June 17, 2013
Life in the era of no responsibility
Jesse Daniels, 53, is accused of endangering the welfare of children for the actions he took after catching four boys in the act of vandalizing his father-in-law’s home over the weekend. With extensive damage done to the inside of the house, Daniels and his wife called 911 — and he went inside of the residence to confront the boys.
But that’s not all: Daniels put the kids inside of a closet while he waited for authorities to arrive. It was this latter action that created an even bigger legal conundrum.
Two days after this debacle, the police went back to Daniels’ home and arrested him. The parents of the children, claiming that the man threatened the kids with the hammer and was rough with them, insisted that charges be filed. So, Daniels faces four counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
The local man could face up to one year in county jail for each offense, meaning that a total of four years of detention, pending Daniels receives the max penalty, could be his ultimate ramification.
The parents insist their angels are "traumatized" by the incident -- by Daniels' supposed threats, that is, not by what they did to the house, natch. Daniels estimates that some $40,000 in damage was done to the residence. One of the parents is demanding increased charges against Daniels ... even though admitting the kids' actions were "unacceptable."
One commenter expresses my own reaction perfectly: "The boys are traumatized? My old man would have traumatized my ass."
Got that right, brother.
Life in the era of text talk
We gotta figure out how "to create education better." So says Ms. Utah from last night's Miss USA competition:
New at the Watcher's Council
Forum: Do You Think The Obama Administration’s Decision to Get Actively Involved in The Syrian Civil War Is A Good Idea?
June 16, 2013
Mr. Gun Control setting an example
This guy's descended into the "beyond parody" realm:
Saying "Happy Fathers Day" is an oppressive patriarchal plot
Or something. It must be, if these "researchers" are to be in any way taken seriously:
Parents who read their kids stories about happy, human-like animals like "Franklin the Turtle" or "Arthur" at bedtime are exposing their kids to racism, materialism, homophobia and patriarchal norms, according to a paper presented at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
Most animals portrayed in children’s books, songs and on clothing send a bad message, according to academics Nora Timmerman and Julia Ostertag: That animals only exist for human use, that humans are better than animals, that animals don’t have their own stories to tell, that it’s fine to “demean” them by cooing over their cuteness. Perhaps worst of all, they say, animals are anthropomorphized to reinforce “socially dominant norms” like nuclear families and gender stereotypes.
Saying "academics" like these clowns "have too much time on their hands" is like saying house flies like excrement. And I'm sure their "theories" have good company.
Watcher's Council winners
- *First place with 4 2/3 votes! Joshuapundit –The Anniversary Of A Miracle – Israel’s Victory In The Six Day War
- Second place with 2 votes – The Right Planet – What Are Some Good ‘Liberal’ Books?
- Second place *t* with 2 votes – Bookworm Room- Game of Thrones and how the things that we watch reveal something about who we are and what we’ve become
- Third place *t* with 1 2/3 vote –VA Right! –NSA Leaker Snowden: Hero or Traitor?
- Third place *t* with 1 2/3 vote –The Noisy Room –Samantha Power: The Hand That Rocks A Nation
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote –TheRazor- The Power of Islamic Propaganda
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Liberty’s Spirit- Autism-Meme as Political Insult
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Mellow Jihadi- My First Fist-Fight in the Navy
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Colossus of Rhodey – Poll Shows Support for Affirmative Action Dwindling
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Nice Deb –National Organization for Marriage’s John Eastman RIPS Democrats At IRS Hearing + Proof IRS Leaked Confidential Donor List to Political Rival
- Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote – Simply Jews –More fun and games with Alice Walker
The non-Council winner was Mark Steyn with The All Seeing State.
Full results are here.
June 13, 2013
12 W.T.F. Moments from Superman 2
In honor of the upcoming Man of Steel and as an homage to the terrific io9 scifi site's "12 Weirdest Moments From Superman: The Movie," 'ol Hube is doing his very own list. Why? You guessed it -- because no one demanded it, natch.
1) Goofy Powers. Everyone I knew guffawed when Supes tossed that "S" from his chest at the bruiser, Non, in his Fortress of Solitude. What was that -- Kryptonian cellophane? And that white beam from the Kryptonians' fingers which did, well, pretty much whatever they wanted? Whaaa ...? And don't get me started on Clark's kiss on Lois which caused her to forget! COME ON!!
Some fans early on thought this was Supes' way of saying "'Sup?"
2) Zod kicks an astronaut; guy barely moves. When Zod, Ursa and Non are freed from the Phantom Zone and land on our moon, they terrorize a few astronauts who are there. Check out when Zod picks up the one -- he kicks him ... but the astronaut merely floats away. With Zod's new yellow sun-induced superpowers and the moon's low gravity, that astronaut should have at least reached escape velocity! After all, a few seconds before, Ursa did pretty much that. Check out the effect of Zod's lame boot:
3) How did the Phantom Zone Trio reshape Mt. Rushmore in, like, two seconds? You tell me, 'cause it's stupid:
4) What super hearing? In the climactic battle in the Fortress of Solitude -- when Zod and co. hold the upper hand (and Lois hostage) -- Superman begins whispering to Luthor (who Zod had ordered killed, again -- more on that in a moment) about "getting them all into this molecule chamber." Uh, wait a second: How is it remotely possible that Zod and crew can't hear every word Supes is saying? (Not to mention how Supes would forget that Zod, et. al., could hear him?)
So, Lex, that Ursa is pretty hot in a goth sorta way, eh?
Speaking of which ...
5) Why do Zod and co. just stand around while Superman and Luthor chat (whisper) to one another? What are they doing? Notice that even the mute Non sorta motions to Luthor while he heads over to Supes in a "Hey, wait a minute" sorta way:
6) Why does Luthor continue to court Zod's "goodwill" after the villain orders his death several times? Seriously. I know Luthor is a maniacal genius psychopath, but there are at least three times Zod orders him killed (the White House, the Daily Planet, Fortress of Solitude) yet Lex is still there trying to wheel and deal with the general. Lex had remarked at the attack on the Daily Planet building that "Ya'd think with all this accumulated knowledge these guys would learn to use a doorknob;" one would think Lex would get the hint that Zod couldn't care less about him, any deals notwithstanding.
7) Dad didn't teach Kal-El very well in those twelve years. Ah, yes -- the 'ol diner scene where a bully trucker kicks the sh** out of a recently depowered Clark Kent. OK, I'll easily buy that the trucker is now stronger; however, what did Jor-El teach his son in those dozen years leading to adulthood? You mean to tell me there wasn't at least one course in fighting techniques and/or self-defense? And if you're thinking that Jor-El probably skipped those lessons because his son is invulnerable on Earth, keep in mind that Clark tells Lois (in the diner, too) that "They knew." Meaning, his parents knew about the potential threat from Zod and co. (and perhaps others).
8) Young kid climbs over rail at Niagara Falls, no one cares. OK, yeah, the mom of this moron won't win any parenting awards, but what about the public in general? Was this Apathy Day in Canada or something? Not to mention -- what kid is this fearless that he'd do something like this?? Lastly, is there a strange gravity gradient or something at the US-Canada border that causes people to fall a lot slower than normal? The kid would'a hit the drink long before Supes got there if there was real gravity.
9) Best winter garb: Thin Members Only jacket and penny loafers. Right after the above-mentioned diner scene, Clark tells Lois he has to go back (to the North Pole) to see if there's some way to regain his powers. So what does he do? He walks there ... with the clothes he's wearing at the moment.
Great for monsoons and tidal waves, too.
10) Zod's heat vision has problems with tankers. After zapping a few cars with his heat vision -- cars which instantly blow up (despite Zod not even having a line-of-sight to their gas tanks), it suddenly takes the General what, a good thirty seconds to attempt to blow up the fuel tank on that tanker??
11) How does a snake bite hurt Ursa? After she, Zod and Non land on the Planet "Hooston," she picks up a rattlesnake to check it out. Like any such snake would, it promptly bites her ... and she reacts in pain! Like ... why? She just got through traveling through the vacuum of space, yet a mere snakebite causes her to wince. Uh huh.
12) "We used to play this game as a kid." In the final battle at the North Pole, Supes inexplicably creates duplicates of himself to confuse Zod and crew. One of these doppelgangers tells Lois "We used to play this game in school; he was never really good at it." I used to think Supes was talking about himself here, y'know, as in here on Earth with his [human] friends. But no -- he's preposterously referring to him and Zod ... as in back on Krypton. Did the producers ever bother to watch the first film? Supes (Kal-El) was an infant on Krypton, and was promptly launched into space by his pop when the planet was about to blow up. Zod was an adult who was caught and sentenced to eternity in the Phantom Zone alongside Ursa and Non. YEESH.
Just don't ask me what I had my duplicates do to Zod.
June 12, 2013
Headline of the Day
From our Wilmington News Journal: Eight-month erection leads to malpractice lawsuit by truck driver.
Watcher's Council nominations
- The Political Commentator – Connecting the radical dots in Boston!
- Simply Jews – More fun and games with Alice Walker
- The Noisy Room – Samantha Power: The Hand That Rocks A Nation
- Liberty’s Spirit – Autism-Meme as Political Insult
- The Razor – The Power of Islamic Propaganda
- Joshuapundit-The Anniversary Of A Miracle – Israel’s Victory In The Six Day War
- The Colossus of Rhodey – Poll Shows Support for Affirmative Action Dwindling
- Nice Deb – National Organization for Marriages John Eastman RIPS Democrats At IRS Hearing + Proof IRS Leaked Confidential Donor List to Political Rival
- GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Beirut Is The Next Benghazi
- The Right Planet – What Are Some Good Liberal Books?
- Bookworm Room – Game of Thrones and how the things that we watch reveal something about who we are and what we’ve become
- VA Right! - NSA Leaker Snowden: Hero or Traitor?
- The Glittering Eye -Weasels
- Rhymes With Right – A Long Distance Dedication To Obama Voters
- The Mellow Jihadi – My First Fist-Fight in the Navy
- Ask Marion – NSA Whistleblower Snowden in Exile as the Obama Scandals List Grows
- Right Truth – Soldier Who Read Conservative Books Faces Charges…
- The Pirate’s Cove – Bummer: NY Times Admits To 15 Year Pause In Global Warming
And the non-Council nominations are here!
Funny I've been hearing of late that school lunch programs are vital because it's the only meal some of these kids get all day. My question: how do they survive all summer?
June 11, 2013
Scientists don't know why there was global cooling, but ...
The rise in the surface temperature of earth has been markedly slower over the last 15 years than in the 20 years before that. And that lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace.
The slowdown is a bit of a mystery to climate scientists.
Now, here is a crucial piece of background: It turns out we had an earlier plateau in global warming, from roughly the 1950s to the 1970s, and scientists do not fully understand that one either. A lot of evidence suggests that sunlight-blocking pollution from dirty factories may have played a role, as did natural variability in ocean circulation. The pollution was ultimately reduced by stronger clean-air laws in the West.
As Steyn notes, "So environmental laws led to the global warming of the Eighties and Nineties? Great!"
Levity aside, I've been fairly consistent in that I don't dispute there is indeed climate change; what I do dispute is the radical environmentalist alarmism, the demand that we must do something about climate change NOW or we're irrevocably doomed to burn in Hell.
Poll shows support for affirmative action dwindling
... so what does NBC's website do? Trot out "experts" to show how the peons in the poll are clueless:
Weldon Latham, a Washington DC attorney, advises that "just below the surface" things aren't that positive because "things that are very important, like jobs -- African-American jobs and female jobs are still some percentage below what white males are.” Latham "advises corporations on diversity issues." What do you think he would say?
Kevin Brown is the next person consulted, a law professor at Indiana University. Though he acknowledges that the election of Barack Obama was a great positive -- wait for it! -- he "stressed the ongoing need for programs to assist minorities." One of Brown's beefs is that too many "international" blacks are snagging spots at elite colleges instead of "traditional" African-Americans. Brown has written articles critical of Clarence Thomas, critical of "disproportionate" school discipline, and in support of affirmative action.
Princeton sociology prof Thomas J. Espenshade is up next, co-author of “No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal.” Gee, what do you think his opinion is? Just take a gander at this NY Times op-ed of his, in which he writes "We also found that self-segregation dilutes the educational benefits of diversity that proponents of affirmative action rightly prize." In other words, he's a fan of that "critical mass" made famous (or infamous) by the noted Michigan affirmative action cases which stressed (among other things) the educational "benefits" of a [racially] diverse student population. ("Benefits" which are highly questionable.)
Then there's Richard Kahlenberg, the only semi-critic of [race-based] AA, who argues that class-based AA -- based on income -- would make more sense. But he was critical of a study which argued that busing (moving poor children to more affluent schools) had little educational benefits. Nevertheless, he's quickly shot down in the NBC article by the aforementioned Brown, who says that Kahlenberg "misses the point" ... that "it's really both (socioeconomic status and race)."
Who's quoted in the article who supports the polls findings? No one.
There's now a Trial of Bradley Manning comicbook
Hey, how 'bout that? From Bleeding Cool:
The United States vs. PFC Bradley Manning: A Graphic Account From Inside the Courtroom is an upcoming graphic novel by Wikileaks supporter, writer and artist Clark Stoeckley, who has been attending the trial daily and making drawings of all he sees. And interprets.
Although you won’t have to wait till the official September publishing date. Those who preorder copies directly from the publisher OR Books, will receive weekly updates on the trial from Clark’s perspective and pen, some of it exclusive to the update.
Anyone fancy doing a sequel for Edward Snowden?
*Yawn* Just as we noted here, contemporary comics creators are quite selective in their outrage. There's Manning and now Snowden; however, where's the upcoming comic(s) about the victims of IRS abuse? Of EPA abuse? They don't count because remember -- to differ with a "progressive" isn't just a difference of opinion. It means you're an evil person ... and therefore must be crushed.
“You have to have some confidence in this president."
Who says? Predictable moonbat Chuck Rangel, that's who:
“You have to have some confidence in this president,” Rangel said on MSNBC. “Quite frankly, if it was a different president, I might take a different look at the legislation.”
Yeah -- confidence that he'll do whatever it takes to trounce his political enemies. First there was the IRS scandal, this NSA mess, and now the EPA is joining in.
Boss Obama as Colonel Flagg
Saw a great quote on Twitter last night about the whole NSA/spying flap: It used a classic line from M*A*S*H's Colonel Flagg (from the episode "Quo Vadis, Captain Chandler"). In the episode, a shell-shocked bombardier has come to believe he is Jesus Christ, so Hawkeye and BJ call in Dr. Sidney Freedman, the show's every-now-and-then psychiatrist. Unbeknownst to the protagonists, recurring CIA nutjob Flagg has also been dispatched to investigate the matter.
In the conclusion, Flagg lets Freedman have it in Col. Potter's office:
You're not smart, Freedman. You're dumb. Very dumb! But you've met your match in me! Chandler may get out as a psycho -- he's small potatoes. The army can teach my mother how to drop bombs. But, you, Major, are here to stay! Right here, shrink! Where we can make sure you remain loyal to the country that's gonna hound your every step!
I've done a little checking, Dr. Freedman with two "Es" ...
Boss Obama ... then
Lindsey Grudnicki details the brazen hypocrisy. Here's a taste:
1. December 15, 2005, Senate floor statement on the PATRIOT Act:
This is just plain wrong. Giving law enforcement the tools they need to investigate suspicious activity is one thing – and it’s the right thing – but doing it without any real oversight seriously jeopardizes the rights of all Americans and the ideals America stands for.
2. February 16, 2006, Senate floor statement on the PATRIOT Act Reauthorization:
Soon after the PATRIOT Act passed, a few years before I ever arrived in the Senate, I began hearing concerns from people of every background and political leaning that this law didn’t just provide law enforcement the powers it needed to keep us safe, but powers it didn’t need to invade our privacy without cause or suspicion.
I reiterate: How can we believe anything from this inept administration ever again?
June 10, 2013
Delaware Blog Review Guide updated
It's been around three years(!) since the last update; there've been many changes since then (mostly blogs which have become defunct!). Check it out here.
June 09, 2013
Boss Obama's apology letter to George W. Bush
Via, of all people, Matthew Dowd at ABCNews.com:
I am sorry that, as a United States senator and presidential candidate, I was critical of you about so many things I now, myself, am doing.
I am sorry about saying Guantanamo would be closed immediately and it was a blight on America. It is still wide open for business.
I am sorry for criticizing you and your administration for intrusions on American's privacy and invasions into personal liberties. My NSA took what you did and put it on steroids.
I am sorry for criticizing the way you waged the war on terror. I have personally approved a number of drone strikes and actually have said it is OK to kill an American on foreign soil without due process. I know you are probably saying, "Aren't you the expert on the Constitution?" but, as you know, being president is hard work.
And, by the way, between you and me, I know your vice president was probably upset my administration got Osama Bin Laden (I get the sense he might have some anger issues and I sure wish he would have kept quiet like you have), but it was really thanks to you and my continuation of your national security policies.
I am sorry for all my overheated rhetoric about your administration not being transparent and saying my administration would be the most transparent in history and most open to the media. Boy, was I off on that one, and certain reporters at the Associated Press and Fox News don't seem to understand why we might put them under secret scrutiny.
As they say, read the whole thing.
June 08, 2013
Watcher's Council winners
- *First place with 3 2/3 votes! Joshuapundit –The Myth Of The Hispanic Tidal Wave
- Second place with 1 2/3 votes – Simply Jews- Rachel Shabi speaks up, or the wail of the muzzled
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes – Bookworm Room-Could it be that CO2 has NOTHING whatsoever to do with the earth’s temperature? *UPDATED with help from Zombie*
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes – The Noisy Room- The Gang of Eight Needs to Ride Into the Sunset with Their Amnesty Bill
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes – VA Right!- Weaponizing the IRS Alinsky Style
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Political Commentator- Fast and Furious finally grabs the attention of Americans!
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Glittering Eye-Downgraded Again
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Ottoman Spring
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Razor –To The Father of The Girl I Drove Behind on a Rural Highway in the Rain
- Fifth place with 1/3 vote – The Mellow Jihadi –Where I Write of My Nether Regions
The non-Council winner was Ayaan Hirss Ali with The Problem of Muslim Leadership.
Full results are here.
Don't jump the gun, unless ...
... we're talking about a conservative. Case in point: comics guy Kurt Busiek. He tweets yesterday about the recent NSA/spying flap:
David Simon of THE WIRE on the NSA scandal. Or "scandal," perhaps: davidsimon.com/we-are-shocked…— Kurt Busiek (@KurtBusiek) June 7, 2013
Kurt goes on to say "I mean, we can suddenly flip out that the government is made up of werewolves, but shouldn't there be some evidence first?" and complains about "overreaching without any evidence for it is imagination, not reportage."
But let's go back a bit in time, shall we? When Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot by a lunatic, Busiek wasn't exactly in "wait and see" mode. Well, he said he was, but then contemplated what we all heard ad nauseum throughout the MSM:
I wrote in the comments at the time:
I've absolutely NO hassle with anyone pontificating on matters political, whatever your field of endeavor. However, if you're in Kurt's field, it is ridiculous to expect NO criticism in response to your outspokenness. In regards to the Giffords shooting, Kurt immediately took the Reflexive Left's penchant for invoking conservative "hate" rhetoric as a "cause" for a killer's/terrorist's actions. Yes, he did say "we need to wait and see," but then again, Kurt did not exactly wait, did he? Moreover, by exclusively focusing on Palin, the Right, and moronic a-holes like that hateful comics vendor, Busiek effectively alienates approximately half of his fan base. And then people complain when those alienated point to his comments?
Of course, there was no word from Busiek (at least none that I saw at the time, or since) about the Left's "irresponsible" use of imagery like crosshairs, etc. They use such all the time, too.
And we're still waiting on some enlightened commentary by these creators regarding some of the other Obama scandals. Or, will they, like Busiek above, put that plural of the term in quotes, too?
RELATED: Oh-so-smart Ron Marz, who also has ignored the IRS, press spying, and Benghazi scandals, has the balls to tweet this:
Six people dead in a shooting in Santa Monica, and it's not even a trending topic. Doubly depressing.— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) June 8, 2013
The Washington scandals have been trending for weeks now, Ron. With nary a word from you and your ilk. Triply depressing.
June 07, 2013
How can we believe anything from this inept administration ever again?
That's the question of the day.
A "Critical Exploration of Intersections Between Whiteness and Disability Studies"
Two scholars who each primarily identify as a scholar of critical race/whiteness studies and a scholar of disability studies, respectively, engage in this article in a purposeful dialogue that responds to the invitation put forth by Baglieri, Bejoian, Broderick, Connor, and Valle to engage with the construct of inclusive education, writ large. Through purposeful engagement with one another’s discourse communities, the authors explore both the challenge and the tremendous promise of more theoretically integrated efforts toward abolishing ideological systems of oppression in schooling.
Even better are the "Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study," and the "Conclusions/Recommendations." Did you know that “smartness” is "an ideological system" and has its basis in ... whiteness? In addition, "smartness is nothing but false and oppressive." Who knew? Who knew that being bright, and that studying and working hard to improve one's intellect not only is "false," but keeps others down?? Is this merely a ridiculously wordy way of saying "Studying and being smart is 'acting white?'" At last! The "validation" that minorities need to do zilch in school!
But the best is saved for last! See if you can decipher this one: "... attempts to theoretically rearticulate or rehabilitate smartness may serve to illuminate, but ultimately fail to dissolve, the normative center of schooling."
I can't think of a more clever way to say "absolute bullsh**."
Jim Geraghty also recognizes Star Trek's ridiculousness
From the National Review writer in his e-mailed Morning Jolt this morning:
And as Jonah mentioned a few Goldberg Files ago (my link -- Hube), our evil Starfleet admiral — hey, we haven't seen one of those since Star Trek: Insurrection! — is evil because he's trying to "militarize" Starfleet (you know, that big armada of torpedo-armed starships with crews organized by naval ranks) to prepare for a war with the Klingon Empire he thinks is inevitable. What Abrams & Co. have decided is the plot's "evil plan" is actually absolute common sense, and our heroes' brief interaction with the Klingons only confirms the admiral's analysis that the Klingons are relentlessly hostile and aggressive.
I wrote about this as well, natch.
Maybe the whole thing is meant as a very, very subtle parody of the pacifist nature of future humanity, and how our "progess" into a nonaggressive, conflict-avoiding culture will slowly but surely quietly doom us when we encounter an alien culture like the Klingons or Romulans.
Which some may argue that's just what the Boss Obama administration is doing to the country now ...
Comicbook guys come to Bradley Manning's defense
... which is fine, of course, but again we see their utter hypocrisy, not to mention selectivity. First, there's Mark "Go F*** Yourself" Waid:
An amazing (and dead-on) piece about Bradley Manning (who, IMO, is being GROSSLY overcriminalized by the govt): rollingstone.com/politics/blogs…— Mark Waid (@MarkWaid) June 7, 2013
And Rick Remender:
"The debate we should be having is over whether as a people we approve of the acts he uncovered..." rol.st/123mSln— Rick Remender (@Remender) June 7, 2013
Again, the "rightness" of Manning's actions are certainly debatable; what cracks me up is that there has been nary a word from these guys about the one-scandal-after-another Boss Obama administration: Benghazi, the DOJ snooping on the AP and other reporters, the IRS, and now the NSA data-collecting matter. When they do, we get the usual muddle, like with Ed Brubaker here:
washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog… Seems like the real scandal is that any of these groups get tax exempt status in the first place.— Ed Brubaker (@brubaker) May 14, 2013
In subsequent posts, Brubaker claimed that he's "not a fan of either side, even slightly," and that "none of them (503 [c] groups) should be granted tax exempt status when they're clearly not 'non-political.'" But again, to Brubaker, this is the REAL scandal -- not that the IRS is abusing its power. Hell, perhaps even scarier is Ed saying "I think every group from any side of the political spectrum that raises money for political reason should be investigated."
Yeah, great -- to hell with free speech. Let's give the feds even more investigatory power, whether through the IRS, FBI or whoever. Because you're raising money for a political candidate you like. Wonderful.
Need I say it? Just imagine if these scandals were occurring under George W. Bush's watch. Think there'd be a paucity of tweets about the scandals then? HA. Indeed, aside from the innumerable tweets, there'd be stuff like this aplenty.
Would liberals be "crying impeachment" if this was Bush?
So says journalist Jeremy Scahill who has a new film out titled Dirty Wars. It's about the US's covert operations overseas during the GWoT (General War on Terror). On Boss Obama he says,
He’s expanded an air war in Yemen; Bush bombed Yemen once that we know of. Obama shut down the black sites, but he’s using a sort of back door way of continuing it but saying, ‘It’s other nations’ security forces that are doing the snatch and grab; we’re just asking the questions. … I think that a lot of liberals sort of checked their conscience at the coatroom for the two terms of Obama and are silent in the face of things that they’d be crying impeachment over if a Republican had done them.
You really think so? They didn't do it to George W. Bush from 2003 to 2008 when he supposedly "lied" about WMDs in Iraq, among other things. On the other hand, the GOP impeached Bill Clinton for what -- lying under oath to hide an affair? So, I think this is a bit unfair to liberals/Democrats.
June 06, 2013
Guest post: Societal reality and comicbook suspension of disbelief
(Many thanks to Nate Winchester for this terrific guest post!)
There is a vital, core technique that entertainers must use when engaging their audiences. With magicians, it is called "misdirection" or "sleight of hand". With writers it is called most often "suspension of disbelief." The principle remains the same. As the audience, you are to look here, not "over there" where the "trick" is being worked. When it's done badly, the magician "flops" while writers end up with what SF Debris coined, "the Voodoo Shark."
What does this have to do with comics? The more fantastical a story, the more disbelief a suspension system must support. How Superman flies, how the Flash runs, how Wolverine kicks ass, all of these are questions that, when we pick up a book (or watch the movie/show based on the book) we make an agreement with the media producers not to think about. A quick, half-answer to soothe the rational mind is all we need: he's an alien, the speed force, he's a mutant.
However this goes beyond "how do the characters work", this also goes to "how does the world work." For ease of writers and readers the world of DC, Marvel et al is usually assumed to be very similar to that of the present real world of the writers and readers, even though logically, if just a tiny fraction of what happened there, happened here, things would change to probably be near unrecognizable. One example: gun control. If you have a state in the world where random people pack more potential power and destruction than any hand gun, would gun ownership be that much of a political debate? Think about it. Once upon a time, sword ownership in Japan (to pick an example) was under many restrictions. Yet we don't have "sword & knife control" in many political debates. Why? Because the power level of guns has raised the bar to the point that owning a blade doesn't have the "impact" it might have once had (to pick one reason). Thus, likewise in a world of superheroes, everyday gun ownership would be the equivalent of everyday sword ownership today - not too much of a concern.
This all leads into one of the biggest traps that comics can fall into and why DC's The Movement will fail: politics. Now good comics can result from bringing up these normally repressed world questions and dealing with them. Watchmen is a pretty decent example of at least an attempt to untangle this otherworldly Gordian knot. How about some bad examples (pulling just from my own blog) ...
In the Nu52 Green Lantern Corps (you'll have to scroll down), someone has put their views into John Stewart's mouth a time or two. Like having him fight "greedy developers." Why are these developers "so greedy" that they don't bother taking steps to make them more profit in the long run? How in the world did they get that rich being so shortsighted? In the DCU, why isn't "superhuman battle-proof" building design as common as the compensations for earthquakes in buildings of California?
One of the worst examples of all time: JLA #83. How often has the JLA violated "international law" in just a random issue? Private property? How can the world's greatest detective not figure this shit out? There's a reason this issue was left out of trade paper backs of this volume of JLA and it's for so many good reasons.
And lest someone think it has to do WITH politics, here's a bit where Superman renounced his citizenship.
According to a commentator, this was actually written by a conservative frustrated with some of Obama's policies. That doesn't matter nor change the complaint. The question of "how does Superman's citizenship work" is not one readers need to be asking. It collapses the whole story.
So, let's go back to what started this all, The Movement. Why will this fail? Because it's trying to put politics into a hole it can't fit, which means even if people AGREE with its point, their suspension of disbelief is going to crack from the strain. Without even reading it (unless Hube is going to buy me a copy for me to review/spork on his site here):
- How would 1% vs 99% even work in the DCU? Is how much money you have that much of an issue in a world where men can fly? Consider that in many ways, Superman is "the communist man." He has no issue with scarcity (food, shelter, transportation, etc are all self generated) and is thus as immune to economic laws as he is to bullets. Same with other heroes (I leave it to the commentators to figure out which ones this would apply to). So would it really matter to the Occupy movement how much money any individual has, when their power is still less than Superman's? The "movement" would, logically speaking, be more about the majority of regular humans and their resentment (or whatever) towards more powerful beings. (Hmm... sounds like a plan by Luthor, doesn't it?)
- In a world which is so often attacked by outside threats (aliens on a good day), is social spending really going to be that much of a concern to most societies? Is there that much worry about social security, welfare, universal healthcare or anything else in any nation in the DCU? Or are most governments and voters concerned about getting the most powerful weapon(s) they can in case Darkseid shows up Thursday? After all, people need to be alive, before you can be concerned about their welfare. So what is this movement protesting? What banking crisis has occurred when the bank was demolished by Doomsday's last rampage?
- Are these people really going to "occupy" anywhere like... the parks of a city when that's such prime ground for wandering supervillains?
This is why you avoid trying put modern day issues into comics without care, skill and consideration for their implications. If you can't write well, then don't bother writing it at all.
Dan Slott on "redemption"
The author of Superior Spider-Man who, in case you didn't know, has placed the mind of the villain Dr. Octopus into the body of Peter Parker/Spider-Man. (Pete's mind, or soul, is still around ... somewhere.) Many fans have a big issue with this, including Doug Ernst who's written several posts about it. In fact, Doug's main point in this provocative post is that Ock/Spidey attempted to destroy every human being on planet Earth. Yet ... Slott took to Twitter yesterday defending Ock's right to "redemption." One fan, however, echoed Doug:
In response, Slott offered this:
Darth Vader helped destroy Alderaan. Yet HE had a redemptive arc. (Is that fair?)— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) June 6, 2013
"Redemptive arc?" Like what -- Return of the Jedi? Did Slott forget that Vader was mortally wounded ... and then died towards the end of the film? That is the "fairness" of that arc -- that Vader suffered the same fate as that which he "bestowed" upon many others. Hell, Slott only needs to look back into the history of one of his company's most famous stories, the "Dark Phoenix" saga. The original plot by Chris Claremont and John Byrne had Prof. X and the Shi'ar merely "excising" the Phoenix Force from Jean Grey. Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter stepped in, however, and demanded that Jean be killed; after all, what justice is it to merely do some brain surgery ... after one has annihilated an entire star system??
Or, as Doug and Thomas Patterson might ask: "Would performing a lobotomy on Hitler be adequate 'justice' for Nazi atrocities in WW 2?"
Here's hoping that Slott's current "hero" meets a similar fate as Vader.
Today's must read
“Moral responsibility is the essence of humanity. It is what sets Homo sapiens apart from other animals. Assigning moral responsibility to whites while denying it to nonwhites is therefore a way of dehumanizing the latter. Multiculturalism turns out to be a disguised form of white supremacy.”
Indeed. The examples are too numerous to mention, but recently there's MSNBC's Martin Bashir who thinks we can't say "IRS" anymore because that'd be calling Boss Obama the "N" word, and the commenter "Proud Progressive" at JoshuaPundit who says there's nothing linking the scandal to Obama -- it's just that the GOP can't "stand the idea of a black man kicking the Republican's butts and being in the White House." In other words, like Taranto said, Bashir and PP are denying moral responsibility to a non-white: Barack Obama (I know, I know, he's half white, but "progressives" always ignore that).
Who's "racist," again?
This douche should write for The Onion
I thought Mediaite was a serious politically-oriented website. The fact that they employ the blithering cretin "Tommy Christopher" proves otherwise.
Oceania 'tis for thee
Administration defends collecting phone records: "The order requires Verizon, one of the nation's largest telecommunications companies, on an "ongoing, daily basis" to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the U.S. and between the U.S. and other countries."
If you think Verizon is the only company that was forced to comply you're dreaming. They're probably pissed they're going to take the stock and PR hit while everyone else just keeps mum. This is absolutely Orwellian. "Oh they're not recording the contents of the calls, just the metadata." Really? That's what you're going with? So would it also be OK if I just made random checkpoints miles from the border and had it staffed by border agents who stopped EVERY driver for questioning or if I could seize your private property and give it to someone else because I felt like it? What if the ATF decided it should shore up the reason for its own existence by letting drug cartels buy weapons? Or if the government started targeting political enemies by punishing them with regulation, paperwork and endless, over reaching requests? It would be like living in a totalitarian society. Thanks to our Dear Leader for keeping us safe and uh..free.
June 05, 2013
Watcher's Council nominations
- The Noisy Room – The Gang of Eight Needs to Ride Into the Sunset with Their Amnesty Bill
- Simply Jews – Rachel Shabi speaks up, or the wail of the muzzled
- The Political Commentator – Fast and Furious finally grabs the attention of Americans!
- Joshuapundit-The Myth Of The Hispanic Tidal Wave
- The Razor – To The Father of The Girl I Drove Behind on a Rural Highway in the Rain
- GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Ottoman Spring
- Bookworm Room – Could it be that CO2 has NOTHING whatsoever to do with the earths temperature? *UPDATED with help from Zombie*
- The Colossus of Rhodey – Boss Obama’s Post-Racial America
- VA Right! - Weaponizing the IRS Alinsky Style
- The Mellow Jihadi – Where I Write of My Nether Regions
- Rhymes With Right – Just Try And Prosecute Me!
- The Right Planet – ‘They Are Liars’: Beck Says These Then-And-Now Obama Videos Prove It
- The Glittering Eye -Downgraded Again
- Ask Marion – America’s Patriotic Season
- Liberty’s Spirit – Tiananmen Square Massacre Anniversary
- The Pirate’s Cove – 1st World Problems: Talking To Your Kids About “Climate Change”
And the non-Council nominations are here!
You just can't make this sh** up, man
Via The Corner: MSNBC's Martin Bashir claims that saying "IRS" is akin to saying -- wait for it! -- "ni**er."
Yes, I'm serious.
Hube's Spanish Language Video of the Week
The first vid from my favorite, Los Amigos Invisibles', new album Repeat After Me. It's "La Que Me Gusta":
Wonder if Hollywood will do up a video ...
... titled "I Am A Conservative 503(c)(3) Applicant"? After all, these ridiculous peons have made an "I Am Bradley Manning" video in support of the notorious leaker.
Some of the lines from the vid (with possible ones for my hypothetical one):
“When you join the military, are you asked to keep any war crimes you might see secret?” ("When you apply for a 503(c)(3), are you asked intimate questions about your personal life ... even that of your friends?")
“You see something that is so wrong," claimed [Oliver] Stone, "it’s very hard for a lower-level soldier to turn on his officers and say, ‘There was a war crime here.’” ("You see something that is so wrong ... it's very hard for low-level IRS employees to turn to their superiors and say 'This is illegal.'")
"The whole concept of whistleblower laws are you cannot get into for reporting about illegal or improper activities," added [Matt] Taibbi. (Repeat verbatim!)
"I think we have to be clear that the cables were not top secret documents," asserted [Chris] Hedges. ("I think we have to be clear that 'progressive' groups applying for tax-exempt status were sailed through, whereas conservative groups were subjected to incredibly invasive -- and possibly illegal -- scrutiny.")
"It’s an absurd charge - 'giving aid and comfort to the enemy,'" stated another unknown man. ("It's an absurd statement -- Obama and others saying 'I had no idea about any of this.'")
*Sigh* I think my pal Chris says its best on Twitter.
Another year comes to a close
School year, that is. Actually, it's not completely over yet; the next four days are dedicated to final exams. But all that remains is grading them, then entering them, and then year 22 comes to a close. I saw this morning a few tweets by comics guy Jimmy Palmiotti which definitely made me feel good:
At the end of the school year , all parents should tip their high school teachers. Really.— Jimmy Palmiotti (@jpalmiotti) June 5, 2013
We tip Starbucks people and not a dime to teachers who have to deal with our kids day after day. Makes no sense.— Jimmy Palmiotti (@jpalmiotti) June 5, 2013
There are bad teachers sure, but there are amazing ones that deserve a little extra when they change our kids lives.— Jimmy Palmiotti (@jpalmiotti) June 5, 2013
Now, before you plotz, I am not advocating what Palmiotti said -- that you should tip your kid's teachers -- but the sentiment is surely a good one. Besides, many teachers get little gifts from students as a token of their appreciation at the end of the year and during the holidays (I got my first one yesterday -- a $15 gift card to Olive Garden!). At any rate, my point, such that it is, isn't to complain about how hard teachers have it or what a terrific job we all do. No, it's merely to point out that, despite the many cultural, societal and political changes over the years which have placed more and more onus on teachers for just about anything you can think of, there are a heck of a lot of great kids out there ... and parents, too. Too often, that gets overlooked by many in our profession at this time of the year.
And, to me, there's rarely anything more special than getting a little something -- like a small, handwritten "thank you" note -- from that nice, quiet, academically average student in the back row who never really said that much all year. To coin a cliché, "That makes it all worthwhile." Really.
New at the Watcher's Council
Forum: What Quality Was Or Is Most Important To You When It Comes To Seeking A Partner, Lover Or Spouse?
When women fight
When Men fight they are directly hostile. Not so with women. Witness:
These women hate each other and do so with a smile.
June 04, 2013
Richard Nixon the "nexus" of Days of Future Past?
Bleeding Cool has a pic of the Oval Office from next year's sure-to-be-blockbuster X-Men: Days of Future Past. The guy behind the desk is obviously ... Richard Nixon. It's already been established that the film will take place in the early 1970s; it'll be curious if Watergate will play into the film considering 1) X-Men First Class director Matthew Vaughn has already been shown to be somewhat of a Kennedy assassination truther, and 2) the current situation with Boss Obama and all his scandals. It wouldn't be surprising if Marvel's Merry Mutants figure into the scandal which brought down Nixon; First Class had the mutants being key figures in the Cuban Missile Crisis.
"Days of Future Past" remains one of the all-time classics not only in X-Men lore, but in that of comics in general. Creators Chris Claremont and John Byrne showed how a terrifically intricate tale could be told in one title, and in two issues. They didn't need a ridiculously drawn-out crossover across multiple titles and innumerable issues.
The comicbook tale actually takes place about eight years later than what will be seen in next year's film: 1980. It centers around Senator Robert Kelly (seen in the first X-Men film) and his assassination by the Mystique-led Brotherhood (of Evil) Mutants in that year. Thirty-three years in the future (ironically, our current year of 2013), we witness a dystopic technologically-regressed United States in which mutants are either all dead or imprisoned. Humans with mutant potential are carefully watched and regulated. How did all this come about? Because, as a result of Kelly's murder by the Brotherhood, like a domino effect, one thing led to another against mutantkind, ultimately ending up with the robotic Sentinels taking over North America and ruling it -- for the "good" of human[ity].
The human-protecting Sentinels.
Some of the few mutants left alive in 2013 include Magneto, Colossus, Storm, Kitty Pryde, Franklin Richards (son of the Fantastic Four's Reed and Sue Richards), and Wolverine. There's also Rachel Summers (daughter of Cyclops and Jean Grey), a powerful psionic who has devised a plan: She will use her mental powers to place the mind of 2013 Kitty Pryde with that of her 1980 younger self. If successful, Pryde will convince the X-Men of her mission, prevent the assassination of Senator Kelly, and then -- hopefully -- the dystopian anti-mutant future will cease to exist.
Summers' efforts are successful. Kitty's minds trade places, and the adult version (now in 1980) convinces the X-Men of why she is there and what the team needs to do. The X-Men set out for Washington DC to thwart Mystique's plan, and the first issue's closing panels show the clear surprise of the Brotherhood at the X-Men being in DC. But they're no less determined to kill Senator Kelly!
The second issue is mainly an all-out donneybrook between to the two teams. Those familiar with the X-Men films but not so much the comics may recognize a few characters aside from the obvious: Pyro (played by Aaron Stanford in the films) has a flashy costume and is British, and the Blob (played by Kevin Durand in X-Men Origins: Wolverine) who's enormously obese and whose only weakness is Wolverine's claws. The X-Men are ultimately successful in preventing Kelly's murder; however, the visceral fear of mutants still surfaces as a result of the massive battle between the two mutant teams. The waning panels witnesses Sebastian Shaw (played by Kevin Bacon in First Class) suggesting to Senator Kelly a ... "remedy" for controlling mutants: Sentinels. Thus, we're left pondering whether the X-Men and the future Kitty Pryde really were successful in preventing the dystopian future.
(Side note: Of course, using multiverse theory, the dystopian future of "Days" did continue to exist in Marvel lore, known as Earth-811. However, Rachel Summers later traveled to the past herself to join [our universe's] X-Men, and was still later pursued by the ultra-powerful Sentinel Nimrod.)
Some of the events in "Days" wouldn't make much sense (if that's even possible in comics) today based on subsequent events in Marvel books. For instance, in 2013, again, Franklin Richards was one of the captive mutants alongside the elderly Magneto. As we learned in the late 1990s, Franklin is one of the -- if not THE -- most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe. He created the "pocket" universe known as "Heroes Reborn," and was then responsible for returning the various Marvel heroes from that universe to the Marvel Universe proper (Earth-616). Thus, instead of sending Kitty's mind back to 1980, why not concentrate on freeing Richards ... and then have him eradicate the Sentinels and "restore" reality the way it was meant to be? In addition, in the second part of "Days," a Sentinel blasts Wolverine, leaving only his adamantium skeleton remaining (see above). But as we saw during "Civil War," the villain Nitro zapped Wolvie the same way ... and then Logan completely regenerated himself (due to his mutant healing factor).
At any rate, back to this post's title: Will (an attempted assassination of) Richard Nixon be the impetus behind the film's version of "Days?" It makes sense, especially from a traditional Hollywood perspective. After all, Republicans are almost as bad as Nazis when it comes to tinseltown villains. It's easy enough to presume Nixon would have no qualms about ordering the manufacture of the robotic Sentinels, and then siccing them upon mutantkind.
What do you think?
June 03, 2013
Superhero [radical] redesigns
Newsarama has another countdown, this time about the Top 10 Character Redesigns. Did they leave anyone out? I can think of a few. Here's their top ten:
10) Green Arrow
9) Daredevil (yellow to red suit)
8) Captain America (star-spangled to all black suit)
6) Storm (mohawk hairstyle)
5) Wonder Woman
4) Iron Man (gray to gold to red-and-gold armor)
3) Beast (change to all-blue fur)
2) Spider-Man (all-black "symbiote" suit)
1) Superman (see below)
What about [Marvel's] the Vision? The Android Avenger went from green and yellow (with that characteristic red face) to all faded yellow in the pages of John Byrne's West Coast Avengers:
When Byrne took the reins of West Coast Avengers, he had the Vision captured and then completely disassembled. This was because, years prior in the pages of The Avengers (circa #254), Vizh attempted to seize control of all the world's computer systems.
Vision's wife the Scarlet Witch is aghast at what happened to her hubby.
Various intelligence agencies, with Avenger Mockingbird's help, were responsible for this, and it fell to 'ol Hank Pym (Ant Man/Giant Man) to put Vizh back together again. He was successful, but Pym could not include Vision's emotions! To do this, he needed Simon Williams' (Wonder Man) brain patterns again (which were originally used as the basis for Vision's computer mind way back when). But ... Williams refused this time out (not having had a choice the first time). This highly irritated the Scarlet Witch (for whom Wonder Man had feelings, no doubt a reason for his refusal) who promptly dropped a cliff face on top of Simon! Vizh eventually got new brain patterns which rebooted his emotions, but his marriage to Wanda (Scarlet Witch) was already over. (And, ironically, Wanda ended up for a time romantically with Wonder Man.)
Regarding Iron Man, wouldn't a more radical redesign be when the armor's color scheme made a radical departure from the norm? After all, the change in #4 above wasn't really that "radical;" the golden armor that Stark had way back was actually his original armor with a gold paint job. And when the red and gold suit debuted, the all-gold suit had only been around for a whole six issues. Thus, I say that the debut of the Silver Centurion armor (Iron Man #200, below) is a bigger "radical" change ... especially since, too, that one of IM's nicknames is "Golden Avenger." (He didn't suddenly become the "Silver Avenger" in #200, either.)