The Instapundit has already astutely pointed out how the “international” (read collectivist) community has watered down the once-useful concept of international law though overreaching.

Today, he cites a piece by Jay Nordlinger on how the left has done the same thing to the concept of racism.

There are at least a couple other examples of such devaluation of the currency of language. Nordlinger himself points one out later in the same column:

Just the other day, as we were waging a war against true terrorism, a short time after terrorists took the lives of some 5,000 of us, Jackson accused President Bush ? the man leading us in this mighty struggle against terrorism ? of committing ?economic terror? against Americans. That was Jackson?s way of saying that he disagreed with Bush?s tax and budget policies ? that the president was waging ?economic terror? against his fellow citizens.

Apparently, anything one doesn’t like is terrorist racism (or is it racist terrorism?) and against international law.

But the one that really gets me is “hate.” If we disagree with a “progressive” position, we are not just racists and terrorists, and international lawbreakers, but we are also “haters.” Yes, there are some on the “right” (what a useless adjective) who indeed do hate various people, groups and ideas. But they certainly don’t have a monopoly on it, and the term is so overused that it is no longer of any use.

For eight long years, whenever I objected to the co-Presidents using the Constitution for toilet paper, or using their office for the personal aggrandizement and power of themselves and their cronies, and moving their little Dixie Mafia from Little Rock to Washington, I was dubbed a “Clinton hater.” I did not then, nor do I now, hate Bill or Hillary Clinton. Hate is a serious emotion, to be reserved for serious things–I find them unworthy of such a depth of feeling. Criticism is not hatred. Disagreement with someone’s position is not “hate speech.”

I recall from Mr. Clinton’s famous deposition that he said that he weaseled his way around the truth because he literally “hated” what Judge Starr and his prosecutors were doing. Was his perjury and witness intimidation therefore a hate crime? Hate perjury? Hate obstruction of justice? How much harsher should the sentence be for that?

The left has taken once-useful words and rendered them almost valueless. To the degree that they have any utility today, it is only to indicate that their utterer is incapable of putting up a coherent argument, and is instead resorting to juvenile name calling. And the supreme irony is that, if anyone can be truly accused of being racist, terrorist, or being consumed with blind hatred, it’s those who believe that blacks can’t learn unless they’re sitting next to whites, that unlike all previous immigrant groups, Hispanic children are incapable of learning English in school, that Afghan or Chinese people don’t really want freedom and democracy, that strapping a bomb to oneself and detonating it in a shopping mall, or spiking a tree is “understandable.”

Read the screeds of the Chomskys, the Ralls, the whole melange of post-modern professors in academia. Hatred figuratively drips from every sentence–hatred of capitalism, hatred of rationality, hatred of change and freedom, hatred, seemingly, of life itself. It must really suck to be them. I would hate it.

The Attorney General Is Not A General!!

John Podhoretz has a piece in the New York Post this morning about why Leahy backed down so quickly last week when Ashcroft returned fire during his little Senatorial inquisition. But what I’m really writing about is the last line:

Good work, General.

This has been a pet peeve of mine for years (particularly when the fawning media would call Waco Janet “General Reno.”) The Attorney General is not a general–the Attorney General is an attorney. I know it sounds a little strange in English, where the modifier usually comes first, but “general” is an adjective here–not a noun.

Please stop.

More On Bug Eating

Tim Blehh (phonetic spelling–he’s from Oz), in honor of my commentary on lobster, has posted a picture of some gruesome cuisine that only a Klingon could love.

He also helpfully provides a site of bizarre Aussie critters del mar. I’d never heard of the Balmain Bug, but when I was in Brisbane a few years ago, I did try a plate of Moreton Bay Bugs. They were pretty weird looking–kind of like a cross between a lobster and a trilobite. Interesting flavor, but it shows just how off the main path Australia is, evolutionarily speaking…

Birds Of A Feather

Nice catch by Best of the Web.

The reliably obnoxious Eric Alterman attacks ABC News head David Westin, who apologized for suggesting that the Pentagon may have been a “legitimate target” for terrorists. “Of course the Pentagon is a legitimate target for an attack for those at war against us,” Alterman opines. “Hello? War is the Pentagon’s entire reason for being. It’s where we plan our wars and figure out how to carry them out. By what conceivable definition of war could the Pentagon be excluded as a potential target?”

And, Eric, this is OK, because the terrorists had issued a formal declaration of war against us.



Alterman? Alterman? Bueller? Anyone?

Whether or not the Pentagon was a “legitimate military target” is utterly beside the point, which both Dave Westin and Eric Alterman seem to have missed. As on December 7, 1941, on September 11, 2001, the United States was not, as far as it knew, at war.

With anyone.

Had we been, we might have had defenses up against what happened, especially at the Pentagon.

But such issues, being favorable to the position of the US, are not worthy of note to “journalists” such as Eric Alterman and Dave Westin…

Yet More Airline Insecurity

Thanks to Professor Reynolds for pointing out this superlative piece by James Delong, in which he articulates in an article most of the things about which I’ve been fuming for the last three months. Fortunately (or not, if I can’t get my butt into gear), there are still a few points to be made, or at least elaborated upon, at least in a quantitative sense, and I hope to be able to sort them out in the next few days, before going back to California.

The Sins Of The Father

Will Vehrs asks:

While we’re at it, shouldn’t the Treasury Department freeze the assets of Walker’s parents? After all, they were supporting a terrorist.

Well, actually, while I’m probably a little “wobbly” on Walker myself (in that while I think his behavior treasonous, that there’s little point in making a literally capital case of it), I do think that this would send an interesting message to parents who not only don’t control the direction of their offspring’s antisocial behavior (which is not always possible), but who actively encourage it by, for example, sending him money in the midst of it, and not even under the pretense that he will use it to get out of the game, but to actually allow him to continue it.

I have even less sympathy for the parents than I do for little Jihad Johnnie.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!