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Quote Of The Day.

Saturday, August 31, 2002

Readers of the World Unite!

Last year the Atlantic Monthly published an explosive article entitled a Reader’s Manifesto. The Manifesto blasted the current post-modern literary environment and trashed many of the most respected authors publishing today. B. R. Myers wrote it and became an instant lightning rod for those who love and hate the current Literature. There don’t seem to be any “middle of the roaders” when it comes to current literature. You either love it or hate it. Myers hates it. Myers is right. Most of today’s hot writers are just plain bad writers. Tortured, overwrought prose and tangled sentences that are impossible to just read. They have to be deciphered. To me, if you had something to say, you’d just say it and not hide behind an opaque vocabulary. The best literature of all time may have obscure meanings, but their language is clear. The meaning of Moby Dick may be hard to understand, but Melville’s words are crystal clear. Myers takes on such writers as Proulx, Auster, and McCormack. The Reader’s Manifesto has been expanded into a full-length book and you should immediately run out and buy it.

posted by Lee Ann on Saturday, August 31, 2002 | link

Sowell Patrol.

Thomas Sowell, intellectual deity, exposes the stupidity of the media. Big topic you say? Ok, so he narrows it down to stupidity on the military. Heck, it’s only one column.

posted by Lee Ann on Saturday, August 31, 2002 | link

Ars Derbica.

Finally! Derb is writing brilliantly again. His last few columns have been either dull or horrendous (I’m thinking of his “cynicism” foray). This time he tackles the delicate subject of race and does so with spice. Great column. Welcome back Marmite-eater.

posted by Lee Ann on Saturday, August 31, 2002 | link

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Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Credit Where it is Due.

Who said the Palestinians aren’t capable of making a big impact on the world? Fie upon them! Why, they’ve already managed to start collapsing the Temple Mount.

The part they’ve managed to destroy is not the Western, or Wailing, Wall, but the part around the Al Aqsa mosque. This likely results from the “construction of a mosque” in Solomon’s Stables, which is below the Temple Mount. The construction consists of bulldozing out any sign of Jewish archaeological presence. Wonder who’ll get blamed when the whole thing comes tumbling down?

posted by Lee Ann on Wednesday, August 28, 2002 | link

Viva Frankenfood!

The environmental Marie Antoinette of India weighs in on modern agriculture. To her, bio-engineered food (despite its safety and high yields on little land) is evil incarnate. Don’t let them eat “golden rice,” let them eat “liver, egg yolk, chicken, meat, milk, and butter.” Actually, the people of India can’t afford any of that. So let them eat nothing at all. Poor people starving is to be preferred over wealthy organic devotees compromising their principles.

posted by Lee Ann on Wednesday, August 28, 2002 | link

No No, Nanny!

This is a very interesting article on real nannies and their modern substitutes. Nannies are much in vogue today, what with so many Trophy Kids, the Nanny Diaries, and so on. My sister is a long time nanny and I have been a semi-nanny for about a year. She likes it; I hate it. I think nannies are for people who like to name kids but not raise them. In general, if you can afford a nanny, you have the money for one parent to stay home and raise the kid. As I said, this is interesting.

posted by Lee Ann on Wednesday, August 28, 2002 | link

Hanoi Jane.

This great Benedict Fonda story comes from a devoted reader. Of who he won’t say, but he was nice enough to stop in at Spinsters. Even better, Alex gives this great account of an Idiotarian in action.

“Sometime around 1972 or so I was a student at the University of Michigan Law School when the university's student activities council spent an obscene amount of money to bring Jane Fonda to speak to the student body. OK, giving her any amount of money would have been obscene but this was a substantial chunk of change.

“For reasons that escaped me then (and now) the law school's student senate chose to thrust a few hundred bucks more on her to come and spend part of the afternoon with us. Blessedly, I have forgotten the gravamen of her speech, but at one point during question time someone used the phrase, ‘free world.’

“This was not the free world, Ms. Fonda informed us, and in fact, the U.S. was the most racist and repressive country in the world. So what, she was asked, was her idea of a free country.

“She said--I'm not making this up: ‘North Korea.’ I don't know much about what happened next because someone jumped up and started shouting, ‘We paid five hundred bucks to hear that horseshit?’ and was asked to leave. Actually, that was me.”


Rock on Alex.

posted by Lee Ann on Wednesday, August 28, 2002 | link

Ouch!

How does Bronze Age brain surgery strike you? Painful, but safe actually. Check out this article on brain surgery before anesthetic, or brain surgeons for that matter. It’s impressive I admit, but I’ll stick with Tylenol.

posted by Lee Ann on Wednesday, August 28, 2002 | link

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Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Limey Power!

Shockingly enough, the idiot who wrote this is not Reporter Engel. It is John Sutherland who wrote The Return of the Ugly American. Shall we dive in or do I need to throw out some preliminary insults? Let’s dive!

“Driving across America is to traverse a mosaic of local radio stations. Outside the metropolitan areas, two kinds of programme dominate: the God channels and ‘C&W’.”

Actually, there is no C&W any more. There is only Country. Western got splattered across the musical highway at least 40 years ago. I love Limeys; they’re so dang hip.

“Bible-bashers threatening hellfire and fat guys with silly hats, twanging geetars, fu-manchus and pony tails, serenading purty gals, Chevy Tahoes, bars duskily lit by Budweiser neon, and the ‘real’ values of red neck and blue collar.”

Hey, this is the Guardian! I thought you Champagne Socialists were all about the working class? I love the progressive tolerance of the views and lifestyles of others. Quite frankly, anybody whose countrymen wear those 3 foot tall bear-skin coneheads ought not to talk about silly hats. As for a fu manchu, I take it that is a, er, racially sensitive way of saying “goatee.” But “purty” and “geetar”! Now that’s wit! I wish I’d said that.

“Both are profoundly ideological - country even more so than the Lord in these post-9/11 times. Country is homeland.”

Why so it is. Even my purty little dictionary says that “country” done means “homeland.” This feller’s a regular William F. Buckley.

“Since July, one song has dominated the C&W charts, Toby Keith's Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American). . . . He was scheduled to do the show-opener in the ABC's big July 4 TV celebration but was dropped at the last minute at the insistence of the presenter, Paul Jennings.”

Peter Jennings, actually. So much for intensive research.

“Jennings is from that distinguished generation of newscasters who dragged middle America back from the Vietnam madness. He rejects the doctrine that America's foreign policy is best conducted by B52.”

Was Jennings actually on the air in the Vietnam era? I thought he was just a nobody reporter screwing Hanan Ashrawi back then. Still, it was nice of him to force America to renege on her treaty obligations and leave 2 million South Vietnamese to be exterminated by the conquering Commies.

Oddly enough, foreign policy was never his job. Jennings is a newsreader, as the Brits say. His job is to report the news as is, not alter or manipulate it to serve political goals. To shape the news to serve a political agenda is not news reporting, it’s propaganda.

“(If you haven't heard it, Keith's song has a melodic resemblance to Don McLean's American Pie - gentler chauvinism, for a more thoughtful time.)”

Chauvinism? Please cite your sources here. How is “gee it sucks that Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper died” an ode to American nationalism?

“America likes to see itself as the world's mad dog.”

Mad dog? You mean the way we rabidly bailed your Limey butts out of two World Wars in one century? Perhaps our joy at getting stuck cleaning up after France’s little soiree in Indochina? Maybe it’s our bloodthirsty glee at being forced to step in and take over every dang “peacekeeping” mission or other moral adventure the Euros have galavanted themselves into. Lemme get this straight, you get a Kumbaya burr under your saddle, jump into some U. N. tar pit, scream for us to save you, and when we do, we’re mad dogs? America? The nation that could conquer the world with one armed services branch tied behind her back, yet doesn’t? If America was a mad dog, England would be East Virginia.

“Think axis of evil. Think blood, rubble and revenge.”

Bomb yourselves. Save us the trouble.

Love the last paragraph though.

posted by Lee Ann on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 | link

PA Pograms.

Think the wanton slaughter of Jews is due to the “occupation” of the West Bank and is of recent origin? Think again. This article details how the urge to slaughter Jews has pervaded the Holy Land since before Israel was created and before “Palestinian” meant anything other than “Jew.”

posted by Lee Ann on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 | link

Velvet Abuse, International Style.

Allowing your ex-husband to see his children causes you stress does it? Well, we’ll just disrupt the children’s lives, allow you to psychologically torture them, prevent them from seeing their father, and let you wreak emotional havoc through your family. Yes, we know the father’s done nothing wrong. In fact, he seems far more stable then the mother, but allowing him to see his children would cause her stress. Poor little lady can’t handle stress. The father’s rights? The child’s rights? See here, we have no time for such trivialities.

posted by Lee Ann on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 | link

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Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Confucius Say, Huh?

Ah, the glories of anonymous Internet wisdom. This is actually really good. My personal fave:

“I think the cops have every right to shoot your sorry ass if you're running from them.”

posted by Lee Ann on Wednesday, August 21, 2002 | link

Walter Williams, Super Genius.

Here is a great essay on personal responsibility by Walter Williams. Remind me never to have an argument with this guy. I hate losing.

“Should the fact that if I become injured by not wearing a seatbelt or sick from eating and smoking too much, and become a burden on taxpayers, determine whether I'm free to not wear a seatbelt or puff cigarettes and gorge myself? Is there a problem with freedom? I say no, it's a problem of socialism. There is absolutely no moral case for government's taking another American's earnings, through taxes, to care for me for any reason whatsoever. Doing so is simply a slightly less offensive form of slavery. Keep in mind that the essence of slavery is the forceful use of one person to serve the purposes or benefit of another.”

posted by Lee Ann on Wednesday, August 21, 2002 | link

Steyn Alive!

Western Liberal hypocrisy on the subject of Islam never got skewered so well as in this article by Mark Steyn. The Muslim predilection for gang rape is the main topic of this column. Yet no matter how evil the rapists and their enablers are (not the whole religion, mind you), they could not have become so entrenched in Europe if the Liberal governments there did not turn a blind eye to the atrocities committed there. When your attitude towards the gang rape epidemic targeting your women is, as Steyn puts it, “Lie back and think of Yemen”, you are little better than an accomplice. The French even have a word, “tournante,” that applies specifically to gang rape, usually committed by Muslims.

“After September 11th, a friend in London said to me she couldn't stand all the America-needs-to-ask-itself stuff because she used to work at a rape crisis centre and she'd heard this blame-the-victim routine a thousand times before. America was asking for it: like those Norwegian women, it was being ‘provocative.’ My friend thought the multiculti apologists were treating America as a metaphorical rape victim.”

But in reality, it is a failed multiculturalism that bears the brunt of the blame for the Euro-Muslim crime rate. You’ll notice that the same Muslims from the same crappy homelands don’t pull these stunts in America. Say what you will about Islam, Muslims, or Arabs in America, they don’t form rape gangs and head out for a night of sexual torture. It is the triumph of the Racist Left that has enabled the Tournante Animals to terrorize the Continent. Steyn is a lot nicer than I am, as he only says:

“As I understand it, the benefits of multiculturalism are that the sterile white-bread cultures of Australia, Canada and Britain get some great ethnic restaurants and a Commonwealth Games opening ceremony that lasts until two in the morning. But, in the case of those Muslim ghettoes in Sydney, in Oslo, in Paris, in Copenhagen and in Manchester, multiculturalism means that the worst attributes of Muslim culture -- the subjugation of women -- combine with the worst attributes of Western culture -- licence and self-gratification.”

“We're told the old-school imperialists were racists, that they thought of the wogs as inferior. But, if so, they at least considered them capable of improvement. The multiculturalists are just as racist. The only difference is that they think the wogs can never reform: Good heavens, you can't expect a Muslim in Norway not to go about raping the womenfolk! Much better just to get used to it.”


posted by Lee Ann on Wednesday, August 21, 2002 | link

For the Children.

Not. Theodore Dalrymple just eviscerates the hypocritical modern tendency to extravagant public displays of grief (preferably for strangers) when the same public does everything it can to ensure their own children come to grief. This article is so good, that it is like marzipan, so rich you can barely stand it. Thus:

“ . . . the atmosphere of bullying mawkishness ” Note the phrase “bullying mawkishness.” Is there any better name for the enforced hysterical outburst we are more and more expected to approve of, if not outright perform?

“People try to reassure themselves that they are capable of real feeling by the extravagance of their expression. And a diet of constant televisual sensation has rendered them susceptible to gusts of intense but shallow emotion.”

This article directly addresses the recent murder of to ten-year old girls, but also tackles the selfish neglect that characterizes modern child-rearing. I am reminded of the Velvet Abuse of Trophy Children.

“The truth of the matter is that, for the most part, they do not care in the slightest what happens to their children, at least once they are out of sight. Actually to care for their children would impose limits on the satisfaction of their whims, in other words would represent the discipline of duty: and for this they are not prepared. They want to keep all possibilities permanently open.

“What is true of prisoners is true of an uncomfortably large and growing proportion of the English population. Mothers who have separated from the fathers of their children often put the interests of their latest boyfriend far above those of their own children, whom they will expel from their homes at the boyfriend's behest. Blood may be thicker than water, but lust is much thicker than blood.”

To put it all in a nutshell:

“Sentimentality - false sentiment - is not only the simulacrum of feeling that tries to fill the vacuum left by indifference; it is also an evasion of moral responsibility. It allows people to imagine that they are virtuous simply by expressing the emotions that are deemed to be correct in the circumstances, but it demands nothing of them, no sacrifice in the name of duty.”

posted by Lee Ann on Wednesday, August 21, 2002 | link

Imperialism Anyone?

In grad school, it always burned me that my professors ranted about imperialism without ever once mentioning the most imperialistic (and genocidal) force on earth: Islam. It is rank hypocrisy to claim that selling American movies or music to willing buyers is “imperialistic” and exploitative while ignoring the violent extermination of various cultures by the Knights of Islam. Islam makes it a point to suppress and eliminate any non-Arab culture, killing entire peoples if they have to. Yet they are never denounced as imperialistic. Case in point, exactly how much indignation have you heard about the attempted destruction of a Fifteenth Century fresco (in a church no less) by Muslim militants? This isn’t the first time it has happened either. Where are the Bamiyan Buddhists when you need them?

posted by Lee Ann on Wednesday, August 21, 2002 | link

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Monday, August 19, 2002

The Ethics of Capitalism.

This is an incredible article from the National Review on the moral and ethical underpinnings of capitalism. According to the author, capitalism is dependent upon moral integrity for its survival and that only capitalism can be called a moral economic system. Personally, I believe that free market capitalism is the only economic or political system that grants people any semblance of human dignity. Only capitalism acknowledges that humans are intelligent and rational enough to manage their own affairs. Only capitalism respects human freedom. Socialism, capitalism’s main rival, asserts the “perfectibility” of man, which is the same as saying that humans don’t think correctly (correct thought being determined by a self-anointed elite) and that humans can be reeducated to think as they ought. Socialism denies the essential humanity of man. Only capitalism respects the right to be free and independent.

posted by Lee Ann on Monday, August 19, 2002 | link

Mind-numbingly Evil.

Tell me how it’s possible to read through to the end of this article without hating the Palestinians. I try not to, but reading this destroys every last vestige of tolerance and compassion I have.

posted by Lee Ann on Monday, August 19, 2002 | link

MultiCulties Get Spanked!

Big time! The “boutique multiculturalists” get exposed for what they are in this review of The Culture Cult by Roger Sandall. The unthinking romanticism of the ethno-tourists has excused and enabled unimaginable horrors perpetrated on innocent people all over the world. Sandall displays the self-centered egotism that cheers each atrocity and revels in the misery of Third Worlders from the comfy, air conditioned safety of wealthy suburbs.

posted by Lee Ann on Monday, August 19, 2002 | link

HMO, H for Homicide.

Euthanasia, or Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS), has turned out to be a financial windfall for HMOs. Turns out that it is 1000 times cheaper to kill a patient than to treat him. A PAS costs about $40 while treatment can top $40,000. One HMO, Kaiser/Permanente wants doctors to be able to cut costs, I mean, kill patients that they have never treated. Just show up at the resource waster’s, I mean, patient’s room, no matter who the patient’s attending physician really is, and order an expense reduction, I mean, death. Sorry, you put dogs down, not people. Then again, nobody puts dogs down this casually.

posted by Lee Ann on Monday, August 19, 2002 | link

Another Grave to Dance On.

Abu Nidal, terrorist, murderer, and all around vermin, was found dead in Baghdad. They say you can always say something good about the dead. He’s dead. Good.

posted by Lee Ann on Monday, August 19, 2002 | link

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Friday, August 16, 2002

Worship Me, Pigs!

This here article states that short women (under 5’4’’) are more attractive to men and are more likely to marry and have children. Hey, I’m 5’3’’! So that’s why y’all worship me so!

posted by Lee Ann on Friday, August 16, 2002 | link

Sowell Patrol.

Random Thoughts or divine revelation? I report, you decide.

“I am so old that I can remember when other people's achievements were considered to be an inspiration, rather than a grievance.”

“Imagine that a genie magically appeared and offered to grant you one wish -- and, being a decent sort, you wished that everyone's income would be doubled. That could bring down on you the wrath of the political left, because it would mean that the gap between the rich and the poor had widened. That is basically their complaint against the American economy.”

“Anything that is 'bipartisan' is almost certain to have mushy reasoning, if it has any reasoning at all.”

“Nobody will understand the hard-core political left who does not understand that their politics are not about other people's well-being but about their own egos.”

posted by Lee Ann on Friday, August 16, 2002 | link

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Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Here’s Your Lump of Coal, Virginia.

Theodore Dalrymple sticks it Virginia Woolf. He asserts that the self-absorbed, amoral, elitist pretentions of Woolf and her set created the philosophical underpinnings of the vicious existentialism of the underclasses today. Dalrymple argues that Woolf is the worst sort of philistine, the privileged, overeducated kind, and the damage she wreaks is the result of an overweening arrogance untouched by reality. Uninformed by tradition and uncowed by the realities of the world, she is one of the first post-modernists. For Dalrymple, Woolf embodies the self-pity, snobbery, and childishness of the modern elites. Thus:

“One might think that to descend from the aesthetic to the ideological plane would be distasteful for a woman of such languorous, highly strung, thoroughbred equine beauty as she; but under the influence of a general idea, Mrs. Woolf revealed herself to be a thoroughgoing philistine of the most revolutionary and destructive type, quite prepared to bring the temple crashing down about her ears, that her grudges might be paid back. Let my ego be satisfied, though civilization fall!”

And this too:

“(Mrs. Woolf suggested as a solution that the daughters of educated women should be paid a government subsidy, so that they might create works of art—or do nothing at all—free of all sordid monetary conditions.) Her desire to have it all ways at once—to be utterly independent because unconditionally supported by the tax-payers—illustrates her kind of querulous and irresponsible sense of entitlement.”

Oh yeah:

“She is thus a very modern figure indeed, even though she died 60 years ago. Her lack of recognition that anything had ever been achieved or created before her advent that was worthy of protection and preservation is all but absolute, along with her egotism. . . . By so contemptuously denying the achievements of the past, bought at so great a cost of thought and effort, she totally misunderstood the material and intellectual conditions that made possible her own life, with its languorous contemplation of the exquisite.”

Personally, I never liked Woolf much. Of course, I haven’t read much of her. I’ve read “A Room of One’s Own” and that’s about it. I thought her writing was too rarefied. She made some good points about literature, women, and education, but she seemed a bit out of touch. This article doesn’t exactly reinforce the desire to read one of her books. I do like the term “pampered resentfuls,” which Dalrymple coins to describe that class of overeducated, elitist children of privilege who rail at the injustice of having to make their own way in the world. Unable or unwilling to achieve on their on the want to destroy the achievements of others that they themselves are jealous of.

posted by Lee Ann on Wednesday, August 14, 2002 | link

Look Out Indy!

Well, what would you title an archaeology post? This first article is about Egypt. They found a bakery dating to the third millennium B. C. From the evidence at the site, it seems modern Egyptians bake bread the same way their ancestors did. Talk about not reinventing the wheel. They also found a lot of artifacts relating to statistical records of the workforce the bakery served.

This second article on Egypt is much more in-depth. It covers the discovery of a village housing the workers on the Pyramids. The site is a big barracks-like structure, which makes sense as the Frankfort book I just read contained archaeological blueprints for a worker’s village where the housing looked like modern apartment blocks. The barracks seemed to house the “corvee” workers who were gathered in for major public works. The village itself seems to have a pretty sophisticated social arrangement. All the logistics were taken care of by the head honchos, while the little guys could modify their living quarters as they saw fit. I personally think the part about the prevalence of beef in the workers’ diets is very intriguing. Beef is usually an expensive meat, as cows consume a lot of expensive feed and most pre-Industrial societies raise them for milk and cheese more than meat. It raises a lot of questions about Egyptian animal husbandry and why the country could raise enough cattle to make beef cheap back then but have created a desert today. Very interesting article. Thanks Pawpaw for sending it to me.

posted by Lee Ann on Wednesday, August 14, 2002 | link

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Tuesday, August 13, 2002

I’m Not Fonda Hanoi Jane.

I hate Jane Fonda. I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate Jane Fonda. The loathing I feel for her is even greater than the despisal I have for Fat Teddy. Why you ask? Is it just her at best second rate acting? The startling clarity of the echoes that resound through her empty head? Her ardent belief in the divine right of movie stars? Is it her unique collection of husbands, including a washed up director, a bloodthirsty political radical, and the biggest bigot in Atlanta? Is it the oh-so feminist way she blindly mirrored the political and social beliefs of each husband? Oh, it’s way more than that. She is a traitor to her country and a murderess. She supported the North Vietnamese in their war against America and the anti-communist South Vietnamese. She not only gave vocal support to a murderous, belligerent VC regime, she traveled to their lairs to support them in their atrocities. She sat in anti-aircraft guns aimed at American planes. She gave speeches taunting P.O.W.s as they were tortured. American P.O.W.s were tortured and murdered for refusing to pose for propaganda pictures with her. Some prisoners actually thought she was there to help them, and smuggled her their social security numbers to prove their existence if the VC should deny that they held the men. What did Hanoi Jane do? The bitch handed over the numbers to her murderous buddies, getting the men tortured and some (if I recall correctly) killed. She is evil. She betrayed her country. She betrayed humanity. She is an accomplice to the mass murder not only of Americans, but of countless South Vietnamese who resisted the invasion of their homeland. Hang her. Draw and quarter her. Hang her body up from the gallows until it rots away into nothingness. It would still be too good for her.

posted by Lee Ann on Tuesday, August 13, 2002 | link

Party Time!

Wa-Hoo!!! Thin Mints all the time, Baby! Oreo has just introduced a new flavor, mint Oreos. The have white and green filling. Most importantly, they taste JUST EXACTLY LIKE THIN MINTS!!! And I mean exactly. Now we can have Thin Minty goodness any time we want! Since Little Debbie German Chocolate Cookie Rings taste exactly like Samoas, I don’t have to buy Girl Scout cookies at all any more! Yippee!

posted by Lee Ann on Tuesday, August 13, 2002 | link

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Monday, August 12, 2002

Sorry About Going AWOL.

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been in a gloomy little funk. Wit and wisdom was out of the question, heck, I couldn’t even manage rancor.

posted by Lee Ann on Monday, August 12, 2002 | link

Charlton Heston.

Charlton Heston has what appears to be the early stages of Alzheimer’s. I hate linking it because I can’t bear the thought of Charleton Heston having Alzheimer’s. I mean, he’s Moses! He was in just about every biblical epic ever made. He was in all those cool freaky Seventies movies. Without him, we would never have known that Soylent Green is people! He never did say what was in the McNuggets though, and with the Alzheimer’s we’ll never know. Well, all I can say is, “Get your filthy degeneration off my Moses, you damned dirty disease!”

posted by Lee Ann on Monday, August 12, 2002 | link

Sgt. Speer, R.I.P.

Sgt. Christopher Speer died August 7th from injuries received in a gun battle with Al Qaeda two weeks ago. There have been very few American deaths in Afghanistan, thank God, and I hope we don’t lose any more. It is easy to forget that we are still fighting a war over there, what with all the talk about Iraq. We who sit at home and enjoy our comfort and freedom should be grateful to Sgt. Speer, and all his fellow soldiers, for what they sacrifice for us.

posted by Lee Ann on Monday, August 12, 2002 | link

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Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Iran-ing Around in Circles.

So why hasn’t the media been covering the impending revolution in Iran? There have been massive anti-government demonstrations in every major Iranian city, and this in a country the tortures you for not applauding enthusiastically enough at the mullah’s latest 8 hour long speech. This is very important news, considering our upcoming war with Iraq. Why the media blackout?

The article, by Jed Babbin by the way, also includes this little gem:

“While energetically ignoring this story, the media are taking great pains to broadcast the satellite pictures of our new airbase in Qatar. In those pictures you can identify -- and count -- the KC-135s on the ramp. Next, I suppose, we'll see the pilots' home addresses, flight schedules and routes posted on the Internet. Freedom of the press has no greater supporter than yours truly. But this is not an exercise of the First Amendment. It is a despicable and flagrant violation of the responsibility we all must have to our nation and its fighting men in time of war. Whoever is responsible for airing those photos should be made to ride one of those KC-135s on its first fifty missions, and take the soldier's risk that he has increased tenfold.”

One quibble: strap the journalists to the nose cone.

posted by Lee Ann on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 | link

Hang ‘Em High.

Armstrong Williams turns in a strong column on the dangers of romanticizing evil. The long American romance with the antihero has lead us to a knee-jerk identification with the “underdog,” no matter how wretched that person or cause may be. This tendency is self-destructive and must be rooted out of the American psyche. The lone man standing up for justice in the face of social stigma is one thing, but the worship of any anti-social psychopath who claims to fight “the system” is entirely another.

posted by Lee Ann on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 | link

Dyn-O-Mite!

Well, not bad anyway. Jimmie Walker, yes that Jimmie Walker, has joined the commentariat. He doing okay for his first time out, and I’m eager to see how he develops.

posted by Lee Ann on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 | link

Sowell Patrol.

Thomas Sowell, intellectual deity, takes on those champagne socialists who are putting homeownership out of the reach of working families. Using “open space” as a cover, the wealthy liberals have been driving up housing costs and driving out minorities and just about everyone else.

“For either an individual or a society, wealth buys insulation from reality -- one of the most dangerous of all luxuries. Those who don't have to worry about making a living can indulge themselves in feel-good crusades at other people's expense.”

In a second article on the same topic, Sowell gets a little more blunt about the real motives of open space advocates:

“Some people are naive enough to believe that, when you are preserving open space, you are preventing over-crowding. But it is just the opposite. Since the total population is the same, whether there are open space laws or not, the larger the amount of land where nobody can live, the more crowded is the land where people are allowed to live -- and the more expensive.

“Those who are pushing for even more open space are not all naive, however, even if some of their followers are. Bans and restrictions on the use of land enable the affluent and the wealthy to keep out the unwashed masses and preserve the character of the upscale communities where they live. ”


Got hypocrisy?

posted by Lee Ann on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 | link

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Monday, August 05, 2002

No Blue Light Specials Here.

Here’s a very sharp article in Reason on the Democratization of Luxury. It deals with the use of luxury goods as a denoter of caste, of the changing perceptions of luxury, and what such consumerism does to society. It contains bits like:

“Such shared knowledge is the basis of culture. This insight was, after all, the rationale behind a liberal arts education. John Henry Newman and Matthew Arnold argued for state-supported education in the 19th century precisely because cultural literacy meant social cohesion. No one argued that it was important to know algebraic functions or Latin etymologies or what constitutes a sonnet because such knowledge allows us to solve important social problems. We learn such matters because it is the basis of how to speak to each other, how we develop a bond of shared history and commonality. This is the secular religion of the liberal arts and sciences, what French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu calls cultural capital.”

As well as:

“Finally, we need to rethink the separation between production and consumption, for they are more alike than separate and occur not at different times and places but simultaneously. Instead of wanting less luxury, we might find that just the opposite -- the paradoxical luxury for all -- is a suitable goal of communal aspiration. After all, luxury before all else is a social construction, and understanding its social ramifications may pave the way for a new appreciation of what has become a characteristic contradiction of our time, the necessary consumption of the unnecessary.”

posted by Lee Ann on Monday, August 05, 2002 | link

Eureka!

I figured out the real reason behind all those hang-up phone calls that we all figure are telemarketers on automated dialing systems. They’re not. I say the hang-ups are all orchestrated by the TeleZapper people. Think about it. What’s the only thing more annoying than a telemarketer? A hang-up that you figure is an auto-dial. It’s all a big plot to make us all so mad we go out and buy TeleZappers.

posted by Lee Ann on Monday, August 05, 2002 | link

I Still Like Foxboro.

The name of the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots’ new stadium is now Gillette Stadium. It had been CMGI Stadium, but that company dot-bombed. I still don’t like corporate names on stadiums. If the taxpayers pay for the stadium, they ought to be able to name it. The names should reflect the teams’ community. Foxboro says “Patriots.” Gillette says “razor burn.”

What is it with the Patsies and razors? They used to be owned by Victor Kiam, you know, the Remington Razor guy who liked ‘em so much he bought the company?

posted by Lee Ann on Monday, August 05, 2002 | link

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Sunday, August 04, 2002

Literarium Update.

A better Bias, and why is Christopher Hitchens like stale Spam?

posted by Lee Ann on Sunday, August 04, 2002 | link

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Friday, August 02, 2002

Make a Funny Face.

Many people empathize with the Palestinians. Yes, they do suffer many deprivations and humiliations. Unfortunately, most of those sufferings are self-induced. This article by Jonathan Rosenblum explores the limits of empathy and when pity becomes the worst of all possible evils.

“Nothing so ennobles a human being as his capacity for empathy, particularly with those very different from himself. Without the ability to see the world from the vantage point of another, no deep human relationship is possible. Great literature enriches the reader by teaching him the multiple perspectives that different people bring to the same events, and one of the tragic consequences of the decline in the reading of serious fiction is the reduced capacity for imagining another's inner universe.

“Empathy for the suffering of the Palestinians has long been a hallmark of Israeli life. ”


As an added bonus, the first paragraph is a superior example of why Literature and the Great Books matter, no matter what the multiculties say.

posted by Lee Ann on Friday, August 02, 2002 | link

Occam Slashes Back.

Occam wrote in to respond to my post on Andrews’s Theory on promiscuity and collectivism.

“Fascinating points, but I think Andrews misses the last step, and thus gets part of the issue backwards. A commodity is a thing that can be owned free and clear, and can also be bought, sold, and optioned. Andrews gets to the point of ownership but skips the buying and selling. When the Left encourages promiscuity, it isn't really trying to remove a sense of self-ownership; rather, it's trying to remove the buying, negotiating and optioning inherent in old-fashioned marriage and courtship. Feminists always draw the false analogy between marriage and slavery, while at the same time insisting loudly that the woman owns her own body. [She also 'owns' those lifeless masses of cells that somehow mysteriously turn into human babies at a point determined by the eternal and infinite wisdom of Harry Blackmun.]

“But an ownership that cannot be sold or negotiated is not a meaningful ownership. This is a point made most vividly by Hernando de Soto, in 'The Mystery of Capital'. He demonstrates that the critical step in progress toward full-fledged capitalism is when private property becomes so clear, trustworthy and unsullied that it can be represented (and easily manipulated) through abstractions like land titles, stock certificates, and currency. In countries where property is determined only by brute force, or by the temporary sufferance of bribed officials, generating wealth is far more difficult, because contracts, collateral and credit are unworkable. It's the same way with marriage. When a contract between two people for mutually satisfying services cannot be enforced, people (in this case the males) learn that it's not worth entering such a contract, and the moral wealth of a society suffers.

“So the Left wants to have it both ways, as usual. Women are told that they own their bodies, but that they should not enter into a permanent contract with a husband, because there's nothing a husband can supply to make such a contract worthwhile. Women are told that the baby is part of their body until it reaches the point where Blackmun waves his wand; at that point the mass of cells becomes a ward of the government, able to sue its parents for daring to discipline it. So it's no wonder that young women are confused. Their instincts understand the essentially commercial nature of the contract between husband and wife, and the contract between parent and child; but all the Reliable Authorities (from TV to the public schools) tell them to deny that instinct. The net result is that the young women fall back into primitive tribal instincts, becoming part of a warrior's harem while relying on the tribe (the government) for support.”

My complaint with Occams’ complaint is his reduction of love and marriage to a commercial contract. This talk of “buying” and “selling” of bodies is a bit too reminiscent of 1970s feminist blather about marriage as legalized prostitution. Love and sex are the supreme gifts of self, not “cash or kind” transactions. His points about capitalism, dependency, and the collectivist instinct are on target though, giving further evidence of why Spinsterians will eventually take over the world.

posted by Lee Ann on Friday, August 02, 2002 | link

A Certain Intrepid Freedom Fighter . . .

Said this couldn’t happen in Seattle. She was wrong.

Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen, Fox Sturmunddrang reporting for CNN. In Seattle tonight an argument between two atheists battling over the non-existence of God ends in tragedy. One atheist maintained that it is impossible to conclusively prove or disprove the existence of a deity, while the other insisted that there was absolutely no possibility of any "god" or an afterlife. The disagreement culminated in a defiant denial of the Supreme Being, prompting the heavens to open and a lightening bolt to strike the men dead.

"Well, that settles that," reported a surviving witness.

posted by Lee Ann on Friday, August 02, 2002 | link

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Thursday, August 01, 2002

Over The Top, Forrest!

The Forrest Gump guy wrote a book about The Great War. It sounds pretty good.

posted by Lee Ann on Thursday, August 01, 2002 | link

Victory For The AOW.

Axis of Weevil that is. The Sessions-Kennedy Bill on prison rape is shooting through Capitol Hill. The bill will designate money to eradicate prison rape. Sexual assault in prisons is usually treated as a joke, but sexual assault is never funny. Rape is rape and it’s high time someone took a stand. The thinking behind the bill is simple. Sessions (R-AL) thinks, “Sexual assault is evil.” Kennedy (D-MA) thinks, “There but for the grace of God.”

posted by Lee Ann on Thursday, August 01, 2002 | link

Promiscuity As the Gateway to Collectivist Slavery?

Ned Andrews made a very intriguing propostion in the American Enterprise a little while ago. He posits that the promiscuity is the gateway to collectivism. His thinking is that promiscuity breaks down the boundaries of an individual’s self-possession and that breakdown makes the individual less likely to object to other infringements upon the individual.

“Yet to the Left, sex is more than just another resource to be equalized; promiscuity serves a greater purpose in the collectivist agenda. Sexual intimacy represents the degradation of interpersonal barriers; even if the mystique it imparted was a fiction, the Bible was right in describing sexual union as two becoming one. And when people are indiscriminate in their sexual practices, when they hold nothing back as their own, they vitiate their claim to self-ownership. Quite literally, a promiscuous individual makes his private parts public parts. His self-knowledge and self-control are no greater than anyone else’s knowledge and control of him; distinctions of ‘mine and thine’ regarding his person become meaningless. And to the extent that promiscuity becomes the norm, to the extent that citizens lack this psychological sense of distinctness, they will be less wary of and more vulnerable to deeds and policies that violate the moral distinctness of persons—acts violating the dignity and autonomy of the individual by using him as a means to others’ ends. Seeing their bodies and selves as no more than mere meat, the debauched will be much less likely to oppose any sort of taxation, conscription, or other exploitation the sovereign foists upon them.”

I honestly hadn’t thought about the Left’s promotion of meaningless sex in this way before. I can’t reject Andrews’s premise though. Many of the highly sexually active people I know have very little awareness of their individual autonomy. One of my close friends, a college graduate and very intelligent, was shocked that I don’t sleep with my dates. Her thinking was that as the men had paid money to take me to dinner, concert, or whatever, they were somehow “owed” a “reward.” She just could not fathom that the fact a guy spends money on you doesn’t grant him rights to your body. This lack of a strong sense of self definitely lends itself to exploitation. The culture of promiscuity, and the illegitimate baby boom it has given rise to, does foster the erosion of traditional culture and independence. A woman who has embraced “sexual liberation” and born a child out of wedlock is very likely to be dependent on the handouts of the Nanny State. This article gives me a lot to chew on.

posted by Lee Ann on Thursday, August 01, 2002 | link

Froggie Goes to War.

OK, so it’s a month old. Still, it’s a delightful little prance through the battlefield of pathetic Frenchdom. Yes, I found a short piece on France at war.

posted by Lee Ann on Thursday, August 01, 2002 | link

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Contact Spinster Lee Ann at calhounista_at_hotmail

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Two Babes and a Bob! Opinion, insight, commentary, sarcasm, scathing polemic, and wit by Lee Ann, Carol, and Robert. Featuring the spectral presence of Gena.
Contact the Spinsters at: brodskii@yahoo.com (Gena) calhounista@hotmail.com (Lee Ann)

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