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Is WEDU, Tampa, Culpable in Democracy Now! Stunt to Disrupt Romney Speech?


Last night, as Mitt Romney gave his nomination speech at the RNC, Code Pink protesters trailed by Democracy Now! cameramen tried to shout Romney down.  Video here.  Breitbart story here.  This is the ultimate offense in a week of similar stunts to disrupt the proceedings of the RNC.

The important part of this story, locally, is that WEDU, the flagship public television station in Tampa Bay, has been hosting Democracy Now! during the convention.

WEDU’s Vice President for Content, Jack Conely, told me in a phone conversation today that he unilaterally made the decision to air Democracy Now! as a special service to viewers during the RNC.  He said he considers doing this a “nice courtesy” because of the local angle of their reporting this week.  He added that WEDU “give[s] a platform to all sorts of different political programming.”

Well, no it doesn’t.  And as far as the “local” angle goes, now they have made a nest for media activists who clearly knew in advance — and colluded in — an attempt to disrupt the speech of the Republican party’s candidate for president in the station’s hometown.

Mr. Conely needs to explain how the Democracy Now! deal came to pass.  He also ought to apologize to the Republican Host Committee for getting his station entangled in such an ugly incident.  And if he knew about the plans to disrupt the speech, he needs to resign.  Remember, we’re paying this guy’s salary.

When the election rolls around, voters also need to remember that we’re paying for all this behavior by being forced to subsidize PBS.  I wonder if there’s any connection between Mitt Romney’s announcement that he will cut off public funding for PBS and this puerile stunt.  If so, it looks even worse for WEDU.

See Cliff Kincaid’s article about Romney and PBS here.

What The Heck Does Democracy Look Like, Again?


Today was the last day of the Republican National Convention.  I’ve spent the last week watching the media watch the protesters slowly ripen in the Florida sun, then hurry back to television studios to transform images of the sad, stinking, minuscule, drum-banging, shouting debacle into images of noble massings of freedom fighters — using no tool other than the magic of media bias.

Much of this bias depends upon behaving as if the protesters are victims, rather than instigators of violence and authors of every last one of their own problems.  The New Yorker’s Nathaniel Stein wins the prize for the most fictional imagining of non-existent police cruelty.  I have not and will not be reading Fifty Shades of Grey, but Stein’s whiney attempt at protester pathos certainly sounds like it — sounds like channeling cheap S & M porn.  That is the really offensive thing: how the protesters are exhibitionists; how they force the rest of us to deal with them acting out on the streets.

Remember when civil disobedience meant you got arrested to make a point, and didn’t whine about it?  Not anymore.

The media worked extremely hard to whitewash the protesters’ behavior and message.  But thanks to endless egos and the magic of the internet, there’s a factual record.  Tonight, protesters live-streamed themselves flailing around Tampa shouting “One Two Three Four, It’s a F*****g Class War; Five, Six Seven, Eight, Organize To Smash The State” . . . interspersed by incredibly embarrassing comments scotching the live feed — lots of metrosexual chest-puffery and breathless self-congratulation, hysteria about “safety in numbers” though the police were patiently humoring them, and the occasional butchering of a Woody Guthrie song.

They chanted “Get those animals off those horses” about the police.

They chanted “Let’s Dance Anarchy” while jumping up and down.  Yet, they’re clearly older than 18.

They blew weirdly emasculating noisemakers.

It’s pathetic.

And they wonder why nobody shows up anymore.

Not that you’ll hear or see any of that on the evening news.

Plus, their puppet sucks.

One of the things that struck me this week was the difference between young protesters and young cops.  Tattooed, druggy, dirty, self-indulgent, screeching, potty-mouthed kids versus clean-cut, earnest, polite, healthy-looking, disciplined, serious kids.  This does not reflect well on the Left.

I heard several police officers express concern for the protesters.  They brought them food and watched to make sure the naive runaways among them didn’t end up tangling with the more unhinged homeless people sharing tents with them at the camps.

In return, the protesters screamed “pigs” at the police and complained that they weren’t handing out enough free water.  “One bottle is pathetic,” someone sneered.

Enough with the patience and prudence.  It’s time for tough love for these infants.  Or, at least, accurate coverage by the media.


Speaking of which, I was downtown at the Citizens United tent at the RNC today, watching the premiere of Occupy Unmasked.  The filmmakers had graciously invited Medea Benjamin from Code Pink to see the premiere, which was nice enough, but it meant that the rest of the audience had to be subjected to Benjamin blathering on self-importantly during the Q & A.  There’s such a thing as being too nice: the woman is unhinged.

At the same time, and likely in collusion with Code Pink, a busload of protesters tried to invade the Apollo Beach power plant near my home.

If you or I did these things, we’d be arrested.  But the protesters have created pressures that force the rest of us to babysit them.  This is the essence of the Occupy movement: radical dependency projected outward on society.  Performative dependency consisting of childish actions and shrieks that escalate until we’re forced to react.

After invading the power plant, protesters used chains, superglue and PVC to handcuff themselves together on the pavement.  Police had to get tools and cut them apart.  That’s our tax dollars dripping away in a tidal wave of adolescent stupidity.

If you’re not going to arrest them, just leave them to bake on the Florida asphalt.  They won’t do it twice.

A curious thing about the Apollo Beach power plant: the warm water running from its drainpipes makes an appealing environment for manatees.  The result is a strange symbiosis of nature and human energy production.  What would it take for activists to stop seeing the human world as a purely evil place?

Manatees at the Apollo Beach Power Plant

Here’s a nice image to close out the Republican National Convention.  A police officer rescuing a baby squirrel.

Because, you know, that’s the way police are.

Why Is WEDU Using Our Money To Broadcast Democracy Now! During the RNC? And Other Questions.

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A few days ago, in so-called Romneyville, where anti-RNC protesters are squatting, I watched a television cameraman genuflect before a protester.  The gesture wasn’t technically religious: it is a strategy used to create the impression of a large crowd out of the presence of a handful of people.  Zoom in on a close shot of one or two people; aim the camera close to the ground to capture walking feet: these are shopworn media strategies for inflating protest numbers.

It’s bad enough when “private” media invents story lines this way.  They’re selling the drama of big crowds.  But when we’re the ones paying for the reporting, bias is much more troubling.  And when you mix in the radical reporters blending protesting directly with “reporting,” it’s a toxic soup.

The Tampa media market has what seems to me to be an unusually high number of publicly-funded PBS television and radio stations.  There are four WUSF television channels and four WEDU channels, including its flagship channel, the one that runs the deeply leftist programming interspersed with social engineering cartoons for children.  This week, WEDU is re-running Better This World, a documentary celebrating the violent protesters at the 2008 Republican Convention.  What a nice touch: welcome to Tampa, five anarchists!  Here’s how to make pipe bombs to throw at policemen!

WEDU is broadcasting Democracy Now! for the duration of the RNC.  I find this amazing.  I find it amazing that even the tiniest sliver of our tax dollars are going to subsidize this sort of deceptive, hate-filled, Soros-funded socialist garbage.

How much does Amy Goodman make off the public trough per year?  How about per lie?

Amy Goodman.  Un-ironic Puppet Version.

WEDU’s Vice President for Content, Jack Conely, told me in a phone conversation today that he unilaterally made the decision to air Democracy Now! as a special service to viewers during the RNC.  He said he considers doing this a “nice courtesy” because of the local angle of their reporting this week.  He added that WEDU “give[s] a platform to all sorts of different political programming.”

How much did WEDU spend to give Amy Goodman a taxpayer-funded platform?  “You don’t spend anything extra for Democracy Now!” Conely said, missing the point.  “They didn’t come to me, I made the decision,” he told me when I asked how the “free content” deal was initiated.  This story is developing.


But PBS isn’t the only taxpayer-funded reporting going on at the Convention.  There’s Voice of America, the “official external broadcast institution of the United States federal government.”  That excellently concise description is from Wikipedia.  VOA is broadcast overseas, and though I generally agree with their claim that they try to be unbiased in their reporting, I was disappointed to see their silly coverage of the protesters.  They uncritically reprinted claims by discredited local “homeless activist” Bruce Wright about protesters “helping” poor people while in Tampa.  They are doing no such thing, and lending credibility to such a false narrative is troubling:

Camp residents have tried to help suffering locals like Thomas Diehl and his companion, Michelle Kelly.  “Right now they are trying to help us get food stamps, medical help for me and her, stuff like that,” Diehl said.

Bunk.  “Romneyville” is a squat for professional activists who are willing to exploit mentally ill homeless people in order to gain attention from the media.  No matter what the New York Times/CNN/Guardian/ABC/CBS/NBC says.  Social services for the homeless are actually provided by real social service agencies located a few blocks away.  Wright is a highly controversial professional activist who has gotten in trouble in the past for his handling of resources for the homeless.  None of this is difficult to figure out, if you bother to actually research a story.

In Frontpage Magazine Today


RNC Protesters: Behind the Media Spin

The protests are a bust.  The same 200-odd activists showed up at a pro-immigration rally that was supposed to draw many thousands.  A large percentage of the attendees were Scientologists proselytizing the protesters, or staff members of various Soros-funded groups, or self-important ACLU and National Lawyer’s Guild “observers.”  Or, addled teens pretending to be anarchists.

With the hurricane making landfall three states away, protest organizers no longer have that excuse.  The movement committed suicide because leaders refused to denounce violence and vandalism.  The public is fed up with subsidizing adolescent outrage masquerading as speech.

Local media continues to pray for a resurrection, treating the 200-odd protesters squatting in homeless camps with a gravitas they refuse to apply to the RNC convention itself.  That’s the really shameful story.

See Mary Grabar’s writing on the subject here and here.

This Is Not What Democracy Looks Like


From the Anti-RNC Protests yesterday 

1. Caption contest for the first one . . .

2. Democracy Now?  Check.  Earth First?  Check.  George Soros?  Ka-Ching.  Hint to protesters: those of you who feel as if you’re dying for lack of funds should ask the Florida Consumer Action Network folks how they’re living.  They have plenty of money.  Ask the Code Pinkers to kick in some cash from their pink glitter budget.  They’re not poor.  Ask Joe Redner, who has made plenty in publicity off you, to pony up, as it were.

You’re the ones eating crappy potatoes for supper.  These chicks are wearing $30 water bottles.

3. Capitalism is Cannibalism, so, Vegan Capitalism must mean HUFU.  Watch the video from The Daily Show at the link if you “want to know more.”  That’s my old college chum, Mark Nuckols (on The Daily Show, not the guy holding the sign).  Wish you were here, Mark, instead of exploiting geopolitical instabilities in the former Soviet bloc.  You’d be making a killing in this crowd with your high-quality, tofu-based, human flesh alternative, HUFU.

4. The Food Court.  Yes, it did smell just like that.  I asked one young woman what was for lunch, and she glared at me over two slices of white bread and some weird potatoes and said: “s**t”

5. I don’t think it’s a good idea to bring babies to stuff like this.  I didn’t want to bring my own feet.

6. There were two on-site, ecumenical, Ron Paulites.  Here’s the one who wasn’t starting random fights

Tomorrow: Anarchists versus Scientologists!!!!!!


Anonymous is a House-Husband, And Other Gender Benders at the Anti-RNC “Labor” Protest


The first big march on the RNC was held today in Gaslight Park in Tampa.

Dozens and Dozens of Protesters (photo credit Tina Trent)

I use the word “big” only in the Horton Hears a Who sense.  Although the march threatened to bring “thousands” of union members to the streets, I doubt there were more than 200 people.  Many were reporters or observers from the RNC.

The protesters, such as they were, marched across the street from Gaslight Park at one point and appeared to be boarding a bus.  Then they milled around a bit and marched back across the intersection to the park.  Then they marched off in another direction.  Just like America’s labor movement.

Oddly, only about 50 people had on any type of union shirt at all.  I counted a gaggle of SEIU, a singular Teamster, and one girl wearing the logo of some alternative communications group.  Most of the attendees looked like college kids or otherwise unoccupied Occupiers.  There was a Ward Captain of something, so Chicago was representing.

The Chicago Way (photo credit Tina Trent)

A few men were blowing long, yellow plastic horns that took inordinate effort to produce a weak and muffled blare.  “Miniscule, astroturfed, and not really representing anyone” seemed the real message of the day.

Maybe it was a union march, after all.

Not Funny (photo credit Mary Grabar)

Even so, the most popular messaging was about the so-called “war on women.”  A half-dozen Code Pinkers in symbolic sateen-and-feather representations of human labias morphed into one many-headed vaginae and marched a block and a half to the union protest.  There, they did not blend in.

If You Can Say It, Please Don’t (photo credit Mary Grabar)

I asked one attractive and pleasant young Code Pinker if she thought that staging a protest that would offend people was really an effective way of delivering a message.  She peered up from between the velveteen labial folds hanging around her neck and said, “You mean men?

No, I told her, women would also be offended by the in-your-face vagina costumes.  We went back and forth a bit.  “Don’t you think you’re objectifying women’s bodies?” I asked, suddenly suffering a flashback to Women’s Studies and bucking under the memory of hours wasted reading Luce Irigaray.  Is it women’s language that functions as resistance to the speculum of male speech?  Or does the speculum of female voices threaten male phallogocentrism?

I didn’t want to talk anymore.

The vagina viewed me with vague consternation, her eyes shining with the blank joy of unwavering devotion to a cause.  “Not with everything that’s been going on,” she said, referring to that gift that keeps giving, Todd Akin.  When political speech devolves to debating an articulate young vagina standing on a street corner, what does that make the debater?  I was relieved when Medea Benjamin, acting like some demented Brownie Troop leader, shooed the girl back among the elder vulvae.

But, way to empower women’s voices, Medea.

Back at the main protest site, a man claiming to be with Anonymous milled around holding up an i-pad bearing a live image of some basement-dweller in a Guy Fawkes costume.  Anonymous couldn’t be at the protest, the man claimed, because he was stuck home watching his kids.

Anonymous’ BFF (photo credit Tina Trent)

To summarize: female protesters are turning themselves out on Tampa’s streets in the name of defending feminism, while male protesters are hiding behind computer screens and dime-store face masks to enhance their masculinity.

Mary Grabar and I did find one happy guy who didn’t seem confused about anything.  It turns out the medium is the message, after all.

(photo credit . . . definitely . . . Mary Grabar)










Tampa Newspaper, Mayor Crudely Slur Sarah Plain

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Two weeks ago, it was Mayor Bob Buckhorn making dirty jokes about Sarah Palin in the New York Times.  Read the story of the Mayor’s behavior at the link.

Today, it’s the “elite” left-wing paper, the Tampa Bay Times (formerly St. Petersburg Times), running this act of sexual vandalism against Palin.  This is virtual rape.  And the Times, despite all its hysterics over the Republican “war on women,” (and their much touted “institute for journalistic ethics”) seem quite happy promoting it:

AUGUST 24, 2012

Q&A with the stripper who … imitates Sarah Palin

The Tampa Bay Times’ Stephanie Hayes with Lisa Ann in today’s tbt*:

People said, “You look so much like Sarah Palin.” I wear my hair back a lot and I wear these glasses. I was aware of who she was. But when Hustler called and said “We came up with the name Nailin’ Paylin,” I just loved the name.

Nailin’ Palin.  Think about it.  There’s a stripper who sells the ability to put it to Sarah Palin sexually.  The Mayor thinks this is hilarious.

So why aren’t RNC officials denouncing this?  And why would anyone shake hands with Buckhorn after his sleazy abuse of an important and beloved Republican Party member?  Why don’t they ask him to apologize, at least?  He’s damaged goods.

Watcher’s Council, Canadian Free Press, Brian Wilson in Toledo

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The protesters are arriving in Tampa (with their pipes, bricks, and tedious adolescent agitprop).

I’ll be on Brian Wilson’s drive-time radio show — Talk of Toledo, 1370 WSPD — on Friday between 4 and 5 p.m. to talk about the protesters.

Media who would like to schedule interviews with me about the protests can contact this website:  I’ll be reporting from the protests all next week.

My report for Accuracy in Media, Soros-funded Marxists to “Occupy the RNC” , is getting coverage in Canada Free Press and also on the facebook page for the anti-RNC protesters.  Thanks, Brian Madsen, for your pithy rebut!


I’m happy to report that I got an honorable mention at Watchers of Weasels this week — thanks!  I also have a commentary on the effect of immigration amnesty on my small farming town on this week’s Watcher’s Forum.  Here is the commentary, followed by the forum for this week:

Illegal Migration And What To Do About It

Each week, the members of the Watchers’ Council nominate one of their own posts and a second from outside the Council for consideration by other council members in a contest for the week’s best post.

Subcribe to Watcher of Weasels via the following RSS syndicators:
 Add Watcher of Weasels to any feed reader

Watcher’s Council Nominations – ‘Legitimate Rape’ Edition
JoshuaPundit on Aug 22 2012 
Council Submissions:
 Honorable Mentions
Non-Council Submissions

They Shoot Police Horses, Don’t They?


The Tampa media is busy churning out pleasant stories about all the “creative” and “peaceful” protesters descending on the city.

To get the whole story of what’s coming to Tampa, see my special report up at Accuracy in Media today:

Soros-funded Marxists to “Occupy the RNC”

I’ll have a longer post up later.  For now, two questions:

Do you really think they’d bother dressing horses up like this, in Tampa heat, if the protesters really intended to be “peaceful”?

And, is it OK for vegans to kick horses, so long as they don’t eat them?

Hilarious Fake Polling, Attacks on Stupid White Men: Welcome to the Tampa Bay Times

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The Tampa Bay Times (until recently, the St. Petersburg Times), fancies itself the New York Times . . . only with sandy beaches and really nice water views.

Despite living in paradise, they work very hard to emulate their northern peers’ biases.  In preparation for the coming RNC convention, TBT‘s crack political staff called up 117 of their best friends and asked them what they thought of Paul Ryan, then pretended it was a legitimate political poll:

Exclusive Fla Insider Poll: One in 3 GOPers worry Paul Ryan hurts Romney in Fla

Note that the “survey” included Democrats, too.  Only 62 claimed to be Republican.  Carry on:

So does Paul Ryan help Mitt Romnney in Florida or hurt him?  Our latest Florida Insider Poll surveyed 117 of Florida most plugged in and experienced political minds – campaign consultants, fundraisers, lobbyists, activists –  and found nine out of 10 Democrats see him hurting Romney in Florida and one in three Republicans agreeing.

Bob in Apalachicola, plus 19 other guys who hang out with these people, are a bit piqued at the Ryan choice.  Not really, but the headline says so.  And remember, it’s not just a poll: it’s an “Exclusive Florida Insider Poll”:

“While I think Paul Ryan was a much bolder choice than I would have thought Mitt Romney would have  made, I think it bodes trouble here in Florida with seniors given the “Ryan Plan & Medicare.” If Cong. Ryan can lay out the plan to seniors without “wonkifying” it,
maybe they have a chance,” said one Republican.

Crowed a Democrat:”Romney has had a problem with Hispanics and Women. Paul Ryan not only
doesn’t help but does harm with both groups. The Hispanics Romney had backing from was the hardliner Cubans, where Ryan voted 3 times to lift the embargo. He does real harm to the ticket with Seniors, while bringing nothing to the ticket overall to expand their
coalition. And on top of how the Ryan budget plays with seniors, it creates opportunities with other issues including cuts to infrastructure (See Everglades restoration), massive cuts to NASA, slashes the farm bill spending on research in things like Citrus greening and canker.”

Lean over to your office mate, pretend he’s an “important Democratic insider,” and let him to reel off an anonymous attack on Paul Ryan chock full of all those vital Florida talking points:


Way to get out of the office by noon.

You can’t make this stuff up.  They do, though.

Meanwhile, the editorial department harbors more than one low-rent Maureen Dowd:

The stories white guys tell themselves

By Robyn E. Blumner, Times Columnist
In Print: Sunday, August 12, 2012

Joan Didion wrote, “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” I’d modify that slightly for this presidential election year and say, we tell ourselves stories in order to vote. Which is why Mitt Romney maintains a huge lead in the polls among blue-collar white men. . .

White men have been fed the myth of the rags-to-riches, self-made man, the quintessential American narrative that says hard work and perseverance will equate to success. The idea cemented in the male cerebral cortex is that people who start from nothing can work themselves from the Horatio Alger mailroom to the corner office. . .Obama does better among white women and minority voters because they never bought into the self-made-man myth.

Take that, cement cortex myth-believing white men!  And, welcome to Tampa.


History Mystery: How Fast Can PBS and the NYT Destroy a Generation of Young Minds?


Many people were confused by the New York Times’  jaw-grindingly idiotic column yesterday trying to link candidate Paul Ryan to serial rapist and racist revolutionary Elridge Cleaver:

Paul Ryan, Black Panther?


Did Paul Ryan quote a famous 1960s Black Panther Party slogan in his speech on Saturday announcing his candidacy for vice president on the Republican ticket?

For a moment, it sounded that way. Recalling words of advice offered by his late father, Mr. Ryan said, “I still remember a couple of things he would say that have really stuck with me. ‘Son, you are either part of the problem or part of the solution.’ Regrettably, President Obama has become part of the problem, and Mitt Romney is the solution.”

For a moment, “it sounded” like Paul Ryan was stealing banal adages from a Black Panther’s mouth?  Now, that is the sort of felony that can set a Times’ columnist’s heart aflame.  It also may be the flimsiest, most pretend pretext to start telling movement stories EVER.  Once Mssrs. Goodheart, Manseau and Widmer got caught up in their fantasy, however, they ran with it, inventing a scenario in which Ryan’s father, sitting with his son, starts talkin’ about revolution, and Ryan takes the words out of context decades later to attack the noble purpose of the Panthers, because he’s that much of a psychotic baddie.  Or, conversely, he didn’t know about his dad’s conscious, or possibly unconscious, identification with Cleaver.  But, whatever.  The Times guys imagined all this, and then instead of opening a window and getting some fresh air into the room, they committed their fantasy to the page.  And then the Times actually published it as political commentary.  Watch the craziness unfold:

Give Mr. Ryan credit for making the Republicans’ big tent a little bigger. The slogan “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem” served as a mantra of sorts for Eldridge Cleaver, the minister of information for the Black Panthers, the extreme black nationalist group . . . It’s perhaps unlikely that Mr. Ryan’s father, a lawyer in Janesville, Wisc., was present at a political gathering in 1968 when the Black Panthers co-founder Bobby Seale, urging his followers to smash “the American Empire,” proclaimed: Everyone falls into two categories. You are either part of the problem – or part of the solution. Being part of the solution means you’re willing to grab a shotgun and take to the barricades, killing if necessary. Being part of the problem means you’re on the other side of the shotgun. There is no in-between.

Where the heck are we?  What are all these guns doing here?

How does someone (three people) actually get from Paul Ryan repeating some conventional Dad adage to delusional fantasies about Mr. Ryan’s father [who has also become an obsession of dim Salon editor Joan Walsh] channeling the Panthers?

But it goes from bad to worse.  According to the deranged fabulists, the Panthers stole this highly original adage from the ultimate leftist hero . . . the white VISTA volunteer.  We are now many, many miles from Paul Ryan’s speech.  But who cares?  We’re groovin’ about VISTA (I have a very funny story about watching people steal taxpayer’s money when I was a VISTA.  Heck, I have several).

So who are these people and why are they projecting their fantasies all over the pages of the Times?

Let me explain: they’re prestigious college professors.

Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience

Historians, to be exact, and this column is yet another sad nail in that once proud profession’s coffin.

I know this stuff is both irritating and ubiquitous.  It’s hardly news when the Times makes up a considerable portion of their content, less so when the topic is Obama.  Or race.  Or Republicans.  Or all three.  But, to paraphrase Starship Troopers (which I, unlike the Times writers, am citing appropriately): this time, You Should Like to Know More.  Don’t look away from this inane babble just because’s it’s inane babble.  Don’t pop a beta-blocker and retreat to the yoga mat.  These journalist-professors may sound like the homeless guy you try to avoid eye contact with in the subway, but unlike you and that guy, the millions of kids exposed to similar babble by these very professors can’t get up and walk away from it . . . because it’s being taught to them in their classrooms.

You see, Goodheart, Manseau and Widmer (through Washington College’s CV Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience’s new initiative, Historically Corrected)  have teamed up with PBS’ equally ahistorical history romp, History Detectives, to splatter yet more Sixties babble and activist-speak all over your child’s education.  This Elridge Cleaver/Paul Ryan exposé is just one little non-footnoted footnote in a vast pedagogical conspiracy to replace learning-as-acquiring-knowledge-of-the-progression-of-significant-events with excited “detective-style” inquiry . . . inquiry designed to lead uninformed students to repeatedly “rediscover” the fabulousness of the Sixties, and the centrality of the Sixties Activist Man in every-important-thing-that-ever-happened.

Think of it as replacing a dull slog through facts about the Revolutionary War with a bunch of equally dull (yet far less challenging) anecdotes about the time your mom’s brother smoked a bunch of pot while watching the Washington Monument levitate (Yes, I know, it was really the Pentagon.  But aren’t facts bourgeois?).

Mary Grabar and I wrote about this PBS-fuelled erosion of learning about history in a report for Accuracy in Media, titled PBS: Re-Educating America’s Schoolchildren, Thanks to Your Contributions.  In it, you’ll find our take on another History Detectives lesson plan, one that curiously parallels this lunatic New York Times piece.  In “Hot-Town: Pigs on the Streets” (yes, that is the title), children are led through a fun, a-historical exercise in which they “investigate” the origins of a poster denouncing the police; contemplate police brutality at the ’68 convention, and then hear from a former Black Panther “client” about all the great lunch programs the Panthers used to run.

You know, when they weren’t busy teaching Paul Ryan’s father to say things like: “a bird in the hand’s better than two in the bush” or “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”

Posters . . . activists . . . Black Panthers . . . heroic white VISTA volunteers . . . erudite college professors.  Funny, that sounds an awful lot like that New York Times column.

Welcome to your child’s educational experience, folks.

Elridge Cleaver actually said lots of things, like the time he reflected on his serial-rapist career by explaining:

Rape was an insurrectional act. It delighted me that I was defying and trampling upon the white man’s law, upon his system of values, and that I was defiling his women . . . I felt that I was getting revenge


I started out practicing on black girls in the ghetto where dark and vicious deeds appear not as aberrations or deviations from the norm, but as part of the sufficiency of the Evil of a day. When I considered myself smooth enough, I crossed the tracks and sought out white prey. I did this consciously, deliberately, willfully, methodically.

No word yet from the Ryan campaign on how they’re going to work that lingo into his Medicare speech.  But I’m sure the investigators at Historically Corrected and History Detectives are hard on the case.

So remember, as you ball up your Times in disgust — or step past that babbling wino to reach the turnstile — we can’t leave the kids with people like this, people who still keep their sweaty, dog-eared copy of Soul on Ice (the source of those lovely rape quotes) wedged firmly in their Levis as they steer the Porsche into faculty parking.

And by the way, if Paul Ryan got the phrase “you’re part of the problem or part of the solution” from anywhere other than his dad, or just breathing, maybe it actually was from Starship Troopers, which is chock full of bon mots, like this one:

Q: Who needs a knife in a nuke fight anyway?

A: The enemy can not push a button… if you disable his hand.

Think about it.

Smarts and Subsidiaritianism Conquers Republican Identity Politics


Romney nominated a grown-up.  The best and the brightest of the pack.  Who couldn’t like a candidate who cares enough (for their own good) to send 90 cranky Georgetown professors to bed without supper to teach them not to throw temper tantrums about Catholic principles and big words they do not bother to try to understand before bloviating about them in the public square?

I’m also deeply relieved Romney rejected Rubio.  It’s probably the best chance Rubio has to prove himself in a substantive way, rather than being artificially elevated through the system on the basis of his identity.  Far too many right-of-center pundits carried on about Rubio’s imagined “articulateness” and the “great speeches he was making” while studiously pretending not the see the enormous stumbles that defined his Florida political career.

I don’t care much that Rubio got into a bit of trouble for using the Party’s credit cards (though it doesn’t speak well of his ability to manage money), but he was a little too close to high-ranking crooks; he showed bad faith on illegal immigration, and he accepted a sleazy no-show job with an inflated salary from a community college — while overseeing state expenditures to colleges.  Worse, that’s about the sum total of what he did on the job in Florida, where the Republican leadership (of which he was one) needed a big ethical kick in the pants.

Not fatal, but not pretty, and it should have been enough to blunt the beltway fawning (it didn’t).  I actually trust Rubio to get better with time and think this is good news for him.  He would have had no reason to grow in the job if the punditry had succeeded in crowning him the Republican’s Own-Specially-Articulate-Multi-Cult-Answer to Obama.

The pundits, in turn, should be relieved they dodged a bullet they fired, then ran past, then ducked under, just barely.  Hopefully they will come to see this flirtation in a sober light.  When identity politics become a mantra across the political spectrum, pretty soon all you can hear is the humming.

G.K. Chesterton, of course, would have had something to say to both the fawning beltwayers and the braying Georgetowners.  He scoffed at those with inflated faith in their ability to use a little learning to create a “supernormal and miraculous moral factory, in which perfect men and women are made by magic.”  He was referring to university education but it applies as well to political punditry.

The idea is to defeat Obama, not channel him.

Or, as my friend Chrissy wrote this morning, and I plead guilty only to quoting her: “Cutie-buns for VP!”