Category Archives: Critique

Why Is Glenn Greenwald In Brazil, In The First Place? Don’t Ask The Washington Examiner

Critique, English, Homeland Security, Intelligence, Journalism, Media

Truly ghastly writing from Washington Examiner editorial staff, most of them still in short-pants, is nothing new.

This appallingly written, dog’s breakfast of a column,The arrest of Glenn Greenwald reminds us what actual press persecution looks like,” repeatedly states the obvious: American journalists know not what it is to work under duress, bereft of freedom of the press.

Conversely, Glenn Greenwald, an American journalist based in Brazil, does.

But the worst infraction of journalism committed by the writer is the man’s lack of intellectual curiosity and shallow knowledge about the object of his justified defense, Glenn Greenwald.

In trying to make a point about the freedoms the American press enjoys, as opposed to the lack thereof in Brazil, the author, a “deputy contributors editor and commentary writer,” appears to be blissfully ignorant of the fact that, after helping Edward Snowden expose the U.S. National Security Agency, “the world’s largest surveillance organization,” Mr. Greenwald came under the scrutiny of the U.S. government, and is likely “a target of U.S. surveillance.”

It is still unclear whether Greenwald may return to the U.S. without risking arrest in the homeland.

How’s that for irony? This journalistic void renders ridiculous the outrage evinced by the writer (of “The arrest of Glenn Greenwald reminds us what actual press persecution looks like”) against Brazil’s authoritarian president, considering that Greenwald might be arrested on return to the U.S.

Via the Committee to Protect Journalists:

Glenn Greenwald would like to go home to the United States, at least for a visit. But the Guardian journalist and blogger is afraid to do so. He still has material and unpublished stories from his contacts with fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden that he believes U.S. authorities would love to get their hands on. The nine-hour detention and interrogation of Greenwald’s Brazilian partner David Miranda by British security services at London’s Heathrow airport in August has only compounded his fears.
“I have been told by pretty much everybody I have asked, including lawyers for the Guardian, my personal lawyer, lawyers I trust, political people who are well connected that it would be very ill-advised for me to travel back to the United States right now because the chances that I would be arrested are something more than trivial,” Greenwald told CPJ in Rio de Janeiro.

To the Daily Beast, Greenwald said this:

“I’ve had lots of prominent [American] political and media figures calling for my arrest and prosecution and strongly suggesting, if not outright stating, that what I am doing is criminal.”

****

Other than from the title of the column, “The arrest of Glenn Greenwald reminds us what actual press persecution looks like,” and the embedded hyperlinks meant to be followed by the reader—the latter is none the wiser about the fate that befell poor Mr. Greenwald.

The rules of writing are that you tell readers in your lede paragraph about the thing upon which you’ve based your column. “The Five Ws” of journalism are:

What happened?
Who did that?
When did it take place?
Where did it take place?
Why did that happen?

Then there are what I call the “really-really” qualifications.

Greenwald is said to be “coming from a far-left perspective.” What a deeply silly statement. It’s like writing, “very-very left wing.” Who does that?

Bad journos who are subconsciously trying to set themselves in a camp other than the “far-left” do that.

Bad journos who are trying to emphasize their fair-mindedness do that.

Greenwald is a fair-minded liberal. That’s it. He is certainly not a far-left journalist.

There’s more white noise, but I’m tired of documenting shit.

 

* Glenn Greenwald courtesy REUTERS/Sergio Moraes

NEW COLUMN (1/16/020): The Punishing Agenda of the Anti-Punishment Movement

Argument, Britain, Crime, Criminal Injustice, Critique, Justice, Law, libertarianism, Political Philosophy

NEW COLUMN is “The Punishing Agenda of the Anti-Punishment Movement.” It is now on WND.COM and  The Unz Review. The column first appeared on American Greatness.

And excerpt:

On November 29, 2019, a man now called the London Bridge terrorist slaughtered British student Jack Merritt.

While the cutthroat has been named for a famous London landmark; his victim has been all but forgotten.

The killer’s family was quick to condemn the London Bridge terrorist’s actions.

The family of his victim—not so much.

David Merritt, the late lad’s dad, got busy condemning those who wish to condemn that killer and his ilk to life in a cell.

By December 2, Merritt the elder was already penning op-eds about clemency and leniency for criminals like the man who murdered his son.

Such minute-made forgiveness would have been Jack’s wish, asserted Merritt senior rather presumptuously—for how can the living speak for the dead?

David Merritt, then, proceeded to minimize what was murder with malice aforethought, by dismissing what his son’s killer did as a mere “tragic incident.”

Just how obscene is the progressive mindset can be gleaned from what Mr. Merritt wrote:

“If Jack could comment on his death – and the tragic incident on Friday 29 November – he would be livid. We would see him ticking it over in his mind before a word was uttered between us. Jack would understand the political timing with visceral clarity.
He would be seething at his death, and his life, being used to perpetuate an agenda of hate that he gave his everything fighting against. … What Jack would want from this is for all of us to walk through the door he has booted down, in his black Doc Martens.
That door opens up a world where we do not lock up and throw away the key. Where we do not give indeterminate sentences … Where we do not slash prison budgets, and where we focus on rehabilitation not revenge.” [Emphasis added.]

Anti-punishment ideologues like Merritt, incorrectly and condescendingly conflate punishment with “hate” and vengeance, and justice with restitution and “rehabilitation.”

They typically treat us to facile flimflam such as that the desire for vengeance cannot become the foundation of jurisprudence. By this verbal manipulation, these ideologues disingenuously advance a definition of justice that precludes incarceration and instead equates that object with restitution and rehabilitation alone.

Compared to David Merritt’s woke sentiments, the family of the London-Bridge Killer was mundane in its proper and civilized expiation:

“We are saddened and shocked by what Usman has done,” said the family. “We totally condemn his actions and we wish to express our condolences to the families of the victims that have died and wish a speedy recovery to all of the injured.”

But there was apparently no need to apologize, Mr. and Mrs. Khan. Speaking for his dead son, David Merritt appears to have already made peace with Jack’s ripper.

In their extreme versions, anti-punishment ideologues like David Merritt often plump for complete penal abolition.

Driven by parental and pedagogic progressivism, Jack, of blessed memory, had “devoted his energy to the purpose of a “pioneering program” called “Learning Together,” which aims “to bring students from university and prisons together to share their unique perspectives on justice.”

The imperative to offer up young lives to this or the other manifestation of Moloch is a progressive impulse—an obscene one, at that. …

… READ THE REST.  The complete COLUMN, “The Punishing Agenda of the Anti-Punishment Movement” is now on WND.COM and  The Unz Review. The column first appeared on American Greatness.

UPDATE III (1/09/020): Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller DOES AXE Dissident Voices

Conservatism, Critique, Ethics, Neoconservatism, Political Correctness

Here, Tucker Carlson loudly protests the habit of expunging dissent voices, right and left.

OK, but Tucker Carlson is affiliated with Daily Caller, right? And Daily Caller axed my very dissident column because a hate-group, the Southern Poverty Law Center, persists in telling nasty lies about me and my views. (Along the lines outlined in my refutation of “Slate’s Resident Idiot” when he “Slandered this Jewish Woman — Me.”)

How is that resisting the status quo? Daily Caller also removed op-ed editor Robert Mariani and replaced him with indistinguishable neocons.

I think they all swim in very polluted waters.

UPDATE I (12/30/019):

Tucker markets a syndicated column with a buddy, Patel, who is editor-in-chief of Daily Caller. As its founder, Tucker has plenty sway. Other dissident columns have been removed, too. Love Tucker, but can we stop making excuses for our idols?

https://twitter.com/jesse31522/status/1211568797141762049

UPDATE II (12/31/019): 

Regarding this comment on Twitter: Then Tucker must NOT wax fat against dissidents being expunged, when his pride-and-joy site, the one he founded, does that very thing to those of us who were Old, Hard Right before Tucker was. And there are other thinkers who’ve been purged from Daily Caller. Mencken warned about this kind of mindless mindset among Americans. Find a hero, usually a celeb or a politico–and worship, worship the idol, excuse his every incongruous stance. You can be sure Tucker HAS PLENTY INFLUENCE @DailyCaller. It’s likely a choice.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), arguably America’s foremost hate group, had maligned me, a hard-right, Jewish individualist (daughter of a rabbi), who is frequently and mercilessly attacked by anti-Semites (a taste in the Comments to my column, at the Unz Review). So, at the same time that Tucker Carlson was doing magnificent exposes about the SPLC—his website, Daily Caller, was expunging my column because the SPLC demands it.

Intelligent, honest sorts will admit there is a contradiction here. The rest are, as Mencken would have said, part of the “commonwealth of moron”—mindless followers, who refuse to recognize  that the object of their worship (Tucker) might be in violation of his own principles.

UPDATE III (1/09/020):

An interesting postscript to the above debate. Correlation is not causation, but Tucker Carlson seems to have untangled himself from the syndicated column he wrote with Daily Caller editor, Neil Patel. More accurately, the Patel column appears sans Tucker.  Patel worked for Vice President Dick Cheney. Say no more.

NEW COLUMN Updated (1/21): Dissident Deplorables Refuse To Be Dittoheads

Critique, Donald Trump, Elections, English, Family, Journalism, Media, Political Correctness

NEW COLUMN is “Dissident Deplorables Refuse To Be Dittoheads.”

In its attenuated form, the column appeared on Townhall.com. If you prefer lukewarm, milquetoast, bland fare (as much as this writer can do those), adapted for conservative tastes, then stick with this version: “Dissident Deplorables Deserve Decent Coverage.”

Otherwise, read the piece in full on The Unz Review.  Or, look-away, FAST (as did others. Yes, the piece was spiked elsewhere).  The more I read Mencken, the more I know this: If he were alive today, Unz Review woudl be the only place that would dare publish him.

Excerpt:

The happening featured beefcake Donald Trump Jr. and bimbo Kimberly Guilfoyle.

The couple was on stage at UCLA to promote the president’s son’s “book,” when they were jeered by dissident Deplorables for shutting down the Question-and-Answer segment.

“Book” here is in quotations to denote “so-called,” because the staple, ghost-written political pablum, penned by ambitious political flotsam, relates to literacy as H. L. Mencken relates to conformity—not at all.

Predictably, Guilfoyle opted out of the conversational give-and-take demanded by her man’s hecklers, and went straight for the groin:

“I bet you engage in online dating, because you’re impressing no one here to get a date in person.”

Why “predictably”? Well, a supple mind may not be one of Guilfoyle’s assets.

Kimberley’s cerebral alacrity was seldom showcased when seated in Fox News’ legs chair. During one of her last televised appearances on “The Five,” a Fox News daytime show, Guilfoyle protested that, “the U.S. has already reduced its [toxic] ‘admissions’ enough.”

I give you Guilfoyle, verbatim, in her own words: “So, we can keep doing what we’re doing. We can keep reducing our admissions. …”

To Make English Great Again, you reduce emissions, not “admissions.”

For a while, it even seemed that Trump, looking for curve appeal in a press secretary, was going for Guilfoyle. She certainly thought so and said as much, implying, at the time, that she herself is “a great communicator … with deep knowledge.”

And no; I do not digress. This all goes to the Guilfoyle’s knee-jerk, flirty, aim-for-the-groin reaction to her hombre’s hecklers.

Tellingly, the taunting of Donald Jr. by dissident Deplorables was covered very differently by the American Daily Beast and the British Guardian.

Descriptions of political positions and personalities were prefaced by the Daily Beast with “edifying” editorializing. The hecklers the Beast described as “fringe-right.” Their alleged instigator and inspiration was said to be “a white nationalist.” Perfectly legitimate demands from this disgruntled audience for a “Q&A” and for “America First,” the Daily Beast deemed tantamount to a right-wing insurrection or civil war.

Discrediting dissent is all in a day’s work for the American press.

What do you know? The hecklers at Trump Jr.’s book-flogging were also known, to the Daily Beast at least, as “Holocaust deniers.” As far as this reader can tell, the group taunting the empty suits on stage for refusing to answer questions had said not a word about the Holocaust. Nor had the disrupters been interviewed by the Daily Beast about their views on the Holocaust.

More to the point: Why is participation in our democracy predicated on one’s views on the Holocaust? What the hell does an individual’s opinion about that topic have to do with his right to solicit answers from members of Donald Trump’s politically active dynasty? I say this as a Jew whose family tree was truncated by the industrial-scale mass murder of millions of Jews that was the Holocaust. …

… READS THE REST.  NEW COLUMN is “Dissident Deplorables Refuse To Be Dittoheads.” Or, “Dissident Deplorables Deserve Decent Coverage,” if you can’t take the heat. 

UPDATE (11/21): 

On WND: “Is political participation predicated on views about the Holocaust?” “Discrediting dissent is all in a day’s work for the American press,” says this Jew, whose family tree was truncated by the industrial-scale mass murder that was the Holocaust. MORE …