Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Gore Vidal: Military Dictatorship After Obama

MC can think of almost nothing political with which it agrees with Gore Vidal. That said, he remains one of the most intelligent, formidable people on the planet and MC reads everything he writes and goes out of its way to catch any television program on which he appears. Everyone's beliefs should be comprehensively challenged from time to time and he's our foil. Lucky us.

In an interview published today on the TimesOnline he makes plain his disappointment in Obama and cites the latter's inexperience. He then goes over the top and suggests a military dictatorship will follow Obama because nothing else can fill the void of the Vapid One. MC is reasonably confident civilian command and control of our armed forces will continue in effect, Obama or no.

Click on the title of this post to read a wide-ranging interview with Vidal. If you're easily offended (ie, being called very stupid) then this piece isn't for you. But if you can take a shot then do click and enjoy.

The Neoconservatives Make A Comeback

Actually, we never really left but the Paul bearers thought we did. They can have Susan Rice as UN Ambassador while we'll take John Bolton. We took a pass on seeing Ron Paul in the flesh when he appeared with Michelle Bachman; we're not much for cult followings. And unlike the loony Paulites, we don't think highly about legalizing all drugs. Oh! And auditing the Federal Reserve. Surely we'll find the second gunman in Dealey Plaza lurking somewhere in that paper trail. The surge in Iraq worked, despite the nasal scolding Dr. Paul never tired of giving. MC finds little coherence in his or his followers' agenda or issues that remain. Color us unimpressed and bored.

Brett Stephens in yesterday's WSJ has an excellent article on neocons and neoconservatism ("the neocons are back because Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il and Vladimir Putin never went away"). Heh.

Click on the title of this post to read it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

RIP: William Safire 1929-2009

Buckley, Novak, Kristol and now the sui generis William Safire have left us. MC feels a bit bereft but we trust in the future. We're conservatives after all. Click on the title of this post to read the New York Times' obituary on one of its best columnists (though that was far from all he was).

Obama's Age Of Atonement

Christopher Caldwell has a must read piece in the Financial Times. Click on the title of this post to do so.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sarkozy Mocks Obama At UN Security Council

But you wouldn't know it from the drive-by media! In fact, MC only became aware of it due to reporting by Big Government. Here are some of the highlights of his remarks:

“President Obama dreams of a world without weapons … but right in front of us two countries are doing the exact opposite.

“Iran since 2005 has flouted five security council resolutions. North Korea has been defying council resolutions since 1993.

“I support the extended hand of the Americans, but what good has proposals for dialogue brought the international community? More uranium enrichment and declarations by the leaders of Iran to wipe a UN member state off the map,” he continued, referring to Israel.

The sharp-tongued French leader even implied that Mr Obama’s resolution 1887 had used up valuable diplomatic energy.

“If we have courage to impose sanctions together it will lend viability to our commitment to reduce our own weapons and to making a world without nuke weapons,” he said.

Mr Sarkozy has previously called the US president’s disarmament crusade “naive.”

Click on the title of this post to read the whole report.

Hat tip:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Now Here Is A Leader With A Moral Center!

MC wishes our President were half the leader Bibi is.

Can It Get Any Creepier? Seriously.

MC has no idea why teachers would make young children do such a thing without thinking: "Wait, isn't this too Kim Jong Il?"

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Obama & The Worst Foreign Policy Ever

The Vapid One gave a horrible speech to the fools at the United Nations. MC was appalled at its denigration of this country. Yesterday the Washington Times had a devastating critique of Obama's foreign policy; we enjoyed this bit a great deal:

Then there is the catalogue of Mr. Obama's embarrassing moments on the world stage, a list which includes: giving England's Queen Elizabeth II an iPod with his speeches on it; giving British Prime Minister Gordon Brown a collection of DVDs that were not formatted to the European standard (by contrast, Mr. Brown gave Mr. Obama an ornamental desk-pen holder made from the oak timbers of Victorian anti-slaver HMS Gannet, among other historically significant gifts); calling "Austrian" a language; bowing to the Saudi king; releasing a photo of a conference call with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which the president was showing the soles of his shoes to the camera (an Arab insult); saying "let me be absolutely clear. Israel is a strong friend of Israel's"; saying the United States was "one of the largest Muslim countries in the world"; suggesting Arabic translators be shifted from Iraq to Afghanistan where Arabic is not a native language; sending a letter to French President Jacques Chirac when Nicolas Sarkozy was the president of France; holding a town-hall meeting in France and not calling on a single French citizen; and referring to "Cinco de Cuatro" in front of the Mexican ambassador when he meant Cinco de Mayo. Also of note was Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton giving Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov a "reset" button with the Russian word for "overcharge."

Click on the title of this post to read the whole editorial.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Are You A Racist? Follow This Flow Chart!

Click to enlarge and if you do, that's another indicator you're a racist!

Hat tip: and Powerline.

RIP: Irving Kristol 1920-2009

MC mourns the passing of a very great man.

UPDATE: We simply have to pass on this bit:

Robert Kagan writes at the Washington Post on the passing of Irving Kristol:

He was a truly great man, a great intellectual, and a great, patriotic servant to his country. He was also a unique inspiration, to me personally, and to untold thousands of other young people for whom he provided a model of the intellectual life well-lived. He was a deep and fierce thinker, who nevertheless delivered his thoughts in the most amiable fashion, without animus or bile. He was curious and invited others to be curious, to engage in serious dialogue on the important issues of the day.

He was also a creator of communities and institutions. He occupied a unique space between the world of the mind and the world of action. Networks of thinkers, policy-makers, and politicians revolved around him -- and not because he thrust himself into their midst but because his mind and character attracted them to him. To go to work for him, as I did fresh out of college almost 30 years ago, was to enter a rich and exciting intellectual universe, filled with learning and integrity and a commitment to the well-being of society. I fear such a universe may no longer exist. But the memory of what Irving Kristol created is enough to warm the soul for a lifetime.

Happy New Year 5770

MC wishes its Jewish friends, acquaintances and readers of this blog a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. G-d bless.

Over Exposed? The Answer Must Be . . .

Google "more cowbell" and be in on the joke.

Poland: We've Been Sold To The Russians

This Polish newspaper says it all. Click on the image to enlarge. Click on the title of this post to read the AP story about how Poland and the Czech Republic feel betrayed by Obama. As well they should because they well have.

Image hat tip: Drudge

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Obama Sells Out Poland & Czech Republic

President Obama has effectively canceled the missile defense agreement entered into by President Bush with Poland and the Czech Republic. Shame on him.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

J. G. Ballard: No FUBAR For MC This Time

MC made the egregious mistake of not only misunderstanding the late J. G. Ballard but also of blogging that misunderstanding. Now, the late author's fans are, how to say it?, passionate about him. MC remembers reading one recollection of Martin Amis, famous son of the more famous and better writer Kingsley Amis, visiting Ballard who, upon hearing him in the house but without seeing him shouted: whiskey, rye or scotch? We miss such good manners. In that same recollection Ballard asked Amis if he had kept his location to himself or else they'd be overrun by
the late author's fans, some of whom, well. . . .

That said, click on the title of this post to read a review of a new book of his short stories, all 1200 pages of them. Still, the reviewer said:

"Each of Ballard’s 98 short stories is like a dream more perfectly realized than any of your own."

Given that MC dreams in color, we can't wait to read what we may have already dreamt.

It's Legal If Obama Does It; Not So Bush

Jonathan Tobin at Commentary blogs:

"Liberals spent most of the past decade decrying what they never tired of describing as the “lawlessness” of the Bush administration. But today’s New York Times brings to its readers’ attention the fact that Obama’s team is just as willing to disregard legalities. But whereas Bush’s people showed a willingness to bend the rules to fight a war against Islamist terrorists, Obama’s minions will do the same in their quest to appease Islamists.

In this case, the Justice Department “has declared that President Obama can disregard a law forbidding State Department officials from attending United Nations meetings led by representatives of nations considered to be sponsors of terrorism.” Thus, rather than obeying laws passed by Congress to quarantine a nation like Iran, which ranks very high on that list of state sponsors of terror, Obama has sent State Department officials to take part in UN meetings chaired by Iran."

Click on the title of this post to read his whole piece.

Obama Won't Meet With The Dalai Lama

It's difficult to overstate our disgust. The Dalai Lama has met with every President since George H. W. Bush in 1991. Valerie Jarret apparently informed His Holiness in India this week that the Vapid One will not meet with him when he travels to the USA. Tibet's Prime Minister-in-exile termed the refusal "appeasement."


Hat tip: Weekly Standard

About Last Saturday's DC Gathering

Click on the photo above to enlarge! Look at all those racists!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Please Make It Stop


Politico: Obama A "Miserable Failure"

Well that didn't take long, now did it? Still, MC is surprised that the widely read, lefty-but-not-too-lefty Politico is running an opinion piece declaring that President Obama is "so far" a miserable failure. So far? We'll take it, especially as MC predicts that The Won's past is prologue.

Click on the title of this post to read the Politico piece.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

In Which Frank Rich Embarasses Himself In Public (Again)

Today's column by former theater critic turned political pundit (go figure) Frank Rich in the New York Times is titled "Obama's Squandered Summer." Well, yes and that's a start. However Rich almost immediately descends into name calling of the most juvenile sort.

Did you know you were an inmate running the asylum? Nuts? Crazy? Read his column and Rich will let you know that and more about yourselves. Poor Frank apparently didn't even get the memo that the new number of uninsured is now 30 million and not the 46 million he claims in today's incoherent column.

Read the whole thing, as they say, by clicking on the title of this post. Do yourself a favor and see how out of touch a leading member of the drive by media can be. Then ask yourself a favor: why can't Rich admit that Obama is a failure when it comes to leadership?

Why Are Jews Liberal?

Ha! Did you really think MC was going to answer that question? The question is the title of the new book from Norman Podhoretz, pictured above. That book was reviewed by the esteemed Leon Wieseltier in today's New York Times Book Review.

Almost always long-winded despite (or perhaps because of) his intelligence, it takes Wieseltier some time to engage Podhoretz on the merits. Click on the title of this post to read the review. MC, not surprisingly, thinks the reviewer misses the mark most of the time and is oblivious to the fact that his most strident critiques could be better applied to himself. But that's liberals for you, right?

We note that Wieseltier ends on the question "of whether liberalism or conservatism does more for the helpless and the downtrodden, for the ones who are not like us, [and that it] will be endlessly debated."

Leon, the data are in and the question is no longer in doubt. To suggest otherwise exhibits a certain form of non-theological invincible ignorance.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Baader Meinhof Complex

An astonishing movie had its premiere in the Twin Cities tonight at the Minnesota Film Arts. Playing tonight for one night only at the Oak Street Cinema (it moves to the Landmark in Uptown tomorrow), the movie examines in fascinating detail the murderous Baader Meinhof group which sprang up in Germany in the late 1960's and 70's and waged war on civilian society in the name of the people. MC was acutely aware of watching it on the eve of the 8th anniversary of September 11th.

The best actor least known in the English speaking world, Bruno Ganz, is only one of many reasons to see this movie. "Modern" terrorism, so to speak, started with Baader Meinhof, also known as the Red Army Faction. Do yourself a favor and see it. Click on the title of this post to go to the film's official website.

Speaking Truth To Power: "You Lie"

Hypocritical liberals (redundant, we know) are having the vapors that Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) said last night that Obama lied in his speech about health care. In fact, the President's speech may be said to constitute one long lie but why quibble?

Wilson was forced by House Republican leadership (you mean there is some?) to call dead fish sender Rahm Emmanuel and apologize. MC understands but doesn't approve: why do we always let the Left get away with this stuff and then muzzle our own? (Not that the birthers don't need muzzling, mind you)

Click HERE to contribute to Wilson's reelection efforts. The squishes are out to get him. Let's make sure they do not.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"A Monstrous Column"

Thomas Friedman wrote an astonishing, appalling column today in the increasingly rancid New York Times extolling the virtues of China's political culture. MC wishes it was kidding.

Kenneth Anderson at Volokh:

It is characteristic of Thomas Friedman's thought to move from particular issues of policy to sweeping conclusions about the Nature of Man and God and the Universe, typically based around some attractively packaged metaphor - flat earth, hot earth, etc. Rarely, however, has he been quite so clear about the directness of the connections he sees between his preferred set of substantive outcomes, his contempt for American democratic processes that have, despite all, managed to hang in there for, I don't know, a few times the length of time between the Cultural Revolution and today, and his schoolgirl crush on autocratic elites because they are able to impose from above.

Let me just say for the record that this is a monstrous column. When faced with American public defection from elite preferences outcomes on certain policy issues that involve many difficult tradeoffs of the kind that democracies, with much jostling and argument, are supposed to work out among many different groups, Friedman extols the example of ... China's political system, because it's both enlightened and autocratic? Who among us knew?

MC isn't linking to the column, thanks just the same.

Hat tip: Jonah Goldberg

“The time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed. Now is the season for action.”

Our President is a fool, alas, and what is worse, he thinks we are too.

MC hereby declares the President's address to a joint session of Congress a failure.

And no, it hasn't been given yet but why wait? The hacks in the state controlled media are already declaring it a success. Surprise!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Harvard: The Republic Of Idiocy*

Did anyone else read Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust's back page, full page, twaddle in the NYTimes Book Review this weekend? Must MC do all the heavy lifting on this lazy Labor Day weekend? Fine. At least we are out of the Texas heat and humidity.

This affirmative action president of Harvard actually wrote, or more likely had written for her, the following:

"Universities are meant to be producers not just of knowledge but also of (often inconvenient) doubt. They are creative and unruly places, home to a polyphony of voices."

Oh bartender! MC will have what she's having.

Is she out of her mind or so far into her own private Idaho there is no difference?

Universities these days are lock step in thought and deed; a liberal bastion if ever there was one.

Yet here is the president of Harvard losing her mind in public. Pathetic.

Click on the title of this post to read the article.

*"Drew" wrote a book that made her president of Harvard: "The Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War." It may be a good book: MC hasn't read it. Her piece in the NYTimes? Yes, we read it. Color us unimpressed. See above.

Minnesota Bound

Because there is no place like home, y'all.

But Who Hired Him In The First Place?

Perhaps the most transparent administration in human history (cough) could answer that question?

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Naked Novelist & The Dead Reputation

MC has waited some time for the truth in full to be said about the odious Norman Mailer. Algis Valiunas has written a remembrance of sorts close to the second anniversary of his death in the September issue of Commentary magazine. Here's how he closes:

"His vulgarity was a more significant factor in his allure than whatever he possessed of high aspiration. The way his most serious ambition was joined to his crassest need made him singularly appealing to a literary public that fed on nonsensical political ideas and fantasies of artistic superstardom, with its fabulous perquisites of cultural ubiquity, wealth, and hot sex.

He fancied himself one of the big thinkers, and most of his ideas were not only bad but appalling; for he lived largely for the body’s pleasures, actual and vicarious, and adopted ideas that serviced those pleasures. T.S. -Eliot remarked that a great writer creates the taste by which he is appreciated; Mailer helped create the moral confusion amid which he was glorified—not quite what Eliot had in mind.

Until he is forgotten, Mailer should be remembered not only in a fool’s cap and bells but also in a scoundrel’s midnight black. For in an age crawling with intellectual folly, he was one of the reigning dunces, even his best works were shot through with adolescent fatuities, while the worst of his words and deeds were stupid and vicious without bottom. One is torn between wishing that his memory would disappear immediately and wanting his remains to hang at the crossroads as a lasting reminder to others."

Click on the title of this post to read the whole article.

Obama Attains Mere Mortal Status

Charles Krauthammer nicely captures the current state of play (or would that be over-play?) in Obamaworld. Click on the title of this post to read his column. Why President Obama thinks haranguing a joint session of Congress next week will improve matters is beyond MC's comprehension. We can, however, think of lots of different drinking games for the event.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Texas! Yee Ha!

Greetings from Texas where one-half of MC is involved in all things Mac. As well as food and libations.

In Which Free Canadians Speak Of Free Canada

Our friend Denyse O'Leary says the following of the momentus decision:

The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has ruled that Section 13 - Canada's human rights hate speech law - is an unconstitutional violation of the Charter right to free expression because of its penalty provisions.

The underlying problem is our Constitution:

Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law: Guarantee of Rights and Freedoms

Rights and freedoms in Canada

1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society. Fundamental Freedoms

Fundamental freedoms

2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

(a) freedom of conscience and religion;

(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;

(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and

(d) freedom of association.

That is vague, pious twaddle. It means nothing by comparison with

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The key element of your First Amendment is “Congress shall make no law.” In Canada, it was never clear that we had the right of appeal against the shocking abuses of extra-legal commissions and tribunals that have blundered into religious, media, medical, and entertainment issues, among others. The few people who could afford to appeal were afraid to. What if the court rules that we don’t really have the right?

Until now. Today, a tribunal judge refused to convict on the grounds that Section 13, Canada's human rights hate speech law “violates the Charter right to free expression because it carries the threat of punitive fines.” (National Post) That creates the opportunity for anyone successfully targeted by the Commissions and Tribunals, of which we have fourteen across the country, to appeal to real courts, if they can afford it.

The decision does not deal with the shocking abuses of process by which the Commission gained convictions, nor with the fact that the complainant is funded by government but the defendant must pay his own expenses. Most defendants, civil rights lawyer Ezra Levant found, are poor and can not afford legal representation, so they just lose and pay dearly. But now those abuses, and many others, can be addressed in turn.

More here:

Hope this helps.

Again, yee ha!.

Cheers, Denyse

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Oh Canada! Hate Speech Law Unconstitutional

In a most welcome decision the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has ruled that its own infamous section 13 is an unconstitutional abridgment of the Charter right to free speech. The Canadian Supreme Court itself upheld the section in a split decision in 1990. MC isn't expert in the intricacies of Canadian law but one need not be in order to understand that the intolerant Left in Canada, under the cloak of tolerance and sensitivity, has been dealt a comprehensive and permanent setback.

Click on the title of this post to read the story in full.

No Getting Past Race In America

Civil Rights: Eric Holder's Justice Department plans to hire more than 50 new civil rights lawyers to ferret out racism in American society. And you thought you were getting a post-racial presidency.

Click on the title of this post to read the must-read op-ed from IBD.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Obama: Islam Is "A Great Religion"

MC is sure most readers will become nauseous reading the following from the Vapid One:

"The contribution of Muslims to the United States are too long to catalog because Muslims are so interwoven into the fabric of our communities and our country," Obama said at the iftar, the dinner that breaks the holiday's daily fast.

The president joined Cabinet secretaries, members of the diplomatic corps and lawmakers to pay tribute to what he called "a great religion and its commitment to justice and progress."

Attendees included Congress' two Muslim members -- Reps. Keith Ellison and Andre Carson as well as ambassadors from Islamic nations and Israel's ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren."

Justice and progress? Is he out of his unaccomplished mind? Mr. Student Of History??

Click on the title of this post to read the article.

Seventy Years Ago Today

World War Two began. Is anyone at the White House aware?

Happy Birthday Van Morrison

Yesterday Van Morrison turned 64. So happy birthday. Hat tip: Scott Johnson/Powerline

George Will: Out Of Afghanistan

MC doesn't know what to make of Politico's report that the not-yet-published column of George F. Will will call for the US to essentially remove itself from land-based operations in Afghanistan and maintain an offshore presence only. We will need to read the column in full before opining further although if we were democratic congressman we could say whatever we liked without reading it. In fact, MC won't know what to say until Rush Limbaugh tells us how to think
about this and he's on vacation this week. We'll simply have to fake it.

Click on the title of this post to read the Politico story.

Update: Wills' column is now posted; read it here.

Unfortunately he employs the Vietnam strategy together with a pastiche of anecdotal evidence together which causes him to throw up his hands. Would Will be making such a suggestion if the President was John McCain instead of Barack Obama? It's a question worth asking. MC's other question is: why now?

Update redux: Peter Wehner at Commentary's Contentions blog agrees with MC that Wills' column is "astonishingly weak" and one that "could have been written in Japanese aboard the USS Missouri." Ouch.

Click here to read his comments.