From CBS.com's main page at 4:45pm EST:
Gosh, look how determined our president is! What a leader! What a shining example!
Uh, but, didn't Boss Obama promise just this ... during the presidential campaign? The 2008 presidential campaign?? And ... wasn't one of his first acts as president to sign an edict that Gitmo would close in one year? Meaning early 2010??
Answer to all of these: Yep. But all CBS says is that Boss Obama is going to "revisit" that "longstanding" promise. Because, y'know, some of the inmates there are throwing a hissy fit.
... well, you know by now.
Robot 6 reports today on the controversy surrounding a political cartoon that was seen by some as mocking the fourteen dead as a result of that explosion in Texas. Texas Gov. Rick Perry asked the paper to apologize; Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst supposedly called for the cartoonist to be canned. While I certainly disagree with Dewhurst's view, and think that Perry is wasting his time seeking an apology, what is even funnier is Sacramento Bee (where the 'toon was published) Editorial Page Editor Stuart Leavenworth's reaction -- calling Perry's actions "intimidating" and something we'd see in "North Korea."
Uh, right. Meanwhile, right here nearby in the City of Brotherly Love we have Mayor Michael Nutter looking into whether a magazine article can lead to criminal charges -- because it may lead to "racial unrest."
ABCNews.com has articles on the Perry-cartoon flap, but nothing on Mayor Nutter.
CBSNews.com doesn't have stories on either issue.
CNN.com has stories on both matters.
NBCNews.com has no stories on Nutter, one on Perry being upset at the cartoon.
The WaPo has nothing about Nutter, and three article about Perry and the 'toon.
To be fair, there is plenty in the local Philly media about Nutter's First Amendment ignorance, including by noted libs like Will Bunch.
A New Jersey second-grade teacher will appeal his firing for insubordination and inappropriate behavior, including urinating in class, his lawyer says.
The Record newspaper reports Ron Tuitt released a statement in which he denied sending students to flush bottles of his urine. He has taught in Paterson's schools since 1996.
Seriously. 8 minutes to overly complicate this simple addition problem. This is what happens when you keep churning out Ed Ds.
If this were my kid, she'd be out of that classroom so fast they wouldn't even know she was gone. Furthermore, I'd make it my mission in life to remove whomever was responsible for instituting this crap.
Watch Art Laffer get his ass handed to him by Peter Schiff.
To me, these sorts of analysis is very helpful in determining analytics for economists. It is a really good means of determining their "optics" as it were. (NB: analysis here means reading past performance and analytics means using that past performance to predict the future)
If Schiff was as right as he was (and he was) and Laffer was so completely wrong (but never in doubt) I would tend to listen to Schiff more than Laffer.
The Wilmington News Journal amazes me sometimes. We already know it's ridiculously politically correct, yet I sometimes wonder if it really thinks its readership is completely devoid of any sort of moral judgment, and that it will accept what it prints purely at face value.
Case in point: Yesterday's article about the Cannon family of Harrington. The title reads "Single mom, family march forward in face of adversity," and knowing the WNJ as I do, I was pretty skeptical right away. Not because I do not want a family with tough odds not to overcome adversity, but because I pondered how much of that adversity was, well, self-inflicted. It isn't until page two that we find out (my emphasis):
The children’s father, James Cannon, is 80. [Mrs.] Cannon just turned 32. They separated two years ago and were divorced at the end of last year. He lives about a half-hour away in Seaford.
Despite the hardships, Jayla is inspired by her mother. Though Cannon gave birth to Jayla “one or two weeks after graduating” high school, she went on to Delaware Technical Community College to become a certified medical assistant and worked until her illness got too bad.
So let's do the math: Mrs. Cannon presumably was 18 years old upon graduating high school, possibly still 17. This means Mr. Cannon was 66 years old at that time. Earlier in the article, Mrs. Cannon says she "is trying to give her children a better life than she had growing up," but one wonders how having five children before age 30 with someone almost 50 years your senior accomplishes that. Of course, the News Journal reports all this completely uncritically. We are to make no judgments -- just read and let the sympathy roll.
Mrs. Cannon has only been solo with her kids for going on two years, as noted. The article mentions she and her kids get by on $1,000 month. There is, however, no mention of why Mr. Cannon is not contributing to his family. If he did, don't you think it would be noted? And why is there no inquiry by the authors of why Mr. Cannon isn't paying child support?
If Mrs. Cannon really wants better lives for her children, I'd start with not making the two decisions she made while a senior in high school.
Recently I found myself involved with the Justice system here in Delaware. No, I'm not in trouble. Without going into specifics someone in my family was listed as a victim on a police report. Naturally, I wanted to read the report only to be told I was not allowed to. Why? The report was filed on behalf of "society" not my family member. That means no one is allowed to read it. That can't be right, thought I and I retained an attorney. The attorney was also notified that they weren't allowed to see it either. I asked "who is society" to the officer who filed the report. "Everyone" said he. "Well, aren't I part of 'everyone'?" I asked. "It doesn't work that way" he said. I found this to be rather disturbing. I didn't think I lived in a place where there are secret police reports that have no concerns on national security or even the pretense of any form of state secret and no one is allowed to see it.
How many such complaints are filed per year? I have no idea. How are these ajudicated? Can I be present during the hearing? How do I know when it will go to trial? Do I just attend daily and hope to get lucky?
I keep hearing about voter fraud and ACORN and now ballot access and fraud and Democrats. Oddly, I have to find this by digging and it never seems to be wildly reported. Frankly unless or until the GOP starts engaging in widespread fraud this issue will continue to be ignored.
I'm hard pressed to come up with any outrage because I am in no way surprised that this happened. Nor am I even slightly surprised that it has gone unreported.
The continual avoidance of any news that undermines the liberal narrative or that in any way, damages President Zero is samizdat. The mainstream media is literally an organ of the Democratic party.
Luckily for them the GOP is horribly unorganized and stupid. Fox is nominally an ally but really they're a poor one. They specialize in bluster and noise over, oh I don't know, reporting.
Diane Feinstein's husband's company is reportedly on the receiving end of huge piles of funding for the high speed rail boondoggle they're doing now. Heard about that one? No. The Gosnell trial? Michele Malkin has it covered and Jennifer Rubin but the total media blackout is so obvious they're not even pretending to be neutral.
Frankly, I prefer it this way. I'd rather have them be nakedly partisan than pretend to be any any way neutral.
Breitbart said just before he died that the MSM had 5 years before they were totally swept away. I'm not sure he was right but his predictions have outstripped mine by an order of magnitude. I think that's what we're seeing here. The internet has been the single biggest disruptor in modern history. I think this is really just the massive shakeup of information distribution and control. States are desperately trying to control this thing before it empowers people too much.
Via the WaPo: For suspects’ family, a faded American dream.
From ABC.com: Boston Bomb Suspect in Small Cell With Steel Door.
CBS.com has the same headline.
The University of the Connecticut unveiled a new school logo the other day -- a pic of a head of a Husky (dog) -- which then led to a "self-described feminist student" by the name of Carolyn Luby to protest. Why? ('Ya ready??) Because the image "will intimidate women and empower rape culture." She wrote,
“What terrifies me about the admiration of such traits is that I know what it feels like to have a real life Husky look straight through you and to feel powerless, and to wonder if even the administration cannot ‘mess with them.’ And I know I am not alone.”
Luby then went on to finish a paper for her class "Having No Life 101."
Robot 6 has word about "Cartoonists gang[ing] up on illegal guns."
Cartoonist Ruben Bolling, creator of Tom the Dancing Bug, rounded up 23 cartoonists to contribute their work to an animated ad for Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a coalition of mayors, led by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, that is advocating for “common-sense measures that will close deadly gaps in our gun laws.”
Well, let's see: For one, the recently defeated gun background check expansion in the US Senate may or may not have affected "illegal" guns. Plenty of legal guns certainly could have been (and are) exchanged without this aborted bill/law.
Second, this is the same industry (with the exceptions being the outright political cartoonists) that lectures to us about "equal rights" and "civil rights" for mutants and others with super-powers ... even though many of these folks have the capability to inflict incredible destruction with the mere flick of a hand. Marvel's "Civil War" was the biggest culprit in this regard; as we've mentioned numerous times, author Mark Millar used the company's greatest moral icon, Captain America, to "educate" us all on the "evil" of requiring super-powered humans (and mutants) to register their powers with the government -- something these creative nimrods demand of average people with their guns ... guns which have significantly less destructive power.
Go figure that one out.
And that was courtesy of MSNBC. ABC.com's is even better: US Economy Accelerates at 2.5 Percent Rate in Q1. To hell with that "unexpected" stuff -- it's accelerating!!
*Yawn* "Unexpected," "Lower than expected," blah blah blah are always MSM favorite terms for Boss Obama-related stories.
The non-Council winner was Michael Totten with The Beginning of the End for Hezbollah.
Full results are here.
W outclasses Barack and Bill, without even trying: "We reminisced about all the places we’d been, all the crazy days and wild nights, all the history we’d seen — first hand. Just before we said our goodbyes, I asked her if she’d miss covering President Obama.
“Not at all. He’s an inch deep. Bush is a bottomless chasm, a deep, mysterious, emotional, profound man. Obama is all surface — shallow, obvious, robotic, and, frankly, not nearly as smart as he thinks. Bush was the one.”
Her words, so succinct, have stuck with me ever since. By the way, she’s a hardcore Democrat."
I have no idea if this is true but it's awfully damning.
the assailant screamed “Allah-u-Akbar” — or “God is great” — during the attack.
Cannot imagine what the motive could possibly be. Any guesses? Anyone?
Congressional leaders in both parties are engaged in high-level, confidential talks about exempting lawmakers and Capitol Hill aides from the insurance exchanges they are mandated to join as part of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, sources in both parties said.
There is concern in some quarters that the provision requiring lawmakers and staffers to join the exchanges, if it isn’t revised, could lead to a “brain drain” on Capitol Hill, as several sources close to the talks put it.
The problem stems from whether members and aides set to enter the exchanges would have their health insurance premiums subsidized by their employer — in this case, the federal government. If not, aides and lawmakers in both parties fear that staffers — especially low-paid junior aides — could be hit with thousands of dollars in new health care costs, prompting them to seek jobs elsewhere. Older, more senior staffers could also retire or jump to the private sector rather than face a big financial penalty.
Of course, any other employers facing such a hassle -- well, you're sh** out of luck, especially with Democrats (who voted this shi**y bill into law in the first place).
Via Big Hollywood comes word of Mira Nair's film The Reluctant Fundamentalist which doesn't do what you may think. Nope, it ignores the insanity of radical Islam and instead focuses in on supposed "Islamophobia" in the United States following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001:
"We are riddled with Islamophobia, we are riddled with xenophobia in many, many ways" she said, adding that she wanted to create "a bridge between two worlds that I know and I love and desperately need to understand each other.
Fundamentalist co-star Kiefer Sutherland, best known for playing the terrorist-fighting Jack Bauer on 24, said the fallout from the 9/11 terrorist attacks brought out "the things I hate the most: racism, prejudice, ignorance, fear."
To which BH's Christian Toto responds: "Call me silly, but the thing I hate the most is watching my fellow Americans get snuffed out by people filled with hate."
Indeed. And spare us the BS of "Islamophobia" here in the States. Based on the FBI's own stats, one would think there's a rash of anti-Semitism in the US ... but we can't bring that up in the context of this discussion because, after all, the Jewish state of Israel is one of the most oppressive/racist governments on the planet. (/sarcasm)
But even funnier is the "xenophobia" charge. Let me see ... here in the US freedom of religion is a constitutional right. In Islamic countries, if you're not a Muslim, you risk jail and even death. And unless I'm mistaken, doesn't hating a religious group -- Jews -- so badly that you wish them all dead classify as xenophobia??
Via the NY Times: Immigrant Kids, Adrift.
From the article:
The alleged involvement of two ethnic Chechen brothers in the deadly attack at the Boston Marathon last week should prompt Americans to reflect on whether we do an adequate job assimilating immigrants who arrive in the United States as children or teenagers.
First: F*** that.
Second: Sorry, but if there's a problem with assimilating immigrants into US society today, we have no one to blame but misguided "progressives" who lectured (and continue to lecture) everyone that English-only is bad, patriotism is bad, diversity is a religion, and that no culture is better than any other. Etc.
And the non-Council nominations are here!
The pessimist in me says "Yes, please put this to a vote. It's bound to wildly unpopular and the Dems will be on record as sponsors and it will be their undoing." The realist side of me has some questions
1. Will this force small e-tailers to confine themselves to local distribution?
2. Will the big players use this to squash the little guys?
3. Will this only increase the cheat rate for online e-tailers as they seek to operate in states that are less lax about enforcement?
4. Will this force states to work together to harmonize and simplify tax codes?
Any (or none) of these could come to pass. My previous predictions on virtually anything regarding politics preclude me from making such judgments but I think they're possibilities.
... especially when this sort of garbage occurs:
Kareema Cross, who worked at the clinic, testified to the grand jury that the baby was moving and breathing for 20 minutes before Lynda Williams cut the back of its neck.
Both Williams and Gosnell were charged with murder and conspiracy charges for the killing of Baby C. Williams pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree murder and testified against Gosnell earlier this month.
During her testimony she said cutting the necks of babies born alive during abortion procedures was “standard procedure” at Womens Medical Society, Gosnell’s abortion clinic in West Philadelphia, to “ensure fetal demise.”
Gosnell’s defense lawyer Jack McMahon argued that Williams “only saw one arm, one movement, one spasm.” “This wasn’t a baby moving!” he said, when arguing that all counts against his client should be dropped.
And Boss Obama gets his panties in a major bunch about a failed expansion of gun background checks, which -- in his own vice-president's words -- will do little to thwart further Sandy Hooks?
But we have people actually arguing the above -- and the nation's major abortion provider knowing about Philly abortionist Kermit Gosnell's brutal clinic? The same organization for which Boss Obama will attend a fundraising dinner?
Spare me the lectures about "enough death" already, you hypocrites.
The News Journal finally saw fit to do a story about issues raised regarding the safety and conditions at local Planned Parenthood clinics. As we noted a little while back, our local state media has been rather slow in covering this story. It took the ABC Philadelphia affiliate to investigate.
WDEL.com covered it via the AP the same day as the News Journal.
MSNBC's Chris Matthews, now that the Boston bombers are known to be radical Islamists, incredibly said the following yesterday:
CLINT VAN ZANDT, FBI PROFILER: No, it’s really coming together. I mean, there’s — as terrible as this case is and was, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of heavy lifting. We’ve got the two primary individuals. It’s obvious that they had hands on the devices. The pieces we don’t have, Chris, are where was their inspiration? Where did they get the guidance? Who taught them how to build the bombs? Where did they build them? These are a lot of questions.
MATTHEWS: Why is that important? Why is that important to — is that important to prosecuting? I mean, what difference does it make why they did it if they did it? I’m being tough here. But I don’t know whether, when you look at all this evidence –
How much do you wanna bet Chrissy's tone would be far different if the bombers were anti-government Tea Party-types? Think he would be asking "what difference does it make?" then? Hell, no. If such was the case, any and ALL possible links should be investigated and dealt with, including talk radio, Fox News, and conservative members of the House and Senate.
From CNN.com: Suspect's widow in 'profound distress.'
Courtesy of the AP at Philly.com: A talented artist and now, bombing suspect's wife.
The "artist" part of which garners part of a whole sentence in the article.
Added for effect at Philly.com, for the post-Boston ambience: ProPublica: Six claims on terror detainee torture, skewered.
From the WaPo: Boston bombing suspect cites U.S. wars as motivation, officials say.
Forum: How Would You Solve The Problem Of Illegal Immigration?
Here we go:
Just do as your told. No warrants necessary, no 4th Amendment thankyouverymuch. Just get out because we said so.
I rather like the phrase "rescued at the point of a gun". That is doubleplus good newspeak.
"The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the force of the Crown. It may be frail; its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storms may enter, the rain may enter,—but the King of England cannot enter; all his forces dare not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement!" -William Pitt in his speech on the Excise Bill.
and I seem to remember another quote...
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized"
With a big hat tip to the hard copy of Entertainment Weekly, let's take a look at some noted apocalypse films, their major players, and how it all turned out. Because, as usual, no one demanded it.
We're purposely excluding alien invasions (too easy) like in Independence Day and War of the Worlds, and films in which most of humanity lives on, as in Deep Impact and Armageddon. The focus here is on man's own mistakes, whether intentional or not, which lead to his demise (or almost demise), and seemingly natural occurrences out of his control.
The Movie: On the Beach (1959 and remade in 2000).
Cause of Apocalyse: Massive nuke exchange in WW III.
The Threat: Radiation eventually making its way to the southern hemisphere.
The Hero: Gregory Peck (later, Armand Assante) as the American sub commander.
The Payoff: None, really. The last refuge for humanity, Australia, will eventually succumb to radiation poisoning. Peck/Assante vamoose in their sub hoping that after some years they'll be able to come back out again. But to what?
Classic Moment: When the sub tracks a radio signal to San Diego ... only to find that a wind-pounded window shade is responsible.
The Movie: The Road (2009).
Cause of Apocalypse: Vague, but most likely an asteroid/meteor strike or a major ecological catastrophe.
The Threat: Increasing cold, cannibal gangs.
The Hero: Viggo Mortensen, who never gives up leading his son to what they hope is a sunnier south.
The Payoff: Bleak for Mortensen, but the son looks like he'll make it thanks to the generosity of a family of strangers.
Classic Moment: All of Robert Duval's guest appearance.
The Movie: The Omega Man (1971, remade as I Am Legend in 2007).
Cause of Apocalypse: A plague that kills most of humanity, but turns some into acid rock loving, albino homicidal hippies (see right). (In the remake, they're vampire-like creatures.)
The Threat: The acid rock loving, albino homicidal hippies.
The Hero: Chuck Heston (later, Will Smith).
The Payoff: Heston manages a cure, but will he survive long enough to disseminate it?
Classic Moment(s): Chuck beds a black chick (way ahead of the social climate of the time) and Christ symbolism at the end.
The Movie: Planet of the Apes (1968 and remade, dreadfully, in 2001).
Cause of Apocalypse: Maniacs, who went nuts and "blew it all to Hell."
The Threat: Apes who now rule, hate humans.
The Hero(es): Chuck Heston as astronaut Taylor, along with rebel apes Cornelius and Zira (Roddy McDowall and Kim Hunter).
The Payoff: Heston escapes, to show that Man is "better" than Ape. Plus, he gets a little ape nookie (see left).
Classic Moment: "YOU MANIACS!! YOU BLEW IT UP! AH, DAMN YOU! GOD DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!!"
The Movie: When Worlds Collide (1951).
Cause of Apocalypse: A rogue star hurtles through our solar system, which will decimate the Earth.
The Threat: The star Bellus.
The Hero(es): Pilot David Randall and Dr. Cole Hendron.
The Payoff: Fortunately, the rogue star Bellus is carrying with it a planet -- Zyra -- to where a few humans can rocket off in order to restart the human race.
Classic Moment: Earth's last moments; the film won an Oscar for best special effects.
The Movie: Mad Max (and sequels) (1979).
Cause of Apocalypse: Fossil fuel depletion ... which amazingly didn't lead to a cessation of using gas guzzling vehicles like the V-8 Interceptor (at right).
The Threat: Insane, homicidal biker gangs led by Toecutter, and later The Humongous.
The Hero: Max (Mel Gibson) and a handful of still-dedicated cops.
The Payoff: More like payback. Max makes waste of the gang who killed his wife and boy, and later Humongous's horde of killers.
Classic Moment: Max chasing Toecutter right into the front of a Mack truck.
The Movie: The Day After (1983).
Cause of Apocalypse: The US and USSR finally do it to one another.
The Threat: Like in On the Beach for the survivors, creeping radiation. Also, starvation, illness.
The Hero: Dr. Russell Oakes (Jason Robards), a doctor who works to help others until he basically collapses.
The Payoff: None. Looks like we ain't gonna make it.
Classic Moment: If you've ever seen it, tell me you didn't look outside when it was over to make sure everything was still there!
The Movie: The Quiet Earth (1985).
Cause of Apocalypse: Energy experiment goes awry, changing physical constants of the universe. The only survivors on Earth are those who died at the exact moment of the Effect.
The Threat: The Effect will happen again soon and who knows what it'll do the next time.
The Hero: Zac Hobson (Bruno Lawrence) worked for the lab involved in the experiment, and only he can stop the Effect from occurring again.
The Payoff: WTF is up with that ending?? Incredibly cool vista, but WTF was it??
The Movie: The Matrix (1999).
Cause of Apocalypse: Humans grow distrustful of mechanical servants and try to destroy them (actually seen in the animated collection The Animatrix.) They fail, and the machines retaliate, using human bodies as living batteries.
The Threat: The remnants of humanity must continually steer clear of the murderous probes of The Matrix, the Sentinels.
The Hero: Neo (Keanu Reeves) who is The One.
The Payoff: Should have ended at the first film as the two sequels blow chunks and make it impossible to follow the ultimate resolution. At least at the end of Matrix it appears Neo is unstoppable.
Classic Moment: Neo smashing right through Agent Smith (Smith at left).
The Movie: Damnation Alley (1977).
Cause of Apocalypse: An all-out nuclear exchange.
The Threat: World War III has caused the earth to tilt further on its axis, and radiation has mutated various lifeforms.
The Hero(es): Tanner (Jan Michael-Vincent) and Maj. Eugene Denton (George Peppard).
The Payoff: Making it across the devastated US to find a Shangri-La in ... Albany, New York??
Classic Moment: Marveling at the ultra-cheesy F/X, especially Paul Winfield getting eaten alive by mutated cockroaches, and Michael-Vincent attempting to kick car-sized scorpions.
The Movie: The Terminator (1984).
Cause of Apocalypse: Automated defense system becomes self-aware and destroys humans.
The Threat: Aside from launching nukes across the globe, SkyNet begins to assemble Terminator cyborgs to eradicate the remaining surviving humans.
The Hero(es): Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn), Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton)
The Payoff: Uncertain. Four films seem to indicate that Judgment Day is inevitable, but it just keeps getting pushed back.
Classic Moment: Too many to mention. My fave is when the landlord knocks on Arnold's door demanding rent, and a list of possible responses pops up in the cyborg's field of vision. He chooses "F*** you, a**hole."
The Movie: Waterworld (1995).
Cause of Apocalypse: Melted polar ice caps result in just about all of Earth's surface being covered by H2O.
The Threat: Dennis Hopper's "Smokers" who have a reliable supply of fuel (thanks to their base on the Exxon Valdez!) and pillage anyone they stumble upon.
The Hero: Kevin Costner's "Mariner."
The Payoff: Costner's persistence pays off and the map on the back of a little girl leads to (supposedly) the only remaining dry land on the planet.
Classic Moment: Costner taking the girl and her companion underwater to see a late, great city once seen on land.
The Movie: Reign of Fire (2002).
Cause of Apocalypse: Construction dudes in London unearth a mother dragon who then begins to lay eggs and wreak havoc. Humans can't keep up and the creatures set fire to just about everything, effectively trashing the planet.
The Threat: The dragons still rule years after everything has been laid waste. Going outside is risking death. Trying to fly is death.
The Hero(es): Christian Bale's Quinn, and Matthew McConaughey's Van Zan (at left).
The Payoff: Quinn, Van Zan and some others discover a way to stop the dragon threat once and for all: Kill the mother. But it ain't gonna be that easy!
Classic Moment: Van Zan and co. showing how they can beat the flying beasts in the air.
UPDATE: Fellow Watcher's Council member Dave Schuler of the Glittering Eye offers up some entries I left out.
I don't think feminism has a particular definition. I think it should, but it doesn't. It should mean "women are treated equally before the law" and that people shouldn't make assumptions about them or harass them for being a woman in whatever setting. That said, there is a particular brand of feminism which isn't seeking equality. It seeks advantage. Women's advantage always and everywhere. Here is a prime example:
See? Discrimination based on sex is totally ok when it's against men and it's a really small thing anyway. Kudos to the commenters who called her out on her bullshit.
Either discrimination is fine or its not. Pick one. You don't get to say yes for this group but no for that one.
These women want it both ways. They want the man to be asked out on a date and have him pay for the privilege of their company but you damn well better treat them as equals.
They are allowed to have "Curve" workout places where men can't go but McSorely's had to open its doors to women.
Discrimination is wrong or it isn't. Pick one and be consistent.
I firmly believe a private enterprise has he right to discriminate in any way it sees fit so long as someone else has a right to open another business to meet that need.
(As per libertarian custom I am compelled to point out that the buses that forced blacks to the back were government run buses and private ones had no such rule until the law was changed and forced them to do so.)
Here's what the hyphenation of Americans and group-think have led to: dolts like Anthony Marquez stating that Marco Rubio "had it too good" to represent other Hispanics:
The vast majority of immigrants come from Mexico and other Central American nations who were running away from starvation. I suggest that although Hispanic, Sen. Rubio’s privileged birth and upbringing make him a poor choice to relate to and understand the needs of the other Hispanics.
"Privileged??" Marquez has a ridiculously skewed view of the term (and I'm being nice). Rubio's dad was a bartender, and his mom worked the night shift at Wal Mart (source). He had to take out $100K worth of student loans for college.
What Marquez is doing is what cretins like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson routinely do regarding African-Americans -- claim anyone who doesn't think as they do "aren't authentically black." By this insane standard, Mitt Romney and/or John Kerry aren't "authentically white" due to their real privilege/upbringing.
Oh, and if you check out the comments section of this letter, perpetual commenter (and stalwart dopey "progressive") Mary-Lee Lutz seems to think it's significant that Rubio's parents fled Cuba before Fidel Castro came to power (1956 to be exact). Indeed, they did flee the authoritarian regime of Fulgencio Batista hoping, like many Cubans of that time did, that post-Batista Cuba would be better. They returned to the island in 1961 only to find ... that Castro-led Cuba was infinitely worse.
Thursday, legislation here in Delaware made it through the state senate which will expand background checks for gun purchases. I cannot find anything that objectionable about its provisions; there are exemptions if the transactions "are between immediate family members, law enforcement officers, or if they involve antique firearms or the return of a gun by a pawnbroker." What's more worrisome is coming proposed legislation by DE Attorney General Beau "I've Tried Tens of Cases" Biden that will expand the definition of who is mentally ill:
“But the other piece that we’re going to be introducing next week is another part of our package. And that is expanding and broadening the category of folks who have a mental health issue that we believe should prohibit them from possessing a firearm,” he added.
The mental health definition has been fuzzy in gun bills introduced on the federal level, but usually has boiled down to whether a person is adjudicated mentally ill. Much of the debate on the Hill has been about whether a doctor can violate patient confidentiality in reporting a person to be listed in the gun-check database, and whether that would discourage those afflicted by mental illness from seeking treatment.
Biden called adjudication “a very high standard, basically being involuntarily committed to a mental institution.”
Michael Walsh says,
Good idea — let’s adjudicate more folks as mentally ill, because obviously we don’t have enough of them. But what about that civil-liberty-threatening, “health care professional would have an obligation to report” bit? Shouldn’t that make us just a tiny bit nervous — especially in light of the president’s series of executive orders about guns in January, two of which helpfully stated:
Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.
Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.
Walsh adds "The flagrant abuse of psychiatry as a tool to control or eliminate political opposition could never happen here, right?" and then links to this little nugget.
Priorities, after all.
The non-Council winner was Caroline Glick with Moral Relativism and Jihad.
Full results are here.
In the arena of the absolutely absurd today (to hopefully take your mind away from Boston a bit), San Francisco will be "the first city in the country to launch citywide police station 'safe zones' for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, staffed with police liaisons trained to serve that community."
Here's a pic from part of the "big" announcement:
Yep, that's a member of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence who, in the name of "combating intolerance," demonstrates intolerance ... towards the Catholic community. Maybe they should change their name to "Sisters of Escaped Irony."
(h/t to Moonbattery)
Headline at Salon.com this morning: Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Dead Bombing Suspect: "I Don't Have a Single American Friend"
I can see the courtroom drama unfurl with Tsarnaev's lawyer: The bad childhood, mistreatment by his parents, and ultimately, no friends when he moved to America ...
Dana Milbank (no right winger he) unmasks what the smarter half of the country knew at the time.
Rebuffing Obama’s gimmicky ‘Buffett Rule’ - Washington Post: "President Obama admits it: His proposed “Buffett Rule” tax on millionaires is a gimmick.
“There are others who are saying: ‘Well, this is just a gimmick. Just taxing millionaires and billionaires, just imposing the Buffett Rule, won’t do enough to close the deficit,’ ” Obama declared Wednesday. “Well, I agree.”"
So there you have it. Like all of Obama's statements, they are either deceptive, outright lies or have an expiration date. This one is pure Chicago politics. Bang the drum of class warfare to rally the base. The refrain of "millionaires and billionaires" became so constant it was like a buzzing undertone to all the news stories.
Economic illiterates argued that a teensy tiny tax on this crowd would solve all our ills. The refrain of "Clinton era taxation" was what we needed. Hell, I'd be all for it if we went back to Clinton Era spending.
When history writes about Obama I think they'll put a veneer of "first black President and isn't that nice" and then largely ignore the economy or blame it on global upheaval or something. Either way the facts aren't kind and facts are stubborn things.
I've given Kurt Busiek a hard time about some of his political statements -- rightly, of course ;-) -- but now, on this, the 75th anniversary of Superman, it's again time to give the creator his due. Earlier today, Kurt Tweeted:
I've gotten a lot of compliments on my Superman work, and thanks—but I was standing on the shoulders of giants. Who were standing on more.— Kurt Busiek (@KurtBusiek) April 18, 2013
One of the best comicbook stories I've ever read -- not just Superman-related -- is Busiek's Superman: Secret Identity. The action is fairly sparse, but it is an incredibly well-written (and well-paced) story. Any tale that has me smiling and just generally feeling good at the end is top notch stuff. And Secret Identity is that, and more.
Thanks (again), Kurt.
Via Ace: PBS's Gwen Ifill Tweeted the other day:
Disturbing that it's OK for TV to ID a Boston bombing suspect only as "a dark-skinned individual."— gwen ifill (@pbsgwen) April 17, 2013
Apparently it isn't disturbing when the suspect is a white guy, though. And, after all, we certainly don't want the public to have any information that may assist in ID'ing criminals, right?
Clarence Clayman of New Castle wonders when the US will declare an all-out war on ... meat:
We have sacrificed the lives of 10,000 American personnel and trillions of dollars in waging two wars to avenge the deaths of 2,600 Americans in the 9/11 attacks. When will we wage a bloodless, low-cost war on the killer meat-based diet, potentially responsible for as many as 1.3 million American deaths annually?
Clayman notes the usual studies in favor of an all-vegetable diet, like "vegetarians were 32 percent less likely to suffer from heart disease than people who ate meat and fish." But y'know what? So what. I like meat. I'm certain my chances of dying are greater, too, because I drive a car (accidents), play golf a lot in the summer (skin cancer), and play in the ocean and river in the summer (drowning).
Genetics play a significant role in heart disease, too. Can't do much about that. Certainly, eating healthy and getting enough exercise are just smart things to do for anyone. But you can live long -- and eat meat, too -- in doing those things. Again, just be smart. Bowing to the will of a radical vegan isn't worth the time or hassle.
Why the MSM refuses to cover the abortionist Kermit Gosnell trial, according to pundit Marc Lamont Hill (a frequent guest on O'Reilly's show):
For what it’s worth, I do think that those of us on the left have made a decision not to cover this trial because we worry that it’ll compromise abortion rights. Whether you agree with abortion or not, I do think there’s a direct connection between the media’s failure to cover this and our own political commitments on the left. I think it’s a bad idea, I think it’s dangerous, but I think that’s the way it is.
Hill is a nut, but he's usually honest enough, agree with him or not. I'll give him that.
And I've absolutely no problem with that. Reading Stan Lee and Roy Thomas-written comics back in the day gave me a prodigious vocabulary and helped make me an excellent speller.
In just 13 words the man encapsulated what our government thinks of us:
Exactly. Just shut up and do as you're told. I am important and powerful and you are not. Unless you are lining my pockets I don't give a rat's ass about you or your opinion.
If the NC GOP has any principles the man would be censured. If they had any sense, they'd put him out to pasture to "spend more time with his family".
If you think they actually will I have a bridge to sell you.
This, to me, is a perfect example of what the Tea Party has been complaining about. This same attitude is held by Karl Rove, Rence Prebius, John McCain, John Boehner and all the Old Guard who think they're our betters and shovel piles of shit at us during election season to make sure we do our bit to keep them where they are. Then they turn around and violate their supposed principles by putting donors ahead of principles, businesses ahead of markets and big corporations ahead of the entrepreneurs.
This is what Steve Newton is always on about. It is why people are leaving the GOP. The time may well have come that the GOP is beyond saving and must be destroyed and rebuilt to be worth anything again. Maybe the new generation of Rubio, Cruz and Paul will prove me wrong but only time will tell.
Superior Spider-Man writer Dan "Set the Record Straight" Slott is pissed -- PISSED I tell you! (Dan likes to use CAPS a lot on Twitter) -- that the US Senate failed to achieve the needed 60 votes to pass increased background checks for gun purchases:
Rubio, you voted against this. I'll do EVERYTHING in my power 2C you NEVER become POTUS. I'll be the most politically active SOB in America.— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) April 17, 2013
You tell 'em, Dan! Meanwhile, the economy still sucks ass, unemployment is ridiculously high, the debt and deficit -- the latter of which Boss Obama said he would halve by the end of his first term in office -- are astronomical, Gitmo remains open, Obama has increased the assault on civil liberties that the Left constantly bitched about for almost eight years under GW Bush ... but Slott will become the "most politically active SOB" around because one [GOP] Senator voted against what he wanted. And how dare Rubio? Doesn't he know who Slott is?? He writes Spider-Man, dammit!!
And let's throw in Slott with the anti-GOP Election Truthers like fellow comicbook moonbat Erik Larsen:
.@killinginist Yes. A very vocal minority. His name was Antonin Scalia. Welcome to America. Land of the Free.— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) April 17, 2013
Got that? Somehow, being the writer of a major comicbook character automatically makes you a legal and historical genius! Who knew that one US Supreme Court justice made George W. Bush president in 2000? I'd ask Slott to explain that one -- like I asked for evidence that Fox News is "unequaled" when it comes to political sleaze -- but he's blocked me.
And here's another Slott "fact":
.@killinginist We do NOT have universal background checks in America. Only in around 60% of gun sales. This is NOT what 92% of us want.— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) April 17, 2013
Only Obamanauts continually cite this fiction. The "Bubble," after all.
Slott has stated before he doesn't really care what consequences may come his way for being politically outspoken, I'll give him that, at least. But as has become quite evident, unfortunately he's just another far-left moonbat who exists in the "progressive" bubble where everyone agrees with one another, and pats each other on the back for believing in the "right" things. On the current issue, I happen to think expanding background checks is a good idea; however, the polls have consistently shown that gun control ranks low on the list of concerns the American people have these days. The aforementioned economy, unemployment and deficit/debt rank considerably higher. Hell, even "Ethical/Moral/Family Decline" ranks higher than gun control. And if Slott rants about the Senate doing "what the people want," then why doesn't it then ditch ObamaCare? Or, at least, make a major modification of it?
Ah, Dan ... keep on enjoying that comfy womb-like Bubble, amigo.
I typically like Jay Mohr. I didn't always like him. He was, per his own admission, an @ssh*le for a very long time. Somehow he had some sort of catharsis that allowed him to get over himself and is now a pretty grounded guy. I listen to his Mohr Stories podcast frequently and find him to be sensible in most things. That's why I was annoyed by this. Really? The 2nd Amendment is somehow responsible for a bombing? By what leap of logic is the "culture of violence" to blame? Even if it were so, isn't that a little hypocritical coming from a guy who starred in "Suicide Kings", Saints Row 2, Scarface: the world is yours, Street Kings etc? How are those depictions of glorified violence not contributing to this "culture of violence"?
Can we not reserve judgment on things until we have some facts? Must every single aspect of life be political now?
Yesterday President Obama said "we don't know who did this, or why." Frankly, I'm interested in who and much less so the why part. I want the person(s) responsible caught, tried and jailed. Hell, executed if possible. Their political motivations matter much less to me. They are either evil or insane. Treat them accordingly. If they are part of a larger group, by all means, full court press on them until they're all rounded up or dead. I don't care what any given terrorists group's goals are. I just care that they're locked up, dead or otherwise defeated.
And the non-Council nominations are here!
Here's why MSNBC isn't covering the abortion ogre Kermit Gosnell trail in Philly, according to spokeswoman Lauren Skowronski: “We don’t cover criminal trials to the extent of others in cable news.”
Stop laughing. She's probably right -- they're too busy finding racism in every story they do cover.
One of the more hypocritically hilarious comments after the Boston bombings yesterday was uttered by Sold-by-Al Gore-to-Aljazeera Current TV's Cenk Uygur, one of the so-called "Young Turks." Cenk thinks there's a double standard when it comes to labeling and terrorism situations:
Now, keep it real. If it's somebody who is a Muslim terrorist, people are going to say, 'I knew it! Muslim terrorism is [inaudibe]! We have to go, we have to invade countries, etc.'
Now, if it's a right-wing white guy, those same exact people will turn around and say, 'Well, look, let's not over blow this. I mean it's just one crazy guy, he doesn't affect anything else. It has no other implications, let's just all calm down.'
You could call this "living in the bubble," too. (Speaking of which, our beloved Dan "Set the Record Straight" Slott sent out this Tweet this morning:
Just saw a FOX affiliate compare yesterday's bombs as "reminiscent of what we've seen in Kabul." Way to link this to the Middle East, Fox.— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) April 16, 2013
So happy you helped make my point, sir.) Because it's so laughably sanctimonious as to defy description. Our own federal government is loathe to refer to an instance like Boston as "terrorism," let alone any possible Muslim involvement. But more ridiculously, it is Uygur's own profession which lectures us to withhold accusations -- when it comes to Muslims -- and constantly reminds us about the difference between mainstream Islam and radical Islam; however, as evidenced by last night (and myriad other instances), these exact same 4th Estaters have absolutely no qualms about doing what Uygur bitches about what "those same exact people" would do in his quote above. That is, speculate about [white] right-wing extremists being involved.
Look, of course there are hypocrites on both sides when it comes to stuff like this. However, it's supposedly the "report-the-facts" MSM that makes a [self] mockery of things when guys like Uygur utter buffoonery like the above. This sort of ideological nonsense is not only evident when it comes to reporting (or lack thereof) on our current president's brazen hypocrisy and lies, and it takes me back to the election 2000 debacle in Florida. The MSM was apoplectic that the conservative bloc of the SCOTUS would "betray" its usual ideology by invoking a federal remedy to the situation (canceling the full state recount due to the fact that they'd never get it done by, y'know, when the Constitution says it has to be done, not to mention previously finding 14th Amendment equal protection violations due to differing vote counting standards); however, they never seemed to notice the liberal bloc on the high court suddenly became pals of states' rights -- "betraying" their usual ideology -- by wanting to leave the entire matter ultimately in the hands of the Florida Supreme Court!
We all know how the MSM viewed the final SCOTUS verdict; imagine if the liberals were the majority on the court at the time: "Brilliant decision," they'd say. "A victory for democracy." "This court is a positive force for good in America." Etc.
UPDATE: Dan "Set the Record Straight" Slott Tweeted back to me much later today after our brief morning back and forth (and apparently he had read this post) and was miffed that I also did not note (in this post) his retweets about NPR, Good Morning America and the Today Show doing what he said Fox did above. He accused me of not being fair; my response was that -- get this -- I actually had to go to work, which means I didn't see his retweets. I said I would be glad to add an update to this post indicating what he said/retweeted.
Of course, this supposed "balance" on Slott's part doesn't take anything away from the fact that he believes Fox News has no equal when it comes to "sleaze." A fact he reiterated this afternoon. So, after I asked Dan if he would quantify his belief about Fox "having no equal" when it comes to sleaze, Slott ... went silent. And then he blocked me from following him. It's almost as funny as it's all-too typical. Hide in that bubble, Danny boy.
But I did what I said I would, Slott. I updated this post with what you wanted. I am fair. Unlike that mainstream media you apparently believe is so much more so than that dastardly FNC.
UPDATE 2: Slott apparently has read this post, and seems to have either a comprehension problem, a reading problem, or is just plain full of sh**. Note he claims I "took him out of context," which, of course, I didn't. Just like he says about himself in the link above, I too have a job. Am I supposed to catch every retweet you make, Dan? After all, retweets have the pic and name of the original person who made the Tweet on them, with only a small text at the bottom which notes who retweeted it. Thus, even if I was looking, it's easy to miss.
And "scoring points" on a blog? That's why I do it? Who's keeping score, Dan? For whom do I work? Please tell me. What a laugh! Here's why I write here, Dan: Because I like to write. I also like comics and politics. But I don't like what contemporary creators like yourself have helped to do to many of the characters and mythos that I love and grew up with. Again, you live in a bubble where everyone agrees with each other, and you all pat yourselves on the back. And when someone disagrees with you, you get upset. Spare me that you have conservative friends with whom you chat regularly. If they disagree too harshly with you, you probably do just what you did with me and Doug Ernst: You go off on some BS tangent and make excuses about "context," fairness, and whatever else you think you can get away with. Because, after all, you have legions of LIV fanboys who'll follow your every word.
Look, you already said you think Fox News has "no equal" when it comes to sleaze, so it was a perfectly reasonable thing I did when I used that Tweet from you about Fox ... even without your supposed retweets about other news orgs. So, instead of moaning, crying, and acting like an irrational hypocritical baby, why don't you man up and at least attempt to prove your nonsense about Fox (and Antonin Scalia, for that matter, from above)? As someone Tweeted to you yesterday, if you Tweet about politics, you should expect some push-back. And you should also not expect, because of your "elevated" position, people to sit around and wait to see if you Tweet some more just so they can see if you'll be "balanced."
Lastly, why do you care so much about what I, and others, say, Dan? I know, but I really am curious as to your thought process. But here, I clue you in: I'm just a guy with an opinion. But blogs and the Internet have given folks like me an actual voice now, a voice that other fans can read -- without the editors at Marvel deciding what letters get printed. And you really don't like that. It's very simple.
Now just awaiting the first invocations of the Tea Party and/or right-wing militias and/or conservative sympathizers and/or ...
John Fund at National Review Online notices that, nationally regarding the Kermit Gosnell trial in Philly, our own First State may have a similar problem:
First, two former nurses at Planned Parenthood of Delaware told WPVI-TV in Philadelphia this month that conditions at the clinic there are dangerous. Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich, one of the former nurses, said: “It was just unsafe. I couldn’t tell you how ridiculously unsafe it was.” “They could be at risk of getting hepatitis, even AIDS,” added the other nurse, Joyce Vasikonis. Channel 6 reported that both nurses were stunned “by what they called a meat-market style of assembly-line abortions.” It noted that in Delaware, abortion clinics are not subject to routine inspections: “Planned Parenthood is essentially in charge of inspecting itself.”
Will any national reporters follow up on Channel 6’s reporting?
As I noted here, the local Delaware media isn't covering this. Online searches of the News Journal's (Delaware Online's) archives still show zilch, as does WDEL.com's.
Wonder why that is??
Forum: The 10th Anniversary of the Iraq War just passed. Was the Iraq Invasion Worthwhile?
Superior Spider-Man writer Dan "Set the Record Straight" Slott shows how he lives in comfy "progressive" bubble:
If the Far Left used the Far Right's tactics, people using terms like "gun grabbers" would be called "child murder enablers." Dial it down.— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) April 14, 2013
It seems Dan is blissfully unaware of how the term "racist" has been turned into a virtually useless "Boy Who Cried Wolf" term thanks in no small part to the Far Left (and even Just Left) who have routinely utilized the epithet for just about any criticism of the president.
Dan has a point, of course, about political hyperbole in general; calling those who merely want sensible regulations on firearms "gun grabbers" doesn't help the debate. However, the fear among those who believe in gun rights certainly is not unfounded with this administration. Among other instances.
And Dan has more:
@colossusrhodey Hube, do you honestly think there's a Left Wing sleaze arm that rivals Fox and the Far Right? Do you think it's equal?— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) April 14, 2013
In my view, this demonstrates how Slott lives in a bubble even more than the above example. It continually amazes me how some people -- usually "progressives" -- are so distraught about the supposed power of Fox News when it is but ONE conservative news outlet in a sea of left-leaning networks. Consider why FNC rose to prominence in the first place.
Please check out the entire Twitter thread. As I wrote about here, I do give Slott credit for being willing to take a [political] stand and accepting any consequences (meaning, mostly economic) which may come his way -- unlike many others in his field. Unfortunately, his politics merely mirror just about everyone else in said field.
Via io9 we see news that the classic soap operatic Space Battleship Yamato -- aka Star Blazers in the US -- has been remade using updated animation. I absolutely loved the original series, which is over thirty years old. I wrote about the three main series here, when the live-action movie debuted in Japan.
Here's the new intro (in Japanese):
But our local Philly ABC affiliate covers it:
A local abortion clinic is under fire, facing allegations of unsafe and unsanitary conditions.
A series of emergency calls made from the Planned Parenthood of Delaware this year are raising concerns about what's happening behind the closed doors.
Two former nurses who both quit are speaking exclusively with Action News about what they saw inside.
Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich, former employee said, "It was just unsafe. I couldn't tell you how ridiculously unsafe it was." Werbrich alleges conditions inside the facility were unsanitary.
"He didn't wear gloves," said Werbrich.
Another former employee, Joyce Vasikonis told Action News, "They were using instruments on patients that were not sterile."
The former nurses claim that a rush to get patients in and out left operating tables soiled and unclean.
Werbrich said "It's not washed down, it's not even cleaned off. It has bloody drainage on it."
"They could be at risk of getting hepatitis, even AIDS," added Vasikonis.
Both of these nurses said, they quit to protect their own medical licenses, stunned by what they called a meat-market style of assembly-line abortions.
Now, why wouldn't the News Journal and WDEL cover this story? They've covered the Philly-based Kermit Gosnell abortion trial, after all (as have the Philly media, to their credit, unlike the national media). The ABC story is from four days ago, too. Instead, the News Journal's Terri Sanginiti gives us this story.
That would be "the advocacy group" Gender Justice. Here's why:
Jill Gaulding, a cofounder of the advocacy group Gender Justice, claims that the University of Iowa is engaged in “pink shaming” and “cognitive bias” by making its football team’s opponents dress and undress in a locker room that is painted . . . pink:
“Most people understand the pink locker room as a taunt against the other team, calling them a bunch of ladies/girls/sissies/pansies/etc.,” according to an information sheet Gaulding and Gender Justice law partner Lisa Stratton distributed to the workshop attendees.
Gaulding’s handout quoted a passage from [former Iowa football coach Hayden] Fry’s autobiography where he said pink was a “passive” color and might put opponents in a passive mood. “Also, pink is often found in girls’ bedrooms, and because of that some consider it a sissy color,” according to a quote Gaulding said she took from Fry’s book.
Gaulding believes -- wait for it! -- that U.I. could face a lawsuit for ... gender discrimination(!!) based on Title IX and Title VII rules.
I'm sure there have been [a lot] worse in history, but this game-ending "third strike" against the Tampa Bay Rays' Ben Zobrist (via pitcher Jeremy Hellickson of the Texas Rangers) is absolutely a brutal call:
Gotta love this vid of "protesters" who haven't the slightest clue who Marco Rubio is. But that's not the best part by far:
“No, my social worker gave it to us.”
Oh hell, we know what would happen. This would be news and fodder for the likes of Chrissy Matthews and "Crazy" Larry O'Donnell for weeks.
With Tax Day less than a week away in the United States, you probably don’t need another reason to dislike the IRS. But here’s one anyway: Newly released documents show that in recent years, the agency has claimed American Internet users “do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy” when it comes to their emails being snooped on.
The documents, obtained by the ACLU under the Freedom of Information Act and published today, reveal that in 2009, the Criminal Tax Division at the IRS claimed in an internal handbook that in general “the Fourth Amendment does not protect communications held in electronic storage, such as email messages stored on a server.” This claim may have been rooted in a reading of a controversial loophole contained in the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which enables agencies to obtain email older than 180 days without a search warrant.
The article notes that an appeals court judgment in United States v. Warshak (2010) said that e-mail is protected by the 4th Amendment. In addition, some e-mail providers said they will refuse to comply with any IRS requests unless a warrant is provided -- like Google, for instance.
OK, now remember this? Remember how enraged the usual suspects were?
Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.
Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible "dirty numbers" linked to Al Qaeda, the officials said. The agency, they said, still seeks warrants to monitor entirely domestic communications.
Let's just make this as simple as possible: Post-terrorist attack monitoring communications without a warrant where at least one party is international = major scandal. The US tax agency monitoring your domestic e-mail communication = you do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy and therefore not newsworthy.
The non-Council winner was Sarah Palin with The Grocer’s Daughter.
Full results are here.
Now, y'know what's funny? Various comics sites are lauding what "has helped create much needed diversity with today’s issue." And who really cares about that? "Progressive"-oriented comicbook news sites, that's who. And "progressive" comicbook creators (like Simone). Why is this funny? Because ironically, while such creators get on their high horses and chide average joe bloggers like myself and Doug Ernst for, in our spare time, offering commentary on these creators' politics -- because, they say, all we want is blog traffic -- this is precisely what they're doing (desiring increased sales) in cases like these!!
So let's see -- average guy makes no money for blogging on comics' politics? Disgruntled traffic-seeking conservative idiot fanboy. Comicbook writer who devises cheap gimmick(s) to help drive sales? Innovative and forward-thinking creator.
I am totally diggin' this news! Via Bleeding Cool:
Here’s how Deadline describes it;
“…a team of explorers travels to the farthest reaches of space to investigate a mind-blowing alien artifact called Ringworld, an artificial habitat the size of 1 million Earths. They discover the remnants of ancient advanced civilizations, mysteries that shed light on the origins of man and, most importantly, a possible salvation for a doomed Earth.”
This is a bit different from Larry Niven's novel, as you might expect. The book is a part of Niven's vast "Known Space" universe, and utilizes numerous species from it. This wouldn't make a lot of sense to the casual viewer, of course (I was a bit lost myself when I began the book as I hadn't yet read older Known Space stories), so the "doomed Earth" part noted above is an obvious deviation. But that might be all they really have to change. A human vessel could discover the amazing artifact, land and encounter evidence of advanced races, and also as noted discover humanity's origins: the alien Pak race which I wrote about in-depth here!
And then there's Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End:
"Childhood’s End" follows a peaceful alien invasion of Earth by the mysterious Overlords, whose arrival ends all war and turns the planet into a near-utopia. [Michael] De Luca (The Social Network) is producing with UCP.
I read this Clarke novel many years ago, and unlike Bleeding Cool's reviewer I dug it. As noted above, advanced benevolent aliens arrive on Earth and essentially impose a peaceful Utopia upon us. But at what price? Children becoming part of an advanced hive mind? One of the coolest parts of the novel, in my opinion, is when one of our scientists stows away on board one of the Overlord's starships in order to visit their home planet.
Also apparently in development by SyFy: "The Man in the High Castle" based on the novel by the same name by Philip K. Dick, and "Eyes of the Dragon" based on Stephen King's book. I read the former because it was a recommended alternate history story; however, I was unimpressed.
And, are you ready for a "Tony Stark-in-space" scifi series?
When an alien armada is sighted in the region of Pluto, the Earth government turns to a young billionaire industrialist — who has the only ship ready for interstellar travel — to greet the aliens and avoid a catastrophe. Powered by secret alien technology discovered on Earth in the 1960’s, the ship engages in a firefight that sends them spinning through a wormhole into an uncharted region of space. Lost in the universe, the team struggles to survive as they encounter new planets and alien species, searching for a way back home.
Sounds very Star Trek: Voyager-ish, so with a Stark analogue? Count me in! (Yes, I liked Voyager.)
“There were no guards during the break-in,” the ministry said on April 7. The ministry said the target was a warehouse of the Interior Ministry in Subiya. The statement said thieves broke three doors and removed the entire contents of the warehouse.
When I was a whelp I thought I was going to be a Cold Warrior. I was intensely interested in all things Russian and espionage related. I read every non-fiction book I could get my hands on. If you've read a few of these, you start to see patterns emerge. The one thing that always comes up time and again is "plausible deniability". That is, can you lie without lying if there's a Congressional investigation. The story above has all the earmarks of a thinly veiled black bag job. The "Special Activities Group" (CIA) needs to get weapons to Syrian Rebels but the President won't go out on a limb to support it as it's too politically risky. Instead, they load up a warehouse in a relatively friendly country like Kuwait who then is nice enough to pull the guards off duty on a given night. SAG rolls up with trucks and men and move the stuff to an airport to load the guns onto an Air America flight bound for Jordan or Lebanon and drive them across the border to Syria.
I'm sure the FBI will coordinate with local authorities and find nothing and then go home. Look for a report in six months showing that the SAA found a number of these M16s were found in a FSA weapons cache. They will then complain loudly about CIA interference and we just say they were stolen from Kuwait and golly gee we have no idea how they ended up in Syria.
Why doesn't this surprise me? It never bothered MSNBC that this dope is a 9/11 Truther, so why should it bother them that he founded an anti-white, anti-Semitic college newspaper while a student at Emory?
Touré’s flagship publication, The Fire This Time, lavished praise on famous anti-Semites, black supremacists, and conspiracy theorists whom Touré helped bring to campus. Before he became an intense-but-sardonic TV personality, Touré also decried “the suffocating white community” and defended a nationally famous fake hate crime.
Some of the guest speakers personally invited by Touré to campus were:
The fake hate crime which Touré celebrated was that of Sabrina Collins, who as a freshman at Emory in 1992 reported that her "dormitory had been vandalized and racist words [were] written on her walls." Half a year later, Collins admitted she made the whole thing up. But that didn't deter Touré, no sir:
“In the aftermath,” Touré wrote in The Fire This Time, “THE POSSIBILITY THAT COLLINS HERSELF PERPETRATED THE CRIME HAS SEEMED TO MINIMIZE THE INCIDENT’S IMPORTANCE. IN ANALYZING THE EVENT’S IMPORTANCE TO EMORY, IT IS NOT AT ALL IMPORTANT IF COLLINS DID IT.” (Emphasis added by Touré.)
Kinda sounds like Dan Rather's "fake but accurate" reporting of George W. Bush's National Guard service, eh? At any rate, Touré used this fake happening to demand Emory mandate "an African American studies class as a distribution requirement.”
Today, Touré has no regrets about the Collins "incident," nor about whom he invited as guest speakers.
The Political Commentator – Holocaust Remembrance Day 2013 – Hate redux!
And the non-Council nominations are here!
Read the whole thing. I'm seeing a template with the leftist politicians. Husband is philanderer but has personal charisma and proper liberal credentials. Long suffering but power hungry wife stands by him in a faustian bargain. Husband maxes out political potential and then wife emerges from his shadow to pursue her own ambition while he does whatever. c.f. Clilnton, Obama and Weiner
This article is about our slowest thinking voters waking up to realize they're going to get screwed despite promises to the contrary. The only question I have is for Hube. With respect to the last photo, how does one "knock in spanish"? Do I put and "El" in front? Or is it more like "el noque" or something? Help me out here.
Great first picture you use there at the bottom of an article about Margaret Thatcher's death and her relationship with Ronald Reagan.
Uh, yeah -- look at whose picture they use on an article about penis size.
An 8th grader at Northeast Middle School in Bristol, CT, apparently was given a worksheet about the Second Amendment to the US Constitution which stated:
Um, where to start?? Instructional Fair, the publisher of the worksheet, hasn't heard of a "little" thing called District of Columbia v. Heller? And McDonald v. Chicago? Really?? Let's see what occurred in these US Supreme Court cases ...
District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), was a landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects an individual's right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home and within federal enclaves.
A-HA! Only federal enclaves, eh? Not so fast, Jasper:
McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025 (2010), is a landmark decision of the Supreme Court of the United States that determined whether the Second Amendment applies to the individual states. The Court held that the right of an individual to "keep and bear arms" protected by the Second Amendment is incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and applies to the states. The decision cleared up the uncertainty left in the wake of District of Columbia v. Heller as to the scope of gun rights in regard to the states.
Now, given that I'm familiar with the field (teaching), it may be that the publication date of the worksheet is out of date. As you can see, Heller and McDonald are fairly recent cases. Dated materials are used in schools all the time. However, in a field like social studies where history and civics are covered, the instructor has to be on his/her toes to make sure materials are current. And this is a perfect example.
On the other hand, it may be that these materials are current and the author(s) have no idea what they hell they're talking about. I certainly hope it's the former.
Margaret Thatcher has died. Britain is poorer for it. Just about the time I started paying attention to the news Thatcher and Reagan were the ones making it. I remember admiring her. Even with what little I knew about politics and moreso British politics she exuded a sense of purpose of will and steadfast determination. I admired her for standing up for her country. For telling the doubters and dead enders that Britain was great and their troubles were temporary. She had that roll up your sleeves attitude they desperately needed. Her detractors will say she hurt the poor and blah blah blah. Not so. Rather she broke up the machinery that was intent on keeping people in their station. Keeping artificial monopolies that were stagnating the country.
John Major took up the reins after she left but while he acquitted himself well he was no Maggie Thatcher. I will always love her for the "don't go wobbly on me now George" anecdote. It says so much about her. She was no shrinking violet. She fought for everything she ever had and got to the top by skill and intellect.
Even Meryl Streep has praise for her upon her passing. I've redacted the sop to the Left she included about the poor being overlooked but here's the key graf:
Meryl Streep On Margaret Thatcher: 'She Was A Figure Of Awe For Her Personal Strength And Grit': "But to me she was a figure of awe for her personal strength and grit. To have come up, legitimately, through the ranks of the British political system, class bound and gender phobic as it was, in the time that she did and the way that she did, was a formidable achievement. To have won it, not because she inherited position as the daughter of a great man, or the widow of an important man, but by dint of her own striving. To have withstood the special hatred and ridicule, unprecedented in my opinion, leveled in our time at a public figure who was not a mass murderer; and to have managed to keep her convictions attached to fervent ideals and ideas -- wrongheaded or misguided as we might see them now --without corruption. I see that as evidence of some kind of greatness, worthy for the argument of history to settle. To have given women and girls around the world reason to supplant fantasies of being princesses with a different dream: the real-life option of leading their nation; this was groundbreaking and admirable. "
UPDATE (by Hube): Check out this disgusting op-ed by Robin Abcarian of the LA Times. It's exactly what you'd expect from these pinheads; after laughingly claiming that Hillary Clinton, unlike Thatcher, has "worked tirelessly for for the rights of women and girls," Abcarian vomits "But she (Thatcher) shouldn’t be celebrated for blazing trails for women. By sheer will, she hacked open her own path to the top, then let it close behind her."
UPDATE 2 (by Hube): The 25 Thatcher quotes that crush Boss Obama and the Left.
From ABC.com's website circa 8:45pm:
Aww, isn't that sweet? Boss Obama is READY for that fight on gun control! Now, let us PRAY for him and the righteousness of his cause!
The thin skin of contemporary comics creators seemingly knows no bounds. Over at Doug Ernst's blog, Doug wrote a series of posts explaining why, in his view, Dan Slott's (at left) Superior Spider-Man is, well, anything but "superior." Slott became rather defensive on Twitter, especially about the argument over sales figures. Slott aggressively points out that Superior is one of the best selling titles in the biz today; Doug argues that was never his [main] point. You can read through the threads yourself (which I highly recommend). But an argument over sales figures isn't my point today.
The point today is ... why are modern comics creators so freakin' close-minded and defensive about any "negative" critique of the work (or views)? Do they honestly expect people to whisper sweet nothings in their ears and kiss their asses all the time? In the above case, why couldn't Slott just point out where he thought Doug was wrong, and do it in a civilized manner? And then be done with it? It's certainly not as if Doug's post wasn't well thought out, after all. What does screaming "IDIOT" multiple times at Doug do for Slott?
The debate caught the attention of Newsarama's Graeme McMillan, who wrote his own blog post about the back-and-forth. And for some reason, Mr. Ernst has been blocked from commenting there -- on a post dedicated to him. Read the comments. Tell me where Doug violated any sort of standard. Yeesh.
All this takes me back roughly fourteen years, to an e-mail convo I had with comics legend Kurt Busiek. Kurt advocated voicing one's displeasure over something by using more speech instead of an economic boycott (ie. not buying a writer's/artist's comics. My point at the time was that the average joe -- fan -- really had no medium by which to express his views. And they didn't. There were no blogs then, no social media ... only e-mail. Fast forward to the present day: Blogs. Facebook. Twitter. Innumerable ways for fans to express their opinions. But now, with these, that "fight speech with more speech" mantra seems to have been tossed aside. Creators like Busiek block people from merely following them on Twitter (and elsewhere). And, again, it's not because of profanity, slurs, or anything similar. It's only because they don't like what we have to say.
Back to Slott: I respect and appreciate what he said here, about knowing that taking a particular political stance may alienate a lot of readers, because doing the opposite "would be selling myself out." I guess Dan isn't similarly concerned about how he interacts with fans ... especially those who simply disagree with him.
If he bothers to interact with them at all, that is.
Via Ace: "MSNBC, Kindergarten for Bored, Angry Unemployed People."
I didn't always agree with him on his politics but he nailed it with this one:
"Let me tell you a story. The day after Columbine, I was interviewed for the Tom Brokaw news program. The reporter had been assigned a theory and was seeking sound bites to support it. "Wouldn't you say," she asked, "that killings like this are influenced by violent movies?" No, I said, I wouldn't say that. "But what about 'Basketball Diaries'?" she asked. "Doesn't that have a scene of a boy walking into a school with a machine gun?" The obscure 1995 Leonardo Di Caprio movie did indeed have a brief fantasy scene of that nature, I said, but the movie failed at the box office (it grossed only $2.5 million), and it's unlikely the Columbine killers saw it.
The reporter looked disappointed, so I offered her my theory. "Events like this," I said, "if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs like your own. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn't have messed with me. I'll go out in a blaze of glory."
In short, I said, events like Columbine are influenced far less by violent movies than by CNN, the NBC Nightly News and all the other news media, who glorify the killers in the guise of "explaining" them. I commended the policy at the Sun-Times, where our editor said the paper would no longer feature school killings on Page 1. The reporter thanked me and turned off the camera. Of course the interview was never used. They found plenty of talking heads to condemn violent movies, and everybody was happy.
These idiots are running our country.
I don't expect lawmakers to be an expert at everything. Just the things that require legislation. This encapsulates my agitating for smaller government. The farmer knows how to farm, not the lawmaker. The pizza guy knows how to make and sell pizza etc. Yes I know they have policy analysts doing their legwork but to get this one so catastrophically wrong is simply amazing.
Is it any wonder the Obamacare bill is filled with cronyism, unintended consequences ("loopholes"), cost over runs, market inefficiencies and in all likelihood direct contradictions.
Don't be fooled by writer Gail Simone's fence-sitting interview about her new comicbook about the so-called "Occupy" movement. If you've followed her Twitter feed or other social media, you'll know she's bullshi**ing you. Here's what I mean:
Simone: I don't think the book is about liberal vs. conservative. It's about values that comics have always been about, the struggle against injustice on behalf of the little guy, the powerless and innocent. That's pretty bi-partisan.
What a laugh. What is an "injustice" to Simone probably won't be seen as an "injustice" to someone else. After all, Simone voiced her displeasure over Orson Scott Card getting a Superman writing gig (with no mention of any concern about someone getting axed for his personal political views), made snarky comments about former VP candidate Paul Ryan, and is vehemently anti-NRA. But that's the way "progressives" think. They truly feel that their beliefs are sacrosanct and beyond reproach, and if you differ then you are inherently bad ... even evil.
Simone also bitched about "rabid political sites" attacking her for doing The Movement, stating it's a "weird reflex action at this point," and people are upset at "the very idea of someone who might have a conflicting viewpoint." You can be sure those "rabid" sites were mostly conservative, but it's hilarious that Simone mentions that "conflicting viewpoints" line. Um, helLO?? Orson Scott Card, you idiot. And do you really believe, Gail, that you're somehow "going out on a limb" by doing a book on such a topic/subject like "Occupy?" Spare us. You and the vast majority of your comicbook contemporaries all think alike. That is, you're all liberals. You're sooooo brave, for doing this comicbook ... LOL.
You know why people who don't share your politics may be miffed at this project, Gail? Not for its politics per se, but that the subject of your book was covered ridiculously sympathetically by the media, despite the myriad instances of violence, rape, drug use, vandalism, and general disturbance of the peace. On the other hand, another social movement, the Tea Party, was constantly portrayed as being composed of complete ogres -- and they were labeled as racists by all the major media simply because a few [liberal] pols said so ... despite there being not one scintilla of video/audio evidence in a crowd where practically everyone had cell phones equipped with such recording abilities. Even your own medium did just this, if you recall.
My predicition is that this book will go nowhere, simply because we've seen it all before and we're tired of being lectured to by people who all share the same politics.
... but there's no age limit or prescription needed to get the so-called "morning after" pill.
The mind boggles.
"Look upon my works ye mighty and despair"
Will we be Iceland or Greece?
Japan is just further along the path than we are. They also have demographic problems we do not but this is very troubling.
The non-Council winner was Victor Davis Hanson with The California ‘Mordida.’
Full results are here.
Yet another example of outrageous PC insanity, this time from Phoenix, AZ:
To diversify the lifeguard force, Phoenix will spend thousands of dollars to recruit minorities even if they’re not strong swimmers, according to an official quoted in a news report. Blacks, Latinos and Asians who may not necessarily qualify can still get hired, says the city official who adds that “we will work with you in your swimming abilities.”
There’s a good reason the city is hiring lifeguards that can’t swim. Public pools are largely used by Latino and African-American kids, but most of the lifeguards are white and this creates a huge problem. “The kids in the pool are all either Hispanic or black or whatever, and every lifeguard is white and we don’t like that,” says a Phoenix official quoted in the story. She added that “the kids don’t relate; there’s language issues.”
First, imagine a white city official saying that "the kids don't relate" and "we don't like that" with regards to, say, a basketball camp where most of the instructors were black and the clientele white. Second, consider what this idiot city official's response would be to a lawsuit as a result of a child drowning ... because the lifeguard didn't know what the f*** he was doing.
Maybe he/she will get lucky and the suing attorney will be a minority. Y'know, the lawyer will "understand" why the city hired on the basis of diversity and all. Cheeyeah, good luck with that.
Well, despite the air of mystery created by Kevin Feige, the EW TV spot pretty much spoils The Mandarin’s nationality. At the beginning of the footage, The Mandarin announces, “My fellow Americans. My soldiers will destroy your country.” So, by addressing his “fellow Americans,” it looks like The Mandarin is claiming to be a homegrown American terrorist.
As the title says, "Oh, brother." It's bad enough that the film will have a different version aired in China, and that the Red Dawn remake had to be redone to make to baddies North Koreans instead of Chinese. I'm not saying (and there's no indication) that Mandy's ID was altered to assuage our Chinese overlords; however, the "disgruntled/vengeance-seeking 'one of our own'" bit is exceedingly boring already. Not to mention that Iron Man was refreshingly pro-American while being anti-war at the same time.
This revelation has the potential to be a huge disaster.
Wisconsin's DPI (which I assume means Department of Public Instruction, which is what Delaware's education gurus used to be called) "urged white students to wear white wristbands 'as a reminder about your privilege, and as a personal commitment to explain why you wear the wristband.'”
Classy. Remind you of anything?
The funny part, for lack of a better term, is that once criticism of the program came forth, the state DPI put a statement on their website "claiming that the wristbands were a hoax perpetrated by conservatives." Pathetic. Especially since there was already a hard copy flyer from the department "explicitly advocated the wristbands."
Parents: Always be vigilant about such "progressive" bullsh**.
They have a book called "Clueless at the Top," which is not an autobiography but a meditation "on outdated hierarchies in American culture," whatever that means.
And the non-Council nominations are here!
So asks Newsarama. The only one I'd LOVE to see would be #5 -- the Vision.
Others on the list I'd like to see: #2's Hank Pym, #3's Scarlet Witch, and #4's Black Panther.
Forget it: #10's She-Hulk, #9's Tigra, and #7's Captain Marvel (recently Ms. Marvel).
At least for those of us in the northern part of Delaware: Man in Sparrow Run community faces drug charges.
As sort of a sequel to this post, did you know that the original Guardians of the Galaxy had to battle a species known as ... The Stark? In the Guardians' alternate timeline -- which coincidentally is the same timeline of the War of the Worlds and Killraven -- Tony Stark, in an act of desperation, launched his advanced technology into deep space so that that invaders from Mars couldn't get their hands (or appendages, tentacles or whatever) on it. Hundreds of the years later, Stark's "luggage" landed upon a planet on which a primitive race lived. They made use of what they found, and sure enough, true to the origin of the Watchers' vow, they proved unable to handle it.
This was all shown in volume two Guardians of the Galaxy, by Jim Valentino. One of these Stark, dubbed Taserface/Overkill, managed to battle the GoG to a draw. The Stark were also featured in the pages of Iron Man itself during Len Kaminski's tenure as writer (in vol.1 #280). The last "rational" ones of the Stark race, in a desperate quest to save their species and planet, whisk Tony Stark forward in time where he endeavors to devise various tech and devices to undo pollution and industrial environmental damage. He makes some headway, but the sensible Stark scientists do not appear to be able to repel to the Stark tech-wielding barbarians heading their way. In order to quell any dangerous temporal irregularities, the head Stark scientist, Sysop, sends Tony back to his own time, and then destroys the entire scientist hidden lair instead of ceding it to the approaching hordes.
Iron Man #280 is the immediate predecessor to the very first appearance of the War Machine armor. Tony's body is rapidly succumbing to the "techno-organic virus" seen in "Armor Wars 2," and he'll eventually bequeath the War Machine to pal Jim Rhodes upon his "death" (actually cryogenic suspension) in #284.
This is pretty amusing: The NBC Edit of Ba-rick Obama's basketball shooting disaster.
President 0bama has decided that April is going to be financial capability month. This means he wants to show families how to keep their financial house in order. This from an Administration that has not generated a budget in years, has inflated us to near zero value and spent trillions in borrowed money on boondoggle projects and crony capitalism. Frankly if we all acted like the US government we'd be completely broke.
Comic Book Resources today features the Top Ten Iron Man Stories ever based on votes by readers. Some, even most, are spot-on, but a few others garner a "WTF?" So now, because absolutely no one demanded it, let's dissect the winners:
#10. “The Beginning of the End” Iron Man Volume 1 #17-23. A definite "WTF"er on the list. While I'm a huge George Tuska-on-Iron Man fan, there's nothing in this early-going tale to garner top ten status. A better substitute: "Crash and Burn" by Len Kaminski and Kev Hopgood (Iron Man vol. 1 #301-306). Shellhead, in his new "Modular Armor," takes on numerous Marvel heavy hitters of the time as a sentient computer program manipulates Tony Stark. The highlight is issue #305 with the intro of the "Hulkbuster Armor" and IM taking on, well, you-know-who (at left).
#9. “Iron Man Is Born!” Tales of Suspense #39. A definite must on this list; however, probably deserves a higher placement. Artist Don Heck was never known as one of Marvel's A-list pencillers, but he shines in this debut ish.
#8. “The Five Nightmares” Invincible Iron Man #1-7. I'm wary of putting any contemporary tale on such a list as it needs to stand the test of time. Not to mention, I stopped buying new comics years ago. I have read that writer Matt Fraction's run on IM was pretty good; maybe someday I'll get back into the fold.
#7. “Deliverance” Iron Man #182. This ultimate bottom -- and refusal to succumb -- story of Tony Stark's battle with alcoholism is probably the highlight of Denny O'Neil's run on IM. If you're not emotionally touched by this issue, you have no heart. Or soul.
#6. “World’s Most Wanted” Invincible Iron Man #8-19. See #8 above. A better substitute: Iron Man vol. 1 #281-283's "War Machine." Len Kaminski is sinfully omitted from this top ten list. Which, frankly, is insane. #281's intro of the "Variable Threat Response Battlesuit" with Kev Hopgood's pencils coupled with Bob Wiacek's inks is reminiscient of Mike Friedrich's "rah rah!"-style of superhero bad-assery. Alongside the, well, bad ass Masters of Silence, Stark, in the War Machine armor, tears through Justin Hammer's Pacific base and does what we've always waited for: corners the diabolical asshole. But as you'll see later (in the above-mentioned "Crash and Burn" story), Hammer gets the last laugh.
#5. “Extremis” Iron Man Volume 4 #1-6. Worthy in that artist Avi Granov's computer-generated armor design is the basis for IM's suit seen in the movies, writer Warren Ellis ups the technology curve here by making the Iron Man armor part of Tony Stark. But Ellis's political posturing induces too many yawns along the way. A better substitute: "Long Time Gone," the "filler" story featured in Iron Man vol. 1 #78. This is possibly my favorite single issue story ever, and it's well-deserved. Tony Stark reflects on his munitions making and the Vietnam War, and if you're not fighting back tears by the last few panels, well ... see #7.
#4. “Iron Monger” Iron Man #190-200. Probably rated too high on this list -- issues #190-199 are pretty weak, aside from the Stark-Rhodey Iron Battle in #192 -- nevertheless the climax in #200 is worthy all by itself. After bringing Stark to the very edge of the alcoholic abyss, Obadiah Stane now must confront a rejuvenated Tony in all-new armor -- the vaunted "Silver Centurion" model (below) which is light-years above anything he's previously created. Needless to say, it doesn't end well for Stane.
#3. “Doomquest” Iron Man #149-150. This awesome tale by the Shellhead creative team of David Micheline/Bob Layton is the first of a (spread out) series. In this opener, IM and Doc Doom time travel back to King Arthur's era, and the rest, as they say, is .... revised history.
#2. “Armor Wars” Iron Man #225-232. Actually titled "Stark Wars" (don't believe me? Just see the first page of #225), many consider this to be the ultimate Iron Man story. It's little surprise that the top three on this list are Micheline/Layton creations. Here, long-time IM villain Spymaster has stolen secret Iron Man tech and sold it to other armored characters. What follows is a desperate Tony Stark traveling the planet to "negate" (using the aptly named "negator pack") each and every last scrap of it.
#1. “Demon in a Bottle” Iron Man #120-128. Long before Denny O'Neil upped the alcoholism ante some 40 issues later, Michelinie/Layton came up with Tony Stark's possibly greatest weakness. And before a devious business rival named Stane came on the scene, there was a gent named Justin Hammer (this is his debut). These series of issues may be penciller John Romita Jr.'s best on the title, and Layton's inks give IM the definitive powerful shiny look that set the standard.
The Chinese economy explained.
Seriously this anecdotal but important. My belief is that the Chinese economy is in far worse shape than our own. Their books are closed so we don't know what level of spending and debt they've incurred. The boom China has been experiencing is a bubble. Specifically, you have an economy that started to grow due to a huge increase in manufacturing. That lifted many people out of poverty which, in turn, made those workers more expensive. That led to the manufacturers moving further west in China where labor was cheaper. Lather, rinse and repeat. The other bubble is the real estate bubble. Allowing citizens to buy property was the only way they could alleviate capital flight. The Yuan is non-convertible for individuals. Only banks can convert their money so the people had no place to put their money (other than the bank). So they let people buy real estate. Sounds good. But it created an insane boom of builders trying to do things on the the cheap to get it done fast which ironically led to a glut of housing stock. There are entire developments and office blocks that are vacant and will probably never be occupied. Combine that with public sector spending on construction projects and the bubble gets bigger. Once the construction stops it's going to be like hitting the ground after your parachute didn't open.
China does have a few things in its favor. It has a huge population and significant natural resources. They have mined something like 400 tons of gold in the last decade which, if true, is impressive. They have huge FX holdings which could stave off the crisis. Lastly they hold a huge amount of US debt which gives them leverage but not the wildcard many think it is. They cannot call paper as they know it would collapse our economy (or at least destroy our currency which is effectively the same thing) and then they'd be SOL on that ever getting repaid.
Working against them is their long term demographics. They have too many bare branches on their family tree. They have introduced instability by having a serial family line that makes brain drain easier.
In sum, our fates are intertwined so closely that nobody wants to pull the trigger on a trade war, currency war or actual shooting war. Rather we're going to be more like the US/Soviet relations in the Cold War which means angling for leadership and dominance and probably getting into bed with people we ought not to.
After all, the Third Reich effected the most thorough genocide of the 20th century, did they not?
Dude, I haven't played in years and I could do better than 2 for 22: