Interesting contrast to America's half-Negro would-be king.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
I know that it's wrong to laugh at someone for being stupid, but I can't help it. Barack Obama has been so damn dense about his church affiliation and how it plays with Americans of a different color than him. And now, finally, even he's had it. You show 'em Barack!
I guess he's willing to trade the 3,000 disgruntled church votes for the multiple thousands he's lost over the last few months due to his resolute deafness. His speechifying didn't work. The message that average white people heard was racism, because what white people thought was this, "If a white person said about black people what that black preacher just said about white people, there'd be outrage." And rightfully so, by the way. But a black man can hate white people and it's okay? And Barack Obama thought it was okay to defend this behavior?
Karl at Protein Wisdom says:
So the Obamas are leaving the church not because the church is a zit on the ass of Christianity filled with racist puss but because American humanity is being a zit on the church. The church is fine, but persecuted, by the American press, maybe now that Obama leaves, the church will be let alone.
Moss is fully devoted to Trinity’s program of Black Liberation Theology, and on Good Friday compared the scrutiny of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s race-baiting and conspiracy theory-mongering to a “public lynching.” As part of the hip-hop generation, Moss calls himself “a theological DJ” — and in one sermon alluded to an Ice Cube rap titled, “Wrong N-gga to f— with.” It includes the lyrics “F— America, still with the triple K” and it uses the spelling “AmeriKKKa.” Last month, Obama said this:
Well, you know, the new pastor — the young pastor, Reverend Otis Moss, is a wonderful young pastor. And as I said, I still very much value the Trinity community.
This is the community which can be seen hooting their approval of the remarks made by Wright and Pfleger.
Black Liberation Theology devotee Dwight Hopkins predicted that Obama’s resignation would not have a lasting impact on this “community”:
“They didn’t come there because of Obama,” Hopkins said. “They came there because of the House that Wright that built. And it’s still standing.”
Obama went there for the same reason — and will not denounce those who stay with the church of the poisoned mind.
Or, maybe Obama hopes that his 20-year membership at that racist place will be forgotten. Don't bet on it Barry. The damage was done a long time ago and I don't think this is gonna fix it.
You know, no wonder Hillary hangs around. She's counting not on an assassination, but a suicide, politically speaking. Plus, go look at this picture. It's terrifying on so many levels.
Ha! Don Surber calls him "Slowbama".
Well, I hope I'm feeling better because the first thing I've eaten after trying to starve the bug for a couple days was half a Fuddrucker's burger and I can tell you here and now that those things aren't for the faint of gut. So, we'll see. There continue to be rumblings down thar like the aftershocks that keep hitting China. So, I'm not completely out of the woods yet.
The kid's performance went well. I'm in a position many parents find themselves in: my kid is good at something I completely sucked at and had no interest in when I was her age. The interest hasn't grown and developed as an adult, I assure you. Other mothers, former ballerinas, living the dream with their kids, sew ribbons, and do all the other motherly things. I mostly watch in amazement and pay people to sew ribbons. Well, actually, I beg pathetically. It's worked every time so far. My kid is almost old enough to do it herself. That will be a load of guilt off.
My mom forced me to take ballet one year because that's what girls do. I wish I could find the picture right now, I'd scan it and show you. But picture this: a circa 10 year old girl taking the first year of ballet which is for little kids with the little kids on the day of her recital where she was shoved into a neon orange leotard with sequins and a short, orange tutu. The look on my face in the picture is pure self-loathing and hatred for the forces of darkness who did this to me.
I hated ballet.
Imagine. Now I have this girly girl who prances around in tutus for fun and loves to dance! loves to dress up! loves to be on stage! And, she's good. Well, at least she looks good to me. Since I have no skillz, I just watch her and marvel--she remembers the steps, she's having fun and she seems extraordinarily coordinated for the girls her age, but I know shit about this. She could actually suck and I wouldn't really know.
Parenting is soooo not about the parents. I know, that's stating the obvious, but dang if the message doesn't come home again and again when the parent is enduring what looks like frolicking, albeit, rather skilled frolicking, set to music. I don't know if my daughter has a future in dance. She might. And she'll probably be given a daughter who wants to play tackle football. That will be about fair.
In the meantime, if anyone asks, I love ballet! Actually, I love my daughter and since she loves ballet, so do I.
Friday, May 30, 2008
I am so irritated with Firefox, I could spit. I don't feel well, I was putting together a decent post for you guys and it was just flushed down the internet black hole. In some parallel universe there is a post that was destined for greatness (well at least mediocrity) and it's gone.
Want to laugh? Go look at Rachel Lucas' dog. Dog humiliation has never made me laugh so hard.
Gas prices are up, buy a scooter. I have a scooter story, but it's humiliating and I already feel sick.
Hillary might be a redneck drinker after all. No wonder she's so popular in the holler.
I never thought Al Franken was funny, but imagining Minnesota Democrats ponder Franken's senatorial candidacy is funny.
More white hate at Obama's church. Racism, the gift that just keeps on giving. And Obama is going to usher in a post-racial world. Right.
Links of good stuff here. I'm going to bed.
The last election cycle here in Texas included incessant "one tough grandma" advertisements by Carol Keyton Strayhorn. She was going to "clean up Texas" and "take on the insiders". Her voice was so grating and her message so superficially disingenuous that I thought to myself that woman is not getting my vote no matter what. From the things I read and from the the things she said, Strayhorn just seemed to be a troublemaker. She seemed to be working to craft a "character". And in fact, she did run for Governor based on her "one tough grandma" persona.
I don't know Texas political history, I've only been here 11 years, but it turns out that the old adage "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree" is true. Scott McClellan is Strayhorn's son. I guess disloyalty and opportunism is a family trait.
Glenn Reynolds quotes Mark Twain regarding McClellan, "If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principle difference between a dog and a man." I'm guessing the problem is even worse when the man sees himself as pleasantly plump.
I don't know what this bug is, but it isn't friendly. I'll be back at this later. Right now, I have to tend to a screaming, feverish, miserable toddler between shivering and running to the bathroom myself.
Yeah, I know, I look back on these times and laugh some day.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Little Green Footballs has the details. You know, I tried to not be mean about Scott McClellan yesterday and just light-heartedly joke about his opportunism. Today, I'm not feeling so charitable.
When McClellan worked as Press Secretary, he was so dull-witted and slow on the uptake it was painful to watch. The press was clearly frustrated. The bland dullness and lack of articulate answers didn't look feigned. In fact, I thought it was a case of pure evil Rovian genius to have McClellan as Press Secretary. McClellan was so bad he was good.
Below is a clip around the Plame investigation:
So, McClellan now says he knew what was going on and didn't blow the whistle.
Well, McClellan wasn't some Rovian plot. He just stunk that bad and had to be replaced by Tony Snow, who was fantastic. I don't think this book will make McClellan come off as suddenly smart except to liberals who aren't too bright anyway.
America's health care: Yes. We. Can.
Choice. It's all about choice. For the socialist's claims to choice, they certainly do like limiting them.
UK - “Enlightened” Socialized Healthcare: Sorry, can’t be helped. Your daughter is destined to look like Charles Laughton playing Quasimoto - learn to live with it until the effects kill her.
US - “Backwards” Healthcare: Your daughter will be restored in both health and beauty. Yes we can.
A woman in Germany married the Berlin Wall and was distraught at her "husband's" destruction. There is no such thing as a slippery slope. No. Such. Thing.
As an aside, VanHelsing at Moonbattery blogs over at Right Wing News with me. His blog is awesome, has loads of information, plus, there's pictures. I know how you guys love pictures. I've added him to the blog roll. Go check him out.
A five year old, probably with Asperger's Syndrome but as yet undiagnosed, boy stays home after being voted out of his class by his classmates at the behest of his unapologetic teacher. Like the case of the woman harassing her daughter's depressive friend via MySpace, this case is unfathomable. In fact, when I read about this last night, I didn't blog about it. I just didn't know how to respond to an example of such callous disregard and stupidity.
My son has Asperger's Syndrome and he is indeed a challenge in the classroom--not because he's a behavior problem but because he just requires extra help to stay on task, understand the assignment and decide what to do next. For a young child with Asperger's Syndrome, the classroom is an overload of stimuli. So, depending on the school's philosophy, the child might end up in Special Education with the mentally retarded and behavior problem children. The only problem is that the children with Asperger's Syndrome have normal I.Q.s. and are often underestimated.
Teachers are frustrated because they have other children in the classroom that need to be taught. A lazy or immature or stupid teacher takes it out on the child when the problem can only be resolved with the school administration and parents. A good teacher manages and some dedicated teachers give extra time and view the special child as a challenge to be helped.
Parents are frustrated. If they get their child diagnosed, it often means medication and lowered academic expectations causing the child to fall behind. The average Asperger's child graduates High School with a second grade education. In fact, around sixth grade, many of these children fall irreparably behind but not for lack of intelligence. This is a towering educational failure with life-long implications for the child.
What many of these children need, but rarely get, is one-on-one intensive intervention in the early educational years gradually phasing it out as the child grows. This is expensive, true. But it is far cheaper than having a child on life-long disability because he hasn't been taught the skills to work and get through the day.
The Barton's, like many families, didn't get their child diagnosed until the child is in school and they're still working on it. The infant and toddler and pre-school development of the child is uneven but normal enough to not raise flags with parents and pediatricians. Stick the child in an over-stimulating environment where constant demands are made and suddenly, everyone knows something is wrong. This is a traumatic time for parents. It is an upsetting one for teachers. No one likes to bear this news.
Another thing to consider: many five year olds are emotionally immature or developmentally uneven. Some can read. Some can't. Some can count. Some can't. Some can sit still. Some can't. Kindergarten isn't about heavy duty academics, so how is this child "disrupting" the education of others as some have suggested?
Wendy Portillo, the child's teacher, put Alex Barton a five year old, in front of his classmates and asked each child to say something that annoyed them about the child. They then voted whether or not to keep him in the class. Only two out of the fourteen children voted to keep him in the room, but the children are five and hardly have an understanding of what they were being asked. Imagine, for a moment, a teacher doing this to your child. It is cruel beyond all comprehension.
Melissa Barton, Alex's mom, was just lucky that her son is verbal enough that he could tell her what happened. Many children with Asperger's and Autism, including my son, have great difficulty with expressive language. Something like this could happen to an Autistic child and his parents would never know.
The challenge of educating bright, but developmentally different children, is not going away. For whatever reason, the numbers of these children are still increasing. Parents, teachers and school districts need to stop living in denial.
I saw one teacher comment saying that parents should "take their own medicine" and be responsible for teaching their own child. Well, I did that this last year with my son. The modifications made for him here at home helped him learn, but I still had to pay my taxes so the "normal" kids can go to school. Implement vouchers. Now. I would gladly pull my child out of public school for the rest of his education, but the way it stands now, my only choice is to educate my son on my own dime while paying taxes so teachers can teach the "easy" kids. The teacher needs to decide whether she supports her own union. Vouchers and educational reform would be a solution to this. Choice. Parents could vote with their money. No doubt, schools and teachers that catered to special kids would pop up. Now, this is a way to put democracy in action, teachers. Voting is great when the person being voted on isn't the teacher. That's just a little too uncomfortable.
Bottom line, I hope Ms. Barton sues the teacher and the school. This outrage is just the most extreme version of a system that teaches to the mean and is inept at educating those who fall outside of a very narrow normal.
More at Joanne Jacobs via Instapundit. The comments are illuminating. As are the comments at the link above to the local newspaper.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
When I'm not living the glamorous blogging life, I'm doing things that Hollywood stars do--like grocery shopping. Remember in December of 2005, holy mother of peanut butter I cannot believe that I've been blogging for that long (what the hell is wrong with me?) when Kroger lost me as a customer? The straw was a smile, or rather the lack of one, but it was hardly the only thing.
Yes, I'm still an H.E.B. Central Market shopper. It's been two and half years now. Produce. Good. Meat. Good. Prices. Slit-my-throat-you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me-bad. But it's my own damn fault. I spend money on organic strawberries and indulge in unnecessary items like European, high-density butter.
Kim duToit talks about his Kroger experience. He's a former grocery store consultant. His advice is good, but it makes sense, so I doubt anyone will listen. How is Kroger still in business?
Kim links to James Lileks who's peeved with Chairman Bob. A thought occurs to me: One of the first rules of marketing is that if you're ugly, don't use your image. There is a corollary: If you're boring or borderline scary, don't use your image either. In the case Lileks highlights, the picture serves no useful purpose except maybe to make Chairman Bob's mother proud. Otherwise, why are we looking at this dude's mug?
Over at FoxNews there's a very funny article titled "15 Reasons Why She's Not In The Mood". Here's #2:
Women and gas. It's an unmentionable. And yet, and I know this is shocking, women fart. Most women, though, would prefer that you didn't know this.
She's feels gassy.
That's right. Women toot too. And whether she sounds like a trumpet or is being held hostage by a battle of bad gas, she's feeling like a walking fart pillow. Even when she wants your touch, if her cherry bomb self feels more like a bloated whale than babe, nobody is seeing any action. This is definitely one of those proceed-at-your-own-risk situations.
I'll use me as an example as embarrassing as this will be. When I was pregnant with the twins, after a night hanging out with our best friends, I bent over to tie my shoes and accidentally tooted. It was audible. The room was silent. Everyone heard it and reflexively turned my direction. It was like time slowed down. My friend Jay crashed in with conversation like nothing had happened, but it had happened and there was no turning back and if it hadn't been me, I would have been laughing and they probably did as soon as I left the house. Now, I know for a fact that had one of the guys farted either silently or audibly, everyone would have been howling in protest and laughter both and he wouldn't be embarrassed at all.
Would being gassy stop a man from sex? Um, I don't think so. Would the fear of being squished, lest a fart escape interfere with a man's sex drive? I can't imagine it. It does with women. And face it men, you don't really like your woman farting, either. It isn't ladylike.
The biological differences start early: my baby daughter burst into tears at two weeks old when she heard her father burp for the first time. My baby son, at about 8 months, bugged out his eyes in surprise and then laughed uproariously the first time he connected his farting with his body. At three, he already tries to burp as many times in a row as possible--cheered on by his older siblings, of course.
I guess we aren't really equal, after all. We will know women have equal status when they can fart with impunity. Or maybe, women will be equal when men are just as embarrassed about farting as women are. Gender unfairness marches on.*
Cross-posted at Right Wing News
*Yes, I'm joking.
Scott McClellan joins Dick Morris as a disloyal, self-serving former staffer. Who ever likes a "snitch" as Drudge says? He better enjoy his moment in the sun. Wait, what am I saying? The MSM loves a turncoat. He'll probably get his own TV show.
Cross-posted at Right Wing News
In my last post I asked, "how am I going to sleep with my blood pressure this high?" The answer: I'm not. So what to do but come up with more spleen venting for my beloved readers. Now, we've already established that I'm thoroughly pissed off and it's probably a truism that one should not drive while intoxicated nor blog while infuriated, but hey, I live on the edge, baby. So here goes....
Rachel Lucas discusses Karma--you know, what goes around comes around--and flaming fucknozzles. Go read for yourself, but she makes an interesting point:
I’m sure the 80,000 dead people got their just desserts for personally not being nice to the Dalai Lama. He’s a friend of Sharon’s! You be NICE, peasants! Or karma will destroy you and everything you own.Technically, Karma's force follows you into the next life, according to Webster, thus Al Gore will be coming back as a bloated dung beetle next time around (what could be better energetically speaking?):
the force generated by a person's actions held in Hinduism and Buddhism to perpetuate transmigration and in its ethical consequences to determine the nature of the person's next existenceAnyway, what most dillweeds use as Karma they usually meld with the biblical parable of reaping and sowing ala Galatians 6:7 and they get both wrong:
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature[a]will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.And still, this is ultimate judgment. As in, a scumbag can prance through life pretty much unscathed and still get it in the afterlife. In this life, shit happens to everyone. (Matthew 5:45) Ecclesiastes 9:11 says it best:
I saw something else under the sun. The race isn't [won] by fast runners, or the battle by heroes. Wise people don't necessarily have food. Intelligent people don't necessarily have riches, and skilled people don't necessarily receive special treatment. But time and unpredictable events overtake all of them.Shit. Happens. Deal. With. It.
Now some people (my friend's ex-husband) are such assholes that their actions repeatedly reap asshole consequences (getting fired over and over and over). Is that Karma? Is that God's hand? I think it's just being an asshole and people hating you.
This idea causes people discomfort. Christians often say "God willing" as some sort of mantra. Muslims say "insh'allah" (if Allah wills). Mexicans say "manana". Oh wait, that means tomorrow. Bottom line, too many people wait around as an excuse to not take responsibility for where their life is now. They wait so they came blame God if things don't go right.
And at the other end of the spectrum, New Agers believe that everything in the universe, big "U", is a function of the person's beliefs. Reality itself bends to our own personal will. So, the Chinese people, on some level wanted or believed they deserved this earthquake and the earthquake manifested. Ditto the people of Myanmar. And in that case, the people believed bad Karmic actions happened and were manifested.
I'm rereading a book by Louise Hay, You Can Heal Your Life which is a precurser to The Secret. A mentor suggested I read it when I was in college and I did and I thought it was unmitigated crap. Well, age and life experiences can moderate our perspective and a friend suggested I read it again. Here's the essence of the book, summed up in the first sentence of the first chapter:
Life is really very simple. What we give out, we get back.
We are 100% responsible for all our experiences.
This thought process misses a tiny distinction: rather than responsibility for all experiences, after a certain age, we are responsible for our reaction to all our experiences. That is, how we interpret and respond to our experiences is our responsibility, but owning every experience takes away the free will of all the other people around. It makes no sense. And this warped thinking has infected the brains of far too many people and it has real world consequences. Ironically, the philosophy of God micromanaging isn't so far from the individual (we are all God) micromanaging life--we are under no obligation to do anything because nothing is in our control on the one hand or we only control our own experience on the other. Either way, everyone else is on their own--either God will take care of it or the poor sufferer will. And in the Western world, where many don't suffer much at all, the all-consuming god-self-complex means taking everything on because the world will fall apart if my caring action isn't taken right now!
Dumbasses like Sharon Stone contemplate the un-niceness of leaders rather than dip into their significant pile of dough when people are dying of misery because they are morally obtuse and hide their selfishness in psychobabble religion. It seems self-evident that you reach out and help people who need help whether you like their leaders' political positions or not. The people have nothing, absolutely zip, to say about Mother Nature's wrath. And the Chinese people have nearly zip to say about their communist government. They do what they are told which is why they're so pissed about their one-child policy. Scores of thousands of people are childless now, because of the earthquake and because of their government's policies. Part of this is time and chance; part of this is stupid.
Louise Hay is right about one thing: we create beliefs and live our lives based on these beliefs. So now, people make decisions based on some swirling mix of Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Global Warming and psychology with little understanding of any of these religions and no understanding of science. The end result is do-nothing, feel-good, Selfism. Yes, I believe that's a new word and even if it's not, here's my definition: Selfism has one tenet--I am right because I care.
If Selfism sounds a lot like liberalism, you've hit the jackpot. It's not about actions. It's not about measurable outcomes. It's not about results. It's not about facts. It's not about objective reality. It's not about truth. It's about feelings. It's about intent. It's about words. It's about subjective experience. It's about my truth.
Karma in Sanskrit means action. It is what a person does that results in their placement for the next life. It's not how good-intentioned a person was. And this is a very Christian concept, too. Matthew 25:35-46 is well-worth reading. In fact, the whole chapter isn't about sitting on your butt waiting, but getting out there and doing. A Christian is known by his fruits...what he does--mostly what he does for others and what he does with what he is given.
Nature abhors a vacuum. And in the vacuum that has become the Western world's secular soil all sorts of peculiar ideologies are sprouting up and the unifying theme is narcissism. Selfism is a very popular religion.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
FLDS's Culture of Depravity and CPS' Culture of Duplicity And I'm Sick of Kids Being Harmed By Those Who are Supposed To Help
Fox News shares these absolutely disgusting pictures of FLDS "spiritual leader" Warren Jeffs spiritually sticking his tongue down the child-wife of his "spiritual marriage". No, he and his followers aren't pedophiles. No way.
Now, I know that Texas social workers can behave badly. In fact, any agent of the state I suspect almost as a matter of course. I'm just saying that it's possible that funky stuff is going down in that compound and that sending girls back there will be endangering them. The fact that Texas CPS acts above the law and family courts in general have no constraints engenders doubt even in legitimate cases.
Children will be harmed because of this mess and if f*cking pisses me off. Man, I'm in a bad mood and this kind of shit makes me even more irritated. Oh, and in case American kids are not sexed up enough, LL Cool J is here to help. I thought that guy was supposedly a Christian. Oh, and here's more irritation: imagine being forced to have only one kid and the kid being crushed in a substandard government-built building. Some days I just want to smash some stupid skulls. This is one of those days. Damn. How am I going to sleep with my BP this high?
Get the rotten kid's blood checked for lead levels. I'm serious. I wonder how effective chelation therapy is for this problem and if there are any long-term studies correlating reduced violent crime and lead removal. One thing that can be done at home is to give the lead something to compete with (this is called competitive inhibition)--for example calcium or iron. (Many lead poisoned kids are deficient in iron.)
I do know that William Walsh, PhD. has made his life's work biochemical imbalances and his studies have included the prison population. He also works with schizophrenics and autistic children.
Don't you love the conversations that include phrases like this: "Don't take this the wrong way" or:
"Why are you being so defensive?"
"I was just kidding. Man, can't you take a joke?"
"I'm sorry if you were offended."
"That's a distraction."
Any one of these phrases comes at you and you just know you're in for it. Politicians are particularly adept at wielding these verbal swords. The point of the slicing and dicing is to end the discussion, circumvent argument and keep control of the dialogue.
Let's just examine the phrase, "don't take this the wrong way" as an example. What, exactly, is the wrong way? The way where the person on the receiving end thinks the person spouting the bilge is a jerk? The way in which the person venting hides behind the phrase because he is saying something hurtful and means it to be hurtful but doesn't want the inconvenience of the recipient actually acting hurt? The way being that the person sharing his perspective is actually avoiding saying what he truly feels and says something shitty but qualifies it so he can attempt to make the other person look weak and lame instead of himself? Is that the way that's "wrong"? This little phrase is verbal Jujitsu that gives the communicator carte blanche to say whatever is rolling around his head. Any response other than, "You're absolutely right and furthermore your rightness is so right that it just highlights my wrongness", is deemed "the wrong way" to take what has been said. How convenient!
It is called passive aggression. It is called controlling. It is bullshit.
Some people, politicians in particular, believe they can say whatever they like. They seem shocked when people actually question them and work very hard employing phrases like those cited above to ensure that the challenging never happens.
So Barack Obama can, with a straight face, claim that any unwanted question is "a distraction". He can bully the press because he doesn't want them questioning his wife's public statements. He wants her to be able to use the press to get her message out, but he doesn't want the press to question her statements so he hides behind the "leave my wife alone" defense.
Hillary and Bill have taken this modus operandi to an art form. This election cycle they are shocked and offended because, well, this questioning is just so new. Back in the day, their magnificence wasn't ever questioned. They received blind adoration. Times have changed. And much to their chagrin, the press isn't in their hip pocket. In fact, the press is in someone else's hip pocket and the only thing standing in the way of what the press wants is Hillary Clinton. So the love fest is over. It' so unfair when unfairness is pointed at her. It's sexism!
Word to the wise: When those phrases are used on you, it feels so shitty because it is shitty. You're being manipulated. And Americans are being manipulated by Obama and the media and would be manipulated by Clinton, too, if anyone was paying attention to her, but of course, they're not.
It's okay, sweetie. You'll get used the manipulation. By the end of Obama's term, you'll come to love it.
What sports should be off-limits to a qualified woman?
Glenn Reynolds has been talking about his cousin, the ski jumper and how the International Olympic Committee banned them. And now, small colleges are boosting their enrollment with women's sports like wrestling and it has nothing to do with Title IX and everything to do with money.
I'm trying to think of a sport where a woman shouldn't play. That might not mean inclusion on a men's team, though. Women have significantly less upper body strength (and lower body strength) than men (the average woman) so the fight wouldn't exactly be fair in a sport like wrestling.
What if a woman is so extraordinary she could succeed on the men's team? And then does that mean men should be allowed to play on women's teams? My opinion is still that women shouldn't be in combat, if only because in hand-to-hand combat and things like trudging through the countryside she's at such a disadvantage, not to mention that a woman is victimized in brutal ways should she be captured.
It seems to me that it's possible to recognize the biological differences and go for as much inclusion as possible.
Megan McCardle writes about racism and conservatives (via Instapundit). The comments are really interesting. Go read them. The opinions range from a self-righteous defense of white guilt to diminishing the contributions of prominent black conservatives because they're not really conservative.
So let me get this straight: Liberals are better than conservatives because they feel bad that there's racism and they're justified in using blacks to make them feel better, but that's not racism that's "promoting diversity".
As Ms. McArdle says:
It's also worth noting that the presidential candidate who has done the most to exploit the racism of others this election season is liberal Democrat Hillary Clinton, whose campaign, though bullish on sexism, has spent a lot more time talking about how it is constrained by political correctness in its campaign against Barack Obama than being concerned with actual racism.Conservative find discrimination based on race or gender repugnant. As the Democratic primary season has amply demonstrated, identity politics, when taken to its logical end, is absurd. What is the big idea on the Left these days?
How does feeling guilty for wrongs people committed generations ago change the reality today? How does feeling better because you're guilty help? It's irrational. And the policies that liberals espouse are irrational and lead to the exact opposite place they intend. New Orleans is a liberal government let to run amok for years. In the north, there's Detroit and Philadelphia. All three cities have been run by liberal policies. The results have been anything but good especially for black people. And in places like Key West and San Francisco, other places where liberal politics are practiced, poor people of any color cannot live there. Now, who exactly is discriminatory?
And then there are the individual implications. One of my genius friends happens to be black (he's not genius enough to be conservative). He was educated in a fantastic university and not because of affirmative action. But how galling would it be to work your ass off and be presumed to have needed lowered standards in order to make it?
It is irrational to believe that racism doesn't exist. It does. It is also irrational to believe that by focusing on race and feeling guilty, racism will end.
Cross-posted at Right Wing News.
Monday, May 26, 2008
I have one nerve left thanks to a toddler and his feuding siblings (actually, they get along pretty well), annnnnyway, Michelle Obama gets all over that one nerve. I've posted about her before (here, here, and here). Like I said, I find her the only compelling figure in this election. Hillary will say anything for power. Barack is as bland as butter-free toast; project all your hope and change onto the bland man. His blandness is what's so exciting about him. McCain knows what's right for everyone, if only we'll listen to his hoary-headed wisdom.
And then there's Michelle. Since Barack won't say what he really thinks, or not too often, Michelle steps in with her wit, wisdom and whine. Tom McGuire has more about her here. He says:
Ms. Obama has nailed down the "Whiny, Self-Absorbed Pessimist" demographic. Let's see if that becomes a key part of the Obama coalition.Actually, I think "whiny, self-absorbed pessimist" is the Obama coalition.
John Ray over at Stop the ACLU inspired me with one of my favorite hymns: Jerusalem. He posted the words and some commentary that is well-worth reading, and I'm going to post a YouTube version from one of my favorite movies: Chariots of Fire. Here are the words again:
And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic mills?
Bring me my bow of burning gold:
Bring me my arrows of desire:
Bring me my spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire.
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England’s green and pleasant land.
Posted by Melissa Clouthier at 3:10 PM
Update: McCain's speech.
Gateway Pundit has an awesome poster brought to us by the soldiers themselves.
John Hawkins shares war quotes. One of my favorites is from Winston Churchill but not on this list: "When going through hell, keep going."
MaxedOutMama says, "Peace is not the natural state of mankind, and peace dies the day there are no more soldiers."
Michelle Malkin quotes soldiers. Here's one of my favorites,"Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils."
Donald Sensing writes this (read the whole thing):
Historian and retired infantry officer T. R. Fehrenbach observed that the virtues required to protect a democracy are often at odds with the virtues of democracy. So while we cherish life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as just ends of democratic freedom, our Marines put their lives at risk, surrender many personal liberties and submit to rigorous discipline that is often most unhappy.Kim DuToit writes: "Charles Loxton thought only about other people his entire life."
Why did they do this? The most reasonable thing to do when battle begins is to run away, not stay and fight. Were they truly willing to die for their country? I don't think so. There's an old story that goes back probably to the Civil War of the young soldier whose commander asked him, "Are you willing to die for your country?" The young man answered, "Certainly not. But I am ready to die, unwilling."
The American armed forces really have no use for someone who is willing to die. We do not seek and soon weed out anyone seeking martyrdom in battle; this is a key distinction between us and our enemy. We do not send our soldiers, sailors, airmen or Marines to die even though we know some inevitably will. Our country is instead ably protected by those who accept the risk rather than seek it. But why accept it? What civilians rarely discern but what every veteran knows is that military service, especially in battle, is steeped with the convictions of deepest emotion.
In battle there is fear and courage, anger and compassion. There is resignation and determination. There is hope and despair. The chief emotion of the battlefield is an unlikely one. It is love. Across the range of mental, physical and emotional states in the desolation of combat, love abides.
Rachel Lucas remembers her grandpa who died in WWII.
Words of advice for Memorial Day revelers.
"How do you remember something you've never learned?" Fred Thompson asks. Via Photon Courier who has more links.
Pierre LeGrand, "Do not dishonor them."
Via Powerline, "We are their children."
A prayer from Red State.
Tigerhawk says, "Welcome home." Best picture of our soldiers returning home I've seen for a while.
"Remember the wounded." Blackfive has more.
Rolling Thunder via Blogs of War.
The Warrior Caste by Greyhawk.
Residents find the courage to fight the Mormans. Now, substitute Muslim for Morman through this whole article and see what you think.
Update: Knowledge of Islam makes fighting it easier. (Via Instapundit)
Yesterday, I wrote about feminism's unintended consequences--namely that women end up feeling compelled to make one choice or else they betray the movement's ideals. That choice, to forgo having children in order to make their career mark, denudes women of their biology and deprives them of a choice.
Before I get to feminism's deleterious affects on men, I'd like to write a bit about the victim-mentality that has seeped into the DNA of even the most powerful of Western women. I am, of course, alluding to Hillary Clinton. Peggy Noonan wrote a must-read piece about great women leaders and how they never made excuses or blamed prejudice for their place in the world. Noonan says:
It is sissy. It is blame-gaming, whining, a way of not taking responsibility, of not seeing your flaws and addressing them. You want to say "Girl, butch up, you are playing in the leagues, they get bruised in the leagues, they break each other's bones, they like to hit you low and hear the crack, it's like that for the boys and for the girls."First, I'd like to say how pleased I am that Peggy Noonan reads my posts seeing as how "butch up" was the phrase that got me in trouble with the menfolk (well, some of them). It's nice to know that I'm on her radar. Second, to Ms. Noonan's point: Hillary Clinton embodies the problem with the women's movement. She was a party to her husband's victimizing of women and turns around now, to decry her own victimization. By whom? She does need to butch up. She has the benefit of being treated just like a man. She is not being condescended to. She is not being patronized. No, she is in a fight for the most powerful office in the land and she does women no favors when she weeps in self-pity and cries sexism when she's in a tight spot.
And because the charge of sexism is all of the above, it is, ultimately, undermining of the position of women. Or rather it would be if its source were not someone broadly understood by friend and foe alike to be willing to say anything to gain advantage.
Eh, I'm not going to get to men again, today. I'm going to just stay with the victim mentality. It is tiresome and ubiquitous and it is holding women back. A woman will not ever become president if she plays the poor little girl. A woman will not receive respect at work or at home playing the victim. Even Jesus chided the martyr Martha and that was in a decidedly paternalistic environment.
Women who carry their victim status as a prized possession limit their world. Let me just be clear here: it's stomach turning to see anyone throw a protracted pity party. Who ever said life was easy? Women who want parity in what they describe as the "man's world" need to stop making excuses. They need to embrace equality. That means when a woman makes an accusation that sounds outrageous, the women who hear it will slow down, wait and reserve judgment because that's what a reasoned person, male or female, does. When they jump to the woman's defense because she has the benefit of ovaries, they make women look foolish.
I'm as eager as the next woman to see a great woman leader emerge in America. I don't see how it's going to happen when women continue to see themselves as victims. When Nancy Pelosi surrounds herself with her grandchildren and claims the power of her ovaries first and the power of her ideas second, women are bound to be viewed as ninnies.
Does this seem counter to what I wrote in my last post, where I wrote that fully buying feminist dogma limits a woman's choices--specifically motherhood? Well, here's the deal: a strong woman is a strong woman. The whole notion that a woman is weak by being a mother insults mothers. Conversely, a woman is not innately superior because she can birth. That belief is as sexist as believing that men are superior because they have testes.
Leadership means having bigger ideas, more internal fortitude, further foresight, deeper wisdom. Any person who exhibits these traits will have followers. Viewing oneself as a victim runs directly counter to being a worthy leader.
Feminism ceases to be relevant because to be a feminist is to be a victim. Any self-respecting woman wants no part of the victim talk. They want to be victors in all their endeavors. Success means being the best at whatever path one chooses. Real women wait for the post-feminist world where people are valued for their character and their accomplishments. Scratch that. They aren't waiting, they're created that world now. Feminists are being left behind.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Oh, I was going to say, shut up, but actually, that's not in the spirit of free speech. I think he needs to talk more. Just talk and talk and talk and talk. He is Barack Obama except, white and old. Every time he opens his yapper, people think, "Hey, that's what Democrats think and Barack Obama is a Democrat." I don't know if people think that, but I hope people think that. So keep on talking Jimmy. Your bitterness and loathing seep through every word and deed. I don't think Mr. Carter will ever forgive America for not loving him. We are just that stupid. It's a heavy burden he has to live with, no longer being able lead the dumbest people on the face of the planet.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
I've written before that feminists act as though their beliefs have no real-world consequences. Abortion harms no one. Neither mother nor potential child feels the results of the decision, when it's patently obvious there are negative consequences. Having potential life snuffed out is a consequence. And mothers, who choose to have a child later, realize with disturbing clarity what the loss really meant.
Abortion is just one thing. The diminishing of men to promote women has been another. It seems that bring women to "equal" has been achieved to the detriment of men. But that's not what I want to talk about today.
Children of feminists are growing up and reporting what feminism looked like in practice. Some of the pictures aren't pretty as Dr. Helen notes this article about the daughter of Alice Walker writer of the book The Color Purple:
You see, my mum taught me that children enslave women. I grew up believing that children are millstones around your neck, and the idea that motherhood can make you blissfully happy is a complete fairytale.
In fact, having a child has been the most rewarding experience of my life. Far from 'enslaving' me, three-and-a-half-year-old Tenzin has opened my world. My only regret is that I discovered the joys of motherhood so late - I have been trying for a second child for two years, but so far with no luck.
I was raised to believe that women need men like a fish needs a bicycle. But I strongly feel children need two parents and the thought of raising Tenzin without my partner, Glen, 52, would be terrifying.***********
Although I believe that an abortion was the right decision for me then, the aftermath haunted me for decades. It ate away at my self-confidence and, until I had Tenzin, I was terrified that I'd never be able to have a baby because of what I had done to the child I had destroyed. For feminists to say that abortion carries no consequences is simply wrong.
Then I meet women in their 40s who are devastated because they spent two decades working on a PhD or becoming a partner in a law firm, and they missed out on having a family. Thanks to the feminist movement, they discounted their biological clocks. They've missed the opportunity and they're bereft.
Feminism has betrayed an entire generation of women into childlessness. It is devastating.
But far from taking responsibility for any of this, the leaders of the women's movement close ranks against anyone who dares to question them - as I have learned to my cost. I don't want to hurt my mother, but I cannot stay silent. I believe feminism is an experiment, and all experiments need to be assessed on their results. Then, when you see huge mistakes have been paid, you need to make alterations.
I suspect that more stories like this will be written. Women have many choices now, being a parent is just one of many. Women can find out, after having a child, that the child is not just a choice but a revelation.
What once was self-evident: that motherhood is a gift uniquely given to women, that it is a blessing to be a part of creating life, that giving birth transforms a person (or can), that no other earthly achievement parallels the potential world-changing benefit of a child, seems lost on women.
A deep ambivalence has taken hold Western women and men. To question our own existence and purpose so fundamentally leads to places like where Margaret Cho finds herself. For all her proclamations about "not being a breeder", I sense sadness and grief over the loss of her relationship and the potential child that could come of it. For all her worldly success, time runs short for her to know what it means to mother. And while that might be the best choice for her, she'll never know for sure, will she? (More about Margaret by Cassy Fiano.)
That's the thing about taking a risk like motherhood. Even getting pregnant and having an abortion, a woman can't retreat and go back. A woman is a creative vessel. That makes her uniquely vulnerable. The feminists focus on that part of womanhood to the exclusion of the other: that motherhood makes a woman powerful beyond her own comprehension. That power is terrifying which is why so many women run from it.
We've all heard the saying that "the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world". Ironically, feminists forgo rulership to be bit players on the world stage. Their artistic contributions will fade in memory. In Alice Walker's case, though, her gifts will carry on because she became "enslaved" by motherhood. Her child is an artist. And the blood that runs through her daughter's veins now runs through her grandchild's. She would forgo this piece of immortality for her own passing glory? Well, she gets her reward and it will only last as long as she walks the earth. Lucky for her, she made the mistake of having a baby. With another generation, there is hope.
One more thing. The feminists have enslaved themselves with a false dichotomy: that you can either contribute externally and make your mark on the world or you can "waste" your potential and turn inward to raise children. It is impossible to do both. Yet there is much evidence to the contrary. It might not be possible to do it all at once, but it is possible to do both. Unfortunately, many women are waking up to this reality too late and biology reigns. Feminism has robbed many women of their choices. How ironic is that?
Friday, May 23, 2008
"Jesus in a Green Beret. Europe has lost its mind." Hey monkeys are people too, stop being a hater! And, what about revoking personhood rights to people who are clearly somewhere outside of all species?
One of the big worries about sending pigs, I mean probes, in space is that human microbes will pollute the worlds they'll explore, potentially wiping out innocent alien civilizations and destroying otherworldly environments. And the UN can prevent this. Evidently, there's a treaty:
I guess my idea of huge space barges full of garbage won't fly. Why are we giving a crap about this? Aren't life forms from other planets always smarter than us? It seems excessive to worry about them getting sick from us.
However far in the future such technologies may be, it is worth thinking about the potential problem of contaminating other solar systems with Earth life, according to a new paper by Charles Cockell of the Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research at Open University in Milton Keynes, UK.
Why should we take the trouble to avoid such interstellar contamination? First, there is the "utilitarian desire to preserve examples of other life of potentially enormous scientific interest", Cockell says. In previous writings, he has also argued that humans have an ethical responsibility to avoid harming life in other solar systems.
There may also be a legal issue. NASA's planetary protection officer, Cassie Conley, notes that the 1967 outer space treaty stipulates that countries should avoid "harmful contamination" of the Moon and other celestial bodies.
To respect the treaty, NASA follows guidelines for planetary protection set out by a Paris-based group of international experts called the Council on Space Research (COSPAR), which advises the United Nations and promotes international cooperation on space research.
UPDATE: Via reader DiorJohnnyBravo--Did someone say "Pig's in Space?"
I do worry about the worlds in other dimensions. You know, the parallel universe where my twin lives. Cross-pollinating disease between dimensions seems like a bad idea.
Dr. Helen notes that the kvetching by Republicans just might create what we fear most:
Believing that your party is a bunch of losers surely will not help it to improve it and may, in fact, hasten it's self-destruction--something some Democrats would be happy to see--but why play along while marching in step to the tune of Saul Alinsky? I was watching a show the other night on PBS's Frontline about a wonderful young boy who was being cyber-bullied by peers stating: "YOU ARE SUCH A LOSER." The boy believed it and went on to kill himself. He basically self-destructed by incorporating the negativity that others felt for him onto himself and felt that he was not worthy. Now, it seems that many right-leaning citizens feel the same. Instead of saying that there are still ideas and policies that the Republicans have that are worth saving-- (national security, low taxes, small government) they have deemed the whole party losers.She suggest that Republicans stop feeding the negative vibe and reading books like The Power of Positive Thinking.
Well, I believe there is a certain amount of learned helplessness displayed by the Republican leadership, not just the blogosphere, that has lead to the continual buckling on big ideas. For example, the Republicans had a huge opportunity to remake Social Security and it fizzled, not because the American people didn't want change, but because the ideas weren't readily received and the Republicans seemed convinced it would fail. And then, it did.
So, our attitude does matter. We need to find a way to cheer up. I find that action and moving in a positive direction helps. So what moves should conservatives make?
Cross-posted at Right Wing News.
Or perhaps it's simpler: John McCain is unfailingly honorable; if he acts in a way that seems to be dishonorable, you must be perceiving it incorrectly, because John McCain is unfailingly honorable.I admit it. John McCain is a liar. But I never believed him when he said that he'd support security first, anyway, so I'm not feeling betrayed. This whole election has been about plugging my nose, and mustering the gumption to pull the damn lever. And for me, it's still about that, because I think about an Obama presidency with a Democrat congress and my skin starts erupting red blotches.
In fact, I imagine he conceives that there's a great deal of integrity in his "having the guts" to tell the conservative troglodytes what they needed to hear in order to secure the nomination.
I held off on this last night because I didn't know what to do. I guess my heart is with Hawkins, though my brain says Morrissey's right... Obama would be (marginally, I think) worse than McCain.
But Obama hasn't really flat-out lied to me.
That counts for something.
Ed Morrissey doesn't think McCain lied, exactly, and disagrees with John and Ace. He says:
Does anyone believe that Barack Obama would be more committed to border security than John McCain? Not if they’ve paid attention. Obama is at best the same as McCain on immigration, and more likely to acquiesce to Democrats like Dick Durbin on another full-blown amnesty. Even if we consider that a wash, where else does Obama look better than McCain to conservatives?I guess I just can't believe that Republicans will want to be a party to that kind of destruction in America. Obama will usher in a time of Carter-like prosperity and as a business owner that makes me want to curl up into the fetal position and suck my thumb.
Do you guys really think a Democrat would be better?
Cross-posted at Right Wing News.
Brendan has a list of Hobbit musts. Personally, I want funny. The Hobbit is a series of silly foibles and tall tales. I want them all included.
And I agree with some of the sentiments written elsewhere: the point of the book isn't the battle at the end. The evil in this book is more insidious, less overt and really, scarier. So, while the movie has the potential to be comedic throughout and should be, the villains in the Hobbit are particularly loathsome and scarier than the villains in the Lord of the Rings.
To say that I'm excited about the possibilities......oh, man, I'm in nerd heaven.
Yesterday, I read John Hawkin's interview with the anonymous campaign staffer. The more I read, the madder I got. At the end, through IM poor John got sprayed with my vented spleen. If that sounds horrible, it was. He said,"Wow, you're in a bad mood." Actually, no I'm not. I'm in a great mood. I'm just fed up with the outrageous condescension emanating out of DC and Republicans in particular. I hadn't read your comments and he suggested that I do. I love you guys! You're my peeps! You said what I felt but in a far more reasoned, thoughtful way.
Later, John got me back. The New York Times dropped the piece about McCain's 90 degree turn (I can't say 180, because he only changed to the security first mantra) on amnesty. My ears are still burning from that. My reaction? Bemused. It's touching that someone actually believed John McCain. As I've said before, John McCain serves at the leisure of John McCain. We're all just along for the "I know better than you" ride.
I think it's time we face the facts, if we haven't already: The next four years are going to f*cking suck. Last week, Kim DuToit said it best:
McCain is going to screw us, every single chance he gets, as long as what he does makes him popular with the Press, or with “centrist” Democrats like Joe Lieberman, or with “moderate” Republicans like Olympia Snowe, or with “popular” figures like Ted Kennedy and Arianna Huffington, or with international bodies like the United Nations.Linking to the post, I said:
And occasionally, he’s going to screw us just because he hates conservatives, and because he can, and because he knows that as bad as he is, Obama would be orders of magnitude worse.
P.S. Have you noticed that I have a Hillary tag and an Obama tag, but I just can't bring myself to make a McCain tag? I just. can't. do. it. Arghhhhhh! The next four years are going to be hell. Tar and feathers will be a relief.
The Republicans think that conservatives, average voters don't get it. And that's the problem. When the representatives believe they are smarter than the people they represent, they no longer represent. And that is the problem all through the House and Senate. The leaders have contempt for the opinions of those who got them there. It is no longer a representative democracy but an elected ruling class. And the ruling class thinks conservatives and libertarians who voted them into office are stupid rubes.
Illegal immigration: Security first, enrages our southern neighbor, Mexico (the world might hate us). There are millions new voters (only if amnesty passes) and the Republicans lose them all, if we're too strict on border fences (Translation: I'll lose my power). We need a cheap work force (workers as a commodity).
Earmarks, pork: You don't have to look into the eyes of big donors and tell them they aren't getting a government contract. The Democrats do it and then locals won't support Republicans. Democrats do it. We're better than them. (Translation: I'll lose my power.)
Iraq, terrorism: Americans don't like it (Translation: If I'm too supportive of the effort, I'll lose my power). No, Americans f*cking hate losing. With a purple passion, Americans hate sh*ting money away on a big pile of nothing. Do what it frigging takes, people. If that means obliterating Sadr City from the face of the planet to get the squabbling morons to pay attention, then do it and be done with it. War is bloody business. If it's a war worth fighting, then f*cking fight it. Things look like they're going better. Good. When we succeed pound away about it in the media and stop being pussies with the press.
The Press: If I'm nice, they'll be kind (Translation: I want to be re-elected and the press can help me.) The press hates you. They are progressive Leftists. Why do you give flying flap jack what they think? It is over, if it ever was, which it wasn't. You won't receive fairness from them. You won't receive balance. They will slant things, take you out of context, malign you, degrade you. Accept it. That's life. Move along and do the right thing and don't try to change reality.
Democrats: Americans want us to work with them. (Translation: Democrats are our friends and we see them at parties and we want to be polite.) No they don't. Your voters want you to stand on a principle. Fight. The Democrats will betray and sell you out every chance they get. They will be aided and abetted by the press. Stop trying to be pals with the bullies. Smash their faces (metaphorically).
Global warming: Our planet might die and it's our fault. (Translation: Everyone believes it, it must be true and we want to co-opt the issue from Democrats, because we want to sound smart and oh, by the way, we want to be re-elected.) Shut the f*ck up! You are going to kill the economy. People are also bitching about gas prices, if you haven't noticed and it's because you idiots adopt stupid policies to appease special interests like environmentalists and farmers (does anyone find these two groups an unholy alliance?). Global warming isn't caused by humans and even if it is, you buffoons aren't going to solve it. You're POLITICIANS not frigging scientists. Stop meddling in every damn thing.
Energy: We need to lower gas prices, let's ride the oil companies. (Translation: Blaming is easier than making hard political choices and I really, really want to be re-elected.) It's called drilling and exploration. Free the capitalists to do their work before we end up like Europe and paying $6 a gallon of gas.
I could go on and on. Do you notice a theme? Instead of standing on principle, the Republicans rationalize their devilish deal making by saying, "Well, if we're not in office, it will be far worse because Democrats would do worse things." And yes, I remember Reagan's quotes about conservatives unwilling to accept an 80% solution, but that's not what we're talking about here.
The Republicans don't see that if they cease to support fiscal responsibility, small government, less regulation, an open free-market, fierce self-defense, sovereignty, life, they cease to become Republicans. They are political animals buffeted about by every political wind because they're more concerned about power than principle and they justify their craven natures by saying that no principles can be supported if they aren't in power.
We'll soon find out if they're right, because the Republicans are going to lose big in the Fall. They'll be tempted, again, to blame Bush, but I suggest they look in the mirror. Return to the optimistic message that the common man is powerful and the strength of our country. Give the common man power by making sure he has as many economic choices as possible. Keep him safe from harm so he can work. Cut his taxes so he can grow. Help him educate his children by giving him educational choices.
In short, start loving the people who give you power. Respect them. They understand the political realities more than you know. Compromise is palatable if they're made on the backdrop of principle, but your voters need to believe you hold a principle. And for heaven sakes, articulate a vision. Mr. Hope-Change at least gets that. Find a charismatic, communicative, fearless Republican and have him say these things. You'll get elected, but right now, you guys have it backwards.
There is still time to turn it around. Otherwise, the wilderness will become a permanent home.
Cross-posted at Right Wing News.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Guess. I want you to guess: Will there be a slow hurricane season this summer or will there be a catastrophic level of horrendous devastation and destruction secondary to Global Warming? If you get the answer wrong, you're stoooopid. Go to the link for the answer.
A Texas appellate court says that the removal of the kids from their moms is unlawful. I wonder if that means the 15 year old moms married to 50 year old men, too. Holy f*ck what a disgusting mess. There is just something about seeing these moronic Little House on the Prairie women running out of the courthouse that pisses me off. You don't have to dress like Britney Spears to be in the culture but not of the culture. According to the New York Times:
The ruling asserted that the state’s child protection agency acted hastily in removing the children from the Yearning for Zion ranch in April and did not make a reasonable effort “to ascertain if some measure short of removal and/or separation from parents would have eliminated the risk” of abuse toward the children of 48 mothers who filed the suit. The district court was ordered to remove its restraining order giving the state custody of those children, but it was not immediately clear how the hundreds of other children, now in foster care, would be affected.Using religion as a cloak for pedophilia prone middle aged men grates (link via Maggie's Farm). I want those kids back in that situation like I want boils on my feet. But I'm just not sure about the best environment for these kids... And while it seems excessive to lump all 400+ kids in the abused category, it seems equally excessive to lump all the kids into the everything-is-hunky-dory category. (Which isn't the case, I guess this ruling only applies to 38 kids.)
Forget the abuse, isn't polygamy illegal in Texas? And why don't we prosecute them? And say the kids aren't "abused", what of the rest of it? And does this case mean the state will go after Muslims practicing polygamy?
And yes, I see the implications for parents worried about their kids being yanked away on the "evidence" of one anonymous phone call. I recognize that some kids suffer because the greater good is the presumption of innocence and sanctity of the family relationship.
What a mess.
Cross-posted at Right Wing News.
Gateway Pundit reports that a 22 year old WHITE man exploded his face a bit when his suicide vest prematurely activated in the loo. Aw....
Let the significance of this sink in. Imagine a society where every person becomes a suspect. Oh wait, we don't have to. Israel lives with these threats every day.
Why does anyone wonder why we fight these bastards?
Cross-posted at Right Wing News.
If the Right is apathetic, the Left is apoplectic. I've been ruminating on the implications for the country whether Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton get the nomination.
To me, Hillary Clinton is the harder candidate to beat in the general election. She is perceived as more centrist and has done a pretty good job casting herself as the working man's candidate. She is tough, competitive and hangs in there. This tenacity has impressed many people. Aside from her weeping episodes which came off as manipulative, she has been doggedly determined and come across as tough. She craves power and it's both terrifying and respect-inducing to behold.
The calls for Hillary to bow out when she is hanging so tough enrages feminists and the women who support her. It's the same old, same old from the patriarchy: take a back seat to a lesser man. Concede. Submit. Stand down to elevate him. Hillary has, of course, done this. She supported Bill for years, even through his infidelity and immaturity, in order to have the power. But she knows, as does everyone else, that is was his power. Now, it is her turn. This message resonates deeply with women. The feminists waited for this moment. It's the culmination of a lifetime of hopes and dreams and Hillary symbolizes the American Woman. Not getting the nomination is like orgasm-less sex. Women don't want to be left hanging. Again.
I think the Left, the Super-delegates, even average middle-American voters fear that Obama's newness, his lack of experience, his liberalness, his softness won't play in the general election. But everyone is stuck. If women have suffered lo, these many years in America, only blacks can claim more victimhood. Underneath the Obama candidacy is a threat and silent menace: nominate him, or else. Or else what? Will there be riots in the cities should Obama not get the nomination? Will delegates' lives be threatened? That's what some fear. And so, the renewed pleas for Hillary to "do the right thing" and quit.
The nomination of Barack Obama means "healing", "hope" and "change". What it means is that America, can, once and for all, put the taint of slavery behind them. The tide has turned and America, finally, in Michelle Obama's 44th year, is a place where even black citizens can be proud. As much as blacks want this, whites want this more. Many whites tire of the collective guilt and want to be shed of it. A black president would heal the country and change the future.
How will Obama's followers, including the 90% black voters, feel should they be denied? This moment seems historic and profound and necessary. The emotionalism, the attachment is as real as group adoration ever can be. Obama taps into a well of desire and fear that is almost irresistible. Life without him will be desolate, life will him will be infused with purpose and light.
For the Democrats making this decision, it's over. There can be no other candidate than Obama. He may lose in the general, but that will be a small price to pay. This candidacy matters more to elite Democrats than to the political realities of the general election. Hillary Clinton isn't making this decision easy, but, in the end, it won't matter. This is about history. This is about symbolism. This is about shiny ideals and a perfect vision.
Democrats will, without irony, savage John McCain--even his amazing military record. They will paint him as conservative (which conservatives will roll their eyes at). They will disparage his long record. Trying to fight Obama's record will be like shadow boxing. He doesn't have one. His list of accomplishments is anemic, but he's not running on what he's done but what what he represents.
The only result of this Democratic primary will be a new level of cynicism that can only come from identity politics. And while this is all inevitable and predictable, it's distressing at the same time. A fractured society doesn't last long.
Cross-posted at Right Wing News.
Last night, late, after American Idol and the delight in David Cook's success, after the news, a friend, her kids and her kid's friends showed up at the door and kidnapped me. The destination? The opening show, 12:01 a.m., of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Well, I wanted to to see the movie anyway, why not stay up until 3:00 a.m. on a week night? I had more than a couple reasons, but went anyway, encouraged by the positive reviews coming out of Cannes, I decided in the spirit of teenagers everywhere, what the hell?
Speaking of teenagers and Indy nerds generally, two mega theaters were not quite sold out but they were full and it was midnight. Long lines filled with grinning people congregated. I imagine that this is what it felt like to be in Portland waiting for Barack Obama. Dude, it was an experience. A young Indiana showed up with his beautiful sidekick Marion (one presumes). The crowd clapped at the opening credits. Whoops came at exciting parts. This was a crowd that would be easy to please.
And yet....my friend who is a die-hard Indiana Jones fan came out of it feeling meh. She wasn't thrilled with the ending and didn't see it coming. I'm no prophet, but the opening set, Area 51, gave me a clue about what to expect. Just a little one.
Before I share what bugs me about the film, let me just say that the requisite one-liners, snappy dialogue and nail-biting action sequences filled the screen. The familiar John Williams score made me feel nostalgic. And Harrison Ford is old and seems to be lost in actual irony. His age is acknowledged right off the bat and then five minute later, he's beating men senseless half his age. He looks pretty believable doing it. Well, kinda believable.
And that brings me to what bugs me about the film. The overall tone was the problem. (Warning: Mild spoilers ahead. Do not read further if you want to flinch at every surprise.) The movie opens at Area 51, the Russian bad guys headed by wacky parapsychologist and Lenin lover Irina Spelkt (Cate Blanchett), want something and they mow down five innocent American soldiers at the entry check point to get it. The audience collectively flinched, but what I found disconcerting was the way the camera lingered and there was no outrage or sense of wrongness about this event. Those deaths don't get avenged. It's irritating as hell. Indy is in one of the trucks, he's there. One pithy line of vengeance, but no. They are American soldiers. They deserve to die.
It gets worse. Indy escapes and ends up back at his college campus where McCarthyism has taken root and poor Indy is being suspected as a traitor. The emphasis throughout is not on communism's badness but America's ridiculousness and that takes some plot-slowing turns:
Or, rather, it isn't; instead of plunging into the thick of things, we have to spend some time with Indy back on campus, where concerns about his patriotism see him dismissed from his position;How dare anyone question anyone's patriotism? A communism protest gets run over. An all-American town gets torched. A sympathetic hero gets "swift-boated". Ten minutes in, I wanted to throw up. My friend just found it boring, which it was.
And so it went. The adventure takes Indy all over the globe again. His youthful sidekick just seemed wrongly cast. The story is choppy and there is one glaring plot hole that is still bugging the hell out of me. After you guys all see it, maybe you'll have an answer, but I've wracked my brain and have come up with a big fat nothing.
I'll be curious about how Indy fans take this movie. I give it 2.5/5 stars. Vote once you see it.