This was a staple for a couple weeks on MTV En Español a few years ago. It's by Carol C. and DJ Nickodemus; Carol C. is the lead singer of the group Si Sé whom I saw when they opened for Los Amigos Invisibles in NYC in 2005. They were absolutely sensational. Not only were their songs hip, funky and toe-tappin' in both Spanish and English, Carol's voice is oh-so-yummy -- and she's damn sexy to boot! So without further ado, here's "Mariposa" ("Butterfly").
Warning for the very easily offended: The video has less-than-subtle lesbian overtones. I couldn't find lyrics of the tune anywhere, but they're not explicit; quite poetic, actually, from those I could make out from the video. The chorus chimes in part "Bailaré hasta el amanecer ... contigo ..." which translates to "I'll dance until the dawn with you." Make of that what you will, natch!
By the way, "Si Sé" translates to "If I Know." One weird thing about Spanish is that an accent mark can totally change the meaning of a word. For instance, "se" without the accent mark really means nothing at all without another word following it, so that's easy. Most Americans know that "sí " means "yes," but do not know that without the accent, it means "if." BUT (whew!) many folks who write in Spanish leave off needed accent marks as usually one can tell what the word means via context. I'm assuming Si Sé didn't leave off the accent on the "i" (see the album cover here) but if they did, the moniker still neatly translates into "Yes I Know." There's no context at all, so I'll have to go what the grammar shows me!
Gen. CLARK: Because in the matters of national security policy making, it's a matter of understanding risk, it's a matter of gauging your opponents and it's a matter of being held accountable. John McCain's never done any of that in his official positions. I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands of millions of others in the armed forces as a prisoner of war. He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee and he has traveled all over the world. But he hasn't held executive responsibility. That large squadron in the Navy that he commanded wasn't a wartime squadron. He hasn't been there and ordered the bombs to fall. He hasn't seen what it's like when diplomats come in and say, `I don't know whether we're going to be able to get this point through or not. Do you want to take the risk? What about your reputation? How do we handle it publicly?'
Gen. CLARK: He hasn't made those calls, Bob. So...
SCHIEFFER: Well, General, maybe—could I just interrupt you?
Gen. CLARK: Sure.
SCHIEFFER: I have to say, Barack Obama has not had any of those experiences either, nor has he ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down. I mean...
Gen. CLARK: Well, I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.
Gen. CLARK: But Barack is not—he is not running on the fact that he has made these national security pronouncements, he's running on his other strengths. He's running on the strengths of character, on the strengths of his communication skills, on the strengths of his judgment, and those are qualities that we seek in our national leadership.
(My emphasis.) I see. So, to Wes Clark, McCain has less "strength of character" than Obama. Mm-hm -- five f***ing years as a tortured POW, turning down early release, surviving ... equals "less character" than a pampered, private school-attending "community activist." Un. Real.
Communication skills? Yeah, so the guy gives a good speech. But sheesh -- as the Demolition Driver says, "C'mon, 'ya gotta be jackin' me!"
"Strengths in judgment?" Hanging with an unrepentant domestic terrorist? Attending for 20 years, getting married in, and having your kids baptized in the church where the pastor is a raving conspiratorial lunatic? Yep, that's judgment for 'ya.
I seriously doubt Clark should be dissing a fellow military man about judgment.
Unbelievable. Maybe the U.S. map should have scattered dots showing where various Native American settlements were once located.
"It will be none of this summit's business to choose the titles for leaders, it is the business of this summit to see what we are going to do for the suffering people and masses in Africa," Tanzanian Foreign Minister Bernard Membe remarked when asked if he would address [Zimbabwe's Robert] Mugabe as president.
Umm, maybe helping to rid the continent of brutal dictators like Mugabe would be a good start, hmm? Sheesh.
Unbelievable this: Delaware Governor Ruth Ann Minner has vetoed the state's eminent domain bill -- despite there being only one vote against it in the State House and Senate.
Gov. Ruth Ann Minner announced today she is vetoing legislation that would have redefined “public use” in the eminent domain law and made it harder for government agencies to take private land.
The Legislature passed Senate Bill 245 on June 12, after months of negotiations between parities involved in the issue.
The legislation would have only allowed government agencies to take private land if it was intended for "public use" and added that economic development did not meet the definition of "public." It also would have tightened the definition of blighted, adding it must be a threat to public health and safety.
Mike Matthews aptly notes that the vote is certainly veto-proof, so why bother "negotiating further" with the fossilized gov. to get it passed as the News Journal article states?
If you ever doubted that Democrats/liberals prefer government to the individual, just look at Governor Minner's view of eminent domain, and the liberal bloc on the US Supreme Court that gave us the infamous Kelo decision -- which allowed idiots like Minner to do what she did in this regard.
Matthews also notes that DE gubernatorial candidate Jack Markell blasted Minner's decision. And DE Watch's Dana Garrett notes that there'll be a huge protest tomorrow at Dover's Legislative Hall regarding this imbroglio.
... Poll: Teachers believe parents not preparing kids for school, life.
Hey, it's only fair based on this story, natch.
I have MSNBC on the tube right now. John McCain is speaking to a conference of Latino leaders. Suddenly, a woman stands up and starts shouting -- in Spanish -- and holds up a banner that says "McCain = Guerra." That's "McCain = War."
No idea what she was shouting. Couldn't hear her. I do wonder if MSNBC was tipped off, though -- the woman got up and began her rant about a mere 30 seconds after the network went to coverage.
The "father of the Canadian healthcare system" now has misgivings about socialized medicine:
Back in the 1960s, [Claude] Castonguay chaired a Canadian government committee studying health reform and recommended that his home province of Quebec — then the largest and most affluent in the country — adopt government-administered health care, covering all citizens through tax levies.
The government followed his advice, leading to his modern-day moniker: "the father of Quebec medicare." Even this title seems modest; Castonguay's work triggered a domino effect across the country, until eventually his ideas were implemented from coast to coast.
Four decades later, as the chairman of a government committee reviewing Quebec health care this year, Castonguay concluded that the system is in "crisis."
"We thought we could resolve the system's problems by rationing services or injecting massive amounts of new money into it," says Castonguay. But now he prescribes a radical overhaul: "We are proposing to give a greater role to the private sector so that people can exercise freedom of choice."
Castonguay advocates contracting out services to the private sector, going so far as suggesting that public hospitals rent space during off-hours to entrepreneurial doctors. He supports co-pays for patients who want to see physicians. Castonguay, the man who championed public health insurance in Canada, now urges for the legalization of private health insurance.
I don't know of many people who think the US healthcare system shouldn't be improved; however, desiring to turn it over the entity (government) that can't even manage its own friggin' restaurant correctly, well, that's about as numbskulled as you can get.
Another under-appreciated nugget this time from Monterrey, Mexico (where just about every great band from that country comes from) -- here's Jumbo with "Siento Que." (This site has the Spanish lyrics and the English translation ... though some of the translations aren't quite accurate.)
Here is the insanely phenomenal Argentinian Soda Stereo and their "unplugged" version of "Angel Eléctrico":
Ahi va la tempestad,
Ya parece un paisaje habitual.
Un arbol color sodio, la caida de un Angel Electrico!
No tengo estatica y no querria lastimarte de nuevo
Volvi solo y cargado por la caida de otro Angel Electrico.
Enrredado en cables, estoy al filo de la resignacion,
Debe ser del habito al esperar que algo quiebre en un mi sonor.
Un nuevo acorde te hace mirarme a los ojos,
Aun tengo al sol para besar tu sombra.
Hoy cai al dejarte sola, ya pague por quebrar la calma.
Where is McCain's intellectual curiosity? Over the past decade, more and more Americans of all ages have become wired. Using email and the Internet has become a fundamental activity of modern life. How could McCain, who has long wanted to lead this nation, say to himself, I don't need to know how this stuff works? And in an era when so much depends on the Internet--including much of the economy and aspects of national security--how could a senior legislator and commander-in-chief wannabe eschew firsthand experience of how this series of tubes and wires functions?
TUBES? As the text lingo would say, "ROTFLMAO!"
Below is a pic of Corn's computer, obviously retrofitted with a modem so he can blog:
Check out the ACLU's summary of yesterday's Heller SCOTUS gun rights decision. Here's their preface:
The Second Amendment has not been the subject of much Supreme Court discussion through the years. To the extent it has been discussed, the Court has described the Second Amendment as designed to protect the ability of the states to preserve their own sovereignty against a new and potentially overreaching national government. Based on that understanding, the Court has historically construed the Second Amendment as a collective right connected to the concept of a "well-regulated militia" rather than an individual right to possess guns for private purposes.
Is that really true? Not from what I've read and studied. I would presume that the ACLU is referring to the classic Miller case -- the last time the SCOTUS substantially dealt with the 2nd Amendment. This was back in 1939. The case has a lot of quirky twists and turns, but the high court eventually ruled against Miller's right to possess a sawed-off shotgun -- that the 2nd Amendment did not "protect" this right. But, as Robert A. Levy notes in the link above,
Miller applies to the type of weapon, not to the question whether the Second Amendment protects all individuals, only members of a militia or just states.
Which would not contradict anything in yesterday's Heller ruling since the majority stated that reasonable restrictions on guns could be implemented. And looking back at Miller, it'd be hard to argue that handguns aren't commonly used military weapons!
So, again, how did the so-called "Guardians of the Bill of Rights" come up with the idea that the very second of all amendments is ... a collective right? Mainly, it's from the wording of the amendment itself. To help dispel the notion, however, the NRA's website provides myriad links. And this may be one of the best sites I've seen recently that dismantles the "collective" notion. And geez, look -- the government itself says the Bill of Rights is all about individual rights:
In the summer of 1787, delegates from 13 new American states, recently British colonies, met in Philadelphia to write a constitution for a unified nation. By September, they had produced a document that then began to circulate among the state legislatures for ratification. The new constitution provided a blueprint for how the national government would function, but it did not contain a section specifically outlining the rights of individual citizens.
Jefferson's position gained advocates, and a compromise was reached. State legislatures agreed to ratify the draft document with the understanding that the first national legislature meeting under the new constitution would pass amendments guaranteeing individual liberties. That is precisely what occurred. By 1791, these 10 amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, had become part of the supreme law of the land.
The ACLU says that the SCOTUS, in Heller, "reinterpreted the Second Amendment as a source of individual rights." In actuality, the ACLU reinterpreted history to make their specious argument.
Don't you have to be a citizen of the country you represent in the Olympics? If not, when did this change?
Becky Hammon dreamed about the moment as a young girl growing up in Rapid City, S.D. Someday that would be her on that Olympic podium, tears welling up as she hears the national anthem, quivering with emotion as a gold medal is placed around her neck.
"I love my country," Hammon said last month in her Russian apartment. "I love our national anthem. It absolutely gives me chills sometimes. I feel honored to be an American, to be from America because of what we stand for."
But if the 5-foot-6 point guard from America's heartland does ascend that medal stand in Beijing, she won't be wearing America's red, white and blue. And if Hammon does win gold, it won't be the U.S. anthem she hears. It will be the Russian anthem, a melody she says she has come to enjoy since signing a multiyear, multimillion-dollar deal last year to play for CSKA, a Russian professional club. (Link.)
She loves her country, but loves the green stuff just a little more. Hmm. Sounds like a lot of corporations!
Don't know 'bout you, but I wouldn't -- couldn't do it. Hell, I can't even bring myself to ever put on a shirt with any football team's name/logo unless it's the St. Louis Rams. Seriously.
I was reading Jay Nordlinger's column today and it included a letter from a mother who has adopted multiracial boys. She writes,
Our boys are partially black, Hispanic, and white. We’re trying our best to instill in them that they can be great because they have potential and choices and opportunities in this country. Don’t even get me started on Obama’s being touted as “black,” and not “biracial.” What’s so bad about being biracial?
Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for what you published. I’m not drawn to golf in the least, but I’m always amazed at how people of all backgrounds are drawn to Tiger Woods — and I understand why.
She referenced a past Nordlinger column that included a statement Tiger made about race. But this is what gets me: Who even cares what Tiger said about race? The guy is, simply put, THE best golfer in history and possibly the greatest athlete ever in sports. Isn't that sufficient enough to be "drawn to" him?
I say "absolutely."
And now... the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are South Africa's Neville Chamberlain by The Razor, and Why You Should Apologize -- Ineffectively and Dishonestly -- For What You Didn't Do by Classical Values. Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:
|2 2/3||South Africa's Neville Chamberlain|
|2||The Whole Shebaa-ng|
|1 2/3||More Quincy|
Done With Mirrors
|1 1/3||Dick Morris Gets One Right|
Hillbilly White Trash
|2/3||My ANWR Photo Gallery|
Cheat Seeking Missiles
|1/3||Left Continues Denigration of McCain's Military Service, POW Heroism|
Rhymes With Right
|1/3||Gay Pride Week|
|1/3||And on the Seventh Day, He Rested|
|2||Why You Should Apologize -- Ineffectively and Dishonestly -- For What You Didn't Do|
|1 2/3||The Unconscious Roots of Media Bias|
|1 1/3||Big Gains in Iraq?|
|1 1/3||Obama's Lack of Ordinary Modesty|
|1||An Almost Unfathomable Ignorance of History|
Brits At Their Best
Stop the ACLU
|1||Is There A Pattern Here? If So, Is There A Name For It?|
|1/3||"Declaring Independence from a 'Broken System' By Breaking a Promise..." [UPDATED]|
Shira bat Sarah
It might be "offensive" to epileptics or the mentally ill:
A council has banned the term "brainstorming" - and replaced it with "thought showers."
Officials Tunbridge Wells Borough Council in Kent feared the phrase might offend epileptics or the mentally ill.
Staff have been sent memos about the change and even sent on training courses, reports The Sun.
A council spokesman said: "We take diversity awareness very seriously. The majority of staff have taken part in training and been asked to use the term 'thought showers'."
Fortunately, the National Society for Epilepsy and a representative from the mental health charity SANE think the whole idea is nonsense.
(h/t: Tongue Tied.)
Gotta love the morons at Reuters. Check out James Vicini's article on today's historic gun rights ruling by the SCOTUS:
Individual Americans have a right to own guns, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday for the first time in the country's history, striking down a strict gun control law in the U.S. capital.
The landmark 5-4 ruling marked the first time in nearly 70 years the high court has addressed the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It rejected the argument the right to keep and bear arms was tied to service in a state militia.
Justice Antonin Scalia said for the majority the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with militia service and to use it for traditional lawful purposes, such as self-defense in the home.
However, he said the new right was not unlimited.
In addition, Vicini had to make it known to his readers that Justice Antonin Scalia may have had ... "other" motives for his decision:
Although an individual now has a constitutional right to own guns, that new right is not unlimited, wrote Scalia, a hunter.
Can't ban guns if you're a hunter, right? Yeesh.
Vicini ought to read just a little literature on the Bill of Rights and the history of the right to bear arms, don't'cha think?
Once again, it's Chile's La Ley from their Unplugged album (which is, in a word, spectacular). Lead singer Beto Cuevas' voice is phenomenal. Here's "Intenta Amar" ("Endeavour to Love"):
The Supreme Court tossed out a handgun ban in the nation’s capital on Thursday, holding for the first time that the Second Amendment does protect an individual right to self-defense and gun ownership.
But in its first hard look at gun rights in nearly 70 years, the court also held – in a narrow, 5-4 ruling – that the right is subject to some reasonable limitations.
"Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose," wrote Justice Antonin Scalia.
Well, no duh. It's too true no right is absolute. But I've always thought it ludicrous that people believed that the 2nd of our rights in the Bill of Rights conferred a "collective" right on an organized militia.
Also note how the 5-4 ruling is labeled as "narrow." Something you'll rarely hear/read about similarly numbered rulings when the liberal bloc prevails.
Oh no -- the Justice Dept. apparently favored conservatives over liberals for two years out of the last seven:
Ivy Leaguers and other top law students were rejected for plum Justice Department jobs two years ago because of their liberal leanings or objections to Bush administration politics, a government report concluded Tuesday.
As early as 2002, career Justice employees complained to department officials that Bush administration political appointees had largely taken over the hiring process for summer interns and so-called Honors Program jobs for newly graduated law students. For years, job applicants had been judged on their grades, the quality of their law schools, their legal clerkships and other experiences.
But in 2002, many applicants who identified themselves as Democrats or were members of liberal-leaning organizations were rejected while GOP loyalists with fewer legal skills were hired, the report found. Of 911 students who applied for full-time Honors jobs that year, 100 were identified as liberal — and 80 were rejected. By comparison, 46 were identified as conservative, and only four didn't get a job offer.
In 2006, though, 83 of 150 liberals were rejected while only 5 of 28 conservatives were. My math tells me that the totals of those two years rears 87 liberals to 65 conservatives hired. Liberals still outnumber conservatives despite the "political" hiring!
But here's the laugher:
"This is the first smoking gun," said Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee. "We believe there will be more to come. This report shows clearly that politics and ideology replaced merit as the hiring criteria at one of our most prized civil service departments."
What a hoot. This, from the ideology/party that backs idiocies like the University of Michigan's "critical mass" rationale for diversity on college campuses. Applicants don't get into college solely based on academic merit and the quality of their high schools, but on other "holistic" measures -- like race. After all, "critical mass" (in educational settings) means
that it is important for a sufficient number of "minorities" to be enrolled on campus so that they not feel "isolated." When the number of blacks dropped at UC Berkeley following the passage of 209, the opponents of 209 argued that the drop in black enrollment created a "hostile environment" for those enrolled. "Critical mass" theory also means that the remainder of the student body needs to see enough black faces so that they can benefit from "diversity."
Following this, er, "logic," doesn't it stand to reason that those "political" DOJ employees were just trying to create a "critical mass" of conservative hires? Y'know, make sure there was no "hostile environment" for them? So that the conservatives could benefit from the DOJ's "diversity?"
Just another notch in the belt that shows the utter illogic of liberal thought.
The full DOJ report is here (.PDF file).
Barack Obama, while speaking in Albuquerque, NM, repeated an oft-cited total myth, but still used by "good" progressives everywhere:
It starts with equal pay. 62 percent of working women in America earn half - or more than half - of their family's income. But women still earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. In 2008, you'd think that Washington would be united in its determination to fight for equal pay. That's why I was proud to co-sponsor the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, which would have reversed last year's Supreme Court decision, which made it more difficult for women to challenge pay discrimination on the job.
Obama goes on to criticize John McCain's view of that SCOTUS decision, saying that he "suggested that the reason women don't have equal pay isn't discrimination on the job - it's because they need more education and training. That's just totally wrong." It is?
That "77 cents to the dollar" (or whatever the figure du jour is) canard is meant to convey the belief -- MYTH, actually -- that women are being discriminated against by those nasty 'ol males in the workplace. Obama buys this hooey, and backs [unnecessary] legislation to "undue" it. But here's the deal:
The 74 (77 now, according to Obama) percent figure is derived by comparing the average median wage of all full-time working men and women. To obtain figures for individual states, average wages of men and women within that state are compared. So older workers are compared to younger, social workers to police officers, and, since full-time means any number of hours above 35 a week (and sometimes fewer), those working 60-hour weeks are compared with those working 35-hour weeks. These estimates fail to consider key factors in determining wages, including education, age, experience, and, perhaps most importantly, consecutive years in the workforce.
But this average wage gap, as it is known, says nothing about whether individuals with the same qualifications who are in the same jobs are discriminated against.
How much less do equally-qualified women make? Surprisingly, given all the misused statistics to the contrary, they make about the same. Economists have long known that the adjusted wage gap between men and women--the difference in wages adjusted for occupation, age, experience, education, and time in the workforce--is far smaller than the average wage gap.
The wage gap shrinks dramatically when multiple factors are considered. Women with similar levels of education and experience earn as much as their male counterparts. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, economics professor June O'Neill found that, among people ages twenty-seven to thirty-three who have never had a child, women's earnings are close to 98 percent of men's.
In other words, this "average wage gap" of which Obama speaks is mostly due to the life and employment choices that women make. Women choose to exit the workforce for a time to have children. Women tend to choose lower paying jobs (like teaching, ahem) as a whole than men. And so on. But when men and women of similar education and experience and job type are compared, the "gap" is about a mere two percent as noted above.
Is that 2% of a concern? Well, sure, but discrimination doesn't account for all of that remaining figure, only a portion of it. In other words, it could account for less than one percent of the actual wage gap between men and women. Which sort of makes Obama's criticism of that mentioned SCOTUS decision sorta silly, doesn't it?
Such a figure is just too tiny, eh Mr. Obama? But you can't get the electorate juiced about "discrimination against women" using "less than one percent," eh?
At least that's what the loony left would complain about in reverse: Midwest flood victims feel misled by feds.
Juli Parks didn't worry when water began creeping up the levee that shields this town of about 750 from the Mississippi River - not even when volunteers began piling on sandbags.
After all, local officials had assured townspeople in 1999 that the levee was sturdy enough to withstand a historic flood, and FEMA had agreed. In fact, some relieved homeowners dropped their flood insurance, and others applied for permits to build new houses and businesses.
Then on Tuesday, the worst happened: The levee burst and Gulfport was submerged in 10 feet of water. Only 28 property owners were insured against the damage.
"They all told us, 'The levees are good. You can go ahead and build,'" said Parks, who did not buy flood coverage because her bank no longer required it. "We had so much confidence in those levees."
1999? Seems to me a certain Bill Clinton was president then. And since moonbat Dennis Kucinich wanted, in part, to impeach President Bush for his response (or lack thereof) to Hurricane Katrina, I'm sure he'll want to retroactively impeach (for the second time) 'ol Slick, right?
The words appear on screen, followed by an ominous voice: JOHN McCAIN IS A LIAR.
Then we see an image of Tran Trong Duyet, McCain's former Vietnam war jailer, who says the following:
"We never tortured him. We never tortured any prisoners ... He did not tell the truth. But I can somehow sympathise with him. He lies to American voters in order to get their support for his presidential election."
Then more words appear: JOHN McCAIN. LIED ABOUT HIS PAST. HE'LL LIE IN THE FUTURE.
... than John McCain's four years in the House of Representatives and 22 years in the U.S. Senate. So says a Newsweek columnist. This is cross-posted at Newsbusters.
Newsweek is at it again (see here, here, and here for starters). Virtually any positive angle its writers can come up with for Barack Obama, it'll take. The latest comes from "special guest columnist" Alan Ehrenhalt who argues -- and then doesn't argue (you'll see what I mean) -- that Barack Obama's experience as a state legislator makes him more qualified (to be president) than John McCain's twenty-two years as a U.S. Senator (and his four years as a U.S. Representative before that).
But here's something I bet you didn't know: If Obama becomes president, he will have spent more time serving as a state legislator (eight years) than anyone who has occupied the White House since Abraham Lincoln.
You're thinking that's kind of irrelevant. John McCain has been a member of the U.S. Senate since 1986; do I really mean to suggest that Obama's eight years in the Illinois Senate (not the most august deliberative body, as anyone who has seen it will attest) provide the same preparation for the presidency? Well, not exactly. But looking back on quite a few years covering Congress, and an almost equal number of years following legislatures, I'm drawn to some slightly curmudgeonly comments about what it is that U.S. senators do, and what it is that state legislators do.
This is what I meant above when I said that Ehrenhalt "argues and then doesn't argue" that Obama's experience trumps McCain's. He brings up the totally irrelevant fact that Obama "will have spent more time serving as a state legislator" than any president (if elected) in 150 years. Yet, the Illinois Senate is "not the most august deliberative body"? What?
Ehrenhalt goes on to note that modern U.S. senators are really nothing more than "gadflies;" their aides do most of the heavy work, and that they have "little expertise" on most issues brought before the body. In contrast, state legislators "keep all the state's significant issues in mind;" in Obama's case, he
was forced to wrestle with the minutiae of health-care policy, utility deregulation, transportation funding, school aid, and a host of other issues that are vitally important to America's coming years, but that U.S. senators are usually able to dispose of with a quick once-over. State legislators have to do this largely on their own, without ubiquitous staff guidance, because staffing is not lavish even in the more professional state capitols. They enter into day-to-day bargaining relationships over the details of legislation with colleagues of both parties; there is no one else to do it for them.
But again, Ehrenhalt qualifies this lengthy description. He notes that [state legislators] "at their worst, they are doggedly parochial, people who tend first and foremost to the interests of a relatively small constituency." First it was that Ehrenhalt was "not exactly" arguing that Obama's local political experience is better than McCain's at the national level; now, he notes that state legislators, well, can be good and bad. Got that?
Obama simply had to work with his Republican colleagues while in the Illinois Senate, Ehrenhalt writes, to "work out the details of legislation expanding health-care coverage and revising campaign-finance law." Oh, and get this distinguishing feature of Obama's local "experience": He played in a local poker game where "party and ideology were utterly irrelevant." Wow! Yet -- again -- Ehrenhalt qualifies his points! "The last thing I want to do is idealize state legislatures," he writes. Its members are "prone to conflicts of interest" and are "frequently easy for lobbyists to manipulate." But he just wants everyone to be aware that the "skill set [Obama] picked up over eight years in a state Capitol" might actually be superior to "two decades in the pompous, cordoned-off environment of the U.S. Senate." I wonder if Ehrenhalt remembers the criticism of Obama's lack of bipartisanship in the U.S. Senate?
Ehrenhalt goes on to compare Hillary Clinton's claims of superior (to Obama) experience, criticizing her use of her term(s) as First Lady. He says that no one had ever utilized such a claim before; well, of course not. No former First Lady was ever a serious candidate for the presidential nomination before! Nevertheless, he ends on as indecisive a note as the whole article was:
Does having been First Lady make you better prepared to give the right answer when the phone rings in the dead of night? Maybe it does. I'm not saying no; I'm saying I don't know, and nobody else does either.
As for the fall campaign, I am not urging anyone to vote for Obama, or against McCain, on the issue of experience. What I am suggesting is that experience itself is a slippery commodity to measure—that there is no easy way to guess what sort of political career is ideal for a president—and that we would all be better off just listening to what the candidates say and how they say it, and spending a little time looking into what sort of people they are.
Indeed. Ehrenhalt isn't "urging anyone to vote for Obama, or against McCain;" he just spent an entire article pointing out how Obama was an incredibly dedicated public servant in Illinois, and how he accumulated in-depth knowledge of the issues. In contrast, the only positive thing noted about the U.S. Senate (i.e. John McCain), out of myriad denigrating statements, was that a few senators may develop "an encyclopedic knowledge of topics that interest them" (but these "are the minority").
Ehrenhalt's [not so] clever attempts at even-handedness ("Well, not exactly;" "Maybe it does;" "I'm not saying no; I'm saying I don't know," etc.) essentially make his entire column moot. But its message is as clear as its previous Newsweek Barack-embracing screeds.
The popular comedian has died.
This guy cracked me up through three decades. He was probably best known for his "Seven Dirty Words" routine; however, one joke of his I'll never forget ('cause I laughed so damn much at it) was his consternation at the phrase "taking a shi*." He asked, "Who actually takes a shi*? Don't you leave one? Who would want to take a shi* anyway??"
Tom Brokaw is named the new host for NBC's "Meet the Press."
“Liz Allen wouldn’t be happy if you gave her a million dollars because she’d have to carry it home.” -- Glenn Miller, Kent County Independent Party of Delaware Chairman. (Link.)
From the Newsbusters e-mail tipline, which goes to many contributors, not just me:
the gop are stinking human filth starting with that fucking asshole bush
Must be a loyal viewer of Keith Olbermann's show.
This is a bit presumptuous, don't'cha think?
According to the [San Jose] Mercury News, that is:
Not only was the driver of a Ford Bronco that fatally struck a 12-year-old girl unlicensed, but San Jose police say she is also an illegal immigrant, renewing the debate over whether undocumented people should be allowed to apply for driver's licenses.
The revelation that Adriana Fierro De Marin, 31, is in the country illegally struck yet another chord with the family of Breanna Slaughter-Eck, still reeling from the loss of the Hoover Middle School sixth-grader.
"I'm worried that she just might flee now and walk away from all this," said Joe Castro, the man who raised Breanna for the last four years. For her part, Breanna's mother simply wants justice.
Breanna was biking home from Hoover on June 12, her last day of school, when a Ford Bronco making a left turn slammed into her. The crash is still under investigation and no charges have been filed.
But Breanna's death and the disclosure by authorities that Fierro De Marin is an undocumented immigrant and unlicensed driver highlights one of the more controversial topics lingering in the state Capitol.
There have been nine attempts since 1999 to allow undocumented immigrants to apply for driver's licenses. Each of the efforts has failed, opposed by Republicans who say it's inappropriate to provide state services and benefits to people who are in the country illegally.
Yes, in some magical way, even if Republicans relented and allowed people in the country illegally to acquire a legal document/form of ID, all illegal immigrants will magically become better drivers. Oh, yeah, sure -- you showed that you "passed the test." Please. Does anyone seriously want to argue that a significant portion of illegal aliens will then suddenly become better drivers?
Where does this "reward for breaking the law" end? And why does the media, like the Mercury News aid and abet people who break the law? And why does it seem Democrats always take the side of illegal immigrants? Oh, is it in the name of "humanity" and "morality?" Go ahead and make that case. Just don't, then, bitch and moan about George Bush's actions in the name of "safety" and "security," OK?
This seems tailor-made for him: Midwest Flood Victims Feel Misled.
Juli Parks didn't worry when water began creeping up the levee that shields this town of about 750 from the Mississippi River - not even when volunteers began piling on sandbags.
After all, local officials had assured townspeople in 1999 that the levee was sturdy enough to withstand a historic flood, and FEMA had agreed. In fact, some relieved homeowners dropped their flood insurance, and others applied for permits to build new houses and businesses.
Then on Tuesday, the worst happened: The levee burst and Gulfport was submerged in 10 feet of water. Only 28 property owners were insured against the damage.
"They all told us, `The levees are good. You can go ahead and build,"' said Parks, who did not buy flood coverage because her bank no longer required it. "We had so much confidence in those levees."
Spike probably thinks the levees were destroyed on purpose. Speaking of which, where is the wall-to-wall coverage of these massive floods in the MSM? We had weeks of Katrina coverage. And speaking of Katrina, wasn't there a lot of advanced warning with that storm? Compare preparation time for that disaster with the rains in the midwest.
And now... the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are Judicial Activism Run Amok by Wolf Howling, and After the Charge by Miserable Donuts. All members, please be sure to link to both winning entries (and to the full results of the vote) in a post. One member was unable to vote this week, but was unaffected by the 2/3 vote penalty. Thanks to everyone for all the great entries this week... I'm eager to see next week's entries! Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:
|3||Judicial Activism Run Amok|
|2 2/3||Admitting Defeat in the Rhetoric War|
Cheat Seeking Missiles
|1 1/3||What the Free World Would Do Well To Emulate|
The Colossus of Rhodey
|1 1/3||Say It Loud, Say It Proud: I Am a Racist! *UPDATED*|
|1||A Rose By Any Other Name -- Tiptoeing Around Jihad|
|2/3||R. Kelly: I Believe He's a Platinum Predator|
Rhymes With Right
|1/3||My Mother-in-Law The Democrat|
|1/3||The End of Guilt?|
The Glittering Eye
|3 2/3||After the Charge|
|1 1/3||Obama and Taxes: An Unchanged Liberal Agenda|
Lone Star Times
|1||The United States Supreme Court Versus America: Awarding "The Privilege of Habeas Corpus To Terrorists"|
|1||Why Irish Voters Rejected the Lisbon Treaty|
The Brussels Journal
|1||Serlo the Mercer and Magna Carta|
Brits At Their Best
|2/3||They Never Change|
|2/3||The Future of Russo-American Relations (Guest Voice)|
The Moderate Voice
|1/3||Obama Finds Bitter Voter Man|
|1/3||Supreme Court: Supreme Overreach|
|1/3||Who's To Blame For High Gas Prices? Look in the Mirror, America|
Right Wing Nut House
|1/3||Let's Get Something Straight|
|1/3||The Willful Blindness of Barack Obama|
My latest Newsbusters post.
Now, it's in the habit of determining whether punishments parents give their children are appropriate:
The girl, 12, took her father to Quebec Superior Court after he refused to allow her to go on a school trip for chatting on Web sites and then posting "inappropriate" pictures of herself online using a friend's computer, AFP reported.
The punishment was for the girl's "own protection," according to the father's attorney, Kim Beaudoin, who is appealing the ruling.
"She's a child," Beaudoin told AFP. "At her age, children test their limits and it's up to their parent to set boundaries. I started an appeal of the decision today to reestablish parental authority, and to ensure that this case doesn't set a precedent."
Otherwise, she continued, "Parents are going to be walking on egg shells from now on."
According to court documents, the girl's Internet usage was the latest in a rash of disciplinary problems. But Justice Suzanne Tessier, who was presiding over the case, found the punishment too severe.
I suppose I'd have found myself in court this past week if I lived up north. I took away my daughter's cell phone for a few days after she defied house rules and used it after hours.
Say it with me about those Canucks: YEESH.
Well, not really, but they have the same philosophy: Nationalize the oil industry.
House Democrats responded to President's Bush's call for Congress to lift the moratorium on offshore drilling. This was at an on-camera press conference fed back live.
Among other things, the Democrats called for the government to own refineries so it could better control the flow of the oil supply.
Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), member of the House Appropriations Committee and one of the most-ardent opponents of off-shore drilling said "We (the government) should own the refineries. Then we can control how much gets out into the market." (Source.)
As a tipster to Newsbusters mentioned, the Senate can't make a tuna sandwich correctly, but it wants to run the oil industry.
Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon is in hot water.
Gee, I wonder what party she belongs to? There's no mention of it in this AP article...
Remember -- don't say his middle name (Hussein, even though he's the one that first brought it up), and at campaign rallies, the "right mix" is always a must:
Two Muslim women at Barack Obama’s rally in Detroit on Monday were barred from sitting behind the podium by campaign volunteers seeking to prevent the women’s headscarves from appearing in photographs or on television with the candidate.
The campaign has apologized to the women, both Obama supporters who said they felt betrayed by their treatment at the rally.
“This is of course not the policy of the campaign. It is offensive and counter to Obama’s commitment to bring Americans together and simply not the kind of campaign we run,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton. “We sincerely apologize for the behavior of these volunteers.” (Source.)
I'm surprised Obama didn't use his classic "These aren't the volunteers I know" line.
Why is this not surprising? Because back in April the Obama campaign complained that they "needed more white people" at a Michelle Obama rally.
Hard to believe how people are being sucked in by this utter phony.
Which movie superheroes have the best costumes/uniforms/appearance? MSN gives the grades, and we grade the grades:
The Hulk. MSN says "A-" and we say "OK," mainly because the newest film had an excellent homage to his classic comicbook purple pants. Green is a great color (is gamma radiation really green?), but how many of you out there knew that the Hulk's original color was gray?
Superman. MSN says "C" and we say "HUH??" No way. Supes is the original hero and his costume is timeless. "A" grade all the way. The rationale for MSN's grade is lame: "What up with the burgundy boots and cape? Red states yield red capes; burgundy is for wine drinkers."
Spider-Man. MSN gives and "A" and we agree, natch. They give Spidey's black suit a "B," but who cares.
Daredevil. MSN says "A" but we say "B." It's close enough to the original costume to satisfy us, but it's less sleek and has that goofy "collar." Matt Murdock in his Gene Colan-drawn outfit looked like a daredevil acrobat. Ben Affleck seems to be trying to impress Tommy Hilfiger.
Iron Man. MSN says "A" and we say "A+." MSN nails it: "The Iron Man costume may, in fact, be the best movie adaptation we've seen."
Elektra. MSN gives a "B" and we concur -- not only with the grade, but with their rationale: "The only problem is that it's missing some of the nastiness Elektra's comic-book fans are used to. It's more 'lite' than 'spite.'"
Batman. MSN gives the George Clooney "nipple suit" a "B-" and the Christian Bale outfit an "A-." We agree, 'though we'd give Bale's suit a full "A." And we also agree that Bale is [by far] the only Batman who is closest Bruce Wayne's actual physique.
Blade. MSN says "C," and we say "WTF are you smoking?" Their complaint is that you don't even notice the vampire hunter's costume in the comics. Um, hello?? This is the friggin' MOVIES here, you dolts! It's all ABOUT image. And WTF is this: "Black trench coat, black gloves and black shoes? This taxes our patience. Honestly, Blade's lucky that he doesn't get hit by a car"?? We give Blade's duds an "A-" because what the hell would you expect a vampire hunter to wear -- yellow spandex (to quote a certain adamantium-enhanced X-Man from the first "X-Men" flick)?
The Fantastic Four. MSN says "C," but we say "B." Yes, Jessica Alba should've been made to look hotter, but this is Marvel's "family" franchise. MSN also says the Thing looked great; we beg to differ. He looked OK, but when you look only a little better than the Thing from the never-released Corman 1994 FF flick, that says a lot.
Wolverine. MSN gives a "D" because they complain that Wolvie should be in yellow spandex (see Blade commentary above). That may have worked in the comics, but it'd look pretty silly on the silver screen. Besides, that comment ignores "Ultimate" Wolverine's look. We give the Canuck X-Man a "B" for his black on-screen duds.
Catwoman. MSN gives a disparaging "F;" we say anything that allows the devastatingly gorgeous Halle Berry to show off her spectacular bod deserves no less than a B-." But that friggin' headwear has GOT to go.
Silver Surfer. We're surprised he was even included, but we'll agree with MSN's grade of "A." His effects were first-rate.
Ghost Rider. MSN says "C;" we say "no friggin' way." GR was remarkably true to the comic's look, so if this is the factor by which we should judge, MSN (see Wolverine above), then what's the friggin' deal? He deserves at least a "B," and the effects (and movie story) were better than expected.
This commercial, which aired this past weekend, is a guaranteed tear-jerker (if you don't get emotional, you're not human -- sorry):
What makes the Woods' story so special is remembering the era in which Tiger's father Earl grew up. And this aspect is best exemplified -- and immortalized -- by Samuel L. Jackson's character in "Changing Lanes":
"I hope you don't mind, but I was intrigued by your conversation. I just thought you were in advertising. So I want to give you my dream version of a Tiger Woods commercial, okay? There's this black guy on a golf course. And all these people are trying to get him to caddy for them, but he's not a caddy. He's just a guy trying to play a round of golf. And these guys give him a five-dollar bill and tell him to go the clubhouse and get them cigarettes and beer. So, off he goes, home, to his wife and to their little son, who he teaches to play golf. You see all the other little boys playing hopscotch while little Tiger practices on the putting green. You see all the other kids eating ice cream while Tiger practices hitting long balls in the rain while his father shows him how. And we fade up, to Tiger, winning four Grand Slams in a row, and becoming the greatest golfer to ever pick up a 9-iron. And we end on his father in the crowd, on the sidelines, and Tiger giving him the trophies. All because of a father's determination that no fat white man - like your fathers, probably - would ever send his son to the clubhouse for cigarettes and beer." (Link.)
If you live in a cave, Tiger Woods won his 14th major golf championship yesterday in a 19-hole playoff. With a very painful left knee.
This, despite the misleading headline: Survey: 74 percent of Congressional Republicans are climate deniers.
Since when is skepticism "denial?"
An anti-capital punishment judge in Ohio sure ain't gonna make Barack Obama's Christmas card list this year, thanks to this USA Today photo of him in his office:
What the hell is it about Che Guevara and Obama? At Newsbusters back in February, I wrote about an Obama campaign office in Houston that had a Cuban flag with Che's image superimposed on it.
Nevertheless, I wonder how such a judge coincides his anti-DP stance with that of admiring a killer who surely had no qualms about administering "final justice" -- without even the barest hint of a trial.
(h/t: The Corner.)
Alicia Keys on so-called "gangsta rap":
“‘Gangsta rap’ was a ploy to convince black people to kill each other,” she says, putting down the sandwich. “‘Gangsta rap’ didn’t exist.”
Come again? A ploy by whom?
She looks at us like it’s the dumbest question in the world. “The government.” (Source.)
Keys also believes that "Tupac [Shakur] and Biggie [Smalls] were essentially assassinated, their beefs stoked by the government and the media, to stop another great black leader from existing.” Um, uh-huh.
In the interview, Keys says that the song “Go Ahead” is an anti-GW tirade: “What have you given me but lies, lies, lies?” she says. Well gee -- in that case, maybe her next cover will be of the Thompson Twins!
I caught the rerun late last night (11:30pm) and discovered that ... they found Earth!! There's been, however, a lot of debate on various BSG forums about whether the planet really is Earth. The original BSG series had a two-part episode where the fleet discovered a world called "Terra" which was remarkably Earth-like ... but wasn't Earth. However, the ending of last week's show had two key ingredients that really make one believe the planet is 'ol Sol-3: 1) The panorama of the devastated city where the Galactica landing party lands seems to clearly be that of New York City. Did I say "devastated?" Yes I did -- Admiral Adama grabs a handful of soil and a junior officer puts a Geiger counter to it. The counter crackles rather noisily. Not to mention, of course, the ruins of buildings and other structures. 2) One of Galactica's officers announces that the "constellations are what they should be" when the fleet jumps into Earth space. We saw in an early season episode that Galactica knows what the constellations should look like from Earth.
If this is Earth, is it the present-day or ... some unglimpsed future? Or, an Earth from thousands of years in BSG's past? An rather interesting theory I read at one blog posited that the series will be shown to be sort of a "closed loop" civilizational evolutionary line -- that is, the Earth will be shown to have been destroyed after humanity created, and then fought in a cataclysmic war, its own robotic creations. The last remaining human beings escaped to space, and after a long journey, settled a world (or two) and eventually, after thousands of years, established the Twelve Colonies. Millenia later, humanity forgets what had happened to them so long ago, and ends up following the exact same path that brought them to the Twelve Colonies in the first place: The creation of robotic beings (Cylons) that eventually turn on them and nearly wipe them out.
We won't find out until around January, unfortunately.
So, I got together with my teaching/comics/movies buddy Brent yesterday to go see the latest Marvel offering, "The Incredible Hulk." Joining us was my old college pal Dan, the man who donated me most of my Iron Man collection back in the last 80s.
Let me just start off my saying that this flick is quite a step above the 2003 Ang Lee version. The action is better, the villain is vastly superior, and the hat-tips to past Hulk lore (comics and the TV show) were outstanding.
SPOILERS AHEAD! DON'T PROCEED IF YOU WANT NO REVELATIONS!
Edward Norton plays Bruce Banner this timeout, the Hulk's meek scientist alter-ego. Norton is a superb actor; if you've never seen "American History X," rent it ASAP and discover why. Norton doesn't really get a chance to show off his awesome talents in the film, unfortunately, but he's still better than Eric Bana from the 2003 film. (This guy doesn't think so; he says Norton comes off as "whiny." No way.)
The film is set five years after the 2003 film (exact time! Whoa!) and Banner is hiding from General "Thunderbolt" Ross (William Hurt this time out) and his minions in Brazil. While working a menial job in a bottling factory, Banner spends his free time communicating clandestinely with a scientist back in the states in hopes of finding a cure for his affliction. One day in the factory, Banner cuts his hand, and a drop of blood accidentally falls into a bottle of the final juice product. The hapless American who ends up drinking the juice (played by Stan Lee, natch) dies of gamma radiation poisoning, and this tips off Ross as to where Banner is hiding out.
Banner manages to elude the special forces team sent to nab him, mainly by unwillingly transforming into the Jade Giant (the Hulk, that is). Special forces team leader Emil Blonsky (played by the awesome Tim Roth) demands to know from Ross just how Banner can turn into the green behemoth. Ross lets Blonsky in on what the government is attempting to do with Banner's gamma research, which is mainly the development of a "super soldier" serum. This here is a HUGE hat-tip to Captain America lore, emphasized by the fact that the vial Ross gathers to use in Blonsky is marked by a label with the name "Reinstein" on it. Professor Reinstein is the name of the scientist that developed the original super soldier formula in the 1940s that created Capt. America.
Meanwhile, Banner, after the battle against Blonsky and co. in Brazil, has lost his laptop full of needed data. Therefore, he's gotta make his way back to the U.S. He does, but stupidly goes to see his love Betty Ross (played by uber-hot Liv Tyler. And yes, Betty is General Ross's daughter.) This, of course, leads to another confrontation between the Hulk and Blonsky's team. But this time, Blonsky has been injected with the super soldier serum. He moves like a super-athlete, but it's still not enough to best the Hulk (not much is, yo!). Of course, it doesn't help that Blonsky is one cocky MFer; he stands directly in front of the Hulk and goads him with "Is that the best you got?" whereupon Hulk kicks him into a tree and breaks every bone in his body!
Banner and Betty escape, and eventually find their way to the scientist Banner was corresponding with from Brazil. Banner discovers, to his chagrin, that the dude has replicated the blood samples he sent him over the years into a mass storehouse for further experimentation. (This was my big "WTF?" moment -- how does one "replicate" human blood from a specific individual??) The scientist is not malicious in his intent, however, and agrees to try to cure Banner. He appears to succeed, but at a most inopportune time: Blonsky (whose super soldier serum healed his busted skeleton perfectly) and co. have found him, and without the Hulk now, Banner is easy prey. After Banner has been secured, Blonsky demands that the scientist turn him into a Hulk-like creature! He doesn't care that the scientist can make no guarantees; he's beyond all reason now. The scientist injects Blonsky with one of his myriad gamma-irradiated samples, and Emil turns into the monstrous Abomination as a result!
As Blonsky thrashes about, however, following his transformation, he knocks over the scientist and smashes numerous gamma-enhanced blood samples. Some of those samples splash onto the scientist, and into an open wound on his head. The last we see of the scientist is of his head seemingly growing larger! This, for Brent, Dan and myself, was the creation of longtime Hulk nemesis The Leader (at left).
The climatic battle between the Hulk and the Abomination is first-rate. As the Abomination goes on a rage-induced rampage through Harlem (yes, Harlem -- get ready for Al Sharpton to protest: "Why did they have to destroy Harlem? Why couldn't it be a predominately white area of New York??", although critic Alonso Duralde says "kudos" for using Harlem instead of, say, Times Square), Banner is in a helicopter being whisked away by General Ross. But he convinces Ross that the only chance they have to beat the Abomination is for Ross to let Banner go and battle him as the Hulk. There's just one problem: Banner is supposed to be cured now. No matter, Banner says. There was "no guarantee" the cure would work. But in another of the film's "WTF?" moments, Banner is seen falling from the helicopter (in hopes of changing to the Hulk before he hits), but when he opens his eyes shortly before landfall, there's no green color to them and he mutters "Oh, shit." Yet, he makes a huge cratering hole upon impact, leaving viewers to assume he had at least partially transformed before splattering the street.
The donneybrook between the two gamma-spawned monoliths is awesome. The Abomination looks little like his comics version, and indeed is much more powerful than said version. He actually resembles Doomsday, the villain that "killed" Superman in the 1990s. The Hulk uses many of the classic battle techniques he did in the comics, including clapping his hands together to smother flames, and pounding his fists on the ground to create a massive shockwave. He even screams out the venerable "HULK SMASH!" toward battle's end.
One big negative about the confrontation is that one huge aspect about the Hulk was totally ignored: The madder he gets, the stronger he gets. This has been a LONG mainstay in the Hulk mythos, yet it's never mentioned or touched upon. For instance, even though the Abomination is stronger at the onset, as the Hulk gets more and more pissed off, he should have eventually totally pummelled Blonsky. The Hulk's "victory," as it is, is more of a luck factor than anything else.
Another "negative," such that it is, is that we didn't see any of the Hulk's prodigious leaps. In the 2003 film, the Hulk jumped miles over the barren desert. In 2008, the Hulk resembled Spider-Man, jumping from building to building before finally jumping just a little bit longer over the East River.
The acting could have been a lot better considering the superior casting over the first flick. Norton, Hurt and Roth are all first-rate actors, yet unlike "Iron Man," with a similarly talented cast, they weren't allowed to shine. Norton did the best job in my opinion; there's just something about his "naturalness" in front of the camera that impresses me. Liv Tyler, who didn't do a bad job, really didn't have to act. Just looking at her is pleasant enough, natch!
The homages to Hulk references were excellent. In Brazil, Norton is shown watching an old rerun of "The Courtship of Eddie's Father," which starred Bill Bixby. Bixby, of course, played Banner in the "Hulk" TV show in the late 70s. Speaking of the TV show, its tell-tale melancholy piano interlude was featured in a brief segment where Norton was strolling up the street of his favela. And, of course, Lou Ferrigno, who played the Hulk in the TV series, gets his cameo as a college campus security guard whom Norton bribes (to gain entrance to a lab) with a free pizza!
And, it's obvious that Marvel is opening up their movie universe just like they did with their comics universe. In a final scene, General Ross is met in a bar by none other than Tony Stark (yep, played by Robert Downey Jr.) to discuss the "Avengers Initiative." If you stuck around 'til after the credits in "Iron Man," you'll know what I'm talking about. And speaking of Iron Man, there were several brief references to Stark Industries and S.H.I.E.L.D. in "The Incredible Hulk."
As for the CGI? Only mildly better than the 2003 film. The effects for the Abomination are better than those for the Hulk -- probably because he looked much less human.
Hube's rating for "The Incredible Hulk": 3 out of 5 stars.
Courtesy of Newsbusters reader Ira B.:
But, like him, I'm going to "stick it out" 'til the end just to see how this miasma concludes.
Other Western nations do not have our own First Amendment protections enshrined in law. For example,
Canada, Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, South Africa, Australia and India all have laws or have signed international conventions banning hate speech. Israel and France forbid the sale of Nazi items like swastikas and flags. It is a crime to deny the Holocaust in Canada, Germany and France.
Last week, the actress Brigitte Bardot, an animal rights activist, was fined €15,000, or $23,000, in France for provoking racial hatred by criticizing a Muslim ceremony involving the slaughter of sheep. (Source.)
If you're like me, you'll react in disgust (mild or otherwise) at these laws, and to what was done to Bardot. A $23K fine because you criticize a religion's ceremony? Such penalties for the expression of a thought, however odious, are odious in themselves. But beware those in law who feel the United States should emulate Europe and other countries that penalize "hate" speech:
"It is not clear to me that the Europeans are mistaken," Jeremy Waldron, a legal philosopher, wrote in The New York Review of Books last month, "when they say that a liberal democracy must take affirmative responsibility for protecting the atmosphere of mutual respect against certain forms of vicious attack."
Waldron was reviewing Freedom for the Thought That We Hate: A Biography of the First Amendment by Anthony Lewis, the former New York Times columnist. Lewis has been critical of attempts to use the law to limit hate speech.
But even Lewis, a liberal, wrote in his book that he was inclined to relax some of the most stringent First Amendment protections "in an age when words have inspired acts of mass murder and terrorism." In particular, he called for a re-examination of the Supreme Court's insistence that there is only one justification for making incitement a criminal offense: the likelihood of imminent violence.
The imminence requirement sets a high hurdle. Mere advocacy of violence, terrorism or the overthrow of the government is not enough; the words must be meant to, and be likely to, produce violence or lawlessness right away. A fiery speech urging an angry racist mob immediately to assault a black man in its midst probably qualifies as incitement under the First Amendment. A magazine article - or any publication - aimed at stirring up racial hatred surely does not.
Lewis wrote that there is "genuinely dangerous" speech that does not meet the imminence requirement. "I think we should be able to punish speech that urges terrorist violence to an audience, some of whose members are ready to act on the urging," Lewis wrote. "That is imminence enough."
Imagine that -- a couple prominent liberals wanting to "relax" First Amendment protections because some speech may be "genuinely dangerous" even if there is no "imminence" behind it. (I wonder if these two liberals, among others, would criticize yesterday's Supreme Court ruling which "relaxed" the standard by which suspected terrorists can be detained.) Also, consider the example used by Lewis: A "fiery speech urging an angry racist mob immediately to assault a black man." This is certainly an "incitement" under current First Amendment interpretation; however, if we read Lewis correctly, he'd punish the writer of a magazine article if that same speech was printed. But just like "hate" crimes statutes, "hate" speech laws would likely be selectively applied -- that is, like Lewis's hypothetical, they would more likely be utilized against members of the majority under the guise of protecting the minority. Criticism of Islamic religious practices (like Bardot's), for example, would be more of a target than [radical] Islamic utterances desiring the destruction of Israel.
What is it about this liberal desire for the restriction of speech and expression? The answer is simple: Power. If you can restrict and punish expression which you do not like, you'll always get your way. Of course, the real danger of this view is that over time virtually anything can be labeled "hate" speech: Criticism of affirmative action? "Hate" against blacks and other minorities. Want stricter border control? "Hate" against Mexicans and Central Americans. Disagree with casino control by Native Americans? "Hate" against whatever Native tribe is involved. Similar speech by the noted groups above, however, would not (or rarely) be "hate" (of course it wouldn't be a perfectly symmetrical comparison ... for instance, a black group's criticism of white "power" in the workplace and a call for strict quotas on white hires wouldn't be "hate" whereas the white's criticism of affirmative action would be).
"Canadians do not have a cast-iron stomach for offensive speech," [lawyer for the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association Jason] Gratl said in a telephone interview. "We don't subscribe to a marketplace of ideas. Americans as a whole are more tough-minded and more prepared for verbal combat."
How's that for some self-deprecation, eh? Canadians can't handle vigorous debate about various ideas ... for fear one might be offended. I can imagine an American and a Canadian hashing out political issues at, say, Niagara Falls, and suddenly the easily offended Canuck summons a nearby cop to issue a citation to the Yank for "hate" speech. Sheesh. Scarier still is Canadian Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Dickson's philosophy on free speech:
"There is much to be learned from First Amendment jurisprudence." But he concluded that "the international commitment to eradicate hate propaganda and, most importantly, the special role given equality and multiculturalism in the Canadian Constitution necessitate a departure from the view, reasonably prevalent in America at present, that the suppression of hate propaganda is incompatible with the guarantee of free expression."
Who, exactly, determines what any "hate propaganda" is? Why, the judiciary, of course. At least they'd be the final arbiters of such a determination. And that's the way they like it. They have the ultimate power. No one elected them; they're appointed by political cronies of the party in power.
Mark Steyn (see Colossus post about him with associated links here), who's currently at the center of a free speech controversy (and legal case) in Canada, sums up the whole imbroglio nicely:
"The problem with so-called hate speech laws is that they're not about facts," he said in a telephone interview. "They're about feelings."
"What we're learning here is really the bedrock difference between the United States and the countries that are in a broad sense its legal cousins," Steyn added. "Western governments are becoming increasingly comfortable with the regulation of opinion. The First Amendment really does distinguish the U.S., not just from Canada but from the rest of the Western world."
And it should stay that way.
And now... the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are The Chicken or the Egg? by Joshuapundit, and What Kind of War Crimes Trials Does Obama Plan? (Updated) by American Thinker. Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:
|3||The Chicken or the Egg?|
|2||For Once, It Really Is About the Children|
|1 2/3||Caring Is Not Enough|
The Glittering Eye
|1 1/3||The Global Warming Cult|
|1||I'm a Fuel, Fuel, Fuel for You|
Done With Mirrors
|1/3||Quote of the Day: Gas Wars Edition|
Cheat Seeking Missiles
|2 2/3||What Kind of War Crimes Trials Does Obama Plan? (Updated)|
|2 1/3||Wake Up and Smell the Soup!|
|1 2/3||Obama and Khalidi -- What We Know So Far|
|1 1/3||Have You No Shame, Sir?|
Winds of Change
|1||When Worlds Collide|
The Weekly Standard
|2/3||Jimmy Obama, Meet Barack Carter|
|1/3||Shooting Down the Enemies of Progress|
|1/3||Noted Imbecile Mark Morford: Obama Is a "Lightworker," an "Enlightened Being"|
|1/3||Air Is Free|
|1/3||Arson Supected at Texas Governor's Mansion|
Mark Levin asks a very pertinent question:
While I am still reviewing the 5-4 decision written by Anthony Kennedy, apparently giving GITMO detainees access to our civilian courts, at the outset I am left to wonder whether all POWs will now have access to our civilian courts? After all, you would think lawful enemy combatants have a better claim in this regard than unlawful enemy combatants. And if POWs have access to our civilian courts, how do our courts plan to handle the thousands, if not tens of thousands of cases, that will be brought to them in future conflicts?
Indeed. If unlawful combatants have the "right" to have their case(s) heard in US civilian courts, then don't lawful combatants (prisoners of war) have a much better case for that same "right??"
I wonder if the US court system would have been able to handle all those POWs in Europe and the Pacific during WW II wanting to challenge their detentions ....??
Hugo Chavez pretends to cut back on his support of the FARC, when his "dangerous" associations go well beyond the Colombian guerrilla.
Presently young Venezuelans are being recruited for training in Lebanon.
Tarek el Ayssami, Venezuela's vice-Minister of the Interior, along with others affiliated with Hezbollah, such as Lebanon-born Gahzi Nasserddine currently the Business Liaison at the Venezuelan embassy in Damascus, along with [his brother by surname] Ghasan Atef Salameh Nasserddine (a) Abu Ali, are in charge of recruiting young Venezuelan Arabs affiliated to the PSUV [Chavez's own Venezuelan Socialist Party], to be sent to South Lebanon for combat training in Hezbollah camps.
The purpose of the training is for preparing the youths for asymmetrical war against the United States.
To coin a cliché, read the whole thing.
A couple of interesting comicbook related tidbits come my way today. The first, courtesy of the ever-vigilant Soccer Dad, details how a comics creator is looking "to the Koran For 99 New Superheroes":
God has 99 attributes, or names, including tolerance.
"And then the idea formed in my mind," [creator Naif al-]Mutawa said. "Heroes with the 99 attributes."
He mixed his deep religious faith, business acumen and firsthand experience with other cultures -- his childhood summers were spent at a predominantly Jewish camp in New Hampshire -- to create The 99, a comic-book series about superheroes imbued with the 99 attributes of God. Those traits represent one of Islam's most recognizable concepts.
Mutawa's superheroes are modern, secular and spiritual, moving seamlessly between East and West. They come from 99 countries and are split between males and females.
Mutawa has raised a cool $7 million for his project, and even has a new Iron Man writer assisting him. He also is wary of Islamic fundies, always a good thing:
"We should not allow a very limited number of people to tell us how to practice our religion. An Islam where I can be an active participant is the only Islam I can belong to. I believe in Islam and I also believe in evolution," he said.
However, one thing you might want to stay away from, Mutawa, is the growing -- ridiculous -- influence of the modern American university:
This semester, the American University of Kuwait offered a class, "The Superhero in the Arab World," that focused on The 99. As a final project, students created their own comic-book heroes.
How's that for academic rigor, eh? I could have gotten a zillion college credits back in grade school with all the original heroes I dreamed up! Sheesh!
About a week ago, the IESB was tipped off by a junior source at Marvel Studios that there had been some delays with Jon's negotiations regarding the sequel. When asked why I was told that Marvel and [Director Jon] Favreau hadn't been able to come to terms regarding money.
At first I thought my source was full of shit and I dismissed it as a rumor. This last Friday I was contacted by another source at Marvel and this one, let's just say, is much higher up on the food chain, and told me that the chairman of Marvel Studios David Maisel who has been in charge of negotiating new terms with Favreau is being cheap and not willing to pay a fair directors' fee.
Favreau was a bargain to begin with, he is after all a fairly new director even though he has had several commercially successful films under his belt when he was brought aboard Iron Man for a steal.
So according to our source at Marvel, Jon was expecting a moderate bump in his fee for the sequel but apparently Marvel has other plans.
Our source continues that Maisel believes Iron Man 2 will be a success regardless of Favreau's involvement and feels the studio does not need to pay Jon a higher fee for his services.
So bottom line, Jon Favreau has not been locked in to direct Iron Man 2 for the simple reason that Marvel is being cheap - this is 100% accurate folks, no bullshit.
Isn't that special? You get a guy for a bargain-basement rate, he turns out a blockbuster, and this is how you repay him. This makes me doubly glad I stopped buying modern Marvel books months ago. (That was because I grew weary of the cheap money-grabbing gimmicks, the lousy writing and characterization, and the need to purchase dozens of books to know what the hell is even going on.)
Maybe Robert Downey Jr. and the other stars can take a stand and vouch for Favreau. I would.
Wilmington News Journal report about a north Wilmington home invasion.
WDEL.com's report of the same incident.
Yeah -- let's wait until the guy has about seven months left in his presidency! That's guts for 'ya!
While I suppose some case for impeachment could be made regarding some aspects of the Iraq War and/or the [general] War on Terror (put it this way -- if Bill Clinton could be impeached for what he did, certainly a case could be made againt GW), let's take a gander at some of the totally moonbattish aspects of Kucinich's resolution (my comments in italics):
Oh, I see -- since it was CONGRESS that violated the Constitution by "not allow[ing] Congress to delegate this exclusive power to the President," it's the president who must pay the price for this!
Yeah, the evidence of THAT sure is obvious, ain't it? The price of gas at the pump has what -- more than doubled in the last year??
(3) facilitated the exposure of the identity of Valerie Plame Wilson who had theretofore been employed as a covert CIA operative;
Maybe Kucinich ought to be impeached for wasting five hours of Congress' time by bringing forth charges that have already been thoroughly investigated. The president did NOT "facilitate" the exposure of Ms. Plame (it was Richard Armitage, for cripe's sake) and if Plame's status as a "covert agent" was indeed a legitimate claim, Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald would have certainly gone after anyone who KNOWINGLY revealed that fact. Y'see, the actual law in question has two key parts: The agent in question MUST be covert, and anyone who may have leaked that information had to KNOW about this fact.
By this standard, all of Congress should be impeached.
a) has used military forces for law enforcement purposes on U.S. border patrol;
This entire Article is pretty laughable, but the above may be the best example. How is enforcing a national border against foreign nationals a violation of Posse Comitatus?
In his conduct while President of the United States, George W. Bush, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty under Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution "to take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” has both personally and acting through his agents and subordinates, refused to comply with Congressional subpoenas, and instructed former employees not to comply with subpoenas.
Earth to Kucinich: It's called "Balance of Powers." No branch of government can compel another to do its bidding. Would you comply to an Executive Order from President Bush "mandating" that all of your aides testify before a special Executive Branch committee? And remember what happened when the FBI raided Rep. William Jefferson's (D-LA) office on Capitol Hill?
Moonbat territory has officially been breached ...
Kucinich goes on to list numerous instances of conspiracy-minded attempts at restricting the votes of reliable Democratic constituencies.
Oh no! Impeachment for policy differences! Impeachment for different political beliefs! Likewise, we have...
Can we also impeach Louisiana Governor Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Nagin since disaster preparedness is primarily a state/local matter, Rep. Kucinich? To what extent do hold chief executives accountable for acts of God, Rep. Kucinich?
I wonder if Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter "did enough" to address the dire threat of global COOLING back in the 1970s. I wonder if Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush "did enough" to address the inevitable AIDS pandemic. Oh, that's right -- both "disasters" never occurred!!
Perhaps no other Article is as odious as this one. Using this as a standard for impeachment, then Bill Clinton should be retroactively impeached for his eight years of "negligence" in this realm, as opposed to George Bush's eight months.
This is probably the second most odious. Any one with half a brain knows the extreme political nature of such investigations, and given the political atmosphere of that time -- Democrats still smarting over Bush's 2000 election victory -- it was something that had to be initiated delicately and intelligently, at least from the POV of the administration. This Article is nothing more than a bone tossed to 9/11 Truther moonbats (like our own local Liz Allen).
Making the English language as malleable as Bill Clinton's definition of the word "is":
"So this – you know, these aren’t folks who are working for me," Obama said. "They're not people you know who I have assigned to a job in a future administration and, you know, ultimately my assumption is that, you know, this is a discreet task that they're going to performing for me over the next two months."
Here's what you do when you haven't produced anything worthwhile in some time: Take potshots at those who have.
Clint Eastwood folds his gangly frame behind a clifftop table at the Hotel Du Cap, a few miles up the coast from Cannes, sighs deeply, and squints out over the Mediterranean. "Has he ever studied the history?" he asks, in that familiar near-whisper.
The "he" is Spike Lee, and the reason Eastwood is asking is because of something Lee had said about Eastwood's Iwo Jima movie Flags of Our Fathers, while promoting his own war movie, Miracle at St Anna, about a black US unit in the second world war. Lee had noted the lack of African-Americans in Eastwood's movie and told reporters: "That was his version. The negro version did not exist."
Eastwood has no time for Lee's gripes. "He was complaining when I did Bird [the 1988 biopic of Charlie Parker]. Why would a white guy be doing that? I was the only guy who made it, that's why. He could have gone ahead and made it. Instead he was making something else." As for Flags of Our Fathers, he says, yes, there was a small detachment of black troops on Iwo Jima as a part of a munitions company, "but they didn't raise the flag. The story is Flags of Our Fathers, the famous flag-raising picture, and they didn't do that. If I go ahead and put an African-American actor in there, people'd go, 'This guy's lost his mind.' I mean, it's not accurate."
If you haven't seen either of Eastwood's excellent movies, "Flags of Our Fathers" details what happened to the soldiers who raised the American flag at Iwo Jima (one of which, by the way, was a Native American ... that doesn't satisfy Spike, of course), and "Letters from Iwo Jima" was told from the Japanese perspective (and had minimal American soldier appearances).
The ever-race controversy conscious MSM quickly picked up on the story, too. Today, CNN reported on the "spat," and interviewed a few people about it. What might you think the opinion would be of a guy whose title is "Director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Politics at UCLA?" You guessed it:
Mark Sawyer, Director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Politics at UCLA asserts Lee's take on Eastwood's films has merit.
MARK SAWYER, DIRECTOR, UCLA: It's a fair criticism in general about films about World War II and American wars in general. Clint Eastwood's films was sort of bearing the burden of hundreds of films about World War II that have ignored the presence of African-American troops.
So, because other films in the past were historically inaccurate and/or ignored the [rightful] role of African-Americans, Eastwood's historically accurate films must "bear that burden?"
Only to "Directors of Centers for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Politics" and others who bow down to what culturally politically correct.
In "The Kindergarchy," writer Joseph Epstein describes in detail the differences between two generation's of parents attitudes towards raising children. What rang a distinct bell were the tales of his upbringing; in other words, he was not the center of his parents' universe.
When I was a boy my parents might go off to New York or to Montreal (my father was born in Canada) for a week or so and leave my brother and me in the care of a woman in the neighborhood, a spinster named Charlotte Smucker--Mrs. Smucker to us--who was a professional childsitter. Sometimes an aunt, my mother's sister who had no children, would stay with us. We seldom went on vacation as a family. When I was eight years old, my parents sent me off for an eight-week summer camp session in Eagle River, Wisconsin, where I learned all the dirty words if not their precise meanings. None of these things made me unhappy or in any way dampened my spirits. I cannot recall ever thinking of myself as an unhappy kid.
My mother never read to me, and my father took me to no ballgames, though we did go to Golden Gloves fights a few times. When I began my modest athletic career, my parents never came to any of my games, and I should have been embarrassed had they done so. My parents never met any of my girlfriends in high school. No photographic or video record exists of my uneven progress through early life. My father never explained about the birds and the bees to me; his entire advice on sex, as I clearly remember, was, "You want to be careful."
At roughly the age of 11, I had the run of the city of Chicago, taking buses, streetcars, or the El with friends to Wrigley Field, downtown, or to nearby neighborhoods for Saturday afternoon movies. Beginning at 15, the age when driver's licenses were then issued in Chicago, I had frequent use of my mother's cream-and-green Chevy Bel-Air, which greatly expanded my freedom. I don't recall either of my parents asking me where I had been, or with whom, even when I came in at early morning hours on the weekends.
When we were together, at family meals and at other times, we laughed a lot, my parents, my brother, and I, but we did not openly exhibit exuberant affection for one another. We did not hug, and I do not remember often kissing my mother or her kissing me. Neither my mother nor my father ever told me they loved me; nor did I tell them that I loved them. I always assumed their love, and, as later years would prove, when they came to my aid in small crises, I was not wrong to do so.
I did not seek my parents' approval. All I wished was to avoid their--and particularly my father's--disapproval, which would have cut into my freedom. Avoiding disapproval meant staying out of trouble, which for the most part I was able to do. Punishment would have meant losing the use of my mother's car, or having my allowance reduced, or being made to stay home on school or weekend nights, and I cannot remember any of these things ever happening, a testament less to my adolescent virtue than to the generous slack my parents cut me.
My emphasis above. Boy, does that hit the nail on the head!
This generational dichotomy is oft discussed in my own home. My wife is what I call (well, someone else made up the term) a "helicopter parent." She feels the need to be at every single event our daughter is involved in, frequently at the expense of other matters. This has led to some spousal conflicts as you might imagine. For instance, daughter might have a parent "visiting day" for her dance class. According to wife's philosophy, I am to drop everything and make sure I attend this visitation. Now, keep in mind that there are several visitations throughout the year, and what we see in the visitation we ultimately see at the big dance recital at the end of the year. The reason (or "excuse") that I may have students after school for extra help, or have some other school business to attend to, is not a valid one to miss visitation -- according to the wife.
Such a situation would be unimaginable to my own parents. My father would be too exhausted after work and/or had to give guitar lessons upon his arrival home. (Yeah, my dad is a pretty good guitar player!) Mom was a stay-at-home mom, but she had my two sisters to worry about. Like Epstein, it was a rarity for either of my folks to attend one of my little league games; I usually had to ride my bike to the games, as it were. Same with my school track meets. I only remember my dad being at a track meet one time, and the fact that I knew he was coming sort of made it "special."
And y'know what? I never held any grudges for my folks not being at my events. Not at all. I knew they had other commitments. Indeed, I was thankful that they ponied up the cash for my little league participation, and my track spikes for the running season! As Epstein notes,
Parents generally didn't feel under any obligation to put heavy pressure on their children. Nor, except in odd, neurotic cases, did they feel any need to micromanage their lives. My own father once told me that he felt his responsibilities extended to caring for the physical well-being of my brother and me, paying for our education, teaching us right from wrong, and giving us some general idea about how a man ought to live, but that was pretty much it. Most fathers during this time, my guess is, must have felt the same.
I attempt to abide by this idea, although I am clearly at odds with my generation, wife included. I make it clear to our daughter what's expected and if something doesn't happen as it should, there are consequences. But on the other hand, when daughter does something good, there are small rewards (NOT something like MTV's utterly ridiculous "My Sweet Sixteen") and a general attitude to "keep up the good work." For instance, daughter only received one "B" all year in her classes. (Yep, the rest were "A's" ... pretty good, eh?) Helicopter mom, however, was constantly checking daughter's grades online (two-three times per week), hovering over her when she was doing homework, and insisting on when she did her homework. My retort to this was: "She's gotten one 'B' all year. She's obviously doing something right. Why not leave her alone?"
But, again, it's my wife's attitude that is the prevalent one in today's age, not mine. I'm in the minority. I'm seen as some sort of ogre (and not just by my wife) if I don't "push" daughter to, say, play softball ... or run track ... or join the swim club swim team, and just about everything else that is humanly possible. "You have to show her!" I'm told.
I do? Sorry if I'm sort of showing off here, but my daughter is one smart cookie. She knows what she likes and what she doesn't. If she wants to try something, I'll certainly back her up, get her what she needs, and assist her with any training/advice.
Those with my wife's attitude abound in schools today. They micromanage their kids' homework, want daily or weekly reports from teachers on their children's academic and social progress, and perhaps worst of all will back their children in any conflict (academic or behavioral) with a teacher or administrator. Epstein recognizes this:
School is the pressure point. More and more teachers in grade and high schools complain not about the children they are asked to teach, but about the endless contact with children's parents. Parents are in situ, on the scene, unstintingly on the job. "How come Corey only got a B in physics? He's always been so wonderful in science." "Why isn't Lettice a better speller? Her father won the state spelling bee in Iowa." One wonders how many teachers have been driven out of the profession by parents' bombarding them with emails, phone calls, and requests for meetings?
Despite the wonderful accolades I receive at the end of a school year, I certainly get my fair share of those instances noted above, as well. Some of my favorites are "Your class is the only one [name] is not doing well in." "You're the only teacher who gave her a 'D.'" (I always like that "gave" part as if the child's study habits and work ethic had absolutely not a thing to do with the bad grade.) "My son says you're picking on him." (I do tend to "pick on" kids who constantly disrupt class -- "pick on" them to leave my class and go to the Time Out Room.)
Point of note: I don't want readers to think I am being unfair to my wife. It's an honest disagreement, but one that has legitimately caused the most consternation between us over the last thirteen years. But certainly, I feel that my perspective on the matter is the right one (else I wouldn't advocate/write about it, natch), and that hers is [partly] responsible for the generation of milksops we are raising today. I am fortunate that I work with a lot of teachers who share my view; however, the problem we all face is that ours is a distinct minority in the realm of education in general.
I am genuinely interested in what our readers think, so comment away.
Or lack thereof.
Check out the ruling by one of Canada's "Human Rights" tribunals this past week. As noted in The Corner, "In June of 2002, a Canadian minister, the Rev. Stephen Boissoin wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper in Alberta condemning the 'homosexual agenda.'" As a result, two years later, some offended individual brought forth a "complaint."
Check out the judge's "reasoning" on why Boissoin ended up with the sentence he did:
In this case, there is no specific individual who can be compensated as there is no direct victim who has come forward...
No specific individual and no direct victim, eh? But something must be done, dammit!! Boissoin is a HATER!!
Dr. Lund, although not a direct victim, did expend considerable time and energy and suffered ridicule and harassment as a result of his complaint. The Panel finds therefore that he is entitled to some compensation.
Notice he got ridiculed and harassed as a result of his complaint -- two years after Boissoin's supposedly "hurtful" comments -- not as a result of Boissoin's actual words!!
Mr. Boissoin and [his organization] The Concerned Christian Coalition Inc. shall cease publishing in newspapers, by email, on the radio, in public speeches, or on the Internet, in future, disparaging remarks about gays and homosexuals.
And now we've reached the height of Orwellian thought crime punishment. It would be ridiculous enough had Boissoin been ordered to never publish "hateful" comments about homosexuals; however, he's been ordered never to publish mere "disparaging" remarks. The obvious query is then ... what the hell constitutes "disparaging?"
How is it that the Nitwit Left never seems to realize that such preposterous rulings can only come back and penalize THEM for something that someone else may not have "liked?"
Boissoin, by the way, also was ordered to write an apology and was fined
$5,000 $7,000. For voicing his conscience.
Mike Taylor of New Castle thinks the News Journal ought to ban conservative columnists that, well, don't agree with him:
I respectfully request that The News Journal stop carrying commentary by George Will. He constantly writes right-wing nonsense under the guise of being informed, intellectual and correct. Actually, he succeeds in being pompous, uninformed, one-sided, misguided and pseudo-intellectual at best.
We have enough conservative bigots expressing their views in this country. The News Journal should not play host to them any longer.
Ah yes. George Will is a "bigot." That's certainly straight out of the "progressive" playbook. But "uninformed," "misguided" and "pseudo-intellectual" he is not. As for "one-sided," well duh -- that's what opinion writers are.
But the important thing to note here is the irony of "progressive" thought expressed by Taylor. He wants to halt speech merely because he disagrees with it. He, like other "progressives," will use excuses such as "the speech in question is 'bigoted' or 'hateful.'" Etc. It's a concept that is easily picked up on the average American college campus.
To quote from a recent Eugene Volokh post (my emphasis),
Simply asserting that some speech is unprotected under current First Amendment law because it's "hate speech" doesn't demonstrate much of anything -- except that it demonstrates to those readers who are familiar with First Amendment law that the speaker isn't making a sound First Amendment argument.
Pete du Pont says state needs new direction:
Georgetown ~ "Just as I did when I entered the race for governor, Bill Lee sees the importance of changing the direction of our state." ~ Governor Pete du Pont
The Honorable Pete du Pont is the special guest for a reception in honor of Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee this June 17th at Baywood Greens in Long Neck. The event is a rare opportunity to spend time with two of Delaware's favorite sons, one a former governor and the other our next governor.
"This will be a very special day for Sussex County to have someone as distinguished as Pete du Pont here for Bill Lee, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the Republican Party to take back the Governor's seat," said Former State Republican Party Chairman Everett Moore, Jr.
For ticket information contact the Republican Committee of Sussex County at 302-856-6323.
Another Rasmussen poll: Voters Give Media Failing Grades in Objectivity for Election 2008.
Just 17% of voters nationwide believe that most reporters try to offer unbiased coverage of election campaigns. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that four times as many—68%--believe most reporters try to help the candidate that they want to win.
Voters have little doubt as to who is benefitting from the media coverage this year—Barack Obama. Fifty-four percent (54%) say Obama has gotten the best coverage so far. Twenty-two percent (22%) say McCain has received the most favorable coverage while 14% say that Hillary got the best treatment.
Looking ahead to the fall campaign, 44% believe most reporters will try to help Obama while only 13% believe that most will try to help McCain.
Even Democrats tend to believe their candidate will receive better treatment—27% of those in Obama’s party believe most reporters will try to help him win while only 16% believe they will help McCain.
Who'da thunk it? 27% of Democrats actually are honest enough to admit what is blatantly obvious: That the mainstream media want Obama (or any Democrat, for that matter) to win.
Wilmington News Journal report about a local liquor store robbery (2nd item).
WDEL.com's report about the same incident.
On the very same page, the News Journal reports on a shooting (and suspect "description") that occurred on N. Jefferson St. (3rd item).
Here's the Wilmington Police Dept.'s report on the incident, including suspect description.
Man jumps from plane with no parachute, dies.
Courtesy of MSNBC.com
June 6 Rasmussen poll.
One of the cool things about being a teacher: You always get that giddy feeling around the end of May/beginning of June that the [school] year is almost over. It's now officially over! And, frankly, I'm exhausted. I slept ten hours last night, and just got up from a two hour nap. My teaching load this year was the heaviest I've had in many years, and now that I'm in my mid-40s, it's not as easy handling that as it was when I was, say, 29!
This exhaustion, coupled with how my overall teaching load didn't allow for as many close relationships with students as I've had in past years, makes getting student/parent thank you letters a bit more "emotion-inducing" this particular end of the year. In other words, a few actually brought a tear or two to my eye(s). Here's a brief sampling:
Thank you for being such a patient, compassionate, and humorous teacher! [Name] often shared with me your funny stories, jokes and comments. I have always prayed that my son had the best teachers, and every time that prayer has been answered! You answered that prayer!
When I needed help staying after school you were always there to stay with me until I knew every little bit and piece of what I needed help on. I am going to end this letter with what another past student said about you: You are the #1 Best Teacher in the World!
I'm so glad I was in your class. You taught me how much fun Spanish can be. When I didn't understand a concept you helped me with it. I really appreciate that. And, you're the funniest teacher I ever had!
¡Muchas gracias! You were my favorite teacher this year, hands down. You definitely know how to make "not the funnest" subject exciting. You were always making other students, as well as myself, laugh. You're a wonderful teacher who knows how to keep entertaining.
Thank you for teaching me Spanish for two years. I really appreciate the way you have taught your classes. There wasn't a single day when your class was boring, unlike many of my other classes.
I liked how you find lots of different ways to teach us that are not just taking notes and being lectured. One of my favorite things in your class was when you taught us the proper verb form endings. You made up that song and started to dance on top of the heater and windowsill. That was SO funny!
Thank you for a great school year. I was ecstatic when I found out I had you as a teacher. I felt this way because I heard from all my friends you were awesome. Out of all the teachers I had I think you are the coolest. The class can be hard sometimes but you make it a good time. I learned a lot and will be prepared for more Spanish next year. Thanks for making Spanish so great and interesting.
I think I'm getting emotional again ...!
This is what makes, what can be a most difficult profession, all worthwhile.
Maybe he can "truly" translate Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz's threat to Iran if it doesn't cease nuclear weapons development.
These mental pygmies think Iranian President Ahmadinejad's constant rhetoric against the Jewish state is just "hype" forwarded by -- you guessed it -- war-mongering right-wingers.
And now... the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are Memorial Day by Done With Mirrors, and John McCain, Prisoner of War: A First-Person Account by US News and World Report. Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:
|2 2/3||Memorial Day|
Done With Mirrors
|2 1/3||The Costs of Withdrawing from Iraq|
The Glittering Eye
|1 2/3||The Media Furor Over McClellan's Book Leads to Whoppers|
The Colossus of Rhodey
|1 1/3||Slouching Towards Statism|
Cheat Seeking Missiles
|1 1/3||Choice and Honor|
|1||Much Lizardly Ado About... A Little Something|
|2/3||Worst. President. Ever?|
|2/3||Brave? Yes. Unique? No.|
|1/3||Leveraging -- Reloaded|
|2 2/3||John McCain, Prisoner of War: A First-Person Account|
US News and World Report
|1 2/3||Why Spain Lectures Other Countries on Immigration|
The Brussels Journal
|1 1/3||Iraqi Army Interdicting Iranian Operations in the South|
The Long War Journal
|1 1/3||Neocon Nation: Neoconservatism, c. 1776|
World Affairs Journal
|1||The Gaza 'Siege' Is Not an Answer To Terror|
Power and Control
|2/3||Obama, Manliness, and the Notion of Black Privilege|
|2/3||Conservatives and "Liberal Guilt"|
|1/3||Where Is John McCain?|
Right Wing Nut House
|1/3||Shut Up and Do What Andy Says|
Stop the ACLU
|1/3||Hillary, the VP Ppot, and That Bucket of Warm Whatever|
It's pretty bad when your hair is whiter than your teeth. Take a closer look ...
I mean, they have teeth whitening products today. Just ask Chuck Norris. There's also photoshop. No one at Camp McCain thinks this is relevant or worth fixing? Take away the highlights from his teeth, and they are literally this color ...
OK, sure -- a politically savvy campaign would have rectified the "offending image." But a politically savvy blogger like Kos -- a sensitive, tolerant and empathetic "progressive" at that -- might be expected to know a little more about the GOP nominee's teeth:
In 1968 he was offered early release, and when he refused, because others had been there longer, his captors went at him again; he suffered cracked ribs, teeth broken off at the gum line, and torture with ropes that lashed his arms behind his back and that were progressively tightened all through the night.” -- Source Vanity Fair, February 2007.
He spent two years in solitary confinement, suffered from dysentery and even tried to commit suicide by hanging himself with his own shirt. In 1968, the Vietnamese broke off many of his teeth at the gum and tortured him for hours on end. They offered him early release, knowing his value as an admirals son, but he refused, saying others had been held captive longer. -- Source Daily Mail, February 1, 2008.
Tell 'ya what Kos -- you're one of the last people to be commenting on someone's appearance. I mean, come ON:
You'd need all the luck in the world and then some to bag a gorgeous specimen like Cindy McCain, you a-hole.
Be sure to check out the cool new Newsbusters "Media Bias Headlines" widget over at right.
Via the Newsbusters tip line (which goes out to many contributors, not just me):
I think we need to take right-wing nut jobs outside line them up on a wall and shoot them. It will make everyone happy and the world a better place.
How delightful, eh?
Glenn Reynolds nails it:
All I know is that if Obama isn't President, it'll be because of racism. And if Hillary isn't President, it'll be because of sexism. And if either one somehow does manage to get elected in spite of all the bigotry, that will nonetheless be a sign that the federal government needs to redouble its efforts to extirpate whatever bigotry is still out there.
Sounds amazingly like what happens after a "hate crime" hoax is unearthed at a college!
Any golfers, serious or otherwise, ever hit a house adjacent to a golf course? How 'bout a car in the parking lot? A fellow golfer?
I've hit a couple [town]houses along Porky Oliver's 7th hole before. There's a huge amount of protective netting along that fairway; however, it's still easy to put an errant shot through it.
I've never hit a car, although my car was hit once -- at the same Porky Oliver's. I was parked a safe distance (or so I thought) from the 9th hole (which is very close to the parking lot), yet my old Honda CRX had a big dent in its roof when I finished my round. Either someone hit a massive hook on the 9th tee to reach my car (unlikely), or a mild hook found its way to the parking lot and my car was on the receiving end of a bounce (more likely).
I've actually seen a moving car get drilled. It was only a few weeks ago at the revamped Rock Manor. A hole on the back nine is right alongside a new road that traverses the course. One of the guys I was playing with hits his drive and immediately yells "I think I got it!" "Got what," I asked? BOOM! He had hooked his drive right into the side of an oncoming Toyota. The car never stopped, although from the look on the passengers' faces, they were none too happy. 'Ya think?
Lastly, I have indeed hit another golfer with a shot while on the course. But -- it wasn't really my fault. At Chester County, PA's Loch Nairn course, a good buddy of mine and myself were a twosome. The very slow foursome in front of us graciously allowed us to play through at the second tee. My buddy hit his drive. Not well, mind you, but it was OK. My turn, next. One of the foursome was standing only about 150 yds. from the tee box, just a little to the left. He was right out in the open. Worst of all, he wasn't paying attention. SMACK! I hit my drive and it duck hooks left -- right at the guy! I immediately yell "FORE! FORE!!!!" Too late. The guy looks up when the speeding ball is almost upon him. It actually looks comical from my vantage point because he doesn't know which way to duck out of the way. In his indecision, he barely moves at all -- and my shot catches him full in the chest!! My buddy and I wince and exclaim "AWWW!" in unison, all the while suppressing laughter (you just hadda see the guy juking right and left trying to decide which way to duck!). We drive down to the guy and I ask "You OK, man?" He manages to get out "What do you think??" In my defense, I explain that I yelled "fore" right away and point out that he wasn't even watching us hit off the tee. No response. Not wanting to exacerbate the situation, my buddy and I don't bother completing the hole. We drive right to the third tee box. All the while clandestinely chuckling.
Lesson: Never, EVER take your eyes off a guy who's hitting from in back of you.
... he totally disintegrates the WaPo's Richard Cohen's hypocrisy regarding "racism" and the Democratic presidential campaign.
More, including a partial transcript, at Newsbusters.
Has the UK absolutely lost its mind? Its police harass Christian ministers for handing out religious literature, it threatens average joes for displaying a state flag, and its academics impose a political beliefs test on visiting Israeli professors. And now?
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said that a 'fresh approach' was needed towards national security Islamic extremists could receive counseling instead of criminal charges under new Government plans to 'deradicalise' religious fanatics issued today. The move is part of a £12.5m Home Office plan which give councils guidance about how to prevent extremism spreading. People who fall under the influence of violent organisations will not automatically face prosecution under the new plan. Instead it will concentrate on a national 'deradicalisation' programme that will try to persuade extremists to change their views through therapy and counselling from community groups. The scheme will seek to reverse the process of indoctrination carried out by al Qaida-related extremists, using unnamed 'specialised techniques'. Community groups and councils in England and Wales will get cash from a £12.5m fund to implement the new measures. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said: "The national security challenges we face demand fresh approaches." (Link.)
Twelve and half million pounds to implement therapy and counseling on Islamic radicals ... using "unnamed 'specialized techniques,'" eh? Yes indeed, Western therapeutic methods against individuals who absolutely disdain all things Western. Makes sense.
This total and complete waste of cash sounds amazingly like Delaware's own DelDOT, wasting funds by [badly] repaving already nicely paved roads!
(h/t: The Corner.)
Gustavo Cerati is by far and away THE musical genius in the genre that is Spanish rock. The former front-man of Soda Stereo, Cerati has put out numerous solo albums since 1995. His lyrics are phenomenal, his music incredible, and his guitar-playing jaw-dropping. So, from 1995's Amor Amarillo disc, here's "Te Llevo Para Que Me Lleves":
... the UK Faculty Union imposes an interrogation on Israeli academics about their political views.
A police community support officer ordered two Christian preachers to stop handing out gospel leaflets in a predominantly Muslim area of Birmingham.
The evangelists say they were threatened with arrest for committing a "hate crime" and were told they risked being beaten up if they returned.
Minister Arthur Cunningham said, "He (the policeman) said we were in a Muslim area and were not allowed to spread our Christian message. He said we were committing a hate crime by telling the youths to leave Islam and said that he was going to take us to the police station."
So, somehow, wishing to spread the gospel is a "hate crime," yet when Britain's largest college faculty union imposes a political test on a single country's academics, well ...
Britain's major faculty union was called "racist" and "McCarthyite," reports the Chronicle of Higher Education, after its approval last week of a resolution asking members to interrogate Israeli academics on their political views before collaborating with them.
A Jewish organization in Britain, Academic Friends of Israel, condemned the new policy as a "blatant McCarthyite demand" that is "discriminatory, anti-Semitic, and, we believe, in clear violation of the UK Race Relations Act." It noted that the union did not call for similar questioning of academic colleagues in any other nation, no matter how grave its human-rights violations. Specifically, at the same meeting where the policy toward Israeli professors was adopted, the union leaders passed resolutions expressing support for academics and citing human-rights abuses in Cuba, Darfur, Egypt, Myanmar, and Zimbabwe. Yet the union did not posit that potential academic collaborators in those nations be questioned like Israeli academics.
Because it's those Joooooos, again, don't you get it? Somehow, someway in the UK, Muslims cannot be in any way offended, passing out Christian pamphlets is "hate," and Jewish/Israeli professors are specifically singled out for political interrogation.
Can we now thank those quite wise Founders for instituting that little thing called the First Amendment ... ?
The massacre of Jewish people during the Holocaust was "scientifically impossible," according to an article published by an Iranian satellite channel on its Web site.
The article was written by Nicholas Kollerstrom, an academic specializing in astrology and crop circles, who had his fellowship terminated by University College London last month after he said there were never any gas chambers at Auschwitz.
In the article, titled "The Walls of Auschwitz‚" Kollerstrom argues that "the alleged massacre of Jewish people by gassing during World War II was scientifically impossible."
Kollerstrom's work is also hosted on the Web site of the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust‚ which also promotes the works of Holocaust deniers David Irving of England and Ernst Zundel of Germany.
In an article on the site, titled "The Auschwitz 'Gas Chamber' Illusion," Kollerstrom writes that only a million Jews died in the war and that "the only intentional mass extermination program in the concentration camps of World War Two was targeted at Germans."
Some cretins are so overcome with BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) that they'll actually go to the absurd length of belief that Iran and those that run the place do not despise Israel and Jews in general. That's why that "Derangement" term is so necessary, natch.
Some excerpts from the Chicago Sun-Times archives (via Media Blog):
"And most of all, I want to thank you for all the generous advance coverage you've given me in anticipation of a successful career. When I actually do something, we'll let you know.''
"I've been very blessed. Keynote speaker at the Democratic Convention. The cover of Newsweek. My book made the best-seller list. I just won a Grammy for reading it on tape. And I've had the chance to speak not once but twice before the Gridiron Club. Really, what else is there to do? Well, I guess . . . I could pass a law, or something. . . ."
That's pretty damn pathetic.