Mailvox: Compensating

Jeff comments: When violence is used to preserve life or the life of a loved one, it is justified. When violence is used as part of a greater purpose, say to preserve our God given human rights in the face of a tyrranical government, it is justifed. But violent reaction to being screwed over by a radio talk show host, is out of line…unless your balls are so small that you can’t take it.

Of course, this leaves out violence for sheer enjoyment’s sake. But Jeff’s reference to the purportedly miniscule size of my genitals reminds me of a story – now there’s a start! Space Bunny and I were lifting weights one afternoon, and I happened to be throwing up a pair of 75s for a few reps of dumbbell shoulder press. One of the women who was a weight room regular yelled out: “what are you compensating for?” To which I responded, loudly, “small penis!”

A shocked silence filled the room as everyone stopped what they were doing and looked right at Space Bunny. She smiled, nodded and held her thumb about an inch away from her index finger, at which point everyone cracked up. Now, there’s a girl!


Disgusted with the Republican leadership

Joseph Farah is disgusted with them over their support of Arlen Spector. Adam McManus has an even better reason: in a more obscure race in Alabama for State Board of Education, the state Republican Party decided to disqualify Christian radio talk-show host Kelly McGinley from the ballot, indicating she was too disloyal. McGinley had written on her website that “maybe, if we practice tough love, the Republican Party will repent and come back to its platform.” Thankfully, Montgomery County Circuit Judge William Shashy said in a recent ruling that while McGinley had made “strong criticisms” of the GOP, the party had not set any rules that would disqualify a candidate for such criticisms.

“Zere vill be no dissent! You must adhere to zee Party!” Maybe the Republican leadership is fascist after all. Although you’d think calling for a strict adherence to the party platform would be considered desirable. I have no doubt they’ll take care of that little rule next time around. Obey or Else!

I’m not disgusted, however, I’m amused. You get what you pay for and you get what you vote for. If you’re dumb enough to support strong government “conservatives”, don’t be surprised when you get left-liberal leadership. You cannot hope to see smaller government come from those dedicated to making it bigger. I’d think this was a priori apparent, but it’s clear that a surprisingly large number of conservative Republicans need to hear it anyhow: some people don’t mean what they say. This can even be true of politicians whose last name isn’t Clinton and who don’t have a (D) in front of their name.

I’m so tired of hearing “well, I think Bush is a good man and I believe he really wants to blah blah blah.” You can think whatever you want, of course, but you’re obviously not paying very close attention. So he led us into Afghanistan and Iraq – BFD! Wilson got us into WWI, FDR led us into WWII, LBJ led us into Vietnam, did that make them all conservative champions of small government?


Mailvox: the greater of two evils

Gypsy writes: Why vote for the lesser of two evils? Cthulhu 2004!!!

Are there any rules in the Constitution that bar the candidacy of an Elder God from the Outer Darkness just because he happens to be slumbering beneath the ice in Antarctica? Perhaps that’s the third-party solution. Once he gets into the debates – and who’s going to gainsay Mighty Cthulhu – he’ll win hands down by virtue of causing the other candidates to fail their SAN roll. And then, he’ll nail down both the squamous and rugose votes, no problem.

No one will ever be able to argue that Cthulhu will be soft on terror after he devours the entire contents of Guantanamo Bay live on camera.


Au revoir, Jean-Francois?

From the Village Voice: With the air gushing out of John Kerry’s balloon, it may be only a matter of time until political insiders in Washington face the dread reality that the junior senator from Massachusetts doesn’t have what it takes to win and has got to go. As arrogant and out of it as the Democratic political establishment is, even these pols know the party’s got to have someone to run against George Bush. They can’t exactly expect the president to self-destruct into thin air…. What to do? Look for the Dem biggies, whoever they are these days, to sit down with the rich and arrogant presumptive nominee and try to persuade him to take a hike. Then they can return to business as usual—resurrecting John Edwards, who is still hanging around, or staging an open convention in Boston, or both.

Wow! When the Village Voice hates a Democratic nominee even more than they hate George Bush, you know the Dems are in disarray.


Sowell on media scum

Thomas Sowell plays the players: Readers sometimes ask why I am seldom seen or heard on television or radio. Mainly it is because I turn down 90 percent of the invitations I get. A recent radio interview shows why. I was invited on as a guest to talk about my new book, “Affirmative Action Around the World.” But when I phoned in for the interview while the program was on the air, I discovered that another guest was already waiting in ambush, talking about a wholly different topic, minimum wage laws. When I asked the hostess whether I was on the program to discuss minimum wage laws and she said that I was, I knew that this was the old bait-and-switch game that I had encountered many times over the years…. So I hung up the phone. Apparently the people who run the program became angry that I would not play along with their game. They phoned me. They phoned the Hoover Institution, where I work, demanding to speak to the director. But the Hoover Institution includes people who know what the media are like, so this ploy didn’t get very far.

Sowell has the right of it. I’d blow them off in a heartbeat too. If nothing else, you have to establish that you are not to be messed with in the future. I figure radio’s safer for me than television. There are a few TV types that the urge to Frankenize would be too overwhelming. I don’t know if I could even formulate complete sentences, as I’d be sitting there silently debating whether a few weeks in jail and the inevitable lawsuit would be worth it.

Doesn’t turning the other cheek mean that it’s okay to pop them one first?


The Senate he deserves… and wants

From the Washington Times: Mr. Toomey, a conservative who had limited himself to three terms in the House, came from far behind in polls to run almost even with Mr. Specter, a liberal four-term incumbent supported by President Bush, fellow Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Rick Santorum and other key Republican lawmakers in the state. With outside groups spending freely in the race, it became a referendum on the strength of each wing of the party.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you your Republican Party! Not that I was before, but it’s now impossible to be sympathetic to arguments that the president is hamstrung by Congress. I have to believe that Mr. Bush’s endorsement was worth more than the 16,000-vote margin of victory for Senator Specter of Scotland nee’ Pennsylvania. What’s that again about George Delano being a secret conservative? My guess is that he moves even further to the left after he wins re-election, which he will do thanks to the increasingly hapless Jean-Francois.

I must say that Kerry is simply magnificent to watch from afar. He’s the Keystone Kandidate that we’ve been missing ever since Perot hung up his charts.


The battle for Europe begins

From WND: Dutch Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner and Immigration and Integration Minister Rita Verdonk informed a special Parliament meeting in Amsterdam of their actions to remove from the shelves a Muslim book distributed by the Dutch Lel Tawheed mosque promoting the stoning of homosexuals and female circumcision. The book is titled in Dutch “De Weg van de Muslim” – “The Way of the Muslim,” according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin. The book contains shocking instructions in support of female circumcision, beating of wives and the murder of homosexuals. A Dutch parliamentarian, Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former Muslim, demanded the closure of the mosque and any other facility offering the book.

I wouldn’t be surprised if within five years, the Koran is banned in Holland and Muslims are being forcibly deported across Europe. What will happen to cause the likely European deportations, I don’t know, but I’m quite confident that unless the global jihad gives up – which doesn’t seem likely – Europeans will respond more harshly to the jihad than have Americans in this one regard. Europe wears multiculturalism poorly and precisely because they have no taste for war they will turn towards an internal policing option. Lackign a strong regard for freedom of religion and with an ethos that collective rights trump individual rights, the long-term implications of this action are hard to escape.


Nate, you ignorant slut

The Pan-Gargler writes on his blog: The problem with any IQ test is that it identifies not intelligence, but a pre-determined thought process, a way of thinking and working out puzzles. Taking a measure of one’s ability to perform the card trick of finding patterns in colors and shapes, to one’s ability to learn is just shamefully ignorant. The IQ tests have a great deal like the Austrian Economics Quiz. It can’t tell you what economics is right or wrong, but it can tell you who you agree with.

Oh dear. It looks as if Nate took my advice on arguing like a liberal too seriously. He begins, as recommended, with step 1 – make an absurd statement, preferably about something of which you know nothing. It’s clear that either he’s writing tongue-in-cheek or he’s never read THE BELL CURVE, which delves into the statistical analysis of a number of different concepts using intelligence as measured on IQ tests as the variable.

The results are quite striking. Low-IQ is the best predictor of criminality, better than poverty, illegitimacy or other popularly ascribed root causes. High-IQ is also one of the best predictors of success, whether one is engaged in a job that is considered to be one that requires intelligence or not. This is why the SAT, which until 10 or 12 years ago was an IQ test, was used to determine the likelihood of success – graduation – in college, and did so admirably until the PC forces demanded its modification.

Most people have a very poor understanding of what intelligence is. Intelligence is not some kind of grand, multi-faceted mystery, the EQ BS notwithstanding. Intelligence is nothing more than intellectual firepower, the ability to engage in abstract thought. This does not mean it is necessarily well-directed, well-prepared or even used at all; a loaded M-16 in the hands of someone trained to use it is far more lethal than an empty 152mm artillery piece that is rusted-out from lack of care and use. A wise and well-trained mediocre mind will always argue circles around the brainwashed, ill-trained brilliant mind, but that says nothing about the base intelligence of either.

Furthermore, positing that other well-known personal attributes are actually alternative forms of intelligence does nothing more than pollute the language. There are plenty of low-IQ, high-EQ individuals out there; claiming that social butterflies are just differently intelligenced is as silly as the notion of the handicapable. But the best way to dismiss Nate’s assertion is to point out that it ignores the fact that a person who scores highly on a general intelligence test will almost always score highly on ANY test that is based on anything but direct personal experience or memorized knowledge. This is because the test merely reveals inherent cognitive ability, it does not create it. As THE BELL CURVE showed, this “test-taking ability” has wide and effective real-world application.

This doesn’t mean that the high-IQ are necessarily successful, as judged by third parties. However, one judges another’s notion of success at one’s peril. As Mises writes, an individual’s actions can only be judged by the parameters assigned by the acting individual.

I may be a member of MENSA, but I, too, scoff at those who are excessively proud of it. To me, it is nothing more than a recognizable warning to my critics. If I was particularly proud of such things, I’d join those intelligence societies that actually are exclusive. One in fifty isn’t much of an elite, after all. In the USA alone, there are six million potential members. I rather doubt those six million think very much alike, either.


NRO: The Movie

Katherine Lopez writes on NRO:The first time I saw and heard Jack Black, true story, I thought “He would have to play Jonah in a movie.” I’m pondering the Stuttaford. I think I’d pick more of a Hugh Grant. Derbyshire as Derbyshire is perfect. I think I’d actually want Walken for Derb if Derb were unavailable. I’d lol hysterically at the J-Lo if it weren’t so predictable. The list isn’t all-inclusive of course. Steve Martin for Brookhiser (thinking academic yet adventurous type). Sharon Stone as KOB. DeNiro as Ed Capano. Keanu Reeves as Ramesh. Keith Oberman as Peter Robinson. Robin Williams as WFB.

Is there a thinking man’s Vin Diesel? With Italian shoes, of course.


Cluster-F

Will2 asks: The cluster-F seems to have been made in the long-term post-war planning due to the recent supply shortages. If it was a consistant problem I feel certain that the media would have picked up on it before the Fallujah standoff escalated. Is it something that we can blame on attacked supply lines or is it planning miscalculations that are getting us into trouble now?

According to the officer whose letter was quoted in Jed Babbin’s article on NRO, the problem goes back to original planning miscalculations by the Army generals responsible for the war effort. In this, he echos the other officer who wrote to me yesterday, who blames Clinton-era officers.

Keep in mind that neither generals McKiernan nor Franks planned at all for the post-conflict environment. There is also no evidence that Abizaid once on hand as Franks’ deputy addressed this requirement. What ensued was Army thinking that has not changed in 50 years….While the violence increased, the Army generals remained committed to HUMMV mounted light infantry guaranteeing hundreds of maimed and dead soldiers. The Army senior leaders continue to behave like the US Army Air Corps generals from 1942-1943 who insisted that the bomber would always get through without fighter escort. After thousands of dead airmen and destroyed planes, they conceded the need for fighter escorts. Today, the marines and Army are still throwing men with automatic weapons into action against Iraqis with automatic weapons when armor is badly needed. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

The Army GOs in accordance with the new CSA’s “light infantry-centric visions” have been busy shipping out the armor and the newly arrived marines left their armor at home and are using borrowed army tanks. When generals Abizaid and Sanchez both saw the true dimensions of the resentment and violence, they panicked and asked that the only armor left in the theater – from 1 AD because 1st CAV brought only 1 in 6 tanks and 1 in 6 Brads – be extended for 90 days. Their panic knew no limits. They then insisted that the newly formed fledgling Iraqi formations go in and kill their own people when we had been trying to permanently erase the praetorian past of the Iraqi Army and persuade both the soldiers and their countrymen that the Iraqi army will never again be used against the people of Iraq. To the credit of the Iraqi soldiers, they refused to kill their own countrymen.

Could we have done better? Yes, but until the GOs are held accountable for their missteps and failures, nothing of substance will change or approve[sic].