August 27, 2014
Watcher's Council submissions
- The Noisy Room – China Conducts Provocative Aerial Buzz On American Military Aircraft
- The Independent Sentinel – They want our guns while giving submachine guns to the USDA
- Joshuapundit-Blackgammon: Eric Holder Plays the Game in Ferguson
- The Right Planet – Noose Tightening On Jihadi John
- Simply Jews – Turkey – ISIS – US – a tough love/hate triangle for State Department
- The Razor – Dawkins Advocates Abortion of Gays, Blondes and Brits
- The Glittering Eye -Not As Simple As Black and White
- Rhymes With Right – Grand Jury That Indicted Rick Perry Was Stacked With Partisan Democrats
- The Colossus of Rhodey – Dopey WNJ Letter of the Week
- VA Right! - Obama’s Foreign Policy is Libertarian Lite
- Bookworm Room – A very funny video about American blacks that highlights the horrible thing mainstream American culture has done to them
- Nice Deb – Watch Obama’s Rousing Speech That Brought Military Vets To Their Feet (Video)
- Ask Marion – Gutfeld: Evil Grew Because We Let It and Obama on the Golf Course
- GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Arab Air Forces
- MidKnight Review – Why Obama cannot win the war on terror.
- The Political Commentator – This Is What Hamas Supporters/Jew-Israel Haters Are Really Telling Us!
- The Pirate’s Cove – Charles Krauthammer: Semi-Retired President Dithers Too Much
- Seraphic Secret – How to Resolve an IslamoNazi Hostage Crisis In One Easy Lesson
And the non-Council nominations are here!
New at the Watcher's Council
Forum: What Do You Think The Grand Jury Will Decide In The Michael Brown Shooting? Why?
August 26, 2014
Only self-avowed socialist in Congress: Paying higher taxes is patriotic!
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed socialist, ripped Burger King for making the move north to Canada to get a lower tax bill.
Sanders said BK's move would be "completely unpatriotic."
Hey Bern, 'ya know what else is unpatriotic? Moron politicians like you who tax the living sh** out of us yet waste gazillions of our money on complete bullsh** year in and year out. Not to mention putting us further into debt so that our grandkids are royally f***ed.
Go pound sand, Sanders.
Subsidy Module Added Late to CGI Contract
Late in July, two Circuit Courts ruled in opposite directions with regard to the King and Halbig cases. Both cases, along with two separate lawsuits brought by the States of Oklahoma and Indiana argue that the plain language of the Affordable Care Act indicates that affordability tax credits (subsidies) are only available through state based health insurance exchanges, not the Federal exchange. Without legal authority to do so, the IRS wrote a Regulation changing the meaning of "state exchange" so that tax payer dollars would be paid out to those gaining insurance through the Federal exchange. The law itself actually defines that a State consists of the 50 US States plus DC. It does not include the Federal exchange. The Regulation that changed the law to allow for subsidies through the Federal exchange also serves to trigger the Employer Mandate.
Soon after the rulings on King and Halbig, I commented online on a Washington Post article and added a link to the now infamous Jonathan Gruber video. That comment and video evidence was discovered by the Competitive Enterprise Instituted, the organization that sponsored King and Halbig; the video has been added to all 4 cases and will probably go to the Supreme Court.
Dr. Gruber and many of his supporters responded to the video being brought to light, claiming that he spoke off the cuff and/or misspoke. He made a "speak-o." Other criticisms of the Gruber video noted that what he said was of little importance since he's not a member of Congress or even the Administration.
About 2 weeks ago I was contacted by independent journalist Scot Vorse. Although we collaborated on a few small pieces for Breitbart.com, we couldn't quite find what we were looking for. Then I was struck by lightening- again. I knew where the smoking gun was- but I couldn't find it. After mentioning this to Scot, he found it and did the heavy lifting and analysis from there.
The question I tried to resolve and was finally able to answer was: If the Federal Exchange was (or was not) intended to provide subsidies, how did the Administration act? What would they have done one way or the other that might indicate what the truth really was? I realized where the answer to that question could be found: the CGI contract to create Healthcare.gov, the Federal Exchange. I tried but couldn't find the contract on-line. But Scot found it, and it was very revealing.
The total pdf file was almost 800 pages. The file contained the original contract, some charts, plus any amendments. The original contract, at a cost of $55 million, did include some language- as required by HHS Regulations- that made note of "affordability tax credits." However, this language in the contract was informational purposes only.
After the Regulation noted above was written, an amendment to the CGI contract was added- at an additional cost of over $30 million. The amendment was only a few pages and it directed CGI to build the affordability credit payment module into the Exchange software. This module would actually execute the subsidies as part of the signup process. Again, this module was added at an huge cost and after the Reg was written. This indicates that the Administration did not build the Federal Exchange with the payment of subsidies in mind- thus, the "smoking gun."
What Scot and I were able to also tie together was that this module being added so late likely played a role in the disaster of the rollout of Healthcare.gov. Remember back late last year when the "back-end" of Healthcare.gov wasn't completed? That "back-end" was the subsidy payout module. CGI apparently couldn't get it done after it was added to the contract so late.
Here's how I see the timeline:
1. The ACA is written with the intention of forcing States to create their own exchanges. If States did not, they will be punished with loss of affordability tax credits.
2. The ACA passes and everyone is focused on the Supreme Court case about the Individual Mandate.
3. Dr. Gruber goes on a book tour and spills the beans about #1.
4. The Administration contracts with CGI believing that most if not all States will build their own exchanges. The tax subsidy execution module is not part of the contract.
5. 36 States decline to build their own exchanges. 36 states without subsidies (and the employer mandate) would threaten the law.
6. The IRS writes a Reg redefining the term "state based exchanges," thus opening up tax credits to those that get their insurance on healthcare.gov.
7. The Admin adds the subsidy module to the CGI contract.
8. CGI can't get it done and Healthcare.gov bombs at the rollout.
9. Nobody notices the subsidy issue as part of the rollout because of all the focus on the failed rollout, security and data integrity.
And here we are, once again waiting for a case to get to the Supreme Court to decide the fate of the Affordable Care Act.
Blade Runner 2 "ready to shoot"
Unfortunately, director Ridley Scott is working on this at the expense of Prometheus 2.
Why do I say "unfortunately?" Because why do we need a sequel to the classic 1982 film starring Harrison Ford?
I dunno. But we do need to see what happened to Dr. Shaw and the android David from Prometheus.
Imagine if George W. Bush did this
Your federal government will now track "false, misleading" ideas on Twitter. What could go wrong?
The federal government is spending nearly $1 million to create an online database that will track “misinformation” and hate speech on Twitter.
The National Science Foundation is financing the creation of a web service that will monitor “suspicious memes” and what it considers “false and misleading ideas,” with a major focus on political activity online.
The “Truthy” database, created by researchers at Indiana University, is designed to “detect political smears, astroturfing, misinformation, and other social pollution.”
Ricochet's Jon Gabriel: "In 2004, dissent was 'the highest form of patriotism.' A decade later, it’s called 'subversive propaganda' ...”
And how 'bout this: "Truthy" would "add a button to Twitter so that people could report their neighbors and family members ..."
Again, look at the title of this post.
What happens when you set yourself up as a paragon of virtue
As we noted yesterday, Marvel's Dan Slott -- certainly not the most mature gent on social media -- got hoisted on his own petard when he defended Marvel's use of this Spider-Woman cover by artist Milo Manara.
Best of all, Slott is getting hammered by the Left. And why not? It consistently has been he, and his cohorts in the industry, who present themselves as paragons of virtue, lecturing everyone (especially those dastardly conservatives) about racism, sexism, homophobia, and the like.
Except when their employer(s) needs to make a buck.
Here's what The Mary Sue notes about the Spider-Woman title (my emphasis):
At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, at a panel called “Women of Marvel,” the publisher announced a new ongoing Spider-Woman series. The series, part of Marvel’s “Characters and Creators” publishing initiative that “aims to speak directly to… women and girls,” joins nine other female-led series published by Marvel. According to company’s Editor-in-Chief, Axel Alonso, these superheroines “are not the big-breasted, scantily clad women that perhaps have become the comic-book cliché” but are “defined by many things—least of all their looks.”
I suppose Alonso has an "out" in that, on the cover in question, you can't tell if SW is "big-breasted" and she's certainly not "scantily clad." You could even argue against the "looks" aspect, although that'd certainly be pushing it. Having a perfectly shaped ass is part of (a girl's) "looks."
Still, it'd be amusing to see Alonso make the above "case," wouldn't it? Couldn't be any worse than Slott's meandering over the matter of this cover. But to the point: How freakin' hypocritical is it for Marvel to state what it did about Spider-Woman ... and then hire a dude like Manara who's known for drawing (overly) seductive poses like that on the cover? And then hypocrites like Slott and Tom Brevoort exercise verbal gymnastics in every way imaginable to justify it?
Nevertheless, Slott isn't giving up -- with being a SJW (Social Justice Warrior), that is. Here he is from yesterday:
Sorry. There is no "reverse sexism." We live in sexist world that's tipped in my favor. "Reverse sexism" only works if we ARE at equality.— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) August 25, 2014
In the back and forth in that thread, race is brought up, too. In SlottWorld, making sweeping generalizations about men ("all men are rapists!") -- and white people (Leonard Jeffries, anyone?) -- are permissible, because the "playing field" is not yet equal.
Whatever. There's so much ridiculous inconsistency in Slott's Twitter feed commentary as to defy description. No freakin' wonder the guy is such an Obamanaut.
August 25, 2014
Let's check in with the moonbat comics creators!
It's been a while, and I see there was a recent "controversy" over a variant Spider-Woman cover, so let's get right to it ...
... the cover in question can be seen here, and was asked for by Marvel. Now, for the NON fun-extinguishers among us (i.e. the non-politically correct), this cover is no big deal. But for the 'bat creators this should be -- after all, how in the hell can Marvel commission such a flagrantly sexist and objectifying piece of art?
Dan Slott, who has no shortage of the "right" beliefs, amazingly defends the cover, calling the matter a "false controversy." And that's just for starters. Be sure to check out his Twitter feed, if you can stomach the hilarious hypocrisy.
Then there's our 'ol pal Ron Marz, who's miffed -- MIFFED, I tell you -- about some of the "abject and unapologetic racism" seen in Ferguson, MO. Of course, by that we know he means only white racism, but that aside, Marz is "concerned" about that, yet mocks comics blogger Avi Green thusly:
Listening to Roger Waters again. It's enough to drive that nutty blogger guy who follows me crazy ... if he wasn't already crazy.— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) August 22, 2014
Not only has Avi brought up what a raving hypocrite Marz is for continuing to back a raging anti-Semite like (Pink Floyd's) Waters, yours truly has, too. Ya'd think that someone concerned with racism, bigotry, sexism, etc. 24-7 (like Marz) would take a stand ... shun Waters for his Jew hatred. But, nah -- the music's good! Funny how that didn't matter with regards to Orson Scott Card and Ender's Game, eh?
In addition, as Avi notes, unlike Dan Slott, Marz is upset at the Spider-Woman cover:
Nobody cares about your explanations or justifications. Own that you did something stupid, say you're very sorry, and then SHUT UP.— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) August 21, 2014
Except that ... "If only he'd admit he went overboard with Green Lantern's fridge scene ..."
Lastly, there's good 'ol Mark Waid, who back on the 19th tweeted the following (see if you can spot the irony):
"Non-hyperbolic," yet ... "hands-in-the-air," "in the back" ... Uh huh.
And so it goes ...
The DOJ didn't ask the WaPo not to do a story on Officer Wilson?
Heck, no. In fact, the paper sent nine reporters to dig into the officer who shot Michael Brown's past:
The family later moved to the suburban Missouri town of St. Peters, where Wilson's mother again got divorced ( translation: broken family = unstable individual) and married a man named Dan Durso, records indicate.
Wilson attended St. Charles West High School, in a predominantly white, middle-class community(translation: he doesn't know how to deal with black people) west of the Missouri River. He played junior varsity hockey for the West Warriors but wasn't a standout (translation: not being a standout as a teen made him overzealous as a cop).
There were problems at home (see above re: divorce). In 2001, when Wilson was a freshman in high school, his mother pleaded guilty to forgery and stealing (translation: this somehow rubbed off on Darren. Somehow.) She was sentenced to five years in prison, although records suggest the court agreed to let her serve her sentence on probation (translation: did Wilson somehow have police "connections" even then) .
Remember what a no-no it was to release that surveillance video showing Brown robbing that convenience store?
And, as Ace of Spades notes, in the WaPo article "at no point is any mention made of Michael Brown's family nor how it may have lead to his criminal behavior."
Unless you're a real believer in the mainstream media, this should surprise you not at all.
August 24, 2014
Obama sent several representatives to slain Ferguson, MO teen Michael Brown's funeral, but passed on sending anyone to the funeral of the highest ranking serviceman -- Major General Harold Greene, a 2-star general -- killed abroad since the Vietnam War.
August 23, 2014
Dopey WNJ Letter of the Week
It's actually a "Delaware Voice" column by retired poli sci professor Perry J. Mitchell. Despite making some legitimate points -- community policing, militarization of police -- most of Mitchell's column is essentially liberal media boilerplate:
The crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, brings into focus our latent problems of race relations in this country. The police in Ferguson see their citizens through a lens of distortion, perhaps racial bias.
Ferguson is a majority black city but governed by all white city council and almost all white police force. Their police see their citizens as likely criminals, see their citizen protest as riots and see law enforcement as a tool for racial profiling. This is not to say that the initial protests did not bring some looting and some unlawful conduct.
That's quite a jump there, prof. How exactly do you make the claim that Ferguson's police force see its citizens as "likely criminals?" That their job is to "racially profile?" That they cannot discern between a peaceful protest and a riot? Did you grow up there, prof? Live there at all?
Do the (black) residents of Ferguson see the police "through a lens of distortion, perhaps racial bias," too?
Moreover, we've heard a lot recently about how Ferguson, a majority black city, is governed by an all-white city council. (It's not all white, but let's not disturb the NarrativeTM too much.) But ... the council is elected. Again: It's elected. If blacks are a clear majority of the town, then here's what should be obvious: Why don't they elect black council members? Prof Mitchell blames this lack of interest/participation on the general economic disparities between whites and blacks. Hmm.
The racial imbalance in Ferguson has been reflected in other police departments across the country. In 40 percent of American cities, blacks are under-represented in the police force according to census data.
There are racial imbalances in every profession, every walk of life, for the most part. This doesn't mean that professions like police work should not make outreaches and work to recruit more minorities. It's quite logical for such jobs to have a sizable quantity of people "who look like" those in their community. But as the mayor of Ferguson has noted, new cops aren't hired every year, and his force has worked to increase the number of black officers. In addition (and this is often the case in the field of education), it's difficult to attract qualified (black) applicants as "other larger departments are better at recruitment because they can pay more and offer more opportunities for advancement."
There are other, important, factors about the Ferguson (and other) situation(s) that Mitchell felt no need to address. That's certainly his prerogative, but it doesn't really help in advancing those "real conversations" about race relations that we're told we need to have.
(Oh, and prof? Do yourself a favor and ditch the toup, huh?)
August 22, 2014
Moonbat of the Week
Keli Goff, a columnist for The Root, a black-oriented news site, wrote earlier this week that “Before Putting Judges on the Bench, Make Them Prove They Have a Diverse Set of Friends.”
That's right -- what used to be a "progressive" snarky remark ("I bet you also have some black friends!") to someone defending themselves from (usually baseless) accusations of racism should now be used to determine judicial fitness.
“So instead of trying to decode what someone meant when she made a comment about a particular civil rights case, perhaps we should ask more pointed questions, like, ‘How many people of color do you know and know well; how do you know them; and, perhaps most important, are your opinions of them generally positive or negative?’”
Goff based her comments on a study which showed that judges with daughters tended to rule in a "feminist direction" (whatever that precisely means). But it doesn't say that these judges were asked about gender-related matters, let alone appointed based on their responses.
Bergdahl prisoner swap broke law
In news that should surprise no one outside of the Boss Obama True Believers, news today says that President Lemon broke the law with regards to the prisoner deal for the Army's Bowe Bergdahl:
Officials neglected to give Congress a 30-day notification and illegally switched money from one account to another to conduct the swap, the Government Accountability Office said.
Mr. Obama defended the exchange as legal use of his powers as commander in chief and said he had to withhold information from Congress to preserve secrecy in delicate negotiations with the Taliban.
The GAO said the Defense Department did not break any law when it determined these five Taliban were no longer threats to the U.S. Rather, the violations were Defense officials’ failure to tell Congress ahead of time about the transfer and the $988,400 expenditure to conduct the operation.
Rear Adm. John Kirby said the Boss Obama's lawyers and the Justice Dept. said the deal was "a lawful exercise of presidential powers delegated to him as commander in chief under Article 2 of the Constitution."
The Justice Department? Of course it did!
Watcher's Council winners
- *First place with 3 2/3 votes! – The Right Planet – #Ferguson: Facts Don’t Matter Anymore
- Second place with 3 votes –The Noisy Room – Communists and the New Black Panthers Gin Up Violence and Racial Conflict in Ferguson
- Third place with 2 2/3 vote – Bookworm Room – Israel’s friends need to keep a very close eye on Obama in the coming days
- Fourth place with 1 vote –VA Right! - Obama, Holder, Sharpton and Jackson fan the flames in Ferguson
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote –Joshuapundit-Hamas Breaks Ceasefire -Missiles Fired At Tel Aviv , Aimed At Airport
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote –The Razor – The Danger to Civil Society Posed by Militarized Police
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote –Rhymes With Right – Rick Perry Indicted For Vetoing Tax Dollars For Office Of Dangerous
Drugged AndDrunk Driving DA.
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Simply Jews – Andrew Sullivan / Sam Harris debate: making sense of thereof
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote –The Colossus of Rhodey – The Limits of Academic Freedom
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote –The Independent Sentinel – Obama’s plan to not assimilate new immigrants
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote –Nice Deb – Lt Col Ralph Peters On ISIS: ‘We’re Dealing With a Death Cult’ (Video)
The non-Council winner was Kurt Schlichter with The GOP Needs to Return to a “Feared By Our Enemies” Foreign Policy
Full results are here.
I have a new plan!
We should offer them $5301 to attack Hamas/ISIS/PLO
They would either, take the new bounty and help destroy our enemies or complain the Americans pay more and force a price war with them against us. We can continue to up the bidding until suicide bombing becomes too expensive to continue.
August 20, 2014
More NarrativeTM fail?
From Reason: Ferguson Cop Who Killed Michael Brown Was "Beaten Very Severely" Before Shooting.
Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Mo., police officer whose fatal shooting of Michael Brown touched off more than a week of demonstrations, suffered severe facial injuries, including an orbital (eye socket) fracture, and was nearly beaten unconscious by Brown moments before firing his gun, a source close to the department's top brass told FoxNews.com.
“The Assistant (Police) Chief took him to the hospital, his face all swollen on one side,” said the insider. “He was beaten very severely.”
Reason, which has been critical of the police response in the aftermath of Brown's death, wonders why authorities waited so long to reveal this information.
The only source we've seen with this new info -- up until today -- was Gateway Pundit, which, as Reason notes in their article, relies on a single source for this claim about Wilson.
Watcher's Council submissions
- The Noisy Room – Communists and the New Black Panthers Gin Up Violence and Racial Conflict in Ferguson
- The Independent Sentinel – Obama’s plan to not assimilate new immigrants
- Simply Jews – Andrew Sullivan / Sam Harris debate: making sense of thereof
- The Right Planet – #Ferguson: Facts Don’t Matter Anymore
- Joshuapundit-Hamas Breaks Ceasefire -Missiles Fired At Tel Aviv , Aimed At Airport
- GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Obama’s Jay Vee Team
- VA Right! - Obama, Holder, Sharpton and Jackson fan the flames in Ferguson
- The Colossus of Rhodey – The Limits of Academic Freedom
- Bookworm Room – Israel’s friends need to keep a very close eye on Obama in the coming days
- Nice Deb – Lt Col Ralph Peters On ISIS: ‘We’re Dealing With a Death Cult’ (Video)
- The Glittering Eye -The States
- Rhymes With Right – Rick Perry Indicted For Vetoing Tax Dollars For Office Of Dangerous
Drugged AndDrunk Driving DA.
- The Razor – The Danger to Civil Society Posed by Militarized Police
- Ask Marion – Power, Control and Money Verses Patriotism, Freedom and God Is the Choice of 2014 and 2016
- Blazing Cat Fur – The Michael Brown “Narrative” Goes To Hell At Light Speed!
- Gates Of Vienna – The Final Death of Western Civilization
- The Political Commentator – Is Hillary Clinton really a woman of the people?
And the non-Council submissions are here!
August 19, 2014
The Limits of Academic Freedom
Jonathan Adler at The Volokh Conspiracy discusses the case of Steven Salaita, the former Virginia Tech professor who had been offered a gig at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign.
Salaita's U. of Illinois job offer was abruptly rescinded after he had made a series of hateful tweets about Israel and defenders of that country. (The College Fix has numerous articles about the situation.) Immediately, many spoke out in favor of Salaita's right to free expression -- his "academic freedom," if you will. The support comes from both sides of the political spectrum, but has been most vociferous on the left.
Some of the pro-Salaita free speech arguments are persuasive (like FIRE's Adam Kissel's), but I find myself more in Adler's corner. He writes:
I largely share [Northwestern University law Professor Steven] Lubet’s views. His point about the disingenuous (or uninformed) characterization of the tweets in question is particularly well taken. As he notes, when defending Nazi marchers in Skokie, Ill., “the ACLU never soft-pedaled the Nazis as merely passionate critics of international banking.” I agree with Lubet that an academic should not be fired or denied a job offer, because of his or her political views, but I also question whether someone with Salaita’s record of hateful and offensive rhetoric is capable of being an effective academic and educator.
That last line really sticks with me. Trained in my last college undergrad years as a social studies educator, my (high school placement) cooperating teacher (amazingly, a conservative) was adamant about never allowing his personal opinions to leak into class discussions. He even outright refused to offer them when directly asked about them by students, in and out of class.
And these were mere opinions. We're not even talking about outrageous/vulgar/profane remarks in public forums.
Imagine if you were a Jewish student in one of Salaita's classes. What if his class was a requirement for your major? You think you'd get a fair shake knowing he knew you were Jewish? Or even worse, Israeli?
Which brings me to another aspect of this situation which really gets me: the brazen hypocrisy of "progressive" (I usually use quotes with the term because all-too often contemporary progressives are anything but) academics. They're often right on the front lines in the effort to abolish speech they do not like ... often dubbing it "hate speech." Speeches against affirmative action are "racist" (or, at least "racially insensitive"), people against abortion are "anti-women," and those in favor of traditional marriage are "homophobic," are a few examples.
Yet, Salaita's vulgar anti-Jewish/Israel tweets were instantly defended by "progressives." "Academic freedom," you see.
If Salaita's remarks are to be inviolate due to academic freedom, would Salaita's defenders say the same regarding a white supremacist professor? How many of you reading this believe they would?
There's a substantial difference between having a political opinion ... and gross inappropriateness. Salaita's feelings about Israel and Jews could have been offered in a much more seemly manner; indeed they should have been, given his position.
This being said, I admit this is a difficult arena in which to tread. Too broad a brush should not be used in making judgments; each instance, including that involving Professor Salaita, needs to be considered individually and carefully.
(Cross-posted at The College Fix)
The "J.V. squad" beheads an American journalist
Hey true believers -- regret that 2012 vote yet? No, I know 'ya don't. Dogmatists rarely, if ever, feel that emotion.
ISIS has beheaded journalist James Wright Foley. The Daily Caller has the linked vid of the butchery, so go forward at your own risk.
Remember, Boss Obama referred to these barbarians as the terrorist "JV team." They now hold a substantial portion of Iraq, and President Lemon had to be dragged kicking and screaming from the golf course to begin dropping a few bombs on 'em.
Fellow journalist Steven Joel Soltoff reportedly will be ISIS's next victim.
Someone tell Barack that when he makes the turn.
August 18, 2014
Philosophy from Ace
The media is writing their reports like Children's Stories because they conceive of their audience as essentially children, whom you must protect from jarring facts which might teach "the wrong lessons."
The Planet That Went Ape
With apologies to Mad magazine (the title above was originally theirs in their early 1970s satirical look at the classic Planet of the Apes films), a recent Facebook conversation with some friends made me look back on the delightful cheese that was the original Apes franchise. Timely, in a way, since the latest reboot film is doing pretty well at the box office.
THE ORIGINAL. At least the recent reboot makes a reasonable attempt to explain how apes got so damn smart. Could apes really just naturally evolve human-like inteligence in a tad over 2,000 years? C'mahn.
Wikipedia notes that Taylor (Chuck Heston) and company's ship was on a "long near-light speed voyage, during which, due to time dilation, the crew ages only 18 months." Aside from the amazing fact that such a vessel was constructed in the late 1960s(!), ya'd think, with such amazingly advanced technology that there'd be a computer on board which would have noted the course the ship had traversed over two millennia. I mean, really? Taylor and crew had no idea they were back on Earth?
I can buy that New York wasn't totally obliterated in the nuclear holocaust; the Russkies largely relied on bombers for their nukes in the 60s, and their missiles weren't very accurate. Hence, don't shake your head at the iconic final scene with Taylor and Nova at the Statue of Liberty.
BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES. Somehow the same interstellar mishap happens twice!! This time, James Franciscus has to deal not only with the intelligent, human-hating apes, but mutated humans with powerful mental abilities.
Riddle me this: If these humans have such mental powers, what the hell happened to their smarts? Worshiping a nuclear bomb? Making masks for their radiation scarred selves?
Biggest "C'MAHN!" of the film: The fact that the doomsday bomb had a cobalt jacket doesn't mean it has the destructive power to crack the Earth into a million pieces. Because of Beneath, for the longest time this is what I thought a "cobalt bomb" could do . Wrong. A cobalt jacketed device "merely" means that its radiation becomes incredibly deadly -- it has a very long half-life. In nuclear war vernacular, it's sometimes dubbed "salting the Earth" because radioactive cobalt will kill everything it can reach, and will continue to do so for loooooong time.
ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES. Let's just start and end with this: How the f*** do Zira, Cornelius and their pal dredge up Taylor's original spaceship, repair it, figure out how it works ... let alone fuel it and launch it into space?? And follow Taylor's course perfectly in reverse??
But hey -- it makes the case for the "circular" timeline used in the Apes film franchise. However head-scratching it may be.
CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. Yeah, humans turned to apes when a mysterious "space virus" came down and killed off dogs and cats. Just in time for smart ape Caesar (the offspring of Zira and Cornelius from Escape) to lead 'em in revolt. Very convenient.
BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES. Either this flick is pointless because we already know the ultimate outcome (especially due to a scene at the very end), or it means that the supposed "circular" timeline is anything but.
Anyone recall the (admittedly silly) ending scene where the statue of Caesar begins crying? This is after a line by the "Lawgiver" ape says "Who knows about the future? Perhaps only the dead." This to me says "Apes defeat humans, Earth blows up, this movie was pointless."
This is certainly reassuring
Malik Zulu Shabazz, former chairman of the New Black Panther Party and the president of Black Lawyers for Justice, "informed" (Missouri) Highway Patrol captain Ron Johnson that "his groups, along with the Nation of Islam, are controlling the situation in the embattled city."
Everybody can relax now. (/sarcasm)
There's also been some audio evidence pop up of late which contradicts the "[Brown] was running away"/"He had his hands up" narrative. YouTube has numerous vids and transcriptions of what this witness said.
None of this, however, automatically vindicates cop Darren Wilson. What it does is further eviscerate the mainstream media. Just imagine if this was 1990 and there was no Internet, no Fox News, and very little talk radio.
As we noted here and here, Texas Governor Rick Perry was indicted for "abuse of power" because -- wait for it! -- he had the audacity to demand the resignation of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg after her arrest for drunk driving. Check it:
In April 2013, Lehmberg was arrested after a witness called 911, describing her as driving erratically, swerving back and forth into the bike lane, and into oncoming traffic. Officers at the scene reportedly found an open bottle of vodka in her car, and a blood sample obtained later that evening purportedly showed a blood alcohol level of 0.239—almost three times the legal limit—even that many hours later.
If you already haven't seen it, be sure to view this video of Lehmberg's police booking.
But to the point regarding this insane lawsuit against Perry, here's Insty's Glenn Reynolds:
If the GOP doesn’t like it, it needs to ruin lives and careers just like the Democrats do. If it’s not willing to do that, then it can expect more of the same. The GOP would do better to respond like Dems, going after the attackers mercilessly and standing shoulder-to-shoulder regardless of the issue.
However, Professor Jacobson notes that the Dems may have overreached in this instance, as the indictment is "uniting unlikely allies" against Lehmberg and co.
One of these is Boss Obama strategist David Axelrod.
New at the Watcher's Council
Forum: What Is Your Reaction To Recent Events In Ferguson, Missouri?
I've been quite busy (hence the lack of posts here over the weekend), but Felix added his thoughts on the matter a few days ago, with some updates provided by yours truly.
August 15, 2014
Hey, isn't it interesting ...
... that three of the major possible GOP presidential contenders -- Christie, Walker and now Perry -- have been the targets of prosecutors?
Texas Governor Rick Perry gets indicted ("abuse of power") for vetoing some appropriations -- the veto being a specifically enumerated power for his office -- but Boss Obama and his acolytes in the media mockingly scoffed at a mere lawsuit that sought redress for his real abuses of power.
Watcher's Council winners
- *First place with 3 2/3 votes!-The Morality Of of Israel’s killing Palestinian civilians
- Second place with 3 1/3 votes –The Noisy Room – ISIS Sweeps The Middle East In A Method Reminiscent of Genghis Khan
- Third place with 1 2/3 votes – The Razor – Bandaging a Finger in New Jersey Shows Rot at Heart of US Healthcare
- Fourth place with 1 1/3 vote – Joshuapundit-Obama: “What’s Happening In Iraq Isn’t My Fault !”
- Fifth place with 1 vote – Rhymes With Right – Dictator-In-Chief Plans To Impose Taxes Without Congressional Approval
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote –Simply Jews – Is the market price of Hudna going down?
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote –The Independent Sentinel – Obama’s Speak-O on Status of Forces Agreement in Iraq
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote –Nice Deb – A Weak Horse Will Not Defeat ISIS
- Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote – Ask Marion – Robin Williams… Humble Hero and Comic Virtuoso Dead at 63
- Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote –The Right Planet – ISIS Was Too Brutal for Osama Bin Laden, Letter Reveals?
- Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote – GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Kurdistan
The non-Council winner was Mark Steyn with You Want Nazis?
Full results are here.
Here we go again
There's been another shooting of an unarmed black teenager, and what played out last summer is sort of repeating itself. To wit:
- There are discrepancies of what actually happened
- The victim's side says Michael Brown -- the suspect who was shot dead in Ferguson, MO -- did nothing wrong; the police claim otherwise
- The media, and popular culture in general, are reviving the meme that this is yet another example of the "epidemic" of police brutality against black Americans
- There are calls, again, for "honest discussions" about race in America
- But, in these "honest discussions," just don't dare to raise the issue of wildly disproportionate black crime rates
- Black American leaders and others are making the claim that black lives "aren't valued" as highly as white lives
- But, again, don't dare bring up the "not valuing" of black lives with regards to the black-on-black violence which permeates (mostly) urban areas
- Progressives are missing the point that the militarization of police forces is big government in action
Today the name of the cop involved in the shooting was revealed: Darren Wilson. His race, at this point, still remains a mystery, however. Also revealed was the situation which led to the confrontation between Wilson and Brown: It seems Brown was a suspect in a robbery.
Here is the Missouri statute pertaining to the use of deadly force to effect a felony arrest. Based on the police's initial statements, these (at least one, certainly) appear to apply to this case.
To be sure, the Ferguson police didn't do themselves a lot of favors with the delay in issuing Wilson's name and the account of the incident (which, I understand, still isn't 100% complete). Nor was, as noted above, the overly "military" nature of the post-shooting response to protests.
But also not doing anyone favors are responses like that of WDEL's Al Mascitti who today went on a rant about "white people" (especially Tea Party types, of course) being the only ones who support police in this case, and even made a comparison of the "hopelessness" of black communities across the country to that of ... Palestinians in Gaza. (He even said that people "know" Hamas rockets launched into Israel "don't hurt anyone," but they provoke an unreasonable response.)
The details will keep coming out, and the inter-political philosophy squabble of various viewpoints about the incident will make for interesting discussion.
But there's certainly one thing you can count on: The mainstream media has its NarrativeTM, and it will stick to it ... no matter the facts.
UPDATE (by Hube): The latest reports indicate that Wilson was unaware of Brown's robbery activity when he stopped him. Brown and a friend were stopped for walking in the middle of the street and blocking traffic.
UPDATE 2 (by Hube): This site notes that, although Wilson stopped Brown and friend for walking in the street, once he saw cigars in Brown's hand he thought he might be the robbery suspect.