Professor Froward's Slough of Despond

Proud purveyor of flawed generalizations and vacuous tautologies.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Dear Prince Charles,

Fuck off.



How many fingers, Winston? runs a Reuters report on rioting in a suburb of Paris:

Hundreds of French youths fought with police and set cars ablaze.


[Police] were unable to give figures for the number of protesters hurt.

"Protesters"? It's a riot. Some of them seem to have started the day as protesters, but after they started rioting, they were rioters. That's what you call somebody who's rioting: A rioter. Why the confusion? Because they were "protesters" in the same sense that people who machine-gun little kids are "activists":

Firefighters intervened around 40 times on Friday night in the northeastern suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois where many of the 28,000 residents are immigrants, mainly from Africa...

How delicately put that was. The reader need not be told that "suburb" in France is a euphemism for "immigrant ghetto, generally with astronomical unemployment and crime", and "immigrant from Africa" is a euphemism for "Muslim". Clichy-sous-Bois described as "a suburb of high-rise social housing": "Social" housing? What's that? It's "social" in the European sense: The "-ist" is silent.

And what was the riot about?

...two teenagers were killed and a third seriously injured on Thursday night when they were electrocuted in an electricity sub station as they fled from police investigating a break-in, media reported.

The rioting grew out of "a silent march in honor of the two dead teenagers". Words fail me here. They really do. What are the kids being "honored" for? For acting like idiots and getting themselves killed — when there happened to be police nearby. Because the proximity of cops makes the decedents "victims", you see, and the only way to make it right is to set fire to a convenience store.

UPDATE 10/29/2005: It gets better. This from the BBC:

Thursday's violence broke out after youths attacked firefighters who had been called in to help the two victims, who were aged 15 and 17, and a third youth who received serious burns.

You read that right: Three "yoots" did something stupid and got hurt. Firefighters tried to help them. More "yoots" blamed the firefighters for the problem they had come to fix, and tried to prevent them from fixing it. Got that straight?

This stuff makes Lord of the Flies look optimistic.

Oh, and... "victims" again?

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Attack of the 50-Foot Metaphors

In the Guardian, Timothy Garton Ash needs a vacation:

Even if this lady chancellor is made of iron, a messy, unstable coalition will ensure that her feet are stuck in clay. All Europe will keep limping as a result.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Spam of the day

This odd little missive just floated to the surface of my inbox:

From: Scott Kohlhaas <>
Date: Oct 14, 2005 3:35 AM


Would you be willing to spread the word about It's a site dedicated to shattering the myths surrounding the selective slavery system and building mass civil disobedience to stop the draft before it starts.

Our banner on a website, printing and posting the anti-draft flyer or just telling friends would help.


Scott Kohlhaas

PS. When it comes to the draft, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

"Selective slavery system"? And it's in a spam, for good measure.

Yeah, good luck persuading anybody who bathes.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Fall, rise, whatever...

This is slightly odd:

...during the Clinton years, the Democratic percentages of the popular vote for the House of Representatives fell to 45 percent in 1994, 48.5 percent in 1996, and 49 percent in 1998 and 2000.

1994 was a very bad year for the Democrats in Congress, but if they then went from 45 percent to 49 percent of the popular vote over the next two elections, is the word "fall" really well chosen?

Monday, October 10, 2005


Figured I'd try to beat Tim Blair to that headline.

Scribal Terror has a very fine soccer fatwa. Among other things, it explains that the only legitimate reason to play soccer is "training to run, attack, and retreat in preparation for"... an "inner struggle for virtue" of some kind, apparently.

13. If one of you inserts the ball between the posts and then starts to run so that his companions will run after him and hug him, like the players in America and France do, you should spit in his face, punish him, and reprimand him, for what do joy, hugging, and kissing have to do with sports?

Saturday, October 08, 2005

HAARP strikes again

But seriously, this is horrible.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Norm gets it. But you knew that.

Here's a hypothetical situation. A certain newspaper carries, week in and week out, articles of a political complexion that one of its readers judges to be dreadful. Not all readers do, but she — for it is a she — does; and her view is shared by a lot of other people. This reader, alienated, one day heaps a bucket of excrement over the head of a pedestrian walking along the street in a city of the country in which the newspaper in question is published.

If A kills B, C kills D, to even things out: To a certain kind of leftist, it is unimaginable that this might not be reasonable, if C happens not to like the West. There's a short circuit there. It's hard to figure out the left-wing fetishization of violence against unarmed civilians. They certainly fetishize their own self-perceived weakness, and fantasize about the unstoppable, undefeatable, remorseless jihadis. To my ears there seems to be an eerie, triumphal, bragging quality when they claim that there's no defense against terrorism. They want it to be true. But they don't fetishize all violence against civilians. Sometimes it genuinely seems to bother them. Or is it just that they get excercised about it in cases where it's likely to provide some value of C, with an excuse to kill some value of D?

If you think Norm's analogy is broken because not all Brits are associated with the Guardhypothetical paper he's talking about, just change it to the equally preposterous BBC, which is an arm of the British government.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Not 2,000 buses after all.

So these guys, Media Matters, claim that all the conservatives were claiming that there were 2,000 buses sitting in New Orleans after Katrina went by.

I don't recall that figure myself, but they link to LGF, and sure enough, LGF quoted a column mentioning that figure. They also claim that Gingrich and Stephanopoulos were quoting it all over national TV. I won't dispute that; I emptied a magazine into my TV years ago, when I learned that Sam the American Eagle on the Muppet Show wasn't real.

But there it is: Media Matters says there were only about seven hundred buses, school buses and municipal buses combined, controlled by the city of New Orleans at the end of last month. They may be right. Assume they are. Why not? It's a nice round number. There's one question they very carefully avoid: Why in the name of God did nobody use those buses to evacuate the poor, like the plan called for? Media Matters proudly observes that not all of the poor could have been evacuated; assuming the oft-tossed-around figure of 46 adults per bus, that'd be 32,000 people in one trip, which is only about a third of the number left behind. To a lefty, that's quite clear: If you can't save absolutely everybody, you don't bother trying to save anybody. Leave 'em all to die; you've got a good excuse, so that makes it okay. Now, some of us wacky right-wingers might suggest that you turn around and make a second trip... but that's much too complicated for lefties.

The "chickenhawk" thing

What they're saying is that if you express the views of the majority of US military on active service, you should be excluded from the debate — unless you are already excluded from taking a very active part in the debate, by being in Iraq yourself.

Monday, October 03, 2005


So, the PRC says it's "undemocratic" for ICANN to be controlled by a democracy, rather than by a committee of dictatorships. The EU, naturally, can't see anything wrong with that logic.

Let's not go into the fact that if the EU is a girl who can't say "no". What's really creepy about this nonsense is that we built it, we kept it free enough to become enormously valuable to everybody, and now the shitty little dictatorships of the world are saying they've got a right to grab it and destroy it, because it's worth so much to them. Because we have given them so much by letting them play in our sandbox, these dismal parasites demand sole ownership and control of it. Once they become dependent on your generosity, they decide that you're a "resource" and they own you. Reads like an Ayn Rand situation, doesn't it? But it's real, it's happening. I don't think much of Rand as a novelist or a philosopher, but as a social critic she really hits the nail once in a while.

Horse hockey. It's ours. You're more than welcome to keep playing there; that way we all win. But we are not going to hand it over and let you destroy it.

So the "poverty draft"... just another lie. Which ought not to be a surprise: Lefties don't check the numbers. They just make stuff up that "sounds right".

UPDATE 10/3/2005: It's irrelevant anyway. The logic behind the "poverty draft" talking point is that if military service is not the worst imaginable option for somebody to choose, than he is being "coerced" into choosing the military. It follows that if the military were made less appealing — for example, if there were no veterans' benefits — that it wouldn't be coercive any more. The implication seems to be that the lefties in question would call that an improvement. Are these the same lefties who hyperventilate about the administration "stabbing the troops in the back" by not spending enough money on them? What do you think?

But never mind how it conflicts with other talking points; the bottom line is, it's absurd: Offering somebody more and better options is not coercion. Unless you believe that the government is solely responsible for poverty, and could cure it at any time by waving a magic wand... come to think of it, lefties generally do believe that.

Saturday, October 01, 2005


Profiling made simple.

Dumb Bumper Sticker Watch

Newton, MA:

Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven.

Oh, please.