Monthly Archives: January 2006

>REACT: Italian Prime Minister takes "no nookey" pledge

>Politics is said to make strange bedfellows. It appears to have an opposite effect in Italy, where Prime Minister Silvio Berusconi has pledged no sex until after the April 9 elections — and its not even Lent. This reaffirms that Italy is a country where sex and politics are very important — and very strange.

Still … I am dumbfounded. What public policy issues … what matters of governance … would make a head of state candidate pledge to refrain from martial sex as a campaign promise to the citizens. This is doubly confusing when you consider that Berlusconi is married to a very hot former actress, Veronica Lario.

On the other hand, America might have been a much happier place if Bill Clinton had promise to ONLY have sex with his wife – before and after any one of a number of election days. If I were Berlusconi, I would not have Bill Clinton as a house guest while imposing abstinence on my sexy wife.

The article reporting the PM’s promise noted the couple have three children. So, we can assume that his withdrawal to the drawing room is a sincere sacrifice.

How will the Italian electorate know if he is keeping his promise? Are there any watch-dog groups willing to monitor the Prime Minister’s bedroom? I know a lot of scandal rags would volunteer, but only if they thought there was a good chance of catching him in a lie … or better yet, catching her with another.

Well… this is more attention than the subject deserves, but it was too weird to pass up without comment.

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>REACT: Cindy sells out America

>Once the public spotlight has passed you by, it is not easy to get the ego boosting limelight back. This is obvious in the case of Cindy Sheehan. Her protest over the death of her war hero son seems to have brought her long-standing left wing kookiness into full public view.

Oh sure! At first, she gained natural sympathy for her sobbing appearances in the press. We were all hoodwinked into thinking she was merely overcome with grief. That was until it became apparent that she was using her son’s death rather than mourning it. Whatever were the tears of real grief, they gave way to cry-for-the-camera tactics — and a nation took note.

It would appear now that her insatiable craving for media attention has driven her to the extreme of disloyalty to the troops she shames to acclaim. In the name of their well-being, she endangers them further by aiding and abetting their would-be killers. Sheehan is no longer a misguided grieving parent, but a traitor to both her son’s memory and this nation’s cause. She has become the international spokesperson for the murderous terrorists of the world.

Why such a harsh assessment? It is not the silly threat of taking on California Senator Dianne Feinstein in the next election. That is merely an ego-feeding publicity stunt that only adds to Sheehan’s publicity-seeking reputation. It is not even her hateful, anti-Bush remarks that only prove that free-speech is equally the right of the intelligent and articulate and those challenged in both categories.

The real offense is her recent overseas adventure that brought her mania to the edge of treason. It is that image of her in Venezuela (left – of course), smiling broadly and embraced, figuratively and literally, by President Hugo Chavez as he reiterated his pervasive enmity for the United States and his allegiance to the world anti-American alliance. She gave a “thumbs up” as he condemned the United States action in Iraq, and as he promised to help finance Sheehan’s anti war petition drives. He offered to set up a tent next to hers outside the Bush Ranch in Texas.

For her part, Sheehan endorsed and supported has-been singer/actor Harry Belafonte’s claim, perhaps senility inspired, that George Bush is “the greatest terrorist in the world.” (Perhaps his signature recording, “Yellow Bird” was more his autobiographical anthem than the charming island ditty we all thought it to be). Sheehan is not a war hater. She has now proven herself to be an America hater. Is she could find Ben Ladin, I would not be surprised to see her issuing taped threats from a cave on the Pakistani border.

I guess Sheehan noticed that meeting heads of state is a boilerplate publicity stunt for virtually all ambitious senate candidates. Someone forgot to tell her however that you are still supposed to be a loyal America. World War II’s Tokyo Rose (unbowed and incarcerated) and Vietnam’s Hanoi Jane (repentant and rich) were not seeking high office.

However, it is good to know that no matter how badly things go for Bush, he can always count on the loony left to make him look good.

Postscript: As I again looked at the Sheehan/Chavez photo, I wonder if I have totally missed something. Is that a “thumbs up?” Or is she doing a line of South American snow off her hand? Is she supporting or snorting? Now THAT would make a lot more sense than any other explanation for both her bizarre emergence from well-deserved obscurity and her goofier public antics.

>REACT: Yea! For Kennedy and Kerry

>I am one happy conservative today. For awhile, I feared that the dreadful duo from Massachusetts, Senators Kennedy and Kerry, would not succumb to the temptation of filibustering the nomination of Judge Alito.

While a smooth victory would be nice, the idea of watching Kennedy/Kerry lead a political suicide squad, with the almost assured limelight-grabbing support of Senators Schumer, Durbin and Biden, is like snatching the golden ring. National Democrat Chairman Howard Dean will undoubtedly be the obnoxious cheerleader screeching on the sidelines, and the team owner, Senate Minority Leader Reid will puff up with pride for his team — at least until their field performance produces a route. I love it.

What could be better than to see the liberals take on the role of obstructionist? In one bold, and rather inept action, they will divert public attention from the political weak points of President Bush. Suddenly, the beleaguered President will have the moral and popular high ground. That’s right. Despite the whining of partisans and pundits, the public is not buying the argument that Alito is a dangerous extremist — especially since the vast majority of the public shares most of his views, and he has come across as a pretty nice guy, to boot (and I suppose that is why the liberal extremists like to boot him).

The high visibility tactic will also bring more needed attention to the usurping role of the modern courts. The more the public understands the difference between interpreting laws and making laws from the judicial bench, the better off we will all be.

I certainly hope that Alito survives a filibuster, and I suspect he will if there remain enough sane Democrats in the Senate to override the wind bags. If not, there is another wonderful outcome. K/K and company will provide the political foundation for a change in the rules — the nuclear options as it is misnamed. It is not only NOT a nuclear option, it is a pretty good reform. Had the Democrats, in the thralls of power madness, not decided to upend 200 years of tradition on Presidential appointments, no rules change would be necessary.

Once again, the Dems will be the party lacking integrity. It was not so long ago that they pledged no filibuster except in extremely rare situations. (In previous writings, I predicted “soon” would overcome “rare.”) This nomination, supported by most of the legal community and many even liberal democrats, does not come close to warranting a filibuster. The only motivation for a filibuster is personal arrogance, playing to the provincial outdated liberalism of their hometown constituencies, and a desire to “control” the courts by rear guard actions and anachronistic rules.

Another benefit for the Grand Old Party will be a significant decline in the election stock of the Dem team. Behind the headlines trumpeting Bush’s popular descent is the reality of Democrat unpopularity. As Bush’s rating fell, the ratings of the Dem leadership remained in the toilet. This makes it easier for Bush to ascend in the popularity polls, since there has not been a shift in loyalty. The Dems may hold sway with the press, but that does not mean much on election day. The last time the Dems (and press) hopefully predicted great gains for the donkey team, they actually lost seats. In 2004, the press even called the election a Kerry win. Within hours, the votes produced a strong win for the President and the GOP all across the nation. One cannot underestimate the blinding power of wishful thinking.

Even if the K/K team can convince enough Senate Democrats to commit cult-like mass suicide, and if, perchance, the nomination is blocked by brutal imposition of once-honored minority protections, is there any doubt that the next nominee will be just as much a strict constructionist as Alito?

The problem with the Dem game plan to keep the left lean in the Supreme Court is that the game is over. Bush will pick the next Supreme Court justice, and it will be a strict constructionist. The Court will shift to the right. Roe v. Wade will be imperiled — as will a lot of other stuff. In fact, the rejection of succeeding Bush appointments is not likely to result in the nomination of a pseudo-centrist. No! No! No! Growing frustration with the blockers on the Dem team will give Bush ample opportunity to see more open space on the right flank. It is not often that the final outcome is known while one of the teams is playing on the field.

I fear the K/K foolishness will be short lived. There must be enough Democrats in the Senate to salvage their party from the ruinous tactics of the real extremists in America — the ideological Siamese twins of elitist liberalism, the not-so-honorable Teddy Kennedy and John Kerry. They are truly out of touch with reality, But then again, the do hail from Massachusetts.

>TIDBITS: Picking up on events while I was gone.

>I am not sure if it is the effect of Chinese culture during my visit there, or the fact that America has gotten to be a stranger place in my short absence. The new year seems to be off to a good start of us right-wingers, however. For example:

Alito gets the Teflon Prize. I left with virtually every observer predicting a crushing senate inquisition of Supreme Court nominee Joseph Alito. The predicted thunderous clouds of war that, themselves, ended the bid by Harriet Miers, turned out to be nothing more than a light overcast. I assumed that the holiday season might have diminished the strident mood of the political left for the moment, but the post-season hearings fell remarkably short of their billing. In fact, the long awaited muddy-ing up of Alito not only did not happen, but the muddy missles appear to have splatted in the launcher’s own faces. Senators Biden, Kennedy, Durbin and Schummer (if vaudeville were alive today, that would be a song) appear to have made fools of themselves. Pompous, strident scurrilous and down-right dishonest, the four horsemen of the liberal apocalypse overplayed their parts, and a critical public collectively “boo’ed their performance.

Hypocracy award to Ted Kennedy. I cannot believe it. It is just to scumptiously funny. You understand that I think liberal ideologues are basically anti-democratic elitist hypocritics (and I think that only when I am in a good mood.) Occasionally, the fang of the wolf glints outside the concealing fur of the lamb. Rarely does it provoke more this-is-too-good-to-be-true laughter, however, than the recent discovery that Mr. Women’s Lib … the honorary “queen” of the lady leftists … belongs to … prepare to gasp in disbelief … belongs to … and can hardly believe it … belongs to AN ALL-MALE SOCIAL CLUB. Into the 21st Century, Teddy has kept up a 52-year membership and financial support in Harvard’s Owl Club. This did not prevent him from lambasting Judge Alito for a POSSIBLE long ago membership in Concerned Alumni for Princeton — a group Kennedy charges with being anti-women and anti-minority. Alito does not recall the organization, and a search of the group’s files reveal no mention of the Supreme Court designee. Kennedy spokesperson says there is a big difference since the Senator’s membership is in a “social” club, and Alito’s dubious membership is in an “activist” group. To the senior senator from Massachusetts, it is less egregious to CURRENTLY AND PROVABLY belong to and support a sexist college alumni club than to be ACCUSED (by Kennedy, with no proof ) of belonging LONG AGO to another college (non-sexist) alumni club. In oxymoronic Kennedy logic, it is less of a crime to becaught today shoplifting than to be accused without evidence of shoplifting forty years ago.

If you ever doubt the vacuousness of liberal thinking, or the inherent intellectual dishonesty of its spokespersons, such examples bring the argument to closure. I suspect that what is left of the late-20th Century liberal feminists movement will rally to his defense, as they did for sexual predator-in-chief Bill Clinton — reminding us again just how foolishly irrelevant the ladies of the left have become. (Hmmmmm. Should Bill Clinton be required to register as a sex offender? I can’t help thinking. If Hillary should ever become President, would 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue be on the national sex offender registry? Just kidding … but these days the funniest stuff is happening in real life.)

The Knock on the Noggin Award to Mayor Nagin. The liberal partisans and pundits never lose an opportunity to trash Preacher Pat Robertson when he places God’s intercessions on earthly events such as hurricanes that ravage the world or strokes that bring down Israeli prime ministers. Actually, I would not argue in Robertson’s favor. Even though we share substantial elements of political philosophy, I think he is a bit of a nut case. I am not about to take on his more messianic postulations. It is fair, however, to see if liberals dare distance themselves from the loonies in their bin. Which bring up the issue of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin. You will recall many blogs ago, that I raised questions of his political sanity. I described his gang-bangeresque language on a talk show at the height of the Katrina finger pointing era as inappropriate of a person in his position. Weeeeell … seems like the Mayor is out to prove my case. In a King Day speech, and in a pandering or mocking oratorical style of a Black television minister, the Big Easy tough guy not only said that Katrina et al were God’s punishment for the war in Iraq and the low moral and ethical standards of the Black community, but that God intended … intended … that New Orleans should be a “chocolate city.” Only in liberal land, one can actually say that God intends an American city to be predominantly Black. (SIDEBAR: That reminds me of a time Mayor Daley was reported to say that Chicago needed a “white mayor.” Since I launched that bit of campaign controversy when serving as former Mayor Eugene Sawyer’s campaign spokesperson [and yes, I do like a lot of democrats], I got the inside dope on that one. Maybe someday I will write about it.) So there you have it. Mayor Daley making his city whiter and whiter, and Mayor Nagin promising to turn New Orleans to the “chocolate” (his word, not mine) capital of America. This can only happen in real life since no fiction writer would pen anything so absurd.

An Honest Abe Honorable Mention goes to television personality Stephen Colbert. A new word has entered the lexicon as the creation of Comedy Central’s jokester Stephen Colbert. “Truthiness.” As best I can tell, it defines statements, opinions, non-fiction books and resumes that claim an underlying truth regardless of the falsity of the facts. You have to understand that for liberal lies to be more widely accepted, we have to redefine truth. Like Clinton claiming that his genital hobbies were not sex. Or liberal educators creating “social promotions” as a euphemism for pushing kids from grade to grade without bothering to teach them anything. James Frey’s recent book, “A Million Little Pieces,” chronicling his recovery from crime and drug addiction, had a lamentable number of “pieces” (characters and events) that were created for heightened effect. Instead of humiliation and banishment from the ethical sanctuary, he is defended by the likes of Oprah Winfrey for what is termed “creative non-fiction.”

A newspaper columnist suggested that the “emotional” truth was as important at the “facts.” I am not even sure what an “emotional” truth is. If a guy in the padded room thinks he is Napoleon, is that an emotional truth that should be granted full parity with the fact that he is cork-screwed accountant from Pensacola? In recent years, many high visibility journalists were caught or confessed to invention in their news and feature writing. Most were ostracized from the community of scribes, as they should have been. But, methinks the standard of ethical expression is now being lowered by those who believe their opinions are more important that facts. Perhaps it is one reason such programs as The Daily Show are presented as news of the day instead of plan old fashion satirical comedy. The news feature of Saturday Night Live was offered as creative jest. Sadly, it seems to have fostered mutant programs that imply a … “truthiness.”

The lowered regard for truthFULness is seen when New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has to explain the fact that he was never recruited by the Kansas City Athletics, as his resume claimed. Does he apologize for his false claim? Nope? He said he THOUGHT he had been recruited, but was mistaken. I understand since last year I THOUGHT I was elected pope, but I was only mistaken. Is that truthiness … or delusion … our just a bald face lie?

“Truthiness” is just a more contemporary term for a long existing word to explain truths within lies. It is “apocryphal.” When we describe a statement or anecdote as “apocryphal” we simply mean that the point may be well taken, but the story is … to use the precise term … bullshit. In fact, “bullshit” is the perfect word to describe the entire controversy over the redefining of “truth.” I offer this closing thought. There is no truth in truthiness. (SIDEBAR: In terms of creating new words, I am both an advocate and practitioner. Check out http://www.acrapulate.com).

Slip of the Tongue Award to Mayor Daley (again): Chicago’s Mayor Daley follows in his father’s footsteps in terms of malapropisms and creative verbage. Daddy Daley was famous for saying that the Chicago police were not there (at the 1968 Democrat convention) to create chaos, they were there to maintain it. Well in responding to the indictment of the Chicago City clerk, Daley the Second was asked if the scandal would further tarnish the already sullied image of his political machine. He replied “Its (sic) and individual. He’s subject to his own conduct. I’M NOT.” (emphasis added). If you have heard Daley responded in the indictments of his own senior staff last year, you would know that Daley truly does not believe he is subject to his own conduct. In fact, his apologists defend him by claiming the mayor is far too busy to know what is going on around him. Of course, this is not the first time public officials have used the “ignorant” defense to ward of complicity in corruption.

>SIDEBAR: Back from China

>Since I do little to promote this blog (seeing it as more or less my archives of contemporary thinking, and maybe notes for a future book) I do not presume that I have been “conspicuous by my absence.” However, for those souls whose travels have brought you here by aimless Internet exploration, a click of a mislocated “arrow” or one of those inexplicable reasons a search engine delivers you to a site totally unrelated to your inquiry, let me explain my current absence from the keyboard. I have been in China, and you can read more about that if you explore www.harbex.com. It was a great trip, but now I am back. Nothing more to say.