Saturday, May 12, 2007


Weekend Morning Show Roundtable

The best parodies are the ones so close to the truth that it's almost indistinguishable from the real thing. Had The Onion not put its actual graphics on this discussion, I might have been tempted to say, "Wow, the intellectual level of Fox News Sunday and Meet the Press has really gone up this week!"

In The Know: Our Troops In Iraq

UPDATE: Apparently, NPR's "News and Notes," the token black show on the otherwise white, liberal elitist welfare network has dropped the "Roundtable" segment, of which our gracious host was a regular contributor. Having updated my I-Tunes Ipods this morning, I kept searching for RAG's recent appearance to stick a link on this site, only to find that there WAS no link!

All I can say is that NPR's loss is ... well, NPR's loss. Apparently,
a lot of listeners concur that this latest "format revamp" sucks. Now, I have absolutely no need to listen to NPR (fat chance that RAG or Deroy Murdock would ever get their own show on THAT crappy network). You can now pretty much forget about a black conservative or libertarian voice being heard on a regular basis. From now on, I'll be sticking with Booker Rising and Cedric Muhammad's Black Electorate for my ethnic dose of headlines (although, I could do without the silly importance that Mr. Muhammad ascribes to Hip Hop as a political force). They do a much better job of representing diverse black voices like RAG's, or that of Thomas Sowell and many others.

As a consolation prize, I'll probably be sending RAG my copy of Photoshop CS3 so that he can superimpose Giuliani's head on the famous picture of Hitler dancing a jig after the Polish invasion---but only after I superimpose Obama's head on a photo of Jimmy Carter delivering his (in)famous "malaise" speech ...

Disclaimer: The views of the above ranter do not necessarily reflect those of Ragged Thots, its management, potential advertisers, or its staff. Not that the snobs at NPR would be reading a black conservative's web site ANYWAY ...

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Friday, May 11, 2007


A Message FROM Rudy

Well, at least he's getting coherent. After letting himself get beaten around six ways from Sunday for several weeks (and, at the debate, shooting himself in the foot after putting his foot in his mouth), Rudy Giuliani has finally decided to be the socially liberal Republican in the presidential race. This is a decision that has the benefit of being, you know, true.

He, also, shockingly! has decided that the central issue in the race should be -- WOW! -- the war on terror (who'd a thunk it?):
But Mr. Giuliani argued that there were even greater matters at stake in the election, starting with which party would better protect the nation from terrorism. Mr. Giuliani suggested that his record in New York -- leading the city after the attacks of Sept. 11 and overseeing a decline in violent crime during his eight years in office – made him the most electable of the Republican candidates, no matter his stand on social issues like abortion.

“If we don’t find a way of uniting around broad principles that will appeal to a large segment of this country, if we can’t figure that out, we are going to lose this election,” he said. The speech by Mr. Giuliani reflected a decision – other campaigns suggested gamble might be a better word -- to address head on a fundamental obstacle to his winning the nomination: his long history as a moderate Northeast Republican in a party increasingly dominated by Southern and Midwestern conservatives. As such, it loomed as a potentially important moment in the party’s efforts to decide how to compete against the Democrats in 2008 and what it should stand for in a post-Bush era.
The irony? Giuliani is the "one-issue" candidate: He wants GOPers to judge him on how he would keep the country safe from terror. Given that nearly all the other Republicans have fairly interchangeable profiles on the vast breadth of the issues of the day -- including social issues, the economy and foreign affairs -- Giuliani is the odd duck here: "Ignore everyone else; forget about that silly social stuff! Vote for me: I made the city safe -- until it was attacked by foreign terrorists!"

Which is why he sounds so disingenous.

Look, putting my cards on the table, I have no problem supporting a Republican candidate who doesn't put social issues first. I have no problem supporting a Republican candidate who, theoretically, matches Rudy Giuliani's profile. I do have a problem with a Republican candidate who first tries to "fake" his concern over abortion and then answers questions that show he really doesn't give a damn either way -- or understand the sensibilities of those who do feel that this is an important issue.

That, more than anything, is why Family Research Council's Tony Perkins and Southern Baptist Convention's Richard Land show so much contempt for Rudy -- because they know that his rhetorical body language demonstrates the contempt that he has for them.

By the way, this also demonstrates why Jonah Goldberg makes a critical error in
his exchange with Peter Beinart here. Jonah says that Rudy has that political gift of "likeability." Sorry, but that is not true. Rudy is not "likeable." There's a reason why the book Ed Koch wrote a book about Giuliani was called, "Nasty Man":
Mr. Koch, who supported Mr. Giuliani in the 1993 mayoral race, said he focused on a nasty streak because Mr. Giuliani exhibited a ''mean-spiritedness that everybody recognizes.'' He cited Mr. Giuliani's criticism of people who were arrested in connection with protests of the Diallo shooting.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007



Regular RT fans might have noticed that things have been relatively quiet around here of late, with sporadic posting and no involvement of your humble host in the regular sparring in the Comments section.

There are a number of reasons for this. Primarily, most of this past week, I've been under the weather with some nasty bug that has allowed me to get to the day job, but that's about it. I've been wiped out most of the rest of the time, with little energy for this fine little exercise. A doctor put me on anti-biotics yesterday, but they haven't fully kicked in yet. I'll spare you further details since I don't want this to become Andrew Sullivan's blog (I kid, Andrew, I kid)!

In any event, I will likely not be back 100 percent until next week -- at which point, most of my time for the rest of the month will be devoted to moving! Yep, it's true: After eight years, I am departing the lovely borough of Brooklyn to move on up -- way up -- to the West side of Manhattan, Washington Heights, to be exact! It's a nicely sized one-bedroom pre-war pad, with enough space to carve out a home office.

I'm excited, though the headaches connected with moving -- the packing, throwing out, cleaning, etc. -- can be nothing less than depressing.

And, yes, there are other things going on too. But we'll leave those for another time.

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End of An Era

Tony Blair announces that June 27th will be his last day as Prime Minister.

There is an element of poetic irony in the PM career of Blair: He came into office viewed as a Clinton-like politician who revitalized "New Labor." He leaves tied at the ideological -- and "popularity" -- hip with Clinton's successor George W. Bush, because of Iraq.

On a marginally related note, the man whose swing away a decade ago from the Tories and toward Labor helped usher in the Blair era, explains his plan to make his media company carbon-neutral.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Cruel Month -- or Moment of Clarity?

Despite all the superficial sturm und drang, September is shaping up as a bipartisan moment of truth in Iraq.

Trent Lott joins House Minority Leader John Boehner in
singing the autumnal blues.

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About, Face!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve totally changed my mind about the whole use of torture. My sense of indignation about using (currently) extra-legal means to extract intel from the bad guys and deadly domestic creeps that want to harm innocent folk (American, Iraqi, or otherwise) does not come from my veteran status, or even the news this morning regarding Albanians trying to attack Fort Dix, as much as it comes from where I live and the reality that any one of us could be living among these creeps and thinking we are "safe." Never in a million years would I have guessed that cow-town pastures like Central Ohio would be a choice hangout for religious idiots that worship a moon god and accept a mentally deranged, cave-dwelling schizophrenic from 1400 years ago as a “prophet.” In the past few years, several Bin Laden wannabes have been rounded up by the Feds in the same city and suburbs that consider Ohio State Football to be their official municipal religion.

This past weekend I caught my favorite actor, Sean Connery, on one of the cable channels in the great 1980s film The Untouchables, which I hadn’t seen for some years. One particular scene served as a gentle reminder of how effective torture can be to bring down the bad guys, providing that it is conducted within proper constraints and oversight (the scene I’m referencing being at the rural cabin where Connery uses some good ol’ fashioned Psy-Ops to get a perp to ‘fess up regarding Al Capone’s ledgers).

I suppose, as a response, the candy-assed among us will reference one of Denzel Washington’s “we can’t become like the Bad Guys” civil libertarian speeches from the movie, The Siege, as an answer to my cinematic citation. However, until any of the current candidates, Republican or Democratic, can show me a plan that effectively deals with internal threats while keeping the ACLU’s definition of civil liberties intact, I’m now with the Neo-Cons on torture . And on that note, I will no longer refer to myself as a libertarian, but as a Goldwater Conservative. Libertarians, from Reason magazine to the anarcho-capitalists at Lew Rockwell’s site are very good at critiquing macroeconomic fiscal policy, or cultural nanny-state initiatives. Libertarians, however, are lousy at coming up with sensible, intelligent responses to 21st security threats, at home OR abroad, other than sticking one’s head in the sand and whining about “interventionism” and what the two national parties haven’t done (which is a great deal, admittedly). With all due respect, Rep. Ron Paul, you’re a nice guy but returning to the Gold Standard won’t do jack [expletive] about nuclear-seeking terrorists.

Also, for that reason, Giuliani has my support in 2008. Yes, I’ve never been to New York City (yet) and even our blog host, the resident Big Apple Black Republican Catholic, strains to find kind words for Hizzoner-in-drag. But I put one question to RAG and all other naysayers: what the hell would David Dinkins have done on September 11? Now, take that answer, and you can pretty much figure out what Obama would do if a mushroom cloud goes up over one of our cities. I rest my case.

I can’t see Romney, Dodd, Biden, McCain, Obama, Edwards, or the Welfare State’s answer to Mother Theresa, Hillary Clinton, having the balls to do anything on domestic turf to deal with internal terrorist threats. Until then, maybe President Bush should consider franchising Gitmo.

Note: I'm not at my regular computer, so I'll add the obligatory hyperlink references later today.

Update: For the benefit of both the anti-torture candy-asses, as well as those of use who know better, below is a link to the above referenced conversation from The Siege. In the immortal words of George Orwell, "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

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