Comics are certainly notorious for piggybacking on [short-lived] fads. Too often, they fail miserably. Case in point: Marvel's US 1.
Yep, that's the #1 comics publisher attempting to cash in on the CB radio craze of over three decades ago. (Although, Marvel issues didn't begin to cost 60 cents until at least 1983, the year US 1 debuted. Maybe the title bombed because Marvel was about five years too late?) US 1 is a trucker, natch ... "with a steel plate in his brain that lets him receive CB signals" -- his "CB Skull."
But what kind of trucker stands like that? And since when does a trucker look like Mike Reno of Loverboy?
Believe it or not, US 1 eventually was recruited by space aliens. Why? Because "what the Universe really needs are truckers! Why sure! Men of courage and intelligence who are strong-willed and independent! Men who could stand up to the rigors, and most especially the solitude, of space!"
(h/t: Heavy.com's "The 20 Worst Superheroes.")
Legendary writer Frank Miller ("300") once had an idea: Have Batman go after al Qaeda in a story called "Holy Terror, Batman." But Batman's company, DC, was "squeamish" about having one of their marquee characters fighting terrorists. Terrorists! (Of course, it was no big deal to have one of their radical-lefty super groups, the Authority, take over the United States government!)
Over four years later (four!) the project has been nixed. Well, sort of. As Avi Green notes,
Earlier this week, sitting over coffee at the U.S. Grant Hotel in San Diego, Miller said the elusive project is finally close to completion but that the name and central character have changed and that DC Comics won't be the publisher. Miller frames all of this as a decision that was driven by the work itself and not dictated by a DC leadership that, according to insiders, has long been leery of the politically charged concept.
"It's almost done; I should be finished within a month," Miller said. "It's no longer a DC book. I decided partway through it that it was not a Batman story. The hero is much closer to 'Dirty Harry' than Batman. It's a new hero that I've made up that fights Al Qaeda."
Like Avi, I really don't buy that this was Miller's decision. Why replace one of entertainment's most popular characters -- Batman -- with a no-name vigilante, not to mention not publish it via one entertainment's largest outlets -- DC? It doesn't make any sense.
But that's the world we live in today, folks. Although Miller rightly had pointed out that "Superman punched out Hitler. So did Captain America. That's one of the things they're there for," and "It just seems silly to chase around the Riddler when you've got Al Qaeda out there," politically correct sensibilities among our cultural Ruling Class take the opposite view. Batman going after al Qaeda may upset ... someone, perhaps some Muslims who'll view it as yet another Western imperialist adventure. Or, other Ruling Class "progressives" who "know" that al Qaeda's anger is justified because of past actions by the United States. (And this is why publications like The Authority are perfectly acceptable, too.)
CNN's Rick Sanchez to an Arizona state legislator: "What is your beef with illegal immigration?"
At the end of the Los Amigos Invisibles concert this past Thursday in Philly, I was chatting with the bass player, José Torres, when some schlub (had to be a U. Penn student) came up to him to ask a question ... in a Ho Chi Minh t-shirt, complete with prominent red star.
The irony? Torres and the other Amigos are from Venezuela -- where proto-dictator Hugo Chávez is busily transforming their country into a basket case.
Torres (not a fan of Chávez at all) is way too nice of a guy to say anything ... but I sure was tempted.
Shouldn't be a revelation, really:
The prominent "progressive" historian Howard Zinn, whose books are force-fed to young people on many college campuses, was not only a member of the Moscow-controlled and Soviet-funded Communist Party USA (CPUSA) but lied about it, according to an FBI file released on Friday.
The file, consisting of three sections totaling 423 pages, was made available on the FBI's website and released in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from this writer.
Zinn taught in the political science department of Boston University for 24 years, from 1964 to 1988, and has been a major influence on the modern-day "progressive" movement that backed Barack Obama for president.
Although Zinn denied being a member of the CPUSA, the FBI file discloses that several reliable informants in the party identified Zinn as a member who attended party meetings as many as five times a week. (Link.)
Considering the time-frame involved I can understand why Zinn would have been reluctant to be fully truthful about his political leanings. But later on?
I wonder if Matt "You oughta read Zinn's A People's History of the United States it'll knock you on your ass" Damon will being up all this info in his next sneaky film reference about the historian/author.
Via the Wilmington News Journal: Delaware courts: Senators appeal for vote on Stark.
President Obama refers to black Americans as a "mongrel people."
The S.A.F.E. Act specifies that mortgage brokers who are employees of agency-regulated institutions must register with the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry,
"As part of this registration process, residential mortgage loan originators must furnish to the registry information and fingerprints for background checks," a joint release from regulators said.
Now if I wanted to introduce this same model on oh, I don't know, "displaced foreign travellers" (as they are now known) I would of course be raaaaaaaacist.
I wonder if undocumented mortgage lenders will be required to submit fingerprints.
First place in the Council category was The Razor with True Bigots.
First place in the non-Council category was Noisy Room with Socialist “Journolistas.”
Full results are here.
Breaking. Good luck with that!
I used to like listening to WDEL's Al Mascitti. When he started, he was pretty much down the middle, ripping both sides when they needed it (despite his personal liberalism). But now he ... tries too hard to be the yin to conservative [afternoon talk-guy] Rick Jensen's yang. He's forcing it. It doesn't fit him well, in my opinion. I don't know if he (and Jensen) consciously planned this (a morning tit for an afternoon tat) or if Al has done it on his own, but ...
Jensen has always been predictably conservative. Mascitti, on the other hand, wasn't always a knee-jerk lib.
That being said, the problem with becoming a knee-jerk lib is that you start becoming as nutty as you claim the conservative wingnuts are. This morning, on my drive back to north Wilmington from Bear, Al was [once again] discussing the Arizona illegal immigrant law. In the space of 2-3 minutes, he ripped conservatives for "wanting simple solutions to complex problems" ... and then soon after contradicted himself while falling into the typical "progressive" playbook tactic of crying "racism": He said the whole Arizona situation is "simple" -- it's white people blaming brown people for their problems.
Uh, OK -- the situation in Arizona is "complex," but at the same time it's "simple": white people angry at brown people. Check! LOL!
Please call Al's show.* The more other people do the talking, the less of a chance he'll sound silly.
(* No, this isn't a knock at his popularity or his ratings.)
Watch Iron Man and Captain America in action:
Via the Palm Beach Post:
Baltimore police say John Wagner and Lavelya Merritt were "hunting to rob someone" on Sunday night. Around 11:30, they ran into Stephen Pitcairn. The Jupiter man, a Johns Hopkins University researcher with dreams of finding the cure to breast cancer, was walking on Baltimore's north side talking on the phone with his mother.
Wagner and Merritt found their perfect, distracted "someone," police said in court records filed Tuesday .
Even after he followed the two career criminals' orders, police allege that one of them stabbed him in the chest. All the while his mother, Gwen Pitcairn, listened as her son - just two days shy of his 24th birthday - pleaded with the robbers .
Afterward, the pair went home, apparently so proud of what they had done they bragged to witnesses, saying they had robbed and "hurt" a "white boy," according to the court records.
Pitcairn was pronounced dead around midnight at John Hopkins Hospital.
Just don't dare call it a "hate crime." They only work "one way."
* Wolf Howling - An Overdrawn Race Card
* The Provocateur - Saul Alinsky and Dr. Anna Chacko
* Rhymes With Right - Shirley Sherrod: Dissent Equals Racism And A Desire To Return To Slavery
* Right Truth - Conservative Republican Agenda
* The Razor - True Bigots
* Snapped Shot - The Happy Little Mosque… of Rage
* The Colossus of Rhodey - Oh, but of course! Captain America can’t be a “flag waver”
* Bookworm Room - How Journolist and Oliver Stone each serve to highlight the other’s insanity
* The Glittering Eye – What Went Wrong?
* Virginia Right! – Frankly my dear, charges of racism have lost their impact
* Joshuapundit – The Age of Obama – Government By Diktat
And don't forget the non-Council nominations here!
No, I'm not referring to my return to blogging. I have too much of a big mouth to have expected my silence to last too long, so when Hube made the offer a few weeks ago, I said yes.
I'm actually referring to my decision to support Mike Castle in his campaign for Senate. Not only have I decided to vote for him in the primary, I served as a delegate to the Republican State Convention in order to support him at the Convention, put a yard sign in front of my house and have a bumper sticker on my car. Those of you who have known me for years or read my old blog know of my general distaste for Congressman Castle's more "moderate" stances on many issues, so you're probably wondering what drove me to this decision.
First, I should state that this does not reflect any personal or political distaste for Christine O'Donnell. In many ways, her political views are much more reflective of my own than Congressman Castle's, and we get along personally as well. (She even has been on my trivia team at a Church event.)
What is come down to is quite simple. As I've gotten older, I've come to appreciate the wisdom of Otto von Bismarck's famous quote "Politics is the art of the possible." That's the concept that guides my belief that the responsible thing for conservatives and pro-lifers to do is support Mike Castle for Senate. (I know, I'm still having trouble believing it too.)
First, as much as I wish this weren't the case, I don't believe Christine's views are electable in Delaware. While there are many states where she could be elected, Delaware with its 47.1% Democratic registration (as of July 1st) isn't one of them. Add in the fact that even Delaware's Republicans aren't terrifically conservative and her road to victory becomes even longer. (And this is historically true as well. Even when the state was solidly Republican, Delaware was more of a "Rockefeller Republican" persuasion than a Reagan Republican.)
Now, some will point to a recent Rasmussen poll as evidence that Christine can win. There are a few points to make in response to this.
So given the extreme likelihood of an O'Donnell loss in November even if she pulls off the upset in the primary, is it really in the interests of pro-lifers and conservatives (which, despite common portrayals, are not one and the same) to work to elect her and tear down the Republican who can win? (I was on her campaign email list for a while but unsubscribed because it was so relentlessly negative against Castle. Her campaign website is much the same: constant attacks on Castle.) O'Donnell has supposedly finally released a five point plan, but the link off DelawarePolitics.net is not working and I can't find any reference to it on her website.
The choice this fall is not between Coons, Castle and O'Donnell, but between Coons and Castle. Conservatives and pro-lifers have to ask themselves: do we wish to elect a liberal pro-choice Democrat who can spend 20 or 30 years in office, or do we want to elect a moderate, pro-choice Republican who can assist with maintaining filibusters against the pro-abortion legislation the Democrats will propose, even if he's not always with us on life issues? As Ronald Reagan is said to have put it, "The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally — not a 20 percent traitor." The proper conservative thing to do is take the 80 percent ally over the less than 20 percent ally.
In 1960, Senator Barry Goldwater spoke to the Republican National Convention and said "Let's grow up, conservatives. If we want to take this party back, and I think we can some day, let's go to work." He was urging conservatives who were disappointed in the selection of Richard Nixon as the GOP presidential candidate and further disappointed in his selection of Henry Cabot Lodge for the Vice-Presidential nomination. He urged them to support the ticket in the fall and then work to transform the party into a vehicle for conservative values. While Nixon ultimately lost that year, conservatives did capture enough of the party to gain Goldwater the 1964 Presidential nomination and ultimately elect Ronald Reagan in 1980, keeping the party conservative to this day. We conservatives need to take the same approach in Delaware: support the electable candidates today, while working to transform the state and the Delaware GOP. It's the approach that worked nationally; it's the approach that will work in Delaware if we aren't rash.
Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank caused a scene when he demanded a $1 senior discount on his ferry fare to Fire Island's popular gay haunt, The Pines, last Friday. Frank was turned down by ticket clerks at the dock in Sayville because he didn't have the required Suffolk County Senior Citizens ID. A witness reports, "Frank made such a drama over the senior rate that I contemplated offering him the dollar to cool down the situation." . . . Frank's spokesperson confirmed to Page Six that his partner, James Ready, asked the ticket office for a regular ticket for himself and a senior ticket for Frank, "but was turned down because Frank didn't have a resident ID."
Man, wish we had more people like Barney Frank in Congress ... oh, wait ...
Wilmington News Journal report of a robbery near the Canby Park Shopping Center:
The robbery happened shortly before 6 p.m. in the 1600 block of Bonwood Road. The couple told New Castle County police they were walking home to Alban Park from the Canby Park Shopping Center when two men approached them. One threatened them with a gun and then pushed the man onto the ground. His wife was then pushed onto the ground as she tried to help him, and the two were robbed. Police said the suspects fled toward Homestead Road.
WDEL.com report of the same incident:
The couple told police one suspect said he had a gun, then pushed the husband down, doing the same to the wife when she tried to help her husband. The suspects took the victims' belongings and ran off.
Police describe the teens as Hispanic, 18 or 19 years old, both between 5-5 and 5-7 and 130 to 150 pounds with short brown hair. One suspect wore tan pants a white T-shirt and white sneakers, the other black pants, a red T-shirt and white sneakers.
Obama says "We're not that far removed from what most Americans are going through.”
"Not that far" to Obama must mean "light years." Now excuse me while I puke.
Semi-related: Cali Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer says "serving in the military is like being a member of Congress."
Remember, climate change skeptics aren't allowed to use the [usually cold] weather as evidence of their claims. But when it's brutally hot?
As we East Coasters know, it’s been extremely hot here this summer, with records broken. But, hey, you could be living in Russia, where ABC News recently reported that a “heat wave, which has lasted for weeks, has Russia suffering its worst drought in 130 years. In some parts of the country, temperatures have reached 105 degrees.” Moscow’s high the other day was 93 degrees. The average temperature in July for the city is 76 degrees. The BBC reported that to keep cool “at lakes and rivers around Moscow, groups of revelers can be seen knocking back vodka and then plunging into the water. The result is predictable — 233 people have drowned in the last week alone.”
This is via the same Tom Friedman who said this this past winter about those pointing to record snowfalls:
Christiane, can I say one thing about the igloo? That is flat-out stupid. In the same week that that igloo was being built, it was raining in the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, on the — on the downhill ski rack. In Jerusalem, I believe it was 96 degrees one day. And my friend and stock broker in Maine was playing golf that day, OK? So the fact that it snowed in Washington tells you nothing.
Sort of like this Wilmington News Journal cartoon from last week, right?
(h/t: The Corner.)
They just can't let up, folks.
CBS's Bob Schieffer blasts bloggers and "some of the cable folk" as irresponsible for the Sherrod affair; claims MSM "never publishes or broadcasts anything unless they think it's true."
Elsewhere, Salon.com's Joan Walsh said that since Shirley Sherrod's father was killed by a white man, "She's entitled to talk about race any way she wants to," all the while claiming Sherrod's statements that Fox News and Andrew Breitbart "are racists" is true:
I'm not giving her a pass. But I think the idea that she shouldn't be able to say Fox or Breitbart is racist preposterous. She gets to say that because it's true, and because from her vantage point it's especially true.
Using such a "standard," it is then acceptable for anyone can talk about race any way he/she wants to. As Noel Sheppard notes in the link above, "I've got relatives that died in Nazi concentration camps. Does that mean my views on racism are incontestable and that I'm allowed to call anyone I want an anti-Semite regardless of merit?"
According to Walsh, yep. That is, if she is consistent. But more likely her standard applies only to select groups -- those "approved of" by the liberal Ruling Class.
Then there's 'ol Sam Donaldson who compared Fox News to -- wait for it -- Senator Joseph McCarthy:
I believe in the first amendment, there’s nothing you can do about it, although you wish for Joseph Welch to say as he did to Joe McCarthy, when Joe McCarthy was destroying someone on television: “Have you no decency at last?”
Who are these people that they should pay attention to and be afraid of? Who’s Glenn Beck, I mean, who’s Bill O'Reilly? Who’s Bret whatever his name is?” Donaldson recalled how FDR proclaimed: “I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.” So, the retired ABC News veteran advised: “President Obama, don’t be afraid of them. Take ‘em on and let the people judge.”
"Who's Glenn Beck?" "Who's Bill O'Reilly???" I mean, really? And Sam -- Obama and co. tried precisely what you suggest last year. Remember when they all went out claiming Fox wasn't "a legitimate" news organization, etc.? That didn't last very long, did it? The people have judged, Sam you idiot. That's why FNC kicks its competition's ass day after day after day.
As for your desire for "decency," stick it up your ass, Donaldson. Clean out your own house first before demanding such of your competitors. Need I offer reasons? I could make this post the longest I've ever written if I did.
Our Wilmington News Journal yesterday: "Racism is too serious a charge for such knee-jerk reaction by the media."
Former Democratic Party Chair Howard Dean on Fox News this morning:
Let's just be blunt about this. I don't think Newt Gingrich is a racist and you're certainly not a racist, but I think Fox News did something that was absolutely racist. They took a, they had an obligation to find out what was really within the clip. They have been pushing a theme of black racism with this phony Black Panther crap and this, this business, and Sotomayor and all this other stuff.
When host Chris Wallace challenged Dean on his assertion that the Breitbart snippet of Shirley Sherrod was run by Fox before she fired by the Obama administration (and indeed, resulted in the firing), the former presidential candidate hemmed and hawed, and then ultimately offered this:
DEAN: Did you play, did Fox News play the clip that turned out to be inaccurate?
WALLACE: After she was fired.
DEAN: Right. I don't think it matters whether it was before or after.
I don't know what's more frightening -- Dean getting cornered and then admitting "it doesn't matter," or thinking the accusations by some former Dept. of Justice officials that the Dept. is litigating in a racialist manner is "phony crap." But hey, after all, Dean is a member of the Ruling Class. His sort of nonsense is to be expected.
I suppose it was inevitable after this week, and here we go! Janet Elwood of Glen Mills, PA, is REALLY angry about Fox News:
It is disturbing indeed that the Sherrod snafu failed to mention that the whole shenanigans started with Fox News and its micro-mangling of the facts – and I might add “as usual.” That this was another foxy ploy to trap the Democratic Party, and more explicitly, the president himself, is proof of the clever though mephistophelian machinations of this one-sided medium.
Except, of course, that the Sherrod "snafu" did NOT start with Fox News. FNC didn't even air the [edited] video (originally posted by Andrew Breitbart) until AFTER the Obama administration had already fired Ms. Sherrod.
But, y'see, such a dopey letter makes it clear that Ms. Elwood doesn't even watch Fox News. She obviously gets her information from one source -- far-left blogs and other outlets that engage in the exact type of behavior that she ascribes to Fox. Botching the whole premise of her letter is proof of this.
In addition, I bet Ms. Elwood has written complaints about the "snafu" of the reporting on the Tea Party. Or the non-existent racial slurs shouted at members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Or the "reporting" about the "documents" regarding former President George W. Bush's National Guard service. Etc.
Yeah. I bet.
A Facebook feud between two women who claimed to love the same prison inmate led to a high-speed chase and a crash that critically injured one of the rivals, killed her friend and left the second rival facing murder charges.
According to [Pontiac police Chief Valard S.] Gross, Emery, 23, and Danielle Booth, 20, had been feuding for some time, leading to an earlier police complaint. According to Emery’s family, the dispute was over a 23-year-old man now serving time in a Michigan prison.
On Wednesday, Emery was driving when she saw Booth in the passenger seat of a car driven by Alesha Abernathy and started chasing her, Gross said. Emery had her 3-year-old daughter in the car with her.
Police Det. Paul McDougal, who was in an unmarked squad car, saw both vehicles rush by at speeds approaching 100 mph, Gross said. Before McDougal could reach them — and while a panicked Booth was on the phone with a police dispatcher — Abernathy ran a red light and plowed into a dump truck, knocking it onto its side but not injuring the truck’s driver.
... now. By far one of the best -- and most insightful -- I've seen in a long while.
Michael C. Moynihan at Reason nails the recent race imbroglios nicely:
But false (or flimsy) accusations of racism abound—they are everywhere one looks—though they rarely provoke the level of outrage seen in the Sherrod affair. This week, in a fit of boredom, I found myself leafing through a deeply silly book by William Kleinknecht, a crime reporter for a newspaper in New Jersey, portentously called The Man Who Sold the World: Ronald Reagan and the Betrayal of Main Street America. If it wasn’t enough that Reagan betrayed, attacked, humiliated, and sold Main Street to corporations the reader is informed that after the 1980 election the United States was “turned over to...thinly-veiled racists.” Nowhere does Kleinknecht substantiate the charge, but when the accused is Ronald Reagan, why bother?
This whole “debate,” if we can charitably call it that, is a mess of straw men, hypocrisy, stupidity, and reflexive defenses of one’s own tribe. It has nothing to do with fairness, journalistic ethics, or the immorality of dragging the reputations of innocents through the mud in an attempt at scoring political points.
Racism is the most powerful and toxic accusation in American discourse, one that derails careers and destroys futures. Yet despite its toxicity it is also the one that requires the least amount of evidence; the racism, we are told, is institutionalized or subterranean, so trust that it’s being divined in good faith. Well, that won’t do. Because there is no penalty for unfairly calling someone a racist, as David Frum points out—if it sticks, a point for your side; if it doesn’t, who cares?
Indeed, and it "sticks" a helluva lot more often when faux "progressives" do the "sticking." Folks like Olbermann (and practically everyone at MSNBC) spent weeks -- months! -- maligning the Tea Party movement as racist by nitpicking rare tasteless placards; in addition they (and others) constantly repeated the vicious lie that members of the Congressional Black Caucus were victims of racial slurs (see our predictable faux "progressives" locally and the local big papers which just in the past few days showed predictable paroxysms of indignation over the Sherrod affair).
The "bad guy" in the Sherrod matter, Andrew Breitbart, still hasn't gotten a taker for his offered $10,000 for proof that members of the CBC were yelled at by racists -- despite a plethora of cameras filming the protests at the time (including one held by the son of a notorious race hustler).
So, forgive me if I don't shed many tears for Ms. Sherrod's predicament. I've already opined what was done to her was wrong and that she should get her job back. But it'll be a very cold day in Hades if we ever see folks like Olbermann apologize, or the way-moonbatty LGOMB.
UPDATE: A lot more here.
Taking a "principled stand" on the Shirley Sherrod affair, all the while botching one major fact (surprise):
It (the Obama admin.) apologized to Shirley Sherrod on Wednesday, saying the black official's ouster from the U.S. Agriculture Department was a rush to judgment.
In a March speech to an NAACP audience, Sherrod was captured on video confessing to racist feelings toward white farmers who needed help retaining their farm.
Fox News aired an excerpt on Monday that led to Sherrod's firing and her condemnation by the NAACP on Tuesday.
WRONG -- Fox News didn't air the excerpt until AFTER Ms. Sherrod was axed by the administration. Therefore, how could it "lead" to Sherrod's firing?
Racism is too serious a charge for such knee-jerk reaction by the media.
The viewing public must reject the 24-hour/YouTube news cycle treatment of racism charges and demand a window of investigative reporting to separate truth from allegation.
LMAO!! The News Journal actually is saying this?? Pardon me while I clean up the coffee I just spit up all over my monitor from laughing hysterically. Meanwhile, the Tea Party wants to know where this op ed was a few months ago.
UPDATE: The Philly Inquirer offers similar sentiments. Another surprise, that, eh?
UPDATE 2: The Philly Daily News follows suit. Lock-step MSM predictability!
For "Captain America" director Joe Johnston "The imperative is an artistic one, not a commercial one."
Uh huh. Right. In other words, "We want to make a ton of dough overseas with the film ("Iron Man" and "Iron Man 2" made $571 million outside the US and Canada), so Cap can't be seen as too pro-United States."
"We're sort of putting a slightly different spin on Steve Rogers," said Johnston, whose past directing credits include "Jurassic Park III" and "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids." "He's a guy that wants to serve his country, but he's not a flag-waver. We're reinterpreting, sort of, what the comic book version of Steve Rogers was."
Well, yeah. Because Rogers was a flag-waver during World War II, the era in which the film is set. But I think it's a little stupid to have a guy who 1) agrees to put his life on the line to become a superhero, and 2) actually wears the flag to not be a "flag waver." Not to mention, Americans in general during that era weren't as "shy" about showing American patriotism. What Johnston seems to be doing is superimposing the current incarnation of Cap onto the original template. I understand that for film purposes some changes do have to be made. But this one, to me, excises something essential from the character.
The LA Times in response says "Some pundits will pounce on all of this as another desecration of an American touchstone, but how many of them have ever read the books?" Well, I have! Again, it doesn't matter what happened later to Cap (for instance, during the "Secret Empire" Watergate-analogy story) because, again, the movie takes place during WW II. The "battle lines," so to speak, were clear cut then -- it was the Allies vs. the Axis with very little "gray" in between.
Of course, I haven't seen the film (it doesn't come out until next year, after all) so I certainly may be overreacting. As Johnston notes at article's end, "Yeah, and it's also the idea that this is not about America so much as it is about the spirit of doing the right thing ..." Sure. Cap has forever been about that very premise, true. (See this post from four years ago, as a perfect example.) But he's clear that he represents what America should be about -- not the whole planet. Johnston shouldn't have any qualms about making this point, partly, again, because the character's fighting in the 1940s for goodness sake. It should be easy enough for the writers to get such a message across without coming off like sniveling, politically correct dweebs. After all, some of Captain America's [comics] best writers (Mark Gruenwald, Steve Englehart) did it extremely well.
The big winner, with a "Level of Actual Racism" rating of 9.5, is the New Black Panthers/Department of Justice Imbroglio.
Check it out, along with the other nine, here.
... that, according to our old friend Perry, the Energizer Bunny:
Thus, this so-called “JournoList” is the same thing, an attempt initiated by Tucker Carlson, to demonize individuals who participate in an exchange of observations and ideas, as if it is some sort of a conspiracy of the left to control and manipulate the media and the news. Other than a list of names, where is the specific evidence?
If there ever was a bigger "head-in-the-sand" denial of basic reality, please show it to me. But Perry gets even "better":
Let us be honest, there is the same sort of inter communication among the opinion makers on the right, as evidenced by the talking points promulgated instantly amongst them on key issues, as they act in lock step. In fact, I will suggest that this sort of thing is more organized by the propagandists on the Right, taking their lead from Limbaugh and the FoxNews folks.
YEAH! So, even though there's no evidence of rightist journalists doing what lefties did via JouroList, they have a JournoList type of organization, and in fact they're even more organized than the lefties. And while the lefties merely "participate in an exchange of observations and ideas," the righties engage in "propaganda."
There's your comedic respite for the day, folks.
Just the one millionth reason (plus whatever) not to trust faux "progressives": John Kerry Docks Luxury Yacht in Rhode Island to Avoid Massachusetts Taxes.
Sen. John Kerry, who has repeatedly voted to raise taxes while in Congress, dodged a whopping six-figure state tax bill on his new multimillion-dollar yacht by mooring her in Newport, R.I.
Isabel - Kerry’s luxe, 76-foot New Zealand-built Friendship sloop with an Edwardian-style, glossy varnished teak interior, two VIP main cabins and a pilothouse fitted with a wet bar and cold wine storage - was designed by Rhode Island boat designer Ted Fontaine.
But instead of berthing the vessel in Nantucket, where the senator summers with the missus, Teresa Heinz, Isabel’s hailing port is listed as “Newport” on her stern.
Could the reason be that the Ocean State repealed its Boat Sales and Use Tax back in 1993, making the tiny state to the south a haven - like the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Nassau - for tax-skirting luxury yacht owners?
Does a bear sh** in the woods?
First place in the Council category was Bookworm Room with When is a burqa not a burqa? When it’s a weapon.
First place in the non-Council category was The Other McCain with Jews and Israel: Death by Relativism.
Full results are here.
Tax Increases Significantly Contract the Economy: "The behavior of output following these more exogenous changes indicates that tax increases are highly contractionary. The effects are strongly significant, highly robust, and much larger than those obtained using broader measures of tax changes."
This is from Obama's council of economic advisors. Yet neither he nor the Democrats will prevent the Bush tax cuts from expiring. Why is that?
Regarding Iraq we were told to "listen to the Generals". The implication being that they, as the experts, knew what to do and how to do it. Sensible position.
When it comes to Global
warming climate change we're told the "science is settled" and we should listen to the scientists. They, after all, are experts in the field. Defensible position. (Not sensible as it's more complicated than that but still)
When it comes to tax policy, we're told to not listen to the experts. Why? I'm not sure. I suppose we're allowed to listen to Paul Krugman but he contradicts himself with such frequency that if you wait long enough you'll agree with him too.
If Obama, Pelosi et al. are going to ignore the recommendations of the team that he himself picked, why have them?
In a related story (also via Insty):
Putting aside the coordination (or not) I'd like to note what Mr. Hoekstra says about the stimulus that is being overlooked. He says that the stimulus money may in fact, have created jobs but then he notes that there's another company in the same business doing the same thing in Michigan getting zero federal dollars. How is that fair? Where is the anti-corporate welfare crowd? Do we really want government picking winners and losers? Is there any way to increase corruption in government than by allowing them to not only control tax policy, regulatory rules but now add in the ability to dispense enormous amounts of cash to private entities at will?
I'd like to know once and for all: Is corporate welfare a good thing or a bad thing? It can't be both. It can't be good when one does it and bad when another does it. So, Progressives/liberals/democrats pick one: Good or bad. One word answers only.
Second question: Should we listen to the experts or not? One word answer only. Yes or no.
... in a nutshell.
Cry me a freakin' river.
This is how you recycle:
Maybe that's what we should do with the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. We could make a huge resort in the middle of the ocean there. Hmmmmm.....time to begin my master plan.
Regarding one of the items on this post from earlier today, it appears Ms. Sherrod's comments were not allowed a full context hearing. The video snippet obtained by Andrew Breitbart apparently is only just that -- a snippet -- of a long talk. Here is the WaPo's report. It seems Ms. Sherrod and the farmer in question became friends, and Ms. Sherrod's recounting of the tale -- the full tale -- is actually a lesson against racism.
Ms. Sherrod claims she's been harassed by the White House, of all places, and that her firing (or, "forced ouster") from the USDA (her current employer) is totally unjustified.
Since I strive to be fair, I think she has a pretty good case.
UPDATE: Fox News' "Special Report" has just noted that the NAACP regrets its statements about Ms. Sherrod and blames ... Fox News (??). It says it was "snookered." LOL ... well, maybe you ought to research an issue before acting rashly -- y'know, sort of like your over-the-top complaints of racism from the Tea Party.
Speaking of which, black progressive Earl Ofari Hutchinson denounces the treatment of Sherrod (rightly), but then loses it:
Sherrod's action was indefensible, and she was the first to admit it. But it was the regrettable act of one person, one place, one time. This hardly rises to the level of an institutional racial high crime and misdemeanor. Sherrod paid a dear price for her intemperate act. Unfortunately the same can't be said that the GOP and the tea party have paid the same price for their bigotry. They've done everything possible to see to that that won't happen.
But Mr. Hutchinson, you're doing just what led to Ms. Sherrod getting into hot water in the first place -- ascribing racism where it doesn't belong. The NAACP most likely acted hastily in the Sherrod case because it knew it was on tenuous ground with its silly Tea Party resolution. They tried to play "gotcha," and were played in return. Just as Ms. Sherrod's tale appears to be one of anti-racism, so too are the vast majority of Tea Partiers (and GOP) anti-racists. Racists in their midst are rare extremists, seen in any large movement.
The NAACP has catered to people of MUCH more questionable "racist" character than Ms. Sherrod. If folks like Andrew Breitbart want to give the organization a taste of its own medicine, go after them.
... Foulk Rd. in north Wilmington is becoming a death trap: Still awaiting accounting for Indian River boondoggle.
Employees of news organizations including Time, Politico, the Huffington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Guardian, Salon and the New Republic participated in outpourings of anger over how Obama had been treated in the media, and in some cases plotted to fix the damage.
[Norah] O'Donnell: On this [Sherrod] particular case, while this egregious in my mind, it is an isolated, we believe, incident. There's no suggestion that the USDA is doing this as a systematic problem. So I worry that in a climate that there have now been, that there is an effort to pile up a lot of these racially-charged stories, that concern me about things, that we're, you know, setting up these black versus white stories in this country, that these instances are, because, are trying to create some kind of narrative about where we are in this country. And that makes me nervous. Do you know what I'm trying to say? Do you know what I'm trying to say?
Yes, I do, Norah. And your network is probably the biggest offender. Funny how I haven't seen you defending the Tea Party like this, eh? Yeesh.
NY Times repeats unproven Tea Party racial epithet charge. That'd be the mythical "racial epithets" hurled at members of the Congressional Black Caucus before the big health care vote.
... maybe this idiot forgot that the majority of Mexicans have European blood?? Yeesh.
WHO's director describes medical care in North Korea as "the envy of the developing world."
The "settled science" of Global
warming Climate Change (TM) not so settled. "Something is going on that we do not understand," says Emmert If our best and brightest scientists don't understand this one, how can they claim to have such a perfect grasp on climate change? (side note: How odd that the people who have been running for government on the word "change" for 25 years don't like this particular type of change):
When carbon dioxide gets into the thermosphere, it acts as a coolant, shedding heat via infrared radiation. It is widely-known that CO2 levels have been increasing in Earth's atmosphere. Extra CO2 in the thermosphere could have magnified the cooling action of solar minimum. "But the numbers don't quite add up," says Emmert. "Even when we take CO2 into account using our best understanding of how it operates as a coolant, we cannot fully explain the thermosphere's collapse."
What does the old sage have to say about this one? (NSFW language)
This is interesting: Google App Inventor. Is it me or does this look like some mutant form of VB? I like the idea of giving development tools to end users but the risk of a low signal to noise ratio is a concern. I hope they have some means of using crowdsourcing in the app store to steer users to the more useful apps and screen out the crap.
This one defies parody: To Protest Hiring of Nonunion Help, Union Hires Nonunion Pickets. Where to begin?
"For a lot of our members, it's really difficult to have them come out, either because of parking or something else," explains Vincente Garcia, a union representative who is supervising the picketing.
So....non-union people don't drive cars? Are there special non-union parking spots that are magically available to everyone else?
He says the pickets are not only about "union issues" but also about fair wages and benefits for American workers. By hiring the unemployed, "we are also giving back to the community a bit," he says.
So minimum wage is "fair" for professional protestors? Wouldn't it be great if someone created the International Brotherhood of Professional Picketers? They would block hiring of non-union members by unions who are protesting the poor wages and benefits of their unions. They would force them to limit hours, give them comfortable shoes and cold drinks on hot days. They'd also need maximum of 35 hours per week and double time for weekends and holidays. Oh, and a good benefits package including dental plan and wages pegged to prevailing union wage in the area.
ZOMG!!!1111!!! TOP GOP MONEYMAN FOR JOHN MCCAIN GETS 12 YEARS FOR PONZI SCHEME!!!!1111ELEVENTY11!!!1 Wait, what's that? Oh, it's Hillary's finance guy? Nothing to see here, move along (ed -bury that on A22. No more than 20 words).
The Free Speech zealots are amazingly quiet on this one. Not only has the US Government taken down SEVENTY THREE THOUSAND websites in one fell swoop. They did so without prior warning or even so much as an explanation as to why. Further, they've gagged the provider and threatened them with who knows what should they violate that order.
Mexico becomes Columbia:
Indicators are that the call for an ambulance was a fake call to draw in police and paramedics. Simultaneously there was a call that a wanted suspect's car was in the area (believed to be the car bomb). Later one of the big cartels took responsibility. They claimed it was a reprisal for the arrest of Jesus Armando Acosta. I believe this is a game changer. This is exactly how Columbia went when they had their drug war. Escobar was famous for putting a bomb in a city bus. The bomb was so big it put the bus on top of a 5 story building and left a 60 ft. diameter hole in the street. That was when the Columbian government declared all out war on him. Needless to say, it didn't end well for Escobar and Columbia today is in far better shape than it was then. I believe this is going to be the line in the sand for the Mexican government. They know that if this continues they're going to be a narco state and that is one thing we will not stand for. Not even Obama will run that risk. How so? The National Guard is deploying along the border. Actually, Obama is getting lucky here. He's killing two birds with one stone. He's going to try and tamp down criticism of the administration's handling of the illegal alien issue and he can tell his supporters this is about increasing levels of drug gang violence in border areas.
In a somewhat related story Iran continues to tear itself apart:
I don't speak Farsi (shocker, I know) so I have no idea what they're saying but Jundallah has taken responsibility. Naturally, the Mullahs are blaming the US.
The Tea Party has been derided as racist since it's inception. What do they do when one of their leaders makes stupid (and possibly racist) remarks? They kick him out. Webb told anchor Bob Schieffer that Robertson "has been discredited and has been denounced and is not a Tea Party member." Nothing similar happens to liberals members of anti-war groups that advocate the (Warning: NSFW) deaths of police officers, our troops in theater, anti-semitism, terrorist supporters, and so on.
Lastly, there's an article about the ever burgeoning intelligence apparatus. It's a flimsy article and it mixes apples and oranges. To wit: Some 854,000 people - or nearly 1 1/2 times the number of people who live in Washington - have top-secret security clearance, the paper said. That's very nice but TS clearance (or just "clearance" as it's known in the industry) does not mean you're involved with anti-terrorism, COIN or even warfighting in any way. An enormous number of things are classified that don't necessarily need to be. Government operates by inertia more than anything else. Ages ago, someone somewhere decided that personal data (i.e. virtually anything with an SSN and a dollar value next to your name) needed to be classified. There are a few reasons for this and some of them actually make sense. One, it's safer to classify everything than worry about sifting the wheat from the chaff. Keeping everything behind the veil makes it easier to avoid all sorts of scrutiny and FOIA requests. This is not necessarily done out of malice or a will to deceive but it's just easier. Second, there is a technologicial difference. Anything classified resides on what's known as OOB (pronounced ooh-b) machines. That's a separate network (usually within DISA's domain or at least within their purview. These networks are not publicly addressable and required a photo ID w/ smart chip in them to access them. No card, no access. That's the bottom most level of protection, it gets more and more sophisticated as you go up the chain. This protects from external attack very very well. It also makes the Trusted Insider problem much less of a risk. Most of the problems on OOB networks are usually from people using tainted thumbdrives and the like.
In the area around Washington, 33 building complexes - totaling some 17 million square feet of space - for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since 9/11.
I'd wager much of that is indeed for top secret work but probably not so much for intelligence unless you define it so broadly as to lose all meaning.
Many intelligence agencies are doing the same work, wasting money and resources on redundancy.
The counter argument is multiple sourcing. Reporters usually confirm information from multiple sources to consider it reliable. Here, the intel community is using the same model. Multiple sources for confirmation. That may be costly but that doesn't mean it's foolish.
So many intelligence reports are published each year that many are routinely ignored.
Almost certainly true. The problem appears to be one of too much information not properly collated. The double edged sword of intelligence is that you compartmenalize to keep moles or spies from getting "the family jewels". That prevents you from assembling The Big Picture because you are often unable to pull it all together.
"There has been so much growth since 9/11 that getting your arms around that - not just for the DNI, but for any individual, for the director of the CIA, for the secretary of defense - is a challenge," Gates told the Post.
Indeed, that's the crux of the problem and not an easy one to solve.
It's been offline for over a week now. Has it gone belly up? Anyone know?
A little over a week ago, some local lefty blogs made big hay out of the supposed "exoneration" of the so-called "Climategate" scientists. However, the New Scientist (hardly a right-wing bastion of global warming deniers) says the scandal is not over:
After publishing his five-page epistle, Oxburgh declared "the science was not the subject of our study". Finally, last week came former civil servant Muir Russell's 150-page report. Like the others, he lambasted the CRU for its secrecy but upheld its integrity - despite declaring his study "was not about... the content or quality of [CRU's] scientific work" (see "Scientists respond to Muir Russell report").
Though the case for action to cut greenhouse gases remains strong, this omission matters. How can we know whether CRU researchers were properly exercising their judgment? Without dipping his toes into the science, how could Russell tell whether they were misusing their power as peer reviewers to reject papers critical of their own research, or keep sceptical research out of reports for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change?
Some will argue it is time to leave climategate behind. But it is difficult to justify the conclusion of Edward Acton, University of East Anglia vice-chancellor, that the CRU has been "completely exonerated". Openness in sharing data, even with your critics, is a legal requirement.
But what happened to intellectual candour - especially in conceding the shortcomings of these inquiries and discussing the way that science is done. Without candour, public trust in climate science cannot be restored, nor should it be.
Read the whole thing.
Blah blah blah ...
Two films, two ideological systems, and yet this pales in the face of his next project: a 10-part documentary series for HBO, Oliver Stone's Secret History of America.
He's right in the throes of it. "It's my big project. It's something I want to leave behind. And we're now in the third fucking year of it," he says. "It's a war. They're in that room next door working on it right now. It's an ongoing odyssey."
It's a truly massive project, a personal mission, the encapsulation seemingly of all that Oliver Stone has thought and read and felt in the 63 years of his life so far, and by the end of the interview I feel slightly anxious about it on his behalf.
Yeah, that's right -- writer Carole Cadwalladr's article is pretty kiss-assingly glowing; however, you'd think she could get some basic facts correct and avoid the silly hyperbole. For instance, she says about Stone "...with a reputation for women and drugs who won the Purple Heart for bravery in Vietnam ..." and then later, about the socialism movement in South America "...an overview of a massive popular movement on one of the largest continents of the world."
The Purple Heart isn't given for bravery; it's given for being wounded in combat. And South America ranks smack in the middle (#4) of the seven continents in terms of area; therefore, it's not "one of the largest." That honor goes to Asia (#1 by far) followed by Africa.
But I digress. I like a lot of what Oliver Stone has given us film-wise over the years; however, his best work is when he deals in non-ideological biographies ("Platoon," "Born on the Fourth of July") and/or tales about human nature with the inherent battle between basic good vs. evil ("Wall Street"). "Platoon" was Stone's autobiography, at least in terms of his war experiences, and it works because he doesn't laud the Communist North Vietnamese and Viet Cong ... instead focusing on ridiculous US policy at all levels (half-assed fighting measures, college exemptions for the draft, and why the f*** were we in 'Nam at all in the first place). "Born on the Fourth of July" is the bio of soldier Ron Kovic and essentially expands upon "Platoon" by showing what happened to too many soliders after their service in Vietnam.
In "Wall Street," Stone's tone isn't so much ideological as it is a study of human character. Who can forget Bud Fox's (Charlie Sheen) statement summary "Who am I?" on the balcony of his million dollar Manhattan condo -- after he's successfully won the affection of not only the gorgeous Daryl Hannah, but that (business-wise) of his target of many years, Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas)? Sheen incredibly doesn't succumb to the ultimate lure of immeasurable sums of cash, choosing instead to "keep his own identity." "Wall Street" is one of my favorite all-time films.
Where Stone gets nutty is when he gets conspiratorial. Apparently his personal past has led him to conclude that the United States is one vast, evil cabal. (I can just imagine his "Secret History of the United States" being like comics legend Kurt Busiek's "Secret History of the Avengers" issue of Avengers Forever. In it, it's revealed that one omnipotent individual has "secretly" guided history all this time. See here for more on this thought.) "JFK" is probably his magnum opus in this regard. Stone is so fervent is his belief that the US government played a role in John F. Kennedy's assassination that he included a cameo of himself being proven "correct" in this regard in the equally conspiratorial TV mini-series "Wild Palms."
It is the same with Stone's glowing portraits of leftist (and other) dictators, "South of the Border" being the latest endeavor. "Comandate" (about Fidel Castro), "Looking for Fidel," and "Persona Non Grata" continue the trend. (And this doesn't even get into films like "Nixon" and "W.") What flies right over Stone's head is that he complains about the US media (especially with regard to "South of the Border") as "not giving the 'real' story" about guys like Hugo Chávez, but let's be painstakingly real: Given the innumerable media resources in our country it is impossible not to find the view [of people like Chávez] that Stone finds legitimate. It might not be as widely disseminated as Ollie would like; however, it is in stark contrast to Venezuela and Cuba where alternative points of view are actively suppressed and those who hold them are imprisoned.
Alas, such doesn't matter to leftists. Such control is necessary for the "greater good" -- as long as the "good" is what the leader(s) believe and want. Would Chávez and Castro allow Stone to ask the general public of their countries what they really think? Sure they would -- because said public would give Stone answers that were perfectly acceptable to them. For, if la gente did not answer "correctly," they know precisely where they'd end up.
I thought all the global warming alarmists have a field day chiding skeptics/deniers that "you can't use the weather to back up your beliefs." (See here for but one example.)
So, what do we see in today's Wilmington News Journal Opinion section? This editorial cartoon.
Don't worry, we will: Obama: Hold me accountable for high unemployment.
Must be racism: Immigrant deaths in Arizona desert soaring in July.
Big Brother is watching, part 18635: Obesity Rating for Every American Must Be Included in Stimulus-Mandated Electronic Health Records, Says HHS.
The GOP doesn't learn the John Kerry Lesson: Mason-Dixon poll: Reid rises again.
Must be more racism: 23% Say U.S. Government Has the Consent of the Governed.
Those damn Joooooos: 46% say Obama is pro-Palestinian.
Must be the Jooooos, too: Iran blames West for suicide bombings.
The feds are probably behind this:
A 14-year-old girl and a 12-year old boy are hospitalized after both were shot in Philadelphia's Hunting Park section. The incident happened around 8:30 p.m. on the 4500 block of Old York Road.
Police say there was a congregation of about 40-people conducting a neighborhood rap contest when someone drove by and opened fire.
Now, why would the feds be behind this? Well, remember?
Three in one today:
In this case, we're talking about federal law enforcement: Author claims Tupac's murder was a federal operation.
In the almost 15 years since the death of rapper Tupac Shakur the slain emcee's demise remains shrouded in conspiracy, including that of author John Potash who believes to hold the answer behind why he was killed. In his new book, The FBI War on Tupac Shakur and Black Leaders, Potash theorizes that Pac's [sic] was targeted due to his political affiliations and influence on black culture.
During an interview with All Hip Hop, Potash stated that it was Pac's relationship with several prominent members of the 60s civil rights group, the Black Panthers, and top-selling status that put into motion the plan to assassinate him. "He had very close relationships with his extended Black Panther Party family, who acted as his mentors," Potash told the website. "Not to mention that he was trying to do more positive things."
Potash also claims that Pac's record label was a "front" for the feds, and other Time Warner(!) labels may have been too.
Talk about a slow news day ...
Here is the Mexican musical genius Aleks Syntek with the jammin' "Tú Necesitas." I just added about eight Syntek songs to my iPod ... can't believe I had forgotten about him!
First place in the Council category was The Razor with Life in a Vise.
First place in the non-Council category was Sultan Knish with NASA Unveils New Plan for Muslims in Outer Space.
Full results are here.
Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D, TX) sharing her ... "knowledge" of the Vietnam War:
Who knew? Who knew that there still existed a North and South Vietnam -- not to mention that they're living "peacefully" side-by-side? All this time I had thought the communist North conquered the South in 1975 after the last Americans vamoosed from the country.
Maybe she was mixing up the two Koreas with the (former) Vietnams?
Hey, they all look alike, right?
An instant classic:
Lib talker Bill Press:
Best part: "Lincoln couldn't have governed today." Yeah, he only had to govern through a CIVIL WAR -- the most destructive conflict by far in our NATION'S HISTORY!!
(h/t: The Corner.)
Ha! I love this story. King Tut’s DNA is Western European
Now they're not releasing the results. This would be a major blow to the perceived history of Egypt and to Arab pride. Scroll down and look at the map. The 80% shaded portion in deep red coincides with areas that were predominantly Celtic. Yes, it means that the Pharaoh was a Celt. Not necessarily Irish, but almost certainly Celtic. It is utterly unsurprising that a Celt would become a god-king. We Celts are often treated thusly wherever we go.
(Bumped to top from July 8):
WHY WE SHOULD *NOT* GET OUT OF IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN - A response to Hube.
"Regarding Iraq, in one of my very earliest posts here at Colossus I laid out my reasons for my opposition to the invasion. It really hasn't changed.
With regards to Afghanistan, I certainly agree with our reasons -- the right -- to attack it after 9/11. "
Agreed. Are you suggesting we simply destroy everything and then leave? We can do that but the risks are that they'll rebuild and hate us more than ever.
"But what the hell have we been doing in these nine years?"
Destroying the fever swamp that gave us the first 9/11 and replacing it with something more sane. Leaving it alone isn't an option unless you'd like to have a new 9/11 every 10 years or so.
"Why are we still there? Did we forget the Soviet experience there? Our objective was (or, should have been) to zap those al Qaeda f***ers for 9/11 and then get the hell out. But no -- like Iraq, we're now attempting to "nation build."
Short answer: We're not done yet. Longer answer: We are attempting to create a functioning society that is focused on bettering itself rather than exporting drugs and jihadis. September 11th was the time that America decided that the status quo was no longer viable in the Middle East. It was time to shake the chessboard and reset the pieces. Attacking Afghanistan was a foregone conclusion. We had the option of destroying the Taliban and simply leaving but that would leave a vacuum that would have been filled with Taliban 2.0 or the Wahabbis or some other equally repugnant (and troublesome) faction. The Bush Administration also took this as the chance to put an end to Iraq, the perpetual thorn in our side with respect to Middle East Policy. Look at a map and see what we're planning. We're in Iraq on one side and Afghanistan on the other. Who's in the middle? Iran. I believe we plan on squeezing Iran in a pincer movement. There has been a rumble of discontent for 20 years in Iran. The secular society wants to wrest control from the Mullahs who, understandibly, would like to keep running the show. The unrest was at a very high level in the last few years. By putting pressure on both sides against the middle and encouraging the Iranians to throw the mullahs out we might be able to help Iran get back on course. They were prosperous, secular and modern when the Shah was around. We erred badly when we deposed Mossadegh but that's water under the bridge. We'd like to avoid a replay of that one. Direct intervention in Iran is very unlikely and approaching zero as they approach nuclear power. Each of these pieces is part of a larger conflict. I don't really have a proper name for it other than Imperial Islam. Its the fundamentalist strain of Islam that seeks to destroy the West. This is not a war with Islam itself or with specific nations necessarily. The best analogy I can think of is Feudal Japan. We were at war with them and the embodiment of their culture was the Samurai. Only after their abject defeat was that virulent strain of thought eliminated from their culture. Today they retain their cultural traditions and mores and even religion. They are not, however, and imperial, expansionist, racist government. Ultimately we're trying to reform Iraq and have had more than a little success. Afghanistan is a very difficult situation and the process will be far slower as they haven't had a functioning modern society in over 30 years. Iraq while no cakewalk at least had an understanding of modern civil society. Iran has a huge population imbalance. Most of the country is under 30 and has lived under the Mullahs their entire lives. They see the West as free not necessarily decadent or threatening. Of the three Iran probably has the best chance to shake off the past and move into the future. Ultimately we need for each of these to work. This is not to say that this area is going to be Switzerland but it may become Turkey or Lebanon. Sometime after Iran and Iraq are sorted out, we're going to have to turn our eyes to the Saudis. We've had a faustian bargain with them for some time. We turned a blind eye to their misdeeds and they kept the oil flowing. That can't continue forever.
So what are the choices? Jump in and stand them up and get them going or, leave them to whomever else wants to step in (Iran, China, Russia) and let the chips fall where they may? Is that wise? Is that safe? I'm a libertarian and would love to see peaceable trade with all nations and entangling alliances with none also but I'm not so doctrinaire to think that's feasible and certainly not in the short term.
As far as the Soviet experience there you're mixing apples and oranges. The Soviets saw a Marxist friendly neighbor in the midst of a civil war and weren't in a hurry to intervene as they knew it would be troublesome. Depending on whom you believe they only intervened in force when we started funding/supporting the anti-communist forces.
Also, I believe the Soviet's COIN doctrine was flawed and ultimately what led to their downfall. They were shocked when we steamrolled over Iraq in such short order and then again when we had the finally turned the tide with the Iraqi insurgency. The Soviets were in Afghanistan over 10 years and lost 1500 men per year. Despite our critics beliefs about us, we tread far lighter than they ever did and it pays dividends. Combine all of this with vastly improved technology and the odds shift further in our favor.
"Look, We should have continued to contain Saddam and continued to pummel him anytime the f***er violated the terms of the '91 armistice."
We did that with middling results for 10 years. Half assed bombings don't do much and full assed bombings kill lots of civilians and makes for bad PR and that's the one thing politicians hate more than anything.
"We should use our bunker-busting weapons to blast the living sh** out of the cave-loving al Qaeda (and the Taliban) in Afghanistan."
Simply not practical. The amount of surveillance required for good intel requires a big footprint and we don't have one locally. We can't rely on satellites as they are tasked to specific places unlike predator drones. It's the Tooth and Tail thing. The sharpest tooth needs the longest tail. That support has to come from somewhere and we can't launch predator drones from England or wherever.
"We should not be nation-building anywhere. This is not (should not be) a function of the military, especially."
That's the argument we need to have before we go anywhere. If we're going to have a policy of whoopass and then go home, that's a reasonable position but not one we can revert to now.
"Look how much it's costing us -- at a time when the US is in dire financial straits. Look at how much it's costing us in terms of human lives, dead and injured."
Indeed. The cost, however, for both wars is less than the inaptly named stimulus package that has done exactly zero for the economy. This war, while costly in terms of blood and treasure may yet yield dividends in the form of peace. Peace gives way to trade and when goods don't cross borders, armies do. You must also calculate the cost of not going to war. How much is that going to cost us directly and long term. Would you have been in favor of intervening in Afghanistan if they had been crowing about their intention to hurt us?
"It pisses the Muslim world off. NO, I don't necessarily care about that per se; however, a situation where we're perceived to be occupiers (and we are in both instances) further inflames passions against our country. We come off looking like the strong bully that we can be. And face it -- in our history, we have -- many times ... overtly and covertly (especially in Latin America)."
I don't care about that either except where it shapes policy. Look, everything we do, we get blamed for it. We leave them alone, we're uncaring and callous. We intervene, we're bullies. We trade, we're damned for enabling dictators and depots. We don't trade and we're blamed for starving children. Nations don't have friends, they have interests. We're no different than any other nation in that regard. We are different, however, in that we are more powerful than anybody else. Taking the longer view; they hate us now for our intervention but when they see Iraq as peaceful, democratic, prosperous and still retaining it's Muslim/Islamic culture they're going to start asking why not us? People will start to wonder if the Jihadis were wrong.
"Now I know the argument that "we need to fight the terrorists where they live." I understand that. But we can do it without tens of thousands of troops. And we should, as a country, inform the known terrorist-sponsoring nations (and anyone else, for that matter) of a very simple message: If we discover that you've supplied terrorists after an attack on us, we will bomb you back to the stone age -- period."
That's fine but if you think they hate us now do you think that dropping enormous weapons on them and then leaving them to clean up the mess is going to help at all? Imagine if we had merely flattened Iraq. I mean ICBMs on Baghdad and Tikrit. What would their opinion be of us then? Imagine again, we've built schools, roads, hospitals and so on. The Iraqis have seen our behavior as overwhelmingly good. Sure there have been some horrible things our guys have done but compared to what they had before, we're angels. What do you do about Saudi Arabia? Terrorism is their second biggest export after radical Islam. Worse, they have enough oil to continue funding our enemies forever. Would you bomb them? Do you know they have radioactive material positioned around their oil fields? You bomb them and they contaminate the oil in their fields and there goes a huge portion of the global oil supply. That leads to major shortages which means global war for the rest of it. That's just for starters. Food shortages, supplies of everything dry up, etc. Unless or until we've obviated the need for vital commodities like oil, we're stuck with what we've got.
Today we learn that the administration is miffed that -- wait for it -- al Qaeda is acting in a racist manner:
In an interview earlier today with the South African Broadcasting Corporation to air in a few hours, President Obama disparaged al Qaeda and affiliated groups' willingness to kill Africans in a manner that White House aides say was an argument that the terrorist groups are racist.
A senior administration official then followed up with "Al Qaeda recruits have said that al Qaeda is racist against black members from West Africa because they are only used in lower level operations."
"In short," the official said, "al Qaeda is a racist organization that treats black Africans like cannon fodder and does not value human life."
Newsflash, Mr. Obama: al Qaeda doesn't value human life period. Or, have you forgotten 9/11? Afghanistan?
Sheesh. You mean to tell me that now the administration will can the politically correct crap about Islamic extremism ... because there's evidence its adherents are racist against blacks?? Will we now go back and call it the "War on Terror?" Will we again refer to groups like al Qaeda as "Islamic extremists?" Will we call "terrorism" just that again -- instead of "man-caused disasters?"
The administration is demonstrating just what a color-conscious entity it is. Radical Islamic terror should be dealt with using "sensitive language" and "outreach" ... unless there's evidence they're racist. Arizona is sued for its immigration enforcement law because it will lead to, according to Obama and co., racial profiling. On the other hand, an outrageously blatant case of voter intimidation in nearby Philly is dropped by the Dept. of Justice, and a whistle-blower from that dept. has testified that it is policy not to take up cases where the plaintiffs are white and the defendants are black.
That this should come as a surprise to some people is chuckle-inducing. There's a plethora of evidence in President Obama's past that would prove this is precisely the political/cultural philosophy he'd follow, not the least of which is his 20 year association with the racist and anti-Semitic Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
I've said it before, I'll say it again: Good luck this November and in 2012, Democrats.
"Cooking With Pork" by The Value of Human Life Index.
Just one of the top five dance tunes featured on the "Dieter's Dance Party" episode of Saturday Night Live's "Sprockets" from 1990.
* Wolf Howling – Obama & Keynes, Hayek & Laffer
* Snapped Shot – Speechless
* The Colossus of Rhodey – Foundation’s Triumph review and the fate of human destiny
* The Razor - Life in a Vise
* Rhymes With Right - An Interesting Question On Obama’s Citizenship
* Right Truth – A Tale of Two…
* Bookworm Room – Parallels between Obama’s green economy plans and, well, other governments’ economic changes
* The Glittering Eye – What Recovery?
* The Provocateur – Reagan’s Legacy Army
* Joshuapundit – Abbas: ‘No point in direct talks with Israel now’
And, as always, there's the non-Council submissions here!
Man, this news almost escaped me -- 25 years ago today, possibly the greatest music event in history took place. Locally, it occurred at the now-demolished JFK Stadium.
A few things I'll always recall about the event:
1) Organizer Bob Geldof remarked "Who the f*** are the Hooters?" when informed that the band would be opening the Philly show. The Hooters were already a popular local band; they were just emerging as major stars at the time Live Aid took place. Ironically, nineteen years later at a concert in Germany, Geldof opened for the Hooters!
2) Phil Collins played at both arenas! He played at Wembley Stadium in London first, then took the supersonic Concorde to New York, then helicoptered to Philly -- to perform at JFK. Wow.
3) The MTV VJs got way too much face time. I recall my sisters and I watching and clamoring "WTF!! Will you show the bands already??"
4) Wayne and Garth on an episode of Saturday Night Live's "Wayne's World" totally busting on the fact that the lame Russian band Autograph actually got Live Aid coverage. Hilarious!
The Pentagon today strongly pushed back against an allegation from a prominent political blogger that the military could segregate gay and straight servicemembers if and when lawmakers repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
The suggestion the Defense Department or the Obama administration could allow for segregation of any kind is "absurd," a Pentagon spokesperson said.
After questions from the survey were leaked, some gay veterans organizations criticized the Defense Department, saying the questions -- which related to issues like how servicemebers would handle sharing housing or bathing facilities with gay colleagues -- were biased against a repeal of DADT.
At a press briefing on Friday organized to address the concerns about the survey, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell explained why those questions were included in the survey. Today, John Aravosis of Americablog, a progressive political blog with a special focus on gay rights, zeroed in on Morrell's remarks to accuse the Pentagon and the Obama administration of preparing to segregate gay servicemen and women.
But ... so what? Straight men and women are, and have been, segregated for decades. If gay men and women shouldn't be segregated from their straight counterparts, then on what basis should straight men and women kept separate?
Americablog's Aravosis asked,
The Pentagon confirmed on Friday that it is considering segregating gay troops, specifically with regards to creating separate showers and/or barracks for straight and gay troops...Why is it okay to even talk about segregating gays and lesbians? What would have happened to an Obama administration spokesman who talked about segregating blacks?
That's simply ludicrous. [Straight] men and women are separated because of the potential for sexual dalliances. See the parallel with gay men and women? Making an analogy to skin color is just the typical "progressive" penchant for invoking racism/bigotry to intimidate their opponents.
Granted, the analogy isn't perfect. One could argue that by segregating gay men and lesbians into their own barracks, sexual dalliances would be [a lot] more frequent than if they were housed together with straights. However, by allowing those whose sexual attraction is towards the same sex to live with those of the same sex, this would be actually a privilege that straight service people have been denied, again, for decades. In other words, if gays are permitted to "control themselves" in barracks with straights, then why can't straight men live with straight women and likewise be permitted to exercise the same control?
Being that it is summer and I was recovering from surgery, I just had to get some fresh reading material. Isaac Asimov's Foundation series may be the best known and beloved story in all of science fiction. I first encountered the original trilogy in high school, and quickly gobbled up all the subsequent sequels and associated stories thereafter.
The series centers around Hari Seldon, the inventor of a science called "psychohistory" which can predict, essentially, the future based on the actions of large numbers of humans. The original trilogy (Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation), written in the 1950s, details the crumbling Galactic Empire and Seldon's efforts to shorten the chaotic interim between it and the Second Galactic Empire. He does so by creating the Foundation -- a group of dedicated scientists on a planet at the edge of the galaxy whose preservation of technology and science will be the ... foundation of the next empire.
Asimov didn't write his sequels until some thirty years later (mainly due to fan pressure). These are Foundation's Edge and Foundation and Earth. Being that there was a lot of difficulty of proceeding further, Asimov then penned a couple of prequels: Prelude to Foundation and Forward the Foundation. These, to me, failed to maintain any interest as after Foundation and Earth, there didn't appear to be a point.
However, Asimov wasn't through. He went on to "unify" his universe -- weaving the Foundation stories with his pre-Galactic Empire Robot tales, in particular the "Robot novels": The Caves of Steel, The Naked Sun, The Robots of Dawn, and Robots and Empire. There's also his "Empire" books, which deal with issues during the Galactic Empire.
After Asimov died in 1992, he (and later his estate) gave various authors permission to "play" in his established universe, much like another favorite scifi author of mine, Larry Niven (who's still alive, by the way). Numerous writers "played" in Isaac's Robot arena, and others with the Foundation, although both are intertwined. The "ultimate" novel, David Brin's Foundation's Triumph, serves as the complete "wrap-up" story that attempts to unify each and every Foundation and Robot novel (and short story) published. Some reviews I had read about it mentioned that someone familiar with the original trilogy and sequels could probably skip the other non-Asimov written novels which immediately precede Triumph and delve right into it. They were right.
But, I had a big problem with it. Actually, it wasn't author Brin's fault -- Asimov had started it years before his death. The main protagonist of the Foundation and Robot novels, the robot (R.) Daneel Olivaw, is revealed to be the "puppet master" of human destiny since the early years of human space travel. Humanity has been coddled for over 20,000 years -- its mind dulled, its creativity stifled, its destiny ... predetermined! And, ultimately, the great psychohistorian Hari Seldon barely raises a ripple of dissent about this.
To be fair, Brin does allow a lot of argument in the pages of Triumph about this fact of robotic human coddling. But again, that very premise (robots babying humanity) acts -- at least for me -- as a huge belly drop. I mean, there I was, in high school, enthralled with a novel about a human who has devised a way to assist his own kind through troubling times (and it by no means was a perfect method) but it's now revealed to be a ruse! It's only a "stop gap" measure for the robot Daneel Olivaw's ultimate goal for humanity!
And what is that ultimate goal? The ultimate communism! A single, unified mind dubbed "Galaxia" by which all humans galaxy-wide would be connected.
Wow. So all that I had read was actually secretly maneuvered by an immortal robotic entity who believes he has humanity's ultimate good in mind. Humans themselves played little to no role in that decision.
I immediately thought of a comicbook parallel: Marvel's super-team The Avengers. In 1999, master comic scribe Kurt Busiek penned the outstanding Avengers Forever -- but it was outstanding not for the ultimate plot, but for the encyclopedic noggin and story-telling of the author, and for the phenomenal artwork by Carlos Pacheco. Like David Brin in Foundation's Triumph, Busiek "unified" the myriad stories of Avengers history written by other authors ... ultimately by making them all the result of the machinations of Immortus, a time-traveling human and occasional Avengers nemesis. So, those Avengers tales I had read since my age was in the single digits were all the result of one man's actions -- a time-traveling occasional super-villain. Ugh.
I mean, what about free will? Freedom? People determining their own destiny? Isn't the essence of freedom and free will the freedom to fail? And, possibly, to become extinct?
I can understand the premise that Daneel Olivaw ultimately could not allow the latter based on his human-protection programming (the Three Laws of Robotics); however, even if he allowed humanity to develop naturally, it wouldn't be eliminated altogether. It would just face more periods of turmoil and chaos. (And, again, to Brin's credit and that of other authors playing in Asimov's universe, this topic is debated heatedly at times among humans and robots in later novels.)
Just imagine: How would you feel if, as many conspiratorial types rant, it was revealed that a secret cabal had been directing the United States since virtually its founding? I'd feel pretty sick to my stomach. No freedom. No free will. Predetermined (or, as predetermined as possible) destiny. Heck, I've defended the United States against the complaints by (primarily) Euros that we're "too violent," and "we have too many in prison," and "your freedom of speech allows outright hate." My reply is essentially along the lines of "So? It's called FREEDOM." Freedom allows for the fact that you can own a gun. Freedom allows you to say what you want, even if it is "hateful." And having such freedom means that, if you go overboard and infringe on the freedom of someone else, you go to prison. I do not want such basic freedoms being determined, and especially not directed, by an individual or group of individuals.
But ... does such a desire go against the Judeo-Christian premise of "pre-determination" -- that God has an ultimate destiny for each of us? I'm a fairly non-religious person, but I recall the teachings that God has a "plan" for every one of us. However, He has given us free will. He doesn't guide our every movement to that plan, and He allows this for humanity as a whole. (Else, why is there so much violence and suffering in the world, right?) Even if we had, say, a massive nuclear war, not all of mankind would be extinguished ... He would have allowed us the free will to make that disastrous decision, yet despite that, He would provide for the seeds of beginning anew.
Just as I was disappointed with how humans were directed by R. Daneel Olivaw and Immortus as noted above, so too would I be disappointed if, upon entering the Great Thereafter, I discovered that all my decisions throughout my life were guided and influenced. I am hoping that I have a copious amount of free will, and that through exercising it in a positive manner, I'll be guaranteed acceptance into that Great Thereafter.
Maybe they can begin selling these vids on late night TV ... here's the latest making the rounds of a Democrat losing it:
Alliance Defense Fund attorneys sent a letter Monday to University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign officials on behalf of a popular, highly regarded professor who was fired for explaining the position of the Roman Catholic Church on human sexual behavior to members of his Introduction to Catholicism class.
“A university cannot censor professors’ speech--including classroom speech related to the topic of the class--merely because certain ideas ‘offend’ an anonymous student,” said ADF Senior Counsel David French. “To fire a professor for teaching the actual subject matter of his course is outrageous. It’s ridiculous that a school would fire a professor without even giving him a chance to defend himself when he simply taught Catholic beliefs in a class about Catholic beliefs.”
Dr. Kenneth Howell, who had been teaching at the university since 2001, was relieved of his duties based in part on an anonymous complaint sent via e-mail to university officials. The e-mail was sent by the friend of an anonymous student who claimed to be “offended” by a May 4 email Howell sent to students elaborating on a class discussion on Catholic beliefs about sexual behavior. The May 4 e-mail from Howell addressed a May 3 lecture in which he explained how the Roman Catholic Church distinguishes between same-sex attraction and homosexual conduct. He properly stated the church’s teaching that homosexual conduct is morally wrong, framing the issue in the context of natural moral law.
Well gee. We can't have a poor young adult be offended now, can we? Especially in a conversation regarding what the f***ing class is all about! But this is a university, after all, so certain groups' feelings and concerns have a higher priority than those of others. If this prof was teaching a course on, say, modern American progressivism, and mentioned some things that offended a conservative who attended the class, you think his job would be in jeopardy based on one anonymous complaint?
The Senator was asked if he was going to run for President:
Ridiculing it as "a silly question," Democrat Barack Obama pledged Wednesday he would resist any overtures to run for president or vice president before the end of his six-year term as a U.S. senator.
"I was elected yesterday," Obama said. "I have never set foot in the U.S. Senate. I've never worked in Washington. And the notion that somehow I'm immediately going to start running for higher office just doesn't make sense.
"So look, I can unequivocally say I will not be running for national office in four years, and my entire focus is making sure that I'm the best possible senator on behalf of the people of Illinois."
Silly indeed. Prithee, what exactly changed? Why was it a silly question that then became the inevitable. I've always had the impression that even Obama himself was more than a little surprised at his own meteoric rise. Once he got over that surprise, however, the sense of self-entitlement went through the roof.
If you ever wonder why his detractors don't trust the things he says, point them to the above quote.
A former congressman and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations pleaded guilty in federal court today to obstruction of justice and to acting as an unregistered foreign agent related to his work for an Islamic charity with ties to international terrorism
Guess which party he belongs to. C'mon just guess. If the deafening silence of the MSM is an indication I think you already know.
I wonder how this would be reported if.....you know what, never mind.
2 bomb attacks in Uganda; 30 feared dead. I suppose it would be insensitive to ask the Ugandans to do some soul searching about why this terrible misfortune has befallen them? "Why do they hate us?" they need to ask themselves. Why indeed. Perhaps their unjust siding with Israel? Um...no. Perhaps their usurpation of Muslim lands? Again, no. Their participation in the War On Terror? Not so much. There has to be a reason, doesn't there? I mean, we can't just boil this down to murder happy men who want to overthrow the government and install a theocracy, right?
Dozens die in blast targeting government offices, prison in northwest Pakistan: "Dozens die in blast targeting government offices, prison in northwest Pakistan"
Looks like Pakistan is overdue for introspection. Apparently they need to pull out of Pakistan or something. Or stop helping the Infidel Imperialist Crusaders or something.
In truth this bombing probably does have to do with Pakistan's support for our anti-terror initiatives. Rumors of Mullah Omar's capture (or entente depending on whom you believe) may wall have precipitated this one.
The other possibility is this one: In what could signal a split within the insurgency, Hezb-e-Islami fighters have been tipping off US and Afghan forces over the past few months, revealing locations of key Taliban figures in Baghlan and Kunduz provinces
I'm not sure how much veracity I put in the Daily Times here but this split would be a very interesting (and possibly fatal for Al-Qaeda) development. I don't know how to draw lines here but there are links somewhere.
Reader(s) are invited to speculate in the comments.
Wilmington News Journal report about a home invasion in Lincoln:
Five men, ages 21 to 34, reported that around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, three people entered their home while they were sleeping. Police said the intruders went from room to room demanding money, drugs and cell phones. They then tied their victims' hands together with duct tape. One man was armed with a knife and hit one victim in the head with the handle. He then head-butted another victim, police said. One of the male intruders is 5 feet 6 inches tall and 175 pounds. He wore a white sleeveless T-shirt, white sneakers and long black shorts with a yellow band around them. The second man was 6 feet tall and 180 pounds. He wore gloves, a white hat and an orange T-shirt. The female intruder was about 5 feet 4, 110 to 130 pounds and wore blue shorts, a white T-shirt and white sneakers.
WGMD.com report of same:
DSP News Release: State Police Searching for Leads Following Home Invasion
Location: 18000 block of Sherman Ave. Lincoln, De
DATE and TIME: Wednesday July 7, 2010 1:30 a.m.
1. Black male, 5’06”, 175 lbs, white sleeveless t-shirt, white tennis shoes long black shorts with a yellow band around them
2 White male 6’00”, 180 lbs, gloves, white hat, orange t-shirt
3. White female 5’04”, 110-130 lbs, blue shorts, white t-shirt and white tennis shoes
Victim(s): Five total victims
• 34 year old male of Sherman Ave. Lincoln, De
• 28 year old male of Sherman Ave. Lincoln, De
• 21 year old male of Sherman Ave. Lincoln, De
• 26 year old male of Sherman Ave. Lincoln, De
• 23 year old male of Sherman Ave. Lincoln, De
Wow, a lower Delaware radio station website use the state police release of the incident ... while the state's largest media outlet exercises politically correct editing in its own report.
So, who best has the general public's interests in mind ... ?
The resolution, scheduled for a vote as early as Tuesday by delegates attending the annual NAACP convention in Kansas City, calls upon “all people of good will to repudiate the racism of the Tea Parties, and to stand in opposition to its drive to push our country back to the pre-civil rights era.”
NAACP leaders said the resolution was necessary to make people aware of what they believe is a racist element within the tea party movement.
“I think a lot of people are not taking the tea party movement seriously, and we need to take it seriously,” said Anita Russell, head of the Kansas City chapter of the NAACP. “We need to realize it’s really not about limited government.”
Russell said she was “pretty certain” the resolution would pass.
Indeed. After all, we saw what the Tea Party did to members of the Congressional Black Caucus -- hurling racial epithets, including the "N" word, at them and even spitting on them.
Oops, that's right. Sorry. There's absolutely no proof that that actually happened.
But hey, look, I'm just glad we have the NAACP to safeguard us from racist greeting cards. And from banners that depict Barack Obama as the Joker. And from insensitive cartoons. And for being there to complain about how the style of dresses remind folks of "slavery." And for demanding apoligies for slavery.
UPDATE: Semi-related: Jesse Jackson attempts to remain relevant by stating that Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has a "slave master mentality" when it comes to LeBron James.
Gee, and silly me thought Gilbert was just upset!
I believe that would be around 105 mph on Ebright Rd. (highest point in DE) back when I was a crazy-ass 17 yr. old (and before the road had all those traffic impediments). It was in a 1969 Chrysler New Yorker, my first car.
How 'bout you?
During the interview Wednesday, when confronted with the anxiety that some Israelis feel toward him, Obama said that "some of it may just be the fact that my middle name is Hussein, and that creates suspicion."
Riiiiight. Try your policies and tone. And, of course, maybe The Messiah forgot that Israel once signed a peace treaty with a guy by the name of King Hussein?
First place in the Council category was Wolf Howling with Obama’s Lawsuit Against Arizona (Updated).
First place in the non-Council category was Caroline Glick with Standing down the hanging jury.
Full results are here.
During the first six decades of the nuclear age, however, fewer than 100 people have died as a result of nuclear power plant accidents. And comparing modern nuclear plants to Chernobyl—the Ukrainian reactor that directly caused 56 deaths after a 1986 meltdown—is like comparing World War I fighter planes to the F/A-18. Newer nuclear plants, including the fast reactor now being developed at Idaho National Laboratory (INL), contain multiple auto-shutoff mechanisms that reduce the odds of a meltdown exponentially—even in a worst-case scenario, like an industrial accident or a terrorist attack. And some also have the ability to burn spent fuel rods, a convenient way to reuse nuclear waste instead of burying it for thousands of years.
Power sources such as coal and petroleum might seem safer than nuclear, but statistically they're a lot deadlier.
Maybe Ms. Berryhill could put a bit more energy (pardon the pun) into getting blog owner Nancy "Harpy" Willing to make her site even marginally readable, design-wise.
Will you look at this. Colossus of becoming a veritable hang-out now! Everyone give it up for the arrival of Paul Smith Jr., formerly of Gazziza.
Watch out Delaware blogosphere ... ! ;-)
Duffy and I were discussing issues on which we disagree ... and how we could post on such in a sort of more "formal" debate. The one topic on which seem to vigorously disagree is the American presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. I say we should get out (notice the two graphics I added at the lower right side of the main page under "What We're Reading"); Duff says "no way."
Regarding Iraq, in one of my very earliest posts here at Colossus I laid out my reasons for my opposition to the invasion. It really hasn't changed.
With regards to Afghanistan, I certainly agree with our reasons -- the right -- to attack it after 9/11. But what the hell have we been doing in these nine years? Why are we still there? Did we forget the Soviet experience there? Our objective was (or, should have been) to zap those al Qaeda f***ers for 9/11 and then get the hell out. But no -- like Iraq, we're now attempting to "nation build."
Now I know the argument that "we need to fight the terrorists where they live." I understand that. But we can do it without tens of thousands of troops. And we should, as a country, inform the known terrorist-sponsoring nations (and anyone else, for that matter) of a very simple message: If we discover that you've supplied terrorists after an attack on us, we will bomb you back to the stone age -- period.
Singer Jimmy Buffett is just another mad Gulf Coast native when it comes to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, but with an exception: He's got millions of fans and a way to help lift spirits over the seemingly endless crisis.
Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band will play Sunday on the beach in Gulf Shores, Ala., which has been sporadically hit by oil for weeks. The show already has been postponed once because of Hurricane Alex, and Buffet is hoping bad weather lurking in the Gulf doesn't create problems this weekend.
Buffett, a supporter of President Barack Obama, said the roots of the spill lie with the administration of former President George Bush, which was often criticized for being too cozy with the petroleum industry.
"To me it was more about eight years of bad policy before (Obama) got there that let this happen. It was Dracula running the blood bank in terms of oil and leases," he said. "I think that has more to do with it than how the president reacted to it."
Is it me or does winter seem like the ravings of a mad man? I'm reminded of that Twilight Zone episode The Midnight Sun except I don't want to wake up and find the Earth moving away from the sun.
It's so hot here in DC I was walking past a tree and it was whistling at a dog hoping the dog would pee on him.
Man, wish I had a nickel for every time I heard that line ...
A group of furious parents gathered Tuesday on South Street, at the foot of what used to be the public housing apartments where they grew up, to decry the police chief's labeling of their children as street gang members.
Investigators say the gang -- the 819 Boyz -- takes its name from the former 100-unit complex called the Martin Luther King Jr. Apartments at 819 South St.
Last week, Police Chief Mike Chitwood and officials with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, announced the conclusion of a 20-month investigation that netted 40 people for drugs and firearms violations. One suspect is still on the run, police said.
Many of those arrested will face federal charges because of their criminal histories, as well as the amount of narcotics and the types of guns they sold to undercover ATF agents, Chitwood said Tuesday.
Regardless of the charges and the detailed arrest affidavits that underscore an intricate network of crack cocaine and gun sales to undercover federal agents, the parents of the suspects insisted their children are no angels, but they're no gang members either.
"Our kids are not perfect, but they're not notorious gang members," said Tommy Jackson, whose son Tyrell Jackson is one of the 40 nabbed in the sting. "Show us the evidence that our children are gang members." (Link.)
Yeah, that's it. Gather to protest the use of "gang" by law enforcement and then march on city hall(!) about it next. That's the problem, right? Not that your kids are total miscreants involved in guns and drugs, but that authorities dare to use the term "gang" when describing them.
God help us.
How's the MSM treating the "NASA Muslim outreach" story? Let's take a look:
* Total words about the NASA Muslim outreach program in the New York Times: 0.
* Total words about the NASA Muslim outreach program in the Washington Post: 0.
* Total words about the NASA Muslim outreach program on NBC Nightly News: 0.
* Total words about the NASA Muslim outreach program on ABC World News: 0.
* Total words about the NASA Muslim outreach program on CBS Evening News: 0.
Meanwhile, it only seems like Fox News is covering the DOJ-New Black Panther scandal with any vigor (surprise). Now, meet one of the guys against whom charges were dropped by the DOJ:
And the NAACP lobbied the DOJ to drop the case against this dude?
UPDATE: Fay Voshell over at DE Politics provides a link that shows a similar voter intimidation story -- by the anti-illegal immigrant folks dubbed The Minutemen -- in Arizona in 2006. In her comments she seems to use the link to note that the AZ case and the Philly case are in no way similar. But ... they are. Indeed, in the Philly case, it appears that no actual voters came forth to claim they were intimidated. This is unlike the Arizona case, apparently. It's a lousy tactic to point out bad actions by others to "justify" similar actions by other individuals (Fay did not do this; commenter "Apo whichiapi" did so, and Fay was responding), but if the story about The Minutemen is accurate, I'd be interested in learning more about it.
However, the big difference between the two cases, it seems, is that there is blatant video evidence of the Philly case. Is the DOJ's rationale, despite the video evidence, really going to be that "no voters came forth with claims of intimidation"? (Like maybe, just maybe, they're too intimidated to come forward?) After all, y'think the DOJ back in the '60s would use that rationale if members of the KKK were similarly stationed outside a voting place in Mississippi? Unlikely.
* Rhymes With Right – Obama #15? No Way!
* The Colossus of Rhodey – And the Philly Inquirer wonders why it’s dying a slow death?
* Right Truth - A World Without Islam – Review
* Bookworm Room – New country discovered at the Marin County Fair
* The Glittering Eye – Foundations of Sand
* The Provocateur – Mark Clements and Chicago’s Culture of Torture
* Snapped Shot – D is for Diss
* Joshuapundit – A Partisan Divide On Israel?
* Wolf Howling - Obama’s Lawsuit Against Arizona (Updated)
And check out the non-Council nominations here.
Saw this one coming a mile away. Only a matter of time before this moves over here. Yankee stadium has pre-emptively banned these things probably because the murderous rampage that would occur if they did not. No, it will be relegated to Shea stadium where they'll do the wave and blow these unholy horns and hope that someday the shame of being a Mets fan is somehow mitigated.
I'm positively gobsmacked. Really? $150 haircuts? How is this possible? I've never wanted to be a barber before but I'm sure that for $150 a pop in a country that poor I'd have a pretty comfortable margin.
I could open a barber shop offering nothing but crew cuts and charge a mere $75 apiece and probably do just fine.
So awesome. The thing looks like it weighs forty pounds and I can't imagine the amount of RF signal leak on that thing. My kids are going to laugh hysterically when I show them my current cell phone in a few years I'm sure.
"The internet's completely over." Thus spake The Purple One.
Internet is over. Um...over? Really? That's terrible. I just joined this blog and now the whole thing is over? Just damn. Anyone have an idea of when the last day is? I have some other thoughts I'd like to post before then.
This is one of the dumbest things I've heard since yesterday when Nancy Pelosi said something.
Honestly, can you think of anything that is more future oriented than the internet? This is the dumbest internet quote since Ted "A Series of Tubes" Stevens.
In fact, I'm declaring Prince's statement to be 2.3 times dumber than Ted Stevens. Stevens may be technically clueless but at least he wasn't dumb enough to declare it "over".
Oddly, the Tiny Weirdo says it's over because it "fills your head with numbers". I don't even know what that means. Will I now be good at math or something? Can someone tell me how we get from say, this page to my head filled with numbers? Oh! I got it. We're in Teh Matrix! I see it all makes sense to me now.
Short answer (pardon the pun) the guy is nuts.
Many hockey fans knew Probert as one of the most feared enforcers in the game. He never ever backed down from a fight. He was also known as an enforcer who could not only throw a punch but take one. Unlike some other goons he was also a decent player. There were some other guys *cough* Tie Domi *cough* who were there for muscle almost exclusively. He was a good player and a great enforcer. Goodbye Mr. Probert.
Herewith is a compilation of videos of Probert beating people senseless.
Who knew? According to the enlightened brains at the Wilmington News Journal, 420 million kids are on waiting lists for charter schools!
Population of the USA? About 307 million.
Try not to laugh:
That's what Justice Department spokesman Tracy Schmaler told the Associated Press as to why charges were dropped against the New Black Panthers' voter intimidation case.
Wow. Maybe this video doesn't count as "fact?" A former DOJ attorney has stated that the DOJ dropped the case for racial reasons; can you imagine the reaction if a GOP-run DOJ dropped a similar case -- where members of the KKK were stationed outside a polling place in, say, Mississippi?
And as for "voter intimidation," does anyone else recall how the Left defined "intimidation" as the police having set up a driver checkpoint within a few miles of some polling places (among other hysterical instances) in Florida on election night 2000 ... and how that was some sinister GOP plot to give the state to G.W. Bush?
Yeah -- but two Black Panthers right in front of a polling place brandishing night sticks is voter intimidation "not supported by the facts or by the law."
... time to see how freakin' stupid some of us are:
Folks, it is with the utmost pleasure that I announce the coming of Duffy as a Colossus contributor! Duff is from the Pencader Days blog, but will treat us to his political and cultural insights right here at Colossus. P.D. will remain as a more "personal-oriented" blog for Duff.
To quote a certain "Flounder," "Oh boy is this GREAT!!"
That's the verdict of 238 of the nation's leading presidential scholars, who - for a fifth time - rated Franklin Delano Roosevelt the best president ever in the latest Siena College Research Institute poll.
In office for barely two years, Obama entered the survey in the 15th position - two spots behind Bill Clinton and three spots ahead of Ronald Reagan.
Obama got high marks for intelligence, ability to communicate and imagination, but his score was dragged down by his relative lack of experience and family background.
Folks, if you've ever doubted the fact that universities are overwhelmingly liberal and an isolated womb outside the real world, look no further than this survey. How a guy who's been in office for only a year and a half can rank at #15 ... and ahead of Ronald Reagan ... is beyond astonishing.
And WTF is "imagination"?? How does that realistically come into play when ranking presidents? How come (at least that I saw) something like "RESULTS" isn't listed among the ranking criteria? Contrariwise, how elitist is it to consider "family background" when looking at presidential greatness? Who cares if Obama was raised without a father? How does that play into his effectiveness/ineffectiveness as a chief exec? For me, that makes him "better" than JFK, the Bushes, and any other president who came from mega-money because he didn't have everything "handed" to him.
UPDATE: For some easy and cheap laughs check out what the LGOMB's Jason "Soft Hands Trust Fund" Scott has to say about the survey. He "coverts" Republicans Abe Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt into Democrats (based on modern political definitions), but amazingly then keeps Tom Jefferson as a Democrat.
But give him a break. He can't really help his utter stupidity.
First place in the Council category was Wolf Howling with The Supremes – Guns & The War On Christianity.
First place in the non-Council category was The Volokh Conspiracy with Constitutional Rights that Put Lives at Risk.
Full results are here.
The Messiah, in today's speech on immigration:
Today, we have more boots on the ground near the Southwest border than at any time in our history. Let me repeat that: We have more boots on the ground on the Southwest border than at any time in our history. We doubled the personnel assigned to Border Enforcement Security Task Forces. We tripled the number of intelligence analysts along the border. For the first time, we've begun screening 100 percent of southbound rail shipments. And as a result, we're seizing more illegal guns, cash and drugs than in years past. Contrary to some of the reports that you see, crime along the border is down.
Looks like Barack doesn't believe his own FBI, then. Take a gander at this chart. Sure looks like crime around the border has actually gone up quite a bit since 2000 now, doesn't it? Here's the explanation:
What we see that Arizona is broken into three categories - Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Cities Outside of MSA, and rural counties. Most people reside and most crime occurs in the MSAs. On the other hand, a glance at a map tells me that the Arizona border itself is not near what to the eyes of this former Manhattanite looks like any major city.
And the stats reprinted below tell a different story - measured by violent crimes per 100,000, the non-MSA portion of Arizona has seen a dramatic increase in crime.
We also note that the non-MSA population has been declining while the state has been growing.
So, crime is "decreasing" along the southern border about as much as Obama is "doing all he can" about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
First up is the NAACP's Chief Executive Benjamin Todd Jealous:
[Senator Robert Byrd] “went from being an active member of the KKK to being a stalwart supporter of the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and many other pieces of seminal legislation that advanced the civil rights and liberties of our country.” (Link.)
UURNT! Byrd not only opposed those bills, he filibustered the former for almost three months!
Next, MSNBC's Donny Douche can't recall how we got into Afghanistan -- "people weren't clear why we were there in the first place."
UURNT! Thankfully, a co-host reminded of a little thing called "9/11."
Human Events recently made a list of the "Eight Most Irritating Liberal Celebrities." To counter, Daily Kos then did up "The Eight More Irritating Conservative Celebrities." Let's compare and contrast (my comments in italics).
1) Roger Ebert (Only smart at analyzing movies.)
2) Rosie O’Donnell (Her sanity left her LONG ago.)
3) Michael Moore (Phony "everyman" whose schtick has run its course.)
4) Joy Behar (Who actually thinks this woman is either smart OR funny?)
5) Janeane Garofalo (Mildly funny comedian who should'a stuck to that trade.)
6) Al Gore ("Celebrity??")
7) Matt Damon (An actual talent; too bad he attempts to lecture us about the "genius" of folks like Howard Zinn.)
8) Robert Redford (Another actual talent -- "The Natural" is a true classic -- yet he devotes his Sundance Channel to far-left endeavors 24-7.)
1) Ben Stein (Always has been a minor acting talent, if you can call it that, and is a minor political talent as well.)
2) Mel Gibson (Blew his place in entertainment history with his anti-Semitic rant a few years back; nevertheless remains a real talent with acting [ever see "Tim"?] and directing ["The Passion"].)
3) Chuck Norris (Always was a crummy actor and remains thus as a political force.)
4) Stephen Baldwin (Who?)
5) Jon Voight (The dude won an Oscar so he's hardly a hack; nice to see someone of his acting caliber going against the Hollywood liberal tide.)
6) Dennis Miller (Perhaps my favorite comedian, he makes dolts like Bill Maher looks like cretins in comparison.)
7) Ted Nugent (Ugh.)
8) Victoria Jackson (Double ugh.)
So, by a score of 3-2, conservatives "win" the battle by having just one more actual talent on the respective lists. Feel free to differ with my analysis.
Reason's Jacob Sullum:
In their dissenting opinions, Justices John Paul Stevens and Stephen Breyer (joined by Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor) worry that overturning gun control laws undermines democracy. If “the people” want to ban handguns, they say, “the people” should be allowed to implement that desire through their elected representatives.
What if the people want to ban books that offend them, establish an official church, or authorize police to conduct warrantless searches at will? Those options are also foreclosed by constitutional provisions that apply to the states by way of the 14th Amendment. The crucial difference between a pure democracy and a constitutional democracy like ours is that sometimes the majority does not decide.
I'm curious -- where in the Constitution is there the "right to be free from handgun violence"? Would the Inquirer ever opine something like "While the Supreme Court's conservative majority remains fixated on expanding the right of freedom of speech, millions of other Americans should be more worried about preserving their right to be free from racial and other hurtful epithets"?