Friday, October 29, 2010

Delaware is still in play

Some of you may be aware that an internet site called Gawker (I won't link to it, you can find it if you really want to) posted a story by a young man, now identified as Dustin Dominiak (you can read the details of his outing in this post on TSG), in which he relates what he claims to be the details of a "one night stand" with Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell.

I read the account penned by Mr. Dominiak and have to report to you that it reads very much like a Penthouse letter - with all the credibility that such letters typically have.

Given the fact that Mr. Dominiak has a couple of photographs of himself and Ms. O'Donnell sitting together wearing Halloween costumes in a bar it is apparent that he did encounter her at some sort of Halloween happening somewhere or other.

However the rest of Mr. Dominiak's story reads like something a half drunk frat boy might post on his Facebook page to get even with the girl who laughed at him when he asked her to accompany him to the men's room of a bar for oral sex.

The fact that Gawker admits to paying a few thousand dollars for this adolescent fantasy makes it all the more pathetic.

So pathetic that one must ask themselves why they would even bother. After all the polls are supposed to show liberal Democrat Coons with a nearly 18 point lead over O'Donnell so the race would seem to be over. Why then lay out money for a transparently false story that can have no other purpose than to embarrass Ms. O'Donnell?

One answer that springs to mind is that since Ms. O'Donnell is a conservative Christian she is the very embodiment of evil to the progressive left. In the left's fevered imagination any such person who dares to seek political power must not only be defeated but destroyed utterly.

They must be punished and an example must be made of them so that others like them will not be tempted to challenge the left's entitlement to power.

That could certainly explain the desire to go one step beyond in taking down Christine O'Donnell. However there is another and probably more likely explanation for the desire to slime Ms. O'Donnell.

She may not be as far behind in the polls as the mainstream media wants us to believe she is.

Check out this poll from the Monmouth University Polling Institute. By their own reckoning Christine O'Donnell has cut Coon's lead down to 10 points. AND she is leading Mr. Coons in the southern part of the state and has a 5 point lead over Coons among independent voters statewide!

The only thing keeping Coons in the lead is a large advantage in New Castle County. A lead which depends in large part upon minority and young voters who are the least likely to actually show up and vote on election day. Another factor to be considered is the 8% of the voters who are still undecided. Historically undecided voters break for the party out of power in the closing days of an election (explaining why Coons' lead is shrinking).

The people of Delaware are asking themselves if they can really afford to send a rubber stamp for Barack Obama's destructive policies, which threaten their jobs, their homes and their children's future, to Washington.

More and more are saying "NO". Will enough of Delaware's citizens decide to cast a rational vote against the Obama agenda?

I don't know. But what I do know is that this race is not over and Christine O'Donnell absolutely can win.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Obama caught on tape smoking crack with whore in DC motel room!

Sorry, just wanted to see how many search engine hits that would get.

Go back to what you were doing.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Unintended Consequences?

Leo Grin has a good piece on Big Hollywood about how the minimum wage ruined the movie going experience.

And yes, at movie theaters (movie palaces, they were called, and looked the part) they would usher you to your seat with a flashlight and a smile. If someone starting talking during the picture, the usher would shut them up. If the film was out of focus, an usher would alert the projectionist.

You were happy to have the service and the smile, they were happy to have the tip and the job. Everyone was happy. Life was good.

Then the liberals descended like vampires (the Stoker kind, not the Meyer kind) and passed all manner of laws and regulations about who these businesses could employ and at what price. Almost overnight, all of these service jobs vanished.

Why? Economist Peter Schiff explains it well in a trenchant article he wrote last year titled “Minimum Wage, Maximum Stupidity”:

When confronted with a clogged drain, most of us will call several plumbers and hire the one who quotes us the lowest price. If all the quotes are too high, most of us will grab some Drano and a wrench, and have at it. Labor markets work the same way. Before bringing on another worker, an employer must be convinced that the added productivity will exceed the added cost (this includes not just wages, but all payroll taxes and other benefits.) So if an unskilled worker is capable of delivering only $6 per hour of increased productivity, such an individual is legally unemployable with a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

These days we all go through life with our humanity and civilization diminished because of these laws. Look around, and you’ll see old people struggling to pump their gas or carry their luggage. You’ll see Mom and Dad ready to pop a blood vessel as they frantically navigate through computerized telephone menus looking for a real live human being who can help them. Simultaneously, you’ll see an ever-growing army of unskilled people — mostly teenagers looking to break into the job market — denied the opportunity to work because liberals have made it functionally illegal to employ them.

Such problems are a direct and predictable consequence of thoughtless wage and employer regulations, and they’ve wreaked quiet devastation on our society and standard of living, especially among the very people they were originally designed to help.

Go and read the rest.

Economists call this sort of thing an "unintended consequence", an unplanned on and unanticipated result of the six hundred pound gorilla of government regulation rampaging through the china shop of the economy.

In recent times I have tended to rethink the idea of unintended consequences, at least in situations like this. After all if teenagers get a taste of productive work. If they get a chance to feel the satisfaction of receiving a paycheck for a job well done (and feel the dismay of seeing how large a chunk of that paycheck is swallowed by state and federal government) they will be less dependent upon government. And worse, from the standpoint of the progressive left, they will be less desirous of being dependent upon government.

The same can be said of senior citizens. The less they depend upon their Social Security check the less susceptible they are to the Democrat party's lies about Republicans wanting the "steal their Social Security".

In short the left wants as few people looking to themselves for the fulfillment of life's needs as possible and as many looking to the government as possible. Make as many people practically unemployable as possible and you automatically grow your natural constituency.

And this is precisely what minimum wage laws do and do disproportionally to the young, seniors and minorities.

At first minimum wages were probably a well intentioned but misguided effort to elevate those at the lower end of the economic ladder. However now that their actual negative effects upon those they were intended to help can not be denied their current value to those who still support them cannot be denied either.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tonight's Music

Here's something mellow to start off your weekend.

Call me SENATOR, you little army punk

Call Me Senator from RightChange on Vimeo.

The creator of this video, David Zucker, calls it his appology for supporting and contributing to Ms. Boxer's first Senate campaign.

Let us hope that the people of California will have enough pride to be embarassed enough about his wretched woman to send her home next month.

Also it should be noted that all the actors and crew donated their efforts to this project.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The left loses it

J.R. Dunn had a good piece on American Thinker the other day:

History tells us that organizations, movements, even entire nations can go mad in much the same way an individual does, with the same expression of irrationality, frenzy, and violence. Recent evidence suggests that the American left is going through precisely such a breakdown.

[. . .]

What better metaphor for the current condition of the left? Leftism suffers from an equivalent psychosis -- one that is now beginning to break out. This is not by chance, but due to the ongoing collapse of the left's epic dream. Leftists have always believed that one clear shot, one opportunity to put their policies into play without opposition from "reactionary interests," would result in a political chain reaction, success leading to further success and finally absolute triumph as the New Socialist Jerusalem came into being with almost no effort on their part. This is childish fantasy, a wish-fulfillment daydream, transparent almost to the point of contempt. (It's also extremely ahistorical -- exactly such circumstances existed in 1933 and 1964 due to historical accident. Liberals botched things then exactly as they are doing now.) But for many years, it has been the only thing keeping the left going.

Leftists really believed that Obama embodied their moment. Obama held all the cards -- majorities in both houses, a slavish press that viewed him as no less than a godling, an enthusiastic public, even an acquiescent international establishment, overlooking a few holdouts such as Kim and Ahmadinejad. No left-of-center president has had a smoother road before him -- not FDR, not Lyndon Johnson. Yet Obama's efforts amount to utter failure -- not because of opposition from the "party of no," not because of circumstances, not because of sabotage, but because of Obama's "success" itself. He got the bills passed, guaranteed that their execution would be in the hands of extraconstitutional figures beholden only to him, and got them funded by means both legal and illegal. All of it was put into play with a smoothness that only Chicago thuggery combined with socialist chicanery could accomplish. He launched them, and they crashed, and they burned.

They crashed and burned because they cannot work. Not in a universe with natural laws that operate the way they do and with human nature constituted as it is. They have never worked anywhere they have been tried -- not in Europe, not in Asia, not in Africa, nowhere across this wide world. Obama's grand schemes have been attempted previously. The failures were hurriedly stuffed down the memory hole, enabling the left to hope for another shot sometime down the line. (No small number of people in this country -- many of them not doctrinaire leftists by any means -- truly believe that FDR "ended" the Depression.)

But today they have a problem -- several, in point of fact. The first is that the memory hole has in large part been filled in over the past decade and a half by such things as the internet and the New Media. It's no longer a simple matter to shove nationwide failures out of sight. It may not even be possible.

The second is the fact that this time, they bet the house. They put everything down on Obama. Because it had to work. Because the third time was the charm. Because O was the messiah. And now they're sitting in the casino dead broke, without another dime to lay on the table, and through the doorway they can hear the shouts of the people whose money they embezzled.

This is why the left is being overwhelmed by psychosis. Because they are up against the wall with no way out. Under such circumstances, the strong individual bites the bullet and runs for daylight. The weak fall apart. It's been a long, long time since anyone defined leftists as "strong."

The left's psychosis, like those of many individuals, involves violence. Simply put, no left-wing regime has ever attained complete power without causing the deaths of its own citizens on a mass scale. We need simply give a short roll call of the bloody names: the USSR, Red China, "Democratic Kampuchea," Cuba, Vietnam...these speak well enough for themselves.

Some of the mortality incurred by social-nationalist states is caused by accident -- policies that simply don't work out (this includes hundreds of thousands of deaths in the U.S. itself, another memory-hole saga that is going to emerge back into the light come this January). But violence is the major cause -- the ubiquitous secret police, the not at all uncommon massacres, the brutal crushing of dissidents and workers' protests, and the camp networks that no leftist government can do without. A left-wing state cannot exist without violence because there is no other method of keeping the people in line once the inevitable policy failures occur.

[. . .]

Most recently, we have had the incident marking the full emergence of left-wing psychosis in all its mad glory: the "No Pressure" film released by the 10:10 group. Few AT readers can have missed discussion of this little gem, which features a series of vignettes in which anyone opposed to the "global warming" hoax is annihilated by a magic button that blows them to pieces on the spot. (Some may protest that the film is English -- the author, Richard Curtis, is noted for his genteel British comedies. But in truth, it's international -- Gillian Anderson is American, and if you were to further trace artistic and financial involvement, you'd find plenty more Yanks in the mix.)

This is as clear a depiction of left-wing psychosis as we are ever going to see. It is the yearning -- of an intensity beyond the grasp of sane, normal individuals-- to possess some means of total power, some instrument of near-divine retribution and punishment. Not for personal aggrandizement or sadistic pleasure, no, not at all...but simply to remove those stones in the path of progress: the Neanderthals, the troglodytes, the reactionaries, who are standing between the people and their righteous destiny. We'll use it just a few times, only against the really bad ones, and only to make an impression. And once we do that, we'll put it aside, and never, ever touch it again, we promise...

This is infantilism, pure and simple, as all psychoses are, including the one diagnosed by Jung. It is a compulsive belief that the world needs to bow to the demands of the eternal child immediately and without protest. And when it doesn't -- and we can be sure it won't -- it must be punished to the limits of the imagination and beyond. This is the impulse behind leftism, stacked to the roof as it is with people who never grew out of deepest childhood, who have grown twisted and embittered in the conviction that world has let them down and must pay for it.

It is also the impulse of the tyrant from time immemorial, from the Neros and Ashurbanipals to the Stalins and Maos of our own epoch. In "Pressure," we see it expressed more clearly than ever before, by extremely talented and sophisticated people, in the expectation that it will encourage others. (Another point that struck me was the way the film mixes bloodshed with whimsy. Whimsicality -- what unfunny people have instead of a sense of humor -- has always been a mark of the left. Now it has been publicly intertwined with the impulse to kill. How sick is that?)

[. . .]

But it will come to nothing. No socialist paradise, no universal nanny government, and certainly no police state. It will come to nothing thanks to one simple fact: the American left has no spine.

Go read the whole thing.

This, like Angelo Codevilla's article (and now book) on America's ruling class, answers many questions.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Horror Movies

Since Halloween is approaching I thought it would be fun to compile a list of the best horror movies of all time. First of all let's lay a couple of ground rules.

One, the movies must involve the supernatural. A movie about a serial killer stalking his victim or a subway car full of innocent citizens at the mercy psycho gang members can be scary indeed but those are primarily crime movies while the Halloween season requires the participation of something beyond ordinary human evil.

Two, we can stipulate that the old black and white horror movies starring actors like Bella Lugosi, Lon Chaney and Boris Karloff playing Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster and the werewolf were all great films. Many people, me included, think they are more enjoyable than almost everything calling itself a "horror movie" that comes out of Hollywood today. But to be honest most of them were products of the "if people will pay to see it once they will pay to see it again and again so make a sequel" mentality. They were hastily written and hastily produced with little in the way of special effects (even by the standards of the times).

What makes these films classics are the dignity and class infused every part of the creative process which produced them. Their underlying attitude was that there is such a thing as good and evil and that good inherently deserves to win. This is why tormented Larry Talbot was willing to end his life if it would break the curse that turned him into a werewolf, why Dracula always ended up with a wooden stake through his heart and why at the end of the movie we realized that the true monster was Dr. Frankenstein himself.

Another aspect of why these old movies are superior to most of the blood and gore slash-fests which pass for modern horror movies is the fact that the standards which Hollywood was forced to conform to in the past did not allow for the graphic violence which modern directors rely upon instead of good writing, good acting and good direction.

But all that these pictures have going for them cannot save them from the fact that they were formulaic cookie-cutter productions intended for children and teenagers. In other words they occupied the same market niche as Friday the 13th part 29 and so do not really qualify for a list of pictures which are not only fun to watch but actually advance the art of movie making.

With that out of the way here is the beginning of my list of the greatest horror movies of all time.

1. The Exorcist. A beautiful little girl is possessed by a demon. The evil creature uses her to preform acts of evil from the symbolic (desecrating a statue of the Virgin Mary in a local Catholic church) to the concrete (committing cold blooded murder). It strips her of her innocence and attacks everyone around her in ways designed to create terror and confusion to challenge faith and create despair. The only flaw in the movie was that in the end the demon was vanquished not by the power of God but by the compassion of the priest who offered himself in exchange for the child and committed suicide before the beast could assert full control over his body.

2. The Exorcist III. Forget the others in the series. Exorcist III is the true sequel to the original, written by William Peter Blatty it manages to create the same atmosphere of suspense and invoke the same sense of oppressive evil.

3. Rosemary's Baby. I thought strongly about making this no. 1. Roman Polanski is certainly a low life dirtbag rapist who deserves to die behind bars, but he did manage to make of the the best horror movies of all time. The way the situation is set up lets the audience know that something evil is afoot even while young Rosemary Woodhouse is only beginning to realize that something isn't exactly right. Everything about this movie works together perfectly to create the desired effect. The photography, the location, the music and above all the acting.

4. Halloween. This was the first of its kind and must be judged on that basis. It was genuinly creative rather than copycat. Even though the rules for this list require that the evil be supernatural it is strongly suggested that Michael Myers is more (or is it less) than merely human.

To be honest this is all I can come up with. What emerges from Hollywood in the current era is almost universally garbage. Directors imagine that special effects, an ocean of fake blood and a giant helping of hipster nihilism are the only things required to make a "scary" movie.

Some pictures deserve an honorable mention however.

Phantasm. This was an excellent movie but is doesn't make the list for two reasons. One, the villains were aliens not supernatural beings and two, it wasn't so much scary as it was wicked cool and funny in a twisted and perverse way.

Alien. Magnificent film, but again it was about an alien not a supernatural horror.

Rawhead Rex. Good concept but suffers from hokey special effects and an ending that's a little too pat. Still it gets points for having the first openly gay demonic monster. Also the movie reinforces an important lesson. Standing stones are standing where they are for a reason. Don't knock them down!

Halloween III: Season of the Witch. If this film had been trying to be funny it would be a work of genius. As it is it is little more than schlock intended to cash in on the Halloween franchise, but if you want a laugh sit down with this DVD and a six-pack.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The mask comes off

This video is not the product of a Monty Python reunion.

It is the handiwork of Richard Curtis and his wife Emma Freud (Emma is the great-granddaughter of Dr. Sigmund Freud, proving that being crazy as a shithouse rat runs in families).

Curtis and Freud are part of a British group called 10:10 which wants the British people (as the video states) to cut their carbon emissions by 10% this year.

What is most telling about this is that environmentalists have finally pulled back the curtain and revealed the true face of the monster within.

James Delingpole writes in the Telegraph:

With No Pressure, the environmental movement has revealed the snarling, wicked, homicidal misanthropy beneath its cloak of gentle, bunny-hugging righteousness.

I don’t think any of us will ever be able to look at another Richard Curtis movie in quite the same way ever again. It may even be that we will now never, ever be able to enjoy another episode of the Vicar of Dibley, because all we’ll be able to think about is Dawn French with a Panzerfaust beneath her cassock ready to blast off the heads of any members of her congregation who don’t believe in Man Made Global Warming. What a sad day this is for us all.

PS If you want to register your disgust, a commenter from the previous blog Reconstruct has some helpful suggestions:

Now you’ve seen the video, prepare not to be surprised that your taxes helped pay for it.

The 10:10 Campaign is supported by:
ActionAid (Govt of UK 2nd largest funder in 2009);
The Carbon Trust (surely #1 on the list of quangos-to-go);
The Energy Saving Trust.

Be not surprised that The Guardian is their ‘media partner’.

On the other hand, if you’re outraged by the video, you might be interested to know that they also have a small number of genuine commercial sponsors: O2, Sony and Kyocera all have helped fund the 10:10 Campaign.

I suggest that the first thing to do is to make your outrage known to O2, Sony and Kyocera, suggesting that their commercial interests might not be furthered by funding murderous nazi will-fulfillment propaganda.

This is especially sad for me because Richard Curtis was a writer and co-creator of Blackadder, of of the funniest bits of television ever produced.

Mr. Delingpole is correct about the "snarling, wicked, homicidal misanthropy beneath its cloak of gentle, bunny-hugging righteousness" of the modern environmental movement which is itself nothing but a wholly owned subsidiary of the modern political left. And like every other part of the modern political left is is nothing but a giant death-cult.

Whether condemning tens of millions of people to death from malaria by banning DDT, consigning millions of children to blindness by opposing genetically modified vitamin A enriched rice for Third World countries or having wet dreams about murdering people who refuse to waste their time by participating in trivial feel-good energy saving programs the green left shows itself to be nothing more than an acolyte attending human sacrifices placed onthe blood soaked alter of the left's nihilistic self-loathing.

The video might be gone by the time you read this because 10:10 keeps taking it down (like the people who produced all those "Hitler Youth" style videos of children singing about Obama they realized after the fact that they were doing more harm than good to their cause). However people concerned for getting the truth out about what the eco-left really stands for keep re-posting it so just go to YouTube and search for "No Pressure 10:10" and you will find it.