Tom Blumer over at Newsbusters reports on the conclusion by a couple of ... "ethicists" in Australia about whether
"... we need to assess facts in order to decide whether the same arguments that apply to killing a human fetus can also be consistently applied to killing a newborn human." Their answer is "Yes, they should."
As shocking as this may seem, what's even more shocking, according to Julian Savulescu of the Practical Ethics blog and editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics in which the above proposition was published, are the examples of "hate speech" that have been directed at the Journal as a result. Got that? People voicing displeasure at the concept of infanticide are worse than those who would perpetrate said infanticide.
Now, as Blumer mentions in his Newsbusters post, some of the correspondence sent to the Journal involved threats. These, of course, are totally unacceptable. But Savulescu is also miffed at comments such as the following:
“These people are evil. Pure evil. That they feel safe in putting their twisted thoughts into words reveals how far we have fallen as a society.”
“I don‘t believe I’ve ever heard anything as vile as what these “people” are advocating. Truly, truly scary.”
“The fact that the Journal of Medical Ethics published this outrageous and immoral piece of work is even scarier”
“Liberals are disgusting. They have criminal minds. To think that a person must be considered “worthy” to live is criminal.”
“i can’t even comment on this atrocity. I know these people are murderers in their hearts. And God will treat them as such. They are completely spiritually dead.”
Savulescu concludes: "This is hate speech. The kind of thing that incenses people to violence."
Is that so? And pondering -- advocating -- putting infanticide on the same level as abortion doesn't do just that? How freakin' far have we fallen as a society when infanticide can be advocated because a child "might be an unbearable burden on the family and on society as a whole," but CRITICISM of such that action could lead people to violent actions.
Such simply defies the most basic morality.
And this is the world the contemporary Left would have us live in: Where supposed hate speech is akin to infanticide; where infanticide is pondered to allow for more personal and societal comfort, yet the death penalty for brutal killers is anathema; where peaceful protests against massive, intrusive government (Tea Parties) are demonized, but violent protests where people die, are raped, do drugs, and attack police are lionized; where one side's presidential candidates are vilified for supposedly wanting to outlaw contraception, but our current president -- who voted for a state law that allowed the infanticide of babies that survived an abortion -- is adored by women everywhere.
I'm reminded of the exchange between Sol and the head of the Book Exchange in Soylent Green. After Sol reads the classified report that reveals the Soylent Corporation is making food out of people, he exclaims "Good God!" Whereupon the head of the Exchange says, "What God, Mr. Roth? Where will we find him?"
... of MSDNC's Lawrence O'Donnell (to paraphrase Jonah Goldberg):
So, let's make everyone a representative! Or a senator!
Aside from the utter ridiculousness of such coverage, I've an easy solution for Ms. Barbara Johnson, the subject of the article: If you have a problem with Catholic doctrine/teaching, then leave the Church. It's quite simple really. I don't mean this to sound unseemly, but really -- why do people have this predilection for forcing [especially] religious institutions to bend to what they want? And secondly, why would you even want to be a member of an institution that disdains you so?
Either leave and join a group that accepts you for what you are, or accept the Church's teachings as taught. But don't whine to a major newspaper (which will lovingly carry your water, of course) and expect the sympathy to come pouring in.
Listen to Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke tell Congress that her birth control should be free:
Why wasn't this idiot laughed out of the room? When she said, "Without insurance coverage, contraception, as you know, can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school,” I'd have responded, "Don't worry, you'll be able to make that in a few hours once you get your license."
Then there's this:
$3,000 for birth control in three years? That’s a thousand dollars a year of sex – and, she wants us to pay for it. [...]
At a dollar a condom if she shops at CVS pharmacy’s website, that $3,000 would buy her 3,000 condoms – or, 1,000 a year…
Assuming it’s not a leap year, that’s 1,000 divided by 365 – or having sex 2.74 times a day, every day, for three straight years. And, I thought Georgetown was a Catholic university where women might be prone to shun casual, unmarried sex. At least its health insurance doesn’t cover contraception (that which you subsidize, you get more of, you know).
And the non-Council nominations are here!
... considering how much we've already spent in Afghanistan and Iraq combined: Guantanamo detainees get new $750G soccer field.
Stupid? Yep. As stupid as why we're still in Afghanistan and Iraq "nation-building?" Yep.
Keep in mind all of these idiots are now saying "Oil prices are beyond President Obama's control."
I actually happen to think what they're saying now is correct -- that there's precious little the chief exec can do about high gas prices. But that ain't the issue. The issue is wanton, blatant hypocrisy. Obama and some of his minions are on record as supporting higher gas prices, not to mention The Messiah has dwindled the amount of federal lands on which oil can be explored/drilled for. So, even as new exploration and drilling would take years to affect the price at the pump, the perception (as opposed to that of our former president, Bush) is that Barack Obama is hostile to further domestic oil development -- period.
George Silberzahn of Wilmington wants to "thank" the Republican presidential candidates for helping him "know" who they are. Numbers are mine:
(1) I now know to expect a conservative Republican to believe my decisions need to meet with the dictates of their religion, (2) that those who live in McMansions have the right to a better life than others, (3) that those who can pay for medical services have the right to better medical care than those who cannot, (4) that corporate workers who get the highest salaries deserve to keep most of it while those who make the least deserve to keep less of theirs, (5) and those who have taken advantage of their advantages through their working life have little obligation to help those who have not.
1) Nonsense. Nevertheless, you mean like the Obama administration dictating that Catholics (and others) have to violate the dictates of their religion?
3) It's not a "right," so the point is moot. That's the problem with "progressives" -- they believe practically everything is a "right" ... like health care is a "right." It is not. (At least, not yet.)
4) Who, precisely, has said this?
5) Nobody has an obligation to help anybody. And when "progressives" continue to demand that people help others -- via higher taxation -- then private charitable assistance wanes.
And this Colossus segment may be endangered due to the News Journal online pay wall which has begun to take effect. Stay tuned.
Of course. I'm certain it'll contain as many factual errors as I.T. did.
GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE. NOW.
Our illustrious commander-in-chief quickly apologized for the burning of numerous Korans in Afghanistan recently (y'know, because even though proper procedure appeared to have been followed, militant Islamists still rampaged and killed a lot of people); ironically, we now read this:
Military personnel threw away, and ultimately burned, confiscated Bibles that were printed in the two most common Afghan languages amid concern they would be used to try to convert Afghans, a Defense Department spokesman said Tuesday.
The unsolicited Bibles sent by a church in the United States were confiscated about a year ago at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan because military rules forbid troops of any religion from proselytizing while deployed there, Lt. Col. Mark Wright said.
Such religious outreach can endanger American troops and civilians in the devoutly Muslim nation, Wright said.
I wonder if/when Barack will apologize to American Christians for this travesty, eh? Yeesh, again, see my very easy solution to this nonsense at the beginning of the post.
Greg at Rhymes With Right has further thoughts on this.
UPDATE: And then there's the utterly beyond-ridiculous PC when it comes to reporting on all this stuff. Like here:
The Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack Saturday inside the Afghan interior ministry that killed at least two American officers.
NATO and Afghan officials reported the deaths of two American officers inside the ministry in Kabul.
According to the International Security Assistance Force, initial reports indicated that "an individual" turned his weapon against NATO service members.
A Taliban spokesman said the attack was in response to the burning of Qurans at a U.S. base.
The Americans killed were a colonel and a major, the Afghan official said earlier.
"They were part of the advisory mission there," the official said. "At this stage we can't say why they were killed."
Um, excuse me, but besides it being f***ing obvious, A TALIBAN SPOKESMAN JUST TOLD YOU WHY!
UPDATE 2: Andrew McCarthy has a must-read on all this.
Personally, I think a lot of them are obnoxious as hell ... but that isn't a crime in these United States. Unfortunately, a Pennsylvania judge doesn't see it that way:
The Pennsylvania State Director of American Atheists, Inc., Mr. Ernest Perce V., was assaulted by a Muslim while participating in a Halloween parade. Along with a Zombie Pope, Ernest was costumed as Zombie Muhammad. The assault was caught on video, the Muslim man admitted to his crime and charges were filed in what should have been an open-and-shut case. That’s not what happened, though.
The defendant is an immigrant and claims he did not know his actions were illegal, or that it was legal in this country to represent Muhammad in any form. To add insult to injury, he also testified that his 9 year old son was present, and the man said he felt he needed to show his young son that he was willing to fight for his Prophet.
The case went to trial, and as circumstances would dictate, Judge Mark Martin is also a Muslim. What transpired next was surreal. The Judge not only ruled in favor of the defendant, but called Mr. Perce a name and told him that if he were in a Muslim country, he’d be put to death.
This idiot judge called Mr. Perce a "dufus" for his actions, and offered long-winded soliloquies about what it means to be a Muslim.
I don't care what it means to be a Muslim. Or any other religion or culture. The First Amendment clearly protects what Mr. Perce did -- and not what the defendant did. Why even have a First Amendment if it only "protects" speech that everybody has no issue with? It's supposed to protect speech that people may dislike. This Judge Martin (obviously a believer like Justice Ginsburg, eh?) should be impeached ASAP.
Local affilliate report on the incident:
The non-Council winner was Mark Steyn with Contraception Misdirection.
Full results are here.
Perpetually aggrieved Delawarean Jea Street -- a member of the Delaware Black Caucus -- is miffed that the state's "Race to the Top" education reforms aren't leading to "greater equality":
"The new millennium term is 'charter school' and 'choice school.' I call it segregation," he said. "There are black charter schools and there are predominantly white charter schools. You can call it what you want, but it is what it is."
*Sigh* Street really likes the term "new millenium [racism]," and he always views things through a racial lens. And only an anachronism like a "Black Caucus" can claim that "Delaware's modern education policies like school choice still retain an air of segregation." Um ... aren't liberals supposed to be about choice? Yeah, yeah, I know, as long it's the "right kind" of choice. Choices that people make freely -- even black people!! -- that may lead to some disparity in some progressive-desired racial "balance," are ridiculously compared to pre-Brown v. Board of Education.
Get. A. Grip. On. Reality. For. Heaven's. Sake.
Oh, and Jea? "Race to the Top" is a Barack Obama idea. He happens to be a black guy. Or, perhaps you don't consider him "authentically black?" (Another favorite progressive epithet.)
Last two lines of the article:
"He only got to eat about three-quarters of the cheeseburger," Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain told msnbc.com.
"I don’t know if he had 30 years with Denny’s, but he probably has had experience cooking a cheeseburger in the past."
An undercover reporter in Washington DC unearths a popular place where underage teens get easy access to alcohol ... and once a police raid is sprung the teens get miffed. And so do their parents:
Following the story, teens flooded the station’s Facebook page with angry messages such as “…you’re now the most hated woman in the dc (sic) metro area.” A follow-up report by McCarren about a police raid on an underage drinking party brought out further anger on social media against the reporter. In addition, parents of teens being arrested by police at the scene became upset with WUSA-TV’s coverage and questioned police as to why law enforcement was granting video access to the raid.
One parent was noted to have said "Why didn't you run?" to the kids. Absolutely unreal.
It is 2012, after all. Maybe civilization really is coming to an end.
School counselor gets kids class credit for volunteering to work on Obama's re-election campaign. Now, as I read through this, I kept waiting to see if volunteering for Obama's campaign was just one choice -- like, could a kid volunteer for the GOP candidate's campaign?
"Sure," the counselor says. But "no students have asked her about that."
Well gee, why might that be? Could it be because this counselor has suggested herself that kids work for the Obama camp? (She admits she has.) How comfortable would a student be asking an outspoken advocate for one side ... about working for the other side?
Not very, I'd wager.
Our illustrious Wilmington News Journal (Delaware Online) is going to have a pay wall very soon. It currently is keeping track of your visits -- you get five freebies before you'll have to purchase a package!
Yeesh. I haven't met anyone yet who's gonna put out the $15 a month to read the Journal. I wouldn't do it for a paper like the NY Times or the Philly Inquirer; why in the world would I do it for the WNJ?
Any Delawareans gonna shell out that cash for the online version?
And the non-Council nominations are here!
... we read this:
"Iran says its atomic program is aimed only at producing electricity and insists it has the right under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to build a uranium-development program," reports the AP.
The New York Times' William Rhoden unwittingly exposes his own mainstream media to its favorite canard -- or card: the RACISM card.
Midway through a discussion about the world of sports at the Connecticut Forum in Hartford last week, Rebecca Lobo, the former University of Connecticut basketball star, posed an intriguing question. Could anyone recall a black athlete who had come off the bench like Tim Tebow or out of the blue like Jeremy Lin, flared to immediate stardom and received the sort of impassioned outpouring of love that has enveloped Tebow and Lin?
*Sigh* Yes -- and it's quite easy: Tiger Woods. The Williams sisters (Venus and Serena). Just to name three. And what is the distinguishing characteristic about all five of these examples?
They excel[led] in a sport dominated by another race.
This doesn't apply to Tebow as much as it does Lin, Woods and the Williamses, but that isn't his fault. The media went ape sh** over his religion. But with the others, really -- how many Asian stand-out stars are there in general in the four major sports? Woods and the Williams sisters got enormous coverage not only because they dominated their respective sports, but because they're African-Americans in sports overwhelmingly represented by whites.
Geez, was this really that hard to figure out? And could the title of Rhoden's article be any more ridiculous -- "Breakout Stars Shine a Light on Those Left Out" -- as if there are no black star athletes who get warranted recognition and adulation? If this was actually true, then doesn't this make Rhoden's own mainstream media guilty of ... racism?
(h/t to The Corner.)
The mother of a seven-year-old boy was told to sign a school form admitting he was racist after he asked another pupil about the colour of his skin.
Elliott Dearlove had asked a five-year-old boy in the playground whether he was ‘brown because he was from Africa’.
His mother, Hayley White, 29, said she received a phone call last month to say her son had been at the centre of a ‘racist incident’.
This would be bad enough if adults were involved; this kid is seven. Unbelievably, the incident will undergo "further investigation."
Remember, too, this sort of nonsense would result if people like Ruth Bader Ginsburg get their way. Many "progressives" feel that our First Amendment is a huge impediment to "social justice;" y'know, like being able to "eradicate" racism by branding children as "racists" for innocent interrogatives.
One needs a suspension of disbelief to enjoy science fiction. This is just a basic fact of the genre. But for total enjoyment, the suspension has to be, well, plausible. For instance, with Star Trek, there are actually working theories about how an interstellar warp drive could work. (This doesn't absolve Trek overall, though, not by any means.) Wormholes, another means by which scifi writers use faster-than-light travel, are also hypothetically possible. Hell, even time travel now has more of a concrete scientific basis, going backwards in time (usually assumed to be impossible) included. But scifi writers can still push the ... "boundaries" of this necessary suspension of disbelief, most especially when it comes to current technology. This leads to B.S.O.D.M. -- "Biggest Suspension of Disbelief Moments." These are the moments when we set aside the necessary suspension and say, "C'mon." Here are but a few examples; I'm certain there are many, many more:
The end of Predator. This Arnold classic deserves its popularity. The premise is fairly sound, the action is first-rate, and the alien rocks. I enjoy the film ... right up until the last few minutes. Arnold successfully lures the Predator into his trap, and has him dead to rights after the massive tree trunk falls on the creature. But the alien then activates a wrist device which begins to make a classic "countdown" sound ...
The B.S.O.D.M . First, Arnold -- a superbly trained special forces operative -- stands there for precious seconds "figuring out" what the Predator is doing. Dude! I know what that sound means; why don't you?? Second -- and this is the biggie -- Arnie barely makes it some 400 meters away when the Pred's tactical nuke detonates. We see that the EMP from the nuke causes some of the electronics on Arnie's rescue chopper to fry, yet when the smoke clears, there's our hero ... just a bit singed. The pressure wave, the heat and the sound alone should have been enough to off Arnold, despite him managing to find a small crevice in which to hide.
The Ewoks in Return of the Jedi. Aside from the fact that their inclusion totally ruined the first trilogy, was there anyone who actually believed the rebels needed their [military] assistance?
The B.S.O.D.M. During the battle to destroy the shield generator on Endor, the Ewoks are knocking out Imperial troops -- who're wearing armor, mind you -- with rocks, spears and arrows. If those visually appealing white exo-suits ain't doin' their actual job, take 'em the hell off, Imperials. This is the empire that can build moon-sized space stations, but can't provide its troops with basic equipment? YEESH.
Jeff Goldblum in Independence Day. Aliens who've been watching Earth since at least the 1940s finally decide it's time to invade -- and only cable TV guy Jeff Goldblum can figure everything out.
The B.S.O.D.M. Not only is Goldblum the only dude who figures out there's a hidden signal coming from the aliens, he later writes a computer virus which disables the entire alien network! Considering that Jeff's 1996 virus couldn't disable a [human] computer today with up-to-date anti-virus protection, it is beyond laughable that interstellar-traveling aliens do not have system protection thousands of magnitudes better.
The moon in Space: 1999. We recently covered a possible Space revival; the original premise was that a nuclear waste dump on the moon explodes -- and acts as a giant "engine" which propels our satellite away from its orbit.
The B.S.O.D.M. Sci-fi god Isaac Asimov, among others, rightly laughed -- hard -- at this ludicrous premise. First, a nuke explosion powerful enough to knock Luna from its orbit (let alone act as an "engine") would obliterate it. Second, how does even a makeshift nuclear "engine" manage to propel a whole world to speeds which will enable it to encounter far-off worlds in other solar systems ... in human lifetimes?
Trans-warp beaming in 2009's Star Trek. Personally, I dug the reimagined Trek and the lengths JJ Abrams went through to include connections to the original "universe" and this new, alternate one. But shortly after Jim Kirk and original universe Spock discover Scotty on the base on that frozen planet, I said "WTF?"
The B.S.O.D.M. Original universe Spock informs [alternate universe] Scotty of his theory of "trans-warp beaming." No, Scotty hasn't invented it yet, so naturally Spock fills him in (adding more muddle to the new timeline and all that jazz). But this is besides the point. If Scotty developed a means to actually beam things through space faster than light -- with such precision that Kirk and himself materialize on the Enterprise with only minor hassles (Scotty pops up in the ship's fusion water tubes -- D'OH!), why in the f*** does Starfleet still need ships? All you gotta do is beam people to different worlds!
Via Newsarama. Some I knew about, some I didn't -- like #10's regarding The Walking Dead's Robert Kirkman. The one I'm probably most sympathetic to is #2: Jack Kirby vs. Marvel. The "King" created your major characters, Marvel. And he even plotted major storylines (hear that, Stan Lee?). Get a grip.
So there's an article in Toronto Life about being "almost rich". The article drives me to distraction. Why? Because these people are idiots. When Leftists complain about people whining about not having enough when they are doing rather well it rings hollow.
Here's a couple making $200,000 a year talking about their budget.
There's no mention of what their tax rate is so I've assumed 30%
Annual income: $200,000
Estimated income tax 30%
Which leaves $140,000 (200,000 * .7)
Less total annual expenses as stated: $140,000 - $40,340 = $99,660.
Leaving $8,305 per month ($99,660/12)
Less $7,920 in monthly expenses.
Leaving $385 left over.
Some things of note. You are spending $1,000 per month on clothes. I don't spend that much in a year for a family of 7. $400 on "vitamins, creams and lotions." You're an idiot and I should be in the Canadian lotion business. $100 per month on books and magazines. How about getting a kindle or maybe a library card. If you're spending $250 a month on gifts for other kids you're insane. Either that or you have the most absurdly huge social circle. You are also spending seven grand a year on vacations in addition to $1200 a month on you summer house. Perhaps you could slum it at the summer house a bit more or pare down the vacation a bit?
When lefties go crazy about people complaining about money from people who clearly make money, this is exactly what they're talking about. This group is the biggest bunch of freakin whiners. Get over yourself. Learn to budget and for the love of God, stop trying to keep up with your neighbors. It is pointless and will never be successful. This idiot is spending $800 a month on wine. You can be certain if he's copping to 800 it's probably more than that. You can buy excellent wines for less than $15 per bottle and damn good ones for $10 or less.
John Scalzi reads this article and wonders why there isn't fires across the city. I think he's joking but that kind of language is probably unwise and unwarranted. These people, while idiots, are harmless ones. They hurt no one but themselves with this spending. Hell they even help the people who they're giving their money to. The old adage of "a fool and his money are soon parted" are well illustrated here.
The non-Council winner was Victor Davis Hanson with Iran 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0.
Full results are here.
Insty had a link up yesterday to Amazon's top "comics and graphic novels." In the top 25 are The Walking Dead (numerous volumes), Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns and The Killing Joke. The latter two are Batman tales, and they're definitely superb. Also later in the list are quite a few Dark Knight yarns, yet the line between "graphic novel" and "trade paperback" is blurred. A graphic novel, as I understand it, is supposed to be a stand-alone story collected in a large volume. A trade paperback is a volume of collected separate individual comic issues. For example, The X-Men story "God Loves, Man Kills" is a graphic novel. Watchmen first hit the stands as twelve individual issues, thus its collection into one volume makes it a trade paperback.
Whatever the case, it's now time -- because, as usual, no one demanded it -- for Hube's own definitive list of great graphic novels and TPBs. Included in that list would be those listed above. In no particular order:
MARVELS. This delightful Kurt Busiek-written offering highlights some of Marvel Comics' greatest moments in its history through the eyes of a Daily Bugle photographer. Beautifully painted by artist extraordinaire Alex Ross, it's a must for any long-time Marvel fan. The chapter on the X-Men may actually invoke some tears, too. FYI.
KINGDOM COME. Although I am not a big DC fan, this Alex Ross-painted "Elseworlds" tale is extraordinary. It deals with a hypothetical future world where Superman and other classic heroes have "retired," and the chaos that comes about as a result.
SUPERMAN: RED SON. Another "Elseworlds" tale this time by Mark Millar which hypothesizes the Man of Steel as a Soviet superhero. The art isn't all that great, but the story sure is, and the ending should catch you off-guard.
THE KREE-SKRULL WAR. See here. 'Nuff said.
AVENGERS FOREVER. I think only a true-blue Earth's Mightiest aficionado can truly appreciate this Kurt Busiek masterpiece (being that Kurt is THE master of comics continuity). The spectacular art by Carlos Pacheco sure helps, too. It features Avengers from past, present, and hypothetical futures.
IRON MAN: THE ARMOR WARS. Probably creators David Michelinie and Bob Layton's greatest Iron Man story, it details what happens when IM's technology is stolen and what happens when Tony Stark goes after it. Former Marvel head man Jim Shooter had a big hand in coming up with the idea.
DAREDEVIL: BORN AGAIN. Frank Miller wrote it and David Mazzucchelli drew it, and man-o-man does it rock. The dreaded Kingpin learns Daredevil's secret ID and sets in motion events that will slowly destroy the hero. But ... keep in mind the story's title!
X-MEN: THE DARK PHOENIX SAGA. Creators Chris Claremont and John Byrne's mutant masterpiece, it follows Jean Grey's descent into super-powered madness and how her teammates have to stop her. Loosely told in the third X-Men film, "The Last Stand."
SUPERMAN: SECRET IDENTITY. Possibly the best superhero tale ever told, this Kurt Busiek story features little action yet is stupefyingly awesome. In a world without superheroes, a young lad named Clark Kent suddenly realizes he has superpowers. If you don't have a big smile on your face at the end of the book, you're an unfeeling excuse for a human being!
GIVE ME LIBERTY. A highly underrated Frank Miller story, it features unlikely hero Martha Washington as she makes her way out of the prison-like housing projects to the top of the American military's ranks. At times way over the top, you can't help but root for Martha throughout.
SQUADRON SUPREME. Writer Mark Gruenwald's opus of the Justice League analogues of Earth-S fighting to save their world from anarchy and chaos following the takeover attempt of an ultra-powerful alien. Many consider this the basis for similar tales like the aforementioned Kingdom Come.
THE AUTHORITY: RELENTLESS. Way over the top radical leftism in its approach, this Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch tale has a team of mega-powered heroes not only saving the Earth from insanely powerful menaces, it proactively goes about [attempting] to make the planet "better."
BATMAN: YEAR ONE. Another masterpiece by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli, it deals with just what it says -- the first year of the Dark Knight's activities in Gotham.
Oh, that's right -- too busy worried about spontaneous student-led prayers and defending the loafers in the Occupy movement. But no word regarding where they are in this:
A Colorado high school student quit the school choir after an Islamic song containing the lyric “there is no other truth except Allah” found its way into the chorus.
James Harper, a senior at Grand Junction High School in Grand Junction, put his objection to singing “Zikr,” a song written by Indian composer A.R. Rahman, in an email to Mesa County School District 51 officials.
“I don’t want to come across as a bigot or a racist, but I really don’t feel it is appropriate for students in a public high school to be singing an Islamic worship song,” Harper told KREX-TV. “This is worshipping another God, and even worshipping another prophet … I think there would be a lot of outrage if we made a Muslim choir say Jesus Christ is the only truth.”
He's certainly correct about that last part!
Hey, I agree with the district that a religious theme in songs is perfectly fine (the Christmas and Hanukkah season, for example); however, lyrics that promote the supposed truth of one religion over another certainly appear to be crossing the line. And, as noted, it should be something so-called "progressive" organizations should be all over like flies on you-know-what. So ... why aren't they?
I know. It's the 'ol "What the hell do we do when two competing politically correct idelogies conflict?" scenario. First , there's the obvious church vs. state issue, but then there's the PC promotion/protection of an "aggrieved" minority ingrained in their dogma which is combatting the first "progressive" tenet. What to do??
UPDATE: One important aspect of this story that is important (and one which I perhaps glossed over too much) is that the choir in question is an after-school activity. This makes quite a bit of difference in contrast to a choir class that would take place during the school day. Being an after-school activity is purely voluntary, and indeed allows for more leeway when it comes to the use of religiously themed songs and lessons. So, not only does Harper have the absolute right to NOT join this choir, the choir does have more latitude in utilizing religious material. This doesn't change my main assertion that it is surprising groups like the ACLU haven't joined the fray on this when it has done so in (perhaps) less controversial instances. Like here. Or here.
You've probably already read about this: A "state" food inspector deemed a North Carolina pre-schooler's home-packed lunch "inadequate," and made the little girl eat an "approved" school lunch of chicken nuggets instead. Worse, the school sent a bill to the girl's mom for the nuggets!!
Are you freakin' kidding me? I'd send back that bill with an attached digital photo -- that of my middle finger. Also attached would be a request for the school/state to demonstrate exactly how a lunch of chicken nuggets is "better" than a packed lunch consisting of a turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, apple juice, and potato chips.
It was the main page story on the online version of the Journal this morning and featured a photo of a whole six protesters disrupting a sheriff's sale of foreclosed properties.
No big deal the numbers; when you have an ally like the News Journal, you could have no one protest and just e-mail a complaint ... and they'll probably write a story about it.
And the non-Council nominations are here!
Be sure to read the Daily Caller's exposé on Media Matters ... and its coordination with the White House.
Via The Hollywood Reporter comes word that the campy 70s sci-fi drama "Space: 1999" will be revived, under the new (and necessary) title "Space: 2099." The original's premise had our moon blasted out of its orbit by the detonation of nuclear waste we had stored there over the years. The 300+ people on the moonbase there are stuck as our satellite leaves Earth and hurtles through space.
I must admit I don't remember much of the 70s show; I preferred the scifi of series like "UFO" and "Battlestar Galactica." Maybe the reboot will address how Earth would be affected after having lost its moon, not to mention how boring it would actually be for those stuck on the moonbase to travel through space. I mean, c'mon -- unless you're traveling at relativistic speeds, the only thing you're gonna see in your lifetime as a "moon-naut" will be our own solar system ... and perhaps a little beyond it.
Here's "Space: 1999's" opening sequence:
And in case you've never heard of "UFO," here's its opening sequence:
Notice the name Gerry Anderson in both? Not to mention the cool funky theme songs? Heh ...
A family in the Acton-Boxborough School District near Boston is suing said district to get the words "under God" removed from the Pledge of Allegiance:
The Plaintiffs are named as Jane and John Doe out of concern for what they call “public hostility.” Their children are listed as ages 13, 11, and 9.
David Niose, the lawyer for the plaintiffs, describes the family as atheists and humanists. They say the children don’t have a problem reciting the pledge [sic], just the phrase, “under God.”
Niose told FOX 25’s Sharman Sacchetti, “Every day these kids go to school and the pledge is recited declaring that the nation is in fact under God. That marginalizes them and suggests that people who don’t believe in God are less patriotic.”
Since it was decided LONG ago that NO ONE is required to recite the Pledge, Mr. and Mrs. Doe aren't really concerned for the kids' "marginalization." They want to make a point, such that it is. And with cash-strapped school districts (Acton-Boxborough has alerady spent $10K in legal fees on this) scraping for every penny these days, many will simply settle -- ie, cave in -- when idiots like these parents bring suit.
Here's my very simple question: If the children "don't have a problem reciting the Pledge," then why don't they just omit the words "under God" when saying it? Who would know? Kids barely mumble the Pledge at the beginning of the day anyway; it's not as if anyone would notice. Superintendent Stephen Mills says
“This business that they’re marginalizing students. They’re absolutely no recriminations; no negative consequences against a child that chooses not to say the pledge or in this particular case the words ‘under God.’”
Yep. And attorney Eric Rassbach adds, “They’re not asking for the right to opt out. They have that right. They admit that they’re trying to get other people to shut up.”
Obama's "Truth Team" starts off by shooting themselves in the foot:
So in their attempt to heap praise on The One they threw their Congresscritters under the proverbial bus. More please.
The IMF is whilstling past the graveyard in hopes of containing the animal spirits that wouuld ravage the market should they speak the truth. The equity markets aren't buying it. Equity markets are forward markets. That is, they are looking 18 months down the road and predicting how things are going to be then. They need to prepare for then, now. One look at how they're sizing up the state of the European economy and you can tell they're hunkering down and going to shed as much of their position in distressed markets as possible. Look for hedge funds who are heavily leveraged in distressed sovereign debt to reposition. If they can't, they'll likely head to the courts to sue their way to fair market value or something approximating the same. (Paul Singer of Elliot and Associates is famous for this move.)
Does automated trading cause "flash crashes"? The idea is that when machines trade independent of human interaction they behave differently than when they are run by humans. Why this is news is unclear. The machines in question are given instructions. An algorithm to follow for market behavior. They have fill orders, instructions to buy, when stocks hit a certain level. They are instructed to buy or sell n shares when a stock reaches y value. Conversely they have sell orders which is the inverse. They also have "fill or kill" orders which is only buy/sell n shares if you can move all shares at that price point. In the previous examples those shares are going to swing in value. So if it has an order to buy 5000 shares when the stock reaches $50, it may get the first 100 at that price but will continue buying until it purchases all 5000 shares. The increased marginal cost for those shares may well be significant (i.e. ending price could be north of $500).
Given that certain things are known by all the players they probably have much in common for their algorithms. For example, if there is a civil war in a country that provides a commodity that is required for manufacturing of a product, the algorithm will be adjusted to compensate for that fluctuation. All the players will have access to that information. What happens when many people (or in this case computers) are trying to rush toward the same goal? There's a multiplier effect at play. The share value will swing wildly as people rush into or out of positions.
This isn't necessarily a cause of instability in the medium or long term. It simply means that the milisecond gap in communication means that he who has the fastest computer is going to be able to exploit those swings and make some real money. That gap will, however, narrow very quickly and eventually become effectively zero. See the currency arbitrage markets for a previous example.
Behold! The dumbest economic editorial you'll read today. Regulations make jobs! No mention of economic drag. You may as well argue that swimming with a boat anchor makes Michael Phelps a stronger swimmer. Ignore the fact that he will nearly drown every time he swims and that his competitors will lap him 100 times over. The regulatory model touted in this article is essentially what California has been doing for 30 years and look where they are now.
In goverment news:
Crony capitalism is so bad that even the Washington Post can no longer ignore it. A few of my favorite bits;
She was looking for a job,” Sharp said. “We didn’t hire her because of her husband. We didn’t hire her for that reason. She was an experienced educator.
Yes. That's why. No possible way they saw her political connections. Nothing to see here.
Barbara Johnson said in an interview she took the job around the time her husband started having health problems. He later had a brain hemorrhage in December 2006. Shortly after hiring the senator’s wife, Spectrum filed a lobbying registration form with the House and Senate naming Barbara Johnson as a lobbyist for the company. The form listed Starbase as her only client. Sharp said the form was submitted in error. That was a mistake. She never lobbied the Hill, he said. She never lobbied her husband.
A mistake in Washington is when you accidentally tell the truth.
Barbara Johnson said she sought an oral opinion from the Senate Select Committee on Ethics to ensure that her employment “wasn’t crossing any lines.” She said she couldn’t recall when she sought the opinion or who she met with at the ethics committee, but she said she was told that her employment was permitted under Senate rules. “They said it didn’t pose any conflict,” she said.
Sure. Now you try that when you make a mistake on your taxes. "I talked to somebody, don't know who or when but they said it was fine". Rules are for the little people. Read the whole thing for a good laugh. How these people say this stuff with a straight face is a wonder.
Or, I'll just chalk it up to poor English. For, as Dover's Joseph Bianchini writes,
I've been following the National Popular Vote bill with interest since its passage in the Delaware House of Representatives. The House did the right thing and the State Senate should follow.
Under our current system of awarding electoral votes, a presidential candidate could win the popular vote in all 50 states by a large margin and lose the Electoral College (therefore losing the presidency). This isn't just a hypothetical theory. It has happened in four of our 56 presidential elections, one being as recent as the 2000 Bush vs. Gore election.
No, Joe, it is 100% impossible to win the popular vote in all (each of the) 50 states and lose the election via the Electoral College. What I believe you mean is, a candidate could win the national popular vote -- meaning, the total of all votes cast across the country -- and still lose the election. Like what happened to Al Gore as the most recent example.
At the very least, the editors (such that they are) at the News Journal should have picked up the poor sentence structure.
Osama supposedly told his children and grandchildren. “Do not follow me down the road to jihad,” he said. “You have to study and live in peace and don’t do what I am doing or what I have done.”
The article states this is second hand information coming from the sister of one of bin Laden's wives which is very different than his own hand or video of him saying the same. It could be that the woman never agreed with bin Laden and wants to put his kids on a different track. It could be that he did indeed see the futility of it all at the end. It could be that she is simply wrong. We'll never know and if he's remembered it will be as an irredentist.
Either way, the fact that this is not a huge story in the media is baffling.
How else can one explain the idiocy that is this Yahoo! Movies article by Timothy Sexton in which it is argued that the "Star Wars" prequels are -- wait for it -- superior to the original trilogy. And 'ya know why? Because they (supposedly) perfectly analogize the George W. Bush administration.
But right off the bat, Sexton fails (as so-called "progressives" so often do) to recognize that so much of his blather can describe what we've seen over the last three years of the current administration:
It verges on cinematic treason to suggest that the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy is in any way superior to the original trilogy. However, history has proved that treasonous behavior is just as often necessary to stimulate progressive revolution as it is to endow malevolent forces with unrestricted authority necessary to obstruct basic human rights.
I guess it never occurred to Sexton that the rise of the Tea Party and the massive electoral losses of Democrats in November 2010 were "stimulated" by Obama's actions like trying to force people to buy things that they do not want (gov.-mandated health insurance), or, more recently, forcing religious institutions to act against their beliefs? Nah, I guess not ...
The difference is that the original trilogy appealed directly to the simplistic moral perspective of an America above reproach and always on the side of right in global geopolitics, whereas the much more subversive prequel trilogy stands in defiant counterpoint to the much more dangerously simplistic moral absolutism of the Age of Bush.
Ah, yes -- ever the "progressive" penchant for moral relativism when it comes to the Cold War. No right or wrong -- just two equal-in-every-way superpowers conspiring and battling to see who would get better control of the planet.
But, of course, the "Age of Bush" was ... much more dangerous, you see.
The problem is that the post-9/11 world meant Americans also were forced to identify themselves with the Jedi in the prequel trilogy as well, and we don't like the face we see in the mirror. Let's face it, the Jedi don't exactly come off too swell in the prequel. This time around they are the guys in charge, and it is painful to watch them screw it up, especially when the way they hand over the keys to the Empire is so eerily familiar to a historical era defined by words like "signing statements" and "Patriot Act."
Just in case you didn't notice in your rush to castigate Jar-Jar Binks and complain about the wooden dialogue of the prequel, the peaceful Galactic Republic in place at the beginning of "The Phantom Menace" doesn't turn into the dark empire in place at the beginning of "A New Hope" due to an invasion by a foreign element. The Republic falls as a result of due democratic process, albeit due democratic process that is manipulated through lies and deception. Again, sound familiar?
It does sound familiar: Our own Justice Dept. suing states trying to uphold federal laws; our own Justice Dept. suing states who democratically pass laws requiring that a basic photo ID be shown when voting; our own government mandating that the people purchase and be enrolled in something whic they may not desire; our own government promising to close down Guantánamo Bay prison in one year yet finding every excuse in the book to maintain it; our own government initiating military action in a foreign country and never informing Congress; our own government, which had excoriated the previous administration for its tactics in the War on Terror, using the very same tactics and more, like the increased use of unmanned drones to assassinate those deemed enemies; our own government, upping the legal ante from the previous administration, now claiming it the right to detain indefinitely American citizens if they're deemed terrorist threats.
Yes indeed. Very familiar.
Chances are you don't even remember these words of Darth Maul: "Fear is my ally." One can well imagine that slogan scrawled across the office walls of men like Scooter Libby and tattooed across the back of Dick Cheney.
Or, perhaps, tattooed across the backs of Eric Holder and Barack Obama himself, especially when it comes to black America vs. white, or the American poor vs. the "rich."
Anakin's justification that if authoritarian control works in keeping us safe was being repeated on a daily basis by those in charge at the very time the scene was being projected onto multiplex screens around the world. Too many Anakin Skywalkers existed then and, amazingly, exist right now in this country who are far too eager to give up hard-earned civil rights for the illusion of security.
Wait -- did Sexton just take a jab at the current crop of dolts running the country? Nah, couldn't be. First, he says "amazingly" as if he just can't believe it. Second, he doesn't name names because, either that would be a disservice to the "progressive" cause ("Hey, maybe -- just maybe -- Obama and co. will come around and see the light, OK?"), or perhaps he expects to just stay in line with his argument, such that it is, that he's referring to old Bushian-style neocon Republicans still in government.
There is absolutely no element or character in the original trilogy that isn't delineated in stark black and white terms. Episodes IV through VI tell a much happier story, one that is consistent with the birth of the American democracy through acts of rebellion by a ragtag group of people who held the moral high ground.
What a laugh. Cretins like Sexton today would label those "acts of rebellion by a ragtag group" "domestic terrorism," and would call them either "racists," "angry, extreme mobs," and even "un-American." Those who rebelled in the Revolutionary Era did so mainly because of taxes and a belief that they weren't being [adequately] represented in government. Just look at how our government (and media) treated such people today -- the Tea Party, for example -- and these modern-day "rebels" did not even engage in acts of sabotage, less armed rebellion!
And from the article's comment section, an astute reader further tears asunder Sexton's idiocy:
The writer's entire premise is destroyed by the fact that Episode 1 was released in 1999, before Bush was even elected. Episode 2 was released 8 months after 9/11. I'm pretty sure it was in post production before 9/11. The most prescient line was in Episode 3. "So this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause." That is what we are witnessing right now.
Better yet, perhaps, is this brief commenter sentiment: "The Force was Weak with this writer."
At least that made me giggle after the stream of interminable guffaws in the actual article. At any rate, ultimately what we're left with is just another pathetic attempt at keeping the "progressive" George W. Bush demon alive, this time via popular entertainment. And I this may be the most laughably hilarious attempt yet.
GEORGE W. BUSH:
There's NOTHING for which
he can't be blamed!
There ain't that many out there, but they exist -- follow-ups that outshined the original. Now, keep in mind that I am only including those which I've seen; please add to the list if you feel something has been omitted. Also keep in mind that I am only including immediate sequels, not later follow-ups (like, for instance, many Star Trek sequels were better than the first film, but only Star Trek II can count.)
So now, in no particular order:
SUPERMAN II. "Kneel before Zod!" (See left.) The original 1978 Superman made you believe that "a man could fly;" Superman II made you fear what four Kryptonians doing battle in a large city could wreak. The original Richard Donner cut is the one to see (despite the obvious edits), and given that it was 1981 when the flick came out, the F/X still kick butt (especially the city battle scenes).
STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN. Despite the big hype surrounding the return of Kirk and co. in 1979's Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the film was way too slow, especially the ridiculously interminable scenes where various Enterprise crew gazed in awe at the remodeled NCC-1701. But no worries -- the follow-up featured hated villain Khan hijacking a Federation starship and threatening to wreak havoc upon civilization everywhere. Vintage Kirk hijinks, epic space warfare, and Ricardo Montalban spouting the classics make this one of the best sequels ever.
TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY. Maybe not fair considering the budget of the original; nevertheless, Jimmy Cameron delivers and then some in this non-stop sci-fi action thriller. Schwarzenegger's killer android this time is good, and comes back to protect young John Connor from a more advanced Terminator. Connor's efforts at teaching Ah-nuld human colloquialisms ("Chill out. Dickwad.") are an instant classic.
THE INCREDIBLE HULK. Yep, it technically is a follow-up to Ang Lee's Hulk which had Eric Bana in the title role. But this time it's Edward Norton as Bruce Banner, who's on the run from his own government because, y'know, he's super-charged with gamma-irradiated BADNESS!! General Ross flushes Banner out of Brazil, and back to the States, where he eventually has to battle the Abomination (played awesomely by Tim Roth).
THE ROAD WARRIOR. "Two days ago I saw a vehicle that'll haul that tankeh. You wanna get outta heah? 'Ya talk t'me." That's probably the longest line star Mel Gibson has in this follow-up to Mad Max. The dystopian Outback can't be any scarier with the hordes of The Humongous waiting to pounce on you. But 'ol Max has a plan, and the climax car chase scene cannot be topped in cinema.
THE GODFATHER PART II. Delves much deeper into Michael Corleone's motivations and psyche, and features a young Bobby DeNiro as young Vito when he first came to America. Very long, but very, very good.
X-MEN 2. In my view the greatest comicbook flick ever made, it features Charles Xavier's minions teaming up with Magneto's Brotherhood of Mutants to stop the evil William Stryker from unleashing a plan to eradicate the planet of mutants. The action never stops, and the story is fantastic. It also features the live-action debuts of popular X-Men Nightcrawler and Colossus.
SPIDER-MAN 2. The origin story is over, and the lame movie version of the Green Goblin is done with, so now it's time to really swing! (Pardon the pun.) Spidey takes on one of his greatest enemies -- Dr. Octopus -- smartly portrayed by Alfred Molina. J.K. Simmons' Jonah Jameson couldn't be any better (especially his coining of the name "Doc Ock"), "The Soup's" Joel McHale has a cameo, and the action is sensational.
THE DARK KNIGHT. This sequel to the "re-imagined" Batman Begins not only kicks major ass in the action department, it features the absolutely spookiest portrayal of a villain I think I've ever seen -- Heath Ledger's Joker. Insanely dark and brooding, the soundtrack expertly adds to the creepiness whenever Ledger's highlighted.
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE. Though Dr. No is noteworthy as the original Bond flick, it's arguably one of the lamest. The immediate sequel is much better, featuring, of course, Sean Connery in the title role and a young Robert Shaw as a buff Russian killer.
The following are HIGHLY DEBATABLE:
ALIENS. It's very difficult to compare the original, Alien, to its 1986 follow-up. They're two completely different types of films. Ridley Scott's 1979 scare fest was just that -- an insanely spooky and gory horror film. James Cameron's sequel was a knock-down/drag-'em-out action flick with the US Marines charging in to (futilely) attempt to off the deadly xenomorphs. Each film is top-notch in its own way.
THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (STAR WARS EPISODE V). I'm not at all in the cadre that agrees with this; however, many, many folks online believe that TESB is superior to Star Wars. Sure there's more characterization and mind-blowing revelations, but as a whole the original is clearly superior. SW's action alone makes it better; couple that with the snarky humor and Mos Eisley bar scene and it can't be beat.
DAWN OF THE DEAD. I saw this one pop up a lot in online debates on the topic; I have to disagree with this one as well. The original Night of the Living Dead is so classic in its campiness (it helps being in black and white) that none of the sequels tops it, in my opinion. Oh, and did I mention the dark humor? "Yeah, they're dead. They're all messed up." Love it!
LETHAL WEAPON 2. The sequel to the Mel Gibson-Danny Glover team-up is at least on par with the original, and it probably has better villains: racist, Apartheid-loving, "kaffir"-spewing white South Africans. Aside from Nazis, there's no easier bad guys to make use of then outright hardened bigots. But ... how does Mel always seem to bump into old Special Forces acquaintances? Especially ones now in the employ of a foreign government? I dunno ...
CHRISTMAS VACATION. Personally, I dig the original more, but I can see the appeal of the sequel. I've never been a big Chevy Chase aficionado, and he's definitely dopier (in a negative sense) in this sequel. I also could have done without the silly Julia Louis-Dreyfus/Nicholas Guest neighbor interludes. The original had it all: John Candy's dopey amusement park guard, Randy Quaid's hillbilly-esque family, and, of course, Christie Brinkley!
The "DO NOT GET ME STARTED" list:
DIE HARD 2. Nothing, I repeat, NOTHING tops the original Die Hard film. The original premise was so good that a flurry of knock-offs quickly followed (Under Siege, to name one, and even an episode of "Star Trek: TNG" did one -- "Starship Mine"), not to mention the campy humor was first-rate (Harry Ellis: "Hans? Bubbie!"). Classic roles by character actor Paul Gleason (Deputy Chief Dwayne Robinson), Robert Davi (FBI agent Johnson -- the white one), Reginald VelJohnson (Sgt. Powell), and William Atherton (Richard Thornburg) are not even close to being eclipsed in any of the sequels. (The only exception, perhaps, being DH2's Dennis Franz as Capt. Lorenzo.)
BACK TO THE FUTURE II. Good film, good sequel, but hardly on par with the original. C'mon -- the first film had it all, including a terrific soundtrack, and the while the sequel (to me) was pleasing from a time travel/scientific point of view (it actually made sense!), the overall entertainment value was taken down a notch. And I'm still laughing at how Biff didn't manage to see Marty riding behind him on his hover-board!
So it sounds like Obama's "accommodation" is like Darth Vader's alteration of his deal with Lando.
Christine O'Donnell shows off her prodigious intellect:
Although we support different candidates, Victoria & I agree Obama's got to go!
How about that! COD, a Republican, wants Obama out!
That's what Michael Potemra rightly says today about the controversy over religious hospitals, etc. being forced to provide health coverage that runs counter to their religious doctrine. I've see/heard a lot of "progressive" supporters of the Obama administration's position make this case, such that it is -- that a "majority of Catholics" agree with the president, and that "a majority of Catholics use birth control." To which I say, "So what??" Or, as Potemra lays out:
But this approach betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of human rights — the American understanding of which is not one of “group rights” but one of individual rights. Consider, for example, a handful of local moderate Muslims who want to build a mosque in a particular county. Let’s say, arguendo, that opponents of the mosque conduct a national poll of Muslims, in which it turns out most American Muslims don’t want a mosque built by that small group, some of them because they would rather have a more sharia-compliant, pro-Wahhabi mosque built there. Would that hypothetical national Muslim majority have a right to veto the religious free exercise of that little group of Muslims who want their own mosque? Of course not.
Similarly, think of the famous controversy in the 1940s about the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Pledge of Allegiance. What if a lot of Jehovah’s Witnesses said, “Darn it, we want to say the Pledge of Allegiance, even though the church disapproves!”? Would that make it okay for the state to force the ones who agreed with their church’s teaching to say the Pledge?
Or, let's take an example straight out of the news this week: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Proposition 8 in California -- effectively nullifying not only a poll of popular sentiment, but an actual popular referendum. "Progressives" the land-over celebrated the decision. But ... the popular will was against them. Yet, "progressives" now use the popularity factor as a supposed legitimate basis for keeping Obama's healthcare mandate.
UPDATE: Obama has offered a compromise. But opponents are not happy with it. Peter Kirsanow says about it, "Everything You Need to Know about the HHS Mandate ‘Compromise’: 1. The administration thinks Americans are idiots; 2. The administration is confident it will be assisted in its chicanery by the mainstream media."
Indeed. How can Obama say that insurance companies will "now handle the contraception coverage," but yet it's the religious-oriented employers who PAY for the insurance?? Kirsanow's 100% correct.
The non-Council winner was Armed Forces Journal with Truth, lies and Afghanistan.
Full results are here.
Thomas Reynolds of Wilmington, while reflecting a good sentiment, makes a whopper of an error:
The United States of America was founded as an Anglo-Saxon country with English as the official language and Christianity as the dominant religion.
Sorry Tom, the United States has no official lingo. Never has. English is the dominant language. Only.
When you're driving on a four-lane road -- y'know, two lanes in each direction -- the two lanes approaching a school bus DO NOT HAVE TO STOP for the bus's flashing red lights. Repeat: DO NOT. In the last week I have seen (no joke) five instances where traffic in both directions stopped in such a situation. In one of those, a car beeped its horn at me because I actually followed the rules of the road and kept moving (I was going in the opposite direction of the bus).
And just in case you think I'm full of doo-doo, check it:
(d)(1) Overtaking and passing school bus. -- When a school bus is stopped and displays flashing lamps in accordance with subsection (b) of this section, the driver of any vehicle approaching the school bus from the front or from the rear shall stop before passing the bus and remain stopped until such bus begins to move or no longer has the red stop lamps activated. On roadway or roadways with 4 or more lanes, the driver approaching from the front shall not stop.
Thank you very much.
Via Hans Bader: "Liberal Justices Complain About American Law Being Too Protective of Civil Liberties and Colorblindness." In it, we read that some of our "progressive" justices aren't very keen on the document they're sworn to uphold:
When describing the nature of a constitution, Justice Ginsburg did appropriately recognize the importance of a constitution and the duty of the citizens to defend it. Justice Ginsburg did not, unfortunately, take her own advice. She undermined insight of its crafters and stated, “I would not look to the US Constitution if I were drafting a Constitution in the year 2012.” Instead, Justice Ginsburg referred to the constitutions of more supposedly progressive countries, like South Africa, Canada, and the European Convention on Human Rights. She stated, “I can't speak about what the Egyptian experience should be, because I'm operating under a rather old constitution.” (Link)
What makes South Africa's constitution, for example, so admirable to Ginsburg? Let's see:
South Africans have the right to "make decisions concerning reproduction," "form a political party," or "form and join a trade union."
The state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to foster conditions which enable citizens to gain access to land on an equitable basis.
It also stipulates that citizens have the right to housing and adequate healthcare.
As you can see, the above is a statist's wet dream come true. South Africa's constitution contains so-called "positive rights" -- rights that "affirmatively provide socio-economic necessities." Human rights groups divide rights into three "generations," the second and third of which are the so-called "positive" ones:
First generation rights are political and civil, and are usually negative rights. Second generation rights involve the government's socio-economic obligations, and are frequently positive rights. Finally, third generation rights are exemplified by the right to a clean and healthy environment, and are commonly called "green" rights.
I'm fascinated as to how governments would be obligated to provide -- and that's what it is, after all -- these rights. Can people sue if they've lost their home and there's no shelter immediately available? The SA constitution's Section 10 protects "human dignity;" is it "dignified" to live in a small phone booth-sized room which is a government-provided "positive right?" Who gets to determine what is "dignified?" If you're Ginsburg and those who constructed the SA constitution, it's the government -- specifically the courts. The government can merely insist such a situation is "dignified," despite it obviously not being so, so you can see the inherent contradictions that occur when modern "progressives" get to devise a foundational legal document. In addition,
Section 12 of the Bill of Rights addresses the "freedom and security of the person." This section specifically bans torture, cruel and inhumane treatment, general violence, detention without trial, and deprivation of freedom without just cause.
Nevertheless, despite a recent drop in some areas of crime, South Africa remains one of the most violent countries on the planet. Who do people sue in court for the government's failure to enforce the ban on "general violence?"
Again, the courts do. Consider: "The Court's overall responsibility is to determine whether the infringement on the right is proportional to the resulting societal benefit." You can see how such power can be infinitely greater in the hands of such jurists as opposed to those here in the US. The US Constitution's First Amendment for example, virtually unique among legal concepts worldwide, could be vastly misapplied were it in the hands of SA judges. SA judges, like many jurists in other countries, are permitted to use precedents from other countries to justify their decisions. So, since so-called "hate speech" is illegal in many countries, SA-style judges could use these international legal bases to essentially dismantle our free speech rights. Remember -- is "the infringement on the right proportional to the resulting societal benefit?" You can bet that SA-style judges would rule "no;" in other words, the societal benefit, in their minds, would be greater if "hate speech" were disallowed. Whereas, of course, many others would -- rightly, in my opinion -- claim that the suppression of speech is a greater negative to society than a benefit, especially since the question is, as always, "who gets to decide what's 'hateful?'" Do we want our courts continually to decide such matters for us? An even bigger question is, how is this the essence of freedom?? Mark Steyn puts it thusly:
The bigger the Big Government, the smaller everything else: In Sweden, expressing a moral objection to homosexuality is illegal, even on religious grounds, even in church, and a pastor minded to cite the more robust verses of Leviticus would risk four years in jail. In Canada, the courts rule that Catholic schools must allow gay students to take their same-sex dates to the prom. The secular state’s Bureau of Compliance is merciless to apostates to a degree even your fire-breathing imams might marvel at.
Then there's the UK forbidding a group to advertise that God can heal illnesses. Obviously, for Sweden, Canada and the UK (and the list is endless, really), the infringement on those individual rights wasn't "proportional" to the resulting "societal benefit." But, again, it's the societal benefit that "progressives" believe in. And now, this philosophy is really beginning to assert itself here in the US: The Obama administration has mandated that religious-oriented employers (not actual churches or institutions) provide contraception, birth control and drugs that may assist abortion. This is almost unprecedented in its legal audacity, not to mention that it has actually served to unite, however briefly, many people on both sides of the political aisle.
Nevertheless, witness: Separation of church and state -- for "progressives" -- is of paramount import ... unless THEY deem it otherwise. A kid bringing a Bible to public school runs counter to the "societal benefit," but forcing people to act completely contrary to their conscience is as well. Go figure.
Our system of government -- our Constitution -- indeed may not be ideal, or the "best," for other countries. If a country doesn't have a tradition of democratic principles, it'd be difficult to see it formally incorporate such a model. But it's distressing to see one of our Supreme Court justices demean our founding document's greatness by not pointing out its unique -- and most important -- emphasis on individual liberties. For, if these are not protected, then eventually -- inexorably -- even those "positive rights" that the "progressives" adore will vanish ... all at the whim of The State.
Cool little tidbit today over at Robot 6 about a 1946 Superman radio show that took on the Ku Klux Klan -- certainly ballsy considering the time period. Fast forward to the 2000s where creator Frank Miller wanted to have Batman take on ... al Qaeda. Then, Miller had to move his project elsewhere as DC executives were "squeamish" about the story. And after Miller altered the story (putting in out under a different label and changing some names), people are still upset. Like here:
Having read the book, I can only describe it as anti-Muslim propaganda of the worst type. The Muslim characters portrayed are uniformly bloodthirsty, deceitful and misogynistic, displaying total hatred of non-Muslims.
Also see here.
Yeah, I bet countless people in 1946 were upset that the Superman serial was "anti-white propaganda of the worst type," right? Please.
Somehow, in our modern age, it's acceptable -- even laudable -- to portray a mainstream political movement like the Tea Party as a threat to American society, but when someone rightly portrays a group like al Qaeda for what it truly is, well-o-well, then the usual "progressive" political correctness kicks in with a vengeance! I like Douglas Ernst's take:
Frank Miller’s Holy Terror: If You Hate It, Blame The Terrorists.
The Comics Alliance review by David Brothers asserts that the work is bigoted, the artwork at times incoherent in indecipherable. He complains about a panel of oblivious, Transformers-watching American teens juxtaposed against the stoning of a woman in the Middle East.
The artwork is incoherent and sloppy at times (and at times truly touching) because it reflects the confused and complex feelings of the artist. It’s in black and white, but it’s still difficult to follow—just like the subject of 9/11 and Islamic terrorism! Detached, clueless teenagers who say “Kewl” and “Awesome” in Holy Terror are propped up against a stoning because real life Americans are clueless and detached from the very real stonings and state sponsored murders that go on today in places like Iran.
For the first time in a comic book, someone had the guts to shed light on the barbaric practices going on, in 2011, in the Middle East. Bravo. (This too, sickens David Brothers.)
In a word: Yep. Seriously -- al Qaeda is pure evil. Just like the KKK is pure evil. Why is the former so hard for some to accept?
GLADD is upset at CNN [very liberal] anchor Roland Martin because of a perceived anti-gay slur:
GLAAD wants CNN to fire Roland Martin after a series of tweets about David Beckham that they consider homophobic.
Martin commented on David Beckham's H&M ads during the Super Bowl.
He tweeted: "Ain't no real bruhs going to H&M to buy some damn David Beckham underwear!...If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham's H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him!...I bet soccer fan Piers Morgan will be in line at H&M in the morning to get his hands on David Bechman's (sic) underwear line!"
He was accused of being homophobic by those on Twitter, and GLAAD commented: "Advocates of gay bashing have no place at CNN."
Look, I think Martin is a first-class douche, but demanding that he be fired from the network for the above tweet?? Liberal Fascism, anyone? Still, it's always amusing when left meets left in battle of politically correct self-righteousness. Martin, after all, could scream "racism" if he gets too much heat from GLADD.
To follow up on Duffy's post, I too want to give a shout out to the G-Men for their second consecutive Super Bowl victory over the hated Patriots. Why "hated?" Simply put, because they denied my beloved Rams a place on the mantle of greatness by besting them in Super Bowl 36. They shouldn't have even been there (remember the infamous "Tuck Rule" call?), and then there was the whole issue of videotaping the Rams' practices and late hits (beyond five yards) on the Rams' receivers the whole game. Yes -- they deserve kudos for the game they played; they would have lost nine out of ten to that 2001 Rams team, though.
Remember when Global Warming was killing the coral reefs across the globe? Not so much: Scientists say WA reef growth unsustainable
Scientists are finally asking the question: What do dead salmon think about when they see pictures of humans?
In sports: Was Bill The Cheater's call the "ballsiest call in Superbowl history?" I'm not so sure but it was damn smart coaching. As much as I dislike the guy he's a first rate coach.
Here's an article about the French Art of Parenting. Intriguing.
This one gets my hope up. The stock market is, in essence, a huge futures market. That is, spikes or drops today are predictive. They are estimating what the economy and the market will be like in 12-18 months time. This article speculates that the recent market spike is a strong indicator that Obama is a one termer. I really really hope they're right on this one. I cannot imagine how much more damage Obama will do given a second term and no fears of re-election.
Yes! Once again the mighty G-Men denied Bill The Cheater and the Patriots. Tom Brady was smart enough to keep his pre-game bragging in check but it did not help him.
Overall I'd call the game lackluster (especially compared to their last meeting) but the ending was a nailbiter.
I've attached some images just because.
Watch this video and scratch your head:
Some are using this to go after teachers unions. I suppose that's understandable; when we have idiots like this in our profession -- who believe it's their mission to indoctrinate kids instead of educating them, and allowing them to be critical thinkers -- well geez. But allow me another explanation (or two. Or three):
[Some] Teachers who really want to hold their students academically accountable can sometimes find "opposition" on two fronts: 1) their administration, and 2) parents. Administration: "Why are your students' grades so low?" Parents: "How can Johnny be failing your class?" Administrators want the "numbers" to look good, and parents (obviously) want their kids' grades to be good, even when they don't actually deserve it. If you were a teacher and faced these ... "obstacles," what would you do? If you're human (and if you're reading this I assume you are), you'd probably want to keep your employment, hence you'd "adjust" some of your methods and/or grading. Granted, this is not a blanket "indictment," so to speak ... many good teachers would battle through these obstacles, and there are many admins and parents who support high standards and sticking to them.
In addition, let me offer another tidbit: Kids today have so many more things to occupy their attention than ever before. The Internet. Facebook. Twitter. Cell phones/texting. YouTube. In my school years we had the [rotary] telephone and ... TV (sans cable). We went outside to play -- football, wiffleball, army, "I-Spy," even basic tag ... the only time we remained inside was when it was raining. In "down" times (and when nature called!) I'd grab an encyclopedia or one of those Time-Life books that my parents bought for my sisters and I. I've always had a thirst for general, abstract knowledge. (Ironically, a week ago, a current student of mine in the middle of class said, "Mr. So-and-So said you're that pretty smart -- that when you pop into his class and he has his [science] students ask you questions, you usually always know the answers." I replied, "Really? That was nice of him ... perhaps I get the correct answers because I just like to know things. Don't you like learning new things -- y'know, knowledge just for knowledge's sake?" His retort? "Nah, not really.")
So where am I going with this? I suppose it's to say that it's easy to bash teachers for videos like this ... but it's just that: easy. Keep in mind that there are a lot of conservatives in teachers' unions, and that many, many teachers (regardless of politics) do not always share the unions' official stances on matters. In addition, there are myriad factors within and without schools that affect educational progress (or lack thereof).
That's all. ;-)
I think I have an idea what may have happened:
William Knowles of Wilmington thinks private organizations who donate their money should continue to do so, even if they don't wish it ... because, y'know, it's all about "women's life and death":
Has the Komen group become so greedy that they felt that they had to hire someone like Handel to keep the money pouring in from anti-choice groups? These groups are relentless in their war on women's rights in America.
Groups likes these and the American Center for Law and Justice have won, since now I will shift all my resources to Planned Parenthood, encourage my friends to do the same, since Komen can no longer be trusted to do the right thing concerning women's health and rights.
Well good! That's how America works, Bill. You don't like what a private entity does, you fill the void and encourage others to do the same. However, that's not what happened to Komen; after their decision to pull funding to Planned Parenthood, they were bullied by the Left (and the MSM) and eventually relented. It will continue funding P.P.
And you gotta love Bill's "progressive" use of euphemisms -- "anti-choice," "women's rights," and "women's health." Right. Komen's funding to PP was around $680,000 per year, even as PP sits on a worth of about $1 billion. Komen is dedicated to breast cancer, and "it preferred to focus on organizations that are 'providing the lifesaving mammogram.'” Planned Parenhood does not provide mammograms. It does, however, provide abortions -- lots of abortions. In fact, it "constituted 91 percent (329,445) of Planned Parenthood’s services for pregnant women."
If Komen's focus is breast cancer, why doesn't it make sense for them to concentrate on groups focused on that? Not to mention, why doesn't it make sense for it to stay away as much as possible from the prickly political issue that is abortion?
But, again, it's all moot now. The Bully Left wins again, contrary to what Bill writes.
RELATED: Check out the American Life League's 2011 Moloch Awards.
It's about 22 light years away, so by Bussard ramjet it'd only take approximately double that time (40+ years) to get there, allowing for acceleration to relativistic speeds, and then deceleration. The people on board the ship, however, would only experience a fraction of that time. The article says the planet's day and amount of light received from its sun are very Earth-like.
Well, it was for me, at least! This list -- "The 36 Worst Action Figures From Iconic Toy Lines" -- contains quite a few entries that almost made me crap my pants from laughing so hard. Especially funny were the entries from the Rocky movies ... such as
That's right -- an "action" figure dedicated to the guy who had a whole ten seconds or so of actual screen time ... and was an extra of an extra to boot! The product description even has to remind you just who in the hell Sly's brother actually was in Rocky. And why's his face look like he's been constipated for about a month??
That's right -- as Cracked notes, "a non-moving, non-talking hunk of bronze. So your kids can play 'statue.' Come on, guys. What's next, an action figure of the meat he was punching while he trained in the original film?
Speaking of which ...
Yep, this was an actual Rocky "action" figure and was indeed lovingly dubbed "The Meat." Y'know, that big side of beef that Rock trained with in the original film. Who could pass this up? Look -- it even has a hook in it!
Others which killed me were the J. Jonah Jameson and Aunt May figures from Spider-Man lore. There are plenty more, some of which may tickle your funny bone, so be sure to check 'em out.
The teenagers arrested after an attack on a cabdriver and his 21-year-old passenger in Center City last weekend, during which racial epithets were shouted, will not be charged with committing hate crimes, the District Attorney's Office said Thursday.
"We have to be able to prove that race was the motivator for the crime," said Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office. "Just because epithets were said during the crime doesn't mean it was the reason for the crime."
The teens were charged with "assault, conspiracy, and related charges." Was robbery and/or theft part of the "related charges?" If not, then why were the victims attacked? Sure seems part of the reason is because they were the wrong skin color. I'm just waiting for a brave state legislator to sponsor a non-binding resolution dubbing hate crimes laws "the most useless and political of laws ever."
The non-Council winner was Alisineh.Org with What Is My Identity?
Full results are here.
Mitt Romney is taking heat about his comments regarding the poor. On the Left this is proof positive that he hates poor people and wants to kill them. The fact that he said he didn't care about rich people either was ignored. To me, he chose his words VERY poorly. I believe he was trying to say that the vast majority of the country is in the middle of those two extremes and we need to focus on that group right now to get the economy moving again.
Here's a Polk award winning journalist telling CNBC that all the journalists he knows are moralizing activist liberals.
That is about as unambiguous as you can get. To me, this is just admitting the obvious. To the Left this is one guy who's extrapolating his own experience and really he's not all that liberal anyway.
What say you?
Stats on the assailant found here.
... you can understand why this thing makes me nervous.
I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when my fear is gone I will turn and face fear's path, and only I will remain.
It would be really really funny if he were a Libertarian.
In related news, the first living brainless man (yes DonViti that'd be you) continues blogging.
An ... "interesting" article in today's Philly.com which could be classified as just another peon who is fairly clueless about what your average public school teacher does and goes through. Author Jason Kaye is described as a "writer and student advocate."
If you've read a even a little of this blog, you know I'm not a big fan of unions, even the teachers unions, when they act ridiculously and make outrageous demands. Kaye mentions that, but really -- it's old hat by now. And he goes beyond that. He wants teachers to stay after school, show up at night and even on weekends to accommodate the "parents [who] have no choice but to work two or three jobs."
Did he ever stop to consider that public school teachers themselves may need to work a second (and third) job? I know plenty who do. Then, Kaye goes on to compare -- ready? -- the hours put in by "the majority of employees with salaried positions at top-tier corporations (typically 60-80-hour workweeks)" and, yep, teachers ("works an average of 36.5 hours per week when school is in session"). You may be thinking that, "So what? Corporate types earn a ton more than teachers." But don't worry -- Kaye notes that teachers "get a very generous vacation package compared with other employees who work in the private sector, including summers off and holidays and school breaks ... throughout the year, teachers generally receive 10-12 weeks off ..." What Kaye conveniently omits here are the MANY hours that teachers put in on their own time at home (and, which I'm certain corporate types do too in those 60-80 work weeks). Ask a teacher of a major academic subject how much time they spend grading assignments and exams at home. If the teacher ain't a total lemon, you may be astounded at the figure you hear. And, again, many teachers work second jobs during those summer months.
I've just one question for people like Kaye: Were American teachers really a lot better 20, 30, 40 years ago? Because he concludes:
Other than parents, who is exclusively representing the interests of the children within the institution of public education? Because in the United States, clearly, teachers unions care more about teachers' rights than students' rights. The evidence is the abundance of failing schools across this great nation. America can do better, and many teachers need to stop coming up with excuses why they cannot produce better results in the classroom.
Personally, I'd amend that bit about the unions to say "some in the teachers unions care more about teachers' rights than students' rights." But to blame teachers (and their unions) exclusively for failing schools is preposterous in the extreme. Remember this cartoon we posted back in October? That doesn't have anything to do with failing schools? The ridiculous (and appalling) decline in basic discipline in schools has nothing to do with failing schools? Administrators who fail to enforce basic discipline has nothing to do with failing schools? Ask any teacher or person in the general public (check out the reader comments in response to Kaye's article) what they'd like to see improved MOST in schools. I'd wager the most popular response would be discipline. Teachers cannot teach if classroom discipline is not enforced (at all levels). Period.
As we noted back in November, former Philly schools chief Arlene Ackerman unbelievably filed for unemplyment compensation after getting axed by the city. Her severance package was worth almost $1 million ... but she filed for unemployment. However, we also noted that it appeared the state had the right to deny her claim.
Wellllll ... it seems that's exactly what the state has done. Couldn't happen to a "nicer" lady.
College prof Terry Smith actually believes that President Obama "responds passively" to the overt and covert "racism" of his opponents. Well, wait -- that actually might be true. But what Smith does -- as so many purposefully clueless progressives do -- is cleverly omit how Obama's surrogates (political allies and the mainstream media) attack anyone and anything as "racist" for the slightest criticism of the president and his policies.
So sorry prof -- when that happens, it's kinda tough to take what you say seriously ... even when it happens to be true. Ever heard of the "Boy Who Cried Wolf," prof?
About that global warming thing...yeah, no. This is a perfect example of why it has been rebranded "Climate change" rather than "warming". Climates are supposed to be completely static somehow. Still no word on what the optimal global mean temperature is.
Noted RNC organ the NYT tells us that Romney OVERPAID his taxes. by $44,000!!
Hotels have now created floors just for women. I anxiously await the complaints of sexism by segregating women to a floor or complaints that men should have their own floor.
Here's an article about Atheism and its temples
An assessment by U.S. spy agencies concludes that Iran is prepared to launch terrorist attacks inside the United States, highlighting new risks as the Obama administration escalates pressure on Tehran to halt its alleged pursuit of an atomic bomb.
OK. That is almost the exact wording Bush 43 received with regard to bin Laden's determination to attack us here. According to Leftist logic, any attack inside the US is now the result of either gross negligence by Obama or collusion.
Nancy Pelosi shows us again she simply does not understand the issues at hand:
Opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline comes in many forms. Former House speaker and current Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi suggested at a press briefing this month that the pipeline would have no value to the U.S.: "This oil was always destined for overseas. It's just a question of whether it leaves Canada by way of Canada, or it leaves Canada by way of the United States."
Really? The refiners who would be at the end of the pipeline do not re-export crude oil. Instead they produce high-value petroleum products for U.S. and foreign markets such as Brazil, Mexico and ...
Catholic hospitals are now going to be required to fund abortions and birth control in direct violation of the tenets of their faith. The Obama administration is using the force of law to compel people to violate their religious beliefs. When asked about the matter, Obama's spokesweasel said:
“I don’t believe there are any constitutional rights issues here,” Carney said when asked at today’s White House briefing about the regulation.
“The administration believes that this proposal strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious beliefs and increasing access to important preventative services,” Carney told reporters.
I see. Let me know when Kosher delis are required to sell ham and Islamic schools are prohibited from forcing the female students from wearing their hijab.
Watch Bill O'Reilly pile ignorance upon ignorance.
I've been to Amsterdam. To be sure there are some seedy parts but it's much safer there than either Philly or DC.
One thing that bugs me about the debate on how to define "marriage" is the refrain about the "sanctity of marriage". Given the levels of infidelity, abuse, divorce and so on the argument rings hollow when telling two gay people they may not marry. A marriage is only as sacred as its participants make it.
All of that pales in comparison to this:
Not a sparkly vampire. A real one. Real in the way that she killed a guy and drank his blood. I'm still not sure what it says about marriage when two people who are already determined to be insane are somehow sane enough to enter into a marriage.
Marriage is and always will be two things: A civil union recognized by the state and a spiritual union recognized by a religion. The latter is optional and frequently only used as window dressing.
And the non-Council nominations are here!
DC plans to put out numerous prequel Watchmen comics in the months to come (titled Before Watchmen), but original creator Alan Moore ain't happy about it:
Moore, however, isn’t as generous, describing the prequels as “completely shameless.” “I tend to take this latest development as a kind of eager confirmation that they are still apparently dependent on ideas that I had 25 years ago,” he told The New York Times.
The writer, who stopped working for DC in 1989 following disputes about Watchmen royalties and a proposed age-rating system, revealed in July 2010 that the publisher had at last offered to return the rights to his most famous creation, if he “would agree to some dopey prequels and sequels.”
“So I just told them that if they said that 10 years ago, when I asked them for that, then yeah it might have worked,” he said at the time. “But these days I don’t want Watchmen back. Certainly, I don’t want it back under those kinds of terms.”
Moore echoed those sentiments to The Times, insisting he likely won’t try to block Before Watchmen or face DC’s “infinite battery of lawyers” in a legal battle. “I don’t want money,” he said. “What I want is for this not to happen.”
And though I can't stand J. Michael Straczynski's politics -- he's writing the Dr. Manhattan prequel -- he's spot-on about Moore's ego:
“A lot of folks feel that these characters shouldn’t be touched by anyone other than Alan, and while that’s absolutely understandable on an emotional level, it’s deeply flawed on a logical level,” he said in an exclusive interview with Comic Book Resources. “Based on durability and recognition, one could make the argument that Superman is the greatest comics character ever created. But neither Alan nor anyone else has ever suggested that no one other than Shuster and Siegel should ever be allowed to write Superman. Alan didn’t pass on being brought on to write Swamp Thing, a seminal comics character created by Len Wein, and he did a terrific job. He didn’t say ‘No, no, I can’t, that’s Len’s character.’ Nor should he have.”
Exactly right. Scores and scores of writers and artists have created [good] stories using characters created by other people. Some argue that because Watchmen is a self-contained story -- it has a beginning, middle and end -- this makes Moore's point valid. No, not really. There's easily plenty of room for more background story on the characters; for that matter, there could easily be a Watchmen sequel, too, if DC wanted. Watchmen is quite a lucrative property for DC, so it makes perfect sense to expand upon its "universe." DC will make money, mainly because demand should be high for these prequels (such that demand is these days for comicbooks). The different creative teams and their respective characters' books are here.
I won't buy the prequels, but not because I'm uninterested. As mentioned, Straczynski's politics are a huge turn-off (as are those of many other current writers), and comic prices are just nuts when compared to what you get for your cash. Maybe when the series are collected into trade paperbacks I may consider a purchase.
ABC's Martha Raddatz:
He pointed specifically to last year's plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States, and to reports that Iran has been supporting Hezbollah cells in Latin America. Iran's President Ahmadinejad recently traveled there, meeting leaders like Cesar Chavez of Venezuela and Fidel Castro, who have little love for the U.S. (Link)
Of course, the MSM had a ball when a Fox anchor made the same mistake (but then quickly corrected himself); the funny thing about that is, in Politico's case, they couldn't even spell "César" correctly (using the English version "Caesar").
Brought to you this time by Wilmington's Daniel Neff who questions Mitt Romney's patriotism:
I've been an Republican and Democrat, and an uncommitted.
But if Mitt Romney cares about America, Americans, and our economy, why does he have so much of his vast fortune parked in Switzerland and other points offshore where its investment earnings cannot be taxed or otherwise used here to stimulate our economy and create jobs?
I'll tell you why: Because the federal government wastes so damn much of our tax money that no one should begrudge anyone who tries to keep more of his money. Period. End of story. When or if the feds get their financial house in order, only then would sentiments like Neff's (and idiot Rachel Maddow's) be valid.
There's also the fact that Romney hasn't violated any law(s) unlike these folks, 36 of whom work in Obama's executive office owing a combined $800,000.
Warning: NSFW language and violence:
I'm not sure how this is going to play out. Trailers for movies can often be wildly different than the film itself but it seems this is a pop culture reboot of Falling Down. These two characters are both off the rails but their apparent targets are things that we, as a society, should be trying to get rid of not glorify. Of course, killing these people is not the answer and this will have to be the darkest of dark comedies to keep it from being a call to violence against the barely veiled references in the film (i.e. American Idol).
Riiiiiiiiiiight. Sadly this story will be one day news and then gone. I'd love to hear the coroner's explanation of exactly how this happened.