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WOOF reviews “The Company You Keep” without seeing it…and guess what? It’s a bomb!

In "Ready when you are C.B.!" forum on April 24, 2013 at 2:03 am
Run, Bob, run! The bad guys are after you! No, wait, that would be you!

Run, Bob, run! The bad guys are after you! No, wait, that would be you!

WOOF established a precedent a few months ago of reviewing movies that we haven’t actually seen. At the time, we wrote about Zero Dark Thirty. Truth be told, we don’t feel comfortable drifting too far from our WOOF cave these days–what with all the drones swooping about the coastline–so using a nearly infallible gauge based on the simple inversion of liberal sentiment as it may be expressed in reaction to a film’s release, we concluded that Zero Dark Thirty was probably pretty good because every liberal who reacted to it denounced it as odious based on its failure to fulfill its anticipated mission. The film was feared on the Right and ballyhooed by the Left because everybody knew it was going to lionize Barack Obama as the greatest military leader since at least Napoleon Bonaparte, and possibly of all time..and just in time for his re-election, too! But the film ran into a brick wall when the glitter set realized that the talented and attractive director, Kathryn Bigelow, had not delivered her film in time to help with the Bamster’s election (not that it turned out to matter) and had in any case effectively rabbit punched the establishment by delivering a product that showed heroic SEALs killing Osama Bin Laden after an equally heroic female CIA analyst located him, but which failed to accord Our Dear Leader a single scene, quite accurately implying by omission that he was barely in the loop as events unfolded. Yikes! The Oscar went, vengefully, to John Kerry’s longtime bff, Ben Affleck, for his film Argo, which depicts the State Department as heroic, and Michelle Obama did the presenting, just in case viewers didn’t get the picture, no pun intended. Obviously, Bigelow must have made a pretty good movie to generate that much spitefulness from the entertainment establishment, and we gave it a good review, sight unseen.

It's lonely out there defying the establishment, right, Michael?

It’s lonely out there defying the establishment, right, Michael?

Flushed with success, we have assayed to review a second film we haven’t seen—and will not bother seeing. We speak now of The Company You Keep directed by and starring Robert Redford, the fabulously wealthy film star who, like several other outspoken Hollywood communists (including Oliver Stone, Sean Penn, Michael Moore, Jane Fonda, and others too numerous to mention), has not scrupled to acquire vast wealth consisting of well-invested millions (one-hundred and seventy of them, to be precise) none of which, so far as we can tell, has been redistributed in accordance with anyone’s authentic needs—although to be fair, Redford does style himself a philanthropist. So what does that mean in his case? Well, he gives money to wild horse preservation (which should stand him in well with the beautiful and talented Bo Derrick, so WOOF is willing to grant him a pass on the horses—besides, remember the beginning of Billy Jack? No? Not a problem; skip it). Anyway…we also approve of his donations to bone-marrow-and-transplant charities, for which he is to be commended—but most of his philanthropy amounts to the support of his own Sundance film festival, a celebration of liberal filmmakers who can’t make films interesting enough to command larger audiences, and environutty funds aimed at the destruction of free enterprise, military firing ranges, supersonic air travel, fossil fuel, and all possible means of powering anything that actually goes.

Polished wit is a trademark exclusive to the Left.

Bill Maher: Sophisticated wit is a trademark exclusive to the Left.

Predictably he supports Green Peace, and is a loyal member of the subversive Architects of Peace Foundation (afforded three and a half “Algers” by WOOF’s own Eastern Touchdowns archive, meaning they’re pretty bad). He is merrily ensconced at the Foundation with the likes of fellow peace devotees Al Gore, Bianca Jagger, Desmond Tutu, Bono and of course, Harry Belafonte. In 2007, TIME magazine named Redford a “Hero of the Environment.” (How very Soviet!) And who among us could have supposed him unworthy of the almost-oppressively effete Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for 2008, given annually to “a man or woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind’s enjoyment and understanding of life.” Think about it—if you had been asked in 2008 who such a man might be, surely, after a moment’s thought, you would have exclaimed, “Why, Robert Redford!”

Tinsel Terrorism…

Jane Fonda--not a movie promo, just a rich brat standing up to--what?--the system, or something like that.

Jane Fonda–not a movie promo, just a rich brat standing up for Marxist Leninist principles before she bails herself out.

Now, the funny thing about Redford is that while Comrade Fonda and Comrade Redgrave and Comrade Boyle and Comrade Sutherland all made the biggest asses of themselves while they were young and sanctimoniously fatuous, Comrade Bob seems to have kept his sinistral enthusiasms curbed to a fair degree until his golden years, somewhat reminiscent of Comrade Ed Asner (who everyone in the ‘60s and ‘70s assumed was nice until he foamed over with red hot left-wing vitriol in his dotage.) But make no mistake, Robert Redford studied at the feet of Hanoi Jane Fonda, and he’s as red a Hollywood Red as ever climbed into a private jet to go make a speech about evil rich people at a global-warming protest.

And now, we have The Company You Keep, which the Left Wing Critical Establishment is politely calling “a political thriller,” as though it were somehow consanguine to “Fail Safe” or “Seven Days in May.” No, what Redford’s new crie de cour amounts to is a paean to homicidal mania—and if it were a sentimental, nostalgic piece about hanging out with Tim McVeigh  or Charles Whitman (the Austin Texas shooter who killed 17 civilians and wounded 32 others in 1966, shooting from the University clock tower), and if McViegh and Whitman were called “activists,” as though they just wanted lower turnpike tolls or something, the critics would have exploded with indignation at Redford’s insane glamorization of such fiends.

Abbie Hoffman--another idealistic dreamer for social justice!

Abbie Hoffman–another idealistic dreamer for social justice!

But the anti-heroes of Redford’s movie are good, idealistic, peace-loving Communist terrorists (oops, we mean “activists”) who blew innocent people up and shot people in cold blood to call attention to social injustice, right? So it’s all just hunky dory. This bizarre double standard ramifies from the peculiar psychosis of the late 1960s during which the leading denizens of today’s journalistic, political, and entertainment establishments cut their chops—a time in which the peace-and-love affectations of the flower-power drug-and-sex fest were decaying beyond rescue, and the truer, more elemental toxicity of the Yippee counter-culture was asserting itself, insisting that its numbed minions “Steal This Book!” (the title of Abbie Hoffman’s revolutionary best seller) “Kill your parents!” (Bill Ayers’s thought on how to manage the ‘generation gap’), and “Off the pigs!” (Jerry Rubin’s catchy mantra—translatable as “kill policemen!” for those whose epochal experiences do not include militant sixties speak).

Peace, Man! The '60s before the Yippies broke bad!

Peace, Man! The ’60s before the Yippies broke bad!

For decades now, Hollywood has played the ‘60s off as a fun-filled era of Beatlemania, long-haired boys and dazzling hippy chicks in bell bottoms flashing naïve but heartfelt peace signs, softly overlaid with visions of flower power, psychedelic mini-busses, and laid-back, sun-drenched college kids—all glimpsed in kaleidoscopic Technicolor through a haze of marijuana smoke and flashing strobes. Even Woodstock, which rapidly degenerated into a muddy nightmare of rapes, fist fights and overdoses, is portrayed as a pastoral idyll, and when “activism” must be depicted, audiences are shown peace marches, placards and phalanxes of grim riot police, without any thought given the real violence of the era’s revolutionary movement. In a way, then, we suppose Redford may warrant one-and-a-half cheers for finally acknowledging on film that the Weather Underground even existed—even if he makes them seem more like the Children’s Crusade than the pack of rapid, butchering psychopaths they truly were.

The Robin Hood Delusion

Why does Redford find these spoiled college-brats-turned-urban-terrorists so appealing? For one thing, he was a moderately successful actor playing relatively straight-laced all-American boys by the time the hippies were metamorphosing into yippies around the bitter spring of 1968, which makes him too old for the part he plays in his film—which datum bespeaks an envy issue that swept over the “hootenanny” generation, or much of it, as it confronted the more glamorous, daring, stoned and sexually liberated radicals of the collegiate “New Left.” Just as moms and dads in suburbia strove to establish their “coolness” by learning to smoke pot with their offspring while running around in absurd Nehru jackets and Granny dresses and pretending to enjoy the Sgt. Pepper album, so the professional classes, just come into their own–the pushing-thirty crowd of the psychedelic era– backpedaled fiercely in a collective fear of being deemed “irrelevant” by the grooviest generation. Lawyers, advertising executives, TV stars and mainstream priests became radical, and pop singers became folk-rocky, (heck, Bobby Darin even took his toupee off for six or eight months and ran around in a blue-jean jacket with a studiedly casual tobacco-pouch fob hanging from its breast pocket—draw your own conclusions, kids, wink, wink)—and aging pop music composers yearning for acceptance began churning out “relevant” tunes that used words like “babe” and “freedom” a lot. Barry Mann, who co-wrote “Who Put the Bomp,” a clever parody of the doo-whop craze of the Kennedy era, actually apologized for it on Merve Griffin’s TV program and swore that he would write “meaningful” material from that point onward). Many of Hollywood’s players of that generation broke wildly left for the same reasons, and if they had previously entertained a predilection for liberalism, it augmented into febrile radicalism during that decade’s bloody final quarter.

Hollywood went nuts over the "Hollywood Ten" in 1950 as they bravely took the 5th amendment to preserve our constitution--and because very single one of them was a communist but didn't care to admit  it.

Even many in classic Hollywood went nuts in support of the “Hollywood Ten” back in 1950 as the accused bravely took the 5th amendment to preserve our constitution–to  take a stand for intellectual freedom in the arts–and mainly because every single one of them was a communist just as HUAC asserted, but didn’t care to admit it. Most of the protesters in this picture are, in fact, the ten and their relatives. 

So Jane Fonda and Marlon Brando and Paul Newman and Marlo Thomas and Alan Alda and Barbra Streisand and Warren Beatty and most of their entertainment-industry peer group sprang staunchly to the collectivist barricades, at least rhetorically and outwardly—though none, it must be noted, gave up their luxuries or defected to Cuba or Beijing. And with them came Robert Redford. And if you are part of that cattle call, whom do you idolize most? Why, the slightly younger crew that put its Marxist buns on the line while you were negotiating multi-million dollar motion picture contracts, of course! The Weather Underground began as the Weathermen, taking their name from Dylan’s song Subterranean Homesick Blues, but felt obliged to switch to the gender-neutral and more familiar form as feminism became increasingly trendy. This was the outfit “taking it to the man” and with such authentic, murderous brutality that the Hollwooders were in awe. Where serious thinkers would have seen inept, inarticulate butchers, Tinseltowners and ivy-league intellectuals saw Robin Hood. They always do.

Robin and his Merry Men? Not hardly--and no, Bill Ayers didn't just make varsity, either!

Robin and his Merry Men? Not hardly–and no, Bill Ayers (in helmet) didn’t just make varsity.

The Getaway–keep the blood, hold the Peckinpah

So now we have this sentimental remembrance of a film, based loosely on the Brinks robbery that resulted in the shooting death of a guard and two cops and featured Kathy Boudin, a longtime member of the Weather Underground, in a lead performance. In the actual event, Boudin dropped her baby daughter off at a sitter’s and took the wheel of a U-Haul truck intended as the operation’s getaway vehicle. Her accomplices walked up to a Brinks armored car at a mall in Nanuet, New York, shot the guard and grabbed 1.6 million in cash.

Kathy Boudin--always stylish, even under pressure--why, even under arrest!

Kathy Boudin–always stylish, even under pressure–why, even under arrest!

The U-Haul came immediately under police suspicion and the cops pulled Boudin over—but she seemed so innocent and so sincere in her entreaties to lower their weapons that the police relaxed their guard and were promptly gunned down by Kathy’s six pals who leapt from the back of the van, M-16s blazing. This meant their getaway scheme was blown, so the outfit scattered and was picked up piecemeal. Boudin’s wealthy daddy got her a top-dollar attorney with whose help she was able to trade a plea of guilty to one count of felony murder and robbery for a comparatively mild 20 year sentence. Her daughter was adopted by fellow Weather Undergrounders Bill Ayers (promoter of and political adviser to the young Barack Obama) and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn. Dohrn helped found the movement and told early Weathermen that she approved of the Charlie Manson murders, saying, “Dig it! First they killed those pigs and then they ate dinner in the same room with them, then they even shoved a fork into the pig Tate’s stomach! Wild! The weathermen dig Charles Manson!” (Sharon Tate, of course, died nine months pregnant. WOOF will spare you further details.) But we digress.

Sharon Tate, 1969, expecting, but not expecting Charlie.

Sharon Tate, 1969, expecting, but not expecting Charlie.

Redford’s movie, no matter what its objective cinematic foibles or strengths may be, is a profound cultural marker. In his hyper-empathetic treatment of the Boudin episode we find Redford playing Nick Sloan, former Weather Underground “activist,” who has lived the peaceful life of a small town lawyer since abandoning his–shall we politely say–rather picaresque past as a militant radical. But darn it, trouble finds Bob/Nick when Susan Sarandon’s character is arrested for the robbery (her character being an homage to Boudin). This event enables investigative journalist Shia LaBeouf (whoever that is) to uncover Nick’s history, obliging Nick to take it on the lam in a cross country attempt to evade the FBI meanies—you know, kind of like “The Fugitive,” only guilty. He eludes the feds with help from a glamorized chain of aging radical Leftists and seeks his true love, also a hunted radical played by Julie Christie, who is suddenly important to the plot for reasons we consider irrelevant to this report. We won’t spoil the ending for you. For one thing, like we said, we haven’t actually seen the film. And besides, we hear the ending is so implausibly treacly that it spoils itself unassisted—but anyhow…

Susan Sarandon--emoting for the camera? Or maybe she just read the script.

Susan Sarandon–emoting for the camera? Or maybe she just read the script.

Why do we say the film represents a cultural marker? Because this is where we are, fellow Woofians—we are arrived at an American era of learned confabulation in which our past is reinterpreted for us by the academic and entertainment establishments (both being constituents of the worldwide totalitarian socialist conspiracy that governs us) in such a fashion that these abhorrent, murderous vermin are recast as idealistic romantics—as Robin Hoods—because their aging comrades in the liberal establishment have decreed that this is how they must be remembered. Look at how Candidate Obama got away with describing Bill Ayers as “just a guy who lived down the street.” And why would we here at WOOF claim that the academic establishment would join with Hollywood in so deceptive a portrayal? Well—where do you think the Weather Underground went to fester and metastasize? Hmmm?

Where are they today?

Where is Kathy Boudin these days? She is an adjunct professor at Columbia University.

Bernardine today

Bernardine today

Where is Ayers’s beloved comrade in arms, Bernardine Dohrn? You know, the lady who waxed ecstatic over Sharon Tate getting a fork rammed into her pregnant tummy? Why, she is Associate Professor of Law at Northwestern University School of Law, and just for a laugh, did you know she is also the former Director of Northwestern’s Children and Family Justice Center? “Wild,” as she might remark. Ayers himself, Haymarket bomber and Pentagon bomber, is happily retired from his professorship at the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Education. And as WOOF made manifest in a previous article, he is currently instrumental in spreading the CSCOPE program of communist indoctrination throughout the nation’s secondary schools.

Former Weather Underground member Eleanor Raskin, who fled justice after being indicted for bomb making in the 1970s, is an associate professor at Albany Law School.

Kathy Boudin’s comrade in arms, Susan Rosenberg, indicted for her roll in the Brinks robbery was caught in 1985 with 740 pounds of dynamite and weapons—

Suzanne Rosenberg's book-- wow, she's really evolved, right?

Suzanne Rosenberg’s book– wow, she’s really evolved, right?

But luckily for our nation’s young scholars, President Bill Clinton commuted her sentence since as he left office. She subsequently graced John Jay College and Hamilton College with her professorial acumen. Even more wonderfully, John Jay College of Criminal Justice Interdisciplinary Studies Program was pleased to invite students to a “Celebration of Susan Rosenberg” upon the release of her memoirs in 2011.

"Howie" Machtinger's deepest thoughts.

“Howie” Machtinger’s deepest thoughts.

Weatherman founder “Howie” (Howard) Machtinger ducked prosecution for a his role in the attempted bombing of the Detroit Police Officers Association Building and, although now comfortably retired, went on to educate young Americans as a professor at North Carolina Central University and served as Teaching Fellows Director at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill’s School of Education.

Legendary founder and leading Weather Underground exponent Mark Rudd was taking a stroll when his bomb factory in Greenwich Village exploded, killing a number of his comrades. Rudd went on to write such bittersweet autobiographical gems as “Underground: My Life with the SDS and the Weathermen.” He is also the author of the comment, “Don’t be timid about telling people we’re Communists. Don’t deny it, be proud of it.” We are fortunate that between writing and lecturing he could find time to teach at Central New Mexico Community College.

Cathy Platt Wilkerson joined the Chicago Weatherman Collective during the summer of 1969 and was busy building a nail bomb in her Daddy’s townhouse (intended for a non-commissioned officer’s dance at Fort Dix) when it blew up, destroying the home. She survived to carry on the struggle, visiting Cuba several times for further training (which was obviously needed), but surrendered in 1980 and pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of dynamite. She served only 11 months. She spent the next 20 years teaching in high schools and adult education programs.

Cathy Platt Wilkerson today--she still looks pretty homicidal to us...just sayin'

Cathy Platt Wilkerson today–she still looks pretty homicidal..just sayin’

And say, what happened to Tom Hayden, you know—the member of the “Chicago Seven” indicted for incitement to riot and conspiracy along with the late Abbie Hoffman and the late Jerry Rubin? Yes, he’s the revolutionary activist who wrote the SDS manifesto and put so much creative energy into helping the North Vietnamese communists during the Vietnam War that Jane Fonda married him—although she eventually got bored and moved on. Well, besides being an elected (Democrat) politician, he has taught countless courses on social activism including a course called “From the ’60s to the Obama Generation” at good old Pitzer College in Claremont, California, two courses at Scripps College, and not a few at Occidental College as well as Harvard University—but he’s at UCLA currently, if you want to catch up with him.

Confabulation? It’s sweeping the nation!

Redford directing and starring in his seventies--going meterosexual and prematurely orange.

Redford directing and starring in his late 70’s–going somewhat metrosexual, and prematurely orange.

And this, we assure you, Wooferians, is but a smattering of the available data supporting the obvious fact that the surest way to secure a University Professorship—even without any graduate studies on your curricula vita, is to blow a few people up in the name of Communism, shoot a few police officers for social justice, and devote any remaining stamina to denouncing, or at least perverting, every value held sacred by the Founders—because now this is normative,  because now we have apologists like Bob Redford selling us romanticized manure as “taught political drama” while critics like Rex Reed marvel at the wonderfulness of it all, and the President of the United States (whose first “autobiography” was in fact written for him by Bill Ayers) can tell the bobble-head media that he thought Bill Ayers was just “just a guy around the neighborhood,” and nobody blinks. Yes, just a guy who wrote his first book for him, organized Our Beloved Leader’s political “launching” by staging a fundraiser in his home, whose wife worked with Michelle Obama at the same law firm, and who invited the Obamas to barbecues in his backyard and  helped Obama organize the subversive group ACORN—that’s all. And if there were anything so bad about any of that, why would Robert Redford be making movies about these cool people? Aren’t they just a modernized version of Pirates of the Carribean? Isn’t the ‘70’s era wanted poster of “Nick” in The Company You Keep actually a still of Redford from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid? (And those guys were lovable–hint, hint!) Perhaps it’s time we all just cashed in America’s historical mnemonics, which are in any case only vestigially retained, and joyfully embraced this proffered confabulation. Perhaps resistance is futile. Perhaps we are fated to re-establish the Republic as a people’s collective populated by desensitized zombies. Perhaps it’s time we all got used to thinking of these oafish slaughterers from our past the way Studs Terkel did. Studs undoubtedly spoke for the vast majority of the arts-and-letters crowd when he extolled Bill Ayers’s memoirs as “a deeply moving elegy to all those young dreamers who tried to live decently in an indecent world.” Studs, we couldn’t have put it better ourselves—if we were on acid, anyway–and it wouldn’t be evenhanded of us here at WOOF to end this screed without pausing to contemplate the good that the Weather Underground unarguably achieved during its organizational lifespan. So in fairness, let it be noted: a lot of them blew themselves up.

See you real soon--why? Because we like you!

See you real soon–why? Because we like you!

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Searching for Air Supremacy at Bargain Prices–WOOF forms the “Society to Preserve the Raptor” (and make the F-35 extinct)!

In "Defense Mechanisms" forum on April 19, 2013 at 3:22 am
Howard Hughes defends his "Spruce Goose" project before congress-- where was he when McCain killed the F-22?

Howard Hughes defends his “Spruce Goose” project before congress– where was he when Obama killed the F-22?

How many times have we here at WOOF gone on record over recent months telling you that the F-22 Raptor’s cancellation was an act of idiocy, or worse, treachery at the highest levels? Well, we don’t know the exact number either, but a bunch, anyhow. And what else have we been telling you, Woofketeers? That the vaunted F-35 with which the Obama Administration told us they would replace the F-22 was destined for disaster in terms of cost overruns combined with embarrassing under-performance issues!  And believe us, nothing underperforms like a “multi-purpose” fighter, as Robert Strange McNamara proved when he single-handedly imposed the idea of the F-111 on each branch of the armed services back in the ‘60s.  Since early studies suggested to him that several services were looking for somewhat similar characteristics in a new aircraft, McNamara had one of his always-lamentable brainstorms and directed the services to study the development of a single aircraft that would satisfy all requirements. (He also thought every service should wear the same uniform, thus saving defense dollars!)  Thus convicted, Secretary McNamara ordered the development of the Tactical Fighter Experimental test aircraft (TFX) despite strong objections from the Air Force and the Navy, both of which begged to be permitted to develop aircraft suitable to their individual services, but no—McNamara and his famous whiz kids knew best. The result was an airplane that nobody really wanted, which did a number of jobs for a number of services, but did none of them particularly well, and cost more to replace than had it never been proposed in the first place. Secretary of Defense McNamara, who gave us the Edsel, the Bay of Pigs, and the concept of attrition in Vietnam, had done it again!

Robert Strange McNamara waxes contemplative; thinking up another catastrophe, or planning his future as a flower child?

Robert Strange McNamara waxes contemplative; thinking up another catastrophe, or planning his future as a flower child?

The Obama administration might have learned a profound lesson from this debacle, if anyone in the Obama administration could tell a Piper Cub from a 747, or if anybody really cared to learn, but Vladimir Putin has assigned our President the task of disarming the American Republic (now that he has “more flexibility”), and the opportunity to spend massive amounts of non-existent revenue producing a miserably unsatisfactory aircraft is a twofer so far as Our Beloved Leader is concerned. There was a time, of course, when the Pentagon would at least kick against these encroachments on American security– a time when a few Generals and Admirals would have risked their careers to cry foul as this albatross was hung around Uncle Sam’s neck—but those days are behind us now. Today we have a Pentagon stuffed to the rafters (if the Pentagon has rafters) with yes men, sycophants, and political hacks who earned their rank by osculating the posteriors of liberal politicos and Presidents, and by honing the American military into the politically correct, multiculturally sensitive, sexually diversified organization it is today. These Metrosexual brass hats are the ones who pioneered such concepts as women and overt Gays in combat, and obediently labeled the jihadist rampage of Major Nidal Malik Hasan  “workplace violence,” the Major having celebrated multicultural diversity by shooting 14 Americans to death at Fort Hood while yelling “God is great!” in Arabic.

Chinese trainees wearing their top-secret anti-stealth hats prepare to thwart our technology!

Chinese trainees wearing their top-secret anti-stealth hats prepare to thwart our technology!

This “new breed” of sociopolitically-sensitive American military planners has no qualms about running interference for a substandard flying machine if it scores brownie points with the current President and his coterie of Chicago mobsters and Marxists. Add to this the complicity of cooperative RINOs like John McCain in the senate.  That’s right, McCain unhelpfully spearheaded the drive to scrap the vital F-22 Raptor in 2009, convincing then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and, by the process of corrosive diffusion, Barack Hussein Obama, that the Raptor was unnecessary because it was intended to cleanse the skies of next-generation enemy fighters—an adversarial force that Senator McCain assured the new Administration simply didn’t exist. Of course, McCain’s rationale omitted the relatively abstract possibility that such an enemy force might shortly exist in the arsenals of Russia and China—it just didn’t seem to occur to him. And now, of course, both communist countries have had enough American technology leaked to them by the spies Eric Holder and Obama prefer to ignore in our aerospace programs that their own Raptor-style aircraft are rolling off the assembly lines. How good these planes may be is problematic, but that some super fighters can easily beat no super fighters is fairly obvious—possibly, by now, even to Senator McCain.

Russia's stealthy super jet--look familiar?

Russia’s stealthy super jet–look familiar?

Meanwhile, absent the Raptor, which cost 97 billion to date, the development of the “Lightning” staggers forward at a current cost upwards of one trillion dollars, much of which is being spent, even as we post this screed, on adding more and more weight to the aircraft’s design while simultaneously cutting down its maneuverability. Why? Because after all the compromises forced upon designers at Lockheed Martin (to enable the plane to serve its various masters in the Marines, Air Force and Navy), have been factored into the aircraft’s performance package, there just isn’t a lot of true blue performance left. Once upon a time, somebody like Curt Lemay or John Boyd would have spoken up and said “to blazes with this lemon!” But nowadays? Nowadays the Pentagon rewrites its own criteria for the F-35, dumbing them down so that their prize super-jet can eke out a passing grade.

LeMay would've used McNamara to test ejection seats, if Kennedy had only listened!

LeMay would’ve used McNamara to test ejection seats, if Kennedy had only listened!

That’s what we said, Woofketeers, the Defense Department’s annual reports on weapons tests reveal changes to the official expectations of the F-35 “Lightning.” The military has clearly lowered the bar for their only remaining fighter-aircraft project, replacing all those criteria that the plane failed to meet with new sets of criteria adjusted to reflect the aircraft’s actual, and substantially less impressive, performance. Think of it as “No Jet Left Behind,” and the F-35 was “taught the test,” as it were. For example, the plane’s turn performance, once slated to achieve 5.3 “g’s” is now reduced to 4.6 while time for acceleration from Mach 0.8 to Mach1.2 has been lengthened by eight seconds. That may not seem like much of a difference, but in a dogfight it can mean an eternity. We could go on enumerating these instances of lowered expectations, but you’d get pretty bored, so suffice it that an eagle is sorely needed to maintain American air supremacy, and a turkey is in the works.

A Senator from Wisconsin waving a list! Too bad it's just reminder to water his transplants!

Proxmire: A Senator from Wisconsin waving a list! Too bad it’s just a reminder to water his transplants!

WOOF is well aware that sniping at defense projects is a favorite game of the liberal left, as personified most egregiously by Wisconsin Senator William Proxmire who once insisted to a devoutly anti-military media that Grumman’s F-14 Tomcat was a total boondoggle unworthy of further development.  The execrable scribbler “Herblock,” long everybody’s choice for most didactically unfunny political cartoonist in the history of that art, obligingly produced a Washington Post cartoon featuring a squadron of Tomcats flying along in formation with big lemons painted on their fuselages. Get it?

Cartoonist Herbert Block--winner of countless awards including WOOF's coveted Golden Eraser medal for being the most sanctimonious and the least hilarious cartoonist in world history!

Cartoonist Herbert Block–winner of countless awards including WOOF’s coveted Golden Eraser medal for being the most sanctimonious and the least hilarious cartoonist in world history!

Well of course you do, its Herblock! You may never laugh when you read a Herblock cartoon, but you’ll always get it—like you get it when some weenie blows a raspberry at you: as unsubtle as it is uninspired, right?  Well, Herblock, before departing this life in 2001, won every award you can possibly imagine including three Pulitzers, just for being dogmatically, woodenly, left wing over the entire course of his bluntly dogmatic career—and yes, Clinton gave him the medal of freedom. We wanted to show you his F-14 cartoon, but it isn’t on line—possibly because it perfectly melds his utter lack of insight with his utter lack of wit…but we digress.

The magnificent F-22 Raptor--the only plane John McCain ever shot down!

The magnificent F-22 Raptor–the only plane John McCain ever shot down!

The Tomcat, of course, went on to rule the skies for two decades and starred in its own Tom Cruise movie, Top Gun, while Proxmire got caught fleecing the taxpayer for his own hair transplants and eventually shuffled off to a nursing home—sorry evidence that Wisconsin hasn’t fielded an authentic senatorial guardian of the commonweal since 1957. Certainly WOOF has no wish to wax unduly critical of a developing weapons system in the fashion of Proxmire or Herblock, (shudder!), but where the F-35 is concerned, the case is plain. We are spending a fortune to produce an airplane that, in a dogfight with its perkier but short-lived predecessor, would be shot down in flames—and that is, metaphorically speaking, precisely the fate that should be visited upon the current avatar of this under-performing sky cow.  But, you ask, how can we be certain that this critique is not an unwitting simulacrum of the Left’s infamous attack on the now-legendary F-14 Tomcat?

Tom and Tomcat-- but the plane did all its own stunts!

Tom and co-star Tomcat– but the plane did all its own stunts!

It is certainly true, gentle readers, that all new weapons systems go through developmental setbacks—weaponological growing pains, if you will–no matter how advantageous to American interests the final product may be, and the Tomcat is a classic case in point. But the F-35 “Lightning” is more properly compared to the aforementioned F-111 Aardvark (the cognomen refers to the plane’s long nose) except that it appears to compare, even in this regard, unfavorably. After all, while the F-111, nicknamed the “F-one a lemon,” failed dismally to perform as a true fighter jet, and flopped as a Navy plane for all the reasons the Navy strove to make manifest to McNamara aforehand, it did in fact pioneer swept-wing technology and found a niche, if briefly, as a reliable low-level penetration bomber. For proof, you could ask Qaddafi  whom it pounded into numbed neutrality during the Reagan administration, except that despite his continuing neutrality, you may recall, Hillary (respectfully known as Her Magnificence in these cyberspacial environs), orchestrated his removal and torture killing in order to replace him with the jihadist extremists who proceeded to murder her friend, the American Ambassador—but we digress. At any rate, the Aardvark has many fans despite its failure to perform the majority of the roles for which it was intended, and it is difficult to imagine the F-35 performing as ably in any regard.

Moment of glory! The Aardvarks blow up the Libyan Air Force--greetings from President Reagan!

Moment of glory! The Aardvarks blow up the Libyan Air Force–greetings from President Reagan!

In fairness, the gob on the job with the F-35 Lightning program is Vice Admiral David Venlet, and it will come as no surprise to you, we wager, that Admiral Venlet thinks the F-35 rocks and rolls. Venlet testified only a month ago that he can patch up all the leaks in the Lightning project if only Congress will relax and allow him the time, the flexibility, and, of course, the money. Venlet warned that delay, program restructuring, or the imposition of timetables or criteria-based funding allowances would simply play hob with his process and sabotage the Lightning’s impending makeover. Venlet spoke truly when he declared that there are always “normal teething problems that you always find in fighter aircraft development that simply require good old-fashioned systems engineering, to fix problems as we find them.”  Admiral Venlet forgot to add, however, that sometimes, as in the case of the Convair F2Y Sea Dart, the McDonnell Douglas/General Dynamics A-12 “Avenger,” and the underpowered, carrier-aversive, Vought F7U “Cutlass,” the “teething problems” turn out to be terminal.

This Navy "Cutlass" found its niche--a playground in Wheaten, MD-- proof that inadequacy happens!

This Navy “Cutlass” found its niche–a playground in Wheaten, MD– proof that inadequacy happens!

So can the “Lightning” be saved from insanely-overpriced mediocrity, Admiral? Well, WOOF certainly hopes so—nobody would be more pleased than us to see the “Lightning” live up to its moniker—but there’s an awful lot that needs fixing here! Many of the worst obstacles to progress are the aircraft’s software which is so advanced technically that it simply doesn’t work. One case in point is the famous magic helmet that was intended to offer the pilot a live video feed and real-time sensor information, even, perhaps, to permit aiming and deployment of weapons in a manner reminiscent of Clint Eastwood’s psychic helmet in the movie “Firefox,” but the project engineers don’t have the bugs ironed out and Venlet said he has substituted a set of more reliable goggles as a stopgap measure. Oh come off it! Can you imagine Clint Eastwood wearing goggles?   Or SteveCanyon, or Chuck Yeager? Nah, it won’t do, Admiral—we need a working helmet.

Steve Canyon in goggles? Forget it!

Steve Canyon in goggles? Forget it!

The F-35 has also initiated its own Tail-hook Scandal—which is simply to say that its tail hook—the device that snags the arresting wire when landing on an aircraft carrier—doesn’t snag the wires. Now there’s a problem. Other problems include fuel venting (it either doesn’t or it does when it shouldn’t) and propulsion reliability, which is kind of self explanatory, right? Add to this concern the fact that much of the plane’s viability is based on its stealth component, and that the addition of stealth technology has a natural tendency to diminish other performance capabilities. One trades, in effect, agility for invisibility. But top scientists all over the unfree world are hard at work on technologies that defeat our stealth packages, and once they succeed, we will no longer enjoy the invisibility factor, though we will certainly retain the agility deficit!  Dohhhh!

Spotlight on poor performance at exorbitant prices--why bother, America?

The F-35 “Lightning”: Spotlight on poor performance at exorbitant prices–why bother, America?

Still, Admiral Venlet is adamant that this will all be okay if we only believe. In their financial assessment of the entire imbroglio, Credit Suisse opined that “DoD is clearly concerned that another major performance gaffe could cause Congress to truncate the F-35 program in favor of ‘alternatives.’” Well, WOOF says, bring on the alternatives—

Admiral Venlet--the gob on the job!

Admiral Venlet–the gob on the job!

And we suggest the F-22 Raptor be produced by the hundredfold. Outrageously expensive? Zillions for defense, say we, so long as it defends effectively—and the Raptor could be financed by a small portion of what it costs to keep ourselves up to our ears in exploding electric automobiles, tofu-powered windmill farms, biodegradable solar panel units and other impracticable fantasies churned out en mass by “green industry” entrepreneurs who always receive zillions in stimulus funding before declaring bankruptcy!

Harley Earl brings the jet war in Korea to Anytown, USA!

Harley Earl brought the jet war in Korea to Anytown, USA!

So let’s cancel the F-35 before Our Beloved Leader finds a way to channel some of those hold-out stimulus billions its way and we wind up stuck with a fleet of winged white elephants!  Although on second thought, hey–  back when Harley Earl worked for General Motors, back in the days when Detroit made automobiles, remember?—he created a design revolution by producing cars that looked like fighter jets—setting off the whole tail-fin craze. Harley has left the building, sadly, but maybe Chevrolet could design a jet for the Navy? A jet that does for Naval Aviation what the Corvette did for the American auto industry? Oh—wait—that’s right. The Great Helmsman took over GM in 2009 to save it from the evil stockholders and placed it securely in the capable hands of the UAW so that they could scrap the fusion car and go straight to work mass producing the Volt.  So– who needs an electric fighter plane, right? Sorry! Our bad!

Okay, General Motors can't redesign the F-35 until air-to-air recharging is perfected!

Okay, General Motors can’t redesign the F-35 until air-to-air recharging is perfected!

If you meet ‘historic legislation’ on the road to stricter gun control, shoot it down!

In "Gunning for success" forum on April 14, 2013 at 12:07 am

chicks with guns

The Senate’s procedural vote this past Thursday on gun-control legislation is being widely hailed as historic, which is kind of odd since it was nowhere near as horrifying or broadly limiting as the “historic” 1994 ban on assault rifles (which were already banned and had been since the FDR administration, but nobody seemed to care). Perhaps  because when a liberal says “assault rifle” he really means “guns that look scary and remind me of ones I see in spy movies,” the ban proved a ludicrously unenforceable joke and was ultimately overturned.  The latest assault on our 2nd amendment rights is not nearly so historic, therefore, as it is familiar, or  as Shirley Basey might say, it’s all just a little bit of history repeatingHere was the Leftist Establishment force-feeding another example of nuisance legislation to the American gun owner, while averring unwavering support for the 2nd amendment. Here also were the Senate’s reliably pusillanimous Republicans, chanting their fealty to Constitutional writ even as they sought nervously for any conceivable opportunity to sell it out and jump aboard some “bipartisan compromise” so that the Liberal media would hate them a bit less conspicuously—possibly even lionize them for a week or two, as opposed to blaming them for future tragedies entailing guns in the hands of lunatics. This is the sort of thing that ought to

Manchin and Toomey--That's Toomey on the right, more or less.

Manchin and Toomey–That’s Toomey on the right, more or less.

be settled by opposing camps in the Senate—the pro-2nd amendment Right versus the gun-grabbing Left.  In this way, the lines would be drawn starkly and the heroes and villains readily identifiable without a program, but alas, there is always some Republican lawmaker who sniffs the air for an opportunity to be lauded by the left-wing news media and apotheosized by the ruling elites, and such Republicans always seem to find the allure of forging some smarmy compromise with the gun-grabbers irresistible. One such man is clearly Pat Toomey (R-PA), who is suddenly the toast of the inside-the-beltway establishment for what the First Marxist called “leadership on forging a bipartisan agreement around commonsense background checks that will make it harder for dangerous people to get their hands on a gun.”  The President called Toomey’s compromise, hammered out with Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia, “a welcome and significant bipartisan progress (sic) [that] recognizes that there are good people on both sides of this issue,” adding that “of course, a lot of work remains,” by which, of course, he means the work of eliminating legal gun ownership completely for each and every law-abiding American citizen!

The missing member of the Troika--did you know Chuckie Schumer loves to shoot his Tech 9?

The missing member of the Troika–did you know Chuckie Schumer loves to shoot his Tech 9?

What’s with Toomey?

So wasn’t Patrick Toomey a gung-ho Constitutionalist whose path to victory in 2010 was hewn through the political jungle by the sweat, support, good-faith efforts and votes of the Tea Party? Yes, all that is true enough, gentle readers, but the values of many such stalwarts are strangely transformed by the atmosphere in our nation’s capital, and Toomey is now watching Pennsylvania trend deeper and deeper purple as his aids and

Elizabeth Warren--fake Indian

Elizabeth Warren–fake Indian

handlers assure him incessantly that the only principle that maintains any primacy in Senatorial politics is re-election. Therefore, Beltway Logic dictates swinging toward the limp-wristed center as the best means of having a defensible record when his Democrat opponent comes after him in the next election. This logic almost never works, of course, because voters who like smarmy left-leaning policies prefer Democrats to wannabe Democrats, and vote out the sell-outs in favor of authentically misguided Liberals. Ask Scott Brown in Massachusetts, for instance, who went unpredictably wobbly the moment he arrived in Washington and then got his clock cleaned by Elizabeth Warren, who faked her background both economically and racially (fake poor person, fake Cherokee Indian) and got caught at it both times, together with practicing law in Massachusetts without proper licensure and numerous additional lies and distortions, but who nonetheless decisively defeated Brown because Liberals prefer fake Indians to fake Democrats, and conservative voters were chagrined by Brown’s political apostasies. But Toomey is listening to the media siren song, and his compromise with the monolithic totalitarian

Buffy Sainte Marie, real Indian--see the difference?

Buffy Sainte Marie, real Indian–see the difference?

socialist conspiracy that governs us is a done deal. Hilariously, Toomey refused to appear on stage with one of his two partners in crime—Chuckie Schumer—preferring to promote the idea that he and (the slightly less egregious) Manchin had hammered out the compromise language on background checks as a couple. No matter how the window dressing is arranged, this inconvenient compromise on the sticky background-check language seems likely to give the entire bill a fighting chance at final passage, sad to say. And WOOF knows that Little Chuckie Schumer was part of the troika that hatched the disreputable enterprise—and WOOF also knows that Toomey’s belief that by controlling the “optics” he can elude recognition as a play pal of Schumer’s is exactly the kind of naïveté that kills campaigns in this day and age—which, by the way, is yet another reason that Obama wants the Internet censored and controlled!          

obama-internet-control                           

Does Toomey’s defection on this issue presage a headlong abandonment of principles by Senate and House Republicans who are, if nothing else, skilled in slithering sideward whenever they come hard up against the Left-wing Media Establishment’s sacred desiderata? WOOF acknowledges that there is still, as Our Beloved Helmsman asserted, a lot of work remaining before the Democrats can put gun-control solidly in the achievements bracket of their drive for total control of the civilian populace en route to the establishment of the Peoples Republic of America . For one thing, considerable debate remains to be heard as the Left confronts a variety of procedural votes on the bill—and for another,  pro-2nd amendment Republicans may erupt with a flurry of proposed amendments. Here, conservative resistance to the enhanced Federal background checks and centralized data gathering blatantly intended to clear the way for confiscation of civilian firearms (by dribs and drabs, not all at once—which is how socialism prefers to attack) could prove formidable.  Another 60-member vote would be necessary to halt such debate and advance the bill to final passage. And of course the patriotic men and women of the National Rifle Association are hard at work bringing their considerable influence to bear. But therein lies a hidden problem of major proportions which so far as we can ascertain is recognized nowhere but here in the WOOF cave!

tinfoil dog

The NRA takes a wrong turn!

In a letter to each Senator, Chris Cox, the Legislative Action Director for the NRA, wrote that, “Given the importance of these issues, votes on all anti-gun amendments or proposals will be considered in NRA’s future candidate evaluations.”  But rather than emphasize enforcement of existing laws and the prosecution of gun criminals, Cox urged the Senate to focus on the mental health system. This is a dreadful error and plays into the hands of the Communist conspiracy to disarm Americans. If you don’t believe there is such a conspiracy, consider that the title of the bill before the Senate is, in part, the “Second-Amendment Rights Protection Act.” Cynical? Hey, it takes a Commie to lie like that, gentle readers!

chinese mental health therapy

Therapy in Red China–“So how do you feel about that?”

Long ago in the Reagan ‘80s the World Psychiatric Association condemned the Soviet Union for its invention of “sluggish schizophrenia”–sometimes called “creeping schizophrenia,” a diagnosis invented by Commie Master Psychiatrist Andrei Snezhnevsky and reserved for anybody whose loyalty to the Soviet system seemed to be foundering. In other words, its symptomology made opposition to the State a severe mental illness requiring all sorts of chemical and electro-convulsive intervention! This is the sort of insanity we used to shake our heads at in disbelief in the Free West, and everyone would recite the mantra, “It could never happen here!” But how many infamies have we watched happen here in recent years, Woofketeers? How many depredations against our freedoms and encroachments on our liberties have we experienced since 2008? And now these perversions of psychiatry, once thought of as infamies peculiar to the Communist east, are ready for introduction in our own mental health professions—and nobody is speaking out in opposition to the process, possibly because the psychiatric community along with the major psycho-therapeutic organizations and advocacy groups are today to the left of Che Guevara and can’t wait to pathologize any proclivity frowned upon by the Liberal Establishment—whether it be speaking out against progressive programs like the state ownership of children and the state’s control of medical treatment, or such anti-progressive disorders as “homophobia,” anti-multiculturalism, or, yes, gun ownership.

Allow Obama and his minions to focus on the “broken” mental health system vis a vis  the national gun-violence problem, and you will be heraldingcrimedoctor_5710 the dawn of a new breakthrough in socialist psychiatric medicine, namely the Catch-22-style discovery that desiring to possess a firearm is in itself a diagnosable break from socialist reality, and that while any sane person may own a gun under the 2nd amendment, only insane persons would wish to own a gun, ergo, nobody may own a gun. Sound crazy? Listen to WOOF, gentle readers, this absurdity is fast approaching, so don’t give Dear Leader any ideas, okay? Listen, National Rifle Association—we love you! We WOOF-link to you! But you are not thinking this one through to its obvious conclusion!

The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the “official” listing of the psychiatric profession’s accepted mental-health diagnoses) has its 5th edition scheduled for distribution next month, and it is already well known that it represents a radical departure from previous editions insofar as it embraces a qualitative-analytic style of describing and ascribing its hundreds of diagnoses and symptomological complexes!  Without giving you chapter and verse on the postmodern ludicrosity that is qualitative analysis, suffice it that the American psychiatric community is Sovietizing itself rapidly enough without the NRA or anyone else offering it any creative input!

An awful lot of Soviet citizens turned out to need mental health services!

An awful lot of Soviet citizens turned out to need mental health services!

Where is the week ahead headed?

So where does this leave us for the upcoming week, fellow Woofites? Well, the pundits have now descried in the Manchin-Toomey language a clause or two allowing interstate reciprocity of concealed carry—so the Left is all upset and the squishy Republican middle is saying, look, this must be a very good compromise indeed! Ignore this flapdoodle, gentle readers! Any compromise that enables the passage of any gun-control legislation is a blow to your 2nd amendment rights—so stand your ground with WOOF and the righteous shade of Chuck Heston, America! Say it with us proudly: You can have our guns when you pry them from our cold, dead paws! (Or…well…mutatis mutandis… you know…)

s-VINTAGE-GUN-ADS-large300

“And so, she walked out of our lives forever…” Margaret Thatcher, Annette Funicello, and the Decline of the West

In "Synchronistic Obits" forum on April 10, 2013 at 2:01 am

annette and margaret

Annette Funicello and Dame Margaret Thatcher, dead the same day—and this cosmic alignment receives not one iota of attention from our media? Oh, yes, they mentioned the deaths individually of course, the heartthrob of the original Mouseketeers and the Iron Lady of England, meeting their demise within hours of one another, like Jefferson and Adams—but no one has remarked on the supernal conjoinment of these two iconic women, and WOOF realizes, a bit forlornly perhaps, that no other commentators are possessed of the vision to perceive the epic synchronicity with which Providence invested these harmonized departures. The first great expository stroke that came to bear upon the American experience, with exactly that subtlety by which the Heavens mock fatuity, was evident in the earliest reactions to the passing of Thatcher. Graduates of the nation’s finest institutions of learning, captains of industry, attorneys, loan officers, psychotherapists and imparters of secondary education, joined the bovine masses in scratching their heads and wondering aloud, “Who was Margaret Thatcher?” This is exactly what we would expect from a nation keenly aware of the Karadshians, Lady Gaga, March Madness, and the addle-pate effronteries of  J-Z and Beyonce, but incapable of recalling its own history or enunciating its native creeds.

Who indeed was Margaret Thatcher? Did she wear meat dresses or dance with the stars? Did she ever release an exercise video or fall on the pavement and barf in public? In other words, why should Americans care?  Okay, true, some small subset of the population might have caught Meryl Streep’s Oscar-award-winning performance in the role of Thatcher in the 2011 film “The Iron Lady,” but let’s face it, a lot more people went to see Harry Potter or The Transformers. And that is the first great lesson of this duality—that in order to realize who Dame Thatcher was, the Media Establishment turned reflexively to their sister propaganda ministry, the Entertainment Establishment, and asked the question of—Meryl Streep. After all, Streep invested Thatcher, so far as the news readers could ascertain, with her one moment of authentic significance by pretending to be her in a motion picture. So tell us, Meryl, who was this person you played? Apparently she was a real person before being her own movie, kind of like Erin Brockovich or that Karen Silkwood girl, right? And Streep, for her part, responded with something approaching taste and decorum, even graciousness, as though some osmosis had endued her, through her portrayal of authentic greatness, with just that fraction of stateliness adequate to the occasion.

streep

Streep, dwarfed by a role for which she had “a glancing understanding.”

WOOF here says “adequate,” because throughout her remarks it is inescapable that Streep is fighting, like Strangelove battling his renegade hand syndrome, the almost irresistible temptation to blurt out a zinger or five or twenty, but no, some vestige of Iron Ladyhood by association constrains her, and she tells the enquiring press that “To have come up, legitimately,  through the ranks of the British political system, class bound and gender phobic as it was, in the time that she did and the way that she did, was a formidable achievement….To have given women and girls around the world reason to supplant fantasies of being princesses with a different dream: the real-life option of leading their nation; this was groundbreaking and admirable.”  Tellingly, Streep adds: “I have only a glancing understanding of what her many struggles were, and how she managed to sail through to the other side. I wish to convey my respectful condolences to her family and many friends.” Well done, madam, and truly said. Nobody in contemporary Hollywood has more than a glancing understanding of a figure like Margaret Thatcher.  John Ford? Cecil B. DeMille?  Howard Hawks? They would have resonated to the British Lioness, but James Cameron?  Ron Howard? Tim Burton? Leave us not make ourselves laugh, dear readers!  Rather, let us reflect upon the actual personage of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Sir Winston Churchill, no relation to Ward.

Sir Winston Churchill, no relation to Ward.

England managed to avail itself of the services of two towering leaders during the 20th century. That one of these was Winston Churchill is evident by the fact that Obama, who reacts to genuine, principled leadership the way vampires react to garlic, made a point upon first besmirching the Oval Office of sending Sir Winston’s bust back to the British, whom he despises as the colonial power mongers who had the temerity to drag his native Kenya into the modern era, build railroads, establish trade and civilize its governance. Worse, when the Mau Maus rebelled, Churchill backed General Sir George Erskine in leading a successful counter-insurgency. It took the communist Jomo Kenyatta (whom Obama admires) to drag the place back into the weeds after the British withdrew, but our Beloved Leader has never forgiven Churchill his part in Kenya’s flirtation with modernity and prosperity. For most of us, Churchill is the grandiloquent voice and personification of British resistance to the Nazi conquests of World War Two–the hero who led England against the Axis foe and attempted (without success) to restrain FDR from giving the shop away to Stalin at Yalta.

Thatcher appeared on the English scene at a time when England had misguidedly ridded itself of Churchill and bought wholeheartedly into the promise of socialism, thus demolishing its economy, vitiating its industries and weakening itself to the point of impotence. Thatcher rallied the opposition as a member of parliament, railing against the leftist agenda, denouncing the statist/collectivist ethos, inveighing against “the enemy in the form of socialism and the trade union movement.”

After the Falklands, Even TIME gave one or two cheers!

After the Falklands, Even TIME gave one or two cheers!

In 1979 she led her conservative resurgence into 10 Downing Street, becoming England’s first female Prime Minister. She forged a firm alliance with her American counterpart, Ronald Reagan, and like him led her nation to economic recovery while facing down the Soviet Union with implacable anti-communist zeal. When Argentina attempted to seize the Falkland Islands from England in the mistaken belief that Thatcher would not venture so far and risk so much to regain so little, the Iron Lady dispatched her forces to the vicinity, fought the hard battles, and ran the intruders off the island, remarking that “When you’ve spent half your political life dealing with humdrum issues like the environment, it’s exciting to have a real crisis on your hands.” When George Bush Senior voiced reservations about the wisdom of his stand against Sadam Hussein in the first Gulf War, she famously admonished him, “Now George, this is no time to go all wobbly!” She served as Prime Minister for 11 years, the longest service of any British Prime Minister, and made no bones about her pure conservatism, telling a crowd in 1981, “I was asked if I was trying to restore Victorian values; I said straight out that I was. And I am!” She also delivered the briefest and most irrefutable denunciation of socialism, telling parliament that “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

Margaret Thatcher was appropriately eulogized by Prime Minister David Cameron who said upon news of her passing that, “Margaret Thatcher didn’t just lead our country, she saved our country. [She] took a country that was on its knees and made Britain tall again.” But, as is equally the case with America in the wake of Ronald Reagan, Britain has slowly, ignorantly, insouciantly, squandered the cultural and social riches of its conservative epoch, and returned to the vapidity and drear of political correctness, radical social justice, and forced egalitarianism. There was grandeur and magnificence in Margaret Thatcher’s leadership, and only the mocking nasality of Liberalism among her detractors. Consider that Labour forces in Brixton England marked her passing with posters reading “THE BITCH IS DEAD” and rearranged a theater marquee to read “Margaret Thatchers dead, LOL!”  The Left, and in particular, perhaps, the Laborite Left, doesn’t change much country to country.

Look for the union label!

Look for the union label!

Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, America lost Annette Funicello. And nobody who wondered who Annette Funicello was had long to wait for the answer because the Baby Boomers who rejected the challenge of Vietnam and remained at home determined to become professors, newscasters, ministers, priests, actors, writers, directors, and politicians of today, all grew up in love with her—and like Streep keeping a sense of comportment in her remarks on Thatcher, the American Media Establishment dealt with the death of America’s favorite Mouseketeer with a modicum of nostalgic respect—odd from the Left, but hey, you could break bad out of the ‘50s but still remember your first crush!  And Funicello was a woman who epitomized everything the contemporary Left despises—she kept her values, reputation and comportment as squeaky clean throughout her career as when she first looked lovingly and sincerely into the lens of a black-and-white TV camera and solemnly intoned, “M-O-U-S-E.”  

annette-funicello-died9

Many may not realize that before there was Elvis, there were two great television phenomena generated by Walt Disney, one being the Davy Crockett craze that swept the nation, and the other being the national imperative of dashing home from grammar school each weekday afternoon to watch the Mickey Mouse Club on TV. It left an indelible mark on even the most cynical of that most dangerous generation, and on Annette too, who later in life, when some of her fellow Mouse Club Alumni were trashing their former employer, recalled him only as “my second father,” adding that “I always found Mr. Disney to be somewhat of a shy person, a kind heart.” If you’ve never heard the Mickey Mouse Club song sung, you were not a child in that era, or you grew up in Slobovia.  Rent a copy of Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket” and you can hear the “grunts” in Vietnam sing it as they march forlornly through the rice paddies at the end….and if Kubrick’s intent was to highlight the clash of childhood idealism with the violence of the Tet Offensive by creating a dissonant juxtaposition, he might as well have considered following Annette Funicello around after her three year run as a Mouseketeer, filming her ongoing career against the backdrop of dissipation, decay and immorality that accompanied the 1960s in America.

mouse club

A girl next door for the ages.

A girl next door for the ages.

Following several Disney films and TV appearances in which she played the archetypal girl next door, she became the country’s surfing queen in American International’s Beach Party movies, playing the curvaceous but true-hearted Dee Dee, the abiding love interest of Frankie Avalon, whose character was imaginatively named “Frankie.” That these unabashedly insipid films continued to draw crowds into theaters as the psychedelic sixties thundered to a crescendo is a kind of juxtapositional wonderment in its own right given that they were competing with free love, political radicalism, drugs, decadence and acid rock, while Beach-Party director William Asher offered a product he described as “lots of flesh but no sex—all good clean fun. No hearts are broken and virginity prevails.” And Annette Funicello was the goddess of that juxtapositional purity, standing for all the old-school values, even when standing atop a fake surf board, her perfect coif undisturbed despite a rear-screen projection of ocean surf roaring behind her.  She released pop records and people bought them, even though the lyrics were clean and the themes were, by today’s standards, cheesy. When the beach movies ran their course she became the TV spokesperson for Skippy Peanut Butter, and she sold a lot of it. When she was widely rumored in the press to be alcoholic after pundits took note of her poor balance at public appearances, she announced that, in fact, she had been fighting multiple sclerosis for years. She proceeded to found the Annette Funicello Fund for Neurological Disorders at the California Community Foundation. She died of the disease on Monday, at Mercy Southwest Hospital in Bakersfield, California. And while nobody could sanely declare that Funicello’s life or career rivaled Thatcher’s in greatness or power, this is distinct from acknowledging a similarity of epochal and symbolic dimension–a consanguinity WOOF recognizes as compelling!

Surfin' on the sound stage circa 1965.

Surfin’ on the sound stage circa 1965.

Somebody at TMZ got the idea that a modern ex-Mouseketeer should have something significant to say about the most famous original Mouseketeer, so a reporter asked Britney Spears for her reaction to Funicello’s passing, and Spears shouted back, “I think that’s great!” One can almost certainly make allowance here that Spears misheard the question, but her plasticized, its-all-good-man retort, intended as an multi-purpose catch-all for half-heard press queries, played a banal, insubstantial counterpoint to the Labourites in Brixton cheering the death of Margaret Thatcher–  can anyone doubt that villains and idiots have won the day?

Brit's days as a Mouseketeer--sheez, they didn't even give those kids ears?

Brit’s days as a Mouseketeer–sheez, didn’t they even give those kids ears?

Two iconic anachronisms, each a symbol of values lived and expressed without deference to the entropic asininities of the nonce, have left the stage simultaneously, gentle readers, and in the nuances of this seeming happenstance one can clearly descry the hand of the Great Artificer, driving home the unsurvivable nature of events as they are currently unfolding. When Annette Funicello was a Mouseketeer, this was still a free country—and when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister of Great Britain, the world beheld in her, as it did in her beloved friend, President Reagan, a quality of leadership that is nowhere to be found these days. We are led today by charlatans, idiots, narcissists and cowards. Our culture is daily beset by a fresh barrage of anti-Christian, anti-Jewish, anti-American, anti-family, anti-Constitutional and anti-conservative bellowings from the usual cadres among the Liberal Establishment’s masses. Is it any wonder that a Divine Providence saw fit to impose a marvelously inobvious Ibsenism last Monday? This was not a message to the revelers in Gomorrah, dear readers, nor to the ruling class of the Sinistral Establishment, nor to the grovelers at the public trough, nor to the heedless pursuers of bread and circuses –no, it was meant for us…the keepers of the flame of liberty, faith, and decency…and it is not a forlorn message, fellow Wooferians; it is a signal of overarching power, fidelity, design and authority. To put it another way, “Do you not think an angel rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm?”WOOF PRINT

beach party

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