Jul 22 2013

And now for a bit of good news.

Published by under Assholes

I have said repeatedly, that the reason our Galtian overlords get away with the types of lies and slander they write daily-is because our libel laws have become so weak.

So its nice to see someone with the gumption to take one of the worst offenders in the Liars Club to task.

On Friday, the District of Columbia Superior Court ruled that climatologist and Penn State professor Michael Mann can proceed in his lawsuits against the National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Dr. Mann accuses the two conservative entities of defamation for comparing him to convicted rapist Jerry Sandusky last July.

Mark Steyn should be good for at least a million or so.

Now, if it were only possible to sue Breitbart posthumously.

12 responses so far

May 22 2012

The silent embrace of evil

 

"All that is necessary for the triumph of Evil is that good men do nothing."
 
One of the most disturbing trends among what passes for conservative intelligentsia these days-is their embrace of writers as “brave intellectuals” who bear absolutely no resemblance to what a really brilliant man looks like. Whenever I hear someone quote Mark Steyn-I know two things right away. The person quoting him has a really shallow and superficial understanding of the issues involved and second, the article that is quoted from will be the complete opposite of the real truth. ( There will be no links to Mr. Steyn-I don't link to idiots).
 
 And so it is with one of Steyn’s latest missives-a repeat performance by him in embracing one of the truly evil forces that has risen up in our times.  In a recent column in the amalgamation of bad writing that is the National Review these days-Steyn has decided to throw his lot in with Geert Wilders. Wilders for those who don’t know is an opportunist, leader of the ultra right wing Freedom Party in the Netherlands, who has taken extreme positions on immigration and the presence of Muslims in the Netherlands. Steyn-being the incredibly poor judge of character that he is would have you believe that Mr. Wilders is some sort of victim. He is nothing of the kind.
 
Far right extremist parties are on the rise in Europe these days doing what far right extremists has done throughout the previous century: Offer no solutions to problems, but make damn sure you know who is to blame for it. Mr Wilders’s party is only one of many anti-immigrant and anti-Islam groups that are gaining ground in northern European countries previously known for their liberal social attitudes.  To hear Steyn tell it-the problem is all the Muslims fault-and the fault of the Dutch for ever letting them in in the first place. Steyn believes that Wilders is simply a champion for freedom-he’s not. He’s just a man capitalizing on the fears of his countrymen, solely for his own personal gain.  The issue-that Steyn ignores is that at its heart, Wilders message is completely at odds with that of a nation who prides itself on a freedom of religion. That Islam has it flaws-well that is not anything new. For that matter evangelical Christianity has its flaws too.
 
But the fundamental issue that Wilders and by extension Steyn,  ignores, is that Wilders cannot undo the past. The Muslims are in the Netherlands-and unless Wilders can find a way to turn back the hands of time they are staying. They are not going anywhere. The challenge is to integrate them into Dutch society. To expose violent Islamist ideology is one thing, very necessary; to attack Islam and the Koran is dangerous stupidity that weakens the civilization Mr Wilders claims to defend. Plus from where I sit-it’s a slippery slope to single out one particular religion. How easy would it be for him to substitute “Judaism” for the word “Islam”.  Steyn claims Wilders does not do that-I submit to you Steyn lost the ability to make the distinction a long time ago.
 
Now Steyn believes that Islam is different because its an ideology. I don’t understand the distinction-all religions are ideology-Christianity as practiced by some of its more strident members is equally an ideology, one that contributes little to American or European society as a whole. The point remains that if a nation is committed to a protection of free speech and religion-then it has to take the high ground, and deal with the issues in a far more adult manner than Wilders seems capable of. For Steyn to defend Wilders is the height of hypocrisy. I guess Steyn is completely incable of seeing the irony, if not hypocrisy, for Wilders to presenting himself as a champion of free speech given that he has openly called for banning the Koran.
 
Now don't get me wrong-I'm no fan of Islam. And I don't like the way they treat women and I hate seeing hijabs and all the other clothing accouterments.  But its more than a little necessary to guard against that rage spilling into something deeper and more dangerous. On the whole, in countries that value individual rights, its no different than banning other pieces of religious apparel, like say, the Yarmulke. Most reasonable people would agree there is no ingrained right to do that.
 
What Steyn continues to ignore,  is that free speech is not consequence free speech.  Wilders has brought much of his trouble on himself by crossing the line from criticizing the radical elements within Islam to insulting one of the world's largest faiths. If Mr. Wilders were to confine his remarks to those Muslims who do harm freedom of speech by disobeying Dutch law- using violence against critics and apostates, he would have a valid point. Mr. Wilders, however, refuses to make such fine distinctions. Steyn, being the useless sleazeball that he is-appears also incapable of making the distinction. It’s an important one-and Steyn’s refusal to recognize it is what makes him the worthless piece of shit the hack writer that he is, and has always been.

11 responses so far

Feb 21 2012

So its about the children, eh?

 

Also known as-Why Mark Steyn sucks.
 
Phib presumes to lecture me on what issues are really about-sadly I missed most of his lecture because I was having a good time over the weekend-sightseeing and practicing not procreative sex with the S.O. In a recent post, he asserted that he was tired of discussing:
 
This totally contrived non-controversy has almost left me looking to either retreat to my country acreage to wait out the rioting of the unworthy, or join James Cameron in the undying lands to watch to new Dark Age take hold.

 

The fact that some are trying to bring this non-issue up at this time in our republic makes me feel at times that this nation is not worthy of the generations of sacrifice that brought us here … but that is crazy talk. This nation has gone through worse, and in the end all will be well.

 
The issue is not putting a sheep's bladder on your John Thomas; it is what legacy we leave to our children. This is an economic crisis we cannot fix with a peace treaty or a post-war boom; no, nothing that simple – but we need to fix it sooner more than later.
 
Well, jolly good and dandy-it’s for the children is it? Well, on that you are right-but it’s also about telling those same children the correct story-not just the parts that suit your narrative. I’ve got some suggestions about some things you might want to tell your children to warm their hearts as they struggle to keep their heads above water in the multi-polar world you are going to bequeath them, but I’ll do that at the end of this post. One should leave with the things that need to be remembered.
 
And something that is not worthy of any brain memory space are the silly words of that pompous twit, Mark Steyn.  Not the master-as Phib would present him-but just another worthless piece of Fox News paid excrement. Quoting another worthless piece of excrement-Paul Ryan, Mark Steyn has the balls to assert that the discussion about demanding that all employers provde a standard level of preventative care, is somehow a clever ruse to divert public attention away from the President’s recently released budget. ( As a matter of policy here at Far East Cynic HQ-we do not link to idiots, thus you will have to Google what I am about to quote to you). 
 
This is a very curious priority for a dying republic. “Birth control” is accessible, indeed ubiquitous, and, by comparison with anything from a gallon of gas to basic cable,one of the cheapest expenses in the average budget. Not even Rick Santorum, that notorious scourge of the sexually liberated, wishes to restrain the individual right to contraception.
But where is the compelling societal interest in the state prioritizing and subsidizing it? Especially when you’re already the Brokest Nation in History. Elsewhere around the developed world, prudent politicians are advocating natalist policies designed to restock their empty maternity wards. A few years ago, announcing tax incentives for three-child families, Peter Costello, formerly Timmy Geithner’s counterpart Down Under, put it this way: “Have one for Mum, one for Dad, and one for Australia.” But in America an oblivious political class, led by a president who characterizes young motherhood as a “punishment,” prefers to offer solutions to problems that don’t exist rather than the ones that are all too real. I think this is what they call handing out condoms on the Titanic.
 
Statements like these are why Steyn needs to be held down and have his smirk and beard dry shaved off of him. Besides the fact that the prophylactics are not under discussion here-a clever dodge by many of Phib’s commenters to not discuss the real issue-the standardization of services provided by insurers, something they solved a long time ago here in Europe. The services that Steyn and others say “just pay for it yourself” can actually be rather expensive: contraceptive services and related counseling, a number of related preventive health services such as: patient education and counseling; breast and pelvic examinations; breast and cervical cancer screening according to nationally recognized standards of care; sexually transmitted disease (STD) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) prevention education, counseling, testing and referral; and pregnancy diagnosis and counseling. Some of those items can run up a fairly healthy bill-more than just the cost of a box of condoms. Not a great deal for a wealthy man like Steyn-but some 800-1800(cost of screenings and prescriptions) a year in prescription costs can be a lot for someone making less than 25K a year. And what’s more –it’s clear that GOP candidates want to expand what the definition of contraceptive services means, if the “testimony” of that well known douchebag Presidential candidate Rick Santorum has any bearing:
 

Rick Santorum opposes all mandated coverage without co-pays. Rick Santorum is linking mandated coverage to abortion because it’s politically beneficial to him to do so. It doesn’t matter if the mandated coverage without co-pays is screening for gestational diabetes or amniocentesis, so this is (of course) not about abortion because screening for gestational diabetes without a co-pay (for example) has nothing to do with abortion, and Santorum opposes that, too. I know that because that’s what he said.
There’s really no reason to discuss amniocentesis specifically, other than the fact that media swallowed Santorum’s carefully calculated and misleading framing whole and thus discussed only what he wants to discuss. How about this headline: Rick Santorum is protecting large employers and health insurance companies, and he’s using disabled children to do that. The conservative opposition to mandated coverage in insurance policies is about opposing federal regulation of health insurance companies and large employers, not abortion, because conservatives oppose all mandated coverage without co-pays. All of the rest of this over-heated nonsense is misdirection. No one ever asked the religious leaders what other sections of the health care law that apply to large employers they opposed, and that’s a shame, because that would have been a very good question.
 
But then again-misdirection and avoidance of telling the entire story are Steyn’s trademark.  Steyn writes with "a shrill, mocking tone of moral certainty that consigns those who disagree with him to the status of appeasers or even terrorists; and a willingness to distort, misrepresent, and omit facts in order to advance his argument." One should expect nothing more from the man and his column linking the controversy over coverage to the deficit proves it yet again.
 
Which brings us back to the children. When you sit them down and tell then the story of the decline of a once great nation that failed to live up to its potential-make sure you tell them all the facts. Don’t leave out the important ones like pompous moral zealots like Steyn do. Make sure you tell them about the fact that:
 
The great majority of the debt that you so love to rail about-was racked up by a combination of spending on wars that we could not afford, and should probably have never gotten involved in, in the first place. And then tell them that –even for ones that were brought upon us, we failed to mobilize all of our potential strength and power to fulfill the first obligation to win quickly and decisively-because a presidential appointee wanted to prove some outdated theories on “transformation”. The other part was hinged on tax cuts that never should have been made.
 
And then tell ‘em that the President that appointed that same Secretary of Defense, refused to raise the necessary revenue to fund these wars. And decided to double down on not funding those wars when-as many critics had predicted-energy costs rose and impacted growth rates across the world and within the United States.
 
Tell them that in the end-both countries we went in to “save”-were hopeless basket cases, primarily because of the failings of the citizens of those countries. We, however, refused to pin any of the blame on those same tribally motivated people-even when it was clear that we could stay for 2 or 20 years and nothing would change. But we were able to send their aunts and uncles to die in the dusty corners of the far reaches of the American empire.
 
Then tell them tell them that the government-their government, pushed a policy of tax cuts for the richest one percent combined with a systematic dismantling of the regulations that were in place to prevent those same one percent from bringing down the house through unbridled greed.  Tell them that the lure of easy profits distracted the banking industry from its core mission: providing an efficient payments mechanism and assessing and managing risk. That instead of focusing on lending to small businesses and creating jobs-they concentrated on creating increasingly risky securities all so they could reap huge bonuses and transaction fees.  Don’t treat them to tired old explanations about the Community Reinvestment Act and Fannie and Freddie-without first pointing out that these criticisms are sheer nonsense. They had nothing to do with the 200 billion dollar bailout of AIG-which was based solely on derivatives, nor did Fannie or Freddie have anything to do with the massive overinvestment in commercial real estate.
 
Tell them about the money the banks were supposed to have used to restart credit. But didn’t.
 
Remind them that the so called “productive class” became so obsessed with short term returns-on which their bonuses and pay were based- that they engaged in repeated and reckless accounting gimmicks-that hid the truth.
 
Tell your children that because of your devotion to American Exceptionalism-they remain just one major illness or job loss away from bankruptcy and poverty ( assuming they aren’t there already)-that in the first decade of the 21st century, when faced with a clear moral and economic incentive to reform the healthcare system and in the end drive down the overall cost of a major driver of the government expenditures you love to lecture them about. Tell them that the rest of the advanced world solved this problem during the 80’s and 90’s offering the US some good ideas to pick and choose from-these countries providing equal or better care than the US,  but spending less than the US does-your country turned its back on literally millions of its fellow citizens in the name of “freedom”.
 
When you tell them the story of Greece-make sure you highlight the role the major banks and funds played in 2010 assaulting the Greek economy when they sold Greek bonds short. Be sure and tell them that the austerity doctrine that you and other “conservative” economic theorists pushed on them –simply created a death spiral that never increased aggregate demand. The banks and funds who demanded all this never got hurt-but the average middle class or lower Greek paid a terrible price. Tell them about the inherent Greek laziness-never too early to have them remember American superiority. But when you do-be sure to point out that the “people” who don’t pay taxes in Greece are mostly big corporations and professionals who can afford to hire people to help them evade taxes. ( Kind of like the GOP wants it to be over here). Remind them that banks got away with it and that linkage of the world economy made a default by Greece a nonstarter from the word go.
 
Tell them too-that companies that could well afford to invest in their companies failed to do so-but instead sold literally thousands of their workers down the river, to make a huge profit for one person. ( Insert well known CEO of a major corporation walking out on pension obligations).
 
Remind them that the banks pulled off one of the biggest frauds in history-but not one banker went to jail for it. Tell them too of the unbridled commodity speculation in 2008 –that literally starved people to death-but made a lot of people rich.
 
And then finally, tell them the God’s honest truth, that their country-a once great nation that still has great potential-frittered away the first decade of the 21st century by failing to recognize the changes that had taken place in the world. And in failing to adapt to those changes-it brought itself to the point where it failed at home and abroad. And in the end it had no one to blame but itself-because it let itself be seduced by an illusion: that things would stay the way they were some 30 years ago, because we were a great power.  We could have still been a great power had we made the necessary changes to fix our society and balance our budgets-but we were too easily fooled by our corporate masters, who were more than willing to write off some 90% of the American population to make sure they were comfortable.
 
Just like the Chinese.
 
 
 
 
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