Sunday, July 09, 2006

Rudeness & Punditure, or Why I Love to Hate Ann Colder

Right off, I will confess that there is no way I can write a blog dealing with Ms. Ann Colder without injection of ad hominem remarks. The exposé of plagiarisms in her latest asinine attempt to be amusing at liberals' expense, Godless, has produced a bonanza of bellicose blogging designed to point up her foolishness and, at long last, her journalistic dishonesty. In response to an article about Colder's plagiarism, appearing online at the Raw Story site, a reader who signs on as "goingsnake," wrote (tongue obviously planted firmly in cheek), "[A]nn [C]oulter is a man, right? [O]r a transvestite or maybe an alien from like Jupiter. [H]e has a great [A]dam's apple, dog ugly though." My sentiments exactly! But I wouldn't denigrate drag queens or extraterrestrials by such a comparison. (In case you wish to read Raw Story's take on the Colder plagiarism flap, check it out: -- really informative stuff.)
Yes! Of course, it is possible for some of us to think Colder ugly and mannish. In fact, when she appeared on the cover of a national news magazine, sitting with boney legs splayed out to the bottom corners of the page, she looked like nothing so much as an anorexic transsexual (although I wouldn't want to denigrate those folks, either!). Part of my philosophy holds that beauty really is skin deep, which means that if you cannot admit that Ms. Colder is ugly as puke, you're probably a neocon ideologue who thinks George II is the Second Coming and, as Ms. Colder has actually suggested, all liberals should be sent to concentration camps and eventually exterminated. (Yeah, I know, she didn't say exactly that, except in so many other words, but I demand the right to fight fire with fire. As the primary tool most commonly used by right wing pundits is the Big Lie -- they got it from Joe Goebbels who knew that if you bullshit people long enough and often enough, they forget what was really true -- I demand the right, as a Flaming Liberal, to tell a few whoppers of my own.)

Initially, though, I confess. In all honesty, I think Colder is ugly as spit. No, not one of those mucusy little bits of expectorant, but a big gob of oyster-like, sidewalk goo you'd avoid stepping on even if it meant jumping into the street in front of a speeding truck. Ann is plug ugly. She's as putrid as poop. She tries, though. When she goes on the talk shows (fewer of them lately, I note), she keeps using her long falling wig as a prop, wiping it out of her eyes, the better to reveal what she obviously believes to be a sort of classic beauty: high cheekbones, a long rather than round face, puckered liptation, Revlon blush, Clairol mop, and so forth. (You didn't really think that was Colder's own hair, did you?! I'll even wager it was fellow right wing pundit Fucker Harlson who put her onto the wigmakers. I hear he's bald as a post.)

Her demeanor constantly reminds the viewer with any insight into fallacious argument and compassion for one's fellows that Colder is a Cunt. She has gotten to the point where, politician-like, she avoids answering difficult questions by mid-sentence changes of subject and silly little snappish swipes at her detractors designed to demean them by implying that they're not worthy of expressing an opinion about her, much less world affairs. Someone should strap her down to an "old sparky" chair (complete with wrist shackles), administer a hefty, mailine injection of LSD, and play a droning tape of "Sister Ray" with a new vocal track: Bill Clinton repeatedly barking: "Opinions are like assholes, Ann: everyone has one."

What astonished me was that after the bruhaha over her observation, in Godless, that the 9/11 widows of police and firemen were "harpies" meeting with Hilary for personal gain (and had been on the verge of dissolving their marriages before the Twin Towers attack), almost all, if not all, GOP and neocon ideologue talk show guests refused to condemn Colder for this latest instance of her insouciant evil mentation. They claimed that Colder was only speaking the truth, because the heroes' widows really had met with liberals. My Webster's defines "harpy" as a "relentless, greedy, or grasping person." My, my, Ann, this sounds more like YOU! YOU make your living by being a lying, vicious, perverted, total Cunt.

She actually pretends to relish going to college campuses to speak and being attacked, sometimes only by hissing and booing; other times, by attempts to paste her ugly mug with banana- or coconut cream pies. On the talk shows, she simply laughs off these incidents of "liberal" stupidity, but five will get you twenty she's had no end of hate letters, life-threatenign phone calls, and close shaves (oops, you should pardon the pun) involving a bit more than whipped cream or meringue in the face. In fact, I would be even more astonished to learn that the woman has no full-time bodyguards. After all, an assailant could break one of those skinny, ugly legs with the fingers and thumbs of one hand.
Hannibal Lecter, where are you now that we need you?
As for the plagiarism itself, the allegations surfaced in a New York Post piece by a plagiarism expert, John Barrie, who employed some sort of computer software to run checks on works suspect of, well, er, uh, borrowing from others. Called "iThenticate," the program can dig up instances of literary theft faster than a speeding bullet. As it happened, the software revealed that, among other things, Colder lifted verbatum "a list of adult stem cell treatments from a Right to Life website," says Ron Brynaert of Raw Story. Several other publications and many bloggersites jumped on the bandwagon and faster than Colder could pop a hormone pill (you didn't think those tits were real did you?), and now, Brynaert says, Colder's press syndication distributor, U.P.S. (a Rev. Son Hung Poon organization, it should be pointed out) promised to "look into" the charges.
Again, as Brynaert notes, Colder's publisher, Crown, responded to the allegations by claiming that, "as an experienced author and attorney, Ms. Colder knows when attribution is appropriate...." That's interesting. Since when did the populace put any faith in anything an attorney says? The old joke asks, "How do you know when an attorney is lying?" and the usual answer is: "when she's opening her mouth." As Rude One of observes, the claim of Colder's people that Godless has extensive endnotes is besides the point. "To say that her endnotes prove her innocence is not unlike saying that the guy next door went his whole life without killing anyone until he blew a brain gasket and went on a ten-state hobo-stabbing spree...." The endnotes take up 19 pages and include hundreds of attributions. Rude One points out that "The entire book has page after page of uncited material, no matter how much [Colder] actually cites stuff elsewhere." It's certainly ingenuous -- silly, really -- to claim that extensive footnotes prove lack of cribbing.
Colder's crew obviously believes that holding their ground in the current climate of neo-fascist aggrandizement and appeasement will soon put the boiling controversy on a cold back burner. They may be right. To paraphrase H. L. Mencken, "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people." Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the whole affair is that some bloggers, anti-Colder pundits, and news hounds appear to be missing a very important point. Not only does the crypto-fascist neocon far right wing religious bigot bunch spread filth and lies, they engage in endless hypocrisy. One does not need to be a Korzybski to uncover all of the semantic fallacies in a work by such as Colder, or to see that she is hardly above employment of double standards.
Take for example the following Colder rip-off from the Illinois Right to Life website. In the seventh chapter of her latest tome, Colder says that the "Church of Liberalism" devotes itself to a "war on science" that prompts liberals to lie about stem cell research, saying that "...the working," when Colder-IRL know that it is not. She claims that the reason liberals perpetuate this lie is "to elevant [a] science that has produced nothing." Perhaps she has not heard the latest medical news about how stem cell applications promise victory over spinal cord injuries! But that inconsistency pales, too, upon consideration of the truly bogus junk science promulgated by Ronald Reagan and mythologized rhapsodically by the GOP and especially their military-industrial complex campaign contributors in the entire post-Reagan era -- the missile-thwarting technology nicknamed (probably faceciously, or so Fred Barnyard claims on The Beltway Boys) "Star Wars." For years now, this cabal has insisted that the technology works, although every non-lobbying scientist insists that Star Wars is only a ruse, an unworkable folly. The tests have been so fraught with failure that almost all the other TV pundits admit that the system could not be counted upon if and when Dim Dumb-Ill shoots off intercontinental bowel movements from North Korea. Even if he did have the ability to arm his ICBM's with nuclear or other mass-destructive warheads, our Star Wars technology could not stop Dim from turning the West Coast into toast. Whew! Glad I no longer live in L.A.!
I only hope that the boiling controversy over Colder's lies and larcenies does not overshadow discussion of her use of a common tool of the cabal: repeated insistence that what is good for the goose is not good for the gander -- or vice-versa. That is, it is OK for the Colders of this world to condemn one science as unworkable but ignore overwhelming evidence that a science they favor, despite its proven unworkability, is perfectly good and can justify the waste of a gazillion dollars.
When all is said and done, I still believe Colder is an ugly Cunt.(1)
(1) I apologize to all the ladies out there if they are offended by this word. It has ancient and honorable origins; in fact, it most likely has its etymological foundation in the worship of an Oriental Great Goddess "known as Cunti, or Kunda, the Yoni of the Universe," as George Ridley Scott says in his Phallic Worship. (For some interesting insight and comment, see I only refer to women as cunts when they're being shits or doing anything deserving of the epithet. I also refer to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as a nigger. Honi soi qui mal y pense!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Dim and Diane: An Afterword

The pace of geopolitical developments makes one giddy. The consensus of the political pundits, even those inclined to denigrate if not demonize Dubya, is that the only way out of the current crisis between Dim Dumb-Ill and the U.S. is for China to intervene. Unfortunately, China is disinclined, in part because North Korea is a trading partner, and in part, as was pointed out by right-wing pundit Tucker Carlson, because the fall of Dim and his slavish subjects could lead to a mad dash of refugees into a country already vastly overpopulated. And before we accept the answer that "the U.S. is a trading partner, too," Sino-American relations should be a bit more closely examined.

To begin with, just exactly what can the U.S. use to persuade China into intervening, into putting pressure on its neighbor to the Southeast? Those who reply, "Why, a warning of trade sanctions, of course!" take the position that China needs the U.S. to function, to stay fully operative, but it's a two-way street; to mix metaphors, a double edged sworn. Initiation of trade sanctions cannot stay unilateral for long. I don't know about you, but the last time I was in Wal-Mart, about 70% of the goods had "Made in China" stamped on the stickers. Fact is, Wal-Mart has earned a rep for putting a lot of American manufacturers out of business because its purchase of Chinese goods keeps U.S. companies from being competitive. And if the Chinese can make acceptable products for less, perhaps their U.S. competition should fade into bankruptcy. Those of us who regularly shop at Wal-Mart know that the Chinese brands are not only acceptable, they're a whole lot cheaper.

It almost goes without saying, too, that the U.S. cannot stand a trade war with China for an even more important reason. China is a major financier of our trillion-dollar deficit, which means, in effect, that they're helping, indirectly, to finance the Iraqi War. Helping to finance the Iraqi War makes the Veep's "blind" trust Halliburton stock go up and increases the sales of Humvees. We've already seen what the yuan can do on the international oil market. China imports few commodities that other nations indifferent if not hostile to the U.S. cannot supply, mainly, machinery and equipment, plastics, iron, steel, and various chemicals. Don't look now, but they've been very chummy with their neighbor to the northeast can supply most if not all of those goods, and the Chinese have already become a major player in the oil game. In fact, it's safe to say that our $3.00-a-gallon petroleum got that expensive, in part, because of competition from the Chinese. China has the fourth-largest economy in the world.

My hunch is that the U.S. would utterly lose any trade war with China. It's like a Mafia loan-shark or bookie "calling in the chits." Beijing says to Shrub: "Fock you!, give us our money. NOW!" China votes against us in Security Council resolutions almost routinely. Take their reluctance to assist us with attempts to isolate Iran. Why would the Chinese want to alienate a twerp like Ahmadinezhad and his mullah puppetmasters when they're importing Irani oil and gas? (For that matter, Iran and North Korea are cosy trading partners, too. If only to diehard conspiracy buffs, it's beginning to look like these countries are set to lock the U.S. in a vise!)

Years ago, circa 1980, I saw Texas pickups driving around with an ironic -- and prophetic -- bumper sticker. At the time, the redneck nation was making a big whoop-de-do about how Yankee snobs were sucking up cowboy oil. The high cost of energy was planted firmly on the shoulders of Northeasterners, whose long, cold winters sent heating oil prices skyrocketing. The cowboy bumper sticker read, "Let's Turn Off Their Oil and Freeze 'Em All to Death!" Not only the silliest, most geocentric sentiment imaginable, but one certain to come back to roost and haunt the clods who made the boast since it failed to take into account that our energy problems are universal. They're every American's problem. I must be a diehard conspiracy buff myself because I believe that we invaded Iraq not only to guarantee its sale of cheap oil, but because we wanted to establish a foothold in the Mideast, nation-hopping, as it were, with Afghanistan giving us an initial staging area, leading to a jump into Iraq, then a move on Iran.

I don't think we should be as worried about the lack of full U.N. Security Council support for our position on North Korea as we should wake up to the fact that the leadership of most other nations is hardly so naive as to miss the implications of such bullying. The greatest failure of the administration of King George II is its inability to lie its way out of a wet paper bag. None -- let me repeat, NONE -- of the reasons Dubya has given us to justify the Iraqi invasion bears out factually or withstands the cold light of truth. It should not be necessary to, and I don't want to bore the reader with, the litany of justifications for the unprovoked attack. The neocons continue to perpetuate all of the myths -- from Saddam's harboring al-Qaida terrorists, to plans for going nuclear (as if the WMD controversy wasn't resolved two or three years ago!), but none of it will wash. It's all b.s. Right wing neocons really do look like Nazis when they practice ol' Joe Goebbels's favorite trick: telling a lie often enough people no longer remember the truth.

The fact of the matter is, once the world powers tire of U.S. bullying and big stick political machinations, they're bound to unite to smite us. In a certain sense, we have become the new Nazis. And if we aren't careful, the nations with oil will cut ours off and freeze US all to death.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Dim and Diane: The Odd Couple

Now that the North Koreans have used the occasion of our nation's celebration of independence to rattle the sabres and fire off seven defective I.C.B.M.'s (intercontinental bowel movements), we witness strange bedfellows crawling out of the Murphy bed woodwork, as witness California Senator Diane Finegrind (D-Cal.), with her insistence that the U.S. should agree to direct talks with the representatives of North Korea's lunatic dictator Dim Dumb-Ill (S. -- for Stalinist -- Pyongyang). For once, I side with the opposing view of Dubya and the GOP, that only resumption of the six-nation talks exclusively represented by Pacific Rim and Russian diplomats, is acceptable, direct talks being a kind of reward for the posturing and provocations of Dim, carried out without question by his millions of blind, brainwashed followers, who think him a God ("Dear Leader").

Finegrind is an idiot and doesn't know her history. England and, to an extent, the U.S., tried to appease Adolf Hitler in the 1930's to the result that they did just what Dim Dumb-Ill has done to the six nations: violate their solemn word. The Germans invaded eastern Europe and the North Koreans, after promising to curtail uranium enrichment proceedings, simply racheted up the threat to obtain more concessions. Giving into Dim now is tantamount to throwing in the appeasement towel. Shrub, and his U.N. man, John Bolton, refuse to kowtow to Dim's demands, feeling that giving in to North Korea at this point would only encourage additional threats later on. Holding direct, bilateral talks at this point is rather like paying off a blackmailer. You can't be assured he won't come around again with new demands.

And although the U.S. leadership would like us to believe that it has the man- and firepower to keep on the negotiating table an armed attack on this "axis of evil," North Korea probably has the largest standing army in the world and could attack, say, Japan, or, more likely, South Korea, its prosperous peninsular neighbor, which would certainly draw us into an apocalyptic scenario. There is a relatively narrow window of advantage (if it can be called that): the interim between these failed missile tests and North Korea's actual ability to deliver nuclear warheads. Nevertheless, insisting that Dim and Crew deal only with the six powers in talks just makes sense. The most obvious reason is that South Korea, Japan, China, Russia, et al., are neighbors. They have the most to lose.

Since when does the U.S. respond to the threats of terrorists? We never caved in to the demands of the Ayatollah Khomeini, Muammar al-Qaddafi, or Hafez al-Assad (unless you count the criminal activities of Lt.-Col. Oliver North's arms-for-hostages exchange as such), we have consistently given terrorist rulers the peeled banana. And if anyone doubts Dim Dumb-Ill's qualifications for the title of "terrorist," I recommend the article by Brendan I. Koerner, "What Kind of Terrorism Does North Korea Sponsor?" (Koerner is a contributing editor at Wired and a fellow at the New America Foundation.) He claims that the North Koreans (1) sold weapons to separatist groups, (2) did an arms deal with the Moto Islamic Liberation Front in the Philippines, (3) bombed a (South) Korean Air Lines flight, (4) attempted to assassinate a South Korean president, (5) killed of a South Korean diplomat in Vladivostok, and (6) gave comfort and shelter to exiled Japanese terrorist groups like the Communist League-Red Army Faction, and so forth.

Add to this the growing intelligence revealing how North Korea treats its own. Literally millions have died of starvation and forced labor in Dim's gulags. Some Dim apologists like to claim he's "crazy like a fox" and is actually a shrewd and savvy leader, but in my opinion, he's just plain nuts -- and I 'm not even taking into account his having a perennial bad hair day. We know that this nitwit had secret agents kidnap movie stars and film crews from places like China so that he could feed his ego by indulgence in a favorite pastime: motion pictures. (He boasts the biggest film library, presumably on VHS or DVD, but maybe in 35mm. prints, as he can afford them, anywhere in the world. He is said to be particularly partial to James Bond movies and such slasher fare as the Hallowe'en franchise.) And if we're to believe, Dimmy Boy drinks a lot, regularly injects himself with pain killers, and stages banquets with an "Entourage of Delight" -- disco dancers ordered to strip nude and provide a floorshow for his banquet guests. (Although the dictator allows his guests to "look," they are not permitted to touch the dancers, "for these are my children.")

The NewsMax story is based on a published account by the tyrant's personal chef of 13 years, a Japanese named Kenji Fujimoto, who claims that Dim indulges in such pricey delicacies as Iranian caviar and sips such expensive imported liquors as Johnny Walker scotch, noting that an estimated 2.8 million of his subjects starved during a single three-year famine. (Apparently, this claim has been authenticated by the BBC, which produced a documentary about Dim.) It seems that the North Korean military built up rice reserves on Dim's orders even as hordes of peasants were withering into skeletal non-existence.

The worst aspect of the situation is the notorious unpredictability of the man. No one knows what he will do next, or even what outrages he is capable of. But for a twit like Findgrind to suggest that we humor this fool in an attempt to resolve the "missile crisis" is misguided at best...and insane at worst.