Scott Rubush is a recovering journalist living in West Chester, PA. He is a native of York, PA, and grew up in Cary, NC. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Scott has an extensive background in writing and politics. He is Publisher Emeritus of Carolina Review, and a former associate editor of the Los Angeles-based website FrontPageMagazine.com. He currently works as a grant-writer for an educational foundation in Wilmington, Del.
Ben Kepple and Tony Pierce have written some great posts about the Ninth Circuit Court's decision to censor the word "God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.
I won't spend much time on this because everyone else has already given their two cents, and frankly, the Supreme Court is going to bitch slap the Ninth Circuit for this decision, as it has made a sport of doing in recent years.
For the record, though, the court's decision is emblematic of the sort of bullshit that completely disgusts me with the direction our country is going in. It is an appalling and impious affront to all people of faith, and part of an ongoing campaign by certain elements within the far left to make religion a thought-crime against the state.
Moreover, by targeting the humanizing foundations of American liberty, the court has mounted an assault against freedom itself.
Yet I'm confident that it is a Pyrrhic victory for those seeking to cleanse the public square of religion. America will not be held hostage by a handful of pagans in San Francisco. And even if it were, as a Christian (though hardly a Saint), I could care less what the Pledge to the flag may say. My allegiances are firmly with God, not with Caesar, and my Pledge is:
Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem; Creatorem coeli et terrae. Et in Jesum Christum, Filium ejus unicum, Dominum nostrum; qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria virgine; passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus; descendit ad inferna; tertia die resurrexit a mortuis; ascendit ad coelos; sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis; inde venturus est judicare vivos et mortuos.
Credo in Spiritum Sanctum; sanctam ecclesiam catholicam; sanctorum communionem; remissionem peccatorum; carnis resurrectionem; vitam oeternam. Amen.
So fuck you, Ninth Circuit. May you fuel the furnaces of hell for all eternity.
By the way, if someone could leave me a comment in the box instructing me how to rotate that pic of Brother Matthew wearing the straw hat and save it as a JPG without using photoshop (which I don't have on my computer), I'd be really, really grateful. So grateful, in fact, that I might even post some more pics.--SR
UPDATE: I got onto another computer and edited the image. This was actually pretty easy to do when using a different program; I think I'm just using crappy software on the laptop. Now that I can do it, I'll try getting the rest of the pics up soon.
Let’s make it official, then: LA FutBlog Fest 2002 begins here at La Casa Rubush at 4:00am PST on Tuesday morning. Everyone’s invited!
Lector: Even me?
Auctor: Yes, even you, dear Lector! When I say everyone’s invited, I mean everyone!
Lector: Woo hoo!
Auctor: Don’t get too excited, Lector. It’ll probably just be two or three sturdy souls. It's a very early game. Plus, soccer’s not very popular here in the US.
Lector: Oh, I don’t care! Where two or three are gathered together, there is the spirit of Futbol!
Auctor: That’s the spirit, Lector…
Anyway, we’ll start at my little tenement apartment at 4:00am PST on Tuesday morning for coffee and, oh, I dunno, maybe some doughnuts or some muffins or something.
Lector: That’s not really soccer food…
Lector: It’s not even very Korean.
Auctor: Well, sorry Lector. I’d call Martha Stewart for tips on how to host a party for a 4:30am Korean soccer match, but she’s very, very busy attending to other things right now. We'll just have to wing it.
Anyway, once we’ve warmed up, we’ll walk around the corner to one of the little Korean bars to watch the game. Let’s say for now that we’ll go to Nandarang (at Serrano Marketplace on the 3800 block of W. Sixth Street, three blocks east of S. Western and one block north of Wilshire) around 4:30am for kickoff. Since I’m just now hopping on the Korea bandwagon, I’m not terribly familiar with the ethnic-Korean bars and night spots--but in this part of town there are, as our poor Spanish friends who are on their way home now would say, bares a millares. If Nandarang doesn’t work, it’ll be easy enough to find something else.
--If you want to come, please send me an e-mail to RSVP, and I’ll reply with my address, phone number, and all the other vitals. Invite all your friends too; just make sure I know they’re coming so I know how many people to expect.
--Despite the ungodly hour of the kickoff, parking around K-Town could be a nightmare. Before Friday night’s match, I spent about 25-30 minutes looking for a spot. Give yourself plenty of time for that, or, if possible, avoid driving altogether.
--Be the Reds! Dae Han Min Guk!
By the way, if Korea advances to the Championship, LA FutBlog Fest II is right here next Saturday night/Sunday morning.
Who says the Lakers are the only game in town here in Los Angeles?
For the past two hours, soccer fans have been literally dancing in the streets here in K-Town following Korea's 5-3 PSO victory over Spain. Clad in red t-shirts and waving Korean flags, the revelers overwhelmed the major arteries in this neighborhood. Celebrations extended to Western/Olympic Blvd. in the south and to Wilshire/Normandie in the east. LAPD officers at both those intersections threw down flairs and erected barricades to disperse fans cruising in the streets en masse.
It was unbelievable.
I took pictures, and when I get them developed, I'll try posting some of them here. (Sorry, this is a low-tech operation; no digital camera yet.) I got some great shots of people hanging out the windows and sunroofs of their flag-draped cars, and of others crowding on street corners to cheer and give high-fives to people sitting in the grid locked traffic. Still others I was able to catch on film doing Chinese (Korean?) fire drills at stoplights, while others--despite the traffic--donned flags as capes and danced right in the middle of intersections.
And to hear it! Fleets of cars blasting their horns in a four-note refrain based on the Korean word for "Korea." People screaming and cheering endlessly. And blowing air horns. And banging drums as firecrackers exploded and LAPD helicopters circled overhead.
And this was only a quarterfinal match. Imagine how it will be when they beat the piss out of those goose-steppin' Nazis from Germany!
Let's go, Korea!
I'm thinking of hosting a little get-together here for Korea's next match, which takes place at 4:30am PST on Tuesday, June 25. Yes, I know that's an incredibly painful hour to be awake. And yes, I know that would involve cleaning the Augean Stables that are my tiny studio apartment, which is completely inadequate for hosting parties anyway. We'd have to walk around the corner to a bar or restaurant. Still, if there's enough interest, LA Bloggers and SR.com readers--all of whom are invited--could tentatively plan on meeting at:
Nandarang (at Serrano Marketplace)
3801 Sixth Street
Los Angeles, Calif. 90020
Leave me a note in the comment box, or shoot me a private e-mail if you're interested in coming. If I hear from two or three other people, we'll go for it.
"Terrorists may try to use fuel tankers as weapons to attack Jewish neighborhoods, synagogues and fuel depots, the FBI advised law enforcement agencies on Friday."
It's interesting to note that in this dispatch from a putatively conservative news source, the word "Islamic" is airbrushed from the text--as if to imply that the terrorists are simply an unorganized assortment of homicidal maniacs, with no binding ideology or common source of funding. To be sure, the article does mention al Qaeda and the Taliban in passing, but there's no effort at all to pin the source of this threat on the real enemy--Radical Islam--rather than "terror" in the abstract.
Scott 2:52 PM [+] ::
The very first line of this piece offers an insight as to why Noonan is such an irritating writer:
"The results are in, a consensus is forming..."
Yes, a consensus indeed. So why the hell does she need 2500 words to outline the "consensus" and the conventional wisdom for us? I know that Noonan is on my side of the barricades, but her verbal diarrhea in the defense of stale ideas just grates at me. But I digress.
My real beef this week is the line of reasoning in her piece. She gives two reasons why we should oppose the term "homeland security":
1. "First, the essence of American patriotism is a felt and spoken love for and fidelity to the ideas and ideals our country represents and was invented to advance--freedom, equality, pluralism. "We hold these truths . . ." The word Homeland suggests another kind of patriotism--a vaguely European sort. "We have the best Alps, the most elegant language; we make the best cheese, had the bravest generals." It summons images of men in spiked helmets lobbing pitchers of beer at outsiders during Oktoberfest."
2. "The Homeland Security Agency headed by Tom Ridge was not a conspicuous success, and was in fact nightly monologue fodder on Leno and Letterman."
To this I can only say: Peggy, go put on a dunce cap and sit in the corner. Anyone who cites late-night television hosts as authoritative sources in a public policy debate is an idiot. When did we toss out the Constitution and crown Leno and Letterman as dual monarchs, anyway?
Noonan's other reason is more substantial, but also more insidious. It appeals to "American patriotism" while simultaneously advancing an anti-American argument. To wit: Noonan argues that America stands for nothing more than more than "ideas and ideals." The essence of Americanism, if we're to believe Noonan, is a cold and sterile ideology. That seems to be a validation of both a) the European/French-Enlightenment lust for abstraction over concrete, empirical realities, and b) the European critique of Americans as "uncultured." She just comes right out and says that we don't have culture; we have ideas instead. She adds that the nation was just "invented" ex nihilo as a means of advancing those ideas--as if George Washington's thundering voice roared from on high 200 years ago: "'Fiat America.' Et facta est America." This version of the American narrative sells our country short, and denies our forefathers their due.
What Noonan won't acknowledge is that America's greatness is a function of its culture. And American culture wasn't "invented," as she claims; it was formed, like a diamond, over the course of many, many centuries. As Russell Kirk and others have explained in great detail, our nation is the heir to the ideals of Western Civilization--specifically, a sublime combination of Greek Wisdom, Roman Republican political ideals, Judeo-Christian ethics and morality, and the English language and the cultural sensibilities it has conveyed to us through British literature, philosophy, and Common Law. That culture is under assault nearly everywhere else in the world, from a post-modern Europe that dismisses Western Civilization as "oppressive" and "patriarchal," to the Middle East, where Muslims have waged war against it off-and-on for nearly 1500 years. Like the monks of the Middle Ages, America has been trusted with the lonely task of preserving this way of life while the rest of the world wallows in darkness. That's not to say that all Americans are children of light, but America is indeed a nation to whom light has been given--and having light, we must pass it on to others.
Including Peggy Noonan. I shouldn't be so hard on her because I know she means well. Still these sorts of errors can't go unchecked--especially when they masquerade in the name of Americanism before a largely conservative audience. I hope she comes around and sees the value of embracing America's culture--"homeland" and all.
For an American foreign policy whose major objective is stability and nonviolence (if for no other reason than to give us freedom of action elsewhere in the region to fight terrorism), one could not devise a worse policy. If two years of blood-letting gives the Palestinians an interim state -- without even a simple cease-fire, let alone a real peace -- what possible disincentive do they have to continue the violence?
Statehood before peace is guaranteed to increase the violence. After all, what does "provisional statehood" mean? There has never been a "provisional state." Powell will have to make the concept up as he goes along.
This sort of nonsense from the State Department, of course, is so idiotic as to be self-refuting. Yet somehow Krauthammer still has the patience to pick apart their thinking even after 70+ rounds of Palestinian terror bombings in under two years. He's a better man than I.
Even a Leftist realizes that it is pretty vacant simply to be against the status quo. He has to have something a bit more substantial to say than that in order to get any attention at all. But his best attempt at finding something substantial to say is still pretty pathetic. What he says is: "All men are equal" and "The government should fix it". The proverbial Blind Frederick could see that all men are not equal and anybody who thinks that governments are good at doing things can only be pitied. Nonetheless, "Equality" is the Leftist’s claimed ideal and government action is the way he proposes to bring it about.
So given his slender intellectual and rhetorical resources, the Leftist has to make up for their emptiness by advocating them both blindly and vigorously. If all men are equal, then all races must be equal too, mustn’t they? So the Leftist cannot allow any form of race awareness unless he gives up one of the two slender straws that he clutches at in order to give himself something to say.
Why do Leftists rely so heavily on their two particular vacuous slogans? It is because they are not really interested in solving any problems at all. They are only interested in stirring up change. Really solving social and economic problems in our complex society requires thought, detailed enquiry, in-depth understanding of the problem, creative thinking and patience -- and the typical Leftist is simply not interested in all that. All he or she wants is change. "Get the government to pass a law" is the Leftist’s simplistic "solution."
This whole thing is superb. Go print it out and read it over lunch tomorrow afternoon.
Scott 12:53 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, June 18, 2002 ::
Holy Mother of God, K-Town is going ape-sh*t right now. The people in the building next door woke me up when they started screaming around 4:00am. Three hours later, a chorus of car horns woke me up again. I walked out to Sixth Street, and saw the Koreans staging some sort of impromptu parade--pouring out of bars screaming, running to their cars and honking their horns, and flying huge Korean flags while driving down the road.
Sure enough: Korea 2. Italy 1.
Scott 10:31 AM [+] ::
He knows that Sanchez will attack him as "a gun-toting, anti-choice conservative," and he has ready responses. Gun-toting? "As a military officer, I've maintained a commitment to protect this nation." Anti-choice? "I am against abortion, and my aim is to promote a community where life is important. My opponent is not pro-choice, she's pro-abortion, and that's not what this district is about." Escobar crisply and convincingly offers his positions for tax cuts and for welfare policies "that give people the chance to earn their own dignity back."
This is the voice of Hispanics in America--and it's well to the right of the Democratic Party. To be sure, there are plenty of reasons why Hispanics tend to vote for the Democrats--but the party's hard left-views against guns, against welfare reform, and against the unborn aren't among them. It's time for the GOP to break from its sketchy past with Hispanics, and embrace a demographic group whose views mesh very well with the mainstream of the party--and the mainstream of America.
Scott 1:17 AM [+] ::
Dear God, when will this girl's fifteen minutes of fame ever end?
Scott 12:16 AM [+] ::
Dammit, Kepple. You took The Mortal Sin Test and ended up with a really cool vice--Lust. I, on the other hand, got stuck with Envy. What good is that? Phooey. Lousy envy....I really wanted lust, too. Come to think of it, that punk Kepple has lots of other cool stuff going for him too--a cushy union job, residence in a state with no income taxes, seniority over me in the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. Lousy bastard....
Lector: Yeah, envy indeed...
Auctor: Dang you, shuddup.
Scott 12:08 AM [+] ::
Folks, you've probably noticed that the posting has been a bit sparse over the past few days. My apologies for that. Unfortunately the posting schedule will remain light for a few more days ahead. Some major projects are in the works right now. I'm not at liberty to give you any details at the moment, but if all goes well, there will be a Major Announcement here in a week or ten days. In the meantime, please excuse my absence till Sunday or Monday. Hasta....
Scott 12:44 AM [+] ::
Laker Championship Parade
Attention Lakers' fans: Chick Hearn just announced that the championship parade will start on Friday at 11:30am at Third and Figueroa. He says you can park in Lot 3 at Staples.
It’s after 3:00 in the morning. I have to wake up and go to work tomorrow. And you had to write a bawdy, fast paced novel about a young Internet muckraker to keep me up way past my bedtime. I’m gonna be a wreck tomorrow, and won’t be able to get anything done. Thanks a lot, Ken.
Yes, friends, I just finished reading Ken Layne’s book Dot.Con. Take it from someone who learned the hard way: Do not buy this book. Repeat: do not buy this book. It’s a tool straight from the devil himself. It will keep you glued to the couch for hours on end. It will lead you to neglect basic chores and responsibilities. It will make your fingers sore from turning the pages so fast.
It might even lead a misguided young soul to take up reporting as a career. But do not be fooled by Mr. Layne’s spellbinding tale of a reporter who emerges from a rough neighborhood and takes down CEOs, outwits corporate goons, humiliates Berkeley radicals, sleeps with an MSNBC reporter, and escapes to Baja for two months of R&R. No siree. In real life, newsmen never leave the rat-infested barrios. The only action and adventure they see are tedious 60-hour workweeks at a computer terminal in an air-conditioned room that feels like a dentist office. And they escape to Baja for days—not months—only to wash their strained nerves with Corona and tequila shots in order to forget about budget cutbacks, heavy workloads, and the general misery of their existence.
Dammit, I shouldn't read Paul Krugman's shrill partisan hack work before going to bed. His latest piece has me all worked up now.
Since I'm going to be awake stewing over this one for a while, let's go to the tape.
The gist: "The administration learned nothing from the California [power] crisis; it still takes its advice from the energy companies that financed its campaign (and made many administration officials, including Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, rich).
The reasoning: "Energy companies, and only energy companies, had access to top [White House] officials. The result was that during the California power crisis — which, it is increasingly apparent, was largely engineered by Enron and other companies that had the administration's ear — the administration did nothing."
Repeat after me, Paul: CALIFORNIA power crisis. As in, the Golden State. This was not a federal problem; it was a situation concentrated in just one state--a state which (aside from having a Democratic governor whose name is mysteriously absent from this article) just happened to have a harebrained regulatory environment that made it subject to gaming by energy companies, including Enron. Of course, we all know Enron played the game so well that they're still squeezing those "record profits" out of California and handing the proceeds straight to Bush/Cheney in sacks with cartoon dollar signs on them.
Beyond the mere facts of the matter, the scenario Krugman paints here is just idiotic. He suggests that
--Enron officials came to the White House
--Enron officials openly discussed their nefarious plans to game the California power market with White House officials
--White House officials shrugged shoulders and said, “Have fun. We’re gonna cut out early today to go play golf. See ya later.”
The rest of this article is self-refuting. Consider these gems:
--“John Ashcroft, who brushed aside appeals to make terrorism a priority…”
--“No Democratic leader has accused the administration of deliberately allowing Sept. 11 to happen.”
--“Mr. Cheney — who ridiculed conservation and price controls, which in the end were what saved California — remains in charge of energy policy. And that scares me more than terrorism.”
--“Osama bin Laden can't destroy Western civilization. Carbon dioxide can.”
Jesus H. Shouldn’t the Times’ editors have spiked this article, and made Krugman pitch this one to the Nation? I mean, I just don’t see how this piece found its way into publication in a major, mainstream newspaper—even if it is the Times. I can only wonder how many editors read this piece, brimming as it is with hyperbole and flimsy claims of fact, and signed their initials to the galleys.
Yes, I’ll be lying awake all night trying to figure that one out.
Public Service Announcement: Attention All Bach Lovers!
Don't miss Westwood Presbyterian Church's First Annual Bach Festival, which begins tomorrow night at eight and runs through Sunday. Westwood is my church here in Los Angeles, and I can attest first-hand that their music program is absolutely top-notch. Plus the program, which includes the Magnificat, the Fifth Brandenburg Concerto, the Goldberg Variations, and other selections, is designed to give you a composite of this composer's huge and wide-ranging corpus of chamber, keyboard, and orchestral music. That means that if you're one of the ungelehrten who hasn’t yet discovered Bach's music, you've got a great opportunity to get your feet wet.
Tickets cost just $15 for the entire festival, which includes three concerts. That's a steal. Plus you'll be joining the faithful in their diligent labors to bring about The Restoration, and undoing the damage wrought upon our culture by people like this person and this one and this one and...well, you get the point. It’s a worthy event, and one that you’ll enjoy a lot. So don't miss out!
Folks, I've got a lot to blog about tonight, but the Lakers game tips off in mere minutes. For those of you stuck on the east coast, being in Los Angeles at playoff time is like being in Chapel Hill or some lesser point along tobacco road during the Final Four--everything else just comes to a stop. So alas, I'm going to have to give you an abridged version of what I would have talked about tonight:
--Gerry Parsky, the man who pulled strings to get George W. Bush to back Richard Riordan in the California gubernatorial primary, is back in the news today. This time, as the Wall Street Journal's John Fund reports, it seems Parsky has a veto over Bush's judicial nominees from California.
Holy mackerel! Oubai Shahbandar, a sh*t-kicker at Arizona State University whom I've had the pleasure of meeting and working with on a couple subversive projects, has his own blog! Go check it out...it rules!
Of course, he's been bloggin' for a while at Campus Nonsense, which I just added to the perma-link bar tonight. Finally discovering his personal blog, though, was just pure bliss. There is hope for the world after all...
Scott 12:20 AM [+] ::
Mr. Mubarak said his intelligence officials had no indication what the target would be and had no idea of the magnitude of the coming attack. "We didn't know that such a thing could take place," he said, referring to the Sept. 11 attacks. "We thought it was an embassy, an airplane, something, the usual thing." But, he added, to discover after the event [emphasis added] that the terrorists were going to take airplanes and destroy buildings, "that is unbelievable."
Memo to all you would-be Bob Woodwards out there: quit trying to blame the government, and start directing the responsibility where it belongs--on those al Qaeda camel-f*ckers who knocked over those towers and murdered 3000 of our countrymen.
Scott 11:50 PM [+] ::
By synthesizing epic archetypal themes with gut-churning special effects and the gay theatrical tradition of high camp, George Lucas has created a potent and disturbing commentary on our own bloated and blind American society. [...] Rather than "bring balance to the Force" within us, our current system is intensifying how the darkness that remains unconscious gets projected onto despised "others" such as gay people, minorities, foreign cultures and the planet. Lucas has offered us a deeply felt warning about the price of such massive denial, but one that may be too late to reverse the inexorable descent of a decaying, overripe social order that is leading to planetary devastation.
Yes, friends, the entire piece really is this bad. Memo to Matt and Ken Layne: get the LA Examiner up-n-running, post haste!
I finally got around to tinkering with the Perma-Link bar, located to your left. I updated some links and added a few others. It's still not an extensive list, and I have no intention of ever creating such a list. It's part of my No-Crap Policy® here at ScottRubush.com. If I don't read it on a regular basis, I don't expect you to have any interest in reading it either. That's why I'm not going to clutter up the page with a lot of charity links to sites written by people whose version of genius I find...well, less than ingenious.
I also created a new category called "Scott's People" for folks with whom I have varying levels of contact and/or correspondence and/or friendship and/or family ties. If you see your name over there, I guess you can consider it an honor, or a mark of shame, or whatever. Just don't ask me to lend you money or anything like that. I’m poor, and the perma-link is all I can afford to give you.
There’s lots of other good stuff over there too—so get clickin’.
Of course, you really gotta hand it to whoever wins on Sunday. This series has a sort of Iliadic quality to it, pitting two strong, tightly matched rivals against each other. It's hard not to respect the "cow-lickers" after watching these past six games, the last three of which have been decided by a combined total of six points. That doesn't mean I can't pick favorites, though...