Sunday, July 28, 2002

Horowitz Seeks Financial Support For Defense of Israel Campaign

We promise not to be too cynical, but we feel compelled to issue a warning on the present danger: former leftist radical and now conservative activist David Horowitz has his hat in hand seeking $180,000 to support his “Defense of Israel” campaign.

For those not familiar, Horowitz is the editor of and “operator” of something called the Center for the Study of Popular Culture. (Operator is his word, not ours. Check the CSPC web site, which apparently is updated about once every two years.)

Herewith a few excerpts from Horowitz’s appeal:

    “I’m asking you for your financial support of my Defense of Israel Campaign. I realize that if you care enough about defending Israel to back up your beliefs with a financial contribution, you would want your money to be spent in the most effective way possible. “Here is what my Defense of Israel Campaign has been doing:

    “I sent my booklet ‘Why Israel is the Victim’ to thousands of media outlets including newspapers, magazines, and talk show hosts. The booklet gives the facts on Israel that Americans need to know -- the wars the Arab states have waged continuously, their stated determination to destroy Israel, the falseness of their claims against Israel, and the double standards the world uses to judge Israel and the Arabs. And it includes maps that show dramatically the tiny piece of land Israel occupies, and how precarious its existence….

    “I speak out on Israel in frequent op-ed pieces, appearances on TV and radio talk shows, and in speeches in front of organizations and college audiences.

    “But we now need to take the campaign to a new level that will reach millions more Americans with the truth -- and show up the pro-Palestinian propaganda campaign for what it is. To do that, I need your help. Here is what we want to do:

    “Distribute thousands more booklets nationwide to give many more Americans a factual basis for understanding why Israel must be defended. I want especially to reach politically active citizens, and college students whose impressionable minds are being poisoned by the anti-Israel attitudes of many academics.

    “Run an advertisement I have created in newspapers and magazines, to reach millions more Americans with facts about Israel, and to offer the booklet. The ad is headlined, ‘5 Reasons America Must Support Israel.’ It gives essential facts in a clear, readable way. Expand my speaking engagements, media appearances, and writing to reach many more Americans. [Ed.: God help us, every one.]

    “The critical job ahead is to show as many Americans as possible that the goal of Yasser Arafat and his supporters is to destroy Israel, not to live side by side with it -- and how vital Israel’s survival is to the survival of the United States and western civilization.”

According to the plea, Horowitz needs to raise the largest amount he has ever sought “at one time,” specifically, $180,000, within 30 days.

Aside from the assertion that Israel is the victim of a propaganda campaign and the reference to “the anti-Israel attitudes of many academics” (Hmm…Last we checked the proponents of divestment of Israel at Harvard University and M.I.T. were out-petitioned by an order of 12 to 1.), we find little in Horowitz’s manifesto to which we would object.

The problem lies in Horowitz himself.

When we envision the tireless and tactless Horowitz mounting yet another of his one-man crusades, we can’t help but think of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the well-known proponent of “assisted suicide.” Despite our opposition to Kevorkian’s mission, we believe reasonable people may disagree on the subject. But even the most ardent supporters of “assisted suicide” must be embarrassed to have a nut like Kevorkian assuming so prominent a role on the issue’s behalf.

Given Horowitz’s propensity to bring any debate into the gutter, his incapacity to restrain his temper, and his inability to construct a few coherent paragraphs, let alone a sustained argument, we are tempted to think he is a mole for the Palestinian cause.

We wouldn’t wish Horowitz on anyone. Thus we extend our deepest sympathies to the state of Israel and the Israeli people. For their sake, we hope the Horowitz campaign is unsuccessful and that he recedes quickly into the background.

Surely the Jews have suffered enough already.

Saturday, July 27, 2002

Response to David Horowitz’s Attacks on Me and HorowitzWatch

In David Horowitz’s attack on me and HorowitzWatch, he makes the following accusations: 1) I am a “leftist”; 2) Leftists like me “live to betray their country”; 3) my “heroes” are radicals like Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden 3) The communists who slaughtered millions in Indochina are my “friends.” 4) It was wrong for me to accuse him of treason; and 5) I am “a liar and a knave” for suggesting that he is an apologist for white supremacist Jared Taylor.

Horowitz’s wild and unsupported accusations against me are just plain silly. I defy Horowitz or anyone else to support these charges. In fact, my political views are best described as center-left. If I’m a leftist, then so are Joseph Lieberman and Daniel Patrick Moynihan. For the record, I grew up in a moderate Republican family; I became a moderate Democrat because I couldn’t stand the GOP’s flirtation with anti-intellectualism (e.g., sectarianism, creationism, Moonie-ism, and neo-Confederate thought). Even though I’m what George W. Bush might call “a Grecian-American,” I didn’t vote for Dukakis in 1988 because he was too far to the left of me. Being accused of extremism by David Horowitz is like having been called a horndog by the late Wilt Chamberlain. To paraphrase the late Steve Allen, a guy can get trampled to death here in the middle by True Believers like Horowitz who scurry from one end of the political spectrum to the other.

Regarding my allegiance, I identify with the Stars and Stripes; all too many of Horowitz’s new-found friends (e.g., Trent Lott and Jared Taylor) identify with the Stars and Bars (talk about blaming America first). I’m way too young to have been a follower of Hayden, Fonda, and Ellsberg in their anti-war heyday, but I have no patience with contemporary leftist commentators and activists like Noam Chomsky, Edward Herman, or Ramsey Clark. I defy anyone to check my web site and show where I write anything anti-American.

The idea that I identified with the brutal regimes in Southeast Asia is libelous. I am a strong supporter of human rights. In any authoritarian regime, free-spirited, iconoclastic, and fun-loving people like me are the first people to be lined up against a wall and shot. What the US should have done in Vietnam is a complicated matter; however, one thing I firmly believe is that more of the draft-age people who were in favor of the war (e.g., Horowitz’s new-found friends Tom DeLay and George W. Bush) should have been the ones who were fighting the war; that way, fewer young men from my hometown in southeastern Ohio would have had to have died in the war.

It is my belief that Horowitz’s attacks against my patriotism are an attempt to divert attention from my criticisms I made against him on this site. First, I noted the irony of Horowitz wishing for the execution of John Walker Lindh when Horowitz’s own treasonous past makes Lindh look like an amateur in comparison. Unlike Horowitz’s unfounded accusation that “leftists” like me “live to betray their country,” my accusation of Horowitz’s treason comes from a reliable source: Horowitz’s own words. Horowitz admitted that he violated the Espionage Act by publishing classified information, an act Horowitz described as “a major blow to United States’ national security in the midst of the Vietnam War.” Horowitz wrote about this on his web site, in Commentary (yes, I read Commentary), in his book Radical Son and his most recent book How to Beat the Democrats (check out this web site in the next few day for critiques of this laughable book). Here is what Horowitz and Peter Collier wrote in Destructive Generation: “Like others present at the creation of the New Left, who had begun the Sixties demanding that America improve itself, we had ended the decade by committing acts of no-fault treason.”

I’m also sure that Horowitz is smarting from my mocking his laughable argument that he is “[paying] for [his treasonous past] every day with my work”—as if being a Scaife-funded hack in West LA is adequate payback for having caused massive damage to US national security and intelligence. In my last exchange with Horowitz about Scaife and his funding of paranoid conspiracy theories, Horowitz responded, “Richard Scaife cannot be held responsible for everything anyone he ever gave money to writes.” As luck would have it, just a few days ago, Scaife’s Pittsburgh Tribune-Review revived the Vince-Foster-Was-Murdered conspiracy theory (and attempted to implicate Hillary Clinton in the death and cover-up). Mind you, even wingnut Ann Coulter repudiated this conspiracy theory (she called Chris Ruddy’s book on the topic, a “conservative hoax book”). Being Scaife’s monkey boy must be a good gig.

As for my accusation of Horowitz being an apologist for white supremacist Jared Taylor. I want the reader to draw his/her own conclusions. 1) Read what I and the Watchful Babbler wrote about Taylor on HorowitzWatch; 2) Read what I wrote on Scoobie Davis Online (7/16); 3) Read Taylor’s American Renaissance web site; 4) Read the Anti-Defamation League’s analysis of Taylor; 5) Read Horowitz’s description of Taylor and American Renaissance. Determine for yourselves who is dishonest and “knavish.”

Finally, Horowitz misunderstands my motives and tone. When I wrote about Horowitz’s treason, it wasn’t so much with a feeling of “outrage;” rather it was with a feeling of playful ridicule. That’s why I started the “Name That Punishment” contest (7/24 post). I view someone who shifted from the dour authoritarian left to the dour authoritarian right as a good target of mockery. Horowitz no longer calls political opponents lackeys of American capitalism; he calls them knaves. I’m sad that Horowitz has given up on HorowitzWatch and me. I was hoping that in the future he would call me a cad or, better yet, a dastard.

Friday, July 26, 2002

David Horowitz responds, Watchful Babbles on:

Horowitz has brought up HW in his latest blog, but does not, we fear, provide any substantial points, thus capping off a week of remarkable moderation in his rhetoric.

Leaving aside the exchange of ad hominem attacks, which I find enjoyable though not enlightening, I would like to address one charge:

    I am also accused by Scoobie of being an apologist for white supremacy. The mind boggles at the imbecility of this attack. ... Scoobie's readers have full access to what I have wrtten and he is attacking. He even links his accusations to my text which will show anyone with half a brain that Scoobie is both a liar and knave.

This, however, is not entirely correct. Scoobie says (and I agree) that Horowitz acted "as an apologist for white supremacist Jared Taylor of American Renaissance magazine," which is a very different thing. Horowitz's obsession with race has always, to me, seemed the symptom of a man raging against betrayal (by his former allies on the left); that propulsive emotion has led him to say some remarkably foolish things in the past, and to join with some very disreputable characters, tarnishing his own reputation and that of conservatism as a whole.

Readers can judge for themselves whether the article in question, originally seen in AmRen and published, in redacted form, by Horowitz, is -- as we believe it to be -- a rather sophisticated and invidious piece of propaganda, masquerading as journalism but filled with the cant of intellectualist racism. But until Horowitz chooses to respond to these charges, we have, for better or for worse, the last word on the issue.

In the meantime, I would suggest that Horowitz, and all other conservatives who ally themselves with the fringe on policy while privately maintaining doubts regarding philosophy, consider the words of Lord Acton, used as an epigraph in Hayek's The Constitution of Liberty:

    At all times sincere friends of freedom have been rare, and its triumphs have been due to minorities, that have prevailed by associating themselves with auxiliaries whose objects often differed from their own; and this association, which is always dangerous, has sometimes been disastrous, by giving to opponents just grounds of opposition.

Thursday, July 25, 2002

From the Mailbox

HorowitzWatch today received a thoughtful letter from one of its regular readers, one Linda Robert Blair:

From: Blair, Robert []
Sent: Thursday, July 25, 2002 3:30 AM
Subject: Not even close ...

I have been reading your anti-Horowitz blog (following a link from FrontPage). I read several screen fulls [sic] ...


The only person in the world who would want to read it would be David Horowitz - and I think he does.

Get a life, wipe the dribble off the left corner of your mouths and do something INTERESTING.

And I am saying this in the most supportive, caring way y’hear ?

HorowitzWatch responds:

Mr. Blair:

Thank you for taking the time to write to HorowitzWatch. We appreciate hearing our readers’ opinions.

Speaking of wiping dribble, we’re sorry if we bored you, but we understand it’s time for your medication and “Ghostbusters” is playing in the day room.

That should keep you occupied.

Buzz the nurse if you need further assistance.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Name That Punishment Contest

Last week, in his blog, Horowitz expressed regrets about the John Walker Lindh plea bargain: “But personally, I wish John Walker Lindh had been shot.” I and others noted that Horowitz’s own admitted violation of the Espionage Act was much more serious than Lindh’s transgressions against his country. The next day, Horowitz responded to an e-mail by someone expressing similar thoughts: “I regret it and am [sic] atempting to pay for it every day with my work.” That’s rich. Horowitz believes that hanging out in West LA and doing Richard Mellon Scaife’s bidding is an adequate way of paying back society for committing a capital crime. That’s a rather convenient penance. Since Horowitz recently had a contest at Al Sharpton’s expense, I thought it would be fair to return the favor.

The Contest Rules

E-mail me at before August 1, 2002 with what you think would be an appropriate punishment for Horowitz’s treason and explain why you think it would be an appropriate punishment. Entries will be judged on humor and creativity. Don’t list capital punishment (even though, based on Horowitz’s logic regarding Lindh, he calls for his own execution). The point of the contest is to be funny. Plus, I don’t want Mickey Kaus to accuse me of encouraging hate speech.

The Prizes

When Horowitz announced the winner of his Sharpton contest, he wrote of a “prize winner,” even though he didn’t give out a prize—or at least he didn’t mention any prizes. That’s rather lame for someone who receives gobs of money from Scaife et al. and who is now selling a cut-and-paste book for $27.95. However, the winner of this contest will actually receive some prizes—totally rad ones at that. The prizes for the best entry are some cool things I got at the wild Goldmember world premiere after-party:

1. An exclusive video that I took at the Goldmember premiere after-party. Whenever I watch this video, I see it as a special kind of “f-you” to the puritan right.

2. A disco mirror ball that was given out as a party favor.

3. An embossed tin box of Churchill’s English Toffees (given out by Jaguar at the party).

4. A music CD: The Jaguar London Calling Collection (it has some righteous British Invasion rock and roll).
Good Luck!

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Horowitz’s Disastrous First Week As Blogger

Last week, David Horowitz began a blog on his web site Front Page Magazine. One of the first things that blogger Horowitz did was to act as an apologist for white supremacist Jared Taylor of American Renaissance magazine (check the Watchful Babbler’s Posts as well as my 7/16 post on my site for more details). Then Horowitz wrote that he wished that John Walker Lindh had been shot for his treason—this despite the fact that Horowitz’s own admitted treasonous acts were far more serious than Lindh’s (more on this soon). In Horowitz's soon-to-be-released, barely-coherent diatribe How to Beat The Democrats And Other Subversive Ideas, the acknowledgements section thanks Republican Majority Whip Tom DeLay (whom Horowitz incorrectly calls Majority Leader) and GOP Congressmen David Dreier, J.C. Watts, Jack Kingston, Ed Royce, and J.D. Hayworth. Republican strategists want to enlist the aid of a white supremacist apologist and self-admitted traitor? Is this part of the GOP’s big tent strategy?

Monday, July 22, 2002

Playing the odds

In the Frontpage article on a series of terrible murders, the author, Stephen Webster of the racist American Renaissance, says this:

    Of one thing we can be certain: If whites had done something this horrible to blacks, it would be universally assumed the crime was motivated by racial hatred. From the outset, police and prosecutors would have investigated the friends, habits, reading matter, and life history of each defendant. If either had ever uttered the word "nigger," had a drink with a Klansman, or owned a copy of American Renaissance, this would be discovered and brandished as proof of racial hatred. In the Carr case, there appears to have been no investigation at all. Instead of searching for possible racial animus, the authorities have simply declared there was none.

Gee, y'know, this sure sounds reasonable, doesn't it? I mean, if a man kills eight black people, I know I'd go looking for racist motives. So if a man kills eight white people, shouldn't I do the same?

This is a great parlor game. We call it "false equivalence," and we'll show you how to refute it in the comfort of your own home.

Let's pretend that you've been given Ed McMahon's job with Publisher's Clearinghouse. However, due to recent market downturns, several positions have been consolidated, so that you not only deliver the check, but you also will randomly select eight winners. Also, the sweepstakes is limited to the environs of Wichita, Kansas, to save on advertising and media costs.

After a few weeks of junk mail, unsolicited phone calls, and door-to-door salesmanship (oh, yeah, we didn't tell you that you had to sell the magazines as well, did we?), you've distributed contest forms to all 545,220 residents. In addition, 42,060 have bought magazine subscriptions from you, even though you assured them that buying a subscription doesn't change the odds of their winning.

The big day comes, and the entire populace turns out to see who wins. Reaching into a giant wire tumbler, you pick out the first name ...

Okay, let's review. There are 545,220 people in the sweepstakes. 42,060 bought magazine subscriptions; that's 7.7% of the population. Roughly speaking, the odds are 1:13 that anyone you randomly select will have subscribed to a magazine (actually 1:12.96, if you're following along with a calculator, but close enough for demonstrative purposes. We're also going to ignore the fact that one person leaves the potential-winner population, since they can't win twice, but the skew is miniscule).

So you draw out the first name, and it turns out to be a woman who ordered 12 months of Martha Stewart's Prison Living. You give her a brand new KitchenAid and a gift certificate to TGI Friday's, and everyone applauds. At this point, as we mentioned, the odds are 1:13 that you would have selected 1 subscriber.

Moving on, you draw the next name, who is a man who bought not only Details, but Maxim, Playboy, and The American Prospect. Now, the chance of drawing another subscriber is still 1:13, but the odds of drawing a subscriber twice in a row are (1:13 * 1:13) 1:169. Much less likely, but luckily all the statisticians moved out of Kansas after creationism became an academic subject, so no one's done the math yet.

Next name, same game. Probability: (1:13 * 1:13 * 1:13) 1:2197. The natives are getting restless.

And so it goes, through all eight names. When the last name is called, you're sweating, because even the dullest person in the crowd has figured out that someone fixed the game. Maybe ... even ... you.

Final probability that eight randomly chosen names would all be subscribers (1:13 * 1:13 * 1:13 * 1:13 * 1:13 * 1:13 * 1:13 * 1:13) = 1:815730721. You can't even represent that as a percentage without using scientific notation (1.25423789814898e-07 %, in case you were wondering).

You won't be surprised to find out that the black population of Wichita was 42,060 in the 2000 census. Thus, if a serial killer were to randomly choose eight victims, and all were black, then the chances of him not deliberately choosing them by race or some other race-correlated criteria (for example, a mugger might choose primarily white victims because he believes that whites will, as a class, have more money on them then blacks) is infintesimal.

Now, in this case, there were actually three attacks involving eight people, so the probabilities would be 1:2197, as mentioned above. So, if all the victims were black, and assuming that any group of people will be ethnically homogenous, then if the killer selected completely randomly he would have a 0.045% chance of getting all black victims.

If we reverse the victims' ethnicities, the chance of randomly choosing a non-black victim from the population is a bit over 92%, which means that the chance of choosing eight random white victims is 54%, give or take. Given the three-choice assumption made above, there would be an 83% chance that a completely random selection would result in all white victims.

Police use these sorts of odds all the time to determine what kinds of patterns exist in criminal behavior. Since they have limited time and resources, it's not fruitful to look for a racial motive in the absence of any evidence* when totally random selection offers an 83% chance of the racial composition of the victims.

Horowitz has always been incautious when it comes to his allies, freely choosing from the most extreme fringes as well as from more mainstream venues. But his new associates, who deplore the "restrained coverage" of media outlets like The Wichita Eagle while speaking highly of such Internet sites as ("For a white minority in a colored world") and ("Reporting on the Jewish war against Gentiles and the resulting destruction of White Western civilization") are further beyond the pale than any with whom he's dealt. The results of such a devil's deal will be dismal indeed.

"The Angry Whites."

Read the article on "the Wichita massacre" at Horowitz's Frontpage, and you'll only get half the story. Read the the full article at American Renaissance, and you'll find something new: everything the author was afraid to say outside of the white-supremacist readership of AmRen.

The Frontpage article ends with these words:

    The police and media reactions to these crimes-a refusal to think about race, draw larger conclusions, or even express outrage-are typical of today's whites, and in stark contrast to the sustained fury we could expect from blacks if the races were reversed.

Offensive to some, surely, but milquetoast in comparison to the ten paragraphs redacted from that version of the article, but preserved in the original. What Stephen Webster wrote for Frontpage was primarily an account of what happened, intermixed with the sort of sly racist insinuations that the more sophisticated brand of racists excel at. But the full article does not shy away from drawing conclusions that should appall Horowitz as much as anyone.

First, Webster attacks Christianity, intimating that it essentially emasculated the "five young whites" so they would not fight back against a black aggressor. (Like many other racist publications, AmRen advocates an "Identity Christianity" that mixes a kind of Christianity -- I hesitate to call it that -- with a vulgar Spenglerian national racism.)

    To what extent does this turn-the-other-cheek mentality [of Christianity] explain why five whites failed to fight back against two attackers? Three of the whites were young men, surely capable of serious resistance, and there must have been several opportunities for it. ... Why ... did five young whites ... kneel obediently in the snow to be shot one by one? ... [H]ad they simply been denatured by the anti-white zeitgeist of guilt that implies whites deserve whatever they get? One does not wish to think ill of the dead, but these three men showed little manliness.

This obsession with a masculinity in decline is a staple of white supremacy; less-genteel racists might blame miscegenation, but the AmRen writers concentrate on (big-C) Culture, which is a necessary component of (big-R) Race. Dilute the Race, they say, and dilute the strength of Culture. These are the heirs of the late and not much-lamented Francis Parker Yockey, the American Nazi-sympathizer whose book Imperium (dedicated to Adolf Hitler, the "hero of the Second World War"), is published by Holocaust denier Willis Carto's Noontide Press, for whom Jared Taylor has also written. (White supremacists have cited American Renaissance as a source for ordering Imperium, but it is not currently available through their website.)

Imperium is the bible for intellectualist white supremacists, in which Yockey argues that blacks are "primitive and childlike ... Like all primitive races, the Negro race is fertile, and possessed of strong instincts" to breed; and calls Jews "[t]he most tragic example of Culture-parasitism for the West." To Yockey, Culture is the source of the white race's strength, but it is the nature of whites to have Culture, while blacks and Jews are condemned to primitive tribalism or "parasitism." And it is this latter argument that the article uses to back its critics into a corner: if the murders weren't hate crimes, then they were evidence that blacks are "so depraved they can commit on a whim" the most terrible crimes. They are, it is implied, barely human at all.

    It is natural for whites to assume that behavior so vicious and odious must have been driven by consuming hatred. Most whites cannot imagine treating another human being the way the Carrs treated their victims unless there were some terrible underlying animus. ... However, it may be a mistake to project white sensibilities onto blacks. ... It may ... be that the Carr brothers are incapable of analyzing and describing their own motives with enough intelligence to make it possible for others to judge them.

    The angry whites do not seem to realize that what happened on the night of Dec. 14 may be only a particularly brutal expression of the savagery that finds daily expression in American crime statistics and African tribal wars. It may very well be that the Carr brothers are so depraved they can commit on a whim brutalities that whites can imagine only as the culmination of the most profound and sustained hatred.

In the end, we need to say very little to condemn Horowitz's racist, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic allies. Their own words speak far more eloquently than we ever could. And it is these words, going back at least twelve years, that Horowitz should have heeded. When he says that Taylor is "a man who has surrendered to the multicultural miasma that has overtaken this nation and is busily building a movement devoted to white identity and community," he is being disingenuous if not entirely mendacious. Horowitz's old enemy, the ADL, traces Taylor's thought as far back as 1983. He did not "surrender," he marched bravely into the world of white supremacy with utmost confidence, ready to lead his followers into a Blake's Jerusalem cleansed of alien people and cultures alike.

After all, anything else would be ... well, un-white.