Archive for October, 2008|Monthly archive page

a new tide rises

Neo-neocon opens a discussion on one of her commenter’s statements:

I’m in an artistic field, where the leftists wear buttons and give political speeches on professional occasions, and I keep my mouth shut because I’d like to continue working—yes, this has been discussed here before, but in fields where everyone is a contractor it really IS that raw. You speak and contracts dry up. I’ve seen it happen. …

This said, I’ve seen a new generation starting to come into positions of power. The thing is, like gay people in the bad old days, we’ve developed ways of picking up the “tells” and we all find each other and know each other—eventually. … And I can see the replacement taking place, all but invisible to the people still holding most of the power. People whose entire identity is bound up in justifying stopping the vietnam war which they believe the ultimate evil, are being replaced by people who see that stopping the vietnam war—the way they did—was surrendering to evil.

For further support, I offer two articles. First, via Mad Minerva, this NYT article:

In general, information on professors’ political and ideological leanings tends to be scarce. But a new study of the social and political views of American professors by Neil Gross at the University of British Columbia and Solon Simmons at George Mason University found that the notion of a generational divide is more than a glancing impression. “Self-described liberals are most common within the ranks of those professors aged 50-64, who were teenagers or young adults in the 1960s,” they wrote, making up just under 50 percent. At the same time, the youngest group, ages 26 to 35, contains the highest percentage of moderates, some 60 percent, and the lowest percentage of liberals, just under a third.

When it comes to those who consider themselves “liberal activists,” 17.2 percent of the 50-64 age group take up the banner compared with only 1.3 percent of professors 35 and younger.

Then, via Instapundit, this post at the Volokh Conspiracy:

It turns out that the most recent Gallup poll of Jewish opinion, released yesterday, shows that Jews 55 and older are supporting Obama 74 to 19 percent, and Jews ages 18 to 34 are supporting him by a significantly lower margin, 67 to 29 percent.

In all the hullaballoo about Obama’s immanent victory and the rise of lefty power, I’ve read several comments to the effect that the conservative movement is over. Au contraire, it is rising. What is happening now is the last crusade of the boomers. They hold the positions of power today: they are the editors, the professors, the big names, the corporate bosses, the senators, etc. But we’re right behind, a few years younger, or a decade younger. We’ll be next in those places, and we aren’t half as lefty.

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I welcome our new potted overlords

Potted plant blogs in Japan.

Update (11/5/08): Welcome, Mad Minerva readers! Our favorite scholar of all things silly, quirky, cuisiney, and cinematicky has linked to a post here on something she herself covered, so I guess I should add something to make the click worthwhile.

I offer Plantio, a pot that allows plants to react to their owners. (Sorry. Hope you weren’t expecting glorious splendor. Though I do like the lighting up when the plant’s petted bit.)

I guess I should also offer a link to Midori-san’s blog.

all joe the plumber all the time

Joe inspires a blog I intend to keep an eye on. I think Unfair Doctrine has a lot of promise. Here’s their “Why We’re Here”:

“I asked a question. When you can’t ask a question to your leaders anymore, that gets scary. That bothers me.” — Joe Wurzelbacher

Transterrestrial Musings plays time-traveling journalist:

71 BC

ROME (Routers) Diligent investigative reporters were shocked to learn today that many, indeed most of the captured slaves in yesterday’s battle in Lucania who proclaimed “I am Spartacus” were actually misleading military authorities, and not the famous rebel leader at all.

Claudia Rosett asks questions (dangerous! Watch out!):

But to squabble over Joe’s record is to miss the real point. Obama is the one running for public office, aspiring to the country’s highest position of power and public trust. Joe is not. He’s a private citizen, who had every right to ask a very good question. He wanted to know why he was being taxed “more and more for fulfilling the American dream?”

What he got from the well-heeled Senators Obama and Biden was mockery and contempt.

Most disturbing is this: If that’s how Joe the Plumber gets dealt with while Obama is still stumping for votes, then what happens to Joe, or anyone else who dares question Obama’s plans, should Obama win the White House?

Should we expect that that the answer will be targeted investigations, a public display of whatever can be dug up in the way of private laundry, and sneers from the Oval Office?

I am Joe the Plumber

I Am Joe

It seems to have caught on a bit.

First thing out of the gate, I’d like to copy a bit (well, almost the whole thing) of Iowahawk’s post on this:

We’ve all witnessed a lot of insanity in American politics over the last few years. Up until the last few days, none of it has seriously bothered me; hey, just more grist for the satire mill. But after witnessing the media’s blitzkreig on Joe ‘the Plumber’ Wurzelbacher, I can only muster anger, and no small amount of fear.

Politicians — Sarah Palin, Bill Clinton, et al. —  obviously have to put up with some rude, nasty shit, but it’s  right there in the jobs description. Joe the Plumber is different. He was a guy tossing a football with his kid in the front yard of his $125,000 house when a politician picked him out as a prop for a 30 second newsbite for the cable news cameras. Joe simply had the temerity to speak truth (or, if you prefer, an uninformed opinion) to power, for which the politico-media axis apparently determined that he must be humiliated, harassed, smashed, destroyed. The viciousness and glee with which they set about the task ought to concern anyone who still cares about citizen participation, and freedom of speech, and all that old crap they taught in Civics class before politics turned into Narrative Deathrace 3000, and Web 2.0 turned into Berlin 1932.0.

Godwin’s Law! you say? if the jackboot fits, wear it.

If it’s meta-memes and meta-meta-narratives these media headlice want, so be it. I hope you will join me in expressing a simple bit of solidarity with this guy, Spartacus style. I AM JOE. I am a Wal Mart schlub in flyover country who changes my own oil and unclogs drains without a license. I smoke and drink beer and toss the football in the front yard with my kid, and I figure I can fend my way without handouts from some Magic Messiah’s candy bags. Most everyone in my family and most everyone I grew up with is another Joe, and if you screw with them, you screw with me.

Amen, brother.

Volokh Conspiracy:

I was stunned to see some document showing Joe the Plumbers’ tax problems on my 10pm (CT)newscast on the local NBC affiliate in Chicago on Thursday night. They have very little time for any national news and they actually spent time on Joe the Plumbers’ tax problems. Amazing!

But when an actual candidate — Barack Obama — released his tax returns, which on their face seemed to show an ethics violation of Illinois law, the press couldn’t care less.

Just to remind you, Illinois prohibits state legislators from taking speaking fees, and Barack reported “speaking fees.”

CNN:

At a rally in Melbourne, Florida Friday evening, Senator McCain revealed he had called Joe Wurzelbacher.

“I talked to him this morning for the first time ever,” said McCain. “And I want to tell you his sprits [sic] are good and he’s a tough guy. He is what small business people all over this country are all about. They are tough and they are good and they want to get ahead and they want to keep their money.”

McCain did apologize to the Ohio resident for thrusting him into the media spotlight on the night of the debate according to McCain press secretary Brooke Buchanan.

Buchanan did say that the Arizona Senator invited Ohio’s most famous voter to meet up with the campaign but did not set up any specific stops.

Whether Joe is there in person or not, he is certainly a star at McCain events. …

And the crowd definitely seemed to be full of Joe supporters as well as John supporters, with people at the Melbourne rally were wearing tee shirts with a picture of a name tag on them that said, “My name is … Joe the Plumber” and holding signs about Joe like one on stage that said, “Joe’s dough, not Obama’s.”

But CNN’s Anderson Cooper is an idiot in this video.  He objects that Joe’s first name is really Sam and that he’s not a licensed plumber, so one CNN analyst he interviews call him ‘Sam the non-plumber’ and the other interviewees carry the joke.  Anderson notes Joe doesn’t make anywhere near $250,000 a year.  Never mind that Joe is actually employed as a plumber in an apprenticeship program, that a license isn’t required, and that Joe’s point was he wanted to buy a company that made $250,000 or so.  So Cooper is basically an idiot.  I wonder if Anderson Cooper is a licensed journalist?  If not, can we then call him Andy the non-journalist?

K. Daniel Glover at Video Done Right, in an excellent story on this:

Expect more of the same over coming days. In fact, don’t be surprised if all of those investigative reporters sent to Alaska after John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate suddenly get reassigned to the plumber beat in flyover country. Joe The Plumber must be discredited at all costs!

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:

So what have we learned from this episode?

  1. Thou shalt not offend The One by asking him a question.  Of any kind.
  2. Anyone who questions The One will have to undergo a public pillorying of a kind unseen since the Red Scare, or perhaps the Inquisition.
  3. The Tanning-Bed Media will happily participate in any inquisition, as long as it keeps them from investigating irrelevant issues like Obama’s ties to the Chicago Machine, William Ayers, ACORN, or his record on protecting infanticide.

Don’t ask questions. Don’t check the records of people running for political office, but do check the records of those who dare violate Rule #1.  No dissent will be tolerated.  Our political and media masters have spoken.

I only ask one favor of the Left and the media: please keep this story alive for another three weeks.  I can’t wait to read Michelle’s column tomorrow.

Free Republic.

But, because Joe the Plumber, a regular every-day Amereican playing catch with his child on a middle class American street, trying to earn a living for his family, was honest about the impact of the Obama plans from his perspective, and because he did not drink the Obama kool-aid, the MSM, the DNC, and the Obama campaign now consider that hard working, well spoken, young man as the enemy.

The truth is that the left, the Obama campaign, the DNC, and the MSM will lie, fabricate, misquote, commit fruad, beg, borrow, or steal in their effort to slow down what is happening on the ground with the McCain campaign right now, and particularly with the likes of Joe and especially Sarah Palin who is burrowing underneath all of their hype and drawing 25-30,000 people at a time to her rallies and getting the message of hope and conservative values out.

Jill Zuckman at the Tribune’s Washington Bureau:

Sen. John McCain offered a vigorous defense of Joe the Plumber today, accusing Barack Obama’s campaign of “digging through his personal life” because he asked Obama a tough question.

“I think Senator Obama could use a few more tough questions,” McCain said.

Joe Wurzelbacher, the plumber who questioned Obama about taxes in Holland, Ohio, turns out to owe back taxes and not hold a license for his plumbing work, according to news reports.

“The response from Senator Obama and his campaign yesterday was to attack Joe. People are digging through his personal life and he has TV crews camped out in front of his house,” McCain told a rowdy crowd at Florida International University. “He didn’t ask for Senator Obama to come to his house. He wasn’t recruited or prompted by our campaign. He just asked a question. And Americans ought to be able to ask Senator Obama tough questions without being smeared and targeted with political attacks.”

Good Morning America interviews Joe.

Copious Dissent has video of Bill Maher accusing Joe of racism.

Gateway Pundit links a YouTube video he says shows Joe’s reaction to the presidential debate, but YouTube says it’s no longer available.

Here’s a couple more Joe links, just for good measure:

Firefighter blog

Ace of Spades with an appropriate Photoshop.

highly accurate logo for a Democrat

This is one of a line of goods the Tennessee Guerilla Women are selling at Cafe Press.

It is a wonderful representation of the Democrat, and even more, the Progressive,
world view. The idea that the Catholic Church in the past believed, and insisted everyone else believe, that the earth was flat is being used to push Progressive ideas. Everyone knows the Church did this. And everyone is wrong.

The whole Flat Earth concept, that this belief was ever held by the Catholic Church, was a fabrication of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It has been refuted with mountains of evidence over and over by medieval historians who have been simply ignored. You see, Progressives needed an Other, someone they could spark fear of, someone they could use to differentiate themselves from. After all, what is Progress but movement away from something, some Other? The Catholic Church was a common scapegoat for Progressives in those days. Call someone a ‘Flat-Earther’ and you have completely delegitimized their viewpoint as well as validated your own as sufficiently Progressive. This is one of the Great Narratives of the Progressive movement, a complete lie, and believed in direct contradiction of all the available evidence.

That’s why I love so much seeing it being recycled from it’s 19th century roots of demonizing the Catholic Church to its 21st century role in demonizing Republicans. Beautiful!

Rove weighs in

Karl Rove, evil Machiavellian extraordinaire:*

Mr. McCain’s other adjustment is his schedule. His campaign understands the dire circumstances it faces and is narrowing his travels almost exclusively to Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Missouri, Colorado and Nevada. If he carries those states, while losing only Iowa and New Mexico from the GOP’s 2004 total, Mr. McCain will carry 274 Electoral College votes and the White House. It’s threading the needle, but it’s come to that.

This task, while not impossible, will be difficult. By mid-September, the McCain camp was slightly ahead in the polls. Then came the financial crisis. The past month has taken an enormous toll on the McCain campaign.

Whether it can find the right formula in the next 19 days to dig out is a question. If Mr. McCain succeeds, he will have engineered the most impressive and improbable political comeback since Harry Truman in 1948. But having to reach back more than a half-century for inspiration is not the place campaign managers want to be now.

So, basically, there’s still hope for McCain, but maybe not much

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*For those who don’t understand that Karl Rove rules the world from an undisclosed location (probably Atlantis), I say this facetiously.

what a cute little blog — ouch!

Ran across Two Nervous Dogs while I was refilling the ice chest for a return to the fishin’ hole.

My first thought: What a great layout!

My second thought: Dang, that’s harsh!

(Content warning ahead. I’d pound out the indelicacies, but that would kill the effect. Children, don’t say these things around your parents, or your friends parents.)

Here’s the full TND process for commenting, if you’re NEW here. Even if you’re already an approved commenter, you may be curious about our Comment Inspection & Disposal system.

1. Your comment first goes into TND’s Moderation Hell, where it is examined by a non-human. It is not “read.” It is “examined” for hatefulness and grammar by a very small yet powerful application using sophisticated logarithms, essentially a series of “if-then” statements. Example: “If” asshole, “then” fuck off.

2. Next, your comment is sorted to holding bins based on the findings in Step 1. Your comment goes to the Asshole bin, or the Comment Approved bin.

3. If your comment is sorted into the Asshole bin, your comment has passed the initial screening for hatefulness, to be sure, but it’s not approved yet. Of course if your comment is sorted to Comment Approved, it appears on the main site.

4. But back to the poor saps flailing about in the bowels of the Asshole bin.

Woe, woe, woe. Your comment is entering a world of pain, son.

And it does indeed get painful from there.

a few notes while fishin’

There seems to be a consensus that McCain has already lost. Non-Obama pundits are planning what-next scenarios, and all of it sounds ugly. [See update below.]

Dr. Helen asks, “Is it time to go John Galt?”

Do you ever wonder after dealing with all that is going on with the economy and the upcoming election if it’s getting to be time to “go John Galt”? For those of you who have never read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, the basic theme is that John Galt and his allies take actions that include withdrawing their talents, “stopping the motor of the world,” and leading the “strikers” (those who refuse to be exploited) against the “looters” (the exploiters, backed by the government).

Vodkapundit talks about “fighting words.”

If (when?) Obama is elected, by my estimation there’s an at least even chance that the newly-reconstructed FCC will reverse course and attempt to apply the New Fairness Doctrine to blogs.

If (when?) it happens, I’ll break that law. I will break it with all due malice and in full knowledge of the possible consequences. I’ll shout “Fire Obama!” in a crowded theater. And then, for the first time ever, I’ll ask for reader donations. Because I’ll going to need them, lots of them, to pay for the lawyers.

Primordial Slack declares “Obama will not be my President” and links a number of others with similar views.

I join VodkaPundit, DailyPundit, GuyK, Dogette, and a host of others who will, at the last, refuse to sit idly by while Freedom erodes.

Put my name on your list, Communist Nanny-Staters, it’s not too early.

Obama will not be my President. Nor will Hillary “for the common good” Clinton. Nor will anyone of any skin color or sex that embraces the deconstruction of Capitalism and Freedom as their political platform.

What’s up? What did I miss while reading dusty old documents? The blogosphere isn’t connecting with middle America and the Big Bad Media message is getting through? Duh. I don’t know the number of times I’ve read someone going on about how the MSM has dug its own grave, how it knows it won’t have any influence in the future so it’s squandering it all now to get Obama elected. Nonsense. They still buy ink (and pixels and airwaves) by the barrel*, and they still control what most of middle America reads, sees, and hears.

So what to do? Get in on it. “What?” you ask. Get in on it. We have to become the MSM, get in on the ground floor as reporters, work our way up. Get in on the fight, people. Cyberspace is important ground, but it’s not the main battlefield, it’s only one hill from which we can observe and call in artillery. We have to get down in the mud and the blood, get real ink, real video, real news all over us, and push back on the main field of battle. Win there, or lose.

Where else? Where are the other battles? Worried about all the big-government politicians? Worried about the lefty academy? Two more big battlefields. Stop whining, sign your name on the line, get elected and start leading or get a Ph.D. and start teaching.

That’s exactly how the left got where it is today, and that’s the only way that ground can be retaken.

Back to the ol’ fishin’ hole for me.

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*Sorry for the mixed metaphor, but the alliteration should please you. Oh, sorry. I left my alliteration in the worm bucket when I came up the hill to write.

Update: The post hasn’t even been up for 10 minutes and Dana H. takes me to task in the comments over claiming the Dr. Helen post was part of the “McCain’s lost” movement. And rightly so, in all likelihood. Maybe it’s a broader, “Well, we’ve lost” attitude that I’m sensing, in the big, “our movement” way.

Update 2: Grim has picked up on the apocalyptic language as well.

There is a remarkable amount of ‘end times’ language surrounding the Obama candidacy, and as we’ve discussed, some of it is really his own fault. Obama is a scion of the Alinsky movement, and Saul Alinsky did dedicate his book on “community organizing” to Lucifer.

I hope Jim Webb is right, and I’m wrong: and it is comforting to find that there are people I respect who are Obama supporters. I know I can put some faith in them, even if I have none in the man himself. Jim Webb is out there, Phil Carter of Intel Dump, retired General Zinni — these are people I respect, whether or not we always agree and even when we rarely do. That’s comforting.