January 31, 2013

Why there should be a The Thing sequel

Any fan of John Carpenter's 1982 The Thing has probably seen its prequel, the 2011 film by the same title. Unfortunately for the newer flick, even modern CGI can't make up for its completely unoriginal story -- it's essentially just like Carpenter's film.

However, not only does Carpenter's version leave open the possibility of a sequel, the new one does too. The prequel ends exactly where the 1982 film begins. At the end of Carpenter's story we see the [American] survivors Kurt Russell and Keith David sharing a bottle of whiskey while they await certain death at the hands of the brutal cold. In the new film, star Mary Elizabeth Winstead torches what she thinks is the last remaining Thing, and then attempts to make it to a "nearby" Russian outpost some 50 miles away in the remaining snow vehicle. In both films, we never see what happens to these three.

So, why not find out? The possibilities are endless!


I feel like this after I eat Mexican.

Personally, I like linking a sequel to the 2011 film. Have Winstead make it to the Russian base, and upon informing them of what happened, subsequently a whole gaggle of Soviet military personnel, scientists, etc. make their way down to Antarctica. Finding nothing at the wrecked Norwegian outpost, the Russians make their way to the American base, whereupon they discover frozen Russell and Keith. Around the same time, an American rescue party arrives to determine what happened at the American base since there's been absolutely no communication from it in many weeks. The story now becomes a Cold War parable as the two superpowers race to unlock the secrets of the alien spacecraft, and uh oh! Why isn't Childs dead?? MWAHAHAHAH!

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Words of wisdom from our D.H.S.

Too incredibly stupid to be a parody:

Yep, this video "suggests that if an active shooter comes into your building, you should evacuate, or hide, or at the very most try to fight back with scissors. You should definitely not help anyone who is injured, and you certainly shouldn’t have a gun."

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Worst Comicbook Animated Series of All-Time

Newsarama's at it again with the Top Ten lists, this time a Worst Comic Book Animated Series of All Time. I haven't seen all on their list, but enough of them to know they're pretty much right on the money. Here's the highlights:

#10 and #2: Fred and Barney Meet the Thing. So bad that Newsarama lists it twice. Some brainchild thought it would be cool to make Ben Grimm (the Thing) a teenager, and have him hang out with the stars of The Flintstones. Seriously. Oh, and "Benjy" Grimm (that's what he was called) changed into the rocky orange monster ... via a ring. And saying "Thing Ring do your thing!" For real.

#9: The Marvel Superheroes. Gotta give a little break here since these came out in the mid-60s. Then again, animation of that era wasn't this lame. Basically, these 'toons were still pictures taken directly from the comics and given occasional animation -- usually just a moving mouth, sort of Clutch Cargo style. My fave Iron Man was among these offerings, and its theme song was immortalized in the 2008 film several times -- like when Stark was playing craps in Vegas (the band in the background), and Rhodey's cell phone ringtone.

#8: Black Panther. This 'toon only saw the light of day in Australia(!), mainly because the animation ain't much better than #8's above! And it was made in 2009! Originally slated for BET (Black Entertainment Television), the John Romita Jr.-drawn show definitely had an anti-Western (and even anti-white) tone.

#6: Avengers: United They Stand. As the Newsarama entry says, where's the Big Three -- Cap, Iron Man and Thor? It's also bad enough that Hawkeye's outfit looks like that from the dreadful "The Crossing," but instead of turning diamond hard, the Vision turns into something like ... a stone statue??

#1: The Fantastic Four. This is the 1978 version which did not include the Human Torch. Really. Because of some copyright hassle, the Torch was replaced by HERBIE the robot in what made for a dreadful half hour of Marvel's First Family.

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It just makes sense

Pennsylvania is gonna try again -- to privatize its "state stores," the only places where wine and hard liquor can be purchased throughout the entire state. PA is the only state besides Utah (no surprise there) with such an antiquated set-up. Many past attempts at privatization have failed, in big part due to the influence of the unions that represent state store employees.

Not being a resident of the state but living nearby, I find PA's set-up bewildering, and, frankly, stupid. Wine and hard liquor must be purchased at these state stores, and beer can be found only at beverage distributor outlets. Contrast that to Delaware where [privately run] liquor stores sell all three items in one place. Many other states allow beer to be sold in supermarkets and convenience stores like 7-11.

I didn't realize just how stupid PA's system was until I traveled out to the western part of the state, specifically the little mining town of Clymer. Its state store hours were absolutely ridiculous -- no evening hours at all, and it is open about five hours per day. This ridiculousness would drastically change under Gov. Tom Corbett's plan:

Under the plan, retail beer distributors, who now can only sell by the case or keg, could apply for a license to sell the alcohol trifecta: beer, wine, and liquor. Supermarkets could sell a customer up to two six-packs of beer, and up to six bottles of wine. Convenience stores? A six-pack to go, no wine. Restaurants and taverns, which can now sell a customer no more than two six-packs of beer, could sell up to six bottles of wine.

Corbett says the privatization plan will generate approximately $1 billion in four years, the funds to go towards public education. Sounds like a double win to me.

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Gee, what a surprise

Via the LA Times: Many Occupy protesters well-off, white and educated, study says.

Of those sampled, the report said that more than 35% of participants made more than $100,000 a year; by contrast, an average of 24% of New York City residents make that much per year.

Sixty-seven percent of respondents were non-Latino white, compared to the average of 33% among New York City residents.

The survey may not be representative of the movement's heyday in the fall of 2011; by May, momentum had flagged and key supporters were looking beyond the "Occupy" label.

But the report's authors said, anecdotally, that "nearly all of those involved in the planning phase of [Occupy Wall Street] were college educated; they were also disproportionately white and male."

Of course, if we actually had a media in this country, reporters could have [easily] figured this out. No doubt they were too busy ignoring this reality because they were tending to fantasy stereotypes -- like those they wanted to portray about groups like the Tea Party.

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Mike "The Man" Matthews has some choice words

... about education in the First State (via Kilroy):

Mike, as many of you know, is a former prolific DE blogger (Down With Absolutes!) and still occasionally writes at the Mind of Mr. Matthews.

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January 30, 2013

A contrary view on an Image guy

In this post, which centered primarily on overhyped comics guy Rob Liefeld, one of Rob's Image company compadres was also mentioned. That was Todd MacFarlane who, in Sean Howe's book Marvel Comics: The Untold Story doesn't come off all that well. (See the link above for an example.) However, there's a long-time Delaware resident who has a contrarian view about the noted former Spider-Man artist. That would be legendary comics writer David Michelinie (at left):

When I worked with Todd McFarlane on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN he was the consummate professional; made his deadlines, told a story well, and provided creative and interesting drawings which made my job of putting words on them more fun. I have nothing negative to say about Todd. (Via e-mail.)

I first met (and interviewed) David in the mid-90s for an Iron Man fan magazine. This was because David and best pal Bob Layton are probably best known for their two long runs on the Armored Avenger's title. I also did a radio interview with David in 2008 via the now-defunct Delaware Talk Radio on the Maria Evans Show. As noted, David is a long-time resident of the First State, and his (and Layton's) stints on Iron Man in the early and then late 80s are considered classics.

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Watcher's Council nominations

Honorable Mentions:

And the non-Council nominations are here!

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Karma coming around?

Will these words come back to haunt him?

We shall see.

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Magical Wind Power

Oops. Seems these wind turbines are designed to handle, you know, wind.

Key quote:

"The Bradworthy Parish Council, who opposed the turbine, expressed concern that there was “nothing exceptional” in the speed of the winds."

So there's that. Imagine how well a wind farm off the coast of say, Delaware would fare in a hurricane.

I'll concede that it is possible these were not built to sufficient strength but remember as the strength increases so does the cost.

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January 29, 2013

Stupidity

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Oh, irony

MSNBC guest host decries "hateful language" while, well, engaging in just that:

“We had evangelical Latinos wanting to meet with Howard Dean at the DNC,” said Finney, who served as Democratic National Committee communications director at the time. “That’s a shift, right?”

“We saw in droves the Latino community moving over to the Democratic Party largely because of the tone,” Finney continued. “Even Republicans in the Republican Party who were Latino just disgusted with the tone.”

“Those crazy crackers on the right, if they start with their very hateful language, that is going to kill them in the same way that they learned, at their little retreat, let’s not talking about rape,” Finney concluded.

But keep in mind -- "progressives" are ALL ABOUT tolerance and understanding!

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Capital has legs part 2

As I was saying the other day, capital flight is a reality. Technology only accelerates that reality:

Taxpayers Go Where Taxes Are Low: "Contiguous with the Empire State, Connecticut still is smarting over the relocation of hedge-fund manager Edward Lampert. With an estimated net worth of $3 billion, according to Forbes, Lampert was considered the fifth-wealthiest man in the Nutmeg State. In August 2011, Connecticut increased taxes by $875 million, retroactively to that January. It cut the maximum property-tax credit from $500 to $300 and lifted its top state income-tax rate from 6.5 percent to 6.7 percent. Then, on June 1, 2012, Lampert moved his company, ESL Investments, to Florida. Lampert also took with him the $10.6 billion that ESL reportedly controlled at that time.

“We are all aware that the changes to the tax structure in Connecticut last year have given many people pause as to whether this is the best place to do business and reside,” Greenwich first selectman Peter Tesei told the Hartford Courant. “I am concerned about the departure of Mr. Lampert and his firm, and would ask the state of Connecticut to take another look at its policies.”"

That is just one guy. Not a small one either. He's denying them of tens of millions in tax dollars. How long will this go on? How long can it continue?

The piece also mentions Rush Limbaugh fleeing New York for Florida. That's another thing that would have been impossible a few years ago. He would have needed the huge antennas in New York to reach his audience. Now all the stations are networked and the feed can come from anywhere. Rush could have moved literally anywhere on the planet and continued.

Unfortunately, Connecticut and New York seem to be the types that have to learn the hard way. As technology makes these moves easier the blue state model will collapse under its own weight. Slowly at first, and then very quickly.

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X-Men: Days of Future Past update (and is First Class director a Kennedy assassination conspiracy theorist?)

A couple days ago we filled you in on who's in for what is sure to be THE film event of 2014; now, Newsarama has still more details. For one, it seems at this point that Famke Janssen (Jean Grey) and January Jones (Emma Frost) won't be in the flick.

The plot looks to follow the comicbook story (Uncanny X-Men #s 141 and 142) pretty closely. Director Bryan Singer says that

"It has a lot of aspects of the comic. The actual comic of Days Of Future Past had a whole ton of stuff going on, so it’s like any of these things; you have to distill it. But I think the fans will be pleased that some of the most exciting parts of Days Of Future Past are going to be connected to this movie.

It sounds like it would be easy enough to have several "contemporary" X-Men (those from the first three X-films) portray those in the dystopian timeline -- the necessary Kitty Pryde being one of these) -- and then use the method to contact the past (to hopefully alter the timeline) as seen in the comic (Pryde exchanges consciousness with her younger self). Also, look for the giant robot Sentinels to play a big role (as they do in the comics).

Interestingly, X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn briefly spoke about that film's upcoming sequel:

"I've got some ideas for the opening for the next film," Vaughn said. "I thought it would be fun to open with the Kennedy Assassination, and we reveal that the magic bullet was controlled by Magneto. That would explain the physics of it, and we see that he's pissed off because Kennedy took all the credit for saving the world and mutants weren't even mentioned."

Hmm, I know that Kennedy Trutherism is probably one of the most acceptable conspiracy theories to believe in, but sheesh. At any rate, Newsarama's Albert Ching posits: "Could it be that it's not Robert Kelly's assassination that the X-Men are trying to foil (as in the comics), but rather a much less fictional politician (Kennedy)?"

Very interesting indeed!

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Your lives aren't worth as much

In yet another edition of Your Lives Aren't Worth As Much the "media watchdog" arm of the Democratic Party known as Media Matters has a little bit of answering to do. Its head honcho, David Brock, is exhibiting brazen hypocrisy without compare as his bodyguard carried a concealed Glock handgun and committed various felonies as a result:

TheDC has learned that by that time, Brock had armed his assistant — who had no permit to carry a concealed firearm — with a Glock handgun.

According to an internal email exchange obtained by TheDC, the gun was purchased with cash in Maryland, likely to diminish the chances such a purchase would appear on the tax-exempt group’s books.

[Haydn] Price-Morris was regularly armed when accompanying Brock on trips around the country, according to a source, and his firearm possession in Washington, D.C. constituted multiple felonies.

As you'd expect, Media Matters has been very pro-gun control, "commissioning hundreds of pieces supportive of restrictions on firearms."

SEMI-RELATED: Today's Matt Lauer actually asks Al Gore if his sale of Current TV to Aljazeera is hypocritical because "you in the book blast other television news programs saying this: 'Virtually every news and political commentary program on television is sponsored in part by oil, coal and gas companies.'"

Aljazeera, of course, is funded by the government of Qatar -- which gets its income from ... selling oil.

Gore's response?

I certainly understand that criticism. I disagree with it, because I think al Jazeera has obviously long since established itself as a really distinguished and effective news-gathering organization. And by the way, its climate coverage has been far more extensive and of high quality than any of the networks here.

Notice Big Al didn't answer the question. Lauer presses him, and Gore ducks again:

LAUER: But if they get funding from a country that has, that basis its wealth on fossil fuels, and fossil fuels are the enemy you target in climate change, isn't there a bit of hypocrisy in that?

GORE: Well, I get the criticism, I just disagree with it because this network has established itself. It’s objective, it’s won major awards in countries around the world, and its climate coverage, as I said a moment ago, has been outstanding and extensive.

Yeah, its climate coverage has been "outstanding and extensive," yet as Lauer pointed out, the friggin' network is funded largely by ... revenues from oil!!

Video here:

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Gays are different, but not in the way you think

Big news yesterday in that the Boy Scouts of America may reverse its long policy of forbidding openly gay members and scout leaders:

The Boy Scouts of America is considering changing its longstanding policy against allowing openly gay members, according to a news release from the organization.

The organization, which has 2.7 million members, is "potentially discussing" doing away with its national policy after months of protest, including hundreds of angry Eagle Scouts renouncing their hard-earned awards and mailing back their red-white-and-blue medals.

Many parents of Scouts across America found the national policy excluding gays confusing -- and at odds with basic scouting ideals.

Which brings up a question I asked long ago concerning gays in the military -- and got no good direct answer except from perhaps one commenter who acquiesced and had to agree with me -- why is it permissible for a man whose sexual proclivity is other men to sleep in close quarters with young boys ... but it is not permissible for a man whose sexual preference is hetero to sleep in close quarters with ... young girls?

If you agree with one, but not the other, aren't you essentially saying that homosexuals can control themselves better than heterosexuals?

In the military, why should there exist separate sex barracks, then, if openly gay males and females can bunk in the same dorms as the sex to which they're attracted?

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January 28, 2013

Entertainment Weekly interviews Robert Downey Jr. about Iron Man 3

Part one of five here.

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Uh, duh

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Must-see parody of Rob Liefeld's Image movie screenplay

... over at The Comics Journal.

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New at the Watcher's Council

Forum: Can the Republican Party come back, or will a new party emerge?

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News in brief

There was a 'Blast' at Iranian nuclear facility and the Israelis are responding with "Gosh, that's interesting. Wonder who coulda done it?" I'll leave it to you to connect those dots.

Why not a waiting period for laws? asks Instapundit.

I’d like to propose a “waiting period” for legislation. No bill should be voted on without hearings, debate and a final text that’s available online for at least a week. (A month would be better. How many bills really couldn’t wait a month?)

And if the bill is advertised as addressing a “tragedy” or named after a dead child, this period should double.

Yes please. Add to it a committee of repeal who's sole function is to repeal old and outdated laws.

Yes, I know The Sun is something of a rag but this story has a point. Which way should we go as a nation? I'll note also that the spongers are natives and the woman with the work ethic is an immigrant.

Here's a post about why employment is dead in the water. ZeroHedge is something of a scattershot on some things but this one is fairly compelling.

The crux of the argument is this:

The only way to understand why employment is dead in the water is to stand in the shoes of a potential employer or entrepreneur. Remarkably, this perspective is unknown to economists and progressive politicians because they have never been an employer (and no, hiring a grad student to grade papers or an illegal nanny to watch your kids does not make you an employer.)

I have described this vast divide between small business employers, entrepreneurs and the self-employed and those working in government or Corporate America as one of the least explored social/economic divisions in the nation.

Those who have spent their careers in government or academia have little idea what it takes to hire more people. Number one is a business with strong demand for one's products or services. In a developed world with too much of everything except energy, that is no small challenge: the world is awash in over-capacity in every field except niche industries such as deepwater oil rigs.

Second, you need a process that generates so much value (specifically surplus value) that you will generate immediate profits by hiring more people.

If the value added by additional labor is low, then you have no reason to hire more employees, even if Ben Bernanke personally knocked on your door begging you to borrow a couple million dollars at low rates of interest.

If an additional unskilled worker will cost $10 an hour and might generate $100 a day in additional gross revenues, that is $20 in gross profit. But the overhead costs of operating a business are rising faster than inflation: junk fees imposed by cities, counties and states, workers compensation and disability premiums, healthcare costs (if you hire full-time workers), energy costs, and so on.

For most businesses, overhead costs 50% to 100% of total employee compensation--wages plus benefits and payroll taxes. So adding another employee to gross 20% more doesn't make it worthwhile--it actually generates a loss once overhead costs are paid.

The only time it makes sense to hire another worker is if that worker will create 100% or more surplus value from their labor. For example, a worker paid $200 a day in total compensation generates $400 more in gross revenues--enough to not only support the added overhead but net the business a profit.

In a global economy, competition constantly lowers the premium most businesses can charge. That places most businesses in the vice of declining gross margins and higher labor/ overhead costs. The only way to stay solvent is to grow revenues and slash costs so declining gross margins are still enough to pay the bills and leave some return on capital/time/risk invested.

Cheap credit doesn't create surplus value, increase gross margins or get rid of over-capacity. It is a financial non-sequitur for all but a relative handful of enterprises. The only firms interested in borrowing money for expansion are those relative few in sectors that are not burdened with overcapacity. That might include oil services, network security and a handful of others.

Indeed if only Kavips and other hyper Keynsians would occasionally drink from the Cup of Truth (The Austrian School) they might actually learn something. They won't. They're Statists through and through and anything that runs counter to the increase in state power is samizdat.

This is very worrisome:

The man is fearless and clearly knows that there will not be any repercussions for enforcing his set of "laws". Multiculturalism gone mad. If we're not careful, this will spread. I'm not going to go all Mark Steyn on you but this country only functions properly if there's one set of laws for everybody. Not a set for David Gregory, and one for me, and another one for me when I'm in Dearborn, Michigan.

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Capital has legs

Finance industry running from high taxes to the warmth of the Sunshine State - NYPOST.com: "The firms can easily pick up and move out of the New York region because technology allows them to do their work anywhere, she said."

As technology has been advancing we've seen the advent and the rise of the virtual employee. Hell, I've been one. I was on a project for two years and was only in the office once every other week. As this phenomenon accelerates I suspect more and more people will be virtual employees and where you live in relation to your job will matter less and less. The valence for living in or proximate to a city will very likely decline and perhaps quite rapidly. Could this lead to a stronger stratification in cities between the very rich and the rest? As the middle class leaves for STEM/IT jobs that are online why stay in the city? What value does it hold? It seems more logical to me for a couple who are looking to save some money and start a family to head for a smaller town where housing and land are cheaper. Lower crime rates and potentially better schools (although not so much in Florida). However, what if Professor Reynolds is right? What if we're seeing not just a higher education bubble, but a lower one too? What if they both burst and The Khan Academy is the new model? In that scenario the whole chessboard is upended and frankly I have no idea what comes afterward.

I can tell you now if I could keep my job and didn't have to worry about schools or going in to an office I would not be in Delaware. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate Delaware but there are far finer places to live. (Hello Tahiti!) To be fair, family concerns would preclude the mass exodus for the doors in my case and likely many others too. But look at Wall Street and look at Miami. Where do many New Yorkers retire to? This may well be two birds with one stone here. Imagine you're a Wall Street Titan with aging parents in NYC. You move your business to Florida and pack up Aging Mom and Getting On In Years Dad and head for sunnier shores. Alternately, imagine they're already retired to Florida. Moving to Miami saves you from having to make the trek down every year at Christmas. You're already there.

All in all hedge funds are the most mobile. They have little infrastructure to support and most of them a small shops with big funds. Their customers are institutional investors so they're hands off and not dropping in to the office to see you.

Remember well that equities is a forward looking business. These guys have to be 18 months ahead at all times. They're looking past Bloomberg to see what the future holds and they don't like what they see. New York is going to survive. But if those who stay see that those who've left are faring better it would be hard to see a reason to stay.

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Clinton in the hotseat

Secretary Clinton was on the hotseat last week and I noted one part of the exchange in particular:

Excerpts: Heated Exchanges at Benghazi Hearing - Washington Wire - WSJ: "SEC. CLINTON: Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again.

Now, honestly, I will do my best to answer your questions about this. But the fact is that people were trying in real time to get to the best information. The IC has a process, I understand, going with the other committees to explain how these talking points came out. But, you know, to be clear, it is, from my perspective, less important today looking backwards as to why these militants decided they did it than to find them and bring them to justice, and then maybe we’ll figure out what was going on in the meantime."

She says: "What difference does it make?" and immediately afterward "it's our job to figure out what happened?" This goes on completely unquestioned by anyone in the media. Nothing. Rather they focus on her crocodile tears and oh so passionate anger. The woman gives not one whit for anything save her own political power and political fortune. Rand Paul was right. She should have been summarily fired and shamed. Instead she's lauded and celebrated. In another time she never would have been put in a position for which she is not qualified. In another time, she would have refused such a post. In another time, anyone responsible for such an abject and ongoing failure would have resigned in disgrace.

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January 27, 2013

2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past cast growing bigger

Newsarama reports that many of the X-film veteran stars are returning for what is sure to be a blockbuster next year. "Days of Future Past" is the classic Chris Claremont/John Byrne X-Men tale from 1981 which establishes a dystopian future (an alternate timeline much used, by the way, in many subsequent issues of X-Men) where mutants have been hunted down and either killed or interned, and North America is ruled by the mutant-hunting Sentinels. This future was triggered by the assassination of Senator Robert Kelly by a band of evil mutants in 1980. (Ironically, the future scenes in the comics take place in our current year of 2013.) Kitty Pryde (played by Juno star Ellen Page in X-Men 3) devises a plan to exchange her consciousness with that of her 1980 counterpart in an effort to prevent the senator's murder, and hence, the dystopian timeline.


Wolverine is vaporized by a Sentinel in X-Men #142.
Yes, his adamantium bones were unaffected.

Screenrant notes that hotshot comics guy Mark Millar has been tasked with making the film version of "Future Past" tie together all the X-related films. He'll have his work cut out for him. The X-films have paid little mind to continuity in their many offerings. Here's just a sample of the inconsistencies, some repeated from this past post of mine:

  • X-Men: First Class shows that Prof. Xavier and Magneto parted ways in 1962. But in X-3 we see their older selves still together, visiting a young Jean Grey.
  • Why does Prof. X have no recollection of Wolverine (Logan) in the original X-Men? He met him (albeit briefly) in First Class, and rescued the mutants Wolvie freed in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
  • Why doesn't Prof. X recognize Emma Frost in Wolverine? He fought against her in First Class!
  • First Class's character Havoc is Cyclops' brother. No connection was ever made in X-Men or its sequels.
  • In Wolverine Logan is shot with an adamantium bullet -- twice. Though Wolvie can heal virtually instantly, his adamantium certainly cannot. But when Logan was examined in X-Men, there was no evidence of these bullet holes in his skull.
  • In X2 we see a brief glimpse of Hank McCoy on a television. McCoy is the X-Man Beast, yet on the TV he was completely human. This scene was screwed by X3 in which Kelsey Grammer played Beast ... and even moreso by First Class where it's shown that McCoy got all blue and furry in 1962.
  • A scene in X3 shows an older Prof X (Patrick Stewart) walking, but First Class establishes that Xavier lost use of his legs in 1962. The older Prof X is also seen walking in Wolverine.
  • A very young Storm (Halle Berry in the first three X-films) has a cameo in First Class. Which means she should be a lot older in the first three X-films. We can grant, perhaps, that her mutation makes her age at a slower rate; however, Moira McTaggart is shown to be about the same age in First Class AND X3. And she's 100% human.

So far, Ian McKellen (older Magneto), Patrick Stewart (older Prof X), James McAvoy (young Prof X), Michael Fassbender (young Magneto), Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), Anna Paquin (Rogue), Jennifer Lawrence (young Mystique), Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde), Nicholas Hoult (young Beast), and Shawn Ashmore (Iceman) are all slated to appear in Days of Future Past. It opens July 18, 2014.

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Your lives aren't worth as much

DHS wants to buy 7,000 "assault weapons" for personal defense.

Citing a General Service Administration (GSA) request for proposal (RFP), Steve McGough of RadioViceOnline.com reports that DHS is asking for the 7,000 “select-fire” firearms because they are “suitable for personal defense use in close quarters.” The term select-fire means the weapon can be both semi-automatic and automatic. Civilians are prohibited from obtaining these kinds of weapons.

Because some lives are "more valuable" than others.

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January 26, 2013

Ah, a gun control Dopey WNJ Letter of the Week

Newark's Raymond Magnani perfectly exemplifies the idiotic arrogance of the gun control crowd. In his letter pondering why gun rights advocates are skeptical about restrictions on the size of magazines, he writes:

1. “It’s my right.” Actually our rights are defined by the Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court, not by us as individuals.

Nope. We are all endowed by our Creator with certain natural rights, most prevalent among them being life, liberty and property. No piece of paper -- even the Constitution -- grants us anything. To quote Thomas Paine,

It is a perversion of terms to say that a charter gives rights. It operates by a contrary effect — that of taking rights away. Rights are inherently in all the inhabitants; but charters, by annulling those rights, in the majority, leave the right, by exclusion, in the hands of a few. ... They...consequently are instruments of injustice. The fact therefore must be that the individuals themselves, each in his own personal and sovereign right, entered into a contract with each other to produce a government: and this is the only mode in which governments have a right to arise, and the only principle on which they have a right to exist.

Even the Supreme Court cannot "take away" our rights, even on the premise of "interpreting" the Constitution.

2. “I need it to hunt.” You should spend some time learning how to aim.

Oh! What snark there, Ray! So let me get this straight -- limiting the size of magazines means people who want to shoot more (when hunting) can just ... buy more magazines. So, a proposed law which restricts the size of magazines effectively ... does nothing.

3. “I need it to protect my home and family.” Only if your gang is involved in a turf battle with a rival gang.

Ah yes, more arrogant snark. Indeed, it's a good thing we have omniscient arbiters like Ray who "know" what limit we need on magazines in order to protect those most precious to us! Nevertheless, if there's a size limit on magazines, what prevents one from ... purchasing additional magazines? If there's no law against multiple purchases, then, again, magazine size restrictions are basically useless. All they'll do is make "progressives" feel good about themselves for "doing something." (Remember, intentions are really what count to them.) If there are concurrent purchase limitations, then here we are again where people like Ray would harm law-abiding folks at the expense of criminals -- who, y'know, don't follow laws. That's why they're CRIMINALS.

3. “I just like shooting lots of bullets. It’s fun.” Give me a break.

You actually heard this "argument" as a reason to not limit magazine size? I doubt it. But if you did, no argument here.

4. “I need it to protect myself and my family from the government. That’s why the Founding Fathers added the Second Amendment.” Really? This is the underlying argument? To wage war on our own soldiers?

Yeah, Ray, really. That was [one of the] underlying arguments for the 2nd Amendment. I always love it when "progressives" mock folks who bring this up -- as if, if an administration decided to gun grab, police departments and US soldiers in the military, would blindly follow what the president ordered. Does anyone really believe that would happen? And sensibly theorizing that it wouldn't, consider how an armed populace -- in conjunction with dissenting police and military forces -- would struggle against that "tyrannical government."

(Note: Either Ray or the News Journal can't count. One of them did indeed use the number "3" above twice, not yours truly.)

Posted by Hube at 11:01 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

January 25, 2013

Maybe he thought "Jenjis" Khan was in Libya

Ilya Somin explains why richer-than-Mitt Romney John Kerry failed miserably to distinguish between the legality of Richard Nixon's bombing of Cambodia, and Boss Obama's bombing of Libya:

Kerry’s efforts to distinguish the two cases are far from successful. He claims that the Libya intervention was legal because of the need for swift, decisive action. But of course Nixon could and did make the same argument. Paul correctly points out that the Constitution gives the power to declare war exclusively to Congress and does not create any exceptions for cases where presidents believe that they need to act quickly. Moreover, as Allahpundit points out, the president actually had plenty of time to seek and gain congressional approval before he started the bombing, as he spent weeks mobilizing support from the United Nations, our European allies, and others.

Read the whole thing. Oh, and in case you're scratching your head about the title, lest ye forget.

Posted by Hube at 07:15 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Watcher's Council results

The non-Council winner was Caroline Glick with Bye Bye London.

Full results are here.

Posted by Hube at 04:41 PM | Comments (163) | TrackBack

Post of the Day

That would be the Violent Media And You post over at BW Media Spotlight.

Posted by Hube at 04:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 24, 2013

Hillary's 2016 campaign slogan

Via Insty:


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Rob Liefeld: Still the shameless self-promoter

Get this: Way- overhyped comics guy Rob Liefeld has penned -- wait for it -- a 100 page screenplay about the formation of Image Comics.

One question: Why?

Well, of course anyone familiar with this hack knows why: I doubt anyone in the industry has a bigger (and undeserved) ego than Liefeld. In the terrific book Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, author Sean Howe says that, essentially, Liefeld came upon the comics scene at precisely the right time. The early 90s were a time of ridiculous speculation in the industry; Marvel and main rival DC were churning out crossover after crossover (so readers would have to buy multiple titles to figure out what the heck was going on), putting out books with special covers (foil and chromium) and other "special" gimmicks. But perhaps most importantly they were [re]introducing a lot of "Number 1" editions. Fans hoarded these editions with the hope that years down the line they'd be able sell them for a lot of money.

It didn't work (for the fans, that is). Though Liefeld-drawn issues and titles with new Liefeld characters sold millions of copies, the novelty of all the gimmicks quickly died out. Comic shops had a glut of #1 issues (which, years later, you could pick up for around 50 cents in bargain bins). Still, Liefeld and other Marvel guys, their egos now as bloated as their wallets, ditched Stan Lee's company and founded Image Comics. (To give you an idea of the conceit the Image guys had, Howe notes that Todd MacFarlane, who gained fame drawing Spider-Man and created Spawn for Image, once bragged to a Marvel editor that he could sell a million issues of a comic that contained only blank pages -- as long as his name was on it.) (Minor correction added 1/27: MacFarlane actually said to editor Danny Fingeroth, "You sell a million, I'll listen to you. If I can turn in 22 blank pages and the kids buy a million copies, who cares how comic books have been done for the past 50 years?")

Just like when they were at Marvel, some of the Image guys (like Liefeld) were missing deadlines, which royally pissed off dealers who were (obviously) eagerly awaiting the books from these "hot" creators. Still, throughout the decade, Liefeld and crew remained in demand ...

... so much in demand that in the late 90s Marvel asked Liefeld and co-Image guy Jim Lee to return to the company in order to "re-imagine" some of their marquee characters: Capt. America, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four and the Avengers. In what was dubbed "Heroes Reborn," these heroes were cast off into a "pocket universe" where the Image duo would rework the heroes' origins and pretty much do as they wished. While Lee's books -- Iron Man and Fantastic Four did well, Liefeld's books, in particular Captain America, were dismal. Marvel ended up relieving Liefeld of his "Heroes Reborn" contract.

Take a gander at some of Liefeld's Captain America (vol. 2) #1 (courtesy of my now-defunct comics blog). First, here's Cap (Steve Rogers) and a guy named Abe:

Notice above that Rogers is about what -- roughly a head taller than Abe? Not so fast:

Look! Somehow, Rogers miraculously grew about two feet, or Abe suddenly contracted osteoporosis and shrunk by same!

And then there's Rob's remarkable grasp of human anatomy:

Yep, there sure are a lot of people out there with arms that dwarf people's entire bodies! Yet, perhaps there is no picture which best exemplifies Liefeld's anatomical ineptitude than this one:

C'mon, say it with me: "W. T. F.??"

The "Reborn" titles were merely a [bad] extension of what made the Image guys famous -- huge, action-based panels with ridiculously proportioned characters ... and very minimal story-telling/dialogue. To show you just how minimal, former Iron Man fanzine Advanced Iron's Bill Egan did an analysis of "Reborn" Iron Man and Acclaim Comics' X-O Manowar. Here's what he found:

Average # of panels per page: Iron Man: 3.18; X-O: 4.5 Total # of panels: Iron Man: 70; X-O: 99

Average # of words per page: Iron Man: 38.9; X-O: 136.23
Total # of words: Iron Man: 856; X-O: 2997.

See? X-O Manowar had roughly three and a half times more written story than Iron Man.

At any rate, if you contain your laughter, be sure to check out some of the pages of the Liefeld's aforementioned screenplay. (Note, too, his bad grammar.) Also, scroll down to see whom Rob wants to play who in the film (he wants Star Trek's Chris Pine and John Cho to play him and Jim Lee respectively).

Posted by Hube at 08:39 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Should the "Rooney Rule" be expanded?

"Yes," says Mike Florio:

Breaking sports news video. MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL highlights and more.

Really? Do people really think that professional sports franchises don't want the very best coaches and general managers available? They want the best players, after all.

And seriously, the Rooney Rule -- which requires NFL teams to interview minority candidates for coaching positions -- is cosmetically applied anyway. Teams in search of coaches usually have a good idea of who they want in advance based on current availability, and to comply with the RR they'll merely grant a "courtesy" interview to a minority interviewee. An expansion of the RR would result in ... what -- more mere "courtesy" interviews?

The only way people like Florio will get what they want is if a mandatory quota -- NFL affirmative action, if you will -- is implemented. And that would go over even worse than this silly Rooney Rule.

Posted by Hube at 08:03 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Read The Whole Thing

This article is a must read. I found it fascinating. As a parent of boys just entering the double digits this type of thing is on their horizon and something I think about often. My high school experience was pretty average. I was picked on occasionally but nothing I would ever call bullying. Mostly it was fun weekends and crushing boredom in class. Like every teenager my parents were The Most Unfair People Ever and blah blah blah. One part of the article that all but poked me in the eye was the bit about socialization. That is, high school creates its own values and culture and they're not necessarily good ones. Homeschoolers argue that interacting with people of every age group is more like real life than school is. That is why they decry the questions about socializing kids. I agree that kids need to be left to play with peers and frequently sort things out but I do believe that more regular interaction with the "real" world (i.e. the adult world) is not just necessary but instrumental in their development. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Posted by Duffy at 11:07 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

January 23, 2013

Having trouble commenting?

Shoot me an e-mail at colossusofrhodey -at- gmail -dot- com

We've had some major spam issues and are sorting out some offending IP addresses.

Posted by Hube at 08:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

In other sports news ...

... former Raiders Tim Brown and Jerry Rice (yes, that one) claim that then-coach Bill Callahan "sabotaged" Oakland's chances in the 2003 (2002 season) Super Bowl against Tampa Bay. Why?

“We all called it sabotage, because Callahan and Gruden were good friends. And Callahan had a big problem with the Raiders, you know, hated the Raiders. You know, [he] only came because Gruden made him come. Literally walked off the field on us a couple of times during the season when he first got there, the first couple years," Brown told SiriusXM NFL Radio, via SFGate.com. "So really he had become someone who was part of the staff but we just didn’t pay him any attention. Gruden leaves, he becomes the head coach. It’s hard to say that the guy sabotaged the Super Bowl. You know, can you really say that? That can be my opinion, but I can’t say for a fact that that’s what his plan was, to sabotage the Super Bowl. He hated the Raiders so much that he would sabotage the Super Bowl so his friend can win the Super Bowl. That’s hard to say, because you can’t prove it. But the facts are what they are, that less than 36 hours before the game we changed our game plan. And we go into that game absolutely knowing that we have no shot. That the only shot we had if Tampa Bay didn’t show up."

Ouch.

Posted by Hube at 06:38 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Really?

Junior Seau’s Family Sues N.F.L.

Does anyone seriously believe that Seau would have quit playing football knowing that he might suffer some long-term physical damage due to the inherent brutality of the sport?

Posted by Hube at 06:32 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Hans Bader's latest

Obamacare Increases Unnecessary Medical Tests, Wastes Doctors’ Time, Drives Up Billings and Costs. A sample:

As one of Kaus’s readers put it,

My wife is a staff physician [at] a major East Coast hospital. Her employer was one of the first to sign up for federal money to implement a system which hospital management freely acknowledges is “terrible” but there was so much money on offer that they couldn’t say no. Probably the biggest problem with electronic records is simply that it requires the physician to input all notes and orders, rather than dictate them.

As a result, as my bride puts it, “they’ve taken the highest-paid person in the department and turned him/her into a data entry clerk”. On average, she and her colleagues spend more time per patient wading through drop-down menus, clicking boxes and filling in required but utterly irrelevant information than they do at the bedside, actually treating the patient.

In short, it’s her experience that they see fewer patients per shift than they did previously, and spend less time with each one, now that they are required to sit down at a computer after seeing each patient and jumping through hoops to place orders instead of, as previously, simply telling the nurse what is needed and then moving on to the next patient.

Posted by Hube at 05:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Well, there's an easy solution to this:

Just arrest the filmmakers. Hey, that's what happened to the dude whose video "sparked" the Benghazi riots, right?

From ABC News: FBI Warns of Violence in America Over Anti-Islamic Movie.

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Former Obama czar Van Jones: Obama's inauguration speech more important than George Washington's

Kinda gives "hyperbole" a whole new meaning.

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This is good

government.jpg

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The Liberal War on Science

We often hear about the Republican/Conservative war on science. According to this article, "41 percent of Democrats are young Earth creationists". The only thing more alarming is that 58% of Republicans believe that God created human beings in their present form within the last 10,000 years. Just wow. Every time I start to have faith in the Wisdom of the Crowd, I read something like this which terrifies me. It's one of those things that makes me wonder how someone can actually believe this after a modicum of reason and education.

How are we going to advance as a species if we cannot educate ourselves about facts? I am a believer. For me belief stems from the ontological argument St. Thomas Aquinas put forth as the Prime Mover theory. That is, how could all this have come to be?

Which is more fantastic:
1. First there was nothing, then nothing became everything compressed into a tiny tiny ball which then exploded and somehow organized itself into what we have today.
2. Some all powerful being created everything out of nothing or whatever preceded what exists today.

Frankly, I have no idea. Perhaps I'm as crazy as the people who believe the story of the creation as told in the Bible is a literal story. How they explain things like carbon dating, fossils, dinosaurs, the ever expanding universe and so on are unknown to me. Frankly they'll probably just fall back on "God can do anything so he put these things there to test our faith". A nice trick which gets you out of any hole you're in. Sort of like Homer Simpson when he kept saying things like "God if it is your will that I should not eat this donut, stop me now" and then ate the donut when nothing happened. Very easy to blame The Almighty when you frame it that way.

I'm not sure what my point is, or if I even have one. Just that I am continually amazed at what some people believe and at the same time cannot always adequately explain why my own position seems rational to me when it may well not be.

Posted by Duffy at 12:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 22, 2013

How M.L.K.'s vision has been manipulated by the M.S.M.

Great pick-up here by First Street Journal's Editor on something in our local Philly Inquirer. Part of their editorial over the weekend reads as follows:

It’s fitting that the annual observance of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth and the inauguration of President Obama for a second term are occurring on the same day.

Four years ago, America’s inauguration of its first black president brought great optimism about a post-racial era. And indeed, the United States has made significant progress toward being the colorblind society King envisioned in his “I Have a Dream” speech 50 years ago from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

But most reasonable people would agree that there are more steps to be taken in ensuring that character, not skin color, is the dominant means by which people are judged.

Say what?? "Dominant means"?? Dr. King actually said (in his famous speech),

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

He did not say "...where they will be judged partly by the color of their skin, but mostly by the content of their character."

This little added "dominant" nugget is just one example of how "progressives" have twisted Dr. King's vision. The editors of the Inquirer are acting exactly like college admissions departments (to name one), who fight tooth and nail to be able to consider race as one factor in admissions. So-called "diversity" directors and consultants tell us now that color-blindness is wrong ... that we must now see race, else how can we fight against racism? And, else, how can the majority view and accept their "white privilege?"

Yeah, I know the logic is beyond twisted. Attempting to derive any sense from such is like trying to decipher a post-modernist poem on feminism.

Posted by Hube at 05:48 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Want a lower tax rate? You're a "whiner"

So says Forbes' Len Burman, a professor at Syracuse University who focuses on tax and budget policy:

But suppose Mickelson’s upper estimate on his tax bill–63%–were right. Is he saying that a $10 million endorsement deal wouldn’t be worth doing if he only got to keep $3.7 million after tax? Really? Mr. Mickelson, do you understand that the typical American would have to work about 75 years to earn that much money before tax?

Sir, you get paid astonishing amounts of money for playing golf–directly through the purses you win at tournaments and indirectly through all the endorsement deals that come with golf success. According to Forbes, you are the seventh highest paid athlete in the world, with $4.8 million in salary and winnings and $43 million in endorsements?

Do you have any idea how lucky you are?

Please stop whining and give thanks for being able to earn a fabulous living playing a game and selling golf clubs (even after tax). 99.999% of people would never have that option, no matter how hard they worked on their swing.

Ah, we hear often about how nice it must be to be a professor ... securely entombed in the soft womb of the academic ivory tower, sealed off from the real world. Recall the scene in Cocktail when Tom Cruise belittles his dick-of-a-business teacher as "hiding in here" because he "can't hack it in the real world." Or even Rodney Dangerfield's successful Thornton Melon in Back To School who laughs at Business Professor Barbay as living in "Fantasyland" and "telling it like it ain't":

At any rate, as many (most) of the commenters to the article rightly point out, Burman is obviously of the "You Didn't Build That" school ... that Mickelson should be grateful that he worked his butt off to become one of the best players on the planet (and consequently also feel sorry for those who didn't work as hard and/or have the same talent), and hence should "give something back" by accepting the ridiculous tax rates that states like California possess.

It's all so much utter bullsh**, people. Mickelson, like any rational person, merely desires to keep more of what he's rightly earned. That the government takes over HALF of his salary is an abomination in itself. That it WASTES so damn much of it is even worse.

Mr. Burman -- you're a complete tool.


The California tax rate on golf trophies is 105%.

Posted by Hube at 05:23 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

The "stale claim"

One of the "progressive" gun control memes going around is that 40% of all gun sales without background checks pass through the so-called "gun show loophole." That is, sales between private dealers do not have to include said background check. Boss Obama has used this figure (natch) as has "Plugs" Biden. Locally, our old friend Perry clamored about the 40% figure, most probably because the prez and veep spouted it (therefore it's just gotta be accurate).

Unfortunately, the figure is old (or "stale"), and the research behind it is suspect. As the WaPo(!!) notes:

The data is available for researchers to explore at the Interuniversity consortium on political and social research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan. Digging deeper, we find that the survey sample was just 251 people. (The survey was done by telephone, using a random-digit-dial method, with a response rate of 50 percent.) With this sample size, the 95 percent confidence interval will be plus or minus 6 percentage points.

Moreover, when asked if he or she bought from a licensed firearms dealer, the possible answers included “probably was/think so” and “probably not,” leaving open the possibility the purchaser was mistaken. (The “probably not” answers were counted as “no.”)

Interestingly, while people often speak of the “gun show loophole,” the data in this 1994 survey shows that only 3.9 percent of firearm purchases were made at gun shows.

I am not arguing that this loophole should not be eliminated. This is just a little friendly reminder to always dig a little (or a lot) deeper into so-called "facts" (like, remember this one?) whenever people throw them out there, especially bigwig politicians.

Posted by Hube at 05:06 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 21, 2013

Posted by Hube at 11:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Boss Obama channels his inner Chamberlain

As in Neville Chamberlain.

In his inaugural speech today, the president said the following:

We will support democracy from Asia to Africa, from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom. And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice. Not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes.

Not exactly the words world leaders should be fond of using. As Britain's Chamberlain said in 1938 after giving much of Czechoslovakia to Germany:

My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honor. I believe it is "peace for our time."

Hopefully, you know what followed.

Posted by Hube at 06:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

A trade paperback to skip

Just in time for Iron Man 3, Marvel is putting out, well, lameness. It's collecting an incredibly sub-par story arc into a trade paperback (TPB) because, well, the Mandarin is in it. And since he's the baddie in IM3 ...

It's the "Hands of the Mandarin" from the mid-1990s, and it wasn't one of IM scribe Len Kaminski's better efforts. I really dig Len's run on IM (he came up with War Machine, after all), but not this arc. As the TPB blurb says,

And if that wasn't enough, the Mandarin has located the ancient alien artifact known as the Heart of Darkness - and that spells trouble for Tony Stark! Determined to end the age of technology and return the world to a feudal state, the Mandarin and his new Avatars begin an all-out assault on Hong Kong!

Iron Man and magic/sorcery don't mix well. Even Tony Stark himself has said numerous times in his stories how he hates magic. About the only good Iron Man-magic story is David Michelinie and Bob Layton's original "Camelot" tale where Iron Man and Dr. Doom travel back to King Arthur's era. In "Hands," artist Tom Morgan's effort on the Iron Man book is dreadful, and since this is the marquee title of the crossover, it doesn't bode well. War Machine artist Gabe Gecko's work is far superior, but it's not enough to save the story. I wish crossover cover artist Kevin Hopgood was doing the interiors as he was when Kaminski began his run on IM (which includes the aforementioned War Machine and "Death" of Tony Stark).

Save your cash on this one, effendis.

Posted by Hube at 05:21 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

They all look alike anyway, right George?

ABC's Stephanopoulis thinks NBA great Bill Russell is ... actor Morgan Freeman:

Need I remind you that if a Republican had made such a gaffe how much "progressive" "comedy" would ensue?

Posted by Hube at 04:53 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Tweet of the Day

Please do not use the #progun word "BANGS" if referring to FLOTUS hair. This violence inciting word will be replaced w/"forehead flare"

Link.

Posted by Hube at 11:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

New at the Watcher's Council

Forum: What is your Opinion Of The State Of Race Relations In America Today?


Posted by Hube at 10:13 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 20, 2013

Cartoon Sunday

(h/t as always to RWR.)


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January 19, 2013

Best entire album ever

Ace has a post up where his gazillion fans chimed in on the "Greatest Whole Album Ever." Many of the submissions are obvious (and with which I agree) like Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, Led Zeppelin IV, The Cars, and Van Halen; but, of course, this wouldn't be a Hube post if I didn't chime in with my personal taste choices for the category:

  • The New Sound of the Venezuelan Gozadera by Los Amigos Invisibles
  • Standing in the Light by Level 42
  • The Pretenders by The Pretenders
  • Música y Comfort Para Volar by Soda Stereo
  • Sueño Stereo by Soda Stereo
  • Doble Vida by Soda Stereo
  • The Venezuelan Zinga Son Vol. 1 by Los Amigos Invisibles
  • The Pretenders II by The Pretenders
  • The Yes Album by Yes
  • 90125 by Yes
  • All 'n All by Earth, Wind and Fire
  • I Am by Earth Wind and Fire
  • A Typical & Autoctonal Venezuelan Dance Band by Los Amigos Invisibles
  • by Julieta Venegas

Posted by Hube at 12:37 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Championship Sunday playoff picks

Well, due to some unlikely late heroics by Baltimore (and stupid screw-ups by Denver) last Saturday I ended up going 2 for 4 in last weekend's divisional round picks. And even though I wish the opposite results of tomorrow's picks, here's who will win:

3:00pm EST: Niners over Falcons.
6:30pm EST: Pats over Ravens.

Posted by Hube at 11:07 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 18, 2013

Watcher's Council results

The non-Council winner was BeliefNet with She survived Hitler and wants to warn America.

Full results are here.

Posted by Hube at 06:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Quote of the year (so far)

"I don't need an AR 15 any more than Rosa Parks needed to sit at the front of the bus." -- Anonymous Internet Guy

Posted by Duffy at 04:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 17, 2013

Talk about your strained analogies

That's how Newsbusters' Mark Finkelstein puts it regarding Tom Brokaw's moronic comparison:

BROKAW: And all these component parts claim it's not their responsibility. NRA says it's not about the guns. It's about violence. It's about mental health. Mental health people say we can't share information because we have privacy issues here. The video game industry says we have a right under the First Amendment. Reverend Al, it reminds me a lot of what happened in the South in the 1960s during the civil rights movement. Good people stayed in their houses and didn't speak up when there was carnage in the streets and the total violation of a fundamental rights of African-Americans as they marched in Selma, and they let Bull Connor and the redneck elements of the South and the Klan take over their culture in effect and become of face of it. And now a lot of people who I know who grew up during that time have deep regrets about not speaking out. There were a few brave souls who did and they were knocked down pretty hard within their own communities for coming out and speaking out in a moderate way, not even in a liberal way about the right of African-Americans to be able to vote, for example, and to walk into any restaurant they wanted to. But there was a lot of silence at the time. Now it's time for the people who do have strong feelings, who are feeling that they can't do anything about it, to kind of band together and have something to say here. And again, it's got to be the whole approach.

Yeah, I get it -- not speaking out about curtailing constitutional rights for all Americans is akin to not speaking about protecting the constitutional rights for [a group of] Americans. Got it.

"Progressives" have this proclivity for naming virtually anything they fervently desire as the "civil rights issue of our time." Like "Plugs" Biden declaring that "transgender discrimination is the civil rights issue of our time'." Or Boss Obama claiming that education is. Or Democrat New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez stating that immigration reform is.

And so on.

Posted by Hube at 11:33 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

My name is Clueless

You'd think comicbook creators would have just a modicum of common sense. Apparently not Ron Marz who, in response to increased gun sales after Boss Obama's re-election and then the shooting in Newtown, CT, wrote: "That strikes me as pathetic and sad."

"Sad" I can perhaps understand (given its myriad connotations), but why is it "pathetic?" Why is it not a perfectly rational response by those who worry that the right to possess a firearm may become severely curtailed -- especially by a guy who 1) has previously expressed outright hostility to the 2nd Amendment, and 2) is a habitual liar (too many links to include for this one).

Indeed, again, what is pathetic are individuals like Marz -- whose very industry survives on depicted violence -- who believe those who feel differently than he are "sad" and "pathetic" ... because they believe government "cares" about you and me.

(h/t to FCMM.)

Posted by Hube at 11:21 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 16, 2013

The architect of northern Delaware busing passes away

... and the News Journal, as you would expect, lionizes Judge Murray Schwartz. Perhaps the singularly most laughable paragraph is this last one:

Whatever costs Judge Schwartz paid for his blind loyalty to the intent of the Constitution in public life, every Delawarean and future generations will be indebted to him for such a singular principled focus that continues to pay off in our public and private lives.

"Blind loyalty to the intent ...??!!" Riiiiiight. Schwartz was the epitome of an activist judge. Then-US Supreme Court Associate Justice William Rehnquist dubbed Schwartz's deseg plan "[a] remedy more Draconian than ever approved by this court." He continued:

"There is substantial doubt that the abolition of these 11 school districts is an appropriate equitable remedy for the interdistrict violation found by the courts." Previous high court rulings require changes "only to the extent necessary to cure the violation. Yet the district court has here treated a series of independent school districts as if they were a 'railroad in reorganization' without any attempt to comply with the (prior) requirements."

Indeed, as I noted way back in 2007, the state did attempt to comply with what the court(s) desired, only to be told "It's not good enough":

But [former News Journal Editor John] Taylor obviously didn't get together with others at his paper, for a month and a half prior, the News Journal printed a "desegregation timeline" which clearly notes "U.S. District Court rejects state desegregation plans and says plan must include Wilmington and its surrounding districts." (This was in 1976.) Then, in 1977, the timeline says "State devises plan for busing black students out of Wilmington." If memory serves (from past reading, and I was a middle school student in northern DE schools at the time), this was a voluntary busing plan that the state legislature devised. Nevertheless, Judge Schwartz rejected the 1977 plan.

Be sure to read that nearly six year-old post for information you'll never see in the pages of the News Journal, for it doesn't fit THE NARRATIVETM.

And how did Judge Schwartz's "singular principled focus" "pay off" for the children of New Castle County -- in particular for those whom he believed he was helping most? Answer: It didn't. Check it:

To wit:

"... the black-white achievement gap remains large and steady despite many years of "ideal" racial balance.

"This gap is revealed in both national studies and in studies of individual school systems, and the gap exists regardless of the extent and duration of desegregation.

"Most importantly, unlike the time of Brown, there is no reasonable way that school segregation can be invoked as a primary cause of this achievement gap, nor is there any credible evidence that school desegregation -- in the form of racial balancing -- has diminished the gap to any important degree."

Ironically, again, state lawmakers back then utilized (or, attempted to utilize) an early form of what the entire state now has as law -- school choice -- as the remedy for desegregation. But that wasn't (and never is) sufficient for the social engineers among us.

Posted by Hube at 05:29 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 15, 2013

Yeah, why hold a grudge?

Via Jonah Goldberg at The Corner:

Briefly sidelined by Sandy, FX’s The Americans started production in New York in December and gets a speedy launch on the network later this month.

The thriller, which stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as embedded Soviet spies in 1981 Washington, DC, made an appearance during Wednesday’s Television Critics Association winter press tour — and producers were quick to emphasize who viewers should be rooting for.

“It might be a little different to believe and get used to, but we want you to root for the KGB,” said EP Joel Fields. “They’re going to try to get the Soviets to win the Cold War.”

History knows they’re fighting a losing battle, but the creative team behind the high-profile launch expressed a confidence that more than enough time has passed for American audiences to not hold a grudge.

Really? What's next -- a show about a team of Nazis embedded within the Warsaw Ghetto in order to track down and murder even more European Jews during the 1930s-40s? Hasn't enough time passed to "not hold a grudge"?

Ye gad.

Fields also said “If you tried to tell a story like this about al-Qaeda now, it would be impossible; no one would want to hear it.” How 'bout that? Yeah, maybe 30 years or so hence, we'll be treated to The Infidels, about a team of covert American Islamic jihadists planning major terror attacks within the US. It'll work -- we won't hold a grudge, right?

Posted by Hube at 06:04 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

W.T.F. Story of the Day

Frequent Delaware office seeker Richard Korn has been arrested on child pornography charges.

Korn is a lawyer who sought public office in New Castle County Council, as a state rep., and state auditor. He was never victorious. He also had a local cable access show for a time on which several of the local blogging community appeared. (Yours truly never did, FWIW.)

UPDATE: Commenter Brud points out what I should have caught -- the News Journal report on Korn omits his party affiliation. Gee, I wonder what it is ... ?

Posted by Hube at 05:06 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Hans Bader's latest

Teaching Self-Esteem Undermines Students’ Academic Achievement.

I can personally attest to this.

Posted by Hube at 04:58 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 14, 2013

Lie of the year or just a delayed truth?

Lie of the Year: the Romney campaign's ad on Jeeps made in China: "That in turn prompted another unqualified denial, this time from Chrysler Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne, who said Jeep assembly lines "will remain in operation in the United States and will constitute the backbone of the brand. It is inaccurate to suggest anything different."

Got that? LIE OF THE YEAR. No truth to it. NONE. Heywaitaminute....

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said the automaker plans to build some Jeeps in China for the local market — and later, in Russia.

"As part of our global expansion of the Jeep brand, there are some cars — that because of the price position in the market — can never be made in the U.S. and exported," Marchionne told reporters on the sidelines of the North American International Auto Show. "We're going to be announcing the first step in the globalization of Jeep (in China). There's another one that's going to come in Russia. These things are part of a natural process of expansion."

I'm sure Politifact will be making a correction Real Soon Now TM. I hear the critics say "It's still a lie. They are only planning on moving some of the product line to China." Maybe but they flat out lied when they denied moving anything to China when this issue originally surfaced. This is just being done by degrees to avoid the bad PR. It would surprise me not at all if Buick followed suit especially given the popularity of the brand in China.

Don't get me wrong, I see nothing wrong with moving their facilities there. Frankly, they've been driven (pardon the pun) there by both the UAW and the government policies that make it too expensive to continue business as usual here in the US.

I'm a bit more bothered by the outright lying by Chrysler from the outset but that's likely done to avoid bad PR (as previously stated), annoying Chairman Zero who could hurt them if they wanted to and not to tip their strategic hand and make sure they don't sour any deals they were negotiating in China.

I am, of course, annoyed with Politifact and not just for their Orwellian name. In this case Romney's campaign was proven, in my view, mostly right. Even now that the game is over if they had an integrity they'd make a correction. Since they don't, they won't.

Posted by Duffy at 02:11 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 13, 2013

Cartoon Sunday

(h/t as always to RWR.)

Posted by Hube at 10:53 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 12, 2013

Laugher of the Day

From the "You Gotta Be Jackin' Me!" files: MSNBC panel actually wonders if calling Boss Obama just "Obama" is -- wait for it! -- "disrespectful":

Yeah, I wonder if making the conscious "strategic" decision to not refer to the president as "President" back in 1992 by the Bill Clinton campaign was ... "disrespectful."

*Sigh*

Posted by Hube at 11:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hube's Divisional Round Playoff Picks

After going 4 for 4 last week (that's right, 4 for 4), I'm jonesin' to keep the streak goin'. So here we go:

Saturday:
Broncos over Ravens.
Packers over Niners.

Sunday:
Falcons over Seahawks.
Pats over Texans.

Posted by Hube at 10:10 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

January 11, 2013

"Progressives" and their enemies

While perusing the First Street Journal blog the other day, I came across a [typically inane] comment from our old friend Perry. Regarding gun control, he writes, "To me, the NRA is a murder weapons murdering group." OK, just you understand this, Perry outright states that a completely legal organization that supports one of our fundamental Constitutional rights is culpable for murder. Check.

Now, let's go back to just a sample of the Colossus archives and check out what Perry said about real "murdering group[s]":

May of 2007:

We can see his thesis playing out in the daily news, that Israel (and the US) continue to starve the Palestinians by withholding from them payment of taxes collected in their behalf, preventing travel about in their own territory, expanding settlements on Palestinian land in the West Bank and in Jerusalem, and capturing duly elected Hamas leaders, not to mention the bombings of civilian property as retaliation against mortar fire.

I have great sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians, very little for the Israelis, except for great sympathy for them and their ancestors who suffered due to the Holocaust.

(And there's a lot more to read in the above link, too.)

Then there's from June, 2007:

I point out to you again, Hube, that Hamas, call them what you will, were the democratically elected government of Palestine.

You tell me: Why did not Israel, the US and the EU honor this decision of the Palestinian people? They had no right not to!

Oh I know, Hamas are terrorists. As if some Israelis are not.

You can see a heck of a lot more along these lines in the archives of the now-defunct Common Sense Political Thought, too. The point being, of course, the near-purposeful myopia of way too many on the Left to utterly demonize their own countrymen because of a mere political difference ... yet they'll embrace those who should be utterly abhorrent to them based on their [supposed, stated] core values.

Certainly, Perry is ultimately a nobody, so let's take a gander at some bigger players: Glenn Beck's The Blaze had approached Current TV when the latter was looking to sell -- and was told the following: "... the legacy of who the network goes to is important to us and we are sensitive to networks not aligned with our point of view.” But who is aligned with that point of view? Aljazeera! Yep, the network whose staffers chanted "down with fascist America" while on the air, among other things.

Again, to Al Gore, Aljazeera is more "suitable" to him than Glenn Beck. And this doesn't even address Gore's outrageous hypocrisy regarding fossil fuels and the climate, and the rich paying their "fair share."

Posted by Hube at 05:21 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Laughable

The 2013 Father of the Year Award goes to ... wait for it! -- Bill Clinton!

Kinda makes sense when you consider some of the past recipients: John Edwards, Hulk Hogan, RFK Jr. and Marv Albert.

Posted by Hube at 04:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Watcher's Council results

The non-Council winner was Commentary/Alana Goodman with Hagel: “Let the Jews Pay for it.”

Full results are here.

Posted by Hube at 04:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

This is good

Progressive Security.jpg

Posted by Duffy at 12:17 PM | Comments (181) | TrackBack

January 10, 2013

Diminishing by degrees and decrees

Recently on Facebook, Don Viti asked me where the "paranoia" about gun confiscation was coming from. I pointed him to a few article/sites but he never responded because well, my fears are well founded and they conflict with THE NARRATIVETM.

Here's Obama pandering as hard as he can to gun owners a few years ago:

And here he is Joe Biden tacking back to the way he always planned to govern:

Frankly I'm thrilled that Obama has made 100,000 new NRA members. Please issue an executive order banning semiautomatic guns. Please. I would love to watch the blue state Congressmen squirm as they either keep their careers alive by speaking out against it or go over the cliff and support their party. I assure you the latter would be extremely unlikely unless they were going to retire anyway.

The GOP, if they were smart, would submit a bill reaffirming that the 2nd Amendment is not about hunting but about the right of citizens to be secure in their persons and defend themselves from a tyrannical government. Luckily for the Democrats, they're not that smart.

Posted by Duffy at 03:47 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

January 09, 2013

Jumping the gun

This past weekend a furor erupted in southern Delaware as radio talk show host Dan Gaffney snapped some photos of signs posted at Milford School District playgrounds -- signs in English and in Spanish ... but with two totally different meanings. The English sign merely states that parental supervision is required at the playgrounds, while the Spanish version states that permission/a permit must first be obtained, and violators could be prosecuted.

The Local Gaggle of Moonbat Bloggers, predictably, jumped on it immediately as a case of intentional racism. Disappointingly, so did others. The LGOMB's Delaware Douche wrote,

So if you are a white English speaking “American,” you can play here at your own risk so long as you have a parent or guardian watching. If you are brown, if you dare play here without a permit we will arrest your immigrant ass. That is the fucking height of racism, and I will see to it that who ever [sic] is responsible for this sign will have their public careers ended immediately.

... this is not a #fail situation. This is intentional.

As you probably know, Delaware Douche has a habit of anointing himself the "moral arbiter" of pretty much everything. Remember, his belief that the GOP's advocacy of deregulation and their supposed "greed" meant that they should all be "rounded up and shot." This past weekend on Facebook, DD lambasted those who suggested that the sign mix-up may simply have been [an unfortunate] mistake: "Stop defending racists," he told one commenter.

But lo and behold, it appears those who advised not being hasty were correct: as you can see in this photo, the English sign says precisely what the Spanish sign says. The signs here are located at a sports field/complex; however, as noted above, the differing signs are located some playgrounds. It seems that somebody simply screwed up -- signs meant for sports fields/complexes were inadvertently placed at playgrounds. The News Journal eventually covered the story, and Milford Superintendent Phyllis Kohel confirms the mix-up:

Matched English and Spanish versions of the signs mentioning permits are posted at sports fields in other schools in the district, Kohel said. They went up at those sites because a glut of adult recreation sports teams were using the public fields, sometimes during school hours. School officials had met with the teams and amiably worked out a permit system, she said.

“That’s why those signs, which say you must have permission to play, were created,” Kohel said. But about a year ago, when new playground equipment was added to the elementary schools, the Spanish version of the same sign was posted by mistake, she said, along with the more lenient English signs.

Kohel herself worked to remove the signs as soon as she was alerted to the discrepancy in message.

Were the differing signs hurtful and just plain wrong? Of course. Was their placement intentional? It certainly seems not. I am guessing that some non-Spanish-speaking maintenance workers put up the signs ... and lamentably didn't know any better.

Meanwhile, personally I got a kick out of those who became sudden "experts" on the Spanish language during this imbroglio. For example, LGOMB commenter "Aoine" writes

USTEDES- very rude and aggressive form of address. A friend put it like this: ” it’s like someone goes up to a groups and says, HEY, YOU ALL, YEAH YOU ALL, THERE, YEAH, YOU, while pointing their finger at you all, in the group.

In Spanish the personal pronoun is only used with the verb for emphasis, generally the ending on the verb denotes the WHO, I.e. necessitas. One needs, or you ( plural form) needs.

Uh, no. As you may know, I've spoken and taught Spanish for over twenty years. I'm loath to say "never" about anything related to the language's grammar and especially vocabulary (since there are many, many differences among the many Spanish-speaking nations), but in all my years I've never heard that "ustedes" (or "Uds.") is a "very rude and aggressive form of address." If so, then I wonder why my in-laws in Costa Rica always use it, why they take no offense when I use it with them, and why my Mexican, Dominican, Venezuelan and Puerto Rican friends have never taken offense when I've used it ... not to mention that they frequently use it themselves.

Posted by Hube at 07:04 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Thanks for the black eye

Scott Compton, an English teacher at Chapin High School in Chapin, S.C., apparently threw an American flag onto the floor, and proceeded to stomp on it -- in front of three of his classes:

“He drew a couple of symbols, like one of them was a cross, and he said, ‘What does this represent,’ and everybody said, ‘Christianity,’” [parent Michael] Copeland explained to WIS.

“Then he proceeds to take down the American flag, and said, ‘This is a symbol, but it’s only a piece of cloth. It doesn’t mean anything,’ and then he throws it down on the floor and then stomps on it, repeatedly,” Copeland continued.

“I asked what was he trying to get, the point across? And she (Copeland's daughter) said, ‘I don’t know,’ and he said, his explanation was there would be no consequences, it’s just a piece of cloth that doesn’t mean anything.”

*Sigh* Well, it could be that Compton was attempting to explain that here in these United States, a person can stomp on the flag without consequences. Such an act is protected by the First Amendment ... within certain parameters, of course. Profanity is protected speech, too, but Compton isn't permitted to use it in school due to the nature of his job.

Mark Bounds, a spokesperson for the school district, told WIS that the district frequently cautions teachers to avoid introducing personal opinions in the classroom.

According to FITSNews, a South Carolina-based conservative news and entertain website, people in the Chapin High community describe Compton a “good teacher” who is “very liberal” and “wears it on his sleeve in the classroom.”

*Double sigh* What is this predilection among some in our craft that makes them believe they're entitled to lecture their captive audiences rather than to teach? Why are they afraid to point out different points of view and let the students decide? In this case, why wouldn't it have been sufficient to merely tell students (if this was indeed a lesson on free speech) that one can stomp on the American flag (provided it is your own, not on someone else's property, etc.)?

I thought "progressives" were all about "sensitivity" and "tolerance?" Uh huh. Everyone but hardcore "progressives" know that is a total crock. Things "progressives" abhor are NOT to be tolerated -- because they're (to the dogmatic "progressive") inherently bad, and even evil.

Posted by Hube at 06:18 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Where your education monies are going

Dr. James H. Fetzer, professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD), claims that the killing of 20 elementary school kids back in December was due to -- wait for it -- a secret plot by Israel's Mossad:

... members of Israel’s security force known as the Mossad had carried out the shooting to “strike fear in the hearts of Americans.”

“The killing of children is a signature of terror ops conducted by agents of Israel,” he wrote. “[W]ho better to slaughter American children than Israelis, who deliberately murder Palestinian children?”

Just as nutty, Florida Atlantic University's James Tracy thinks the US government, local law enforcement and the media all conspired to make Sandy Hook "appear" real.

Good to know we have such "geniuses" teaching our college kids.

Posted by Hube at 05:54 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 07, 2013

New at the Watcher's Council

Forum: What’s Your Reaction To The Fiscal Cliff Agreement?

Posted by Hube at 12:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 06, 2013

Just remember: It ain't Boss Obama's fault

Like it would be George W. Bush's fault if he was still prez: "Gasoline prices, which hit a 2012 low of $3.22 a gallon Dec. 19, are up 8 cents in the past two weeks and will likely continue climbing through April."


Posted by Hube at 11:10 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

This won't change any minds ...

... but here goes: MSNBC really is more partisan than Fox, according to Pew study.

But here's one of several fascinating smaller findings of the study that are kind of stunning -- even if they seem obvious and ho-hum to some of my more jaded, postmodern, aren't-we-cleverly-ironic colleagues:

ON MSNBC, the ratio of negative to positive stories on GOP candidate Mitt Romney was 71 to 3.

That's not a news channel. That's a propaganda machine, and owner Comcast should probably change Phil Griffin's title from president to high minister of information, or something equally befitting the work of a party propaganist hack in a totalitarian regime. You wonder how mainstream news organizations allow their reporters and correspondents to appear in such a cauldron of bias.

The ratio of negative to positive stories in Fox's coverage of President Obama was 46 to 6.

That was written by David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun, hardly a bastion of conservatism. And from the Pew study directly:

The study also reveals the degree to which the two cable channels that have built themselves around ideological programming, MSNBC and Fox, stand out from other mainstream media outlets. And MSNBC stands out the most. On that channel, 71% of the segments studied about Romney were negative in nature, compared with just 3% that were positive -- a ratio of roughly 23-to-1. On Fox, 46% of the segments about Obama were negative, compared with 6% that were positive -- a ratio of about 8-to-1 negative.

And some graphics regarding overall media coverage of the last campaign:


Posted by Hube at 11:01 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Cartoon Sunday

(h/t as always to RWR)


Posted by Hube at 10:13 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 05, 2013

That Explains It!

I was watching some Community on DVD this morning and this scene finally explained to me how some people continue to support Obama despite his obvious inadequacies:

Posted by PaulSmithJr at 11:28 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Playoff predictions: Wildcard Weekend

It's that time of the year again (one of my faves), so since no one demanded it, here are Hube's Playoff Picks for Wildcard Weekend:

Saturday:
Texans over Bengals.
Packers over Vikings.

Sunday:
Ravens over Colts.
Seahawks over Redskins.

Posted by Hube at 10:37 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Yep, this is our "leader"


Posted by Hube at 10:08 AM | Comments (176) | TrackBack

January 04, 2013

Watcher's Council results

The non-Council winner was Bob Owens with What You’ll See In The Rebellion.

Full results are here.

Posted by Hube at 07:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The 20 Most Annoying Liberals

Courtesy of RightWing News, and a mighty fine list if I may say so:

20) Chris Hayes
19) Mike Malloy
18) Meghan McCain
17) Joe Biden
16) Melissa Harris-Perry
15) Piers Morgan
14) Touré
13) Elizabeth Warren (at right)
12) Paul Krugman
11) Harry Belafonte
10) The Non-Fox Media
9) Andrew Sullivan
8) Michael Moore
7) Michael Bloomberg
6) Jamie Foxx
5) Harry Reid
4) Debbie Wasserman Schultz
3) Chris Matthews
2) Barack Obama
1) Sandra Fluke

Honorable Mentions: Bill Ayers, Bob Beckel, Joy Behar, Eric Boehlert, Margaret Cho, Candy Crowley, Code Pink, Lena Dunham, Dianne Feinstein, Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, Kathy Griffin, Eric Holder, Jesse Jackson, Ezra Klein, Rachel Maddow, Bill Maher, Bill Press, Ed Schultz, Al Sharpton, Jon Stewart, and Jeremiah Wright.

But in the interest of fairness (because, after all, "progressives" care about that above all else), here are (in no particular order) Hube's 10 Most Annoying Conservatives:

* Christine O'Donnell, Jonathon Moseley, Evan Queitsch. Three local (Delaware) annoyances, the first of which is obviously the most well known. Rarely has there been a more completely vacuous candidate than O'Donnell, and Moseley (who frequently comments over at DE Politics) and Queitsch (most recently a failed state rep. candidate) are former campaign associates of hers.

* Mike Protack. Protack is probably best known by his running for (and losing) just about every Delaware office conceivable, including US Senator, governor, state rep and county council. He visits the local blogosphere every now and then (he used to frequently), and his tone and demeanor can cause one to wonder why in the hell he even seeks elected office. (And demonstrates why he probably lost all the time.)

* Chris Christie. Dude, wake and smell the fact that the mainstream media only loves you because you help them make the GOP look bad. Whether it's thanking Boss Obama for his "help" during Sandy, or bitching about the GOP for more Sandy relief, the MSM eats it up. Especially since in the former instance Obama did nothing more than a photo op, and in the latter, the MSM turns Obama's ineptitude into the GOP's fault.

* Ann Coulter. I admit that her "never back down" attitude towards libs is refreshing, but it too often gets overdone. And I hate the way she always says "Right!" whenever someone is setting her up with a question.

* Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. There's a reason why these two are listed on the Colossus blogroll under "Good for Cheap Laughs."

* Joe Scarborough. He's supposed to be one of MSNBC's "conservatives," but every day he seems less and less so. He's certainly fulfilling his function for that network, that's for sure. He's a lot like WPHT talk radio's Michael Smerconish, who used to be labeled a "conservative" (thus he can't be on this list, technically) -- until he lost a screw (or two) and voted for Boss Obama. Now his show is beyond mealy-mouthed "centrist."

* Michael Savage. Have you ever tried to listen to this guy? At times he sounds like a schizophrenic taking LSD while getting audited. Manoman.

Posted by Hube at 07:05 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Rule #2 of economics

Liberals continue to fail at economics. The primary reason is their inability to understand rule #2 of economics: People respond to incentives. This applies whether the incentives are positive or negative. Liberals always use static analysis for things like tax rates because it is simplistic and the only version that they believe supports their projections. Despite their two favorite words being "complex" and "nuanced" they steadfastly refuse to believe that government behavior changes citizen behavior.

To wit: People are now considering divorce to avoid increased taxation.

I can assure you jaded New Yorkers will have no problem cutting the marital cord to save nearly thirty thousand bucks. This will result in a net drop in revenue after increasing tax rates which always counfounds lefties who cannot see the forest for the trees. Expand this example to the myriad ways business and citizens will act to avoid taxation and you see the problem.

p.s. rule # 1 of economics is that all of economics is about scarcity.

Posted by Duffy at 02:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 03, 2013

Boss Obama lies (surprise)

I just wanted to take a minute to explain to everyone what we were able to achieve this week. In the face of looming deadlines that would have taken a big chunk out of everyone’s bottom line, you know my top priority has been preventing a tax hike that would have hit 98 percent of all Americans in 2013, because the last thing middle-class families could afford now would be to pay upwards of $2,000 more in taxes this year. . . . We’ve stopped that middle-class tax hike.

As Jean-Luc Picard informed Wesley Crusher in "The First Duty," a lie of omission is still a lie. And in this case, Boss Obama neglects to inform that the expiration of the payroll-tax holiday (it goes up two percent) means virtually all Americans (like me) will face a tax increase.

*Sigh*

Posted by Hube at 06:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Delaware's Quality Leadership

Just a reminder that Delawareans continue to take a bath on corporate welfare handouts that are never going to be repaid

Posted by Duffy at 04:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Another rube self-identifies

Chris Christie was derided for getting chummy with Obama just before the election. Some speculate he was shoring up his credentials against Cory Booker who was thought to run for Governor against him. Now, Christie is annoyed that there hasn't been any action for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

You rolled the dice and you lost. You took the man at his word and you've now seen what its worth.

Posted by Duffy at 02:41 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Al-Gore and Al-Jazeera

Oh, this is too rich. I thought this had to be from The Onion but no.

Al Jazeera, the pan-Arab news giant, has long tried to convince Americans that it is a legitimate news organization, not a parrot of Middle Eastern propaganda or something more sinister

"A decade ago, Al Jazeera’s flagship Arabic-language channel was reviled by American politicians for showing videotapes from Al Qaeda members and sympathizers."

Sounds like their politics line up with Current quite well.

"Al Jazeera did not disclose the purchase price, but people with direct knowledge of the deal pegged it at around $500 million, indicating a $100 million payout for Mr. Gore, who owned 20 percent of Current. Mr. Gore and his partners were eager to complete the deal by Dec. 31, lest it be subject to higher tax rates that took effect on Jan. 1, according to several people who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly."

Hmmm...that's odd. It's almost as if he were changing his behavior to avoid taxation. That can't be right. The Keynsesians have been telling me that doesn't happen. I guess Gore is just some weird statistical outlier.

"On Wednesday, Mr. Hyatt praised Al Jazeera for “bringing large-scale resources to journalism — something which we have not been able to do.” In a letter to Current employees, some of whom are expected to lose their jobs, he said he and Mr. Gore would join the advisory board of the newly rebranded channel."

So Gore gets his $100 MM and his staff get pink slips. I can't wait for the howls of outrage from the LGOMB. They'll see this Montgomery C. Burns move for what it is and raise their voices in protest. Either that or ignore this entirely. I guess we'll see.

WSJ has more:

Mr. Hyatt said they agreed to sell to Al Jazeera in part because “Al Jazeera was founded with the same goals we had for Current,” including “to give voice to those whose voices are not typically heard” and “to speak truth to power.” Other suitors who didn’t share Current’s ideology were rebuffed. Glenn Beck’s The Blaze approached Current about buying the channel last year, but was told that “the legacy of who the network goes to is important to us and we are sensitive to networks not aligned with our point of view,” according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

So Algore has sold his company to a terrorist apologist outfit from Doha but will remain on the board after receiving $100 MM and sending a number of his employees to the bread lines. Classy.

Update: people are already piling on this one:

#CurrentAlJazeeraShowPitches 16 and Pregnant and Murdered

— Angela Morabito (@_AngelaMorabito) January 2, 2013

Stoned in Afghanistan #CurrentAlJazeeraShowPitches

— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) January 2, 2013

We have a winner right here.—-> RT @brianhtan: @talkmaster @ewerickson#CurrentAlJazeeraShowPitches "How I met your mullah"

— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) January 2, 2013

#CurrentAlJazeeraShowPitches Arabia's Funniest Home Beheadings

— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) January 2, 2013

#currentaljazeerashowpitches Say Yes to the Dress that Covers Everything But Your Eyes

— Angela Morabito (@_AngelaMorabito) January 2, 2013

#CurrentAlJazeeraShowPitches Real Submissive Housewives of the Middle East

— 30Angel Gone Coastal (@GNGstaGrizzette) January 3, 2013

#CurrentAlJazeeraShowPitches Joanie Obeys Chachi

— Jon Gabriel (@ExJon) January 2, 2013

Sharia Law & Order #CurrentAlJazeeraShowPitches

— Rex Harrison's Hat (@RexHarrisonsHat) January 2, 2013

#CurrentAlJazeeraShowPitches How I Met Your Camel

— Annabella (@IAMINTOSAVINGS) January 3, 2013

#CurrentAlJazeeraShowPitchesQueer Eye for the...never mind they killed them all.

— Redonda McNeil (@dondalynn) January 3, 2013

My Three Wives. #CurrentAlJazeeraShowPitches

— Beckett (@Beckett8) January 3, 2013

Planes, Trains and Automobiles Go Boom #CurrentAlJazeeraShowPitches

— J. Clark (@KingTuskaloosa) January 3, 2013

Posted by Duffy at 08:38 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 02, 2013

How to make your blog stats skyrocket

OK, so I just clicked to check our blog stats and ... WTF?? They're through the roof! And why? Simply adding a "Happy New Years" graphic. Who'da thought?

Posted by Hube at 10:16 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Quote of the Day

"The 'fiscal cliff' fiasco has made it clear that President Barack Obama is entirely irrelevant to the everyday task of governing. He is not interested in it, and he is not good at it. He is great at campaigning and terrible at leading. He is essentially a symbol, a political celebrity who could be re-elected forever because people seem to like what they think he stands for, and what he tells them he stands against. But he does nothing positive for the country." -- Joel Pollak

Posted by Hube at 10:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Watcher's Council nominations

Honorable Mentions:

And the non-Council nominations are here!

Posted by Hube at 09:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Stan Lee had it right

My awesome GF got me the book Marvel Comics: The Untold Story for Christmas, and I can't put it down. I'm about a third through it, and during a read session yesterday, the following section stuck out at me (for obvious reasons):

Meanwhile, the letters coming in were almost evenly split between support for the and opposition to the Vietnam War. It was fiscally advisable for Marvel to hedge, but there was strong criticism when the stories avoided social issues entirely. Stan Lee's middle-of-the-road liberalism was, in its own way, unmovable. He'd happily preach tolerance, but he was not going to get caught taking an unpopular stance. "I don't think we'll be sending him to Vietnam," Lee told a radio interviewer, when asked about plans for Captain America. "We treat these characters sort of tongue-in-cheek and we get a lot of laughs out of them, we have fun with them. I don't know if it's in good taste to take something as serious as the situation in Vietnam and put a character like Captain America ... we would have to start treating him differently and taking the whole thing more seriously, which we're not prepared to do."

Stan the Man wanted to use the Silver Surfer as his personal message board, in a way -- but the former herald of Galactus' "vaguely Judeo-Christian humanitarian sermons weren't doing the trick." At a comic convention, a fan asked Stan about Marvel's "waffling" on social issues:

"Our thinking," Lee resonded, "is that the pages of our comics magazines may not be the right place for getting too heavy handed with social messages of any sort. We may be wrong. Maybe we should come out more forcibly and maybe we will."

Book author Sean Howe then notes that the pages of Marvel books "finally became more explicit in its incorporation of specific current events ..." But Stan Lee pretty much made sure that no specific side was taken. And this is what I've ... "complained" about ad nauseum here about contemporary comics. The distinction, or "line," has long been crossed -- politically -- by modern comicbook scribes. And while I'm certain that this hasn't been the factor in declining comics sales (or probably even a major one), I do know many people that have been very turned off by it, and, like me, have ceased most comicbook purchases as a result. Long gone are the skillful subtlety of a Steve Englehart taking a dig at Richard Nixon and Watergate. Or of a Mark Gruenwald having Captain America give up the hero role because of governmental intrusion. And in these days of ever-increasing social media exposure, creators have hardly been less-than-outspoken about various issues ... and if you've been a fan, this, too, can easily turn you off if such commentary goes against your own beliefs. After all, why would you want to pay someone ... for insulting you? How does that make any sense?

Ah well. I've certainly written about this topic enough. But it sure was enlightening reading Marvel's main man's opinions on it, especially considering that there was a lot more political turmoil/upheaval in the mid-late 1960s.


Posted by Hube at 09:50 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack