Entries from August 2009 ↓
August 19th, 2009 — People
August 17th, 2009 — Uncategorized
August 14th, 2009 — extremist mobsters
Instapundit posts on the recent scary* ABC News story — “Fear for Obama’s Safety Grows as Hate Groups Thrive on Racial Backlash” — and notes that “we didn’t see this kind of concern when people were saying the same kinds of things about Bush.”
I suspect that’s true. And it reminded me of the threat of eco-terrorism.
For nearly seven years, the nation has turned its terror focus on Al Qaeda and the hunt for Usama bin Laden. But there is a domestic terror threat that federal officials still consider priority No. 1 — eco-terrorism …
FBI estimates place damages from these attacks at well over $100 million. So far, no one has been killed.
It’s a problem that’s unlikely to go away.
If Rush Limbaugh “legitimizes people who are on the edge to go do something or say something,” as the ABC piece points out, couldn’t others make a strong case that people like Al Gore, or other global warming hyperalarmists, are legitimizing environmental extremists? After all, if you incessantly preach that humans are destroying the earth for our children with mansions, beef and gratuitous energy use, isn’t it our moral obligation to do something?
*”The Paranoids Are Out to Get Me!” Jesse Walker at Reason has a great piece on the militia scares.
August 13th, 2009 — Random
August 13th, 2009 — Random
August 13th, 2009 — Godwin's law
Though his obsessive habit of denigrating anyone he disagrees with can become grating, there is no getting around the fact that James Wolcott is a tremendously talented writer*. I read him all the time.
But this post hit me as both humorous and logically unstable.
Glenn Beck Must Love Hitler, He Has Him on the Show So Much
So while I was writing the post below, I had Fox News on mute, and glanced up at one point to see Hitler’s face staring back at me in closeup. Then a three-quarter shot of Hitler, montaging into another evil, menacing closeup.
It was Glenn Beck’s show, of course. And not the first time I’ve seen him parade the Fuhrer across the screen.
Glenn Beck must love Hitler, he has him on the show so much. Those mesmerizing eyes, staring at us from the deathly depths of psychopathic depravity, yes there’s something about those twin dark pools that Glenn Beck can’t resist.
If we allow that Glenn Beck “must love” Hitler because Glenn Beck purportedly features the notorious despot repeatedly on his television show, certainly we can deduce that James Wolcott must love Rush Limbaugh ( at least 96 mentions on his blog), Sarah Palin (276), Michelle Malkin (39), Jonah Goldberg (56) and Glenn Reynolds (28)/Instapundit (13) .
*by “talented,” I am referring to prose style not substance.
August 11th, 2009 — Movies
“… except for eight kids called the Wolverines.”
Isn’t it about time someone produced a remake of Red Dawn? In this somewhat (convoluted) new version, the Chinese will be invading the United States.
Judging from some of the casting news, I’m comforted in the fact that the remake will feature the same type of top-notch talent that make the original such a classic.
All this Red Dawn excitement reminded me that four years ago I had worked the movie into a piece I wrote for the Denver Post about a survivalist shop near my home (no link available).
Speeding south on Broadway recently, I spotted a compelling storefront sign. It read “Don’t be scared, be prepared!” The slogan made so much sense that I decided to investigate Farris Survival in Englewood at some future time. I am now a devout survivalist.
Years ago, profoundly influenced by the classic 1984 flick, “Red Dawn,” which detailed the invasion of Colorado by, yep, the Nicaraguan and Cuban armies, I swore I’d be prepared for the worst. My heroes, those defiant Wolverines, battling the commie tanks and helicopters on horses with BB guns. (Tagline: “The invading armies planned for everything – except for eight kids called the Wolverines.”)
Was it Patrick Swayze’s masterful Jed Eckert or the perplexing Matt, played by Charlie Sheen, that made “Red Dawn” so realistic and prophetic? I simply don’t know. But just read the paper. Some of the international players may have changed, sure, but the peril is real. North Korea has nukes. Russia has a yen for the good old days. That
thug in Cuba is probably still planning a Colorado invasion. Yet, it turns out, survival is tricky. My homeowners association won’t allow me to paint my own house, so I can only assume that a request to construct an underground high-protection shelter in my 200-square-foot “backyard” will be pending indefinitely.
What’s more, the wife stubbornly maintains that recruiting my 3-year-old daughter for a well-digging project is idiotic, immoral and almost certainly illegal. Would C. Thomas Howell be deterred? Of course not. Somewhat disappointed, there is no peevish bearded fellow silhouetted by confederate flag. No cranky Vietnam vet flipping through an underlined copy of “The Turner Diaries” at Farris Survival.
There is, nonetheless, a gracious young woman named Shantel Farris. “How ya doing? May I help you find something?” she asks. Well, I’m going to need some food. Shantel directs me toward the Chicken a la King No. 10 can, which weighs 2 pounds and has a 30-year shelf life. With a family of four and an obese cat, I’ll probably need a few thousand cases. They go for $32.10 a pop. Maybe the “Just In Case Unit,” which includes 28 packages of freeze-dried meals – pasta primavera, beef stroganoff with noodles, turkey tetrazzini – is more my speed. It’s on sale. (If the packaging on this stuff is any indication of the taste, it’s going to be a long nuclear winter.)
“My father-in-law, Bob, started this place two years ago,” Shantel explains as I examine a gas mask with a gas filter and a PVC hood. “He’s a survivalist, but he’s not paranoid or anything.” But what about reading material? You have to get “Total Resistance: Swiss Army Guide to Guerrilla Warfare and Underground Operations,” written by Major H. von Dach. The book is full of tactical information that remains “invaluable even today.”
One Amazon.com reviewer writes that the book is “useful against oppresive (sic) tyrants everywhere.” I also should grab a copy of “The U.S. Armed Forces Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Survival Manual” and “Nuclear War Survival Skills” for some supplementary educational reading. Before I head out, Shantel wonders if I might be interested in some potassium iodide pills, which are protection against radioactive water poisoning. No? High-powered binoculars? A knife? Wait, is that a machete? Wow. All of this surviving is a remarkably expensive. Is it worth it?
Well, remember this poignant moment in “Red Dawn,” when Powers Boothe grunts to a Wolverine: “You think you’re tough? You eat beans every day? There’s a handful of scarecrows left in Denver give anything for a mouthful of what you got.”
Think about that when you make fun of my Luggable Loo.
August 9th, 2009 — video
Penn Jillette (if you haven’t watched the duo of Penn and Teller debunk a broad spectrum of nonsense on their show “Bulls***!“, you should) says a few words about my column — or, more specifically, the headline of my column– “Is Dissent Still Patriotic?” (written after Election Day).
Do all Americans truly have a yearning to fundamentally “remake” our nation? There must be a subversive minority out there that still believes the United States — even with its imperfections and sporadic recessions — is, in context, still a wildly prosperous and free country worth preserving.
Some of you must still believe that politicians are meant to serve rather than be worshiped. And there must be someone out there who considers partisanship a healthy, organic reflection of our differences rather than something to be surrendered in the name of so- called unity — which is, after all, untenable, subjective and utterly counterproductive.
How about those who praised dissent for the past eight years?
Is there anyone who still believes the Constitution was created to ensure each citizen liberty and the ability to pursue happiness rather than a guarantee of happiness — and a retirement fund, health care, a job, an education, a house … ?
Yes, two important historical events transpired Tuesday: The first was the peaceful transfer of power from one freely elected politician to another (an uninterrupted streak we often take for granted). Then there was the first presidency of an African-American, which proves we can transcend our unsightly past.
After that, what we had was just another election. We conduct one every four years. For those of you not shouting hosannas, it might have occurred to you that we are suffering from a rampant sickness in American life that casts government as the author of your dreams and an Illinois politician the linchpin of your hopes.
Bush? Obama? Jillette finds that dissent can provoke very distinct reactions from his friends.
Warning for the faint of heart, Penn uses some salty language — which, incidentally, I also completely support.
(The embedded video isn’t working for some. Here is the link.)
August 8th, 2009 — Uncategorized