Ron Rosenbaum, Writer

March 30, 2009

David Horowitz Denounces Obama Derangement Syndrome

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 4:12 pm

It’s about time some prominent conservative called for a halt to the growing toxic hysteria that charcterizes contemporary conservative rhetoric, the venomous and unhinged phenomenon that well-known conservative David Horowitz calls “Obama Derangement Syndrome”. Here’s how he puts it:

“Conservatives, please. Let’s not duplicate the manias of the Left as we figure out how to deal with Mr. Obama. He is not exactly the anti-Christ, although a disturbing number of people on the Right are convinced he is.

“I have recently received commentaries that claim that ‘Obama’s speeches are unlike any political speech we have heard in American history’ and ‘never has a politician in this land had such a quasi-religious impact on so many people’ and ‘Obama is a narcissist,’ which leads the author to then compare Obama to David Koresh, Charles Manson, Stalin and Saddam Hussein. Excuse me while I blow my nose.”

He goes on to compare it to the Bush=Hitler derangement of the Left. As a liberal who nonetheless spoke up against Bush Derangement Syndrome (and as someone who studied Hitler and has some strong feelings about loose and stupid comparisons to him) I have to say I’ve been surprized by the low level of of discourse on the part of commenters who seem unhealthily fixated on the irredeemable Evil of Obama. They seem not to know the difference between political contestation and religious war. (I suspect comments to this post will prove my point and I thank you ahead of time).

But I have to say I’m glad that some conservatives–well, at least one– recognizes that one can oppose the President’s policies without turning him into a Big Scary Demonic Anti-Christ.

March 29, 2009

Wow! A Movie I Really Loved: "The Great Buck Howard"

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 3:04 pm

It’s called The Great Buck Howard*; it stars John Malkovich, and it’s a genre I’ve loved ever since I was first knocked out by Spinal Tap: the satire of second rate show-biz sincerity.

Call it meta-showbiz; I think I like it better than I like first rate show-biz, although in a way, like Tap this film transcends first rate show biz.

And it stars Malkovich the most interesting man in Hollywood if you ask me, our Brando, (I know: that says a lot about us). Here he’s playing a played out over the ill “mentalist”, utterly oblivious to the fact that time (when he was a regular on Johnny Carson) has long passed him by and he’s playing half filled venues in Bakersfield.

But–and here’s where it transcends even meta-showbiz which is, even I’ll admit, a kind of dark and cynical genre; it offers a hint of a Larger Question of the sort Hamlet conjures u when he tells Horatio there may well be more things on heaven and earth than dreamed of by Hoatio’s rationalist philosophy.

Of course I’d watch Malkovich in anything; I love the utterly unbridled contempt for humanity and its ideal only he can express so eloquently: we need that. But he’s also great when he’s playing someone other than himself, like Buck Howard, those who still believe in something if only themselves.

Anyway this is one of those films that can get lost and sink out of sight in a week or two (it just oponed this weekend in New York) so make sure you don’t miss it. I’d be interested in hearing the reaction of others who have seen it.

*Hasty error corrected thanks to “oxford”.

March 24, 2009

Another Voice Deplores the Ghettoization of the Blogosphere

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 11:08 am

  Pay particular attention to the study mentioned in this interview (hit’skip to content”) which demonstrates that people who only talk to/listen to people who agree with them, become more extreme and intolerant of other points of view, narrow their intellectual horizons and turn into an anti-democratic mob that seeks not just to disagree but to suppress opinions they disagree with. A point my post “Note to the Blogosphere”–and the mobmind comments thereto demonstrated for all to see.

March 21, 2009

I Can Appreciate Conservative Wit

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 8:33 am

For instance this column by Mark Steyn. He’s a smart funny guy; even when I disagree with him his wit is undeniable. My fellow PJM bloggers are intelligent and erudite conservatives and I agree with them on some salient issues particularly the threat to free speech that radical Islamists pose. My problem is with conservative half-wits, the thuggish, know it all, bloviating, infantile abusers too cowardly to reveal their real names. (Yes there are, alas, just as many liberal blog comenters as ignorant and self righteous; a point I made that was utterly ignored).

Read the comments on my “Note to the Blogoshere” and call my attention, please, to any that come close to Mark Steyn level. They’re an embarrassment to the conservative cause. You’ve proven my point about self righteous preaching to the choir lowering the level of discourse in the blogosphere. Thank you.

March 20, 2009

A Stalinist (Who Can't Spell) Calls me a "Collectivist"

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 5:36 pm

First a word about those who cry censorship when their posts are moderated. I feel no obligation to post any anonymous comment. To me it’s a prima facie sign of cowardice. I put my name on my posts and suffer a lot of ignorant abuse for it. Of course since it’s impossible to verify real names I post a good number of comments from anonyous cowards anyway.

But if you see an anonymous post here or elewhere, mentally affix this prefix: “I am too much of a coward to use my real name and stand behind my views.”

It’s out of laziness mostly that I let the cowards have mostly free reign, because it takes time to go through so many comments that say the same thing in the same lowbow, infantile way. (One even spelled anonymity “anonimitie”.)

As for not posting comments that disagree–look at them: almost 90 per cent disagree. I’m not your servant where whenever you compose some lame insult I have to hop to it so the world won’t be denied its superb brilliance. If your precious thoughts can’t wait for moderation try reading a book. I get the feeling it would be a new experience for many of you.

I say that because there’s a lot of pure ignorance out there. And pure sad simplemindedness. Like the lady who said “I never read blogs”. Duh. You’e commenting on one how did you pull that trick off. She tops it off with a snobbish assertion she only reads the London Times. Sure.

Sometimes I don’t post comments to spare the poster humiliating embarrassment. Consider this comment:

“I don’t like bering [sic] the bad news, but there is no room on this board for collectivists. They control everything and will soon ruin everything, and I just like reading the opinions of liberty loving people on this site. I don’t have to look around for collectivist opinions. They are foisted upon me from every direction every day without pause.
I have never bought into the sappy mantra preached in this babble of words. The answer is no, we can’t, and we don’t. Get over it.”

Note:
1) He can’t spell “bearing”, a sign of adult illiteracy. (there are classes for this you know).

2) He’s basically a paranoid Stalinist, cowardly in his anonymity of course. Note how smugly proud he is of his self-proclaimed role as censor. He would be at home in the former Soviet Union. No opposing views for him, either to read or to be allowed to be read by others. That’s Stalinism, or as he calls it “collectivism”.

3) He has no idea what collectivism is, and how it differs from liberalism. My “Note to the Blogosphere” post called for more dissent on both liberal and conservative blogs. Yet just about every commenter ignored that. Can’t you people read? Wait, unfair question.

I’m a liberal not a collectivist. Some night after your adult illiteracy class, Mr. “Bering Bad News” check out this essay on the difference. Get someone to help you with the hard words.

March 18, 2009

Word to the Blogosphere: On Not Preaching to the Choir

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 7:24 am

Preaching to the choir: that’s what so many bloggers in the increasingly stultified, conformist, Crips-and-Bloods gang war atmosphere of liberal and conservative blogs do. As someone who reads both liberal and conservative blogs, I find the comments a sad echo chamber that often does little more than mouth the pieties of each position with little more than smug bile to add, thus reaffirming the blogger’s own self-satisfied, inside-the-box predictability for fear of the lynch mob mentality with which any dissent from the accepted position is punished.

As the only consistently liberal voice (well, pro-Obama voice; I would accept Roger L. Simon’s assertion that he is still standing up for classical liberal values that have been left behind by all too many contemporary liberals–freedom of speech, for instance) it’s sometimes lonely on a mainly conservative blog aggregator. But I’m grateful for the freedom–not available on any liberal blogs I know of–not to preach to the choir, but rather to piss off the choir, often enraging both conservatives and those liberals whose limited understanding of dissent and free speech doesn’t extend to the idea that a blog website should have more than one point of view. How dare a liberal write for a conservative oriented blog, these sad cases (who really aren’t liberal at all, but totalitarian enforcers) fume. Their rigidly intolerant view of the iron rules of dissent (liberal views must only be expressed on liberal blog sites) is pathetic and blinkered and demonstrates they lack any understanding of liberalism in the larger sense of open discourse.

And when I dissent from liberal orthodoxy (as I often do) they become apoplectic. But apoplexy seems to be the constant state of conservative commenters who seem so frightened that their views can’t stand up to criticism that they often seem to want to abolish the expression of any ideas that challenge them. In their frightful, diminished view, dissent is legitimate only if they agree with it. They have much in common with the totalitarian liberal enforcers of the Rule of Dissent.

They ought to take a look at the recent warning from staunch conservative Tony Blankley, that hysterical intolerance of other points of view has increasingly become the norm on both sides of the blogosphere to the detriment of the value of debate itself.

While everyone likes being praised for their views, I’ve come to enjoy not preaching to the choir, indeed pissing off the choir, exposing them to views other than those they encounter in their little hermetic worlds of self-congratulation in which they whip themselves up into a mob frenzy of often inarticulate rage at views they don’t agree with. Many seem to want to narrow, rather than widen their world so they only read views exactly like their own. I think it’s healthy for them to see (in the comments) just how conformist, Pavlovian and thoughtless their responses can be. A useful mirror in which they can witness how ugly they become when their prejudices are challenged. I exempt from this portrait intelligent conservatives who are confident enough in their views that they can tolerate and debate opposition with articulate civility. But frankly, I don’t think some lynch mob commenter types are doing the conservative cause any service in the way they represent it.

But I think liberal blog sites ought to provide the same service–a dissenting blogger–so the preachers to the choir there can experience dissent rather than the back patting, ass kissing they seem to revel in.

The whole blogosphere would be healthier for it.

March 15, 2009

Guest Post:"Saving The President"

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 9:06 am

Since I’m going to be taking a week or so off for medical reasons, and because I find his thinking always provactive (check out his many eloquent and erudite indeed polymathic coments on this blog, they are the sort of thoughtful responses I keep hoping I’ll get more of) I asked my friend Charlie Finch to do a guest post. Here’s what he sent me:

SAVING THE PRESIDENT  Those whom the gods wish to destroy they make President. So protean was Lincoln’s Presidency that we forget that it lasted but four years. That great vital force Teddy Roosevelt died young trying to get back to the White House. Wilson, a President of probity and prurience, was cracked within the thin shell of his own ideals. FDR, conqueror of his own withered legs, was physically beaten down by the task of defeating unspeakable evil. Metamorphases of tragedy destroyed the glamorous Kennedy, the dominating Johnson, the striving Nixon, heavily enabled by the actions of all three. Reagan’s body long survived a mind that was never really there, and, in his puppet Presidency, sowed the reckless seeds of our current discontent.
What of President Obama? Seven weeks into his term, the press and many of his fellow Democrats have begun to unravel this rainbow-colored ball of string. They perceive him as the product of their own manufacture; to them the beloved, symbolic and very human tribune of the voting public is nothing but a boy. The President created waves of experienced appointees, in part, to shield him from the uncreative destruction to which the Presidency is especially subject in our age. His planned escapes from the Oval, such as Obama’s skipping the idiotic Gridiron Dinner for his daughters’ spring break, already indicates his fear of personal destruction by his so-called allies and enablers. The key to his political and psychological transcendence lies in that most mystical and nonunderstandable of Presidents, George Washington (who also did not long survive the office). Those who knew him knew Washington as a kind of god on earth during his lifetime. He had an engaged detachment and detached engagement with the events and human acrtions around him, one that we still cannot quantify. Something in him fundamentally didn’t care in the human sense, but believed profoundly in the transcendental sense. Obama must seize this peculiar, exalted mantle, and how he shall do it is beyond my powers of imagination. All the best, Charlie

March 11, 2009

Useful History for Those Ignorant on the Subject of Regulation and Deregulation

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 4:40 pm

I think this well documented article will save me time responding to commenters who seem to be ignorant of the role of deregulation played in the collaspe of the banking economy. Yes mortage lending policies played a role, but not as much as the revocation of Glass -Steagall’s separation of banking and investment functions and the subsequent lack of regulation of the time bomb “investment supermarket” and hedge fund entities. But those who seek to blame the crash on one party and not another just demonstrate what fools and ignoramuses they are. Both parties contributed in their own ways.

I was having dinner with a prominent conservative figure the other day, and he told me how ashamed of the name “conservatism” ignorant blog commenters had made him. I sometimes feel the same way about liberal blog commmenters as well. The blogosphere was supposed to encourage individuality and free thinking. Instead, he pointed out, it has largely turned into a landcape of gang warfare and mindless conformity ruled by cowardly and ignorant thugs who hide behind their anonymity.

It has to do with the protection from the embarrassing disclosure of their ignorance that anonymity affords. It’s sad though, the mindless group-think and conformity, the smug self- satisfied, know-it-all pose of so many commenters. Go ahead make my day, prove his point; cowardly abusive anonyous ignoramuses are the plague of the blogosphere. Let’s see how many of you show up cowering behind your fake names.

March 9, 2009

Most Evil Twitter in History: Holocaust-Denying Catholic Bishop is a 9/11 Denier too!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 6:23 pm

Well lookee here. Look what I found from my “Google alert” for World War III. I don’t think anyone has reported on it yet, but vile holocaust-denying Bishop Richard Williamson who’s trying to undo his ex communication by doing “further research” on the Holocaust (he still won’t admit Jews were gassed in the death camps) turns out to be a 9/11 truther. In a twitter!

You’ve got to give him credit for compressing so much evil and malign ignorance into fewer than 140 characters.

In fact I defy anyone top his summit of repulsive idiocy.

Is it possible for two such radioactive stupidities to occupy a single brain (and a rather small one at that) without reaching criticial mass? I guess we’ll soon find out but here’s his twitter in the unedited form I received from Google:

“Catholic Church Conservation: Another 9/11 risks being fabricated …
By Gillibrand
Another 9/11 risks being fabricated to start World War III · from the blog of Bishop Williamson. at 12:46 AM. Labels: Bishop Williamson Posted by Gillibrand. 0 comments:. Post a Comment · Older Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments …
Catholic Church Conservation – http://cathcon.blogspot.com/”</

I don’t know whether they twitter, but there are a lot of bats flying in that belfry. Is it possible we have located the stupidest most wretchedly repellant man on the planet? Shouldn’t there be some kind of reverse Nobel for the Bishop? Can the Pope seriously take this goon back into the church now? You’ll recall his rehabilitation from his reactionary anti-Vatican II cult was being held up by his Holocasut denial. He vowed he’d hit the books–do some more “research” on the subject, try to back down from unequivocally calling it all “lies” inthe ’80s.

But now he’s got some more explaining to do do. Please Bishop, twitter away or tell us more at length your theories about the first “9/11 fabrication”. I wonder what demonic force he blames for it? Pray tell, your reverence.

Even if he never says–or tweets–another word, though, he’s done us a service by telling us a lot about the mindset of Holocaust deniers and 9/11 deniers and what they have in common. I hope people will spread the word about this rebarbative aspect of Bishop Williamson’s brain It was just luck I came upon this moronic twitter; it deserves worldwide exposure, just as his Holocaust denial did. For his sake alone–and for the sake of the victims of the tragedies he cruelly denies–I hope there is a Hell.

March 8, 2009

Clarence Thomas Agrees with Liberals on Regulation

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 5:02 pm

I note that one of the commenters on my previous peanut butter post took issue with my shot against de-regulation. Opponents of regulations he said are not against all regulation, but only feel it should be used “as a last resort.” Too bad for the people who died from salmonella poisoning from lax inspection of peanut butter: last resort was too late for them. Last rites, more like it. Regulations only kicked in after they’d kicked the bucket.

My point was that regulation shouldn’t be demonized but that it protects an individual’s right to life, liberty and freedom from death by bad peanuts. That depending on “market forces”–“oh, lets not buy from the peanut company that killed six people with sewage infested nuts”–to self-regulate greedy private enterprises after their depredations have killed and maimed, doesn’t help the dead, and that a rational system of regulation is good for capitalism.

Well guess who weighed in with a pro-regulatory Supreme Court decision just last week: conservative icon Clarence Thomas.

Thomas, in opposition to pro-business conservative Justices Roberts, Scalia and Alito, took a longer, wiser pro-federalist, rational pro-capitalist view that the federal government shouldn’t have the right to interfere with states’ consumer protection regulatory laws. Such laws were not violations of Constitutional liberty but protectors of life.

Okay, pro-deregulation conservatives: what ya got to say to that? De-regulation did its part in destroying the economy by allowing banks to become “investment supermarkets”. De-regulation killed the salmonella victims. Do you want conservatism to be known as the pro-food poisoning philosophy? Although I consider myself a liberal, I have a lot of problems with conventional liberalism, particularly its naivete in foreign affairs, its tendency toward cultural relativism (it’s what I have in common with Roger L. Simon), but when even Clarence Thomas recognizes the value of preserving regulatory law, I think it’s time to throw in the towel and admit liberals are right on this issue.

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