Archives for July, 2006

Hail Cesar

Say what you will about illegal immigration, I think you’ve got to put Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer, on the plus side of the ledger. In my new incarnation as a contemptible yuppie twit with two dogs, I’ve watched a bunch of this show. If you’ve seen five episodes, you’ve basically seen them all, but it’s still good fun. There are basically two kinds of households he visits: (1) the lonely, single (perhaps divorced) crazy dog lady; and (2) the yuppie-twit couple with problem dogs.

Cesar’s schtick is that the key to managing your mutts is to establish dominance–convince them you’re the pack leader. He believes that Anglos baby their dogs far too much and therefore get pushed around by them. Which makes it funny when he visits the latter sort of household and delivers the message that (in less diplomatic terms than he uses) can be summed up as: “ey, gringo: you’re such a wus that your dogs think they’re the pack leaders.” Almost invariably, the male twit–usually the sort of earnest liberal who might wax philosophical about societal inequality immediately after getting mugged–gets his back up at Cesar’s message, growing petulant and resentful without quite understanding why.

I will never volunteer to be on that show.

Posted on Jul 31, 2006 in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

From Purple Fingers to Rivers of Blood

Ralph Peters, December 16, 2005:

Isn’t it just plain racist to insist that Iraqis can’t build a democracy? …. And the Iraqis are trying. May God, by any name, assist their struggle.

Ralph Peters, July 27, 2006:

But when our forces find themselves caught between two religious factions, the only hope is to pick a side and stick to it, despite the atrocities it inevitably will commit. We’re not ready for that, psychologically or morally. Yet….

Here’s the brutal reality: If Iraq is destined to become yet another monument to Arab failure, there could be far worse outcomes than a bloody civil war – as long as our troops are out of it. We should be drawing up contingency plans to move a reinforced division and adequate airpower to the Kurdish provinces in the north, to withdraw the remainder of our forces to the south, and then to let Iraq’s Sunni Arabs and Shias go at it….

Let’s raise another “impossible” issue: If the Arab world can’t sustain one rule-of-law democracy – after we gave Iraq a unique opportunity – might it be a useful strategic outcome to watch Arabs and Persians, Shia and Sunni, slaughtering each other again? Just don’t try to referee the death match.

Warhawk affection sure is a fickle thing. Pity the nation that becomes its object. In less than a year’s time a guy like Peters can go from “God bless the heroic Iraqis!” to “Let them power-drill each other to death, the backward f**ks.” Which shows you how deep the affection ran in the first place. Peters’s earlier column isn’t only “God bless the heroic Iraqis!” In the same breath, it’s “and God curse the Left,” and that last bit was always the most important part of the invocation. A Rip Van Winkle awoken in 2003-05, trying to figure out American conservatism, would have concluded from talk radio and blogs that it was a political philosophy built on a love for one’s fellow man so boundless that no price was too steep if we could bring the vote and the blessings of liberty to the Middle East. By 2006, with things getting tougher, you can see the emergence of a very different idea: “maybe we haven’t killed enough of these goddamned people yet.” Two pretty contradictory sentiments. I’ll leave it to you to judge which is the more genuine.

Posted on Jul 28, 2006 in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

This Again

What I love about Ilya Somin’s recent posts on libertarians and the Iraq War is that they’re so pristine. No mention of how things have worked out over the last three years, which contested claims turned out to be right, which turned out to be wrong. No mention of what’s actually happening in Iraq right now. It’s like discussing the wisdom of Evel Knievel’s 1967 jump over the fountains at Caesar’s Palace–without ever mentioning that ol’ Evel shattered his pelvis and femur, fractured his hip, wrist and both ankles and smacked his head hard enough to keep him in a coma for 29 days. “Some said Evel would surely make it if anyone would. Still others thought it was a damned silly thing to do.” Who’s right, who’s wrong, who can say, really?

Posted on Jul 25, 2006 in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

GOP Celebrities

Last night I spent 20 minutes of my life that I’ll never have back on a site that lists celebrities’ political contributions. Unsurprisingly, the bulk of the GOP celebrity contingent consists of people you’d never pay money to see perform. Wayne Newton is part of the Daddy Party as is unfunny comedian Jeff Foxworthy, Kathy Lee Gifford,the man who killed Van Halen, and Ricky (sorry, “Rick”) Schroeder.

Yet there are a few diamonds in the rough that I don’t remember seeing in those awful “hey, look, we’ve got celebrities too” articles the right periodically inflicts on us. Generally these folks give less, or less exclusively, to the GOP, but you’ve got Merle Haggard (though Merle hates the Iraq War–good man), Prince (!) (a couple of donations to Rudy Boschwitz–but it’s something), my Kraut-Mick friend Robert Duvall, and Dennis Hopper (I picture him sucking on that ether tube from Blue Velvet right before he wrote the check.)

And I don’t know what category you put her in, but former teen porn star Traci Lords. Get her a seat at Karl’s table at one of these rubber-chicken fundraising dinners.

Posted on Jul 19, 2006 in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Great Moments in Randianism

I’m tickled by the fact that some of the TV ads for the new movie A Scanner Darkly feature the scene from the book where the guy decides to kill himself by taking a whole load of barbituates and drinking a bottle of wine–while making sure to place a copy of the Fountainhead on the bed, so that all would know that he was a brilliant misunderstood genius-type character, too pure and awesome to live in this world. Thanks to an unreliable dealer, the pills turn out to be hallucinogens instead of downers, and the guy soon realizes he’s taken a Syd-Barrett-sized dose. As a multi-eyed demon appears by his bed and prepares to read from a vast scroll of his sins–a process that will take tens of thousands of years in trip-time–the guy thinks to himself, “well, at least I got a good wine.”

For some reason, that’s just about the only thing I can remember from the book.

Posted on Jul 19, 2006 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Cold Fusionism

Can the conservative/libertarian marriage be saved? Should it?

Don’t forget that tonight AFF will present its 10th Anniversary Roundtable featuring Jonah Goldberg of National Review and Nick Gillespie of Reason magazine in a reprise of the legendary AFF debate on the relationship between conservatives and libertarians. Matthew Yglesias of The American Prospect will moderate.

The event will take place at the Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Ave, NE. Drinks at 6:30; Roundtable begins at 7:00. Roundtables are free for members, $5 for non-members. So join today! Please RSVP to Kathleen O’Hearn at

Nick sometimes stresses the sex, drugs, and cloning aspects of libertarianism a bit much for my tastes. But I don’t think there’s enough space on the political spectrum to get me far away enough from this kind of thing. If that’s conservatism, you can keep it.

Posted on Jul 18, 2006 in Uncategorized | Comments Off