September 19, 2009

"General [Vang] Pao was shocked that the United States, which he reveres and has fought and bled for, would treat him this way."

"The general has told me to tell people that he is grateful and very happy the government has finally recognized his innocence."

"Some of them call me an oracle. Some call me a guru. But I’m just a girl like anyone else."

Why not create a business out of absolutely nothing but bullshit?


"Daniel Jones, founder of the religion inspired by the Star Wars films, says he was humiliated and victimised for his beliefs following the incident at a Tesco store in Bangor [Wales].... Jones, from Holyhead, who is known by the Jedi name Morda Hehol, said his religion dictated that he should wear the hood in public places and is considering legal action against the chain.... Tesco said: 'He hasn't been banned. Jedis are very welcome to shop in our stores although we would ask them to remove their hoods. Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Luke Skywalker all appeared hoodless without ever going over to the Dark Side and we are only aware of the Emperor as one who never removed his hood.'"

The store is going to debate religious doctrine with the founder of a religion? I guess that seems okay because it feels like a pop culture trivia contest. But either it's a religion or it's not, and if it is, it's not up to Tesco to say what the religion requires.

"Republicans have been openly feeding off of race hatred since the days of Dick Nixon. Today’s conservative activists are carrying that banner proudly."

Heavily belabored racial theory, by Bob Herbert in the NYT.

Elsewhere in the same newspaper, David Brooks and Gail Collins wonder "Why does it seem like this country is in a state of decline?"

I wonder: Why does it seem like the NYT is in a state of decline?

In the Garden.





"Yes, it was fun this week to watch the teabaggers complain how the media underestimated the size of their march..."

"... 'How can you say there were only 60,000 of us? We filled the entire mall!' Yes, because you're fat. One whale fills the tank at Sea World, that doesn't make it a crowd."

Bill Maher is trying to be funny as he propounds a "New Rule" and says: "You can't complain about health care reform if you're not willing to reform your own health." Note that he's not saying that liberals aren't fat too — and I think they are — just: You can't complain about health care reform if you're not willing to reform your own health.

"A President was killed the last time right-wing hatred ran wild like this."


Crazy... and desperate.

And, of course, it wasn't a right-winger who shot JFK.

Why did Lee Harvey Oswald kill Kennedy? Here are the Warren Commission's meanderings on the motive for assassination:
It is apparent, however, that Oswald was moved by an overriding hostility to his environment. He does not appear to have been able to establish meaningful relationships with other people.
"Meaningful relationships" — now there is a 60s catchphrase. I'm glad — but I wonder why — no one uses it anymore.
He was perpetually discontented with the world around him. Long before the assassination he expressed his hatred for American society and acted in protest against it. Oswald's search for what he conceived to be the perfect society was doomed from the start. He sought for himself a place in history — a role as the "great man" who would be recognized as having been in advance of his times. His commitment to Marxism and communism appears to have been another important factor in his motivation. He also had demonstrated a capacity to act decisively and without regard to the consequences when such action would further his aims of the moment. Out of these and the many other factors which may have molded the character of Lee Harvey Oswald there emerged a man capable of assassinating President Kennedy.
So it was lefty idealism and disconnection from the practical limits of the real world?


"Who lives longer? The man who takes heroin for two years and dies, or a man who lives on roast beef, water and potatoes 'till 95?"

"One passes his 24 months in eternity. All the years of the beefeater are lived only in time."

An Aldous Huxley quote. Not the one I went looking for, just one that distracted me.

The one I was looking for was:
"It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one's life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than 'Try to be a little kinder.'"
Those were not his last words. His last words were instructions for injecting him with LSD. An eternal life strategy?

ADDED: LSD, it's good for dying. It's the blue pill, that works better for you, grandfather:

"On Sunday, President Barack Obama will execute what might be called a Modified Full Ginsburg..."

"... appearing on five Sunday morning talk shows to make a pitch for health reform. It’s a move few politicians have attempted. Even fewer have been able to stick the landing. The Full Ginsburg, of course, was named for Monica Lewinsky’s lawyer William Ginsburg, who first did the five-fecta of Sunday talk on Feb. 1, 1999."

Of course. Wow. Some people need to get out of Washington more. Does Politico writer Eamon Javers really think that that we all remember the name William Ginsburg and his overexposure on Sunday shows 10 years ago? Or is this just another inane use of the verbal filler "of course"?

When I saw "Full Ginsburg," I thought of Ruth Bader Ginsburg...

... and "The Full Monty"....

... and I wasn't sure what to think.

A naked, yet prim President?

Anyway, yeah, too much Obama on TV. At some point, everyone's going to figure out that he actually is pretty tedious and that he's pushing some routine old political ideas.

That's good. We should get used to him. Very very used to him and tired of him.

And when that happens, it won't be racism. It will be racial progress. He's only a man. A politician. Calm down everyone. Think about whether we really want what he's selling. I bet we don't.

"So if, as Michelle Obama says, women are 'crushed' under our health care system, then how come they live longer than men?"

Asks Glenn Reynolds, and indeed,  that was the first thing I thought when I heard what Michelle Obama had to say.

Or actually the first thing I thought — because I was hearing it, not just reading it — was oh, no, she's one-upping Nancy Pelosi doing that feminine "crying" voice. Oh, how my heart has hardened to Crying Voice! I don't know how I'm going to keep going. It's not easy.

But then after I thought that and thought the Instapundit thought (that men have a shorter life span), I saw the First Lady's point. Women may depend more heavily on the health care system, especially early in life when they need to manage their fertility. Childbirth and its alternatives — other than celibacy — require medical help. And babies and young children need their doctor visits, and a lot more women than men take responsibility for getting them.

Men have shorter life spans, but not because they are short-changed on medical treatments:
[N]ew research into why the gap in male and female life spans exists suggests that a natural male propensity toward risky and daredevil behavior may be one reason men don't live as long as women....

More men than women die in car accidents, other types of accidents, homicides, and suicides, the researchers note. They add that in the U.S., the gender gap in death rates peaks in young adulthood and is mainly due to behavior.
And let's not forget that some of that male violence is directed at women — another reason women seek medical care.

Moreover, without advanced health care, the male life span would be greater:
“Up until very recently in human terms, life expectancy for men was greater than for women,” [said] Carol J. Hogue .... a professor of maternal and child health and of epidemiology at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health....

Why did women overtake men in life expectancy?...

“The major killer in early life for women was maternal mortality, and that has been tamed considerably, whereas the major killer for men is violence and accidents, and that has not gone down as dramatically as childbirth deaths have gone down,” Hogue says.

Women shouldn’t take their longer life expectancy for granted. The 2004 gender gap in U.S. life expectancy was the smallest it’s been since 1946. If women continue to adopt unhealthy habits like smoking, the gap may narrow further....
So, I'm going to say that Michelle Obama is right, that health care has a special women's angle, and it made sense to mobilize the rarely-seen female figurehead to tell us so.

If she could just squeeze that crying tone out of her voice. Stop hamming it up. Talk straight using real facts and tie it to actual provisions in a legislative text so we can check your work.


As for that belt. I know everyone is talking about the belt MO wore. Some people are perceiving a 3-D quality that make it look like it holds bullets. But it is flat, and it just happens not to be flattering.

Somebody has apparently decided that MO should accentuate what might be the narrowest part of her body, the very high waist. This theory has been taken to an extreme with wide leather belts. But the circumference isn't that small. And the "waist" at that level includes the rib cage. It's right over the diaphragm. You can't cinch that belt tight without restricting breathing. I'm thinking the belt looks bad, worse than her stylists realize, because she's giving herself breathing room.

I'm guessing Michelle is feeling chafed and constricted by a lot of things, and that belt isn't just literally suffocating her, but it's reminding her of all the many ways she's being reined in and tied down. It makes you want to let that belt out another notch. Or take if off all together. Use it as a whip. But no, she really can't. She's got to be First Ladylike. So here she is murmuring feelingly about women's health.

And there she is acting out a show of vegetable shopping:
Though the produce stand was only a block or so from the White House, the first lady hopped into her armored limousine and pulled into the market amid the wail of sirens.

The first lady, in gray slacks and blue sweater, marveled that the people were "so pumped up" despite the rain. "I have never seen so many people so excited about fruits and vegetables!" she said.
Did she say that with admiration? I'm sure she tried. I imagine her thinking: They made me do this. They've consigned me to the vegetable department. Why the fuck are you people here?
The first lady picked up a straw basket and... she loaded up with organic Asian pears, cherry tomatoes, multicolored potatoes, free-range eggs and... two bunches of Tuscan kale. She left the produce with an aide, who paid the cashier as Obama made her way back to the limousine.
There now. Are you satisfied? I am not carrying this thing, and I am not doing any money transactions. Now get me the hell out of here. Where's my limousine?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not knocking her. I sympathize. All this feminism for all these years and the First Lady — the First Lady with a Princeton and a Harvard Law degree and who had been the prime moneymaker in her family — gets squashed in the vegetable bin and squelched by an ugly belt to the solar plexus.

September 18, 2009

R. Crumb's "Book of Genesis Illustrated."

Chapter 19 — Sodom and Gomorrah — in readable enlargements.

You can pre-order it here.

It's Friday night, in the Once-in-a-Lifetime Bistro...

... and, beyond question, life is worth living.

(Video clip by our exquisitely brilliant commenter, rhhardin.)

"Do you hear what I hear?"

Noooooooo! No, Bob, no!

(It's a joke, right? Because if it's not, I'm worried Bob won't get his crown.)

"A new star has most definitely been born. He stands about 5 feet tall and when he slips that buff on top of his head, he transforms into a pirate, missing tooth and all."

"He was discovered on Survivor, the greatest reality show of all time, his name is Russell Hantz and in addition to being absolutely captivating on television, he writes and delivers some of the greatest material ever heard in 20 seasons of Survivor.... I must admit, I am instantly intrigued by a villain who spouts as his philosophy: 'The most important thing is honesty.' Then proceeds to make alliances with everyone on his tribe. 'I have an alliance with the dumb short-haired blonde. I have another alliance with the even dumber long-haired blonde. It’s my dumb-ass girl alliance.'"

"Even though I didn't win the crown that night. I know that the Lord has so much of a bigger crown in heaven for me."

We get crowns in Heaven? And will everyone be swanning around in bathing suits and high heels? It's at least as likely as white robes, harps, and flying.

Instead of shouting "You lie," try: "I’m incredulous at that utterly preposterous spewing of fiction."

That is: talk like Tim Gunn.

(Commenting, last night on "Project Runway," about Johnny's story about the spluttering iron ruining the newspaper dress.)

Yes, the task last night was to make something out of newspapers — the L.A. Times to be specific. And you thought the L.A. Times had become useless.

Nancy chokes up.

I guess you've seen this ridiculous mash of political will and phony emotion.
"But, again, our country is great because people can say what they think and they believe, but I also think that they have to take responsibility for any incitement that they may cause."
Okay, then, I think that you are desperate and depleted of arguments on the merits of the atrocious, amorphous health care reform you thought the American people would swallow whole simply because you won an election and we tend to regard Barack Obama as a well-meaning person. And now you are babbling and whining about the way people are talking.

And I hope you will take responsibility for this embarrassing display. You haven't done your job and now you are crying in public — you, the first female Speaker of the House. Crying. Pretending to be afraid of violence when the talk that troubles you so hasn't even included threats of violence.

UPDATE: Michelle Obama tries to one-up Nancy.

"[Bill Clinton] possessed a winning, near irresistible charm. Obama's persona is more cool, distant, imperial."

"The charming scoundrel can get away with endless deception; the righteous redeemer cannot."

Incredibly, this is an ad produced by the country of Denmark to promote tourism.

The ad has since been pulled:
Sociologist Karen Sjoerup said the ad suggested "you can lure fast, blonde Danish women home without a condom."

Economy Minister Lene Espersen said the video presented "a not very well-thought-out picture of the country." Espersen also holds the government's tourism portfolio.

"I regret that the film has offended so many people," VisitDenmark manager Dorte Kiilerich said, explaining that intent had been to tell "a nice and sweet story about a grown-up woman who lives in a free society and accepts the consequences of her actions."
Or was it very well thought out — and pulling the ad was part of the promotion scheme? It got me to embed it. The controversy itself is part of the virus.

September 17, 2009

Limbaugh may be deaf but...

... the lefties who try to read him are humor deaf. (Or they pretend to be for propaganda purposes.)

For reference, here's the full text of the monologue excerpted at that link.

"The river's flow ranges from murky white to a bright shade of orange and the waters are so viscous that they barely ripple in the breeze."

In China.

At the Sidewalk Café...


... you can stroll in and... dish.

"College student hears an intruder and — samurai sword in hand — goes to investigate."

"University of Maryland professor David Gray, who specializes in criminal law, said prosecutors must weigh whether [20-year-old John] Pontolillo felt his life was in danger or whether he became the aggressor. In Maryland, Gray said, an individual is not expected to retreat from suspected danger in his own home. But it is unclear how the law applies to an enclosed backyard. If the student felt he was in danger of severe bodily harm, then he was within his right to protect himself, Gray said: 'It doesn't matter if he used a gun, a sword or a frying pan.'"

"The first thing I want to do is have a car that I can fit in, but more than that I want to get married."

"Up until now it's been really difficult to find a girlfriend. I've never had one, they were usually scared of me. I'm hoping now I will find one. Hopefully now that I'm famous I'll be able to meet lots of girls. I'd like to get married."

"It is important to note that this is not about urban crime, university crime, domestic crime, but an issue of workplace violence, which is becoming a growing concern around the country."

The murder of Annie Le.
Mr. Clark and Ms. Le worked in the same building — Mr. Clark as a technician and Ms. Le watching experiments with mice....
"It is important to note that this is not about urban crime, university crime, domestic crime, but an issue of workplace violence, which is becoming a growing concern around the country."

"Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin joined the anti-czar chorus Wednesday..."

"... asking Obama to detail the roles and responsibilities of all of the czars in his administration and to explain why he believes the use of czars is consistent with the Senate’s constitutional power to offer advice and consent on top-level executive branch officials."

More ACORN video.

Here's the new San Diego video.

And, from a few days ago, the San Bernandino.

Amazing stuff here, and I assume you've been following it. I just wanted to put up a post so you could talk about it.

"The Peace Pole will consist of an organic-looking wooden pole with the message, 'May Peace Prevail on Earth' in four different languages on four sides,..."

They're sprucing up Lisa Link Peace Park.
Tom Link, son of Lisa Link, served as a planning committee member on the project for 2.5 years.
“My mother would’ve been comfortable with the type of people that use the park, but a lot of people can’t deal with homelessness and poverty,” Link said.
Do you think a multilingual pole will turn things around?

How about an ATM machine? That's also part of the plan:
[T]he panhandling ordinance of the city states that panhandling is not permitted within 50 feet of an ATM machine, a common activity performed by the park dwellers.
“There is a perception that this plan is solely is to discourage panhandling, and I don’t support that motivation in any way,” said an opposing commission member. “Now we’re looking at an ATM that I was not thrilled with and a social engineering aspect that could be very controversial.”
And very welcome!

IN THE COMMENTS: Chip Ahoy asked:
What four languages?

Hieroglyphic, demotic, Greek, and Algic?

Sofa King said:
What four languages?

Latin, Elvish, Klingon, and C++

September 16, 2009

Mary died!

So sad!

Now the time has come to leave you...

In the Late Afternoon Café...


... it's a somber pace, with a discreet flow of conversation. Dip in.

Jimmy Carter says "There is an inherent feeling among many in this country that an African-American should not be president"...

... and asserts that Joe Wilson's "You lie!" was "based on racism." 

Lots of people who voted for Obama believed that his election would reflect the extent to which Americans had moved beyond racism. That was part of why some people voted for him. Little did we realize that it would turn every criticism of the President into an occasion to make an accusation of racism. Racism is revolting, but so is the notion that we aren't allowed to criticize a President!

Jimmy Carter's supremely sleazy accusation requires a solid, sound rebuke. It is an effort to place the President of the United States beyond criticism.

Imagine if, before last year's election, someone had argued: If a black man becomes President, anyone who dares to criticize him will be called a racist.

1. I would have viewed that argument itself as racist. If that is really true, I would have said, then it means that we have to vote against the candidate because he is black, since it is not acceptable to have a President who can't be criticized.

2. I would also have said: It is racist to say that it's racist to criticize a black President, because you are being patronizing and you are saying that a black person needs to be coddled and protected in some special way that doesn't apply to white people.

Jimmy Carter is doing something that, before the election, he would not have revealed that he planned to do. It is a low and despicable political move that he should be ashamed of.

And since demanding apologies is all the rage, let me say that I would like the wizened old husk of a former President to beg our forgiveness.

Wait 'til all the young people who championed Obama find out that they are the ones who'll be funding health care reform.

WaPo explains:
Drafting young adults into any health-care reform package is crucial to paying for it. As low-cost additions to insurance pools, young adults would help dilute the expense of covering older, sicker people. Depending on how Congress requires insurers to price their policies, this group could even wind up paying disproportionately hefty premiums — effectively subsidizing coverage for their parents...
An early draft of the proposal set the penalty at $750 or $950 per year for single people, depending on income. But according to various insurance experts, even the least expensive plan under the bill could cost more than $100 per month, making it cheaper for people to pay the fine than to buy insurance.
Yes, kids, why don't each of you throw about $800 into the pot and get nothing out of it, not even any insurance. Do your part. Remember what Obama said about being responsible:
Now, even if we provide these affordable options, there may be those -- especially the young and the healthy -- who still want to take the risk and go without coverage... The problem is, such irresponsible behavior costs all the rest of us money. 
Yeah, you little jerks. Step up and contribute.

2 products that look a lot better in the ads than they've worked for me.

1. MobileMe. This thing supposedly syncs the calendars in all your computers and your iPhone. I use an iPhone, 2 different desktops, and at least one laptop and thought it would be cool to be able to put things onto my calendar using whatever device is in front of me at the moment. Now that I've done that, I've got to check for appointments on multiple calendars, because the syncing has not been reliable, and I have no idea how well it's working at any given time. It's not a convenience, but a big distraction. Maybe Apple can fix it, but lord, how it has wasted my time and infused my life with an uneasy sense that I don't know if I'm missing appointments.

2. Tempur-Pedic. You think this mattress will deliver a marvelous sleep experience?

"Conservatives believe that they have hit upon a winning formula for such attacks: mobilizing people to dig up dirt, trumpeting it on talk radio and television, prompting Congress to weigh in and demanding action from the Obama administration."

The NYT puts the ACORN story in context:
Conservative advocates and broadcasters were gleeful about the success of the tactics in exposing Acorn workers... 

The Acorn controversy came a week after the resignation of Van Jones, a White House environmental official attacked by conservatives, led by Glenn Beck of Fox News Channel, for once signing a petition suggesting that Bush administration officials might have deliberately permitted the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. 
There was more than that to the Van Jones story!
Even before Mr. Jones stepped down, Mr. Beck had sent a message to supporters on Twitter urging them to “find everything you can” on three other Obama appointees.

Conservatives believe that they have hit upon a winning formula for such attacks: mobilizing people to dig up dirt, trumpeting it on talk radio and television, prompting Congress to weigh in and demanding action from the Obama administration.
Conservatives came up with that? It's almost as if they could come up with a list of tricky rules for advancing their cause, something like pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

September 15, 2009

What Joe Wilson's wife said: "Joe, who's the nut who hollered out, 'You lie'?"

Hilarious out of context, but now watch how effectively it is used in this political ad for Joe Wilson:

Old spin, new spin on health care reform.

Old Spin: Nobody’s Talking About Killing Granny!

New Spin: What’s Wrong With Killing Granny?

Plus, Old Spin: Nobody’s Talking about Health Care for Illegals!

New Spin: What’s Wrong With Health Care for Illegals?

Kanye West gets rewarded for his oafishness with an appearance on the new Jay Leno show.

Let's watch his effort at winning back our affection:

I "live-blog" the clip:

0:35: The numbskull audience cheer like hell as if he hadn't just done something offensive... either because hey, he's a celebrity and they came to see celebrities and bask in their shining light or because some damned cheer like hell sign lit up.

0:53: Leno butters him up disgustingly, telling him how brave he is to come on the show in his time of tribulation.

1:15: West feels so bad because "I only wanted to help people, you know. My entire life, I've only wanted to give and do something that I felt was right."

1:47: Although West just said "I immediately knew in this situation that it was wrong," Leno gets all jazzed up by what he thinks is the probing question "So when did you know it was wrong?" I assume the conversation was planned, and West put one of his lines too early in the dialogue, and Robot Leno didn't even notice. Lameness.

2:01: West now says — with dull, flat affect — that he knew it was wrong when he gave the microphone back to "her" — say her name, idiot — and she didn't keep going. The audience laughs at this "joke," and Leno awkwardly progresses to the next (planned) question, which is, paraphrasing: What would your dead mother say?

2:42: West tries to show his hurt, giving us the cue remember that his mother died and to realize that it is terribly sad when one's mother dies. He asserts the theory that his hurt led to another person's hurt, as if his macho seizing of the mike from a teenager and outraged touting of his preferred pop star (Beyoncé) came from a place of grief over his mother's death. Feel sorry for meeeeeeee. Bleh.

3:05: West vows to improve so he can "make it through this life." Okay, he has groveled enough. Leno calls an end to what I assume is a planned, mapped-out PR routine. And the audience cheers inanely, on cue, once again.

Thanks to all my readers who gave immediate and overnight pushback to a vile new commenter...

... who I assume was pro-Obama and writing under a pseudonym here with the object of making this blog — and more generally, criticism of Obama — look racist. This coward put up his comment on my 9:50 p.m. post — "Should the President be insulting pop stars?" — at 11:52, presumably to maximize the time that it would be up on the blog and that it would sit here as long as possible before I would take it down, which I did as soon as I got on the blog this morning at around 9 (Central Time).

The commenter, Metlife, had never posted here before and had a profile showing that he'd joined Blogger just this month. He wrote — and the asterisks are mine: "can someone murder that f***ing n***** fast? It will be a good day when Hussein is murdered by one of our southern patriots."

The pushback was immediate. Joe wrote at 11:59: "Could the previous comment be stricken and the poster banned?" Just Lurking said: "Is that you moby?" (suggesting, as I am doing now, that Metlife was against not Obama but this blog community). John Stodder said: "Althouse is probably asleep, but if you have her phone number, wake her up and tell her to delete it." (No one did that.)

Seven Machos said: "Okay, first, get Metlife out of here. At least Cedarford is subtle and occasionally witty.... All racist ass clowns and pretend-racist-agent-provocateur ass clowns should take note of Cedarford's work. This is how it's done." (Cedarford is a longtime commenter who writes well but often expresses extreme ideas of the sort that I do not censor).

Peter Hoh said:
I'm guessing that nolife is a plant. A true Southerner always capitalizes the S.

And wouldn't a full-blown racist southerner consider that "southern" is an unnecessary modifier for "patriot"?

Plus he knew how to spell "Hussein."

Good ole boys spell it "Hoo-sane."
Former law student said...
Speak of laying a turd and someone does. Probably an agent provocateur, because he created a fresh identity for the occasion.
Blake said:
Ugh. The Mobys are getting disgusting in here.
Urban Dictionary defines "Moby":
An insidious and specialized type of left-wing troll who visits blogs and impersonates a conservative for the purpose of either spreading false rumors intended to sow dissension among conservative voters, or who purposely posts inflammatory and offensive comments for the purpose of discrediting the blog in question.

The term is derived from the name of the liberal musician Moby, who famously suggested in February of 2004 that left-wing activists engage in this type of subterfuge: “For example, you can go on all the pro-life chat rooms and say you’re an outraged right-wing voter and that you know that George Bush drove an ex-girlfriend to an abortion clinic and paid for her to get an abortion. Then you go to an anti-immigration Web site chat room and ask, ‘What’s all this about George Bush proposing amnesty for illegal aliens?’”

The strategy has been frequently attempted on conservative blogs, but has not been nearly as effective as Moby envisioned, since false rumors are easily debunked by fact-checking minions, and cartoonishly extreme commenters often get immediately identified as mobys and banned.
Lucid said:
Actually, Metlife, with his registration [email] and ip address, should be reported to the secret service. Threatening the president is a serious crime, as it should be.

I also wonder if Metlife is actually a lefty troll pulling an Alinsky.
Hey, Alinsky isn't defined yet over at Urban Dictionary. But I know what you mean, and I certainly think he is.

Jack said:
God, what a festering stinkhole of a web site this is. I don't know how you wingnut loons can stand stewing in your own shit like this, presided over by the shit mistress, Ann Althouse.

Of course she's too dishonest to tell you dumb motherfuckers that Obama's remark was made off the record, thus rendering her posed questions ("should the president be insulting pop stars?" and "what business is it of the presidents?") inoperative. And of course you stupid shit-for-brains don't follow the link to find out for yourselves. Maybe the ever-dull Althouse didn't bother reading enough of the story to find out that the comment was off the record, or maybe she's just dishonest.

You're stewing in a cesspool. And you like it!
And that's an example of the sort of comment I don't delete. I'm that into free speech. But Metlife deserves deletion and, as Lucid said, investigation by the Secret Service. I like to think the Secret Service is good enough that they are already on it.

September 14, 2009

Should the President be insulting pop stars?

Obama called Kanye West a "jackass." Which he is, but what business is it of the President's?

"It's amazing, Molly. The love inside, you take it with you. See ya."

A line from "Ghost."

Patrick Swayze, dead at age 57.

Don't take a shower. Take a bath.

"Levels of Mycobacterium avium were 100 times higher [in shower heads] than those found in typical household water supplies. M. avium forms a biofilm that clings to the inside of the shower head... [This] might explain why there have been more cases of these lung infections in recent years, linked with people tending to take more showers and fewer baths. Water spurting from shower heads can distribute bacteria-filled droplets that suspend themselves in the air and can easily be inhaled into the deepest parts of the lungs..."

"Those are people who died, died. They were all my friends, and they died."

"Poet and punk rocker Jim Carroll has died at age 60... after suffering a heart attack.... The track 'People Who Died' was one of the most-requested songs on FM radio [in 1980]...  'He was a sweet, sweet man, and I'm going to really miss him'...."

Fear Of Strangers - "Shopping For A Dog" (1982).

Something I heard a lot in the 80s — just found in YouTube:

Editor's Note from The Moderate Voice: "The title and URL for this post has been changed from the original."

Ha ha ha. I've got to go after the so-called Moderate Voice again. (Click on the tag below for past dustups.)

Among my many Google alerts — used to turn up bloggable things — is the phrase "freedom from religion." Sorting through my email this morning, I find a hit from The Moderate Voice, with the squib:
In my mind, this says that “freedom from religion” is a more important freedom than “freedom of religion”. Therefore I doubt that the Supreme Court will ...
I click over and see "New title: 'Anti-Abortion Group Gets Organized in Florida'":
"The title and URL for this post has been changed from the original."
Oh, what was the old title? Aha! It will be in that gmail. I click back. Ah ha ha ha ha: "The American Taliban Is Coming to Florida."

Moderate Voice. Calling pro-lifers "American Taliban."

It's a crap post too, by one Kathy Kattenburg. It's 1 sentence of original writing followed by a dump of an entire 349-word Orlando Sentinel news article. From the Sentinel:
A nationwide anti-abortion group launched an effort in Florida Friday to outlaw all abortions and certain types of birth control, including oral contraceptives and the morning-after pill.

The religion-infused movement, called “Personhood Florida,” would define conception in Florida’s constitution at the “biological beginnings,” supporters said — when the sperm meets the egg....
Religion-infused... So now, when activists have a religious motivation for the political change they want — even though they aren't trying to force anyone to follow a religion but are only seeing secular laws that accord with their religious beliefs — they are "religion-infused," and a blog that self-approvingly deems itself the Moderate Voice will call them "Taliban"?

You realize that by that standard — if it were applied neutrally — Martin Luther King, Jr. would have to be called "Taliban." But, of course, I don't think TMV would apply the standard neutrally. Which is an additional reason why "moderate" is a deceptive label.


By the way, who is Kathy Kattenburg? And why is she a Moderate Voice author? I don't know. And I looked on the TMV About the Authors page. She's not there. Doesn't someone have to have a moderate voice or a commitment to couching her opinions in a moderate voice to be given access to posting on The Moderate Voice? Oh, it all comes back to me now. There's some concept over there that a mix of extreme voices on difference sides averages out to moderate. If that's "moderate," then the most viciously fought debates are moderate. Sigh.

Obama is powerless.

Osama propaganda.

We're high but easing...

... sounds like we're on drugs.

Madonna: I am Michael Jackson.

Jackson died, and — don't you see? — it's all about Madonna. Her 5-minute speech at the MTV Video Music Awards:
Michael Jackson was born in August 1958. So was I. Michael Jackson grew up in the suburbs of the Midwest. So did I. Michael Jackson had eight brothers and sisters. So do I. When Michael Jackson was six, he became a superstar, and was perhaps the world’s most beloved child. When I was six, my mother died. I think he got the shorter end of the stick. I never had a mother, but he never had a childhood. And when you never get to have something, you become obsessed by it.

I spent my childhood searching for my mother figures. Sometimes I was successful, but how do you recreate your childhood when you are under the magnifying glass of the world?
She tells about the time she tried to befriend the ultra-strange superstar:
I asked him out to dinner, I said “My treat, I’ll drive — just you and me.”
I'll drive. Ha ha.
He agreed and showed up to my house without any bodyguards. We drove to the restaurant in my car. It was dark out, but he was still wearing sunglasses.
Just one more reason why you need to do the driving.
I said, “Michael, I feel like I’m talking to a limousine. Do you think you can take off your glasses so I can see your eyes?”
I feel like I’m talking to a limousine. Ha ha. Brilliant. I wonder if Madonna really does come up with  lines like that in real time or some great comic writer punched up the dialogue. Dead men correct no quotes.
Then he tossed the glasses out the window, looked at me with a wink and a smile and said, “Can you see me now? Is that better?”

[I]n that moment, I could see both his vulnerability and his charm. The rest of the dinner, I was hellbent on getting him to eat French fries, drink wine, have dessert and say bad words. Things he never seemed to allow himself to do. 
What a goody-two-shoes that guy was! Imagine getting lessons in how to be bad from Madonna.
Later we went back to my house to watch a movie and sat on the couch like two kids, and somewhere in the middle of the movie, his hand snuck over and held mine.

It felt like he was looking for more of a friend than a romance, and I was happy to oblige. In that moment, he didn’t feel like a superstar. He felt like a human being.
Who knew the peak moment of Michael Jackson's life was the moment Madonna made him feel — at last! — human?
We went out a few more times together, and then for one reason or another we fell out of touch. 
Dead men tell no anecdotes.

(Here's video of Madonna's speech.)

The Joe Wilson spirit infuses Kanye West.

So Joe Wilson suddenly felt it was okay to yell out "You lie" while Obama was taking his glamorous turn upon the stage of a joint session of Congress. There was something that needed to be said and it couldn't wait until after. It just had to be said during and traditional etiquette be damned.

And then last night at the MTV Video Music Awards, the lovely, wispy Taylor Swift had just glided up to the stage in a bejeweled gown to accept the award in the Best Female Video category for "You Belong With Me"...
“Thank you so much!” Swift began. “I always dreamed about what it would be like to maybe win one of these some day, but I never actually thought it would have happened. I sing country music so thank you so much for giving me a chance to win a VMA award.”

Before she could continue, West broke in. “Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’ll let you finish, but Beyoncé has one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!” Kanye shouted to a mortified Swift and the speechless audience. And as quickly as he ran onstage — MTV cut away to show Pink applauding Taylor, and when they flashed back to Swift, West already had the mic in his hand — he was off, leaving a shocked Swift in his wake....

[A]fter Kanye handed the microphone back to Swift, her time was up, and MTV cut to a video featuring Tracy Morgan and Eminem....
Later in the show, Beyoncé did win for her video, in a better category, Video of the Year, so it's not as though MTV didn't agree with West's opinion. It just didn't agree with principles of logic — if Beyoncé's video was the Video of the Year, how was not the best in the lesser category of Best Female Video? — and it failed to realize that everyone watching wouldn't understand how the divvying up of awards worked in MTV world and keep their pants on until all the Moonmen were doled out.

Kanye West, like Joe Wilson, had to say what he knew to be true right when he saw the bright, shining truth of it. Lies must be denounced as lies at the moment of their utterance. Joe Wilson could not wait until Obama had gone through to the end of his extended remarks, and Kanye West could not allow Taylor Swift to speak uninterrupted for — what was the allotted time? — one minute.

Afterwards, like Joe Wilson, Kanye West apologized:
"I’m sooooo sorry to taylor swift and her fans and her mom. I spoke to her mother right after and she said the same thing my mother would’ve said. She is very talented! I like the lyrics about being a cheerleader and she’s in the bleachers! …………………… i’m in the wrong for going on stage and taking away from her moment!……………. beyonce’s video was the best of this decade! I’m sorry to my fans if I let you guys down! I’m sorry to my friends at mtv. I will apologize to taylor 2mrw. welcome to the real world! everybody wanna booooo me but i’m a fan of real pop culture! No disrespect but we watchin’ the show at the crib right now cause … well you know! i’m still happy for taylor! Boooyaaawwww! you are very very talented! I gave my awards to outkast when they deserved it over me… that’s what it is!! i’m not crazy yall, i’m just real. Sorry for that! I really feel bad for taylor and i’m sincerely sorry! Much respect!!”
Oh, yeah. Much respect. In post-You Lie times, your respect will come in the form of apologies the next day.

And did you notice "I’m sorry to my fans if I let you guys down!"? If... a nonapology. Because his fans might have loved it. Lots of folks loved Joe Wilson's "You lie" too.

Here's a 2010 campaign slogan suggstion: Joe Wilson: He's not crazy. He's just real.

AND: Here's Kanye's moment.

September 13, 2009

Late day encouragement...


... for the end-of-the-pack competitors in the Ironman Wisconsin Triathlon.

"Yes, the picture is real, nutroots," says Michelle Malkin.


But when I looked at that photograph, I got a flashback to that day about a year ago, when that other Michelle, Michelle Obama, bestowed a visit on my little town.

If anybody at that tea party yesterday was carrying a sign that had any whiff of racism or insanity...

... you can be sure some anti-tea-partyist took a photograph of it and posted it on a blog.

That's the trouble with demonstrations. You're going to be judged by the company you keep. And nothing's going to make it fair and proportionate.

I've tried to be careful with things like that when I've photographed protests in Madison, Wisconsin. I remember very well the time I made a video of an anti-war march:
Here's the peace march that took place today at about 1 p.m. on State Street in Madison, Wisconsin. This clip shows the whole length of the parade. Note the man at the front, just behind the banners, who is holding a sign that says "Vive Saddam." (It's the third sign from the right.) The entire clip -- which I shot while walking in the opposite direction -- is about 3 minutes long. It includes a large dove puppet and a large papier maché skull.
I describe the worst guy, but I also show the entire parade and mention some noninflammatory details.


I walked down State Street today. The Ironman Triathlon was in town. Here's a picture of the winner just before he crossed the finish line:

Photo by Meade.

The winner was Raynard Tissink. He's on Twitter:
Just won IM Wisconsin. A very tough day with stomach issues, but managed to push through and take the win.
Nice going, Raynard Tissink.

Anyway, we weren't protesting. We were stretching out hands to high-five the Ironman, then skittering over to a café to wash our hands, drink iced coffee, and blog.

We saw no protests on State Street today. The closest things I saw to a protest was an old man wearing a light green T-shirt that had on it the image of Che Guevara wearing a light green T-shirt that had on it the image of Che Guevara wearing a light green T-shirt (and implicitly Che images ad infinitum).

I wish I'd stopped him, taken his picture, and — in the style of The Sartorialist — asked him some questions about what he meant by that.

"If you’re determined to be truly conservative, don’t spend more than about 35 percent of your pretax income on mortgage, property tax and home insurance payments."

Wow. I've only bought 1 house in my life, and that was 25 years ago. All I can say is, wow, I had no idea how profligate you could be and still deserve to be called "truly conservative."

"But, fair or not, what I heard was an unspoken word in the air: You lie, boy!"

Maureen Dowd lets us listen in to what's ringing around in her head.

Why is she not ashamed to let us hear that? Because she somehow really thinks that what comes from her own brain does not come from her own brain. That's not just unfair — as her statement reveals she knows — it's crazy.

No reapologies.

"I am not going to apologize again. I am not going to apologize again. I apologized to the president on Wednesday night. I was advised then that, 'Thank you, now let's get on to a civil discussion of the issues. I've apologized one time. The apology was accepted by the president, by the vice president, who I know. I am not apologizing again."

That journalistic encounter in Italy.

"[E]arlier in the week at the Venice festival, an Italian journalist stripped to his skivvies, declared himself gay and begged a clearly ticked-off [George] Clooney for a kiss. Ewan McGregor, who co-stars in Goats, told USA TODAY earlier in the day,'It was a waste of everyone's time, really. When you have these big press conferences ,the trouble is, that’s it. You get the half an hour, 45 minutes, and for a lot of journalists, that is it. I don’t know what his deal was. Later on, he was following him around in a boat. I saw him later." Perhaps he was inspired by Borat's stalking of Pam Anderson.'"

"City of Madison cracks down on socialists: Citations to newspaper hawkers set up First Amendment clash."

A story in Isthmus:
"If the city is going to require a permit and then not issue a permit to political speakers... it's really saying you can't speak on State Street" [says lawyer Andrea Farrell, who represents members of the International Socialist Organization who received tickets for vending without a license for selling $1 copies of the newspaper Social Worker, an activity they've engaged in on State Street for decades].
[Chris Dols, one of the vendors who received a ticket] sees a larger pattern, which includes demonizing the homeless, redoing Peace Park and regulating street musicians.

"It seems like there are political forces interested in changing the character of State Street," he says. It's an effort he feels is sure to backfire, given the election of Barack Obama and ongoing activism.
Given the election of Barack Obama?! Oh, yeah! I know that feeling. It looks like this: Celebrate, good Obama, come on!... Who let the Obama out... Ooh! The police are here... Boo! What are you, a McCain voter? Sorry, pal, but Obama's President now! Obama! Obama! Lift the cop car! Lift the cop car!... Yes, we can.... Obama, you're so fine, you're so fine, you blow my mind. Obama! Obama!
"The city's decision to create more barriers to speech comes just as thousands of Madison students feel politically relevant for the first time," Dols says. "The timing is terrible. The city should have tried this with Bush in office, when we were still used to losing."
There's some logic to that. The Socialists were down, and the cops could have trodden them down further, and they might have suffered silently. That was back when they were "used to losing." But now, as Obama says, "I won." They won. They feel like they won anyway. They, meaning the Socialists. Hmmmm..... Anyway, they're feeling all Celebrate, good Obama, come on! Obama's President now! Obama! Obama! Lift the cop car! Lift the cop car!

Hey, it's my boss! Hey, Boss!
Oh... hello, Marsh.
Yeah. Ya know what? FUCK you!
You heard me, you fuckin' piece of SHIT! I can finally tell you what I think of you, fuckin' ASSHOLE!
[STAN:] Dad, what are you doing?
It's okay, Stan, everything's changed. I don't need his stupid fuckin' JOB anymore. You're a stupid fuckin' assfuck, piece of shit. You know what Obama said? "YES WE CAN!"
HEY, I voted for Obama!
Obama's not talkin' about YOU! [Punches boss in face.]

"God bless America, my friend."

Said by a bicyclist to a pedestrian, outside my Madison, Wisconsin window just now. He added, "You going to work?" and the pedestrian, apparently someone he knew, said "yeah." That was the entirety of the conversation.

I thought you'd like to know what people are saying in Madison this morning.

"Boy, was I wrong. I can remember telling Glenn Reynolds during CPAC that these Tea Party demonstrations were rinky-dink and going nowhere."

Says Roger Simon, and let me add that's exactly what I thought.
Barely more than a half-year later, they’re putting two million people on the Washington Mall. Wow! If I were Obama & Co., I’d be afraid, I’d be very afraid. . . . Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod are going to be looking at each other like nervous apparatchiks in the Politburo because someone is going to have take the bullet for the disaster they have wrought. Emanuel is looking like a particular dummy right now for opening his mouth about not missing a good crisis.
Quoted today at Instapundit.

Wisconsin Ironman Triathlon.

It's today. The Ironmen are right about now getting out of Lake Monona and onto their bikes. The switch to running begins around 12:30 at Monona Terrace, and the final run is around central Madison and (my neighborhood) the near West Side. If you live in Madison, are you getting the hell out of town or holing up at home, or frustrating yourself carrying on your usual activities or getting into the spirit of the day and seting out on foot to observe and cheer the athletes?

Obama's in trouble! How can we help him?

Reading Memeorandum this morning, I see it clearly: Obama's in trouble.

Write comments about what we can do to help the president.