Friday, September 02, 2011

Fascism, Communism and the TEA Party

I have written before about how Fascism as practiced in Germany, Spain and Italy, far more closely resembles left-wing political philosophies than it does the modern American conservatives. That StoneHeads post of mine back in 2010 was prompted by an interesting post from Professor Ilya Somin at the Volokh Conspiracy. Now Bill Flax, over at, has written a powerful article making the same argument.

Flax looks at the policies proposed and executed by both Communists and Fascists and observes,
In Argentina, everyone acknowledges that fascism, state capitalism, corporatism – whatever – reflects very leftwing ideology. Eva Peron remains a liberal icon. President Obama’s Fabian policies (Keynesian economics) promise similar ends. His proposed infrastructure bank is just the latest gyration of corporatism. Why then are fascists consistently portrayed as conservatives?

In the Thirties, intellectuals smitten by progressivism considered limited, constitutional governance anachronistic. The Great Depression had apparently proven capitalism defunct. The remaining choice had narrowed between communism and fascism. Hitler was about an inch to the right of Stalin. Western intellectuals infatuated with Marxism thus associated fascism with the Right.

This is very true. Fascism and Marxist Communism both feature very powerful national governments, a Leader class that lives quite differently from the masses, a State-run command economy and government-sponsored winners and losers. The differences were that while Communism focused more on class, the German Nazis focused more on race. However, the Fascist nations also were not friendly to the entrepreneurs and powerful industrialists, though not quite to the same degree as the Communists.

And the Communists and fascists, despite their enmity during the Spanish Civil War, were quite willing to work closely together. The USSR provided Nazi Germany much-needed training facilities during the 1930s for Hitler's slowly growing war machine and World War II could not have happened without the 1939 Non-Aggressions Pact between Hitler and Stalin. In addition, the many dupes and paid tools of the Communists in the United States and Western Europe created a large, vocal presence urging the West not to interfere in Hitler's military adventures and which, following the attack on Poland, was equally vigorous in urging the United States to allow Britain and France to fall. This movement utterly vanished on June 22, 1941, of course.

American conservatives, on the other hand, argue for a small government and accountability for the many government functionaries. They don't like heavy taxes, they don't like many government programs and they prefer to be left alone to do their own thing. This is the impulse that led to the TEA Party movement. American conservatives also are opposed to social engineering as a rule - something that both communists and Fascists truly love to engage in. And they like to own weapons o a hobby that both Communists and Fascists dislike since it makes totalitarian rule much more difficult. On a policy level, the TEA Party argues for a more decentralized form a of government where the majority of decision-making happens on a local level. This too is anathema to both the American Left and to the communists and fascists, who all prefer a much stronger central presence. Above all, TEA Party members argue for individuality and the freedom to make their own decisions, something that Marxists and Fascists alike despise.

Flax also points out that fascism, like communism and the modern American left, despises religion. The TEA Party on the other hand argues religion should have a central place in American life, although I have y7et to encounter a TEA Party member who thinks that government should dictate how and what people should worship. And like the modern American left, both communists and fascists hate private schooling. The indoctrination for both fascists and communists is based on having a school system that no one can escape. TEA Party members - like conservatives - argue that families ought to have choices.

Property rights are another area where TEA Partiers part company with the fascists. The Nazis and all other fascists were terrible on property rights, believing that the government should be the owner, not people. They ruthlessly appropriated property without compensating the owners. Peron in Argentina did as well. Communists too are in agreement with this theory. Hugo Chavez in Venezuela is now taking private property, as Castro did before him in Cuba. And the American Left loves the Kelo decision that eviscerated property rights. TEA Partiers on the other hand, were outraged.

Keynsian economic theory, which has been eagerly adopted by every left-wing politician in America since Woodrow Wilson, also is more closely aligned with the fascist model than with anything suggested by the TEA Party. As Flax writes,
Mussolini recognized, “Fascism entirely agrees with Mr. Maynard Keynes, despite the latter’s prominent position as a Liberal. In fact, Mr. Keynes’ excellent little book, The End of Laissez-Faire (l926) might, so far as it goes, serve as a useful introduction to fascist economics.” Keynes saw the similarities too, admitting his theories, “can be much easier adapted to the conditions of a totalitarian state than . . . a large degree of laissez-faire.” Hitler built the autobahn, FDR the TVA. Propaganda notwithstanding, neither rejuvenated their economies.

It seems to me that Flax, Somin and others pretty much have it right. I don't see too many parallels between American conservatives and the Nazis or any other fascists. But I do see a lot of parallels between the communist ideas espoused by the modern American Left and the fascist ideology. As Flax sums up his article by writing,
Even using Republicans as proxies, there was little remotely conservative about fascism. Hitler and Mussolini were probably to the right of our left-leaning media and education establishments, but labeling Tea Partiers as fascists doesn’t indict the Right. It indicts those declaring so as radically Left.

If only our history books and our media were honest enough to admit it, maybe the tired and vile claims that conservatives are somehow equivalent to the German Nazis could finally be laid to rest. But of course, by admitting it, the Left would be admitting who are the real heirs of that horrific philosophy. And that, they can never do.

More Media Hypocrisy - Solyndra vs Enron

Yes, the title is redundant. We should expect to see media hypocrisy when it comes to how they cover Democrat scandals versus Republican scandals. The differing treatment received by John Edwards and Mark Foley should tell us that. But I digress..

I was perusing the Solyndra scandal and a few thoughts came to mind. Remember how the media relentlessly tied Enron to George W. Bush's Administration? Yet most people forget Enron's extensive ties to the Clinton Administration, as well as the undisputed fact that the only government official to openly attempt to secure special treatment for Enron during Enron's troubles was in fact Robert Rubin, a former Clinton official. As the Seattle Times admits in their article,
In late 2001, after revelations about Enron's accounting made headlines, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan sought to arrange the company's sale to rival Dynegy so they could split a $90 million investment banking fee and stave off its likely bankruptcy. The suit said calls by Citigroup Vice Chairman and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and J.P. Morgan Chairman William Harrison to credit-rating firm Moody's Investors Service were attempts to "strong-arm" the firm from downgrading Enron before a sale could be completed.

Now the Bush Administration's ties to Enron were in fact far less than the Obama Administration's ties appear to be with Solyndra. Both companies used political connections to try to get ahead. The situations seem pretty similar. So...Will the Press treat this the same way? I'm not holding my breath...

Treat Govt Failures Like Market Failures

Jonathan Adler makes a great point today on the Volokh Conspiracy. Writing on the fact that every time markets crash (leaving out the fact that said crashes, as in the case of the mortgage crisis often occur because of, not in spite of, government regulations)he opines,
Indeed, when many policymakers see a potential market failure, they almost inevitably call for government intervention to restrain market excesses. Yet when government fails, interestingly enough, the proposed policy solution is often the same: more government intervention. The point here is not that government intervention is never justified — Becker himself believes some government regulations are “essential” — but that it must be justified with serious comparative analysis considers the possibility government may fail as well.

Translation: Why don't we the people treat government failures that same way government likes to treat 'market failures'? Seems to me it is because the market failures are often - perhaps even usually - caused by government in the first place. And government likes this model, as it usually leads to more power for the same organizations that caused the problem! As Rahm Emmanuel famously let slip "Never let a serious crisis go to waste".

I think it is high time we used government failures to strip power from government. Private enterprise is not perfect, but it has a far better track record than government does. One of the many reasons why no command economy has ever succeeded.

Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Clausewitz and Current Events

The classic work 'On War' by the eighteenth centure military genius Carl von Clausewitz is rightly considered a classic. Although Clausewitz himself wrote based on his observations of the Napoleonic conflicts that wracked Europe for over twenty years, many of his comments can be equally applied to more current conflicts, including the asymmetrical one in which the Untied States is currently engaged. One such comment is to be found in Chapter Two, Volume One of his masterpiece. Clausewitz wrote,
The military power must be destroyed, that is, reduced to such a state as not to be able to prosecute the War. This is the sense in which we wish to be understood hereafter, whenever we use the expression "destruction of the enemy's military power."

The country must be conquered, for out of the country a new military force may be formed.

But even when both these things are done, still the War, that is, the hostile feeling and action of hostile agencies, cannot be considered as at an end as long as the will of the enemy is not subdued also; that is, its Government and its Allies must be forced into signing a peace, or the people into submission; for whilst we are in full occupation of the country, the War may break out afresh, either in the interior or through assistance given by Allies. No doubt, this may also take place after a peace, but that shows nothing more than that every War does not carry in itself the elements for a complete decision and final settlement.

Why our own leaders do not understand this simple concept is beyond me. When we went into Kosovo, so it was when we went into Iraq, Afghanistan, and now it is true again as we are engaged in Libya. It is imperative, when a nation-state is involved in an armed conflict, that the enemy's will to win be wiped out. We engaged in total war in World War II and when the respective peace treaties with the Axis countries were eventually signed, those nations knew they were beaten. The will of their governments and of their populations to continue waging war had been blunted and they had no more desire to take up arms again.

But in our current conflicts - at least since Vietnam - we have not engaged in this total war. Why we have not availed ourselves of one of our most powerful assets is not really a mystery however. I can think of several reasons why we have not engaged in total war since 1945. These are as follows:

  • The Unpatriots: Ever since the Communist revolutions of the early twentieth century, the United States, like Western Europe, has been home to a large, well-organized and strongly anti-American group of secret Communists. These are the folks who organized the SDS of the 1960s, who did their best to give away the atomic bomb to the Soviets, and who will gleefully repeat every anti-Americans screed that can possibly be imagined. their numbers include most of Hollywood, much of the popular music industry, the vast majority of the American Press, and virtually the entire membership of the collegiate professorial class. They are embittered by the knowledge that their social model has failed and they hate capitalism, even though few of them would prosper in an environment that they try to hard to create. They are vocal and they wield great power, as shown by their ability, even in their current weakened form, to so cleverly destroy any politicians they dislike. I refer here primarily to Sarah Palin, but virtually any Republican who takes aim at the socialist policies this group professes can become a target. Few survive them - Ronald Reagan is one of the very few conservatives they have been unable to demean or destroy. This group will always support any enemy of the UNited States and will do their best to prop it up even when they have been defeated on the ground. It is this group who really won the Vietnam War for the Communists. They are a serious obstacle

  • The Rivals: Communism may be discredited (except among the aforementioned Unpatriots) but China and Russia remain as formidable adversaries in the world of international politics. Russia may be much weakened but it is led by many of the same people who were our adversaries and they will do everything in their power to diminish the United States, including offering alliances to groups and nations they have little love for. This groups is also swelled by power-hungry ego-maniacs like Chavez in Venezuela and the Iranian mullahs who understand that the US is their primary obstacle in their respective quests for regional or world conquest. Russia and China also understand that the US is the primary obstacle preventing them from seizing world power. The UNited States in some of the conflicts would have had to fight with one or both of these hegemonies and has not wanted to engage in World War III over objectives that are not vital to our national interests. Thus the ridiculous situation in Korea. This is a more traditional obstacle as most Great Powers have faced similar difficulties. However, in the past our leaders were both better men and stronger leaders. I cannot see Reagan or Roosevelt shying away from confrontation with these dictators. But it is one reason why total war is not always an option.

  • Our Own LeadershipOur current President is an ignorant, arrogant empty suit who has little knowledge or expertise in much of anything. He has never managed anything and has never actually had to take a leadership position on anything and thus he is good only at trying to look good while doing not much of anything. Much of our diplomatic corps seems more interested in advancing other nations' interests in preference to our own and much of the political class have neither the skills nor the understanding to actually step up and lead. In addition, a half-century of steady demeaning of the US from the edicational establishment and te Press has left many Americans unsure what they ought to be proud of. The great feats of the previous centuries and the great men who led, such as Lincoln, Washington, Jackson, etc have been replaced in the schools with stories of Susan B. Anthony. Anthony is important in one aspect of American history, but as a historical actor, she comes nowhere close to any of the Presidents, Generals, Admirals and statesmen who built the country. So our leaders tend to be tentative and apologetic. They should instead be fiery and unapologetic. Has any other nation a better historical record? I would argue that the answer is no.

  • Moral Relativism: There should never be a comparison between the armed forced of the United States of America and medieval butchers who cut people's heads off, rape female prisoners and deliberately target women and children. Not to mention hiding behind said women and children when they fight. There should be no comparison between a religion that requires its adherents to go out and kill non-members and religions that do not make such demands. There should be no comparison between a culture that allows men to rape women and then kill them for 'honor' and one that offers women freedom. And there should be no comparison between a society that fought a bloody war to end its short experiment with slavery and a culture that acted as the world's slavemasters for almost a thousand years. And with which we fought a war BECAUSE of their slavery (th Barbary Wars). If the Unpatriots did not have such a loud megaphone, we would not even be having this discussion. But they have forced us to defend what should not need to be defended. And moral relativism is a deadly argument. When taken to its logical conclusion, it clearly shows that there is no difference between a Taliban-dominated Afghanistan where women are chattel and where unelected 'religious leaders' can condemn any man or women for any reason and a United States where no one can be condemned without a court trial.

There are other reasons as well, such as the reflexive greed, moral incompetence and reflexive anti_americanism in most international institutions. This is due to envy on the part of Europe and hatred on the part of everyone else. they want to come and live in America, but live like kings (See Dominique Strauss-Kahn) and continue to indulge as they try to force everyone else to give up more annd more so they can continue to indulge. But all of these reasons would be prey to a leader who understood both the unique position and the incredible strength that the correct use of the Armed Forces can bring.

It's time and past time to elect a President and a Congress that understand these concepts. People like Barney Frank, John Kerry, Trent Lott - these are professional politicians who will do and say anything to get elected. We need a leader who can cut through the specious arguments these weaklings bring to the table and take the actions that must be taken. Speaking to the English House of Commons in 1848, the great British Prime Minster Lord Palmerston once famously said,
Therefore I say that it is a narrow policy to suppose that this country or that is to be marked out as the eternal ally or the perpetual enemy of England. We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.

We need a leader who understand that and who is not afraid to take the necessary steps, even when countries that claim to be our 'friends' complain. We need a President who understands that our future friends are in the Anglosphere - Australia, possibly Canada, possibly Great Britain and maybe a few others such as India, Japan, etc. These countries share many of our bedrock principles to one degree or another and these are the cultures with whom we should ally. We may have other allies of the moment, but we must find countries that are truly our friends, not our frenemies. Would that we could elect a leader who actually understand this.

Friday, March 18, 2011

View From The Porch Gets It Right

After all the hyper-ventilating and thoroughly false information we have had issuing from the American (and most of the world) media about the disaster in Japan that caused the Fukushima Number One nuclear plant to have major problems, it is refreshing to note that while the MSN with their "layers of fact-checkers" (as a senior MSN-er once opined) seemingly have no clue as to the differences between Chernobyl and Fukushima, one blogger - a BLOGGER - gets it absolutely right.

Indianapolis-based blogger Tam of View From The Porch writes,
Remember back in '50s and early '60s, when we set off something like 900 atomic bombs in Nevada? And how we just let the fallout blow wherever and it landed all over the eastern US? And how it wiped out life as we know it and all that was left from Colorado to the Atlantic were six-legged rats battling two-headed cockroaches in the glowing ruins?

Yeah. Exactly. So shut up with the panic already.

All I can say is: Precisely. Thank you Tam! Now, if you vaunted MSN only had half of Tam's common sense and understanding of nuclear design. Oh, wait, they're...JOURNALISTS! They don't need no stinking facts - they have an AGENDA - they must CHANGE THE WORLD and save it from we eeevil humans.

So of course if the facts don't fit the meme, one ignores the facts. It didn't stop them during the Bush Administration, it didn't stop them during Katrina, it certainly didn't stop them during most of the past fifty or so years, so I guess it won't stop them now. Problem is, as the great John Adams once said, "Facts are stubborn things". So maybe the truth will come out. We can hope, anyway. Preferably before we end up like Greece.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Common Sense on Social Security

ObamaCare has been pretty much exposed as a government power grab that will neither improve the people's quality of healthcare or lower costs - absent of course the bureaucratic 'death panels' that former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin pointed out. The very fact that ObamaCare has already issued some 700-plus waivers (mostly to their union and corporate friends) simply underscores how bad the attempted government takeover really is.

Although the Democrats and their sycophants in the Pravda-esque 'media' are still trying desperately to force government health-care on the American people, the American people seem to have figured out that this boondoggle is one step down the Socialist road to hell that they do not wish to take. Whether the looming debts that always accompany socialism have frightened them or whether at last we have awoken to the reality of the left's agenda is irrelevant. The facts are that the Republicans - prodded by the Tea Partiers - seem to have realized that this monstrosity must not live.

The Tax Prof today drew my attention to an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal asking whether the 1099 reporting repeal - which passed by huge margins in both Houses - is a controlled burn or a wildfire. The Journal writes:
The 1099 ObamaCare footnote thus received no scrutiny at first because it was so mundane. Everyone in Washington agreed that corporations were stealing billions of dollars every year that rightfully belonged to Congress to spend. (The issue only blew up when the IRS's National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson, followed by the GOP and the business lobby, made it a priority last summer.) ...
[T]otal repeal sailed through the Senate on Wednesday, 81 to 17. The mystery is the 17 Democrats who continue to think this is a good idea ,,,
The larger political question is whether voters will be satisfied by this or that "improvement" to ObamaCare. The White House is trying to outflank public opposition with a controlled burn, but wildfires often move in surprising and unmanageable directions.

However, it is apparent that some people are still laboring under misconceptions. One Linda Beale from Wayne State, writes,
I’m more and more convinced that it is not the deficit that the Republicans hollering for “entitlement reform” care about–it is that they just simply want to destroy all of the things that the New Deal did to provide a safety net for ordinary people, while making sure that they reinstate brute-force capitalism like existed in the 1920s, back when Teddy Roosevelt made his famous statement about the corporate titans and malefactors of great wealth.

Ms. Beale seems to have missed that fact that the New Deal did absolutely nothing to 'establish a safety net'. Instead, it took people's private funds, forcibly transferred them to government, who then wasted the money. Every promise made about Social Security during the New Deal has been broken. And the money is long gone - spent by successive Congresses and Administrations. Any honest comparison between the stock market and the government 'trust funds' since Social Security was established shows quite plainly that the private market does a far better job. And there is no doubt that individuals do a better job managing their own money than faceless and unaccountable federal bureaucrats.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Do We Need Lawyers?

Dr. Daniel Mitchell's fascinating blog International Liberty had an article today on the problem of the self-serving legal profession. Among other things, Professor Mitchell writes,
There are also two comments, by 'Mack' and 'Paul' that I believe hit the nail on the head. Lawyers make laws for their own self-interest and the Courts, which are of course composed entirely of lawyers, interpret laws so as to benefit their own profession. I was having lunch today and a friend made the comment that lawyers don't know right from wrong and don't really care either - they only care what the loopholes in the law as regards any given case allow them to do.

I agree that lawyers should not be allowed to serve at any level of government. But I would go one step further. The Supreme Court needs to lose its designated status as the sole arbiter of what the Constitution does or does not mean. In short, if the Court says one thing and the President and Congress disagree, then the Court's opinion is rendered moot. In short, any two branches of government should be able to over-ride the third. The three branches are equal - the Court is not superior to Congress according to the Constitution. And it is also time to stop looking at Supreme Court case law. The only law that matters is what the plain text of the Constitution and those treaties signed (and ratified) by the United States. Case law is made to be overturned - especially when it conflicts with the clear language of the Constitution (yes, I'm talking about Kelo, among many, many other instances of judicial over-reach).

In the end, lawyers are simply another special interest group. Are they a necessary evil? I'm actually not convinced of that. I think that if laws were written by people with common sense, then a lot of the difficulty in the law would vanish and the need for lawyers would lessen as well. Lawyers exist to make the law difficult to understand. if it were in plain English, as the Constitution is, then why would we need lawyers at all? The answer is, we probably wouldn't. And this is a state of affairs much to be desired.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Citizen Verbally Assails Reid - Left Promptly Complains

G.M. Heller's excellent Berkshire Blog had a wonderful story today. It seems that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D - NV) was out shopping (at an upscale market, naturally) when he was recognized by a citizen who proceeded to ask his vocally and repeatedly why he was holding up the repeal vote on ObamaCare. Reid refused to answer and literally ran away from the encounter, leaving in a fleet of black SUVs. An interesting discussion has developed in the comments between those who (like myself) see this as a good thing and those who seem to thin that now the Democrats run the country, dissent should no longer be allowed. A typical comment from this side of the aisle is the 7:19 PM comment from 'Anonymous' re-posted below:

That's what you would expect from a stupid Republican. Thank God he did not have a gun and shoot Harry. Republicans love to RELOAD their guns. Normal people don't act like those Tea Bagger wackos. Where are the Death Pannels Consevative Republicans lied about for months. Oh yeah - Death Pannels are where the Iraq missles of mass destruction are. I guess with my statement I'm being an ass just like the person that annoyed Harry.What goes arround comes arround.

This is sadly typical of so many on the political left. They cannot argue; they can only post vile epithets and baseless accusations. In response to the thread, I posted the following comment:
Senators, Representatives and the President himself are all elected representatives of The People. This is a point we would do well to remember. They work for we the people. We are not their servants, their subjects or any other position less prestigious.

If said representatives actually held regular meetings with their constituents (as opposed to the reality we witnessed during the run-up to ObamaCare when most of them ducked and ran) this sort of behavior would not be necessary. Unfortunately, most if not all of these self-important hypocrites do their utmost to restrict their actual meetings with their constituents to stage-managed affairs where as many attendees as possible are hand-picked from their special-interest supporters.

In light of that reality, this citizen was not out of line, from what I can discover. I do not see any indication that profanity, violent rhetoric (unlike that seen constantly among the Democrats and their tools in leftist media) or any threatening behavior was used in this encounter. The citizen appears to have been merely verbally forceful. And the security forces present did not see any need to interfere, which would seem to indicate that they did not see any threat either.

As for the argument about 'harassment', it was only two short years ago that the media and Democrats were claiming that 'dissent is the highest form of partiotism'. And throwing shoes at a sitting President was hailed in that same media as being 'heroic'. Very well. This citizen was dissenting. Why then the disapproval from the left side of the political divide? Isn't dissent patriotic anymore? Or is it that those who made that claim only want free speech for their side, not for their opponents? if so, I find that attitude both reprehensible and entirely unwelcome in this country.

Our elected (and appointed) representatives need to be reminded frequently that they serve at the pleasure of We The People. They are our servants not our rulers - a distinction that too many of both parties tend to forget. Therefore, when they do things like ObamaCare that are against the interests of those same People, they should expect to be called to account for their behavior. Which this citizen did. And which the rest of us should do as well. We should be be polite. We should be courteous. But we should be forceful in expressing our opinions. Remember - they serve us, not the other way around.

I do not think that Senators, Representatives, Presidents or judges for that matter should enjoy any superiority over the rest of us. All of the branches of government can and often do, get things wrong. The Supreme Court authored the horrible Roe decision in a blatant example of judicial over-reach and has stretched the Commerce Clause out of all recognition. In addition, it has invented new 'rights' for prisoners-or-war as well as those explicitly denied POW rights under the Geneva Conventions as laid out in the blatantly unfounded Boumediene decision), ignored Constitutional language (the 10th Amendment, the 4th Amendment and the 2nd Amendment) that is plain and unambiguous. Not to mention the blatant re-creation involved in the Kelo decision that allowed government to redistribute private property against the plain intent of the Founders.

Congress meanwhile has acquiesced as the courts have legislated wildly from the bench and has itself tried to make a mockery of the Constitution with laws dating back to the New Deal. ObamaCare is only the latest statist power grab. And the Executive has itself a sorry record of abusing its powers as well. So why should any of these so-called 'betters' be treated with any respect?

To my mind, they have not earned it and they should be required to answer to their fellow Americans often. Forcing someone to defend their mistakes is a far better way of forcing those mistakes to be rectified than pretending that somehow a mistake is 'settled case law'. In any event, I applaud this citizen. I only wish that more of us would do the same.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Media Memes

I am sad to say that I have neglected this blog of late and so it feels good to be back in the saddle. I cannot guarantee how often I shall be able to post, but i shall commit to doing better this year than I did last year.

Why am I posting again? Well, I was depressed and concerned after the epic wipeout by the left in the 2008 elections, not to mention the media malfeasance that allowed a woefully unprepared and inexperienced politicians without a single achievement or any experience in much of anything to be elected President of the United States. In the past two years, we have clearly seen how much damage this unqualified President has done. And the voters rightfully paid back the tone-deaf and arrogant leftists who would not listen to their concerns. Can the Republicans do a better job? I am unconvinced, but i am willing to give them a chance. Certainly new Speaker John Boehner seems to understand that his party is governing on a very thin tolerance. We shall see.

However, that is not the main reason for this post. Recently there has been a vicious and well-planned campaign by the Left to blame conservative voices - particularly former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin - for the attempted murder of Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords. At this time I shall not engage in dealing that piece of verbal assassination - it has been well-debunked in many other places. However, I would like to remind anyone who stumbles across this blog that the media has a long and sordid history of trying to manipulate public opinion with false and misleading reporting. Walter Cronkite's infamous lie about the Tet Offensive comes to mind fairly quickly, as does Dan Rather and Mary Mapes' failed attempt to use forged documents to swing a Presidential election. Yes, I know I'm linking to a very sympathetic report from NPR, but the point is that even NPR was forced to admit that what Mapes and Rather did was utterly wrong.

More recently, a large group of leftist writers and bloggers put together a well-organized machine for coordinating memes called JournoList. Though JournoList is supposedly dead, I have no doubt that a successor (probably with a slightly smaller membership) still exists.

Just as a reminder, these are the people who tried (and are almost certainly still trying) to shape the news to ensure that their particular agenda gets the best possible coverage. They also engaged in some extremely hateful speech and used far more violent terminology than anything any figure on the political Right has done in the last forty years. In other words, they did exactly what they are accusing the Right of doing in the Loughner case - they incited hate with their rhetoric.

The 150 names on this list come from (The Vail Spot). I haven't confirmed them on my own, so this may not be entirely accurate. Suffice to say that any time you read anything from any one of these would-be propagandists or the media that employs them, I recommend both a hearty dose of skepticism AND a thorough fact-checking. They have proven themselves to be untrustworthy.

The JournoList:

1. Spencer Ackerman - Wired, FireDogLake, Washington Independent, Talking Points Memo, TheAmerican Prospect
2. Thomas Adcock - New York Law Journal
3. Ben Adler - Newsweek, POLITICO
4. Mike Allen - POLITICO
5. Eric Alterman - The Nation, Media Matters for America
6. Marc Ambinder - The Atlantic
7. Greg Anrig - The Century Foundation
8. Ryan Avent - Economist
9. Dean Baker - The American Prospect
10. Nick Baumann - Mother Jones
11. Josh Bearman - LA Weekly
12. Steven Benen - The Carpetbagger Report
13. Ari Berman - The Nation
14. Jared Bernstein - Economic Policy Institute
15. Michael Berube - Crooked Timer, Pennsylvania State University
16. Brian Beutler - The Media Consortium
17. Lindsay Beyerstein - Freelance journalist
18. Joel Bleifuss - In These Times
19. John Blevins - South Texas College of Law
20. Sam Boyd - The American Prospect
21. Ben Brandzel -, John Edwards Campaign
22. Shannon Brownlee - Author, New America Foundation
23. Will Bunch - Philadelphia Daily News
24. Rich Byrne - Playwright
25. Jonathan Chait - The New Republic
26. Lakshmi Chaudry - In These Times
27. Isaac Chotiner - The New Republic
28. Ta-Nehisi Coates - The Atlantic
29. Michael Cohen - New America Foundation
30. Jonathan Cohn - The New Republic
31. Joe Conason - The New York Observer
32. Lark Corbeil - Public News Service
33. David Corn - Mother Jones
34. Daniel Davies - The Guardian
35. David Dayen - FireDogLake
36. Brad DeLong - The Economists’ Voice, University of California at Berkeley
37. Ryan Donmoyer - Bloomberg News
38. Adam Doster - In These Times
39. Kevin Drum - Washington Monthly
40. Matt Duss - Center for American Progress
41. Gerald Dworkin - UC Davis
42. Eve Fairbanks - The New Republic
43. Henry Farrell - George Washington University
44. Tim Fernholz - American Prospect
45. Dan Froomkin - Huffington Post, Washington Post
46. Jason Furman - Brookings Institution
47. James Galbraith - University of Texas at Austin
48. Kathleen Geier - Talking Points Memo
49. Todd Gitlin - Columbia University
50. Ilan Goldenberg - National Security Network
51. Arthur Goldhammer - Harvard University
52. Dana Goldstein - The Daily Beast
53. Andrew Golis - Talking Points Memo
54. Jaana Goodrich - Blogger
55. Merrill Goozner - Chicago Tribune
56. David Greenberg - Slate
57. Robert Greenwald - Brave New Films
58. Chris Hayes - The Nation
59. Don Hazen - Alternet
60. Jeet Heer - Canadian Journolist
61. Jeff Hauser - Political Action Committee, Dennis Shulman Campaign
62. Michael Hirsh - Newsweek
63. James Johnson - University of Rochester
64. John Judis - The New Republic, The American Prospect
65. Foster Kamer - The Village Voice
66. Michael Kazin - Georgetown University
67. Ed Kilgore - Democratic Strategist
68. Richard Kim - The Nation
69. Charlie Kireker - Air America Media
70. Mark Kleiman - UCLA The Reality Based Community
71. Ezra Klein - Washington Post, Newsweek, The American Prospect
72. Joe Klein - TIME
73. Robert Kuttner - American Prospect, Economic Policy Institute
74. Paul Krugman - The New York Times, Princeton University
75. Lisa Lerer - POLITICO
76. Daniel Levy - Century Foundation
77. Ralph Luker - Cliopatria
78. Annie Lowrey - Washington Independent
79. Robert Mackey - New York Times
80. Mike Madden - Salon
81. Maggie Mahar - The Century Foundation
82. Dylan Matthews - Harvard University
83. Alec McGillis - Washington Post
84. Scott McLemee - Inside Higher Ed
85. Sara Mead - New America Foundation
86. Ari Melber - The Nation
87. David Meyer - University of California at Irvine
88. Seth Michaels -
89. Luke Mitchell - Harper’s Magazine
90. Gautham Nagesh - The Hill, Daily Caller
91. Suzanne Nossel - Human Rights Watch
92. Michael O’Hare - University of California at Berkeley
93. Josh Orton -, Air America Media
94. Rodger Payne - University of Louisville
95. Rick Perlstein - Author, Campaign for America’s Future
96. Nico Pitney - Huffington Post
97. Harold Pollack - University of Chicago
98. Katha Pollitt - The Nation
99. Ari Rabin-Havt - Media Matters
100. Joy-Ann Reid - South Florida Times
101. David Roberts - Grist
102. Lamar Robertson - Partnership for Public Service
103. Sara Robinson - Campaign For America's Future
104. Alyssa Rosenberg - Washingtonian, The Atlantic, Government Executive
105. Alex Rossmiller - National Security Network
106. Michael Roston - Newsbroke
107. Laura Rozen - POLITICO, Mother Jones
108. Felix Salmon - Reuters
109. Greg Sargent - Washington Post
110. Thomas Schaller - Baltimore Sun
111. Noam Scheiber - The New Republic
112. Michael Scherer - TIME
113. Mark Schmitt - American Prospect, The New America Foundation
114. Rinku Sen - ColorLines Magazine
115. Julie Bergman Sender - Balcony Films
116. Adam Serwer - American Prospect
117. Walter Shapiro -
118. Kate Sheppard - Mother Jones
119. Matthew Shugart - UC San Diego
120. Nate Silver -
121. Jesse Singal - The Boston Globe, Washington Monthly
122. Ann-Marie Slaughter - Princeton University
123. Ben Smith - POLITICO
124. Sarah Spitz - KCRW
125. Adele Stan - The Media Consortium
126. Paul Starr - The Atlantic
127. Kate Steadman - Kaiser Health News
128. Jonathan Stein - Mother Jones
129. Sam Stein - Huffington Post
130. Matt Steinglass - Deutsche Presse-Agentur
131. James Surowiecki - The New Yorker
132. Jesse Taylor -
133. Steven Teles - Yale University
134. Mark Thoma - The Economists' View
135. Michael Tomasky - The Guardian
136. Jeffrey Toobin - CNN, The New Yorker
137. Rebecca Traister - Salon
138. Tracy Van Slyke - The Media Consortium
139. Paul Waldman - Author, American Prospect
140. Dave Weigel - Washington Post, MSNBC, The Washington Independent
141. Moira Whelan - National Security Network
142. Scott Winship - Pew Economic Mobility Project
143. J. Harry Wray - DePaul University
144. D. Brad Wright - University of NC at Chapel Hill
145. Kai Wright - The Root
146. Holly Yeager - Columbia Journalism Review
147. Rich Yeselson - Change to Win
148. Matthew Yglesias - Center for American Progress, The Atlantic Monthly
149. Jonathan Zasloff - UCLA
150. Julian Zelizer - Princeton University
151. Avi Zenilman - POLITICO

The source:
Free Republic Webcache

My Take:
Again, I have not done the legwork to confirm these are really all Journolisters. However, none of these names have so far challenged the accusation of being members. So I think that the odds are pretty good that they really were Journolisters. And if so, then they are folks that have forfeited any trust on the part of the general public. They are no more honest reporters than was the infamous Walter Duranty (Stalin's tool who worked so hard to cover up the man-made famine in 1930s-era Ukraine). Feel free to pass this on to remind people just how dishonest and hypocritical the media really is.

Oh, and one more thing. The next time these self-satisfied hypocritical hatemongers try to call for 'civility', or blame a politician for the acts of a madman, let's remind them of their own words in the privacy of their little community. Remind them too that every single political act of violence since 1960 - with the sole possible exception of Tim McVeigh - has been perpetrated by the Left.