Thursday, December 13, 2007

Blog Watch: Lawyers, Guns and Money

I thought this might be a good time to add a new post to my "Blog Watch" series. I noted at the start of the series that I was particularly interested in hammering hard-left bloggers and their nihilist ideologies.

Well it turns out that "d" over at
Lawyers, Guns and Money (LGM) is the focus of today's dissection.

I don't read LGM, but I'm moved to write following the little dust-up I've had this week over LGM's attack post, "So Many Anecdotes." The author, "d", had a little fun with my entry on Republicans in academe.

I'm not dwelling on that debate, although the fairly vicious comments in both posts -
here and here - are showcases in left-wing adolescence and intolerance. (But note Kreiz's response in the comments at PoliGazette: "It’s a bit like getting gang-mugged in an alley. Ah, a place where ridicule substitutes for reason.")

No, I thought I'd just have a little fun returning fire a bit.

It turns out that "d" over at LGM is really David Noon, an assistant professor of history at
the University of Alaska Southeast.

Unless Noon's tardy in updating his curriculum vitae (available at the previous link), the man's untenured, which explains why he didn't pile on his posse's attacks on my academic credentials. Noon's crew got off on the "instructor" versus "associate professor" distinction in their argumentum ad hominem jubiliee, and for nothing really. My department's outdated webpage lists me as an "instructor," although I was promoted to "associate professor" a few years back.
A quick check in my college catalog shows the current listing of full-time faculty and their professional titles (human resources bestows the title of associate professor to Ph.D. recipients after the completion of a four-year probationay period). LGM's mob was too busy foaming to find accurate information to sustain their folly.

In any case, back to Noon: This guy's perfect for a Blog Watch entry! Here's his biographic details, as listed at his department's homepage:

David Noon has taught U.S. history on the UAS Juneau campus since Fall, 2002. His dissertation, “This is (Not) a Child: Race, Gender, and ‘Development’ in the Child Sciences, 1880-1910,” displays the full range of Dr. Noon's research interests in history, which include developmental psychology, criminology, medicine, and the social construction of race and gender. More recently, Dr. Noon has written about the use of World War analogies in contemporary political rhetoric, cold war historical memory in the fiction of Don DeLillo, and the work of neoconservatives and Christian prophecy writers in the war on terrorism.
There you have it: Race and gender! That's a pretty good clue to this man's ideological orientation! I especially love the "social construction" part - code words for postmodern, radical multicultural blather. This guy's in the thick of the nation's campus culture wars. You've got to love it!

Not only that: He's written on "the work of neoconservative the war on terrorism!" Aghast! No wonder I've been targeted! I'm part of that
evil Bush/Cheney cabal now turning the country into a fascist dictatorship!

Here's a good example of his schtick: In his post today Noon riffs on some dissertation research performing a comparative analysis of the post-Civil War economic status of Cherokee freedmen and emancipated black slaves of the former Confederacy (
some of this research is available in pdf).

I have not read any of this work, and my satire is not directed at the author, Melinda Miller. I did however get a kick out of
Noon's blurb at the post. Commenting on how many Cherokee did better than blacks following the Civil War, Noon wonders if stable patterns of land ownership and cultivation could have taken place thoughout the South:

I don't think it could have been. There's no question that any morally just outcome to the Civil War would have included massive agrarian reform, including the total liquidation of the plantation economy and the redistribution of the region's land without regard to race or previous condition of servitude. The Southern Homestead Act of 1866 made some effort in this direction and - had it been applied to more than five states, and had it actually hacked apart the viable plantations lands that were largely restored to their previous owners - it might have worked some of the effects that Miller finds among the Cherokee.
Notice the language: "massive agrarian reform" and "redistribution of the region's land without regard to race or previous condition of servitude." This is the historicism of class analysis (I'm reminded of Eugene Genovese's Marxist analysis of the post-bellum South, see here and here).

I returned fire in the comments, poking fun at Noon with an attack on the cult of racial victimology his genre represents:

Now that sounds sophisticated! Whoo! I'm impressed, boy!....

Tsk, tsk...

Man, those faces really are at the bottom of the well! I thought all men were created equal!

Good thing Miller’s paper’s in pdf! I got to get caught up on my reading! Hey, where’s my copy of C. Vann Woodward? It’s around here somewhere. Oh yeah, it’s right over there with Eric Foner. Shoot, I thought I was losing my mind there!

I’ve got the light of freedom! The fire next time!
My words are playing off the titles of canonical works in the black politics literature, especially Derrick Bell's, Faces at the Bottom of the Well (a founder of "critical race theory"), C. Vann Woodward's, The Strange Career of Jim Crow, and Eric Foner's, Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877.

I'm also playing with the titles of Charles Payne's, I've Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississipi Freedom Struggle, and, of course, James Baldwin's, The Fire Next Time.

These are important works - especially Woodward, Payne, and Baldwin - and I don't begrudge them in any sense (or at least only to the point that they constitute components of revolutionary pedogogy).

My game here is to return the ridicule, just poking into the hornet's nest over at LGM. Last I checked, it looked like Noon had had enough and was throwing in the towel. Here's my last follow-up drive-by:
"d": What's the matter, buttercup? You're giving me the cold shoulder?

Boo hoo! I think I'm gonna cry...I better cuddle-up with my secretly-coded black slave quilt hand-me-down!

Speaking of curriculum vitae: You're an assistant professor? That's rough, the old publish or perish thing, right? Got to keep on pumping out those manuscripts, I guess.

Hey, I've got an idea for a paper: "The Erotic Adventures of the McKingford Trio in the Donald Douglas Exsanguination Affair."

How’s that? You do have some of your underlings responding for you. I saw old Matt Weiner playing tough-guy second-fiddle in that last thread: Clinton supported affirmative action? Yes, dismally, I might add. His whole race initiative was panned – no legacy, you know - but you never did specify the dependent variable at the post, leaving your bracketed presidential records waiting for some filler.

I’ve got to hand it to you though: You haven’t gone to comment moderation! You don’t want to ban me, naturally. You’d look like a loser: If my ISP gets the delete, then my victory’s complete!...

Toodle-oo, big boy. I’ll head back on over to my place now. Come on out to play when you finish that Yoohoo.
The "erotic adventures" line is a take on one of Noon's articles, listed on his resume,
"The Erotic Adventures of Stacy Koon in the ‘Rodney King Affair’"; McKingford's one of the commenters in LGM's attack posse (who, spinelessly of course, comments pseudonymously, with no back link).

If anyone's really interested, read the full comments at the LGM threads,
here and here.

Let me close with one more example of Noon's blogging. Check out this passage, from
Noon's post on this year's anniversary of the September 11 attacks:
Six years ago today, four airplanes - hijacked by a small army of freedom-hating suiciders, lesbians, civil libertarians, Islamofascists (and their appeasers), stem-cell researchers, Francophiles, historical revisionists and unelected judges - descended through the gaping national security hole pried open by Bill Clinton's eight years of distracted, fellated rule. While The Decider thumbed through a children's book about goats - demonstrating how quickly ordinary life must resume if the terrorists are to be deprived of victory - Hugo Chavez, Dan Rather, Michael Schiavo, Kofi Annan, George Soros, the Dixie Chicks and Michael Moore each pondered how they might declare their hatred of America and freedom and frozen embryos.

At an undisclosed location somewhere in the United States, Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, and Stephen Cambone raised their heads from the goats they were hungrily exsanguinating. Wiping their glistening lips, they nodded silently to each other and loped away. America's corporate press corps, in an unprecedented gesture of patriotism, expressed their near-unanimous devotion to the cause of liberty by agreeing to suspend their disbelief for the next several years. In a Paris hospital, the first case of Bush Derangement Syndrome was diagnosed by a team of researchers who nevertheless failed to properly quarantine the patient and incinerate the corpse. Tony Blair, selflessly drizzling lighter fluid over his historical legacy, quickly assembled a care package filled with massage oils, scented candles, and a large, monogrammed dog collar. Hoping the American President would not find his gift too suggestive, the Prime Minister threw caution to the wind. "See you in Baghdad," he scrawled quickly on the outside of the package before giddily stuffing it in the nearest post box.
There's more, if anyone's got the stomach for the rest.

I had to look up "exsanguinate," which
according to, means "to drain of blood." Thus, the Bush/Cheney cabal I mentioned earlier (here seen as the rogue's gallery of Libby, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith, and Cambone), are portrayed as draining the vital liquid of goats, or metaphorically, the people.

This is what comes from that radical, class-analysis historical frame I mentioned, and franky I find it sickening.

In a post yesterday, I cited Dr. Sanity's discussion of how Bush-bashers have responded to the National Intelligence estimate on Iran, "Sympathy for the Devil." I think this passage helps explain Noon's propensity for exsanguinating metaphors:

The delusional abyss wherein this kind of leftist logic simmers and marinates is the part of the leftist mind that simply is unable to cope with a dangerous and frightening reality. In that dark void of the mind, BUSH=HITLER, BUSH IS WORSE THAN BIN LADEN; BUSH IS THE WORLD'S WORSE TERRORIST, AMERICA IS HUMANITY'S #1 ENEMY etc. etc. etc. because it is just too scary to contemplate the real danger that faces civilization. The logic that proceeds from the delusional premises, however, is impeccable: get rid of Bush/Cheney/America and the danger will vanish in a puff of magical smoke!

In psychiatry this phenomenon is called psychological displacement and you can read more about it
here, here, and here.

Like deer paralyzed with fear in the headlights of an oncoming train, people exhibiting this particular form of psychological denial are immobilized and frozen, focusing on trivialities and blithely unconcerned about the lethal danger that is speeding toward them. But they feel completely safe --for the moment anyway.
If you go back and check the comments over at LGM, one of the visitors, "aimai," has attacked me as "nuts":

He'd better hope his supervisors and students don't google his name and find out what he's been posting on the internet. No one wants to work with someone who seems to be losing his mind.
Noon's obviously flummoxed in his retreat, and now his commenters have picked up his sword. But in my opinion - and in all seriousness - in both the original writing and in the comments the real crazies are to be found among the anti-American multiculturalists at Lawyers, Guns and Money.

See also the previous entries from Blog Watch:
The Blue Voice, Firedoglake, Glenn Greenwald, and Digby's Hullabaloo.