Ted Turner is at it again. Check it out this time:
Kudos to "Meet the Press" host Tom Brokaw for calling Ted out (at least) on the Afghanistan comparison:
TURNER: Well, we invaded Afghanistan, too, and it's a lot further -- at least it's on the border of the Soviet Union or the former Soviet Union or Russia. A lot of these countries have changed names several times.
BROKAW: But, Ted, don't try to go there in terms of justifying that. I mean, it is, the fact is that the Russians, it was a naked aggression-
TURNER: Why can't I try and justify it?
BROKAW: It was naked aggression on the part of the Russians at the time.
TURNER: Well, going into Iraq was naked aggression on the part of the United States.
BROKAW: Yeah, but big power politics and changing big power politics requires everyone to come to the table, and that includes the Russians, not just the United States.
Dave, I heard your rant the other day and you have a point. However, you seem to think the solution involves cutting out the union and reducing administration duplication and costs. I think there is much more that we can do, which has to do with our continued propensity for so-called local control and continued segregation according to class and race. To improve our schools, we need to start to move away from these concepts.
Say what? Why do away with local control? I always fail to grasp the "progressive" infatuation with top-down control, in this case from one state superintendent downward. What, precisely, is so anathema with having local superintendents, who're much more attuned to their population and district needs? If the issue is saving cash, each individual school district can cut plenty of fat at the central office level.
And what is meant "continued segregation according to class and race?" You mean ... since desegregation? Is it the growing propensity for parents to take advantage of choice -- whether it be public or charter schools? How precisely is this a bad thing? Unfortunately, the only thing I can think of is the usual predilection of "progressives" like Perry to engage in the bigotry of low expectations; in other words, if choice is open to everyone, what does it actually matter if economic and/or racial proportions are disparate? ("Disparate" meaning based on the "progressive" notion of "proportionate representation." The usual crapola.) Y'see, for "progressives" like Perry, equal opportunity is insufficient. Equal outcomes are of primary importance. If, in Delaware, it is a majority of more affluent and/or white parents who are taking advantage of the state's school choice law, then ... something's wrong with the law. Poor[er] people might not utilize school choice. Therefore, we cannot allow the decision of where to attend school to be in parents' hands.
Perry then goes on to make a comparison to Fairfax County, VA's district:
* One superintendent over the entire system.
* Takes advantage of economy of scale.
* Costs $13.4K per student, about 18% less than DE.
* Average SAT score: 1654
* Much smaller number of charter and private schools than DE.
* Has an extensive teacher in-service training system.
* Well organized teacher orientation.
* High standards for teacher hires.
* Pays good salaries/benefits.
* Extensive AP and IB offerings.
* Thomas Jefferson HS of Science and Technology, world class.
* Gifted and talented program available at all schools.
* Extensive adult education offerings.
He writes "good comparison of our school system can be made to the Fairfax County Public School System." But what, precisely, is the "good" comparison? Why is having less private and charter schools "good?" Who says DE districts don't pay well and offer good bennies? Who says DE districts don't have extensive in-service and teacher orientation? What constitutes "good" teacher in-service and orientation? Who says DE districts don't have high standards for new hires?
He then asks,
Now granted, we do not have a $2.2 billion budget to work with, (gee, that might be a "small" factor! -- Hube) but, having a renowned and exemplary school system on our doorsteps, why are we Delawareans so parochial as to not avail ourselves of this model for the improvement of our school system?
Perhaps because, like too much in education today, much of what you say is undefinable fluff. How easy is it to say "We need high standards for teachers." Or, "we need high standards for students." It continually amazes me when education "think tanks" or "study groups" remarkably come up with ideas such as these. I mean, how long does it take a task force to come up with such these "terrific ideas?"
I've had a few conversations with Dave Burris about education reform. While I always note my suggestions are far from a universal panacea, I believe common sense measures include:
Feel free, as always, to chime in with your own ideas.
... and I'm dreading what sort of utter detritus she'll have to deal with there. Thankfully, I can say with almost utter certainty, she'll not be attending school in Canada:
Carleton University in Ottawa is dropping cystic fibrosis as the beneficiary of its annual fundraiser because the disease isn't diverse enough---most of the people who suffer from it are believed to be white males.
Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, has trained six students to listen in on conversations around campus and correct speakers who voice slurs and other opinions that women, gays and minorities might consider objectionable.
Certainly there are obvious slurs that various [ethnic] groups will find objectionable. I don't see a hassle with anyone speaking up and saying something like "Excuse me, but that's inappropriate" to someone asinine enough to utter one. But the authoritarian aspect of this silliness is apparent based on two facets -- one, these "trained students" have as their job to listen in on other people's conversations. Not only is this an invasion of privacy, but if something like that is someone's "job," you can be sure they're bound to "find" something objectionable. This is the second facet -- these "trained students" alone will determine what gays and minorities might find off-putting. Because, we all know, that gays and minorities are all of like mind and all believe in the same things! Right?
As for the cystic fibrosis nonsense, that is just so ridiculous as to defy description. As article author John Leo notes,
... lots of other diseases could run afoul of a proper diversity test---Tay-Sachs (mostly Jews), sickle disease (mostly blacks) and, for that matter, AIDS (mostly male and gay) and breast cancer. It's just hard to get illnesses to observe diversity standards.
Yeah. Biology sure is a pesky thing. It's always somehow immune to politically correct bone-headedness.
Philly's Walt Berg asks some "persnickety questions:"
HOW COME when a hurricane hits, it only takes three days for gas prices to rise? But it takes several years for prices to go down with new drilling?
Let's see, Walt ... maybe because the damage from a hurricane to oil rigs is immediate and will thus have an immediate impact on gas prices? Whereas when it comes to new [oil] drilling, companies have to research where to drill, and then construct a rig or drilling platform to get that oil. This takes years, hence the price effect of this new incoming oil takes ... years.
How come nowadays a lot of men and women don't want to get married to each other, but a lot of men want to marry men, and a lot of women want to marry women?
Maybe because most of the latter can't legally do so and ... want to?
Why is it that gas stations charge an extra 9/10ths of a cent a gallon? What's wrong 5/10ths, or no 10ths?
It's a tried and true marketing gimmick, Walt. It's akin to some supermarket item being priced at "$6.99." Why not just make it an even "$7.00?" Because your mind sees that "6" first and determines that there's a "big" difference between "6" and "7." Even though there really isn't. So when the gas price says "$1.85 and 9/10ths," think "$1.86," natch.
Rasmussen on The Pledge:
1) Should school children say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning at school?
9% Not sure
2) Should children be able to opt out of saying the Pledge of Allegiance every morning at school?
9% Not sure
3) Is the United States truly a land of liberty and justice for all?
13% Not sure
4) Should the words “Under God” be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance?
4% Not sure
5) Are people too worried about being politically correct these days?
9% Not sure
Seventy-seven percent (77%) of U.S. voters say school children should say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning at school, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.
Just 13% say they should not, and nine percent (9%) are undecided.
Eighty-two percent (82%) say the words "under God" should remain in the Pledge as well. Fourteen percent (14%) think the phrase should be dropped from the Pledge, and just four percent (4%) have no opinion.
Voters are closely divided over whether students should be able to opt out of saying the Pledge of Allegiance every morning. Forty-four percent (44%) say they should be allowed to do so, but 47% disagree. Nine percent (9%) are not sure.
Support for saying the Pledge is slightly higher than in a survey for July 4 this year in which 75% of voters said they were proud of American history and nearly as many said the world would be a better place if more countries were like ours.
Men and women are in near agreement on saying the Pledge every day. Eighty-four percent (84%) of African-American voters think school children should say the Pledge daily, compared to 77% of whites.
While 91% of Republicans and 75% of unaffiliated voters say students should say the Pledge every morning, just 67% of Democrats agree. Half of Democrats (50%) say children should be able to opt out of saying the Pledge, but 58% of GOP voters say they should not be able to do so.* Unaffiliateds oppose opting out by a six-point margin.
The phrase "under God" which was added to the Pledge in 1954 has been challenged in the courts in recent years, prompting Congress to consider legislation making use of the phrase mandatory under law. The legal challenges have been unsuccessful to date.
Ninety-three percent (93%) of Republicans, 80% of unaffiliated voters and 74% of Democrats say "under God" should not be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance.
Even those who characterize themselves as politically liberal support the phrase by a two-to-one margin.
Again, support is stronger among African-Americans (92%) than among whites (82%).
Seventy-two percent (72%) of voters also say people are too worried about being politically correct these days. Only 19% disagree, with nine percent (9%) undecided.
Eighty-one percent (81%) of conservatives and 73% of moderates say there is too much concern about political correctness, but just 56% of liberals agree. Seventy-six percent (76%) of white voters share this view, compared to 59% of African-Americans.
Forty-six percent (46%) of voters say the United States is truly the land of liberty and justice for all, but 42% disagree. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure. These findings are virtually identical to those in July.
Most men believe America is a land of liberty and justice for all, but a plurality of women (45%) disagree.
While 62% of Republicans say the country is fair to all, 53% of Democrats say it is not. Unaffiliated voters are closely divided on the question, giving a slight edge to the more positive view.
Whites by a 49% to 40% margin say the United States is a country with liberty and justice for all. But just 20% of black voters agree. Sixty percent (60%) of blacks say America is not fair to all.
Two days after Barack Obama became the first African-American to be voted into the White House, the percentage of black voters who viewed American society as fair and decent jumped 18 points to 42%. Just a month earlier, only 24% of black voters viewed U.S. society as fair and decent.
* "Opting out" of saying the Pledge of Allegiance is a settled matter of First Amendment rights. The issue was resolved 65 years ago in the SCOTUS West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette case. Some Jehovah's Witnesses had brought the case, and the Barnette decision had overturned a SCOTUS ruling from a mere three years prior which held that compelling students to recite the Pledge was constitutional.
Unbelievable. Guess who won?
First place in the Council category was The Colossus of Rhodey with Culture of Whine (a rant).
First place in the non-Council category was Serendituous Altruism with American troops in Afghanistan through the eyes of a French OMLT infantryman.
Full results can be seen here.
Who says so? Why, all those "progressives!" From prior to President Bush's 2004 inauguration:
Critics are calling on U.S. President George W Bush to scale back the glittering multimillion dollar parties planned this week in honor of his second-term inauguration, saying lavish festivities are unseemly at a time of war.
... Critics insist that with U.S. troops dying daily in Iraq, the tone surrounding this year’s inaugural celebration should be more modest.
“I would have hoped they would have followed the traditions of President Wilson and President Roosevelt, who at a time of war had a very muted celebration,” said Democratic Representative Robert Menendez, speaking on CNN.
“I think when young men and women are dying we should think about the reality of how we conduct ourselves here at home.”
His comments echoed those of Democratic Representative Anthony Weiner, who, in a letter to Bush, urged the president to redirect some of the $40 million “towards a use more fitting to these somber times — bonuses or equipment for our troops.”
With an estimated 1.5 million people expected to descend on Washington for the Obama festivities and a federal tax bill alone of at least $50 million, next January’s inauguration will dwarf Bush’s inaugural events and expenses. We are still at war. And, as the Democrats remind us, economic times are tough and average Americans are hurting.
Will Democrat Rep. Weiner demand that Obama go the “cold chicken salad and plain pound cake” route (as FDR did in 1945) and redirect all the money Obama’s Chicago team is raising to the troops, too? Or has he stopped caring about the brave men and women he exploited in 2005 to score Bush-bashing points with the nutroots?
Will billionaire Mark Cuban, who demanded that Bush donate his inauguration funds to Indonesian tsunami victims, call on Obama to fork over the inaugural funds to victims of the Mumbai terrorist bombings or to distressed American homeowners under water on their mortgages?
Where are all the anti-Inauguration critics now?
She's not really wondering. Michelle knows. Anything associated with "progressives" and/or liberals is "good" and hence cost is never a factor. It goes to the "good." It is just plain "good" that Barack Obama -- The Messiah -- was elected, and no amount of money is too little to celebrate this event. Nuclear war? No worries. Giant asteroid heading our way in a few months? Big deal. Sagittarius A* sucking in the Milky Way to oblivion? Feh.
Yeah, that little thing called "practice":
... still being able to laugh my ass off. This has to be one of the best baseball bloopers of all time, and it couldn't have happened to a bigger douche:
It looks like the trailer for "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" will debut before the upcoming film "The Day the Earth Stood Still" on December 12th.
Hugh Jackman (at left) returns as the Canuck mutant. My wife thinks he's "beyond hot." Gee, I can't see why. He's only devastatingly handsome with a perfect physique. Bastard. The ironic thing is that in the actual X-Men comic, Wolvie is quite short, and frequently gets ribbed about it by teammates and enemies alike (who're all pretty stupid, really, to risk Wolvie's short temper!).
Superhero Hype has the following film description:
Leading up to the events of X-Men, Wolverine tells the story of Wolverine's especially violent and romantic past, his complex relationship with Victor Creed, and the ominous Weapon X program. Along the way, Wolverine encounters many mutants, both familiar and new, including surprise appearances by several legends of the X-Men universe.
Victor Creed is Sabertooth, who we last saw in the first "X-Men" film. 'Tooth and Wolverine have many of the same abilities; indeed, both were part of that mentioned "Weapon X" program. (If you're wondering why Wolvie impaling 'Tooth numerous times in their pitched battle on top of the Statue of Liberty didn't outright kill the latter in "X-Men," it's 'cuz 'Tooth has the same fast healing ability as Wolvie.) The flashbacks Wolverine had in "X-Men" and "X-Men 2" were indeed those relating to the "Weapon X" program. His battle with Lady Deathstrike in "X2" took place in the bowels of a Weapon X lab, possibly where Wolverine was given his adamantium skeleton and claws.
As noted in "X-Men," it is virtually impossible to determine Wolverine's true age as his healing abilities retard aging. Thus, it'll be interesting to see how far back in time the movie will take Jackman in his origin. The comics (with which I gave up trying to keep pace long ago) have Wolvie's origins all over the place, but it's now generally accepted canon that he was born in 19th century Canada.
"X-Men Origins: Wolverine" is due in theaters May 1, 2009.
I FOR ONE have had it. I'm sick and tired of a bunch of idiots foaming at the mouth regarding President-elect Obama having no experience. Unless I've lost my mind, neither did Ronald Reagan. He was a Hollywood actor.
Need I say more?
No. Please -- don't. As you said, "unless I've lost my mind..." It's gone, Ann. Let me fill you in on one "small" tidbit: Reagan was governor of the most populous state in the Union for eight years.
History demonstrates that there is one language Khartoum understands: the credible threat or use of force....
After swift diplomatic consultations, the United States should press for a U.N. resolution that issues Sudan an ultimatum: accept unconditional deployment of the U.N. force within one week or face military consequences....
The United States, preferably with NATO involvement and African political support, would strike Sudanese airfields, aircraft and other military assets. It could blockade Port Sudan, through which Sudan's oil exports flow. Then U.N. troops would deploy — by force, if necessary, with U.S. and NATO backing.
If the United States fails to gain U.N. support, we should act without it. Impossible? No, the United States acted without U.N. blessing in 1999 in Kosovo to confront a lesser humanitarian crisis (perhaps 10,000 killed) and a more formidable adversary....
Others will insist that, without the consent of the United Nations or a relevant regional body, we would be breaking international law. Perhaps, but the Security Council recently codified a new international norm prescribing "the responsibility to protect." It commits U.N. members to decisive action, including enforcement, when peaceful measures fail to halt genocide or crimes against humanity.
How many times did we hear from BDSers ("Bush Derangement Syndrome-ers") that George Bush was breaking international law for "unilaterally" going into Iraq -- without UN approval? Wasn't Bush just committing the US to "decisive action, including enforcement" of all the UN sanctions that Saddam Hussein had broken since 1991? Didn't "peaceful measures fail to halt genocide or crimes against humanity" in Iraq?
Hmm. Yes and yes. As I told Maria Evans on DTR this morning, this isn't "change you can believe in." It is "change you've been suckered into believing." The only difference is who's in power. It'll be OK to ignore the UN now because The Messiah will be president. He's "better" than George Bush. He's "not evil" like George Bush. Etc.
Delaware Talk Radio's Maria Evans just confirmed it -- I'll be on with her at 9:00 am tomorrow "assisting" her with her Weds. morning show. You can catch the live stream here.
Maria and I go all the way back to junior high school, yo. I may actually bring some of those old memories up ... ;-)
1. Turkey or Ham? Turkey!
2. Cranberry Sauce or Stuffing? Stuffing!
3. Pumpkin Pie or Apple Pie? Pumpkin!
4. Warm apple cider or hot cocoa? Irish coffee!
5. Cook the meal yourself or go to someone's house to eat? Someone's house!
6. After eating do you...collapse on the couch in front of the tv or go for a walk? Collapse on the couch watching football!
When you first met your current main squeeze (husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, significant other, sex partner, WHATEVER!), what were you thinking?
My answer: "How freakin' unbelievably hot her friend was!!" (That would be the second week of February, 1986, at the University of Costa Rica's "Pretil" -- the hangout in front of the campus library.)
David graciously invited me to attend a seminar about a similar topic almost two years ago. Talk about stretching one's brain!
In order to "save the economy," so says a columnist of the Detroit Free Press. Check out my latest Newsbusters post.
A Zogby Poll, commissioned by IFC, found 37.6% of those asked consider the Internet the most reliable source of news. 20.3% consider national TV news most reliable and 16% say radio is the most reliable source.
• 39.3% of those surveyed trust FOX News most for the issues they consider most important, followed by CNN with 16% and MSNBC with 15%.
• 72.6% believe the news they read and see is biased.
• 88.7% Republican and 57.5% Democrat respondents describe the news media as biased.
Little surprise here, really ...
What a freakin' shame ...
Or not. Obama Attorney General nominee Eric Holder on terrorists and the Geneva Convention:
One of the things we clearly want to do with these prisoners is to have an ability to interrogate them and find out what their future plans might be, where other cells are located; under the Geneva Convention that you are really limited in the amount of information that you can elicit from people. It seems to me that given the way in which they have conducted themselves, however, that they are not, in fact, people entitled to the protection of the Geneva Convention. They are not prisoners of war. If, for instance, Mohamed Atta had survived the attack on the World Trade Center, would we now be calling him a prisoner of war? I think not. Should Zacarias Moussaoui be called a prisoner of war? Again, I think not.
As Dave Burris has been saying, welcome to "realism" Mr. Obama.
... naming a school after Barack Obama that is. Yeah, that's right. I said I don't see a problem with it. (Volokh disagrees, to whom the h/t for this story goes.) Naming an elementary school is a fairly paltry matter in the whole scheme of things, and the mere election of Obama is historic in itself. Besides, if Obama ends up a total loser of a chief exec, the school can always be renamed again!
This is a far cry from wanting a national holiday for the guy. Now that is a big deal and, in my opinion, requires the demonstration of a superb tenure as president.
Comic Book Resources has a list of the "Top 25 Comic Battles" of all-time. The one's I've read are in bold. I've added some needed comments where necessary, natch.
#25: Fantastic Four vs. Galactus. The "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" movie was loosely based on this battle.
#24. Batman vs. the Leader of the Mutant Gang. From the classic "Return of the Dark Knight" by Frank Miller.
#23. Invincible vs. Omni-Man.
#22. X-Men vs. the Marauders.
#21. The Ultimates vs. the Chitauri. This Avengers revamp is high-powered action all the way. Also, two straight-to-DVD animated flicks are based on this saga.
#20. The Avengers (and friends) vs. Korvac. There may be no greater "everything is at stake" comics yarn ever. Comics master Jim Shooter at his finest writing.
#19. The X-Men vs. the Hellfire Club. Part of artist extraordinaire John Byrne's run on the X-Men.
#18. The Avengers vs. Ultron. Kurt Busiek's magnum opus of volume 3 Avengers.
#17. Deathstroke vs. the Justice League of America.
#16. Batman vs. Guy Gardner.
#15. The Superheroes of the DC Multiverse vs. the Anti-Monitor.
#14. Wolverine vs. the Hulk.
#13. Hulk vs. the Thing. The Thing never wins against the Hulk. Never.
#12. X-Men vs. the Shi'Ar Imperial Guard. "X-Men 3" was loosely based on this tragic tale of the "death" of Jean Grey. Original cover at left.
#11. Spider-Man vs. the Green Goblin. Goblin kills Spidey's girl, and Webhead is out for revenge. The original "Spider-Man" film is based on this classic two-part comic set.
#10. Elektra vs. Bullseye. Like #11 above, much of the "Daredevil" movie is based on this battle. In fact, many of the lines spoken by Colin Farrell (Bullseye) were verbatim from this double-sized comic.
#9. Avengers vs. the Masters of Evil.
#8. Spider-Man vs. Juggernaut.
#7. The Ultimates vs. the Hulk.
#6. The Sinestro Corps War. I'm not a big DC Comics fan, but my buddy Brent loaned me this series, and all I could say afterward was "Wow."
#5. Practically all of Marvel's Superheroes vs. Thanos.
#4. Miracleman vs. Kid Miracleman.
#3. The Final Battle in “Kingdom Come." An alternate version of the DC Universe, and painted (yes, painted) by artist supreme Alex Ross. Not to be missed.
#2. Superman vs. Doomsday.
#1. Batman vs. Superman. The last segment of Frank Miller's "Return of the Dark Knight," Bruce Wayne has high-powered armored to take on the Man of Steel. Great stuff.
Former Weather Underground dude and Barack Obama pal Bill Ayers on the show "Democracy Now!"
One is, I was not a terrorist. I never was a terrorist. And the idea that the Weather Underground carried out terrorism is nonsense. We never killed or hurt a person. We never intended to.
It is accurate that the W.U. was not directly responsible for the deaths of anyone, they were responsible for a prodigious amount of property damage. Ayers himself "participated in planting a bomb at a statue dedicated to riot police casualties in the 1886 Haymarket Riot confrontation between labor supporters and the police." Three of Ayers buddies accidentally offed themselves when the nail bomb they were assembling accidentally detonated. They had planned to plant this bomb at a Fort Dix social dance. Not exactly the "never intended" to kill that Ayers stated in that interview, eh? And this doesn't even get into Ayers' involvement in the bombings at the Pentagon, the Capitol Building and New York City Police HQ in 1970-72. Years after the W.U. dissolved, a few of Ayers' former pals were involved in a bank robbery and ended up murdering a security guard and two police officers.
Nevertheless, in the warped mind of radicals like Bill Ayers, it is somehow not "terrorism" to wantonly destroy property. As long as the "intent" wasn't to kill anybody, it somehow is not terrorism."
Check out the latest "Trek" trailer:
I read somewhere (and I'll be damned if I can find it again) that time travel is involved in the plot (Rotten Tomatoes, after a Google search, has a decent synopsis of what I originally read). This would make sense, actually, since a lot of what I've seen of the film is contrary to much of Trek canon. For instance, the main villain (Eric Bana) plays a Romulan -- but Kirk and co. didn't even encounter the Romulans until well into The Original Series. And that's just for starters. Nevertheless, R.T. notes that the "original" Spock (played by Leonard Nimoy, yes!) pursues a rogue Romulan (Bana) back in time due to the latter's plans to "erase" James T. Kirk.
As could be expected, "Trekkies" (or "Trekkers," as I believe they prefer to be called) are up in arms; however, the whole "canon" issue was pretty much shot to hell with the addition of the prequel show "Enterprise."
I love great impersonations, and Frank Caliendo doing Charles Barkley always gets me bagging up royally:
Last week Duffy had a brief, albeit thought-provoking, post about the Obama's choice of school for their daughters. He writes:
They're going private. That anyone thinks this is anything other than guaranteed is not dealing with reality. They'll cite "security concerns" or some crap. But the truth is they know how awful DC public schools are.
I will not listen to a single word against vouchers or charter schools from people who do not send their kids to public schools. That goes double for teachers of public schools and triple for anyone in elected office.
I actually don't think the security concerns are "crap;" in fact, I think they're quite legitimate. However, I'm totally with Duff on his second point. I mean, if Obama is fortunate enough to be able to send his children to an elite private school, why would he oppose that choice for someone else -- someone less fortunate? Indeed -- if you oppose that very option for someone else, yet YOU act ON it, I don't wanna hear from you. At all. Ever.
My daughter didn't attend public school until the middle school years. That choice was largely due to my wife's religion (Catholic). But I wouldn't fall into Duff's "Don't Wanna Hear From 'Ya" category for the main reason: I'm all in favor vouchers and charter schools.
The "official" Obama school announcement was yesterday. Their daughters will attend the elite Sidwell Friends School, the same school Chelsea Clinton went to. Newsbusters' Michael Bates tells us why this announcement occurred so late on Friday afternoon.
From Peter Kirsanow:
Racist—n.,adj. 1. Any person who performs any act, holds any belief or makes any statement that negatively reflects upon or adversely affects Barack Obama or his policies, positions, interests, conduct, associates, or holiness. 2. Any act, belief or statement that negatively reflects upon or adversely affects Barack Obama or his policies, positions, interests, conduct, associates, or holiness. Synonyms: conservative; Republican; red state; rural; churchgoer; gun owner.
First place in the non-Council category was American Thinker with How the Academic Left Elected Obama.
Full results can be seen here.
The writers of "Captain America" have been named -- they're Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely of "Chronicles of Narnia" fame. Since I didn't see any "Narnia" flicks, I cannot comment. I can comment on what appears to be the basis for the film: It'll take place during World War II, which makes sense since this is where Cap was "born." For those not in the know, Cap became a superhero via one Steve Rogers volunteering for an experiment to create a "super soldier." After the program's success, a Nazi agent killed the genius who created the formula, making Rogers the only beneficiary of his efforts. (The scientist never committed all of his notes to paper, thus his formula could not be duplicated.)
Cap came to our present era due to a freak accident: in the waning days of WW II, he and partner "Bucky" Barnes jumped onto a Nazi missile aimed at the US in an effort to disarm it. Rogers was thrown clear into the freezing waters below, but Barnes was (supposedly) killed. Rogers was thrown into suspended animation by the incredible cold, and some twenty years later he was discovered by the super-group The Avengers.
In the late 70s there was a "Captain America" TV show. It's beyond cheesy, but Reb Brown sure was, at first glance, a great fit to play the hero. He's a huge blond, blue-eyed dude who, if he could actually act, would be the perfect hero! Then, in 1990, an awful straight-to-video flick featured the equally awful Matt Salinger as Cap. Salinger's physique ain't in any way muscular, and he's not all that tall; in other words, he was laughable as a superhero. And his arch nemesis the Red Skull was turned into -- wait for it -- an Italian!! Sorry, but the Skull is a German Nazi -- only.
Given the political climate of today, it'll sure be interesting to see the "tone" of the Cap flick. After all, will it be politically correct to have a guy running around in a suit covered in Old Glory, even if it was during WW II? Will we see Cap engage in a 20/20 hindsight moralizing (like he did in some of his comics) about incidents like the Dresden firebombing and the dropping of the A-bombs?
The film is supposedly going to set up the goods for "The Avengers" film, in which Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) and Edward Norton (The Hulk) have supposedly agreed to star. The complete Avengers team (where Cap first appeared) actually did not include the Hulk (he quit the team after only one issue), but was comprised of Iron Man, Thor, Giant Man and the Wasp.
Insty has a link about Obama Attorney General nominee Eric Holder's views on gun rights:
As Deputy Attorney General, Holder was a strong supporter of restrictive gun control. He advocated federal licensing of handgun owners, a three day waiting period on handgun sales, rationing handgun sales to no more than one per month, banning possession of handguns and so-called “assault weapons” (cosmetically incorrect guns) by anyone under age of 21, a gun show restriction bill that would have given the federal government the power to shut down all gun shows, national gun registration, and mandatory prison sentences for trivial offenses (e.g., giving your son an heirloom handgun for Christmas, if he were two weeks shy of his 21st birthday). He also promoted the factoid that “Every day that goes by, about 12, 13 more children in this country die from gun violence”–a statistic is true only if one counts 18-year-old gangsters who shoot each other as “children.” . . .
Holder, along with other former Clinton admin. officials filed an amicus brief in the Heller case supporting Washington DC's handgun ban. In oral arguments before the Fifth Circuit in United States v. Emerson, Holder told the panel that the Second Amendment was no barrier to gun confiscation, not even of the confiscation of guns from on-duty National Guardsmen.
Is this worrisome? Sure it is, especially based on Obama's past opinions on gun rights. Back in April he refused to answer a question about the Washington DC then-upcoming handgun ban SCOTUS decision. He had previously voiced support for the ban. The questionnaire for potential employees of his incoming administration specifically asks if you own a gun, and inquires about its registration information:
“Do you or anyone in your immediate family own a gun? If so provide complete ownership and registration information. Has the registration ever lapsed? Please also describe how and by whom it is used and whether it has been the cause of any personal injuries or property damage.”
Fortunately, in Heller, the SCOTUS affirmed the individual right to own a gun. But if Obama gets a chance to appoint several SCOTUS justices, for how long will this right remain?
Man, wish I could get paid to write these sort of "opinions": Opinion: Cancer's not the only smoking risk.
Lack of excrement and Watson's partner come to mind ...
'Ya gotta love politicians (and their spouses):
Times are tough, but evidently not so tough New York couldn't spend $21,000 on an antique Turkish rug for the governor's mansion.
That purchase came as Gov. David Paterson was ordering state agencies to cut spending and warning of dire economic hardships to come as budget deficits mount to $2 billion this year alone.
The Times Union of Albany reports Thursday that Office of General Services records show the 10-foot-by-15-foot custom-stitched rug was shipped July 31. An OGS spokesman said the purchase was part of routine maintenance.
Critics say government should cut waste before asking citizens to sacrifice.
Elsewhere, the Texas House of Representatives recently ordered about $140,000 in items for its lounge, including antique chandeliers and big screen televisions. (Source.)
Then there's the wife of Iowa Governor Chet Culver who thinks only the "little people" have to follow the laws her hubby gladly signs into law:
Iowa’s first lady admitted today that she smoked in a state-owned vehicle, breaking a law that her husband signed with fanfare in April. The law bans smoking in most workplaces, including employers’ vehicles. It specifically bans smoking in government-owned cars.
Oh, and guess what -- neither news story labels Paterson nor Culver as ... Democrats. Surprise!!
(h/t to Shirley for the Paterson/TX House story!)
Xrlq: My question to readers: if every ballot had a few questions like Ziegler’s, and the ballot was voided if fewer than half of these questions had been answered correctly, would we ever see another Democrat in the White House?
I've previously written about making it "harder to vote" here.
A seventh grader tries to rape a teacher. A freakin' SEVENTH GRADER.
The well-known eHarmony Internet dating website has been sued -- a gay man got miffed that the company refused to hook him up with another gay man. eHarmony decided to settle (a common tactic in these overly litigious days) due to cost and "unpredictability" concerns.
[Plaintiff Eric] McKinley, who works at a nonprofit in New Jersey he declined to identify, said that he had originally heard of EHarmony through its radio ads. "You hear these wonderful people saying, 'I met my soul mate on EHarmony.' I thought, I could do that too," he said.
But he couldn't. When he tried to enter the site, the pull-down menus had categories only for a man seeking a woman or a woman seeking a man. "I felt the whole range of emotions," McKinley said. "Anger, that I was a second-class citizen."
But instead of just surfing over to a dating site that admits gay lonely hearts, he contacted the New Jersey civil rights division to file a complaint.
The settlement also calls for EHarmony to pay $50,000 to the state for administrative costs and $5,000 to McKinley.
This "second-class citizen" claim is nonsense. See what I bolded above. I'm surprised McKinley didn't sue for the "added time it would take to surf over to gays-only dating site." This precedent is dangerous. Simply put, it means that specialized businesses had better be on the lookout for litigants demanding that companies change their business model to suit what these litigants want. Period.
Michelle Malkin ponders:
This case is akin to a meat-eater suing a vegetarian restaurant for not offering him a ribeye or a female patient suing a vasectomy doctor for not providing her hysterectomy services.
She later adds: "Perhaps heterosexual men and women should start filing lawsuits against gay dating websites and undermine their business. Coerced tolerance and diversity-by-fiat cut both ways."
Yes, it does.
The Associated Press has jumped all over a comment by the al Qaeda #2 jihadist for referring to Prez-Elect Obama as a "house Negro":
In al-Qaida's first response to Obama's victory, [Ayman] al-Zawahri also called the president-elect - along with secretaries of state Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice - "house Negroes."
Speaking in Arabic, al-Zawahri uses the term "abeed al-beit," which literally translates as "house slaves." But al-Qaida supplied English subtitles of his speech that included the translation as "house Negroes."
It's mighty nice of the AP to mention Condi Rice and Colin Powell now, eh? The term wasn't AS offensive when ONLY those two were the targets of such vitriol -- and from their own [African-American] countrymen! Former prez contender and all-around hack Al Sharpton was recently caught referring to Rice and Powell as "HN's" just like al-Zawahri, not to mention nouveau Communist Harry Belafonte.
This isn't to mention
... the Democrats who threw Oreo cookies (black on the outside and white on the inside) onto the stage during an appearance of Maryland’s former Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele when he was seeking a seat in Congress ...
... the Democrat bloggers who posted a doctored photo of Michael Steele on the Internet, depicting him as a “Simple Sambo” with a Jim Crow-era “black face,” nappy hair and thick red lips ...
... Democrat [cartoonist] Pat Oliphant drew Dr. [Condi] Rice as a big-lipped, buck-toothed squawking parrot ...
... Democrat [cartoonist] Ted Rall referred to Dr. Rice as President Bush’s “House [N-word]” ...
... Democrat John Sylvester characterized Dr. Rice on his radio talk show as a stupid, servile black woman, calling her an “Aunt Jemima” ... (Source.)
The only places I recall reading about these incidents was on conservative blogs. The AP didn't seem very interested in these outrageous instances of blatant racism.
Does that really surprise anyone?
Shirley at DE Curmudgeon has a terrific post which hit me at just the right moment today. I had just finished with what has to be the friggin’ WHINIEST class I’ve had in years. After spending some three days on a topic, I assigned a few pages from their workbook. First, about ten students didn’t even HAVE the workbook with them. This, despite me telling them the day before to bring it AND making a similar announcement over the school PA system this morning. Then the real “fun” started …
“I don’t get this.” (This question despite me asking numerous times over the last three days “Any questions?”) “We didn’t do this.” (Um, where WERE you the last three days?) “How are we supposed to know how to say this?” (By what we learned the last three days, perhaps? Have you looked at your notes?) “I don’t remember this.” (Maybe the fact that you kept talking to your neighbor that one day, and that you kept reading that pleasure novel the other day in class has something to do with it?)
My classes are supposed to be “honors” level. That’s right – “honors.” You might expect an “honors” level class to do their homework regularly, not get ridiculously irate by mildly difficult work, come prepared to class everyday, and get this – actually pay attention when there’s a lesson going on. This year, out of all my many years in the classroom, has demonstrated what a knee-slapper the term “honors” has become. Don’t get me wrong – there are still many students who rightfully deserve the label “honors.” But I feel bad for these students because they, like me, have to deal with the knuckleheads who shouldn’t be in their class.
Why are these kids in “honors” classes? One way to get in is to have mom or dad merely complain about it. You’ll get in an “honors” class, no problem. Grades? Test scores? Not a problem. The other reason there are kids who don’t belong in “honors” classes is because of what Shirley wrote – we don’t “want to hurt anyone’s feelings.” Y’see, those that aren’t in “honors” classes might feel … “left out.” “Stigmatized.” It’ll “hurt their self-esteem.” Then, there’s that tried and true belief (/sarcasm) that the real honors students might serve to “lift up” those who are not actual “honors” students in those “honors” classes. Yeah, uh-huh. In actuality, the typically worse behavior of non-“honors” students usually “rubs off” on the “honors” students.
Some “honors” students think they’re soooo smart that this somehow exempts them from actually doing any work. “I got As on my tests,” they’ll argue. “But,” I’ll retort, “you neglected to turn in those two papers, didn’t do that oral presentation, and you skipped five homework assignments.” In other words, “honors” means more than just smarts. It also means work ethic.
Perhaps this dilemma will get better next year. My field of endeavor, after all, has its ebbs and flows like anything else. (My group last year, for example, was one of -- if not the -- best group of kids I've ever had.) Perhaps. Just perhaps. But as a whole, I believe what Shirley noted is too rapidly becoming the norm. Kids want things easy. They want things to come to them easily. Effort? How come? If they don't do well, it couldn't possibly be THEIR fault, could it? "Why did you give me a 'D,' Mr. Hube?"
Yep, that's a classic line. The classic retort to which is "I didn't 'give' you anything. I merely wrote down what you 'earned.'"
Gotta love James Taranto's highlighting of these "hard luck" stories disseminated by our illustrious MSM:
Debra, a single mother who works in health care administration, is one of millions of Americans who do their jobs, believe in paying their bills and are still facing the threat of losing their home.
Debra, who did not want her last name to be published, bought a home in the East New York section of Brooklyn for more than $600,000 in 2006. The house has plenty of room for herself, for her son and for tenants. She thought that with the help of rental income and refinancing her mortgages that she could carry the load.
"People tell you that you can refinance and get a better deal," Debra explained--an all too common assumption during the housing boom. After a few months, her tenants started to pay their rent late--and sometimes not at all. Without that income, she was stretched too thin. "Your mortgage is your priority," Debra explained, "so you pay your mortgage and wait on the other bills." She fell behind on those bills, then on the mortgage itself.
Yeah, it sure is "tough" being able to afford a house that costs over $600 grand. So, what's the supposed problem with the "refinancing and getting a better deal" bit? I refinanced years ago and got a terrific deal. I'll have my house paid off in a fraction of the time our original mortgage stipulated. Ah, but 'ya see, my wife and I don't rely on fortunes of others to assist us in paying our mortgage and other bills. We actually -- wait for it -- rely on ourselves and our own fortunes (or misfortunes). Reminds me of why I always hated waiting tables and bartending during my college years -- I had to rely on the generosity of others.
In mid-September, Gentile was finally able to land a job that includes health care benefits, but the salary is much less than she was making before. As they work to get their finances back on track, the family has had to cut back on little luxuries like dinners out, trips to the movies and buying new clothes.
One of the hardest decisions was to tell her granddaughter that she could no longer take horseback riding lessons because they couldn't afford it.
"She loved those horseback riding lessons," Gentile said.
Yeesh, how often did these folks go to the movies and out to dinner that they had to "cut back?" And cripes -- horseback riding lessons?? Gentile was probably later quoted as saying "It really hurts now, not getting picked up by our limo service. Taking a taxi sure can be tiring, you know, holding up your arm constantly trying to flag down a driver."
For years, Mike and Kelly D'Addeo planned to use their trove of Intel Corp. stock options to send their son Tony to a top college.
Tony would be a good candidate for any school: He's a straight-A senior at Bowie High School and captain of the football team, with near-perfect SAT scores. He's not interested in playing college football; instead, Tony talks about majoring in computer science or engineering.
"I'd like to have my own business someday," he said. But the plunging stock market has made their stock options worthless and crushed the D'Addeos' Ivy League dreams.
I sure hope Tony's folks aren't Ivy League graduates, 'cause it ain't all-too bright putting their kid's college fund in stock options! But that aside, c'mon -- are we really supposed to wipe away a tear because a kid may not be able to go to an Ivy League school? Especially when so many MORE folks (like me) are wondering if they'll be able to afford college for their kid AT ALL without drowning in debt or breaking the bank?
The Master of Comics, Marvel's Stan Lee, has won the National Medal of Arts.
1. When you buy a greetings card are the words or the picture more important to you?
2. What's your favourite kind of cake?
3. Do you ever make gifts for people, if so what, or do you buy them?
4. What's your favourite holiday - i.e. Christmas?
5. Are you going on holiday this year? If so, where?
Summer 2009 -- Costa Rica.
6. What was the best party you've ever been to?
20 year class reunion.
7. If you are married, describe your wedding. If not, what would your ideal wedding be like?
8. What's the most romantic thing that's ever happened to you?
Fell in love with a foreigner in a foreign land.
9. What's your favourite romantic song?
"I'll Always Love You" by Taylor Dayne.
10. Which celebrity would you like a dream date with?
11. Which female celebrity do you find beautiful?
12. Which male celebrity do you think is attractive?
I'm secure enough in my heterosexuality to answer this question. Pierce Brosnan.
13. If you could be a fictional character from a book who would you choose?
14. If you could be in a television sit-com, which would you choose?
15. Which character would you like to be?
16. What's your favourite girl's name?
Don't have one.
17. What's your favourite boy's name?
18. What's your supermarket of choice?
19. What is your best character trait?
20. What is your worst habit?
1. Who or what is on your computer's wallpaper?
Iron Man from the 2008 motion picture.
2. Go through your DVD/pre-bought video collection. Which three actors or actresses feature the most in them?
Clint Eastwood, Kurt Russell, Brendan Frasier (thanks to 'da wife).
3. Go through your book shelves. Which three authors have written the majority of the books?
Larry Niven, Isaac Asimov, James Hogan.
4. And what about CDs?
What about 'em? Los Amigos Invisibles, Soda Stereo, Yes.
5. Open up the picture folder(s) on your hard drive. Of which actor/actress/movie/tv series/musician do you have the most pictures?
Los Amigos Invisibles.
6. And what about your Live Journal user pictures?
... just remember, it could be worse. A LOT worse.
One of my fave edu-bloggers writes the following:
I love it when people wish me well in whatever way their particular beliefs phrase it. When people wish me well, who am I to get all huffy and indignant and insulted, just because someone wished me well in the language of another culture? I’m HONORED! I thank people when they wish me well. What difference does it make how it was phrased? Quite honestly? People who are insulted and angered when somebody smiles and wishes them well, just because it was done in an unfamiliar way, well, I consider such people to be nasty prissy joy-bashers who really, really need to get a life and pay attention to the world. It ain’t all about YOU, ya know.
Please! Wish me a Happy Kwanzaa, or a Happy Hannukah, or Season’s Greetings, or Merry Christmas, or Happy Christmas, or Joyous Santa Lucia Day, or Happy Winter Solstice, or Merry Las Posadas, or Happy Holidays, or Blessed Christmas, or Happy Winter Thick Fur-Growing Squirrel Preparations. I love it. Thank you! Thank you, for including me, with your greeting, in your plans for celebration and happiness! I haven’t got a clue what some of your greetings might mean, but since when was THAT important? I just think it’s nice that you shared.
Pretty soon we'll be reading about stories of the easily offended who had the "misfortune" of passing by a "Merry Christmas" sign at the local Wal-Mart, or of "having" to view a menorah in Rodney Square, or of "having" to listen about Kwaanza in a social studies classroom. And to these folks I say "Grow the f*** up and get off your freakin' high horse." As Mamacita says, "it ain't all about YOU." All these season's wishes/symbols are positive, for heaven's sake; they're wishing upon you happiness and joy.
How 'bout thanking someone who sends whatever holiday wishes your way instead of yammering something like "I don't celebrate THAT!" at them. ¡Quite ese palo de su culo!
My favorite segment from the Rodney Dangerfield classic "Back to School":
... this time locally: Former principal sentenced to prison.
Former Sussex Central High School Principal Dana I. Goodman could spend at least the next four years behind bars for having sex with a 17-year-old student.
Goodman, 38, was sentenced Friday to 32 years in prison, with all but four years suspended contingent upon completion of an intensive sex-offender rehabilitation program while behind bars.
In court Friday, Goodman broke down in tears and apologized for hurting the victim, her family and the community, describing himself as a changed man in the six months since his arrest.
"I made a horrible choice. ... I have no one to blame but myself," he said, clutching a Bible and speaking of his renewed Christian faith. "I made a mistake, and I'm truly sorry."
At least the dude seems to recognize that he has no one to blame but himself. That alone is, sadly, refreshing in today's day and age.
Meanwhile, Mike Matthews reminds us (WHY??) of a recent sex scandal between a teacher and student. Ick.
... Dallas School District makes up fake Social Security numbers for Mexican and other foreign employees.
Years after being advised by a state agency to stop, the Dallas Independent School District continued to provide foreign citizens with fake Social Security numbers to get them on the payroll quickly.
The practice was described in an internal report issued in September by the district's investigative office, which looked into the matter after receiving a tip. The report said the Texas Education Agency learned of the fake numbers in 2004 and told DISD then that the practice "was illegal."
DISD human resources chief Kim Olson, who came to the district in 2007, said that she learned about the false numbers this past summer around the time the district's investigative unit was looking into them and that she put a stop to the practice.
"There's no way we should be doing that kind of stuff," Ms. Olson said. "Even if your intention is good to help employees get paid, you can't use inappropriate procedures to do that."
"Inappropriate??" See above, Ms. Olson. Try "Illegal." Ah yes, but the "intentions may have been good," you see. But you know what they say 'bout that.
Amazingly, the article doesn't contain a statement from an Hispanic "advocate" that deemed the investigation into all this "racist."
First place in the Council category was Bookworm Room with Reaching New Demographics.
First place in the non-Council category was Big Lizards with The Great Leap Forward: How the Heck Can We Win Anyway?
Full results can be seen here.
Please. Kudos to this young lady for opening some eyes on one of the biggest knee-slappers that exists today -- that "progressives" are oh-so tolerant of others:
Catherine Vogt, 14, is an Illinois 8th grader, the daughter of a liberal mom and a conservative dad. She wanted to conduct an experiment in political tolerance and diversity of opinion at her school in the liberal suburb of Oak Park.
She noticed that fellow students at Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama for president. His campaign kept preaching "inclusion," and she decided to see how included she could be.
So just before the election, Catherine consulted with her history teacher, then bravely wore a unique T-shirt to school and recorded the comments of teachers and students in her journal. The T-shirt bore the simple yet quite subversive words drawn with a red marker:
"I was just really curious how they'd react to something that different, because a lot of people at my school wore Obama shirts and they are big Obama supporters," Catherine told us. "I just really wanted to see what their reaction would be."
Immediately, Catherine learned she was stupid for wearing a shirt with Republican John McCain's name. Not merely stupid. Very stupid.
"People were upset. But they started saying things, calling me very stupid, telling me my shirt was stupid and I shouldn't be wearing it," Catherine said.
Then it got worse.
Yep, it did.
(Hey! Now we know from what grade this dope must've dropped out of school!)
Needless to say, when young Catherine wore her Obama shirt the next day, the attitude of her peers was quite different. They were ... "tolerant." "Understanding." Even ... "progressive."
Don't be fooled.
... another one of my fave Spyro Gyra tunes. This one, "Cockatoo," my high school band director could play by heart (he's a sax player) and possibly even better than the multi-talented leader of S.G., Jay Beckenstein.
... ah -- the jazz-fusion group Spyro Gyra from my mid-late teens. Man, if I only could have played like Jay Beckenstein here ... and man, is that soprano sax solo starting at about 4:09 just KILLER or what?
From 1980, here is "Here Again":
Via Instapundit comes Bussard’s Fusion and the Nebel Team Live On. Robert Bussard's idea for a interstellar hydrogen "ramscoop" has been the backdrop for many a science fiction story -- a plausible method for humanity to reach the stars. Here's just a few stories off the top of my head which feature these ramscoops:
Any other novels/TV shows/movies in which we read/see Bussard's idea come to life?
It was a terrific moment.
I had made the AYJB, the American Youth Jazz Band. The name is sort of a misnomer, actually. The band didn’t encompass youth from across America, but from the tri-state region: Delaware, southeastern PA and southern NJ. Still, I considered it quite an accomplishment. I didn’t make it playing my primary instrument, the tenor sax, having to settle – if “settle” is the correct term – for playing the baritone sax. This fact lessened my glee somewhat. I was, after all, a mere 155 lbs. back in the spring of 1982 (which at my current height of 6’3”, which I was back then too, means I was one lanky MFer!). The baritone sax is quite a large instrument. It’s heavy to carry around. I’d have to lug that around Europe along with my suitcase. That wasn’t gonna be a lot of fun.
Oh, did I mention the AYJB was going to tour Europe for three weeks? Yep. That’s what the AYJB had done for several years now. Led by band director supreme Hal Schiff (may he rest in peace), the band’s needs and tour was largely financed by an elderly woman (may she also rest in peace) from suburban Chester Co., PA who maintained the AYJB as her big philanthropist cause. The objective of the band was to spread [American] goodwill through music, in particular jazz (hence the band’s name) which many Europeans absolutely love – as I was about to find out.
Our first stop was Belgium, at a beach resort on the North Sea. OK, understand that I was only 17 at the time. This means in Belgium it was LEGAL to buy and drink beer. Uh-oh. Upon getting settled in at our hotel, a few bandmates and I promptly hit the pub. And Belgian brew is some of the finest in the world, natch. The people, though, weren’t all that friendly in Belgium.
Our concert that evening (at the same resort) started off rather “blah;” that is, people seemed disinterested. This was quite disconcerting for us youngin' jazz musicians. We certainly hoped this wasn’t going to be the case for the whole three weeks! Then, about a half hour into our set, we broke out the Big Band Era tunes – songs like “Cherokee” and “In the Mood” – and WHOA! All of a sudden the people came out of the woodwork to cut the rug! All us band-folk glanced around at each other is amazement … and our dispositions became quite gleeful just like that. Director Schiff told us after the show how hugely popular Big Band tunes were in the Old Continent. Now we knew.
Our next stop was Cologne, Germany. The people here were less friendly than in Belgium. We played our concert in the middle of the afternoon in the large town square, and there was hardly an audience. In addition, quite a few “burnouts” – drugged-out teen types – helped themselves to sitting on the stage with us, talking at normal loudness, completely oblivious to the fact that we were PLAYING music. The worst part came a bit later when we ended up being the targets for some teens (who weren’t on the stage) throwing coins at us! WTF?? I was glad to end that concert, needless to say.
If I already didn’t have a bad enough taste in my mouth for Germans, I REALLY did later that afternoon. Our main singer – an early 30-something black woman with a voice that’d give Anita Baker a run for her money – asked me to accompany her to do some shopping. The stares and gawks from the Germans were almost too much to bear. As badly as this affected me (hey, again I was only 17) I can only imagine how the singer felt. But she hid her misgivings very well, as did I, as best we could. It was shocking, really. Even though it was the early 80s, back in the States nothing like this would have come even close to happening, at least around where I lived.
Thankfully, Germany only took up two total days of our journey.
The bulk of our trip was covered in Holland, or, if you prefer, The Netherlands. Wow – what a change!! Unlike Belgium and Germany, the Dutch were EXTREMELY friendly and outgoing, and seemed to really dig Americans. At our first stop, a fellow sax player and a trumpet player stayed with me at a newlywed couple’s house. They agreed to house us because they were huge jazz lovers! I’ll never forget the husband’s first gesture (amazingly, he spoke little English unlike his wife … amazingly because every other Dutch person I know speaks it perfectly) was to offer my two bandmates and I a beer. “Sure,” we three said. He then opened up a WOOD CABINET and handed us three bottles of Grolsch. Yep – room temperature beer, folks!
And hey – what is the deal with water pressure in Europe?? It was a constant problem everywhere we went. Do Europeans have something against water pressure? This couple’s house in Holland was the worst by far. Taking an adequate shower was virtually impossible. That “Seinfeld” episode comes to mind when I think back to this house. Our hair looked quite similar to Jerry’s and co.’s …
The Dutch LOVE jazz. They love it. At least all the folks we encountered did. Band director Schiff took two days to teach jazz techniques at a local school while we were there. A local jazz band followed one of our performances while in one small town. It was “comical,” for lack of a better term, listening to the Dutch jazz band. The reason? Their technique was excellent, but they didn’t … “feel” the music. Their improvisation skills were virtually nil. If they weren’t reading the music they seemed “lost.” This was one of the reasons director Schiff was teaching those classes – to improve the concept of improvisation among Dutch jazz musicians.
At another town, my two roomies and I stayed at a house which had two grade school-age kids. One kid was a military fighter jet aficionado (he really knew his stuff) and he and I chatted for hours about various air force planes, past and present. The humorous part about staying at this house? When the mother of this abode washed our clothes, she dried them … by using a single light bulb. I s*** you not. She laid out our various garb on hangers, and dangling down right in the middle of ‘em all was a 100 watt light bulb. Needless to say, even after two days our clothes were still damp. My butt itched something fierce when I wore those jeans the next day!
Did I mention how awesome the Dutch were? In another town they gave us the equivalent of the key to the town. In yet another they gave a parade in our honor.
Then we went to Amsterdam…
I don’t think, in retrospect, that taking a group of mostly 17 year olds to one of the most … “progressive” cities in the world was a particularly good idea. The sightseeing was terrific – the canal cruise, the bridges, the cuisine, the Heineken brewery(!) – but then there were things like a Heineken vending machine in our hotel lobby, and a thing called the Red Light District which attracted the attention of numerous male members of our band (just to look, not touch, by the way!).
Our last stop was Luxembourg. The highlight here, if it could be called such, was visiting the American WW II Military Cemetery. General George Patton is buried here, and his grave is absolutely no different from that of any other soldier. The only thing that stands out about Patton’s gravestone is that it is set apart just a bit from the rest of the graveyard. The feeling of walking among the thousands of graves was … overwhelming. If you’ve seen the beginning of “Saving Private Ryan,” you might understand what I’m talking about. After a short while, I started welling up with tears. When I saw the first grave of a soldier from Delaware, I lost it. And I wasn’t the only one. Everyone in the band, upon reentering the bus to leave, had wet eyes.
Unfortunately, it was at this last stop of Luxembourg that I encountered the only real instance of anti-Americanism of the whole trip. Our last night in Europe, me and a couple bandmates hit a bar not far from our hotel. At first no one came to serve us. When one of our number flagged down a server, his attitude was shitty. He then came back to “inform” us that our beers were going to cost an inordinate number of francs, much more than what was noted in the menu. When we inquired why, we were told it was because “we were not regulars.” When we asked what that meant, he mentioned some term – a term we later found out was derogatory for “American.”
I’ll never forget that summer. It remains the only time I’ve been to Europe, though I hope to journey back sometime in the future, hopefully to Spain, France and England this time. I soon realized how fortunate I was to have gone on that trip as it proved to be AYJB’s last; our elderly philanthropist died later that year, and director Schiff began suffering from the beginnings of Alzheimer’s disease.
The alumni of the AYJB had actually played numerous concerts in Costa Rica the years prior to my membership in the group. Unfortunately, based on the events noted above, this, too, had ceased. But a Costa Rican gent who had traveled back with Hal Schiff in late ’81 had stayed and practiced with my AYJB for about a month before we had traveled to Europe. In what has to be one of the “WTF??”-type small world stories, when I went to study in Costa Rica in 1986, I actually ran into this guy – he was playing his sax with his own band at a local nightclub! He had begged me to pick up his sax and play a couple tunes with his band, but I was totally rusty and didn’t want to embarrass myself.
Alas, I sorta wish I had kept up with playing my sax. In high school I once won “Best Woodwind Soloist” at the Newark Jazz festival, and I played in a college band called “Why Not?” at UD, as well as a small stint in a UD jazz combo. Alas, other interests have taken prominence over the years, including a thing called “marriage” shortly after college.
And so it sits – a Selmer Mark VI tenor saxophone, in its case, in my basement, gathering dust.
The NY Times says .... well, hell, just take an educated guess!
From the Newsbusters e-mail tipline which goes to many contributors, not just me:
Obama won because of the hatre [sic] and racist remarks of the conservative radio talk show stations, the hateful behavior of some of the citizens and most of fox [sic] (chanel [sic] 47) station commentators with very evil and hateful words and sometime [sic] lies. But of course he would have won any way [sic], we need a change from someone who was appointed two terms by his appointed group.
Courtesy Alenda Lux:
Barack Obama figured out early on that he had better limit his media consumption before it consumed him.
After three months of campaigning, he stopped reading blogs. After six months, he stopped watching cable news shows. After nine months, he stopped reading the clips, relying instead on his staff to flag important stories.
He walks into the Oval Office in the morning, Bush said, and asks Card: "What's in the newspapers worth worrying about? I glance at the headlines just to kind of (get) a flavor of what's moving," Bush said. "I rarely read the stories," he said.
[...] Instead, Bush is spoon-fed the relevant news from his staff. Top aides usually know the buttons not to push when it comes to bad news. More often they will tell the president what he wants to hear -- the good news if there is any. Or they may just sugar coat the news that is tougher to swallow.
I get it. The assumption by the media is that Obama is "naturally" smart enough to figure out what is going on around him without resorting to checking out the news, while Bush simply ... wasn't.
Mm-hmm. Right. At least one major part of this story is right: Whoever's president will be better informed via his advisers than via any freakin' media outlet.
Ye gads. I went this past Saturday to my bro-in-law, who's a physical therapist, because I've had this nagging pain in my left foot. This pain really flared up a bit over a week ago after a three-mile run. It didn't hurt during the run; however, an hour an a half afterwards, while getting out of the shower, I was like "WTF??"
My bro-in-law's diagnosis? Plantar Fasciitis. I spent about ten minutes at my BIL's home office, and ... it was ten minutes of the most agonizing pain I've ever experienced. I thought I'd literally pass out from the torment. And how in the hell did I get this crap in the first place? I'm only moderately active now that I'm in my 40s. Cause: Wearing non-arch flip flops way too often. Solution: Get flip flops with arches and make sure all my footwear has sufficient arch protection.
I still have to go back at least three more times, but the agony should be less with each visit.
In this election cycle, a little-known first-term Senator from Illinois challenged his party’s establishment candidate. And won.
In this election cycle, a statewide elected official decided it was “his time,” and took on the Democratic establishment. And won.
Barack Obama and Jack Markell proved that the status quo doesn’t have to be so. And in the process, a lot of people have been empowered to make change.
Now’s your chance. We have seven weeks to change Delaware forever: by ending the desk-drawer veto.
For the uninitiated, the “desk-drawer veto” is the power of a committee chairperson in the state Senate to take a bill and deny any action on it. The bill goes into a desk drawer, never to be seen again. It is that extraordinary power that has been the cause of death for bills as varied as tax cuts and spending increases, marriage protection amendments and gay rights legislation, labor-friendly wage hikes and business-friendly tax credits. I guarantee that there’s a bill that you support that has died a slow, painful death in a Senate desk drawer.
But it doesn’t have to be so. In a few short weeks, the Delaware Legislature will convene again, and the first order of business for the Senate will be to pass the rules which will govern the body for the legislative session. In that vote lies the future of the desk-drawer veto. The rules can be changed this year to reflect the rules already in operation in the House of Representatives that say that any bill must have action taken in committee within 10 legislative days.
But it will not happen without the most severe pressure. We need calls and letters sent to elected officials. Preferably calls.
We have created an online petition to kick things off. Go to http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/no-more-desk-drawer-veto/ and add your name. Remember in 2007, we got a re-vote and changed the fate of House Bill 4 in the House with just 1,000 signatures on an online petition.
This election has seen many people buck the system and win. Let us be the next who say “Yes, we can.”
And when you talk to your Senator, don’t just voice your opinion. Ask the question. “Will you vote for the Senate rules if the desk drawer veto is allowed to continue as a sanctioned practice?” Get an answer. Get them on record with a definitive answer.
... for a national holiday for the guy!
Plans are being made to promote a national holiday for Barack Obama, who will become the nation’s 44th president when he takes the oath of office Jan. 20.
“Yes We Can” planning rallies will be at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. every Tuesday at the downtown McDonald’s restaurant, 1100 Kansas Ave., until Jan. 13. The goals are to secure a national holiday in Obama’s honor, to organize celebrations around his inauguration and to celebrate the 200th birthday of President Abraham Lincoln, who was born on Feb. 12 1809. (Source.)
Here's what's next:
My band name: Toy Machine Skateboards.
Our hit song: "Denied Even to Prayer."
Our latest album cover:
Here's how you do this:
1. Your band name is the first article title on the Wikipedia Random Articles page.
2. Your hit song is the last 4 words of the very last quotation on the Random Quotations.
3. Your album picture is the third picture in Flickr’s Interesting Photos From The Last 7 Days.
(h/t to my Québec buddy Prof. Solitaire.)
Arizona’s Supreme Court chief justice has agreed to enforce the Hispanic Bar Association’s demands of banning the terms “illegal” and “aliens” in all of the state’s courtrooms.
Claiming that the terms are inflammatory, the president of Arizona’s Hispanic Bar Association, (known as Los Abogados) has asked state Supreme Court Chief Justice Ruth McGregor to stop using them at trials or hearings because they create perceptions of judicial bias.
In a strongly worded letter to the chief justice, Los Abogados’ president says attaching an illegal status to a person establishes a brand of contemptibility, creates the appearance of anti-immigrant prejudice and tarnishes the image of courts as a place where disputes may be fairly resolved.
It further points out that no human being is illegal and that a national Hispanic journalism association has roundly criticized the reference for dehumanizing a segment of the population. The letter goes on to criticize the state’s High Court for using the term “illegals” in at least two opinions and the term “illegal aliens” in dozens of others.
It concludes with a list of acceptable and unacceptable terms relating to illegal immigration. Among those the group wants banned are: immigration crisis, immigration epidemic, open borders advocates, anchor babies and invaders. Among the acceptable terms are foreign nationals, unauthorized workers and human rights advocates. Click here to see the entire list as well as Chief Justice McGregor’s promise to enforce the requests.
I like that Hispanic lawyers' group name -- it translates to merely "The Lawyers." And I'm curious -- if a lawyer uses one of those banned terms in court, what'll happen to him/her? Get charged with contempt? Will he/she then sue the judge or court for violation of First Amendment rights?
Here are some other "acceptable terms" Los Abogados might want to consider (some taken from the comments section from the initial link, others from here):
Via the comics site Newsarama comes just what the post title says:
#1: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Easily the best pick since author Arthur C. Clarke was a scientist. Clarke envisioned artificial satellites before they became a reality, and a later [written] sequel to 2001 dealt with space elevators, which are even now being considered for development.
#2: The Truman Show (1998). This "show" predated the reality show craze. I found it a bit implausible that the ruse could have lasted as long as it did, but the science behind it sure is solid.
#3: Gattaca (1997). A dystopic view of society where genetic manipulation makes "love children" -- those conceived without any pre-birth genetic engineering -- socially inferior and without any hope of advancement. Ethan Hawke is one such child who sets out to fool society. The title is based on the four DNA nucleotides of adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine.
#4: Iron Man (2008). Armored exo-skeletons are actually already in production; however, something as sophisticated as Tony Stark's suit is still a ways off in reality, despite his super-genius.
#5: Jurassic Park (1993). Cloning is already a reality, but could we really extract the blood of a dinosaur from a mosquito in amber and recreate a Jurassic Era reptile? If genetic engineering is anywhere near as developmentally quick as, say, computer science, I say "yes!"
Sheesh, and folks think Sarah Palin is thick?
Pelosi: Prop 8 supporters might have been too dumb to grasp what they were doing.
Sounds perfectly logical to me.
UPDATE (11/9 at 8:02am): These idiots were just probably trying to make the best use of their guns before Obama yanks 'em.
Colorado is thus far the only state to shoot down an anti-affirmative action referendum, this past Tuesday by a very slim 50-49%. (Votes are still being counted and if the margin gets to within a 0.5% difference, there'll be an automatic recount.) Opponents of the measure have opted to make use of a time-tested, albeit pathetically dishonest tactic: Noting which fringe groups also support the measure. And take a guess which fringe group backed Proposition 46 in Colorado -- the KKK.
Since the KKK supports an anti-affirmative action measure, that simply must mean that anyone who ALSO supports an anti-affirmative action proposal mjst agree with the KKK!! That's just what the group "No to 46" and its ally in the AP want to get across. After all, look at how they make out the measure's main backer, Ward Connerly, as some sort of Klan supporter:
Headline: KKK endorses Ward Connerlys initiative.
Ward Connerly, a California businessman who is pushing the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative and helped to get similar measures passed elsewhere, was quoted in a documentary examining equal opportunity. The measure on Tuesday's ballot would ban the use of race and gender preferences in state government and university admissions.
In a video posted to the Web site YouTube.com, Connerly is shown saying, "If the Ku Klux Klan thinks that equality is right, God bless them. Thank them for finally reaching the point where logic and reason are being applied instead of hate."
Of course, Connerly's whole point is that if the Klan has abrogated hate and embraced reason, more power to them. That makes perfect sense. But demogogues don't care a whit about reason. The KKK is a personification of hate, and to take advantage of it, well, let's tie 'em into Ward Connerly!
David Waymire, a spokesman for the One United Michigan coalition, which opposes the ballot proposal, said the comment is telling. "It really shows the extremism of the supporters of Ward Connerly and is an especially interesting contrast to the mainstream organizations that oppose Proposal 2."
Socialists and communists supported Barack Obama for president. Following Waymire's "logic," Obama must share the views of these groups. It's "telling." It shows the "extremism" of Obama supporters.
Our own Wilmington (DE) News Journal did the exact same thing as Waymire and Co. with former State House Majority Leader Wayne Smith a few years back when Smith sponsored an anti-affirmative action bill. A white supremacist group (probably the KKK, but I do not recall precisely) came out in favor of the bill, and the big brains at the WNJ editorial board actually used the term "kindred spirits" to describe the [non-existent] "relationship" between Smith and the group.
Our school will be tracking your anti-American racism. Our school teaches tolerance; we'll be watching to see if your site pivots to finally show some.
First place in the non-Council category was Real Clear Politics/Cross Tabs Blog with Obama Victory the GOP’s Best Hope.
Full results can be seen here.
Yeah, make a "joke" about Nancy Reagan summoning the ghost of Ronald.
And he can't even get the person right who actually had the seances.
This strikes home for me as a teacher, and it makes me furious how the utter lack of non-partisanship must be emphasized (or not even brought up at all) at ed schools across the country:
A teacher in Cumberland County, N.C. near Fort Bragg (NOTE: she is no longer in Asheville) was caught on tape by Finnish documentarians making a film about Barack Obama’s supporters. The teacher, Diantha Harris, uses the classroom as a propaganda vehicle to shove her politics down the children’s throats.
Harris: We want to talk about the presidential election. I want to ask you, who are you pulling for? Raise your hand.
Harris: You pullin for Obama. Who you pullin for?
Harris: Any of you pullin for John McCain? That’s fine, say him as well.
[Cathy, the daughter of an American soldier answers McCain.]
Harris: John, oh lord, John McCain. Oh Jesus, John McCain. Ok, now I wanna axe you somethin. Why are you pullin for John McCain? It’s ok, but why are you pullin for John McCain?
Cathy: I thinks it’s because my parents are going for him too.
Harris: Ok, your parents are going for him. Why are you pullin for Ba-RACK. Barack.
Student: I just want a black president sometimes.
Harris: Ok, you want a black president.
Student: The reason why I want Barack Obama is because he’s making good changes in the good country and stuff like that.
Harris: So, he’s making good changes for our country. Now can you tell me just a little bit more, like what type of changes? Like not having big fights between Iraq and having soldiers killed. So in other words, Barack is going to end that war in Iraq. What do you all know about that war in Iraq?
[Harris addresses Kathy] Talk, cause yo daddy in the military. Talk. It’s a senseless war! And by the way, Cathy, the person that you’re picking for president said that our troops could stay in Iraq for another hundred years if they need to!
[Camera pans to Cathy, in near tears.]
Harris: So that means that your daddy could stay in the military for another hundred years!
This is just atrocious. And it doesn't surprise me that Ms. Harris, like many teachers today, believe it's OK to pontificate about their personal political beliefs in the classroom full of a captive audience, let alone berate [young] students for theirs.
I've written about this numerous times, but I'll say it again: My student teacher mentor was a hardcore conservative, yet he was dead-set on me never allowing any of my personal views into my teaching, and it was mandatory to cover both sides of controversial political issues in class. Regarding this recent past election, many of my students wanted to know who I was voting for. I refused to tell them. "Ask me after November 4th and I'll tell you who ... and why," I said.
And I did tell them when they asked me November 5th. And even though the vast majority of my students were Obama supporters, they were surprisingly receptive and understanding of my reasons for voting for McCain. I did, of course, emphasize the quite historic nature of Obama's election, and told my students they should feel very fortunate to have lived through this defining moment in American history.
I had seen (in my class and out) various "teenage style" mocking of others based on their presidential preference, and I when I did I would gently intervene and tell the kids to express their views politely and be respectful of others' differing views. Overall at my school, the many student Obama supporters were quite gracious in their victory -- very little of any "nyah-nyah" stuff -- just a general sense of glee and joy.
Could it be RFK Jr.? Heaven help us:
According to the Washington Post, Barack Obama is "looking at possibly appointing Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to head the Environmental Protection Agency, according to sources familiar with the process, though he is eying several other prominent environmentalists as well." Kennedy is a well-known 2004 election conspiracy theorist who is under the impression that we are all being held hostage in fascist America. Ho-hum. So would you be surprised to learn that RFK II is also a Chavista? Of course not!
Check out the video to watch the Kook of Camelot argue in favor of the nationalization of oil companies and argue that Chavez is the "kind of leader my father and President Kennedy were looking for" in Latin America. Yes, Bobby Kennedy, former Tailgunner Joe McCarthy staffer, and Jack Kennedy, who oversaw the invasion of Cuba, would have surely loved Hugo Chavez.
This is Liz Allen moonbat territory here, people. And face it -- if Obama does pick Kennedy, he'll only make the GOP's job that much easier for 2010 and beyond.
UPDATE (11/9 at 8:37am): Volokh has more on why RFK Jr. would be a mess.
From former Philly Channel 10 newsguy Herb Denenberg, now at The Bulletin (all emphases mine):
Whenever the title of legislation contains such high-sounding terms as fairness or reform, there's a good chance that is just a fraudulent label to disguise unfairness as fairness or failure to reform as reform. That is perfectly exemplified by the Fairness Doctrine, which ruled the airwaves from 1949 to 1987.
The doctrine, which now should be viewed as an unconstitutional limit on free speech, has had supporters over the years and is now one of the top priorities of the radicalized, extremist, far-left, undemocratic Democratic Party. It is a sad and sorry symbol of what we can expect from the most radical and extreme Democratic Party in history.
Even on Election Day, Sen. Charles Schumer,D-N.Y. , an influential Democratic senator, was pushing the Fairness Doctrine. Other Democratic senators pushing it include Majority Whip Dick Durbin., D-Ill., a close ally of President-elect Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Senate Rules Committee Chairwoman Diane Feinstein, D-Calif.
The Fairness Doctrine was formulated in 1949 in a regulation by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under authority granted to it by the Communications Act and required broadcasters to "afford reasonable opportunity for discussion of contrasting points of view on controversial matters of public importance." On its face, the doctrine sounds innocuous and fair, until subjected to the crucible of experience, to the law of unintended consequences, to the devil in the details and to the abuses to which it could and would be subjected.
This is the kind of regulations and laws you get from sophomores at Ivy League schools, from inexperienced and arrogant politicians such as Sen. Obama, and from proponents who are unable to temper theory with practice and superficial sounds with deep-rooted experience.
Under the rule, the FCC required broadcasters to air all sides of controversial issues. Sounds good, and as the Heritage Foundation has pointed out, "Fairness is, after all, a basic American value." But in practice, it had the opposite effect. Instead of airing both sides of controversial issues, broadcasters simply avoided controversial issues. Why so?
First, broadcasters weren't sure where the line would be drawn and didn't want the expense and other problems associated with interpreting often-ambiguous rulings and doing battle with bureaucrats and government litigators.
Second, politicians and others used the Fairness Doctrine to harass and intimidate broadcasters from covering certain issues. For example, Bill Ruder, Democratic campaign consultant and assistant secretary of commerce in the Kennedy Administration, admitted the Kennedy Administration used the doctrine to silence criticism: "Our massive strategy was to use the Fairness Doctrine to challenge and harass right-wing broadcasters and hope the challenges would be so costly to them that they would be inhibited and decide it was too expensive."
The Nixon Administration extended the doctrine to new heights and one published report concluded "private activists directed by the Republican National Committee regularly filed Fairness Doctrine challenges against stations whose reporting angered the White House." So it's nice to see bipartisan abuse.
The nature of FCC enforcement of the doctrine also made these abuses more common and more likely. The FCC could not monitor all broadcasters, so there was selective monitoring and selective enforcement. The Heritage Foundation found, "This, of course, puts immense power into the hands of federal regulators." And that was promptly abused, as already indicated.
Third, the Fairness Doctrine made it impossible for talk radio to develop the kind of hugely successful programming that brings listeners and viewers valuable discussions of all issue with the give-and-take that is one of the great strengths of talk radio. Under the Fairness Doctrine, talk radio as it now exists would be considered too controversial and too problematic to be practical. You'd need an army of Philadelphia lawyers to strike the right balance on each issue and keep the regulators at bay. When the doctrine was abolished, talk radio started to boom. In 1990, there were only 400 stations with talk radio formats. That had grown to more than 1,400 by 2006.
Fourth, the doctrine could be used to silence critics on an industry-wide basis by one political party or another. Right now, the one segment of the media that gives conservatives as well as liberal sand Republicans as well as Democrats a fair shot, is talk radio. The best known voice on talk radio is Rush Limbaugh followed by other conservative voices such as Sean Hannity, Bill Bennett, Laura Ingraham, Michael Medved, Dennis Prager, Hugh Hewitt, Michael Savage and Mike Gallagher. The Republicans, headed by Rep. Nancy "San Francisco Values" Pelosi, with the support of Sen. Obama and the Democratic Party, wants to shut down talk radio as we know it by reinstituting the fairness doctrine.
If reinstituted, the stations airing conservatives would have to balance them with liberals. That would create all kinds of complications, and also all kinds of financial losses, as liberal talk show hosts do not draw as large an audience as conservatives.
For example, I think Sean Hannity has one of the best programs on radio and television, but I would consider it torture to have to list to 10 minutes of radio hosted by his liberal partner, Alan Colmes.
Cutting through all the rhetoric, the Fairness Doctrine would simply mean the end of talk radio as we know it, and the one segment of the media that is not all liberal and all Democratic all the time would cease to exist. Whatever the reason, liberals have tried to mount countervailing networks and broadcasts and have failed. They can't beat the conservatives in the marketplace of ideas, so they want to exterminate them in the legislative arena.
It should also be noted the media environment that was the foundation for the Fairness Doctrine no longer exists. At the time the doctrine was first promulgated, it could be argued that there was such a scarcity of broadcast spectrums that government regulation was necessary. That was the basis for the doctrine and for its constitutional validity. But since then there has been an explosion of broadcast outlets and other media alternatives.
Here are the statistics on that explosion from a Heritage Foundation Report: When the doctrine was first conceived there were 2,881 radio stations and 98 television stations. By 1960, there were 4,309 radio stations and 560 television stations. By 1989, there were 10,000 radio stations and close to 1,000 television stations. By like token, the number of radios in use jumped from 85.2 million in 1950 to 527.4 million in 1988. During the same period television sets in use went from 4 million to 175.5 million. And there has been growth since those time periods.
The growth of other media outlets now make it impossible to monopolize the airwaves. Since the initiation of the doctrine, we've also seen FM radio, UHF television, cable television, cable radio, satellite television, satellite radio and the Internet, which is capable of reaching broadcasters all around the world. The media has undergone an explosive expansion and will probably continue to experience dramatic growth in the number and kinds of outlets and the opportunities for all views to be presented. The scarcity argument is dead and so is the constitution underpinning of the Fairness Doctrine, which by the advance of technology has been rendered an improper restriction of free speech.
The FCC was right in 1987 when it rescinded the Fairness Doctrine, with an opinion that included this:
"We believe that the role of the electronic press in our society is the same as that of the printed press. Both are sources of information and viewpoint. Accordingly, the reasons for proscribing government intrusion into the editorial discretion of print journalists provide the same basis for proscribing such interference into the editorial discretion of broadcast journalists."
But this constitutional argument may soon be weakened by an Obama presidency. He is likely to appoint two or three new justices, tipping the balance of power in favor of those who believe in the constitution as a "living document" (a euphemism for judges doing anything they want and legislating their left-wing views from the bench) and who are willing to ignore the Founder's intent. This means we will have a Supreme Court that is likely to approve the flood of far-out liberal proposals that are almost certainly to come forth from a Democratic Party in control of Congress.
The Democratic Party will be pressing for the reinstitution of the Fairness Doctrine in the months ahead in order to silence their critics on talk radio. If this undemocratic proposal of the Democratic Party is to be defeated, it will require a grassroots uprising, with e-mails, letters and calls to Congressman and other elected officials, as well as letters to the editor and every other kind of communication called forth in defense of freedom of speech, in defense of the First Amendment and in criticism of the Democratic Party, which seems intent on destroying the framework of liberty and freedom that has made America great and that is our central national value.
Here's what former CNN gabber and current BET host "Touré" (I hate people who use one name) has to ask now that Barack Obama has been elected:
It's a mixed message from Mr. One-Name, full of a lot of the usual [liberal] racial canards, but also some tough questions. This, however, ain't one of 'em:
His election may serve to highlight, once again, the color biases of white people (at least in the electoral realm). The three biggest elected offices in America are president, governor, and senator, and all the black men who have held those offices are light- skinned—Obama, Deval Patrick (current governor of Massachusetts), David Paterson (current governor of New York), Doug Wilder (former governor of Virginia), and Edward Brooke (former senator from Massachusetts). Even the black man who’ll go down in history as the one who could have been president if only he’d found a fire in the belly, Colin Powell, is very light-skinned. These color issues matter only because there are long-held stereotypes attached to them that have no relevance or integrity today, but somehow still seem to be upheld.
The question is why are they upheld, Touré? I mean, you bringing up Hurricane Katrina and Jena 6 "upholds" precisely that which you're railing against regarding light-skinned blacks; that is, the main official in charge of evacuation for Katrina was a black man (Ray Nagin), and the next highest local official was a Democrat woman governor (Kathleen Blanco) -- y'know, Democrat, whose party captures over 90% of the black vote every four years. And the Jena 6 matter was ridiculously blown out of proportion and fraught with reporting errors. (The beating of a white student had nothing to do with a noose hanging months before, and a lot more.)
In other words, these incidents "have no relevance or integrity today, but somehow still seem to be upheld."
Here it is in its entirety, by Jeffrey Scott Shapiro. I don't necessarily agree with everything Shapiro says, but he does make some excellent points:
Earlier this year, 12,000 people in San Francisco signed a petition in support of a proposition on a local ballot to rename an Oceanside sewage plant after George W. Bush. The proposition is only one example of the classless disrespect many Americans have shown the president.
According to recent Gallup polls, the president's average approval rating is below 30% -- down from his 90% approval in the wake of 9/11. Mr. Bush has endured relentless attacks from the left while facing abandonment from the right.
This is the price Mr. Bush is paying for trying to work with both Democrats and Republicans. During his 2004 victory speech, the president reached out to voters who supported his opponent, John Kerry, and said, "Today, I want to speak to every person who voted for my opponent. To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support, and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust."
Those bipartisan efforts have been met with crushing resistance from both political parties.
The president's original Supreme Court choice of Harriet Miers alarmed Republicans, while his final nomination of Samuel Alito angered Democrats. His solutions to reform the immigration system alienated traditional conservatives, while his refusal to retreat in Iraq has enraged liberals who have unrealistic expectations about the challenges we face there.
It seems that no matter what Mr. Bush does, he is blamed for everything. He remains despised by the left while continuously disappointing the right.
Yet it should seem obvious that many of our country's current problems either existed long before Mr. Bush ever came to office, or are beyond his control. Perhaps if Americans stopped being so divisive, and congressional leaders came together to work with the president on some of these problems, he would actually have had a fighting chance of solving them.
Like the president said in his 2004 victory speech, "We have one country, one Constitution and one future that binds us. And when we come together and work together, there is no limit to the greatness of America."
To be sure, Mr. Bush is not completely alone. His low approval ratings put him in the good company of former Democratic President Harry S. Truman, whose own approval rating sank to 22% shortly before he left office. Despite Mr. Truman's low numbers, a 2005 Wall Street Journal poll found that he was ranked the seventh most popular president in history. (I've made this precise point to several "progressives" over these past few weeks, only to be mockingly sneered at. -- Hube)
Just as Americans have gained perspective on how challenging Truman's presidency was in the wake of World War II, our country will recognize the hardship President Bush faced these past eight years -- and how extraordinary it was that he accomplished what he did in the wake of the September 11 attacks.
The treatment President Bush has received from this country is nothing less than a disgrace. The attacks launched against him have been cruel and slanderous, proving to the world what little character and resolve we have. The president is not to blame for all these problems. He never lost faith in America or her people, and has tried his hardest to continue leading our nation during a very difficult time.
Our failure to stand by the one person who continued to stand by us has not gone unnoticed by our enemies. It has shown to the world how disloyal we can be when our president needed loyalty -- a shameful display of arrogance and weakness that will haunt this nation long after Mr. Bush has left the White House.
Word has it that a big (major?) part of "IM2" will be how Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) succumbs to alcoholism. This would be consistent with two major storylines from Iron Man comics, the first in the late 70s and the second in the mid-80s. The latter took place over some 30 issues and Stark was literally living on the streets.
If Stark does fall prey to the bottle, this would open the door for new-Jim Rhodes Don Cheadle to assume the role of Iron Man as War Machine. But 'ya gotta have a villain. Who should it be?
1) The Mandarin. Already alluded to in the first film (the terrorist organization known as "The Ten Rings"), Mandy would be the natural choice. But the Mandarin is Chinese (hence the name, duh) and the head baddie in "Iron Man" wasn't. Calling him "Mandarin" wouldn't make sense, but without the "Mandarin" name, what will fans think? What other moniker would suffice? "Ring Guy?" An all-out battle with Mandy would be kickin' though -- Stark and his armor (and brain) trying to fend off the multiple threat of Mandy's fingerwear.
2) The Crimson Dynamo. Originally a Soviet counterpart to the American Iron Man, it should be easy enough to rework the Red baddie/hero as a Russian (not Soviet) character. The question would be, though, how would the two armored heroes tussle -- since the US and Russia are largely allies now? And battling another armored character wouldn't be that much different from the first flick, when IM took on the Iron Monger.
3) Fin Fang Foom. Some websites have this big green dragon making an appearance in the sequel as the Mandarin's lackey. For me, this would be a mistake as in my view, the best Iron Man villains are technology-based. As Tony Stark/Iron Man frequently exclaims in his comics, "I hate magic." And FFF is too close to "fantasy" rather than hard science fiction.
4) Ultimo. Also once a minion of the Mandarin, this huge gleaming android is a doomsday device that was created by an alien race. Iron Man vs. Ultimo in the comics has been all-out donneybrooks and some of the best continued-story issues in Iron Man's 45 year history. Using Ultimo as a pawn of Mandarin could be killer (literally)!!
5) Justin Hammer & Spymaster. Combined together because dastardly businessman Hammer has frequently employed Spymaster to do his [evil] bidding. Hammer is one of Stark's ominous business rivals who'll stop at nothing to defeat and crush Stark. He used Spymaster to steal some of Iron Man's secret technology which Hammer then sold to the highest bidder(s). Thus began the classic "Armor Wars" (Iron Man #225-231). The problem with this is that we already saw a fair share of "corporate intrigue" via Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane in "Iron Man," so a full sequel about it might not be very satisfying.
Answer: Go to the Iron Fan, a.k.a. Hube of The Colossus of Rhodey!
I was combing through Wizard #206 that a friend had lent me, and in the back where they have their price index I saw the following blurb:
Got it, Wizard? ;-)
Newsweek and the WaPo publish this Iranian nutjob's opinion on what Barack Obama ought to do first as President-Elect: Demand that Bush and Cheney resign.
Hey Ali -- maybe you oughta start first with articles demanding little things like democracy, women's and gay rights, and religious freedom IN YOUR OWN COUNTRY.
... to the 44th, and first African-American, President of the United States, Mr. Barack Obama.
(Y'see how that easy that was? No, "HE CHEATED!! WE WERE ROBBED OF THE ELECTION!" conspiratorial nonsense that we on the right have had to endure the last eight years from the likes of these putzes.)
... and aside from those who ran unopposed, there was only ONE race for which I did not cast a vote.
Can you guess which one it was?
The singer lays it out:
"There is someone I do support, but I don't support publicly. I lose all respect for celebrities when they back a candidate. It's saying that the American public isn't smart enough to make their own decisions ... music is where you go to get away from all the BS."
In other words, "SHUT UP AND SING!!" Like I wanted to scream at Jimmy Dale Gilmore one time.
Listen to how this CNN schmuck just "laughs it off":
In reference to reinstating the Fairness Doctrine, NY Senator Chuck Schumer on Fox News just asked the host the following: "Well, do you think we should regulate pornography?" His "point" was that since the FCC regulates porn, it should also regulate political speech. He actually said that regulating one and not the other would be "inconsistent." How 'bout that? Pornography now equals political speech!
Well, of COURSE it would be inconsistent. It SHOULD be. Do we regulate lettuce like we do tobacco? Why not? They're both freakin' leaves, aren't they? Isn't that ... "inconsistent?"
The next four years sure is gonna be "fun."
UPDATE: Wow, a check around the blogs and this is all over the place. I just happened to be sitting there when Schumer came on FNC. Here's the vid:
(Yes, only Trek fans will get this.)
Local politics bore me to a large degree, and I'm oh-so weary of national politics at this point. So here are some NON-CANDIDATE (excluding the prez) predictions for this historic Election Day:
... besides the news that Don Cheadle will be replacing Terrance Howard as Jim Rhodes/War Machine in "Iron Man 2," did anyone out there know that War Machine actually was once a suit of alien armor? Yep, that's right. (At left is the first full issue of this alien suit, War Machine #19.)
In the mid-90s, apparently Marvel wasn't doing too well with "two" Iron Men -- Tony Stark as Iron Man and Jim Rhodes as War Machine. War Machine was, after all, just a "specialized" set of Iron Man armor anyway, first seen in Iron Man #281. So what Marvel did was blatantly copy a kickin' idea from Japan: They turned Jim Rhodes into an American version of The Guyver. "Guyver" is an excellent anime offering where a young lad mistakenly comes across a suit of "bio booster" armor -- a suit which integrates directly with its user's body and augments his abilities to the Nth degree. The original series is available for purchase here, and you can also watch a couple episodes for free at that link.
So -- did Marvel's gambit work? Not at all. The "transition" was hastily done, the art for the most part was pretty sloppy, and the War Machine title ended just six issues later at #25. Eventually, Rhodes "lost" the suit when he used it to purge Stark's computers of all information concerning the Iron Man armor when Stark's company was taken over by a rival. Rhodes subsequently got his "regular" War Machine suit back several years later, as well as seeing action in the "parallel universe" stories of US War Machine.
... and that's that I've had just about enough of the election at this point. Just get it on, already! I've actually got two posts ready to go for late tomorrow/early Weds. -- one if Obama wins and one if McCain pulls it out. (And don't worry Obamaites -- I'm quite cordial to The Messiah in his post.)
So, since I've had it until after tomorrow (at least), let's check out some IRON MAN news!!
Terrance Howard, who played James Rhodes in "Iron Man" (Tony Stark's -- Robert Downey -- right-hand man), is OUT of "Iron Man 2!"
According to Entertainment Weekly, while some insiders guessed it had to do with Howard being difficult on the set, the story has much more to it:
“Howard was the first actor signed to the film and, on top of that, was the highest-paid. That’s right: more than Gwyneth Paltrow. More than Jeff Bridges. More than Robert Downey Jr. And once the project fully came together, it was too late to renegotiate his deal.”
Wow. How’s that for an interesting twist? To further complicate matters, the word is that Jon Favreau was not very happy with Howard’s portrayal of Tony Stark’s long time friend Jim Rhodes. Again, there is no confirmation on this as Favreau did not comment on any of this.
Who's gonna replace Howard? Check it: Don Cheadle. It's a no-lose situation for Iron Fans, although I dig Howard and thought he did just fine as Rhodes. But Cheadle is a phenomenal actor so I'm sure he'll pick up the role without skipping a beat.
From the Newsbusters e-mail tipline, which goes to many contributors, not just me:
Would like to respond to those direct comments made by Fox and Friends TV against Obama. All the 'hype' made involving 'Joe the Plumber' has come about because of all the attention and media driven by Fox TV. Anyone with an ounce of sense, and listening to Fox TV, will clearly see the 'far right wing radicalism,' and cause for fear, and threat of brainwashing the American people. Where in God's name is there 'fair and balance' [sic] Wake up. It is all over the Fox Network programs. They even made another spot for ole 'Huckabee,' alone [sic] Shann [sic] Hannity's 'Hannity's America,' WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!
If any network should be accused of "brainwashing," it sure ain't Fox. Far from it. Fox News is indeed the fairest and most balanced.
From SNL. Ben Affleck does a terrific job!!
Chanman at Buckhorn Road has an anecdote from a recent teacher inservice of his. Wish I could say it shocked me; it didn't. Too many teachers go through that sort of crap far too often.
In the meantime, HO-HUM -- not knowing who all those Obama donors are: Big Media couldn't care a whit.
Charles Ogletree, Obama’s top advisor on race issues, first has claimed that "Obama’s election is possible only because he’s partly white." Now it's been revealed Ogletree has some interesting views on other topics, too.
Just more "bringing us together!!"
(h/t to Hans Bader.)
How they "mark" their service to The Messiah.
"He hasn't done anything yet."
Except run for president, that is!
Hopefully (!!!) this woman isn't typical:
Yep, she actually said "I won't have to worry about putting gas in my car, I won't have worry about paying my mortgage. You know, if I help him he's going to help me."
Well, he is The Messiah, after all! He can do anything ... right?
Just kidding. This ain't me. Not to say it isn't a good idea, 'tho ... ;-)
Why I'm having serious doubts about sending my daughter there in a few years.
The race is still competitive it seems.