... Marvel Comics is investing time and energy on yet another "Avengers" title.
Hawkeye, or in this case, Clint Barton, and some non-powered heroes will be traveling across the country to help average joes with their problems. Like Flint, Michigan's water crisis, Walker says.
"Or, for lack of a better term," he says, "that 99 percentile that is sort of synonymous with the Occupy movement; the people who are often trod upon, can't protect themselves, and don't feel like they're being protected because of things like corporate interests or political corruption."
Like the Democratic Party-controlled city of Flint? (Shhhh! Don't tell Walker that!) Or, politicians like Hillary Clinton who get off scot-free while if you or I -- or anyone from the so-called 99% -- did what she did we'd be in the clink?
Don't count on it.
And don't expect this book to go anywhere sales-wise, even if artist extraordinaire Carlos Pacheco is doing the first quartet of issues. Walker's Nighthawk has proven to be a sales disaster after only a few issues, and disgusting Gail Simone's similarly-themed book The Movement barely made it to a dozen editions before cancellation.
Comics veterans Chuck Dixon and Brett R. Smith have teamed up to do the graphic novel version of Peter Schweizer’s book Clinton Cash.
"The graphic novel says that it will help to tell the story of 'the most corrupt candidate ever,' tracing Hillary Clinton’s involvement with shady characters back to when she and Bill left the White House in the late 1990s."
At least some creators out there are providing a smidgen of balance ...
Can January 20th, 2017 get here any faster?
Boss Obama, speaking while meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, said that "unless an American citizen is a Native American, they potentially have a family history of illegal immigration."
Given that "progressives" are so adamant about "nuance" and "living history," how is it that "constitutional scholar" Obama can recognize NO difference between 400 years ago ... and today?
From comics scribe Nick Spencer:
Her biggest weakness is being stuck with a media like this https://t.co/KkptCeTgAD— Nick Spencer (@nickspencer) May 16, 2016
Even Clinton’s allies say her weaknesses as a candidate may hurt her chances against Trump https://t.co/CwbkTgFKri— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 16, 2016
ON. WHAT. F***ING. PLANET. DOES. HE. LIVE???
Brought to you from the company whose former chief once claimed the majority of the US military is black, and that "extensive" atomic bomb tests were conducted during World War II.
"Right to privacy" = right kill an unborn child in the womb.
"Right to privacy" does NOT = right to avoid a grown, biological man watching you pee.
In fact, any laws contrary to the latter are like Jim Crow laws, according to our illustrious Attorney General.
That's right, if you don't want your young daughter going to a restroom with a grown person with a penis, you're just like the segregationist, racist bigots of the 1950s-60s South.
Here's what states like North Carolina ought to do: Establish "sanctuary bathrooms" which are (biologically) gender specific. Merely play the "progressives'" own game. And stick to it.
From our 'ol pal Ron Marz:
Me: "Trump can't win a general election."— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) May 4, 2016
H.L Mencken: "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people."
Yours truly, from August of last year: "Trump as the national Christine O'Donnell"
Tweet from today, by an editor of RedState:
Donald Trump is Christine O'Donnell on a Presidential scale. His supporters, like hers, will be bewildered after he's trounced— Jay Caruso (@JayCaruso) April 24, 2016
It's a little easier when you're from the First State, I suppose. ;-)
Thanks to my buddy Doug Ernst, this article by Wired offers up what it thinks are Marvel Comics "greatest" political swipes. As you might imagine, there's nary a jab taken at a political liberal, and we're going back a ways here.
Coming in at #10 is a conversation featuring Hank Pym in The Ultimates. It was only 2002, but already writer Mark Millar was bashing George W. Bush for his administration's post-9/11 reaction.
#9 is this picture of mutant children for the Mutant Registration Act. But as we've noted several times here at Colossus, making analogies using mutants as a stand-in for, say, homosexuals or other minorities is pretty dumb. Gays, blacks or the handicapped don't have the ability to destroy an entire city with, y'know, a wave of their hand.
#8 is one of the non-partisan choices from Howard the Duck (1977) showing how superficial presidential politics are.
At #7 we see the president of the United States as Satan. Of course, it's Counter-Earth, not Earth proper, but considering the publication year was 1974, well, you know who was in office then (at least through August).
#6, like #9, attempts to use mutants as a stand-in for a lecture on civil rights. In an issue of 2009's Uncanny X-Men the public gets a chance to vote on "Proposition X" -- whether mutants should have to undergo mandatory treatment for their "X" gene. Again, sexual orientation, etc. does not equal the ability to kill thousands/millions with a wave of the hand.
#5 is directly related to the upcoming film Captain America: Civil War and deals with restrictions on superheroes due to their immense power (similar to mutant registration). Of course, our modern creators are overwhelmingly for gun control in the US, yet they'd have you believe wanting to register 1000-times-more-powerful-than-guns super-beings is a legitimate civil rights violation.
#4 is surely one both sides can agree on -- that is, that Marvel heroes should have obliterated: The Sons of the Serpent. Patterned more or less after the KKK, modern creators have used the group to send out anti-Donald Trump border wall messages. As if illegal immigration isn't, y'know, a legitimate political matter.
Ronald Reagan literally turns into a snake for the #3 moment. Writer Mark Gruenwald had the then-president, like many others in Washington DC, transform into a lizard after the Serpent Squad (no relation to the Sons) puts a toxin in the city's water supply.
#2 is probably the most famous (or infamous) set of political comics panels of the Bronze Age: Captain America unmasking the Secret Empire's Number One -- who turns out to be Richard Nixon. Well, we don't actually see that it's Nixon, but writer Steve Englehart's implication couldn't be any less subtle.
And the big #1 is from a mere six years back -- when Capt. America and the Falcon infiltrated that "dastardly" Tea Party. Writer Ed Brubaker really overstretched with this ridiculous nonsense, which included the all-too- typical blurb that a "black guy couldn't fit in with a bunch of angry white people."
WHAT WIRED MISSED:
The Ultimates volume 2: The aforementioned Mark Millar lectures the US (well, the G.W. Bush administration) about its foreign endeavors by having a coalition of outlaw states' "super"heroes invade the US.
What about Truth: Red, White, and Black which posits that the US government began testing a version of the lost formula that turned Steve Rogers into Capt. America on black subjects? It's pretty damn political when you compare our government's actions to that of something akin to Nazi Germany.
J. Michael Straczynski's Supreme Power and Squadron Supreme, like The Ultimates a reaction to the G.W. Bush presidency, features a new take on the Justice League analogues -- one which, yes, lectures the US on foreign entanglements.
Keep in mind, too, that right-leaning individuals in Captain America have been shown to be mentally unstable.
In Steve Englehart's original run, he explained the Cap of the 1950s -- a fan of the original Cap who then used an imperfect version of the super-soldier serum. This turned him (and his "Bucky") into lunatics who, it just so happens, also became bigots.
Mark Gruenwald did the same thing with John Walker, who replaced Steve Rogers for a time as Cap in the 1980s. After Walker's parents are killed by a fanatical right-wing terror group, Walker's sanity slowly ebbs away. Walker, a very pro-US individual, formerly played the role of Super Patriot.
"Daily Show" host Trevor Noah thinks there were just four Founding Fathers -- and they're all on Mt. Rushmore (fast forward to 2:05):
Sure, the dude is from South Africa, but if you're gonna take a position like this, at least know the basics, huh?
"Bread lines are a GOOD thing," says Bernie Sanders:
Fast forward to 3:11 in the clip.
And this guy is this close to the Democratic nomination.
What do you think the reaction would be from the media if Donald Trump (or Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio) supporters actively sought out Hillary Clinton/Bernie Sanders rallies and loudly protested them?
Here's a sample: Just recall the coverage of protests over ObumbleCare from 2010.
Among other things, despite ZERO evidence that racial epithets were hurled at members of the Congressional Black Caucus, the MSM dutifully repeated the accusations every chance it got.
Remember folks, no matter how bad a candidate Trump is, the mainstream media will make him (seem) far worse.
A new Kickstarter campaign is soliciting funds for the comicbook Black -- "In A World That Already Fears And Hates Them -- What If Only Blacks Had Superpowers?"
The "hook": “After miraculously surviving being gunned down by police, a young man learns that he is part of the biggest lie in history. Now he must decide whether it’s safer to keep it a secret or if the truth will set him free.”
From Bleeding Cool (my emphasis):
BLACK follows the story of a young man, Kareem Jenkins, who, having miraculously survived being shot by police, learns that he is part of the biggest lie in history. Kareem must decide whether it’s safer to keep history’s secret, or if the truth will set him free. Rounding out BLACK’s creative team are DC Comics illustrator Khary Randolph, who will contribute covers and additional artwork, and editor Sarah Litt, formerly of Vertigo and DC Comics.
“With BLACK, we’re looking to tell a great story, but we’re also purposefully challenging the pop culture status quo, which is dominated by a White male aesthetic,” says BLACK co-creator Kwanza Osajyefo. “BLACK tackles the very real and palpable issue of race, which is at the forefront in America and around the world. We are trying to confront the issue of race head-on by creating a world in which only Black people are superheroes — and the BLACK superhero trope isn’t subtly cast under a label of mutant, inhuman, or meta-whatever. It is also both thrilling and liberating to create the superheroes we’ve always wanted to see — and, frankly, be — outside of the entrenched publishing system.”
Race is at the forefront of world cultural and social concern? Really?
The introductory image features the iconic -- yet mistaken -- image of "hands up, don't shoot":
Somehow I doubt that that's the "biggest lie in history" mentioned above.
This would ever happen today? That is, you think Arsenio would be able to survive this confrontation unscathed?
I, for one, doubt it very much.
Kudos to CNN's Anderson Cooper for challenging Herr Leader on whether it's fair to call skepticism of Obama and guns a "conspiracy."
Once again, despite the Boss's typical snide condescension, it's not. He's brought up the example of Australia numerous times, a country that confiscated guns after a mass shooting there. In his recent crybaby speech about guns, he even referenced China. CHINA.
Keep in mind, too, that before becoming a senator Obama said he did not believe in the right of personal possession of firearms.
But yeah -- it's a "conspiracy." Just like "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor."
The first find was nothing less than staggering—a fax from Jody Powell, President Jimmy Carter’s press secretary, to George Stephanopoulos, Bill Clinton’s new press secretary, warning Clinton to back off from gun control because … it just doesn’t work.
“If there is an area that needs ‘new thinking,’ ‘rethinking,’ ‘a different kind of Democrat’ and all that, crime/gun control is it. From the outside this does not appear to be happening. What I hear and read sounds like the same old ideas being presented with the same worn-out rhetoric.
“Much as I hate to say it, the NRA is effective primarily because it is largely right when it claims that most gun control measures inconvenience and threaten the law-abiding while having little or no impact on violent crime and criminals.”
Powell goes to note that, even though he supports gun registration "in principle," one has to ask: "Are the people causing the problem going to comply voluntarily? If not, do you have a way to effectively enforce compliance?"
Of all people, Bill Clinton's then-press secretary George Stephanopoulos wrote on Powell's fax sheet "This makes a lot sense."
The GOP actually joined with Democrats regarding the impeachment of Dick Nixon.
“Calling this resolution a ‘stunt’ or a ‘joke’ would be insulting to stunts and jokes,” Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (Md.) the committee’s top Democrat, said in a statement. He said the impeachment resolution was “ridiculous” and a waste of taxpayer money.
“Instead of squandering millions of taxpayer dollars on baseless partisan attacks,” Cumming said, “the committee should focus on issues that matter to all Americans, like bringing down the costs of prescription drugs, as I have requested for the past year with no success.”
Of course, Cummings not only tried "to obstruct the investigation into the IRS for targeting conservatives, his office took part in the targeting."
This is the way things are, now. No one at the State Dept. has been held accountable for anything Benghazi-related, but the maker of that supposedly "riot-inciting" video is in custody.
Dinesh D'Souza does jail time while Lois Lerner gets off scot-free.
If Hillary is elected, does anyone think this will get any better?
... just remember the following:
Yeah, that's Marvel bigwig Tom Brevoort saying they "probably" wouldn't allow Frank Miller to do a Captain America tale a la his Holy Terror story.
Cap can, however, go after the Tea Party and put forth messages that being against illegal immigration is racist/hateful/xenophobic/outoftouch ... but battle radical Islamic terrorists? INSENSITIVE! INTOLERANT!
And this from Grant Morrison on the Miller work:
Batman vs. Al Qaeda! It might as well be Bin Laden vs. King Kong! Or how about the sinister Al Qaeda mastermind up against a hungry Hannibal Lecter! For all the good it's likely to do. Cheering on a fictional character as he beats up fictionalized terrorists seems like a decadent indulgence when real terrorists are killing real people in the real world. I'd be so much more impressed if Frank Miller gave up all this graphic novel nonsense, joined the Army and, with a howl of undying hate, rushed headlong onto the front lines with the young soldiers who are actually risking life and limb 'vs.' Al Qaeda.
I'd be impressed if Morrison bought a pricey mansion along the US-Mexico border with no fences or other means of security. Or spoke out against the government so that he'd become targeted by the IRS (or whatever state enforcement arm). Or had his healthcare premiums skyrocket after being outright lied to by the chief exec. Or ...
But comics creators at large didn't have to be that vocal about Miller's anti-al Qaeda work, because the innumerable media voices did it for them:
Newsarama: “[Holy Terror] doesn't look at the villains in any way or explore the differences between Muslims and terrorists "a mean and ugly book.”
Robot 6: “ ... the work of someone who was profoundly affected by the events of September 11th, to the point where fear took over from whatever artistic drive used to push [his] work."
Wired: "Fodder for the anti-Islam set."
Comics Alliance: "The slurs against Islam continue as the book goes on ..."
USA Today: "winds up buried under its one-dimensional barrage of patriotism ... the rah-rah enthusiasm for wasting terrorists so nastily would seem more fitting or even a cathartic experience for some."
ComicBookMovie.com: "probably the most ridiculous, shallow, offensive piece of propaganda I think I’ve ever read."
Think Progress: "noxious politics ... viciously Islamophobic sentiments ... twisted thinking."
Las Vegas Weekly: "... in service of an ugly story and uglier politics."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "a nasty, though visually arresting expression of xenophobic rage against Muslims ... conflates all Muslims with terrorists with a racist gusto."
So, comics have always involved politics, the contemporary creators say? Sure, but now and for many years, the tales have had to be of the "right kind." That trashing radical Islamists is "racist," "noxious," and "ugly," while going after the Tea Party and utilizing a long-time racist group as the voice for a very legitimate and popular political point of view, shows just how far "progressives" and the Democrat Party has fallen.
... check out this thread to see how Kurt Busiek's grasp of history and political labels is quite wanting.
Oh, speaking wanting, if you can bear it read the risible Amanda Marcotte's take on the current Cap controversy. (As if she is familiar with Cap's history!)
Part of this is down to the bristling idea that superhero comics shouldn’t—and, bizarrely enough, can’t—feature commentary on current social issues. That, to some people, superhero comics are meant to be for young kids, and because they deal with people in spandex punching people in spandex, they should be sequestered off in a land of magic pixie dust, not rooted in our own world.
Is it political? Of course it is. It’s what Captain America as a character has been like since his creation. Like I mentioned, in his first appearance, he punched a goddamn fascist in the face.
But the other part of it is an alleged shock that a dude running around calling himself Captain America and fighting for the little guy might have some left-leaning ideals. The main furor that burst forth this weekend over Sam Wilson: Captain America #1 has been very much from sites that Spencer and Acuña lampoon in the issue itself: That somehow, by choosing to not be a mouthpiece of the Government or SHIELD and stand solely for the American people, Sam is now “Anti-American.”
"Fighting for the little guy?" What about the little guys who are miffed about the politicos who could care less about unabated immigration, especially those along the southern border who bear the brunt of it, with all that entails? Why doesn't Wilson stand up for them?
Whitbrook and innumerable commenters at the article scream about how Cap is "political" because his first cover had him punching Hitler in the face. As if a genocidal fascist and lawful immigration concerns of millions of Americans are on the same level?? Seriously? Is that where we're at now?
Conservatives aren't upset that Cap is "suddenly political" as Whitbrook and others would have you believe -- it's the continuation of the politics that superheroes champion ... as we've detailed here quite often.
The author mentions Cap's "Secret Empire" tale; as I wrote over two years ago, "I wonder if any comics writers out there would be brave enough to have Capt. America fight the Secret Empire again ... but this time with Barack Obama as Number One?" The crimes for which Richard Nixon would have been impeached arguably pale in comparison to some of the things we see today; however, because the media, in its myriad forms, likes and approves of Barack Obama -- while it hated Nixon -- don't hold your breath waiting to see Boss Obama as the new Number One.
Also as we've written here at Colossus, conservatives and the very concept of patriotism are routinely lampooned in comics' panels. In Captain America itself, the Cap of the 1950s was shown to be a mentally unstable loose cannon -- so much so that his virulent 1950s anti-Communism led to unveiled racism in the 1970s.
In the 1980s one of Cap's replacements was John Walker, formerly the Super Patriot. He too was portrayed as a psychotic, with even a panel in an issue of West Coast Avengers showing him mumbling to himself ... and the Avengers who are listening in are freaked out about it.
l love, also, how Whitbrook ponders conservatives being upset that Cap wouldn't represent the federal government. Why would conservatives be miffed that Cap doesn't want to be the "mouthpiece" for the feds ... or SHIELD? Are not conservatives inherently distrustful of government?
Perhaps the most laughable aspect of this whole thing is how "progressives" are pooh-poohing the very notion of why wouldn't Cap get political and go after people who are breaking the law (who, ironically, are trying to stop people from breaking the law) ... because these are the very same folks who were upset that Batman was going to go after Islamic terrorists! That's right -- as the LA Times reported, DC insiders were wary of the political concept behind what eventually would become Holy Terror ... sans the Caped Crusader.
Cap can punch Hitler in the nose, but Batman can't off radical Islamic killers. This is the politics of contemporary comics ... and this what pisses off conservatives.
Actually, it's the Sons of the Serpent, a long mainstay baddie organization in Marvel Comics lore. But this time, being it's 2015, and that Marvel, among other comic companies, has been co-opted by elitist I-know-better-than-you "progressives," the Sons of the Serpent supposedly fill in for ... Donald Trump.
As Chuck Ross reports, Captain America: Sam Wilson #1 has the villains around the US-Mexico border hassling illegals attempting to make their way into the US.
So what does Cap do? Flies in and busts some Serpent heads. (Cap is now Sam Wilson, the former Falcon, the original Cap's longtime partner.)
Which, in the whole scheme of things, makes perfect sense. Again, the SotS has a loooooong history of making trouble in the Marvel Universe, and this is no exception. Historically, they're white supremacist nasties with whom the Avengers, to name one, have dealt several times.
But writer Nick Spencer -- like way too many other creators these days -- doesn't even try to be subtle. He's trying to link -- make -- The Donald (to) these thugs, and in the process totally invalidate arguments against illegal immigration.
Don't believe me? Check it:
Apparently hate speech is just fine so long as it brings in the ratings. Let's all be entertained by Trump!— Nick Spencer (@nickspencer) October 13, 2015
(Quick aside -- jump to present day: Trump blasts illegals from Mexico as criminals; on the other hand, Democratic candidates get chided and protested for daring to say "all lives matter" instead of "black lives matter" ... the Serpents' Dunn and Hale would indeed be proud to see their work continued. The difference being, of course, that only the former gets grief from the popular media.)
But hey, that was back when Marvel actually attempted to be even-handed politically, or when dealing with issues of civil rights (which the pages of The Avengers and Captain America did quite often in the 1960s-70s), it was pretty straightforward stuff with which any decent American couldn't argue. Basic human and civil rights for blacks and other minority Americans? Women? The writers back then handled the delicate political topics expertly.
The problem with Spencer and his contemporary peers is that they take their far-left politics and inject them into the characters we all know and love, and in the process belittle the very legitimate political concerns of a huge number of Americans. Anyone remember when Cap and the Falcon went after the Tea Party?
Illegal immigration is a hot political topic, and a quite legitimate one. But Spencer would reduce the discussion to one that is completely black and white (no pun intended): Wanting to prevent illegal immigration, and/or enacting common sense methods to reduce it are xenophobic and racist. Period. You're no better than the Sons of the Serpent, for cryin' out loud ... and neither is the current Republican front-runner.
I'd say it's insulting and beyond boring, but it's way past that point now. With the current crop of creators that infest the industry today, I'll continue to wait for printed comics' slow, agonizing death.
The company is "celebrating" the 50th anniversary of SHIELD with a ... "special" issue.
(Before we continue, bonus points for anyone who knows what the acronym SHIELD means -- there's three versions, actually.*)
Fury #1 features both Nick Furys -- the original (white) guy, and the former "Ultimate" (black) version modeled after Samuel L. Jackson. Apparently some crazed individual plans to travel back in time to ... assassinate a young Barack Obama in 1965. (The prez was born in 1961.)
Now, you may ask "Why? What could possibly be gained by doing that?"
All you need do is scope out these panels. There it is -- (black) Nick Fury examining scenes of 1965 America and 2015 America. In the former, we witness a black youth being beaten by police. In 2015 we see -- wait for it! -- the 'ol "Hands Up, Don't Shoot," a black youth standing with his hands raised in front of police decked out in riot gear and pointing rifles at the kid:
Of course, that expression and the whole movement based on it was a fraud, but what does writer David Walker care? He's a got a narrative to push, and in a nutshell that narrative says "Nothing has changed at all in 50 years for African-Americans."
But back to the president. Check out this panel:
Well, duh -- temporal mechanics says killing anyone in the past will "change the world as it's supposed to be." But really -- other than being the first black president, which certainly is a symbolic event -- what has Obama done that has been so "world changing"??
Have race relations improved since his election? Not according to this recent NY Times/CBS News poll:
... nearly six in 10 Americans, including heavy majorities of both whites and blacks, think race relations are generally bad, and that nearly four in 10 think the situation is getting worse.
By comparison, two-thirds of Americans surveyed shortly after President Obama took office said they believed that race relations were generally good.
Anyone remember Obama's speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention?
Maybe that's why people had such a positive view of race relations prior to him being elected. Then his actual actions spoke for him, and, well, see those current poll numbers again.
I'm sure writer Walker could care less about those numbers, and would probably blame it all on "racism," as asinine as that would be, natch. It shouldn't be the least bit surprising, though, for, after all, he adheres to the fictitious story surrounding Michael Brown. So hell, why not create a story where we're supposed to believe that, other than pure symbolism, Barack Obama is some mythical, larger-than-life figure whose presence in history needs to be preserved at all costs?
Martin Luther King Jr., who truly is a monumental historical civil rights figure, and whose actions truly effected great (racial) change, would have been a much more logical focus of such a story.
* Original: Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law-Enforcement Division.
1991 meaning: Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate.
Movie/TV show meaning: Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division.
Actually, Brady might not have even been a target at all in Deflategate had not now-Commissioner Roger Goodell done such a lousy job handling the Spygate scandal in the early-mid 2000s. Many see Goodell as "trying to set things right" by coming down hard on Brady and the Pats now after letting them off lightly then.
If you still think the Patriots are above board and legit, I suggest you read this exhaustive ESPN exposé.
Great read via The Claremont Institute titled "The Politics of Star Trek."
It's a topic I've covered numerous times before; however, I thought this nugget was particularly interesting:
This clear-headedness had evaporated by December 1991, when the movie sequel Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country appeared, only months after Roddenberry’s death. The previous films had focused on questions of loyalty, friendship, and Spock’s need for feeling to leaven his logic, but this one, written in part by Nimoy, would be the first devoted expressly to political subjects. It comments on the waning of the Cold War by portraying the first steps toward peace with the Klingons. Yet the price of peace, it turns out, is not merely to forgive past crimes, but for the innocent peoples of the galaxy to take the guilt upon themselves.
Star Trek VI opens with a shocking betrayal: without informing his captain, Spock has volunteered the crew for a peace mission to the Klingons. Kirk rightly calls this “arrogant presumption,” yet the Vulcan is never expected to apologize. On the contrary, the film summarily silences Kirk’s objections. At a banquet aboard the Enterprise, he is asked whether he would be willing to surrender his career in exchange for an end to hostilities, and Spock swiftly intervenes. “I believe the captain feels that Starfleet’s mission has always been one of peace,” he says. Kirk tries to disagree, but is again interrupted. Later, he decides that “Spock was right.” His original skepticism toward the peace mission was only prejudice: “I was used to hating Klingons.”
This represented an almost complete inversion of Star Trek’s original liberalism, and indeed of any rational scale of moral principles at all. At no point in the show’s history had Kirk or his colleagues treated the Klingons unjustly, whereas audiences for decades have watched the Klingons torment and subjugate the galaxy’s peaceful races. In “Errand of Mercy,” they attempt genocide to enslave the Organians. In “The Trouble with Tribbles,” they try to poison a planet’s entire food supply. The dungeon in which Kirk is imprisoned in this film is on a par with Stalin’s jails. Yet never does the Klingon leader, Gorkon, or any of his people, acknowledge—let alone apologize for—such injustices. Quite the contrary; his daughter tells a galactic conference, “We are a proud race. We are here because we want to go on being proud.” Within the context of the original Star Trek, such pride is morally insane.
Roddenberry was so bothered by the film’s script that he angrily confronted director Nicholas Meyer at a meeting, futilely demanding changes. He and those who helped him create Star Trek knew that without a coherent moral code—ideas they considered universal, but which the film calls “racist”—one can never have genuine peace. Star Trek VI seemed to nod contentedly at the haunting thought Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn voiced in The Gulag Archipelago: “No, no one would have to answer.”
The above is truncated a bit, so for the full meaning by all means click the link.
I had no idea Roddenberry despised the script for Undiscovered Country, and after this piece it makes quite a bit of sense.
However, despite my siding with Kirk's feelings about the Klingons, I've always considered ST VI along the lines of the Israel-Egypt peace treaty from the late 70s. Then, the leaders of both countries (Begin, Sadat) had to get beyond their own -- and their constituents' -- misgivings in order to make a lasting peace.
Granted, the analogy is far from perfect, but, overall, if any sort of peace is to be achieved leaders must go above and beyond grievances (past and present) in order to obtain it.
Certainly, in ST VI's case, the Federation easily could have made certain demands before entering into a peace agreement. Keep in mind that at the time it was stated that the Klingon Empire "had 50 years of life left." What were the Federation's demands? I don't recall them making any. Why not? Were they afraid of the Empire making a last-ditch "kamikaze" effort against them for their "insolence?" If so, that shows how (politically) weak the Federation had become even back then ... which is probably, partly, what the Great Bird (Roddenberry) was so cheesed at. After all, when the US had two of our greatest enemies beaten (Germany and Japan), we did indeed assist them in rebuilding themselves, but we didn't just send them cash and material assistance and have no say in the whole deal. We kept garrisons of military troops within their borders, and overtly guided the countries' transition to representative democracy.
Star Trek VI would have us believe that the Klingons had to give nothing, other than the promise of no further hostilities, for the goodwill of the Federation.
Remember, Delaware conservatives, when in
2008 2010 many of you actually thought that Christine O'Donnell could beat out Chris Coons in the general US Senate election -- even though every poll showed her getting beat, most by double digits?
And remember how every poll showed that O'Donnell's primary opponent, Mike Castle, beat Chris Coons? Remember??
You voted for O'Donnell anyway.
Now look -- I get digging Donald Trump. I really do. He gives it right back to people, most especially the mainstream media, and that is incredibly appealing.
But he won't win the general election. The only chance he would have is if Bernie Sanders is the Democratic nominee, and he won't be. Even Hillary "What, Wipe It Clean With A Cloth?" Clinton still beats Trump head-to-head despite her criminal behavior. If things get too tough for Hill, the Dems will pull the plug, and someone like Joe Biden will jump in.
I remember O'Donnell beating Castle very well. I knew it would be a disaster. Thus, I worry about the Trump craze. I wanna grab people by the shoulders like Cahill (Oliver Platt) did to Grant (Kurt Russell) in Executive Decision and yell "LISTEN TO ME! LISTEN TO ME!!"
Maybe another time I'll address some of his head scratchers, like repealing the 14th Amendment and making Mexico pay for building a border wall.
So much to say ... but why do so when the inimitable Doug Ernst does it so perfectly?
"We’re going to beat the hell out of you. And you’re going to crack. You’re going to fight back. And then we’re going to roll over every other moron on this street,” says Sergeant Binghamton to Superman.
So "edgy." So "relevant." So ... predictable. The only thing missing is Superman holding his hands up in a "hands up, don't shoot" gesture.
You want to be really "edgy," comic creators? Try something like Steve Englehart's Capt. America "Secret Empire" story from the early 1970s -- but replace Richard Nixon/Number One with Barack Obama.
As many have pointed out across the Internets, but Douglas Ernst in particular, one of Spider-Man writer Dan Slott's "best" comebacks to comments that his stories suck is "Well, the sales figures prove otherwise, so THERE!"
But look at what an old long box has turned up (one of the benefits, so to speak, of moving recently): A fan letter in 1978's Amazing Spider-Man #188 from a certain ... Kurt Busiek.
Here's the key part:
"... but in no way is he in the artistic forefront of the industry."
... Senator Al Franken said exactly what Donald Trump said about John McCain and the Vietnam War -- and you barely heard about it:
I doubt I could cross the line and vote Republican. I have tremendous respect for McCain but I don’t buy the war hero thing. Anybody can be captured. I thought the idea was to capture them. As far as I’m concerned he sat out the war.
Franken expressed that sentiment twice -- in 2000 and 2004.
And you didn't hear much about it 'cuz ... why?
The same reason President Moron gets away with saying shit like this. And the result of our ridiculous MSM is that a guy like this -- who, despite his babyish blowhardness, isn't afraid to speak his mind -- gets nods of approval.
Confederate flag? Monstrous symbol of inhumanity. Communism? Misunderstood political philosophy.
From the Colossus time machine:
Recent refresher: The SCOTUS held that "The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State. "
Turns out it was a complete fabrication. Y'know, to get some popular will for the law.
Then there was this:
Then he "evolved" on the issue. So much so that we got this the other day:
So, remember this:
But there was always stuff like this prior to 2008, too. And, just like the above, we were treated to "palatable" answers necessary for election. The press didn't seem concerned about it (why would they? Stealth gun control fits their agenda), and just like the situation with Reverend Wright, in whose church Obama sat for twenty years, words speak louder than actions.
So get ready, America. The Second Amendment is next. If anything happens to a member of the conservative bloc of the SCOTUS, or even Anthony Kennedy, and Obama or Hillary get to nominate a new justice, watch out. McDonald v. Chicago will be revisited and overturned.
Or perhaps, the way things are going, Obama or Hillary won't even try to wait for that. There is a GOP-majority Senate, after all, which still has to approve a president's nominee. There still is that form of checks and balances. For now.
Would it really surprise anybody today if Obama (or Hillary) tried something like this? Sure, Kennedy (and Roberts, in one instance) gave 'em what they wanted this week.
But their palates have only been whetted.
ADDENDUM: Just to be clear, of these three items, I believe the (rightful) gay marriage conclusion was inevitable, either via the SCOTUS or the states. Obama's (and Hillary's) supposed "evolution" on the issue, while obviously brazenly politically calculating, no doubt hastened the settlement of the issue.
If this were the 1950s it might be a story: FBI Files Reveal Valerie Jarrett’s Father, Grandfather, Father-In-Law Communists, Connection To Soviet Agent
Remember, to the Left in the 50s, to denigrate someone, cost him his career, ostracize him ... just for his political beliefs was negatively referred to as "McCarthyism."
To the Left in the 2010s, to denigrate someone, cost him his career, ostracize him ... just for his political beliefs is positively referred to as "racism."
Every time a crazy person shoots up a place, the press demands Republicans -- who had nothing to do with it -- answer for the crime.— jon gabriel (@exjon) June 20, 2015
What the press won't ask (as in Hillary Clinton) is this: As Governor, Bill Clinton Honored Confederacy On Arkansas Flag.
In contrast, Jeb Bush had the stars and bars taken down in Florida when he was governor. Haven't heard much about that, either. No surprise.
Mr. Gabriel nails it closed on the media with this:
It's been this way for years. A Soviet-loving Oswald murdered JFK. The press asks, "But what about the climate of hate in Dallas?"— jon gabriel (@exjon) June 20, 2015
Just like Memory Lane from Colossus two years ago.
There were two films of that era that in retrospect are particularly of note: 1997's Air Force One, which starred Harrison Ford as a 50-something American president who knew his way around the cockpit of a jet aircraft, refused to take any guff from terrorists, and had a woman as a vice president to boot. And 1999's Three Kings, which starred George Clooney, and denigrated George H.W. Bush for not toppling Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
No wonder Hollywood has been so miserable after 9/11; they got everything they had previously wished for in a president and as a result, thoroughly hated his guts.
ABC in 2008: New York City underwater. Gas over $9 a gallon. A carton of milk costs almost $13.
Then-GMA co-anchor Chris Cuomo: "I think we're familiar with some of these issues, but, boy, 2015? That's seven years from now. Could it really be that bad?"
In a word: Nope.
Letterman was at his best in the mid-late 80s (thankfully, my college years) when he was following Carson at 12:30. His bits were so stupid, so outlandish, and so silly that they were gut-bustingly funny.
Who else would have a camera follow a line of people for over a minute, moving towards the front of the line ... only to discover that folks were waiting to pay $5 to have their picture taken with Will Lee, the bass player in Paul Shaffer's band??
And remember the Late Night Bookmobile? How to Play Guitar in Your Bare Feet by then-band guitarist Hiram Bullock and You Too Can Do Haiku by Lee Majors (complete with Six Million Dollar Man glamor photo) had me laughing so hard I almost lost consciousness.
But once Dave got the CBS 11:30 gig, he got boring and let his politics show (liberal, natch). Rival Jay Leno's "Headlines" and "Jay Walking" were much funnier, and Leno was middle-of-the-road with his politics.
(Warning: Minor spoilers ahead.)
It looks like Warner Brothers has outbid everyone else to bring Joe Haldeman's classic The Forever War to movie theaters hopefully within a reasonable time-frame.
Making the package go supernova was the involvement of Prometheus and Passengers screenwriter Jon Spaihts and producer Roy Lee. Producing with Lee are Tatum and his Free Association execs as well as Film 360.
The package started to heat up last week but went fiery Thursday when Warners, Sony and another studio were all ready to write hefty checks. Warners won the project late afternoon paying low six figures against seven for the movie rights. Spaihts' deal to write the script topped seven figures.
Haldeman's 1974 novel offers a perspective on his experience as a Vietnam veteran. In it, humans have discovered how to use collapsars (mini-black holes) to travel instantaneously to other parts of the galaxy and beyond. However, the time spent traveling to various destinations (excluding collapsar-to-collapsar), most especially that at, and around. the black holes, makes our protagonist, William Mandella, a "man out of time" as a member of Earth's fighting forces via the Elite Conscription Act.
(This is sort of a bizarre reversal of what we saw in Vietnam: There, college attendees were exempt from being drafted; in TFW only the very intelligent and educated are conscripted into service.)
The alien enemy are the Taurans, so named because we encountered them near the constellation of that name. We're at war with them because one of Earth's ships disappeared ... and the Taurans were whom we named the responsible party -- because one of their ships was "close by." Gulf of Tonkin, anyone?
The entire planet Earth is on a war footing, and all resources go towards the war effort. Most of the population exists on subsistence living, and as such, crime is rampant. Mandella discovers this situation on his first excursion back to Earth years after a few interstellar battles.
The situation at home is so bleak that William decides to head back out to fight.
There is little-to-no communication between humans and Taurans; the latter, we learn, essentially have a hive mind and possess no concept of the individual. Humans win many battles, but the Taurans always catch up eventually.
So much time passes back home while Mandella is out fighting that humanity eventually forms a sort of hive mind of its own -- called, simply, "Man." Once this is achieved communication with the Taurans becomes possible ... and Man learns that, to its great dismay, that the "Forever War" was the sad result of humans presuming the worst -- because it simply did not understand something.
Mandella's love and fellow soldier, Marygay, has survived the long war too, and has been awaiting him on a "time shuttle" -- a craft circling a collapsar so as to keep passing time at a minimum.
The Forever War's sequel, Forever Free, details Mandella's and his family's life of planet Middle Finger and shows their eventual return to Earth. But the plot involves an annoying deus ex machina which results in a rather disappointing finale to The Forever War saga.
(Cross-posted at Smash Cut Culture.)
Who knew the email era has been around for ... forty years?
Hey, I know that things like Compuserve existed in the 80s, and that some companies used something similar even in the 70s, but c'mon -- we're talking about common usage here. And that's only been around for about twenty years.
Boss Obama when he was running for the Lemon Presidency in 2007: “I think Iran is like North Korea ... they see nuclear arms in defensive terms, as a way to prevent regime change.”
Uh huh: Iran militia chief: Destroying Israel is ‘nonnegotiable.’
How dare members of Congress write a letter to Iran's leadership telling them that any deal reached must be approved by them (the Senate, specifically).
Naturally, because the below are WRITERS of popular funnybooks, and have legions of followers on social media, this somehow "translates" into them "being smarter than you."
Our old pal Dan Slott asks the following:
Can you imagine what #FoxNews would be saying if 47 Democrats in the Senate had written a letter like that to Iran during Bush's term?— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) March 10, 2015
Regarding the former, the Democrats actually passed the Boland Amendment which forbade US assistance to the Nicaraguan Contras in the early-mid 1980s. This amendment did a lot more to interfere with the president's foreign policy-making than a single letter ever did.
Next, the bloated Gail Simone weighs in (pun intended), mocking Senator Tom Cotton in the process:
Dear @SenTomCotton, do you deny being a walnut-brained, homeothermic brachiosaurus? Also, could you explain the Constitution to my cat?— GAIL SIMONE (@GailSimone) March 10, 2015
Oh, and by the way? Sen. Cotton is a veteran.
The only Simone has served is herself -- a giant milkshake.
Pelo-Tox on Bibi Netanyahu's speech yesterday:
I was near tears throughout the Prime Minister’s speech -- saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the P5 +1 nations, and saddened by the condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran and our broader commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation. (Source)
Awwww, is that right?
Pelo-Tox back in 2007 (y'know, when George W. Bush was president):
I'm saddened at the insult to the intelligence of the American people that lunkheads like Nance, Boss Obama, Hair-Plugs Biden, and Harry Reid exhibit each and every day.
Oh, and Nance? Using your own playbook, you're an anti-Semite.
Boss Obama wasn't happy with Mitt Romney's 2012 concession call, according to David Axelrod's new book:
President Obama was shocked and irritated by Mitt Romney's concession call in the 2012 presidential election—and claimed Romney insinuated that Obama won only by getting out the black vote, according to a new book by presidential campaign strategist David Axelrod.
Obama was "unsmiling during the call, and slightly irritated when it was over," Axelrod writes.
The president hung up and said Romney admitted he was surprised at his own loss, Axelrod wrote.
"'You really did a great job of getting the vote out in places like Cleveland and Milwaukee,' in other words, black people,'" Obama said, paraphrasing Romney. "That's what he thinks this was all about."
Right. But if the situation was reversed and Obama had remarked that Mitt "had done a great job of getting out the vote in Kansas and Texas," think Mitt would have thought "in other words, black people"?
Tribute to NBC's Brian Williams:
Weirdly, the same "fibs" that Dubya and Cheney offered up were the same ones that all these Democrats did.
Weirdly, the people who are really mad about the Brian Williams Iraq fib don't seem very mad about Dubya and Cheney's Iraq fibs.— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) February 6, 2015
Ron Marz = complete idiot.
Our 'ol pal Ron Marz keeps, well, a lie alive and ticking:
People are more angry at criticism of "American Sniper" than they were at being led to war on a pack of lies.— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) January 21, 2015
Yes, the 'ol "Bush lied us into war" canard. *Sigh*
Once again, if Bush lied, so did all of these people. Bill Clinton. Nancy Pelosi. John Kerry. Madeline Albright. Al Gore. Ted Kennedy. And so on.
Further (again) WTF sense would it make for Bush and co. to knowingly lie about WMD being in Iraq ... only for that very lie to easily be exposed?? Bush et. al. may not be the brightest bulbs around, but they certainly ain't that dumb.
OK, now see if you can follow this one from (Muslim) writer of the (Muslim) Ms. Marvel:
If we were really serious about stamping out extremism in the Middle East, we would all buy electric cars.— G. Willow Wilson (@GWillowWilson) January 22, 2015
So, by making middle eastern countries poorer via buying less and less of their main product (oil), this will "stamp out" (Islamic -- she, like President Lemon, can't bring herself to say it) extremism. Got it.
Mark Waid retweets:
If you follow the link to the story in question, here's what you'll find:
... an investigation of public records by the Washington D.C.-based District Sentinel online news site showed that between 1995 and 2009, Ernst’s family received nearly a half-million dollars in government handouts, payments targeted toward subsidizing farms with taxpayer funds.
BUT: "... Ernst’s own father, Richard Culver, received $38,395 in taxpayer handouts, almost all of which went to corn subsidies."
That means Ernst's pappy got a whopping $2742 per year (in corn subsidies) in the time period noted. Say it with me now: "Oooooooooohhhhhh ....!"
The article goes on to note that Ernst "failed to mention her own family’s reliance on government assistance ..." Right. If her family "relied" on $2700 per year, this gives a whole new meaning to American poverty.
FWIW, I'm against government farm subsidies of virtually any kind. But, as usual, SJWs like Waid typically go after ridiculous "targets" when there a lot bigger fish to fry.
So says the actor to play Mary Mapes' boss in Robert Redford's upcoming film about the sordid affair, Bruce Greenwood. (Greenwood has played, among other things, Capt. Pike in the Star Trek reboot films, and Ashley Judd's scumbag husband in Double Jeopardy.)
The incident "reflected poorly, ultimately, on CBS and Viacom who were unwilling to pursue the truth because there was legislation forthcoming that if they didn’t play ball with the [Bush] administration the legislation would have cost them millions and millions and millions of dollars," Greenwood says. "Rather than allow Mary Mapes and Dan Rather to support their story, they allowed this avalanche of right-wing resistance to swamp the real story."
Greenwood's take on Rathergate's fallout? Modern journalists are "under the thumb" of the powers that be, not the news cycle....
He complains that even Wikipedia has it wrong when it comes to Rathergate, according to his viewpoint.
"It's a reminder that if bull-expletive is repeated often enough it becomes perceived truth, conventional wisdom," he says.
Right. The powers-that-be just said "Hey, let's not make an issue of this. We know these documents about George Bush are true, but what the f***. Let's dump Mapes and Rather. That's an even better story!"
And considering the buffoons now in charge over there (like Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso and Senior Vice President of Publishing and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort among others), I don't have much hope that what Stan "The Man" Lee, Jack Kirby and the other Bullpen members started in 1961 will in any way be improved upon.
Brevoort confirmed that the eight-issue series Secret Wars will represent the end of both the Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Universe.
Saying that the mainstream Marvel Universe and Ultimate Universe would "smash together" during the upcoming Secret Wars crossover event, Alonso and Brevoort went on to elaborate that, by the time Secret Wars #1 hits the stands, every world in Marvel's multiverse will be destroyed, with pieces of each forming Battleworld, the staging ground for the Secret Wars storyline
"Once we hit Secret Wars #1, there is no Marvel Universe, Ultimate Universe, or any other. It's all Battleworld," Brevoort said.
Yeesh. These geniuses couldn't even come up with an original way to create a whole new comics universe, having to resort to the exact same title and planet name as the original series from thirty years ago.
The new universe will combine elements from the old Marvel Universe, the Ultimate Universe, and a few others.
Hey, rival DC tried this with a gimmick called "The New 52" and it was a big hit! (/sarcasm)
RELATED: Stan Lee reacts.
ObumbleCare architect Jonathan Gruber in 2009: ObumbleCare will NOT be affordable; NO cost controls.
This, despite (or course) what President Lemon kept telling us.
... when they had Captain America punch Hitler in the face. And our government told them they'd be protected.
But a penny ante dictator threatens movie goers in 2014 because of silly satire, and, well ...
I managed to catch the premiere of SyFy's latest offering, Ascension, on Monday evening.
The premise: Back in the early 1960s, the US secretly built and launched an Orion starship -- that's right, starship -- to Proxima Centauri. Those in power were worried about the heating up of the Cold War, and as such wanted a segment of humanity, however small, to survive in case all-out nuclear war came about.
We begin about half-way into the Ascension's 100-year journey. And there's been the first murder on-board since launch, fifty-one years ago.
It is true that we actually had the technology to build and use Orion back in the early 60s. The first question upon glimpsing the interior of Ascension is ... really?
The ship looks too clean and neat. Granted, the producers do a fairly admirable job using technology from the early 60s (television screens, buttons, gauges, print-outs, etc.) but then again other aspects of the ship's tech look way ahead of their time.
In a recent Entertainment Weekly review of the first episode, a critic wrote that the sociological/cultural aspects of the pre-Civil Rights 60s were still intact. I doubt we were watching the same episode, frankly. First, one of the main characters is a black male (he's the ship's XO) whose main job in the episode is tracing down what happened the night of the murder. It seems to me there would be quite a bit more ... resentment among the mainly white passengers when a "presumptuous" black man demands answers from them. Such wasn't evident at all. In addition, another fairly prominent character was the ship's librarian, a black woman. Further, the ship's doctor is a woman, and the EW writer says that sexism was very prevalent on the ship. The doctor alone isn't proof against that; I just didn't see anything to indicate it was much worse than it is today. So, for an early-60s era cultural snapshot, this is pretty darn progressive. Of course, being out in space for a half century could have certainly brought about their own sense of cultural and racial enlightenment; however, I'm just taking issue with the EW writer's seeming lack of knowledge.
How would the US pull such a project off? A trillion dollars ... back in 1963? How much would that equate to in current dollars? It's huge! And how would our competing powers -- the USSR, mainly -- miss such a launch? An Orion ship of this size is massive, and is powered by continuous nuclear explosions. Even given 1960s technology, it's highly unlikely the Russians would have missed that.
How is gravity seemingly so normal onboard the ship? There's no evidence of anything rotating (one of the feasible means of generating "artificial" gravity) so the only imaginable way to produce the close-to-normal gravity evident on the ship is by continuous acceleration. But bumping up to a continuous one gee takes quite a bit of time, and even so -- a continuous one gee acceleration would enable a shop to travel 10 light-years in 100 years' time; Proxima Centauri is only four light-years away. Thus, we can assume that Ascension is not accelerating at one gee. So ... how in the hell is everyone moving around the ship so normally?
Why do we need the gratuitous sex? I'm not saying people wouldn't be engaged in this sort of stuff, but why does a Syfy show like this need to have fairly graphic sex and bare butt shots?
The premise. It's terrific. If they made it much more realistic then I'd probably be on board. Of course, none of this addresses the big "shock" at the end of the premiere which, if you want the spoiler, check out the EW link above.
Which makes this even more silly ...
... the "torture" of which most Americans could give a sh** about since 1) the "torture" involved some "harsh" interrogation tactics against barely-human radical Islamist fundies who only want to off Westerners, 2) happened around a decade ago, 3) sorta makes killing terrorists via drone -- along with "collateral" women and children -- seem tame in comparison, and 4) serves to distract from things like Jonathan Gruber continuing to lie (on Capitol Hill this time), and this:
Sadly, the 18 month investigation into the IRS targeting of conservative groups isn’t over, and it may be worse than anyone thought. A federal judge has broken loose more emails that the DOJ had surely hoped would never surface. The picture it reveals isn’t pretty. The documents prove that Lois Lerner met with DOJ’s Election Crimes Division a month before the 2010 elections.
It has to be embarrassing to the DOJ, which may not be the most impartial one to be investigating the IRS. In fact, the DOJ withheld over 800 pages of Lerner documents citing “taxpayer privacy” and “deliberative privilege.” Yet these internal DOJ documents show Ms. Lerner was talking to DOJ officials about prosecuting tax-exempt entities (yes, criminally!) two years before the IRS conceded there was inappropriate targeting.
Remember, Richard Nixon would have been impeached for much less than this. Look at Article 2, part 1 of his never-used impeachment:
1. He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavoured to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposed not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.
Not to mention, the other parts seem pretty fitting, too.
Ah, the Local Gaggle of Moonbat Bloggers. They couldn't WAIT for this day. Something -- anything -- to get the subject of the biggest joke of a chief exec ever off the front pages ... even for just a bit.
MARVEL at their hilarious pomposity that "Republicans are for torture," knowing all the while that rendition began under Bill Clinton, and that President Lemon has droned the living f*** out of terrorists -- including known American citizens -- which has had the side effect of offing quite a few women and kiddies.
PONDER how waterboarding and preventing regular sleep of heinous terrorists is somehow "worse" than killing same without the coveted "rights" and "due process" we heard from "progressives" throughout the 2000s.
PUZZLE over why this had to be made public today, when Jonathan Gruber was testifying on the Hill about ObumbleCare and all the associated the lies about that train wreck. Not to mention that barbarians like al Qaeda and ISIS will use this for propaganda gold.
MULL over how Democrats, including the White House, can (laughably) claim some "moral high ground" by releasing this ... saying stuff like "We can do better," while the IRS has systematically targeted right-leaning groups and individuals for years now (something Richard Nixon never did), how we were lied to repeatedly about ObumbleCare which affects one-sixth of our economy, and ....
REALIZE, however, that next month is the beginning of the END for the inept charlatans who've been running our government.
Oh my: a black cop shoots an unarmed white teen. Grand jury doesn't indict the officer.
No outcry. No riots. No 24-7 media coverage. That last one is key, of course. The media is, and always has been, the driver of stories like Ferguson and last year's Trayvon Martin debacle.
And remember the "reverse" Martin case?
Via Ace: Chalk it up as yet another sequel we seriously don't need:
Guardians of the Galaxy's Chris Pratt appears to play the role Jeff Goldblum did in the originals, apparently. No, not the exact same guy, just a similar role. Even the lines he utters appear the same.
Which sorta makes sense, for, if anyone is ridiculously stupid enough to restart Jurassic Park after what happened not once, not twice, but three times (yes, there was a Jurassic Park III), then they definitely need a cliché-spouting cynic in their midst.
We saw a few days ago how one blogging Delawarean thinks about disagreeing with President Lemon; now, our old pal Perry has finally chimed in -- not only about the mid-term election results, but offers up a similar sentiment to "Progressive Populist" of the LGOMB.
Let's take the latter from Perry first, regarding ObumbleCare:
Sometimes the ends justify the means, and this is the perfect case for it. As a result, there are millions of people relieved who now have coverage which they could not have had before this law.
There you have it -- because Perry is a fervent believer in ObumbleCare, it should be implemented by any means necessary. Just imagine if George W. Bush and the GOP ... well hell, you know.
Next, here's some of Perry's nonsense about November 4th (my comments are in italics):
Republicans won without much of an agenda, but with lots of negative campaigning and racism in the South. (What about the racism of the Left/Democrats of which there was MUCH more?)
Republicans won without a mandate, with only a plurality of less than 50%, reminiscent of GWB. (And Bill Clinton in 1992.)
Democrats must retake the Senate and retain the White House to curb Republican extremism. (Uh, that's why the GOP won two weeks ago -- to curb Democratic extermism.)
Republicans, starting with Reagan and continuing with GWB, cut taxes, increased spending, therefore increased the deficit. GWB doubled it. (Selective amnesia, natch. Obama skyrocketed both the deficit and the debt. In fact, he increased the latter more than all presidents combined before him!)
Democrats under Clinton and Obama enabled the country to recover, prosper, while still slowing the deficit. (Nonsense. Clinton did so because he worked with the GOP landslide Congress of 1994; Boss Obama's policies have done nothing to initiate a "recovery;" indeed, the unemployment figures are largely smoke and mirrors as we've seen record numbers of people leave the workforce, and most of the new jobs aren't good-paying full-time jobs anyway.)
Yeah, 'ol Per sure is an easy target, but it sure is fun -- and scary -- to check in once in a while on how these not-so-closeted authoritarians think.
Ah, the lack of historical knowledge:
Here's what "comedian, educator and comic book editor at large" Tom Brennan tweeted the other day:
Just to be clear - when it comes to the environment, today we learned the government of China is more reasonable than the GOP. CHINA.— Tom Brennan (@Brennanator) November 12, 2014
Indeed, the very same China where one cannot see across the street because of the ridiculous amount of pollution it belches out, not to mention where people have to wear surgical masks to avoid the equivalent of several packs of cigarettes ... just from walking down the street.
"Oh," but Brennan says, "the scenes where we saw all that was like six years ago!" (Meaning, the 2008 Beijing Olympics.)
Check out the pic accompanying this Politico story.
Titled "Race and the Modern GOP," it features notorious Gov. George Wallace -- a Democrat -- confronting folks in front of a schoolhouse.
As Insty notes, "Even more amusingly, it’s labeled 'History Dept.'”
"He was lazy, unqualified, never attended any of the faculty meetings.”
Who is this statement referring to?
A) Barack Obama
B) Hillary Clinton
C) John Kerry
D) Joe Biden
If you guessed "A," you win!
From March of 2010:
The highest tenured faculty member at Chicago Law spoke out on Barack Obama saying, “Professors hated him because he was lazy, unqualified, never attended any of the faculty meetings.”
I spent some time with the highest tenured faculty member at Chicago Law a few months back, and he did not have many nice things to say about “Barry.” Obama applied for a position as an adjunct and wasn’t even considered. A few weeks later the law school got a phone call from the Board of Trustees telling them to find him an office, put him on the payroll, and give him a class to teach. The Board told him he didn’t have to be a member of the faculty, but they needed to give him a temporary position. He was never a professor and was hardly an adjunct.
The other professors hated him because he was lazy, unqualified, never attended any of the faculty meetings, and it was clear that the position was nothing more than a political stepping stool. According to my professor friend, he had the lowest intellectual capacity in the building. He also doubted whether he was legitimately an editor on the Harvard Law Review, because if he was, he would be the first and only editor of an Ivy League law review to never be published while in school (publication is or was a requirement).
Either this guy is RACIST, or he's aptly describing the commander-in-chief we all know so well today. I say "well" because the very attributes noted above are precisely what we see today.
But hey, eventually the truth will emerge ... most likely when President Lemon is long out of office: How America -- encouragingly -- wanted to show how far it had evolved by electing a black president ... but as such overlooked each and every defect that demonstrated the man was way over his head.
(h/t to Ace.)
Well hell, why not? Makes about as much sense as the rest of the garbage they put out.
The Huffington Post's Washington bureau has hired professional football player and 9/11 truther Donte Stallworth as a fellow, covering national security.
Stallworth, a wide receiver in the NFL since 2002, is currently an unsigned free agent and has not played in any games since 2012. He is also a 9/11 truther, and has publicly stated that Osama bin Laden was not responsible for the attacks and that the Pentagon was not hit by a plane.
"NO WAY 9/11 was carried out by 'dying' Bin Laden, 19 men who couldn't fly a damn kite. STILL have NO EVIDENCE Osama was connected, like Iraq," Stallworth tweeted in 2009. Stallworth also doubted tweeted, "Gggrrrrrrrrrrrrr @ ppl who actually believe a plane hit the pentagon on 9/11... hole woulda been ASTRONOMICALLY bigger, God bless lost lives." (Source)
Hilariously, HuffPo Washington bureau chief Ryan Grim said that Stallworth's Truther statements "doesn’t represent how he thinks today," and that he said them five years ago. Except that, Stallworth's last Truther statement took place in November of 2013.
Possibly even more hilarious is how the HuffPo thinks Stallworth is actually qualified to cover national security issues in the first place: "[Stallworth] has a quick mind, an insatiable curiosity and a passion for politics -- the necessary qualities of a great journalist."
Yeah, man. Whatever you say.
Every car? I'm not so certain, but Supercompressor's list is pretty comprehensive, and includes cars from the Bond novels, too.
Naomi Shihab Nye in today's News Journal, like way too many other anti-Israel zealots, omits tons of key facts regarding the current plight of Palestinians/Gazans.
Oppression makes people do desperate things. I am frankly surprised the entire Palestinian population hasn’t gone crazy. If the U.S. can’t see that Palestinians have been mightily oppressed since 1948, they really are not interested in looking, are they?
*Sigh* If I've documented once, I've documented it a million times. You have only your Arab neighbors to blame for any oppression you suffer, Ms. Nye. If "the entire Palestinian population hasn’t gone crazy," it sure isn't because of lack of effort by the likes of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, et. al.
For they gobbled up the land allocated for the Palestinians in 1948, and then they, along with the Palestinians, attacked the nascent Israel. They lost. And they kept losing every other time they tried.
You casually mention the Six Day War without reference or context. This is not, sadly, surprising in the least.
It's really just boring already, Ms. Nye. Sympathy and needed change begin with taking responsibility. Try taking a page from the late Anwar Sadat and see if things don't begin to look different.
With apologies to Mad magazine (the title above was originally theirs in their early 1970s satirical look at the classic Planet of the Apes films), a recent Facebook conversation with some friends made me look back on the delightful cheese that was the original Apes franchise. Timely, in a way, since the latest reboot film is doing pretty well at the box office.
THE ORIGINAL. At least the recent reboot makes a reasonable attempt to explain how apes got so damn smart. Could apes really just naturally evolve human-like inteligence in a tad over 2,000 years? C'mahn.
Wikipedia notes that Taylor (Chuck Heston) and company's ship was on a "long near-light speed voyage, during which, due to time dilation, the crew ages only 18 months." Aside from the amazing fact that such a vessel was constructed in the late 1960s(!), ya'd think, with such amazingly advanced technology that there'd be a computer on board which would have noted the course the ship had traversed over two millennia. I mean, really? Taylor and crew had no idea they were back on Earth?
I can buy that New York wasn't totally obliterated in the nuclear holocaust; the Russkies largely relied on bombers for their nukes in the 60s, and their missiles weren't very accurate. Hence, don't shake your head at the iconic final scene with Taylor and Nova at the Statue of Liberty.
BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES. Somehow the same interstellar mishap happens twice!! This time, James Franciscus has to deal not only with the intelligent, human-hating apes, but mutated humans with powerful mental abilities.
Riddle me this: If these humans have such mental powers, what the hell happened to their smarts? Worshiping a nuclear bomb? Making masks for their radiation scarred selves?
Biggest "C'MAHN!" of the film: The fact that the doomsday bomb had a cobalt jacket doesn't mean it has the destructive power to crack the Earth into a million pieces. Because of Beneath, for the longest time this is what I thought a "cobalt bomb" could do . Wrong. A cobalt jacketed device "merely" means that its radiation becomes incredibly deadly -- it has a very long half-life. In nuclear war vernacular, it's sometimes dubbed "salting the Earth" because radioactive cobalt will kill everything it can reach, and will continue to do so for loooooong time.
ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES. Let's just start and end with this: How the f*** do Zira, Cornelius and their pal dredge up Taylor's original spaceship, repair it, figure out how it works ... let alone fuel it and launch it into space?? And follow Taylor's course perfectly in reverse??
But hey -- it makes the case for the "circular" timeline used in the Apes film franchise. However head-scratching it may be.
CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. Yeah, humans turned to apes when a mysterious "space virus" came down and killed off dogs and cats. Just in time for smart ape Caesar (the offspring of Zira and Cornelius from Escape) to lead 'em in revolt. Very convenient.
BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES. Either this flick is pointless because we already know the ultimate outcome (especially due to a scene at the very end), or it means that the supposed "circular" timeline is anything but.
Anyone recall the (admittedly silly) ending scene where the statue of Caesar begins crying? This is after a line by the "Lawgiver" ape says "Who knows about the future? Perhaps only the dead." This to me says "Apes defeat humans, Earth blows up, this movie was pointless."
There's been another shooting of an unarmed black teenager, and what played out last summer is sort of repeating itself. To wit:
Today the name of the cop involved in the shooting was revealed: Darren Wilson. His race, at this point, still remains a mystery, however. Also revealed was the situation which led to the confrontation between Wilson and Brown: It seems Brown was a suspect in a robbery.
Here is the Missouri statute pertaining to the use of deadly force to effect a felony arrest. Based on the police's initial statements, these (at least one, certainly) appear to apply to this case.
To be sure, the Ferguson police didn't do themselves a lot of favors with the delay in issuing Wilson's name and the account of the incident (which, I understand, still isn't 100% complete). Nor was, as noted above, the overly "military" nature of the post-shooting response to protests.
But also not doing anyone favors are responses like that of WDEL's Al Mascitti who today went on a rant about "white people" (especially Tea Party types, of course) being the only ones who support police in this case, and even made a comparison of the "hopelessness" of black communities across the country to that of ... Palestinians in Gaza. (He even said that people "know" Hamas rockets launched into Israel "don't hurt anyone," but they provoke an unreasonable response.)
The details will keep coming out, and the inter-political philosophy squabble of various viewpoints about the incident will make for interesting discussion.
But there's certainly one thing you can count on: The mainstream media has its NarrativeTM, and it will stick to it ... no matter the facts.
UPDATE (by Hube): The latest reports indicate that Wilson was unaware of Brown's robbery activity when he stopped him. Brown and a friend were stopped for walking in the middle of the street and blocking traffic.
UPDATE 2 (by Hube): This site notes that, although Wilson stopped Brown and friend for walking in the street, once he saw cigars in Brown's hand he thought he might be the robbery suspect.
Seriously, how does anyone believe anything this guy says anymore?
Wait, I did find some suckers ...
... because they'd ruin his argument.
Unfortunately for the readers of the News Journal, Morton is yet another selective history aficionado, picking and choosing points to make a case against Israel. I will not bore you with a point-by-point approach; here are just a few snippets towards the end of the reverend's piece:
Tell her the truth about her violation of international law and arrogant behaviors. Stand up for human rights, including Palestinian human rights.
With all due respect, reverend, you can pick any violation of international law you wish ... but any since 1948 is pretty much moot as the Palestinians and their Arab neighbors violated the very first of the Israeli-Palestinian UN edicts -- that which created the two states in the first place.
... we call on our public servants to stand up for what’s right and just! U.S. Sens. Coons and Carper and U.S. Rep. Carney, stop voting for military aid to Israel. Don’t say one thing and do another.
Good enough. Then also call on a cessation of aid to the Palestinians, Egypt, Syria, et. al. Especially until all parties agree in writing to recognize Israel and to cease any and all terrorist support/attacks against her.
We speak now to Palestinian people who are indigenous to their land – those who have been made to live in poverty and have been relegated to the margins – we are here to tell you that you are not forgotten!
And whose fault is that, reverend? The original 1948 Partition Plan created two states (just like the Palestinians and other Arab states claim they want now) -- one predominately Jewish and the other Arab. It wasn't the nascent Israel which gobbled up the land relegated to the Palestinians. The surrounding Arab countries did so, notably Egypt and Jordan. They are the ones who have "relegated (the Palestinians) to the margins" and have made them live in poverty for over sixty years.
Such historical ignorance like Rev. Morton's is disheartening, especially given his obvious good intentions. But the Palestinian situation is not very much akin to that of black Americans from fifty or so years ago and prior like he further claims.
To make it so, one would have to believe that black Americans had been kept as second-class citizens by other blacks from countries surrounding the US ... and that land given to them was appropriated by same. Then, black Americans would have been used as scapegoats by these other countries in the cause of destroying the United States proper, with black enclaves within the US launching terrorist attacks without.
That doesn't sound at all like the actual black American experience, does it?
The constant blaming of Jews and Israel for the plight of the Palestinians is truly baffling. Aside from the Partition Plan of 1948, the same Arab states which gobbled up Palestinian land in that year attacked Israel again in 1967 and 1973. In the former, the Israelis had had enough and kept some conquered land as "buffers" against future aggression.
If you don't believe Israel would be willing to trade land for peace, just ask Anwar Sadat (in heaven, mind you). He got Egypt back the Sinai Peninsula in exchange for peace with Israel. During Bill Clinton's presidency, Yasir Arafat had an opportunity to get most of the rest of the pre-1967 territory back. He declined.
Nevertheless, Israel still gave Gaza its independence ... and the powers that be there turned the territory into a terrorist outpost, launching rockets constantly into Israel. Does anyone seriously believe Israel wanted to blockade Gaza as a result -- knowing what the predictable reaction (like the reverend's) would be? Are Israelis simply gluttons for (world) punishment?
So let's summarize:
But, somehow, the Jews are to blame for all of this.
Came across this site which notes some alternate endings of some classic (and not-so-classic) films. The second entry really blew me away:
Now, this stands out as the ending which would have rendered the whole film hilariously awful had it been put in place. In one conceived ending, the xenomorph appears just as Ripley gets onto the spaceship, bites her head off, and uses her voice to communicate with earth. Ridiculous? Oh God yes, but think how much more entertaining the sequels would have been if they’d stuck with this terrible ending. That kind of avoidance deserves a medal.
In three letters, WTF???
Can you imagine walking out of the theater after viewing that ... especially after how awesome the rest of the flick is??
I had to slightly shake my head and let out a brief chuckle when I read Joanne Jacobs' post on college schools of education. Titled "Learning to reflect, but not teach," it refers to Boston middle school teacher Peter Sipe's piece in the Boston Herald, and it perfectly encapsulates much of my own experience, both as an undergrad and graduate student.
. . . a professor would speak for a bit on some theoretical matter, then we’d break into small groups to discuss it for an extravagantly long time, then we’d get back into a big group and share our opinions some more. I remember a class one evening in which you could not speak unless you had been tossed an inflatable ball. My wife’s classes did not go like this.
Sipes' wife was in medical school.
Two of the courses I had to take as an undergrad were "Historical Foundations of Education" and "Psychological Foundations of Education." Both were completely useless for what those planning to go into teaching actually need. The former was basically a history course about education in the United States. To be completely honest, watching paint dry would have been more exciting ... not to mention at least as useful.
As an undergrad I also took a course called "Educational Psychology" and later as a graduate a class titled "Psychology of Teaching." Maybe there was a substantive difference between the two, but I certainly don't remember any. I do know that not very much from these courses was actually handy in the classroom.
The absolute worst education-related class I took was "Language Development in the Classroom." To this day I haven't the slightest notion of what this (graduate) class was supposed to be about. Every time we met the prof (a sixty or seventy-something year-old woman who was certainly nice enough) would pretty much ramble about what was on her mind at the time, and then we'd get into groups to discuss ... something.
One time, in one of my grad classes, I sort of attempted to call our professor's bluff. She had asked the class for one-word, yes, reflections about an article we were supposed to have read the previous evening. This wasn't checking our knowledge of the material, you see, but more the prowess of our vocabulary. Many of the terms offered up by my classmates were ridiculously repetitive ("Thoughtful." "Provoking." "Engaging."), but nevertheless the prof excitedly wrote each one down on the chalkboard.
Having had enough, I turned to a teaching colleague of mine who was also a student in the class, and whispered, "Watch this." I then raised my hand. When called upon, I offered the term "good." That's right, just the generically vanilla word "good." The prof repeated "Good!" and enthusiastically put it on the chalkboard.
My colleague couldn't contain her laughter and had to leave the room for a few minutes.
This sort of nonsense is what way too many ed courses include, unfortunately, just as Mr. Sipe notes in his article. And I'd bet good money that most teachers would concur, to a very large degree.
I'd be remiss if I did not mention the courses that were beneficial for educators. The curriculum planning course prior to student teaching was incredibly practical for constructing units, lessons, and activities. (I believe this course was so because the professor was what you might call "old school"). "Measurement Applications in Education," a grad course, taught teachers how to properly create assessments -- even down to how exam questions appeared on the paper.
Once I became an employed educator, the vast majority of what I learned -- and used -- in the classroom was garnered from other, mostly veteran, teachers. If education schools want to be truly practical, keep the courses like those I noted, and cut (or make optional), classes like "Historical Foundations." Expand the time undergrads actually spend in schools observing and teaching with an experienced instructor. (I've learned that in recent years my alma mater has implemented much of that last recommendation; student teachers' time and duties in their placement schools have expanded quite a bit.)
"Learning by doing," the saying goes, right?
(Cross-posted at The College Fix.)
That'd be, in case you were unaware, Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee who the other day whined about the GOP supposedly seeking to impeach Boss Obama (something they're not doing), and as part of her "argument" claimed the Democrats never attempted to impeach President Bush.
Except that they did attempt to do just that. And Jackson-Lee was a co-sponsor of the legislation.
It's bad enough (for the Boss Obama administration) that a recent court ruling said ObumbleCare subsidies are only available via states that have established health exchanges (as per the language in the actual law); it's worse that one of the law's architects said exactly that in the past.
Even though the administration, et. al. are arguing that the law "infers" that the federal government can offer subsidies.
Still worse are this architect's -- Jonathan Gruber -- pathetic excuses for his statements ... and the ObumbleCare law's actual language:
"It is unambiguous this is a typo. Literally every single person involved in the crafting of this law has said that it's a typo, that they had no intention of excluding the federal states."
Un-freakin'-real. The law has a TYPO, for cripe's sake. That NO ONE caught.
Then again, Nancy Pelosi did say that the bill had to be passed so that we could know what's in it, right?
"I honestly don’t remember why I said that. I was speaking off-the-cuff. It was just a mistake," he (Gruber) said.
He continued: "There was never any intention to literally withhold money, to withhold tax credits, from the states that didn’t take that step" [of creating their own exchanges]. That’s clear in the intent of the law and if you talk to anybody who worked on the law. My subsequent statement was just a speak-o—you know, like a typo."
Got that? Even though this Obamanaut has more than once stated what the recent court ruling said -- that, again, only states with exchanges can offer healthcare subsidies -- he "misspoke" ... just like the "typo" in the healthcare law.
Anyone who still buys anything that comes out of this administration really is living in an alternate reality.
Buzzfeed has a list of 36 Things You Probably Don’t Know about the comics giant. Here are some of the facts that I (amazingly) did not know:
OK, a big WTF to that last one.
How about #7 -- Marvel had an opportunity to acquire DC's characters?? (That's Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, etc. in case you somehow didn't know.) Astonishingly, Marvel declined ... because it thought the characters "weren't very good"?
Interestingly, #16's info about Marvel owning the trademark to the term "zombie" doesn't include the fact that the company actually could not use that term in its comics during the time-frame noted due to Comics Code rules. The term "zuvembie" was used as a substitute, as was the case in some issues of The Avengers circa the mid-#150s.
And #26 should come as no surprise. Rob Liefeld ... and a rip-off? It's not as if it hadn't happened before!
Watch out!! Democrat Senator "I'm A" Dick Durbin is -- wait for it! -- fed up with critics of the Boss Obama administration regarding the situation on the southern border. Why? Because the problem was started by ... George W. Bush. In 2008. Six f***ing years ago.
"It was the Homeland Security Act signed by President George W. Bush which says we treat these children humanely,” Durbin said.
Of course, we could humanely send them back to their own country. Not to mention the Act in question was overwhelmingly passed by Congress. Also not to mention, a thing called THE LAW has never stopped this administration from doing whatever the hell it's wanted in the past, but all of a sudden ... well, George W. Bush, dammit!
Forty years ago Republicans joined Democrats in shredding Tricky Dick Nixon regarding Watergate. And the then-IRS commissioner would have none of Dick's desires to use the agency as a personal Gestapo.
How times change, uh?
... about what Democrats said about Iraq, Saddam Hussein, and WMD before that dastardly George W. Bush actually did more than just complain:
Gee, whaaat?? Nancy Pelosi said Iraq had chemical and biological weapons ... there was no doubt about it??
As many regular readers know, I was against the Iraq invasion from the start, but this doesn't take anything away from the sickeningly brazen two-faceness of folks like Pelosi, Reid and "Plugs" Biden who, when things got tough, became whiny pu**ies merely for political gain.
And it worked: We got Boss Obama in 2008. Aren't we all happy with that?
Remember, these folks are putting out the funny books these days. Here's our 'ol pal Ron Marz retweeting Senate Leader Harry Reid's(!!) tweet:
The only thing I want to hear from Iraq war architects is an apology. pic.twitter.com/vPeGmOyP2W— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) June 18, 2014
Yes, this is the same Harry Reid who -- wait for it! -- voted to authorize President Bush to attack Iraq unilaterally. Note that last word, too.
Oh, but wait -- Reid and others (notably Hillary Clinton and "Plugs" Biden) would later claim their votes were "only to continue diplomacy."
Maybe Bush, Cheney, et. al. can claim "Oh gosh, sorry -- the plain language of the authorization fooled us. Mr. Reid, Biden, et. al. should have informed us what it 'really' meant."
... and have thousands of followers on Twitter, they're SO "smart!" Here's the gnomish Dan Slott attempting to make yet another gun control point:
So was slavery. RT @macattack50 The right to bear arms has been in our culture since the days of the Founders. You won't get rid of guns.— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) June 18, 2014
Uh, Dan? Slavery, while an institution at the time of the Founding, was ended shortly after the Civil War with the 13th Amendment. But even before that, the Founders recognized the eventual demise of the vile institution, and at least set up legal means to outlaw the trade.
Can you show us a similar exercise with regards to firearms, Danny?
That's what I thought. But remember, everybody -- Slott just writes comicbooks. He ain't no historian, that's fer sher. Nor a legal scholar:
It's hard to argue about gun rights and keep passions in check. The stakes are simple & heartfelt: Potential Lives Lost vs Perceived Rights.— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) June 18, 2014
"Perceived rights." The 2nd Amendment protects an individual's "perceived right," according to Slott, to bear arms. Even though the Supreme Court has affirmed the right (not "perceived"), at least twice, within the last fifteen years.
You're not a very smart man, Dan. Despite the comfy little Bubble you live in, and despite your legion of [mostly] mindless minions. After all, you just write comics.
So opines the sketchy "intellect" of MSNBC's (and 9/11 Truther) Touré, who inexpicably tweeted the following a few days back:
The power of whiteness: RT @hope_and_chains: My family survived a concentration camp, came to the US w/ nothing, LEGALLY, and made it work.— Touré (@Toure) May 23, 2014
What can one say to such ... insanity?
Here's Yid With Lid with an attempt:
I would never deny the horrors black people have faced in the US for hundreds of years, I wouldn't even deny the fact that while things are much much better, racism still exists, in the United States.
But for Toure' to deny that Jews have faced hatred in this country and/or the rest of the world, and still face it today is to belie the truth.
And the Holocaust wasn't simply perpetuated by Hitler, he was helped by the British and the US.
And think about it: "White privilege" somehow "assisted" Jews during the Holocaust: The Nazis, who embodied said privilege and wanted to make it law worldwide, took it, what -- easy on Jews ... because they were white?
One has to wonder what sort of black privilege Touré possesses that enabled him to land a TV pundit gig.
The Washington Examiner today details how prominent "progressive" pundits had lauded the Veterans Administration as evidence that government-run healthcare works. Like, take Paul Krugman for example:
In a 2006 column, Krugman argued that the system was, “one of the best-kept secrets in the American policy debate.”
He explained, “pundits and policy makers don't talk about the veterans' system because they can't handle the cognitive dissonance. ... For the lesson of the V.H.A.'s success story -- that a government agency can deliver better care at lower cost than the private sector -- runs completely counter to the pro-privatization, anti-government conventional wisdom that dominates today's Washington.”
Krugman also had blasted Mitt Romney for having the audacity to suggest partially privatizing the VHA. Oops.
Both Krugman and Vox.com's Ezra Klein touted Phillip Longman's book Best Care Anywhere: Why VA Health Care is Better Than Yours. Longman argues that the VHA, "has incentives for investing in quality and keeping its patients well -- incentives that are lacking in for-profit medicine.”
Our DOJ chief did this at Morgan State University, an Historically Black College (HBC) in Baltimore whose enrollment is over 86% black. Yep, legal segregation has long since ended, but somehow, HBCs continue to exist, with percentages akin to the above.
And this -- when diversity is supposed to be the educational end-all to be-all. But where's the "diversity" at an institution like Morgan State where there is less than 2% white population, and the rest spread out among other groups? As Jeffrey Lord notes,
The school at which Holder spoke — had those percentages of race been reversed, with an 86.7 percent white majority and a 1.8 percent black minority — would soon have Eric Holder’s Justice Department swooping down on it to charge it with “disparate treatment.”
Indeed. First Lady Michelle Obama was in Kansas for the same reason Holder was in Baltimore, and lamented “Many young people in America ... are going to school with kids who look just like them.” Uh huh.
*Sigh* Just like "hate crimes" laws, "diversity" applies to only one group.
The writer of Spider-Man (Superior, Amazing, or whatever) once again meanders into the realm of philosophy. Because, y'know, since he's a "hotshot" comicbook writer at the moment, he's "smart":
"Traditional Values" is a cowardly term for "Anti-Gay Marriage." Slavery, antisemitism, & sexism could be called "traditional values" too.— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) May 12, 2014
With lefties, it's funny how "progressive" viewpoints and ideas always are permitted to "evolve," whereas conservative ones are to be perpetually stuck in the Dark Ages. But using Slottian "logic," "progressive" could be a cowardly term for eugenics. Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was not only pro-eugenics, but a racist, straight up. And let's not bother to bring up the sordid history of the Democrat Party ... !
In addition, "traditional values" still has valid meaning in many ways: Hard work, [actually] raising a family, not screwing your fellow man, manners, altruism ... wonder why Slott overlooked these?
Because he resides in The Bubble, that's why.
So said Bill Clinton just last year. His wife, Hillary, failed to put the nutjob group on the terrorists watch list during her tenure as Secretary of State.
The former president's belief directly contradicts what the group's leader himself has stated: That "God had told him to abduct over 200 girls and women." (Notice no mention of jobs or poverty there.) The group's name roughly translates to “Western education is sin.” Notice it's not “We are terrorists because we are poor,” as Pundit Press notes.
Clinton, like way too many other "progressives," is still stuck to the silliness that being poor causes one to resort to terrorism. The hoops "progressives" jump through to not blame [radical] Islam for violent acts remains truly astonishing ... especially when the "terrorist" label is very easily applied to their domestic political opponents.
Meanwhile, the Boss Obama administration has really gotten tough with the group:
RELATED: How dare someone write a comicbook about a superhero battling evil bad guys? It's outrageous! Oh, that's right -- the villains are radical Islamists.
Take a look at these 13 Most Ridiculous Predictions Made on Earth Day, 1970. Then, tell me I should listen to the global war, er, um, climate change chicken little-ists. Here's a sample:
“Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” — Harvard biologist George Wald
“Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” — Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich
“Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born… [By 1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.” — Paul Ehrlich
“It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” — Denis Hayes, Chief organizer for Earth Day
These dudes sound exactly like the Al Gores of the present-day. Which means we shouldn't bite our fingernails down to nubs because all the ice on the planet will melt within a decade.
Via The Corner: It happened, way back in 1976. As you might expect, the dialogue is hokey as hell (I don't remember the writer, Ann Robinson), but the artist is immediately recognizable to any Spidey fan from that era: Ross Andru. The plot is this: An alien name Prodigy wants teens to wantonly have babies so that he can take them all back to his planet "Intellectia" as slave labor. He has a "magnetic" voice which influences young people.
Hey, I wonder -- did Critical Race theorist Derrick Bell get his idea for "The Space Traders" from this Spidey tale? They sure sound similar. Similarly dopey.
You can read the entire issue here.
These days there is virtually nothing that "progressives" won't dub the R-word. Because, after all, 1) "progressives" aren't particularly bright, and 2) one thing they do know is that R-word is the modern day Scarlet Letter and an effective negative campaign tool.
But the ever-increasing problem for them is overuse. We all know this, but that doesn't stop them. Not at all. So, the first instance we see today as the latest in neo-racism is ... distrust of government. Yep. New York Magazine's Jonathan Chait (with a straight face) states that "America’s unique brand of ideological anti-statism is historically inseparable...from the legacy of slavery..." Chait claims this even as he denounces other [specious] claims of racism against the GOP by the likes of MSNBC. He says that the GOP is disintegrating before our very eyes:
It exposed a sense in which their entire party is being written out of the American civic religion. The inscription of the civil-rights story into the fabric of American history—the elevation of Rosa Parks to a new Paul Revere, Martin Luther King to the pantheon of the Founding Fathers—has, by implication, cast Barack Obama as the contemporary protagonist and Republicans as the villains.
Except that, y'know, "intellectuals" like Chait are largely responsible for this incorrect perception. I mean, really -- Republicans are the party of slavery abolition and of the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960s.
Chait claims that the dissolution of the GOP will be akin to -- wait for it! -- that of white rule in apartheid South Africa. Of course. All this, based on one study of "political habits and history in counties of the Old South."
Elsewhere via Douglas Ernst, Salon.com is at it again. Writer Reihan Salam says that if you're attracted to someone who looks like you, you're ... yep. Salam was "struck" by the considerable number of people who indicated on OkCupid's dating site (yes, the very same site which strongly objected to Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich and his "intolerable" view on gay "marriage") that they'd prefer to date someone of the same race.
Well, my. God.
... that there's a Six Million Dollar Man comicbook? I didn't until I read this Bleeding Cool article. Unfortunately, the comic looks as impressive as the 1970s TV show does with contemporary viewing. For instance, last night on the Me network (which plays old TV shows like 24-7), the SMDM was on with an episode titled "The Bionic Badge." Steve Austin (played by Lee Majors, who, the lucky bastard, was married to 70s bombshell Farrah Fawcett for a time) went "undercover" as a cop ... to sniff out who in the department is assisting with the smuggling atomic bomb components. Atomic bomb components! Talk about your suspension of disbelief.
Of course, if you're around my age, how can you forget Steve's first encounter with Sasquatch? This episode was on last week and brought back some (cheesy) memories. No, 'squatch ain't really a furry giant human hybrid of some sort; he's really a robot protector of some aliens who live in the forests of the northwest!
... before Steve casually rips his arm off.
And, this doesn't even address the utter crap that was using slow motion to depict the use of Steve's bionic limbs! I mean, the opening theme segment shows Steve running -- fast -- at his maximum 60 mph; why couldn't this be done in the show?
That would be CNN's "National Security Analyst" Peter Bergen's contention that “U.S. right wing extremists [are] more deadly than jihadists.” To wit:
White supremacists, anti-abortion extremists and anti-government militants have killed more people in the United States than have extremists motivated by al Qaeda’s ideology.
OK, now let that sink in for a moment.
Ready? First, that "contention" is based on [supposed] figures from 9/12/2001 to the present. Pretty convenient that, wouldn't'cha say? Second, Bergen is a director for the George Soros-funded "progressive" New America Foundation which conducted the study from his "facts" are gathered. Also quite convenient. Third, the "political reasons" used for the "right-wing extremist" attacks are dubious. The study included "hate crimes" as "political" in its tally, and some of the killings are clearly questionable as to their "political" nature:
For example, they included a 2009 shootout in a Pittsburgh home where Robert Poplawski killed three police officers after his mother called the police during an argument. Later it was revealed that Poplawski had anti-Semitic views and was an alleged skinhead.
Yet the disparity in media coverage between even failed jihadist terrorist attacks and this latest incident in Kansas is emblematic of a flawed division in the public’s mind between killing that is purportedly committed in the name of Allah and killing that is committed for other political ends, such as neo-Nazi beliefs about the need to kill Jews.
What a riot. Bergen actually believes there's a paucity of media inclination to cover incidents like that in Kansas City the other day as opposed to jihadist-inspired violence. What freakin' planet do guys like Bergen live on?? Because it's certainly not the same planet on which its American mainstream media immediately pounces on any smidgen of evidence to link conservative/right-wing/Republican-based/Tea Partyesque groups to a terror-style attack. Just ask ABC's Brian Ross, for cripe's sake. This, not to mention, the reflexive MSM screaming of "Islamophobia" whenever [radical] Islam is questioned or implicated in a matter as if it's endemic, when in fact anti-Jewish hate crimes far outnumber those that are anti-Muslim. Not surprisingly, Bergen doesn't see fit to mention Muslim anti-Jewish hate, which is just as virulent -- and overall much more common -- than that of neo-Nazis.
The NARRATIVETM, natch.
A panel on the execrable Al Sharpton's "Politics Nation" argued the usual swill about the GOP the other day, but this nugget upped the ante to the Nth degree: They (Republicans) want to make voting illegal.
RYAN GRIM, HUFFINGTON POST: I think it actually goes back to that old cynical bumper sticker that a lot of people have seen which says, it says something like, "If voting could change anything, they'd make it illegal." Well, voting can change things, and so they actually are trying to make it illegal.
You can give that insanity all the credence it deserves (aka zero), but more interesting regarding the voting issue is what I heard on the Dick Morris Show on Philly's WPHT 1210 yesterday while driving home. There's a movement out there which has garnered next to no mainstream media attention called the National Popular Vote. It's not what you may think at first glance; it's not a movement to abolish the Electoral College and elect the prez on a purely popular vote. What it is is a push to get states to agree to allocate all their electoral votes to the national winner of the popular vote -- not to the popular vote winner of an individual state. The mainstream media, natch, is more concerned about electoral college touch-ups such as this, where electoral votes would be cast on a proportional basis related to congressional districts. This, as the NY Times frets, has the potential to harm Democrats. Or so they argue.
But although the National Popular Vote website includes positive testimonials from Democrats and Republicans alike, what Morris pointed out on his radio show indicates a BIG worry for the GOP if NPV gets passed -- and NPV is very close to doing just that. Keep in mind, first, that no Constitutional Amendment would be necessary for the NPV to take effect as it does not constitutionally alter the nature of the Electoral College. But just as no amendment is necessary for the NPV, there is also no specific constitutional requirement that one be a citizen in order to vote. The 14th, 26th and 19th Amendments clearly mention citizenship and voting; however, there is actually no absolute constitutional requirement that one be a citizen in order to cast a vote. And, in fact, there is NO explicit right to vote for anybody enshrined in the US's founding document. Inherent right? Yes. Explicit? No.
And this is what Morris pounces on.
The Center for Immigration Studies offers up plenty of evidence on how individual states could allow non-citizens to vote. Most of the states that are "pro" non-citizen voting are blue states (surprise), and some of these states already allow non-citizen voting at the local level. Morris argues that if the National Popular Vote measure takes effect, blue states will be much more inclined to vote (via their respective state legislatures) to allow non-citizens to cast ballots beyond localities, i.e. for president. The reason for this is simple: Again, since the NPV would give all of a state's electoral votes to the national winner of the popular vote (not an individual state's), and that non-citizens are much more likely to vote Democratic, it's all a pure numbers game. The GOP would never again see the White House, Morris argues.
While some scholars note that Section 2 of the 14th Amendment "clearly" grants states the right to impose a citizenship qualification (chee-yeah, tell that to Eric Holder), again, the numbers for the GOP just wouldn't cut it. Red state legislatures could impose such a requirement to vote, but it wouldn't be enough to overcome blue states that "opened up" voting to virtually every resident within their borders.
Naturally, one may wonder if blue states, even those dominated by Democrats in the governorship and state legislature (like my own Delaware), could get away with passing such voting allowances. They may be successful initially, but it's a good bet many independents and other moderates would subsequently object. The ensuing statewide races would have Democrats having to defend why they voted to allow non-citizens to vote. I think that would be quite a tough sell to anyone but a committed "progressive." In addition, even some advocates of non-citizen voting believe liberal states would be hesitant to allow what Morris fears:
To my knowledge no state has seriously considered extending the franchise to aliens during the past half century, and I very much doubt that any state would now make the move except at the insistence of the Supreme Court, says legal scholar Gerald Rosberg.
I tend to agree. However, this doesn't mean "progressives" won't be up to their usual electoral tricks while denigrating common sense measures like voter ID (supported by approximately three-quarters of the American public) as "voter suppression."
Those at Rolling Stone magazine, that is:
That's supposed to be the Constitution on Julia Louis-Dreyfus's back. Except that ... John Hancock never signed the Constitution. He signed the Declaration of Independence.
The Constitution: For "progressives," a document so living, it grows on it signatures never before present ... like magic.
The Cape Gazette has more on the efforts by some on the Cape Henlopen (Delaware) school board to ditch the classic novel Brave New World from an Advanced Placement English curriculum. Previously noted board members Sandi Minard and Jen Burton say in this article that they don't want to ban the book, just give parents a choice: “If we have a choice, why can't we chose something that's not sexually explicit,” Burton said. “We can choose other books to show a dystopic society.”
Board Vice President Roni Posner defended the novel, but said that if parents don't want their kids reading the book, they should be able to opt out.
As I noted in my earlier post, the irony really is lost on some of these people. As Lea Tomer, young adult services librarian for the Lewes Public Library, notes in the article,
The overwhelming theme of the book is the loss of the individual and government control. While sexual promiscuity is portrayed in the novel, it is part of Huxley's negative description of a futuristic society. It's a small piece of the overall picture.
This is what I do not understand -- as conservative a place as Sussex County, Delaware is, Brave New World should, if anything, appeal to their political philosophy (as Ms. Tomer notes above).
Thanks once again to the incomparable Nate Winchester, I was alerted to this latest Cracked.com offering. I'm a big fan of the site (hence its listing in Colossus's "Favorite Reads"), with contributor "Seanbaby" being my fave. However, especially within the last year, there seems to be too many of their writers who display a copious degree of cluelessness about that which they are opining. Case in point is Henrik Magnusson with his article about what this post's title says. It all begins with #5 in which, by any objective person's view, Superman makes a compromise decision which placates both sides of a situation. But since Supes doesn't side with the environmentalists, well, he's such a dick!!! Magnusson would have the Man of Steel give the middle finger to average workers who plead with him not to put the kibosh on their only source of income. These workers know the plant has been an environmental clusterf*** for years, but with Supes' help, an agreement is forged by which the company will do what's right. (A little Superman threat doesn't hurt, either!). Magnusson also thinks that Lois Lane's 1st Amendment rights supercede all this -- she should have the right, dammit, to out this plant and expose them! Maybe Magnusson could put some of this fire behind our real lapdog mainstream media so they'd do some actual reporting on President Lemon.
Also included -- predictably -- is Frank Miller's Holy Terror. Shunned by DC because of its ... "sensitive" nature, Miller took what was originally a Batman tale and turned it into one starring the generic hero The Fixer. Magnusson's title for this section is "Not-Batman Stars in Islamophobic Propaganda." Because the Fixer goes after al Qaeda. Got it? It's Islamophobic to have a good guy go after murderous terrorists just because they happen to be Muslim. Consider: It's really hard to imagine someone screaming "Germanophobia" over the cover of Captain America #1, isn't it?
Yep, that's Cap socking 'ol Uncle Adolf in the kisser. How is this different, again, from what the Fixer does to al Qaeda? Someone explain this to me. Because all I can come up with is that today, contemporary political correctness doesn't like the latter ... because Muslims are supposedly a "protected class." Or something. I know, we hear that "not all Muslims are terrorists" and all, and this is true -- just like not all Germans were Nazis, either.
Furthermore, if Holy Terror is so reprehensible, then why not include Truth: Red, White and Black on the list? One could easily label Truth "anti-white" and/or "anti-American," after all. The 2003 tale deals with "never-before-seen" issues surrounding the origin of Captain America, specifically how the US government attempted to recreate Professor Erksine's super soldier formula -- how the government tested imperfect copies only on African-American soldiers. This is supposed to be an analogy to the infamous Tuskegee experiment where hundreds of black farmers, most of whom were already infected with syphillis, were monitored for several decades, never being told they were ill. But the US government certainly didn't single out specific races in its various questionably unethical experiments over the years. The TV film Nightbreaker starring Martin Sheen and his son Emilio Estevez, for example, details what soldiers (of all colors) were exposed to in the early nuclear, post-WW II age. Not to mention, the Tuskegee experiment has often morphed into the legend that US operatives gave those hundreds of black men syphillis. This isn't too surprising with Joe Quesada-era Marvel as their knowledge of actual history has been found wanting. Quesada, when once discussing Truth, for example, ridiculously stated that "most of the US military" is black. He also wrote in an Iron Man tale from the early 2000s about the "extensive US nuclear testing during WW II." I'll let you figure that one out because I know you're not dumb.
There's also the question of moral equivalence with Truth, something with which the Left has an almost biological need to do when it comes to comparing the United States to other nations. Truth would put us in pretty much the same category as the above-mentioned Nazis, which, as with just about every other such comparison the Left makes, is smirk-inducing.
Magnusson's #1 entry is really a head scratcher as it's the Captain America "Secret Empire" storyline which I've written about previously. While "Empire" can be a bit hokey, it is a clear sign of its times, and is hardly a worthy example of a "disastrous" attempt of politicking. But Magnusson's #4 entry is his best: the ridiculous Marvel 9/11 tributes that featured its most murderous villains weeping over the infamous terror attacks. That's right -- Dr. Doom, Magneto, Dr. Octopus, the Kingpin ... you name 'em. As Magnusson writes, "they went with three guys who have a bigger body count individually than all of al-Qaida combined." Marvel claims the panels in question are "symbolic." I call 'em "idiotic."
Conspiculously missing from Magnusson's article are the numerous examples regarding The Authority, J. Michael Strazynski's Supreme Power, Image's The Big Lie, Captain America vs. the Tea Party, and the myriad other instances we've noted throughout our almost nine years of blogging here at Colossus. But should we really be surprised??
Big Hollywood is reporting what I already suspected about the upcoming Cap 2: Winter Soldier flick: That SHIELD's secrets will reveal a government conspiracy of some sort (hell, we already wondered that from watching The Avengers; recall Nick Fury yapping with that mysterious quartet on video, seeking approval for various actions ... who were they?), and with far-lefty Robert Redford starring in a villainous role, this virtually confirms such. This doesn't concern me as much as what I read about the second Cap sequel:
“We’ve definitely set out on a more realistic road in the Cap movies, you know,” [screenwriter Christopher] Markus told Den of Geek. “Even more grounded than in the other MCU movies. And so it kind of rules out Cap fighting the Dinosaur Man or something like that. There are some that aren’t gonna start and other ones that — I mean there’s a couple we’re playing with right now that we really want to take elements from. Which we’ll not reveal. … All I’m saying is psychotic 1950s Cap.”
Spinoff in the link above offers an in-depth analysis of just who the 1950s Captain America is (was); his initial introduction into the Marvel mythos, despite its politics, is one of the more well-done 1970s offerings by noted creator Steve Englehart. It began in issue #153 when "a" Captain America and, then, of all people, "a" Bucky, were raging through Harlem beating the snot out of people. Cap's partner, the Falcon, stumbled upon them, and virtually immediately knew they were imposters. The ersatz duo then proceed to hatch a plot to capture whom they believe to be the fake Cap (our own Steve Rogers, the real Cap), and in the process we learn just who this Capt. America and Bucky are ...
The 1950s Cap is really William Burnside, a fanatical devotee of the real Captain America. He was such a fanatic that he wrote his college thesis about Cap, and in the process discovered files regarding Project: Rebirth (that which created the real Cap) as well as details about the super soldier serum used to turn Steve Rogers into that super soldier. Later (get this), he underwent the 'ol plastic surgery to turn himself into a copy of Steve Rogers, and became a government agent as a new Cap during the Korean War. But the war quickly ended, and the gov. ended Burnside's new career. (All this was told in Capt. America #155, see above left.)
Burnside subsequently became a teacher, but when the Red Skull attacked the UN building, he and his new pal, Jack Monroe, took a chance and injected themselves with that serum Burnside had discovered years prior. They took on the Skull as the new Cap and Bucky, and won. But by taking just the [super soldier] serum and not being exposed to other parts of the process (like "vita rays"), Burnside and Monroe experienced psychotic episodes. The government quickly put the kibosh on their fledgling careers, and placed them into suspended animation.
Here's where the "worrisome" (so for those right-of-center, of course) comes in: Years later, an anti-Communist zealot freed Burnside and Monroe, hopefully to assist against the commies in the continuing Cold War. This Cap and Bucky saw Communists everywhere, including among historically oppressed African-Americans. (This is where the Falcon first notices them, as noted above.) Englehart's story is a masterwork of Marvel continuity; however, as he did with the also-masterful "Secret Empire" story some twenty issues later, his villains are fanatical, power hungry rightists who are beyond devoted to snuffing out any who oppose them. In retrospect, what Richard Nixon did during Watergate (the analogy for "Secret Empire") pales in comparison to what we see today, currently. And Englehart's message via the 1950s Cap is that anti-communism equates to Joe McCarthy-style witch hunts ... not to mention that you're nuts.
Englehart's stories are a product of their times, to be sure. Which means translating the 1950s Cap to 2016 or 2017 whenever Cap 3 comes out has the extreme potential to be just another Hollywood "blast conservatives" slug fest. Which, in these times won't be received very well. Consider: Englehart made the Capt. America who fought Communists in the 1950s a psychotic nutjob. Aside from the Silver Age 1960s (Marvel Comics' own "rebirth," so to speak), fighting Communists was mostly anathema for superheroes. Fascists? Not so much. (If you've taken a poli sci course you know that far-left=communism, far-right=fascism ... but in a circular political spectrum model the extremes are essentially the same and meet.) Captain America continued his battle against fascists into the next decades, including, but not limited to, the Grand Director (who was actually Burnside himself, natch), The Watchdogs, Crossbones, Dr. Faustus, Karl Stryker, and the Super-Patriot. Another version of that last one, named John Walker, ironically eventually assumed the role of Capt. America after the US government used its "muscle" (including, ahem, the IRS) to demand Steve Rogers serve it. Rogers resigned the role of Cap and Walker took over. But writer Mark Gruenwald portrayed Walker as -- wait for it! -- mentally unstable. Walker became more bloodthirsty, killing his enemies, something Steve Rogers would never do if it could be helped.
See the message? "Patriotic"="unstable" and "visceral." This was during the 1980s, natch, and we all know who was president then! The writer even showed Steve Rogers, when contemplating resigning as Cap so as not to be a government lackey, thinking of possible missions he could be sent on -- with a panel detailing a hypothetical replacement fighting (gasp!) Communists in Nicaragua. In recent years, we've seen Captain America investigate the Tea Party, for cripe's sake.
And hey, maybe that's precisely who the villain, if the 1950s Cap is revived in the present day for Captain America 3, will be -- an "anti-government Tea Party type." Knowing Hollywood (and contemporary comicbook creators), this would make perfect sense. To them. Because the insulated "progressive" bubble in which they live tells them so.
Newsarama has up a list of the Ten Worst Live-Action Superhero Costumes Ever, and their choices leave a lot of room for some head-scratching. So, we decided to help them out (because no one demanded it!) with what they missed, including a few notable villain outfits that deserve a mention:
TV HULK. Although it was one of the more popular TV shows based on a comicbook character, compared to how the Jade Giant should look, Lou Ferrigno's physique just didn't cut it:
1960s BATMAN. If you're going to have such a list, this Batman costume has got to be on it. Maybe it's the painted-on eyebrows. Maybe it's the chest emblem that looks like it was made in a 4th grade art class. Or maybe it's just Adam West's completely average physique. Whatever the case, it's lame:
DOLPH LUNDGREN'S PUNISHER. While the actual movie isn't any worse than the supposedly "better" later films, Dolph's outfit is far from anything special:
ROGER CORMAN'S THE THING. Granted, the film never saw the light of day aside from bootleg copies sold at conventions and on the 'net, but if you're going to include Michael Chiklis's version on a "Worst" list, then this has to be there, too:
1990 CAPTAIN AMERICA. In a word (or three letters), "WTF??"
1990 RED SKULL. Slightly better than his American rival from the direct-to-video film, this Skull was -- wait for it! -- Italian. His cheesy accent throughout the flick and his penchant for sending his kids to do his dirty work only added to the lameness:
CATHY LEE CROSBY WONDER WOMAN. A 1970s TV version before Linda Carter's iconic role, this outfit is, well, pretty pathetic:
ORIGINAL TRILOGY X-MEN MAGNETO. How uninspired was Ian McKellen's costume from the first three X-flicks? Very. Especially when you see what Michael Fassbender's costume looked like in the prequel. (That's right, a 1960s version of his suit is far superior to the 2000 version. Go figure!):
2002 GREEN GOBLIN. Even though it's one of the highest-grossing superhero films ever (and features one of the coolest costumes -- the hero's), how could the villain's outfit be so awful? Willem DaFoe has one of the most sinister busts in all of Hollywood; why the directors didn't make use of it, and instead gave us this, I'll never know:
TV THOR. One of my personal faves for outright heavy cheese, this Thor was actually featured in a 1980s Hulk TV movie. Don Blake turns into the Thunder God by -- wait for it! -- yelling "ODIIIIINNNNNN!!!"
Our pal Gail "The Movement was Canceled" Simone retweets this gem from Media Matters:
On CNN, @PaulBegala calls out right-wing guest's Benghazi hypocrisy: "How many died in the 13 attacks under Bush and you didn't say a peep?"— Media Matters (@mmfa) March 8, 2014
Of course Gail, being the complete LIV that she is, wouldn't likely know that the important thing in this whole deal isn't how many died, but how and why they died. Why wasn't the counsulate equipped with more security after requests? And even more shockingly, why was a man thrown in jail for making the video on which the attacks were [falsely] blamed?
As you'd expect, the post brought out the true moonbattery:
Elsewhere, a fan realizes how futile it is to disagree with a 'bat like Ron Marz, because, well, he's just "smarter" than you, dammit!
Ron Marz can't have a conversation on twitter on a subject he disagrees w/ u on without being a total dick. I may have 2 add him 2 my list.— Jason (@IKILLALLWALKERS) March 8, 2014
Yep, "total dick" about cuts it. That's how the radical moonbats roll, unfortunately. Disagreement with them is worse than an al Qaeda terror attack.
UPDATE: Speaking of Marz, here he is on Dr. Ben Carson, a guy who has about 100 IQ pts. on him:
Oh, man, now Ben Carson is trending. There really is no straw the conservatives won't grasp.— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) March 8, 2014
There's nothing more threatening to a white "progressive" than a potential black candidate who goes against everything he holds dear ...
Supporters were outraged -- outraged, I tell you -- that Adegbile lost the Senate vote:
"You hate to raise that (racism) up, but it smells very bad," said Hilary Shelton, director of the Washington office of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid warned Republicans just before the vote that if Adegbile lost there would have to be a "broad discussion" of civil rights in America.
Oh gee, would that be like having an "honest discussion" about race? Y'know, because, as Eric Holder has said, "we're a nation of cowards" when it comes to race? Puh-lease. Race only matters in instances like these -- when a "progressive" Democrat meets a failure like Adegbile. After all, remember Miguel Estrada? He was nominated by George W. Bush for the DC Court of Appeals ... but the Democrats in the Senate used the filibuster to block the nomination. The Dems said Estrada was "far beyond the mainstream," to quote New York's Chuckie Schumer. Estrada would have been the first Hispanic to sit on that court, and is an immigrant from Honduras who immigrated to the US at age 17, not knowing a lot of English. But he ended up graduating from Columbia and then Harvard Law School.
I wonder -- did Ms. Shelton of the DC NAACP speak out against this "bad smelling" defeated nomination of an obviously qualified Hispanic?
Cheeyeah, right. If Estrada was "far beyond the mainstream," then Adegbile was in an alternate reality.
Muslims are demanding citizenship for millions because of those expelled from Spain during the Middle Ages. They base their demand on the fact that a recent law gave Sepharic Jews the right to citizenship when they were expelled in 1492.
Only fair, right? Wrong.
Jews were ousted from Spain out of pure religious bigotry. Muslims were ousted because they were a conquering colonial force for 800 years. Weird how they forgot that.
On second thought ...
So let's see -- two of the most prominent GOP candidates for the presidency in 2016, New Jersey's Chris Christie and Wisconsin's Scott Walker, just happened to have scandals erupt ... even as Boss Obama's poll numbers continue to plummet. As you know, Christie is dealing with "Bridgegate," whereas Walker is now dealing with a campaign finance matter. Naturally, the mainstream media is (and was, in Christie's case) is frothing at the mouth. As if this is really a surprise, right?
Now, just compare Christie and the whole bridge imbroglio to Boss Obama and the IRS scandal. Which do you think is a more important matter? Then compare Walker's investigation to that (if there even was one) of Boss Obama's 2008 presidential campaign's failure to enact proper security measures for online contributions, which included being able to verify the identities of donors. The MSM's response then? One big collective yawn.
The right-leaning (and many independent) American public is really growing quite weary of this media nonsense. Christie's favorability among conservatives has risen in the wake of Bridgegate, largely as a result of MSM overkill. If the Walker matter proceeds as Bridgegate did, expect same from the GOP and conservatives there, too. Anyone recall how Newt Gingrich rocketed up the standings in 2012's GOP primary?
AAAAAAND, in the wake of all the above, Boss Obama's FCC wants to have a "representative" "monitor" newsrooms and radio stations for "appropriate content":
Last May the FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country. With its “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,” or CIN, the agency plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run. A field test in Columbia, S.C., is scheduled to begin this spring.
The purpose of the CIN, according to the FCC, is to ferret out information from television and radio broadcasters about “the process by which stories are selected” and how often stations cover “critical information needs,” along with “perceived station bias” and “perceived responsiveness to underserved populations.”
If this doesn't chill you to the bone, then you're a complete moron. (The FCC has said they'll "re-evaluate" the program after its existence was leaked. Right.) I'd be saying the same exact thing if George W. Bush was in office right now. The difference with that, however, is that the mainstream press would be screaming about it ad nauseam too. But since liberal Democrat Barack Obama is doing it, again, there's a big collective MSM yawn and only the right-leaning press is covering it. At least as long as they're able to continue covering it if these Obama "monitors" begin showing up in newsrooms!
The U.S. currently ranks 46th in press freedom. It has dropped thirteen places in the latest rankings. Does anyone recall the media fracas when Robert Novak printed the name of Valerie Plame in 2003? "How dare a member of the GW Bush administration commit such a leak which could have repercussions to our intelligence community!" we were lectured. The coverage and punditry on the case was endless. Fast forward to today: The feds seize phone records and snoop on the emails of Fox News reporter James Rosen. CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson's computer is mysteriously hacked. The feds also spy on Associated Press phone records. Where is the continuing coverage of this?? Why does the mainstream press appear to give less than two hoots??
The president of Venezuela has threatened to boot CNN from his country for doing some actual reporting on the current goings-on there; how is what Boss Obama is planning all that different with regards to his FCC move, not to mention his and his acolytes' continual war on Fox News and talk radio as "all lies" and "not real news?" The reason the US isn't worse than #46 on press freedom (when there's a liberal Democrat in the White House) is because of Fox News and talk radio. And more and more, right-leaning Internet media.
This is another perfect example of what I meant when I wrote that "progressives" view their domestic political opponents as worse than actual threats like al Qaeda.
Former US Rep. Mel Reynolds of Illinois was nabbed in Zimbabwe for possession of pornography (yes, a crime there). Back in 1995, Reynolds was convicted of sexual assault and solicitation of child pornography charges.
Yeah, this guy's a real winner. Another "winner" was Bill Clinton who commuted his sentence in 2001 just before leaving office. Other "winners" are those in this district; when Reynolds attempted a comeback in 2004, he was trounced by ... Jesse Jackson Jr. And we know how that turned out.
Real Clear Politics has the story. He was there when I was a student. Who knew? Nevertheless, the article paints a pretty good picture of the NJ governor, much to the dismay, I'm sure, of "progressives."
I was rereading the comment section of this post yesterday whilst adding it to this one regarding comics writer Mark Millar being a socialist. Keep in mind the first link is from 2006, a little over seven years ago, to be more specific. One of things I complained about in the post was how Millar had Captain America kill his opponent, Colonel Abdul al-Rahman, who's basically an Iranian counterpart to Cap. (In my original post, I referred to al-Rahman as the "MCA," or "Muslim Country Analogue.") And who commented about this? None other than Delaware Liberal's Jason "Trust Fund" Scott:
This is an intersting [sic]post. You seem to be doing the kind of thinking that the writer hoped for. Without any trace of irony you say:*
...but certain characterizations are (or, should be) maintained. Like Cap's purity (or attempted purity) of purpose. Anyone who's anyone would simply not have Capt. America killing a person in cold blood. Unless, of course, he wanted to disparage a certain country!
How much more does it disparage out [sic] country to torture confessions out of people or hold them in solitary confinment [sic] without charging them with any crime?
How is Capt America different from our America when he kills in cold blood? Shouldn't we be more mindful of our national "purity of purpose"? Isn't that the very thing we chucked out the window when we decided that premptive [sic] war was okay? When we decided that Iraqi civilian deaths did not count as much as American civilian deaths?
Some of the "Terrorists" in Gitmo are called "Terrorists" because they are in Gitmo. It is supposed to be the other way around.
If, like Capt America, we set aside our principles for the sake of security, we are no longer America. I know you don;t like to face this reality, but the new habeas corpus rules mean that you are I could be held without being charged is Bush decided that our blogs were threats to national security.
I know you have a lot of faith in Bush not to grab you off the street and toss you in jail - but I don't.
You can see my responses to this at the original link; however, let's talk about *"traces of irony." When this original post was written, George W. Bush had two years left in his presidency, and in one month the Democrats were elected back into the majority of the House of Representatives. In two years, Boss Obama was elected president promising to end much of what Trust Fund complains about above. After five years of Boss Obama's presidency, what have we seen with regards to the above?
Words. Not actions. Words. He. Has. Done. Nothing.
In fact, in many areas, he's upped the ante from the Bush era: Unmanned drone strikes in sovereign countries. Drastic expansion of NSA wiretapping. Continuation of "black site" interrogations. Gitmo still wide open for business. And Trust Fund had "no faith" that Bush administration operatives wouldn't "grab you off the street and toss you in jail"? Tell that to Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. Or, most recently, Dinesh D'Souza. And have I yet mentioned Boss Obama using the IRS as his personal vendetta team?
The DE Liberal (aka the LGOMB, or Local Gaggle of Moonbat Bloggers) site was fledgling in October of 2006, for what it's worth. But head over there now (if you can stand it) and search the archives for Trust Fund's strongly worded complaints about Boss Obama and his continuation of Bush presidency policies. If you can find any. Best of luck.
RELATED: I saw Zero Dark Thirty this past weekend. If you don't know, this is the film that documents the behind-the-scenes machinations in the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Despite what myriad "progressives" may say, the film is fairly plain in stating that the few waterboarded captured terrorists led to valuable information ... and it takes a jab at Boss Obama for ending the practice. However, don't think that G.W. Bush escapes unscathed; when the protagonist (Jessica Chastain) is growing weary of waiting for action to be taken on the bin Laden compound, her CIA boss confronts a Boss Obama official about the delay. The official, and administration, want as precise as possible intel. When the CIA boss says "It's as good as it's gonna get," the official says, "Sorry -- you gave us better odds on WMD being in Iraq."
As for the scenes featuring the waterboarding, if they were designed to elicit sympathy for the victims, it was a failure. Chastain is noticeably uncomfortable in the first of such instances (much less so, if at all, later on), but even then I, and those watching with me, didn't feel unease at all. And why should we? I know I've debated this issue at times very heatedly with folks like my friend Steve Newton; my stance hasn't changed. I often think of films like Taken when "enhanced interrogation" of terrorists is discussed. Why are films like the Liam Neeson actioner so damn popular? Would you do what Neeson did (given the skills) to rescue your own flesh and blood? I would. Most everyone I know would. Then why would you hesitate to discomfort a few barbaric individuals whose only goal in life is to kill as many "infidels" as possible?
(h/t: The Watcher)
Guess who's demanding a meeting with the A&E network to discuss the Phil Robertson "incident?" You got it -- Jesse Jackson. The long-time race hustler was miffed at Robertson's [admittedly moronic] statement "about blacks being happy in the south prior to the civil rights movement." Jackson also claimed that the Duck Dynasty star's comment was more offensive than what the bus driver told Rosa Parks in Montgomery, Alabama some 59 years ago.
Naturally, Jackson's demands/remarks would carry a lot more weight if he hadn't uttered some real [racial] whoppers himself over the years.
Mikhail Kalashnikov has passed away at age 94. The AK-47 stands for "Automatic Kalashnikov Model 1947," which I did not know until reading this article.
Here's Clint Eastwood explaining the AK-47 in a nutshell:
Most science fiction deals with the future, obviously, hence the "fiction" part. In scifi literature, TV and movies, some future timelines appear more ... "realistic" than others. Notice I said "appear" because we are talking about science fiction. Older scifi efforts (like the original Star Trek) usually will appear more "dated" and hence, oft times, outright wrong.
So, first, let's take that of the original Star Trek (meaning, the original series and its spin-offs, not that of the two rebooted flicks). Here's a timeline of the "future" Trek history. The earliest stuff (that is, 20th-21st century), natch, is already incorrect. For instance, there was no interstellar probe launched in 2002, not to mention no Eugenic Wars which spawned the notorious Khan. However, a lot of the remaining timeline seems fairly feasible, especially since it was established in Star Trek: First Contact and the series Enterprise that Earth had the assistance of Vulcan. I do, however, have a beef with how quickly Earth was able to recover from its [largely nuclear] World War III and continue its scientific progress (which led to Zephram Cochrane's development of warp drive.).
I'm a huge fan of Larry Niven's "Known Space" universe which has, in the last few years, been updated with the "Fleet of Worlds" novels. Here's the Niven chronology. I think Larry has a very realistic outlook on the progress of human science; we're using fusion-powered interstellar ramscoops in the mid-24th century to travel between stars ... which takes years. And we'd still be using such if not for the intervention of an advanced species which sold us the secret of FTL (faster-than-light) travel.
What about Isaac Asimov's Robots/Empire/Foundation universe? Here's its timeline. Can humanity conquer the entire galaxy in 20,000 years? With the assistance of its robots (their actions are largely unknown to humans), why not? Only the early part of the timeline is unrealistic: we develop a "hyperatomic drive" by the mid-21st century and settle our first interstellar colonies by 2064. Ain't gonna happen.
The Alien-verse. According to this timeline of events, the supposedly omniscient Weyland Corporation discovers FTL travel in 2032 and begins practical application of it three years later with a spacecraft. Apparently this FTL tech did not lead to the elimination of the need for suspended animation, however (see: Alien, Aliens which occur in 2122 and 2179 respectively).
Then there's Snake Plissken's Escape From New York future. Somehow, in 1981, John Carpenter believed that in sixteen years Manhattan would be evacuated and turned into a maximum security prison. Oh, and that fusion power would be developed. (Remember that audio tape?)
1975's Rollerball (a classic, in my opinion) posited that nations no longer existed and corporations ran the planet ... by 2018. I think this could certainly happen at some point, just not four years from now.
In 12 Monkeys, time travel is invented some years after 1997, even after a virulent virus has eradicated most of humanity. Uh, right.
The 1993 flick Demolition Man thought that the ability to freeze a human cryogenically would exist in 1996.
The 1994 film Timecop predicted time travel by 2004. And you get to ride in a cool-looking vehicle to make a trip (see below).
1973's Soylent Green told us that by 2022 there'll be over 40 million people in New York City, food will be scarce and global warming will be out of control. Ahh, remember when people used to believe that Malthusian bullshit?
A book I started some time ago but set aside is John J. Lumpkin's Through Struggle, The Stars. I didn't set it aside because it was bad; other things occupied my interest, is all. Nevertheless, check out how many colonies various Earth nations have settled by 2139. Does this seem possible to you?
Lastly, how 'bout these which really blew it:
Probably the most appealing thing about Hitch is that you really never knew where he would come down on an issue. Thus, it was really hard to ever dislike the guy, even if he was vociferously against your own point-of-view on a matter. And c’mon -- anyone who mocks Bill Maher’s audience to their faces and then flips them off is 100% a-ok in my book.
Here is the Daily Caller’s top five Hitchens’ moments. I recall that Hitch also once took on (if you could call it that, considering the amount of intellectual effort Hitch has to expend) Al Sharpton in a debate about religion. Hitch was way too polite, and it was the only time I found myself rooting for an atheist over a believer in such a debate.
"Mandela had been imprisoned and maltreated for 27 years. Later, at his inauguration of President, he invited three guards who had abused him to attend. When he stood up and greeted them with respect, everyone at present and even the whole world became silent. He said, 'As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison.'"
Anyone recall this local (Delaware) story about a family's ... "determination" to keep a basketball hoop up near their house despite it being in violation of state "Free Zone" law? Well, the whole dispute has been settled:
Many of the [McCafferty's] lawsuit’s counts were dismissed by Brady early on and the case had been narrowed to claims about retroactive and selective enforcement of the state’s “clear zone” law and if DelDOT employees had immunity from suit.
Brady found that DelDOT employees, who were doing their jobs, did have immunity and that warning letters sent by DelDOT months earlier satisfied the need for due process. The judge also ruled that the “clear zone” law is safety-related and that enforcement of safety laws cannot be challenged as improperly “retroactive.”
As for selective enforcement, Brady wrote that in order to prevail on that claim, the enforcement must “shock the conscience” of the court.
“Though the court would rather have seen this matter resolved differently, its conscience is not shocked. The intrusion was minimal (relative to the standards for ‘shocking the conscience’), and the mandate and purpose of the statute is clear and persuasive,” wrote Brady, adding that seven other similar basketball poles were removed that day.
Well there you go. Seven other b-ball poles removed the same day, yet the McCaffertys claimed "selective enforcement." Doesn't seem very "selective" to me.
Just like our illustrious president whose words are, well, just that, on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy some "real" journalists at those "real" news outlets are doing same: Blathering with a lot of words, but nothing of substance. Case in point: The NY Times and San Francisco Chronicle are taking to blaming ... the Right for the killing of our 35th president. Yep, conservatives. Despite the fact that the killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, was a Communist.
Here's Joe Garofoli of the Chronicle:
The authors describe how the intense anti-Kennedy atmosphere in Dallas at that time created a "hothouse" where an unstable, malleable loner like assassin Lee Harvey Oswald could germinate.
But historian Michael Lind said it is "nonsense" that the atmosphere in Dallas allowed Oswald to surface.
"His communism had nothing to do with his location. He had just moved to Dallas," said Lind, the co-founder of the New America Foundation and author of "Made in Texas: George W. Bush and the Southern Takeover of American Politics."
That aside, Lind said, "The radical right has always been there for the last 50 years. It just never had a national presence. Now it does."
See? Oswald's communism was irrelevant. He was just "overcome" by the "radical rightist" atmosphere permeating Dallas at the time. (Lind, by the way, is fairly well known as a revisionist historian. No kidding.)
Likewise, here's the NY Times' Manny Hernandez:
In the early 1960s, a small but vocal subset of the Dallas power structure turned the political climate toxic, inciting a right-wing hysteria that led to attacks on visiting public figures.
Lee Harvey Oswald was a Marxist and not a product of right-wing Dallas. But because the anti-Kennedy tenor came not so much from radical outcasts but from parts of mainstream Dallas, some say the anger seemed to come with the city’s informal blessing.
Meaning, just like liberal politicians (and the MSM) have done predictably for the last 50+ years, those nasty conservatives "created" an ambiance of hate which "provoked" a guy like Oswald to do what he did. Even though he was a left-wing Marxist. Just like Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were "victims" of guys like Rush Limbaugh, according to Bill Clinton. Like how just about every killer on a rampaging mass shooting can, beyond all reason, be linked to talk radio, Fox News, the Tea Party (this may be the most classic example), and/or the Republican Party. Not to mention there's the race angle, perpetuated by dolts like Chuck Rangel who most recently said that "there’s a Confederate general in every damn [Republican] living room." Y'know, despite the fact that it was the Democratic Party that led the secessionist movement prior to the Civil War, and was the GOP which promoted the abolition of slavery.
The revisionism continues today with Democrats -- (rightfully) embarrassed by their past -- attempting to promote the idea that the two major political parties "have done a 180" on [minority] civil rights. It's ridiculous. What's the old saying? "Say a lie enough and it becomes truth?" Don't let it happen.
I want you to view this video again. And again, if need be. It's since been revealed that the administration knew this clearly wasn't the case. Your typical average American would call this a "lie."
Rewind back to 2002: Then-President G.W. Bush claimed that Saddam Hussein's Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and this was the major -- but not the only -- reason his administration used to justify a US invasion. Despite echoing exactly what numerous Democrats had said not very long prior, Bush was accused by Democrats of "lying" when US forces turned up no (or outdated) WMD in Iraq. I think Scott Monje pretty much encapsulates my view about the whole Iraq mess during Bush's two terms. It wasn't that Pres. Bush lied about WMD; it's that after Sept. 11, 2001, he and his administration were going to use any and every excuse to once and for all stop Saddam from f***ing around with us and the UN. Questionable intel was overlooked or ignored. Do I exonerate Mr. Bush for the invasion? Absolutely not. But besides him selectively choosing the best intel to "make his case," again I ask: Why would Bush "lie" knowing American forces would find zilch WMD? This makes no sense. It's as if W had a presidential suicide wish.
Or, to put it more succinctly, Bush made a [big] mistake.
But nothing will ever convince hardcore moonbats of this. Yet, they'll make every excuse in the book for Pres. I-Don't-Knowbama's outright falsehood about keeping your health insurance if you want to ... among [many?] other things. I wonder if the LGOMB's "El Somnambulo," for instance, will ever change his avatar from a pic of Pres. Bush holding up a prison number, to one of Boss Obama doing same.
Cheeyeah, right. How silly of me. That'd be racist.
One problem I've always had with pundits and famous people is that a great many of them lose their sense when they get a modicum of fame. Bill O'Reilly used to be tolerable when he first started out but went around the bend when his show got popular. Now he loves himself so much he's unwatchable. One impossibly insufferable hypocrite for whom I've never had patience is Paul Krugman. The man who took money from Enron and then derided them later. The man who whinges endlessly about global warming and lives in a massive mansion and flys around on private jets. Carbon footprint? He needs a carbon bootprint on his ass. Anyway, this time Niall Ferguson gives chapter and verse in Krugman's lies, exaggerations, prevarications and self-aggrandizement.
Read the whole thing. Keep it handy next time someone cites him as some sort of prophet.
I happened -- purely by accident, but I'm glad -- to catch this PBS program last evening, and even for a well-seasoned comics guy, I thought it was quite entertaining. It's divided into three parts, basically dividing the Comics Age into their three main segments: Golden, Silver and Bronze Age. I know less about the Golden Age than the others, and learned quite a few neat tidbits about it. For instance, at one point, 70 million comics were sold around World War II. At the time, that was half the American population! And, for GIs fighting abroad, comics were their reading material of choice!
I didn't enjoy the Silver Age as much, mainly because I knew just about everything presented. What was cool, however, were the "insider" nuggets offered up by guys like Jim Steranko (Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD) and Neal Adams during their stints in the late 60s and early 70s. Adams' recounting of a DC editor telling him and writer Denny O'Neil that he wanted Green Arrow and Green Lantern together in their own book -- because they both had "green" in their names -- was hysterical.
I fell asleep during the Bronze Age-present segment, but I'm certain I didn't miss much. The previews leading up to it showed a lot from the comicbook films from the last thirteen years or so, and I read that the "bubble" of the 1990s was discussed.
The entire program is available for free for a limited time at the link above.
Newsarama, not exactly known for making popular choices when it comes to their countdowns, has up a Top Ten Origin Stories for the superhero set. Their list follows. If there's a strikethrough, it means I'd replace it with what's written.
GREEN ARROW THE VISION. In 1968 Marvel made numerous connections to its past, recent and distant, with the addition to the Avengers with the "synthozoid" Vision. Created by the evil robot Ultron-5 from the inert android body of the Original Human Torch and imbued with the brain patterns of the deceased Wonder Man, Vizh went on to become one of the most popular Avengers of all-time. Some of his best stories take place during Steve Englehart's Earth's Mightiest run in the mid-late 1970s.
9. GREEN LANTERN.
IRON MAN DAREDEVIL. Should be on the list for its ingenuity. A canister full of radioactive materials (OK, using radiation to explain superpowers ain't that original) falls from a truck and smacks Matt Murdock -- who was busy saving an old man from being hit by the truck -- right in the kisser. What's original is what comes next: Matt is struck blind, but his other senses become heightened to such a magnified degree that, acting in unison, they more than make up for the loss of vision.
7. FANTASTIC FOUR. Their origin is yet another testament to the "miraculous" nature of radioactivity; however, one has to take into account the utter dopiness factor in Reed Richards' taking Sue and Johnny Storm along for the trip. Like, what purpose did they serve? At least Ben Grimm was a pilot. And, how was it so damn easy to sneak aboard a rocket??
CAPTAIN AMERICA THE HULK. How can the updated version of Jekyll and Hyde not be on this list? If you're not old enough to remember, the Hulk was originally gray, and Bruce Banner only turned into the monster when the sun set. These both didn't last long, just as Jade Jaws' original run didn't. It only made it to six issues. However, he got new life in Tales to Astonish, and eventually his own book again. All that said, anyone but Bruce Banner dies instantly when getting caught in the explosion of a gamma bomb.
CAPTAIN MARVEL/SHAZAM SUPERMAN. Newsarama has Supes at #3; we knock him down a peg for the bit of unoriginality in his origin. I mean, c'mahn -- how easy is it to make a super strong guy just by claiming he's from another planet?
X-MEN CAPTAIN AMERICA. The mutants shouldn't be on the list because let's face it -- their "origin," such that it is, is lame. They're born with their powers. That's doesn't require a lot of thought. On the other hand, Cap's classic origin still resonates today: A wholesome, just plain good guy (Steve Rogers) is the epitome of a 98 lb. weakling, but is selected to test a new "super soldier" serum. It works. And the rest, as they say ...
SUPERMAN IRON MAN. What does it take to change the essence of a man? In Tony Stark's case, being taken hostage and being on the brink of death. The updated origin is as good as the original, maybe even better. Robert Downey Jr. in the 2008 film turned Shelhead into a Marvel marquee character, after perpetually being noted as a B-lister.
2. BATMAN. Much of what I said above can be applied here.
1. SPIDER-MAN. Easily #1 in my view, Peter Parker embodied "real life" for generations of teens (mostly boys) ... with the "slight" addition of having been bit by a -- what else? -- radioactive spider. But he let his new powers go to his head, and it came back to haunt him. His life was forever changed, ultimately for the gain of the greater good.
UPDATE: By the way, after I uploaded the image of Spidey's first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15, I noticed I had forgotten how silly the word balloons are on the cover. Like, why would Webhead state out loud what his secret ID is while carrying somebody within easy earshot??
Ace notes a few nuggets I had never known about Gene Roddenberry and his beloved Star Trek. Like, Gene never dug the idea for the best of all the Trek films, The Wrath of Khan. He did not want Spock to die at the end (OK, I can dig that), but he also had an issue with the "paramilitary" aspect of the film. Uhh, what? Hey dude, what about all those original series episodes featuring, y'know, Klingons ad Romulans which the Enterprise (and Starfleet) had to fight? Gene also wanted a plot he had pushed for years to be used: The 1701 going back to 1963 to the time of the Kennedy Assassination. This, in a movie.
OK, so let's consider this: Would Kirk and co. thwart Lee Harvey Oswald? What could you do that wouldn't make the flick hopelessly political? Would Roddenberry take an Oliver Stone-like tact and have the Enterprise discover Oswald wasn't really the shooter? If not, what would happen in the altered timeline? Would JFK end the Vietnam War before it really got rolling? Would the turmoil and social unrest of the late 1960s be no more?
No, to all of the above.
Like in what is considered the best episode of the original series, "City on the Edge of Forever," Kirk and crew would have had to ensure Kennedy's death to preserve the timeline. (Recall that in "Forever," Kirk and Spock had to "undo" McCoy's saving of Edith Keeler [Joan Collins] to prevent the Nazis from ultimately winning World War II.) The plot indeed used the Guardian of Forever from that episode. After "losing ships to V'Ger" (Star Trek: The Motion Picture), some Klingons discover the Guardian, and use it to jaunt back to 1963. Somehow, preventing JFK's assassination results in the Klingons dominating our portion of the galaxy by the 23rd century. (I'd love to hear the explanation for that.) William Shatner noted that the plot's climax "would find Spock standing on a grassy knoll in Dallas, firing that infamous `phantom shot'... thereby guaranteeing a brighter future for all of mankind." The film also would have included Kirk vociferously trying to persuade Kennedy about his mission, and the president touring the Enterprise. Paramount nixed the idea, obviously. I mean, preventing the death of one of the country's most popular leaders leads to a dystopic future? That wouldn't exactly have sat well with a lot of Americans.
Roddenberry apparently was distraught at the rejection; he tried to get the plot approved for ST III and then ST IV, but no dice. (Ironically, ST IV involved time travel, but instead of allowing JFK to be killed, Kirk saved a couple of whales.)
Hey, I'm a huge time travel fan, and I have to admit I kind of like this idea. The problem with it is (was), it certainly wasn't original. "City of the Edge of Forever" was way too similar -- Kirk having to allow a death, and a very unpopular one at that, to preserve the timeline. No doubt it would have been Trek-gastic to see Kirk and Kennedy chum around and the latter strolling through the Enterprise, but as noted above, how would the Klingons know that allowing JFK to live would ensure their dominance some 300 years later? If anything, it seems like his death logically would result in that as the former president was very pro-space program. Kennedy's challenge to land on the moon by the end of the 60s was met despite his death in 1963; does anyone think it wouldn't have been had he lived?
From David French:
Within moments the most horrific images of 9/11 were scrubbed from our televisions, and within hours the academic-thought police began its vigilant lookout for Islamophobia.
The result? Twelve years later our national and even military policies are shot-through with heartbreaking and inexcusable naïveté (the stories of our misguided rules of engagement in Afghanistan, for example, are infuriating), and the result is more suicide bombings, burning churches, public beheadings, and — just last year — a savage attack on a diplomatic outpost left vulnerable in part because of that same naïveté. In some quarters — mainly in the academy and mainstream media — truth is treated as virtual hate speech, and we can’t bring ourselves to acknowledge evil.
Hey, everyone remember in the early 2000s how the Left pointed to this photo of Don Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein back during the [early days of the] Reagan administration ... and how this was supposed to show how hypocritical he was for now pushing us into a war with the guy? Even though the pic was taken twenty years prior?
Well golly, look at this. And this. Yep, that's then-House Majority leader Nancy Pelosi courting Syria honcho Bashir Assad in ... 2007. And now-Secretary of State John "Dick Tracy Villain" Kerry and his wife dining with Assad ... in 2009. Indeed, Kerry met with the guy at least six times over recent years, and spent a lot of that same time period trying to convince everyone that we judged Assad "too harshly." Now, Kerry is comparing him to Hitler and -- wait for it! -- Saddam Hussein, and invoking the Holocaust.
But just remember, dammit -- Kerry won three Purple Hearts, the Bronze Star and Silver Star. How dare anyone question him.
From Jim Geraghty's e-mailed "Morning Jolt" -- it so perfectly describes President Lemon's administration to a tee:
As we await Congress's decision on authorizing the use of U.S. military force in Syria, Democrats are suddenly realizing that their foreign-policy brain-trust completely misjudged the world.
Being nicer to countries like Russia will not make them nicer to you. The United Nations is not an effective tool for resolving crises. Some foreign leaders are beyond persuasion and diplomacy. There is no "international community" ready to work together to solve problems, and there probably never will be.
You can pin this on Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Susan Rice, but most of all, the buck stops with the president. Those of us who scoffed a bit at a state senator ascending to the presidency within four years on a wave of media hype and adoration are not quite so shocked by this current mess. We never bought into this notion that getting greater cooperation from our allies, and less hostility from our enemies, was just a matter of giving this crew the wheel and letting them practice, as Hillary Clinton arrogantly declared it, "smart power." (These people can't even label a foreign-policy approach without reminding us of how highly they think of themselves.) They looked out at the world at the end of the Bush years, and didn't see tough decisions, unsolvable problems, unstable institutions, restless populations, technology enabling the impulse to destabilize existing institutions, evil men hungry for more power, and difficult trade-offs. No, our problems and challengers were just a matter of the previous hands running U.S. foreign policy not being smart enough.
Read the rest of this spot-on gem here.
Well, what else would you expect from the wisher of death upon Republicans? In this ... predictable post, Delaware Dunce blames George W. Bush for the current administration's inability to intervene in Syria, and notes that if Al Gore had been allowed to serve as president (since he "really" won the 2000 election), Bush/Iraq fatigue wouldn't even be manifested now, and attacking Syria would be much more palatable. And DD would be for intervening now.
... conveniently forgetting about the concentration camps.
UPDATE: Oh look -- ultra-dolt Chris Matthews of MSNBC said the same thing!
Just a refresher: Here's what candidate [Boss] Obama said in 2008: “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”
Does Syria's use of chemical weapons qualify?
As always, it's amazing how quickly positions change depending on the power a political party wields. Boss Obama is contemplating unilateral action (that is, without Congress's approval) against Syria, and he has loyal columnists to back him up. This, despite popular approval for such action of less than 10%.
Steve Newton makes the much more eloquent case about all this (sans the bit about atomic weapons, FWIW).
What was the last big/important thing you changed your mind about? What made you change your mind?
Via the WaPo:
The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, according to an internal audit and other top-secret documents.
Most of the infractions involve unauthorized surveillance of Americans or foreign intelligence targets in the United States, both of which are restricted by statute and executive order. They range from significant violations of law to typographical errors that resulted in unintended interception of U.S. e-mails and telephone calls.
The documents, provided earlier this summer to The Washington Post by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, include a level of detail and analysis that is not routinely shared with Congress or the special court that oversees surveillance. In one of the documents, agency personnel are instructed to remove details and substitute more generic language in reports to the Justice Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
In one instance, the NSA decided that it need not report the unintended surveillance of Americans.
Boss Obama's response?
(Image/caption h/t to the e-mailed "Morning Jolt.")
Last week, 10 checks totaling $3,764.61 were delivered to ex-prosecutor Steven Pagones — the first payments Brawley has made since a court determined in 1998 that she defamed him with her vicious hoax.
A Virginia court this year ordered the money garnisheed from six months of Brawley’s wages as a nurse there.
She still owes Pagones $431,000 in damages. And she remains defiantly unapologetic.
I'm sure she does. Because her mentor, Al Sharpton, remains likewise. In fact, if anything, the Brawley hoax helped his career immensely.
The funniest thing I'll always remember about this whole mess was Howard Stern constantly replaying a clip of Brawley trying to say "Nobody manipulates me or my family." She must have never seen/heard the second word for it came out as "manip-shnapes." It was one of the most hilarious Stern moments ever.
The former, whose highly regarded Ender's Game will shortly be released as a major motion picture starring Harrison Ford, is anathema to Hollywood types and is the subject of a rather large boycott effort. Why? As we've noted here several times, Card is a Mormon and outspoken opponent of homosexuality. Polanski is a highly regarded film director and producer who just happened to have brutally raped a 13 year-old girl in 1977. He subsequently fled the country and hasn't returned since. He was rewarded for this with myriad awards, including Academy Awards.
Angie Hartley pretty much nails it:
In 1977, Roman Polanski pleaded guilty to raping then 13-year-old Samantha Geimer inside the home of Jack Nicholson. Before his sentencing, he fled the country and has not returned to this day.
Geimer, who is releasing a memoir in September about the attack, has expressed forgiveness of Polanski. In 2003, when her attacker was nominated for an Academy Award, she wrote in the L.A. Times:
I believe that Mr. Polanski and his film should be honored according to the quality of the work. What he does for a living and how good he is at it have nothing to do with me or what he did to me. I don't think it would be fair to take past events into consideration. I think that the academy members should vote for the movies they feel deserve it. Not for people they feel are popular.
If people including Samantha Geimer can look past the wrongs of Roman Polanski, why can't we also ignore the crazy bantering of Orson Scott Card? For gay rights activists, the crime Orson Scott Card committed isn't really a legal offense, but the wound is very fresh. It's wise to do whatever they can to bring attention to their cause, but it might be a bit of a stretch to reject a film with so many well-intentioned contributors for just one crazy, old sci-fi writer. Still, for a group like Geeks OUT, it means a lot to have so many science-fiction fans standing against something they might otherwise hold sacred.
I'm sure Hartley knows that the issue is a fundamental difference between "progressives" and classical liberals (modern conservatives). The former want to eradicate the latter, not just debate/argue with it. To the former, there are certain issues which, if violated, are much worse than actual crimes like Polanski's. Orson Scott Card's "violation" is one such example: Being an outspoken advocate against the gay agenda. But anally raping a minor? Yeah, it may have been rape, "but it wasn't 'rape-rape,'" in the words of Whoopi Goldberg. Hell, we see this with our current administration and, of course, the mainstream media, too. Boss Obama and company tiptoe around [accurate] terminology like "War on Terror," "Radical Islamists" and the like, but there's never any vacillation when it comes to using harsh language against domestic political and cultural opponents. Never. (Here's a recent example. Here's another.)
To be sure, I abhor Card's past screeds against gays and find his recommendations quite dangerous if there were actually any way to implement them. And, I've no problem with any group or individual who wishes to nix seeing Ender's Game because of this. Or, any group or individual who wishes to boycott anything out of some strong conviction. But DON'T pretend that you modern "progressives" and Hollywood types occupy some moral high ground. Because you don't. Not at all. Even on iota. You make excuses for people like Roman Polanski, praise him, and bestow awards upon him. He RAPED a 13 year-old girl!
I'll never forget the one Academy Awards show (it was 1999 -- I just checked) when the Academy [remarkably] gave Elia Kazan a Lifetime Achievement Award. Why do I say "remarkably?" Because in one non-hypocritical moment, Hollywood bestowed an honor on a guy who was/is a cultural enemy. Kazan had named names back in the day -- Communists in Hollywood during the so-called "Red Scare" of the early 1950s. During the 1999 presentation, many of those in attendance remained seated and silently mouthed opposition. Among those I remember were Nick Nolte and Ed Harris. (One who bucked the trend and even gave a standing O to Kazan was Warren Beatty.) Yep. Those two, and many others, perfectly exemplified the above mentioned "political/cultural" hatred of [fellow American] enemies to a tee. They were still livid at what Kazan did half a century prior, and to which Kazan had stated was "only the more tolerable of two alternatives that were either way painful and wrong." But that doesn't matter to "progressives" in the poli-culture wars.
Always keep this post in the back of your mind the next time a Hollywood type/modern "progressive" lectures us all about some "moral" issue.
... and why the New Media is so important. Check out this screed from Media Matters from May 2011:
Proving once again that there's no standard by which many mainstream media outlets are willing to hold sloppy propagandist Andrew Breitbart, CNN this afternoon invited the discredited blogger on the air to discuss the Rep. Anthony Weiner (NY- D) Twitter story.
Conveniently setting aside the fact that virtually every attack campaign that Breitbart has launched in recent years has collapsed under the weight of modest scrutiny, CNN presented the fatuous blogger as some sort of expert who could walk people through the Weiner story, which he's been hyping for days. (The whole right-wing blogosphere launched itself into a creepy tizzy over the holiday weekend regarding the story.)
Some people who are economically illiterate and keep thinking we can tax and spend our way out of this mess should, perhaps, read this:
Tim Hortons Inc. is returning to the land of hockey, where seemingly every street corner houses, well, a Tim Hortons.
Tims, the coffee and doughnuts icon, is currently incorporated in the United States, but it's returning to its Canadian roots to take advantage of falling corporate tax rates.
See? Capital has legs. It will move the the most advantageous place. There's a reason offshore banking havens exist. There's a reason Texas is kicking the ever loving crap out of California in the job creation department. There's a reason mainland China looks more like Hong Kong than the other way around.
Government spending is a drag on economic activity. That is true whether it is a person or a corporation.
Regulation is a drag on economic activity. That is true whether is is a person or a corporation.
Neither of these statements is in dispute. Rather, whether or not they are proper or necessary is the argument.
I'm a fan of This American Life podcast. Yes, it frequently veers into leftwing politics but one thing that amazed me. They polled a dozen or so of the top economists in the country to create a consensus of the best economic ideas to create the ultimate centrist candidate. The one thing they all agreed on: Eliminate corporate taxes.
NBC's (the network largely responsible for the racial shenanigans in the Zimmerman/Martin trial) Andrea Mitchell earlier this morning claimed Boss Obama was a "moral leader" in his Friday remarks on the case, stating he "taught white people in America — those who were unaware — what it is like to be a black male."
Indeed. And Mitchell's network, especially its white "progressive" anchors, loves to lecture us all on just that. Perhaps it's to assuage their very own racial guilt:
On a warm weekday evening in 2003, a group that can fairly be described as representative of the media elite gathered at one if its favored venues: the garden behind the Manhattan apartment of journalists Tina Brown and Harold Evans.
The occasion was the publication of "The Clinton Wars," by Sidney Blumenthal, a former aide to President Bill Clinton. Editors from the New Yorker and the New York Times were in attendance along with media figures like Steven Brill and Rolling Stone co-founder Jann Wenner. The guests mingled and sipped wine. Even Clinton showed up, instantly becoming the epicenter of attention.
I had not been invited but attended the event as the "plus one" of political columnist Eric Alterman, who wrote about the party in The Guardian on Thursday. At the time, I was a freelance journalist not yet employed by The Wall Street Journal. Eager for an opportunity to find a good story or meet an editor who might give me work, I accepted Alterman's invitation to join him at an event littered with literati.
Standing by myself I noticed, on the periphery of the party, a man looking as awkward and out-of-place as I felt. I approached him and introduced myself. He was an Illinois state senator who was running for the U.S. Senate. He was African American, one of a few black people in attendance.
We spoke at length about his campaign. He was charismatic in a quiet, solemn way. I told him I wanted to pitch a profile of him to a national magazine. (The magazine later rejected my proposal.)
The following year I watched as he gave the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, and then won his Senate seat that fall. On Tuesday, Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States.
But what I will always remember is as I was leaving that party in 2003, I was approached by another guest, an established author. He asked about the man I had been talking to. Sheepishly he told me he didn't know that Obama was a guest at the party, and had asked him to fetch him a drink. In less than six years, Obama has gone from being mistaken for a waiter among the New York media elite, to the president-elect.
Whaaa ... how can this be? Look at who was in attendance at this gig: Tina Brown and Harold Evans, Sidney Blumenthal, Steven Brill, Jann Wenner and Eric Alterman. As Jim Geraghty notes in his Morning Jolt today:
Liberals all, and I'm sure that all of those folks would consider themselves not only not racist, but particularly enlightened to the plight of minorities in modern America.
One of the reasons that discussions about race relations in the United States are so tiresome is that the tone is often, "I'm not racist, but you people are racist, and you people are the problem." Yet here we have a gathering of some of our most prominent and influential media voices, a crowd that undoubtedly would claim to be our society's smartest, most progressive, most enlightened, most open-minded, and most free from prejudice. And a future president of the United States gets mistaken for a waiter.
This is a perfect illustration of why you should turn around and walk away if/when you're being lectured to about race by a self-proclaimed "progressive." That is, after you laugh in their face and point out how condescending and paternalistic he/she is ... not to mention possibly racist as well.
SEMI-RELATED: Boss Obama voted to strengthen Illinois's "Stand Your Ground" law in 2004.
Scott says he acted in self defense when he confronted Cervini and two others saying they were stealing from neighbors cars. He told them he had a gun and ordered them to freeze and wait for police.
Scott says he shot Cervini twice when the victim charged toward him yelling he was going to get Scott.
But check it: Scott is a (self-identified*) black man. [Christopher] Cervini was (self-identified*) white.
Be sure to read through the entire [four year-old] article. It sounds amazingly like the whole Zimmerman-Martin affair. It didn't get any national coverage 1) because it doesn't fit the NarrativeTM, and 2) won't get coverage now for the same reason -- namely that, in Zimmerman's case, if he was black, he'd have been found guilty.
Because -- you guessed it! -- nobody demanded it, it's time for yet another Hube culture-oriented list, this time a subject which gets the hackles up on "progressives" (ex. 9/11 Truthers) and conservatives (ex. Birthers) alike: Conspiracies. In no particular order:
ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN (1976). So good it keeps me watching every time it's on, stars Dustin Hoffman and (ultra-lib) Robert Redford play Washington Post reporters Bernstein and Woodward who slowly uncover what happened during Watergate.
CAPRICORN ONE (1978). There's still a whole cottage industry on the 'net dedicated to moon landing conspiracies; this flick plays on that as government entities nab three astronauts from their rocket moments before the first manned launch to Mars, and convince them they need to stage the whole deal. (Budget cuts play a big role, go figure.) The trio realize, after acting out their parts, that the gov. can't afford to let them live, so they steal a jet to escape. Unfortunately, it's almost out of gas; sas such, they crash land in the desert, separate, and the chase is on! OJ Simpson is one of the astronauts, and Elliot Gould is the reporter who pieces together the truth. Many other stars abound in this flick including James Brolin, Sam Waterston, Telly Savalas and Hal Holbrook.
NO WAY OUT (1987). Guaranteed to elicit big "WTF???"s when the "secret" is revealed, Kevin Costner, Gene Hackman and Sean Young star in this political thriller. Hackman is the Secretary of Defense who accidentally kills a lady friend ... who Costner has also been seeing. To help cover his tracks, Hackman invents the story that a Russian mole killed her. Major "WTF"s ensue. Will Patton (Falling Skies) is great as Hackman's loyal aide.
J.F.K. (1991). Star Kevin Costner plays Jim Garrison, the Big Easy district attorney who takes it upon himself to prove that the Warren Commission conclusions about President Kennedy's death were so much bullsh**. I actually include this on the list because if you manage to stay awake for all the three-plus hours of the film, you deserve kudos. I managed to make it on my third viewing, the first complete one.
SEVEN DAYS IN MAY (1964). Ever wonder if our military guys planned a coup right here in the U.S. of A.? This flim will scare the beejeebees out of you, then. Burt Lancaster plays the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who plans to oust the president (Fredric March). Kirk Douglas plays a Lancaster underling who blows the whistle. The scene where Lancaster and March confront each other is classic.
MINORITY REPORT (2002). In 2054 a trio a psychics called "precogs" (for "precognition") are the basis for a new police unit: "Precrime." In other words, they'll stop the crime before it's ever committed. The unit's chief, Tom Cruise, unearths a frightening truth about the unit's origins, and is then framed. Great evilly deviousness by Max Von Sydow.
VALKYRIE (2008). Speaking of Tom Cruise, one of his better roles is in this flick where he plays a disillusioned Nazi officer during WWII who joins the [very true] conspiracy to kill Adolf Hitler. Unfortunately, it didn't work out.
BLUE THUNDER (1983). Helicopter pilot Roy Scheider discovers a plot by -- who else? -- the government to use a highly sophisticated new chopper for "the quelling" of domestic disturbances. Malcolm McDowell is the gov. agent who tries to stop him. Great urban aerial battle scenes.
SOYLENT GREEN (1973). One outta two predictions ain't bad. Global warming leads to food shortages (that's the "one") and overpopulation (the "missed one") exascerbates it. Police guy Chuck Heston stumbles upon a conspiracy that the Soylent Corp. is making its new "Soylent Green" outta ... people. Yummy.
THEY LIVE (1988). "First World" aliens have been using Earth as their "Third World" for decades. Roddy Piper discovers the secret via a special set of sunglasses. Still wondering how the aliens could whisk someone away at faster-than-light but couldn't safely protect their cloaking transmission.
In honor of the upcoming Man of Steel and as an homage to the terrific io9 scifi site's "12 Weirdest Moments From Superman: The Movie," 'ol Hube is doing his very own list. Why? You guessed it -- because no one demanded it, natch.
1) Goofy Powers. Everyone I knew guffawed when Supes tossed that "S" from his chest at the bruiser, Non, in his Fortress of Solitude. What was that -- Kryptonian cellophane? And that white beam from the Kryptonians' fingers which did, well, pretty much whatever they wanted? Whaaa ...? And don't get me started on Clark's kiss on Lois which caused her to forget! COME ON!!
2) Zod kicks an astronaut; guy barely moves. When Zod, Ursa and Non are freed from the Phantom Zone and land on our moon, they terrorize a few astronauts who are there. Check out when Zod picks up the one -- he kicks him ... but the astronaut merely floats away. With Zod's new yellow sun-induced superpowers and the moon's low gravity, that astronaut should have at least reached escape velocity! After all, a few seconds before, Ursa did pretty much that. Check out the effect of Zod's lame boot:
3) How did the Phantom Zone Trio reshape Mt. Rushmore in, like, two seconds? You tell me, 'cause it's stupid:
4) What super hearing? In the climactic battle in the Fortress of Solitude -- when Zod and co. hold the upper hand (and Lois hostage) -- Superman begins whispering to Luthor (who Zod had ordered killed, again -- more on that in a moment) about "getting them all into this molecule chamber." Uh, wait a second: How is it remotely possible that Zod and crew can't hear every word Supes is saying? (Not to mention how Supes would forget that Zod, et. al., could hear him?)
Speaking of which ...
5) Why do Zod and co. just stand around while Superman and Luthor chat (whisper) to one another? What are they doing? Notice that even the mute Non sorta motions to Luthor while he heads over to Supes in a "Hey, wait a minute" sorta way:
6) Why does Luthor continue to court Zod's "goodwill" after the villain orders his death several times? Seriously. I know Luthor is a maniacal genius psychopath, but there are at least three times Zod orders him killed (the White House, the Daily Planet, Fortress of Solitude) yet Lex is still there trying to wheel and deal with the general. Lex had remarked at the attack on the Daily Planet building that "Ya'd think with all this accumulated knowledge these guys would learn to use a doorknob;" one would think Lex would get the hint that Zod couldn't care less about him, any deals notwithstanding.
7) Dad didn't teach Kal-El very well in those twelve years. Ah, yes -- the 'ol diner scene where a bully trucker kicks the sh** out of a recently depowered Clark Kent. OK, I'll easily buy that the trucker is now stronger; however, what did Jor-El teach his son in those dozen years leading to adulthood? You mean to tell me there wasn't at least one course in fighting techniques and/or self-defense? And if you're thinking that Jor-El probably skipped those lessons because his son is invulnerable on Earth, keep in mind that Clark tells Lois (in the diner, too) that "They knew." Meaning, his parents knew about the potential threat from Zod and co. (and perhaps others).
8) Young kid climbs over rail at Niagara Falls, no one cares. OK, yeah, the mom of this moron won't win any parenting awards, but what about the public in general? Was this Apathy Day in Canada or something? Not to mention -- what kid is this fearless that he'd do something like this?? Lastly, is there a strange gravity gradient or something at the US-Canada border that causes people to fall a lot slower than normal? The kid would'a hit the drink long before Supes got there if there was real gravity.
9) Best winter garb: Thin Members Only jacket and penny loafers. Right after the above-mentioned diner scene, Clark tells Lois he has to go back (to the North Pole) to see if there's some way to regain his powers. So what does he do? He walks there ... with the clothes he's wearing at the moment.
10) Zod's heat vision has problems with tankers. After zapping a few cars with his heat vision -- cars which instantly blow up (despite Zod not even having a line-of-sight to their gas tanks), it suddenly takes the General what, a good thirty seconds to attempt to blow up the fuel tank on that tanker??
11) How does a snake bite hurt Ursa? After she, Zod and Non land on the Planet "Hooston," she picks up a rattlesnake to check it out. Like any such snake would, it promptly bites her ... and she reacts in pain! Like ... why? She just got through traveling through the vacuum of space, yet a mere snakebite causes her to wince. Uh huh.
12) "We used to play this game as a kid." In the final battle at the North Pole, Supes inexplicably creates duplicates of himself to confuse Zod and crew. One of these doppelgangers tells Lois "We used to play this game in school; he was never really good at it." I used to think Supes was talking about himself here, y'know, as in here on Earth with his [human] friends. But no -- he's preposterously referring to him and Zod ... as in back on Krypton. Did the producers ever bother to watch the first film? Supes (Kal-El) was an infant on Krypton, and was promptly launched into space by his pop when the planet was about to blow up. Zod was an adult who was caught and sentenced to eternity in the Phantom Zone alongside Ursa and Non. YEESH.
Lindsey Grudnicki details the brazen hypocrisy. Here's a taste:
1. December 15, 2005, Senate floor statement on the PATRIOT Act:
This is just plain wrong. Giving law enforcement the tools they need to investigate suspicious activity is one thing – and it’s the right thing – but doing it without any real oversight seriously jeopardizes the rights of all Americans and the ideals America stands for.
2. February 16, 2006, Senate floor statement on the PATRIOT Act Reauthorization:
Soon after the PATRIOT Act passed, a few years before I ever arrived in the Senate, I began hearing concerns from people of every background and political leaning that this law didn’t just provide law enforcement the powers it needed to keep us safe, but powers it didn’t need to invade our privacy without cause or suspicion.
I reiterate: How can we believe anything from this inept administration ever again?
Considered one the classic Silver Age/Bronze Age stories in Marvel history, "The Secret Empire" from the early 1970s in the pages of Captain America had the star-spangled hero on the trail of a "high government official," and led to Cap resigning his role for a time. Writer Steve Englehart used Watergate as the basis for his tale (in 1973, mind you, at least six months before Richard Nixon resigned), and the connections were less than subtle in most cases. For example, there was the Committee to Regain America's Principles (C.R.A.P.) (instead of C.R.E.E.P. -- the Committee to Re-Elect the President), and the devious Quentin Harderman (instead of H.R. Haldeman).
As I noted here, Englehart said about his story "I could not see any way that a character named Captain America could not react to something like Watergate." About which I tweeted this morning: "I wonder if any comics writers out there would be brave enough to have Capt. America fight the Secret Empire again ... but this time with Barack Obama as Number One?" Y'know, because of a little thing like the IRS under his watch is going after political enemies? Because Obama's Justice Dept. is snooping at reporters' phone records ... and even the Capitol? Because the administration concocted a totally phony story to blame for an attack on one of our embassies?
Think there'll be any takers? Who wants to be the one creator to really go out on a limb? Y'know, instead of taking the easy, PC and let's-pat-ourselves-on-the-back route like this. Or this. Or this. Or this. Etc.
I won't hold my breath.
'Ol Dan Rather offered up a beefy defense of Boss Obama the other day on -- you guessed it -- The Chris Matthews Show:
All of these things we’ve said about what the president could do, should do, might have, could have, but the central thing to keep in mind is his opponents - you talk about taking them out to dinner, making nice with them - these people politically want to cut his heart out and throw his liver to the dogs. That does make it very, very difficult to come on nice to them.
If the current press corps showed even a fraction of the resolve you showed in the above instances (sans, of course, the fraud in the last example) towards Boss Obama, we might finally get some straight answers about things like Benghazi. Ironically, the only MSM outlet doing any real reporting on that issue (aside from Fox News) is CBS.
Here's an interesting group of anti-war posters from the 1930's. They are using the last war to turn public opinion against the next war. Interesting to see how much overlap there is between then and now.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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 early word on the US Supreme Court taking up the issue of gay "marriage" is that it is "wary" of making a "broad ruling" on the matter.
... during the argument, Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is considered a swing vote, raised concerns about the court entering "uncharted waters" on an issue that divides the states.
Kennedy even raised the prospect of the court dismissing the case, a relatively unusual move that would leave intact a federal appeals court ruling that had earlier struck down the California law, known as Proposition 8.
In a similar vein, Justice Samuel Alito also urged caution, noting that gay marriage, as a concept, is "newer than cellphones and the Internet."
None of the justices indicated support for the Obama administration's favored solution, which would strike down Proposition 8 and require the eight states that already recognize civil unions or domestic partnerships to allow gays and lesbians to marry.
Interesting in this debate are the fairly recent comments by left bloc SCOTUS Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who "has long harbored doubts about the ruling."
"It’s not that the judgment was wrong, but it moved too far, too fast,” she said last year at Columbia Law School.
Ginsburg has suggested that the Supreme Court in 1973 should have struck down only the restrictive Texas abortion law before it and left broader questions for another day. The analogous approach four decades later would be to strike down California’s ban on same-sex marriage but leave in place prohibitions in about 40 other states.
As I've argued here and elsewhere numerous times, I don't understand why gay Americans do not argue from a 14th Amendment equal protection angle -- that is, don't be hung up on the term "marriage;" argue that gays are entitled to the same governmental benefits as straight couples whether a state has defined the union as "marriage" or a "civil union." Overlawyered's Walter Olson makes much the same point today here.
Discussion-hindering comments like these aside, I think in 20-30 years not many people will care much about the issue. But if, like the author of the linked comments feels, gay "marriage" becomes defined as a "civil right," then automatically the religious beliefs of Catholics, many Protestants, Conservative and Orthodox Jews, and Muslims become "bigoted." And "bigoted" beliefs beget "discriminatory" actions. And this is then where the federal government could step in.
Don't think so? Well, we've already seen how our current administration wanted religious-based institutions to violate certain principles with regards to implementation of ObamaCare. And then consider something which I heard a caller to a pundit show mention -- an act of Congress which stood for almost 100 years: The Edmunds–Tucker Act. This was passed in response to the Mormon Church's stance on polygamy. Just check out the punitive federal actions against the LDS Church at the link.
Which brings me to an issue which I really have yet to get a decent response to from outspoken supporters of gay "marriage." That is, if the Supreme Court orders that two homosexuals are permitted to "marry," then why not other sorts of unions ... like the aforementioned polygamy, for instance? Less than two years ago a family planned to file a lawsuit challenging the [state] law against polygamy on -- wait for it -- 14th Amendment equal protection grounds. And consider what one of the judges who voted to overturn California's Proposition 8 said: “Gender no longer forms an essential part of marriage.” To which I asked,
... what is to prevent some judge from claiming "The number involved in a relationship no longer forms an essential part of marriage"? Or some other manifestation thereof?
Indeed. What would? And why not, supporters of gay "marriage?" Would you have an issue with such unions (like polygamy) being legal? Under equal protection grounds?
Or, how 'bout this: Should the government get out of the "business" of marriage altogether ... and leave it to churches or whatever?
Discovered this gem while searching Google for various items: It's a doctoral dissertation titled Comics and Conflict: War and Patriotically Themed Comics in American Cultural History From World War II Through the Iraq War.
Remember this man. Remember all who served and sacrificed.
Just as the crickets keep chirping in the MSM and locally here regarding the insanely preposterous 180s in which our president keeps engaging, Boss Obama minions keep falling in line by either outright contradicting themselves, or by outright lying. First we see gun grabber Diane Feinstein laughingly claiming that due to US drone strikes, "the number of civilian casualties from drones strikes 'each year has typically been in the single digits.'” Uh, yeah. Riiiiiight. And gas prices have fallen to a $1.50/gallon. A studey by Columbia University estimates that upwards of 155 civilians were killed in 2011 alone.
Elsewhere, John Brennan, Boss Obama's nominee to head the CIA, said in testimony the other day that
... waterboarding is “reprehensible” and “never should’ve taken place in my view." "As far as I’m concerned, waterboarding is something that never should’ve been employed,” Brennan told Senator Carl Levin, “and, as far I’m concerned, never will be if I have anything to do with it.”
Except that, y'know, he said just the opposite back in 2007:
... the practice was a useful means of gathering intelligence, but that it saved American lives. “There has been a lot of information that has come out from these interrogation procedures that the agency has, in fact, used against the real hard-core terrorists,” Brennan said. “It has saved lives.”
Wow. What's next? Obama stating that WMDs really were in Iraq? At this rate I wouldn't be the least bit surprised.
Here’s what [MSNBC's Touré] said about drone strikes back on December 20th, 2012, seven weeks ago:
Touré insisted that torture, and drone warfare, are not making America safer. Nor, he said, do those tactics provide defense officials with actionable intelligence. “It wrecks the soul of America,” Touré said.
Drone strikes aren’t making us safer. They wreck the soul of America.
Now that we’ve learned that the Obama administration is calling the killing of American citizens without due process “legal, ethical, and wise,” Toure has changed his tune.
TOURE NEBLETT: We’re at war with al Qaeda right now, and if you join al Qaeda, you lose the right to be an American. You lose the right to due process. You declare yourself an enemy of this nation, and you are committing treason. And I don’t see why we should expand American rights to people who want to kill Americans, who are working to kill Americans, who are committing treason. This is not criticizing the United States. This is going to war against the United States.
That is what you call “hackery.”
And, as RB at The Right Sphere notes, "I really like the part where Toure talks about expanding American rights to people who want to kill Americans. Because that’s what HE and his ilk wanted to do with the people we captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan and elsewhere."
When George W. Bush was president, I might add.
We might also note the insanely ridiculous hypocrisy of another bunch of moonbats on this matter, too. Merely check out idiot "El Somnambulo's" gravatar. Yep, still has it; if he changed it to Boss Obama, he'd not only be dubbed a racist, he'd be booted off that blog, without a doubt.
RELATED: Imagine the [mostly faux] outrage of the LGOMB if George Bush had ordered the drone strike which killed this 16 year-old American citizen. But since a Nobel "Peace" Prize winner has done it, it's all good! So, let's just keep talking about gun control, paths to citizenship for illegal immigrants, and green energy, all the while the economy continues to tank, and Obama makes George W. Bush look like Dennis Kucinich in comparison.
Via the LA Times: Many Occupy protesters well-off, white and educated, study says.
Of those sampled, the report said that more than 35% of participants made more than $100,000 a year; by contrast, an average of 24% of New York City residents make that much per year.
Sixty-seven percent of respondents were non-Latino white, compared to the average of 33% among New York City residents.
The survey may not be representative of the movement's heyday in the fall of 2011; by May, momentum had flagged and key supporters were looking beyond the "Occupy" label.
But the report's authors said, anecdotally, that "nearly all of those involved in the planning phase of [Occupy Wall Street] were college educated; they were also disproportionately white and male."
Of course, if we actually had a media in this country, reporters could have [easily] figured this out. No doubt they were too busy ignoring this reality because they were tending to fantasy stereotypes -- like those they wanted to portray about groups like the Tea Party.
Ilya Somin explains why richer-than-Mitt Romney John Kerry failed miserably to distinguish between the legality of Richard Nixon's bombing of Cambodia, and Boss Obama's bombing of Libya:
Kerry’s efforts to distinguish the two cases are far from successful. He claims that the Libya intervention was legal because of the need for swift, decisive action. But of course Nixon could and did make the same argument. Paul correctly points out that the Constitution gives the power to declare war exclusively to Congress and does not create any exceptions for cases where presidents believe that they need to act quickly. Moreover, as Allahpundit points out, the president actually had plenty of time to seek and gain congressional approval before he started the bombing, as he spent weeks mobilizing support from the United Nations, our European allies, and others.
Read the whole thing. Oh, and in case you're scratching your head about the title, lest ye forget.
As in Neville Chamberlain.
In his inaugural speech today, the president said the following:
We will support democracy from Asia to Africa, from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom. And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice. Not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes.
Not exactly the words world leaders should be fond of using. As Britain's Chamberlain said in 1938 after giving much of Czechoslovakia to Germany:
My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honor. I believe it is "peace for our time."
Hopefully, you know what followed.
... and the News Journal, as you would expect, lionizes Judge Murray Schwartz. Perhaps the singularly most laughable paragraph is this last one:
Whatever costs Judge Schwartz paid for his blind loyalty to the intent of the Constitution in public life, every Delawarean and future generations will be indebted to him for such a singular principled focus that continues to pay off in our public and private lives.
"Blind loyalty to the intent ...??!!" Riiiiiight. Schwartz was the epitome of an activist judge. Then-US Supreme Court Associate Justice William Rehnquist dubbed Schwartz's deseg plan "[a] remedy more Draconian than ever approved by this court." He continued:
"There is substantial doubt that the abolition of these 11 school districts is an appropriate equitable remedy for the interdistrict violation found by the courts." Previous high court rulings require changes "only to the extent necessary to cure the violation. Yet the district court has here treated a series of independent school districts as if they were a 'railroad in reorganization' without any attempt to comply with the (prior) requirements."
Indeed, as I noted way back in 2007, the state did attempt to comply with what the court(s) desired, only to be told "It's not good enough":
But [former News Journal Editor John] Taylor obviously didn't get together with others at his paper, for a month and a half prior, the News Journal printed a "desegregation timeline" which clearly notes "U.S. District Court rejects state desegregation plans and says plan must include Wilmington and its surrounding districts." (This was in 1976.) Then, in 1977, the timeline says "State devises plan for busing black students out of Wilmington." If memory serves (from past reading, and I was a middle school student in northern DE schools at the time), this was a voluntary busing plan that the state legislature devised. Nevertheless, Judge Schwartz rejected the 1977 plan.
Be sure to read that nearly six year-old post for information you'll never see in the pages of the News Journal, for it doesn't fit THE NARRATIVETM.
And how did Judge Schwartz's "singular principled focus" "pay off" for the children of New Castle County -- in particular for those whom he believed he was helping most? Answer: It didn't. Check it:
"... the black-white achievement gap remains large and steady despite many years of "ideal" racial balance.
"This gap is revealed in both national studies and in studies of individual school systems, and the gap exists regardless of the extent and duration of desegregation.
"Most importantly, unlike the time of Brown, there is no reasonable way that school segregation can be invoked as a primary cause of this achievement gap, nor is there any credible evidence that school desegregation -- in the form of racial balancing -- has diminished the gap to any important degree."
Ironically, again, state lawmakers back then utilized (or, attempted to utilize) an early form of what the entire state now has as law -- school choice -- as the remedy for desegregation. But that wasn't (and never is) sufficient for the social engineers among us.
Via Jonah Goldberg at The Corner:
Briefly sidelined by Sandy, FX’s The Americans started production in New York in December and gets a speedy launch on the network later this month.
The thriller, which stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as embedded Soviet spies in 1981 Washington, DC, made an appearance during Wednesday’s Television Critics Association winter press tour — and producers were quick to emphasize who viewers should be rooting for.
“It might be a little different to believe and get used to, but we want you to root for the KGB,” said EP Joel Fields. “They’re going to try to get the Soviets to win the Cold War.”
History knows they’re fighting a losing battle, but the creative team behind the high-profile launch expressed a confidence that more than enough time has passed for American audiences to not hold a grudge.
Really? What's next -- a show about a team of Nazis embedded within the Warsaw Ghetto in order to track down and murder even more European Jews during the 1930s-40s? Hasn't enough time passed to "not hold a grudge"?
Fields also said “If you tried to tell a story like this about al-Qaeda now, it would be impossible; no one would want to hear it.” How 'bout that? Yeah, maybe 30 years or so hence, we'll be treated to The Infidels, about a team of covert American Islamic jihadists planning major terror attacks within the US. It'll work -- we won't hold a grudge, right?
From the "You Gotta Be Jackin' Me!" files: MSNBC panel actually wonders if calling Boss Obama just "Obama" is -- wait for it! -- "disrespectful":
Yeah, I wonder if making the conscious "strategic" decision to not refer to the president as "President" back in 1992 by the Bill Clinton campaign was ... "disrespectful."
My awesome GF got me the book Marvel Comics: The Untold Story for Christmas, and I can't put it down. I'm about a third through it, and during a read session yesterday, the following section stuck out at me (for obvious reasons):
Meanwhile, the letters coming in were almost evenly split between support for the and opposition to the Vietnam War. It was fiscally advisable for Marvel to hedge, but there was strong criticism when the stories avoided social issues entirely. Stan Lee's middle-of-the-road liberalism was, in its own way, unmovable. He'd happily preach tolerance, but he was not going to get caught taking an unpopular stance. "I don't think we'll be sending him to Vietnam," Lee told a radio interviewer, when asked about plans for Captain America. "We treat these characters sort of tongue-in-cheek and we get a lot of laughs out of them, we have fun with them. I don't know if it's in good taste to take something as serious as the situation in Vietnam and put a character like Captain America ... we would have to start treating him differently and taking the whole thing more seriously, which we're not prepared to do."
Stan the Man wanted to use the Silver Surfer as his personal message board, in a way -- but the former herald of Galactus' "vaguely Judeo-Christian humanitarian sermons weren't doing the trick." At a comic convention, a fan asked Stan about Marvel's "waffling" on social issues:
"Our thinking," Lee resonded, "is that the pages of our comics magazines may not be the right place for getting too heavy handed with social messages of any sort. We may be wrong. Maybe we should come out more forcibly and maybe we will."
Book author Sean Howe then notes that the pages of Marvel books "finally became more explicit in its incorporation of specific current events ..." But Stan Lee pretty much made sure that no specific side was taken. And this is what I've ... "complained" about ad nauseum here about contemporary comics. The distinction, or "line," has long been crossed -- politically -- by modern comicbook scribes. And while I'm certain that this hasn't been the factor in declining comics sales (or probably even a major one), I do know many people that have been very turned off by it, and, like me, have ceased most comicbook purchases as a result. Long gone are the skillful subtlety of a Steve Englehart taking a dig at Richard Nixon and Watergate. Or of a Mark Gruenwald having Captain America give up the hero role because of governmental intrusion. And in these days of ever-increasing social media exposure, creators have hardly been less-than-outspoken about various issues ... and if you've been a fan, this, too, can easily turn you off if such commentary goes against your own beliefs. After all, why would you want to pay someone ... for insulting you? How does that make any sense?
Ah well. I've certainly written about this topic enough. But it sure was enlightening reading Marvel's main man's opinions on it, especially considering that there was a lot more political turmoil/upheaval in the mid-late 1960s.
By way of my "blogfather" John Rosenberg, Iowahawk notes that "a Briton is 5 times more likely to die from government health care than an American is to die from a gunshot.”
... there are “nearly 12,000 preventable deaths in hospitals in England every year.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were 11,493 firearms homicides in the U.S. in 2009, about the same number as deaths by hospital in Great Britain. Since the population of the U.S. is about five times greater than Great Britain’s 62 million, Iowahawk’s conclusion seems about right, if you substitute “die from a firearm homicide” for his “die from a gunshot.”
In related news, many "progressives" thought NRA chief Wayne LaPierre was nuts for asking for an armed cop in every school; however, just as these "progressives" have forgotten how George W. Bush "shredded the Constitution" now that Boss Obama is in office and has not only continued but upped these very same policies, they conveniently look the other way and slyly whistle when one asks about Bill Clinton's LaPierre-esque proposal back over a decade ago?
“The more I study the history of intellectuals, the more they seem like a wrecking crew, dismantling civilization bit by bit — replacing what works with what sounds good.” -- Thomas Sowell
Gun control legislation taskmaster Joe Biden back in 2008 regarding, ahem, his now-boss:
"I guarantee you Barack Obama ain’t taking my shotguns, so don’t buy that malarkey,” Biden said to voters during a campaign stop in Castlewood, Virginia on September 20. “Don’t buy that malarkey. They’re going to start peddling that to you.”
Biden informed the crowd that he was the proud owner of two guns.
“If he tries to fool with my Beretta, he’s got a problem,” Biden added, referring to Obama.
Look at it this way: At least he'll be entertaining, as he always is.
Steve Newton at DE Libertarian has, as usual, a thoughtful post up today about what to do regarding guns in America. He highlights the American government's track record of violence as a ... "measure":
The problem with the call that "This. Has. To. Stop." is that much of the underlying culture of violence has been perpetuated by the government -- especially for the past forty years -- and that asking for solutions from the government when violence is the problem is, well, problematic.
We are killing other people's kids around the world every day in Pakistan, in Yemen, in Honduras. There's an important if unlovely and uncomfortable point to be reinforced here: dead Pakistani school children at the hands of US drones no less constitute young lives pointlessly snuffed out, with grieving parents who have emptiness in their souls than the children who will never come back to their bedrooms in Connecticut.
We are the world's largest exporter of weapons. We spend more on weapons for our "defense" than the rest of the world combined. That, "They are coming to get us" mentality within the US is exactly the mentality that politicians of all parties use with reference to the rest of the world, so why should you be surprised to see it echoed internally. It's fractal, I think.
Violence in America is in part so prevalent because, despite our mantra of freedom, the power of the State is as pre-conditioned to the use of violence as those paranoid nuts that pandora believes should not own guns.
pandora being of the LGOMB, of course.
Speaking of the LGOMB, Steve also shreds the execrable Delaware Douche, whose actual appearance is as disgusting as his moronic invective. If you can get past DD's asininity, you might actually find some agreement -- like I did.
Douche then says:
Next step, anyone caught with an illegally purchased gun or a banned gun is sentenced to life in prison, or permanent deportation from the United States. Your choice.
This is just a tad of the absurdity in the vast majority of the rest of this idiot's post. Like, yeah -- a battered wife who fears for her life as a last resort purchases and illegal gun to protect herself. She should go to prison for the rest of her life. Right. Yet Douche scoffs and screams when anyone even suggests any sort of criminal penalty for a late term abortion simply for convenience. Not to mention, isn't it the "progressives" who scream loudest about the US having the largest prison population on the planet?
Douche also blames -- wait for it! -- Ronald Reagan for the lack of mental health care. Uh huh. Sorry, Douche, but your kindred spirits bear a lot of blame for that one. And it was in the name of civil liberties that they did what they did. Y'know, civil liberties which the 2nd Amendment is a part of. But we know very well by now that for radical moonbats like Delaware Douche, some liberties are more important than others. And they're the ones that radical moonbats like. It's that simple.
First, I admit I dig it for the sheer unbridled fun and patriotism, but anyone with a dose of moderate reality has to admit that the original Red Dawn (1984) is an unadulterated piece of excrement. And it starts right from the very beginning (literally) with what we have to accept before the attack begins:
I suppose if we can buy all of the above, then we can also accept that much of the mixed Soviet/Cuban/Nicaraguan landing forces arrived via "masqueraded" commercial jets. (Shot-down Air Force Colonel Powers Booth tell us so.) I suppose we can also buy that our presumed allies in this whole farce -- the Red Chinese, of all countries -- would just sit back and not answer the annihilation of almost half a billion of their citizens via Russian nukes. (A Wolverine: "I thought there were a billion screamin' Chinamen." Powers Booth: "There were." [Tosses whiskey on fire causing dramatic flare-up] Remember?) I'm no nuclear war strategist, but it seems to me that if China had nearly half its population incinerated, they'd have little qualms about totally retaliating against the USSR in any way possible. It's unlikely the Soviets would zap all of China's then-estimated 360 nukes, so it stands to reason the Chi-Coms would off quite a few Soviet targets in response. Not to mention a land invasion of the sparsely populated western portion of the USSR.
Alas, Booth's statement that the war was "pretty much conventional now" stands to reason. If the Soviets had managed to off much of our land-based ICBMs thus leaving only our nuclear subs, their ultimatum of "If you launch those we will utterly FINISH you" could cause US leaders to refrain from an all-out nuclear counter-offensive.
And why not? The president knows he has THE WOLVERINES defending the western half of our beloved country for him!
Uh huh. Right. Guess the best Russian and Cuban troops were fighting elsewhere.
According to [physicist Leonard] Reiffel's report, "The motivation for such a detonation is clearly threefold: scientific, military and political."
The military considerations were frightening. The report said a nuclear detonation on the moon could yield information "...concerning the capability of nuclear weapons for space warfare." Reiffel said that in military circles at the time, there was "discussion of the moon as military high ground."
That included talk of having nuclear launch sites on the moon, he said. The thinking, according to Reiffel, was that if the Soviets hit the United States with nuclear weapons first and wiped out the U.S. ability to strike back, the U.S. could launch warheads from the moon.
Though not mentioned, I am guessing that the advent of SLBM (submarine launched ballistic missile) submarines nixed that idea, since they were in development around the same time. Also not mentioned was the possibility setting off a nuke on our satellite could "act as a giant engine," thereby turning the moon into a gigantic spaceship!
Israel's Iron Dome appears to be working very well. Far better, in fact, than I thought it would. The system appears more robust than I expected.
The Obama administration has been largely silent on the issue. To which I say, good. In my view, their silence gives Israel room to maneuver. I rather expected the left wingers to try and reign them in but I don't see that they have any leverage to use anyway. Their only misstep as far as I'm concerned is not being more publicly supportive in the face of Turkey calling them terrorist.
This problem is a neighborhood problem. We should support Israel in their efforts to beat back those who would wipe them out. We should not, however, do much beyond that. Israel is more than capable of handling things.
Via Yahoo! UK we're treated to the rumor mill surrounding "Episode IV's" possible sequel ideas from the late 70s:
1) Han Solo battles Vader.
The most intriguing rumour nugget on the pile was that Harrison Ford's iconic scoundrel was to wield a lightsaber in the anticipated sequel. It wasn't that simple however; in a battle with Vader towards the end of the film, it was reported that both Solo and Vader's lightsaber's would fuse together, combining the life forces of both.
When Luke came to the rescue, he would be faced with a conundrum: If he kills Vader, would he not also kill his friend?
Hube says: Lame. Han is a rambunctious adventurer who was shown to be very skepitcal of the Force. Nevertheless, if Luke was a full-fledged Jedi in the sequel, I'm sure he could've figured out how to extricate Solo from his predicament, and then lay Vader low.
2) Vampires and Princess Leia falls for the Dark Side.
At one point Luke and C-3PO were apparently going to be captured by a "horrendous" alien and dropped off in a prison full of breathable liquid.
Weirder still, the only way to kill their alien captor was to drive a metal stake through its heart, like Dracula. With no option, Luke was going to melt down his friend Threepio and use him as the stake to kill their oppressor and escape.
In another dark twist, Princess Leia was said to be captured once more by Vader and seduced by the dark side of the force to betray her friends and the rebel cause.
Hube says: The first idea blows, but the second has merit. Imagine seeing how a Dark Side-seduced Leia would be dressed as opposed to the outfit Jabba made her wear in Return of the Jedi!
3) The cast uses time travel.
Black holes and time-warps were both rumoured to be space crevices the Millennium Falcon would tumble through in the 'Star Wars' sequel.
Luke, Han and Chewbacca were allegedly going to travel back to the time of the Clone Wars and fight alongside a younger Obi Wan Kenobi and his padawan Anakin Skywalker.
In another scenario Han and Chewie land on a desert planet to find 13th Century time-travellers fighting Stormtroopers off with crossbows and catapults. As ridiculous as it sounds, the kernel of the idea may have found its way onto the screen in 'Return of the Jedi' with the Ewoks and their Empire-confounding shenanigans.
Hube says: Count me in. I'm a big time travel fan and that first scenario sounds delightful. And, as the article states, it does sound better than what we got in "Episode II."
4) Who was Luke and Leia's pop really?
There was talk of both Obi Wan being Luke's father and the much more interesting idea that Obi Wan is revealed to have murdered Anakin Skywalker, with Anakin not eventually becoming Vader. Obi Wan is a character who barely develops over the course of the original films; remaining a mentor figure and a beacon of the light side. This would have lent a nice darker shade to the character.
Leia's adopted father, the ruler of Alderaan, was also once reported to have a bigger role in the overall story. He was rumoured to be in the pocket of the Emperor, and to have had a part in the destruction of his own planet before escaping to be Palpatine's right hand man.
Hube says: Color me interested. I like the idea of flshing out Obi Wan's character, and how many of you really wondered about 'ol Ben having offed Darth back in the day? Would'a been nice, and certainly would have added a cool maudlin aspect to the story.
5) Who to play the emperor (and more)?
Speaking of Vader's evil mentor, his involvement was correctly predicted early on in reports on the film, but who would play him was subject of some debate. Two names popped up: Christopher Lee and Orson Welles.
Christopher Lee of course got his chance to play a Sith in Episode's II and III, but Orson Welles would have undoubtedly been fantastic as the series' big bad, purely because he's Orson Welles!
There were many other rumours, such as our heroes meeting an evil space queen, Rebels enlisting winged aliens called Quarrels to their cause and Luke convincing Vader to join turn good earlier than he eventually does.
Hube says: Either actor would have made a great emperor; however, who really cares about the other stuff other than seeing Luke convincing Vader to join the good side? That could have been cool, especially a climax with a battle against him and the emperor.
Numerous petitions from red states have been sent to the White House website declaring a desire to secede from the Union now that Boss Obama has won re-election. The Left, of course (and correctly), is having fun with the idea. But, of course, a mere eight years ago many of these same voices ... wanted to secede after that evil incarnate, George W. Bush, was re-elected:
In 2004 Salon ran an article about how liberals were embracing secession movements as a reaction to Bush’s re-election:
In the days after the election, fantasies of blue-state secession ricocheted around the Internet. Liberals indulged themselves in maps showing Canada gathering the blue states into its social democratic embrace, leaving the red states to form their own “Jesusland“…
The present movement for secession has been gathering steam for a decade and a half. In preparation for Vermont’s bicentennial in 1991, public debates — moderated by then-Lt. Gov. Howard Dean — were held in seven towns before crowds that averaged 230 citizens. At the end of each, Dean asked all those in favor of Vermont’s seceding from the Union to stand and be counted. In town after town, solid majorities stood. The final count: 999 (62 percent) for secession and 608 opposed.
I thought that the Civil War pretty much settled the issue of whether states can legally secede from the Union. Honest Abe's view was that the states were legally bound to the Union:
“No State, upon its own mere motion, can lawfully get out of the Union, that resolves and ordinances to that effect are legally void, and that acts of violence, within any State or States, against the authority of the United States, are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to circumstances.”
Basically, it'll take another civil war to allow a state (or states) to secede, but c'man everyone -- we ain't even close to that now.
Words of wisdom, conservatives, from Michael Ledeen:
Some years ago, back in 1984, Ronald Reagan won reelection over Walter Mondale, carrying 49 states. Afterwards, the most prestigious columnist at the most prestigious newspaper–James Reston of the New York Times–permitted himself a confession:
Among the losers in this Presidential election campaign you will have to include the nosy scribblers of the press. Not since the days of H. L. Mencken have so many reporters written so much or so well about the shortcomings of the President and influenced so few voters. Mr. Reagan beat the newspapers by ignoring them. From his nomination in Dallas to election weekend he has not held a single national news conference. He gave one or two interviews to sympathetic writers and allowed a few small-time high school and college audiences to toss him some questions, but he dismissed the White House press corps with a wave and a smile.
In other words, the MSM went all-in to defeat Reagan, and were decimated by the voters. You can almost hear Reston gnashing his teeth when you read the headline: “Reagan Beats the Press.”
1984 was my first-ever vote in an election, and will probably remain the biggest blowout in American presidential election history in my lifetime (it's the #2 landslide noted at this site). Challenger Mondale only won his home state of Minnesota and Washington DC. (Al Gore couldn't even nab his home state in 2000; had he, he'd have been president.) And the mainstream media then did its level best to trounce the Gipper and shore up Mondale. Ledeen notes that even in the 1980 election, the MSM declared the election "too close to call" right down to the wire. The Gip ended up slamming Jimmy Carter, 489 electoral votes to 49.
Keep this is mind when you're watching/listening to all the pundits saying how close this race is through today and through tomorrow. The MSM is invested in claiming this race will be close (to bolster their preferred candidate); just look at this CNN poll from today which shows the race "tied." Yeah -- tied -- with a +11 Democrat sample.
More and more I am believing the brilliant Michael Barone's election forecast: Romney wins with 315 electoral votes. Maybe we'll be lucky and it'll be even more ... just to shove it right back into the MSM's collective faces.
(Via Geeks are Sexy)
Via Doug Ross@Journal:
1) Virtually every retailer, restaurant and grocery store south of 38th street is CLOSED. This is in an area covering 8 square miles. I only observed a handful of bodegas in Soho and the East Village, along with Ben’s Pizza on W3rd and MacDougal serving customers. Whole Foods Union Square had a sign reading “because there is no electricity, we cannot open.” There is no food, other than what you have in your refrigerator.
2) To that point, there are close to 400,000 people living below 38th street without power. The mayor earlier said it could be 3 days without power; some Con Ed guys I spoke with in the East Village think it could be longer. Nobody knows.
3) No working traffic lights in this region (drivers are generally being cautious and appropriately yielding to pedestrians). Apartment stairwells are pitch black. High rises have no elevator access...
5) There is no running water or flushing toilets for people living in the Jacob Riis Houses and surrounding NYCHA buildings on the Lower East Side. In my estimate, this is roughly 20,000 people. One family I spoke with is packing their bags and moving to Brooklyn until services are restored. But it did not appear that all residents were evacuating, even as their toilets did not flush.
6) I did not witness a single Red Cross Truck or FEMA Vehicle or in lower Manhattan. Recall the assistance these agencies provided after 9/11 - this is NOT HAPPENING. There are bound to be hundreds of elderly people, rich and poor, who live on the upper floors of buildings with elevators that are now disabled. IF POWER IS NOT RESTORED, THIS WILL MOVE FROM BEING AN ECONOMIC DISASTER TO A HUMANITARIAN DISASTER.
Racialist Michael Eric Dyson on why Boss Obama (and, presumably then, most blacks) like the government:
The reason Obama knows that the government is not the enemy is because he comes from a people who were owned, and it was a government-sponsored project. If the government sponsored your ownership, the government has to step in. Now, that’s 100, 200 years ago, but we’ve seen the legacy of slavery, economic inequality, Jim Crow laws, all of that stuff operates in our own time.
But, as you can see, Dyson basically contradicts himself by stating that slavery was a "government-sponsored project." So, uh ...?
Look, I understand one big reason African-Americans aren't as distrustful of big government as others (mainly whites) -- because if the feds didn't step in during the civil rights era of the mid-20th century, then certain [Southern] states would have crapped all over their basic rights and freedoms. But just as most blacks once voted GOP (the party of slavery abolition), the very structure of government has evolved to insure that states cannot do what Mississippi and others did 50+ years ago. Believing that government (at all levels) will do what you cannot (or refuse) leads to debacles like, to name a few, the trap that is public housing, failing [public] schools, and natural disaster imbroglios.
1. Schieffer penned a book in 1989 titled The Acting President: Ronald Reagan and the Supporting Players Who Helped Him Create the Illusion That Held America Spellbound. Nope, no bias there! Newsbusters reported that 23 years after it was published, Schieffer finally acknowledged that it was “not entirely true.”
2. In June, Schieffer hosted RNC chair Reince Preibus on his “Face the Nation” program, and lambasted Republicans for focusing on “silly and petty” things — like the $500 million Solyndra bankruptcy. No, really. Preibus held his own.
Be sure to check out the rest. Tonight ought to be interesting.
Woody Harrelson, Martin Sheen, and Ed Asner are among those signed on to the project.
No word yet on whether trust funder Jason "Reasonable People Can Disagree About Whether or not George Bush Had Prior Knowledge of the 9/11 Attacks" Scott of the Local Gaggle of Moonbat Bloggers will help bankroll the film.
... about "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (it's its 25th anniversary, after all). McMillan writes
Here’s the terrible secret about The Next Generation: The first year is kind of terrible. At first I thought that, perhaps, I was being a little too harsh on it – I’m not the biggest fan of the series, and, I figured, perhaps there are some odd charms that I’m missing because I’m not one of the hardcore – and so I asked Twitter for some guidance, only to receive a quick affirmation of my original feeling: For those looking to make a start on the show today, you might do well to skip that first year.
(That’s not to say that there aren’t any good episodes that year, but they’re few and far between, and even the best don’t compare that well with the average episode from, say, season three or four.)
The second season, too, may be better left untouched, at least to start with, if the Twitteratti are to be believed. That’s a fair assessment; although the show had improved greatly on its first outing, too many things are still falling into place to be able to convince the uninitiated. The second season makes for a fine place to back up and revisit once you’ve decided that you actually like this whole Next Generation in the first place, but considering everyone is still wearing their onesie costumes and there’s a replacement doctor for the whole year, maybe it’s not a good place to throw yourself into without some immunization.
He goes on to note that TNG really begins to rock with season 3, and I totally agree. I didn't really get into TNG until then, and you can instantly tell that that's where the series finally caught its stride. As Graeme advises, I caught seasons one and two in reruns years later. I realized (easily) I didn't miss very much.
Here's the most worthy episodes (very subjectively speaking, of course) of TNG's otherwise dismal first two seasons:
The Daily Caller has a montage of blown calls, some of which certainly would have made my list. Ones I recall personally:
Should have been included:
I take issue with:
This #9 "blown" call by the Bleacher Report. Yes, I'm biased because it affected my St. Louis Rams, but the rule at that time basically stated that no part of the football could touch the ground in the course of a catch. As the Tampa Bay Bucs were driving late in the 1999 NFC Championship game, receiver Bert Emanuel made a great catch -- but it was overturned after review because the tip of the ball had hit the ground first. But, again, that was the NFL rule at the time, despite it being a bad rule. The league recognized this, and revised the rule, naming the revision after Emanuel.
... Americans need to learn that the rest of the world—and not just Muslims—see no sense in the First Amendment. Even other Western nations take a more circumspect position on freedom of expression than we do, realizing that often free speech must yield to other values and the need for order. Our own history suggests that they might have a point.
Let that sink in for a moment. "Free speech must yield to other values and the need for order." Now, that second part actually makes some sense. In our (US, that is) history, during times of war and domestic disturbances (riots), limits on free expression have certainly be implemented. But even with these, as Posner notes, the second half of the last century witnessed an expansion of 1st Amendment rights during such moments, notably during the Vietnam War.
But consider the first part of the statement: "Yield to other values. Folks, this is precisely what the Left wants. Because it'll be their values that will supercede free speech. Don't believe me? Check out what goes on at college campuses. Universities routinely impose "speech codes" and other provisions based on the "values of the community." Fortunately, thus far, groups like FIRE have been quite successful in thwarting many (most) of the more egregious examples of this anti-First Amendment nonsense.
But for how long?
... has as one of its foundations the idea that the American (and Western, for that matter) political system -- equal justice for all, due process, equal rights ... even freedom of speech -- is still oppressive if it doesn't take into historical account the plight of minorities. This is at the heart of "white privilege" -- since whites have constructed the very system under which we [all] live, it inherently will "maintain" the dominant culture (or race).
You see what this means, right? The freedom to post a video which insults the prophet Mohammed doesn't apply to a white person -- because since the whole political and legal system was constructed by whites, it is for the benefit of them, not minorities, so the "white privilege" of the video maker "blinds him" to the injustice his video has done to [Islamic] minorities. (Of course, Muslims are not a minority in the countries in which they rioted; however, I am certain CRI would posit that since the white/Anglo world power structure has "exploited" these countries historically, and on a "transnational basis" the videographer still does not possess freedom of speech if it insults Islam.)
Make no mistake about our current administration's posture on this. Boss Obama talks about freedom of speech, but his entire academic and legal background was flooded by stuff like Critical Race Theory. If you're a product of the Martin Luther King Jr. era and utter something like "I don't see color," or "I treat everyone the same regardless of race," that is a huge no-no according to this academic sophistry. To adherents of CRI, "that is the most overt kind of racism." Or, "to ignore race is to be more racist than to acknowledge race." CRIers call that "neo-racism."
Posner, in his Slate article, points out that "progressives" may be having second thoughts about all their hard-fought free expression gains during the late 20th century ... just as conservatives have now embraced them. In addition to campus speech police, liberals have been keen on hate crimes legislation and sexual harassment laws. But, "for the left, the [1st] amendment today is like a dear old uncle who enacted heroic deeds in his youth but on occasion says embarrassing things about taboo subjects in his decline."
Ironically, Posner writes that
Salman Rushdie recently claimed that bad ideas, “like vampires … die in the sunlight” rather than persist in a glamorized underground existence. But bad ideas never die: They are zombies, not vampires. Bad ideas like fascism, Communism, and white supremacy have roamed the countryside of many an open society.
And what did the Left do when the Right trounced on the First Amendment, especially during the 1950s during the Red Scare (see: Communism in the above quote)? Right -- they (rightly) screamed bloody (unconstitutional) murder at guys like Joe McCarthy. And "progressives" today still admire Communism -- that "bad idea" that's like a zombie, according to Posner. Indeed, academics and Hollywood types have little qualms about hanging out and lauding guys like Hugo Chavez or Fidel Castro ... and no one can do a thing about it. Because these mental midgets have free speech. Yet these very same people would squelch others' First Amendment rights if it offended some value of theirs. Just. Like. Chavez. And. Castro. Have. Done. Routinely.
If it's scary that our president believes in such legal principle, it's even more worrisome that members of the US Supreme Court do, too. Recall this post where Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg expressed agreement with many similar legal precepts. If judges like Ginsberg ever gain a majority sway on the high court, especially together with a liberal chief exec like Boss Obama, you can kiss the 1st Amendment as we know it today goodbye.
Maybe this will never happen. I certainly hope so, and there are bright spots of legal sanity among Ginsberg's philosophical brethren. The highly liberal Ninth Circuit's Alex Kosinski tore asunder concepts put forth by Critical Race Theorists, stating CRIers "have constructed a philosophy which makes a valid exchange of ideas between the various disciplines unattainable." Indeed.
But that won't stop Critical Race Theorists and other "progressives." No way. These "theories" are merely yet another exercise in their grabbing of power -- the power to stop the speech of their political and philosophical opponents. And all in the name of "community values," "tolerance," and "mutual respect." But these excuses weren't good enough for them when it was their speech being quelled ... and they won't be sufficient for non-"progressives" today. Not as long as we remain vigilant.
"War, until the last breath" - Oriana Fallaci
As seen on the Libertarian Party's Facebook page:
Republican Party, you did this to yourself, you managed to alienate such a huge percentage of the populace that you can't beat a guy who has alienated an almost equal percentage of the populace.
You just couldn't leave social issues alone. You just couldn't end the wars. You just couldn't actually prove to be fiscally responsible, or even understand the Fed's effect on the economy.
Don't blame us when you don't get elected.. blame yourselves.
As many regular Colossus readers may know, I consider myself more libertarian (or, as I prefer, "classical liberal") than pretty much anything else, and as such, the above really hit me. Really -- how is it that a guy with the economic record that Boss Obama has is ... deadlocked with the GOP nominee?
Despite the fact that mainstream media indeed has gone overboard in overblowing insane statements like those made by Missouri's Todd Akin, the fact that there are Akins out there in the GOP -- and the fact that they seek to legislate their beliefs -- let's face it: it's a big problem for the GOP. Yes, the Democrats' and the MSM's "GOP War on Women" prattle is 99% ideologically motivated drivel. But, there are many women across the political spectrum who say to themselves "If the GOP is for less government, then why do they want more of it when it comes to my personal life?"
Of course I recognize that abortion is a very delicate issue. It's certainly not, as dogmatists on both sides of like to make it, an "always or never" proposition. The vast majority of the American public have a middle-of-the road approach to the subject. Just take a look at these recent polls. The first question asks, "Do you think abortion should be legal under any circumstances, legal only under certain circumstances, or illegal in all circumstances?" A total of 82% believe in the first two. When it comes to various exceptions for allowing abortion, 88% believe it should be allowed when the woman's life is in danger, 83% when the woman's physical health is in jeopardy, and 83% in cases of rape or incest. On that last one, 76% of Republicans agree. (90% of Democrats agree, and 81% of Independents.)
Clearly, the above is a problem for the socially conservative segment of the GOP -- the segment which has maintained a strict pro-life platform for some thirty years now. Now I know that party platforms do not actually mean much anymore, and that the plank on abortion the way it's written can leave wiggle room for the exceptions noted above, especially at the state level. (Which, by the way, would be what would happen if Roe v. Wade was overturned -- a return to letting states decide, not a comprehensive ban on abortions altogether, which is a common --usually liberal -- misconception.) Mitt Romney has stated that he believes in exceptions in the case of rape, incest and the health and life of the mother, putting him clearly in line with the plurality of Americans' views. His running mate's views are another matter, however, and tie directly into the Libertarian Party's point.
Seven years ago I posted why I was against the Iraq War. And while I do not believe that the US should vacate all its foreign obligations, especially where danger still lurks (such as towards Israel and South Korea, to name two), and shouldn't look the other way when countries which harbor those who attacked us (Afghanistan), why should we commit the lives of our own boys and our tax dollars to "nation-building" to countries that don't want it (or aren't ready for it)? And continue to maintain bases/troops in regions which are clearly capable of taking care of themselves (NATO countries, Japan)? A GOP which seeks to claim the high ground on fiscal responsibility, yet is engaged across the globe in a mostly out-dated Cold War posture, has definite trouble reconciling the two, no?
Remember: Voters tossed out 1994's historic Republican Revolutionaries after a measly dozen years. How come? Because these revolutionaries gave way to those who spent money like drunken sailors. They expanded government (Bush's No Child Left Behind, anyone?). The GOP only recently regained power (in the House, at least) because ... Boss Obama was spending money like a drunken sailor.
So, 'ya get it yet, Grand Old Party? People want you to be true to your word. Be fiscally prudent. Be consistent about less government. You're tied in the polls with this train wreck of a chief executive because people are wary -- they don't quite believe you mean what you say. They want proof, based on one of the oldest maxims of all: Actions speak louder than words. It might be wise to listen a bit more to your libertarian-minded brethren.
On August 19th, three Kiwi soldiers were killed in an IED explosion. This is how their comrades honor their sacrifice. Truly moving.
The conventional wisdom is that Paul Ryan is smart. And I certainly agree. But these candidates were also considered smart/intellectual:
In "another" election that took place in 2008, Republican Norm Coleman took on Democrat Al Franken for a US Senate seat in Minnesota. After winning the initial election and subsequent recount, Coleman then faced a number of legal challenges and further recounts. When all was said and done, Franken emerged the victor -- by a tad more than 300 votes.
Here's, in the words of Independence Day's Dr. Okun, "the really icky part":
There were a lot of irregularities in that race, where a blizzard of magically appearing Franken ballots put the old notion of squeaky-clean Minnesota elections to rest forever. But one specific data point has become inarguable, thanks to the work of authors John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky: the number of outright illegal votes cast by felons in the election far exceeds Franken’s margin of victory.
To date, 1099 felon votes have been identified, and 177 people have actually been convicted of voting illegally, with 66 more awaiting trial. This is all the more remarkable because a simple claim of ignorance is good enough to avoid conviction – as York puts it, “the accused can get off by claiming not to have known they did anything wrong.” Furthermore, it took quite a bit of shoe leather for conservative group Minnesota Majority to find state prosecutors willing to work the vote-fraud cases. (Link)
So, the next time some doltish "progressive" screams "voter suppression" or some such bullsh** when they hear the words "voter ID," just point to this. (Of course, the same buffoons will claim that the felons should have been allowed to vote anyway, so be ready for that goal post move, and don't take the bait.)
To quote Insty, that is. GM Ramps Up Risky Subprime Auto Loans To Drive Sales:
President Obama has touted General Motors (GM) as a successful example of his administration's policies. Yet GM's recovery is built, at least in part, on the increasing use of subprime loans.
Near the end of 2010, GM acquired a new captive lending arm, subprime specialist AmeriCredit. Renamed GM Financial, it has played a significant role in GM's growth.
The automaker is relying increasingly on subprime loans, 10-Q financial reports shows. Potential borrowers of car loans are rated on FICO scores that range from 300 to 850. Anything under 660 is generally deemed subprime.
Again, what could go wrong?
Mehdi Ghezali, who yesterday murdered five Israelis and a local bus driver in Bulgaria, was released from Gitmo in 2004. He "was also reportedly among 12 foreigners captured trying to cross into Afghanistan in 2009."
Unbelievable. I await the reason(s) why this scum was released -- both in '04 and '09. I agree with Benjamin Kerstein: "Whoever signed off on Burgas suicide bombers release from Gitmo should be fired immediately. And issue a public apology. IMMEDIATELY."
Last week, a buddy of mine lent me a copy of legendary comics guy Roy Thomas's fanzine Alter Ego (no. 103, July 2011 edition). In it is a lengthy interview with prolific writer Steve Englehart, famous for his stints on Marvel titles such as Captain America and The Avengers in the 1970s.
I've given credit to Steve for his superb "Secret Empire" storyline that was directly analogous to the Watergate scandal. Then, I wrote
Steve Englehart's awesome "Secret Empire" series in Cap in the mid-70s was a not-so subtle analogy of Watergate. Yet even Steve didn't hit us over the head with a brick ... even though he could have (Richard Nixon was pretty much thoroughly disgraced on the left and the right).
And in the interview, Steve notes just that: He could have hit us over the head with a brick had he wanted to. Marvel would have imposed no censorship on him had he desired to explicitly name Richard Nixon as the head of the Secret Empire. And again, as noted above, it probably wouldn't have mattered all that much; Nixon was a pariah on both sides of the aisle by 1974.
But then, Englehart unfortunately lapses into standard "progressive" boilerplate:
It's not entirely clear whether Englehart is referring to the public, politicians or fellow comic creators when he says "nobody," but I believe it's the latter since he then says "I could not see any way that a character named Captain America could not react to something like Watergate." Which, then, is just sad. And patently false. I've meticulously documented the many instances of comic creators ripping the Bush administration quite overtly during the former president's tenure as chief exec. (If you're so inclined, see here, here, here, here, and here just for starters.) How Englehart can state "nobody seems to do anything about that" means he hasn't read a lot of the stuff from the 2000s, or he's being disingenuous. This doesn't even address the issue of "using lies as excuses" -- a quite common bit of "progressive" dogma regarding the Iraq War. I've been consistent in my opposition to that conflict; however, I never bought the "Bush lied" screed for mainly two reasons: One, Bush's predecessors in the executive and legislative branches all said the same thing(s) he did about Saddam Hussein's possession of WMDs; two, if Bush purposely lied about WMDs to begin a war against Saddam, why would he do so knowing that they weren't there? This make absolutely zero sense. Wouldn't Bush have ordered the CIA (or whoever) to plant some WMDs to thus justify his invasion? Why would order an invasion based on a premise which would undermine his whole presidency? (Which it pretty much did once no WMDs were discovered.)
I suppose such was inevitable; Englehart is a product of his era -- the late 60s and 1970s. He came of age during the Vietnam War and an era of highly progressive change. I suppose at some point we should've expected him to fall into a few typical (liberal) talking points. Still, when it mattered, Steve didn't bludgeon us to death on his pages with his politics, calling on us to denounce our country ... nor did he do it it himself.
"John McCain ran for president and released two years of tax returns. John Kerry ran for president and his wife, who has hundreds of millions of dollars, she never released her tax returns. Somehow this wasn't an issue," Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee, said in the interview.
"The Obama people keep on wanting more and more and more, more things to pick through, more things for their opposition research to try and make a mountain out of and distort and to be dishonest about," Romney continued, reissuing his pledge to release two years worth of returns.
Mitt's right, of course. But will it hurt him? In the short run, yes, a little, but perhaps not as much in the long run.
I think Donald Trump is a pompous blowhard, but I agree with him here: Romney should agree to release more tax returns as soon as Boss Obama agrees to release all of his college records/transcripts. Fair enough? White House spokesmouth Jay Carney has already attempted to equate such requests with those of Birthers, but that's plain silly. If anything, what such a revelation may reveal is that Boss Obama himself lied about his birthplace in order to secure the college entrance that he did. After all, Obama's literary agency noted that he was "born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii" right up through 2007.
So, if the Obama campaign's mantra is that it is "impossible to know" whether Mitt Romney violated the law with regards to his relationship with Bain Capital, the GOP nominee should use the exact same terminology against Boss Obama: It is "impossible to know" whether Obama lied on his college application, especially since he spent his last two years in high school "in a daze" due to heavy drinking and drug use.
President Obama is personally calling on Mitt Romney to release more of his tax returns.
In an interview Monday night with Manchester, N.H., ABC affiliate WMUR, Obama stressed the need for transparency when asked whether Romney’s offshore finances, including a Swiss bank account, disqualified him for office or made him unpatriotic.
“What’s important is if you are running for president is that the American people know who you are and what you’ve done and that you’re an open book. And that’s been true of every presidential candidate dating all the way back to Mitt Romney’s father,” Obama told reporter Josh McElveen.
True for you, Mr. President? Riiiiiiiiight.
"Open book" my arse.
Who else but the master of the lists, Newsarama, would come up with this one? It's actually titled "10 Mind-Bending Time Travel Stories," and I found this one particularly intriguing due to my affinity for such yarns. Admittedly, I was not familiar with half of the list (because some are DC, natch), but I also have my own thoughts (of course) regarding the choices, and ones that missed the cut.
At #10 is DC's Legion of Super-Heroes. I was donated a large quantity of this title several years ago, and I always hated how "easy" DC treated the concept of time travel. In this case, Superboy would frequently dash to the future (around the year 3000) to assist the Legion, and then dash back to the past. But!! He had no memory of what he did in the future.
At #9 is Fantastic Four #5 -- the first appearance of Dr. Doom. In this ish (one of Jack Kirby's best penciling efforts ever, by the way), Doom uses his iconic time platform to shunt three of the quartet to Blackbeard's time to heist a treasure chest. The outcast Thing enjoys playing Blackbeard ... so much so that he doesn't wanna go back to the 1960s!
#8 is the West Coast Avengers story "Lost In Space-Time." This is second time I've read about this arc at Newsarama and now I am officially beyond intrigued. So much so that I'm gonna have to order this trade paperback. I never was a big fan of the WCA, mainly because Al Milgrom's art usually sucked. But if Steve Englehart's story is this highly recommended ...
Coming in at #7 is one of my all-time faves: Iron Man creators David Michelinie and Bob Layton's "Doomquest." Shellhead and Doc Doom are shunted back to Camelot -- King Arthur's era -- where the former becomes the king's champion and the latter conspires with the evil Morgan Le Fey. Michelinie and Layton followed this up with two sequels: one in 1989 and the other in 2008.
At #3 is the supremely awesome Avengers Forever. I recently dedicated an entire post to this Kurt Busiek-scripted series.
The top spot is a terrific pick: "Days of Future Past" featuring the Uncanny X-Men. Two of my favorite comics editions ever (yep, it spanned only two issues, but countless stories later spun off of it), Kitty Pryde travels back to 1980 from a dystopian future where the Sentinels have taken over North America and murdered just about all mutants (and other superheroes). Her objective is to have the X-Men prevent the murder of presidential contender Senator Robert Kelly; his assassination led to the future she comes from.
What did Newsarama miss?
Giant-Size Avengers #2 and #3. The Marvel master of time travel, Kang the Conqueror, attempts to thwart his ultimate destiny in the former, and uses time-plucked villains (and heroes) to battle Earth's Mightiest in the latter. Both are written by Steve Englehart and both are drawn by Dave Cockrum, which means you know these issues are incredibly high quality.
Fantastic Four Annual #11 and Marvel Two-In-One Annual #1. The quartet travel back in time to retrieve a cylinder of vibranium that was accidentally shunted to Nazi Germany -- allowing Hitler to prolong, if not win, World War II. They meet up with the Invaders to do battle with the Third Reich, and later, the Thing journeys back solo to help finish the job.
Avengers (vol. 1) #56 -- "Death Be Not Proud." Earth's Mightiest agree to meet Capt. America inside Dr. Doom's castle in order to travel back in time to see if Cap's old partner, Bucky, somehow managed to survive Baron Zemo's exploding rocket. The conclusion is touching for its time, and it leads directly to one of the team's greatest alternate reality stories ever (Avengers Annual #2).
... it's Newsarama's "10 Worst Spider-Man Villains of All-Time!"
I'm unfamiliar with most on the list, the exceptions being #6 (the Kangaroo), #5 (Stegron), and #1 (the Big Wheel). Be sure to read the commentary on Kangaroo -- it'll definitely make you LOL. The write-up on #1's Big Wheel isn't as funny, but he certainly lives in humorous infamy among myself and my comics-loving amigos. The fact that he was "born" due to another ridiculous villain (the Rocket Racer) doesn't help, not to mention that Spidey himself constantly heckles the guy throughout their fight (such that it is).
After watching several Bond flicks this weekend (Casino Royale, Tomorrow Never Dies, For Your Eyes Only) my creative "list" juices got flowing. I absolutely love James Bond films; I rarely will change the channel when one is on. And so -- because nobody demanded it -- here's Hube's list of Bond Best (and Worsts)!
HUBE'S FIVE HOTTEST BOND BABES.
Of course, the list could be much longer, but we got a lot to cover here, natch. Hube's judgment doesn't include just physical hotness, mind you, but an overall combination of beauty, sexiness, strength, and brains.
#5. Michelle Yeoh as Wai Lin (Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997). Admit it -- you craved seeing Yeoh in something skimpier than that silver sequined dress at Elliot Carver's big celebration. But what makes Yeoh so damn attractive is that she can kick Bond's ass, let alone just about any other dude she comes across!
#4. Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore (Goldfinger, 1964). I wasn't aware that she preceded another Bond girl, Diana Rigg, as the female lead in Britain's "The Avengers" TV series. Blackman is tough, smart, and sexy as all hell (her husky voice can melt a dude in mere seconds). Oh, and she's a pilot, too.
#3. Claudine Auger as Domino Derval (Thunderball, 1965). It was quite a step down when the unauthorized 1983 remake of this flick -- Never Say Never Again featuring the "comeback" of Sean Connery -- assigned Kim Basinger as the female lead. Auger's beauty is virtually unsurpassed -- my God just look at those eyes! -- and she made an otherwise so-so flick oh-so watchable.
#2. Carole Bouquet as Melina Havelock (For Your Eyes Only, 1981). Absolutely the greatest natural beauty of any Bond girl, she was also tough as nails: She came from money, but that didn't stop her from going after some of the baddest asses in the underworld for the murder of her parents. She also saved 007's ass, too, by the way.
#1. Carey Lowell as Pam Bouvier (Licence to Kill, 1989). I know I'm gonna get grief for this pick, but only Lowell rivals Bouquet for the top spot in natural beauty. But Lowell possesses that rough-edged American charm ... not to mention she's a CIA operative. After she cuts her hair in Licence and puts on that shiny silver gown ... whoa. Not to mention, check out the outfit she has on when Wayne Newton's character tries to make the moves on her!
DEADLIEST BOND VILLAIN PLOT.
Without a doubt it's Hugo Drax's brainchild of eradicating all humans on Earth and replacing them with his hand-picked genetically perfect specimens. (Moonraker, 1979.) Drax, before being offed by 007, managed to launch a trio of poison-carrying modules, each capable of killing 100 million people. But Bond's marksmanship saves the day, natch.
MOST RIDICULOUS BOND VILLAIN PLOT.
Without a doubt it's Hugo Drax's brainchild of eradicating all humans on Earth and replacing them with his hand-picked genetically perfect specimens. (Moonraker, 1979.) I mean, really -- how would Drax manage to employ hundreds -- thousands -- of workers, most of whom would have to be aware, even marginally, of his nefarious plot? C'mon -- building a massive, radar-proof space station? Building a space shuttle launch base ... in the Amazon River Basin?? And hey, if Jaws could figure out that he'd have no place in Drax's new world order, why the hell didn't all the other genetically imperfect employees inhabiting the space station?
BEST CHASE SCENE.
Without a doubt, it's Casino Royale's (2006) romp through the Madagascar construction site. And it's "merely" a foot chase. In case you're wondering, the dude Bond pursues is named Mollaka, and his skill is called "parkour running." What Bond lacks of this skill he more than makes up for in brains -- he analyzes every situation instantly during the chase and uses it to his advantage. (Need to descend quickly? No worries -- just hop on the hydraulic scaffold and hack off the hydraulic tubing!) Not to mention Mollaka can't come close to 007's fighting prowess, natch.
Definitely Casino Royale. Chris Cornell's powerful vocals in the song "You Know My Name" alongside way-cool playing card-style graphics of 007 fighting bad guys can't be beat. And you know the babes were swooning at the conclusion -- the slow approach of the new Bond, Daniel Craig, vacillating between all-black and vivid color.
BEST BOND "GADGET."
One of the first is still the coolest: The Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger. What wasn't to love about such a car in the mid-1960s? Machine gun fog lights? Check. Oil slick? Check. Passenger ejector seat? Oh yes.
BEST OPENING SEQUENCE.
Casino Royale's for several reasons. One, it's the only James Bond opening sequence done in black and white. The cinematography is perfect. Two, it details the very beginnings of James Bond as a double-oh. Third, the action is brutal and incredibly realistic. And lastly, the sequence's conclusion leads into the best song/intro in Bond history (see above).
HUBE'S TOP FIVE BOND VILLAINS.
#5. Hugo Drax (Moonraker, 1979). Masterfully portrayed by French actor Michael Lonsdale in an otherwise cheeky film, Drax had the most ambitious bad guy scheme ever: the death of every person on the planet (see above). Drax coolly dispatched of anyone who f***ed him over (like calmly snapping his fingers to release a pair of dobermans to tear apart a former female aide who had assisted Bond) and never lost his cool until the film's climax, when he merely raised his voice to reprimand fellow bad guy Jaws in his orbiting space station.
#4. Jaws (The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977; Moonraker, 1979). The giant with the cobalt choppers was essentially turned into comic relief in his second outing, but you know he freaked you out back in those halcyon days of the late 70s!
#3. Auric Goldfinger (Goldfinger, 1964.) "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to DIE!" 'Nuff said. He employed babes (Pussy Galore, see above) and bad-ass enforcers (the razor-edged hat throwing Oddjob, who just missed this list), and devised far-out nefarious schemes (robbing Fort Knox). Oh, and he "neatly compacted" two agents inside their car. And almost lasered off Bond's private parts.
#2. Franz Sanchez (Licence to Kill, 1989). Sanchez didn't mastermind any diabolical conquering schemes; he was "just" a drug kingpin whom Bond's CIA cohort, Felix Leiter, happened to royally piss off. So, Sanchez kills Felix's new bride, and feeds Felix to a shark. Bond resigns from the service to get vengeance, and through a wacky twist of fate, lands in the drug lord's confidence. Masterfully portrayed by Robert Davi, he perfectly embodies Scarface-ish sociopathy and fierce loyalty.
#1. Le Chiffre (Casino Royale, 2006). Mads Mikkelson is creepily sensational as the terrorist who makes millions in the stock market by having underlings commit assorted acts of terror. He's also a mathematical genius, smoking opponents in high stakes card games. But if you start to get the better of him, he'll have your drink poisoned ... or even better, he'll tie you to a chair with the bottom cut out, and then smash your balls to jello.
HUBE'S TOP FIVE "OH, COME ON!" BOND MOMENTS.
#5. Jaws surviving everything. He lives through a cable car smashing through a massive concrete building. He survives falling into a circus without a parachute from thousands of feet in the air. And, most head-shakingly, he and his new girlfriend survive their descent from orbit in a busted piece of Drax's obliterated space station (all in Moonraker, 1979).
#4. Bond survives Gustav Graves' heat beam by wind-surfing on a tidal wave (Die Another Day, 2002). Aside from the fact that the heat beam still should've crisped Bond despite him hanging aloft on the side of the cliff, his escape via surfing atop the collapsing cliff's-caused tidal wave defies more belief than when 007 surfed into North Korea in the film's opening.
#3. Hugo Drax constructs space shuttle launch facilities in the Amazon jungle (Moonraker, 1979). I already mentioned this major head-scratcher, but it bears repeating: How in the hell does a major corporate figure manage to build such a base in the middle of the densest jungle on the planet ... with no one noticing? After such a massive intel failure, the CIA and MI6 should've been completely dismantled ... and then rebuilt from scratch!
#2. Casting Lynn-Holly Johnson in For Your Eyes Only. It's bad enough her movie name was "Bibi Dahl," but what were the writers thinking -- M would have to spring Bond from jail for statutory rape?? Johnson's "acting," such that it is, may be the worst ever witnessed in a Bond film, and her mere inclusion in the FYEO was ridiculously gratuitous.
#1. The "Bondola" in Moonraker. Cracked.com nails this one perfectly:
Sure, the Bondola looks like a Venetian gondola, but there’s one crucial difference: the Bondola is embarrassingly stupid. Okay, two crucial differences: with the flip of a switch, Bond (Roger Moore) converts the craft from mundane gondola into high-speed turbo Bondola to escape an assassination attempt. An enemy motor boat pursues the Bondola through the canals of Venice. At one point—this is hilarious—the bad guy boat slices a regular non-turbo gondola neatly in two. The two lovers on one half of the bisected gondola are so busy kissing they don’t even notice, while the gondolier in the other half keeps rowing.
The Bondola has yet another trick up its figurative sleeve. Bond presses a button labeled “LAME” and the turbo gondola turns into a hovercraft gondola. He drives that bad boy up on to dry land and across St. Mark’s Square, blowing everyone’s mind. A waiter spills wine on a patron, another fella decides to quit drinking on the spot, and a pigeon does a double-take. Yes, a pigeon does a double-take. The Bondola freaks that pigeon’s shit out! That is comedy Moonraker-style.
Maybe Bond skipped the class on keeping a low profile in Secret Agent School.
That's it for now, folks, but stay tuned for more still more Bond-related lists!
Three a-hole gay activists give the Gipper the finger during a visit to the White House.
Activist Matty Hart "defended his gesture in the Philadelphia Magazine article. 'Ronald Reagan has blood on his hands,' he said. 'The man was in the White House as AIDS exploded.'"
Uh huh. And he was responsible for the "explosion?" Try again, you ridiculously PC nutjob. You and your radical extremists have no one to blame but yourselves for that, I'm afraid.
Just a further follow-up response to idiots who somehow believe Obama was "disrespected" by a "racist" reporter for interrupting him during his immigration announcement last week:
Oh, g-g-g-g-gosh! Did those reporters interrupt Pres. Reagan before he was finished? Did they shout questions at him even after he said he'd take no questions?
Lloyd E. Elling of Ocean View takes it upon himself to speak for all those of Native American descent in calling for the Indian River School District to ditch any Indian (Native) logos, mascots, names, etc. Now, yours truly recognizes that this is a delicate subject; however, Elling makes it seem as if Native Americans as a whole are uniformly opposed to such logos, etc. This is not the case. Indeed, it is highly possible that opposition is more a figment of elitist liberal "we know better" political correctness rather than popular Native American opinion. Gee, isn't it possible that [quite a few] Natives just might think that such logos and mascots are a tribute to their culture? A tribute to Native American strength and bravery (among other attributes)? A poll in 2002 by Sports Illustrated found that
81% of American Indian respondents do not think high school and college teams should stop using Indian nicknames. As for professional athletics, 83% of Native American respondents said teams should not stop using Indian nicknames, mascots, characters and symbols.
What's more, Elling includes the name Bartolome de Las Casas in his letter as if he was some paragon of virtue via his advocacy for the Indians in the face of Spanish mistreatment. But Las Casas was a prominent advocate for African slavery to replace that of the Natives. (In his waning years of life, it is said he regretted this position. Well gee, don't we all have last moment regrets?) In addition, many historians point out that Las Casas either exaggerated or simply was ignorant of the effects of Spanish violence and war against the Natives, at least when it comes to figuring the population decrease of that group as a result of conquest and colonization. It is now widely established that European diseases were responsible for the vast majority of Indian deaths during the colonial era, accounting for upwards of 90% mortality.
I certainly concur with Elling that our history shouldn't be whitewashed. But it also shouldn't be "cleansed" in the other direction -- the PC direction -- which lionizes certain figures who don't necessarily deserve it, ignores facts which may be "uncomfortable," and this history shouldn't be "spoken for" by folks who want to make themselves feel good, most especially if it contradicts the opinion of those for whom they're supposedly advocating.
Former MSNBC butthead David Shuster, who's now with that incredibly popular network Current TV and who infamously perpetually predicted that George W. Bush aide Karl Rove would be indicted during that president's tenure, is now predicting that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker will be too.
LMAO ... can't wait to see how this theory turns out!
... but, as usual, it's up to the New Media to toss some cold water reality on the situation. Greg Pollowitz, in this case:
Just to follow up on my post yesterday on Florida cleaning up its voter rolls, MSDNC’s Martin Bashir goes and proves my point with his rant yesterday, “Why is the Sunshine State in the midst of a purge that even Josef Stalin would admire?”
Please, please if you are truly interested in this story, set a Google News Alert for Marc Caputo of the Miami Herald and start following his pieces on the issue. Here’s a recent article by Caputo on what’s going on. Hint, it’s not Stalinism.
Florida has essentially been begging the Dept. of Homeland Security to assist it with efforts to ID non-citizens who may be on the state's voting rolls. Still, DHS refuses. Why? The state is being a lot more diligent than it was in 2000 when it did more-or-less blanket purges of its voter rolls that contained (or may have contained) convicted felons. So, why won't DHS cooperate -- especially when the Dept. of Justice is now threatening the state about its current actions?
If asked, Toot [Obama’s maternal grandmother, Madelyne Payne Dunham] would turn her head in profile to show off her beaked nose, which, along with a pair of jet-black eyes, was offered as proof of Cherokee blood.
That's from pages 12 and 13 from The Messiah's book, Dreams of My Father. And, as we also noted yesterday, the mainstream media wasn't who picked it up. As with practically anything to do with liberal Democrats, that's left to the right-wing new media (in this case, Breitbart).
And, like the case of Elizabeth Warren in the Massachusetts US Senate race, Obama has no way of proving this:
But, as we all know, family lore does not Cherokee ancestry make, and following the line back, neither Franklin McCurry’s parents, grandparents, nor great-grandparents were Cherokee, based on all available records.
What a riot. So, we've learned Obama himself is the original Birther, and now, like the original Occupier (Warren), he claims Indian ancestry -- all to prop himself up in the eyes of his politically correct racial bean counting academic overlords.
Again, no -- I am not saying Obama was born in a foreign land; this just further proves the notion that The Messiah was embellishing his résumé right up until the point (2007) when he decided to become a contender for the presidency.
At least he never claimed Native American ancestry. Well, as far as we know. You don't expect the mainstream media to investigate the president, do 'ya?
Breitbart News has obtained a promotional booklet produced in 1991 by Barack Obama's then-literary agency, Acton & Dystel, which touts Obama as "born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii."
The booklet, which was distributed to "business colleagues" in the publishing industry, includes a brief biography of Obama among the biographies of eighty-nine other authors represented by Acton & Dystel.
It also promotes Obama's anticipated first book, Journeys in Black and White -- which Obama abandoned, later publishing Dreams from My Father instead.
Here's the Obama bio used in the booklet:
Breitbart was never a Birther, nor does this bio contradict Obama's birthplace as being Hawaii. Nevertheless,
the biography does, however, fit a pattern in which Obama -- or the people representing and supporting him -- manipulate his public persona.
And what's more, the agency used this Obama bio ... until 2007.
UPDATE: Miriam Goderich assumes blame for the mistake:
You're undoubtedly aware of the brouhaha stirred up by Breitbart about the erroneous statement in a client list Acton & Dystel published in 1991 (for circulation within the publishing industry only) that Barack Obama was born in Kenya. This was nothing more than a fact checking error by me -- an agency assistant at the time. There was never any information given to us by Obama in any of his correspondence or other communications suggesting in any way that he was born in Kenya and not Hawaii. I hope you can communicate to your readers that this was a simple mistake and nothing more.
Funny how this "simple mistake" hung around for sixteen years.
“We reported a true story. I am not at CBS now because I and my team reported a true story. It was a tough story, a story a lot of people didn’t want to believe and it was subjected to a terrific propaganda barrage to discredit it.”
Dan seems to have forgotten:
Poor Dan. Maybe he can revitalize his career by spending a fraction of the effort with which went after Mr. Bush by doing some actual investigative work into our current president's past.
The Messiah razzing Mitt Romney on his supposed waffling statements about killing Osama bin Laden:
“I assume that people meant what they said when they said it,” Obama said at a White House news conference. “That’s been at least my practice. I said that I’d go after bin Laden if we had a clear shot at him, and I did. If there are others who have said one thing and now suggest they’d do something else, then I’d go ahead and let them explain it.”
You can the full context of Romney's past statement(s) at the link, but just take in the absolute chutzpah of that first sentence from The Messiah. Shall we, Mr. President, take you by what you said when you said it? Y'know, like closing Guantanamo prison in one year.
How your stimulus package would keep unemployment below eight percent.
That you wouldn't approve of a budget that added one dime to the deficit.
That adding so much to the debt/deficit is "unpatriotic."
Shall I continue? If I did, this would probably be my longest post in the blog's history.
While moving some stuff around in the basement the other day -- including some old "long boxes" of comics -- I came across one of my favorite classic comic editions: The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe -- Book of Weapons, Hardware, and Paraphernalia. The section on Iron Man's armor is especially intriguing because it offers up a novel technological "explanation" of the awesome armor that was never conceived of before:
You read that right -- Iron Man's armor was (and I say "was" because this issue came out in 1984) composed of bacteria. "Metal affinity" bacteria. And Tony Stark genetically engineered this bacteria to, when they expire, "deposit" various layers which his armor needs:
If this sounds incredibly fantastic, it, well, is. I mean, take a look at what these bacteria leave behind when they die:
Yep, when the bacteria die, they deposit things like a "graviton generator and magnetic beam path," a "magnetic beam generator," and an "integral electronic motor speed control." Pretty fascinating, huh?
The book is the brainchild of Eliot R. Brown who also did up the fantastic Iron Manual back in 1993. I'd say "seek this out!" if you're an IM fan, but I see that Eliot has the entire issue online at that link!
Giant Freakin Robot has the pretty good synopsis.
I'm of mixed feelings about Enterprise. It always seemed to me that the writers didn't care about established Trek canon ... and worried about it all at the same time. For example, the show's very premise violates everything we'd learned about Trek and the Enterprise. I mean, the ship -- "NX-01"?? Since when? And who the hell was Capt. Archer? In the show's premiere, Earth/Federation history with regards to the Klingons is altered from what we know. On the other hand, when Archer is trapped in the past with the time-traveling Daniels, the writers seem to go out of their way to establish the canonical Earth-Romulan wars. The list is endless.
Nevertheless, BFR's Josh Tyler makes a good point in that the show's right-from-the-bat weakness is that it established time travel as the main plot device. Of the entire show. I'm a HUGE time travel aficionado, but even I saw that this was pretty weak -- and left too many "easy outs" for the writers if they needed 'em ... or, would allow them to just complicate the living sh** out of Trek canon even further. Honestly -- when news broke that the series was canceled, I seriously thought the whole Temporal Cold War stuff would act like the "Dream Season" of Dallas in which the whole series was erased from history.
And this all doesn't even address the insanity of dedicating an entire season (the third) to searching for a doomsday weapon. It gave "boring" a whole new concept.
As Tyler notes, the series seemed to have gotten its act together in season four, its last, but by then it was too late. It quickly (and very neatly) did away with the Temporal Cold War, and began to concentrate on story above all. Possibly the best episodes of the entire series were the "In a Mirror, Darkly" which used the long-established "mirror" universe (and, ironically, time travel) to tell an incredibly good story. But, alas, in the rush to tie everything up while running out of time, the finale hastily "established" the Federation ... with the lame plot device of the Enterprise-D's Will Riker using the holodeck to "live out" a history lesson.
But hey -- does any of this all matter, though? Star Trek has been rebooted, existing now in an alternate universe. Yeah, I know the Trek universe proper still exists (and many cool stories can be told!), but will we see any of it outside of novels, comics and fan fiction?
I tend to doubt it.
During an interview to promote The Avengers, as well as the documentary With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story, Moviefone asked the legendary writer and editor (Stan Lee) about concerns — more like complaints, actually — that his co-creator’s name appears nowhere on the $220 million movie. Lee seemed genuinely perplexed, replying, “I don’t know how to answer that because in what way would his name appear?” before offering that “it’s mentioned in every comic book; it says ‘By Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.’”
As Robot 6 notes, it's not entirely fair to ask Lee, but you can tell he's uncomfortable by the whole issue. I mean, c'mon -- "in what way would his name appear"?? How 'bout "co-creator," maybe? Y'know, like, because Kirby co-created the characters and the concept of the team?
Lee gets a certain percentage of the take on Marvel flicks mainly because he's been alive to negotiate such deals. No such luck Jack Kirby. But in my opinion, the very least Lee could do was demand Kirby's name appear in the freakin' credits as, mentioned above, "co-creator." That'd be the decent -- and right -- thing to do. Especially since Kirby was much more responsible for the storytelling of Marvel's titles in the 1960s than Lee ever was.
David Brothers' column at Comics Alliance has made me reconsider my views that I voiced in a recent comics-related post. In my past post, I chastised comics great Alan Moore for being an egotist because DC is producing the series "Before Watchmen" ... and Moore ain't happy about it. But Brothers lays out an excellent case as to why Moore has a very legitimate right to feel as he does.
See? I am able to be persuaded to change my opinion!
The Telegraph (UK) notes that President Obama made an "uncharacteristic" gaffe the other day by calling the Falklands Islands -- known as the Malvinas in Argentina -- the "Maldives." And it did so by pointing out ... that George W. Bush was more prone to such blunders:
Barack Obama made an uncharacteristic error, more akin to those of his predecessor George W. Bush, by referring to the Falkland Islands as the Maldives.
While President George W. Bush certainly made his fair share of gaffes, one can certainly wonder if the former chief exec was indeed more apt to make such errors, or whether it was the media -- in this case the foreign press -- that highlighted them more often than it does those of our current president. For example, take Oliver Burkeman's "homage" to Mr. Bush in the [UK] Guardian just prior to the former president's departure from the White House in 2009: "The gaffes, the gibberish, the gurning. Admit it: there's a part of him you're going to miss" he writes. He then includes the memorable moment of Mr. Bush walking into a locked door while in China, followed by just about every memorable verbal/grammar gaffe of his presidency.
The [UK] Daily Mail giggled at the former president mixing up Austria with Australia, while the aforementioned BBC certainly had fun with the former president's blunders with British royalty. Ironically, our current president thought that Austrian was an actual language, and he's had his own share of gaffes with regards to the British and their royalty.
So, are such blunders, verbal and otherwise, "uncharacteristic" of President Obama? Let's take a look at some classics:
Newsbusters forum member Blonde has a handy-dandy reference guide for many other such goofs by our current chief exec.
The question to the UK Telegraph is: Was your sub-headline an actual fact -- or a blatant editorial opinion?
(Cross-posted at Newsbusters.)
Philly.com has already -- and predictably -- opined on the Trayvon Martin case, thus opening the way for the expected dopey letter writers. First up is Scott Washburn of Philly who writes
If I understand the Florida "stand your ground" law correctly, if Trayvon Martin had been carrying a gun, he would have been perfectly justified in shooting George Zimmerman, just as Zimmerman claims to have been justified in shooting Martin ("Debating 'castle' doctrine," Tuesday). Martin's life obviously was in danger.
Well, you don't understand the law correctly, Scott. Martin would have a lot less of a justification for firing on Zimmerman than the reverse. Consider the relevant portions of the Florida law:
776.012 Use of force in defense of person.—A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:
(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or
(2) Under those circumstances permitted pursuant to s. 776.013.
Zimmerman merely following Martin hardly rises to the level of "reasonably believing" in "imminent death or great bodily harm." On the other hand, if current reports are accurate in that Martin attacked Zimmerman first, Zimmerman's claims of self defense may have merit -- based on the above ... and on this section:
776.041 Use of force by aggressor. —The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:
(1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or
(2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:
(a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or
(b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.
Even if Zimmerman is considered the "aggressor" by his initial pursuit of Martin ("Initially provokes the use of force against himself"), there's that highlighted exception. Reports say that Zimmerman had ceased his pursuit of Martin and was returning to his truck. It is here that Martin allegedly attacked him. Part "a" above would appear to be what allows the action Zimmerman ultimately took -- shooting Martin because Martin was beating the snot out of him.
Next, Anthony J. Frascino of Swedesboro (NJ) writes:
African Americans must realize the sad truth. Old white men are passing draconian gun laws to protect their own. Florida adopted an NRA-backed gun law called "stand your ground" to make it easier for citizens to kill you if you're perceived as a threat to their survival. To many of these folks, any black face is intimidating. So any vigilante confronting you can murder you, even if you get the upper hand and don't possess a firearm.
Hmm. Usually when one says "draconian gun laws" he means gun control. Frascino seems to be saying that laws like "Stand Your Ground" are racist because it gives "old white men" an excuse to kill black people. Which is actually pretty hilarious since the aforementioned gun control actually has racist roots. "Stand your ground" applies to everyone, whereas gun control laws historically only benefitted the well-off and whites, and currently only benefit the lawless. Just take a gander at how "great" gun control laws work in big inner cities now. Whom do they hurt most?
As for the rest of Frascino's nonsense, I direct him to the appropriate sections of the Florida law noted above in response to the first letter writer.
Via Screen Rant:
Chris Claremont – probably the most renowned X-Men writer ever, having written everything from “The Phoenix Saga” to “Days of Future Past” – recently reflected on the potential X-Men film from way back when – the one produced by James Cameron (Avatar), directed by Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), and starring Bob Hoskins (Who Framed Roger Rabbit) as Wolverine and Angela Bassett (Waiting to Exhale) as Storm.
Hoskins? It sure is hard to imagine that after the svelte, buff Hugh Jackman assumed the role. But Claremont saw Hoskins in Lassiter (starring Tom Selleck) and thought he'd "be perfect" to play the Canuck X-Man. Here, you decide:
Bassett I can totally see as Storm. She's a better actress than Halle Berry, but certainly not as hot. Big-time blockbusters tend to go for the latter.
Attorney General Eric Holder in 1995: "We must 'brainwash' people against guns."
Now, while the intent of the idea -- using guns isn't "cool" -- is obviously laudable, this attitude of Holder's goes a long way in explaining "Fast and Furious," doesn't it? And, we all know what the saying is regarding intentions, right?
Keep in mind all of these idiots are now saying "Oil prices are beyond President Obama's control."
I actually happen to think what they're saying now is correct -- that there's precious little the chief exec can do about high gas prices. But that ain't the issue. The issue is wanton, blatant hypocrisy. Obama and some of his minions are on record as supporting higher gas prices, not to mention The Messiah has dwindled the amount of federal lands on which oil can be explored/drilled for. So, even as new exploration and drilling would take years to affect the price at the pump, the perception (as opposed to that of our former president, Bush) is that Barack Obama is hostile to further domestic oil development -- period.
Perpetually aggrieved Delawarean Jea Street -- a member of the Delaware Black Caucus -- is miffed that the state's "Race to the Top" education reforms aren't leading to "greater equality":
"The new millennium term is 'charter school' and 'choice school.' I call it segregation," he said. "There are black charter schools and there are predominantly white charter schools. You can call it what you want, but it is what it is."
*Sigh* Street really likes the term "new millenium [racism]," and he always views things through a racial lens. And only an anachronism like a "Black Caucus" can claim that "Delaware's modern education policies like school choice still retain an air of segregation." Um ... aren't liberals supposed to be about choice? Yeah, yeah, I know, as long it's the "right kind" of choice. Choices that people make freely -- even black people!! -- that may lead to some disparity in some progressive-desired racial "balance," are ridiculously compared to pre-Brown v. Board of Education.
Get. A. Grip. On. Reality. For. Heaven's. Sake.
Oh, and Jea? "Race to the Top" is a Barack Obama idea. He happens to be a black guy. Or, perhaps you don't consider him "authentically black?" (Another favorite progressive epithet.)
... we read this:
"Iran says its atomic program is aimed only at producing electricity and insists it has the right under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to build a uranium-development program," reports the AP.
Osama supposedly told his children and grandchildren. “Do not follow me down the road to jihad,” he said. “You have to study and live in peace and don’t do what I am doing or what I have done.”
The article states this is second hand information coming from the sister of one of bin Laden's wives which is very different than his own hand or video of him saying the same. It could be that the woman never agreed with bin Laden and wants to put his kids on a different track. It could be that he did indeed see the futility of it all at the end. It could be that she is simply wrong. We'll never know and if he's remembered it will be as an irredentist.
Either way, the fact that this is not a huge story in the media is baffling.
To follow up on Duffy's post, I too want to give a shout out to the G-Men for their second consecutive Super Bowl victory over the hated Patriots. Why "hated?" Simply put, because they denied my beloved Rams a place on the mantle of greatness by besting them in Super Bowl 36. They shouldn't have even been there (remember the infamous "Tuck Rule" call?), and then there was the whole issue of videotaping the Rams' practices and late hits (beyond five yards) on the Rams' receivers the whole game. Yes -- they deserve kudos for the game they played; they would have lost nine out of ten to that 2001 Rams team, though.
Even though our current Justice Dept. is fighting against state measures that require showing a photo ID when voting (because, you know, such measures "discriminate" against the poor, minorities, and the elderly), back in 2005 a commission led by one Jimmy Carter -- that's right, the former president -- advocated voter ID laws.
The commission, also co-chaired by former Secretary of State James Baker, called voter identification one of “five pillars” that would “build confidence” in the integrity of federal elections. Only three of the 21 commission members voted against requiring photo identification of voters.
Far from seeing a photo ID requirement as a negative, the commission said it could become a path to even greater access to the ballot.
“To prevent the ID from being a barrier to voting, we recommend that states use the registration and ID process to enfranchise more voters than ever,” the executive summary of the commission’s report states. “States should play an affirmative role in reaching out to non-drivers by providing more offices, including mobile ones, to register voters and provide photo IDs free of charge. There is likely to be less discrimination against minorities if there is a single, uniform ID, than if poll workers can apply multiple standards.”
Of course, even this won't stop the usual "progressive" groups from blasting such laws. In an age when virtually anything is dubbed "racist," something that even remotely impacts minorities (seemingly negatively) will also be so dubbed.
(h/t to Insty.)
One of the frequent cries of anguish from everyone to the left of well, me is that income inequality is a Very Bad Thing and needs to be stopped. In fact, I would argue the the animating force behind leftist politics today is addressing this by force of law. In Bizaaro Lefty Econ world economics is zero sum. If you have more, you must have taken it from someone who now has less. Also it is inevitable that this money was taken from lower income people and given to/stolen by upper income people. KAVIP's constant refrain is that if we could only go back to the Clinton era all would be well. Odd that the liberals are now the ones who want to stand athwart history yelling "stop!" Well the good news is that the income inequality gap is now back to Clinton era levels. I expect this matter to be closed and hear no more whining about the rich getting richer at the expense of the poor.
Obama IS the "food stamp" president. His very own Secretary of Agriculture SAYS so. Right here:
Did you hear that? Not only are food stamps an "economic stimulus(!!)," the administration has been pushing the program to the states. And all this time Obama (and his willing accomplices in the media) have been either chastising the GOP presidential candidates for their "racial code words" when they invoke the food stamp expansion, or for "distorting history" because, of course, George W. Bush supposedly really began the expansion of food stamps.
NBC's main anchor dude, Brian Williams, asked his "Nightly News" audience Thursday night about Arizona Gov. Brewer pointing her finger at President Obama: "Who have you ever seen talking to the president like this?"
Answer -- Brian Williams:
7:00PM ET TEASE:
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Also, finger pointing. That photo everybody was talking about today. Who have you ever seen talking to the president like this and what was this all about?
7:06PM ET SEGMENT:
WILLIAMS: All of this takes us to the photo everybody's been talking about today. The governor of Arizona with her finger in the face of the President of the United States. You don't see that often or maybe ever.
Unless you're a Republican president being grilled by a self-righteous member of the mainstream media, that is.
M-BS-NBC idiot Chris Matthews asks "Is Mitt Romney just too damn rich?"
I wonder: did Matthews wonder the same thing about his hero -- John F. Kennedy -- in his adulating book? Not to mention Matthews himself -- his salary is $5 million per year!
We should all know by now that nothing is The Messiah's fault. Nothing. Ever.
During Monday night’s GOP debate, Newt Gingrich observed that more Americans have been placed on the food stamps program under President Obama than any other president in the country’s history. Although Gingrich’s assertion was based on the current number of people on food stamps, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney attempted to spin the narrative 180 degrees by saying that it was in fact Republican policies that created the demand for food stamps. He cited a lack of Wall Street regulation as the catalyst.
“The economic policies that contributed to the great recession were supported by and are being proposed by I believe all the [Republican candidates],” Carney said during the press briefing Tuesday. Criticizing Republicans for opposing Dodd-Frank regulations, Carney added, “We look forward to the debate with whomever emerges from the primary process.” (Link.)
Via Deadline, former James Cameron spouse (and scifi heavy hitter in her own right) Gale Anne Hurd is currently shopping for a buyer for her "Area 51" series:
The hourlong project, which will be taken out to the networks shortly, will be written by feature scribe Karl Gajdusek. It will follow two men working on the base who are thrust into danger when they uncover secrets that the government will protect at any cost. Gajdusek, who was brought in by Valhalla executive Beatrice Springborn, will serve as showrunner and executive produce with Hurd.
The show is based on Annie Jacobsen’s book Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base.
Here's what gets me about the teaser above (and what could ultimately lead to the series' downfall): The two dudes who work at the base will be made into martyrs for trying to "inform the public" about what they've discovered, and of course the [US] government will once again be the ultimate bad guys -- ruthless killers determined to silence any potential whistleblowers no matter the cost.
In a word: YAAAAWWWWN.
Been there, done that. Again and again and again. That was a big hassle with "The X-Files" -- the stand-alone episodes of that series were usually superb; however, the on-going (and interminable) plot about alien occupation of Earth and subsequent government cover-up was so convoluted and non-sensical that all one could do after a while was sigh a big "WTF??" Even the movies failed to resolve the issue.
Hey, look, I'll be the first to say that skepticism about our government is a damn good thing. But perpetually portraying it as an inhuman ogre (no alien pun intended) is not only not realistic, it's not smart from a business angle. If "Area 51" threaded the needle between the usual "evil government conspiracy" stuff and instances where secret US intervention actually benefitted the country (and humanity), then I think you'd have a winner. No one wants to constantly be told that their country sucks, even with regards to clandestine machinations. In the immediate post-nuclear age, most entertainment was brutally lopsided as portraying the US as uniformly positive. The last thirty years or so, such has taken an almost 180 degree turn. As the current demand in Washington DC these days is compromise and balance, Hurd would do well to heed this advice.
Via the PJ Tatler: What a banner to have up a mere day after JFK was killed:
That's what modern "progressives" are all about -- the government doing for them.
Then there's this supposedly educated buffoon:
Because the first one was such a terrific example to follow!
Many many more pics here.
Listen as two "victims" of the "torture" pepper spray incident smile and giggle at how horrible it was:
And, of course, it wouldn't be a California campus without a groveling chancellor ... and her totally unforgiving horde of pampered, spoiled charges:
Yep, you heard that right -- this pepper spray incident made international headlines. The myriad instances of OWS violence, property destruction, rape, theft, disease and DEATH? Not so much. In other words, we have an international mainstream media (along with the OWSers themselves) craving a Kent State moment by which to rally around.
Good luck with that. At Kent State, you had kids with real gripes, most especially that of conscription, which in Vietnam's case frequently meant death. The National Guard actually killed several students during a protest. The OWSers' gripes are not even close to being on par with that 'Nam generation's, and being pepper sprayed for absolutely refusing to move while you're blocking normal business and refusing numerous police orders ... is supposed to get my sympathy?
Cheeyeah, right. I happen to think that was the wrong tactic by the police; however, the denunciations that those cops are getting when compared to the pathetic shenanigans demonstrated by the OWSers is preposterously lopsided. Which, knowing our media, should be no surprise at all.
Check out this unintentionally hilarious Al Sharpton ad for MSNBC:
Now this dialogue would be a lot more accurate:
"You know, I grew up on this street on Brooklyn ... and it was in this very neighborhood where me and a few other racial hucksters took full advantage of the Tawana Brawley situation to totally smear some police crackers. So the f*** what if we made all this sh** up and I had others pay that honky Steve Pagones what the court said I owed him. You may think I had blueberry on my face -- but that would make you a racist."
MSNBC -- Lie Out Your Ass.
I've read and heard this uttered by various OWSers over the last few weeks:
After the vote, Occupy participants shouted: "Tell me what democracy looks like! This is what democracy looks like!" (Source)
Except ... the United States is not a democracy. It is a republic. And it is for a reason:
A SIMPLE ILLUSTRATION: Five people are sitting in a room. Three are men. One of them proposes a new law making it legal to for a man to rape a woman (under certain circumstances of course). The three men vote yea. What happens next is "democracy" in action.
A SIMPLE DEFINITION: Pure "democracy" is rule by majority. In effect, it is mob rule.
You have to go back a ways but the distinction was clearly made even as late as 1929. The Army Training Manual of 1929 (PM 2000-25) contains the following definitions under the title of Citizenship:
Democracy: A government of the masses, authority derived through mass meetings or any other form of direct expression; results in mobocracy; attitude toward property is communistic negating property rights; attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate whether it is based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences; its result is dem-o-gogism, license, agitation, discontent and anarchy.
Republic: Authority is derived through the election by the people of public officials best suited to represent them. Attitude toward property is respect for laws and individual rights and a sensible economic procedure. Attitude toward law is the administration of justice in accord with fixed principles that establish evidence with a strict regard for consequences. A greater number of citizens and extent of territory may be brought within its compass, it avoids the dangerous extremes of either tyranny or mobocracy. Results in statesmanship, liberty, reason, justice contentment and progress, is a standard for government around the world.
Yeah, that about explains the OWS "movement" in a nutshell.
Let's see if THE NARRARIVETM is true to reality:
Three people arrested Thursday night inside the Occupy Boston camp have been charged with dealing crack cocaine ... "Things have changed drastically. It seems to be deteriorating,” the man told Carl. “A lot of drug use, alcohol use, people getting into fights… It’s deteriorating pretty quick.”
In Los Angeles, OWSers shut down a Burger King in "protest":
Lauren Gill, an organizer at the camp, said the woman apparently died of a drug overdose. She said the death highlights the need for more addiction services because drugs are such a big issue in the city.
Three people were arrested Saturday as part of the ongoing Occupy Phoenix protest. Sgt. Trent Crump, a spokesman for the Phoenix Police Department, said two people were arrested at Cesar Chavez Plaza in downtown Phoenix for breaking urban camping laws. One person was arrested on a felony warrant.
Here in Delaware, protesters are in danger of following in Phoenix's footsteps:
Occupy Delaware protesters, who are railing against perceived economic inequality and corporate control of government, thumbed their noses at Gov. Jack Markell again Sunday, rejecting a state permit to camp out in Wilmington's Brandywine Park.
But the protesters' decision to migrate to Peter Spencer Plaza, next to the Boggs Federal Building, could lead to a confrontation with Wilmington police this morning.
As you've no doubt surmised by now, my main objection to OWS is the preposterous media double standard with regards to it and its coverage of the Tea Party. Not to mention, the preposterous double standard by OWS-supporting "progressives" themselves. For example,
And on and on it goes. In other words, do not listen to one word of protest from a so-called "progressive" about the coverage/treatment of the OWSers ... until you've established that he/she wasn't ridiculously critical of the Tea Party and its motives/actions.
... when considering the Cain "sexual harassment" controversy, courtesy of Insty: There's a group out there called JournoList who "got together and talked about how to bury stories that hurt Democrats and push stories that hurt Republicans." Here's the complete list of the group.
Nevertheless, while obviously I believe the mainstream media has a preposterously brutal double standard when it comes to political scandals (particularly those involving sexual inpropriety), Herman Cain more and more demonstrates that he really ain't up to the job. I've previously opined on his absurd comments regarding Muslims, and now we read this:
JUDY WOODRUFF: Do you view China as a potential military threat to the United States?
HERMAN CAIN: I do view China as a potential military threat to the United States... we already have superiority in terms of our military capability, and I plan to get away from making cutting our defense a priority and make investing in our military capability a priority, going back to my statement: peace through strength and clarity. So yes they're a military threat. They've indicated that they're trying to develop nuclear capability and they want to develop more aircraft carriers like we have. So yes, we have to consider them a military threat.
Dude -- the Chinese have had nukes since 1964. Regrettably, Ace -- to whom the hat tip goes for this story -- also doesn't know when China first tested a nuke, saying "For what it's worth, super-smart media genius Judy Woodruff seems to have not known China's been a nuclear power since the late 50s, too."
Close, but no cigar.
Anne Foley, the principal at Kennedy School in Somerville, Mass., sent an email to teachers warning them about celebrating Thanksgiving, the Boston Herald reported.
"When we were young we might have been able to claim ignorance of the atrocities that Christopher Columbus committed against the indigenous peoples," Kennedy School Principal Anne Foley wrote.
"We can no longer do so. For many of us and our students celebrating this particular person is an insult and a slight to the people he annihilated. On the same lines, we need to be careful around the Thanksgiving Day time as well."
She must have gotten that straight from some ed school course probably titled something like "Multiculturalism for New Teachers." But that ain't it. The laughable CYA moment comes from the district superintendent:
School Superintendent Tony Pierantozzi also issued a statement yesterday in response to the holiday flap saying Foley’s email was intended to “spark healthy faculty discussion” about Christopher Columbus and that the schools celebrate holidays “when related to the curriculum.”
Uh huh. And if that "healthy faculty discussion" included teachers telling their principal that she is being outrageously ridiculous? Yeah, I bet that'd go over really well, especially come evaluation time. Thanksgiving is a national holiday for goodness sake, and besides -- what does Columbus really have to do with Thanksgiving? He landed in the New World over a century before the Pilgrims landed further north. The idea that the Europeans were brutal, genocidal ogres and the Natives were idyllic, peace-loving utopians is laughable in the extreme. After all, for example, why didn't Foley mention the cannibalism that some of the Natives who Columbus encountered practiced? Easy: Doesn't fit THE NARRATIVETM.
Colossus R&D man Gooch sends me this link from USA Today about the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial ... and some of the predictable dogmatic/political nonsense you'd expect from the usual suspects. Let's start from the beginning:
Update at 9:20 a.m. ET: [Washington DC Mayor Vincent] Gray spends much of his speech noting that residents of Washington, D.C., do not, under the Constitution, have full voting rights. He calls on President Obama and Congress to end this "yoke of injustice" and "remove the shackles of oppression." The voting restrictions were put in place when the District of Columbia was created. The district does not have a voting representative in Congress.
No problem! Just incorporate the District into the state of Maryland and voilá -- instant voting rights for DC residents. Do not think we don't recognize the blatant political (and pathetic) agenda behind granting the District full statehood. (It's ridiculously overwhelmingly Democratic.)
Update at 10:27 a.m. ET: King, [Jesse] Jackson says, would be sad that a "redemptive moment of historic proportions" that came with the election of Obama in 2008 "has been met with unrelenting retribution, retaliation and unprecedented opposition." "Many seem willing just to sink the ship just to destroy the captain," Jackson says."We must do better than that."
Of course, since MLK advocated going beyond skin color in judging men, he'd probably rebuke the racialist Jackson saying "Unrelenting retribution, retaliation and unprecedented opposition? Please, Jesse. Do you so quickly forget what happened to Obama's predecessor? Or, do you think that just because our current president is black that he should have it easier than any other chief executive?"
Update at 10:39 a.m. ET: Rev. Joseph Lowery, the 90-year-old co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, says King gave birth to a "new America." "This marvelous present is imperiled today by forces that have come to turn back the clock. ... But we want to make sure they understand that we have marched too far, prayed too hard, wept too bitterly, bled too profusely, and died too young to let anybody turn back the clock on our journey."
Yo Rev -- who precisely wants to "turn back the clock?" Be specific. But I know you won't because either 1) you can't, or 2) you don't want to sound like an idiot. So just keep to those generalized outrageous platitudes.
Update at 11:14 a.m. ET: Rev. Al Sharpton says the marker is not a monument of old times past. "This is a marker for the fight for justice today and a projection for the fight for justice in the future because we will not stop until we get the equal justice justice (that) Dr. King fought for."
The mere fact that a huckster like Sharpton is even on this stage dramatically reduces the respect that it due this memorial. What a shame.
But all was not lost. Not at all. There were many positive comments with no agenda -- perhaps the best of which was the following:
Update at 9:29 a.m. ET: King's sister, Christine King Farris, refers to Obama, the first African-American president, and says, "All dreams can come true and America is a place where you can make it happen."
... especially when it was remotely connected to Tea Partiers? Alas, those days are over.
Unfunny comedian Bill Maher said yesterday that "If a brick came through Rupert Murdoch’s apartment, yes, I have a feeling Fox News would be a lot more gentle on the Wall Street people." MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, on whose show Maher found himself, laughed.
And hell, here's the call in straight black and white:
If this dude was a Tea Partier, he'd be a regular feature on MSNBC, CNN, CBS and ABC for a solid week!
Remember how "choked up" Nancy Pelosi got at the [imaginary] prospect of Tea Party violence? She's suddenly ultra-cool with those OWSers. Who'da thunk that? Yeesh.
But hey, there's always that 'ol standby: Libs can always bring out that inevitable, tiresome, needs-no-intellect card -- opposition to OWS is "racist!"
... about "sitting on the sidelines" during the nascent civil rights movement in the 50s and early 60s ... forgetting that he admitted he does precisely the same thing for the reason Cain's father told Cain. Check it:
Where do you think black people would be sitting on the bus today if Rosa Parks had followed your father’s advice [for Herman not to make trouble if told to sit in the back of the bus; my note, Cain was 9 years old at the time of Parks' act of defiance.]
You watched black college students from around the country and white college students from around the country come to the south and be murdered, fighting for the rights of African-Americans; do you regret sitting on the sidelines at that time?
So, Crazy Larry chides Mr. Cain, yet admitted himself that he doesn't criticize radical Muslims like he should ... because he fears for his life:
HUGH HEWITT: Would you say the same things about Mohammed as you just said about Joseph Smith?
O'DONNELL: Oh, well, I’m afraid of what the…that’s where I’m really afraid. I would like to criticize Islam much more than I do publicly, but I’m afraid for my life if I do.
HEWITT: Well, that’s candid.
O'DONNELL: Mormons are the nicest people in the world. They’re not going to ever…
HEWITT: So you can be bigoted towards Mormons, because they’ll just send you a strudel.
O'DONNELL: They’ll never take a shot at me. Those other people, I’m not going to say a word about them.
Nothing like an admitted socialist like O'Donnell lecturing a black man on what he "should have done" during the civil rights movement when he was a minor and a young college student (because, in part, he feared violence), yet is afraid to do his job as an adult because he fears for his life.
What a sanctimonious hypocritical a-hole.
I see another has tried to cross over into politics from sports -- Mike Lupica of the NY Daily News. If you're gonna do that, it usually helps to 1) not act like you're part of MSNBC's late afternoon-prime time lineup, and 2) know what the hell you're talking about. Case in point about 'ol Mike: Headline -- President Obama has been so weak, even the laughable Mitt Romney could stand a chance.
What makes Romney so "laughable," Mike? We don't know because he doesn't say. Just like the grown-up children of MSNBC do all the time.
Then we read this:
Now, on a morning nearly three years later, it is quiet on Hyde Park Blvd., a Secret Service van parked in front of the house and Secret Service signs posted around the neighborhood, and metal barriers making sidewalks disappear. This happens to be around the corner from the home of Bill Ayers, the guy that idiots on the right tried to make into some kind of terrorist, and maybe two blocks from where Louis Farrakhan lives.
Um, the "idiots on the right" didn't have to "try" to make Ayers a terrorist; he is one -- at the very least a former one -- and he has said as much. Who's an idiot now, Mike?
One of the great candidates out of one of the great political campaigns we have ever seen, a candidate good enough to take out Hillary Clinton in what was supposed to be her year, has turned into this kind of mediocre President, despite his own best intentions and expectations.
Exactly what made Obama "great?" I mean, really. Why was he "great?" The real world answer is that he's not and never was, and Lupica unknowingly points out why: because intentions and expectations don't equate to good policies and leadership. Obama didn't "turn into" a mediocre president; he always was mediocre ... at best.
Obama has done the impossible: Less than five months after the Navy SEALs took out Osama Bin Laden, he's made the killshots a nonissue, even though at the time it was supposed to make him some kind of slam dunk for a second term.
Impossible? Again, this is why Lupica should stick to sports because he knows sh** about history. Just two paragraphs before the one above, Lupica writes that George HW Bush was "another guy whom a bad economy helped throw down an air shaft." Yet, just months prior to that, Mr. Bush had sky-high poll numbers thanks to the overwhelming victory against Iraq in Operation: Desert Storm. So why in the world would Lupica think that a significantly lesser military victory would help save Barack Obama from a significantly worse economy?
Lupica isn't even mediocre as a political pundit. And that makes him worse than the president about whom he writes.
You can't get more moronic than the absolute cretins who continually criticize Israel about their "occupation" and "harsh" treatment of the Palestinians ... yet either completely overlook how the Palis (and their Arab allies) feel about, and treat, Israelis and Jews in general ... or just refuse to address it. I'm serious. These people have serious flaws in their basic moral structure.
The catalyst for this post is two-fold. First is this Jay Nordlinger piece:
I was talking yesterday to a friend of mine about the Israel Philharmonic’s experience at the BBC Proms. Demonstrators refused to let the orchestra proceed with its concert. My friend said, “Were they pro-Palestinian?” I said to her, “Well, I would call them anti-Israeli.”
I am pro-Palestinian, and so is Natan Sharansky — and so is Bibi Netanyahu. We want Palestinians, and everyone else, to live in peace and freedom. We are so pro-Palestinian that we actually think they should be free of dictatorship, tyranny, want, squalor, and lies. Something like 1.5 million Arabs — “Palestinians,” if you like — live in Israel. (It used to be that the only “Palestinians” were Jews. The Israel Phil. began life as the PSO, the Palestine Symphony Orchestra.) When Palestinian homosexuals and other “undesirables” flee for their lives from the West Bank or Gaza, where do they flee? You bet.
“Pro-Israeli” and “pro-Palestinian” — very unhelpful terms. Decent people are pro-everybody. But these terms are unavoidable, I suppose, like those other unhelpful terms “pro-war” and “anti-war.” We’re all anti-war (except for psychopaths): Some of us think that this or that war is necessary and justified, some of us don’t.
Precisely. How would history have been different if the Palestinians accepted the 1948 UN Partition Plan? There was the ever-sought after "two state solution" right then and there. But no; though imperfect (as all plans are), the Plan fairly dealt with increasingly difficult issues that the British had gotten weary of (hence, their turning the hassle over the then-nascent UN). What we had was one side accepting the plan and beginning to make their new sovereign home, and the other shunning it -- and then teaming with numerous surrounding countries to obliterate the other new sovereign state. That's right -- obliterate.
And this was just the beginning.
Jews, hundreds of thousands of who were forced to flee their homes in myriad Arab countries as a result of the Israeli-Palestinian-Arab conflict, settled elsewhere -- many in Israel. But the Palestinians? Two of their "friends" gobbled up the territory allotted for them (as per the Partition Plan) after their unsuccessful attack on the new Israel. Then, the Palis weren't accepted by their Arab "friends" if they wanted to resettle there. Like ... why?
The history since then, as any fan of history knows, is one of continued Arab aggression towards Israel, and one of continued Israeli survival and victory. 1967 and 1973 were the other two "big" conflicts, but there have been many more "smaller' skirmishes in between and beyond. But the utter idiocy of those believe there is some sort of ... "equivalence" between Israel and the Palestinians continues to know no bounds.
One of those utter idiots (and the second part of the catalyst for this post) is our old "friend" Perry, once a prolific commenter here before he took his morally questionable antics over to Common Sense Political Thought and most recently to his own blog. (I won't link to it; he doesn't deserve the hits.) Some of his past dreck regarding Israel and the Palestinians here at Colossus can be seen here; most recently, however, he's been at his usual self in this CSPT thread. Check out some of his comments (my emphasis):
* How about discrimination against Arabs and Palestinians by Israelis in their own territory – West Bank? Not anecdotal, and pathetic. Your anecdotal information is a starter, but on Israeli/Palestinian/Arab relations, being selective is typical propaganda ...
* Please show me the evidence that the Palestinians want the Jews “eradicated”, or that they have “genocide on the brain”. Based on the Israeli utter inhumane treatment of Gazans, one might be tempted to conclude the opposite as you have. (Perry claims to know about the Hamas Charter, yet amazingly then demands evidence that Palestinians wants Jews eradicated.)
* My problem with the Jews is the way they have behaved toward the Palestinians for over a century now! And make no mistake, the Arabs have put the Israelis on the defensive with their threats and intransigence. (Oh! Good to know Perry cedes a point to the Israelis! Except, of course, there has been a LOT more than just "threats and intransigence" now, hasn't there?)
* The “Jews right of return to Arab lands” based on what, Hube? A proclamation from God? I have just received a proclamation from God that the 1967 boundaries should be recognized and obeyed! (This was response to my question about the JEWS' "right of return" since Perry is in favor of the Palis' right of return to their old homes. Perry didn't know that hundreds of thousands of Jews -- perhaps as high as over one million -- were either expelled from Arab countries after 1948 or basically had to leave due to deteriorating conditions -- threats, violence, killings.)
* Wrong again, Hube! Who is it that is seeking a two state solution for Palestine. Not the Israeli’s, as they continue to encroach on Palestinian territory, which is the behavior of a country who wants a one state solution – Israel. (Perry has obviously forgotten 1948 and all the way up to 1967. Then the Clinton-initiated peace offer which Yassir Arafat rejected. Then the Israeli pull-out of the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, the Palestinians finally SAY they want a two-state solution, and all of a sudden there's a "serious" offer/plan. Despite the fact that, y'know, Hamas still has the destruction of Israel in its charter.)
Nothing really new here, as I noted. And please excuse my profanity in some of the comments at CSPT in response to Perry. The reason for that is 1) Perry perpetually plays a game whereby he conveniently "forgets" what other people have posted, and then demands sources, etc., and even claims that you've lied; and 2) frankly, I've about had it with Jew-bashing. What is it with this irrational distaste for people of the Jewish faith?
As I mentioned in one of the comments at CSPT, I think one of the reasons "progressives" hold Israel in disdain is because they've violated an important "progressive" tenet -- not playing the victim. Israel doesn't play the victim even though they've often been the actual victim. They've held fast, fought back, and developed a modern nation based on democratic principles ... all the while their neighbors have been constantly at their throats. "Progressives" despise that, for this means that Israelis don't need them.
Personally, I think this has a lot (all?) to do with anti-Semitism worldwide. People hate Jews precisely because they've been so successful -- even though they've been persecuted for just about all of their history. But ... why? Why do people disdain a group who values education and hard work? Values family and religious belief? Good Lord, just stop and consider what the Jewish people have contributed to mankind over the centuries -- for example in the fields of medicine and science alone. It's astounding.
As I once told the inimitable Soccer Dad in a fairly lengthy e-mail conversation years ago, I once was a "member" of that elitist "progressive" cadre who viewed the Israelis as conquering ogres who were "subjugating" and "oppressing" the Palestinians for no good reason other than simple hatred and for an outrageous land grab. Yes, that was back in my college days. Surprise that, eh? But, of course, as with anything else, I then grew up.
All of this does not mean to imply that criticism of Israel is anathema. Debating the utility of building more settlements in the West Bank, the effectiveness of myriad security measures, etc., are certainly items for legitimate debate. But do not attempt to play it "straight down the middle" as if there is any real such equivalence between the Israelis and the Palestinians. To wit:
The Palestinians could have their "two-state solution" tomorrow if they dropped their arms, renounced terrorism, renounced terror groups like Hamas, and recognized Israel's right to exist as a sovereign state. Period. Unfortunately, they (and their Arab "friends") are too consumed by the irrational hatred of Jews to do this. And there will be no real peace in the Middle East until this ridiculous and maniacal hatred is expunged.
UPDATE: Great timing. Check out Cal Thomas's article about Israel over at Newsbusters.
We are creating the first comprehensive statistical encyclopedia of the great black baseball teams and leagues that operated behind the color line in the days of Jim Crow segregation. The database also collects a vast amount of biographical information about these players, much of it previously unpublished.
Among the injustices visited upon the ballplayers of the Negro leagues, the lack of a statistical record of their accomplishments might not leap out as one of the worst; but it has proved one of the most lasting. The Negro National League was founded in 1920; it has taken 91 years to find out for sure that Cristóbal Torriente was the batting champion, that Sam Crawford struck out the most batters, that Dave Brown compiled the best ERA, Pete Hill collected the most walks, and Oscar Charleston garnered the most win shares.
I've always wondered how many baseball records would be altered if blacks were permitted to play in the Majors a lot sooner. Or, if their league's statistics were more meticulously kept.
On this day of "Always Remember," it is indeed fitting to always remember what some of the mental pygmies on the left have said about this somber day:
Well, it appears I was right when I asked "How 'bout some truth in advertising?" regarding Image Comics' The Big Lie -- its Trutheresque comic about the 9/11 attacks. Avi Green over at the indispensable Four Color Media Monitor reports on its debut, and the initial reports about it were chock full of ... well, lies. Avi notes via Wired:
It’s enough to make you void your Comixology pullbox. Rick Veitch, a legend in the comic book industry, published The Big Lie on Wednesday, a sleazy 9/11 Truther screed in sequential-art form. Spoiler alert: pseudo-scientific hysteria married to paranoia about How Bush Knew isn’t any cuter when told by cartoon figures.
[...] Veitch doesn’t stop at one conspiracy. They build in their scope and scale. First it’s about Norad unexpectedly preoccupying U.S. air defenses with frivolous training exercises. Then it’s about how the neocons in the Bush administration are looking for an excuse to invade Iraq. (“I’ve heard more than one of these nut-jobs say what the U.S. needs is a ‘New Pearl Harbor,’” says a character who informs us he voted for Reagan.) Finally, the skeptical husband, an engineer who did his thesis on the World Trade Center, dismisses his future-wife by assuring her that “the only way to bring down these structures down is with explosives.” You see where this is going.
Sigh. Yes, planes loaded with jet fuel and used as missiles can — and did — destroy the World Trade Center. Read the authoritative Popular Mechanics story about the physics of 9/11 if your mind is open to persuasion. Bush and company indeed wanted to take down Saddam Hussein from the start of his administration and they cynically tied Saddam to 9/11 absent evidence. But sorry: there is no evidence they planned an invasion before 9/11; no evidence that they knew about 9/11 and let it happen; and no evidence at all they brought the Towers down.
Actually, Bush and Co. didn't do any such thing, despite the "progressive" conventional wisdom. The only thing I can ever recall of "making" any such "connection" was one time Dick Cheney, after being asked about a relationship early on, said "we don't know at this point." But the fact is, President Bush specifically stated there was no a direct connection between the 9/11 attacks and Saddam Hussein.
But back to the comic: Remember what author Veitch said about it in its initial reporting: "[he] has aimed the book itself straight at the middle." In other words, Veitch's words about The Big Lie were themselves a big lie. There's nothing "straight at the middle" about George W. Bush somehow orquestrating 9/11. What it is is pure moonbat lunacy. Not only should Image Comics be ashamed of itself for publishing this drivel, but MSM outlets like USA Today should ashamed too for not accurately reporting on the book.
Remember what I said back in June:
Would anyone credibly state that "wondering" about our current president's place of birth is "down the middle?" Hell, no. That's the exclusive realm of the extreme right.
And you can be sure USA Today would be damn sure to point that out -- and not at all sugarcoat a a report about a comic whose premise is President Obama really being born in Kenya. Not to mention you can bet that major MSM outlets would be screaming bloody murder about the story ... how crazy Image is, what our political discourse "has descended to," and all the other [hypocritical] BS.
Oh, and if I didn't already say it, I'll paraphrase Maxine Waters: Veitch can go straight to Hell.
Just imagine if Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry or Sarah Palin had said this whopper:
Eh, not quite:
Lincoln wasn’t even the GOP’s first Presidential nominee; the first Republican nominee was John C. Fremont in 1856. As the Independence Hall Association recalls, the actual founders of the Republican Party are “Northern leaders such as Horace Greeley, Salmon Chase and Charles Sumner.” Lincoln joined early, as did other anti-slavery Whigs whose party was unraveling at the time, and Lincoln came in second for the 1856 vice-presidential nomination, but he was not a founder of the party. By the time he became a factor in the GOP, the party had already taken a majority in the House of Representatives (1855); it also carried 11 states and 114 electoral votes in the 1856 election that sent Democrat James Buchanan to the White House.
Nice. But Obama is smart, remember. Just like he demonstrates here. (Check out the earliest entries.)
Think John Boehner's refusal to let The Messiah speak before a joint session of Congress (when he wanted) is "unprecedented?" That's what the MSM would like you to believe:
In an extraordinary turn, the House speaker fired back his own letter to the president saying, in a word, no. Might the president be able to reschedule for the following night, Sept. 8?
Congressional historians said Mr. Boehner’s move was unprecedented.
“The Senate Historical Office knows of no instance in which Congress refused the president permission to speak before a joint session of Congress,” Betty K. Koed, associate historian with the Senate, said in an e-mail. “Permission to speak in a joint session is given by resolution of the House and Senate, and arrangements are made through the leadership offices of each chamber.”
The June 24, 1986, edition of The Wall Street Journal featured a story headlined, “President’s Bid to Address the House On Nicaragua Is Rejected by Speaker.” That’s right, no quibbling over the date and time, just a flat-out rejection. In that case, President Ronald Reagan wanted to address the House before its critical vote on funding for the anti-communist “Contra” rebels in Nicaragua. Then-Speaker Thomas “Tip” O’Neil said that he was willing to host a Reagan speech if it was expanded to include the Senate in a joint session, or he would allow the President to speak to the House alone if the President would also agree to take questions from lawmakers. Otherwise, there would be no Reagan speech in the House chamber. Reagan already had the votes to prevail in the Senate, and Mr. O’Neil wanted to avoid having the spotlight turned on the House, which would make him and his colleagues accountable to the public if Contra aid were rejected.
So "technically" Ms. Koed has a point about a joint session refusal; however, such a technicality is trivial. Tip O'Neill flat out said "no" to Reagan's request to address the House -- unless he agreed to the Speaker's conditions.
What a surprise. But hey, bringing up 'ol Tip doesn't fit The NARRATIVETM, after all. I'd also bet, back in 1986, that The NARRATIVETM meant that the MSM was cheering O'Neill's move against The Gipper. Because, y'know, those dastardly Contras were just "bad news" for those poor, nice ol' Sandinistas.
Felicia Sonmez, in a report about loathsome Indiana Rep. Andre Carson's (D) remarks about the Tea Party "view[ing] African Americans as 'second-class citizens'" and wanting "to see them 'hanging on a tree'” repeats the never-proven canard that members of the Congressional Black Caucus were the victims of racial epithets during the 2010 healthcare debate at the Capitol.
In March 2010, tea party members protesting the health care reform legislation uttered racial epithets at Carson and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) outside the Capitol.
Both lawmakers told reporters that the protesters used the N-word toward them.
Well of course they did! It's part of the strategy and The NARRATIVETM! Nevertheless, since Sonmez writes that the lawmakers reported that the protesters "used the N-word," why does she state as a fact beforehand that the protesters definitively did spew the epithets? Andrew Breitbart still has never had to pay the $10,000 he offered for proof that this actually happened.
The dolts at MSDNC really do make it easy, don't they? They're the first to bitch about incivility in political discourse, yet they're always the ones leading the way with the epithets, insults, and infantile jibes. And then there's the riduclously blatant hypocrisy:
... maybe we can make some judgments based on his teaching. Remember Doug Ross's recent post about how the media wasted absolutely NO time tracking down recent GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry's college grades, yet our current president largely remains an academic question mark.
Take a gander at the following files courtesy of edu-blogger extraordinaire Matthew Tabor of Education News.org. It contains Obama's law course syllabus, exams and a few memos. You decide about the course's intellectual and academic rigor. (The entire syllabus packet was too large to upload to our server in its entirety; therefore, I've broken it down into several image files, per page. To start off, check out the requirements for 1994's "Current Issues in Racism and the Law":
What do you think? Rigorous or not? The entire syllabus is below:
Matt, three years ago, originally solicited opinions on Obama's syllabus -- but without identifying the professor! Here was his own take (my emphasis):
1. For 40% of the grade for a graduate level class, a 3,000 word paper that requires no research at all is anything but rigorous.
2. Encouraging students to draw on material/discussion exclusively from class can limit the intellectual breadth of the assignment.
3. Engagement/effort is a low bar. This is a graduate level course, not high school. I expect more than comprehension and trying hard.
4. Sections 2) and 3) from the syllabus – “thorough examination” of opinion and “concrete proposals” – are solid requirements. The problem is that the paper is likely too short and will draw on far too few sources to realize either of those goals.
Here's some other assessments from Matt's post's comments:
- For one- the length is way too long for this project. Second, the value is too low for the length. Third, WHAT the heck is this prof thinking with not having the students research and use peer reviewed research? “Minimum” of 12 pages on a vague topic… If I were a student in that class, I’d be screaming in frustration. (Link)
- I suspect I would have a problem with 60% being devoted to a group project and participation. Show me the rubrics of both of these activities. The idea that I could pass this class just coming to class, interjecting comments and loafing in a group blows my mind. Now the group project may be more rigorous and intense than any of the group projects I’ve had the displeasure of participating in, but I base my assumption on my own experience for now! (Link)
- Graduate syllabi are rarely complete guides to assignments or classes. Two points here:
1. The paper is to be a minimum of 12 pages with no maximum. A graduate student with any brain at all will see that as saying that a brilliant student with a thorough grasp of the subject will just barely be able to do it in 12 pages, and will think “I need to write a lot more than 12 pages.”
2. Graduate courses require conversation about ideas. This assignment is an invitation to the students to converse with their professor and refine their understanding of things. (Link)
- “Fully engaged” and yet may only draw exclusively on the material and discussion presented in class. The dichotomy of thought is astounding! Sounds more like “I want to make sure you think as I do.” (Link)
Because she always does:
Former Republican operatives in Delaware are challenging assertions made by former Senate candidate and conservative activist Christine O'Donnell in her new book.
Among other things, O'Donnell claims former Delaware GOP chairman Tom Ross snubbed her at a 2008 fundraiser by acknowledging all the Republican candidates in attendance except her while introducing Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour.
But Ross does not recall speaking at the fundraiser, and an audio recording released Monday by Maria Evans, [Bill] Lee's communications director at the time, shows Barbour was introduced by former congressman Mike Castle.
In her book, O'Donnell claims that Barbour
"... stood right up there and gave me my own little shout-out. He said he was grateful to see his old friend Christine O'Donnell in the audience, or words to that effect. He even took it a little further, saying that I'd done a great job back when I worked for him, that the party should be proud to have me as their candidate, and that he had no doubt I'd do a great job in Washington if I was elected."
On the recording, Barbour says of O'Donnell only that she once worked with him at the Republican National Committee.
O'Donnell also claims in the book that she was left with no money and no prospects after a failed 2008 Senate bid.
But in an email to former Wilmington GOP region chair Rick Carroll just 20 days after the 2008 election, O'Donnell said she was preparing for a 2010 Senate race. She also wrote that if Castle announced that he was running for Senate, she would withdraw from that race and run instead for his House seat. (Link.)
One wonders what COD's excuse will be this time. She never appears to run out of them, that's for sure.
If you'd like the audio in question to hear for yourself (the file is a bit too big for my piddly Colossus server), just send a request to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATE: Much more at Dialogue Delaware. I like what O’Donnell campaign manager Matt Moran has to say about the contradiction between what O'Donnell says in her book, and what the actual recording shows:
This is the same group that lied to the FEC and lied about Christine’s record so their credibility is shot. If the failed leadership of the old Delaware GOP this past decade and their obnoxious sense of entitlement really where interested in moving forward, they would be praising her for the bold message and insights about Barack Obama and plan she lays out for going forward. But again, they are so worried about their corrupt ways being exposed they are trying to discredit the messenger. Look at their source, as the Establishment Old Guard is rekindling their same shameless tactics they exhibited before Castle’s over six point loss last September.
In other words, you can't refute the evidence so you impugn the source. Of course.
Very interesting chart below via Doug Ross:
As I noted here in bullet point three, the predilection among too many is that presidents have some king/dictator-like power over the economy. This is silly, especially since Congress has control of the nation's purse strings.
But be sure to read Doug's own bullet points at the link above.
Interesting read today over at New American by Bruce Walker titled "When Marvel Comics was Anti-Communist." Overall, I think Bruce makes a solid case. During the "Marvel explosion" of the 1960s, Stan Lee (the main Marvel writer) had no compunctions about scribing overtly anti-Communist stories. Many of my fave character's, Iron Man's, early adventures in Tales of Suspense had him thwarting many Commie plots, whether they were Russian, Chinese or whatever. For example,
Walker's difficulty is that he concentrates on Captain America (due to the new movie). He mentions Cap's exploits against various Communist baddies in the 1950s; however, he omits how that was actually explained in Marvel continuity. After all, as we see in the new film, Cap was frozen in ice for decades, from the 1940s to his awakening in the modern era to fight alongside the super-team Avengers. This parallels exactly what we saw in the comics.
So ... if Cap was frozen, how did he fight Communists in the 1950s?
Marvel's answer came in the 1970s with writer Steve Englehart's landmark run on Captain America. As I wrote in February of 2010:
In the 1970s, aforementioned Marvel scribe Steve Englehart decided to "explain" the story behind the Captain America that was seen in the 1950s. (You may be aware that in "standard" Marvel continuity, Cap was thrown into suspended animation at WW II's end and thawed in the mid 1960s.) Essentially, a guy had stumbled upon, while doing research, the formula by which Steve Rogers became Capt. America. He approached some government highers-up and proposed that the "super soldier" program be started anew. However, the formula that had been unearthed isn't the perfected version that was used on Rogers. Tests showed that it caused the subject to slowly go insane. Nevertheless, our researcher befriended a new "Bucky" (the name of Cap's original partner) and both decided to use the [unperfected] formula on themselves. They then briefly go about "resuming" the roles of Capt. America and Bucky for a time.
Unfortunately, the whole aura of Cap fighting evil Communists in the 1950s is tarnished -- not because it wasn't the real Capt. America doing the fighting, but because in Englehart's story the substitute Cap is revealed to be a fascist bigot. Granted, it's explained that the "unperfected" version of the Super-Soldier serum that the faux Cap used slowly caused him to become mentally unstable, so that he began to see Commies everywhere ... quite Joe McCarthy-like. But you cannot escape the knowledge that we essentially had a nutcase fighting "for America" in the 50s.
Walker's lament of comics in the late 60s and 1970s switching from anti-Communist tales to those of social issues is understandable, but from the business viewpoint of Marvel (and DC), the choice was obvious. The social and political fabric of the USA had [irrevocably?] changed, and readers wanted stories to reflect the times. But even then, Marvel wasn't overt in "taking sides," if you will. Tony Stark (Iron Man) switched his company from weapons to more peaceful pursuits (like in the movie) such as pollution control and medical tech, but he still was the quintessential capitalist, and he still battled Communist badguys like the Mandarin, Titanium Man and Crimson Dynamo. Characters like Capt. America's partner, the Falcon, and the Black Panther dealt with racism and civil rights. So did the X-Men. It was, after all, the culmination of the civil rights era. But these characters still battled obvious badguys like those just noted.
Throughout the 70s and 80s, overt political posturing wasn't much of an issue. Talented writers did a good job hiding their biases. It wasn't until the 90s and first decade of the 2000s that overt [left-wing] politicking became commonplace, as we've documented quite thoroughly here at Colossus. As Walker notes, lately there has been a lack of pointing out, and then fighting, the obvious bad guys, including Communists. Remember the ridiculous controversy surrounding Frank Miller's [now greatly modified] "Holy Terror, Batman." Somehow, the Dark Knight taking on al Qaeda, of all things, was "too controversial." Unbelievable, I know. Not only does the liberal media (of which comics is currently a part) have a soft spot for Communism, as Walker states, it has a soft spot for any anti-Western entity.
With a hearty hat tip to Soccer Dad, check out this excellent piece by Aussie Philip Mendes. It details how he went from a college-aged pro-Palestinian student to a pro-Israel common sense adult. It eerily mirrors my own experience on the topic.
From the NY Post: 'Captain America' goes soft on Hitler.
I'm seeing the film tomorrow (the official premiere day), so I'll chime in on whether this is an accurate assessment sometime after.
Or, why we learn nothing (all in the name of political correctness). I saw this article last week and forwarded it to my blog "godfather," John Rosenberg (since he'd do a much better job dissecting it than I); however, he must be on vacation so I'll take a [very] brief stab:
Holder Launches Witch Hunt Against Biased Banks.
In what could be a repeat of the easy-lending cycle that led to the housing crisis, the Justice Department has asked several banks to relax their mortgage underwriting standards and approve loans for minorities with poor credit as part of a new crackdown on alleged discrimination, according to court documents reviewed by IBD.
Prosecutions have already generated more than $20 million in loan set-asides and other subsidies from banks that have settled out of court rather than battle the federal government and risk being branded racist. An additional 60 banks are under investigation, a DOJ spokeswoman says.
Holder and crew are using the 'ol "disparate impact" theory to judge whether an institution is "racist," much like the federal DoE is doing the same with schools with regards to discipline rates. But, arguably, while there is more of a subjective facet to school discipline, how can bank/loan figures lie? Either your credit is worthy or it's not. Either you make enough money to pay your mortgage or you don't.
In several cases, the government has ordered bank defendants to post in all their branches and marketing materials a notice informing minority customers that they cannot be turned down for credit because they receive public aid, such as unemployment benefits, welfare payments or food stamps.
Among other remedies: favorable interest rates and down-payment assistance for minority borrowers with weak credit.
For example, the government has ordered Midwest BankCentre to set aside almost $1 million in "special financing" for residents living in predominantly black areas of St. Louis. The program includes originating conventional home loans at fixed prime rates for African-American borrowers "who would ordinarily not qualify for such rates for reasons including the lack of required credit quality, income or down payment."
So ... someone on all sorts of governmental assistance could get the financing to buy a home, while your average joe six-pack busting his hump 60 hours a week but who may have missed a few bill payments here and there which has affected his credit ... gets turned down. Right. Got it. Sounds very fair.
Not only is this whole situation beyond insane (coming off of the too-recent previous housing crisis), but tell me -- how is it discriminatory to have set loan criteria that applies to all people?
From 1986: Classic William Shatner appearance on "Saturday Night Live" where the Enterprise has been turned into a restaurant ("Cap'n Kirk's"). Dana Carvey as arch-villain Khan is so dead-on, just try not to die laughing!
If you haven't already noticed (but it is easy to miss), I've added a new comics blog to the roll. It's that of none other than Jim Shooter -- former editor-in-chief at Marvel and one of the best comics writers of all-time.
If you're an older comics fan, you'll recall Shooter's reign. Many of his blog entries deal with inside stories of anecdotes we've only heard snippets of. I spent about two hours yesterday reading through some of them.
Because NOBODY demanded it but because I know you all look to me for the pinnacle in creative and cultural insight(!!), I now present to you the official Hube James Bond Films Ranking Index.
The number in parentheses is the number of the film (chronologically).
1. CASINO ROYALE (21). Daniel Craig explodes onto the scene as the sixth James Bond ... and the best. "Casino" signals a "rebooting" of the franchise with Bond as a meaner, grittier and less perfect agent. So good, I watch it in its entirety every time it's on.
2. GOLDFINGER (3). Original Bond Sean Connery's best outing, featuring one of the best Bond villains ever, Oddjob; one of the best lines ever ("No Mr. Bond, I expect you to DIE!"); and, of course, probably the best gadget of all, the spy-equipped Aston Martin. Oh, and need I mention the best Bond Girl name of all -- Pussy Galore?
3. FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (2). Connery has to deal with a beautiful fake Soviet defector, as well as a sociopathic (Soviet) assassin Robert Shaw.
4. LICENSE TO KILL (16). I know I'll get grief for this choice, but Robert Davi's portrayal of drug lord Franz Sanchez makes this second (and last) Timothy Dalton-as-Bond film a keeper, not to mention possibly the most beautiful Bond Girl of all, Cary Lowell.
5. YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE (5). Connery kills it again in this epic featuring snatched spacecraft, "marrying" a kickin' Japanese babe, and SPECTRE's Ernst Blofeld.
6. THUNDERBALL/NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN (4, 13.5). Put together because the latter was a(n) [unauthorized] remake of the former (starring Sean Connery making a comeback), albeit with the added subplot of James Bond becoming an aging agent. The plot: SPECTRE threatens the planet with stolen nuclear weapons.
7. MOONRAKER (11). I'll get grief for this choice, too, but this fourth Roger Moore offering has non-stop action in worldwide locales, a classic villain (Jaws), and it unabashedly latched on to the late-70s "Star Wars" science fiction craze. There's never a dull moment, despite some silliness.
8. DR. NO (1). Set the stage, though it arguably doesn't hold up very well in contemporary viewings. Ursula Andress is the first-ever Bond Girl, and it was a damn good choice.
9. THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (10). My least favorite Bond, Roger Moore's, third outing features hottie Barbara Bach as a Russian agent with whom he must team up. Introduces Jaws and villain Karl Stromberg is deliciously evil (even though he keeps calling our hero "Mr. Bund").
10. DIE ANOTHER DAY (20). Pierce Brosnan's last outing is his best as he goes after the North Korean despot who once escaped him (and is responsible for his torture). And Halle Berry as the Bond Girl? HOO-YAH!!
11. DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER (7). Connery's "adiós" to the role (until the non-sanctioned "Never Say Never Again") where he's put on a few LBs and has to deal with a sexually androgynous duo of assassins. But hey, an incredibly sexy Jill St. John livens up things nicely.
12. TOMORROW NEVER DIES (18). The second Brosnan outing, Bond takes on a ... media mogul? Yep, but he's nicely portrayed by Jonathan Pryce ("Brazil," "Glengarry Glen Ross"). Bond Girls Teri Hatcher and Michelle Yeoh make the film verrrry easy on the eyes.
13. THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH (19). The third Brosnan outing features Sophie Marceau and Denise Richards as the Bond Babes. That's enough for this one!
14. QUANTUM OF SOLACE (22). Daniel Craig's second outing is a precipitous drop in quality from his premiere, but that's a bit expected when that debut is the best of all-time. Bond continues his search for the baddies behind the Quantum Corporation.
15. OCTOPUSSY (13). Roger Moore's second-to-last effort is better than you recall, for the most part. Louis Jourdan is neatly diabolical as the baddie and a still-hot Maud Adams is the main chick.
16. GOLDENEYE (17). Pierce Brosnan's debut is a rather boring affair, though Pierce himself definitely lives up to his long-desired role. Bonus points for the totally hot Famke Janssen as the sociopathic female baddie.
17. ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE (6). A brief break on the Connery era stars George Lazenby (an Aussie!) as Bond, Telly Savalas as Blofeld, and Diana Rigg (of "Avengers" fame) as Bond's eventual wife.
18. FOR YOUR EYES ONLY (12). Rather lame Roger Moore effort features Bond in a race against time to retrieve a submarine computer system. Trivia: Cassandra Harris, who has a small part in the film, was married to Pierce Brosnan. She had wished her husband would eventually get the role of Bond, but unfortunately she died of ovarian cancer four years before it actually happened.
19. THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN (9). Even Hervé Villechaize ("Tattoo") as Nick Nack cannot make this one interesting, but at least Roger Moore is young enough in this one to at least make one believe he could actually be MI6.
20. LIVE AND LET DIE (8). Moore's first outing as Bond and all it does is mimic the "blacksploitation" craze of the 1970s. At least a [very] young Jane Seymour makes it easy on the eyes.
21. THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS (15). Timothy Dalton's debut as 007 only induces a lot of yawning. At least he went out with a bang with "License to Kill" a couple years later.
22. A VIEW TO A KILL (14). Since it's hard to know who's older -- Roger Moore or costar Patrick Macnee ("Avengers") -- this means that Moore is way past his prime to play 007. Even Chris Walken and Grace Jones can't save this dreck.
Check out the discussion of our most magnificent document from ABC's "This Week." As usual, George Will intellectually towers over the rest of the panel (and he is, to no surprise, the only conservative among the five at the table), especially since one guest, Michael Eric Dyson, views everything from the lens of race and gender; another, Jill Lepore, amazingly replies that her favorite Founding Father is Ben Franklin's sister; and the last, Richard Stengel, is the author of the pathetic recent Time magazine article on the Constitution.
Soccer Dad sends me an interesting link via e-mail:
The immortal founders of the Green Lantern Corps are an ancient race of aliens that, no joke, bare a striking resemblance to the State of Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion. The similarity is no urban legend - when the alien race the “Guardians of the Universe” were first drawn in Volume 2 #1 (July, 1960), the illustrators didn’t want to create unusual looking aliens, but opted to make them more human, more approachable. For whatever reason, the blue-skinned aliens with large heads and white hair were all modeled off of Ben-Gurion. Over the last 50 years, Israel’s Prime Minister has been in the comic books, cartoons, and now - a feature film.
Edward Williams' op-ed today at Philly.com makes a good historical parallel regarding the struggle of gay Americans and that of blacks -- except that his very first sentence totally glosses over a very uncomfortable fact: that a majority of African-Americans do not support gay marriage. Williams writes "ALTHOUGH some African-Americans remain vehemently opposed to same-sex marriage ..."
"Some?" Sixty percent is "some?" This is in contrast to the fact that, for the first time, a majority of the general public supports gay marriage. But it is a consistent trend: Blacks voted for California's Proposition 8 (which would ban gay marriage in the state) in the 70% range, whereas whites and Asians voted 51% against the measure.
I am not casting aspersions on the black community's motives or beliefs on this issue; I am, however, pointing out that Mr. Williams is being quite misleading with his terminology in painting a picture that doesn't exactly exist like he tries to make it sound.
His blog is called, remarkably, "Bridging the Gap." Why? Because, apparently, he wants both sides to "come together" to solve our nation's problems. We're talking about our old pal Perry. However, much like the LGOMB, he doesn't really mean it. They are just words.
Take a look at Perry today in a thread over at Common Sense Political Thought:
Now I am no history buff, but I do know this: Many of the Founders were slave owners, women were not permitted to vote, and the Founders conceived of an electoral college to protect the powerful from the will of the people should the people get too much out of line with their voting. (Link.)
This premise was then challenged by me, among others. Perry refused to back back up his claim about the Electoral College.
I then wrote this about the Founding Fathers and slavery:
It is quite obvious you’re not a history buff, Herr Fossil, for you, like way too many faux “progressives,” seek to impose 21st century values upon what were indeed very forward-thinking people. Though many owned slaves (an accepted practice back then, BTW), many spoke out against it and began efforts to cease the practice.
GOP presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann recently got heat from the MSM (surprise, that) for a remark she made about the Founders working to end slavery. The fact is, she is correct. Even Abraham Lincoln backs this up, as well as the words of many of the Founders themselves.
But this doesn't matter to Perry. He responds:
Making a law which made a black man 3/5 of a white man is hardly “working hard to end slavery”, in my view. That slavery persisted for another 70 plus years, with the vestiges of slavery evident to this very day, can hardly be construed as working hard enough to end slavery for once and for all. Moreover, it appears to me that racism remains alive today – ask most any black person about that. Better is not good enough!!!
When I asked Perry just why the 3/5 Compromise was constructed, here is what we get in reply:
The very existence of a 3/5 compromise apparently is fine with you, Hube, regardless of when it was instituted. I note that Repubs like yourself are more than happy to strive to restore that 3/5 fraction again, by your actions against ACORN and your current efforts to suppress the vote. Racism is not dead yet in the Republican Party.
That sure is some "gap bridging" there, is it not??
For those who may not know much about the 3/5 Compromise (and are modest enough not to make fools of themselves, like Perry did), take a look. And if Perry is reading, you especially need to look here:
The following false statements are just three examples of inaccurate interpretations that persist regarding the three/fifths compromise :
- the 3/5s compromise of 1788 . . . enshrined slavery in the United States Constitution
- African Americans in this country were considered only 3/5s human at one point in history.
- We tried "compromise" and declared blacks to be 3/5s human.
The gap that Perry really needs to bridge is the one that exists in his head.
(Cross-posted at TBD.)
The town that Hawkeye Pierce just had to get spare ribs from has a new police chief, and he has ... some interesting views on guns and race. He said that "the accessibility to firearms in America is an extension 'of government-sponsored racism' that goes back to the days of slavery and Jim Crow."
That's pretty interesting, considering that lack of access to firearms in large measure prevented blacks from protecting themselves in the face of government-sponsored racism:
The need for blacks to carry arms for self-defense included not only the problem of Indian attack, and the normal criminal attacks that anyone might worry about, but he additional hazard that free blacks were in danger of being kidnapped and sold into slavery.  A number of states, including Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin, passed laws specifically to prohibit kidnapping of free blacks, out of concern that the federal Fugitive Slave Laws would be used as cover for re-enslavement. 
The end of slavery in 1865 did not eliminate the problems of racist gun control laws; the various Black Codes adopted after the Civil War required blacks to obtain a license before carrying or possessing firearms or Bowie knives; these are sufficiently well-known that any reasonably complete history of the Reconstruction period mentions them. These restrictive gun laws played a part in the efforts of the Republicans to get the Fourteenth Amendment ratified, because it was difficult for night riders to generate the correct level of terror in a victim who was returning fire.  It does appear, however, that the requirement to treat blacks and whites equally before the law led to the adoption of restrictive firearms laws in the South that were equal in the letter of the law, but unequally enforced. It is clear that the vagrancy statutes adopted at roughly the same time, in 1866, were intended to be used against blacks, even though the language was race-neutral. 
In 1920, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld th