I’m with Rich, sort of

Rich Lowry, the editor of the conservative journal National Review and another past Franken target, said he was interested in Franken’s efforts on Air America, but not enough to tune in. He did acknowledge that Air America could find an audience.

I’m not interested enough to tune in either. But I don’t think it will find enough of an audience to survive, nor do I think that radio will continue to hold interest for Alice. He won’t be happy being a third-tier radio host; unless he can hit the level of stardom of a Rush or O’Reilly, he’ll be too proud to continue.

Anyone got that call-in number yet? Wouldn’t it be funny if he’s too chicken to take calls?

UPDATE: the call-in number is 1-866-303-2270. Don’t miss the chance to call in and ask when he’s going to defend the manhood of the Democratic Party and answer my challenge. I can’t imagine that you’ll ever get through, but at least someone will get the message to him. Vox Day, Minnesota Mensa and Universal Press Syndicate, is looking for a piece of him. Debate, fight-club rules or both, anytime.

Never trust a Republican leader

That advice would have served this guy well: Republican leaders have broken a promise they made to expose the shocking contents of memos exchanged among Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats, says Manuel Miranda, the former GOP aide who is the whistleblower at the center of the so-called Memogate scandal. Miranda told Insight in an exclusive interview that both Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, broke clearly stated promises to expose collusion between top Democrats and special-interest groups seeking to thwart President Bush’s nominees to federal courts.

“Sen. Hatch told me specifically, point blank, that if I resigned he could then talk about the substance of the memos,” Miranda tells Insight. “I was told by the Frist office that, if I resigned, the Democrats would basically calm down” and the Republicans could make the memos public. Miranda said the same promises were made to conservative groups that assist the Republicans in gaining support for judicial nominees.

But we can trust them when they tell us that if we just re-elect George Delano, they’ll start putting that super-secret plan into action, the one in which they roll back all the damage they’ve done to the Constitution, the budget and the economy, right? Sometimes I wonder if George Delano’s defenders are even listening to themselves – those who claim the war-on-method trumps all excluded – I mean, if you’re clinging to hopes of super-secret second-term plans, you are in for a world of disappointment. The sad thing is, they’ll probably get suckered by the next faux conservative to come along and whisper sweet conservative nothings.

If you’re going to peddle your ass for power, don’t be surprised when no one stands up for your virtue.

Mises on two socialist strains

From the Mises Institute, published in 1944:The Bolshevists set the precedent. The success of the Lenin clique encouraged the Mussolini gang and the Hitler troops. Both Italian Fascism and German Nazism adopted the political methods of Soviet Russia. The only difference between Nazism and Bolshevism is that the Nazis got a much bigger minority in the elections preceding their coup d’état than the Bolsheviks got in the Russian elections in the fall of 1917.

The Nazis have not only imitated the Bolshevist tactics of seizing power. They have copied much more. They have imported from Russia the one-party system and the privileged role of this party and its members in public life; the paramount position of the secret police; the organization of affiliated parties abroad which are employed in fighting their domestic governments and in sabotage and espionage, assisted by public funds and the protection of the diplomatic and consular service; the administrative execution and imprisonment of political adversaries; concentration camps; the punishment inflicted on the families of exiles; the methods of propaganda. They have borrowed from the Marxians even such absurdities as the mode of address, party comrade (Parteigenosse), derived from the Marxian comrade (Genosse), and the use of a military terminology for all items of civil and economic life. The question is not in which respects both systems are alike but in which they differ.

It has already been shown wherein the socialist patterns of Russia and Germany differ. These differences are not due to any disparity in basic philosophical views; they are the necessary con­sequence of the differences in the economic conditions of the two countries. The Russian pattern was inapplicable in Germany, whose population cannot live in a state of self-sufficiency. The German pattern seems very inefficient when compared with the incompa­rably more efficient capitalist system, but it is far more efficient than the Russian method. The Russians live at a very low economic level notwithstanding the inexhaustible richness of their natural resources.There is inequality of incomes and of standards of living in both countries. It would be futile to try to determine whether the difference in the living standards of party comrade Goering and the average party comrade is greater or smaller than that in the standards of comrade Stalin and his comrades. The characteristic feature of socialism is not equality of income but the all‑round control of business activities by the government, the government’s exclusive power to use all means of production.

The Nazis do not reject Marxism because it aims at socialism but because, as they say, it advocates internationalism. Marx’s internationalism was nothing but the acceptance of eighteenth-century ideas on the root causes of war: princes are eager to fight each other because they want aggrandizement through conquest, while free nations do not covet their neighbors’ land. But it never occurred to Marx that this propensity to peace depends upon the existence of an unhampered market society. Neither Marx nor his school was ever able to grasp the meaning of international conflicts within a world of etatism and socialism. They contented themselves with the assertion that in the Promised Land of socialism there would no longer be any conflicts at all.

It will never cease to amaze me how socialists attempt to deny, deny, deny that the National Socialist German Worker’s Party was a socialist institution. Never mind the copious words and writings of every Nazi leader. Never mind the party’s explicit platform. Now, of course, they’re attempting to deny Marx, Lenin and the Communists. I imagine they’d deny the Fabians too if the Fabians had ever managed to kill anybody. Apparently all historical socialism was not, in fact, socialism. About the kindest thing I can say for modern socialists and their dumbed-down kin is that they’re as intellectually bankrupt as their philosophy.

So much for gratefulness

“The people of Fallujah hanged some of the bodies on the old bridge like slaughtered sheep,” Mohammed said. “I saw it myself.”

I still want us to bring our troops and our civilians home. We don’t belong in Iraq, and I don’t care if it descends into another Mideast hellhole, I only care that it is not allowed to pose a serious threat to the US. But since the Iraqis will no doubt mistake a withdrawal for some kind of weakness it will probably be necessary to turn places like Fallujah into large sheets of glass. That should make the point clear.

This is why the decision to occupy Iraq, and to a lesser extent, Afghanistan, pissed me off. I don’t see a good outcome for us there. Better to take the win and quit while your enemies are dead and you’re manifestly ahead than to hold on too long and end up leaving looking like a loser. Every gambler at Vegas and every entrepeneur interested in obtaining investment knows that you have to have an exit strategy before you go in, and I don’t believe that the Bush administration ever had one. Remember that the jihad considered Afghanistan a win, and the Soviets were there beating the hell out of them for twenty years. I suspect that the only way we’ll ever have peace with the Middle East is to take out the leaders every so often and allow them to keep busy fighting each other for supremacy.

Meanwhile, Iran’s nuclear reactor is literally weeks away from going online; I wonder who will hit it first?

UPDATE: Jamie writes on his blog: The general population has seen enough random terror around the world to know there is no defensive strategy in the war against islamofascism – we go on the offensive in the lands where the genesis of those ideas are and defeat them, or they will come get us. I for one, do not want to see the Neville Chamberlain strategy employed, and then be riding on the new Ghan railway in five years and have bombs go off left right and centre on the bastard.

This is surely true. But we’re not on the offensive in Iraq. We haven’t been for almost a year now. This is the equivalent of taking Niedersachsen during the WWII and parking there. Play offense or play defense, but either would be better than this half-assed war-on-method that piles bad tactics on top of bad strategy. It severely annoys me to hear how George Bush is a great war leader because he has this “secret strategy” that he can’t share with the people he’s supposedly leading:

“What’s the game plan, coach?”

“Can’t tell you, son But trust me, it’s a great one.”

“Well, can you at least tell me who we’re playing?”

“I can tell you who we’re not playing. We’re not playing against the team in the red jerseys. No, we’re only playing against those who try to tackle us.”

“But the guys in the red jerseys ARE trying to tackle us!”

“Shhh! Keep your voice down! The ref might hear you!”

The fact that the US military successfully destroyed a third-rate military dictatorship does not make George Bush a great wartime President. We’re supposed to be able to defeat third-rate military dictatorships. The jury is still out on the actual war, and at this point, there are more questions than answers. Remember, it took all of five years, 1939-1944, for Hitler to wax and wane. We’re already halfway there.

Make that four markets

The new liberal radio network Air America made a last-minute landing in the Twin Cities Tuesday with the news that WMNN Radio (1330 AM) will carry satirist Al Franken’s new show when it makes its national debut today.

I’ve lived in Minnesota for years and I’ve never even heard of WMNN. But that’s good news… when someone figures out Franken’s studio number, send it along and I’ll post it here. And then, we can start calling….

Let’s get it on!

This makes me laugh

From Drudge: CNN has lost more than half its audience from a year ago, according to NIELSEN! In 24-Hour Time Period for the first quarter of 2004, FOX NEWS CHANNEL averaged 824,000 viewers, down 36% vs. a year ago, which saw heightened viewership due to the Iraqi War. CNN plummeted 52%, averaging 458,000 viewers, while MSNBC dropped 49% averaging 234,000 viewers.

In PrimeTime, FOX NEWS decreased 36% from its 2003 viewership, averaging 1,394,000 people. CNN plunged 48% with 806,000 viewers and MSNBC fell 50% with 333,000 viewers. Eleven out of the top 12 cable news shows so far in 2004 appeared on FOX NEWS. Only one of CNN’s shows, Larry King Live, made the list at number four with 1,302,000 viewers.

I was saying this for years. Supply and demand. Supply and demand. There’s no real need for CNN anymore. Divide your 50 percent of the American audience among the ABCNNBCBS cabal, not to mention NPR, and it’s not exactly a surprise that the only station offering anything different to the other 50 percent is going to do very well. If the country is split 50/50 and the media is split 90/10, then that 50/10 media is going to clean up. As Fox is doing.

He’s so original

From the Washington Times: Al Franken and a host of garrulous progressives ease onto the airwaves tomorrow morning on America Left, broadcasting live from 6 a.m. to midnight on weekdays via XM Satellite Radio and three AM radio stations — in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Mr. Franken will debut at noon with “The O’Franken Factor,” a three-hour daily show airing opposite conservative host Rush Limbaugh, who has 20 million listeners. Mr. Franken once wrote a book titled “Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot” and has named his show as a parody of “The O’Reilly Factor,” hosted by Bill O’Reilly of Fox News.

Three markets and he can’t even find a creative title for his show. Yeah, he’s doomed.

A third perspective

Here’s an interesting and insightful article by a former school nerd. He’s no homeschool advocate, although he, too, sees schools as prisons, even if he considers them to be necessary in post-industrial society in order for adults to get things done. Here’s the section I found most interesting:

Adults can’t avoid seeing that teenage kids are tormented. So why don’t they do something about it? Because they blame it on puberty. The reason kids are so unhappy, adults tell themselves, is that monstrous new chemicals, hormones, are now coursing through their bloodstream and messing up everything. There’s nothing wrong with the system; it’s just inevitable that kids will be miserable at that age. This idea is so pervasive that even the kids believe it, which probably doesn’t help. Someone who thinks his feet naturally hurt is not going to stop to consider the possibility that he is wearing the wrong size shoes.

I’m suspicious of this theory that thirteen year old kids are intrinsically messed up. If it’s physiological, it should be universal. Are Mongol nomads all nihilists at thirteen? I’ve read a lot of history, and I don’t think I’ve seen a single reference to this supposedly universal fact before the twentieth century. Teenage apprentices in the Renaissance seem to have been cheerful and eager. They got in fights and played tricks on one another of course (Michelangelo had his nose broken by a bully), but they weren’t crazy.

As far as I can tell, the concept of the hormone-crazed teenager is coeval with suburbia. I don’t think this is a coincidence. I think teenagers are driven crazy by the life they’re made to lead. Teenage apprentices in the Renaissance were working dogs. Teenagers now are neurotic lapdogs. Their craziness is the craziness of the idle everywhere.

This certainly appears to be true of the Middle East, particularly the Palestinian refugee camps, where most of the adults aren’t permitted to work. I have on more than one occasion been struck by strange way that thirty-something Palestinian men often appear to behave like teenagers – I always thought they were acting up for the cameras, but now I’m not so sure.

Another interesting point he makes is the inevitability of the school culture’s cruelty, as it is a hierarchy of popularity, not skill, which he compares to court intrigue: Court hierarchies are another thing entirely. This type of society debases anyone who enters it. There is neither admiration at the bottom, nor noblesse oblige at the top. It’s kill or be killed. This is the sort of society that gets created by default in American secondary schools. And it happens because these schools have no real purpose beyond keeping the kids all in one place for a certain number of hours each day. What I didn’t realize at the time, and in fact didn’t realize till very recently, is that the twin horrors of school life, the cruelty and the boredom, both have the same cause.