Okay, liberals, I have a radical idea I want to run by you: the Iranian government is bad and worthy of some of your outrage.
Yeah, I know, it sounds crazy. Iran is not a beauty queen speaking out against gay marriage, or Sarah Palin. Why in the world would you want to direct any scorn towards a brutal theocracy seeking nuclear weapons? It’s not obvious, but let me explain.
Now, I know it doesn’t take much to convince conservatives to be against Iran. You just tell them, “It’s full of foreigners.” And they’ll be like, “What?! Let’s nuke it! Let’s nuke it now!” Liberals, of course, are more sophisticated and will take a much more measured approach. When you tell them that Iran has an evil government worthy of outrage, they’ll point out the obvious — that it’s not America.
Well, that’s true, and I know America is the biggest meddler and cause of trouble everywhere, but also remember it’s now run by President Obama. Thus, if you’re too critical of America, you’ll also be critical of Obama, which is de facto racist. So you have to admit that’s a pretty good argument to redirect some of that scorn at another country.
Okay — I know the first country that comes to mind if you are not going to hate America is Israel. Israel is a close ally of America — which is pretty suspicious — while Iran constantly condemns America, something sophisticated people are known to do since America is full of the greatest threat to this planet: Mid-Westerners. Once again, I’m going to suggest something radical. …
Maybe you can try judging a country regardless of its opinion on America.
The Iranians just had an election stolen from them by their government. Remember how angry you were when you pretended the election was stolen in 2000? Why, you whined about it for years and years. Some of you still even whine about it today. Again, you guys were only pretending an election was stolen. Now think if the election were actually stolen, and Bush declared himself winner by 63 percent of the vote. You’d be so angry you might actually do something more than whine about it. Well, that is what’s happening with the Iranians, and they’re taking to the streets. If you miss the pretend anger about 2000, maybe you can direct some real anger at what’s happened in Iran.
Also, now that millions of Iranians are protesting, they are being beaten and shot. Remember how Bush was suppressing all dissent, and we knew about that because people were constantly on TV talking about how Bush was suppressing their dissent? Now, I don’t know the details of what people imagined Bush was doing, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that people being beaten and shot has to be at least nearly as bad as the stuff you convinced yourself Bush did. Maybe that’s a suppression of speech, and you could go on TV and denounce it.
BC: Congratulations, Mr. Stein, on the release of your new book, I Can’t Believe I’m Sitting Next to a Republican: A Survival Guide for Conservatives Marooned among the Angry, Smug, and Terminally Self-Righteous. Let’s start with a question about which most conservatives have long wondered: Why do so many leftists believe that political issues are black and white in nature and revolve around good versus evil?
Harry Stein: Well, the obvious answer is that, since they speak almost exclusively to one another, this is all they hear; indeed, in the case of many, who’ve come of age in a culture and educational system dominated by Sixties vets, pretty much all they’ve ever heard. For liberals, the left of center position on a vast range of issues – abortion, gay marriage, affirmative action, taxation, even national security – is not merely the correct position, it is the moral one. Which is to say, anyone who holds a contrary view is not simply mistaken, but morally flawed. There is no logic to this, of course, most liberals being wholly incapable of coherent arguments in behalf of their professed beliefs. Rather, they are articles of faith, sacraments in the religion of modern liberalism.
In fact, one of the things I note in the book is that, in their childish black-white view of the world, (and getting their sense of those on the other side from the snide hacks of the mainstream press), the liberals surrounding us have absolutely no idea what we conservatives actually think and believe. Driven as they are by emotion, they certainly have no interest in engaging our ideas. What the estimable Roger L. Simon writes about Hollywood liberals in his book ‘Blacklisting Myself’ also applies to virtually every liberal I know: their “politics is at root sentimental. It’s about feeling good about yourself without having to do much more than sound off…”
I guess my overall sense of liberals can be summed up in the name I’m thinking of giving to the web site we’re starting in connection with the book: smarterthanmyliberalneighbors.com
BC: When do you think all of massive confusion regarding the Democratic Party’s identity—i.e. that they are the congress of the saints—began? Certainly, one would hope, after the end of segregation, but why does the general public buy into their myths? By these I mean, that government is charity, that federal programs equate with “saving the poor,” and that the left stands for “the little guy,” etc.
Harry Stein: Look, anyone who professes selfless dedication to the powerless and downtrodden – no matter how corrupt they may actually be—is always going to look good to those ready to forego critical thinking in the search for easy answers. It is not for nothing that, even as reports of Stalin’s Ukranian genocide emerged from the Soviet Union in the Thirties, hordes of young idealists, forebears of today’s liberal elite, rushed to join the American Communist Party, drawn by its supposed dedication to equity and justice.
Moreover, the notion that the government will take care of all of one’s needs is, for many, hugely seductive. To argue, as conservatives must, that that seduction is a trap – that it inhibits our capacity for action, robs of us possibility, infantilizes us – is a far more difficult task.
BC: You have a chapter entitled “Liberalism as a Mental Disorder” wherein you discuss Dr. Lyle Rossiter and his excellent book, The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness. Do you think that leftism is a psychological disorder? If so, it is not a terminal one as both you and I managed to overcome it.
Harry Stein: Perhaps the wisest course is to quote Dr. Rossiter himself here on the malady’s symptoms: “Prominent among them are a basic mistrust of cooperation; false perceptions of victimization; intense envy and underlying shame; a need to vilify and blame others; deficits in self-reliance and self-direction; a marked fear and avoidance of responsibility; infantile demandingness; an intense and often paranoid hostility; a need to manipulate, control and depend on others; a lack of courage, resilience and frustration tolerance; and various defects in ego ideals, conscience and impulse control. Therapy must also address the liberal’s self-pathology, especially his immaturity, self-centeredness and grandiosity; his lack of empathy for and recognition of others; his marked sense of entitlement; and his impaired self-esteem and identity. Educational programs to cure the liberal’s ignorance of free-market economics, libertarian political process, constitutional democracy, and the psychology of cooperation rank high among therapeutic priorities.”
Do I agree with this? Every word! The condition can indeed be cured, as you suggest, but this requires a degree of intellectual rigor and critical analysis that all too few liberals possess.
BC: Speaking of your personal life, throughout your analysis you try to bridge gaps with leftist associates…but fail. Your wife tries to bridge gaps…but fails. You even mention the “Shoot-Out over the Holiday Table” that you had with your father. Does the leftist markedly differ from the conservative in the fact that to them politics is a religious endeavor? Unlike your casual Democrat, is the leftist a true believer first and a friend and or family member later?
Harry Stein: Obviously, such a thing varies from case to case. But I do think that as a general rule it is a fool’s errand to try and find meaningful common ground with the serious (and, invariably, self serious) leftists in our midst. Their politics are indeed their religion, and they are even more provincial than the Southern Baptist fundamentalists they hold in such contempt; more smug, more intolerant and even less incapable of genuine back and forth. If such a person is a friend or family member, the best course is to keep the conversation to sports and movies; or, if that’s not possible, to prep before every meeting with healthy doses of Valium.
BC: You mention that you received $1700 dollars worth of damage to your car due to intolerant leftists keying the vehicle as a result of its being stamped with a McCain bumper sticker. Could it be that the leftists engaged in the behavior out of a realization that if they ever had to compete fairly with conservative ideas they would get trounced?
Harry Stein: Bernard, you give them waaaay too much credit. They don’t think things through to that extent. In their world, during the last election McCain (and especially Palin) = BAD. To them this was a given, like the sky is blue and those who oppose affirmative action are racist. We shouldn’t be trying to engage these people – an impossible task, anyway—we should treat them to the gentle ridicule that their sad condition merits.
BC: Along the lines of the last question, how much is the political left to blame for the decline of civility in modern society?
Harry Stein: Excellent question. I’d say a good ninety percent. To be sure, there are some on the right who are as vicious the nasties on the left. The difference is, they don’t have remotely the power or, yes, the respectability in mainstream circles of those on the left. Because we’re not talking merely the Keith Olbermanns of the world, but the likes of Bill Moyers and New York Times columnists, professors at prestigious universities and honchos at leftist think tanks, major stars of stage and screen and the creators of popular entertainment. Look at the poisonous the attacks on Carrie Prejean from all sorts of mainstream types for even presuming to defend her traditionalist values.
BC: Do you think the political left is completely immune to irony given their championing phrases like “respect diversity” when they themselves do nothing of the kind?
Harry Stein: They truly don’t see the irony, in the same way they’re blind to their own multiple hypocrisies. Diversity to them is looking different and thinking alike. True intellectual diversity is inconceivable for those who simply dismiss conservative ideas as “bad” and “dangerous” or, even worse, as “racist” or “homophobic”; they must be shouted down, not given a fair hearing in the marketplace. Frankly, I don’t know how much more plainly to put it: most of them really just aren’t very smart.
BC: You received the PC devil treatment in response to a speech you gave at the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank. In your narrative, you mention that “in the increasingly illiberal world of orthodox liberalism” argument has been replaced by poses of moral superiority and invective. Is this not just another indication of the fashion by which emotion has dispelled reason from the public square?
Harry Stein: Exactly. But the libs have also increasingly tried to see to it that those who disagree with them are deemed unworthy of being heard. In some precincts—on the campus, in journalism, in the world of popular entertainment—they have already succeeded to an alarming degree.
BC: Lastly, in terms of the academy, you mention the incredibly sad tale of the conservative academic who is abundantly qualified but cannot obtain employment. Is there any hope for the future of our colleges given that the baby boomers have now reached retirement age?
Harry Stein: A simple answer, with which others may disagree (and I pray they’re right). No hope.
BC: Thanks for your time, Mr. Stein.
Once, when I was a lad, I was verbally assaulted on the streets of New York by a paranoid schizophrenic. This raving lunatic came at me waving his hands wildly in the air with spittle and shrill curses spewing from his mouth in equal measure. I had been walking along lost in my own meditations and was so startled by the attack that for a moment, I couldn’t process it. I wondered: had I unwittingly done something wrong? It took me a moment to understand that, no, it had nothing to do with me, really. I had simply violated the borders of the poor fellow’s internal world. The abuse was, in some sense, his way of defending his fantasies from the threat of my reality.
Arguing with a leftist is something like that. Used to civilized debate with liberals and conservatives alike, you can’t quite take in what’s happening at first. Your ideas and observations are met with screeching venomous diatribes and personal attacks and you think, oh my goodness, have I said something untoward? It takes a moment before you realize, no, not at all. You have simply disturbed a cherished fantasy world and the resultant rage is a form of recognition that your ideas, if not always right, at least relate to reality and thus threaten to undermine the leftist’s chimerical sense of personal virtue.
Having nary a philosophical leg to stand on, the arguing leftist, to borrow a phrase from Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, “wants to win by making you weaker instead of making himself stronger.” So, instead of facts and observations to support his side, it’s all ad hominem attacks meant to shame, frighten or delegitimize you. We’re all wearily familiar with their insults by now: you’re a racist, you’re a sexist, you’re homophobe, you’re a fascist. A man can’t support his nation’s war effort because he’s not a veteran. A woman can’t write in favor of at-home Moms because then she’s not an at-home Mom at all but a professional journalist. And heaven forfend you should point out that certain feminists are just shrews with a fancy philosophical excuse—then they unleash the worst insult they can think of: you must be gay. And all of this is usually accompanied by a shrill steady blast of four letter words and other verbal savagery—anything to scare away nasty reality and keep their discredited worldview intact.
Last week, my Pajamas Express blog suffered an onslaught by these leftist haters. As far as I can tell, they were spurred on by someone named Glenn Greenwald, whom I don’t know, but who seems to have inspired them with a nonsensical personal attack of his own and then sent them forth like the Wicked Witch dispatching her flying monkeys. Now, my policy has always been to allow all comments on my site. I enjoy the debate, occasionally learn from it and frequently get a laugh from some hostile wit who lands a good one on me.
So at first I shrugged off the Attack of the Leftist Hate Monkeys.
Gwyneth Paltrow says Spain has "became a second home."
"It is so different from the United States. It seemed to have a history, and the buildings are years and years and years old. Here in the United States an old building is about 17 (years old), and over there it's from 500 B.C., it's incredible," she tells the Associated Press.
"Also, the way people live over there. They seem to enjoy life a little bit more," she continued. "They aren't running around as much as in New York. They enjoy time with the family. They don't always have their BlackBerry on."
(It's not the first time she's praised another country. In 2006, she stirred controversy for telling a Portuguese paper that she liked "the English lifestyle" because "it's not as capitalistic as America. People don't talk about work and money... they talk about interesting things at dinner." She later said she was misquoted.)
Mindstorm wrote: more ...
When Ronald Reagan set out to bring down the Soviet Union, he built up America's nuclear arsenal while deploying short-range nuclear warheads in Europe and undertaking a widely derided missile defense program. Reagan's build-up took place over the massive worldwide opposition of the left, much of it orchestrated by the Soviet Union under the auspices of one or another of its "peace initiatives."
Reagan's efforts induced a kind of mass hysteria. ABC brought us The Day After, the documentary-style film portraying a fictional nuclear war between NATO forces and the Warsaw Pact that rapidly escalated into a full-scale exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union. The film graphically displayed the effects of the war on Lawrence, Kansas. Nuclear war was a bitch, of course, and the film served as a timely warning against the nightmare toward which Reagan's policies would deliver us.
in Useful Idiots Mona Charen also recalls that public television brought us Testament (1983), "a moving film about a family in Washington State slowly dying of radiation poisoning after a nuclear war." Not to be outdone, Charen adds, NBC "broadcast its own scaremongering documentary called Facing Up To the Bomb (1982).
In 1983 protesters formed a 14-mile anti-nuclear "human chain" in Berkshire, England. When Reagan visited London for an economic summit the following year, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament turned out somewhere between 80,000 (police count) and 200,000 (CND count) protesters marching from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square to greet him. Reagan modestly avowed that he didn't "take credit for all of the demonstrators being there for me..."
Nowhere was the hysteria greater than on college campsuses. It manifested itself in intense hostility to the military, to national defense and security, and to every aspect of defense build-up. The college crowd hated Reagan's opposition to Communism, wherever applied.
This past Sunday the New York Times reported that in 1983, as a Columbia undergraduate, Barack Obama was among the useful idiots expressing high-minded disparagement of Reagan's defense policies. That's not exactly how the Times puts it, because reporters William Broad and David Sanger fail to supply the missing hsitorical context that Charen's book provides, and perhaps because the Times itself figures prominently among the useful idiots chronicled by Charen.
The Times article reports on Obama's 1983 article "Breaking the war mentality." The Times notes that in the article Obama railed against discussions of "first-versus second-strike capabilities" that "suit the military-industrial interests" with their "billion-dollar erector sets," and agitated for the elimination of global arsenals holding tens of thousands of deadly warheads.
The Times chooses to portray Obama's 1983 article as the early expression of his continuing pursuit of "a nuclear free world." While others may hope that Obama has outgrown his youthful radicalism, the Times suggests that he is fulfilling it. Unfortunately, that's true too.
Mindstorm wrote:I'm always amazed when people make their fortune in the USA and then head overseas to bad-mouth the country. It was the greatest country when they were raking in millions, but now --- not so much.
Or those billionaires who now claim the capitalism is all wrong.
Those who suspect the president is engaged in a bit of dangerous self-delusion and denial about certain unpleasant realities regarding the threats from rogue states won’t be heartened to read that his current non-proliferation fetish stems, at least according to the New York Times, from his college infatuation with the nuclear freeze movement. Apparently, youthful Obama did not focus on the results from Ronald Reagan’s refusal to buy into the fantasies of liberals –namely the fall of the Soviet Empire. That lesson has entirely eluded now-president Obama. Is it any wonder his critics find his posture fraught with peril and entirely out-of-touch with the threats we face?
As the Times reports:“This is dangerous, wishful thinking,” Senator Jon Kyl, Republican of Arizona, and Richard Perle, an architect of the Reagan-era nuclear buildup that appalled Mr. Obama as an undergraduate, wrote last week in The Wall Street Journal. They contend that Mr. Obama is, indeed, a naïf for assuming that “the nuclear ambitions of Kim Jong-il or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would be curtailed or abandoned in response to reductions in the American and Russian deterrent forces.”
In the interview, the president described his agenda as the best way to move forward in a turbulent world.
“It’s naïve for us to think,” he said, “that we can grow our nuclear stockpiles, the Russians continue to grow their nuclear stockpiles, and our allies grow their nuclear stockpiles, and that in that environment we’re going to be able to pressure countries like Iran and North Korea not to pursue nuclear weapons themselves.”
But what is naïve, of course, is to think that Iran and North Korea will be impressed by our disarmament efforts. No consideration is given, just as none was given by the nuclear freeze crowd a generation ago, to the possibility that disarmament will only embolden our adversaries and confuse our allies. But apparently Obama’s worldview has not matured much since his Columbia days:Mr. Obama’s journalistic voice was edgy with disdain for what he called “the relentless, often silent spread of militarism in the country” amid “the growing threat of war.” The two groups, he wrote, “visualizing the possibilities of destruction and grasping the tendencies of distorted national priorities, are throwing their weight into shifting America off the dead-end track.”
So little has changed. President Obama, like college student Obama, still fails to grasp the moral and political dimensions of the struggle we are involved in, still lacks any appreciation for the nature of totalitarian despots and of the motives compelling them to seek nuclear weapons. He is still fixated on the notion that weakness can resolve international threats. Unfortunately, the consequences for student Obama were not potentially fatal to his country. The reality is different today. As the Times notes:Critics argue that the North Koreas of the world will simply defy the ban — and that the international community will fail to punish offenders.
“If the implications were not so serious, the discrepancy between Mr. Obama’s plans and real-world conditions would be hilarious,” said Frank J. Gaffney Jr., a Reagan-era Pentagon official who directs the Center for Security Policy, a private group in Washington. “There is only one country on earth that Team Obama can absolutely, positively denuclearize: Ours.”
And really, what excuse is there for Obama’s ludicrous worldview? Unlike student Obama, President Obama knows how the Cold War ended. And it wasn’t by disarming America.
Mindstorm wrote:I see Robert Spencer just came under attack by some professors -- Profs try to block Spencer appearance at American Library Association conference ...
I wrote the other day about how some alleged believers in free speech among American academia are trying to block my speaking at the American Library Association convention this Sunday. Now the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), true to form, has gotten into the act, sending the ALA a fresh steaming pile of defamation, lies, and distortions (drawing once again on material from its favorite useful idiot, the discredited, thoroughly dishonest Charles Johnson of that cesspool of lies and hate, Little Green Footballs), asking that I be dropped from the ALA panel. (Johnson discredited and dishonest? Click on the photo above and you'll get the whole story.)
Whatever the ALA does, I am not going to let CAIR's libels go unanswered.
My friend and colleague Marisol Seibold does a terrific job monitoring the comments fields, and removes such comments when she sees them. But there are a great many comments, and sometimes one may slip by and remain. Does that mean I endorse it? No -- read the disclaimer at the top of every comment field. And for the best explanation of why it is preposterous to try to tar me with what commenters say, let's go to...Charles Johnson! Before he became thoroughly morally corrupt and betrayed all of his principles, Johnson wrote this (you'll have to copy and paste the link for it to work; the aging adolescent libelblogger has blocked direct links from this site) at LGF when CAIR, of all people, tried to defame him over comments on his site:
* There are more than 25,000 registered users at LGF.
* There are often more than 5,000 comments posted every single day.
* It is run by *one* person, and comments such as those quoted by CAIR are policed and deleted as soon as possible. But this is an open discussion forum, and comments do not represent the opinion of LGF — as the disclaimer states on every single page of comments.
* The comments quoted by CAIR were posted at LGF for less than two hours before CAIR sent out their press release, and were deleted as soon as the administrator (that would be me) became aware of them. CAIR did not contact me about the comments either—they just went straight to the FBI, and put out a libelous press release.
BC: Congratulations on the release of United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror. Let me inquire first, how pervasive are lies in regards to the left’s stated policies and positions? Is deception intrinsic to their attempts at seizing power?
Jamie Glazov: Deception and self-deception is how the Left operates. The Left wears a mask pretending it cares for humanity but it cares for everything but that. If the Left cared, for instance, about women’s rights and gay rights, would it not be on the forefront of a global campaign to stop persecution of gays and honor killings, female genital mutilation and forced veiling under Islam? But it can’t do that because then it would have to admit that Western civilization is superior and an adversarial ideology inferior, and this would simply violate the Party Line and the very reason for the Left’s existence.
American Library Association Panelists Refuse to Appear with Robert Spencer
An American Library Association panel discussion on Islam has been canceled, after three of the four panelists refused to participate with anti-Islam blogger Robert Spencer.
On July 7th, a group of nine members sent the ALA an open letter regarding Robert Spencer’s participation. This led to the withdrawal of Dr. Marcia Hermansen, a professor of Islamic Studies at Loyola University, neuropsychologist Dr. Alia Ammar, and Dr. Esmail Koushanpour of Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago.
Spencer, meanwhile, blames me for it, in a bizarre 2300-word rant that’s nearly incoherent with rage and venom.
Here’s the latest statement from the organization behind the Islam panel.
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