Saturday, April 30, 2011

Baseball - The Greatest Steal Ever!

For baseball fans, this week marked the 30th Anniversary of one of THE greatest steals in American baseball history. It was April 25, 1976 at Dodger Stadium top of the 4th inning...well just watch the video.

With all of the media attention on Barry Bond's recent conviction for perjury, Darryl Strawberry's drug problems, and Pete Rose, it's nice to know that there was a time when baseball players were worthy of being called "Heroes" with a capital "H". So, let me repeat just one more time - Rick Monday, center fielder for the Chicago Cubs and a real American Hero.

The floor is now open...
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Chaplains For Atheists--Huh?

Leave it to the New York Times to find an absolutely ridiculous concept and treat it as a legitimate news story. This time it's the ultra-serious issue of whether atheists and secular humanists should have their own military chaplains. Now stop that giggling immediately. Everybody needs a place to get together and not pray while being led by somebody who knows the right way not to pray.

There are atheists in foxholes after all. And they need non-religious leaders to teach them, well, what? I suppose they'll have hymns such as All, Or Nothing At All. They'll read from the writings of the great non-theologians such as Madalyn Murray O'Hair. They will reminisce about how O'Hair, her son and granddaughter were murdered by a member of her organization, American Atheists. Then they can rejoice in the sure and certain hope that she will not be resurrected to eternal life, or any other kind of life.

The chaplain will lead recitations of "ashes to ashes, dust to dust, if the bomb don't getcha, then the fallout must." Instead of a cross or a star of David, the chaplains will sport big Zeros. There's nothing more comforting to a soldier than learning that his sacrifice is meaningless and that as soon as he's dispatched by someone on the other side who actually does believe in a god, he will become part of the great earth mother and nothing else. "We're food for worms, and we're loving it."

The nascent atheist chaplains will first have to get over the hurdle of being approved by senior religious chaplains. You know, the guys who believe in a god or two. That won't be easy, since chaplains must minister to a faith group. How do you minister to a group that goes out of its way to have no faith? In addition, in a non-sectarian way, military chaplains must be able to minister to the religious needs of those of a different religion or denomination. That's hard enough for a Protestant chaplain comforting a Catholic soldier. What's an atheist chaplain going to say? "Don't worry about it, it's all over for you after you're dead anyway." I don't think that would calm my worries about facing impending mortal death.

I'm picturing the Catholic chaplain saying to the wounded and dying Protestant soldier "Fear not but be of good faith. For Jesus said 'I am with you always." The atheist chaplain would say "Fear not, and be of no faith. For you are about to exit this world entirely alone."

Jason Torpy, President of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers (I didn't make that up) told the Times: "Humanist chaplains would do everything religious chaplains do, including counsel troops and help them follow their faith." I'm leaving that statement to our readers to explain to me. I'm just too simple-minded to follow that logic. Perhaps former Captain Torpy doesn't know that there is a diametric difference between secular humanists and Christian humanists.

The former group carries "man is the measure of all things" to its logical extreme--there is no God, and you can't have faith in something that doesn't exist. Christian humanists took that phrase to mean that man is the measure of all things on earth and can only be found wanting when measured against the Lord and Father of us all. Christian humanism played a major part in the development of the Protestant Reformation as well as subsequent reform within the Catholic Church itself. But one thing remained constant--a deep belief in the divinity of Christ.

After being approached by soldiers at Ft. Bragg to appoint an atheist lay leader for the members of Military Atheists and Secular Humanists (yes, MASH), one senior chaplain replied: "You're not a faith group, you're a lack-of-faith group." The chaplains had no objection to assisting in the formation of an atheist group and appointing a leader, but balked at the idea of going so far as to admit them to the Chaplain Corps. Atheists have problems too, and I applaud the chaplains' Christian charity. But if faith in God is not part of the solution, then it doesn't belong in the religious realm. They could simply attend the local state college. No God there, I assure you.

The Times spent a lot of ink on discussing how MASH leaders feel that religious chaplains give more comfort to believers than to atheists. Well, duh. "God loves you" is a lot more comforting than an atheist singing "somebody loves me, I wonder who." Atheists have chosen not to believe in God, so they'll have to make do with being comforted by others who share their non-belief. A traditional chaplain who tells an atheist soldier that everything will be better in the next world or in heaven is very likely to get into a lot of trouble.

The Times turned what could have been a decent discussion of how atheists and secular humanists in the military might gain strength from each other and turned it into a very unserious discussion and unintentionally funny article about atheist chaplains. Group therapy is for psychologists and other charlatans, not for chaplains.
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Friday, April 29, 2011

OK, What Picture Would You Post----

---if you were writing an article about the future of circumcision in San Francisco? The loons in Crazy Town are just shy of having enough support to put an anti-circumcision initiative on the November ballot. This movement has been growing since my own son was born in 1972, and I gave serious consideration to the arguments against circumcision. In the end (no pun intended) I came down on the side of the practice for multiple reasons with which I will not embarrass my only son any more than I already have.

There is no medical or scientific argument that the procedure is inherently dangerous or harmful. There are times when it is medically contraindicated. There have been unfortunately too many stories of botched procedures, but setting a leg after a fracture can be dangerous if the proper procedures aren't followed. So it has really come down to a religious ritual for Jews and a personal decision for Christians.

European doctors are considerably less likely to perform the procedure, and considerably fewer parents choose the procedure than their American counterparts. That's largely cultural, and there's still a debate over why Americans choose the procedure so much more often. The debate ranges from Americans being overly-clinical and obsessed with cleanliness to a vast Jewish conspiracy.

San Francisco, on the other hand, has managed to turn the debate into a more personal version of its ban on toys in McDonald's Happy Meals. In a town that believes that you can't own a dog or cat, only become its guardian/companion, this latest outrage shouldn't surprise anyone. San Francisco is the crucible for nanny-statism, interference in parental rights, and bizarre ideas of how other people should behave. While abortion supporters cry "keep your hands of my body," they won't admit that the vast majority of abortions are baby-murders. But to them, that's trivial compared to the government's right to determine what's best for the babies that make it past the abortion mill. Preferably without parental interference in the cause du jour.

Even Jon Stewart called San Francisco a "nanny state" based on its banning of Happy Meal Toys. Since he is of Jewish descent, I wonder what his parents would have thought of a city that bans circumcision. The law provides that it would be a misdemeanor to circumcise a baby, and forbids the procedure for anyone under the age of eighteen. Trivializing the issue with false analogies, San Francisco Examiner contributor Lloyd Schofield says: "We feel this is a very harmful thing. Parents are guardians. They are not owners of children. It's a felony to tattoo a child."

Those same parents are the very ones that have to authorize any other surgical procedure because they are, well, the parents. But for the leftists who populate Crazy Town, parents have only the rights that the government grants them. Determination of all other rights is reserved for the government, and the ballot initiative supporters want to take that religious and/or medical decision away from the parents.

Children in general, and babies in particular, do not have the intellectual ability to make decisions for themselves. Thus, Americans have traditionally carved out an individual rights exception which says that the parents get to make those major decisions until the child is old enough to make intelligent decisions for himself. The same people who will not condemn female genital mutilation in Muslim lands feel they have the right to make a decision for the parents of male children in San Francisco. Female circumcision almost never serves any genuine medical purpose, and often does serious damage to the girl. Properly-performed infant male circumcisions have as many proponents in the medical field as opponents. So guess which one the left wants to eliminate.

We are expected to honor religious beliefs in regard to medical procedures in the caliphate, but trample on them in San Francisco. We are expected to be neutral about a medical procedure in Islamic countries that is worse than worthless, but forbid one that has the support or at least the neutrality of the vast majority of the American medical community. Why would the San Francisco government want to do this? Because it can. Any barrier put between parent and child is a step forward for government control of our children.

The government already intrudes into formerly strictly parental decisions such as what they eat, what games they can play, and what kind of medical care they should get. Increasing unionization and government intrusion over the past few decades have eroded the right of parents to participate in deciding what their children should learn. It was probably only a matter of time before some government would decide that parents should have no decision-making rights in the matter of a millennia-old semi-surgical procedure for their male babies.

The lefties are correct. Parents don't own their children. But they are their natural and historical protectors. The law must prevent child abuse, but only the anti-circumcision zealots consider the procedure to be child abuse. Forgetting the tattooing argument, let's try a different example. Ear-piercing is a semi-surgical procedure as well. So far the lefties have been fine with the ear-piercing which is largely cultural and no less dangerous than male circumcision. Ear-piercing in infants is allowed and even encouraged in certain American subcultures, and all that is required is parental approval. But something as deeply-religious as male circumcision must now be subjected to the will of the government while taking parental responsibility completely out of the picture.

In case you think this is another "only in San Francisco" story, just wait to see what happens if it passes. It will be coming to a hospital in your neighborhood next. Even if the ordinance is struck down in part on religious grounds, there is still the likelihood that if your religion doesn't specifically require male circumcision, the law may yet be upheld. Parental choice would be nullified for Christians, since there has been no religious requirement of circumcision since the time of St. Paul. Long live the nanny state, down with parental rights.
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Film Friday: Kick Ass (2010)

Kick Ass is a comic book movie about a teenage superhero wannabe (Kick Ass). Through a series of misunderstandings, he makes himself a target of a drug kingpin, who is being hunted by a foul-mouthed eleven year old girl (Hit Girl) and her father (Big Daddy). The critics called this film “ultra-violent,” “an explosion in a bad taste factory,” “quasi-porn. . . except there’s absolutely no ‘quasi’ about it,” and Roger Ebert called the film “morally reprehensible.” But they’re wrong. What’s more, I enjoyed it. Surprised?

Click Here To Read Article/Comments at CommentaramaFilms [+]

Thursday, April 28, 2011

2012 Race Baiting Season Begins Early

Black voters apparently are incapable of making up their minds on issues, or so it would seem based on the efforts of the race baiting industry. Every election, they scurry around finding evidence of racism lurking in the hidden meanings of everything, and then they trumpet their “findings” to trick blacks into voting for liberals, i.e. the only people capable of slowing the tide of a return to slavery. Yesterday, apparently, was the start of the race baiting season for the 2012 election.

With Obama tossing his newly faked birth certificate on the table as he ran to Oprah for cover from poll numbers that would make Charlie Manson cringe, black PBS host Tavis Smiley took it upon himself to declare to MSNBC:
"I said over a year ago that this was going to be, this presidential race, Lawrence, was going to be the ugliest, the nastiest, the most divisive, and the most racist in the history of this Republic."
Sounds like Tavis has big plans doesn’t it? Oh, wait, he was talking about us. Of course, he has ZERO evidence to support anything he said, but that’s not unusual for a liberal journalist.

At the same time, in another studio, Whoopie Goldberg was declaring her intent “to play the race card.” Apparently Whoopie, who never misses an opportunity to claim something is racist, has decided that she is sick and tired of restraining herself because, you know, everything is so racist:
"It is very difficult, on a daily basis, to see this stuff and not say, 'you know, this is what it is.'"
At least she wasn't talking about the difference between "rape" and "rape rape" this time.

Meanwhile, a hoard of professional racists were running around trying to claim that the Obama birth certificate issue is pure racism. "There is a real deep-seated and vicious racism at work here in terms of trying to de-legitimate the president," whined Peniel Joseph, about the birth certificate issue. "This is more than just a conspiracy. I think this is fundamentally connected to white supremacism in this country."

Now think about how idiotic this statement is. How did Obama get into office if the country is a group of white supremacists? And how did his lack of a birth certificate help? Is Penile really suggesting that we only voted for Obama because we didn't know he was black because we never got to see his birth certificate? Sorry Penile, but that’s limp reasoning. . . and "de-legitimate" isn't a word.

Oh, you think I’m mischaracterizing Penile’s “reasoning”? Ok, explain this. After binge drinking and knifing his girlfriend, The Guardian’s own Michael Tomasky opined that, according to we whiteys, “[the birther conspiracy has] to be the only explanation for how this black man got to the White House.” See, I told you these idiots actually think that we wouldn’t have voted for Obama if we had seen the birth certificate because then we would have known he was black. Retarded.

And Mikey continues: “And if you think race isn't what this is about at its core, ask yourself if there would even be a birther conspiracy if Barack Obama were white and named Bart Oberstar. If you think there would be, you are delusional.”

Wrong. There was a furor over John McCain’s eligibility since he was apparently born on a military base in some third world dump. Last time I checked, McCain’s pretty white. And frankly, “Oberstar” sounds Jewish. And if we elected a Jewish President, you can be pretty sure there would be a MASSIVE conspiracy, as the whole race industry and most on the left would be out there wondering if the President wasn’t secretly born in Israel or made in a lab at Zionist Worldwide Conspiracy, Inc. Kahlid Muhammad and Helen Thomas would need to console each other with Palestinian wine. . . and sex.

Any ways, let’s continue. Leonard Pitts a columnist for the Miami Herald said: “So it is time to call this birther nonsense what it is -- not just claptrap, but profoundly racist claptrap.” So liberals/blacks were being racist when they questioned John McCain’s birth-qualifications! I thought so. And not just racists, but clap-trap racists! They’re the worst. But at least they're profound.

Jesse Jackass is accusing Trump of using the birth issue as a “code word”:
"Any discussion of [Obama's] birthplace is a code word. It calls upon ancient racial fears. . . [Trump] is now tapping into code-word fears that go far beyond a rational discourse."
Obama’s birth certificate calls upon “ancient racial fears”? How old is Obama? Was he around when Sauron made rings for dwarves and men and elves? Me thinks someone has been smoking too much crack. . . yeah, I said it. . . sue me Jesse. And the rest of that sounds like Jesse’s about to tell us how the CIA talks to him through his teeth.

In any event, Jesse is wrong. I looked up “Obama birth certificate” in my KKK handbook and it says quite clearly “foozle-fanoodle.” And all we white supremacists know what foozle-fanoodle means. . . and it has nothing to do with race. Am I right? Can I get a "heil yeah!"

Of course, there were also a whole host of studies and editorials issued all on the same day that said nebulous unattributed things like: “many in the media have speculated that current criticisms of Obama are a result of his race, rather than his agenda.” Unnamed, unsourced leftists and race-baiters are claiming this! Wow, that’s damning. Of course, two can play that game. In fact, I heard that "many in the media have speculated that Obama was born on Pluto to a Dachshund named Shelby." My theory makes more sense because I don't have to explain how the supposedly racist public accidentally voted for him in the first place.

This is all silly, but it’s only going to get worse. The race industry feels neglected over the past few years and they’re lashing out everywhere (you should see them attack even the slightest criticism of NFL draft pick and future bust Cam Newton as racist). They want to protect their investment in Obama and regain the power they once had to make people cower by screaming wolf. . . er, racism. Sadly for them, I'm pretty sure no one cares anymore what a group of black race hustlers has to say.

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Speak Ill Of Islam--Go To Jail

Or to hell, as demonstrated by the signs held by the English-as-a-second-language students of Osama bin Laden University in Dearborn, Michigan (I made that last part up). The publicity-hungry Pastor Terry Jones of Florida Koran-burning fame decided to take his act on the road. And he headed straight for one of the largest Muslim enclaves in the United States.

Jones was arrested by the Dearborn police and jailed for planning to go ahead with a demonstration outside the Dearborn Islamic Center of America without paying a peace bond to cover the costs of police protection for the demonstration. At first blush, this might seem to be a clear violation of the First Amendment, but it's not nearly that simple.

The government is entitled to regulate the time, place and manner of political protests so long as the regulations serve a compelling state interest and do not directly thwart the free speech of the participants. Keeping people from being maimed or killed is arguably a compelling state interest. But since the reasons the Supreme Court has allowed regulation of demonstrations relate to preserving the peace and avoiding injury, it becomes critical to know the reasons offered in the affidavit in support of the imposition of the restraints. And that's where Dearborn may have gone wrong.

The authorities argued that Jones's intended speech would be of such an inflammatory nature as to incite violence. So in fact, the authorities were imposing onerous restrictions on the proposed demonstration based on the alleged content of Jones's speech (and perhaps his actions). Content is the one thing that the First Amendment specifically protects, and can't be the grounds for squelching speech. Theoretically, at least, it wouldn't matter what time, place or manner of exercising his free speech Jones chose, the content of what he intended would produce civil unrest (or so it's alleged).

There is no indication that either Jones or his supporters would commit any violence. So who are the authorities actually going to be required to restrain? That was of course a rhetorical question. We know who. The Islamofascists who refuse to allow a single discouraging word to be spoken of Islam or Islamic activities. Jones should not be required to post an expensive bond, or be arrested and jailed for failing to do so because followers of the fundamentalist version of Islam would commit mayhem.

The affidavit cited previous activities of Jones's, including the Koran-burning that resulted in American deaths in Afghanistan. But that still takes us back to the content. Where Dearborn went wrong was disallowing the protest without the peace bond rather than doing what it was entitled to do--set a time, place, and manner which does not step on other constitutional rights such as the right of association and the rights of private property owners. The other edge of this double-edged sword is that it must also allow a time, place and manner which does not unnecessarily inhibit the right of the speaker to get his message across (e.g., the demonstration may be held at the train yard between midnight and 1 AM, but only on a day on which there are no scheduled trains arriving or departing).

Think of it this way. Most of us are horrified and infuriated by the activities of the Westboro Baptist Church members who desecrate military funerals with their anti-gay, anti-American protests. The Supreme Court held that however loathsome the content of those protests, it must be allowed. But at the same time the Court made it clear that while the content could not be regulated, it reiterated that the time, place and manner could be. Military authorities immediately went to work on drafting statutes that would comply with the ruling, including restrictions that would keep the demonstrators off cemetery grounds and limit any interference or direct contact with the grieving families as they proceed to the burial site.

Likewise, most of us don't much care for the recent leftist and union strongarm tactic of demonstrating outside the homes of bank officials. We know that the demonstrators have the right to express their political opinion, but it's dubious that they have an absolute right to do it in quiet neighborhoods. The litigation in this area is only beginning. But the right of free speech comes up against the rights of property ownership, rights of privacy, and rights to peace and quiet. Even in more public spaces, the authorities have the ability to restrict some speech activities if they unnecessarily burden lawful businesses.

So I come down on the right of Jones to do his thing however much it might upset easily-provoked Muslims. On the other hand, had Dearborn based its decision on the fact that the proposed protest would be at the wrong time and the wrong place (and probably the wrong manner), it could simply have said that the location would produce unacceptable inhibitions on ingress and egress. Or more on point, it could have said that the demonstrations to be held directly in front of a place of religious worship and study were an intrusion on freedom of religion and granted the permit for a location not in direct conflict with the activities of the Islamic Center.

The Muslims are going to get furious and probably violent anyway, but two or three blocks down the street, the freedom of speech would trump the nonexistent right not to be offended. The burden of preventing violence would shift to the Muslims and the responsibility for maintaining peace and good order would not fall on the person exercising his right to free speech. But Dearborn determined that the speech itself had to be regulated, and where it was done was of no import to them so long as it wasn't in Dearborn.

Dearborn can't prevent violence committed by furious Muslims overseas. Perhaps it can't even prevent it in Dearborn. But to impose burdensome restrictions on freedom of speech within an American city plays right into the hands of the international Islamists. The First Amendment was not designed to protect happy-happy don't-we-all- agree speech. It was designed to protect unpopular and contrarian speech, most specifically religious and political speech. I am one of the minority who thinks it should even protect "hate" speech. But it wasn't designed to protect all speech, at all times, in all places and in all manners.

Frankly, I don't find any completely right or completely wrong side in this debacle. Jones should understand that even the Bible says that there is a time and a place for everything under Heaven. Maybe Mohammed-bashing and Koran-burning don't belong in front of an Islamic center. Muslims need to learn that in a civilized society, we don't behead people who "defame Islam." And Dearborn needs to learn that you can do the right thing the wrong way (or alternatively, the wrong thing the right way). Even that which is constitutional can be done in an unconstitutional manner.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

TV Review: Game of Thrones (2011-????)

HBO is running a new series called Game of Thrones. Generally, I’m a sucker for fantasy stories and I’ve liked much of what HBO/Showtime have produced in the past decade. But this one leaves me cold so far. I’ll give it a couple more weeks, but right now I’m finding it hard to care.

“A Game of Thrones” is the first book in an epic fantasy series called “A Song of Ice and Fire.” This series is written by George R.R. Martin. “Thrones” was first published in August 1996, won lots of awards in 1997, and has since been turned into several games. In January 2011, after HBO announced it would be showing this series, the book finally hit the New York Times bestseller list.

The series stars Sean Bean and a host of other people who have all been involved in one fantasy show or another, and apparently tracks the book fairly closely. . . I haven’t read the book but the author says it tracks. The series runs 10 episodes. There is no word yet on a second season, though the critics are raving about the series. I’m not.

One of the producers has jokingly described the series as “The Sopranos in Middle Earth,” and that’s a good place to start with my issues with the show. For starters, comparing this to Middle Earth is like comparing Chucky Cheese to Disney. Middle Earth is a rich environment with lush forests, impossibly green fields, incredible mountains, visually stunning cities, elaborate costumes, a universe of interesting creatures, and cool magic. Thrones is like one of those “historically accurate” fantasy stories. . . lots of wood, furs and torches, brooding ‘til ye can’t brood nay more, and nary a magical creature in sight. In fact, I put “historically accurate” in quotes because people tend to mistake the ruins of castles today for an accurate assessment of how people lived back then, and they never realize that castles actually contained plush furniture, carpets, stained glass and were often painted. . . things that are all missing in Thrones.

The lack of supernatural creatures also makes the story feel cheap and hollow. There are hints of supernatural creatures, but that’s all they’ve given and the series pretty clearly intends to use them sparingly if at all. Because of this, Thrones loses its “fantasy” feel and comes across more like a highly inaccurate retelling of Medieval English history.

Thrones is nothing like The Sopranos either, and that’s the real problem. The Sopranos was a unique, fascinating and un-clichéd look into the normally highly-clichéd world of mobsters. The juxtaposition of their calm daily lives and average personal problems against the sudden violence of their profession, made the show emotionally stunning. And the characters you wanted to like, but who kept making stupid mistakes all the fricken time, really pulled you in. Thus, you cared about these people because you wanted then to succeed, but you also got these periodic jarring reminders they were monsters. You get nothing like that in Thrones.

In Thrones, the BIG problem is a lack of focus. There are too many “main” characters and none of them are really main characters. They are all doing too many things that are broadly too similar to make their individual stories very interesting. The director also mistakes boring with dramatic. We would watch Tony Soprano stare at a door for five minutes because we were pretty sure something HUGE was about to happen and because we were trying to crawl into his head. None of the Thrones characters has risen above cliché enough for us to care what they are thinking. And frankly, it’s not even easy to figure out who is who yet because there has been too much information presented too fast. You just can’t dump the history of three or four families, two or three kingdoms, and several sets of old friends on an audience all at once. Then you add in long, dull, “meaningful” scenes involving people you don’t know and couldn’t care less about and the pull of the remote becomes very strong.

Moreover, the writer seems to have problems with anachronisms. For example, about half of what these people talk about is sex, which is odd for a fantasy story and seems like the author is trying too hard to find filler. Further, for reasons unknown, the writer has decided to occasionally toss in a couple modern swear words. It’s not like the anachronistic Tourettes Special that was Deadwood, but it’s enough to keep knocking me out of the story.
Romeo: “Hark, what light through yonder window breaks? Yo, b*tch! It's me!”

King Arthur: “Lancelot, Quest forth and find me the Holy Grail that we may show it to our peasantry, the dirty f*ckers.”
Nope, doesn’t work.

I’ll give this a couple more weeks, but I’m not hopeful. How about you?

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The Re-Quotable Obama

There isn’t much in the news in the past couple days. . .

Unless you count the NFL decision, which is meaningless because that’s going to drag on for years until they reach the same settlement they could have reached a couple months ago. And good luck if either side actually wins. I hope someone can dumb down the concept of “pyrrhic victory” to a level that football people can understand.

Of course, there is the Haley Barbour thing. He must have known that I was working on him next. And since he couldn’t take the heat from Commentarama, he decided to drop out of the 2012 race. That changes the race approximately 0.002 iotas.

We also have some silly hacker stealing the personal information of 70 million subscribers to Sony’s PlayStation Network. This is an outrage. Now some Russian syndicate knows the names of 70 million overweight kids. That kind of information could tip the balance of the known universe . . . no pun intended!

And let’s not forget that Obama has a “genius” plan to save us from high gas prices. Yep. He wants to eliminate oil companies’ special tax deductions. While I consider that a good thing for the sake of reforming the tax code, especially if we use this as an opportunity to eliminate all other tax-deduction carve outs, the truth is that this is no way to make gas cheaper. In fact, the idea that Obama thinks a tax hike on a producer will result in lower prices just goes to show us that he is indeed an idiot of Biden-grade proportions.

Anyhoo, with nothing else going on, let’s play a game. You know how Obama likes to pretend to be prior Presidents, right? Well let’s see how Obama might have handled certain famous historical quotes. For example:
FDR said: “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself. . . and elves.”
Obama probably would have said: “We have nothing to fear, but my administration.”

JFK said: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
Obama probably would have said: “Ask not what your country can do for you, just be happy it does it and the rich will pay for it.”

Harry Truman said: “If you can't convince them, confuse them.”
Obama probably would have said: “If you can, confuse them. If you can’t, then lie.”

Nixon said: “I am not a crook.”
Obama probably would have said: “I have not yet been prove a crook.”

Carter said: “I've looked on many women with lust. I've committed adultery in my heart many times. God knows I will do this and forgives me.”
Obama probably would have said: “I commit adultery all the time, but I forgive me.”
You get the picture. What’s your take on these quotes? Or on other quotes? Or on the NFL lockout? The draft is tomorrow night you know. . . it’s never to early to get your false hopes up!

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Obama’s Easter Non-Message

Obama is unAmerican. He is the Anti-President. Obama is opposed to everything that Presidents are supposed to be. In fact, he goes out of his way to insult everything the country and all its prior Presidents hold dear. And now we have more evidence with his Easter non-message and his hateful new church.

Let’s look back on Obama’s prior assaults on the Office of President.

1. Proud To Be An American: Presidents are deeply proud of America. Obama is not. His wife slipped up and mentioned this first, when she said the nomination of her husband was the first time she was ever proud of America. But Obama too has provided proof. He described Middle America as bitter clingers to their guns and Bibles. He went to a church for decades whose pastor damned America. Now, he’s picked a new church that is damning half of America, with his new pastor choosing Easter to equate Rush Limbaugh by name to the KKK and Republicans to slave-owners. And right after he was elected, he ran to Egypt to apologize for our ignorance and tell the world that we would need to change.

2. The Special Relationship: Britain and America have an historic special relationship. . . until now. Obama returned diplomatic gifts, gave selfish gifts, improperly touched the queen, failed to consult Britain over terrorists he dropped on their soil, betrayed Gordon Brown vis-à-vis Libyan terrorists, and explicitly denied any special relationship.

3. America Bows To No One: Obama has shamefully bowed to everyone from Saudi princes to foreign meter maids.

4. America Takes the Lead: Since Gen. Jack Pershing refused to allow the Europeans to treat the US Army as replacement troops in World War I, the US has always taken the lead in all international actions. . . until now. Obama let the South Americans handle Honduras, let the BRICS handle global warming, let China handle North Korea, let random chance handle Egypt and Tunisia, and now is letting Europe handle Libya.

5. America the Charitable: American has historically taken the lead in disaster aid. But in Haiti, Obama didn’t act until he was shamed by CNN. In Japan, he didn’t act at all.

6. Healer in Chief: Presidents have always flown to the site of disasters to comfort those hit by hurricanes, tornados, floods and other disasters, and to survey the damage. Not Obama. He went to a campaign rally rather than survey recent tornado damage. He went golfing rather than visit the Gulf of Mexico as it flooded with oil.

7. Commander in Chief: Presidents have zealously guarded the military against attacks foreign and domestic. Not Obama. He tosses them into wars like he tosses golf clubs into golf bags, and he still had the nerve to declare them “non-essential.”

8. The Most Powerful Man On Earth: Not a single President in history has ever fantasized about being a dictator of some backward country like China, until Obama did it. . . publicly. And don’t forget, he’s appointed people who named mass murderers like Mao as their heroes.

9. Defender of the Public: The first thought of every President is to protect the American public. At least, it was. Obama’s first thought upon hearing of terrorist attacks has been to warn us not to do anything to upset Muslims or illegal aliens.

10. Workaholics: One of the reasons campaigns are so rugged is that the job of President requires a true workaholic. We have never had a lazy President until Obama, who can’t be bothered to do his job even a little bit.

And now we come to Easter. It doesn’t matter what religion a President is, they are expected to issue soothing statements on every major religious holiday for every major religion in America. The idea is that the President represents ALL the people of America, no matter what their faiths. So why has Obama issued statements on every single major Muslim holiday, but can’t bring himself to issue a statement on Easter? He even went out of his way last week to issue an eight-paragraph statement heralding Earth Day!! Yet, somehow he can’t mention one of the most significant holidays in the religion to which the vast majority of Americans belong?

This is a pattern of behavior. Obama has systematically insulted everything Americans hold dear, from our historic relationships, to our place in the world, to our predominant religions, to our military, and even our Office of the Presidency. This man is not only deeply unAmerican, he is anti-American.

Let us hope when he is unceremoniously dumped in November 2012, that he defects to somewhere more deserving of him. . . like Sudan. And let us not forget who his supporters are during this period.

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Happy Face, Happy Facebook

I'm not the fan of Facebook that so many others are. In fact, unless I get an e-mail telling me that somebody has commented on my home page, I can go weeks without looking at it. But this was too priceless to ignore. Conservatives have taken a page out of the left's Facebook Playbook.

On April 20, they "friended" Emperor Barack Gaius Julius Augustus Caesar Obama's town hall meeting on Facebook. For 39 glorious minutes, the picture of The One was replaced with a message that read "Event Unavailable. We're sorry, this event isn't working right now. Please try again later." During his campaign trip to California, El Presidente had decided that as long as he was in Palo Alto, near the Stanford University campus and in the heart of Silicon Valley, he might as well visit the headquarters of Facebook and produce a town hall meeting themed "Shared Responsibility and Shared Prosperity."

That means that the socialists in the White House and Congress will take your responsibility and your prosperity and share it with the Democrats and other people who possess neither. It was too much for ForAmerica chairman Brent Bozell to swallow, and he enlisted an online army to comment at the town hall site about repealing Obamacare. He asked his Facebook friends to send the comment "It's not a tough choice, Mr. President. You have added $3.5 TRILLION to the debt already, the first thing we should do is repeal Obamacare." At last, somebody who thinks that hanging all the lawyers isn't the nation's top priority!

Even Bozell himself was a bit overawed by the response. Says the founder of the Media Research Center (aka the anti-Media Matters): "As the comments grew on the town hall page we marveled at the speed and volume of posts from ForAmerica supporters. Within a few minutes, the town hall page was taken down. . . and when it was restored, no new comments were allowed for several more minutes." Also caught unawares was public policy communications Facebook manager, Andrew Noyes. When asked what happened, he replied: "I'm unable to comment on why some people reported that the event was unavailable for a brief period of time. The page was and is operational."

And now, ladies and gentlemen, you know why it is so critical that the Obamists get control over the internet and social networking sites. Somebody might point out that the emperor has no clothes. And no brain, either.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Lie Down With Hamas--Rise Up Headless

Being an anti-Zionist or an apologist for Islamofascists is not enough to keep you safe in the Empire of Hamas (aka "Palestine"). One Italian was taught this lesson in a very permanent way last week. Vittorio Arrigoni was summarily executed by Hamas, for which he had been an ardent advocate. He didn't learn those lessons from the past about consorting with murderous ideologues.

Like the Nazis and the Stalinists and the Maoists before them, Hamas will keep anyone alive so long as the ideology is advanced better by that person's life than by his death. But when a point needs to be made, brutal murder of a "friend" is often the result. Arrigoni ceased to be more useful alive than dead when Hamas decided that it needed to send a message that the Italian propagandist was "an enemy of Allah, was spreading Western immorality in Gaza" and "because Italy fights against Islamic countries."

Murderous ideologies produce murderous results, but Arrigoni apparently didn't understand that. He thought that he could live a rather profligate lifestyle amidst bloodthirsty primitives and be safe because he spewed vitriol against Israel and crooned love songs to the Palestinians. Hamas has officially denied official responsibility for this execution, officially, but the executioners are all Palestinian terrorists and at least informal members of Hamas. Hamas officials officially recited the reasons for Arrigoni's death (above), then gave a tepid disclaimer that "we did not order his death."

Arrigoni wasn't the first pro-Palestinian Hamas-supporter to be murdered, and he certainly won't be the last. The extremely violent nature of this particular branch of Islamic thinking is simply alien and unfathomable to muddle-headed leftists and anti-Westerners. The same Western civilization they despise protects them no matter how radical and unpopular their views. Propaganda is an abstract and intellectual exercise for them. But not for terrorists like Hamas. Propaganda is a very real tool of the state, subject to whatever will serve the cause that particular day. Inconsistency and former alliances are of no importance.

Italy has recently taken military actions against Islamic strongmen, and has voiced opposition to Muslim terrorism. Arrigoni was Italian. That's sufficient for Hamas to murder him. Although Arrigoni was not able to support a lavish private lifestyle like Italian leader Berlusconi, he was a known drinker and womanizer. That's also sufficient for Hamas to use Arrigoni as a propaganda warning against Westerners who think they can continue their decadent Western ways and pretend to be friends of Islam.

Arrigoni just couldn't understand the visceral contempt that most of his fellow Westerners feel for people who recruit ten-year olds to murder Israelis in cold blood. He couldn't understand why most of us could never consort with people who intentionally shoot missiles into Israeli civilian populations. He couldn't understand why Westerners want to suppress people who strap explosives to their bodies and blow up weddings, restaurants and children's schools. He understood the ideology, but not the reality. And for that, he paid with his life.

I don't celebrate Arrigoni's "death by naivete." But I do see the same trend here in America, encouraged by an administration that doesn't understand that murder is the inevitable result of Islamic fundamentalism. The left repeats the mantra "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom-fighter" without understanding that in that terrorist's mind the fellow-traveling leftist enabler just might be the next in line for execution. Perhaps they should consider Barack Obama's tendency to throw his friends under the bus when they are no longer useful. Though I don't believe for a minute that Obama would murder them, the mindset is the same. You're useful today, but what about tomorrow?
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Conservatives Split On Taxes

There is a philosophical split right now between two groups of conservatives. On the one side are those looking to cut the power and scope of government. This group is led by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Ok), one of the most fiscally responsible conservatives in the Senate. The second group opposes tax increases. This group is led by Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform. Normally, I like and respect both men, but Norquist has gone off the deep end this time.

This issue in question is tax breaks for ethanol. And how this issue arises is that Coburn is looking for ways to cut the budget deficit. One of his proposals involves eliminating the $6 billion a year tax break given to ethanol producers. Eliminating this makes sense in a lot of ways. For one thing, it would add $6 billion a year in revenues should they continue making ethanol. Secondly, if it does stop or slow the production of ethanol, that would be good for the environment, good for food prices, and good for our energy policy as corn-based ethanol takes as much energy to produce as it creates when it’s used. Republicans (and some right-thinking Democrats) have been trying to scrap this for years.

So who could object? Grover Norquist. Why? Because he sees this as a tax increase. Norquist is arguing that this would result in a $6 billion a year tax increase on ethanol producers and therefore would break Republican pledges not to raise taxes.

This is wrong on several levels. First, Norquist is wrong to defend specialize deductions within the tax code. These deductions are most often sops to interest groups and are corrosive to democracy, just as the left’s attempt to create a progressive tax code is corrosive. All citizens should be treated equally. If they aren’t, then the government begins to lose its legitimacy.

Moreover, even if this wasn’t purely a sop, this is an attempt at social engineering by the government. The government should not be in the business of picking one form of energy over another. By doing so, it distorts the private market, which misallocates resources and hinders the natural scientific and economic development of our economy. In other words, so long as ethanol is made artificially cheap compared to other forms of energy, people will invest less in the production of better forms of energy. Also, these tax breaks have been sufficient to result in food being diverted from consumers to producers of ethanol, which has artificially increased the costs of food.

Further, if Norquist’s real goal is to decrease taxes, then allowing these carve-outs to special interests to continue will only further entrench the opposition to correcting the tax code or replacing the tax code. Even now, when we talk about flattening the code or replacing it, a chorus of voices rises up demanding that their own carve-outs continue. That’s how the government makes its citizens dependent upon it.

Also, in this instance, Norquist’s stance runs counter to the conservative interests of smaller, fairer government. Sometimes you need to accept things like the elimination of these deductions or spending cuts in favored programs to get an overall better structure for the country. If we don’t accept this, then we will never be able to cut any corporate welfare, any distorting deductions, or even raise taxes on those who don’t currently pay tax (which should be a conservative goal -- everyone needs to pay if we are to kill the idea that the government can give something for nothing).

Finally, in this instance, Norquist is making matters worse by making deceitful ad hominem attacks on Coburn: "Coburn said on national TV today that he lied his way into office and will vote to raise taxes if he damn well feels like it. . ." This is never appropriate for conservatives.

It’s time to think strategically and not lose the war through tactical intransigence.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Schadenfreude. And I Missed It!

You might think that is the famous San Francisco fog coming in over the Golden Gate. But you would be wrong. It's steam escaping from the ears of Barack Obama, Fundraiser-in-Chief. I knew I was leaving town too soon. It would have been worth sticking it out for another year in Sodom-by-the-Bay just to see the look on Obama's face when his people turned against him.

Expecting his usual lickspittle reception by the denizens of the Queen City of the West, Obama was surprised to be greeted at a fundraiser by a group that sang a song about Pfc. Bradley Manning of WikiLeaks fame. The streets of San Francisco are not lined with gold, but they are paved with cash for The One. So imagine the shock when Obama got a rude education in San Francisco political priorities. Mr. President, in San Francisco, gay traitor trumps messiah.

The group imported leftist activist Naomi Pitcairn from the nasty side of the Bay (Oakland) to speak for them and lead the chorus. Obama got a big smile on his face when she stood up at the fundraiser and announced that the group had written a song for him. He asked if they could wait until later in the presentation, but they decided to go ahead without his permission. The smile froze in place as they began to sing: "Each of us brought you $5,000 (the price of admission). It takes a lot of Benjamins to run a campaign. I paid my dues. Where's our change?" While holding up signs that read "Free Bradley Manning" they sang about the jailed leaker, the cost of the fundraiser tickets, and the Koran-burner in Florida. "Obama, mmm, mmm, mmm" it wasn't.

San Fran Nan Pelosi was in attendance, of course, and is said to have been terribly distraught by such criticism of the Obamassiah. The problem is that she was so botoxed up that nobody could tell from her face just how distraught she was. Pitcairn says she paid the $76,000 for the table for ten at the fundraiser (tickets ranged from $5,000 to $35,800 each person depending on how close the ticketholder was to the divine presence). For her trouble, she was escorted out of the room by Secret Service agents. Two of her companions followed her out, while the remaining seven stuck around for the fun.

Blasphemy and apostasy are deadly sins in both Islam and Obama politics, so it will be interesting to follow Pitcairn's activities for awhile, though I must admit I've never heard of her. At the end of the group's performance, Obama said through clenched teeth: "That was a nice song. Now, where was I?" Well, Mr. President, many of us think you and the TelePrompter were visiting the alien nation (or fifty-eighth state) of San Francisco and about to give your class warfare/eat the rich speech to a group of people who can afford $5,000 minimum to hear you rehash the usual socialist crap. One of them at least could afford $76,000 just to let you know you aren't dismantling America fast enough.

Instead of being there, I had to read about it. There's nothing like being up-close and personal when a god is challenged by mere mortals. Instead, I was looking out at the real God's real country here in Caliente. But I was surprised to find out that Obama made his trip to San Francisco on Maundy Thursday instead of Palm Sunday. I'm sure this isn't his [expensive] Last Supper. Or is it simply that there was an Islamic holy day that I don't know about?

I originally intended to do a much simpler "Happy Easter" post, but a lesson about the worship of a false god and the exposure of his clay feet was just too juicy and appropriate to ignore.

HAPPY EASTER. HE IS RISEN! And I hope the real Messiah will forgive me for handling such an earthly topic on a day which should transcend earthly concerns.
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Top 25: Westerns You Should Know

Let’s discuss the Top 25 Westerns you should know to be well-versed in Westerns. Westerns are one of the most distinct genres with storylines that can’t easily be translated to other genres, e.g. wagon trains and cattle drives. They are also the quintessential story of America. Picking the Top 25, however, is surprisingly difficult because Westerns have been a cultural battleground where left and right struggled to define American’s Mythology. This means the influence of individual films often was short-lived and coincided with cultural changes within the country, rather than coming from the film itself.

Click Here To Read Article/Comments at CommentaramaFilms [+]

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Maybe It's NOT Good to Be King

It's good to be King!
from "History of the World, Part One"
by Mel Brooks
You think this is going to be about the upcoming nuptials of Prince William of Wales and Catherine "Kate" Middleton. Though  I can't wait to see what dress she wears, I will save that for next week. Today let's discuss why President Obama should want a second term. Some of the statements he's made lately make me wonder why he is even bothering since it has turned out not to be anything like he thought it was going to be. It must be hard to be thwarted at every turn by those who do not recognize his brilliance and benevolent present-ness.

Exhibit One - From the March 11, 2011 New York Times
Mr. Obama has told people that it would be so much easier to be the president of China. As one official put it, 'No one is scrutinizing Hu Jintao’s words in Tahrir Square.'"

It must be frustrating, having to work within the confines of our pesky U.S. Constitution.

Exhibit Two - From the April 15, 2011 Chicago Sun Times
“I always thought I was gonna have, like, really cool phones and stuff,” Obama said Thursday in Chicago. “We can’t get our phones to work. Come on, guys. I’m the president of the United States! Where’s the fancy buttons and stuff and the big screen comes up? It doesn’t happen.” He goes on to complain that ..."[g]overnment information technology [is] horrible.”

He was speaking off the cuff at on of those many fundraisers he has been attending lately. I can really understand that this must be really disappointing!

Exhibit Three - From an April 11, 2011 session with editors and publishers from Hearst Magazines
"I just miss - I miss being anonymous," he said at the meeting in the White House. "I miss Saturday morning, rolling out of bed, not shaving, getting into my car with my girls, driving to the supermarket, squeezing the fruit, getting my car washed, taking walks. I can't take a walk." He says he enjoys golf but is not the fanatic that some have portrayed. "It's the only excuse I have to get outside for four hours at a stretch," he said.

This is the one that really got to me. I realize he finally hit on the one issue for which we can all come together. I mean, I think we can all agree completely that we miss him being anonymous too, right? Let the healing begin...

Oh, and by the way, do you think there are "rich people" at those fundraisers? Wouldn't it be more productive just to ask these "rich people" to donate their funds directly to the treasury rather than ask them to donate millions of dollars to get him re-elected so that he can take that money away in "rich people" taxes?
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Obama Declares Class Warfare

Yesterday I discussed how the Obamists plan to extort big bucks from business. Today we'll discuss how they plan to pick the pockets of the ordinary taxpayer. You see, "taxpayer" applies to people who actually pay taxes. The Obamists apply "taxpayer" when they actually mean "tax-filer." About forty percent file their tax forms solely to see how much money they'll be getting from the fools who actually hand their money over to Uncle Sugar for redistribution to the filers.

Barack Obama is done playing nice-nice with the "rich." Now that he's back in campaign mode (did he ever leave it?), it's time to reopen the class war. For public consumption, Obama sees three classes: The rich, the poor and the nebulous middle class. In reality, he sees only two: The prodigal son and the fatted calf. The prodigal son has done everything wrong, and has done nothing to deserve forgiveness. Nevertheless, it's time for him to feed on the fatted calf. In the Bible, the prodigal son only gets away with this once. In the Democratic book, he gets to do this annually.

Like income "taxpayers" for income "tax-filers," Obama conflates "earners" with "wage-earners," meaning that anyone who "makes" more than $200,000 is a wage-earner. Since he has never owned or run a business, he has no clue that $200,000 in wages paid by somebody else is not half-bad, but $200,000 for a small business owner is often a break-even figure. While he rakes in mega-millions for his political campaigning from the very corporations he claims to despise (such as GE, a tax-filer), he actually goes after bakery-owner John Smith, taxpayer.

Those $200,000+ business-owners are the backbone of American business, as well as the largest source of tax revenue for the federal income redistribution machine. These "rich" people comprise about 10% of the tax-filers, but account for about 75% of taxes actually paid. These are the people who build the economy and provide employment for Americans who don't work for the federal government. So what class warrior Obama is really talking about is the job-producing taxpayers being required to support the freeloading tax-filers. This doesn't even include the tax-eaters who don't file at all because they are on some form of federal or state welfare.

How does this redistribution work? About 59% of American households get at least one federal handout (not including "paid-for" Social Security and Medicare). Often it is nothing more than a tax "refund," but that's just the surface. It is estimated that about $2.2 trillion will be collected from American households for fiscal 2010, but at the same time, $2.3 trillion will be paid out to the tax-filing households. As Columbia and Harvard-educated Obama says: "Ah'm not gunna hand out big tax breaks to the rich while paying the bills with money from the little guy." Oh? The "little guy" he refers to probably hasn't paid more in federal taxes than he received in federal largess in twenty years.

What makes this so dangerous is that the "eat the rich" philosophy of class warfare is becoming easier to swallow each year because of the growing number of voters who pay no net income taxes but do collect federal benefits. For 2010-2011 that might be as much as 45% of the population. The game is over if that ever reaches 50% + 1, at which point the majority non-payers can simply choose whatever amount they want for themselves at the expense of the minority taxpayers. Demagogues like Caesar and Obama know these things. And so did the Founders. They warned us of the danger of what would happen when the majority discovered it could vote itself largess from the federal treasury.

The faux Man of the People who currently sits in the White House fully understands how many votes he can pick up as opposed to how many he will lose by relaunching class warfare. But he also understands how careful he must be not to bring up the byzantine tax code that imposes more benefits than burdens on both the poor and the genuinely-rich big corporations. In other words, he is out to destroy the middle class by classifying them as "rich," so that he can add the demagogic phrase "they can afford it." A guy named Marx (not Groucho) had the same idea. Destroy the middle class. Or for the limousine liberals, the "bourgeoisie."

Obama didn't even ask Congress for a declaration of class war. He didn't need to. At least until the "shellacking" in November of 2010, Congress was right there with him.
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Friday, April 22, 2011

Opaque Obama Discovers Transparency

Barack Obama, like all good "reform" candidates, promised that his administration would be the most transparent in American history. It has turned out to be the murkiest since Richard Nixon's. Ignoring the facts and the evidence (along with ignoring Congress and the Supreme Court), Obama has unofficially decided that he will add a convenient "transparency" to his agenda. "Full disclosure" is the order of the day.

All right, when you compose yourselves and stop laughing, you will find out that he certainly isn't talking about himself, his cabinet, or his czars. He's talking about contractors who do business with the federal government. In addition to the immense paperwork involved in "bids" and accounting, Obama wants the prospective contractors to reveal their campaign contributions. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney neither confirms nor denies that Obama is preparing an executive order requiring these revelations, but admits it could be accomplished by an executive order. That sounds like a confirmation that just such an executive order is being prepared.

A week after announcing his candidacy for re-election (surprise, surprise), Obama has instituted what could be considered a double end-run. The first around the Supreme Court, and the second around Congress. This from the man who claimed he wouldn't be doing any end-runs. During a State of the Union address, he mixed politics and constitutional law and got the holding in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission wrong. But he got the gist of it right--it allowed businesses to participate directly in elections (so long as they remain independent of the campaigns). He didn't like the decision, and has been trying to undo it ever since.

Having failed to win at the Supreme Court, he moved on to Congress. Saying that "it is crucial to allow taxpayers to learn more about contractors who seek federal funds," Obama and his pals in Congress tried to pass the Disclose Act. The Senate killed that one, on the ground that the taxpayer needs to know that the contractor is ready, willing and truly able to perform on the contract, but not where the contractor spends its political funds. At the time, both houses of Congress were still in Democratic hands, and he still couldn't get this scam past them.

The American people still can't get straight answers out of the Prevaricator-in-Chief about his political connections to convicted felon and land speculator Tony Rezko, but he now expects us to believe his motive for requiring contractors to reveal their political contributions is to protect the taxpayer. Aw, horse manure. This is nothing short of political extortion, designed to squelch contracts for those who aren't in the Obama camp. More importantly, it is designed to get campaign money out of those who are willing to sell their souls to the Democrats (like General Electric, for instance).

Stan Soloway, president of the 350 member Professional Services Council, put it very well: "The draft order says it is necessary to ensure that politics are not allowed to impair the integrity of the procurement process. But by force-feeding irrelevant information to government contracting officers, who would otherwise never consider such factors in source selection, the rule would actually do precisely what it is intended to stop: inject politics into the source selection process."

But Press Secretary Carney, who knows every jot and tittle of the draft but won't confirm its existence, says that President Squeaky-Clean believes "very strongly that taxpayers deserve to know how contractors are spending their money, and his goal is transparency and accountability." If you believe that, let me tell you my story about my space alien abduction--soon to be printed in the National Enquirer.

The Washington Post once again editorializes on the news pages by saying: "The move suggests that Democrats are not backing down from their effort to make transparency in elections a priority. During the midterms, Obama and Democratic congressional leaders spoke often about the need to disclose donors' identities to the interest groups, which tended to favor Republican candidates (emphasis added)." You see, unions are not "interest groups." and George Soros are surely concerned only with the public good.

What really rankles Obama and the socialist cadres of the Democratic Party is that after Citizens United and the defeat of the Disclose Act, Republicans were raising more money than the unions Democrats. And then there was the November 2010 "shellacking" of the Democrats. None of this could be caused by a leveling of the political playing field, so it must be a nefarious plot by Republican plutocrats who are unfairly influencing the elections process.

So once again, The One has decided that he is omniscient. He is both smarter and holier-than-thou, including the Supreme Court and his own Congress. I know I'm just a poor retired country lawyer, but I can't help thinking that such an executive order would violate both the First Amendment and the major holdings in Citizens United. There is absolutely no compelling state interest in revealing the political donors and donations in relation to federal contractors.

But there is certainly a political interest--threatening those who might oppose Obama and rewarding those who support him. And if you think that doesn't work, consider General Electric Chairman and CEO, Jeffrey Immelt. General Electric not only made billions in profits while paying zero taxes on its income (derived in large part from government contracts and stimulus funds), but Immelt was so good at what he does that our grateful President appointed him as head of the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Guess which political party and which candidate received the lion's share of GE's political contributions. Transparency and taxpayer protection, my arse.
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Don't Like The Results? Burn A Church

Most Americans liked the movie Mississippi Burning,, though there was some serious grousing from the "civil rights establishment" that the FBI agents who were portrayed as solving the murders of three civil rights workers were all white. The movie was based on a true story, and truth confuses liberals.

Somehow, though, I don't think Hollywood will be putting out a movie entitled Nigeria Burning, even though there's a whole lot of church-burning going on.

All the church-burnings in the American South during the civil rights movement don't add up to a day's worth of torching in Nigeria since its recent presidential election, even if you add in the ones that Bill Clinton imagined. In no more than three days after the election, over sixty Nigerian Christian churches were burned to the ground, many with parishioners and congregants still inside. Thousands, yes thousands of Christian homes have been burned. Muslims on the continent of Africa don't need much pushing to start burning Christian, Jewish and pagan worshipers. But the excuse in Nigeria is that the Muslim candidate should have won.

That story isn't sexy enough for Hollywood. After all, drooling moron white bigots burned the black churches in Mississippi. Here, largely black Muslims burned largely black Christian churches. That screws up the oppressive white Christian mantra. Pastors, priests, church workers, church attendees (and pretty much everyone near a targeted church) were killed, either in the fires or rifle and machete attacks.

Liberals in Hollywood and the MSM won't be having much to do with this round of mass murders. That's because the murderous supporters of presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari are not only Muslims, but members of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). Progressives have to stick together, after all. And the word "progressive" is about as meaningless in Nigeria as it is in America.

America is still working on accomplishing what Nigeria has already done. In Muslim-majority states, sharia law applies. The Christian President, elected by a 59-32 margin nationwide believes that Nigerian law should be uniform throughout the nation. The Nigerian nation is largely broken up into the northern Muslim-majority states and the Christian-majority southern states. But it is mostly in the sharia states that church-burning and other brutal forms of mayhem are taking place.

If this were a case of the Christian majority oppressing the Muslim minority, the rage might be a bit more understandable. But Nigeria is 50% Muslim and 40% Christian, and the Christian central government has largely allowed the Muslim-majority states to institute the law they have chosen. Nigeria has a complicated presidential electoral system which provides that any candidate who wins outright election in the first round doesn't have to face a runoff so long as he wins the largest number of votes nationwide and at least 25% of the votes in two-thirds of the states. President Goodluck Jonathan succeeded in doing so, which means that Muslim votes were a major part of his victory.

Even in Muslim-majority Adamawa state, which is not a sharia state, Jonathan won by 56-38. None of this prevents angry Muslims from being, well, angry Muslims. International observers have declared the election to be substantially fair, which is a major accomplishment in Nigeria. Past elections were badly-tampered with by the Christian military junta, and there was reason to expect at least some of the same this time. That didn't happen. But that hasn't stopped CPC from violently protesting the election results because Jonathan's victory was "bigger than should be the case."

These vandals are something considerably more than simple political sore-losers. This is a serious battleground for African Muslims. Unlike Islamic-dominated nations to the north, Nigeria has a strong Christian presence and that is unacceptable to Islamists who cannot tolerate infidels in their midst. Again, this demonstrates the inextricable intertwining of religion and politics which is at the heart of Islam. The Muslim fanatics are angered even further by the fact that many Muslims voted for the candidate who was not Muslim. But the "unfaithful" mosque-burnings will have to wait. Right now, the important thing for them is to resolve a political dispute by going after those of a different religion.

The MSM will continue to ignore this story while telling us how intolerant Christians and Americans are. Most mainstream reports have spoken of "political turmoil" in Nigeria, and a "disputed election." Few will dwell on the simple fact that the Islamists have made this all about religion. And when they don't get their way, they burn things. In 2010, about 2,000 Christians were murdered in Nigeria's northern states. Nigeria burning. The next question this raises is "will Nigeria go the way of Ethiopia and Sudan?"
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Leftists Sink To Vile New Lows. . . Again

Every time I turn around, the left sinks to new lows, especially when it comes to their Palin Derangement Syndrome, which is much viler than their Bush Derangement Syndrome, which is much viler than their Reagan Derangement Syndrome. Their latest spewage involves attacks on Sarah Palin’s down syndrome child Trig. And low doesn’t really describe it. . . subhuman is more accurate. So pardon my anger.

For many weeks now, the left has been promoting a hateful little conspiracy in which they claim that Trig is not actually Palin’s son. Everything from leftist professors to anonymous web-posting idiots are claiming that Trig is actually the son of Bristol Palin, not Sarah Palin. Why would the Palins try to hide this? Because, claim these sickos, it would have embarrassed them to have an unmarried, pregnant daughter during the 2008 campaign. . . which you may recall is actually what happened.

Of course, this is insane and the left knows this. There are copious amounts of photos from the time showing that Palin was pregnant and that Bristol was not. There are also medical records. But that doesn’t stop these sickos because they get off on bullying Palin’s kids, see e.g. Kathy Griffith, as they do with all of their opponents kids. And this is how leftists give themselves delusions of adequacy, by attacking children.

And if you doubt me, pay attention to this story.

Two days ago, jack stuef of Wonkette, a leftist political “satire” site, put up a posting called “Children’s Treasury of Trig Crap” to mark Palin’s youngest son’s birthday. Beyond the incoherent headline, jack included in this post a series of vile attacks on Palin as well as attacks on Trig. For example, jack included “jokes” about Trig like the following:
“What’s he dreaming about? Nothing. He’s retarded.”
Funny stuff jack. Your hero Hitler would have been proud. jack then added “jokes” about child rape, incest and fetal alcohol syndrome. For example, jack said:
Today is the day we come together to celebrate the snowbilly grifter’s magical journey from Texas to Alaska to deliver to the America the great gentleman scholar Trig Palin. Is Palin his true mother? Or was Bristol? (And why is it that nobody questions who the father is? Because, either way, Todd definitely did it.)
So jack thinks it’s funny to ridicule down syndrome Trig as a “gentleman scholar” and to imply that Todd Palin has sex with his own daughter. Nice jack, your jackal mother must be very proud. By the way, you better hope there is no such thing as karma jack.

Of course, Wonkette’s readers thought this was funny, at least until conservatives noticed. Suddenly the spotlight got awfully bright as the rest of America didn’t find jack’s bullying of Trig all that funny. Indeed, as this story spread, sponsors started running away from Wonkette. Papa John’s Pizza, Huggies, Nordstrom, and Holland America Line have announced they would no longer advertise on the site. Vanguard Group is trying to have it both ways by trying to continue advertising at the site, but just not on the hateful posts. . . you might want to give them a call.

Eventually, Wonkette had to respond, and this is where it gets even more sick. Did Wonkette distance itself from jack? No. Instead, Wonkette editor ken layne tried to justify this disgusting attack with the following:
I have four kids myself and I wouldn't want them mocked on the Internet by a bunch of cretins on the Internet. And that's just one reason why I wouldn't parade my children around in the media. What kind of mother does that? . . . Anything involving Palin, I want to make it extra clear that *Palin* is the problem with America. Not her kids. Not her little kid, anyway. The older ones seem to be on their own path and you can't really blame Sarah for it, although she certainly encourages the sleaziest possible behavior from her grown children, which is hardly a very "family values" thing to do.
Right, so Palin entrapped jack by “parading” Trig around the media?! Give me a break. Everybody knows Palin did no such thing -- though Obama has done this repeatedly with his own kids. And even if she did, ken and jack should have known better than to attack Trig. Notice, by the way, that ken can’t bring himself to admit that his own hateful writer is actually in the wrong for any part of this. Moreover, notice that ken also can't stop himself from taking shots at Bristol Palin and Sarah Palin in the process. This is evidence of mental illness and ken and jack should stop stroking each other and seek help.

And that wasn’t all ken wrote. Indeed, when another website called ken out on this (“Jack Stuef’s column 'honoring' Trig Palin’s birthday is about the most irredeemably vile, unfunny thing I’ve ever seen. . . If there is any expression of disgust that I have failed to convey, consider this my signature on it.”) and wanted to get his response before posting a scathing attack on this, ken responded by first saying the real problem was “Palin fans” who aren’t smart enough to get the satire. Funny, I’m no fan of Palin but I don’t get the satire either. He then tries to defend the column by saying:
“we should always — it is a *moral duty* — show how reprehensible it is to be using *any baby* and especially a special needs baby as a political prop. That is gross, and sane people know it’s gross.”
That’s right ken, what you and jack have done in using Trig is “reprehensible.” It is “gross” and “sane people” don’t do this. So why did you do it? And why do you keep doubling down on subhuman with every fresh sentence? ken continues:
“And with two kids of my own and another on the way, I am obviously a great fan of children, especially mine. And I respect the rights of children to not be mocked on the internet just because their mom is a cow-demon. It’s not the kid’s fault. Who gets to pick their parents? I sure didn’t.”
So it’s not ok to mock kids on the internet? But it is ok to call their mother a “cow-demon” -- a term that should probably get ken fired for misogyny. And since ken still refuses to apologize for jack’s vile attacks on Palin’s son Trig or ken’s own attacks on the other Palin kids, what are we to make of this statement? Is it just hypocrisy or something worse? And let me point out that ken just made his own kids props in the defense of his own hate. ken, you are a sick f#$%.

ken then finishes by claiming that the outrage is “feigned,” before launching into yet another slander of Sarah Palin and her “poor white people” fans. That’s a nice touch ken, finishing on a racist note.

Finally, Wonkette deleted jack’s name and deleted the comments, but left the article.

What we’ve learned here is that the left has become a diseased carcass. They are riddled with hate, racism, and misogyny, and they get off on savaging disabled infants. This is what has become of an entire ideology, an ideology of greed, envy and hate. They have become so blinded by their hate that they no longer have any boundaries. They will attack other people's children, exploit their own, and pass the vilest, most delusional lies all to make themselves feel adequate and smug.

They are subhuman.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Film Friday: The Core (2003)

I’ve got a film on my mind: The Core. The Core isn’t horrible, but it’s not a good film either. Strangely, The Core has generally good writing, good special effects, some likeable characters, an interesting plot, and decent production values, but it's still not a good movie. Why? Because it’s lazy.

** spoiler alert **

The Core is a high-budget ($60 million) disaster movie that pretty much bombed, though it eventually turned a profit. It is the story of a group of people who must travel to the Earth’s center to restart the Earth’s core, which has stopped spinning. Without that spinning core, the Earth’s magnetic field will fail and we will be exposed to solar radiation, which will kill us all. In the meantime, the intermittently good/evil US military is planning to use a secret weapon to try to restart the core. . . the same weapon that stopped the core spinning in the first place.

Oh, where to start. If you look at the movie on paper, it should be a pretty good film. The story is interesting and isn’t packed with filler, nor do inexplicable things happen. There are some likeable characters and some good actors. The writing sounds good when heard in isolation and some of it is quite witty. But it never adds up to much because it’s just so lazy.

The first tip off about the laziness is the acting. At no point do you ever get any sense that the actors know who their characters are or that they care about what they are doing. For example, Aaron Eckhart plays a generic scientist who solves the riddle of what’s happening. I like Eckhart, but he doesn't seem to realize he’s a scientist or that he’s the lead character. It feels like he just showed up on set one day and started reading some lines. Tchéky Karyo, who I also like, plays another generic scientist and Eckhart’s friend. We are meant to see these two as fairly close, but there’s no chemistry between them because neither actor acts like they are anything more than acquaintances. Stanley Tucci plays another generic scientist who is also the half-hearted villain. He’s kind of bad, but not really, and Tucci doesn’t bother establishing him as more than just arrogant but helpful. Delroy Lindo plays Tucci’s “nemesis.” Lindo invented both the ship they will use to get to the center of the Earth and the “unobtainium” out of which the ship is made -- a deus ex machina material that solves all possible problems. Tucci stole credit for Lindo’s prior inventions, but Lindo doesn’t care and remains quite civil.

Bruce Greenwood plays an assh~le space shuttle commander who will pilot the ship, and Hilary Swank plays the “super smart” shuttle co-pilot who will go along. They couldn't have less chemistry. Greenwood is bland except when he’s reading insulting lines at Swank. Swank (a high school drop out) is unbelievable as someone with even a middling brain and basically stares at things. Meanwhile, back at HQ, the military is represented by lifeless Richard Jenkins who gets about as worked up over the end of the world and his role in causing it as if someone told him the lawnboy was coming Wednesday instead of Tuesday. “Oh, really? Ok, I’ll mark my calendar.”

Even when the scenes call for emotion, these actors don’t seem to care. For example, in one scene, Swank is supposedly upset because she killed Tchéky. Yet, she delivers her lines like she’s ordering lunch and almost giggles. When Rome is about to be destroyed, their hacker lifelessly says “Rome does not look good.” When Jenkins learns that friend-of-the-family Swank won’t be fired by NASA, he sounds about as happy as if he learned the lawnboy will now be coming on Friday. And at no point do any of them seem all that upset the world is ending. It’s like these actors didn’t bother reading the script ahead of time and are just winging it line by line.

What’s more, this same laziness pervades the writing. The characters have no backstory -- what you see is what you get, and their relationships never rise above the level of acquaintances tossed together for an uninteresting weekend, i.e. there is no urgency, there is no emotion. In fact, the one time Tucci shows emotion comes across as perhaps the worst moment in the film, as he delivers lines so poorly written that you can almost see him begging the others to cut off his ridiculous tirade so he can stop speaking the lines: “You wanna be a hero? You wanna be a martyr? What do you want to be? You're out of your minds! Thank you!” Also, when things need to be done, they just sort of happen without difficulty or explanation. Oh, you need a hacker, here he is. Oh, you need to build a spaceship in three months that hasn’t been designed yet, will take 10 years to build, and is not like anything else on Earth? No problem, we’ll take care of it while you go get lunch. . . don’t worry, we have “scientists” who can do this sort of thing. Oh, you need to find the secret government project? No problem, it's on the map.

Moreover, few of the technical aspects are explained to any degree. . . “we go, make boom, core start, movie end.” And what science they do give is horrible. It's so bad that a poll of scientists voted The Core the least accurate science fiction movie, and Dustin Hoffman actually led an initiative of the National Academy of Sciences to get Hollywood to start getting their science right and to stop making movies like The Core. What's worse, “unobtainium” is used as a catchall explanation to solve all problems the writer didn’t want to bother thinking about. How do they get through the Earth’s crust? Unobtainium. What protects them from the planet crushing forcing? Unobtainium. Where do they get power? Unobtainium. How do they save themselves once they lose their engines? Unobtainium. It slices, it dices, it cuts a planet in half. . .

But what really kills this movie is the overall laziness of the story. The story happens just as you expect, and that's it. There are no surprises, no interesting twists, no memorable moments, and no variances at all from what you would expect from your average low-budget disaster film shown on the Sci-Fi Channel. And that is truly disappointing.

Now in truth, I enjoy this film enough to watch it, but then I'm a fan of bad science fiction. But if you're looking for anything more than "Mega Storm 4" or "Attack of the Giant Killing Thingy," you will be disappointed. And that's too bad, because with the money and the cast invested in The Core, this one had potential.

Check out the new film site -- CommentaramaFilms!

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