to lay with any lying scumbag for a buck?
The answer to all of these questions should be obvious. Right now, Russia is trying to turn the pro-Western democracy in Georgia back into an occupied state through espionage, coercian, and straight up violence. Georgia fights for her life.
Now, it is learned that Russia is calling back all their diplomats. Is Russia going to take Georgia by force? It looks like that might happen. And Georgia is seeking membership in NATO. Will NATO come to her aid?
I've written more about Russia here, here, here and here.
What makes a person snap and molest and murder? Why are men more likely than women to sexually assault as a means of violence?
This man somehow managed to justify his actions. He had planned this event and executed it to frightening perfection. Dr. Helen posits that more boys and then men, need more emotional support to head off these types of problems.
My experience has been that boys, especially young boys, are particularily fragile. With less vocabulary and a narrower emotional range, if traumas or difficulties aren't adequately supported--mostly by a loving, patient mother (we're talking before three here)--and helped to interpret these traumas, they are like a rudderless boat at sea. If, as the boy grows, he doesn't have a firm, loving father guiding him through the physically and hormonally rocky time of adolescence into adulthood, the boy is at even higher risk.
Boys seem to be more fragile emotionally and more prone to lethal long-term damage if left untended. That is not to excuse this nutjob or blame his mother and father. For every one mismanaged boy, ten end up okay. But those ten usually have someone intervene along the way.
There was debate at Dr. Helen's about it "taking a village". Group dynamics tend to dilute responsibility. There is already an undeclared war between parents and teachers, as it is, with each accussing the other of malfeasence.
One thing I notice, is that with the labelling that is so prevalent now, with teachers encouraging parents to medicate boys who don't adequately mold and with parents relieved to externalize their troubled chld's problem, challenging children are ironically, getting less support. Rather than being taught self-management skills, rather than having someone help them burn the anger and energy physically some boys are on a slow burn.
All this is not to say that girls don't have their own issues these days--not the least of which is the ever-present fear of being victimized by one of these hostile, women-hating men. The problem for women is that while a few men prepetrate these crimes, all women fear the few men. A woman is most likely to be victimized at home, by someone she knows, but high profile cases like this remind women that supposedly safe places like a High School aren't safe sometimes. When are those times? How does a girl defend herself against a crime when the problem is that she was picked because she has blonde hair and blue eyes?
It ends up being a vicious circle, doesn't it? A messed up boy grows up and commits murder and mayhem. The hand that rocked the cradle rules this world, to an extent. And then, the boy takes out his rage on other women. Possible solution? Support mothers while they mothering their young kids (don't throw them money--give in-home parenting support, if necessary) and intervene with boys once they are schooled. Social skills training would help all children and help their education, too.
I know. I know. The nanny state rears it's ugly head. Would things be better if all welfare was pulled, so women would be forced to marry the doofus they have sex with? Would any of this prevent psychos like the Colorado murderer? Or must women just learn to live with the possibility of being a victim?
One of my beefs with blogger has been the inability to file posts for easy access later. So I have been looking to change over my blog to a more flexible system. Maybe I won't have to do that. See?
Another cool thing... some posts don't need comments enabled and there is flexibity for this also. Every day in every way Blogger gets better and better.
Finally. While they might all get "F" for speaking truth to power, UNH students are starting a petition to get a crazy Psych prof removed for his 9/11 conspiracy nuttiness. A crazy psych prof. Hmmm..... Who woulda thunk it?
Ann Althouse hasn't commented on it yet, what with her own crazy co-worker at Wisconsin, but maybe she will again now that the semester has started. I wonder what the scuttlebutt is these days?
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 12:07 AM
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Besides the vacuum that will be caused because I will be out of town on my first vacation in a full year (no long weekends, nuthin!) on October 5th, evidently there will be an American coup attempt because the fascist Bush regime will never end (until 2008, but whatever).
So, one more thing for you to put on your Oh Shit! Sheet. I'm not worried 'cuz I'll be kickin' it in Sunny Florida's Disney World theme park. Me-n-Mickey will tour Animal Kingdom and then set sail for the Caribbean pirate style.
I am going to try to get some guest bloggers over here to help. Any recommendations or volunteers?
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 11:35 PM
I have written over and over ad nauseum about my concern for the anti-semitism growing throughout Europe and even in America ..... on the far Left side of the spectrum. My concern in Europe, at least, is that the too smart by half crowd at the top emboldens the simmering far right crowd with their tacit agreement to look the other way at Islamist thought-tyranny and actual terror. While the far Right agrees with the Muslims about hating Jews (it's something everyone can agree on, it seems) the far Right also hates the invasion by the Muslims of their superior culture. The far Right is gaining traction even as the far Left fiddles, enables and tacitly approves through wrong-headed moral equivalence and multi-culturalism.
In America, the Right (except the very fringy of the fringe) overwhelmingly supports Israel in particular and Jews in general. The bastions of so-called enlightened thought--the academy, the art and literary world, journalism, and government--have become havens of hate. The hate is delicately prepared and presented with a sophisticated flair. Many people eating the delicacy, delight in believing they are trying something new and demonstrating their worldliness (not to mention being so "in" because it also involves hating Bush) not realizing they are chomping on good old anti-Semitic garbage.
Victor Davis Hanson over via Real Clear Politics calls this anti-Semitism, post-anti-Semitism.
It is with growing unease that I watch this phenomenon. The blithness with which the Left disparages the Jews at the same time approving of those who murder Jews is disconcerting. What I find even more disconcerting is the cognitive dissonance I see in some Jews.
We're accustomed to associating hatred of Jews with the ridiculed Neanderthal Right of those in sheets and jackboots. But this new venom, at least in its Western form, is mostly a leftwing, and often an academic, enterprise. It's also far more insidious, given the left's moral pretensions and its influence in the prestigious media and universities. We see the unfortunate results in frequent anti-Israeli demonstrations on campuses that conflate Israel with Nazis, while the media have published fraudulent pictures and slanted events in southern Lebanon.
The renewed hatred of Jews in the Middle East - and the indifference to it in the West - is a sort of "post anti-Semitism." Islamic zealots supply the old venomous hatred, while affluent and timid Westerners provide the new necessary indifference - if punctuated by the occasional off-the-cuff Amen in the manner of a Louis Farrakhan or Mel Gibson outburst.
The dangers of this post anti-Semitism is not just that Jews are shot in Europe and the United States - or that a drunken celebrity or demagogue mouths off. Instead, ever so insidiously, radical Islam's hatred of Jews is becoming normalized.
It defies imagination, as a non-Jew, seeing this toxic brew bubbling again, but it is bubbling. As a Jew, it must feel inconceivable that the notion "never again!" is being tested. It is my fear that the testing has only begun. If the enemy cannot even be named, if the enemy cannot be identified (you were my friends) how can action be taken? I am talking of America now. And I'm not talking about military action.
Have you heard the voices of protest? When the protesting does happen, if media silence ensues, does it really happen? While a big contigent went to the UN to protest Iran's sociopathic ruler's hate mongering, the press didn't acknowledge it. Jewish suffering isn't newsworthy, but the Palestinians is newsworthy. Hezbollah's losses are newsworthy.
And the voices of protest are protesting the wrong thing: the intellectual elites, some Jews, are selling the Jews out by giving everyone a voice--even murderous thugs. In their supreme betterness, they somehow believe that allowing everyone to spill their feelings, all feelings are valid. It's psychobabble of the worst kind--humanizing the inhumane.
We can kill jihadists. Hezbollah fighters can be wiped out (and if we didn't worry so much about collateral damage would be), but the real trouble are the stooge foot soldiers doing their master's bidding. Even Iran's neo-Nazi leader isn't the root of the problem. The root is right here in America and at the top of the European rulership. In a vain search for fairness, the Left is selling the Jews and ultimately their own cherished freedoms away. The Left is identifying their own perceived oppression with that of another group of indulged malcontents.
Who ever thought that leaders of free thought would become the very embodiment of oppression?
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
This from Maxed Out Mama. I just have to sigh.
There is one thing I won't get used to here in Texas: the surprising skittle, that clickety clack sound as their little feet travel over the ground, up the wall, on the ceiling, through the air vents--you get the idea.
I HATE COCKROACHES.
And as much as I hate them, I loathe centipedes even more. They wig me out. Snakes? ehh. Spiders? (And I've been bit by a Brown Recluse) Don't really bother me. Centipedes? Save me.
But the worst PETA pet of all? Rats. Big, fat, nasty rats. One reason I don't mind snakes so much is they eat those disgusting vermin. I'm jiggy with that ya'll.
And, further up the food chain--I don't like cats indoors, but a good cat does a number on the rats and snakes. Fine by me.
Pictured above is the neighbor's cat who saunters by every day at the exact same time. She is relatively antisocial but she looks pretty. Kind "view from my window" thing. I'm having an Andrew Sullivan moment.
My favorite PETA pet? Bald eagles. I kid you not, in our suburban development, a Bald Eagle family winters here and hatches their babies. They are amazingly effective at ridding a couple square miles of rodents. Even a cat or two has been known to vanish. Now that's my kind of PETA pet.
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 8:08 PM
Perez Hilton has the disturbing news. The toxicology reports are back and the kid had heavy doses of Lexapro and Zoloft along with Methadone--a drug to help heroin addicts detox.
What a weird life Anna Nicole has lived. I wonder if it is as surreal to her as it seems from the outside looking in.
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 7:54 PM
It's been all over the news....haven't you heard about it? Three whole days of rioting by "youths" also known as Muslim Morrocans over the death in prison of a Muslim man.
This from the Brussels Journal:
The authorities are especially nervous since the Belgian municipal elections are being held on Sunday October 8th. It is likely that the elections will be won by anti-immigrant, “islamophobic” parties. Since ramadan will not be over on October 8th and many immigrants might perceive a victory of the indigenous right (as opposed to their own far-right) as an insult, Muslim indignation over the election results in major cities may spark serious disturbances. According to a poll published today the Vlaams Belang party is set to win 38.6% of the vote in Antwerp (compared to 33,0% in the previous municipal elections six years ago).Here is my concern with Europe's dope-headed multiculturalism: the populace does not hold the same elitist, "tolerant" suicidal views as the ruling class. I fear the hard right pushing back in a major, violent way to reclaim their identity and protect their way of life.
I see Europed throwing the baby out with the bathwater. After the borders close to foreigners, will expulsions come next?
Snapped Shot has video, more information and translations from the scant press coming out of Europe.
There is another issue, of course: Media silence. The Media's quiet about this speaks volumes. Amazing to me how a huge news story is virtually ignored. "Deprived of air" the story doesn't exist.
If a city burns and no one reports it......
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 12:32 PM
More research about the benefits to breastfeeding. This data is very robust. The longer you breastfeed the better.
Here's the theory: fat kids, fat mom (they are all eating junk, right?). I think breastfeeding is a better indicator. A mom might not take care of her own diet but have other biolgical reasons for obesity, but breastfeeding (long term) indicates that she has concern for her child's diet and will take the time to dedicate to it.
(For those who disagree, I would posit that you haven't nursed a wiggly toddler. Now that's commitment.)
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 12:16 PM
Doesn't really work if you really believe what you profess to believe.
There are stumbling blocks, however. Will everyone be as open, as bold, as willing to press on with these women's mantra of absolute honesty, constantly asking one another, "What do you really think?"
For anyone who reads the Quran or the Bible literally, rather than metaphorically or in cultural context, the women say, their views will be too liberal. For people who believe there is exactly one way to one heaven, described and delineated only by their own faith, The Faith Club may not offer a template.
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 12:12 PM
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
You know how I'm starting my mini-Hall of the Presidents Disney Style? Well, The Manolo rates the hair of the past presidents.
I won't tell you who wins best hair, but here's a hint: he's alluded to in my Hall of the Presidents post.
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 7:58 PM
I heard this clip, where Karzai eloquently explains what is at stake in the War in Terror. He reminds everyone of 9/11. That's right, the President of Afghanistan reminds the New York press what is at stake.
Yes, the world is ass-backwards. Make that the Leftists are ass-backwards.
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 7:47 PM
There is more to the history that Pope Benedict alluded to in the college speech that so inflamed the Islamofascists. The end result of the dialogue between the Muslim cleric and Manuel II was that the cleric "effectively converts."
Read more here. It is fascinating.
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 7:42 PM
Monday, September 25, 2006
In this case, he should stick to comics. Go over and read the whole post for yourself. Nutshell:
If you poke a bear and it eats you. Is it your fault or the bears?Let's see.... are we assuming Muslims are animals and therefore shouldn't "poke" them say, by posting pictures of Allah, or saying that we believe talking is better than killing, or by saying that honor killings is effing stupid, or saying "hey idiot, when you're a violent thug you prove everyone's point!"? Are we assuming these actions are "poking the bear"?
Because, see, I'm not assuming that the Muslims are reacting in such animalistic fashion because they are animals, but because they enjoy acting like animals. Acting like animals serves their desire for power and domination. That they can do it in the name of Allah (a very non-animal thing, religion) is all the better.
Bottom line, stupid analogy. Falls right into the same thinking:
- The gun killed
- Her miniskirt (or lack of burqua) made me do it
- It's not fair that I don't have a flat screen, that's why I took it
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 8:10 PM
Great Photoshop of the ex El Presidente Clintonista Protecta Mon Legacia. (Okay, my Dictator Spanish needs work.)
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 3:47 PM
Dr. Helen has a great post on how women killers are treated in the press. Lately we've heard about the women who cut a baby out of someone's stomach, slit a mother's throat, and now, cut the baby out, killing the premature baby, killing the mother and killing her children.
Do you despise these women as much as you despise Scott Peterson?
Do you excuse the Andrea Yates' of the world while holding a man responsible and then some if he were to drown his five kids? How can women have equality if they can't have equal treatment under the law for equal crimes?
As I noted over at Dr. Helen's:
To get back to the point, I do think there is a defense mechanism protecting women and it's not just feminists doing it.
No person no matter their gender can easily wrap their psyche around a hateful, abusive mother. Husbands and fathers don't want to believe that while they are away the children (or mor likely, one child) are being subjected to harsh, inhumane treatment--or worse. No woman who leaves her child in the care of another woman wants to imagine an abusive environment.
The helplessnes of children at the hands of a deranged woman, mother is not a picture anyone wants to imagine. It obliterates the madonna-whore female dichotomy. It obliterates the feminist self-view as women being lovingly superior. Women don't do violence.
Well, guess what, women can be just as vicious and callous, as men. It just seems worse when women are endowed biologically with hormonal protective mechanisms to prevent this kind of behavior.
The rationalization is this: mom must love me, there must be something wrong with me. Transfer that to society and psychotic women murderers get off the hook.
Personnally, I hope she fries. There is no rehabilitating this empty shell of a human being. Thank God for her moral military boy friend!
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 3:25 PM
One of my favorite Shelley quotes is, "The eyes bring to seeing what they want to see."
Who wants to see their kids using drugs and drinking alcohol? Here is my theory: the parents are inattentive to begin with, or some other family problem exists, and the kids cope or experiment while the parents are distracted.
Who wants to deal with a doped up kid while both parents are working like crazy? Who wants to deal with a doped up kid in the middle of divorce? Who wants to deal with a doped up kid when the church would find out and this would look bad? Who wants to deal with a doped up kid when fighting depression or other physical problems oneself?
Kids with future plans don't do drugs. Happy kids don't do drugs. Confident kids don't start smoking. Secure kids don't need to go to a party, drink themselves into oblivian to feel good about themselves.
Of course, parents are unaware of their kid's behavior. Seeing it would mean dealing with it and dealing with it effectively would mean dealing with the cause and not just the symptoms. (Many parents trot their kids to the psychiatrist, medicate them--because, of course, the kid is the problem and are done with it.)
The authors of the study hope this "research helps parents wake up." They haven't woken up since the War on Drugs was declared, why would they wake up now?
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 2:28 PM
Mark Steyn writes about the UN's last performance and likens the UN to Marble Slab homemade icecream cone with one scoop of poop and the other scoop of regular icecream. I would add that the whole thing is poop-cream with a Bolton Bing Cherry on top.
My favorite paragraph from his very funny and insightful hate letter to the UN:
Iran's president was a huge hit at the U.N. Short of bringing out some burqa-clad Rockettes and doing a couple of choruses of "This Is the Dawning of the Age of a Scary Us," he couldn't have been a bigger smash. I said a year or two back, apropos the U.N., that it's a good basic axiom that if you take a quart of ice cream and blend it with a quart of dog poop the result will taste more like the latter than the former. And last week's performances at the General Assembly were a fine illustration of that. Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez were the star finalists of "UnAmerican Idol," and, just when you need Simon Cowell, the only Brit in sight was the oleaginous Mark Malloch Brown, Kofi Annan's deputy, fawning over every crazy in town. The rest of the bigwigs reacted like Paula Abdul, able to discern good points even in fellows who boast about not having any. That's the reality the Dershowitzes refuse to confront: that structurally the U.N. enables thugs to punch above their weight"The Dawning of the Age of a Scary Us." Hilarious. It'd be funnier if it weren't true.
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 11:28 AM
Get sick of being preached at by beautiful people peeping around in their Prius', air conditioning their 20,000 square foot cotteges and jetting from here to there in their private jets? Yeah, I know. Annoying.
Here's more info about their not-so-helpful affect on the environment.
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 11:25 AM
Sunday, September 24, 2006
In stark contrast to the freedeom American women enjoy, there are women who are no more than owned objects in Islamic societies. That is today. Right. Now.
Where are the Feminist organizations? Why, they are fighting for these women to stay shackled, thank you!
As I pondered here this weekend about Feminism--who's in, who's out--it is becoming clear to me that many who claim Feminism have no moral foundation whatsoever. They save their misplaced outrage for George Bush and give a pass to women-torturing and murdering regimes. While blood cries out for vengeance, they support the very oppressive regimes who spill the blood.
They call evil good. And good evil.
Please go to Ghost of a Flea and read the whole post. It is disturbing.
She'll call him George when he's out of office again. Looks like the scripture is turned on its head in the Bush family:
Mark 6:1-61. And he went out from thence; and he cometh into his own country; and his disciples follow him.
2 And when the sabbath was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, Whence hath this man these things? and, What is the wisdom that is given unto this man, and what mean such mighty works wrought by his hands?
3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James, and Joses, and Judas, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended in him.
4 And Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.
5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.
6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages teaching.
G.W. gets more respect in his own house, among his own kin than he does anywhere outside his family. The press still can't bring themselves to say "President Bush".Sister Dorothy is writing a Bio of her father, George Bush, 41.
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 7:47 PM
The government has two jobs in my book: keep citizens safe and provide infrastructure so that the economy can grow. That's it. The rest will take care of itself. The first job means adherence to the rule of law.
When citizens distrust their government to protect them, they have two choices: become victims (England has punative laws against those wishing to defend themselves, America has just the opposite) or become aggressors.
Drudge links to the Houston Chronicle which reports this: In Dallas, an outraged mother screamed after some sick guy was showing pornographic pictures on a playground. Other men around, chased the deviant down and pummelled him.
You know what? I don't care in the small sense. Maybe if more freaks knew they'd have the shit beat out of them or worse if they preyed on children and women, they might think twice before engaging their sick fantasies. There are a few pedophiles on the lose around here and I would like them to know a serious ass-whupping is coming if they take a step toward a child.
I do care in the big sense. The way the justice system is set up, attempted anything, implied threats, weird lurking, stealthy following, and other threatening behavior can't be dealt with "until a crime is committed". There is a general skepticism on the part of law enforcement for those alleging these sorts of behaviors. Understandably so. And we don't want a police state either.
Predators of all kinds are terrorists. They may show weirdness but what can be done about weird? The crimes, once committed, are so devastating to family and community, that they must be prevented. Look, in one generation people have completely changed behavior. Hardly anyone lets their kids walk to school anymore. Few people let their kids play in the neighborhood--all because evil weirdos have terrorized people into behavior change.
What can be done about this? How can law enforcement deal with these freaks? And of course, there is the kid who at 18 was accused of statuatory rape by his girlfriend's parents when she was sixteen. This goes on his permanent record and that's ridiculous.
Overall, there is no sense of justice when it comes to these sort of crimes and no trust that law enforcement can do anything about it. So, a dude gets beat up. And then on a plane in England, the underlying fear and unease skitters to the surface and plane passengers revolt. Again, because there is no trust in the government (for very good reason, it seems) and no faith in the justice system.
These types of situations are ripe for anarchy. The government must act with seriousness with any kind of terrorism foreign or domestic or people will end up worse than bruised.
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 5:38 PM
As the Left feels their unfettered power ooze away they are resorting to passive-aggressive actions intended to immortalize their philosophies. In Arizona a 9/11 memorial is inscribed with reverent statements like this:
Here’s a story in Arizona’s East Valley Tribune: Sept. 11 inscriptions spark outrage.
One inscription states, “You don’t win battles of terrorism with more battles.” Another: “Congress questions why CIA and FBI didn’t prevent attacks.” And another reads, “Erroneous US air strike kills 46 Uruzgan civilians,” referring to a wedding reportedly hit by mistake in Afghanistan.
Little Green Footballs has the whole story. He also notes that the memorial is in the shape of a Crescent--the symbol for Islam.
You know, for all those progressives, including Bill Clinton, who lionize that society I suggest this: convert and move. Ladies, throw on your burqas. Men, get out your prayer mat and start washing your hands. Just do it not here.
I'm tired of the moral equivalence. Try living in a Muslim country and enjoy your freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, freedom of the press, the right to bear arms. Go ahead. I dare you.
It's so much fun sitting on a college campus and waxing elephant about stupid conspiracy theories and the nobility of extremist Islam.
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 5:13 PM
For years now, people have wrung their hands about health care in America and nothing has been done. The reason for this is simple: the consumers are detached from the product so typical market constraints are removed that exist in a free-market system.
Troubling times for local governments abound because of long-term pension costs. And what will have to be deprived to feed the beast? Education, public safety and public works will all be cut back on. Notice that pension benefits won't be cut.
Health care is a mess. Insurance pays for diagnostic testing patients don't need and pays for treatments that have no evidence to support the benefits. Insurance won't pay for testing not considered to be "standard of care" and won't cover procedures that cost less and accomplish more.
The potential for intergenerational war to break out as entitled Baby Boomers get sick and decline (Yes, even they will die. I know, it's shocking.) is worrisome, to say the least.
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 3:25 PM
Happy Sunday, all. This morning, we finally opened the Toy President dolls I ordered a few weeks back. We have George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and (unfortunately) the second edition of Ronald Reagan. I'm going to try to find the first edition.
Anyway, even if you're not into collecting (I'm not), these dolls are fantastic. They come with books about their political careers and when their button is pushed they say famous quotes.
If anyone is in the generous, buying mood, I'd still really like Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln. Oh, and Benjamin Franklin.
I have them in the top shelf of my office hanging out with Bibles and Tolkien. Now that's a party I'd like to attend. The kids like them, too. (They were bought for them, wink! wink!)
For those in love with Princess Diana, there is a figurine of her saying really incisive things like, "I want to help people" in her lilting English accent. There is also a weird looking Jesus and a scary looking Moses. Speaking of scary: check out Andrew Jackson when you take a look-see.
Betsy's take on Clinton's Fox News performance put a smile on my face this Sunday morning. I'm glad she was my first stop on the information superhighway today. Here's what she says:
Well, I just watched Clinton's tirade on Fox News Sunday. You can read the transcript here as he goes off and off in answer to Chris Wallace's question that people want to know why he didn't do more to get Osama bin Laden. I agree with John McIntyre that what Clinton's done here is bring more focus onto what he did or didn't do to get Osama bin Laden. It can't be good for the Democratic Party to have the focus on Clinton again.Can you imagine the "two for one" is she were president? You know what though, he's such a media hog that his piggish behavior might actually get Hillary to divorce him--taking the spotlight during "her" time would probably piss her off just enough--finally.
What the entire interview did was remind me, as if I needed reminding, was how little I wanted to have him back in the headlines day after day if his wife were the Democratic nominee in 2008 or, horrors, elected president. Do we want him shaking his finger at us again and again whenever he's asked a question he doesn't like?
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 9:04 AM
For the past couple of weeks, I have been contemplating what it means to be a Feminist. I have written four very long (by blogging standards) essays addressing this topic. [See end of post.]
The blogosphere has been filled with this topic in many forms. There was the BlogHer Conference Post by Kathy Sierra, Ann Althouse's attendance, my entry into the fray that the blogosphere doesn't discriminate against women--based upon my admittedly limited experience, Ann's disagreement with me, John Hawkin's (who has linked to me again--thanks, John!) insensitive remarks, Beth at My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy's outrage, all that started by Ann Althouse's post about a Feminist Clinton lover's breasts and Dr. Helen noting the affiliation with someone for political purposes whose actions are offensive.
Deep breath. And then someone said, in passing, that Ann Althouse wasn't truly a feminist. Ann spent time listing her feminst cred. And I wondered: would I be defined as a feminist? I didn't march or burn my bra, but I am a beneficiary of the women's movement. Am I a member? Do I want to be?
Does it matter anyway? The label might not, but the implications of the labels do matter. Women are tearing each other instead of bras up these days. The scope of the women's movement seems to be constricting not expanding and those who don't fit in to the proscribed political or philosophical dogma are considered not just not feminists, but traitors to women.
James Wolcott in The New Republic covers this, and I quote his piece in one of the essays. I don't see the women in my world in such stark terms--there is a lot of fluidity in how women move in and out of roles in their lives. But at least one feminist believes that's just the problem. Men don't change roles, they just roll--or so this woman believes. And women should be like men.
Anyway, if you have the time and inclination, I would enjoy your feedback on my thoughts.
Here are the links: Part I--Personal History (skip it if you're short on time), Part II (breasts and their significance to the women's movement), Part III (defining success), Part IV (feminist dogma--the check-list for inclusion into the group).
Background: Part I, Part II, Part III
There are many places where feminism and I agree.
I want fairness. If I’m doing the same job as someone with a penis, I want to be paid the same amount of money. I want procedures and business practices in place that don’t favor men or women over the other. I don’t want to be penalized in the workforce for using my breasts and uterus. One could argue that the fact that I have this biological plumbing, life is inherently unfair, but I do and God doesn’t have time to discuss the whys and wherefores with me. Since it’s a fact, I would like to be able to keep my job, if I want to stay home for a year. Maybe a graduated re-entry into work would work. Hell, a friend with a busted neck is receiving that treatment why not pregnant women? Why must a woman deny her unique biology and change to fit a man’s world? Why would so-called feminists support legislation that essentially discriminates against women?
I want respect. If the workplace is filled with many cultures and both genders, I don’t want to be hearing nasty language. I don’t want my breast fondled (happened). I don’t want a “business meeting” happen at the strip club, on the basketball court (happened) or golf course or anywhere else inhospitable to a woman. It is disrespectful.
At home, I don’t want it assumed that because I have ovaries, I also have an innate adoration of laundry, ironing, cooking, etc. I don’t want it assumed that cooking, cleaning, baking, playing, coloring, dressing, and all the other stuff is a natural, in-born gift. Much of it is drudgery.
At home, I want my husband to be as interested in the kid’s progress, as interested in their development as I am. I want him to clean up after himself and after the kids, too. That is just simple respect.
I don’t want a family life where my husband feels entitled to boss me around from his recliner ala Archie Bunker and wouldn’t know where to find a dish towel if his life depended on it.
Thankfully, my life isn’t what I describe above. And my life and my husband’s life are better for it. He has a relationship with his kids our fathers never had. We have a relationship that is better balanced. We divide labor in ways that aren’t necessarily gender-driven but talent and interest-driven.
I thank Feminism for these changes. Who wants to go back to the old days?
I thank feminism for the fact that it is not a crazy notion to know that I’ll start back in practice full time once the kids are all in school. I thank feminism for the push to get women educated. I thank feminism for pushing the notion of equal rights.
But there are ways where I do not hold to feminist dogma.
I am anti-abortion. Unless a woman is going to die, I am against abortion. I’ll get into they whys and wherefores some time and have in the past, but suffice it to say that I believe abortion is a crime against women and ultimately serves men and a society who don’t wish to support her.
I am pro-men. I like men. I don’t view them as devils and I don’t believe that women are so inherently, chromosomally superior that they wouldn’t make the same mistakes men have made given the same chances. In fact, what I see in the feminist world, is women making the same mistakes men made and calling them better because women are making them.
I view the neuterization of America with trepidation. I believe there is a useful purpose for testosterone and the inherent gender differences between the sexes. I do not hold to the dogma as some feminists do, that we are all the same and that gender differences are “magnified.” Rubbish. There is a spectrum of course, and men and women overlap in talents, etc. But there is a uniquely male perspective and I no more want the world rid of it than I want the world rid of the uniquely female perspective.
Why isn’t it possible these days to be both pro-women and pro-men? Why can’t a woman joyfully embrace her biological imperative and also joyfully embrace her contribution to the world however that manifests?
So, if you have read these posts, am I a feminist?
Background: Part I, Part II, Part IV
I’ll admit that I’ve had existential crises over the nine years I’ve been at home with my children. Why the hell did I get all this education if my chief accomplishment today was washing one load of laundry? Why would I encourage my daughter to educate herself only to be at home wiping a pint-sized ass? I should throw on the burqa and be done with it. At least I wouldn’t have to fret about what to wear today and taking a shower would be optional.
But to say that stay-at-home motherhood is only the sum of the servile labor involved is to miss the point. No one would suggest that an executive sitting in meetings all day and trading 200 emails is working to make a better meeting and perfect the art of emailing. Their time-consuming, and some would say demeaning, busywork serve greater goals (at least in some cases).
Hirshman and many women (more here) are arguing that the only way to truly advance society is to adopt male notions of achievement. Success is being in that banal meeting. Success is throwing a sales pitch. Success is holding a hammer. Success is waiting that table.
Let’s face it: not everyone in the work world is changing society to any great degree. Men face existential crises every day. This job sucks, what the hell am I doing? So is her argument that it’s okay for the lower class women to stay home because they’re not making much of a difference anyway, but the upper-class women need to get out there to …. What? Is it just sheer numbers in the workforce that will help? 75% of women are there right now as it is.
What needs to change more than it has? And how does a woman who stays home while the kids are small destroy women’s advances? As I sit here, I’m reading this article about “on-ramping”—companies helping women get back into the workforce after being home when the kids are little.
Women are doing well in the executive ranks. But leaving for childrearing does change the road and speed of their corporate ascent. Many women leave the path for a time to follow a biological imperative not just because they want to be with their children but because they believe they are changing the world more profoundly by staying at home with their children than they ever did in the work world.
Is it impossible for today’s feminist to allow that mothering children impacts society? Must motherhood be diminished into a position of servitude and male-dominated oppression to serve the political purposes of equality? Does doing this assuage the anxiety and guilt one feels when choosing to pursue career to the exclusion of mommying?
And I write this, knowing full well that it will piss some working mothers off. But let’s face facts: when a woman puts in a 60-70 hour workweek—needed to succeed at the top of a corporation—she is not giving her best hours to her kid if she gives any at all.
But neither do the men who choose this life. They are trading family for fortune or fame or influence. And maybe, depending on the job, it’s worth it. Really, the only jobs I see where it might be worth it is public service—like the President of the United States, for example. Even still, look at the shit Reagan took from his kids for choosing that life--they resented the hell out of it.
Forget educated women staying home to have kids, many men are opting out of the insane standards of success, too, or significantly reworking their lives to make it more family-friendly. Our fathers sold their soul to the “society changing” corporation. My husband’s father worked the long hours, made the big bucks, got transferred and uprooted over and over, for what? For downsizing in middle age when his kids are gone?
The time is lost. It’s over and it won’t come back. And it's not just fuzzy, misty-water colored fantasies about mothering and parenting. Every day with my children, I have conversations, interactions, connected moments that would not have happened in the same way had I not been here to experience them. While I'm confident I can get back into the work world, I know without a doubt, I can't shrink my children into toddlers againt to capture this time again. Prioritizing motherhood over career (for now) is about redeeming the time. It's that simple.
But I'm not alone making this choice. My brother-in-law has refused promotions (and influence? over whom?) because he didn’t want to move. He wants to be home for dinner. He wants to have a relationship with his kids. His wife stays at home (a speech pathologist) because she wants to know her kids. She has worked part time. She has found a balance. They both have made sacrifices.
Is my brother-in-law wasting his potential because he refuses the corporate fast-track? And why isn't anyone chiding him over taking a job where he can be home (he works from home) when he could be tearing it up on the corporate ladder?
Why must women make the same stupid mistakes men made in order to prove their worth? Why must women define success by a man’s terms, and manly terms circa 1970, to be considered feminist? Why must a woman deny what is essentially feminine (birthing and breastfeeding) to be a feminist? Does anyone else see this as backwards?
Many women have found compromises that work, too. A teacher friend tutors children and has a nice business. Another friend left a real estate investment firm, had kids, helped her husband expand his home-building business and started a real-estate empire of her own.
Another friend made a mint in investment banking, decided to stay home and is called every year, and begged to come back. She could name her terms. Anything she wants she gets. She declines every year. Why? She’s an all or nothing lady. She knows that even part-time work will end up being full-time for her and she wants to be with her kids now. Focused.
These women have choices. Some don’t. Some have to work and find child care and household help because they must. How does feminism help these women? Are they to be ignored because some women are relegated to less influential roles publically and privately? Feminism isn't especially concerned with the plight of the working-class woman.
And then there are women who believe that their calling is finding the cure to cancer or astrophysics or politics or architects. They love their work. They want to “make a difference.” In that statement, the assumption is that by caring for a child one doesn’t want to make a difference. And therein lies some of my frustration with feminism.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Background: Part I, Part III, Part IV
Ah, the bane of a woman’s existence, aren’t they? Those lactating machines, breasts cause all sorts of philosophical problems. Men don’t have them or the hormones that make them work. Men don’t face the daunting task of sharing their bodies with a hungry, greedy little human with a very underdeveloped pineal gland.
Women have them on top of having a uterus—which is a whole other story. A woman can chop out her uterus and deny her biological potential. A woman can chop out an embryo or fetus and deny the child’s biological potential. In a sense a woman can “neuter” herself if health or philosophy demands it.
Should a woman decide to actually use her uterus for its intended purpose and bear a child, she must suffer the indignities of pregnancy. No booze or drugs, weird cravings, abnormal digestive changes, softening and spreading, abstaining from the bad and adding more of the good. She must change her life.
Once the kid is out, though, things can go back to the egalitarian norm if she chooses to bottle-feed. The parents can switch “shifts”. They can take turns with sick days. They can each take unpaid leave for a while. They can both do laundry. They can both make dinner.
But if a woman chooses to breastfeed—for her baby and herself, the egalitarian thing goes flying out the window.
Breastfeeding is best for the baby. It is best for the mom. So much research proves it and more is coming. I’ll spare you the details. Let’s just accept that premise as fact.
But breastfeeding turns egalitarianism on its head. A man can’t do it. He can feed a baby a bottle of breast-expressed milk but that is not breastfeeding. It is bottle feeding breast milk. Not the same.
I happen to believe breast is best. The benefits economically, physically, psychologically, and nutritionally have such huge implications that the six-week leave thing seems absolutely insane. No other mammal leaves their offspring to be tended by others at so young an age (proportionately speaking). Children are flexible and malleable, but do we really know what we are doing to future generations by “out sourcing” such a fundamental thing as feeding and tending our children? (I lump tending in with feeding, because the physical act of feeding the child by definition includes tending them.)
Does a good feminist deny the biology in service to the egalitarian? Does she sell herself out when she submits to biology and stays home to nurse her child and later to care for her “private world” rather than nurse her own career and care for the “public world”? James Wolcott in his The New Republic essay titled “Mommies. Mommies. Mommies. Meow Mix.” quotes Linida Hirschman who thinks so:
Embracing one's inner housewife and admiring one's reflection in the glass ceiling, as Flanagan would have women do, is straitjacketing one's potential and submitting to a kinder, gentler purdah:Bounding home is not good for women and it's not good for the society. The women aren't using their capacities fully; their so-called free choice makes them unfree dependents on their husbands. Whether they leave the workplace altogether or just cut back their commitment, their talent and education are lost from the public world to the private world of laundry and kissing boo-boos. The abandonment of the public world by women at the top means the ruling class is overwhelmingly male. If the rulers are male, they will make mistakes that benefit males. Picture an all-male Supreme Court. We may well go back there. What will that mean for the women of America?
Despite her subtitle, Hirshman's manifesto is not aimed at the women of the world, but at the upper stratum of intelligent, educated, affluent women who cast aside their college degrees to kiss boo-boos and keep their rugrats entertained. "These educated and privileged women matter. They matter because they are the most likely women to become the rising stars of the new economy--the future senators, deal makers, newspaper editors, research scientists, policy makers, television writers and movie producers, university presidents, and Supreme Court justices." When such women opt out, they cheat themselves and deprive the future of their full worth. Hirshman is particularly scathing about a Harvard graduate who sketches her life as a stay-at-home mom as a merry-go-round of painting, biking, writing letters to editors and elected officials, playing tag and climbing trees with the kids. "My correspondent's life does have a certain Tom Sawyerish quality to it," Hirshman concedes, "but she has no power in the world. Why would the congressmen she writes to listen to someone whose life so resembles that of a toddler's, Harvard degree or no?"
So an “educated and privileged” woman, a true feminist, works or else “cheats herself”. Why should anyone listen to this woman “whose life resembles a toddlers”?
My life resembles a toddler’s and I lack power at home. I’m not sure what to say to that. It is true that by relying on my husband's income, my (and his) economic wings have been clipped. We both must be far more careful financially because we rely on one income. Her premise assumes I couldn't work if I wanted to, but I could. While I choose to rely on him, he is choosing to rely on me for a whole host of other responsibilities beyond financial. He understands that he would have to pay for many services had I not chosen to stay home. He also knows, as do I, that there are some things Visa can't buy and care for a child like a loving (healthy, balanced) mother cares for her own child is one of them.
While I might not be making a ton of cash these days--thus diminishing my power according to Ms. Hirshman, I’m active in the wider world now more than ever. Technology has helped that. Through the Internet, through email, the stay-at-home moms I know are far from intellectual noodles. They are connected, intelligent forces for change.
What is the great thing about technology’s affect on motherhood? I could be connected while having a baby at my breast. How’s that for equality? I can have my baby and my business, too.
A mother of an autistic child friend of mine, a CPA, has founded from the bottom up an advocacy organization for parents. She is changing the world one family and one law at a time. Does the fact that she isn’t pulling down 100K a year diminish her contribution? She has applied her formidable intelligence and drive to a very society-changing enterprise.
With technology the way it is, a woman can have a huge worldwide impact in ways that couldn’t happen even ten years ago. It is possible to personally mother and publically influence simultaneously now, like it was never possible before.
Even still if a woman choses not to engage the public forum via technology or by working and chooses to follow her breasts to home and hearth, is she not a feminist? Does anyone find it ironic that breasts, the quintessential female form, impede success as defined by a feminist woman?
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 11:33 PM
Should a woman change her last name once she's married? That's the topic of this post. Here is my opinion: if you hate your own family, changing your name can be a welcome relief. If you want children and want it simple change your name.
The time when it seems good to keep your last name: when you're established in business and everyone knows you. A good friend of mine kept her family's name. She had taught for years before getting married, everyone in the community knew her, it was just simpler.
It does seem to me that name changing is one of the last patriarchal concessions in the modern world. Leslie Morgan Steiner says this:
Mostly, I changed my name because my feminist zeal had faded and it mattered more to me that my kids and I had the same last name than what that last name was (although gee, I wish I lived in a world where the man agonized over giving up his identity).Ironically, it's the men who joke about "losing their balls" or being connected to a "ball and chain" once their married.
Personally, I went from one name no one could pronounce, unless they were from Scotland, to another name no one can pronounce. Sigh.
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 5:13 PM
There was a time in my life where I would pull my metaphorical shotgun from under the mattress and shoot anyone who breached my bedroom door at six o'clock on a Saturaday morning. If he or she actually opened his or her mouth and said something to me, he or she would get another blast from the double barrel just to make sure he or she was good and dead.
That was before children.
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 6:22 AM
Friday, September 22, 2006
- Scented everything has gotten ridiculous. My armpits smell like an Amaretto-n-GingerAle. Word to the wise: if you don't want to be made to walk a line if stopped for speeding, steer clear of Secret Platinum Clear Gel "Vanilla Sparkle."
- It's not normal for a 40 year old man to sleep with an 11 year old boy "friend", ever. Not. Normal.
- A cheap and effective writing implement under water: a pencil. Nothing else works except super expensive specialty pens. Hey, ya never know--hurricanes and whatnot.
- Elvis is dead. So is Tupac. Time to get over it.
- Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, Free at Last! I love my Mac. What are you waiting for?
- Dreams come true every day. Most times, you make your dreams happen.
- No one thinks your kid is cute. She is only cute to you. It's okay, we get it. We think our kid is cute too, but we know you don't think our kid is cute, either. Just know that the feeling is mutual, is all.
- I'm always surprised when someone wheels in and takes a parking spot when someone else clearly has waited for it. What kind of rude-ass person does that?
- Religious people are annoying even to other religious people. That's the beauty of communion.
- Just because love is the answer doesn't mean that there is no need for the business end of an AK-47. The kingdom ain't here, yet.
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 8:23 PM
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 8:17 PM
I've beat this drum fairly consistently and chronicled here a conversation with a Jewish Democrat neighbor who said "I'll always vote Democrat." My response was along the lines "have you spent any time actually paying attention to what Democrats are doing and saying starting with Clinton friend of terrorist scum Arafat?"
No, she hadn't been looking. Let's look, shall we? First via Instapundit, a fantastic post at The American Thinker that is a must read. Must. Read.
Cartoons more suitable in Iranian street protests calling for the destruction of Israel, have graced the pages of Daily Kos (the leading, by page views, Democratic blog) . Other greatest hits on Daily Kos include entries extolling the benefit to the world if Israel did not exist, another praising “the Iranian President” for being “absolutely right to suggest that Israel cease being a sovereign state as is”, and others suggesting Israel commits terrorism on a daily basis.The pernicious "fringes" have done their best to sabotage certain Democrat races in favor of a more "progressive" candidate. See a theme?
Lest these commentators be dismissed as a lunatic fringe, national surveys show a very clear decline in support for Israel among all Democrats. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll in late July showed a strong gap between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to support for Israel. Among Republicans, an overwhelming 84% say they sympathize more with Israel than Arab states (which 1% of Republicans sympathize with) compared to just 43% of Democrats who do so (12% sympathize with Arab states).
These declines are confirmed by a separate Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll regarding views towards Hezbollah, the genocide preaching terror group that launched yet another attack on Israel two months ago leading to a month-long war between Israel and Hezbollah. Regarding whether America should align itself with Israel, Democrats support neutrality over alignment, 54% to 39%. By comparison, Republicans strongly supported alignment with Israel, 64% to 29%.
While it may be true that netizens within the Democratic Party harbor more extreme views than Democrats, their extremism seems to be shifting the Democratic Party toward their more extreme views. In a superb Weekly Standard article (“Bad Company: Is the left-wing blogosphere a growing political force or an electoral burden?”), Dean Barnett analyzes the dynamics behind this pull on the Democratic Party by bloggers and their activist fan clubs.
Is it a sign of the times, that Kos took pride in sabotaging two campaigns in particular: those of Martin Frost (the moderate – and Jewish – Democrat from Texas who had hoped to become the DNC Chair) and Senator Joe Lieberman – perhaps, America’s most widely respected Jewish Senator?And how is the tide being turned? In Poliitics, as in everything, follow the money. The Web lead by "intense" political supporters has been an excellent fund-raising institution (something the Rightroots are just now waking up to--find out more and donate). Thanks to McCain-Feingold, the Incumbant Guarantee Act, 527s have proliferated and funded anti-Israel candidates.
Moreover, the increasing proliferation and importance of so-called 527 groups may play a roll in the increasing anti-Israel attitudes within the Democratic Party base. These are groups that can engage in partisan advocacy campaigns about the “issues”. While purportedly forbidden from targeting individual candidates, they have in fact been used in this manner.Like the article states, it's not just the idealogues in the party swinging it to official anti-Semitism.
They are also a useful means to skirt federal laws limiting the amount individuals can give to federal campaigns. However, they can also utilize another loophole: donors to these 527 campaigns do not have to be disclosed and they can also be foreigners. Are anti-Israel governments funding these advocacy groups? Arab oil billionaires have certainly found the means to influence public opinion by purchasing stakes in media properties and paying lavishly for news service feeds to their own networks and publications, endowing universities, and hiring former government officials with a view to influencing current policies. The logical step would be to cover all the bases: including those of the Democratic Party.*
There are those who rejoice at the turn in the Democratic Party. The Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs is easily the most anti-Israel publication in America. Based in Washington, D.C., its pages are filled with screeds against Israel and it lobbies for the end of US support for Israel. Anti-Semitism has also appeared in the pages of the magazine. In the current issue, the magazine has published its annual “Hall of Fame” that honors Congressmen it considers to be anti-Israel. At the top of the list among Senators, is Senator Robert Byrd (Democrat), aformer Ku Klux Klan Kleagle, Democratic baron, and the holder of one of the most anti-Israel records in Congress. In terms of the House, 29 members hold this dubious distinction - all of them Democrats (including Abercrombie, Conyers, David Obey, Jesse Jackson Jr., McDermott).Contrast this record with a much-maligned Republican: John Bolton, American Ambassador to the United Nations.
Bolton has not only served America ably in representing our interests over the years, he has also been a friend to the Jewish people. He single-handedly took it upon himself to have the UN repeal the noxious “ Zionism is Racism” resolution by Herculean efforts (for an inspirational account, see this). He also was instrumental in the creation of the Proliferation Security Initiative, a very effective measure in curbing the spread of the very type of weapons of mass destruction that are an existential threat to Israel (the program helped to uncover and stop Libya’s nuclear program). He has been a firm supporter of the American-Israel friendship. He also has the enmity of many in the Democratic Party.And speaking of Republicans, the party clearly has no problem with Jews. Ari Fleischer (former President Bush Press Secretary) and Ken Mehlman, Republican National Chairman, to name just two.
Conversely, the Republican Party has never been more welcoming to Jews nor as supportive of Israel. The party has welcomed an increasing number of Jews to its ranks, and its candidates garner an increasing number of votes from Jewish voters. While Democrats demagogue the rise of evangelicals in America (and in the Republican Party) and demonize them as a threat to the Jews, such mythmaking does not reflect the fact that evangelicals cherish the Jewish people, for reasons having absolutely nothing to do with end-of-days scenarios. Indeed, Jews have assumed leadership posts in the Republican Party. While Democratic National Committee head Howard Dean joyously dances with a keffiyah draped over his shoulders, Republican National Chairman Ken Mehlman waxes nostalgically and publicly about his Bar Mitzvah.This is important. My neighbor defensively asked why I thought President Bush so supported Israel. My answer was a rhetorical question, "Why wouldn't we all love Israel? She is a strong democracy, values freedom and our ideologies co-mingle. We are friends." Here is more on Evangelicals and Israel, an interview with David Brog author of the book Standing with Israel: Why Christians Support the Jewish State (buy this book!) at The American Thinker:
In addition, I think there is a second reason why this philo-Semitic theology flourished so richly in American soil. Unlike Europe, America did not have a history of popular anti-Semitism. True, many European immigrants brought anti-Semitic ideas with them to America. But from the start these ideas ran counter to the prevailing culture and never took root. The American Founding Fathers were free of this hatred, and instead had such reverence for the Bible and the Jews that they seriously considered making Hebrew the official language of the new nation. George Washington wrote his famous letter to the members of the Touro Synagogue warmly welcoming their civic participation and condemning bigotry in the strongest terms. Thus in America, the philo-Semitic theology of the evangelicals fit easily into the broader civic culture that surrounded them.There is so much more in that interview. Please read it. These topics are of vital importance to the future of American politics and to the future of Israel's survival itself.
Whether conscious or not, the Jews are feeling the rumblings anti-Semitism. It is terrifying. Jews beat in France, synogogues defaced in Germany where the far right is rearing its ugly head, Iran and Hamas dedicated in their goal of a world without Israel--a message right at home in the Democratic party.
American conservatives find the rise of anti-Semitism repugnant. And I, for one, cannot believe what I'm seeing and hearing half the time coming from the far corners of the political spectrum. Have the Democrats lost their mind?
The short answer: yes.
Three innocent men murdered by firing sqad. Blood sport for the Muslim hoardes. The whole judicial process swayed by Muslim hardliners intimidating the court. Indonesia, with 160 million Muslims, persecuting Christians.
The trend continues. Oh, and Egypt wants nuclear power now, too.
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 7:27 AM
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Charles at Little Green Footballs notes that Bush negotiated after 9/11 with Pakistan thusly:
Pretty rude. That's negotiation for ya. Sometimes it's rude, rough and tumble, and sometimes, it accumulates some karma.
Pervez is really opening up these days; on Tuesday he called for a ban on criticism of Islam, and today he apparently told 60 Minutes that the US threatened to bomb Pakistan after 9/11.
I should hope we did.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan said that after the September 11 attacks the United States threatened to bomb his country if it did not cooperate with America’s war campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Musharraf, in an interview with CBS news magazine show “60 Minutes” that will air Sunday, said the threat came from Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage and was given to Musharraf’s intelligence director.
“The intelligence director told me that (Armitage) said, ‘Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age,”’ Musharraf said.
“I think it was a very rude remark.”
He’s right. That was pretty rude.
All the talk in the world means squat, if no action backs up the discussion. We've all seen the impotent parents cooing to their little beasts in hopes that a sing-song voice will elicit the desired behavior. Effective, right?
Ditto house negotiations. The person in the position of strength can smell desperation and is a stooge if he doesn't exploit it. No one likes to be on the receiving end of these "negotiations". It is nice when a deal can end up as a win-win.
Since the terrorist and rogue state problem is a zero-sum game, though, the win-win is this: Stop the madness and we'll let you live and not get "bombed into the stone-ages."
This brings us circuitously to Iran. Some corners of the State Department, including the Secretary herself believed that it was "a really, really bad idea" to allow Iran's President to speak to the United Nations Council on Foreign Relations or be allowed to step foot on American soil. I can see the argument for that, but a nice, if unintended consequence, came out of allowing him to keep his yapper running: Doubters got to hear his beliefs clearly once again.
Never raising his voice and thanking each questioner with a tone that oozed polite hostility, he spent 40 minutes questioning the evidence that the Holocaust ever happened — “I think we should allow more impartial studies to be done on this,” he said after hearing an account of an 81-year-old member, the insurance mogul Maurice R. Greenberg, who saw the Dachau concentration camp as Germany fell — and he refused to even consider Washington’s proposal for Russia to provide Iran with nuclear reactor fuel, and take it back once it is used. (Without the capacity to enrich fuel on its own soil Iran would be unable to make fuel suitable for a nuclear weapon.)He is not a nice man. He looks civilized. He is Western trained. He's got a jawline cut for Hollywood. And he's a madman intent on destruction. He is calling everyone's bluff.
Mr. Ahmadinejad’s habit of answering every question about Iranian policy with a question about American policy was clearly wearing on some of the members, but at the end they acknowledged that he was about as skillful an interlocutor as they had ever encountered. “He is a master of counterpunch, deception, circumlocution,’’ Mr. Scowcroft said, shaking his head. Mr. Blackwill emerged from the conversation wondering how the United States would ever be able to negotiate with this Iranian government.
“If this man represents the prevailing government opinion in Tehran, we are heading for a massive confrontation with Iran,” he said.
There is no negotiating, if negotiating means more talking. Iran's President' has made his stance crystal clear. He either 1) believes that the U.S. will never act to stop his nuclear ambitions due to our dependence on oil or the populace's collective lack of stomach for a fight, or 2) believes they will try to stop Iran's ambitions which would mean loss of Iranian life and he doesn't care, or both. Maybe he feels it's a win-win for him. If America lets Iran nuclear arm--he wins. He can now bully with a serious arsenal. If America stops him--he wins. He figures Iranian popular sentiment will turn to fully support the Mullahs against the world. Or perhaps he feels he has a hand in uniting the Muslim world.
While the Iranian religious leadership have their nefarious schemes, they have a perfect puppet in Ahmadinejad. He is crazy as a fox. He is serious. And he does it all with a smile on his face and with words that sound rational to the Leftest element in the U.S.
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 8:56 PM
Hugo Chavez the most welcome guest to America in quite some time (after Khatami and Ahmadinejad) reiterated his animous for President Bush. While one of my very loyal readers was alarmed that this mafia-looking Dictator graced America's hallowed shores, I, for one am glad he's here and I'll tell you why.
American Leftists have spewed Chavez's rhetoric non-stop since Bush "stole" the election in 2000. The maniacal mantra, "Bush is evil, Bush is evil, Bush is evil" hasn't stopped ever since. Chavez, in all his ignorant, foolish glory, just said what a chunk of America including good, ole Danny Glover, believes.
Say it loud! Say it proud, brother Hugo! And while you're naming the devil, why not do it in a black church in Harlem where inane statements like, "you're the original Americans, aborigines, like me" and "you're the survivors", received enthusiastic applause and chants of adoration in Spanish.
That's right America, take a nice, long look at the Left. Drink in the poison and let it fester for a while. These ridiculous, inane babblings of a sociopathic Dictator represent the Democrats running for office. He's just more succinct about what he really believes. This via Slate:
At Urban Elephants—a blog that, like Rangel, comes from New York—Quick Justice thinks Rangel is just playing it safe: "At this point, past Democrat criticisms of Bush look identical in tone and substance to Chavez's, linking them to him, and making it obvious that they've become uncomfortably close to sworn enemies of this nation."
Oh sure, Charlie Rangel gave a half-hearted scolding (he recommended that Bush and Chavez keep their war of words between them, and don't come to "my country" and take shots at "the President", say it "to the American people"--I actually have no idea what the hell Rangel was talking about). Nancy Pelosi called Chavez a "thug". No kidding! He is definitely thuggish and brutish and not quite the polished ranter that Howard Dean is (ha!), but the sentiments and Machiavellian scheming aren't all that different.
But please, the reason these two even said anything is because Chavez barking at the moon and spouting Democratic talking points was just a tad too blunt for everyone's liking. Unlike you, Hugo, the Democrats have to persuade everyone they are more mentally balanced than they are and actually stating what they believe straight out like you did puts a fair amount of pressure on them. Ack! If we say you're a poopy-head, Hugo, the nutroots won't like it. If we agree, everyone will know, once and for all, without a doubt, that we are certifiably nuts.
My, my. What a double-bind!
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 7:05 PM