Friday, December 23, 2011

Boehner Blinks

House GOP Agrees to Extend Payroll-Tax Cut for 2 Months

It’s a matter of debate whether we could have actually won this debate. Gingrich was the best Republican Speaker in a generation and when he pounded the spending cuts issue in the 90s, he was savaged. I think it was Time mag that had him on the cover with the title “The Gingrich that Stole Christmas”, unfair or not, it’s a description that has stick to this day. That said, he was able to lead the House, passed important legislation and Clinton signed it.

Republicans are the “Daddy Party”, so it’s pretty easy to portray them as cruel an heartless – particularly just before Christmas. Newt had the temperament to persevere through that crap, clearly, Boehner does not.

Is a Bad Hair Day a "Medical Condition"?

Citing medical condition, Edwards seeks delay in trial

Monday, December 12, 2011

2012, The Year of Living Vacuously


Our problem, dear friends, is that the unserious are becoming a major force in the formation of policy and they’re fortified by unserious minions, such as OWS, who act as combination sounding boards and think tanks. The unserious press in the form of the infotainment cabal that includes everyone from Brian Williams to Jon Stewart to the shrews on shows such as “the View”, dutifully keep the information flowing – always on cue and always exquisitely coordinated. They don’t need talking points memos or real organization; with twitter and Facebook, it’s the embodiment of the Borg and the best part is that they’re all doing it quite voluntarily, even joyfully. They’re told precisely what they want to hear and regurgitate on cue.
As a country, as a society, we stink of decay and weakness. No insult is to great for us to absorb in the interest of “diversity”. We bow down to 14th Century barbarians as though they were majestic, even adopting their customs and religion thus breaking centuries-old customs handed down by our forefathers. In the interest of understanding, we’ve re-written our own history and beat our breasts in regret for the monumental achievements of our forbears.
I look about and wish I were 88 instead of 58, for I would prefer not seeing what I believe will be the demise of “the last, best hop for mankind”. I my minds eye, I see a malevolent darkness that will descend upon mankind and the true meaning of “The Four Horsemen” painfully crystallizes in my mind.
No, war is not the worst fate that can befall mankind; the loss of the past on which we build our future is. There’s been an unbroken chain, centuries old, well predating the United States, we call Western civilization. That chain is in ill repair and is under attack.
For all of his foibles, Newt Gingrich said, in one of his lectures, that an entire civilization can be lost in one generation and it vanishes with remarkable quickness and irretrievably. I see the beginnings of that loss on a daily basis and it gives me nothing but dread about the future.
2012 is not a year i’ll welcome, it’ll be one that i’ll approach cautiously, and with a jaded eye.
Happy New Year, indeed. It will not be pretty, nor happy.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

"Virtual" War Criminals?

The International Red Cross has officially descended into farce.

Video games and IHL: how should the Movement take action?

While the Movement works vigorously to promote international humanitarian law (IHL) worldwide, there is also an audience of approximately 600 million gamers who may be virtually violating IHL. Exactly how video games influence individuals is a hotly debated topic, but for the first time, Movement partners discussed our role and responsibility to take action against violations of IHL in video games. In a side event, participants were asked: “what should we do, and what is the most effective method?” While National Societies shared their experiences and opinions, there is clearly no simple answer.

Should we laugh or cry?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Word of the Day 11/28/11

Word of the Day for Monday, November 28, 2011

panegyrize \PAN-i-juh-rahyz\, verb:

1. To eulogize; to deliver or write a panegyric about.
2. To indulge in panegyric; bestow praises.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The War on "Merry Christmas" is over. Reason won.

I was in Target yesterday afternoon and, upon leaving, I noticed decorations hanging from the ceiling that declared "Merry Christmas". It occurred to me that maybe, just maybe this artificial outrage that's been manufactured over the word "Christmas" has finally been exposed for the foolishness it is.

I grew up, and still live in, a predominately Jewish neighborhorhood. Believe me, Jews are not offended in the least by Christmas and they never have been. if you're Christian, Christmas can be religious but if you're not, it can be secular. It's really pretty accommodating.

An obnoxious, yet vocal minority of "evangelical atheists", searching for something to bitch about started this whole thing. I don't blame corporate America, they just reacted to what they thought "appropriate" in modern society and overestimated who was actually "offended" by Christmas. What they found was that it was all smoke and no fire.

I think the war on "Merry Christmas" is over and we won.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Everything Old is New Again

As if we don't already have enough on our plate, remember that the cold war never really ended, it just took a break while Russia could transmogrify itself into a 21st Century Soviet Union.
Medvedev: Russia May Target Missile Defense Sites

MOSCOW –  President Dmitry Medvedev says Russia will aim its missiles at the U.S. missile defense sites in Europe if Washington fails to address Russian concerns on its missile defense plans.

Medvedev said that Russia will deploy missiles in its westernmost Kaliningrad region and other areas if Russia and NATO fail to reach a deal on the U.S.-led missile defense plans.
He also said in a televised statement Wednesday that Moscow may opt out of the New Start arms control deal with the United States and halt other arms control talks if the U.S. proceeds with its plans to deploy its missile shield in Europe.

Russia considers the U.S. shield as a threat to its nuclear forces.
This isn't really a revelation or even that new a development; the cold war has been rearing its ugly head for a while now. I've no doubt that as this progresses, the Left will find a way to blame the Americans for Russia's paranoia.

As it has always been.

Word of the Day 11/23/11

Word of the Day for Wednesday, November 23, 2011

crepitate \KREP-i-teyt\, verb:

To make a crackling sound; crackle.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November 22nd

Many people my age remember November 22 as the day President Kennedy was slain in Dallas. I won't bore you with that subject; far too much has been written on that already.

No, today was also my mother's birthday; Gladys Baker Weeks, her middle name was Eulalie. She's gone now, has been since '82. She was in the Navy before, and during World War II where she served as a cryptologist for Naval Intellegence, specializing in Japanese code. She simply didn't speak of her work, ever, other than to say she rode to work in a windowless bus in DC and assumed that where she worked was underground. When she died, we were sent a special commendation, signed by President Reagan. It still didn't mention what she did, but I can only assume that she did it very well.

She was a very plain spoken woman who had a talent for boiling down BS in order to get to the truth. This plain-spoken nature could be embarrassing, to be sure, but it was an intrinsic part of her nature and at times, hilarious. She loved to laugh.

What can I say? She was a good mother who whipped my ass when it was deserved and kissed my bruises and scrapes when it was needed. As I grew, she was always my biggest fan. As an only child, one would have thought me incredibly "spoiled" and, to a point, I suppose I was. One thing's for sure, though, I was raised to have respect and dignity and on those subjects, I was always on a very short leash. Looking back, I'm incredibly grateful for that, and, let's face it, for being fortunate in having her as a mother.

She died somewhat slowly, of cancer. I never could speak to her about that subject, the subject of terminal illness. Many times I tried, failing miserably, and she patted me and said "Don't worry, I know", and she did. One of the last pieces of wisdom(and there were many) she imparted to me was "Dying isn't the worst thing that happens to you; it's only the last".

RIP, while I never thought I thanked her enough, I'm sure she knew how much I loved and treasured her. I'm sure that she still does.

Word of the Day 11/22/11

Word of the Day for Tuesday, November 22, 2011

poltroon \pol-TROON\, noun:

1. A wretched coward; craven.

adjective:
1. Marked by utter cowardice.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Gawd, This is Beautiful

I ran up to the Mall (Oxmoor, if you're local) this afternoon to do some MacBook Pro scouting, and what should appear before my weary eyes but this:



She was absolutely perfect (a '65, I believe) and upon an inspection of her interior, she was found to be flawless.

While I like Mustangs, she's not my dream car, but a lovely specimen, nonetheless.  Ah, the classics.

Not That OWS Hasn't Been Getting Creepy Before Now......

....But it seems to be progressing on pace.
OWS Protesters Chant ‘Follow Those Kids!’ As Small Children Try To Go To School On Wall Street

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — They were caught in the middle of madness.

Some grade school students were forced to walk a gauntlet of screaming “Occupy Wall Street” protesters just to get to school on Thursday.

It was a wild day in lower Manhattan for most everyone involved, including elementary school children who had to brave the mayhem just to get to class on the other side of Wall Street.

In the middle of thousands of protestors yelling and chanting — some kicking and screaming – CBS 2’s Emily Smith found little school kids trying to get to class. Nervous parents led them through the barriers on Wall Street. The NYPD helped funnel the children, anything to ease their fears while some protestors chanted “follow those kids!”
Ah yes, they're the "enlightened ones", aren't they?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What I Saw at "Occupy Louisville"

(Update: Welcome Instapundit readers, and thanks, Glenn!)

Rather, I should call it "Whinestock Louisville 2011", as per my previous post.

Louisville's a nice city, big enough for the amenities, yet small enough to not be an urban nightmare. I like it here, that's why I live here and arranged to have been born here - always a tough decision. Yes, we have an urban area, and it's rather nice and, not to be outdone by larger cities, we've also been "Occupied", of late.

Today was a lovely, yet crisp, autumn day. I heard there was going to be a demonstration, so I went down there to get my fair share of abuse.

I had trouble finding "the Demonstration", try as I may. They were bringing in the city's Christmas Tree, so the flashing lights on the police cars were because of the tree's movement, not "the Demonstration".

As I was just about to give up, I saw about 30 or so people with homemade signs and a guy with a bullhorn. At last, The Demonstration!

There was the fat guy with the bullhorn

There was this guy, doing his Abbie Hoffman imitation

There was an aging hippie dude in poncho

There was mom with her child who implored us to "Demand Glass Steagall" (?)

There was a THOUGHTFUL CONCERNED PERSON with a sign to prove it
U
Uh oh, who stole the shopping cart?

"Food Not Bombs".  It depends, are we eating or fighting? 

There was the ubiquitous "War is not the Answer" sign.  (Depending on the question, it may be the BEST answer!)




And then, there was the supporting cast of oddballs, malcontents and their nests:










I have more pics, but they're just more of the same. I have to say that things were fairly orderly; no evidence of crapping or on the streets and everyone seemed pretty friendly. Crazy as loons, in my opinion, but pleasant.

After seeing reports from across the country, I felt a little civic pride - our malcontents are behaving with a degree of civility not seen in other cities. In short, our nuts may well be better than your nuts.

I see a tourism campaign in the making.....

How Do We Define the "Occupy" Movement? WHINESTOCK!

What Woodstock was to Boomer popular culture, the "Occupy" movement is to filth, third-world diseases, public defecation, broadly based malcontentment, urban camping and interminable whining about everything from student loans, to war, to jobs, to corporations in general, to bankers and brokerage firms, in particular.

In short, it's Whinestock; I hereby offer this word into the public lexicon and claim it as my coinage.

I visited "Occupy Louisville" this afternoon and will be posting pictures later today or tomorrow on this site, and perhaps on Facebook, as well.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

As Wrong as One Can Possibly Be

Good Lord, this is ugly.

Cain: ‘I’m Not Supposed to Know Anything About Foreign Policy’

[Cain] defended his view that presidents and presidential candidates don’t need to be immersed in the fine print of world affairs – they simply need to be leaders who can surround themselves with the right people and sift through their advice.

“I’m not supposed to know anything about foreign policy. Just thought I’d throw that out,” he said, a dig at his critics.

“I want to talk to commanders on the ground. Because you run for president (people say) you need to have the answer. No, you don’t! No, you don’t! That’s not good decision-making,” said Cain.

It's time to shut it down, last one out, turn out the lights.

He is the 99%!

Living, crapping and peeing in the street just doesn't attract the better elements of society, does it?

DC Shooting Suspect Could Be Threat to Obama, Police Say

"Authorities suspect Ortega has been in the area for weeks, coming back and forth to the Washington Mall.  Before the shooting, he was detained by local police at an abandoned house. U.S. Park police say Ortega may have spent time blending in with Occupy D.C. protesters."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

No Less Than Societal Suicide

The inmates are truly in charge of the asylum.

Court Order Allows Protesters to Return to Zuccotti Park

The National Lawyers Guild said it has obtained a court order that allows Occupy Wall Street protesters to return with tents to a New York City park.

The injunction prevents the city from enforcing park rules, which were published after the Occupy Wall Street protest began.

Those rules would bar protestors from bringing tents, tarps and sleeping bags into the park.

At a morning news conference at City Hall, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city knew about the court order but had not seen it and would go to court to fight it. He said the city wants to protect people's rights, but if a choice must be made, it will protect public safety.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

A Few Words About "Sexual Harassment"

I spent some 35 years in business and I've no doubt that at some point uttered what I felt was a clever witticism that was perceived, by someone, as "sexual harassment". I don't make light of this, I just think there's a distinct difference between bad taste and boorish behavior and actual "harassment".

The Cain "scandal" dredges all of this up, once again. And, once again, the wide net known as "sexual harassment" will be cast, yielding more socially graceless and slightly tipsy cubicle dwellers during office parties than actual predators. There's two words that explain this phenomenon; ZERO TOLERANCE. These two words, when used together, can turn a wholly innocent (though possibly clumsy) action or phrase into the equivalent of a crime against the State.

Women are at once fierce competitors who have risen to the pinnicles of business and politics, yet also delicate creatures who can be made to "feel uncomfortable" by phrases or actions. Yes, there are true serial sexual harassers and predators in the workplace, but I honestly feel that the reality is far less formidable than the legend. ZERO TOLERANCE has equated ass-grabbing with "you look lovely this morning" and is doing more harm than good.

By the end of my career, I didn't even want to speak to women, and you better believe that I didn't want to be friendly for fear of how it would be taken. Is this a step forward or backward?

I travelled a LOT, often with women. Is it not natural to grab a bite to eat in a strange city with your travel companion? There were only a couple who I would even consider joining for a meal, out of fear. I thought I had the reputation of a gentleman and it was a reputation I wanted to protect. I wasn't a preditor, but there were times that I definitely felt like a potential target should I step out of line, or even be perceived as doing so.

The fact is that women can make men feel like insects with nothing more than a dismissive smirk or snicker. They have a lot more power than many would have us believe.

The true preditors should be punished, severely. As for the socially clumsy, inarticulate boors, quit treating them like criminals, they have enough problems already. And for God's sake, learn to know the difference!

Is He Toast, or Can He Recover?

Good morning all.

I'm still looking for a good center-right discussion site, non Facebook based. Any suggestions would be helpful.

I've said he's toast (yesterday, as it happens) but I may, or may not have been premature. I don't predict the future, I'm doing good to understand the present.

It seems the "Cain scandal" is still going full tilt boogie with no signs of relenting (there seems to be a new woman I haven't seen yet this morning). Forgive my noticing, but they all seem to be blond, white women. They (who the hell is "they", anyway) seem to be playing on an age-old prejudice.

Then there's the possibility that it's all true. Cain DID give a convincing presser yesterday during which he UNEQUIVOCALLY denied ANY impropriety. No weasel words to be found. The women, on the other hand, aren't exactly paragons of virtue. Before you say that "they're not on trial here", they actually are. They've chosen to step into the arena, so all's fair.

I've been critical of Cain's handling, as well as his staff's handling of this whole, excuse the word, affair. It's been atrocious. What happened yesterday should have happen a week ago, at least. I know he likes to say he's not a politician, but he's running for president so that makes him, by definition a politician. He should get a staff, a real one, that can handle these situations. I'm also highly critical of his serial blaming of everyone in sight - get some proof and hit 'em with both barrels. Until then, SHUT UP!

I find it curious that none of this surfaced when he ran for the Senate. Not a word. Now the bimbos are blossoming like "madness in the Spring" (to borrow a line from Jethro Tull).

It's difficult to shake the suspicion that someone's behind this, it's too orchestrated and it happened just as Cain achieved "front runner" status. That's why this will still take some time to play out. I doubt if it was a Republican opponant; at this stage of the game, to be found out would be suicide. Obama? He cut his political teeth in Chicago, where dirty tricks and dirty money are the mother's milk of dirty politics. If he is responsible, we'll likely never know for sure. He's too smart to allow it to be traced back to him....probably. I've over estimated his prowess before.

Alas, guilty or innocent, every minute spent on discussing the "Cain Scandal" diminishes his stature. Isn't my writing about it doing the very thing I criticize? Yes, but allowing the media to control the narrative will assure Cain's demise. If there's no "there" there, then that has to be shouted from the rooftops.

It's incumbent upon the accuser to provide evidence, but all I've seen forthcoming is innuendo, and stale innuendo at that. Is that enough to sink Cain's candidacy? YES IT IS. If you disagree, you just haven't been listening.

He's tentatively agreed to a polygraph; good theater but tricky science. I wouldn't gamble my life on one unless I had no other choice.

Alas, Cain has no choice but to ride this thing out, continue his unequivocal denials and education of the American people about what happened - and what didn't happen. DON'T trot out the wife! It's about HIM, don't put her in that position.

What he needs is an honest investigative reporter to get to the bottom of these nebulous "accusations" that have suddenly materialized from thin air. Excepting God Himself, everything has a beginning and a reason; that beginning needs to be uncovered as does the reasoning behind these charges. A guy doesn't grab your thigh 15-20 years ago and you decide one day to ruin his life. I don't find that credible, or even particularly sane.

This isn't over, and that's VERY bad news for Cain. Every news story about him begins with the "scandal". Yes, I understand his fundraising has gone through the ceiling, but credibility with ALL of the American people is at stake here, not just Cain's supporters. In the short run, it may galvanize support, but in the long run we just don't need another president with even the shadow of a "horn dog past" hovering over him. Been there, done that.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Stick a Fork in Him...

My gut's telling me that Cain's toast. No, it's not fair and this latest publicity whore doesn't smell quite right, but he's still toast.

Let's face it, this has been poorly handled from the beginning, it's gone on for a week now with no real sign of an end. It's quickly turning into a circus.

Herman's a great guy with a lot of admirable qualities but he's totally fumbling the ball in his first crisis. Was he ambushed? Probably. That's something you have to learn to deal with in the big leagues - it should not have caught him flatfooted. These charges weren't created out of thin air; something happened, perhaps far more innocent than what's being reported, but something happened. Again, Cain and his people should have seen this coming and managed it.

You just can't miserably fail the very first challenge that's put before you and still be considered a viable presidential candidate. He did and he can't.

UPDATE: Herman Cain gave a press conference today and performed exceptionally. He was forceful and, as far as I could tell, forthright. This should have been done a week ago. Yes, this latest Gloria Allred represented bimbo from central casting just came forward, but the rest of this story has been in a holding pattern for a week. That's unacceptable.

I would hope this unfortunate circus has finally left town and Cain, and his staff, have learned a valuable lesson.

Maybe he's not quite done after all, and that's a positive development.

Friday, November 04, 2011

A Passing Thought....

Lenin famously said that we, the capitalists, would sell them (the Communists) the rope they use to hang us. Maybe in this new world, the West will farm out to China, the making of the rope we use to hang THEM.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

I Can't Say I'm Surprised

Peaceful Occupy protests degenerate into chaos

How is it that a couple of people sleeping on the street are called vagrants, but a couple of thousand is called a "movement"?

Look, I'm all in favor of street protests, regardless of the cause. It's as American as apple pie. The seemingly endless urban camping trip in which the OWSers are engaged is something quite different; it's disrupting business, causing hardship, and generating crime.

A series of protests would be far more effective. The longer this macabre circus goes on, the more annoyed mainstream Americans will become and the greater the chance that, eventually, lives will be lost.

I'm Starting to Have My Doubts, Herman

I really like Cain, but I'm thinking that he might not be the man we need. I'm not deserting him yet, completely, but I'm fraught with doubt.

No, it has nothing to do with these sexual harassment charges per se, I think they're likely bunk. The fact that they're coming out now, after 20 years, has all the fingerprints of a dirty trick. Alas, he has handled this crises poorly, to say he least, he should have gotten out in front of this and controlled the narrative, instead, he's reacting daily as the story unfolds, drip by drip. Poorly done.

It has to do with a disturbing amount of foreign policy gaffes and, I hate to say it, lack of basic knowledge. He often looks lost when discussing foreign policy, he's getting better and his stance on Israel is perfect, but the fact that he's a complete novice in this area is painfully obvious,

Then there's 999. I'm completely behind this, to a point. The sticking point for me is the 9% sales tax. I could be convinced, but my gut reaction is negative.

He's so personally endearing that I really want to support him, but it's getting difficult. There's only so much one can write off when considering a man for the presidency.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

A few Thoughts about Confidence, and the Lack Thereof

My apologies for this screed having evolved into one about generational warfare, but it's all connected, and a bit personal for many of us.

For all of his faults, I think George W. Bush gave a damn about the American people's general welfare.  While presidents have questionable control over economies, as a whole, I honestly think W would have made a deal with the Devil, and sacrificed his political legacy (which he did in other areas), in order to lessen his people's suffering.  By contrast, I believe Obama is actually worsening the people's suffering in order to make a point - that point being that he was right, despite the empirical evidence that he's anything but.  The bottom line is that while Bush oft mis-stepped, I never doubted that he was on my side.  With Obama, well, I feel less important than the political/economic theory he's using me to prove and I'm growing more resentful by the day.

I was willing to give the man a chance, look at the archives and you'll find that to be true. "A chance", however, doesn't mean investing any more time in a man from whom I've gleaned not one iota of comeraderie with, or compassion for, an entire swath of Americans of whom I am a member. Too many of those who have made the right choices, paid their bills and worked all of their lives are seemingly being cast aside in favor of people who have made their own hell. In order to deal with our current "crisis", we're being told that "we're all going to have to make sacrifices". Really? When I first bought my house, the interest rate was some 18%, do you think that required some sacrifice? I served my country, while others were establishing their careers, does that qualify as sacrifice? I didn't have the luxury of having someone pay for my college education, instead I paid for a partial college education via the GI bill. No I didn't finish, I was far too busy building my career and gaining knowledge on my own. Does that qualify as sacrifice? My wife and I didn't have children because we felt that we couldn't afford to do it right because we were both working long hours. By the time we could afford it, it was a little late, age wise. I suppose we could have been selfish, but we tried to do the right thing.

What did I get for the trouble? Downsized at 50. After being out of work for some six months, I took the first job that was offered. Believe me, there's not a lot of offers for 50-somethings. The job entailed constant air travel, excruciatingly long days fueled by enormous amounts of caffeine and airport food. After six years of this I had a stroke. That was two plus years ago, still recovering and will likely always be. Unable to work, I'm existing on SSDI and I thank God that I have a wife of 30 years and I haven't lost my home. All things considered, I could have easily ended up on the street.

Now "my kind" are wearing a target. You know, "Boomers" are taking benefits from the young, bla bla bla. We're all selfish if you listen to our critics. They seem to forget that Boomers were not only a large generation, but a very well paid one. We paid more than our share into the system and now, as we are retiring, we're being accused of bankrupting it. Where did the money go? That flush of money that was the Boomers' contribution was spent on Oore government programs that bought more votes. Are the government sugar daddies that bought votes and influence with OUR money held responsible for the current shortfall? No, the meme is that it's the selfish Boomers' fault. Maybe we should be renamed "generation scapegoat".

The generational war is one that's being brought upon me and mine. Boomers are a feisty lot, even in our advanced years, so I would would not be so cavalier about discounting us. We've brought chaos to this country before, and we're even more capable today. Screw with us at your own risk.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What an Unfortunate Situation....

After what we've been through with the last general election and the ensuing years of President Obama, one would think we'd have a better slate of candidates. One would be wrong.

Maybe it's just me, but there's just no one out there that's even remotely exciting, and I've pretty much resigned myself to voting for whoever gets the nomination, which will likely be Romney. Yawn. Nominating Romney is like buying a new refrigerator. Yeah, it's a nice, new, and was badly needed, but it's a friggin refrigerator when you would have preferred a new flat screen TV! Alas, I just don't know who's the flat screen TV in this analogy.

Not one of these candidates inspires me, save Herman Cain, and, practically speaking, I just don't think he has a chance.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Occam's Razor

I've resisted thinking that Obama actually embraced anti-Americanism, preferring to just see him as a leftist neophyte. Sometimes, though, one has to wonder if the shortest distance between two points is actually the straight line that one has assiduously avoided.

Can this list of examples be products of incompetence, alone?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Question About Qadaffi's Death....

How will the administration spin this in order to take credit? Inquiring minds want to know.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The MLK Memorial

On the occasion of the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial today in DC, can we do two things?

1) Revive the ideal of a "color blind" society. We don't need more DIVERSITY, we need more UNITY - look up their definitions.

2) Judge our First Black President by the content of his character rather than the color of his skin. Electing Obama didn't diminish racism in the US, but the courage to hold him to a common standard just might.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Jesse Jackson, Jr. Redefines Preposterous

Parody should sue reality for plagiarism.

In the midst of economic armageddon, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. proposes the government hire all of the 15 million unemployed, at $40,000/yr and bail out all of the states and municipalities. Even in the face of ruin, there is a profound lack of seriousness - we're a nation of children being "led" by elected Peter Pans admonishing us to "never grow up.". If that's not the recipe for unmitigated doom, I don't know what is.

Friday, October 14, 2011

"Transparancy" Shouldn't Extend Into Diplomacy

Goldberg's right. Maybe if our international opponents (enemies, that is) didn't know what the hell we we would do in every circumstance, they would be a bit more cautious before annoying us.

The Diminishing Returns of Reasonableness - Jonah Goldberg - National Review Online

The Usual Suspects

Poor Al, he seems to be craving attention.....

Al Gore backs Occupy Wall Street protests

Thursday, October 06, 2011

The Bigotry of Obama's Supporters

What does it take for President Obama to be forced to accept the responsibilities of his position?

The U.S. didn't cleanse itself of it's racist past by electing Obama; it will only come when we hold him to the same standards that we would were he white. This business of giving him a pass that would be afforded no other president is just another form of racism. George W. Bush called it "the soft bigotry of low expectations" - that phrase describes what's happening with Obama perfectly.

The Honor of Thieves

A uplifting story that speaks to common decency:

Burglars Stumble Upon Man's Child Porn Stash, Turn Him In

That these kids weren't prosecuted for the burglary is the very definition of "the greater good". Kudos to the thieves, as well as the cops.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

iDirge: Steve Jobs Dead at 56

Too young. Too soon.

He was one Of a handful of individuals who literally shaped our modern world. Whether he was a "nice guy" or not is not particularly important; I think he was a decent man and a tough competitor who's mark is stamped on our daily lives. He was a true American original and irreplaceable in any number of ways. He was the Edison of our age, with a singular sense of "cool".

What's interesting is that he's always been the darling of the Left, though he was one of the most masterful capitalists of his time. He was the epitome of what many of these people despise the most.

Somewhere, he may well be having the last laugh at his most ardent disciples.

iRIP

Monday, October 03, 2011

Why Hasn't Roseanne Been Shunned and Ostracized?

This isn't the first time she's spewed homicide-laced vitriol and I doubt if it will be the last:

“Part of my platform is, of course, the guilty must be punished and that we no longer let our children see their guilty leaders getting away with murder. Because it teaches children, you know, that they don’t have to have any morals as long as they have guns and are bullies and I don’t think that’s a good message,” Barr told Russia Today (RT).

“I do say that I am in favor of the return of the guillotine and that is for the worst of the worst of the guilty.

“I first would allow the guilty bankers to pay, you know, the ability to pay back anything over $100 million [of] personal wealth because I believe in a maximum wage of $100 million. And if they are unable to live on that amount of that amount then they should, you know, go to the reeducation camps and if that doesn’t help, then being beheaded,” Barr said with a straight face.
Society at large has allowed her to get away with this for so long that she now refers to these ideas as her "platform". As to her, eh, profession, it's a source of constant amazement that she continues to find work. It indicates that the entertainment industry is rewarding her for her increasingly outrageous and offensive statements, or they're having trouble finding unattractive, middle-aged comics of dubious talent.

Between her and Janeane Garofalo, one has to wonder what they've done to achieve their status; from what I've seen, they should be unemployable and homeless.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Another One of Allah's Little Barbarians

You may have forgotten them, but they haven't forgotten YOU.

Man arrested in ‘step-by-step’ plot to blow up Capitol, Pentagon

The FBI arrested and charged a man Wednesday for allegedly plotting to blow up the Capitol and the Pentagon.

The 26-year-old Massachusetts man, Rezwan Ferdaus, was arrested as part of an FBI sting operation in which he was made to believe he was working with members of al Qaeda, who were actually undercover agents.

Yeah, the old killing for Allah thing, once again. But you can't just assume that this is typical of Muslims, even though they're the only religious group, you know killing people:

According to the DOJ, a focal point of Ferdaus’s plots revolved around “jihad” and his desire to carry out the will of Allah.

The U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, Carmen M. Ortiz, stressed that any underlying religious motives to Ferdaus’s actions should not reflect on the Muslim culture at-large.

“I want the public to understand that Mr. Ferdaus’s conduct, as alleged in the complaint, is not reflective of a particular culture, community or religion,” Ortiz said.

Yeah, we wouldn't want this to reflect poorly on the Religion of Peace, would we?

Maybe the U.S. Attorney should spend his time prosecuting this monster and less time counseling the public on how they should feel.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What Happened to Color Blindness?

I'm thinking there are a lot of people who find the concept of "color blindness" threatening. No, I'm not talking about white people, after all, we elected a black President, didn't we? No, I'm talking about a number of blacks who just can't let their victimology go.

Roger Simon says to Disband the Congressional Black Caucus and I have to agree.

Read the piece, he makes some good points.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Morgan Freeman Does Woody Allen

Wow. The creep factor in Hollywood is getting out of control, even by their dubious standards:

Morgan Freeman Free To Marry Step-Granddaughter

That's just nasty.

And this is the guy who's worked up about the Tea Party being racist? Were I him, I'd avoid the publicity that comes from hateful, politically charged statements.

Again, that's just nasty. I feel as though I need a shower just for having written about it.

America Doesn't Suck

Well, we may suck by American standards, but we certainly don't suck by global standards:

Economy Got You Down? 5 Ways America Is Still on Top

Friday, September 23, 2011

Is "Tax the Rich" all Obama has?

It seems to me that may be the case. Even if he had a a valid point, which he doesn't, "The Rich" just don't have the funds to bail his scapegoating backside out of the hole he's dug for himself. Even the Chicago Sun-Times is beginning to wake up and smell the naked demagoguery:

Obama’s faulty math: Higher taxes for rich just doesn’t add up

When President Barack Obama rails against “millionaires and billionaires,” as he does often, Republicans accuse him of trying to divide the country by class. In his speech calling for $1.5 trillion in tax increases, mostly on high-income earners, Obama declared, “This is not class warfare. It’s math.” The problem for him is that his math doesn’t add up.

For starters, Obama’s tax increases hit individuals making $200,000 and families and small businesses earning $250,000. That’s far from being a millionaire. Sen. Charles Schumer, one of a number of the Democrats critical of Obama’s tax plan, notes that $250,000 “doesn’t make you rich at all” in high-cost-of-living, high-tax New York.

Furthermore, the numbers dispute Obama’s assertion that “the wealthy” don’t pay their fair share of taxes, according to an analysis of recently released IRS data for 2009 by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation. The study shows that taxpayers earning more than $200,000 accounted for 25 percent of the nation’s adjusted gross income for that year but paid 50 percent of the $866 billion in 2009 income taxes.

Also, those awful corporations that left-wing Democrats hate so much pay a lot of taxes. The 1,900 largest corporations accounted for two-thirds of the $227 billion in 2009 corporate income taxes, according to the foundation.

The numbers measuring the impact of Washington’s stimulus programs aren’t any better. The Federal Reserve declared Wednesday that the country faces years of low growth and announced a new $400 billion economic salvation program. The Dow nose-dived 283 points Wednesday and 391 Thursday. A couple of weeks ago, Wall Street reacted with another plunge after Obama announced his latest $447 billion jobs program.

That cobbled-together mixture of temporary tax cuts, short term credits and infrastructure spending is supposed to create 2 million jobs. Do the math and that comes out to the government spending $223,000 for each new job.

Bitter and sanctamoneous liberals have been using "The Rich" as their all-purpose boogeyman since the dawn of the Left. The "math" that the President touts so heavily doesn't work now any more than it ever did; there's just a whole new audience of budding socialist simpletons who believe that it sounds like a new, fresh, solution.

You know, I think there's a reason that our schools put such a low priority on history; it assures that there are always a new generation to rediscover socialism in the hope that, eventually, it will end in something other than failure and genocide. The Socialst model is the only idea they have. Santayana was, indeed, prophetic.

Monday, September 19, 2011

So, You're Defending Him Because He's Black, Right?

What I want to know is how defending Obama because of his race is any different from attacking him because of his race?
Cleaver: If Obama wasn't president, we would be ‘marching on the White House’

Unhappy members of the Congressional Black Caucus “probably would be marching on the White House” if Obama were not president, according to CBC Chairman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.).

"If [former President] Bill Clinton had been in the White House and had failed to address this problem, we probably would be marching on the White House," Cleaver told “The Miami Herald” in comments published Sunday. "There is a less-volatile reaction in the CBC because nobody wants to do anything that would empower the people who hate the president."

CBC members have expressed concern in recent months as the unemployment rate has continued to rise amongst African-Americans, pushing for Obama to do more to address the needs of vulnerable communities.
Yeah, I get the point of "sticking with our guy", that's human nature. At some point, however, we're all going to have to look at our situation objectively, and that includes those who worship the very idea of "the first black President." The President had two solid years of a Democrat House and Senate and as much political capital as any modern president yet he chose to squander it all on an unpopular and unaffordable health care plan and untenable levels of federal spending. The nearly three year-old chorus "it's Bush's fault" is looking lame even to Obama's most ardent supporters.

It's time to move beyond race and acknowledge that Obama's not "The One"; he's an extreme Leftist who's well out of his depth and has proven himself incompetent.

Friday, September 16, 2011

I Think Bloomberg's Right on This One

Mayor Bloomberg predicts riots in the streets if economy doesn't create more jobs

Bloomberg speaks of rioting as a result of our economic situation, but I don't think he goes far enough. Just below the surface, this country is a simmering cauldron on any number of fronts.

I'm seeing 2012 shaping up to be similar, in terms of societal tumult, to 1968. We've been seeing an uptick in incidents of union violence, and all along the Left, the rhetoric gets hotter by the day.

The 2008 election was remarkably free of not only racism, but scarcely any reference to Obama's race whatsoever and we, as a country should be proud. Unfortunately, there's an entire industry that exists to exploit race and there are already rumbles that Obama's failures are a result of racism. On the Right, there are people who are getting tired of being accused of non-existent racism and/or extremism, simp for being a member of the "loyal opposition".

We are a highly polarized country and we're becoming more so by the day. No, 2012 wil not be pretty, and it has nothing to do with the Mayan calendar.

Congratulations, and I Hope He Got a Prenup This Time

Paul McCartney Set to Wed Nancy Shevell in London

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Is This What an Obama "Recovery" Looks Like?

Remember the much heralded "Recovery Summer"? That was last year, in case you've lost track. Not only was the summer of '10 not one of recovery, the entire year was historic, in a sad, painful way:
U.S. Poverty Climbed to 17-Year High in 2010
The U.S. poverty rate rose to the highest level in almost two decades and household income fell in 2010, underscoring the lingering impact of the worst economic slump in seven decades. Data released by the Census Bureau today showed the proportion of people living in poverty climbed to 15.1 percent last year from 14.3 percent in 2009, and median household income declined 2.3 percent.
The number of Americans living in poverty was the highest in the 52 years since the U.S. Census Bureau began gathering that statistic.Those figures may have worsened in recent months as the economy weakened. “Families are struggling to put food on the table, and they don’t have the purchasing power to help the economy recover,” said Isabel Sawhill, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Disgrace of Being Paul Krugman

Nobel Prize winner and New York Times columnist, Paul Krugman, sought to plumb the depths of journalistic depravity yesterday and he succeeded.
September 11, 2011, 8:41 AM

The Years of Shame

Is it just me, or are the 9/11 commemorations oddly subdued?

Actually, I don’t think it’s me, and it’s not really that odd.

What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. The atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.

A lot of other people behaved badly. How many of our professional pundits — people who should have understood very well what was happening — took the easy way out, turning a blind eye to the corruption and lending their support to the hijacking of the atrocity?

The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.

I’m not going to allow comments on this post, for obvious reasons.


Yes, Mr. Krugman, the reasons for accepting no comments are painfully obvious.

It must truly be a disgrace to even be an associate of the author of such an odious piece of pixillated toxin. Certainly, we all have a right to our own opinion on any range of issues, no matter how corrosive, but some sense of common decency should regulate what we state, or write, public ally. I find it amazing that the New York Times continues to allow such material to appear under its masthead.

Obama and the Village People

President Obama just concluded another plea to the American People to cajole the Republicans into passing the Jobs Bill NOW (!). He was flanked by police, firemen, teachers (some, right out of central casting) and even a guy with a work shirt (sleeves rolled up) who looked to be a construction worker.

They were like a 21st Century version of the Village People.


As in his "Joint Session" speech, he repeated variants of the phrase "Pass the Jobs Bill NOW" ad nauseum, as though he were practicing some sort of mass hypnosis.  Is this what passes for statesmanship these days?  The entire episode was so contrived that it should have been an embarrassment to all involved.

Ten Years On

You may have noticed that I am writing this on 9/12 rather than 9/11. I spent much of the anniversary watching the excellent coverage on Fox with one eye, and reading some beautifully written pieces online with the other.

There are always stories I’ve never heard, it’s as though the story is, in many ways, still unfolding. Some 3,000 people died that day and their deaths effected untold numbers of people around them. We will be hearing new stories for the rest of our lives, and for those who lived through the history, that keeps the history alive. For future generations, it provides a rich and detailed record unmatched by any other historical event.

Ten years is a milestone, a decade. Ten years is 9/11’s first step into the mists of history where, alas, it will be deformed and mutilated by some for their own narrow interests – that’s already happening in the case of “Truthers”, and the radical Left. People who were 10 year-old children in 2001 are 20 year-old young adults today. There are 10 year-old children who are being schooled as to what that day was about, and how they should feel about it. There are those who romanticize the “sense of unity” that existed on 9/11/01, and, indeed it was palpable and very real. Unfortunately, it was as fleeting as summer in northern Maine and was far more short-lived. Ten years hence, we are far more fractured and polarized than we were before the attacks – instead of focusing on the enemy; we’ve turned on each other and begun the process of self-consumption. It makes one wonder if that, in itself, is something of a moral victory for the enemies of civilization who attacked us 10 years ago. In many ways, the evil that came from without, 10 years ago, awakened and liberated a far more dangerous evil from within – those who actively deny even the existence of evil.

Yes, the world changed on 9/11/01, but it’s still open to debate as to whether the cause of western civilization has moved forward during the last decade, or is emanating the stench of death. There’s far too much evidence to suggest the latter, though hope always springs eternal.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Perfect Choice for the "Word of the Day" on 09/10/11 - Bellwether

I subscribe to the dictionary.com "Word of the Day" and noticed that today's is "Bellwether". Rather fitting, I must say:

bellwether \BEL-weth-uhr\, noun:

A leader of a movement or activity; also, a leading indicator of future trends.


Alas, a good choice.

There Are Revolutionaries, Then There Are Mobs

This whole "Arab Spring" business has seemed like thinly veiled mob action to me. News like this does nothing to dispel that notion:

Egyptian protesters pull down Israel embassy wall

They need to get a handle on this immediately, if this devolves into full-scale anarchy there will be no way to pull it back.

SICK

Memo to these a-holes, pranks are clever and funny, not pathologically cruel and destructive. I'm all for First Ammendment protections, but this is in the territory of "yelling fire in a crowded theater" and should be punished accordingly.

NBC News Twitter Feed Hacked, Fake Ground Zero Terrorist Attack Reported

A hacker group broke into the NBC News Twitter account Friday, sending a series of tweets about a terror attack on Ground Zero to the news outlet’s 129,000 followers.

“Flight 4782 is not responding, suspected hijacking. One plane just hit Ground Zero site at 5:47. #groundzeroattacked,” the account wrote.

“This is not a joke, Ground Zero has just been attacked,” the account tweeted. “We’re attempting to get reporters on the scene.”

No such terror attack happened at Ground Zero in Manhattan Friday evening. A group calling themselves “The Script Kiddies” claimed responsibility for the hack, advertising its own Twitter account, which was suspended immediately after the incident.

Yeah, some jail time is in order - this isn't what "freedom of speech" is about.

Monday, September 05, 2011

The Underemployed v. The Unemployed

And the bad news in the job market just seems to abound. Happy Labor Day!

Unemployed face tough competition: underemployed

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The job market is even worse than the 9.1 percent unemployment rate suggests.

America's 14 million unemployed aren't competing just with each other. They must also contend with 8.8 million other people not counted as unemployed -- part-timers who want full-time work.

When consumer demand picks up, companies will likely boost the hours of their part-timers before they add jobs, economists say. It means they have room to expand without hiring.

And the unemployed will face another source of competition once the economy improves: Roughly 2.6 million people who aren't counted as unemployed because they've stopped looking for work. Once they start looking again, they'll be classified as unemployed. And the unemployment rate could rise.

In other words, it's worse than you think and it's going to get even worse before it gets better.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Peace is Overrated

If you're chasing that elusive state of being called "peace", be advised it's a phantom, and a dangerous one at that.

As long as evil walks the Earth, we will either have war or subjugation to that evil. To paraphrase Patrick Henry, peace is not, or should not be so dear as to be purchased at the price of slavery. Those are really our only two choices and those who say otherwise are either fools or agents of evil.

I was raised with the idea that “peace” is the ultimate goal and, in some spiritual way, it probably is. We should understand, however, that it’s largely unattainable. If we sacrifice our souls in the name of peace, we will lose all and will still have war in the bargain. It’s a fools errand to sacrifice anything in the name of peace – if peace is not worthy and acceptable for both warring parties, in and of itself, then it’s not worth pursuit at all.

If we put peace above all else, we will always be at the mercy of those who have not such lofty values, those whose ends justify their means, no matter how grisly those means may be.

Babel on the Thames

How could anyone in their right mind think this is a positive development?

John Cleese: London is no longer English city

FAWLTY Towers legend John Cleese has come under fire after declaring: "London is no longer an English city."
The comic, 71, said that the mix of cultures had helped the capital win the 2012 Olympics.

But he added that it can be hard to find an English person and that the "parent culture has dissipated".

Cleese, who is performing in Sydney, was asked on Australian TV what he thought of last month's riots around the UK.

He replied: "I'm not sure what's going on in Britain. Let me say this, I don't know what's going on in London because London is no longer an English city.

"That's how they got the Olympics. They said, 'We're the most cosmopolitan city on Earth', but it doesn't feel English.

"I had a Californian friend come over two months ago, walk down the King's Road and say to me, 'Well, where are all the English people?'

"I love having different cultures around but when the parent culture kind of dissipates, you're left thinking, 'What's going on?' "

The Monty Python star's remarks prompted criticism from Mayor Boris Johnson, who said London's diversity should be "celebrated".

Labour's Ken Livingstone added: "To stay competitive London must be a global centre of business, culture and innovation, none of which can be achieved without people of all nations working and living here."

More than a quarter of London's population is from an ethnic minority, and there are 300 languages spoken.

There lies our future; diversity is just another word for capitulation, and eventual destruction.

Friday, September 02, 2011

A Great Musical About a Monsterous Individual

I've always loved the musical "Evita", even knowing that the real Eva Peron, and particularly Che Guevara, bore little resemblance to the romantic figures in the play. Yeah, she was a real friggin' saint:

Eva Peron ‘kept Nazi treasure taken from Jews’

"Don't cry for me Argentina", indeed. I will always love the play, but have, and always will, consider it a work of fiction.


Zero Job Growth

I'm the first one to assert that government doesn't create jobs, and that holds true regardless of which party holds the White House. That said, the government sure as he'll can destroy jobs, and they can sure as hell inhibit the growth of employment.

Which brings us to last month's job growth number of ZERO. If you think you've never heard of such a thing, you may be right. It hasn't happened since 1945. For the historically challenged who may be reading this, that was 66 years ago, at the end of World War II and no, George W. Bush had nothing to do with that one.

We're more than two and a half years into the Age of Hope and Change, how's that working out for ya?

Thursday, September 01, 2011

All Back from Mackinac, Jack

Mackinac Island, that is. If you think that that title rhymes, then you are obviously unfamiliar with French pronunciation of Indian words, but that's an entirely different matter that just proves the inimitable annoying nature of the French. But I digress.....

We had a wonderful time, visited the UP; a region about which I had always heard, but heretofore had, unfortunately, never visited. That was an oversight that's now been remedied.

It was a relatively short stay, but then it's a pretty small island. It was a wonderful few days, a lovely drive, and it was good to get away. The yoopers were warm and engaging, and we even met a very nice conservative couple from Canada, what're the odds of that? My hair is nearly down to my shoulders now, I wonder what gave me away?

That and other intriguing questions, observations, insights and even pics regarding the trip to the Upper Peninsula to follow - stay tuned. Right now, I'm dealing with the post-drive recovery process.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Yet More Union Thuggery in Wisconsin

Why do I detest unions? Let me count the ways.
Locks superglued prior to protests of Governor Walker at local school

MILWAUKEE - Protesters crowded the street outside Messmer Preparatory School in Milwaukee's Riverwest neighborhood as Governor Walker visited the school Friday to read to children.

The protests came just hours after someone vandalized the school ahead of the Governor's visit. 

"Some of these folks super glued our front doors at the prep school," said Br. Bob Smith, OFM, the president of Messmer Catholic Schools, about the school on the corner of North Fratney and East Burleigh Streets.

He told Newsradio 620 WTMJ that a woman was walking in front of the school Thursday, asking people to protest.

According to Br. Smith, one protester said " 'Get ready for a riot,' because they were going to disrupt the visit."

Maybe They Could Play "On the Good Ship Lollipop"

There's a song that would be emblematic of their world view. I couldn't care less whether they play the National Anthem or not; they're free to do what they want. I do think the public pronouncement indicates less an adherence to pacifist policy and more a profound need for attention.

Indiana College Bans "Too Violent" National Anthem

Tiny Goshen College in Indiana has banned the "The Star Spangled Banner: at all sporting events because the Mennonite school's president considers the National Anthem's words to be too violent.

The 1,000-student school had already banned the words last year, but the band could still play the music for patriots in attendance. Now, the school has banned the song entirely, according to NBC Sports.

How is lyric-free music deemed "too violent"? It appears that their original stance to play the anthem lyric-free didn't piss off enough people and didn't make themselves a big enough spectacle.

Doesn't He Do This Every Week?

Alas, it seems that the more these threats are made, the less the West listens. Iran has made their intentions quite clear and have consistently moved forward with their nuclear program while we, in he West, have done nothing. They're clearly quite serious about fulfilling their goals regarding the nuclear program; they've made better progress than the "experts" had feared. Why would we think they're less serious about "eradicating" Israel?

Ahmadinejad: Iran is determined to eradicate Israel

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Iran was determined to eradicate Israel, ISNA news agency reported Thursday.

"Iran believes that whoever is for humanity should also be for eradicating the Zionist regime (Israel) as symbol of suppression and discrimination," Ahmadinejad said in an interview with a Lebanese television network, carried by ISNA.

And it goes on as nauseum.

Will we believe them when there's a mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Don't Ask, Don't Smell

The title doesn't make sense, but I just had to use it for this story: Marines in Afghanistan Advised Not to Fart in Front of Afghans

Yeah, it's a real story. We've reached the point where parody should sue reality for plagiarism.

I hate to state the obvious, but don't farts offend pretty much everyone?

Is French.......Toast?

Don't you just love that title? But seriously, this is a pretty interesting piece on a development about which I was totally unaware. The piece is about the decline in usage of the French language, and the corresponding rise in the usage of English.

My suspicion is that English has a certain universality due to it's bastardization; many English words and phrases are derived from other languages. English is truly a living language. One the other hand, the French have jealously protected the "purity" of their language, even to the point of forbidding the absorption of foreign words.

But that's just my take.

THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE FRENCH LANGUAGE?

It's been indisputable for some time that English is becoming the ‘universal language’. As the number of living languages has steadily decreased, the use of English has expanded on every continent. And though English has not — despite predictions — crushed all other languages (German, Russian, and Spanish, to cite the prime examples, all remain strong), one language does seem to be undergoing the predicted cataclysmic collapse. English may not yet have won the globe, but French has definitely lost it.

The reasons for the decline of French are many, including geography. Francophone regions are spread out: think of France, Vietnam, Quebec, and Guadeloupe, to start. Many of these regions are without direct connections to other French-speaking countries. The result is that many of the people choose to abandon French for more useful languages within the region. In contrast, German, Russian and Spanish speakers are based in numerous adjacent countries, each supporting the others.

French has been most visibly hurt in the last few decades in Africa. In North Africa, French has had to compete with Arabic, a language which Arabs are now clinging to as proudly as the French have traditionally clung to French. South of the Sahara, countries which formerly had large French-speaking populations are making the switch to English due to its relevance in Southern Africa, as well as internationally.

Do read the whole thing, as they say.

The French have been so nasty about the sanctity of their culture, and their language, that it's hard to lament this news. On the other hand, we shouldn't be as nasty as they, should we? Color me magnanimous on this one.

Where Will Young People and Liberals Go for Opinions?

Is Late Night TV Going the Way of the Dodo Bird?

Johnny Carson was once America’s unrivaled king of late night television. But in 2011, not only is there a question as to who has assumed his throne, but some wonder whether with TiVo, cable television, and the Internet, the title even exists.

“The concept of the 'Late Night King' is over. There are too many players spreading the viewership even thinner,” Tim Young, comedian and Chair of the Young Members Committee of the National Press Club, told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “After Carson, it was a toss-up between Leno and Letterman. Their writing never really changed with time, and the late night slots got stale.”

Ratings for Jay Leno's "Tonight Show" sharply declined last year in the wake of the Conan timeslot scandal. By October 2010, Nielsen viewership statistics showed Leno losing 21 percent of overall audience compared with 2008, and 25 percent of his viewers in the advertiser-friendly 18 to 49 bracket. At one point, David Letterman’s rival "Late Show" beat Leno in the ratings for the first time in years. And even Comedy Central's low budget "The Daily Show" is now neck-and-neck with Leno in the key 18 to 49 demographic. For 2011's second quarter, Comedy Central claims Stewart's show drew 1.295 million compared to a “Tonight Show'’ total of 1.292 million.

Oh well, I guess they'll always have Jon Stewart.

More Tehran than Yorktown

Get a grip, folks, or you may find yourself a sad puddle of disappointment. It's highly possible, some say probable, that Libya will turn out to be far different than the nascent democratic utopia that's being sold.

Am I the only who smells a very bad odor emanating from libya? Am I the only one who hears these happy stories of liberation and feels there is something not quite right about the narrative, and the universality thereof?

Maybe not.

Steve Harrigan, live from Tripoli, on Fox, is my hero – he actually told the truth about the rebels and threw cold water on the swooning Shep Smith. When asked about the “transitional government” in Libya, he said:

“I’m extremely pessimistic about their ability to rule, I think they’re in way over their head. I think they’ve proven themselves inept in managing the military, they’ve done a lot of infighting and already proved themselves to be liars to the media, so I think it’s going to be very bad”

Oops. Shep immediately moved to the next story.

I wish these people all of the best, but I've seen this movie before. We were told that the Shah of Iran was an enemy of "the people" and the Ayatollah would, at least, be a step in the right direction...until his minions took over the U.S. Embassy. Then we figured it out, finally. Yes, I know that Libya is a different situation. Iran's revolutionaries were religious in nature, Libya's are not. What concerns me, however, is that the Iranian revolution gave birth to the very brand of Islamic fascism that could very well fill the vacuum that is now exists in Libya.

Pessimistic? Maybe, but there is every reason for pessimism when dealing with Islamic states. Many were agog over the recent Egyptian revolution and that country's situation is tenuous, at best. New hostilities have erupted across the Egyptian-Israeli border which indicates that a new attitude may exist in Cairo regarding relations with Israel. They're the only Arab country with a peace treaty with Israel - for the moment.

This Libyan revolution may well be more Tehran than Yorktown; to expect otherwise is unrealistic. I'm expecting for this thing to end very badly, even while hoping that I'll be wrong.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

You Would Think I Would Have Notced an Apocalypse.....

An Obama apologist on Fox just said that he inherited “post-apocalyptic America”.

When you begin at that level of hyperbole, it makes you wonder where this discussion will be a year from now, doesn't it?

Too Much Information, Richard

Virgin tycoon Richard Branson in naked encounter with a cactus after fire

BILLIONAIRE Sir Richard Branson had a naked encounter with a cactus bush as he raced towards the early-morning fire that ravaged his private island retreat, he wrote on his blog today

Now, there's a mental image I could have lived without.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Neighbor From Hell

So, you think you have a problem neighbor?  Count your blessings.

What attracted me to this story was the headline. They don't get much better than this!


New Port Richey, Florida - Residents of a Pasco County neighborhood say they're living in fear and frustration because of a violent neighbor who they feel has a drinking problem.

They say 52-year-old Dale McDaniel has chased neighbors down with a chainsaw and even assaulted a disabled man confined to a wheelchair by slapping him in the face with a fish.

"He's a scary person, especially when he gets violent," said neighbor Victoria Breitfeller. "He's grabbed me by the throat in the past. That's not something you forget."

Neighbors say not only does McDaniel have an overgrown, trash-filled yard, but he can often be seen urinating in it. He's also known to shout profanities at those who walk past his house.

McDaniel admits he's been arrested 34 times in Pasco County. Deputies were called out to his home Thursday after receiving more complaints from neighbors.

"They've had problems with me for years and I ain't worried about it," said McDaniel Friday afternoon. "I'm not a menace. They just don't know how to deal with me."

But many neighbors are convinced McDaniel has a severe drinking problem. Some of them are working to get restraining orders against their neighbor, convinced he is a danger.

You Say You Want a Revolution? Well, You Know........

Revolutions are tricky things. On one hand, they can give you places like the United States, and on the other hand, they can give you states like Cuba and Iran. The latter two were hailed by liberals in this country as positive developments – the deposing of evil dictators, and all. (Castro even appeared on the Ed Sullivan show where he was wished “good luck” by Ed, himself.)

Now, the left is positively agog over the events in Libya. Color me skeptical.

Nature abhors a vacuum. On the other hand, radical groups absolutely adore them and, in recent times, have used them to advance their cause farther than they could have ever hoped, otherwise. I sincerely hope I'm wrong, but libya's smelling like another Iran.

You know, there are those who "never let a good crisis go to waste".

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Wisdom of Youth?

I heard a guy on Fox singing the praises of the Libyan revolution saying that it’s going to be different because they’re “young people” and they’re social media savvy. Yeah, right. The thugs in London were young, social media savvy little monsters too, weren’t they? As for they being young; the Iranian revolution was spearheaded by young people – the American embassy was taken over by college students.

This constant reliance on he wisdom of young people has always mystified me. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’ve become more wise with age. When I was young, I did some pretty stupid crap and I see some pretty stupid crap being done now by young people all over the world.

Please spare me this fascination with the wisdom of youth.

No Positive Societal Harbingers in Chicago

Man Threw Molotov Cocktail into Crowd: Report

No, not exactly a car, or suicide bombing, but also not something one would expect within the borders of the U.S. One can envision a version of the London riots in this country and that's deeply troubling, to say the least.

I heard a blurb on Fox that stated that one in ten retailers had experienced "flash mob" looting and an even larger percentage had experienced organized criminal action, utilizing "social media".

No, I don't want restrictions on our free speech paradise, but at some level, we must understand that rights have responsibilities. As an advanced civilization, we must be cognizant of the fact that it can all be lost in a generation. Technology won't stop a civilizational devolution; if current events tell us anything, they tell us that our technology can actually hasten our decline.

We take a great deal for granted, particularly in these United States; generations of prosperity and relative calm will have that deleterious effect. I oft wonder how we Americans would deal with major social upheaval. Barbarity is always at our gates; civilization is fragile. Events such as these should be instructional, they should be seen as a microcosm of the dark possibilities of chaos. After all, we're not immune.

The Libyan Devil You Know........

Well, Qaddafi appears to be on the run and Tripoli is in the hands of the rebels. Sorry, I'm not joining the rejoicers. Fox just said that the new government represents "Arab nationalists, Islamists, and businessmen".

Does anyone see this as all that positive? I remember when the Shah of Iran was considered the devil incarnate and the Ayatollah as some sort of "positive change". Yeah, that didn't work out so well, did it? Revolutions are tricky; their results can vary as much as the United States varies from Cuba. I wish Libya luck, even as I have a very, very bad feeling that all is not as it seems.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Sunday Reflection

It’s a damned shame when you have to pray that your leaders are dangerously, box-of-rocks clueless and not actively, and knowingly, undermining our country. Alas, that’s precisely where we are.

Biden Does the Kowtow in China

Biden going to China, selling the US like a used car is humiliating.

We really need another "Morning in America" campaign in '12. Our national depression is as much emotional as it is financial and we'll not remedy the latter until we remedy the former. The specter of our VP groveling to the Chinese is so repulsive that we should all recoil in horror; it should be our " bottom of the barrel" moment.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Breathtaking Arrogance

NEW GM says they're not responsible for cars manufactured by OLD GM

I can't see how they'll be allowed to get away with this, but "New" GM's callous position in this matter should be duly noted by the American people, the ones who bailed their sorry asses out in the first place. If you want an American car, buy a Ford.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Off to the State Fair!

We’re going to the State Fair for the first time in decades. Why, you ask? First, I like to see the type of yahoo that actually attends the State Fair and, secondly, I like to provide another subject for others who like to do the same thing.

UPDATE:
I guess I could have found better ways to spend the afternoon; now I remember why I haven't been to a State Fair in recent memory. On the other hand, there were a lot of people there who seemed to be enjoying themselves, and it was certainly different from my usual activities, but I doubt if I'll return any time soon...or maybe I will.

I do think it's a good cultural education for city folk like me to attend these events. Those FFA and 4H kids make one positively optimistic about the future, and there's a quality to the people who come in from "out in the state" that's refreshing. In the end, I think we city folk benefit more from the encounter than do the country folk.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Really, Does The Man TRY to Look Like a Dork?

I like to avoid cheap shots and keep this about policy, but I'm actually humiliated for him.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

We've Got Mail!

I received a rather weird reply From "peace" to my A
Representation of Modern Islam
post, written back in January, that I simply had to share:

HELLO MR WHOM SO EVER U ARE...DO NOT TRY TO PROJECT ISLAM IN A WRONG WAY.....U R SHOWING WHAT LADEIN(NOT A MUSLIM) DID ON 9/11...WHY DONT YOU SHOW WHAT THE RASCAL BUSH DID ON IRAQ ...FOR YOUR KIND INFORMATION BUSH KILLED ABOUT 15000 INNOCENT BEINGS...NO ONE NOTICES THAT INSTEAD U SEE WHAT HAPPENED ON 9/11 WHERE ONLY 1500 BEINGS DIED THOUGH I M MUSLIM AND I M ALSO AGAINST 9/11 ATTACK AND THE ONE WHO SPREADS VIOLENCE IS NOT AMONGST MUSLIMS-THIS IS THE PREACHING OF ISLAM......DONT BLAME ISLAM SIMPLY WITHOUT KNOWING WHAT IS IT....I KNOW AND THE WHOLE WORLD KNOWS WHAT CRUELTY DID AMERICA DID ON ISLAM....

Take it for what it's worth. I'm not going to spend part of my Saturday dissecting a disjointed missive from an individual who communicates in uppercase.

I'll give "peace" credit for one thing; he didn't threaten me, so he's living up to his moniker.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

British Riots as "A Clockwork Orange"?

A thought provoking opinion piece from the Financial Times:

Britain burns the colour of ‘A Clockwork Orange’

The speed of the disintegration said everything. It took less than 48 hours for London to descend from self-styled capital of the world into a circuit of burning dystopian hells. The speed of BlackBerry messaging; the speed of kids on BMXs; the speed of Molotovs and petrol. Never mind the police, even the media couldn’t keep up.

In a country that takes order for granted, the speed meant a free-fall back to fundamentals, not just in an obvious Hobbesian sense, but in a way that made events feel more real. If you wanted to know if your neighbourhood was next, there was no point watching the riots on television, it was quicker to listen out for breaking glass and burglar alarms; sirens if you were lucky. There wasn’t much time for disbelief.

Crucially, life was more real for the looters. That much was clear to anyone on a sofa at home, switching on their flatscreen TV to watch footage of people stealing flatscreen TVs. And as that footage was beamed around the world, the images had their own kind of psychic velocity: a short-cut to viewers’ unconsciousness provided by Britain’s rich tradition of fictional visions of dystopia, from George Orwell’s 1984 to Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and of course anything by JG Ballard.


But following a week in which buildings and communities burnt the colour of A Clockwork Orange, this year’s prize for late literary prophet clearly belongs to author Anthony Burgess. With its depiction of a lawless Britain, where the police command neither confidence nor deference and residents live in fear of feral youth empowered by their own vernacular, the parallels in Burgess’s novel are instructive.


While the speed of this week’s events gave Britain’s urban descent the feel of inevitability, commentators grappled with contradictory pop-socioeconomic theories over its origins. The shooting of a black man by the police sparked the original protest, but it morphed into something that had little to do with multicultural meltdown. When the looters were finally unmasked, their social diversity made it even more difficult to decipher motivations. The only certainty was that politicians would credit the perpetrators with whatever agenda most conveniently suited their own ideological programmes – from the left’s concerns about an economic underclass, to the right’s focus on plain and simple criminality.


In A Clockwork Orange, by contrast, Burgess captures his delinquent protagonists’ complete lack of political motivation, but without dismissing their actions as simple opportunism. Numbed by the dullness of their existence, Alex and his gang of “droogs” revel in demonic violence to stave off the demon of boredom. The only way for them to feel alive is to be literally “alive and kicking”. For Burgess there is nothing paradoxical about an apathetic rampage.


Likewise, many rioters in London and other cities were laughing as they looted. The speed of the destruction was partly a function, then, of their sheer exuberance – the opposite of stereotypical listlessness more commonly known as “chillaxing”. Like football hooliganism, the violence was recreational – a day out in a Nietzschean theme park. This was a key difference between this week and previous flashpoints in Britain’s potted history of public disorder.


Another much-discussed difference was the role of consumerism. In place of the traditionally anti-capitalist stance of previous youth counter-cultures came reports of rioters in low-end fashion retailers, engaged in the new practice of “trying before you loot”. This form of extreme consumerism meant that, by the end of the week, the biggest bogeyman was our culture of rampant materialism and instant gratification. In a consumer society, identities are constructed from owning things. But the widespread sense of self-entitlement revealed by the riots also betrays a broader fetishism of objects. Some of Britain’s urban centres are so atomised that it is now easier to connect with things than with people. Likewise, digitally reduced attention spans have also contributed to a culture of superficial “bling”.


Despite being published in 1962, A Clockwork Orange is uncannily critical of these trends. Unlike today’s youth, Alex has no love of bourgeois comforts. Perhaps more revealingly, some critics suggest his ultra-violent campaign is an elaborate form of self-harm. He knows his actions will have consequences and is subconsciously seeking castigation. Certainly his parents won’t rein him in.


Even if this does not apply to this week’s looters – who appeared to believe that they could not and would not be punished – the argument still leaves us with a parallel. As with the disaffected youth who set the suburbs of Paris alight in 2005, the first buildings and cars to burn in London were not in the resented districts of the rich, but those in the perpetrators’ own communities. So not only was there no discernible political agenda to improve their lot (save for a few fleeting material possessions), the rioters were actually destroying their own. David Cameron, the prime minister, acknowledged as much when he warned them that they were wrecking their own lives.


Self-destruction is more dystopian even than nihilism. Not only does it imply hopelessness, it suggests this week’s rioters are cut off not just from society, but also from themselves. In A Clockwork Orange, Burgess illustrates this by naming one of Alex’s victims “Alexander”. The idea is taken further in the film Taxi Driver, when the protagonist Travis Bickle utters the immortal “Are you talkin’ to me?” monologue while pointing his gun at his own reflection in the mirror.


As in fiction, so in reality: just because the violence across Britain’s streets seemed to have no meaningful target, it doesn’t follow that it wasn’t directed at anything.

Anyone who is familiar with Burgess' novel and Kubrick's later film adaptation can see the eerie similarity.