June 30, 2005
— Ace Too cool:
A poll on the political mood in the United States conducted by the Democratic Party has alarmed the party at its own loss of popularity. Conducted by the party-affiliated Democracy Corps, the poll indicated 43 percent of voters favored the Republican Party, while 38 percent had positive feelings about Democrats.
"Republicans weakened in this poll ... but it shows Democrats weakening more," said Stanley Greenberg, who served as President Clinton's pollster.
Greenberg told the Christian Science Monitor he attributes the slippage to voters' perceptions that Democrats have "no core set of convictions or point of view."
Where on earth would they get that idea from?
I have to say I'm not too worried by Bush's, or the Republicans', declining poll ratings. Part of these "approval" polls is just people's current feelings about the state of things-- and with gas prices high, a bloody uptick in terrorism in Iraq, and the continuing impression that jobs aren't being created, people obviously don't approve of the current situation.
But just because people don't approve of the current situation -- that they'd like things to be better -- doesn't necessarily mean they've decided that the out-party should be swept back into power.
To get to that point, the out-party would have to, I don't know, actually announce some sort of reasonable agenda capable of persuading voters they'd do a better job, rather than just f'ing things up still further.
Fortunately for the Republicans and Bush, we don't have such an out-party.
The American public is cagey enough to understand that some problems just can't be fixed by new "plans" and "approaches." And the Democratic "plans" always sound idiotic. And they're usually the same.
How do we fix Iraq? Why, we get the French and Germans and Russians to aid us there. How do we do that? How do we get them to act against their perceived self-interest and anti-American domestic politics?
Why, we talk to them! And not talk to them like Bush talks to them, but we speak to them "persuasively" and explain to them that it's in their own best interest to help out.
How do we lower oil prices? Why, we talk to the Saudis, and get them to increase oil production! Hell, maybe even get them to sell oil at cost! All it takes is a little bit of "jawboning" and "pressure" and "understanding" and "nuance"!
I think people are smart enough to realize those aren't actual plans. They're just bubbleheaded rhetoric. You can't just say pretty pretty please with whip cream on top and get other nations to solve your problems for you, especially when they have an interest in seeing your problems continue or even worsen.
If "jawboning" can solve our problems, why not "jawbone" other countries to pay off our deficit for us? Heck, they'd only have to kick in a hundred billion or so each and they'd reduce our deficit by more than half.
Or do the same thing with Social Security. The system will go bankrupt in 2042? No problem. We'll just talk Japan into giving us all the money we need to cover the shortfall. We'll just have to do a lot of bowing, get them drunk, and sing at a karoke bar.
— Ace Fortunately, it was just a bit of anti-white racism, so there's no story here:
Rep. Thomas Yewcic, who is white, said people shouldn't be ashamed to support the American flag. "If any ethnic group wants to fly ... a flag, and they're embarrassed to fly an American flag, they should go back to their ethnic origins and fly it there," he said.
In response, Rep. John Myers accused Yewcic of espousing "a belligerent, racist doctrine."
"I think that those type of remarks would come from a cracker," Myers said, using a derogatory term for a poor, white person.
I guess I have trouble actually being "outraged" or "sickened" by this gob-smackingly vile statement, but two obvious points:
1) You'll never hear about this again. I don't think this should merit page one coverage, but you won't even see it on Page 24. There will be no further media mentions or questioning of this jagoff.
2) Those who profess so much concern about racism really ought to not to practice it themselves. I would think this wouldn't even need stating, but I guess it does.
Thanks to NickS, via Michelle Malkin.
— Ace From LGF, via Jack:
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch woman who swears by a daily helping of herring for a healthy life celebrated her 115th birthday on Wednesday as the oldest living person on record.
Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper, a former needlework teacher, was born in 1890, the year Sioux Indians were massacred by the U.S. military at the Battle of Wounded Knee.
For unknown reasons, the unbiased reporter fails to mention she celebrated her 40th wedding anniversary the same year the Tuskegee Experiment was begun, and finally achieved her lifelong dream of para-sailing the year Richard Nixon began his illegal bombing campaign of Cambodia.
And also-- throughout her long life, America has just totally sucked dick, and not in a "good way" either.
— Ace Publisher to start turning blogs into books.
Okay, personally, I'm not expecting a call. But I'm happy for those liberal political bloggers, or web sex-'n'-relationship diarists, who'll get deals out of this.
I mean it.
I don't begrudge them their coming book-deals at all.
Completely unrelated-- can anyone recommend a high-voltage toaster with few safety features and the ability to continue pumping out juice without burning out if, just for example let's say, accidentally dropped in a bathtub?
I'm, uhhh, trying to win a bet with a friend.
— Ace Yes, they're still cutthroat criminals and all, but is anyone besides me fascinated that there are still pirates operating in the South China Sea? Highwaymen went by the (ahem) wayside, but pirates are still lootin' & freebootin'.
Okay, they plundered a ship carrying tsunami relief aid... but that's what pirates do, after all. They are not socially well-adjusted nor particularly empathetic about the plight (or property rights) of others.
As Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow kept offering up as an explanation for his criminal behavior: "Pirate, remember?"
(Okay, I know he didn't say "remember," but that's one of those lines that conveys that notion when delivered but needs to be augmented by additional words on the page to get the same idea across.)
Easy Geek Trivia: What pulp hero dedicated his life to defeating piracy in particular?
— Ace Corrected! See Update below.
Sorry, back to Tom Cruise/psychiatric drugs/Scientology. But briefly.
I don't seem to remember Lauer telling the Dixie Chicks they should keep their mouths shut. Nor Sarandon, Robbins, Sheen, Glover, etc.
I can't believe I'm defending Tom Cruise.
But someone has to do it. Cruise has been criticized and ridiculed after a heated exchange with "Today" show co-host Matt Lauer the other day over a rather important topic: the possible overuse of prescription drugs that supposedly treat depression or other forms of mental illness.
It all started when Lauer came to the rescue of Brooke Shields, who while promoting a book disclosed that she had therapy and took antidepressant drugs to combat postpartum depression.
Cruise doesn't believe in psychiatry ("a pseudo science") or antidepressants ("mind-altering, antipsychotic drugs"), and he said as much after Shields made her remarks.
Lauer thought that Cruise was being judgmental, and that he should keep his opinions to himself. He also thought Cruise should stipulate that while the actor didn't approve of taking antidepressants those for whom the drugs had worked should be free to take them.
Why should Cruise keep his opinions to himself? Shields didn't keep her bout with mental illness to herself. She advertised it to sell books. Cruise is entitled to his opinion, just like anyone else.
The problem isn't that celebrities have opinions. It's that the rest of society is quick to treat them as experts. They're not experts. They're movie stars with opinions. And they should be free to express their opinions, and the rest of us should be free to discount them if they don't hold up.
But Lauer seemed to be saying that Cruise didn't have a right to his opinion because many people like the millions of Americans who use prescription drugs might find it offensive.
Cruise held his ground. He didn't just give in to Lauer's brand of "I'm OK, you're OK" psychobabble. When asked if it was OK if drugs worked for Shields, Cruise said, no, it wasn't.
"I disagree with it," he told Lauer.
I'm not so much reversing fields myself here -- I actually do wish celebrities would zip it more; they have the right to speak out, of course, but they're dumb and undeservedly influential -- so much as questioning why Lauer approves of every other celebrity's pontificating but not Cruise's.
Could it be -- possibly? -- that Lauer approves of the rantings of Streisand & Co. whereas Tom Cruise's slam is against something the liberal elite hold dear-- the therapuetic culture?
Matt, either celebrities have the right to opine or they don't. It can't be the case they're to be praised for "bravery" when they opine in a manner you approve of but should shut up when they threaten you or your friends' easy access to mood elevators.
And I have to note here that I come down closer to Lauer's side of the argument than Cruise's. Yes, we are an overmedicated society, and yes, doctors are lobbied by drug companies to prescribe certain drugs, injecting an economic conflict of interest into the patient-doctor relationship, but Cruise is daft in claiming that the one part of the human body that cannot be healed through the effective administration of drugs is the brain.
The weak form of his argument ("let's take a closer look at all this") is strong; the strong form of his argument ("all psychotropic drugs are bad, bad, bad, and all you need is some Vitamin C") is weak.
Still, he has the right to be wrong.
And until Lauer tells Bono to zip it, he is no position to tell Cruise to keep his opinions to himself.
PS, here's an idea: how about bubble-headed morning chat-show hosts keeping their opinions to themselves? You know-- all that jouralistic code of ethics about reporting the news straight and with no editorializing.
Nah. What was I thinking? It's very important that the American public know where Katie and Matt stand on all complex political issues.
Fact-Checking My Ass: Zuke points out that the columnist cited above states, flat-out, that Lauer instructed Cruise that he should keep his opinions to himself. In fact, the transcript does not seem to contain such a clear statement, although some parts may be paraphrased or digested.
Reading the transcript-- Cruise feels that Lauer is suggesting he can't talk about these things, but Lauer says, "No you have that right," or words to that effect. Cruise actually suggests this multiple times, and Lauer's questioning is antagonistic. However, Lauer does say that Cruise has the right to speak out; to say Lauer clearly states that Cruise shouldn't say these things is incorrect.
There may be (at most) implication to zip it here, but no clear statement.
What Lauer does seem to be doing is aggressively questioning Cruise and arguing with him. Which is quite fine, I think. Particularly since what Cruise is saying is sci-fi-quasi-religious dogma.
I guess I have to retract my initial slam on Lauer. And perhaps reduce it to this: It sure would be nice if he questioned other celebrities as vigorously and as argumentatively.... celebrities (including Hillary!) who express views he agrees with.
— Ace At least I hope it's a prank. He writes very stalker-ish letters of gushing praise, apparently fixated on Matthews' (admittedly dreamy) golden locks:
DEAR CHRISTOPHER -
I am so happy that you are back safely from your trip to South Africa. I am sure your many viewers missed you, as I did.
I hasten to point out, I was on the verge of contacting Andrew Lack over at NBC and telling him to "fill your shoes" with James Kramer of "America Now. He, like you, looks like a big, healthy baby with beady little eyes. Too cute!!
While not as dignified and refined as you, James is colorful and fiery in his own right. The nice thing about James is, he doesn't have hair for me to "worry myself to death about."
Anyway, you are back, and your job is secure. Remember me to Andrew the next time you see him. Give him my kindest regards.
EDWARD EUGENE BASKETT
I love these kinds of letters. They're creepy and sneakily menacing, and yet, you can't go to jail for writing them.
— Ace If you can stand it.
Law professors -- like Eugene Volokh, appearing on O'Reilly last night -- continue insisting this is protected speech because there is no "clear and present danger" of actual incitement to criminal activity.
Ummm... well, I guess we'll have to see about that, won't we? That Muslim son-of-a-bitch fragged several officers just as the Iraq War began; I imagine there will be other incidences (not necessarily perpetrated by Muslims).
Just curious... after how many officers are fragged will Churchill's words be considered a potential "clear and present danger" to incite murder? This has always been a very vague standard; I just want to know what the bodycount has to be before law professors, even those on the right, begin to realize that exhortations to murder perhaps isn't protected by the First Amendment and isn't really the sort of true political speech it was designed to safeguard.
— Ace Unbelievable. The campaign finance reformers want to make it illegal to blog more than one hour a week, four hours a month from a corporation's place of business.
More than that and you could be subject to a legal complaint -- the complaint being the coporation, through you, is making illegal in-kind donations to a political party, because, I guess, the coproration is faciliating your expression of your opinions by providing you with a job and a computer.
And maybe even legal pads and post-its, if you write longhand before posting.
Your employer will be forced to make blogging as carefully patrolled as trolling for child porn in order to keep themselves out of dutch with the FEC. And, of course, they'll have to fire you if they catch you, if only to prove they are not covertly supporting your danger-to-the-Republic opinionating.
The campaign finance "reformers" will simply not stop until as few people as possible -- only those with straight media jobs -- are granted those dangerous First Amendment rights.
— Ace Max Boot examines the civilized Brits' response to the Mau Mau uprising and notes how different it was from our response to terrorism:
Look at how the United States' closest ally, Britain, handled an insurgency much smaller and much less threatening than the one we face today.
In Kenya during the early 1950s, a movement known as Mau Mau arose to challenge British colonial rule. Though Mau Mau became a byword for savagery, it was actually pretty restrained as far as guerrilla movements go. Its 20,000 adherents killed fewer than 100 Europeans and 2,000 African loyalists fewer than the toll from 9/11 alone. Unlike the Iraqi rebels, the Mau Mau had no outside support and no sophisticated weapons. (They mainly killed with machetes.) Unlike Al Qaeda, they did not target the British homeland.
Yet the British used disturbingly harsh tactics against them, as revealed in two new books "Histories of the Hanged" by David Anderson of Oxford University and "Imperial Reckoning" by Caroline Elkins of Harvard.
The British admitted killing 11,000 Mau Mau, but the real figure, these authors make clear, was much, much higher. Security forces held hundreds of thousands of suspects without trial in a system of penal camps known as the Pipeline. Unlike detainees at Gitmo, who receive three meals a day and all the medical care they need, prisoners in the Pipeline were half-starved, worked to the point of collapse, and sickened by the poor sanitation.
Torture was standard during interrogation, and was not what passes for "torture" in anti-American screeds today (e.g., stepping on a Koran). This was the real thing. According to Elkins, "the screening teams whipped, shot, burned, and mutilated Mau Mau suspects." Some men were forcibly castrated or sodomized. Others were beaten to death or summarily executed.
Little distinction was drawn between guerrillas and civilians. The Mau Mau were primarily Kikuyu, Kenya's largest ethnic group, and the British detained nearly all 1.5 million of them.
Men, women and children were forced off their homesteads at gunpoint. Those not sent to the Pipeline were herded into villages surrounded by barbed wire where they had to endure forced labor while denied adequate food or medical care. Many women were gang-raped by guards. Has anything like this happened in Iraq? Of course not. If it had, you'd hear about it on "60 Minutes."
Mau Mau was defeated by the mid-1950s, but colonial rule did not long survive. In 1963, Kenya achieved independence under Jomo Kenyatta, who had spent eight years in prison after being falsely convicted of being the Mau Mau mastermind.
Those who don't learn the lessons of history are doomed to make jackass and politically disastrous statements on the floor of the Senate.
— Ace Army recruiting over 100% of goals in June.
Charlie Rangel will have to talk about something else for the next month. Might I suggest he talk about Dancing With the Stars? It's just awesome to see people who we pretend are celebrities, get this, ballroom dancing on television, and I really think ABC should pick this up as a full series.
Please, Charlie-- use your megaphone to achieve a real and lasting good.
Thanks to Slublog.
— Ace Says so right there in the preamble of the resolution for war they voted for.
This is outrageous. We all know Saddam had nothing to do with 9-11. How can they use this sacred and horrific part of our history for political purposes?
I demand an investigation into articles of impeachment for all Democratic Congressmen who voted for this lie. And I don't care that you can't impeach a Congressmen. I want articles drawn up anyway. The Constitution is, after all, a "living document," which playful little minx of a charter that sexifully changes to adapt to modern needs.
How dare they sell us this war on a lie.
This is going to make the Downing Street Memos look like, well... the Downing Street Memos, I guess.
Thanks to Lorie.
Update: Powerline notices, too.
This was mentioned on Brit Hume's report yesterday, and I doubt anywhere else in the big media.
And Steven Hayes Too: In the Weekly Standard:
"THERE IS NO EVIDENCE that Saddam Hussein was connected in any way to al Qaeda."
So declared CNN Anchor Carol Costello in an interview yesterday with Representative Robin Hayes (no relation) from North Carolina.
Hayes politely challenged her claim. "Ma'am, I'm sorry, but you're mistaken. There's evidence everywhere. We get access to it. Unfortunately, others don't."
CNN played the exchange throughout the day. At one point, anchor Daryn Kagan even seemed to correct Rep. Hayes after replaying the clip. "And according to the record, the 9/11 Commission in its final report found no connection between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein."
The CNN claims are wrong. Not a matter of nuance. Not a matter of interpretation. Just plain incorrect. They are so mistaken, in fact, that viewers should demand an on-air correction.
But such claims are, sadly, representative of the broad media misunderstanding of the relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda. Richard Cohen, columnist for the Washington Post, regularly chides the Bush administration for presenting what he calls fabricated or "fictive" links between Iraq and al Qaeda. The editor of the Los Angeles Times scolded the Bush administration for perpetuating the "myth" of such links. "Sixty Minutes" anchor Lesley Stahl put it bluntly: "There was no connection."
Conveniently, such analyses ignore statements like this one from Thomas Kean, chairman of the 9/11 Commission. "There was no question in our minds that there was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda." Hard to believe reporters just missed it--he made the comments at the press conference held to release the commission's final report. And that report detailed several "friendly contacts" between Iraq and al Qaeda, and concluded only that there was no proof of Iraqi involvement in al Qaeda terrorist attacks against American interests. Details, details.
June 29, 2005
— Ace ...half-baked bullshit gets called fast.
I guess that "we will fact-check your ass" applies to idiots like me, too.
— Ace Here's the thing. Well, two things.
Kelly Preston is f'n' hot. Not just hot, but cute-hot, the best kind of hot.
Tom Cruise (and John Travolta, etc.) really believe in this newish sci-fi based religion of theirs.
Yes, it's all sort of weird. And yes, weirdness makes for good humor. But... I just see a lot of people taking shots at Scientology. Is it a goofy and strange religion? Yes, but to outsiders, most religions are goofy and strange, aren't they? There are few religions that don't have some "Oh, you can't be possibly be serious" aspects to them.
Noah's Ark, anyone?
Christians and devout Jews get knocked around a lot for their beliefs. I'm just not sure it's proper for people of faith -- and faithless people who sympathize with people of fatih, like me -- to do too much bashing of a religion, even if, and let's be honest, the religion in question is goofier than most.
I'm not nearly the fan of Tom Cruise that, say, Rosie O'Donnell, um, is. But the guy has some strong beliefs; he's pretty honest about them; the rest of the world thinks he's a kook, and isn't shy about saying so.
I know a lot of religious people resent being thought of as "kooks" just because they believe in some implausible stuff.
Let's say one thing: They really aren't hurting anyone. No one has ever, to my knowledge, killed or bombed in the name of L. Ron Hubbard.
The anti-psychiatry and anti-psychiatric-medication thing? Sort of a useful critique, if obviously extremist. (Tom, I need klonopin, and I assure you that vitamins will not cure me of chronic panic attacks... I've tried that.) But still-- essentially a harmless religion.
I guess part of the reason this bothers me is that the politically-correct liberal establishment has deemed it proper and safe to bash believing Christians, which is annoying and smugly superior and hostile to people of faith.
Scientologists seem to have been similarly deemed by almost everyone to be fair targets for derision.
I just don't like that sort of herd-mentality. It's a bit too fourth-grade, where kids figure out whom the fourth-grade collective has deemed it proper to pick on and bully.
And Yes... I know it's really, really weird. I strongly suspect L. Ron Hubbard created it as a very large (and amazingly successful) ironic point about religion, a grand practical joke to demonstrate that any set of somewhat-irrational and implausible premises, combined with a bit of psychic reassurance about one's place in the cosmos, could become a "religion."
And he did it with a bit Lovecraftian flair. Lovecraft introduced (or popularized, I guess) the odd twentieth-century cosmos and science-fiction tropes into the horror genre, with Fungi from Yuggoth (better known as Pluto) taking the place of werewolves and such. And it was weird at first -- shouldn't something supernatural be, well, ancient and having to do with castles and scrolls and such rather than interdimensional space-mead? -- and Hubbard similarly introduced "cutting edge" techonogy (well, cutting edge nineteen fiftees technology, like a modified polygraph called an "e-meter") and sci-fi tropes into his invented religion.
Very odd. I'll give you that. "Thetans" and such-- weird stuff. Weirder than ghosts and angels, because at least we're accustomed (even if irreligious) to the idea of ghosts and agnels.
But still. Whether it was a scam or collosal joke at first, it's a genuine religion now, it seems, at least to its believers. Maybe we ought to be more forgiving of daffy, though harmless, beliefs.
I Sit Corrected: Apparently it's not true they're not harming anyone.
Thanks to Master of None.
And Allah reminds me of the nasty attempts to silence critics of Scientology.
There may be some, um, light brainwashing going on.
I guess I'm now not really sure of my point. Except perhaps to say that even if one believes this "church" is corrupt and a gigantic scam, the church itself should be the object of derision, not its (assumedly duped) adherents.
Okay... A bit off-the-cuff, I guess. Hey, it happens. I shot my mouth off a little too quickly, forgetting the stuff I'd previously heard about and not bothering to do a google search.
But Tom Cruise and John Travolta seem, to me, to be basically good people. They don't seem to get into trouble.
And, let me repeat something we can all agree on: Kelly Preston is f'n' hhhhot.
If they're dupes, they're dupes, and therefore innocent. I assume they're not part of the conspiracy, at least not in a conscious way.
How Many Ways Can I Say "I Erred"?: Yes, cult, and not harmless.
Kind of off the subject but... Mormonism is still considered a cult by many as well. And-- I just think this is interesting -- it seems to include science-fiction tropes too. Retro-sci-fi, you understand; the "sci-fi" of the 1870's or whenever. Kind of Ambrose Bierce-ish retro sci-fi.
Although I've got to say I know nothing about The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints (kid's voice: The Mormons!) except what I know from that vicious South Park episode.
It Gets Worse And Worse: Lots of interesting, and alarming, stuff in the comments.
— Ace When it comes to the current fashion in childish leftist political name-calling, serial killers are the new black.
Coming Soon: Andy Rooney asks, "Didja ever notice Dick Cheney reminds you of Richard Speck? I mean, without the silicone-implant man-titties. But still, I'm sure he's slashed a few nursing students in his day. It's just that 'vibe' I get."
— Ace This faux-intellectual preening ponce calls himself a "uniter." The implication is that Hillary! is a divider.
That implication is true. But the only thing Joe Biden can unite us on is that he is a smug self-deluded prick who wears dandyish white collars on his striped shirts.
I don't know if he wears spats, but I know damn well he'd like to.
Joe "Spats" Biden For President
Isn't it time to vote for someone who has no chance of ever being president? Seriously. Just for shits and giggles.
— Ace A few weeks ago he got into a little spat with James Taranto about his "quotes" being taken "out of context" to demonstrate inconsistency.
Well, Taranto caught him making Rove-like comments about liberals (umm, I did first, but Sullivan won't acknowledge me), and Excitable Andy is still not responding.
When someone has the goods on you, I guess, it's best to ignore it.
How about forcing Andy to confront the quotes? It's a petty victory, but a fun one. He reads The Corner, so why doesn't someone from The Corner highlight his ludicrous inconsistency on this issue?
— Ace With photos and everything!
Eh. Not too surprising coming from Iran.
Or even Europe, actually. Germany's Joschka Fischer helped out members of the terrorist Baader-Meinhof gang.
— Ace As usual. It's usually better than first estimated; it's been much better than first estimated most of the past twenty quarters (or something; I'm not big on "math").
And yet the MSM keeps fretting over the lower initial figures and never really gives prominent mention to the higher official figures.
The economy logged a solid 3.8 percent growth rate in the first quarter of 2005, a performance that was better than previously thought and a fresh sign the expansion is on firm footing.
The new reading on gross domestic product, released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday, marked an improvement from the 3.5 percent annual rate estimated for the quarter just a month ago and matched the showing registered in the final quarter of 2004.
GDP, the broadest gauge of the economy's health, measures the value of all goods and services produced within the United States.
Stronger spending on housing projects, more investment by business in equipment and software, and a trade deficit that was less of a drag on economic growth all played a role in the higher first quarter GDP estimate.
The first-quarter's showing was slightly better than the 3.7 percent growth rate that economists were forecasting before the report was released.
"It was a solid quarter, particularly in the face of high and rising energy prices," said Mark Zandi, chief analyst at Economy.com. "It illustrates the resilience of the economy and the durability of the current economic expansion."
Oh, and job-creation numbers are always initially low-ball, too. Doesn't stop the MSM from seizing on those first numbers, though, while always studiously avoiding the upward revisions that come later:
Although economic activity is solid, job creation is choppy. Employers boosted payrolls by just 78,000 after a hiring spurt of 274,000 in April. May's job gain was the weakest in almost two years. Economists offered various reasons for May's slower job growth, including the toll of high energy prices.
They'll be adjusted up to 150,000+. But then we'll have no economists offering reasons for the "brisker than originally reported job growth." It will be buried, as usual.
Thanks to the FatKid.
Because You Demanded It... Kim Richards cheesecake-cowbell after the jump.
For the Ladies Update: Just added some beefcake to the post, for those who want a pic of a sexy man to go along with Kim Richards. more...
— Ace Okay, so, the other day Rick Santorum made some controversial remarks blaming the priest pedophilia scandal on the general libertine nature of our culture, and thought it no suprise that the locus of the American side of the scandal was in Boston, a capital for liberal thought.
A bit over-the-top, a bit Limbaugh-when-he's-trying-to-fill-time-ish, but whatever. Argue against him and all that if you like.
But how does one get from that statement -- which, admittedly, might be criticized for being somewhat irresponsible and kneejerkedly partisan -- to claiming Santorum is blaming the Jews?
Well, you have to check out the Huffington Post for answers.
Oh, wait, no you don't; I can just post the salient bits here.
Rick Santorum believes that the scandal of child molestation by priests isn't actually the priests' fault, but the culture's. And when he talks about "the culture," it sure sounds like he's blaming the Jews.
In his article for the website Catholic Online, Santorum writes:
"It is startling that those in the media and academia appear most disturbed by this aberrant behavior, since they have zealously promoted moral relativism by sanctioning "private" moral matters such as alternative lifestyles. Priests, like all of us, are affected by culture. When the culture is sick, every element in it becomes infected. While it is no excuse for this scandal, it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm."
So priests aren't really responsible for their own aberrant behavior; they're victims too.
But look more closely at the environment Santorum is blaming: liberals, the media, and academics. Hmm. Starts to sound like code for something else, doesn't it?
So we return to the media and the non-Catholic universities, both chock full of the people ostensibly behind all this moral relativity: Jews. Because I'm sure it's not all those other churchgoing types that Santorum blames for Boston's "sick" culture.
What Santorum is really saying thenusing all-too-familiar code words is that the Catholic Church child molestation scandal is really the Jews' fault.
Liberals should keep this sort of irresponsibility in mind the next time they complain about Rove making the quite-defensible statement that liberals' commitment to the war on terror (not the "response" to terror) was tepid and half-hearted at best.
Was Santorum wrong to blame the priest scandal on "the culture"? Well, maybe, a bit; conservatives are pretty keen on blaming the actual perpetrators of crimes rather than "society" or "culture," and the deviation from that basic belief does seem a bit politically convenient.
But to read into that an indictment of the Jews? Give me a break.
There's an awful lot of monkey-see, monkey-do on the left. We say the media is biased to the left; they begin claiming it's biased to the right.
We criticize Durbin for his plainly anti-military rhetoric; they decide that Karl Rove's remarks about liberals not being quite enthusiastic about terror deserves equal condemnation.
And now-- we point out that the "progressive" left is now infected with an awful lot of nasty anti-semitism; they have to respond by finding some Super Secret Double-Plus-Good Encrypted anti-semitic "code words" in Santorum's remarks.
PS, there really aren't too many Jews in Boston. Of course there are plenty, but it's just not the case that Boston has that strong Jewish influence to its city culture that, say, New York so plainly does.
No one ever said they were happy to be in Boston so they could finally get a good bagel with lox. No one.
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