Secretary of Education Arne Duncan: Hurricane Katrina was "the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans."
Despite Duncan's point actually making sense, 'ya think a member of the GOP would get away with it -- especially in the MSM?
Via the Newsbusters e-mail tipline, which goes out to all contributors and not just myself:
Yeah, here's a tip, wake up and smell the corporate money which buys your right-wing politicians. You righties are all delusional. Afraid of government, the place you may have a voice, and want to give it all up so Joe Corporate can own you. Hope Olbermann tears off your head and shits down your neck!
Real surprise there, eh?
$1.2 billion will be spent to to shave 1 hour off train commute from Chicago to St. Louis:
State and local leaders briefed reporters Friday on a massive federal grant to bankroll a high-speed rail line between Chicago and St. Louis. "You know, moving at 110 miles per hour through the Midwest, you see it's a different ballgame. You zip by traffic, you reach destinations that aren't available any longer when you fly, and look at the amount of time it takes you to get to and from the airport," Schwieterman said.
Gov. Pat Quinn was front and center Friday for the high speed rail announcement, which will bring an estimated 6,000 jobs to Illinois. Quinn joined Mayor Daley and Sen. Dick Durbin to display plans for the high speed rail network.
In Illinois, it'll focus primarily on the Amtrak route between Chicago and St. Louis. $1.2 billion will be spent over the next four years to increase speeds from 90 to 120-miles per hour.
By car, a trip from downtown Chicago to St. Louis could take a driver four to four and a half hours. On one of the high speed trains, experts say you could shave at least an hour off your trip, and get some work done while you ride.
Yeah, in the midst of the worst economy in memory, when manned space shots have been abandoned, here's an idea: let's cut a commute time of about ONE HOUR ... by spending over a BILLION dollars!
Only in America, folks.
First place in the Council category was Mere Rhetoric with Wonderful: Iraqis Permanently Scratch Out Ancient Hebrew Inscription Biblical Prophet’s Tomb.
First place in the non-Council category was Zenpundit with The Post-COIN Era is Here.
Full results are here.
... to the point of them believing the network has been around a lot longer than it actually has! Case in point -- former Clinton Secretary of Labor Robert Reich on the comparison between Obama and Clinton regarding changing their approaches politically:
In December 1994, Bill Clinton proposed a so-called middle-class bill of rights including more tax credits for families with children, expanded retirement accounts, and tax-deductible college tuition. Clinton had lost his battle for healthcare reform. Even worse, by that time the Dems had lost the House and Senate. Washington was riding a huge anti-incumbent wave. Right-wing populists were the ascendancy, with Newt Gingrich and Fox News leading the charge. Bill Clinton thought it desperately important to assure Americans he was on their side.
Well, maybe Gingrich was leading the charge, but Fox News? It didn't come into existence until 1996.
The Messiah demagogues the Supreme Court (whose members just happened to be seated in front of him):
[The recent SCOTUS decision in Citizens United v. FEC] "open[ed] the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections. Well I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities."
This is totally false:
The Court held that 2 U.S.C. Section 441a, which prohibits all corporate political spending, is unconstitutional. Foreign nationals, specifically defined to include foreign corporations, are prohibiting from making "a contribution or donation of money or ather thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State or local election" under 2 U.S.C. Section 441e, which was not at issue in the case. Foreign corporations are also prohibited, under 2 U.S.C. 441e, from making any contribution or donation to any committee of any political party, and they prohibited from making any "expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication... ."
Maybe the best part about this nonsense is Justice Sam Alito mouthing the words "not true" after Obama's lie. Maybe he should've yelled out "you lie"? Hell, why not? The moonbats are already likening Alito to Rep. Joe Wilson anyway, even though the two instances are only remotely similar. (That's why we call 'em the "Local Gaggle of Moonbat Bloggers," after all.)
And then there were these usual Messiah rhetorical devices:
1) He trotted out the usual straw men: “I was told by some,” “Washington has been telling us,” etc. And once these awful straw men are set up, our hero Obama answers defiantly, “I don’t settle for second place!” The straw-man ploy is now stale.
2) The “I didn’t ask for” trope: Obama acts as if he bravely endures persecution on our behalf, rejects the easy path, and presses ahead on the difficult path.
3) The “they did it” trope: So when Obama talks of “lobbying” and “horse trading” on health care, apparently some right-wing nut in the Senate started buying votes at $300 million a clip? The Washington insider who has the White House and Congress blames . . . Washington!
4) The “Bush did it” trope: So Obama’s deficits are the result of Bush’s spending and weak economy — but is a relatively quiet Iraq due to Bush’s successful surge? No. Obama himself will bring the war in Iraq to a close. He did not offer one word of praise for Bush in a speech calling for unity.
5) The meaningless token: So after piling up the two largest budget deficits in U.S. history, Obama promises fiscal sobriety and spending freezes — but only in 2011, after we pile up yet another year of trillion-dollar-plus red ink.
6) The above-it-all lecturing: After blaming Bush for 30 minutes and castigating the Republicans for “just saying no to everything,” Obama lectures on Washington’s partisan bickering. And after a year of hardball Chicago politicking, a politically weakened Obama calls for bipartisanship and a new tone. That will go over really well.
7) The meaningless deadlines and promises: No speechwriter should invoke Iran and a deadline to comply on nonproliferation; no one believes Obama after the past four failed deadlines, and he should give it all a break.
8) The final hope-and-change flourishes: The emotional end of the speech, which used to set crowds afire in 2008, seemed more rote.
In a nutshell, in the period (roughly) between the mid-22nd century until the end of the 24th, Earth has enjoyed a "golden age" -- a time of peace and plenty, all the while it has settled worlds orbiting nearby stars. Earth history -- especially anything about wars and violence -- is suppressed among the general public by the ARM, the Amalgamated Regional Militia, the enforcement branch of the UN (yeah, go figure!). Tendency to violence is treated as a mental disease, and can be cured chemically. Those who stumble upon any historical info about past Earth conflicts can face a memory wipe. In 2360, one of our ships en route to one of these colonies, the Angel's Pencil, encounters an alien vessel in interstellar space. The ship belongs to the Kzin, a race of carnivorous humanoid felines that resemble huge tigers. They're pure warriors, and want nothing more than to conquer other species.
The crew of Angel's Pencil eventually (out of survival's necessity!) get over their disbelief that the Kzin vessel is trying to harm them, and turn their laser-drive against the ship, destroying it. (This is all detailed in Niven's first-ever Kzin story from 1966, "The Warriors.") They eventually beam back all the evidence of their encounter to Earth -- to warn them of this horrible threat. But since their message travels at the speed of light, it takes years for it to arrive.
In "The Colonel's Tiger" two ARM agents ponder the Pencil's message, and conclude that, despite all the photographic and visual evidence presented, the crew of the ship is mad -- suffering from some sort of delusions brought about by extended space travel. How can aliens, which have superior technology to humans, be aggressive and war-like? Impossible!! And the crew's "madness" must indeed be severe, as they've "come up with" weapons (via their photographic evidence of the Kzin vessel) that have LONG since been outlawed by the nations of Earth; indeed, 99.9% of the population now hasn't even heard of things like fusion bombs, missiles, particle beams, and the like.
One of the ARM agents discovers evidence from the 1800s of a "tiger man" that was eventually killed by an army colonel ... a creature that was such an anomaly as to defy description. The ARM conclude that the crew of the Angel's Pencil probably concocted an elaborate hoax for some as-yet unknown reason -- perhaps to thwart further space travel, or create a panic on Earth, probably for prodigious monetary gain. Again, what the Pencil sent back to Earth just can't be true!! It just can't!
Colebatch scatters throughout "Tiger" appropriate passages from past literary works to drive home his point. For instance, there's this from The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:
It was scarcely possible that the eyes of contemporaries should discover in the public felicity the latent causes of decay and corruption. The long peace, and the uniform government of the Romans, introduced a slow and secret poison into the vitals of empire. The minds of men were gradually reduced to the same level, the fire of genius was extinguished, and even the military spirit evaporated.
Then there's this, from Where Ignorance Is Bliss:
One of the largest of all British local council libraries, at Brent, lately destroyed apporximately 66,000 of its 100,000 books. The explanation which the council gave for this destruction was that the offending books were "books on war, history books and other books irrelevant to the community.
Backtrack about 400 years from the time of the Angel's Pencil and what do we find?
In the end, the two ARM agents in Colebatch's story realized that the crew of Angel's Pencil could not have created the hoax in which the agency so fervently believed. (The hoax, that is.) The cold reality was that fierce, war-like aliens were indeed out there in space, and we were going to be their next target. Humanity would surrender without a shot unless the ARM acted -- and acted swiftly. Humans would have to be made aware of their past, and be made aware of what they were capable of doing, if they wanted to survive.
September 11, 2001 was supposed to have been our -- not just the US's, but the entire civilized world's -- wake up call. We've already forgotten a mere eight years later. And before that -- what, World War II? How long did it take before we forgot its lessons?
In closing, and in keeping with the scifi analogy, it's best to keep Jean-Luc Picard's words in mind at the end of the superb episode "The Drumhead":
We think we have come so far ... the torture of heretics and the burning of witches is ancient history... and then ... before you can blink an eye ... it threatens to start all over again.
Villains who wear black hats are easy to spot. Those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well camouflaged.
She [Admiral Satie] -- someone like her -- will always be with us... waiting for the right climate in which to flourish...spreading disease in the name of liberty. Vigilance, Worf. That is the price we must continually pay.
Actually, it's [the hilarious] Jimmy Fallon:
Shots fired at local rap contest. I'm SHOCKED, I tell you -- SHOCKED!!
'Ya gotta love BDSers (those with Bush Derangement Syndrome). Their hatred is so intense that it causes them to get even the most elementary of facts wrong. In this case, it's the bad-toupee'd Filip Bondy of the NY Daily News, writing about this past Sunday's NFC Championship game in New Orleans:
If you needed further proof of this [New Orleans racial] divide, then it came during a pregame introduction of former President Bush. Once pilloried for his approach to the Katrina catastrophe in 2005, Bush was heartily cheered at the Superdome - which tells you all you need to know about the crowd's demographics.
No, he was probably cheered because it wasn't the former President Bush that had screwed up the [federal] response to Hurricane Katrina. The "former President Bush" in attendance was George W. Bush's father, George H. W. Bush. (See here, here, and here.) Anyone who actually watched the game -- which Bondy obviously did not -- would have seen the various shots of the elder Bush (and his wife) watching the Saints-Vikings.
But why let basic factual and visual evidence muss up a good cheap shot, eh?
UPDATE: As of early afternoon, Bondy's article has deleted the paragraph noted above -- without any reference as to why. There's just an "Updated: Tuesday, January 26th 2010, 11:37 AM" notice. But no worries -- we got a screen cap of it:
And you can see here, via a cache of USA Today's linked topics under "George W. Bush," a summary of Bondy's original article with the now-deleted G.W. Bush reference in its entirety.
(Cross-posted at Newsbusters!)
We're going to raise the bar for all our students and take bigger steps towards closing the achievement gap that denies so many students, especially black and Latino students, a fair shot at their dreams.
Obama was speaking in reference to the "Race to the Top" initiative, which grants federal cash to states that make worthy educational reforms. (Be sure to check out Kilroy's superb coverage of Delaware's efforts in Race to the Top.) But ... what precisely does Obama mean by that statement? By saying that the achievement gap "denies" students a fair shot at their dreams, the implication is that the gap is purely -- or mostly -- a result of poor teaching and schooling.
Such a mindset (Obama's) should not come as a big surprise, given his far-left politics. "Progressive" educrats have for years blamed things like white teacher racism and/or "white privilege" for the poor academic performance of minority students. Poor funding [of inner-city] schools is another reason. Unfortunately, unless a lot more emphasis is placed on the enormous problem of fatherlessness, and on the violence that plagues way too many city schools, it will extremely tough to fully close that gap (unless schools do what Obama and co. have done with job figures a la the stimulus package, etc.!).
Alas, it just is not politically correct to mention these things. Especially without someone invoking the dreaded "R" word ...
Tom Noyes wants you to think the American public wants prompt action on [man-made] climate change:
56% would be more likely to re-elect their Senator if he or she voted in favor of the bill (just 35% would be less likely to re-elect). 50% would be less likely to re-elect their Senator if he or she voted against the bill (just 39% would be more likely).
And if Congress doesn’t pass legislation, voters want the EPA to act:
59% of voters agree and just 39% disagree that “if Congress doesn't pass this energy bill, the Environmental Protection Agency should take action to regulate carbon polluters.” Among Independents, support for EPA action is even stronger: 61% agree and only 37% disagree.
Of course, this doesn't take into account the absolute low priority that the American public puts on climate change:
Dealing with global warming ranks at the bottom of the public's list of priorities; just 28% consider this a top priority, the lowest measure for any issue tested in the survey. Since 2007, when the item was first included on the priorities list, dealing with global warming has consistently ranked at or near the bottom. Even so, the percentage that now says addressing global warming should be a top priority has fallen 10 points from 2007, when 38% considered it a top priority. Such a low ranking is driven in part by indifference among Republicans: just 11% consider global warming a top priority, compared with 43% of Democrats and 25% of independents.
Check it out:
[Pollster Frank] Luntz message tested three arguments for acting, and found this statement was received favorably by 57 percent of those polled:
It doesn’t matter if there is or isn’t climate change. It is still in America’s best interest to develop new sources of energy that are clean reliable, efficient and safe. One might consider this to be a kind of Pascal's wager on the environment:
If we do it right, we get cleaner air.
We get less dependence on fossil fuels and enhanced national security.
We get more innovation in our economy.
More jobs, and more sustainable jobs.
And that’s if the scientists are wrong.
If the scientists are right, we get all of those things, and begin to solve what could be the most catastrophic environmental problem that any of us have ever faced.
I'm sure the above is accurate. But the fact is that it's not one of the American public's priorities at the moment. And another fact of the matter -- that all Church of Gore worshipers tend to forget (and I am not lumping Noyes into this crowd; he is a very smart, and reasonable, fellow) -- is that we WILL move to alternative sources of energy as fossil fuels are indeed finite. Gradual incentives are fine and worthy, but there's no reason to radically restructure the economy in one fell swoop to 1) have an effect on global climate that would be as insigificant as the size of the Earth is compared to the Milky Way, and 2) impose high new costs to consumers when inevitable gradual economic/energy changes will have much less of a detrimental monetary effect.
To think that man's continued use of fossil fuels throughout this century will cause the planet to change irrevocably is just so much sophistry. How man -- by using fossil fuels for some 150 years -- can completely and irrevocably alter an entire planet forever needs a belief system that goes beyond conceit ... and beyond arrogance.
After a never-before-seen 0-4 divisional weekend ('sup wit dat??), I am determined to go 2-0 this weekend. Here we go, with score predictions:
AFC: Colts over Jets 27-14.
NFC: Saints over Vikes 33-28.
From 1988: The greatest Latin American rock band ever, Soda Stereo, and its tribute to the desaparecidos -- the "disappeared" -- of Argentina (and specifically Buenos Aires). Which is quite fitting since the band is from Argentina. Here's "En La Ciudad De La Furia" ("In The City of Fury"):
ONE YEAR LATER, the prison in Guantánamo, Cuba remains open.
Who wants to place bets that it'll still be open in January 2011?
Beginning the day after the attack on a C.I.A. base in Khost, Afghanistan, the agency has carried out 11 strikes that have killed about 90 people suspected of being militants, according to Pakistani news reports, which make almost no mention of civilian casualties. The assault has included strikes on a mud fortress in North Waziristan on Jan. 6 that killed 17 people and a volley of missiles on a compound in South Waziristan last Sunday that killed at least 20.
Suspected?? If they are "suspects," why aren't we "arresting" them, reading them their "rights," giving them a taxpayer-funded lawyer, and then granting them a civilian trial, hmm??
I brand the Obama administration WAR CRIMINALS and demand an investigation!!
And why isn't this surprising? Simply, it's the same [idiotic] mindset that blames all things white (usually in academia) for each and every ill faced by humanity.
First place in the Council category was Joshuapundit with Pat Robertson, The Devil And Me.
First place in the non-Council category was American Spectator with The Scott Heard Round the World.
Full results are here.
Newsweek's Jerry Adler on Scott Brown's win in Massachusetts on Tuesday:
He drove around a pickup truck/She didn’t notice that the world had changed/And he shook hands with every shmuck/Who wandered by, which she thought quite deranged.
Yeah, Brown was busy actually courting the votes of "shmucks" -- in other words, constituents/voters.
Then, there's Time's Richard Corliss who laments the demise of Air America.
Then, there's Nora O'Donnell at MSDNC speculating that Scott Brown's pro-waterboarding stance "didn't get enough coverage":
Scott Brown defends waterboarding. He did during this campaign. I don't know how many voters or people know that, but that was part of the issues, one of the issues in this campaign that really didn't get played out that much. And one of the reasons is because during a critical three-week period between Dec. 19 and Jan. 5, Martha Coakley was not on the air. As one Democratic official said, she literally went on vacation. So there were a number of issues that probably did not get a lot of play.
Yeah, that'd surely have been a deal-breaker for Brown all right, especially considering some 58% of the American public wanted to waterboard the Christmas underwear bomber!!
The Boston Globe-Democrat's Renee Loth adds to the nonsense:
And Brown’s campaign unmistakably appealed to men, even beyond the obvious contrast with Coakley. The truck, the barn jacket, the sports figures giving endorsements all signaled that Brown’s campaign was a comfortable home for disaffected men. Even his victory party, with its rock anthems and chants of USA! USA! had the look and feel of a beer-fueled tailgate party.
In other words, "idiot white rednecks" who didn't know any better.
Well worth the wait:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Special Comment - Keith Olbermann's Name-Calling|
The founder of an Islam-oriented television station who is accused of beheading his wife was abused by her for years, according to his lawyer ... (Source.)
Hey, but 'ya never know in Obama's America. We grant full Miranda rights to terrorists now, and bring Navy SEALS up on charges for "roughing up" a guy who participated in several slayings, among other inanities. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if Eric Holder himself takes up this guy's "case."
Check out The Messiah's response to what his biggest boo-boo was in his first year in office:
If there's one thing that I regret this year is that we were so busy just getting stuff done and dealing with the immediate crises that were in front of us that I think we lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people about what their core values are and why we have to make sure those institutions are matching up with those values.
Really? According to CBS News, Obama "delivered 'speeches, comments, and remarks' 411 times (including 52 times specifically on health care) and also gave 158 interviews" -- "far more than any of his recent predecessors in their first year."
But here's the best part -- and the main reason for this post's title:
The president said he made a mistake in assuming that if he focused on policy decisions, the American people would understand the reasoning behind them.
"That I do think is a mistake of mine," Obama said. "I think the assumption was if I just focus on policy, if I just focus on this provision or that law or if we're making a good rational decision here, then people will get it."
In other words, we're all just too freakin' stupid to appreciate what he's trying to do for us peons.
Of course, those in the MSM are pretty much parroting similar sentiments. Here's the WaPo's E.J. Dionne:
By avoiding arguments over philosophy and ideology — by failing to offer a pointed and running explanation of why he was reversing the policies of the previous administration — Obama left independent voters confused about his goals.
(h/t: The Corner.)
Man, I didn't even know he ran in '08! What happened?
American Digest - Bring. It. On.
Bookworm Room - A perfect statement about the balance of power between government, citizens and business
Joshuapundit - Pat Robertson, The Devil And Me
Rhymes With Right - Getting It Right On Palin
The Glittering Eye - The Triumph
Right Truth - Here Come the Orphans
Soccer Dad - Rachel’s tomb and the protection of jewish holy sites
Mere Rhetoric - Government Labor Protections And Welfare Policies Keeping French Youths Jobless, Alienated
The Colossus of Rhodey - Harry Reid, “light-skinned” and “Avatar”
The Provocateur - Some Thoughts on Dr. Chacko’s Dismissal
Wolf Howling - Wailing & Lamentations
Also be sure to take a gander at the non-Council submissions here!
"Progressive" harpy Nancy Willing highlights a primary challenger to Mike Castle:
[Carlet DeEtta] Ward, who describes herself as a self-employed social justice consultant, said one of her main goals is to show that a black woman is just as deserving of elected office as anyone.“I want the American people to recognize the fact that sometimes the best qualified person for a high position such as U.S. senator is not always the lily white one,” she said.
“The only thing Mike Castle [has] going for him is that he’s a white, privileged man. He’s a part of the white ruling class.”
Again, the report is that Ward plans to primary Castle.
Nice. If she thinks she even has a slight chance to beat Mike, she's screwier than most of the LGOMB. I mean, while the sentiment of "change" (especially for a long-serving dude like Castle) is worthy, offering up racially-charged statements (which might serve the "progressive" Left well) will be nothing but [rightly] scorned. I wonder how "progressives" would react to a white guy running for office in, say, inner city Detroit saying "sometimes the best qualified person for a [city council] is not always the street-tough black one," or "The only thing [insert name] has going for him is that he’s a black, politically connected man. He’s a part of the black city ruling class."
Yeah. I wonder.
Meanwhile, Resolute Determination did a little checking on Ms. Ward. Apparently she feels that working for Macy's and assaulting your boss there makes one the "best qualified person for a high position such as U.S. senator." And not only "just" US senator, it seems -- but president, too! Ward boasts that she "filed a $20 million dollar damage lawsuit against the US Dept of Justice, FBI and other law enforcement offices as the first human rights abuse victim in the United States." And if that doesn't take the cake, her consulting group proposed "the introduction of a legislative bill to make it illegal to be homeless and hungry in America."
I'm sure the answer to exactly how we should make such illegal would be as entertaining as the proposal!
A sampling around the local blogosphere of opinion on the Scott Brown win in Massachusetts last night. First, let's head to the LGOMB (Local Gaggle of Moonbat Bloggers):
I’ve been thinking… if Coakley loses, is that really the worst thing? Bear with me for a second. The 60 senate majority has been a political mess, and raised the bar to unrealistic levels. It also lays the blame entirely on Democrats. Every time we call Republicans obstructionists, the response has been, “You don’t need Republicans, you have 60 votes.” So then when things get messed up, we end up fighting with, or wooing, Democrats. Republicans get a pass.
Keep calling the GOP "obstructionist" on healthcare, cap and trade, "stimulus" packages and the like, pan. That'll just keep demonstrating how freakin' CLUELESS you all are about Brown's victory. He actively campaigned against these things!!
congrats Teagabgs. you kept millions of americans form getting health insurance. hope you feel good about yourselves.
See above, you idiot.
One thing they should have paid attention to is the fact that Massachusetts doesn’t often elect women.
So ... this means the bluest state in the Union is sexist and anti-woman?? LOL!! And then check her response to her nonsense when called out about it by various commenters:
Sooooo sorry. I thought we were having a discussion as to why this happened and all the factors that contributed to it. If you choose to take my point and make it my only point… knock yourself out.
A. Price then contemplates suicide:
i was getting the proverbial hose hooked up to the proverbial tailpipe and turning the proverbial car in the the proverbial garage on ...
Unstable Isotope believes in the delusion that the [mainstream] media are conservative:
The reason conservatives have gotten away with this is because the media repeats their talking points unchallenged.
I mean, whoa -- what can one say to this complete unreality? If people actually believe this, is it any wonder Coakley lost?? Oh, but wait -- U.I. ain't finished with the delusions:
The Great Recession is the culmination of the Reagan era of slashing taxes for the wealthy and lax regulation.
Obama and the Democrats need to forcefully sell a counter-narrative if he wants to succeed.
Earth to U.I.: They tried. The public ain't buyin'. And now Reagan is the target and not G.W. Bush?? LOL!!
Kudos to Steve Newton (formerly of DE Libertarian) nemesis "anonone" who has been busy calling the LGOMB (in various threads) for their myopia.
Elsewhere, Delaware Politics has much more sensible posts up regarding the Brown victory.
Does anyone actually buy her anecdote hook, line and sinker? Or, do you think there just might be more to it than her retelling?
I vote the latter.
I've already written how, despite my passion for the NFL, I will never watch Sunday's "Football Night in America." Why? Because the the absolutely wretched Keith Olbermann is a co-host. And his latest on-air rant demonstrates (again) why this network is so absolutely pathetic, not only in its ratings but its journalistic standards. Sorry, but no Fox News opinion commentator has ever sunk to such naked and disgusting personal attacks for mere political differences of opinion.
Here is Olbermann insulting Massachusetts voters, most of whom are Democrats and Independents, many of the former who're voting for Republican Scott Brown today, as are most of the latter :
In short, in Scott Brown we have an irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, teabagging supporter of violence against woman and against politicians with whom he disagrees. In any other time in our history, this man would have been laughed off the stage as an unqualified and a disaster in the making by the most conservative of conservatives. Instead, the commonwealth of Massachusetts is close to sending this bad joke to the Senate of the United States.
Perhaps as the network's ratings continue to plummet, Keith's rants will simply become less and less coherent. Much like one of our local (disgustingly nauseating) blog pundits.
It had been over a year, and there have been many changes in our local blogosphere since. Please let me know of any site omissions and/or necessary info to include therein.
(My various opinion commentary will not be changed, however!) ;-)
After all, when did these suspects have their rights read to them??
Bush = "war criminal" for housing terror suspects in Gitmo, desiring military tribunals for them and engaging in enhanced interrogation with three of the most wanted of them; however ...
Obama = "The Messiah" for sending in unmanned drones to kill terror suspects -- not to mention nearby civilians.
This time it's "Avatar" creator James Cameron: "I believe in eco-terrorism."
Cameron joins MSDNC's Ed Schultz and Chrissy Matthews.
MSDNC's Ed Schultz admits plain as day that he would cheat to make sure Martha Coakley gets elected next week in Massachusetts:
I tell you what, if I lived in Massachusetts, I'd try to vote ten times. I don't know if they'd let me or not, but I'd try to. Yeah, that's right, I'd cheat to keep these bastards out. I would. 'Cause that's exactly what they are.
Earlier that day, the network's Chrissy Matthews was miffed that there wouldn't be any more folks "to buy" votes from on Tuesday:
You know in the old days, maybe I shouldn`t be harkening back to the old days, if the Democrats faced this kind of a disaster in the works, you`d go back to your ones, the people you were sure are going to vote Democrat, and you`d make sure they got to the polling place, you`d get them lunch, you`d get them a car.
Matthews did later say "not officially buying them," although he didn't exactly make a convincing case!
Need I ponder what the reaction would be if Sean Hannity, or Bill O'Reilly, or Glenn Beck said something similar?
OK, enough with the actual score of the games -- let's just pick who's gonna win. It's a "visiting team's weekend":
Via the Newsbusters e-mail tipline, which goes out to all contributors and not just myself (some terms edited):
Another perfect example of the big mouth fat ass bastard speaking shit from his face. He should have DIED when he was in the hospital in Hawaii. Better for the world had the sperm donor he calls a father had shot his load up his WHORE mothers ass instead of up her C**T. Or even down her throat, that way he would have never been born. Same for Pat Robertson. You conservative bastards never said a word when that A**HOLE Bush was in office. You can all DROP DEAD and go to hell...
An example of "progressive" tolerance and empathy, eh?
5. Neighbor sues woman for smoking in her own home;
4. Double-murderer sues to claim his victims' classic Chevy pickup;
3. Holocaust denier sues Auschwitz survivor, alleging memoir contains "fantastical tales;"
2. Tourist sues hotel, claiming swimming pool got daughter pregnant;
1. Illegal immigrants sue rancher who stopped them on his property at gunpoint and turned them over to the Border Patrol.
I previously posted about #3 here.
First place in the Council category was Bookworm Room with The need for an honest, 21st century debate about abortion.
First place in the non-Council category was American Thinker/Rabbi Aryeh Spero with President Obama must choose sides.
Full results are here.
Shortly after the Haitian earthquake, idiot evangelist Pat Robertson made some ridiculously insensitive comments (this is why we have Robertson's website listed under our "Good for Cheap Laughs" section in the blogroll). They rightly got plenty of [critical] coverage in the media.
But ... have you heard these asinine remarks from noted Hollywood radical Danny Glover? “When we see what we did at the climate summit in Copenhagen, this is the response, this is what happens, you know what I’m sayin’?” (Check out the video, too, at link.)
Of course you didn't (unless you read/watch new media). The Church of Global Warming's religion is much more readily accepted by the MSM than Christian Evangelist.
Gotta love moron Chris Matthews of MSDNC. While his (and the whole network's) ratings continue to plummet, their obsession with Sarah Palin just ends up making them look like complete buffoons. On yesterday's "Hardball," Chrissy claimed that Palin "doesn't know us":
You know in school when you didn’t read the book and you had to answer the essay question of the book and you hadn’t read it. I thought the book was interesting at times, sometimes it was boring but a lot of it was very interesting. The book you didn’t read. That’s her story. America is the book she didn’t read and yet she’s running around the country as this patriotic icon of American what? She doesn’t know us.
How does Matthews know that Sarah Palin "doesn't know" America? On what basis? And, why should we listen to a perpetual Washington-insider former Democrat hack like Matthews about what "America" is?
Then, Chrissy mocked Palin's choice of favorite Founding Father, George Washington, and falsely claimed that she didn't know all their names:
How can you not say Ben Franklin? How can you not say Thomas Paine? Thomas Paine is a major hero of the, the teabaggers and he should be a hero to all. She doesn’t know the names of the Founding Fathers!
How can she not say Franklin or Paine? Easy: Because she didn't! And I had the [Glenn] Beck interview with Palin on in the background -- she was never asked to name all of the Founders, so how does Matthews know that Palin doesn't know them all?
Laughably, Matthews eventually admitted that he "appreciated" Palin's choice of Washington (after all the senseless mocking), but then went on to totally misrepresent her use of the word "diversity":
No she did make a good point in all fairness. I mean she made a good point. I’ve always espoused the wonder of George Washington of giving up the chance to be our first dictator and going back to, as George the Third, once said, when he was told that, he once asked during the American Revolution, what will Washington do after the war is over? And the guy was painting him and it was an ex-pat that was painting him and he said, "Well I think he’s going back to run his farm, his plantation." And George the Third was smart enough to say, and this is chilling to hear him say this, "Then he’ll be the greatest man in the world." So what she said was great. But the lack of knowledge. Keep saying "diverse?" One thing there wasn’t among the Founding Fathers was diversity! They were all a bunch of white aristocratic landowners.
Uh, check out what she actually said, Matthews you idiot:
BECK: Who is your favorite founder?
PALIN: You know, well, all of them because they came collectively together with so much diverse .
BECK: Bull crap. Who is your favorite?
PALIN: So much diverse opinion and so much diversity in terms of belief, but collectively they came together to form this union...No, and they were led by, of course, George Washington, so he's got to rise to the top. Washington was the consummate statesman.
Yep, it's pretty darn clear what Palin meant -- because she actually said it! And it wasn't racial/ethnic diversity.
Look, there's PLENTY to criticize Palin about; why do lefty pundits have to totally misrepresent and/or outright lie about what she's said and done?
President Barack Obama told banks Thursday they should pay a new tax to recoup the cost of bailing out foundering firms at the height of the financial crisis. "We want our money back," he said.
In a brief appearance with advisers at the White House, Obama branded the latest round of bank bonuses as "obscene." But he said his goal was to prevent such excesses in the future, not to punish banks for past behavior.
The tax, which would require congressional approval, would last at least 10 years and generate about $90 billion over the decade, according to administration estimates. "If these companies are in good enough shape to afford massive bonuses, they are surely in good enough shape to afford paying back every penny to taxpayers," Obama said.
Advisers believe the administration can make an argument that banks should tap their bonus pools for the fee instead of passing the cost on to consumers.
They would have to pay up even though many did not accept any taxpayer assistance and most that did have repaid the infusions.
Hey Barack -- what about the "obscene" amount of money that GOVERNMENT flounders EACH AND EVERY DAY, huh?? And I also love the "argument" that the banks got "low-interest" loans. Really? What about the NO-INTEREST loans that GOVERNMENT gets EACH AND EVERY DAY from people's overpaid taxes (given back -- INTEREST-FREE -- after April 15th)??
And how will banks NOT pass on the cost to consumers, huh?
And how does your "argument" hold water when "many did not accept any taxpayer assistance and most that did have repaid" the loans???
And meanwhile, we see THIS.
And people wonder why this empty suit's poll numbers are sinking like a stone?
There's nothing better than watching an elitist MSM-type -- y'know, one who perpetually belittles conservatives as "dumb," "mean" and the like -- make a complete jackass out of themselves.
Case in point: MSDNC's Mika Brzezinski. She mocks Sarah Palin's choice of George Washington as her "favorite Founding Father," but when asked who HER favorite is, she responds ... [ABRAHAM] LINCOLN!! Unbelievable. The sad thing is, it seems to have been missed by her co-hosts. Check out the video:
The AP via the Philly Daily News:
The Justice Department has accused a Huntingdon Valley swim club of race bias in a lawsuit, six months after the club barred a group of mostly black day-campers from their pool.
The civil-rights suit filed yesterday charges that the Valley Club engaged in a pattern of racial discrimination in canceling its $1,950, eight-week contract with the Philadelphia-based Creative Steps program after the children's first visit.
The suit, while most seemingly warranted, is probably moot anyway because the club filed for bankruptcy after the media uproar over the incident.
Meanwhile, the incredibly obvious instance of voter intimidation by members of the New Black Panther Party continues to cause the same Feds to shrug their shoulders:
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights last month propounded interrogatories and document requests to the Justice Department seeking answers as to why the New Black Panther Party case of voter intimidation was dismissed, who was involved, what outside groups participated in the decision, and what this portends for the enforcement of federal civil rights laws. The Justice Department has responded, I have learned.
In a letter to the commission’s chairman, Joseph Hunt, director of the Federal Programs Branch, contends that the department is limited in what it can provide out of concern for its “deliberative processes” and so as not to “undermine its mission.” He doesn’t invoke “executive privilege” per se, but he does assert attorney-client privilege (which some legal gurus tell me doesn’t really “work” between government entities and agencies as a valid objection).
In short, the commission is being stiffed.
Maybe The Messiah will come out and say that the Justice Dept. "has acted stupidly"?
Oops. Doesn't look that way, huh?
Former chief United Nations weapons inspector Scott Ritter is accused of contacting what he thought was a 15-year-old girl in an Internet chat room, engaging in a sexual conversation and showing himself masturbating on a Web camera, the Pocono Record is reporting on its Web site.
Ritter had similar charges brought against him in 2001 which were later dropped. "Progressives" thought the revelation of these charges was a smear campaign brought by Bush and Co. because Ritter became a vocal critic of the Iraq War.
B-b-b-b-but you mean ... the charges might've been ... real??
Probably not, since this terrorism was directed at the "right" target:
You’ve probably never heard of Brandon Darby.
The former community organizer who saved American lives by undermining a left-wing terrorist plot at the 2008 Republican convention used to be a proud member of the radical left.
He called for the overthrow of the U.S. government. He hated cops. He consorted with eco-terrorist tree-spikers, radical feminists and black nationalists. He was approached to rob an armored car and asked to commit arson to fight gentrification. He mouthed politically correct slogans about the Bush administration. Government didn’t care about people, and he thought the botched response to Katrina proved it.
When he learned of a plan to attack the 2008 Republican convention in Saint Paul, Minn., he felt compelled to act.
Darby assisted an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force and infiltrated an outfit called the Austin Affinity Group that joined with a larger coalition of progressive organizations wryly named the “RNC Welcoming Committee.”
“It was a group of people whose explicit purpose was to organize a group of ‘black bloc’ anarchists to shut the Republican convention down by any means necessary,” Darby said. He said the activists he met at an anarchist bookstore in the Texas state capital, “showed videos of people throwing Molotov cocktails and they were giving people ideas.”
The two activists on whom Darby informed, David Guy McKay and Bradley Neil Crowder, received prison terms. McKay pleaded guilty and was sentenced in May to 48 months in prison for possession of an unregistered “firearm,” illegal manufacture of a firearm and possession of a firearm with no serial number. The previous week, Crowder made a plea bargain and was sentenced to 24 months in prison for possession of an unregistered firearm.
Is Darby a hero? Not to the Left, he's not:
Google his name and the words “snitch” and “rat” appear among the few hits generated. Cyber-squatters appropriated his name and created a hateful Web site to defame him.
Darby has learned that if you disrupt a terrorist attack on Americans by Islamic fundamentalists as Dutch tourist Jasper Schuringa did on Christmas Day, you’re a hero, but disrupt a terrorist attack on Americans by left-wing fundamentalists and you might as well be a terrorist yourself.
This is because among many on the left — even some moderate liberals — there is a presumption of good intentions by terrorists who claim to pursue social justice ideals. “My left-wing crazies are better than your right-wing crazies,” progressive talk radio host Thom Hartmann said in an interview last year. “Our left-wing crazies are incited to violence because they’re trying to create a better world.”
To those on the extreme left, such as ACORN founder Wade Rathke, intentions are paramount.
Darby detects a double standard.
“If you flip the equation around and it had been a group of conservatives, not only would everyone expect the government to infiltrate them, they would expect the FBI to stop them and charge with conspiracy to violate the rights of women and others to exercise their rights,” he said.
Guess his "intentions were paramount," eh?
Aw, poor baby. He gets upset with a Washington Times reporter for asking a few questions:
REPORTER: Congressman, excuse me, let’s switch gears for a moment and turn to the Massachusetts Senate race that’s going on right now … particularly Scott Brown’s comment that it’s not Mr. Kennedy’s seat or it’s not the Democrat’s seat.
BARNEY FRANK: Of course not. Whoever said it was? It’s the people’s seat. Of course it is.
REPORTER: What about the assertion that …
BARNEY FRANK: We’re the ones who say … I was all for an election, so what is there [unintelligible].
REPORTER: What about the assertion that if Mr. Brown were to win that Massachusetts would find a way not to certify the election?
BARNEY FRANK: That is the stupidest thing I’ve been asked in a long time. Who do you work for?
REPORTER: Washington Times.
BARNEY FRANK: I’m not surprised. That is insane, the suggestion could only come from a demented right wing source. There isn’t the slightest possibility of it happening—a way of doing it. That is conspiracy theory at its most contemptible.
Second, why is the suggestion that Mass. would find a way to not to certify a Brown win "demented?" After all, the freakin' state quickly changed the rules by which a successor could fill a vacancy shortly after Ted Kennedy died, right? Oh, and then there was the idea that should Scott Brown win the US Senate election, his swearing in would be "stalled" to allow interim senator Paul Kirk to cast the deciding vote on health care.
The U.S. Senate ultimately will schedule the swearing-in of Kirk’s successor, but not until the state certifies the election.
Friday, a spokesman for Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, who is overseeing the election but did not respond to a call seeking comment, said certification of the Jan. 19 election by the Governor’s Council would take a while.
“Because it’s a federal election,” spokesman Brian McNiff said. “We’d have to wait 10 days for absentee and military ballots to come in.”
Another source told the Herald that Galvin’s office has said the election won’t be certified until Feb. 20 - well after the president’s address.
Since the U.S. Senate doesn’t meet again in formal session until Jan. 20, Bay State voters will have made their decision before a vote on health-care reform could be held. But Kirk and Galvin’s office said Friday a victorious Brown would be left in limbo.
In contrast, Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Lowell) was sworn in at the U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 18, 2007, just two days after winning a special election to replace Martin Meehan. In that case, Tsongas made it to Capitol Hill in time to override a presidential veto of the expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.
So, tell me why, again, the reporter's question was "insane" and "demented" ... ?
Courtesy of one Capt. B.F. "Hawkeye" Pierce:
* Wolf Howling - National Security At The End Of Obama’s First Year
* Joshuapundit - It Begins: Obama Threatens Aid Cutoffs For Israel
* Rhymes With Right - On The Left-Wing Freak-Out Over Brit Hume’s Public Christianity
* Right Truth - By Hook or By Crook – How Democrats Plan to win in 2010 and 2012
* Soccer Dad - Mitchell on negotiation: getting to “no”
* Bookworm Room- The need for an honest, 21st century debate about abortion
* Mere Rhetoric - Obama Loosening Border Enforcement, State Dept. “Diversity Visas” Bringing In Thousands From Terror-Sponsoring Countries
* The Glittering Eye - Reinventing “Reinventing Government”
* American Digest - The 2010 Election Season is Now OPEN: “What Happened to the Republicans I Used to Know?”
* The Provocateur - The 355th and our Agent Orange Legacy in Thailand
* The Colossus of Rhodey - The Politics of “Avatar”
* The Razor - Republicans Aren’t Ready
And check out the non-Council nominations here.
Answer: They both deny what they've said (based on their audience).
Remember Protack saying that he actually asked whether foreign [Delaware college] students were "legal" residents? Oops:
Currently in Mass. there's Coakley, who has now denied she ever said "If I don't win, 2010 is going to be hell for Democrats," and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (on her behalf) is claiming that the whole deal where a Coakley flunkie shoved Weekly Standard reporter John McCormick is a GOP "dirty trick." (See video here.)
Sounds kinda like Protack's "you're doctoring the tape" charge!
A musical about Barack Obama's "Yes we can" election campaign premieres in Germany this weekend, including love songs by the president to his wife Michelle and duets with Hillary Clinton.
In all, 30 singers, actors and dancers are to perform in the musical "Hope — the Obama Musical Story" when it opens at the Jahrhunderthalle concert hall in Frankfurt in a bilingual mix of English and German. The audience may recognize that many songs quote from the politicians' stump speeches during the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign.
Word is that upcoming Obama musicals are:
Wilmington News Journal report about a robbery at the China Inn in north Wilmington:
A man wearing a black hooded jacket and a scarf covering his face walked in to the restaurant brandishing a handgun and confronted the cashier, said state police spokesman Senior Cpl. Jeff Whitmarsh. The gunman demanded money and the employee complied, Whitmarsh said. The man ran out of the store with an undisclosed amount of cash.
DE State Police press release on the same incident:
Suspect(s): A white male suspect wearing a black hooded jacket and scarf or towel around his face, armed with a black handgun ...
Best quote regarding this incident from the News Journal's comment section: "The day TNJ includes a full description of the suspect in every story is the day I become a subscriber."
The fabled clock, created by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, is to be moved today -- only the 19th time since its 1947 inception. The clock has reflected increases and decreases in nuclear tensions (usually between the US and old USSR), but you'll never guess what's included NOW in factoring its movement: yep, global warming.
A spokesman said: 'Factors influencing the latest Doomsday Clock change include international negotiations on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation, expansion of civilian nuclear power, the possibilities of nuclear terrorism, and climate change.'
Just last month environmentalists criticised the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, after leaders failed to reach any real consensus.
Yeah -- let's move up the clock to show the "danger" of the "world ending" MAYBE at some UNDETERMINED point in the future ... due to ... global warming? Cooling, maybe?
Sheesh. At least the danger of nuclear weapons is real, drastic, apocalyptic, and immediate. But now idiotic climate politics have drastically infected even this group.
Question: Do you think this dude that Bill O'Reilly highlighted last night on his "Pinheads and Patriots" segment is representative of the anti-war (or "peace," if you prefer) movement?
Bill O'Reilly highlighted an example of left-wing hatred from a man who appears to be part of the anti-war left, as O'Reilly showed video of the unidentified "deranged" man who started shouting at former President George H.W. Bush in a Houston restaurant. The heckler used obscenities and called the former President "murderous" and a "Zionist," and blamed him for millions of deaths.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Tuesday, January 12, The O'Reilly Factor on FNC:
BILL O'REILLY: On the pinhead front, President Bush the elder is 85 years old, and the other day he was in a Houston restaurant when a deranged person approached him.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Murdererous, Zionist piece of (BLEEPED OUT). You won't get your new world order, guy. I can't-
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: That’s not necessary.
UNIDENFIED MAN #1: Are you happy for the millions of deaths you're part of? People know. People are waking up to the reality of this, Mr. Bush, you piece of (BLEEPED OUT).
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Listen, that’s unnecessary.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: No, it is not unnecessary. The guy is responsible for killing millions.
Now, it's certainly a common practice for bloggers (and others) to point out assorted loonies at protests/assemblies/gatherings, both right and left (heck, I certainly do it). But are they typical of those of the group(s)? Meaning, "most?" A "majority?" DE Watch's Dana Garrett recently put up this post and stated "Don't tell me that many of the tea partiers aren't filled with hate." This, of course, does not mean he is generalizing the whole tea party movement; but then he says this in response to this comment by DE Libertarian's Tyler Nixon:
More disturbing than your own teeming reactionary actions (like calling Obama and his supporters fascists), now you have taken up supporting and defending transparent bigots.
As you know perfectly well, I am not generalizing from just one photograph. The racism that permeates many of the tea partiers has been discussed and demonstrated in abundance elsewhere before.
I am at a loss to see where Tyler had "defended bigots" in his comment. And the only evidence Garrett has that racism "permeates many of the tea partiers" is purely anecdotal -- and his opinion. I've a feeling that if a conservative made a statement that "many" or "most" of the anti-war movement are "authoritarian communists," for example, he'd have a problem with that.
I think I've been careful not to claim that radical nuts are a majority of the anti-war movement. But, another important point is, as usual, that the MSM seem to have [a lot] less scruples about showing the fringes of groups like the Tea Partiers than groups like MoveOn.org, Code Pink, et. al. This clearly gives the impression that the loons in groups like the Tea Partiers are "more accepted" by the group than that of their leftist analogues.
Tyler has more on this at DE Libertarian.
Members of Congress -- and their families -- traveling to the climate change conference in Copenhagen a few weeks ago. On the taxpayer dime. In the midst of one of the worst economies in memory. According to sources, "the entourage was so large that three military planes were needed — and that does not include those who flew commercial."
Here's the CBS report on it:
Oil rich Venezuela plans ... periodic blackouts in several cities to conserve power!!
CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela will switch off lights for hours at a time in Caracas and other cities such as oil town Maracaibo in planned blackouts to tackle power shortages that threaten President Hugo Chavez's support.
Officials announced the nationwide electricity rationing lasting at least until May on Tuesday and said even schools and small health clinics would be hit in South America's top oil exporter.
Uncle Hugo blames the weather phenomenon El Niño for the drought that has parched the country, and since Venezuela heavily relies on hydroelectric power ... but then, the question begs how does an "oil rich" country have power blackouts? Probably the same reason why VZ has suffered many other shortages during the socialist reign of Chávez. As some of you may know, I know quite a few Venezuelans (not the least of which are Los Amigos Invisibles!) and they're all doing their upmost to get the hell out of the country (if they haven't already done so, like most of Los Amigos). I heard recently from one friend who was axed from her government job because she wasn't a Chavista, and therefore can't work in the public sector (which may be soon all that remains in the country) again. Nice, huh?
Speaking of socialism, check out the ... "idea" some in the Obama administration have to prevent the collapse of the Treasury market:
The U.S. Treasury and Labor Departments will ask for public comment as soon as next week on ways to promote the conversion of 401(k) savings and Individual Retirement Accounts into annuities or other steady payment streams, according to Assistant Labor Secretary Phyllis C. Borzi and Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary Mark Iwry, who are spearheading the effort.
Let me tell you what this is - it is an attempt to prevent the collapse of the Treasury market!
Forcing people into Treasuries as an "annuity" is exactly what Social Security allegedly is. Except that Treasury stole the money that was collected in FICA taxes and spent it! Guess what? They'll do that here too - you're going to "invest" in Treasuries which of course are effectively a CALL option on the future taxing ability of the government.
The problem is that with an aging population and the immigrant problem (illegal immigrants that is), along with offshoring, the aggregate wage base will drop and thus this is the most dangerous investment of all! What's even worse is that the government has intentionally suppressed Treasury yields during this crisis (and will keep doing so by various means, including manipulating the CPI - the "inflation index" - as they have for the last 30 years) so as to guarantee that you lose over time compared to actual purchasing power.
Just more of the "Change You Can Believe In," people.
UPDATE: Yeah, let's emulate the Europeans even more. Check out this idiocy from Switzerland:
Last week the Swiss newspaper Blick broke the story of a guy who was caught driving above the speed limit through the town of Mörschwil and given a speeding ticket for $290,000. No, that’s not a typo — two hundred and ninety thousand dollars.
What could possibly justify such a large fine? One simple reason: The guy was rich. And under a new scheme of “progressive pricing” that’s becoming more and more common across Europe, rich people must pay higher fees for things because they can afford it — and because, well, they’re rich, and therefore deserve extra punishment.
Blick even featured a mugshot-like photo of the offender with the shocking caption, “Traffic thug Roland S. has five luxury cars in his garage.”
And many Old Continent nations have similar schemes. Thank goodness I think such inanity would never fly here in the "New Continent."
Looks like she must have hired either dimwitty or Jason "My Hands Are Silky Smooth 'Cuz I Never Put In A Day's Worth Of Work" Scott to do this ad. It reads:
Paid for by Massachusettes Democratic Party and Authorized by Martha Coakley for Senate. Approved by Martha Coakley.
(h/t to JWF.)
Ilya Somin at Volokh is right-on regarding the Republicans going after Harry "Negro" Reid:
Conservatives and to a lesser extent libertarians are often accused of being racist for things like opposing affirmative action, skepticism about broad antidiscrimination laws, claiming that intergroup differences in income are not necessarily due to discrimination, arguing that some cultures are better than others, and so on. If the GOP wins this particular fight and Reid is forced to resign, there will be a new norm in public discourse under which no prominent person can openly say the same kinds of things as Reid without being labeled a racist. This norm will ensnare some people of all persuasions. It will also have the unfortunate effect of making honest discussion of racial issues even more difficult than it often is already.
Indeed. And those on the Left -- who are now VERY busy defending Reid's comments as "innocent," "mild," an "honest mistake" etc. (see here for local reaction, predictably, and, of course, two Philly Daily News op eds which you KNOW would be substantially different had Reid been Republican) -- are usually ALWAYS the first to rush in a blast anyone (especially those on the right side of the aisle) as "racist." (Again, these dolts are always the first to jump in. I can't even count the number of times they've either outright dubbed me "racist" or at least insinuated it; of course, when asked for specifics they're never forthcoming. About the "best" response they offer is "Well, you write an awful lot about racial issues ... you're obsessed with them." Gee, how "insightful." The "obsession," as they call it, is more rationally dubbed "an interest," and was sparked over six years ago by John Rosenberg's excellent Discriminations blog which throughly dissects [mostly] race issues, and a lot of the hypocrisy and double standards that come with them. Like Rosenberg, I share what unfortunately seems to be an archaic MLK-esque vision for American society. It's funny -- but sad -- how such a view gets a "racist" label attached to it, eh?)
The GOP is absolutely right to point this out. For example, Harry Reid himself had little compunction about quickly labeling those with whom he disagrees the "R" word: He referred to past statements by Bill Bennett and Jim Inhofe as "racist." What did they do? Bennett had made some remarks that were about as controversial as Reid's own, but were arguably accurate. Inhofe submitted a bill that would make English the official language of the United States. (By the way, Reid must then think that the overwhelming majorities of countries around the world are "racist" as they all have "official" languages.) Oh, and should we forget about Reid's comments about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas? Remember them?
Recall that Reid once rushed to declare Justice Thomas to be “an embarrassment to the Supreme Court.” When pressed for specifics, Reid declared that one of Thomas’s opinions was similar to “an eighth-grade dissertation” — far inferior, Reid said, to the opinion of Justice Scalia in the same case. Except that Thomas’s short opinion was perfectly logical . . . and Scalia hadn’t even written an opinion in the case.
Then, like now, "progressives" said there was nothing wrong with Reid's comments ... there's no racism behind them. In that I tend to agree, sure. But the fact remains, as noted above, that had a Republican made a similar statement (and mistake), liberals and the MSM would rake him/her over the proverbial coals as "racist." Fact. Period.
But for the GOP to desire and demand Reid's resignation from his leadership role isn't going to diminish in any way our current (ridiculous) predilection for hair-trigger "racism" charges. I understand their desire for "revenge" and to hold Democrats to the "standard" to which they hold conservatives. But it has to stop somewhere.
Let's save the "R" word for instances of REAL racism, shall we?
"I think if you look at the reports as I have, it was all in the context of saying positive things about Senator Obama," said Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine. "It definitely was in the context of recognizing in Senator Obama a great candidate and future president." Sen. Diane Feinstein of California said Mr. Reid should not resign, and defended his remark as just a "mistake."
"Clearly, the leader misspoke. He has also apologized. He's not only apologized to the president, I think he's apologized to all of the black leadership that he could reach," she said.
And you know what? I agree with them. My long-time blog nemesis Perry commented over at Common Sense Political Thought:
Back on topic, here is what [former GOP] Leader [Trent] Lott said at Strom Thurmond’s bday shindig: “I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either.”
It was a stupid racist statement which one would not expect from the Republican Leader in the Senate.
Here is the context of Leader Reid’s remark, from the book: “… Game Change, as saying privately that the US would be “ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama – a ‘light-skinned’ African American ‘with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.’”
It was a stupid racist statement which one would not expect from the Democratic Leader in the Senate.
In my view, neither statement is characteristic of the individual who made it, therefore, again, just plain stupid. Besides, both apologized.
I did not think that Leader Lott should have been forced by his Republican colleagues to step down, nor should Leader Reid be forced to step down.
Both parties are guilty of making a mountain out of a molehill. Partisan politics rears its ugly head once again.
Don’t we have more important issues to debate?
While Perry is wrong about 99% of what he writes, he's right about this. Unfortunately, many of his fellow "progressives" certainly didn't feel that way in the past, nor anytime the subject is a conservative or a Republican. Regarding Trent Lott,
And, unlike the Lott situation, where numerous prominent Republicans did not come out in support of him, Democrats have immediately jumped to Reid's defense:
So, when Republicans charge "double standard" in this whole matter, they're absolutely right. (UPDATE: our LGOMB has a "thoughtful" post about Reid's comments; just imagine what it'd be if a Republican said what Reid did.) Not just regarding Democrats, but the mainstream media as well. For example, it's like MSDNC's Chris Matthews chuckling and smirking about foul-mouthed Dem. Rep. Alan Grayson's past comments, but having a coronary about former veep Dick Cheney's recent policy criticism of Barack Obama. I virtually guarantee you Matthews will be rationalizing Reid's comments later today, but on the other hand almost anything remotely associated with the GOP is laced with insinuations of racism.
Being a liberal and/or a Democrat gets you a pass because somehow "you mean well." Otherwise, you'd have actually heard about things like this, let alone its necessary accompanying criticism. Right?
UPDATE 2: Tyler Nixon at DE Libertarian reminds us all why he is the smartest of all the First State's bloggers.
In a related matter, you might think that only the Right has misgivings about James Cameron's awesome "Avatar." However (as even the AP amazingly admits), a "small but vocal group of people" actually think the film is -- wait for it! -- racist:
Near the end of the hit film "Avatar," the villain snarls at the hero, "How does it feel to betray your own race?" Both men are white — although the hero is inhabiting a blue-skinned, 9-foot-tall, long-tailed alien.
Strange as it may seem for a film that pits greedy, immoral humans against noble denizens of a faraway moon, "Avatar" is being criticized by a small but vocal group of people who allege it contains racist themes — the white hero once again saving the primitive natives.
Since the film opened to widespread critical acclaim three weeks ago, hundreds of blog posts, newspaper articles, tweets and YouTube videos have made claims such as that the film is "a fantasy about race told from the point of view of white people" and reinforces "the white Messiah fable."
Which is kind of ironic since the film more overtly portrays [the whites] as unscrupulous, immoral conquerors! If you look at the full equation, I think the so-called "minorities" come out on the "moral top" when compared to the so-called "white messiah" concern. After all, Costner, Cruise and now Sam Worthington in "Avatar" end up siding with the "minority" because they recognize their [supposed] inherent goodness/superiority. (And were Costner and Cruise "saviors" in their respective films? The Native Americans and Samurai were ultimately defeated/wiped out! What kinda "messiah" leads to that?)
Overall it's a good debate: For example, isn't the West (ie, developed nations ... which just happen to be quite white, by the way) most responsible for things like the abolition of slavery (and on moral grounds at that), codifying political and legal equality, and fostering a technological age unmatched in human civilization that has led to increased standards of living for untold billions? What if the West had never colonized the areas that it did (the Americas, in particular)? Would these lands, still dominated by its indigenous peoples, be at the same technological (among other aspects) disadvantage that they faced back then?
Now, this may sound sort of like the "Well, the descendants of slaves should be glad their great-great-great-whatevers were brought here" argument used by some (less than scrupulous folk) to say that ultimately, slavery "wasn't all that bad." But that is far from the case. If anything, it's a needed reminder of the current edu-babble PC that denigrates anything Western, and lionizes everything else. (See Costner's "Dances With Wolves," which, while an outstanding film, nevertheless furthered the myth of the Native American as a faultless Noble.)
Personally, I am clearly in the camp of non-intervention; if I was a citizen in the "Avatar"-verse, I'd be dead-set against the invasion of Pandora -- much like I was dead-set against the invasion of Iraq and other areas in which the US really has had no business being. However, it is a common error to utilize 21st century moral codes to impose standards upon the peoples of 200, 300, 400 or more years ago. Because we recognize that slavery is (was) a horrible institution today doesn't discount the fact that it was once, centuries ago, an accepted world-wide phenomenon.
I'm getting off on a bit of a tangent here; I suppose my overall recommendation to this "small group" that thinks "Avatar" is racist is that it needs to take the view that most conservatives do with it: It's a freakin' science fiction film. If this "small group" wants to express a more real-life beef, perhaps they can look at flicks where, for example, some whitebread teacher [usually reluctantly] accepts a teaching gig at a tough inner city school and suddenly "reaches" and "transforms" the "underserved" youth there. As I wrote over three years ago:
Sorry, but I just have to wince every time I see a spot for the new Hilary Swank film "Freedom Writers." If this isn't just a sappy remake of Michelle Pheiffer's "Dangerous Minds" for all intents and purposes, I'll eat my hat. Certainly, teachers that are dramatized by Swank, Phieffer and others are nothing short of miracle workers. And, their stories can be uplifting. But one thing that annoys me is the seeming Hollywood mantra of a "Great White Hope" that is "needed" for these tough, inner-city classrooms. Remember how Pheiffer was virtually terrified in her first few days in the classroom. But hey -- she is determined to "reach these kids" by, among other things, "understanding" where the kids come from. Swank is obviously keen on doing likewise. Matthew Perry in "The Ron Clark Story" is another. Meryl Streep in "Music of the Heart" is yet another.
If you know me by my past writings, I'm certainly not one to endorse the multiculti philosophy that kids will learn "better" if they are taught by teachers who "look like them." And surely, middle-class whitebreadish teachers like Pheiffer, Swank et. al. will have to make necessary adjustments to whatever teaching methods they learned in order to be successful with high-need urban students. But this isn't my point. The point is that Hollywood seems to believe that these stories are "inspirational" in part because these middle-class whitebreadish teachers "gave their all" to help these destitute pupils -- they sacrificed and were devoted beyond measure -- when they could've taken a cushy suburban teaching job that would have been much easier. They're "Great White Hopes" as I said before.
But what about the stories of teachers who DO "look like their students" who have been there since day one doing their utmost to get through to these kids?
I went to note several excellent such films, like "187," "Lean On Me" and "Stand And Deliver." The latter two are staples on the Encore channels, so if you've never seen them, you gotta check 'em out.
Think you'd see a Newsweek headline like this under a GOP administration? Why losing 84,000 jobs last month isn't as bad as it seems.
Bengals 24, Jets 16.
Cowboys 26, Eagles 21.
Patriots 28, Ravens 13.
Packers 24, Cardinals 21.
First place in the Council category was American Digest with Lowballing Death: Keeping the Northwest 253 Numbers Down.
First place in the non-Council category was Michael Yon with Into Thine Hand I Commit My Spirit.
Full results are here.
Hilarious bit on ABC's "Good Morning America" news segment this a.m. where the Obama administration's failure in the recent Christmas Bomber incident was compared to ... JFK and the Bay of Pigs??
Well, like another young president almost 50 years ago, Barack Obama found the so-called intelligence professionals, the veterans, the old hands, failed him and failed the country.
And as John Kennedy did when the CIA blew an invasion of Cuba in 1961, President Obama took responsibility for the failure to stop and spot the underwear bomber.
John Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs. Huge intelligence failures at the Bay of Pigs. The President took responsibility, his popularity shot up."
Let's see -- how many MSM types claimed that "so-called intelligence professionals, the veterans, the old hands" failed George W. Bush after 9/11? Any? Or, like many "progressives" during the months following the attacks, did they complain that Bush and co. ignored that PDB that said "bin Laden determined to attack US"?
And WTF is up with comparing a radical Islamist terrorist act against the US, with what was quite arguably a US terrorist act against another nation (JFK and the Bay of Pigs)? (Not to mention, as Newsbusters' Scott Whitlock points out, "it was Kennedy who pulled air support for the Bay of Pigs invasion" which might have led to a quite different outcome.)
What was it that I said yesterday -- that "progressives" are so ridiculously predictable? Bill Clinton shouldn't be blamed for the failure to thwart terror acts on the Trade Center and elsewhere during his eight years (not to mention a golden opportunity to kill bin Laden), and now Obama shouldn't be blamed for any failures either (despite the latter supposedly "stopping the buck"). OTOH, George Bush is entirely cuplable for the 9/11 attacks because he supposedly failed to take action on the intel that bin Laden "was determined" to strike against the US. (Well duh -- like, of course he was. When was he not?)
UPDATE: A friend e-mails this link to a Limbaugh segment from yesterday which [partly] illustrates the above. Not only is Bush responsible for Obama's first YEAR in office, we still cannot put any blame on The Messiah:
DEFAZIO: We set up the terrorist information center to overcome the failures of the Bush/Cheney administration.
SHRUM: These procedures were put in place by the Bush administration.
COOPER: The problems that existed now which are, the president says he's trying to fix today, did they exist years ago and we just didn't know about them?
GERGEN: We've been hearing from the government that they're going to close these gaps now for over eight years.
OLBERMANN: Bush's reforms of the intelligence system might not have changed things for the better.
RICE: The Bush team has made it much worse.
SHUSTER: The Bush administration let guys go from Guantanamo. These were the guys who helped Abdulmutallab in Yemen.
PAGE: Certainly things that the Bush administration did are affecting what's happening now.
FUENTES: Systems have been put in place in the previous administration.
MACCALLUM: This is pretty much a holdover from the previous administration.
MCMAHON: Let's not lay this at the feet of a guy who's been there for 10 months and not at the feet of the people who built this security apparatus. It was Bush bureaucrats.
TUCKER: We saw a lot of belligerence from Dick Cheney. We saw a lot of swagger from George Bush. Where did that get us?
And so it goes ...
Via Media Blog comes this fine example of Sharia Law: British woman 'arrested in Dubai after being raped.'
Oh, but a belief in "diversity" and "multiculturalism" teaches us that no one culture is better than another!
F*** that noise.
Not to mention that of the MSM had the Secret Service began "visiting" the homes of the outspoken 9/11 Truthers and/or anti-Iraq War demonstrators. According to the left-wing Mother Jones:
Over the past year, Secret Service agents charged with protecting President Obama seem to have taken a keen interest in the Birther movement, the committed group of anti-Obama activists around the country who claim the president was born in Kenya, not Hawaii, and is thus ineligible to serve.
At least a half-dozen prominent anti-Obama activists who've petitioned various federal agencies or courts to investigate the president's citizenship or publicly questioned his eligibility to serve say they've been visited by Secret Service or Homeland Security agents. Dr. Orly Taitz, the "Queen Bee" of the Birther movement, says, "A number of my supporters had visits from Secret Service, from different agencies, INS, Homeland Security. There are a whole number of people who got these visits to intimidate and harass them."
Hey look, anyone -- Birthers included -- who say things like the president should be "jailed, hung and shot" as, according to the article, one Birther has should expect a visit from the Secret Service. But ... for merely pressing the [nutty] case that Obama was really born in Kenya??
I seem to recall how bent out of shape "progressives" were when it was revealed law enforcement was keeping an eye out on anti-war demonstrations and protests. That was just mere visual reconnaissance. And, I'm sure there were idiotic instances of overreaction by Bush administration folk to legitimate dissenting speech and/or protest from 2003-2009 ... which were rightly criticized. So, where's Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow over at MSDNC (and other MSM) screaming about the right of dissent without a government official knocking on your door? No Olbermann rants about "fascism?" Matthews acting like a 5th grader calling administration folk "Mr. Magoo," "stupid" and the like? Maddow making up anecdotes out of whole cloth or via shady left-wing blogs?
That's easy. Dissent, to "progressives," is ONLY patriotic when employed against conservatives. Otherwise it's treason.
... this dopey teen obsession of not wearing a jacket and long pants (in other words, just a T-shirt and shorts!) in 20-degree weather!!!
Yeah, I rip on the LGOMB's pandora every now and then; however, go and read her exceptional post about good teachers here.
Very good stuff.
Why is it that "progressives" are so tantalizingly predictable?
WHAT MIGHT HAVE happened if, last spring, President Obama hadn't blocked congressional hearings into the Bush administration's authorization of torture - or even a milder "truth commission" - that then was supported by 62 percent of the American people?
Would Dick Cheney, sure to have been top on the list of those investigated, now be taking every opportunity to undermine the current commander in chief? Would the White House be scurrying to explain that Obama does too use the words "war" and "terror" enough? We will never know.
Let's be honest here. Nothing would have demonstrated to the American people more the differences between the two political parties when it comes to defeating terrorists. Yes, the past administration probably went a bit too far in some instances when it came to interrogation techniques. However, just the Daily News likes to use poll statistics above, a majority of the American public also supported waterboarding terrorists to gain vital intel AND not giving terror suspects trials in civilian courts, let alone full habeas corpus rights granted to American citizens and residents (not to mention more rights than provided by the Geneva Conventions) -- precisely what the Obama administration insists upon doing.
Obama and those like him who think Gitmo is a "recruiting tool" for terrorists are living in a fantasy world. If it was, why won't The Messiah keep his campaign promise (and signed mandate shortly after taking office) of closing the prison?? And what has prevented groups like al Qaeda from recruiting folks (and carrying out terrorist acts) before Gitmo was opened? Do "progressives" really believe that bin Laden and his ilk are sitting around drinking tea and saying, "Gosh, Barack is really a nice guy and seems to really want to 'make things better' between the Muslim world and the West. Let's ease off a bit, huh?" If they do, this is just plain bonkers, period.
If, last spring, Obama had not reneged on a promise to release photos of the so-called "harsh interrogation techniques" that were done in our name would a majority of Americans -- 58 percent, according to a recent Rasmussen poll - favor water-boarding (that is, torturing) alleged terrorist Umar Farouk Abdul Mullatab even though the guy has been talking ever since his arrest? Note how the use of torture, once rationalized to prevent the fantasy scenario of a "ticking bomb" from going off, has now been accepted as a standard interrogation technique.
"Fantasy scenario?" Do the Daily News dolts actually know how waterboarding was utilized by the Bush administration? Agree with it or not, the "enhanced interrogation" techniques were used only on three high-level terror suspects, were supervised by intel and medical authorities, and -- most importantly -- led to the disruption of planned terrorist operations. And why is it that because the past administration used waterboarding on some of the most heinous of al Qaeda's leadership, we now supposedly view the technique as "standard?" First, it's not "standard" despite what the majority may feel, but ... why isn't this feeling the result of a perceived weakness of the current administration on terrorism?? See above.
The Obama Justice Department argued that torture lawyer John Yoo deserves immunity from prosecution for writing a memo justifying torture, simply because he was employed by the government. This is more protection than the war criminals at Nuremberg got.
*Sigh* What's the saying? "Once you resort to comparisons to Nazis ..."?
U.S. Rep. John Conyers and Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary committees respectively, have said they will hold the hearings this year that they should have held a year ago.
Terrific. Just make sure ALL evidence is laid out there, including everything -- as past administration officials have claimed -- that demonstrates key Democrats (and more) were aware of the techniques used in gathering information from captured terrorists.
According to DNC Chair Tim Kaine:
I think the president is about to achieve a victory with the passage of a comprehensive health reform bill that has eluded every Democratic president since Harry Truman and that will create a real tail wind for the president and the party when that happens.
Rasmussen: 52 percent oppose the health-care plan, 42 percent support it.
CNN: 56 percent oppose the health-care plan, 42 percent support it.
Quinnipiac: 53 percent oppose the health-care plan, 36 percent support it.
NBC/WSJ: 46 percent oppose the health-care plan, 32 percent support it. (Source.)
Did Michael Steele ever say during George W. Bush's term, "I think the president is about to achieve a victory in Iraq by sending even more troops there, and by having them stay longer. I think this new approach will create a real tail wind for the president and the party when that happens"??
If he did, that would have made about as much sense as Kaine's comment.
(h/t to Campaign Spot.)
Much has been written lately -- by "progressives" -- on Fox News's Brit Hume opining this past Sunday that Tiger Woods might wanna try Christianity to atone for his past sins. Moral fraud pandora over at the LGOMB writes "There simply is no line FOX won’t cross, but, then again, these are the same people screaming about upholding the Constitution while in the same breath demanding we profile all Muslims." What "line" did Fox cross, exactly? Hume is no longer the [straight] news anchor of "Special Report;" he is now an opinion pundit for "Fox News Sunday" and the aforementioned "Special Report." (As for her profiling "point," that idiocy is addressed here.) pandora ends her screed by stating "I swear we’re headed for the next Crusade."
Uh huh. Because an opinion pundit voices his opinion about helping out a famous athlete. Right. Meanwhile, the mental midgets at the LGOMB are apoplectic about the prospect of profiling, and minimizing the very real danger of radical Islamic terrorism at every opportunity. pandora even plays a "neat" game in another post by asking "what if Hume used 'Islam" in place of 'Christianity' and 'Allah' in place of 'Jesus?'" Two points on that: 1) The majority of Muslims are normal, peaceful folks. If Hume was a representative of this majority, the "what if" shouldn't be a big deal, especially if he personalized it ("As a practicing Muslim, we're taught to ..."). 2) The LGOMB would be praising Hume for "being brave" and "sincere" by expressing such a thought ... because, frankly, it would be politically correct for Hume to do that.
On a bigger stage, US News and World Report's John Aloysius Farrell pretty much sums up the Looney Left's (like pandora's) feelings on Hume:
The Cold War was fought against cruel Commie atheists who—we were warned by our leaders at the time—had no fear of God's wrath because they simply didn't believe in Him. But we survived because, it turned out, the faithless Russians and Red Chinese had no more of an appetite for nuclear incineration than we did.
Yeah, except, of course, for their "appetite" for imprisoning, brutalizing, starving and murdering millions of their own people, the various Communist regimes' official atheism turned out just fine!
It takes a religious zealot to strap explosives around his or her waist and, murmuring prayers, blow up a CIA facility in Afghanistan, or take down an airplane over Detroit, or steer a jet into the World Trade Center. Or, for that matter, to treat the world to Crusades and Inquisitions and the kind of faith-based savagery we've seen in places like Belfast, Bosnia, Beirut, and Jerusalem.
That is what made Brit's comments so creepy: the self-certainty that "my god is better than yours."
First, Hume's did not say that "his god is better than anyone else's." He said, specifically, that he thought Christianity offered a better chance at redemption than Woods' Buddhist faith. But more importantly, once again we see the preposterous equation of modern Christianity with radical Islam. (Notice how Farrell has to go back to over half a millenium and beyond to demonstrate Christian religious brutality, while violence in the name of Islam is an all-too common modern phenomenon.) This is insane. To even minutely compare Hume's comments to al Qaeda-like terrorists should not even warrant a dignified response. But cretins like Farrell are all over the mainstream media so they have to be answered.
Hume has the right to yak. People get paid to say all sorts of provocative things these days. I have no doubt that some of his best friends are Jewish, or Buddhist, or of a different Christian denomination. I am sure he loves all wogs, in his way. But, jeez, what a stupid thing to think.
Why is it stupid? Sure, violence in the name of religion has been a stain on human history since time immemorial. But it has also been a prodigious source of goodwill, charity and morality. Untold numbers of people of all religions live their lives completely or partly based on religious codes. Y'know, codes like "don't steal," "treat others as you'd have others treat you," etc. No, I'm not saying you need religion to behave thusly. But myriad folks (myself included, 'tho I'm not a fan of organized religion) live "clean" lives in the hopes/belief of experiencing a pleasurable "afterlife." In other words, behave and go to Heaven; don't and go to Hell. Since Tiger Woods didn't "behave," Hume, in his role of opinion pundit, was offering up a means of resolution. That's all.
For the record, if I were Hume I wouldn't have personalized the matter as he did. A more general statement on the role of religion and redemption would have been wiser and more appropriate in my view, especially given the forum.
No, I haven't seen it ... and won't see it until it comes on On Demand, so yeah -- keep what I write in that context (as I may alter my view after seeing it). However, Patrick Goldstein's article title in the Chicago Tribune ("Conservatives' Attack on 'Avatar' Falls Short") doesn't always quite match his actual words and, to him it seems the film's only critics are "America's prickly cadre of political conservatives."
While that may be true, consider this sentence:
They (conservatives) have reacted with scorn to such high-profile liberal political advocacy films as "Syriana," "Milk," "W.," "Religulous," and "Good Night, and Good Luck," saying that the movies' poor performances at the box office were clear signs of how thoroughly uninterested real people are in the pet causes of showbiz progressives.
"Avatar" turns this theory on its head. As a host of critics have noted, the film offers a blatantly pro-environmental message; it portrays U.S. military contractors in a decidedly negative light; and it evokes the can't-we-all-get along vibe of the 1960s counterculture. These are all messages guaranteed to alienate everyday moviegoers, according to the right-wing pundits -- and yet the film has been wholeheartedly embraced by audiences everywhere.
Um, maybe it's because, unlike the films noted above, "Avatar" is a science fiction movie that possesses some of the most spectacular special effects ever seen (and has been so hyped)? And Cameron's rep -- "The Terminator," "Aliens" and "Titanic" -- sure helps, don't'cha think? [Lefty] science fiction is much easier to get the benefit of the doubt, for lack of a better term, than modern-day "real-life" liberal films. Heck, Cameron's "Aliens" had as its baddy not so much the deadly insect-like horrors that were killing off the Colonial Marines, but the dastardly "Company" which would stop at nothing to get an Alien specimen back to Earth. Virtually every Dark Horse Comics "Aliens" series deals with some conniving, evil Company-paid scientist who will kill/experiment on/torture whomever to cull the Aliens to humans' will. But again, it's the science fiction aspect that causes viewers/readers to gloss over any lib ambience the story may have. If the story is good, people will tend to overlook the politics. (Personally, with me, I can't stomach comics writer Mark Millar's politics; however, his writing is usually top-notch, and some of his more blatant anti-American/progressive tales are just too good to ignore. One of these is the phenomenal "Superman: Red Son" in which he imagines the Man of Steel landing in the old Soviet Union instead of the United States.)
Some other scifi stories off the top of my head (and there are many) that are distinctly anti-America/anti-Western and/or anti-capitalist/corporation are as follows:
Interestingly, Haldeman later wrote Forever Peace (bears no plot relation to The Forever War) which seems a bit similar to "Avatar." In this future Earth, "First World" (industrialized) nations have access to "nanoforges" which can create virtually anything given the raw materials. Third World countries are denied this technology, hence the globe is in a somewhat perpetual guerrilla war with the two "worlds" battling one another (the latter obviously wanting nanoforge technology, while the former exploits the latter for its resources). But the technological countries do not fight directly -- they use "soldierboys," a fighting machine used by real soldiers who are "jacked in" to their systems "Matrix"-style.
But even stories that are overtly pro-American etc. have been perverted by Hollywood. Probably the biggest that comes to mind is Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers. The original novel, written in 1959, was unabashedly pro-military -- to the point that in this Heinlein futureverse only military veterans are permitted to vote. The philosophy and explanation behind it all were quite reasonable and logical (if not actually plausible); however, Paul Verhoeven didn't care about any of that in his dreadful screen adaptation of the book. To him, Heinlein's book wasn't about duty, responsibility and commitment to the common good ... it was merely a fascist's fantasy. The philosophy was virtually 100% excised from the movie; in its place were boffo F/X, Terran Federation officers dressed like Nazis, and military tactics that made about as much sense as those exhibited by six year-olds playing "army" in the backyard.
And come to think of it, Troopers SHOULD appeal to the Left. Why? Because the common, collective good was the major theme of the novel (and of its Earth society). Ah, but y'see, if it's a common good based on personal responsibility and sense of duty, well, now we see why leftists are turned off by the book. Instead of a [supposed] intellectual elite or well-connected party apparatchiks who lead from the "top down" because they think they know so much more than everybody else, Heinlein's society cultivates its sense of collective good by mandating that people do a term of military service before they are permitted to earn the franchise (right to vote). In the Terran Federation's military, everyone fights -- there are no colonels, generals or admirals who sit idly by while the grunts do all the hard work. Only by willing to put one's life on the line for those of his buddies and his nation does one demonstrate the morality -- and sense of duty -- necessary for civic participation. (All non-veterans in Troopers enjoy all the freedoms we possess today in modern America; the only right denied them is voting. Heinlein doesn't believe this a very big deal as he notes the franchise has always been restricted in one way or another.)
A more recent dreadful "reimagining" is "The Day the Earth Stood Still." In the 1951 original, a benevolent alien comes to Earth to warn humanity not to bring its [newly nuclear] warring ways to outer space or it will face annihilation. Straightforward, concise, sensible message. However, in 2008, Keanu Reeves' Klaatu warns us of -- you guessed it -- humanity destroying Earth's environment. Yeesh.
To get at some of the better pro-American/Western/corporate scifi, it probably serves one to seek out stories from two of the more conservative eras of the last century: The 1950s and 1980s. Aside from Starship Troopers, novels like Philip Wylie's incredible Tomorrow and Triumph, C.M. Kornbluth's Not This August, and Robert Shafer's The Conquered Place may seem like anachronisms today, but they convey American optimism and fighting spirit (in the midst of tragedy) intertwined in terrific stories. (Although some may argue that these books' genre falls under "alternate history" and not "science fiction," but in my opinion the former is a subset of the latter.) Then there are the films like "Red Dawn," "2010," "When Worlds Collide," "Earth vs. The Flying Saucers," "War of the Worlds (1953)," "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," and "Firefox." (All off the top of my head, again, by the way.)
All is not bleak for the modern generation, either. One very "hot" author that doesn't attempt to hide his pro-West/America views is Aussie John Birmingham. His "Axis of Time" trilogy envisions an alternate World War II (based on the appearance of a future Western naval battle group in 1942) where those from the future (2021) are busy battling Islamic jihadists around the world. They have various "sanctions" that dispense justice on the battlefield quite promptly, if you know what I mean. No civilian trials for murderous terrorists in Birmingham's "back to the future" world!
More recently, the first novel of his latest trilogy, Without Warning, details a world in which the United States is all but decimated by a mysterious energy wave. Think planet Earth'd be better off without those arrogant Yanks? Think again. The second novel in the series, After America, comes out in August.
Lastly, back to the subject which started this whole post: The Chinese have their own take on "Avatar."
Chances for a GOP takeover of the Senate grew ever greater today after 1) North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan yesterday announced he would not seek re-election this year, and now 2) Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd today announced same! In Massachusetts, Republican Scott Brown is actually within single digits of would-be Ted Kennedy successor Martha Cokley. But before the GOP should jump for joy, keep in mind that there are six Republican senators are not seeking re-election this November, and Dodd's likely successor, state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, greatly enhances the Democrats' chances of retaining that seat (although Larry Kudlow thinks Blumenthal is quite defeatable).
Still, the trend is strong GOP (history is on their side, too) and if healthcare continues to be the debacle that it is, if the economy still sucks, and the administration continues to be perceived as weak on terrorism, expect a rerun of November 1994.
One-third of all terror plots since 9/11 occurred in ... 2009?
Courtesy of Right Wing News. Here are my faves:
31) think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African-American. -- Jimmy Carter
27) Frankly, if there is repression in Cuba we didn’t see it. -- Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO)
22) And as I watched the [global warming] deniers make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet. -- Paul Krugman
21) The climate right now is that Republicans use everything they can to undermine and delegitimize this president. And it‘s actually un-American. It‘s traitorous, in my opinion. Do you want to give aid and comfort to our enemies? -- Joan Walsh
11) The Republicans lie! They want to see you dead! They’d rather make money off your dead corpse! They kind of like it when that woman has cancer and they don’t have anything for her. -- Ed Schultz
9) Still, ignorance doesn't preclude a right to wonder. So it doesn't automatically make someone (aka, me) a Limbaugh-loving, aerial-wolf-hunting NRA troll for asking what Mary Jo Kopechne would have had to say about Ted's death, and what she'd have thought of the life and career that are being (rightfully) heralded. Who knows -- maybe she'd feel it was worth it. -- Melissa Lafsky
2) The recent shootings at Ft. Hood and the resignation of top Foreign Service officer Matthew Hoh demonstrate how even our military officers are opposed to US strategy in Afghanistan. -- Code Pink
What do Noam Chomsky, Bertram Russell, and Barack Obama have in common?
They believe that since knowledge is concentrated in people like themselves, more power needs to be placed in the hands of the “experts.” In the twentieth century all sorts of countries tried central planning. Now, the guys who run the central planning usually have advanced degrees from prestigious institutions. Mountains of statistics are sitting there and they have all the experts in the country at their beck and call, and yet when you take the power out of their hands and return it to the market, things usually end up with a higher rate of growth and a more rapid decline in poverty.
Closer examination of the latest recovery.gov report for New Mexico shows hundreds of thousands of dollars sent to and credited with creating jobs in zip codes that do not exist in New Mexico or anywhere else. Moreover, funds reported as being spent in New Mexico were given zip codes corresponding to areas in Washington and Oregon.
The recovery.gov site reports that $373,874 was spent in zip code 97052. Unfortunately, this expenditure created zip jobs. But $36,218 was credited with creating 5 jobs in zip code 87258. A cool hundred grand went into zip code 86705, but didn’t result in even one person finding work.
None of these zip codes exist in New Mexico, or anywhere else, for that matter.
Just more "change we can believe in," folks.
That's what Newsweek publisher Jon Meacham thinks:
Newsweek editor Jon Meacham’s shoeshine of an interview with Bill Clinton in the year-end issue (complete with Meacham making sure his use of the word "Sir" is included in the magazine’s transcript) ran three pages and had only three questions or statements from Meacham. Clinton was allowed to talk at extreme length, befitting his status at Newsweek as a global statesman. But this question from Meacham was the most likely to spur giggles:
What you're describing is the end of "future preference" [the idea that each person has an obligation to sacrifice today for the benefit of tomorrow, a longtime Clinton principle].
Indeed! Maybe Meacham can inform us all exactly what Clinton "sacrificed" (and for what "benefit") with regards to this:
And that would be Delaware Watch's Dana Garrett! Welcome back!
Judge Drops Charges From Blackwater Deaths in Iraq.
In ruling one month before the defendants were to face trial in Washington, Judge Urbina dismissed the case not for its merits, but for the way the government had handled the prosecution, calling the government’s explanations for the improper use of statements “contradictory, unbelievable and lacking in credibility.” (Source.)
Which is just great, now that we're gonna try terrorists in civilian courts, not to mention dropping no-brainer cases like this!
Then there's this:
Fifty-eight percent (58%) of U.S. voters say waterboarding and other aggressive interrogation techniques should be used to gain information from the terrorist who attempted to bomb an airliner on Christmas Day.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 30% oppose the use of such techniques, and another 12% are not sure. (Source.)
How dare the American public harbor such visceral views! Why aren't they sharing the views of the president (and his cronies) they elected??
Ah yes. Once upon a time -- namely, during the George W. Bush administration (or any Republican administration) -- dissent was the highest form of patriotism. 'Member how the "progressives" would -- rightly -- denounce those who called their [mostly] anti-war protests "unpatriotic" and "un-American"?
Now, however, such dissent is ... well, "unpatriotic" and "un-American"!!
The climate right now is that Republicans use everything they can to undermine and delegitimize this president. And it‘s actually un-American. It‘s traitorous, in my opinion. Do you want to give aid and comfort to our enemies? Continue to treat this president like he wasn‘t elected and he doesn‘t know what he‘s doing! He knows what he did. He knows what he‘s doing. I‘m proud of him. I believe that he has the stalwart, resolute nature to get this done... -- Salon.com's Joan Walsh. (Source.)
I seem to remember how folks like John Ashcroft (among many others) were blasted by the Left when they voiced such sentiments a lot more tactfully (by saying things, in the post-9/11 atmosphere, like "be careful what you say") I mean, how pathetically and hypocritically brazen is it to use such similar terminology -- and much worse -- when the patron saint of hate of the Left, G.W. Bush, is barely a year out of office??
UPDATE: More on this idiot Walsh here.