WOOF! Watchdogs of Our Freedom

Save the Mastodon! Oh, wait…on second thought, don’t bother! (Why Conservatism and the GOP Don’t Play Well Together.)

In "Dead Elephant in the Room" forum on July 5, 2016 at 11:23 am

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Few would take us to task for observing that conservatives are currently more disillusioned with the Republican Party than during any previous time in the GOP’s history. And for us to say something that few would take us to task for is nearly unprecedented, so permit us to bask in the moment. Okay, done. Now, allow us two additional points: First, that the GOP is about to implode, and second, no matter what immediate alarm this may cause conservatism, the ultimate result may be benign—even providential—for the American Right. To these auguries we boldly add our conviction that the GOP has never been a natural abode of conservatism, and is in most respects no less hostile to its doctrines than are the Democrats. See, now we went and made a lot of people angry—but we’re still the same lovable band of good-natured counterrevolutionaries we always were, so why not have a stiff drink and bear with us?

scatter chart for use

Scientific proof of Republican mendacity–or at least it would be, except we just pasted in a positive scattergram off the Internet–but you get the idea.

Consider the folly of assuming that most Republican candidates intend to pursue the programs of action they advocate while campaigning, or adhere to the broadly conservative philosophies they grandly enunciate.  We contend that a scatter chart depicting the relationship between conservative assertions made by Republicans during campaigns with the levels of empirically demonstrable deception assignable to each assertion viewed in retrospect, would produce, in the majority of cases, an impressively positive correlation. That’s from a Cartesian standpoint. From the standpoint of a concerned voter whose beliefs lie in the conservative arena, such correlations are neither impressive nor positive–they are downright infuriating.  Conservatives may also wish to consider the pathological implications of remaining, of their own volition, in a political “family” that not only deceives them in this fashion, but scorns and ridicules them whenever their backs are turned; a family that pesters them routinely for cash, promising specific outcomes, but having received the cash fulfills none of its promises and repays the contributors by pursuing outcomes antithetic to their  wishes and contrary to the understandings upon which the funds were solicited.  Put another way, American conservatives are treated by the GOP in a manner analogous to how Black Americans are treated by the DNC.

F.D.

Why was Frederick Douglass so much smarter than Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, John Lewis, and President Obama? (Even put together.)

Birth of a Notion

Henry_Clay

Henry Clay ran for president as a Whig but Jackson defeated him, For one thing, Jackson had better hair. Clay should have tried a wig.

The creation of the Republican Party was largely a result of the collapse of the Whig Party. Seen any Whigs lately? No you haven’t—and that’s because they vanished from the political landscape, victims of rancorous internecine conflicts that eroded their foundational vision until it became unrecognizable and unserviceable. And doesn’t that sound familiar? When we think of Whigs nowadays, which mostly we don’t, we tend to imagine a quirkish, ephemeral batch of regional lightweights who faded mainly because they had a dopey name and got no traction—but this is largely untrue. Initially founded in opposition to the populist caprices of Andrew Jackson whom they (quite sensibly) considered a dangerous mountebank spreading newfangled socioeconomic ideas by force of personality rather than Constitutional law, the Whigs sought to limit the powers of the executive and expand those of congress. Their numbers included Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun, and William Henry Harrison.

Harrison won the presidency in 1840, pledging to serve only one term in keeping with the Whigs’ conviction that constitutional governance demanded strictly limited tenures in office. Harrison proved better than his word, delivering the longest inaugural address in American history (lasting two full hours despite frantic editing by Daniel Webster) and is popularly reputed to have caught cold during the event leading to his death three weeks later of pneumonia, or pleurisy, or enteric fever, depending on which historians one deems credible; but in any case, well within his self-imposed term limit.

zachary and horse

“Old Rough and Ready” (Zachary Taylor), with “Old Whitey,” his beloved horse. Whitey, who preferred to graze on the White House lawn, passed on the fruit and milk and lived to a ripe old age.

Whig Zachary Taylor lasted longer in the presidency, but he too met an ignominious end. Independence Day in Washington, (1850), was a scorcher, and while celebrating the holiday Taylor reportedly consumed “raw fruit and iced milk” and fell ill. His doctor diagnosed him with “cholera morbus,” and despite intensive medical treatment, or possibly because of it, he died. Whig Millard Fillmore thereupon assumed office where he earned the distinction of being the only Whig president who didn’t die there.

Thanks, Millard Fillmore!

Thanks, Millard Fillmore!

He didn’t do much else, however, unless one counts ordering Commodore Matthew Perry to open trade routes with Japan, which, as we now know, ultimately resulted in the tragic death by suicide of Madame Butterfly, to say nothing of World War II. Also at this time, a young Illinois Whig named Abraham Lincoln (you knew we were getting there, right?) first gained attention as an outspoken opponent of expansion into Texas. But Abe soon abandoned politics, possibly after realizing how drastically misguided were his criticisms of the whole Texas thing, and returned to practicing law–during which period he famously appeared as Henry Fonda in John Ford’s Young Mr. Lincoln.

The Grand New Party!

But more to our point, as even the most benighted graduates of our annihilative educational system must be dimly aware, Mr. Lincoln soon returned to the political arena, and this time it was personal…

lincoln images

Today’s Republican Party was founded in 1854 by a confluence of ex-Whigs, Free Soilers (a short-lived single issue party whose purpose was to prevent slavery from expanding into the western territories), and other anti-slavery factions.  The Whig Party was by then so riven with acrimony, ambivalence and dissent that it barely registered as a speed bump on the Republicans’ path to the schoolhouse in Ripon, Wisconsin, where their firm abolitionist policies and unyielding belief that slavery was an intolerable evil sufficed to unify the young party.

fremont

Fremont: First GOP nominee, first GOP loser, got a whole state named after him in James Michener’s novel “Space.” How does that even work, really?

The first Republican convention began and ended on July 6th, 1854 in Jackson, Michigan. John C. Fremont actually won the first-ever Republican nomination and rallied the Northern states. He lost, however, to James Buchanan who managed to woo the support of a large segment of the “Know Nothing Party” despite the Republican Party’s vastly superior campaign slogan, to wit: “Free Soil, Free Men, and Fremont” which might have proved more effective had there been bumpers in 1856.

Team Abe

Lincoln's supporters took full advantage oof the fact that the uv light was not yet invented, meaning the absent security strips on forged tickets went unnoticed! l

Lincoln’s supporters took full advantage of the fact that the uv light was not yet invented, meaning the absent security strips on forged tickets went unnoticed!

By contrast, Lincoln’s presidential campaign of 1860 was encumbered with the slogan “He’s the rail candidate!” But before you scoff, consider that besides bolstering the case for hanging inept punsters, this conspicuously flawed attempt at drollery served to further publicize the lanky Kentuckian’s image as a wood-splitting, incorruptible rustic. Historians generally agree the electorate’s fascination with Honest Abe’s back-story (embellished though it were) played a substantial part in securing his eventual nomination. We say eventual because Abe owed his nomination to the vagaries of a brokered convention. Yes, gentle readers, Lincoln secured his party’s nomination on the third ballot, thanks largely to a good deal of connivance, agitation, and back-room bargaining orchestrated by his devoted (and crafty) supporters, many of whom crept into the convention with counterfeited tickets. Withal, Team Abe pioneered groundbreaking techniques of skullduggery that took behind-the-scenes intrigue to a level that, in retrospect, seems almost visionary…thus the “Man from Hardin County” finished ahead of William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, and a sprinkling of less eminent contenders.

chase on bill

Salmon Chase had the best name, though–kind of American Indian-sounding, only not. At least he got to be on the ten-thousand dollar bill.  No, really.

President Abe

Given the well-known intellectual superiority of our loyal readership, it embarrasses us to rehearse such absurdly obvious particulars as the fact that Lincoln proceeded to win the general election, but we are obliged to risk incurring your displeasure for the sake of keeping our casual readers informed, some of whom may be Common Core products. Everyone else presumably knows that Lincoln defeated Douglas—and as a matter of fact, simultaneously defeated John C. Breckenridge, the breakaway southern Democrat, and the Constitutional Party’s John Bell. Of all the candidates, Lincoln was the only one who gave no speeches during the campaign, which may account for his success.

War torn Abe

abe_lincoln_riding_a_grizzly_by_sharpwriter-d33u2nl

We discovered this photo at Deviant Art, & while we have been unable to authenticate it, it would have been difficult to hoax as there was no Photoshop in the 1860s.

Lincoln’s election so offended his southern states that they seceded from the Union. Lincoln took the view that secession was impermissible, thus necessitating the Civil War, which was really about slavery, but keep that to yourself. The Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in territories not under Union control. As “Uncle Billy” Sherman advanced farther south, more slaves were freed until all three million slaves held by the Confederacy were emancipated. Lincoln’s outspoken support contributed to the passage of the 13th Amendment, which criminalized slavery throughout the Republic even as Lincoln became the first president to blockade portions of his own country, or to suspend the writ of habeas corpus, an action that continues to draw criticism as unconstitutional, although Article I, Section 9, Clause 2 indicates (WOOF submits) otherwise.

Dead Abe

Obviously, Lincoln secured his legacy while avoiding extensive criticism of his wartime executive actions by attending a performance of “Our American Cousin” at Ford Theater where John Wilkes Booth fired a single ball from a .44 caliber derringer into the back of Mr. Lincoln’s head. As the smoke cleared, Lincoln’s mootable abuses of constitutional writ as well as his ostensibly ambivalent civil-rights utterances became the province of obscure professors and historians—who argue the fine points to this day, unnoticed. The popular takeaway included freeing the slaves, reunifying the country, compassion for the South in defeat, and a persona of wit and wisdom. Oh, and a lot of really fascinating ghostly-slash-paranormal occurrences into which we have no time delve; but that’s why we have the History Channel, after all.

Booth imagined that shooting Lincoln would make him wildly popular, which may explain why he auditioned for the stage version of 'Peter Pan' immediately afterward.

Booth imagined that shooting Lincoln would make him wildly popular, which may explain why he took a moment to audition for the stage version of ‘Peter Pan’ immediately afterward.

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Fast forwarding….or the part you can skip if you already know it all.

To avoid unnecessarily boring anyone, we will now breeze swiftly through the list of Republican presidents who followed Lincoln, pausing here and there for lengthier discussion should their tenures warrant.

grant imagesUlysses Simpson Grant, 1869-1877: arguably conservative in his support of  gold-based, anti-inflationary hard money and paying off the national debt with gold. He reduced government spending and limited the federal work force. His active reliance on the military to enforce civil rights laws and protect African Americans may be understood in terms of the postwar environment, especially since James West and Artemus Gordon didn’t really exist. Grant drank a lot and enjoyed cigars, which may explain Mark Twain’s support. His administration was organizationally corrupt, but like we said, he drank a lot and probably didn’t notice.

Rutherford B. Hayes, 1877-1881: Lost the popular vote but won an acrimoniously contested electoral victory when a Congressional commission ceded him 20 votes intensely disputed by Democrats. Unable to blame the Supreme Court until approximately the same thing occurred in 2000, Democrats conceded the election only because Hayes agreed to pull the military out of the Southern states, where Democrats strongly preferred leaving civil rights issues to the KKK.  He may be credited with a Reagan-esque affirmation of the Monroe Doctrine in denouncing France’s efforts to build the Suez Canal, which didn’t matter that much because France proved unable to build it. He is occasionally described as a “fiscal conservative,” but the evidence is tepid.

James A. Garfield, 1881 – 1881: Strove to enhance free trade and modernize the navy but was interrupted in these endeavors through no fault of his own.  A disgruntled underling concealed himself, progressively enough, by hiding in the ladies’ room at the Sixth Street Railroad Station whither Garfield expected to depart on vacation. Instead, he was shot in the back, following which the exertions of his physicians finished him off.

Chester A. Arthur, 1881-1885: Assumed the presidency after Garfield’s unscheduled departure. During his single term, the New York Sun wrote, “no adventurous project alarmed the nation,” and while that may not seem a solely conservative encomium, one can hardly avoid reflecting that no such comments will be uttered at the terminus of the current office-holder’s tenure.

Benjamin Harrison, 1889-1893: Son of William Henry Harrison, (who caught cold and died earlier, remember?). Harrison drove through the McKinley Tariff, imposing unprecedented protections on trade, while simultaneously attempting to federalize educational funding (at which he failed—but those were the good old days). He nevertheless managed to hike federal spending to the tune of one-billion dollars.

William McKinley, 1897-1901:Fought what were aptly entitled the Inflationary Acts and kept America on the gold standard, but imposed more tariffs on trade. McKinley is best known for getting shot to death by Paul Czolgosz, an Anarchist from Detroit who approached the President in Buffalo, opening fire with a .32 caliber Iver Johnson revolver, not the “Johnson .41,” immortalized by Charlie Poole’s 1926 folk tune. Glad we could clear that up.

trimagesTR: 1901-1809: Nowadays Theodore Roosevelt is criticized by conservative theorists for his trust busting progressivism and support for labor unions, perhaps without appropriate consideration given the zeitgeist. That aside, TR enlarged and brandished the Great White Fleet, settled the Russo-Japanese war back in the day when if a President won the Nobel Peace Prize it was for actually accomplishing something, and built the Panama Canal after creating Panama. While it is difficult to view TR’s crusades against the railroads and other perceived monopolies as conservative, his ebullient patriotism, full throated support for American exceptionalism and military might, his abhorrence of “hyphenated” Americanism, and his zealous support of the Second Amendment deliver him from the liberal camp. He also despised Woodrow Wilson, which is always an indication of sound judgment. Readers who doubt TR’s red-white-and-blue bonafides are advised to view John Milius’s 1975 masterpiece, The Wind and the Lion, in which Brian Keith “becomes” (as gushy film critics like to say) President Roosevelt.  And if you can’t base your opinions on John Milius movies, what’s left, right?

William Howard Taft, 1909-1913: Roosevelt’s protégé, began office as a trust-busting, conservationist in the TR mold, but swung a bit starboard for Teddy’s tastes even as the former president swung further toward progressivism.  Taft dabbled at trust busting, but directed his energies toward U.S. Steel, which TR had guaranteed immunity from such matters. The two men soon became enemies. Teddy therefore ran to Taft’s social left in the next election in an effort to unseat his former disciple. His plan was a partial success, since TR’s Bull Moose Party split the vote, ousting Taft but ensuring an easy path to the White House for the execrable Woodrow Wilson. Oops.

wgh3index

Harding always looks kind of angry in his photos, but in reality he really knew how to enjoy himself.

Warren G. Harding, 1921-1923: After Wilson gave us big labor, the federal income tax, World War I, a failed military adventure in Mexico, a failed military adventure in Russia,   the Federal Reserve, abject racism in the Oval Office and prohibition, Harding seemed like a breath of fresh air…if not exactly presidential in the strict sense.  At his inaugural he confused pretty much everybody by declaring “”Our most dangerous tendency is to expect too much from the government and at the same time do too little for it.” Immediately afterward, he left for Texas on vacation, after which he took a lengthy cruise. He drank in the Oval Office, engaged in open cronyism, invented the previously unknown word “normalcy,” enjoyed cards, cigars, and mistresses, but revitalized the executive branch’s support for civil rights. He died—probably of heart failure—during his first term. He was in no significant respect a conservative, but we still kind of like him.

Calvin Coolidge, 1923-1929: This is the man whose portrait graced the walls of Reagan’s White House because his presidency embodied the economic concept of laissez-faire. As was the case with most of his Republican predecessors, Coolidge strove to enhance the civil rights of Black Americans; while his staunch advocacy of small government, free-market economics, and a foreign policy unfettered by unnecessary entanglements and alliances, established the template for 20th century conservatism. He and Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon even advanced the novel hypothesis that lowering taxes would increase federal revenues, making Coolidge America’s first supply-sider.

1927, Washington, DC, USA --- 1927-Calvin Coolidge, named Chief Leading Eagle by the Sioux. 1927. BPA2# 2387 --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

In 1927 the Sioux bestowed the tribal name “Chief Leading Eagle” on Coolidge and gave him a war bonnet. It must be born in mind that the native peoples of that era were poorly educated and had yet to be taught by the white man of the evils of cultural appropriation.

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Let us pause here, in the fond afterglow of Calvin Coolidge, gentle readers, to ask ourselves: What discernible lineaments of something we might call American Conservatism are detectable in this chronology? Occasional tropisms manifest themselves here and there, but the idea that the Republican Party is consanguine with conservatism in North America is a myth, and the swing of the Democratic Party toward the extreme left is as much responsible for it as anything accomplished by Republican office holders.  If that seems an odd assertion, consider: Nothing more effectively vouchsafes the good standing of one sibling than the misbehavior of another—and the radical descent of the Democrat party into overt collectivism is as much responsible for the chimera of Republican conservatism as anything done or uttered by Taft or Coolidge, even if anybody in the GOP remembered anything uttered by Taft or Coolidge.

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The notorious Herbert Hoover

The first Republican widely identified as “conservative” is, of course, the notorious Herbert Hoover, whose stars so aligned that his presidency collided with the Great Depression, meaning that the Liberal Establishment Media have made his name synonymous with food lines, joblessness, and  conservative indifference. School children in the United States do not know much nowadays, but if they know anything at all about the depression, they know Hoover caused it, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt saved us from it. Ever since the smoke cleared from the Second World War, Americans have been deluged by entertainments and histories of every description dedicated to propounding this humbug.

Herbert Hoover-one thing everyone agrees on is that he lacked FDR's genial panache.

Herbert Hoover-one thing everyone agrees on is that he lacked FDR’s genial panache.

Poor Hoover—even Coolidge disliked him, resisting his candidacy at first, telling friends that “for six years that man has given me unsolicited advice—all of it bad.” It didn’t help that shortly after his election, awash in the post-war boom that characterized the “Roaring Twenties,” Hoover boldly predicted the end of scarcity in America, telling an audience: “We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land.”  Perhaps in anticipation, Hoover set about closing tax loopholes for the wealthy, enlarging the civil service, signing the inflationary Glass-Steagall Act allowing prime rediscounting at the Federal Reserve, doubling estate taxes and hiking corporate rates by 15 percent. When the depression hit, Hoover sought to counteract it by enacting the largest peacetime tax increase in history. He signed the Smoot Hawley Tariffs, which incurred a wave of international protectionism and deepened the panic.

The brilliant Murray Rothbard. Hey, Franklin, we got your anarcho-economics right here!"

The brilliant Murray Rothbard, father of anarcho-economics.

He next championed the Emergency Relief and Construction Act, authorizing a flood of funds for public works programs, and created the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, putting government into the business of bailing out business. Hoover, in other words, was by no means the aloof  practitioner of laissez-faire economics he is remembered as. In fact, Libertarian historian Murray Rothbard dubbed him the true father of the New Deal—a characterization Rothbard did not intend politely. Plainly, it is as ridiculous to view Hoover as the trickle-down free-marketeer who tried to ignore the Depression and pursue business as usual, as it is to portray FDR as the visionary egalitarian who saved us from it.  In fact, the Depression demonstrably worsened under FDR’s presidency. It was ended in 1941 by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who planned and oversaw the bombing of Pearl Harbor…but he never gets any credit.

admiral yamamota

Yamamoto gets little praise for awakening an industrial base FDR nearly suffocated–but we guess Shakespeare was right: “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with the Arizona and the Oklahoma.”

“Boy the way Glenn Miller played…”

all in the familyIn 1971, leftist TV producer Norman Lear introduced America to Archie Bunker, the cigar-champing, racist, ill-educated patriarch of the Bunker family on the wildly popular sitcom All in the Family. Archie (actor Carroll O’Connor) was intended by Lear to epitomize American conservatism, a perception that took root mainly among liberals (making them even easier to defeat in debate). Each week, Archie and wife Edith were viewed crooning the show’s opening theme, “Those Were the Days,” during which, Archie musically averred, “Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again!” This by way of shoring up our 31st president’s painstakingly artifiicialized legacy in which the name Hoover is deemed synonymous with right-wing indifference to the little guy.

Still today, Hoover’s main function in U.S. history is to exemplify the heartlessness of unchecked capitalism, and to serve as a heuristic juxtaposition to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whose New Deal policies are portrayed as a knick-of-time intervention that rescued Americans from the death grip of the free market.

The rehabilitation of Annie….

anie one

Annie may have grown up in an orphanage, but she obviously kept the complete works of Friedrich Hayek under her pillow!

Who doesn’t resonate to the sardonic strains of “We’d Like to Thank You, Herbert Hoover!” from the musical Annie? But Annie exemplifies the distortion of reality imperative to liberal revisionism. Besides reinforcing the nonsense about Hoover, it blithely ignores the fact that Harold Gray’s original cartoon heroine despised FDR and all his works. In fact, Gray’s “Little Orphan Annie” strip, although massively popular, was banned by several major newspapers because it was deemed too critical of Roosevelt and his policies. The Broadway musical and subsequent film recast Annie as a worshipful moppet cuddled adoringly in Roosevelt’s lap, while Daddy Warbucks chuckles in good-natured acquiescence. (O, the infamy!)

Is nothing sacred?

Ugh! Is nothing sacred?

A final layer of irony atop these falsities is the Right’s naive readiness to suppose, in keeping with the leftist agitprop, that Hoover’s legacy somehow anchored conservatism to the Republican brand.

“Irritable mental gestures…”

Lionel Trilling--never one to gesture

Lionel Trilling–never one to gesture irritably; always sophisticatedly mental.

In 1950, Lionel Trilling assured his sophisticated readership that “in the United States at this time liberalism is not only the dominant but even the sole intellectual tradition…. It is the plain fact [that] there are no conservative or reactionary ideas in general circulation.” Trilling is often derided for his obtuseness in this regard, but unjustly. At the time, conservatism as an ideological influence in American politics was virtually undetectable. Trilling covered his bet slightly by adding that occasional conservative grumblings were more probably attributable to “irritable mental gestures which seem to resemble ideas.” Thus, the sprinkling of radio and newspaper commentators who took identifiably right-of-center positions were consigned to a kind of menagerie of idiosyncratic oddballs–but Trilling’s smugness was short-lived.

Have your next cup of steaming java in your very own Julius & Ethel Rosenberg commemorative mug! (It's the bomb!)

Have your next cup of morning java in your very own Ethel & Julius Rosenberg commemorative mug! (It’s the bomb!)

As the Cold War dawned in stark confutation of the carefully concocted fantasy that Mother Russia was our good friend and noble ally, it became inconveniently obvious that Democrats played the chief role in accommodating Stalin while placing America’s interests on hold (when not selling them out completely). Despite this, the anti-Communist reaction to the New Deal’s betrayals was surprisingly bipartisan.  Today, of course, our children learn that this was that silly “Red Scare,” when otherwise sensible Americans began to hallucinate en masse, seeing agents of the Kremlin behind every tree and shrub. In fact, there were plenty of Reds to be scared of; communists practically owned the state department and guided presidential policies throughout the war and afterwards. They worked largely undetected as China fell to Mao and our nuclear secrets were channeled to Russia by “atom spies,” most of whom are now American folk heroes.

About HUAC: try to remember the good times!

Protest

HUAC is perhaps most reviled for grilling the Hollywood writers and directors they suspected of subversion–so here’s a good parlor game: Can you pick out members of the “Hollywood 10” who were not communists? Answer: No, you can’t.

The villains, of course, were the right-wing nutjobs manning the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), which, while certainly subject to a variety of legitimate criticisms, was often an important vehicle of information, and never the Republican monopoly it is nowadays remembered as. Chairman Martin Dies was a Democrat, as was Joe Starnes of Alabama who memorably asked a witness during an investigation of the Federal Theater Project whether the Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe was a member of the Communist Party. John Rankin, Democrat from Mississippi, once explained that HUAC would not investigate the KKK because “after all, [it] is an old American institution.” Edward J. Hart, Democrat from New Jersey, headed the Committee in its vital investigation of Alger Hiss, although Richard Nixon (R) played a key roll in helping Whittaker Chambers expose Hiss as a Red agent.  Nixon’s part in the pursuit of Hiss, immortalized for history by photos of Nixon staring fixedly into a hollow pumpkin (Chambers having hidden his photographic evidence of Hiss’s guilt in a pumpkin patch on his Maryland farm), seems to give liberals license to brand HUAC a Republican star chamber. Still more perplexingly, it is a rare liberal who won’t proceed to complain that the nefarious Joe McCarthy (Republican Junior Senator from Wisconsin) helmed the operation, driving it to ever-more-infernal excesses against the helplessly innocent. Even Bill O’Reilly once named Senator McCarthy as the House Committee’s chief villain, which, given a moment’s thought, is clearly impossible.

Remembering the Great Terror….

"I dunno, Roy, I think I'm sticking with the side of fries and the salad."

“I dunno, Roy, I think I’m sticking with the side of fries and the salad.”

It is also curiously difficult to find liberals who recall the early ’50s who do not thereupon pause to lament the tragic death of an uncle, close friend, or treasured professor, who is always said to have leapt from an  11th story window “because of Joe McCarthy!” To hear liberals tell it, one might reasonably assume that walking a municipal street in 1953 meant hazarding one’s life, given the cascade of bodies steadily thudding into the pavement.   In truth, the only corpse McCarthy’s exertions can reasonably be linked to is McCarthy’s. During HUAC’s primacy and throughout McCarthy’s supposed reign of terror, let’s say between 1947 to 1957, no American citizen was interrogated without benefit of legal counsel, no witness or suspect was arrested or detained without due judicial process, nor faced imprisonment without trial.  Compare this to the complaints from Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) only last June that citizens cannot be effectively disarmed because “due process is what’s killing us right now!” Joe McCarthy never arrested anyone, sent anyone to prison, or forced anybody out a window. In fact, the only death by suicide related to the McCarthy committee was the mysterious suicide of Ray Kaplan, who (apparently) jumped in front of a truck prior to testifying—but historians rarely mention that Kaplan was a friendly witness looking forward to testifying before the Subcommittee.  Hmmm.

Evel Knievel

Maybe learning golf might have helped...?

Farm boy arrives in the big city. Maybe learning golf might have helped…?

If McCarthy’s early popularity represented an identifiably conservative backlash against the perfidies of the New Deal and the architects of postwar accommodationism, it hardly represented the Republican Party. It was, after all, Mr. Republican himself, Dwight David Eisenhower, who orchestrated McCarthy’s demise, and who did so by enlisting his vice president’s talents as a backstage cutthroat. Disbelievers may check out William Bragg Ewald’s  Who Killed Joe McCarthy? which documents Ike’s issuance of a confidential fatwa against the Senator, prosecuted behind the scenes mainly by Nixon.  It is one of history’s hidden ironies that Nixon, whom liberals loathed as “the man who got Alger Hiss,” also got Tailgunner Joe.  In the establishment’s cherished tellings. the glory goes to Edward R. Murrow (first American to pioneer disguising maliciously edited propaganda as TV journalism). But in reality, McCarthy’s kamikaze-like dedication to anti-communism–his Black-Irish refusal to give an inch no matter the cost to himself or his career–worked in combination with his late-phase alcoholism to end his career and his life, leaving the Left to synonymize his name with the vilest infamies ever after. Somebody once asked Victor Gold whom McCarthy most reminded him of, and Gold replied without hesitating: “Evel Knievel!” Mister, we could use a man like Evel Knievel again.

evel aloft

Daddy’s dead.

daddyIn the aftermath of the New Deal, the renegade right-wing  Ivy League professor Willmoore Kendall explained in a letter: “It is not, in short, my faith in the majority which I’ve lost. The majority has, in sober truth, arrived at no conclusions in the last couple of years that, on the evidence offered to it, I could fairly have expected it to reject. My concern, and disillusionment, is with the people who could have given them evidence of another kind.”  He accused the wealthy and intellectual elites of “the most gigantic and unpardonable trahison des clercs of which History offers any record.”  It’s only gotten worse. The idea of an enlightened aristocracy is wonderfully Jeffersonian. One can relate it to Ayn Rand’s ideal of the creative titan who bemoans our collectivist stumblings and takes us grandly to task. But, as Kendall presaged, another sort of aristocracy now holds sway–a ruling class of anti-American academics, wealthy capitalists who embarrassedly denounce capitalism, slavishly liberal media morons, and a compliantly leftwing glitteratti. In other words, Howard Rourke turned out to be Mark Zuckerberg, and Daddy Warbucks is dead.

The Golfer….

ike the golferBut what about Eisenhower? Remembered now as the Republican conservative who gave us America’s golden era of postwar prosperity, he seems a likely mantle bearer for the Right; surely we can like Ike in confidence?  In his 1959 primer Up from Liberalism, William F. Buckley, Jr. denounced the Eisenhower administration passionately and, we submit, accurately. On one occasion, Eisenhower, buffeted by predictable Marxist denunciations from Soviet Defense Minister Georgy Zhukov, became frazzled, remarking that it was difficult to defend Western civilization against such claims. Buckley rightly reproved the President’s ambivalence, writing that Ike  “clearly did not know what he was defending, how to defend what he defended, or even whether what he defended was defensible.” Indeed, Eisenhower’s marked inability to stand against any communist demand in the European theater during and following, the war, bespeaks exactly such an absence of insight and conviction.

up indexBut Buckley wasn’t finished; he went on to denounce Eisenhower’s vision as: “…an attitude…undirected by principle, unchained to any coherent ideas as to the nature of man and society, uncommitted to any sustained estimate of the nature or potential of the enemy.” Eisenhower, Buckley lamented, seemed “to govern in a fashion as to more or less please more or less everybody.” This may explain why everybody liked Ike, but it also confirms that he was in no strict sense a conservative. It also explains why Richard Welsh of the John Birch Society accused Eisenhower of being a communist, a charge he demanded Buckley address at a conservative banquet. Welsh listed his compilation of Ike’s sins of omission, each of which, he noted, advanced the cause of international communism, and demanded, “So Bill, doesn’t that make him a communist?” Buckley replied, “No, Richard, it makes him a golfer.”

Stolen convention!!

goldwater“What in God’s name has happened to the Republican Party?” angsted Henry Cabot Lodge as he staggered out of the febrile 1964 Republican Convention, “I hardly know any of these people!” And the most important person he didn’t know was Clif White. White parked himself in a trailer outside California’s Cow Palace and operated like a chess master. He had already led stunningly successful grassroots movements in several states recruiting delegates for the conservative cause, and now he orchestrated through a battery of telephones and walkie talkies, the seizure of the GOP convention for the advancement of an authentic conservative, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater.

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Clif White, with time stamp because he was so frenetic they only have videos of him!

White opened a meeting of his right-wing irregulars by explaining “We’re going to take over the Republican Party!” He didn’t say “take it back,” because he knew better. And he succeeded. But only for one election season. Goldwater’s repudiation at the polls made conservatism a dirty word to the GOP establishment, which reasserted its authority firmly in 1968.  Barry Goldwater scared the bejabbers out of the Democrats and the Republicans.  Eisenhower despised him and the Rockefeller Wing of the party hated his guts. Beyond that, the GOP elite never got past the drubbing Goldwater endured on election day, which occurred in part because of the candidate’s hopelessly bluff campaign style. “Sometimes,” he casually remarked, “I think we oughta just lob one into the men’s room at the Kremlin.” Offered a swig of a campaign soda beverage named in his honor (“Goldwater”), the Senator winced and opined: “This tastes like piss!” Meanwhile, the incumbent, Lyndon Johnson, was successfully persuading millions of voters that his opponent was a psychotic nuclear Napoleon who hated Blacks, hated the poor, and yearned to plunge us–horror of horrors–into a war in Vietnam. Most of all, RINOs resent to this day that Goldwater’s candidacy laid down stakes for conservatism under their “big tent.”

Or...not.

Or…not.

Even now, the liberal establishment continues to complain about Goldwater, generally maintaining the same standard of zany implausibility. A writer for Politico relates in all apparent earnestness, that “Goldwater had once proposed literally—to saw off the eastern seaboard and let it float out to sea. This was no mere figure of speech.” (Dear Lord, what a maniac!) Fifty-two years after Goldwater’s flippant crack, and eighteen years after the man’s death, the liberal media are still spouting absurdities about him. Meanwhile, his warnings about social security’s insolvency, big government’s encroachments on our liberties, and liberalism’s assault on our Constitution and ethical standards have reified.  It is our contention that any authentic conservatism in American presidential politics began with Barry Morris Goldwater’s Quixotic 1964 campaign. It may have been a disaster, but it sewed the seeds of a powerful conservative movement–and one as savagely disparaged by the GOP elitists as by their Democrat counterparts.

The Keynesian

rmnAnd next comes….Richard Nixon.  Yes, he faced impeachment for offenses that fade to insignificance juxtaposed to the enormities routinely committed by the Obama Administration, and yes, G. Gordon Liddy and Pat Buchanan supported him, but his presidency bore few conservative earmarks. He ended the conflict in Vietnam and might well have saved South Vietnam from being overwhelmed by the communist north had he remained in office—but he didn’t.  His Kissinger-inspired mission of diplomacy to communist China during which he legitimated Mao Tse Tung on the world stage was, put succinctly, nauseous. He next unveiled his ultra-leftist “New Economic Plan,” featuring wage and price controls that exceeded Teddy Kennedy’s wildest dreams, explaining,“We are all Keynesians now.” Nixon also implemented federal affirmative action, proposed a single payer healthcare system almost 40 years before Barack Obama, and proposed a guaranteed annual income. He created the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration without whose assistance we might never have invented global warming. Three of four of Nixon’s Supreme Court appointees supported Roe vs. Wade.  Worse, he paranoiacally placed himself in a position that ultimately required his resignation and ramified in the elevation to office of Jerry Ford—a man whom David Susskind described with unaccustomed acuity as a “well-intentioned mediocrity.”

elvis and dick

Fun parlor game: Can you pick out the conservative in this picture? HINT: If there’s a liberal in the room, ask him which is the conservative, and pick the other guy!

LBJ liked to explain Ford's intellectual deficiencies as the result of playing college football without a helmet. Everyone thought he was kidding, but recently discovered photographic evidence seems to lend credence to Johnson's anecdote.

LBJ liked to explain Ford’s intellectual deficiencies as the result of playing college football without a helmet. Everyone thought he was kidding, but recently-discovered photographic evidence lends credence to Johnson’s anecdotes.

About Ford it may be said that he was indeed well-intentioned, and predispositionally less liberal than Nixon proved, but he is also the man who, as a Michigan Congressman, informed Lyndon Johnson that he and wife Betty were about to embark on a fact-finding mission to Vietnam whereupon Johnson took Ford’s hand in that warmly crocodilian way of his, and oiled “Jerry, while you’re there-be sure to visit the pagodas, they’re beautiful!” Ford replied, “Mr. President, we’re not only going to visit the Pagodas–Betty and I are going to have dinner with them!” In other words, Ford was unequipped to grasp the intricacies of any profoundly felt political philosophy, in consequence of which he was, of course, a moderate. He might be viewed as reminiscent of Eisenhower in this respect, sans Ike’s familiarity with command, or favorable zeitgeist. While debating Jimmy Carter in 1976, Ford insisted his presidency had kept Eastern Europe free of Soviet domination (a lapsus lingua he might easily have walked back, but regrettably chose to to defend–ineptly–giving Carter the win).  Carter pulled well ahead in the polls, especially with every news outlet in America proclaiming him a genius of previously unimagined proportions. Sound familiar?

rwr posterAs everyone now knows, Jimmy Carter’s only real genius turned out to be for messing the country up so badly that the only good thing about his term in office was that it virtually assured  the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. Reagan was our finest 20th Century president, a fact the Liberal Establishment remains devoted to obscuring by every means at its disposal. It remains mandatory liberal group think that Reagan was a clueless imbecile, but if so, he was an imbecile who saved the economy, made the energy crisis disappear, resurrected the military, cut taxes, rolled back the Brezhnev Doctrine in Grenada, bombed Gaddafi into reasonableness, and–yes–ended the Cold War, which particularly irritates liberals whose foreign-affairs gurus of that era uniformly preached the irresistible expansion of Soviet power and the absolute necessity of accommodation rather than confrontation. Asked what his strategy for managing Cold War tensions might be, Reagan smiled and rasped, “My strategy is pretty simple, really. We win, they lose.” Obviously, the Left hated him and hates him no less today–but it requires our attention here that the Republican party hated him almost as much, thwarting his 1976 effort to seize the nomination from President Ford, and resisting his 1980 campaign tooth and nail. Had it been left up to the GOP cognoscente, Jerry Ford would have once again led the ticket in 1980 despite his previously demonstrated inability to defeat Carter even as an incumbent.  As with Goldwater, the party brass thought Reagan was insane. These are the voices that today prod Republican voters, in condescendingly avuncular tones, to accept Reagan’s inappositeness to our current situation.

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Jennifer Rubin –The Washington Post’s staff is prevailing on new owner Jeff Bezos to fire her–they think she’s much too conservative.

Take Jennifer Rubin, a faux-conservative on the Washington Post’s payroll, who mocks opposition to same sex marriage, higher taxes, and come-one-come-all immigration as “the conservatism of yesterday.” “In fact,” she counsels, these “conservative“ positions are not necessarily conservative; they are part of an effort to avert the party’s eyes from the dramatic economic, social, demographic and cultural changes that have taken place over the past 30 years. They confuse the Reagan-era expression of conservatism with conservatism itself.” This is essentially a Maoist brainwashing technique–the manipulation of meaning and narrative to, in this case, make conservatism appear to be something conservatism cannot be, otherwise known as liberalism.  Douglas MacArthur once reminded FDR that “the things I value never change,” and if this conservative axiom is replaceable by a pragmatism of the nonce, than nothing remains to conserve. Rubin goes on to lament that “reactionary” organizations like the Heritage Foundation have failed to evolve as she prescribes. Heritage has gone so astray, she says, that it now attempts to “insulate the party from heretics and cement an agenda it advanced 30 years ago.” Insulate the party? Is Rubin daft? The Party qua the Party fully expected to put Jeb Bush up against Hillary. It reviled Ted Cruz, whom Boehner called the spawn of Satan. Jennifer, your brand of “conservatism” is alive and well in the GOP. It is the conservative movement that is insulated from it. Your essential error, besides misunderstanding the conservative ethos, is confusing it with the Republican Party.

George the First

george 1George Herbert Walker Bush—what can we say? The man who said “read my lips, no new taxes,” and then forgot he said it, (possibly because he couldn’t tell Reaganomics from “Voodoo”–or maybe because he forgot to read his own lips) may at least be remembered as leading us to a crushing victory over Iraq in 1991, even though the bad guy got away…and despite the fact that the Presidential nerve might have failed, had Margaret Thatcher not insisted at an auspicious moment, “Oh, George, this is no time to go all wobbly!” (Thanks for that, Mrs. Thatcher!)

George, son of George

imagesNow about “W”—George 43 still enjoys a lot of right-of-center affection, and his support in general has grown considerably now that Americans have Obama to compare him to, but when you think about it, any American president compares favorably to the current office holder. And while “W” gets high points for tax cuts, supporting the sanctity of traditional marriage, opposing partial-birth abortion, and for his noble effort to reform social security through privatization (opposed by the Democrats who used their media machine to persuade Americans it was a crazed attempt to starve old people), it remains difficult to call his presidency conservative, especially given enthusiastic funding hikes for various government programs including the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health combined with “W’s” seeming unfamiliarity with the concept of the veto, creating spending explosions rivaling those incurred by Lyndon Johnson’s “Great-Society.” He must also be viewed as condoning illegal immigration–a blithe acceptance of foreign nationals streaming  across our southern border that amounted then, as now, to dereliction of duty by the executive branch.

A brief apostrophe to the unhinged:

It is also necessary, we suppose, to observe Bush’s involvement in 911, when he and Dick Cheney posed as elevator repairmen in order to dump massive volumes of Thermite into the elevator shafts of the World Trade Center, and then, having some left over, decided arbitrarily to do the same thing in Building Number 7,  which otherwise could not possibly have collapsed. Moreover, many consider Bush’s decision during Hurricane Katrina to blow up the dike system protecting New Orleans in order to drown Black people unacceptably racist and meanspirited. There, we got that out of the way, and now back to reality:

lizards

Oh, except to add: the whole Bush family and its chief advisers are reptile aliens from the Draco constellation– that’s right!–here’s photographic proof from the Internet!

Culling all curs….

rimagesIn examining current efforts too drive conservatism from the ranks of the GOP, let’s look at the term RINO and consider its inherent inaccuracy. Calling left-leaning Republicans “Republican In Name Only” bolsters the misapprehension that Republican officials are conservative except for rare instances of apostasy when this or that misguided freshman may utter some sentiment at odds with his party’s profoundly dextral values. We have spent quite a few paragraphs demonstrating the ludicrosity of this characterization, so why not adjust the terminology to better fit the phenomenon?  A Republican majority capable of surrendering its power of the purse, rubber stamping Obama’s trade and budgetary disasters, cheerfully backing his errant globalism, “crossing the aisle” to seek “immigration reform,” ignoring its constitutional role in treaty ratification while permitting rule by fiat to continue unchallenged, and which preceded all this with a promise not to impeach the president no matter what–is in no respect a party of conservative opposition. It isn’t any sort of opposition. It is a confederacy of jelly fish…and the natural abode of John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Susan Collins, Paul Ryan, and of course, Lindsey Graham, as the Beaver.

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce

In his Devil’s Dictionary (1911), Ambrose Bierce reviewed the traditional parliamentary use of “honorable,” informing his readers that “In legislative bodies it is customary to mention all members as honorable.” To demonstrate, Bierce offered his readers a sample locution, namely, “the honorable gentleman is a scurvy cur.” A “cur,” of course, is a dog, or, according to Merriam Webster, “a dog that is a mix of different breeds : a low, bad, or disliked dog,” and by metaphoric extension, ” a surly or cowardly fellow.” This serves nicely, we think, as a more descriptive acronym for Republican hacks who hide their progressive identities and play at conservatism until the rubes send them back to Washington.  Such politicians may be 100% Republican–but they are only Conservatives Until Reelected. 

The CURs, we submit, have damaged the GOP beyond repair.  The new media have made it impossible for them to win elections pretending to be Barry Goldwater only to serve out their terms as Lowell Weicker; and simply  having an “R” after one’s name no longer beguiles the yokels.  As Romney’s loss in 2012 proved, faced with the option of voting for the lesser of two evils, at least 3 million registered Republicans won’t vote at all. Thus, while it may be perfectly defensible to say Republicans have no obligation to be conservative, it is equally true that without its conservative base, the GOP has no hope of winning elections, and conservatives have no obligation to be Republicans.

A quantum of solace…

quantum

The title is from a James Bond short story by Fleming, recently coopted as the title of a Bond film which, keeping with tradition, bore no recognizable resemblance to the short story.

The CURs (or RINOs) have yet to absorb this reality. When they do, they will not attempt to be more authentically conservative–they will blame conservative talk radio–which they already hate with a passion– and “cross the aisle” to look statesmanlike in their eagerness to help rid America of it.  It won’t help.  The rubes are hip, and the GOP elites have already exhausted what Ian Fleming might call the electorate’s quantum of solace. Promising to be good over and over won’t work in most districts–but even if voters in some states are preternaturally forgiving, other factors threaten destruction for other reasons.

The Trump card….

trump card Talk radio is also widely blamed by the GOP for Donald Trump, an irony of near-Sophoclean proportions. Trump, no matter what else may be said of  him, is a sort of political tulpa conjured in wrath by a scorned electorate. As such, he may wittingly or unwittingly become the agent of doom for the GOP. One may freely despise, love, or wax indifferent to Donald Trump personally and still see three ways he could terminate the Republicans. First, and most topically, the GOP may yet contrive to deny Trump the party’s nomination by steamrolling him at the convention and replacing him with some acceptable CUR–somebody they know we’d prefer, too, if we weren’t so stupid.  The immediate result in Cleveland, obviously, would be blood on the walls–but this eludes the CURs, so nestled are they within the Beltway bubble. Besides, if Trump is unseated, he will run independently–and the GOP will come in third. If he wins the  floor fight at the convention, he will run as a Republican, but the entire Republican infrastructure will go up in flames. The third possibility is one in which Trump receives the GOP nomination, runs against Hillary, and loses. This would entail substantial numbers of big-name Republicans siding with Hillary, some overtly, others implicitly or secretly. WOOF knows the Republican “leadership” currently favors this option–a gambit, they believe, in which a tactical sacrifice (the White House) conduces toward a strategic victory (the party leadership remains intact and retains its power).  But a party that prefers keeping its Good Old Boys unruffled to winning the presidency is functionally moribund.  The GOP is wilfully embracing extinction–a mastodon strolling heedlessly toward the La Brea Tar Pits, contemplating lunch.

Senate Majority Leader McConnell--our man crushing the Tea Party

Senate Majority Leader McConnell–protecting us from the Tea Party.

For the time being, Mitch McConnell may be able to wheel, deal, backstab and fundraise on such a scale that his vow to “crush [the Tea Party] everywhere” seems plausible, but this is hardly to say rational.   Once conservatives awaken to the level of philosophical rejection such rantings embody, and the chilling degree of amoral self-absorption they betray–  they will storm the exits. Without them, the GOP cannot win elections. Trump supporters, taken as another subset of GOP voters, may overlap the conservatives, but in many important respects they are a distinct species. Lose the Trumpites and the party loses not only their passion and sheer numbers– it simultaneously writes off many freshly recruited Independents, Hispanics, Blacks, and yes, Gays, who arrived with Trump. At some juncture the CUR leadership may realize that saving the party from “threats” like Cruz, Paul, Lee, and such embarrassing rustics as Sarah Palin, leaves them with tickets exclusively featuring their squishy, unprincipled “moderate” chums, whom millions of registered Republicans rightly despise.

A cautionary prehistoric tale… 

spear tipThe precursor to the elephant, the mastodon, disappeared from the North American continent at the end of the Pleistocene period, around 11,000 years ago. Most contemporary theorists now agree that the population dwindled over centuries rather than vanishing as the result of some sudden catastrophe. It is increasingly theorized, moreover, that humans may have played a key role–a theory that met with establishment scorn until a 13,800-year-old spear tip was found embedded in a Mastodon’s ribs. Soon more spear tips showed up in Mastodon skulls and ribcages.

Did cavemen kill the mastodons and then dump them in tar pits as a counter-forensic ploy? Whatever the case, those little cave dwellers who were not even supposed to exist before the Clovis period, hunted the Mastodon, possibly to extinction, or at least assisted nature in effecting its demise. And despite growing evidence to this effect, many archeologists persist in RINO-like levels of denial.”Maybe,” one expert told London’s Daily Mail, “the reason was something completely different, for instance the climate.” And we suspect the Mastodons were just as dismissive of those pesky pre-Clovisians in their day. Perhaps they concocted derogatory nicknames for them– although nobody at this remove can recall the pre-Clovisian term for “tea bagger.”

"That does it, I'm not doing any more of these town hall appearances!"

“That does it, I’m not doing any more of these town hall appearances!”

thumbnail_largeSoon, we predict, the GOP will go the way of the Mastodon– a victim of its inability to adjust to unexpected phenomena like Donald Trump, and its failure to realize the stupidity of brushing off all those pesky neanderthalic tribespeople in flyover country. Something new and better suited to our epoch and our cause will emerge from the bone pile–necessarily a movement less dismissive of conservative and libertarian beliefs; a party free of fossils like Boehner, Ryan, McCain, Graham, and Jeb!–all evolutionary rejects writ large. Conservatism and pro-Constitutionalism will regroup and flourish beneath some more vibrant banner while the Republican Party follows the Whigs, the Know-Nothings, the Anti-Masonic Party, the American Vegetarian Party,and the never-to-be-forgotten Rent is Too Damn High Party, into obscurity.

In fact, years hence, when some intrepid reporter asks Boehner or Graham whether selling out the American Right, tantruming over primary results not to their liking, abdicating their constitutional authority, and consistently misrepresenting their intentions to voters might have contributed to their party’s undoing, we fully expect the interviewee to reply, “Maybe the reason was something completely different, for instance the climate.” WOOF PRINT

annie annie4

 

 

KNIFE VIOLENCE: IT’S TIME TO RECOGNIZE THE THREAT! (WOOF calls for common-sense knife laws to control this silent killer in our midst!)

In "April is the cruelest month" forum on April 1, 2016 at 1:25 am
Girl-With-Knife-830x550

Has America’s romance with the knife gone too far?

Back to Blood

In a scene that seemed borrowed from the pages of a Tom Wolfe novel, the edgy/arty patrons of the ultra-chic Art Basel Miami Beach exhibition at the Miami Beach Convention Center watched in rapt fascination as a woman amongst them was stabbed repeatedly in the neck and arms during the show’s main event. Initially, witnesses uniformly assumed they were being entertained, mistaking the assault for a theatrical enactment. The stabbing occurred adjacent to the collected works of Naomi Fisher and Agatha Wara, two artists whose presentation was collectively entitled “The Swamp of Sagittarius.” Artist Fisher subsequently explained that “A guy walked up to me and said, ‘I thought I saw a performance, and I thought it was fake blood, but it was real blood!’”

Miami stabbing victim suffers for art.

Miami stabbing victim suffers for art.

As it dawned on Fisher the stabbing was not a guerilla theater recital, she exclaimed, “It’s horrible … I’m so freaked out…I feel nauseous.”  But it was no time to quibble over grammar. As local artist Rudy Perez casually snapped cell phone photos of the victim slumping to the floor with bloodstains spreading across her white blouse, security guards hastened to cordon off the scene. Attendees showed no signs of panic, however, since the majority of them misconstrued the newly strung police tape as part of the show. Enthralled by the spectacle, two Coconut Grove women stood at the tape’s edge and sipped champagne until a reporter convinced them that the stabbing was genuine. “It makes me very nervous,” declared onlooker Sune Smith, whose friend, Amanda DeSeta added “It’s a very strange place for something like this to happen.” Gregg Hill, a visiting New York sculptor, agreed. “I never would have thought there would be a stabbing at Art Basel,” he told reporters. “People didn’t really know what had happened. It was calm and everyone was milling around and talking.”

"Inhale, Exhale" by artist Naomi Fisher--who becomes

“Inhale, Exhale” by artist Naomi Fisher–who apparently only becomes “freaked out” and “nauseous” when the violence is three dimensional.

The victim was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital and is expected to make a full recovery. Her assailant was arrested at the scene. Calm has returned to the brie-and-chablis sybarites of Dade County’s art community—but the events of that bloody December 4th remain of the utmost moment, symbolizing as they do an unchecked reign of violence both in America and abroad attributable to a weapon statistically proven to be five times deadlier than the nefarious ‘assault rifle.’ Absolutely silent, concealable, and capable of inflicting an infinite number of wounds without reloading, this historically fabled instrument of death may have flown for decades below the radar of the liberal establishment, but it has not escaped the keen eye of WOOF, and we devote ourselves in this article to exposing it as the societal menace it is. Yes, Woofketeers, we refer here to that most insidious, most commonly employed, widely disseminated and historically favored of all murderous utensils— the knife!

Avoid the jelly!

Fasail Mohammed--just another schoolyard juvenile delinquent.

Fasail Mohammed–just another schoolyard juvenile delinquent.

Faisal Mohammed was a computer science and engineering major at University of California, Merced; but on November 4th he forgot about all that and, with a broad smile on his face according to witnesses, set about stabbing and slashing people in the vicinity of his freshman general education class. Faisal had carved up four victims by the time police arrived on the scene and shot him dead. Wounded were two of Faisal’s fellow students, a university employee, and a construction worker. Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke was the first public official to remind reporters that Mohammed’s actions should in no respect be considered terroristic, pointing out that young Faisal was merely upset with certain persons on campus.

Sheriff Warnke shows obvious relief at the discovery that Mohammed’s attacks were unrelated to terrorism.

Nothing in Mohammad’s history, Warnke assured the press, nor on his computer, nor in his belongings, indicated anything other than “personal motivations” for the attack. Nor did Sheriff Warnke consider the fact that Mohammad’s backpack contained zip-tie handcuffs, petroleum jelly, a night scope, and a hammer to break windows, indicative of anything other “than a teenage boy that got upset with fellow classmates and took it to the extreme.” True, Sheriff Warnke later  confirmed that a printout of the Islamic State (ISIS) flag was prominent among Faisal’s belongings and yes, Faisal also jotted notes to himself reminding himself to, “continually praise Allah,” while knifing his classmates, and yes, he left a manifesto that prominently averted to Allah as well as the author’s desire to behead quite a few people, but investigators insisted there were no indications of any associations with terror. The petroleum jelly, by the way, was to squirt on the floor, causing first responders to slip and fall. In the event, it seems not to have worked, but we knew you were probably wondering.

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“Exceptionally rare!”

dylan quick

Dylan Quick fantasized about stabbing people since childhood.

An attack by a knife-wielding student on a college campus near Houston back in 2013 left 14 people wounded – two of them seriously – and might have sufficed to put authorities on alert  regarding the potential dangers of knife ownership in America, but the Liberal Establishment shrugged off the attack in which Dylan Quick, 20, ran the breadth of the Lone Star College’s CyFair campus, slashing fourteen students as he went.  The local  newspaper accurately denounced the knife attack as “yet another brazen daytime assault” but authorities quickly trotted out criminologist Grant Duwe, flown in all the way from the Minnesota Department of Corrections, to explain that such concerns were unwarranted. “Mass stabbings are exceptionally rare,” Duwe told reporters, adding that since 1901 there have only been seven mass stabbings in a public place in the USA where four or more victims were killed. ” Duwe omitted any discussion of knife attacks before 1901, knife attacks wounding less than four people, and knife attacks occurring in other-than-public settings. With a bit of prompting from reporters, however, he recalled that “Mass stabbings usually occur in the home, where the suspect uses a knife on unsuspecting family members.”  (Oh, those! ) James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University, Boston, explained that Mr. Quick’s slashing spree was “unlikely to lead to anything resembling a national debate on knife safety or tighter regulations on their sales,”  because “knives just don’t create that same sense of fear.” Well, gentle readers, WOOF is here to change all that!

Stabbing people often seems to appeal to couples. Andrew and Alecia Schmuhl (above) are charged with a torture-and-stabbing home intrusion in Virginia. Both Schmuhls were arrested following a 4 mile car chase. Andrew was wearing only a diaper. WOOF is not making this up.

Stabbing people often seems to appeal to couples. Andrew and Alecia Schmuhl (above) are charged with a torture-and-stabbing home intrusion in Virginia. Both Schmuhls were arrested following a 4 mile car chase. Andrew was wearing only a diaper.

According to Duwe (rhymes with Bowie– Jim that is, not David), the “first major high-profile mass stabbing” in the USA was the 1989 case of Ramon Salcido, a vineyard worker in California who killed seven people, including his wife and two small daughters, before fleeing to Mexico. Salcido was later extradited and convicted of the murders. Indeed, these slayings constituted a vicious example of knife violence—but Duwe’s assertion that the Salcido case was the first high profile stabbing incident is ridiculous.

swirchblade knifeOne of America’s most notorious mass murderers, Richard Speck, began his criminal career on January 9, 1965, when he assaulted a woman in a parking lot in Alabama, brandishing a 17-inch carving knife and demanding she keep quiet and  yield to him sexually. The lady, being a Texan, chose to struggle and yell instead, so Speck fled and was subsequently arrested and briefly imprisoned.  In 1966 Speck stabbed a man in a barroom brawl but was freed after paying a ten dollar fine for  disturbing the peace. Next, he raped a 65 year old woman at knife point and committed several additional felonies before finding his way to the  townhouse at 2319 E. 100th Street in Chicago where he famously proceeded to kill nursing students Patricia Matusek, Nina Jo Schmale, Pamela Wilkening, Suzanne Farris, Mary Ann Jordan, Merlita Gargullo, and Valentina Pasion, with a switchblade. Suffice it that knife slayings were prominent in the news during the early ’60s.

Orhan Cerimagic and Brittney Mitchell are charged with a stabbing home invasion in a Chicago that authorities say left two people dead on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. Otherwise, they make a cute enough couple...but we don't think he's good enough for her.

Orhan Cerimagic and Brittney Mitchell are charged with a stabbing home invasion in a Chicago that authorities say left two people dead on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. Otherwise, they make a cute enough couple…but we don’t think he’s good enough for her.

Among many sordid crimes that rounded out that twisted epoch, the whole Charlie Manson imbroglio was a stab-and-slash fest.  True, one assailant brought along a 22-caliber “Buntline Special” and used it here and there to partial effect, but almost everyone murdered during the Tate and LaBianca killings was hacked, slashed or stabbed to death by everything from kitchen knives to a chrome-plated bayonet, contributed by Manson.  For that matter, so-called “serial killers” tend overwhelmingly to prefer  knives over other available weaponry. The sundry murders of young females committed by Edmund Emil Kemper III (who served as the basis for “Buffalo Bill” in Silence of the Lambs); the ritualistic slayings performed by dedicated Satanist Ricardo Leyva Muñoz Ramírez (nicknamed “The Night Stalker” by Los Angeles tabloids in the mid ’80s); and the bloody trail of corpses left by Tommy Lynn Sells, a Texan who may have killed as many as 70 people before his capture in 1999, provide only a minute sample of such crimes–each directly traceable to an abnormal fascination with knives!  

manson family

The “Manson Family” in 1968–apparently they literally crawled out from under a rock.

Serial Butt Stabber remains at large…

Victim of parking lot poker undergoes treatment in Maryland.

Victim of the parking lot poker undergoes treatment in Fairfax, VA.

The sado-sexual fixation many assailants exhibit with regard to penetrating a victim’s flesh by stabbing or cutting is a documented psychological aberration. In his 2002 compilation The  Concise   Dictionary of Crime and Justice, Mark S. Davis refers to this obsession as “piquerism,” which the author defines as a “sexual interest [in] penetrating the skin of another person, sometimes seriously enough to cause death…a paraphilia and a form of sadism.” Often, these tendencies surface in less than homicidal intensity. Over the summer of 2011, numerous shoppers at the mall in Fairfax, Virginia were assaulted by a felon local newscasters dubbed the Serial Butt Stabber. The mystery stabber repeatedly assailed  female shoppers in the mall’s parking lot, jabbing their buttocks through their clothing and then making good his escape.

Piquerism–a looming epidemic?

"Hmmmm..."

“Hmmmm…”

Or, take the sad case of Frank Ranieri. Long before the mysterious butt slasher of Fairfax Virginia entered the picture, Frank Ranieri was arrested in the Arden Heights section of Staten Island and charged with assault. The police report states that Mr. Ranieri was in the habit of paying women “large amounts of money,” in receipt of which, the ladies agreed to allow Mr. Ranieri to jab their posteriors with “sharp objects.”  In the end (no pun intended) Mr. Ranieri got off with ten years probation.

Dr. Mark Griffiths is Mark D. Griffiths is an English chartered psychologist focusing in the field of behavioural addictions. If he discovers us, he'll probably loaths us, but he has a swell blog--and besides, we love everybody!!

Dr. Mark Griffiths is an English chartered psychologist focusing on the field of behavioural addictions. If he discovers us, he’ll probably loaths us, but he has a swell blog–and besides, we love everybody!!

Let’s move on to Dr. Mark Griffiths who maintains a fascinating website devoted to “addictive, obsessional, compulsive and/or extreme behaviours.” In an article on thesubject  of piquerism, Dr. Griffiths first notes “the relatively regular incidence of piquerism in the popular media,” and then admits he “was quite surprised to find next to nothing academically” despite the fact that “there are numerous examples of such practices.” He further laments that “There are passing references to piquerism in the clinical and forensic science literature but nothing…on the prevalence or etiology of the disorder.” Well, see, Dr. Griffith? That’s just where we here at WOOF come in handy–alerting the public to what academia won’t acknowledge…take, for example, the article in which we exposed “liberal delirium” as a mental disorder. (The casually or intensely curious may locate our article by clicking here. Those who find most WOOF articles annoyingly turgid may wish to scroll down to the heading “Bury my Heart at U of C ” and save time!)

teen with knifeHappily, Dr. Griffiths finds some solace in the book  Juvenile Sexual Homicide  (2002) by Dr. Wade Myers,  Dr. Myers having devoted an entire section to the topic. Suffice it for our purposes that Myers’s accounts of sado-sexual teenage murder are too appalling for the genteel eyes of our readership, but would prove more than sufficient, if consulted, to establish to any reasonable person’s satisfaction that piquerism often attains a homicidal intensity reflecting  sexual motivation. Those among our gentle readers who are willing to risk being appalled in the name of science may view the entire story on Dr. Griffith’s excellent blog site by clicking here.  Chillingly, after consulting Dr. Richard Walters (Omega Crime Assessment Group, and former prison psychologist for the Michigan Department of Corrections) Dr. Myers concluded that: “The prevalence rate of piquerism is unknown.” Yipes. And this fact alone suggests that it is time we have a national discussion about—knives!  

Do androids dream of electric carving knives?

And this thought necessarily leads us to Sigmund Freud. We know. We are asking a lot of our beloved readers–expecting them to keep up with this screed’s weaponological sardonicism, and  simultaneously abide a revisitation of Freud’s largely superannuated hypotheses. But we are interested here only in the Viennese cokie’s theorizations pertinent to knives–or put more subtly, the meaning of phallic symbolism in his writings on the unconscious.  Restricting ourselves (so as not to unduly tax the patience of our beloved readers) to Freud’s theories of dream analysis, we offer this portion from the Shrink Meister’s  A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis (1920), which we have severely truncated, first in order to maintain pertinence, and second, as a further gesture of considerateness toward our readers:

Am early 20th century hanging lamp. What was Sigmund thinking?

Am early 20th century hanging lamp. What was Sigmund thinking?

“The dream has a number of representations for the male genital that may be called symbolic… the male organ has a symbolical substitute in objects of like form… symbolized by objects that have the characteristic, in common with it, of penetration into the body and consequent injury, hence pointed weapons of every type, knives, daggers, lances, swords… as well as its representation by other objects that have the power of elongation, such as hanging lamps, collapsible pencils, etc.”

Salvador Dali designed the scenery for Gregory Peck’s symbolic dream sequences in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1945 “Spellbound,” a thriller immersed in psychiatric theory that otherwise makes only slightly more sense than most of what Freud wrote.

Salvador Dali designed the scenery for the symbolic dream sequences in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1945 “Spellbound,” a thriller immersed in psychiatric theory that otherwise makes only slightly more sense than most of what Freud wrote.

Thus spake Freud. The overly punctilious may complain that we are leaving hanging lamps and collapsible pencils out of our discussion, but one can search the available records extensively and find no data indicating that either of these devices has been employed to commit murder, or to advance anyone’s fetishistic obsession with bodily penetration in such a way as to constitute a menace to the public. Similarly, we omitted Freud’s lengthy analysis of zeppelins, which have it in common with lances and swords that they are rarely problematic nowadays. But we are certain that the larger portion of our readership already knew most of this stuff, so, many among you may be wondering, what are we up to here? Let us speak frankly on that point (no pun intended):

By the way, Freud thought water emitting devices such as showers were all male symbols, so Janet Leigh was sort of double-maled in "Psycho."

By the way, Freud thought water emitting devices such as showers were male symbols, so Janet Leigh was sort of double-maled in “Psycho.”

Freud is derided nowhere any more enthusiastically than in the archives of WOOF, but we maintain that the phallic implications of penetrative weaponry are among the few clearly reasonable interpretations offered in his theories. Thus, we ought not to discard the baby with the bathwater as we dismiss the questionable, highly unlikely, and patently ludicrous components of Freudian teachings.  Or, to offer a Chestertonian inversion of our own devising, “Sometimes a cigar is absolutely not  a cigar.”  But knowing that knife violence is almost certainly a physical expression of humankind’s hellbroth of unconscious impulses and repressions is only to say that a deep, ungovernable, and trans-cultural fixation on the sexual symbolism of knives must be acknowledged as a driving factor in the ever-increasing incidence of stabbings and slashings.  Also, even more forebodingly, the realization that knives represent an all-too-frequently irrepressible expression of man’s most deeply concealed urges underscores the need to wipe out knives altogether as the only means of rescuing our civilization.

And all this having been said, we have addressed only the psychoanalytic explanation of knife violence.  A more complete understanding of the problem requires us to examine the more obvious inducements provoking wave after wave of these attacks.  Sadly, this will oblige us to (briefly) avert to behavioral psychology, which contains all the theoretic excessiveness of psychoanalysis and none of the charm.

Could a Bobo doll stand up to Anthony Perkins?

tony perkinsIf you paid attention the time you had to take that Intro to Psych class, you will recall the world-famous Bobo doll experiment. It made a behavioral-psychology superstar out of Albert Bandura and proved  that even the simplest and most  predictable result can pass for revelation if documented in the proper patois. Here is the basic idea: the experiment began with a Bobo doll placed in a room–Bobo dolls being those inflatable punching bags that are weighted at the bottom so that no matter how often they are punched or shoved they always return to the upright position.  For reasons that remain obscure, they usually bear the image of a clown. Anyway, the Bobo toy was in placed in a room and then 36 boys and 36 girls from the Stanford University nursery school were hauled in. One by one they were placed in a the room and given some toys to play with; but they were warned that the Bobo doll was only for grownups. In half the cases, an adult entered the room and by pre-calculated degrees began to show more and more aggression toward the doll, hitting it with his fists, bashing it with a mallet, slapping it, sitting on it, and all the while verbally abusing it.  But in the second group, the other half of the kids were placed one-by-one in the same room, the difference being that the attending Bobo Doll was spared any indignities since the adult was instructed to refrain from any aggressive actions or utterances.

A Bobo Doll

A Bobo Doll

In case you aren’t already way ahead of us, the results showed that children exposed to the aggressive adult models were far more likely to act out violently than those who were not.  Put less decorously, the children in the first group, once isolated with Bobo Dolls of their own, proceeded to beat the holy bejesus out of them at rates in considerable excess of children in the second, non-violent group. In fact, the children who not did observe an adult modelling violence or hurling obloquy at a Bobo Doll treated their own dolls humanely by an overwhelming majority.  Are you surprised, gentle readers?  Of course not–anyone with a functioning brain could have predicted Bandura’s findings, so why did he bother?  He had two unspoken motives. First, he wished to scientifically verify that observing violent actions induced children to behave violently because doing so would make his research irresistibly topical. It was 1961, and concerns were ballooning that violent television programs might be creating armies of little hoodlums all over America. Obviously, Bandura’s findings no longer exercise any restraint whatsoever on televised violence, the current levels of which  make laughable the concerns of parents, pastors, and politicians who, in the dawning ’60s, worried that kids might go psycho watching  Gunsmoke, or  Bonanza. But Bandura is useful to our current purpose, since his findings lend scientific credence to the argument that knife violence is partly promoted by depictions of such violence in media, and has been for quite some time.

batman talks bobo dollThe second unspoken motive we confidently attribute to Bandura was his desire to make a splash in the field of behavioral psychology by establishing his theory of “social learning.” This theory, that people learn through observing and imitating modeled behaviors, may again strike readers as so dumbfoundingly obvious that even the dimmest percipient could have confirmed it without involving a single Bobo Doll or nursery-school pupil.  But pause here to consider that the entire behavioral school of psychology was in that day dominated by the preternaturally unimaginative B. F. Skinner (you know, the guy who conditioned pigeons to play ping pong). Bandura’s study and theory of social learning demonstrated that Skinner’s hypothesis–that all human and animal behavior results from reinforcement or punishment and nothing else–was actually kind of moronic. And this achievement alone justifies the Bobo doll experiments in our view! But the next obvious question related to our current discussion remains unresolved–namely,  how do these seemingly disparate theories combine to explain the raging epidemic of knife attacks in our own time?  But wait, there’s more!

gang debsWhat is the real cause of knife violence?  We owe it in fairness to the pundits of the Left to factor in the liberal belief in “the instrumentality effect hypothesis.” That is, the notion that the mere presence of the object somehow induces an adjacent person to employ it violently.  On the Left this has long meant that even if one concedes–however briefly and purely for the sake of argument– that people occasionally kill people, the onus is otherwise instantly transferred to the weapon itself.  It is canonical in liberal lore, therefore, that guns somehow encourage otherwise placid individuals to pick them up and shoot people. So in the name of socio-scientific consistency, we must conclude that knives, too, somehow seduce vast numbers of otherwise normal Americans to perpetrate mayhem. It seems we’ve only to pick them up, say, to peel an onion or  fillet a mackerel, and all too often the unintended result is an otherwise inexplicable surge of psychopathic homicidality.  Thus, in applying the liberal template to our quest for knife control,  it seems incumbent on us to acknowledge forthrightly that the cause of knife violence is quite possibly knives. That said….

Ouch! West Side Story made knife violence high-brow--after all, they danced in between stabbings.

Ouch! “West Side Story” made knife violence high-brow–after all, they danced to Stephen Sondheim arrangements between stabbings.

No matter how ardently one subscribes to the instrumentality effect hypothesis, certain societal trends must be taken into consideration as well.  From a “social learning” perspective, numerous cultural factors appear to stimulate knife violence nowadays quite apart from the simplistic supposition that mere availability impels otherwise  average citizens to snatch up a blade and succumb to homicidal mania. Thus, the influence of pop culture would seem an obvious component of our national proneness to piquerism, and this influence is supported by Bandura’s experiment. The knife as an instrument of salaciously vicious bloodletting has long been the stuff of tawdry paperbacks, sleazy comic books, and innumerable films over the decades. While the “classic” West Side Story romanticized teenage violence for generations to come, Rebel Without a Cause conjoined the switchblade in the popular psyche with the magnetic screen persona of James Dean. Countless films from the ’50s to our present time sensationalize the knife as an expression of post-adolescent rebellion.

James Dean's knife fight in "Rebel Without a Cause" happens at the Griffith Observatory--that just has to be symbolic of something, right?

James Dean’s knife fight in “Rebel Without a Cause” happens at the Griffith Observatory–symbolizing that we cannot escape what our stars ordain, or maybe that the universe will end “at dawn”–or–something really meaningful along those lines…

The imagery of nihilistic youths clicking their switchblades open to initiate violent confrontations is enshrined in films such as Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (the book was better), Walter Hill’s The Warriors, (Last Man Standing was better) Glenn Ford in 1955’s seminal Blackboard Jungle (which recurrently touched off riots among teenagers in the audience) and even Burt Lancaster (sporting a crew cut!)  in The Young Savages. These relatively polished efforts did not differ in their depictions of the knife as an instrument of empowerment from countless low-budget teen-sploitation mellers like  Naked YouthKey WitnessHigh School Confidential, Juvenile Jungle and the never-to-be-forgotten Switchblade Sisters.

Into our living rooms!

children and TVEven as the movies manufactured lurid tales of switchblade duels and rumbling teenage gangs, the TV screen began to offer Americans a variety of knife-related entertainments. The most relentless barrage, ironically, came from the highly successful Christian programming of the mid ’50s and early ’60s. Yes, Christian. Few today remember This is the Life, a show so ancient it actually began its first season on the now-long-defunct Dumont Network. The idea was a simple one: every week some character or characters who resided in the fictional city of Middleburg would get into a deeply disturbing personal dilemma, usually ethical, criminal, marital, or grief-related.  Things would look pretty hopeless, but in the nick of time the kindly, and uncannily sagacious Pastor Martin (Lutheran church, Missouri Synod) would appear and put folks back on the track for spiritual deliverance. The show’s willingness to deal with controversial subjects of that era was often applauded as courageous.

“Don’t do anything rash, now, son! Whata-ya-say I give Pastor Martin a call?”

But the issue This is the Life seemed to deal with more often than any other was juvenile delinquency, and that usually came with switchblades!  In fact you could reasonably anticipate a televised  dose of knife-brandishing delinquency courtesy of the Lutheran church just about any Sunday morning before the indefatigable Pastor Martin stepped in to lead everyone to God.  And if that didn’t pay off,  you could check out the show’s various imitators. Yes, other churches took note of the recruiting power of the Lutherans’ popular TV series and began shooting their own versions. The Southern Baptist Convention hit the airwaves with This Is the Answer (1958-1961), while Insight drew on the Catholic perspective. Frontiers of Faith and The Eternal Light soon appeared on NBC and the ecumenical anthology Crossroads often included Hollywood personalities in stories drawn from the putatively true-life experiences of priests, ministers, and rabbis. Naturally each of these programs took note of the ratings boost teenagers in leather jackets commonly produced, so if you couldn’t find knife crazy delinquents on one program, you could reasonably expect them to pop up on one or more of its competitors.

Scott Forbes played JIm Bowie with verve and wit--but the real star was that great big knife!

Scott Forbes played JIm Bowie with verve and wit–but the real star was that great big knife!

Besides the Christian onslaught, there were shows like The Adventures of Jim Bowie and Northwest Passage that made knives a central theme every week…as well as a variety of detective and police dramas that often dealt with nefarious stabbers and slashers. Today, of course, the carnography on television is hyperbolized to an extent that would affright Sam Peckinpah, galvanizing our latent national piquerism and interacting symbiotically with “the instrumentality effect hypothesis.” The obvious result is our climbing rate of knife violence–and  TV is only getting worse.

In NBC's "Northwest Passage" Keith Larson even pointed at maps with his knife--he just couldn't keep his hands off the things!

In NBC’s “Northwest Passage” Keith Larson even pointed at maps with his knife–he just couldn’t keep his hands off the thing!

Reaping a harvest of Karo Syrup and RFD 40.

We have already established that television violence in the time of the Bobo experiments was almost genteel by comparison to the contemporary product. Today, knife attacks are fake blooddepicted much more extravagantly and in lingering, almost fetishistic detail.  Owing to the modern ubiquity of  color TV (we hear they even have it in Russia now) the current exploiters of our national obsession with slash-and-stab entertainments are able to fill our screens with riveting spurts of carefully contrived scarlet. Today’s network, cable, and dish dramas spray the camera lens with color-conscious concoctions–usually variations on Sam Peckinpah’s Karo Syrup and red food dye recipes. All of these advances, sadly, must be viewed also as a national exposure to Bandura-style”social learning” courtesy of an industry that constantly floods our living rooms with one big, never-ending Bobo-doll experiment.

...Remaining scrupulously devoid of any redeeming social value...

…Remaining scrupulously devoid of any redeeming social value…

We realize that many of our readers do not watch much television and may therefore hike an eyebrow at our assertion that the situation has reached paraphilic proportions. We pause, therefore, to offer a few prime examples, and prime examples must suffice since a complete catalog of similar programs would quickly swell to encyclopedic proportions. For starters, unless we’ve missed something worse, the most unabashedly brutal program devoted to little other than massive displays of slashing and stabbing while remaining scrupulously devoid of any redeeming social value is the recently cancelled but unforgettably nauseous The Following.  To add more gore to this show than Fox’s Standards-and- Practices committee would ordinarily approve, Executive Producer Kevin Williamson boasted he used “certain tricks” to outfox Fox, and they must have been good ones, because the show’s violent ends seemed endless, supplying enough Karo Syrup and food dye to distract viewers from the absurdity of the story line and the absence of anything resembling character development or engaging dialogue. Permit us, gentle readers, to belabor the example of The Following despite it’s removal from Fox’s schedule, not because it deserves commemoration, but rather because it typifies the kind of “social learning” to which national audiences are more and more subjected.

Emma Hill (Valorie Curry) comes in second in a knife fight.

Emma Hill (Valorie Curry) comes in second in a knife fight.

Perhaps character development was deemed pointless (no pun intended) since almost nobody goes more than a few episodes before getting slaughtered.Actually, the show’s most nuanced (though conformingly psychopathic) character, Emma (Valorie Curry), lasted two seasons before being knifed to death in a knife fight with Claire (Natalie Zea), who was knifed to death in the first season but returned (don’t ask!) to out-knife Emma in the second.  For most of those seasons the driving plot line consisted of Kevin Bacon, an alcoholic agent recalled to FBI duty because he is the only person capable of tracking down the diabolical serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy), chasing his nemesis.  But Bacon can’t catch him either, largely because like almost all protagonists of his ilk he never remembers to call for back up, and when he does his reinforcements always get there too late, or get there on time only to be duped by the killer’s brilliant machinations.

following promo

Purefoy and Bacon, both obviously immersed in their characters!!

Besides the fact that Purefoy as Carroll isn’t interesting enough for the role, the character of Carroll isn’t interesting enough either, Carroll being a failed writer and a college lit professor whose obsession is Edgar Allen Poe. Really? Would the Marquis de Sade be too highbrow? Baudelaire?  Anyway, to distract us from these deficiencies, producer Williamson has Joe kill a bunch of people, and also asks us to believe that while in prison, via the Internet, Joe established an army of fanatical supporters–an army, seemingly, at least the size of China’s. Members of this underground force are perfectly okay with undertaking suicidal missions of mass mayhem on cue; hence the series title, and a great excuse for having almost any background character or passerby suddenly pull an ice pick or a butcher’s knife and pounce on some blood-squirting cast member about whom we might care a bit had he or she ever been presented as more dimensional than a cardboard cutout (no pun intended).

The-Following-eye-stabbing-ep-1.nocrop.w670.h343

Members of serial killer Joe Carroll’s army of brainwashed psychos even stab themselves in the eyes when short of options.. (Warning: You may contemplate doing likewise if you attempt to binge watch “The Following,”)

criminal mindsA similar, though far more skillfully crafted killer-of-the-week program is Criminal Minds, on CBS.  Our heros are members of an FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) devoted to psychologically profiling criminals, almost always blade-crazy serial killers.  The  series follows a personality-rich group of profilers as they set about catching various criminals by psychologically profiling them with mind-boggling proficiency. Despite the fact that none of the lead characters has a degree in psychology, (except the boyish Dr. Reid, resident genius, who holds three PhDs, but only a BA in psychology), the team never misses, solving one case every week and usually killing the evil doer(s) just in time to fly home to Quantico in their private jet while one of them overdubs a profound quote from somebody or other, usually at least vaguely pertinent to the hour’s events.

Taking time to flesh out its characters and infuse small doses of psychiatric and  philosophical wisdom has made the show’s graphic immersions in blood, guts, skinnings,dismemberments, beheadings, disembowelings, and exsanguinations seem socially justified, or so the audience seems to feel– Criminal Minds is well into its 12th season.

lizzie with knife

Lifetime’s  Lizzie can barely stop stabbing people long enough to catch her breath.

Not to be outdone, the Lifetime channel opted to reboot the legend of Lizzie Borden–a legend that required a positively surreal amount of embellishment before it could serve as the basis for a weekly television drama. Armchair criminologists will recall that Miss Borden’s family occupied a relatively upscale residence in the pastoral township of Fall River–a sleepy Massachusetts hamlet where nothing out of the ordinary ever happened–until Lizzie’s father and mother were found brutally axe murdered in their home. Lizzie was arrested and tried for the murders, but acquitted. The only additional crime of which she was ever accused was shoplifting, and those charges were dropped without the issuance of a warrant. These facts notwithstanding, Lifetime’s series portrays the reclusive spinstress as a female Hannibal Lector, except that she doesn’t eat anybody. Perhaps by way of sublimating this omission, Lizzie slashes, hacks, and stabs people to death at a rate Hannibal would frown upon as distastefully wanton. Despite the program’s devotion to serving up scene upon scene of blade thrusting, hatchet hewing, blood spurting slaughter, viewers seemed to prefer their mayhem in that time slot on the contemporary side (Revenge on USA), or zombified (The Waking Dead on AMC), or dissembled as haute cuisine (Cut Throat Kitchen on the Food Channel). Lifetime cancelled Chronicles after one season, citing low ratings as the determining factor and giving dozens of hack reviewers (no pun intended) the opportunity to observe that Lizzie got the axe.

lizzie with axe

We haven’t room here, of course, to discuss every TV program currently contributing to America’s rising tide of piquerism.  It would seem negligent, however, to omit certain exemplary titles from our discussion. Consider the recently cancelled Dexter, featuring a lovably picaresque serial killer who, for eight full seasons, only chopped up bad guys, so nobody was too bothered by it. Wives with Knives brought us three seasons of true stories, each featuring wives who used knives on their husbands. Fargo, The Sons of AnarchyThe Walking Dead, American Horror Story, Vikings, Stalker, Game of Thrones–all deserve mention.

"Wives with Knives"

“Wives with Knives”

A problem of international magnitude!

Looks like this Israeli picked the wrong day to leave his Uzi at home.

America is not alone in its seeming insouciance to the threat posed by unregulated knife possession. Many of the countries that most comprehensively restrict gun ownership exhibit the highest rates of violent crime, particularly stabbings. Great Britain has long been lax in its efforts to control knives.  In May of 2013 two Muslims hacked a British soldier to death in east London. The assailants had time to tell stunned onlookers “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you,” before police arrived and shot them. Terror-related knife violence surfaced again in east London this December 5th when a blade wielding man yelling “This is for Syria!” and “All of your blood will be spilled!” slashed the throat of a hapless commuter in the Leytonstone tube station, and was about to wade into a cluster of cowering women and children when he was tackled and subdued by angry commuters.

Better life? Surrender your knife!

concerned ladies

Can the U..S. afford to let England and Europe take the lead in promoting knife-violence awareness?

Britain, however, has lately taken a convincing lead in controlling the situation! Enlightened organizations now wage private advocacy campaigns to eliminate the threat of knives in the United Kingdom. The visionary members of “Save A Life, Surrender Your Knife” are even placing knife-collection bins throughout the UK so that conscientious English citizens can anonymously divest themselves of any potentially lethal cutlery.  The Scotland-based national initiative “No Knives/Better Lives” maintains a substantial web presence advocating the elimination of bladed weaponry across Great Britain, with major youth programs driven by catchy slogans like “Choose life, not a knife!” and “Remember, there is no safe place to stab someone!”  Why can’t America get on board with some equally inventive policies?

kitchen imagesAnd let’s set aside the myth that “tactical” or Assault Knives are the only kind used in the commission of crime—far from it! In 2005, the BBC reported a study by the British Medical Journal including a statistical analyses proving that  kitchen knives are used in as many as half of all stabbings committed in the UK. Apparently, a shocking number of homicides occur in British kitchens owing, perhaps, to the widespread use of alcohol while cooking is underway. The resultant diminishment of self control and rise in impulsivity lead to a startling number of slayings linked to meal preparation because, as the BBC so starkly observed, “a kitchen knife often makes an all-too-available weapon.”  A team from West Middlesex University Hospital notes violent crime is on the increase in Britain – and kitchen knives are used in half of all recorded stabbings!

Of course certain chefs like Eric Ripert (depicted) will flout these common-sense efforts at publis saftey--but can't they be charged under the RICO act or something?

Of course certain chefs like Eric Ripert (depicted) may flout these common-sense efforts to promote public safety–but maybe they can be charged under the RICO statutes.

Arguments that knives are necessary for cooking have been dismissed by experts. The BBC consulted ten top chefs from around the UK, and  learned that “pointy” knives “have little practical  value in the kitchen.” None of the chefs consulted by the BBC thought that knives were particularly necessary to their craft, and all agreed that big pointy knives were utterly uncalled for “since the point of a short blade was just as useful when a sharp end was needed.” True, researchers found that even stubby knives can cause “a substantial superficial wound if used in an assault” but remained unlikely to “penetrate inner organs.” By comparison, a pointy kitchen blade pierces the body like “cutting into a ripe melon.” Thus researchers want to impose bans on pointy knives to curb the waves of culinary violence in England and Scotland.  Indeed, consider all those fabulously popular cook-off shows that are everywhere nowadays–those seemingly innocent culinary entertainments that are cast more and more as gang rivalries with huge, flashing knives chopping, slicing, and dicing in nearly every scene!  No matter how innocently intended, these shows too must be viewed as part of the problem–sending Bobo-style  messages spreading waves of of piquerism among countless unwitting gourmandes and  other unwitting viewers.

Seemingly innocent? Think again, America!

Just harmless kitchen fun?  Mais non! Think again, America!

Ironically, Red China remains oblivious of the threat posed by unregulated knife ownership even as it spares no effort cracking down on free-enterprise ventures such as this privately owned and operated gun factory in Shanghai!

Ironically, Red China remains oblivious of the threat posed by unregulated knife ownership even as it spares no effort cracking down on free-enterprise ventures such as this privately owned and operated gun factory in Shanghai!

Red Chinese police destroyed 113 illegal gun factories and shops during a three-month crackdown in 2006. Police seized 117,000 guns, but the Communist government has been slow to address the elephant in the room, namely that outbreaks of knife violence occur in China with an almost uncanny regularity. Despite the horrifying nature of these mass slayings, Chinese authorities have proved slow to seize knives from the citizenry, and slow to criminalize their possession! Stranger still, the ruling communist oligarchy actively encourages mainland youth, both male and female, to learn knife fighting. Because of this it is no exaggeration to report that knife attacks constitute a problem of near-epidemic proportions in Communist China. To list these assaults and review them in detail would require more space than can be spared here, but a couple of examples may suffice to underscore the situation’s gravity. Back in 2014, the Chinese city of Kunming in the Yunnan province came under attack by eight screaming men and women, all armed with knives. The killers focused their efforts on commuters milling about the railway station at 9:20 am. Before the police arrived and “neutralized” them, the attackers managed to slash and stab 143 civilians, 33 of whom died.

According to a Red Chinese news source The People's Daily, Chinese high school girls shout “'kill, stab, slash and jab” as they learn knife fighting, which is part of their standard curriculum. Clearly, China’s paraphilic obsession with knives has spread far beyond the criminal element!

According to a Red Chinese news source The People’s Daily, Chinese high school girls shout “’kill, stab, slash and jab” as they learn knife fighting, which is part of their standard curriculum. Clearly, China’s paraphilic obsession with knives has spread far beyond the criminal element!

China is plagued by the problem of unprovoked, seemingly motiveless attacks on its population, most often carried out by seemingly deranged citizens brandishing knifes or meat cleavers. Recently, a September 2015 attack by nine assailants left 50 workers dead at a Chinese coal operation in Aksu, Xinjiang, China. After carving up the government security guards, the assailants swarmed into off-duty bunkhouses filled with sleeping coal miners, and mercilessly stabbed and slashed them. Besides the fifty dead, an additional fifty were left horribly wounded. The killers escaped into the mountains and ravines surrounding the camp site and remain at large.

The ideal solution

spork

A nation that invented the “spork” can certainly be relied upon to create new, 21st century kitchen implements able to apportion a pizza or sunder a juicy steak without the potential to disembowel, slash, stab, or amputate built into our current dinnerware.

Obviously, the surest way to end this floodtide of knife violence in our own country is to ban all knives. There is a general misconception on the part of the public that only certain knives are used in attacks on humans, but as we have clearly demonstrated, this is far from the case.  Ideally, therefore, we should strive to eliminate all knives from production, purchase, or private ownership. To compensate for this absence in the kitchen and at the table, American ingenuity can be relied upon to produce a solution that satisfies legitimate cutting needs without providing death-dealing instrumentation to the ever-increasing swarms of piquerists and other varieties of stabbers and slashers in our midst! After all, the same free-enterprise system that gave us the “spork,” can presumably deliver the “spife,” or the “nork,” or the “fornifoon”, or some equally viable means of circumventing knife ownership while providing options for chefs and diners who find it occasionally necessary to sever a food item! Meanwhile a massive public information program would be required to create public awareness–and to launch knife buy-back programs on a national scale.

knives compilation

All knives can be put to lethal use–including each of these deadly but widely distributed models. From left to right top: Military knife; special forces “assault” knife; “Bowie” knife, knife commonly distributed to militarized youth groups. Lower left to right: “chef’s” special; standard “butter” knife, painter’s utility knife; so-called butterfly knife; and rubber knife–which often serves to lure children into full blown piquerism! All these models and many more are proven to be completely unnecessary to civilized living and should be banned from manufacture and private ownership!

The grim reality…

Confiscation could result in a lucrative knife smuggling epidemic.

Confiscation could result in a lucrative knife smuggling epidemic.

But let’s face the facts, gentle readers, it would prove impossible to confiscate every knife owned by every citizen of the United States, besides which, of course, some families maintain hunting and fishing traditions that may legitimately be argued to require some degree of knife usage. Add to this the grim reality that knife smuggling from Canada and across the wide open Mexican border would soon foster mammoth black-market enterprises likely to exacerbate the situation–even as knife registration would end in a morass of paperwork impacting overextended government knife registrars while providing no sure means of authenticating who had genuinely given up every knife, and who might be secreting knives within the home or burying them in the rose garden.  Sadly, confiscation, while it might work in England, or  possibly even Canada, must be set aside as utterly impracticable in America. So what is to be done?

Figures don’t lie!f5860e35dd3a76303af33c639c0e3cdd

Let’s re-examine the record, straight from the data banks of the FBI, shall we?  According to the Bureau, knives or other cutting instruments were used to kill 1,490 victims in the United States in 2013 whereas rifles (including what Liberals like to call ‘assault rifles’) were associated with only 285 murders. More recent statistics from 2014 reveal that 1,567 people were murdered with knives in the United States, versus a mere 248 murders committed with any sort of rifle, assault-type or otherwise.  Gentle readers, a grotesque trend is obvious! If we cannot eradicate knives from our culture, we owe it to ourselves and our communities to obtain protection for our families and our fellow citizens. Clearly, to paraphrase NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, the surest way to stop a bad guy with a knife, is a good guy with an assault rifle! Here are some suggestions on how to ready yourselves, supplied by WOOF’s very own “Guns and Whamo” editor, Bang Gunley (not his real name).  Even if you have never considered owning an “assault rifle” before, we beg you to reconsider before you and your loved ones are mercilessly hacked to pieces by some psychopath transmuting his unbearable levels of sexual dysmorphia into a homicidal rampage and clutching a big, sharp, knife!  Right now, as we polemicize, New York City is experiencing a 20 percent increase in stabbings and police say they cannot explain the sudden upswing and aren’t certain how to combat it. As of March 13th of this year, police records disclosed 809 such incidents in the Big Apple, compared to 673 a year ago.

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Don’t be caught unprepared! –byline: Bang Gunley)

This segement courtesy of WOOF's firearms editor and technical adviser, Bang Gunley (not his real name). Mr. Gunley's face is intentionally not shown as his various services to American clandestined and security personnel make him a target for evil doers should his identity become known.

This segment courtesy of WOOF’s firearms editor, Bang Gunley (not his real name). As always Mr. Gunley’s face is intentionally not shown as his various services to American clandestined and security personnel make him a target for evil doers should his identity become known.

As should be evident from everything that’s been said above, knife wielding felons are a major and ever-increasing problem in 21st Century America–and anyone who can understand simple math must be persuaded by this point that a far safer possession than a knife, yet a possession that has the fire power and the magazine capacity to defeat any aggressor armed with a knife, is the good old American assault rifle. Awhile back, we of the Guns-and-Whamo division of WOOF proved that assault rifles aren’t readily available in our country–sad to say–even though liberals think they see them everywhere. But the tried and true guns available in all rational states of the Union–the kind that liberals call assault rifles–and others that while less criticized by Senator Feinstein can be just as useful–are more than enough to protect ourselves from all those blade-crazy assailants the FBI tells us are out there! So to obtain protection that the government’s own research has proven to be comparatively safe, yet more than sufficient to deter maniacs with anything from letter openers to machetes, let’s check out some options!

Sir Winston Churchill didn't let bad press keep him from proudly displaying his own drum-fed Thompson from time to time.

Sir Winston Churchill didn’t let bad press keep him from proudly displaying his own drum-fed Thompson from time to time.

Many contemporary semiautomatic firearms have seeped into the public’s consciousness because of sensationalized news coverage of crimes involving them (or allegedly involving them) and may therefore seem tainted by association. You’ve probably heard of the Bushmaster, for instance. (I recommend their 16″ A2 Heavy Carbine.) Concerned about the weapon’s image? Remember, no gun was more associated with massive criminality than the Thompson submachine gun during the “roaring ’20’s.”  Every gangster movie showed Thompsons blasting from automobile windows, obliterating storefronts, or mowing down rows of screaming, writhing thugs in portrayals of the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. Even movies about Bonnie and Clyde routinely showed the outlaw couple brandishing twin tommy guns despite the fact that the Barrow Gang didn’t use them. Clyde preferred a sawed-down Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) and made one for Bonnie too, who became highly proficient with it.

Yet despite its reputation as a gangster gun–the infamous “Chicago typewriter,” favored by Capone’s mob, Pretty Boy Floyd, Dillinger and Machine Gun Kelly, the Thompson served admirably in World War II and Korea and won universal respect as the close-quarters firearm of choice for several decades. By the same token, the classic silhouette of the all-American AR-style rifle or carbine should bestir a sense of pride and independence in the hearts of patriots despite progressive efforts to tear these extraordinary firearms from our grasp and smear them at every opportunity!

And when it comes to keeping the American spirit alive, hopeless romantics may prefer to own a classic Colt product, and there are plenty available.  (I recommend the Match Target HBAR model for lovers of the rampant pony!) Most contemporary “assault rifles” of this type come chambered for readily obtainable .223 ammo, and besides the noble Colt and infamous Bushmaster, Les Baer, Mossberg, Del-Ton, Windham, and Smith and Wesson all offer excellent guns of this type!

ar2

Despite its association in the public mind with violent crime, the Bushmaster is a first rate performer as a self-defense tool, and makes a dandy door prize too!

Looking for a little more punch in case of especially burly psychopaths? Try the new, improved AR-10 from Armalite, the folks who started it all! Bored for the powerful .308 Winchester cartridge, this beauty combines updated striking power with all the traditional charm of the classic M-16! Prefer something in designer camouflage from a legendary maker of sporting guns? Why not snag a Remington R-15 Predator carbine in .223 caliber or in optional  .204 Ruger? Both versions sport a magnificent coat of spritely MAX-1 HD camouflage that will have you exclaiming, “Out of sight!” And by the way, most manufacturers now offer a variety of pink and other exotic DuraCoat finishes sure to win favor with the ladies.  You say you prefer a shorter, more maneuverable gun but crave the classic look of the M-16?  The AR-15 carbine was the personification of these features in Vietnam, except it almost always jammed and suffered other inbuilt deficiencies. Fear not, however, because the good folks at Armalite now offer the new improved M15 Carbine series– the spitting image of the original with none of the bugs!

Yes, some ingenious entrepreneur has even created the "Hello Kitty" AR-15.

Yes, some ingenious entrepreneur has even created the “Hello Kitty” AR-15.

Those seeking a Cadillac AR experience will find Sabre Defence provides its classy new M4 Tactical model ready to accessorize with optic sights, but with  with flip-up iron sights for those who prefer them. This model also boasts a free-floated quad-rail fore-end, the CTR collapsible buttstock, and an Ergo pistol grip. And for the lady of the house, I recommend the optional Tactical Gill Brake, which cuts way back on unseemly recoil! How can you resist?

21 foot rule

even the loudest proponents of the “21 foot rule” would rather be holding a .357 than a knife if things got real!

But no matter what firearm you choose, you will be arming yourself and your family with peace of mind, knowing that despite all the baloney on the Internet, nobody really wants to bring a knife to a gunfight– and unlike the helpless masses of Europe and the British Isles, you have a second amendment that allows you to take the  necessary steps to thwart any slicing, slashing head cases that lurch your way!  We hope the government soon awakens to the need to provide poorer Americans, or those who are retired and living on fixed incomes, with free or partially subsidized AR-15 style weapons. Surviving knife violence shouldn’t depend on your income. Not in America. But in the meantime, see your local gun shop owner for advice on obtaining protection with a weapon that is not only five times less dangerous than a knife by the FBI’s own admission, but also part of what America is all about:  guns! WOOF PRINT 

cowgirl

 

 

Fear and Loathing ain’t Beanbag! (or) Beware the Idiots of March!

In "The World Turned Upside Down" forum on March 28, 2016 at 9:53 pm

im with stupid

“May you live in interesting times!”–Ancient Chinese curse, probably apocryphal, definitely  germane.

They were candidates once, and young…

Politics ain’t beanbag,” Richard Nixon famously remarked, and indeed, the elective process in these United States has never been clean, courteous, or open minded. Every era of our history may be argued to exhibit copious amounts of political tom-foolery mixed with downright underhandedness–and yet, the primary season of 2016, for reasons both grand and picayune, stands apart from any similar  contest in recent memory.

alfredWho are we calling idiots? Well, not everyone in the game–but even the most awe smitten observer of the Republican pack–or ardent admirer of the Democratic duelists–will admit, if candid, that idiocy is rife amongst the ranks– even if we might not agree on specific idiots. But it would be pusillanimous of us to avoid naming any of them, and since it is always safest to slander the dead, as Clifford Irving observed, we begin by examining the bloated carcasses of those formerly beamish valiants now strewn along the bloody trail. To the left we will espy the remains of Lawrence Lessig. Professor Lessig cannot be an idiot because he teaches law at the Harvard Law School  But on the other hand, he was foolish enough to run for president (as a Democrat, of course) and it is only due to his manifest and complete irrelevancy that we spare him closer scrutiny.

chafeeAnd there’s what remains of Lincoln Chafee, whose rugged independence always made him indistinguishable from a Democrat, and who in fact became a Democrat after obtaining Rhode Island’s Governorship. Following a lachrymose term during which his chief accomplishment was renaming the Christmas Tree in front of the State House a “Holiday Tree,” Lincoln’s popularity declined precipitously. He was realistic enough to forget running for a second Gubernatorial term, but oddly deludable concerning the presidency.  He announced his candidacy on June 3rd, 2016, and withdrew on October 23rd following an embarrassing debate performance, a plunge in contributions, and research confirming widespread disinterest in his existence.  We suspect Lincoln (now in semi retirement as  a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies) is probably an idiot.

imagesAnd there’s Jim Webb! Webb, a retired Marine and recipient of the Navy Cross, served as Reagan’s Secretary of the Navy and built the 600-hull fleet. He switched to writing novels, received an Emmy for newscasting, taught literature at Annapolis, made a few films, and became a fellow of the Harvard Institute of Politics. We suspect that’s where Jim broke bad and became a Democrat. This might suggest that Jim is an idiot, but we assure he isn’t. As a Virginia Democrat he ran for the senate and won. His senate tenure was unorthodox, like so much of his earthly sojourn. In fact, we believe Jim’s natural contumacy rather than any political instinct led him to run for president, but he dropped out on October 20, 2015.  Webb seemed astonished by the diligence with which the liberal media set about ignoring him. He shouldn’t have been. His flamboyant-but-straight-shooting style threatened to resurrect the dreaded “blue dogs,” and nobody at the DNC wanted that–especially after Reid and Pelosi worked so hard exterminating the species while imposing Obamacare on the rest of us. Webb also threatened Hillary’s right flank– so he received zero coverage until he withdrew. He now insists he will not vote for Hillary, but might consider Trump.  Webb’s not an idiot; just a rugged individualist who all too often leads with his adrenaline gland…a principle that often works better in combat than in politics.  

o'malley

“And here’s a little something I wrote while I was crippling the oyster industry…”

The next carcass is Martin O’Malley’s. As mayor, Martin so enthusiastically oversaw Baltimore’s municipal deterioration that waves of appreciative Marylanders clamored to make him governor.   As governor, O’Malley excelled at wearing cut off t-shirts, posing with his guitar for photographers, and boasting about job creation. But O’Malley was actually disastrous for Maryland’s job market despite extravagant bestowals of Obama dollars on O’Malley’s blue state.  He “created” only 5,000 jobs during 96 months in office (and that’s assuming he created those jobs)  According to Forbes, O’Malley was dead last for jobs creation behind “any other current or former gubernatorial presidential contender in the field.” But let’s be fair  Two-thousand of the aforementioned jobs may well have been created…by Washington. Federal bribery resulted in large segments of the state’s industry shifting to the manufacture of “green” energy products. O’Malley mandated that no less than 2 percent of Maryland’s electrical power be squeezed from solar sources.  

solar-realist artSearch these United  States thoroughly and you’ll never find a newspaper more devoted to spreading unalloyed left-wing balderdash than the Baltimore Sun.  It is therefore all the more astonishing to find so progressive a rag making room for a story critical of their boyish, guitar strumming governor. But lo, it seems that even the egregious Sun can only slop so much lipstick on some pigs before abandoning the effort as futile. In April, 2015, the Sun admitted that O’Malley’s job creation was an artifice attributable to federal subsidization, not the Governor’s touted economic prowess. The paper also acknowledged that when federal outlays decreased in 2011,”Maryland’s gross state product plateaued, dropping the state to 49th in annual growth,” and that once federal infusions were reduced, “Maryland’s poor economic diversification became apparent.” Also, let it not pass unremarked, O’Malley is a rapacious gun grabber in the grand liberal tradition. The Governor announced his bid for the White House on May 30th, 2015, and seems not to have fully recognized the absurdity of the idea until February 1, 2016, when he called it quits and limped back to Annapolis.  And why did O’Malley, who isn’t Black, isn’t a huggable relic from the radical ’60s, and who isn’t female, think he had a chance of beating Hillary in the primaries? Simple– he’s an idiot. But he plays guitar, did we mention that?

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The carnage on the right is no less horrible. Take Lindsey Graham for instance. Lindsey was silly to think he could win a bunch of primaries despite the lengthy list of betrayals he visited upon his own base, not to mention such baneful optics as dining  with Obama while Rand Paul filibustered against drone attacks on Americans, countenanced by the FAA Reauthorization Act.

grahamReaders may have dismissed it from mind, but on May 18, 2015, Graham slipped into his faux-conservative livery and announced his candidacy on CBS’s This Morning, assuring viewers he should be the perfect president because “the world is falling apart.” His most memorable  statement during his  short-lived campaign consisted of telling a CNN interviewer that Donald Trump was a jackass, after which he returned to CBS This Morning to reiterate his belief that Donald Trump was a jackass. Lindsey failed to gain sufficient support to qualify for the CNN debate in August, but he was admitted to the secondary debates on CNN and CNBC in October despite polling  a consistent 1 percent. He surrendered to reality on December 21, 2015, “suspending” his campaign and threw his support behind Jeb Bush. It is probably unnecessarily cruel to relate that Graham’s full throated endorsement made not an iota of difference in Jeb’s own miserable poll numbers—but we are all about the details here at WOOF.

How many were going to the Reagan Library?

Several of Jeb's promotional efforts seemd ill-advised.

Several of Jeb’s promotional efforts seemed ill-advised.

Long after such worthies as Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul exited, “Jeb!” (the artist formerly known as Bush) remained in the game despite an equally lackluster reception and a far less appealing campaign platform. Of Jeb it seems fair to remark: Never have so many placed so much confidence, influence, and treasure behind a surefire nominee only to achieve  exactly “nada” as the candidate might say. The Republican establishment, insulated from its own grassroots,  saw fit to toss Jeb into the malestrom without a moment’s thought given to real-world dynamics. Unlike Democrats, the GOP has long professed embarrassment at its own base, beginning with the cursed McCarthyites, and thence to the cursed Goldwaterites, and thence to the cursed Reaganites, and, of course, nowadays all those God-awful Tea Party yokels. This weirdly schizoid policy has long been one of rhetorically praising the “big tent” while snubbing any voter to the right of, say, Susan Collins. But this time, the yokels were ready to rumble.

The embarrassing hayseeds in flyover country were keenly aware of Jeb’s support for Common Core and its insidious assault on their children’s educations. They’d heard him insist that illegal aliens crashing our border did so as “an act of love,” and they knew he told Reuters he was guided by the no-nonsense political philosophy of “a moderate Republican who still has conservative principles,” whatever that means. Into the bargain, his support for the NSA’s collection of metadata and the full corpus of the Patriot Act completely alienated the libertarian right.  Too, Jeb often addressed Hispanic audiences in Spanish promising to enact “immigration reform,” which the yokels were pretty certain translated into abandoning the concept of lawful entry and condoning the unchecked flow of illegals across our southern border.

turtleDespite entering battle with the fattest war chest in primary history, Jeb never won a primary. He spoke to rooms of half-dozing oldsters and infamously begged them to “please clap!”  When journalists realized  he carried toy turtles around in his pockets, handing them out to kids and telling them, “slow and steady wins the race,” they had a field day. And when Jeb tweeted a photo of a turtle crawling across somebody’s lawn and exclaimed, “I met a joyful tortoise on my way to the Reagan Library,” his gravitas was pretty much shot entirely.

Gamely, Jeb barnstormed South Carolina calling it his must-win state. It was here he vowed to stop Trump and emerge victorious. Ever the optimists, both FOX and the liberal media agreed. But even with brother “W” and his mom campaigning for him and the remainder of his $100 million campaign fund fully invested,  Jeb went nowhere. Trump won a substantial victory with Rubio a distant second, and Cruz finishing right behind Rubio. Confronted with a humiliating single digit showing, Bush finally took the hint. He suspended his campaign and told a cluster of morose supporters, “The people of Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina have spoken, and I really respect their decision.” If he had evinced a fraction of that respect going in, he might have done a whole lot better—provided he didn’t mention turtles.  (Turtles are idiots.)

jeb again

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Coughing, cackling, and barking we go…

The DNC expected to coronate Hillary this year without a ripple of dissent; but Bernie Sanders, who initially seemed an antic figure mimicking serious competition, became a thoroughgoing nuisance by January.  Enough super delegating to rig the scoreboard, some phenomenal luck, such as winning six consecutive coin-tosses to settle district balloting, and the fact that her “Southern Firewall”  held, kept Mrs. Clinton in the lead; but not without Bernie’s motley cadres at her heels.

"Arf, arf, arf, arf!"

Arf, arf, arf, arf!”

Hillary is an awful campaigner by any standard, but her 2016 game is particularly weird. Besides her usual repertoire of fake rural accents and deranged cackling, she seemed to choke on her words in Iowa and New York, and made a point of barking like a dog in Reno.  Her uncontrollable coughing spasms generated numerous rumors (as did her prismatic horn rims).  An additional coughing spasm struck her on March 12th, while sermonizing on the sacred obligation to throw more money at our failing schools, and lasted four minutes—longest yet. Hillary’s “special glasses” last adorned her brow during a campaign event at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Some say the glasses mitigate long-term effects from her Benghazi concussion. Huma Abedin’s emails describe Hillary as “easily” and “often confused,” but Huma married Anthony Weiner, so she is obviously extremely confused and may not be a reliable judge.

Big Love (the other hugging incident)

Yes, somebody photoihopped this picture, but so badly we touched it up a little in the name of quality journalism.

Yes, somebody photoshopped this picture, but so badly that we touched it up a little in the name of quality journalism.

The next bit of gobsmackery was Chris Christie’s baffling endorsement of Donald Trump, who had only recently denounced him as duplicitous in the George Washington Bridge scandal and mocked the big guy’s 2012 “hug”of Barack Obama–a partial embrace immortalized by photographers while Christie and Rappin’ Preezy cavorted seaside in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.  Trump thundered, “When I saw it, I said I think he’s going to vote for Obama. Honestly, it was terrible….Obama went to New Jersey and…he was like a little child, Christie….he was like a little boy: ‘oh, I’m with the president.’”

Yet there stood New Jersey’s biggest and most tragically unrequited Bruce Springsteen fan, suspending his campaign and pronouncing himself thrilled to be in Fort Worth endorsing Trump, who he suddenly remembered was a decade-long family friend who would keep his word, restore the nation to greatness, and whom he now perceived to be the “only Republican running who can defeat Hillary Clinton.”  For his part, Trump suddenly remembered that the man he’d been lambasting as the commie-hugging little boy cum “Bridgegate” conspirator who cost Romney the election, had been “a wonderful governor,” and a “standout for many years.” Trump’s eagerness to praise those who praise him is no secret–but what was Christie’s motive? Some believe he’s angling for the vice-presidency, but Trump knows his own preternaturally sudden conversion to conservatism is problematic for millions of voters whose doubts would hardly be assauged should he tap the supersized RINO as his running mate in Cleveland.

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Mitt scolds the Trumpeteers 

mitt too

Now, voters; you know you’ve been silly!

On March 3rd a deeply troubled RINO establishment, stripped of  champions like Lindsey, Jeb, and Christie, sent Mitt Romney out to carefully and patiently explain to to all the silly voters why Donald Trump “has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president.”  WOOF doesn’t doubt Mitt’s sincerity, and he made some solid points–but the GOP’s dopey certitude that Romney would leave Trump supporters slapping their foreheads and exclaiming, “Gadzooks, what fools we’ve been!” was risible. Even stupid people don’t like having their intelligence insulted–and a lot of Trump’s supporters (witness Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage and Bill O’Reilly) aren’t even stupid. Mitt’s homily ricocheted, of course, functioning as a defacto pep rally for its intended victim.

Don’t shoot, G-men, don’t shoot!

hillprisonerMeanwhile, the FBI is reportedly amassing ever-more lurid and damnatory evidence of treasonable misconduct by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton despite which Loretta Lynch’s Justice Department will not lift a finger, leading to rumors that Valerie Jarrett may once again have issued a stand-down order. However we’ve also learned Hillary’s personal computer geek recently received immunity from prosecution. This only occurs when a grand-jury investigation in progress–and this presupposes a suspect about whom the jury is even now hearing testimony. Dast we assume that it’s Hillary?  More on this as developments warrant! (See what we did there?)

The frost is off the bumpkin! 

clinton billBill Clinton is losing his mojo. It began during the 2008 election when the newly Obama-crazed media discovered for the first time that Bill was a liar, a perjurer, an adulterer, and even, for a week or two, a racist. It doesn’t help matters that the once boyish Bubba has aged poorly, resembling at this point a stooped, slim-wristed, nearly-androgynous oldster whose Viagra-swollen eyes bulge eerily beneath a matronly helmet of fastidiously cosseted hair– hair so white it amplifies the pallor of Slick Willy’s dissipated physiognomy. And when Mr. Clinton gets angry (which is more and more often, we’ve noticed) the effect is trebled.

Oversights happen. The press forgot to keep Bill’s flame alive, so busy were they propping up the real first Black president. Today, millennials look at Bill Clinton and see the rickety old perv who gave Juanita Broaddrick a fat lip, sexually assaulted Kathleen Willey, paid off Paula Jones, and lied to the entire country about Monica Lewinsky. They don’t see Huck Finn in a power tie when Bill walks in the room; they just see a douche bag.

Bill when he was cool--nobody minded his sax addiction either.

Bill when he was cool–nobody minded his sax addiction either.

Recently, Bill was in the midst of lying his brains  out on Hillary’s behalf in front of an audience in Bluffton, South Carolina, when a former Marine interrupted him. “The thing is,” the Marine pointed out, “we had four lives in Benghazi killed and your wife tried to cover it up.”  Even more horrifying than this surreal breach of the official liberal immunity credo was the fact that perhaps a third of the room cheered the at this point, and there was no Don Lemon to insist on going to commercial.  The Marine continued elaborating on Benghazi and Mrs. Clinton’s falsehoods, until Sheriff’s deputies hauled him out of the room. Clinton shouted “Do you have the courage to listen to my answer?” (This to a United States Marine, mind you), and “Don’t throw him out. Shut up and listen to my answer. I’ll answer it!” But the deputies had by then dragged the man out of the gymnasium. Clinton caught his breath and after a moment’s refocusing, defaulted to the vast-right-wing-conspiracy defense, shouting, “Can I just say something? That’s what’s wrong! His mind has been poisoned by lies and he won’t listen!” This is where a swell of cheers and applause always used to reach an affirmatory crescendo, but the magic is gone—the frost is off the bumpkin. Some other guy yelled “Bullsh*t!” only without the asterisk, and a lady jumped up and shouted, “Hillary lied over four coffins, she lied and she lied to those families. So all those families are liars?”

bubba upset

“Will you listen to my answer?”

Will you listen to my answer?” the Bubba pleaded; “Did she lie?” the woman demanded; “Are you afraid of my answer?” countered Clinton; “No I’m not afraid because I know you’re going to lie,” the woman responded, at which point she too was seized by Sheriff’s deputies and dragged from the hall while Clinton continued to roar, “Why are you afraid of my answer? Will you let me answer?” But the Bubba was drained–atremble with barely suppressed rage, one raspy voice marooned in a gymnasium awash with murmurings and angry bursts of dissent. These reminders that his glory days were behind him seemed to leave Clinton adrift. Perhaps this is why, as Olaf Ekberg reported in the American Mirror, “Clinton never did answer.”

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When scary things happen to good liberals….

AlisonHoward

Alison Howard, fighting the insanity of it all.

It seems to have started in San Francisco where pioneering psychologist Alison Howard discovered a substantial number of patients succumbing to a previously unheard of affliction resembling a standard phobia but with a tincture of culture-related panic disorder thrown in.  And while the exact nosology of the problem remains elusive, the cause is apparent: Howard’s clients have it in common that their fragile liberal psyches cannot cope with the existential threat of Donald Trump. Less severe cases report obsessing over such concerns as “What …happened to Trump during his childhood…to make him such a bad person?” Others are more traumatized than quizzical, wrestling with the perceived dissonance of it all. “We’ve been told our whole lives not to say bad things about people, to not be bullies, to not ostracize people based on their skin color,” Howard explains. “We have these social mores and he breaks all of them and he’s successful. And people are wondering how he gets away with it!”

menninger

Menninger miffed by McCarthy and Mike.

Liberals also sought counseling in the wake of George “W” Bush’s victory over John Kerry in 2004, remember? Actually, psychology’s valiant struggle to cope with the expanding threat of political and ideative diversity is traceable to earlier manifestations. Readers who are long enough in the tooth may recall that during the crest of McCarthyism in the early ‘50s, psychiatric heavyweight Karl Menninger, (Director of the famed clinic that bears his name) became so innervated by Joe’s “sadism” that he found it necessary to take pen to paper and complain to Senator Frank Carlson of Kansas, that “many people delight in the vulgarity, irresponsibility, and, to my mind, viciousness of Senator McCarthy…” which Menninger proceeded to associate, however oddly, with the success of detective novels by Mickey Spillane. (In fact, the author and the Junior Senator never met, although Spillane once opined that McCarthy was “a slob,” which Joe really kind of was, when we think about it.)

one lonely nightMenninger seemed driven to expound on what he considered a malevolent consanguinity linking the author and the Junior Senator, and he expressed particular dismay over Spillane’s best-seller One Lonely Night in which the fictional hero, Mike Hammer, guns down 40 communist spies with a Thompson submachine gun. (In the manuscript, it was 80, but Spillane’s publisher thought 80 was too gory.)  By way of emphasizing this tenuous linkage, Menninger no sooner finished his ardent denunciation of McCarthy than he added, as if the one thought naturally begat the other,“over twenty-four million copies of these various Mickey Spillane books have been snapped up by someone!

A loosely held together person…

trumpClearly, the willingness of America’s psychotherapeutic professionals to serve as champions of the progressive cause predates the rise of Donald Trump. And Before you dismiss all this with a sneer, gentle readers–before you shrug off the magnitude of Trump-centered anxiety in the present epoch–consider the very real cost  in human terms! According to Washington Post reporter Paul Schwartzman:

  • Emma Taylor lies abed restively in Los Angeles where she reports: “I literally can’t sleep because I just thought about how Trump may actually win the Presidency and now I’m having a panic attack.”
  • Another Californian explains: “He’s extremely reactionary and that’s what scares me the most. I feel totally powerless and it’s horrible.”
  • Whitney Royston, a 30 year old resident of Littleton, Colorado confides, “If he were to become president, I fear that our world would come tumbling down.”
  • Nancy Lauro, 52, an art teacher, sits at her computer in Brooklyn, frantically Googling information on how to become an Italian citizen should Trump become president—or, she thinks, possibly a citizen of Ireland because it turns out they speak English.
patients

When Trump syndrome strikes!

Judith Schweiger Levy, a New York psychologist, reports that she is currently rendering assistance to a “middle-aged business woman” who made the traumatic discovery earlier this month that her sister is thinking about voting for Trump. Worse still, Dr. Levy admits that she, too, is developing symptoms, telling the interviewer, “I’m starting to feel anxious just talking about him.” Levy is not alone. Psychologist Mary Libbey of Central Park West describes similar abreactions. Couching her analysis in concise, professional terms, Dr. Libbey explains, “I’m terrified that he could win. His impulsivity, his incomplete sentences, his strange, squinty eyes — to my mind, he’s a loosely held together person.”  Loosely-held-together Personality Disorder isn’t in the DSM, however, so it’s hard to confirm the diagnosis.

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Ted eats a bug?

So what was that glowing white blob that appeared on candidate Cruz’s lower lip in the widely circulated video from the recent FOX debate?  Whatever it is/was, the Senator swept it up with a deft flick of his tongue, and appeared to ingest it.

ted bugWith no superior insights available, not even any  “Barker Street Irregulars” reporting in, we have no recourse but to repeat the current internet speculation, which goes as follows: ONE: Ted ate a bug–although it would have been a strange bug–possibly a louse. One site speculates on the existence of albino tics, but we checked and they don’t exist. TWO: One Holly Anderson took to Twitter to opine that the mystery item was a chunk of styrofoam packing peanut. Holly does not follow WOOF on Twitter, (we checked) so we can’t vouch for her judgment. THREE: While opinions on REDDIT are legion, the booger theory has established a substantial lead, but this may be because the booger theory is the most immediately cringe inducing and most REDDIT posters are unemployed cellar dwellers who obsess over things like boogers routinely. FOUR: It might have been a tonsil stone– this theory is gaining in circulation since it was originally proposed by someone named Ana on The Young Turks.  We don’t want to look into tonsil stones, though because they sound really disgusting.

Marco pops a pill

Marco Rubio has several times been observed furtively popping as-yet-unidentified pills into his mouth. The fact that he attempts to get away with this while on camera in the midst of minutely scrutinized debates suggests he either desperately needs the pills to control some medical condition, or that he is succumbing to some irresistable addictive impulse. If the pills are truly innocuous, let’s say breath mints or Rolaids—why fish them from his pockets during  televised debate segments? Yet a video of the his last FOX performance shows Rubio sneaking a pill into his mouth, and the Senator has been glimpsed popping pills often enough that rumors are growing in number and floridity.

rubio pops a pill

Opinions on Twitter range from “pills keep his body from rejecting the control chip implanted in his brain,” to  “he’s popping Xanax or Beta Blockers, which explains his robotic bullsh*t!”  But popping benzos on camera seems ill advised and, one might hope, unnecessary. Beta blockers are sometimes used to address the nervousness associated with public speaking, and, one would assume, debating Donald Trump. Diabetes might require pills and explain the candidates preoccupation with chugging designer water—but again, why not appear on stage with your blood sugar already stabilized? Or has the Senator entered the brave new world of “nootropics,” or their not-so-distant cousins, amphetamines? “New-tropics” like Provigil are marketed as speed without the consequences—no crash, no addiction—just extra energy, wakefulness, and heightened mental acuity. Nootropics, like amphetamines, are available in pill form and can result in thirst and dehydration, especially when abused. Is Rubio sharpening his brain with Provigil before wading into eristic combat? Perhaps, although a less charitable blog might note the absence of any conspicuous result.

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Hillary denies being one…

You can see why the call the show "Hardball," right?

You can see why they call the show “Hardball,” right? Oh, wait….

No wonder the Democrat debates draw comparatively paltry ratings. The field is two people, one an overt socialist, and the other a costumed, dissembled socialist who cannot, when asked, name a single distinction between herself and any other socialist. “What’s the difference between a socialist and a Democrat?” Chris Matthews asked Her Magnificence (to coin Tina Brown’s goo-goo-eyed cognomen for Mrs. Clinton) on Hardball, realizing in that awful, frozen moment that he had accidentally bollixed his guest. Readers who are not liberals may be slow to comprehend how often the progressive mind actually subscribes to the very flummeries its propaganda machine heaps upon liberal politicians. Thus Matthews may have fallen into the trap of supposing that Clinton was the brilliant, accomplished lioness described by the lickspittle media. Surely she’d have an answer at hand, or be able to compose one after a moment’s thought.  But alas, nyet. Her magnificence was utterly flustered. She defaulted to, “Well, I can tell you what I am. I am a progressive Democrat.” Again Matthews asked, “How’s that different than a Socialist?” Mrs. Clinton explained, “I’m a progressive Democrat who likes to get things done…” Matthews said “Okay… well, see, I’m asking you. You’re a Democrat, he’s a Socialist. You — would you like someone to call you a Socialist?” Hillary fired back, “But I’m not one.” Matthews’ eyes grew glassier. He began massaging his frontal lobe and murmured “Okay…” but Mrs. Clinton sought to clarify the matter further by adding, “I’m not one.”

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“As Maine goes…”

"At least he means it"

“At least he means it”

And then came Maine, where most residents outside urban areas hold arguably right-of-center views (witness the election and re-election of Paul LePage as governor) but so pride themselves on fierce Yankee independence that they are immediately duped by any leftist wearing Bean boots and plaid and claiming to be an Independent (especially if he configures his bumper stickers to replicate the MOXIE logo, as did the wily Senator Angus King (Independent, read: Democrat). Predictably, therefore, Maine handed Sanders his 4th primary win…while Maine’s Republican caucus  opted for Ted Cruz.  Bernie’s rumpled, threadbare style appeals to “indy” liberals who’ve wearied of sticking up for a pack of incorrigible liars whose policies invariably fail; especially when the liars have been at it so long, so clumsily, and so loudly, that people are noticing.  Is it any wonder Bernie  appeals to voters ignorant of the mathematical ludicrosity of his prescriptions? Historically, such prescriptions invariably conduce toward  hell on earth, but folks like a guy who honestly says he’ll lead them there.

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Hillary’s nomination= President Trump?

hill and donCould Bernie Sanders prove tougher than Hillary for Trump to beat in a general election? To examine this relatively heterodox viewpoint, WOOF visited the effete sanctums of Salon and checked out Steve Almond’s article, “Hillary will never survive the Trump onslaught: It’s not fair, but it makes her a weak nominee.” Almond is a Bernie supporter  whose analysis might therefore be regarded as biased—although he professes great admiration for Hillary as well. Hillary, he insists, brings too much baggage to the table to survive a clash with Trump. Worse, Almond worries that “no matter who the GOP nominee is, the battle plan against Hillary will be the same: a tawdry and unrelenting relitigation of all the phony scandals cooked up by the ‘vast right-wing conspiracy’ that she identified nearly two decades ago.”

Mr. Almond wisely avoids revisiting the context in which Her Magnificence excogitated that lurid term, preferring to enumerate the sundry “phony scandals” we at WOOF, in conjunction with “vast” numbers of right-wing co-conspirators, apparently “cooked up.”  These include: “Whitewater, Travelgate, Troopergate, Lewinskygate…Vince Foster Murdergate… the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Pardons… Benghazi, the private email server, [and] the Wall Street speeches.” Wow, we’ve been busy! But Almond also warns that the “dark corporate money and talented propagandists aligned against Hillary will make the Swift Boat Veterans look like toy soldiers.” …So, they’ll look like John Kerry? That’s sad.

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“Dark corporate money and talented propagandists aligned against Hillary” (file photo)

One additional impediment, Almond notes, is “the reality…that Hillary is among the most hated politicians in America.” Almond’s article seemed a rarity at first, but suddenly a bumper crop of articles and essays sprang up echoing his sentiments. For reasons that remain semi-mysterious, more and more liberal opinionists are issuing dire warnings that Her Magnificence cannot prevail in a general election. WOOF would congratulate Almond on his courage in presenting the bellwether piece on this theme were it not for the fact that he ends his bold monograph by assuring his readers that, “None of this is to suggest that Hillary won’t beat Trump, if they wind up as the nominees.” What?  Either Almond’s editor insisted on a more Clinton-friendly postscript, or the author got to the end of his piece and decided he’d been wrong the whole time, in which case, shouldn’t he have torn it up?

Bernie’s blues

Curses! Foiled again!

Curses! Foiled again!

Which reminds  us: Bernie  has consistently performed better than anyone expected in Democratic primary contests. But it never seems to help much. The liberal establishment networks continued to portray him as a laughable, idiosyncratic wannabe tilting at windmills even as Hillary (whom they extol) seems to emerge from every discomfiture another few delegates ahead.  Bernie took Michigan 50 percent to Clinton’s 48 percent, despite the fact that every available poll showed Clinton with an insurmountable advantage, often as much as 20 points. But just when the battling Bolshevik from Vermont almost broke a smile, Hillary turned in a phenomenal win in Mississippi, grabbing 83 percent of the voters to Bernie’s 16. This placed La Clinton in the lead with more than 200 pledged delegates. When Bernie racked up primary wins in Colorado, Minnesota, and Oklahoma (okay, that was weird), Hillary’s southern strategy held like a stone wall.  Southerners tend to detest socialists, which is why Hillary wears a pantsuit and calls herself a progressive, which was good enough for Democrats in Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

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Trump: The real terrorist!

ayers

News item: Bill Ayers hates Donald Trump. Can we go home now?

On March 11th Bill Ayers (socially acceptable Weather Underground terrorist, Obama groomer) entered the nominative fray by organizing an anti-Trump protest at the University of Chicago. Ayers addressed approximately 9,000 leftwing supporters, inveighing against Trump whom the protesters’ signage branded “the real terrorist.”  WOOF regrets we cannot locate a pull quote from Ayers’s remarks, because one would surely contribute to the drollery of this post, but the main question is: who would instigate such a freak show? The obvious double dative by which detectives would arrive at a suspect is Cicero’s famous inquiry “cui bono?” or “who benefits?” The answer is Trump. After all, nobody who attended the protest is likely to vote for anyone other than Bernie Sanders, everybody there already hates Trump, while vacillating voters throughout the American homeland are doubtless galvanized into solidarity with Trump at the mere sight of Ayers once again jackassing it up for the media. Subsequently, a couple of Trump appearances were cancelled because the unemployed proletarians  were rioting.  And  again, this will serve mainly to rally undecided Americans to the billionaire’s campaign.  However Trump arranged this, whether by subtle manipulation or outright financial disbursement, it was a brilliant gambit.  Ayers, you sucker!

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Sister Sarah is not amused!

sarah raises fistsJust ahead of the March 10 debate on CNN, Ted Cruz saw fit to borrow a phrase from Rush Limbaugh, telling a CBN interviewer that. “Donald does well with voters who have relatively low information…”  The Senator may have meant to recruit  previously benighted  Trump fans, brought thus to sudden wisdom, but in the event he merely ignited the ever-coruscative Sarah Palin, who took to her Facebook page and lambasted Cruz for his efforts. “Ted Cruz’s insinuation reeks of all the reasons America knows ‘the status quo has got to go,’” raged Sister Sarah, adding. “Cruz’s latest dig strays from humorous into downright nasty. Cruz is right, though – independent, America-first, commonsense conservatives supporting Donald Trump ARE ‘low information’ when it comes to having any information on Cruz’s ability to expand the conservative movement, beat Hillary Clinton, unify or lead the nation.” Yipes! There was a lot more, too, but you get the picture. Sarah Palin is all in when she’s in, and she takes her partisanship seriously. Palin ended her diatribe with the nastiest obloquy one can hurl at a conservative icon, to wit: “Ted Cruz is just like any other politician!” So there! At least Sarah’s beautiful when she’s angry!

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Pretty reporter mauled by ape?

fields

Michelle Fields, wronged, or wrong?

Okay, next, Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields claimed she was assaulted at a March rally by Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who, she said, grabbed her and forced her from the stage as she approached Trump to ask a few questions. At first, it seemed cut and dry: Trump’s ape of a campaign manager roughed up the pretty reporter for trying to do her job. But then came Lewandowski’s denial. He insisted he’d never touched Fields, whom he dismissed as “totally delusional.”  And video? In one of those oddities that seem to characterize this primary season, despite myriad cameras recording the event, no footage of the occurrence depicts the alleged tussle with sufficient clarity to permit a conclusion. True, The Daily Beast posted video, announcing it “shows the moment Lewandowski grabbed Fields,” except the video, in our famously unbiased view, is so mirky it might as well be said to show the lady in the polka-dot dress aiming a revolver at Bobby Kennedy–because we can’t see that happening either. Breitbart, of course, demanded an apology from the Trump camp.

CdUDSj-WoAAS7A8

Incriminating video? We can’t even see the grassy knoll.

Fields next accused the Trump bunch of traducing her good name, telling FOX’s Megan Kelly, “They released a statement calling me a liar. They have basically done a character assassination on me. They’re linking to blogs with conspiracies about me, and they’re not telling the truth.” Worse, by Sunday, Fields began to suspect her own company’s support was eroding.  She tweeted that Breitbart was suddenly refusing to defend her character or vouch for her professional credibility– so she quit her job. But before you conclude that an attention seeking reporter misled the public in an effort to gain notoriety only to be found out by her employers who withdrew their support whereupon she affected to quit before the axe fell– well, consider the next turn of events…

ben

Shapiro walks.

Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro (whom WOOF considers a solid conservative and an asset to the cause) not only packed up his desk and bade his incredulous co-workers adieu, he next issued a statement averring that “Breitbart News not only stood by and did nothing outside of tepidly asking for an apology, they then attempted to abandon Michelle by silencing staff from tweeting or talking about the issue.” Shapiro added that “[Andrew Breitbart’s] life mission has been betrayed, Indeed, Breitbart News, under the chairmanship of Steve Bannon, has put a stake through the heart of  Andrew’s legacy.” Yipes! Fields next filed a criminal complaint against Lewandowski in Jupiter, Florida near the site of whatever did or didn’t happen. WOOF will continue to report developments in an utterly neutral fashion (perhaps for the first time ever) unless we discover that by staunchly defending Fields we might induce Trump’s campaign to offer us a substantial cash “donation” to switch sides–to which idea we should simply like to say we are not entirely ill-disposed.

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Possible child molester endorses Trump!

ben carsonTrump’s views of his competitors change a lot–perhaps you’ve noticed.  Ted Cruz went from being a nice guy to a horrible man whom nobody likes. Obama went from being exactly what the country needed to the worst president ever. Hillary went from being “very, very capable” to “evil,” although we suppose those two concepts are not mutually exclusive. People can also improve themselves, meaning that reprobates can attain virtual sainthood once their views and remarks advance Trump’s interests. Example: former presidential candidate Ben Carson was elevated in the immediate wake of his endorsement of Trump, which occurred shortly after Carson’s withdrawal from the race. Trump only weeks earlier berated Carson’s autobiography as implausible, asking aloud, “How stupid are the people of the country to believe this crap?” He called Carson a liar, and threw in “pathological” for good measure, insisting during one interview that  “It’s in [Carson’s ] book that he’s got a pathological temper, that’s a big problem because you don’t cure that … as an example: child molesting. You don’t cure these people. You don’t cure a child molester. There’s no cure for it. Pathological, there’s no cure for that.” Well–Carson was at least correct that Trump misunderstood the word pathological, and was right in saying the billionaire hadn’t actually called him a child molester.  Still, it wasn’t until he endorsed Trump that Trump realized Ben Carson was  “a terrific guy, loved by everybody…just really liked and respected by everybody.” In Carson’s transformation, surely, hope may be found for each of us earnestly seeking redemption.

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Dangerously religious?!
ted-cruz-vampire-575x367On March 11th, countless devotees of Drudge were shocked by a headline proclaiming: ‘TED IS THE ANOINTED ONE!’ HOLY GHOST VIDEO REVEALED; DAD SPEAKING IN TONGUES; SUPPORTERS ‘LAY HANDS’ ON CRUZ AT RALLY!  Curious clickers were shunted to a conspiracy-oriented link denouncing Cruz as a closet Pentecostal (yipes?) who only pretends membership in the First Baptist Church in Houston to deceive his gullible supporters. Worse still, if that’s even possible, the site revealed Cruz’s wife was raised by Seventh Day Adventists! But it gets even worse! The article references a Pew Research Center study proving Pentecostalism “emphasizes such practices as speaking in tongues, prophesying, divine healing and other miraculous signs of the Holy Spirit” and these psychotics are scheming to take over America and turn us into a fundamentalist theocracy, and Cruz is their means to this end!  (A kind of Melchizedekian Candidate–see what we did there?) And as if this wasn’t horrifying enough, there’s video! Drudge’s headline ballyhooed shocking scenes of Cruz engaged in all manner of depraved rituals. Per Drudge, we expected  at bare minimum to witness the Senator jabbering in tongues kissing  rattlesnakes, chugging cyanide, and declaring himself the reborn Elijah– or maybe John the Beloved–or at least John from Cincinatti, all the while flouncing about in lurid robes like some Pentecostal Aleister Crowley amidst The Babalon Working…maybe sporting a pyramidic headdress adorned with the all-seeing eye of Horus…maybe knifing a hapless goat? We barely possessed the gumption to witness such a paradigm-shattering expose, but summoning all our courage, we clicked the arrow!
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Oh. Matt!

Rascally Matt

Darn that rascally Matt Drudge! Not since theatre-goers paid good money to attend the premier of Plan 9 from Outer Space has any production fallen so pathetically short of audience expectations.  Not only were zero goats sacrificed, the videos provided nothing more traumatizing than a melange of activities that would shock nobody even glancingly familiar with fundamentalist or evangelical practices. Cruz never lays hands on anybody, but we watch as he receives a blessing from Pastor Gaylon Wiley, who baptized Cruz and converted his parents from atheism.  Cruz is seen receiving  a laying on of hands, but this is no dark ritual by which Pentecostal  cult leaders imbue their minions with powers of mass deception—it is a practice common to many sects of Christianity and to many forms of Judaism. It is also routine in the Mormon Church, although Drudge backed Mitt Romney without reservation in 2012.  Sarah Palin was raised in a Pentecostal denomination, which fact never alarmed Drudge–and only last September Donald Trump received an ecumenical laying on of hands by clerics asking God to direct his actions.  We guess Matt missed that event– but we know he can’t be everywhere.

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KKK for Hillary!

Grand Dragon Quigg-- at least we think it is--hard to be sure.

Grand Dragon Quigg– at least we think it is–it’s difficult to say for sure….

A certified  Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan’s California chapter, who bears responsibility for recruitment in the western United States and presumably speaks for all the Klantons (not a typo) under his authority, has declared wholehearted support for Hillary. “We want Hillary Clinton to win,” insists klansman Will Quigg, explaining, “She is telling everybody one thing, but she has a hidden agenda. She’s telling everybody what they want to hear so she can get elected…[but] once she’s in the presidency, she’s going to come out and her true colors are going to show.”

Sadly for those of us not in the loop, Grand Dragon Quigg (whose initiative will surely see him elevated to Grand Wizard shortly) is unwilling to say precisely how he came upon his knowledge of Hillary’s “hidden agenda,” or even what that agenda might be.  Should Quigg see fit to enlighten us, we will immediately inform our readers. Meanwhile, we counsel a level head and a tranquil demeanor. After all, whatever Hillary Clinton’s secret agenda may be, assuming it exists at all, it is almost certain to be superior to the one she’s promoting publically.

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Donald ascendent/ Kasich reborn!

"This is me, in whom I am well pleased!"

“This is me, in whom I am well pleased!”

On Tuesday the 15th, Donald Trump won Florida, humiliating “Little Marco”and walking away with all 99 delegates, leaving the “favorite son” to bleed out. The Donald also found favor in Illinois and North Carolina. Despite this, the previously ignorable John Kasich found cause to wax ecstatic, reanimated by his first ever primary victory (in Ohio, where he happens, coincidentally, to be governor). He told reporters he was now in it to win. Lovers of the Kafkaesque will enjoy monitoring the sudden outbreak of seemingly serious discussion on cable news networks to the effect that Kasich, having finally won a primary, is suddenly Trump’s major competition for the nomination. The intellectual validity of such discussion is on a par with say, a round robin of newscasters earnestly mulling over the likelihood that planet Nibiru will collide with Earth this summer–but by now you’ve probably noticed the media are fantasy prone.

Wait, is that line from “Key Largo,” or “Little Marco?”

ricoWith the grey dawn of March 16th came an additional casualty report—the demise of Little Marco. We have long felt that when this (pretty much inevitable) moment arrived, the candidate should make the shortest speech yet uttered by any politician suspending a campaign—we thought it would be admirable, campy, and quick,  if he just stepped up to the microphone and quoted Edward G. Robinson’s classic last line from Little Caesar (Warner Bros., 1931), namely, “Oh, mother of mercy—is this the end of Marco?”  Okay, yes we know–Robinson’s character was Rico, not Marco, but the facile wit of the paraphrase plus the uncanny parallelism surely justifies the adaptation.

Symbolic of the entire RINO delusion, Rubio really believed he would take Florida handsomely—whereas he only succeeded in preventing Cruz from gaining momentum, and ensured victory for Trump, whom he purports to loathe. With classic RINO timing, Rubio blocked Cruz from pulling ahead in several states, and decided to get out of the way only once he’d rendered the Texan’s odds nearly prohibitive. Even more irksome, Rubio ignored our Edward G. Robinson idea, opting instead to condemn America’s immersion in “the politics of resentment.”  Such politics, Marco cautioned in parting, could only fracture our communities, divide our citizens, and “leave us as a nation where people literally hate each other because they have different political opinions!”  The young Senator seemed strangely unaware of the fact that President Obama accomplished all of that years ago.

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The walking dead…

walking deadKasich and Sanders have something in common besides loathing Donald Trump–both men are determined to go the distance despite having no perceptible path to victory. Some say Sanders will stay in the fight because he loves getting campaign donations. Can it be? The austere, Aveo driving socialist has a history of dipping into campaign funds for nepotistic enrichment.  He once handed his wife $150,000 and told the Federal Election Commission it was a “consulting fee.” And that was before he was raising the big bucks. Consider this: Although Bernie’s recent clean sweep of Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii barely diminished Hillary’s advantage (she remains in front by 280 pledged delegates and 440 superdelegates), it performed a different but perhaps equally important function. As the New York Times noted, “the wins are likely to bestow on the Sanders campaign a surge of online donations,” greatly enhancing his ability to advertise for even more campaign donations. (But hey, at least he’s honest.)  Kasich, on the other hand, mainly loves Kasich, with a kind of amaurotic self-absorption. The RINOs adore his faux-conservative history of aisle-crossing, compromise and accommodationism and want him kept in play as a possible means of toppling Trump the Barbarian. This will, of course, only ruin Cruz and advance Trump, but RINOs (okay, Rhinos) are not particularly intelligent creatures and often forget why they’re charging in the midst of the charge.  We looked it up.

Run, run, it’s the Great Uniter!

Outgoing-US-Speake_3486688b

Ewwww, yuk!

On March 16 the willfully phlegmatic John Boehner, whom we all fervently hoped we’d heard the last of, materialized like a conjured Tulpa in Boca Raton, Florida. Regarding the primaries, he puffed, “They all had a chance to win, none of them won. So I’m for none of the above. I’m for Paul Ryan to be our nominee!” Wuhh? Okay, true, the convention may arrive without anyone landing the 1,237  delegates necessary to secure the nomination and true, this may trigger a brokered convention—but we carefully counted Paul Ryan’s delegates so far, and -he doesn’t have any.  Oh, and as soon as he “learned” Boehner nominated him, Ryan (aka “none of the above”) dashed to a CNBC microphone to recite, “I’m not running for president. I made that decision, consciously…I don’t see that happening. I’m not thinking about it.”  And if you don’t find that string of prefabricated mendacities absolutely side splitting, you just don’t know funny! Prepare yourselves, gentle readers, to be “saved” by Paul Ryan, “the great uniter.”

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More March madness…

  • March 17, Bernie the Battling Bolshevik concedes that Hillary won the Missouri primary—which everyone else already knew.
  • March 21,   Bill Clinton exhorts a roomful of Hillary supporters to “put the awful legacy of the last eight years behind us.” Does that include his wife? Bill is now missing from the campaign.
  • March 21, Mitt Romney endorses Ted Cruz, accusing Kasich, whom he endorsed in Ohio and now un-endorses, of staying in the race solely to deny Cruz the nomination.
  • March 22: Prior to the primary, Trump predicts the people of Utah will shun “Lying” Ted Cruz because “Mormons hate liars!” Utah responds by handing Lying Ted all its delegates in an avalanche of apparent support for mendacity!
  • March 22: Trump counter punches by sweeping Arizona with more delegates than Utah—and that’s no lie.
  • March 22: Hillary prevails in Arizona’s primary, whereas feisty old Bernie grabs Utah and Idaho. Maybe Donald was wrong and Mormons just don’t like Clintons.
  • March 23: With exquisite RINO timing, Jeb Bush endorses Ted Cruz. Can we slap you now, Jeb?
  • March 23, several Barker Street Irregulars in positions to know begin telling WOOF that Hillary is on the verge of being indicted and FBI boss James Comey told Loretta Lynch he’ll walk out with most of his staff if action is not sanctioned…we cannot confirm this, and our prophylactic pessimism restrains us from believing it, but we sure keep hearing it.
  • March 24: Ted Cruz takes Texican values to Manhattan’s posh 3 West Club where he sensibly advised New Yorkers to quit electing progressives whose “liberal, left-wing values” denied New Yorkers 16-ounce sodas and baby bottles, drove away business, and sent crime rates soaring. He also made fun of Comrade Bill de Blasio whose consternation was marvelous to behold.
  • March 25, Hillary tells Jimmy Kimmel that when elected she will open the files on Area 51 to all Americans, unless national security dictates otherwise, which of course it will. Kimmel shares the common belief that crashed saucers and pickled aliens are hidden there. The UFO party last ran a candidate in 1972 when saucer buff Gabriel Green lost to Richard Nixon. Some see Clinton’s remarks as intended to enlist Green’s old base, but WOOF sees them as ridiculous. Everyone knows they took all the alien stuff to Wright Patterson decades ago!
  • March 25: The senior House Republican leadership predicts the coming of President Paul Ryan,(who doesn’t want the job, wink, wink) The way the RINOs tell it, Ryan’s nomination is practically inevitable. Sorting through the leadership’s vast outpouring of magical thinking on this subject, we were unable to isolate a single instance in which anybody made sense.
  • March 26:-The National Enquirer claims Ted Cruz had affairs with “a hooker, a teacher, and [several] coworkers ” We won’t believe it, of course, until we hear it from Drudge– but the ooze is spreading.
  • March 28: John Kasich announces he is going to walk away with the Pennsylvania primary…and because it’s always fun to close with a joke, here’s this:

As March marches away…

lindsey againUnwilling to wait for April 1 to tender further proofs of foolishness, Lindsey Graham announced that despite his endorsement of Jeb Bush, (now moribund) and his subsequent endorsement of Ted Cruz, he believes John Kasich would be a much better nominee– except, he says, Kasich can’t win—which sounds like a not-so-good nominee. Graham next told MSNBC  “I think Ted would make it a competitive race,” which seems supportive enough, except when Joe Scarborough asked him “Would [Cruz] make a good president?” Lindsey replied, “No, I don’t think so.” But not to worry! By way of clarifying his sentiments, Senator Graham subsequently announced that any misinterpretation of his comments as inconsistent might as well be dismissed from mind inasmuch as “The GOP will probably lose in 2016.”  One of those misguided news sources that accused Lindsey of inconsistency is a charmingly heterodox blog called FITS News. FITS takes the understandable position that “LINDSEY GRAHAM IS CONFUSED…” but with all due respect, FITS is overthinking the matter. Trust us on this one, gentle readers: Lindsey Graham is not confused. He’s an idiot. WOOF PRINT

lindsey

 

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