September 29, 2006

Some Things Rankle (Hunger Strike for an Instalanche, Day the Second)

For no apparent reason, certain news stories have a way of getting our collective dander up. It makes little sense: One news item—say, The New York Times’ printing anti-Bush leaks—won’t trouble us at all, but another one will simply enrage us.

Right now, for instance, Bill Clinton’s shenanigans in his interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace is really sticking in our craw. We haven’t the vaguest idea why: To be honest, we’ve never harbored much ill will for erstwhile President Clinton. Sure, his foreign policy was a mess, but we thought welfare reform a good idea and were pleased with other decisions he made.

Heck, we’d rather have Bill Clinton serve a 200-year term in office if it could destroy the prospect of another minute with Jimmy Carter at the helm. (That self-righteous, dunderheaded peanut farmer is one of the biggest embarrassments in American history. Imagine a president so bad that you actually think better of him after reading his poetry and you’ve got Jimmy Carter.)

And yet, dear reader, the merest thought of Clinton’s ungracious tomfoolery on “Fox News Sunday” is enough to get our blood pressure boiling. As if that weren’t bad enough, moronic left-wing talk of Bill Clinton’s supposed “ambush” at the hands of a Rupert Murdoch marionette has us seething.

We mean, come on: Did Chris Wallace’s single question really amount to a televised hatchet job? If Bill Clinton was angry at the recent hostility he perceived from one ABC drama and a question from Fox News, how do you think conservatives—the perennial whipping boys of the mainstream media—feel?

Yeah: The press has been really hard on you, Bill. Why don’t you complain to Dan Quayle; that bastard got nothing but fawning attention from reporters.

Perhaps what so enrages us about this brouhaha, dear reader, is the fact that the arguments from the Left are so obviously weak. At least when one discusses the wisdom of liberating Iraq we can all agree that there are many valid arguments. But these Clinton apologetics are enough to make one positively cringe for Paul Begala. Does he really believe this stuff?

If Tim Russert hadn’t mysteriously lost his spine in his recent interview with President Clinton, he could very well have asked Bubba the query that landed Chris Wallace in hot water. Arrgh: This is so obvious we simply want to scream!

But maybe, dear reader, we’re just showing a lot of emotion because we’re cranky. And who’d blame us? We’re officially on Day Two of our Official Hunger Strike for an Instalanche, and, thus far, Glenn Reynolds doesn’t even know we exist. As such, our latest ploy for mega-“hits” has been about as successful as New Coke.

Hold on to your Twinkies, folks: It’s going to be a long time without food, we fear.

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September 28, 2006

We Hunger for an Instalanche

As longtime readers of this humble “weblog” well know, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have been pontificating on all and sundry for well over two years. Though we undoubtedly run one of the humbler outfits on Al Gore’s World-Wide Web, we must admit that we’ve had a modicum of success: “Links” from the likes of The Corner, Andrew Sullivan, James Taranto, Nick Gillespie, Vodkapundit, The New Criterion, &c.

All the same, dear reader, one mark of Internet accomplishment has ineluctably eluded us. Try as we might, Glenn Reynolds, the famed Instapundit, has failed to offer one measly “link” to our humble “weblog.”

It’s just not fair: Through the years, we’ve sent Reynolds umpteen sycophantic e-mails, positively begging him to check out our uproarious musings. And what have we received in response? No responses.

As far as we can intuit, Mr. Reynolds treats letters from the crack young staff like spam messages for dubiously produced generic Viagra.

That’s right: After two solid years of self-effacing e-missives, you can count all our so-called Instalaunches on no fingers. Just think of all the excitement that we’ve missed: No fleeting moments of e-fame; no counting our “hits” with glee; &c. Without some Insta-love, we’re like the Adrian Zmed of the World-Wide Web.

Frankly, dear reader, it’s downright pathetic. In fact, it’s sufficiently pathetic that we are prepared to take extreme measures to remedy the situation.

As of today, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” will officially go on a hunger strike until Glenn Reynolds gives us an Instalanche. You heard us right: Without Mr. Reynolds’ help, they’ll be no hamburgers, no fish sticks, no victuals of any kind for us. And no Peeps either, though they’re only tangentially related to foodstuffs.

We may waste away, dear reader. But, hey, perhaps that’ll do marvels for our incipient modeling careers. Last we checked, Kate Moss wasn’t much of a heifer.

And just think of all the magnanimous people who have gone on hunger strikes: Saddam Hussein, Bobby Sands, Omar Khadr, Jesse Jackson. If such tactics could work for unrepentant mass murderers, IRA militants, one of bin Laden’s lieutenants, and a black guy, just imagine how well it’ll go for us.

Of course, our whole scheme could backfire; we could die. We’d imagine that Glenn Reynolds wouldn’t want that on his conscience. But, hey: He is a lawyer.

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September 27, 2006

Toward a Taxonomy of Female Graduate Students

Our old pal Mr. Misspent recently dropped us a line, offering a suggestion for a future “post” on this humble “weblog.” The Good Mr. Misspent is currently that most unfortunate of creatures—a graduate student—and he wondered if we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” could expatiate on a wretched topic we have mentioned before: Female graduate students.

Now, we, dear reader, weren’t born yesterday. And we’re not Jimmy the Greek either. Accordingly, we fully recognize that our candid discussion of female graduate students may engender something of an uproar.

Not, we suppose, a backlash of the Death-To-Those-Who-Suggest-Muslims-Are-Violent caliber, but a backlash nonetheless. It is with much trepidation, then, that we embark on today’s humble musings.

In our defense, may we only say that approximately 47 percent of the crack young staff is made up of distaff staffers, and these ladies weren’t horribly troubled by the contents of what you are about to read? Of course, they also dig Andrew Dice Clay, so they could very well be gluttons for punishment. As well as very bad judges of humor.

Okay, okay, okay: Let the secular blasphemy begin. We’ll start by making a rather bold and generalistic claim, and then we’ll offer a few important caveats, none of which will soothe our wounded readership.

Our claim—happened upon from countless painstaking years of experience in the graduate school grind—is the following: Women go to graduate school because they are ugly. Not because they care deeply about the “transcendental signifier” or quantum physics. No, it’s because they’re miserable eyesores.

Oh, we told you we were going to cause a few heart attacks. But that’s our claim, and we’re standing by it. If you ask us, beautiful women don’t yearn to get PhDs because they can already attract copious male attention without troubling themselves to become experts in, say, soil patterns or, say, Tibetan literature. If you can marry some rich bastard just by batting your eyelashes, do you really need to write a dissertation on the uses of irony in Michel de Certau? We collectively think not.

Now, before you get all hot and bothered about our militant sexism, dear reader, ask yourself this question: Did any of the most beautiful women you knew of in college get PhDs? Aha! We’re willing to wager that the number of you answering in the affirmative is strikingly low.

As we stated above, we must present a few important caveats, if only to lower the number of death threats we’ll receive. First, we aren’t counting MBAs, JDs, and MDs, for the simple reason that we don’t consider those real graduate school degrees. There’s ample reason for anyone to go to one of these programs: Money; prestige; money; and also money. As such, lots of sexy females may very well head to, say, law school.

Second, we feel compeled to offer one slight wrinkle: Any attractive female PhD student is ineluctably married or seriously committed to a relationship upon entering her program. So, perhaps we should alter our claim to read “single girls go to graduate school because they’re ugly.” Ah, heck: We like the former locution better; it’s far more offensive.

Naturally, this begs the question: Why do guys get PhDs? If you ask us, the answer is clear: With all those ugly chicks around, they must enter graduate school because they’re stupid.

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September 26, 2006

A Nation of Double Standards

Boy, the vast right-wing conspiracy is really pissing us off. As if it weren’t enough for this insidious cabal to lie about Bill Clinton’s purported sexual acts with a husky intern, now it has the gall to up the ante even more. That’s right, dear reader: As you may have heard around Al Gore’s World-Wide Web, the evil forces of conservatism have now scored a double whammy on former President Clinton by…asking him a question.

Gosh, Karl Rove and his minions are a really horrid bunch, aren’t they? Can you believe the nerve of these people: Compelling Fox News’ Chris Wallace—surely a Rupert Murdoch puppet—to offer the former philanderer-in-chief a perfectly reasonable query? It’s simply abominable.

Mark these words, dear reader. When the evil forces of reaction forced Chris Wallace to ask the following question, our great nation must have plunged to some hitherto unfathomable nadir: “Why didn’t you do more to put bin Laden and al Qaeda out of business when you were president?” Oh, the horror!

We mean, come on: Just because Mr. Clinton was sufficiently foolish during his presidency to treat Islamist terrorism as a policing matter instead of an act of war is no reason to ask him one tough question about his 8-year term in office. Okay, okay: Islamo-fascist terrorists grew increasingly brazen in their anti-Western activity under President Clinton’s watch—so what? There’s no reason to get all bent out of shape and ask him about this.

Aren’t some things simply off limits? Aren’t some things beyond the pale? Surely crucial issues of security and foreign policy are such things?

Thankfully, dear reader, our pals at The Nation have leapt to the defense of poor Bill Clinton. More specifically, one John Nichols, a nutter who appears to possess one of the worst toupees in American history, has composed a rousing screed for the magazine that takes aim at those disgraceful Zionazis at Fox News.

To this end, Mr. Nichols informs us that, as the result of one question, Bill Clinton was “a target of our drive-by media.” Thus does an orange-haired buffoon offer a tip of the cap to Rush Limbaugh in order to defend the beleaguered former president. It seems as if one must treat Bubba with some kid gloves, doesn’t it?

Now, as delighted as we were that The Nation rushed to hide Bill Clinton from the slings and arrows of one question, we couldn’t help but notice the lefty rag’s blatant hypocrisy. After all, this is a magazine that gave accolades and column space to Helen Thomas, whose entire claim to fame is offering ranting, partisan potshots at the Bush administration during its press conferences.

How in the Good Lord’s name can The Nation champion Helen Thomas’ incessant propagandistic nonsense and denounce one entirely legitimate query from Chris Wallace? It seems, dear reader, to speak to a level of intellectual dishonesty that one might think even as sordid an outfit as The Nation would avoid.

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September 25, 2006

Thanks, Peter, That’s Much Better

As longtime readers of this humble “weblog” well know, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are big fans of The New Republic, America’s political and cultural journal for the sensible Left. To be sure, we have absolutely no idea what this magazine’s publishing schedule is, for the understandable reason that it appears with appalling irregularity in our mailbox. All the same, the folks at TNR routinely present thoughtful articles that shriller left-wing magazines eschew.

In fact, dear reader, we’ll go to some lengths to defend The New Republic. For instance, we didn’t think Lee Seigel’s “sock-puppet” antics on the TNR “website” were that big of a deal. We mean, come on: So Lee Seigel thinks that Lee Seigel is brilliant: Wow, alert the media. He must be the only public intellectual with a big ego.

Still, we would be remiss if we did not mention that the staff of TNR occasionally makes some real gaffes. The magazine’s principled support for aggressive intervention in Darfur, for example, is somewhat compromised by its hasty turn-about regarding the liberation of Iraq. If American soldiers start dying in Darfur, how do we know that TNR won’t change its mind again?

Sometimes the missteps of TNR staffers seem particularly troubling, since they sully authors’ otherwise good work. Take, for instance, Peter Beinart, a youngish bigwig at the magazine, who writes its weekly (?) “TRB” column. The quality of these pieces, dear reader, is infuriatingly various: One fortnight we’re praising Mr. Beinart’s acumen to the hilt; another we’re chucking his column across the room with disgust.

Nor are Mr. Beinart’s quizzical lapses confined to his columns. The September 24 number of The New York Times contains a boring article by one Sheryl Gay Stolberg, “ ‘Islamo-Fascism’ Has Its Moment.”

In this humdrum piece, Ms. Stolberg dips into the history of the term “Islamo-fascism,” informing us that both Christopher Hitchens and Muslim convert Stephen Schwartz claim the neologism as their invention. Then Ms. Stolberg, who notes the president’s previous use of the term, discusses various problems associated with it.

Naturally, Islamo-fascism is an imprecise—though delightfully pejorative—way to describe the enemies of Western civilization. Although it admirably sets the stakes high in the War on Terrorism, its reference to Fascism leaves a bit to be desired. (Why this should trouble our pals on the Left, however, who, taking much greater liberties, like to refer to the Bush administration as “fascistic,” is beyond us.)

But have no fear, dear reader: Ms. Stolberg reports that Peter Beinart has come up with far more apt nomenclature for our Islamist enemies. No longer must we play the dubious “Islamo-fascist” card. Mr. Beinart has solved the problem.

His idea? Well, it’s so rich that we’ll let Ms. Stolberg inform you:

Peter Beinart, the editor at large of The New Republic, has his own solution: “jihadi salafi,” which loosely translates to “someone who would use violence, and ultimately state violence, to bring about a utopian vision of Islam.” So what if no one knows what it means.

“If Bush had been using it all these years,” Mr. Beinart said, “people would know it like the back of their hand.”

Forgive us for our candor, but Mr. Beinart’s “solution” is dumb. “Jihadi salafi” is meaningless to a non-Muslim audience and its “loose translation”—if fully accurate—is cumbersome. Exactly how much fun would Bush-bashers from Middle Eastern Studies (Juan Cole and his minions) have with the president’s use of “jihadi salafi”? We can already see the columns now: “Bush doesn’t know what a ‘salafi’ really is,” &c.

Thanks for the attempt, Mr. Beinart, but we must say we prefer “Islamo-fascist” as our term of choice for Islamist terrorists. In fact, in comparison with your moronic idea, we’d even prefer “New York Giants” or “Phyllis Diller.”

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September 23, 2006

A Note To Our Readers

Well, it’s been quite a week for us here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly.” On Monday, the delightful John Podhoretz—political and cultural critic extraordinaire—was nice enough to speak well of our humble “weblog” over at National Review Online. If memory serves—and we believe it does—he called this “website” “one of the most interesting and amusing right-of-center blogs I’ve ever read.” This, need we remind you, came from the keyboard of neoconservative royalty. Not too shabby, eh?

As if this weren’t suitably exciting, soon after Andrew Sullivan honored us with an official Yglesias Award Nomination. In short, this former editor of The New Republic and esteemed pundit lauded us for our integrity, or some such. Again, pretty nice, is it not?

For those of you counting at home (and that should be all of you), that’s two giant “links” in one week—all scored without so much as an obsequious e-mail begging for mention. Regular reader(s) of this humble “weblog” undoubtedly recognize that “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” is about as popular as a “Connie Chung Sings the Blues” LP, and so they must imagine we’re elated to reach a readership that you can count on more than no fingers.

So, for the benefit of those new to our operation, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” figured we’d fill you in a little bit. In this humble space, dear reader, we “post” every weekday, major holidays and Arbor Day excluded.

But those who require a weekend fix from the crack young staff, fear not: We also “post” a weekly essay on the wonderful “weblog” Wizbang every Sunday.

That’s six days of coruscating genius, all for the low price of no money at all. Wow: That is quite a deal. Maybe Messrs. Podhoretz and Sullivan were on to something?

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September 22, 2006

Calling It Like We See It

Of all the pleasures Al Gore bestowed upon us by creating the World-Wide Web, surely The Huffington Post ranks among the most delightful. Right below free underage bestiality flicks, we’d say.

As a result, dear reader, it was with great enthusiasm that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” took a gander at “The Importance of Being Ahmadinejad & Chavez,” a Huffington Post column by someone called Nathan Gardels. We must admit that the title really drew us in: Is Mr. Gardles, by invoking Oscar Wilde, claiming that the unhinged loons in control of Iran and Venezuela are, to quote Gore Vidal, homosexualists? We certainly wanted to find out.

But, in fact, it turns out that Mr. Gardles’ piece was far more mundane than its zippy title suggests. To be downright honest, it was pretty much the typical lefty boilerplate you’d expect from Arianna’s minions.

Although Mr. Gardels was suitably honest to label Ahmadinejad an anti-Semite, he has a curious view of the Iranian leader’s bizarre speech to the UN. Ditto Chavez’s unhinged rant to that same august body.

You see, to Mr. Gardels “It would be a big mistake to dismiss their comments as the ravings of madmen when they are only saying what the rest of the world—China, Russia and France on the Security Council as well as countries from Brazil to South Korea—actually thinks.”

This, we think, is an odd test to determine views that should and should not be dismissed. Since when does popularity alone determine the justness of ideas? After all, large swaths of Muslims—and others besides, we’d wager—believe that either the US or Israel masterminded the 9/11 attacks. Are such fantasies not worth dismissal merely due to the number of cranks who hold them dear?

Further, we’re not exactly certain what Mr. Gardels means when he exhorts us not to dismiss the rebarbative rhetoric of the odious Ahmadinejad and Chavez. Does he believe we should merely listen? If so, we’ll be happy to tell him we complied. Or does he hope that their foolish prattle will compel us to alter our foreign policy? If that’s what he wants, well, we’re sorry to say that we think he’s bonkers.

Yet certainly the most exquisite joy to be savored from The Huffington Post comes not from the columnists themselves but from sundry readers who leave comments on their work. And, sure enough, this is true in regard to Mr. Gardels latest opus.

You see, one of Mr. Gardels’ readers—someone named “AndrewW” to be precise—took great offense. Not, we must say, because Mr. Gardels presents a naïve, rosy view of Messrs. Ahmadinejad and Chavez. No, no, no—that would be sane.

On the contrary, something else entirely got his dander up:

The evidence I have seen of Ahmadinejad's anti-Semitism is like that of Saddam's WMD: a well-known "fact" based on distorted evidence. He certainly is anti-Zionist and anti-Israel, but that does not make one anti-Semitic. If someone can point out actual anti-Semitic statements by him, I'd appreciate knowing about it. Otherwise, can we dispense with making another Middle Eastern leader into one of what JQ Adams called "monsters to destroy."

Ah, that’s lovely, isn’t it? A diligent intellectual over at the Huff isn’t sure that the Iranian nutter is actually an anti-Semite. Rather, he thinks this is merely an unfair charge hurled at this delightful chap, probably by unsavory Jews.

To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: Uh, since when did denying the Holocaust not count as anti-Semitism? We fear that “AndrewW” demonstrates such an animus toward the lone Jewish state that he can’t think like a rational human being.

Further, need we remind him that Iran’s president pines to “wipe Israel off the map”? “AndrewW” can liken this to “anti-Zionism,” but surely it’s extreme enough to make one wonder.

We mean, come on: Just imagine if a friend of yours said he harbors no hatred for the Palestinian people, but he hopes that the Palestinian territories will be “wiped off the map.” Now, one could claim that such a fellow isn’t anti-Arab—because he doesn’t want to harm the Palestinians residing in, say, Jordan—but we think that’d be a rather tough sell.

Or how about if a pal told you he felt no dislike for blacks, but he prayed for the day when sub-Saharan Africa would be “wiped off the map.” Do you really think any reasonable person would fail to label such a clown a racist, preferring a milquetoast label like “anti-pan-Africanist”?

That’s why we perceive of self-proclaimed anti-Zionists the way Orwell thought of angels: Guilty until proven innocent.

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September 21, 2006

College Students—The Movie

As well nigh every American well knows, movies about college life are a dime a dozen in Hollywood. Although such films seldom rise to the level of the merely viewable, darn near all of the big studios pump out more and more of them. Revenge of the Nerds, A Love Story, Road Trip, &c., &c.: They’re complete crap, but the powers-that-be produce them at a quickening rate nonetheless.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” figured that we might as well cash in on the popularity of this feculent filmic genre. Hey: Since the movie studios are going to hand us lemons, we might as well make money. Or something.

We mean, come on: The logic is impeccable. If the likes of Tom Green can get rich off of this detritus, why can’t we?

Yet—heterodox fellows and lasses that we are—we figured we’d give the tired college flick a bit of a twist. Instead of inevitably pertaining to undergraduate love and high jinks, our picture takes on the real college student. No saccharine plots about scoring with that super-hot chick from biology class for us. Nah: We, like our friends in the rap world, “likes to keeps it real.” Word.

First, our movie is a documentary. Not, we should say, an ineluctable box-office boom, but potentially promising nevertheless. After all, Michael Moore’s films do quite well, even though he never troubles himself to research them. Or tell the truth.

For no good reason, we have titled our film with an obvious tip of the cap to the movie The Unbearable Lightness of Being, based on the Milan Kundera novel of the same name. We call it The Interminable Sense of Entitlement, and we think it fits the typical college kid quite well.

Do you hate 19-year-olds who think they understand how the world works far better than those with more experience and basic literacy? If so, you’ll savor our film. Do you detest the obnoxious sense of privilege that students at private colleges demonstrate on a routine basis? If so, you won’t stop loving our movie.

Just think of the possibilities: In the first scene, a sophomore fraternity member ambles to his English professor’s office, still a little bit tipsy from his raucous time of boozing and fornicating the night before. Catching the attention of the distracted pedant, he complains, “Uh, Mr. Professor or whatever, I just don’t understand why I got a B- on my paper. It was only three pages short, seven days late, and on the wrong topic. What gives? Is there anyone I can complain to about you? Man, you are such a buzz kill.”

Oh, we can see it all now: The lazy, mal-educated, stupid, cocksure, dipsomaniacal, sex-obsessed, drug-crazed college kid as he really is. This ain’t gonna’ be no John Hughes picture.

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September 20, 2006

Who Would Have Seen This Coming? Uh, Everyone

Well, it’s settled then. As The New York Times gleefully reports, the thorny question of female aptitude in the hard sciences has been conclusively answered. Obviously, they’ll be no further arguments from anyone; this whole issue has finally been put to rest.

Why, just check out the opening paragraph from the Gray Lady’s report, which was penned by one Cornelia Dean:

Women in science and engineering are hindered not by lack of ability but by bias and “outmoded institutional structures” in academia, an expert panel reported yesterday. The panel, convened by the National Academy of Sciences, said that in an era of global competition the nation could not afford “such underuse of precious human capital.” Among other steps, the report recommends altering procedures for hiring and evaluation, changing typical time-tables for tenure and promotion, and providing more support for working parents.

Well, gee: Who could argue with this all of this? After all, as the Paper of Record tells us, the NAS gathered “an expert panel,” and thus their findings must be unassailable.

But wait. Who makes up this “expert panel”? Well, its head was Donna E. Shalala, a former secretary of health and human services in the Clinton administration and a well-known feminist.

Also on board was Elizabeth Spelke, a professor of psychology at Harvard whose views on this matter should already be crystal clear. In regard to Larry Summers’ purportedly sexist remarks on women in the hard sciences—which were surely the impetus behind this “expert panel” in the first place—Ms. Spelke said: “I disagree point for point.” Ah, so Ms. Spelke already knew the conclusions the “expert panel” would come to before she became one of its “experts.”

And let’s not forget panelist Ana Mari Cauce, a University of Washington psychologist and contributor to the tome Bringing Cultural Diversity to Feminist Psychology. Nor should we leave out Ruth J. Simmons, the president of Brown University and a board member of the radical feminist journal Meridians. Gee, can anyone say “ringers”?

Hmmm. It’s starting to sound as if the NAS’s study was something of a foregone conclusion.

But wait, dear reader, it gets even more pathetic. The obviously dispassionate and objective panel of “experts” dedicated its work to Denice Denton, the deceased chancellor of UC Santa Cruz who was a lesbian crusader for feminist causes. Huh: Perhaps the only thing this panel is “expert” in is fooling dimwitted journalists into spreading its propaganda.

We mean, come on: Having these folks head an investigation that pertains to feminism is like putting Charles Murray on a committee studying tax reform. Or like asking Perry Anderson to present a report on Marxism. You might as well save yourself the effort. If you don’t know what you’re going to get in advance, you are quite possibly brain damaged.

For some reason, though, the Paper of Record perceives that a feminist junta concluding that women require more preferential treatment in the sciences is dynamite proof of anything. It’s bad enough that the NAS set up a wretchedly partisan panel to study such an important question in the first place. It’s even worse that the Times essentially printed their press releases for them.

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September 19, 2006

One Man’s Peace Advocate…

As anyone with a pulse undoubtedly knows, numerous media outlets resolutely refuse to call terrorists “terrorists.” Rather, they prefer the hazier, less loaded term “militants,” which suggests a degree of potential legitimacy clearly lacking in the former appellation.

Though this strikes us, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” as willfully obtuse, media bigwigs tend to offer the same defense: “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” Perhaps this pathetic canard is the postmodern Left’s most esteemed gift to our journalist pals; could it be the most oft-cited example of moral relativism to be found in American life?

Of all the media giants pushing this brand of nonsense, surely our friends at Reuters are among the most notable. Reuters, if you’re not familiar with it, is a sort of unofficial cheerleader for the anti-Western jihadis; it also moonlights as a news service. As a result of their fine work, we presume that the Islamofascists have agreed to kill the folks at Reuters last.

Given its proclivities, Reuters naturally loves to call terrorists “militants.” In fact, it enjoys it about as much as paying for doctored anti-Israel photographs. That is to say, a real lot.

We had reason to reflect on this anew upon reading a Reuters report from September 17. Pertaining to worldwide protests about the situation in Darfur, the piece begins thus:

Peace advocates around the world held demonstrations on Sunday to highlight the war in Darfur, the western Sudan region where tens of thousands of people have been killed and more than two million left homeless.

Now, let us first say that we firmly support a vigorous military intervention in the Sudan to stop the ongoing genocide. Still, we found the appellation “peace advocates” a bit strange.

After all, don’t the demonstrators actually pine for an army to stop the killing in Darfur? Might that not require a bit of violence? As a result, aren’t the protestors actually the very antithesis of “peace advocates”?

No, these folks want intervention, not peace. But, curiously, our buddies at Reuters have labeled them “peace advocates” all the same.

And this takes us to our—admittedly nugatory—point. If one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter, why isn’t one man’s peace advocate another man’s useful idiot?

This is not, we hasten to add, the case regarding military intervention in Darfur, which principled people of many political persuasions support. But certainly the far-left dupes who seem hell-bent on stopping the West from fighting but appear to consider Islamist violence hunky dory deserve Lenin’s charming epithet. If you ask us, the Cindy Sheehans of the world, whose sense of horror at the indignities of war is curiously selective, are quintessential useful idiots.

As such, we believe that Reuters should quit using the loaded term “peace activists” to describe such folks. Surely they’d want to come up with a more objective appellation?

May we humbly suggest “militants”?

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September 18, 2006

Affirmative Action? Never Heard of It

As any thinking person recognizes, The New York Times is a thoroughly irritating newspaper. Regardless of your political persuasion, nary an issue of the Gray Lady should fail to get your dander up.

Unsurprisingly, then, an examination of this past Sunday’s New York Times Book Review nearly caused paroxysms of rage for us crack young staffers. A particular piece made us want to hurl the Review as violently as possible—preferably at its editorial staff.

The review in question was penned by one Michael Wolff, a columnist for that most pathetic of mainstream rags, Vanity Fair. Mr. Wolff was given the task of commenting on Daniel Golden’s new tome The Price of Admission: How America’s Ruling Class Buys Its Way Into Elite Colleges—and Who Gets Left Outside the Gates. For its sheer myopia and ability to mislead, Mr. Wolff’s review is a locus classicus of dimwitted left-wing hackery.

You see, dear reader, Mr. Wolff’s review offers the distinct impression that the majority of students at Harvard owe their acceptance to their parents’ multi-million dollar gifts to the university. That’s right, the majority. After ridiculing Bill Frist’s extraordinary donation to Princeton in order to ensure his son’s admittance, Mr. Wolff makes it seem as if this is typical of Princeton attendees.

To this end, Mr. Wolff writes:

Harvard may say it accepts 1 in 10 applicants, but, Golden writes, as many as 60 percent of the places in a top school are already spoken for by higher bidders, hence reducing, in parlance, the “unhooked” applicant’s chances to…well, you do the math.

Uh, 60 percent of Harvard students have parents who fork over millions of dollars to get their kids into school? Does anyone else find this a rather unlikely figure? Alas—but unsurprisingly—Mr. Wolff does not discuss exactly how this number was determined.

And the reader of Mr. Wolff’s review has a good reason to be skeptical of any of its claims. Just take a look at this willfully myopic passage:

Golden tells us that the admissions process, at least at the 100 top colleges and universities, is not a meritocracy—and exactly who thought it was?—but a marketplace. Every spot is up for bid. Some people bid with intelligence, which has obvious worth to the institution; some with cold cash, with its certain value; and others with the currency of connections and influence and relationships that serve the institution’s interests.

Gee, what’s missing from this description of college admissions? Could it be that charming misnomer referred to as Affirmative Action? Don’t lots of students—many more than the scions of multi-million dollar donors—owe their admittance to a malign form of social gerrymandering?

Obviously, yes, but for some reason Mr. Wolff leaves this out of his misleading polemic. He’ll excoriate anything else pertaining to college admissions, but institutionalized discrimination is, oddly, off his radar screen.

To this end, Mr. Wolff even ridicules students who got into the Ivy League due to their hard work and smarts: He labels such a pupil “an adolescent who accepts authority, willingly does absurd amounts of homework, is respectful of his or her college guidance counselor, listens to his or her parents and is a dedicated standardized-test taker to boot,” as if this is somehow deviously sordid. Exactly how much homework, Mr. Wolff, do you think is un-absurd?

All in all, Mr. Wolff’s review is a perfect demonstration of bad faith. It beggars belief that a fellow so enraged by college admissions chicanery cannot even bring himself to discuss Affirmative Action. And it demonstrates the degree to which social gerrymandering’s most fervent admirers recognize its deep unpopularity. Even in this sort of exposé, one dare not mention its name.

Better to blame Bill Frist.

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September 15, 2006

Against the Grain

Every once in a while, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” get sick and tired of our incessant partisan yapping. Yes, yes: We tend to favor the political Right—we get it. Although, as you might imagine, we usually bask in the glow that is our luminous pontificating, on occasion we enjoy taking on the role of Devil’s Advocate. Or, failing that, at least demonstrating that matters are not as simple as we portray them.

You know, shake things up a bit. And today, dear reader, is the day for some heterodoxy from the crack young staff. Unlike most “posts,” in which we excoriate some predictable lefty target, on this day we take aim at some things you might have thought we liked. Enough with the conservative blather; bring on the liberal blather!

Okay, so here goes—our Official “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Against the Grain Day.

Item the First: Right-wingers hate to admit it, but it’s true: Ariana Huffington was as much of a know-nothing, obnoxious twit when she was a Republican as she is as a Democrat. Though her politics have changed, her cacophonous, self-promoting nonsense has not.

Item the Second: Ann Coulter is a joke. But she’s not the only joke among conservative talking heads. Many right-wing talk show hosts are absurd, Michael Savage being only the most obvious example. As pathetic as Michael Moore may be, he’s easily equaled in idiocy by the likes of Mr. Savage. That guy is a knuckle-dragging doofus.

Item the Third: We like Tipper Gore. Sure, it was easy to paint this woman as a prig, given her clumsy attempts to censor popular music. But, hey: What’s so bad about that? We don’t want our four-year-olds listening to foul-mouthed “rappers” whom other liberals champion as street-corner prophets. Right on, Tipper!

Item the Fourth: Many deeply conservative people are really creepy. You know: Home schooling, incessant prattling on about the evils of the liberal mainstream. It’s insufferable, and we can certainly understand why others are taken aback by it. Basically, political true believers of all stripes are a tad frightening. No political movement has a complete monopoly on the truth.

Item the Fifth: The conservative attack on academia is often overwrought and occasionally reeks of Know-Nothingism. To be sure, there are many systemic problems with bias in higher education, and those running universities will never self-reform. But, come on: Not all professors are Ward Churchill. Unfair polemics only sully more earnest attempts at much-needed change.

Item the Sixth: Tom Delay was a crook.

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September 14, 2006

Our Free Time Flushed Out To the River

As you might well imagine, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are a busy bunch. Whether it’s attending various important meetings or taking in a Hall & Oats concert at the local mall, we basically haven’t a jot of free time.

Which is why, dear reader, we’re deeply upset about the pathetic ways in which we use the few hours a week allotted to us for leisure. To the German philosopher Josef Pieper, leisure is “the basis of culture.” Well, if Herr Pieper took a look at the way we fritter away our time, he’d surely say that culture was in for some very dark days.

Now, in our postmodern world, lots of odd things can turn out to be inveterate time wasters. Like, say, video games. Or cellular telephones. Or Michael Moore.

But certainly one of the most vexing of all leisure black holes is to be found on ESPN. No, we’re not talking about Stewart Scott: A little more of his “I’m so darn hip” routine, and we’ll come close to throwing our set out the window. That ostentatious moron.

Rather, we refer to something called “The World Series of Poker.” It’s sad to admit it, but, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterely,” are addicted to the stuff.

Let us clue you in to how spine-tinglingly pathetic this is. For crying out loud, we don’t even know how to play poker. We mean, we understand the general principles, but we’d have to write out a handy list of what-beats-what in order to play a hand ourselves. Even so, our complete ignorance of poker somehow doesn’t stop us from watching hours and hours of this crap.

Further, we fully recognize that the whole poker craze is a fad. It’s the frickin’ cigar fad for the Noughties. In a few years, people will be mystified as to why anyone wasted their time watching a bunch of hormonal goons play a card game. And yet we still keep our stupid eyes glued to the set.

It’s beyond wretched. Numerous members of the crack young staff have taken to arguing about Mike “The Mouth” Matusow, Freddie Deeb, et al. Can you even believe we know who these sleazy people are?

What’s worse, glorifying professional poker players is pernicious. These television shows fail to show us the great dangers of high-stakes card games—those who lose thousands, those who become hopelessly addicted, Bill Bennett.

As if that weren’t bad enough, many players at “The World Series” drop out of college to pursue lives of Texas Hold ‘Em. It’s a fine career if you can make it; if not, that little degree might come in handy.

If we keep watching this deleterious garbage, we’re going to have to take away our own TV privileges. That may mean an end to our enjoyment of tasteful teenage lesbian dating shows on MTV, but, if it stops us from obsessing over Phil Helmuth, it’ll be worth it.

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September 13, 2006

The Gray Lady’s Reality

In the September 12 number of The New York Times, a staff op-ed offered a reaction to President Bush’s recent address to the nation. Surprise, surprise: The folks at the Gray Lady weren’t that impressed. Who would have seen that coming?

Entitled “President Bush’s Reality,” the piece had one particularly glaring line toward its start:

When Mr. Bush warns that Al Qaeda means what is says, that there are Islamist fanatics around the world who wish us harm and that the next assault could be even worse than the last, he does not need to press the argument.

In other words: Spare us the platitudes, President Bush.

Ah, but in offering this assessment, the folks at the Times get things exactly wrong. When discussing these obvious aspects of the War on Terrorism, the President most assuredly needs to press the argument. And the argument requires pressing for the simple reason that the Gray Lady’s staffers don’t get it yet.

After all, it was the Paper of Record that has offered full-frontal assaults on the President’s legal attempts to catch terrorists. Further, it was the Paper of Record that gave column space to a former Gitmo prisoner with oodles of ties to terrorism and who dubiously claimed that he went to Afghanistan for a “dream vacation.” It was an outrageous lie, of course, but, hey, as long as it helps terrorists and hurts the President, it’s worth it to the folks at the Times.

Moreover, it was the Paper of Record that offered its editorial page to the ostentatious blowhard Joe Wilson, whose own column presented an untruthful account of his personal report on Saddam Hussein’s attempt to procure uranium in Niger. And it was the Paper of Record that routinely trumpets bad news regarding the War on Terrorism and hides or dismisses the good news.

In short, President Bush must discuss the most mindlessly clear aspects of our War on Terror because the staff of the Gray Lady is still hazy about it.

As we’ve said before, we don’t think that “Pinch” Sulzberger and Co. actually pine for America’s enemies to defeat us. Still, they perceive that the Bush administration is a greater threat to the world than is Osama bin Laden and his minions.

Until the fools at The New York Times understand why this is a ridiculous opinion, we urge the President to press on with his platitudes.

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September 12, 2006

Appeasement in the Name of Secularism

On Sunday, September 10, The New York Times editorial page offered a special section: “10 Ways to Avoid the Next 9/11.” Its point, as the Gray Lady tells us, was the following:

The Op-Ed page asked 10 people with experience in security and counterterrorism to answer the following question: What is one major reason the United States has not suffered a major attack since 2001, and what is the one thing you would recommend the nation do in order to avoid attacks in the future?

Of course, this two-pronged question offered numerous experts the opportunity to engage in a little Bush-bashing. But we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” were particularly intrigued by the answer offered by one Jessica Stern, a lecturer at Harvard and the author of a tome called Terror in the Name of God.

A few of us here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” had read this book some time ago and found it interesting yet mildly dissatisfying. In it Stern offered a journalistic tour through the worlds of many religious terrorists: Islamist extremists; anti-abortion murderers; &c. By virtue of this approach, Stern seemed to stress the commonalities among these fanatics.

Which is why, dear reader, we found her short op-ed in the Paper of Record so curious. Its title says it all: “Keep American Muslims on Our Side.” In essence, Stern argues that America must hue to a foreign policy that won’t disturb this country’s Muslims; if it does not, we should expect more terrorism. With an obvious allusion to Iraq, she explains:

Every foreign-policy decision entails tradeoffs in regard to terrorism, especially with respect to the spread of the jihadist idea. Attacking the wrong people at the wrong time can backfire, just as Al Qaeda’s strategists say. Let’s not make that mistake again.

Thus does counter-terrorism expert Jessica Stern forfeit America’s foreign policy to potentially disgruntled Muslims.

And here’s our point: Since Stern appeared to be intrigued by the commonalities between religious terrorists, why do we have the sneaking suspicion that she’s willing to treat Muslim terrorists much differently from others? Do you suppose, for instance, that Ms. Stern would suggest that America outlaw abortion in order to stop pro-life maniacs from murdering abortion doctors and bombing health clinics?

Of course not! After all, why should America change its domestic policies to appease a bunch of violent lunatics? This would be capitulation of the most sordid variety. Then why does Ms. Stern tell us to tout appeasement as a foreign policy?

We can suggest a potential reason. We’re pretty sure that Ms. Stern doesn’t support the liberation of Iraq. Thus what she’s asking of the country in this case conforms perfectly to her own foreign policy views. And, we’d imagine, she’s not pro-life, and thus she doesn’t want to capitulate to anti-abortion fanatics.

It’s all a bit depressing. And, quite frankly, at least mildly paternalistic: Stern’s view appears to boil down to the idea that sundry Muslims simply can’t help themselves; when provoked, they don’t think, but react with violence. Why is this supposed to be a more progressive approach to Islamic fascism than the hope to bring democracy to the Middle East?

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September 11, 2006

Never Forget

Normally, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” spend our weekdays penning hilarious “posts” chock-a-block with knee-slapping delights. But, dear reader, not today.

For today, as you surely know, is the fifth anniversary of 9/11, certainly one of the most horrific days in American history. As such, we’ve taken a break from our usual routine, in order to pay homage to the victims of this atrocity.

How easy it is, dear reader, to forget about the despicable attack on the USA during the course of five short years! Yes, no one actually forgets that 9/11 happened, but many can’t recall the visceral emotions that the attack dredged up. Instead, lots of folks are content to label the whole thing a “tragedy,” as if 9/11 were a lamentable—though essentially blameless—phenomenon.

But 9/11 wasn’t like the tsunami: Particular people were (and are) to blame. (And, no, conspiracy theorists, George Bush isn’t the prime culprit for both.) Regardless of one’s take on American foreign policy since 9/11, everyone ought to think hard about the ways in which we can both avenge this assault and rid the world of Islamist extremism. If it isn’t through spreading democracy, how shall we accomplish our goals? Capitulation?

Further, we think that an evil event like 9/11 makes clear who are America’s friends and enemies. As much as Yassir Arafat worked to hide it, the Palestinians reveled en masse over the carnage. We wept; they cheered in the streets like barbarians. Whilst we reflect on the situation in Israel, we ought never forget that, deep down, the Palestinians never have our interests at heart. They are our enemies.

But enough of this partisan soap-boxing. Thousands lost their lives on 9/11, and we ought to do them the simple courtesy of praying for them. In addition, we should give thanks to those armed men and women who defend our nation. They are that most rare of things in postmodern life—heroes.

God bless America. May those who lost their lives on that horrible day rest in peace.

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September 08, 2006


The other day, dear reader, one of the senior editors here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—found himself lying on his couch, taking in the feculent film 10 Things I Hate About You. Wretched, isn’t it? Indeed, when “Chip” realized that he’d just suffered through around 15 minutes of the picture in addition to 47 minutes of accompanying commercials without so much as a yearning to shut off the television, he realized that, in typical Alcoholics Anonymous parlance, he had a problem.

We mean, come on: It was a gorgeous weekend day, the sort that simply begs for a walk in the park, or at least around the block. The sun was shining, there was a delightful breeze, and the local ne’er-do-wells were nowhere to be found. What the heck was “Chip” doing watching a wretched teen pseudo-comedy starring the preternaturally talentless Julia Styles? Talk about the antithesis of carpe diem, eh?

It is a bit upsetting, is it not? But wait: It gets worse. For “Chip” had already seen 10 Things I Hate About You before—in fact, he’d probably seen bits of it dozens of times. All on bright sunny days, he’d wager.

What in the good Lord’s name, he wondered, compelled him to gander at this horrid spectacle? Odysseus had the Sirens: “Chip” has 10 Things I Hate About You. At least the Sirens could carry a tune.

Sickening—that’s the only word for it. Well, one other comes to mind: Lazy. And, quite frankly, this description fit “Chip” more than he would care to admit.

It’s sad but true: Like many members of the crack young staff, “Chip” fashions himself as something of an intellectual. Yet how can he call himself by such a title when he spends far more time with Heath Ledger than Marcel Proust? “Chip” has yet to finish A Remembrance of Things Past, but he’s kept up with nearly all the lame teeny-bopper flicks Comedy Central can re-run. Priorities, priorities.

But surely “Chip” isn’t alone. The Third World may have its own hurdles—AIDS, an outrageously high infant mortality rate, starvation—but we in the First World must have a lock on laziness. After all, say all the bad things you want about Zimbabwe, but its residents aren’t vexed by John Hughes films. They’ve got Robert Mugabe; we’ve got Mary Stuart Masterson.

Pick your poison.

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September 07, 2006

Homo Academicus

As we informed you in an earlier “post,” we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are delighted that the new school year is at last upon us. For, as parents of the college-aged certainly recognize, this means that countless bright-eyed and bushy-tailed undergraduates will soon return to making their livers into brown bananas.

Ah, the ivory tower—there’s nothing quite like it (though, admittedly, Cuba comes close). Marxoid weirdoes babbling about Foucault; privileged white girls bemoaning the evils of male privilege; unchecked dipsomania—is there anything better than this? Night Court, perhaps?

Still, dear reader, we must admit that we’ve always found the average college professor a bit irksome. Well, that isn’t exactly true: If the PhD in question studies, say, chicken behavior, then it’s not very likely that he’d trouble us. Rather, it is the humanities and social science prof who really rankles. Not all of them, mind you, but more than we’d like to count.

(Further, we don’t just mean economists. Everyone hates economists. Everyone.)

And why, you may ask, do such academicians so irritate? Now we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are hardly your typical anti-intellectual buffoons (after all, we’re not that typical). Heck no: Give us a copy of a chi-chi journal of academic literary criticism and we’re practically in heaven. No cavalier Know-Nothings, us.

Well, dear reader, our irritation with many of our beloved academics has little to do with their courses of study. Nor with their life decisions: We’ve always felt that the life of the mind is a worthy life—unless you’re Jessica Simpson, of course.

No, we can’t point to any of that as our rationale. Rather, it must be the behavior of sundry academic types that so infuriates. In their own way, many professors are just as priggish and self-satisfied as the most ostentatious religious fundamentalist. Naturally, this sentiment would enrage our militantly secular professorate, but it’s true all the same.

Ever have a conversation with a self-important prof? He’ll triumphantly inform you that he’s not like the “typical American”—which, we take it, is a very good thing in his book. Of course, he’ll sniff, I don’t watch any television, I don’t like the orgy of consumerism that is American culture, and I abhor so-called fast food.

Well, well, well, Mr. High-and-Mighty. (Or is that Dr. High-and-Mighty? You didn’t spend 8 years getting an advanced degree in smugness for “typical Americans” to address you as “mister.”) Awfully proud of yourself, aren’t you?

We mean, come on: We don’t care what you do with your free time—reading back issues of The Nation; devouring turnips; selling crack cocaine. Just don’t be so darn smug about it: You sound sickeningly like a fundamentalist browbeating non-fundamentalists for their failure to lead their lives according to the “true way.” In short, you sound like an ass.

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September 06, 2006

Left-Wing Tolerance

It was a disgusting display. What else can be said about it?

A few days ago, one of the senior editors at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—went for coffee with a few friends and new acquaintances. Unfortunately, after a few minutes, the topic of politics came up.

Now, it just so happens that “Chip” knows a fair number of self-proclaimed members of the artistic avant-garde. In practice, this means that some of his pals champion a brand of aesthetics previously favored by Dada artists. That is to say, they consider themselves ahead of their time by favoring an outlook popular in painting circles in 1911.

Oh, stop being so darned radical! It’s hard to keep up!

Now, almost invariably a particularly malignant and un-thinking politics comes along with this pseudo-avant sensibility. Not always, but often enough.

Accordingly, many of “Chip’s” buddies are essentially Green Party fellow travelers, and they offer lock-step support for a variety of self-proclaimed “progressive causes.”

You know, progressive causes: Like hoping for the victory of militantly intolerant Islamic fascists against the forces of civilization. Oh, and promoting gay marriage.

Thankfully, after a few minutes the talk turned to another subject. “Chip” was forced to endure only a bit of praise for Hezbollah and condemnation of the nefarious “Israel Lobby.”

Talk turned to the topic of victuals. One of the interlocutors mentioned that he had recently enjoyed the food at a new Israeli restaurant in town. Upon the mention of this, one of “Chip’s” acquaintances, a young Mexican guy, groaned.

“Uggh,” he exclaimed. “How can you eat that stuff? Israel makes me sick.”

To which the first interlocutor responded: “Come on, Juan. You have to be able to separate the people from their governments. Just because you don’t like what Israel’s government does, you shouldn’t blame that on all Israelis.”

Without a moment of pause, the table was off to another conversation. Although disgusted, “Chip” offered nary a peep, and let the subject pass.

We know what you’re thinking: This is the kind of exchange one can hear from the mouths of left-wing radicals—the kinds of folk who are always bleating about their preternatural tolerance and anti-racism? This is pathetic!

We mean, come on: Just imagine if someone, upon hearing that a friend visited a fine Mexican restaurant, groaned and bellowed: “How can you eat that stuff? Mexico makes me sick.” Exactly how ultra-racist would that person sound?

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September 05, 2006

Fat Man, Thin Skin

Regular readers of this humble “weblog” know that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” spent a recent “post” taking aim at the disastrous city of Buffalo, NY. In short, we concluded that this horrendous upstate New York hellhole, as they might say in Texas parlance, needed killin’.

To see what kind of response this vitriolic entry might receive from the few unfortunate wretches who still inhabit Buffalo, we humbly sent our humble “post” to a “website” named BuffaloPundit. As far as we could intuit, this “weblog” attempts to cheer up the benighted souls who live in a city only slightly nicer than Utica.

The fellow in charge of BuffaloPundit kindly offered a “link” to our work. In essence, he said nothing of substance about our “post,” save for the fact that our reference to Timothy McVeigh was “flat,” because he hailed from an area close to Buffalo, rather than Buffalo proper.

Well, whatever. To us, that’s much like folks from Waco urgently insisting that the Branch Davidian compound was technically on the outskirts of their city, not in the city itself. To which the proper response is: Who gives a rat’s behind? We didn’t realize that critics had an obligation to keep their attacks limited to a city’s pomerium. God forbid anyone catches a bus and realizes that the suburbs of an s-hole are actually as awful as the s-hole itself.

Anyway, to our surprise, some of those leaving comments at BuffaloPundit were genuinely enraged by our “post.” Why, that’s yellow journalism, claimed one wounded reader, seemingly oblivious to the fact that we aren’t exactly The Wall Street Journal. Clearly, the residents of Buffalo have very thin skin. Which is unfortunate, given the weather.

But nothing shocked us as much as a semi-literate response to our humble animadversions penned by one Kelly Sedinger, the proprietor of the Thomas-Kinkade-esque Byzantium Shores “weblog.” It seems as if our musings deeply upset this fellow, who took time away from his hectic eating schedule to write his attack.

Now, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” could have a field day with this nerdy chap. We could mention that he looks like a corpulent über-dork—the kind of fellow constantly prattling on about the fact that his flail does three-to-six points of damage. We could note that his opinions on anything are suspect, since his “weblogger” profile advertises his love of the Chieftains, who are as cheesy as the label “Irish adult contemporary” sounds.

Or we could inform you that the fellow’s first name is Kelly, which demonstrates that his mother didn’t love him very much. (Perhaps this is the source of his binge eating and odd sartorial choices?)

Yet all of this is beneath us. Rather, let us take aim at the heart of Kelly’s angry response.

First, Kelly rages about our claim that Buffalo’s weather is none-too-good. He says:

Well, if you think Buffalo's too cold, then you must not like lots of cities in the US either, like Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, Des Moines, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Portland ME, and so on. None of those cities has an average temperature in January more than two degrees higher than Buffalo's, and a few of them are lower. If you think Buffalo is "miserably cold", then don't come here. But don't blame Buffalo for the fact that you're a damn wuss.

Uh, we’ve already got reason to suspect that Kelly is a few snaps short of a full pair of overalls. In our humble “post,” we claimed that the weather was one reason to detest Buffalo, not that the temperature was the only nail in the coffin. To us, the weather is but the tip of the iceberg (so to say).

For the benefit of this portly oaf, we’ll try to spell out our point even more clearly:

Chicago: Bad weather + nice city = nice city.
Minneapolis: Bad weather + nice city = nice city.
Buffalo: Bad weather + complete s-hole = complete s-hole.

We also savored the fat man’s “you’re a damn wuss” retort. Now, never mind the fact that many of us don’t possess the 200 lbs of excess body weight that surely makes Kelly warm in inclement winters. Stooping to the “wuss card” should demonstrate how pathetic is his response.

Just imagine Kelly’s further objections. “Buffalo is a dilapidated mess.” “Oh, yeah, shut up, you faggot!” &c. Real convincing.

Like Mr. BuffaloPundit, Kelly gets all hot and bothered by the fact that we linked Niagara Falls and Buffalo. Why, of course: They’re two different places that are very close together! Gee, why would criticism of both of them be apropos?

Well, perhaps, Captain Bulge, the good people of Buffalo have cars and can travel a few miles to the surrounding area. If they’re so lucky, they’ll note that Niagara—like Buffalo—is a total s-hole.

Now, to be fair, we must admit to one mistake in our original “post.” When we referred to the boring Buffalo Symphony, we meant Buffalo Philharmonic. We apologize for mixing up the name of the crappy, third-rate symphony in town.

None of this detracts from our overall message. Buffalo is a complete mess. One stroll down the ghastly boarded up stores on Main Street, one ride on the city’s pathetic pseudo-subway, one trip around its colorless suburbs will amply demonstrate why Buffalo is one of the fastest shrinking cities in the US.

But, hey, if you’re a morbidly obese loser with a passionate regard for the Chieftains and this withering hellhole, suit yourself. We also hear Syracuse is really lovely, you bloated moron.

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September 01, 2006

Well, What Are You For?

Our friends in the Democratic Party (other than Joe Lieberman, that is) often talk about foreign policy merely in negative terms. George Bush shouldn’t have attacked Iraq; George Bush isn’t protecting us sufficiently from terrorism; George Bush is doing too much in a phony attempt to protect us from terrorists—these are many of the shibboleths of our friends on the political Left.

Now, dear reader, to some extent this is entirely natural. After all, Republicans currently control the presidency and both houses of Congress; it stands to reason that Democrats would offer their views on world affairs in mostly negative terms.

And yet it seems to speak to a poverty of ideas within the Democratic Party itself, which is quite dangerous for a movement hoping to recapture the White House during our Age of Terrorism.

It just doesn’t make sense: Our pals on the Left are always prattling on about the “root causes” of problems, but—besides lunatic causes like the existence of Israel and George Bush—they can’t fathom a “root cause” for terrorism. Rather, it’s the political Right that has trumpeted a lack of political freedom as a key ingredient in the fomenting of anti-Western violence. Need a “root cause”? The Republicans have one; Ned Lamont doesn’t.

Many have expressed surprise that the Republican Party has become home to a muscular Wilsonian foreign policy commonly called neoconservatism. After all, a quick look in the history books will demonstrate that the Grand Old Party was quite isolationist in its not-too-distant past.

But, if you ask us, perhaps the more peculiar thing is how gosh-darned parochial the political Left has become. Ask your lefty pals what they think the president should do, and they will likely give you one of two options (which are not mutually exclusive): Leave Iraq and/or offer capitulations to the terrorists; focus solely on capturing Osama bin Laden.

These, we feel, are rather simple-minded “solutions” to real problems. Regardless of what one thinks about the justice of deposing Saddam Hussein, it should be obvious that cutting and running wouldn’t make things better in Iraq or in the world. And, if you have been paying the slightest attention to the terrorism the world has experienced since 9/11, you should know that capturing Osama bin Laden—while surely offering some catharsis—will not end the terrorist menace.

So, the next time you’re talking to a pal who’s blabbing about the horrors of the Iraq War, ask him what he thinks the US should do to combat terrorism. Nothing? Give up Israel to the terrorists? Allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon? Put the ACLU in charge?

We’re pretty sure you won’t get a good answer.

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