Saturday, March 27, 2010

All part of the price of PC

Thomas Lifson reminds us of some sad truths:

That didn't take long. Human nature (male variety) remains constant. The BBC reports:
A Heathrow Airport security guard was given a police warning after he was allegedly caught staring at images of a female colleague in a body scanner.
Israel manages to overcome the most threatening environment for airline terrorism in the world by use of profiling, but in the United States, thanks to political correctness, we insist on considering elderly grandmothers from Iowa a threat as serious as the Detroit crotch bomber.

As a result, attractive females can expect to be ogled at airports. Sorry, ladies. PC strikes again.

Actually we don't consider elderly grandmothers from Iowa to be threats. We (meaning the TSA) consider them to be cover. There is a difference.

TSA screeners have been instructed to avoid singling out anyone who appears to be of Middle Eastern descent as much as possible, but if they absolutely must pay special attention to someone who appears to be an "Arab" they need to be able to document that they have also payed such special attention to at least ten white people on the same day.

This is the way this works out in real life. Say you have a group of three Middle Eastern-looking men standing in line at the security station having a loud discussion about how they are going to drive the infidel from sacred Muslim soil and saying prayers in Arabic in which the words "jihad" and "Osama" can be clearly discerned. Your ever vigilant TSA employees will want to subject these men to a heightened level of security but to do so without being sued they will also have to pull aside 30 Caucasian businessmen, grandmothers, boy scouts and elderly Congressional Medal of Honor recipients to balance out the Arabs.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Miss Ann is talking

That means that YOU are listening!

by Ann Coulter
March 24, 2010

Since arriving in Canada I've been accused of thought crimes, threatened with criminal prosecution for speeches I hadn't yet given, and denounced on the floor of the Parliament (which was nice because that one was on my "bucket list").

Posters advertising my speech have been officially banned, while posters denouncing me are plastered all over the University of Ottawa campus. Elected officials have been prohibited from attending my speeches. Also, the local clothing stores are fresh out of brown shirts.

Welcome to Canada!

The provost of the University of Ottawa, average student IQ: 0, wrote to me -- widely disseminating his letter to at least a half-dozen intermediaries before it reached me -- in advance of my visit in order to recommend that I familiarize myself with Canada's criminal laws regarding hate speech.

This marks the first time I've ever gotten hate mail for something I might do in the future.

Apparently Canadian law forbids "promoting hatred against any identifiable group," which the provost, Francois A. Houle advised me, "would not only be considered inappropriate, but could in fact lead to criminal charges."

I was given no specific examples of what words and phrases I couldn't use, but I take it I'm not supposed to say, "F--- you, Francois."

While it was a relief to know that it is still permissible in Canada to promote hatred against unidentifiable groups, upon reading Francois' letter, I suddenly realized that I had just been the victim of a hate crime! And it was committed by Francois A. Houle (French for "Frank A. Hole").

What other speakers get a warning not to promote hatred? Did Francois A. Houle send a similarly worded letter to Israel-hater Omar Barghouti before he spoke last year at U of Ottawa? ("Ottawa": Indian for "Land of the Bed-Wetters.")

How about Angela Davis, Communist Party member and former Black Panther who spoke at the University of Zero just last month?

Or do only conservatives get letters admonishing them to be civil? Or -- my suspicion -- is it only conservative women who fuel Francois' rage?

How about sending a letter to all Muslim speakers advising them to please bathe once a week while in Canada? Would that constitute a hate crime?

I'm sure Canada's Human Rights Commission will get to the bottom of Francois' strange warning to me, inasmuch as I will be filing a complaint with that august body, so I expect they will be reviewing every letter the university has sent to other speakers prior to their speeches to see if any of them were threatened with criminal prosecution.

Both writer Mark Steyn and editor Ezra Levant have been investigated by the Human Rights Commission for promoting hatred toward Muslims.

Levant's alleged crime was to reprint the cartoons of Mohammed originally published in a Danish newspaper, leading practitioners of the Religion of Peace to engage in murderous violence across the globe. Steyn's alleged crime was to publish an excerpt of his book, "America Alone" in Maclean's magazine, in which he jauntily described Muslims as "hot for jihad."

Both of them also flew jet airliners full of passengers into skyscrapers in lower Manhattan, resulting in thousands of deaths. No, wait -- that was somebody else.

Curiously, however, there was no evidence that either the cartoons or the column did, in fact, incite hatred toward Muslims -- nor was there the remotest possibility that they would.

By contrast, conservative speakers are regularly subjected to violent attacks on college campuses. Bill Kristol, Pat Buchanan, David Horowitz and I have all been the targets of infamous campus attacks.

That's why the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute (a sponsor of my Canada speeches) and the Young America's Foundation (a sponsor of many of my college speeches) don't send conservatives to college campuses without a bodyguard.

You'd have to be a real A-Houle not to anticipate that accusing a conservative of "promoting hatred" prior to her arrival on a college campus would in actuality -- not in liberal fantasies of terrified Muslims cowering in terror of Mark Steyn readers -- incite real-world violence toward the conservative.

The university itself acknowledged that Francois' letter was likely to provoke violence against me by demanding -- long after my speech was scheduled, but immediately after Francois disseminated his letter -- that my sponsors pony up more than $1,200 for extra security.

Also following Francois' letter, the Ottawa University Student Federation met for 7 1/2 hours to hammer out a series of resolutions denouncing me. The resolutions included:

"Whereas Ann Coulter is a hateful woman;

"Whereas she has made hateful comments against GLBTQ, Muslims, Jews and women;

"Whereas she violates an unwritten code of 'positive-space';

"Be it resolved that the SFUO express its disapproval of having Ann Coulter speak at the University of Ottawa."

At least the students didn't waste 7 1/2 hours on something silly, like their studies.

At the risk of violating anyone's positive space, what happened to Canada? How did the country that gave us Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Martin Short, Dan Aykroyd and Catherine O'Hara suddenly become a bunch of whining crybabies?

Want to hear my favorite Canadian joke? OK, here goes: Francois Houle! I never get tired of that one.

After Tuesday night, the hatred incited by Francois' letter is no longer theoretical. The police called off my speech when the auditorium was surrounded by thousands of rioting liberals -- screaming, blocking the entrance, throwing tables, demanding that my books be burned, and finally setting off the fire alarm.

Sadly, I missed the book burning because I never made it to the building.

But, reportedly, a Canadian crowd hasn't been this excited since they opened a new Tim Hortons. Local reporters couldn't make out what the crowd was chanting, but it was something about "Molson" and a "sled dog."

I've given more than 100 college speeches, and not once has one of my speeches been shut down at any point. Even the pie-throwing incident at the University of Arizona didn't break up the event. I said "Get them!", the college Republicans got them, and then I continued with my rambling, hate-filled diatribe -- I mean, my speech.

So we've run this experiment more than 100 times.

Only one college speech was ever met with so much mob violence that the police were forced to cancel it: The one that was preceded by a letter from the university provost accusing me of hate speech.

(To add insult to injury, Francois didn't even plan to attend my speech because Tuesday is his bikini wax night.)

If a university official's letter accusing a speaker of having a proclivity to commit speech crimes before she's given the speech -- which then leads to Facebook postings demanding that Ann Coulter be hurt, a massive riot and a police-ordered cancellation of the speech -- is not hate speech, then there is no such thing as hate speech.

Either Francois goes to jail or the Human Rights Commission is a hoax and a fraud.

Look carefully at what happened to Miss Ann.

Our congress, dominated by Democrats, and president, also a Democrat, have just passed and signed legislation which puts America firmly on the path to socialized medicine. If the Democrat party is returned to power this November that will be all the sign that Obama and Pelosi and the other Marxists in Washington need that the American people have consented to the transformation of the United States into a socialist nation modeled after Western Europe and Canada.

With what they perceive as consent (and if we reelect them after this it will be impossible to claim that we didn't know exactly what we were getting) they will drastically accelerate the transformation of the nation and we will see speech laws like Canada's before the end of Obama's second term.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The myth of the [anything good] Democrat

WASHINGTON, March 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Phyllis Schlafly, president and founder of the conservative grassroots public policy organization Eagle Forum, made the following remarks after the public announcement that formerly pro-life Democrat Bart Stupak (D-MI) will cast a "yes" vote for the Senate health care bill today in the House:

"It is naive for any elected official, especially one who describes himself as 'pro-life,' to expect that a promise to issue an Executive Order that reasserts the intentions of the Hyde Amendment will be fulfilled by the most pro-abortion president to ever sit in the White House. Perhaps Mr. Stupak and his fellow pro-life Democrats forget that President Obama's first Executive Order was the repeal of the Mexico City Policy to allow for international funding of abortion."

"Not only would an Executive Order be rendered meaningless in the face of Congress passing legislation which actively provides for the massive expansion and funding of abortion services, but anyone who doubts the abortion tsunami which awaits this bill becoming law lives in a fantasy world."

"Barack Obama has lined every existing federal agency with the most dedicated pro-abortion ideologues, and we know that he will continue this pattern of pro-abortion appointments when it comes time for him to fill the over-100 bureaucracies created to administer his socialized health care program."

"Any formerly pro-life Democrat who casts a 'Yes' vote for this Senate health care bill tonight will be forever remembered as being among the deciding votes which facilitated the largest expansion of abortion services since Roe v. Wade."

"Mr. Stupak and his Democrat followers have now clarified that you cannot be pro-life and be a Democrat. If abortion was truly their biggest issue, they wouldn't willfully align themselves with the Party of Death."

"This vote will expose the myth of the 'pro-life Democrat.' With this single vote, the Democratic Party will divide our nation into the Party of Death and the Party of Life, and future elections will never be the same."

True enough. I also remember when John Dingle resigned from the board of directors of the NRA when party loyalty made him vote for the Brady Bill, proving that you can't be a Democrat and be pro-Second Amendment.

But hasn't it been clear for years that you can't be anything that any decent, moral, civilized human being would want to be and be a Democrat?

In terms of foreign policy and national security what does the Democrat party represent other than weakness and cowardice as our worthless know-nothing, done-nothing Marxist man-child president hastens around the world to bow and scrape before every socialist Third-World tyrant - while going out of his way to insult every reliable ally we have ever had?

On the domestic front who does that party represent other than parasites who believe that it is their neighbors' place to pay their doctor bill and alien criminals and their enablers who think that the nation owes them not only legal residence but citizenship and a guaranteed living?

The Democrat party has degenerated to the point where even the jackass is no longer a fitting symbol for them. The trouble is what do we replace it with; a tapeworm, an ostrich with its head in the sand, a cockroach running from the kitchen light?

This bears some thinking about.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

We can win

BALTIMORE — The community organizing group Acorn, battered politically from the right and suffering from mismanagement along with a severe loss of government and other funds, is on the verge of filing for bankruptcy, officials of the group said Friday.

Acorn is holding a teleconference this weekend to discuss plans for a bankruptcy filing, two officials of the group said. They asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the news media.

Over the last six months, at least 15 of the group’s 30 state chapters have disbanded and have no plans of re-forming, Acorn officials said. The California and New York chapters, two of the largest, have severed their ties to the national group and have independently reconstituted themselves with new names. Several other state groups are also re-forming outside the Acorn umbrella, and will not be affected if the national organization files for bankruptcy.

This week, the Maryland chapter announced that it would not reopen its offices, which were shuttered in September in the wake of a widely publicized series of video recordings made by two conservative activists, posing as a prostitute and a pimp, who secretly filmed Acorn workers providing them tax advice. In the videos, Acorn workers told one of the activists, James E. O’Keefe III, how to hide prostitution activities from the authorities and avoid taxes, raising no objections to his proposed criminal activities.

After the activists’ videos came to light and swiftly became fodder for 24-hour cable news coverage, private donations from foundations to Acorn all but evaporated and the federal government quickly distanced itself from the group.

Let this be a lesson to all conservatives. It is possible to fight back and win.

All it took was two college kids who wanted to be investigative journalists with a concealed video camera to start the dominoes falling.

That and an alternative media that would refuse to spike a story that would damage an Obama favored group of "community organizers".

Let us all take this lesson to heart and each of us pledge to do something to damage the left. Maybe we can't all conduct a hidden camera sting that brings down a corrupt interstate organization that specialized in voter fraud. But we can all conduct an in-depth study of an issue like global warming, energy policy, health care reform or islamofascism and then speak up when we otherwise would have been silent.

Speak up at work or at the corner tavern or the family gathering. Speak up with a decisive command of the facts and do not allow the "progressive" in the office, family or circle of friends dominate the conversation. Win the debate and even though you won't change the liberal's mind you just may change the minds of some of those who are listening in.

If you have the ability to do more then by all means do more. But under no circumstances do less. Polls by reputable firms consistently show that self identified conservatives make up the largest segment of the population (around 40%) and self identified liberals make up the smallest (around 20%).

We outnumber them 2-1 but because they have held a decades long monopoly on the mainstream media, both broadcast and print, along with the entertainment industry they have been able to create the false impression that left-liberal thinking is mainstream and conservatism is at best a fringe movement.

That monopoly is now broken. It lies shattered into as many pieces as the Berlin Wall (and its loss is mourned by leftists in the US as much as the Wall's demise is lamented by bitter-ender communists in Germany - and the rest of Europe - and American college campuses - and the American Democrat party). Thanks to men like Rush Limbaugh, Rupert Murdoch, Mat Drudge and Andrew Breitbart there is a thriving alternate media out there which figures out on a daily basis a new and ever more interesting way to eat the old media's lunch.

Everything that can be done to make manifest the significant majority we enjoy among the people should be done. If the left loses the false confidence it gets from its illusion of dominance they will not recover for a generation.

So step up and do your part. We are in the majority and we have the capability to create momentum by our sheer numbers - if we are willing to stand up and be counted.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Miss Ann is talking

That means that YOU are listening!

by Ann Coulter
March 17, 2010

Liberals keep complaining that Republicans don't have a plan for reforming health care in America. I have a plan!

It's a one-page bill creating a free market in health insurance. Let's all pause here for a moment so liberals can Google the term "free market."

Nearly every problem with health care in this country -- apart from trial lawyers and out-of-date magazines in doctors' waiting rooms -- would be solved by my plan.

In the first sentence, Congress will amend the McCarran-Ferguson Act to allow interstate competition in health insurance.

We can't have a free market in health insurance until Congress eliminates the antitrust exemption protecting health insurance companies from competition. If Democrats really wanted to punish insurance companies, which they manifestly do not, they'd make insurers compete.

The very next sentence of my bill provides that the exclusive regulator of insurance companies will be the state where the company's home office is. Every insurance company in the country would incorporate in the state with the fewest government mandates, just as most corporations are based in Delaware today.

That's the only way to bypass idiotic state mandates, requiring all insurance plans offered in the state to cover, for example, the Zone Diet, sex-change operations, and whatever it is that poor Heidi Montag has done to herself this week.

President Obama says we need national health care because Natoma Canfield of Ohio had to drop her insurance when she couldn't afford the $6,700 premiums, and now she's got cancer.

Much as I admire Obama's use of terminally ill human beings as political props, let me point out here that perhaps Natoma could have afforded insurance had she not been required by Ohio's state insurance mandates to purchase a plan that covers infertility treatments and unlimited ob/gyn visits, among other things.

It sounds like Natoma could have used a plan that covered only the basics -- you know, things like cancer.

The third sentence of my bill would prohibit the federal government from regulating insurance companies, except for normal laws and regulations that apply to all companies.

Freed from onerous state and federal mandates turning insurance companies into public utilities, insurers would be allowed to offer a whole smorgasbord of insurance plans, finally giving consumers a choice.

Instead of Harry Reid deciding whether your insurance plan covers Viagra, this decision would be made by you, the consumer. (I apologize for using the terms "Harry Reid" and "Viagra" in the same sentence. I promise that won't happen again.)

Instead of insurance companies jumping to the tune of politicians bought by health-care lobbyists, they would jump to the tune of hundreds of millions of Americans buying health insurance on the free market.

Hypochondriac liberals could still buy the aromatherapy plan and normal people would be able to buy plans that only cover things like major illness, accidents and disease. (Again -- things like Natoma Canfield's cancer.)

This would, in effect, transform medical insurance into ... a form of insurance!

My bill will solve nearly every problem allegedly addressed by ObamaCare -- and mine entails zero cost to the taxpayer. Indeed, a free market in health insurance would produce major tax savings as layers of government bureaucrats, unnecessary to medical service in America, get fired.

For example, in a free market, the government wouldn't need to prohibit insurance companies from excluding "pre-existing conditions."

Of course, an insurance company has to be able to refuse new customers with "pre-existing conditions." Otherwise, everyone would just wait to get sick to buy insurance. It's the same reason you can't buy fire insurance on a house that's already on fire.

That isn't an "insurance company"; it's what's known as a "Christian charity."

What Democrats are insinuating when they denounce exclusions of "pre-existing conditions" is an insurance company using the "pre-existing condition" ruse to deny coverage to a current policy holder -- someone who's been paying into the plan, year after year.

Any insurance company operating in the free market that pulled that trick wouldn't stay in business long.

If hotels were as heavily regulated as health insurance is, right now I'd be explaining to you why the government doesn't need to mandate that hotels offer rooms with beds. If they didn't, they'd go out of business.

I'm sure people who lived in the old Soviet Union thought it was crazy to leave groceries to the free market. ("But what if they don't stock the food we want?")

The market is a more powerful enforcement mechanism than indolent government bureaucrats. If you don't believe me, ask Toyota about six months from now.

Right now, insurance companies are protected by government regulations from having to honor their contracts. Violating contracts isn't so easy when competitors are lurking, ready to steal your customers.

In addition to saving taxpayer money and providing better health insurance, my plan also saves trees by being 2,199 pages shorter than the Democrats' plan.

Feel free to steal it, Republicans!

1130 Walnut, Kansas City, MO 64106

The only thing missing from Miss Ann's plan is meaningful tort reform.

If you remove the nearly 22% which is added to every medical bill by doctors and hospitals having to practice CYA medicine and pay massive premiums on their malpractice insurance along with Miss Ann's plan to create a true free market in health insurance you will truly have solved 98% of the problem with skyrocketing health care costs and uninsured people.

The other two percent can be handled by Christian charity (or Jewish charity or non-religious philanthropy).

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Pacific

Like many people who have a fascination with the history of the Second World War I was delighted to hear that the same people who gave us Band of Brothers, the excellent miniseries about the 101 Airborne in the war in Europe, were producing another miniseries about the Marine Corps in the Pacific theater.

The trailer seems to portend good things:

However I began to hear some disturbing comments from producer Tom Hanks like the following:

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It seems that Mr. Hanks believes in three sets of moral equivalence. One, that the war against Japan is exactly the same as the current war against Islamofascism. Two, that the United States and the Japanese Empire were on the same moral level during WWII. And three, that the United States and the Islamic terrorists are on the same moral level today.

Needless to say Mr. Hanks has been taken to task for his statements. John Nolte at Big Hollywood had this to say:
We all assumed ”The Pacific” would be another “Band of Brothers,” and maybe it will be. But much has changed since “Brothers,” a miniseries produced prior to 9/11 (the HBO premiere was Sept. 9th, 2001). The very real Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) that has taken over so much of Hollywood and turned otherwise impressive filmmakers into ham-handed propagandists hadn’t quite taken hold yet. However, today Hanks is showing all the symptoms. Will this affect “The Pacific?”
John Hinderaker at Powerline offered this:

What is happening today actually bears a considerable resemblance to the aftermath of Pearl Harbor. Contrary to Hanks's thoughtless slander, before 1941 probably not a single American was interested in "annihilating [the Japanese] because they were different." As evidenced by our laxity when it came to national defense. After Pearl Harbor, however, we had no choice but to swing into action--not to annihilate those who are different, but to defeat Japan and restore the peace. The Filipinos were "different" too, of course, so did we take time out to annihilate them? Um, no.

Likewise with the current conflicts. Prior to September 11, far from setting out to annihilate those who are "different," we protected Muslims in Bosnia, tried to save Somalians from the warlords, and rescued Kuwait from Saddam Hussein. Notwithstanding endless provocations, Americans were happy to leave it at that until Islamic terrorists murdered 3,000 Americans. Once again, we had to swing into action. So, did we "annihilate" those "different" Afghans and Iraqis? No, we established democracies and tried to bring both of those countries into the modern world by, among other things, liberating their women. How can a person of normal intelligence, as Hanks no doubt is, be so blind to reality? Presumably it has to do with swimming in the perverse, liberal water of Hollywood.

And the historian Victor Davis Hanson asks Is Tom Hanks Unhinged?

. . . Hanks’ comments were sadly infantile pop philosophizing offered by, well, an ignoramus.

Hanks thinks he is trying to explain the multifaceted Pacific theater in terms of a war brought on by and fought through racial animosity. That is ludicrous. Consider:

1) In earlier times, we had good relations with Japan (an ally during World War I, that played an important naval role in defeating imperial Germany at sea) and had stayed neutral in its disputes with Russia (Teddy Roosevelt won a 1906 Nobel Peace Prize for his intermediary role). The crisis that led to Pearl Harbor was not innately with the Japanese people per se (tens of thousands of whom had emigrated to the United States on word of mouth reports of opportunity for Japanese immigrants), but with Japanese militarism and its creed of Bushido that had hijacked, violently so in many cases, the government and put an entire society on a fascistic footing. We no more wished to annihilate Japanese because of racial hatred than we wished to ally with their Chinese enemies because of racial affinity. In terms of geo-strategy, race was not the real catalyst for war other than its role among Japanese militarists in energizing expansive Japanese militarism.

2) How would Hanks explain the brutal Pacific wars between Japanese and Chinese, Japanese and Koreans, Japanese and Filipinos, and Japanese and Pacific Islanders, in which not hundreds of thousands perished, but many millions? In each of these theaters, the United States was allied with Asians against an Asian Japan, whose racially-hyped “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere,” aimed at freeing supposedly kindred Asians from European and white imperialism, flopped at its inauguration (primarily because of high-handed Japanese feelings of superiority and entitlement, which, in their emphasis on racial purity, were antithetical to the allied democracies, but quite in tune with kindred Axis power, Nazi Germany.)

3) Much of the devastating weaponry used on the Japanese (e.g., the B-29 fire raids, or the two nuclear bombs) were envisioned and designed to be used against Germany (cf. the 1941 worry over German nuclear physics) or were refined first in the European theater (cf. the allied fire raids on Hamburg and Dresden). Much of the worst savagery of the war came in 1945 when an increasingly mobilized and ever more powerful United States steadily turned its attention on Japan as the European theater waned and then ended four months before victory in the Pacific theater. Had we needed by 1945 to use atomic bombs, or massive formations of B-29s when they came on line, against Hitler, we most certainly would have.

We should also point out that for many Americans, initially in 1941-2, the real war was with the Japanese, not the Germans (despite an official policy of privileging the European theater in terms of supply and manpower), but not because of race hatred, but due to the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

Until then (Hitler would in reaction unwisely declare war on the U.S. on December 11, 1941) Germany had been careful to maintain the pretense of non-belligerency, while Japan chose to start a war through a rather treacherous surprise assault at a time of nominal peace — thus inciting furor among the American public.

Despite Hanks’ efforts at moral equivalence in making the U.S. and Japan kindred in their hatreds, America was attacked first, and its democratic system was both antithetical to the Japan of 1941, and capable of continual moral evolution in a way impossible under Gen. Tojo and his cadre. It is quite shameful to reduce that fundamental difference into a “they…us” 50/50 polarity. Indeed, the most disturbing phrase of all was Hanks’ suggestion that the Japanese wished to “kill” us, while we in turn wanted to “annihilate” them. Had they developed the bomb or other such weapons of mass destruction (and they had all sorts of plans of creating WMDs), and won the war, I can guarantee Hanks that he would probably not be here today, and that his Los Angeles would look nothing like a prosperous and modern Tokyo.

4) What is remarkable about the aftermath of WWII is the almost sudden postwar alliance between Japan and the U.S., primarily aimed at stopping the Soviets, and then later the communist Chinese. In other words, the United States, despite horrific battles in places like Iwo Jima and Okinawa, harbored little official postwar racial animosity in its foreign policy, helped to foster Japanese democracy, provided aid, and predicated its postwar alliances — in the manner of its prewar alliances — on the basis of ideology, not race. Hanks apparently has confused the furor of combat — in which racial hatred often becomes a multiplier of emotion for the soldier in extremis — with some sort of grand collective national racial policy that led to and guided our conduct.

An innately racist society could not have gone through the nightmare of Okinawa (nearly 50,000 Americans killed, wounded, or missing), and yet a mere few months later have in Tokyo, capital of the vanquished, a rather enlightened proconsul MacArthur, whose deference to Japanese religion, sensibilities, and tradition ensured a peaceful transition to a rather radical new independent and autonomous democratic culture.

5) Hanks quips, “Does that sound familiar, by any chance, to what’s going on today?” That is another unnecessary if asinine statement — if it refers to our struggle against radical Islam in the post 9/11 world. The U.S. has risked much to help Muslims in the Balkans and Somalia, freed Kuwait and Iraq in two wars against Saddam Hussein, liberated or helped to liberate Afghanistan both from the Russians and the Taliban, and has the most generous immigration policy toward Muslims of any country in the world, ensuring a degree of tolerance unimaginable to Muslims in, say, China or Russia. Hanks should compare the U.S. effort to foster democracy in Iraq with the Russian conduct in Chechnya to understand “what’s going on today.”

In short Hanks’s comments are as ahistorical as they are unhinged. . .

. . . All in all, such moral equivalence (the Japanese and the U.S. were supposedly about the same in their hatreds) is quite sad, and yet another commentary on our postmodern society that is as ignorant about its own past as it is confused in its troubled present.

In addition to what has been said above I would add a few of my own observations.

In a war soldiers have the task of closing with and killing the enemy. This is difficult and dangerous and deeply distasteful to civilized human beings. In every war in history those tasked with fighting have sought to dehumanize the enemy in order to make their jobs just a bit easier.

Both the Greeks and the Romans called their enemies barbarians. Christians and Muslims called each other heathens and infidels. During the Second World War the allies called the Germans names like "Kraut", "Heinie", "Fritz", "Hun" and "Bosche". We even produced a propaganda documentary called Why We Fight which depicted the German "race" as brutal and thuggish barbarians bent on a centuries long obsession to rule the world.

It should be pointed out here that more Americans of European descent trace their ancestry back to Germany than to the British Isles.

The thesis that America's attitude toward the Japanese was materially different from our attitude toward the Germans because of race clearly doesn't hold water.

Why Hanks wants to make the case that it does is anyone's guess. Perhaps Bush Derangement Syndrome causes permanent damage to its victim's higher reasoning ability. Perhaps Hanks has heard from friends in Hollywood that Band of Brothers harmed his left-wing street cred and wants to regain it.

I will give The Pacific a chance. If it is anywhere as good as Band of Brothers it will make a fine addition to our nation's library of WWII cinema. I will expect the American Marines who are fighting the Japanese to refer to them with various derogatory epithets like "Jap" and "Nip" because that is historically accurate. If that is the extent of the racism that Mr. Hanks finds in our conduct of the war it will not ruin my enjoyment of the series.

However if Hanks depicts Roosevelt in the White House ordering Marshall and King to exterminate the yellow dogs because they worship the sun goddess I'll pop in a DVD of They Were Expendable and cross Hanks off the list of people whose work I respect.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mystery solved

From Radar Online:

Kathy Griffin is not known for holding back her feelings --and when it comes to Sarah Palin she’s expressing herself even more vociferously. And this time she has pseudo-family member Levi Johnston as a comedic foil.

The red-haired comic recently took her standup show to Anchorage, Alaska, where she had Levi escort her on stage. As reported, Johnston, 19, also got to shoot an episode of Kathy’s reality show, My Life on the D List.

Kathy Griffin Takes On Kate Gosselin

And while Kathy took plenty of shots at the Alaska governor on her stage show, she really let her have it while shooting ‘D List’ with Bristol Palin’s baby daddy.

“We shot a scene where I show her [Kathy] Levi’s Playgirl magazine and she reacts to it,” a Playgirl rep, who came along for the trip, told exclusively. “Then we went to a gay bar called Mad Myrnas. I asked Kathy what star she’d like to see take a ‘celebrity spill’ and she said ‘I’d like to push Sarah Palin down the stairs.’”

I don't know but perhaps all this might have something to do with why Ms. Griffin is considered a "D list" celebrity?