The difference between Ukraine and Appalachia

The New York Times.

My friends on 43rd Street carry on in my grand tradition of viewing the rural poor as the pitiful trash they are.

 Midnight dumping of unwanted dogs is common here on the southern tail of the Appalachian Mountains, where large numbers of poor people are attached to multiple pets but cannot afford to sterilize or vaccinate them, and where impoverished county governments do not maintain animal shelters, require licensing or enforce requirements for rabies shots.

The combination of pets and poverty, veterinary experts say, brings similar results to many rural areas: unhealthy conditions for oversized animal populations, desperate efforts by often-overwhelmed individuals to help and a lurking threat to human health.

As I once wrote about the Ukrainian “underclass” (as we must now call our scum), these are not humans in a way that we at the Times understand. In fact, I think perhaps the Ukrainians were superior to these quaint mountain folk. In my day, an extra dog wouldn’t have lasted past lunchtime! These people don’t need fewer “pets.” They just need bigger pots.

Posted 30.06.2007 by Pultizer Prize-winning New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty
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How to fill a page with nothing

The New York Times.

The editors of The New York Times know news when they see it — and apparently, readers agree! Here’s a brief excerpt from today’s most popular article:

Alison Cochrane, 30, who teaches English as a second language in Flushing, Queens, has a boyfriend and a coterie of friends on whom to lean. Nevertheless she calls her mother, Denise Martinez, 54, at least four times a day.

This continues for two columns. I used to do this when the choice was writing about nothing or writing about politically incorrect topics that could only be embarrassing to me and my friends. I remember I once wrote more than 5,000 words about tractor production under Stalin, since the only other story that day had something to do with poor people being hungry. As if that’s news.

Posted 29.06.2007 by Pultizer Prize-winning New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty
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Targeted pandering

The Wall Street Journal.

My friends at the Journal justifiably are worried that the Republicans might become a minority party again. Why? It seems the GOP base has an unnatural obsession with petty immigration laws:

We’ve written often about the merits of immigration reform, and we have our own problems with parts of the Senate bill. But it’s worth spending some time on the larger politics of the issue, especially for Republicans. They’re caught between a passionate minority of their party–who oppose any reform that allows illegals a path to citizenship–and the larger electorate, which is more moderate and wants to solve the problem. Like Democrats on national security, this is a classic case in which pandering to the base will harm the GOP overall…The longer term danger is that the GOP is sending a message to Latinos that it doesn’t want them in the party. And if that message sticks, Republicans could put themselves back in minority party status for a generation or more.

The Journal‘s right. Why pander to the base, who are all people so stupid and intolerant of illegal immigrants that they vote for Republicans, when you could be pandering to “illegals” on the path to citizenship? If they just had those Hispanic votes, the GOP could remain in power forever, even without the support of the base. (And technically speaking–especially in Spanish–it’s not pandering at all, since there is no word in Spanish for “pandering.” Who needs one? My friend Hugo seems to get along fine without pandering to the poor.)

Just think: An electorate the size of Latin America! That’s what the Journal means by “larger politics.” My question: Doesn’t anybody in the GOP even think anymore? The Republicans are lucky to have the brainpower of the Journal‘s editorial team at their disposal. Otherwise, they’d all be dumb as Bork. That Paul Gigot — why he’s so smart, he’s on Fox.

Incidentally, where I am nobody needs a visa and there’s plenty of jobs for everyone. It was the same in Joe Stalin’s Russia. So it does work.

Posted 28.06.2007 by Pultizer Prize-winning New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty
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