Click to get on our mailing list for notices of
Have kids? Check out our early reading picture series at www.countrycatfamily.com!
check out our stuff and services
Please email us for new post announcements.
How to respond: you can email us directly. Your email may be posted anon unless you indicate otherwise. Please click archive for previous posts. We're also glad to take suggestions, tips, links and editorial proposals. Thanks for reading and let us know your thoughts.
Said he: "Yes, it is true, I and the rest of the family kept BenQQ busy for the past couple of months, writing and editing the action photographs of Winkie, Carmella, Palamino and yours truly. The family felt it was worth it for one reason. It is something fun for kids to look at and read alone or with their parents."
The regal feline went on to explain the Country Cat Family series consists of big picture photo books based on their actual adventures at their rural West Tennsessee home over the past six years. With pictures available for download, the books are linked to Amazon through their Web site www.countrycatfamily.com.
He further stated members of the Country Cat Family are "not averse" to positing opinions on issues of great import. He said he and all the members of the Country Cat Family are available for interview via their email link on the site above.
Here's a random thought: Mayor Wharton, your "State of the City" was pretty good, but why not offer Memphis as a test city of "Guaranteed Basic Income" for the next one?
The Happy Mayor. City of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton at a nonprofit function celebrating
pro bono legal services.
Photo file: MPN/What's Doin' Memphis?!
(2.2.15) Mayor A C Wharton’s State of the City address was a good one. He works hard and holistically for Memphis, seemingly naturally juggling the disparate balls of mayordom. All with a smile and personal warmth that goes down well.
Sometimes his showman instinct leads him to do something absolutely brilliant, if not sincerely heartfelt. Last year it was showing up personally during a bitter cold snap to try to talk a street person from sleeping on the sidewalk. Just last month he held a press conference to return to broken hearted tourists their beloved dog that had been snatched from their car while visiting Graceland. The cute little dog pranced around in recognition, licking the faces of his exultant owners who a few days earlier had said in their grief and desperation some pretty bitter things. The moment carried the day: the wife tearfully apologized for saying those nasty things about the city and the mayor not only graciously accepted but gave her keys to the city and warmly invited her back. It was straight out of Lassie Come Home. If the country had been able to see the lachrymose presser, Mr Mayor could become Mr President. Pure A C. Pure Memphis. (And kudos to the staffer of thought of it, if that’s the way it went down.)
Further, except for the occasional pole dancing council member and an ethnic outburst or two, there has been no real recent official scandal the national media can point to. That no doubt helped the city to win some of the awards the mayor mentioned in his speech. Compared to the previous mayor, a fairly low bar, the city looks positively pristine.
When it comes down to it, the mayor of a city has got to do a few basic impossible things, that is, keep: crime down, people safe from fire, the city from going broke, the taxes low, businesses happy, jobs growing and improving the educational system, as well as keeping the pot holes fixed and garbage collected. All the while exhibiting that ineffable quality of leadership. The mayor addressed most of these things in his speech. Good. Its probably all more or less on track just about as well as can be expected.
Radical solutions like (even if he could) breaking up the school system into small geo administrative units that would foster competition and improve efficiency, I safely expect, to be out of his realm. Even further into the sublime, it would have been gratifying to hear him talk about other things in his broad orbit, such as working to get rid of the of over regulatory and archaic “blue laws” (if he could) that restrict alcohol sales at certain times not to mention being forced to show an id for such purchases, the latter most off putting at least my out of state visitors.
The mayor like a beneficent uncle leans toward liberal government solutions in the tradition of his political and professional background running the local office of the EEOC. Hence, we’re not surprised at “Uncle AC’s” announcement to establish a city department to help “minority businesses” with grants. Didn’t get the details but it sounds both expensive and overtly political. Instead, I fantasize he would do something much harder and bigger at this stage of his political career. Its not unheard of for mayors, like the one that turned San Francisco into an open city for illegal immigrants (or maybe it was a joint mayor/council decision, I don’t know), to claim bigger issues as city significant.
Mayor Wharton wants to help minority businesses? Why not everybody equally? I’d like to see the mayor declare he is getting out of the old liberal win-lose game that continues to foster division especially in Memphis.
Fantastically enough, I would hope the mayor would take up “Guaranteed Basic Income” with a related flat consumption tax. Mayor Wharton would become the first mayor in the United States to call for phase 1 partial replacement of the overlapping and bureaucratic social welfare safety net for monthly payments to all citizens between 18-65. As I’ve written below, such a replacement system has appeal from all political sectors and the mayor could be ahead of the curve for an idea that I believe will sooner or later come to pass.
He could propose using Memphis as a test area to study the effects of people receiving a government check for being nothing more than citizens. Adult Memphians wouldn’t have to do anything, go through a demeaning and bureaucratic qualifications rigamarole or be selected over someone else to receive a monthly payment. Just talking about it would be an historic step toward reducing the size of nanny government. That could be "Uncle AC’s" big legacy.
Hey, its just a thought.
Messages and Posts
One more for emphasis. Once again ISIS rubs the modern world's face into their bucket of blood. (1.24.15) Just got a feed from Fox News that isn't even reported on-site yet: unconfirmed, ISIS has killed one Japanese hostage and is holding the other for prisoner exchange. x
(1.23.15) Billionaire tells us we should live with less... to which I'd say the guy could take some his millions to start a conversation about a guaranteed basic income (right col). It should please whichever side of the billionaires you happen to be on. x
My Ferguson postmortem: how about schools teaching news media consumer protection classes?
(1.22.15) Well, apparently the last shoe is about to drop on the Officer Darren Willson shooting of Michael Brown. Reports are coming out, through the Department of Justice that Officer Wilson will be cleared of civil rights violations.
Even if this turns out to be only a rumor, my humble postmortem has waited long enough.The media in Ferguson, especially broadcast TV, did their job in, at minimum, creating editorial nuance and, at worst, emotional manipulation of image and content. It became apparent from the start of the Aug. 9 shooting, the media were slavishly responding to the "hands up don't shoot" crowd almost always without "the include" of the other side. This failure made the media a participant instead of an observor. The result contributed to the riots that followed.
The lessons, though they admidttedly overlap, are at least obvious to me:
The inability to watch competing media is bad. Competing media will keep each other in check. Had more local demonstrators had access to cable TV, (which you can bet they did not if rates are anything like Memphis) with different networks providing oppposing accounts, would the crowds have been more susceptible to cooing off? Or is the question, would people have already made up their minds even if they watched opposing stories even if they could?
Lack of knowledge means easier steps toward more radical and violent behavior. But since its a pretty good bet the hard core demonstrators were not or could ot be open to processing competing news reports, its fair to ask were the crowds manipulated--or did they let themselves be manipulated--into ultimately becoming rioting gangs? Its would be a fascinating question for researchers. Finally...
However, easy coverage always means some level of manipulation, intended or not, in these kinds of stories.That manipulation can result in the form of votes, demagoguery, riots or a self-aggrieved individual taking violent action against a member of the assumed dominant class.
Most TV media were not even careful. Just like car chases, house fires and crime stories, Ferguson was TV journalism meat and potatoes laced with crack. Some reporters, unable to conrol their left side adrenalin, often, if not invariably for some, "leaned forward" into the interviews and accounts that supported the crowd and ignore counter stories. The reporting became more sensational by the day until full scale riots broke out. Then they were all oh so concerned.
Looking at the whole sorry journalism mess that what historically will be called somewhere as "The Ferguson Incident," I wonder if any high school anywhere will ever teach their students to view the media as just another consumer product.
It would be a media consumer protection class for junior and senior high school students--and one held at night for those huge numbers who already have dropped out. It would teach students to spot the editorial slant of media--including the commercial, political and emotional motives--to question why a particular slant is there and to ask why the opposing slant may be missing. Perhaps it will become mandatory in a revised curriculum of math, science, American history and reading. That said, any teacher brave or foolish enough to teach such a class would probably end up pilloried.
Sharpton's latest and greatest role:
Shaking down an old friend, Hollywood
This is "appallingly insulting" and "incongruous" in "a time of Staten Island and Ferguson," declaimed Rev. All Sharpton when he heard this morning there were no black actors or actresses nominated for the Academy Awards.
In his usual shakedown mode, the king of racial indignation announced he would be meeting with "allies and colleagues," according to the nydailynews.com, leading to the possibility that the oval office could witness his holding forth in movie deconstruction. Why, Mr. President, was "Selma" and its star David Oyelowo snubbed, (other than the movie possibly being not very good [but it WAS nominated best picture in the tradition of another histo-biopic snoozer--though ethnic director Steve McQueen can and has done much better--that actually won, Twelve Years a Slave] and its actor working in a fiercely competitive environment). But, oh, none of that matters because the Academy members, all 5,500+ of them, are racists don't you see.
Whether or not he and Obama will hold a meeting in the White House on this newest of racial outrages, another black politico, New York Democratic Rep. Yvette Clarke jumped in. “A lack of diversity remains a serious problem in Hollywood, where the voices of African-Americans, Latinos and Asian-Americans have historically been excluded from film studios, from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and on screen,” said the Congressional Black Caucus member in what sounded had to be her most earnest huff for public consumption.
What is really fascinating over this last maneuver that even targets an old friend to civil rights, diversity, the rainbow and all that, is that it pits an industry that actually has to produce to survive against political correctness. That industry makes movies. Those movies have to be good or exploitable enough to make a profit. Actually producing something is something Sharpton knows nothing about and neither does his loud following. Watch for more politicians to jump in to slather the blood of Sharpton's newest victim in an orgy of blame. More terrifying yet, he and his friends might try to make his own movie in retribution. Then he'll see what appalling really is.
Media: Charlie Hebdo challenges what the establishment thinks of as "legitimate media."
In what was the weakest expression for support of none other than the First Amendment ever uttered by a president, Obama parsed his words anew to get in tepid step with world outrage over slaughter at the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
Even though radical Islamicists had put the magazine on a hit list, former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney back in 2012 lectured about what is legitimate and illegitimate in free expression. Referring to religious cartoon charicatures, the then presidential flak (who now has a contributing gig at CNN) said, "We know that these images will be deeply offensive to many and have the potential to be inflammatory." As always after sideswiping the media, he found room to say what they published is no justification to violence.
Now jump to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest this morning who said, "There is no legitimate act of journalism — however offensive some people might find it — that justifies an act of violence, particularly an act of violence on the scale we saw today."
Of course that begs the question what the president's notion of a "legitimate act of journalism" is. Is it running a wonderful suckup White House photo with unctuous copy or the most offensive story in a Web publication? Remember when Vice President Biden called for "legitimate news media" to not "misrepresent" (the as yet failed White House attempt at) gun control?
Media and public relations is OK, but for a president to brand certain media legitimate and illegitimate goes one devious step further because the notion of legitimacy infers annointment from above--exactly what every media should instinctively find rev
olting. But, of course, I heard not one question from the big corporate media regarding the idea of what "legitimate media" or acts thereof actually were.
Years ago when I was wasting time in J-school, there was a brief interlude about "licensing" journalists. It was dropped as nonsense. Now, with Web writers and reporters having moved into traditional newspaper/tv space, I'm not so sure the question of "legitimacy" might not come up again.
The Interview, Columbia Pictures, a review and a helpful suggestion
No wonder Kim Jong Un got so bent. Maybe he thought Seth Rogen's movie would fall apart after 30 minutes like it did in This Is The End. However, much to his irritation the Sony Pictures (not mentioned in the credits) movie keeps going and going like a little made-in-China toy, but with endlessly chirping penis jokes, Kim romping with naked girls, anus centered laughs and much more. The fun, that surprisingly includes action shots of North Korean soldiers getting blown away, never stops. Kim’s ears still must be steaming red.
If this sizably budgeted--they went all the way to Canada to shoot it--masterpiece of dictatorial humiliation ever gets around his country, Kim surely will be in hot water with his starving subjects, at least the hundred or so who have the means to see it. Hollywood political comedy inveighing against dictators is nothing new. There’s Chaplin’s The Great Dictator targeting Hitler, for example.
However, Seth Rogen’s co-written and co-directed production is full of frat humor that is lighter and funnier, perhaps because we are at least for now not at war with North Korea and we are all in on the dark joke: the country is an otherworldly Potemkin village with not so Potemkin nukes. (Regardless, I can’t help wonder if Dennis Rodman, a real celebrity who also swoomed with Kim, was at the butt end of the joke as well.)
A pleasant surprise was Lizzy Caplan, recently of the Masters of Sex Showtime series. She is an exasperated CIA handler who sends the two “American idiot” reporters, Rogen and James Franco, into North Korea to assassinate Kim. Rogen is a tv newsie exec who has endured the professional humiliation of producing a show about vapid celebrities and sees the assassination assignment as a means to revive his career or at least get back at the likes of condescending 60 Minutes execs.
Even before Sony found a pair and decided to release the movie on the internet in the face of threats, the studio was warned by tv commentators in their best grownup shoes that, uh, maybe it wasn’t nice to make movies about the assassinations of leaders of nations. No, its not nice. But when it comes to tyrants like Kim, it sure is fun both as a movie and as a political document, at least for those of us who would like to see such regimes in destructo mode.
So maybe an American intelligence agency just might get the idea, if it hasn't already, to work with Hollywood in targeting other regimes and movements, such as Putin, the Castro brothers, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Bashar al-Assad and even Islamo Fascists like ISIS and Boko Horam. After all, the U.S. Department of Defense has worked cooperatively with movie makers going all the way back to WWII. It could be a comedic strategic assault on blood thirsty despots the world over--a new kind of cultural imperialism, that would offend not only the megalomaniacs, but the current crop of liberals as well.
But if the administration is going to leap, or at least saunter, to the defense of freedom of speech, perhaps they should roll back the clock and come to the defense of the that still(?) jailed moviemaker who so offended Muslims to the extent they had to attack and murder US embassy staff in Benghazi. Just as appropriately, where was the free speech soldier George Clooney and all of Hollywood for him? Or perhaps free speech only applies to the money machine of Hollywood?
North Korea to Americans: We'll kill you if you get in line for this movie.
Update: 12.24.14 12:34 pm The Interview is now streaming on YouTube. Review later. (above)
No. Sony Pictures' The Interview will not be out for Christmas. North Korea says you can't see it and its a really bad movie anyway.
Now that the brutal little munchkin from the northern prison state has terrorized America into submitting to his dictates about what we cannot see at the movies, expect more. Sure, at first it was funny to see ultra establishment and rich liberal taste makers, especially in a media company that quite literally capitalizes on liberal values, get busted for its top executives' racial remarks about the president.
While we heard nothing from the high profile executives of the race victimization industry--perhaps a Sony shakedown is in the works?--the issue morphed from funny to fatal before you could say Hollywood. In what has to be the worst bath dollar for dollar ever taken by a movie, Sony Pictures sacrificed a completed project on the altar of cowardice and appeasement. Newt Gingrich declared we just lost the first cyber war.
While Obama pumped what generally is assumed to be a good thing in yet another of his impromptu fiats--the diplomatic recognition of Cuba and the dictators-for-life Castro siblings--he has remained flat footed and mum regarding a foreign power, through a cyber attack and threat of physical violence, censoring what we can watch.
Let's say it like it is: we are scared of North Korea and its just not Obama, but previous administrations who watched them commit acts of war with impunity. The euphoria over Cuba soon will be replaced with the sobering feeling that we just walked out the front door of our house and a burglar just locked it from the inside. Unless we act, like kicking down our own door or crawling through a window, it will never be the same.
Calls for retaliatory response from our own cyber resources to infiltrating millions of copies of the Sony movie "The Interview" into the Kermit Kingdom have started to be made.
The media had better wake up. Once hostile states and groups see America will not respond aggressively to such attacks, they will be in the crosshairs of hackers of various skill levels to avenge a book, movie, article or Web site commentary.
Or do we just now accept there will be a chilling of media content that might be considered offensive to a religion, movement or foreign power? Some apologists have even pointed the finger at Sony for making an offensive movie to start with. After all, our new sucrotic culture is bereft of edge and certainly non-offensive.
Counries like Iran, Russia, China, Venezuela are watching both Obama's and the American people's response. Will they see appeasers or retaliation?
Cohen on TMZ--Sexual Assault Begins at Home
Congressman Steve Cohen "made one of the all-time blunders yesterday when asked about a sexual assault case involving a Tennessee Titans football player," begins a TMZ piece. The congressman chummily explained he's not much of a football guy, but does follow Peyton and Eli Manning, saying this he knew to be true: "Eli and Peyton DON'T DO [TMZ's emphasis] sexual assault against people ... other than their wives." TMZ pointed out our congressman skipped right along in the interview without apparently realizing what he had said. Perhaps Cohen has been partying too much with Vice President Biden, known for the strange things he says as well (below). Video.
Another who-voted-for-this-guy? moment
Seems this space has become the repository of stupid things people say about race. Now along comes New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio. The contribution he made to the nation's "dialogue" on race, is people operate under the influence of some kind of ruling primal memory of generational oppression. This is spooky. Aside from directly undermining his police force to protect minority members of the city--as well as continuing the self victimization you see all the time among black "leaders"--his statement must beg the question: are blacks just as influenced by a primal memory of being on the receiving end of historic oppression? Following his logic, blacks ergo would also be emotionally warped, irrational and aggressive as their generations of white overseers, except in the opposite direction. Building further, if so, racial motivation toward violence can be excused and "understood." This is why we must have sensitivity seminars, group hugs and self-flagellation parades like they did in the middle ages to atone for existence. It is also the turf of psychopathy, namely DeBlasio's. The answer: both polarities are equally preposterous. The mayor’s old line ideological positioning, like the president’s, makes us inferior to the past and demonstrates the results of voters rewarding retrograde leadership. The Great Leader(s) makes racial angst a self-fulfilling prophecy. And it feels oh so good.
Obama's immigration stunt will destroy any hope for reforming the welfare system in favor of a Guaranteed Basic Income
Estimates are now being thrown around that Obama's immigration executive action will cost upwards of $2 trillion, yes, let that sink in, with illegals becoming eligible for Social Security, Medicaid, welfare and various other benes. In obvious response to charges that such concerns are morally equivalent to the prejudice shown to foreign immigrants at the turn of the century, one could point out 1) good jobs now are scarce even for American citizens, 2) importing an excess of labor in such an economy brings down wages, 3) hundreds of thousands are naturalized into legal citizenship annually and 41 million immigrants lived here in 2012, 4) thus increasing the density of population in every metro area, not to mention 5) the American landscape has now balkanized into foreign culture enclaves, 6) Obama's immigration decree adds at least half as many workers, according to my guestimate, than there are even job openings now and perhaps the most controversial, 7) the economy will never flourish as it did in the mid-twentieth century. So all of the above is just saying its time to open our eyes to the new global reality. Right. I must be a xenophobe, pessimist and racist all rolled into one.
Obama's yesteryear ideological followers wearing 60's shades and still rigid class/race fellow travellers have no idea they are destroying any hope of the second revolutionary change--in welfare no less. To the contrary, they are prolonging the profligate spending that leaves our country militarily weak and economically doomed with no hope of real revolutionary social welfare reform. Only more spending. Only more samo samo talking heads on the networks feeding what I believe to be their uncritical American audience.
Its becoming increasingly obvious the Republican Party is willing to fight the political battle with only skimishes and piecemeal stratagems. Little do they want to take on the big battles that have only lead us to Obamacare, the culminating big daddy of all socialist ****ups.
They have already shown they will let the American people down unless they they take on the next big historic social benefit.
Something is up: the Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI)
Before a third party or the ruinous Democrats grab on to this still nascent movement, which is getting quiet but growing support from all sides of the political landscape, Republican forward thinkers should grab it as a "grand compromise." A Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI) is where every citizen 21-65 receives a monthly stipend while most of the 120 safety net programs, unnecessary federal departments and regulations (such as increasing minimum wage), disability and a host of others with all their bureaucracy and staffs would either be eliminated or downsized. (Knee jerk conservatives will ignore the second part above, but will come around when they too get they would be eligible for GBI.)
Other measures should be putting a moratorium on legal immigration for a few years until we got our economy back up to speed as much as globally possible.
GBI could be the Republican answer to Obamacare. It would serve to accomplish what Obamacare promises but will never deliver: lowering insurance costs, freeing up the market while eliminating burdens on employers, small businesses and medical companies.
Further, health care insurance costs may be reduced with a standard set payment within the GBI subsidy, limited to serious/catastrophic coverage. Instead of driving the cost of health insurance up, like open ended payments now do to college tuitions, it is conceivable prices could be driven down as companies reach for a large market with the ability to pay a known base amount. Finally, those with high end plans could still continue to use them, but their monthly GBI would not include the health insurance benefit. In short, a GBI would not be a health insurance industry handout as it currently is with Obamacare.
GBI is inevitable. Republicans should not fight it but take control of it during their coming window or somebody else will. More on this issue coming.
More local media: Another disappearance at local ABC 24, an underground railroad for TV reporters from Jackson?
Since we're already gossiping about TV adventures, it must be harder than ever to keep up the happy family facade on-air while members of said family vanish unceremoniously from it. I self correct: more fairly, it seems, stations today model their on-air crew as happy corporate colleagues, conditioning viewers still with a job that they, like them, can be tossed out at any moment, dependent on how sensitive management is to ratings, performance and other issues.
Regardless family style or corportion, Local ABC 24 meteorologist Paul Williams has suddenly disappeared. He came to the station from WLBT Jackson, MS, as did the new weekday anchor Katina (the sky-is-falling) Rankin, as I call her for over-dramatized delivery. More info here. Something else: not particularly sorry for my reversed ageist notion that one whiskey drinking, street educated, old journalist committed to accuracy beats a whole lineup of polished young wannabe stars from fancy journalism schools. But, I have to admit, has its stereotypical issues as well.
Mo' opinion: TV folk are way more fun to write about than politicians or sports people. While TV people are a cut below celebrities, despite how some may think of themselves, the pressures, pace and market vulnerabilities of their jobs reveal themselves to be humans every time they go on air.
High hilarity of the government-academia complex as Dems head for the doors
That sinking feeling: its all pointless. Do you really care if Pelosi lies to your face in her Chanel suit that she didn't even know the Obamacare architect, MIT's Jonathan Gruber, who smugly said voters were too stupid to understand what's good for them? Not to worry, the media didn't care either. They didn't even care when someone produced a video of her naming him as one of the brains behind that government boon for insurance companies.
Clearly surprised at the less than committed stay-at-home Dems on election day, Obama and party doubled down on even more left wing actions despite the will of the voters. Whether its Obama's threats to qualify four million illegal aliens as legal residents or the Dem's Sen. Elizabeth Warren becoming Shumer's “strategic policy advisor," the progressives' scenario has grown so thin its painful.
The reality, of course, is that neither party has any willingness to commit to solutions--even when those solutions could assure their dominance in 2016. The Reps. will retaliate against Obama over his executive actions, if he does them, on immigration and bog down the government, giving the Dems another forum to talk about what jerks they are.
Prognosis: two more years of agonizingly bad leadership if nothing catastrophic happens to demand minimal performance.
What are the "simple solutions?" Hint: First, its about money. More tomorrow.
Inexcusable, except to voters?
ISIS murders 200 children, women, men
Harris Faulkner on Fox News, finally a journalist who termed ISIS "savages" in her report, said tonight the religious extremist group is reported to have shot 200 civilians in a lineup. Apparently an act of retribution, the murdered civilians is said to have come from a tribe in Anwar province that had backed Americans. Our inescapable view: Obama has facilitated these murders, just a small part of a genocidal campaign his administration knew about many months ago, by witholding effective military response in Syria and Iraq after prematurely retreating under guise of treaty. If humanity means anything to this inept president who has done nothing but distinguish his presidency with bad decisions, he should resign. However, it would only be a hope that Biden would step in to stop the inevitable rise of the ISIS bloodthirsty expansionist caliphate. The media and all who supported Obama should now have pause to reflect these two days prior to voting.
New research: Illegal voters CAN sway elections
New data from a research group, Electoral Studies, shows more than 14 percent of non-citizens were registered to vote in the 2008 and 2010 elections, according to their samples. The Washington Post "guessed" 6.4% voted in 2008 and 2.2% voted in 2010.
Such percentage margins in many elections would sway the outcome. The research undermines the opponents to voter id who have claimed illegal voters are so rare as to be inconsequential. Not.
From the Washington Post: "Because non-citizens tended to favor Democrats (Obama won more than 80 percent of the votes of non-citizens in the 2008 CCES sample), we find that this participation was large enough to plausibly account for Democratic victories in a few close elections. Non-citizen votes could have given Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health-care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) won election in 2008 with a victory margin of 312 votes. Votes cast by just 0.65 percent of Minnesota non-citizens could account for this margin. It is also possible that non-citizen votes were responsible for Obama’s 2008 victory in North Carolina. Obama won the state by 14,177 votes, so a turnout by 5.1 percent of North Carolina’s adult non-citizens would have provided this victory margin."
Voter identification, brazen opposition to which appears in the face of unprecedented numerical breakage of our immigration laws, is probably headed toward the US Supreme Court. No crystal ball, but they will probably argue over such things as whether requiring a voter id amounts to a "poll tax" and if requiring an id on any voters presents a burden on the voter.
It is the Democrats who stand to win if a voter id is not in some reliable form implemented across the land. Texas is among the first to see waves of illegal immigrants flowing across the border. It is hardly unimaginable that advocacy groups might train and organize, if some are not doing so already, illegal immigrants into voter blocks to win on policy issues such as borders, immigration, welfare and electing Democrats to pursue those issues.
This is not the Democratic Party I remember. Now they exploit every false emotional issue to position themselves into power. It comes at the cost of real democracy and they don't care if they look like they are trying to scare blacks that old Jim Crow is back. Meanwhile, the big nonprofit organizations and spokesmouths in the modern race industry continue to raise money while relying on the lingering liberal assumption that minorities can't take care of a legally challengeable civil rights problem when they see it.
If voter id is not implemented in some reliable form, the Democrats will have succeeded in getting their electoral cake and eating it to. Then the exclusive privilege of every American citizen to vote will have been undermined by demagogic canards and the Democrats will have pimped themselves out for votes.
More presidential pique from Barack Obama
at the expense of Democrats everywhere
The governors of New Jersey and New York said this weekend they will begin quarantine procedures regarding EBOLA. This has caused the Obama admin. to "pressure" them to change their minds. The Obama team is opposed to hot zone quarantine because, they maintain, a quarantine would inhibit medical personnel from traveling to afflicted West African countries, thus actually helping the disease to spread in Africa and hence to the homeland.
Once again dubious reasoning and bad policy rebounds from the White House to bite most every Democrat (except maybe the Dem. "safe zone" in Memphis). If Obama was as "sensitive" to the American people as he is to Africans, a common sense quarantine policy handled by Homeland Security would be put into effect. Need I have to say charter flight exceptions and screening procedures would be made for our medical and military personnel?
Its not as though Americans don't respect Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the world's leading virologists who lead in the fight against AIDS. What people don't understand is what motivates the president to, as in his now famous executive decisions, force an open travel policy inspite of the worry of the American people.
The doctor that entered New York said he had followed all of the safety protocols precisely, but still had no idea how he contracted the virus. The governors are wising up. That alone is reason to quarantine. If more cases break before the elections, it will spell even more disaster for the Dems.
And presidential pique strikes again.
Beyond Obama's Ebola protocol: good proto vs bad proto, the first electoral choice in all areas.
In the past few short weeks we have all been watching what may be a nascent Ebola pandemic. The word “protocol” has been used with increasing frequency. ("Proto"-from the Greek, meaning original, precursor.) “Protocol” was broken when somebody infected with Ebola flew on a jet with passengers, when a hospital sent an infected person away, when a nurse didn’t follow protective procedures, etc.
Although protocol can become the refuge of auto-administrators and thoughtless bureaucrats, we all have come to expect a certain level of expertise in applying “best practices,” otherwise known as protocol, in the professional services. (BTW, those who rebel against bad protocol deserve plaudits, just as much as those who follow "good proto." Also, let's not forget, what might be considered good proto may not be the best in all circumstances. It takes leadership and discernment to tell the difference.)
Though this may sound like a training manual, follow me here…
Sometimes protocols are so arcane or underused, not following them is the last defense of the inept, even though we might be aware of the issue to which good protocol should be applied years before said emergency arrives at our door step. Protocol (and training) are tested under such conditions. Good proto keeps us on our toes. It shows we’ve thought about things, sometimes the worst things.
But whether good proto or bad proto is followed depends on the person setting it. And that takes us to our president’s proto.
Its obvious to many Obama set and follows his own protocol based on how he views the world. If, as he apparently thinks, the United States has been a bad force that has pulled the world down over the last two centuries, his operational proto cannot be to further disrupt global progress. Hence, implementing complete travel bans from Ebola hot zones until we had things figured out on our end would not be among his protocol, even though he’s putting a viral bull’s eye on all of us by not doing so.
That’s one example of indulgent, undisciplined protocol counter productive, even destructive, in the face of facts. Of course, there are many more examples of Obama’s bad protocol in all areas. Consider his: early habit of not wearing an American flag in ceremony; implementing central control of the economy with health care; virtually unchallenged ISIS Middle East genocide and ignoring their declaration of war on the US; lies re the IRS and government invasion of privacy; keeing the border positively insecure; growing a lower wage and unemployment by increasing the number of illegal aliens in our job market; habit of comparing the worst atrocities to American historic mistakes; selective law enforcement; racial pandering and the list goes on.
In fact, all of the above are breaks from good protocol in their respective areas. There is no leader, at least a leader not consumed by ideology and warped sense of history, who would openly implement policies that would damage his country in so many areas. Bad protocol all. These are the result of Obama Protocol.
And that brings us to the elections in the next couple of weeks. Its not about conservatives vs. liberals. Its about good protocol and bad protocol and knowing the difference. We’ve tasted six years of bad proto. The elections in the next couple of weeks could be a strong mouthwash to begin a democratic start over for our country.
Bottom line, by now everything has a known standard of protocol. Demand your leaders use it.
Hussein era WMDs indeed confirmed in Iraq. Problem is, we helped make them
and ISIS found them.
With today's revelation of vast chemical weapons manufacturing and testing facilities, the mess brought on by Obama's premature evacuation of Iraq takes on a dimension nobody wants to think about. So apparently nobody ever did.
Aside from the fact that the main reason for the 2003 invasion of Iraq held out Saddam's manufacture of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), there doesn't seem to be much of an impulse now to say, "We told you so." The WMD rationale for that war arced from high general belief to low disbelief. Now the New York Times, a voice of disbelief back then, has revealed a US government coverup of Iraq facilities that made thousands of tons of mustard, sarin, chlorine and other deadly airborne weapons.
Why the apparent reticence to high five each other among the Bush Neocons? The United States helped Iraq make those chemical weapons because the US was eager to support Saddam Hussein's war against the Iranian jihadists who had captured and imprisoned the US Embassy staff. Awwwwkwarrrrd. Bush's Secretary of State Colin Powell exactly couldn't have waved the famous ersatz vial of WMD and have beseeched the United Nations to join the cause to eradicate Iraq's WMDs the United States helped make, now could he?
As of now anyway, even the conservative media has remained relatively silent about who was right and wrong in history, choosing instead to focus on what this means in the slow motion battle against the fast moving ISIS. That murderous jihadist organization makes millions every day on the black market. It can well afford to buy the know how to rehabilitate Saddam's old means of mass destruction and hide them in the millions of square miles somewhere in the dessert underground.
Obama may fall back to his standard operating procedure and blame his lack of knowledge of the WMDs on his military advisers.
Nomatter who he blames, this is a case of his chickens--early pullout of US forces--coming home to roost--ISIS getting hold of potential WMDs they could possibly remanufacture. His catastrophic Iraq bugout will continue to have ramifications and risk the lives of Americans for years to come. This will not blow over.
Ebola, ISIS rolling over inept Obama presidency. Devastating projections on
This morning the World Health Organization said the outbreak of ebola could rise to 10,000 per week in the next two months with a death rate of 70%, according to media. This number reportedly is up from 1,000 per week that WHO projected back in January. As usual, third world countries expect the United States to carry the the largest share of the burden.
ISIS, on the other hand, is on the verge of taking Kobane. Parts of Iraq continue to fall. Obama's strategy to "degrade and destroy" ISIS has barely surpassed slowing their genocidal progress. Media and political types both have finally started to call his ISIS policy totally ineffective.
But unlike other aid packages, ebola and ISIS portend real threats to the United States. A reported 150 persons daily enter the United States from the ebola hot zones. The Southern Border is still unsecurred. It is unknown absolutely if any jihadists have crossed it, but our porous border could be a powerful attractant for such operations. Critics say Obama has failed to respond effectively, though other say it is really not his fault, citing history and circumstance. An irrelevant response, considering these are "existential" (the new word among experts) life endangering threats now.
Obama politics over lives--surprised again--Kobane about to fall, Anbar Province next?
[From various media reports, some linked in this article] As dawn broke in the central US, the Kobane Kurds had repelled and even pushed back ISIS to some degree. Estimates of up to several hundred civilians are for pracical purposes surrounded by ISIS with only a reported "humanitarian corridor" to Turkey still open. Turkey is callously witholding support fire to Kurdish defenders.
Turkey's witholding of any military aid to the fighters has caused Kurds to explode in anger in that country, thus taking them back to the "bad old days" of mutual enmity. Likewise, the United States failure to supply arms to the Kobane defenders will go down as uncaringly callous as well, despite some air support, in the face of worldwide outrage against ISIS. The Kurds are begging for arms, but few, if any, are fothcoming.
Meanwhile, ISIS has all but ignored the American air strikes and have just about taken Anbar Province in Iraq, apparently much to the surprise of Obama's team. CNN is reporting the administration thought the air strikes would "buy them time." Instead, the ISIS terrorist army of 10,000 is invading the province with little reported resistance.
What's becoming clear is that ISIS blitz-like speed has thrown the Kerry plan of air strikes and Iraqui forces training in the long term into chaos. Again, the administration looks flat footed and surprised, clueless in responding to what now is an apparently an unstoppable extremist army bent on creating a new terrorist state from which to launch attacks on the West.
Unless he breaks the limit of proscriptions he has placed on his own military, there is little the Obama administration can do other than to say they "expected" this outcome. They also say it will be a long process--years even--at which time ISIS may well be entrenched as an Islamic State, rewriting the map of the Middle East.
Obamacare architect says: for him the end comes at 75. What about AARP members?
One of the intellectual powerhouses behind Obamacare now lets it slip—or more like declares—75 is the appropriate age for him to check out, that is, to let the death process begin without intervention. Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel writes in the Atlantic this month, “Once I have lived to 75, my approach to my health care will completely change. I won’t actively end my life. But I won’t try to prolong it, either.” The Clinical Bioethics Department at the U.S. National Institutes of Health and heads the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania says pretty much nothing will happen after age 75, at least for him.
Read the rest here.
The spider and grasshopper--spins and twists from different media on an instant fable
Click image to enlarge. Photo Benqq.
I noticed this drama going on inches from my window as I watched the Sunday news talk shows. Naturally, I imagined all the different ways media might spin the headline to sway you.
Holder's resignation: does it signal a pre-election panic among Dems?
"Optics and How to Improve Them" could be the title of the pretend self-help book President Obama could be reading these days. If so, it would be a real change because the president has been politically tone deaf throughout his administration. For Americans, presidents get points when they launch a war and communicate just cause. So finally, after years of dithering over Syria and now right before mid-term elections, he worked up the gumption to bomb almost empty ISIS buildings at night there. Presidents also get points for losing problematic cabinet members that are lightning rods of controversy. Obama doesn't like to fire anyone, no doubt a political holdover to managing a community nonprofit. However, Attorney General Eric Holder's massive fubars, perhaps stemming for being an excellent and impassioned advocate for the defense, were often seen as biased and averse to pursue issues against the administration. (IRS targeting scandal, Fast and Furious, among others). Expect to see laudatory rhetoric as this weight is slid out the front door ceremoniously. Perhaps Obama's numbers will start to rehabilitate even in his own party.
Local media review ABC 24
"Local Muslims Speak Out Against ISIS"
Its always difficult to probe controversial issues, especially at the risk of putting good people on the defensive, but it seems Austin Lewis could have delved a little deeper in her story, Local Muslims Speak Out Against Isis. While a few US Muslims are leaving to join the ISIS fight and some are radicalized inside mosques, the drift of her story that Mid-South Muslims are good, tolerant people in no way is challenged here. I presume that was the reason for the story. However, it would have been far more interesting—and perhaps more difficult—had she at least quoted one of several passages from the Qu’ran that advocates intolerance, if not violence, against non-believers. For example, one such passage is “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah (disbelief) is worse than killing…but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful.” It would have been more interesting to hear how believers hold to certain religious tenets, especially if they are held by such groups as ISIS, and not to others. That, of course, is true for believers of every ancient faith.
Eleven questions you won't hear on this morning's news shows about Obama, ISIS and the coming world conflict
Based on her questions this morning about how the US is incapable of acting unilaterally, you would have thought Candy Crowley on CNN had assumed Obama had "degraded and destroyed" not ISIS but the US military itself. Among the phoney hand wringing and what-if whining, she steadfastly refused to ask the really big questions only heard at cocktail parties within her news and big info class that are best kept among themselves:
1) Why hasn't the US consistently upped the bombing against ISIS now 5 days after Obama's big war speech? Or are we not at war?
2) Is Obama capable of rising to the occasion to become a war president vs a petty political president he now is?
3) Does Obama have enough gravitas among world leaders to build an international coalition?
4) Why are we talking about ISIS as if it is a world power, requiring an first an international coalition before the US can even launch a decent retaliation for the murder of its own citizens?
5) What does it say about the condition of the US military when once it could wage war against two bad players in different hemispheres at once and now we can't even take on 36,000 terrorists in one place immediately?
6) What happens if Russia, N. Korea, and China, not to mention Islamo-imperialists around the world, see America as particularly vulnerable under this president and acts on it? Are we prepared?
7) Are American boots still "off the ground" now that other military experts are beginning to say we can't win without them?
8) If Obama fails to decisively act against ISIS, can we expect a permanent retreat of American influence everywhere? Will that retreat permanently damage our presence in the world?
9) With ISIS reportedly taking in a million dollars a day from black market oil revenues, what weapons does Obama think it CANNOT smuggle through our "porous" borders? Does Obama now see the border as a security issue or is it still about the illegal immigrants?
10) Does Obama personally bear the responsibility of the rise of ISIS in that he refused to substantially aid the moderates in Syria two years ago and he pulled troops out of Iraq over the advice of his commanders?
11) And now the biggie: The Pope says we are already in WWlll. Is Obama shifting from his wrecked domestic policies to preparing America for what looks like an impending "war of civilizations" between seventh century throwbacks and modern Western culture?
After her blathering, Crowley shifted to the really big question of the day: What are we going to about those miscreants in the NFL with a brand new panel of experts that included none other than the commander in chief's former main prevaricator, Jay Carney. So goes the big players in the news for the easily manipulated and willing-to-swallow-anything-if-its-on-TV viewing public.
Is the Kroger parking lot attack a hate crime?
Are local media giving it to us straight?
Move over Ferguson. Memphis got a hot one.
Read the full Commercial Appeal/GOPUSA story
In a town that is way too hypersensitive to all things race and still small enough to count any violent crime as major, the mob attack on shoppers Sat. night at a Kroger store in East Memphis struck a nerve. That nerve is forensically entitled “hate crime” and this time it is about black on white.
Some media in Memphis took the question head on while others seemed to sidestep. All, apparently except the Commercial Appeal, avoided overt reference of the racial dynamics of the brutal assaults on three persons, by witness accounts two white, one black, by over 100 “youths” rampaging through a Memphis neighborhood.
The GOPUSA Midday Report, a national conservative blog unaffiliated with the Republican Party, ran a story apparently taken verbatim from a Commercial Appeal Digital story a day later with the head, “Teen mob targets random white customer: 'They fixin' to jack! Hold on, they got a white dude!’”
The newspaper reported in that story carried by the GOPUSA Midday Report, “The mob was made up of black youths.” However, a search on the Commercial Appeal site revealed no results for the story as shown on the GOP blog. Did the Commercial Appeal take the story down? Publicly, no one has challenged its accuracy. Was the paper asked to retract the story because it might lead to hate crime charges that would be too controversial for a city mostly populated by African-Americans? The CA did run a story, but it is unknown if it identical to the GOPUSA account.
We don’t know. We do know what we think: there was a rush to avoid charging the defendants with a hate crime. Yesterday Memphis Police Department Director
Toney Armstrong said, “We don’t have sufficient evidence to investigate this as a hate crime.” Armstrong made it a point to say there was also a black victim among the three. That victim was assaulted after he stepped in selflessly to aid the white victim, according to media reports. District Attorney Amy Weirich said, “In the state of Tennessee, the law is actually called civil rights intimidation and if that applies that’s certainty something we’ll look to.” She stated further, “Committing a crime against someone, targeting someone because of certain things — their race, their gender, their, you know, whatever.”
Everybody apparently looked into it yesterday and today decided there was no hate crime. With only 11 persons charged so far from what witnesses estimated to be over 100, why the rush? Instead of a dog and pony show starring Weirich and Armstrong held today to announce there would be no hate crime charges, why not the appearance at least of a real investigation? We acknowledge hate crimes are hard to prove, but if Attorney General Eric Holder can make an issue of Ferguson even before an indictment, surely our AG can withold a decision until the investigation appears to be exhaustive. The whole thing smells even worse because Armstrong even said just yesterday there is a likelihood of further arrests.
Regarding the Commercial Appeal and the GOPMidday Report there are questions surrounding the apparent CA retracted story. We have asked both to provide a clarification. We have received no response from neither but will publish any responses.
Biden’s Remarks: More form than substance
Nobody seemed to miss him when he reportedly took multiple vacations in one month while ISIS and Putin swirled somewhere far away. Yesterday, it seems, Vice President Biden was dragged out to show presidential resolve because his boss can’t: that is, act like the United States of America still has a pair.
So he reappears to declare:
“The American people are so much stronger, so much more resolved than any enemy can fully understand. As a nation, we’re united. And when people harm Americans, we don’t retreat. We don’t forgive…”
What ISIS understands at this point is that we have not made it a mission to eradicate them as a state. They may be thinking the US will simply wait months and months and sneak in and grab the actual individual killers with stern faced g-men like we did with the main, or one of, the Benghazi perps. That makes them shake in their Nikes, I'm sure.
Biden’s strident declarations leaves plenty of wiggle room for Obama, but at least, listeners seemed to be saying, it sounded good. Suspicion: Biden was tasked by someone in the administration to step up to the plate and make noises on what Americans wanted to hear: something that sounded like revenge.
“And when that’s finishes, they should know, we will follow them to the gates of hell until they are brought to justice! Because hell is where they will reside! Hell is where they will reside!”
To whom or what was he referring? The individual throat cutter or ISIS as an emerging genocidal state on a territorial war path? Like his boss, he left it wide open and concentrated on “justice” versus making mention of any goal to obliterate those wannabe state replicants of nazism. Perhaps Obama and he were chary of making another “red line” threat and not having the will to cross it? Incuriously, too, Obama avoids ever mentioning the genocidal ethnic cleansing ISIS is committing on an ever widening scale. Time is running out.
Biden left the nation still in doubt, without any decisive commitment to take the fight to the enemy. Yesterday too, the NY Times issued one of the latest video reports of a man who survived an ISIS massacre. This is what words won’t defeat. (Warning graphic content)
The lesson(s) of the naked celebrities
One of the big media hits this weekend was the hacking of Apple's iCloud and theft of celebrity images in various forms of undress. The most well known violation yet of a targeted group, this falls under the category of criminal and should send a chill down the spines of everyone who uses the internet for private communications.
This hack was far from a joke, as was at least first treated by many onliners. Quickly, people realized it was a personal theft, a violation, an assault. These private images have now been released onto the internet and will hang there forever. These women had an absolute right to use the internet for their private communications. My suggestion: ban together, resource a portion of their wealth, catch the criminal(s) and prosecute hard. Call it the Celebrity Stand of the 100.
Even though Apple quickly patched the security leak, any hacker will tell you it is impossible to make the cloud hack proof and anywhere near totally secure.
Now, think how much the NSA surveils, with infinitely more sophistication that that of an individual hacker tapping on his keyboard, communications the world over. You may choose to believe it doesn’t listen into your communications because you are in America, but that will be diminishing comfort in a world of invasive overarching government, especially in the face of hysterical terror threats.
Perhaps the celebrities, who have been known to do things for the common good, will reflect upon that as well.
She is kidding, right?
As Obama's staff rush like chickens in a rain storm to "clarify" his most recent inadvertent truth telling that we have "no strategy" in Iraq and, presumably, no strategy to defeat, much less contain, the genocidal caliphate known as ISIS, his former secretary of state saw fit to pipe up about Ferguson yesterday.
The Inquistr, an online pub, suggested she was trying to catch up with the rhetoric of MSNBC on air staffer Al Sharpton, who said about Ferguson: “This is now a national, central issue, and anyone running for president needs to come up with a formula, or, in my opinion, they forfeit their right to be taken seriously,” he said. “I’m amazed that we’re not hearing from leading candidates… Chris Christie or Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton. I land in New York this morning, and I see Chris Christie dancing with Jamie Foxx.”
Of, course, his man Obama, has already used up the dance cards with celebrities, Jamie Foxx among them, and is now dancing by himself somewhere in oblivion (more below).
Apparently, not to be out-demagogued by Obama's newly appointed diplomat to African Americans, so said by the Huff Post, Hilary Clinton chimed yesterday, “We can do better. We cannot ignore the inequalities that exist in our justice system, inequalities that undermine our most deeply held values of fairness and equality.” Not too worried about lowering herself to the level of Sharpton, she stirred race rhetoric into the as yet unknown shooting facts.
We wondered what exactly she meant by "We can do better." Better at raising kids not to be thugs? Better at keeping kids in school? Better at not accepting sitting around house smoking dope? Better than giving up trying to find a job? Yes, we can do so much better, Hilary, but those things, we humbly suspect, are not on your list of political benefits.
We suggest the American people are so inured by liberal polemics that they are silent on the current genocide in Syria and Iraq and the resulting security threat to the United States. Never mind we had won the war only to give up all our preciously spent blood and treasure in Obama’s callous political bum’s rush out the Iraqui back door.
While ISIS decapitates and starves children in this century’s first genocide, he plays golf and attends a wedding. Our conclusion: Obama has declawed the American Eagle in the face of both genocide and direct threats to our homeland. These are not American values in the face of such mind bending state sponsored cruelty and mass killing not seen since Pol Pot's killing fields.
Meanwhile, it seems, as Obama awaits the time he gets to mercifully leave office, he frolics with fund raisers for his leaky ship of fools.
Obama writer says there was nothing Michael Brown could do to change the outcome
If you had been listening, you heard it more than once. As we entered the “Ferguson era” of race relations these past weeks, paid and interview commentators would often say that racial relations would not “improve” until we had an “honest dialogue” about race in America.
This morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Joshua Dubois, author of The President’s Devotional, the daily readings that inspired President Obama,” said, “In my view, there is nothing about Michael Brown that (he) could have changed about himself that would have caused him to be alive right now…What would have changed is for Darren Wilson to have not shot Michael Brown.”
At this point, Joe Scarborough injected his praise of MSNBC colleague Al Sharpton (and key player in the shooting aftermath) for now sounding like Bill Cosby in criticizing some of the negative values of black culture. (Aside from wondering if Joe supported Cosby back then, I’m pondering if Sharpton’s shift from his usual ideological drum beat represents a new view among black media activists, especially any employed by MSNBC like Sharpton.)
Dubois’ brain wrinkling remark, inferred and assumed cops just drive up to blacks walking in the street and shoot them down. To be fair, I'm sure that was not his intended meaning, but...
...not one of the MSNBC Morning Joe nodding heads mentioned some of the things Brown possibly could have "changed about himself." These things might have included: not having the proclivity to commit strong-arm robbery of a local merchant just minutes before the shooting and, moreover, not behaving as a neighborhood bully. Other things he could have changed about himself: having the sense to comply with a lawful request from and not openly berate a police officer (nor anyone else), as alleged. Finally, the ultimate thing he could have changed about himself is controlling an apparent hot anger that for whatever reason would propel him to bum rush a police officer and physically attack, again, as alleged.
Nomatter what, the outcome was a fait accompli. The cop simply would have shot him anyway. Mr. Dubois apparently knows this.
Local talker cops to politicos and “experts”
If you left it up to Jake of the nation of, nothing—nada—zilch could be done about the city budget crisis because, well, the experts like Price Waterhouse, financial consultants and city council members are privy to information we can’t possibly neither get nor understand. Besides, its all politics.
Again, insufferable hysterics and Republicans - Do "Conservative Consciences Matter?"
(3.31.15) Been away working on some profit oriented projects. I began to feel as though I've neglected an especially needy child on these pages. The child it turned out was doing quite fine, thank you, but that incessant familiar wailing was coming from the same old media that had snagged another go-to crisis. Great catch, guys.
But for now, let's wallow in the ever present proclivity for some people to compel others to do something. Now we see the drama of politically exploitational Democrats destroying soft Republican cream puffs so big government, supported by big media and their big business advertisers can take on--no doubt Obama's clutchers of guns and bibles--those evilly prejudiced florists, bakers, photographers, etc. Some time ago I wrote about this very movement that was supported by people who want to sue you if you don't like them (a close ideo-relative to those who would sue you for offending them).
That said, the Republican players in this issue should jump on bringing the LGBT people in civil rights addenda but exclude personal service businesses as mentioned above when refusal is based on conscience. That is the only fair way out of this mess and leaves both sides with acceptable face. In so doing, this issue becomes a blip on past radar and does not stand in the way of real issues like killing ISIS, remaking Obamacare, economic rehab and working toward a guaranteed national income to name a few in that order. (Of course, I don't expect the Republicans to even begin those missions, which is why we are headed toward a third independent party with pronounced libertarian leanings.)
And let's remember this all comes from a law signed by Pres. Clinton (D) that attempts to preserve balance between the practice of religious belief, that is, personal conscience, and compelling government interest. In other words it provides a defense and nothing more for those practicing their religion that might contravene federal law.
Oh, excuse me. Perhaps the little people are all wet on this one. They should understand and genuflect to the wealthiest among us. Never mind if these big business didn't get on this bandwagon, they too would no doubt be forced to walk the plank like that poor squirming contrite sap Indiana Gov. Mike Spence (R). This morning I watched him on TV try to say he would "fix" the the law he recently signed primarily for the state's image but otherwise really couldn't find a reason to. What a hot political mess.
Now, I believe the big business executives touting their self-righteous corporate identities on this one, have never even thought about the rights of the smallest of personal service businesses, which, are by nature creative and expressive, like florists, photography, baking, etc.
Nobody wants to see a return to "whites only" signs above counters (which would be illegal) but neither do most people want to be compelled to personally service clients they otherwise wouldn't. (By the way, let it be known as a photographer - videographer I am more than willing to work for anybody within any group--and have.)
However, someone with their own principles may someday be walking around with a sign that says, "My conscience matters." And I would not expect the support of Al Sharpton over a microphone. Finally, another little sticky: conscience laws can swing both ways.
Aired last night, HBO's NIGHT WILL FALL on the German WWll camps can be contrasted to the relative indifference generated by images of ISIS mass atrocities today. Why?
(1.27.15) HBO's documentary on the grisly WWll concentration camp footage that eventually turned into the British-American-Russian production called "German Concentration Camps Factual Survey" reveals just as much about politics as its subject matter.
Overstated by HBO as Alfred Hitchcock's unknown documentary, it turned out he had little to do with it other than giving some shot advice which was probably prescient. He advised not to cut away from German community leaders who had been forced to view the actual camps upon liberation. Further, he advised showing the proximity of maps to population centers. Both would serve to undermine what he knew would be apologists saying the German people knew nothing of the camps.
Sidney Bernstein of the British Ministry of Information went to Bergen-Belsen a week after its liberation. He then proposed to collect the American, British and Russian (who originally suppressed their own "atrocity" footage) shots of the of the camps into a comprehensive documentary.
Ultimately that documentary which had a universal moral lesson much to the annoyance of the Americans, was shelved, though footage was shown in the Nuremberg war trials. So the Americans, frustrated at the arty pace of the Brit documentary recruited Austrian born Jew and Nazi escapee director Billy Wilder to lay the concentration camp directly at the feet of the German people in his 1945 film called Death Mills or Die Todesmuhlen. It was commissioned by the US Psychological War Department (PWD).
(An aside: no film that I know of was ever produced by the US government about the Japanese rape of Nanking, the rest of Asia or the biological and chemical warfare Unit 731 that conducted live vivisections on Chinese subjects. The Japanese, like the Turks over the Armenian genocide, have never even officially acknowledged or apologized for what were similar and officially abjudicated crimes of the Germans.)
Compared to todays atrocity footage, some of it by the perpetrators themselves, we see we have either become inured or have rationalized our low response to it. In Night Will Fallwe see families with grim expressions huddled around radio reports of the mass murder programs of their enemies. (Some footage was shown in theatres as well.)
Yet, today the images of ISIS victims get barely a yawn. Perhaps that's the driver in domestic politics of a people who have yet not been told why we should eradicate a fascist as we did previous enemy regimes. Or perhaps we are like the beautiful and dumb Eloi in H.G. Wells The Time Machine. We just can't work up the energy to care people are being eaten by the Morlocks.
Instead of Republican rhetoric and Democratic drama, there's a movement that could take hold and change everything...
(1.21.15) (Post Obama's State of the Union) Expectedly, Obama again revealed his old tired self as the ancient liberal who reached into his thread worn grab bag of political I-win-you-lose solutions. What's more his very solution does little or nothing for the middle class other than offering them up in self-satisfied rhetorical exploitation. The Democratic response proffered little more than what was offered by the president. Same-o-same-o of hand-up-not-a-hand-out mantra squelched beneath old-line conservative social values. Both camps are destined to utter these platitudes until their dying silver lips, mercifully at long last, lock shut.
Had enough? It's time we started talking about something new. That's all I ask. Just talk about it, twist it around, see how it would work, maybe even launch an experiment...
What the living hades am I talking about?
A GUARANTEED BASIC INCOME (GBI)
This, as I see it, would be a monthly payment, to every legal citizen between the ages of 18 to 65. As far as I can tell the most extensive work on GBI was from economist Philippe Van Parjis who said in a 2000 paper, "Basic Income: A Simple and Powerful Idea for the 21st Century" in which he laid out an argument to "Give all citizens a modest, yet unconditional income, and let them top it up at will with income from other sources." He states therein, "A basic income is an income paid by a political community to all its members on an individual basis without means test or work requirement."
So there it is. Before we get into the weeds of calling each other names and throwing around numbers, let's consider for a moment the notion of a GBI is not new.
President Nixon called for it. Left wing redistributionists like Marin Luther King, Jr. called for it as well as economists like F.A. Hayek, Charles Murray and Milton Friedman. Further, conservatives and libertarians can like it because GBI takes the government out of the expensive business of being a personal caretaker for all but the most debilitated recipients, in which case a kind of, excuse me, "navigator" could watch their account.
Switzerland is the first country that will be bringing GBI to a referendum vote in its "direct democracy." Will the Swiss accelerate the basic income debate world wide?
Enno Schmidt of Switzerland's Basic Income Initiative collected 100,000 signatures to provide every adult citizen with $2,800/month. He rejects old politics and "class warfare" and he rejected putting limits on executive compensation as a form of "class warfare."
Canada and Australia are in active debate while one state, Alaska, already provides a small "prebate" to every citizen. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians reportedly dispenses several thousand dollars from casino profits to each member annually. A study on the tribe's children found significant declines in poverty, behavioral problems, crime, substance abuse and psychiatric problems, and increases in on-time graduation after payments were instituted.
Finally, it could be said that about 55 million of the US population already receives a kind of GBI as Social Security recipients.
Sooner or later, GBI should enter into open political discussion as it has in other countries. It will challenge the notion that corporations exist to create jobs. They don't. They exist to create profit for share holders. A further carnard is that corporations use tax breaks on new jobs, increased salaries and business expansion. The slow growth of jobs as corporate profits shoot up show that's not true either. It is clear the 1% pocket the money. Wouldn't you?
Further, given that this country will never again see an economic boon anywhere near the postwar economy due to globalization and too few jobs that far exceed job hunters, not to mention graduates, another political imperative is bound to take hold. The old conversation will see-saw between accusations: communitst vs. capitalist, greedy vs. needy, the 1% vs the hopeless, etc.
If the GBI debate takes hold, it will revolutionize political dynamics. The right and left old lines will do there best to see that it doesn't.
However, if either party really wanted to see change happen, we would be hearing about disassembling the trillion plus dollar Obamacare edifice, transforming the tax system into a flat sales tax or something similar, continuing to reduce the number of non-military federal employees, reducing their salaries and pensions to match the private sector, eliminating mostly old line anti-poverty programs and nonessential federal departments. All that, not to mention increasing corporate and personal taxes of the wealthy. Somebody would figure out GBI could be achieved at less cost of the current social welfare government. In short, such a debate would open the door that could never be closed.
So let's say there was an American GBI of $1,000 per month for every citizen between the ages of 18-65 and $500 per month for every child. Further, mandate a $400-500/mo set aside within that for catastrophic health insurance. Prediction: once the insurance industry realized that everyone had insurance, rates would drop to accommodate the market instead of floating them up as Obamacare proved to do. (Ironically, the insurance got their own form of "guaranteed income" from the government.) Consider how college tuition was driven up simply because the government began loaning the standing tuition price to students. They continued to go up to the delight of commercial training schools, tenured professors and administrators, I suspect. Of course it all needs poring over, but this time with economists and politicians that don't have a bene in the process. If the politicians want to play politics with GBI once it gets started, there will be dire and quick consequences.
Those consequences will come from the young to middle generations who see no benefit in being shackled by their parents' and grandparents' old line welfare/economic politics. Judging by President's Obama's SOTU speech last night, he, nor anyone else in elected government, has got a clue of what's eventually coming.
Where's Waldo? Once again Obama misses
This would have been one trip Americans would have like to have seen their president take: to Paris marching in unison with 50 other heads of state in opposition to Islamic terrorism. One commentator said it got "more painful" by the minute to see his absence in the line of world leaders marching arm in arm.
Instead, he sent his "JV team," that is, lame duck Attorney General Eric Holder, who is reportedly to have marched along well out of sight of the internationally televised front line. We've all heard of our president's famous "leading from behind" but this is ridiculous. This is a an ocean behind that line. Perhaps he was consulting with Rev. Al Sharpton or maybe he should have sent the good reverend. The line would have at least had some noise with his leading a chant, something like, "Kill us today! We kill you tomorrow! Kill us today..." Perhaps its a good thing he did't send him.
Anyway, Obama will have to answer for this global faux pas that speaks volumes about today's America. An honest answer will be an open admission of his unwillingness to site "Islamic terrorism" nor by any means say we are at war with people who have beheaded Americans and sent video of it around the world.
This morning, events passed him by. This morning in Paris, a million People, and more in other cities, declared enough is enough. The emerging question will be: Where is the war, hopefully using both psy- op persuasion and physical elimination, against the Islamic terrorists and the bankrupt culture behind it? Old political elites, mostly historic appeasers to Islamic terror, whether they were marching this morning or not, will have to step aside to the crescendo from The People to kill the terrorists before they kill us-a kind of People Power declaration of war.
Big media bows to the terrorists by not showing the images that motivated today's slaughter
The only media outlet that I know of displaying the cartoons is Huffington Post. Charlie Hebdo
First there were the North Koreans. Then, this morning there was some crazy offshoot of radical Islam slaughtering people who offended them. In both situations, some people said that while no one is justified in violence, we should nevertheless be careful not to offend--a kind of "no insult" policy as propagated in various colleges a few years ago but now applied internationally
From the moment I first saw the stories of the mass killing at Charlie Hebdo in Paris this morning, I kept asking, where're the cartoons over which they were so upset? It's an integral part of the story but no network was showing them. Perhaps they were taking Obama's ques to apologize for wayward media who have the audacity to satire.
Not including the satirical cartoons of Mohammed for which staff were murdered is craven journalistic malpractice of corporate media not seen since, well, when Sony Pictures Entertainment first learned of their North Korean hack. The pictures are what the story is all about. It is the professed motivation of the killers. We kill you if you insult Mohammed. In their coverage, big media betrayed their mission, but not their business. They opted to juggle around the story without showing the images of offense, keeping things squeaky politically correct even if it means bowing to the terrorists.
There really is a war against a people, but its not a war against blacks despite how it may look on TV, but Christian Yazidis where TV won't go.
commentary from the heartland
On this Christmas Eve, the greatest of all Judeo-Christian nations should be thinking about the Christians who are fighting for their lives against a barbaric enemy that that nation can do much more in helping to defeat. The nation is America. The people are Christian Yazidis. The enemy is ISIS.
If graded on our government's response in some sort of scale of action against the enemy we already recognize, but have not even declared, we would have to get no better than a "c." Mind you, this is not a scale of courage, but simple willingness to save a people against erasure, much like the Christian Turkish Armenians asked of us at the turn of the 20th century. (We didn't respond well back then, either. Hitler later used the success of the Armenian genocide by Turkey as evidence he could get away with killing all the Jews.) ISIS has declared Yazidi Christians, less than 1% of the population, "devils" and has destroyed ancient monasteries and is in the process now of ethnically cleansing the remaining Yazidi land in Iraq. It should be noted this time Turkey is accepting the refugees, but not doing much to fight ISIS itself.
Upon capture, ISIS reportedly routinely kills the men and sells women and children into sex slavery, all completely legal according to their brand of even more extreme Sharia Law.
This Christmas Eve, our still Christian nation should act decisively and immediately for an ancient Christian people in a not so far away place. Not because they are Christians, but because they are facing genocide. Merry Christmas.
update: same day. Perhaps the term "genocide" sounds legalistic and remote. Lest we've forgotten in the news obsessions of celebrities, election trivia and entertainment, here's what genocide by ISIS looks like and is.
Have the New York cops started a conservative protest movement of their own brand--back turning? What if...
This morning, "journalists" expressed "shock" at the sight of silent New York cops putting their backs to the mayor as he walked to a press conference yesterday.
This was so visually stunning that no one could miss the message: you not only failed us, you betrayed us, you betrayed the city. The silence was deafening in the made-for-tv shot as the mayor, towering a foot over most, lumbered forever down the center of a gauntlet of members of his own police department that had physically turned their backs to him.
No shouting, pushing, throwing cups, but an unforgettable demonstration of disrespect that eerily suggests another question. With no support from the mayor, is the back turning display a portense of cops sitting out crime calls? Will New York return to wild west lawlessness experienced 20 years ago? Most police will not let that happen.
But what if "back turning" became a movement of its own in hyper divisive urban areas not only in police departments but among alienated conservatives themselves? The police demonstration accuses the mayor and other elected politicos of appealing to a narrow base at the expense of protecting the entire community, and hence, their police. DeBlasio, a throwback liberal of the 70's, probably will not be able to restore equilibrium. The city is in for a rough ride.
Expanding the what-if scenario further, what if the military turned its back on the president for creating a roughly analogous political situation but on a national scale? What if his very defense department was creating a weaker defense system? Or was giving up national autonomy to an international body? Would the military do the same symbollically and in reality to the president that the New York cops did to their mayor?
The idea is harrowing and still far fetched. But I hope it demonstrates why we need mayors and presidents committed to holding office in representation of everybody, not just a loud few.
NY cops gunned down. They must have been
historic racist agents of white oppression.
The killer of two NYPD officers revealed his buy-in to anti-police rhetoric on one of his social pages. Since the Sanford, FL shooting, the president, his attorney general and most recently the mayor of New York and others in the media, notably and not singularly MSNBC, had stirred the brew with varying degrees of intention.
Then marching in lock step a few days ago NY Mayor Bill DeBlasio declared there was some sort of historic "primal memory" (my term and interpretation of DeBlasio's words below) of continuing white racism. Soon after, a small group of demonstrators marched down a NY street chanting, "What do we want now? Dead cops." They got what they wanted. Yesterday, NY police turned their backs to him.
The cops were shot as they sat eating a sandwich in their patrol car yesterday. News reports showed a Bedford Stuy deli and the image prompted me to think maybe one of them had ordered their last meals from there. A gunman walked up to their car, took a "shooting stance," according to NYPD Chief William Bratton, and fired.
There will be books written about this period, how the first bi-racial president missed the opportunity to lead the country into a "post racial" future as he had once declared. (Many will say, as they do now, the country was in a post racial present.) Most people now feel race relations has ebbed backwards.
In a crawl title, we learn the shooter also killed his former girl friend yesterday. No name. Only the end for someone who had the misfortune of once investing in a personality who would be influenced by political leaders, media and culture at the end of 2014. The president, et al., could have used the wave of protests as a "teachable moment" but chose, as he did other times before, to make it a "political moment." Two more years.
update: now reported, the girl friend was shot but survived.
An action hero has got to wear pants.
Obama said today he wished Sony had come to him before deciding to pull their Christmas release of The Interview. However, Obama could have at least picked up the phone first to tell Sony he would mount a seriously punitive cyber response that would be devastating and painful to whomever was doing the damage.
Not only that, he could have announced defiantly he would hold a public viewing of the movie and lose two hours he could never get back for the Seth Rogen flick. It would be painful and smell like fish, but he would do it.
Further, he would intensify his intelligence network toward likely suspects (even on Wednesday N. Korea was suspected), channel support for local police at public venue protection and consult with Israel to see how they maintain a public life in the face of constant threat.
On top of that he would smuggle in millions of DVDs of the movie into the Hermit Kingdom and mount instability operations to undermine Dear Leader Kim Il Un's grip on the throats of his starving subjects. What's the problem?
We already are in a constant stream of cyber attacks. But now richly remunerated rock star hackers from whatever belligerent country will keep worming through our network defenses. Its pristigious and pays well. Add to that the bribing of employees in companies, as well as no doubt, government, for passwords and such. (A couple of years ago Sony fired thousands and more in their mobile department.)
So perhaps Sony didn't come to him because they had no faith in a president that refuses to exercise power where needed. Sure, they could crank out a hot action mess like White House Down (previous-scroll toward bottom) based on a
president with titillating similarities to an heroic Obama who kicks terrorists' asses all over the White House. But, uh, that's the movies. Sony's movie.
After all, wherever confrontation is needed, enemies and belligerents alike remember his famous "red line" paper tiger threat against Syria if it used chemical weapons, not to mention his letting ISIS gobble up the belly of the Middle East.
No doubt Sony also remembers what one gunman can do to a theatre as demonstated in Aurora, CO. A threatened physical attack, not just cyber, would destroy public venue businesses everywhere.
No, when you need a president to scare the pants off an adversary, that president has to be wearing a pair.
"Stop Killing Innocent Boys." A copy cat polemic of the racial protests, but with the Boston Bomber--What's next? "Chechen lives matter?"
Maybe it was the influence of all the undisciplined news coverage of the recent racial protests that caused it to surface today at the pretrial hearing of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Elena Teyer, the mother-in-law of Ibragim Todashev, who was shot and killed while being questioned by law enforcement after the bombings, called out to officers, "Stop killing innocent people. Stop killing innocent boys." Whether she was including Tsarnaev with innocent young black men allegedly killed unnecessarily by police or people of Chechen descent meeting the same merciless fate is unknown. What seems to be clear is Chechen and other supporters learned the meme from Ferguson and New York protesters alleging police instigation of injustice and death. The Boston bombing killed 3 and injured more than 260, AP reports.
Torturing terrorists and the beheading of four little girls
It's not that we really don't care the government tortured somebody, albeit it was immediately following 9/11. A generation later, feeling all safe and cozy, we have somehow found outrage. Not that its not sincere nor even warranted. That's for others to decide, if it even gets to that. Indeed, some have called for the prosecution of Bush and, more appropriately to their minds, Cheney.
But in a global scenario where Christians are beheaded by ISIS, as was reported to have happened to four little girls yesterday, for not "converting," water boarding as well as a practice cringingly known as "rectal hydration," doesn't seem to rise to the same level of atrocity. Of course, that's not a legal bar. We pride ourselves in being a society of legal standards holding to the disipline of applying such even to lethal enemies. That is the highest test of legality, much like the protection of extremely offensive, but not illegal, words and behavior.
Yeah. We all get that.
However, it was Winston Churchill who in a war meeting loosely quoted George Orwell who adapted from a long list of others that “People sleep peaceably in their bed at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” Of course, the civilized among us like to think we are beyond the need to commit individual torture in the name of the state. Hence the secondary debate whether it works to get any information at all.
Certainly the force of law should and does compel our government to comply with legal standards. Other than the committee of Ms. Feinstein, who was a victim of computer hacking by the CIA, (if she isn't protected, who's not?) and the media, that had an old story revived in a current document handed to them, public traction has failed to generate a broad outrage outside of self-interested or professional circles.
Perhaps, deep down at places "we don't talk about at cocktail parties," more appalling than those "interrogation techniques," as disturbingly referred to by CIA Chief John Brennan, is the fact that we have failed to kill ISIS and other religious/fascist political entities taking savage control all over the world. That festers like a growing lump as the real "outrage."
Notes on some political language: Hillary will straddle.
Hilary Clinton seems to have kept her head above the frays in Ferguson and New York, the latter affording more political exploitation with lethal enforcement of a petty law via a restraint maneuver outside NYPD policy. The Dems seem to be in a shaky box rhetorically. They either have to start using, or at least excusing—if they want to maintain their ultra liberal base—some of the insane street fulminations from communists, anarchists, plain old radicals and black supremacists, all encouraging verbal, then physical violence on persons and property. (BTW who do you think is supplying those same professionally printed signs in every community demonstration?) Prediction: Clinton will try to keep her farthest left support by supporting claims of police abuse, boorish behavior and the rare unjustified killings of blacks with old line civil rights reform language. Not to say reform is not infrequently needed. There are always instances of bad cops, as well as lousy teachers, doctors and politicians. Is a systemic solution in order for them as well?
Police shootings marching to a political head. Hillary laments before the women.
America at the top of the 21st century: Even the president, the top officer of the court, and his underlings have opted to exploit the appearance of racism therein, while great genocidal crimes are occuring under their noses.
President Obama and Vice President Biden have fallen to exploit a bankrupt victim culture fostered by music and media with rabble rouser Al Sharpton as some sort of legitimate race diplomat--the very last thing this country needs--instead of working on killing ISIS, strengthening the military, really improving the economy, protecting Americans against the flood of illegal aliens soaking up a limited number of jobs, trying to staunch the onslaught of privacy erosion, making our borders secure, slashing the size of government and luxury salaries/positions therein, etc. You couldn't ask for a president doing all the wrong things at the wrong time.
Hillary Clinton, presumed by the media to pick up where Obama leaves off, has now joined the chorus of lawyers who really know better in equating a grand jury decision with racism. Their rhetoric, delivered in a phony heroic cloak, does lasting harm to young blacks who thought they had grown up experiencing a fair country. Little did they realize they were living in the mid-60's Selma or in Philadelphia, MS where the police force really was murderous and both to blacks and whites. (I was editor of a newspaper there in the late 70s as my first journalism job out of college and I can tell you that town had well changed even by then.)
Yes, youngsters, you are oppressed. Its completely OK to parade around shouting "Don't shoot!" in the face of all the now known facts of Ferguson as well as statistics that show unjustified police shooting of blacks is miniscule in modern America.
The facts, not Sharptonisms, will dribble from the Staten Island case, as they did with Brown in Ferguson and Martin in Sanford. It was recently reported store owners called police to remove Eric Garner, Staten Island, from selling illegal cigarettes in front of their businesses. Police simply didn't swoop down on him from nowhere as it appears in the video. The naked vide as such plays to minority victim reportage as seen on, for example, MSNBC.
The choke hold issue and the abuse of police over black citizens--undeniable that sometimes occurs when some individual officers too quicklky jump to arrest and shoot--has given Hillary "what-difference-does-it-make" Clinton the opportunity to whip it without sounding like the equally crazy sister of Sharpton. US Attorney General Eric Holder has launched a DOJ investigation in both Ferguson and Staten Island.
Like any good possible presidential candidate, Hillary announced her support in somewhat understated, but politically exploitational, terms of the DOJ investigation at a women's conference yesterday. Up till then she had kept her head under the radar on this issue. Perhaps fearing a backlash that's already roiling among conservatives?
The demagogue-fed mob justice machine
now replaces the Ferguson grand jury
The fruits of the months long demagoguery of Sharpton, Jackson, lower feeders on the food chain, local politicians, numerous media commentators and reporters--egged on by inappropriate intrusions of the President of the United States and his Attorney General--came home to roost in Ferguson, MO last night.
All of the foregoing had demonstrated their intent on prejudging the police officer who shot a young male as he charged him. (Need I note the normal media descriptor of "unarmed teen" is not used here.) Officer Darren Wilson shot six foot plus Michael Brown (also not a "child" per the victim's family lawyer) as he advanced on the officer threateningly, after he had already assaulted him and was again not following the his instructions to halt.
Having not passed muster even for a grand jury indictment, leftie commentators immediately swung into full victim mode exposing their blood lust for political revenge.
MSNBC veritably popped in indignation that 12 individuals (ignoring none of them had anything to gain and were under enormous pressure TO indict) decided the state did not have enough to do so. In effect, the jury concluded, it was indeed a good police shoot under current law.
The story is all too familiar in desperately poor neighborhoods: the system is unfair, threrefore it is tyranny, therefore burn down dreams and businesses where people have jobs, where owners will probably not rebuild for years, if ever. Not only jobs are destroyed, but business taxes and services to the local community go away. The self-destruction of mob justice is symbolized In the smouldering ruins of a local restaurant, probably not another one for miles around.
One would think the Sharpton supporting commentators would now have to justify their rancor in light of all the same evidence the jury considered. Oh, not to be. For example, TV commentariot lawyers like CNN's Sonny Hoskins and MSNBC's Lisa Bloom quickly blamed the prosecutor for not trying hard enough to get an indictment. Others blamed a more generic and all pervasive system that prevent blacks, especially young black males, in getting fair treatment under the law. The inequities under the law for poor people, not just blacks, are manifest, but that does not play in this case.
Upshot of the Ferguson issue: grand juries can't be trusted, even though this one by all accounts asked the right questions and relied on physical evidence rather than conflicting witness accounts to determine the state could not win a conviction.
What's probably coming next: a movement by the demagoguery to eliminate the grand jury system and go immediately to public trial wherever warranted by the "community" so mob justice can be whipped up by media, activists and politicians. Little do their short sighted emotions enable them to realize the grand jury system exists as a constitutional protection from insubstantial prosecutions by the state, as in this case.
Obviously, they don't get that those same protections extend to people who don't look like them, as well.
Jackie Orozco overcomes social media mishap and apparently marries Rodney Dunigan
A gossipy media/social tidbit: While working on a piece about the perils of social media as illustrated by Jackie Orozco, former Local 24 reporter, I had intended to start it out like this, quoting myself: "She stepped in it. Nay, threw herself on it and rolled around. Instead of relating in a personal moment something that would otherwise show a dark sense of humor, she made the mistake of delivering a faux pas not seen since, well, the last NFL player tweet. OK, I know I'm being unfair, even to them, but its football for God's sake...
"What the former local ABC 24 reporter, now at WOFL Orlando, did wrong was pose smiling in front of a location where a double murder happened. Like so many others, she made the mistake of posting a self admittedly offensive crack (this one with a photo) on a public medium that tricks you into thinking its private. Wrong."
And I would have droned on about the idiot and others calling her an idiot, bimbo, etc. as if Orozco were a serial humiliator of murder victims. But that would not be the point of the little piece. The point is "social media" has cranked up the ability of perfect strangers to mount destructo character assassination as you are inviting them to "like" you. Its either all love or all hate, superficially played out instantly and reactively.
So her tweet was a thoughtless mistake. She apologized for it. This time she made the news. Enough said, though I'm not saying its not news when a public person uses language counter to a personna dependent on consumer acceptance. That's always revealing if not hilarious such as in Vice President Joe Biden's tweets. Example: "I will not rest until my granddaughters have every single right my son & my grandsons have." But unlike Biden's much documented strange tweets, Orozco's tweet was obviously off the cuff in another who-shot-who market (training ground Memphis) where gallows humor no doubt is a release to the job. Just don't tweet it. They won't understand.
But wait! My little story does not end there. In the course of research, such as it is, I discover on Orozco's Facebook page she and Local 24 anchor Rodney Dunigan apparently (missed seeing it in media), according to photo and commenters, recently married. (Granted, I'm the last to know about these things, but an exclamation point is due here. I'm not gushy though I admit its the only real life romantic ending I will ever write.)
If this isn't a wedding picture, they shouldn't waste it. Rodney Dunigan and Jackie Orozco. Somebody already said it: Memphis-Orlando new power couple. source for picture above: Jackie Orozco's Facebook page.
Reprieving an old shot when I was shooting Beale Street New Years Eve 2012. I ran across the couple who played along as I took their photograph. Upon completion, I teased they made a "cute couple." Guess I was right.
A larger pic here (scroll down when there) from a piece I did about Orozco's departure from local ABC the following year. source: archive.
Cynical Admission: Obamacare purposefully made too complex for comprehension. Republicans have a chance for revolutionary reform
We now know why one Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber declared the American people were too stupid to understand it. In yet another video surfacing in the stinking pond, he states in blunt honesty people could have received a direct payment, or single payer, but the complexity was built into the bill to facilitate passage because nobody would get it. Well, as it turned out, who can argue he was wrong?
This tracks with Pelosi's remark passage was necessary to understand what was in it. Maybe she knew exactly what was in it and was trying to push the process along.
Perhaps the use of legal obfuscation to trick Americans into accepting Obamacare has defeated their purpose: in hindsight, legislators now may see--or come to see--the argument for single payer as better, if not good. Single payer would have been simpler, clearer and probably nowhere near as expensive--considering the costly nonsense of navigators, administratiors, Web sites and the lovely addition to the IRS enforcers.
Regardless this new light shown on yet another Obamacare dark chapter, the Republicans have a chance at replacing it with a better system, maybe even single payer, uncorrupted by the insurance industry.
But why stop at remaking Obamacare? Why not look at reforming entitlements and instituting a flat federal tax to further dismantle the government class? After that, seriously look at eliminating the social welfare system in favor of a basic income for legal citizens 18-65. As your laughter subsides, wipe that grin off your face. I'm serious as Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.
By acknowledging our entitlement system(s) will never go away, that we can't possibly have enough decent jobs for everybody and that much of what the government does is antiquated and unnecessarily expensive, the Republicans can get ahead of the Dems by taking on real, if not revolutionary, social reforms. They can remake entitlement, social welfare and the bureaucratic government infrastructure into a system that works.
What the disaffected, as well as young, don't want to see is another two years of meaningless talk by politicians and media. Whoever remakes the old system into a new one will be handsomely rewarded with the future.
Kotkin writes about the "the new class order" composed of "Oligarchs," the "clerisy" of nonprofit organizations, media and government who currently hold sway over our culture, the "proletarianization of the middle class," the "geography of ineguality'' and the "screwed generation." This book is a short, easy read, but totally engaging. Here is a particularly illustrative passage:
"The downsizing of growth, naturally, also appeals to many who already enjoy wealth, such as Ted Turner who then promote anti-growth policies through their foundations and, as a bonus, get to feel good very good about themselves. Other winners include the media Clerisy, notably in Hollywood--who propagandize such views while living in unimaginable luxury--as well as academics. The successful and well compensated producer and director James Cameron complains about "too many people making money out of the system" and warns that growth must stop to save the planet.
So who loses in the new anti-growth regime? Certainly these include large parts of the working class--farm workers, lumberjacks, factory operatives, oil field workers, and their families--who work in the extractive industries most subject to regulatory constraints and higher energy prices. Particularly hard hit may well be young families who, perhaps forsaking the "slacker" life, now find their aspirations of a house and a decent job blockerd by the generally older, and better off, advocates of "happiness."
What good is Steve Cohen? Well, in some special issues most others won't touch...
Most incumbents find themselves, more or less, in electoral "safe zones." That's one of the perks of being elected: its really hard to get defeated. That's why you find hardly--there might be an ethically honest outlier somewhere--who will ever support term limits. The same smiling face floats through the consciousness of an indifferent electorate year after year until, surprise, he's served through multiple generations with grippy handshakes and fuzzy platitudes. He's not a Congressman, but a glad handing time machine. The only time he quits the gig is when he gets sick, has to retire or gets in a jam.
Unless repeat opponent Charlotte Bergmann (R) surges in the next few days, our Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) once again finds confidence not only because he's an incumbent, but because he's a liberal Obama Democrat in a district that not only sanctions, but actually likes him more, for it. Obama is not an albatross sinking him down like some of his other party colleagues in more balanced districts. Little does he have to worry that he is an enthusiastic cheer leader for Obamacare, not to mention a supporter of an administration that has flopped many times over.
Sebelius, Cohen, Wharton at an Obamacare promo presser in Memphis where Cohen ate up time attacking Obamacare critics.
So, with impunity political, he gets to do those things like call the Tea Party "enemy of the state." His constituents like him and there ain't much anybody is going to do to knock him out of his seat because Memphis has a large population of liberals and unemployed who know where their government benefits are buttered.
Now, here's where the above turns into a positive (unless you're one who already thinks it is): Cohen can get away with doing things he couldn't in more balanced districts all in the name of representing his district. Note: Cohen has repeatedly raised the issues of federal sentencing guidelines and drug policy. He said to Attorney General Eric Holder in a hearing:
"One of the greatest threats to liberty has been the government taking people's liberty for things that people are in favor of. The Pew Research Group shows that 52 percent of Americans think that marijuana should not be illegal. And yet there are people in jail, and your Justice Department continues to put people in jail for sale and use, on occasion, of marijuana. That's something the American public has finally caught up with. It was a cultural lag, and it's been an injustice for 40 years in this country, to take people's liberty for something that was similar to alcohol. You have continued what is allowing the Mexican cartels power, and the power to make money, ruin Mexico, hurt our country, by having a prohibition in the late 20th- and 21st-century. We saw it didn't work in this country in the '20s, we remedied it. This is the time to remedy this prohibition, and I would hope you would do so."
Even though more states are legalizing medical, if not recreational, marijuana, few congress members still have the courage to take on the drug's federal issues. However, Cohen's got the ticket and has.
The lesson for Republicans: they should get a hint from Cohen and stop running away from drug and over prosecution issues. Further, their natural inclination toward smaller government and unfettered business could marry easily with more libertarian policies if they would step away from conservative social issues like abortion and marriage laws.
Cosmopolitan Magazine launches political party bus full of models to NC State Univ.
Cosmo, the magazine I came to know by looking at mostly girl friends' copies in the 70's, errantly has entered into political coverage, though I suppose it was inevitable. (Even way back they ran a few articles about workplace outrages.) NC State won some kind of contest and is the lucky recipient of the "Hi, I'm Cosmo" bus to stimulate political discourse there.
Though most of my female demographic has abandoned its supposed secret sex tips and exotic underwear (ok maybe not so much there), I am chagrined. No longer is there a place that I could imagine taking comfort in visiting, however increasingly infrequently these days, with fantastic pictures of skinny buxom models, free beautiful youthful spirits and coital advice that was a modern Kama Sutra. Now, its like that imaginary girl friend wants to prattle on about politics that, if past is prologue, usually ended with fading footsteps after the front door slammed. No doubt it started with the evils of war, then continued to the dastardly Republicans and finally ending with the meaning of priorities vs. feelings. Anyway, just like I do with the magazine without looking at it, I imagine a bus full of bikini models dispensing their brand of political advice--kind of like "war is bad" from Miss America--amidst elbowing frat boys worked up into voracious horniness. (It would really be funny if they did it in self-parody geste--like "remember to wear your sexiest Loubitins to the voting booth so everybody will know its you behind the curtain"--but I know they won't.) They'll want to be serious and f*** everything up. Anyway, bless'em. I smile and pour another shot. Somehow, I get a nostalgic warmth that Cosmo will make it all work out and make me happy, again. Link here.
Hillary and others busted in "protectee" expose' by Secret Service agents
The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents
This could be a remake of the movie Animal House with the late John Belushi: a naked blonde in a car trunk being delivered to a president, wives of the presidents catching their husbands in bed with secretaries, presidential threesomes, agents diving over tables at formal dinners to protect the president from an assassin outside the window, children trying to lose agents in traffic, a venomous power hungry wicked witch of the East destroying her commoner subjects...and it goes on nonstop. Ronald Kessler's book is nothing short of devastating to the Democratic power elite. With such a tableaux, he seems to be beseeching: give it up, fakers. Call it a day. Let someone else in.
In this easily readable expose' Secret Service agents reveal the personal pecadillos, overwhelming temptations, ego maniacal manipulations, among a range of oddities and quirks. Still others are about cruelty and victimization. (Some accounts are reused in previous books, which might explain why there has been so little publicity surrounding this one, but the book is still on the market at Crown with no legal action yet to pull it.) And others, mostly elder Republicans, are about civility and grace. You decide, he kind of says, but just don't pretend you don't know. Fair enough. Let's go...
Among many head spinning stories, most of which are corroborated on the record, according to the author on C-Span, there're: Hillary’s unpredictable rage, Bill’s uncontrollable womanizing, Biden’s wasteful pretenses, Nixon’s spooky strangeness, Kennedy’s, yes, uncontrollable womanizing, Johnson’s dictating to secretaries in the nude, Gore’s penchant of hazardously passing gas in an enclosed vehicle, inconsiderate of the hapless agent entrapped with him--this book is a warning for all politicians (and everyone else who has had people work for them in close contact): don’t be an ass****.
The Obamas are the only Democrats that are remembered well by agents in the book. Though frequently pushy on Barack to be more forceful in racial issues, Michelle is described as warm and “touchy.” Further, her mother, who lives in the White House, and polite, well behaved children are regarded highly by agents. Most of the kids, except Chelsea Clinton, of the first families, Dem or Rep, vary from being rebels to indulgent brats until they get a little older and then for some it remains a hopeless case.
However, most average Americans—that is, those middle classers who work honestly and watch the evening news, therefore still perhaps a little jaded—might be astonished to hear how former Secret Service agents describe the good and bad characters of our leaders.
Kessler writes, “ ‘If the general public knew what was really going on inside the White House, they would scream,’ a former agent says. ‘Americans have such an idealized notion of the presidency and the virtues that go with it, honesty and so forth. That’s the furthest thing from the truth.’ He adds, ‘You just shake your head when you think of all the things you’ve heard and seen and the faith that people have in these celebrity-type people. They are probably worse than most average individuals…If we would pay attention to their track records, it’s all there.’ ”
Veteran Washington Post reporter Ronald Kessler’s The First Family Detail pulls together some of the most scandalous witness and hearsay accounts by Secret Service agents assigned to presidents, candidates and their families. The author provides an inside look at the service and scorchingly critical of its inflexible institutional culture that always gives the upper brass passes when screwups occur. The underlying tone of First Family is how in God’s name could we have elected these ass***** to public office in the first place!
He doesn’t hold back. Neither do the agents. For example…
Agents thought of being assigned to the Hillary Clinton detail as punishment and not without reason. Kessler has an agent relate the story of Christopher B. Emery, a White House usher who “made the mistake” of teaching Barbara Bush about her laptop. After the Bushes were out of the White House, Emery returned two telephone calls to Barbara who had a questions about her laptop. When Hillary got wind of it, she fired him. Kessler writes, “the father of four could not find another job for a year.” That’s the Hillary that wants you to vote for her, Kessler seems to scream.
A few other Kessler reports about Hillary:
She snapped at an agent, “Where do you buy your suits? Penneys?” The agent plaintively confided to the author, “That was the best suit I had.”
A week before White House Deputy and supposed long time mentor from the old Rose Law Firm days Vince Foster committed suicide, she berated him brutally in a large meeting. “If Hillary turned on her friend Vince Foster, she is also nasty to little people she professes to care about,” writes Kessler. He quotes an agent, “ ’She’d act like she didn’t want you around, like you were beneath her.’ ”
Though he never wrote about about how their assigned “protectees” influenced their politics. Kessler reports agents were “dismayed at how two faced and seething with anger she was.” One account they made a campaign stop at a 4-H Club. She saw people wearing jeans and told a staffer, “What the f… did we come here for? There’s no money here.” Such profanity and pettiness might be funny on the HBO series VEEP, but its not in real life.
Kessler equally gives no quarter to Huma Abedin, head of her transition office and various other positions at State and, presumably, with Hillary’s future presidential campaign. Agents referred to her as “imperious” and “rude.”
Many of the accounts fly in the face of carefully crafted media impressions. Consider Jimmy Carter, the president perhaps most known as a populist and friend to the common people. He told agents he did not want them greeting him on his way to the Oval Office. “It was apparently too much bother for him to have to say hello back to another human being,” Kessler writes with contempt.
For politicians the lesson should be in your face clear: if you want nice comments about you from your help, then be nice. However, Kessler strong undercurrent is the seduction of power is too much for their wobbly character to begin with. Just don’t let them see you throw tantrums, thrown plates, disrobe/urinate/defecate in public, be cheap, have mistresses then preach undying love, waste tax payer money, show contempt for the people who voted for you, belittle, humiliate or be downright abusive, the queen bee of which is Hillary, though others in other ways are close runners up.
I admit it. My bias against pampered and plutocratic politicians (and celebrities) spiked wickedly when I read such accounts. Short of actually taking human life, the private behavior of these politicians, mostly Democrats, reflect a pronounced undemocratic oligarchic, aristocratic and misanthropic mind set not unlike the worst corrupt dictators we love to hate. We give them a pass when they’re warm and charming like Bill Clinton, but lo the resentment when they are mean and nasty like his “loving” wife.
Kessler, the author of some twenty books about Washington, speaks truth to power: “The fact that Hillary fired a White House usher who was the father of four children for trying to help a former first lady with her computer and denounced and humiliated her friend Vince Foster in front of White House colleagues demonstrates Nixonian ruthlessness, hypocrisy, and paranoia that could be expected to balloon if she were ever president. Likewise, her calculated determination to overlook her husbands philandering to enhance her political fortunes suggests overweening ambition that could spiral out of control in the White House.”
Kessler's book may make you want to change your vote, if you decide to vote at all.
A reader with a dark sense of humor emailed us:
"There is speculation the government may quarantine cities soon to stop the elections."
Ebola--media are still not asking about what we are pretending not to know (or see)
The Sunday morning talk shows just about evenly split the topics of ebola and ISIS, with a few questions on the impact of the two on the mid-term elections. Will it really hurt the Dems? Ya think?
Re ebola, the current repeato-message is that hospitals are "gearing up" their staff in fancy virus proof suits in high tech isolation wards where statistically between 50-90% patients will die as horrible, perhaps moreso, a death as beheading. From our own existential view, both type deaths should be utterly preventable if our president rises to leaving politics behind and take, well, measures.
For ebola those measures would be: not accepting flights from countries where there is an epidemic, quarantining any travelers for observation in short to long periods from any hot zone and domestic law enforcement quarantine with legal santions against anyone who lies to a health care worker about any known exposure. This isn't a libertarian issue, it is a survival issue. Let the government experts work out the details under the mythical orders from the president. That's why they make the big bucks.
What are we really hearing from those wise talking heads on TV that everybody turns to for guidance (certainly not getting from government). What's the story they're pitching now? It is: please know your health care team will be protected. See what the docs and nurses are wearing? All suited up! Isn't that grand? They are just waiting for Mr. Ebola--and you.
So, what are we pretending not to know when we see all these stories with nurses in shiny space suits working over, we presume in the future, rows of beds of dire patients similarly encased?
Hint: Did you observe you've seen nobody in your neighborhood or office walking around in his or her (presume there would be gender designs) space suit?
So here's a wild thought: If you've got to gear up to this extent with a virus this aggressive, doesn't the very picture of what these people are doing to not getting the disease suggest how easily everybody else CAN get it?
So the story is not about wearing plastic suits, but what the government should be doing before you are rolled into the ebola ward in the first place. We know what the common sense measures are, more or less outlined above. One story said 150 people per day were arriving from the hot zones. Predictably, however, this president sacrifices common sense and playing it safe to pander to gross political correctness. So we are only left with a hope Mr. Ebola is here just for a short visit.
RELIEVE THE SIEGE OF KOBANE! Where're the weapons and supplies to the Kobane defenders?
Bloomburg.com reports the Kurds, from what I've seen our closest ally in the Middle East besides Israel, are fighting bravely for survival in Kobane, but with outclassed, outnumbered weapons and diminishing ammunition. They all will certainly meet a grim end at the hands of an enemy that has effectively, it apparently needs to be remembered, declared war on the United States with beheadings of our countrymen and declarations. So why are we providing only measured dribdrab assistance? Why have we not conducted at least generous military aid drops to fighters that have been nothing short of heroic in holding an enemy off that is better armed and flanking them on three sides? Will Obama allow Kobane to fall? Our bombing has reportedly had little effect. Regardless that Turkey, an unreliable ally at best, hates the Kurds, the United States should not stand weakly by at the impending slaughter of allied fighters. We will have to begin to fight in earnest later when Obama's "degradation" strategy fails. If ISIS consolidates a geographic hold bordering Turkey, we face a far more dangerous world. Whether we want to argue if Obama has let Iraq slide into chaos is academic. With ISIS, the world has already witnessed smaller equivalencies of the Rape of Nanking in the Middle East. Why wait for dozens of Nankings to happen before we act?
Obama's Ebola political correctness: Obama experts vs American common sense
Developing rapidly: more calls, ranging from simple requests to outright demands, to not allow incoming travelers from West Africa. Obama's Center for Disease Control (CDC) and other doctors/virologists have said that would be "impractical" to "unthinkable." One even said that would make it difficult for American aid workers to leave, apparently having never heard of an exception to the rule. If "Obola" (see below) gets a foothold here and it is revealed the administration refused to at least temporarily close entry to this country of West Africans without a quarantine period, then a whole new level of "political correctness" will have been accomplished. If Ebola turns out to be a plague not unlike swine flu in the early twentieth century, it will prove the ultimage deadly result of being PC. More OK, I admit "American common sense" can be a little scarey when it comes to science, but we are asking nevertheless, right or wrong, "Why take the chance?"
A new Obama scandal, same old smell
The scandal that keeps on giving. What, another coverup? Remember the Secret Service prostitute scandal in Columbia? Now, it seems a White House volunteer, no doubt a coveted "job" ideal for patronage, whose father indeed is reported in the media to be a big time Dem donor, got himself tied up in the scandal as well. Those in the news biz who have gotten over their Obamalove should be all over this one. Even more sensitive, was the WH trying to protect the fat cat donor by not revealing the alleged participation of his son while firing the agents? Prediction: The WH will say the volunteer was not staff and they did not want to damage a career (an ivy league graduate, of course) even before it gets started. Another: how do they now explain the emphatic statement from WH press guy Jay Carney that there was no WH personel involved in the scandal? Compared to other Obama scandals, like the IRS targetting and the reversal of promises in Obamacare, this one would have been relatively harmless. The apparent coverup makes it something else. It smells of the same old metro-urban-Chicago politics Obama has crammed down throats of the gullible American people from the start.
Notes on an interview:
Bill O’Reilly with Poor Leon Panetta yesterday or the torture of the elite
Toward the end of the interview, O’Reilly said, “In the initial part of this interview, I’m seeing a president from your eyes, a former CIA chief, a former defense secretary, who is incapable or doesn’t understand the dangers the United States faces. That’s the message I’m getting from you.”
O’Reilly’s frustration is palpable. Why DON’T we fight? Why do we let Putin reignite a European conflict? Are our enemies afraid of us? Wasn’t pulling troops out of Iraq a “colossal blunder?”
Poor Panetta was left with only saying this president was smart enough to do what’s right. It was the right thing, says he, that he went to war with ISIS, to which O’Reilly in his big daddy newsman suit admonished him personally, “Oh, bull” and cited Obama’s announcing to the enemy he would not put troops on the ground.
Later O’Reilly said “You see the big picture here? The Obama administration doesn’t know what the deuce is going on.” On deep defense, Panetta said the president wants to do the right thing for the country, but he has to find “the will” to fight. When Panetta said Obama was beginning to take the right steps toward ISIS, O’Reilly interrupted complete with gestures, “Beginning to? How many people have to die and be beheaded?” O’Reilly even challenged him on why we haven’t come to the aid of the imprisoned Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA find Bin Laden.
Finally Poor Panetta could do nothing more, excepting a generic defense, than nod his head with an embarrassed grin under O’Reilly’s unrelenting bombardment. This was no NBC Chuck Todd softball game. O’Reilly never held back in his frustration and anger at the administration. Poor Panetta flew into O'Reilly's sights who found himself in an agonizingly and obviously embarrassing defense of making excuses for his former boss.
O'Reilly expressed amazement an entire ISIS terrorist army was allowed to cross a flat unprotected and exposed landscape, otherwise known as desert, to attack and most probably take Kobane on the Turkish border. (News reports are coming in that the killings have already begun.) Once fully taken, ISIS will have established a land mass that indeed looks like a state.
The interview had impact.
Democratic ranks are rising against Obama for his inept handling of the fight against ISIS and others. Democrats want voters to believe Obama’s failures are not of the Democrats. Those failures, they assert, are owned totally by Obama whose short sighted policies have not only lead to the loss of Iraq but has helped a savage group grow into a genocidal machine unabated. The Dems are running from Obama as fast as the trapped civilians would if only they could from ISIS.
American troops are destined to be on the ground to destroy ISIS when we could have fought them in a weakened position previously at far less cost. Though it is inconceivable for his core followers, those who voted for Obama may now feel regret.
There is a real possibility Obama may allow ISIS to become a real state. If so, it will be his spawn others will have to clean up.
The insufferable self-importance of being me as illustrated by Ben Affleck via Bill Maher
Cable talking heads are still bouncing about last week’s fight between author Nicholas Kristof, Ben Affleck and Bill Maher. It was a breathtaking reveal of what Affleck does when he thinks someone has committed a transgression against liberalism. Show topic was the millions of Muslims who still hold extreme religious views like killing those who leave the faith. When Maher cited PEW research—Afleck, huffing and pulsing, impulsively resorted to smug insinuations, histrionically waved an arm in front of a panel mate and relied on his self absorbed celebrity to win points among a gaga struck audience. When all that failed, he just stopped short of calling Maher, supposedly his friend, and Kristof a racist, though he found a way to use the word.
Yes, Virginia, it happened among celebrities on the liberal boob tube mecca Real Time with Bill Maher. It was a hoot. Affleck’s pretentious posturings took only second billing to his perfect hair atop a crown that he proceeded to illustrate had little under it.
A particularly revealing moment came when Affleck's rant sounded like he was saying the last British citizen beheaded by ISIS was an “idiot.” Even the Maher audience, usually approving with insipid guffaws and giggles, fell uncomfortable silent. A minute or so later Maher had to bring it up by asking, “You didn’t mean….” to which Affleck dismissively said he didn’t.
Another revealing moment about current liberal American culture came when Kristof, toward the end of the panel discussion segment, had finally had enough. He told Affleck to his face that if we didn't even try to stop genocide, that would be “unethical.” That is a high road interpretation that asserted the renowned Academy Award winning Mr. Affleck is a little shit.
Ebola Invasion-screwing this one up will become known as "Obama's Obalacare"
So its come to this. Our own government is now letting in people infected with an aggressively contagious disease that frequently is fatal if not intensively treated. This morning researchers announced they now fear the disease could go airborne via a cough or sneeze.
Obama needs to be seen doing more than a casual response. We again find ourselves in early trouble against another enemy that is a vicious killing machine.
Obama seems to have gotten a pass from doing any significant blows against ISIS, but let's stop pretending not to know. (That, too, will come back to bite us.) Now, like with ISIS, the president had better start showing he gets that his country is under another kind of invasion. Its leadership time.
It does America no good for him to be, again, politically correct. He did the initial right thing by sending in military help to Liberia. He should send more, do more. He should listen to his military infectious experts, unlike the way he did not listen to his generals in Iraq, and treat Ebola like an enemy.
With Ebola, the president has been given an opportunity right down his alley. He should work to form an African “coalition.” If any coalition is merited, this is it. It would work to keep regions of outbreak contained, requiring African nations to carry the load, though it could receive help from the rest of the world. The rest of the world would provide self-interested support in eradicating the disease.
Temporarily freeze all US bound flights from central western Africa. Once that freeze safely is lifted, quarantine all passengers for observation either before or upon arrival. Everywhere else in Africa require passenger interviews and medical screenings. No one gets on board without a medical pass.
For the political blowback later, he can apologize. Right now, keep this disease from crossing our borders more than it already has. And that includes yet another reason for locking down illegal entry on the Southern border as well.
This is the international opportunity that Obama seems to yearn to be known for. He should jump on it. I’ll gladly accept a deserved positive legacy in exchange for protecting Americans from the scourge of Ebola. Otherwise screwing this one up will become known as “Obama’s Obalacare” and, as usual, we all pay.
Polinames--The words of political derision--
Just add "obo" or "oba" as prefix
Nothing new for critics to associate the name of a politician to coin a particular scandal or failure. Consider "Hoovertown" named after President Hoover in hand drawn signs at Depression era shelter shacks. Neither fair nor accurate, they nevertheless expressed the sentiment of those living under cardboard roofs. Such names are always a favorite among the media because they're easy to capture and report.
For a poliname to come about, there needs to be some time period of actually experiencing the named, that is, the person in charge. In this case that would be President Obama.
During the past six years, he has inspired his own polinames, the most famous being "Obamacare" as well as "Obamaphones," created instantly by an enthused recipient.
But no doubt more polinames will emerge. One has already come my way: "Obolacare" named for either allowing planes (but only one to date) carrying infected Ebola persons into this counry. On the other hand, "Obolacare" might refer to Obama's sending military personnel into affected regions to humanely treat, research and otherwise contain the spread of what might otherwise become a worldwide plague. The poliname in that context sounds pretty good to me.
However, let me project some polinames that might be just around the corner. There's "obofence" for the unfortunate reluctance to build effective fences around the White House or at the southern border. Another might be "obocops" named after his justice department's premature insertion in the Ferguson event. Another might be "obodollar" to signify the weakening of the currency after massive printing to pay for the ever bloating federal budget. Even that could be christened "obobloat."
I'll spare you others. I'm sure you can come up with some of your own.
The commercial that defied slick--and helped convince Scotland to stick with England
Even though I personally would have like to have seen Scotland go indie, this commercial grabbed me. What does this commercial say to you? What does it say about snazzy celebrity pied pipers and slick production values? What does it say about youthful drum beating and convincing everybody to follow the music? Sound familiar? Its power is that it contains none of those elements nor a whiff of hostility toward the other side, but it does play to the older generations. Generational differences were the big divide in the issue. (fr Red State)
Obama more declaratory regarding force to UN delegates than to his home audience
Within a wide ranging and altruistic American promise to delegates of the United Nations, President Obama promised today to help the world in virtually every area of need. Deep within his speech President Obama finally seemed to indicate he was getting it about the global Islamic extremist threat. Obama declared the only thing the likes of such groups as ISIS and Boku Haram understand is force and those within their ranks should lay down their arms. This "or else" insinuation is the closest he has yet come to declaring the United States will continue to use military force against those elements, though it sounded suspiciously similar to his "red line" declaration and subsequent back down regarding Syria's use of chemical weapons. While condemning the policy of atrocities--torture, beheadings, enslavement among them--he pointedly rejected calling the international use of force against them a "war of civilization" and putting American 'boots on the ground' but did call for other nations to join the fight against Islamic extremists. See his entire speech here.
A "Double Benghazi" for Hillary
"A Double Benghazi, Sam, and easy on the rocks." That sounds like what Bogart could have said in Casablanca as he hung sullenly over his bar mulling what to do about those pesky Nazis. Segue: Hillary Clinton might be wondering about what to do about the alleged scrub that came to light yesterday of the Benghazi documents that makes her look like what she is--an ambitious and spurious politician who will do anything to be president. But sadly, Bill she's not. Another dog chewing on a bone in her yard is the "Boys of Benghazi," those surviving Americans who wrote the tell all book (below) about fighting it out alone in a bloody battle with extremists at the US Benghzi Consulate as she and Obama turned their backs on them. If the documents connect her to a smoking gun not to aid our besieged fellows, the end could come not so mercifully with lead torturer Trey Gowdy doing the honors.
A fantasy declaration by the president to ISIS
What if President Obama had walked down that long hall Wed. night, paused at the presidential podium, looked into the camera and said slowly, deliberatively: “This is a message from the American people to you, ISIL. You waved knives over the heads of Americans who you then murdered while invoking my name. Nobody does that to Americans nor to me. So you want a piece of me? Good, you’ll get your chance. You said you were coming to America and would raise your black flag over the White House. Let me save you some time. America is coming to you, you sons of bitches, you mother******* from hell, you genocidal cowardly butchers of children and prisoners. Let’s see how you stand up to real fighters when you are not decapitating five year old girls. Your acts of genocide, the first of the 21st century, will be stopped. There is no place for you to hide, except in surrender. We guarantee safe haven to your rank and file whenever and wherever they throw down their arms under a white flag. Those of you who have taken part in mass executions and brutalities, especially against women and children, will face swift and fair justice by an American military court. That I can promise you and to the families of your victims. Either way, I’m getting you dead or alive. Understand: we will strike you whenever and however we choose. Nothing is off the table. Let me repeat that. Nothing is off the table. If you can imagine it, we can do it. By the time you hear my voice, America will have begun to unleash hell upon you. It will go on for as long as it takes, forever if need be. You murdered Americans. That makes it our fight, but, just so you know, we will be asking others to join us to drain you financially and militarily as well. As we say here in America, game on, dogs.” The President of the United States then turns and walks back down the hall and through a door.
Three Benghazi survivors answer Hillary's question WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?
Hillary's infamous question exasperatingly shrieked at a Benghazi congressional investigating committee, "What difference does it make?" is now answered by the most qualified to do so: the surviving Americans Kris Paranto, John Tiegen and Mark Geist in Thirteen Hours at Benghazi, the untold story of what happened in Benghazi, a special report by Bret Baier aired last night on Fox News.
In riveting understated detail three contract security operators for the embassy describe how they repelled 3 waves of extremists for 13 hours. That time frame alone dismantles the Hillo-Bam contention that there was not enough time for military action to aid and probably end, according to these surviving defenders, the siege.
In one moment in the interview, Mark Geist reflected quietly, a simple flyover might have done it. All three agreed things might have turned out different. It is possible the lives of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods and Sean Smith might have been saved.
Other revelations: the three ultimately broke the orders to "stand down." Instead, they drove from the security annex under fire to the main consulate building where the Ambassador and four others were under active attack. The men declined to reveal the name of the official who gave the stand down order because of active durty status nor did they speculate its origin.
Amazingly, none of the men--witnesses who were physically present at ground attack level--were called to testify, as far as known, at the public part of the Benghazi hearings nor did Baier ask about it. A pre-arranged deal to do the interview? Regardless, their statements should ignite a whole new round of questions as to why the Obama administration did not respond upon direct request to come to the aid of the consulate defenders. All other questions already answered murkily as policy or mistakes, such as security procedures, the question of why the Americans were left hanging in harms way with no military aid forthcoming is now revived to threaten Hillary Clinton's presidential bid.
The program airs again today at 5pmET and 9pmET, and Sunday at 8pmET and 11pmET. Don't miss it.
Fired manager dishes on Joan Rivers
Here's an interesting and twisted celebrity tale of love and betrayal that has the ring of truth if you ever spent any time in Hollywood. Both Cher and Joan Rivers fired personal manager Billy Sammeth. BTW, Sammeth also detested Donald Trump, whom he claimed wanted to put OJ Simpson on Celebrity Apprentice. Read the full Daily Beast 2.13.12 interview. Still, Joan deserves a life credit award for 1) winning the ire of these bottom feeders as well as 2) getting barred from covering the award shows for being, well, less than adulatory to-who else-other Hollywood celebrities.
A morning memo: ISIS blitzkreigs, recruits, massacres, captures planes and pilots
The secret to ISIS military success? Looks like they studied Hitler, though I'd agree the historical parallels may be limited. Anyway, let's try them: first, they know Obama will not respond with overwhelming force. Likewise, the Western allies stood down as Germany retook the Rhineland, annexed Austria and consented to letting Germany have a part of Czechoslovakia. Further, ISIS uses blitzkrieg tactics, taking territory faster than any other enemy in the Middle East.
Finally, people are stunned at the open genocidal brutality toward Christians and Muslims alike. Hitler implemented total war of obliteration on Poland and Russia much in the same fashion. At least in the beginning, terror works: it immobilizes an enemy. That's why we saw Iraqui soldiers throw down their weapons and flee early on. It came out yesterday Obama knew about them a year ago but everybody was overwhelmed, along with his less than able advisors, at the rolling speed of the ISIS torture and death machine.
ISIS no doubt hears the president. Its about "justice" and finding the black garbed Brit who killed the Americans. Yesterday, he used the words "degrade and destroy" but later said ISIS would be "managed." There is no sense of urgency. Mealy mouthed spokespersons refuse to say if America is now "at war" with ISIS. ISIS mocks him. The longer Obama dithers in at least responding with concentrated air power (while he at least tries to develop a coalition), the more territory and fighters will accrue to ISIS, thus making it harder to destroy with every passing day.
Finally, recent ISIS video allegedly shows the butchering (warning graphic) of what was reported to be 700 al-Sha’aitat tribe members. ISIS is also reported to have stolen fighter airplanes and held pilots hostage for training. Without immediate massive military action, ISIS will continue to grow.
New Benghazi/ISIS bombshell for Hillary? Writer says Iran behind Benghazi attack and there was common knowledge ISIS would enter Iraq after Obama removed US forces
Kenneth Timmerman, author of Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi says he interviewed Iranian defectors for years. He argues the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was an Iranian state-sponsored terrorist act carried out by professional fighters, not a video as put forth by the Obama administration. No doubt the Clintons will poopoo it and rely on the media not picking up the story if past is prologue. They gave HillaBam a pass when little attention was paid to the lack of effort to save beseiged and doomed Americans at the consulate. Timmerman alleges Obama went "missing in action" during the attack because he was more interested in a fund raiser in Las Vegas. Timmerman says Clinton ordered a stand down that could have saved the remaining lives at the consulate complex because she did not want to stir the political waters a few weeks before the presidential election. Further, he alleges "everyone" knew about the coming incursion of ISIS into Iraq from Syria a year ago because "...Obama had evacuated our military forces..." More here.
Chelsea Clinton quits $600,000 journo gig
Lest you labor under the rhetorical delusion the Democrats are democratic, stop for a moment and consider: how many rookie journos willing to put in long hours and demanding editors would $600,000 support? That's what Chelsea was paid at none other than NBC for being, well, a Clinton. As any college graduate job seeker, especially in journalism, who will never see a pay check in their chosen field might imagine today: oh but for a family name, political blue blood or otherwise. After 3 years, with reciprical kissy kissies, Chelsea said she gave up her big ticket gig to "prepare for motherhood" and devote more time to the Clinton Foundation. How nauseatingly the right PR thing to say, but the whole thing is probably just to get her out of sight in prep for her mom's big campaign. Nevertheless, the stomach churning sweetness of it all should make every hard working underpaid journalist, rookie or not, want to, what else? Vomit. Surely NBC will make room for Sasha and Malia in the network's mission to bring only the best for American news consumers. CYA disclaimer: Chelsea, Sasha, Malia may very well turn out to be the best. Just like the Bush girls, huh? Perhaps the Clinton pre-campaign will send out a mass apology email to job hunters so they at least don't look like the modern equivalent of the Russian Royalty before the revolution?
Obama's beheading response: inadequate (8.20.14)
Now that ISIS effectively has declared war on the US by beheading an American, the response of the president today was, predictably, inadequate and underwhelming. ISIS gave the president yet another reason to wipe them out. The original reason to eradicate them is they are committing the first genocide campaign of the 21st century. (See Just Kill the Bastards, this page)
Holder's mission to Ferguson: a grandstand (8.20.14)
Attorney General Eric Holder might as well have parachuted into Ferguson with the US Marine Corp Band blaring Hail to the Chief. Not that its not appropriate for an AG to get involved in issues where civil rights really are threatened--Philadelphia, MS '63 comes to mind where FBI agents covered the town. But Ferguson now? Highly unusual. The administration will probably learn once again it should have let things lie and let a grand jury (if the officer is indicted) do its job. His intrusion looks more like political support of mob justice than judicial fairness.
Today, information about the shooting is still coming out, including as yet an unconfirmed report the officer involved had a face injury. Shades of Trayvon?
Obama's latest avoidance: stopping genocide
President Obama has avoidance issues. He avoided, along with then Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, coming to the aid of four Americans under active attack in Benghazi. He still avoids: massive NSA surveillance, privacy, govenment overreach, and IRS targeting of private citizens. These while launching into an immigration policy that would reduce salaries and massively add Democratic voters.
The worm turns again on the media
The seduction of what one sees when added to biases is hard to resist, especially for working journalists who are supposed to be just reporting the facts. So we have Don Lemon yesterday giving a spiritual pep talk on CNN to police shooting victim Michael Brown's family to be strong. Perhaps the cable network is banking on their viewers not knowing the difference between facts and opinion. Add in a raised eyebrow, an associative inflammatory phrase, subtle and not so subtle editing and viewers become putty brains. Then add in the president associating the Ferguson shooting with racism and national media can't run fast enough to create a matching narrative.
But now different accounts of the actual shooting event are emerging. Just as with the Trayvon Martin case, the media will have to eat their biased rush to judgement once again.
"Why did the Michael Brown shooting
happen here?" asks the St. Louis Post Dispatch
(8.19.14) With contents you've yet to hear on talk shows and "action news" reports, the St. Louis Post Dispatch Sunday ran a story that uncomfortably probed the Ferguson, MO neighborhood where Michael Brown recently was shot and killed by a police officer. According to the story, high crime and poverty mark this dense area in which arrest data show of 5,384 traffic stops, 686 involved were white and 4,632 were black, "even though whites had a much higher hit rate for contraband."
A man who lives in one of the sprawling subsidised complexes is quoted. "“The women work,” he said of apartment residents. “The guys stay home, smoke dope and walk around harassing people."
The story has implications for all cities where young black men feel rootless, jobless and hopeless. Undoubtedly many city officials everywhere, are wary of Ferguson style eruptions occuring in their urban areas plagued by the same problems. Read the story here.
All giggles in the Vines
(08.16.14) While a Middle East genocide campaign continued and Ferguson blazed, the bubbly splashed for the Dem’s elites at Martha’s Vineyard. The Washington Post’s Phillip Bump, referred to the latter perversely: “Yes, citizens of Ferguson, you may sleep easier tonight knowing that the much-trumpeted party for Vernon Jordan's wife Ann, the party at which Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were supposed to hug, ended amicably. The White House pool report added more detail.”