URLs du Jour -- 1/3/2006

  • Matthew Hoy points to a column by Bob Unger, editor of the (New Bedford, MA) Standard-Times, which originally broke the phony story of a UMass-Dartmouth student being questioned by Homeland Security agents for having the temerity to request Quotations from Chairman Mao via Interlibrary Loan. Gullibility, paranoia, and Bush Derangement Syndrome seem to have played major roles on all levels.

    Quibble: Matthew thinks the student's identity should be revealed; I tend to think otherwise. The student's crime was in bullshitting his professors, which is bad, but he almost certainly didn't forsee his fib would be blown all over the Internet.

  • At the Corner, Byron York has unearthed an article from "enormously influential left-wing blogger Markos Moulitsas." Moulitsas's rant will no doubt be extensively quoted on the blogosphere's right side, because it's totally wacko. The article, titled "Why are conservatives so afraid?", has the thesis that anti-terrorist actions of the Bush administration are based entirely on fear. Sample:
    These blowhards pretend they are macho even as they piddle on themselves in abject terror from every "boo!" that comes out of Osama Bin Laden's mouth. They like to speak about how tough they are, even though they send others to fight their battles and couldn't last a day in places like Iraq, or Sudan, or the El Salvador of my youth, or any other war-torn nation.
    Bottom line: they aren't real men, like, well, Markos Moulitsas.

    This spittle-flecked rhetoric is only interesting inasmuch as it illuminates the nature of the American left's continued slide into name-calling irrelevance. They're almost completely reactionary now, defined only by their reflexive hatred of Bush, and anyone who ever agrees with him. (You might be able to find examples of this on the right side of the net as well, but I doubt whether those examples would approach Moulitsas's prominence.)

    It is obviously extremely important for the Kossites to brand their opponents as cowards. Why? I suspect it's because they've lost every other argument. If your only alternatives are (a) abusive, unprovable, and irrelevant ad hominem, or (b) not saying anything at all … well, it's clear what path Moulitsas has chosen.

    What sort of psychology is at work here? Maybe someone who cares more than I will figure it out. (Other comments: PowerLine; Captain's Quarters.)

  • Horsefeathers salutes Denzel Washington. Read the article, you will too. (UPDATE (1/4/2006): An old Usenet ally, Gary Strand, points out that Snopes has a more accurate version of the story. I should have a sign:
    Good story? Check Snopes before repeating.
    … posted on the top of every screen I use to blog.)

Last Modified 2006-01-06 2:55 PM EDT