More from the Ann Coulter Fan Club

Literally seconds after finishing that last post on Coulter, I came across yet another masterful review of her latest screed, this one from the WaPo. It’s by Anne Applebaum, author of a new book on the Gulag that is high on my must-read list.

A scholar on the USSR, Applebaum is nothing if not direct:

I should reveal here that I have spent a great deal of time — perhaps the better part of the last 10 years — writing about communism, Stalinism and the West’s relationship to both. Yet about halfway through Treason, an extended rant on these subjects, I felt a strong urge to get up, throw the book across the room, and join up with whatever Leninist-Trotskyite-Marxist political parties still exist in America. Even the company of Maoist insurgents would be more intellectually invigorating than that of Ann Coulter. More to the point, whatever side this woman is on, I don’t want to be on it.

After chronicling the book’s abundance of errors, misleading generalizations, distortions and outright lies, Applebaum concludes:

All of this, of course, might be funny if it were meant to be funny, but it doesn’t seem to be. Coulter hasn’t got an ironic or witty bone in her body. Her insults are crass and dull-witted, and her jokes fall flat. She has no sense of history and skips back and forth from the Truman administration to the Reagan administration, as if 40 years made no difference. She quotes liberally from newspaper cuttings, television interviews and other conservative diatribes, apparently having done no actual research at all.

She wonders, with some bewilderment, why — how – this trash made its way to the top of the Times best-seller list. That Coulter apparently has so many fans who are willing to shell out money for this shit should make us all very afraid.


Life is unfair — extremely

According to Matt Drudge, Ann Coulter’s just signed a new book contract for nearly $3 million.

The Coulter bonanza is expected to be finalized this week at CROWN FORUM. The deal comes after more than 600,000 copies of her SLANDER and TREASON have been sold at market.

If you haven’t been living in a cave the past few weeks, you’ll know that Coulter’s latest book Treason is unique in receiving near universal condemnation from liberals and conservatives alike. David Horowitz, Andrew Sullivan and Dorothy Rabinowitz have slammed it, and Spinsanity brilliantly ripped it to shreds in a much-cited article.

A few months ago, a perceptive critic remarked (paraphrased but pretty accurate), “Ann Coulter lies through every orifice of her body, including her pores.”

Her reward for unabashed, outrageous lies? Mountains of money. And I thought things were irrational in China.

It just bugs me because I am at a time of my life when I need to save more money and make some serious decisions (which are all based, unfortunately, on money), and this shit-spewing harpie shrieks inane accusations damning all liberals for the high crime of treason — treason! — and instead of locking her up or washing her mouth out with soap, what do they do? They pay her! No, the don’t just pay her; they pay her millions and millions and millions of dollars.

I want to scream, Ms. Coulter, have you no shame? Have you no sense of decency? But no, those are stupid and naive questions. She’s obviously way, way, way smarter than I am or ever will be. After all, she’s walking away with wheelbarrows of cash and I’m struggling to pay for my house in the US while also keeping my head above water here in Asia. So who’s the fool?


China’s tradition of treating women like shit continues

Did you know that in 2000, more than 300,000 women in China committed suicide, making it the only country in which relatively more women than men take their own lives? This article will help you understand why that is.

And I miss China?


Pornification of mainstream America

It seems while I was gone America’s taken some quantum leaps toward liberalizing prime-time TV. I really had no idea just how far this revolution had proceeded until I read this eye-opening article by Frank Rich.

The article gives plenty of specifics as to how once-taboo topics have become typical prime-time fodder. Anything goes.

I would have thought that during the Age of Bush the media might have become more conservative, but it seems just the opposite is true. In fact, the administration has changed its tune when it comes to the “morality” issues they were whining about during the 2000 campaign.

It’s all about money, of course, as Rich tells us:

A classic example of the political turnaround is the current attorney general, John Ashcroft. In his 2000 senatorial campaign, he attacked his Democratic opponent for “standing with the producers of pornography and Hollywood’s worst trash” by accepting a $2,000 contribution from Christie Hefner, the chief executive of Playboy. You no longer hear Mr. Ashcroft, or anyone in the Bush administration, complaining about far larger political contributions from News Corporation and Rupert Murdoch, AOL Time Warner, Viacom or Marriott, to name just some of those who stand with the producers of pornography by either making their own soft-core variants or taking a cut when porn-industry videos are beamed through cable and satellite into hotels and homes.


New kid on the blog….

There are only a handful of posts at this new blog by a student trying to cope with the miseries of learning Chinese, but for someone like me, also trying to deal with this migraine-inducing language, it’s quite interesting. I really like the online Chinese dictionary he pointed me too.


Truth contortionists, part II

I wanted to move my dialogue with Conrad out of the Comments because I think it’s an interesting debate.

He wrote today:

Bush said the Brit’s believed Iraq had attempted to purchase uranium when US intelligence didn’t share that view. Big friggin’ deal. So what? Who cares? Snore.

I said, months before the war began, that WMDs were, in my opinion, a mere pretext. If the world understood the actual strategy, the US would never have succeeded. Therefore, misinformation was required. Since it wasn’t possible for Bush to call 270 million Americans into the oval office and say “I’ll tell you the real reason we’re doing this, but shhhh, don’t tell anyone else”, the government mislead. Good. If I was smart enough to know what was going on, so was pretty much everyone else. Those who now claim to shocked, shocked, shocked that the government would engage in disinformation in wartime are awfully naive.

Saddam is gone and the world is a better place. Now let’s get rid of the wicked North Koreans and, if to accomplish that noble mission, the government finds in necessary to mislead me again with respect to its intentions, go right ahead.

To which I respectfully replied:

You know, I agree with you on many of your points. The big issue where we part ways is on methodology. In other words, I always thought it would be a great idea to topple Hussein, for lots of reasons, with or without the WMD issue, and like you, I knew what it was really all about. But by framing it almost solely as a reaction to an imminent threat of WMD (which I admit I fell for), and by then tarring and feathering those who raised questions, and by passing the buck in a show of arrogance, and by then revising the reason for the invasion and making it out to be a humanitarian issue — these were shabby things to do, and they leave Bush in a bit of a rut. Lost credibility, appearance of shiftiness and duplicity, and failure to live up to promises of accountability — there’s a lot here to criticize. I’ve read Den Beste and Counterspin’s savvy rebuttal, I’ve read you and Instapundit and Atrios and Daily Koz, and in the end I ‘ve come to my own conclusion, which is, in a nutshell, Right thing to do, wrong way to do it. I applaud the victory, I criticize the ugliness that’s emerged in the wake of it (like leaking to Drudge that an ABC reporter is gay, or intimidating the wife of a CIA agent, or dodging questions about grandiose claims in your SOTU address, etc.). Were those things truly necessary? Was there no way to act with some honor and decency? Would it have mattered if now, months after the invasion, Bush were to say, “Perhaps we were a bit reckless, perhaps in our eagerness to combat terrorism at its roots we went against some good advice and allowed some words into my speech which, in retrospect, were wrong and I want to tell you how sorry we are about that”? You see, it’s not just “the left” that is perpetuating this, it’s the Bush administration in its utter inability to say it may have been wrong.

I really respect your opinion on Iraq, but I cannot give Bush carte blanche the way you do. We have a history of holding our leaders’ responsible for what they say and do, and I can’t just let Bush off the hook because we won in Iraq. If we do so, we’d be saying that those in power can do anything as long as they believe the ends justify the means. That’s not supposed to be the way it works. It could lead to a catastrophe.

About why the uranium thing is such a big deal…. You say, “Bush said the Brit’s believed Iraq had attempted to purchase uranium when US intelligence didn’t share that view. Big friggin’ deal. So what?”

That would be fine were it that simple. But Bush’s top advisors were warned it was probably false, and someone Up There still insisted it stay in, and then passed the buck back to the CIA for not complaining loudly enough. I agree, the debate on the 16 words has gone on too long and is becoming a real waste of time. What is still debate-worthy is the pattern that’s emerged in its wake of deception, avoiding responsibility and reacting to criticism in an ugly way (back to the CIA agent and the ABC reporter). Those who keep asking about it are finding their loyalty to America questioned, in an Ann Coutlerish way. No, these things merit a lot of comment.

Had it been Clinton, would the Republicans now be respectfully silent? Uncovering a CIA operative’s cover is serious stuff, and I am curious why the more right-sided blogs are simply ignoring the story…..

So the debate rages on. My honest suspicion is that Conrad will “win” and the back-and-forth will eventually just peter out due to lack of interest. Those who think it will spell Bush’s downfall are probably fooling themselves. But I think there’s still plenty here to question, and the discussion is valid. Now, if Bush were to be smarter, he would realize the opportunity he has to soften his cowboy image and mend fences. All it would take is for him to act like a gentleman, own up to mistakes and show true leadership (as opposed to buck passing). Then he could truly “move on.”


Truth contortionists

I’m not going to go on about Bush’s over-analyzed 16 words.

But I do want to point out an interesting example of what is either monumental self-deception or an intentional obfuscation of what lies at the heart of the issue. I refer to a post by Andrew Sullivan today:

The problem with the critics is that they ignore the context and the impossibility of complete certainty in intelligence.

This is the kind of punditry that gets me upset because it is so misleading, and I simply cannot believe that someone as smart as Sullivan doesn’t know how misleading it is.

The intelligence was exactly right. The CIA’s concerns were spot-on. It is not at all about any expectation of flawless intelligence. It is about a conscious and persistent effort to distort, alter, falsify or ignore that intelligence by the president of the United States and his highest minions and, along the way, smearing and/or scapegoating anyone who shows the temerity to challenge the administration’s perfidy.


Best post on the entire Internet

I just re-read this post from some months ago, and I have to say, every word is utterly perfect. I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Update: My wording apparently caused some confusion. It’s a post about a great blogger, written by a fan, not by me.


Defamation of “Character”?

I’ ve been getting emails alerting me to the fact that the Chinese characters to the right of the date, which are supposed to mean “sliced duck,” are incorrect and actually mean “opium.” I’ll have to have a long talk with Brainy Smurf the friend who supplied me with this odd cast of characters.

While my writing may have an opiating effect on some (and at times they even put me to sleep), I promise this was strictly a typographical error and will be fixed as soon as I get a jpg with the right characters.

If it’s an opium blog you’re looking for, go here (and let me know what language that is; Polish?).

Update: The hyperactive Brainy, who has obviously been drinking too much Chinese tea of late, has written a droll parody of this entire debacle.


My sons, my sons….

Wow. Hauntingly beautiful post on the death of the Brothers Hussein, the butchers of Baghdad, as seen through the eye of their loving dad. Unforgettable.

[Via the foreign devil of HK.]