If American women can't wear scarves, the terrorists have won

Michelle Malkin, the pro-Roosevelt “conservative,” has become the latest unlikely champion of a new political correctness movement. She is up in arms because Rachel Ray, the spokesperson for an American institution, Dunkin Donuts, wore a scarf in a commercial. This new movement is living in territory bordering somewhere between political correctness and conspiracy theory. The scarf supposedly resembles the keffiyeh worn by such folks as Yassir Arafat (and also, by the way, by President Bush’s handholding buddy King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud). So, apparently to this New-PC-Truther movement, a scarf isn’t just a scarf, it’s a message of Muslim solidarity. Come to think of it, Truthers think Bush and Al Saud were involved in 911, so I guess maybe this isn’t the stretch I thought it was.

You don’t have to know much about Rachel Ray to know that she wasn’t trying to make a pro-terrorist statement by wearing a scarf. This lady is a fun, family oriented, all American, girl next door who has capitalized on her personality and skill with food to build a nice capitalist empire. That’s about as American as it gets.

Rachel Ray Yum-O!

The scarf, which supposedly resembles the headpiece worn by Yassir Arafat, wasn’t even on her head where it would belong if she were being a good Islamic woman. Plus it supposedly resembled a piece of male clothing. Again, not a good way for a woman to show solidarity with intolerant, fundamentalist Muslim fanatics who generally frown on crossdressing.

Dunkin Donuts Coffee

I remember when all women used to wear scarves, often on their heads covering their hair. My grandmother used to wear one and as I recall with near metaphysical certainty, she was Catholic not Muslim. Texas sweetheart Flo used to wear a scarf to work at Mel’s Diner; I suspect she’d tell Michelle Malkin to kiss her grits. Scarves were usually worn more for utility than looks, back when women with longer hair than is now the norm would spend a long time getting their hair done and use the scarf to protect it when going out in the wind. Women used to wear hats occasionally, too, and while nothing looks as stupid as a hat on a man (to paraphrase P.J. O’Rourke), both hats and scarves can look quite cute on a lady. Remember when stewardesses, back before they were flight attendants, wore hats? But I digress.

Message to Michelle Malkin and company: Political correctness was ridiculous when championed by liberals. It was ridiculous when Chris Matthews went hardball about the swiftboat ads on some cute girl just trying to promote her book praising Franklin Roosevelt. It’s just as ridiculous today. Nutjob conspiracy theories can be good clean fun, but when you actually attack real people because you really believe them, it’s time to go back on your meds.

American women should be able to wear scarves. They should be able to wear them around their necks, on their heads or in place of a bikini top at the beach. And especially in the last case, they should be able to remove them, as well. While it might not be in the Bill of Rights, I’m sure that the right to wear a scarf is somewhere in those mystical penumbras emanating from it. If American women can’t wear scarves, the terrorists have won.

Bob Barr: Man of principle or spoiler?

From the interviews I’ve heard Bob Barr’s argument for running as a Libertarian is essentially that while the GOP is, in fundamental philosophy, a libertarian party, the GOP is broken. Given the lackluster choices in candidates at all levels this year, the absolute betrayal of conservative principles on spending over the last 6 years and the attempts at being bipartisan by being just as corrupt as William Jefferson and William Jefferson Clinton combined, he has a point.

That said, we have a couple of case studies in the more effective approach to fixing the GOP and bringing it around (or back) to conservative principles. The first and second being Barry Goldwater in 1964 and Ronald Reagan in 1976. They both ran as Republicans. They both lost. They shaped the Republican Party for decades to the extent that the liberal country club Republican is in worse shape than the polar bear or the spotted owl. Mitt Romney proved that the only way a liberal country club Republican can even have a shot today is to pretend to be conservative and throw tens of millions of dollars on TV to convince people. (Oh, and great hair helps.) If Ronald Reagan had run as a Libertarian in 1976, it likely would have been the high water mark of the Libertarian Party, but that national vote total would probably have been less than Reagan got in the California GOP primary in 1980. Reagan would have been relegated to the dustbin of history as another oddball, the era of big government wouldn’t have ended, the Soviet Union would still be there and we’d be stuck in the malaise of the 1970s.

The third case study is even more instructive, though not complete, because we’ve got a guy who tried it both ways. Ron Paul ran for President in 1988 as a Libertarian in a year much like this one. George Herbert Walker Bush, whose name even sounds patrician and liberal, was busy trying to convince conservatives that he was now one of them and not the Rockefellerite pro-choice, pro-tax candidate that opposed Reagan in 1980. He was making his famous “read my lips, no new taxes” pledge which many of us didn’t believe, rightly. Ron Paul got somewhere south of a million votes and nineteen years later his name was known to serious conservatives and Libertarians and few others. The talking heads were the scratching heads when Ron Paul came out of nowhere with $20 million bucks raised in the grassroots, every news anchor asking “Ron Who?” when they asked anything at all. Now state parties are scrambling to figure out how to integrate crowds of “Ron Paul Delegates,” a whole new generation of grassroots, committed activists who, like it or not, will play a big role in shaping the GOP in the years ahead. The big challenge of course is to separate out the 911truthers from the people who want a return to smaller, constitutional government and want the GOP to lead the way – but the fact that the GOP is facing the challenge shows the power of the approach.

Bob Barr should have had the courage of his convictions and been the libertarian-conservative candidate with a spotless record in the GOP. Ron Paul had the negative baggage of the 1988 Libertarian run that kept him out of the good graces of the establishment. He also had a history of association with the conspiracy theorist fringe, for a whole host of reasons – his commitment to free speech extended to outrageous ideas, his opposition to the Federal Reserve and IRS played into the Bircher style conspiracy theories, the Libertarian Party has always drawn conspiracy theorists. Bob Barr in 2008 would have had none of that. He would have been an unassailable solid Republican conservative in a crowd of RINOs. Hell, he might even have won.

Instead, he’s running a campaign that may get short circuited at the Libertarian convention before it even gets off the ground. He’s raised almost $70,000, about what Ron Paul raised in the first hour of his exploratory committee. If he does get the not-so-coveted Libertarian nomination, he can look forward to ballot access in 28 states plus a handful more. If he manages to get a large scale defection of hardcore economic conservatives from the GOP, he might break a million votes.

He’s obviously not in this to win. If anyone was ever rightly accused of getting into it to be a spoiler, here’s the guy. Gerrymandered out of his seat and defeated by a fellow Republican in the primary, he turns up 5 years later running as a 3rd party Presidential candidate in a year when conservative support for the GOP nominee is weak at best. Nope. This run isn’t about principles, it’s all about Bob Barr.

Tornado

I made a Google Map to illustrate the path of Saturday’s tornado, complete with the location of my house, my parents house and my job. I was just arriving at work, the farthest of the three points from the storm, when the warnings hit. It was all over within about 20 minutes – the tornado had traveled from Picher, Oklahoma where it killed at least 6 people, to northern Newton County where it killed at least 5, across Newon County, through Granby, within a mile of my house, to Newtonia and off on its way to Branson.

It was in Branson, 70 miles southeast, about 90 minutes after it started.

The blue dot north of the path is my parents house. The farthest blue dot north is where I was when it started. The blue dot hiding in the cluster at the southeast, just north of the path, is my house. (The posting of the map is is not an invitation to come visit, unless you come bearing Guiness or a book deal.)

My parents are without power. Obviously, I’m not. I have a few tree limbs to pick up and a big one landed on my mailbox, but everyone I know survived.

Two interesting notes.

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  • May 4, 2003 an F-3 tornado hit Pierce City and another F-3 tornado hit Carl Junction. Carl Junction is at the north end of the map and Pierce City is at the east near the center. 90% of the historic downtown of Pierce City was destroyed in about 90 seconds. The tornado that hit Carl Junction was half a mile wide and destroyed or damaged over 500 structures. The Pierce City storm was the result of a thunderstorm moving northeast, over Granby, meeting one moving southeast, over Diamond, and forming a supercell just west of Pierce City. That was a scary afternoon with a wild looking sky, though I didn’t see any funnel clouds.
  • The town of Picher was being bought out by the EPA, more specifically all the property owners were being paid to move, because the lead mining past had left the soil poisoned beyond immediate repair (at least with people living there). FEMA is now heading in to provide relief. I don’t begrudge the folks who lived through this any help they need, but anyone care to bet on whether the federal gubmnt does something stupid like rebuilding the houses that are about to be bought out and demolished by the EPA?
  • The Turner Report (in my “Regular Reads” links) has excellent coverage from all the local and national news sources. Rather than link to a specific story, I’ll just refer you to look at the Turner Report generally.

    Anyway, here’s the map with one photo I took of some sheet metal wrapped around a downed tree.

    View Larger Map

    Rantlets: Lack of rants, litterbugs and Bob Barr

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  • I haven’t ranted much lately. Most of what I’ve come up with is these Rantlets with (relatively) short thoughts on three or four current topics. Seems like every time I get a good head of steam built up to do a full fledged rant it’s as I’m driving to Joplin, with 6 hours before I turn around and drive the half hour back. Inevitably I turn the radio over to the Dennis Miller show and the King of the Rant proceeds to thoroughly assault the topic in a way that would make my own rant anticlimactic, to me at least. And I’m sorry, Dear Reader, but if the ranting isn’t satisfying to me, I have to work under the assumption that it will be even worse for you.
  • The Ivy League Conservative brings up the topic of Mexican litterbugs, in a post that is “NOT about illegal immigration.” It seems that the Mexicans running across the desert southwest, and the smugglers bringing them across, just dump their garbage as they go and the US taxpayer pays to clean it up. Sounds to me like another argument in favor of massively expanded LEGAL immigration, to encourage people to cross at checkpoints complete with trash cans and maybe even recycling bins. Funny, but with only a couple of exceptions (language and social services) every problem the the anti-immigrant crowd cite would be solved INSTANTLY by expanding legal immigration and shooting at whatever crosses the border illegally. Of course, that might still involve some cleanup. I just hope those Mexican’s that dumped that garbage don’t get it in their head to join the Army or they may end up with Arlo Guthrie in Group W:

    where they put you if you may not be moral enough to join the army after
    committing your special crime, and there was all kinds of mean nasty ugly
    looking people on the bench there. Mother rapers. Father stabbers. Father
    rapers! Father rapers sitting right there on the bench next to me! And
    they was mean and nasty and ugly and horrible crime-type guys sitting on the
    bench next to me. And the meanest, ugliest, nastiest one, the meanest
    father raper of them all, was coming over to me and he was mean ‘n’ ugly
    ‘n’ nasty ‘n’ horrible and all kind of things and he sat down next to me
    and said, “Kid, whad’ya get?” I said, “I didn’t get nothing, I had to pay
    $50 and pick up the garbage.” He said, “What were you arrested for, kid?”
    And I said, “Littering.” And they all moved away from me on the bench
    there, and the hairy eyeball and all kinds of mean nasty things, till I
    said, “And creating a nuisance.” And they all came back, shook my hand,
    and we had a great time on the bench, talkin about crime, mother stabbing,
    father raping, all kinds of groovy things that we was talking about on the
    bench.

  • I got two emails in the last two days that were kind of serendipitous. The first was from a GOP activist worried that we Bilderberg types faithful Republicans get out the vote at the Missouri GOP convention, as “Libertarians…will try [to influnce] the State Convention.” (This was related to the Ron Paul delegate effort, I ranted about previously.) The second email was from Bob Barr, former Bilderberger Republican turned Libertarian, asking for support for his Exploratory Committee and contained this quote from Ronald Wilson Reagan, Republican hero:

    If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.

    I used that in my signature replying to the first letter.

    Fortunately any possibility that I might throw away my effort, money or vote on Bob Barr’s effort was foreclosed by this bit later in the letter comparing Hillbama and McCain:

    Do they have any real intention of securing our border to stem the flow of millions of illegal aliens into this nation? NO.

    Wow. Pick one of the few areas where John McCain has a decidedly pro-liberty stance, in line with Reagan’s conservative philosophy and policy, in agreement with the policy ideas of the current leader of the GOP, in line with the 2000 primary campaign pledges of George W. Bush (that were one of the reasons I supported him) and expect me to bail out based on that. Sorry Bob. Best of luck with getting that Libertarian nomination – may it be precisely as successful as any previous Libertarian Presidential campaign effort.