Okay. I’ve Shaken it Off.

Perhaps the worst of all possible defeats are the unexpected. To go into a fight knowing loss is  likely. that one can prepare for that. But to be certain that you will win, and to get ruthlessly denied, that staggers.

I’ve spent a few days trying to figure out what in the name of all things decent this means, aside from Nothing Good. It’s not just that we lost, it’s that I can no longer believe the people who told me otherwise. All the bloggers, poll wizards, and pundits who were predicting an easy Romney victory were absolutely dead wrong. About everything. And that experience would be wasted if I didn’t take it as a wake-up call.

I think Ladd Ehlinger is right: We cannot afford to ignore the cultural razor that the Left has at our throats. When the Todd Akin thing blew up, I made a few clever Photoshops and left it at that.  Did I argue with people who insisted on ranting about “Republican Rape Fans.” No. The argument was too stupid. People would eventually see that, and it would blow over. I let it pass.

Andrew Klavan is right: Life is short, but Art is Long. And Demographics matter far less than ideas. We have them. We need to sell them.

Jeff Goldstein was almost certainly right, in just about every post he’s written since the campaign began. Romney’s weakness was the weakness of those who believed him to have won the election after the first debate: he believed that competence, in the face of Obama’s manifest incompetence, would win through. That would be enough if we had a media interested solely in calling balls and strikes, and a voice in the wider culture. But we have neither, and we cannot continue to pretend otherwise.

I don’t know if there’s any hope for America in 2016 or beyond. I don’t know if hope lies in running a more boisterous, punch-back-twice-as-hard campaign, or in going on a Long March of our own through the cultural institutions of the land. I think a bit of both, and I’m going to make it my own personal mission to forward both missions to the best of my ability.

But I do know this: the next time the GOP nominates some establishment twerp who’s supposed to have a claim on my vote because he stood in line and held his ticket, I’m gonna give money to the Libertarians, and my vote. I live in Maryland, for God’s Sake; every party that isn’t the Democrats is a third party here.

And if the polls tell me that the Democrats have a +6 advantage, I might go ahead and believe them.

(Hat Tip: Jonah Goldberg at NRO)

Why Family Guy Sucks at Political Humor

Ladd Ehlinger does what many righties have done over the years with regards to Family Guy, which is get nice and pissed at it and then banish it from his DVR. Which is a perfectly sane and sensible thing to do. But Ladd seems to sound surprised at the crudity of McFarlane’s political satire (it doesn’t matter if someone else wrote the episode; this is McFarlane’s show, and he undeniably approves of the message): Read more

Ladd Ehlinger Jr. Finds Necrophiliacs ‘Round the Corpse of Wienergate

The only remaining mystery of the first great Twitter Scandal concerns the identity of the person, “Dan Wolfe,” who spotted the original WeinerPics and sent them round to the media. Certain people seem desperate to discover this mystery. I can’t see why; what would it change? Weiner still sent pictures of his wiener to nubile co-eds who were not his wife. That’s the only part of the story that anyone cares about, or should.

But that breathing tower of awesomeness Ladd Ehlinger has a perfectly reasonable theory, which has the good sense not to suggest any names:

The most realistic supposition, to my mind, is that “Dan Wolfe” was a social-media opposition research team for a political campaign.

If you’ve ever worked on a political campaign – and I’ve worked on lots and lots of them – then you know that opposition research is a time-honored tradition. There are people who specialize in such work, which has been made much easier by teh Internetz. Sometimes the work involves not just Googling your opposition, or checking out their FEC records, it involves checking out what they do on Twitter and Facebook, if your opposition happens to use social media.

And Weiner loved him some social media.

Sometimes we bloggers forget that the driving force behind political events are (wait for it) political campaigns.

Spike Lee, Putting the “Twit” in “Twitter”

I kind of like Spike Lee as a filmmaker. Do The Right Thing is a complex tale that looks at racism and groupthink from all sides. Malcolm X is a damned interesting story about a fascinating figure who was larger than his times. And I mind a time when I really liked 25th Hour.

But in all his public pronouncements, Spike Lee has demonstrated a shallow, by-the-book liberalism that seems to undercut his art. It’s as though he can only think as an auteur, and never as a man.

So to hear that he posted what he thought was George Zimmerman’s street address surprises not at all. And that he refused to take it down even when the innocent man and woman surnamed Zimmerman begged him to correct it.

Because Spike Lee doesn’t have to moderate his anger or engage in self-control. He’s an Angry Black Man™, and his rage is righteous.


UPDATE: Via Ace, Spike Lee has apologized and made amends with the family. So never mind all that righteous rage business. His or mine.

The Point Where Punishment Becomes Abuse…

was way back on the road this little girl died on.

This is one of those stories that one doesn’t even want to read; you get the particulars in the first paragraph, and you drop the rest. It’s both too horrible and too banal to comment on.

But Ladd Ehlinger does a damn good job of it:

Regardless of what pop-culture may want you to believe, human beings are not indestructible, and some things are irreversible. This is why Disney and other peddlers of crap children’s tales do such a disservice to mankind. The Grimms had it right: the world is awful and dark, and even the innocent are destroyed in horrible ways for ridiculous reasons.

Weigh your course of actions heavily.

For we are all fragile, and our time is short.


SOPA: A Bill So Bad, GOP Congressmen Have to Co-Sponsor it

They don’t call it the Stupid Party for nothing.

I have never understood why any GOP legislator would lift a finger to help the MPAA or the RIAA do anything. It’s like handing your enemies ammunition just because everyone has a right to it.

What is wrong with these idiots? Why on earth would they authorize the federal government to shut down free speech on the ‘net without due process, in order to profit organizations that will use their money to support Democrats?


I am pleased that my own Congressman is not among the bill’s co-sponsors.

PJ Tatler Teaches Us the Same Things We Always Learn.

Ye gods, but election followup is repetitive. Let’s see if there’s anything in this I haven’t heard a thousand times.

1. Negative campaigning works.

It’s always refreshing the way pundits discover this anew every four years.

2. The rules of campaigning have changed.

Except for the fact that negative campaigning still works. Otherwise, Internetz!

3. We’re pretty shallow after all.

Really? You mean teh Intertubes don’t bring about learned, careful consideration of candidates? Wowsers.

4. Iowa’s worshiped “undecideds” are probably just low information voters.

Thank you, Family Guy Episode from 2005.

5. About 75% of the Republican Party still doesn’t want to nominate Mitt Romney.

Odd. Romney’s been so erratic in the polls.

I mean, I basically agree with the take here, but this commits the Journalist’s sin of treating the mundane as novel. If you want a really unique take, try this old post of Ladd Ehlinger’s. Insider stuff, and from where I sit, spot on.

The Communists are Just Another Dynasty

And it appears they are soon to lose the Mandate of Heaven. (h/t: Instapundit)

Thousands of Wukan’s residents, incensed at the death of one of their leaders in police custody, gathered for a second day in front of a triple-roofed pagoda that serves as the village hall.

For five hours they sat on long benches, chanting, punching the air in unison and working themselves into a fury.

At the end of the day, a fifteen minute period of mourning for their fallen villager saw the crowd convulsed in sobs and wailing for revenge against the local government.

“Return the body! Return our brother! Return our farmland! Wukan has been wronged! Blood debt must be paid! Where is justice?” the crowd screamed out.

Wukan’s troubles began in September, when the villagers’ collective patience snapped at an attempt to take away their land and sell it to property developers.

Land was the communist promise. That was how they bought the support of the peasants: with the illusion of control over their own land. Like all communist promises, this was a lie, but it was a lie that the peasants were prepared to accept so long as they had only the insolence of office and the law’s delay to deal with. But now the landlords are returning.

Although China suffers an estimated 180,000 “mass incidents” a year, it is unheard of for the Party to sound a retreat.

UPDATE: Other McCain says (or posts a reader saying) the story needs to go viral. He is right.

AND FURTHERMORE: Ladd Ehlinger makes the distinction between Rebellion Theater and actual rebellion:

For those in league with the Occupy Movement and the Arab Spring, a question for you. Why aren’t you helping these poor people out in Wukan? Anonymous and Lulzec: occupying Wall Street isn’t quite the same as occupying Tienanmen Square, is it? If any of you cared about freedom and liberty, you’d be all over China like smell on dead fish.

Instead, you try to shut down the ports of Portland, Oregon (economically hurting countless American workers and yes, even union members), when you’re not busy putting 91 people out of work at the Milk Street Cafe.

It reminds me of Machiavelli. Taking over Wall Street, like rebelling against the King of France, is easy to do, and therefore hardly worth the effort. Taking over Tienanmen Square, like rebelling against the Ottoman Sultan, is harder.

The Air Force Burial Business

I spotted this first on Ace’s sidebar: The Air Force has buried remains of servicemen killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in a landfill in Virginia.

The obvious reaction

I know. I know. Ladd Ehlinger, who worked for the military in some capacity until 2001, has piled on. But hold a second:

Air Force now confirms that body fragments linked to at least 274 fallen military personnel sent to the Dover Air Force Base Mortuary were cremated, incinerated and buried with medical waste. That procedure was in place between November 2003 and May 1, 2008. The Air Force also said that 1,762 body parts were never identified and also were disposed of, first by cremation, then by further incineration and then buried in a landfill.

Wait…what’s a body fragment? Is that a body? What is it?

When bodies are not intact — for instance, in the aftermath of a crash or explosion — a body may be released to the family before some parts have been identified by the Air Force Mortuary at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Families can elect to be notified when parts are identified or leave it up to the military to dispose of them appropriately. Since the policy was changed in 2008, the unclaimed body parts are buried at sea.

So what I take from this is: what got buried in the landfill was unidentified body parts, not whole bodies. What could be identified was sent home to families as it should have been.

At some point, it’s not 100% possible to determine who a particular bone or organ belongs to. DNA testing can only take you so far. And hanging on to body parts in the forlorn hope that they’re going to ever be identified — so you can ship them to family members who have already buried a loved one — is a rather ghoulish bureaucratic perversity.

You can fairly argue that cremating the leftovers and putting them in a landfill is insensitive. I agree, and am glad for the new policy — instituted in the closing months of the Bush Administration — of sea burial (after all, if it was good enough for Bin Laden…).

But however hot this tempest blows, it may extend no further than the teapot’s dome.