Wednesday, December 31, 2003


Mike in the comments mentioned that he would like to hear my perspective on the view Boortz expressed on jobs today. I'm sorry, I only have about 5 minutes to post, and I have to turn my attention to other things. So this is the abbreviated take:

Boortz says that the jobs don't belong to the workers: they belong to the employers, and the employers should therefore be free to export them at will. I'll let that stand, even though I believe it is a poor metaphor for the contract between employer and employee. For my purposes, I can agree with him: the jobs belong to the employer, but, if the employer chooses to outsource those to other countries so that the business does not benefit American workers, American workers should be free to treat that business's products as an import, and to apply import tarriffs. If you are going to export the jobs, you'll have to import the products if you want to sell them here. The American marketplace is, after all, our marketplace.

Creeping Socialism McCarthyism

I'm not sure that I will have an opportunity to post an anti-Nuze entry today, but I want to quickly address a common theme I find coming up in my comments. I am finding that a lot of Boortz listeners are worried about the possibility of progressive politics in America clearing the way for "creeping socialism." I think that this worry is probably being planted by pundits like Boortz, who try to blur the line between a "small s" socialistic spending program, and "big s" Socialist political movement. I don't want to insult anyone's intelligence, but I would like to give everyone a chance to reflect on what socialism really is, and to remember that no-one who is taken seriously in American politics advocates for a truly socialistic society under which private ownership of business would be abolished. There is a lot of daylight between populist spending programs and state ownership of business. To this end, I would like to post an entry from the ever useful American Spirit Political Dictionary:
socialism - a political system in which the means of production, distribution and exchange are mostly owned by the state, and used, at least in theory, on behalf of the people. The idea behind socialism is that the capitalist system is intrinsically unfair, because it concentrates wealth in a few hands and does nothing to safeguard the overall welfare of the majority. Under socialism, the state redistributes the wealth of society in a more equitable way, with the ideal of social justice replacing the profit motive. Socialism as a system is anathema to most Americans, although many social welfare programs like Medicare and Medicaid (once derided by their opponents as "socialized medicine") and Social Security are socialistic in effect, since they are controlled by the government and effect a measure of income redistribution that could not happen if market forces were the sole factor in the economic life of society. See also communism; Leninism; Marxism.The following comment was contributed by Fast Times reader Blake Thomas: Socialism - an economic system where the means of production are owned by the workers (understood to be all of those people who do not own the means of production under our current system). This has been proposed in many forms, but worker ownership of the means of production is the most important feature. Another important distinction from capitalism is that the economy is not profit-driven, but is instead run for the fulfillment of human needs. Socialism is not mutually exclusive with democracy, asis commonly understood. Socialism actually requires democracy if it is to be a genuine socialist society. Along these
lines, it also does not wish to inhibit our civil liberties. In genuine socialism, protection of civil liberties is vital as well. Socialism holds that people can run the economy as well as society. In that
sense, it is sort of an economic democracy. Another common misconception about socialism is that it requires a large government. It can, theoretically, just like democracy can. Another misconception
is that the former Soviet Union was actually socialist and that China is as well. Both of these were/are dictatorships run by powerful elites that were alienated from the will of the people. (Communism is where all property is owned by the community. Just like socialism, communism actually requires democracy
if it is to actually be real communism.)
A bit of trivia for those of us who did not grow up under threat from the "red menace", the distinction between communism and socialism is that, under communism, private property is abolished altogether, and - in theory - everything is held in common: not just business.

Socialism isn't the way for America, but one need only to look back to the lessons of the Great Depression and the "dustbowl days" to find that some liberal policies (at least) are good for all of America.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Pass the tin foil, Ma, the Clintons Are Controllin' Our Brains

I don't want to nit-pick, so I won't spend a lot of time talking about self-employed individuals in the service and building trades, and why government regulation of them does not have interference with customer service as its goal. I'll just mention that many voters believe that the protections for communities, individual consumers, and the self-employed service providers themselves are worth a small trade-off in terms of fast customer service, and be done with it.

And I don't want to nit-pick, so rather than asking Neal to break a personal rule and divulge the sources he uses for deciding what Hillary Clinton's college professors thought about her (or what their own political inclinations are), I'll just mention that Neal seems to be obsessed with Hillary.

Actually, with both of the Clintons. This is what makes me wonder why anyone with a reputation to protect would advertise on Neal's show. Read this:
I've been telling you that Weasley Clark is the Clinton hand-picked candidate. Remember, Clark was fired from his Army command while Clinton was Commander in Chief. Clinton knows why he was fired. This gives Clinton the ability to torpedo Clark's candidacy when he chooses. Clark is to politically ignorant to realize this ... thus he plays along with Clinton, even using Clinton in a television ad. Bottom line: The last thing the Clintons want is for a Democrat to win in 2004.More news for you, Neal: that's not the real Wes Clark. The real Wes Clark is in an underground research facility in Roswell, NM. Bat-boy has succeeded in cloning him and extracting the alien half of his DNA. He's still having difficulty with the Elvis half.

Seriously, I'm giving consideration to phasing out this blog and consolidating the "anti-boortz" with other projects. It's difficult to create a serious critique when the subject is going off into wack-o conspiracy land for material. A weekly "best of Boortz" column on smijer may be a better approach. Let me know what you think.

Monday, December 29, 2003

No Nuze

I will be having to take the day off today. I hope to be back tomorrow.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Blast From the Past: Right-wing Philosophy Writ Small

Neal is taking the weekend off. I find myself restless, and so I have been browsing in the Boortz archives for material. I found a juicy topic from way back in May's archive. I quote:Some of you remember the conversation I had with "Cheyenne" yesterday. She has two kids, not married, and makes about $14,000. She pays absolutely no income tax whatsoever and gets about $4,000 from the government --- that sickening Earned Income Tax Credit nonsense. What's more, she sees absolutely nothing wrong with her scenario ... after all, her parents pay taxes. I know you remember the conversation because I've received quite a few messages telling me what a heartless slob I am for challenging Cheyenne's claim to someone else's property.

My guess is that for most of her life Cheyenne has been surrounded by a bunch of supportive friends telling her that none of this is her fault.. You have two kids you can't support? Well, that's not your fault ... blame their father(s). You don't make enough money? That greedy boss of yours is trying to just keep it all for himself.

So – finally someone spells it out. This lady made choices, and those choices led to her being a single mother of two with marketable job skills ... . And now she feels entitled to someone else's money.
Of course, Neal's presentation is a caricature of how the grown-ups among the conservatives perceive the issues, but it is a wonderful starting point for discussion.

I list the presumptions of Neal's analysis of "Cheyenne's" situation, in order of relevance:
1. Cheyenne's contribution is too small (Regressive taxes should not be considered when calculating tax burden)
2. Cheyenne is the prime beneficiary of government assistance (Child tax credits never benefit children)
3. Government assistance for Cheyenne consists of "other people's money" (Taxes represent "other people's" money)
4. Only Cheyenne made choices that influenced her situation. (Individual responsibility is absolute)

But there are other views. To give you an idea what they might look like, let's explore these right-wing presumptions a little bit more deeply:

1. Progressive vs Regressive tax structures:
America has a progressive federal income tax. In other words, on the federal level, we ask the most from those people who receive the most benefit from the opportunities provided by our democracy.

The federal income tax is not the only way we fund our government. There are also sales taxes, use taxes, property taxes, and many others. If Cheyenne is making $14000 per year, and if she receives a $4000 tax credit from the fed and another $2000 in food stamps and welfare assistance, then her total yearly income is $20000. How much does she pay in taxes?

Georgia gas tax: 7.5cpg + Federal gas tax: 18.4cpg = 25.9cpg * 10 gallons per week non-leisure driving = $2.59 per week * 52 weeks = $134.68, rounding to $135 per year.

Sales tax: Assuming Cheyenne has to spend all of her income ($20000) to make ends meet each year, and assuming (generously), that she only pays sales-tax on one half of the money she spends, with the other half of her income going to rent, gasoline, school lunches and other expenses that do not incur sales tax. In Fulton County, that's 14% * $10000 = $1400 per year.

Hidden taxes: Cheyenne probably can't afford to own her own home, but unless she has found section 8 housing that she can move her children to without fearing too much for their safety, her landlord almost certainly pays property taxes and he most likely passes those on to her through increased rent, but I can find no way to accurately estimate this hidden tax.

Even so, we have found where Cheyenne pays 8% of her (total) income in regressive taxes. 8% isn't as much as more affluent people pay in taxes, but when someone is trying to feed, clothe, and shelter two children while existing well below the poverty level, eight percent of their income has a greater impact on their lives than any of the taxes the rest of us pay.

2.) The child tax credit:
Without this money, Cheyenne's children would be far more likely to be malnourished, underclothed, and otherwise suffering. With this money, they are given a fighting chance. The Boortz far right-wing philosophy is that Cheyenne's children are to be held responsible for the bad decisions their mother may make.

3.) Taxation:
The patriots of the American colonies did not fight the Revolutionary war in order to secure freedom from taxes. They fought to gain democratic representation on how they would be taxed and how that money would be spent. When our elected representatives levee a tax, it is we who levee the tax by proxy. Our taxes are our contributions to a general fund, and the money in that fund no longer belongs to us. It belongs to the society to spend as it finds the need. The liberal view is that a civilized society has responsibilities to be sure thateveryone's basic needs are met. In America, the liberal view is tempered with more conservative views, so that we impose fewer taxes on ourselves and at the same time spend less from the general fund on aiding the needy.

Even so, the $4000 Cheyenne receives from the general fund is begrudged by some people who have likely contributed less than a half-penny of what she will receive. They call it "other people's money". The reality is that "other people" did not earn that money without help from the rest of the society and when "other people" have elected representatives to allocate a portion of it to be paid back to society in exchange for society's help, they can no longer claim the taxes they pay as their own money.

4.) Who is responsible?
There is not a society on this earth that has succeeded without an ingrained concept of personal responsibility. It is very important to keep that concept close to our hearts in debating public policy, but it is also very important to keep sight of the fact that personal responsibility is not absolute. Cheyenne has two children, is not married, and makes $14,000. Now, it is possible that Cheyenne is entirely responsible for her situation. It is possible, as Boortz suggests, that Cheyenne had every opportunity to be in a better situation. It is possible that she chose not to go to college. That, on her eighteenth birthday she went out and seduced some fellow and had an unprotected one night stand - an action that resulted in the birth of her first baby. It is possible that she repeated this decision later on with a second lover.

On the other hand, it is possible that she didn't make any of those choices, unguided by sheer necessity. It could be that on her sixteenth birthday, she went out one evening and ran into some slick-talking fellow who was born on third base, thinking that he hit a triple. It's possible that he managed to get her alone and decided he wanted to see how they grew on the other side of the tracks. It's possible that he wouldn't take "no" for an answer, and that she had her first baby before she turned seventeen. It's possible that her parents kicked her out when she turned eighteen, and she had to choose between taking care of her baby and going to college. It is quite possible that the manager at her job kept her late after work one night and fathered her second child without her consent.

Many people believe that personal responsibility is important where responsibility can be identified, but that it cannot trump the well-being of people whose guilt has not been determined. A free society can never be perfect, and there will always be a few who are undeserving and will benefit from programs designed to help the needy. There will also always be a few who were born to wealth and privilege, who are able to leverage the work of blue-collar types to further increase their own wealth, and able to hire accountants to help them avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

And while there will always be a few on either end of the spectrum who represent the real need for reform, there is also a strong middle class, a strong national infrastructure, and a strong public defense that shows that America is doing something right.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

No post today

Enjoy smijer instead.

Friday, December 26, 2003

Howard Dean Sneers and Neal Boortz Jeers

I'm sorry. I'm going to have to call B.S. on this:Following Saddam's capture about three weeks ago the ever-irate Howard Dean sneered that the U.S. is no safer now than it was the day before 9/11. I hope some reporter asks him that question again today on one of his campaign appearances.Notice that Boortz terms Dean "ever-irate". Take note of that folks. That language was provided courtesy of the Neal Boortz paymasters in the Republican Party. When the GOP Wurlitzer is through with Howard Dean, you will think he is angry and unlikeable, and - if their money does its magic just right - you won't like him. Boortz is just a pawn in their game, but he is a willing and pliable pawn.

I'm not calling B.S. because the Republicans are again engaged in trying to divert your attention from vital policy concerns by playing up charicatures of the candidates' personalities. I'm calling B.S. for two reasons.

  • As I mentioned the other day (link is to article on this page, further down: Blogger links are sometimes difficult), there is every reason to believe that Howard Dean never said what Neal Boortz claims he did. Also, there is virtually no reason to take Neal's word on the matter. Do you think that Neal will ever provide any documentation for his claim?
  • If Howard Dean did actually express the opinion that America isn't safer now than before 9/11, that opinion is not indefensible. It may be correct or not. The proof of whether the Bush administration's responses to 9/11 have made us safer or less safe may be very slow to emerge. Right now, we only have the ability to make indirect predictions based on a variety of factors.

    Now, I tend to believe that Bush's response to 9/11 have, on balance, made America somewhat safer. I don't believe he has done enough, and I believe the Iraq war was counterproductive in that regard, but at the end of the day I still give him credit with a net increase in American security.

    As far as I know, Howard Dean may hold the same opinion as I do. I have certainly never heard him express an opinion to the contrary, and I doubt that Neal Boortz has either. But, if he does hold the contrary opinion, that is certainly his right. There is no empirical evidence to prove that the Bush administration has made our country any safer at all, the purported thwarting of a terrorist plot notwithstanding. Thwarting terrorist plots is an almost routine occurence with American intelligence, going all the way back to the Clinton years. The thwarting of a single plot among who-knows-how-many is not objective evidence that American security has seen a net gain. Nor does a mere two years without a successful terrorist attack on American soil. We had gone much longer than that before 9/11.

    I have the fullest confidence in the ability of our military and intelligence services to provide first rate protection for the American people. The job of the President of the U.S. is to provide those agencies and our troops with the resources they need to do their job, and to exercise international diplomacy in a way that protects American interests, garners cooperation for our services in hunting terrorists down, and minimizes the number and kind of threats directed against us.

    I have more confidence in the judgement of Howard Dean in that matter than I do in President Bush, because it is my opinion from observation that Bush is doing too many of the wrong things and not enough of the right things for American security. Howard Dean, on the other hand, stresses securing our ports, purchasing uranium from the former USSR under cooperative threat reduction, increasing funding to homeland security and first-responders, and focusing on terrorist elements in foreign lands rather than on collapsing whole regimes.

    You may approve of the approach Bush has taken.

    It's an honest difference of opinion on what will make America safest. It's not about "sneering" or "angriness" or any other of the baloney that the talking heads want to use to distract you from the issues.

    Let's keep 'em honest.
  • Wednesday, December 24, 2003

    Happy Holidays

    Enjoy your holiday.

    Tuesday, December 23, 2003

    The Libertarian Convention

    It seems that Neal has won a round against those who would not want him speaking at the libertarian convention.

    I don't endorse this site, but for anyone who is interested, These are the people who are trying to keep him out.

    Monday, December 22, 2003

    Those Appeasement Republicans

    In today's* Nuze, Neal Boortz greets us with what he assures us is bad news for "appeasement Democrats". Have we fallen so far that we have forgotten the real meaning of "appeasement"? It seems that the word is being stretched to include any opposition to any war, no matter the circumstances or reasoning. Of course, appeasement really means giving in to the demands of an agressor in exchange for peace. According to Neal's "expanded" definition, however, just about everybody is an appeaser. "Look how GW Bush appeases ruthless dictators," we could say, using the Boortz definition. "Why does everybody want to appease Mexico?" would be the question of the day. "And Canada?" Worst of all, "Why appease France?"

    Just a note of warning, before you start bastardizing the English language to suit your political agendas. It will back-fire on you. You know who you are.

    So what is this "bad news" for Democrats who opposed Bush's war? Here's what Boortz says:If you read this article you will see that Bill Clinton justified his attack on this plant, now commonly referred to as an "aspirin factory," by citing connections between Iraq and Al Qaeda. Question: Why is it ok for Clinton to raise these connections without criticism, but not Bush.Why? Let's see what the {shudder} Weekly Standard has to say. Let's see if Neal could have answered his own question without looking any further than the radically-right newspaper article he was talking about to begin with. On page 2:The senior intelligence officials who briefed reporters laid out the collaboration. "We knew there were fuzzy ties between [bin Laden] and the plant but strong ties between him and Sudan and strong ties between the plant and Sudan and strong ties between the plant and Iraq." Although this official was careful not to oversell bin Laden's ties to the plant, other Clinton officials told reporters that the plant's general manager lived in a villa owned by bin Laden.In other words, Clinton's action had nothing to do with Iraq's ties (or lack of them) to Al Qaeda. They had to do with a chemical weapons facility that had connections to both Iraq and Al Qaeda. It's also worth noting that Clinton's bombing didn't cost any American lives or billions of American tax dollars, so there is a lot less to criticize him for.

    That's it. If this doesn't make it off the pages of the Weekly Standard, its a lot more likely to be because there's no story than because Fox News Channel loves Bill Clinton. I think Neal Boortz knows that.

    Saturday, December 20, 2003

    Americans Not Afraid Of

    Borrowing the summary of this poll provided by the inestimable Atrios, I now demonstrate that Americans do not fear the same things that Neal Boortz fears:


    Democratic primary voters 22%
    All voters 17%

    Still the same
    Democratic primary voters 63%
    All voters 61%

    Democratic primary voters 13%
    All voters 18%

    bites Dog

    Yesterday, I neglected to confer praise where praise was due. In a rare rebuke to his Bush administration masters, it seems that Neal has joined forces with us liberal bed-wetters in defending the Constitution and praising the ruling on Jose Padilla. I should have mentioned this yesterday, but I ran out of time.

    Good job, Neal. Now, go change your sheets.

    That's all for today. Join us Monday, when Neal will say, "European Diplomacy succeeds again!"... "Bush has 'em runnin' scared now!"

    Update: Juan Cole puts Lybia in perspective.

    Friday, December 19, 2003

    Guns don't kill people, kills people.

    OK, folks. On point #1, I'm not 100% sure that Neal is lying, or even wrong. In today's* Nuze, he says this: "Howard Dean thinks that America is no safer today than it was before 9/11." Alright, then. If that's what Dr. Dean said - even if Dean really doesn't think that - I'm not going to complain about Neal reporting in it in the off-handed manner that he does. The problem is that I can't find even a single report that Dr. Dean actually said this.

    But on point #2, I'm not 100% sure that Neal is lying, but I'm 100% sure that he speaks falsely, and I can prove it. He says, "We ran a little poll on Nealz Nuze yesterday. Ninety percent of the people who responded said that they think America is safer after the terrorist attacks." If you were around yesterday, you know that this is blatantly untrue. The fact is that yesterday's poll asks, in red print, "Do you think America is safer now that Saddam Hussein has been captured?" (not "Do you think that America is safer after the terrorist attacks").

    If you don't believe me, look at the poll on yesterday's Nuze page.

    Now, this is a problem for me. I know that Neal Boortz isn't stupid. But you would have to be stupid to think that your audience is not going to notice that you have practiced a bait and switch on them so blatantly. Alternatively, you would have to be stupid to believe that Neal himself just forgot to see what yesterday's poll was about before he wrote about it. So we are in a catch 22: either of the two possible explanations for the falsehood contradicts what we know about Neal Boortz, i.e. that he is not stupid.

    I could go into all of the analysis about why someone would post something so blatantly untrue on their web-site for all the world to see. I'm not going to. I'm going to return to point#1. This is where Neal claimed that Dean thought that America hasn't improved its security standing since the 9/11 terrorist attack. Remember what Dr. Dean really did say? You know, the obvious fact that capturing Saddam Saturday didn't make America any safer? Well that's the same thing the poll question was about yesterday. So if Neal Boortz is substituing "After the 9/11" attacks in place of "after Saddam was captured", then we can at least explain why claim #1 doesn't appear in any major news outlets.

    But we still can't explain the problem Neal has with the unvarnished truth.

    Thursday, December 18, 2003

    Ok, almost a pass

    I was going to give Neal a full pass today, because of the movie tonight. I'm going to have to hammer out just a few words at lunch, since Neal seems determined to make a fool of himself, and his clone-army that is busily clicking "yes" in his on-line poll. I'm just going to paraphrase Boortz here:

    ...a man who was attempting to get his bullet out of his pocket; a man who admitted to the possession of huge stockpiles of SPAM; a man who had no checks to write, and barely enough cash to pay rent on his hidey-hole, and who we are now discovering still didn't have any ties to Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda operation ... and Dean says we are no safer because this man has been captured?

    Dean's right again. I guess that's why Howard Dean is running for President, and Neal Boortz is still in radio.

    Wednesday, December 17, 2003

    SPAM Kills

    Since I'm tired, and his poll about counterproductive abstinence play cracked me up, I'm going to give Neal a pass tonight. I'll only comment on this one little misdirection:
    The Chicano Studies Research Center at UCLA says that non-citizens should have the right to vote. This is a new cause for Democrats my friends ... getting non-citizens, including illegal aliens, to the polls.The Chicano Studies Research Center is a latino academic group, not a political group. When Neal calls you friend, he is laughing down his sleeve. He thinks of you as a friend the same way I think of an in-use toilet as a friend. Exactly the same way.

    As it turns out, the CSRC at UCLA (which is not an organ of the Democratic Party, and which does not carry Democratic party endorsement) has not advocated suffrage for illegals. Actually, according to UCLA, they didn't even come out and advocate suffrage for non-citizens.

    So what did this academic group say?
    A new study by UCLA's Chicano Studies Research Center recommends increasing public debate about whether noncitizens in California should vote and developing a consensus for a constitutional amendment that would permit noncitizens to vote in local elections.{emphasis added}
    So its really about some academic types (or at least one academic type, by the name of Joaquin Avila, anyway) wanting to debate voting rights for non-citizens. News-flash for Neal Boortz: academia is like that. You find all kinds there, but they love debating stuff that nobody thinks about yet. It's one of those sad facts of life, human curiosity.

    Does Neal Boortz have a problem with the truth? Does he think that warning people to check his work before giving him your trust excuses his propensity for repeating falsehoods?

    I take it as a given that people are going to try and independently verify what I say. I don't use that as an excuse to leave the truth's head on a spike outside my hut.

    By the way, Neal:

    You get another pass tomorrow night. I'm off to see the Wizard. And the Hobbits. A couple of Elves. Neal Boortz Grima Wormtounge. You know.

    Clarification on Yesterday'z Nuze

    A couple of clarifications:

    I.) My comments were meant to indicate there Boortz is a nut for thinking Saddam was a danger to America, just before he was captured, not because he might also believe that Saddam was a danger to Iraq or Kuwait, twelve years ago. Most everyone agrees that Saddam was dangerous to people of that region at that time. Howard Dean was correct to say that capturing him now, from his hidey-hole full of spam, did not make America any safer*. What was Saddam going to do? Throw Spam across the Atlantic and hit us on the head?

    II.) There is a difference between unilateral action and unilateral war policy. It is the latter that Democrats criticize, when there is no clear and present danger to defend Americans from, and when there is no ongoing genocide to stop. To bring up only the former type of unilateralism and to feign ignorance of the latter is merely a Republican tactic for deflecting criticism.

    Apparently, from the comments left earlier, I didn't make these two points clear before. My apologies.

    *The correct remark Howard Dean made was not the main thrust of his response, however. The main thrust was that the capture was good for Iraq, a cause for celebration in America, and an opportunity to improve the road to peace in Iraq.

    From Yesterday, Unilateralism

    I left unanswered (or only indirectly answered) a section of Yesterday's Nuze, because I was short on time. This morning I feel like it is important to address this one bit. One of the Republican talking points on the war involves feigning ignorance on the meaning of the term "unilateralism" in order to deflect Democrat's criticism of the war on that grounds. Yesterday, Neal Boortz took it a step further. He not only feigned ignorance of the meaning of that term as it is applied in the context of this war, but he accused Democrats of being manipulative by using it. Who is manipulating whom?

    The simple fact is that practically everyone who votes and is knowledgeable in the least about any of the issues is keenly aware that the British and a couple of other nations put troops on the ground during the initial invasion, and that a small "coalition of the willing" helped to accomplish military goals in Iraq during and after the war. Using the term "unilateralism" is not likely to obscure that fact.

    The simple fact is that not everyone is aware that the criticism of "unilateralism" can apply separately to operation or conduct of the war, and have a distinct meaning with regard to war policy. Since the beginning the Bush administration has had a unilateralist war policy. That means:
    1) The U.S. alone sets war agenda
    2) The U.S. expresses that it will act alone if no one else joins the operation
    3) Other nations are allowed to participate in the process only insofar as they are supportive of U.S. policy.

    When those who opposed the war on the grounds of unilateralism give voice to their concerns, these are the concerns they are talking about in rough outline.

    The Republican and "ReLibertarican" talking heads insist that the war isn't unilateral because the U.S. was able to strong arm a few other nations. They need to be reminded that the critics are talking about unilateralist policy and the harm it does to our standing and respect in the world. It is in order to protect our alliances and our position of respect that many Americans feel we should restrain ourselves from unilateralist war except in order to defend a clear and present danger or to stop an on-going genocide.

    Tuesday, December 16, 2003

    More Saddam, More Boortz

    Today, I think I heard the most bizarre statement so far from a pundit who actually gets paid. Neal Boortz was telling us that its impossible to be grateful that Saddam is out of power when you still do not support the war that got him out of power. He says this: 'This is like telling a friend "Yes, I'm glad to see that that nasty little compound fracture of your left leg is healed, but I'm still really upset with you for going to a doctor." '

    Neal Boortz thinks these two cases are alike. How much alike are they? Let's compare.

    American soldiers remain aliveAmerican soldiers die
    Iraqi civilians remain aliveIraqi civilians die
    Doesn't inflame Arab world muchInflames Arab World
    $100$87,000,000,000 +
    150,000 troops available for combat anywhere needed 150,000 troops unable to go anywhere needed

    Oh sure, I could go on. The point is that going to a doctor is a pretty good trade off for getting a leg healed. On the other hand, there is room for sincere and intelligent people to disagree with the notion that thousands of lives including American soldiers, billions of dollars, and the security of the U.S. together make a good trade for the toppling of a dictator.

    Next oddity up? Neal has this to say: "Oh ... and let's mention Howard Dean yesterday. He says that the capture of Saddam Hussein has not made America any safer. We now know for a certainty that Howard Dean is a fool. He has eliminated all doubt." Ok, my question is this: does Neal Boortz just hate obvious stuff? At the height of his power Saddam could only lob a scud missile as far as Saudi Arabia. Here we are twelve years and two wars later. And now, according to Boortz, capturing this broken man who had no military, no government, nothing at all except a gun he couldn't reach, a few cans of spam, and a month's rent on a rat-hole has increased the safety of America?

    It has increased the safety of whatever cockroaches were within Saddam's reach after the spam ran out.

    Don't read this wrong: it is good to have captured him, to be able to have a show of justice with him, to be sure that we aren't leaving ourselves open to re-fight a war against the same dictactor the year after we pull our troops out. Its just that it didn't make us any safer as a nation.

    I think Boortz may have gotten one right. From sources other than World Net Daily, we learn that Jim McDermott may have actually topped the inanity mentioned at the top of this post, with accusations against Bush that he manipulated the timing of Saddam's capture. To the best of my ability to discern, McDermott actually said this. I'm as ashamed of him as I know y'all are of Rick Santorum. No actually, I'm really ashamed that someone like this holds elective office as a Democrat. He's not the only one (just like Santorum isn't the only Republican y'all ought to be ashamed of). But I can admit that this is a revolting and small-minded statement. I hope that we get a retraction, at least.

    But Boortz also gets one wrong:
    Some country is going to call the shots when the chips are down. Republicans (and some libertarians like myself) want that country to be the United States. Democrats don't. It's that simple.In case any of you are as stupid as Neal Boortz thinks you are, this is not actually the case. The fact is that - when the chips are down - all the Democrats that matter do want the U.S. to use its might. The most important difference I perceive is that Democrats actually believe what George Bush said during the 2000 Presidential campaign:

    "It really depends upon how (the) nation conducts itself in foreign policy. If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us. If we're a humble nation, but strong, they'll welcome us. And our nation stands alone right now in the world in terms of power. And that's why we've got to be humble and yet project strength in a way that promotes freedom. So I don't think they ought to look at us in any way other than what we are. We're a freedom-loving nation. And if we're an arrogant nation, they'll view us that way, but if we're a humble nation, they'll respect us."
    Question for Boortz followers:

    Following today's rant about the Human Rights education program, did any of you take a moment to ask yourself: why didn't Neal mention which schools are using this resource? Why didn't Neal mention which state laws or which school boards require teachers to incorporate the HRRC's curriculum into their classroom activities?

    The reason I ask myself this question is because Neal cites this web-site as "an example of how the union-controlled government schools indoctrinate your children."

    Really? Which schools? Whose children?

    Monday, December 15, 2003

    Life in the Post-Saddam Nuze

    Not much to say about Neal's Monday* Nuze page. He properly celebrates the capture of Slobodan Milosevic Saddam Hussein, as do most other commentators and politicians - including those on the left. (I quote from Howard Dean's comment on the capture: "This is a great day for the Iraqi people, the US, and the international community.")

    Of course, it isn't enough that everyone that matters has to be happy about the capture. Neal isn't going to be happy unless everyone including those most polarized partisans of the fringes of the Democratic Party (and those who impersonate them) are happy, too. He quotes some of the silly, short-sighted, snarky, stupid, and sometimes even unpatriotic sentiment from the Democratic Underground.

    I guess he's wishing Bush would be facing one of those guys in the next election. I wonder if we can make a deal. Instead of Dean (or the eventual nominee) against Bush, maybe we can run one of the Democratic Underground against someone from Free Republic. Wouldn't that be a hoot? In that spirit, let's take a play out of the Boortz playbook and re-play the conservative commentary in reaction to the last war that toppled a bloody dictator:

    From the Free Republic:

  • Well the real lesson here is now that the Soviet Union has been defeated and they have given their former colonies freedom WE SHOULD HAVE BUTTED OUT OF EUROPEAN POLITCS. WE ARE NOT A EUROPEAN POWER THE SOVIETS WERE DEFEATED. Now they probably will make a comeback
  • To use a phrase "I feel your pain":) But I really do...people just don't care about King Bubba's shenanigans or anything else...imagine if anyone had ever suggested that we, the Unted States of America, would START bombing another country because they wouldn't do what we wanted!!! Incredible!!! And he gets away with it because his willing accomplices in the press (ALL draft dodging cowards during Vietnam) buy in to the "genocide" charge (& just where is the PROOF of that???)...yes it is truly amazing what we have come to...and a little scary what lies ahead with this immoral, evil man taking us down this path...
  • Has it ever occurred to anyone that like Sadam Hussein, we want Milosovich to conitnue in power to keep other ethnics in cehck (in Iraq, Kurds and Shiaites, in Yugoslavia, Croats, albainias, etc.). So we wage a phony war that actually strengthens his regime?
  • I feel like I know what the parents of German soldiers felt like with their kids serving under Hitler's command.
  • Clinton is obviously a disaster. It is just a shame that the only persons who can seem to hold their own with him in political terms are Saddam and Milosevic.
    "hold their own"?? - these guys out-strategize the morons in the WH, State, JCS, DoD any day! The difference is that they have long-term objectives, however despicable, that they stick with and plan to, rather than just worry about tomorrow's polls.
  • Well, we know that clinton is a pathological sadist, who likes hurting and killing people, especially people who won't do what he tells them. What he's doing to Yugoslavia is pretty much what he did to Juanita Broaddrick and Vince Foster. What's really dispiriting is that congress and the media are going along with him, closing their eyes while he kills women, children, and babies: in Iraq, in Serbia, and in Waco. What's their excuse for this complicity in evil?
  • Why should anybody have to ask for klintoon's permission????? He is just the figurehead of a group of organized business-criminals that are trying with all of their unholy might, to RULE this world. Not for our sake but for their own BLOODY pocketbooks. These criminals have mr.sleeze as their spokesman because a truly GOOD PERSON could never deal with them voluntarily and knowingly. The Church in Serbia has offered to help to set up a good government in their country...the criminal powers of the world will not want their help. They want to enslave Serbia, because if they get THEM they can GET us all...totally. Serbia is the cap on the pyramid. One more thing...these rich powerful criminals are GODLESS...but they will use religions against each other. They can take "naturally" occurring rivalries and turn them into BLOODBATHS... these forces are like the "minions of satan".

    Still waiting on those "grown-ups".

    Update: How did I miss this? On the same page where Neal Boortz condemns the fringe posters on Democratic Underground (who do not have their own radio show), he publishes this joke from an e-mail he received:
    Saddam Hussein's identity has been confirmed using a DNA test which showed a match to a sample obtained from a stain on a dress that Senator Hillary Clinton wore on her recent trip to Iraq.Why is there no doubt in my mind that if we substituted "Condi Rice" for "Hillary Clinton" in this joke and posted it on the Democratic Underground, that it would have shown up in a different segment of today's Nuze?

    I'm all for a sense of humor, and I chuckled the first time 'round with this joke. But I can still imagine the howls of outrage if a public figure dared repeat that joke with a female Republican target.
  • Sunday, December 14, 2003

    How shall I slime thee?

    Well folks, that's how a smear campaign works. First you get an accusation (14 years late is OK). Next, you go out and collect zero hard evidence for the accusation. Finally, you slander your target daily with the accusation from all over the media. Before you know it, a certain percentage of the people are so convinced that they will say you are "denying the obvious" if you point out that the allegations have no basis in verifiable fact.

    If any of you Boortz listeners and readers are interested in learning about the origins of your favorite talk show host's smear campaign, I highly recommend The Hunting of the President by Joe Conason & Gene Lyons. Broaddrick's belated and unconfirmed allegations against Bill Clinton are discussed in the book, as are the facts surrounding the case.

    Hussein captured
    For my (brief) take on the capture of Hussein, see the smijer blog.

    Neal got on this morning to give his take on the Nuze. He swings and misses at Democrats:
    And the Democrats? What do you want to bet that before 48 hours goes by some Democratic candidate makes some crack about "Well, they still haven't found Osama bin Laden." Also, look for Democrats to start suggesting that Hussein should be turned over the the United Nations as soon as possible, or to the provisional Iraqi government. Anything to get him out of the control of the troops commanded by the man they hate so much. Yeah ... that's the ticket, isn't it? Turn Saddam over to the very organization that gave him so much cover for so many years ... the organization that refused to ever enforce one of its resolutions against him.

    Yeah, Neal. Among Democrats who thought we should have stayed the course in Afghanistan and captured our real enemy before moving on to wars of choice in Iraq, there is a possibility one of them might mention an obvious fact: If we had put most of that man-power, ammunition, and money to work the war on terrorism, including finding Osama bin Laden, there's a decent chance we would have him by now.

    And yes, Bremer and Sanchez (maybe not Democrats, but nonetheless) are suggesting that since Hussein's crimes were against the Iraqis that (gasp!) the Iraqis should try him, in Iraq.

    Hussein's guilt is well enough documented. I don't think we have to set up a kangaroo court to make sure we get the verdict we want in this case. Any judicial body with the authority to try war crimes and crimes against humanity should be able to provide justice in this case, isolationist hand-waving aside.

    Saturday, December 13, 2003

    Good Morning Nuze Fans

    I hope you all slept well. I won't have much of an entry today, since Neal is taking a long weekend. But I did notice one other thing in the comments that bears mentioning.

    It seems a lot of you are very concerned that a lot of what I do on this page involves discussing my opinions of things that Neal has said. Yes, folks, that's the scandalous truth. Now I know that you listen to or read Neal's show every day and that he never indulges in sharing his opinions with you, taking the approach of just reading a list of facts.... no wait. That's incorrect. Neal does share his opinions with you. And you don't seem to mind. So if my opinions bother you so much more, the back button is on the upper left corner of most browser windows; don't let the door hit your back-side on the way out.

    And for those of you remaining lovers of "fact-filled" commentary, here's a project:

    Get Neal Boortz to provide you with the proof that Bill Clinton raped Juanita Broderick. See if you can talk him into backing up his slander with real facts (medical reports, physical evidence, etc. in case you are unfamiliar with the meaning of "fact"), instead of just puerile gossip.

    I bet he won't!

    Friday, December 12, 2003

    Open Thread

    As a courtesy to the members of the Boorg who have found your way here, this is an open thread until I have a new update. Discuss amongst yourselves.

    More concerns from the comments

    Taking the comments I have found with an element of seriousness to them and browsing through them for constructive criticism, I have found that many of you do not seem to understand the purpose of my blog. Let me explain what it isn't about:

    1) Not trying to refute "libertarian logic." I like "libertarian logic" (for those who haven't seen any of it before, you can find some here). I'm not a Libertarian, but I can appreciate sound libertarian commentary. What I am doing is watching for falsehoods, distortions, dirty smears, and ugly rhetoric on the Neal Boortz "Nuze" page, then spotlighting it here.
    2) Not trying to be an academic hack. If NewsMax is a good enough source for your favorite Syndicated Talk Show Star, then you can let me get by with my part time amateur research. Hey, I can read NewsMax, too - and on a smaller budget!
    3) Not picking on some poor unoffending helpless whimp. Neal is getting paid big $$ to make radio commentary, and in making himself a public figure - especially a divisive and controversial one - he invites criticism. I have not even a fraction of his budget or time. I'm just calling them as I see them. You are welcome to do so as well in the comments thread, recent technical difficulties not-with-standing.
    4) Being too harsh. I called Boortz's page "manure". He called the former First Lady of the United States a greater danger than Osama bin Laden. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
    5) Answering every one of his listeners. It's the best I can do to answer Neal Boortz, and give you all a place to comment (or cry, if that's your inclination) about it. Sorry. When I have my own talk show, I'll be glad to engage two of you per hour one-on-one.

    Have a great day!

    I'm sorry

    I was having my comments hosted by "Comment This!" I don't know if all of the traffic coming from Nealz page yesterday crashed them, or if they just decided to take themselves off line at an inopportune time. In any event, I lost all of your comments from yesterday. If you guys are still around, I've switched to Haloscan, which I have seen used on some high-traffic blog pages. Hopefully it will work better.

    Thursday, December 11, 2003

    Apparently, my comments are broken

    I can't fix them, because they are provided and hosted for free by Comment This!

    Until they come back on line, let me sum up: There are approximately 10,342,104 loyal fans of Neal Boortz who just don't like hearing him criticized. Oh, also, I'm an idiot.

    Anyway, please be patient, hopefully the comment thing will sort itself out soon.

    Oh, one more thing

    I know that Boortz answers to "libertarian". When I use "Republican" as an appellation, I'm talking about his loyalties and tactics, more than the fine points of his political doctrine.


    Howdy to all the regular Boortz listeners and readers who are dropping by. And you too, Neal - if you're reading.

    Since all of you have taken the time to read my blog, I've taken some time to read your comments. I think its fair to say that I'm at least as impressed with you guys as you are with me.

    It seems the common theme is that I should quit doing this if I don't have time and resources, as I mentioned, to thoroughly research every point Neal brings up on the "Nuze" page.

    I tend to disagree. I think there is enough funny business on that Nuze page to keep me in business (at least part-time) on what can be researched and documented with relative ease.

    I may not be able to hold his feet to the fire the way Bob Somberby manages to do Bernie Goldberg and his ilk, but I can at least put a spotlight on some of the most egregious political hate speech produced by Mr. Boortz.

    Anyway. Welcome. I'm glad you could make it. And come back any time!

    Tuesday, December 09, 2003

    To Continue, or Not to Continue

    To the three people who have read the "Nealz Nemesiz" since it has been on-line:

    Yes, I know I'm tilting windmills here. On the one hand, I don't want to give it up, because somebody really needs to be answering this manure. Neal really should have to get his act together or face public ridicule for his obnoxious behavior. But, I know I'm no Daily Howler, and I won't be running Lexis Nexis searches to check Neal's claims, nor do I have time to answer his every misstatement, nor do I think anyone is listening to me. So I'm torn. My plan is to keep it up part-time for another few weeks, and to insert a hit counter to see if this is a complete waste of time.

    On to the recent Nuze. I notice that in Monday's Nuze Neal whines about a very small on-line petition circulating among some Libertarians asking him not to be allowed to speak at their convention. [Insert Snide Comment Here].

    I'm scrupulously avoiding Nealz' controversy over FBI investigations into Anti-war demonstrations. While it is seriously doubtful that we are getting the full story from Boortz, I have done no research and cannot shed light on that issue.

    Why does Boortz Hate America?
    Check this out:For those of you who think that Islamic Terrorism is the greatest threat to our country ... you're wrong. The greatest threat to the continuation of freedom and economic liberty in the United States right now is Hillary Clinton.Boortz thinks American legislators and First Ladies are more dangerous to America than Islamic terrorists. Hey, I bet Bush could actually manage to capture her.

    Which brings us to the hypocrisy alert!! Boortz says:Looks like John Kerry has a potty mouth. What you see here is just an indication of the level of hatred that these Democrats have for Bush. It's also shows the level of frustration reached by Kerry.{sic}Ok, Mr. Wize Boortz, let's see if the shoe fits on the other foot.

    Neal Boortz says, "George Will says that Howard Dean is not exactly what you would call a 'thinker.'" What you see here is just an indication of the level of hatred that these Republicans have for Howard Dean. It also shows the level of frustration reached by George Will and Neal Boortz.

    Neal Boortz says, "The greatest threat to the continuation of freedom and economic liberty in the United States right now is Hillary Clinton." What you see here is just an indication of the level of hatred that these Republicans have for Clinton. It also shows the level of frustration reached by Boortz.

    You'll notice a big up-trend in ad hominem from the Republican side this election cycle. Their potential arguments on policy and record are rather weak, so they will be attacking people. As usual.

    Ok, last thing in the "Hypocrisy alert":
    Neal Sayz:I've been telling you about the shrill venomous hatred that you can find on I have been tellin you about the shrill venomous hatred that you can find on Nealz Nuze. And for now, I'm going to keep doing it. And, I'm going to point out that DU doesn't have its own syndicated talk show.

    Tuesday, December 02, 2003

    No Nuze is Good Nuze

    There isn't much worth taking time to respond to on Neal's page today, but I do want to be sure to mention this nice note:
    If you go to the website for the Georgia Democratic Party you will see .. running right down the left side .. a list of statewide elected Democrats. At the bottom of the page you'll see a list of Democratic members of congress. Nowhere on that page will you see the words "Zell Miller." He's Georgia's Democratic U.S. Senator and he has been disowned by the Georgia Democratic Party for failing to toe the party line.

    Thank you Georgia Democratic Party! By the way, Zell disowned the Democrats, not the other way around!