Dada is the sun, Dada is the egg. Dada is the Police of the Police.


My name is Dada Head, and I am a socialist

From MyDD, via Daou:

I Am A Socialist---And So Are You, And Bob Dole, Too!

Bob Dole has the use of his arms and legs today because of socialized medicine. Newt Gingrich once called him "tax collector for the welfare state." In 1996, he even said that broadcast industry ought to pay--something on the order of %70 billion was the estimated value--for the public spectrum that they ended up getting for free in the Telecommunications Act that Clinton signed. In short, Bob Dole is, like almost all Americans, a socialist in part, whether he knows it or not.

Technically, socialism means a system in which the basic means of production are owned in common. Not everything. Just the basic sources of economic wealth--such as the oil wealth in Iraq. But more loosely, socialism refers to social ownership in general.

Equating the two senses is a major source of confusion and foundation of demogogery. America has plenty of socialism in the second sense that is not leading to socialism in the first sense--though some might wish it were. Prominent examples include local fire and police departments, libraries, public education, Social Security, Medicare, and the National Park System.

If it were up to capitalism and the free market to provide, there would be no police departments, only private security firms and groups of vigilantes. Fire departments would be like private insurance companies--as, indeed, they once were in much of America--responding only to those who had paid for them in advance. Libraries would be relatively small affairs, of several hundred, perhaps as many as several thousand books, found in the houses of a few of the wealthiest 5 or 10%. Education would be similarly limited to the children of this same demographic. Social Security would not exist. Poverty and old age would be virtually synonomous. Medicare? Forget it! The elderly would simply die from relatively minor illnesses. And national parks? That's why we have Disneyland!

Guess what? Nobody wants to live in that world. People voted to create a dramatically different one. Not just once, but over and over and over again. They did so because they are socialists--at least in the second sense--whether they know it or not.

If the word "socialism" had not been so successfully demonized, it would be a lot more easy to talk about solving some of our most pressing problems. Such as our health care system, which leaves 40-some million people uninsured, and spends more money on paperwork than Washington ever dreamed of.

We need to keep this fundamental reality in mind when ProudUnionDem posts a diary saying:

Bernie Sanders isn't one of these politicians that the wingnuts of the Rep party call a socialist. He calls himself a socialist! He claims to be a "proud" socialist. The last thing we need is to be associated with this nut even though he does often vote correctly.

He is saying that we ought to buy into the hysterical demonization of socialism. That we ought to help spread it ourselves. That we should become part of the very problem that is destoying informed rational self-government in our nation. He is saying we should be part of that problem, rather than fighting those responsible for it. Rather than letting Bernie Sanders perform a valuable public service--not just the ordinary service of public office, which he has performed excellently--but the further service of helping to detoxify the label of "socialism" so that we can think and talk about our political problems and possible solutions in a much more sane and balanced way.

Socialism is a fact of life. It's a pragmatic necessity we all recognize. Only some of us layer over that recognition with a massive dose of denial. That doesn't make it go away. It just makes us more crazy.

It's time to get sane.

Remember this next time a right-winger thinks he has won an argument because he's called you a socialist.

... speaking of socialists, I've just heard (also via MyDD) that Bernie Sanders is running for the Senate seat that Jim Jeffords is vacating. Read his statement at

Democrats: run a candidate against Sanders and I will never support your party again. DLC Democrats have been blasting Ralph Nader since 2000 for being a spoiler; here's your chance to put your money where your mouth is.

Wingnut logic

I know--a contradiction in terms. As evidenced by this remark from a post I linked to earlier:

The thing I find odd is that I can't imagine a conservative going to a very partisan left-wing site and pestering the author of an article like the liberals have done here. We would just read it, comment to ourselves on the idiocy of the writer, and move on. The left, on the other hand, trolls conservative sites as an act of espionage; they want to see what we are thinking in order to craft a line of attack.

So much here it's hard to know where to start. First of all, you can't imagine conservatives 'pestering' left-wing bloggers? I would venture to guess that any lefty blogger gets a steady stream of right-wing criticism. I'm not complaining, mind you; I actually appreciate hearing an opposing point of view, unlike many conservative bloggers. For instance, Michelle Malkin and Blogs for Bush have both blocked me from sending trackback pings to their sites, for no particular reason other than the fact that I wrote posts critical of them. Many of the people who read this blog are to my right politically, and disagree with me often, and sometimes tell me so. What's wrong with that? Why do so many conservatives go out of their way to avoid hearing any dissenting opinions?

(Now, it's important to point out that there are exceptions to this. A lot of the right-wing blogs that I read on a regular basis have never been reluctant to listen to criticism, and I find myself very appreciative of this because it so rare. Some of these sites are: Right Reason, Catallarchy, Libertopia, No Angst Zone, Liberal Quicksand, among others.)

Then there's this:

The left, on the other hand, trolls conservative sites as an act of espionage; they want to see what we are thinking in order to craft a line of attack.

What the fuck? So if you are a liberal reading a conservative blog, you're a 'troll' seeking to commit 'espionage'?!? Is there something wrong with wanting to see what you are thinking? To attempt to argue against you? Why is this seen as some kind of duplicitous act?

I've seen this bizarre idea before. Keith Burgess-Jackson, the proprietor of The Conservative Philosopher, is probably the worst offender in this regard. Another example: during the Terri Schiavo business a while back, I wrote this post, poking fun at a blogger named Paulie for simultaneously bemoaning Terri Schiavo's death and proclaiming how happy she was up in heaven. Paulie then wrote a response, which was perfectly polite and reasonable. But a reader of his wrote in the comments section:

I followed his trackback last night after I commented on your earlier post.

What struck me most was how he went intentionally trolling conservative and Christian blogs so that he would have something to write about. He was and probably always will be afraid to look within himself for inspiration.

Instead of searching his own heart for how he felt he chooses to be reactionary. To him Christians make easy enemies, sadly though he doesn't realize that to us he shows himself only as empty and weak.

Again, simply reading and responding to what a conservative says is seen as 'trolling'!! Not 'researching,' not 'debating,' but 'trolling'. I simply don't understand this logic.

It occurs to me, though, that it may be behind the annoying tendency of right-wingers, when they are criticizing the Left, to create ridiculous strawmen. For instance, in response to the news that France is supporting China's 'anti-secession' law with regard to Taiwan, Blogger for Bush Mark Noonan writes:

So, France is in favor of arming one of the most tyrannical regimes on Earth, and has no problem if China decides that it has to invade Taiwan ... ok, liberals, tell us again about how we shouldn't make the French mad because they have a greater wisdom in the world than our cowboy President...

Mark simply isn't fazed by the fact that no liberal has ever said anything like this. He doesn't even know this, in all likelihood, because the SOP for wingnuts is not to find out what their opponents believe straight from the horse's mouth, but rather to listen to Rush and Ann Coulter tell them what liberals believe and then attack that. Thus you get wingers claiming that liberals want to ban the bible, think all Southerners are idiots, want to destroy 'the family', hope for the fall of Christianity, believe in moral relativism, want the U.S. to turn its sovereignty over to the U.N., worship Michael Moore and Hillary Clinton, and are obsessed with France and anal sex.

But I guess actually knowing what the fuck you're talking about is for pointy-headed elitist French queers.

Nazi Pope: not just the Hitler Youth

Almost all of the discussion about the new pope's Nazi past has centered around his membership in the Hitler Youth as a 14-year-old. But his involvement with that particular group isn't exhaustive of his participation in the Nazi regime.

(The following is from the entry on Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI from Wikipedia, which is an excellent resource but which always requires a caveat, since it is a 'collaborative' encyclopedia that anyone can edit. So I am assuming that the following information is by and large accurate, which I am highly confident that it is, considering that many people have been looking at the entry over the past week or so and would likely notice and correct any major errors.)

When Ratzinger turned 14 in 1941, he was enrolled in the Hitler Youth, membership of which was legally required from 1938 until the end of the "Third Reich" in 1945.


In 1943, when he was 16, Ratzinger was drafted with many of his classmates into the FlaK (anti-aircraft artillery corps). They were posted first to Ludwigsfeld, north of Munich, as part of a detachment responsible for guarding a BMW aircraft engine plant from Allied bombers. Next they were sent to Unterföhring, northwest of Munich, and briefly to Innsbruck. From Innsbruck their unit went to Gilching to protect the jet fighter base and to attack Allied bombers as they massed to begin their runs (part of the British terror bombing strategy) towards Munich.

On September 10, 1944, his class was released from the Corps. Returning home, Ratzinger had already received a new draft notice for the Reichsarbeitsdienst. He was posted to the Hungarian border area of Austria which had been annexed by Germany in the Anschluss of 1938. Here he was trained in the "cult of the spade" and upon the surrender of Hungary to Russia was put to work setting up anti-tank defences in preparation for the expected Red Army offensive. On November 20, 1944, his unit was released from service.

Ratzinger again returned home. After three weeks passed, he was drafted into the army at Munich and assigned to the infantry barracks in the center of Traunstein, the city near which his family lived. After basic infantry training, his unit was sent to various posts around the city. They were never sent to the front.

In late April or early May, days or weeks before the German surrender, Ratzinger deserted. Desertion was widespread during the last weeks of the war, even though punishable by death; executions, frequently extrajudicial, continued to the end. In the days preceding imminent German defeat, however, many soldiers deserted. Diminished morale and the greatly diminished risk of prosecution from a preoccupied and disorganized German military, also contributed to widespread desertion. ...

Two points here worth mentioning. One is that any debate over Ratzinger's activities should not be focused on how much moral responsibility we can attribute to a 14-year-old; Ratzinger was a couple of years older than that and was still serving the Nazi military. A small difference, perhaps, but we are already drawing very fine distinctions in trying to determine the age at which one can be held accountable for his actions.

Second, Ratzinger's desertion should not be described as an act of great courage or moral character, which is the way Steve Gilliard seems to see it:

To call the new pope a Nazi demeans the most courageous act in the man's life, running from a Luftwaffe AA battery in a fit of common sense. The Nazis were big on roadside executions and unlike some of the Hitler Youth, he wasn't going to die for Hitler. There were plenty of people willing to ensure that you did. So he deserves ample credit for refusing to fight and to surrender to the Americans instead.

Yes, there was a chance that he could have been caught by German soldiers and executed, but this became less and less likely as the war drew to a close, and it easily could have been the case that Ratzinger made the judgment that he was less likely to be killed by deserting than by staying and fighting. There's no reason to think that this act was 'courageous' or 'a fit of common sense,' unless by that you mean doing what he had to do to save his own ass.

Which, by the way, I am not faulting him for in the least. But let's not pretend that desertion from the Nazi army at the end of the war was indicative of bravery on his part, and let's certainly not pretend that it somehow absolves him of any responsibility for his actions up to that point.


From Liberal Quicksand:*

Women; Quit Whining and Go Dust Something

If the world was going to end tomorrow, today's headline in the NY Times would read, World Ends Tomorrow - Women and Minorities Hit Hardest.


Women outnumber men at our college campuses. That will help us compete on the world economy when half of our graduating classes decide to get pregnant - or change their minds and decide to quit the workforce. Women have that choice if they marry correctly. The problem is these women's butts took up seats, money and resources that a man could of used so he could support a family.

Don't get me started on how the 'strong female' has made a mess of the black families across this land.

This is a sick joke perpetrated by the liberals of this country.

Guys, take your rightful place and put the women back in their's, before it is too late.

Ladies, I'm not sure if the author of this post is single or not, but I'll try to find out for you ASAP.

*It is possible that this post is a joke; I'm not sure. Hell, it is possible that the entire site is a joke, an elaborate parody of wingnut 'thought'.

Please God let it be a joke.

Wingnut fantasy debunked

Wingnut morons like this jackass keep trying to argue that Nazism was a form of leftism. The Socialist Swine puts the smackdown on that idea here.

Less Cinderella, more Buffy

Via someone posting at Majikthise:

Fairy tales linked to violent relationships

LONDON (AFP) - Young girls who enjoy classic romantic fairy tales like "Cinderella" and "Beauty and the Beast" are at greater risk of becoming victims of violent relationships in later life, a British researcher says.

A study of both parents of primary school children and women who have been involved in domestic abuse claims than those who grew up reading fairy tales are likely to be more submissive as adults.

Susan Darker-Smith, a graduate student who wrote the academic paper, said she found many abuse victims identified with characters in famous children's literature and claimed the stories provide "templates" of dominated women.

A more senior academic at the University of Derby said the topic was sure to spark debate but merited further research.

"They believe if their love is strong enough they can change their partner's behaviour," Darker-Smith said. "Girls who have listened to such stories as children tend to become more submissive in their future relationships."


Darker-Smith said she believed younger generations exposed to television and other entertainment media may react differently and be less submissive than those weaned solely on literature.



What Pope Benny XVI should have said

For those of us who are having trouble dismissing the new pope's Nazi past, it seems like part of the problem might be the refusal on the part of Ratzinger, or Pope Benny XVI, as my friend the Socialist Swine calls him, to own up to his past and take responsibility for it, preferring instead to make excuses and repeat the lie that he had no choice.

With this in mind, Girl With An Alibi has drafted a speech that she would like to see Ratzinger give.

Don't hold your breath, though.

Frequently asked question

Steve at Guide to Reality is attempting to address the question of whether or not God exists. You can read his post for the details of his reasoning, but his conclusion is:
So, I conclude that the existence of some impersonal and limited divine essence in the world is plausible. However, the existence of a God with the particular attributes offered by traditional monotheism is extremely implausible.
I was impressed by the stones it takes to try to answer one of history's most difficult and persistent questions in a blog entry. So I thought I would try to emulate Steve and chip in my two cents.


Someone once told me that the correct answer to most questions is: it depends.

Though everyone assumes I am an atheist (presumably because of my left-wing political views, but also perhaps because of my general aura of unholiness), I do not describe myself that way. In response to the question, "Do you believe in God?," my answer would be: it depends what you mean by that.

The greatest living philosopher, Noam Chomsky, is almost universally characterized as an atheist, especially by conservatives who view that as an insult. But he is actually far more equivocal on the question of God's existence than one might expect, and I find his remarks on the issue to be enlightening.
When asked at a public hearing whether he believed in God, Chomsky responded:
Suppose somebody says I believe in God, what are they believing in? What is it that they're believing in? I can't answer it because I don't understand the question.

We all believe ... that there's a world out there that we are inside of ... there are truths about that world whether we can find them or not and that's the end of the story. We may not be able to find the truths about the world, but if it's there, there are truths about it. Maybe they're not even explainable in our language.

On an online forum, Chomsky was asked how he defined God:
How do I define God? I don't. Divinities have been understood in various ways in the cultural traditions that we know ... we find ... conceptions of many kinds.

But I have nothing to propose. People who find such conceptions important for themselves have every right to frame them as they like. Personally, I don't.
And again elsewhere Chomsky expresses similar sentiments:
Do I believe in God? Can't answer, I'm afraid. I'm not being flippant, but I don't understand the question. What is it that I am supposed to believe or not believe in? Are you asking whether I believe there is something not in the universe (or the universes, if there are (maybe infinitely) many of them), and that somehow stands above them? I've never heard of any reason for believing that. Something else? What?

There are many concepts of spirituality, among them, various notions of divinity developed in the Judaeo-Christian-Islamic religions. Within these the concepts vary greatly. St. Augustine and others, for example, argued that one should not take seriously the Biblical account of God as an exaggerated human, and other Biblical accounts, because they were crafted so as to make the intended message intelligible to humans -- and on such grounds, he argued, organized religion ought to accept persuasive conclusions of science ... without clarification of a kind I have never seen, I don't know whether I believe or don't believe in whatever a questioner has in mind.

I think Chomsky nails the fundamental confusion behind the question "Is there a God?" I don't necessarily think, as Chomsky seems to, that this confusion is unresolvable, but I do believe that an enormous amount needs to be said before one can even begin to answer the question.

This confusion is also behind the dispute that occurs once in a while over whether some particular person believes in God or not. For instance, many religious types have tried to claim Einstein as a fellow believer, which has angered atheists, who insist that Einstein's frequent invocation of religious terms like 'God' should not be taken literally, since Einstein explicitly denied that he believed in what he called a 'personal' God. As it happens, his remarks regarding religion and God often parallel those of Chomsky:
During the youthful period of mankind's spiritual evolution human fantasy created gods in man's own image, who, by the operations of their will were supposed to determine, or at any rate to influence, the phenomenal world. Man sought to alter the disposition of these gods in his own favor by means of magic and prayer. The idea of God in the religions taught at present is a sublimation of that old concept of the gods. Its anthropomorphic character is shown, for instance, by the fact that men appeal to the Divine Being in prayers and plead for the fulfillment of their wishes.

Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future: It transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural and the spiritual, and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity.

I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings.
What was Spinoza's God? This is difficult to answer briefly; very roughly, it is something like: all that is, or the only thing that exists; the Universe itself:
Whatsoever is, is in God, and without God nothing can be, or be conceived.
Was Spinoza an atheist or a believer? He was considered an atheist by some of his religious contemporaries, and Nietzsche, the mack-daddy of all atheists, called Spinoza his 'precursor'. But Spinoza has also been described as "God-intoxicated." That the same thinker could be interpreted in such radically different ways suggests that the question of God is more terminological than substantive, as Chomsky claims.

But Chomsky thinks there is no reason to use this particular terminology. I'm not so sure. Indulge me a final quote from Einstein:
... science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion. To this there also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason. I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith. The situation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. It was the experience of mystery— even if mixed with fear— that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds: it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity. In this sense, and only this sense, I am a deeply religious man.
It is important, I think, to behold the world in this manner, to recognize the marvelousness of a universe, an existence, which is partially comprehensible but fundamentally mysterious. Call it God, Nature, the Ultimate, the One, the Real, whatever.

In other words: God is the universe looked at in a certain way. The question, then, is not whether God exists, but rather: what is his nature?


This isn't particularly timely or relevant to anything, but I just came across this quote, via Robert Freedland, from George W. Bush:

I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job.

See, I would have expected Him to sound less like a retarded inbred 4th-grader on crack, but I guess God works in mysterious ways.

Resistance was possible

The new pope, Benedict XVI nee Cardinal Ratzinger, has said that his participation with the Nazi's Hitler Youth program was entirely nonvoluntary, and that resistance to the Nazi regime was impossible.

This is false. From a blog called Is That Legal? (found via Brian Leiter):

... even during times of (officially) universal [Hitler Youth] membership ... there were always some reflective adolescents of both sexes who were different. They protested against the stifling rigor by refusing the state's youth conscription. . . . One boy in northern German Rendsburg, supported by his father, risked total confrontation with his leaders simply by growing his hair long ... Peter Wapnewski, later a professor of German literature, as a youth was hypnotized by American jazz and swing and thus forged a doctor's letter to stay away ... A particularly sensitive girl in Hamburg risked expulsion from the BDM [female equivalent of the Hitler Youth] because she found its views to be drivel ... The noted Hitler biographer Joachim C. Fest, who even at seventeen was a critic of the Fuhrer and his Nazi regime, had never bothered to join [Hitler Youth].

Now, just to be clear, I'm not saying that Ratzinger's Nazi past makes him an evil person, or that his election as pope is tantamount to giving the position to Goering or something. I'm just saying that we shouldn't pretend that his cooperation with the Nazis wasn't a choice. That's all. It may be an understandable choice, an excusable choice--but still a choice.

In evaluating someone's moral character, you must examine the choices they have made. All of us will have made good and bad choices, but it is immoral and immature to try to hide those choices, or to pretend that one had no choice.

Why libertarians will never win

People hate libertarian policies.

It's easy to spout off about being anti-tax when you are in Washington because you then get to pass the buck to the state and local level. What's interesting to see here is that there are GOP governors across the US, even in GOP strongholds such as Colorado and Alabama, that are facing budget realities and raising taxes. Voters want what is normal, such as roads and schools and while the GOP might also view those programs as socialist, voters see things differently.

Or, you might say that they don't care if they are socialist. Almost every nation-state in the developed world has some mixture of 'socialist' and 'capitalist' policies. Libertarians who think they can discredit a policy by proving that it is socialist are wrong. The people like their socialism, and this has been shown again and again.


Man on dog

I can't imagine anyone actually buying this and putting it on their dog, but if you want to you someone is selling them here.

Separated at birth?

Rachel Griffith (actress from Six Feet Under):



Rip off

Andrea Mackris, the woman who sued Falafel Boy (a.k.a. Bill O'Reilly) for sexual harassment and had her suit settled out of court for a undisclosed but presumably large sum, has bought an Upper West Side apartment for $809,500.

Who gives a shit, right.

Here's what grabbed my attention:

The approximately 750-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment is a rarity in this prewar condominium, but hardly an extravagant post-settlement purchase.

Again: that's one bedroom, 750 square feet. For $809,500.

That would have bought a lot of falafels.

Kerry on God and the GOP

From the Boston Herald, via Democratic Underground:

I am sick and tired of a bunch of people trying to tell me that God wants a bunch of conservative judges on the court and that's why we have to change the rules of the United States Senate. I am sick and tired of (them saying) they somehow have a better understanding of Christianity, of the Judeo-Christian ethic, of values. We're talking about values? You show me where in the New Testament Jesus ever talked about the value of having taxes and taking money from poor people to give to the rich people in this country.

Apprently, Jesus didn't endorse top-bracket tax cuts in the Sermon on the Mount.

Technical difficulties

For the last 24 hours or so, this blog has been inaccessible to some using the Firefox browser (though not with Internet Explorer); the browser was redirected to the Blogger home page. The problem is supposed to be fixed, so if you cannot access the site with Firefox, you should just need to clear your cache (in the Tools menu, go to options, then privacy, then cache, then hit 'clear').

Please let me know if there are any further problems ( Thanks.

Young'uns turning their backs on gays?

It has been a truism of conventional wisdom that young people are generally much more tolerant of homosexuality than their elders. But Mark Noonan casts doubt on this, pointing to a recent Gallup poll showing strong support for a Constitutional amendment to prohibit gay marriage:

Some of the things which I thought especially interesting were the results which showed that younger people (18-29) support a Constitutional amendment by a 56/39 margin (so much for the concept that gay marriage proponents just have to wait until the younger generation grows up), while the demographic with the least support for an amendment is people 50-64 (ie, the cream of the Baby Boomer generation), who only support such an amendment by a 51/45 margin.

This is indeed surprising. My guess: young people are tolerant, but they are also easily swayed, and there's been a huge upswing in anti-gay rhetoric lately.

However, it should be kept in mind that many of these young people are still in college, and that by the time they get out they will surely be homosexuals themselves, which could change the numbers.


The end is extremely fucking nigh

They're naming animal species after corporations now.

Attention conservative academics:

Just because someone doesn't publish your article or give you a job does not mean you were discriminated against because you are conservative.

The other side of the coin

Remember the proclamation of 29 professors at the University of Denver College of Law denouncing the inquiry into Ward Churchill because "the critique of conventional wisdom, or the accepted way of doing (or seeing) things, is essential to fostering the public debate that is necessary to prevent tyranny"?

Remember the ringing declaration of 199 faculty at the University of Colorado at Boulder, also in defense of Churchill, on the importance of an "environment in which ideas may be exchanged even in the face of widespread doubt, incomprehension and hostility"?

Does such an unfettered intellectual environment actually exist on any Colorado campus?

In the journal Academic Questions, former Gov. Richard Lamm recounts an incident that suggests, once again, the answer is emphatically no.

Lamm, who is a tenured professor at DU, tried to publish an article in The Source, a newspaper run by the administration there, "in response to a particularly offensive screed on white racism by one of our affirmative action officials."

Yet despite personal pleas he took up the DU ladder right into the chancellor's office, his essay was repeatedly rejected.

It is now online at Provocative? Undoubtedly. Offensive? Obviously to some. But if Churchill can call for violence and the destruction of America, surely Lamm can argue that the cultural component in personal success is much larger than many of us wish to concede.

Or can he?

Did it ever occur to the guy that maybe his article just sucked? For Christ's sake: journals don't always publish every paper they get; departments don't hire every person who applies. This is the case for everyone. It is not a left-wing conspiracy. It is just the way things work. I'm sorry you can't always have whatever you want, but try to deal without getting hysterical and running to David Horowitz with your tales of liberal bias.


Foucault made her queer

Parents: think twice before sending your sons and daughters off to university. They might just come back gay, according to Dennis Prager, who brings us, as World O' Crap put it, "the shocking story of a coed who majored in 'How to Not Be Heterosexual' at McGill University, and soon found herself having hot, wild lesbian encounters with other busty, attractive young women":

Perhaps the most important argument against same-sex marriage is that once society honors same-sex sex as it does man-woman sex, there will inevitably be a major increase in same-sex sex. People do sexually (as in other areas) what society allows and especially what it honors.

One excellent example illustrating this is an article recently written in the McGill University newspaper by McGill student Anna Montrose. In it, she wrote:

It's hard to go through four years of a Humanities B.A. reading Foucault and Butler and watching 'The L Word' and keep your rigid heterosexuality intact. I don't know when it happened exactly, but it seems I no longer have the easy certainty of pinning my sexual desire to one gender and never the other.

(Michel Foucault is a major French "postmodern" philosopher; Judith Butler is a prominent "gender theorist" at UC Berkeley; and "The L-Word" is a popular TV drama about glamorous lesbians.)

Dennis, of course, just had to meet this woman in person and ask her a few questions, which he did on his radio show:

DP: Prior to attending university you had your 'rigid heterosexuality' intact. Is that correct?

AM: I think that that's pretty fair to say.

DP: So you and I both believe that how people behave sexually, including which sex they will engage with sexually, is largely determined by society and not by nature.

AM: Yeah, I completely agree.


DP: You didn't know you were sexually attracted to women until you went to university? You had lived 18 years and thought you were only sexually attracted to males.

AM: That's true, but I also had never had a boyfriend either. I didn't date --

DP: Whether one has a boyfriend or girlfriend is very different from what one wants to have and where one's sexual fantasies lie.

AM: Yeah, that's completely true.

DP: All I'm saying about sexual choices is that society has a deep impact on sexual choices including whether it's same sex or opposite sex. So my whole position is: Thousands of years of Western civilization preferring male-female bonding leading to marriage and family is a good thing, and Anna feels that it's a bad thing. Is that totally fair? Or am I putting words in your mouth?

AM: I don't think it's necessarily preferable. I think that people should be able to make their own choices.

DP: So one is as good as the other.

AM: Yeah.

DP: So you're saying that for thousands of years, Western society has been wrong for preferring male-female marital bonding.

AM: I only think it's wrong in that it limits other possibilities, which are equally good.


DP: Have you acted upon your new revelation of not being a rigid heterosexual?

AM: What do you mean 'acted on'?

DP: Well, had sexual contact with females.

AM: I guess I have, yeah.

DP: Have you had with a male?

AM: I had. I had a boyfriend for a year.

DP: Is there any difference or are they both equally meaningful to you?

AM: Well, there is definitely a difference, but they are also both meaningful.

Huh huh ... he said 'rigid'.

And then he said 'deep impact'.

Nazi Pope

Matt Margolis at Blogs for Bush quotes John Kerry's response to the election of the new Pope:

The election of a new pope is a great moment of hope, renewal and possibility for the Catholic church. Like all Catholics, Teresa and I pray for the Holy Father, extend our hopes for the Church, and hope that Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate will touch the world in the same way Pope John Paul II did, reaching out to all people everywhere to find common ground, and guiding the faithful in a time of challenge and change across the globe.

Margolis then points out that Ratzinger was behind the election-season order not to give communion to politicians who supported abortion rights, most prominently, of course, John Kerry. Matt says:

Just noting the irony.

What exactly is the irony here, Matt? The only irony I can see is that Kerry was gracious and respectful while the newly elected head of a major religious institution is willing to use what is supposed to be the Church's holiest sacrament for the purposes of petty politicking.

Is that what you meant, Matt?

In other Pope-related news, some conservatives are upset about the repeated references to Ratzinger's Nazi past. Dave Wissing says it is irrelevant:

And just remember, he lived in Germany during a time where you either became a member of Hitler Youth or were possibly killed as a traitor.

Is it unfair to criticize Ratzinger for his involvement with the Nazi regime? Maybe, if it was truly a choice between joining the Hitler Youth or being executed as a traitor, though it should be noted that this is exactly the same excuse used by nearly every person who served the Nazis in some capacity. But is it true that the only choice was cooperation or death? Some say it is not. The Socialist Swine, for example, questions this premise:

Unlike what some people might think, the Hitlerjungen [Hitler Youth] weren't some sort of boyscout group, they were amongst some of the most fanatical troops employed by the Nazis during the Second World War (indeed, at the battle of Caen a Hitlerjungen Panzer division fought the Canadians to the last man/boy) ... according to Ratzinger he was a conscript forced into combat and while, from what I've read, many of the Hitlerjungen were volunteers ... However, despite Georg Ratzinger's (Joseph's older brother) claims that "Resistance was truly impossible", there were conscientious objectors in Nazi Germany, for example the Jehovah's Witnesses.

The Swine is willing to give Ratzinger the benefit of the doubt, though. Majikthise isn't:

It is perfectly legitimate to point out that Ratz cooperated in the day and made excuses after the fact. That's not the level of moral leadership one might expect from St. Peter's representative on earth.

She also points to the claim of some Germans that resistance was, in fact, possible:

Germans from his hometown of Traunstein told The Times of London ... "It was possible to resist, and those people set an example for others," recalled Elizabeth Lohner, 84. "The Ratzingers were young — and they had made a different choice."

But Lohner does mention one possible mitigating factor: the fact that Ratzinger was very young at the time. Steve Gilliard, though he calls Ratzinger "the second worst possible choice" for Pope, thinks that his youth exonerates him from guilt with respect to his cooperation with the Nazis:

Nazi is the cheap word, he was a kid press ganged into the war and ran when he got a chance.

It should be pointed out, though, that while Ratzinger was indeed young at the time, he was by no means a small child: he was 14 years old. And while that probably lessens his degree of responsibility, I'm not sure it completely absolves him of any. If he had been 8 years old, it would be a no-brainer.

Plus, a 14-year-old in the 1940s wasn't the same as a 14-year-old today. Keep in mind that we live in an era of extended adolescence where it is not at all implausible that a given 14-year-old might very well be supported by his parents for another decade or even more. That was not the case, back in the day; more was expected from teenagers, and they were more mature and more like regular adults than the teenagers of today.

Also, it is worth pointing out that while conservatives seem to think that Ratzinger's age was a mitigating factor, they don't seem to have similar sentiments when it comes to executing minors.

Anyway, I'm not sure if Ratzinger's Nazi past should be held against him, and if it should, how much so. But so far, the excuses that have been given for it are less than convincing.

UPDATE: Majikthise makes another good point (in the comments section of the post linked to above) about the age issue, noting that 14 is the age at which Catholics are confirmed, which means that the Church views 14-year-olds as being old enough to possess the necessary autonomy to make the choice to join the Church for themselves.


This is sad.

LOS ANGELES Apr 19, 2005 — A Caltech graduate student convicted of helping to firebomb scores of sport utility vehicles was sentenced to more than eight years in federal prison and ordered to pay $3.5 million in restitution.

A federal judge Monday rejected William Jensen Cottrell's plea for leniency.

"There's no way I'd ever be involved in anything like this again," Cottrell said. "I won't ever even jaywalk again."

However, U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner said Cottrell had engaged in domestic terrorism and "we're very, very lucky" that no one was killed in the arson attacks.

Cottrell, 24, was convicted in November of conspiracy to commit arson and seven counts of arson for an August 2003 vandalism spree that damaged and destroyed about 125 SUVs at dealerships and homes in the San Gabriel Valley east of Los Angeles.


The judge said he felt sorry for Cottrell, a doctoral candidate in the physics department at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, but he had only himself to blame.

"What a talent to have wasted," Klausner said.

Vandals used spray-paint to deface the vehicles with slogans such as "Fat, Lazy Americans," "polluter" and "ELF," for Earth Liberation Front, a radical environmental group.

Prosecutors estimated the total damage at $2.3 million.

Defense lawyers argued that Cottrell had agreed with two friends to spray-paint vehicles, but was surprised when they began to hurl Molotov cocktails.

Federal prosecutors have identified former Caltech students Tyler Johnson and Michie Oe as "fugitive co-conspirators" in the case. It is believed that both have fled the country.

Eight years seems unjustly excessive. Arguably, his actions did create some small risk that someone might be injured or killed, but certainly no more so than when someone drives drunk, and no one gets sentenced to eight years for that, especially when they don't actually hurt or kill anyone.

I know conservatives are pointing to the fact that he caused a couple million dollars worth of damage. But come on. For one thing, I'm guessing the dealerships had insurance, though I don't know for sure. But even if they didn't, $2.3 million doesn't justify eight years in prison. (How much prison time did Ken Lay get, again?)

On top of this, Cottrell has Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism. This fact, coupled with the relative innocuousness of the crime, makes it a travesty to treat this case as an instance of terrorism.

Environmentalists had formed groups to provide assistance to Cottrell, but these groups withdrew their support when he testified that Johnson and Oe were the ones who had started the fires, calling him an "informant." This too seems a bit harsh, given the fact that Johnson and Oe have fled the country and are unlikely to be prosecuted as a result of Cottrell's testimony.

A sad story any way you look at it.


Get off my fucking turf I am an idiot

NOTE: Please see update at the bottom of this post.

For weeks now, I have been a lone voice in the wilderness (with a couple of notable exceptions) defending the practice of tossing pie, salad dressing, etc. at wingnut buffoons like David Horowitz. At first, I was mostly just making fun of right-wingers like Michelle Malkin and others who screeched about these "chilling" attacks on wingnut free speech, and their seemingly pathological fear of condiments and pastries.

Then, after seeing even nonpareil lefty blogger Billmon join the chorus of those criticizing the pie-tossers, I felt the need to defend the practice, and argued that dumping food on clowns like Horowitz was actually a proper response to their nonsense, certainly preferable to 'debating' their 'ideas' as if they were actually rational, civilized beings. (This of course brought me under attack by various wingnuts, an attack to which I responded by calling them hysterical ninnies who are perpetually crying 'victim'.)

Now all of a sudden johnny-come-lately Newsweek columnist Gersh Kuntzman comes along, saying more or less the same thing:

The last few days have seen the predictable lament that the pie-throwers represent the worst thing about democracy—people so inarticulate that the only way they can counter such toxic thinkers as Coulter is to seize the moral low ground by trying to curtail their free speech.

That is far too simple an argument. Throwing a pie at someone who deserves it is one of the most celebrated traditions in our so-called culture.

He goes on to quote, approvingly, former Yippie and pie-thrower extraordinaire Aron Kay, a.k.a. the Pieman:

Pieing is an essential tool for deflating the pomposity of these politicians and commentators. I considered myself a defender of justice. But believe me, I still have a list of people who need to be pied.

Now, all things being equal, I would welcome Kuntzman as a new ally. But the bastard doesn't give me credit for being among the first to stand up for the legitimacy of pie-tossing! What the fuck?!? Just because you're some big-shot writer for a national news magazine (and a fucking shitty one, I might add), you think you're allowed to appropriate the causes of us little people and expect to get all the credit yourself? Fuck that. Give credit where credit is fucking due. You want to jump on the bandwagon, fine. But it's only decent to acknowledge those who went before you.

Otherwise, back up off my tip, motherfucker.

The above post was a poor and ill-advised attempt at humor/sarcasm via bombast. I am not really angry at Mr. Kuntzman; none of the things I said about him are true. I thought it would be obvious that it would be insanely unreasonable of me to expect a writer for major media outlets (all of which I would happily accept money to write for, BTW) to have "checked with me first" as if he even knew who the hell I was. And that much probably was obvious; what wasn't obvious, based on feedback from various sources, was that I realized how unreasonable it was. There are plenty of weenies out there in the blogosphere who do have an over-inflated enough sense of their own importance to make similar demands; please believe me when I assure you I am not one of those weenies. I was (lamely) trying to parody these weenies. In retrospect, there wasn't anything particularly humorous about it. I'm not sure what I was thinking. I'm really not sure why I expected anyone who isn't able to read my mind to know that I was kidding.

Part of the problem (though I'm not trying to excuse myself) is the nature of blogging; it is very easy to post something before you really think about it at all. Something catches your mind's fancy, you bang it out onto the screen, and then it's out in the world. Sometimes this is a great thing; sometimes it makes you look very stupid. This was one of the latter times.

My sincere apologies to Mr. Kuntzman (whose article, by the way, is an example of something that is actually funny). I don't know what else to say. I'm sorry. I hate myself. I'm an idiot.

Next time I will think before I post.

More evidence against John Cloud

Here are some lengthy excerpts from his profile of Ann Coulter in Time (with a smattering of my commentary thrown in):

But in person, Coulter is more likely to offer jokes than fury. For instance, you might ask her to name her historical antecedents in the conservative movement, and she’ll burst forth, “I’m Attila the Hun,” and then break into gales of laughter so forceful you smell the Nicorette. “Genghis Khan!”

This is an example of Ann's supposedly sharp sense of humor, even though that remark is not in the least bit funny. Cloud makes much of her humor in the article, even though he never once quotes her saying something that is actually humorous.

So finally, I asked that she be serious. I wanted to see the rancor that allegedly is her sole contribution to public discourse (that and being a “lying liar,” in Al Franken’s estimation, as well as a “telebimbo” [Salon] and a “skank,” according to a blog kept by Vanity Fair’s James Wolcott).

... what I saw of Coulter in that moment was a personality far more labile and human than the umbrageous harridan I had expected. After all, one of her most voluble critics, writer Eric Alterman (What Liberal Media?) told Time, “The idea that she doesn’t coarsen our culture and make it more difficult to speak complicated truths is nonsense.”

"Labile," by the way, means "open to change," in case you didn't know (I didn't). Plus the obvious connotations, which are inappropriate with respect to Coulter.

But while Coulter can occasionally be coarse—she’s not one of those conservatives who won’t say “f___” two or three times over dinner—she doesn’t seem particularly uncomplicated. When I spoke with her friend Miguel Estrada, an attorney and onetime White House nominee for a judgeship (Estrada asked President Bush to withdraw his name in 2003 after a Democratic filibuster targeted Estrada’s conservatism), he said Coulter’s appeal 15 years ago, when they met, was “the same as it is today. She was lively and funny and engaging and boisterous and outrageous and a little bit of a polemicist ... Most of the time, people miss her humor and satire and take her way too literally.”

I began to wonder, in a moistly liberal formulation, whether Ann Coulter might be ... misunderstood? All her right-wing capering aside (“We’ve got to attack France!”), Coulter was an Ivy League–educated legal writer before she was a TV pundit. She’s an omnivorous reader (everything from her friend Matt Drudge’s website to the works of French philosopher Jacques Ellul), and she isn’t afraid to begin a column on Bush, as she did in January, “Maybe he is an idiot.”

I'm pretty up on my philosophy, but I've never heard of "Jacques Ellul." Is he one of those "philosophers" who is only paid attention to by non-philosophers? You know, like Ayn Rand?

Although Coulter is often compared to conservative radio king Rush Limbaugh, he is “first a broadcaster,” as he described himself in one of his books. He said his show “is, after all else, still entertainment.” Coulter, on the other hand, doesn’t think of herself as an entertainer but as a public intellectual. Many would say she’s more of a shrieking ideologue, but regardless, her paychecks come solely from writing and giving speeches. She earns nothing from TV.

Yeah, and I'm sure the TV appearances have nothing to do with her book sales. Dipshit.

Coulter’s ubiquity on political talk shows is exceeded only by her inability to write a book that doesn’t become a best seller.

Some conservatives—many of them Coulter’s rivals for screen time, as she points out—have also drawn their knives. “Ann’s stuff isn’t very serious,” says a pundit who didn’t want to begin a public spat with Coulter. “We have this argument every now and then among our side: whether she is a net minus or net plus to conservatism. I have come to the conclusion that she’s a minus.”


... one is astounded to hear from Coulter something like, “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity,” as she famously wrote of Muslims who were cheering after the Sept. 11 attacks, not least because Coulter might be shrink-wrapped in a black-leather mini as she says it. The combination of hard-charging righteousness and willowy, sex-kitten pulchritude is vertiginous and--—for her many young male fans--—intoxicating.

Okay, who got Cloud the new Roget's for Christmas? He can't be trusted with it. 'Pulchritude' means beauty and 'vertiginous' means, well, causing vertigo. (Don't ask me.)

Coulter believes not just in less government but in almost no government. She would eliminate the departments of Education, Commerce, Agriculture and several others. She opposes abortion rights and has written that court-ordered school-desegregation plans have led to “illiterate students knifing one another between acts of sodomy in the stairwell.”

Okay, Cloud, you unbelievable shithead, how exactly does the criminalization of abortion mean "almost no government"? Fucking twit.

One theory about Coulter is that she is less Joe McCarthy and more a right-wing Ali G, acting out a character who utters what the rest of us won’t. (“That led him to masturbate into [White House] sinks?” she asked in 1999, when President Clinton’s rough childhood was mentioned on Rivera Live.)

“This isn’t a game,” Coulter said at CPAC. “The fate of our troops isn’t a game. The fate of the victims on 9/11 is not a game.” But she told me several times that, as she put it in an e-mail, “most of what I say, I say to amuse myself and amuse my friends. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about anything beyond that.”

So which is it? Is she a brave warrior or a shallow hack? Or is Ann Coulter that most unlikely of conservative subspecies: a hard-right ironist?

... But as Coulter herself points out in Is It True What They Say About Ann?, “I think the way to convert people is to make them laugh or to make them enraged ... Even if I could be convinced that if I had gone through 17 on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hands, I might convince one more liberal out there, I think I’d still write the way I write, because it gives me laughs.” Coulter told me that when her editor suggests cutting a line from a column to save space, “I’ll ask him, ‘But is it funny?’ And if he says it’s funny, I’ll cut an actual fact [instead]

Okay, for the love of Christ: Ann Coulter is NOT FUNNY. She has NEVER said a SINGLE funny thing in her entire wretched life.

People say that Jon Stewart has blurred the line between news and humor, but his Daily Show airs on a comedy channel. Coulter goes on actual news programs and deploys so much sarcasm and hyperbole that she sounds more like comedian Dennis Miller on one of his rants than Limbaugh. Consider an exchange on Fox News in June 2001 with Peter Fenn, a Democratic strategist. At the time, Barbra Streisand had suggested that Californians practice more conservation, to which Coulter responded:

COULTER: God gave us the earth.

FENN: Oh, O.K.

COULTER: We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the seas.

FENN: Oh, this is a great idea.

COULTER: God said, ‘Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It’s yours.’

FENN: Oh, terrific. We’re Americans, so we should consume as much of the earth’s resources—

COULTER: Yes. Yes!

FENN: —as fast as we possibly can.

COULTER: As opposed to living like the Indians.

Coulter and Fenn were both laughing. But her rape-the-planet bit would later be wrenched from context and repeatedly quoted as Coulter nuttiness. “What p_____ me off,” Coulter says, “is when they don’t get the punch line.”

But it’s possible to get the punch line and not laugh. Last year Coulter wrote a column in which she joked, “Like many of you, I carefully reviewed the lawsuits [alleging bias] against the airlines in order to determine which airlines had engaged in the most egregious discrimination, so I could fly only those airlines ... Imagine the great slogans the airlines could use:

“‘Now Frisking All Arabs—Twice!’ ...

“‘You Are Now Free to Move About the Cabin—Not So Fast, Mohammed!’”

But that’s not (or not only) a joke. Coulter actually favors discrimination based on skin color in airports. She argues that airports should establish a separate line for men and boys whose complexion suggests they could be from the Middle East; they would be screened more thoroughly than other passengers.

“Basically,” she says breezily, “aged 15 to 45—12 to 45, say. Swarthy men ... We’d be searching, you know, Italians, Spanish, Jews, males—but you’re excluding the women. You’re excluding the old people. You’re excluding American blacks.”


It would be easier to accept Coulter’s reasoning if a shadow of bigotry didn’t attach to many of her statements about Arabs and Muslims. At the reception after her cpac speech, she mocked some of the more ornate claims of torture from suspected terrorists detained by the U.S.: “It’s completely insane stuff. ‘The government flew me to Las Vegas and made me have sex with a horse,’” she said to laughter. But then she added with a grin, “Liberals are about to become the last people to figure out that Arabs lie.” How did such a flagrantly impolitic person become such a force in American politics?

Ann Hart Coulter was born in New York City on Dec. 8, 1961. (That’s according to her Connecticut voter registration. Coulter says she won’t confirm the date “for privacy reasons”—she’s had several stalkers. “And I’m a girl,” she adds.)

In other words, you know you're a shriveled up old hag--not a, ahem, 'girl'--and you are ashamed..

Coulter got on the honor roll as a kid, fenced and played lacrosse, went to Ramones and Grateful Dead shows (dozens of Dead shows—drug free, she claims). She grew up in a Reagan household and began to explore conservatism on her own at Cornell. There she discovered both liberals, who made her more conservative, and feckless conservatives in the “cigar-smoking, martini-drinking, oh-I-get-drunk-all-the-time libertarian mode,” who made her more socially conservative. But there was a twist. In 1984, in an article for the conservative Cornell Review, Coulter attacked its editor for writing, “Statistics are like bikinis: what they show is important, but what they conceal is vital.” “The message is clear,” Coulter responded in her article. “The vital parts are the breasts and the vagina, so go get her.” I was surprised to find that the piece made a standard feminist argument against pornography (an “atrocity” in which women are “exploited” and “dehumanized”). Its opening lines are: “Conservatives have a difficult time with women. For that matter, all men do.”

Coulter—who likes to shock reporters by wondering aloud whether America might be better off if women lost the right to vote—howls at the idea that she was a campus feminist. But even today, she can write about gender issues with particular sensitivity. In 2002, after Halle Berry won her Oscar, Coulter said in her column, “Berry’s unseemly enthusiasm for displaying ‘these babies,’ as she genteelly refers to her breasts, reduces the number of roles for any women who lack Berry’s beauty-queen features.”


Washington wasn’t quite sure what to make of the spindle-shanked blond. “When I first met her,” says a fellow conservative, “she was walking around with a black miniskirt and a mink stole, making out with Bob Guccione Jr. in the stairwell.” (Coulter dated publisher Guccione, son of the porn mogul, for six months. She says the stairwell story “could be” true, although “I make out in public less often now that I’m publicly recognizable.”)

Except for a brief stint in Missouri, where she clerked for a federal judge, Coulter has never lived in a so-called red (Republican) state; in fact she obliterates the overcooked red-blue, Republican-Democrat distinction. Although beloved in Bush country, Coulter lives in a New York City apartment, loves expensive Manhattan restaurants, chews Nicorette in church and hardly ever misses the drag queens’ Halloween parade in Greenwich Village.

Ah ha ... she likes to keep in touch with her people! I knew it! ANN COULTER IS A MAN.

In 1998, Coulter was one of the first pundits to argue forcefully that Clinton should be impeached; she helped lead the charge by writing High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton, which became a best seller. When reporters asked David Schippers, the House Judiciary Committee’s chief investigator, for a “road map” to the impeachment inquiry, he told them, “Read Ann Coulter’s book.”

How about that for a comforting thought: people in positions of actual power taking their cues from Ann Coulter.

When I asked Coulter about her mistakes, she responded by e-mail: “I think I can save you some time ... The one error liberals have produced is that I was wrong when I said the NYT didn’t mention Dale Earnhardt’s death on the front page the day after his death. There have been novels and Broadway plays written about Ann Coulter’s one mistake, which was pretty minor IMHO [in my humble opinion]—the Times article DID begin: ‘His death brought a silence to the Wal-Mart.’”

Actually, it didn’t. The article began, “Stock car racing’s greatest current star and one of its most popular and celebrated figures, Dale Earnhardt, crashed and was killed today ...” The article doesn’t mention Wal-Mart, although a subsequent piece did.

You just caught her in a lie, you fucktwit. So what's with this:

Coulter has a reputation for carelessness with facts, and if you Google the words “Ann Coulter lies,” you will drown in results. But I didn’t find many outright Coulter errors. One of the most popular alleged mistakes pinging around the Web is from her appearance on Canadian TV news in January, when Coulter asserted that “Canada sent troops to Vietnam.” Interviewer Bob McKeown said she was wrong. “Indochina?” Coulter tried. McKeown said no. Finally, Coulter said haltingly, “I’ll get back to you.” “Coulter never got back to us,” McKeown triumphantly noted, “but for the record, like Iraq, Canada sent no troops to Vietnam.” What he didn’t mention was that Canada did send noncombat troops to Indochina in the 1950s and again to Vietnam in 1972.

Okay, jackass, Coulter clearly was claiming that Canada had fought alongside the U.S. in Vietnam. That would be false.

To be sure, Coulter’s historical efforts can be highly amateurish. Her writings on the Civil War—she calls Confederate soldiers “a romantic army of legend”—could only be penned by a (Northern) dilettante. And although she has admiringly cited the work of cold war historian Ronald Radosh, he says she misinterpreted that period in Treason. “There were Soviet spies in postwar America,” he says. “But McCarthy was really a nutcase ... She’s like the McCarthy-era journalists in a way. She’s just repeating what they said, that the only patriotic Americans are on the right.” Radosh, a fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute, a Washington think tank, also says Coulter has exaggerated his own troubles as a conservative in academia. “She called me a victim of the left and the academy. That’s partially true, but I’ve had plenty of jobs in academia.” Coulter responded that Radosh had complained to reporters in the past about being blacklisted. She also called him “a chickens___.”

One consequence of Coulter’s feline aggression is that she wins not only enemies (including one who hired a private investigator to look into her past) but creepily devoted fans. She has had discussions with the FBI about her stalkers, one of whom sent flowers every day for six months. Coulter is terrified her address will become public, and she sometimes hides behind a surgical mask when she flies.

What the fuck???

Ever since two men threw pies at her at the University of Arizona last year, she has traveled with a bodyguard, a bourbon-drinking ex-cop who says, quite believably, that he can kill with his bare hands.

Jesus, conservatives have, like, a bizarre phobia of pies.

Even so, Coulter told me her most persistent stalker “is the one who will kill me someday.”

Should I?

I shouldn't.

Well, okay:

We can dream, can't we?

Meanwhile, she is a single woman in her 40s who has been engaged at least three times—“I don’t know, something like that”—but never married.

See, this is because if she can't get married to a guy, because she is really a man.

But I’m not sure the public and private Anns are so different. On TV or in person, you can trust that Coulter will speak from her heart. The officialdom of punditry, so full of phonies and dullards, would suffer without her humor and fire

Again, Ann Coulter is not funny. She has never said anything funny. Right-wingers have TERRIBLE senses of humor. They do not understand what 'funny' is. They think the lamest things are funny. They think Colin Quinn and Dennis Miller are funny, for fuck's sake.

And if Cloud could maybe stop thinking with his dick (and his apparent transsexual fetish) for a moment, he'd realize that Coulter is the biggest phony and dullard of them all.

Kill yourself, John. It's the only honorable way out.

New Pope was a Nazi

Seriously. This comes to my attention via Bob Freedland:

Papal hopeful is a former Hitler Youth

THE wartime past of a leading German contender to succeed John Paul II may return to haunt him as cardinals begin voting in the Sistine Chapel tomorrow to choose a new leader for 1 billion Catholics.


Unknown to many members of the church, however, Ratzinger’s past includes brief membership of the Hitler Youth movement and wartime service with a German army anti- aircraft unit.


He joined the Hitler Youth aged 14, shortly after membership was made compulsory in 1941. ... “Ratzinger was only briefly a member of the Hitler Youth and not an enthusiastic one,” concluded John Allen, his biographer.

He has since said that although he was opposed to the Nazi regime, any open resistance would have been futile — comments echoed this weekend by his elder brother Georg, a retired priest ordained along with the cardinal in 1951.

“Resistance was truly impossible,” Georg Ratzinger said. “Before we were conscripted, one of our teachers said we should fight and become heroic Nazis and another told us not to worry as only one soldier in a thousand was killed. But neither of us ever used a rifle against the enemy.”

Some locals in Traunstein, like Elizabeth Lohner, 84, whose brother-in-law was sent to Dachau as a conscientious objector, dismiss such suggestions. “It was possible to resist, and those people set an example for others,” she said. “The Ratzingers were young and had made a different choice.”

Incidentally, on the issue of the possibility of resistance: I am way outside my area of expertise (which is?) here, but there is some evidence that the German people did exert some non-trivial influence over the Nazi regime.

In September 1939 Hitler authorised a "euthanasia" program to rid Germany of all those people classified as "unworthy to live". This classification initially covered disabled children, but was ultimately extended to Jews and non-Jews who were "cripples", alcoholics, epileptics, pyschopaths, "vagabonds" and sufferers of tuberculosis and cancer ... The program was named T-4, after the address of its headquarters at Tiergarten 4, Berlin. It was authorised by Hitler on his private letterhead, signed in at the end of October 1939 but predated to September 1 to make it appear a 'wartime measure'.

The first victims of the T-4 program were babies and children suffering from Down Syndrome, hydrocephalus and various physical deformities ... By 1940 six killing centres stood in readiness, all within Germany and Austria: Grafenak, Brandenburg, Bernburg, Hartheim, Sonnenstein and Hadamar. In these six institutions between 1940 and August 1941, it is documented that 70,273 people were killed. The relatives of victims received officially-forged death certificates, together with letters of 'condolence' and queries regarding instructions for disposal of their ashes. These sparked off mistrust, unrest, enquiries and protests.

Surprised by the level of protest it had provoked, Hitler ended the T-4 program in August 1941, by which time it is believed that some 200 000 people had been killed. For the Nazis the program was a success, as it provided practice killing for their mass murder of the Jews. Experienced staff and tested methods and equipment were simply transferred from the T-4 program to the concentration and extermination camps. When it came to killing Jews, however, there was no significant protest from the German people.

I don't know whether this is decisive one way or the other, but it does show that Hitler's power was to some extent contingent upon the support of "ordinary Germans."

John Cloud: Please kill yourself

For your own sake, man--death before dishonor and all that. The usually loathsome Eric Alterman (via the never loathsome Atrios) pegs Cloud's Time magazine puff piece on Ann Coulter (nee Jeremy Levinsohn) for what it is-- a disgrace:

Time’s cover story/whitewash of Ann Coulter ... will make it impossible for serious people to accept what the magazine reports at face-value ever again. ...

This is a profoundly depressing realization as its managing editor Jim Kelly is a friend of mine and I respect both his intelligence and integrity and to be perfectly honest, I cannot find a way to reconcile my high opinion of Jim and the journalism he has produced, together with my respect for many of the professional reporters and editors at Time, with this moral, professional, and intellectual abomination. The fact that the system could produce a story like this one ... is a moral and intellectual scandal and a permanent stain on the reputations of everyone associated with it, most particularly its author, John Cloud. ...

Cloud has accepted the role of an unpaid PR flack for a woman who frequently jokes about the mass-murder of journalists—--including presumably, himself--and he professes to find this charming. And let us pause for a moment to note that today is the anniversary of the day that Timothy McVeigh did his horrid deed—the mass murder of men, women and children. Ms. Coulter ... thought it was so cute to joke about wishing he had accomplished at The New York Times. (I suppose it’s too much to worry about her calling for the mass murder of Arabs.) With the resources of Time’s legions of researchers and fact-checkers, he relies on a casual Google search to determine that she can be “occasionally coarse” and that her work is “mostly accurate.” I spoke to one of those researchers and I’m quoted in the article. But more to the point, I pointed the researcher in the direction of many easily available sources that easily undermine Cloud’s lazy and credulous reporting. The entire package is a statement of contempt for the values for which Time professes to stand; another notch in the belt for the far-right’s forty-year campaign to destroy journalists’ role in assuring democratic accountability in our society.

Alterman makes note, as do most reporters writing about Coulter, of the fact that she expressed a desire to see people who work for the New York Times murdered. And this is awful, of course, but let's not forget that Coulter has also expressed her approval of genocide (as Alterman does indeed mention) and recently remarked that it would be "fun" to launch a nuclear attack on North Korea.

But according to John Cloud, this is just an instance of Ann's "charming" sense of humor (has she ever said anything funny?).

John, if you're a real man, you will fall on your sword tonight. Now, I have no illusions: I doubt he will actually have the integrity to do this. He is the same person, after all, who wrote the article in the first place. Therefore, I beseech anyone who knows John Cloud, his friends or his family members, or anyone who happens to run into him, to punch him in the face.

As soon as you see him, don't say a word, just walk up to him and punch him in the goddamn face. It is your moral duty as a human being. You see him, you punch him right in his face. Nothing more; don't beat him up, don't kill him. Just a single punch in the face, then walk away.

This is how every decent person should interact with Cloud from now on.

... incidentally, if you follow the link above to the Time piece, you will be able to read only the first paragraph; to read the rest, you have to be a subscriber. However, if you go here, to Time's Canadian site, you can read the whole thing for free. Weird.

... something I hadn't thought of: Tom Tomorrow points out the additional crassitude of the fact that Time put Coulter on the cover just in time for the tenth anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.


There's no "pussy" involved ...

... because SHE IS NOT A WOMAN.

Context: Steve Gilliard writes about Time magazine writer John Cloud's fawning portrait of "Ann Coulter":

... unless there was pussy involved, how could he write such an unhinged article. Coulter's racist screeds are legendary. The real Ann Coulter would have led a lynch mob at Ol' Miss. She would have fed Joe McCarthy his booze.

What the fuck is up with Time anyway. They name the assholes at Powerline best blog, now this. What's next, a guide to scaring the shit out of judges and glowing articles on Jenna and Not Jenna?

Okay people, one last time: Ann Coulter is not a woman. She is a man. The proof is in the one thing a man can't hide, the bane of the drag queen's existence: the Adam's apple.

Believe me, I know my transvestites, and that, friends, is a MAN. As Ramdac says, "If she's got an apple, she probably has a banana."

Of course, there's also the word of the Strap-On Veterans for Truth. They say that "Ann Coulter" is actually one Jeremy Levinsohn, a drag queen who used to perform as "Pudenda Shenanigans":

And let it not be thought that the Strap-On Vets are some crass group with a political agenda:

Ann’s former friends and co-workers realized that her intense hatred of gays, feminists and muslims was really self-loathing ... we feel hurt by her turning against everything she used to hold dear. We love you Ann, or Pudenda, or Jeremy. We respect whatever lifestyle of gender you choose. We just want you to be true to yourself and please stop the hatred. Come back to us and share the love of your friends and community again.

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