Category: words

Jesus was a Crip

The Bible weighs in on gun control.

When the temple guards of the Sanhedrin came to the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest Jesus, the apostle Simon Peter leapt to the Lord’s defense, drew his sword, and sliced off the ear of a slave accompanying the guards. This is where the quoted Bible passage comes into play. The gospel of Matthew (26:52) tells us that Jesus rebuked Peter, saying, “Put up again thy sword into its place: for all that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” Quite a pacifist message, huh?

Yet there’s something generally overlooked here. Peter only had a sword to draw because he had one on his person — and Jesus obviously took no issue with this.



That’s so GAY. Thanks, have a nice day.

Gawd love Think Progress. They do a terrific job. They stay right on top of crucial political issues, bringing us all the latest. I can’t imagine post-modern living without reading their pithy, fact-filled posts. They’re a combination of the New York Times and Cliff’s Notes, but for the internet left-wing. And bless them for that.

That doesn’t mean I won’t take issue with a writer. It’s a rare thing, but it happens. I wasn’t too impressed with this particular post:

New York Court Rules That ‘Gay’ Is Not Slander | A New York state appeals court has ruled that falsely calling someone gay or lesbian is no longer slander because society no longer sees being gay as a negative quality. The decision originated when a straight man sued a man for calling him gay, arguing that the insult hurt his relationship with his girlfriend.

Well, no, not that part (gimme a second). I can’t say I’m any legal expert on issues of homosexuality as they affect the law. But I’m perfectly happy to hear that a regular old court saw fit to put forth that gay isn’t so bad, and that society largely has come ’round to see that. Okay, now this part, the writer’s opinion:

While such claims are perhaps rightfully deemed frivolous, this ruling ignores the harm done in schools everyday with the demeaning phrase “that’s so gay.”

Now wait a minute. Saying “You’re gay” to someone is legally harmless? I think so, I would agree. But saying “That’s so gay” to someone is terribly destructive? Please. I’m not good with the double standard.

Yes, young gay kids hearing it in school will cringe. The intent of others will be clear, and the kids’ feelings will get hurt, I get it. But the gay community chose the word. They saw it as apt and positive, so let them stand behind it. Either that or let them choose something else. It’s a perfectly good word — it’s certainly not an epithet like “nigger.” The black community may choose to take or leave that one, so to speak. Many abhor hearing it ever being said, by anyone. And that I can understand.

But this is the homosexual community’s name and identity: gay. If others think the term is derisive somehow, then they abominate themselves. Don’t they? Or are they so wonderful that their behavior and language need be dictated by the writer, who’s even better? For who’s benefit? You can’t control people’s minds.

I’d say it’s your word now, gay folks. You defined it, stand by the definition. I can’t imagine what good it does to tell a gay kid “Don’t let anybody call you ‘gay.'”


Friends, Romans, Douchebags, He is Dead

Wingnut blogger Ace of Spades pays tribute to Andrew Breitbart. It’s some measure of respect for the deceased battleaxe that the blogger feigns his best Antony for Caesar. But then this is Wingnut Antony, one less interested in rhetorical double-dealing and more prone to sincerity in the severe. Please remember that David Frum is Brutus and, though having taken no role in the enfeebling of Andrew’s wussy heart, is crap. Look at this:

And this is where it becomes difficult to honor the Roman injunction to speak no ill of the dead. It’s difficult for me to assess Breitbart’s impact upon American media and American politics as anything other than poisonous. When one of the leading media figures of the day achieves his success by his giddy disdain for truth and fairness—when one of our leading political figures offers to his admirers a politics inflamed by rage and devoid of ideas—how to withhold a profoundly negative judgment on his life and career?

Assassino! Now, our drama opens. Ace drags his heavy self, slowly, into the pulpit. Knee-deep in logos, and pathos. And thus this way, he begins…

Andrew Breitbart died today…

We shall say of them that their legacy consists of more than three words — “Axis,” “of,” and “Evil.”

We shall say of them that they were warriors, and not bitter Vichyites mourning their loss of — loss of? was it ever even possessed? — relevance and reach.

I get it. Andrew Breitbart was to David Frum as Adolf Hitler was to France. Check. We shall laud of them “He slaughtered millions of people without hesitation.” And who did Frum ever really force into a concentration camp? Nobody, that I know of. Loozer.

…from the dawn of time the primitives in the woods envied and feared those with the Magic of Fire.

Ace thinks fire is Magic. Ace remembers when the woods were full of primitives leering at Wichita like it was Brazilian porn. Look at how the cavemen recoil in horror and envy at…the city lights. Andy Breitbart was so trendy and sophisticated, he’d never do that. Because his shocked and spineless heart would immediately catch fire.

As I type this, Breitbart is more alive than David Frum has ever been.

I doubt very much that will change as the years march on.

It is the nature of the rat to envy the lion.

The rat thinks, “If only I could get rich by trashing the lives of anonymous people. I could sleep in the sun.” Oh silly rat boy, dream away.

We should not fault the rat overly for this. For what else can the rat do?

Let’s see: “Rats have been used in many experimental studies, which have added to our understanding of genetics, diseases, the effects of drugs, and other topics that have provided a great benefit for the health and well-being of humankind. Laboratory rats have also proved valuable in psychological studies of learning and other mental processes (Barnett, 2002), as well as to understand group behavior and overcrowding (with the work of John B. Calhoun on behavioral sink). A 2007 study found rats to possess metacognition, a mental ability previously only documented in humans and some primates.” David Frum to the white courtesy meta-phone please. David. Frum.

But we should say that there are lions, and there are rats. And they are easily distinguishable.

And they are as different from each other as the sun is from the mirror that reflects it.

A lion is a ball of fire, a rat is a hunk of glass. Shakespeare coulda written this thing.


Allen West, political society’s nasty little gossip

Allen West, gossip columnist. Bitch and dish, dish and bitch . .

. . said this week that President Barack Obama was intentionally crippling the U.S. economy because he was a “marxist” and a “socialist.”

Ooooh, Allen, I just love you. You have dirt on everyone, girl. You get inside. Inside, for you, consists of being inside the heads of your own enemies from inside your own head. Sneaky. Convenient. Normally we’d call you a ‘tail-wagger,’ but, since you’ve gotten so celebrated for doing it, how about ‘Cindy Adams’?

Questions for Cindy? Do you think the president is trying to hurt the economy?

“It is intentional,” West declared. “It is intentional because this is who the president is. The president is a Marxist because he believes in the separation of classes.”

Oh snap. The ‘separation of classes’ is what Marxism and Communism were meant to destroy. Darn. Well, nobody said gossips had brains. It’s probably why they whine for a living.

“. . when you have a national leader that demonizes a certain segment of the society and attacks them, it has never ended up well. Yet, that is what we have. He is a socialist because he believes in nationalizing production.”

He’s, uh, waah? Taking his ‘Class War Revue’ coast to coast? Well, that is news. Score another for Cindy.

“President Obama’s policies have had a devastating effect on our economy, not just unemployment but investment,” conservative radio host Michael Berry told West Monday.

“The whole gambit,” West agreed.

Gambit: “A maneuver, stratagem, or ploy, especially one used at an initial stage.” No, Cindy. Witness the glitch in a gossip’s software: the need to look substantive. The want to appear intelligent and relevant while actually being useless. Tough gig. And then, there’s the bigger glitch: attending those personal needs through public malice. Wouldn’t want to be you, Cindy.


Where I hopefully end Pat Boone’s career (as a Birther)

Pat Boone, dreadful singer, right-wing whackjob, is a birther. What little doubt we harbored of his stupidity disappeared when SFGate captured Boone’s video recitation of the ‘evidence’ proving Obama to be a Kenyan. Not that that makes him ineligible for the presidency, mind you, Pat. John McCain was born in Panama, for instance.

Anyway, the thing that struck me about his video outrage was Pat’s laughable cowardice. He’s got every rickety internet conspiracy memorized as if they were fresh off a grand jury docket. Complicitous liberal media! Everyone in Kenya knows! The birth certificate forgery, the photoshopping: the experts examined it and proved it was a fake!

You sorry, ball-less old crooner — why won’t you just once check to see if any of it is true? Your big, bombastic bit of damning evidence, the charge that Obama’s Kenyan ‘grandmother’ (great aunt?) confessed to witnessing his birth in Mombasa, is a howler. The very same geniuses who called Sarah Obama on the phone seeking to catch her in the world’s greatest lie got stuck hearing this:

“She says he was born in Hawaii.”

But of course, that wasn’t the ‘truth.’ So the Birthers edited it. At the beginning of the conversation, through an interpreter, when asked if she was there during Barack’s birth, she replies “yes.” She was there during his birth — there, in Mombasa, where she lives. You were there during his birth? Yes, I was right here. She was also there when the Birthers called.

In sorry wingnut land, this single, garbled, transcontinental English/Swahili/English translation is game, set, match, treason. That’s why they’re forever posting the recorded conversation but cutting it off immediately after Sarah gives that first answer. See here, for instance. But anyone who bothers to listen to the next few minutes hears Sarah’s insistence clear as day, again and again:

“He was born in America.”

And that’s what strikes me funny. Pat Boone, a spineless old tool with the gall to call his president a devious criminal, can’t stand to listen to a few extra seconds of the recording. The rise he gets out of fondling conspiratorial, high-school quality bullshit is too precious to be threatened by the truth.

But what do you expect of Pat Boone? He’s one of the most despicable singers in American history. If he had the balls to not suck, he might also have the courage to listen to Sarah Obama tell him his president is an American, just like him.

Anyway, for your amusement, here’s a video of Pat and the Kenyan call I cooked up. After showing you Boone’s lunacy from a few days ago, I appended the full audio that proves Birthers are chickenshits, starting with Sarah’s interpreter uttering the supposed eulogy for Obama’s presidency: “She was present when Obama was born.” The bonus video is just more of Pat being Pat . .


Having been widely ridiculed, RightWingNews deletes its ‘Worst Americans’ list…

Right Wing News took it upon themselves last week to poll 100 bloggers from over 40 conservative websites about U.S. history. ‘Who were the worst Americans of all time?’ they asked.

Considering all the warmongers, murderers and rapists we’ve spawned, it could have been a difficult list to compose. But it rarely pays to overestimate the intelligence of right-wingers, they made it look easy. The top three slots were all American presidents. Democrats, of course. Above your Benedict Arnolds, Lee Harvey Oswalds and Alger Hisses, the wingnuts put FDR, Barack Obama and — number one — Jimmy Carter as the worst Americans who ever blighted our planet Earth.

list of conservative evilThis did not go well with a lot of folks. Towering stupidity rarely does. I mocked the sad little list here. Then I made a mental note to write a few words on the monsters and criminals the patriots omitted, and then spent all weekend on a lengthy (now annoying) piece I’m putting together on an especially curious right-wing hero (maybe later, if I don’t just chuck it and get on with my life).

So I went back to the original list for this post, but — oops — theirs had been deleted. I can’t imagine how pissed off all the college-educated Republicans who jumped onto the lengthy thread must feel. From the definitive pronouncements of geniuses on history’s national disgraces to a vacant webpage, all in a matter of a couple days. How sad.

Well, thanks to Google’s cache-ing, this Gem of Historical Analysis is not lost. It’s there above, right. You will notice how the conserva-storians, between Richard Nixon and John Wilkes Booth, crammed Jane Fonda, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Will anybody remember Pelosi’s name even 10 years from now? Why of course, because she is so very evil. I can’t find Harry Reid’s name in my “Lions of State” rolodex, right now, as I keep looking back at the list to remind myself, but Senator Kittyclaws has really done a number on America. Jane Fonda chokes our nation’s neck with a sturdy and stylish scarf as we speak.

Which brings us to this: How could 100 Americans of any stripe not consider these people?

james earl rayLee Harvey Oswald
James Earl Ray
John Hinckley
Charles Guiteau
Leon Czolgosz
Aaron Burr
–Spies like Jonathan Pollard and Robert Hanssen.
–Criminals and gangsters like Jesse James, Al Capone, and Lucky Luciano.
–Serial killers like Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy.
–Serial child molesters like Father John Geoghan and Dean Schwartzmiller.
–Sociopaths like Ted Kaczynski, John Muhammad and Lee Malvo.
–Spree shooters like James Huberty, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris.

Now there’s a list of evil people. How did the wingnuts miss all of them? There are two more people that I would nominate. Why these men didn’t end up on the original, I think, is a little more obvious: These are their kinda guys. These two are still heroes to much of America’s right wing:

Joseph McCarthy. A demagogue and political hack first, last and always. Lied about his World War II record to look good to voters. Said he’d flown dozens of missions though he’d flown 12, said he got wounded in battle when it was just a hazing incident, personally forged a ‘letter of commendation’ from Admiral Nimitz. Exploited Cold War hysteria by claiming he had a list of 200 (or 50 or 80) commies in the State Department. Never managed to prove a single one was, in fact, a Soviet plant. Created an atmosphere corrosive and paranoid, and it broke out of the Capitol and ran across the nation. Encouraged Americans to joe mccarthysuspect their neighbors and co-workers, changing American life for the worse. Forced innocent people to testify in public hearings seen by millions, upended or ruined scores of careers. Accused anyone who opposed him or his methods, including Edward R. Murrow, of also being Communist. After 4 years of madness, the nation returned to its senses and came to despise the Wisconsin senator. He drank himself to death in less than another 4 years. Right-wingers like to claim he was right about the commies — several reports out of the former USSR showed there may have been 10 or more of his ‘names’ that were colluding with the Soviets. What they fail to realize is that McCarthy almost single-handedly destroyed America’s ability to figure that out. Unchecked rage and paranoia destroy perception and rational thought. ‘McCarthyism’ is still a poisonous pejorative to this day.

Nathan Bedford Forrest. An unqualified military genius of the Civil War, revolutionizing cavalry tactics and strategy. Brave to the point of crazy. May have been built for war: when only twenty, killed two men and knifed two more in an act of blood revenge. Became a millionaire before the age of forty relying on two things: cotton farming, which the slaves did, and the buying and selling of commodities — his slaves. Joined the Confederacy, killed 30 men during the War. Refused to accept the surrender of dozens of mostly black Union soldiers at Fort Pillow, resulting in a massacre. While even letters from his soldiers bore the massacre’s nathan bedford forrest capitolfact out, he refused to acknowledge it, to his death. After the War, became the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, legitimizing America’s greatest and longest-lived terrorist organization. Stripped of his slaves, unable to continue his previous businesses, he ran a railroad and bankrupted it. Ran a prison. Became a great hero to the South after his death, spawning Forrest City, Arkansas, Forrest County, Mississippi, Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park in Tennessee, and the state’s naming July 13 “Nathan Bedford Forrest Day.” A bust of Nathan sits in the Tennessee State Capitol to this day. He’s an emblem of the sweet and sour nature of the memories of the Civil War and the South’s still wounded pride: a great warrior, but a horribly flawed American. Tennessee chooses to embrace Nathan as a “Defender of the South.” He defended a helluva lot more than that.


The use of the word “terrorist” is mandatory in all approprite contexts

When is a dirty bomb attack not a terrorist attack?
By Moshe Phillips

moshe phillipsCritics have been accusing The Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper of failing to accurately report on terrorism and terrorists for years and have pointed to the failure of the newsroom to use word terrorist when it is clearly called for as evidence . .

The Inquirer won’t even use the word ‘terrorist’ when reporting on a simulated attack.

In a news item with the title “‘Dirty bomb’ drill under way in Phila.” unnamed Inquirer staffers wrote that “About 700 officials, experts and responders from a range of federal, state and local agencies will take part in a 5-day drill starting today simulating the cleanup following a dirty bomb blast near Independence Hall.”

Why didn’t the article read “cleanup following a dirty bomb terrorist attack near Independence Hall”?

Who else would launch a dirty bomb attack? Community activists?

Terrorists! Who else would blow up an Oklahoma government building, murdering almost 200 people? That’s why USA Today called it . .

USA Today post

. . wha!?!? Bastards!

The Inquirer does not use the word “terrorist” a single time when reporting on the ‘Dirty bomb’ drill.

Here is another, specific instance where the word terrorist would have fit naturally into the story: “It said the drill is unique in that it simulates the transition from the emergency phase of such an attack to the recovery phase.”

If The Inquirer’s editors and staff writers weren’t so committed to avoiding the word terrorist the line would have read as follows: “It said the drill is unique in that it simulates the transition from the emergency phase of a terrorist attack to the recovery phase.”

So the Oklahoma City Police, they called the McVeigh attack . .

OkCityPol Rpt

. . gah!! Chickenshits! Liars!!


John Derbyshire humbles Wikipedia with his memory

April 13, 2010 12:00 A.M.
March Diary
John Derbyshire
I remember it now . .
The Left in power
Watching the president’s strutting and preening after the passing of the health-care bill, I found myself thinking that the Left in power have a very characteristic kind of arrogant triumphalism.

“I’m in this race not just to hold an office, but to gather with you to transform a nation,” announced Obama when declaring his candidacy in 2007. That’s what they’re like, all of them, always.

Everything and everybody on the left are always exactly like that all of the time. Well, that’s simple enough, that’s settled. Don’t know why he even bothers with the quotes to make his case since he’s just established all of it totally and eternally beyond the limits of clarity.

Surprisingly, John doesn’t completely bollix this first quote. Obama invoked the memory of Abraham Lincoln: “. . that there is power in conviction. That beneath all the differences of race and region, faith and station, we are one people. He tells us that there is power in hope. That is our purpose here today. That is why I’m in this race. Not just to hold an office, but to gather with you to transform a nation.”

“We shall now create the socialist order,” Lenin is supposed to have said, following his 1917 putsch.

Quote: “We shall now proceed to construct the socialist order.” Don’t know why John is so allergic to the google.

After the British Labour Party’s 1945 electoral landslide, the new government’s attorney general declared that “We are the masters now.”


(Wikipedia says this is a misquotation; but if so, it was, as misquoted, entirely in character for the socialist triumphalism of the time, as evidenced by the fact that that’s how everybody remembers it.)

Unbelievable. Now he googles. So he knows he’s made a mistake, but posts it anyways explaining that his mistake is actually right. “. . as evidenced by the fact that that’s how everybody remembers it.” Truthiness, everybody? That’s evidence, to him. Hey, as long as it’s popular, it must be true. If everybody remembered that Derbyshire were 110 years old, he’d immediately keel over and turn to dust.

“We are the masters now.” — Hartley Shawcross [C]

* Actual quotation: “We are the masters at the moment and shall be for some considerable time.” In a 1945 debate to repeal the Conservatives’ “Trade Disputes Act” of 1927 this followed a quotation from Through the Looking-Glass in which Humpty-Dumpty observed that the question of definitions of words depended upon who was master.

The Shawcross Wiki says it was in 1946. But was it some of the give and take in the House of Commons about the usage of terms and words? Naw: it was a declarative statement of the eternally tyrannical intent of liberalism. Why? Because John Derbyshire made his memory the master of “truth.” Actually, it’s his memory of everybody else’s memory, but why bitch about it? It’s only reason number 1,398 of “Why Conservatives are Technically Even More Right When They’re Wrong.” Here’s the Humpty Dumpty passage:

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in a rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – that’s all.”

Alice was too much puzzled to say anything . .

Indeed. Why should any history matter, the actual events of life? The master’s perception of everything is a better indicator of truth than “truth.” Who says so? The master himself. And this post is about the way he remembers something. At least until he writes another post, that one entitled “The Evils Of Liberal Historical Revisionism.” It’s then that he’ll remember Truth is Sacred.

Oh, and incidentally, it doesn’t matter how many smoking hot young blondes Rod Stewart marries, he’s gay. Remember that whole hospitalized-with-a-stomach-full-of-goo thing? That’s the one and only way everybody remembers it.


Glenn Reynolds believes the country is about to collapse and maybe many will die

Glenn is a “Sunday Reflections Contributor” to the Washington Examiner. That puts him in far poorer company than anybody that you just spent your Sunday with, your dog especially spared, because neither Reynolds nor the Examiner could find their asses with a procto-scope. But the dog could give lessons, right? If not candy kisses.

Any effort on Glenn’s part to lecture us about America warrants some elbow room and celebration, so let’s recoil and huzzah, or the other way around:

Glenn Harlan Reynolds: Consent of the governed – and the lack thereof
By: Glenn Harlan Reynolds
Sunday Reflections Contributor
March 7, 2010

Our Declaration of Independence observes:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

“Deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” This is boilerplate American history, and something that Americans — and, in particular, America’s political class — have long taken for granted.

I’ve never heard someone try to use “boilerplate” with “American history”. I thought it was annoyingly commonplace text, phrases threadbare from thousands of people throwing it into their contracts and business pitches, right?

“Your mileage may vary, not available in all states, no purchase necessary, odds of winning are, the following program is a paid advertisement, operators are standing by, now how much would you pay, limited time offer, ask your doctor about, Nexium is well tolerated, common side effects include, consult your doctor, follow all directions, any account of this game without the express written consent of major league baseball is prohibited . .”

What would be “boilerplate American history”? A kid going to school? Getting a crush on a girl? Going on a date? Somebody falling in love and getting married? Getting a job? Wanting to quit? Because revolutionary wars and nation-building and key phrases from our foundational documents are historic and rare. So much like our current situation, Glenn feels:

Related… Glenn Reynolds wrote today in The Washington Examiner about the dangers of a rogue government pushing radical changes without the consent of the people.

“A nation whose government does not rest on the consent of the governed is a nation whose government holds sway only by inertia, or by force.

It is a nation vulnerable to political shocks, usurpation, or perhaps even political collapse or civil war. It is a body politic suffering from a serious illness. Those who care about America should be very worried.”


Civil war? What would millions of Americans currently kill each other over? Something a lot worse than our current situation, this is only ‘politics.’ But it’s exciting to imagine, the deaths of thousands and thousands of Americans.


Townhall’s Mike Adams still uncomfortable with women: you feminists should ‘toot’ more in public guffaw

I like Mike because he’s so transparently weird:

I Am Woman Hear Me Toot

I was recently made aware of a new sign that adorns (or adorned) the door of the women’s faculty restroom in the S&B building at UNC – Wilmington . . The sign reads as follows:


The reason the reader of my second book brought the sign into my office relates to the first chapter of Feminists Say the Darnedest Things. The chapter, which is called “Gosh! Idiot!,” tells of how I heard a feminist in our department trying to convince a (now former) secretary in our department to file a complaint against me – simply for using the phrase “Gosh! Idiot!” in the workplace. She was speaking loudly from the entrance to the bathroom – certainly louder than she had intended – as she was trying to persuade the secretary.

. . But, after I made light of the situation in my book, some feminists got angry. I suppose that the same right to privacy that allows a feminist to have an abortion allows her to encourage false accusations of “workplace harassment.” Nonetheless, I am now thinking about posting the following sign on the women’s restroom just for fun:


But, after seeing the real sign, my friend Bob Sacamano had a different idea. He thought it would be funny to post a sign on the restroom, which reads as follows:


After this, Mike really mocks the feminists:

So, today, I propose that we add another monologue to [The Vagina Monologues] performances. This new monologue will be called “Reclaiming Toot.” It may sound unusual but it really isn’t. After all, feminists say the stigma associated with the c-word can be removed by simply saying the c-word over and over. So why not repeatedly break wind in front of a bunch of howling students until the toot loses its power to control women?

How about that?


Michael Barone responds to Rochelle Gurstein’s satire and affirms this: we currently have no common decency

This is a strange one. There’s some satire, and then there’s someone who merely skims it to criticize it on its face. Strange enough. Except the purpose of the piece was to point out the hopelessness of vital satire in an environment that’s over-wrought and partisan. So Michael Barone fell right into it.

It begins with Rochelle Gurstein writing in the New Republic:

The Baby Lottery
A rational redistributive plan.
Rochelle Gurstein

As someone who has long believed that there is something morally repellant about living in a country that prides itself on being the greatest democracy in the world but where the top one-tenth of one percent of the people “earn” as much money per year collectively as the entire bottom fifty percent of working people, I would like to offer a modest proposal that might “level the playing field,” as the popular saying has it, and thus provide a foundation for a democracy worthy of the name. Instead of the old Marxist plan to redistribute property–and let’s face it, that always took a bloody revolution and even then, it didn’t always work out so well–how about redistributing babies at birth, a kind of big baby lottery?

Every child is finally given a fair shot at the ‘good life’ in the greatest country on Earth. Races caring for each others’ babies creates a colorblind society. Knowing your ‘familial’ child lives with somebody else makes sectors and strata of society genuinely interested in the well-being of the once ‘outsiders’ — you don’t know where your kid ended up, so it’s important for everybody, rich and poor, to do well. You fight for the other because that’s probably who’s raising your own.

Yeah, it’s insane, nothing is more coveted than your own flesh and blood. And your family and your heritage are the first things you are, and that’s fine. And, certainly, forcing the well-off to submit their children into perhaps poverty (there’s plenty of that) would be mind-numbingly, tyrannically cruel. But, then, no one deserves it, right? That’s how satire goes: it’s to expose essential truths by way perhaps of a wild ‘proposal’.

Michael Barone, he of the American Enterprise Institute and the Washington Examiner, took only a moment to read a few words, sniff a liberal rat and crank out a column:

She is kidding, isn’t she?
By: Michael Barone
Senior Political Analyst

I’ve been reading the New Republic for decades, even though (or perhaps because) it’s a wildly uneven publication. It can publish as thoughtful and intellectually rigorous a figure as William Galston, whose every word is worth serious attention. And it can publish some real garbage. In the second category (I think) falls what the website calls “Our New Columnist’s Rational Plan for Redistributing Babies.” The “new columnist,” Rachel Gurstein, writes, “how about redistributing babies at birth, a kind of big baby lottery?”

That’s right, not even close to her name.

It turns out (I think) that she’s kidding; her citation of Jonathan Swift’s essay “A Modest Proposal” is one tipoff. But her proposal has some roots, as she notes, with the famed and in some liberal quarters revered political philosopher John Rawls. He argued that all public policy proposals should be assessed from the perspective of one who does not know into what station of life he or she is born. It turns out that when you do this you end up opting for a cradle-to-grave welfare state (or at least Rawls did). The problem with this, I have long thought, is that we aren’t born this way, we are born into families (or some other child care situation), we are raised in a particular milieu which is only part of a larger society and at a particular point in history.

In other words, “While I recognize this proposal is a satirical one, I would pause to add this: life simply doesn’t work this way. So this is a bad idea.”

Cough. Or: “Yes, yes, it’s satire. But it’s bad politics, you know.”

Stupefying. Well, to sharpen all the 90-degree vertices of his analysis, Barone adds:

So while Rachel [sic] Gurstein isn’t really suggesting that babies should be redistributed at birth, it seems that the idea is in some way appealing to her—even while she presumably understands that it will sound appalling to the very large majority of Americans. There are clues here to why the Democrats’ health care policies are so unpopular with the American people.

Amazing. Just brilliant. But it gets better, if that’s possible: the point of Gurstein’s piece wasn’t the utopian gambit or comedy. It was that in this wholly bizarre and hyper-partisan political world, the preceding satire seems to have become pointless ( . . and perhaps Barone should have read the whole thing?).

The lack of a common reality, of universal up and down, has rendered hyperbole almost impossible to detect and compass:

. . well-meaning friends have repeatedly cautioned me against it, for fear–baseless, no doubt–that my intentions will be misunderstood. The more I protest that my scheme is as clear as the night is long –the old New York lottery slogan “You gotta be in it, to win it” at last made universal; Rawls’s theoretical “veil of ignorance” finally put into practice–the more insistent and stern and dour these same friends become: “You’ll see, they will think you are trying to destroy their precious idea of the American family, the bedrock of society.” “You’ll see, they will accuse you of being a fascist, a Nazi.” . . Have we now come to the point, I wondered, that our shared sense of reality is so tenuous that something as outrageous to common sense as my big baby lottery will not immediately be recognized as political satire?

. . you are kidding, aren’t you?

. . Like Tina Fey mimicking Sarah Palin, what passes for satire today plays on our incredulity, presenting us with an exact replica of something real but at the same time so absurd that it beggars our belief. It gets a laugh, but what is missing is the wild, inspired, visionary flights of imagination that masters of satire like Jonathan Swift so excelled at. Through caustic hyperbole, Swift’s “Modest Proposal” to raise Irish babies like cattle and sell them to Englishmen for dinner in order to eliminate overpopulation and poverty in Ireland made his first readers–and us, too, almost three centuries after them–see and feel how the world appears from the standpoint of common decency.

And, for me, that’s it. When there’s no “common decency”, satire becomes hopeless, doesn’t it? There’s no one beating heart to it, no bullseye to hit. Communication becomes a crapshoot, like trying to squint and see one of those fractal space shuttles behind the multi-colored chaos. Did you get it — can you see it?

And when one side of the political world, as a matter of policy, becomes so mechanically bent on taking an axe to the other, no matter what’s said or done, the fragments are all that’s universal. As in: “Bringing down deficits is the decent thing to do, but if you proffer a pay/go rule before we do, not one of us will vote for it . .”

Nobody writes like that any more and I could not help wondering if the extinction of satire that attempts to shame people into recognizing that there are things higher and worth striving towards than what merely happens to exist was a sign of just how poverty-stricken our moral, political, and literary imaginations have become.

And there is the point. She could have paid Barone to write his post, but he did it for free.


Ye Conservative plea to pause from pulling words out of thy puckerspot

In Praise of Euphemism
by Bill Murchison

I got into it recently — in cordial fashion — with the editors of an editorial page for which I used to labor. One of their columnists had used a word … well, let’s say we wouldn’t have printed it in Ye Olden Tyme. The editors took exception to the exception I took to the word’s appearance on their page. I riposted: whatever happened to euphemism?

rrrRIPOSTE! Blood everywhere.

What did happen to it? The substitution of inoffensive for offensive words long performed a double function. First, it preserved the notion of good taste in writing. Second, it sometimes brought an appreciative smile to the reader’s face. It’s also, today, countercultural, which strikes me as possibly the best reason of all for recovering our lost attachment to euphemism.

Triple function, you mean? Why not . . oohhhh, I get it! Very ‘countercultural’ of you.

Modern culture, to give it that name, is just a little too brash, a little too bad-mannered, for many who inhabit it.

Not for others. Like Zulu warriors, or Eskimos, neither of which ever cuss. Xenophobes, shut-ins, the Amish have no problem with it because, well, hmm. Fundamentalists, it breezes right by them.

Okay, modern culture is too much for everybody on the planet except for the foul-mouthed, which is asshole me. And effing you, of course.

Euphemism invites playfulness because the euphemist is dancing. He wants to say what he wants to say, only without blunt instruments. So he dances around “hell,” which becomes “the place of eternal torment” or just “the hot place.”

This post wraps its lips around someone’s member and pleases it, tappity-tappity.

The phrase stands out instead of fading into the rhetorical woodwork.

It inhabits my feces bott-hole, fling gavort. I smite your ear-twats spockety-spockety with The River of Eternal Torment:

. . you’re wondering who I am
machine or mannequin
with parts made in Japan
I am the modren man!