Not again

Thursday, March 02, 2006
In a recent post Powerline makes note of falling poll numbers for Bush and the attempted resurrection of Katrina.

Of course we can thank not only the AP for their shameless of flogging of that dead nag Katrina, we can also thank the press and many pundits on the right for that matter for their inability to get the facts straight on the Dubai port deal. Now we are actually beginning to hear references to things like freight terminals rather than the hysterical and inaccurate "port takeover" nonsense that was leading many Americans to believe to the Feds were selling the coast line to AlQaida.

Add to that the incessant drum beat of bad news from Iraq as the press and terrorists in a sort of perverse symbiotic relationship feed off each other. It amazes me how willing they were to lie for Saddam and cover for him while he killed and maimed and tortured and starved hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, but now one car bomb is world news.

So now according to CBS Bush's numbers are down. Well... who cares?

I mean really, this is as obvious as that movie Gas Light. I think that was the title, the one in which Charles Boyer [boo.... hiss] tried to convince Ingrid Bergman that she was losing her mind. His tricks were really transparent and after awhile I just wanted to slap the silly girl and say Oh come on, the man is a dog, he is playing you honey.

Well now I feel like saying that to a lot of my fellow Americans. Oh come on, they are playing you. First the media lies about Katrina, they screw up, they cover their butts, they hide the truth and now they drag this video out courtesy a leak and in the end it means nothing.

I can still remember Bush going on TV two days before that hurricane hit and personally asking people to get out of the area. I remember hearing how Bush called Nagin and asked him to get people out. I remember people saying tens of thousands of people could die if it was a direct hit on NO. I remember getting up the next morning and seeing people in New Orleans celebrating because they thought they had dodged the bullet. There had been talk of levees being topped, but they had survived. Then disaster struck when the levees broke.

And then came about the largest emergency rescue mission in history. But all people can talk about today is that Bush screwed up. In order to punish Bush the media is willing to downplay and overlook the tremendous efforts of tens of thousands of emergency people to do the best they could to save lives.

I am sure that if Bush had it to do again, he would steamroll right over the locals and move the remaining people in New Orleans out of there, legal or not. But to deliberately drag this out again just keep up the steady drum roll of bad news for partisan political purposes can work both ways. Bush is not running again, but people like me have lost any faith in the fiction of objective reporting.

I would not buy a used car off these people.


Knucklehead said...

Well, even Instapundit is wound up about the Presse Ancienne and their outright lies about the Katrina Tapes to devote a few paragraphs to it.

He takes a brief quote from Patterico who's post is worth reading, IMO.

The press, BTW, is not demonstrating any "inabilities" here. They are demostrating willful disregard for, no - willful disassociation with, the truth. They have declared La guerre de la Presse Ancienne upon the 43rd President of the United States. I don't see it as anything less.

Now, on to more important things... don't you ever even think about harming Ingrid! Don't go there, Girl!

terrye said...


Hey, Ingrid is not too bright, not my fault.

truepeers said...

Heh, I'm with you Terrye. I saw this news report last night on the "new video" and i couldn't figure out what the kernel of the new accusation was. I have some imagination, can even use if to imagine liberal left heresies, but i was just dumbfounded; they wanted us to see something where there was nothing. Why? because of a need, beyond reson, to regularly vent their BDS. (And why weren't they talking about GWB's India trip instead?)

I'm sure they aren't fooling many anymore, but it's like an unthinking religion where you need to go through the same old BDS ritual on regular occasions, less you lose the supposed basis for your faith. IN fact, i think BDS is a sign of a fast-eroding faith, the apocalypse of liberalism as some are calling it.

Now if you give some thought to the viable positions after the apocalypse, you get to see the problem of the old liberal elites. I see essentially three relatively stable political positions in the west:

1)hard-left conspiratorial, resentful anti-westernism, now often cut with a good dose of Islamist cant: "`The highest form of jihad is to speak the truth in the face of an unjust ruler' reads an impeccably authenticated saying of Prophet Muhammad." (A.G. Noorani, Islam & Jihad, 45)

2) Neoconservatism with its confidence in the potential to spread western values of democracy, relatively free markets, etc.

3) Anti-neocon or traditional conservatism - which takes on various stripes, more or less racialist, traditionalist, isolationist, etc. - in opposition to the assumed unreality of the neocon ambitions.

All three positions erode the liberal elites' claims to be nice paternalists, to uphold some kind of universalist secular morality against the entrenched interests of the military-industrial complex.

But the position of the liberal elites is fast-eroding for a number of reasons i won't go into now. If you are one of them, and you have made the mistake of painting the neocons as great enemies of everything you hold dear, when your elitist universalist position erodes, you are left without any satisfactory means to seek some compromise with the one remaining position (the neocon) that is closest to your old one. FUll of BDS and anti-neocon (often antisemitic) hate, some of the old elites will thus venture towards the hard left craziness, familiar from their youth, since the anti-neocon conservatives - dirty old white men - are yet more anathema than the alliance of Marxists and Islamists.

In short, the liberal elites have no where to go but more and more insane since they don't really know who they are except that they don't really like anyone else who is strongly other - they have sought a universal secular synthesis of all cultures, "multiculturlaism", despite this being unrealistic, because they have wanted a ground on which to embrace the others (a ground that does not offend their white guilt) whom they don't really like when they are too other. SO, nowhere to go, unless, that is, they make the move to be wholly born again as confirmed westerners, but that is perhaps the one idea they have made fun of all their lives.

Knucklehead said...

The woman was flawless. I will not consider any commentary or evidence to the contrary. How was she supposed to know that murderous loon was in the attic. Coulda been a mouse. Back off!

Knucklehead said...


Have you seen The Return of Patriarchy in Foreign Policy?

I was going to do a post on this article because, well, I really got a kick out of the beginning and wanted to do a goombahnics riff on it but neither time nor skill were on my side.

It is a by a guy named Phillip Longman with whom I am unfamiliar. He looks at the demographic trends around the world and concludes that we are headed for a return to conservative, patriachal social organization.

I can't even venture a guess regarding the accuracy of his observations or conclusion but I found it an interesting article.

Knucklehead said...

Brainster (who I believe is Pat Curley from the commenters at Roger's Place) has a good piece about The Neverending Levee Story.

He takes up the "overtopping" vs. "breaching" terminology as do several others having at the MSM over this. This is similar to how the MSM used "ports" vs. "container terminals" in the Ports Kerfuffle. They do this too often, and too carefully, and are too reluctant to correct, for it to be a matter or mistakes. They do this deliberately. As Terrye said, they are shameful.

truepeers said...

Look's like an interesting article Knuck. I'll have to study it later. Perhaps the greatest crime of feminism has been its inability to properly conceptualize patriarchy. Defining it simply in terms of male domination of women, they miss the point that freedom for both men and women probably requires certain "patriarchal" principles in a culture. I see Islam (and associated tribalism), e.g., as just as much a matriarchal as patriarchal culture - in any case less patriarchal than Judeo-CHristianity. Many see this the other way around, simply because of the violence and oppression women suffer under Islam. But this is not such a straightforward matter - matriarchal worlds are no utopia - a complex subject i can only begin to get my mind around, precisely because no one talks about it very well or openly. You can probably count the number of serious, scholarly books on how women treat other women on your hands and toes.

Fresh Air said...


I sure hope Pat didn't pose for that picture on his blog. He doesn't look too good in an electrified helmet. Kind of like a painting by Thomas Kincade on acid.

It's a great blog, though. He may earn a slot in my bookmarks bar now that The Corner has been removed.

terrye said...


Oh yeah. Let me tell you if some smarmy Frenchman started telling me who I could and could not talk to and treating me like some loon I would not break down and weep hysterically the first time he let me go in public. I would divorce his ass.

Like I said, silly silly woman.

Yul Brynner said she was a cow.

She said Yul was a runt.

That exchange came about when he had to stand up on something for a closeup because she was taller.

Just remember this, a kiss is still a kiss....

I know, wrong movies.

truepeers said...


terrye said...


Well it is the distinction between enslaving someone and taking care of someone. For some cultures, they are one and the same thing.

Men are supposed to care for and rule the families in patriarchal societies.

Fresh Air said...

Following up on the demographic theme and liberals...

The greatest trouble for liberals is not Geo. Bush, it's fertility. Simply put, there aren't enough brainwashings getting done in the academy to enrich the liberals' lack of offspring. Abortion also plays a role as it skews Democrat/liberal.

Without first generation Latino immigrants, the Democrats wouldn't even be close in either house of Congress. But I believe those numbers will level off and will have less and less impact as the population gets larger.

Over time, the patch of blue in the Midwest and New England will become smaller and denser. In 10 years, when all the FDR/Truman voters are dead, their second-most-reliable liberal voting block will be gone. Blacks, the most reliable, will continue to move up the economic ladder, and in so doing will gradually shed their fealty to Democrats.

There is a small chance the Democrats will take back on or more houses of Congress and/or the presidency between now and say, 2012. But by 2020, without a sea tide of change, the nation will look electorally much closer to Texas than Missouri or Michigan.

Rick Ballard said...


Yep. Politics as actuarial science. The only Dem hope is for an economic disaster on the level of the Depression or so massive a terrorist attack that no one will ever again admit to being a Republican.

Aside from that, it's a long slide to nowhere unless they come up with, ya know, a positive program. Which they can't because too many of their constituencies are rentseekers obviously wanting a shot at the treasury. And yes, abortions skew against Dems and adoption skews in favor of Reps - the other side of the coin. It can't be proven through measurement but rentseekers don't become altruists in other areas and a good 30% of the Dems are rentseekers. Another way of looking at it is that DINKs are Donks.

Barry Dauphin said...

Tracking down the sequence of events and understanding this story and others in full takes time and effort. The MSM is banking upon the harried lives that many live and the unwillingness, lack of time or else that most people experience about getting to the bottom of such things. People are busy. The MSM knows it and counts on it.

truepeers said...

Terrye, I would say a patriarchal culture is one in which people know the value in loving the father (or similarly, a strong, principled mother) and emulating him/her, as much as it is anything to do with the father ruling the women. It is the choice between the moral principles ideally embodied by the father or mother in similar role, and the resentful values of the youthful mob, male and/or female. The distinction may also lie in the contrast between nuclear and extended families.

Knucklehead said...

Yul Brenner called Ingrid Bergman a "cow"! I'll never watch The Magnificent Seven again! (Which really bums me out 'cause I love that movie.)

A cow! That bald-headed bozo!

Knucklehead said...

On the matter of patriarchy, Longman has this to say:

Patriarchy does not simply mean that men rule. Indeed, it is a particular value system that not only requires men to marry but to marry a woman of proper station. It competes with many other male visions of the good life, and for that reason alone is prone to come in cycles. Yet before it degenerates, it is a cultural regime that serves to keep birthrates high among the affluent, while also maximizing parents’ investments in their children. No advanced civilization has yet learned how to endure without it.

and, later, this:

Patriarchal societies come in many varieties and evolve through different stages. What they have in common are customs and attitudes that collectively serve to maximize fertility and parental investment in the next generation. Of these, among the most important is the stigmatization of “illegitimate” children. One measure of the degree to which patriarchy has diminished in advanced societies is the growing acceptance of out-of-wedlock births, which have now become the norm in Scandinavian countries, for example.

Under patriarchy, “bastards” and single mothers cannot be tolerated because they undermine male investment in the next generation. Illegitimate children do not take their fathers’ name, and so their fathers, even if known, tend not to take any responsibility for them. By contrast, “legitimate” children become a source of either honor or shame to their fathers and the family line. The notion that legitimate children belong to their fathers’ family, and not to their mothers’, which has no basis in biology, gives many men powerful emotional reasons to want children, and to want their children to succeed in passing on their legacy. Patriarchy also leads men to keep having children until they produce at least one son.

Another key to patriarchy’s evolutionary advantage is the way it penalizes women who do not marry and have children. Just decades ago in the English-speaking world, such women were referred to, even by their own mothers, as spinsters or old maids, to be pitied for their barrenness or condemned for their selfishness. Patriarchy made the incentive of taking a husband and becoming a full-time mother very high because it offered women few desirable alternatives.

To be sure, a society organized on such principles may well degenerate over time into misogyny, and eventually sterility, as occurred in both ancient Greece and Rome. In more recent times, the patriarchal family has also proved vulnerable to the rise of capitalism, which profits from the diversion of female labor from the house to the workplace. But as long as the patriarchal system avoids succumbing to these threats, it will produce a greater quantity of children, and arguably children of higher quality, than do societies organized by other principles, which is all that evolution cares about.

This claim is contentious. Today, after all, we associate patriarchy with the hideous abuse of women and children, with poverty and failed states. Taliban rebels or Muslim fanatics in Nigeria stoning an adulteress to death come to mind. Yet these are examples of insecure societies that have degenerated into male tyrannies, and they do not represent the form of patriarchy that has achieved evolutionary advantage in human history. Under a true patriarchal system, such as in early Rome or 17th-century Protestant Europe, fathers have strong reason to take an active interest in the children their wives bear. That is because, when men come to see themselves, and are seen by others, as upholders of a patriarchal line, how those children turn out directly affects their own rank and honor.

Under patriarchy, maternal investment in children also increases. As feminist economist Nancy Folbre has observed, “Patriarchal control over women tends to increase their specialization in reproductive labor, with important consequences for both the quantity and the quality of their investments in the next generation.” Those consequences arguably include: more children receiving more attention from their mothers, who, having few other ways of finding meaning in their lives, become more skilled at keeping their children safe and healthy. Without implying any endorsement for the strategy, one must observe that a society that presents women with essentially three options—be a nun, be a prostitute, or marry a man and bear children—has stumbled upon a highly effective way to reduce the risk of demographic decline.

And yet later, this:

Patriarchy may enjoy evolutionary advantages, but nothing has ensured the survival of any particular patriarchal society. One reason is that men can grow weary of patriarchy’s demands. Roman aristocrats, for example, eventually became so reluctant to accept the burdens of heading a family that Caesar Augustus felt compelled to enact steep “bachelor taxes” and otherwise punish those who remained unwed and childless. Patriarchy may have its privileges, but they may pale in comparison to the joys of bachelorhood in a luxurious society—nights spent enjoyably at banquets with friends discussing sports, war stories, or philosophy, or with alluring mistresses, flute girls, or clever courtesans.

Women, of course, also have reason to grow weary of patriarchy, particularly when men themselves are no longer upholding their patriarchal duties. Historian Suzanne Cross notes that during the decades of Rome’s civil wars, Roman women of all classes had to learn how to do without men for prolonged periods, and accordingly developed a new sense of individuality and independence. Few women in the upper classes would agree to a marriage to an abusive husband. Adultery and divorce became rampant.

Often, all that sustains the patriarchal family is the idea that its members are upholding the honor of a long and noble line. Yet, once a society grows cosmopolitan, fast-paced, and filled with new ideas, new peoples, and new luxuries, this sense of honor and connection to one’s ancestors begins to fade, and with it, any sense of the necessity of reproduction. “When the ordinary thought of a highly cultivated people begins to regard ‘having children’ as a question of pro’s and con’s,” Oswald Spengler, the German historian and philosopher, once observed, “the great turning point has come.

There's more. I found it interesting if not completely convincing.

terrye said...

Patriarchy can often be very dismissive of women like myself who can not have children.

After all what good are we?

truepeers said...

Well, slightly ot, but there is a baby boom going on in Calgary, and the usual suspects cannot fully account for it:

Like clockwork, nine months after the Calgary Stampede and the NHL playoffs, hospitals in this city prepare for a rush in the maternity wards.

But now, a year-round baby boom with no sign of ending has hit Calgary, crowding hospital rooms and nurseries as health-care officials consider sending city women to rural hospitals as they wait for more beds to be added to an overburdened system.

Globe and Mail

Rick Ballard said...

"I would say a patriarchal culture is one in which people know the value in loving the father (or similarly, a strong, principled mother) and emulating him/her, as much as it is anything to do with the father ruling the women."

The commandment is 'honor' both. Love is somewhat tenuous, emotionally rather than rationally bound. Honor reflects an assessment of either a mother's or a father's attention to duty. It is a prescriptive rather than proscriptive commandment, it is the only (by most accounts) prescriptive commandment and thus very unusual and it places the woman before the man - mother antecedent to father.

Modern concepts of "love" derive from one (or another) of the Greek usages and are artifacts of modernity. Love and marriage (according to Greek usage) are really not even relateable when eros is part of the calculation.

It's a shame that the commandments cannot be taught to and understood by more children. Either as Mosaic law or Christian doctrine - it doesn't make any difference. Reflection on their meaning would rid us of some the ridiculous assertions concerning patriarchy espoused by Hegelian rationalists.

Knucklehead said...

We'll find something for you, Terrye, you're special. It's those other women who ain't prego that we won't tolerate. ;)

Joking aside I suspect that a modern, westernish society could come to grips with women who cannot or do not have children much better than we could have even a couple generations ago. To survive though, over the long haul, we probably do need to be more patriarchal. The nature of the patriarchy would, I suspect, be "kinder and gentler" than the good ol' days.

The point of his article, as far as I've figured it out, is actually a somewhat obvious one. Only societies which are interested in preserving, protecting, and expanding themselves have any long term hope for success. The methods of accomplishing that are, well, patriarchal. That's one of the things to worry about re: western culture in general. There seems to be no overwhelming, or even strong, desire to preserve, protect, and expand.

It also goes a ways toward explaining why Islamic society has been having such a dandy time these past few decades.

Here's another interesting little article in FP, The Geopolitics of Sexual Frustration.

terrye said...


I read a long time ago that scientists felt Neanderthals had a cohesive society. They came to this conclusion because fossil remains indicated that someone took care of the injured and the old. When people take care of those who can not care for themselves, such as the sick and old and the children it indicates a need to keep a group intact and survive as a unit. That is society.

terrye said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
chuck said...

Have you seen The Return of Patriarchy in Foreign Policy?

Yeah, I was telling folks the same thing 35 years ago. Anyway, the article is fun but kinda fluffy and fact free, sorta Jared Diamond redux. When it comes to demographics nothing beats numbers and detail, 'cause it ain't a simple thing and needs honest to god investigation. Sounds like a job for Morgan ;)