Polacks: white since 1939!

I bet you thought my first entry in a millennium and a half would be something interesting. Or at least something about how FOX News and the Republican Party, with the naming of Tony "Siddown, You Darn Hippies" Snow as his new press dissimulator, have pretty much stopped pretending they aren't the same entity. But no, I'm just bitching about Lileks.

I got a call from the Washington office; turns out that my column had been rendered moot by events...I had written about a march in Belgium – 80,000 showed up to protest the murder of a kid in the train station. Two bad guys stabbed him for his MP3 player, and security cameras suggested they were North African. I did not want to do another column about Europe’s Immigrant Peril, partly because it’s a difficult subject to sum up in 650 words with the necessary nuance, and partly because the real news angle seemed to be the identity of the fellow who convened the march: a Muslim member of Parliament. I used that as a segue into this case, where an immigrant woman had been let off the hook by a British court for baby-shaking because she “didn’t know how to behave in the West.”

Well, they arrested the murderers, and they turned out to be Polish. No way to write around that, and it made my second example look bad: "okay, well, that crime wasn’t committed by immigrants, but I’ve got a bad Muslim over here!” So we scrapped it all.

So, correct me if I'm wrong here. What Lileks seems to be saying is, he had wanted to use this case, where it appeared that immigrants had killed a kid, to segue into another story about how an immigrant killed a kid, but it turned out that the immigrants in question were white people instead of Muslims, and this left him with nothing to write about, because, I guess, child-murdering immigrants are acceptable as long as they're not brown-skinned moon-worshipers.


Jesus wants to punch sissy pinkos

Can a Christian be a liberal? Hells no, says evangelical meathead Doug Giles.

What I love most about this piece is how thoroughly he has absorbed the Newt Gingrich playbook in terms of using this set bracket of negative words to describe anything he wants people to hate. Dig: "bizarre", "thugs" (twice!), "Christophobic", "naive", "aggressive" (three times!), "ludicrous" (twice!), "anti-Christian", "lascivious", "rabid", "vapid", "freak", "putrid", "hedonistic", "weird", "goons", "odious", "feckless", and my favorite, "pro-Holocaust-like". Add to it comparisons to Nero, Caligula, Fidel Castro, Vladimir Lenin, Adolf Hitler, Osama bin-Laden, Benito Mussolini, and the Mafia, and that's good dipshittery!


And that young boy who nobody liked grew up to be...

As if to remind me why I find him so annoying, Lileks is rather completely and utterly full of shit today. After getting the class stuff out of the way early on (complaining abot the shoddy job done by burly workmen on his indoor water park and saying he could make a better steak sauce than the cheap-ass mass-market chemical crap he bought but declining to explain why he doesn't just do that), he launches into the political spiel.

First, he mischaracterizes (in order to attack) the argument against war with Iran as the "because we can't do everything, we shouldn't do anything" argument. Of course, this is nonsense: while we can do lots of things, we really can't do everything, and there are lots of historical figures who would like to talk to Mr. Lileks about the advisability of opening a second front in a war that you're already not exactly winning. But, like most conservatives who pretend that fringe, or even nonexistent, arguments are the mainstream of opposition thoughts, he likes to attribute extremist positions to people who have not made them. I can't think of anyone -- not even in my pinko inner circle, let alone the Democratic mainstream -- who has claimed we shouldn't do anything about Iran. Saying that just maybe an invasion is not a good idea is a million miles from saying we should just bug off and let Iran nuke whoever they please; "don't do something stupid" is a different argument than "don't do anything". Lileks is so blinkered by the possibility that he's been wrong all along that he won't consider the fact that if we'd approached Iraq a little differently, things might not be so fucked up right now; so he's perfectly willing to repeat the same mistake in hopes that he won't have to admit it was a mistake. (Curiously, he subverts his own argument later in the piece; he claims that people like Barbara Boxer, having discovered that Iran is quite far away from being a nuclear power, want to fritter away their time on congressional investigations into the (deliberately?) crappy intelligence that got us into the Iraq war, instead of invading Iran like we're sposed to. Uh, isn't that making the argument that since we can't do everything we shouldn't do anything?)

Later on, he uses some unnamed college roommate of his ex-girlfriend to bolster the patently absurd claim that American liberals were happy to see the Ayatollah Khomeini seize power in Iran. This is frankly ridiculous, and I'm not aware of any American writers at the time of any political stripe who were pleased that fundamentalist lunatics had taken power. Were there claims that the Ayatollah was better than the Shah? Sure. And, you know, in a lot of ways -- particularly bodycounts -- he was. Was there a lot of America-bashing? You bet. The fact is, the Shah was an unspeakably brutal, incompetent, greedy, bloodthirsty dictator who was only in power because the United States put him there. (Lileks and his ilk conveniently fail to ask why the Ayatollah's revolution was so popular to begin with, no matter how badly it turned out in the end.) But did any American leftists jump around and have parties in the streets to see a repressive, misogynist theocracy take over the country? Of course not. We want Iran to be free, and the best way to have ensured that would be not to have put a dictator in power; we just weren't surprised at the way it finally shook down. I guess mentioning that chickens eventually find their way back to the roost is anti-American these days.

Speaking of bullshit, consider this: the press shrugs and rolls its eyes when a million people turn out in the streets to protest the war, or when political figures run non-stop war cant despite vast majorities of their public opposing their policies. But if a couple of wind-spewing jackoffs cite the appearance of Mexican flags at immigration reform rallies as evidence of the existence of a sinister plot by brown people to take over America using the Protocols of the Elders of Chorizo, it is very quickly front-page news and talk-show fodder. What does this prove? That the media will listen to any goddamn bullshit thing, as long as a rich middle-aged white guy says it.



Ann Coulter sets the tone for her new book with a subtle, well-reasoned column: Liberals hate Tom DeLay more than Osama bin-Laden.

Even proud American corporations find their names being turned into curse words by liberals, such as "Halliburton," which is currently losing money in Iraq in order to supply food to our troops

HA HA HA HA whatever you say, crazy Ann! Halliburton is LOSING MONEY in Iraq! You are a stitcheroo!

Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Ed Meese, Oliver North, Clarence Pendleton, Newt Gingrich, Karl Rove, Tom DeLay -- all these men saw their names used as curse words. Only one of them was ever indicted.

Well, let's see. McCarthy was censured, Nixon resigned rather than be impeached, Reagan had the most-indicted cabinet in history to that point, North was found not guilty of extremely serious charges on a technicality, Meese was investigated by four different special prosecutors, Pendleton was so hostile to civil rights that people on both sides of the political spectrum asked him to resign, Gingrich spearheaded a "revolution" so lame that it swept Democrats to a triumphant second term in the White House, and Rove is widely considered the biggest scumbag in American politics. But only DeLay was ever technically indicted! So that's something to be proud of!

Oh, whoops: Oliver North was indicted too. On sixteen felony counts. But still!