Saturday, February 01, 2003

NONSENSE. JUST PURE NONSENSE

Critical Mass calls our attention to this speech by Paul Robeson Jr. at a Dartmouth College commemoration of MLK.

To start with, the nut doesn't fall too far from the tree. Paul Roberson Sr. was a treacherous Red bastard, and it seems like his son is carrying on the seditious legacy.

Secondly, did I say "nut"? This dude's as nutty as a fruitcake. Where to begin? Oh, the "neo-Confederate" motif is one beloved of the Left, but it just doesn't work with Bush. Ask the Texas SCV what they think about Bush, who took down some commemorative plaques at the state Supreme Court building in Austin -- a building built with Confederate pension funds. Far from being a "neo-Confederate," Bush is not even arguably right wing. His triangulation on the Michigan affirmative action case is a perfect example.

Why does Robeson Jr. think it an indictment to say that the Homeland Security Act is modeled after a measure by Josef Stalin -- did I say "nut"? -- while Stalin was just fine for Robeson Sr.?

And his "economic justice" scheme -- " spending 'hundreds of billions of dollar' elevating the income of every American who made less than the median income" -- is just childish nonsense. From whom does Robeson propose taking "hundreds of billions of dollars"? And what does he suppose the effect of this Marxian (Rawlsian?) redistribution would be? All these low-income people -- why are their incomes low? Do they just happen to be inefficient computer engineers or spendthrift heart surgeons? I suspect, rather, that having a low income might be a function of having a low level of education, skill or experience. And, for this, Robeson wants to reward them!

So if we plunder the pockets of the skillful, the resourceful, and the persistent, in order to reward the unskilled, the uneducated and the inexperienced ... well, with incentives like that, what sort of country will we become? If talent and virtue are punished, while ignorance and sloth are rewarded, you may be sure that the former qualities will become more scarce and the latter more common.

Monday, January 27, 2003

ACTRESS OF EVIL

Evil. Twisted. Dangerous. No, not Saddam. I'm talking about Janeane Garofalo, who tells Howard Kurtz that she is a victim of pro-war bias in the media.:

Janeane Garofalo says she knows why Fox, CNN, MSNBC and "Good Morning America" have booked her to argue against war with Iraq.
"They have actors on so they can marginalize the movement," the stand-up comic says. "It's much easier to toss it off as some bizarre, unintelligent special-interest group. If you're an actor who is pro-war, you're a hero. If you're an actor who's against the war, you're suspect. You must have a weird angle or you just hate George Bush."


Well, gee, Janeane, if that's how it is, then why don't you say "no" to these interviews? If you're right, then every time you go on TV, you're helping to "marginalize" the very movement you claim to be advancing. What a strange, bitter, and vaguely paranoid thing to say. I guess Howard Kurtz just interviewed you because he's trying to discredit the anti-war movement and figured there was no better tool than Janeane Garofalo.

By the way, where are all these pro-war "hero" actors, except in the imagination of Janeane Garofalo?

"These same corporate entities have an interest in war, have an interest in profiting from war. They represent corporate America. Corporate America dictates the news we are getting."

Here we go with that stupid "merchants of death" cliche. It is simply not true that business has "an interest in profiting from war." Coca-Cola? Archer Daniels Midland? Microsoft? It's hard to demonstrate that war is good for most corporations. A big war with a full mobilization -- requiring hundreds of new tanks and planes -- might be good for a few companies like Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. But war with Iraq will be a short term affair. And the stock market slumps at every news that war may be imminent, and rebounds at news that promises peace. War is bad for international trade, limiting access to both resources (e.g., oil) and markets.

As for Garofalo's notion that the media "repesent corporate America" -- well, you have to be a left-winger to think like that. The New York Times is one of the most "corporate" of newspapers, but is just about as "anti-war" as Garofalo. Certainly, the New York Times is resolutely opposed to the Bush administration. And being owned by "corporate America" didn't stop ABC News from hiring Clinton mouthpiece George Stephanopoulos to host "This Week." Maybe an honest-to-God liberal Democrat campaign operative is still too "establishment" for Garofalo's taste. Tough. That whiny bitch wouldn't be happy if Ramsey Clark were running the networks.

Sunday, January 26, 2003

IN RE SCOTT RITTER

A 41-year-old man who believes that he can pick up teen-age girls in Internet chat rooms is not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer. I accept that, somewhere in the grand universe of probability, there must be some chunky middle-aged guy who has got blissfully jiggy with a 16-year-old he's met on AOL. Given that there are several million people trawling for action on the 'Net, I am willing to believe that somewhere in all of this, some shmuck hit the jailbait Powerball. It could happen.

But not bloody likely, is it? I suppose that teen-age girls hanging out in chat rooms are mainly interested in teen-age boys. Oh, sure, if you were a cute guy of 20 or 25 and drove a nice car, you might get somewhere but ... sorry, 41 years old is just out of the question. Let the girls get a bit older, maybe, and if your name is Michael Douglas, you can score but ... hey, if you're 41, you can just forget about teen-age girls, OK?

And thus we confront the case of Scott Ritter who, until tales of his Internet activities made headlines, was lecturing President Bush about high policy toward Iraq. Leaving aside the morality of a married father of two trying to make it with teen-age girls, doesn't this sordid saga raise questions about Ritter's intelligence and judgment?

Look, if you're a 41-year-old guy trolling a chat room, and encounter someone who tells you she's a 16-year-old girl, and she's acting all hot and sexy with you, the first thing you've got to figure is, "she" is another middle-aged guy getting his fantasy jollies. But when the 16-year-old girl says, Sure, I'd love to meet you at the local Burger King -- you gotta know you're talking to an undercover officer doing a sex sting. Common sense tells you that 16-year-old girls have better things to do with their time than to hang out in chat rooms making dates with 41-year-old guys.

Common sense? Ritter apparently doesn't have any. Or else his ego is so huge that he imagines that (a) he can really charm the chicks in the chat room, and (b) he is so incredibly hot that this high school hottie is gonna flip for him the minute he walks into Burger King. Scott Ritter, massive ego? Sure, I have no trouble believing this.

Now keep in mind that Ritter got busted not once, but twice, for this scam. The first time he got popped -- in April 2001 -- Ritter believed he had a rendezvous with a 14-year-old. Understand that there are lots of guys in prison serving hard time after being caught in Internet stings like this but Lucky Scott gets a huge break. He is released without being charged.

And so he does it again! Two months later, he sets up a date with a "16-year-old girl" who, it is reported, was to watch him while he masturbated. Lucky Scott goes to the Burger King to meet the girl and learns, to his chagrin, that the "girl" was actually an undercover officer who has no intention of watching him masturbate. But Lucky Scott is still lucky, and the DA agrees not to prosecute the case.

Scott Ritter is so smart, he knows more about Iraq's weapons than the President of the United States, but he's so stupid that he twice arranges trysts with undercover cops he thinks are teen-age girls? Like I said, leave aside any judgment of the man's moral rectitude, and you still have to account for Ritter's incredible stupidity and/or arrogance. Scott Ritter is so stupid, he's probably responding to those "ENLARGE YOUR PENIS" spam scams. And a lumpy middle-aged guy who honestly thinks that teen-age girls are interested in watching him masturbate? That speaks of an arrogance and self-esteem inflated to the point of being delusional.

Ritter's credibility is toast. And not because of the sex. It's the stupidity and arrogance.