October 29, 2004


I COVERED MY FIRST election in 1958, three years before I was 21 and old enough to vote. I was stringing for a weekly newspaper called The Fountain Citizen, which served about 12,000 families in Fountain City, Tennessee, an unincorporated locale that had sprung up along U.S. Highway 441 immediately north of Knoxville. I don’t remember much about Fountain City’s history – it may have once been distinctly separate from Knoxville – but by 1958 it was already on its way to becoming a textbook example of urban sprawl, buyer-beware used-car lots included, though it was by no means all incipient slum. It included a big public park with a small lake containing the man-made fountain that had given the area its name, the lake surrounded by well-manicured flower beds and a broad flat expanse of regularly barbered grass all shaded by substantial oaks. There was an old-fashioned square gazebo-type band-stand where politicians often spoke – indeed I had covered my first-ever political event there earlier that same year, a Fourth of July address by Sen. Estes Kefauver that ended in a drenching thunderstorm – and there were wooden picnic tables, painted forest green, set throughout the park as well. A few miles away was the county’s biggest high school, Central, red brick Ivy League architecture on a similarly landscaped hillside tract that looked more like the campus of some small New England college than the star property of a county board of education in Appalachia. But even then Fountain City’s southern boundary was indiscernible among the visually cluttered streets of the business districts and the mostly neat attractive residential neighborhoods it shared with the real municipality that would later gobble it up by annexation. Though in 1958 Fountain City’s political identity remained distinct: because of its population and geographical area, it had a substantial block of seats on the County Court, the equivalent of a county council, the elected members of which were called Squires. Local elections were thus important affairs, often hotly contested, and the man and wife who owned the little paper, who were also respectively its publisher/photographer and its editor (and whose names I have long since forgotten), were paying me 25 cents an inch to report on the outcome.

There is a small karmic irony here, though two decades would pass before I discovered it. At the time Fountain City claimed to be the largest unincorporated urbanized area in the United States – a title that would later pass to Federal Way, Washington: another textbook realm of urban sprawl, a place – by whatever strange and often perverse karma it is that governs my journalism career – I would cover for six years.

I do not remember anything at all of what was at stake locally there in Knox County in the 1958 election. I suspect Sen. Kefauver was up for another term – else why would he have braved the sweltering July heat and its jungle-oppressive humidity to speak to folks in Fountain Park (where I stood atop the green sawbuck picnic table closest to the bandstand and photographed him with the paper’s Rolleicord VB held upside-down above my head so I could frame him in its waist-level viewfinder). But at this distance of nearly 50 years I have no recollection of what else might have been on that November ballot The Fountain Citizen deemed important enough to assign me to cover. Nor have I any clippings to consult: all those were destroyed in the 1983 fire. But whatever the paper’s motive was, I stayed at its office much later than usual that election night, and shortly before the polls closed, I left to catch the Knoxville Transit Lines Number 3 Fountain City bus to Gay Street and a short walk to the Knox County Court House – traveling by KTL because my father deemed me “too irresponsible” to entrust with either of the family automobiles. Once inside the turn-of-the-century red brick courthouse I went to the room designated County Election Headquarters, found a seat in the press section and waited, clipboard in hand, for the night’s story to unfold.

The election headquarters was a biggish room in hues of jailhouse green lit by incandescent lights, naked bulbs in large round dingy yellow reflectors that dangled from the ceiling. The space was organized like a science classroom or a numbers parlor. It contained ranks of tables and folding chairs, and above a raised oaken platform at the far end of the room was a green blackboard painted like a scoreboard with a permanent white grid to display election results. The blackboard and platform occupied one entire wall. The air was dense with cigarette and cigar smoke, the ringing of telephones was incessant and the noise level was only slightly less than that of a football crowd: clerks took polling-place results over telephones and totaled them on hand-crank adding machines and shouted the names and numbers to the men at the blackboard, who then chalked the figures in the proper columns under the correct names. Onlooking partisans of the various candidates cheered or jeered appropriately and then went back to conversing amongst one another – people who were often social friends even as they were political adversaries. This was in the era of paper ballots and ballot-boxes – unless my memory is defective I did not see a voting machine until after I returned to New York City in 1965 – and in any case there were neither dimpled chads to seduce vindictively partisan attorneys nor dangling chads to confuse the tally, and the overall atmosphere was robustly festive: not the faintest trace of distrust or dissonance.

There were many working newsmen present and I was indescribably proud to be among their number. I remember thinking at one point “this is how I will spend the rest of my life, doing work like this,” but I am sorry to say after all these years I can no longer name all the men who were my colleagues that night. The Associated Press man in Knoxville in those days was Esker Thompson, and he was probably there, and maybe Julian Granger from The Knoxville News-Sentinel, but what I remember most vividly was how as the hours passed, Ralph Griffith of The Knoxville Journal began hammering out his story on a gray-cased Smith-Corona portable at the desk next to mine, writing what in those days was known as “running copy” – reporting the election results as they were revealed, handing takes to a waiting copy-boy who dashed four blocks up Gay Street to The Journal Building to make the midnight deadline of the One Star, the first of the morning’s run of five editions. I knew Griffith because I too worked at The Journal, stringing for that paper also, covering sports: $5 per game for writing football, $2.50 a game for phoning in basketball, $5 per meet for writing track. But this story tonight would be my eventual ticket into hard news, and five years later – after three years in the Regular Army and another year at The Journal as a full-time sportswriter – the election-story clip from The Fountain Citizen was one of the work samples that in 1963 helped land me a combination sports and hard-news job on The Oak Ridger, a smaller daily in the nearby town of Oak Ridge, home of the atom bomb.

I stayed at election headquarters until the KTL buses began running again at 6 a.m., then took the 3 Fountain City back to The Citizen. I had a key to the office and let myself in, then banged out my story: the typewriter at the desk I used was an ancient Royal Upright, probably made no later than 1930. The paper hit the street on Thursdays. My deadline was eight hours distant: 2 o’clock Wednesday afternoon, which meant there was no pressure at all, and I wrote steadily, carefully, deliberately, double-checking the vote totals and the spellings of all the candidates’ names. I remember my story ran four or five double-spaced takes – a “take” was an 8½xll” sheet of copy paper – and I finished just as the editor arrived at 9 a.m. I waited while she edited my work, standing by in case she had any questions or objections. She didn't; she was very pleased – enough pleased she put my byline on the story. Then I went home and slept most of the day.

Some may think it disgustingly shallow of me I have forgotten the issues in that first election I covered, but the fact of the matter is I have reported on dozens of elections and have special recollections of pivotal local issues in only perhaps two of them. Moreover, I think my forgetfulness is evidence of how blessed we Americans were in the years after World War Two and even at the height of the Cold War. It is a forgetfulness that speaks especially well of the kind of nation I was born into and was privileged to live in for most of my life: its elections, however hotly contested they were at the time, soon became woven into a broader tapestry of democratic process in which forgiveness and unity were the overriding values – not a bit like what happened in Florida in 2000 and nothing at all like what is happening all over America now, as if the very concept of United States is somehow coming permanently unraveled. While I know there was genuine electoral mayhem in the U.S. during the 19th Century, today’s reports of pre-election violence (two summaries of which are linked here and here), are without precedent in my lifetime. And I cannot but wonder – with considerable trepidation – if the facts reported here perhaps also explain the rationale by which the bitter ethos of electoral violence has come to haunt our homeland once again. As I have said before: verily, I fear for the Republic.

* * * * * * * * *

Enjoy the weekend. Go hunting or target-shooting if you can; it may be the last weekend we will ever know in which we are able to express our Second Amendment rights without fear and paranoia.

Posted by Loren at 05:47 AM | Comments (2)

October 28, 2004

The Bipartisan Banishment Of The Poor

IN THE AFTERMATH OF the presidential debates, my two best friends and I were discussing how none of the candidates had said anything genuinely significant about measures to combat the stubborn problem of chronic poverty in the United States – this despite the profoundly damning data that shows today’s poverty is not only growing with near-record rapidity but is beyond the reach of the ephemeral economic recovery. My friends, a married couple with whom I have been kinfolk-close for well into four decades, are John Kerry supporters, and I will of course vote for George Bush, but we all have long life-histories of working to ease the plight of the poor, each in our own way, and though we often disagree on methodology, we all wholeheartedly agree that one of the most telling measures of a society is how well it cares for its miserables. All of us believe in the wellspring Judaeo-Christian notion that, “as you do unto the least of these, so you do unto God,” with the result we regard the absence of the poverty-issue from the electoral debate as a symptom of grave deterioration in the social contract – the often unwritten stitching that presumably binds America together.

As I said somewhere – I don’t remember now whether it was on this blog or in some comment I posted to Lucianne.com – during the vice-presidential debate the only difference between the candidates’ approaches to poverty was one of style. Dick Cheney spoke of poverty as if he were reciting distasteful crime statistics or perhaps an exceptionally uneventful agricultural forecast, while John Edwards mustered up the kind of Southron passion Tennessee Gov. Frank Clement once made nationally famous with his “how long, Lord, O how long” speech on behalf of John F. Kennedy at the 1960 Democratic Convention. But neither candidate said anything new or even added any insights to the ever-more-faltering national dialogue on the subject, with the result that Cheney’s lack of enthusiasm came off as indifference even as Edward’s passion was reduced to meaningless histrionics. The presidential debates were equally unfulfilling: George Bush predictably endorsed trickle-down economics and faith-based charity, while John Kerry predictably touted income redistribution – taxing the rich to build ever bigger bureaucracies to oversee the poor.

Though it is obscured by the electoral hurly-burly, in truth there is merit to each of these proposals.

In a normal economic recovery, the trickle-down theory is demonstrably valid: note what occurred during the 1990s. But today’s recovery is abnormal for a number of reasons, not the least the wage-shrinkage due mostly to outsourcing. And then there is the wild-card effect of skyrocketing petroleum prices: even those of us who are economic dunces – as I surely am – recognize the rising cost of fuel may yet flush the whole recovery down the proverbial commode. Moreover, given the radical reduction in available revenues that is already the byproduct of the federal deficit – a contraction that a new recession would multiply by several orders of magnitude – expanding faith-based charity may be the only possible response. Some of America’s churches have been leaders in charity and social justice projects since the birth of the nation. And there is compelling evidence they do this work far more effectively (and economically) than the sluggishly vast, sullenly unresponsive and manifestly parasitic government welfare bureaucracy – which is above all else a latter-day WPA-type jobs program for radical feminist agitators. But there are other churches – especially fundamentalist churches – that should not be allowed to run an ant farm, much less an orphanage, a food bank or a soup kitchen.

And there are some brands of poverty that are so huge and unyielding, they are beyond the means of any church or even consortium of churches to ameliorate. This is the sort of poverty that plagues Cleveland, where the corporate overlords of the city’s industrial base outsourced all production to the Third World and abandoned something like 35 percent of the workforce to what amounts to permanent unemployment. The result of this Big Business irresponsibility is a genuine depression: a depression that, though local, is actually worse than the Great Depression, in which the national unemployment rate topped out at around 25 percent. And just as it took Franklin Delano Roosevelt to New Deal us out of that unspeakable disaster (and thereby save America from both Communism and Nazism), it will take a similar pragmatist with similar programs to be the salvation of Cleveland and all the other places like it. Of necessity, such programs involve both income redistribution and the creation or expansion of government bureaucracies – there is no other way to get such a huge number of people so quickly back to work at living wages – but perhaps the proposals can be designed to minimize bureaucratic recalcitrance: the government-employee version of exactly same moral imbecility that is expressed by corporate outsourcing.

I realize what I have written will be regarded as rank heresy by people on both the Right and the Left, but I have undertaken this blog with a promise to myself (and to you my readers) that it will be above all an honest recounting of reality as I see it, or at least as best as I can understand it, hopefully complete with useful insights. That said, I cannot be anything but what my own experience dictates I be. I have seen some of the churches of America work wonders in their attempts to cope with poverty, just as I have seen others perpetrate genuine horrors, and my experience with government is equally mixed. I have witnessed first hand some of the miracles of the New Deal – especially how it lifted much of the Appalachian South out of poverty. My own late father’s long career in various aspects of the housing industry began with a New Deal laborer’s job in one of FDR’s then-radical experiments of priming the private-industry pump with federal dollars; within two years my father had been promoted from a Long Island construction site to a Manhattan executive suite and a short time later was troubleshooting America’s first pre-fabricated housing plants in Florida and Virginia. This was the New Deal at its best: not socialism, but overt (rather than covert) government assistance to business. Conversely I have both seen and experienced in person what happens when benign government intent is perverted to malignance by ideology and hatred: note in this context what feminists and both Islamic and Christian fundamentalists have done to local school systems, and what matrifascists with their hateful quota-mongering have done to social services throughout America.

But on top of all that, I believe the collective values of the American public have deteriorated radically, so that the amoral and thus ultimately vicious selfishness that was once the defining pathology of a few Wall Street robber barons has now become the near-majority ethos of the nation. This is the real reason why there was no genuine discussion of poverty issues in this presidential election campaign: a huge segment of the electorate simply does not give a damn. Indeed the difference can be seen in the microcosm of the contrasting attitudes of the workers of my father’s time, who whether in government or the private sector believed firmly in giving a whole day’s effort for a full day’s pay, and the employees of today – especially the bureaucrats – for whom malingering and subversion is all too often second nature. The people who work in the good and effective private and faith-based charities are an absolute exception to this ever-more-applicable rule: they are there not for job security or to glory in nearly omnipotent power to indoctrinate underlings in revolutionary ideologies; they are there instead only because of their fierce commitment to their work and their equally strong sense of obligation to the global version of an old Boy Scout notion: that you leave the campsite in better shape than you found it. Thus it may be that faith-based or private charity is our only hope: the only realm to which the poor can dependably turn for aid that will neither exploit nor belittle nor propagandize them into endless dependency.

Some of the broader implications of this topic – particularly the attitudes of America’s religious leaders, and the feeling of the poor themselves that their treatment by the presidential campaign is yet another form of banishment – are discussed here in a revealing report on Beliefnet.com, to which a tip of my hat: this is the essay that prompted me to write the above.

Of course the one potential flaw in the entire faith-based charity proposal is radical Islam. God help us if in the name of battling poverty we allow the jihadist Muslims license to wage their 1400-year war against civilization via the institutions of American liberty.

Posted by Loren at 04:09 AM | Comments (1)

October 27, 2004

Another Respite: More Dog Stories

(Editor’s note: This item is posted much later than usual and I apologize, though my tardiness was unavoidable. The problem was a massive server failure that shut down the entire Munuvian system.)

* * *

FORCIBLY SEPARATED FROM MY beloved dogs Brady and Jasmine, probably barred by circumstance from ever having dogs again – obstructed by a combination of housing regulations from which there is no appeal and financial barriers that are almost certainly insurmountable – I battle the painfully dogless silence of this bright new comfortable apartment by surrounding myself with photographs: cherished mementos of a blessed canine companionship that may never again be mine. There are pictures of Brady – half Springer, half Brittany – the best hunting dog who ever accompanied me in field or forest; pictures of Sadie – half Labrador, half Newfoundland – 100 percent faithful and very much the den-mother to a local pack of about six other dogs; pictures of LeeRoy – half Rottweiler, half Golden retriever – the most breathtakingly fearless dog I have ever known.

On my desk there is a portrait of Sadie, smug and happy and black and bear-like in a foot of new-fallen snow, her muzzle frosted and her brown eyes a-shine; a portrait of Brady nested amongst the pillows at the head of my bed and contemplating his favorite toy, a blue rubber ball; but mostly there are pictures of LeeRoy, who was my near-constant companion all his too-short 12-year life. There are even more dog pictures on my bookshelves.

For some curious reason – now seemingly prophetic – I never made any photographs of Jasmine, and perhaps that very lack makes it easier to deal with her absence, never mind the fact that she and Brady are both in good homes.

LeeRoy was born on the Vernal Equinox of 1987, was with me from his seventh week and was euthanized on Midsummer’s Day of 2000, dying in my arms as our long-time veterinarian freed him from the pain and paralysis of the old age that had finally reduced him to pathetic immobility. He was always a country dog. He is buried beneath a marble plaque adjacent an alder grove on the rural tract that was indisputably his domain from July 1993 until a few months before his death. Sadie, who lived two years longer, is buried beside him beneath her own marble plaque.

In a sense, it is as if LeeRoy and Sadie chose the grave-spot themselves. It is the shady place from which they (and often Brady and later Jasmine too) always gathered to watch me work a nearby vegetable garden, one of two large vegetable gardens I had developed on the land we all lived on, which until 2002 was owned by my two best friends but was then bought by a family member I foolishly believed to be well-intentioned but thanks to whom I will never be allowed to visit those graves again. The graves are in the place from which I am permanently banished, the acreage from which I was vindictively evicted last August by this same relative and the assaultive husband with whom she had so astoundingly decided to reconcile.

LeeRoy and his seven litter-mates were the result of a boarding-kennel accident. Their mother, a pedigreed Golden retriever, unexpectedly went into a second heat – she had been in heat only a month before – and no one in the kennel noticed her condition. One morning when she was loosed in the exercise yard to run and play with a big male Rottweiler, nature took its course. Seven of the pups looked like Goldens, or perhaps Lab-Golden crosses, but LeeRoy was configured like a Rotty – big broad head, rippling muscles, sleek panther-black coat and rust-yellow facial, chest and ankle markings – though he had the mellow, love-everybody-even-some-cats-and-especially-children good nature typical of Goldens. On one occasion he even brought home a stray kitten, depositing it at my feet as if to say, “here, this little one needs you to take care of her.”

But if you were a bad guy intent on injury or theft or invasion, LeeRoy was your worst nightmare come to life. One of LeeRoy’s many nicknames was “Mister Monster.” He was a massive, unbelievably strong dog, 100 pounds in his prime and sometimes quicker than the human eye could follow. I'd look at LeeRoy and watch him chase a stick or even move through my house and I'd always remember what a professional burglar once told me back in my newspaper days when I was interviewing criminals for anti-crime stories. The burglar said it isn't true the most terrifying sound a crook can hear is somebody racking the slide of a shotgun. The most terrifying sound is that low deep quiet almost seismic growl of a Rottweiler waiting somewhere in the dark. "You can run from a shotgun," the burglar said. "But by the time you hear the Rottweiler, it's too late to run. He's already got you."

LeeRoy bit at least one car prowler I know of – a junky who surprised him asleep in the cab of my yellow Datsun pickup truck in downtown Bellingham – and once, maybe in 1990, when a gang of over-pampered, over-privileged teenage sadists decided it would be fun to attack an elderly man in the woods, LeeRoy made it clear I would have a dog in that fight even before I let it be known one of the other surprises that would come into play was what else I had taken into the mountains that day: a pair of stainless-steel Ruger Old Army revolvers, Dragoon-size percussion pistols, caliber .44 and loaded, as formidable and intimidating as any big-bore firearm can be. Problem solved: the potential trouble wisely retreated back down the road from whence it came. Ne’er a tooth met bone, and not one round was fired.

In those days you weren’t required to go to a formal range and shell out $5 or $10 for the dubious privilege of standing in line and waiting half a day for a few hurried minutes to shoot – the Feminarchy of Washington (ever in service to the matrifascist anti- Second Amendment agenda) had not yet closed all the informal back-country shooting spots and prohibited their use by posting them with “no shooting” signs or gating the access roads shut – and I was going through one of those periodic episodes of folly in which I had somehow forgotten what a pain it is to clean a muzzle-loader. Hence I was enthusiastically working up accuracy loads for both the Rugers and a .54-caliber Thompson/Center Hawken. The Rugers turned out to be easy: especially with maximum loads, they remain among the most accurate revolvers I have ever owned, better in fact than many modern handguns. But the Hawken was being persnickety, and on this particular day – maybe a month before the encounter with the teenagers – I intended to test it with a new brand of 425-grain commercial bullets. I had driven a dozen miles from home, into deep forest and then up the remnant of a mountain logging road to an abandoned sand pit. Now I set up a target at 100 yards and commenced firing. LeeRoy was of course with me: one of his delights was dragging the target frame down range and hauling it back to the truck when I was finished shooting.

The day drifted easily from late morning to afternoon as black-powder days so often do, the lazy hours compressed by the widely spaced but regular thunderclaps and huge blooms of orange flame and bitterly sulphurous white smoke produced by the big muzzle-loading rifle. By the time the sun had declined enough for its light to begin moving my points of impact noticeably eastward across the face of the paper target, my powder-horn was nearly empty, but by firing from my impromptu spare-tire/sandbag rest and cleaning the bore after each round, I had the piece regularly grouping three rounds into slightly less than two inches, and I was satisfied the sights were dead on out to 125 yards. Minute of elk, as we say in these parts. It was time to go home – but where was LeeRoy?

I called LeeRoy’s name until my voice failed, and then finally in dismal dark drove home with tears in my eyes. I could not imagine what had happened to my dog, and all the very worst possibilities haunted my thoughts and gnawed at the edges of my mind. Once, as a yearling pup, LeeRoy had tried to jump out of my (moving) vehicle to attack a roadside Spring bear. Now it was Spring again, and I wondered if he had wandered off, encountered an early out-of-hibernation bear, stupidly charged, and of course been killed. Had the wolves who sometimes come down from Canada gotten him? Had he been attacked by a cougar? This was wild country, less than five miles from the border – from atop the dirt embankment at the north end of the abandoned sandpit I could actually see into Canada – and even the few nearest residences were three or four miles distant.

The next several days all I did was search for LeeRoy. I went back to the sand pit again and again but found no new traces of him. I literally drove hundreds of miles on the lower-altitude logging roads, stopping every five minutes or so to call his name. Finally, resigned to his loss and saddened beyond words, I distracted myself from grief by indulging my normal curiosity about the elevation of the remaining snow: it was early April. I drove my yellow truck up the mountain’s main logging road until I reached the point where the snow pack barred my way. It was near the crest. The view – the dark dense green of the tall second-growth firs of the interior forest partially obscured by thick gray streamers of fog or snow-mist – was impressive enough I set the handbrake and dismounted to see it all the better. And there in the snow almost under my truck, perhaps two dozen road-miles south of the abandoned sandpit and maybe 2000 feet above it, was a single set of dog tracks. Big dog tracks. I did not for an instant doubt they were LeeRoy’s, but I could not fathom what he was doing here at this altitude, nearly 5000 feet, nor where he was going, save that his tracks showed him moving southward near the crest of the mountain, southward at that steady, distance-eating canine lope, southward even in the deep compact snow of this realm of bears and wolves and cougars. I studied the tracks. A raven peered down from a nearby snag, a dead fir, bleached wood pale as bone. The raven grawked once in the cold damp silence, as if Raven himself were encouraging my quest.

It had been, by then, six days since LeeRoy had vanished, and already I had been thinking that to heal my hurt I should get another dog. But having seen the tracks, and despite the fact the thawing that blurred their edges indicated they were already days old, I was now certain LeeRoy was still alive, and when I drove home that evening I resolved the next day to extend my search to the southern end of the mountain, another eight or ten miles from where I had been, and a point at which there was a two-lane blacktop highway and a bridge and the convergence of two forks of a river. But the next morning, a Thursday, I awoke somehow knowing exactly where LeeRoy was: at another place we had visited together, another place I sometimes went shooting, near a stretch of deep water I often fished for trout. In my mind I saw the place not from my usual bipedal perspective but from closer to the ground and somehow in high contrast, as if for a moment I was seeing it through LeeRoy’s own eyes. I did not even bother with coffee: I drove my truck toward the place I had envisioned – and nearly there, a couple of miles after I turned off the highway, I met LeeRoy walking toward me at the edge of the gravel road.

He had lost maybe 20 pounds and seemed profoundly tired. He was obviously delighted to see me but was neither surprised nor the least bit apologetic. I opened the passenger door; LeeRoy climbed into the cab of the truck and promptly tried to lie across the passenger seat with his head on my lap, something he had often done as a pup but now was much too long to accomplish. Yet he managed it anyway, bending himself into a tight curl with his tail hanging to the floor, looking up at me with a half grin and then falling asleep. By the time I was back on the main road he was snoring.

Two months later the mystery of where he had been and what he had been doing was solved. It was June now. The monsoon had dwindled to an end in May as it usually does and the weather was mostly sunny and warm, but not so hot you had to leave your dogs at home. I was grocery shopping at a crossroads supermarket, and LeeRoy was waiting in the cab of the yellow truck. When I returned to the parking lot with my purchases, LeeRoy was standing in the cab so that his slowly wagging tail stuck out the passenger side window in a high proud curve and his head was out the driver’s side window, and there was a pretty young woman there, a vaguely exotic-looking brunette with long straight hair cut in bangs. She was rubbing LeeRoy under the chin and scratching behind his ears and whispering to him while he made contented dog noises. She looked up at my approach.

“Your dog?”


“What is he?”

“A boarding-kennel accident. Rottweiler and Golden retriever.”

“What a wonderful combination! What’s his name?”


“How appropriate.” She laughed. “You probably wonder what I’m doing here talking with your dog. We’re friends. We know each other ‘cause he came down to see us a couple of months ago. We have a female black lab we were planning on breeding but LeeRoy got there first. Her name is Sasha. We had her in a double kennel – two six-foot dogwire fences – but Sasha started digging on the inside and LeeRoy started digging on the outside and they dug an escape tunnel. They dug under both fences and met in the middle, and when the kids got up in the morning, it was ‘Mom, Dad, come look’ and there the dogs were in the front yard, Sasha and LeeRoy, stuck together.” She laughed again, lightly and seemingly with genuine amusement.

Even so, I felt I should apologize. “God, I’m so sorry,” I said. “LeeRoy slipped away from me up in the mountains and I had no idea where he went. It never occurred to me he might go looking for a girl friend because we were miles away from anywhere.”

“No, it’s all right. I managed to get some pictures of LeeRoy so I could show people what the daddy looks like. He stayed with us for five days and we were going to adopt him because he’s such a great dog. We have a son and a daughter and he was wonderful with both of them. But then one morning he was just gone.” She grinned, wrinkling her nose. “Like a traveling man.”

“What are you going to do with the pups?”

“Oh, they’re already spoken for. As soon as our friends saw LeeRoy’s picture.”

“If you don’t mind my asking, where do you live?”

She named the community: LeeRoy had not only traveled a minimum of 40-odd miles, he had swum at least one wide treacherously swift snow-melt-swollen river, two if he had bypassed the two-lane highway and its bridge.

I told her precisely where we had been when LeeRoy vanished, told her also of the curious way by which I found him a week later. The woman said she was not surprised – that like many dog owners she had long ago concluded canines are telepaths.

Given the distance from Sasha’s house, LeeRoy had already loped nearly a third of the way to the abandoned sand pit when I met him on the gravel road. If I had not answered his telepathic summons – and I believe that is exactly what it was – I have no doubt he would have braved the rivers and then the mountain again, bears, wolves, cougars, snowpack and all, and eventually he would have found his way home.

* * *

Since this is a dog-story day – a welcome, necessary and hopefully cleansing break from politics – there are two more worthwhile dog stories here and here. In fact it was reading of the Texas dog’s adventures that prompted me to tell this LeeRoy story, one of dozens that maybe now I will preserve in writing.

Posted by Loren at 05:18 PM | Comments (2)

October 26, 2004

On Youth And Political "Correctness"

I ENCOUNTERED A BRIGHT, articulate young man last night who fought in the Gulf War and is truly afraid, not just of the Islamic terrorists and the horrors they might inflict on our homeland, but of our own government and what he believes is its penchant for oil-harlotry, conspiracy, deception and capitalist exploitation. I met this man under ordinary circumstances – I had joined a group of new acquaintances to discuss a neighborhood renewal project – and I conversed with this young man, who is half my age, for nearly two hours after the group’s gathering ended. Call the young man Ned; bright though he is, he is nevertheless the product of public schools. He is thus hopelessly under-educated, and he has predictably fallen prey to all sorts of absurd leftist conspiracy theories – conspiracy theories that are virtually identical to those you heard from the hard-core Nazis of 70 years ago or read in the pages of der Voelkischer Beobachter over the imprimatur of Josef Goebbels and sometimes der Fuehrer himself.

To hear such dreck from someone my own age would have infuriated me, and I would have condemned the speaker forthwith. But because Ned is so much younger, because he is someone I will be associating with on a regular basis for the duration of this project, because it turns out we also share a deep love of and respect for dogs, most of all because his intent was never to be offensive, I did not denounce him. I sought simply to admit some daylight to his thinking by speaking of history both political and personal. “In all my years as a reporter,” I said at one point in our conversation, “I saw more times than I can count how perverse coincidence can create the appearance of conspiracy – and how real conspiracy can go undetected for years. I also saw how special interests can manipulate facts to create the illusion of conspiracy in service to their own goals. So even though I don’t doubt that there are conspiracies – the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was surely the result of a conspiracy – I think conspiracies are relatively few and far between.”

But try as I might, I could not shake Ned’s curious belief we had somehow brought 9/11 on ourselves: that because the main assault was against the World Trade Center, it was somehow only about the stock market and oil-politics “and Wall Street and capitalism and all that,” not an attack on the United States per se but somehow a thrust against a global Big Business conspiracy gone somehow wrong, with the entire Bush family among the chief conspirators. Michael Moore and DemocraticUnderground and MoveOn.Org and all the other supposedly reliable sources had said that and if they were against the Bush family, Ned believed them. Ned will vote for John Kerry of course, and he says all the people he knows who are on active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan feel the same way and will vote accordingly.

I did not think to ask Ned when he was graduated from high school but doing a little mental arithmetic with the autobiographical facts he had related, I concluded he had gotten his diploma in 1989. He had gone to public schools on the East Coast, which means he was subject to doctrines of political correctness and informal experiments of forcible feminization – chiefly psychological castration disguised as “anti-violence conditioning” – probably from about Fourth Grade (1980-1981) on and certainly from Ninth Grade on (1985-1986). I do not know many males Ned’s age or younger, but nearly every one I have met seems to have been taught to at least distrust their own maleness if not to despise and reject it completely. And Ned’s education was completed five years before the feminization of the public schools (and the attendant imposition of zero tolerance measures) was made mandatory by federal law – one of the legacies of the Clinton Administration and its unabashed fondness for the tyrannies of political “correctness.”

In my day, boys grew up wild and free and tolerated even if not always loved. Hence it does not take any great leap of consciousness for me to understand how growing up in today’s harshly PC atmosphere or even the preliminary PC atmosphere of the ‘80s – in either case where boys and maleness are despised just as surely as blacks and Negritude were despised in the lynch-mob years before the Civil Rights Movement – how such an upbringing would make a man afraid: not only very afraid but permanently so.

While the doctrine of political “correctness” is infamous for zero-tolerance policies that have effectively nullified Fourth Amendment guarantees of due process (especially the requirement of proving criminal intent), PC’s glaring hypocrisies often go unreported. This is no doubt because of the doctrine’s history and socioeconomics: PC is the daughter of that brand of feminism I have rightfully labeled “matrifascism,” which has become the core ideology of the entire Left. PC fanatics dominate the public school systems that persecute hapless teenage boys for absent-mindedly leaving cased, unloaded hunting shotguns in the trunks of their automobiles, just as other zealots of the same lockstep ideology dominate the mass media that reports on these episodes and makes certain a “suitable” example is made of Johnny and that his fate spreads the “appropriate” measures of terror and paranoia.

After all, Johnny’s inadvertent gun-crime is an unpardonable offense – it is a GUN-crime – therefore (in feminist ideology) tantamount to a defiant brandishing of the (hated) penis, an atrocity to be avenged by maximum punishment. Never mind Johnny is an honor student and a basketball star who had absolutely no criminal record or outlaw intent. Never mind the bitter fact the gun-crime expulsion will cost Johnny his hard-earned college scholarship and any hope of ever receiving financial aid (which, because he comes from a relatively impoverished family, means he is excluded from college forever). Never mind the felony charges (which the matrifascist prosecutor gleefully insists on taking to trial) will almost certainly condemn Johnny to the agonizing depredations of an anal rape-house known as a jail or penitentiary, where a mere 24 hours of confinement too often multiplies into a sentence of death by AIDS. Never mind all this, especially the fact that Johnny’s life is now destroyed forever, which the PC media gleefully reports (or at least implies) in the hope terrifying the rest of us into giving up even more of our Constitutional rights and of course selling more newspapers or adding more audience in the bargain.

Doubt what I am saying? Read the grotesque and repugnant truths here and here.

What you don’t generally hear about – because the PC media almost always manages to suppress the story – is PC hypocrisy: when the curse of political “correctness” lets true criminals go free (which, bottom line, is what really cleared the way for 9/11).

And it is about to happen again, this time north of the border. Admittedly there is a certain poetic justice in Canada’s plight: Canada voted zero-tolerance feminarchy onto itself, and it did so by truly overwhelming margins. Feminarchy of course includes large doses of “multiculturalism” (note for example how Canada is busy nullifying all its civil liberties by sanctioning sharia) and “moral equivalence” (another term for PC hypocrisy). And a Muslim terrorist agitator loose in Canada is surely more of a threat to us here in the U.S. than he is to the disempowered, craven and willfully defenseless subjects of Sunera Thobani and her female-supremacist sisterhood. But – thank God – a few brave Canadians still refuse to live by the craven slogan, “Better Dhimmitude Than Death.” One of them is the Calgary Sun columnist Ezra Levant, who excoriates the feminarchy’s authorities for allowing Vancouver, B.C. Imam Younus Kathrada to spout – with seeming absolute impunity – malevolent calls for the extermination of all Jews and infidels. Here is Levant’s best graf:

Why hasn't Kathrada been charged with a hate crime? Why haven't he and his mosque been charged under Canada's new anti-terrorism laws for promoting and aiding terrorist groups like Hamas? (To date, not a single charge has been laid under this law.)

Levant concludes the reason is political “correctness”:

...ever since 9/11, liberals throughout the West have decided an anti-Arab backlash would be worse than Arab terrorism itself. So true risks like Kathrada are ignored, in the name of not making a fuss. The liberal thinking is that charging someone like Kathrada would only give a bad name to all Muslims.

The rest of Levant’s essay is available here. It is revealing three ways: it shows not all Canadians have bought into matrifascist multiculturalism, it suggests we still have a few allies north of the border, and it offers yet another indication of the magnitude of the Muslim threat. But I disagree that the authorities’ silence is merely about PC and “not making a fuss.” I think it has gone far beyond PC. I think the Canadian authorities doubt the very existence of the moderate Muslims they claim to protect. Thus I believe the Canadian authorities response is more like the terror of an unarmed human in the presence of a cougar or a grizzly who is a known man-eater. The human dare not move lest he be devoured. He dare not cry out lest he be attacked. He dare not make a fuss lest he discover that Kathrada speaks for the majority of Islam.

Does Kathrada so speak? I pray not. But I am not optimistic. I know too much history.

Which brings me back to Ned, for whom – I realize only now – I am writing this entire essay, still in the hope of perhaps admitting a bit more daylight into his intellectual life, of doing so without being too preachy about it, of showing Ned something of how we face enemies within who are as paralyzing (and thus ultimately as deadly) as our enemies without.

How dreadful it must be, to be a young man of today, pumped full to strangulation of self-doubt (if not self-hatred) by the PC conquerors of our own country, rejected by feminist women as hopelessly masculine, sneered at by traditionalist women as too feminized – allowed not even a niche of one’s own, much less a room or a house or a home. In the past, the fact we are all of us male and female despised as infidels by the most murderous enemy in human history would have been sufficient to minimize our differences and unite us in the face of the threat. But not anymore; the salvation of national unity is no longer available to Ned or indeed to any of us. There is too much suspicion, too much distrust bred by too many years of gender war and its attendant strife. Ned would never say so, not even to himself, but I am sure his vote for Kerry is determined as much by conditioned aversion to the genuine alpha male as it is by politics. I am sorry for Ned’s loss. I am sorry for his generation’s loss. I am sorry for my nation’s loss.

Verily, I fear for the Republic.

Posted by Loren at 09:44 AM | Comments (0)

October 25, 2004

At Last, Maybe A New Day In Iraq

NORMALLY I AVOID POSTING double essays. But because “Step Right Up” is a re-run and required so little effort (today's first post, below), I fear I might disappoint a few folks if I don’t splatter at least a drop or two of intellectual sweat on the VDT, so here complete with commentary is a genuine “Must Read,” a Lucianne.com item that seems to have been overlooked during the weekend festivities. It is an unusually positive Associated Press report from Iraq, revealing how one of our sector commanders has seized the initiative from the terrorists and is gradually winning back Diyala Province, the vital northern approach to Baghdad. The commanding officer is Col. Dana J.H. Pittard, a man of whom I suspect we shall hear much more before this war is over, and his unit is the 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division – the storied “Big Red One.” Here are the AP dispatch’s key paragraphs:

"I think we got to know how important it was to relate to people, and how to separate the bad guys from the population," he says. "We have not scooped up people in a big net to find the rotten fish."

"We deconstruct who is who," he said. "If a guy feels he's a nationalist fighting the occupier of his homeland we can deal with that. It's the hard core that has to be killed or captured."

The full text of the AP account is available here. While it is not as detailed as I would like, it sounds as if Pittard is employing the same sort of tactics the British used to defeat the MauMau terrorists in Kenya and prevail in the Malaya Emergency – the only fully developed communist insurrections ever to be defeated by a colonial or non-indigenous power. The British tactics are in turn the source of what the Marines did a decade later – with 100 percent success – in the first year of their presence in Vietnam. Unfortunately, the Marine Corps' achievements provoked huge jealousy from the State Department and other branches of the armed forces, and Gen. William Westmoreland – incompetent to the bitter end – ordered the Marines' program shut down. For details read The Betrayal, by Col. William R. Corson (USMC Ret.) – that is, if you can find a copy, since this best-of-Vietnam books (W.W. Norton & Co., and Ace Books: New York, 1968) has been out of print for too many years. For essential background to Col. Corson's disclosures, read The Ugly American, the fictional work by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer that exposed the breathtaking ineptitude of the State Department and the diplomatic corps. First published in 1958, it was prophetically reissued in 1999 by Norton.

The relevance of these works and the Pittard example thus goes well beyond estimates of the local situation in Diyala Province. Whatever the source of Col. Pittard’s approach to anti-insurgency, it appears to be succeeding, and that is precisely what places the colonel and his staff at such risk. Not only does he face the opposition of the same forces that undermined the Marines’ efforts in Vietnam – a combination of vindictive State Department careerists and angry rivals from other branches of the military – but Col. Pittard also faces an unknown but substantial number of additional internal enemies who (undoubtedly for ideological reasons) yearn for an American debacle in Iraq. These are the people – most of them probably radical feminists or victim-identity cultists promoted to positions of authority by the Clinton Administration – who make up the biggest single obstacle that confronts the Bush Administration: the most hostile, most defiant, most sabotage-minded federal bureaucracy in U.S. history.

Moreover, the existence of these anti-Bush cells within the federal government, all apparently sworn to undermine the President and his policies “by any means necessary,” has been ignored (and thus effectively covered up) by the mainstream media – even as the media routinely prospers by its resultant access to the administration’s secrets. (Note for example Mary Mapes and her probably illegal access to the nationally ruinous Abu Ghraib photographs.) That this type of incident has happened so often, resulting in a such a succession of (unprosecuted) security violations, is itself probably without precedent. So is the fact that the malcontents’ reach seems to span (and perhaps even unite) seditious cliques in both civilian and military branches of the government.

While there is no doubt Bush has blundered badly in Iraq, the presence of Col. Pittard (and presumably other commanding officers who are bold enough to apply his tactics) suggests very strongly that the war is no longer (and probably never was) the “quagmire” the Left has delighted in portraying. (Astute readers will note that while I have used the term “blunder” many times, I have never once employed the term “quagmire,” save derisively as above.) Thus the hostile bureaucrats can be expected to redouble their anti-Bush efforts. If John Kerry wins next week’s election, Col. Pittard will probably be among the first victims of the predictable purge, for beyond the ouster of Bush, many of these subversive bureaucrats ultimately seek the defeat of “white patriarchy” – the overthrow of American liberty and the destruction of Western Civilization. However, if Bush wins, Col. Pittard will probably soon be General Pittard – which later historians may well mark as the turning point in the war, much like President Lincoln’s promotion of a colonel named Ulysses S. Grant.

Posted by Loren at 06:52 AM | Comments (1)

Step Right Up

(Editor's note: I wrote "Step Right Up" just after the owner of Civilization Calls invited me to share her website, a partnership that lasted until the middle of June and for which I will be forever grateful because it was profoundly helpful in resurrecting my journalism career. This essay was my first contribution to that site; it originally appeared on February 9, 2004. I reprint it here because John Kerry's recent goose-hunt ploy contains an implicit lie that demands immediate and detailed refutation.)


OBSERVING THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION campaign for the past couple of weeks I’ve been struck repeatedly by how successful the Democrats are at downplaying their suicidal foreign-policy proposals and their authoritarian domestic agenda. This is the party that would revert to the Clinton Administration’s ruinous practice of regarding Islam’s 1300-year war against civilization as merely a crime problem: the very do-nothing strategy that invited the attacks of 9/11. These same Democrats would impose socialized medicine, would torpedo public-school reform merely to serve the (unspoken) purpose of fostering an ever-growing number of voters utterly ignorant of the ideals and history of the United States, and would further balkanize the nation by resuming the official encouragement of victim-identity cultism so characteristic of the Donna Shalala years. Yet thanks to the bias and superficiality of mass media – that and the fact the American electorate all too often has the attention-span of an earthworm – the vital issues to be decided by the outcome of the 2004 election are becoming ever more obscure, all but ignored in the distracting but ultimately meaningless epidemic of journalistic flatulence that results when politics is covered as a mere Superbowl of personalities and pork.

But it is not just the electorate that is duped. One of my favorite conservative columnists and libertarian bloggers – one of the very best in the business – is Andrew Sullivan. Indeed my only real criticism of Mr. Sullivan is that sometimes he squanders too much general-interest bandwidth on special-interest matters relevant only to gays and lesbians – though given his own avowed orientation, it is surely an excess he can readily be forgiven, especially considering the overall astuteness of his thinking. However just last week I caught him in one of his extremely rare errors – an error that illustrates how very effectively the Democrats and their media allies have hidden the electoral stakes of 2004. Writing about the Democratic Party and its campaign to retake the federal government, Mr. Sullivan asserted in his London Sunday Times column (1 Feb 04) that “Democrats have gone a long way to reverse their anti-gun mentality.” Which is, of course, precisely what the Democrats want the rest of us to believe – especially those of us who cherish the Second Amendment and take it at face value.

That the truth is something quite different will quickly become apparent to anyone who researches likely input for the Democrats’ 2004 platform proposals. Americans for Gun Safety, a group consistently aligned with Democratic Party strategists, commissioned a poll completed in October 2003 that detailed how to disguise gun control as a “gun safety” issue – the better to impose gun control on the public – and recommended the Democrats adopt just such camouflage. (The poll is available here. ) Another Democrat strategy group, the Emerging Democratic Majority, has already commented favorably upon the AGS proposal. Meanwhile the hysterically anti-gun New York Times noted with approval (7 Feb 04) that likely-presidential-candidate John Kerry consistently voted for “stiff” gun-control laws; in Timesspeak the only truly “stiff” gun-control laws are those that seek to ban the private ownership of firearms. Hence the probability Democrat partisans have it exactly right when they gleefully speculate that at the very least, a Kerry Presidency would impose Massachusetts’ draconian permit-and-registration scheme – the most vindictively restrictive gun-control regime in the country – on the entire United States. Most of all there is the fact that Democrat politics are still driven by fanatical anti-gunners – a loose coalition of pacifists, matrifascists and victim-identity cultists, the majority of whom despise not only the Second Amendment but the other nine amendments of the Bill of Rights too.

Though all politicians practice deception – the old joke that a politician is lying “anytime his lips are moving” surely has a basis in fact – I can’t recall any other circumstance in which either one of the nation’s two major parties has so methodically set out to bilk the voters. The fact today’s Democrats are even considering such a ploy tells us not only of their contempt for the electorate but the extent to which they are willing to embrace strategies that were formerly the identifying characteristics of fascists, Communists and Nazis. Hence whenever some Democrat promises Utopia and invites you to “step right up,” reflect on carnival-king P.T. Barnum and his infamous credo of a new sucker born every minute.

Posted by Loren at 04:30 AM | Comments (0)

October 22, 2004

Clarity First, Then Weekend Links

BEFORE I LINK TO some recommended reading for leisurely contemplation over the weekend, let me direct your attention to a comment a reader named Joseph wrote in response to yesterday’s post, “Slowly Slowly the Giant Awakens.” Joseph accuses me of “underlying rabid hostility...especially towards women” and then asks how long I have been beating my wife – no, actually, have I “always been such an angry person?” I answered at length, not because his accusation drew any blood (it did not), but because as a journalist one of my greatest concerns is always the possibility I might be misunderstood – not because of any alleged limitation on the part of my readers, but because I myself have somehow failed to state my facts or opinions with sufficient clarity.

In the best of my newspapering days, there were always good desk editors – on a couple of the dailies for which I worked, some of the best editors in the business – to purge my copy of any muddled statements. The process was not always painless, but I nevertheless depended on it to make my stories that much stronger. Indeed it was backstopping by skilled and seasoned editors – a group ever more notably absent from journalism today – that allowed reporters and re-write men to work confidently at the break-neck pace so essential on the dailies of yesteryear – papers that published four, five or nine editions every day.

Blogging is of course entirely different. There is minimal time pressure – nothing like the old Tuesday-Saturday routine of the One-Star deadline at midnight, the two-star Mail Edition and the three-star State Edition deadline at 1:30, the four-star Home at 2 a.m. and the five-star Final at 3 – though blogging is pressured enough if one seeks to live a reasonably full life away from keyboard and VDT and also takes the required hours to search the Internet for material to post daily. But the most difficult difference is the fact we bloggers are all our own editors, which – if we care about our craft – makes us each the worst sort of self-inflicted tyrant and, occasionally (and always in retrospect), the most verbally inept dunce. So any time I get an email like Joseph’s, it triggers my dunce-cap fears, which trips my tyranny switch and leaves me wondering what I need to do to make my writing better, clearer, less misunderstood.

Here then is the key passage of my reply:

As much as I deplore feminism, I do not make the common error of assuming that feminists speak for all womankind. Thus I reserve the right to damn feminism specifically for its implicit tyranny and subversive intent, and assuredly not as a generalization about womanhood or femaleness. Most readers, I think, understand this distinction. Hence it is typically only feminists and their supporters who (falsely) accuse me of misogynism.

In this context, note my wholehearted praise of Annie Jacobsen and Michelle Malkin in "Two Good Writers, Two Must Reads." Last I heard, the courageous Ms. Jacobsen and the eloquent Ms. Malkin were both of the gender toward which you seem to feel I bear "underlying rabid hostility."

The duration of my anger? It dates precisely from the Muslim outrages of September 11, 2001, which I witnessed that awful morning on live TV. My anger is probably intensified by the fact I am a born New Yorker -- lived in the City until age 3, raised two-thirds in the South, one-third in Michigan, lived in Manhattan (by choice) for nine years as an adult. Beyond my reaction to the atrocities of 9/11, a sense of rightful indignation at injustice has always animated my best (and sometimes award-winning) journalism...

For the rest of it, click on “comments” under “Slowly Slowly...” I would add only that I should also have mentioned as praiseworthy the reporter Evelyn Nieves, the woman who wrote the superbly revealing Washington Post piece on life at the Pine Ridge reservation.

Now onto the promised links:

Two of these come from Asia Times, which practices a kind of in-depth journalism that is increasingly absent from the United States – an absence I believe is a major factor in the increasing shallowness (and ever-more-distracting sloganism) of our political debates. The first, here, is to Page One of the newspaper itself, an interesting window on the opinions of a region increasingly obscured by our election hurly-burly. The second link is to another piece by my favorite Asia Times columnist, a writer who goes by the name of Spengler: he argues here that despite Bush’s penchant for bungling, his willingness to fight is far preferable to Kerry’s penchant for appeasement.

The third weekend link – an implicit challenge to Google the subject further – is a short but pointed exposition on the economically ruinous impact Kyoto would have on the United States (and indeed on all major industrialized nations). It is a USA Today piece – something you will seldom see in this space because of my deep disdain for the offensive superficiality of that publication and Gannett papers in general – but in this case Gannett provides the best summation of the Kyoto facts I have seen in quite a while. It is therefore a vital tool for contrasting the Bush and Kerry positions and is available here.

Have a good weekend, one and all.

Posted by Loren at 05:26 AM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2004

Slowly Slowly the Giant Awakens

PERHAPS, AT LONG LAST, American liberals are awakening, little-by-slow, to the horrific reality of the Islamic threat.

A group of Bostonians calling itself Citizens for Peace and Tolerance – by its birth announcement, a coalition of “concerned citizens, academics and community activists...united by the need to keep Boston Hate Free” – has launched a campaign to expose the influence of jihadist Islam not only in Boston but throughout the United States. The group says its membership includes Christians, Jews and (presumably moderate) Muslims. Its website, available here and worthy of a very thorough perusal, says CPAT’s immediate objective is countering "the establishment of a potential radical Islamist center in Boston, which will promote religious hatred and intolerance against Christians, Jews, humanists and secularists.” The news release announcing CPAT’s formation (once on its site, click on “Press Release”) is the first public acknowledgment by liberals I have ever seen anywhere of the dire threat to homeland security posed by politically “correct” – that is, matrifascist – censorship of mass media and public discourse in general. Note especially this key passage:

“We are...disturbed by the lack of public discourse and very limited media coverage relating to the role that radical Islam plays in American mosques and in particular the Islamic center being built in Boston,” Dennis Hale noted. “We are in a rhetorical trap of political correctness that does not know how to be ethnically sensitive and honest at the same time. This is very dangerous, given the intentions of radical Islamists. There’s a knee-jerk reaction by most of our civic leaders to refrain from any criticism of a perceived vulnerable minority. They don’t know how to deal with it; they are concerned about being accused of being anti-Muslim, and so they avoid it. Unfortunately, radical Islamists are well aware of this aversion and fully exploit it.”

About all I can say in response is, “amen!” And, yes, I have already bookmarked CPAT's website.

Meanwhile – lest I be overly encouraged – The New Republic Online contains a piece its author holds out as an example of Bush Administration hypocrisy but which in actual fact is damning evidence of an entirely different sort: proof positive of the dire extent to which the politically “correct” down-with-the-Jews cult still dominates the State Department. A legacy of the vicious anti-Semitism that was once a unifying characteristic of the (Protestant) Eastern Establishment and the federal bureaucracy it dominated (note for example the shameful U.S. policy of returning whole shiploads of European Jewish refugees to Nazi Germany for extermination), the cult is still strong enough to brazenly attempt to torpedo an important Congressional anti-Semitism measure:

The law's primary elements--including the new office and envoy, and the new reporting requirements--were the brainchild of Representative Tom Lantos, a California Democrat and the only Holocaust survivor in Congress. Back in July, when Lantos was trying to get his ideas incorporated into a weaker bill on anti-Semitism--which would have required only a one-time report on the issue--an official at the State Department's Bureau of Legislative Affairs wrote him that a separate reporting requirement "could erode our credibility by being interpreted as favoritism in human rights reporting," and added that it would be "inappropriate to create a stand-alone section for one group when so many others involving severe abuses are treated in this established manner, which demonstrates equal respect for all groups." A livid Lantos fired off a letter to Colin Powell urging him to "immediately retract and disavow the Department comments ... as they reflect a shocking and offensive ignorance within the Department of State about the nature of anti-Semitism and the serious threat that it poses to U.S. interests." A month after the letter was received, Powell and Lantos spoke by phone, but the conversation did not produce a shift in State's position.

The rest of TNR’s story is available here. Too bad writer Janine Zacharia is so gullible (or perhaps so blinded by her hatred of President Bush) she does not understand how she is being used to discredit this administration – thus to replace it with a presidency guaranteed to be far more "understanding" of the Islamic threat.

Lastly – and touching on matters critical not only to the presidential election but to maintenance of the Republican majority in the Senate – there is a Must Read by Evelyn Nieves in The Washington Post:

...Five years after that visit, all the hopes Clinton stirred have amounted to very little. The house across the street from Blue Bird's still has no windows and no running water. Same goes for the one next to it, and the one next to that one. Beyond this neighborhood of brittle hovels one bad storm away from becoming firewood, the Pine Ridge Reservation is besieged by problems decades in the making and beyond its ability to fix.

More Lakotas who had left are returning to the Plains, preferring to live among their own people rather than in relative comfort on the outside. But failings of the federal government -- from mismanaging Indian money held in trust to shortchanging programs it is legally bound to fund -- continually undermine efforts here at self-help.

Things are not much better on some other reservations. The Navajos in the Southwest, the Crow tribe in Montana and the Comanches in Oklahoma are also very poor...

The rest of this eye-opening report is available here. (Sorry; registration required.) The story shows once again how the term “Indian giver” is a total reversal of reality: it is Wasicum who giveth then cunningly taketh away.

I am also embarrassed to say I do not have any idea how many votes the combined Indian Nations contribute to national elections. But I have no doubt that, this year more than any other, the electoral choices of American aboriginals will be vital to the outcome – every bit as vital as the rest of our votes.

Posted by Loren at 04:23 AM | Comments (3)

October 20, 2004

Two Good Writers, Two Must Reads

ANNIE JACOBSEN, THE COURAGEOUS reporter for WomensWallStreet whose work revealed critical flaws in our post 9/11 airline security, has written of yet another in-flight outrage perpetrated by Arab “travelers.” Jacobsen’s newest report, available here, makes it clear the security problems go far beyond the Bush Administration’s idiotic air-marshal dress-codes and its perplexing policy of backing Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta’s no-profiling edicts and may also originate from the airlines’ own business-related fears. Not that I am the least bit surprised. Jacobsen’s next step should be documenting how much the airlines have contributed toward the presidential campaigns of both George Bush and John Kerry. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, Michelle Malkin denounces the Kerry camp by recalling how the epic “we can do it” unselfishness of Rosie the Riveter and her generational sisters all across America helped save the world from fascism, while the infinite selfishness of the Kerrynoid generation now threatens to squander everything for which America stands. Malkin’s key passage gets right to the point:

But Rosie is gone. And in her place, we have Hysterical Women for Kerry. They are self-absorbed celebrities who support banning all guns (except the ones their bodyguards use to protect them and their children). They are teachers' union bigwigs who support keeping all children hostage in public schools (except their own sons and daughters who have access to the best private institutions). They are sanctimonious environmentalists who oppose ostentatious energy consumption (except for their air-conditioned Malibu mansions and Gulfstream Jets and custom Escalades.) They are antiwar activists who claim to love the troops (except when they're apologizing to the terrorists trying to kill our men and women in uniform). They are peace activists who balk at your son bringing in his Star Wars light saber for the kindergarten Halloween parade (but who have no problem serving as human shields for torture-loving dictators). They are ultrafeminists who purport to speak for all women (but not the unborn ones or the abstinent teenage ones or the minority conservative ones or the newly enfranchised ones in Afghanistan).

The rest of Malkin’s column is available here. Save for the fact she focuses on her own gender, much of what she says echoes my own observations about the pathological selfishness and hypocrisy of the generational cohort aged 18-29, especially the college students, two thirds of whom have told pollsters they would refuse to be drafted under any circumstances – even if the United States were invaded. In other words, thanks to 30 years of brainwashing in feminist-dominated schools, two thirds of all American college students in this age group no longer think our country is worth fighting for. And this very group, registered to vote in unprecedented numbers yet never surveyed in any national pre-election polls, could be the wild card that decides the election.

Posted by Loren at 04:23 AM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2004

The Hidden Horror Of Kerry's Health Plan

THE EMOTIONALLY AND ETHICALLY compelling fact that independent analysis shows John Kerry's health plan would cover about 25 million more uninsured Americans than the Bush plan would (click here and here) obscures the horrific surprise that is in store for about 21.6 million people if the Kerry plan becomes law. These 21.6 million persons -- about two-thirds of them without any medical insurance at all today -- would be insured by an expanded Medicaid program. A Kerry administration would accomplish this expansion by raising the Medicaid eligibility cutoff, which currently approximates the federal poverty line: in 2001, $17,960 per year for a family of four. For insurance purposes only, this exclusionary barrier would be raised as high as 300 percent of the poverty line, about $54,000 per year for the same hypothetical family of four. The Medicaid-eligible population would thus be expanded approximately 71 percent, to 52 million persons or about one-fifth of the total U.S. population.

To anyone who is even minimally knowledgeable about America's worsening health-care crisis, the Medicaid portion of Kerry's proposed solution sounds simple, effective and even relatively painless -- especially since the requisite bureaucracy is in place, already fattening itself and feathering its own nest on the labor of the American taxpayer. But what Kerry and his campaigners aren't telling you is that Medicaid is welfare, pure and simple, and that -- as welfare -- it includes all welfare's inherent tyrannies: dictatorial controls imposed by bureaucrats who are absolutely powerful, endlessly vindictive, and often both vengefully feminist and bigotedly anti-male.

Unfortunately, to Americans who have never been so subjugated, it is extremely difficult to convey what it is like to be "on welfare," much less how it erodes your sense of self to live with the attendant fear and restriction for any extended time. The fear itself is all-consuming and thus ruinous: it is bred of a singularly rational paranoia of a bureaucracy that can literally do anything it wants and is utterly merciless -- especially if you are a white male. There is of course also the inescapable sense of shame, the guilt by association with all the self-destructive psycholinguistics embodied in the term "welfare bum," the accompanying sense that you have fallen into a cesspool and no bath or shower will ever make you clean again. And there is very often a huge component of shock at the magnitude of your downfall, as I myself can attest from my own two years on welfare -- an encounter with hitherto-unknown reality, the most politically eye-opening and infinitely embittering episode of my life.

Ironically, during my newspaper career I had written dozens of stories about welfare injustices, the frigid haughtiness of the welfare bureaucrats, and the plight of welfare recipients. I thought I knew most of what there was to know about the subject, but in truth I knew nothing at all. And what I learned after I became a welfare recipient transformed me entirely. I had been a presumably "lifelong" leftist-Democrat with a typically firm conviction that enlightened government could solve or at least ameliorate most if not all of humanity's problems. After two years on welfare, I became an outspoken and often angry skeptic, implacably hostile to the welfare bureaucracy and profoundly distrustful of government in general. The experience traumatically reshaped my political ideals from top to bottom. Today I try to avoid doctrinal labels, but the truth is I am mostly libertarian/conservative. Above all else -- perhaps as an instant defense against any impulse to backslide into leftist thinking -- I remain painfully aware of the U.S. welfare bureaucracy's malevolent penchant for perverting humanitarian intent into ideological empire-building.

Further investigation has merely renewed and reinforced my anger. For example, studying Statistical Abstract of the United States in 1995 for evidence to refute the conventional but false wisdom that out-of-control welfare costs were due to an exploding number of "welfare queens" ever more deftly defrauding the system, I discovered another kind of ripoff that -- had I still been working as an investigative reporter -- I would have labeled "the greatest welfare fraud of all time": From 1970 through 1990, the welfare bureaucracy had increased its own administrative costs by 5,390 percent (not a typo) even as it slashed the value of stipends and services to recipients by nearly two thirds. The administrative cost hikes of course included substantial salary increases and workforce expansions: there were "welfare queens" aplenty, but they were all members of the bureaucracy.

It was the sort of disclosure that would have made a fine Page One series, and via a computer-literate acquaintance -- my own computer initiation was then five years away -- I put the story out on the Internet at the height of the welfare-reform debate. I suppose I will never know whether it made any difference.

Beyond all that, at least for any American citizen accustomed to "liberty and the pursuit of happiness," the one sure constant of welfare is consciousness-wrenching disempowerment: utterly demoralizing, potentially a ticket to clinical depression and worse. Indeed, it is impossible for people who have not experienced the welfare bureaucracy's tight-lipped, glacial-eyed arrogance to even begin to imagine the anxieties evoked by being subject to such unchecked and ruthless authority. It is belittling beyond words, devastating beyond belief.

Even now I struggle for a properly telling analogy: of course I have never been a citizen of some newly conquered land -- at least not in this life -- but I did spend much of my childhood in the South, which was once indeed a conquered nation and retains many residual reflexes born of its time of subjugation. And I cannot but assume the shock of discovering the harsh reality of welfare is similar if not identical: one day you are a free man, theoretically your own master; the next day you are a non-person, a virtual prisoner, little more than a slave possessed by an especially hostile (and often deliberately sadistic) bureaucratic dominatrix. Any deviation from the bureaucracy's decrees -- any ''non-compliance'' -- and you are punished harshly. Any complaint -- again I am speaking from first-hand experience -- and you are punished far more harshly still. It is bad enough if you are a female, or a child of either gender who can be snatched from your parents merely by the whim of a clerk. But it is a thousand times worse if you are male, and a thousand times worse than that if you are a male who happens to be white as well.

From the moment you sign your application for assistance, the epicentral reality of your life is the fact the bureaucracy to which you are now subject is literally omnipotent. It has total authority over everything: your income, your job, whether you can change jobs, whether you can go to school, and all other such matters. The same bureaucracy, radical feminist from top to bottom, also controls the minutiae of your life -- even to the governance of who does the chores in your household -- all with an underlying "down-with-patriarchy" missionary zeal asserting the matrifascist hatred of American liberty, Western Civilization, the father-god, Judaeo-Christian religion in general, the traditional family, the male gender, and Caucasian males in particular.

Note again my own experience: during my years on welfare, 1987-1989, by far the most dreadful, miserable epoch of my life, I repeatedly encountered the frustrating humiliation of being obstructed at every turn by gender quotas. I was maliciously denied not only all my applications for help in returning to work (this after a demonstrably productive worklife of some 30 years), but I was denied too the very treatment I needed to recover from severe clinical depression, ironically the condition that had forced me onto welfare in the first place.

I also heard horror stories galore, all of them probably true or at least based on cores of fact. A typical anecdote recounted the declining fortunes of a family in which the male breadwinner had been disabled in an industrial accident and was denied workmen's compensation on one of the various technicalities that enable miserly employers (especially non-union employers) to escape liability. Did the welfare bureaucracy come to this man's rescue? No indeed: the bureaucrats decreed the man become a stay-at-home house-husband, missing leg and all, even as it forced his wife (who wanted nothing more than to remain a stay-at-home mother) into job training and eventually into the workplace. Forced? Absolutely: the bureaucracy would have seized the couple's children had she not complied with its edicts. Of course some time after that (as the welfare-office feminists all applauded with glee), the wife's "raised consciousness" led to a divorce in which she shed herself of the "patriarchal oppression" of caring for her crippled mate. And of the man? I know not. One version of the story has it he took his last remaining firearm and blew his own brains out.

But I do know for a fact that in the two unspeakably wretched years I was on welfare, disabled white male military veterans were routinely denied all vocational rehabilitation assistance, their applications repeatedly stonewalled until they withdrew in discouragement, while drug-addicted hookers with long rap sheets of crime and illegitimacy were granted admission to voc-rehab programs within 90 days, and sometimes even within 30 days. All a woman needed to do to get help was ask for it. There were even generous aid packages for women who were definitively middle class, many such offerings funded by the feminist bureaucracy's schemes for illegally (that is, in defiance of legislative intent) draining money from programs that served mostly males and -- by bookkeeping techniques so devious they would have made Meyer Lansky proud -- shifting these same dollars into programs for women only. Thus males -- even men wounded in Vietnam and suffering from the chronic sluggishness of the Veterans Administration in processing disability claims (another bureaucratic outrage) -- were routinely shoved aside. The welfare bureaucracy's most common tactic of delay and intimidation was repeatedly "lost" paperwork: it was used on me at least four times.

The same hatred-based gender-quotas applied specifically to Medicaid services. While the legislature had theoretically granted chiropractic care to everyone on Medicaid -- particularly individuals with documented back injuries (as I have had since a 1978 encounter with a drunken driver), in practice the bureaucracy rationed medical services in accordance with feminist doctrine, so that chiropractic, for example, was only granted to women. Ditto for dental care: no males need apply. But preventative, curative and even cosmetic dentistry was available to women under Medicaid, simply because the bureaucracy had deemed it "essential to women's self-esteem."

What I am about to relate next is even more revealing -- and every word of it is true, though the quotes, their voices hushed by the passage of time, are of course only approximations. Here is the story, a description of my most disturbing encounter with welfare-bureaucracy reality:

Sometime late in my dreary second year on the dole, I was summoned to the welfare office for bureaucratic interrogation: I no longer remember the specific issue -- it was after all nearly 20 years ago -- but I do recall that the questioning was provoked by the bureaucracy's careless loss of some information it deemed vital. Because poverty had forced me to live in the country far away from any town, because my automobile had died during my first year on welfare, compliance with the bureaucratic decree mandated a two-mile hike, next a two-hour journey of 30 miles on a rural bus than only ran Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and then another 25-minute ride on a city bus. My appointment was probably for 11 a.m., which would have left me something like an hour and a half to cope with the bureaucratic demands and maybe 30 more minutes to catch the city bus and ride it back to the connection with the cross-country bus for my return trip.

Of course the bureaucrats, feminists every one, were antagonistically indifferent to the imperatives of my schedule. An hour had passed and I had already apologetically complained that I feared their tardiness was going to make me miss my bus, but the bureaucrats told me to go back to my seat, shut my mouth and keep waiting -- and warned me that if I left to catch my bus, my stipends would be terminated forthwith. Obviously these bureaucrats couldn't be troubled to keep an appointment they themselves had scheduled; they had to take their coffee breaks and outdoor cigarette breaks and water-cooler time-outs, and of course their lunch-hours too, and in any case my needs didn't matter: I was one of the despised Pale Penis People, the sub-untermenschen of the wonderful world of welfare.

Eventually it was 1:30 p.m., which meant I had missed the connection for the return bus and would either have to sleep in a city park or try to hitchhike home in the late October dark -- the latter almost an impossibility when one is a scrufty-looking middle-aged man, in other words (and by all appearances) a hobo or a common bum. But it was rainy and cold and I had brought neither sleeping bag nor poncho nor tarp: hence returning home was really my only alternative. I could ride the bus some ways beyond the city limits, but I would almost certainly have to walk the remaining distance -- about 17 miles -- to the remodeled chicken-house my dogs and I called home.

The more I reflected on my circumstances, the more angry I became. But I dared not protest, lest the bureaucracy retaliate with a "computer error," a common form of punishment that deletes all your records, leaves you penniless, and (unless you have a very understanding landlord) makes you homeless as well.

This particular welfare office was like most establishments of its kind, arranged as if it were a small auditorium with a long windowed counter as the stage upon which its invariably tragic dramas played out. The prevailing colors were penitentiary yellow and insane-asylum green. Like every welfare office I have ever been in, it smelled vaguely of laundry hampers full of dirty clothing. Supplicants reported upon arrival to their official overseers at the various windows and then sat, waiting, in beige metal folding chairs. There were two sections of these chairs, the sections divided by a central isle about five feet wide and each section seating maybe 50 people.

When I had gotten there, at about 10:45 a.m., I had noted there were three other males and a total of only about a dozen people in the chairs and I had been both pleased and relieved, thinking this was a very good sign -- that (just as the bureaucrats had promised), I would be out of the welfare office in time to catch the return bus, which would get me home around 4 p.m.

Probably I had been picturing how my two dogs -- like all canines forever concerned about abandonment and banishment -- would be overjoyed when I returned. Both these dogs were big and black, the male dog half Rottweiler half Golden, the female dog Labrador and Newfoundland. I knew they would jump with delight, welcoming me back with wagging tails and sloppy kisses; I may have even smiled to myself as I thought about it. Such are the rare and tiny joys -- indeed the only joys -- of life enshackled by the welfare bureaucracy.

But now because of the bureaucracy's hostility to my gender and its consequent indifference to my circumstances, I was facing a hard slow hike in the nighttime rain along a serpentine roller-coaster of rural roads, and I could not even predict if I would arrive home before dawn the next day.

Time dragged on. Eventually it was approaching 3 p.m., more than four hours after I had entered the welfare office for my 11 a.m. appointment, and now there were at least 25 people waiting. The women who had been there when I arrived had all left, having presumably been interrogated and granted permission to depart, but the other three males were still waiting just as I was, and among them was a scrawny blond man of about 20, a pale-faced hollow-cheeked man who had the dead hair and grubby clothing of a street junky or a newly homeless person and the involuntary twitch and glinty stare of a hard-core speed freak. The man had caught my attention immediately because the whole time I was there he had been muttering, speaking to no one in particular, repeating over and over again that we were all of us the "wrong color." I should note here that everyone in the room was Caucasian, and now after the additional arrivals there were still only four males. We had all had pre-noon appointments, and it was mid-afternoon and we were all still waiting.

For some reason known only to himself the mutterer began to speak more loudly, and his comments became more provocatively racist. "It's all about race," he said. "That's why they won't do nothing here for us whites." He stood, now obviously addressing the entire room and emphasizing his remarks with vaguely spastic gestures. "It's all for the blacks. They're takin' everything. They're takin' the jobs, the schools, the trainin' programs, the welfare, everything. We're all doomed. You gotta understand. The whole white race is doomed."

Soon you could hear him in the entrance foyer beyond the waiting room, and it was obvious his oration was beginning to offend and perhaps even frighten some of the women who were hunched onto the hard metal chairs awaiting their turns to be interrogated at the windows. Yet the half-dozen or so welfare bureaucrats behind the counter did nothing, nothing at all, acting as if they were stone deaf to the blond man's ranting and blind to his increasing and ever more potentially dangerous agitation.

Finally, my idle mind prodded by some devil of perverse curiosity about what might happen, I decided to attempt a minor provocation. It was now 3:15 p.m. Four hours and 30 minutes of this Ku Klux babble was more than I could take. Perhaps I could reason the babbler to silence. Perhaps I might start a riot. I turned to the wanna-be Klansman and I said, not loudly, something to the effect of "man you got it all wrong. Look around you: there's no blacks here. It's not about race. The reason we've been here all day and we're still waiting? It's about gender. Gender-quotas and quota-mongering..."

The waiting room fell dead silent as the rank of normally undemonstrative bureaucrats behind the counter boiled into activity, a gallery of fat caricatures of sullen officialdom suddenly animated in their florescent-lighted frames, a coven of harpies shrieking and shouting and flapping their arms and pointing. A severely overweight supervisor buzzed open the electronically latched gate that separated her elitist preserve from the below-the-salt realm of supplicants, and she stomped toward me, dirty white sneakers yelping on the grimy beige linoleum floor, halting so close I could smell her: cloying flower-scented deodorant overpowered by female armpit sweat, cigarettes and cheap shampoo. "You!,"she snarled; "You shut up. I don't give a damn how many buses you've missed or how far you've got to walk, you shut your mouth. You EVER say anything like that again, you WILL go to jail. You got that? You understand?" She glared down at me, cheeks red with rage, gray eyes pitiless as winter skies, short straight mousy brown hair tumbling from where she had tucked it behind her unadorned ears.

"Yes ma'am," I said.

Interesting lesson, this. The welfare bureaucrats, radical feminists all, had no objection whatsoever to four and one-half hours of racist distortion. From their perspective, it was absolutely safe: this was after all a locale nearly devoid of blacks, a mostly white/Asian college town, with probably no blacks at all on welfare. So in that sense it was "harmless" for the bureaucrats to let the man rant on. But note how my nine seconds of political truth triggered instant threats of nightsticks, handcuffs and jail.

The blond man, by the way, never spoke again while I was within hearing. The bureaucracy saw me 40 minutes later, barked its intrusive questions, noted my answers and dismissed me. My welfare stipends would continue.

When I left the welfare office the day was dwindling toward dusk and the blond man was still waiting his turn. I caught the city bus to the town's transit center, waited for the bus that would take me as far beyond the city limits as I could get, then enjoyed a rare moment of good fortune: an acquaintance from my lost respectability saw me, offered me a ride and went well out of his way to drive me home despite his obvious embarrassment at my radically reduced circumstances.

Inside the door of my chicken-house-cum-cottage the dogs leapt and wiggled just as I had anticipated, the only truly dependable love in my entire world.

And such is life on welfare. My encounter with it occurred, as I said before, from 1987 through 1989. It was in Washington state: the Department of Social and Health Services, an agency I had written about many times, almost always adversarially, a decade earlier. But the name of the agency and even the name of the state is irrelevant. I have covered social issues in four states and in at least a dozen cities and counties and have talked with enough other people who have covered social issues elsewhere and also read enough of their work to know it is the same everywhere in the United States: the feminists infiltrated the welfare bureaucracy during the 1970s, and they used the Reagan Administration's welfare cutbacks in the 1980s as a cover for radically restructuring the entire welfare system "in accordance with feminist doctrine" -- i.e., to deny stipends and services to as many males as possible. Hence everywhere the gender quotas, everywhere the racial quotas, everywhere the vindictively arrogant bureaucrats with their private enemies-lists of white males or black males or Hispanic males or Native American males and everywhere the feminist agendas of viciousness. The dates are irrelevant too: the patterns of oppression I observed in the late 1980s are many times worse today.

Predictably so, I might add. The core principle of radical feminism's stance on welfare -- and radical feminism or matrifascism is the only feminism allowed in the welfare bureaucracy -- is that males should receive not one penny of stipends or services (not even veterans' benefits or Social Security) until such time as women have absolute economic parity.

This is the quintessential doctrine of the feminists who run the U.S. welfare system in any and all of its forms. Thus the expanded empowerment with which John Kerry wants to reward his matrifascist supporters -- the alleged boon John Kerry wants to "give" the electorate as a central part of an expanded health care system.

But surely it can't be as bad as I describe.

Oh no? Read the following, an excerpt from the eligibility regulations provided to all supplicants for DSHS stipends and services including Medicaid. It is clearly intended to belittle and intimidate. The mere tone is offensive:

8. If the proof that you give to us is questionable or confusing, we may:
a. Ask you to give us more proof, which may include providing a collateral statement. A "collateral statement" is from someone outside of your residence who knows your situation;
b. Schedule a visit to come to your home and verify your circumstances; or
c. Send an investigator from the Division of Fraud Investigations (DFI) to make an unannounced visit to your home to verify your circumstances. 9. By signing the application, eligibility review, or change of circumstances form, you give us permission to contact other people, agencies, or institutions.
10. If you do not give us all of the proof that we have asked for, we will determine if you are eligible based on the information that we already have. If we cannot determine that you are eligible based on this information, we will deny or stop your benefits.

In other words, there it is in black and white: once you are on welfare, the bureaucracy has the right to turn your life upside-down, to question your neighbors, to interrogate your children, to pry into every corner of your history. Your former privacy is violated to nonexistence. Your former expectation of being treated with respect is but a memory. Your children may be tracked for all their lives, exactly as if they were criminals on parole, an intrusion probably justified in the name of "evaluating the impact" of various experiments in "altering familial dynamics" or some other such feminist psychobabble. And your constitutional rights are effectively abolished. Item "c" above specifically repeals your Fourth Amendment right to due process. If you are a parent, and you attempt to exercise your Fifth Amendment protection against compulsory self-incrimination, your children can be taken from you. If your children refuse to testify, they can not only be institutionalized indefinitely but forcibly drugged as well. And heaven forbid you should attempt to exercise your Second Amendment right to retain the firearms you owned before you signed your welfare application: in many states, the welfare bureaucracy regards firearms ownership as especially damning evidence you are an unfit and (probably abusive) parent.

Thus the hidden implications of just this one aspect of Kerry's healthcare proposal: beneath it all, a massive scheme for radically expanding the number of traditional families subject to destruction by forcible feminist indoctrination; for dramatically increasing the oppressive grasp of what is already the most brazenly, viciously tyrannical bureaucracy in American history; for denying 21.6 million Americans the very rights Kerry so hypocritically pretends to defend by his denunciations of the Patriot Act.

I say this fully aware of the limitations and dangers of the health insurance business and capitalism in general. There is no Santa Claus in the marketplace, and the only Golden Rule you find there is that the rules are made by whomever has the most gold. But the marketplace at least offers the potential of freedom. And no privately held or stockholder-owned insurance company or even the most Enron-minded, market-manipulating consortium of insurors would ever dare launch such a direct attack on the rights and liberties of so many. It is one thing to deceive and defraud -- something at which far too many corporations are far too adept. It is quite another to attempt what this Kerry proposal attempts: the defacto enslavement of 21.6 million human beings -- enslavement from which there would be neither much likelihood of escape or any great hope of manumission.

Posted by Loren at 03:04 AM | Comments (2)

October 18, 2004

Just An Excuse From Home

I AM WORKING ON a long piece about the hidden implications of John Kerry's medical plan -- an angle no one else in either the blogosphere or the media has tackled. It is delayed by a combination of factors: an unrelated shelf-building and furniture-moving project here at home that is taking far longer than anticipated and therefore has temporarily disrupted my workspace (part of the ongoing chore of settling into my new quarters), and the demands of writing the essay itself, difficult enough because of the complexity of the research involved, but many times more challenging due to a pivotal component of personal disclosure. I beg your indulgence; I will be back on line -- presumably with the essay completed -- sometime later today, probably early this evening.

Posted by Loren at 05:11 AM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2004

Good News, Bad News

THE GOOD NEWS IS that I truly am back in the saddle again: I finished my first freelance reporting assignment – actually the first since 1986 – a day ahead of its deadline. The better news is that the editor of the publication (a local special-interest journal) says she’s very pleased. The best news of all is that there will be more work from this publication: today’s effort was the beginning of a (renewed) journey, an initial gallop down what I hope will be a main road back. Good wishes and prayers are thus earnestly solicited.

But there is bad news too: a breaking Washington Times story that the Kerrynoids are getting themselves in hock to the Iranian mullahs in much the same way the Clintonoids got themselves on the pad run by the Chinese Commissars. Today’s situation, however, is much worse: we were never on the brink of war with China, while Iran is a declared enemy, part of the Axis of Evil. The Times report, available here, suggests that even as John Kerry is pledging to defend the United States against terrorist Islam, he is – apparently in return for contributions to his campaign fund – treacherously offering (just as he did during last week’s debate) to undermine U.S. policy by providing the Iranians nuclear fuel. Kerry also wants, albeit far less publicly, to grant Iranians too-easy access to the American homeland. These are the story's most critical paragraphs:

...Iran is seeking from Mr. Kerry a series of concessions that would allow them to become a nuclear weapons power and circumvent the restrictions of the USA Patriot act to infiltrate intelligence agents and potential terrorists into the United States.

How could Mr. Kerry and Mr. Edwards, who claim to be able to defend America better than President Bush, allow themselves to fall into such a trap? Top Kerry and Edwards advisers warned both candidates against accepting campaign donations from people with close ties to mullahs in Tehran months ago, sources inside their respective campaigns say. And yet, neither Mr. Kerry nor Mr. Edwards has done anything to distance himself from these donors. On the contrary, both have continued to take their money and promote their agenda.

Mr. Kerry adopted a key element of that agenda in last week's presidential debate. If president, he said he would have "offered the opportunity to provide the nuclear fuel" to Iran, to "test them, see whether or not they were actually looking for it for peaceful purposes."...

I for one don’t think this is an accident of Kerry/Edwards campaign fog. I think it is instead a very deliberate expression of Kerry’s extreme anti-Americanism, an unprecedentedly hostile effort to set the stage for a Middle Eastern version of “peace in our time” by undermining the Bush Administration’s Iranian policy. Its long-term purpose probably includes enlisting the Iranian mullahs as allies to control Iraqi resistance and restore “stability” in Iraq – “stability” in this instance meaning Islamic theocracy ruled from Tehran. If this is true, it is so patently subversive it approaches treason, as if a candidate in the 1944 presidential election were being financed by the Nazis. But most of all it gives us a preview of Kerry’s foreign policy in action – the sort of thing we are likely to see on a daily basis if Kerry wins. And this is far worse than any Neville Chamberlain rerun: I don’t think Chamberlain or any of his cronies ever accepted campaign contributions from Hitler. Nor did they ever knowingly conspire against the British Empire.

Unfortunately, KerryMedia will undoubtedly suppress the story. But maybe the blogosphere – particularly in the persons of those other bloggers who have vast and established readerships – will keep it alive and grow it legs, for it is the most damning proof yet disclosed that Kerry is unfit to occupy the White House.


I apologize for the brevity of the above, especially since there is so much more I could say about the implications of Kerry’s decision to sell out the United States to the mullahs. But even I have a built-in word limit, and working on that freelance piece yesterday, I exceeded it by something like 300 percent, with the result my keyboard now wanders in and out of focus and occasionally the VDT itself becomes a blur. So it is clearly past time to call it a night. Have a good weekend; this is, after all, still America. At least for now.

Posted by Loren at 03:21 AM | Comments (1)

October 14, 2004

Kerry's Sneaky Declaration of War

JOHN KERRY DECLARED WAR on America’s firearms owners during last night’s debate, but you have to see past his smokescreen of Big Lies and obfuscation to recognize that fact, and even then you have to read not just between the lines but well beyond them to understand the real meaning of Kerry’s words. Here is exactly what he said:

I believe it was a failure of presidential leadership not to re-authorize the assault weapons ban.

I am a hunter. I'm a gun owner. I've been a hunter since I was a kid, 12, 13 years old. And I respect the Second Amendment and I will not tamper with the Second Amendment.

But I'll tell you this. I'm also a former law enforcement officer. I ran one of the largest district attorney's offices in America, one of the ten largest. I put people behind bars for the rest of their life. I've broken up organized crime. I know something about prosecuting.

And most of the law enforcement agencies in America wanted that assault weapons ban. They don't want to go into a drug bust and be facing an AK-47.

I was hunting in Iowa last year with a sheriff from one of the counties there, and he pointed to a house in back of us, and said, "See the house over? We just did a drug bust a week earlier, and the guy we arrested had an AK-47 lying on the bed right beside him."

Because of the president's decision today, law enforcement officers will walk into a place that will be more dangerous. Terrorists can now come into America and go to a gun show and, without even a background check, buy an assault weapon today.

And that's what Osama bin Laden's handbook said, because we captured it in Afghanistan. It encouraged them to do it.

So I believe America's less safe.

If Tom DeLay or someone in the House said to me, "Sorry, we don't have the votes," I'd have said, "Then we're going to have a fight."

And I'd have taken it out to the country and I'd have had every law enforcement officer in the country visit those congressmen. We'd have won what Bill Clinton won.

Kerry’s words are taken from the full text of the debate as transcribed by The Washington Post, available here (sorry; registration required).

And here, also word-for-word, is the proposed “renewal” measure. Its Senate counterpart was approved as an amendment to S-1805 (approved in summary only, no doubt all the better to conceal its intended impact), but the full text of the bill was already waiting in the wings in the House, and Kerry knew this when he so proudly voted for the ban last Spring. S-1805 was of course ultimately defeated despite Kerry’s media-bolstered effort, but its intent is still very much alive, and HR-2038 (or something even more draconian) is the model from which it would be reanimated under a Kerry presidency, which would regard vengeance against the "gun culture" (for its pivotal role in the Democrats' 2000 Electoral College loss) as a number one priority.

In this context, note how the bill Kerry supports includes a dramatic expansion of prohibited firearms. It would destroy forever the National Match program (and all other marksmanship-training programs by which civilians become familiar with current-issue military firearms) by totally outlawing civilian ownership of AR-15s, the semi-automatic-only, now-legal version of the military’s selective-fire M-16, with the ban including even AR-15 match rifles.

Note too that – since civilian marksmanship programs play a vital role in preparing younger Americans for military service and in maintaining among older Americans precisely the sort of armed population that discouraged the Japanese from invading the U.S. mainland in World War II – this is yet another manifestation of Kerry’s not-so-closeted pacifism, especially his passion for unilateral disarmament. In other words, he intends to disarm the U.S. population of “assault” weapons just as surely as he intends to disarm the U.S. military of its nuclear bunker-busters – the only tool that would be effective against the dug-in atomic-arsenal facilities of Iran and North Korea. The internationalist appeasers are applauding, the pacifists are cheering, and the feminists – who damn all weaponry as extensions of the hated penis – are turning back-flips.

Remember that – based on the most painstakingly objective legal and historical research – the true meanings of the Second Amendment and an “assault” weapons ban are mutually exclusive. One cannot support both. Thus Kerry shows himself to be, quite simply, not only a liar, but a liar who would wantonly leave America defenseless, both at home and abroad.

Moreover, Kerry is unquestionably still a radical leftist – his refusal to repudiate his youthful expressions of support for the Viet Cong and the Communist regime of North Vietnam establishes that fact beyond any doubt – and from my years of association with the Left, I know leftist deceptiveness (and especially the feminist skill at subversion) well enough to be deeply concerned about Kerry's domestic intentions in general. For all Kerry’s talk of protecting Constitutional liberties, I believe his anti-Americanism has metastasized from hostility to the Second Amendment to antagonism toward the entire Bill of Rights. I fear he will seize upon the Islamic threat (even as he disdains proper defensive measures against it) to impose on this nation tyrannies of a magnitude we have not seen since the Civil War – including tyrannies of political “correctness” such as will criminalize legitimate debate in ways we can hardly imagine.

Yet based on every indication (voter registration; the burgeoning radical-leftist vote; the steadily deteriorating polls; the propaganda wave financed by George Soros, Michael Moore and their ilk; and most of all the unprecedented and unprecedentedly aggressive bias of the media), it is ever more probable Bush will lose the election, and possibly very decisively – this last because of the unprecedented but unpolled yet agitated-to-maximum-cowardice-and-selfishness youth vote. God help us; as Winston Churchill said on the eve of the Battle of Britain, only a miracle can save us now.

Posted by Loren at 05:03 AM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2004


A VERY EXCELLENT INTERNET publication entitled WomensWallStreet – the journal that bravely published Annie Jacobsen’s disturbing reports on airline-security failures – has begun a series that explores the costs imposed on the United States by the Islamic attacks of 9/11 and the subsequent War on (Islamic) Terror. The series began yesterday morning and will be continued tomorrow, October 14. Here is a key quote from the first installment:

Al Qaeda's total cost for the planning and execution of the 9/11 attack was reportedly between $400,000 to $500,000. Just half a million dollars worth of suicidal effort caused $30 billion in immediate damage. Then, it put in motion the ongoing expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars in this country alone, not counting the indirect costs to our economy from lost productivity, toppled investments, and a general sense of dread that percolates in the backs of people's minds and makes them think twice about spending the day at Disneyland.

While Wall Street Journal regulars will probably find the series too elementary to hold their interest, it is intended to provide laywomen (and laymen too!) with a basic understanding of the economic impact of 9/11. It is the first complete, non-technical presentation of the data I have seen anywhere, which alone makes it worthwhile, especially if you are on intellectual thin ice (as I often am) when the discussion turns to purely economic matters.

Indeed, while the target readership of WomensWallStreet is implicit in its name, I find the website a fountainhead of useful information – so much so I have become one of its growing number of male subscribers. A link to WWS and its new series is here.


BELMONT CLUB FEATURES ANOTHER of Wretchard’s insightful discussions of the war, “Only the Lonely,” this one touching on the presidential election and the curious suppression of a Mark Steyn column (by The Telegraph) but mostly focused – like Steyn’s column – on the reverberations of the Islamic terrorists’ kidnapping and butcher-knife beheading of British subject Kenneth Bigley. Here is Wretchard's bell-ringer:

Radical Islam is self-evidently at war with the West because their efforts are limited only by their capability. And the West is just as clearly not yet at war with radical Islam because its actions are still limited by its intent. Zarqawi sawed off Bigley's head simply because he could; America spares Fallujah from choice (boldface as in original).

Click here for the Belmont Club link. The censored Steyn column is available in full (thanks to Lucianne Goldberg) by going here. The ensuing discussion on Lucianne.com is especially interesting because of its speculation on the motives of Steyn’s editors. My own belief, apparently not shared by anyone else on the thread, is that Steyn’s column was killed to comply with British “hate-speech” laws that would prohibit any genuinely telling discussion of Islamic atrocities, though whether these laws are merely proposed or already enacted I don’t recall and didn’t have the time to check. In any case, such laws are already in effect in Canada, where they have been employed to sharply curtail freedom of speech, specifically both secular criticism of radical feminism and Christian Fundamentalist arguments against homosexuality. This is significant because a Kerry presidency would probably mean enactment of similar laws in the U.S., outlawing public discussion of any number of topics arising from negative facts or perceptions specific to religion, race, ideology and sexual preference: yet another reason to vote for George W. Bush.

Posted by Loren at 05:11 AM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2004

Reflections On This Newest Threat

IN A JUST AND RATIONAL world, yesterday’s disclosure that Islamic terrorists are scouting the vast and complex Washington state ferry system as a probable precursor to a Puget Sound version of the 9/11 attacks would prompt an immediate flood-tide of support for George Bush and Republican senatorial candidate George Nethercutt, and a proportionate ebbing of support from John Kerry and Sen. Patty Murray. Bush is at least a fighter – never mind how undeniably inept he has proven himself in Iraq – and Nethercutt has declared himself a fighter too, while Kerry is an avowed appeaser and Murray is by her own admission an admirer of Osama bin Laden. But the Washington-state poll numbers aren’t likely to change much in the wake of the anti-terrorist authorities' frightening revelation, and a large part of the blame for that has to go to local media, most of which is as fiercely protective of Kerry and Sen. Murray as der Voelkischer Beobachter was of der Fuehrer: this is, after all, where Mary Mapes launched her “reporting” career by falsely accusing the Seattle Police Department of murder (for which see The Wall Street Journal link in “Mary Mapes: The Missing F-Word”).

It is unlikely to bolster the Bush campaign, which may already be damaged beyond repair by the lethal combination of hubris, media bias and ruinous disclosures, and it may not even help Nethercutt – click here for a dismaying status report on Nethercutt’s effort to oust Murray – but it is nevertheless revealing to review just what Murray said nearly two years ago about bin Laden. The original story, in The Vancouver Columbian, is available here. (Vancouver, Washington is a middle-sized city on the Columbia River a few miles north of Portland, Oregon. It is often confused with Vancouver, British Columbia, a much larger metropolis about 300 miles further north, in the southwestern corner of Canada.)

Despite the fact the undeniable proof of Murray’s disdain for America and her apparent ignorance of both foreign policy and Islamic terrorism was disclosed by a reputable local daily, the story was mostly ignored by other Washington state media outlets. Indeed, in an informal survey of Puget Sound-area acquaintances, the only folks I could find who knew of Murray’s remarks were either regular readers of conservative web sites or regular listeners to talk radio. Thus Nethercutt has been forced to rely on television advertising to spread the word of Murray’s disturbing views, which has enabled Murray to respond by calling Nethercutt a liar and an extremist and linking him to the Taliban-like cabal of Christian Fundamentalists who took over the state GOP (and attempted to take over the state itself) in 1996. The guilt-by-association linkage of Nethercutt to these zealots (whose influence was minimized years ago) is a replay of the tactic that cost Sen. Slade Gorton his seat in 2000. It is an exceptionally nasty campaign, especially for Washington state,

But even the conservative media missed the underlying implications of Murray’s praise of the evil mastermind of 9/11. For what Murray said – that bin Laden has “been out in these countries for decades, building schools, building roads, building infrastructure, building day care facilities, building health care facilities, and the people are extremely grateful” – reveals a misconception of Islamic terrorism so breathtaking it defies explanation. Here is the rest of the damning quote: “We haven’t done that. How would (Arab Muslims) look at us today if we had been helping them with some of that rather than just being the people who are going to bomb in Iraq and go to Afghanistan.” Given epic U.S. expenditures of taxpayers’ money on foreign aid – far greater than the sums donated by any other nation on the planet and including millions to Afghanistan even during the Taliban era – the real question is how could a U.S. senator possibly be so misinformed?

The answer, I believe, is that she is not misinformed at all – that her assertion is a deliberate, malicious distortion in service to her radical feminist ideology. When Murray first sought election to the Senate, her stated purpose – though acknowledged only to the most radical feminist groups in Washington state – was building a national network of women with the ultimate goal of subverting “patriarchy.” To anyone familiar with the doctrines of radical feminism, its ideological cant is obvious in Murray’s bin Laden remarks: the notion that Islamic terrorists should be embraced as fellow “enemies of the white patriarchy,” the corollary belief that supporting Islamic terrorism will undermine the “rape-culture” of American liberty, further the collapse of Western Civilization and hasten the advent of “gynocracy” – the world-wide female supremacist state mandated by “herstory” to replace the global caliphate. Thus Murray deliberately mis-represented bin Laden as a social reformer (“day care facilities...health care facilities”) dedicated to an Islamic variant of the feminist agenda (never mind the fact that “Islamic feminism” is a contradiction in terms). Moreover, in the wake of the Vancouver incident there came a number of reports of Murray making similar statements to other groups – and though she apparently no longer publicly sings bin Laden’s praises, I cannot believe for an instant she has discarded her matrifascist values. Indeed, her favorite straw-man adversary remains “a white man in a necktie.” The “mom in tennis shoes” is in reality a subversive in sneakers.

That a senator with these particular values is raising a stink about U.S. seaport security surely begs questions about her motives – suggesting that, at the very least, her real purpose is venomously partisan: merely discrediting the Bush Administration, no matter whether the deficiencies she has identified are ever remedied, or what additional risks their public identification imposes on the U.S. population and infrastructure. But there’s no denying Murray has raised public consciousness about the issue, much as Kerry’s comments about the war in Iraq have warned Iraq’s would-be libertarians that – if Kerry is elected – they will likely be betrayed much as were the South Vietnamese, the Iraqis sacrificed on the altar of abandoning Iraq to its tyrannical impulses merely in the interest of “normalizing” the Middle East and thereby withdrawing U.S. troops as quickly as possible. In this context, Kerry’s “The wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time” and Murray’s “This administration is flirting with disaster with its lack of sustained and serious attention to port security” are variations on a common theme intended to undercut support not just for the Bush Administration, but for the war itself – and by extension, America’s very right to self-defense. Murray’s hatred of the Bush Administration and all its policies is an expression of her feminism, while Kerry’s parallel antagonism is an expression of his incipient pacifism and his belief in unilateral disarmament. Once again, reincarnations: Murray as some reborn disciple of Virginia Woolf who still regards Western Civilization as a boil on the buttocks of all womankind but has finally and at long last learned how to be effectively subversive and Kerry – as always – as the karmic rerun of Neville Chamberlain.

Which brings me, albeit by a roundly path, back to the terrorist threat against the Washington state ferry system. I cannot doubt the threat is real; anyone who has ridden on these functionally austere but nevertheless undeniably friendly vessels or even watched them from afar as they ply the emerald-green waters of Puget Sound will understand the grim post-9/11 reality of the ferries’ dreadful vulnerability and their horrific potential as well. The great irony is that far too many Washingtonians refuse to believe Islam's 14-century onslaught against civilization is anything but a violently bigoted figment of the “patriarchal” (or perhaps “imperialist”) imagination. It is true: urban Western Washington state is the home of veritable legions of matrifascists and all their lockstep auxiliaries in the racial, ethnic and pacifist victim-identity cults, not to mention the anarchists and the white male psychological self-castration cult of political “correctness.” More than once I have referred to this region – and not always in jest – as “the Feminarchy of Washington.” It is an epicenter of hate-Bush, hate-America, hate-Western-Civilization hysteria that probably has no counterparts outside San Francisco and a few of the more leftist-dominated Eastern college campuses. The anti-war frenzy that has grown out of this ideological miasma has a bitter, vandalize-your-yard vindictiveness that is unlike anything I have ever witnessed – even during the Vietnam era – and Murray’s loud protests about port security merely feed its underlying terrors. But now the Islamic savages who started this war are directly threatening some of its most fevered opponents, and it will be revealing to see how they react. Will they surrender like the cowardly Spaniards, or will they at long last awaken and redirect their rage against the real enemy? I truly don't know. But I would remind them of a relevant observation voiced long ago by a man named Lev Bronstein, a military genius who was later known to the world as Leon Trotsky, founder, organizer and first commander of the Red Army: “You may not be interested in war. But war is interested in you.”

Posted by Loren at 08:41 AM | Comments (2)

October 11, 2004

Three Uneasy Pieces

I AM SOMEWHAT HANDICAPPED this morning: two of the three subjects I intend to write about require links to registration-only publications, for which I apologize in advance. From stories in The Los Angeles Times (registration required) and The San Francisco Chronicle (open access) come some ominous indications under-30 voters are an increasingly unknown quantity that could give the Bush Campaign a nasty surprise on November 2. Meanwhile, the New York Times Magazine has published a detailed portrait of John Kerry that will probably do Kerry more harm than good – decidedly surprising in a publication so vociferously anti-Bush – but once again, registration is required to link to the article. My third topic this morning is the flu vaccine debacle – a deadly example of what is wrong with outsourcing – but that link, to Michelle Malkin’s blog, is also open-access.


The LA Times says the draft-resumption rumor has acquired such a life of its own it lives on despite denials by both Bush and Kerry. The Times discloses that Rock the Vote has sent fake draft notices to 640,000 e-mail addresses as part of its get-out-the-vote campaign, prompting clearly justified Republican charges that the group has violated its non-partisan status and is openly advancing the agenda of the pacifist Left. The LAT story, here, also reports that about half the 18-29 age cohort believes (probably because of the ongoing chaos in Iraq) that a draft is inevitable if Bush is re-elected. But the joker in this particular deck is The Chronicle’s report that cell-phone use by the 18-29 group means their views are under-counted by pollsters. In other words, opposition to the hypothetical draft (and thus support for Kerry) may be higher than the pollsters have been able to document. This unnerving analysis is available here. Combine these facts with nearly 70 percent opposition to compulsory military service under any circumstances – proof positive the 18-29 generation has become so selfishly, cravenly hostile it does not think America is worth defending (see "Slouching Toward Dhimmitude," Oct. 4) – and I for one see in these facts the potential of a very unpleasant election-day evening.


Two of the most Kerry-damning quotes I have read anywhere appear in The New York Times Magazine portrait of Kerry by Matt Bai. Alas, as I noted above, registration is required – but the piece, entitled “Kerry’s Undeclared War,” is well worth reading, for it makes the differences between Bush and Kerry vividly clear. It is linked here.

The first quote confirms the view (held by many, including myself) that Kerry wants to reduce the war to a pre-9/11-type law-enforcement operation, essentially reverting to the failed policy of the Clinton Administration:

When I asked Kerry what it would take for Americans to feel safe again, he displayed a much less apocalyptic worldview. ''We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance,'' Kerry said. ''As a former law-enforcement person, I know we're never going to end prostitution. We're never going to end illegal gambling. But we're going to reduce it, organized crime, to a level where it isn't on the rise. It isn't threatening people's lives every day, and fundamentally, it's something that you continue to fight, but it's not threatening the fabric of your life.''

Bottom line, Kerry truly does regard Islam’s 14-century war on civilization as a mere crime problem – a stance I believe makes him patently unfit to be a wartime president.

The second quote reveals as nothing I have ever seen the true Michael-Moore, Americans-are-hopelessly-stupid arrogance of the Democratic Party’s inner circle:

When I asked Kerry's campaign advisers about these poll numbers, what I heard from some of them in response was that Kerry's theories on global affairs were just too complex for the electorate and would have been ignored -- or, worse yet, mangled -- by the press. ''Yes, he should have laid out this issue and many others in greater detail and with more intellectual creativity, there's no question,'' one adviser told me. ''But it would have had no effect.''

This is, of course, a common Democratic refrain: Republicans sound more coherent because they see the world in such a rudimentary way, while Democrats, 10 steps ahead of the rest of the country, wrestle with profound policy issues that don't lend themselves to slogans. By this reasoning, any proposal that can be explained concisely to voters is, by definition, ineffective and lacking in gravitas...

Any party this outrageously hostile toward its constituency deserves rejection by a landslide.


The last item I am going to wrestle with this morning is the flu-vaccine horror. I was hoping to find a comprehensive analysis of it somewhere – a piece detailed enough to provide me at least the illusion I understand what went wrong. Malkin, available here (scroll down to “Something To Think About When You Get The Flu This Winter”), attributes the ultimately deadly disaster to government price controls – but that does not address the infinite folly of outsourcing the production. Perhaps the culpable officials don’t believe we are at war. Or perhaps – since this is the same nation that during the Clinton years shut down all but one of its ordnance plants and thus recently had to outsource the production of 5.56mm and 7.62 mm ball ammunition merely to keep up with the wartime demand – the officials simply don’t give a damn. Or maybe they are exceptionally dense – so much so they haven’t yet learned one of the basic lessons of World War II: the longer the supply line, the more vulnerable it is to enemy action.

Verily, outsourcing will be the death of us all.


I apologize if I seem a bit out of sorts. The chore of unpacking from my forced move into the city is yet unfinished, and late Sunday night – hauling two heavy boxes of tools out of a closet so I could sort the tools into their proper domains – I rather painfully wrenched my back. Thus sitting at this keyboard is not much fun. I’ll do some Yoga before I go to bed; tomorrow will no doubt be a better day.

Posted by Loren at 05:52 AM | Comments (1)

October 08, 2004

Dog Story: a Respite from Politics

DOGS ARE BY FAR my favorite animals, and every dog I have ever known well has been a genuine and memorable character. Dogs are as individualistic as humans, infinitely more honest than humans, faithful beyond human conception and so loving that at least one tribe of American aboriginals regarded dogs as living proof of a benevolent Creator. In fact the love of dogs is so unconditional (and sometimes so unconditionally heroic, as when a dog rescues a child from drowning or drags an unconscious man from a burning building), I have often wondered why more priests and ministers do not use that boundless and utterly forgiving love as the perfect analogy for the Divine love described in the New Testament, especially St. John. Indeed dogs are love, and their mere presence heals human divorcement from nature and protects humankind from a vast number of ailments physical, mental and spiritual.

After all that I hardly need testify that yes I truly love dogs, probably as deeply and unabashedly as any imperfect human can love anything. A big dog protected me throughout the darkest and most terrifying hours of my childhood and was in fact the only being in my entire universe I could trust. Ever since then, if I am troubled or sad or gloomy, the mere sight of a dog will put a smile on my face. I am endlessly grateful for the fact I was privileged to enjoy the company of dogs – mostly large dogs, and sometimes a blessed bounty of as many as four or six big dogs at a time – for most of my 64 years. Two of these dogs – LeeRoy and Sadie – were my constant companions (and, in truth, my only sources of purpose and inspiration) during the bleakest and most hopeless era of my life: the long battle with post-traumatic depression that followed the loss of two unpublished books and all the rest of my writing and photography in a 1983 fire. LeeRoy (half Rottweiler/half Golden retriever) and Sadie (half Labrador/half Newfoundland) came to me as puppies, and they did not leave until they died of old age.

But I fear I will never again know that sort of infinitely reliable companionship. The same human maliciousness that forced me back into a city also forced me into “senior citizen” housing, where dogs are effectively prohibited by a rule that allows no pets greater than 20 pounds – for all intent and purposes, cats only. And unless some economic miracle occurs – something so profoundly unlikely it is absurd to consider – “senior citizen” housing (with all its attendant regulations) is where I will live out the remainder of my life. The very few dogs that comply with the 20-pound limit are either hopelessly neurotic or prohibitively expensive – a good Jack Russell terrier, for example, costs approximately $500 – and I throughly despise cats: I was savagely clawed by a cat that attacked me without provocation when I was three, and ever since I was old enough to conceptualize it, I have regarded cats as sneaky, treacherous vermin notable mostly for their repugnant habits of wantonly tracking cat-box filth on food-preparation surfaces and defiantly spraying their surroundings with stinking urine that is only slightly less vile than the rank micturition of skunks. In other words, the restrictions of "senior citizen" housing mean I will probably never have animal companions again.

The two dogs who were with me when I was vindictively evicted from the place in the country where I had made a home since 1993 are named Brady and Jasmine. Brady is a big (65 pounds) half Springer/half Brittany who is the best hunting dog I have ever known, and Jasmine is a huge (115 pounds) half-Rottweiler/half-German Shepherd who is exactly the kind of intelligent fearless constant companion that made her a perfect dog for a rural area infested with cougars. Of course I was forced to give up both dogs. The dogs themselves were sorely wounded by the separations from me and each other, which hurt me terribly at the time and hurts not a bit less now. But they each have good and loving homes, and there is at least that small comfort to ease the daily (and probably everlasting) emotional pangs of awakening in a dogless silence so oppressively devoid of canine life that, paradoxically, its emptiness bears down with tangible weight, as if to press me back into the protective numbness of sleep – or perhaps into something more permanent.

Thus forcibly parted from my own dogs, I watch other dogs all the more closely, especially during my daily walks in the park, and once in a while – or so I like to imagine – one of these dogs senses my instinctively fond attention, glances up at me and gives me a wag of the tail in response. I also search the Internet for stories about dogs, especially stories that show how dogs are so very much brighter and more sensitive than far too many of us realize they are. Dog stories have always interested me and I wrote several of them when I was a newspaperman, but now they are a vital connection to a blessed reality from which I am probably exiled forever. One of the best and most delightful such stories I have ever read is linked here. I hope you learn from it. Most of all I hope you enjoy it as I did.

Posted by Loren at 05:13 AM | Comments (4)

October 07, 2004

Petro Panic, Draft Dementia and Nov. 2

NO MATTER HOW L. Paul Bremer may try to retract or spin his remarks, the recent disclosure by the former U.S. administrator of Iraq – that the Bush Administration failed to deploy adequate numbers of troops – is entirely substantiated by the ongoing epidemic of successful terrorist attacks against Iraq’s oil production facilities. I know this partly because a long-ago friend of mine, now dead – an Australian who served as a commando during the Malaya Emergency (for which Google) – also spent six or seven post-war years as a mercenary in the Middle East, where he commanded a battalion-sized unit that guarded Arab oil pipelines. From what my friend told me, and from what I have gleaned from other sources, pipeline-guarding is a soldier-intensive, boots-on-the-ground duty, dependent mostly on sharp eyes and fast reactions. In today’s high-tech world, aircraft and motion sensors can partially compensate for a shortage of sentries and can see in the dark as well, but the ultimate need is still for mechanized or airborne squads of grunts or mercs who can move swiftly enough to interdict saboteurs wherever and whenever they strike – before they have time to plant their explosives and ruin someone’s day. Such attacks are relatively easy to prohibit, or so it is said, but prohibition requires the proper tactics, which in turn demands adequate numbers of personnel. This is precisely what is lacking in Iraq, proven beyond dispute by the fact Iraqi oil pipelines have been blown up at least 130 times between May 1, 2003 – Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” party aboard the carrier Abraham Lincoln – and June 15, 2004, the last date for which I could Google up complete records (“iraqi oil pipelines” and “iraqi oil”). And the attacks are continuing relentlessly to this day.

Moreover the inability of the United States and its allies to get Iraq’s oil production back on line is having disastrous results, not just in Iraq but in the global economy, which is the point where Bush Administration foreign policy intersects ruinously with American domestic reality. Crude oil just spiked again to an all-time high of $52 plus, as reported here. While the inability of the U.S. and its fellow victors to protect Iraqi petroleum output is not the only panic-factor driving the price – hurricane damage in the Gulf of Mexico is the immediate trigger of the most recent upsurge – industry experts agree that Iraq’s chronic and seemingly endless instability is one of the most important underlying causes. And we all suffer from it – from the Bush Administration’s decision to deploy an insufficient number of troops in Iraq. We suffer not only from again-skyrocketing gasoline and diesel prices (which have already inflated the cost of groceries) but from winter heating fuel prices that industry analysts say are likely to reach unheard-of heights. Make no mistake: when the cost of heating oil spirals beyond the reach of poverty wages and fixed incomes, people – Americans – will die.

Because at least some of the public can see past the smokescreen of the administration’s steadfast refusal to acknowledge its blunders, the escalating chaos in Iraq – so obviously the result of a garrison too small to impose an effective occupation – has given birth to the patently hysterical allegation that re-election of Bush will mean automatic resurrection of the military draft. This is doubly ironic: the draft-resumption legislation that spawned the dementia was introduced by Democrats as a purely-ideological ploy – specifically an especially demagogic form of anti-war protest – and for a long while it appeared to have dwindled to a non-issue. Surely the Democrats never intended (nor even imagined) their pro-draft proposals would become potent anti-Bush weapons. But after the U.S. had so obviously lost the initiative in Iraq, the draft-rumor arose again from the dead, this time as pro-Kerry propaganda that, among college students (who are not customarily polled) may have been far more effective than we will know until election day. Kathleen Parker – a columnist for whom I have considerable respect – acknowledges the underlying reality in her own anti-draft commentary: “Nearly everyone agrees that we need more troops both in Iraq and to meet future challenges...,” which of course is precisely the perception that is feeding the rumor-mill. The remainder of Parker’s essay is available here. It is well worth reading despite the fact we disagree – for I believe we should resurrect the draft.

At this point I should note that I am well aware my discussions of the Bush Administration’s failings will probably so infuriate some readers they will conclude I am on the brink of reverting to the leftist compulsions of my youth. Not so – but, at the same time (just as I cannot ignore the dreadful, multi-pronged implications of Kerry’s pledge to relinquish America’s bunker-buster nukes in the face of nuclear saber-rattling by Iran and North Korea), neither can I blind myself to the special-interest pandering that has characterized Bush homeland-security policies at home and the colossal ineptitude of the measures that were effected in Iraq after the American version of the blitzkrieg ended conventional warfare there. Nor can I overlook the fact that the by-products of Bush’s governance – especially the petroleum panic and the draft hysteria – could yet cost him re-election. I am a journalist, not a propagandist, and thus even in blogging I am committed to an ethic of fairness – yes, even when I am taking sides – precisely why I can criticize Bush quite harshly though I’m certain I will pull the lever beside his name on November 2. Not because I believe Bush is a political genius or a great war leader – the past four years prove him to be neither – but because I cannot bear the notion of wartime America led by a man whose post-Vietnam record reveals his private ideology to be perilously close to genuine pacifism, closer to that credo than any major-party candidate in U.S. history: a man who would therefore disarm us in the face of criminals at home just as he would disarm us in the face of our enemies abroad – John Kerry, the reincarnation of Neville Chamberlain, whether metaphorically or in truth.

Posted by Loren at 05:36 AM | Comments (1)

October 06, 2004

Slouching Toward Dhimmitude (II)

FIRST, JUST TO GET IT out of the way before I write about one of the the most disturbing news items I have seen since 9/11, let me elaborate on the debate verdict I handed down via Lucianne.com last night: I believe Dick Cheney utterly routed John Edwards in the realm of foreign affairs – so much so I was left thinking (when the foreign-policy portion of the debate ended) that perhaps America would be far better off had the Republican ticket been reversed: the formidable and unquestionably brilliant Cheney as president, the embarrassingly inarticulate George Bush as veep – and, as a consequence, that reincarnation of Neville Chamberlain named John Kerry thus denied even a hell-bound snowball’s chance at the White House. But then the topic shifted to domestic issues, and after a few minutes I began to understand the strategy behind the Democrats’ choice: as lost as Edwards clearly was in the realm of coping with Islam’s ancient war against civilization, he had the home-court advantage on domestic issues – so much so, his impassioned remarks brought to mind Tennessee Governor Frank Clement’s stirring “how long, Lord, O how long” oratory at the 1960 Democratic National Convention.

Never mind that Edwards had no specific proposals – no pledges to bring back a New Deal (which is probably the only way genuinely depressed cities like Cleveland will ever get back to work again). Never mind that Edwards articulated no new ideas at all beyond repeating Kerry’s wise and compelling promise to abolish the tax advantages of outsourcing – a long-overdue and potentially brilliant reform unfortunately tarnished by its companionship with the thoroughly discredited and incipiently Marxist notion of once again increasing taxes on the rich (thereby merely providing more work for the legions of accountants and tax lawyers whose job is to make the rich even richer by shifting the cost of governance onto the rest of us). There was surely nothing here to put instant money in a jobless worker’s pocket, but there was nevertheless the suggestion – implicit in Edward’s passion – that he (and by extension his running-mate) truly care for the people in Cleveland and all the other places that have been sucked vampire-dry by outsourcing, and that healing their crippling economic wounds will be a top priority should a Kerry-Edwards administration be part of America’s future. Measured against the seeming emotionlessness of Cheney’s recitation of socioeconomic fact, there is no question which approach is more likely to mobilize America’s frightened workers – perhaps (depending on how Bush does in his remaining two debates) even resurrecting the economy as a pivotal issue.

But just as Michelle Malkin implies in her most recent column (though she fails to say it outright), winning the debates will do Bush no good at all if he continues to serve the interests of Cheap-Labor Republicans by leaving our nation so open to illegal immigration that Islamic terrorists succeed in poisoning the military’s supply of combat rations. I was going to write of this terrifying possibility even before Malkin addressed it – a friend had yesterday called my attention to CNN’s coverage of the initial local-news reports (available here and here) – but I am delighted Malkin has taken it up, because she has many times the readership I do. Her commentary, doubly significant because it reflects a dramatic erosion of her support for Bush, is here.

Unfortunately (and despite her rightful fury), Malkin does not seem to recognize the root cause of the problem: the longstanding and mostly unacknowledged alliance of the Cheap Labor Republicans with the Big Bureaucracy Democrats – each group motivated by its own brand of morally imbecillic greed – that has turned our “border security” into an oxymoron: a joke before 9/11, a nightmare ever since. Neither faction gives a tinker’s damn about the survival of America. The BBDs see in the endless flood of illegal immigrants an inexhaustible guarantee of jobs for two of their biggest constituencies (social workers and teachers), while the CLRs look to the ever-increasing illegal hordes as the best way to bust unions and further depress (already declining) wages. Hence the latest Bush immigration proposal: amnesty to an entire generation of criminals, scabs and job-thieves. Trouble is, the Democrats are a thousand times worse; as moronically internationalist as the Petrograd Soviet of 1917 or the Berlin Dadaist Revolutionary Council of 1919, many Democrats would do away with borders entirely.

Few dare call it treason – yet. But a solid majority of the electorate – 60-something percent according to every poll I have read – has long been infuriated by blatant do-nothing-to-stop-illegal-immigration policies that began with the Clinton Administration (in service to the BBDs) and have been continued (never mind the post-9/11 threat) by the Bush Administration to pacify the CLRs, no doubt to ensure their megabuck-support in the present political campaign. More disclosures like those in the news items linked above, and anti-illegal-immigration anger might at long last begin to solidify into a mandate for national political action – possibly even the formation of a “protect-the-homeland” party. It has happened before, and not merely in the U.S.

Meanwhile, we once again see the contradictions I wrote about in “Slouching Toward Dhimmitude” (October 4): the Bush Administration talks a good war – Cheney’s foreign-policy performance last night is a perfect example. But when it comes to action, the word of the day is too often “pander” – it matters not whether to Muslims (who by their sullen silence countenance terrorism) or illegal immigrants (who are criminals by definition). As I said: I do not believe any wartime America has ever had a worse selection of candidates from which to choose: Bush the sneaky appeaser versus Kerry the brazen appeaser. I cannot but wonder just how much the Texas firms caught dirty in the unfolding port-security and MRE-plant outrages contributed to the Bush and Kerry campaigns.

Posted by Loren at 04:38 AM | Comments (0)

October 05, 2004

Mary Mapes: The Missing F-Word

CBS PRODUCER MARY MAPES remains a news item because of her pivotal role in the bogus-document fiasco that further dishonored CBS and mass media in general. (Note: I refuse to succumb to the pandemic mindlessness that suffixes every scandal since Nixon with a “gate,” as if to suggest some ever-beckoning passage to a dark universe of journalistic stupidity.) But my gate-trashing is merely an aside, and this piece truly is about Mary Mapes, specifically about how the mainstream media’s portraits of her all omit the vital fact her own father labels her a radical feminist – a labeling that, if accurate, explains all one needs to know of the motives driving Mapes’ documented penchant for bad journalism – reporting that is (at the least) profoundly biased and may indeed stoop to deliberate fabrication. Mapes’ father was quoted on this very topic a couple of weeks ago by John Carlson, a conservative talk-radio host on Seattle’s KVI; the father, whose name is Don Mapes, said he is "really ashamed” of his daughter, adding that “she went into journalism with an ax to grind...to promote feminism.” And “radical feminism" at that.

I have never met Mary Mapes – in any case, print and broadcast journalists seldom intermingle – but I have surely encountered many of her ideological sisters, including some of the original leadership of “Women’s Liberation,” as the feminist renaissance labeled itself during its emergence in the late 1960s. Hence a little history both personal and political is here in order:

Women’s Lib originated in New York City, born of its bohemian subculture, and not only was I working there at the time, I was on speaking terms with some of its leading exponents, who frequented the same saloons I did – the Annex, Stanley’s, finally (and chiefly) the late and very much lamented Lion’s Head, where informed debate was as much a part of the bill of fare as the Ballantine draft beer and the delicious hamburgers. I was also by then deep in the research for “Glimpses of a Pale Dancer,” my lost-forever book documenting the resurrection of the Great Goddess – the manuscript and all the associated notes and photographs of which were destroyed by a house fire in 1983. But this was 1969, and I was paying particularly close attention to the feminist renaissance because its mere existence was further proof of my hypothesis: that at the heart of the Counterculture was precisely what its more articulate members proclaimed – a “revolution in consciousness,” a cultural earthquake of which (or so I believed), the rebirth of humanity’s oldest deity was the epicenter. In other words, Women’s Lib was laboratory evidence, and I was watching it as closely as any Dr. Frankenstein ever watched his monster.

Women’s Lib was initially an ideological melting pot, recruiting heavily not only from the peace and civil rights movements and the rebellious Counterculture in general but from the art and literary scenes as well, thus including many women whose overall values were not hate-America-radical at all and who would today be categorized as “libertarian liberal” or even “secular conservative.” But within a very few years the hate-America elements had taken over the movement from top to bottom – probably because of their superior (and often Marxist-trained) organizational skills. Later, by the mid-1970s, Women’s Lib had renamed itself “feminism” and was reaching out to both the increasingly significant pagan renaissance and the ever-more-muscular environmentalist movement. From the pagan equivalent of sacred scripture – recollections of the age of the Great Goddess preserved in mythology and folklore – the feminists constructed a distorted (and mostly secular) notion of female supremacy, even as from environmentalism they stole its “save-the-planet” mandate and grafted it onto feminist ideology as a non-negotiable imperative to “gynocracy” – world-wide female-supremacist dictatorship. From this extended (and woefully under-reported) incubation-period emerged the down-with-American-liberty, smash-Western-Civilization ideology that is American and Canadian feminism today – a credo more properly labeled “matrifascism” for its long-range goal of “abolishing patriarchy” and thereby (using the selfsame tactics Hitler outlined in Mein Kampf) imposing a female-supremacist version of the Third Reich on all the peoples of Earth.

Having thus molded itself into a movement the form of which is probably unique in history – a movement seemingly devoid of organizational structure but as ideologically disciplined as any band of storm-troopers – feminism quickly filled the ideological vacuum created on the Left by the collapse of Marxism, and soon afterwards became the dominant force in the Democratic Party as well. In keeping with its intent to undermine patriarchy “by whatever means necessary,” it then eagerly lent its victim-identity doctrines to America’s racial and ethnic minorities, with the result that – certainly for the first time in post-World-War-II U.S. history – there is a sufficiently large element of the population hostile enough to American ideals to present a credible threat of wartime Fifth Column activities. Thus too feminism’s paradoxical fondness for terrorist Islam: Muslims are fellow “enemies of the white patriarchy.” And if Islam’s global caliphate becomes reality, and all women everywhere are forced to undergo clitoridectomy and wear the Burka? “Well,” the feminists say, “there’s no doubt women will suffer horribly. But that will just bring on the final revolution against patriarchy: the elevation of women to their historically ordained positions as rulers of the planet.”

Of course I cannot say that these are specifically Mary Mapes’ values; as I said at the beginning, I have never met the woman. And no one has dared ask Mapes to what extent her conduct is dictated by feminism's compulsion to slander and subvert. But I can testify with absolute certainty that these are the values of radical feminism in general, and therefore of the Mary Mapes sisterhood that has not only infiltrated U.S. media from top to bottom, but now controls public education, academia, the welfare bureaucracy and so much more – all in fulfillment of Hitler’s dictum that a minority party’s only possible path to power is infiltration of the major institutions of state and culture. Once again, Slouching Toward Dhimmitude.

Which brings me to my point. This morning’s Wall Street Journal has the most informative story I have yet read on Mary Mapes and her career. But its author studiously avoids the term “feminism” (and all other derivatives of the F-word as well). Too bad: but for the WSJ writer’s craven act of self-censorship (equivalent to writing about Josef Goebbels without ever once mentioning "National Socialism"), it would have been much easier for readers to conclude that Mapes’ underlying motive is monkey-wrenching “patriarchy” at every opportunity – almost certainly the common denominator in every chapter of her long history of pseudo-journalistic outrages: dezenformatsiya passed off as news. Which makes her conduct yet another example of what prompted me to conclude 26 years ago that feminism is the most dangerously, maliciously, treacherously subversive movement in human history.

Posted by Loren at 03:45 AM | Comments (0)

October 04, 2004

Slouching Toward Dhimmitude

MIKE CAKORA OF THE American Thinker implicitly questions why even conservative media has ignored John Kerry’s frightening pledge of unilateral disarmament (see my October 1 commentary) and goes on to explain just why the bunker-buster nukes Kerry wants to relenquish are such a vital part of America’s post-9/11 arsenal. The link to Cakora’s essay is here. I post it mainly because Cakora’s arguments in favor of the Bush Administration’s glow-in-the-dark bunker-busters are the most lucid presentation I have seen anywhere of the compelling military necessity of such weapons. Hence I would urge the piece be read in full. Of course I am also delighted someone else finally agrees with what I concluded (and still believe) was the most important revelation of the entire debate: the extent to which Kerry’s foreign policy would be dictated by long-discredited pacifist ideology.

However what Cakora does not address is the curious silence from pundits of the right, which he mentions in his penultimate paragraph and only in passing. I believe I know the real reason for the silence – and it is an ugly one indeed – but before I make that point, there is another relevant link below, this to a Fox News investigative story that broke Friday but was conveniently obscured by the trifecta of mass-media political “correctness,” the rightest penchant for speaking no evil of Bush, and simple post-debate happenstance. But the Fox expose’ was nevertheless the most important news of the day and of the weekend, for it reported yet another example of the Bush Administration’s sneaky pandering to Islam: that Bush’s officials have defiantly re-appointed a terrorist-connected Muslim to an important intelligence post in the Department of Homeland Security – never mind the fact the appointee (predictably, a protege of Grover Norquist) is credibly accused of lying by omission, thus to conceal the damning truth of his past when he filled out a personal-history questionnaire required for security clearance. The report on this developing scandal is lengthy and detailed, but once again I cannot over-emphasize its read-in-full importance. Particularly since – in context with a number of other alleged Bush “blunders” that are ever-more-undeniably expressions of administration policy (especially the ongoing obstruction of the armed pilots program, the parallel opposition to local Civil Defense mobilization, and the air-travel outrages bravely revealed by Annie Jacobsen) – the Fox disclosures suggest the Bush Administration is every bit as much a deliberate appeaser as a Kerry-cum-Neville-Chamberlain Administration promises to be.

While Norquist’s machinations are specifically (and by his own assertion) an attempt to build a united Republican front of Christian fundamentalists and American Muslims – seemingly disparate elements who are potentially united by their common desire to suppress individual liberty and repeal women’s rights – the Bush Administration’s more general policies of Muslim-appeasement are probably not so Machiavellian at all. I suspect they are instead a tactically smart but strategically appalling GOP response to the American public’s growing unwillingness to defend itself – whether against local criminals or international terrorists. (See, for example, “A Nation of Cowards,” a tremendously controversial essay in support of the Second Amendment.) This work’s relevance here is that the United States today is nearly the antithesis of the nation that fought World War II, so much so that America’s metastasizing cravenness is the real gorilla in the political living room. In turn this is a measure of the mostly unacknowledged success of the feminist revolution. Its three decades of ongoing classroom and mass-media brainwashing were intended to destroy “patriarchy“ -- American liberty and Western Civilization -- and have stolen from us a precious legacy of knowledge, thoroughly subverting the ancient, uniquely Occidental principles that enabled our greatness. Craven cowardice has thus been elevated into a virtue, chiefly through emphasis of pathological selfishness euphemistically described as the doctrine of “the personal is political.”

The most disturbing consequences of the resultant climate of moral imbecility were first revealed via William Bennett’s Americans for Victory Over Terrorism (AVOT) web site, which published a post-9/11 poll of U.S. college students showing that – if resumption of a military draft were forced by national emergency – 60-some percent would refuse to obey lawful orders to serve. Unfortunately the poll is no longer available on the AVOT web site – a disheartening act of censorship probably intended to counter the maliciously false draft-resumption rumors spread by the Democrats – but subsequent data samples (available here, here, here and here) support the original poll’s conclusions and suggest the “hell-no-I-won’t-go” attitude is widespread, especially among the Afro-American and Hispanic communities. Alas, it is but a short leap from “hell no” to “better dhimmitude than death” – dhimmitude the Arabic term representing Qur’an-sanctioned victimization by Muslim conquerors – a condition fatal not only to the American ideal but to all human principles of liberty and freedom, quite possibly forever.

Here of course is the probable reason no conservative pundit has taken Kerry to task for pledging what amounts to creeping pacifism: no one on the right wants to take the chance that a forthright discussion of Kerry’s disarmament plan might further energize the incipient national impulse toward dhimmitude reflected in the draft studies, thereby unintentionally handing victory to Kerry. And, yes, I write this damning judgement fully cognizant of the epic skill and bravery of our armed forces – but also painfully aware that the selfless courage of our service men and women no longer represents anything like the driving mindset of America. Apparently (if the above polls are to be believed), this nation’s courageous majority will soon be naught but a memory. The implication is that Islam’s ultimate triumph -- with all the unspeakable horrors of a global caliphate -- is inevitable. I can only pray this hypothesis is wrong.

Nevertheless, at least as far as I can see, the only real advantage offered by President Bush is his refusal to submit U.S. foreign policy to the veto of Paris – that and my fervent hope his administration’s constant and ongoing pandering to Islam (including the bans on profiling and the proposed amnesty for illegal immigrants) will end abruptly after he is re-elected. I also hope a second Bush administration might halt the growing cravenness of the American public – but on that score (particularly given the state of deliberately deceptive mass media and legacy-thieving public education), I am increasingly pessimistic. Even so, a Kerry Administration would be many times worse.

As I have said before, this election offers the U.S. electorate a truly abysmal poverty of choice that is certainly unprecedented in the history of this nation’s military crises and is probably without equal in our entire national history. What is also without peer is the media’s self-imposed silence about the nature of the Islamic threat – a silence dictated by victim-identity politics, ideologies of moral equivalence and, most of all, matrifascist hostility to American liberty and Western Civilization. Unfortunately for the American public, it is a defacto censorship that protects not only the plotters and would-be tyrants of the Left, but often the schemers of the Right as well: note especially the near-absolute embargo, imposed by the dictates of political correctness, on coverage of the Bush Administration's two-faced stance toward Islam. Which merely intensifies our national crisis – a crisis of stolen legacies, failed will and breathtaking leaderlessness. No matter who wins this election, its aftermath may be the last wake-up call we get.

Posted by Loren at 02:14 AM | Comments (1)

October 01, 2004

A Brave Moment of Cowardly Truth

JOHN KERRY SHOWED HIS TRUE colors last night, pledging to shut down a post-9/11 program to develop tactical nuclear weapons and acknowledging he shares the far Left's belief that America's possession of nukes is the moral equivalence of terrorism. Though his startling revelation has been ignored by the mainstream pundits (who may regard it as an especially threatening 800-pound gorilla in the electoral living room), Kerry’s own words forever link his proposed foreign policy to the radical ideology of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the Soviet-tool British pacifist organization that gave the American counterculture its ubiquitous “peace symbol”: the inverted Norse rune of protection that resembles an upside-down Y (the rune enclosed in a cosmic circle), the resultant emblem aptly belittled by Cold-War-era hawks as “the footprint of the American chicken.” It was a species presumably extinct since the implosive collapse of Russian Communism, but now it may be that Kerry has resurrected it (and all its associated acrimony) much as he has refueled the lingering controversies over the Vietnam War – that is, with comments clearly designed to mobilize the pacifists, unilateral-disarmament advocates and hate-America zealots among the Democratic faithful -- never mind what the expression of such values might say to the average voter (no doubt the commanding reason these particular remarks are being ignored – or, more accurately, swept under the proverbial rug). Indeed it was Kerry’s bravest moment of cowardly truth; it occurred when Debate Moderator Jim Lehrer (PBS, “The News Hour”) asked Kerry a simple, pointed version of the campaign’s most decisive question: “If you are elected president, what will you take to that office thinking is the single most serious threat to the national security of the United States?” Here word-for-word is Kerry’s response, with the damning portions set in boldface type:

Nuclear proliferation. Nuclear proliferation. There's some 600-plus tons of unsecured material still in the former Soviet Union and Russia. At the rate that the president is currently securing it, it'll take 13 years to get it.

I did a lot of work on this. I wrote a book about it several years ago -- six, seven years ago -- called The New War, which saw the difficulties of this international criminal network. And back then, we intercepted a suitcase in a Middle Eastern country with nuclear materials in it. And the black market sale price was about $250 million.

Now, there are terrorists trying to get their hands on that stuff today.

And this president, I regret to say, has secured less nuclear material in the last two years since 9/11 than we did in the two years preceding 9/11.

We have to do this job. And to do the job, you can't cut the money for it. The president actually cut the money for it. You have to put the money into it and the funding and the leadership.

And part of that leadership is sending the right message to places like North Korea.

Right now the president is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to research bunker-busting nuclear weapons. The United States is pursuing a new set of nuclear weapons. It doesn't make sense.

You talk about mixed messages. We're telling other people, "You can't have nuclear weapons," but we're pursuing a new nuclear weapon that we might even contemplate using.

Not this president. I'm going to shut that program down, and we're going to make it clear to the world we're serious about containing nuclear proliferation.

And we're going to get the job of containing all of that nuclear material in Russia done in four years. And we're going to build the strongest international network to prevent nuclear proliferation.

This is the scale of what President Kennedy set out to do with the nuclear test ban treaty. It's our generation's equivalent. And I intend to get it done.

(Thanks to The Washington Post for the complete text of the debate, available – though registration is required – here.)

Kerry’s criticism of the administration’s anti-proliferation efforts may or may not be valid – I will leave that dispute to others. But, elsewhere in the debate, Kerry suggested he strongly supports a “global warming” treaty (presumably Kyoto, a pact already rejected by the Senate precisely because it would cripple our nation’s competitiveness and productivity), which further underscores the extent to which the Kerry-Edwards campaign has been captured by the enemies of “patriarchy” and has thus become merely another expression of the down-with-American-liberty, death-to-Western-Civilization ethos. Any day now the triumphant coterie of matrifascists, ethno-racial victim-identity cultists and Deaniacs turned Kerrynoids will announce their victory by shouting out the newest variant of their all-time favorite chant:

Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh
Osama bin Laden’s gonna win.

I jest, but there is nothing the least bit funny about Kerry’s stated intent to unilaterally disarm America in the face of the Islamic and North Korean threats. It is beyond outrageous, tantamount to arguing that the abandonment of one’s firearms is the proper response to impending assault by murderous criminals: the suicidal ideology of the anti-Second Amendment hysterics writ on a global scale. I cannot but wonder if Kerry truly is – as I have often facetiously suggested – the reincarnation of Neville Chamberlain. Never mind it is only a partial disarmament Kerry proposes. Never mind the infuriating censorship reflected in the fact Kerry’s disarmament proposal is not the lead paragraph on every debate story in every morning paper in the land; never mind that – almost certainly in service to its “fight Bush by whatever means necessary” ethos – print and broadcast media alike are maliciously suppressing this most-important disclosure. The bottom line is that Kerry by his pledge to disarm has proven himself unfit for the presidency, now and forever.

Posted by Loren at 05:01 AM | Comments (16)