He pulls the US out of that ridiculous "World Conference on Racism" known as Durban II.
You can read the conference's "draft outcome document" here (.pdf file).
Oh, and the conference is chaired by Libya. Nice.
Obama replacement Senator Roland Burris’s son got a job from impeached IL Governor Rod Blagojevich. Not only that, he got that job -- as a senior counsel for the state's housing authority -- while his own home was being foreclosed on:
The son of embattled Sen. Roland Burris is a federal tax deadbeat who landed a $75,000-a-year state job under former Gov. Rod Blagojevich five months ago, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.
Blagojevich's administration hired Roland W. Burris II as a senior counsel for the state's housing authority Sept. 10 -- about six weeks after the Internal Revenue Service slapped a $34,163 tax lien on Burris II and three weeks after a mortgage company filed a foreclosure suit on his South Side house.
Burris II had resolved two federal tax liens in 2005 before being hit with the $34,163 lien in July. That lien against his property seeks unpaid taxes for 2004, 2005 and 2007.
A month after the IRS filed the lien, Burris II's lender filed its foreclosure suit. Since Burris II and his wife got the $372,000 mortgage on July 18, 2006, they've paid less than $3,000 on it, the suit alleges. The balance due is $406,685, including interest and penalties.
The fact that Burris II faces foreclosure but is working at a housing-related state agency "reeks of hypocrisy," said state Rep. Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs), who was the first to call on Sen. Burris to testify before the impeachment panel.
If I were Burris II, I wouldn’t worry overmuch. I’d just appeal to The Messiah and Congress for help in dealing with that foreclosure!
Kanye West thinks we should all just give Chris Brown – who’s accused of beating girlfriend/singer Rihanna – “a break”: "Can't we give Chris a break? ... I know I make mistakes in life."
You have, Kanye? Like kicking the living sh** out of a female??
But wait, it gets better.
"O.J. Simpson, amazing. Is he not? What he did, when he did, what he did. Was he not amazing though?"
Yeah, yeah – Simpson was an amazing running back during his NFL days. Too bad he freakin’ murdered two people in the early 90s.
But c'mahn ... can’t we just give O.J. a break?
Imagine you are a white person and were in, say, a “diversity” seminar similar to those [formerly] found at the University of Delaware. You flat-out state that “All black people think alike.” Hell, you could say that virtually anywhere and [rightly] get (at least) angry looks from people. (Especially if you are a conservative.)
But if you are a “progressive” white liberal, it’s a laugh fest:
After mentioning that former CNN anchor Daryn Kagan used to date [Rush] Limbaugh, [Janeane] Garofalo cracked that Kagan has Stockholm Syndrome, which she also attributed to RNC Chairman Michael Steele, with Olbermann agreeing that Steele suffers from "self-loathing":
JANEANE GAROFALO: She dated him, so either she suffers from Stockholm Syndrome – a lot like Michael Steele, who’s the black guy in the Republican party who suffers from Stockholm Syndrome, which means you try and curry favor with the oppressor.
KEITH OLBERMANN: Yes, you talk about self-loathing.
GAROFALO: Yeah, and there’s, any female or person of color in the Republican party is struggling with Stockholm Syndrome.
This sort of bigotry is no less invidious than [the more overt] saying "all black people like watermelon" or "are predisposed to criminality." In many ways it’s worse because it denigrates the very concept of free thought. It’s a belief that all people of a certain race (or gender) must think alike. How dare a black person believe in federalism! How dare an African-American demand fiscal – and personal – responsibility?
Yet another reason to scoff at self-righteous “progressives” when they preach about “racial understanding.” I wonder how “understanding” Olbermann and Garofalo would be if they attended one of Eric Holder’s desired “non-cowardly” discussions about race.
I wonder how long it would have taken the MSM websites to cover this story if the following alleged perpetrator was a white supremacist skinhead?
A man from President Obama's hometown of Chicago has been arrested for allegedly sending Obama and his staff envelopes containing HIV-infected blood, in the hopes of killing or harming them.
It's only the second time ever that HIV-infected blood has been sent with malicious intent through the U.S. mail system, a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service said.
In the weeks leading up to Obama's inauguration, Saad Hussein, an Ethiopian refugee in his late 20's, sent an envelope addressed to "Barack Obama" to offices of the Illinois government in Springfield, Ill., according to court documents. The envelope contained a series of unusual items, including a letter with reddish stains and an admission ticket for Obama's election-night celebration in Chicago's Grant Park. Court documents said Hussein, who takes drugs to treat a mental illness, later told FBI agents he is "very sick with HIV" and cut his fingers with a razor so he could bleed on the letter.
At this point in time, neither ABC, CNN, MSNBC or CBS have the story on their websites. How can that be? Isn’t this akin to the anthrax-laden envelopes that were mailed to Congress years ago? Worse, it threatens the Chief Exec!
Oh, wait – it’s a man that has AIDS and has a Muslim-sounding name. That’s a politically correct double-whammy in the mainstream media’s book. Just recall the News Journal’s “guide!”
First place in the Council category was Rhymes With Right with About The Chimp Cartoon. (Colossus tied for second place this time out.)
First place in the non-Council category was The Nose On Your Face with Islamic Rage Boy Addresses Muslim TV Exec’s Recent Wife-Beheading.
Full results are here.
Former University of Delaware student Bill Rivers fills us in on the utter inanity that was (and hopefully it stays in the past tense) the notorious Residence Life Program:
One of the best examples of this kind of offensive thinking happened early in the spring semester of 2007. It was about 8:30 on a Monday night and my roommate and I were both at hard work in our dorm room. He was engrossed in a lab write-up that was due the next morning for his one of his mechanical engineering classes and I was inching my way through a paper on Alexis de Tocqueville for my Honors colloquium. Then Lori, our Resident Assistant, appeared in the doorway and gave a quick knock. “Mandatory floor meeting downstairs in five minutes, guys,” she said. “Let’s go.”
We complained—like everyone on the floor—but at the end of five minutes, my roommate and I—like everyone else—tramped on down to the basement lounge. Sometimes mandatory floor meeting notices were announced by bright, colorful pieces of paper posted on bathroom doors, but this one was a surprise. To this day, I don’t know if it was intended to be that way, or if Lori simply forgot until the last minute. Regardless, forty irritated freshmen collected down in Lane Hall’s basement lounge to participate in one of the more jaw-dropping of Residence Life’s programs.
Lori passed out a blank sheet of paper and told us to number it, leaving spaces for our answers. She announced that we were going to expose our prejudices and stereotypes about other races and in so doing learn more about diversity. To this end, she instructed us that she was going to read off a list of minorities and ethnicities for each number, and that we (working in pairs) were to write down all the stereotypes and prejudices we could think of for each category. After trading incredulous looks with each other (“Really? You took me away from studying Tocqueville to have me write down all the most offensive labels I’ve ever heard? Seriously?”), students then pooled their resources and for the next ten minutes went to work thinking of all the slurs, epithets, and bigoted comments used to demean not only African Americans, Asians, Italians, Jews, Hispanics, and Poles, but also, gay and lesbian persons, and persons of other alternative lifestyles. When it was finished, Lori said something to the effect of, “Look how bigoted and prejudiced even us college students can be,” and “isn’t it a shock that even us who are being educated can think of all these slurs and stereotypes?”
As they say, be sure to read the whole thing. I’m just glad I graduated UD over 20 years ago. As it is, I would have told Ms. "Residence Assistant" Lori to “stuff it” if she told me to attend such a “seminar” in place of studying – y’know, what you’re actually in college for.
In early October, as the meltdown of the financial industry gained momentum following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, a Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 59% of U.S. voters agreed with Ronald Reagan that “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”
Since then, the stock market has fallen roughly 3,000 points, millions of jobs have been lost, nearly a trillion dollars has been spent so far to bail out the financial industry, an additional $787-billion government stimulus package has been approved, and a new president has taken office who has proposed spending billions and billions more.
Despite all that, a new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey shows that the basic views of the American people have not change: 59% of voters still agree with Reagan’s inaugural address statement. Only 28% disagree, and 14% are not sure.
Here’s a message that the GOP should listen to:
Although the Republican Party in Washington veered away from Reagan’s approach in the years since the 40th president left office, 83% of Republican voters around the country still agree with him.
And that is a – if not THE – reason the Republicans got creamed in ’06 and again in ’08. You aren’t gonna win by acting like the other party. That’s what George Bush did in large measure. It’s going to be a difficult road to hoe, so to speak, for the GOP to regain many folks’ fiscal trust. Hopefully, they will. And here’s the reasons to be hopeful:
A majority of all voters say the Republican Party should return to the views and values of Reagan to be successful.
In a corollary to Reagan’s assessment of government, most voters believe that no matter how bad things are, Congress could always make them worse.
Other recent polls show that most voters continue to believe that tax cuts are good for the economy and 48% hold the view that increased government spending hurts the economy.
Other survey data shows that 72% of voters believe a free market economy is better than one managed by the government. That’s little changed since December.
While voters prefer the free market in theory, they are clearly willing to support government intervention for specific projects. Most Americans favor a six-month moratorium on mortgage foreclosures. However, most are opposed to more bailouts.
This bumper sticker, via The Corner:
* My parents are quite young. They were 19 (mom) and 21 (dad) when I was born. They're currently both quite healthy and doing well.
* I just recently got an I-Pod. It was actually my daughter's; I "acquired" it after we got her the latest model for Christmas. Most of the songs I've put in it thus far have Spanish lyrics.
* I won a spelling bee in 6th grade by correctly spelling the word "grotesque." The credit goes to Marvel Comics -- I remembered it from a character called the Grotesque Glob, an enemy of the Hulk.
* I don't much like blondes. I much more prefer dark-haired, dark-eyed women.
* I once ran a quarter mile (400 meters) in under 50 seconds. (The world record, FWIW, is 43.18 by the US's Michael Johnson.)
* I worked as a waiter, bartender, soft drink pack-out guy, and bank credit card collector before getting my teaching gig.
* My favorite "hard" drink is a gin gimlet on the rocks.
* My favorite pizza is with pepperoni and sweet peppers.
* I was about an angstrom's width away from joining the Navy after college. I ultimately decided against it because my vision really sucked (and still sucks). How's that relevant? I wanted to fly.
* Speaking of the Navy, my maternal grandfather flew a Corsair off the carrier Roosevelt.
* My first ride in a plane was on a flight to Europe. We stopped in Iceland en route. That was cool.
* And speaking even more of flying, I once got into a bit of trouble as a teenager while in a Cesna. When the pilot (a friend of mine) and I arrived at Wilmington Airport, there were two police helicopters waiting for us at the end of the runway.
* My fave vegetable is either lima beans or broccoli. My fave fruit is bananas.
* I love many traditional Latin rhythms -- salsa, merengue, bachata -- but can't dance to them worth a freakin' darn.
* I think Trevor Rabin is the greatest guitar player I've ever seen play.
* I've lived in Delaware my entire freakin' life.
Big development: Samuel L. Jackson has signed a NINE picture deal with Marvel Studios:
The actor, who just weeks ago was seemingly on the outs with the studio over reprising his role as Nick Fury, agent of spy outfit S.H.I.E.L.D., in the "Iron Man" sequel, has signed an unprecedented nine-picture deal to play the character in a series of Marvel movies.
In addition to "Iron Man 2," scheduled for release next year, the movies include "Thor," "Captain America," "The Avengers" and its sequels. Also on the table is the possibility of starring in a "S.H.I.E.L.D." movie, which is in development.
Jackson made a surprise appearance as Fury at the end of the first "Iron Man," throwing geeks into a tizzy and showing the first glimpse of Marvel's plan to link all their slate of movies into one filmic universe.
Jackson and Fury were expected to be part of the sequel, but as Marvel negotiated with its cast, deals proved hard to come by. Terrence Howard was replaced by Don Cheadle. Mickey Rourke still doesn't have a deal for the part of a villain despite almost two months of negotiations.
This is huge. I was worried that Jackson was going to bow out. I think Rourke was holding out to see if he got the Oscar for Best Actor; now that he lost it to Sean Penn, maybe he'll be willing to deal.
Just stop furthering this nonsense, huh?? We've had enough conspiracy nonsense the last eight years. Your party doesn't need to get into that crap now.
(Semi-related side note: Tool Rick Sanchez Googles Obama's birth certificate and uses that as proof? Who knew proof was that easy! Sheesh.)
This week's Council nominations are as follows:
* Rhymes With Right - About The Chimp Cartoon
* Joshuapundit - Holder: US A Nation Of Cowards On Race
* The Glittering Eye - How Not to Draw a Conclusion
* The Razor - Octomom: A Symbol of Obama’s America
* Right Truth - Our Supreme Leader, Barack Obama
* Cheat-Seeking Missiles - NY Times Finally Covers Hassan Beheading
* Bookworm Room - Giving the people what they want
* The Provocateur - The Coming Mortgage Class War III
* Soccer Dad - Try a little tenderness - in foreign policy
* The Colossus of Rhodey - Reaction to Eric Holder’s “cowards” comment
I see that cassandra over at our local gaggle of moonbats is very giddy that a "progressive" candidate is running for Cape Henlopen School Board. This person, one Meyer Persow, once wrote a letter to the Washington Blade shortly after President Reagan died (my emphasis):
Many conservatives are covering themselves in sackcloth and ashes to mark the passing of Ronald Reagan. Tributes are pouring in from all corners. So let me be the ant at the picnic. I will not mourn the passing of this man. Reagan was acting in the role of Nero while our country suffered through the early stages of the AIDS pandemic. He and his administration, many of whom are now working for Dubya, refused to even acknowledge there was a problem. Of course, this was a gay disease and who cares about faggots and queers anyway? The blood of thousands of victims who died from AIDS complications in the first 10 years of the epidemic is on Reagan’s hands.
I know I’ll be skewered by many for saying this, but Reagan did not suffer from the pain and anguish many of us did as we watched friend after friend waste away from something that could have been prevented. It’s probably a terrible thing to say, but Reagan didn’t suffer enough. Now his family knows the pain that many of us have experienced over the past 23 years. No, I will not mourn this man’s passing. I will mark it sitting by the pool in Rehoboth Beach, enjoying the day off that was given to government employees — those same employees who Reagan viewed as a problem.
It certainly is fitting that the guy is commenting over at that local gaggle of moonbats' blog, 'cause he sure shares similar "values" -- like wishing suffering on people who do not share his views. (Y'all remember DelDem's little diddy about wishing all Republicans to be rounded up and shot, don'tcha?)
To state that Reagan is responsible for those that died in the first decade of the AIDS epidemic is just ridiculous hateful hogwash. If anyone bothers to check out just a few facts, the gay community itself is quite culpable for the spread of the disease (and I don't mean in the era before it was known was caused it). Gay activists fought health measures such as the closing bath houses, testing for the virus and even contact tracing -- all traditional health methods used in times of epidemic. In addition, AIDS had to become "everyone's" disease, even though the oft-predicted heterosexual AIDS epidemic never materialized in the developed world.
Just imagine if Reagan hadn't "played Nero" as Persow says, and actually clamored for the real health measures that were needed. Yep, you guessed it -- he'd have been called a "homophobe." Hell, as it is, he already is considered such. Lastly, Persow can't even get the actual quote that Reagan said about "problem government" correct. Like too many other "progressives," he omits Mr. Reagan's "in this present crisis" when quoting the "government is the problem line." Yeesh, it sure isn't surprising that Persow has such a misguided sense of history.
You can check here for a factual non-MSM article on Reagan and the AIDS crisis, which includes a graphic of how spending on HIV/AIDS drastically increased throughout the 80s.
UPDATE: Before the inevitable happens (the [ridiculous] accusations of "homophobia") my pointing out the actions of many gay activists during the epidemic is not exclusive nor is it without a certain understanding. Certainly, many homosexuals were concerned with a rise of anti-gay rhetoric and actions when it became known that, in the US at least, AIDS was largely a gay disease. But if your concern is clamping down on the epidemic to save lives, subverting sensible health measures in the name of political correctness and a potential rise in homophobia sure isn't very wise.
The A.P. reports on Pres. Obama's speech tonight -- before it even happens!
UPDATE: I see that Mr. Trust Fund over the local gaggle of moonbats thinks I don't know that news agencies get advanced copies of speeches. Perhaps he missed the sarcastic irony of this post. So let me explain it for those slow people over there: Why would AP release an article in the past tense when the future hasn't even happened yet?
Gotta love how the NY Times spins Obama's shrinking approval and growing disapproval numbers:
President Obama is benefiting from remarkably high levels of optimism and confidence among Americans about his leadership, providing him with substantial political clout as he confronts the nation’s economic challenges and opposition from nearly all Republicans in Congress, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
The aura of good will surrounding Mr. Obama at this stage of his presidency is similar to the one that benefited Ronald Reagan as he led the nation out of economic gloom.
With a job approval rating of 63 percent, Mr. Obama is in a strong position to sell his economic policies.
But the Gallup poll gives a bit more detail into the numbers:
President Barack Obama remains highly popular among the U.S. public at the end of his first month in office. However, the 63% of Americans currently approving of his job performance is down slightly from his initial 68% rating in January. The percentage disapproving has doubled, from 12% to 24%.
While Obama's initial 68% job approval rating was one of the highest in Gallup polling history (from Dwight Eisenhower through George W. Bush), his current 63% job approval rating is typical of how the last several presidents have fared at the one-month mark:
Bush 41, 63-13
Barack Obama, 63-24
Bush 43, 62-21
Say whaaaaaat?? The Messiah -- only a meager ONE PERCENT ahead of that evil fascist GW Bush after one month in office? And has HIGHER disapproval numbers??
Since I was lucky enough to pique AJ's interest in Los Amigos Invisibles with this post, here are a couple more songs/vids to further get him (and hopefully others) into the groove.
First is the only available actual vid from their first offering (A Typical and Autoctonal Venezuelan Dance Band), the disc of which is only available through their website. It's "Nada que Decir" -- "Nothing to Say." (Warning: the vid is definitely "dated"):
And here's "Sexy" from their second album The New Sound of the Venezuelan Gozadera:
Did I just hear Democratic PA Rep. Chaka Fattah tell Neil Cavuto that Bill Clinton and the Democrats lost the House and Senate in 1994 ... because they failed to enact national healthcare??
Is this dude completely clueless or WHAT?
When will Hollywood learn? Hasn't it gotten the point yet with complete losers like "Lions for Lambs?"
"Fair Game," the drama about the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, has come together with Naomi Watts starring, "Mrs. and Mrs. Smith" helmer Doug Liman directing and William Pohlad's River Road financing.
But the big question is whether Oscar-winning "Milk" star Sean Penn will close a deal to play Ambassador Joseph Wilson. (Link.)
You can bet if the movie is based on Plame's memoirs, and if Penn is playing Wilson, the account will hardly be balanced. But then again, the movie will probably lose money, so I guess that makes it all even out.
And not surprisingly, Variety, like way too many "hard news" outlets, omits key ingredients and/or gets essential facts wrong about the whole ordeal:
Plame Wilson left the CIA in 2005 and she and her husband filed a civil suit against Vice President Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and Cheney's ex-chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby. While Rove and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage admitted they leaked her agency status to journalists, Libby was convicted of lying to a federal grand jury about his role in compromising her covert status.
What happened to that civil suit? Oh, that's right -- it was dismissed. It was Armitage first who "leaked" Plame's name, not her actual status, of which Armitage was unaware. For, if he was, he'd have been indicted and most probably convicted by now by Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald. Libby was indeed convicted of lying, but "his role in compromising her covert status" is misleading. Again, at the time, Armitage, Rove and Bob Novak, the reporter who actually revealed Plame's name, didn't have reason to believe that Plame was a covert agent, and thus that mentioning her name would put her at risk. Again, prior knowledge of an agent's covert status and then revealing such is a crime. Neither Armitage, Rove, Libby nor Novak were indicted on that.
... you happen to say/write/draw something that offends them.
That individual bastion of moral certitude Al Sharpton is a perfect example. (How anyone still gives this chump the time of day is beyond me.) He wants to use the power of the federal government -- in this case the FCC -- to squash News Corp, the owner of the New York Post which ran that offensive cartoon last week.
The barely-relevant-anymore NAACP wants the cartoonist, Sean Delonas, fired. They're also planning interminable protests against the Post until this happens.
Refresh my memory again -- did Sharpton and/or the NAACP threaten same when similar cartoons appeared about, say, Condi Rice? (See here, for just a few examples.) Not that I recall. And the reason for that is simple: Free speech for liberals is perfectly fine -- unless your free speech offends them. Then, some barrier must erected, usually something along the lines of "hate speech," "imminent physical threat," or "hostile environment." Just for being offended.
Let's face it -- there's not one iota of difference between the recent Post cartoon and those past ones mocking Condi Rice. But the Sharptons of the world and the NAACP would have you believe that only ONE of them is "racist" (or, at least racist enough to warrant federal intervention and/or the firing of the "guilty" party). Not only is this an insult to the concept of the First Amendment, it is an insult to race relations. In other words, such cartoons are only "racist" when directed at minority liberals. Minority conservatives aren't "authentic" minorities, thus aren't "worthy" of the Sharpton/NAACP anti-racist protests.
(h/t to Media Blog.)
Thanks to Peevish for this one:
What are your middle names?
My middle name will remain anonymous. Besides, it's my mother's maiden name and is quite unusual. 'Da wife's is "Yadira," after her aunt.
How long have you been together?
Married nineteen and a half years; together for twenty and a half.
How long did you know each other before you started dating?
Who asked whom out?
Neither. Ours was a ... different sort of beginning. Being that she was in another country until the time of my return and we weren't yet an "item," our friendship just "evolved" into a more intimate relationship.
How old are each of you?
I'm 44; she's 45.
Whose siblings do you see the most?
Mine, only because hers are in another country.
Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
The discipline of our daughter. I tend to be more "old school;" 'da wife is sort of a contemporary "helicopter parent." It causes more friction in our marriage than any other issue by far.
Did you go to the same school?
For a semester, yes. We met in 1986 when I studied abroad at the University of Costa Rica. (I'm a UD grad -- '87 and '01.)
Are you from the same home town?
Who is smarter?
Who is the most sensitive?
She's cries every time she watches "Extreme Home Makeover." 'Nuff said.
Where do you eat out most as a couple?
Traditional Latino places.
Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Who has the craziest exes?
Who has the worst temper?
I do. (And she sure knows how to activate it.)
Who does the cooking?
We both do, unless it's Latino. That's her exclusive domain.
Who is the neat-freak?
Who is more stubborn?
She is by quite a bit.
Who hogs the bed?
She does, but I'm usually so out cold I don't notice or care.
Who wakes up earlier?
I do, by far. She can sleep until almost noon on weekends.
Where was your first date?
Leonardo's in downtown San José, Costa Rica.
Who is more jealous?
She is, by light-years.
How long did it take to get serious?
About those full two years. We never officially "dated" when I studied abroad; however, we kept in touch constantly for two years until I returned to CR in '88. She had worked out a place for me to stay; it didn't work out. So I ended up staying at her place. And so it goes ...
Who eats more?
You kidding? Me.
Who does the laundry?
I do about 75% of the time, believe it or not. But she does the majority of the folding.
Who's better with the computer?
Who drives when you are together?
I have to, unless I have absolutely NO clue as to our destination. By "have to" I mean I go crazy if I don't. She's a sh**ty driver.
Not sure if this is an official vid (looks like it) but here is my FAVE group EVER, Los Amigos Invisibles, with the first single off their new disc Comercial -- "Mentiras" ("Lies"):
Shirley first tipped me to this article; boy, did it hit home. I wonder how often other educators, both in primary-secondary schools as well as higher ed (paging Steve Newton), have to deal with this stuff.
“Many students come in with the conviction that they’ve worked hard and deserve a higher mark,” Professor Grossman said. “Some assert that they have never gotten a grade as low as this before.”
He attributes those complaints to his students’ sense of entitlement.
“I tell my classes that if they just do what they are supposed to do and meet the standard requirements, that they will earn a C,” he said. “That is the default grade. They see the default grade as an A.”
A recent study by researchers at the University of California, Irvine, found that a third of students surveyed said that they expected B’s just for attending lectures, and 40 percent said they deserved a B for completing the required reading.
Just check out these quotes from some college students:
Jason Greenwood, a senior kinesiology major at the University of Maryland echoed that view.
“I think putting in a lot of effort should merit a high grade,” Mr. Greenwood said. “What else is there really than the effort that you put in?”
“If you put in all the effort you have and get a C, what is the point?” he added. “If someone goes to every class and reads every chapter in the book and does everything the teacher asks of them and more, then they should be getting an A like their effort deserves. If your maximum effort can only be average in a teacher’s mind, then something is wrong.”
Sarah Kinn, a junior English major at the University of Vermont, agreed, saying, “I feel that if I do all of the readings and attend class regularly that I should be able to achieve a grade of at least a B.”
To answer Greenwood's first question of "What else is there really than the effort that you put in?" the answer is simple: Results. Would this be Greenwood's excuse in the business world when his [future] boss asks him why his department hasn't been meeting its, say, sales quotas? Or, why those business reports weren't adequately finished? "But we're really trying, boss. That should be worth something!"
With such an attitude, his boss would laugh hysterically while handing him a pink slip.
The New Republic's Michelle Cottle opines on Ms. Kinn's attitude:
Wow. Now there's a gal looking to set the world on fire. Remind me to set Ms. Kinn up with a TNR internship asap. Because, honestly, the only thing we look for in an intern around this joint is a warm body who can get to work more or less on time and remain conscious long enough to slog through some of the more tedious manuscripts that land on the editors' desks.
In addition, Cottle adds:
If anything, a student who tries really, really, really hard at something and still repeatedly falls short might benefit from realizing that his talents lie elsewhere. (As could the rest of us: Not to state the obvious, but I don't want a brain surgeon who graduated at the top of his class because he had perfect attendance. I want one who is an artist with a scalpel.) Go ahead: Aim for the stars. Don't let anyone tell you you can't do something. But if you actually try that thing and it turns out that you're not so hot at it, don't whine about unfair grading. Acknowledge that you have major room for improvement and decide where to go from there. The sooner kids learn how to deal with failure and move on, the less likely we are to have a bunch of whiny, fragile, self-entitled, poorly qualified adults wandering around wondering why their oh-so-stellar efforts aren't properly appreciated in the real world.
Alternatively, now might be a good time to revisit my dream of becoming a concert pianist. I've never had much of an ear for music, but I bet if I quit my day job and worked at it really, really hard--or at least showed up at all my lessons and did the homework--someone would eventually reward my "excellence."
Down at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, such student attitudes seem to be ... "paying off":
A new report on grade inflation reveals that about 82 percent of all undergraduate grades at UNC-CH were A's or B's in the fall of 2007, and more A's were given than any other grade.
Now, some faculty fear top students aren't getting the recognition they deserve as the line between them and the rest of the class blurs.
"We think it is a problem," said Donna Gilleskie, an economics professor who analyzed more than 1 million grades since 2000 in writing the report. "It's a disservice to students. Sure, students would all like to get A's. But you want to reward students who have mastered the material."
I actually don't blame professors (or teachers) overmuch. Their response is a logical self-interest: They're getting pressure from above. In the case of college professors, student evaluations also play a key role. "Negative" evaluations -- "the professor is too tough" ... "has unrealistic expectations" ... "gives too many exams" -- can nowadays spell the unemployment line for them. School teachers can get grief for "too many low grades" and their classroom acumen can be called into question.
Personally, I do feel that a student's effort (at least at the grade level I teach) should be worth something. As such, I weigh my classwork and homework assignments in such a way that successful completion of them can help to offset a lousy test score (tests and quizzes which, by the way, are weighted more heavily than class/homework). A student who successfully completes all his/her assignments but doesn't do well on assessments will at the very least earn a "D" in my class. (Believe it or not, the psychological barrier between a "D" and an "F" is pretty large for kids of the age I teach.)
As students move up the educational ladder, expectations increase and concrete results are more important. For example, many high school teachers won't accept late work, while middle school teachers might take late assignments a day or even up to a week late. At least in high school students still have fairly close relationships with teachers. Once in college, the phrase "on your own" really comes into play, especially those first two years when you sit in huge lecture halls attended by hundreds of other students. You think the professor cares if you attend? Ha. He/she also doesn't care if you pass the exams. (Though that may be changing if Chapel Hill is the going trend. I think the grade inflation phenomenon -- and this is just my opinion, mind you -- manifests itself particularly in the junior and senior years, as well as in grad school, where classes are typically smaller and professor-student interaction is more intimate.)
Some colleges have taken action on the grade inflation "explosion": Princeton has set quotas where no more than 35% of the student body can earn "As," and at Seton Hall grade inflation dropped after faculty met and discussed grading procedures. The latter, in particular, is a wise move. In an age where student evaluations play a significant role in rating a professor, a "rogue" prof who cares little about actual hard work and assessments could "earn" high marks from students whereas a prof who demanded 100% attendance and assigned some tough reading and term paper assignments could be panned -- even if the latter is a [much] more exceptional instructor. Sure, the [supposedly] higher maturity levels of college young adults may "see through" the former's pathetic standards and contrariwise would appreciate the latter's attempt at actually making his students learn something.
But if the testimonials of Mr. Greenwood and Ms. Kinn are the wave of the future, this attitude may be a distinct minority.
This week's Watcher's Council winners were:
First place in the Council category was Joshuapundit with Obama’s Model - And No, It’s Not FDR.
First place in the non-council category was American Digest with A House Divided A Century and a Half Later: What Lincoln Would Say Were He Speaking Today.
Full results are here.
... but The Messiah's gonna close it anyway??
A Pentagon report requested by President Obama on the conditions at the Guantánamo Bay detention center concluded that the prison complies with the humane-treatment requirements of the Geneva Conventions. But it makes recommendations for improvements including increasing human contact for the prisoners, according to two government officials who have read parts of it. (Source.)
Who knew? Probably just about anyone with an inkling of common sense. But why let that keep one from demonizing folks like GW Bush as "evil incarnate?"
change bulls*** you can believe in.
Over the last week, National Review Online (NRO) has had numerous contributors write up blurbs for what they determined were the best 25 conservative flicks from the last 25 years. They solicited reader ideas; I sent only one in, and it made the cut. (I've noted it below at the appropriate film.)
I've put in bold the films I've seen. I've included the entire NRO commentary for each entry, and for the one's I've caught I've included my own thoughts following NRO's. NRO has the complete list here, sans the movie stills from their original entries. But before we begin, I want to note what I believe constitutes a "conservative" movie. It's pretty simple, actually. The story should include basic conservative (or, more accurately, what I like to call "classically liberal") principles or concepts -- things like self-reliance, hard work, family, a [fairly non-nebulous] belief in "good," patriotism, respect for country and others, equality under the law, and so on.
In addition, I'd like to note several films I felt were worthy of being included in the list but weren't:
And now, here's the NRO list:
#25. "GRAN TORINO." NRO says:
Clint Eastwood directs and stars in the ultimate family movie unsuitable for the family. He plays Walt Kowalski, a caricature of an old-school, dying-breed, Polish-American racist male, replete with post-traumatic stress disorder from having served in the Korean War. Kowalski comes to realize that his exotic Hmong neighbors embody traditional social values more than his own disaster of a Caucasian nuclear family. Dirty Harry blows away political correctness, takes on the bad guys, and turns a boy into a man in the process. He even encourages the cultural assimilation of immigrants. It feels so good, you knew the Academy would ignore it.
#24. "TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE." NRO says:
This marionette movie from "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone is hard to categorize as conservative. It’s amazingly vulgar and depicts Americans as wildly overzealous in fighting terror. Yet the film’s utter disgust with air-headed, left-wing celebrity activism remains unmatched in popular culture. As the heroes move to stop a WMD apocalypse, they clash with Alec Baldwin, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, and a host of others, whom they take out with gunfire, sword, and martial arts before saving the day. The movie, like "South Park" itself, reveals Parker and Stone as the two-headed George Grosz of American satire.
#23. "UNITED 93." NRO says:
Minutes after terrorists struck on 9/11, Americans launched their first counterattack in the War on Terror. Director Paul Greengrass pays tribute to the passengers of United 93 by refusing to turn their story into a wimpy Hollywood melodrama. Instead, "United 93" unfolds as a real-time docudrama. Just as significantly, Greengrass provides a clear depiction of our enemies. United 93 opens as four Muslim terrorists pray in a hotel room. Several hours later, the hijackers’ frenzied shrieks to Allah mingle with the prayerful supplications of United 93’s passengers as they crash through the cockpit door and strike a blow against those who would terrorize our country.
Hube adds: I saw this with several other right-leaning bloggers when it first came out. You'll be on the edge of your seat for the vast majority of the film, needing to take a huge sigh of forced relaxation at story's end. There are no "name" actors in this film; indeed, some of the actual personnel who were on duty that fateful September morning play their roles here.
#22. "BRAZIL." NRO says:
Vividly depicting the miserable results of elitist utopian schemes, Terry Gilliam’s "Brazil" portrays a darkly comic dystopia of malfunctioning high-tech equipment and the dreary living conditions common to all totalitarian regimes. Everything in the society is built to serve government plans rather than people. The film is visually arresting and inventive, with especially evocative use of shots that put the audience in a subservient position, just like the people in the film. Terrorist bombings, national-security scares, universal police surveillance, bureaucratic arrogance, a callous elite, perversion of science, and government use of torture evoke the worst aspects of the modern megastate.
Hube adds: Recommended to me by a good friend years ago, I actually think "Brazil" could hold the top spot. It's everything NRO says and more. Perhaps Robert DeNiro's cameo as sort of a "rogue capitalist" repairman (he end runs around the state-controlled bureaucratic apparatus giving people quick, reliable service for a price) best exemplifies the theme of the film. It just so happens people are more than willing to pay DeNiro for his services as waiting for the state to send someone could take forever, and their quality sucks (sound familiar?). Of course, the authorities are after DeNiro for his "illegal activities." The film's ending is as tragic as it should be predictable, and the terrorism themes could serve as a warning to today's "progressive" elites.
#21. "HEARTBREAK RIDGE." NRO says:
Clint Eastwood’s foul-mouthed Marine sergeant Tom Highway makes quick work of kicking Communist Cubans out of Grenada. And, boy, does “Gunny” hate Commies. Not only does he kill quite a few, he also refuses a bribe of a Cuban cigar, saying: “Get that contraband stogie out of my face before I shove it so far up your a** you’ll have to set fire to your nose to light it.” A welcome glorification of Reagan’s decision to liberate Grenada in 1983, the film also notes how after a tie in Korea and a loss in Vietnam, America can finally celebrate a military victory. Eastwood, the old war horse, walks off into retirement pleased that he’s not “0–1–1 anymore.” Semper Fi. Oo-rah!
Hube adds: This is the film I submitted to NRO for consideration. If you followed the discussion on the NRO blog The Corner, however, quite a few contributors had reservations about it being on the list. I can understand why; Mario Van Peebles' character "Stitch" Jones is more of a cartoon character than soldier (as are some of the other Marines Clint -- Highway -- has to whip into shape), but the overall message is one that always resonates: Just because you can change something doesn't always mean you should. Highway's new C.O. brags about the "new" Marine Corps while simultaneously denigrating Eastwood's past (heroic) service (he won the Congressional Medal of Honor). Naturally, there's a segment in the film where Highway gets to [legally] kick his C.O.'s ass during a training exercise. Highway sums up his C.O.'s command abilities to a general with one word: "Clusterf***."
#20. "GATTACA." NRO says:
In this science-fiction drama, Vincent (Ethan Hawke) can’t become an astronaut because he’s genetically unenhanced. So he purchases the identity of a disabled athlete (Jude Law), with calamitous results. The movie is a cautionary tale about the progressive fantasy of a eugenically correct world—the road to which is paved by the abortion of Down babies, research into human cloning, and “transhumanist” dreams of fabricating a “post-human species.” Biotechnology is a force for good, but without adherence to the ideal of universal human equality, it opens the door to the soft tyranny of Gattaca and, ultimately, the dystopian nightmare of Brave New World.
Hube adds: Simply put, "Gattaca" is a film dedicated to the triumph of the human spirit. I'm not sure what NRO meant by "calamitous results" when Ethan Hawke assumes the identity of Jude Law. Sure, there are problems -- Hawke constantly has to be ultra-careful so as not to leave behind any of his real genetic material in the form of hair or skin, and he has to undergo an excruciating operation to add several inches to his height -- but even when the authorities are on his tail, and even when his love interest learns what his real story is, Hawke's dream is ultimately fulfilled.
#19. "WE WERE SOLDIERS." NRO says:
Most movies about the Vietnam War reflect the derangements of the antiwar Left. This film, based on the memoir by Lt. Col. Hal Moore (played by Mel Gibson), offers a lifelike alternative. It focuses on a fight between an outnumbered U.S. Army battalion and three North Vietnamese regiments in the battle of Ia Drang in 1965. Significantly, it treats soldiers not as wretched losers or pathological killers, but as regular citizens. They are men willing to sacrifice everything to do their duty—to their country, to their unit, and to their fellow soldiers. As the movie makes clear, they also had families. Indeed, their last thoughts were usually about their loved ones back home.
Hube adds: When I rented this film I was worried it'd be yet another film along the lines of what NRO mentioned above. It's not. Part of the reason may be because it takes place before 'Nam became a [politically] lost cause (1965 is before all the sh** hit the fan, so to speak). Overall, it's an excellent film which does precisely what NRO states: Gibson's men are "willing to sacrifice everything to do their duty—to their country, to their unit, and to their fellow soldiers." Gibson's wife is played by the gorgeous [half Costa Rican] Madeleine Stowe, complete with new, collagen-injected lips.
#18. "THE EDGE." NRO says:
Screenwriter David Mamet uses a wilderness survival story about friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness to present a few truths rarely seen in movies: Knowledge has its limits, fortitude is a weapon against hardship, and honor can motivate even the shallowest man to great sacrifice. Some have interpreted the film as a Cold War allegory because it features a menacing bear. The main characters (played by Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin) understand that there is neither wisdom nor nobility in waiting for others to save them, and that they must take responsibility for their own lives and souls. Life is unfair, but to challenge life on its own terms is an exhilarating reward, no matter the outcome.
#17: "THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA." NRO says:
The White Witch runs a godless, oppressive, paranoid regime that hates Santa Claus. She’s a cross between Burgermeister Meisterburger and Kim Jong Il. The good guys, meanwhile, recognize that some throats will need cutting: no appeasement, no land-for-peace swaps, no offering the witch a snowmobile if she’ll only put away the wand. Underlying the narrative is the story of Christ’s rescuing man from sin—which is antithetical to the leftist dream of perfected man’s becoming an instrument for earthly utopia. The results of such utopian visions, of course, are frequently like the Witch’s reign: always winter, and never Christmas.
#16: "MASTER AND COMMANDER." NRO says:
This naval-adventure film starring Russell Crowe is based on the books of Patrick O’Brian, and here’s what A. O. Scott of the New York Times said in his review: “The Napoleonic wars that followed the French Revolution gave birth, among other things, to British conservatism, and Master and Commander, making no concessions to modern, egalitarian sensibilities, is among the most thoroughly and proudly conservative movies ever made. It imagines the [H.M.S.] Surprise as a coherent society in which stability is underwritten by custom and every man knows his duty and his place. I would not have been surprised to see Edmund Burke’s name in the credits.”
Hube adds: Crowe is magnificent as Jack Aubrey, who commands the deepest respect of his crew as master of the Surprise due to his rough and tough exterior, yet at the same time he is a classically educated gentleman who possesses not only prodigious leadership qualities but an equal sense of humanity, too. Try to imagine, if you can, young men of age 12 to 13 in the positions held by those on the Surprise -- especially the lad who had to have his arm amputated after a surprise attack by the vessel Surprise was pursuing, the French Acheron. It'll make you fear for the future.
#15: "RED DAWN." NRO says:
From the safe, familiar environment of a classroom, we watch countless parachutes drop from the sky and into the heart of America. Oh, no: invading Commies! Laugh if you want—many do—but Red Dawn has survived countless more acclaimed films because Father Time has always been our most reliable film critic. The essence of timelessness is more than beauty. It’s also truth, and the truth that America is a place and an idea worth fighting and dying for will not be denied, not under a pile of left-wing critiques or even Red Dawn’s own melodramatic flaws. Released at the midpoint of Reagan’s presidential showdown with the Soviet Union, this story of what was at stake in the Cold War endures.
Hube adds: Based on a series of highly improbable events -- virtually the entire world goes Commie allowing a coordinated attack by the Russian, Cubans, Nicaraguans and Mexicans(!) -- "Red Dawn" stars [the young] Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, Lea Thompson and Jennifer Grey. Yes, it's highly unlikely a bunch of high school teens could mount an effective insurgency against Russian soldiers, but as NRO says above, the theme is that "America is worth fighting for." It was a bit disturbing the first time I saw it in the theatre in 1984 during the segment when Swayze confronts an injured Russian soldier who's at his mercy. Swayze wastes little time putting a bullet in his head. The audience in the theatre cheered. I admit I was kinda hoping Swayze would do it, too. Perhaps such is the passion with which many of us regard America. It's something we Americans should remember about other countries, too.
#14: "A SIMPLE PLAN." NRO says:
A defining insight of conservatism is that whatever transcendent inspiration there may be to moral principles, there is also the humble fact that morality works. Moral institutions and customs endure because they allow civilization to proceed. Sam Raimi’s gripping A Simple Plan illustrates this truth. Bill Paxton plays a decent family man who lives by the book in every way. But when he’s cajoled into breaking the rules to get rich quick, he falls under the jurisdiction of the law of unintended consequences and discovers that simple morality is not simplistic, and that a seductively simple plan is a siren song if it runs against the grain of what is right.
#13: "BRAVEHEART." NRO says:
Forget the travesty this soaring action film makes of the historical record. Braveheart raised its hero, medieval Scottish warrior William Wallace, to the level of myth and won five Oscars, including best director for Mel Gibson, who played Wallace as he led a spirited revolt against English tyranny. Braveheart taught that freedom is not just worth dying for, but also worth killing for, in defense of hearth and homeland. Six years later, amid the ruins of the Twin Towers, Gibson’s message resonated with a generation of American youth who signed up to fight terrorists, instead of inviting them to join a “constructive dialogue.” Liberals have never forgiven Gibson since.
#12: "THE DARK KNIGHT." NRO says:
This film gives us a portrait of the hero as a man reviled. In his fight against the terrorist Joker, Batman has to devise new means of surveillance, push the limits of the law, and accept the hatred of the press and public. If that sounds reminiscent of a certain former president—whose stubborn integrity kept the nation safe and turned the tide of war—don’t mention it to the mainstream media. Our journalists know that good men are often despised by the mob; it just never seems to occur to them that they might be the mob themselves.
Hube adds: I admit I never viewed "DK" as a Bush allegory, but I can see the analogy. But honestly, I can see virtually any chief exec "devis[ing] new means of surveillance, push[ing] the limits of the law, and accept[ing] the hatred of the press" if a nutjob like the Joker was running around causing such mass chaos. And if he didn't, if he wanted to "sit down and have a constructive dialogue" with the Heath Ledger character, then he should promptly be removed from office. The old adage says "the Constitution is not a suicide pact." Unfortunately, many would rather perish, all the while bragging "At least we gave the terrorists habeas corpus ...!!"
#11: "THE LORD OF THE RINGS." NRO says:
Author J. R. R. Tolkien was deeply conservative, so it’s no surprise that the trilogy of movies based on his masterwork is as well. Largely filmed before 9/11, they seemed perfectly pitched for the post-9/11 world. The debates over what to do about Sauron and Saruman echoed our own disputes over the Iraq War. (Think of Wormtongue as Keith Olbermann.) When Frodo sighs, “I wish none of this had happened,” Gandalf’s response speaks to us, too: “So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”
#10: "GHOSTBUSTERS." NRO says:
This comedy might not get Russell Kirk’s endorsement as a worthy treatment of the supernatural, but you have to like a movie in which the bad guy (William Atherton at his loathsome best) is a regulation-happy buffoon from the EPA, and the solution to a public menace comes from the private sector. This last fact is the other reason to love Ghostbusters: When Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) gets kicked out of the university lab and ponders pursuing entrepreneurial opportunities, a nervous Dr. Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) replies: “I don’t know about that. I’ve worked in the private sector. They expect results!”
Hube adds: How this movie made the top 25 is beyond me. It's terrific entertainment, but aside from the instances noted by NRO above (which are quite fleeting), c'mahn!
#9: "BLAST FROM THE PAST." NRO says:
"Revolutionary Road" is only the latest big-screen portrayal of 1950s America as boring, conformist, repressive, and soul-destroying. A decade ago, Hugh Wilson’s "Blast from the Past" defied the party line, seeing the values, customs, manners, and even music of the period with nostalgic longing. Brendan Fraser plays an innocent who has grown up in a fallout shelter and doesn’t know the era of Sputnik and Perry Como is over. Alicia Silverstone is a post-feminist woman who learns from him that pre-feminist women had some things going for them. Christopher Walken and Sissy Spacek as Fraser’s parents are comic gems.
Hube adds: A mildly enjoyable film; however, it made such an "impact" on me that I've largely forgotten anything about it. One noteworthy comedic scene: When a fresh-out-of-the-fallout shelter Fraser sees a black woman on the street, he exclaims "Look, a Negro!" Guaranteed to evoke a wince and a laugh at the same time.
#8: "JUNO." NRO says:
The best pro-life movies reach beyond the church choirs and influence the wider public. "Juno" was a critical and commercial success. It didn’t set out to deliver a message on abortion, but much of its audience discovered one anyway. The story revolves around a 16-year-old who finds a home for her unplanned baby. The film has its faults, including a number of crass moments and a pregnant high-school student with an unrealistic level of self-confidence. Yet it also exposes a broken culture in which teen sex is dehumanizing, girls struggle with “choice,” and boys aimlessly try — and sometimes downright fail — to become men. The movie doesn’t glamorize much of anything but leaves audiences with an open-ended chance for redemption.
Hube adds: My wife and [teen] daughter watched this together, and I watched it shortly thereafter on their recommendation. It is a surprisingly worthy film. The complexities of the teen pregnancy issue are dealt with realistically, and the film isn't preachy or whiny. In fact, it's downright thought-provoking and emotional. No wonder it won an Oscar for best screenplay.
#7: "THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS." NRO says:
Based on the life of self-made millionaire Chris Gardner (Will Smith), this film provides the perfect antidote to Wall Street and other Hollywood diatribes depicting the world of finance as filled with nothing but greed. After his wife leaves him, Gardner can barely pay the rent. He accepts an unpaid internship at a San Francisco brokerage, with the promise of a real job if he outperforms the other interns and passes his exams. Gardner never succumbs to self-pity, even when he and his young son take refuge in a homeless shelter. They’re black, but there’s no racial undertone or subtext. Gardner is just an incredibly hard-working, ambitious, and smart man who wants to do better for himself and his son.
#6: "GROUNDHOG DAY." NRO says:
This putatively wacky comedy about Bill Murray as an obnoxious weatherman cursed to relive the same day over and over in a small Pennsylvania town, perhaps for eternity, is in fact a sophisticated commentary on the good and true. Theologians and philosophers across the ideological spectrum have embraced it. For the conservative, the moral of the tale is that redemption and meaning are derived not from indulging your “authentic” instincts and drives, but from striving to live up to external and timeless ideals. Murray begins the film as an irony-soaked narcissist, contemptuous of beauty, art, and commitment. His journey of self-discovery leads him to understand that the fads of modernity are no substitute for the permanent things.
#5: "300." NRO says:
During the Bush years, Hollywood neglected the heroism of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan—but it did release this action film about martial honor, unflinching courage, and the oft-ignored truth that freedom isn’t free. Beneath a layer of egregious non-history—including goblin-like creatures that belong in a fantasy epic—is a stylized story about the ancient Battle of Thermopylae and the Spartan defense of the West’s fledgling institutions. It contrasts a small band of Spartans, motivated by their convictions and a commitment to the law, with a Persian horde that is driven forward by whips. In the words recorded by the real-life Herodotus: “Law is their master, which they fear more than your men, [Xerxes,] fear you.”
Hube adds: This Frank Miller screen adaptation features perfectly sculpted Spartan soldiers (and their likewise perfectly formed wives!), but hey, it is a graphic novel adaptation after all. Persian leader Xerxes comes across as an effeminate magician while Gerard Butler's Leonidas psyches up his fellow (300) superhero-ish Spartans with an appeal -- and zeal -- to the values of freedom, sacrifice, family and honor. Leonidas and co. ultimately fall, but boy -- do they make the Persians pay!
#4: "FORREST GUMP." NRO says:
It won an Oscar for best picture—beating "Pulp Fiction," a movie that’s far more expressive of Hollywood’s worldview. Tom Hanks plays the title character, an amiable dunce who is far too smart to embrace the lethal values of the 1960s. The love of his life, wonderfully played by Robin Wright Penn, chooses a different path; she becomes a drug-addled hippie, with disastrous results. Forrest’s IQ may be room temperature, but he serves as an unexpected font of wisdom. Put ’em on a Whitman’s Sampler, but Mama Gump’s famous words about life’s being like a box of chocolates ring true.
Hube adds: I couldn't have said it any better than NRO. Or, perhaps even more succinctly, "often, the simplest solution is the best solution."
#3: "METROPOLITAN." NRO says:
Whit Stillman’s Oscar-nominated debut takes a red-headed outsider into the luxurious drawing rooms and debutante balls of New York’s Upper East Side elite. One character, a committed socialist, falls for the discreet charm of the urban haute bourgeoisie. Another plaintively theorizes the inevitable doom of his class. A reader of Jane Austen wonders what’s wrong with a novel’s having a virtuous heroine. And a roguish defender of standards and detachable collars delivers more sophisticated conservative one-liners than a year’s worth of Yale Party of the Right debates. With mocking affection, gentle irony, and a blizzard of witty dialogue, Stillman manages the impossible: He brings us to see what is admirable and necessary in the customs and conventions of America’s upper class.
#2: "THE INCREDIBLES." NRO says:
This animated film skips pop-culture references and gross jokes in favor of a story that celebrates marriage, courage, responsibility, and high achievement. A family of superheroes—Mr. Incredible, his wife Elastigirl, and their children—are living an anonymous life in the suburbs, thanks to a society that doesn’t appreciate their unique talents. Then it comes to need them. In one scene, son Dash, a super-speedy runner, wants to try out for track. Mom claims it wouldn’t be fair. “Dad says our powers make us special!” Dash objects. “Everyone is special,” Mom demurs, to which Dash mutters, “Which means nobody is.”
#1: "THE LIVES OF OTHERS." NRO says:
“I think that this is the best movie I ever saw,” said William F. Buckley Jr. upon leaving the theater (according to his column on the film). The tale, set in East Germany in 1984, is one part romantic drama, one part political thriller. It chronicles life under a totalitarian regime as the Stasi secretly monitors the activities of a playwright who is suspected of harboring doubts about Communism. Critics showered the movie with praise and it won an Oscar for best foreign-language film (it’s in German). More Buckley: “The tension mounts to heart-stopping pitch and I felt the impulse to rush out into the street and drag passersby in to watch the story unfold.”
Hube adds: As a foreign language teacher, I love watching FL movies. I happened upon this film on a cable movie channel several months ago and became quickly transfixed. I've never seen a film so perfectly capture the drab, dank and plain ambience of a Communist society, complete with its pervasive paranoia and depressive moments of personal introspection. Ulrich Mühe is sensational as Stasi Captain Gerd Wiesler, torn between his loyalty to the totalitarian East German state, and his morally corrupt "mission" of "proving" the disloyalty of playwright. You can guess which wins out, but not without consequences.
A few days ago, new Attorney General Eric Holder proclaimed that Americans were "cowards" for not discussing matters of race more openly and frankly:
"Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and I believe continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards," Holder said.
To which Victor Davis Hanson retorts (my emphasis):
He obviously hasn't paid much attention to college campuses, where the obsession with race permeates departments, curricula, hiring, faculty profile, student events, funding, etc. Bumper-sticker identification and hair-trigger readiness to accuse someone of racism to further a particular ideological or even personal agenda are now 30 years old and institutionalized in higher education.
He is right on one count, however — in the university, public schools, journalism at large, the foundations, and politics, there is a reluctance in one aspect to broach the subject. It is absolutely taboo to suggest that personal behavior, particular ingrained attitudes, and pernicious cultural assumptions — far more than contemporary racial oppression — could have contributed to ordinately high rates of drug use, crime, illegitimacy, unemployment, high-school drop-out rates, sexist attitudes toward women, and incarceration among a subset of young African-American males.
One can cite data, and refer to it in the spirit of finding constructive solutions. Yet that will most often result in suffering the slur of racism, given that so many are invested in the industry of racial grievance, as Holder himself has unfortunately demonstrated. It is not encouraging that in the first real public speech, the Attorney General of the United States has denigrated the American people as "cowards."
A reader of Jonah Goldberg writes:
Mr. Holder’s statement is shockingly ignorant of the legal (read “liability”) landscape in which race relations exist. As an attorney who represents employers facing workplace discrimination charges, I can tell you that wisdom dictates that the workplace be as free of race-related discussions as possible if an employer is to avoid administratively and/or judicially imposed liability or, more importantly, the potentially enormous cost of defending against a charge of race discrimination. Believe me, whenever an employer terminates an employee in a protected class, there is a better than even chance that that employee will at least file a discrimination charge with the EEOC or a similar state agency. The employer must then choose between “mediation” (read – paying off the charging employee to avoid the greater expense of a trial) and opposing and defending against the charge. Of course, not all such charges are hogwash. However, given the fact that the EEOC and its state-run subsidiaries typically help disgruntled employees comb some basis for a Title VII (or ADA, or ADEA, of FMLA) claim from their particular facts, many, many of them are frivolous.
Mr. Holder’s apparent ignorance of this government supported racial grievance generating machinery is appalling for any attorney. It is unthinkable in the U.S. Attorney General.
Regarding Hanson's point, one has only but to look to our own University of Delaware and its [reconfigured] "residence life program" as an example of how the Left wants people to discuss race. Our local gaggle of moonbat bloggers have that hair-trigger readiness to accuse folks of racism for something as simple as questioning the expansion of hate crimes definitions and/or legislation. Just take a search here at Colossus under "racism" to see many more such ridiculous anecdotes.
I've attended so-called "frank" dialogues on race often in my teaching career. Two disparate instances stick out in my mind, both involving invited [black] speakers. In the first instance, an older gent spoke about how a predominately white teaching staff can best reach African-American children. (He also had written a book to that effect.) His was a no-nonsense philosophy; his basic message was that black children should not be treated any differently than white children (what a concept, eh?). They should be held to the same standards as white children -- anything less was the "soft bigotry of low expectations." He had little tolerance for blaming racism for the lack of black student achievement, and in answer to critics' charges that [some] white teachers may harbor biases (overt or covert) he said that black students and parents harbor the same. The key, obviously, is not acting on them (ignoring them, basically) and overcoming them.
The reception that this gentleman received was tepid, to say the least, particularly from black staff members. Some administrators even felt the need to apologize for this gentleman's seminar the following day.
A few years later, another such speaker held a seminar. But his thesis was the virtual antithesis of the previous speaker's. This gentleman posited that [white] teacher racism was the primary cause of black student [under]achievement, and stated outright that he would "not discuss any factors such as home life, economics, culture, etc." (How's that for cowardice, Mr. Holder?) In small groups we "discussed" concepts like "white privilege" and took a "test" in which the results (a high or low number figure) supposedly determined how "privileged" one was in American society. (The test "questions" were so preposterously "loaded" as to be beyond facetious.)
The reception this gentleman received was much more gracious than that given to our previous speaker, particularly from black staff members. In fact, many of this gentleman's ideas were further disseminated for use in varying degrees here and there. There was no administrative apology made for this gentleman's blanket indictment of racism among all Caucasian teachers who happen to have black students in their classrooms. Indeed, white teachers were encouraged to "look inward" to come "face to face with their privilege and biases."
In one such manifestation during one of those ..."disseminations," a discussion group leader (white guy) once asked "Why is it that no white teachers are willing to speak their thoughts?" After an uncomfortable minute of silence I raise my hand and said the obvious to him: That they're afraid of being labeled a "racist" for being perceived as perhaps saying the "wrong" thing. And as an example, I brought up the instance of having to apologize for our first speaker's seminar a few years back, but the second's. I asked what sort of message that sent.
I didn't get a straight answer. What I got was a gobbledeegook round-about statement that "we just need to have more open discussions."
He just didn't get it. Just like Eric Holder.
Maybe his campaign can get some stimulus fund bailout $$.
Attention DE bloggers: If you're using the [Delaware] BlogNetNews updated blog feed (the java script) on your blog, beware of the automated pop-ups the script has recently begun generating. That was the cause of the pop-ups here at Colossus which prompted this post.
Thankfully, I have a computer guru buddy who tracked down the source. I dig (re: dug) BNN, but that sort of tactic -- without informing those who make use of their scripts and/or widgets (which already result in some free advertising for them) -- is just slimy. Hence, I've deleted the script ... which is a shame because it kept me up to date on what everyone was posting right on my own blog.
Guess I'll just have to go directly to their site now if I wanna check out the updates ...
That's some real tough stuff, eh? What outrage! What righteousness!
Then you sit back and realize that these are the bloggers who write at the site where it was wished that all Republicans were rounded up and shot. That states all Republicans are evil. That sure didn't "fail to have words" for, or wasn't "sick of" this sort of garbage. Etc.
Spare us your faux outrage, moonbats. You're no different from the cartoonist who drew that NY Post cartoon. In fact, you're worse. No amount of smug self-righteousness changes this whatsoever.
(FWIW, I think the cartoon is garbage and I certainly would not have run it were I the editor.)
Please let me know in the comments if you encountered a pop-up ad (or were notified by your browser's pop-up blocker) when loading Colossus today.
I did in both Firefox and Internet Explorer today from home, but just once for each browser. They were not there after reloading the page. Weird.
In his first weeks in office, President Barack Obama shut down his predecessor’s system for reviewing regulations, realigned and expanded two key White House policymaking bodies and extended economic sanctions against parties to the conflict in the African nation of Cote D’Ivoire.
Despite the intense scrutiny a president gets just after the inauguration, Obama managed to take all these actions with nary a mention from the White House press corps.
The moves escaped notice because they were never announced by the White House Press Office and were never placed on the White House web site.
They came to light only because the official paperwork was transmitted to the Federal Register, a dense daily compendium of regulatory actions and other formal notices prepared by the National Archives. They were published there several days after the fact.
The Messiah -- shut down that evil fascist Bush's system of reviewing regulations?? The White House press corps -- didn't say a word about it?? The WH press office and website -- say nothing???
What liberal media? What "transparency?"
Change Hypocrisy you can believe in.
Watch Climate Hystericist-in-Chief Al Gore blame global warming for ... the recent Australian wildfires (don't wait for the whole clip -- fast forward to about 8:30 into the vid to see the douche speak):
Two things here, Al: One, aren't global warming hystericists always lecturing skeptics NOT to look at isolated anecdotes of weather? Two, Australian authorities arrested a person suspected of arson in at least two of the fires.
What a freakin' dolt. Gore's next award should be the Golden Douche.
It seems the GOP only gets labeled when it's involved in scandal:
Taxpayers will be able to see where every dime of state money goes under an executive order Governor Bob Riley signed today. The directive orders the creation of a publicly accessible website that details all spending, grants and contracts done by state government. The public information will include the amount of funds being spent, the date of the expenditure, the agency spending the money and the funding source. “Taxpayers will know where their money goes and to whom it goes," said Governor Riley.
Governor Riley signed the executive order during the annual meeting of the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama (PARCA), where he delivered remarks on the need for ethics reform and more accountability in state government. (Link.)
Gov. Riley, by the way, happens to be a Republican.
A British bishop doesn't believe in the Holocaust. Well, sort of:
A British bishop who has questioned the truth of the Holocaust has been removed from the seminary in Argentina that he had directed for the past five years.
Richard Williamson caused outrage with his remarks, which surfaced shortly after the Vatican's recent decision to welcome him back into the Catholic church.
Williamson is reported to have claimed in a television interview last month that historical evidence suggested there "were no gas chambers" and that only 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps.
He has since declared himself ready to think again, and in a weekend interview with Der Spiegel the bishop reiterated that he was prepared to "review the historical evidence".
Most historians agree around 6 million Jews were killed under Hitler's regime.
"Historical evidence is at issue, not emotions. And if I find this evidence, I will correct myself. But that will take time," the disgraced bishop said.
He added that he would test his views not by travelling to Auschwitz but by reading a book on the camp by Jean-Claude Pressac, a former Holocaust denier who revised his views after a visit.
The Vatican has attempted to heal a rift with Williamson's Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) and mainstream Catholics. It demanded Williamson publicly recant his statements about the Holocaust.
Denis MacShane has much more on the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe.
A Fairness Doctrine reimposition for the airwaves may be the least of our worries. If [some] Democrats get their way, the Internet could be next:
Senior FCC staff working for acting Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps held meetings last week with policy and legislative advisers to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman to discuss ways the committee can create openings for the FCC to put in place a form of the “Fairness Doctrine” without actually calling it such.
Waxman is also interested, say sources, in looking at how the Internet is being used for content and free speech purposes. “It’s all about diversity in media,” says a House Energy staffer, familiar with the meetings. “Does one radio station or one station group control four of the five most powerful outlets in one community? Do four stations in one region carry Rush Limbaugh, and nothing else during the same time slot? Does one heavily trafficked Internet site present one side of an issue and not link to sites that present alternative views? These are some of the questions the chairman is thinking about right now, and we are going to have an FCC that will finally have the people in place to answer them.”…
“This isn’t just about Limbaugh or a local radio host most of us haven’t heard about,” says a Democrat committee member. “The FCC and state and local governments also have oversight over the Internet lines and the cable and telecom companies that operate them. We want to get alternative views on radio and TV, but we also want to makes sure those alternative views are read, heard and seen online, which is becoming increasingly video and audio driven. Thanks to the stimulus package, we’ve established that broadband networks — the Internet — are critical, national infrastructure. We think that gives us an opening to look at what runs over that critical infrastructure."
Read that again. If you have a heavily trafficked blog, and you don't link to other points of view, you might soon be required to. It isn't enough that there are THOUSANDS of different points of view out on the 'net; no, our nanny state-minded Democrats don't trust YOU to know how to find 'em. Apparently moving your mouse a little and/or using Google to type in "[political view] blogs" is too CUMBERSOME for the average American. It's an unnecessary HINDRANCE.
Democrats are going to "make sure" the views they want you to know about ARE seen and heard. They say so right there above. And I -- and many others -- may just HAVE TO link to them. Whether we want to or not.
Local Portland, OR story from KGW Channel 8:
Five Oregon state lawmakers want to impose a hefty tax on beer and have introduced a bill that brewers say would cripple them.
Four Portland legislators joined a Springfield senator to introduce Oregon House Bill 2461, which would impose a $49.61 tax on each barrel of beer produced by Oregon brewers.
The tax would raise revenue for the state at a time when budgets are running in the red. Specifically, the bill says it would fund prevention, treatment and recovery programs for those addicted to alcohol and other substances.
It also defends the tax by claiming alcoholism and “untreated substance abuse” costs the state $4.15 billion in “lost earnings” as well as more than $8 million for health care and nearly $1 billion in law enforcement-related expenditures.
Prior versions of the beer tax bill have exempted small breweries but this one does not.
House Bill 2461 has been introduced by Portland Reps. Ben Cannon and Michael Dembrow, Portland Sens. Jackie Dingfelder and Diane Rosenbaum, and Springfield Sen. William Morrisette.
That additional $49.61 is a, um, 1,900% tax increase, folks. But notice that the article does not list anywhere the political affiliation of any of the bill's sponsors. They are all Democrats. (See here and here for proof.) Which shouldn't come as a surprise, I suppose, for this station. It notes on its main page that it's an "AP Award winner, Best Oregon TV Web Site, 2007."
And we all know how consistent the AP is when it comes to labeling politicans now, don't we?
I mean, why not, eh? We've reached The Pinnacle of chief execs!!
They're coming for your burger and fries now:
When it comes to global warming, hamburgers are the Hummers of food, scientists say.
Simply switching from steak to salad could cut as much carbon as leaving the car at home a couple days a week.
That's because beef is such an incredibly inefficient food to produce and cows release so much harmful methane into the atmosphere, said Nathan Pelletier of Dalhousie University in Canada.
Pelletier is one of a growing number of scientists studying the environmental costs of food from field to plate.
"Given the projected doubling of (global) meat production by 2050, we're going to have to cut our emissions by half just to maintain current levels," Pelletier said.
That's why changing the kinds of food people eat is so important, said Chris Weber, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania.
"Switching to no red meat and no dairy products is the equivalent of (cutting out) 8,100 miles driven in a car ... that gets 25 miles to the gallon," Weber said in an interview following the symposium.
No red meat or ... dairy products?? I could live (maybe) with eating pork and/or chicken in place of beef; however, no cheese? No ice cream? To help forestall a phenomenon that is far from conclusively proven?
No thanks and no way.
From the Newsbusters e-mail tip line, which goes out to all contributors, not just me (F-bombs edited with asterisks):
I am so fed up with f***ed up republicans [sic] whining all the time, when in fact we voted the f***ing pricks out of office for a f***ing reason. Obama, don't be bipartisan, for the republicans [sic] are f***ing white rich christian [sic] assholes and deserve to be at the back of the bus. So, sit there and shut the f*** up republicans [sic]. You lost so go find a way to win our hearts instead of just bitching about how no one is listening to you now.
There is a reason. You f***ed up our country and your party is on the way
out, so the more you whine and complain, the more we realize we were right
in voting you dumbf*** pro-lifers, pro assault weapon, pro-death penaty [sic],
pro rich [sic] white people out of office. I am so sick of f***ing
republicans [sic] ... and their hypocritical crap. They just keep shoving shit
down our throats and then tell us its [sic] pudding. I have had enough. So, if
you are republican [sic], just know, YOU LOST and THANK GOD. Your time is over and yes, no one is going to f***ing listen to you for a loooong f***ing
oh [sic] and if you are pro-Bush....F*** YOU.
Boy, with the anger, lousy grammar and abysmal intellectual level, this screed sure sounds like it could have been written here!
Yeesh. Enough already. What you have to say isn't that profound, Joe. Face it -- you got lucky. You were in the right place at the right time. That's it.
In fact, every DE blogger (with certain exceptions) is smarter and more articulate than you. So, where's our book deals, eh?
UPDATE: Various sources seem to agree that someone was having fun at Obama's (and the store's) expense by rearranging either the books or the display. RedState, which AOL sourced, has numerous commenters opining on such. It seems to be the case.
An TV executive who set up a channel promoting Muslims as peace-loving people ... beheads his wife. (Link.)
Mark Steyn has further commentary.
[FOX NEWS'S CHRIS] WALLACE: Will you rule out reimposing the Fairness Doctrine?
[OBAMA ADVISER DAVID] AXELROD: I’m going to leave that issue to Julius Genachowski, our new head of the FCC, to, and the president, to discuss. So I don’t have an answer for you now.
During the campaign, The Messiah stated flat-out that he was against reinstating the so-called Fairness Doctrine.
This week's winners were:
First place in the Council category was JoshuaPundit with "'60 Minutes' Libels Jews and Israel."
First place in the non-Council category was Chesler Chronicles at Pajamas Media with Conventional versus Non-Conventional Warfare and Why Israel Did Not Lose in Gaza.
Full results are here.
Oh wait -- he won't. He's from MSNBC! Watch the guest's reaction:
Propaganda film? "Hamas rocket kills Iron Man":
The funny thing is, if Shellhead (er, that's Iron Man's common nickname) really did exist, not only could he single-handedly wipe out Hamas, Hizbollah and al Qaeda, but just about any sovereign state's military.
So, dream on you Hamas MFers. I mean, sheeit -- you can't even run a tiny strip of land adequately!
(h/t to Rhymes With Right.)
Put in such a helpful "picture" as this:
Simon Dicker of Philly must suffer from hallucinations:
Flipping the TV channels, I decided it was time to call the Republicans' bluff.
My GOP relatives complain about biased liberal media, yet all I see is bias in favor of Republicans. The new administration and Congress should reinstate the fairness doctrine. I'd love to see Republicans vote against a bill designed to bring true balance to our airwaves, which, after all, are owned by all of us.
Clearly, we couldn't have government administrating the program, so an independent body would have to be set up - maybe a press-complaints authority with real power along the lines of what exists in England.
Aside from the delusional "bias in favor of Republicans" nonsense, you can BET your bottom dollar that the GOP will vote against the so-called Fairness Doctrine. I've always liked the "the airwaves are owned by all of us" complaint. Since ownership in the United States is based on capitalist free enterprise (well, that is rapidly changing!), what exactly is wrong with how the market works with the airwaves now? Answer: Nothing! And that's the rub to liberals and "progressives." Conservatives dominate the radio market. Free enterprise has worked. Period.
Hell, if you want to make even freer, get rid of the FCC. Let small companies and even individuals broadcast as they wish.
Don't be fooled. The so-called Fairness Doctrine is just a leftist power grab -- an attempt to stifle voices with which they disagree. It's straight out of the Left's playbook, people: Campus speech codes. Expansion of "hate speech" criminality. Mandatory "sensitivity" training where you're forced to "re-evaluate" your beliefs. Etc.
And don't think for a minute that the F.D. will be applied anywhere BUT radio. Because that's the only place conservatives dominate. Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews won't be forced to have a conservative "balance" their opinions. Nor will the New York or L.A. Times. And that's just dealing with opinion. Apparent "objective" news reporting certainly will be exempt from the F.D., but that's possibly even a bigger joke. Outfits like the Associated Press and others can keep labeling "Republican" to every negative aspect of a story, but omit the "Democrat" from same (see most recently here). Conservative views on policy matters can be scratched from articles. GOP politicians can be excluded from interviews and/or quotes. And so on.
And do we really want an "independent body" akin to that of England? A country afflicted with government-sanctioned political correctness magnitudes worse than our own?
UPDATE: Bill Clinton thinks the F.D. should come back.
Can't make it known that a fellow Democrat is criticizing The Messiah now, can we?
The mayor of Las Vegas has written President Barack Obama to say that his comments about companies using taxpayer money to visit Sin City are harmful.
Mayor Oscar Goodman is not asking for an apology, though, as he did a day earlier in a television interview.
Goodman says in a copy of the letter obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday that he knows the president has an enormous burden in dealing with the economy, but that he should stop "calling out" individual destinations.
Obama said during a town hall meeting this week in Indiana that companies getting federal bailout money shouldn't take trips to Las Vegas or go to the Super Bowl on the taxpayer's dime. (Link.)
Elsewhere, what was former DC Mayor Marion Barry's political party again?
Oh, but when The Messiah hears the "pleas" of a Florida homeless woman, we read this:
[Henrietta] Hughes said she had been homeless after her son lost his job and, subsequently, their home. Although her son has been looking for work, Hughes says, so far, no luck.
The Fort Myers-Cape Coral area -- in heavily Republican Lee County, which went for GOP presidential nominee John McCain in the 2008 election -- has seen record housing foreclosure rates.
From the NAS e-mail bag: Sustainabullies. Our local University of Delaware gets a mention:
The University of Delaware’s residence life director Kathleen Kerr is an avid proponent of sustainability in that second sense. Kerr is a leader of the movement to sustainabully students and has widely advertised that the goal of sustainability in higher education is to have “all students engaged as effective change agents in our sustainability challenges.” According to Kerr, students should move from “apathy” to “caring involvement” and should be “engaging in the challenges and solutions of sustainability” both globally and on their campus. Thus, activism and turning students into activists is the role of administrators.
Read the whole thing.
... for the ridiculous "diversity" seminars they've had to endure that blame whites and white "racism" for every conceivable societal ill. Right?
Asian woman sues Miley Cyrus for $4 billion for offending Asians. It's supposedly a "civil rights violation."
It just keeps getting better, folks. First Obama continues the practice of rendition. Then Leon Panetta says the US just might use harsh interrogation techniques against captured terror suspects if circumstances require.
Now -- wait for it -- Obama's nominee for Solicitor General says ... we can hold terror suspects indefinitely!!
Harvard Law Dean Elena Kagan, President Obama's choice to represent his administration before the Supreme Court, told a key Republican senator Tuesday that she believed the government could hold suspected terrorists without trial as war prisoners.
She echoed comments by Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. during his confirmation hearing last month. Both agreed that the United States was at war with Al Qaeda and suggested the law of war allows the government to capture and hold alleged terrorists without charges.
B-b-b-b-but ... I thought George W. Bush was evil incarnate because ... he thought -- and argued -- precisely the same thing!!!
Dead. Silence. Indeed, the former is giving The Messiah kudos for his [supposed] accountability. "Wow. Just wow," they say. As if the people couldn't have chosen a different president in 2004 if they didn't approve of how he was handling things?? LOL!
I can say this to such stark, utter stupidity: "Wow. Just wow."
(h/t: Dissenting Justice.)
This week's Watcher's Council entries:
* Bookworm Room - Economic incest
* Joshuapundit - “60 Minutes” Libels Jews And Israel
* The Provocateur - ACORN and Alinsky Rule #13
* Rhymes With Right - MSNBC Host Calls For Gagging, Deporting, GOP Dissenter
* The Razor - Spending Bill: $200,000 per job
* Cheat-Seeking Missiles - Fair Treatment of Prisoners
* The Glittering Eye - Why What, When, and How Matters in a Stimulus Package
* The Colossus of Rhodey - “Hate speech” definition expanding again
* Right Truth - Battle for the soul of America
* Soccer Dad - Voting for war
* Mere Rhetoric - Austrian Jews Too Terrified To List Their Children As Jewish (Plus: Europe Reaches An Anti-Jewish Tipping Point)
First line from an editorial in today's Philly Daily News:
MEMO TO Sen. Arlen Specter: 69 million Americans voted last fall to give Barack Obama, not you, the power to veto legislation.
If the Daily News is lucky to survive until the next time a Republican resides in the White House, I am sure we will see a line similar to this one in an editorial when that president wants his desired legislation passed. Or cabinet members. Or judges. After all, that new president could point to the vote and say "[Insert number figure in millions] voted for me. Therefore I should get anything I want."
Of course, the popular vote total has absolutely nothing to do with the powers of the three branches of government. Arlen Spectre has no veto power; he just happens to be in a situation where his legislative vote may be the decisive one. In no way does this mean he's "taking away" the veto power from President Obama. Besides, how does a popular vote total "give" a president powers -- especially one already prescribed by the Constitution?
Oooooh, I get it! The Daily News is trying to tell Spectre that since SOOOO many [supposedly] want this stimulus bill passed (the number of people that voted for Obama, even though there's not a shred of evidence that that number and the number that want the stimulus bill passed are one and the same), he should just ditch his principles and beliefs and bow to the will of the [imaginary] number. Hell, while we're at it, why not just tell the whole freakin' GOP the same thing, right? Geez, I mean 69 million votes sure is a lot! Gosh!
Which just goes to show you why the Daily News won't survive for very long. Asinine editorials like this are a good reason why. And it's yet another example of how "dissent is the highest form of patriotism" -- unless a Democrat is in the White House.
New York's Chuckie Schumer, in the space of sixteen seconds, demonstrates what is so wrong with Washington today:
Via Media Blog:
Dissent is only patriotic when a Republican is in the White House. When it's a Democrat, it's anything but patriotic -- and that goes for the media. For example, here's America Online's choices in their Obama prime-time speech/press conference poll:
UPDATE: OK, do I think this really was intentional? No. But I wouldn't put it past AOL, given their past history of bias.
I wonder how long (if at all) it will take them to correct the error. Half an hour so far. Tick, tick, tick ...
... kill a few animals, destroy some property, and when the owner holds me at gunpoint until the cops arrive ...
... I think I'll sue him.
Worse yet, maybe I'll do it in another country! (OK, there's a bit more to it than that, but read the link and prepare to get angry.)
Liberal gabber and former “Crossfire” co-host Bill Press just doesn’t get it about talk radio – like way too many other lefties. To Press, it’s a “conspiracy” that liberal talk radio doesn’t really succeed all that much:
Station owners complain they can't get good ratings or make any money with progressive talk, but that's nonsense. In Minnesota, independent owner Janet Robert has operated KTNF (950 AM) profitably for five years. In Madison, Wis., WXXM, 92.1 FM, just scored its highest ratings ever. And KPOJ in Portland, Ore., soared with progressive talk from No. 23 in market ratings to No. 1. Nationwide, progressive talkers Randi Rhodes, Ed Schultz and Stephanie Miller have proven that, given a level playing field, they can more than hold their own in ratings — and make money for their stations.
As Mark Hemingway notes, is it really a surprise that lib talk radio is successful in those markets – some of the most “progressive” in the country? And precisely what wasn’t “level” in the markets that Air America floundered in?
Press is another lefty that just doesn’t get it about liberal talk radio (sort of like Randy Nelson!). It doesn’t succeed as a whole because most folks already view the mainstream press as left-leaning, and much of the popular culture (ie Hollywood and music) too. Talk radio is the bastion which conservatives dominate, largely out of necessity. But that has been changing over the years, as Fox News has now come to dominate cable news and the proliferation of Internet news sites.
Another reason lefty talk radio has been a bust is because, unlike [most] conservative talk radio, it is usually totally devoid of humor, takes itself way too seriously, and is downright vicious. If anyone actually takes the time to listen to, say, Rush Limbaugh, the “king” of conservative talk radio, you’ll notice 1) he doesn’t take himself all that seriously, 2) he (and his bits) are actually pretty funny*, and 3) you won’t hear from him (towards Barack Obama and liberals) the outright hateful epithets that the Left continually tossed towards George Bush and conservatives. Rush can get, and has gotten, close to the line, sure, but I’ve never heard him wish death upon anyone, or call Democrats Nazis or Hitleresque ... unlike lib talk show hosts. (By the way, I personally recommend Limbaugh’s show pretty much only for the entertainment value. I wouldn’t recommend listening to him for policy ideas, though admittedly I do agree with some of what he says.)
Granted, keep in mind I am speaking generally about the industry as a whole. There are certainly exceptions to what I stated above.
*(One of the funnier moments I always recall from Limbaugh’s show was during the middle of a serious discussion of some policy matter, he played some soundbites from various politicians. One of them was from Rep. Tom Lantos, now deceased, who had a rather thick Eastern European accent. Rush suddenly began yelling to his producer to “stop the tape!” and to rewind it so he could hear Lantos again. In the middle of what was a lengthy policy soliloquy, Rush asked, “Is it me or does Tom Lantos sound exactly like a James Bond villain?” Any James Bond fan worth his/her salt had to be laughing, because Lantos did indeed sound precisely like your stereotypical Bond baddie!)
I await the moment “progressives” and other assorted leftists (like our local gaggle of moonbat numbskulls) attempt to rationalize this:
[Leon] Panetta also says that rendition will continue under the Obama administration but that he will try to guarantee through the State Department that rendered individuals are not tortured by officials in other countries. During the Bush administration, however, many leading human rights organizations rejected the argument that diplomatic assurances could effectively protect rendered individuals from torture.
Panetta also stated during the hearing that he would ask President Obama to authorize CIA agents to utilize harsher interrogation methods than the Army Field Manual permits if necessary. (Source.)
I already posted about Obama continuing rendition; now, “harsher” methods of interrogation may be utilized if “necessary.” Pardon me, but isn’t this what the Bush administration did with captured al Qaeda bigwigs – use “harsher” methods because it was “necessary?” Leon Panetta also said he’d ask “President Obama to authorize CIA agents to utilize harsher interrogation methods than the Army Field Manual permits.” How about that! But a little known nugget about the Army Field Manual is that it allows some forms of [what some consider] torture! For instance, Appendix M of the manual, added in 2006
… allows the use of techniques such as prolonged isolation, sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, and inducing fear and humiliation of prisoners.
The rewritten 2006 AFM also included other problematic changes - allowing U.S. interrogators to pretend to be from another country, or to pretend the prisoner is located in another country (including countries known for torture and abuse) …
Obama’s executive order doesn’t do a thing to “remedy” this loophole whatsoever. Perhaps he knew this when he issued his order. But it sure sounded good to the public – “We’re going to follow the Army Field Manual …!” – while in reality that manual allows interrogation tactics and treatment seen at the [infamous] Abu Ghraib prison.
Change Hypocrisy you can believe in.
Liberty and Power's (an academic libertarian blog) Robert Higgs ponders:
Truth is, socialism is not the wave of the future. Indeed, it is already almost as dead as the dodo. Hardly anybody in a position of political power or influence now wants to establish socialism along the lines of the Soviets or the Maoists. Everyone knows that doing so is a one-way ticket to widespread poverty, which leaves precious little surplus for the political kingpins to rip off.
No, the world is converging ever more visibly, not toward socialism, but toward what I (following Charlotte Twight’s usage) have for many years been calling participatory fascism. The hallmarks of this system are, on the political side, the trappings of democracy (parties, elections, procedural niceties, etc.), and, on the economic side, the form of private property rights (though not much of the substance that characterizes the real thing).
The beauty of this system is that the political system can easily be corrupted so that the power elite retains a firm hold on the state, despite the appearance that they rule only with the consent of the governed. The major political parties appear to compete, but for the most part they coalesce and conspire; on the basics, they are in complete agreement. The apparent “consent” they enjoy they actually manufacture by their control of the mass media, the schools and universities, and other key institutions, and no political opinion outside the 40-yard lines ever receives a hearing in serious political circles. (Remember how the oligarcos rolled their eyes when Ron Paul managed to get in an occasional word during the debates last year?)
As they say, read the whole thing.
Here's Mexico's awesome Julieta Venegas with her hit "Lento" ("Slow") from the album Sí (which is full of songs dedicated to her then-recent marriage):
... moonbats blame them for everything. Case in point:
Art treasures in tropical nations are under threat from climate change which is likely to speed decay, U.N. experts said Sunday.
"The art world is made of materials that bugs like," said Jose-Luis Ramirez, head of the U.N. University's program for biotechnology for Latin America and the Caribbean.
"Climate change is a threat because it is going to increase the amount of fungus and bugs in many regions," he told Reuters of a meeting of experts in Caracas from February 9-12 on new ways to protect art collections.
Much of the world's cultural heritage is made of canvas, wood, paper or leather which "in prolonged warmth and dampness, attract mold, micro-organisms and insects, causing decay and disintegration," a U.N. University statement said.
Many museums, especially in tropical nations, lack even air conditioning to protect collections of paintings, sculptures and other art from likely shifts in humidity and temperature, Ramirez said.
I especially like that last paragraph. Like, if many museums in tropical regions already lack air conditioning, haven't they already been "in danger" of everything listed above for decades now?
But it's NOW that we must act!! QUICK!!
Our local gaggle of moonbat numbskulls are all a-ga-ga that Michael Steele may be in some campaign finance trouble. What they neglected to mention is this:
“The U.S. attorney’s office inadvertently sent the confidential document, a defense sentencing memorandum filed under seal, to The Washington Post after the newspaper requested the prosecution’s sentencing memorandum.”
"Inadvertently??" Can you imagine what our local gaggle of moonbat numbskulls would be howling about if that "fascist" G.W. Bush administration Dept. of Justice had "inadvertently" sent a confidential document to the WaPo about Howard Dean? Even more -- would the WaPo have even published the contents of such a document if the Bush DOJ had sent it? Or, would it have published a full-length editorial on the "totalitarian, political hit-job nature" of the Bush cabinet?
Being that campaign finance laws are insanely labyrinthine, I'll certainly wait to see how this plays out. Of course, if this situation was about a black Democrat party chief, our local gaggle of moonbat numbskulls would be screaming "racism."
Perhaps Steele can claim there is "no controlling legal authority" in this matter.
Yowsah! I ... "deciphered" a post by my Québec buddy Prof. Solitaire and realized that it was about Isaac Asimov's phenomenal "Foundation" series becoming major motion pictures! Very quickly I did some Googling (so I could actually understand what was going on and didn't have to rely on my [lame] translation of the French) and found this Variety article:
Columbia won an auction late Thursday for screen rights to "Foundation," Isaac Asimov's ground-breaking sci-fi trilogy. The project will be developed as a directing vehicle for Roland Emmerich.
Emmerich and his Centropolis partner Michael Wimer will produce the film. The deal was for mid-six against low-seven figures.
Originally published as a series of eight short stories in Astounding Magazine beginning in 1942, "Foundation" is a complex saga about humans who are scattered on planets throughout the galaxy, living under the rule of the Galactic Empire.
A psycho-historian who can scientifically read the future sees an imminent empire collapse and prepares to save the knowledge of mankind.
That psycho-historian is the famous Hari Seldon, by the way (one artist's rendition seen at top left). How he prepares for the empire's imminent collapse is by setting up two "Foundations" at distinct points in the galaxy. One is dedicated to scientific pursuits; the other, mental and psionic training.
The original trilogy was comprised of Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation. Due to huge popular demand, Asimov penned
three four additional "Foundation" novels beginning in 1982: Foundation's Edge, Foundation and Earth, Prelude to Foundation, and Forward the Foundation. After Isaac's death, numerous authors have "played" in the "Foundation" universe, dealing with different eras of galactic history.
I've only read the original trilogy and the two sequels. Prelude to Foundation and Forward the Foundation are prequels. I've started Prelude more times than I can count; I never even started Forward. After the events of Foundation and Earth, there doesn't seem a point in reading them. (If you've read the first five books you'll know what I mean.)
In addition to the "Foundation" series, Asimov is well-known for his "Robot" novels. In 1985, he unified the "Robot" and "Foundation" series in the novel Robots and Empire.
I just got the acclaimed John Birmingham novel Without Warning in the mail the other day, which details what would happen to the world without the United States. An inexplicable "energy wave," acting much like a neutron bomb would (wiping out life but leaving structures intact) has swept across most of North America, and planet-wide chaos ensues soon after.
Of course, I'm not far enough into the book (which is tough to put down after only a few pages!) to have learned the origin of this "energy wave," but as it stands now it requires quite a suspension of disbelief.
Which brings me to a totally different matter, that requires a similar suspension: Terrorist Bill Ayers' memoir will be turned into a graphic novel! Whaaaa ... ?
Teachers College Press, a scholarly, professional and trade publisher focused on the theory and practice of teacher education, has reached agreement on a two-book deal with William Ayers, the University of Illinois at Chicago professor, lauded educational theorist and former leader of the radical 1960s Weather Underground. And, yes, Ayers is indeed the same figure dragooned into the 2008 presidential race in a controversial attempt to use his background in radical politics and a minor acquaintance with Barack Obama to undermine Obama’s presidential run.
Since, as currently constructed in way too many colleges across the land, the "theory and practice of teacher education" is a laughable joke to those who actually "in the trenches," one could surmise that reading a graphic novel about a dude who's immersed in such will be an ... excruciating experience -- only slightly less excruciating than reading a standard book.
(h/t to SWT.)
Obama's call for "stimulus" house parties: A bust!
Few supporters are answering President Barack Obama's call for nationwide house-party gatherings this weekend to build grass-roots support for his economic stimulus plan.
A McClatchy survey of sign-up rosters for a score of cities across the country revealed only 34 committed attendees in Tacoma, Wash., as of midafternoon Friday; in Fort Worth, Texas, only 54, and in Sacramento, Calif., just 78.
Ouch. Yeah, well, a house party dedicated to a "stimulus" bill in Washington DC seems just a wee bit ... silly. It sure wouldn't be anything like the original House Party, that's for sure.
Just imagine Kid 'N Play rapping about jump-starting the economy ...
... but apparently not those who are very outspoken for the so-called Fairness Doctrine!
In tears, the Westland woman accused of accepting money for sex from the husband of U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., began serving five days in jail today for violating the terms of her probation.
It’s been a long ride for the 21-year-old Alycia Martin, who is now eight months pregnant and engaged, said her pro bono attorney Frank Cusumano Jr. Martin, who dropped out of high school in the ninth grade and has been on her own since she was in her late teens, is working at a fast food restaurant, has a driver’s license and is working to get her GED. She also voted for the first time in November. But her gas and electric has been shut off and she struggles to buy necessities like food, clothing and baby supplies.
Tom Athans, Stabenow’s husband since 2003, was not charged in exchange for his assistance in the case. He never testified because Martin pleaded guilty.
“Alycia will get through this,” Cusumano said. “She’ll serve her time. I don’t know why he’d throw her in jail, but it underscores the whole thing. There is a disparity between wealth and poverty.
“What does this say about the city of Troy?” (Source.)
Or, more aptly, what does it say about "Change You Can Believe In" Democrats?
Stabenow has been out in front of the battle to reinstate the misnamed Fairness Doctrine. Which is interesting 'cuz her let-off-the-hook john of a husband is a liberal talk radio exec.
Change Hypocrisy you can believe in.
Finally! If you use Internet Explorer version 7.0 or higher (is there a higher version? I don't know since I always use Firefox at home) Colossus of Rhodey's format [probably] was screwed up -- you couldn't see the first few posts on the main page.
Well, that all should be fixed now! Colossus should look splendid in IE 6.0, 7.0 and Firefox. Much to their chagrin, eh?
As if we needed further proof of the print media’s demise (due to the Internet but also the weariness of constant leftist editorial bias), yesterday’s Philly Daily News asks “Bye-bye partisanship?” Three guesses as to whose fault it is, and the first two don’t count.
NOT ALL OF THE nearly two million people who braved the cold last month to show up in Washington for Barack Obama's inauguration were Democrats. And not all were there to witness the historic swearing-in of the nation's first African- American president.
What moved some of that mass of humanity to D.C. was the hope that Obama's election signaled the beginning of a new day in Washington, one in which our elected leaders move away from bitter, polarized politics and learn to work together to solve the huge problems that our country faces.
Indeed. Like the House Democrat majority’s move to disallow Republicans various rights on the House floor? But sure – Obama has reached out to the GOP, but all he did was listen. That’s a positive, yes, but if that’s all he does, coupled with his “I won” mantra, who can honestly call that “bye-bye partisanship?
As most of us living in the real world know, solutions to big complicated problems are colorblind; they depend not on red or blue, but on a larger shared goal to work for the common good.
Last week's virtual blockade by House Republicans against support for Obama's $819 billion stimulus bill is not only worrying for the state of the economy, but deflating for all those millions who voted for a change in Washington.
Oh sure. As if a political party with a different ideology cannot legitimately differ on what is best for the common good.
How do such mental midgets get to serve on large city paper editorial boards? I mean, how can the House GOP “blockade” in any meaningful way any legislation that comes to the House? They’re outnumbered. Or, to put it in Obama’s terms, “the House Democrats won.” How does it “deflate” those who wanted change? There’s nothing the GOP can do to stop the “change!”
The Daily News surely knows this, but why pass up a chance to rip conservatives and the GOP?
Around about then, shouldn't Obama have started to wonder if Republicans have any interest in actually addressing the nation's problems - or if, like their Muse, Rush Limbaugh - they simply want Obama to fail?
So what if the country goes down with him?
Ah, yes. Can you imagine what the Daily News editors would write (and probably has written) if a GOPer had said that Democrat votes against what the GOP desired was “wishing for the country to go down the tubes?”
Hell, why even bother with maintaining our historical two-party system at all? Obama won. He’s told us that. In Democrats’ and the Daily News’s view, this means that the losers – the Republicans – should just face this fact and do whatever the hell The Messiah and his minions in Congress want – without criticism or complaint. Because the country wants “change,” dammit!!
Heh. Apparently the country doesn’t exactly want the change that this supposed “stimulus” bill purports to offer. Currently only about one-third of the public thinks the bill, in its current form, is a step in the right direction for economic recovery.
Regarding the status of the bill in the Senate, the DN writes:
But will it be bipartisan?
Depends on what you mean: According to people who worked with Obama in the Illinois Senate, what he means by bipartisan is not watering down legislation, or making concessions just to get a few "R" votes, but in changing the tone of the debate - less cynical game-playing and more honest give-and-take.
"Once in a while," Obama told NBC's Matt Lauer, "we can take the politics out of it and just focus on getting the job done for the American people."
Again, someone please help me out here: How exactly is it “bipartisan” if a side is unwilling to make concessions?? How is “changing the tone of the debate” and a “more honest give and take” – but NOT making any concessions to the other side – “getting the job done?” Have you ever read a bigger bunch of bullsh** than this? Since the Daily News is damn clueless, I’ll clue ‘em in: “Bipartisan” doesn’t mean “just talking sweet to the other side and then expecting them to vote the way you want them to.”
And then we have the big finish:
It remains to be seen if that will happen. But Republicans should remember that the millions who gathered to watch the inauguration are counting on it.
Why should the Republicans worry overmuch about what the “millions” who flocked to DC think? They voted for Obama. Why should the Republicans just brush aside their principles because they lost an election? What about the millions who voted for John McCain?
Based on the current views of the American public as a whole regarding this "stimulus," apparently the GOP’s principles still mean something to a sizable portion of the country.
Via the Cleveland Leader:
The Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball was begun in 1953 for President Dwight Eisenhower's inauguration. The event recognized recipients of the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military award. There were 48 Medal of Honor recipients in attendance, who were undoubtedly disappointed by the Commander-in-Chief's failure to show. Over the past 56 years and 14 inaugurations, no President has skipped this event - until now.
While the American Legion has said that they were not offended and didn’t feel “snubbed” (VP Biden showed up, at least), who is more important to pay respects to – winners of the greatest military honor possible, or entertainers like Kanye West, Jay-Z and Kid Rock?
First place in the Council category was Soccer Dad with The no-state solution.
First place in the non-Council category was Judea Pearl, Wall Street Journal with Daniel Pearl & the Normalization of Evil.
Full results are here.
Anyone with even only one cerebral hemisphere knows that the mainstream media (most especially NBC) absolutely gush over Barack Obama. Here’s just a tad more proof of that gushing:
The AP's David Bauder follows up on Pres. Obama's sit downs with the network anchors. Gibson was first, followed by Williams, Couric, Cooper and Wallace. "It did have a 'picture taking with Santa' kind of feel to it," NBC's Brian Williams tells Bauder.
I’m sure it did, Bri. I’m sure it did.
Via The Hill:
How money is spent should be far from the biggest concern about the stimulus package, its chief author, House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D - Wisc.) said Friday. "So what?" Obey asked in response to a question on NPR's "Morning Edition" about the perceived lack of direction from Congress as to how money in the stimulus should be spent. "This is an emergency. We've got to simply find a way to get this done as fast as possible and as well as possible, and that's what we're doing."
I seem to recall a certain George W. Bush and Dick Cheney saying something similar, but for different reasons. Then, it was “we needed to act swiftly” before Saddam Hussein was able to do something with those weapons of mass destruction he was supposed to possess. The action then taken cost us about a trillion bucks – sorta like this present-day “stimulus” bill will.
The Messiah ought to consider what happened to Japan over the last decade and a half.
(h/t: The Corner.)
Oh brother. Oh, and nice conflict of interest there, Deb.
change hypocrisy you can believe in.
The other day I noted how the group Human Rights Watch changed its tune about the practice of “rendition” – which is quite convenient now that The Messiah is in the White House. Now, we have Melanie Sloan of the group Citizens for Responsibilities and Ethics which is lamenting the treatment tax scofflaw Tom Daschle is getting!
What Tom Daschle does is the more sophisticated kind of lobbying we have in Washington, where he's a consultant. And he talks to people about the strategy for getting a piece of legislation passed...Maybe the truth of the matter is, you need some of those Washington insiders in order to make your new government work.
Let’s go back to 2005, now. Sloan had a different view of ethics when the subject was Tom Delay and Bill Frist:
The fact that Tom DeLay is under criminal indictment and Senate majority leader Bill Frist is under criminal investigation is a historic first...This demonstrates the culture of corruption among the Congressional leadership that has become a cancer on our country.
Elsewhere, CBS’s Bill Plante concluded his [morning] segment with this statement about Daschle:
The Senate is almost certain to confirm Daschle next week. After all, he was one of them. The White House just wants to change the subject. The president wants to talk about the stimulus plan and its tax relief instead of about who owes back taxes.
Well, of course. But I doubt CBS would emphasize the stimulus plan and tax relief if the affected chief exec was, say, George W. Bush.
Barack Obama recently said the following to Fox News’s Chris Wallace:
I think it's fair to say that I don't always get my most favorable coverage on Fox, but I think that's part of how democracy is supposed to work. You know, we're not supposed to all be in lock step here, and you've always been very gracious to me and...
So, we can infer from that that outlets other than Fox are in lock step with … Obama and his party?
Sounds about right to me!
Taxes: They're just for you and me. Not for Obama's choice of administration members.
A coming episode of the acclaimed FX drama “Rescue Me” will tackle what may sound like a far-fetched plot line: that the attacks of Sept. 11 were an “inside job.” The actor who espouses the theories on camera, it turns out, also subscribes to them in real life.
“They’re not discussed a lot in the press,” Daniel Sunjata, the actor who plays Franco Rivera on “Rescue Me,” told reporters at a television press tour last month. He predicted that the episode would be “socio-politically provocative.”
In the episode, Mr. Sunjata’s character delivers a two-minute monologue for a French journalist describing a “neoconservative government effort” to control the world’s oil, drastically increase military spending and “change the definition of pre-emptive attack.” To put it into action, he continues, “what you need is a new Pearl Harbor. That’s what they said they needed.”
Mr. Sunjata surprised some of the TV reporters when he said that he “absolutely, 100 percent” supports the assertion that “9/11 was an inside job.”
Peter Tolan, an executive producer, said Mr. Sunjata is “well read” and has “done a lot of research.”
“Look, obviously not all of us buy in,” he told reporters. “But we went: ‘Wow, that’s interesting, and he’s passionate about it. Let’s use that.’ ”
Yeah. It's "interesting." It's also bat-shit crazy.
Nevertheless, this is modern pop-culture, where TV shows like "Rescue Me" pontificate about a 9/11 inside job, and where movies offer wild speculations on presidential assassinations ("JFK"); yet, the brakes get put on projects that actually have a semblance in reality because they may offend some groups, most recently, and notably, Muslims.
Tom Clancy's novel The Sum of All Fears was significantly altered for the film version by making the baddies neo-Nazis instead of radical Islamists. The show "24" carries disclaimers before episodes air. Frank Miller has difficulty getting "Holy Terror, Batman" to publication. Why? 'Cuz Batman goes after -- GASP! -- al Qaeda.
Remember, legitimate threats and political issues aren't as important as who might be offended by discussion of such.
Think of that one "Seinfeld" episode where Jerry answers the phone, hesitates, and then asks sarcastically "Who IS this??"
(h/t: The Corner.)
It's funny enough that Mr. "Change You Can Believe In" has no hassle with continuing the practice of rendition -- funneling captured terror suspects off to a third nation where they might be "abused" -- but look at how the "progressive" Human Rights Watch has changed its tune about rendition ... now that The Messiah has:
"Under limited circumstances, there is a legitimate place for renditions," said Tom Malinowski, the Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch. "What I heard loud and clear from the president's order was that they want to design a system that doesn't result in people being sent to foreign dungeons to be tortured -- but that designing that system is going to take some time."
Malinowski said he had urged the Obama administration to stipulate that prisoners could be transferred only to countries where they would be guaranteed a public hearing in an official court. "Producing a prisoner before a real court is a key safeguard against torture, abuse and disappearance," Malinowski said. (emphasis added). (Source.)
Just to show you how vehemently opposed to rendition HRW was when GW Bush was in office:
The US government should:
Repudiate the use of rendition to torture as a counterterrorism tactic and permanently discontinue the CIA's rendition program;
Disclose the identities, fate, and current whereabouts of all persons detained by the CIA or rendered to foreign custody by the CIA since 2001, including detainees who were rendered to Jordan;
Repudiate the use of "diplomatic assurances" against torture and ill-treatment as a justification for the transfer of a suspect to a place where he or she is at risk of such abuse;
Make public any audio recordings or videotapes that the CIA possesses of interrogations of detainees rendered by the CIA to foreign custody;
Provide appropriate compensation to all persons arbitrarily detained by the CIA or rendered to foreign custody (emphasis added).
HRW also demanded, during the Bush admin., that other countries "refuse to cooperate in secret detention and rendition efforts."
Probably the most telling part is where, under Bush, HRW denounced even "diplomatic assurances" by foreign governments regarding rendition; yet, now under Obama HRW is fine with prisoners sent overseas being "guaranteed a public hearing in an official court." What's the substantial difference between "diplomatic assurances" and "foreign guarantees?" Semantics is all, I'm afraid.
Change Hypocrisy you can believe in.
Is this a surprise, given that die-hard liberals run the White House and Congress?
In a petition to the Federal Communications Commission last week, the National Hispanic Media Coalition claims hate speech is “prevalent” on national cable-news networks and wants the government to do something about it.
That was one of the assertions made by the group in a formal request that the commission open a notice of inquiry into “the extent, the effect and possible remedies” to what it said was a pervasive problem, and not just on conservative talk radio.
NHMC, a nonprofit Los Angeles-based media-advocacy group, cited a 2007 Media Matters study that concluded “the alleged connection between illegal immigration and crime” was discussed on 94 episodes of CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight, 66 times on Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor and 29 times on Glenn Beck’s Headline News show.
And here's the kicker:
NHMC defined hate speech as speech whose cumulative effect is to create an atmosphere of hate and prejudice that “legitimizes” violence against its targets.
We recently saw how the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee wanted the mere saying of a racial epithet to be a hate crime. Now, the NHMC wants -- now understand this -- speech to be "studied" for possible "remedies" ... because of some esoteric "cumulative effect" it may have on a specified group.
Acting FCC chairman Michael Copps has stated that "something" should be done about hate speech (this was in reaction to Don Imus's comments about the Rutgers women's b-ball team). But there's obviously a huge difference between exploring a legitimate political topic -- crime and illegal immigration -- and tasteless, supposedly comedic comments on a "shock jock" radio show.
Copps (appropriate name, eh?) said,
As an academic I taught the beauties of the First Amendment for many years, so nobody is looking to supplant or run roughshod over it. But we have a pressing national problem that I think lots of people are determined to get a resolution of.
What does that mean, precisely, Mr. Copps? What's more of a pressing national problem -- illegal immigrant crime ... or the mere discussion about it? I love that unintentional dichotomy Copps offers: We're not gonna run "roughshod" over the 1st Amendment, but "we gotta do something." It's hard to see what "solution" wouldn't "run roughshod" over the 1st Amendment.
Imagine the possibilities if such "hate speech" regulations go into effect. Certain websites would face sanctions for hateful messages such as this. "Diversity" and/or "Multicultural" seminars that make blanket assumptions that all white people are inherently racist (and thus responsible for just about every conceivable societal ill) will be on precarious legal ground. (More examples here.)
Then again, maybe they won't. Because, unfortunately, many think groups like the NHMC and the AAADC are fighting the "good fight." To these "progressives"/liberals, just like minorities cannot be racist, so too can they not utter "hate speech." These terms only have meaning when applied to the majority.
Colleges and universities have demonstrated their belief in this philosophy. Public school districts have too. As these institutions are largely run by "progressives"/liberals, it certainly makes sense now that they run government that they'll attempt to infuse this philosophy upon American jurisprudence.
Skip Paulman thinks that just because Barack Obama "went directly to Republican members of congress to plead for their help in passing his economic recovery efforts," the GOP should just say, "Yeah. No problem."
They completely rejected him out-of-hand. Included in this insolent bunch was our so-called moderate Republican, Mike Castle. He has shown his true colors to me. He’s aligned himself with the far right and their demonstrably bankrupt ideas and agenda. I, for one, will remember this vote when election time rolls around. The working people of Delaware should remember too and oust this roadblock to prosperity once and for all.
So, the House-passed "stimulus" package is the way to "prosperity!" Who knew?? But the dopiest part of this letter (besides the notion that the GOP should just agree with the president because he engaged in "outreach") is that Mike Castle is aligned with the far-right, not to mention that his vote was a "roadblock to prosperity."
We heard before Wild Card Weekend: The Cardinals have no shot against the Falcons.
We heard before the Divisional Round: The Cardinals will get crushed by the Panthers.
Arizona clobbered Carolina.
We heard before the NFC Championship that this was the end of the Cards' run.
Arizona beat the Eagles.
Still doubt Arizona's ability to win games?? I don't. That's why they're gonna be the story of the year, by beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-20 in today's Super Bowl.
I admit there's another reason -- the MAIN reason -- I am digging Arizona: His name is Kurt Warner:
That's Kurt with then-Rams coach Dick Vermeil at the conclusion of Super Bowl 34, the Rams' only Super Bowl victory in team history.