Logomachon






Clearing the Fog
in the
War of Words

 

   
  logomachy--1. A dispute about words. 2. A dispute carried on in words only; a battle of words.
logomachon--1. One who argues about words. 2. A word warrior.

   
   
   
 

2004-09-03
 

L'honneur de Bush

I wonder what kind of cheese they make


En 2003, il y eut 208 attentats terroristes dans le monde, il y en avait 348 en 2001, soit une baisse de 41%. Le nombre de victimes était de 625 en 2003, contre 3547 morts en 2001 ; soit une chute de 83%. Les femmes afghanes sont libres et la burka – que nos intellectuels français déploraient tant - est tombée, avec elle deux dictatures parmi les plus sombres de la planète. Et les fosses communes découvertes en Iraq, révélant les cadavres de milliers de victimes du régime saddamite, justifient à elles seules l’intervention occidentale au cœur du Moyen Orient.
The Web is too much. I could fill my hard drive with links to amazing sites.
Any way, thus writes Bruno José Lebeau in "L'honneur de Bush" at Europolitica, a "Political Revue of French Neoconservatives": Those who have been indoctrinated by TV bimbos with the Chirac view of international relations are wrong, he says [loosely translated].

Then he goes on, in the paragraph above, to list some of Dubya's achievements, while French Jacques and Bohemian-American Jean "Self-Made-Up Man" Kerie have agonized over Bush's "risky" course:

Terrorist attacks: 2001-348 vs. 2003-208. Down 40% [Lebeau has trouble with rounding]
Deaths: 2001-3547 vs. 2003-625. Down 82%
Grim dictatorships ended: 2
Misc: Afghan women freed, the burka buried, and mass graves of Saddam's victims uncovered.

"Political Revue of French Neoconservatives", eh. (Who knew?) I wonder how their cheese is. The Canadian Brie from Trader Joe's just isn't doing it for me.
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Dem reaction to Bush's speech

Dem reaction to Bush's speech


Afer John Kerry listened to the second part of President Bush's acceptance speech, he discovered he had gnawed his leg off. Senator Edwards plans to sue for damages and a Purple Heart.

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2004-08-31
 

A bacchanal of cranks

A bacchanal of cranks


The pictures of the protesters at the Republican convention reminded me of what febrile nut cases gravitate toward the Left, and that reminded me, inevitably, of George Orwell's thoughts on Leftist cranks.


UPDATE: It's great having someone else do your research for you. James Taranto and Byron York, Logomachon's crack field reporters, have some more reports on the Leftist obsessives.


Going straight to the source, Are We Out of Touch with Common Humanity?, from a vegan Web site, is delightful not just because it consists largely of a more extensive quotations than usual of Orwell's famous opinion of the cranks who gravitate toward Socialism:
In addition to this there is the horrible--the really disquieting--prevalence of cranks wherever Socialists are gathered together. One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words 'Socialism' and 'Communism' draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, 'Nature Cure' quack, pacifist, and feminist in England.
The article also is amusing for its failure to address the issue framed in the title and its own fatuous conclusion that things are better now.

Things are really not much different, although the "fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac" perspective is more mainstream now. Even more devastating was Orwell’s characterization of the mainstream Leftist, which immediately precedes the section quoted:
The typical Socialist is not, as tremulous old ladies imagine, a ferocious-looking working man with greasy overalls and a raucous voice. He is either a youthful snob-Bolshevik who in five years' time will quite probably have made a wealthy marriage and been converted to Roman Catholicism; or, still more typically, a prim little man with a white-collar job, usually a secret teetotaller and often with vegetarian leanings, with a history of Nonconformity behind him, and, above all, with a social position which he has no intention of forfeiting. [You can read it all here.]
Orwell's typology of the Left is still true, though the cranks are more gaudy and more blatant in displaying the quirks and crochets that rule them. The protesters in NYC have put on display--in a way precluded by the lingering Edwardian sensibilities of inter-War England--the vivid world of stale archetypes that all the Left inhabit, where in the narcissistic way of unhappy children, great forces are all focused on them. The protesters at the RNC with their violence, costumes, nakedness, and body paint are distinctive only in their need to be open about their alienation from the adult world.

No less alienated, the front men for the Left--the politicians and journalists--succeed because they are able to discuss this worldview in coded phrases that sound sort of like rational, fact-based discourse, and of course one needed but to scratch a DNC delegate to disclose another alien in the mufti of prim little men and women in white-collar jobs.

The pre-convention protest activities are characterized by violence and portent; what they lack is meaning, in the sense of words, gestures, and symbols that point to things as they really are. As is usual with such things, the protests around the RNC are styled a "counter convention", as though the RNC would cause a Great Disturbance in the political plane unless it is neutralized or counter-balanced (the metaphors get a little confused). In contrast, while the Republicans had a response team at the DNC, it would never occur to conservatives that the DNC had to be expunged from the universe, let alone that it could be.

From that observation, it is a small step to realizing that the protests are really in the way of being a pagan religious festival. As Aristotle said, the (proper) end of politics is wise government. Politics is the process of selecting and influencing governors who will rule wisely; in a democracy this includes the general populace. Politics is also, in a famous phrase, the art of the possible.

The counter convention has zero chance of influencing either the RNC or the general populace; as politics it is a nullity. Hence, its purpose must be personal or spiritual. On the Left, these spheres are pretty well intertwined; for the cranky Left, there is no conflict between exhibitionism and prayer. (What did Jesus say about retiring to your room to pray rather than making a self-congratulatory spectacle of yourself?) Hence the signs; the anti-globalization acrobats; the frenzied parading of some symbols and attacks on other symbols (Starbucks and McDonalds); the paeans to a different, better world. They use the media and venues of political discourse, but they are not addressed to anyone. The protesters are engaged in a spiritual fight, pitting their own spiritual energy against the forces and structures of wickedness, on a landscape the non-believer cannot see and does not recognize when it is described to him.

Do not look for intelligibility. What makes the demonstrations significant to the protesters is how they demonstrate the purity of their source, namely the protesters souls. The banners and slogans are not meant to engage us in a dialogue. They are self-expression, a baring of the soul in a plea to the Heavens to rescue their world from its slide into the abyss of Republican evil.

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Back-up Purple Heart

Back-up: The Purple Heart Kerry was ashamed to apply for—until now


WASHINGTON (HENS) EXCLUSIVE--Senator John Kerry has recommended himself for a Purple Heart for a previously unreported injury received during his combat tour in Vietnam more than 35 years ago.

The new award recommendation is accompanied by a statement from Kerry describing how he suffered the injury as a result of enemy action and a report from his proctologist confirming the injury and describing its lingering consequences.

Kerry received three Purple Hearts and two valor awards during his four months as a captain of a “Swift boat” in Vietnam from December 1968 to April 1969.

The recommendation apparently was submitted as his campaign prepared to concede that Kerry’s most controversial Purple Heart--earliest in time but awarded third--was awarded for a slight wound Kerry gave himself with his own grenade.

Still qualified to leave early
Veterans from Kerry’s Vietnam unit have challenged his account of his Vietnam service and criticized his decision to leave Vietnam after receiving the third--now disavowed--Purple Heart. If the new Purple Heart is awarded, it would mean that Kerry still qualified for early departure from Vietnam.

Kerry claims the injury occurred during his last combat mission, on 13 March 1968. Kerry was awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his actions later that day.

Kerry describes how he and some of his crew had gone ashore to retrieve the body of a “Nung” Vietnamese mercenary who had been killed by a booby trap. As Kerry, armed only with his favored M-79 grenade launcher and carrying a radio, and his crewmen were dragging the body, bundled in ponchos, back to their boat, they came under fire and had to jump into a ditch, where Kerry jammed his M-16’s muzzle into the mud. This matches published accounts by Kerry’s biographers. These versions continue with Kerry and his crew scrambling over a dike and carrying the corpse back to the boat through a mangrove swamp.

In the recommendation, Kerry reveals details left out of earlier accounts. As the fire fight raged about them, Kerry, carrying the corpse and further burdened with an M-16 rifle, an M-79 grenade launcher, an 81mm mortar, and his walkie-talkie radio, leapt over a dike into the mangrove swamp.

“As I vaulted over the dike and landed in the mud on the other side, I was overbalanced by the corpse on my shoulder,” Kerry writes in his statement. As he struggled to keep his feet, one foot slipped out from under him and he “did a ‘split’.” The extra weight forced his feet rapidly apart. As he hit the ground, he writes, he “felt a searing pain, sort of a ripping or tearing ‘down there’.”

Ironic thoughts in 'stinking ooze'
In a passage he says is taken from his wartime diary, Kerry relates that “As I sprawled in the stinking ooze, I thought how ironic it was that the shattered, blasted remains of what had once been a brave warrior had contributed to my own undoing, to the searing--but apparently non-lethal--rending of my own mortal flesh. It gave me a new perspective on life and its meaning and how we had to take our opportunities where we saw them. I saw then the falseness of all we had been told by president Bush, that the past was dead and just weighted us down.” When his crewmen came over the dike, he told them to pick up the dead mercenary but didn’t tell them why he was hobbling.

Kerry reports that the injury continued to cause him discomfort, especially “at certain times,” but explains that he was embarrassed to go to a Navy doctor for an examination. In any event, he was soon released from Vietnam duty and on his way back to the United States.

Back home in Boston, he soon saw his personal proctologist, Dr. Samuel Huntweis. Dr. Huntweis, supported the award recommenddation with a copy of his original examination notes and a description of how Kerry has coped with the long-term effects.

At the initial examination on 10 April 1969, Dr. Huntweis states that he noted “a trauma-induced injury ‘down there’.” The injury continues to cause Senator Kerry “difficulty.” Sometimes, the doctor told teld the award review board, “certain functions cannot be completed without digital manipulation.”

In Washington and on the campaign trail, initial responses to the reported recommendation have been marked by reticence and reluctance.

Rumsfeld's comments
Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld was the most forthcoming. When questioned by reporters in a Wendy’s parking lot, he handed them a sheet of paper in which he subjected himself to a grueling grilling.
“Is this a terrible, horrifying, embarrassing violation of Senator Kerry’s privacy?"
“My goodness gracious, yes."
“Do you accept or reject the suggestion that this makes Senator Kerry look like a self-aggrandizing, fabulating twit?”
“I think that we can take that as a given.”

Mr. Rumsfeld said he didn't have time to explain what he meant by “fabulating,” saying that he would like to, but “not as much as Mrs. Rumsfeld likes to have her fries hot.”

Kerry campaign spokesman Mike Meehan hotly denied any knowledge of a recommendation for a new Purple Heart. He characterized such a submission--35 years after the fact--as “a little unusual”, but not “out of the ordinary.” Any such award would be, he said, just a “routine correction” of the record.

Meehan at first refused comment on Kerry’s alleged injury, but after persistent, pointed questioning by reporters, Meehan declared that he did not “think ‘digital manipulation’ necessarily means the Senator ‘has his finger up his butt on a daily basis’.”

Howling Ether News Service—When you can’t find it anywhere else, you can pull it out of the Howling Ether.

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2004-08-29
 

Baby parts for sale

Baby parts for sale




I am a human being. Do not bend, spindle, fold, or chop into pieces for resale.

Remember when the progressive slogan of the day was the stunning revelation that students ought to be given at least the same consideration as computer cards? (Remember computer cards?)

Ah, Progress. Mona Charen describes the harvesting of parts from aborted babies for sale to researchers. The firm that handles the distribution promises clients
the highest quality, most affordable, freshest tissue prepared to your specifications and delivered in the quantities you need, when you need it.
To meet these standards, the abortion clinics take orders and try to produce specimens in the best condition, even if it means delivering living babies and drowning them or beating them to death--usually before the dissection begins.

How does it happen that the Left, which is always for humanity, always armed with touching stories of people's suffering, always ends up murdering millions?

The reason is that old joke: they love humanity but don't care about people. The left is fixed on building a perfect world. People are either building materials or obstacles. Sometimes, though, in the privacy of the police state, the leaders of the Soviet Union were more candid than our Progressives can be. Over the gates of the Solovki Gulag camp they posted this motto:
With an Iron Fist, We Will Lead Humanity to Happiness.


So I'm sure the selling of baby parts is all for the best.
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Swift enough for you?

Swift enough for you?



My mother liked to remind us of Jane Ace's aphorism, "Time wounds all heels". And so it does, sometimes by making pre-printed letters out-of-date before they are received.

I just got a letter from the Democratic National Committee with a full-color, signed photo of the Kedward team. I should say, "Registered Photo Number 160920059 Exclusively for" me. The letter of course, asks for money to help the Democrats
reclaim the government from a band of harsh ideologues, end George Bush's willful control of the White House [yes, the petulant twits actually complain that the President is running the White House], end Dick Cheney's smug and arrogant tactics of misinformation [I'd say You're another, but I'm not sure what it means] and send the Bush crew of Rumsfeld, Ashcroft and Rove out of office.
The letter goes on to say that Kedward are "campaigning with untiring stamina", and closes with this gem: "Your swift response to this plea for help will enable us to stay strong in the fight."

You'd think they'd had all the Swift responses they could handle.
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